The Mask, It Is Real

The Third Time Around.

Sorry folks.  Here we go again.  It is real.  That’s the simplest explanation.  It also isn’t out of character, for either Chuck or Sarah, it just means the things we didn’t like about the characters are there after all, and being highlighted.  What it is, unfortunately is another re-play of the same story we’ve seen, again and again, and again.  You may not like it, and I don’t blame you if you don’t, but this isn’t new damage.  The damage is pre-existing.  I’ve had the chance to re-watch Chuck Versus The Mask, and I’m afraid that a lot of the reactions we’re seeing are again due to something I’ve posted about, watching for the show you want to see, not the show they’re showing.  Taken at face value The Mask was a darn good episode, maybe the best yet, if you let it be.  Get a cold compress for your forehead, grab a glass of your favorite adult beverage, lie back and relax.  Dr. Ernie is here to help the pain go away, after the jump.

I thought they’d pushed it one try too many in the Ring.  Sarah withdraws, Chuck misreads, angst ensues.  Double down in Pink Slip.  Twice.  And again in Three Words.  That is where the damage was done, not Monday night.  What we are feeling is a bit of a hangover from one too many samplings of that old friend angst.  I keep hoping they have something better to offer, that some backwards reveals and retcon might fix some of this, but again, I am starting to think that is us reading too many of our desires into a TV show.  And here I think it is important to understand something.  We aren’t watching the same TV show we watched in season 2.  Liz had some great thoughts on this, but we need to understand that this is literally the case.  Season 2 Chuck was a well funded 22 episode critical favorite that had unfortunately had a long hiatus due to the writers strike.  A few bad breaks led to poor numbers and a show on the bubble lead to what we have now.  What was picked up was not season 2 Chuck, but a new Chuck.  Not nearly as well funded, only 13 episodes, a much tighter production schedule, and episodes that had to be stripped of a lot of the richness and depth we were used to seeing.  That is the new Chuck.  And after a rough start, due to the aforementioned angst, I like it.  I’m about to really give some people whiplash here.  I really like it.  But I understand why you don’t if you don’t.  I’ll try to cover both aspects, and maybe we can all get back to just enjoying what I still consider to be one of the best TV shows ever made.

I know I’m often identified as a shipper, and to an extent I am.  Watching season 2 of Chuck I thought they were doing something totally new and unique to the WTWT dance.  This wasn’t two people jousting like Moonlighting, or the unrequited love/move on with your life we got on Friends, this was something different.  Two people who really cared about each other, and who really connected, and both wanted to be together, and knew they wanted to be together, but were stuck in an impossible situation.  One that tested their trust and loyalty to each other constantly, and one that showed them both that despite everything that might keep them from the lives they wanted, with each other they had something real.  I thought the writers got that.  The 49B in Broken Heart seemed to directly address that.  They both knew what they had, and that they had to treasure and guard what they had, because any alternative was far worse for both of them.  I’ve written and commented that I think they could have carried this line forward into something more, and something unique, but they chose another path, one that I’ve been rather critical of, repeatedly.  But I’ve also examined season 3 on its own terms, what I think are the writers terms, and while it isn’t what I’d prefer or what I consider well executed at certain points, I’m willing to go with it.  I’ll even rationalize it to an extent.  So let’s get started.

Chuck Told Sarah He Loved Her, She Beat Him With A Stick and Told Him To Get Over It, ‘Cause She Was.

Sorry if you missed that, but despite the backwards reveal at the end that is what happened in Three Words, and when Sarah filled in the blanks, she did nothing.  That is the new normal.  Chuck had his chance and he blew it when he decided to become a spy so far as he knows.  Sarah has never given him any indication that she is willing to do anything more than train him and re-establish a friendship.  We may see more, but that is the pre-established SOP of this show.  Chuck sees some, Sarah sees some, only we know the whole story.  That was the season 1 and season 2 pattern.  As far as Chuck knows his decision to become a spy was a deal breaker for Sarah, running was a one time offer for both of them, and he blew it.  Chuck is starting to see the costs, and how much Sarah did and was willing to do for him, and as that unfolds more and more he realizes what he turned down.  He also starts to see, as he gathers assets (Devon, Manoosh, Hannah) exactly how much Sarah handled him, worse than he’d imagined.  This was nearly, but not quite explicitly stated in Nacho Sampler, again using that same annoying interrupted conversation crap so Sarah can’t explain and Chuck can draw his own conclusions.  (sigh, bored now)  So I’ll be brief.  Sarah is uncommunicative, Chuck draws his own conclusions, as he always does, and thinking things are over, he does the healthy thing and moves on.  Sarah says nothing, of course, and lets him move on.  We can speculate on her reasons ad nauseam in comments, but none of this is out of character.  It is treading water IMHO, but it is the new real.  We can argue about how it was done, what it does to the characters, the story, or us, but it’s done.  Again.

So there it is folks, Chuck, once again moved on, and Sarah encouraged that.  The twist was that Sarah played up the fact that she’d moved on.  She hasn’t.  Are they still in love?  Of course.  Are they still immature and in need of some adult supervision?  Yep.  Can they actually manage a conversation?  Nope.  I had a chance, with the recent snowstorm, to re-watch just about all of seasons one and two.  They have never gone very deep into an understory, for lack of a better word.  Want to know what they are doing, look at what they’ve done.  This is the replay that I thought for sure they wouldn’t try again, but that is exactly what’s going on.  This time Sarah has decided that without Chuck needing her protection or support she can move on too.  If she can’t have something real, maybe she can have something.  Give the girl a break.  Sister Sarah pureheart has been chaste for Chuck for three years now.  True, she could have Chuck any time she wanted just for the asking, but as we know Sarah doesn’t put her heart out there to get stomped on, especially again.  She realizes that she put Chuck in an impossible situation with her impulsive decision to run, and he did what he had to do, make the tough but right decision for both of them.  With that perhaps Sarah has grown up a bit and realized Chuck isn’t her puppy, but a fully grown man with a calling.

