Open Reactions Thread

It’s Here!

No More Mr. Nice Spy

No More Mr. Nice Spy

Finally, after 8, count ’em, 8 months, Chuck vs. The Pink Slip and Chuck vs. The Three Words.

If you have immediate impressions, good or bad, this is the place to talk about them! Tell us what you like, what worries you, what surprises you and what thrills you.

And of all your predictions for season three, which are already proven wrong???  The floor, friends, is yours.

– joe, Amyabn, ATCDave & Ernie Davis

Update: To keep you entertained before tonight’s episodes start, Daniel Fienberg has his review of the first five posted.

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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71 Responses to Open Reactions Thread

  1. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    I usually sign in to chat but since I’m uber excited I don’t have time to sign in lol.

    I’m on West Coast time which means it’ll be ages til I actually see the epi, so I’ll be away from you guys until after my showing. But I totally wish I can see it with you all!

    • joe says:

      We know you’re with us in spirit, Faith. Just 3 hrs. more for you. After 8 months, you can make it!

      You may want to stay away from twitter, too. It’s exploding with Chuckaphiles. I’m betting that every line of dialog and every Casey grunt gets twittered world-wide in real time. ;>

  2. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    LOL my twitter is jemjoven if you want to “follow” me. My current comment is “Chuck me” in anticipation. 😀

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    First impression, man this promo is taking forever. It’s practically like a whole episode of Chuck.

  4. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    is it done? Reactions? Exclamations?

  5. weaselone says:

    Don’t have much time to comment tonight. A few of my predictions didn’t pan out, but overall the first two episodes followed a path that was similar to what I anticipated, although the Chuck and Sarah relationship took a few more steps forward than I expected.

    Interesting and incredibly suspicious that Shaw makes an appearance. He appears to be on par or even superior to Beckman, so what’s he doing showing up at Sarah’s hotel room in the preview shirtless? Something smells.

    New theory. Things are going to improve between Chuck and Sarah until Shaw arrives. Shaw orders Chuck to get close to Hannah without the full knowledge of Sarah and utilizes it to split Chuck and Sarah apart. Shaw then moves in on Sarah. That’s why Chuck decks him in the preview, he was set up.

    • Gord says:

      I like your theory. But so far I have been almost completely wrong in my speculation. To tell the truth, I’m glad I have been wrong because, those 2 episodes were full of surprises and were about the best 2 hours of television I have seen in a long time.

      Fasten your seatbelts everyone because this is going to be a quick paced season that will keep us on the edge of our seats.

      Also loved the Chuck/Casey training music – Eye of the Tiger – incredible.

  6. Ernie Davis says:

    I’m just happy for Morgan.

    • weaselone says:

      It’s a great irony. Morgan says no to Carina and gets one night of passion with his dream girl.

      Chuck says no to Sarah and it looks like he’s just managed to get back to maybe someday. Oh well, at least he got his foot back in the door (or was it his hand).

  7. Lucian says:

    Given all the spoilers and commentary, there wasn’t a lot of surprises, which was fine. Looks like they are going to be moving at a fast clip, which is great; I wasn’t expecting Shaw either. It is outstanding that Chuck and Sarah really know where they stand. Looks to be a fun ride. I really like that they are clearly telling a story – Chuck’s journey; Sarah’s journey; their journey. It was interesting that General Beckman refers to Chuck as Mr. (not agent) Bartowski. The differences in Sarah’s character are striking. Great start.

    • Gord says:

      I have a feeling that by the end of the season, Gen Beckman will be referring to Chuck as Agent Bartowski. That will be part of the big pay off.

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    Just one “minor point”. Anyone else notice that the device Chuck took from whasshisname in Mexico after knocking him out was pretty much the same thing as the secret weapon nobody could look at in episode 2? Just a guess, we’ll see the one Chuck took again.

  9. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    so will I want to burn my living room after this epi? Inquiring minds want to know lol.

  10. joe says:

    First impressions: Incredible.

    Faith, read no further until you’ve seen it!

    I’m going to use the word desperate a lot. I didn’t expect Sarah to be so desperate to keep Chuck away from the spy world. I didn’t expect Chuck to be so desperate to be with her. I didn’t expect their love for each other and their struggles to be together to be so desperate.

    I called it, but I didn’t expect Emmett to die. Certainly not that way, so quickly. That scene epitomizes much of what I saw today – Chuck (the show and the character) is darker, just like we heard.

    And Carina just surprised the heck out of me. Period. And Morgan surprised me most of all. Go Morgan!

    I wrote recently that “Will They/Won’t They” is not the right way to look at Chuck and Sarah’s situation. I think now that I was right, but right for a very wrong reason. It’s not “Will They?/Won’t They?”, but “Can They?/Can’t They?” I hope to explain what I mean in more depth as I understand these episodes better.

