Monday, April 20, 2009

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Colonel": The most Awesome episode in the history of Awesome

Spoilers for the season's penultimate "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I get right...
"Is everything okay?" -Chuck
"Yeah. No, dude: for the first time, everything is fine. It's all over." -Morgan
I feel like I've been invoking the Dayenu Rule(*) a lot lately, and not just because Passover recently ended. But if I can't invoke it for an episode like "Chuck vs. the Colonel," when can I?

(*) For those of you new to the blog -- and/or to Judaism -- "Dayneu" (pronounced "Die-ay-noo") is a traditional folk song sung during the Passover meal, where you list all the amazing things God did for the Jews during the story of the Exodus from Egypt. After you list each one, you say if only God had done just that, "Dayenu," which means "it would have been enough." So when I see an episode like this one, overflowing with awesomeness, I feel the need to sing its praises as if I was just sitting around the seder table with my family. To wit...

• If "Chuck vs. the Colonel" had only featured Chuck and Sarah's passionate makeout session, scored to Bon Iver's beautiful "Creature Fear" (when Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" played over the great final scene of "Chuck vs. the Break-Up"), followed by one of the funniest excuses for TV coitus interruptus I can remember... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Casey going all vengeful on Chuck and Sarah, and even successfully shooting the Chuck target he subconsciously missed back in the season premiere... Dayenu.

• If it had only revived (and expanded) the hilarious "New Ass Man" gag from "Chuck vs. the Seduction"... Dayenu

• If it had only featured Casey kicking major Fulcrum butt with nothing but the radiator from Chuck and Sarah's motel room... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Casey discovering Devon in his apartment and growling, "I hate this whole family!"... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Devon's struggle to assimilate the news of Chuck's true identity, and Chuck's absolute belief that Devon could live up to his nickname and keep the secret... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Casey admitting that all he wanted was for Chuck and Sarah to ask him along, followed by him refusing Chuck's offer of a group hug... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Chuck's dad pulling a modified version of the "Superman II" trick of taking away Chuck's powers instead of giving new powers to Fulcrum, followed by the airstrike taking out the drive-in and most of the bad guys... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured everyone's reaction -- particularly General Beckman's completely dismissive attitude -- to Chuck being cured of the Intersect... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured Morgan's shirtless exit from the Buy More, while getting a slow clap from the staff (and you know what a sucker I am for a slow clap, ironic or otherwise)... Dayenu.

• If it had only featured the one-two punch of Chuck bringing his dad home to Ellie, followed by Casey and Sarah accompanying Chuck to the rehearsal dinner as friends (and in Sarah's case, hopefully more) and not handlers... Dayenu.

And that's not even mentioning Jeff partaking of Casey's chloroform supply, or Millbarge belly-crawling through the Buy More under the assumption they're under siege, or Morgan's speech to Anna about his futile dream of being a Benihana chef ("and I don't even know where to get the knives!"), or Big Mike's turn as Vito Corleone, or Ted Roark going even more Evil Steve Jobs with his motivational speech to the Fulcrum agents, or...

I wrote today's "Save Chuck" column before I got to see "Chuck vs. the Colonel," but this episode sums up so many of the reasons why I love "Chuck," and why I'm going to be burning down my living room (or just taking another hit of chloroform) if it's not renewed. This was like Chuck's Greatest Hits, not only featuring so many callbacks to previous episodes on top of the usual pop culture references, but featuring tons of moments that were much funnier, or more poignant, or exciting, for all the build-up to it.

When I interviewed Chris Fedak a few weeks ago, he said this about "Chuck vs. the Colonel":
For episode 221, we thought the episode is so big, has so many huge things in it, from an emotional as well as espionage in it, that we were worried people would think it was the season finale. It's a huge episode.
And that's certainly true. Chuck and Sarah (almost) get it on (and, again, the excuse for why they don't is funny enough that I didn't have the usual aggrieved reaction I sometimes get when shows drag out the sexual tension for too long). Someone from Chuck's nerd life finds out his spy life (and it's Captain Awesome, which is a funnier choice than virtually any other non-spy character, with the possible exception of Jeff). Morgan quits the Buy More, Chuck saves his dad, and his dad in turn saves Chuck from life as the Intersect. I can absolutely see where Fedak might worry people would think this was the finale -- not just of the season, but of the series.

Meanwhile, Josh Schwartz said today that the actual season ender, next week's "Chuck vs. the Ring," "will be one of the least satisfying finales of all time" if the show isn't renewed.

Now, I have not seen "Chuck vs. the Ring" yet, so I can only offer a guess on what might go down, based on my own years as a comic book-reading, pop culture-consuming nerd: Roark, having survived the airstrike by going back into the bunker, shows up at the wedding. He endangers some combination of Ellie, Sarah, Morgan and Chuck's dad, and somehow the only way to save the day is for Chuck to pull a Ben Grimm and reluctantly turn himself back into the Intersect.

Beyond that, I have no idea, and I'm dreading it in a way. I'm sure it'll be a great episode, but I don't want it to be the last "Chuck" I ever see, and I certainly don't want it to make me pull out my hair the way some other infamous cliffhanging series-enders (say, "Crime Story," or "Now And Again") -- did.

Sigh... focus on the good. Focus on the good, which "Chuck vs. the Colonel" most certainly was -- and then some.

Some other thoughts:

• I talked a bit about Yvonne Strahovski in the column today, so here I want to highlight the equally-indispensable Zachary Levi, for the way he played that moment where Chuck briefly pulled back from kissing Sarah just so he could take a moment to smile and be sure this was really happening after all this time. That smile so perfectly captured what I imagine a lot of fans were feeling. (And I imagine a lot of them were angrier than I was when Chuck found the condom IOU note from Morgan.)

• Where exactly was Vincent when the airstrike began? Is he going to pop up yet again to cause trouble in the finale? If, NBC willing, the show continues next year, will Arnold Vosloo become a regular character who appears to die every single week, like "South Park" with Kenny?

• When Chuck and Sarah went on the run last week, some people here said they hoped they'd stay fugitives for a long time, and that it would feel like a cheat if the status quo were restored. I'm fine with Casey lying to Beckman to save Sarah's career, since Chuck losing the Intersect is obviously a much bigger shake up than a "Chuck: Fugitives" storyline.

• Great moments in nerdhood: Chuck telling Casey, "You can't kill me with that radiator! It is far too confined in the car for you to get any torque!"

• Loved Lester calling Casey a classic perv, then looking to Jeff and saying, "No offense."

• Your Chuck Plot Hole of the Week: The Castle is the worst secret government base of all time. Not only are the cells equipped with keypads that would let any half-clever hacker take over the whole facility (see "Chuck vs. the Gravitron"), but now the cells apparently just open right up if there happens to be a power surge at the Buy More. Even if Jeff and Lester were using one of Casey's explosives, shouldn't the NSA have installed a self-contained backup generator?

• Not quite a plot hole, but worthy of discussion: as far as Ellie knows, her dad just ran out on her again, so would she really be that happy to see him return? She has no idea that he was abducted and that Chuck had to save him. On the other hand, I can see her being relieved to have one less thing to worry about, on a day when Devon seemed to get so flaky that she had to slap him back to reality.

• Say this for Captain Awesome; he threw a decent punch at trained killer Casey, and he also hit him with his beloved Ronald Reagan bust.

• Can I get back to the radiator fight for a second? I complained a few times last season that the fight choreography wasn't as inspired as a show like "Alias," but the stunt people have consistently raised their game this season, and the motel parking lot showdown was one of the best.

