The Problem With Sarah

Feelings… Nothing More Than, Feelings…

Our friend and commenter, Ernie D., has started a great conversation on the NBC boards. I do believe that the starting point is the scene we’re so familiar with, in vs. The Ring, where Sarah (finally) tells Chuck that she’s going off with Bryce in the morning.  It’s so easy to empathize with the boy then.

What now, Chuck???

What ARE you thinking?

There are other scenes like that. One that comes to mind immediately is in vs. Crown Vic when she angrily “apologizes” to Chuck for violently kissing him at the end of Hard Salami as the “bomb” is about to explode.  It was a mistake that she won’t repeat, she tells him. Actually, she spits it out.  You get the idea that she’s not too concerned about hurting Chuck at that moment.

And boy, does she hurt him in The Ring. So the question is (and correct me if the nuances are wrong here), is Sarah’s treatment of Chuck in any way justified? Is there something in her character that makes this plausible, and if so, is there a reason she hasn’t she grown out of it yet? Are the events of the 24 episodes between those two scenes sufficient to say that Sarah’s got her reasons for (even temporarily) going off with Bryce? Or are we seeing something that’s in the story merely for the purpose of prolonging viewer – darst I say it? – angst?

When I re-read that last paragraph, I see my own biases showing, even after the 3rd re-write. We know about Sarah’s unusual childhood, and the way this affected her. By her own admission, Sarah hates talking about her past and is poor at expressing her feelings. It’s even hard for her to express anger, holding it in until the explosion.  She always finds it difficult to commit fully to something new, whether it’s to the CIA, Bryce (thinking of when he returned), or most especially, Chuck. Reflexively, Sarah would rather stay where she is, and is full of fear when change is necessary. And Sarah’s reaction to fear is not paralysis, but lashing out. She confronts it head-on, whether it’s an alarm clock buzzing in a new day, Jill, Cole or Casey. (Hum… One exception. She never confronts General Beckman directly.) All this shows that I’m biased to thinking that Sarah’s non-explanation to Chuck for leaving him is within character, heart wrenching, but not head snapping and certainly not final.  Her evolution and growth are in her nod “no” to Bryce and in what’s coming in season 3.

Of course, YMMV! In the comments, Ernie expresses it well, as usual.

You and I have opposite views of Sarah’s in the Ring. I generally think she’s progressed past a certain point largely because her emotional involvement with Chuck has helped her understand and get over some of her obviously damaging past. You seem to be of the opinion that her inability to open up shows she is still pretty damaged and still needs a lot more growth and healing before she can really trust someone enough to open up and expose herself to more potential heartbreak.

Well, yes! Except maybe that it’s not “a lot more” growth. I think by the scene where she’s about to tell Chuck exactly what it is she wants, Sarah is right there.

Our friend and Chuck expert par excellance!, Old Darth, has gotten my take exactly right too, when he writes I think Sarah is on the cusp ie she is in a place between where Joe thinks Sarah is – is that your take Joe? and is ready to move to the place that Ernie is describing.That is, Sarah is moving away from her comfort zone, haltingly. I think she already has, despite her initial acceptance of the new intersect mission and rejection of – Chuck. We may continue struggling to see that movement, though.

All this ties into some of the thoughts expressed in the “What do we want to see in S3?” thread. If Sarah continues to waffle between her duty and her heart, I’m going to be disappointed for as long as that continues. Because I’m into the techniques and mechanics of story telling, I’ll be disappointed because it is indeed stuff we’ve seen before. Since I think that Sarah’s past that now, that is a regression in the character, not an evolution or maturation at all. In a word, it would be BORING!

Needless to say, I’m not too concerned. The creative talent has seen to it that the characters move forward, if not always in a straight line, and that applies to Sarah too. Backwards steps have either proven illusory or temporary, I think. And like Ernie correctly points out, they can serve to “humanize” characters (human beings are nothing if not inconsistent). It’s been the breaks, even breaks as short as one week, that give the impression of permanence when we see backsliding at the end of an episode. I’m of the opinion that the only true disagreement between the real fans of the show is the pace, not the fact, of Chuck and Sarah’s deepening relationship, and it’s a reasonable disagreement to have!

Like anybody, Sarah’s allowed to change her mind. As sexist as it sounds today, my generation grew up understanding that this was a women’s prerogative. If Sarah was real, I wouldn’t hold it against her too much.

Now if only she knew something about music…

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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46 Responses to The Problem With Sarah

  1. OldDarth says:

    When Sarah has a moment of weakness she, in an almost Pavlovian manner, overcompensates by going into spy mode or becomes a walking freezer unit – for those of us who remember Gary Mitchell in Where No Man Has Gone Before.

