“The computer didn’t make you a hero, it just gave you the opportunity to become one.”-Allie
By the time the fifth season of Chuck begins, Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) are married, and their ostracization from the CIA leads them to kick off their own private intelligence agency out of the Buy More (the fictional, Best Buy-like electronics store which has served as Chuck’s “day job” since the first season). While much of what happens in Chuck: The Complete and Final Fifth Season doesn’t require having seen the first four seasons, you do need to know that the CIA has sucked The Intersect (the computer program which gives the endowed human advanced fighting skills and a wide database of knowledge) out of Chuck and put it into his geeky best friend, Morgan (Joshua Gomez).
Much of what happens over the course of the final season revolves around two themes. The first is Chuck’s worry that he has become insignificant or unworthy without The Intersect in his head. He has a series of people try to convince him otherwise, that he is brave, smart, funny, or powerful in his own, incomparable way, but we know that in the long run, this will require a growth that can only come from within. The second theme is Chuck’s trying to teach Morgan how to be the best spy he can be with The Intersect in him, and finding that being is sometimes easier than coaching someone else. (And they say that those who can’t, end up coaching… ha!) The Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility” idea even gets referenced, and it’s obvious that the writers had the question of power and how to use it on their minds as they wrote.
As always, one of the crazy things about Chuck is the various guest actors who float through, usually as villains. In the first episode, “Chuck versus The Zoom,” Chuck and the crew battle Bale (Craig Kilborn), a secret-stealing criminal who Chuck must outwit on his own when the others get captured. There’s also a scary cameo by Luke Skywalker AKA Mark Hamill, and it’s scary because Hamill is unrecognizable in his advancing weight!
In the second episode, “Chuck versus The Bearded Bandit,” we meet Verbanksi (Carrie-Ann Moss), Casey’s (Adam Baldwin) ex-flame, and the woman who will head up the rival spy program to Chuck’s Carmichael Industries, who will serve as ally and foil throughout the rest of the season. There’s also B-lister, “been around” Jeff Fahey, who plays a villain who sets the team up to kidnap his brother by playing on their sympathies, while Chuck tries to keep Morgan out of trouble even as he plays at being a masked vigilante. In the sixth episode, “Chuck versus The Curse,” there’s another female fatale: Rebecca Romijn as an out-for-blood CIA operative.
We’ll also get Tim DeKay as Sarah’s old handler and Cheryl Ladd(!) as her mother in “Chuck versus The Baby”; and the re-occurence of Daniel Shaw (Brandon Routh) in the seventh episode, “Chuck versus the Santa Suit,” Chuck’s greatest rival for Sarah’s attention; Bo Derek in the eighth episode, appropriately called “Chuck versus Bo”; and finally, Linda Hamilton returns as Chuck’s mother in the thirteenth episode, “Chuck versus The Goodbye.”
The show is still highly entertaining, both from a comic perspective and an action-laden one. But it’s also nice to see that the show went out on top, with Chuck having reached his goal of marrying Sarah, Morgan having his fun as the Intersect, and the world as we know it. Allie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan Partlin) raise a child, we’ve got that whole marriage thing, and there’s plenty of new adventures with the “old” Morgan possessing The Intersect. Rather than go out with a whimper, this one leaves the television world as it entered: witty, exciting, romantic, and deeper than you’d expect.
Fans will enjoy the motley crew of featurettes, some of which look back at the seasons that were and some which explain how beloved the show is (and why it got its final sendoff!) And of course, there’s plenty of funny with the Buy More commercials, gag reel, and general wit of those involved in their behind-the-scenes reveal.