From the outside, NBC's series Chuck looked like a fun, lightweight spy comedy — but any fan will tell you the show was absolutely ruthless when it came to playing with your emotions. The series finale, "Chuck Versus the Goodbye," for instance, took the show's heartwarming and heartbreaking nature to a whole new level. After five seasons, I think every fan expected a straight up happy ending — I know I did — but by the time the final scene arrived, there was ambiguity, tragedy, and a bittersweet farewell to Chuck Bartowski and the love of his life, Sarah. And to this day, Chuck's final hour still takes me on an emotional roller coaster ride of feels.
There were moments of pure, silly goodness (see: everything that involved Jeffster) and a truly wrenching final kiss between Chuck and Sarah. In previous episodes, Sarah's memory had been stolen from her — meaning she couldn't remember her entire, epic history with her husband Chuck. The entire hour involved Team Bartowski going on one final mission where Chuck was forced to make an impossible choice. In true Chuck fashion, Chuck's family rallied around him in his time of need, but Ellie, Morgan, Awesome, and Casey couldn't bring Sarah's memory back, no matter how hard they tried. The one-two punch of Sarah's intersect-induced amnesia and knowing there was no more Chuck made the finale a killer in the moment, but the real test of its effectiveness is how it holds up now.
I can only speak for myself here, but is still makes me cry like a baby. Relive seven moments from the finale below and see if you can keep yourself from crying over Chuck's farewell.
1. Jeffster Gets A Record Contract
Before this turns into a total cry-fest, it's nice to remember the Chuck finale offered up a few moments of happy tears. Jeffster's German record deal was a wonderfully outlandish twist, and the perfect farewell for the lovable Buy More goofballs. The image of those two becoming German rock stars makes me grin and get a little sniffly because the guys were definitely all grown up (sort of).
2. Morgan Convinces Casey To Embrace His Feelings
Casey was always a grumpy teddy bear deep down. He tried to convince himself that his loyalty to Chuck, Morgan, and Sarah was a liability — but when Morgan called him out on being scared, Casey came through for his friends. Seeing a character who began as a deeply private, intimidating guy finally admit there were some things more important than his career was beyond rewarding — and having Morgan be the guy to convince him just made the moment resonate even more than it already would have.
3. Ellie & Awesome Move Away
Ellie and Awesome got amazing jobs at a hospital in Chicago. Seems like a perfect event to celebrate, right? Not when you stop to consider the fact that this was the first time Ellie and Chuck hadn't lived either together or in the same town as each other in... well, ever. The siblings had always been each other's closest allies, and to know Ellie and Chuck would be living so far apart made everything feel so final.
4. Sarah Rearranges The Counter At The Wienerlicious
When Sarah tried to organize the Wienerlicious counter mid-mission, it gave everyone, including Chuck, a reason to hope Sarah would get all of her memories back. That really opened the floodgates.
5. Morgan Moves In With Alex
Morgan grew so much over five seasons. He went from being a bit of a sad sack to a valued member of the team who always gave the best advice. To see him end up so mature, in love, and still there for his best friend Chuck at the end made me super teary. Knowing he and Alex got a happy ending (with Casey's blessing) was the cherry on top of the show's best character development.
6. Chuck Saves The World, But He Can't Save Sarah
There was only one Intersect upload left, and if Chuck didn't use it to diffuse the bomb, everyone would die. The horrible catch? Without the upload, Sarah's memories would be lost forever. That sound you heard when Chuck diffused the bomb was just a few million hearts breaking.
7. One Magical Kiss
With "Rivers & Roads" by The Head and The Heart playing in the background, Chuck sat on the beach next to Sarah and told her every last piece of their crazy story, from her being his handler to their wedding. It was beautiful. It was soul-crushing. It was perfect. When Chuck told Sarah that Morgan believed "one magical kiss" would bring all of Sarah's memories flooding back, she told Chuck to kiss her. And he did.
Then the show ended forever.
Anyone want to marathon Chuck now? Let's all wipe those tears away and head to Netflix to relive happier times because the finale will never stop being painful.