Chuck: Chuck versus the Ring

“The BuyMore is no more.”

It’s pretty much impossible—even if you live spoiler-clean—to avoid going into a season finale with certain expectations. All of us here on billiedoux.com seemed more apprehensive than anything else: how, with the sense of loose ends tied and threads snipped, could we get anything other than the series finale we’re all fearing?

The promos for the season finale made me expect an entirely wedding-centric episode, with a largish gun battle at the end, the victory of good over evil, and Sarah and Chuck walking happily into the sunset. Maybe Casey could even meet a special honey at the reception. Given Chuck’s ambiguous fate, I assumed the Powers that Be would wrap things up and, if necessary, reboot next fall.

I was dead wrong. (And please, don’t read the rest of this review until you’ve watched the episode.)

The wedding battle came way, way earlier than I’d expected, which gave Chuck a great excuse to blow his massive tax refund/spy bailout/hush money on Wedding 2.0 with some hilarious help from the Special Forces. Ellie and Awesome are now married. So that’s all good. And by the way, did you notice that Sarah’s bridesmaid dress had a detachable skirt? Most dresses don’t have that kind of promise built right into the design. Or maybe I’ve just been in the wrong weddings.

What isn’t good (or maybe it is?) is Chuck’s decision to download Intersect 3.0. Sarah had been willing to give it all up for him, and he’d already nixed the analyst job (I guess the general and I think alike), so he had the chance to finally make his dream come true. Instead, he chose to reload his mental firepower. The kung-fu skills were an unknown extra—and hey! Chuck finally got those superpowers he’s always wanted.

Earlier in the episode, Morgan and Chuck had a heart-to-heart about the difficulty of following one’s dream: it’s risky and hard, and the bigger the dream, the riskier and harder it will be to achieve. Chuck’s dream has always been to be with Sarah, right? So was he so scared to risk his heart that he uploaded the Intersect again? Or did he realize that the “greater good” was more important this his own happiness? Or did he finally decide that he likes being a spy? That last one seems like the easiest answer, but I’m not sure. Chuck has always been a bit gun-shy. He’s worked at a BuyMore for a billion years, for goodness sake. Is being a spy his excuse for not getting serious with Sarah?

Bryce Larson said Fulcrum is just one part of “The Ring,” and the baddies in the Castle weren’t affiliated with Fulcrum but were still up to no good. Sounds a bit like Tolkien-level evil to me, which is something to look forward to. Speaking of which, if next season happens . . . well, what would be different? Chuck kickin’ ass instead of just flashing names, for one. The possible removal of the BuyMore from the story (it has been an odd fit, especially lately). Awesome knows Chuck is a spy, which means Ellie has got to know at some point. Chuck and Sarah are back to work versus love. And they didn’t even get to have sex.

The past few episodes have been so darn good. I really hope that they renew for next year, even just 13 episodes. I’ll let you all know when I know, which I think is sometime in May.

In the meantime, please enjoy these Refreshing Quotes:

• Casey: “If you were a true patriot, you wouldn’t cash it.”

• Chuck: “See, guys can hug.”
Casey: “Not if they don’t have their man parts.”

• Chevy Chase: “If you don’t deliver that cube within a half hour, forty minutes, top, with traffic, I’m going to kill the bride.”

• Papa Awesome: “Why are you letting Sam Kinnison and an Indian lesbian wreck your wedding?”

• Chevy Chase: “A real shotgun wedding. Just think: that terrible pun will be the last thing you’ll ever hear.”

• Casey: “No, no, no. That clashes with the bunting.”

• Casey: “Oh, chuck me.”

• Chuck: “Guys, I know kung-fu.”

Four out of four sexy, possibly evil and certainly overly pragmatic, guest-starring, surprising, former college roommates who sacrifice everything and leave Sarah’s heart free. In other words, four out of four Bryce Larkins. May he rest in peace.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

11 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

Thanks for the great review, Josie. I, too, am having trouble sussing out exactly why Chuck decided to upload Intersect 3.0 into his head, instead of just destroying it. But, since it gives the story a new and interesting twist, I'm willing to roll with it. It should be fun to see Chuck struggle with superpowers. Hopefully they'll be a bit unstable and unpredictable, just to keep things interesting. I wouldn't want him to become Mr. Suave and lose his goofy, nerdiness.

I absolutely loved the disaster wedding. Jeffster performing 'Mr. Roboto' was one of the highlights of the season for me (right up there with Chuck playing the video game to 'Tom Sawyer'). Especially the crowd reactions. And I loved how Awesome just rolled with it, once he knew it was Chuck's doing. Hilarious. I laughed out loud several times during that whole sequence.

This has been a great season. Fingers crossed for a third one! We should know in a week.

Kevin Bachelder said...

Very nice write-up. It was so great to see Chuck just keep getting better and better as the season went on. I had no idea back at the beginning of the season that I would be looking forward to Chuck episodes even more than Heroes episodes. ;)

Josie K said...

You and me both, Kevin.

And Jess: Chuck cannot be suave! I'll stop watching! Well, that's probably not true.

For those Chuck fans out there who have nothing to do on Wednesdays after Lost, I strongly recommend that you check out The Unusuals. Like Chuck, it's a great mix of comedy and drama (I refuse to use the word dramedy), with some wacky stunts and real emotions. The cops spend a bit too much time discussing their life philosophies, but hopefully that will lessen as the show gets more comfortable with itself.

sloth15 said...

Was it me or was Bryce showing up just REALLY out of the blue. It eventually worked, plot wise, but he really just showed up out of nowhere. And don't count him out, he's been shot and killed before.

Second, I think it was quite a split second decision for Chuck to upload the new intersect, but if I were Chuck, and all I wanted was Sarah, I would probably download too. The intersect has been the thing keeping them together, and it was an immediate possibility that she would leave without it. Even though she initially said she would stay with Chuck, I would always be worried if I were him. She's a spy, an adrenaline junky, a trained killer. Would she really be happy settled down?

I have mixed feelings about the BuyMore. It got awkward there for the last half of this season, especially since Chuck never seemed to be working. But I will miss Emmit/Buster. I can't see a third season without Morgan though.

Fingers crossed.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

Hey guys -

I LOVED this episode, especially since, like Josie said, I was so worried that they would wrap things up, just in case it was the series finale.

I don't think that Chuck's decision to download the Intersect this time had anything to do with Sarah or not Sarah. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would self-sabotage love out of fear (one of the reasons why he's my perfect man, and completely against stereotype). I think it was clear that he had to destroy the computer, but I think that Bryce's death made him realize just how extensive the forces/conspiracies/whatever out there were. Without a leg up on the bad guys, so to speak, they might never have a chance to win, and that's why he decided to download. He was sacrificing himself for his country.

One thing I found a little unrealistic was how they managed to find another wedding and bridesmaids dresses so quickly. Money, of course, but these things take time and fittings. (Trust me, I know unfortunately.) Small nitpick, esp on a show about a guy with a computer in his head ;-)

And OHHHHHH, Bryce. Chuck may be the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, but Bryce is definitely that hot bad-ass that I'd have a steamy, insane affair with before I settled down ;-) *Sigh* RIP Bryce - if you stay dead that is.

There were so many awesome things about this ep that I can't get to them all. But I do have to mention the BEST line ever: "Chuck me."

(For those of you who watch Gossip Girl, the other show by Chuck's creator, there's also a character named Chuck - obviously this guy has a thing for that name. And one of the best lines was when Blair called him a "Mother-Chucker").

I will be on tenderhooks until 5/4, when they announce NBC's final decision. Until then!

Serena + Pumpkin said...

ARGH!! News not coming for another week or two:

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b121695_chuck_decision_delayed_week_more.html?utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=rss_topstories

Personally, I think NBC is going to renew it, they just want to milk the publicity that they're getting from these fan campaigns. Or maybe I'm just delusional :-)

Serena + Pumpkin said...

More good news! Chuck has supposedly been renewed for 13 episodes. It's been a good weekend :-)

Billie Doux said...

I think Chuck threw himself on his sword. He knew that he had to destroy the Intersect but he also knew it was critical to defeating the forces of evil, and he knew that downloading again was the only logical answer.

And maybe, deep down, he doesn't hate being a spy.

Tom L said...

Squee! This finale was amazing. And I hope Bryce stays dead this time. It would be silly to bring him back from the dead again.

"Oh, Chuck me." Hee!

Remco said...

Awesome show, by the way. I probably should comment more, but I'm too busy watching!

ChrisB said...

Well, this season certainly went out on a high! I am not a fan of Jeffster at all, but that scene at the wedding was hilarious. And, I loved Casey planning the wedding -- "that will clash with the bunting" had me howling with laughter.

What struck me during this episode was the Chuck/Bryce dynamic. At the beginning of the show, we were told that Bryce had slept with Jill and stolen her from Chuck even though he didn't love her. Turns out, he hadn't done any of it; he just let Chuck believe that he had.

Now, Bryce truly cares about the woman that Chuck loves and, I believe anyway, has slept with her. In keeping with the man we have come to know over the past two seasons, he walks away to allow the two of them to be together. I thought it was a lovely and fitting end to the guy.