Chuck (Zachary Levi) has lost the Intersect but gained a wife, the lovely Sarah Walker-Bartowski (Yvonne Strahovski). He’s also amassed a fortune thanks to his last adventure, allowing him to purchase the Buy More and start up his own freelance security/spy firm naturally named Carmichael Industries, he, his wife and former NSA Colonel John Casey (Adam Baldwin) seeing it as their duty to continue to see the world stays safe. Oh. Right. Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez) is also part of the group, Chuck’s BFF inadvertently downloading a new copy of the Intersect making him the secret weapon no one wants to talk about or admit even exists.
And so it ends.
After five seasons, three of which arguably only came to be thanks to legions of devoted fans willing, Tweeting, Facebooking, letter-writing and Subway Sandwich-buying their way into existence, the cult favorite NBC series Chuck reaches the finish line. But where most series given second (or third, or fourth, or fifth, or so on, or so forth) opportunities thanks to fan support tend to disappoint during their final go-around (One Tree Hill comes to mind, as does Magnum, P.I. for those with longer memories), creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz send their baby out with a bang, delivering 13 memorable episodes I personally adored.
I’m not going to spoil anything, but safe to say Fedak and Schwartz have gone back to the show’s roots and to its beginnings to make its future something to cherish. They’ve delivered on almost everything you could have hoped them to, fleshing out Sarah’s character even more, keeping the focus on Chuck’s journey as they should and molding Casey into the type of rock-solid super spy close to deserving his own spin-off vehicle. They’ve not forgotten to get Morgan in on the action or have left Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) or her husband Devon, aka ‘Captain Awesome’ (Ryan McPartlin) left with nothing to do on the sideline. They pay off Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) is a satisfying way that would make David Hasselhoff proud, while guest stars like Carrie ‘Trinity’ Anne-Moss and Angus ‘Robert the Bruce’ Macfayden are given far more to do than originally meets the eye.
But the best part of the these last episodes is the two-prong last ones, “Chuck Versus Sarah” and “Chuck Versus the Goodbye.” Fedak and Schwartz come full circle, reminding us all why we fell in love with the show in the first place, paying homage to a number of the little things that made us giggle and laugh while also cementing the central relationship between Chuck and Sarah in the process. It’s a bittersweet, deeply emotional ending that speaks to the power of the human spirit and the enduring nature of love, showing that being who we are is all we need to be superhuman and that it doesn’t take a supercomputer like the Intersect to save the day or to get the boy or girl of your dreams. While I’m sad to see Chuck go, I’m thrilled to see it end on such a high note, and much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural this is one long-running series I’m going to have no problems revisiting numerous times in the future.
Season 5 of Chuck is presented on two dual-layer MPEG-4 AVC Video 50GB Blu-rays with 1080p 1.78:1 transfers.
These discs feature English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and include optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Extras here include:
· Audio Commentaries with creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz and actors Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez on Episode 12, “Chuck versus Sarah,” and Episode 13, “Chuck Versus the Goodbye”
· Extended Version of “Chuck Versus the Goodbye”
· Declassified Scenes
· Sandwiches and Superfans: The Saving of a Show
· Scoring the World of Chuck
· Chuck Versus the Final Episode
· Chuck: The Beginnings
· Chuck: Through the Years
· Chuck: The Future
· Goodbye Buy More
· Buy More Commercials
· Gag Reel
The audio commentaries on the final two episodes kind of rock, so I’d urge anyone who is even a slight fan of the series to give both of them a listen. As for the extended version of the last episode? I can’t exactly say it is essential or anything, the extra ten minutes or so not adding a heck of a lot one way or the other.
As for the rest, as skimpy as Warner Bros has been with special features on past releases they’ve really allowed Fedak and Swartz to go somewhat, if not entirely, to town with this final season two-disc collection. While the usual assortment of ‘Declassified’ scenes is as uneven as ever, the featurettes are remarkably solid all the way around, ‘Sandwiches and Superfans’ chronicling how the show’s legions of driven fans helped save it seemingly season after season after season.
The gag reel is as forgettable as ever, sadly, but the two Buy More commercials, one a vintage piece starring Big Mike, the other a modern take focusing on Captain Awesome, are really, well, awesome, while a two minute time-lapse demolition of the Buy More set borders on incredible. Finally, the cast’s recollections while shooting the final episode are surprisingly touching, and I think I might have teared up more times during the 14-minute featurette than I did watching the actual last episode.
The final season of Chuck does not disappoint. It is a fitting conclusion to a cult favorite show saved (for at least three seasons) by legions of diehard fans willing to do just about anything to see it keep going. While Warner’s Blu-ray presentation is as uneven as ever, the episodes on their own clearly speak for themselves, and it’s doubtful a single Nerd Herd fanatic won’t want to pick this two-disc set up sight unseen.