Anyone who showed up for Sunday's "Chuck" panel at WonderCon got a sneak peek at this week's Monday night episode, titled "Chuck Versus The Other Guy," but you won't find any spoilers here. Instead, let's just say...important motivations are revealed, one person gets offed and the final scene involves the Eiffel Tower. It's a pretty action-packed episode that, if the cheers in the crowd were any indication, won't disappoint fans.
According to the series' co-creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz ("Gossip Girl") and Chris Fedak, who both appeared on Sunday's panel following the screening, the episode was originally meant to be the season finale. Schwartz said that airing the episode mid-season means that they'll be ramping things up again soon enough, giving the show's fans "twice as much excitement."
Series stars Zachary Levi, Adam Baldwin and Joshua Gomez joined producers on stage to answer questions from the crowd. All of the panelists received a warm welcome from eager WonderCon fans, some dressed as cheerleaders who would occasionally rally together in a group cheer for the series' stars and producers. The crowd was so excited that when the moderator opened the Q&A, he had to remind them: "No marriage proposals, please."
The first question from the audience was directed toward Levi and touched on what fans might do to make sure the show comes back next season. Cancellation is a sensitive topic for "Chuck" as NBC was considering dropping the show last April. But after fans launched a "Save Chuck" campaign, aided by social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, NBC announced they would continue the show in May. The show, now in its third season, is still somewhat on the brink, although devoted fans have proven that they'll do just about anything to keep it on the air.
The inquiry evoked probably one of the most serious responses Levi gave throughout the panel: he said that fans should join Twitter and support the show that way, but more importantly, he suggested that fans watch the show live. "The most effective TV watching is live TV watching," he said, adding that, as far as advertisers are concerned, live TV is the moneymaker.
Aside from that exchange, the general mood of the panel and panelists was anything but serious. The cast members joked and goofed around like they were childhood buddies (although they later revealed that none of them knew each other before the show).
The next few questions focused more on the plotline of the show itself rather than the politics surrounding the series. When asked about guest appearances in upcoming episodes, Levi revealed that Christopher Lloyd will be guest-starring as Chuck's therapist. All of the panelists seemed psyched to have the "Back to the Future" star in their midst. "I may or may not call him 'Doc' in the episode," Levi joked.
One fan asked if the cast has favorite types of Subway sandwiches, a question with particular relevance, as fans familiar with the background of the "Save Chuck" campaign well-know. As part of the campaign, one fan organized people to buy foot-long Subway sandwiches on the airdate of the season two finale because she had seen them as a product placement in one of the Chuck episodes. CNN reported that Levi was seen in England leading hundreds of fans into a Subway.
(By the way, Levi likes the chicken breast, Gomez enjoys the veggie delight, and Baldwin digs the "Tunaroni" – a combo tuna and pepperoni sandwich that appeared on the show – on wheat).
After the Subway question, the conversation quickly degenerated into poop-joke territory. The discussion got so dirty, in fact, that the person who asked the original question – which had to do with the types of pranks that go on backstage – basically told the panel that he now knows way more than he ever wanted to know about the cast's bowel movements. "Absolutely. Nothin' like a good steamer in the morning," replied Levi.
The conversation soon steered back to the show with the panelists all revealing their favorite episodes. Schwartz chose the episode airing Monday and the Christmas episode, which everyone on stage seemed to agree was one of their best. After Levi listed off a whole slew of favorites, Gomez followed with a glib, "ditto," to which Levi replied: "What are you, Demi Moore in 'Ghost?'" The two then proceeded to give a demonstration of the romantic pottery-throwing scene, to the audience's uproarious approval.
Several fans mentioned that Chuck is becoming increasingly more baddass and spy-like as the show evolves, and one wondered how they planned to maintain the essence of Chuck's lovability as a geeky underdog. "He has become a better spy, but he's still distinctly Chuck...it's not like we're going to turn him into Jack Bauer or James Bond or anything," said Schwartz.