'Chuck' Season 5 Review: Everything Has Changed, Except the Awesomeness
'Chuck' Season 5 Review: Everything Has Changed, Except the Awesomeness
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
After a far-too-long hiatus, Chuck season 5 returns this Friday with "Chuck vs. the Zoom." And, to be brief, it's awesome.

The above statement may seem simple, but it's not. After all, Chuck has been condemned to its final season, and NBC has made it clear that the show will be going off the air after 13 episodes. With that death sentence hanging overhead, it would be simple and straightforward for Chuck to coast down an easy route to cancellation.

It doesn't.

Instead of maintaining the status quo and rehashing the same spy antics, Chuck season 5 does what Chuck has always done: push the envelope and change the game while maintaining one of the funniest, best shows on NBC.

Want Chuck season 5 premiere spoilers? Then click here!

Back at the end of season 4, there was plenty of game-changing available for Chuck. The entirety of Team Bartowski was fired from the CIA. Chuck and Sarah finally got married, justifying a relationship hinted at throughout the show's run. A creepy CIA officer, Clyde Decker, hinted to Chuck that everything -- all of the events filling up four seasons of television -- had been part of a larger, more sinister plan. And Morgan, not Chuck, ended the season with the Intersect in his head.

That's a lot of change to process, but Chuck manages it in the season 5 premiere.

The story opens on what we can assume is a typical-ish mission for the spies of the newly-formed Carmichael Industries. A few missteps and kinks show that they, like so many small businesses, are in need of work. Enter Roger Bale (Craig Kilborn), an investment mogul a la Bernie Madoff, who becomes the target of Carmichael Industries' next mission. Underscoring all of this is a sense of menace emanating from the former good guys back at the CIA -- the Agency is not finished with Chuck Bartowski yet.

Of course, this mission does not move along as smoothly as they did with government support. And the rough road wears on Chuck a bit. With Morgan taking center-stage as the secret weapon of Carmichael Industries, Chuck finds himself sidelined into tech support, pep talks and one hilarious, diversionary massage. If there's any flaw in "Chuck vs. the Zoom," it's the time it takes to move past Chuck's angst at losing the Intersect. We know he's the hero. And, fortunately, Chuck proves that -- in amazing fashion -- before the episode is over.

What's ahead for Morgan as the Intersect? Check out spoilers here!

Even with all of the changes popping up in Chuck season 5, some things remain the same. The Buy More, of course, never changes and provides reliable comic relief throughout. Morgan (although a better Intersect and spy than you'd expect) is goofy. John Casey grunts and growls his way through some of the episode's best lines. Sarah is still gorgeous. And Chuck continues to rely on the friendship of Morgan and the love of Sarah to get him through the day.

This is a good thing. After all, the characters, heart and humor of Chuck are what make it awesome. That's one thing that should never change.

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Chuck season 5 premieres on Friday, October 28 at 8pm.

(Image courtesy of NBC)