The Weekly “Spoil Us, O Canada!” Thread

You Give Us Your Snow, Now Give Us Your Early Impressions!

Well, this is the last time you get to beat us in the Great White South to the proverbial punch, so please, take this opportunity to speculate before the showing of The Mask, and to expound and elaborate after!  And please don’t worry about how we’ll spend our evening.  I hear there’s a little show called The Superbowl on tonight.  Nice, quiet evening.  Nothing major…

Hannah becomes more involved! Shaw returns!! The promo shows Chuck and Sarah displaying all sorts of petty jealousy in a way that makes you go “Awwwww – they care!”

And it’s the last episode before the Olympics. We’re facing three weeks (and two intervening Mondays) without Chuck, and the possibility that the we’re left in suspense all that time.  Of the break, Josh Schwartz said:

We certainly didn’t know it was going to be that before we shot the episode, so it’s not built to be this crazy cliffhanger that’s going to sustain you during the Olympics. It is an emotional cliffhanger, and it definitely sets the table for where the characters are coming and what the back half of the season is going to be.

Sounds like plenty of grist for our mill!

Usual cautions to the spoiler-sensitive apply!

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Fan Base, Season 3, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

134 Responses to The Weekly “Spoil Us, O Canada!” Thread

  1. herder says:

    Sorry, no Chuck tonight, it’s airing a 7pm monday, Citytv has spared us the dilema of Chuck vs the Superbowl.

  2. amyabn says:

    Bummer!

  3. OldDarth says:

    Tell me about it. 😦

  4. Faith says:

    Damn you superbowl! haha.

  5. jason says:

    I throw something out there, seems spitballing is about my only use to you guys – I think in lots of ways – 3.7 will be a hard episode for shippers – most of the ‘charm’ that shaw applies to sarah will be in this episode & whatever the PLI value of hannah, will be most relevant in this episode too (she is in 3.8 isn’t she?). The 3.7 cliffhanger almost has to be shaw and sarah dying, I don’t have a clue what exactly that will be like, probably extra-ordinarily misleading (thank goodness for casey and his video equip). My #1 ? about 3.7 is the last 30 seconds of the show, i.e. what is the rest of the season going to look like? – my best guess, we see the shipper promo stuff later in the olympics, the first stuff will be very spy oriented, and not play the CS/S hand at all

    • John says:

      Yeah, I have a feeling 3.07 is gonna be a tough episode…followed by 21 days of no Chuck…someone kill me now =S

    • lou federico says:

      good Post Jason!!

      i think you are right about the shipper stuff. If you look at the last two seasons it appears that TPTB likes to drive the shippers down in the first part of the season and build them back up for the last part. season 1 was 13 episodes and about the middle did he start playing to the shippers. season 2 had two archs “luck us” and he spiked it up at the end again. This season was only initally 13 epidsode so 3.8 is where they are going to spike it back up.

    • joe says:

      Boy, I hope they don’t leave us hanging with the impending demise of Shaw & Sarah! That would be awful.

      But I think it would also contradict what JS said. It’s not a “crazy cliff hanger”, but an emotional one. Sounds like one of those endings where Sarah is looking “meaningfully” at either Chuck or Shaw or both and we’re invited to put our own spin on it for a week. Except this time it’s three. I’m hoping the trailer and any promo put out there for 3.08 makes it easier.

    • herder says:

      I think this is where we learn what if anything TPTB learned from the way Beefcake was received last year. Already they have changed at least one thing, the length of time the PLI is around before anything happens. Previously they had the attraction start almost immediately between Chuck or Sarah and the new person, this time both Shaw and Hannah have been on the show for at least two episodes with nothing really happening. No more making out with someone you have just met.

      • Faith says:

        I shudder at the idea of making out with someone you know but aren’t in love with like you are with Chuck/Sarah…THEN! lol.

  6. Ernie Davis says:

    I’m actually looking for something very specific this episode. At the end of last episode Chuck was in his apartment, drinkin’ and hating life and himself. Devon stormed out of his apartment across the courtyard with the Paris tickets with strings attached. Where was Devon going? One would assume Chuck’s. If they don’t address this situation, that was not in my fevered imagination, it was on the screen, I will be a bit disappointed.

    • Waverly says:

      I don’t think he was going to Chuck’s, since he was walking out of the courtyard, and not toward either Chuck’s apartment or Casey’s.

      Now I agree with you, it would have been most natural to go find Chuck. But I’m guessing he’s just going “out” to get away from having to confront Ellie. He’s just not awesome at getting Ellie to do what he wants.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        There is a larger point. If they weren’t going anywhere with it, they unintentionally shot a cliffhanger, which is revealing about the writing.

  7. herder says:

    A bit of a dud to be sending everyone away for three weeks with. Didn’t find it particularly funny, very little jealousy about each other’s interests (except for the preview clip). Mostly I don’t like that they are still playing with the characters. Didn’t hate it like I did Beefcake, but the fact that I’m typing this now rather than rewatching it as I would have last year speaks volumes. As an episode I’d say that it is still better than Pink Slip but behind the rest of this season.

  8. Jen says:

    I’m watching it now. All I can think is “why r we being tortured like this!”. Will comment more after all have seen it.

  9. Jen says:

    Ok, I did not like seeing that at all! The main reason is both C n S taking the easy way out with each other, even being in love with each other, but being open to a relationship w another! Why r they writing the show like this? The lack of communication, of really saying what they feel, is so frustrating. Can someone assure me these PLIs r temporary? Cause if not right, about now I that I’m thinking that I’m done… But I don’t want to be! I live these characters n the show. Anyway, just felt like ranting. Sorry.

    • Faith says:

      I’m probably gonna be as upset as you as soon as I see but since I haven’t I’ll reassure you to the best of my ability 🙂

      They are indeed temporary. TPTB know that they can’t keep on pulling and pushing us like this or they will lose the one thing that’s keeping them on air and that is us. They have indicated they know that, and have voiced some optimism in the Chuck+Sarah front in the coming (not 7 or 8) episodes. The question is will we care by then?

