The second to last episode ever of CHUCK, and the 90th in series history, gave us one of those story lines that fans can argue about or rage against for the next twenty years, or more.
Sarah, having had her memory suppressed, or having lost them, or whatever we are supposed to think (like the writers spent much time thinking about it, they're too high on sandwiches and cookies anyway), is told she has been undercover for five-years and has been pretending to be in love with Chuck Bartowski. Her handler, Quinn, does get thrown through a window when she doesn't believe him but he survives long enough to show her evidence of her personal video logs where she seems to confirm his story.
Back at home, Chuck and gang are getting ready to go find Sarah when she suddenly shows up, bloody, beaten, and barely dressed, having seemingly escaped her captors. Her story is essentially the truth minus the part about her accepting Quinn's mission to find the Intersect glasses and to eliminate Chuck Bartowski.
Somewhat surprisingly, stalking predator Sarah Walker who could perhaps kill Chuck is fun to watch. Yvonne Strahovski really made me believe Sarah could do it. I mean, I knew she wouldn't but still, it takes a solid performance to make me forget the obvious. And a couple of times I felt a touch of fear for Chuck and the gang. I can only imagine how the general, more naive viewer felt.
There is a sequence here where Chuck tries to massage his wife that is at times very funny to kind of intense. She believes he is a dangerous agent who might be onto her and has a knife tucked away within hand's reach. It's probably one of the better scenes of the final two episodes.
Chuck begins to suspect something is wrong and goes to his sister for advice. Sarah follows and overhears their conversation. This is another good little scene where we have brother and sister just having one of those conversations that were sometimes the foundation of this show in earlier seasons.
Anyway, let me jump ahead. The gang breaks into a cool James Bond type CIA research facility where the next Intersect room is, and are betrayed by Sarah who thinks she has stolen the device from them. But Chuck outsmarts her and she has to somehow get the Intersect back.
Cut to her kidnapping Ellie, a low-speed car follow that results in Ellie purposely crashing the car (is Sarah an idiot?), and Chuck carrying Sarah back to their dream house that no one can sell now that they carved their names into it. Here Chuck tries to turn her away from the dark side with his love. She kicks his ass a little bit but he won't fight back. Sarah starts to remember something when she sees the carving. Before she can remember too much Quinn arrives and tries to kill her but Chuck jumps in the way of the bullet. Not surprisingly, he is wearing a bullet proof vest. Sarah goes after Quinn.
We then see Sarah, back at her apartment packing up. Casey arrives, having been given the mission to kill her, or something, but instead gives her the whole video log that detail her changing feelings for Chuck through the years. Sarah then goes to see Chuck and tells him she believes they were in love but that she doesn't know those feelings. She then leaves to go get Quinn.
If I had to rate this episode, I'd give it:
92 out of 100
It was mostly very well done and "evil" Sarah was far more entertaining to me than I ever expected she could be. It wasn't one of the best episodes they've done, and I don't think it was the best episode of the season (breaking the penultimate episode streak of previous seasons) but it was an entertaining hour of television. However, it could be one of Yvonne's best episodes. She got to be all things that I love about her as an actor but in a different way than we have come to expect. It was such a unique choice for the writers and the actor to deliver that any issues I may have had with the episode as a whole, are mostly background noise.
Let me also mention that these two final episodes are a reminder of what the show looks like when they have some money to spend. Oh, if only this show could have had season 2 money for five seasons. Imagine what they could have done. Maybe in ten years when the CHUCK phenomenon has taken over the planet and we get a Netflix series or a movie (or eleven).
One final thing, I would usually do quotables but I have to write another review and record a podcast today. Go quote the episode yourselves in the comment section. Thanks!
CLICK HERE for my review of Chuck Versus the Goodbye.