Epiphany

Friends, this will be a shorter than normal post. It has but one purpose, to get an idea out of my head that hit me like a ton of bricks after writing my last article.   It could be spoilerish, so after the jump.  (Now with a new improved addendum)  ( And now with extra-special transcripts!)

It all bugged me, the sloppy writing, the out of character characterizations, the uselessness of the Ring angst when they put Chuck and Sarah together and broke them up again, thus making what Chuck thought in the Ring irrelevant to the story. Then it hit me.

Sarah got on the train.

Sarah never said the three little words. It’s in the vault scene in Three Little Words. Chuck longed to hear them but didn’t. Sarah started her plea to Chuck to run with her with the statement I’m ready to be normal again.  Not I love you and want to be with you forever.

Chuck didn’t know Sarah was willing to run to be with him, and only if she could be with him. He thought she was quitting, leaving forever. She’d invited him to run with her to save him, but was it because she loved him? She never said it. Even at the train station.

This explains everything. Why he never called after Prague, why he was shocked that she was still around at the Orange Orange, why he didn’t tell her he loved her at the train station. It all starts to fall into place when you understand one thing. Chuck still didn’t know Sarah loves him, and he didn’t until Carina told him. Chuck chose the spy world, much as he wanted to be with Sarah because he DID think it was an either/or. She was leaving that world, and he could either go with her, or choose the destiny he’d already embraced in the Ring when he re-intersected. And She never said she loved him.

Sarah got on the train.

Addendum

Apparently I can’t seem to explain myself in less than 2,500 words.  Unfortunately I’m blogging on my coffee break right now so I don’t have time for a full tilt boogie stem winder post.  I’ll leave you with these thoughts that I think I can support, and will do later.  Consider.

Sarah believes she’s told Chuck she loves him by asking him to run away with her.  This is a mistaken impression.  What Chuck heard was the spy world sucks.  I don’t want to be in the spy world anymore, you shouldn’t either.  I’m leaving and want you to come with me.

Chuck knows he loves Sarah, but doesn’t know Sarah loves him.  On that basis he can not ask Sarah to stay for him or to be with him, because he is entering the world she is leaving.  He goes to the train station, from where Sarah is leaving the spy world, to say goodbye.  He has chosen to make a sacrifice because he now sees his duty.  He can’t ask the same of her, so he can not tell her he loves her or ask her to stay.

Sarah sees the man she loves on the platform.  The man she thinks knows she loves him too.  But he’s changed.  He is already in the spy world, and decides it is more important than a life with her.  She has been here before.  Another man, another let down.  She does what she’s always done.  Go back and throw herself into her work.  Shut him off, bury him, never let those feelings out again.

Chuck sees Sarah get on the train and leave.  He is convinced she left both him and the spy world forever.  He tries one call after he gets dumped from spy school.  There is no answer, as he expected.

When Lester tells Chuck Sarah is still around, still going in and out of the Orange Orange he suddenly realizes that she wasn’t running to get out of the spy world, but for him, to keep him out of the spy world.  What happened between Chuck and Sarah Casey asks?  Something Chuck has to fix he finally realizes.

Now replay some of those scenes.  More later.

Double addendum.  I now have to re-think and re-write my whole take on the first three.

The exact transcript of what Chuck said while we were watching Sarah climb through air vents and two thugs laugh at how pathetic Chuck was while waiting to kill him.

Chuck:  “Sarah I don’t want to regret not telling you everything I need to tell you.  I’m not a normal spy, you know that, I know that.  I’m a regular guy who works at a Buy More.  And the decision that I made in Prague, I know what it looks like, I know that it looks like I chose being a spy over being with you but thats not what happened.  How I felt about you is real, it’s very very real.  And I know that you know how I’ve felt about you for a long time.  You know, but when Carina told me what you said, those three words that I’ve been waiting to hear for so long… Look, Sarah, I know that you’re probably very hurt that I didn’t run away with you in Prague [see below]… [door opens] Sarah I love you.”

The part Sarah saw in Castle after Carina gave her the thumb drive.