      • Faith says:

        Ok that wasn’t a very good job how about this lol…

        There has always been external forces in play when it comes to Chuck and Sarah but in the end they always gravitate to one another because that’s what true love is, just doesn’t break even when you try your hardest to forget/get over/break.

        Better? 😦

      • Mike B says:

        Your opinion might change after you see it. I wasn’t ready for this.

      • Faith says:

        forewarned is forearmed Mike B. Thanks 🙂

    • Mike B says:

      A head scratcher. Why is it that Sarah can be involved with every other spy except Chuck.

      The fact that now both Chuck and Sarah can accept the other being with someone else. They now can both accept that Chuck is going to be on his own and Sarah and Casey will be moving on. You gotta be kidding me!!!!!

  10. JC says:

    That might have been the most contrived last 10 minutes of TV I’ve ever watched. I actually felt insulted that the writers thought this would be believable.

    • Mike B says:

      It basically tells us that everything that happen prior means nothing and every major subplot was meaningless.

      • jason says:

        really looking to some of you chuck vets to convince me otherwise, I went from a very interested fan to a very indifferent one at best, I feel sorry for you guys who have invested lots of effort into this show – that was the worst 10-15 minutes of tv, possibly ever written, look at yvonne’s face when she says bye to chuck, I read her look like, they really have me saying this, she look as incredulous as I felt

      • Faith says:

        Jason, at the end of Beefcake a lot of us were all but done. But we stuck around and we got Colonel! Best episode ever.

        So there’s that?

        I’m hearing this is really Beefcake 2.0. If I can live through that I can live through this. In the end there WILL BE a Charah engagement dammit. I guess in a sense the destination is more important than the journey.

      • Mike B says:

        This is Beefcake on steroids.

  11. Lucian says:

    I was glad to see they both acted semi-adult in agreeing to move on. I much prefer that to the “we’re just friends, but we’re working on it”. Clearly, they weren’t working on it very hard. Of course they will find their way back together by the end of the season, and it will be, I am sure, a relationship between equals. Also glad to see Sarah come to the realization that she had strung Chuck along for too long, and she needed to let him go. Chuck making out in the Buy More is a good indicator of his emotional maturity level. The boy has some catching up to do. He’s a quick study, he’ll grow up fairly quickly. Overall, I would say the last two episodes have been the best of this season, IMO – the story actually feels like it is going somewhere. Pink Slip was a disaster, and 2 – 5 seemed kind of pointless to me.

  12. lou federico says:

    Thank Gosh I am not the only one. That was THE WORST CHUCK EPISODE EVER. Hell I would watch Beefcake for 8 hours straight then watch that again. For the record I am not a big shipper but come on “I happy that you are happy is straight Bulls****”. Then he screws his best friend Morgan. Had he been listening the last week he would of pick it up. The action sucked there was no comedy what in the heck was the POS. If the ratings drop and the show gets cancelled this is the episode that did it. Great I now have 3 weeks to have the crap linger in the toliet before I can flush it down.

  13. jason says:

    none of it made any sense, it was like 4 15 year o lds at a kegger, 6 glasses of beer and decide they like someone else, no big deal, we are talking about a pair of people who have risked their lives dozen of times for one another, sarah has committed treason for chuck several times, chuck has forgone family and friends to prepare to man up into sarah;s world, at the 45 minute mark of the episode, everything is ok, at the 60 minute mark, we are watching an episdoe of gossip girl, come on, seriously, I saw beefcake, I sort of understood it, and at the end of the day, sarah clearly told cole she was not interested – this, this was like bizarre

    • Faith says:

      technically we didn’t get Sarah telling Cole she’s not interested until the Lethal weapon epi.

      For Beefcake, for us like Chuck, there was this implication that there could be something/chemistry there and who knows what will happen.

      There’s even a line that Chuck says after seeing that kiss, “it’s time buddy, we both need to move on in our lives.”

      But then again it ends with Sarah and Chuck moving in together…

    • lou federico says:

      I was waiting for Chuck to say Like whatever Sarah Like gag me with a spoon. I think you are right they got the scripts mixed up with Gossip girl for the last 15.

    • Mike B says:

      You’re right. 4 weeks ago Chuck is in a room filled with poisonous gas and his only concern is that he hurt Sarah and he wants her to know that he loves her. Now, no big deal, you have someone, I have someone. Thanks for everything I’ll see you around, have a great life.

    • Faith says:

      dude, don’t kill the messenger. I’m just trying to help lol.

      Though again I have to point out…in the episode before that it was implied that Chuck did what he did because he wanted to be a spy…with no implications to the safety/security of his family and friends. But because they believed in him etc.

  14. Jen says:

    I seriously don’t get why TPTB feel the need to break our hearts like this. This episode didn’t make sense at all. First the jelousy, which obviously means they care whY the other one does. Then we r supposed to believe that they can move on without even some closure. Was there closure? Was their talk about being friends it? That’s it for love n u don’t fight for it? I can understand the appeal of having someone u find attractive coming in to u, but we all know that in this case what C n S have between them runs deep. I feel like I just watched 2 good friends of mine throw away their best chance at happiness all because they are just not able to be completely homes w each other. I don’t get why tptb feel they should take this super “long way home”, if we in fact r heading “home” to a c/s relationship, and have us suffer so much along the way. If one of the main goals when writing a show is having ur audience get involved w the characters, why do this to us? The expression on Sarah’s face when she sets Chuck “free”, did it show some regret? Anyway, sorry for ranting again. I’m looking fwd to everyone’s comments n hope some of them will lift my spirits.
    Fatith, thanks for trying to cheer me up! 😀

  15. Faith says:

    this is probably gonna be largely ignored and when I do see this epi I’ll be just as angry as all of you but here goes…

    It’s important to remember this episode is titled vs. the MASK. In Chuck the titles always have a more profound meaning than just the literal and or actual phrasing. In this case I think mask may be an interpretation of what they really aren’t, don’t really feel but because of heartbreak/craziness/kryptonite poison everyone is sort of being who they’re not and acting like they usually don’t. It could be a mask for pain, a mask for fear, anything. But when that mask comes off, then the real story begins.