Now we know where we stand.  I know it’s annoying, and what is coming will probably be worse, if you let it get to you.  Either Shaw or Hannah will turn out to be a betrayer.  Maybe both.  We’ll see some resolution on the Hannah front first.  She’s either Lou, the innocent civilian that Chuck realizes he can’t have because of his spy life, or Jill, the betrayer, but maybe a different sort of Jill this time.  I’m leaning toward Lou.  Shaw may or may not be a schemer with an evil plan.  My money is now on not.  The understories usually don’t last this many episodes, so my guess is that Beckman’s concern was over using Awesome to infiltrate the Ring.  Now Shaw will be used as the final barrier to Chuck and Sarah.  Chuck will be free of Hannah soon and want to re-start things with Sarah, but Shaw will be in the way.  Once again the new mature Chuck will display the emotional maturity of a 13 year old.  This is where they’re doing the damage.  Chuck won’t seem to have grown up much at all, but now without his everyman qualities he’s even less sympathetic, and that great love Sarah had for Chuck in season 2, well I guess that was just an infatuation.  Sarah really does fall for every guy she works with after all.  Yep, she’s now that flakey.  I’m looking for the backward reveal about the affair she and Casey had while Chuck was growing a beard on the couch.

So all the plot holes, they’re plot holes.  All the inconsistencies?  They are real inconsistencies.  The dropped plot-lines?   They’re dropped.  We’ll probably see a few big reveals and twists, but nothing on the level we’ve been speculating about.  I’m as guilty as the next person of indulging in re-writing the show to meet my preferences, and I thought a lot of it was a reach, but I’ve decided not to let it spoil things for me.  If I’m surprised, it’ll be pleasantly surprised.  It is a shame in a way, I’ve had to lower my expectations to be able to enjoy the show.  They’ve really muffed on the relationship IMHO, but it is still a lot of fun to watch.  The back 6 look like a big shipper love letter, so if we’re lucky they’ll end things on an up note this time.  Who knows, TPTB may even learn something and give us something new and unique in season 4, but for now I’ll just try to enjoy season 2 version 2 and hope they don’t do too much more damage to the characters.

It’s just a TV show after all, and still a darn good one taken on it’s own terms.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in Angst, Inside Chuck, Inside Sarah. Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to The Mask, It Is Real

  1. ND2488 says:

    Ah, the burn of Occam’s razor. At the end of the day, if the mask is indeed real, I will be bummed. True, the show is good, but it was great. Either way, I am strapped in for the duration. Calgon, take me away!

  2. Faith says:

    I’m always having to convince people with Chuck, nothing is ever as it seems. There’s always this underlying undercurrent that is so easy to ignore yet so essential to the story. They finally give us an epi that is obviously that and it’s now even harder to convince people. Ugh *frustrated* lol.

    Am I reading into things? Perhaps. But I do remember explicitly the purposeful shots throughout Mask that tells more than the dialogue. That alone convinces me.

  3. Mike B says:

    Well Ernie now that you have thoroughly depressed me I’m going to snow blow my driveway.

  4. lizjames says:

    Ernie: I love ya, but it’s YOU who is actually guilty of seeing what you want to see in the show. You want to see it as a bad rerun of Season 3. You don’t trust the writers and TPTB, so you see the entire season as a low-budget rewrite of what we’ve seen before.

    I don’t trust the writers or TPTB, either. You know that. And I agree with you that damage has been done. And I sure as hell don’t like a lot of the writing.

    But the one thing that we know is that we don’t know. Sarah told us in Pink Slip that nothing in the spy world is real. Hell, they named this last episode “The Mask.”

    What we’re seeing in not real. Or, more specifically, huge parts of it aren’t. Which parts aren’t is what we’ll learn.

    I’m not saying I like what they are doing or how they are doing it. But it is abundantly clear now is that it isn’t real…

    • Faith says:

      I actually posted that line on the NBC boards today:

      “I’m trying to remember it verbatim, I’m usually pretty good at it but I haven’t seen the epi more than 2x yet but here goes…

      What did Sarah say at beginning? Pink Slip? Before Chuck even went into training?

      ‘it’s not that simple. Every new city a life, a cover. IT’S NOT REAL CHUCK *holds Chuck’s hands* THIS IS REAL.’

      just keep that in mind with epi 7 and the coming epi.

      The reason why the things that went on in MASK is implausible and unbelievable is because that’s what it’s supposed to be. You were supposed to be lulled into submission with the lovey dovey Charah jealousy and hit in the solar plexus with the goodbye et al.

      The reasons for that you can draw on a hat. Personally the evidence points to a con to me. But emotionally, I think it’s a crazy world where emotions run rampant an we do crazy things. Either way it’s definitely “Not Real” nor lasting 😉 ”

      maybe it’s a woman thing? LOL

      • Jason says:

        faith, I am a trained math & computer guy, I don’t think it is a women thing, it is more a logic thing to me, ep 3.7’s last ten minutes were illogical, I am not a tv guy, one of my reasons for getting involved in posting, is to understand if this stuff is normal, thrown lots of theories up to have you guys test them, but to a certain extent, all we can do now is watch, I have no idea what will happen

  5. Rick Holy says:

    If it IS real, than it’s real lame a** storytelling.

    All I can say is that I’m still a “fan,” but my enthusiasm for the show has dropped about 50% from where it was at the end of Season 2.

    Perhaps CHUCK will be my most recent version of HEROES. A show that went from “I love it!” to “WTH?, This SUCKS!”

    And that’s a shame.

    • JLR says:

      Heroes is what I cite to people when they say things like “No way will TPTB ‘ruin’ Chuck; they won’t damage the characters, it’d be show suicide.” Well, Heroes stuck the gun barrel down it’s own throat…

      People can believe what they want, and I appreciate the effort put in by many to explain some of the show’s inconsistencies, but ny suspicion is that most people project what they want to see onto the characters’ actions. Interpreting Sarah’s glance at Chuck? Seriously? Doesn’t get much more subjective than that..

      • Faith says:

        since I do that I feel the need to defend myself.

        Going on 3 years now we’ve had Sarah throwing these longing looks at Chuck. If for nothing else because she cannot show it any other way. Emotionally, physically, and professionally so in a way those looks are a window to her emotions and her desires the way she cannot at that point in time verbalize.

        That hasn’t changed. And yes I’m basing my perception on Mask on those looks…I think it’s a mistake not to. Knowing and seeing what we have seen.

      • weaselone says:

        Faith is right. For Sarah, glances are exceedingly important. She seems to have a speech impediment of some kind, so her expressions are the only way of knowing how she actually feels at a given moment.

        I also think that’s why everything in the last 10 minutes feels so off. We see Sarah’s expressions throughout the episode and they don’t match what she says during the last ten minutes, nor is even a simple expression of fondness for someone’s touch true to her character.

      • JLR says:

        @Faith & weaselone: Please don’t take my comment to be condescending.. I’m still a bit grumpy about what, IMHO, has been done to the characters’ integrity. The only issue I have w/ the “translation” of Sarah’s looks by SOME is that they often claim some sort of monopoly on what her glances mean. I post under a different handle on ChuckTV, and I there are a couple posters there who seem to have claimed some sort of copyright concerning “what Sarah’s facial expressions TRULY mean”; as if they are the only ones w/ the exalted view of Sarah’s soul… /end of slight rant

      • weaselone says:

        Not a problem. There are several looks that are quite ambiguous, and I claim no monopoly on my interpretation of them.

