Nacho Sampler Open Thread

With apologies to our friends to the north for the delay.  Indulge, after the jump.

Updated 2/1/2010 9:25 AM


To maybe make this open thread a little more interesting or informative, and to whet the appetites of us who haven’t seen the new episode yet I’m including an updated poll.  Choose your two favorites.

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.
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103 Responses to Nacho Sampler Open Thread

  1. herder says:

    Wonderful episode, still doing setup, but it deals with a bunch of the things we have been discussing in various threads. Saw on the NBC board that Old Darth wasn’t as thrilled with this one as I was, but really I think this was the best of the season so far. I’ll go into details tommorow after everybody has seen it.

  2. joe says:

    When last we left our intrepid spies, the mysterious weapon that Carina’s fiancé killed an agent for, the mysterious black, round weapon was revealed to be a box containing CDs and a wedding ring, presumably from Eve Shaw.

    Do we learn anything about it?

    I am going to review Chuck vs. The Sandworm before I watch tomorrow’s episode because Sandworm offered Chuck a glimpse into his future as a CIA asset. The speculation is (and because of the promo clip, I understand this) that Chuck sees his past self in the character we meet here.

    Am I off track?

    • Gord says:

      No you are not far off the mark (funny I should use the term mark).
      Chuck sees what might have happened to him as an asset.

      Chuck also takes a major step towards becoming a real spy, but it is not something that makes him or Sarah happy.

      • kg says:

        I bet he’s losing himself, changing on the go. He probably killed somebody.

        This is what Sarah feared the most. Even Jill warned him to not let “them” change him.

  3. Gord says:

    Ok I have a new all time favourite episode. There were some very powerful moments in this episode. As it is where Chuck gets a new appreciation for what could have happened to him as an asset as well as the horrible things a spy has to do.

    There were some interesting flashbacks to the Chuck/Sarah first meeting. Also shippers need not worry about Hannah in this episode.

    I found Sarah’s seduction stuff funny and you will all love Morgan’s new office.

    There is a very sad, but powerful ending to this episode, which might bother some fans, but I thought it was well done and I think it will lead to a very emotional (in a good way) moment between Chuck and Sarah sometime within the next 2 to 3 episodes.

    There are some detailed spoilers on the NBC Chuck boards, but I wanted to keep my spoilers here a little more cryptic.

    I know we all have our own tastes and I’m sure some of you will disagree with my assessment.
    This episode was by no means the funniest episode of Chuck, but I think it was a watershed episode. A pivotal moment in the overall Chuck story.

    • joe says:

      Thanks, Gord. I love pivotal moments. Already this sounds like my kind of episode.

      Now, I’m imposing a “radio silence” on myself, so I can go into it relatively unspoiled!


      • kg says:

        I think I get it now Gord. This probably brings Chuck back to Sandworm and the evil genius he met on the Santa Monica Pier.

        Maybe, this kid Manoosh looks to Chuck for friendship or guidance, and Chuck is probably the one who gets stuck with putting him in a bunker.

        Therefore, I can see Sarah emotionally conflicted because of the direction Chuck is heading, one she dreads and probably feels some guilt involved.

  4. Faith says:

    I need atcdave and Ernie to see this epi…then I’ll know how I feel lol.

    Thanks for the thread and hopefully spoilers!


  5. Ernie Davis says:

    I was starting a post on the first 5 episodes, and sort of a re-evaluation of some of the pre-reviewers comments, now that we’ve all seen them. It only just dawned on me that we’re now all on equal footing. Some of those who criticized crazy shippers had seen 5 episodes before they formed an opinion. Some might uncharitably say they had an opinion in mind, but let’s not go there. Now things get interesting. But oddly, it seems that synopses and casting notes are pretty detailed now. It is almost as if some people have maybe learned that speculation is going to happen, and if you pooch it concerning what the fans are really watching for in your spoiler-phobic tease, that may come back to haunt you.

    But that may just be me.

    • Gord says:

      You may be right Ernie. So far I have been pleasently surprised by S3. From the spoilers that were thrown out, I expected Chuck and Sarah to be hopping into bed with PLI’s in just about every episode.

      In 6 episodes we have seen a few seduction missions for Sarah, but no real love interests and I’m not sure that Hannah and Shaw are going to be real love interests for Chuck and Sarah. So far it sure doesn’t look that way.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think from the general opinions I’ve heard and the polls we’ve done that even before the season started they realized the premier was weak and the second, although a slightly stronger episode still not up to their standards. It wasn’t really till Operation Awesome that I started to feel good about the show again. So I’m not surprised at their release strategy, to get five episodes into some sympathetic hands to re-assure the fan base to stick with it, and then to get the worst over with quickly. Can you imagine if Pink slip were the first episode we saw in March then we had to wait a week?