    Two words: Skip Johnson!!! He got his face time!

    Finally, Chuck has said those three little words, and Sarah has heard them. She hasn’t said them to Chuck yet, but never has it seemed so clear that Sarah knows she loves him. The “training” scene with the bo was one of the best scenes ever. Her words “You can’t (hurt me)!” are going to be ringing in my brain all week.

    My last quick impression is that I didn’t immediately pick up on any music that was as powerful as “Luisa’s Bones” (from Dream Job) or “Christmas TV” (from The Ring). But that’s a very tall order. I’ll pay more attention to the music next viewing.

    • joe says:

      Forgot to say that that was indeed the fastest two hours of television I’ve ever experienced.

    • herder says:

      Don’t leave out the unsaid words at the end of “you can’t hurt me” namely “any more than you have”.

    • herder says:

      A bit more, I think the fairly brutal death of Emmitt was intended to show that the stakes have risen, that The Ring is a more serious threat than Fulcrum.

      I thought that Carina was much more likeable this time around and that she is someone who can stir up all the characters ( although she didn’t have too much of an effect on Chuck this time, except for the “she loves you, you moron” comment). I hope she comes back in the back six.

      I wish they would do can they/can’t they, but from the preview is is going to be both can they/can’t they and will they/won’t they with a healty dose of other love interests thrown in.

      Yay Skip and the other guy – I’ll call him Pat as I’m too lazy to think of his name, both got more face time than usual while still saying nothing.

      Yes they both know that the other loves them, but what is going to be done with it, my bet is not too much for the next few episodes.

      • lou federico says:

        Fernando is his name.

      • atcdave says:

        Some good observations. I did find it interesting that Carina was an almost entirely positive influence this time, in spite of herself. I thought her best line was the simple “I’m going to kill him” after she saw the video of Chuck blowing her cover in the vault.
        Emmitt’s death does concern me some. Don’t get me wrong, no one deserves it more, but I hope its not indicative of a much darker season. In the past Buy More has pretty solidly been comic relief. In Pink Slip, their darkest episode yet, there was no comic relief.
        The tone at the end is hard to read. There was an apparent light at the end of the tunnel, especially with Sarah seeing the vault video; but then the preview sure showed storm clouds on the horizon (bonus points for a mixed metaphor?). I really may not be happy with the show until March.

  11. atcdave says:

    First of all; episode 3.01 is my new all time, least favorite episode. Very dark, very sad, not funny. My wife left the room as soon as it was over said she wasn’t interested in another episode tonight. I’m sure my impressions will firm up later after another viewing. There really was very little funny in this episode. The mood lightened a little in the last ten minutes, but not enough. The much discussed relationship malfunction appears to be, oh my gosh big shock here, a misunderstanding. It was all very well acted and produced, there is no doubt about the talent of anyone involved; I truly felt both Chuck and Sarah’s pain in turn. But for the whole episode? Really isn’t what I watch Chuck for. There is some interesting material here to discuss, maybe later.

    For now I need to mention 3.02. Excellent episode. Funny and fun, some damage control was done, especially in the end. Casey was very funny as Uncle Johny, Morgan finishes with one of his finest moments ever, Chuck is getting his “mojo” back on the mission (and still screwing up in Chuck appropriate ways), and we see a little actual hope on the Chuck and Sarah front.

    As I’ve said before, I simply don’t find the show enjoyable when things aren’t right between Chuck and Sarah, that made for a very rough night. Things could improve quickly from here, I’m not sure. I’m leaning more towards Hannah and Shaw being all about mission/cover. Shaw does seem to have some authority or influence over Beckman, but the preview leaves me wondering if everything with him and Sarah is all about manipulating Chuck. At this point, I’m not really looking forward to the next few episodes. I’m not threatening to jump ship yet, but I’m not happy either.

    • herder says:

      I lean towards your view of the episode, not as bad as you thought but definitely not one of my favorites. I thought the action in the second half somewhat redeemed a pretty bleak first half hour. I did like Casey sticking up for Chuck a couple of times and in fact saying something to Sarah about it. Also the “eye of the tiger stuff was pretty cool.

  12. joe says:

    Aaarrggg!!! I keep thinking of more that I want to say!

    Dave, you’re right about C&S being in a bad way. But this also looked very much like a low point. A wound was opened, and it bled. A lot. That last scene most definitely left us feeling that the healing has begun.

    Sarah is a complex character (duh!) and she seemed to swing wildly between love and hate (proving once again that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Sarah is never indifferent about Chuck). After I see these two episodes a few times I won’t be surprised to find inconsistencies and incongruities about her treatment of the situation, but for now on one viewing, they convinced me. As I watched I felt that I understood the pain they were going through, if not all the reasons for it. By the end of The Three Words it made emotional sense.

