The Spy Game, Part 1

Nothing is Real.

What Is Sarah Up To This Season?

Most of us have experienced, when obsessively re-watching Chuck, the occasional nugget that doesn’t quite scan.  I’ll usually file them away until there are enough collected that they start to connect or form patterns in my mind.  My own version of the intersect.   The most fun of this warped little hobby of mine is when you can pull off a perfect prediction with just one or two of these little nuggets.  For those of you into computers and math it would be like modeling a 3D surface with 2 points as a reference and finding it an exact match.  More often than not you’re way off or missing something crucial.  My recent speculation on something between Shaw and Sarah is a good example, but when you’re right… Almost magic.  The problem is that to really know you’ve managed you need to record your wildly speculative model a priori to the reveal that can confirm or deny that you are in fact, a magician.  If you are interested I attempt to pull an elephant out of a top hat after the jump.

So we’ve had a few discussions about things that didn’t seem to fit in Pink Slip or Three Words.  Some seem to be settled or dropped, but a few things have floated around in my head for a while and I am starting to get a slow motion flash.  At the beginning of Pink Slip we see Chuck flunk out of spy school, or more exactly a special school designed just for him.  Beckman sends him packing.  The problem isn’t the intersect Chuck, it’s you.  An LA field team will monitor you until we can determine your final status.  Final Status, an ominous term considering what we saw at the beginning of season 2.  So here is a question someone asked.  Sarah was put in charge of the intersect 2.0 project at the beginning of the Ring.  Why wasn’t she in charge in Pink Slip?  Well we see she planned to run away, maybe she’d turned down the assignment, maybe she’d taken vacation while Chuck was learning to use the 2.0.  We just don’t know, but my wild guess is we soon will.  Sarah was put in charge of the 2.0 project in the Ring because she was the only agent to ever run an intersect agent, her insights would be critical to the new experimental project.  So why wasn’t she called in for the 2.0 project when it started to go wrong.  The answer is she still is in charge of the 2.0 and making it work.  Let’s indulge ourselves.

So imagine you are Beckman, who apparently gets to know Chuck somewhat in Prague while he is training.  Things are going great for a while, perhaps, but eventually it seems Chuck just isn’t working out.  Chuck can’t seem to figure it out, he’s enthusiastic, committed, he’s just not able to flash at will the way he’s supposed to, and he can’t seem to pull the trigger.  So, with everything on the line with this project who would you turn to?  Well the only agent in the CIA to ever run either Bartowski, or an intersect agent.  Whether she’s still involved in the project or not, you call in Sarah Walker to try and diagnose the problem.

Sarah Walker, who may have even retired for all we know is called in to consult.  She seems less than enthusiastic to talk to Chuck or even see him.  Something has happened between them.  Walker has a history with Bartowski, that much Beckman knows, and a reputation for personal entanglements on the job.  Sarah Walker broke Bartowski.  Now what?  Well Walker probably gets a serious dressing down for starters, then the questions start.  Maybe some of the story comes out, maybe not, but in the end one thing becomes clear.  If 2.0 is ever going to work Walker is going to have to help fix it.

So why can’t Chuck flash?  No matter how many simulations they run, no matter how real they make them, Chuck can’t seem to flash when it counts.  Sarah speaks up.  General, its because Chuck knows it doesn’t count.  Chuck has been an avid gamer for years.  He loves the games, but he knows they are just games.  He plays Call of Duty till his fingers are raw, but he’d never even handle a real gun in real life, or he wouldn’t, until someone he cared about needed him, when something real was on the line.  Chuck isn’t by nature an offensive weapon, but he is the guy who will do whatever it takes to save the day when it matters.  She’s seen it countless times.  When the mission or lives are on the line, Chuck Bartowski is that guy.

So how do we make this work?  You know if we can’t it’s a bunker for Chuck, we can’t have him out there with the intersect, especially this new one.  How do we make it work?  Walker is less than enthusiastic about making Chuck into the weapon the 2.0 was designed to be, but she seems willing to do just about anything to keep him out of a bunker.  A plan is hatched.  We’ll test Walker’s theory.  Send Chuck back home.  From what Sarah knows of him he’ll likely need time to feel sorry for himself, and a reason to pull himself out of the funk.  All the surveillance and facilities they need are already in place in LA.  Monitor him, and when the time comes, give him a reason to flash.  Try to put him in a situation where someone is counting on him.  It will have to be well controlled, carefully monitored, and safe, Walker insists that Chuck not be put at any more risk than absolutely necessary, but he needs to feel necessary for this to work.  And one more request, she wants her old partner Casey back.

