Chuck Versus The Spoilers

Once again, a guest post from Liz James.

How TPTB Are Conning Us, Too…

Just to reiterate, folks, my post about Hannah belonging to Sarah last week has ZERO chance of being what actually happens in Episode 8. I was just spinning a scenario…

But here is what I really think episode 8 is about: real life and the spy life and how nothing is real in the spy world. The stuff Sarah SPECIFICALLY warned us about in Pink Slip.

In episode 8, I think Chuck has a bad time separating real from fake: He’ll hate impersonating an assassin; hate finding out that Hannah is fake; and hate discovering that Morgan really thinks he stole his girl.

I think Chuck goes to Shaw and says he’s disgusted and doesn’t want to be a spy anymore. THAT’S when Shaw taunts him with the “You had your chance and you blew it” line. And that is why Chuck decks him: Because Shaw insists he remains a spy.

You know what THAT means, right? Shaw KNOWS about Prague and Sarah’s attempt to run away with Chuck. And Shaw, who Sarah told us in First Class reads the files, may use information he reveals to us about Sarah to keep her “with” him and away from Chuck.

Moreover, I now think the Sarah name reveal will NOT used by Ali Adler, the episode’s writer, as a scenario for Sarah to reassure Chuck. I think the name come out another way, probably from Shaw.

I believe what Adler really has up her sleeve is the charm bracelet. My guess: Now that Chuck is down on the spy world in episode 8 because nothing is real, Sarah shows up wearing the bracelet late in the episode. Remember what Sarah said about the charm bracelet when Chuck gave it to her in Santa Claus: the bracelet was something real, something he should give to a real girlfriend.

If Sarah shows up wearing the bracelet at a moment when Chuck is depressed about how nothing is real, Chuck WILL get the message. This would be powerful stuff, gigantic given where we currently stand. And Sarah can do it without talking and without Shaw knowing anything about it. Only Chuck (and we fevered few) will know.

Why do I think it’ll happen this way:

  1. Adler used the bracelet almost gratuitously in Three Words. It was nearly a throwaway. But Adler planted the bracelet and amplified on what it means–it’s worn by a woman in love, Carina told us in Three Words–so that she could use it here in episode 8. Sarah wearing the bracelet has HUGE implications now, even more than it would have at any time last year or before Three Words.
  2. I realized that everything TPTB are doing this season is about misdirection. That INCLUDES the spoilers they release to us.

Think about it. We’ve been speculating for months about the punch being about Chuck, Sarah, Shaw and a love triangle. I don’t think that’s it. I think they specifically tried to misdirect us. And I realized that when I finally understood what they did with the release of the Chuck-Sarah jealously scene just before the broadcast of Chuck Versus The Mask. That scene delivers key plot points, but TPTB were, er, masking it by making us think, before we saw the episode, that it was about Chuck and Sarah being jealous of each other.

I’ve already said that I think Chuck and Sarah were trying to con Shaw with the phony jealous talk. But now I realize there was more. Watch the scene again in context and remember how radiant Chuck and Sarah were in the moments after Shaw left and ostentatiously announced that he was going to the AUDIO surveillance truck. Watch Chuck almost routinely talk about Shaw having his hands all over Sarah. (He’s fastidiously folding his tie, for heaven’s sake!) Watch Sarah react just as routinely. But watch what happens when Chuck throws in the line about the coffee: They cut to Sarah, who freezes for just a second. That is when SHE realizes that Shaw is trying to con HER while she and Chuck are running this con.

Ditto the other way. When Sarah is talking about Hannah being all over Chuck since she arrived at the Buy More, Chuck is blasé. But then Sarah throws in the scent of Hannah being all over him and suddenly Chuck starts smelling himself. That’s when HE realizes that Hannah is playing HIM.

So what happened in that scene was three cons–and we missed ALL of them because we had already been given the scene as a spoiler and had decided it was about the relationship. Chuck and Sarah planned to con Shaw. Sarah told Chuck about Shaw’s actions at the museum (he couldn’t have seen them) and Chuck told Sarah about Hannah’s omnipresence (she couldn’t have seen it). They were play-acting based on information they had given each other in the moments before Shaw got back to the truck and could monitor them. (Think about the tell: Shaw announces he’s going to the truck. Why did we need to HEAR that? We knew he wasn’t going to wait out the mission at the museum coffee shop…) But then Chuck innocently told Sarah something she hadn’t realize (Shaw’s coffee gambit) and Sarah caught on to Shaw’s game. Ditto Sarah and the perfume “lather” for Chuck.

And now ditto the Sarah kiss-Shaw taunt-Chuck punch, which was released as a spoiler months ago. We’ve been convinced it is about jealously. But now I am convinced it’s about the real/fake spy world angle and TPTB’s desire to keep us off balance.

I have to admit it now. As much as I don’t like what the show runners are doing in Season 3, it’s VERY complicated and well considered–and it has huge diversions and games within games. Most interesting of all: They are using us fans, too, as they tell the tale. While we’re focused on what seems like endless trouble for Charah, they are sneaking in plot points and story reveals KNOWING that we are going to miss them. After all, they’ve made us obsess about the state of Charah and now they are using our obsession to slip stuff by us.

Chuck Versus The Fake Name isn’t going to be about Sarah’s real name. It’s going to be about what’s real and what’s fake in the spy world. And, like it or not, we’re also going to have to stop watching for clues to the relationship. Not only is the relationship fine, they’re playing us while we’re worried about the condition Chuck and Sarah’s condition is in.