• I neglected to point out in "Chuck vs. the Dream Job" that Stephen Bartowski said "Aces, Charles," which is a line Ellie quoted from their father when helping Chuck get dressed for his date with Sarah way back in the pilot. Nice to hear Scott Bakula say it again tonight.

• As for our other guest star, there were times in "Dream Job" where I felt like the idea of having Chevy Chase appear was funnier than what they were asking Chevy to do. Not here, where he was on fire playing the relentlessly smug version of Roark without the nice guy businessman facade, particularly his delivery of "Nobody likes a cynic" after Chuck pointed out that Roark would kill them either way. (Speaking of which, if/when Roark is taken down for good, how does the government explain his disappearance? And what's to stop him from just going back to his corporate HQ and acting like nothing happened?)

• Did I mention that there was a slow clap? And that I'm an enormous sucker for the damn slow clap? I did? Well, I'm going to mention it again: slow clap!

So, one episode to go. I'm going to talk to Fedak again for a finale post-mortem interview to run at the same time as my finale review goes up (which should, I hope, be the usual time, right after the East Coast airing finishes), and then we can start rending garments over the possibility that "Ring" might be the last episode ever. Because if it is... it would not have been enough.

What did everybody else think?


Chris Littmann said...

Going to digest your post here and come back with some thoughts, but let me say THANK YOU for giving me the name of the Bon Iver song. Ugh, I was going through the album in like 30 seconds snippets during commercial breaks. It was driving me insane. Schwartz shows ALWAYS have great music, and that was no exception! (Back in a few.)

JoeE said...

There was a commercial in this episode (for Honda hybrids, or another car company, I don't remember) featuring Zachary Levi in which he was identified as the star of the show. Could this be a vote of advertiser confidence in Chuck? It seems unusual that a commercial like this would run if the show was about to get canned.

Anthony Strand said...

Great episode. It did nearly everything very well, and I'm so glad Awesome was the one to find out about Chuck being a spy. That opens up a lot of new possibilities, assuming (as you say) Chuck goes back to the being the Intersect next season. And the Chuck/Sarah stuff was wonderful.

I will say that I felt for a while like the Buy More stuff was dragging the show down in this one. It usually mildly annoys me at the best of times, and with everything going on in the A-story, none of the stuff with Emmet amused me at all. Still, it was nice that it tied in to the main story by having Jeff & Lester cause the power outage. And while I like Morgan in theory, I so very rarely do in practice. His scene at the end was one of the few times.

Kensington said...

Wow, I feel absolutely breathless after that. There was so much game-changing, score-settling, and things coming together that it felt almost like the best of the Buffy season finales. This was Buffy vs. Angelus good. This was the school vs. the Mayor good.

And I made this point in the other thread, but I think it's worth repeating if any NBC executives end up reading this: Chuck is so good right now that I'm not even timeshifting to watch it. That's right -- I watched it live, including all of the commercials. All of them. It was worth it.

J said...

That was almost a wholly satisfying episode! If the show does end its run next week, I'll try and remember stuff like this rather than all the grumbleworthy plotting and self-satisfied distractions that have riddled so much of the last half of this season. Hooray.

I'm almost afraid to watch, next week. Though I shall.

Chrs said...

Of the stuff you highlighted, Alan, my favorite moments had to be (in no particular order):

-- The IOU for the condom/hotel makeout scene
-- John Casey just wanting to be included.
-- Devin repeatedly being asked to be awesome.
-- Roark's crazy "CAN YOU DIG IT!?"
-- The whole reunion outside of everyone's apartments where the handlers go to the dinner as friends.
-- The thing about the radiator and the lack of necessary torque
-- Hotel parking lot shootout AND the fact that Chuck points out he technically still has one foot in the car.

Man, that was a damn satisfying episode.

Joyeful said...

Quote: will Arnold Vosloo become a regular character who appears to die every single week? LOL...I thought that was him when the hitchhiker's thumb came on screen, I thought "Oh come on, let the Mummy DIE!!"

This episode was absolutely fantastic. Fedak was right, it does feel like a season finale. Which makes me excited/scared for what's gonna happen next week.

Unknown said...

You pretty much summed up my every thought, Alan, but that's nothing new. I am still in shock from the awesomeness that just transpired. And I am overwhelmed with the urge to watch it again RIGHT NOW, which as amazing as the last several eps has been, I haven't been compelled to re-watch the same night since Best Friend.

Anonymous said...

I thought Big Mike was acting like Michael not Vito Corleone (complete with his donut in place of the orange from Godfather II).

I loved EVERYTHING about this episode. I kept waiting for a BB King look-a-like to be standing at the drive-in telling Chuck and Sarah to go inside and have a Pepsi, but otherwise everything clicked and worked for me. And I was particularly impressed with how the Chuck, Ellie/Awesome, and Buy More storylines all worked and all were given enough time to develop and make sense.

As for NBC, ignoring the ratings for a second, how can Silverman or the rest of the execs not just turn on Chuck every now and again and see how great this show is? I know Peter Berg though FNL kept going because he thinks Zucker is a fan of the show, personally. I don't see how anyone at the network can't watch a couple episodes and want to keep it on, ratings be damned!

Chris Littmann said...

D'oh, hit enter on the above comment before I was finished.

Just wanted to add that I'll be soul crushed if the show isn't renewed. It's about as much fun as I'm having watching any show on TV. (There are other good shows, like Breaking Bad, but I defy any other show to create this much fun in an hour-long!)

Alyson said...

Schwartz and Fedak have said that next week is a game-changer; if that's the case, and we have no reason to believe otherwise, that's three weeks of solid game-changing activity. I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

One question, though: does Casey still get his promotion?

juniors said...

OH MY GOD. This was EPIC. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!

Logic Overflow said...

I would totally be crushed if NBC doesn't renew Chuck for a third season. Hell, I might even organize a rally at NBC saying we want Chuck renewed!

Anthony Strand said...

Alyson - I think Casey does get his promotion. Beckman was still calling him "Colonel" in the closing scene.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention how great the scene between Jeff, Lester, and Awesome. Jeff, with his locker of Buy More employee photos with their pants off. Awesome wondering aloud if they thought Casey abducted Chuck, and Lester casually saying, "I don't care".

I also thought I saw Chuck have a moment or two at the end where he regretted the Intersect being removed (which we've all be saying on here anyway).

Great stuff!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

kept waiting for a BB King look-a-like to be standing at the drive-in telling Chuck and Sarah to go inside and have a Pepsi

Thanks for reminding me. The drive-in movie theater setting was definitely an homage to "Spies Like Us."

Steve Ely said...

Man, I hope JoeE is right about the Honda vote of confidence. Also, I was thinking very seriously I might buy a high-quality Honda Insight hybrid car if Chuck is renewed. Whereas if Chuck is canceled, the likelihood is diminished tremendously. And if I can find the right e-mail address(es), I'm going to convey that to the relevant people tonight.

Anyway, you're so totally right about everything in this post, Alan. Nonetheless, its awesomeness goes beyond even your powers of description because it was just so totally awesome.

There have been a few moments when certain elements of this show have just infuriated and/or really disappointed me, but so many other things make it the most enjoyable show on television.

I can't even believe how good this episode was. If NBC cancels this, I'm pretty sure I'll never tune into it again for anything that's not football.

arrabbiata said...

That episode was all kinds of awesome, for all the above mentioned reasons, and maybe more.

But as to the Godfather references- the last one, the conversation where Morgan seeks assurances from Big Mike that he'll look after the family, is from Part II, where the same conversation occurs between Tom Hagen and Frank Pentangeli before the latter commits suicide in jail.