    I am heartened by the early screener previews, I know I sound like a broken record on this but it is all we have to go on for now, that states the relationship is being handled in a mature and adult manner with real two way conversations going on.

    So the Sarah Walker of Season 3 should find herself trying to go back to her S1 behaviour but no longer able to do so. That is the struggle I want to see with her.

    For Chuck, the continuing evolution and maturation of his character towards super herodom is what I want to see. But I do not want him to lose that childish enthusiasm in the process.

    • joe says:

      I’m heartened too by those screener previews, and by a few moments I’ve seen in the promos. It’s so close to what I was hoping for that I really fear I’m getting ahead of myself with enthusiasm. I fear it’s more my imagination than what they’ve actually put on the screen.

      I really like the idea of, not only Chuck and Sarah maturing, but their relationship too. We started to see that in The Colonel and I want it to continue.

      • Oh Come on says:

        Come on seriously, everyone should know by now that these two won’t have a relationship in season 3. It is pretty obvious. I mean with the NBC promo, they are telling us it is the girl or the job. It can’t be both.

        So imagine my suprise when I listened to Zach tell the audience that Sarah will not be with him if he choses to be a spy.

        That means the Chuckster loses the girl again.

        Sorry if I do not have the enthusiasm you all have for the season. Who wants to see them split up again. What exactly is the show trying to tell us. Chuck and Sarah cannot be together so just give up hope now.

        This show gets more confusing and less enjoyable the more they screw with Chuck and Sarah.

        So excuse me if I don’t jump on the bangwagon and jump for joy when people say I will cry for them. Well I don’t want to cry. I am tired of that. How about going in a another direction that doesn’t involve angst.

        I don’t have much faith in the writers because they will always find excuses to keep them apart. They would rather write angst then a really good love story.

        Oh well,

        Should have known this is what we were going to get. Silly me.

      • joe says:

        Hi, Oh Come on. Welcome to the group.

        Wow. I don’t want to go all Freud on you, but what you say here is really more about your reactions to C&S then about the story! You’re definitely entitled to that, btw.

        But I have to ask… Why do you think C&S aren’t together already? Some of us romantics here actually think they are!

        Oh, they’re going to argue and fight – but then again, so do my wife and I. And we’ve been together for over 10 years! And there’s going to be all sorts of things (will call them obstacles, but some of that will be their own stubbornness, fears and stupidity) coming between them and intimacy for a bit yet. But who doubts that the show is really about C&S overcoming those obstacles? Not I.

        Naw. Chuck will lose the girl, I’ll guess, more than 1.0 times per episode, on average. He’ll get her back, too. Every time. Sarah’s not going anywhere permanently.

        You’re right to say that the show gets less enjoyable the more they screw with Chuck and Sarah. But it also gets more enjoyable when we see them get past that and learn that they are strong together.

        Look at Break-Up. The fates (also known as TPTB) really put it to the couple, even splitting them up physically. But isn’t the pay-off at the end, where Sarah touches Chuck’s neck to ease his disappointment, isn’t that wonderful?

        Maybe it really isn’t your cup of tea. Truly, that’s fine. I like it, though.

        I can tell by the way you care that you actually do feel something, though. It comes through in your words!

  2. Zsjaer says:

    “is Sarah’s treatment of Chuck in any way justified”

    Yeah…she never was good in expressing her emotions and she admitted not being good at relationships..but it wasnT just that.. She was a CYA agent and going in a mission was her duty. Everytime she has hurted Chuck was to protect him..even in vs The crown Vic..she Knew that if she lost control she would be reassigned and that was the worse thing for her

    • joe says:

      That’s a good point, Z. She hurt Chuck in Crown Vic very needlessly, but it did show the level of her frustration with the situation.

      The one thing I liked about that scene was the way Chuck stuck up for himself, confronting her about it the way he did.

  3. OldDarth says:

    CYA agent? Was that intentional or did you mean CIA agent? Either its a good one and apropo to the character.

  4. Ernie Davis says:

    I’ve dwelt on this topic for quite a while, I know. And I’m sure it sometimes seems like I’m Sarah bashing. I’m really not, trust me, I love Sarah. 😉 I think she has been by far the most interesting multi-layered character in the first two seasons. Still waters run deep. You can practically hear the pain and conflict at times. Chuck has been a wonderful character and has also exhibited great maturation and growth, but in a way he has changed very little. Remember the premier or Tom Sawyer or Santa Claus, Chuck is a natural leader and whether he recognizes it or not he is that guy who steps up and takes charge when he needs to. Everyone around him recognizes it, especially Sarah. In a way it seems inevitable that Chuck is going to eventually step up and lead Team B, although I expect to see Chuck’s character become the conflicted multi-layered interesting one as that happens in S3.