  6. joe says:

    So… We’ve gone from denial to anger and straight on to acceptance, skipping over bargaining and depression?

    Sorry! Couldn’t resist that. 🙂

    Can’t say I don’t agree with and understand what you’re saying here. But it’s also true that TPTB have left themselves more than a few ways of turning this into a fun-house mirror image of the final result, my friend.

    Oooohhhh my inner Polly-Anna has escaped!

    • lizjames says:

      Joe-
      Well, you know, I half expect now to see a shower scene a la Dallas. Hey, maybe everything since Chuck went for a condom in Colonel hasn’t been real… 🙂

      But, seriously, the one question that I simply can’t answer regardless of HOW it goes is this: What in heavens name were the showrunners thinking by keeping Strahovski and Levi off the screen together so much this year?

      From a business standpoint, THAT is a disastrous decision. ANY story they wanted to tell in Season 3 should have started with: Okay, no matter what we do, we need Levi and Strahovski in the frame as much as possible…

      • joe says:

        All I can think of, Liz, is the old show-biz adage “Always leave ’em wanting more.” Of course, for we the addicted ones, the necessary dosage of C&S is never high enough. We crave the next fix. Make sense?

      • atcdave says:

        I agree entirely Liz about the screen time issue. But I could easily see the truth of things being somewhere between the extremes we’ve been discussing. As Ernie points out, Chuck was crushed by Sarah, yet again, in Three Words. It doesn’t seem out of character that he would be trying to move on again. But I have a harder time buying it for Sarah. She knows the score, perhaps I’m more hopeful than optimistic, but I do think she’s up to something.

  7. Jason says:

    as some of you know, I have rewatched the CS parts of the mask looking for for hidden tells yesterday, one little one, as hannah pulls the plug on the override with her left hand the moment chuck is clear, the next scene ‘pans’ to casey running the mission and shaw sitting there, shaw’s left hand pulls up first thing, almost continuing the hannah movement. Lucky hannah did not pull up any sooner, almost like someone communicated the exact right time to her?

    Also, how many times in the three seasons, have CS been talking, but we unable to hear them, i.e. yep talking secret from us, I don;t recall many. Notice the first time in the show is right off the bat in the BuyMore, we can hear them talk, then we pan to Hannah and morgan, we can’t hear CS, this gets repeated throughout the show’s start, CS talk we can hear, pan to hannah, CS talk we can’t hear – too bad someone can’t postulate a convient CS scam going on to fit those time frames, maybe a continuance of a secret conversation the episode before ????

    The last time chuck and sarah talk as a shipper couple is as shaw sarah are poisoned, then a pan to hannah, then no more words, chuck touches the glass, nods at sarah, and she gives him that look only she, next time they talk, it is goodbye, farewell, aufviederzehn, been nice to know you

    now some of you think sarah may be playing shaw, those who don’t think far less of sarah, but really, how could chuck go from that point, to been nice to know you? just makes no sense if you want to like the chuck character either.

    ali adler made a twitter today, chuck is still chuck, I think things will be far better than the mask is real, we all need a little FAITH

  8. weaselone says:

    I’m with Ernie. There may be some twists and turns coming up, but I’m fairly certain most of what we see is real. I’m going to judge episodes by what I see in the episode and not try to upgrade it by projecting future favorable plot twists. I’ll judge the skill of the writers on and episode by episode basis. If there turns out to be a skillful plot twist, I’ll reappraise the episode then.

  9. Lucian says:

    I’m betting 75% flake, 25% fake. Takers?

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    I went through this all before with the season opener. I was absolutely dumbfounded that they would actually take what I thought was a clunker moment in The Ring and magnify it into the game changer. I couldn’t believe that they could take the worst characteristics of the characters, the very ones that they were supposed to be growing out of, and magnify them to cartoonish proportions as the justification, but they did precisely that. I re-watched those episodes several times, trying to figure it out, and it was there on the screen. A moment of doubt crosses Chuck’s face as he agrees to run away with Sarah, and then one episode later, buried in a scene full of cuts Chuck admits to Sarah that he didn’t know if she loved him at the time. After taking that as read I found those episodes, which I still don’t enjoy that much, went down a lot easier on repeated viewings. I did the same for Mask, and found I really enjoyed that episode, a lot. I actually was rooting for Chuck and Hannah. Chuck did his part, he told Sarah he loved her, now its up to her. She hasn’t been forthcoming so he’s grown up. Sarah’s romance did seem a little forced, but if you take her earlier discomfort with Shaw as sexual tension, it makes a little more sense.

    Is it possible we’ll find out Chuck really is on double secret probation and Sarah is protecting him by taking up with Shaw and pushing him away, as she’s done before? Sure. Is it possible Shaw is a bad guy and Sarah has him marked? Absolutely. I just don’t think it is as likely as I once did, so in order to enjoy what I still find an enjoyable show, I’m taking my weekly contract at face value. At face value Chuck and Sarah aren’t working this season as a couple, I’m going to assume that is by design.

    • weaselone says:

      Actually, Chuck goes one better at the end of this episode. He straight out asks Sarah if she’s OK with the whole Hannah thing. All she has to do is say no and give him, well, something. She just apologizes for reacting harshly earlier.

      Here he is ready to embark on a new relationship and he puts his heart out there one more time. All Sarah has to do is say the word and Chuck’s hers. You see it in the difference in their demeanors in this scene. Sarah’s smiling, Chuck looks like he’s one step away from assuming the Morgan. Sarah’s smile only fades as Chuck turns around and leaves.

      So close, but apparently Sarah is only allotted so many words of romantic encouragement in a given year and she just used them all up on Shaw.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Great catch Weaselone. That was the most mature conversation they’d ever had come to think of it.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow, I don’t agree at all Ernie. Its epic tragedy if it is to be taken at face value. Its Sarah now so scared of hurting/being hurt that she’s willing to flush the last two years of her life; and Chuck’s too. And I’m sorry, but it doesn’t track right with what Sarah does know from the end of Three Words on. She sees Chuck’s struggles and growing pains, and has withdrawn her experience and support from his growth process. If I truly thought this would be a long term situation, I would quit the show right now. I’ve lived through enough heartache, there’s not a chance on earth I would choose to sit through more of it for an evening’s entertainment.