Looking forward to next week's finale, praying it's not the last Chuck we'll see.

Karen said...

I just read the title and skipped over all the spoilers. I DVRed Chuck and can't wait to watch it later on!

Jen said...

This episode had me bouncing on the couch in glee. It felt like everything was pitch perfect, even the buy more plot which is usually weak left me with little to gripe about.

I loved the Superman-esque mind wipe and I loved Casey burning through the plastic cuffs with the lighter where did it come from? was it hidden in the chair? Between the radiator and the 2x4 and the Reagan bust, Adam Baldwin and the physical comedy was just... awesome.

NBC, give me more Chuck!

Michael said...

The slow clap at the end was from "An Officer and a Gentleman", right?

I figured your tag line for this episode would have been "... as soon as I figure out how to get a set of Benihana steak knives."

Alyson said...

If NBC cancels this, I'm pretty sure I'll never tune into it again for anything that's not football.Agreed. I don't watch anything else on NBC anyway, so for me, it won't be a huge loss.

Is there a nice way to communicate to Ben Silverman that he would be a complete douche if he cancels this show?

Unknown said...

Josh Schwartz said today that the actual season ender, next week's "Chuck vs. the Ring," "will be one of the least satisfying finales of all time" if the show isn't renewed.Wow, blackmailing the network. I love it. Hope it works....

Carmichael Harold said...

Wow. That was several kinds of awesome, and worked on pretty much every level it could work on.

Plus, Chevy Chase doing the Cyrus-from-The-Warriors "CAN YOU DIG IT?" was pretty fantastic all on its own.

Brandy said...

How much do I love that there is a critic that can admit to loving the slow clap!

I think this is my favorite ever episode of Chuck.

And this is from somebody who is "eh, whatever" about the Chuck/Sarah pairing.

That was fine. It didn't distract from the rest of the show. And Morgan's note was brilliant!

And the rest was made of awesome!

I'd be way more okay with shipping if it always folded in so seamlessly into a show rather than taking it over.

Anonymous said...

I think Casey turned down the promotion. Wow this was great. I love the song as well. Will be very disappointed if theres not another season.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Plus, Chevy Chase doing the Cyrus-from-The-Warriors "CAN YOU DIG IT?" was pretty fantastic all on its own.

That's what that was! It's been so long since I've seen "The Warriors" that the only bit I remember is the more famous "Come out and plaaaaaaaaay!!!!!" chant.

David said...

I'm tempted to stop watching at this episode. You know, to save me from burning down my living room. But I won't.

Steve Ely said...

"I don't watch anything else on NBC anyway, so for me, it won't be a huge loss."

Alyson! Don't say that. If that were so, it wouldn't be a huge loss for them, either, and they need to realize that they're going to lose you as a viewer for many hours of programming per week if they were to hate quality enough to cancel Chuck.

Surely you enjoy 30 Rock and The Office enough to watch them at least, as I know I do. Friday Night Lights? My Name Is Earl? Surely they have some additional shows that they'll lose your viewership from if they insist on the destruction of excellence Chuck offers.

Your loss as an NBC viewer is not insignificant. They need to understand that.

For my part, if Chuck returns, I'll make it a point to support the advertisers in all the NBC shows I watch, whereas if it's canceled, I'll make a point of avoiding the advertisers even in Sunday Night Football.

Sid said...

Great episode and great recap as usual, Alan.

Does anyone know the name of the song that was playing when Morgan quit and left the Buy More?

aimee said...

Probably one of the best hours of television I've ever experienced. Love this show, and I'll be heartbroken if it goes away.

Holly Martins said...

Oh man... if Chuck isn't renewed, I want to remember it just like this! I'm not sure I can handle watching next week if it's going to end on some excruciating cliffhanger that I never get to see resolved. It took me years and years to somehow brainwash myself into believing that "Twin Peaks" ended when they found out who Bob was...

I knew Casey would come around eventually, but they took it much farther than I thought they would - was he really going to kill Awesome?! And Bon Iver... and the Tron... and the torque... and wasn't "Don't freak out" a callback to the pilot? Damn it, why'd I have to let myself get attached!

Pamela Jaye said...

I'm sort of over awesomed at the moment (I haven't even rewatched it!)
I shall return.... (probably when I should be sleeping)

first thought - so awesome I had trouble keeping track of who I was rooting (sp?) for!

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, best episode of the series thus far.

I too thought that the scene with Big Mike was aping Michael from The Godfather 2, not Vito - the way that the theatre room was set up felt very much like the family's Las Vegas compound.

Alan, thanks for putting so much into the effort to keep this show going - I'm sure it can't be easy to put yourself out there like you did today with the open letter to NBC. On behalf of the rest of the fans, thanks!!

--Deb said...

I'm just terrified that this show won't come back next year because it is SO good. This episode was just fantastic, it hit everything spot on--the humor, the drama, the character development, the forward movement of the plot. Just ... wow.

Oh, and I'm with you about "Now and Again." That was one of the most painful season-cum-series finale cliffhangers ever.

Andrew said...

Well, that was AWESOME. Excuse me while Elijah and I sing dayenu and watch Chuck vs. the Colonel again.

Given how consistently great Chuck has been this year, this is the first show I would consider engaging in some stupid stunt (like sending boxes of Nerds to Ben Silverman) or buying a Subway sub sandwich.

And wasn't there a bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark with chuck, Sarah and Casey closing their eyes for the opening of the ark, er, showing of the intersect film.

ghoti said...

This freaking episode is going to be permanently clogging up my DVR forever.

I'm only going to get the first 43 minutes of Idol one day, and I won't regret it. Not even for a second.

Yet another anonymous said...

Dayenu, indeed.

Great recap, Alan, and now I want to see the epi again online, because I realize the little moments I missed.

I refuse to buy the bottle of chloroform, because I believe that there is no way that NBC will cancel this sweet, lovely show. For God's sake, what will they have left otherwise? I am looking on the renewal of FNL as a sign that there is hope for this great show.

Is it Masterpiece Theatre? No, but as you said in your terrific column about Chuck today, Alan, this is a show I look forward to, live or on DVR. It's not a guilty secret, it's not something I think I should keep up with, it's just something uplifting and exciting and funny.

Good God, I think I'm gushing.

Yet another anonymous said...

Oh, and how awesome was Awesome? That might have been my favorite reveal of all!

ghoti said...

Ugh. Why did you have to remind me of "Now and Again"? I'm still upset about that, and 99% of normal people will look at you like you have nine heads if you ever mention it.

Dio said...

Ok episode.

I'm just sad that they are putting to much in those episodes and not take the time, like say in VS Delorean or Dream Job, to do the drama right. You don't have time to reflect on anything. It's kind of sad, even tho I like it, that the BuyMore story with Morgan was more emotionally intense then the Spy story. Maybe it's all going to be in the next episode, but I feel like they missed an opportunity in this episode, again.

When I first read the JS interview and he said they were putting alot in the last 3 episodes, I knew that would happen. Let them breath!

Anyways, just not as excited as you are Alan.

Anonymous said...

"ghoti said...

Ugh. Why did you have to remind me of "Now and Again"? I'm still upset about that, and 99% of normal people will look at you like you have nine heads if you ever mention it."

Count me in the 1%. Omigosh, I really mourned that show when it was canceled.

Please, NBC...don't cancel "Chuck" -- it's wonderful entertainment that brings a lot of smiles and cheer to many.

Steve B said...

That may have been the single greatest hour of television I've ever seen. I was shaking with glee when Awesome was trying (and failing) to cover for Chuck with Ellie. Laughing hysterically when Jeff showed Awesome what was inside Casey's locker. And pretty much smiling like a damned fool when I saw Chuck and Sarah wake up in the bed in the morning and finally give in to their feelings.