    Just something to think about. Feel free to piggyback on the MASK concept.

    • Mike B says:

      I’ll be interested to see if you are this rational after you see the epi…lol

      • Faith says:

        doubtful LOL.

        I’m thinking I’m gonna want to burn my living room (per what JS and CF said last season) lol. But after awhile, probably. I’m just that kind of person.

    • Anonymous says:

      They do seem to have multiple meanings for each of the episode titles.

      I am holding on to Sarah’s last line about her “type”. I think she was also implying that Chuck is a hero as well. Small, but I have a few weeks.

    • Jen says:

      You are right Faith…and seriously, i was about to set my living room on fire and throuw the TV out the window and then be done with the show… but i have faith =P that we are temporarily being made to suffer (with god knows what purpose!!!) The title always is just more than a title and i’ve been thinking along the same lines as you… they are too afraid of each other, maybe thinking too much has happened, to set things straight. I hope to see some more fight for each other in 3.08. At this point they may be thinking that if they can’t be w each other they’ll settly for the available substitute, masking their feelings, insecuritues, and fears this way… let’s just cover it all up!

      While i know this is temporary, i also feel that we’ve been strung along by TPTB long enough and it’s time to giveit up. No more misinderstandings, no more miscommunication, no more fear! how long can too people that love each other wait? It kills me to see they can write the characters to do the big gesture with each other but make them unable to talk to each other openly.

  16. herder says:

    So how do TPTB start to correct the impression that this episode left, a quick check of various boards show postings to be at least 9-1 against what happened. Do we get another Ali Adler video, do we get a bunch of interviews about how “we love Chuck and Sarah together”, are there suddenly a bunch of leaks by Ausiello and the like about how really good things are about to happen.

    Earlier I had posted that this episode would show what TPRB had learned since the reception of Beefcake, I guess the answer is nothing, they felt they were right last time so they have essentially done it again only twice at the same time.

    The truth is that the episode wasn’t that bad for the first 45 minutes, then suddenly it changed everybody’s character. Although Chuck was the most egregious offender, it really bothered me that Sarah who for two and a half years wouldn’t give Chuck any encouragement because it wouldn’t be professional suddenly tells Shaw that she liked his attention and lets him massage her shoulders in the Castle, something that she never would have let Chuck do. Then they all have a talk about how Chuck will be doing things on his own in the future when last week they were telling him that one mish does not a spy make. Not as bad as whiney Chuck and unsuportive Sarah in Beefcake, but not far off either.

    • Mike B says:

      This episode should be titled “Chuck vs the Contradiction”

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, the contradictions here are staggering, good job summing up the worst ones. Yet another episode I won’t be re-watching, probably ever.

    • herder says:

      Ha! Ali Adler tweeted something to the effect that those who are upset about tonight’s episode remember that she wrote 3.08, give her a chance to fix it. I didn’t put the link because I’m particularly inept at posting links.

      • Faith says:

        RT @happydayz3: Those who are upset over tonight’s #Chuck, remember that @AliAdler wrote the next ep….give her a chance to fix it. 🙂
        24 minutes ago from UberTwitter

        got your back Herdman

        http://twitter.com/aliAdler

      • Faith says:

        I can without shame say I tweeted this to her:

        @AliAdler please tell me you will rescue us frm Chuck 3.7 purgatory? Shippers are p’od!

        I guess I wasn’t the only one.

      • atcdave says:

        I feel your pain about links, I considered it a major personal triumph when I used one earlier today. (I’m a nerd, just not the computer sort!)

        Ali Adler is what gives me hope for 3.08; well that and some good spoilers. sarah’s name reveal almost certainly (93% likelyhood and climbing) has to be awesome news. The only way it makes sense dramatically is to convince Chuck she sharing something “real” with him. Consider those two things together, and I doubt its a “we’ll always be friends” moment.

      • Mike B says:

        After this episode she could be revealing her real name to Shaw as he’s giving her a message.

  17. JC says:

    I guess I could accept the ending if wasn’t so forced and I actually believed C/S would just be friends for the rest of series.

    At this point we’re supposed to believe either C/S somehow realize that they’ve made a huge mistake and magically end up together. Or that they’ve been playing Shaw the whole time. The first option tells me the TPTB can’t write above high-school level angst. The second one basically invalidates the whole season. At this point I expect the season to end with Chuck stepping out of the shower and saying “It was all a dream”.

    • atcdave says:

      Sadly, that would be the best course of action at this point. They actually NEED to undo this episode, if we don’t find out Sarah is playing Shaw for some reason, the whole Chuckiverse will implode on itself.

      • Rick Holy says:

        There’s a GREAT song on the latest Lynyrd Skynyrd CD (God and Guns) called “Unwrite that Song.” Unfortunately, now I’m not going to be able to listen to it without thinking “Unwrite this episode!”

      • JC says:

        Even if she’s playing Shaw I’ll find it hard to believe that somehow C/S end up together. In my eyes my that would make Chuck even more pathetic than at the start of the series. And it makes her words about him being an easy mark all the more truthful.

        I just think the writers have backed themselves into a corner. Because at this point I can’t see anything but some absurd plot twist that will get them out of this.

  18. lou federico says:

    After a nice hot shower to wash off the uncleanness of tonight episode, I think faith (CN8) is right it is a set up. Alternate meanings. Chuck walked away from Sarah too easily. I think Shaw/Hannah are trying to set up Chuck and Sarah but it is Sarah and Chuck that are setting them up. Sarah’s 180 at the end makes me believe that even more. Or maybe it is just denial.

