Fedak & Schwartz: “The last 10 minutes of episode 13 are the best 10 minutes of Chuck EVER.”

The HitFix team of Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Feinberg have a new episode of the Firewall & Iceberg podcast featuring a 40-minute interview with Chuck co-creators Chris Fedak & Josh Schwartz. (That interview starts around the 21 minute mark.)

Here are some highlights and minor spoilers:

  • Chuck Comic Con 2010 fan posterEpisode 4.13 builds to “the most epic possible moment in the history of Chuck as it was designed to be a season and possibly series finale.”
  • Assuming the season ends with the 13th episode means they have to move the storylines faster than if they knew from the start that they’d have a full season.
  • “The last 10 minutes of episode 13 are the best 10 minutes of Chuck EVER.” (They say this a few times.)
  • The extra 2 episodes – back order of 11 instead of 9 – allows them to explore stories they wouldn’t have time for otherwise, like Lester’s heart or Roan Montgomery & Diane Beckman.
  • They were surprised by the incredibly positive fan reaction to “Chuck vs. Phase Three”. It was such a different structure and focus for the show, they weren’t sure how it would be received. “It reaffirms what a great actress Yvonne [Strahovski] is.”
  • The fan art poster they chose for Comic Con was an Easter egg, according to Schwartz. “It was an early clue of what the season was going to be.”
  • Greta will “definitely” be returning. They promise that the Gretas will have a payoff, “they’ll add up to something.”
  • They defended the fluctuating presence of the CIA, saying that the number of personnel depends on which other crises are happening around the world.
  • The first Die Hard movie and parts of Die Hard 2 are the only ones that matter.
  • The Cat Squad episode is the “female counterpart” of the Couch Lock episode.
  • They’re working on an Agatha Christie mystery-homage episode.
  • They’d pursued Timothy Dalton in previous seasons but he wasn’t available until now. They decided to build this season’s over-arcing nemesis around a specific person (Volkoff) instead of an organization (FULCRUM, The Ring). They also coyly noted that “bad guys have families, too.”
  • We’ll see a lot of kicking-ass from Linda Hamilton as well as some emotional stuff coming up.
  • Asked whether Frost could really keep Volkoff on the hook for 20 years without any action, they pretty much confirm that the two have never been together. They referenced Frost as Volkoff’s “enforcer”, which ought to raise some parallels.
  • They’re trying to get back to Big Mike’s story, they still miss Anna Wu, but they have so many characters to serve that some fall by the wayside.
  • Asked what Mama B meant by “Your father never wanted you to see this”, both initially refused to explain it, then said that Mama B was referencing the Steven from Chuck’s childhood who didn’t want Chuck to see the Intersect.
  • The device Mama B used was a suppression device, it didn’t wipe the Intersect out of his memory. Is there anything new now that the Intersect has re-emerged? “Maybe.” All versions of the Intersect are still in Chuck’s head. The original Intersect didn’t have spy intel or skills or the first 3 seasons of Sesame Street, it was just the structure. It showed that Chuck was “special”.
  • What makes Chuck special isn’t the fact that he has the Intersect in his head, it’s also the “Chuck solution” – the way Chuck handles situations. Expect to see more of that in the back 11.
  • Can’t Chuck and Sarah ever just be happy? “What makes Chuck and Sarah interesting is that they have their own perspectives, but they love each other.” There will always be a certain amount of conflict because they’re two different people.
  • They’re hoping to bring back Anna Wu, Harry Tang, and Emmett Milbarge. Somehow.
  • Sarah’s catsuit in episode 4.12 is a reference to The Avengers. Also, there’s some nudity coming up. It involves Morgan. You’ve been warned.

That’s the gist of it, but feel free to have a listen and hear them go off on bunny trails, insult each other, quote movie lines, and generally be dorks.

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  1. ahh! After reading this I am ever more excited (if that was at all possible)

  2. Thanks so much for listening and posting the important points as an easy read for the rest of us!

  3. Forget this Chuck / Sarah engagement deal. What is gong to happen with Roan / Beckman, lol?

    • I’m trying to figure out what the last 10 minutes of episode 13 entail. Can’t just be an engagement!

      • It was designed to be a series finale. They really built it up as a culmination deal. I’m thinking elopement.

      • Waaaaaiiiiitttt… SERIES finale!? Oh please, God, NOOOOOO! Ok, John. Get a hold of yourself. He meant SEASON finale, right? He’s British, right? Or maybe he is right and it is the end… NOOOO!!

      • Why would they have an engagement when Ellie is having a baby in that episode? It might revolve around Chuck and sarah but i doubt there would be an engagement.

