Once again our friend Lou over at ChuckTV has made an interesting argument for where Chuck and Sarah are and need to go. As he very kindly lists one of my posts here as a jumping off point I thought I’d add a few more thoughts. For the most part however I’m happy to let my original post stand as is. I understand the argument. I’m in agreement that this is what the writers and producers are doing. I’ve written about it at some, OK, excessive length here, here, and here, so I can’t think there is much more for me to add to that part of the discussion. Note that this is my take on what I see the writers as doing. I’ll tolerate it, I don’t have much choice after all other than to tune out, but that is not the same as saying this is how I think the characters should progress. Lou frames the question this way; “Why are Chuck and Sarah not together yet?” That wasn’t the question I asked, and not the question many of those tired of the angst and the PLIs ask. The question is why aren’t we past this? By “this” I mean a story arc we are both still speculating on, how much interest will Chuck and Sarah show in the potential love interests? My response to Lou’s response to my response after the jump.
In fairness to Lou, there are a few who do make the argument that Chuck and Sarah should be together now and characterize anyone in disagreement as cool aid drinkers willing to swallow whatever TPTB give them. I’m not one of them. In fact I’m having trouble thinking of any off the top of my head. But then it depends on what you mean by together. And this is where this PLI discussion crosses over in to the larger discussion of “angst”. If you read the comments of my original post you see that I addressed what I thought was another overused storyline.
As I said, they should have been past this long ago. With the ending of the Ring I thought they played the card once too often. We saw Sarah decided to give up everything to be with Chuck. Are we now to swallow that between that decision and the traumatic event Sarah can’t find the words or time to tell Chuck she loves him and wants to be with him AGAIN? So now we have to swallow Sarah being unwilling to open up enough to Chuck to put his doubts to rest AGAIN, and Chuck getting mixed signals from Sarah AGAIN as the catalyst for some new traumatic event. I’ll need to see it before I can tell, but from the sound of it they are once again re-using the same old plot points, just in a new season. What you see is Fonzie in a leather jacket and water skis.
I saw it. That my friends is exactly what they did. They just made the mixed signals and trauma bigger, stretching our tolerance for the characters worst aspects to nearly intolerable levels. I get it, Sarah doesn’t communicate well. I get it, without that communication Chuck lacks confidence and makes mistakes. It’s not as if we haven’t seen this before, and frankly, it’s old. It might have been a compelling story if they hadn’t done it about every third episode for the last two seasons, with PLI’s sprinkled in for (not much) variety. For a show that depends on the chemistry of it’s two leads and their ability to create like-able and compelling characters who are growing before our eyes, highlighting their lack of growth and least attractive qualities might not be the best way to build an audience. Or keep the one you have. It’s wearing thin. Some say it’s worn out. I say its going in circles and if I’m making a difficult journey I don’t want to have to cover the same ground twice. But that’s not the main part of the argument, and here I will clarify my imperfect analogy of a straight line. Again I’ll refer to my comments in the original post.
I guess my geometry analogy came about because to me it seemed Chuck and Sarah had both grown so close and evolved to the point that continuing to manufacture complications and detours was actually detracting from the characters and the story.
To me it seems that a much simpler and realistic story would be them simply gradually connecting in a very natural way as they take things to the next level and learn more about each other. A line from here to there without intervening polygons.
There can still be complications (so a straight line isn’t a perfect analogy, I just wanted it to stand apart from complicated polygons). The straight line doesn’t have to be down a church aisle right away, but as I’ve often said it seems pretty unoriginal and overused the way they’ve gone about it.
So the line I refer to is not a connection I’m seeking to see, but the very journey Lou talks about. At the end of season 2 something wonderful happened. From the end of Lethal Weapon to the end of the Colonel we saw that journey. No angst, no PLIs, but a clearly deepening and progressing relationship between Chuck and Sarah. It seemed almost organic to the story that they were on this journey together, and at some point that journey has two people who know they are on a journey together and know where they want to go. They may not know exactly how to get there yet, and they may not know how long it will take, but they know they are in it together. At that point other traveling companions need not apply.