Primetime

CHUCK: A Retrospective & A Goodbye

After five years of high-strung missions, humorous moments and cliffhangers that left us on the edge of our seats, Chuck ended where it started: with a guy and a girl on a beach. As with any last show, the ending has brought about disputing views, all dependent on what your worldview was and what you expected as endgame. But I loved the finale. I loved how the ending was ambiguous but at the same time, provided a closure that allowed the viewer to feel satisfied. I loved the two hours as a whole and how there were so many throwbacks not only to the pilot, but to all the episodes, moments and costumes that were iconic throughout the show’s run. I loved that characters who were a big part of the show were again given a chance to shine. I loved the final Jeffster moment and how it was presented in a way that completely made sense to the story. I loved Subway buying out the Buy More. I loved how by the end of the series, every single important person who had been a part of Chuck’s journey knew about the spy world (even if Big Mike didn’t believe it.)  And I loved how, at the end, everything came full circle. At its core, Chuck was a show about Chuck and Sarah and their relationship. Not the “mish’s.” Not the bad guys. Just a nerdy guy who grew up in front of our eyes and fell in love with a girl who helped him save the world. At the end, the creators understood that.

I don’t think it’s any surprise that as much as there was laughter (some moments were just ingeniously golden), there were also tears. I cried at the end, but the part where I teared up the most was when Chuck began talking about how someone like Sarah could love him, despite the nerd that he was. In that moment, there was no Chuck: there was just Zachary Levi, open and bare, speaking from his heart. And in some weird way, I felt like he was speaking of himself, this actor who got lucky enough to find himself on this show that took off with such a fan following. It hit close to home on a personal level, as I think all of us who consider ourselves “nerds” hope to find that special someone who can love us for who we are. For those reasons, that speech was one of the defining moments of the hour.

This was a show that I knew about for awhile, and one I would even catch a few episodes of here and there, but I still came around late in the game. I’m admitting my lateness into the world of all things nerd with no shame because of something my friend mentioned after the finale. A number of people I know all got into the series around the same late time, yet despite being invested for less than a full year and not having the same emotional connection we’ve had to other television shows we’ve followed and fell in love with from the beginning, we were all collective sobbing messes by the end of the last two hours. To me, that speaks volumes about what the show was and what it meant. Where its heart was. It touched all of us deep down, and it made us fall deeply in love with its characters in a way that most television shows don’t allow.

Thank you, Chuck, for being something so amazing to me. And for giving me a reason to be proud to be a nerd, now and forever.

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