Shaw’s Evil Plan, Part C

Well, this should be easy; since we never once saw Shaw in Nacho Sampler.

Yet we see more about how events may unfold in the near future.   Some thoughts, and hopefully discussion, after the jump.

As we’ve been discussing in many threads today, we saw a lot that is important happen this week.   I think we had major development for Chuck and Sarah, as well as a little more of a clue about Hannah.

I’m thinking I may have been wrong about Hannah (let’s keep that between us, I’d hate to ruin a perfect record!)   I think there’s a good possibility she is not an agent or anybody’s tool.   She may simply have some information about criminal activity, that Chuck will need to extract.   If that’s true, she will be an even more innocent pawn in the spy game than Manoosh was (you know, the nerdy weapons designer who wanted to sell to the highest bidder).   I’m hoping things won’t end on such a down note next week, but I do think Chuck will take notice of his moral descent when he uses her and puts her in harms way.   This may be part of what leads to the confrontation we’ve seen between him and Shaw.

For Chuck’s part, we’ve seen huge growth in him as a spy this season, this episode dramatically so.   But he’s clearly making moral compromises, of exactly the sort Sarah was so worried about.   Its not that he’s done anything wrong, he’s doing the hard things that come with a decision to serve the greater good.   But he’s damaging his key relationships by lying, and he’s comfortable with hard things he would have found distasteful a short while ago.   I think the biggest issue the story is, his growing (mis)understanding of Sarah.   I think as he learns more about how to work and manipulate an asset, he’s drawing a lot of erroneous conclusions about his and Sarah’s relationship;   specifically, he thinks she’s been using him all along.   We know better; we know how many times she’s broken rules for him, protected him from the bunker, and even chosen Chuck over the job itself.    

So I think the big step ahead for Chuck is finding a balance between doing what is necesary, and doing what is right.   Many of us are guessing Sarah will be a key part in this.   She has long been the spy with a conscience, and Chuck will now desperately need her guidence and support (dare I say love)  to avoid loosing himself to the job.    I think Sarah showing that even a spy can truly love him, will be the anchor that keeps him from being consumed by the lies and deceipt.

Sarah’s role ahead is tied closely to Chuck’s.   We see her growing distaste for what Chuck is becoming; combined with guilt over believing it to be her fault.   Of course she’s right; but she’s also the solution.   She got him into this, now Sarah Walker alone can help him to survive.

As I’ve said elsewhere, this was an important episode; but I need the show to be more fun.   If things play out the way I am expecting, it could certainly be worth it.   By my expectations, 3.08 will be the pivotal episode; it won’t be the end to any one story arc, but it will be the point where things start to look better ahead.


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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34 Responses to Shaw’s Evil Plan, Part C

  1. OldDarth says:

    Things may start on the upswing in 3.08 but I fully expect it will take until 3.13 to resolve everything.

    Shaw’s evil plan will turn out to be out to be motivated by one thing: revenge.

    Revenge for the death of his wife.

    I thought 3.06 was pretty funny.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, I agree things won’t fully play out until 3.13; and that’s fine. But I’ve spoken to a few more casual viewers now, and most are not happy about the darker tone this year. I’m hoping if we see light at the end of the tunnel in 3.08, it will make the ride more enjoyable.

      I could easily see the revenge issue as what’s driving him; perhaps a likely outcome is him getting his revenge but loosing his life in the process. So we would end with an object lesson for Chuck about what he needs to live for.

      You know I disagree about 3.06. There were a few funny moments, but a big part of the story involved all the relationships Chuck is now damaging with lies and deception; to me that is too dark to be funny.

      • Jen says:

        I have to agree with you Dave. A lot happened in this last ep and it was tough to watch. We have coem to love these characters, and seeing all teh miscommunication and miunderstating is really hard. WE see both Sarah and Chuck suffering, yet they are doign it alone, when they could be helping each other cope. Chuck now is realizing what is involved in being a real spy, and as we can all see, he doesn’t like it, he is hurting. I wonder… will he still like to be a real spy by the end of this season? will he again be looking fro a way to get the intersect our of his head? or will he just let it be and re-adjust he conciensce to be a real spy to do things that hurt him all in the name of the greater good?
        It was mentioned above that Chuck doesn’t really understand Sarah, and i agree with that. Does he hnow know her commitment to him? THe thing here is… she has been great at the big picture, but not at sitting down and expressing. I wonder, then, what CHuck thinks of her big exoressions of love, like wanting ro run away with him, to have a real life, i guess he needs thing spelled out even more. I’m still ho’ding on to the idea that Chuck doesn’t fully understand the depth of Sarah’s love for him and that he complete underestimated the level of sacrifice that being a spy requieres, and in this last ep we see that he is finally seeing it. I hope this all helps him to clear up his thinking and leads to a frank conversation with Sarah. If they are going to be spies, they are going to need do it together to survive it.