    But I digress. Sarah. Joe is right that the more we examine this the more it seems to come down to a crucial difference. How much do we think Sarah has grown in the time we’ve known her. That scene in the Ring, is this the Sarah we know? Can we explain this behavior with what we know?

    Some of us feel as if Sarah had already crossed a threshold at the end of the First Kill. “Take off your watch.” She had orders. They weren’t unreasonable. As Casey said, “Beckman’s right. The safest place for Chuck is underground. What do you think will happen when Fulcrum finds Jill anyway?” But Sarah took Chuck on the run, because she couldn’t bear to have him put in a padded cell. Chuck mattered more to her than her career or orders, the threshold was crossed. The motel scene and the two beds comment in the cell in the Colonel just served to show that this was more than her desire to protect Chuck from a cell like in the premier, although we knew this already from Marlin. She didn’t want to lose Chuck. She’d decided her future was with Chuck. After things were resolved at the end of the Colonel and there was no longer anything to keep them apart, and they had time, and they were aware of how they felt about each other, well, two reasonably mature intelligent people who care about each other might just find a way to talk about the elephant in the room between them. Or they’d at least make out again.

    Joe and a few others seem to feel that the threshold wasn’t really crossed until the second wedding when she decided to stay with Chuck rather than leave with Bryce. Having been given a pass on going AWOL by Casey she had time to re-consider her future with Chuck. Perhaps the decision made in a split second to run, faced with Chuck being permanently confined to a padded cell was right, but now Chuck could have a real life like he’d always said he wanted. No intersect, no guns, no lies…no Sarah? Did she really fit into Chuck’s new life? Could she? We’ve seen her longing for that normal life, but as Chuck himself said “As amazing as you are Sarah Walker, we both know you will never be normal.” Was what we saw second thoughts? Cold feet? Was it those demons from her past Liz James talked about telling her she can’t have this, she doesn’t deserve it or she can’t handle it. She’d just end up hurting Chuck in the end, so get it over with, end it now. It will be painful, but once the pain starts to fade it will be for the best. Or perhaps I’ve over-characterized her. Maybe she just had no clue how to respond. Sarah Walker, former ugly duckling, abandoned and betrayed and disappointed by all the men in her life, a lifetime spent always hiding, never letting anyone close enough to know her because she knew she’d have to leave them, that Sarah Walker just couldn’t bring herself to say yes, but didn’t know how to say no to what she wanted more than anything, so Agent Walker took over and handled the situation.

    Both are plausible. Both can be in character, depending on how you see the character, so I understand how opinions can differ (though I still know I’m right and will continue to argue my view till the new season makes it a moot point).

    Here is my problem. If Sarah learned anything from her time with Chuck she learned how much he cared for the people in his life, how far he would go to protect them, and how much it hurt him to hurt them. The greatest pain Chuck could feel was betraying or being betrayed by someone he had taken in as part of his family. He still carried the scars of those betrayals, including the worst betrayal of his life, the one he still wasn’t over when she met him, the one by those he thought closest to him. And now Sarah was one of those people, real girlfriend, fake girlfriend, friend, he had made Sarah part of his family just like Bryce and Jill had been. Sarah has been Chuck’s biggest booster, bigger than his sister. Sarah got him his Stanford degree, told him his dream job was his, his resume, his qualifications, told him he was that guy who could do and have anything he wanted. And she knew what he wanted more than anything. And she learned how you break up if you have to. You don’t lie about your feelings, you just acknowledge that no matter how much you wish, you can’t have what you want.

    After two years with Chuck, being part of his life, Sarah Walker doesn’t watch Chuck stand suffering in front of her for 15 seconds, knowing that she is destroying every bit of the confidence she has tried to help build, knowing that he cares for her more than he did for Jill, and that he is now wondering again how he could have been so stupid to allow this to happen to him again, wondering if she was playing him the whole time, if he could really be that stupid, if she was secretly laughing at him while she built him up, or if he is really as pathetic as he feels… she’s staying just long enough to wrap up the cover, then going back to her real life with Bryce. Unless there is something else going on that we don’t yet know about yet Sarah Walker isn’t that cruel and isn’t so clueless that she doesn’t know what Chuck is going through for those excruciating 15 seconds before he walks away. Sarah walker can decide to kill a man in cold blood in a second or two because he is a threat as long as he lives. Sarah Walker can decide in a split second that Chuck isn’t going into a padded cell while she can do anything about it. Sarah Walker doesn’t watch the man she loves self-destruct over her and something she said for 15 seconds and not do something, no matter how she feels. When she needs to, Sarah Walker does something.

