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Chuck Review: With All Of My Heart

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I have praised Chuck over the past five seasons for its ability to fuse comedy, action and heart into what I have dubbed here at TV Fanatic the Chuck Triple Threat.

This two-part series finale succeeded in making us laugh, and keeping us on the edge of our seat, but it was the overwhelming number of emotional triggers both "Chuck Versus Sarah" and "Chuck Versus the Goodbye" set off that made it an extremely satisfying ending.

Chuck Finale Photo

At the outset. it seemed as if the whole "Sarah lost her memory and was going to be a problem" issue was resolved before it even started, but they flipped that scenario right on its head. Sarah, in fact, never got all of her memory back from what the intersect and Quinn did to her, which just gave us more time to watch Chuck attempt to jog it.

Right down to the final minutes of the series, Chuck was reminding Sarah - and the audience - of what great times these two have had together over the past five years. That final scene, which our Round Table panel predicted horribly wrong, was so darn fantastic.

It's going to take a lot of work to get Sarah back to the place she was before losing the last five years of her life, but if Chuck continues to tell her their story while smiling and laughing it up, these two will make it back to where they were.

And while the end result for our favorite spy couple was beautiful, it wasn't even the most emotional moment from the two hours. Thanks to the flashbacks, and the wonderful acting by Zach Levi, the first time Chuck told the story of how these two fell in love was by far the most touching moment of the finale. Needless to say, my non-existent allergies started to act up at that point.

Unfortunately for Chuck, that game didn't bring Sarah out of it. It worked out well for us, though, because we got to relive it all again as Sarah watched her video diaries of her years with Chuck. Of course, it still didn't cause her to regain her feelings for Chuckles, but it sure was enjoyable to watch Sarah falling for him in a matter of minutes.

It wasn't just Charah's relationship that drove this series. The friendships that were created and groomed over these five years were some of the best on television. Many of those friends' stories were paid off in the end.

Casey, and his new found soft spot, attempted to help Sarah remember by giving her the video diary disc, continued the strong relationship with his daughter and sailed off to win over his own love... Verbanski.

Morgan was back to doing all of the little things needed to get the job done. He helped out Chuck on his missions, he helped out Casey, he even helped out Jeffster with the orchestra and he ended up moving in with the badass girl but sadly... no badass tips.

Awesome and Ellie decided to take off to Northwestern to take new jobs after getting wooed by Midwesterners. While I loved Ellie helping to save the day by crashing her car, and it's nice to see her having enough confidence in Chuck now to leave him be in sunny California, the move seems a bit out of place. Why would they leave now? Because it's the series finale? I don't think the extra money would be enough to displace them that easily.

Jeffster had one final killer performance, and it stopped a bomb from killing hundreds of people! Who had "Take On Me" in the final Jeffster performance pool? Not me, but I was glad to see those two goons rip it up one last time before getting their German record contract.

It might not have been the ending that many pictured - what with Sarah hardly remember who Chuck is, Casey darting off to find Verbanski and the Awesomes moving to Chicago - but in the end all of our favorite characters got enjoyable conclusions. Even Big Mike finally found out about all of the spy business going on around him. Whether he ends up believing it or not is another story.

What do you say? How about you put on that Weinerlicious outfit and take a stroll down the Chuck Triple Threat avenue one more time? Let's do this...

Heart
We shall start with heart since it's all already been mentioned. When it comes to plot, storytelling, and spy related material, Chuck doesn't usually take itself too seriously. With heartfelt, emotional moments, the show doesn't mess around, and that was obvious in the finale.  

Comedy
A lot of the flashbacks and callbacks were funny simply for nostalgic reasons. Seeing Sarah in the overseas Weinerlicious, or Chuck and Sarah ballroom dancing on a mission, had to just make you giggle nervously.

Then there were more overtly funny moments, like Morgan cramming in a Harry Potter, The Fugitive, and a headless horseman joke within minutes of finding the invisibility cloak.

Finally there were a couple of final John Casey gems, including "You shot down my helicopter with my own damn gun!" and "General, with all due respect, shut up. We're saving you."

Action
There were a ton of great action sequences from the two hours, but my favorite might have been the fight from Weinerlicious. Was it mainly because Morgan used a bottle of ketchup to take out his enemy?  Maybe.

I also really enjoyed the old Sarah taking on missions all by herself. My jaw dropped when I saw her kick through the window, slide under the desk and swing around the railing in a matter of seconds.

Moving Forward
So the final intersect upload was put into the shades, and Chuck decided to use them to stop the bomb instead of helping Sarah get all of her memories back. It's definitely fitting, if completely obvious, that Chuck finishes the series just like he started it...by downloading a super computer worth of information into his brain.  That still sounds weird when you say it out loud.

So that's a wrap, folks. The pacing of the finale wasn't really the best - it seemed to drag plot-wise in the middle there, but emotionally both hours really connected. It was a great ending to a series that I have loved since day one.

