Have you recovered from “Chuck vs. Sarah” yet? Emotions under control? Ready for more?
If so, then keep reading. Because we simply can’t let the Chuck series finale end without a proper goodbye recap. And so we say a final farewell to “Chuck vs. the Goodbye.”
Click here to read the recap of the first part of the Chuck series finale, “Chuck vs. Sarah.”
Remember This Guy?
“Chuck vs. the Goodbye” begins two weeks after the sad events of “Chuck vs. Sarah.” And it begins on an airplane.
Nasty old Nicholas Quinn is talking to a friend about buying something called “The Key.” This is, apparently, what Quinn needs to take his faulty, brain-melting Intersect and turn it into the awesome spy machine it could be.
Who is this strange man selling Quinn what he needs? Going by the name Edgar (played by guest star Mark Pellegrino of Lost, Supernatural and The Closer fame), the man is, in fact, one of the last surviving Fulcrum agents. He got the Key ages ago from Ted Roark before Fulcrum went and imploded. Edgar also has the important bit of information that the Key has three parts: this one, a piece that the Ring bought from Volkoff, and a third, missing piece. Quinn will need all three to get his working Intersect.
By the way, if you’re having trouble placing Edgar the Fulcrum Agent, don’t worry. He wasn’t so important when he appeared briefly and anonymously in season 2’s “Chuck vs. the Fat Lady.”
The TSA has really failed on this flight, as we soon learn that Sarah — in a masterful feat of contortionism — has managed to stow away in a suitcase. She emerges to eliminate Quinn but is foiled by Edgar tipping the plane at just the right moment. Sarah escapes only by blowing the airplane door open. Unfortunately, she bashes her head on the way out and does most of her free-fall unconscious.
But this is Sarah Walker we’re talking about. She regains consciousness halfway down, in plenty of time to open her parachute and float gently into the sea. Her leather-clad stomp across the beach and off to complete her mission fits perfectly with the badass Sarah we’re now re-meeting.
Meanwhile, another member of Team Bartowski is readying himself for the takedown of Quinn. Casey meets with General Beckman, who insists on the return of badass Colonel Casey, the sniper, in the apprehension and killing of Nicholas Quinn. Casey assures Beckman that he’s up to the challenge, even sending sweet little Alex to voicemail to prove his strength.
Back in Burbank, Chuck has regressed to a somewhat less-than-badass state. The heartbroken husband refuses to get out of bed, even at 11am, until the group intervention of Morgan, Ellie, Awesome and Baby Clara convinces Chuck that he can get Sarah back.
Chuck is energized but uncertain. How will he get Sarah to fall for him again? Ellie and Devon offer sensible advice about appealing to Sarah’s emotions in order to restore her memory, but Morgan is more direct. He thinks Chuck should kiss her, Snow White-style, thus magically making everything better again.
But the first task is finding Sarah. So Chuck and Morgan go to the best source for woman-finding/stalking they know: Jeff and Lester. The Buy Morons indeed come through, mobilizing their terrifying network of perverts to track Sarah’s every move. And the tracking leads them to… the Buy More?
Apparently, Sarah is right outside.
Back Here Again
Chuck rushes out to find Sarah standing awkwardly at the Nerd Herd desk. Since he obviously remembers their first meeting at just this location, Chuck thinks that Sarah has returned for him.
Not so much. She mostly wants Castle, with the side benefit of using Chuck’s hacking skills to track down Renny Deutch, the Ring agent who has the second part of the Key. Chuck sadly but dutifully obliges, finding Deutch so quickly that Sarah has time to accidentally throttle Morgan only once.
Deutch is hiding out in Berlin. After some argument (and false bravado when it comes to the use of Casey’s giant guns), Chuck convinces Sarah that she would be better off if he and Morgan came along — in a professional capacity, of course.
Germany or Burbank?