    • atcdave says:

      Perhaps it was her evil twin?!

    • joe says:


      And you left out something that makes your argument even stronger, Ernie, something that Liz James always considered too. What happened after the wedding rehearsal dinner at the end of Colonel? Just – nothing? That’s the most unrealistic thing I can imagine. Yet it seems we’re asked to imagine just that.

      Hey! Did I just make you go all epic on me again, Ernie?! I consider that a compliment!

    • Lucian says:

      Ernie – you are getting at some of the real inconsistencies in the story development from the Ring (and what we know of season 3). Sarah has been saying for the better part of two seasons that Chuck can have “whatever he wants” (wink, wink) once he gets the intersect out of his head. Now that the intersect is finally out, she would not only leave with Bryce, but do it without saying anything more about her hopes for their relationship. Yes, we know she was going to say something at the reception, but she had inflicted a whole lot of pain by the time she had reconsidered and was going to say something positive (we think) to Chuck.

      This is a stupid kind of angst (definately s-angst). It sounds like they are done with this type of “character development”. We can only hope.

      Frankly, I would rather see both Chuck and Sarah be in real relationships with others than to do any more of this to each other – it may be plausible, but not, IMO, very entertaining. I know I’ll stop caring if they pull anything like this again.


  5. atcdave says:

    To me, its the later part of your post Joe, when you get to the heart of the matter. Will Sarah be allowed to grow in a consistent and believable way? Ernie has expressed my deepest fears very well; that the writers are so wedded to the ongoing back and forth, and cheap angst, that they don’t even care about the consistency of their characters. That’s been a huge concern of mine since Comic-Con; with comments like “2 steps forward, 3 steps back” and “the dance will continue”, they not only sound like they have no real interest in their characters, but that they simply want to continue writing the same show over and over. That is the core reason for my massive frustration at the time. The puppy kicking scene in The Ring, and Sarah being interrupted at the reception, add fuel to these concerns.
    Now, before OD jumps all over me, I must add, for a variety of reasons, I’ve come to believe this is not how it will play out. The recent comments about the relationship being handled in a mature way certainly helps. Although, as Chuck said in The Ring, that isn’t enough. I’m looking for a fun time and good entertainment. That means, things must go well between them. That doesn’t mean no problems and no drama. But it does mean we need to see Chuck and Sarah together.

    I know this thread is to be about Sarah more than just the relationship. To me, the issue is closely entwined. Sarah’s major (only?) character flaw is her avoidance of her own emotions. We have seen her slowly, painfully, overcome this limitation; really since the beginning of the series. She seems to have overcome this issue by the end of S2. I do believe her growth will continue. But, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, my reasoning is not strictly rational. It is in spite of the things they have said in the off season. It is satisfying that my irrational thoughts now seem to be correct.

    • joe says:

      I wrote a whole section on just that, Dave. – on the evolution and maturation of the relationship. Then I realized I was getting off topic and deleted it. But when considering Sarah, that’s certainly easy to do!

      I keep wondering about the pacing. If the show keeps C&S apart for season 3, is that too long? Why? Other successful shows have done that for far longer. But I find the glacial pace of the relationship in Bones as frustrating as anyone has expressed about Chuck.

      Ultimately, it’s the wrong question. They certainly can keep C&S apart as long as they want, and the only question is will people watch? Will I watch? Everyone answers that for themselves.

      Like usual, I contend that the creative talent has consistently exceeded my expectations, creating a show that has been thrilling and delightful. (Heh! I really don’t watch just because of Yvonne, you know.) I’m predisposed to trust them “on spec” for awhile, no matter what the spoilers and Josh Schwartzs of the world say. Not indefinitely, but for awhile.

      And yes, that’s my rational side talking. It does understate it. When Ernie describes familiar scenes above in his inimitable fashion, I have to admit that I see them vividly, and I feel the same emotions again that I felt the first time. I want to feel that way, again. And although I admit to being a bit of a romantic, that’s just not the usual way I react to television.

      When it comes down to it, I’m always going to feel that Chuck is just not your usual television show.

      • atcdave says:

        The pacing is always a tricky issue. I think they got off to a fast start when way back in 1.03 we were hearing about “I’ve seen how that girl looks at you” and “would it be so bad?” I remember being surprised at the time and wondering what that meant for the direction of the show. Well before the end of S1 I had concluded this show would be a journey indeed, and we’d likely see a real relationship and marriage by S4.

        That may have been due to more than just script. Zach and Yvonne have a comfortable, friendly way together that really suggests intimacy and warmth. Perhaps this caused many of us to conclude things would unfold faster than the writers ever intended. But surely we weren’t the only ones who saw it. The directors of each episode clearly could have staged things differently if the feeling from TPTB was that things were proceeding too quickly. The progress can only be deliberate.