Things are taking longer than they thought.  Chuck isn’t responding and time is running out.  While waiting for Chuck to snap out of it Sarah and Casey have kept busy with relatively minor jobs.  Exchanges, courier drops, some intel, things that can be put into play to test Chuck without too much danger when the time comes.  But cripes, the guy has really sunk.  Even Morgan can’t seem to snap him out of it.  Speculative aside.  We know that another of Chuck’s friends or family finds out about his spy life.  I think it’s Morgan.  Is it possible that Morgan was called in by Sarah in an effort to snap Chuck out of it?  I think probably not, it would be tough to do without jumping the shark, but it is an intriguing possibility.

This isn't about us?

Finally the time comes.  Chuck has ventured out and plans can be set in motion.  Casey makes sure Chuck knows where to be.  The mission is a fairly simple one, and the area will be well controlled.  Chuck arrives.  It’s go time.  “Sarah this isn’t about us…” Now Sarah has her own bit of intel to gather.  “Kiss me now!”  Yes, it is about them, there is still something there in the kiss, but he broke her heart and the stupid SOB wanted to be a spy, now he’s one step away from the padded cell.  The slap is real, and a little harder than she intended.  Back in the kitchen Chuck gets evaluated quickly.

I see two possibilities here.  One that Sarah’s “Get him out of here.” was real, she judged that Chuck wasn’t ready.  She’d put him down with a slap, he’s been living on cheese balls, not sleeping well, he’s not ready.  The other, I think more likely, was that it was part of the plan.  As was Casey’s naming the courier for Chuck to flash on.  Start the test with Chuck outside.  Can he get back in to a controlled facility.  Well he can.

Give him a second.

“Give him a second.”  That doesn’t quite fit with “Get him out of here.”, does it?  Yes it does.  Get him out of here was for Chuck’s benefit.  Give him a second was for Casey’s.  Sarah knows what is in the 2.0.  It’s her project.  See if he can flash.  He can and does.  First test passed.  Now stress him a bit.  This is a bonus for Sarah.  She’s never had a problem with taking a bit of revenge on Chuck while on a mission if the opportunity presents itself, kind of like the “I don’t like nice guys” in Beefcake.  The dance is not really to protect Chuck from Gilles and his men, that is well under control.  Half the bar is undercover.  No, the dance is for Chuck’s benefit.  Can he keep his mind on the mission?  Well, sort of.  Casey was ready to call it, but Chuck manages to pull it together.  For a bit.  Chuck blows it.  All he had to do was flash on the assassin and ID him and he’d have his second chance, but he blows it, and Sarah is pissed.  “You don’t work anymore!  It’s over!”

We know he didn’t, sort of.  He was supposed to flash on an assassin and ID him, but unfortunately its the assassin that IDs Chuck.

Back at the castle Casey and Sarah are packing up.  The intersect doesn’t work.  It’s the bunker for Chuck after all.  Despite the heartbreak and anger Sarah still cares.  She still hates to see Chuck lose everything, but she did everything she could to prevent this, and he wanted to be a spy.

“Poor guy.”  Casey knows Chuck is headed for the bunker.  They tried, but at least Walker could break the news to him and let him know she still cared enough to try and keep him out.  “Just doing my job.”  “Job’s over.”  Really?  I thought it was over long ago?  Nope, it just ended that night when Chuck failed his last test.  Sarah goes to break the news to him when the fates intervene.  It seems Chuck will get one last chance to prove himself, for real this time.

Sarah couldn’t pick the lock?  Please…  Sarah Walker could have the two of them out of there in seconds, but she knows a godsend when she sees it.  Chuck can do this, she knows he can, and if he can he gets another chance.  Something awesome happens and Chuck, as he always does, comes through when someone needs him to.  And Sarah needed Chuck to come through so that she gets a second chance too.  They’re both broken and the only way they get fixed is together.