        I think real maturity is when someone realizes its worth working for something; and doesn’t make unilateral decisions based on fear.

      • Faith says:

        I’ve watched that scene about 5x. You Can’t take it at face value. There’s just too much going on and too many longing looks from either party.

        Now I would and can be convinced that Chuck is oblivious but Sarah is not. Like I said before the words make sense but this is Chuck we’re talking about “in any other show” Sarah wouldn’t fall for Chuck to begin with.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well I was sort of joking about the mature part. As I said, we’re back into needing adult supervision. But when Chuck has moved on, Sarah has stepped aside, which I think she is clearly indicating with her comment I’ll be in your way, and not just professionally.

  11. Who Dat says:

    My daughter is a new teenager, and also loves Chuck. I am reminding her of the yin and the yang. There is no way you can enjoy Chuck/ Sarah riding off into the sunset without feeling pain for them before.

    Besides, lets say they ended up together at the end of last season, 1st they could not have run forever, and Chucks family would have been in danger. If you follow the arc from there it ends up very sad for them. A few months of happiness for a lifetime of bitterness.

    So this season starts and we are now where we are at. Chuck and Sarah are where they are, lets face it if someone as emotionally closed off as Sarah gave everything to Chuck and he told her no, well lets just say we are lucky she is still around, love or not.

    So we are at episode 8 knowing that the angst providers will be gone soon, so at least for a while they will only be able to work on each other, and lets face it that will be fun.

    While I dont believe everything is exactly like were seeing (thank you for giving me hope Faith), our favorites do have some growing up to do.

    I am just clutching on to the fact that when it happens, and all is said and done we will have a romance for the ages, I just hope TPTB will let that happen naturally. I don’t want to see its season 4’s angst arc.

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t agree with all of this, but your last paragraph is right on. Hopefully, we’ll get to enjoy a terrific partnership for a while. I’d rather see the show cancelled than get a S4 angst arc. (Of course, I feel the same way about the S3 angst arc).

  12. kg says:

    So then, Ernie, assuming Chuck knows it was a one-shot deal, and what he gave up, and the costs of becoming a spy, and all that Sarah gave up and did for him, Chuck then popping Shaw is simply explained as that frustration building up and hearing Shaw tell him he blew his chance?

    I’ll agree that I feel worse for and saddened more for Sarah. She’ll be with someone who she doesn’t love or knows isn’t real because it’s seemingly more safe.

    Chuck will play tonsil hockey with any pretty girl who smiles at him. It’s on the pathetic side, but apparently he can move on quicker than Sarah and at least have some fun.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      As I said, the emotional maturity of a child. It could be something different however, I’m just trying not to pre-judge so much.

      • kg says:

        At the very least, I’m going to adopt Ernie’s viewing habits.

        I’m through torturing myself with expectations. I think it is a good idea to sit down at 8 pm and clear the mind of discussions, arguments, previews and spoilers.

        Most importantly, tune in with the premise that Chuck and Sarah are all done. For good.

        Then there can be no disappointment. As Ernie says, if something good happens it will come as a pleasant surprise.

        Bring on the Olympics. I’m looking forward to the hockey tournament.

  13. Ernie Davis says:

    One thing I meant to add, regarding Shaw’s evil plan. When I say he turns out to be a good guy, he may be on the same side, but not a good guy. Chuck is learning what Sarah had to do and live with since he’s known her. Since this season is about a bit of role reversal I think Sarah is supposed to fall for Shaw only to find out he was manipulating her. Hence Sarah gets to feel, perhaps the first time in her life, what Chuck felt for years, the discomfort that you are being used by someone you care about.

    • ReadySet says:

      Ernie–This is a compelling argument. But wasn’t Sarah “used” by Bryce–at least she thought she had been–when we first meet her? I mean, she was really angry about what she thought Bryce had done. And, in fairness, Sarah never actually used Chuck. Seasons 1/2 were all about Sarah not admitting, even to herself, that she cared about Chuck. The pilot was all about her finding she liked Chuck–and they went to some length just in e6 to show you that she went in feeling she could “use” him. And, as we know, she immediately liked him and began protecting him. So while I like your thinking about what could happen to Sarah with Shaw, I don’t see the historical basis. Unless, of course, TPTB ret-con that, too. After all, we’re now supposed to believe that Chuck’s been training to be a spy for three years…

      • atcdave says:

        Great points ReadySet. I think you nailed one of the biggest problems I have with this season; most of the lessons being learned, are things they’ve already covered, in more entertaining fashion, in the previous seasons.

      • Jason says:

        one thing I would ask of u chuck vets of the year 2 campaign, at what point in last yrs story arc did u know there was trouble? when only 13 episodes got approved, would the creative team not almost have to lighten things up emotionally half way thru the season? also, routh was at first only signed for 4 episodes, same as KK, so I assume they decided he would fit the spy story, as well as the angst one. I still think the angst is going to end 3.8, more or less, since if the show was a 13 episode arc, it would almost have to do so around then, wouldn’t it???

      • Mike B says:

        From what I heard is that Routh was extended because they liked what they saw of the initial episodes. Not sure what they were looking at. He is one of the most wooden and boring actors I’ve seen. If you look at the previous guest stars and the ones in the future episodes he just doesn’t stack up.

      • atcdave says:

        Last season was easy for the most part. The angst filled moments I think were three. First was The Ex, but Fat Lady was a much better episode and everyone got over it quick. Next was Santa Claus, but in the end it was much ado about nothing; Chuck got over so easily in 3-D, it was clearly not a big issue. Finally was the big one, Beefcake. We’d all seen spoilers about it for months, and there were all kinds of nasty rumors about what might happen. The angst was kind of magnified by the out of order screening; we saw Suburbs first, with its terrible ending; then put everything on hold for a week with one of the best stand-alone episodes they’ve done, Best Friend; then finally got around to Beefcake. Most of us hated the episode, but even so, it was funnier and lighter in tone than most of what we’ve seen this season. When we got to Lethal Weapon, things looked up pretty quickly, and Sarah clearly choose Chuck (although once again, he didn’t know it).

        The season was expanded from 13 to 22 very early (either right before, or right after the premier, I forget which), so there was little worry about that.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        ReadySet, Sarah used Chuck’s attraction to her more than once. In Truth she tried to use the sleepover to turn Chuck away from Lou because she knew him dating would cause trouble. In Seduction Sarah hinted to Chuck there could be a post intersect relationship with her to get him to cooperate. He was starting to catch on by then.

  14. lizjames says:

    Can we move into the REAL real world for a moment. I mean, really, the REAL world.

