[Editor’s Note: Since the two-hour season finale of CHUCK is essentially two separate episodes strung together, AX decided it was best to review them individually]
Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Adam Baldwin, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Ryan McPartlin, Sarah Lancaster
Writer: Chris Fedak
Director: Robert Duncan McNeill
Network: NBC, Friday nights, 8 p.m.
Original Telecast: January 27, 2012
SPOILER ALERTS … of course. You’ve Been Warned!
As the series finale of CHUCK picks up, it’s now two weeks later…. after Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) has ditched Chuck (Zachary Levi) because she’s not feeling it, she somehow ends up in the baggage compartment of a private jet carrying the evil Nicholas Quinn (Angus Macfadyen) who is making a deal with a Fulcrum bad-guy. Remember Fulcrum? Remember most of the past five seasons? Seriously, “Chuck vs. The Goodbye” is all about the past five years of CHUCK, but mostly it’s about the first episode.
Better yet, all of the things we complained so vociferously about at the beginning of the season, namely Morgan (Joshua Grimes) getting the Intersect, have now dove-tailed into this episode. If we didn’t know from back then that the Intersect could scramble memories so badly, then we wouldn’t have this excuse to revisit so much from the first episode in the name of trying to re-awaken Sarah’s memory. It was awkward, but we should have trusted Chris Fedak and Joshua Schwartz.
Let’s get back to that plane. Quinn’s objective is one of three keys that will fix the faulty Intersect he has uploaded into the sunglasses. Surprise, surprise, Sarah fails to either kill Quinn or get the sunglasses and key, and abandons the plane mid-air.
Back in Burbank, Chuck is more than a little depressed, like staying all day in bed depressed, until Ellie and Morgan insist that he get out of bed and convince him to find Sarah and help her fall in love with him again on the theory that he did it once, he can do it again. And Morgan proposes a theory, probably based on watching too many Disney princesses with Chuck’s niece, baby Clara, that all Chuck has to do is kiss Sarah – one magical kiss – and all her memories will come flooding back.
The first thing will be to find her, so naturally, all one has to do is ask Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vic Sahay). Claiming they can find a girl off the remains of an Outback blooming onion, they tap into the Buy More network of geeks, and soon they have determined that Sarah has gotten off a place at Los Angeles International Airport and is in the Burbank Buy More.
And yes, we see her striding in just like we did five years ago. She’s still pretty cool to Chuck, but explains that she needs Castle to complete her mission.
In the meantime, General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) is laying down the law with Casey (Adam Baldwin). He’s gotten soft. He’s got to be ruthless and go out and get Quinn at all costs, so Casey is now back to the first episode version of himself.
Sarah asks Chuck to do some hacking for her to find Quinn’s whereabouts and what he’s up to. Morgan arrives, with Devon (Ryan McPartlin), carrying baby Clara, and Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) who have come to welcome Sarah back and to see what can be done to help her re-gain her memories. Sarah, overwhelmed, tries to take off, but Mary Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) is back and pulls a gun on her to keep her there. Which leads to one of the best lines in the episode, Devon: “Grandma, we agreed. No firearms in front of baby Clara.” Oh, right. Nothing funnier than Linda Hamilton switching from her bad-*ss self to remind Clara that “Mimi loves you.”
While it’s a pity that we don’t get to see Scott Bakula as Chuck and Ellie’s dad, Stephen Bartowski, in some sort of flashback, the character’s efforts to develop and protect Chuck from the Intersect are fully acknowledged, as Mary explains that what Quinn is after are three keys that will fix the buggy version currently on the sunglasses. Two fell into the wrong hands, i.e. Fulcrum and The Ring. The third was given to “someone in the government.”
So now, Chuck, Sarah and Morgan are off to find Quinn, who is somewhere in Germany, looking for the second key. They decide to follow The Ring bad guy, which leads them to… the first restaurant where they went for their first “pretend” date, when Sarah wasn’t sure about who and what Chuck was, then to a Weinerlicious, which was where Sarah was working as part of her cover to protect Chuck (funny how she knows where the cups really go). Outside, in a chopper, Casey is following them to find Quinn. Morgan is outside in the spy truck. Sarah has given Chuck a gun, but we all know Chuck has a problem pulling the trigger.
Quinn shows up at Weinerlicious, with Morgan as a hostage. Quinn kills The Ring bad guy, and gets the second key before Chuck and Sarah can stop him. Chasing after him, Sarah orders Chuck to shoot. So he fires a warning shot into the air above him, where the chopper with Casey is. Casey is forced to land and somehow everyone ends up back at Castle, with Morgan tied to a chair and Sarah and Chuck in separate holding cells.
Sarah finds it a little hard to believe that Chuck’s reluctance to pull the trigger was one of the things she came to like most about him. Casey confronts Morgan, but Morgan instead, lets Casey know that being tough isn’t just what it’s all about. “You’re afraid that you’re better with us,” he yells at Casey, which Casey has to admit is true. Once they’re released, Ellie tells Chuck that she needs the glasses so that maybe she can restore Sarah’s memory.
The problem is that they have to find that third key before Quinn does, and it kinda dawns on them that General Beckman, who is attending a concert with a Chinese dignitary, is the “someone in government.” Alas, Quinn has figured that out, too, and wired a pressure sensitive bomb under Beckman’s seat. Worse yet, it will blow up when the music stops.
They need time (kinda like they did at Ellie’s wedding), so who else do you call? Jeffster! Jeff and Lester come out doing a creditable version of “Take Me On.” Meanwhile, Chuck, Sarah and Casey try to defuse the bomb, only the case is locked and there’s only one person who can unlock it. Quinn. Who’s on top of the building waiting for the chopper, like the bad guy was in the first episode.
Chuck and Sarah confront him, but Sarah ends up having to kill him before he kills them. They get the glasses, but now Chuck knows that he has to take on the Intersect in order to save everyone in the building from Quinn’s bomb rather than restore Sarah’s memory. She agrees and he puts the glasses on and downloads.
They rush back to the auditorium, where Chuck is able to unlock the box the bomb is in, and it’s attached to a laptop that we’ve seen before. It’s Sarah who remembers the name of the virus Chuck used to defuse that first bomb, and sure enough, it works again and all is well.
Now, it’s time to wrap everything up. With a wonderful stab at the show’s ridiculous Subway references, Subway has bought the Buy More and put Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) in charge, waxing happy with the chain’s slogan. Jeff and Lester are approached by an show biz agent to go to Germany, where he will make them stars, and they go. Morgan and Alex, Casey’s daughter (Mekenna Melvin) are going to move in together. Ellie and Awesome are moving to Chicago.
And Chuck and Sarah…. She needs time to think things over. At first, Chuck is willing to let her go again, but then Morgan insists he find her with his heart, which he does.
She’s sitting on the beach watching the surf and then she asks Chuck to tell her their story, again, going right back to that first episode. It’s a sweet little montage and at the end, Chuck tells Sarah about Morgan’s crazy idea about the one kiss. Sarah asks Chuck to kiss her. They kiss and… Fade out.
Wait, this is not the cheesy fake out, leave things hanging kind of thing. That was in not explaining how Chuck is going to deal with the Intersect, which as far as we know (unless I missed something) is still in his brain. The kiss is perfect and that Sarah asked him to kiss her makes the restoration of her memories completely irrelevant. Chuck got her to fall in love with him all over again. It rocks!
Gotta love it. Utterly satisfying, and gee, could we have a CHUCK movie coming down the pike? We can only hope so.
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