    • Jen says:

      I hope you are right cause nothing feels right about this episode. C n S are both completely acting against their own desires. Chuck got into Hannh way to easily… and i keep thinking about Sarah’s face when she lets Chuck go… she didn’t believe her own words.
      It Like it was mentioned above.. this episode needs to be undone! I need a Ctrl-Z

  19. lou federico says:

    It is a Double secret Seduction mission!!!

  20. lou federico says:

    IT IS A SETUP!!! MARK MY WORDS

    • atcdave says:

      I do hope you’re right; Sarah’s brief sad look when Chuck walks away from castle gave me a vague glimmer of that hope. But we really have very little to base that on beyond hope.

  21. Rick Holy says:

    This episode should have been titled, “Chuck vs. The Big Pile of Crap,” because that’s what it was.

    (Yes, priests say CRAP! – especially when it’s justified).

    Honestly, this is getting pathetic. Did you catch Chuck’s line when he was looking for the antidote in the vases? “One of these is not like the others.” That was probably the best part of the writing of the episode – and it was a rip off of Sesame Street.

    No personal attack intended against the writers, but SERIOUSLY, is this the BEST they can do? I have to believe that their hands are being tied by TPTB and it’s not the writers fault.

    Well, the good news is that we’re on a hiatus now, because I don’t know how much more of this lame story arc I can take while I’m still promoting the show to everyone I know.

  22. weaselone says:

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sit down and watch the episode straight through. I liked the first 45 minutes of what I did see, and then it seemed the last 15 minutes did not fit with the first 3/4 of the episode. The characters all seemed to lose every sense of themselves. Several pointed out Chuck as the worst offender, but I consider him fairly far down the list. His insecurity with his relationship is well documented. What makes less sense is Sarah failing to correct him by revealing her feelings for him and instead revealing feelings for Shaw. WTF? Honestly though, it was a new character that went off the deep end. Shaw, the consummate professional, feelings get you killed spy crushes on Sarah and gets all touchy-feely. Did the writers accidentally substitute in a “it would really suck if they show did this” post by a shipper for the material they had written.

    My wife watches soap operas, and isn’t particularly interested in Chuck. Even she commented on how it was possible the show’s writers and producers thought keeping Chuck and Sarah apart in this manner would help ratings.

    Anyway, it looks like my prediction may come to pass. Depending on the success of the add campaign during the Olympics, we could see a drop off in ratings for episode 8. In that case, the executive producers will likely spin the numbers as a result of the break instead of acknowledging that the handling of the Chuck and Sarah relationship might have been less than optimal.

    • atcdave says:

      I think the ratings may be down after last week anyway; but at this point, the Olympic promotion campaign is damage control plain and simple.

      Not to defend anything, but I think Shaw is clearly playing Sarah. The problem is, if she isn’t playing him back (um, apart from the universe ending character implausibilities) we end up with a situation where Chuck and Sarah will end up together by default. They have clearly chosen other partners, so what, the others will turn out to be “bad”, and Chuck and Sarah can only count on each other. This is juvenile in the extreme.

      • herder says:

        Even if you are right and Sarah is playing Shaw at the same time as he is playing her, what’s Chuck’s excuse? He seems genuinely interested in Hannah, if she is playing him, he ends back with Sarah by default.

      • atcdave says:

        I suppose the simple answer is, he’s playing her for some reason not yet known too. As I said, this is juvenile story telling. But the characters were utterly trashed tonight, they must do something.

      • jason says:

        dave – you are ojne of my fav posters here, I am a huge shipper, but how else would a nerd loser be able to couple with a promiscuous, impulsive supermodel spy without being with each other by default, oh, i know because one has saved the others life and visa versa about 3 doz times and have consistently been there for the other thru thick or thin – GEEEEEEEEZ

  23. jason says:

    routh really struggles as an actor, the beefcake really did seduce sarah, I don’t even know what I would call those last ten minutes, his acting was almost perverted – faith, thx for bringing up the alternate scenerios, won’t erase the last 15 minutes – like your name, all we can have is ‘faith’

  24. atcdave says:

    I’m sure this will shock no one coming from me, but here goes; worst episode ever. Really sad thing is, I’ve already said that this year. Some great comments from people above. This was a jump the shark moment in every sense of the word, our leads are effectively not recognizable here; and the show is completely not the same show most of us fell in love with. We’ve had three episodes this season with little humor at all, and not a trace of good chemistry between Chuck and Sarah. As I have said before, there is absolutely no reason for other love interests (can’t really use the “P” anymore!) except to tick off the fans.
    The always telling comments from my resident “casual viewer” (or wife-o-meter if prefer) were, with about 15 minutes to go, “this is just stupid”; and when the episode ended (um, she does know I previously really liked this show, perceptive girl and all) “I’m sorry honey.” She then said something to the effect of renaming it “Smallville II”, and after several minutes of complaining about everything she didn’t like about finished with “I watch TV to have fun, Chuck isn’t anymore.” Those with a good memory will recall she said pretty much the same thing last week, this has become a trend.

    • SWnerd says:

      Ok so I’ve sort of been lurking around this blog for a couple weeks because I really enjoy reading all of your posts and the NBC boards tend to get a little crazy. Anyway I completely agree with everything you said about this episode. It’s just not fun anymore and the characters are shadows of their former selves. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show go from so good to so bad so quickly.

      • Faith says:

        welcome SWNerd, take a couch…we’re here with you 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        Hey SWnerd, great see you here! Of course, this may just be final griping before we all quit now!

        Just kidding, I’m sure most of us are in it for the duration, especially having been told things should get better soon; but there is almost no way to redeem this episode, without a ret-con (and I really hate those).

      • SWnerd says:

        Hey, I am sitting on a couch, watching cartoons…I needed a pick me up. 🙂

      • Faith says:

        I think it was Joe that gave this scenario…

        Chuck and Sarah in the same apartment, she leaves his room with a kiss. They’re together and we missed it.

        Not really sure why I’m bringing that up, but that could be ret-co at its finest not even an explanation lol.