For Now.

So Chuck can work after all.  They’ll do it Sarah’s way for now.  Put him in familiar circumstances, keep him surrounded by the people that matter to him, train him in the field.  But Sarah?  Well, she’s still hurting, but that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t feel the duty to protect Chuck.  He’s let her down, like so many other men in her life, but he deserves a second chance.  Just not with her.  She’ll stay and work with him and protect him to try and give him that second chance.  For now.

Remember, this is wild speculation, so lets have some fun with the possibilities while I write up the clues from other episodes.


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 Observations, Season 3, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to The Spy Game, Part 1

  1. atcdave says:

    Certainly an appealing scenario Ernie. If it comes out this way, it could go a long ways towards removing some of the foul taste of Pink Slip. Since I’m pretty sure Sarah will be playing Shaw to some degree or another, there could be a lot of dramatic reveals towards the end of the first arc.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    I hate to skip to the end, but the big reveal will be that Shaw’s “You had your chance and you blew it.” and the punch will be about Shaw deciding it’s the bunker for Chuck after he screws something up, like not being able to go through with it with Hannah. Sarah will be there trying once again to prevent it.

    • atcdave says:

      OK, not to steal your thunder from your next post; but I do think its a reasonable guess that the punch has nothing to do with Shaw smooching Sarah. Seriously, if it did, how is that going to restore the relationship in short order? I was leaning more towards the way Shaw was manipulating the team in general, but bunkering is a good guess. Of course if he suggests it, I bet we won’t have much doubt about where Sarah stands on the issue.

    • weaselone says:

      It seems like an unwise move on Shaw’s part to announce Chuck’s removal to the bunker while Chuck is present and conscious. He is the Intersect 2.0. Things might not end that well for Shaw, particularly given he doesn’t have a firearm out.

      He compounds the mistake by announcing this decision in front of the Intersect 2.0 cub’s blond haired, blue eyed mother grizzly bear. Stupidity like this should have seen Shaw listed as appearing in far fewer episodes.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Where Sarah seems to want to calmly and gently lead Chuck to superspydom, from what we’ve seen Shaw wants to toss him in the deep end and let him sink or swim, to an extent. If Shaw is a manipulator and willing to shoot himself in the chest for a mission, he might be willing to take a punch to push a few buttons.

  3. weaselone says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy into the scenario which doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come to fruition, just that I will be engaging in some significant eye rolling if it does. I can point to a few details, but I think I’ll stick to one. The test mission itself.

    In order to pass this test the only two essential flashes would both be Intersect 1.0 flashes. Chuck could have conceivably regained admittance using his own skill set. The first was flashing on Javier’s name, which was a trivial exercise. The second would be flashing on Javier himself, also trivial provided Chuck ever sees Javier. Given he’s a trained assassin, that would be much in doubt.

    Plus, Chuck realistically passed the test by any measure. He flashed on the name, gained readmittance, flashed on a skill under pressure and prevented the assassin from fulfilling his mission. The only real question is how Javier got out of a restaurant filled to the brim with CIA agents.

    • atcdave says:

      You make some good counter-points, but it may have been a simple exercise just get Chuck’s head back in the game. If that’s true, he exceeded expectations by producing a 2.0 flash too.

      For the record, my money is on us hearing nothing else about that mission. We may get some more info about the 6+ months Chuck and Sarah were apart, but I would guess their reunion at the cantina will never be brought up again. I mostly like Ernie’s attempts to fill in the blanks, but I don’t think the writers care as much as we do. (Is that the most cynical thing I’ve ever said?)

  4. joe says:

    Know what’s interesting, Ernie? You’ve pretty much gotten below the surface to find a consistent narrative where many of the things we saw can’t be taken at face value. It’s the self-consistency that I find interesting.

    An example: Sarah’s inability to pick the lock. We can take that at face value, or, as you noted, wonder why she suddenly loses this world-class ability, one she’s had from the beginning.

    By nature, I’m one to just take things at face value (I get a headache otherwise!), but that’s often the wrong way to go, especially with a show like this.

