Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.
In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.
Season 5: The Hero (Part 2)
I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…
Chuck Versus the Santa Suit
Full disclosure. I shouted a loud expletive when the mastermind was revealed. Again, a testament to my emotional investment.
We’ve gone to some dark places on this show, but this is by far the darkest…and on a Christmas episode! I also take back what I said in “Chuck Versus the Business Trip”. Decker was not the worst villain the show has known now that we know he was just a pawn. This show has created a truly despicable villain with the right amount of history with the characters and the worst kind of agenda.
This episode is yet another great example of everyone coming together. Chuck and Morgan get to formulate the plan, Jeff and Lester crack the Omen (complete with the overt Subway product placement that prompts a facepalm every time), and even Ellie steps up to make sure she protects her family. Thankfully, in classic Chuck fashion, the big bad is outsmarted and our boy finally drives home the fact that the Intersect does not make the man.
With a bizarre reveal at the end of this episode, these last 6 are going to be one hell of a ride.
That Guy of the Week: Stan Lee. Because why the hell not?
Chuck Versus the Baby
Ok, first off, Sarah gave Chuck a lot of crap for going off without her to give up the Omen to Cunnings (“Chuck Versus the Curse”). Right off the bat this time, we have Sarah ready to go off on a solo mission without telling Chuck anything about it. Double standard much?
With a good look at a deep, dark part of Sarah’s past, it really is amazing to think how much Chuck has changed her life for the better.
My prediction from season 4 was a little late, but I knew we had to meet Sarah’s mom at some point. At least we were given a good reason why she was out of the picture.
Chuck Versus the Kept Man
Every moment Adam Baldwin and Carrie-Anne Moss are together is pure gold. I’m glad we got to see them together a few episodes back, and I was worried Gertrude Verbanski was gone for good when she went to ground after taking out Decker, but I was thrilled to see her back. I am saddened though that with only 4 episodes left, we won’t get nearly enough of the two of them together. It makes me wish for a spin-off along the lines of Hart to Hart, just with, you know, more violence.
Meanwhile, at the Buy More, as soon as Jeff and Lester began their investigation, I knew they were going to figure it all out. I thought it might be an ongoing thing that would pay off in the finale, but now that it’s out there, we’ll just have to wait and see how the team handles it.
Chuck Versus Bo
What’s the point of having an entire B-story dedicated to Jeff and Lester discovering Castle in one episode and then just wiping it away (eventually) in the next? C’mon guys. Either you stick with it, or you don’t do it at all.
I also love that anyone can build a pair of Intersect glasses now… Didn’t this thing start out as an entire room where every surface was a screen?! And has anyone else noticed that we are only on episode 10 of this season and we’re on our third villain?
So, this whole episode was just leading up to Sarah getting the Intersect…and there are only 3 episodes left… Riiiiight.
Chuck Versus the Bullet Train
Sarah has been a spy for many years, kicking many asses along the way. Does she really need the Intersect to fight?
It’s sad knowing that the series is nearing its end when it feels like things are entering a cool new phase, specifically, Ellie and Awesome becoming part of the team, especially with Ellie being, for lack of a better term, the “Bones” of the team and doing all this cool Intersect-related neurology work. Tis a shame it won’t last. I also take back what I said about Jeff and Lester. Despite all the memory wipes and Memento homages, they end up saving the day after all.
We’ve gone to some pretty dark places this season, and the introduction of Nicholas Quinn is no exception. His ruthlessness is on par with Shaw’s, especially since the episode ends with Quinn forcing horribly painful flashes on Sarah and wiping her memory in the process.
Chuck Versus Sarah
Dear lord, I hate Quinn. I don’t care if he was Robert the Bruce in Braveheart. He’s ruined Sarah’s life by taking away her memories. Can Gertrude blow him up too?
The tension throughout the episode is ridiculous. Sarah clutching the knife under her pillow and threatening Ellie with a gun was truly disturbing. If I hadn’t been as invested I was in these characters by now, I probably would’ve directed all my hate at Sarah, but knowing that it’s not her fault, I’m holding out hope Chuck can bring her back.
It all came to a head for me when Chuck pleads his case to Sarah, trying to get her to remember their life together. Zach Levi had me on the brink of tears as he poured his heart out. Having this take place in their dream house made it even harder, especially when Sarah sees their names etched into the wall. Chuck has been through so much, both physically and emotionally on this journey, but this was quite possibly the worst thing that could happen to him.
Chuck Versus the Goodbye
Right from the start, you’re rooting harder than ever for Chuck. He managed to convince Sarah that their life together did actually happen, but he still has to bring her back. What follows is the finale the show deserved, once again bringing together everyone in Chuck’s life, pooling skills and resources, and taking the bad guys down once and for all.
If I haven’t been clear about it in the past, one of my favorite things about the show is moments when everyone comes together. Now that Jeff and Lester are in on the secret, seeing them lend their less-than-orthodox expertise was a great way to kick off the team effort. Elsewhere, General Beckman taps Casey to return to his ruthless assassin roots, but Morgan is the one to bring him back to the Team Bartowski mentality, truly cashing in on the Morgan/Casey relationship that has been building to this point.
Hope for Chuck and Sarah, however, is kindled as the pair end up in a Wienerlicious while pursuing Quinn and memories of Sarah’s time at the Burbank store come to the surface. Knowing that she’s not completely gone made me just as happy as Chuck was when it happened. With this knowledge, it is Ellie who formulates the plan to use the last remaining Intersect upload to return Sarah’s memories. Filling out the ranks of the newly reunited Team Bartowski, Mary arrives just in time to reveal the location of the final piece of the Intersect key that Quinn is after. Naturally, General Beckman has it and the whole team, yes, even Morgan, Jeff, and Lester, are there to complete the mission.
To go out with a bang, and preferably not the one from the bomb under Beckman’s chair, the Buy More boys do their part with one final performance by Jeffster! in order to give Chuck the time he needs to diffuse the bomb. Unfortunately, diffusing the bomb requies Chuck to use the final Intersect upload on himself, preventing Sarah from reacquiring her memories. But, just as she recalled her time at Wienerlicious, Sarah suggests Chuck uses the Irene Demova Virus to short out the bomb, taking us all the way back to the team’s first mission (“Chuck Versus the Intersect”). Not only do we come full circle, but we see the hope that Chuck and Sarah may have their happy ending after all.
While everyone came together to save the world one last time, like any ending, the characters go their separate ways. Jeffster! gets a German record deal, Ellie and Devon pursue new medical careers in Chicago, General Beckman returns to Washington, Casey leaves to be with Gertrude, Morgan and Alex move into Casey’s apartment, and Chuck and Sarah begin the long road back to their life together. As Chuck recounts the last 5 years, it is evident that Sarah reconnects with him, not only giving hope to Chuck, but giving hope to everyone who took this journey with these characters.
Chuck is a great show and I will recommend it to anyone, geek or not. I had a great time with Chuck, Sarah, Casey, and everyone else as they went on this five-year adventure filled with action, humor, and amazing pop culture references.
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to speak to Zac Levi himself at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 and express how much I enjoyed the show. Getting a high-five from him as a ‘thank you’ was the perfect way to bring it all to a close.