      • atcdave says:

        Honestly Faith, they better be up to something like that; otherwise my respect for both characters dropped by 2/3s in this episode.

      • SWnerd says:

        I found this quote and used it in a midterm paper last year because I thought it was really important: “Nothing undermines creative integrity like making characters act out of character just for the sake of advancing the plot.” In this case the plot that TPTB seem most obsessed with is the love triangle angst and the only way they can even attempt to do that is by writing the characters terribly. It’s just kind of sad.

      • atcdave says:

        I don’t think a triangle even counts as plot. Its a device, that appeals mainly to teenage girls. So they’re sacrificing character for a device, that a majority of their audience isn’t interested in. smart.

  25. Mike B says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but after the NY broadcast there were no previews of the next episode. I don’t know if this was intentional or not.

  26. Fake Empire says:

    I have bitten my tongue all season until now. I am incredibly saddened and feel betrayed by this episode. I cannot believe what TPTB have done to the characters I adored at one time. They are now caricatures.

    Truly heartbreaking to watch this gradual deterioration of a once loveable show.

    😦

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, we haven’t heard much from you for a while. My own enthusiasm is so low now I don’t blaim you at all. Very well put final statement.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Thanks Dave. I have missed you guys, but have struggled with this season’s direction. There have been some positives, and those who remember me know that I am an optimist and a die-hard shipper – but I have to confess my abilities to suspend disbelief and be patient are being greatly tested.

        This episode is worse than Beefcake in its character portrayal and is quite damaging to well-established character hallmarks. It’s a real head-scratcher.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, so far this season 3.03 and 3.04 are the only episodes I actually really liked. I’ve never considered myself a true ‘shipper (I know, everyone who reads my posts is now thinking “liar”); because I don’t want the show to be about the relationship, I would rather the action and humor were the main focus. But Chuck and Sarah must be in a good place, or I have no interest in the other stuff.

  27. Rick Holy says:

    Hey Gang, “We’ll always have SUBWAY!”

  28. Gord says:

    Can somebody please tell me what just happened? That was the worst episode of Chuck ever.
    I am not going to stop watching because of 1 stinker of an episode, but I wont give it more than a few episodes to bring this back to something resembling the show I love.

    The first 10 minutes or so was great, I thought wow this is going to be good. Then Team Bartowski turned into the Colts in the 2nd to 4th quarter of lastnights superbowl.

    I could buy the idea of Chuck and Sarah deciding to move on to other people, then in a few more episodes realizing that they just loved each other too much. But I can’t buy it happening in the last 10 minutes of 1 episode. That was something that should have taken 3 to 4 episodes to build to.
    Also I could have bought Sarah hooking up with a civilian boy friend that didn’t know what she did rather than another spy and her boss to boot.

    I could accept Chuck and Hannah for the same reason.
    However, I just can’t accept this happening within such a short time frame. Especially both of them at the same time. It just felt so contrived.

    I know the next episode is an Ali Adler episode so maybe they were attempting a Truth/Hard Salami rehash. The only difference is that those episodes were well written and had an acceptable premise.

    Even the best TV series can have a real stinker of an episode now and then, but that was really bad. I will probably rewatch it once to see if there was something good I missed that would make this episode make some resemblance of sense to me, but I doubt it.

    By the way, in addition to the whole ridiculous job they did with the relationship angst, I was also disturbed by the fact that when Shaw and Sarah told Chuck that the team would soon be leaving and he would become a solo agent; Chuck seemed completely fine with that.

    I just wonder how they are going to recover from this mess.

    • Fake Empire says:

      Hi Gord, I’m with you on this. I’ll also have to remark that Sarah’s 180 on Chuck’s readiness and on Shaw are mind-blowing. I’m still in disbelief . . .

    • atcdave says:

      Hey Gord, its been a while since you and I have been so completely on the same page. Yeah the transition was jarring. We went from jealous over-protective Sarah to ready to move on and be done with him. And Chuck’s gone from a dying confession of his love, to being distracted by a cute brunette. Worst episode ever.

      • Gord says:

        Yes I am usually the positive one. Truth is I have been enjoying S3 up until this point. They are really going to have to do something amazing in the next episode to recover from this pile of horse manure.
        I just hope it wont be too late.

    • lou federico says:

      Wow Gord you giving too much credit how about turning into the Detroit Lions for the last 40 years. Now that is a bad episode

  29. joe says:

    I see that this has become the defacto “first reaction” thread to The Mask.

    My usual habit is to keep my initial comments to a minimum, because they’re usually pretty superficial. I’m one of those who doesn’t get things until I’ve seen an episode a couple or three times.

    But I must say that, with very few exceptions, I’ve been experiencing all the things I’ve seen expressed in these comments. It was a great episode to watch for 45 or 50 minutes, and then – POW!

    So, yes, it hurt. I’ve got no fear that C&S are getting back together, and relatively quickly, but that only makes the criticism that this is Beefcake**2 more valid.

    One criticism I think is less strong (but not completely wrong) is the idea that the characters, Shaw in particular, are not behaving consistently. Seems to me that C&S are behaving all too consistently. They should be as far along in their relationship as they are now professionally. That’s been quite an improvement, btw.

    For Shaw, though, I never had a reason to believe he wouldn’t hit on Sarah. The character kept talking about how emotions will get you killed, but A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    I think it was Faith who noted that the title of the episode is The Mask. It could very well have a double meaning, one about the masks they’re wearing. The other thing that I know will strike me as more significant when I re-watch is Morgan.

    Morgan’s reactions were much more important than it seemed at first. He will play a key role.

    I’m no where near so afraid of what’s going to happen to our favorite couple as I am about the fan reactions. Especially the reactions of the loyal, dedicated fans like yourselves.

    • Gord says:

      Joe, you probably know me as one of the always positive types, but I have absolutely no defence for this episode.

      Also, I can only say that I thought the first 10 minutes were good. After that there were a few good scenes intermingled with the crap (I figure if Padre Rick can say it so can I).