    I’m also going to consider a more radical prospect. The best narratives work on multiple levels, and this may be one of those. It’s possible that some of the ambiguities we chafe at are because both levels have to operate simultaneously. We’ll never unambiguously know if Sarah is/was or isn’t/wasn’t in charge of the intersect 2.0 project.

    And I *still* want to know what happened to RIOS!

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    Weaselone (and others) I understand if you aren’t convinced. I think it is a bit of a long shot too, sort of. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to run with it. Take your objection for example. In Chuck’s last simulation in Prague he clearly outperformed what most other agents could do, but he failed to complete the mission. In the test he failed the one crucial part, he couldn’t keep his emotions in check long enough to complete a mission.

    Now lets turn the tables and examine some of the plot holes that are there if you take Episode 1 as written. First, he and Sarah never had contact again after Prague, even though we know that Sarah stayed a spy. Is it at all reasonable that Sarah wouldn’t be contacted when things started to go wrong with Chuck? She’d run him as an asset for nearly three years and had more success controlling him than anyone else, but nobody would contact her for some insights, let alone try to get her to talk to Chuck? They have an entire town and staff dedicated to making Chuck work, but apparently can’t spare agent Walker from setting up a simple courier grab?

    The CIA sends Chuck packing, but as we see all the surveillance is still in place to monitor him, after 6 months. Then they do what for another few months while Chuck grows a beard. Let him sit? And all that time both Sarah and Casey are still stationed in LA, still using the O-O as a base, where all the surveillance is located. And Casey “heard” Chuck was a lemon? He could have looked in any time, and probably did just out of curiosity.

    Sarah happens to call and Casey happens to (pretty obviously IMHO) let Chuck know where they will be and when, and then after Sarah says to toss Chuck Casey gives him a name to flash on?

    Then the big tell. Sarah’s “Just give him a second.” Why? To do what? And how does that fit with her having him tossed? Most of the rest can be explained with conventional suspension of disbelief required for this type of story, that last one pretty much says Chuck is there for a reason.

    Also, a conventional drop as Casey says, yet half the restaurant is undercover? Seems like a bit of overkill to me. And how does Javier escape? Simple, nobody knew what he looked like, they needed Chuck to flash or Javier to make a move.

    Now for the last. Sarah and Casey have been in LA for months for a simple courier set up that apparently required a team of several dozen agents to pull off, yet the second that one simple drop fails they can now pack up and move on.

    Finally, Casey complains about Sarah’s treatment of Chuck. “Just doing my job.” is her answer. “Job’s over. Put him out of his misery, you owe him that much.” is his reply. I thought that part of her job, Chuck’s handler, was over months ago. And Casey’s “you owe him that much”. Really? Why does Walker owe him? Perhaps because she broke him?

    Finally, while Javier and his men clearly got the drop on Sarah in the BuyMore she seemed awfully helpless in Javier’s compound. Basically waiting for Chuck to rescue her. She couldn’t pick the lock? That’s all she’s got?

    I know, its a longshot, but it is fun to speculate. And frankly I think mine has a lot better continuity than what we got.

    • atcdave says:

      Your version does play better, and fill in a few holes. To me, the most obvious thing is Casey trying to help Chuck out, letting him see exactly where they would be, and then dropping the name. The rest has to be pure speculation; well considered and thought through, but still….

      As I said before, my money is on us never really knowing.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        To me the big tells in this episode were Casey’s letting Chuck know where and when, Sarah’s “Give him a second”, Sarah’s reaction when Chuck blows it, and Casey’s “Poor guy”/”Job’s Over”. Of those one, Sarah’s “Give him a second” defies any other explanation that I can see.

      • weaselone says:

        Ernie, don’t have time to answer the larger post, but I interpreted the “Wait a second” differently. I suspect that Sarah trusts that Chuck will pull something out of his head to keep the mission from being exposed, something that would most certainly happen if Casey had CIA agents move in on Chuck.

        Sarah’s concern seems to be more with keeping her mark under control and distracting him in order to keep him from putting the pieces together so she can complete her mission. Chuck’s a fly in the ointment, and she wants to minimize the damage he causes. Initially, that’s more easily done by letting do whatever it is he is going to do than sicking her operatives on him.

