Call it Chuck Versus The Final Press Day.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with fellow reporters and members of the Chuck cast for the show's second-to-last day of filming. Ever.
With the two-hour series finale airing this Friday, Yvonne Strahovski admitted everyone was "a bit worn out" by the long hours, but the affection on set between cast and crew members was palpable. Emotion was running high.
"It's really our biggest struggle trying to keep each other together," said producer Chris Fedak. "Yvonne has been the weak link this time. We're on set, shooting what is the final scene of the series and she was crying and she turns to me and she says, 'say something funny.' I had to tell her, 'Josh handles the funny, I handle the action.'"
Adam Baldwin was equally unsympathetic toward his long-time co-star: “Oh, she's going on to bigger and better things, she's got nothing to cry about. She's got all our phone numbers and emails, she'll see us around. Once in a while.”
Following Chuck Versus The Bullet Train, there is a sense of impending doom for hardcore fans. And Strahovski didn't exactly assuage our fears with her finale preview, teasing:
“I think [this storyline] is going to weigh heavy on people's hearts... There's a definite element of sadness and stuff that we have to go through to get to the final moment.”
But Zachary Levi takes a broader few of the show's final two hours, saying the episodes "reset the clock in a lot of ways" and adding: "You find our heroes almost like you found them in the beginning of the show."
Fedak echoes this view.
“It's very callback-y," said the co-creator. "It's very much an episode haunted by previous seasons. You're going to find a lot of echoes. The first half of the night, episode 12, is very much a contained thriller. Then episode 13, every act will have echoes of past seasons and it will make... you'll see how we'll fold into the story and the narrative will make a lot of sense. But there is something about it... as we were working on the episode, breaking it in the writers' room, we wanted something that was a play through the entire show, not just this season.”
For those of us who have stuck around for five seasons, dieting strictly on Subway sandwiches to keep our favorite group of Buy Morons around, Fedak promises a "love letter" of a finale, while Levi says we shouldn't require TOO many years of therapy after it's over:
“[The finale is] good, it's cathartic, it's therapeutic. It's not necessarily tears of joy but it's tears of love. And I hope that the fans all feel that.”
Look for one specific reference/call back to the pilot (hint: it involves Mark Pellegrino), as well as a final performance from Jeffster on Friday. If you like the the Norwegian pop band A-ha, you will not be disappointed by it.
And if you love Chuck as I do, be grateful the series made it this far. Then, prepare to cry. A lot.