– lizjames

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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 Guest Post, Inside Chuck, Observations, Rumors, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

184 Responses to Chuck Versus The Spoilers

  1. MrHobbes says:

    I may be new to this whole Chuck universe but what is TPTB?

    • JLR says:

      The Powers That Be = the showrunners

    • atcdave says:

      The Powers That Be. Its short hand for any combination of writers/producers/studios.

      Oh and Mr. Hobbes, welcome to our blog! Have fun and post anytime.

    • joe says:

      Good to see new names here, MrHobbes. Welcome.
      I put up a list of acronyms and odd phrases we use as shorthand as a separate page. It’s under “About Us” in the left hand column, near the top of every page.

  2. JLR says:

    Interesting take…. I always appreciate the verve w/ which you present your ideas…

    I still tend to think many are making this out to be more complicated than it really is, but I will say the ideas are entertaining to be sure. I am waiting w/ baited breath to see how our erstwhile couple negotiates the obstacles. I only hope it’s done n a believable way, and I hope the spy plot gets more attention too.

    • joe says:

      I’ll say it’s complicated!

      But know something? It makes sense to me. Worse, it’s a kind of tribute to the kind of attention, thought and analysis that fans have been putting into the show for a long time. They know how many avenues of speculation were explored and entertained in the boards this spring and summer. And staying ahead of that crowd had to be a bit of a challenge.

      The kind of feint the way Liz describes seems a good way to handle that.

      • JLR says:

        And that’s kind of why I tend to doubt these type of complex specs; it requires too much of the fans. I mean, this one is so central to the core of the show. Sure, the TROn poster reveal at the end of Lethal Weapon was cool…very cool. But dealing w/ the C/S relationship in this way just seems…well, tortured; and even the writers admit C/S is the heart of the show. Pulling a feint w/ regards to the core of the show just wouldn’t sit right with me. Of course that’s only this viewer’s opinion.

  3. atcdave says:

    I will be impressed if it is anything nearly this complex. Some parts of your theory are appealing, the bracelet to reassure Chuck would have the advantage of requiring no flash. I could see it in the “dinner” scene that was supposed to be for Hannah, Sarah shows up instead. The bracelet may reassure Ellie and Devon too, not just Chuck.

    If it is all as involved as you suggest Liz, it might actually be fun to go back and watch it unfold over the course of the season; but I still think this was all a big mistake on the part of TPTB. Many casual viewers are nearly as frustrated as us, the over-invested; and they are far less likely to ride it out. My wife and I had lunch today with friends, who would count as casual viewers. One friend, who is certainly no ‘shipper, said The Mask just kept getting worse as it went; then added with a laugh, “Kristen Kruek is done ruining Smallville, so she’s going to ruin Chuck.”

  4. herder says:

    Liz, I don’t neccesarily disagree with what you are saying and I do agree that when Sarah does wear the bracelet again it will be a signal that she is “a sucker in love”. The problem is that from what we have seen Chuck does have some feelings for Hannah and I do think that Sarah will develop some attatchment (not necessarily romantic) to Shaw. I do have some difficulty figuring out how Sarah will have some sort of closeness to Shaw when he goads Chuck into punching him.

    TPTB are creating a series of crisises in Chuck’s life and he will require some sort of reassurance from Sarah, if Casey has an angry center then Chuck has a Sarah center. The scene from the Mask could simply be bickering initially but as can so often happen in real life, bickering can escalate by striking too close to real issues, such as the coffe and the perfume. On the other hand those last ten minutes of the Mask were so far removed from where the characters had been for the past two years that there must be some other explanation.

    One week down and two more to go until we get some further ideas of where things are going.

    • amyabn says:

      I think Chuck is playing Hannah. I don’t think he likes it, but I think it will come out to:

      1. Hannah-a little too perfect. I think Beckman or Shaw sent her.

      2. If Chuck shows he can “seduce” a mark (meaning he will have to ‘out’ Hannah to Shaw/Sarah/Casey), he is one step closer to being a real spy. (I hope this statement makes sense).

      I think that the coffee and perfume solidify C&S’s resolve to get to the bottom of Shaw and these are the means to an end. They realize they are being played. Chuck being the sweetheart that he is, probably will only take the seduction so far before claiming that he can’t continue-he’s still hung up on his ex. Hannah goes on her merry way and Sarah figures out what Shaw is up to, freeing her to be with Chuck. I know I’m giving you all a swag, but a girl can hope.

      Love your line, “Chuck has a Sarah center.”

      • Jason says:

        someone, liz I think, posted that the jealousy episode opened each others eyes up to the con being played on the two hero’s (coffee and perfume), note, as chuck leaves the mask steal scene, he is on the phone for about a 5 sec scene, sounds like it is to sarah, why have that scene in there? maybe to signify the continuation of a conversation we didn’t hear, after that museum scene, CS never were together alone again, until they broke up at the end of the show

      • atcdave says:

        I did notice that brief phone conversation, I think it was just to the effect of “I’ll see you back at Castle.” But then it went on to something else. Its hard to say if anything was there or not. TV is shot fast and cheap, its possibly just an inane transition scene we shouldn’t read anything into. I mean it sounds like the sort of inoffensive thing you would say after a job is complete, right? (“I’ll see you at work tomorrow” sort of thing). But we didn’t see that debrief at Castle. Perhaps there was a scene or conversation that night we will hear more about later. On the other hand, if Shaw is still living at Castle, its not exactly the ideal spot for Chuck and Sarah to have a meeting.
        My money is on it being a throw away, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it came up later.

