It's season finale time for Chuck and this one's a doozey — Ellie finds out Chuck's a spy, Shaw's back with an Intersect in his head, and Chuck's brain continues to short-circuit. This one's a 2-hour finale with a lot of twists and turns so let's get started.
The episode opens with Chuck nervously hovering over Scott Bakula, er, I mean Papa Bartowski, as he tinkers with Chuck's new Governor. Anyway, our hero is not so silently freaking out until Papa B points out that his Governor has been working fine. Uh, Papa B? Are we sure it's been working? You still don't exactly seem stable.
Papa B tells Chuck he completely understands his anxiety. After all, "your cover's blown, your secret base discovered, your dead partner and girlfriend's ex-lover was a double agent." Papa B also says he's proud of Chuck, but that he'll need to run from this life if he wants to protect the ones he loves. Of course, Sarah immediately interrupts this line of discussion prompting Chuck to lie about the Governor and his impending insanity. Again. Oh, Chuck, you're pretty but did the intersect take up all of your brain power?
Looking mightily worried, Captain Awesome stalks into the Buy More stumbling into Morgan. Ellie hasn't come home so he's a little freaked out. Unfortunately, Morgan spills his suspicion that Ellie is cheating. He even calls him "Devon," immediately grabbing Awesome's attention. Morgan plays him the incriminating voicemail Ellie left for Justin and Awesome pulls out his phone to call his wife.
Speaking of Justin, he's holding Ellie hostage without her knowledge. Fun! And Justin is blocking all cell reception. Double Fun!
Casey, meanwhile, is being served diner food by his daughter, Alex. We learn that Casey has been here quite a bit, and that he might not see her once she graduates. It's clear she still has no idea he's her father.
Chuck and Sarah are taking part in one of my favorite activities — farmer's market. Yeah! Oh no — Chuck still can't help talking about the doom and gloom of being a spy. Once he gets to talking about Shaw, Sarah silences him with the blueberries. That a girl!
As soon as Sarah flounces off, Chuck hears a voice in his head sounding remarkably like Shaw. The intercept 2.0 confirms it, sending Chuck into a flash-induced fit of sorts. He spots a remarkably Shaw-shaped figure and follows it down into the subway. It seems like it might have all been in his head, until Shaw knocks on the subway car window. He stares at Chuck as the car pulls away from the platform.
We come back and Chuck has spilled all about the subway stare-off to Sarah and Casey. Beckman isn't reachable so Papa B works his computer magic. He searches through the subway surveillance footage and finds Shaw leaving through a strange door at the Hollywood and Western station. Papa B gets mad when the guns are pulled, but Chuck doesn't see any other choice. "I'm not you, okay? I'm not going to spend the rest of my life in hiding. I can't leave the ones I love behind."
Buy More: Awesome, distraught over Ellie's supposed infidelity, is getting drunk in the Home Theater Room. Basically, Lester, Jeff, and Big Mike give Awesome terrible advice, but Jeff does have this lovely tidbit: "It's my dream come true. Ellie is exactly like Chuck but with lady parts." Hee hee. And ew. Morgan escorts Awesome into the bathroom.
Beckman is appearing before a committee at the CIA Headquarters. This does not bode well. It's about Chuck, of course. The committee chair points out that the Intersect program has fallen short of expectations. Beckman cops to it, but defends her team saying they are effective if unorthodox.
Said team is now infiltrating Shaw's secret passageway inside the subway station. They split up and Chuck comes out of a door at the end of a hallway inside what appears to be an office building.
Beckman continues singing the praises of Chuck, saying he's exceeded expectations. He's "poised to become the weapon [they've] always dreamed of."
Chuck tries a door in the hallway and instantly sets off alarms. Red lights and sirens go off in Chuck's hallway....and in Ellie's hideaway. Not good. Justin comes in just as she reaches peak panic mode.
Casey and Sarah, meanwhile, meet up as the sirens continue to blare. Sarah spots a CIA access panel and places her hand on the pad. It works and she finally figures it out; they're dealing with black ops.
Elsewhere, Chuck creeps around his floor with his gun drawn. Ellie spots Chuck's silhouette through the window and thinks it must be Casey (he's obscured by the blinds). Justin goes out to confront Chuck setting off a flash! Of course, at that moment, Ellie steps out of the office she's been holed up in and witnesses Chuck beating up Justin.
