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:
- Episode 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.