    Oh yeah – my wife (a much less biased viewer than I) loved the episodes. She’s ecstatic that the next episode is tomorrow.

    Hey! Can we have 3 episodes every week???

    • atcdave says:

      I agree it was well done. We got the message loud and clear that Sarah really didn’t want Chuck in the spy world, and felt crushed that he had chosen to be a spy over her. By the end of 3.02 things had lightened quite a bit as Sarah kind of got that that wasn’t true.

      The biggest problem I have is that the first hour was simply not fun. Depressed, pathetic Chuck is something I never need to see. And Icy, aloof Sarah is even worse. I am VERY glad they showed those episodes together, I would have been very irate to have to wait a week between those two.
      It looks like things may mend fairly quickly from here, but that does lead to questions about how Hannah and Shaw will fit in. As I’ve been saying for 8 months, I’m beyond tired of the melodrama; so my enthusiasm for S3 is fairly low right now. I’m hoping they will actually be nothings, but that theory is looking weak.

  13. Gord says:

    I can say that episode 1 was not what I was expecting. Even though we saw scenes in the spoilers, we didn’t know the context and although it was dark I found it riveting. It is probably good that they put episode 1 and 2 together though, it made for a more promising future.
    As for the music, the only song that stood out for me was when Casey/Chuck were training to Eye of the Tiger. How appropriate. Too bad we didn’t get to see the result of that sparring.
    I should be in bed now, as I have to get up in 5 hours for work, but I think this premiere got the adrenalin pumping. Not sure I will be able to sleep tonight.

    • Lucian says:

      As I can’t sleep, a few more thoughts.
      Firt, the pace was, IMO, borderline frenetic. They attempted to cover too much ground too quickly. I get the sense they are racing to Shaw and Hannah characters, because they know the fans are going to hate what happens – kind of like ripping off a bandaid. Do it quickly and move on! I didn’t like Agent Walker a whole lot, and if she continues with that demeanor, Chuck would be better off seeing what Lou is up to these days. This show is all about (IMO) characters we care about. They need to slow down and make us care. Music is key to this show. When they go that fast, there is no time for the scenes with the music that makes it all work. Seems pretty clear that Sarah doesn’t mind doing what it takes to set up a mark. I hope good Sarah returns fairly soon. I much prefer the Sarah who wouldn’t cheat on her cover boyfriend. Hopefully, Chuck figures out fairly soon that the middle of a mission is not the time to discuss your feelings (he should know that by now). The Shaw previews felt like melodrama.

      • herder says:

        I completely agree.

      • atcdave says:

        You do bring up a couple excellent points. Good point, Chuck trying to talk to Sarah during the mission is something he should know better than doing.
        I agree about the importance of likable characters, Pink Slip failed badly in that regard. Three words was better, and by the end, the earlier damage had been fixed. But after the excellent final part of S2, this was not a good start for S3.
        I wonder if they are trying to race through something? Maybe the tone will change a lot in 3.08, the first episode after the Olympics. I’ve kind of been thinking we won’t see a lot of improvement until 3.12 or so, but maybe (hopefully), it will come sooner.

      • herder says:

        Well if Shaw is saying that you had your chance and you blew it then there is not much improvement until he makes his move, which as I understand it starts in 3.06. Ali Adler is writing 3.08 so that may be where it starts, but my gut feeling is that we don’t get much real progress (aside from longing look and the like) until 3.12 or 3.13 and, in light of the extra six and Zach saying that they are looking to bring back Kristin Kreuk, maybe not until 3.18 or 3.19. Sorry to be such a downer, but if JS is making positive statement about ending the WTWT, I fear he will delay it until the last possible moment.

      • lou federico says:

        I agree with most of your comments but I have to rush to the aid of Sarah. (like she needs it with the bo-staff demo) We listened over the past two years to Chuck crying about wanting a normal life back. We listened to his speech about “I will get this thing out of my head and be with the girl I love” and he had it. Get on the Train!!! But he had to be greedy and got drunk with power and now he wanted to save the world (the same thing that he complained about Agent Walker) He turned agent walker to Sarah and now he wanted to be agent carmichael!! I believe he got what was coming to him. Bo-staff had a little anger to it but I think Sarah wanted to show chuck what it was like to be a real spy over a normal person with a normal life. We have to listen over the past two years to Chuck crying about wanted his normal life back. We listened to his speechs like ” I will get this thing out of my head and be with the girl that I love” and he had his chance every thing he wanted. Just get on the damn train man!!!!. He became Selfish chosing greater god over personal happiness that same thing that he pounded out of agent walker turning her into Sarah. The better, smarter Lou (OldDarth) was right a complete role reveral. Crap look at the time work in 2 hrs. Glad i can sleep with my eyes open

      • lou federico says:

        Sorry for the double posting!! No way to edit text. Joe Help Just tired not trying to be a drama queen

        – Joe adds:
        Lou, please e-mail me (jmj(dot)buckley(at)verizon(dot)net (Sorry-got that wrong the first time. “Force of habitual.”) I think I know a way to give people editing privileges, but it requires an e-mail address. I’d like to try it as an experiment!

