The ending of a beloved television series always feels like losing a member of your family. Some shows are like that creepy uncle that you once thought was cool, but now you’re ready to send packing and others, well, they hurt like hell to see them go. It hurts like hell to see “Chuck” go.
First a very short/quick recap of why “Chuck” was so great … “Chuck” was the perfect blend of humor and action-drama with an incredibly talented cast that quickly made you feel at home with them thanks to their impeccable chemistry. At the core of the series was the Chuck Bartowski, played by Zachary Levi, and Sarah Walker, played by Yvonne Strahovski, relationship that proved to be one of the cutest love stories that television has ever seen.
It’s this great relationship that’s tested greatly in the two-episode finale of “Chuck” that aired Friday night (Jan. 27) on NBC. The relationship is, in fact, tested so much that the end result of the series is one that will certainly be controversial and likely split fans. However, I feel that it’s a fitting end to the wonderful series. By the way, if you haven’t seen the series finale yet and intend to I suggest you stop reading now.
At the end of last week’s episode it was revealed that villain Nicholas Quinn, played by Angus Macfadyen, had erased Sarah’s memory of the last five years. Quinn has essentially brainwashed Sarah to kill her husband (Chuck) and it’s a feat that she almost accomplishes a few times in the first episodes of the two episode finale.
Chuck spends much of the two hours trying to remind Sarah of their life together all while she’s first trying to end his life and then after she realizes that Quinn is the bad guy and they try to kill him.
The finale does a wonderful job at recalling many aspects of the show’s pilot episode from five years ago as Chuck tries to re-charge Sarah’s memory. The best aspect of this came at the very end of the episode, which is the controversial part.
Ambiguous endings are always going to be controversial because many fans don’t like to leave series open-ended and that’s exactly what the creators and writers of “Chuck” did. Sarah doesn’t ever regain her memory in the finale; instead she ends up at the beach where she once assured Chuck that everything would be OK five years before. Chuck realizing that he’d find her there goes to the beach and Sarah asks him to tell her the story of their life together. This is essentially Chuck’s way of assuring her that everything will be fine. Following the story Chuck tells Sarah about Morgan’s (Joshua Gomez) idea that one passionate kiss would bring everything back to her. And so the series ends exactly as it should with Chuck and Sarah embracing in a kiss; another exquisite romantic scene from one of TV’s most romantic shows.
The problem that some fans will have is: “well, did she remember?” But, of course she is going to remember and they’ll live happily ever after … or at least that’s how I’m going to view it. You can take from it whatever you’d like, which is the meaning of an open-ended finale.
Was the “Chuck” finale the perfect way to end the series? I don’t know. Maybe there could have been a better sendoff, but the ending was extremely fitting, loving and tear inducing and you really can’t ask much more than that. The performances of the entire cast, particularly our two leads (Levi and Strahovski) were perfect, all the laughs (Jeffster’s final performance) and tearjerkers (almost everything else) were perfect as well.
At the start of their final conversation Sarah tells Chuck, “Chuck, tell me our story.” Well, “Chuck” was a story well-told.