Chuck: “Look Sarah I know that you’re probably very hurt that I didn’t run away with you in Prague.  You have to know that you were everything I ever wanted, but how could I do that, how could I be with you, knowing that what I’d turned my back on.  Knowing that what I had in my head could help a lot of people.  And you’re the one that[sic] taught me that being a spy is about something bigger, it’s about putting aside your own personal feelings for the greater good and that’s what I chose.  I chose to be a spy for my friends and my family and you.  I chose to be a spy because [door opens] Sarah, I love you


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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in Angst, Inside Chuck, Inside Sarah, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Epiphany

  1. joe says:

    This is odd. I never thought otherwise! I more or less assumed that Chuck interpreted Sarah’s words starting with “That’s not the kiss I was expecting.” as extreme anger. And yes, she got on the train and left in a big huff. Major.

    And it was over.

    Awww – don’t tell me I’m the only one here who’s ever been dumped, now! ;>

  2. OldDarth says:

    The reason Chuck did not call is far simpler. He was in spy training. No calls in. No calls out.

    But yes Chuck definitely thought Sarah ‘got on the train.’ Especially since she would not return his calls etc

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    Joe, I think the larger point is that Chuck saw that and assumed she was going forward with her plan to leave the spy life, like she always had planned, with or without him. After all, she never told him she loved him, just that she wanted him to run with her.

  4. atcdave says:

    An excellent post Ernie. Certainly sarah not being able to tell Chuck she loves him is a major part of their problem. I really hope they address some of this as the season unfolds. I currently see both characters as pretty damaged. Chuck explained himself pretty well in the vault scene, hopefully Sarah will finally come clean too. But why do I think it won’t be for several weeks yet….

  5. Lucian says:

    So what you are saying is the problem is they were both making the biggest decision of their lives, but they really didn’t communicate very effectively regarding their true feelings and intentions, and made all kinds of incorrect assumptions????

  6. Ernie Davis says:

    Yes, the overused part is that once again Sarah and Chuck weren’t on the same page, therein lies the angst.

    Replay the train scene with it in mind that Sarah assumes Chuck knows she is in love with him and she is only willing to do this to be with him.

    Chuck feels that Sarah is leaving the spy life because she wants to be normal, and is willing to include him. And come on, of course he’s gonna say yes.

    In Chuck’s mind he loves Sarah and feels she may grow to love him, and he was ready to leave but over the course of three weeks he then finds his calling, and he knows he can’t run because of not only his new found duty but because while the CIA might let an agent go off the grid they’d never leave Sarah alone as long as he was with her. After him wanting his normal life back for so long he sees he can’t deny her her chance. Not only can’t he go, he can’t ask her to stay. Telling her he loves her to get her to stay so that one day she might love him would be manipulative and cruel. More cruel than the hurt he knows he will have to cause as part of his sacrafice as a hero embracing his destiny.

  7. joe says:

    Ernie, I finally saw your double addendum.

    NOW it makes much more makes sense, especially with the transcript(s) of Chuck’s two-part speech.

    Man – between the breaking-up of that speech and the flash-back nature of the episode, this WAS hard to get straight (and hard to describe, I found out first hand). Great job. We now have a much more intelligent basis for discussion.

    Okay – I think you’re right. Chuck didn’t know – or (still) couldn’t believe – that Sarah was in love with him at the train station in Prague. I agree also that she thought he DID know. There are lots of reasons I can think of for both those mistaken impressions.

    Are they adequate?

    Sarah hasn’t said “I love you.” directly to him yet. What does Chuck think after Angel? Does he think Sarah is angry, or that Carina was mistaken, or that they’ve “made a mess.” that they will have to clean up? Some combination of all three? Each of those indicate that this is a temporary pause. Sarah’s anger will fade, Carina was wrong for the short term, but correct in the long run. And they will clean up the mess (not in the courtyard after the party. Chuck is on his own with that!).

    My quick answer to that is option #3. Sarah’s quick to anger, but also calms down quickly. Not a problem. I thought from the beginning that Chuck believes Carina when it comes to Sarah. I think he still does.

    I believe Chuck now knows Sarah loves him, but thinks that they’ve both contributed to making a royal mess of things. They need the time and distance (but mostly time) to clean that up, and they need to do that together.

    And I have no idea what that entails. What DO they do to clean up the mess?

  8. Gord says:

    I like this theory, I always thought there was more to that train scene than I was seeing. I planned to watch the first 3 again on the weekend. My thought was that Chuck didn’t go into a long speech because he knew he had to get out of there fast or he would be too tempted to accept Sarah’s offer. He knew he had to do the right thing just like in Breakup. We saw in that episode that in spite of how much Chuck loved her, he had to do the right thing and walk away (metaphorically speaking). In both cases I felt it was just as painful for Chuck as it was for Sarah.