    • weaselone says:

      Actually Lou, Chuck said he was going to live the life he wanted with the girl he loved. As I keep trying to point out, running away with Sarah doesn’t provide them with much of a life. They’ll be permanently on the run from the government, and it’s pretty certain that the Ring would eventually be chasing after them as well. They’d also be leaving behind Ellie, Devon, Sarah’s father and all of their friends. They’d both probably end up dead.

      Sarah’s the poor character for me here. Her initial desire to run away was understandable. Running is what Sarah Walker does. She runs away from her feelings much like she fled towns with her father while they were pulling cons. When she arrives in Prague 3 weeks later to rendezvous with Chuck, she would have had time to reconsider her actions and she should have realized that running was never an option. Instead, she holds Chuck’s decision not to run against him as if there were actually any other choice.

      • lou federico says:

        It was late and I knew i got the quote a little wrong. You make some good points. I was always on the minority on the Sarah issue but Chuck is the one that chose this time to reintersect himself at the end of the last season and if you watch Sarah’s face she was not happy and now running away was their only option once Chuck re-intersected himself as the government was not going to let him just walk away. There is a difference as this time Sarah was going to run away because of her feelings instead of away from her feelings. He wanted to become a real spy instead of a normal person. He freely choose the excitement of a spy’s life over a real normal life with Sarah which in my mind was a selfish decision. Thanks for the comments and will love to discuss this in further detail.


      • atcdave says:

        I think there’s enough blame to go around.

        Chuck’s been saying for two years he wants out, so its no surprise Sarah would be hurt and confused by his sudden about face. But then Sarah should have known Chuck could never go off grid. He couldn’t even run away over night in Colonel without calling his sister. His connectedness to his family and friends is part of what makes him special; and ensures he can’t go off grid. Sarah also didn’t help her case any by never setting Chuck straight about what she really thought of Bryce and Cole. As late as The Ring, Chuck was feeling like he didn’t measure up to Bryce. So, big shock, Chuck wants to be more like the guys Sarah has always gone for in the past.

        As I said, I think there’s blame to go around. This is a very poor start for a show who’s strength has always been fun stories and likable characters. Pink Slip had neither. Three Words was better, but if I were a new viewer it wouldn’t have hooked me.

  14. lou federico says:

    Well I got two things right out of 20. One, I guessed the The Three Words and I figured Agent Walker would surface after Chuck “dumped her” for the greater good but wow Glad mine doesn’t have a long stick and knows how to use it. New Name Bad Ass Agent Walker!! Kudos to Casey for coming to Chuck’s rescue not once by twice. For a man who doesn’t care about his feeling he made Agent walker turn back into Sarah just for Chuck.

    Overall, I dont want to say I was disappointed but like actdave I think they tied up alot of loose ends so quickly (Emmitt, Anna) it didn’t flow. It like they tried to dumb it down for the new audience while killing the old audience. I like the second episode a lot better. Finally the Nerd got the Girl with Star Wars sheets and all!! God bless you Morgan aka martin Grimes.

    I seriously cant see them bring in new love interests. It would completely erase the creditability of the second episode. I have a feeling the rating will suck for Monday’s episode. Fingers Crossed against that.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I agree. I think the writers have dropped the relationship gauntlet at this point. Running away and all that is one thing, Chuck actually saying “I love you” and Sarah not running away like Agent Walker for S1 is another. At this point the intentions have been laid, and no way will other forces separate them. Quadrangle or Quadrangle.

  15. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Thanks for the warning Joe lol. I just saw it and let me just say wow.

    Ok first, OMG.


    To think that Sarah Walker has gotten to the point where she can put what she wants and what she wants with Chuck above it all. To put herself out there and let the cards fall where they may. It’s amazing to me. I don’t think she’s ready to be in a relationship but I obviously didn’t realize the depths of her feelings for Chuck.

    They say you cannot be hurt unless you love and love deeply. Sarah Walker has loved very deeply. Chuck is an idiot for turning her down and for putting the fate of the world over her. If the world is ending tomorrow all you really have is the people you love.

    Very disappointed, but not surprised that Sarah reverted back to Agent Walker’s “emotions are liabilities” mode and ice coldness toward Chuck. Of all the things that I disliked about s03epi1 it’s that. IF she could get to the point where she can verbalize her desires (by the way I didn’t hear the 3 magic words from her at any point in the flashback so really…) she should have been able to verbalize her hurt and pain at being turned down.

