Season 3 Episode 11

Chuck Versus the Final Exam

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 22, 2010 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
515 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Chuck is sent on a mission that represents his final spy test with Sarah and Shaw as his evaluators. Meanwhile, Casey is facing problems at the Buy More.

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  • wtf lolz

    So the entire series, every last annoying 'will they or won't' scene AFTER they already admitted their feelings for each other, after all of the BS and dumb ass reasons to keep this shows "Romeo and Juliet" apart.

    We find out THE reason why Sarah "loves" Chuck and thus the reason for much of the dumb ass-ry in the show -is because he hasn't killed anyone. . .well if that ain't true love, I don't know what is.

    This is like a prostitute being "in love" with a virgin solely because she hasn't had sex- it is pretty screwed up imo. . .like 'in need of therapy due to self loathing' screwed up.

    What is even more troubling -is that a crap ton of people from executives and producers to writers and directors actually thought that this type of relationship constituted the "true love" of the show.

    And it is the influence of people like that we let in to our homes and our minds. . .moreless
  • Chuck a spy? very emotional

    Very emotional indeed.. The Chuck and Sarah web has now officially spun out of control! Chuck is now entering a world he cannot return from. Or is he? I was quite relieved to see Casey came through for Chuck and later let down to hear he could never tell Sarah even though we ALL know Sarah can be trusted with that information.

    Sarah's last words :O. That was one of the saddest things she has ever said. Chuck you have to hurry! She needs to know the truth!!!

    That was a fantastic episode regardless of its outcome. I only hope now that Sarah can see chuck is unchanged.moreless
  • I had an epiphany watching "The Final Exam" and realized what could have made Season 3 great.

    While watching this episode I realized what had been missing all season long. A believable motive for the "Dark Side Intersect". Let's be honest, casting Brandon Routh was a mistake. He's not believable as a super spy, neither ruthless or charismatic enough. He's got zero on screen chemistry and he seems two dimensional in comparison with just about everybody else in the cast.

    Had I been the show runner, I would have done things differently. The character of Shaw should have been a woman. Someone that exudes charsima, experience, decisiveness, ruthless manipulation. I would have cast someone like Heather Locklear as an older, better, more experienced Sarah Walker to run the team and move Chuck off the dime as the intersect. Someone that Chuck idolizes, is intimidated by, is attracted to, fears, loves. She would have ordered Sarah to revive the cover relationship with Chuck but Shaw would have been Chuck's personal trainer. Then I would have an multi-episode arc where Sarah is positioning herself to leave as part of an overall plan where Shaw (because of similar features) would replace Sarah as Chuck's cover girl friend. But, here's the twist, Beckman contacts Walker and Casey off the grid (more on that in a second) and reveals that Shaw is a Ring agent, a master manipulator and is trying to false flag Chuck to work for the Ring. Beckman orders Walker and Casey to get evidence that Shaw is Ring to prove to Chuck that she's Ring and prevent Chuck from turning dark. But, the kicker is, they must let the training go on as much as possible to get Chuck fully operational and to not let him know what's going on. Sarah has to continually try and convey subtle things that all is not as it appears and that she still loves Chuck, while keeping it all from Shaw and appearing to go along with the overall plan.

    I'd have done an episode, where instead of set piece actions and explosions, we see Casey and Walker, separately use old school trade craft to really disguise themselves to meet with Beckman. And no, not some cheesy glasses. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on explosions, spend a couple of thousand on wigs, masks, prosthetics so they really don't look like themselves. Then build up the suspense as they try to figure out who Beckman is, when she's also in disguise. And a shocking reveal when they find out Beckman is the one fingering Shaw and the reasons.

    Final episode. The climax is a scene where Sarah and Shaw battle for Chuck's very soul as he's torn between the woman he loved (Sarah) and the woman he worships (Shaw).

    Just my ..02moreless
  • Monday's the best day of the week :)

    (Spoiler alert)

    Almost a perfect episode!

    One thing that bothered me is that Joshua Gomez (Morgan) does not appear in this episode and that the writer tried to cover up his absence by making an awkward excuse that Morgan is "at a leadership seminar." It is the same lame excuse as the one used in "Chuck v Fake Name."

    Just how many leadership seminars is an assistant manager at an electronics store expected to attend??

    That being said, I liked almost everything about this episode and the direction to which the show is progressing.

    But did you find it believable when Sarah says all her feelings for Chuck has gone just because he (apparently) shot a man for a mission (as a self-defense)?

    And if Chuck has to leave Burbank in an hour and never come back, will he take time to say goodbye to Morgan, Ellie and Awesome? Would that affect Chuck's decision at all? He seemed perfectly happy when Beckman said he will be stationed in Rome, even though it was implied that he would never be able to see his family again. Didn't it seem odd to you?moreless
  • Chuck is sent on his "Final Exam" as a spy. First to ID a traitor and then to kill him. Sarah and he are going to be split up. Casey is trying to adapt to life as a civilian. Big Mike has taken him under his wing, but not being a spy is hard to do.moreless

    These days Mondays are one of the few days of the week I actually watch what is on when it is playing. Chuck is one of those shows that makes that happen. I am a little disappointed with the direction the show has taken the last few weeks, but I have to say the acting is still great and we've been through these rough patches before a number of times.