        I watched some season 2 eps last night… i miss seing Sarah and CHuck being sweet with each other. There is too much sadness right now… and i understand it’s needed to a dregree as Chuck realizes what sacrifices he is makign and how hard the spy life is, but i’m hoping they make it through and out of these dark moments soon.

      • atcdave says:

        Thanks for that post Jen. I do believe, when we start seeing more of Chuck and Sarah together things will lighten up a lot. Hopefully, that will happen soon.

      • Jen says:

        Yeah.. it’s what we all need. Hopefully TPTB are on it. we need the heart and warmth of the show to come back.

  2. weaselone says:

    Ernie, I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Chuck may be carrying out distasteful tasks and doing the hard things necessitated by serving the greater good, but he’s in no way comfortable with them. He’s just better at doing them. I think Zach Levi does an excellent job of showing that Chuck is repulsed by the lies he has to tell and the people he has to betray in order to do the job. It’s a sour glance here, a look of disgust as the other party turns away, outright protestations in front of his team, or downing a generous shot of scotch. Whatever the expression, Chuck’s not happy about what the spy world is making him do.

    In contrast, Sarah’s not so much upset by the actions themselves so much as the fact that Chuck’s the one doing them. She didn’t seem to have much of a problem seducing the mark, or with dropping him in a deep dark hole. It’s only because Chuck’s the one doing the actions that she’s concerned, otherwise she’s all business. In a way it argues against her emotional growth. It’s only worthy of disdain and disgust if Chuck’s doing it, when it’s her it’s just part of the job. She’s sort of a hypocrite in that it’s coloring her view of Chuck while he’s willing to look past what she does for the job when he looks at her. He deserves better from her and from his friends and family, but that’s a whole other argument.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I think you are disagreeing with the wrong dude. But good post. I may not agree totally, but good post

    • joe says:

      I think I know what you mean, weaselone. But I also think I’m seeing something different. It’s not Chuck and the way his become that she has disdain for. It’s what she’s done herself, and sees again in him, that she’s unhappy with.

      She’s showing upset because Chuck’s more like her now, just at the time she wanted out.

      Dave? Any change you think they could each other’s salvation?

      • Jen says:

        Absoloutely… she wasn’t happy with the spy life and wanted to our to lead a real life, but now she can’t because Chuck has chosen to be a spy now; and she won’t walk away. She’s knows that being a spy is not the glamorous life Chuck imagined it would be and that the sacrifices one has to make are huge and terrible and doesn’t want that for Chuck. Chuck is not finding out that while he has good intentions, carrying them through is not that simple and he now has to go against his very own nature. That hurts him and hurts Sarah to see it.

        My most recurring thought is.. they need to talk, really talk, and clear things up.

    • atcdave says:

      I think I’m the one you were disagreeing with weaselone! Perhaps you objected to my use of the word comfortable; it was a poor choice. I didn’t mean to say he’s happy with himself, only that he can now do what he must, easily and quickly. He is repulsed by what he is doing, but for now sees no way out.
      Which brings us back to Sarah. She is doing what she does as a professional, and realizes how ugly it looks when Chuck emulates her. I think she will be horrified by Chuck’s seduction mission next week.
      As Joe said, they will be each others fix. I’m not quite sure how it will play out, but we see self-loathing from both of them right now (Chuck for lying and betrayal; Sarah for leading Chuck into it). I think next week both of their feelings will be more pronounced. I think Sarah telling Chuck her real name in 3.08 will be the start of the solution. Chuck will know Sarah’s feelings for him are not just a part of her “handling” him.
      OK, so I’m not a writer. Somehow they will try to make that make sense; and Chuck and Sarah will find some sort of middle ground between getting the job done, but not compromising their morals or each other.

      • atcdave says:

        Hate to respond to myself, but just to try to clarify, Sarah’s name reveak to Chuck will be a moment of clarity and truth for both of them. It should be the starting point of a new real relationship where they both understand the rules and the risks. It could be a foundation for all the things we want to see happen for both characters. I will be very disappointed if, after everything that has happened this season, it just turns out to be a sweet moment.

      • Mike B says:

        We are all assuming Sarah reveals her real name to Chuck. Do we know this for sure? The way this season is going I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaw is the one who reveals Sarah’s real name.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, that’s occurred to me. We really don’t know the circumstances. It may come up just as a piece of Sarah trivia Shaw has access to. Or Chuck could flash on something Sarah has or does and learn her name incidentally.