    As the credits roll on The Mask, instead of Levi’s usual chirpy, “I must be getting good at this, I can see next week’s Chuck…” we get a woman’s voice saying: “All new episodes of Chuck premier after the Olympics. Take a look…”

    And then there is a promo for some other show, not new episodes of Chuck.

    Now I assume that the woman’s voice is a network person who recorded post-Olympic promos for all of NBC’s shows. So nothing surprising that they didn’t have Levi’s voice.

    But where was the Chuck promo? Can we (or should we) assume that the promo they planned gave away too much of the plot? Can we assume what they had put together immediately undercut what we saw in Mask (as the promo for Awesome undercut what we saw in Angel of Death vis a vis Devon’s fate)?

    Or could it be a little simplier: That after planning post-Olympic promos for their shows and even laying down voice-track billboards, NBC switched to promoting specific shows rather than all of its shows.

    I only bring this up because if someone speficially pulled the Chuck promo, we can then logically infer that what we saw in Mask will be quickly recinded in Fake Name. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t ALREADY scene scenes from e8 in earlier promos. So there must have been some serious reveals that would have undercut what we currently know about the show…

    This all strikes me as very odd. A real world development that may have some serious bearing on how we view the “real” and “fake” within the storyline…

    • atcdave says:

      I think the voice over was a simple mistake, but not showing the promo was deliberate. My guess would be, they knew this episode would be explosive, and they knew the preview they had would not be well received. With real time comments being posted and twittered, they may have even decided during the episode to yank the preview. Someone may have decided to re-edit the promos before airing them. With a three week break they have both the time to do it, and a greater necessity to do it.

    • John says:

      Or maybe NBC decided they wanted to promote their upcoming new series instead.

    • Faith says:

      Isn’t there usually a practice of not showing a promo if the show isn’t coming back the next week?

      I think the writers knew it was gonna be combustible but they had no idea. They couldn’t say it enough…not knowing there would be a 3 week hiatus after this particular episode. In hindsight I wonder aloud had Chuck been cancelled had we had this break after beefcake?

      Which is not to say I think this singlehandedly puts Chuck in jeopardy…in fact I think season 4 is close to a lock (when you’re cancelling a show you don’t give them 2 hour finales, instead you postpone and downplay said finale and could be talked to an eventual 2 hour movie instead—I’ve had a lot of my shows cancelled lol.)

      • atcdave says:

        It might be they’re just saving it ’til the last week of the Olympics. But in the past, they’ve certainly had “in future episodes” sorts of previews for shows that had a short break coming up. I think the voice over indicates, at some point, someone thought there would be a preview there.

    • lizjames says:

      See, but in fairness to TPTB, they DIDN’T think it would be this explosive. It wasn’t designed to be a three-week cliffhanger. That’s why, actually, I think a preview for e8 would have done what the preview for Awesome did to the ending of Angel of Death. If someone pulled the promo, I think that is GOOD news because it indicates e8 tells us a lot of stuff about the nature of what’s “real” in e7.

      • atcdave says:

        I think we now NEED that sort of promo. I know my wife, and several friends would now be done with the show without my urging. So for all the viewers out there who don’t have some nut job like one of us in their lives, they need a promo that’s fun and hopeful.

      • JLR says:

        The jealous C/S sniping promo for the 3.07 had many fans hopeful it wouldn’t be “bad” from a C/S angst POV. I(n fact, I read many comments suggesting that promo suggested “good” things for C/S. That MAY be contributing to some of the vitriol–maybe some fans they were mislead (in a “bad” way) by the promo? Just a long way for me to suggest that a “happy/fun” promo for 3.08 better be based on the reality of the episode from my perspective. If they do such a happy/fun promo & we get a re-play of the last 10 minutes of 3.07, I can see an even bigger explosion.

  15. Stef62 says:

    So the bottom line is we’ve got a choice in hoping that we’ve got a top CIA agent, and a super intelligent computer expert on our hands…..or excepting we’ve got an emotional cripple, and a overgrown schoolboy…great…lol?

  16. Ernie Davis says:

    Clearly there could be some stuff going on, I fully admit that. Remember, when Ellie and Morgan talk in Chuck’s apartment an intervention someone probably saw or heard the conversation and tipped Chuck off if Chuck wasn’t listening in himself. So Hannah COULD be Chuck getting some cover by inventing a plausible reason for his odd behavior. Hannah’s last episode is called The Beard, which is slang for a fake boyfriend or girlfriend used to conceal something, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Chuck asking if Sarah was OK with the whole Hannah thing then wouldn’t be out of character either. But in that conversation, when they were alone, Sarah does say eventually she’ll be in his way, and not just professionally. I think that is a pretty clear indication that the break between them is real.

    My larger point is that I found the episode a lot more enjoyable when I just watched without season 2 preconceptions sending me searching for answers TPTB don’t seem ready to provide, so I’ll take this season at face value, be surprised by the surprises, and keep posting about what I liked and didn’t.

    • atcdave says:

      I can’t shut off “preconceptions” that are based on watching the show for two seasons. Well, that and this show has become the dark sort of thing I never watch. That conversation towards the end is what makes me less sure Chuck is running a scam than Sarah is. But even so, it could have been for Shaw’s benefit, it was very much the sort of thing he would approve of.
      Bottom line is, I’m very unhappy with where the show is, and I’m brain storming to make things more palatable. It isn’t really working.
      Are you sure Hannah is done in The Beard? I had thought she would be done in Fake Name.

      • Jason says:

        I am almost sure it is fake name, there is some mis information floating arounf that both her and routh are in 5 episodes, I am pretty sure it is 4 and 8.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I guess preconceptions wasn’t the right word. It is more about just accepting where the writers have put the characters, regardless of my preferences. I’ll always think they missed the opportunity to do something different, but I’m going to keep letting them do what they’re doing, for now. But that said, I totally get what you are talking about.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        IMDB has Kreuk listed as part of the cast for the Beard.

      • atcdave says:

        We don’t really have a lot of choice about accepting what they’ve done! I’d kind of prefer to think of certain fan fiction I’ve read as being more canon than what’s on screen, but of course, I know better. I figure as a fan and a viewer, I have a responsibilty to express my opinion as long as there’s a show to comment on. I don’t believe in the Kobayashi Maru scenario!

      • atcdave says:

        Perhaps she isn’t in Fake Name? Geez, they really are drawing this out as long as possible. If she isn’t in Fake Name, there can be no satisfactory conclusion there. I was hoping JS was flat out lying again.

