Yvonne Chuck
Credit: Mike Ansell/NBC

Before shows take their final bow, it’s not uncommon for them to pump up the final adventure with talk of higher-than-ever stakes and grand risks. But the important thing to remember about Chuck is that they’ve never shied away from risks and genuine danger. (One such example of that danger resulted in the death of Chuck’s dad in season 3.) So it’s hard not to imagine the grave possibilities of what star Yvonne Strahovski meant when she ominously teased what’s to come on the final episodes of the cult-favorite action-adventure series.

“Something very unexpected happens,” she says. “When I read the script, I was really surprised myself. Chuck and Sarah have this great relationship, but I think in these last episodes, you’ll see that they’ll have something taken away from them, and it sort of causes some trouble in a big way.”

And you can bet their loss comes courtesy of Nicholas Quinn (Angus Macfadyen), the show’s final villain making his first appearance in this week’s episode. “He’s a little more erratic than others. Well, Volkoff was a little like that, but then he changed and became a really sweet guy. But I don’t think we see that from Nicholas Quinn,” she teases.

But while the show certainly ends with a bang, Strahovski is thankful for some of the quieter, character-revealing moments of the show’s final season, particularly the episode that introduced Sarah’s mother (Cheryl Ladd) and sister, who, flashbacks revealed, was rescued in infancy from the grips of Sarah’s original handler (Tim DeKay). The emotional episode, says Strahovski, was, in a weird way, a sense of closure on the character, whose home life had, at that point, been largely a mystery. “From the very beginning, she was always struggling to be a regular person and always had to put her emotions aside for the greater good. And the greater good was her spy life, and it sort of makes more sense now that we see she had to let go of her family life and her friends for the sake of her career — all of which ultimately led her to Chuck,” she says. “It’s one of the most natural normal things in the world to have a mother. Whether they’re present in their life or not, everyone had a mother at some point, and it sort of made her more of a regular normal human being with more emotion.” The episode was also far from the easiest one for Strahovski — but not for the reasons you might think.

After years of performing grand stunts while wearing sky-high heels, one would think the actress had a laundry list of her greatest and most challenging maneuvers. Not so. In fact, she claims her hardest stunt, was handling an infant in that very episode, “Chuck vs. the Baby.” “The scene where I had to handle the crying baby was the one where I was the most nervous ever,” she says, laughing. “I didn’t grow up with a lot of babies in my life because I only grew up with my parents — I didn’t have any brothers or sisters — and I didn’t have my family close by. So babies still make me very nervous and to do a scene with the baby crying, I mean, I was petrified that I was going to drop the baby. I think that was definitely more nerve-racking than any stunt. But it is kind of embarrassing to admit that.” Well, she pulled it off.

The same, actually, can be said about Chuck‘s entire run. Somehow, they always pulled it off — made it to another season against all odds. “I can’t believe we’ve made it this far,” she says. “For a show that’s always been on the bubble midseason and at the end of every season, it’s been an amazing run. We’ve had amazing support, and I really don’t think we’d be here today without the support of the fans, who have been so incredibly loyal, who have petitioned and written letters and eaten Subway sandwiches. They have been there for us and believed in us and the show.”

So what’s next? Well, first it’s the Stuart Beattie-directed I, Frankenstein, which is based off the graphic novel of the same name. She will star opposite Aaron Eckhart, playing his love interest, a gifted scientist. (Her previous film effort, Killer Elite, also hit DVD this week.) Then, she’s open to everything — including more TV. “It does seem as though I’m a little more film-oriented this year so far so, maybe I’ll continue down that track, but I’m always open to television,” she says. But overall, “it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world to be able to wrap up a show knowing that you sort of created a mini-nerd empire.”

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