        But that would be an epic wasted opportunity. Sarah’s mysterious past has been an issue with Chuck almost since the beginning. That and its an Ali Adler episode. So I would be shocked (not to mention disappointed) if it came out any other way. Sarah has pointedly withheld that information from Chuck. Learning her name any other way would be a curiosity. Sarah telling Chuck would be a profound moment in their relationship.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Oh, I had meant to mention, it was great to see how absolutely pivotal to Chuck’s growth as a spy Shaw was in this episode. I mean without Shaw there there is no way Chuck could have ever made an asset and burned him. Oh…wait… 🙂

  3. Lucian says:

    Though none of this season is as good as the last (IMO), I thought the growth and pain Chuck is experiencing in Nacho Sampler clearly makes this the best episode of the season, from a storytelling perspective. He isn’t losing his humanity and needs to find balance. Sarah being upset that Chuck can do the things she has done so well for so long doesn’t make a lot of sense. She has got more growing up to do than Chuck does.

    • atcdave says:

      I think Sarah’s response is guilt more than anything. She recognizes Chuck was a decent, good guy; and now, thanks to her influence, he’s been ruined.
      Of course its more complex than that. He’s also more capable and trying to do something important and good. I’m just saying, I think that’s where her regret is coming from.

      • Lucian says:

        I think I am reacting to the fact that “she fell in love with Chuck the guy, not the spy”. This doesn’t speak to a very deep love.

        What I loved about seasons 1 and 2 was the clear redemptive message – Chuck and Sarah saving each other from a fairly dismal “fate”. What we are seeing now is that you have to save yourself before you can save someone else. Probably not as much fun to watch, but powerful nonetheless. This episode was the first time this season that it seems like TPTB know how to tell the story.

      • atcdave says:

        I certainly agree I’m disappointed with the way they’ve gone this season. I think they have damaged two of the most wonderful characters in television; but I still think the redemption for both of them will come from putting their trust in each other again. I too would have prefered a more linear process of Sarah coming to respect Chuck’s decision and new abilities instead of turning on him for wanting to join her profession (?!); and I think having Chuck be so petulant about Sarah not trusting him (mainly in First Class) was a betrayal of two seasons of character growth. But if they can “rediscover” each other they can still get back on track.

  4. amyabn says:

    I think you have all summarized (and done it better) what I was trying to say in my latest post. I wholehearteldy agree that Chuck is misunderstanding his relationship with Sarah-that she was using him the whole time. I think Casey could be the person to set him straight-illustrating all the times she broke the rules for him, kept him from being bunkered, or even killed. A rediscovery is desparately needed-and soon. Ellie could be the one to continue to “work on” Sarah. She started the process in Angel of Death and maybe Chuck being Chuck and doing something off the wall and sweet for Sarah would show her how much he hasn’t changed. Wishful thinking, I admit!

    • Gord says:

      Here is a thought about Ellie and Sarah moment. We saw at the end of the Nacho Sampler that Ellie thinks Chuck and Awesome are involved in hiding something from her. What if she goes to Sarah for another chat – something like we saw in Tom Sawyer.

      Another speculation to ponder – I put this on the NBC boards, but I know some of you may not go there all that often.
      That promo scene where we see Chuck deck Shaw after he kisses Sarah could have an interesting twist. What if Shaw sees Chuck come into the room, he grabs Sarah, quickly kisses her, gets decked by Chuck and after Chuck leaves he turns to Sarah he says “That went well, exactly how I planned it”. I would like to see this followed by Sarah giving him a roundhouse kick, knocking him to the floor again, then running out of the room to chase after Chuck.
      I am probably totally out to lunch on this, but I just think there is some context to this kiss that we are not seeing, just as there is to the Chuck/Hannah kiss in the next episode. I think Chuck kisses Hannah to distract her, while either he does something, or someone else in the room does something to disable the security system.

      He may even be doing it under Shaw’s orders the guy who it appears is trying to drive a wedge between Chuck and Sarah. That might even be part of the reason behind the punch.
      In your post you mentioned that you don’t like Shaw. I agree with you on that. However, as much as I hate him, I think he will make for an interesting story. Let us all love hating him.

      • atcdave says:

        I hope you’re not too far off Gord. But in the preview Sarah seemed a pretty willing participant. Hopefully there’s a context we’re still missing.

      • Jen says:

        Do you guys have a lik to that preview? i have totally missed it.


      • atcdave says:

        It was the extended preview that aired after the season premier. I’d bet we see something similar after Monday’s episode. As this isn’t the NBC site, I can also mention its probably available on youtube.

      • Mike B says:

        It’s on YouTube under Chuck Season 3 Extended Promo

  5. Jen says:

    I saw it.. a kiss on the neck. I don’t remember the preview showing much more than that or showing other details. I have been looking for the video but i’ve had no luck. If i find it i’ll share the link.I imagine we are very close to that moment judging by a new click on the nbc site, a preview for next week.
    Good night everyone!