      • Faith says:

        Ernie per “watch with Kristin

        “Melinda in Pittsburgh: Good Day, Kristin! Any word on if Kristin Kreuk will be sticking around on Chuck?
        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Kristin is only set to appear on four episodes of Chuck, which means there are just two left with the adorable Hannah. The newest Nerd Herder pops up again tonight and wraps up her gig on March 1.”

        That would be 3.8, right after the olympics (March 1).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually IMDB has Kreuk listed for both Fake Name and Beard. I suppose they could be wrong. Obviously someone is.

      • kg says:

        Her last episode is 3-9. Somebody posted the link for the IMBD. She’s no longer listed in the credits from 3-10 and beyond.

        That dufus Shaw is in until 3-13.

  17. JC says:

    Lets say everything we’ve seen is real, which I don’t believe at the moment.

    Are people upset that they hooked up with other people or is it that were seeing a rehash of the last two seasons. If C/S had moved on to something other than sweet girl who might be a spy and super agent guy. Would people be as angry? We all know something is up with either Hannah or Shaw, so we’re just waiting for inevitable twist that will lead C/S back together.

    • Jason says:

      yea – everything you said, even if you think there is something cool going on below the CS surface, each episode seems to be more painful to get thru, I am pretty sure there were 2 smiles in this show, once sarah when CS went on a mission, once ellie when HC kissing, but somehow or other there was probably 30 minutes of WTWT angst among the quadrazoid, how can that be FUN, no matter what side of the CS relationship you are on????

    • atcdave says:

      Its both. In my little simpleton brain, there is simply no acceptable aftermath to Colonel than being together. Speaking only for myself, I will accept no other hook up. I’ve had friends who play these games, and it makes me furious beyond words. I guess I’m hard wired monogamous.

      • kg says:

        The last 10 minutes were brutal all the way around. It was more for me than what has already been dicussed concerning the alleaged trapezoid.

        The writers made Ellie look ridiculous. And she’s not.

        I don’t get why she’s so happy with Chuck playing tonsil hockey with Hannah. I thought she was a fan or Sarah’s. OK, she’s pleased that Chuck isn’t sitting in his cave playing video games and growing a beard. He’s apparently moving on.

        But she didn’t know that already? This doesn’t explain why he’s hardly ever at work. This doesn’t explain trips over seas. This doesn’t explain why her normally rock-solid husband is a babbling idiot, whining about attached strings and on the verge of a nervous break down.

  18. JC says:

    I had long rambling post over in the latest Shaw’s Evil plan thread about this. The damage control interview that the TPTB gave never addressed that at all. Maybe all the fury by people wasn’t because of C/S dating other people, its because we’ve seen it twice already. I just can’t believe that they haven’t been called out on that. The journey is great and all unless I’ve been on it twice before.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, sorry, I only addressed the other half of your question before. Its repetitive, so whatever the element it would be getting old now (well, unless it was something good, I seem to have more tolerence for repetitive good things!). Triangles are my least favorite story telling cliche, period. So when they keep doing it over and over…..

      As I was saying yesterday, I don’t believe I will ever get involved in a JS or CF production again.

    • Faith says:

      JC, in First Class my objection was the repetition. In Mask…if you take away what I perceive to be the situation? The objection has to be over the character assassination that went on in that epi.

      It’s not maturity to me like Ernie says, it’s an outright step out of sanity in a way because throughout the last 2 years these constant things remained and now all of a sudden it’s caput? There’s growth (required) and there’s outright out of body experience. That was an out of body experience lol.

      In terms of the article though I think they missed the point entirely (completely) but still maybe I’m easily mollified because that article actually made me feel better. It made me see that things aren’t what they seem…seeing as where we are and where they are.

      • JC says:

        Faith, Just a follow up question. Would what went on in the last ten minutes of the Mask been somewhat believable to you if they had used different PLIs and storylines.

        And just I just wanted to add that I’m not trying to defend it at all. It felt like parody of the whole C/S relationship drama.

      • Faith says:

        You mean those that I actually would like as opposed to Kristin Kreuk (who is colored through my smallville fan perception) and my immense dislike of Brandon Routh’s superman returns?

        Actually no. At least I’d like to think not.

        Because even with them, even with the idea that “oh let’s move on because we’re just not working” you still conveniently bury the fact that throughout 2 seasons the one thing Sarah has always been about is Chuck’s safety. All of a sudden she’s willing and uncaring about that aspect of his life, not to mention the connection she has with him as a friend (remember Best Friend?) and his family. Like someone pointed out not that long ago, the idea of “team” was just reiterated now all of a sudden Chuck is alone and he thinks he can do that? Implausible.

        I’m not even approaching the “one thing you have to know about me Shaw, there’s nothing more important to me than my friends and my family”—“sometimes it helps to know you have something to lose.”

    • Mike B says:

      It’s because it’s been done twice already and this one was the worst written one to boot. At least the previous ones were believable. The Chuck/Hannah relationship you can see they seemed to enjoy each others company on the plane and it developed over 3 episodes. The Sarah/Shaw relationship was rammed down our throats. You saw absolutley no hint of an attraction until the last ten minutes. If bringing someone a cup of coffee is a come on then we should all be hooking up with the servers at Starbucks and DD.

  19. lizjames says:

    CHUCK VERSUS THE PUNCH
    Not to hijack Ernie’s post, but this is somewhat related. What do we think about Chuck punching Shaw in e8 now. If Ernie’s right, and things are what they seem, our boy Chuck couldn’t be jealous of Shaw. He gave Sarah his blessing.

    So what’s he punching him out over–especially since TPTB clearly put the punch out in Shaw’s apartment with Sarah there during her, er, kissing visit…

    • Faith says:

      One of my questions on my own theory (and yours too) on whether TB is in on the con is whether I believe Chuck is a good of an actor and spy at this point in the game yet.

      I’m leaning towards no. I still think and will continue to think (until evidence shows me otherwise) that Sarah, in particular has more going on than what she seems (especially with that face at the end!) but I think Chuck may be naive and gullible enough to take everything as it is (though I have to admit, not to backtrack, that too has so many holes). And come 3.8 he will punch Shaw for manipulating/stealing his girl (Sarah) after realizing how much she means to him etc.

      Another scenario is of course related to Hannah. But not in the way you think. If he finds out Hannah is a plant and he was manipulated this whole time…he’s liable to storm and punch out Shaw’s lights.

    • weaselone says:

      Chuck doesn’t have to be jealous. Shaw’s comment was below the belt no matter Chuck’s current state of mind. A fellow spy who lost the woman he loved to the greater good should know better than rub the nose of someone in a personal sacrifice. Chuck gave up quite a bit personally to fulfill an obligation he felt he had to the country and those he cared for. Shaw merits far more than a punch to the face.

