A Farewell to CHUCK: The Little Spy Series that Could

Just like in the children’s tale of the “little engine that could,” CHUCK was a television show that kept on chugging away against all odds and carved out a place in television history by running five seasons on the sheer will-power of its fans.  Millions of Subway sandwiches later, the fans are still passionately devoted to their show.  Having coined the phrases: Nerd Herd, Buy More and Captain Awesome, as well as creating a whole new dialect comprised of “the Intersect”, “flashes” and “Jeffster” and redefining what it means when a TV show is “on the bubble,” CHUCK is now legendary.  It not only created a universally-accepted and widely used lexicon, CHUCK also introduced characters which fans fell in love with from around the globe.  As the cast will soon discover, fans are not quick to forget their beloved characters and the names: Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Morgan, Ellie, Awesome, Big Mike, Jeff, Lester, and General Beckman are sure to follow the actors throughout the rest of their careers.  It is thus with fondness, warm hearts and more memories than we can count, that CHUCK celebrates its 2-hour series finale.  Perhaps one day, fans across the world will ask each other, “Where were you when CHUCK ended?”  Perhaps this ending is not as momentous as other world events, but for fans who have faithfully followed the series for the past 5 years, the end will be both heartbreaking and cheer-worthy — and, as any fan knows, the end is just the beginning.  CHUCK’s fans share a passion and a collective love of life that cannot be suppressed.  With the availability of DVD’s, fan sites and all the friendship that have blossomed from a common interest in the show, CHUCK is about to be immortalized — as it should be!

For a show that started off about a young computer technician who had the misfortune of receiving an email from an old college friend that visually embedded a complex CIA database into his brain, CHUCK became something much, much more.  It was not just about Chuck Bartowski and his desire to get rid of the Intersect.  It became about the lives that became so tightly intertwined that each character felt like a very special member of Chuck’s immediate family, which in a way, they were.  CHUCK also became our family.  It introduced our hapless hero who was just waiting for life to knock him upside the head and show him what an extraordinary life was within his grasp.  It also introduced two super-heroic government agents, who not only had his back when things got insanely dangerous (which it did frequently), but who also mentored him and came to care for him as if he were one of their own.  And along the way Sarah fell in love with Chuck.  We all knew from that first episode when it ended with Sarah and Chuck sitting on the beach that fate had brought them together for a reason.  Watching them fall in love was just the icing on the cake. Sarah and Chuck’s love story captured our heart and we fell blissfully in love with them. 

We also fell in love with Col. John Casey, who’s rough-and-tough attitude concealed a warm and shiny heart of gold.  We were amused and worried that Morgan would one day figure out that his best friend was a secret spy, only to wonder why he wasn’t brought in on the secret sooner once he did find out.  The hilarious shenanigans of the Buy More crew also had us in stitches week-after-week, as Big Mike, Lester and Jeff came up with more and more outrageous ways to boggle-the-mind with their boundless energy and creativity in making the mundane work environment so entertaining.  Then there were the charming and oh-so-beautiful golden couple of Ellie and Awesome.  They always seemed too good to be true, but they were the bright star that kept Chuck grounded in the real world.  Life is not all about tracking villains, cheating death and disrupting massive conspiracies — life is about the small moments that tie our lives together and make us grateful to be a part of each other’s lives.  Chuck may have had dreams of one day having amazing adventures and being the most sought-after man on the planet, but once that dream came true, he began to see the importance of appreciating what you have and holding onto it with both hands.  What Ellie and Awesome had was their love for each other, their love for their families and their desire to give something back.  Chuck learned a lot from all of these incredible people in his life.  He learned to love, to appreciate and to give back. 

That is not to say that the moment he could be free of the Intersect that Chuck gave up his life of high-octane adventure; instead he had learned that even without the Intersect he could still do a whole lot of good in the world.  He could be a superhero all on his own.  A little ingenuity, training, bravery and an unflinching willingness to step-up and just-do-it, is all that it takes.  Chuck had been both blessed and cursed by the Intersect, but the one thing it did do for him, that he will always be grateful for, was nudging him onto his destined path.  The Buy More was not the dead-end job he feared he would be stuck in for the rest of his life, it was the launching point for the rest of his life.  It is a lesson we could learn from — and one which we appreciated as well.  It is said that the “meek shall inherit the Earth,” and we saw that the “geeks shall inherit the Earth.”  You can’t keep a good geek down!

CHUCK’s 5th and finale season is about to come to a close, but before it does, a few more surprises are to be revealed and one more big-bad villain to be vanquished.  Last week’s episode showed Sarah Walker having her memories ripped away to such a degree that she no longer even recognized Chuck.  The diabolical Quinn had use the Intersect to strip Sarah’s memories, leaving her a shell of her former self.  Unable to remember the past 5 years, Sarah is now on a mission to kill Chuck.  Surely, the show will not end on such a bitter-sweet note and there will be a miracle that restores Sarah’s memories.  But even if it doesn’t, we know in our hearts that given the chance, Chuck will find a way to make her fall in love with him all over again; and if that were to come to pass, we could only wish we could be there for every delicious moment of that new romance.

But like all wonderful journeys, this one must end too.  CHUCK introduced us to a world that delighted and entertained us for 5 years.  We remain deliriously happy to have had those years.  We fought for them, stood by the show faithfully, and ate many, many, many Subway sandwiches.  It is now time to say goodbye.  Goodbye from all of us who laughed and cried, who roared and cheered, and those of us who will miss you more than we can say.  Goodbyes are hard enough, but we will remember to celebrate all the magnificent memories.  Long live CHUCK in our hearts — you made our dreams come true!

Let’s raise a glass and celbrate the tremendous achievement of Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, Zach Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Josh Gomez, Ryan McPartlin, Sarah Lancaster, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vic Sahay, Scott Krinsky, and everyone else who brought this extraordinary series to life, by toasting them during CHUCK’s fifth and final season 2-hour finale as it airs Friday, January 27th at 8PM on NBC.

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).

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  • Gatordukie

    Chuck is on NBC, not FOX.

  • http://www.thetvaddict.com/ The TV Addict

    Thanks for the freelance edit!

  • Obsessmuch

    You made me cry. That was a beautifully written piece. Thanks.

  • Gatordukie

    Great article!

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  • http://twitter.com/pawleenc Pauline Caberte

    That was an okay ending for Chuck. Quinn was not really my first choice for the final villain BUT one thing that was great about the show is that the show has always had alot of HEART and CHARACTER. I didn’t totally agree with whole Sarah loses all her memories story line to drive the show all the way to the end  but apart from all the missions and trouble the crew has gotten themselves into, it was always the interaction between Sarah and Chuck that drove the show to attract loyal fans. 

    TBH, I thought the ending was a little “50 First Dates – ish” especially the with the added bonus of the beach (which is a special place for both Chuck and Sarah). The montage really was the touching point for the whole series and totally expected (personally, Josh Schwartz can do one hell of a montage with the PROPER music selection).

    I have one perspective about the whole series as whole: it’s always the good memories we keep.

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