I think I speak for Chuck fans everywhere when I say thank the lord almighty that Monday’s season finale wasn’t a series finale. The show’s 11th hour Season 5 renewal ensures that the climactic twist — make that twists — in the closing minutes of the episode marks the beginning of Chuck’s next (and last) chapter and not the end. In case you missed it, a quick recap: Chuck and Sarah “inherited” Volkoff’s vast empire and, after being pink-slipped by the CIA, decided to open their own spy agency (to operate out of the Buy More, which they purchased). Oh, and Morgan has taken possession of the Intersect. Craziness! To help make sense of what went down and how it impacts the show’s 13-episode final season, exec producer Chris Fedak phoned TVLine for the most awesome post mortem ever.
TVLINE | I know you’ve issued a personal moratorium on the phrase game-changer, so allow me to congratulate you on your premise-altering finale. The show’s like Hart to Hart now!
I actually think it’s Hart to Hart meets The A-Team. [Laughs] It’s certainly a big switch for the show. But it’s also going back to the basics. We really wanted to get back to what it’s like when Chuck — who has a little bit of experience under his belt — doesn’t have the super computer in his head anymore. Now his best friend Morgan has the super computer in his head and he needs him. We think that’s a really fun way to [evolve] the show, because Morgan very much speaks to Chuck in Season 1 — the fish out of water; the guy who hasn’t been on every spy mission and doesn’t know what to do in a gunfight. But now he has to be brought along on the missions. And for Chuck, he’s the guy who’s becoming a hero, becoming a professional, becoming a spy. He’s kind of almost a little bit like Casey and Sarah in Season 1, having to protect this doofus on spy missions.
TVLINE | Will Chuck and Sarah open up an office? Is the government going to contract cases out to them? How will it work?
I don’t want to give away too much but you’re in the world of what we’re talking about. The show wouldn’t be the show without the Buy More. And Chuck has realized that he has the perfect cover with the Buy More, so that will still be a part of the show. It’ll be a part of their cover operation — even though they’ll have a private spy agency. And also Chuck now owns the Buy More, so he’s not simply running a spy agency, he also owns and operates the Buy More. And we’re going to have some fun with that.
TVLINE | What happens to General Beckman?
Bonita [Friedericy] is fantastic and she is certainly a part of the show, but it’s going to be different.
TVLINE | Does the spy agency have a name yet?
It doesn’t have a name yet. That’s an interesting thing we have to think about. I hadn’t thought about that.
TVLINE | How will immense wealth change Chuck and Sarah?
I can’t wait to see what Chuck does with a billion dollars. I also know that he’s going to get into a lot of trouble. It’s going to be fun. It’s the exact wrong person to have so much money in his hands.
TVLINE | Will there be a new mythology thread running through the final season?
We’ve always had two sides to the mythology on our show: We have the emotional mythology of our characters’ backstories, and we also have the spy mythology. And both of those things will be part of the new season. I think that’s what is great about Season 5, the ability to get into the character mythology. Some of my favorite episodes are the ones with Sarah’s backstory, Morgan’s backstory, and Casey’s backstory. We’ll have a spy mythology as well, but we’ll probably get into it a little differently.
TVLINE | Has Josh Gomez been ordered to hit the gym? Or at least start taking martial arts classes?
I would never ever do that. The man is in too good of shape. He’s perfect the way he is. I wouldn’t pluck a single hair from his beard.
TVLINE | It’s safe to say he’ll be called on to do more than he has in the past physically, yes?
That’s absolutely true. I guess I should probably tell him he should start stretching.
TVLINE | Switching gears to the Season 5 renewal, did you discuss setting an end date with NBC? Or was this all their call?
We went in and pitched them Season 5, which is very much a climactic story for Chuck. It wasn’t exactly designed to be the final season, but it’s certainly a big, emotionally satisfying, epic story. They liked the story, but there were also business factors that they considered. They ultimately picked us up and decided to make it the last season.
TVLINE | Given the show’s underdog and rocky ratings history, do you view this 13-episode wrap-up as something akin to a miracle?
Absolutely. We’ve always been very lucky, first for our incredibly loyal fan base, and second because Warner Bros. and NBC have been supportive of the show. We’re a unique, special show — there’s nothing else quite like it on television. We’re very lucky to have people that have supported it, protected it, and allowed us to get to a point where we could do a fifth season and tell the final chapter of this story in a really satisfying way.