        As for Casey. I think he either feels sorry for the nerd and deliberately exposes the intelligence or Beckman orders him to expose it as part of a plan B. She and Shaw reached a decision about what to do with Bartowski and this is where the ball starts rolling.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’ll just mention one thing. Yes, Sarah could be waiting for Chuck to pull something that keeps them from blowing the mission, that’s kind of the point of my interpretation too.

        The fact that Chuck standing onstage with a guitar in his hand and an entire crowd expecting him to play and she still expects Chuck to manage something is telling. The fact that he does and she doesn’t seem surprised is the most telling part. In fact she almost seems relieved. Casey seems surprised, but then as we know from the Bo scene Sarah knows what is in the intersect.

        I don’t doubt that part of Sarah’s dance was to distract her mark, but that’s quite a way to go about it, and we all know Sarah can multitask.

  6. Lucian says:

    I am thinking we get a “Scooby Doo” reveal – Shaw is Bryce wearing a mask. It explains everything.

    • weaselone says:

      Bryce is too short to be Shaw.

      • Lucian says:

        He lost his legs in one of his run-ins with the ring. They are bionic; he requested a few extra inches when they were made.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Even the hole they both have where they were shot in the chest! You may be on to something. That explains the wedding ring too. Bryce saved the wedding ring from their married cover couple and puts it on to remember Sarah and him together while he watches the family dinner. You may be on to something!

    • atcdave says:

      Funny thing is, almost as soon as Shaw was introduced, my wife (who didn’t know any of the bigger picture yet), just says “oh, he must be this season’s Bryce.”

      I thought that said a lot about the creative value of this type of story telling. You guys know I love this show, and I’m having fun with the speculation; but no matter how well acted or written, the mere existence of Shaw as yet another obstacle, is hackneyed and cliched.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Oh Dave, you just don’t understand. Shaw is not only a good thing he is the bestest thing ever! We love Shaw! And we have to have Shaw because there is absolutely no other way in existence to move Chuck forward or Chuck and Sarah forward. The only possible way they can ever make Chuck a spy or Chuck and Sarah a couple is if a super cool spy character named Shaw comes in and pisses the shippers off. Otherwise the show could not exist! 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Oh, and that isn’t meant to bash anyone who thinks Shaw will be a good thing, just a little snark aimed at some anti-shippers more “realistic” or “enlightened” attitude toward the show. I just couldn’t resist because I figured Dave would get a laugh out of it.

      • weaselone says:

        Ernie, I just thought you’d finally joined the dark side. You forgot one key item in your post.

        Why do you even bother watching the show if you don’t like what the writers are doing?

      • atcdave says:

        Too funny. But I guess I should add; if Shaw never comes on to Sarah, and Sarah is never tempted by him, and they never have to play romantic on a mission; that would be creative!

      • joe says:

        Don’t be fooled, Weaselone. Ernie hasn’t gone over to no dark side. He’s already stated that he’s critiquing one aspect of the show that could have been done more to his tastes. Critiquing is so much better a word than criticising.

        I’ve been annoyed at times myself with quite a number of people on the NBC boards who passionately state their dislikes about this and that; four letter wiggles and four sided geometrical shapes, “A” words and all the rest. But still, passionate against is pretty much the same as passionate for, and it’s still passion. Funny, that. And aren’t I poetic?

        I know that this seems to be a pretty big divide, and trust me, I know it’s easy to feel “attacked” no matter which side of this fence you’re on. It’s because of that passion.

        But you can take Ernie’s winky emoticon as a sign that he’s exaggeration for effect.

        Besides, it’s me and OD that he’s tweaking ;>

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yes Joe, I kid because I love. 🙂 We don’t want to get too serious after all.

      • weaselone says:

        This is why I should include emoticons in my ironic posts. I caused you to spend all that time trying to assuage wounded feelings I didn’t even have.

        I’ve gotten into quite a few scraps on the board about the supposed destruction of Chuck’s character in Season 3. Somehow Chuck has become both an insufferable, incompetent whiner and a cold, arrogant superspy. How he’s managed both at once is a complete mystery.

        That having been said, many individuals, even hard core shippers bring up good points and I often feel like Ernie when it comes to the knee jerk reactions some people have to any criticism of how the writers and executive producers handle things.