    The constant battle to break Chuck and Sarah up has been complicated by the situation with Casey. Now this well oiled machine is down to one wheel and it seems that it is about to fall off. It is interesting to see where the characters have gotten after all of these years. Unless something really drastic is occurring to shake things up we'll see how things work themselves out in the end. Let's face it, they had an opportunity to break Chuck and Sarah up for good with Hannah, but they choose not too. So you'd have to think there is a different direction they are taking us.

    The acting was great as always, but the climax was predictable to this weeks story. Enough said if you haven't seen it. They set it all up pretty cut and dried. I do wonder why they keep intimating that there is something going on with Sarah and Daniel as there is no chemistry there and the fans would revolt over that move.

    I enjoyed the Subway sandwich shop meeting. It's nice to see them get a little promotion from Chuck and visa versa.

    I'm looking forward to next weeks Chuck to see where they will take some of my favorite TV characters. What will be revealed and how will it be? That's is the question. Thanks for reading...moreless
Kyle Bornheimer

Kyle Bornheimer

Hunter Perry

Guest Star

Andrew Kirsanov

Andrew Kirsanov

Anatoli Zevlovski

Guest Star

Warren Watkins

Warren Watkins


Guest Star

Bonita Friedericy

Bonita Friedericy

General Diane Beckman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Chuck becomes an official spy with a badge and his own gun.

    • The case file for Chuck's target -Hunter Perry- says that he was born in 1984, while the actor - Kyle Bornheimer was born in 1975 and looks even somewhat older than that.

    • During the stakeout, Chuck provides sizzling shrimp and plays the song "Private Eyes" from Hall and Oates. Both Chuck and Sarah mention that these were elements from their very first stakeout together, which was in episode 1x05, "Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp".

    • Featured Music:
      "Private Eyes" by Hall and Oates (Chuck prepares the stakeout)
      "Permalight" by Rogue Wave (Chuck meets Sarah at the Orange Orange)
      "In My Sleep" by Austin Hartley-Leonard feat. Kendall Jane Meade (Chuck meets Sarah for dinner)

    • At the end of the episode, various items in Chuck's apartment have been painted red -- likely Sarah's reaction to Chuck's "red test".

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Chuck: Look, you were put in an impossible position, okay? You had no choice.
      Casey: It's America, Chuck. Everyone has a choice.

    • Casey: What are you still doing here? I thought you clocked out.
      Chuck: Yeah. Yeah, I did, but I thought I'd take a second to see how you were adjusting to civilian life. Apparently, not that great.
      Casey: Baby steps.
      Chuck: More like baby kicks to the groin. We got to get you reinstated, buddy. Without a license to kill, you are a menace to society.

    • Beckman: Good morning team. Have you told him anything yet?
      Chuck: Told me what?
      Beckman: After much deliberation it has been decided that you are ready for a mission that will test everything that you have learned thus far. A final spy test, if you will.
      Chuck: Test? Yeah, no problem. I'm a wiz with a number two pencil. (In high pitched voice) Scan-tron.

    • Big Mike: Now, I like you, and I know you're physically strong, but what I need to know is are you mentally strong? Strong enough to bend like the reed and not snap like the Kit Kat. To be John Casey, not John Crazy. Klonking people, walkin' around klonking heads, you can't be klonking heads in the Buy More. This is the Buy More!

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Chuck a poslední zkouška (Chuck and the Final Exam)

    • Subway was featured prominently in this episode. For the first time on the show, a scene took place in a Subway restaurant and centered entirely around the Subway product. In May, 2009, NBC partnered with Subway, who was already an advertiser on the show, allowing this type of unique product integration. Subway's partnership with NBC enabled production of the show to continue into its third season.

    • Although credited, Joshua Gomez (Morgan Grimes), Ryan McPartlin (Devon "Captain Awesome" Christian Woodcomb) and Sarah Lancaster (Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski-Woodcomb) do not appear in this episode.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 22, 2010 on Citytv
      United Kingdom: August 9, 2010 on Virgin 1
      New Zealand: November 3, 2010 on TVNZ 2
      Czech Republic: December 11, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Sweden: December 27, 2010 on TV6
      Finland: July 16, 2012 on Sub


    • When Casey stands in the shadows to make the kill for Chuck, and then allows him to take the credit for it, it was a reference to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as it was exactly what John Wayne's character did for Jimmy Stewart's character.

    • Chuck's briefing for his spy mission is a video recording that self destructs after playing once.

      This is a reference to the television series Mission Impossible, where agents receive assignments through a tape recording which also self destructs after being played.

    • Spa Host: Mr. Drago? Mr. Ivan Drago?

      Anatoli's thug is named after Ivan Drago, the Russian super-boxer played by Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV (1985).