Unfortunately, Ellie seems to think that Justin brought Chuck in for protection. Chuck tries to explain the situation as he understands it, but gets interrupted when Justin makes a run for it. Chuck follows Justin and Ellie follows Chuck..right into Beckman's hearing.
Confused, Chuck sits in a CIA cell by himself. Beckman enters and, barely holding back her anger, tells Chuck that the Intersect project is on the cusp of being eliminated. The CIA thinks Chuck might be a liability. Beckman tells him to keep his mouth shut.
Now it's Chuck, Sarah, and Casey sitting in front of the committee. The committee chair tells them information was given to them that proves Chuck has become too dangerous and unreliable. And who provided the information? Shaw. Wait, what?
Daniel Shaw slo-mos into the courtroom while Chuck and Sarah protest that Shaw is a Ring operative and that he tried to kill Sarah. Surprisingly, Shaw concedes to all of it except for the killing Sarah part. He says that what he did was sanctioned by the committee. Oh man, Beckman is pissed. Shaw goes on to explain that he was a double agent, and then pulls the rug out from under Team Intersect revealing Chuck's brain is indeed deteriorating. Sarah objects making it perfectly clear to everyone in the room that Chuck lied to her about the psychiatrist's prognosis.
Beckman interjects that the committee needs to review Chuck's successes as well as the potential dangers he presents. A slideshow plays as Beckman goes through the Intersect accomplishments. As the name "Alexis White" appears on the screen, Shaw flashes (!) and almost imperceptibly shakes himself out of it. Too late. Chuck sees his reaction and tries to tell the room that Shaw is another Intersect. Sadly, his brilliant idea is to throw a letter opener at Shaw — the same tactic his own father used in the last episode. Of course, Shaw knows exactly what he's doing and allows the letter opener to stab him in the shoulder. The committee chair hits the roof and orders Chuck to be removed.
Casey and Sarah confer outside. Sarah decides to stay and figure out a way to save Chuck, but Casey decides to run in order to protect Alex.
Ellie finally arrives home and tells Awesome that Chuck is in trouble with the CIA. Awesome, relieved that Ellie hasn't been cheating on him accidentally lets slip that Chuck's been working for the CIA for years. Surprise! He realizes his mistake almost right away, but Ellie demands to know everything.
On the other side of town, Casey runs into the diner hoping to reach his daughter before the Ring does. He's too late, though, just as Alex sees him, Justin sticks a gun in his back.
Chuck is lounging in his cell when the door mysteriously opens. A message appears on the access panel outside his cell: "Follow me, Chuck...Dad." Chuck follows the flashing lights down the hallway.
Back at the diner, Justin threatens Alex. Casey responds by bashing his face in with a napkin dispenser and carries Alex out the door. He throws her into his Crown Vic and drives away.
Sarah catches up to Chuck just as he's about to escape the CIA headquarters. She says that if he leaves, the CIA will put a burn notice on him and he'll be running for the rest of his life. Papa B screeches up at that moment. He and Sarah debate the merits of running or staying, but he boils it down to one choice for Chuck: Save yourself or save Sarah. Sirens sound and Chuck makes the choice we all know he'll make; he decides to save Sarah and jumps into his father's car.
At the docks, Casey tries to convince Alex he's protecting her by giving her a key to his Buy More locker and tells her everything inside of it is hers now. She pleads with him to step out of the car and talk, but it's mostly a ploy so she can run away. He grabs her and she... beats the crap out of his face. Awesome! She's not a spy though; she just got an A in her self-defense class. She tries to run away again, but Casey calls out to her: "I'm your father!" She doesn't believe him until he tells her that she was named after him. Eventually, he gets through to her and she runs for safety just as the big black SUVs show up to take Casey away.
Echo Park: The revelations continue as Awesome shares all his CIA knowledge, but all Ellie cares about is how her father is involved. She finally has a chance to find out why he left so many years ago. Awesome brings Morgan into the mix for more answers, but he doesn't do much more than confuse Ellie.
Sarah confronts Shaw in his office, though he secretly pushes an alarm button while provoking Sarah so that she steals his gun just as more CIA agents enter the room. The agents declare her under arrest and she's taken into custody, though not before punching Shaw in the face.