    • odysszeuss says:

      herder,

      Love your line, “Chuck has a Sarah center.” TOO!

      PERFEKT!!!

    • Waverly says:

      And Sarah has for most of the series had a Chuck center.

      Of course, you could say that about Morgan, too.

      • odysszeuss says:

        good old morgan – poor boy. he was really down at the end of 3×07.

      • joe says:

        Here’s a prediction. Morgan is going to play into 3.08 a lot more than anyone’s indicated so far!

      • Waverly says:

        Do we know which episode Morgan finds out about Chuck’s “real” life? The one where he was shown fleetingly in the background of a fight scene in a promo by some sharp-eyed viewer? (Well, I suppose he could learn in an even earlier episode, if there is one.)

  5. MrHobbes says:

    Thank you, ya’all… Yes, I am a major fan of Chuck and being an engineer, one has to appreciates the humor and geekness from Chuck. And naturally, who else would conjures a vivid wish of a gorgeous superspy like Sarah Walker to protect a geek/nerd.

    Anyway, I do agreed most of the blogs that Sarah Walker’s real name will be a major dynamic in Chuck/Sarah relationship as well as the charm bracelet.

    How about this? Instead of Sarah revealing her real name (verbally) to Chuck, she would inscribe her real 1st name on this charm bracelet to allow Chuck to find out himself. After all, we all know Chuck’s excellence observation skill.

    • joe says:

      That would be sweet. Perhaps she could give him something equally meaningful?

      • amyabn says:

        I just rewatched a few scenes from Sandworm and I think Sarah needs to give Chuck another picture of them-something real. I’m not sure-maybe from a special date they had (that we didn’t see) that shows him that it’s real. I originally thought of the wedding, but that was tainted by her choosing to go with Bryce (’cause Chuck won’t remember that she chose to stay). That, on top with wearing the charm bracelet would be pretty special.

  6. JC says:

    I think at the end we’re going to find out that all the theories have pieces of truth to them. That’s why they all seem to make sense. At this point I’m almost more interested in how much we’ve figured out then the story itself.

    • joe says:

      That’s part of the fun. Isn’t it?

      • kg says:

        JC you make a great point.

        Everybody who reads or writes on this blog pays attention to detail, real or imagined. No what I mean?

        So, just because all these theories don’t play out in the future, that doesn’t mean the ones that didn’t weren’t possible or plausible.

        The stuff that viewers see, or the insight they have is believable, it’s just that the writers can only take the story in one or two directions of those outlined by the viewers.

        To reiterate, that doesn’t mean the others were wrong, TPTB just opted to go one way and not another. But the people who may eventually be proven wrong about their theories, still saw something in the respective episodes and therefore made their cases with conviction, passion and on-screen evidence.

        Or, as you allude, there’s a good chance the writers use elements of the theories outlined, making a vast majority of the viewers at least partially correct.

  7. Faith says:

    If we’re right, genius doesn’t even describe it.

    I really like the idea of the bracelet as well.

  8. Big Kev says:

    Liz,
    Your take on things is always a pleasure to read. I love the idea of the charm bracelet making a reappearance, and given Adler’s writing style, it’s a compelling possibility.
    I’m not buying the bickering as a con scenario though. I dunno…..it looked fairly real to me!
    Speaking as someone who is really enjoying the whole Heroes Quest/real and not real/emotional costs arc of Season 3, I’ve got to say if it turns out that Chuck and Sarah have been working together the whole time, and what we get is a giant wink in ep 13, I’m going to be seriously annoyed.
    I have no problem with multiple deceptions and non-linear storytelling – in fact, I don’t think you can avoid that now that Chuck is “in” the spy world – but to have that implied emotional and professional bonding between Chuck and Sarah be hidden from us would be a cheat on a grand scale.
    In this particular case, Liz, I really hope you’re wrong.

  9. Yeefiver says:

    Wow, we still have 2 weeks to go before Chuck is back and it seems everyone is still thinking about what to expect on March 1. I guess not too many of us are watching the Olympics.
    Since we seem to be almost as creative as the Chuck writers, please allow me to submit a theory of my own regarding the new relationships.
    First, I believe Chuck and Sarah are still very much in love with each other and eventually they will get their act together and end up happily with each other. When, I don’t know, but eventually they will. However, it seems that this year the two are not quite in sync. with each other.
    Sarah wanted to leave spy world and Chuck wanted to become a super spy. Sarah did not believe Chuck loved her, otherwise he would have left Prague with her. Chuck wonders why Sarah is giving him the cold shoulder but Carina says it’s because Sarah loves him. So Sarah, by not showing Chuck any love means that she really loves him and on and on and on. Sarah only wants to be cover friends with Chuck but the way she consoles him about Devon’s kidnapping tells us her real feelings for him is more than a friend and on and on and on.
    My theory is Chuck decides his personal relationship with Sarah is over and the only thing they have going is a professional one, i.e., her training him to be a spy. I say this based on “The Three Words.”
    If you remember when Chuck was trapped in the vault, he essentually poured his heart out to Sarah, even told her he loved her. Of course we know that Sarah did not hear most of what he had to say because she was in the air ventilation system turning off the gas. So, when Sarah asked Beckman to re-assign her, Chuck took it to mean that even though she now knows he loves her and why he chose to be a spy, she really does not love him anymore because she rather be re-assigned.
    Therefore, I believe this eventually explains the pairing up of Chuck and Hannah. I don’t really believe this pairing is due to any conspiracy.
    However, I do believe Sarah plotted to start an affair with Shaw in order to make it easier for Chuck to move on. (Remember how Chuck responded when he thought Sarah and Coe were a couple? He said almost the same thing about Shaw to Sarah-you know about how they make a great team, he’s a hero, etc.-as he did to her about Coe.)
    I don’t have any pre-conceived notions about what will happen in episode 8 but I do want to leave you conspiracy buffs with this conspiracy theory;
    At the end of “The Mask”, we saw the leaders of the Ring and it seems that one of its leaders is female. What if Shaw’s wife did not die 5 years ago but instead became a member of the Ring and ended up as one of its leaders?

