I got a chance to talk to executive producer and co-creator Chris Fedak about Chuck's big season finale before it aired. Here's some interview extras with Chris chatting about his and his co-creator Josh Schwartz's initial take on the series, the Chuck and Sarah of it all, and what Fedak's secret plan is when it comes to creating an awesome fourth season.
If you'd like more about Monday's finale, you can check out my interview with Chris which ran in Sci Fi Wire, "10 reasons you MUST watch tonight's Chuck season finale". I got nearly 400 digs on the article, so I'm happy.
In that article, Chris gave us an early spoiler regarding next season, which he would only say, "I'll say this, season four is about family." And since we a glimpse of Chuck's mother's back, I'm guessing that he might be talking about Mama Bartowski.
Here's our conversation after Chris admitted that someone we knew and liked was going to die (which turned out to be Chuck's dad, played by Scott Bakula):
Kathie: Oh, you’re evil.
Chris: Thank you very much. You know, it’s funny. It’s not an interview these days unless someone is actually telling me that I’m evil.
Kathie: Well jeez, if you’re going to kill off one of our people... I love them all. I don't want any of them to be killed.
Chris: You know, it’s funny. When Josh and I first started working on the show, our inclination was, well, what if you took The Office, and we had like Jack Bauer rush into The Office. You’d be terrified because you love all the characters on The Office. But if Jack Bauer’s in the room, someone’s going to get tortured or killed. So, in some ways this season we’ve really been able to explore that idea that we love these characters, but they’re in a dangerous place. They’re in a dangerous world.
Kathie: I enjoy seeing Chuck and Sarah as a couple and working as a team.
Chris: We’re really excited too. Of course, when we got to the point in the season where Chuck and Sarah were together at the end of episode thirteen, Josh and I and the rest of the writers were worried. Because it’s like okay, they’re now together and we have to do more episodes so we really hope they’re great together. But you know, Zack and Yvonne are so charming and clever and funny and such good actors, that they make for a wonderful couple, and we were just so excited to tell those stories.
Kathie: Yeah. Chemistry doesn't always work on a TV show when the romantic leads finally get together.
Chris: Many ships have fallen upon those rocks.
Kathie: One of my favorite moments was when Chuck and Sarah see the tiger and argue about who's going to take off its collar.
Chris: Exactly, exactly. Well, you know that Zack and Yvonne are just really funny, and so I love when they can do the banter. When they get those moments where they can banter about and be like a young couple that is maybe having an argument in the midst of a spy mission with a tiger. They’re just great together. And Zack is obviously not just charismatic, but super funny. Yvonne is also very funny and it’s been neat to see that change in her character. The first half of the season, the first thirteen episodes, it was very much about her worrying about Chuck and what Chuck was becoming. And now that they have found each other, it’s a real opportunity for Sarah to shine as the partner in crime.
Kathie: Will we find out why Sarah was told to kill Shaw’s wife?
Chris: We may find that out in the future.
Kathie: Regarding the newest member of Operation Bartowski... It's great to see Morgan become the new Chuck. So no matter how good a spy Chuck becomes, Morgan will be around to keep the nerdiness alive on Chuck.
Chris: It’s like Morgan becomes the eyes and ears of the regular guy, looking at the spy world and realizing how exciting it is and scary. Josh Gomez has just done a wonderful job this year.
Kathie: So, now that you've already been renewed for a fourth season, it looks like people don’t have to eat all those Subway sandwiches.
Chris: Listen, I think that people should still enjoy Subway. But yeah, for us it’s kind of nice to have the pick up and to start working on season four. You know, our writers will be up and running soon.
Kathie: So do you have plans for how you want season four to go? Have you thought about it?
Chris: Oh yeah, absolutely. We pitched the studio and network our take on what we want to do, and they’re all super excited to see the show and now it’s just a matter of getting all the ideas together and then start breaking episodes.
Kathie: In past seasons, you've gotten an order for additional episodes before you even aired. Hopefully that will happen again.
Chris: I would love for that to happen, yeah. We’ll have to see, but it’s always the same story. We will tell the thirteen most exciting stories we can possibly imagine, and then sometimes what’s happened in the past is we get picked up for more episodes. But for us, it’s like we’re going to look at those thirteen episodes as what we have, and each one will be just chock full of big changes and moments and just all of our best ideas.