I'm not one to partake in the internet fan campaigns to save shows. I usually don't care enough. But God himself isn't powerful enough to prevent me from going to Subway next week, buying a delicious Sweet-Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub, and watching Chuck.

Television should not be allowed to be this much fun. And if NBC cancels this show, they need to be prepared for Yvonne Strahovski's inevitable run to super-duper-stardom. It will put them in the same boat as that guy that dated Angelina Jolie in high school. They'll see her on every magazine cover, winning every award imaginable. In the meantime, they'll be sitting in a damp bar, in some small, non-descript town, trying to convince all the other drunks that they were there at the beginning.

NBC will never be able to forgive itself if it cancels this show. And I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive it either.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'll yield to other people's opinions on Michael vs. Vito. The music sounded more like the Godfather I score, but I'm not as expert on those movies as I am some of the series' other touchstones (like, say, "Spies Like Us").

Steve B said...

Oh, and my favorite line of the night, "When you re-tell this story. Make my physique better." Or something to that effect.

Kensington said...

One more thought: is this the first time that Chevy Chase has played a straight out villain? I can't think of another instance, and if so, then extra kudos to the Chuck creative team for recognizing that this was a great way to capitalize on Chase's well-known reputation for being an asshole in a way that invigorates everyone, including him.

Sonia said...

Alan -- an inspired review!!! I have a few more dayenus...

If it only had Chevy Chase channeling Cyrus from The Warriors saying "Can you dig it?"...Dayenu.

If it only had a gross reference to Big Mike giving Morgan's mom a UTI...Dayenu (and gross!!!!!)

If it only had General beckman being bored with Chuck, and hanging up on him, as he tried to graciously explain to her what his time as the Intersect meant to him...Dayenu.

If it only had Capt. Awesome finally getting to be so massively awesome when he calmed Ellie by telling her Chuck loved her and he'd be back...Dayenu

If it only had casey burning his own flesh to get the cable ties off...Dayenu.

I loved the slow clap very Officer and a Gentleman and a little Lucas (one of my fave slow claps ever) too...dontcha think?

The Mummy can't be dead.

And Ellie looked BEAUTIFUL when she was all dressed up for the rehearsal dinner...stunning.

One little nit picky thing...what the HELL did they expect Chuck to tell Devon??? Seriously.

I'm ready to send in my Nerds candy...I hope the renew the's one of the few my daughter and I both really enjoy.

Dave said...

Count me among the many who love this show. The only shows I've followed this season are Lost and Chuck. Chuck and Lost are two different worlds, but I used to consider them on different levels of quality. Not to take anything away from the greatness of Lost, but I look forward to Chuck as much as I look forward to Lost. And that's saying something.

I've loved this show from the pilot. For what seems like the last 5 or 6 weeks, every episode has been one of the best (if not the best) of the entire series, each episode out-doing the last.

David said a number of posts above mine (great name, btw!), I'm tempted to stop watching at this episode. You know, to save me from burning down my living room. But I won't. I had the exact same thought. If Chuck doesn't get renewed, would Chuck vs. the Colonel be the proper ending to the show? Nothing looming, nothing ominous about the wedding, Chuck's not the Intersect, Sarah's his girl. What a perfect ending.

fgmerchant said...

As far as the people saying they will stop watching NBC shows if Chuck is canceled, I'm throwing my hat in the ring for no longer watching Heroes if Chuck is gone!

After this episode was over, I thought for sure this was the season finale. Everything came together all nicely, but with just one little loose end (Chevy Chase) to give them a storyline for next season.

This was definitely one of the most awesome episodes ever! But I wonder how Chuck will return to being the intersect. Will Orion be able to just whip it up again for implantation? Or will Chuck simply become a normal spy?

Publius said...

Before this episode, I had thought they may give Chuck a Life-like season finale (by the way if you have not seen the last episode of Life--watch it) but if they had planed on doing that this was the episode for it to happen. There would be some closure had this been the last episode. I am half tempted to wait until up-fronts to watch vs. the ring.

Mike said...

The Jeffster locker scene with Awesome was, well, AWESOME!!!!

Scott Krinsky is comedic gold, can't wait to see his future work, many, many seasons from now (fingers crossed).

Just wanted to say thank you again Alan for your relentless support for this fantastic show that deserves every praise it gets.

Oh and Morgan, biggest c-block in history my friend, I really hope Chuck gets him back for that one, lol!

fishestimes said...

Alan! i can't believe you didn't mention the o.c. shout-out with the tijuana one-bed-motel scenario with chuck and sarah replacing ryan and marissa with the awkward morning spooning! i was so happy when i saw that

Zach said...

I threw together a few SAVE CHUCK thingies in Photoshop after watching tonight's episode.
Here, here, here, here, and here.

James said...

It's funny how Chuck has become the only show that I really, truly care about in terms of renewal. I suppose that's because my only other truly indispensable shows are How I Met Your Mother and Lost, which are either already renewed or the closest thing to a lock.

I do have to give the writers credit for this episode. If the worst does happen, and the show isn't renewed, people can just pretend that the show ended with this episode (minus that final scene), because it really did feel like a series finale.

The one thing this episode did do is make me curious if the Buy More will still be around if there's a season 3. I've been getting the distinct vibe that the writers have struggled to integrate it into the main storylines. I mean, how often have we really seen Chuck actually at the Buy More for more than 30 seconds?

Nancy said...

Alan, your support for the show has always been...yes, AWESOME. Thank you for that.

What else is there to say that hasn't already been said...I just loved Chuck's reaction to finding out Casey had been promoted (paraphrasing):

"Colonel? Well congratulations on getting that chicken franchise you've always wanted." It was kind of a throwaway line, but I was howling.

And I agree with Steve B about Yvonne, and also think that sentiment could be about Zach - he is a star on the rise and NBC needs to recognize the talent they have under contract. That Honda commercial was just as much an homage to his character on Chuck as it was to him.

And finally, if the show is cruelly cancelled, where will we get our Casey fix week in, week out? I always thought Jayne of Firefly fame was his greatest role, but Casey? The character is pure gold. Deflecting bullets with a radiator cuffed to your wrist? Hello!!

Robert Brill said...

Alan, great article. D'ayenu. (It would have been enough.) What are we to do with NBC? Great acting. (Zach and Yvonne are tops. I have previously written that Yvonne would have made/will make a great Irena Sendler, better than Anna Paquin. Zach is just one of the top comic acting talents.) A great supporting ensemble. Fun and drama. Can't wait to watch each week, and blog the rest. Shame on NBC if it fails to stand up and renew a great program.

pennben said...

You say "dayenu", I say "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" because, honestly, I must have done something wrong to feel so good after watching an hour of television.

This show is just fun. We need that. And how about the fact that I've seen and loved the slow clap in two of my favorite shows, Friday Night Lights and Chuck, and each, while played wildly different, were pitch perfect in the moment.

Mea culpa

JackiWhitford said...


You had me at DAYNEU.

This has got to be your most awesome recap ever.

There is nothing I can add, except -

I immediately thought of the La Femme Nikita series finale where instead of leaving her spy life with her love Michael and his son, ends up going back run Section One and later the Center in her father's place.

Whiskey said...

TOTALLY agree with your dayenus!!! Excellent writeup on an awesomely excellent hour of TV. I LOVED this episode, I smiled and laughed throughout, shouted many times "I LOVE CASEY!!!", and I'm still smiling over an hour after watching the show.