    I’m very happy that the episodes tonight was a 2 parter. Had it stopped at the first I think many fans would have turned it off then and there and forever. I love the fact that they ended with Sarah listening to Chuck’s revealing words from the vault at the end. A part of me wonders, hmm…she didn’t know he loves her that much? She didn’t know how much SHE has changed him and how he views the world? In a way I’m more upset with her than him for not realizing the depths of his feelings and what it had to take for him to turn her down. He’s been in love with her HOW LONG?

    Lastly, finally the 3 magic words. I felt then, and I feel now that that was a missing aspect of the “Ring” episode of s2. Saying it to others is one thing, saying it to each other is a whole other thing. If for nothing else, I liked the episode for that.

    • lou federico says:

      CN8 you and I have always been on the same wavelength regarding Sarah and Chuck. When somebody is as emotional constipated as Agent Walker then i was not suprised by her reaction. The slap bothered me a bit but I am glad big brother Casey stood up for Chuck and told Agent Walker to bring Sarah back. God Love you Casey. At least the elephant is now visable in the room and we will see how they play it.

  16. Lucian says:

    NBC did a great job promoting these episodes. The goal (I think) should have been to get people to like the characters enough that they would be compelled to tune in Monday. I will be interested to hear the reactions from the folks I convinced to give it a try. I am not expecting they are excited. My sister is a big House fan. I don’t think they did enough to get her to make the switch. If the season depends on what they needed to do Sunday night (and I think it probably does), I would not be optimistic for season 4. They had one shot, and I don’t think they scored.

  17. Ernie Davis says:

    Just a few quick thoughts. I’ll have more to add later.

    I thought Emmet’s demise definitely took the show to a darker place, as did Sarah’s apparent lack of limits when playing a mark. They’ve toyed with this before but always backed off. The Carina appearance kind of reinforced that uncomfortable aspect.

    Get ready for angst on steroids. I think I can already see Shaw’s purpose. He is going there with the express purpose of crushing Chuck’s soul and making him an emotionless robot so the intersect works. I don’t know how they’ll play it yet, whether he’ll be portrayed as doing what is best for Chuck to help him survive or if Chuck refuses to become the kind of spy Shaw wants him to be, but mark my words, both he and Hannah are CIA there expressly to turn Chuck into a cold emotionally repressed agent, like Sarah was/is. Hannah will be seducing Chuck and Shaw will be inserting himself between Chuck and Sarah, trying to seduce her.

    In a macro sense I enjoyed both episodes. I agree that they seemed almost frantic to cover everything and some of tended to fall flat. But it’s just good to have Chuck back. As I said, more to come later.

    • weaselone says:

      I’ve developed a similar feeling that Shaw’s purpose is to turn Chuck into a cold-hearted and cold-headed spy by any means necessary. Shaw probably notes the connection between Chuck and Sarah soon after his arrival and seeks to break this connection to facilitate his reprogramming of Chuck from nerd to spy.

      Hannah will be brought in to seduce Chuck, but Chuck won’t be tempted so long as there is the slightest hope of rekindling something with Sarah. Shaw will then set Chuck up by ordering Chuck to seduce Hannah and making certain that an unwitting Sarah finds out about it. He’ll then reinforce the idea that Chuck has discarded her for this weeks cute brunette and make his own move.

      Cue a really ticked of Chuck cold cocking Superman. To me Shaw’s seduction of Sarah and “You had your chance” line seems very reminiscent of Bryce’s betrayal in “Alma Mater” and his “You did this to yourself” line as Chuck was leaving. Chuck’s being set up, he knows it, and this time he’s not just going to walk away. Sarah’s worth more to him than, well anything.

      • ken says:

        I agree with this line of thought and will go one further, Chuck turns Hannah at some point and she spills the plan to him. Chuck’s nature affects those about him and changes them, Hannah will be no different. Saying “you had your chance and blew it” is an attempt at dominance, one that apparantly doesn’t work.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d only disagree with one thing. Everyone already knows about the Chuck and Sarah connection and history. Beckman remarks on it as “I don’t want to know what happened”, not as a question about if something happened. With that Shaw will show up knowing he needs to push them apart rather than realize it later.

      • atcdave says:

        As I hinted last night, I suspect something similar about Shaw. He will try to push Chuck’s limits, to get him to perform and flash on command. And that may have something to do with the Shaw/Sarah kiss we saw. I don’t like Sarah being involved in this either way, but it is what it is. I have no read on Hannah at this point, except I suspect mission.

        I was planning on a big Chuck PR campaign when I visit old friends in a couple weeks, taking S2 DVDs and all. But at this point, I can’t in good conscience recommend it to my friends. Its too much of a soap opera and not very fun. Maybe in March it will get better.