    One thing I have noticed is that many of the fans are angry at Chuck for not spending the time to explain his feelings to Sarah in that scene. I wasn’t angry because I always thought that there was something the writers intended that we were not seeing.

  9. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    There seems to be confusion on why Chuck turned her down at the train station.

    If you compare pink slip to 3 words there were kind of 2 different reasons given but only one true on in my opinion. Chuck chose to be a spy not to fulfill his destiny and be something he hasn’t ever been—even though he said that in pink slip (we all know he has always been a hero, he doesn’t know that)…but because he didn’t see any way he could live with himself if he put himself over his family, and Sarah.

    He chose to be a spy because he loved her.

    P.S. Am I the only one that took pause at Sarah’s “that’s not exactly the kind of kiss I was hoping for”—have they kissed more than we thought/have seen that she can tell the difference now? haha. Kidding only.

    • joe says:

      This is still a little confusing, Faith.

      Which do you consider to be Chuck putting himself over his family and Sarah: taking the “easy”/safe path and quitting the spy world or following his exciting and glamorous new career as a spy, which fulfills his destiny?

      Both could be taken as self-serving, I think.

      He told us and Sarah that he chose to be a spy because he loves her, but did Sarah think that in Prague? – or did she think his decision was self-serving and hurtful anyway?

      • Faith says:

        Oh yeah she definitely thought it was hurtful. But self-serving? Hmm. I think when it comes down to it she’s too hurt to even consider his reasons at that point. Her face said it all.

        I think running away with Sarah and forsaking the fate of the world would have been the easy/safe way. Being a hero takes so much more sacrifice and requires so much more out of him than we’ve ever seen before. It feels easy to me to just say screw it and run away with the person you love but taking responsibility, realizing one’s role in the safety of that loved one? That’s a load 🙂

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    And here is the thing the writers and TPTB are signaling. Give us a chance. If you watched just Pink Slip, Chuck’s actions were incomprehensible, if you assumed that, as we all did, Chuck understood Sarah’s offer to run away as a profession of real love. Unless we are willing to take the time and effort to really listen, to watch, re-watch, really look, really listen, we’re going to miss something very important.

    Which pisses me off to no end. Get episodes on iTunes NOW if you want that level of devotion.

  11. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    I think there was a reason why they made it a 2 hour premiere. They could have very well have just done a 1 hour and left it at that. In fact wasn’t that the original plan? But had they done so I think 50% of the fanbase would have quit forever, and I’d be part of the pack. But seeing both together, well I’m momentarily mollified lol.

    • atcdave says:

      Isn’t that an interesting question? I’m sure they were all meant to be one hour episodes. But that first hour was so different and dark; I think some serious damage could have been done if they made us wait a week for the mood to lighten. I’m not sure if WB knew it, but I’d bet money NBC knew pretty quickly that those two had to air together.

  12. atcdave says:

    This a much more appealing interpretation of events than I had arrived at on my own. It actually does a lot to restore my image of both Chuck and Sarah.

    But you’re right Ernie, it seems nuts it isn’t up on iTunes yet. If the show is really going to require that level of attention to catch all the nuance, they need to make sure we can get it easily.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Dave, you know we are often on the same page on a lot of things. I still think they’ve gone too far with the angst. I still think they’ve stressed our level of tolerance. But quite frankly, this epiphany gave me a lot of hope. It almost seems they are writing for us at some level. At one level, those willing to accept what they see on the screen each week as the whole story wouldn’t be disappointed, but we few, we happy few, would have enough to chew on for a week, at a minimum.

      The iTunes thing, yeah, they really need to fix that.

      • joe says:

        Heh. Lou (OD), Gord and I also seem to be on the same page on a lot of things.

        What’s funny is that the writers seem to be writing for US, too.

        Somewhere in Hollywood, Ali Adler is going to find these words and smile a wry smile.

