First, I will start with the reasons I disliked the finale.
1. Goodbye, Team Bartowski. I know that the writers had been setting the audience up that the team would no longer be working together, because both Sarah and Chuck were ready to leave the spy business, but it the back of my mind I didn’t think it was going to happen. I always thought the team would stay together and continue taking out the bad guys for a long, long time. Although, General Beckman did tell them, “If you ever want to save the world again, you know where I am.” There was no Sarah leaving to raise babies with Chuck, then Casey left to 'stalk his prey', and Ellie and Awesome left for Chicago—the team has now been scattered. I guess the biggest reason I disliked the finale was I’m not ready to say goodbye and I hated to see everyone go in different directions, including Jeff and Lester. It was hard watching the original team walk away and I really don’t understand why the writers did that to us fans.
2. The episode felt rushed. I believed they tried to squeeze too much into an hour. It was the same way I felt about "Chuck versus the Cliffhanger," an almost perfect episode, but too much crammed into 50-some odd minutes. It was two back-to-back episodes and I feel there was so much more that needed to be done and said. From what I understand there is an hour of footage left on the editing room floor. In addition, as much as I loved the whole flashback at the end, I really would have liked it to have been five minutes longer, and of course, wanted to hear Sarah say she had her memories back. I also thought the episodes, especially "Chuck versus Sarah" was missing the humor that made Chuck fun to watch. Yes, both episodes were very dramatic, but felt throughout them something was missing.
3. Casey leaving to go find Verbanski. Yawn. Who cares? Never liked her character. I’m a hopeless romantic and would have much rather seen Casey try to reconcile with Kathleen. Of course, in my mind, I honestly thought the writers were going to kill Casey off. I don’t know why I felt that way—but I did, and in some ways I’m sorry he wasn't. I think a scene where he played the hero and died for his country would have been emotional and sad, but given his character purpose. It could have been a wonderful emotional ride, especially if the writers were going for drama and it would have been more satisfying to me.
4. Chuck getting the Intersect back. Funny, how all season I wanted him to get the Intersect back—it is what made Chuck, well Chuck. However, when he finally put the glasses on and uploaded the finale version, it was anti-climatic. Why? When all they did was use the same Irene Denova virus from the pilot episode. Did he really need the Intersect to figure that out? Now that he has it in his brain—what happens next? It almost cheapens him having the Intersect in his brain—if he is not out saving the world. Does he continue to work at the Buy More now that Subway owns it? Does he keep the Intersect? He still has the government secrets in his head—are the baddies no longer going to care?
5. Finally, amnesia is a plot device often used, and I have seen it used well, and not so well. Again, maybe, if the episode had been an hour and half or an hour longer and not so much crammed into a short period of time, it would have worked. Instead, I felt frustrated at the end. I wanted Sarah to reminder. I didn’t like this Sarah. I don’t remember her being this cold, even back when they were pretending to be a couple. There was no chemistry. . . just a cold shell of a woman. To me, Sarah died at the end of "Chuck versus the Bullet Train," although, I have no doubt Chuck would eventually bring her back, but I wanted to see more of the journey. One of my favorite fan fiction stories is a Scarecrow and Mrs. King story co-written by Ann and Mary tilted “It’s All Been Done Before.” In this story, Lee and Amanda both suffer from amnesia and forget their lives together; however, they slowly find their way back to each other and what I enjoyed most was ‘watching’ them fall in love all over again. I felt "Chuck versus the Goodbye" was a good episode, but not a good finale. I wanted more time. I guess I will have to rely on Chuck fan fiction to find my closure, just like Scarecrow and Mrs. King. It’s up to the realm of fan fiction now. In addition, why did Chuck and Sarah draw the picture of the house with the white picket fence and Sarah saying she will never forget and the writers not bringing it back for the finale episode— what was the point of the picture if they did not use it? If anything, that is what Sarah needed to come back to Chuck, because Chuck was her home!!
Five reasons I loved the finale.
1. Edge of our seat action. Plenty of action, lots of angst and great drama. There were some brilliant scenes. I cried twice, the first time was during the scene where Chuck pleaded to Sarah at ‘their’ house to remember the love they shared. The scene was heart wrenching and amazingly performed by Zachary Levi. The second time I cried was when Casey hugged Chuck right before he left Castle. The episode was well done and the acting was superb.
3. The show going full circle. First, Chuck going from a no body, to having the Intersect, to becoming a spy, to getting the girl, to losing the Intersect, to no longer being a spy, to losing the girl, to getting the Intersect back. Then the scene on the beach, and Sarah willing to let Chuck share their stories and finally allowing and trusting Chuck enough to let him kiss her. Although, it would have been great if she had said, “Shut up and kiss me.” The ending was bittersweet, I still feel there was a glimmer of hope, after all, she did remember the virus, stacking the cups, and their names carved in the wall and she asked Chuck to “Tell me OUR story.” The Sarah Chuck fell in love with is in there and I know Chuck is determined enough and loves her enough to help her find herself again.
4. The use of flashback. I loved the five-season montage of scenes there at the end when Chuck is telling Sarah about their lives together. I also loved all the nods from seasons one and two—Weinerlicious, the porn virus, their first date, the beach, Chuck shooting down Casey’s helicopter with Casey’s gun, and Sarah at the Nerd Herd desk. Also loved all the pop icon moments--Harry Potter, The Fugitive, and Firefly. And as an extra bonus, a brief appearance by Robert Duncan McNeil.
5. I admit it was not the feel good ending I wanted; however, the door was left open for the story to continue and for the possibility of a reunion movie. In addition, in my mind the kiss worked and she remembered. But dammit, I needed, no wanted, my happy ever after!!
Finally, to the cast and crew of Chuck, thanks, it was an amazing ride. Now, off to watch the whole series again with my boys. They want to watch it from the beginning every Monday night with me—I’m looking forward to the journey again.