      • atcdave says:

        I think you’re exactly right, Pink Slip alone would have been a disaster to promote. But pairing it with Three Words softened the blow, and Angel of Death was a strong episode.

  6. Gord says:

    “I bet he’s losing himself, changing on the go. He probably killed somebody.”

    I was going to keep away from specifics, but I will say that Chuck doesn’t kill anyone in this episode. He has to do something to his asset that is rather unpleasant and I think he realizes that it could have just as easily have happened to him.

    • lou federico says:

      How would you rate it 1-10

      • PeterOinNJ says:

        I was lucky enough to see this ep and on a scale of 1-10 I rate this a 9 with a bullet! It is not at all what I (we) expected and might just be my favorite Chuck episode of all time. Do NOT miss it!

      • Gord says:

        I would also rate it 9 or maybe even 9.5 out of 10.

        Old Darth was on the Chuck boards saying he didn’t like the transitions between the action/drama and the comedy. I guess we all see things differently, but for me this episode knocked it out of the park.
        Mainly because of some very powerful dramatic moments (but nothing to do with PLIs).

      • weaselone says:

        Like Ernie, I’ve been avoiding the spoilers on this one so as to enhance my enjoyment of the episode. Not sure what to think about the transitions, but jarring switches from comedy to drama could actually enhance the feel of the show. Will have to wait to experience.

    • kg says:

      Ha ha ha. Thanks Gord. I heard it was powerful, so naturally I thought what was the worst thing Chuck could do? Whack somebody. I’m glad it’s not that bad.

      • Faith says:

        what spoilers there are, are encouraging imo. Makes me have expectations in a sense lol.

        Anyways looking forward to it.

    • amyabn says:

      I think one of the things they could/should have capitalized on is Chuck being grateful. Yes, there should be remorse for having to make the choice, but I don’t think the gravity of what could have happened to him has really hit home. Right at the end of helicopter Sarah spelled it out for him, then again in Ring (two bed?). I hope Chuck finally has a real conversation with Sarah (what a novel idea) and can show some gratitude for all the things she has done, with the realization that she did them out of love. Maybe I’m too pollyanna here, but a reality check is sorely needed.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree about Chuck showing some appreciation. Right now it seems like he has selective amnesia; he sees the ways Sarah may have manipulated him, and he’s forgetting the things she did clearly out of friendship, or even love. There is nothing more important to do with Chuck than get these things in perspective. I’m kind of not looking forward to The Mask, because I expect more of what we got last week. Hopefully I’ll be pleasently surprised.

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    Just out of curiosity do you think watching spoiler free enhances the experience? I’m trying to stay off the NBC boards, but it is tough.

    • PeterOinNJ says:

      This episode is not at all what I expected and if you can stay away, do it! Based on what I’ve read from you, I think you will enjoy watching it unfold – and I am really looking forward to your reaction! Wait – you’ll be glad you did.

    • herder says:

      I didn’t even watch the preview released by NBC late last week, I think if you know too much you get preconcieved notions that affect your enjoyment. Don’t go to the spoilers, the episode wasn’t what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. In numerical ratings I’d give it a 9 too.

  8. OldDarth says:

    Watershed episode for the show and for Chuck. Liked it much better once rewatched.

  9. Rick Holy says:

    I’m not “peeking” this time. I’ll tough it out and wait – expecting GREAT THINGS based on all your comments.

    BRING ON THE CHUCK!!! A little less than 8 hours to go!

  10. kg says:

    Our good Father Rick is right. Tick, tick, tick.

    Anyway, back to Seduction – the concept, not necessarily the episode.

    I thinking when Chuck sees Sarah undergo the seduction process, why does it have to be clearly one or the other?

    Why can’t he both understand it is Sarah’s job (and she’s certainly well equipped for the task), but also as a man have normal, disturbed feelings of discomfort while the woman he professes to love is touching and kissing her.

    I agree that displaying outright jealousy might be too strong and therefore not showing understanding and respect for the importance of the mission.

    But don’t you guys agree that if Chuck doesn’t reveal any disdain or discomfort that Sarah, who we know is emotionally fragile, would certainly be bothered her self and show some hurt.

    This woman cares deeply for Chuck, but like some of you have alluded, she’s enjoyed playing the game with Chuck here and there.

    I’ve always wondered what the true feelings of actors were as they watch their loved ones kiss and touch other actors on the tube or the big screen? That cannot be easy.

    People are human. And it’s OK to act human even if you understand that it’s only a job.

  11. OldDarth says:

    SWAGing(Some Wild Ass Guessing) for 3.08:
    – the mission is mostly a ruse and not Ring Related
    – Shaw is using the Mafia as training for Chuck to get him to kill
    – Chuck’s trust in the team will be destroyed
    – Sarah offers Chuck her real name as a token of trust
    – her real name allows Chuck to flash and know everything about Sarah without the show tipping its hand to the audience, leaves them creative maneuvering room for future episodes about Sarah
    Wish moment:
    – Chuck flashes on Sarah’s birth date and the episode closes with Chuck throwing a surprise birthday party for her with the family and the BuyMore crew and Casey
    – fade to black

    • kg says:

      Regarding the wish moment, Lou.