    • atcdave says:

      You know, I’m thinking this really raises the stakes. It really makes their behavior when Hannah and Shaw are in the picture critical. If the story is to hold up under this level of examination, I would say any actual “cheating” when the PLIs are in the picture is highly unlikely. Chuck has confessed his love for Sarah, straying would almost certainly have some ulterior motive (mission, or protecting Morgan, or something). And Sarah really has the pressure turned up on her. She has no excuses about where Chuck stands. She could plausibly say she’s keeping her distance because of emotional issues and the functioning of the intersect (oh brother!), but anything that could seriously wound Chuck would be unbelievably callous. I can’t see even cold/killer Sarah doing that. We’ve all seen the preview with Sarah kissing Shaw, but there clearly is something missing from the equation. Is it purely a test/exercise about Chuck’s control of the intersect? Is Sarah working Shaw for information? We’re missing something we probably won’t get for a couple weeks yet.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I’m working on a post on this, but short version, this redefines the characters, but in a way that is not out of character. However, the overused angst remains. There is a good and bad.

        The good I see things I didn’t.

        The bad, some 4,000 words of profundity are now crap.

      • atcdave says:

        I hate when that happens!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        You have no idea bro…

  13. Gord says:

    Well, I just found another reason to be happy I’m Canadian – I’m going to get to watch Chuck a day earlier.

    According to TV Guide Canada, CITY TV will be airing Chuck, Sunday nights at 9 PM starting Jan 17th.
    I’m so happy because I have a series of Monday night meetings over the next month or so. I was planning to record it, and still will, but I just wont have to wait as long to see it.
    I will be nice though, I wont say anything about the episode until after all my friends South of the border can see it.

  14. OldDarth says:

    Oooo me to Gord. Cool.

    • joe says:

      Oh gee. Maybe we should all learn to speak Canadian and migrate north.

      Here’s a primer:
      1) Learn to end every sentence with – eh?
      2) Out is pronounced uut!
      3) Molsons: Canadian for “beer”.

      And didn’t Magnus put the emphasis on the second syllable of “Can-AA-da”, Lou?

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t know guys, I actually don’t want to have to watch the dubbed version of Chuck.

  15. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    it’s french?

    • atcdave says:

      Oh sure, go and ruin a perfectly good joke! I forgot that was even a possibility. I was just trying to be stupid. (not that its all that hard….)

      • Faith says:

        LOL sorry. I was totally confused.

      • Gord says:

        Mais oui, you haven’t lived until you have heard Casey grunt in French.

        Actually hate to ruin your stereotype of us Canucks, but I seldom use eh, I say about not aboot and my beer of choice is Keith’s not Canadian, but being Canadian I will drink just about any brand of beer.
        Also, except for the odd phrase, I can’t speak French to save my life.
        As for adoptions, if I were going to adopt anyone, she would have to be a supermodel and Joe sorry but I dont think you fit that profile.
        By the way I was going to say have to be Sarah Walker, but I wouldn’t want Chuck to come along and use his Chuck Fu on me. Even worse, I wouldn’t want all the shippers angry at me.

  16. joe says:

    Okay. It’s 1 am and I just saw Pink Slip for the third time.

    But it feels like it’s the first. Ernie, your clear explanation and your insight make a whole lot of difference.

    Chuck reads nearly the same (I suspect that will change when I watch The Three Words tomorrow). But Sarah simply does not. Even Casey reads different when he talks to Walker in Castle.

  17. Lucian says:

    It occured to me this morning that Pink Slip was a really honest episode for viewers. That is, if you liked it, you are bound to enjoy the season. If you found it dark, angsty, and basically not very entertaining, you probably won’t like the show too much this season. What I have always loved about Chuck was that it normally made me feel good about life. They have done a great job creating an “everyman” and “everywoman” that we like and relate to, even though most of us are really nothing like them. I have never been a fan of rollercoasters. If they tell you it will be a rollercoaster and you get on, whose fault is it when you don’t enjoy the ride?

    • weaselone says:

      Not certain how the Pink slip was an honest episode for the viewers and an indicator of how one would find the season. Many fans who weren’t fond of the episode were quite satisfied with 3.2 and 3.3. Plus, I don’t see any sort of contrived event like the Prague train station scene being used in future episodes. If Zach and Yvonne didn’t excel so much at their craft, the writers didn’t provide such a heart wrenching scene and fans weren’t so invested in the show that they were willing to swallow such a cynical reset the show could be in trouble. As it is, it’s behind us now and I don’t expect the show to go to those lengths again.

    • NoWayOut says:

      The problem with fans involved with a show is that they feel compelled to trying to imbue genius to every episode.

      This episode was crass, manipulative and, worst of all, loaded with plot holes. It’s a mistake to try to find brilliance where there is none (in the writing, I mean). You can love a show without falling all over yourself trying to find nice things to say about every single episode. This one is bad.

