Chuck 4.24 (spoilers)

This was a great finale and I'm excited by the possibilities for next season.

But...the ending.

I loved this episode up until the very last moment.  I'm holding out hope, though, that it's a mislead, and the first episode of season five will wipe it clean (Josh Schwartz is notorious for doing this with his shows).

What's the problem?

Season one of Chuck, we see his college professor explaining to Bryce Larkin that Chuck's test scores were off the charts.

Season three we see that Chuck actually uploaded an early version of the Intersect into his head when his dad wasn't looking.  His father was stunned by it, calling his son "special."

Season four we meet two agents that have had the Intersect put in their heads, but clearly can't handle it.  When they get it removed, one of them comments "that poor bastard Bartowski."

Chuck isn't the Intersect by happenstance; he is the only person who can hold it in his head, the only person who can use it.  In fact, the speech by Decker at the end of the episode really underscores the fact that Chuck isn't the Intersect on accident.

So giving the Intersect to Morgan's awful.  It undercuts everything this show is about, not to mention belittling what Chuck is.

But Morgan did nothing that would indicate that he actually knows kung fu.  There was no noticeable flash and he certainly didn't actually USE any kung fu.  It's entirely possible that Morgan simply saw some of the images and jumped to conclusions.

And, honestly, the "guys, I know kung fu" joke is wearing thin.  It was so great when it first happened, but they need to let it go.

Update: Now that I've calmed down a bit, I'm just going to operate under the assumption that it was, in fact, a joke.  Like I said, Decker's comments just moments before emphasize the fact that Chuck is special, so undermining that would be pretty bad writing.  Besides that, picture the opening of season five with Morgan claiming he knows kung fu and Casey handing him his ass.

Update 2: Well, now I'm full blown annoyed.  According to Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak, Morgan will have the Intersect next season.  And now I have visions of Battlestar Galactica's final season in my head.  This could be the second worst story decision on any show I've ever watched.

On the Other Hand

There was so much to love about this episode.  Honestly, there's almost too much for me to cover in any way that justifies it.  I'll just stick to talking about the culmination of the episode and the season.

Chuck saving the day was great, and the way he did it was perfect for the character.  The troops from Volkoff Industries was a bit over the top, but a nice bit of foreshadowing, which more than makes up for it.  As soon as Chuck opened that envelope, I knew what it was (flashbacks to the season four finale of Angel!) and thought it was a brilliant solution to everything that had happened.  I also didn't see it coming at all.

Loved the timely return of the Cat Squad, as well as the ever expanding Team Bartowski.  Nice to see Awesome and Ellie pitching in to save Sarah.  I also really like the dynamic between Frost and Casey.  It was nice to see that Decker knows Casey, too, which should bode well for more Casey next season.

Next Season

They dropped a big bomb at the end of the episode: the suggestion that there is a Big Bad who has been responsible for everything that's happened for the last four years.  It's a really intriguing idea, one which we get only one real comment on: Who would have that much influence over their lives?

There's an obvious answer: Beckman.  The idea that Beckman could be involved in some way is absolutely nuts, but not necessarily bad.  It would also be interesting to see them explain all the things Beckman has done over the years.

The other option would be the Bartowski parents.  After all, they're connected to almost everything that's happened to Chuck.  Does that suggest that they knew Chuck would be the Intersect some day?  That he could be the Intersect?  How messed up would it be if they made Orion and Frost bad guys after all this time?

Update: Orion doesn't really hold up to scrutiny, given his confrontations with Fulcrum.  Frost, on the other hand, could actually work.  She would know everything that Orion knew and we've never seen her interact with Fulcrum or the Ring.  She really could work as the Big Bad (more easily than Beckman, really).  The only real question would be, what is her goal?

I'm thrilled for season five, and it's going to be a long summer.  I have no doubt it will be the best season of Chuck since season 2.  I'm just hoping they take care of the ending of this episode as quickly as possible.