What did you all think of the Chuck series finale? Are you happy with where all the characters ended up? Sound off in the comments and come back for the final Chuck Round Table next week.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Seems they missed kind of an obvious trick at the end. Throughout the series, a visual staple was the kaleidoscopic rushing of images whenever Chuck flashed, or anyone loaded down one of the stray versions of the intersect that seemed to be lying around like magazines at a dentist's office. I was sure that the final kiss would set off a full scale fusillade of personal images of the pair.

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@ new-viewer

I disagree; they deliberately left the ending ambiguous. To quote the writer; he thought that it was "cool" that "they get to fall in love all over again". It's ridiculous way of writing. That was a cruel and lousy way to treat fans who kept this show afloat for five years. For those who liked the ending, that's their opinion and I respect that. For me. it changed my opinion of how I watch tv. I feel like I wasted 5 years on a story that has no clear end.

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I think the point of the ending is that it doesn't matter if she gets her memories back. With the kiss and the look on her face as he told their story, you know they will be fine with or without memories. I actually thought leaving it open-ended was far more poignant.

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@ newfan

And no, I don't know from the look on her face. Yes, she is trusting him, but to her it's still just a story. It's the MAYBE of it all that wasn't fair. I'm not a writer and don't claim to be one but every good story should have a definitive beginning and ending; or at least every good story I've ever read or seen for me has been that way. Chuck went from my favorite show ever to just another show that I liked because of that ending. That's just my opinion though.

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@ newfan

I'm sorry but it should matter. They threw away five years of character development. Think about it; if you lost five years of memories wouldn't you feel incomplete? I had a stroke several years ago and I lost some of my short term (and long term) memories that I have never recovered and it affected my marriage, my ministry and every other aspect of my life. Yes, life continued on but you come out different. It's unrealistic to say that they will be fine because they lost something very significant that may not be found again. This was a great show but that ending left to many unanswered questions and ruined my perception of the series. The West Wing closed with a definitive idea of the future of every major character. I would have preferred that they break them up or at least show me that she (Sarah) was on the path to finding herself. The creators said after the fact that they now had the chance to fall in love all over again. To me, that was an insult, and a cop-out as well.

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I never watched Chuck while it was on the air but I really regret not being a fan. I think show was sold as action/comedy but it as heart which I felt make this show great. 5 season was nice I wished it lasted longer. My only gripe about the show and I think it was a mistake on the writers was Chuck getting out of the CIA in season 4's finally. Using Russian special OPs against CIA was a No. No.( We should be supportive of the US even when love ones are at risk) This has been a main point of the show in season 1 but fell out of touch in season 4-5. I think it was a excellent build up from past seasons, They should have some how used something other than the Russians...

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I agree that Chuck was a show with a lot of heart and Chuck vs The Goodbye had lots of it. However, the ambiguous ending left the possibility of Chuck being heart broken...again. Every character got their happy ending but with Chuck and Sarah all we got was a maybe. I cannot believe that the creators of this excellent show decided to forgo the happy ending with an open ended closing scene like they did. I loved this show for the Chuck/Sarah relationship and after over a year still feel cheated with the way they ended it. The fans deserved more that they got, especially after they went to bat to save it time after time over the five seasons. Sure, I applaud Chuck for the sacrifice of uploading the intersect to save all of those people at the concert rather than restoring Sarah's memories; but he still could wind up losing the one thing (Sarah) that has changed him both personally and professionally. I cannot even watch the finale anymore. After everything I don't feel that it was fair what we were given. I almost got turned off to episodic tv because this finale and Chuck was my favorite show of all time.

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I think that the final episode of Chuck was a completely mess.For example,why Chuck didnt give the intersect glasses to Sarah ? I know that he needed them to disarm the bomb but if he can do it with the intersect so Sarah can do it with them too + that she could renew her memory.Be free to comment..

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Love Chuck, but Season 5 was a letdown for me. Didn't like the storylines and I thought the execution was very sloppy (for once the small budget was truly obvious). It just seemed forced and it had lost its premise until the conflicts in the end. Sarah getting the intersect was a good call, but the ending, although hopeful and sweet, threw all the investment of previous seasons out the window for me. Yes, I'm of those who think Sarah will eventually get her memories back, but it is still a very open ending that obliterates what the previous four seasons led up to. If Chuck continued, Sarah losing her memory, Chuck getting a non-faulty intersect, and Beckman making an offer for the future could serve as a sort of reboot. Didn't do it for me.

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i love chunk ,sarah , big mike n their friends .

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Every time I think about this, I still cry.

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I love chuck and sarah it's the best show ever, i cried watch Chuck Versus the Goodby. Please bring back the show.

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Chuck Season 5 Episode 12 Quotes

Honey, I think we're being wooed...by Midwesterners.

Awesome

If you would use a plate when you're eating taquitos, I wouldn't have to scrub the floors, would I?

Casey