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Comic-Con Q&A: 'Chuck' Panel Highlights & Cast Interviews on Final Season (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 23rd 2011 7:40PM
Near the start of the 'Chuck' panel at Comic-Con, we learned that Mark Hamill will be guesting on the show, and the hourlong session ended in tears -- but they were the good kind.

Star Zachary Levi got choked up on stage as he recalled the show's first Comic-Con panel and as he talked about all that fans had done to keep the show alive for five seasons.

"This show would not have been here without you guys," he said, before his emotions overcame him and he stopped talking. Fans took up the slack by cheering and clapping.

The panel began with a video of Jeffster playing 'Eye of the Tiger' as Gomez did a 'Rocky'-style workout. Morgan is the new Intersect, after all, and as Ryan McPartlin said in the video, the former Buy More nerd has to be "ripped" for the new season.

Being the Intersect has changed things for Gomez, as he noted during the panel. "I'm scared to death," he said. "I have your schedule," he added, pointing to Levi. Yvonne Strahovski said she was looking forward to having a bit of a break, given how much screen time Morgan will be getting this season.

So how will having the Intersect change Morgan's life? That's not entirely clear, given that the technology affects the people who have it differently. At some point soon, as creator Chris Fedak noted, Morgan may well have "frosted his tips."

Despite Chuck not having the Intersect, things won't change that radically for him. "It's back to basics for Chuck," Fedak said. The basis of Chuck's skills, after all, is how he thinks through problems and comes up with creative solutions to them.

Still, all in all, Season 5 is a season of change for the show. Chuck is running Carmichael Industries, a private spy firm based in the Buy More (which Chuck now owns), and they've got big competition in the form of a company run by Gertrude Verbanski -- who will emerge as a possible love interest for John Casey. Also, Awesome and Ellie will be a "big factor" in Chuck's adventures, given that there are no secrets between Chuck and Ellie anymore.

"It's still a spy show but a lot of the things that [had been] givens by the end of the year will change," Fedak said. (By the way, despite all the changes, Bonita Friedericy won't be leaving the show -- Fedak said they'll find a way for General Beckman to stick around.)

Another big change? There's "war" between Jeff and Lester. "This is the season where it all falls apart between" the Jeffster duo, Fedak said. A running gag on the panel was Vik Sahay asking for some "actual scenes" on the show, and it sounds as though both actors might get some solo story lines, given all the trouble in Jeffster-land.

But the biggest things fans will probably have to prepare themselves for is a death. Panel moderator Michael Schneider of TV Guide asked if everyone on the stage would live, and Fedak would only say: "Someone might not survive this season, and it's going to be big." (It's worth noting that all the series regulars aside from Sarah Lancaster were on the stage at Comic-Con.)

A fan asked how the cast members want the show to end, and their responses were varied, to say the least. "I would like a feature trilogy, much like 'Lord of the Rings,'" McPartlin said. Sahay wanted a "glorious death" for Lester, much like that of Willem Dafoe's character in 'Platoon.'

Things took an enjoyably goofy turn when Scott Krinsky said the series should end with the birth of a "baby Jeffster" to carry on the band's legacy, an idea that made Sahay react with horror. The characters would not (and indeed could not) have a baby together, Sahay hastened to say. And Krinsky clarified that any Jeffster baby, if such a thing were to come to pass, would be the result of a "one-night stand at Bennigans."

"Just stop talking now," Sahay sighed.

Strahovski asked Gomez to show the fans his "flash face," i.e., the face he'll have when his brain accesses the Intersect. He resisted for a while, but finally did his version of the face, which seemed to involve a fair amount of eye-rolling.

A few more notes: Strahovski said doing the Giant Blonde She-Male of Thailand was one of her "favorite things ever"; there was much joking discussion of a possible spin-off starring Casey and Morgan (Adam Baldwin said the two characters are actually a lot alike -- "they're nice, good-hearted family men"); Fedak would love to do an episode at Comic-Con itself but it's never worked out logistically; and not surprisingly, Sahay and Krinsky endorsed a fan's suggestion of a Jeffster greatest hits album and world tour.

But the important question is this: Who would win in a fight, Casey or Baldwin's 'Firefly' character, Jayne? "We are out of time," Casey joked. But then he said the only thing he could say: "This is a 'Chuck' panel. Casey would win."

Below, I asked Levi and the cast members about Hamill's guest starring role (Levi said the 'Star Wars' actor will play a villain on the show), and I also asked them about their 'Chuck-It' lists. You've heard of the Bucket List -- things you want to do before you die. What do the 'Chuck' actors want their characters to do before the show ends?

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I assume Lancaster wasn't there because she's either had the baby or is soon to (I forget when it's due exactly), not because Ellie will end up dead :p

July 24 2011 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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