'Chuck': Co-creator Chris Fedak on the approaching end, Intersect Morgan and 'the Chuck solution'
That ending is now on the horizon -- in fact, he says, pieces of the final episode are on the board in the "Chuck" writers room. And he says that end is pretty much the one he had in mind over the summer.
"We do know the end point, absolutely," Fedak tells Zap2it in advance of "Chuck's" final season premiere on Friday (Oct. 28). "We're actually working on that episode right now. ... It's really exciting -- we have a great end point. It's going to be super-dramatic and emotional. It's even emotional working on it. ...
"For us, the writers, we're the first wave because we work on everything first. So we're the first coming to grips with the fact that this is going to be the final episode and the stakes of that. It's a big, epic thing to tell that final chapter, and we want to, in true 'Chuck' fashion, blow it out and make it emotional and touching and epic, and a whole lot of things we've always imagined when we started working on this show. ... We're excited, but mixed in with that is a bit of bittersweet."
But we're getting ahead of ourselves a little. The ending for viewers is still a few months off, and in between there are 12 episodes leading up to the finale. Fedak gives some insight into where the season is headed, why Morgan ( Joshua Gomez) is now the Intersect and why "the Chuck solution" is once again paramount for the writers.
Zap2it: How does Morgan having the Intersect affect things at the start of the season?
Chris Fedak: We consider it as going back to basics, especially early in the season. Chuck [ Zachary Levi] has been a spy now for going on five years, and he's gotten pretty good at it. And over the years we just came to realize what an amazing comic actor Josh Gomez is. We thought, What a neat idea it would be to have Morgan have the Intersect, make him the fish out of water, and the idea that Chuck is now ready to be his handler. ... It puts us in the great position of Chuck not having the Intersect. Now [he has] the knowledge he's accrued over the last several years, and he has to take care of his friend. He has to be the Sarah Walker to Morgan Grimes.
It's still very much the Chuck show, but now the stakes are different. He needs to keep his friend safe. He's got this new spy company he's trying to get up and running with his wife Sarah [ Yvonne Strahovski] and John Casey [ Adam Baldwin], and he doesn't have the Intersect. In the first episode Chuck is just realizing how difficult this is going to be. ... He's got to think his way through things. In some ways it kind of pushes us back into Season 1 and Season 2 land, where the "Chuck solution" is now the most important thing. He has a lot more information, a lot more experience. As we started working through this season that was something that really excited us. Every season the show is a bit of a reboot, and this is probably the biggest reboot since Season 3, when Chuck came back with his abilities.
What was Josh Gomez's reaction to the idea?
It was funny -- he came by my office as we were working on the season finale last year. I literally was writing that scene when he came in, so I said take a look at this last page. He took a look and was like, "Are you joking? Did you write this while we were sitting here?" I said "No, it's what we're going to do." He was stoked. He was really, really stoked. I think the idea of Morgan with the Intersect is something with so many fun possibilities. It feels like the very beginning of the show. ... It's just some of the funniest stuff we've done.
How are Chuck and Sarah handling being both newlyweds and business partners?
It adds an element of anxiety to the entire experience. Chuck and Sarah are still incredibly in love with each other, and they're a young married couple. Nothing will keep them down. They really want to make Carmichael Industries work, so they're a great team. But for both of them, they're realizing they've got a tough road ahead. ... They're starting to talk about dreams and what [they] really want, and their dreams are kind of joining and becoming one thing. ... That's a big part of the season as well.
We saw the news this week about Angus Macfadyen being cast as a bad guy -- anyone else you can talk about?
We've really had fun this year casting the show. I think everything is out there that needs to be out there -- anything else I'd keep close to my vest. We're starting an episode soon with Bo Derek, which is amazing. We just cast Angus Macfadyen, who we're huge fans of here at the show. It's been a lot of fun.
You seem to have a statuesque blonde theme going this year with some of the female guest stars -- Rebecca Romijn, Cheryl Ladd, Bo Derek ...
That's interesting. It's not by design. I think it's just a byproduct of our attempt to get as many beautiful women on the show as possible.
What was it like having Cheryl Ladd on set as Sarah's mom?
It was great. I don't want to talk too much about it, because we have a lot of mythology in that episode. But it's an epic emotional story, so those people who love their Sarah Walker, it will be one of their favorites, if not their favorite.
"Chuck" premieres at 8 p.m. ET Friday on NBC.