      I will be watching after the Olympic break, but if the writing is as bad in the next episode as it was tonight I wont be watching much longer after that.

      From the fan reaction I have seen on this board and on others, my big fear is that even if the rest of the season is great, it might be too late to save this show from disaster.

      The thing is when I hear the spoilers from the extended season they sound great. I just don’t know how they are going to recover from this fiasco.

    • atcdave says:

      The Mask comment is the only thing that may make sense of this episode. If what we saw was all false in some way….

      But then NBC has a damage control problem. Just like after Angel of Death they ran a preview that showed Awesome was not dead; they need(ed) something to show that what we just saw was false. They really need to spill the beans a little or many long-time fans won’t be coming back.

  30. Jen says:

    Who wrote this ep? did anyone check their work???

    • Faith says:

      Phil Klemmer

      not sure

      • Jen says:

        Hey Faith, saw that Tweet from Ali. Hope the fix is good enough.

        JS called this ep “controversial”. That just made feel worse.

      • Gord says:

        Someone should lose their job over this one.

      • Jen says:

        And i want to know why we need this “controversial” ep… i’m hoping some of those theories above will in a way “validate” this ep.

        I’m off to bed. Chat w ya tomorrow!

      • atcdave says:

        “Need” is a good question. We haven’t needed this whole season. So far (yes, I know things are likely to improve), this constitutes a massive breach of faith with the audience. And don’t get me started on the “entitlement” thing again.

    • joe says:

      Here’s the tweet from Ali Adler. The time-stamp puts it at about 11 pm eastern, or two hours after the episode ended here. She “re-tweets” Josh Schwartz’s tweet.

      AliAdler

      Guess people must not like the intentional breaking of antiquities. RT @JoshSchwartz76: Controversial episode of #CHUCK tonight apparently

      Uh, yeah.

    • herder says:

      Phil Klemmer wrote the following: Sandworm, Under Cocver Lover, Tom Sawyer, Suburbs, co-wrote Dream Job, Angel Del Muerte and will also write American Hero. Some of those are among my favorites, so I think the direction was a collective decision of the writing staff, but the jarring character twists are all his own, which at least Suburbs had too ( the kick the puppy moment).

  31. Faith says:

    How they can plausibly return to what was essentially the main focus…their feelings for one another. I’m not a writer but I do play one on TV (not really)…

    The office said it best: “you just had a rebound, Which, don’t get me wrong,
    can be a really fun distraction. But, when it’s over, you’re left thinking about the girl you really like, the one that broke your heart.”

    • atcdave says:

      The best hope is the Mask reference you yourself made a bit ago. If the shockingly implausible actions of the last parts of the episode are indeed a mask for something going on behind the scenes, there is hope.

      But to end for a three week break with no good clues pointing that way is very poor planning (poor writing of the episode itself, poor planning to make it the last one before a long break, and poor PR to not run a promo showing some hope for the future course of events).

  32. lizjames says:

    Gentlemen and Ladies:
    I don’t think anyone could say I have defended TPTB in the past, but…

    Everything we’re seeing is fake. Somewhere (and I’m not sure where, frankly) Chuck and Sarah figured out that Hannah and Shaw are playing them and now they are playing them right back.

    Remember in Pink Slip when Chuck walks into El Bucho and does the nose tweak a la The Sting? It was the tipoff that almost everything we’re watching this season is a sting. And, remember, the whole season started with flashbacks and backward reveals. We’re going to see lots of flashback and backward reveals about virtually every key scene this year.

    The good news: Chuck and Sarah are actually working together and, for all we know, are already in the relationship we hoped for them at the end of Colonel.

    The bad news: TPTB are too clever by half. Most viewers won’t go through an episode two or three times before they see what is going on. It’s not clever writing if you lose the audience before the Sting is revealed…

    As for poor Morgan, well, we know khow what E9 is about. Chuck will have to convince Morgan that what he saw WASN’T what it looked like. Let’s hope there’s enough of the audience all with him…

    • atcdave says:

      You know Liz, that is some of what I’ve been thinking about for my next “Evil Plan” installment. But as you note, showing this with no internal tip-offs, before a break; worst episode ever.

      • lizjames says:

        Dave-
        Well, in fairness, they didn’t KNOW this was going to be a break episode.

        But there ARE internal tip-offs, you just have to watch two or three times (I just have) and you have to remember virtually EVERYTHING we know about the show.

        Take this one: After Sarah gets Shaw to leave the museum, Chuck and Sarah smile dazzlingly at each other. Then they start talking about their plan. And ONLY when they believe (and we see) Shaw back in the van monitoring them do they start bickering. Casey, of course, inadvertantly cuts off the conversation because he’s trying to protect them. The viewers are supposed to focus on THAT, not the sequence of when they start bickering.

        Or take this: Chuck makes out with Hannah in the home theater room, which he KNOWS is monitored.

        Or this: Sarah is ostentatiously shown despising Shaw’s attention to her neck, then she claims to like it. She ostentatiously tosses away the swizzle stick, but then after Shaw “confesses” she ostentatiously chews on it.

        As I say, I think TPTB are too clever by half–their defense is going to be that they told us in Pink Slip, via Sarah’s comments on the train platform, “that none of this is real.”

        But it’s going to be a VERY weak defense if they lose the audience before the big reveals…

      • lizjames says:

        Dave-
        Appropos of the Evil Plan series you have: I don’t think the gas was real in the Mask that Shaw (tah, dah!) opened in Castle. I think he reprogrammed the computers (hint: Casey said he was living there) to read a gas that Chuck would flash on. I don’t think he or Sarah were ever in any danger (and, duh!, he even says, “I don’t feel like I’m dying”). Then he had to change his plan on the fly when Sarah (fake) slumped down, which is why he “panicked” and went to the museum. He realized the timing would be off if he waited for Chuck to return with the “antidote.”