Morgan and Awesome enter the Castle searching for a way to help Chuck. They discover Beckman via video screen destroying documents. She fills them in on Casey and Sarah's capture as well as Chuck's escape. Calling Morgan/Awesome their "only hope," she commands them to find Chuck just as more agents enter to cart her away like the rest of Team Intersect.
In the family getaway car, Papa B hands Chuck his very own Governor. It must really work because as he places it around his wrist, a look of relief washes over his face. Until his phone rings. It's Morgan calling to let him know that Sarah is in CIA custody, but before he can give any more information, Papa B throws Chuck's phone out the window. After much arguing, they turn the car around and resolve to fix everything.
Chuck shows up at the apartment, scaring the hell out of Ellie. He and Papa B convince Ellie to help them. She walks them through her meetings with Justin ending with the revelation that he always left through a door to the subway. Father and son tell Ellie to stay on the bench, but she won't let Papa B leave until he tells her the real reason why he left. He promises to tell her as soon as they solve all their current problems.
Shaw monologues hilariously to Casey and Sarah about luring Chuck and Papa B to the headquarters so he can kill them. He ends it saying "Moo-ha. Ha." No, seriously.
Chuck and Papa B steal into the subway control station and Chuck flashes on a control panel. Papa B does the old knocking on the wall trick and the control panel reveals a secret elevator. They board it, tripping a silent alarm in the process.
Justin reports to Shaw that the pair has infiltrated the base and Shaw seems thrilled until he's told that it's not the CIA base they've infiltrated — it's the Ring base.
Chuck and Papa B, meanwhile, have stumbled onto the laboratory that Chuck's been dreaming about. Ellie, outside on her bench, sees Shaw and Justin go in through the subway service entrance and runs after them.
Shaw catches Chuck and Papa B coming out of the hidden elevator. Justin sneaks up behind Chuck and takes the Governor from him. Chuck tries to goad Shaw into a fight by appealing to his curiosity about a big Intersect vs. Intersect showdown, but Shaw just shoots Papa B instead. As he falls, Papa B's Governor breaks. Chuck runs to him, but only has a moment before his father dies in his arms. Ellie sees everything while hiding behind a concrete beam and mourns as Chuck is once again taken into custody.
Alex shows up at the Buy More, where Morgan leads her to Casey's locker. Casey's key opens up a hidden panel revealing a boat load of cash he'd apparently stashed away. At that moment, Awesome interrupts to tell Morgan something.
Chuck is unceremoniously tossed into the high tech paddy wagon holding Sarah and Casey. Sarah can tell something is wrong and right away asks about Papa B. Chuck just apologizes. Broken, he softly says, "Shaw has won." Casey tells him they'll take Shaw down, but Chuck says no, they won't.
It seems pretty hopeless, but as the camera pulls away from the paddy wagon we see Ellie following close behind. She's on the phone with Awesome (Morgan's with him too) and it's clear that they're all in it now.
Encino, CA 1991: Ellie and Chuck as children fight and bang on the basement door calling Papa B out of his secret laboratory. Ellie tattles to their father that Chuck broke their mom's favorite necklace. Papa B just tells her that "there's nothing broken in this whole world that the two of you can't fix." Once Chuck's out of the room, Papa B makes Ellie promise that she'll protect Chuck no matter what.
Back to the present Ellie has lost sight of the truck.
Sarah tries to comfort Chuck and encourages him to keep fighting. But Chuck's done. He chose to work for the CIA despite what his father wanted and now his father is dead because of it.
Morgan and Awesome have found the truck. Morgan wants to go in guns blazing —metaphorical guns, I'm pretty sure — without a plan and Awesome wants to sort out their strategy before facing a group of cold-blooded killers.
Shaw opens up the truck and throws the keys at Team Intersect. He wants them to look like they were trying to escape when he shot them.
While arguing, Morgan and Awesome finally realize that they are sitting in Casey's car. The point is that this car has to have all kinds of spy equipment. Awesome both finds a stash of guns inside the glove compartment and accidentally sends a missile straight at the paddy wagon. Awesome frees the team and they make a run for the car. Shaw was thrown away from the truck in the ensuing blast, but he quickly wakes up and advances towards the group. Chuck flashes his karate moves, but his brain seems to be in more trouble than before as he immediately flashes on a picture of the Lincoln Memorial and all but collapses in pain. Sarah drags him to the car and they all screech away unscathed as Shaw desperately fires his gun.