      You do have some shipper in you afterall. You just never allowed yourself to go crazy with it.

      I’m with you. That would be sweetly epic.

    • weaselone says:

      Careful Lou. This could get you banned from the Tuesday Podcast. ;)You have to bury your shipper feelings in a place deep down inside.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      RE: OD’s WAGing. I think OD is on to something here. Remember in Alma Mater The professor tells Bryce they’ll want Chuck for the Omaha Project, to which Bryce replies with horror that it’s military. After Sarah leaves with the disk she practically breaks down in the hallway. Was it seeing Bryce trying to save Chuck, or because she is familiar with Omaha and knows that is where Chuck is headed if she hands over the disk with the info that Chuck was their prime candidate. Later when Bryce is leaving at the end of Nemesis he tells Sarah “We’ll always have Omaha.” This seems to indicate Sarah has some familiarity with the project. Now, Sarah’s panic to run after Chuck re-intersects with 2.0, codename Omaha, could have a new context revealed. Intersect 2.0 is really about a weapon, not intel. Shaw is trying to make Chuck into a killing machine and Sarah knows this to a certain extent.

      Either that or like Prague and Lisbon the writers just use Omaha a lot.

      • Faith says:

        Feel free to dispute this but I thought she was crying because of seeing Bryce. She’s still pretty hung up on Bryce at that point…and even though she had the beginnings of feelings for Chuck by then, the heartbreak from his death still has yet to pass.

        It’s one of my objections to the question/answer, when did Sarah Walker fall in love with Chuck/start to fall in love with Chuck = Wookie.

      • kg says:

        I remember that episode well. I believe it was a combination of things that made her break down.

        Yes, she still had feelings for Bryce and his concern for Chuck and willingness to protect him confirmed that Bryce was not rogue. To this point, it was believed he was dead.

        She’s beginning to have feelings for Chuck and this confirms that he wasn’t a cheater and a fraud.

        As for the Omaha angle, Ernie is all over that and most likely there’s some truth to that as well.

        Plenty to cause the normally tough SW to weep.

    • Rick Holy says:

      I think someone has finally come out of the “shipper” closet!!

      Great thoughts – I’d especially love to see what you’re talking about happen re: Sarah’s birthday. Maybe that will be in “Vs. The Fake Name!”

      Now just a little less that five hours till the most fun hour on television.

      BRING ON THE CHUCK! (and the Subway footlong, too)!!!

    • lou federico says:

      Closet Shipper Lou I would have never guess!!! Come into the light my friend Lets hope you are right as you are usually are.

  12. OldDarth says:

    Never said I didn’t despite innuendo to the contrary, just not my main focus.

  13. Rick Holy says:

    On an unrelated note (well, mostly unrelated), TVBYTHENUMERS is reporting that NBC is renewing Parks & Rec for next season.

    Truthfully, I’ve never watched the show. But it’s ratings numbers appear to be pretty poor.

    With five more hours to fill with Leno’s 10 p.m. spot open – and if Parks and Rec with it’s low numbers is getting a renewal – then CHUCK better dang sure be back for a 4th season.

    I just hope we don’t have a repeat of last year where NBC shows with WORSE numbers than CHUCK were getting these renewal announcements and yet we were forced to wait and wait and wait.

    Anyway, for those that watch and enjoy Parks and Rec., I’m happy for you. I’m just hoping that its renewal bodes well for CHUCK – which has better ratings numbers and doesn’t have the advantage of being grouped in with NBC’s Thursday evening comedy block (which includes THE OFFICE – one of the few decently rated shows NBC has right now).

    Anyway. A little more than three hours to go.


  14. Ernie Davis says:

    Good Lord! I actually CAN hear the anticipation!

  15. Ernie Davis says:

    First impression, they are just about finished with the reset. Angst will involve Chuck. Alone. Chuck is not liking Chuck.

    Big scene to come, Chuck will face down Devon, again. It will not be pretty.

    Oh, and from this episode I think my previous thoughts on Sarah, as expressed in Chuck Versus the Seduction post have some weight. Piece of cake indeed.

    Told you I could be more insufferable. 😉

    • atcdave says:

      I do think “the reset” will be done with by 3.08, we can see things lining up now; especially Sarah’s dislike of what Chuck is becoming, she is approaching the point where she will have to say something; possibly to Shaw first, but finally to Chuck.
      I think she should have said something, to Chuck, in this episode; but they are dragging things out to our breaking point.

  16. Mike B says:

    Also next weeks preview was very revealing.

    BTW the best part of this episode NO Shaw. The flow of the show is better without him.