  18. Lucian says:

    Given Chuck’s apparent deep feelings for Sarah, the way he shut her down at the train station was not, IMO, very consistent with the character, and clearly opens the door for Sarah’s reaction. If there is one thing Chuck likes to do is talk about his feelings. Now, at the most important crossroads in his life he says virtually nothing? Ernie – I think you are spot on regarding Shaw, and probably Hannah. Now that Chuck and Sarah both know where they stand with each other, it is hard to see how the PLIs could be completely legitimate. Chuck has a very clear mission – learn to control the intersect without losing his soul, and hopefully win back the woman he loves. I don’t think he is so flaky that he’ll be making out with Hannah because he is lonely. There is a line between being human and being flaky. I hope they don’t cross it. Sarah is at a worse place than she has ever been, which is understandable, given a man she loves has let her down again. I hope she doesn’t stay there for long as it doesn’t make for great entertainment. She can be distant, but don’t make her into a Carina clone.

    Also we have General Beckman getting all warm and fuzzy. If Chuck really is a lemon and they are done with him, and he has a much more powerful intersect than before, I don’t see the logic in just cutting him loose. Either cell or bullet would have been the order of the day. And, after he screws up a six month mission they decide to give him another chance? There was a place they wanted to get to and they got there, but it was not IMO, one of their better efforts. They get two Fs for frenetic and forced. But I am glad they are back and I look forward to better days ahead.

    • joe says:

      Lucian, I think you’ve hit on some legitimate criticisms here – I think you’re the first to point out the logic-gap re: Gen. Beckman and her final scene. I’m liable to expand on that. If I fail to give you proper credit, please accept my apologies in advance!

  19. weaselone says:

    Chuck had to reject the woman he loved in order to be true to her. Sometimes words fail even Chuck Bartowski.

  20. OldDarth says:

    I will highlight a few items but look for written reviews of each episode later this week over at ChuckTV:

    – fans of the lighter episodes like Seduction could have an adjustment to make, this is a darker more mature show now
    – Casey really cares about Chuck – his taking Chuck into the Castle and allowing him see the restaurant plans was no accident
    – Emmett’s removal was necessary as the show never got a proper handle on him, killing him is the visual shorthand way of saying things are deadlier this year
    – my favourite episodes operate on many levels, The Three Words was a multilayered storytelling confectionary delight
    – the Bo Scene is THE most romantic thing in the show to date
    – Carina giving the flash drive to Sarah, a true mark of friendship

    Intersect 2.0 changed the landscape between Chuck and Sarah’s feet. Now they are walking in each other’s shoes. An undiscovered country for both of them and they are sure to stumble.

    The rollercoaster has started to pull away from the platform.

    Buckle up! 8)

    PS – loved both episodes and the more mature tone of the show.

  21. lizjames says:

    With all due respect (and breaking my promise not to post), I will just make one comment:

    If Chuck turns Sarah down at the train station, Sarah is certainly not getting on that train. So why wouldn’t they have talked THEN? This isn’t Rick having to escape the Nazis on the last train to Marseilles. If they are not running away together, there is NO time pressure and thus all the time in the world for the chat they continue NOT to have about their feelings. Besides, the show clearly acknowledges the fact that Chuck has Sarah’s cell number. In the three weeks when he is realizing that he wants to be a spy, he doesn’t even call Sarah and try to change the arrangement? Good god, this is awful writing.

    The entire two hours was cynical and manipulative. And, by the way, since this season is exactly what I predicted it would be–a flip of season 2 with Sarah wanting out of the spy world and chuck wanting in and Sarah loving Chuck and Chuck not loving Sarah (enough)–watch for this: The Shaw character is either a rogue spy for The Ring or perhaps even its leader. It’s the logic of the flip. If Sarah has genuine feelings for Shaw, as she did for Bryce, then Sarah WILL be a rogue spy because Bryce was not. This is, sadly, writing by the numbers now. All you have to do is follow the dots…

    Honest, now, I won’t post again because I see that the show is now about what I first loved about it in the first two seasons. And I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s enjoyment. I’ll rage against the screen in silence from now on, but I needed to vent my frustration with folks who I know would understand. Thank you for understanding…

    So, again, thanks for the wonderful platform, Joe. And savor the first 34 episodes of Chuck. I don’t think we’ll see their like again because the innocence is gone. As the Thermals sang in Ring, now we can see…

    • weaselone says:

      I’m not exactly how you read that Chuck doesn’t love Sarah from those two episodes, particularly given that Chuck tells Sarah he loves her. I share your disbelief that their wasn’t a more in depth discussion at the train station, but I suspect Chuck didn’t have access to his phone while in training.