  10. lizjames says:

    ADDENDA…
    A few additional thoughts given the sentiment of the first responses posted here:

    1) I’m surprised anyone still questions whether Chuck believes Sarah loves him. At the end of Three Words, Sarah told him she was “good here, for now.” That negates her request for transfer earlier in the episode. And they mutually agreed they would clean up the “mess.” So there is no question that they understand where they are. And remember what Sarah told Chuck at the end of Pink Slip: You’re a spy now, you have to keep your feelings to yourself. Chuck and Sarah are keeping their feelings to themselves. But they know them. And if you need more proof that Chuck is good with how Sarah feels about him, consider: Chuck hasn’t had any trouble flashing from Episode 3 onward. Since he is good with Sarah, his emotions are under control and he “works.”

    2) Hannah is not an innocent. You know that simply because she came to Chuck in his spy life. Nothing is real in the spy world. Hannah isn’t Lou. Lou was real because she came into Chuck’s real life. Lou was real and in the real world. Hannah is fake and in the spy world.

    3) Of course, the scenarios are complicated. Again, forget the romance part of the train-platform scene for a moment. What did Sarah tell us besides nothing is real in the spy world? She told us a real life is simple. In other words, the spy world is fake AND complicated. We were being told that because Chuck chose the spy world, everything this season would be fake and complicated.

    4) A crucial point about why we haven’t seen too many “fountain scenes” in Season 3. ONLY TRUTH IS EVER SPOKEN AT THE FOUNTAIN. Go back over every fountain speech in Seasons 1 and 2. It’s always Chuck talking because Chuck was speaking the truth. Sarah almost never spoke at the fountain because she can’t talk about her true feelings. In Season 3, we’ve only had three fountain speech moments and they’ve all been the truth: Sarah telling Chuck to bury his feelings in Pink Slip. Chuck telling Sarah (via Karl) about love and how it works in Three Words. And then Sarah saying “she’s good for now” and Chuck and Sarah agreeing to clean up the “mess” at the end of the episode. We’re won’t get another fountain speech this season unless Chuck and/or Sarah can speak the truth to or about each other.

    5) It’s okay to think that Chuck will have some “real” feelings for Hannah and Sarah will have some “real” feelings for Shaw. They just won’t be feelings of love. It’ll be other stuff: respect, friendship, and, depending on how TPTB play out their scenarios, admiration.

    5) Finally, one more supposition about what we’ll see in episode 8: I’m guessing Sarah’s real name is Calderon. That’s the name she gave Chuck on the train platform in Prague. Why, in a scene with so little dialogue, would TPTB go to the trouble of using a name? It can only make sense if they come back to it, most likely in an episode named Fake Name, which, of course, we’ve been told will reveal Sarah’s real name.

    • Jason says:

      thx liz, you are my favorite poster on this site, enjoy the con stuff a great deal, I post some of my opinions here but frankly noone seems that interested, but have a thread on the NBC site where I ‘flash’ them out in more detail.

      I still think the most ‘logical’ flashback point to an unseen CS converstaion will be immediately after the whisky in the nacho sampler.

      sarah did not want chuck to go in alone at the relatively safe buymore with the relatively safe manoosh in 3.6 – nor has she ever really shown much confidence in chuck the spy

      yet in 3.7,

      #1 – she insists to shaw that chuck and her can steal the mask and CS seem abnormally happy in that scene, given where the arc has been

      #2 – she confidentily tells shaw chuck will get the antidote when they are poisoned

      #3 – she does not flinch when she and shaw tell chuck he is going solo

      So after near 50 episodes of not letting chuck out of the car, in 3.7 she magically changes.

      Same can be said of chuck’s attitude toward SS, 50 episodes of sheer angst toward sarah and PLI’s, to good for you, you deserve a guy like that, then they both nod their head when he says ‘disgusting’.

      • atcdave says:

        Jason, don’t assume your input isn’t appreciated just because you don’t get a lot of replies. This site isn’t structured for discussion quite like a real forum is; and of course, there aren’t nearly as many of us here as there is at the NBC site. I’ve enjoyed your posts, everyone chipping in ideas has made this week after a lousey episode quite a lot of fun.

