For five seasons, Chuck Bartowski and the gang have kept us laughing, crying, and rooting for the nerd to get the girl. As my favorite show, I had high expectations when I sat down last night to watch the last two hours of one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
I’ll cut to the chase – the ending of “Chuck Versus the Goodbye” was hugely disappointing. You can have the season end with Sarah’s amnesia if you’re going to get another season to show what happens, but if the show is over, I expect a happy ending for Chuck and Sarah.
Instead, the show ends with a Sarah who’s no longer in love with Chuck (even if the end suggests they’ll fall in love all over again), regards Casey as a co-worker she barely knows, hardly acknowledges Morgan, and isn’t close friends with Ellie or Devon. And because Casey, Ellie, and Devon move away, Sarah isn’t likely to get to know them.
Chuck telling Sarah their story at the end isn’t the same as them having lived it and won’t mean the same for someone who doesn’t remember experiencing it. And for me, watching Sarah and knowing she has no real connection with anything that happened throughout the series was poor repayment for watching he show for five years. It was also heartbreaking seeing the characters go their separate ways, knowing that they were strangers to Sarah and it couldn’t have meant much to her. Casey hugs Chuck and then shakes Sarah’s hand - it should have ended with Casey hugging both and telling them to take care of each other.
I understand that the ending is meant to be really sweet (Ahh, Chuck is making Sarah fall in love with him all over again) but it robs us of that journey. Maybe things work out with them or maybe the entire thing is too weird for Sarah who has no history with Chuck and she rejoins the CIA and bails. Either way, it sucks for me knowing that the series ended with Sarah being tortured until she had no memory of the last five years.
That said, I loved how Jeffster went out and the several homages to the first episode made me tear up. When the season 5 blu ray is released, I’ll eagerly buy it and re-watch it in one weekend. Maybe I’ll come to think of the finale as beautifully tragic – or maybe I’ll still think I was ripped off.
So how would I have ended the series?
First: I can’t remember if it was season two or three but there was an episode where the bad guys were trying to find someone capable of handling an Intersect and by the end, the bad guys were exposed to the upload and it killed them. So we establish that only certain people can handle having the Intersect in their brain.
Now: Sarah has the same version of the Intersect that that ate holes in Morgan’s memory and changed his personality. When it’s revealed that Quinn is looking for pieces of the Intersect that haven’t been reunited in decades, there’s the lame solution that they upload photos and case files into Sarah’s memories (the solution to amnesia is give Sarah a photo album and more descriptions of things she doesn’t remember experiencing firsthand). Fortunately, Chuck has to take the upload to save the day.
This is how I would have ended it:
After the bomb is disarmed and everyone is back in Castle, Ellie is using data from her father’s laptop and analyzing the components of the assembled Intersect glasses when she discovers that the small component that Quinn took from General Beckman was something that would make the Intersect work on anyone because it essentially rewrote the brain make the connections necessary to handle it.
Ellie and Chuck use the component to program a special upload for Morgan and Sarah makes it possible for both of them to remember all the things they’d forgotten.
Then everyone goes their separate ways. Sarah and Chuck go to that beach where it all began for a picnic. They talk about her amnesia and Sarah assures him that there is no version of herself that wouldn’t fall in love with her and he tells her that there is no version of himself that would ever stop trying to make her happy. They agree that they’re happy Sarah has she has her memory back. Chuck confesses that when he had Sarah tied up in the house, if he’d had more time (everyone was looking for Sarah so Quinn couldn’t get the Intersect glasses), Chuck would have told her their whole story. Sarah says something like, “Tell me our story now.” Then the flashbacks from season 1-5 play. At the end, Sarah says, “That was a great story” and Chuck gives a nod to the fans, “It’s been the best five years of my life.”
And that’s how my version ends – Chuck and Sarah on the same page, moving on together after saying very warm goodbyes to the people they both love (and clearly remember).
The episode ended with Chuck and Sarah's first kiss (at least it is for her)