      The true test is actually simple: IF this were the pilot for a new show no one had ever seen before, would you watch a second episode?

      Why would you? Chuck is a whiny fool. Sarah is emotionally erratic. Casey is a cackling homocidal maniac. Emmett is offed gratuitiously. The secondary characters (the Buy Morians, Morgan) are all losers. There’s no interesting villian. The plot is incomprehensible. The spy drama is nonexistant.

      No one would have watched this show a second time had this been the pilot.

      And while I’m thrilled the ratings firmed up some, considering how much promotion NBC poured into it, it certainly didn’t ignite too many new viewers.

      I have no problem with a darker tone. But when you can see the strings being pulled by the writers (as you can here), you have a bad episode on your hands.

      • weaselone says:

        I actually enjoyed the killing of Emmet and thought it was reasonably well done even if the violence and language was upsetting to some viewers.

        First, this ending was most definitely foreshadowed and paralleled by Emmet’s earlier confrontation with a Chuck questing for cheese balls. In this scene, Emmet taunts a trained assassin in the form of a Chuck imbued with Intersect 2.0. Despite repeated warnings by Chuck, Emmet keeps pushing and is only spared by a valiant attempt by Chuck to lock the Intersect down and the strangling of an innocent container of cheese balls.

        Having dodged death at the hands of one lethal assassin Emmet appears compelled to try his luck by provoking a second. The Ring agent manages to shrug of insults and threats and once more Emmet appears to have been spared the consequences of his vileness, this time due to the professionalism of the Ring agent. Regretfully, Emmet is unable to resist making an additional profane comment and pays for it with a bullet to the head.

        The visual image of Emmet’s glasses, pierced by a bullet and spattered with blood is a powerful one, not surprising given that it’s a tribute to the Godfather.

        This scene also helps to set the tone for the entire season as something darker and more intense as well as underscoring the Ring as a greater threat than Fulcrum. Fulcrum, despite repeated incursion into the Buy More, never managed a kill.

    • atcdave says:

      Man, talk about some extreme differences in perception!

      I think, after much discussion here, I can appreciate some of what they were trying to accomplish in Pink Slip. I especially see the tragic miscommunication of the train station scene. I don’t like it, I never will; I simply don’t like dark. I like to laugh and have a good time. That may technically make shallow (and proud of it!), but I know what I look for in TV and movies. I do appreciate some more depth in characters, motives, stories, etc. I just don’t like it so much when its a downer.

      So what I’m getting at is; I can come to understand what they were trying to do in Pink Slip, but I’ll never really like it. I can be a little less cynical about the reset; while still disliking a dark story, a pathetic Chuck, and an ice-queen Sarah.

      I don’t think that it will set the tone for the whole season. As already mentioned, Three Words and Angel of Death were both wonderful episodes (especially Angel of Death; that’s already among my all time favorites). We have good reason to believe the show will go some darker places this year. I can deal with that if I think the payoff will be worth it; and right now I’m very optimistic about the payoff.

      Speaking of payoffs, has anyone else been thinking about the fact one of the back six episodes (3.14 I think) has Chuck and Sarah on a train for most of the episode? I’m thinking we may see a parallel scene to the Prague train station, but my money is on a better resolution.

  18. Ernie Davis says:

    Dave, I have the feeling 3.14 is going to be a great big smooch from TPTB to the shippers, but maybe that’s just my feelings of unrequited love talking. I think they owe us at least one episode of a happy Chuck and Sarah, with some spy stuff tossed in.

  19. NoWayOut says:

    BTW, I feel compelled to admit one thing about Pink Slip: You COULD make the case that they were planting the seed that the Ring is after Sarah. After all, we don’t know that Javier wasn’t about to plug Sarah (the laser pointer hit on both) and Javier did mention going after the girl several times in the jail.

    Given how TPTB recycle and flip everything, you could make the case that The Ring thinks Sarah is the Intersect, a flip of Fulcrum thinking it was Bryce.

    But that is the only thing of merit in Pink Slip.

    • weaselone says:

      I just assumed that the Ring was trying to tie up a loose end by eliminating a compromised contact. When Javier failed to assassinate Gilles, he wanted some payback against Chuck and to determine who he was, what he knew, and whether Chuck and his associates posed a genuine threat to the Ring.

      Still, Sarah was one of the agents clearly associated with taking down Fulcrum as well as the CIA officer tasked to oversee the newly rebuilt Intersect. Those points alone would have made her a tempting target for assassination or capture and interrogation.

