Chuck may have fallen short of the hype last night, but the episode that was created as a potential season - if not series - finale was still solid by all accounts.
What did our staff members take away from "Chuck Versus the Push Mix"? We've got all the bases covered here, via the latest TV Fanatic Chuck Round Table:
What did you think of episode thirteen if it were the season finale? As just a regular mid-season episode?
Dan F: I would have loved it as a season or even series finale. I of course really liked it as a midseason episode, but as I said in my review, it wasn't as good as I was expecting.
Dr. Toboggan: I thought it was great and agree with Dan. I would have loved it more as a season or series finale. My only concern with having it midseason is that the show will lack a focus and just sort of float through the next 11 episodes, but I've learned a long time ago to trust Chuck.
Eric H: As a season finale, I actually would have thought it would have been terrible. Why? Everything worked out too well! There were no cliffhangers! Now as a midseason episode, it was 5-star perfection.
Rate Jeffster's performance of "Push It," 1-10.
Dan F: On second viewing, I enjoyed it a bit more. Probably because the cover song of a cover song line was fantastic. That pushed me from a 1 to a 2 on the scale.
Dr. Toboggan: I'll give it a 7. Awesome asked for a "push mix" and I there is no arguing that Jeffster! certainly provided that. I had to take points away because Lester is at his best when he is truly rocking out and hitting the high notes and unfortunately he was thrown out before that could happen.
Eric H: 8. Musically it may not have been their best performance, but I'm just impressed with how far they got into the song before security shut them down. Plus did you see some of the patients and fellow staff hopping in? Awesome.Favorite new "family": The Awesomes with Baby Clara, the newly engaged Chuck and Sarah, Mama Bartowski being reunited with her kids, or Casey's brood?
Dan F: As I noted in my review, Casey's brood is fantastic. Bringing Morgan and Casey together as an actual family may be the best thing this show has ever done.
Dr. Toboggan: Casey's brood, hands down. Morgan's quote to Casey at the end of "your line is I love you too Morgan" was priceless. He really isn't going anywhere and it's great watching Casey sort of give in and begrudgingly embrace Morgan as his sidekick, and his daughter's boyfriend.
Eric H: Yeah, it's weird that with all the heart and emotion of Awesome and the Bartowskis, I also have to give it up to Casey's makeshift brood. The tough guy getting soft for his daughter and accepting Morgan is just too good.
It's okay, you're amongst friends here. Admit it. Did you cry during those final 10 minutes?
Dan F: I'm never afraid to admit it. I've cried at many a movie or episode. My most recent sobbing episode came at the hands of Toy Story 3, but I did not shed a tear last night. None of these emotional moments did enough to get me going.
Dr. Toboggan: I don't know, I was happy to see everything work out but I wasn't really emotional about it. When Chuck saw Sarah murder someone about two years ago in the mid season Christmas finale (vague reference I know) I thought that was emotional because it was unexpected and was one of the first times we witnessed how deeply Sarah cared for Chuck. It wasn't like that in this episode, nothing surprised me, I knew 10 minutes in how everything was going to play out so there were not really any strong feelings watching it.
Eric H: What are you guys, robots!? It was pretty much dusty in the room the entire last five minutes for me. From the look on Ellie's face when her mom walked in to the proposal, it was like the toys holding hands in Toy Story 3 all over again. Yeah Dan, I'll admit it, I cried during that one too.
With Volkoff taken down and Mama Bartowski rescued by episode 13, where do we go for the next 11 episodes!?
Dan F: Well sadly, I caught the preview of next week's episode so I have a bit of an idea of where the short-term is heading, but we do need a new long term bad guy right? There was The Ring, Fulcrum, Volkoff Industries... we need another bad guy and it will certainly be difficult to live up to the performance Timothy Dalton put forth as Alexei Volkoff. My hat's off to him.
Dr. Toboggan: I have no idea. It will be interesting to see if they try to introduce another major criminal organization or if they just have one or two shorter arcs to play out the season. I am split right now in which direction I would like to see them go, but I will continue campaigning for NPH to be the next criminal mastermind.
Eric H: After this very stressful 13 episode Volkoff arc with no standalone episodes, I'm ready for a little break. Maybe a couple goofy standalone CIA missions for a bit and then I'm ready for my next evil organization. Mantis, just set up that petition for NPH and you got my signature!
Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.