        Hence, I often engage in little bouts of snark and the occasional over the top scenario. I almost posted a scenario involving Sarah and Shaw in Chuck’s bedroom the other day, but felt it crossed a line.

        Anyway, I appreciate the concern, but I have fairly thick skin so you don’t have to worry. Wait, is that a paper cut? I think I may need stitches.

      • joe says:

        I knew that, Weaselone. ;> (Sure I did!)

        Still, it’s a point I had to make once, somewhere.

        Now I have to figure out why I can’t make those fancy emoticons in comments like Ernie can! It’s NOT FAIR!!!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Joe, uh… colon close parenthesis. Semicolon close parenthesis. I thought you knew that. 😀 It seems WordPress does it automatically if you just use the normal emoticon.

      • joe says:

        So… you’re sayin’ that my tradition and habitual semi-colon right angle-bracket is being discriminated against??? Outrageous! ;>

        And Thanks! 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Man Joe, where did you learn emoticons? Every computer geek knows it’s close parenthesis, and that star bellied sneeches are better than plain bellied sneeches. 😛

  7. ND2488 says:

    If there is one good thing about Shaw, it’s going to be Casey’s reaction to the new “boss man” coming into the Castle with a shiner. I think Chuck will rise a few pegs in Casey’s eyes after that. I can just here the growl of satisfaction now.

  8. herder says:

    One of the things that I had wondered about is related to vs The Ring. If Shaw is the expert on the Ring and team Bartowski caught at least a half dozen memebers of the Ring alive, wouldn’t he have met them and debriefed them at some point before six or nine months had passed.

    At the very least wouldn’t they want to know how Ring members had infiltrated Casey’s team or the CIA escort for Bryce, wouldn’t they want to know in exacting detail anything they had said when they thought that they had the upper hand, to get some idea of what their goals or ambitions were?

    It seems that Shaw suffers from an appalling lack of interest as to that situation that has to count as one of the CIA’s greatest sucesses against this threat. And if they had one guy who pretty much caught a bunch of these super-secret spies on his own, would they really let him veg on his couch for three months?

    I do beleive that there is more to Beckman canning Chuck and letting him turn into a couch potato than meets the eye, maybe Ernie has it, maybe he doesn’t but there is definitely more to that story than we have seen to date.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Herder, this one didn’t bother me too much. If you recall neither Casey, Sarah, not Chuck were in touch with Bryce or Casey’s team prior to the new assignments the day of the wedding. Bryce was taken by an unknown to a facility where the intersect room was prepared. The questions would be to whoever was in command of Casey’s team in his absence, whoever staffed the facility Bryce went to, and the ring agents, who would have been taken into custody quickly, removing them from team B’s tender mercies. I would expect that someone, not necessarily Shaw, would have questioned each member of team B about everything every agent said and did that they could remember.

      Thanks for your comments though, and please, look for those plot holes. It’s my guess that some aren’t so much holes as clues.

      • herder says:

        Ernie, my reluctance about your theory is not related to any of your arguements which are all plausible (and I’m not trying to damn it with faint praise, I actually like it). Rather it is incompatable with one of my own pet theories that the CIA knew about Sarah’s attempt to run with Chuck. If they knew about that attempt, I can’t see them putting her in charge of his development.

        Unless the arrival of Shaw is an attempt to provide some sort of check and balance or -even more ominous- a double cross. Lots to speculate about.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Herder, I’ve entertained your theory to a degree. I don’t reject it outright, but I think it less plausible because they’d then be pretty unlikely to do anything other than bunker them both, yet they now seem to trust Sarah with Chuck’s care. Also the Beckman “I don’t know what happened between you and I don’t want to know” quote. But the thing is you could make a case that Sarah’s now making amends and her life and freedom depends on getting Chuck working. It is an interesting thought. Thinking OTB is always fun, if for no other reason than the mental exercise.

      • Gord says:

        Spy work is very compartmentalized. Need to know is the mantra.

        The fact that they hadn’t met Shaw before doesn’t bother me.

        One thing that does bother me, is if Beckman is the DNI (Director of National Intelligence)as is eluded to, why does a field agent like Shaw seem to have command over her.

