Chuck's Final Mission Intel, Part 1: There Will Be Blasts from the Past

The two-hour series finale of NBC’s Chuck (airing Friday at 8/7c) — as it addresses present dangers facing Team Bartowski and ultimately looks to the future — is also “very much haunted by seasons past,” says show cocreator Chris Fedak.

“This is not only a finale for Season 5, but also five seasons of television,” Fedak shared with reporters during a set visit at the time his cast was filming the series-ender. “So we’re going to be bringing back a lot of things…. It’s a [finale] that has a lot of echoes.”

Added series lead Zachary Levi, “[What has happened with Sarah] reset the clock in a lot of ways, and you find our heroes almost like you found them in the beginning of the show, which is a really cool ‘full circle’ type of thing.”

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For one, among the announced encores, Mark Pellegrino will briefly reprise his Season 2 role of an unnamed Fulcrum Agent, in the finale’s very first scene. Explaining that rather random return, Fedak said it’s “one of the deepest-into-the-Matrix callbacks…. We touch upon [the question of] what’s going on with Fulcrum and the Ring these days, so the episode begins on a private jet and Mark’s in there.”

Also, Linda Hamilton will be seen again as Chuck and Ellie’s mother, Mary Bartowski. “We’re really happy to have her back,” Fedak raved.

Fedak & Co. had actually penciled in a “cavalcade” of such cameos from seasons gone by, when he and Josh Schwartz first mapped out the finale. But, he said, “The episode was just so jam-packed with story and big things, we didn’t have much time” to accommodate them all. (That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if this innately covert series sneaked in some other returning guest stars.)

Other callbacks on tap — as Chuck, Casey, Morgan et al scramble to find Sarah, who unbeknownst to them has lost five years’ worth of memories as a result of uploading the Intersect (and then having bad guy Nicholas Quinn exploit its mind-wiping glitches) — include more superficial flourishes.

“It wouldn’t be an episode unless we saw Yvonne in a cat suit [or] an evening gown, or wearing some of the other outfits she’s worn from time to time,” Fedak hinted. (Strahovski herself teased on Twitter that Sarah’s infamous Wienerlicious uniform will put in an appearance.)

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Just the very image of Sarah once again kicking some butt in the outfit Strahovski used to say was surprisingly conducive to hand-to-hand combat suggests that, somewhere at the end of the dark tunnel that is Chuck‘s final, heartfelt mission, awaits a beacon of light moments.

Strahovski confirmed as much during the set visit, saying, “What is happening between Chuck and Sarah is going to weigh heavy on people’s hearts [and] there’s a definite element of sadness that we have to go through to get to the final moments.” (After all, it should be noted that the finale’s first hour is titled “Chuck vs. Sarah,” gulp.) But come the very end, she promised, “There’s the funny stuff!” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Coming Thursday to TVLine.com — Chuck‘s Final Mission Intel, Part 2: There Will Be Big Fun (and Big-Budget Action!)