Sorry to be late to the review party but at the end of season four of Chuck when Morgan said, “guys, I know Kung Fu”… I was out. However times goes by, I bought a roku box and streamed season five over the past few days.
The formula on the Chuck where geek turned hero, gets the girl, plus campy humor, and enough action to boot, was great. Throw in some fabulous recurring guest stars like Scott Bakula and Linda Hamilton and Chuck was rocking. (At least among its loyal fans.)
The season five arc with Morgan having the intersect turned out okay. Gomez is a funny dude, with great comedic timing. Didn’t have a problem with it.
Bottom line on season five is the creators failed to realize two key points about what draws fans to shows like Chuck:
The first is the superhero element. As fun as it might be to watch Alfred troll around as Batman for a little while, or Mary Jane Watson to have Spiderman’s power, we the audience want to see Bruce Wayne be Batman and Peter Parker as Spiderman. To watch our heroes adapt to being “normal” can be a good brief aside so long as we get to see them return to their badass self.
Yes Chuck (Zachary Levi) gets the intersect back in the final episode but that was too little too late.
The second is the relationship between geek/ nerd turned hero, and the girl he could never get. In this case Chuck and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). By giving them a less than a ride off into the sunset ending, it leaves the audience feeling a little empty, a little less complete. By robbing Sarah of her memories, you kind of rob the audience of them too.
The season five ending would have been far better if it was in fact a season ending episode and not a series ending episode.
Chuck wasn’t an independent film with a dark point to make. It was a light show with no plausible reason to go in the direction it did. I think sometimes in series finales, (talking in general here) creators try to get too creative, not be predictable, or are just too stubborn to give the audience what it wants.
Predictable can be very good if it is well executed and you care about the characters. No need to be different just for the sake of being different.
The season also had too many villains, and too many times where first Chuck, then Sarah, then Chuck, then Sarah, commenting on how they didn’t want to be spies anymore. Okay I get it. Daniel Shaw, (Brandon Routh) was a great villain, I would have preferred him to be involved in the last few episodes (if not the whole season) rather than the middle.
Small item, why did Quinn (Angus Macfadyen) wait and not put on the intersect glasses sooner???
Why did Chuck get the glasses/ intersect back just to open a box? This was the best version of the intersect.
- A- we should have seen him do some stunts with it that we hadn’t seen before. Or something 3.0ish.
- B- with the last scene on the beach, he could have said something like, “I wish I could give you your memories back Sarah”, and then flashed, showing images of the brain, etc..
That ending would imply that with the new intersect he could have done it. And the audience could have smiled and let out a sigh of relief.
I did dig the Jeffster. I though Jeff (Scott Krinsky) becoming intelligent once he stopped breathing in exhaust fumes and Lester’s response was great.
The comedic subplots throughout this season and the run of the show were often entertaining. As much as I wanted to go back to the action, I usually found myself shaking my head and smiling or laughing at the lovable losers.
Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) were integrated well in season five, though given the history of the show, I find it hard to believe they would leave Chuck and move to Chicago.
Acting wise, I thought the entire cast did a great job and wish them well in their future efforts.
In a parallel universe, I see a different storyline where Chuck and Sarah stop Shaw and moving into their dream house at the end of the finale. And I see a wedding with Morgan and Alex (Mekenna Melvin), with Casey (Adam Baldwin) sitting arm and arm with Gertrude (Carrie-Anne Moss). Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) is doing the marrying, of course Chuck is the Best Man, and the Jeffster is providing the music.