      • NoWayOut says:

        Weaselone-
        I was just spitballing the Sarah thing, looking for the glimmer of something worth salvaging in this episode. And if this year’s arc is about Chuck having to control his emotions and Sarah being his spinach/kryptonite, what better way to show it but to have him need to save Sarah from the Ring from time to time?

        As I say, just spitballing. Not commited to it. Although, again, it would represent the concept flip that these writers are so fond of doing. Although THAT is very dangerous because one of the real appeals of Chuck in the first two seasons was having the woman agent act as the man victim’s protector. If Chuck is rescuing Sarah now, we’re back to standard superhero stuff…

        As for Emmett, I didn’t find it good shorthand to a darker season. Just gratuitous. A TRAINED assasin like Javier would NEVER have done that. Too messy…

        And that is just another cynical plot hole that makes Pink Slip so unsatisfying.

      • weaselone says:

        Personally, I think a trained assassin for an independent espionage faction taking such an action is for more likely than a doctor not realizing that people with AB- blood types can receive transfusions of A-,B-,O- and AB- blood.

      • NoWayOut says:

        Or Casey getting a promotion to bird colonel from Major…

  20. Rick Holy says:

    Hi Gang:

    I want to throw something out there for ya’ll to chew on. I love this site and I thoroughly enjoy reading everyone’s comments and insights. I occasionally chime in with my 2 cents worth on what I like, don’t like, etc. I do my fair share of “Oh noing” about certain episodes or certain events – don’t get me wrong – so I’m there with ya!

    But…. is it possible – or is it at least worth the possibility of considering – that we might be at times OVER-analyzing some of this stuff? Believe me, this is not meant to be a criticism of ANYone in ANY way (myself included). We’re invested in this show BIG TIME. We LOVE it. There are certain things that we want to see happen – but sometimes those things DON’T happen. Sometimes there are contrived scenes/events. Sometimes there are major plot holes. Sometimes writing could be better. (Just like my Sunday homilies could ALWAYS be better! – even those that people say are “good.”).

    But in the end, CHUCK is a TV show – which even though there are parts which occasionally DRIVE ME CRAZY – entertains me far more that it ticks me off!

    Who knows, maybe it’s because the show is so entertaining and has the potential to be even so much better as it moves along that we place such high expectations on it?

    Anyway, it’s just a thought. I think if we OVER analyze it and start LOOKING for the plot holes, LOOKING for contrived scenes and incongruities, etc., it will start to dig too much into the FUN that we want to have watching the show.

    Believe me – I’m not in any way trying to smooch up to TPTB – that’s not my point. My point is I hope that none of us stop enjoying the show because of some things we dont’ like. Again, I wasn’t wild about episode 1 – but then taking it in context with episodes 2 and 3, it wasn’t THAT bad.

    Anyway – just a thought. Every show that I’ve watched and loved has had some kinds of flaws – ALIAS, LOST, SMALLVILLE, etc. I don’t expect CHUCK to be any different. Occasinally flawed at times as it may be, it’s still the ONE show that I can’t wait to come on and that I tape and watch several times over, Facebook about, give DVDs as gifts, email about, etc. When people at my parish think of me, I think they’re going to start calling me Fr. Chuck!

    I had one incident that was so embarrasing. I was sitting at my computer one Sunday after the last Mass and was checking out (of course) THIS site. One of the deacons came in to say goodbye, and I turned around and said, “See you tomorrow, CHUCK!” (His name is JOE). Anyway, we got a good laugh out of it. Now if I start calling my bishop CHUCK, then I’m REALLY in trouble!! 😉

    Bottom line, all – comment on the show, state your feelings on how it could be improved/better, etc. But don’t let it take away too much of the ENJOYMENT of the show.

    Take care, all you Chuckaholics. Have a GREAT weekend. And come Monday – BRING ON THE CHUCK!!!!

    • joe says:

      But…. is it possible – or is it at least worth the possibility of considering – that we might be at times OVER-analyzing some of this stuff?

      Fr. Rick – the answer isn’t yes, but (with all due respect) HELL, YES!

      But this is a good thing. Well, it is in one sense, anyway. My thought-train goes like this: I can’t think of any other show that I’ve seen analysed and dissected this deeply. I know for a fact that I haven’t analysed a show so much myself – not Star Trek, not Babylon 5, not Bones nor NCIS nor nothin’. Most shows are hardly worth the effort, of course, and not many would stand up to that scrutiny.