  17. AngelTwo says:

    Frankly, this episode is where we see the strings showing.

    There’s lots of retconning going on. For one thing, when Sarah arrived in the pilot, Chuck DID NOT think it was the luckiest day of his life. He didn’t even call her back. This is the kind of stuff I know they feel they NEED to do, but it’s annoying to fans. And, frankly, it undermines the storytelling because now we don’t know what’s true anymore, even things that WERE true once and have no plausible reason for changing.

    As for the angst to come, it is Chuck’s alone, I think. I think we see now that Sarah will do the name reveal to convince him that SOME things are real in the spy world. Not that there is any particular love crisis between the two of them. It’s all about Chuck this year and Chuck having to see his way clear.

    I also didn’t find it credible when they were trying to convince us that Chuck is suddenly reassessing Sarah’s initial actions toward him or her feelings toward him now. The woman has committed treason for him, run away with him once and tried to run away with him a second time. Even Chuck would figure that whatever may have happened at the beginning, it’s not relevant. And, duh!, he knows that Sarah never did to him what he did to Manoosh. So there is no credible Chuck-Sarah angst about “trust.” IT’s all about Chuck being depressed in e8, not about anything over Sarah per se. At least it should be, because it’s not plausible that Chuck would be questioning Sarah NOW about 3-year-old actions. Even he’s not that stupid–and he shouldn’t be written that way.

    Which leads me to my final point. There is clearly going to be some big Chuck=Sarah reveal, too. It is not credible that Sarah would sit there and watch Chuck drink scotch alone. Even if you buy the current “friends cover,” she would have been there as a “friend.” She would not let her “friend” go through this alone. More than anyone, in fact, Chuck would value her insight. HE would be pressing her about how she acted…

    So I think something will be revealed–Chuck and Sarah maybe think that Shaw is watching them, or someone has been ordered to stay away–about why Chuck and Sarah are not going through any of this together.

    It’s not credible any other way, even in this supposedly “darker” season.

    • weaselone says:

      Actually, I didn’t see Chuck so much reassessing Sarah’s current feeling for him as dwelling on what Sarah did in the past and how it made him feel whenever she revealed it to be fake and feeling guilty for doing something similar to Manoush. Sarah was the one who seemed to be doing some reassessing and apparently deciding that the Chuck she sees now isn’t the one she fell in love with. At this point it looks like Chuck’s interaction with Hannah will be a cover, but Sarah’s interaction with Shaw might be a little deeper.

    • joe says:

      I’d like to be able to write a simple phrase that shows it’s wrong to look at it from that point of view, AngelTwo. – that Chuck is “suddenly reassessing Sarah’s initial actions.” But I can’t. I know that when I was watching, I kept thinking “Now Chuck knows what Sarah was going through.”

      But I’m not sure at all that he was thinking in those terms – about what Sarah’s position feels like now that he’s in it. What I kept seeing was that he was getting better at being like her; lying to Ellie, lying to Morgan and Hannah. And he did it so well, as Casey noted. It looked like he was thinking Sarah should have burned him right at the start, and everyone would have been better off. That is the decision he made with Manooch, after all, our “Mr. Always Does The Right Thing”.

      And I just don’t know yet, what it is that Sarah dislikes at the end. Is it what she sees Chuck becoming, or is it her?

      I need to watch – want to watch – this episode again soon to understand it better. Everyone is right. It is powerful. But if it’s pointing to the future (and I’m sure it is), I’m not sure what direction that is just yet.

      Oh – btw. My measure of how good an episode is, is a little weird. It’s how much an episode makes me dwell on it and think about it over the course of the week. On a scale of 1-10, this was about a 12.

      • atcdave says:

        I think Sarah doesn’t like either herself or what’s happening to Chuck. I’m thinking we’ll reach a breaking point, when Chuck has to use Hannah next week he won’t like it; and when he confronts Shaw it will be largely about what its all doing to him. I imagine Sarah will come to the recue afterwards by affirming her feelings are for real (via the name reveal); and we’ll see Chuck and Sarah try to figure what it means to follow their conscience in this business.

  18. compromisedcover says:

    Wow! I thought this is going to be a light episode, but I was very, very wrong. Indeed it’s pivotal in terms of character development. The Johnny Walker scene was the most powerful for me. What exactly is in Chuck’s mind at that moment? After I saw this episode the fist time, I felt so, so sad. For me, the drama and internal conflict drowned and outweighed the action and comedy.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree, I also expected comic relief before the darker stuff ahead. Instead we got an important, but not very fun episode.

  19. atcdave says:

    Strange episode. It was very good, but I didn’t like it. As I’ve said before, I watch to have a good time; which this episode mostly wasn’t.