      • lizjames says:

        Weaselone, sorry I was imprecise. In Seasons 1/2, Chuck loved Sarah and Sarah was on the fence about Chuck as she tried to balance her love for him with her duty. Now the flip is that Sarah loves Chuck unreservedly and Chuck is trying to balance love and duty.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Liz, I think I understand where you’re coming from. The writers seem to be requiring a lot of suspension of disbelief when it comes to the romance part of the story. If you haven’t read it yet I recommend Alan Sepinwall’s review. He pretty much summarizes my take on it; this is the one part of the show that isn’t quite working, and it seems that it is because this is the one area they’re operating like paint by numbers, they are doing it this way because they think they should. I’m not at the point where I’m ready to give up on it, I’ve kind of prepared myself for some of this. I still enjoy a lot of other aspects of the show and I think it might have finally sunk in that by both emphasizing Chuck and Sarah’s romance then continually trying to reset it to delay any resolution it has become distracting.

      In any case I think I understand your decision not to post if you feel everything is going to be criticizing how bad the show has become, it is a lot less fun. I also occasionally worry if I’m too negative sometimes and could be spoiling the show for others. I’ve certainly enjoyed your insights and hope you’ll still read and maybe break your promise on occasion and add something if you feel inclined.

      • Rick Holy says:

        thanks for your contributions to this site, Ernie. I always enjoy reading what you write.

        I’m in with the folks who find the “Charah” thing troubling at times, but I’m willing to stick it out because I don’t think that it’s so horrible that I can’t watch it.

        Honestly, I think the last minute of the second episode last night was extremely powerful and moving. They have reached the “point of no return,” even if they wander off that point for whatever reasons (be they “legitimate” or contrived by the writers).

        I’m going to remain hopeful that things will progress and won’t be mishandled to any great degree. I’m with ATCDAVE when he says the show is a lot less fun when Chuck and Sarah are having problems. I still think they can put them “together” without the back and forth stuff and still tell the story about the difficulties of actually being “together” in their spy world. Perhaps that’s what’s in store for Season 4! 😉

        Thanks again for all your articles and posts. You, my friend, ROCK!

        Keep on Chuckin’ everybody!

  22. lizjames says:

    Sorry, I meant SHAW will be a rogue spy. I let my unhappiness cloud my typing…

  23. weaselone says:

    I just watched 3.1 a second time, and think I enjoyed it more the second time than the first. For me, despite what I see as glaring flaws regarding the quality of story telling surrounding Chuck and Sarah falling out, the show stands up well to repeated viewing.

    • joe says:

      Ah! That’s good to hear. I’ll be finding out for myself this week if that’s true.

      It’s never a given. Surprisingly, some of the episodes that I enjoy re-watching the most are not the ones I would have expected. Suburbs is an example, or Crown Vic. They hold up well.

      It looks like both episodes are available right now on Fancast and on NBC.

      • atcdave says:

        I do agree Joe, some of my least favorite episodes of the past weren’t so bad on later viewing because a bigger picture is easier to see. I will watch Pink Slip again too. But I really fear its flaws may be fatal. As Liz points out, the suspension of disbelief is just too difficult in a scene like the train station; how can they stand there face to face and totally not communicate? It feels cynical and manipulative. Add to that a dark tone, unbroken by humor, and just doesn’t seem like a very promising episode.

        Three Words is much better; in time, I may even come to love that episode.

  24. Rick Holy says:

    Interesting insights, all! I agree that things were “more dark” and “less light hearted,” but I think it – from the writers’ point(s) of view, was necessary to transition us into S3 and where they want to go with it.

    I’m glad they packaged the two episodes together. The end of episode 2 I felt was definitely a high point. (And I hope they can somehow find a way to get Carina back into the show before the end of S3 – maybe in the “back six?”). She always seems to have a way of getting Chuck and/or Sarah to realize what the other is feeling (in her own way).

    Plus, Yvonne Strahovski has to be one of the best actresses as far as showing emotion. I’m somewhat of a softie, but I don’t go around blubbering at the drop of a pin. That last minute of the second episode produced a lump in my throat. I just hope that the rest of the season doesn’t produce a knot in my stomach!

    Will be interested to see the next couple of episodes to see – what I would expect would be a return to more light hearted fun. I think the Chuck and Morgan living arrangement is going to open up a lot of possibilities there.

    Even more interesting (and more of a concern for me) will be the ratings. Sunday and Monday, yes. But the following few Mondays to see if there is a drop off. New fans may have tuned in thanks to NBC’s excellent job of promoting the return of the show, but if they didn’t like what they saw, the numbers will tell the story.

    I’m ready for “round 3” tonight! Bring it on!

    • joe says:

      I’ve been perusing the boards. Yes, there’s been some negative reaction from the regulars. But most amazingly, some old, familiar names have returned. Many new name have appeared, too. I consider that a positive.