If NBC doesn't renew Chuck (and hopefully also Life)... I dunno, I'll have lost all faith in them. FNL is the only other show they have me hooked on, and I watch that one on DirectTV.

Mo Ryan said...

Here's how I feel about Chuck -- it doesn't just make me happy in 2 or 3 or 4 ways. It makes me happy in about 28 different ways, and ALL of them went to 11 tonight.

The love story, the comedy, the references, the action, the fights, the acting... I could go on, but I'll just say... dayenu.

Love, love, love this show.

Have to mention these little things: The way that Casey's work locker also had a Reagan photo. As others have said, the Godfather scenes had me howling. Jeff's desire to "get right" = GOLD. Lester's "no offense."

I mean, those are just a few of the things I loved.

Awe. Some.

ghoti said...

When Chuck goes to get the condom, he tells Sarah not to move about 15 times and he says "staaaay" right before he leaves.

Then when Chuck tells Awesome about his double life Sarah says "NO!" exactly like she's talking to a dog.

Probably not intentional, but maybe a bone thrown in by the writers.

(pun intended)

belinda said...

This episode was indeed, the most Awesome episode in the history of Awesome. They weren't kidding about how huge of an episode it was. It really had just about everything anyone could love about the show in this one episode. For one thing, I had just about the biggest laughing fit seeing Awesome in Casey's apt.

I am almost afraid to watch next week's episode, should it really be the last one (Say it ain't so!)

I can't believe that Chuck, is fighting for a spot in the NBC fall schedule when something like Heroes - expensive to make and kind of shockingly bad after the first season - gets a free pass yet again. What?

Rose said...

My favorite part was how utterly incapable Captain Awesome was at handling Ellie. I loved it when Ellie mentioned Sarah and he said "who?"

I think it was a brilliant decision to bring Awesome in on the secret. It was about time for this to happen to one of the civilians in Chuck's life. With this simple change, they took a minor character only loosely connect to Chuck and made him instantly more interesting.

Brian said...

Maybe they'll address this next week, but here's what's gone through my head every time Chuck pines over an Intersect-free future with Sarah at his side: *Sarah is still a CIA agent.* Her job won't allow her to just hang out in Burbank as a doting girlfriend, and I can't see Chuck joining her on dangerous globe-hopping missions (since that's the life he's trying to escape -- and, for now, has).

Great episode regardless. I only wish Fedak/Schwartz hadn't waited so long to really kickstart the mythology.

Cindy said...

I enjoyed this episode immensely. It's one of the ultimate reason why I love Chuck so much; I think this is creeping up on my top favorite episode of the series so far list. The show just put a smile on my face (almost) everytime.

And, Alan, thank you for voicing your support for the show, as it is more likely to be heard than any regular fan for the show. I TOTALLY agree on every detail that you mentioned on that article. Well said, Alan. Well said.

The Alden said...

As I watched the end of this episode, I was actually really seeing how this would be a massively unsatisfying finale - because after he loses the intersect, watch Zach Levi's eyes. There is no point after that at which we see real, honest joy - despite this supposedly being what he wants. Every scene is the smile Chuck does when he wants everyone to THINK he's happy, and my heart broke every time I saw him.

He knew, the moment it was gone, that he couldn't bear to lose it. He knows that the life he had pre-Intersect was pathetic, and he can't bear to go back to it. That's precisely why Awesome had to remind him of being a BuyMore loser here, and precisely what the Morgan scene was truly about: Chuck realising what he's lost, and what he's going back to.

My prediction: Chuck will voluntarily take back the Intersect next week, and begin making the move to genuine spy - on his own terms. What's a better game-changer than that?

The Alden said...

Also, my favourite moments were both Chuck - "Don't freak out," (pilot callback!) and, in response to Casey's threat on his life, his shrug and "I don't care." One of Chuck's few genuinely badass moments.

Aw, damn, there's so many others... Such a great frickin' show. I have 100% faith it'll see an S3. 100%

Anonymous said...

Zach ... I enjoyed your photoshopped Save Chuck campaign. Very clever!

Anonymous said...

My prediction: Chuck is not going to take back the intersect next week. He's going to be shot taking a bullet for Sarah or more likely Elie. Thats why the cliffhanger finale will be so unsatifying if no renewal.

Shawn Anderson said...

Sid -

Late in seeing it but the song near the end (Morgan's Buy More exit) was "The Answering Machine" by Malbeck.

alice said...

Arnold Vosloo is TOTALLY an android!

Alfred A. A. said...

Well this episode worked out so well I might as well not watch the dissatisfying finale until I get confirmation that Chuck is getting renewed

Girish said...

An episode to end all episodes.

Monday night is yours Chuck. Rule it! As always!

One more episode to go. It will not be enough. I don't want to set my living room on fire! Please NBC, pretty please!

oblivionrpg said...

I also thought that this was the finale... It has to be renewed!!!

Joe Cobb said...

Alan and others... anyone catch the Drive In Movie Theatre as the SAME ONE from "Spies Like Us" that housed the secret military program that would shoot down the missle?

Another throw away gag, but still a grat way to continue to link us to some great comedy through the years.

nikki said...

Thank you dear Alan for your post it was certainly inspired. Even though I want to watch next weeks episode live I may have to wait to see if it gets renewed first. Who am I kidding I'll be watching and I'll have my fire extinguisher handy.

This show is so great. I watch several other shows on other networks, but this is the one show I can't do without. It has to be watched live and then again from the DVR and even online during the week.

I loved the Honda commercial with Zachary Levi. So, if Chuck does come back will he have cool hair and not "nerd" hair?

I refuse to get hooked on any more NBC shows. If they cancel Chuck I'm gone.

Karen said...

@The Alden: I completely agree with you about Chuck realizing he missed the Intersect. Or possibly feared the loss of the life that the Intersect gave him. (It reminded me of the Mary Poppins story about the Dancing Cow--she gets a star stuck on her horn that forces her to dance ceaselessly, and has to jump over the moon to get rid of it...then spends the rest of her life searching for the star again because she missed how it had made her feel.) It was kind of heartbreaking.

I think the most awesome thing about Awesome was how un-awesome he was in covering for Chuck after being enjoined to be awesome.

Alan, you nailed every point that made this episode so unrelentingly brilliant--and yet it was STILL better than the sum of its parts. Sheer roller-coaster wind-in-your-hair pleasure.

I honestly can't even contemplate the notion that this show won't be back.

Jaynee said...

Last night I kept hollering "Awesome!" after just about every scene. I annoyed even myself, but the episode was exactly that. It just might be my favorite episode of the entire season.

And you called it on Awesome being the one to find out about Chuck (or had you already seen this episode when you said that a few weeks ago?).

I REALLY REALLY hope the show is renewed. I've got the matches waiting on my living room fireplace mantel just in case it isn't.

justjoan123 said...

Slow clap a callback to "Officer and a Gentleman?" Of course. But the best O&G callback is Morgan sweeping Anna into his arms and carrying her off -- well, part of the way off -- to that slow clap. Loved it. And Dayenu.

mkr said...

i'm not going to watch the last episode unless the series is renewed.

Jayme said...

I'm afraid to watch next week. If the series ends, this week would be a decent enough ending that I would be satisfied. I don't really want to invest myself emotionally next week if the series isn't coming back. Please NBC, tell me now, is Chuck coming back or not!?

That being said, I'll watch it regardless, and hope for the best. I'll get my $5 footlong and do my best to convince all of my coworkers, friends, family, and random strangers to do the same. I'll continue to watch my other favorite NBC shows because I understand that television is a business.