    Now, that said, there was much good and important here. By far the most important details, Chuck doesn’t like what he’s becoming, and neither does Sarah. We can see how things are shaping up in the near future. I totally agree with ODs earlier post, Sarah’s name reveal will be about proving to Chuck something in the spy world is real; I think he’ll flash and realize there are very few living people who know that valuable info. It also seems likely nothing between Chuck and Hannah will be real; the preview not only looks forced, it is called a seduction mission. The only thing I can imagine between Shaw and Sarah is their common bond of pain caused by their profession; Sarah’s feelings, with only two episodes until the already infamous kiss, are clearly all about Chuck. The remaining hurdle is for her to convince Chuck of the sincerity of her feelings, which leads us back to the name reveal.

    My biggest beef is again the ending, just like last week. I can feel Chuck’s pain in the end; so did Sarah and she needed to be there. Even “just friends” support each other in moments like that, and no one would better understand what Chuck is going through than Sarah. As others have pointed out, Chuck also needs to realize he avoided Manoosh’s fate, thanks to Sarah.

    • weaselone says:

      I agree. I couldn’t figure out why it was Casey giving advice about how to deal with the pain of burning an asset instead of Sarah.

      As for Chuck’s fate, it was part Sarah and part Chuck having the entire database of the nation’s most vital secrets in his head and the leverage it gave him to keep himself out of the bunker long enough to work the Bartowski charm on agent Walker.

    • Gord says:

      I think sometime within the next few episodes we are going to see a big fountain-side scene between Chuck and Sarah.
      A chance for both of them to clear the air.

      • atcdave says:

        I think your right Gord. To me, the best part of this episode is the growing unease of Sarah. You can see the change in Chuck tearing her up. I’m not sure about the fountain (too well surveilled), but I am sure Sarah’s name will be involved.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I hope you’re right Gord. It’s a long time coming – and if we have to wait for episode 13 or beyond, it will be stretching it a bit too far.

        Overall a very strong episode. Not the most fun I’ve ever had watching CHUCK, however. I know the writers are doing what they’re doing as telling part of the story of Chuck’s “journey,” but I hope we SOON get back to a bit more of the light-hearted fun and the warm/tender Chuck/Sarah moments that are such great aspects of the show.

    • Waverly says:

      That’s right — it shouldn’t have been Johnny Walker reassuring Chuck, but Sarah Walker.

      • atcdave says:

        well put!

      • Rick Holy says:

        ditto that.

      • weaselone says:

        I found Sarah’s actions nearly schizophrenic this episode. One moment she’s remorselessly using sex to solicit information from the mark, giving Chuck advice on manipulating him, and telling Chuck that Manoush is bunker bound. The next moment she’s pouting as Chuck remorsefully carries out what needs to be done instead of letting others do the dirty work. It’s pretty apparent that Chuck sympathizes with and probably even genuinely likes Manoush and at many times he steps up because he feels obligated both by duty and to do the best he can by Manoush.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Weaselone, I took her actions to be basically mama Walker wanting to step in to handle the dirty work, not liking that her boy no longer needed her to do it. If this were last season Sarah would have been there re-assuring Chuck that he did the right thing with a talk in his bedroom or by the fountain.

  20. herder says:

    Many of us thought that one of the big themes this season would be Chuck becoming too cocky and needing someone to bring him down a peg to get some perspective. Instead the writers seem to be giving us a situation where he is taking it too seriously (Shaw’s path) and the effects on those around him, showing him losing what he told Shaw was the most important thing for him, family and friends.

    Clearly Sarah is not happy with the way he is progressing, Awesome looks about ready to break with Chuck, Morgan and Ellie feel betrayed by his lies and even Chuck doesn’t seem too happy about it.

    But this is all beleivable in the context of the story that is being told, his development as a spy. I think things continue this way in the Mask, then in the Fake Name, it all starts crashing down around him. I think the punch is his moment of clarity when he starts to realize what kind of an effect his actions are having on those around him and that he will have to come up with another way of being a spy or ditch the plan altogether.

    All this fitted around a story that had some really funny scenes, be it Chuck the stalker, Sarah’s “thank you”, Hannah at the Buy More or Chuck and Casey pen. It also had some very sad scenes, but remember this show is billed as an action/comedy/romace/drama, if you are going to have drama there will be sad scenes.

    I wouldn’t be happy with this as the second to last episode of the season, but as a midseason show it really sets up the lines that are going to be followed, at least for the next little bit, I thought it was fantastic.

    • atcdave says:

      I do agree this was a very good, and important episode. I do understand the entire format relies on some unpleasent moments. But through the first two seasons, the usual format involved most tougher scenes in the body of the episode; while the ending was usually upbeat and fun. They occasionally strayed from this format for impact. But this season has ended most episodes on the downbeat. I expect and hope this will change.

      We were discussing the “wife review” earlier this week. She is the casual fan I get to hear a first impression from. So tonight she says, “I don’t like Chuck much anymore. It used to be fun. If its going to be darker, well, Burn Notice does that better.”

