As far as TV shows that descend upon the San Diego Comic-Con go, the “mothership” — NBC’s Chuck — infiltrated Ballroom 20 on Saturday morning, kicking off a jam-packed convention line-up. What did Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez, Adam Baldwin and the rest have to share about the upcoming final season?
For starters, we must say: May the Force be with you, Team Bartowski, given that Star Wars alum Mark Hamill will guest as a big baddie in the fifth and final season premiere, airing Friday, Oct. 21, at 8/7c. Since portraying Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, Hamill has largely stuck to voice work, lending his pipes to myriad animated projects, including TV’s Spider-Man, Justice League, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Robot Chicken — to name but a smattering. (His full IMDb rez is here.)
Now, For Your Eyes Only, let us hit you with the panel’s other highlights:
“Back to Basics” | Now that Morgan is the acting intersect, Chuck will have to readjust to life as one of us normal folk. “He definitely at the beginning of our season wants those powers, but this season is back-to-basics for Chuck,” says executive producer Chris Fedak. “Chuck has to be far greater now. It’s very much about him coming up with those clever, smart solutions again, and having to be a real spy.”
New and Improved? | So, what is the plan for Chuck’s BFF, now that he’s the big bad Intersect? “In true Morgan Grimes fashion, it’s full steam ahead,” Joshua Gomez laughs. “Unlike Chuck, where he thought things through and cared about the welfare of other human beings, Morgan just wants to hurt people and take revenge. I couldn’t be more excited about it.” Just how boldly will the Buy More’s former assistant manager embrace his badass new skillz? Says Fedak, “Let’s put it this way: By the third episode, Morgan will have frosted his tips.”
Love Story | “Casey has either met his match, or his love match,” Baldwin teased of his toughie’s new romantic arc. Fedak adds, “Her name is Gertrude Verbanski. Chuck will now be running Carmichael Industries and their big competition is the Verbanski Corp., the best spy company in the world.”
The Break-Up | Avert your eyes now, Jeffster fans: “This is the season where it all falls apart between Jeff and Lester,” Fedak reveals. “It’s going to be a great war and…very dramatic.” Of course, before all is said and done, “We’ll definitely do another Jeffster number before the end of the year. They’ll go out with a bang.”
Casting Scoop | “We have a couple big bad guys that we don’t want to reveal just yet,” Hamill included, Fedak shared. As for General Beckman’s place in Team Bartowski’s new world, “Bonita [Friedericy] is still very much a part of the show,” Fedak maintained.
Job Security | While Fedak promises that “the Buy More is still very important” this season, Vik Sahay (aka Lester) has just one major concern: “I just hope this season that I get some scenes in the actual show.” Preach!
Gloom and Doom | “Someone might not survive this season,” Fedak warned of Chuck‘s final go-round. Such possible loss, he said, “will be big.”
Awesome Endeavor | Previewing Captain and Mrs. Awesome’s Season 5 adventures, Fedak said, “Now Ellie knows about Chuck’s spy life, so it’s much more of a family business.”
Mama Drama | Nothing is set in stone just yet, but Fedak says, “I’d love to have Linda Hamilton back on the show. It wouldn’t be the show without bringing Mama Bartowski back one more time.”
Super Spinoff | When asked if a Chuck offshoot is even the most remote possibility, Fedak’s response surprised us all. “Definitely,” he offered. “I love the idea that the end of a show is just a prologue for another adventure.” So, there’s hope for that Morgan/Casey/Odd Couple thing afterall.
Dream Weavers | Everyone’s got an opinion about how Chuck should wrap things up in its final season — even the cast. How should it all go down, Zach Levi? “Awesomely,” he offers. Said Ryan McPartlin, “I would like a feature trilogy,” while Sahay wants to see Lester “go out with a glorious death — preferably in slo-mo.” Scott Krinsky (aka Jeff) thinks there somehow “needs to be a baby Jeffster by the end of the show to carry on the legacy.” Some of the cast, though, are actually still holding out hope for more Chuck to present itself. “I’m still not convinced it will end this year,” Baldwin mused. And when asked how he’d like to see it end, Gomez simply replied, “I don’t.”
Curtain Call | An emotional Levi wrapped up Chuck‘s final Comic-Con appearance by thanking the fans with a tearful send-off, his voice cracking with emotion at times: “You guys are so epic, so awesome. All of the time and the money that you spend… you took energy out of your lives, and I just want to thanks.”
We’ve also got our hands on the “Season 5 planning” video that was unveiled at the Con, in which Morgan trains for his new gig as an Intersect: