Lives are on the line.
In the first of my wild speculation series we had some fun re-running the season opener with an under-story in mind. People seemed to enjoy it. I know I did. It makes it fun to look for those little clues we all love and to see the show in a new light. My continuing attempt to pry the elephant out of that top hat, just for fun, comes after the jump.
Those of you who were brave enough to step into my disturbing little hobby with part one are now familiar with my theory. Nothing we’ve seen so far tells the whole story. There is another story being played out just as real as what we see, but we just haven’t been told yet. Like the end of Lethal Weapon in season 2 there will be a reset of the context we’ve seen so far. At the end of Lethal Weapon we saw that Chuck had been a busy boy out of sight. He wasn’t just sitting back waiting for someone to remove the intersect for him, he was working on the problem. That moment set up the killer arc that ended the season we all loved so much. With that information we saw a new focused Chuck stepping up, becoming a man, and not taking no for an answer.
My theory is that this season’s reset will happen in episodes seven and eight with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure. Seven will be the big reveal and cliffhanger and eight will be the resolution that sets up the final arc. I don’t have all the particulars worked out but the short version is this. Chuck is on probation. Double secret probation.
Some time around Chuck’s decision in Prague things may have started slipping with Chuck’s training. It was taking longer, not going well. Chuck was losing focus, not able to pull the trigger, not able to complete missions. Any decent professional, like Beckman would call in the experts to try and identify the problem In this case there is someone who fits the bill perfectly. She was originally slated to head up the 2.o project for this very expertise. The only agent to ever handle an intersect asset, and the only agent to ever handle Chuck Bartowski. Sarah Walker would be consulted. It would be unprofessional not to.
At some point it would become apparent that something happened between Bartowski and Walker. Sarah’s reluctance to see Chuck, her reticence to talk about him, her obvious discomfort when doing so. At some point someone would realize, whether they had the whole story or not, Sarah Walker broke the Intersect 2.0. Sarah Walker was going to have to fix it.
What would that mean for her? For Chuck? You think they’re just going to let him walk away? Final status to be determined was the way Beckman put it. An LA field team will monitor him until that happens. I’ve covered my initial ideas and how I think they play into some of the things that don’t quite fit in Pink Slip, so I’ll pick up the ball from there and cover the rest of the season so far.
So Sarah’s idea is to find a few good missions for Chuck, build his confidence back up, get him working properly. He wanted to be a spy. But she can’t get personally involved again, that’s what created the mess in the first place. She also can’t tell Chuck the real stakes, him in a padded cell, if she fails. He’d freak out. That would be the end of Chuck. So now we’re back to Sarah’s role last season, but at a different level. Once again Sarah is caught between loyalty and a sense of duty to Chuck and having to please the CIA and NSA. She still can’t tell Chuck everything she knows, and she can’t let her still real feelings for Chuck interfere.
At the end of Pink Slip we saw Sarah telling Chuck to keep his feelings to himself. In Three Words we see that is nearly impossible for him, or will be until he gets some closure with Sarah. He’s still trying to figure out what happened, but Sarah knows very well. She made an impulsive decision, and while Chuck hurt her she also damaged Chuck. She owed him something, just not her heart again. All she can see however is Chuck wanting to talk things out, patch things up, start over. Worse he keeps doing it instead of focusing on the mission, and it’s starting to piss her off. He had his chance, and he tossed her aside, and now he gets all needy again? Nope, not this time. Carina is starting to piece things together, at least what happened if not what may be at stake. Carina may also understand something else, these two only work together when they’re together. It may be too late for Walker as a solo act, spies shouldn’t fall in love, but who knows, with the right partner it might work.
So Sarah has another limited success with Chuck. He flashes and performs, but can’t stay focused long enough to finish the mission. And she’s the reason. Hence the call to Beckman. Chuck has some of his confidence back, he can flash, maybe another agent would be better. Now replay the Bo scene. She’s stuck with Chuck, who she sees trying to patch up a relationship she doesn’t want, while she can’t tell Chuck why she’s really there, to fix what she broke and then move on. She can’t even tell him the stakes, but she has to get him over it and working or it’s going to destroy them both. And he wants to talk. The line that struck me most about this though was lives are on the line. It isn’t typical for Sarah to challenge Chuck like that. Is it her trying to plant the idea that he needs to save someone in his head? We know he works flawlessly when others lives are on the line. His, not so much.
I’ve already talked about how they were on separate pages in this scene, he thinking she heard his heartfelt confession and apology, wanting some sort of recognition that she understands, her still seeing Chuck as an idiot thinking he can be this way and still be a spy. We get a sort of resolution in the end when Sarah says she’s fine here, for now. But notice that after she sees his confession at the end, having heard her say she’s staying “for now” repeatedly the question has stopped and there doesn’t seem to be a for now in her mind.
At present nothing from Angel of Death really sticks in my mind that supports this theory, but there seems to be a general trend of Beckman upping the stakes for Chuck. He’s personally responsible for the outcome, the mission depends on him. We’re hearing that almost as much as we’re hearing about how old Casey has suddenly gotten. Put that into the data banks, see if the intersect comes up with something.
Operation Awesome, now that is a different story. With family on the line the rest of Team B seems to have total confidence in Chuck’s ability to come through. Both Casey and Sarah literally stay in the car while Chuck IS the operation. But this one ends up being sink or swim for Chuck, as team B is locked down. In retrospect this has Shaw’s fingerprints all over it.
Shaw, now that guy has an agenda. It obviously seems to have a lot to do with Chuck. He after all “knows everything” as he seems to emphasize to Sarah. Could he be talking more about Chuck’s status? On probation anyone? If Sarah had a theory about Chuck needing someone to protect to work Shaw tested that theory pretty thoroughly with Devon. He also Checked out Chuck solo, and saw it didn’t work so well. Sarah’s pointed “sometimes it helps to know you have something to lose” works on several levels, reinforcing her knowledge of how the intersect works, and her displeasure that Chuck is in the dark about his being on the bubble.
And so fellow Chuckophiles and lovers of conspiracy theories, rampant speculation and obsessive detail, let’s have at it, just for fun.