        I do agree Sarah’s dramatic turn about in Mask is interesting, and may mean something is going on we haven’t seen. But then, I thought her lack of faith in Chuck in 3.05 and 3.06 was even harder to explain. Perhaps, in First Class, her near panic had more to do with not trusting Shaw than not trusting Chuck. In Nacho Sampler, Chuck was given the one sort of mission sure to be hard for him; manipulating and betraying a trust. After those two, maybe he had won her full confidence back; but I am tempted to think they had a covert meeting between 3.06 and 3.07.
        March 1 seems like a long ways off!

      • joe says:

        Yeah, Jason. What Dave said!

        I latched onto the same thing you did – Sarah went from nervousness to extreme confidence in Chuck’s abilities very quickly. It seemed too not-subtle to be anything but deliberate.

        There’s a common theme running through many of these ideas. While the episode aired, we were all fixated on Chuck kissing Hannah and Sarah accepting Shaw’s caress. At the same time we noticed the incongruities – Chuck’s easy acceptance of Sarah’s words at the end, everybody’s abrupt change of heart and a general lack of consistency. The pieces didn’t fit well and it was annoying.

        Dave’s complaint (forgive me my generalization, Dave – correct me if I’m wrong) that the parts should have less annoying to piece together is quite valid. Some – most! – viewers will not take the time or trouble.

        But darn if this hasn’t generated discussion. It’s been fun to consider.

      • amyabn says:

        I wouldn’t trust Shaw as far as I could throw his large frame! He sends Chuck off to Paris for his first solo “mish” only to have the mission happen in an enclosed environment of a plane. He also said he never has an agent alone-which to ME means Hannah is his backup, she just hasn’t been revealed as such yet.

        Shaw may be using Hannah to get another perspective of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship and how it effects Chuck.

        Others have noted that Chuck has done more with his own skill set of late, rather than the Intersect, as well as that he has been able to flash more reliably. I think that is because he is confident (finally) of where he really stands with Sarah.

        Shaw will shake that confidence in this next episode (come on, it is Chuck we’re talking about) and Sarah will get him straightened out as she always does, but with a twist: for once, there won’t be any ambiguity, no reason for Chuck to question if he is being “handled” by Sarah or not. It will be real, with no wiggle room. Her name, her wearing the bracelet, heck, maybe even wearing Chuck’s black t-shirt (motorcycle with UK flag in the background that she likes sleeping in). This lets us stop the downward slope of their personal relationship and we can get back to the fun spy stuff and figuring out the Ring and what Shaw is up to.

      • atcdave says:

        Joe, you hit the essence of my complaints nicely. If something deep and dark is going on, they need to make the audience more a part of it, and less a victim of it. Let us know what Chuck and Sarah are up to. The Olympic break has certainly exagerated the problem; but I’ve always enjoyed Chuck as a fun diversion. This season they’ve crossed the line into something darker; I’m not even saying we need to know anything about Shaw or Hannah’s machinations, but we should know Chuck and Sarah are still the good guys, and are still true to each other (sorry, but that last part is HUGE).

        And Amy, your last paragraph is sort of what I’m holding my breath for! Dang, two weeks to go and I’m already turning blue!

      • Faith says:

        Amy, from your mouth/keyboard? to god’s ears. I want to see that so bad.

        Finally some TRUTH.

    • Big Kev says:

      Liz,
      I hear you on the first point and on the significance of those scenes – but I think your conclusion only holds true if you believe Chuck’s feelings for Hannah are fake – that he’s “playing” her – which I know you do.
      Otherwise, I can’t see any scenario in which Chuck would willingly move onto another woman if he knew, unequivocally, that Sarah loved him.
      He’d wait it out until he could convince Sarah that a relationship with him in the spy world could be “real”.

    • kg says:

      I essentially agree with your reasoning Liz. One more thing.

      Any doubters need to focus on the manner in which Chuck looked at Sarah through the glass. How she looked at him. The spark is still there. They both know it.

      Absolutely. Chuck is slightly different cat now. He wastes far less time now freaking out and getting things done. He wanted to save everyone, not just Sarah. So, after that romantic stare he simply gave her the nod.

      Sarah confidently told Shaw that Chuck will come through for us. And he did.

    • Waverly says:

      Wow. I hadn’t thought of that before: ONLY TRUTH IS EVER SPOKEN AT THE FOUNTAIN. Maybe that’s old news to you folks, but for a relative newcomer like me, that’s a revelation.

      Regarding Hannah, although I agree she probably isn’t an innocent despite no evidence for her being a plant, we need to be careful about going to far in assuming everything in the spy world is fake. Some things about the spy world have to be real, otherwise there couldn’t be a story. To maximize the deception, each new person or idea would have to have a 50-50 chance of being real or true.

      Most of the characters we have seen been introduced in Chuck’s spy world have turned out to be real. And a few of those from Chuck’s real life have turned out to be false, notably Bryce and Jill.

      • joe says:

        I’m no newcomer, Waverly, but that phrase made me pop my forehead and say “Of course!”

        “There go my people! I am their leader so I must follow them!” Groucho Marx. Hooo – boy!

  11. herder says:

    A slightly different idea came to me this morning. In this episode Chuck is posing as the world’s most dangerous assasin, presumably to infiltrate some organization by having them hire his services. What are the chances that when he is hired his target is one of Hannah, Shaw or Sarah as opposed to some randon evil guy.

    If Hannah, well there is your proof that she is not who she appears to be. At the end of the Mask the Ring Council seemed to indicate that they wanted Shaw dead. And if Sarah it would validate those who feel that she was Javier’s target in Pink Slip.