      • Well considering ‘ever’ includes the last 10 minutes of episode 13 from last season, it would have to be Truly epic.

        in my opinion its going to struggle to beat it…

        …but having said that, they are very good at surprises.

  4. Hopefully the last ten minutes of 4.13 will be epic in an awesome, good way.


  6. Series finale = Elopement or Engagement along with Elie’s child.

    I wonder what their idea of “some conflict” is.

  7. Does anyone find it interesting (or surprising) that the shows creators were “surprised” by the overwhelming POSITIVE fan reaction to “Vs. Phase 3?” You’d think into the fourth season that they’d be more in touch with what the fans want/like in the show. Maybe I’m misreading or misinterpreting the quote/statement, but I’m just a “faithful fan,” and it’s absolutely NO surprise to me that the fan reaction to “Vs. Phase 3” was so positive.

    Anyway, enough “hiatus.” Let’s get going with 14 more episodes of our favorite show. Can’t wait!!! Hopefully more “great fan-pleasing stuff” like “Phase 3” is in store. Tweet, Facebook, email or do whatever you need to do to alert EVERYONE to Monday’s episode. Let’s start 2011 with a positive rating and build from there! No DWTS against us – and least not until later!

    Have a good weekend, all. And HAPPY “CHUCK” Monday!!!

    • If you listen to the podcast and hear their tone of voice, it’s clear that they thought fans would enjoy it but they didn’t expect it to receive such a vocal outpouring of praise from the fans and critics.

      • I for one thought the last minutes of Phase 3 were among the best in Chuck over four seasons with the flashes between real/surreal with Sarah talking with Chuck were just fantastic. 4.13 would have to be mind blowing.

        No pressure there show runners… lol

  8. Hysterical. Felt like they were chatting in a bar.

  9. “Also, there’s some nudity coming up. It involves Morgan.” ….which I hope means that Morgan accidentally walks in while Sarah is in the shower.

  10. I’ve never seen Die Hard or read Agatha Christie. Sue me I’m uncultured. I suspected the cat squad was like Sarah’s version of casey’s A team but it’s good to hear. I have no clue how they can make the last 10 minutes of 4:13 the most epic ever when they have Phase Three and The Other guy to compete with.


    Chuck, … it never changes… (Fallout 3 – War Never Changes – hommage) 🙂

  12. So exciting! I reckon the last 10 minutes has got to be to do with Ellie giving birth, and I’m hoping it’s surrounded by drama. Like, she goes into premature labour during a spy attack and Chuck has to flash to deliver it or something crazy like that… Also, were they serious about the Agatha Christie episode? Because if so, I’m even more excited.

  13. Rick Holy I agree with everything you said (I usually do–if you knew me you would think that was scary)–The episode was filled with action, mixed with a little comedy and a whole lot of love–S@C were together in the end and their committment to each other was unquestionable. Fan reaction was exactly what I anticipated. I think one component of the show that would add a little something would be drawing Ellie and Sarah into a relationship–something Sarah may not have had–a best friend. A lot of time would not have to be devoted to it–we always need plenty of time for the action,comedy and of course the loving couple.

  14. I have always a bad feeling when any creator of any TV show says “it will be epic and the best ever.” It usually isn´t. But they kept all their promises so far, so believe they won´t disappoint here.

  15. No questions about Papa B. potentially still being alive? Or at least how his classic Mustang just happened to show up in the classifieds after his death or how his computer just happened to be under the driver’s seat and how it had the Intersect fix that Chuck needed at just the right time? Were all those coincidences planned by Papa or Mama B.? Those are some questions that I would like to hear them answer!

  16. They intersect under the car is a different kind of a intersect. If you look closely at how chuck flashes it is different. I just hope no pray that chuck doesn’t loss the intersect again and that’s the part of the last 10min

  17. Interesting info. I’m really looking forward to the Cat Squad episode and learning more about Sarah’s past. It’s about time we’ve had one of those.

    I’m also very intrigued by the fact that Mama B did use a suppression device on him. Given the result of the Fear of Death and the end of the Leftovers, like most people I assumed that Mama B had simply removed the Intersect and that Beckman had been wrong and that Chuck had simply re-Intersected himself again in the Leftovers. But given this info., things get much more interesting. I think this means we’re likely to see and hear more about it. Maybe Chuck has more abilities or something, although I don’t see how he would be able to do anything more. Looking forward to the Balcony tonight.

  18. Dang it. I knew I wanted to something else in the last comment and I remembered it right after I submitted it. For the whole last 10 minutes thing, I suspect that will involve a proposal. It would be the perfect way to top the end of the Other Guy by one step or level or whatever you want to call it.

  19. Best 10 minutes yet? It’s going to be great if it tops the Mr. Roboto sequence.