My trip to the NYC “Chuck” Finale Party, and my thoughts on the ending of “Chuck”

“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”
–2 Timothy 4:7 (New American Bible)

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
–Source uncertain; attributed to Dr. Seuss

The weather during my drive home yesterday from New Jersey provided a perfect reflection of my emotions now that Chuck‘s television run is over. The day was largely dominated by gloomy clouds and rain, but at the end, the sun pierced through to light my way home.

I know we’re all very sad that our favorite show’s run is over, but before we allow ourselves to become mired in that sadness, we should all remember something. Chuck has lasted longer than many people believed it would, and it now has the opportunity to live on in syndication and gain new waves of fans for years to come. We should also remember the reason why this is possible: Us. We the fans have fought hard for Chuck, and we should all be proud of everything we’ve accomplished in our efforts to support this show.

For a long time, I wondered if I’d ever have an opportunity to meet some of the fans I’ve spoken to on Twitter face to face, and I was very grateful to have that chance with the NYC Chuck Finale Party at the NBC Store, organized by Wendy Farrington (@SerendipityWAF on Twitter). I can’t thank Wendy enough for organizing this party, and for being so patient with me as I nailed down my arrangements for where I’d be staying in the city.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go, since I didn’t know how I’d be able to afford a place to stay. Thankfully, one of my newest friends through Twitter and Chuck, Emily Dembosky (@EmilyDembosky on Twitter), contacted me and told me about the Times Square Dream Hostel, which was only a few blocks away from Times Square, and which cost a mere $45 per night! As the time for the trip came closer, Emily offered to meet me in Jersey City to help me get my car parked and to help guide me into the city. When the day finally came, I got a bit lost on the way to Jersey City and Emily and her friend Sean, who also came to the Finale Party, gave me guidance over the phone so that I could find my way into the PATH parking garage at Journal Square. Long story short, this trip wouldn’t have been possible for me without Emily and Sean’s help.

Once Emily, Sean and I made it to the NBC Store for the viewing party, we picked up some Chuck merchandise which the NBC Store generously gave everyone at the party a 30% discount on (I got a Nerd Herd hat, a Nerd Herd lanyard for ID badges, and a JEFFSTER shot glass). Oddly enough, seeing all the Chuck merchandise on display was the first thing that really made it hit home that the show was ending…not sure why.

After the phenomenal Chuck Series Finale was over, we all got another treat: Wendy had set up her laptop so that Zac Levi could contact us live via Skype to thank us all for supporting the show!

After Zac’s Skype chat, Wendy led a group of fans who were over 21 years old to a nearby karaoke club to cheer ourselves up with some singing (as you might expect, two of our first selections were “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” and “Fat Bottomed Girls”):

All in all, this was a truly awesome trip, and an experience I’ll never forget. I will always be very grateful that I got to meet so many fellow Chuck fans in person and give our favorite show the sendoff that it richly deserves. God willing, I’ll see all of you again (and meet more of you) at NERD HQ and Comic-Con later this year! 🙂

Now, I’d like to share my thoughts on the Finale’s ending. I’ve seen a wide range of opinions over the last two days about the fact that we didn’t actually get to see Sarah regain all of her memories of her relationship with Chuck. Many people strongly dislike it, some are undecided, and many are generally quite satisfied with the ending and feel that it has a hopeful quality to it. For my part, I fall into the third category.

Yes, it is true that we didn’t get to actually witness Sarah regain all of her memories of her time with Chuck and all they mean to each other. However, the fact that she was beginning to regain small fragments of memories (making the carving in the dream house, the Wienerlicious, the Irene Demova virus, going to the beach where they first met), coupled with the fact that she asked Chuck to tell her stories of their life together, and that she asked Chuck to kiss her, all make it quite clear to me that she wants to remember everything. And that makes all the difference in the world. Furthermore, this provides Chuck and Sarah with an opportunity to rebuild their relationship and fall in love all over again, but this time without having to deal with any of the previous challenges and obstacles to their relationship (ex: disapproval from Casey and General Beckman, the breakup period after the train platform in Prague, rival love interests, Sarah’s fears of Ryker discovering the whereabouts of her mother and adopted sister, etc).

So, while it is true that there will be no new episodes of Chuck, we should all be comforted by the knowledge that the fun will never truly be over. We can continually re-watch the DVDs and introduce the show to new fans, and we can enjoy seeing Chuck enter syndication, providing a means for new fans to discover the show and providing the cast with a well-deserved source of income in the form of residuals.

There’s no doubt that things could have (and should have) gone better for Chuck. However, I can honestly say that I have no regrets as the show ends. I am, and will always be, happy with the way the story has been told. This has been an awesome ride as a fan, and will continue to be for many years to come.

I know that there’s no chance that Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, Robert Duncan McNeill, any of the crew or writers, or anyone in the Chuck cast will ever read this, but if they could, I’d want to address the following message to them:

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all so very much for everything you’ve done, and all the hard work you’ve put in these last five seasons. The story you have told with Chuck–the timeless story of the “chosen hero” who comes from a humble background–has touched me and other fans more than you’ll ever know. For my part, you have renewed my faith in how much power there is in storytelling, and how meaningful it can be. You’ve made us laugh and cry, yes, but you’ve also made us think. And the idea that anyone–no matter how seemingly humble their beginnings–can become greater than the sum of their parts when the need and opportunity arises is a powerful idea indeed.

I know I speak for all Chuck fans when I say that we will be happy and proud to continue following your careers, and to support any and all new projects that are sure to come your way in the future. And looking ahead at whatever possibility may conceivably exist to continue Chuck‘s story in some form or another months or years from now, I also know that I speak for Chuck fans everywhere when I paraphrase one of Bonita’s lines from the finale:

“If you ever want to ‘save the world’ again…you know where [we are].”

Long Live “Team Bartowski!” Long Live Chuck!

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One Response to My trip to the NYC “Chuck” Finale Party, and my thoughts on the ending of “Chuck”

  1. Lianne says:

    While the last few moments had all the makings of a hopeful, positive, leap of faith ending, I wanted to see Sarah have all her memories regained. Not imagined. I felt like we were teased throughout the season with the perfect house, normal life, kids, and never got the closure I needed to finish out my final season of Chuck. I’m sorry; it didn’t feel like a love letter to me. I can appreciate others enjoying and taking that leap of faith, but I didn’t spend 5 years imagining that Sarah regains her full memory of her life and love for Chuck.

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