    I know this doesn’t tie in with Liz’s con theory, but it does accept her theory that the spy world is complicated.

    • joe says:

      You’re onto something here, herder.

    • Who Dat says:

      Could Shaw be a part of the Ring? It seems to me that when they killed the guy at the end of 3.07 it was the first time we have seen a bad guy eliminated like that. Could it be because they don’t want anyone to know Shaw is alive?

  12. OldDarth says:

    Wading in with my 2 cents:

    A lot of the speculation I am seeing on the Web is assigning complex story lines that the series has never employed to date.

    With Chuck one would be best to employ a keep it simple philosophy ie the simplest answer is the most likely the correct one. So here is my checklist of how things will play out in 3.08:

    – at the end of 3.07 Chuck and Sarah do love one another but Chuck is convinced that he lost his chance and is ready to move on

    – Sarah can see that Chuck and Hannah are good together and so she has stepped aside with hopes that she may be able to connect with Shaw in the same way she did with Chuck

    – Hannah is just what she is, a gal who is really into Chuck, no plant, no spy
    – she is a civilian and an innocent

    – Shaw is hellbent on breaking up Team Bartowski and getting Chuck out on his own – ie losing the training wheels

    – here is where it is difficult not to indulge in some fanciful theorizing, so much for listening to my own advice! – though ChuckTV has posted 5 post Olympic spoilers one of which says there will be a feint and doublecross which gives a measure of confidence to doing so by building on what we have seen so far

    – the only thing left on the spy training checklist is for Chuck to kill someone so the fact he has to portray a hitman in 3.08 is most convenient

    – getting Chuck to kill is the real purpose of this mission

    – Chuck will balk at this of course and the conflux of pressures from the mission, being on the outs with Morgan, and believing he has lost Sarah to Shaw will lead to him clocking Shaw when Shaw sets off Chuck’s explosion with the blew it line

    – Sarah may try to move on with Shaw but the moments after the kiss with Shaw in the promo will be the telling ones – my guess is this will be the moment when she confirms her heart is still with Chuck and she cannot move on, hence why she strives to keep things professional with Shaw per the episode synopsis

    – Chuck will leave Shaw’s apt after the punch, perhaps believing Sarah was complicit in Shaw’s manipulations to get him to kill
    – Sarah will prove otherwise to Chuck by telling him her real name – I cannot for the life of me think of any other scenario where this can happen any other way – it is the not the actual name that is significant, to Chuck and to us she will always be Sarah, but it is the act itself
    -it is the ultimate act of trust that Sarah can offer Chuck
    – any other scenario would be a waste of an important character moment between the two

    – the true name sharing is what brings them back together and is what causes Chuck to break it off with Hannah

    – at this point Sarah may start to play Shaw to find out his true purpose as to why he is so driven to get Chuck out on his own for the rest of Shaw’s arc

    – Shaw’s true agenda is revenge for the death of his wife and he will do anything and use anyone ie Chuck and his Intersect abilities to fulfill his vendetta

    • compromisedcover says:

      Besides, Schwartz said it himself:

      “If you see one person moving on, it can spur you to move on as well. But we want to stress, Chuck and Sarah are not emotionally in the same place at the end of this episode.”

      I guess Chuck is just more serious in settling for Hannah than Sarah is for Shaw.

      • Jason says:

        I’d like to see the kiss and the punch bring them back together, shock therapy for both. I am hoping the theme of 3.8’s CS ending relationship is “Partnership is trust”, each of them arriving at or at least moving toward ‘the same place emotionally’ (to borrow from TPTB’s interview) – the name reveal would be a perfect way for sarah to show trust – chuck trusting sarah’s explanation of the SS kiss might even work from his side, this type of 3.8 finish allows the writers to move on with the rest of the story line with CS a team, but not a couple, and allows the epic finish to conclude with an ILU moment.

      • amyabn says:

        I think you can take what Schwartz said one step further. If Shaw thinks Sarah is timidly engaging in a relationship with him, while Chuck seems further along with Hannah, he can move on to the next stage in whatever he is planning.
        Step 1: Join the team. Check
        Step 2: Force Chuck to go solo. Check
        Step 3: Force Chuck to bury his feelings to be more like me.
        Step 4: Get Chuck to kill someone.

        etc. I’m trying to find some humor in it

    • joe says:

      Good points, Lou. Occam’s Razor is always sharp.

      Still, with the exception of Hannah (I see nothing in her character that says she’s anything but an innocent), there’s a large pile of unexplained incongruities in The Mask. And it’s really not true that the simplest answer has always been the correct one in the show.

      Bryce’s death, Orion’s relation to Chuck, even Casey’s S1 orders to terminate him are not dissimilar to what we’re guessing in S3, I think. At least, if the idea is correct, it’ll seem that way after it’s explained.

      • OldDarth says:

        Joe those incongruities are the cause of the fan uproar in my opinion. Chalk them up to rushed writing.

        With the other examples you listed we found out as the characters found out. The show has not held back information to this point. I do not see that happening now either.

      • JLR says:

        FWIW, I fully endorse this POV. As I stated above & in previous posts n other threads, I HOPE we aren’t seeing something as suggested play out…it “cheats” us (IMO) of too much; it’s a cheap device, IMO. Cool spec nonetheless.