  21. Gord says:

    I wonder if the reason we didn’t see a Chuck/Sarah moment at the end of this episode is that Sarah is in total shock.

    She is feeling a great sense of loss – the loss of Chuck’s innocense and she doesn’t know how to handle it.

    • atcdave says:

      That may be their rationale. I think from a storytelling perspective its about building a mood until the big reveal. They are deliberately denying us the usual warm and fuzzy moments; presumably until 3.08.

    • weaselone says:

      Chuck’s also in shock. It’s pretty clear that he’s not happy about having to lie to his family, or chuck Manoush down a deep, dark hole.

  22. ReadySet says:

    Worth noting: This is the second time when Chuck taking action has inadvertently led to someone being shot. In Awesome, he electrifies the cage, the bad guy touches it, is shocked, and shoots the guy next to him. In this episode, Chuck throws the knife/pen, that guy recoils and his gun goes off and shoots someone.

    This can’t be an accident. Someone is going to bring up collateral damage and tell Chuck what’s the difference between YOU killing someone and someone you hurt killing someone. Sounds like something for Shaw to throw at Chuck.

    • kg says:

      And how about tripping and fumbling at the window with the gun, it falling out of his hand and shooting Persius in Lethal Weapon?

  23. Big Kev says:

    Wow…..I’m trying to keep away from reading too much of the spoiler stuff on this episode – but it’s excruciating having to wait! I’m based in Australia, so I’m downloading the episodes – won’t see this one until tomorrow night, but it sounds like I’ll be posting straight away when I see it!

  24. Ernie Davis says:

    I want to re-watch this before commenting too much, but I wanted to expand on my first impressions. I think this episode is still part of the transition or reset we’ve talked about, but I think it also shows what the reset Chuck will be like. A bit darker. They said they raised the stakes this year, and we can see Chuck is a bit edgier, a lot more like Sarah, and oddly Sarah seems to be the emotional anchor. The action and comedy were good, and while I could see how someone might find things a little jarring I thought they pulled it off well for the most part.

    As for specifics, they seem to be using Devon as the Chuck barometer, showing us his change through Devon’s eyes. He now sees Chuck as scary, and isn’t sure he wants to be around him. I’m thinking Ellie has to find out in addition to Morgan ’cause I can’t see Devon able to keep this up too long, unless they want to put some serious angst into the awesome marriage.

    Hannah is going to be interesting, and I think I see why they brought her in. My guess is that next week Shaw does order Chuck to get close to Hannah. She is obviously interested in figuring out what Chuck is doing at BuyMore and all those yogurt breaks. Shaw will tell Chuck something like you’re a spy now, you have to assume everyone you meet is a spy sent after you, find out what she is doing here by any means necessary.

    As far as BuyMore, I’m going to be interested to see where that goes. Chuck is a basically the BuyMore deity now. He comes and goes as he pleases, gets all the hot women, and kicks ass at will. Jeff and Lester spying on him could get funny, especially with Hannah involved. Look for Morgan/Chuck bromance angst before Morgan finally learns Chuck’s secret. It is going to be heartbreaking for Morgan when the reality that he hasn’t been Chuck’s best friend for years sinks in. Sarah took that role over by about Marlin, if not before.

    Spy stuff? I felt no sympathy for Manoosh. The guy built a scary weapon for a shady organization, then double crossed them to make money selling to the highest bidder. The comparison to Chuck is pretty thin. Chuck was a complete innocent and only ever wanted to help save people. But I can see why they did it. For Chuck to burn someone they had to be pretty unsympathetic and Chuck burning him was pivotal. Sarah offers to handle it and Chuck says he needs to, good moment. It did show him both understanding more of what Sarah has had to deal with and his becoming her equal.

    Chuck drinking alone was the perfect plot point. At the end of Operation Awesome we saw him with his extended family after telling Shaw nothing was more important. This time we see him alone after hurting and pushing those very people away because of who he is becoming, he gets it. I think this will be the big season angst. Sarah and Shaw might come out of this depending on how much Chuck pushes people away, but I kind of doubt it.

    Overall a good solid to strong episode. I think I still liked Operation Awesome better just for the lighter tone, and I’m hoping they can get Chuck back closer to that once the Chuck is changing angst has settled.

    • Lucian says:

      Sound like a great episode – “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto”. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    • Mike B says:

      Good post Ernie. I also think the whole PLI angst between Sarah and Shaw was blown way out of proportion. This episode clearly depicts that Sarah is not happy with Chuck becoming a real spy. Partially because she feels responsible for it, as Casey kept pointing out, and because she is loosing the sweet, innocent guy she fell in love with. That is why the whole Shaw PLI makes no sense. Why would she be so upset with Chuck becoming a spy only to be attracted to a more accomplished spy. That would be a total head scratcher.