        I think that all means something good must happen in S3. And I don’t mean just another Colonel episode. It is clear from all comments that things will be very rough for Chuck and Sarah at the start of S3. I don’t like that one little bit; but I can live with it, if we see progress (healing perhaps) right from 3.01.

        I don’t know exactly why this seems to be a bigger deal than in any other show I’ve seen. I’ve certainly seen shows fail badly. Smallville and JAG are two recent shows that come to mind as having pushed it to the point I no longer cared. But I think because Chuck is a better show to begin with; and Chuck is a character I strongly relate to; the possibility of ruining a wonderful thing seems almost to awful to consider. I’m not sure how long I would watch the train wreck; or when I would decide it was inevitable, but at some point I would quit watching.
        I don’t think it will be an issue, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it. I agree Chuck isn’t your usual television show; that’s why I’m still here writing.

  6. OldDarth says:

    Growth is a not a linear process.

    When Sarah responded to Chuck’s offer of going on a vacation she may have been afraid. Old habits die hard and she hid behind the only place she felt safe – her job.

    We could see when she entered the room where Ellie was getting ready and saw Chuck that Sarah was struggling with deciding between staying with Chuck and her new career advancement. Chuck pressed her before she had made up her mind and Sarah paniced.

    Growth involves stumbles. We saw Sarah stumble.

    Food for thought, anyhow.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree growth is not linear, which is why I’ll cut some slack for the puppy kicking. And I also agree with your take that Chuck pressured her too soon; had he waited until after the wedding he likely would have gotten a very different response.

      But I think where we disagree some, and I’m more with Ernie is; that the whole technique seems cynical and manipulative. Especially when added to later comments from the brain trust indicating a complete lack of progress for the relationship (again, “two steps forward, three steps back” and “the dance will continue”). I think those lines did more to damage my esteem for and confidence in these writers than anything else they possibly could have done. They proudly proclaimed they weren’t going to develop the central relationship any further.

      Now we know a lot has happened since then. JS has been exposed as a liar, ironically because all indications are that his show will be better than he lead us to believe.

      I’m OK with some stumbles, and I know more will follow. But growth of both the lead characters and their relationship must be forward and positive to maintain my interest. That’s why I’m still only cautiously looking forward to S3. I expect great things, but I still have a few nagging doubts. I will be very pleased if the confidence you’ve shown all along turns out to be well founded.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        And here Dave arrives at my real problem with the scene. It stretches the characters and plot to the breaking point, but my real problem was that the scene was written to achieve a desired outcome. The only explanation was they wanted Chuck to be unsure of Sarah’s feelings again. After all the plot and character development we’d seen that outcome was not really achievable other than something pretty traumatic, and pretty out of character for both Chuck and Sarah. The attempt to rewind that part of the plot, and rather clumsily, was what really bothered me. Cynical and manipulative, yes, but also not very creative. Standard formulaic Hollywood BS; if you can’t think of anywhere to take a plot line so you hit re-wind and do the same thing again.

  7. OldDarth says:

    I chalk that Sarah moment up to available story telling time. There was only so much screen time available to address that situation. So the most expedient route or shortcut was taken.

    That would be my general complaint about all the episodes after Dream Job – far too much story to be told in too few episodes. There was an iceberg syndrome situation going on where the show brought up many intriguing story points but had no time to go below the surface with any of them.

    Mark this down as another item I want to see addressed in Season 3 – better pacing.

    I also think people are taking the two steps forward, three back quote far too much to heart. I would bet the farm if Josh was asked about that he would say he meant 3 steps forward and 2 back. The other way makes no sense from a story telling viewpoint.

    • joe says:

      You just said three things I always mean to say, but never seem to get to.

      The pace of the show from Preditor on is furious. And I love it! The problem, of course, is that it can’t be sustained. The audience starts to beg for dramatic relief.

      But it’s like a drug, too (and thank God it’s a legal one)! Of course, there’s nothing like a good fountain scene to slow things down in a nice way.

      Observation of the day: The fountain is a cast member!

    • atcdave says:

      I agree the pacing needs to be more measured in S3. I also agree the 2 forward, 3 back line was likely mis-spoken. But combined with other things said at about that time, it is why so much of the fan base was either fired up or depressed. I know it is actually taught in school that putting the lead couple together is the end of the story; which is why so many people are tired of TV romances, and has contributed to the decline of scripted programming and western civilization (does anyone read what I write?).

      I keep hoping Hollywood will realize what married couples all over the world know; that the story is just getting good when the couple gets together. Chuck reads like a show that gets that; but the writers don’t talk like they do.