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks Mike.. i had forgotten about tha tactual kiss… i think i was too impressed by the punch to SHaw’s face. I think this will most likely happen if not in this next ep, then the next after the Olympics.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m betting 3.08, after the Olympics. Which, unfortunately, means 3.07 will likely not end in a very happy spot. We’ll get to stew on it for three weeks. To me, it looks like Sarah is clearly straying from Chuck, which is the saddest thing they could do on this show. I’m quite sure, if I were any less invested than I am, that I would call it quits.

  7. herder says:

    I’m thinking the ILY moment in the face of death is Shaw saying to Sarah that she is the first person he has met since his wife’s death that he thinks he could fall in love with and regrets that they won’t know what may have happened. That may be enough for her to want to explore things in 3.08, especially if she is ticked off at Chuck because of Hannah or they have had a fight for some reason.

    • Mike B says:

      Based on where we are at currently that seems like a big leap. Shaw wasn’t even around in this last episode so for him to show that kind of interest in Sarah so quickly and for her to want to explore a relationship with him would really be TPTB forcing PLI’s down our throats. I hope not.

    • amyabn says:

      I don’t know. Shaw seems firm in his conviction that loving a fellow spy is a mistake. His whole mantra and POV is shaping his interference in Team Bartowski. If anything, I think his “interest” and Hannah’s appearance are a little too convenient and is a test for Chuck and Sarah to overcome. I don’t think that is the intended outcome of Shaw’s plan. I think the test is designed to prove his point-that spies shouldn’t be together. In light of that, I do hope that Chuck and Sarah see what they have in one another and decide their relationship is worth it.

    • herder says:

      I’m saying this because of my expectation that the writers want to show both Chuck and Sarah to make a concious choice of each other and in doing so to reject what their previous tendancies were. To do so both Hannah and Shaw have to be legitimate threats, Hannah as a legitimate threat is fairly easy to see, I’m trying to think of a way that Shaw can be too. If Sarah rejects Shaw because he is manipulating her and Chuck then it is the same as Chuck rejecting Jill because she was a Fulcrum agent, he didn’t choose Sarah, he rejected Jill. Personally, at this point I don’t really see Shaw as a romantic threat, but things can change, a sweep her off her feet assault like Cole won’t work, so it has to be something more subtle, but there isn’t too much time for subtle. I was just looking for a way to explain what I expect to see.

  8. jason says:

    all guesses:
    shaw was a tech wiz kid
    cia recruited him as a mark, agent = his wife
    his wife protected him from the harsh reality of the spy world – chuck / sarah near exact parallel
    (his wife went to annapolis by the way)
    shaw had a gun in his hand and failed to pull the trigger when his wife was killed
    shaw then went dark, only mission, revenge on the ring

    if some of this is true, all of a sudden several seemingly odd spoilers we have been exposed to might make more sense, as well as some things we have seen in episodes 3.1 thru 3.6

    try this 3.8 episode conversation out, shaw – u mad at chuck for not going with u in lisbon, sarah – no answer, disgusted look on her face, shaw – look at this (shows tape of he and his wife leaving on a plane, then a tape of his wife’s death) shaw – gets up, as he leaves he turns and says, chuck was right you know, he said no because he loves you, but saying no was the hardest thing he will ever have to do, you have to forgive him

  9. JC says:

    Just some random thoughts or worst nightmare honestly.

    I’m wondering if Shaw isn’t the one to tell Sarah he knows her real name to get to let down her guard. We know the ILY moment and C/H kiss both happen in the episode before this. If she finally admits her feelings out loud for Chuck and then “somehow” sees him kissing Hannah it becomes her breaking point. Something along the lines of “Chuck knows Sarah Walker but I know ….”. At this point Chuck shows up, most likely a set-up to confront Shaw about Hannah. He sees the kiss we get the you blew it line and then the punch.

    This would really tear Chuck and Sarah apart and if we’re lead to believe mission accomplished for Shaw.

    Now of course this theory relies on that ILY moment actually happening like most people believe it will or at all.

    The only reason I think this could happen is because of past interviews with the writers about angst and emotional roll-coasters. We really haven’t seen that level yet or at least what I’ve come to expect from the show.

    • atcdave says:

      I would bet though, that things will start getting better at that point, not worse. I have no proof for that, except that I can’t see the show going that dark, for that long. They’ve known since July the fans are pissed about the direction they are going. Even if JS is that contrary, I doubt WB or NBC would let him turn the show that bleak for too long. NBC has even pointedly said they want more light and fun entertainment. So, while we may not like Mask, or even most of Fake Name, I think things have to start looking up soon.

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