    • atcdave says:

      Thanks for pointing out that Manoosh is not a nice guy. I’d been thinking about how to approach this; his resemblance to Chuck is only superficial, he is not a moral guy. I don’t expect they will ever bring this up; but if Hannah is an innocent party in the goings on next week, that may trigger a Chuck melt-down.

  25. NoWayOut says:

    TPTB tell us that it is the journey, not the destination. But if the journey is not any fun, why stay on it?

    I now invoke Ernie Davis’ “weekly contract” clause. I no longer care where we’ll be on March 1, in episode 8. And I certainly don’t care that we may have TPTB version of a “happy ending” by episode 13 in April.

    The journey’s not fun, it’s terribly cynical and extraordinarily manipulative. So I think I’ll get off at this stop.

    Thanks, Joe, for this forum. I wish you all well.

  26. Ernie Davis says:

    It’s always tough to pull a reset like this, and I thought the first part was poorly done and unnecessary to put Chuck and Sarah where they are now. I think without that damage to the characters they’d both be a bit more sympathetic, and with them together or trying to be together it might make the maturation look more organic or easier to take. I can see how many people don’t find Chuck that sympathetic anymore now that his good guy everyman character has changed so much. Sorry to see you go NoWay. Check in every so often though, they might be able to change your mind again.

    I’m sticking with it, I didn’t think this was a bad episode, just a little darker than normal. I think once the transition is through they can lighten things up a bit again and concentrate more on the fun.

    • NoWayOut says:

      Huge damage was done to the characters last night. Sarah would NEVER be that detached from Chuck while he was suffering. Hell, in the adjoining cell in Pink Slip, while she still was angry with him, she was apologetic. There’s no (apparent) logic for her to watch him in that much pain and do nothing.

      And Chuck? I can accept that he had to do this to Manoush. But Chuck, at heart, is not that kind of person. No attempt to talk anyone out of doing it? And no reassurance to Manoush that it’s for the lying: “I am your friend, which is why I am doing it.” They set up even in the episode that Chuck had become an adept liar. So why wouldn’t he lie to Manoush. That is the Chuck we know: using every tool, even lying, to be a decent guy.

      As you and I were discussing privately with Joe yesterday, I have a friend who is convinced there are big reveals coming that will show us what is REALLY going on. His theory is that nothing is what it appears to be and we don’t know for how long it hasn’t been what it appears to be.

      That said, though, I understand NoWayOut invoking your “weekly contract” rule. The storytelling this year is not darker. Just less assured and much sloppier. This has become soap opera and bad melodrama.

      Frankly, it makes you wonder how good the show can be when they put Chuck and Sarah together. These writers seem to have lost the core of who the characters really are. An unsympathetic Chuck at any time is unpleasant. And a Sarah who doesn’t at least protect and try to comfort Chuck is totally unappealing.

      Even Sarah’s “Told ya” joke was wrong. That dialogue belongs in Casey’s mouth. Sarah is supposed to believe in Chuck, even as she’s regretting the spy he’s becoming.

    • lizjames says:

      Sorry, folks, this is liz. NoWayOut is my husband, Steve. I’m so frustrated and understanding of him giving up, I didn’t log into my own account. If I can’t keep my husband interested in Chuck, I fear for the show…

    • AngelTwo says:

      Sounds like a real crisis in the liz-noway family. This Intersect 2.0 really is powerful…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I agree there were some clunker moments. I think I said somewhere here that I didn’t quite buy no Chuck and Sarah moment where she tries to tell him he did the right thing, but I also think that one is pre-existing damage. As you pointed out at the end of Three Words. I don’t like it but that is the new Sarah as far as TPTB are concerned. With Chuck, again, they are going for a new character, but with him they seem to be trying two contradictory directions at once, both maturing and gaining confidence as a spy, but having already become so dense and insecure when it comes to Sarah that he’s already a parody by the Ring in that aspect. I still want to watch it again before I get into specifics, but I understand where you and hubby are coming from. I kind of thought last night might be a shark jumper for fans of the lighthearted Chuck, but I’m remaining agnostic for a bit.

      • weaselone says:

        I think Chuck’s doubts regarding Sarah’s feelings for him are of a different nature than last year. I think he’s come to terms with the reality that Sarah had and indeed still has feelings for him courtesy of Carina’s statement. Sarah’s quite obviously emotional, but she’s essentially closed off to Chuck. In Chuck’s mind, whatever Sarah’s feelings may be, she has chosen isolate her feelings from him until such a time as they have faded away taking his opportunity for a life with her with them.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The bit about Chuck being a parody was pretty much the Ring through Three Words, where we were supposed to buy that 1) Chuck had matured to the point where he was willing to take on the burdens of adulthood and spydom and being the intersect willingly. 2) that he was still so insecure and clueless that he wasn’t quite sure what Sarah was offering and couldn’t ask. That I didn’t buy.