        I don’t know EXACTLY how deep Shaw’s machinations go, but a lot of what we have seen are Shaw’s games to train Chuck and try to rock his emotional state. But what he doesn’t know is that Chuck and Sarah are now on to him AND that the Ring is on to him.

        I give TPTB for writing a lot of layers here, but there are some continuity errors–and the worst error of all: Forgetting that a lot of what they are doing on the surface is turning off viewers who, frankly, never asked to watch a show they had to screen three times before they could see if all falling into place…

      • herder says:

        So if what you are saying the only true parts of this episode are the obvious comfort at working together that they show in the museum and Sarah’s confidence that Chuck will save them when she and Shaw are waiting for the poison to disperse at the Castle.

      • atcdave says:

        You’ve obviously given this more thought than I have yet. Some good ideas there. The only thing I want to address tonight though is the no internal tip-offs thing. If your interpretation is correct, I will be among the first to praise the clever and subtle writing. But the subtle goes too far. The big problem is PR. This episode felt aweful for long-time fans, and now we have three weeks off. NBC has known for a couple of months this would be their break. They NEEDED to show a preview that includes some more obvious clues of what’s going on. Hopefully, they will show some good stuff during the Olympics, but they really needed to start right after the credits.

    • jason says:

      interesting liz – gotta rewatch, so you are saying they know both shaw and hannah are up to something, and casey is in on it?????

      • lizjames says:

        Jason-
        No, I don’t think Casey is on it. He was gallantly killing the mikes because he didn’t want Chuck and Sarah’s words to be heard by Shaw. He didn’t know Chuck and Sarah WANTED it heard by Shaw.

  33. OldDarth says:

    A good episode except for the last 10 minutes starting with the framing shot of Shaw and Sarah together and Chuck and Hannah.

    If the show wants to mix things up I have no problem with that. There is a story telling requirement that needs to be filled here. If a show is going to dramatize an ongoing relationship that puts 2 seasons of emotional baggage on the two romantic leads then switching them up requires a buildup to doing so. A few minutes of screen time together between Sarah and Shaw are simply not enough.

    The proof is in the last Castle scene where not just Chuck and Sarah but Casey all acting out of character. That is what happens when a change in story direction is not handled properly.

    The issue here has nothing to do with the relationship. It is about telling a story honestly. The show did not so they had to have the characters act out of character to push the new direction through.

    Sad because the rest of the episode was pretty entertaining.

    This is a low point for the series right beside the sweeping of the Mauser shooting under the rug.

    • Gord says:

      Maybe I’m a gluttin for punishment, but I am going to rewatch this episode sometime over the 3 week break and see if there is something significant I missed that would provide me with some rationale for what just happened.

      I can’t agree that the rest of the show was great. I liked the first 10 minutes and the occassional scene after that, but overall except for the first 10 minutes a big disappointment.

      I should be in bed now because I have to get up in about another 4 hours for work, but I’m so worked up right now I’m not sure I could sleep.

      Perhaps that is the one redeeming thing about this episode. It proves how much we fans care about this show. I doubt I could get this worked up about a bad episode of Bones or NCIS.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, funny thing with other shows. Its easier to shrug off a bad episode when you don’t care as much. I would also agree to not liking this episode pretty early. As soon as Chuck was kissing Hannah in the museum I was in a sour mood. No promises about watching it again, but I will think on it some more. Liz James has posted some interesting thoughts; even if I never like this episode, it may not be a total loss.

  34. herder says:

    Ok one last comment before I call it a night, why did the Ring kill the agent for knowing that Shaw is alive? Was it because he had failed in his mission, because he knew that double agent Shaw is alive, because Eve Shaw is one of the Ring Elders or because of some as yet unknown reason.

  35. JC says:

    After my initial disgust, I’ve watched the episode again and I think Sarah and Chuck are playing Shaw. Like some other people have said they’re some subtle nods to this throughout the episode . What really got me was how badly written those last ten minutes were. I honestly can’t believe some of those lines actually got in other then for that reason. It was to show us, hey something just isn’t right with all this. But of course they knew we’d be caught up in how terrible the moment seemed to be, we wouldn’t catch on.

    A completely brilliant and troll move by the writers.

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t think I would quite call it brilliant. If it plays out like we’re now speculating it could be a lot of fun. But the feeling is so sour, I know my wife was just furious; I think casual fans may give up. They will need to promote heavily and carefully in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see if there’s a ratings bump either way.

      • JC says:

        By brilliant I mean getting the core Chuck fans in a dizzy. And trust me I wasn’t happy at first either. All I could think was Schwartz did it again. But going back and watching again something felt very off about the whole episode. And not just the obvious.

        Now if I’m wrong and by the end of 3.13 its back to the status quo. I’m done with the show and it ends for me with S2.

    • ReadySet says:

      Well, here are three more tip-offs that even my brilliant and insightful friend Liz James missed:
      1) When Chuck is kissing Hannah in the home theater room, he’s using the move Sarah taught him to seduce Jill: the look-at-the-lips-and-move-the-hair-back manuever.
      2) When Shaw is massaging Sarah at the end of the episode, she NEVER smiles. He can’t see that, of course…
      3) In the “jealousy scene,” Chuck tells Sarah that Shaw had his hands all over her all night. But Chuck was facing AWAY from the monitor and it was Hannah that first saw Sarah.

      I’ve been doubtful that Liz has been right with her suspicions about what is real and what isn’t this season. But I think tonight’s episode was the clearest indication yet there are some gigantic reveals coming.

      BTW, the clearest indication of all: Shaw DOESN’T fit Sarah’s type. He screwed up all night: blew the mask stealing, got made by the Ring agent, released the gas, etc. Chuck was the one who was Sarah’s type tonight…hint, hint…

      • jason says:

        son of a gun liz, I rewatched, I think shaw was not poisoned, and sarah ‘made’ him on that move, and marked him from that moment on. Starting with the point shaw left in the museum after being made by the ring agent, CS seemed to have maybe a half doz very slight nods, smiles, they were subtle. But sarah’s face during the goodbye to chuck, and the final seduction of shaw was pretty telling. Also chuck’s when he ran out saw Sarah safe and in shaw’s arms, only reaction was a nod, smile, then ran to hannah – maybe, maybe I will still be ok with 3.7, but it sure was not fun.

