Ladies and gentlemen, a post by guest blogger, Liz James.
What If Hannah Works for Sarah?
I’ve started thinking about Episode 8, Chuck Versus the Fake Name, and what strands the always-impeccable writer, Ali Adler, has to deal with from her previous work.
We know about Sarah’s name reveal, which harkens back to her Season 1 episode, Chuck Versus the Wookie. Chuck’s assertion from her Season 2 episode, Chuck Versus the Cougars–that he didn’t need to know who Sarah was because he knew who she is–may also come into play. We know Fake Name will also reveal more about Sarah’s past.
But there are three things in Three Words that Adler established that must be addressed: Chuck told Sarah he (present tense) loves her; Chuck learned from Carina that Sarah (present tense) loves him; and Chuck and Sarah agree to work on fixing the “mess” they had made.
No further mention of the love confessions have surfaced since Three Words. Yet suddenly, in the chaotic final moments of Mask, Chuck and Sarah seem to abandon their mutually known love and apparently decided not even to try to fix their “mess.”
Implausible, says I. For a zillion reasons we’ve already discussed and some we haven’t. So the most logical course for Episode 8 is that Adler ends the Chuck-Sarah-Shaw-Hannah love trapezoid and reestablishes the Chuck-and-Sarah-love-each-other state of affairs that existed, however obliquely, at the end of Three Words.
How can Adler end the trapezoid and address her unfinished Three Words strands? How about this: What if Hannah works for Sarah?
Think about it. Hannah appears on the plane in First Class just as Sarah is frantic about Chuck’s first solo mission. Sarah was told by Shaw that Chuck’s first mission would be in Paris and Hannah represented herself as a person living in Paris. Hannah also claimed she had lost her job and was available to show Chuck the sights. Then she follows Chuck to Burbank. Ever since First Class, Hannah has been around Chuck whenever Sarah could not be. And Hannah is a brunette and a computer nerd.
In other words, a perfect person for Chuck to like and accept. So what if Hannah is an agent who the ever-canny Sarah has recruited to protect Chuck?
Poppycock, you say. You may very well be right. But consider this odd statement earlier this week from Josh Schwartz to the TV critic Alan Sepinwall: “I know there’s some question, ‘Why can [Sarah] date Shaw and not Chuck?’ She’s still there to protect Chuck. The bodyguard component of that professional relationship remains intact.”
Really? Sarah is still protecting Chuck? Weren’t we told Sarah was training Chuck? Interesting that the spoiler-adverse Schwartz would let that tidbit drop. Of course, maybe he was so busy backpedaling on the developments in Mask that he didn’t even realize he was dropping a spoiler.
If Schwartz wasn’t just temporizing, then it is at least within the realm of possibility that Sarah brings in Hannah to protect the man she loves from whatever bizarre machinations she believes Shaw is cooking up.
How does this all relate to Episode 8 and the love trapezoid? A conjecture: Sarah encouraged Chuck to pursue a relationship with Hannah at the end of Mask because she knows she’ll be busy playing Shaw. Hannah is Sarah’s way to keep Chuck safe–physically and emotionally–while Sarah is otherwise engaged.
In Fake Name, Chuck figures out that Hannah isn’t “real” and he learns that Sarah is behind it. As usual, he probably doesn’t get the big picture, only enough to make it seem that Sarah is cynically trying to get him out of the way so she can be with Shaw. In a rage, he appears at Shaw’s apartment–not to confront Shaw, but to confront Sarah. Chuck says something about Sarah that allows Shaw to taunt him with the “You had your chance!” line. Chuck decks him and storms out.
After Chuck leaves, Shaw naturally wants to continue his romantic activities with Sarah, but she’s no longer interested. In fact, she tells Shaw what she was doing, both with him and with Hannah and Chuck. Rather than be angry with Sarah, Shaw expresses admiration for Sarah’s tactics–and that begins the professional friendship that apparently lasts until Shaw’s departure in episode 13.
It also, thankfully, ends the love trapezoid.
But, wait, there’s more. We know that Episode 8’s spy drama involves Chuck impersonating a well-known assassin. (Hence the superficial meaning of “Fake Name” in the title.) He’ll clearly have to do some unsavory things, which sends him back to the Johnnie Walker as he realizes that nothing is real in the spy world: not his work; not Sarah Walker, the woman he loves; not Hannah, a woman he might have been interested in.
Yet we know that Adler’s scripts–okay, Ernie, her solo scripts–always leave Chuck and Sarah in a better place.
So how does Adler make it better? How about this: Sarah sees Chuck on the monitor drinking again, but this time she acts. She goes to him and maybe even tries to lecture him about the choice he’s made to be a spy and her admonition to him in Pink Slip about nothing in the spy world being real. That only makes Chuck angrier and she realizes that she has to do something dramatic to make it right.
She reminds him of his request in Wookie: Tell me something real about you. Sarah then offers up her real name as a sign that some things are real in the spy world–and that she still wants a real life with him.
Do I think this is what happens in Episode 8? No. Of course not. I mean, what are the odds?
But I’m not guilty of Ernie’s current favorite sin: Trying to write my own story. Instead, I’m trying to piece together scenarios based on what we know about how Adler works; what we know about how this season’s story arc has worked; and the few spoilers we’ve had. However, I do admit: I get a kick out of the thought that Hannah belongs to Sarah. That would be a fun twist.
Now, it’s your turn to speculate. After all, there are two weeks to fill…