No amount of five-dollar footlongs will extend Chuck beyond its final, 13-episode season this fall. But series co-creator Chris Fedak tells TVGuide.com that knowing this is the end gives them the opportunity to wrap up its stories in a satisfying way for their loyal, sandwich-filled fans.
At the end of Season 4, we saw Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) finally tie the knot, purchase the Buy More and start their own freelance spy agency. Meanwhile, pal Morgan (Joshua Gomez) got a surprise when he slid on some shades meant for Chuck and accidentally uploaded the Intersect. "You have the skeleton of a new show," Fedak says. So, what's next? Will Chuck and Co. get a happy ending? Read on:
How does Morgan handle having the Intersect in him? Does he handle it differently from how Chuck did in the first season?
Fedak: Chuck having the Intersect, it was like, "Please get it out of my head. I want my life back." Morgan thinks it's the beginning of only awesome things. Morgan is incredibly stoked to have the Intersect inside of him. Here's a guy who for years has been Chuck's best friend. Chuck has helped out Morgan so many times and saved his bacon from the fifth grade on, and that is their relationship. And now Morgan is the guy who has the supercomputer in his head and has all these abilities, so he's jazzed and excited to be on the team and to be a part of it. He just wants to be a spy right now.
What sort of concerns were there for giving Morgan the Intersect? Some fans weren't too pleased with the decision.
Fedak: I think there's always a degree of anxiety when you mess around with the bones of the show and the archetypes. Going into Season 5, we think it's neat to change things up so that Chuck doesn't have the Intersect now. He has to be a spy without the supercomputer training wheels. He has to go back to being the smartest guy in the room, having the Chuck solution. And now he has a friend who has the supercomputer in his head, and Chuck has become sort of like Sarah was: He has to become Morgan's handler. He's the one who has been out there in the world and now must take care of Morgan. And they still need the Intersect to get out of problems and be a successful company.
Will Chuck try to find a way to get the Intersect back for himself?
Fedak: Hmm, I may not be able to answer that, but I would think he certainly thinks about it. Absolutely.
What more can we expect from the Bartowski family?
Fedak: The show is also about family so certainly Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) will be part of the show. Chuck's the spy who never wanted to leave. James Bond left. James Bond didn't have a family. It was just James Bond. Most heroes don't have always have a family, whereas Chuck is the guy who didn't want to leave his family and his sister and his brother-in-law and now his niece. So the Bartowski family is certainly going to be part of the show.
If last season was about family ties and Chuck and Sarah's relationship, what is the upcoming season about?
Fedak: Most important is Chuck and Sarah building a future together, that idea of the Bartowskis trying to imagine what their future is going to be. And they're building a company, a spy company. Chuck needs to create his own successful private CIA. The other part of it too is the relationship between Chuck and Morgan — all things evolve. Now they're working in the same company together, it's also about their friendship. All these things are challenges. I think that going out on their own is very much a part of this season. One, what happens when you don't have the Intersect? And two, what happens when you don't have the CIA and their resources?
Will the show jump ahead in time to establish their new spy agency?
Fedak: There will be a time jump, a few months. You'll definitely get a feel for the new spy agency. There will be a new version of Castle. There aren't any new employees yet, but they are looking to hire. They will be looking to expand at some point.
Will there still be crossover with the CIA? Will we see General Beckham (Bonita Friedericy) again?
Fedak: Well, when you're in the spy world, it's hard not to get involved with the CIA. There will certainly be crosses, and we will see General Beckham again.
How much will we see the Buy More? And will we be seeing a farewell performance courtesy of Jeffster?
Fedak: There certainly will be activity with the Buy More. Chuck and Sarah now own the Buy More so it's become a part of their portfolio as the new Carmichael Industries. And since they've got new spy company, they will look at the Buy More as a profit center. So it's important that the Buy More be a successful store. Jeffster lives, let me put it that way.
How will Sarah be changed this season? Now that she's married to Chuck, she's no longer the unattainable girl.
Fedak: There are two things. For years, she has been a person who's been a committed spy and excellent at her job. Now being married to Chuck and running this company, people's dreams begin to change. Watching her evolve over the four seasons so far and going into the fifth season, is seeing how she becomes more of a human being. But I do think that there is still a part of her that will always be unattainable. Even though Chuck lives with her, there are parts of Sarah that are still unattainable, secrets and thoughts. I think that's part of Yvonne's performance and all the character that we find so endearing and why Chuck loves her.
Will she have the biological clock ticking, that glint in her eye? Will she start having conversations about a baby Bartowski?
Fedak: It's certainly something our characters would consider and talk about. It does not make for the sexiest spy missions, though, is all I'll say. I had to deal with so many pregnancies — real and fake — last year though, so I might be out of the pregnancy game for a little bit.
Like Sarah, Casey's also evolved to be a bit more human over four seasons. How will that continue?
Fedak: We had a lot of fun last year with Casey (Adam Baldwin) and the story with his daughter Alex. That's something that we definitely play into this season. The fact that Morgan is dating Alex and that Morgan has the Intersect, and Casey is obviously fond of Morgan in his own sort of weird "slap to the back of the head" way — all that's something we explore. Casey is dealing with all of these father and friend, human feelings that he's not used to.
Casey needs some love! What sort of chances are there for a romance this season?
Fedak: I would say that as a fan of Adam Baldwin, I am most excited for the idea of having him in a torrid romance. There's certainly a chance.
What sorts of blasts from the past have you guys discussed returning to the show? What dream plots will you try to fit into this last season?
Fedak: I'd love to do that. There are so many characters that I enjoy from our past. We're working right now on some very big stories. We've put together such a great cast over the years that I'd love to bring them back. We only starting getitng casting now for the first episode, so I don't have anything to tell you yet. We have a bunch of ideas, but I don't want to give you our spy world-type things . We don't want to get to the end of the year and think, "Oh, we should have done this." That always happens at the end of any season.
Will there be a happy ending for Chuck and his friends?
Fedak: We have an ending in mind. I won't give away if it's a happy ending or not. It's something that we're building to. For the writers on the show, we have a unique opportunity to close out story and tell our final chapter. You don't always get that opportunity on television so we're excited to build out the most exciting, the most dramatic version of an ending for the show that we can possibly imagine.
How long have you kept in mind this ending? Was this something you brought to NBC to get the fifth season?
Fedak: We started to think about it at the end of last year. As we were starting to build the final for Season 4 and we knew there was a possibility for a Season 5, we started thinking about where we would take Season 5 and what the ending would be. We certainly went in and pitched them Season 5.
How action-packed will the finale be?
Fedak: I would certainly say that it would be action-y. We probably won't bring back the Nighthawk, but we'll have something. Listen, I loved the motorcycle. It was an interesting departure. All of a sudden we were in a different TV show. I loved that.
Have there been discussions of someone important to Chuck dying this season? Has this been a consideration?
Fedak: All I'll say to that is, "Hmm ..."
Chuck's final season will take over Friday nights beginning on Oct. 21 at 8/7c on NBC.