NBC's Chuck is the little show that could, chugging along long after its been assumed dead, multiple times. With next season just announced as Chuck's fifth and final, last night's season finale, "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger," should be yet another game changer for a series known for such. It does not disappoint. Fired from the CIA, and with the Intersect computer removed from his brain while trying to save Sarah's (Yvonne Strahovski) life, Chuck (Zachary Levi) also takes the time to repair the relationship between Hartley / Volkoff (Timothy Dalton) and his daughter, Vivian (Lauren Cohan). As a wedding present, the dangerous duo leave Chuck and Sarah an empire worth nearly $1,000,000,000! Who needs a career when you have money? Hiring Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Morgan (Joshua Gomez), Chuck and Sarah buy the Buy More and open their own freelance spy agency. And then Morgan gets the Intersect in his head.
The end is near as soon as Agent Clyde Decker (Richard Burgi, Desperate Housewives) is introduced. Chuck may be able to get around Decker to save Sarah, dying after being attacked by Vivian, but nothing will ever be the same afterwards. Chuck has to cross too many lines to rescue his love, but it's worth it, because Sarah is the person Chuck is meant to be with. This is a plot that has been toyed with before, but "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" takes the love story to a new level, costing the pair everything to be together, and making it totally worth it. Those who doubted the actions of the characters on Chuck have consequences, this is the ultimate answer to that question.
As such, next season, the series's last, will be drastically different. General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) will remain in the cast, but in what capacity is unclear. Will she quit to work for Chuck? Offer them freelance government jobs? Will she finally do more episodes in person than on a computer screen? What is known is that she will no longer be the boss. Instead, Chuck, Sarah, Casey, and Morgan will have nearly unlimited resources and their choice of all missions. It's actually a new freedom, opening the characters up to live in a way they never imagined they could. The effect the money and power will have on them remains to be seen, but it's a guarantee there will be far reaching effects, and this new living situation will have a major impact on the final thirteen episodes.