Pumped by Morgan’s council to win back Sarah and not shoot anybody, Chuck accompanies Sarah into a restaurant to find their target. And suddenly we (except for Sarah), flash back to the Chuck pilot episode and Chuck and Sarah’s first date at the Mexican restaurant, El Campadre. Because that’s where they are. Weirdly. Alas, Sarah doesn’t want to hear her story with Chuck. She just wants to get Quinn.
She has to wait awhile. Deutch soon leaves to meet Quinn in a different location. Chuck and Sarah follow and — with a costume change — to tail the Ring operative to a glitzy ballroom. Morgan reminds Chuck (and the viewers) of an earlier tango with Sarah (in “Chuck vs. the Tango”) and tells his friend to go for it.
Chuck and Sarah’s incredibly sexy and gorgeous tango gets them the intel they need — Quinn now wants to meet in yet another location. There will be no post-tango reconciliation of the lovers.
Because this night is as much a trip down memory lane as it is a mission, the next meeting place is… a Wienerlicious? Seriously? I would think the Germans would be above such things. But apparently it’s a worldwide chain, allowing Sarah one last time in that silly uniform. Chuck is, of course, reveling in the memories as they wait for Quinn to arrive. His joy grows even more when an irritated Sarah “fixes” the counter arrangement, just like she used to do in Burbank.
Chuck encourages Sarah to try to remember even more, but their moment is shattered by the late arrival of Quinn. The villain isn’t even a little surprised to see them.
Outgunned, and with Morgan a hostage, Chuck and Sarah simply watch as Quinn shoots Deutch and takes the second piece of the Key. All seems lost until Sarah finds some wooden skewers and — in yet another callback to that first date in “Chuck vs. the Intersect” — spears Quinn so that he drops his gun.
Quinn’s goons are easily defeated, but the man himself escapes into the street. With Casey in a helicopter overhead and Chuck following close behind with his monster gun, it would seem to be the end for Quinn.
Alas, Chuck still can’t kill anyone and simply fires a warning shot in the air. Bad choice. The bullet manages to take out Casey’s helicopter (he is not pleased about this), thus allowing Quinn to make his escape.
Back in Castle, Casey’s anger has not yet worn off, as evidenced by Morgan sitting cuffed to a chair while Casey loads up for his next mission. Morgan is kind of angry too and points out that Casey, rather than being stronger on his own, was at his best when working with Team Bartowski. A few grunts and a reminder of Alex later, and Casey is ready to screw his inevitable court martial by using the team to save the day.
Casey and Morgan go to liberate Chuck and Sarah from Castle’s holding cells, at which point Sarah insists on going off on her own again. This plan is foiled by the arrival of Mary Bartowski, ready and willing to shoot her daughter-in-law should the situation call for it. Mary does stand down when Devon points out the inappropriateness of firearms around baby Clara, but the former spy manages to keep Sarah present. Why? She has a lead on the final piece of the Key.
It turns out that, back in the day, Stephen Bartowski — with his then-partners Ted Roark and Huntley Winterbottom (later Alexei Volkoff) — developed the Intersect and the Key as a teaching tool. An Intersect with a Key can be used for anything, even restoring lost memories. Chuck and Ellie immediately begin plotting how this can, finally, bring Sarah back to her old self.
A Concert Bombs
Mary Bartowski also knows that Stephen gave his piece of the key to someone in government. Who could that possibly be?
We get our answer almost immediately when Quinn is spotted at the Pacific Concert Hall — where General Beckman is attending a symphony with members of Chinese Intelligence. Before Team Bartowski can intervene, however, Quinn approaches Beckman, informs her of the bomb beneath her seat and removes one of her military badges. That’s where Stephen Bartowski hid his piece of the Key.
Team Bartowski rushes in right after Quinn makes his escape. As dramatic music plays from the stage, they realize that the bomb is controlled by a computer inside a digitally-locked box. They also notice that the trigger is sound — when the music stops, the bomb will explode.
Sarah chases Quinn to the roof, anxious for revenge. Chuck soon follows, knowing that he needs Quinn alive to defuse the bomb and to hand over the Sarah-saving Intersect. This leaves Casey, Morgan and the suddenly-appearing Jeff and Lester to save the day at the concert.
