As the show returns for its fifth (and sadly final) season we catch up with the newly created Carmichael Industries. Our spies have left the government and set up their own shop as high-priced spies for hire who, as they put it, are still working out some kinks. But that’s not the only change as Chuck (Zachary Levi) is still dealing with the fallout from last season’s finale which saw him stripped of the Intersect and, even more shocking, saw it put in his best friend.
As Chuck struggles without the Intersect Morgan (Joshua Gomez) proves surprisingly adept in his new role, even if he does insist on using the word “Zoom” for his Intersect flashes. The team’s opening mission of retrieving a Ming vase from thief (Mark Hamill) has its share of hiccups but the team is able to retrieve the microchip within the vase and return in to their client, even if they do inadvertently end up breaking the $6,000,000 antique.
The episode’s main story involves Carmichael Industries’ attempt to take down a embezzling investor (Craig Kilborn) and return his stolen millions to his victims. Things don’t go quite as planned thanks to the return of Decker (Richard Burgi) who appears hellbent to make trouble for Chuck and his new enterprise. Thankfully, he underestimates Chuck again who is able to get his team out of danger, but not without a hefty cost.
The episode sets up the changes in the show very well at the same time reminding us even if some of the characters are in new roles they’re still the ones we’ve grown to love over the past four years. Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) get their own story, Morgan and Sarah bond in the field (even go so far as to come up with their own handshake), and Chuck learns that he does have a spy life without the Intersect as the team’s leader and mastermind.
I’m a little concerned with Decker’s shadowy cabal and their mission to destroy Chuck Bartowski. I don’t mind the threat they represent, but the visual of the dark room of figures draped in shadow reporting to a mysterious hidden figure seems to be a step backward to The Ring days. I’m glad to see the episode didn’t find a way to get the Intersect back into Chuck as I think the team dynamic, and their new mission, gives the show new avenues to explore. We’ve only got twelve more episodes left, but this is a good opening for the final chapter and I’m sticking with Team Bartowski until the end.