  36. Lucian says:

    Though you all make some great points that this is a carefully crafted con by Chuck and Sarah, any confidence I had that the writers know what they are doing was left stranded on a train station in Prague.

    • lizjames says:

      Lucian-
      My husband and I are at the forefront of the “Pink Slip S*ucks” brigade. Believe me. But we’re not done with the train station scene. We’ll see more of that, for sure. I’m convinced now that we didn’t see everything that went on there.

      And I have to say: A lot of what I suspect is coming will not make fans like us any happier because a) we’re being played, too; b) It’s almost as if the showrunners are making fun of us; and c) there will be some continuity screw-ups.

      And as Ernie Davis has so smartly and repeatedly said, we’re on a weekly contract with any show. It’s ALWAYS risky to play a 13-week arc, especially this one, when even dedicated viewers are being played so completely.

      • ND2488 says:

        Liz,
        You make a compelling argument. When Sarah is “seducing” a mark usually she is flawless and never breaks character, but with Shaw she can not hide her discomfort. She never even smiles at him. This could very well be the writers leaving us a clue that something is amiss.

        Couple that with Sarah’s huge smile at Chuck when they get a chance to work together and you see Sarah is into Chuck and not Shaw. My take on the last bit of dialog between Sarah and Chuck is that Sarah is checking to see if Chuck is OK with seducing Hanna and not with the team breaking up.

        I think her comment about having a type is veiled vote of confidence for him that he can get the “job” done.

        My only confusion is if Chuck knows what Sarah is doing and they are working together, what would make him mad enough to deck Shaw?

        On a side note, for a man supposedly made of steel, Routh “acts” like he is made of wood.

  37. SWnerd says:

    I hope you guys are right and this is just a ruse from Chuck and Sarah. But even so, without us having any firm idea of that being the case, this episode is just difficult to watch. I agree with lizjames that even if it’s a set up, it doesn’t necessarily make me that much happier about the whole situation because it will really feel like they’re just toying with the fans for the sake of getting a rise out of us.

    I can honestly say that right now I’m at about a 95% level wishing that it had just gotten canceled last year. I know that sounds terrible and I would have been upset at the time but at least I wouldn’t have had to watch them destroy an awesome show. That other 5% is me holding on for dear life to a sliver of hope. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to hang on to it for more than one more episode so 3×08 better bring the big guns.

  38. JC says:

    The punch is just selling the con even more. That’s Kruek’s last episode if I’m not mistaken. So for whatever reason she leaves I leaning towards because she’s a plant. Shaw would have to know this, so C/S give him what he wants. A jealous Chuck making himself look bad in front of Sarah.

  39. jason says:

    JS on twitter used about 6 words to describe 3×7, 2 of them were controversial and apparently, ali adler about a doz, two were intentional and breaking. I think the most telling moment was sarah getting the antidote, her face as she plants her head on shaws shoulder, followed by chuck running out of the control room totally concerned, sees sarah in shaws arms, nods, smiles. that would be his first knowledge of SS, nod and a smile, either the most inconceivable moment in tv, or a poorly written rouse that backfired.

  40. Ernie Davis says:

    It is a dangerous thing for a show to tell you what you’ve been enjoying wasn’t real. Taken at face value that is what this episode has done. It told us seasons 1 and 2 were a lie and that it was always more about making Chuck a spy than Chuck growing into a man with Sarah’s encouragement and Sarah learning to be “real”.

    I’m more or less on the same page as Liz, but I still think this episode may have jumped the shark.

    • lizjames says:

      Ernie-
      Read what I sent you over the weekend. It talks to a lot of what I’m saying about this episode now.

      Two things worth considering:
      1) A lot of the casual viewers simply aren’t as bothered about what WE could be bothered by. That, I think, is what TPTB were going for. (And they were tweaking us, too, at the same time for taking everything so seriously.)

      2) I think we’re gonna learn that it’s not S1/S2 that is a lie. I think that they are putting everything from The Ring onward in question. At a minimum, Chuck and Sarah have been doing SOMETHING since after the end of Three Words. Possibly from the moments we’ve yet to see on the train platform. Maybe even since the end of Colonel. Remember, that is when Sarah said “It’s real.” We start in Pink Slip with her telling Chuck that nothing in the spy world is real. All we’ve seen so far this year is spy world stuff…

      The problem, as I’ve already said a couple of times, is that even us dedicated fans are on a weekly contract. And playing a 13-episode arc (14 if you count Ring) is dangerous, especially when some of the stings seem so emotionally violent.

      In my mind now, all I can see is Chuck looking directly at the fourth wall and giving The Sting “nose sign.” All of season 3 is a sting.

      Hey, maybe THAT’S why e8 was originally called Chuck versus The Nose…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Liz, I did read what you sent, and I think you have a lot of good points. I started writing something about the backwards reveals and retcon this weekend, but thought I’d wait till this episode aired before finishing it up. I was assuming we’d get a big reveal this episode, but it seems we’re headed for a longer wait. I may e-mail you later to bounce some ideas around if you don’t mind (despite everything being closed here in DC I’m actually at work…for a while).

  41. JC says:

    And you have to assume the writers thought this was going to be the last season with only 13 episodes. So why not try something different, mess with diehards and give them what they want all at once. Not that I agree with this strategy.

  42. Mike B says:

    If this is all a big con it is not written very well. For a con to work everyone needs to be consistent with their character. Here everyone is 180 degrees from their character. And the lines don’t make sense. Sarah tells Chuck that Hannah seems great. How would she know, they have had no interaction. The first time Hannah even sees Sarah is that morning at the Buymore.

  43. Pingback: Masking The Bad News « Chuck This

  44. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Mask (3.07) | Chuck This

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