There were many great parts to this episode that have been pointed out multiple times. One of my favorites that hasn't been pointed out was the look on Chuck's face when he realized Morgan was quitting. He just seemed so completely devastated that Morgan "got out" of the Buy More before he did. It was sad to see.

As for next week, I'm pretty sure you nailed it, Alan. Chuck pretty much has to take the intersect back into his head; that's the only reason that they wouldn't have destroyed it after taking it out of his head. I just kept yelling at the screen "Just smash the damned thing, it's more trouble than it's worth! Have you learned nothing?"

The mummy will return because, after all, no body means no death, at least in Hollywood. Morgan will somehow be roped into staying in Burbank rather than moving to Hawaii. Roark will go to prison, his company will call it a tragic car accident or heart attack or something along those lines. Stephen Bartowski will disappear again "to protect the family." All of this, basically, has to happen or else the show will be completely turned on it's head, which, at this point, may well be the best way to go.

Jen said...

Watching the episode again, I realized just how many great moments there were in this episode.

Awesome and Ellie catching Casey snooping in Chuck's room and then he leaves through the window...

Awesome trying to talk Casey down from the crazy stalker thing and his "not bad for a frat boy" punch...

Lester referring to pig as the forbidden meat when sell-out Morgan enters the break room...

Casey just wanting to be included, poor guy... but no hugs!

As for that hotel room scene, who knew that something with no payoff could be so great? I can't get enough of this episode.

Tecumseh said...

I can't wait to visit the Honda showroom today. The Insight looked awesome and Chuck alludes that it's cheaper than a Prius.

AWESOME show, like Kensington above, I didn't even watch the Tivo version to skip commercials (For first time since 2000!)

By the way, I like that the cheap motel had a gorgeous collection of Heywood Wakefield furniture. I'm sure the props folks enjoyed gathering that.

Grunt said...

I'm still digesting this episode. I, like many of my fellow commenters here, feel an overwhelming desire not to watch the last episode until I know the show is renewed. Except I can not fathum that the show will not be renewed. And the (season? let's hope) finale looks so...dare I say it...awesome I can't not watch.

Last year I did not watch Chuck because it conflicted with How I Met You Mother. Next week I clearly have to DVR HIMYM and watch Chuck.

Chuck may come in fourth in the time slot but it is the worst time slot they could possibly be in (there are two other shows I would watch in the same time-slot). NBC should at least move it around a little before it gives Chuck the ax.

Joyeful said...

Does anyone have a link for this Honda commercial everyone keeps talking about? I watch the show in Canada - we have different commercials :-/

Chaddogg said...

@The Alden: great comment on Chuck's conflicted emotions about losing the Intersect, and why Morgan's scene of leaving the Buy More was so important and devastating to Chuck. He really HAS lost something that he wanted.

But I'll add another key scene: Awesome learning of Chuck's secret identity. THAT has always been Chuck's conflict and turmoil -- he's never really minded having the Intersect, and living the life of a spy. Indeed, as we've learned this season, he was BORN into the business in a way, and he's GOOD at his job (locating Orion when CIA couldn't, etc.)....Chuck's problem isn't the Intersect, it's that his family/friends cannot (or do not) know of his REAL job, and/or are in danger if anyone were to find out his Intersect abilities. Plus there is the fact that everyone thinks he's a loser, when in reality he has arguably the toughest/coolest job on earth.

Having Awesome learn Chuck's identity is a HUGE step towards Chuck realizing the truth -- he's a good agent and having the Intersect is GREAT for him, he just needs to find a way to clue his family/friends in to his job and/or protect them without severing all ties.

There is literally so much more to discuss about this amazing episode, I don't know where to start.....

1) I guess it's a Spies Like Us reference (I haven't seen that movie since I was about 8), but my first thought when I saw "Starbright" or "Starlight" or whatever at the drive-in was not that movie, but rather The Last Starfighter, in which the hero (who becomes an intergalactic spaceship pilot thanks to being recruited by being good at a video game) lives in the "Starlight, Starbright" trailer park.

2) Chuck and Sarah....and the song....amazing. All of that, AND Morgan's condom IOU? AWESOME.

3) Everything added up this episode -- the Buy More plot helping to (inadvertently) spring Sarah and Chuck, and setting Awesome on his journey to Casey's and learning the truth; Awesome's decidedly unAwesome job of covering for Chuck (proof, yet again, that Chuck is a good spy....); Jeff and the chloroform; Casey feeling like the unwanted third wheel (and his no group hug stance -- I was HOWLING)....

I don't know what we can do to save this show, but saving its clearly what it deserves. I can think of only 3 other NBC shows (The Office, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights) that deserve a spot on NBC's lineup nearly as much as Chuck. I mean, really, who watches Heroes anymore (a show, might I remind you, that is almost certainly more expensive to produce than Chuck, and performs similarly to Chuck in a MUCH less competitive timeslot).

I'm a HUGE Lost fan....but if I'm being honest, I think I look forward to Chuck more than Lost every week. No other show brings the funny, the romance, the action, and the drama quite like Chuck....

farah_hanani said...

you forgot the 'little two bed in a cell' conversation with sarah and chuck!

my heart just stop when sarah said that.

Anonymous said...

Well - the overnight ratings are in and Chuck maintained the same numbers as last week - sigh - against weaker competition e.g no House. Hard to expect the numbers to change this far into the season.
Still optimistic about renewal - NBC is ratings starved and doesn't get much traction anywhere - so they have to value (renew) a show with the positive buzz + the creative execution that Chuck has at the close of S2. I will watch it wherever thay show it but I like the 8 pm Thursday slot. Has a nice risk - reward balance for NBC.

Kensington said...

I just thought of another aspect of last night's show that was particularly delightful.

All this time, with Chuck living with his sister and Devon, Devon has clearly been the Alpha male.

Last night, though, Devon discovered that Chuck is the Alpha male, and that discovery made Devon turn into kind of an awkward nerdy fanboy for the rest of the scene.

And that was awesome.

Saul said...

Was it only me who thought that the burning kids ride at the the drive in looked like it was out of terminator 2?

shara says said...

@kensington: (re: Cpt Awesome getting all fanboyish on Chuck) That was, indeed, a very well-done scene. I loved that the first time they explained it, CptA thought they were kidding (you were being serious?!?!), and then that actor (Ryan McPartlin?) did a fantastic of showing CptA's mind being blown. Chuck just got so totally cooler in his book. I could see a whole back-n-forth between them, post-Intersect removal (and before Chuck re-Intersects himself for the greater good, as many are predicting), with Chuck trying to explain that he was now just a normal guy with a normal life, and that his cover relationship is now a real relationship, and CptA just giving him that insider smile and saying "riiight, sure bro, I've totally got your back. Your cover is totally safe" and never being convinced otherwise.

word verification for this post: dithr.

Dave S said...

I'm about to send a pack of NERDS to NBC. I'm about to become one of THOSE people. How did this happen?

Stupid awesome Chuck. I want to always live in a world that includes this show.

Elena said...

as 91 others have already said, this was the awesomest of Awesome episodes. I can't fathom this being the end for Chuck (okay, almost the end). And NBC should keep it if for no other reason that it is a family-friendly show (at least sort of), with them getting rid of the 10 pm slot they need shows that can play at an earlier hour.
And I think there's more behind the surface with the General. If renewed, i think we will find out next season that she is some sort of double agent, or has a agenda separate from her official role. She was quick to order the air strike, and also quick to just dismiss Chuck, not just as he got gushy, but like "Fine, this fits with what I want long-term anyway, or it doesn't but I'll figure out a new angle".

Jen said...