      I think, Rick, that TPTB were right and even fortunate to put those two episodes together, and have the three shown on two consecutive nights. The first by itself seems to have been a great introduction for the casual and new viewers, but those who had some investment in the characters were often left cold. Most of them were much happier with the second – The Three Words. I grok that.

      Overall, what I’m seeing is that new fans liked what they saw, and more than a few have chomped on the bait (they’re hooked). A few of the old-timers who had clearly defined, specific desires for the direction of the show were dissatisfied, a (very) small number dissatisfied enough to stop watching. Most are saying “Not bad. Not bad at all. Except for…”, a few are saying “That really surprised me! Let me think about this.” and a few are saying “I absolutely loved this new direction!”

      Trying to be objective, it’s a Gaussian distribution, centered somewhere between 3.5 and 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, I think.

      I have a suspicion that the Gaussian is going to move to the right after tonight’s episode.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m currently rewatching Pink Slip (have to get the DVR back to where the wife stopped watching). As expected, its a little better on second viewing, but I still don’t see it as ever being a favorite. The acting and production are first rate. I can believe many casual viewers would be favorably impressed. Casey really shines on several occasions, great episode for him. I will like it if the missions become more intense like this. But as I’ve said, not at the expense of humor, and certainly, not with so much tension between Chuck and Sarah. Three Words was a far better episode for me, we’ll see what happens tonight.

      • joe says:

        That seems to be a pretty fair reaction, Dave, shared by more than a few others.

        I’m sure that Pink Slip will judged closer to Beefcake than to, say Tom Sawyer by those who really disliked Beefcake. Despite what a lot of those people said, it wasn’t Cole that they disliked, or the “love interest” coming between Chuck and Sarah. It was the fact that anything came between them (and that anything is still between them) that grates. Yes?

        It’s only my opinion, but I’m more stunned today by the depths of the emotions that were displayed. It makes all but Colonel seem rather juvenile by comparison. I’ll try to expand on this later, but I’m very happy in that this doesn’t seem like a fanciful relationship to me. It once did, you know, way back in S1.

  25. Lucian says:

    I did the same for both. I, too, enjoyed them both more the second time through. I think OldDarth is probably correct – the love interests will be “real” love interests (for the most part), and that will work. Chuck and Sarah both have a lot of growing up to do if they are going to make it work as a spy couple. They are a fair ways from there right now. They need to figure out how to supercede “the cardinal rule” – no small task.

    It is great that there is likely to be little confusion regarding what is a cover vs. what is real.

    • atcdave says:

      Hmmm, Sarah can’t get involved with Chuck now because he wants to be a spy, so she finds comfort with her new spy boss. Right.

      Sorry for the sarcasm.

      • Lucian says:

        It will be interesting to see how they get that one to work. Not only a spy, but her boss. I’m thinking there are some papers they need to file with the CIA regarding that. Chuck could find out when he gets his next sunglasses refresh (hence the punch). I apologize.

      • atcdave says:

        I haven’t used any bogus statistics for a while, so let’s try this. I’m 72% sure Shaw and Sarah are not really involved, but rather trying to get Chuck to control his abilities better. It actually would be funny if Chuck knows that, and still decks Shaw for kissing Sarah.

        I will maintain my calm by that pleasant delusion until proven wrong!

      • Rick Holy says:

        no apology necessary – BELIEVE ME!

      • weaselone says:

        Don’t think that’s what’s going to happen, but I’ll have a better idea tonight. I think Chuck and Sarah will get a little closer over the next few episodes and that Shaw sets up Chuck to crush Sarah by ordering him to seduce Hannah. Shaw then moves in for the kill by seducing her.

  26. Rick Holy says:

    Check out
    They’re reporting fairly good/positive number for Chuck’s premiere. Not outstanding, but for an NBC show, pretty darn good.

    Let’s hope we can carry over the solid numbers into tonight when the dreaded HOUSE returns. Will probably be some fall off, but hopefully not too much.

    Remind your friends via your email address book, Facebook, and Twitter or whatever else you use to tune in tonight at 8/7 central (an hour earlier than last night)!

    Keep on Chuckin’ everybody!

  27. Miranda says:

    I just saw both episodes, since I live in Colombia I have to wait to watch them after they premier there…

    Great episodes, I don’t know, we were always trying to guess what would be happening and it was just awesome, I love it. Both of them… even the first episode which was not a good one for Sarah/Chuck, I have to say… It was a pretty good episode, I loved it! I have to say (and I hope it doesn’t sound to bad) If someone didn’t like it because Sarah and Chuck weren’t totally on each other,, hey the show is all of what we saw, not only that !
    Anywayyy loved ittttttttttttttttttttttttttt!!! 😀

  28. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Pink Slip (3.01) | Chuck This

  29. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Three Words (3.02) | Chuck This

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