Chuck Season Five REVIEW
Release Date: 15 October 2012
2012 | 15 | 102 minutes | £39.99
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert Duncan McNeill, Patrick Norris
Cast: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster
After so many years of living on the edge of cancellation, Chuck didn’t waste the chance to spend one final season going out on its own terms. The plot is often shaky, the final twists to both the story and Chuck and Sarah’s relationship actively aim to be as divisive as the last shot in The Sopranos, and if you think the inevitable attempts to tie every subplot together result in a coherent whole… what show have you been watching?
But none of that matters. Chuck is a show happy to wear both its heart and its ridiculousness on its sleeve, and that’s the real story of these episodes – Chuck’s evolution into being a spy who doesn’t need the Intersect, Morgan inheriting it to live the dream with amazing new powers, and the writers just having a blast. Chuck and Sarah infiltrating a naked cult? Why not? It’s not like the show can get cancelled twice!
Not everything is fun and games though, and as silly as the series is, it’s not afraid to get dark when needed. Finale “Chuck Versus The Goodbye” may or may not end the way you hope, but it’s a wonderful love-letter to the show from itself – the goofy, the dramatic, the romantic and the tragic. It’s the perfect finale to a show that, like Chuck himself, beat the odds and earned its respect instead of just relying on one easy gimmick.
Commentaries on the last two episodes, and seven featurettes (totalling 52 minutes). Some of these are pretty emotional, including a tribute to the fans who kept the show going, a look behind-the-scenes on the last episode, and (gulp) two minutes of time-lapse footage of them tearing down the set. You also get ten deleted/extended scenes, two Buy More commercials and a gag reel.
There’s also a special extended version of the finale “Chuck Versus the Goodbye”, which adds about nine minutes of new and alternate material. Most of the additions are nice but unnecessary – more gags for Jeffster, a brief new scene between Casey and Beckman and some additional dialogue during Ellie and Chuck’s final moments.
More significant are two extended scenes involving Sarah – one where Morgan shows her some home movies in Castle and a later one in the El Compadre lookalike restaurant that foreshadows Chuck telling their story on the beach. The latter is the greater loss in an episode where every moment between Sarah and Chuck should be savoured and gives Sarah’s request to hear their story a little extra poignancy. The only reason we can think for it being cut is that it directly references the earlier home movie scene and wouldn’t have made sense without that.
Also, note that on the DVD the extended version is only available in stereo, while the original version can be played in 5.1 and looks a little nicer.
Richard Cobbett (show) and Jordan Farley (extras)
Read our 20 Things We Love About Chuck feature.
Read more of our DVD reviews.