        Of course she could be just a Deputy Director and has been directed by the DNI to defer authority for Team Bartowski to Shaw.

        By the way that is a real entity. From what I have read the Office of the DNI is responsible for coordinating joint intelligence operations between multiple agencies in the US.

        The fact that Beckman is supposed to be NSA, I gather that she would be an NSA rep/deputy director to the DNI.

      • herder says:

        Yes, but if the CIA knew of the plan to run and if the “you had your chance and you blew it” is about Sarah then it becomes that much more manipulative. Manipulative seems to be Shaw’s modus operendi.

        As I stated this is my own pet theory, of course there are holes in it, but then again there are holes throughout the whole series.

        This makes Beckman’s training plan A of the DNI and putting Chuck back into Sarah’s hands plan B with the oversight of Shaw. Under this theory then Shaw became necessary when they saw the return of the connection that sunk plan A.

        Of course plan A would never have worked because of the nature of Chuck which needs the stabalizing influence of Sarah to work. For Chuck to be the intersect agent that they want they have to have the whole team -Sarah and Casey and Chuck together- and this is what they have to discover, via the ultimate failure of the Shaw plan.

  9. NoWayOut says:

    I’ve said all I’ll say about Pink Slip. So forgive me for going off topic a bit:

    Anyone think Sarah’s “real” name will be the “fake” name she tells Chuck about at the train station. I heard it as Calderon.

    There was SOOOOOO little said in that scene, why specifically mention the fake name?

    It could be a throw away (As Joe has said, what ever happened to RIOS?), of course, but maybe it was a meta joke by Fedak. Sarah uses her real name for Chuck’s cover. After all, then she’d be traveling under her real name as they run away.

    Which is lousy spymanship, I admit, but Pink Slip was a lousy episode…

  10. herder says:

    The other thing that seemed odd to me is the whole “save the world from Chuck thing”. Beckman seemed to make a big thing about that but to date we have seen precious little about dangerous Chuck, he was tempted to do harm to Emmitt, but resisted it, he snapped at an oriental woman and kicked Lester. None of those seemed too threatening and honestly under the circumstances snapping at the woman wasn’t that bad, who wouldn’t want to do physical harm to Emmitt and Lester should be kicked in the head from time to time.

    The dangerous Chuck story line needs more to bring it about and unless there is some other intersect prototype who has gone bad (perhaps “the other guy”) how could Beckman know enough about this danger to make such a big thing about it.

    • weaselone says:

      Ah, but you missed the scene where a sleep walking Chuck assembled all the components for an atom bomb in his living room and was just barely intercepted by Casey before he stole the plutonium from Morgan’s still impounded Delorean.

  11. OldDarth says:

    Glad you folks got a few chuckles out of my posts.

    It is obvious that further dialogue will end going south so at this point I will bid all of you adieu, hope the show provides some modicum of enjoyment to everyone, and that everyone here continues to share their thoughts with one another.

    Live long and prosper!


  12. AngelTwo says:

    Ernie: You put a lot of work into this, but I think the basic premise is off. You SAW Casey closing down Castle. You heard Sarah ask Beckman about the Lisbon flight they were taking that night before Beckman reactivated Team Bartowski.

    I think Pink Slip is simply what it seems to be: A series reset, done badly.

    I think if anything comes back in later episodes, it’ll be small stuff: Maybe, as NoWayOut posits, the cover name. And I notice that e14 is in Spain, on a train. Maybe they are using the tickets Sarah had planned for the escape. 🙂

    Frankly, I think e13, the original season ender, is going to harken back to Ring a lot. In fact, I betcha this time it’s Sarah asking Chuck to go on vacation with HER. Sort of Fedak’s revenge on fans who hated that line so much when Chuck said it to Sarah in Ring.

    Or, maybe, look at it this way: Pink Slip is the series reset and in the next 11 episodes, they lightly touch all the bases of the first two years. You know, use the best stuff from the first two years in a new context. We’ve seen a lot of the same bits already (Sydney in the BuyMore a la Seduction, Carina as truth teller a la Wookie, the high-cost-of-taking the shot a la Break Up, etc.) That leaves open the possibility that this year’s e13 as the show that SHOULD have happened after Colonel.