      Ha! I could take Star Trek apart on the physics alone by the time I was 17, let alone on Shattner’s over-acting! ;> But that didn’t stop me from enjoying it, of course.

      And that’s the thing. The fact that I’m even willing to think about A TV SHOW so much is a tribute to it’s quality. I’ll disagree with writers like NoWayOut about the ultimate value of particular episodes, but until he stops watching and stops putting in the effort to consider it, he pays tribute to it’s quality too!

      My wife’s reaction continues to amaze me. She’s not one to watch any episode of any show twice – she’s not a TV person. She is precisely the person that Schwartz and NBC want to attract. She has not memorized lines of dialog and is not up on the subtleties of the character’s interactions, but knows the gist of the story and who’s who.

      To her, Prague was obviously two people in love who couldn’t be together and were angry at having to split, both at the circumstances and at themselves. For her, the dangers and difficulties were pretty self-explanatory and self-consistent. Angst is simply not a problem, because the show isn’t about them being together. It’s about them coming together – eventually.

      It’s about their adventures as spies, and she finds the whole thing exciting first, romantic second and funny third.

      Not bad for a relative nubie!

      • Rick Holy says:

        Joe – point(s) taken! And I do agree that it IS a tribute to the quality of the show that we fans are willing to analyze it so much.

        My main/only point was to say if we OVER anlayze – and over analysis usually lends itself to looking exceedlingly at the negative (the mistakes, the missed opportunities, etc., etc.) which has the possibility – maybe for some fans more than others – of detracting from the overall enjoyment of the show.

        Let me give you an example – and this one is rather trivial, but I throw it out anyway. The editing. There have been many instances where the editing has been terrible – from Season 1 up to the present. For example, you’ll see a shot where one character is talking, yet you can tell even just by looking at the back of the other character’s head, that they’re “talking,” too (yet there’s actually no words coming from them in that part of the scene). I don’t know if you know what I’m referring to, but if you watch close enough, you’ll see it, especially in “tight shots” of two characters in conversation.

        That’s happened so many times on Chuck – even in these first few episodes of S3 I’ve noticed it – that much to my chagrin, I find myself almost “looking” for when it’s going to happen again. I know it’s not a high budget show and they have to do the best they can, but it’s something that’s noticeable. Again, something very trivial, but noticeable. Now it’s almost like I CAN’T get myself to stop noticing it!! 😦

        Bottom line – and I think we’re “eye to eye” on this – “Analyze, analyze, analyze, but don’t let it DETRACT from the overall enjoyment of the show.” (I think there’s a reason that Analyze starts with ANAL!! – I’ve been referred to as being “too anal” enough to know it’s NOT a compliment!!) 😉

        And by the way, Joe – YOU ROCK – but I think your wife ROCKS even MORE!!! 🙂

      • Gord says:

        Padre Rick has a good point about over analyzing. I remember in high school I hated having to analyze books this way. I thought it ruined the joy of reading them.
        Of course I am right there along with the rest of you putting my 2 cents worth in about the show.
        The bottom line for me when it comes right down to it, is at the end of the hour (or 2 hours in the case of the premiere) if I can look back and feel entertained – thats what counts.
        Also there are many ways to be entertained – comedy, action, drama, romance – Chuck is all these things. In some episodes there is more of one of those elements than others, but its all good. I have yet to have seen an episode of Chuck I have hated. I have seen some episodes that I thought were not as good as others, but at the end of that hour I still felt entertained.
        There have been too many shows on lately that have not done that for me.
        I have actually been turning off my TV part way through shows lately because I just couldn’t get into them. So far that has not happened with Chuck and hopefully never will.

    • lou federico says:

      OVER-analyzing some of this stuff? Just because I noticed that when Awesome knocked on the door of the Orange Orange the door was unlocked and when Chuck walked to the door it was magically locked again. Over-analyzing Never!!! HAHA

      • Rick Holy says:

        Lou – then I’m sure you also noticed in one of the episodes from S1 where Chuck is walking through the Buy More parking lot with his shirt tucked into his pants, yet somehow when he opens the door to the Wienerlicious, the shirt is “untucked.”