How can they possibly manage it? Jeffster, of course!
Chuck and Sarah confront Quinn on the roof as the symphony reaches its supposed conclusion. And then… The beautiful sounds of an orchestra are replaced with the synth-beats of “Take on Me” by A-HA. Excellent choice, Jeffster. Excellent choice.
Quinn, momentarily distracted by the continued music, decides to go on the offensive and pulls his gun. Before he can move, however, Sarah shoots, and Quinn falls dead.
Now Chuck has the tragic choice of a lifetime. He and Sarah have the Intersect glasses (presumably made non-lethal by the completed Key), but how should they be used? Chuck can only disarm the bomb — and save everyone — by downloading the Intersect. But if he does, then the last chance to get Sarah back is gone.
Only a brief, agonizing moment is possible before Chuck makes the only decision a hero can. He puts on the glasses.
Chuck and Sarah then race down the stairs as Jeffster draws closer to the end of the song. Chuck flashes for the first time since season 4 and easily opens the box containing the bomb computer. This gives him pause. The computer model inside is too complicated for an easy defusing process. Chuck isn’t sure that, even with the Intersect, he has time.
But then, Sarah remembers something. One little thing. A name. Irene Demova.
For those of you who haven’t seen the Chuck pilot episode in awhile, Irene Demova is the name of an Internet porn goddess whose image downloads a deadly virus into any computer. Chuck defused his first bomb with her help. And now it’s time to defuse his last bomb the same way.
As the music comes to its triumphant conclusion, the computer fizzles and dies to the sounds of Irene’s “Am I sexy?”
The day is saved. But Sarah is not. With a sad look, she leaves Chuck alone in the cheering crowd.
The End… And the Beginning?
Down in Castle, Beckman thanks Team Bartowski and says they can save the world again, any time they want. She leaves, soon followed by Casey (who hugs Chuck!). Alone at last, Chuck hopes to have some chance with Sarah. But she says she needs time and leaves Chuck alone in his secret fortress.
Upstairs in the Buy More, things are working out better. Although Big Mike doesn’t believe Jeff and Lester’s stories of spies and bombs and concerts, he has to believe at least part of it when a German record producer enters to sign Jeffster to certain fame and fortune as German pop stars. The duo thus leave the Buy More — soon to be a Subway franchise — in glorious triumph.
More departures are happening back at the apartments. Morgan and Alex announce they will be moving in together as Casey prepares to hunt down Gertrude Verbanski and violent happiness. Ellie and Devon are meanwhile packing for their move to Chicago and super jobs. Ellie doesn’t want to leave Chuck — especially not now — but he tells her it’s time to go. The siblings thus separate with a final “Aces, Charles” moment.
Chuck and Morgan find themselves alone at the courtyard fountain. But Morgan won’t let everything be over. He tells Chuck to follow his heart directly to where he will find Sarah.
Amazingly, this turns out to be good advice. Sarah is on the beach, sitting — as Chuck did at the end of the pilot — and staring at the water. Chuck approaches and tells her that he will always be there for her, in any way that she needs. Touched, Sarah asks Chuck to finally tell her their story.
A series of flashbacks and some laughing tears later, the story is over.
Or is it? Chuck brings up Morgan’s idea of the magical kiss. Sarah laughs. But then, in a moment that restores all sense of goodness in the universe, she asks him to go for it.
As we leave Chuck and Sarah for the last time, the kiss grows in intensity and continues until the fade to black.
Need more? Click here to read the recap for part one of the Chuck series finale, “Chuck vs. Sarah.”
And that’s that. 91 episode. Five seasons. A crazy roller-coaster ride of comedy and spy action, even into the last moments of Chuck. What did you think of the end? Is it everything you wanted? Was anything missing? Any lingering questions? Share your comments, opinions and Chuck love below!
(Image courtesy of NBC)
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include Chuck, Modern Family, Supernatural, Mad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.