Chuck – “Chuck Versus The Cliffhanger” – review
Chuck has done it again, folks. I’m referring to two things, of course. The first being that Chuck has managed to dodge cancellation once again and will continue for one more season. The second is it has pulled off yet another mind-blowing finale. Let’s dive right into it.
Sarah is dying. Volkoff is needed to get the antidote. Chuck breaks into the CIA to get Volkoff, but he’s not there. Team Bartowski are now fugitives and Agent Dekker is hunting them. Wow. And that’s just the opening! Don’t be fretting, though, Chuck is more than enough man to elude the CIA. He manages to find and break out Volkoff (on a fancy motorcycle/war machine, no less), but not before Dekker de-Intersects him, turning Volkoff back into the feeble scientist Hartley Winterbottom.
Whoever had the bright idea to bring in Timothy Dalton this season deserves to be knighted or something. First we get the deadly but hilarious Volkoff, and now Dalton perfectly portrays the absolute coward that is Winterbottom. My favorite scene with him was easily when Chuck and co. get guns trained on them by Dekker’s men and Hartley immediately puts his hands up and goes to the ground.
Thinks start looking grim for Team Bartowski with everyone imprisoned and Dekker suppressing Chuck’s Intersect (just suppressed, it’s still there!). But that’s why they have Casey. Needless to say, he breaks them out simply by being himself and sends Chuck and Hartley to go find the antidote to save Sarah’s life. There’s only one more problem. Hartley is terrified of confronting the daughter he never met, Vivian. It’s a good thing Dalton is a terrific actor and can pull off these emotional scenes that he didn’t get to do as Volkoff. He brings his A game.
With Volkoff benching himself and no Intersect, Chuck turns himself over to Vivian in hopes that pleading for Sarah’s life will stir whatever good is still inside her. Zachary Levi deserves an Emmy nomination for this scene. He loves Sarah so much that he’d give up his freedom just to save her life. It’s so touching. The episode is actually filled with sweet little moments. Every now and then we’d get sent back five days to see Chuck and Sarah freaking out and adorably doing a “practice wedding” in their living room. These two have always had such great chemistry, you could swear they’re actually in love and not just actors pretending.
I want to skip forward a bit, if I may. Sarah gets saved. The wedding goes off without a hitch. Team Bartowski all lose their jobs. Things start to feel like the end of show, but then Dekker contacts Chuck! Some bombs are dropped that there’s a bigger mystery; that everything is connected. Fulcrum, the Ring, Agent X, everything was part of a bigger puzzle. By now I’m squirming. Chuck gets a huge wedding gift from Volkoff (somewhere around the neighborhood of a BILLION DOLLARS!?), and the team decides to work independently of the government to get answers. And if that wasn’t enough, Morgan finds pair of glasses meant for Chuck and accidentally gets his very own Intersect. And that’s how Season 4 ends.
So, wow. That was busy. A lot happened. The writers of Chuck sure know how to pull together a great finale. I was floored. I’m amused by the idea that Morgan has an Intersect, and technically Chuck still does, too. Wouldn’t it be great to see them Kung-Fuing it up together? I foresee great things for the unofficial Team Bartowski. Now that we know that Season 5 will be the last, the show should end up a lot more focused and there won’t be any more cliffhangers.