In a more secluded spot, Chuck and Ellie reunite. Ellie flashes back to Papa B telling her to protect Chuck. The gang brainstorms ideas about what to do. Everyone seems in agreement that they all need to just drop of the grid and give up their normal lives. Everyone except Ellie, that is. Chuck jumps into her car and after verifying that Sarah can protect Awesome, she peels out saying she needs to talk to her brother.
Shameless Subway plug at the Buy More courtesy of Big Mike. A secret phone marked "Moses" rings in the drawer of his desk. Moments later, Big Mike comes storming up to Jeffster looking for Chuck or Morgan or Casey. He's been informed by his friend Moses at corporate that if the Burbank Buy More doesn't raise sales, they're going to close the store. Lester comes up with a plan to have a going-out-of-business sale in order to increase their numbers and save the store.
Back at the secluded spot, Ellie and Chuck are having a very serious conversation. Ellie is hurt that she's the last one to know about Chuck's double life. He reminisces about Ellie taking care of him his whole life. Chuck tells her they're going to take down Shaw and the Ring. Ellie wants him to be done after that, though, and pleads with him to quit the spy life. He agrees.
In Echo Park, Chuck sends Ellie off to safety and meets up with the team again. Using his own brand of computer magic, he connects with the security feed in Beckman's cell, creating his own makeshift video wall. Beckman reveals that a secret meeting of spies is taking place tonight and that Shaw's plan is to discredit Beckman and take her place. The video feed starts to fizzle out, but not before Beckman tells them the meeting will be at The Ambassador Hotel and that the "five elders" will be there. Chuck flashes and we see a tree of command for the Ring showing the five elders as the leaders of the Ring.
So, what's the plan? Chuck and Sarah will go to the summit disguised as members of the Russian delegation. They walk in, immediately spot Shaw, and share his whereabouts with Casey and Morgan, who have entered posing as maintenance men. Chuck must apparently meet Shaw and convince him of his cover. He appears to pass the test, and he and Sarah quickly exit the area.
While trying to reach what looks like a ventilation shaft, Morgan drops a piece of paper with Alex's phone number on it. Casey looks less than pleased.
Back to things I care more about: Chuck and Sarah shed their disguises, but Justin slinks out from behind a corner. It turns out Shaw knew it was Chuck when they met only moments earlier. Chuck tries to flash in order to fight, but doubles over in pain again as Sarah takes Justin down. Chuck sends Sarah to help Morgan and Casey knowing he won't be much help in a fight.
At the Buy More, a line has formed outside the door in anticipation of the sale the next day. Jeffster asks if they can screen their music video during the sale, but Big Mike says they will have to wait to do so until later in the day.
Shaw is speaking in front of a crowd of spies when a ring tone version of the Mexican Hat Dance song disrupts his speech. Everyone looks around, but Shaw quickly realizes it's his phone and that it's Chuck calling him. Chuck tells him he's in Shaw's room and that the whole group knows his Ring bosses are in the audience. Shaw texts something on his Ring phone and the message "leave now" appears on the Ring phone of an unknown operative, though I'm assuming it's one of the five elders.
Shaw exits the stage while Casey confronts Morgan about the phone number. Fortunately, Sarah breaks up the "discussion" before Casey can choke Morgan to death.
With Chuck seated at his desk, Shaw enters his hotel room and tries to manipulate Chuck into revealing his plans. Chuck, of course, sees right through this, but tells him anyway. They knew that Shaw would warn the elders once he knew Chuck was in the building, so they tracked Shaw's text messages to the elders in order to learn their identities.
Casey, Morgan, and Sarah corner a group of Ring operatives in a stairwell. Sarah radios the capture in to Chuck and reminds him not to give Shaw an inch. Shaw, in a fit of overconfidence admits to having killed Chuck's father and admits to being a Ring operative, but thinks there's no way he doesn't walk out of this situation still a hero.
And how does Chuck respond? "You know your Nerd Herd Associate can also help you with video conferencing." That's right (Yes!); Chuck was streaming video during that whole confession to the entire convention of spies. He continues the little evil laugh joke and demands Shaw give him the Governor. Chuck tries to flash another time, but predictably it goes wrong. Shaw nearly throws Chuck out the window but Sarah stops him just in time. Instead, Shaw jumps out the window himself and rappels down the building to another floor using an American flag.