      This goes triple if it turns out Shaw is actually just manipulating Sarah for his own ends with any physical aspect to their relationship simply being the cherry on top.

      • Faith says:

        I’m still hoping Sarah kicks him in the nether regions after Chuck punches him…sure would make me feel better 🙂

    • Stef62 says:

      Maybe Shaw just called him out over his inability to maintain an adult relationship with a woman…Jill, Lou, Hannah

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Chuck could still be jealous, after all Sarah has given Chuck her blessing to move on but been jealous. Or the punch could be about something else. I’m going to wait till I see it and see if it plays out well or poorly.

    • lizjames says:

      Of course, theory 8,997 has Chuck bursting in and pounding Shaw because he realizes Hannah was a plant just as Sarah tells Shaw that she’s decided all she wants is a professional relationship after all. She kisses him all friendly like and Chuck misunderstands. Because, you know, we haven’t seen THAT before…

      But I will hold out the hope that Ali Adler would NOT simply throw away the name reveal on something trivial. If nothing else, Adler’s stuff have an emotional balance and reality that is missing from the other writers. (Ernie, I note your objection to that characterization.) Klemmer, we’ve come to realize, is best at the cover games (Suburbs, Mask). Fedak is almost totally the sci-fi/mythology guy. But for genuine tenderness, they go to Adler. And I can’t imagine she’s punt the name reveal after being so sure-handed with the same material in Wookie and Cougars.

  20. Jason says:

    any of you guys listen to chuckyoutuesdays, is it reliable, it is a link on this site? those guys sound like they have seen either scripts or episodes going forward, gave some pretty decent insight into what went on in 3-7 and sort of hinted about 3-8, once the guy swore and said he wasn’t gone to say about sarah and shaw looking forward but he did? If I were to make 2 comments, one they ripped on 3.7 even though they are not shippers at all and two – they are in the camp of what you saw is what it was.

  21. OldDarth says:

    I don’t know what is going to happen going forward from this. I do hate retcons – dihonesty topped upon the original dishonesty. I’d rather accept this as being true and just move on from it.

    My thoughts on the episode and the issues that arose from the last 8 minutes are here:

    http://tinyurl.com/yaz6rxr

    • Jason says:

      wow – some fine writing! thx

    • Mike B says:

      Great article Lou!

    • weaselone says:

      Two thumbs up and as many fingers as aren’t currently occupied with other activities. The unavailable fingers are long, centrally located and they’re mainly pointed at the “professional” critics who seem to be dedicated to the idea that only “shippers” would find fault with this episode and are flaming them in the main stream media.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well said OD, well said. They are spending the fans goodwill in wasteful foolish ways, and it is not a limitless resource.

    • JLR says:

      Great article OD. Unfortunately, many out there are dismissing the uproar as nothing more than the rantings of crazy shippers. What a convenient way to cop-out & not address the deficiencies in this & other episodes. I acknowledge some unfounded rantings have been levied by some fans, but ad hominem attacks work both ways, it seems.

  22. HeartWarmed says:

    I have been lurking for a long time now and was convinced that I would never get involved in any board discussions, but recent events and theories have made me want to bring this up. Does anyone remember an interview that Lou did with co-exec producer and director Robert Duncan McNeill in September for Chuck versus the Podcast. In that interview, McNeill discusses the potential love interests for season 3 and described it more as a “3D chess game than a trapezoid.” He says the relationships were going to be complicated, and they like the idea of providing layers where several episodes down the line you look back at something that seemed insignificant in a previous episode and realize that it is important.

    I just remembered this interview when reading all these discussions, and I thought this might add/support some theories. I might be reaching, but I still think there is more going on than we see. Either way, I’m here until the end!

    Here is the website to hear the podcast. If you want to hear the relationship discussion, listen from 6:00 to about 7:20. http://www.blip.tv/file/3131387

    Enjoy!

    • atcdave says:

      I do remember that, it is among the things that makes me think there is some serious game playing going on, at least between Shaw and Sarah.

  23. Big Kev says:

    I don’t get to see the episodes until a couple of days after they air in the US, so I finally get to throw my 2c worth into this debate – and what a debate it is!!

    Ernie, I think you’ve nailed Chuck’s POV. The look of resignation on his face when he talks to Sarah looks genuine to me – and it’s understandable. He’s told Sarah he loves her, and she’s given him nothing. He sees her with Shaw and thinks he’s lost out again to a Bryce “type”. He takes her comment about her “type” literally, and decides to go and seek solace with someone who has made it clear that she likes him. Flaky perhaps, but understandable. And the screen shows us that there is a spark between Chuck and Hannah.
    But Sarah and Shaw real? At this point, I respectfully disagree. Not in this episode at least. Sarah’s real feelings are written all over her face. Whenever Shaw touches her, she looks like she’s been licked by a lizard, and completely disinterested. And the one thing we know about Yvonne as an actress is that she has absolutely nailed every look to camera she’s had in two and a half seasons. She’s had to. They’ve given her no dialogue, and she’s had to communicate love, inner demons, denial, fear, betrayal, treason and lord knows what else with a look. If she looks embarrassed and disinterested, it’s because she is. I’ve got no doubt that it’s deliberate and we’re seeing it because we’re supposed to. She’s playing along with something, and protecting Chuck by not telling him. I have no idea what, and when she decided on that course of action, but that’s what I’m betting on.
    I also thought Klemmer tipped things with his line from Shaw about body language and chemistry being vital. Sarah’s body language with Shaw is where you can see that it’s not real.
    And her sigh at the end of her scene with Chuck? Regret at what might have been, or even regret that she’s hurting him again because of what she has to do with Shaw. Either way, those are the feelings that are real.

    I’m like you, Ernie. I’m really enjoying this season, after the horrors of Pink Slip. I love the ratcheting up of the emotional stakes and the exploration of the dark side and the real costs of being a spy – but this episode was a dud for me, for one reason that had nothing to do with the PLI’s. It was the first episode of Chuck that I haven’t laughed once in. Maybe a smirk at the Superman reference – but nothing else. That’s not Chuck to me. As a stand alone episode, this wouldn’t be a show I would even want to watch. It’s frustrating, because I thought they were really getting some momentum back into the season, especially with Angel de la Muerta and Nacho Sampler – but to deliver this angst fest with absolutely nothing to lighten the mood, and to compound that with the damage done to Ellie as a character has shaken my faith for the second time in seven episodes. Not good.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Thanks for chiming in Kev. I hear you on Sarah, and on my first viewing my take was the same as yours. It still might be the case, but when I re-watched I did it purposefully looking for what they were telling me at the end, that Sarah found Shaw attractive. Those same looks could be construed as Sarah feeling something she didn’t want to feel, or admit she was feeling. I still think Shaw is going to be shown playing an angle with Sarah, but I’ll allow for the possibility that Sarah, thinking she’s lost Chuck, is ready to try for something with someone who can’t hurt her the way Chuck did.

