Can Chuck and Sarah recapture that loving feeling?
"The show's a romance," Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak told reporters at a set visit in December. "I think that's what we discovered very early on in the show, that the moment we put Zach [Levi] and Yvonne [Strahovski] together, the show became about them. I think the Chuck and Sarah story is at the heart of the show."
In the two-hour series finale Friday (8/7c, NBC), however, Sarah (Strahovski) threatens to break that heart after disastrous events in the last episode. In an attempt to save Chuck's (Levi) life, she had downloaded the faulty Intersect, which rapidly caused her memories to deteriorate. "Before we're able to get it out of her head, the damage is done," Levi explained. "She's kidnapped by Quinn and kind of reprogrammed." Her new orders? Kill Chuck Bartowski.
"I don't think the show is about simply having the Intersect," Fedak said. "But that computer is something that has definitely haunted Chuck for years now and also haunted his father, who created it. So in some ways, it's the ghost that keeps on cropping up at the wrong times."
Chuck's pal Morgan (Joshua Gomez) was the first to download the tainted computer into his brain, albeit accidentally. Viewers were not happy to see the previously lovable character turn into an inconsiderate jerk who frosted his hair and forgot his geek past. It was a relief for both Gomez and fans alike when the Intersect was removed, but now it's clear that plot was laying the groundwork for Chuck and Sarah's current dilemma.
"It's almost a reset of sorts, where the 'Will they? Won't they?' dynamic kind of comes back into play, particularly in the second half of the finale," said Levi. "You find our heroes almost like you found them in the beginning of the show. That leads to a tremendous amount of emotion and a tremendous amount of fight and yearning... There's a ton of homage to the pilot, to the origins of these characters and their journey together."
The Chuck and Sarah romance is the vehicle by which Chuck moved between his everyday world and espionage world. His interaction with Sarah drew him into the CIA even deeper than mere duty would have, and after their marriage, he pulled her back into everyday life. Their plans for the future — before her memory was wiped — included an ordinary family and home and no more spy work. In the finale, Chuck seeks help from his friends, family and unexpected allies to stop Nicholas Quinn (guest star Angus MacFadyen) from destroying what has been built over the past five years.
Strahovski offered some hope for the 'shippers. "I have to say that in the last episode, what is happening between Chuck and Sarah is going to weigh heavy on people's hearts," she said. "It's so hard. There's a definite element of sadness that we have to go through to get to the final moment. It's a nice note."
Lending a hand are Chuck's sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and her husband Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb (Ryan McPartlin). "It's been a satisfying end of the series as far as being able to use Ellie and Awesome and all of the characters who at this point that know about the spy life," McPartlin told TVGuide.com in a separate interview. "But Ellie and Awesome also have a job opportunity that they may not want to pass up. We have to figure out what's best for us, what's best for Chuck and what's best for everybody. There are some melancholy parts about it all. There are some big decisions to make."
Levi didn't address rumors that a main character would die, but the end of the series will require characters to part in some way. "Well, it's not forever. It's actually not even that final in the world of Chuck, if it were to continue," he said. "Obviously Chuck and Morgan are going to be best friends the rest of their lives. Chuck and Ellie are still brother and sister, and therefore Awesome is still my brother-in-law. We would all still continue to see each other in some way, shape, or form, but the world that has been created, and the world in which we all live and work has drastically changed. So we do say goodbyes, at least for the time being."
"Then you'll just be left to kind of imagine [what happens next], I'm sure, through fan fiction," added Gomez.
Be sure to return Wednesday to check out Part 3 of our farewell to Chuck in which the cast shares their favorite memories and shed a few tears.
Chuck's two-hour series finale airs Friday at 8/7c on NBC.
Will you miss Chuck? Do you think Sarah will fully recover?