I've noticed from Twitter search that a whole lot of people seem to think this was the finale. Clearly NBC is not doing right by this show if they can't promote it better. Where are all the "There are only X episodes left..." type promos?

Steve B said...

Next season (the show needs to come back next season)I wonder what they will do with Jeffster? I can't see Chuck continuing with his cover identity at the Buy More, especially with Morgan having left and Milbarge in charge. However, those two can't leave the buy more. They just can't. There isn't a plausible scenario where we would have them around without the Buy More. Perhaps Lester will become the Ass. Man. once again.

Also, is it possible for a Chuck post to get to 100 comments?

Erick O. said...

My brother, mom, and I love this show. I emailed them the link to your letter to NBC. If this show doesn't get renewed, I will not watch a single Jay Leno episode out of protest. Chuck deserves six to seven seasons, not two.

Plus, as this week's episode showed, Awesome deserves more screentime. But so does Jeffster, John Casey, and Sarah walking around in hotel rooms. What a great show.

der Hundepo said...

I'm with James above - if they cancel the show, I can just pretend that the finale never happened, and then I'll be as happy as I could be in that situation. If I tell myself over and over and over... and over and over... and then over some more that this was it, well it must be true then, right? Because this was the show at its best. Thanks for the reviews Alan.

Mark B said...

I'm about to send a pack of NERDS to NBC. I'm about to become one of THOSE people. How did this happen?

I wonder if this could backfire. The Jericho debacle has already made networks less likely to give in to stunts like this, and they may even be looking for reasons to discourage future similar efforts.

I'd prefer to think that with or without a stunt, the money comes first, and Alan gave sound reasons why renewal is a good business decision.

If a stunt must be done, someone commented on this at
If you're interested in helping out even more, fans of the show are planning on eating dinner at Subway on Monday, April 27th. This is the night of the season finale (hopefully not the series finale).

Then, if you do eat there fill out a comment card that Chuck is the reason why you're eating dinner there that night.

Subway is Chuck's biggest sponsor so if they see a spike in their sales that night, maybe they can persuade NBC to keep the show going. Thank you for all your support!

JohnEM said...

So, re Alan's commentary on Yvonne Strahovski in his "Save Chuck" column (

"..but a superb dramatic actress as well. She's the one who makes the show feel real..."

There's a moment in Chuck vs. the Colonel that absolutely validates that observation. Immediately after the 1st makeout session, the camera moves to Sarah flopping back onto the bed, then cuts to an aerial view of her face, staring up, as her hands move to cradle her own head. And with just that move, her eyes, and her expression, Strahovski precisely communicates: joy; surprise; fear; 'oh-cr*p-what-did-I-just-let-happen' quickly resolving to a bemused 'I-don't-care-he's-my-guy'anticipation.

That, or those two are really secretly dating....

Anonymous said...

LOVED it! I too watched it live because I could NOT wait for last night to arrive. My only complaint was the condom excuse. Sarah is an international spy who we have seen in many dangerous situations with all sorts of "bad guys" as she pretends to seduce them. At any moment she could be raped and I don't believe for a moment she wouldn't be taking some form of birth control. Besides the fact that she's a single woman of a certain age as well. If it was a "safe sex" condom, there is no way Chuck would have let that stop him! I know they needed to be interrupted and the condom was surely something different, but it felt adolescent to me. I loved the scene overall and the music was prefect.

I have never before been so upset at the thought of a show not being renewed!!

Chuck and Sarah rule!

Lane said...

well he didn't have time to even discuss the condom thing with her, didn't Casey come in as he discovered the note in his wallet?

Pamela Jaye said...

at the moment - as I still haven't watched the ep again (but am now trying - I had to go do errands and then got waylaid by a swan (I sought him/her out, but wouldn't you?)

I'm thinking maybe not dayenu - it can never be enough.
If it were not for the fact that
A. Scott is on
B. you all are going to be talking about it Monday night
I, too, might just wait a week and watch after the upfronts.

If the show is canceled I shall follow the Enterprise concept and consider the penultimate ep as the last.
I *like* having a living room.
But it cannot be, as Scott is in it. And it is Chuck.

And back to the watching.

Richie said...

Here's the Honda Insight commercial. I come from the land down under and I just had to check it out

Pamela Jaye said...

btw, great shot of the Underpants Etc, and nice to know the LargeMart is still there

my captcha: wedless

you need to watch this said...

Awesome. I had a lump in my throat at times. Throwaway comedy isn't meant to be this emotional! Hoping beyond hope that it gets a new series.

Anonymous said...

Typically, I'm not one to comment but I just had to add my two cents to all the support for Chuck. This show is one I look forward to every week - I'd follow it to any time slot. And last night's episode was incredible on so many levels - clearly the writers and the cast were firing on all cylinders. Too much goodness to single out any one thing. Also, thanks to Alan for his incredibly well reasoned open letter to NBC. I hope that stating the business case for saving Chuck makes them wake up to the fact that they have a real gem here. I can't face Mondays without Zachary Levi's goofy adorkable grin!

Jenn. said...

Great post, Alan. I would be so very, very, very sad if this show is cancelled.

NickR said...

Great Episode. Part of me doesn't want to watch the season finale for fear of what might be left unfinished if (god forbid) NBC decides not to cancel. Chuck and Sarah finally have a "real" relationship. Casey gets promoted. Awesome was awesome, and Morgan is off to live his dream, Ellie looked amazing as previously mentioned, and I love Roark, "you can eat them if you want" or something along those lines had me rolling. Hopefully there is somebody on NBC that reads this blog and realizes the ammount of popularity Chuck has, and the potential it has with some more advertising and a time change. I think that Chuck has to take the intersect back for 3 reasons. Fulcrum isn't finished. They made it a point to show that the intersect rubiks cube was safely removed from bombing, and if he doesn't, the show is over. Thank you Alan for this blog, and the effort you put into it.

JakesAlterEgo said...

I have a horrible fear that there will be a Kill Bill-esque series of events next week.

Kensington said...

Another thought re the condom matter. If Chuck hadn't stepped away to grab a condom, Casey would have walked in on them having sex.

Who would want that to happen, really? Not me.

Also, add me to the list of people who thought that Sarah Lancaster looked remarkably beautiful in her rehearsal dinner dress.

RSR said...

Absolutely AWESOME episode. I am going to be devastated if NBC decides not to renew. It would be the biggest mistake their network could possibly make.

But on to the good, I completely agree with everything in you're post Alan. I thought the way that Casey handled himself was completely realistic for his character and they did a really good job showing the side of him that follows orders and the side that really does have an inkling of care for Chuck. And of course Strahovski was fantastic as usual.

I also just wanted to point out that I am so impressed that this episode has gotten into the over 100 mark for comments. As an avid reader I've really only seen that happen with Lost. I think it shows how much the fans do really care about this show. Here's to hoping NBC joins us nerd herders and BUYS MORE seasons of Chuck.

Michael said...

Hey, you got name-checked in the New York Times in their "can Chuck be saved?" article!

Pamela Jaye said...

and when I was out today running errands, I swung y the Subway and grabbed a menu and three comment cards (in case anyone here forgets to get one)

and yeah, I was thinking - "so, the intersect is gone, how can i save the world now?"
re-Intersected. good term.

at the end of the first season of Veronica Mars, hadn't they solved every mystery and righted all wrongs, leaving us just wondering who it was at the door?

oh well.
my parents left us some really matching living room furniture that I would really love to keep... NBC - be kind. all I have was a love seat before.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just got to watch it (Thanks WKYC for preempting it for a space exploration program!) and... WOW! That was one of, if not the, best hours of television I have ever seen. That was absolutely incredible. Wow. The best episode of the series.