      As for Ellie, I’m totally with you there, but they’re dropping a lot of balls lately for some reason. At this point I’ve lowered my expectations and will let the little stuff, and a whopper or two, go. As long as it doesn’t go on too long. That was sort of the reason for this post, to suggest a way to continue watching without wanting to slit your wrists when they decide that Sarah actually does fall for every guy she works with.

    • herder says:

      I really want to say how much I agree with the last paragraph (not that the rest of it wasn’t off the mark). My reaction was pretty much the same as yours, that the episode wasn’t funny and so it was a dud, the forced stuff at the end was just insult to injury. I do think that the writers all knew that this wasn’t going to go over big and Phil Klemmer simply drew the short straw as I have really liked some of his other episodes.

      I think the 3-D chess comment from Robert Duncan McNeill may not be spy related but Chuck and Sarah related with each taking a small step forward in their new romances then quickly checking the other hoping that they say something to hold them back. They want to hear the other say that there is something still between them that should be properly settled before they move on, but both are too frightened to be the first to speak because of past hurts.

  24. John says:

    I believe the S/S relationship is real because isn’t Sarah supposed to have a choice towards the end of the original 13 episode arc?

  25. JC says:

    New synopsis for 3.08 went up

    “Chuck must assume the identity of a dangerous assassin; Sarah tries to maintain a strictly professional relationship with Shaw.”

  26. Who Dat says:

    I just had a wild idea, why did the ring kill him that way? maybe they don’t want anyone knowing Shaw is alive, and if they don’t… why?

    • weaselone says:

      Classic evil overlord syndrome. They kill off the reasonably competent underling who was simply outclassed and promote the idiot with the brilliant plan to stow something important in a mask going through the Black Hole of Burbank.

  27. Stef62 says:

    In past seasons, Chuck has stated that he wants a ‘normal’ life/relationship.

    However this season the spylife he leads is the ‘new normal’, which’ll explain the reason for the relationship failure with Hannah.

    It also would explain him realising the only person he can have a ‘new normal’ relationship with is a fellow spy. Hence the pursuit of Sarah, again.

    • weaselone says:

      He doesn’t want the normal relationship even now. He wants Sarah. That’s why he gave Sarah veto power over his relationship at the end of the episode. He wanted her to say no. When she fails to do so, he interprets it as her being completely over him and interested in Shaw, so he gives her and Shaw his blessing.

      • Jason says:

        weasal, you seem largely ok with all of this, I am just trying to sort it out, help me:

        the about face in chuck’s charachter of 2 1/2 seasons, as he saw sarah ALIVE in shaw’s arms was inconceivable to me, all evidence was she was dead (moments prior scene an emotional chuck gave casey the serum, he said ‘casey there is not enough time’), he saw her alive, he looked about as happy as I am when I see the morning paper arrived, sort of like ‘good, its here’ – there are other parts of those last minutes that are mind boggling, but I had trouble with this one the most, because it was the first inconsistent one

        you really buy that reaction to her alive, let alone in a supermanny type guys arms?

      • weaselone says:

        I admit the reaction was tragically underplayed and is probably an example of the poor writing that plagued the end of the episode. Chuck’s normal reaction would have been to run over to Sarah and grab her and gush as he did when she rescued him from the bank vault. Shaw was already filling that role, so a more muted, bittersweet reaction is somewhat more in character, reminiscent of Chuck visiting Sarah in the hospital and finding a flood of Bryce flowers. Chuck appears to have been replaced by Shaw as Sarah’s source of emotional comfort.

      • Jason says:

        thx weasal, that would explain it I guess, combo of shaw is there and poor writing – chuck was incredibly insecure about sarah (and about not being ‘cool’ enough for her) the entire show, so he always has backed away from any competition for her, and who could blame him, bryce / cole could have killed him in any of a dozen ways, interesting that the ‘punch’ is coming up, do not need a con scenerio to see how that could be a game changer

      • weaselone says:

        That’s what I’m thinking. I beleive what we’re seeing is mainly at face value, much as Ernie has said. I don’t necessarily like it, but I agree that’s the direction the executive producers have taken. Despite evidence to the contrary, I think Chuck’s decided that he’s lost Sarah for good and he had better resign himself to that fact and start to move on. He gave it one last shot at the end of the last episode just to confirm that it was truly over and when Sarah gave him permission to pursue Hannah he assumed he had it.

        Chuck has grown up since the first season. It took him 5 years to get over Jill, and although this Chuck slipped into a deep depression at the beginning of the season, he’s bounced back sooner and with a lot more purpose. My suspicion is that in 3.08 he’ll eventually conclude that Hannah isn’t the girl for him and decide he’s not just going to step aside for the next espionage hunk trying to get in Sarah’s pants. He might be snarky and a little whiny at first, but I think he eventually mans up and goes over to confront Shaw. He may even uncover that Shaw’s manipulating Sarah. This leads to Chuck dropping Shaw with a quick punch, but it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Shaw and Sarah’s relationship.

  28. lizjames says:

    By the way, one of the things that is in play here vis-a-vis Chuck-Hannah-Sarah-Shaw: The line about it being good to know you have something to lose.

    Remember when Sarah agrees with Chuck in front of Shaw about feelings? That’s going to be invoked here.

    Some of the reveal here, in my opinion, is that Chuck is playing Hannah and Sarah is playing Shaw. But both realize that it is harder to “play” at a relationship when you can lose your real one.

    Then TPTB can have Shaw lecture Chuck and Sarah about the dangers of a relationship and spies in love–again. Which, of course, we’ve seen before, too. But TPTB feel the need to lecture us again…

    It’s all part of the cons and stings going on…

    • Jason says:

      liz, one of the directors (the guy from star trek, mcneil I think) was interviewed a long time ago about the quadrazoid, he said it was more like 3d chess, and that things that happen, might not make sense until 6 episodes later, so maybe this ‘con’ stuff will unfold in some manner, but I have to admit, my goal today is to just take it all at face value chuck like hannah and sarah is attracted to shaw, and they were willing to say goodbye to each other and keep my hopes down, that way ANY deviation toward a ‘con’ either individually or together will be a pleasant suprise.

  29. Pingback: S3 Revisited: The Masks « Chuck This

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

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