        You are right though, they’ve established a new normal for Chuck and Sarah at this point and he doesn’t want to get beaten with a stick again.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m willing to give them a little time; and looking at casting it does seem the back six may be lighter and more fun. But I don’t like the darker tone, this isn’t what I signed up for.

  27. lou federico says:

    Everybody just remember without pain there is no progress!!! On the lighter side Did any catch the Chuck/Sarah moment when Sarah said “I liked you that why it was tough” Chuck says what was tough? Was she about to spill the beans about kicking his and Morgan butt dress as a ninja? I wonder

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I think this ties into my theory about Omaha. I think she did burn him by turning over the disk showing he was the prime candidate for the weaponization of the intersect at the end of Alma Mater.

      • weaselone says:

        The already knew he was perfect candidate from Helicopter. I’m not certain their was anything of note revealed in Alma Mater with the exception of Bryce’s role in diverting him from the spy world.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As I said, it’s a theory, but I do think that line will come back at some point and my guess is that Sarah did either burn him or was going to explain about how she played up her affection to control him at first. Remember that look on her face as she says piece of cake? To me it reminded me of the look on her face at the door of Chuck’s bedroom as she sees him puting on music and lighting candles before she walks in for their first sleepover.

  28. compromisedcover says:

    Granted not a fun episode but needs to be told. Chuck’s in a crossroad right now, but I’m confident he’ll figure out how to be a competent spy while preserving his humanity. How exactly, I have no idea. But Sarah needs to intervene quick before he loses it.

    I’ll rewatch this episode only to see how good an actor Levi is. The scene when Chuck’s burning Manoosh and said the line, “I’m a spy” was really good. He said it with such conviction and coldness but his expression shows otherwise. Plus of course the physical comedy bit with Baldwin involving the laser pen in the pocket.

  29. herder says:

    For the ratings obsessed, 6.72 million viewers, 2.5 demo. Not great, but for NBC not that bad against top programing and all original episodes. Doing better than Heroes in the same slot. If they keep this up it is probably enough to make it to season 4.

  30. Lucian says:

    Wow – sounds like the roller coaster is turning into a haunted house! Maybe I want to skip this one.. They could have pulled off both the relationship reset and the character reset alot more skillfully (it seems). Or, it isn’t a matter of ability, it may be the case that this is exactly the show they want to produce. It also sounds like Chuck may get more adolescent before he eventually grows up. The question is, will anyone care by the time he gets there?

  31. Waverly says:

    One thing I’ve been wondering about for a long time: how long does the skill of a skill flash last?

    If Chuck got the Kung-Fu flash at the end of the Ring, has he known that skill ever since? Or does he have to flash again in order to defend himself? Has Chuck ever had a repeat flash?

    It seems as if Manoush’s glasses have to be put on each time. But those are externally induced flashes, whereas Chuck’s are internal.

    Are people using Manoush’s technology vulnerable to immediate loss of ability if the glasses fall off or are broken?

    • weaselone says:

      Beats me. The writers seem to be of dozens of different minds when it comes to Intersect technology. Originally, it seemed Chuck was unique or exceptional, as suggested in Helicopter,Alma Mater, Suburbs and even Lethal Weapon. We also have a score of CIA agents waiting to be Intersected at the end of first date, a drive in movie full of Fulcrum agents waiting on the same in Colonel, Bryce Larkin confident and cocky in his ability to upload 2.0, Beckman lamenting that Chuck is an inferior candidate for 2.0 and now Manoush who has gone so far as to perfectly utilize a 2.0 physical skill. So what is the answer? Is Chuck unique or at least extraordinary in his ability to use the Intersect, or could any given nation on the planet convert their unemployed into an army of Intersect warriors?

      Personally, I like to believe that Chuck and Manoush are special and that Fulcrum, The Ring, and the US government are a bunch of overconfident idiots hell bent on killing scores of operatives by uploading a powerful, unproven and nearly 100% lethal technology into their brains in a desperate effort to create the next generation of super spy.

  32. Lucian says:

    I just watched this episode. Though I would not say it is one of my personal favorites, from my perspective it is pretty much what needs to happen if Chuck is going to be a hero (and not just a spy). I would bet we aren’t at the bottom of this arc yet; that will happen in episode 8 (WAG). The hero’s journey is always a solitary one – even if you do have fellow travelers (and that would apply to both Chuck and Sarah).

  33. Ernie Davis says:

    So, and I fully admit I’m in my cups, and holding back is killing me, I just want to know, have we forgotten how to watch the show?

    End of Nacho Sampler Devon is storming out of the Bartowski-Woodcomb residence with Paris tickets, with strings attached, across the courtyard, where Chuck is drinking solo and hating life and himself… and we’re discussing what?

    Chuck’s first asset was Manoosh? Please.

    I’m just sayin’

    If this turns out to be nothing, the writers are hacks, in my somewhat inebriated opinion.

  34. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Nacho Sampler (3.06) | Chuck This

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