Anonymous said...

Awesome episode, Awesome review Alan. My worry is that the stars of the show could go on to make more Money in Movies and TV for the Networks. Sarah Lancaster could be the new Wonder Woman ;) Strahovski and Levi do movies. My solution to networks having to cut shows to save money is to scale back to 12 episodes to keep the shows alive and ocassionaly have feature lenght episodes, worked during the Writers strike. As a last resort. Chuck still deserves 24 episodes.

Chaddogg said...

Just a quick note: you can vote for Yvonne Strahovski here at Sports Illustrated as the hottest woman on Monday night TV....maybe it'll give Chuck a slight boost in young male viewership?

P.S. NBC: Yvonne's ahead right now by a SIZEABLE margin....evidently she has "it" and young males are pretty interested in watching her (hint hint)

Lyson said...

Great letter - all true. One of the great episodes of TV with everyone in the cast includingthe guest stars clicking. The triangle core - Casey, Sarah & Chuck - were all making big changes from the past- same with Awesome. It's nice to see Chuck's growing confidence and commitment- when he argued with sarah we can't leave Casey to Fulcrum and then did the same with casey 2 seconds later about Sarah and then floored the car in reverse. Really leaves me looking forward to S3.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else hear a Wayne and Garth shout-out in the "pork products" conversation?

And I loved the fact that when Chuck went to ask Casey to the rehearsal dinner Casey was wearing his green Buy More polo. After he shut the door in Chuck's face, he reappeared within 3 beats dressed in a black shirt and a suit jacket. He just wanted to be included. Sweet!

Anonymous said...

I just saw a preview for the next episode. Oh the surprises that one will bring.

SteveK said...

The comments here are great, but there's 1 that needs answering.

Anonymous said...
"My only complaint was the condom excuse. Sarah is an international spy who we have seen in many dangerous situations ... At any moment she could be raped and I don't believe for a moment she wouldn't be taking some form of birth control... If it was a "safe sex" condom, there is no way Chuck would have let that stop him! "

Anonymous, you're clearly female ;). The condom wasn't for birth control, or safe sex. Chuck is a healthy 20-something male. He's head over heels in love with this ridiculously beautiful woman. He's been waiting two Years!

The condom, dear lady, is to give Chuck some tiny chance at extending this interlude past,oh, about 30 seconds (been there, done that, bought the marriage license).

Alan Sepinwall said...

I just saw a preview for the next episode. Oh the surprises that one will bring.

Which reminds me: No talking about the previews. No spoilers of any kind about the finale. Period. Anything even remotely borderline will be deleted by me.

Anonymous said...

Chuck is better than sex ....

Unknown said...

They had better make a point where Stephen Bartowski's sees his ex-wife's charm bracelet on Sarah's arm. They made it such a big deal with Chuck giving it to Sarah on Christmas Eve that I would think it would be a mistake not to have Stephen see it and comment on it.

One more episodes. :-(

Anonymous said...

you said everything i was thinking as i watched the show and man like all chuck fans i hope we get even more chuck next year

Spead the word Save Chuck People!!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

For those of you still reading the discussion who have said you're wary of watching the finale in the event the show doesn't continue... trust me when I say that you do not want to miss "Chuck vs. the Ring." It may be my favorite "Chuck" episode ever, and that is the last I will say on the subject until after it airs.

Cathryn said...

Chuck = LOVE.

I had tears in my eyes at some point, I think it was when Chuck mistakenly thought Casey had brushed off the rehearsal dinner invitation, and then Sarah showed up.

Alan, thank you so much for introducing this show to us, your readers, particularly those not in the States, and encouraging us to watch it. I have to admit, when Season 2 started I didn't even bother checking video streaming sites for the newest Chuck ep like I had done so for the first season. I can't remember why I did eventually start watching again, but I am EXTREMELY glad I did.

Also, Richie, thanks for the link to that commercial! Hah, I want a Chuck/Zachary Levi endorsed car now; I hope they bring them out here in Australia.

Gosh, if NBC don't renew Chuck I am going to be seriously devastated.

Lyson said...

Saw Alan's comment re: the S2 finale being IHO the best ever and first thought was can't see how it could top C vs. the Colonel but In Alan I trust...

To keep myself from watching last week's episode on an endless loop:) I watchd the rachael Bilson arc - C vs the truth & C vs. the hard Salami -well worth the effort for:
Great Casey: Sarah being jealous of Lou the sandwich maker; beginning innings of Morgan & Anna; Lester going after sarah: great jeff - in other words a nice prelude to where we are now after last week's best episode ever.

judodog said...

Love this show, loved this episode. I Just bought the season on iTunes, have been eating Subway every Tuesday, guess I need to buy a Honda, anything to save this show.

I am in the don't watch next week until Chuck is renewed school of thought. If it has to end let it end with the on "vs. the Colonel.

Wake up NBC, you have three shows worth watching (Chuck, Office, 30 Rock-which is three more than CBS and ABC-don't screw this up)

Pamela Jaye said...

and I don't watch The Office (couldn't make it thru the pilot - twice). Since ER ended and Scrubs was canceled.. I watch two shows on NBC. and that's only half an hour more show than I watch on CBS (I have a grudge against Moonves that has nothing to do with Twilight or Moonlight or whatever it was. I could probably *list* the shows I've watched on CBS since 1997)

my point - the less NBC I watch, the less NBC I watch. I don't see promos, and I don't watch new series... It's been trending down for a few years. I've noticed it.

What *do* I watch? ABC. Stupid music (I don't notice) and all.

Anonymous said...

Alan, would you say you'd go gay for chuck? .... That might save the show!

Anonymous said...

Just curious, how were the ratings for 'Chuck vs. the Colonel' compared to other shows and compared to other 'Chuck' episodes?

LoopyChew said...

Dammit, Alan, you can't dangle a morsel in front of us like that! Now the wait for Monday's episode will be rendered further unbearable!

Curse my "ooh, new comments" curiosity!

Pamela Jaye said...

Hey, I just found Season 2 available for pre-order on :-)

(thanks to that SaveChuck Twitter (or maybe Save_Chuck))

What is the downside to following my creative accounting side and pre-ordering on amazon now, then unordering and buying at Target? (I've been living on so little for so long, it's actually worth it to drive a mile to save a dollar. I *will* buy the DVDs (Scott is in three episodes. I have season 1 cause a friend bought them for me)). I won't even wait to buy them Used. But I'd love to bump some numbers now.

Stephanie said...

I didn't get to watch this one live as I was out of town, but I just want to add the many comments of how truly spectacular this episode was. I will cry if it isn't renewed.

Also, thanks Alan, for the open letter to NBC. Very well done.

Vicky said...

I just wanted to say along with many other people amazing Chuck is. It's the good only thing that I look forward to as soon as I realize that the weekend is over. I've never missed an episode on it's airing night and I really hope that NBC renews it for a third season.

As I am a serious fanatic when it comes to Chuck, I have been re-reading some of the past blogs all over the web and happened to come across this one.
The comment by Dave REALLY caught my attention. I would like people to take notice that the post is from December 4, 2007, right around the time when writers' strike took place. But if you read what Dave had to say, maybe he isn't that far off as to what the season finale has in store, which I can barely wait for. I'm not trying to ruin the finale for anyone but to anyone who has an itching to poke and prod every possibility of what's going to take place, I recommend that you go to the site.

SaraK said...

Finally getting caught up on the episodes and your recaps. This one was gold, Alan! Your Dayenus were hysterical!