The Buy More going-out-of-business sale is in full swing when Big Mike gives Jeffster permission to play their video. Before they can put the DVD in a player though, the Buy More bigwigs show up more than a little perturbed about the unauthorized sale.
Sarah takes care of Chuck in the Castle. Once he awakes, Chuck reveals to Sarah that he promised Ellie he would quit the spy life. Sarah promises they will find Shaw no matter where he is and take back the Governor.
Shaw, however, has decided to blow up the Buy More. Morgan spies Shaw and finds the explosives, but is almost instantly caught by Shaw. Using Morgan's phone, Shaw delivers an ultimatum to Sarah telling her to send Chuck to the Buy More. Instead, Sarah warns Casey and goes to the Buy More herself. Morgan manages, while tied up, to call Casey who instructs him to break his own thumbs in order to get free.
Shaw confronts Sarah in the middle of the Buy More while Mike and Jeffster decide to pull a "pineapple" in order to escape the very upset bigwigs. It's a nice call back to the second season. The fire alarm is pulled and Shaw handcuffs Sarah to the Nerd Herd desk.
Despite Sarah's declaration that Chuck isn't coming because he can't, the Buy More doors open and Chuck Bartowski strides through gun drawn. He looks shaky but determined. Both Chuck and Shaw flash at the same time and in his ensuing pain, Chuck knocks Jeffster's DVD into the player.
I don't know how to explain the sheer wonder of this fight. Jeffster's odd mix of western and metal video plays on every TV as Chuck and Shaw fight amongst the Buy More shelves. Chuck is, of course, weakened by the Intersect and collapses on the floor with his head still glitching. He flashes through a lot of images, but ultimately lands on that of his father's murder.
Suddenly, we're back to Encino and Chuck is a little kid. He's looking for his father and instead stumbles on his father's computer room where Chuck accidentally downloads the very first Intersect! Images of his father calling him special — both as he was dying and from when he was a kid — intercut one another until we're back in the present. Chuck leaps to his feet: "Sorry. Just had to reboot."
Chuck, mojo back, proceeds to beat the crap out of Shaw but still refuses to kill him. Shaw calls him weak, but Sarah knocks Shaw out with a piece of metal. She thinks it's what makes Chuck great.
Outside of the Buy More, Big Mike laments his imminent firing, but Jeffster convinces him there's another way: They need to burn down the Buy More. At last, Big Mike comes to his senses and says good-bye to Jeffster and their plan.
Inside the Buy More, everyone is recovering nicely. Chuck tells Sarah that he told Ellie he was going to quit and that he intends to keep that promise. Can she love a normal guy? Of course she can.
Ruining this lovely moment is Morgan Grimes, who has found the detonator for the charges Shaw placed around the Buy More and, of course, he promptly drops it. Everyone runs out of the store as the Buy More blows up! No kidding, they blow up the Buy More!
A news program informs us that Jeffster are the primary suspects in the Buy More fire. As the camera pulls out, we see the Team plus Ellie toasting to Papa B's memory. Alex appears at the door and, after a sweet reunion with Casey, joins the group in the living room. Chuck reassures Ellie that he is definitely quitting the spy business and tells her he's already told Beckman he's quitting.
As Ellie walks towards the couch, Chuck gets a message on his phone: "Go to your computer." Chuck does so, and when he gets to his laptop he's told to press enter. A video made by his father plays, telling Chuck that he loves him and Ellie and that he's sorry. He goes on (in voiceover) about his own independent work as we see Chuck step into his father's secret lair. Apparently, there are people who are still after the Bartowski's for the work Papa B was doing.
Now Papa B wants Chuck to know everything about his family so he can protect Ellie and himself. As Chuck moves towards a table in the middle of the room and reaches for something, we see the back of a woman at a desk reaching for a ringing phone. She picks it up and is told she will have to be moved. She is wearing half of the necklace that Chuck broke back in '81 as a bracelet. Chuck holds up the other half and spots a file sitting next to him with his mother's name on it.
"I did it all for her." Papa B finishes.
So, what do you think? Is this episode a game-changer for you or do you hate this new development? Me? I love it and I am so very happy that we have official word of Chuck's return. Let us know how you feel.