        Now maybe we can read something more into that (he was on his way to see Sarah, after all) – but me thinks it was what they used to call in the old days on TV – a “blooper!” 😉

    • atcdave says:

      I would agree we over-analyze things. Even theatrical movies can be loaded with plot holes, editing errors, continuity problems. By comparison TV is very rushed and cheap. It was really never meant to be looked at the way we do. Sometimes the over-analysis causes more frustration than its worth. But sometimes, like in Ernie’s Epiphany discussion, it actually helps us enjoy the complexities and nuances that are there a little better.
      I think the bottom line is, as long as the writing is fun, keep it up. But if it becomes a source of frustration or obsession, knock it off. (yeah, like its ever that easy!)

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Over-analyze? Moi? Not possible haha.

  21. NoWayOut says:

    There’s a difference between continuity errors and bad writing. Continuity errors are probably unavoidable. Bad writing is unnecessary. And there is no reason not to criticize bad writing. Just because you’re a fan needn’t make you a sucker.

    And, specifically, about Chuck, TPTB like to think they are doing heavy stuff worth analyzing. Sometimes they do and they get beaucoups of credit for it, here and elsewhere.

    But Pink Slip is a textbook example of bad writing, cynical writing, the kind of writing that drives away viewer in the long run.

    And, Father Rick, with all due respect. You say it is just a TV show. That it is. It SHOULD be fun. So you tell me ONE fan–just one–who is looking forward to the Hannah and Shaw arcs with anything but a mixture of dread and disgust.

    The opposite of enjoyment isn’t overanalysis. The opposite of enjoyment is turning the dial and watching something else.

    Woo, look out, that’s almost profound… 🙂

    • atcdave says:

      Can’t deny that is a great point. And major profound for someone hooked on a TV show!

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Honestly, the minute Chuck gets to the point where the nuances are gone and I no longer have character development to analyze I’m turning it off lol.

    • Rick Holy says:

      It’s not ALMOST profound – it IS profound!! I may use that line (or a variation of it) in a homily sometime in the future.

      Truthfully, I don’t consider myself a “sucker.” I know there are some who are so dedicated to the show that any negative comment or criticism about it will set them off. I’m not saying that there isn’t legitimate criticism that can be made about the writing or other issues concerning the show.

      And I’m NOT saying DON’T analyze. I’m not saying DON’T critize where criticism is due. Believe me, I don’t worship the ground that TPTB walk on and don’t think their farts smell like roses.

      Was “Pink Slip” my favorite CHUCK episode? Not even close. Neither was “Beefcake.” Yet neither made me jump through the ceiling or foam at the mouth.

      Am I looking “forward” to the Shaw/Hannah story arcs? Let’s put it this way. I’m looking forward to Kristin Kreuk because I was and continue to be a Smallville fan. Let’s just say that I’ll be relieved if those story arcs don’t SUCK,(Based on past “other/potential love interests and how they were handled), but there is always the possibility that as Chuck once said to Casey when commenting about his future soemthing to the effect of, “it might not TOTALLY suck!”

      But I’ll keep watching, because even with the “downsides,” I find that I enjoy the show. Is that the same for everyone? Certainly not.

      And like you say, there’s always something else – HOUSE, HIMYM, Bachelor and/or DWTS (when it returns) if the show gets aggravating enough.

      Thanks for the response/insight. I was hoping to stimulate some discussion on a Friday afternoon after a loooong week. Peace, all!

    • OldDarth says:

      Bad? Arguable. I disagree. Except for the train sequence it shaped up to be a pretty good starting episode in that it had to gather up the loose ends of S2 and set the ball in motion for S3.

      Cynical? What does that even mean here? Please expand.

    • lou federico says:

      I an that one fan. I think theses arcs are going to bring our couple even closer. I always believe that sometimes the road less traveled is a better choice as with all the potholes and inperfections it carves your character and stimulates your dedication. Without bad days you would be unable to identify a good ones. Without work there are no vcations. This detour will test the bounds of the love and make it stronger. Bring on the dark and stormy days and nights as the sun and rainbows are waiting at the end.

      • atcdave says:

        “The detour will test the bounds”, good line, you ever try that on your wife.

        OK sorry Lou, sarcasm. Chuck and Sarah aren’t married, those rules don’t apply. But I think many of us feel like, since Colonel, they should have reached that point of no turning back. So now, the idea they may be playing such games at a fairly late stage of their relationship, leaves a bitter taste.

        Sadly, I have way too much experience with this; couples who do play those games and test those boundaries, never make it.

  22. Pingback: S3 Revisited: Only Three Words? « Chuck This

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