      • joe says:

        Oh yeah. Although I’ve said that the story about the couple coming together is great, and that I’m not sure I want to see it end just yet, I’ve come to agree much more with you. We the fans are quite ready for the next step.

        I used to think that those who thought there was some great “Hollywood conspiracy” to control scripts that way were more than a little paranoid. “No one would dare to micromanage that way.” Uh, no. They do. It was a bit of an eye opener to find that orders do come down from “on high” to directors, writers and casts to “Do this…” and “Don’t do that..” and “Don’t even think about doing…”.

        The fact that Gaspin has stated that he dislikes “darker” shows has not been lost on the Ali Alders of the industry.

        On top of that, these people are pretty sensitive to the subtle clues in the air around them. That’s why they’re successful, I suppose.

        All that was to say I agree and am ready for exactly what you propose, Dave. But it seems to be a much bigger and more dangerous foe than I thought. Sort of like The Ring is going to be.

      • OldDarth says:

        Agree Joe.

        Based on the previous two seasons the show will have to come up with a helluva of concept to keep Chuck and Sarah apart for the duration of Season3.

  8. OldDarth says:

    “Observation of the day: The fountain is a cast member!”

    The Fountain of Gloom.

  9. lou federico says:

    This has always been my hot button back in the old NBC Board “Shrink” days. I really believe that the title of this conversation should be “WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHUCK”. I have always fallen on the Sarah side of this argument and always believed that Chuck was far more responsible for the stagnation of the relationship than Sarah.

    In exploring Sarah we have to understand that she has far more stressor on he decision making than Chuck does. She has to weigh personal happiness VS duty. (sac. one for the safety of many or the greater good theory).She is a trained CIA assassin who was reared by the CIA since she was 17. So basically we can hypothesis that the CIA was her surrogate father as Jack was really never around. So not only does she have the internal conflict of disobeying her “father” but trying juggle her personal feelings, which she has be trained to ignore, for Chuck and for Bryce her first love?. Not an easy decision. Plus the whole thing of going to jail for treason thing always weights in if she disobeys the order by not going with Bryce. So it can be said that she has a lot more to lose and lot more stress on her decision making than Chuck. Point Sarah

    The main thing that I think bothers me about the Chuck V Sarah thing is how they deal with other relationships. Going back into Sarah’s corner lets go back to Season 1 and by far my favorite metaphoric scene the phone scene. Bryce comes back from the dead and offers “Omaha” to Sarah. She is racked packed and stacked ready to run way with her first love that she thought was dead. Bryce calls on the old outdated phone while Chuck calls on the new high tech phone. Sarah selected the new and unknown verses the old and predictable. She selected Chuck at that moment. Let’s go to Chuck.. Once Jill shows up he freely and easily jumps back into the sack (metaphorically) with her. No second thoughts no delays… Further the blatant PDA in front of Sarah has always troubled me. With Cole and Bryce any display of affection was always done in private..(Maybe the Bryce dancing scene was a little over the top but it was their cover) Chuck on the other hand freely throws it into Sarah’s face with Lou and Jill. A great example of this was in Chuck Vs the Ex or was the Fat Lady. Damn you WB. Nice release date for Chuck Season 2. But at the end when Chuck emerges from the room after saving the day and tougueing Casey, he sees Sarah who of course is very excited to see him. Jill shows up and Chuck looks at Sarah again and plants a big wet kiss on Jill in front of Sarah. So much for not liking PDA. Point Sarah

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Chuck. I have always considered him an “agent killer” that infects perfectly constructed robotic agents with morality, compassion and love. He turned the burnt out cold blooded killer Casey into a caring big brother, turned the heartless emotionally challenged Sarah into a pile of quivering emotional goo. He even turned out for herself let other fend for themselves Carina into giving up the diamond to save a friend.
    Point Chuck

    This season it is Sarah who is on her back with her junk (emotionally) exposed for all the world to see must like Morgan entering his tucking phase. It is now Chuck who has to decide Love V Duty. Almost a role reversal shoe is on the other foot scenario. This would explain Sarah’s angry “show me your attack skills” promo as I would imagine that she may be a little ticked off and who wouldn’t be. I am truly excited about this season and the continued relationship of both Sarah and Chuck. Now maybe Chuck can now feel what is like to “have the weight of the Damn world on his shoulder” while Sarah can learn what it feels like to deal with her “feeling. “

    Point: All Chuck fans……..

    • joe says:

      Hey Lou! I remember “Shrink”! Now I’m really glad to see you here!

      This was a great comment. I can disagree with a very few particulars (when the two phones ring, I believe Sarah simply is unable to decide, and winds up choosing neither. She got Chuck “by default”, and we’ll see her dithering like that come into play again in The Ring). But ultimately, you’re spot-on. Especially about the prediction of a roll-reversal in S3.

