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October 10, 2015

Will 'Chuck's' Last Six Eps Be As Good As the First Thirteen?

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 6th 2010 5:31PM
Zachary Levi in 'Chuck' - 'Chuck Vs. The American Hero'Most 'Chuck' fans know that last night's episode, 'Chuck Versus The Other Guy,' was originally designed to be the third season finale. That was, of course, before NBC surprised Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak with an order for six more episodes, bringing the total to 19.

Don't get me wrong; 'Chuck Versus The Other Guy' was one of my favorite episodes this season. So many stories advanced and got tied together, it made for a very satisfying hour.

But that's because the stories were supposed to be wrapped up. For all Fedak and Schwartz knew, this was going to be the last episode they ever did. So, did things wrap up a little too neatly last night, leaving the last six episodes as some sort of long, energy-free epilogue? I'm not sure.

Let's see where we are at this point: Chuck's a full-fledged spy who finally had to kill someone, but out of necessity. Shaw's finally dead, leaving that artificial impediment out of the way of Chuck and Sarah's romantic aspirations. Sarah finally admitted she's loved Chuck all along, even before he saved her from certain death multiple times over the last few weeks.

The director of The Ring has been captured, and their plans to construct their own Intersect have been scuttled. Casey has been reinstated. And Morgan is now part of "Team Bartkowski." The episode ends with Chuck and Sarah having a romantic moment in Paris, the city Chuck has been wanting to visit for his entire life

If the season or the show ended there, it would have been perfect. But in the next six episodes, we get to see the aftermath of this seemingly tidy conclusion: Morgan bumbling through his training while straining to not blow his cover, Chuck and Sarah fighting what's left over of The Ring while trying to negotiate their new relationship, and the Buy More dealing with the new normal. And we found out last night that not only will Scott Bakula return as Chuck's dad (something we knew already), but Julia Ling is coming back as Anna in order to complicate Morgan's life.

I have faith in Fedak, Schwartz, and their writing staff to create fun new adventures for 'Team Bartowski' as well as try to integrate the weird goings-on at the Buy More into those adventures. And there's always the chance to explore more of Chuck's complicated relationship with both his dad and his sister Ellie -- will Chuck or Awesome finally crack and tell her he's a spy, for instance.

There is potential for the show to go down a lot of new avenues, or explore old ones that we haven't seen in a while -- I miss Chuck helping capture the bad guys with his wits instead of his Intersect-provided kung fu skills.

But at what point does this all start feeling repetitive? And are we going to see Chuck and Sarah driven apart yet again in one of those infuriating will they/won't they dances we've seen on TV since 'Cheers?'

Let's hope that the real 'Team Bartowski' (the ones scarfing Doritos in the writing room) have a lot of big plans in store for the back six. Otherwise, it's going to feel like a big ol' letdown after this week.

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Red Onions

Every episode this season has been more dramatic than the last, and after looking at the description for some upcoming episodes, it looks like "Chuck" is going to back to being more of a comedy at least for a few episodes. I, for one, am excited for this to happen. I've grown tired of relying on everyone but Chuck to make me laugh, so hopefully these episodes not only bring back more comedy to "Chuck", but also bring back more comedy to Chuck.

April 07 2010 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick M

At wondercon they confirmed the WT/WT is over done with. And the back six are focusing on family and spy stories.

April 07 2010 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a good episode and had it been the end of the series itself, it would've been satisfying enough. That's not to say I want "Chuck" to go away any time soon. In fact, I'd like to see more meaty episodes like this one where they ramp up the actual action and drama with comedy peppered in. It was one of the most satisfying episodes of the series and I look forward to many, many more.

April 06 2010 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Haven't seen Monday's episode yet, but the one thing that has driven the wife and I nuts this year was the incessant journey for Chuck to become "a real spy." which made him sound like he was Pinnochio.

Sarah hasn't really grown as a character since season one, and it's starting to get old. I guess after reading here what happened, I'll reserve judgement as her character may FINALLY actually do something....I remain hopeful

April 06 2010 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kyle's comment

I agree with you about Sarah completely. She is not just a supporting character anymore, and the writers over at Chuck need to sit down and reflect on the situation they've put themselves in as far as character development is concerned.

I think their biggest problem is the fact that Chuck was a beloved character because he was the average everyday underdog, and he certainly is not that anymore. They've turned Chuck into a badass, and the whole premise of the show is starting to shake beneath.

They really need to sit down and talk about the fact that this is a completely different show at this point, figure out what they are going to do about the fact that we know absolutely nothing about the characters, and what exactly Chuck's new goals are. We know he only wants to be a spy because he can date Sarah, and that is what the show is running on right now. The show is in trouble, but no one seems to really know it yet.

April 07 2010 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a lot of hope for the next six based on the fact that they're involving Ellie more and Scott Bakula is back. I'm also looking forward to seeing Anna for an episode or two because it means the show's writers didn't just make her character fall of the face of the planet.

I don't know how Chuck is going to fare in season 4, but I'm hoping the next 6 episodes give us a reason to look forward to good news from NBC.

On a tangent: NBC renewed Marriage Ref? Seriously? And they had to be begged by the fans to bring back Chuck? Are these people TRYING to dump viewers?

April 06 2010 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

Hey I havenot seen the episode yet I was gonna watch it on Hulu later tonight but I have not seen it yet thanks for the spoiler jerks. Be more considerate next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 06 2010 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tony DIMeo's comment
Jon Carpenter

Lol, there isn't a single spoiler in the first part of this post. It's your own fault for clicking through to read the rest of it. I thought it was common knowledge that there could be spoilers after the click.

April 06 2010 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

According to wikipedia, in the next episode, Chuck gets a fatal STD called air born AIDs

April 07 2010 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've read the names - and some summaries - of the upcoming episodes on Wikipedia and I'm pretty confident about the last 6 eps (spoiler-filled speculation follows): The one after the next makes it seem as if Chuck and Sarah will be learning from another spy couple and the final hour of the finale takes back the name of the season 2 finale: ring = The Ring ... and ring = marriage/asking the question.

April 06 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's hope it explores them as a couple - no more artificial wedges. These back 6 are set, and if they get a new season, I have not doubt they have plenty to get into. We haven't touched on her family too much, none really this season, plus Casey's history can also be delved into. I would also hope for maybe a villain adversary that is truly interesting.

April 06 2010 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really? Another Chuck post?

April 06 2010 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to John's comment
Joel Keller

Really? Another comment from Kragragh?

April 06 2010 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 06 2010 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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