Chuck will be over for good in just a few short days. But, until then, we should all think about Chuck as much as possible. In order to help with this, Adam Baldwin — John Casey of Chuck — and Chris Fedak — the Chuck executive producer — spoke to reporters about season 5, the Chuck finale and more.
Keep reading for their thoughts — and for a few Chuck finale spoilers!
The Chuck Finale
From what Adam Baldwin and Chris Fedak said, we can expect an awful lot. “We have essentially an epic finale, and it’s going to be different from anything we’ve ever done before on the Chuck show,” explained Fedak. “Everything is at stake. It’s like all of our characters are at a crossroad.” Fedak later added, “I think that the finale is really an answer to a lot of the character stories that we have built to over five seasons.”
Considering all the practice the Chuck writers have had at preparing potential series finales, we would hope that this actual Chuck series finale would be easy. Or maybe not. “We need to resolve these stories we’ve spent five years working on,” said Chris Fedak. “In regard to the writing of it, that was a panic attack on a daily basis.”
Fedak and co-creator Josh Schwartz at least had some plans in place before the writing began. “In regard to the very final moment of the season, it was something that we came up with at the end of last season,” said Fedak. “That was a year in the making.”
Chris Fedak was very careful to point out that the finale would have echoes of earlier episodes and even seasons. “The first hour is very much about season 5,” he said. “The second hour is very much about the show as a whole.”
Such grand statements are good (if kind of terrifying), but what about specifics?
Although there were no important spoilers given away by either Chris Fedak or Adam Baldwin, the two did let a few details out. “There’s a moment in the finale,” said Fedak. “Casey is holding a sniper rifle, but Adam is so fantastic, it’s also a heartbreaking moment.” Chris Fedak also let slip that there was a big skydiving sequence in the finale.
The Character of Casey
Both Chris Fedak and Adam Baldwin had a lot to say about the character of John Casey and his evolution over the years.
“It was great to get the personal aspects of his life really highlighted in the past couple of seasons,” said Adam Baldwin of his character. “There’s a certain spark with [Mekenna Melvin and her character of Alex] that really rekindled my love for the character.”
Baldwin also enthused about his relationship with Joshua Gomez’ character of Morgan, “When you see the height discrepancy on camera… it’s just hilarious.”
Chris Fedak pointed out how good a character Adam Baldwin had been able to make of Casey. “If we had wanted a cold-hearted killer, then we wouldn’t have cast Adam Baldwin,” he said. “He’s also wicked funny.” Baldwin continued the love-fest by returning the compliment to Fedak and the writers: “They really saved Casey’s ammo, character-wise, which I think helped him. You get sick of a guy speechifying all the time.”
And Casey’s Signature Grunts?
It’s hard to imagine the character of John Casey without those signature grunts. But where did they come from? Apparently, the first grunt was added way back in the Chuck pilot episode.
“There was no growl in the scene, and Adam growled halfway through the scene,” explained Fedak. “That’s all Adam.” To this statement, Adam Baldwin immediately replied, “You encouraged it.”
The evolution of the grunts and growls seems to have needed a combination of writing and acting talents. As Chris Fedak put it, “There’s a number of different grunts and growls that Adam does, but we would never dare make that choice for him.”
The Whole Show Experience
To hear Adam Baldwin and Chris Fedak tell it, Chuck was a fun time that will definitely be missed. “We’re gypsies really in this business, we’re circus players,” said Baldwin. “It’s sad to see it go, but at least we had those five years together, and we enjoyed it while it was happening.”
Did people cry at the end? The answer seems to be a definite yes — with one notable exception. “There were a lot of tears, a lot of emotion,” admitted Adam Baldwin. But… “I didn’t cry, but I watched a lot of the others cry.
Chris Fedak confirmed this situation. “The tears were a real disaster. People were crying for everything,” he said. “It was an emotional shoot. Thankfully we had the rock that is Adam Baldwin, who doesn’t have emotions.”
Do you believe them?
Love Chuck? Want to win prizes? Check out BuddyTV’s Chuck Trivia contest!
Odds and Ends
When talking to people as creative and ridiculously entertaining as Adam Baldwin and Chris Fedak, there are bound to be some tidbits that must be reported. Sure, they’re not extremely necessary. But you’ll be happy when you’ve read them.
On comparing Chuck and Firefly:
Adam Baldwin: “Obviously, Fedak is a superior writer to Joss Whedon — the show lasted this long!”
(Don’t get out your pitchforks, Joss Whedon fans: he laughed when saying that.)
On Adam Baldwin’s future acting plans:
Adam Baldwin: “It’s right now in that period we like to call being ‘at liberty…’ There are a lot of possibilities but nothing in stone yet… Or you can put it, ‘I’ll never work again.'”
On the casting of Mekenna Melvin as Alex:
Chris Fedak: “There was a moment [cut from the season 4 finale] where she growled back at her dad.
Adam Baldwin: “She just fit right in to the production.”
Chris Fedak: “It probably means there’s something very wrong about her too, if she fits in here.”
On whether the addition of family made John Casey less of a tough guy:
Adam Baldwin: “Oh yeah. He became a total pussy.”
On what Adam Baldwin is most proud of during his time on Chuck:
Adam Baldwin: “I’m proud of being able to keep a straight face as much as I can when Zac [Levi] is working, because he’s so damn funny… Proud of surviving scenes being eaten alive by Carrie-Anne Moss. She’s a tigress.”
On the one thing Chris Fedak would change about Chuck season 5:
Chris Fedak: “If I had one thing to do over again, we definitely should have gotten Casey into the Speedo.”
The Chuck series finale will air on Friday, January 27 as a two-part episode. “Chuck vs. Sarah” will air at 8pm, followed by “Chuck vs. the Goodbye” at 9pm.
(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.