      And also about Sarah having more stressors on her. That’s something that sort of creeps up on you, and doesn’t register at all until the 49-B makes an appearance. Perhaps Sarah’s actions in The Ring can’t be properly understood until that’s put into proper context.

    • atcdave says:

      I certainly agree with your “points”. I think a bit of role reversal is bound to come up this season, that should be fun. I’m not sure though about Sarah getting more fan wrath; I’ve always found her a very sympathetic character, her cheerful devotion to duty is among the more beautiful traits I’ve seen in any character on TV in the last several years (maybe decades), and her fearless heroism is first class. I guess I would say Chuck is more “relatable” while Sarah is more “admirable”; although both characters actually score highly in a number of good characteristics. Sarah may be the focus of more attention sometimes because she is seen as more in the driver’s seat; even though, as you point out, that appearance is superficial only. She is as trapped by love vs. duty (and an awareness of monitoring, making any action on her part risky) as Chuck is by his insecurities and uncertainties.

      I guess I’m just saying, I see the balance sheet as pretty even. For ever time Chuck behaved thoughtlessly in front of Sarah, you can find a time when she crushed his hopes. My greatest wish for the show is to move past that stuff. Chuck and Sarah ordinarily have a mutually supportive, caring, and respectful relationship. I can think of no other TV couple that needs to just put the miscommunication and reservations behind more than these two.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’d disagree with one particular. Chuck didn’t freely and easily jump back with Jill. He was pushed back into contact and told to reconcile enough to try to get some information out of her when all he seemed to want was to slam a door in her face. After that failed rather epically he volunteered to look like an idiot to plant the bug. Unfortunately he got the door opened in more than one sense. Then when that failed again he was told to get her to cooperate no matter what, and to do so he needed to drop his cover. As soon as Jill found out he was CIA she was obviously playing on his frustrations with Sarah, his loneliness, and his forgiving nature. Chuck had to be pushed into that relationship multiple times.

    • joe says:

      Ernie makes a good point, Lou. Sometimes it gets lost in the general “dislike” of the Jill arc and it’s seldom mentioned in the boards. But Chuck really doesn’t go galumphing after Jill like a moonstruck boy. He does make sure that he’s got no future with Sarah before he goes after her (one point, Chuck).

      He knows better now. The most insane of ‘shippers have a point when they say that it would be dumb for this kind of thing to happen again. It would be – they should both be beyond that by now (and of course, I think they are). To his credit, when Jill came back in First Kill, he absolutely did not act the same as he did in, say, Fat Lady.

      Perhaps that’s the point about the anger with trapezoids and other geometric shapes. It something that we think the characters have left behind. We want the future!

      As Fr. Rick says, “Bring on the Chuck!”

  10. OldDarth says:

    I can see both sides of the relationship. In my experience Sarah usually gets the brunt of fan wrath.

    As soon as Intersect 2.0 was unveiled, role reversal was the first thing that popped into my mind. I too, await eagerly for Season 3 to see how that dynamic plays out.

    Should be a great acting challenge for both Zach and Yvonne.

    • lou federico says:

      Does that mean great “lou’s” think alike?

    • Gord says:

      Good point about Sarah taking the brunt of the wrath. Over the holidays I have been rewatching S2 again, and I noticed how much Chuck hurt Sarah in the Jill arc.
      – called her a robot in ex and then talking about the kiss with Jill in the van.
      – in Fat Lady, he is in the OO and says to Sarah that how nice it was to be with a girl who knew the real Chuck.
      – finally in Gravitron, when after all Jill’s betrayal as Sarah gives chase to Jill, Chuck yells out to her not to hurt Jill.

      If you ask me, Sarah has taken a lot on the chin for Chuck. She deserves to be cut a little slack.

  11. OldDarth says:

    Either that or we hang out in the ‘loo’ too much. 😉

    • joe says:

      “The loo????” Bad punning without a license! 15 year penalty. Free kick! Free throw! Batter goes to first!