      • atcdave says:

        I generally agree, I hate things kept from us in any story; and I dislike the current vogue of starting at the end and revealing earlier events later.
        But that said, I intensely disliked this episode, I would even be relieved with someone waking up from a dream. The writers have already damaged their characters, I would rather see the writers shame themselves with some clumsy dramatic device, than do further violence to the characters.

    • odysszeuss says:

      OldDarth, i agree with you. checklist comments:

      – charah: watching the “disgusting dialog” 3×07 again => you’re rigth

      – Sarah, about Chuck & Hannah: she did the same in 2×07 04:00/41:15 and the dialog starts exactly like in 3×07 37:22/42:28 => agree: Sarah steps aside, like she did befor.

      – Sarah & Shaw “a connection” like 2×15 38:45/42:33 => no feelings, no love – but a connection => agree Sarah did befor

      -The Hitman/killing/Sarah Name reviel will probably be a little bit different: Chuck’s in trouble withe the killing Problem, OK; VERY GOOD IDEA, OldDarth!!! But know i think: Sarah try’s to help Chuck solving this Problem. Sarah tells Chuck the Story of her first kill helping chuck getting over his problem. In this Moment they share a very intimate Moment about sharing Sarahs past together and Chuck & Sarah are feeling again their deep connection. Therafter Sarah will feel much better, doing this the first time in her life and this will be the beginning of Sarah talking to Chuck a) about her past und (later in this season) b) about her feelings. It will be the starting point for the next FOUNTAIN speechs. Die Trendwende ist da! Mehr werden wir in 3×08 nicht bekommen, denke ich…

      – Shaw: no Ring Agent but his agenda is revange: VERY GOOD IDEA!!! He prepares Chuck (the intersect) to fullfill his (revange) missions. So Shaw can be his Mentor as seen, ok! But it explains his try to separate Team Bartowski, ok, too!!!

      Please excuse my (german) english…

      • joe says:

        Welcome to the group, Odysszeuss. Your English is fine (and far better than my German)!

        You brought up the discussion between Chuck & Sarah where she jokingly calls Chuck’s actions “disgusting”. Now *that* is one conversation that’s open to interpretation.

      • Jason says:

        what an interstesting idea, sarah talks to chuck about the implicatons of killing in 3.8 by giving him her nam, I always tought casey was going to in episode 10 or 11, open ?’s are when gun battles start, will chuck fire back (this probably happens to team B every other episode), another would he kills to protect ellie / sarah / morgan like sarah did in santa claus. third one might be would he kill (assassinate) on order, pretty sure sarah has, even surer casey has – great thought

      • odysszeuss says:

        Jason, exactly!!! The reason why Sarah ist talking and opening to Chuck is his big big killing Problem. And she can open and descripe all she felt the first time. Remember Sarah IS an assasin. She killed the fulcrum agent icecold in the santa clause, so she did before -we can belive!!! In the end Chuck will be smart enough to solve the Problem on his own way by “killing” a cup of tea whith his sniper-gun and the target is getting a heart attack or anyhow. The Killing/Hitman Problem will be the anker for sarah opening to chuck, because she cares about his feelings. And after this, she opend herself talking about her past it becomes more easy for her talking about feelings (later in the season) Chuck really killing sombody will be – like you said – protcting his familly or his team -later in the season…

      • OldDarth says:

        Good points Odysszeus. Especially the one about Sarah sharing her first kill. That will likely happen….but not yet. Later in the season is my bet ie nearer the climax – 3.13.

        For now they need to re-establish their bond first.

      • herder says:

        I can see Sarah sharing her past and how she felt having to kill to help Chuck get over having done it himself. What I can’t see is her telling him to help him steel himself to kill someone, she doesn’t want him to be that kind of guy.

      • Jason says:

        i actually thought casey would talk to chuck about killing, but more in the light it is not all it is cracked up to be, in other words ‘don’t and here is why’,

        but coming from sarah, maybe even better, my reasoning for casey being the one, I thought that might be the lesson from 3.10 for chuck, then 3.11 he will have to apply it

      • odysszeuss says:

        Ok, OldDarth, but was will be the hanger Sarah talking about her past with chuck??? They haven’t an intimate moment al long time. What ist the anchor? What ist the reason for Sarah, talking about her past? The only way is somthing spy related, i think. Chuck will ask her as a kollegue and a friend, that he is in big troubble about his new assignment. He is concerned about the whole Hitman think. What if he is forced to do something bad to convice the others he ist that hitman. Perhaps Sarah ist talking about her first assignment helping chuck and probably Chuck flashed… everythink ist speculation… but u see my problem? why and how can they talk together about her past? in the moment they normally do not share intimate moments. it has to be spy related. an therafter we have an knew Past foundted connection. their new basis must be spyrelated, so they could have a futer…

      • odysszeuss says:

        the other oppurtunity is, that the name revealing ist by coincidence. but thats lame to discuss…

      • joe says:

        Herder said: What I can’t see is her telling him to help him steel himself to kill someone, she doesn’t want him to be that kind of guy.

        I agree. I can see Casey saying that (or telling him “No, that’s not your style.”). I can definitely see Shaw telling him that. But not Sarah. It’s precisely what neither of them want.

        What I can see is Chuck coming up with an inspired way to NOT kill, Chuck feeling like he’s failed (either failed his calling or failed Sarah or failed Shaw in some way) and Sarah revealing her name as a consequence. Alternatively, Shaw reveals it to use as a bludgeon.

