TV on Disc: Mission Accomplished for the Geek Spy Series 'Chuck'
The low-rated but passionately-loved show gets a terrific send-off
"Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season" (Warner) - The nerd spy series "Chuck," about an amiable computer geek transformed into the world's most powerful spy thanks to a program uploaded directly into his brain, hung on for four years thanks to a small but passionate fan base and a Subway sponsorship deal. And so it was given the gift of a final 13-episode season despite ratings that would have cancelled any other series faced with the same balance of ratings and production costs. Creators / producer Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz used the opportunity give the show a funny, affectionate, action packed, and emotionally satisfying send-off.
The fifth season opens with everyman super-spy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) going private sector, thanks to an inheritance from a former supervillain, and taking his team with him: sexy spy wife Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), intense NSA agent John Casey (Adam Baldwin), and best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez), who has just inherited The Intersect, the program that transformed Chhuck into the intelligence communities most valuable (if unpredictable) asset. It doesn't go as well with Morgan, but it becomes part of his evolution, and the series is as generous as can be with such matters. Chuck's sister (Sarah Lancaster) and brother-in-law (Ryan McPartlin) are almost junior members of the team and even the slackers in their electronics store cover business get involved.
The guest stars this season include a return visit from double agent Brandon Routh (who killed Chuck's father, which makes it persona) and Chuck's covert agent mother (Linda Hamilton, of course), a new supervillain in the form of Angus McFaydyen, and Bo Derek as Bo Derek, professional spy. But the most inspired addition to the final season is Carrie Anne Moss as a rival private security contractor and love interest for John Casey. Hey, the guy earned a little love, and their courtship is just as strange as you could hope for.
"Chuck" embraces its character chemistry as much as its action spectacle and goofy humor and the final season offers the entire line-up of its lively cast of characters at least a few moments to shine on the way to satisfying, well-earned closure, complete with a commitment that puts "The Vow" to shame. Because this commitment combines true love with supervillain showdowns and semi-automatic weapons.
13 episodes three-disc DVD or two-disc Blu-ray editions. Both include commentary tracks on the final two episodes by executive producers / creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz with actors Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez, an extended version of the series finale, seven featurettes (including a tear-filled farewell shot during the production of the final episode and a time-lapse record of the Buy More set being dismantled for good), deleted scenes, full versions of the Buy More TV commercials featured this season, and the obligatory gag reel, plus an Ultraviolet digital copy, for download and instant streaming.