The proper Chuck series finale aired last night, but it wasn't the first time the series served up a satisfying conclusion to the story. During seasons three and four, when it looked like the aforementioned 13 episode orders were the end of the road, Schwartz and Fedak wrote episodes that could double as mid-season finales or, if need be, series finales.
Season three's would-be closer, "Chuck vs. the Other Guy," brought a cathartic end to the increasingly frustrating will-they-or-won't-they, while completing Chuck's transition from hapless geek to fully-formed spy, kill and all. Then they took it a step further in season four with "Chuck vs. the Push-Mix," which saw Chuck avenging his family (SPOILER ALERT: Mom & Dad were spies too) and perhaps one of the best proposal scenes in TV history.
Overall, those episodes arguably hold up better than last night's "Chuck vs. the Goodbye" but on a purely character level the real finale hit all the right notes: Jeffster! saved the day, Chuck has the Intersect again, and Chuck and Sarah's tender, uncertain reconnection at the beach ranks just as high as their moments in the previous finales.