      See what happens when you go all Aussie on us? ;>

  12. OldDarth says:

    Caught – red handed. 😀

  13. Gord says:

    Take a break from the internet for a few days and there is a lot to catch up on. First off Happy New Year everyone and good to see some new people commenting.
    I thought it was interesting that you considered the angry Sarah hurting Chuck in Crown Vic with the wedding scene in Ring. I took her comments in the ring very differently. In Crown Vic she was angry with Chuck and angry with herself for realizing that she had feelings for the asset.
    In the Ring she didn’t want to hurt Chuck and she really didn’t want to leave, but it was her duty to the agency getting in the way.
    Having had a career in the military, I could understand what was happening (or at least from my perspective). When you serve your country, unfortunately sometimes friends and family have to take a backseat to your service commitments.
    There does come a time, when you make that decision to leave the service so that you can put friends and family first. It is not an easy decision to make, and that is what we saw in the Ring. Sarah was struggling to make the right decision. Should she continue to sacrifice for the service, or was it finally time to put her needs ahead of the service. As we saw later in the episode she made the decision to stay with Chuck and try to lead a “normal” life. She wanted the house in the suburbs, she wanted to be able to cook breakfast for Chuck, and kiss him goodbye on his way to work (still one of my all time favourite Chuck/Sarah scenes).
    When Chuck re-intersected, he snatched that dream away from her again. So although she struggled to make the decision, now that it is made she will not be too happy with Chuck. I do expect that it will take her some time to re-evaluate what is important to her, and that things will be a little frigid between her and Chuck while she does come to terms with all that has happened.

    • joe says:

      Welcome back, Gord. AND STOP READING MY MIND!!!
      Seriously, for the past hour or two I had been thinking about the next thing I wanted to write about. I was thinking in terms of the exact opposite of the this post’s topic, so it was essentially about everything that’s right about the Sarah character (yeah, it’s a long list).

      And already you hit on points of which I had been oblivious.

      Great comment!

  14. Pingback: Real Angst « Chuck This

  15. Lucian says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Sarah being really upset with Chuck for reintersecting makes little sense? It has seemed to me that her big conflict throughout season 2 has been “love vs. career”; all she knows is the CIA, and she is really good at it. She knows that Chuck is looking for a “normal” life. She knows she can’t have both Chuck and the CIA. With him reintersecting, and choosing the spy life, that conflict is gone – she can have both. I would think she would be doing cartwheels (which she does quite well). But no, that is not the case. Wouldn’t a fairly healthy response from Chuck be “babe, I did this for you; now you are saying I screwed up big time??” Now, I fully appreciate separating Chuck and Sarah to a degree as a part of his journey. (and this is why Chuck’s refusal to run away becomes, I am guessing the traumatic event).

    Though the path they appear to be taking is plausible, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me given what we know of the characters.

    • joe says:

      Part of me agrees with you, Lucian. Sarah has expressed frustration with Chuck before, but that was really about his not trusting her, and in Hard Salami, frustration with herself and her feelings for him.

      And maybe that’s the point. He’s done exactly what she hoped he’d do – he’s chosen to become a spy. So she shouldn’t be angry or upset. But now she can no longer hide behind the agent-stuff. She’s already shown Chuck she cares for him, and can’t resort to the “I won’t make that mistake again” line she used in Nemesis. Sarah doesn’t like to be exposed like that, I think, so it’ll be hard for her.

      But not impossible. I do believe that the “adult conversation” we’ve been hearing about is precisely what should happen – really adults go that route.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I do expect her to be upset, ’cause Sarah’s like that. But not terribly so.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree about the “not terribly so” part. Or at least I hope. She seemed to be still trying to push him that way as late as the reception, that is AFTER she had decided to stay with him.
        We’ve heard comments from show runners (was it Zach?) about how Sarah couldn’t accept both a spy’s life and a relationship. If they truly push that angle, it is sloppy and inconsistant writing.

      • joe says:

        Yes – I can agree with that, Dave. It would be inconsistent with the growth we’ve seen Sarah undergo in S2 to my POV.

        That’s what makes me so enthused about the comments we’ve seen re: the first five episodes. It really seems they’ve addressed exactly that issue.

        Hey! Maybe the runners actually do read our comments on the boards!

      • To Joe,Lucian and act.Dave I’ll agree with most of your comments on this subject about c/s relationship is that Sarah had a couple of chances to tell chuck that she wanted a normal life with him. Sarah told chuck that she was taking a job with Bryce.Then Later on at the wedding she told Bryce that she was staying with chuck, and at the Reception when Chuck told her he wanted a normal life by the time she giong to tell Chuck what she wamts Bryce and Casey was in exstreme danger.

        So Chuck was going by based on what Sarah Said to him earlier which was no. Chuck came to the realization that if Sara can’t be in my world I’ll join hers, so Chuck downloads the intersect in his head and people forget that if Chuck did not download the intersect and fought off agents of the ring when Sara and Casey
        were captured with his new Kungfu abilites,Sara,Casey and Chuck would be dead.

        Sarah now has the best of both worlds now.Not onky she has Chuck in her world. But also to establish a real relationship in the spy world and for that to happen they both must have the skill set to be mentaly,emotionaly and professionaly tougth to be earthquake proof in the deadly world of espinoge.

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