    • JLR says:

      More or less my thoughts too. I appreciate Ernie trying to fill in the blanks, and giving the writers the benefit of the doubt rather than simply bashing them. However, I’m of the mind we won’t get to the things Ernie addresses. Most everything has been re-set; Chuck is a different show. Even proponents of Pink Slip admit that. Maybe I’ll end up being wrong, but I think the writers are just fine w/ the diehards coming up w/ theories while the larger fanbase watches for the comedy, angst & some action sprinkled in. It’s kind of understandable, really, and much easier.

    • AngelTwo says:

      The more I think about this season, the more I think TBTB are playing it for laughs with the fans. Real wink-and-a-nod stuff.

      1) In the elevator, Chuck tells Awesome not to worry because 9 of 10 (well, 7 of 10) of the worst things you can imagine don’t happen. A clear wink to the fan angst over, well, the angst.

      2) Even earlier, Chuck summarizes an unseen mission as something like: go to an embassy party, stop an arms buy, defuse a bomb, you know, standard stuff. A wink to the fans who say the spy part of Chuck has always been formula stuff.

      3) Carina returns and suddenly SHE has the wind machine at the BuyMore and Fountain that only Sarah’s character had before.

      4) The first conversation Chuck and Sarah have at the fountain starts like no other fountain talk ever has: SARAH says “we should talk.” But then she DOESN’T and Chuck has to start. Again.

      5) They set the fountain on Fire. Holiest of holy places for the “relationship” is set on fire.

      6) At the end of Awesome, there’s a knock at the door. Enter Sarah because, well, Sarah always knocks on the door at family meal time. But wait, it’s NOT Sarah. It’s Devon and Ellie.

      7) Chuck’s new PLI is ANOTHER brunette. Sarah’s new PLI is another hunk type.

      8) Casey lies to Chuck about Emmett’s fate by saying he’s gone to Anchorage after the previous assistant manager of note (Tang) went to Honolulu.

      9) Chuck pulls off the impossible in the laser room and says, “Now we can talk!” But the door shuts in his and Sarah’s faces. It’s an insane visual joke only the fans would get.

      I now have the oddest feeling that there won’t be any real stuff in the Hannah-Chuck or Shaw-Sarah moments. It’ll all be fooled ya!

      • Gord says:

        Speaking of the Shaw/Hannah stuff. Did you see the synopsis for 3.07 they have up at

        For a mission Shaw pairs Chuck with Hannah and Shaw takes Sarah as his partner. First off this means Hannah is a spy, and the synopsis suggests that the whole PLI thing might have been blown out of proportion.

        Maybe things will not be as bad for the shippers after all.

      • atcdave says:

        I hadn’t seen that, but its funny how based on the tidbits that are out there, many of us were coming to that conclusion anyway.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m of the opinion they’re going to play the emotionally stable and grounded Chuck as a jealous 13 year old boy one more time before they let it go. Chuck will misread Sarah and Shaw and decide it’s OK to have a fling with Hannah. There’s one we haven’t seen before, right?

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Ernie, that’s kind of how I read the arc ahead too, and yet somehow Sarah will be eager to fix things with Chuck in 3.08. That kind of suggests to me that Chuck won’t get too carried away with Hannah; and that Sarah will completely understand how he came to the wrong conclusion. So 3.07 may be a little messy and painful, which may carry over to the start of 3.08, but it should be mostly resolved in that episode.

        Zach did even say something to that effect of Chuck acting immature; which I think is a mistake both in terms of writing and PR. But hopefully it won’t last long.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        What I’d like to see is some combination of my pet theory (as outlined in spy game) and a breakthrough for Sarah in addition to the name, like I’m sorry Chuck, this was all my fault. I acted impulsively and put you in an impossible situation where you had to make a choice for both of us that neither of us was ready for and neither of us understood. Or at least take some partial ownership for the mess they made. She seems to have acted like the victim a lot more than she deserves.

      • atcdave says:

        I’d hate for things to get too dark, but it has seemed to me since 3.02, the most apt thing is for these two to sit down and have a good cry together. Its not something I would normally want to see, but given the huge history of misunderstandings, misperceptions, and hurts they’ve inflicted on each other, it sure seems appropriate.

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