        And I wouldn’t be too surprised if Shaw gets it wrong, and Sarah tells Chuck the truth precisely when she doesn’t have to.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow Joe! I think you just stumbled on a fun scenario. Not that I think it will actually happen that way mind you; maybe some fanfiction writer should play with it. Can you see Shaw taunting Chuck with “she’s never been honest with you, you don’t even know her name is….” Later, Sarah slips through the Morgan door, see’s an angry, defensive Chuck sitting there, she walks over and gives a totally different name, Chuck flashes, hillarity ensues.

      • amyabn says:

        I really hope that when Sarah does reveal her name, Chuck flashes. Short of telling him she loves him, he would know it was true, plus we might actually learn her birthday, more of her con games with her dad, etc. Add the flash on top of her wearing the bracelet and telling him it’s real would be icing on the cake.

      • Jason says:

        wow, is this thing going fast, would not the 2 best bets for the show preview / promo be tonight around 7 or next sun / mon around 7, when its normal viewers are on tv? I would think we will get some info other than just a single preview, but does anyone have a feel for how muchmore, if anymore that might be?

    • compromisedcover says:

      But I see a problem with Chuck moving on to Hannah: he’ll just complicate his already complicated situation even more. I know he’s become good at lying, but to engage in a romantic relationship with another while keeping his spy business a secret would be torturous. Chuck’s barely keeping it together with the things he’s going through in becoming a spy, then add Ellie, Morgan, his Buy More cover, and lord-knows-what. And now this. Unless if Chuck just can’t get enough of a chaotic life or he’s really just a mess and doesn’t think clearly, I’m tempted to think he knows something.

      • joe says:

        If we’re wrong and Chuck is really trying to move on, or has become merely infatuated with yet another petite brunette, then I too will say that it’s one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in a while.

        It’s hard to remember that in Chuck time, it’s been only 10 minutes.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m really torn on this. Ernie made a great case for why Chuck might be ready to move on, but the complexities of trying to get involved with a civilian at this point seem overwhelming.
        There is a logic in seducing her purely for Ellie’s benifit, it would stop her from prying into Chuck’s life. But unless Chuck has reason to think Hannah is not as innocent as she seems, I can’t see him resorting to this level of deceipt.

      • OldDarth says:

        “the true name sharing is what brings them back together and is what causes Chuck to break it off with Hannah.”

        Steel yourself Joe. 😀

      • joe says:

        Oh, with the exception of Morgan being a ring agent, I’m ready for anything, Lou. 😉 I’m leaving myself open to good stuff.

        What people might find surprising is that without deliberately avoiding them, I haven’t seen the scenes showing either the S/S kiss or the punch. Except for the episode title, I know nothing about the name reveal. In sum, I’m going to be surprised no matter what happens.

        From the many comments I’ve read here, what I’m hoping to see is a combination of name reveal and the return of the bracelet. Both of those signify “real” in everybody’s interpretation, and that’s what we need right now – something real to hang our hats on.

    • atcdave says:

      I like a lot of this; it is hard to keep things simple, as convoluted as everything seems to be right now, so kudos for the effort.
      I really hadn’t thought about the killing situation, Chuck being forced into a situation where he is clearly expected to kill someone would certainly cause some sort of crisis for him. I agree the name reveal is bound to be very important, but I think Liz is right the bracelet will be important again too, maybe just not in 3.08. One thing I wonder about is how and when Chuck and Sarah will be able to have any such talk; virtually all of Chuck’s life is bugged. He would have to seek Sarah out at her apartment to get private time, and most scenarios I’ve seen, have Sarah doing the convincing, which implies Sarah doing the seeking out. If Chuck and Sarah are going to have an understanding it will have to be subtle (at least initially) to avoid detection by Shaw; unless they decide quickly they don’t care what Shaw thinks. I assume, once Chuck is actually considered a real agent (Final Exam?), he may be able to have some surveillance removed from his home.

      • joe says:

        Dave, I realize your point is about their being under surveillance, but this is a good place to bring up something that’s been on my mind.

        I don’t think that the importance of Chuck shooting someone (even to wound) can be overstated. In fact, I start to think that if Chuck pulls the trigger his character is broken. That is the one thing that really changes the essential Chuck, and is the one thing that can – should – permanently separate Chuck and Sarah.

      • atcdave says:

        Oh I agree, I think Chuck should never shoot anyone; unless say Sarah or Ellie’s life were in immendiate danger. I actually hope he always uses trickery and non-lethal force in deadly situations. I was just saying, as OD said, if Shaw is trying to manipulate Chuck into killing someone, it will get ugly; he might even PUNCH Shaw for that!

      • OldDarth says:

        I am seeing a Sarah apartment scene – tough given Chuck’s mindset after the punch – or better yet – a revisit of the pilot beach scene.

        Once again Sarah asks Chuck to trust her but this time she offers something in return.

      • amyabn says:

        Dave,
        I think they need to replay the 4 hours of Chuck and Morgan talking about what sandwich they would take to a desert island so Chuck can sneak out and meet up with Sarah at her apartment. Casey will realize it while listening to the audio and know something is up, and Shaw will be left to listen to a re-run of whether or not a Jessica Alba sandwich is allowed on the island. LOL!

      • Jason says:

        amy – that sort of humor (replay the sub talk) is missing this year, so much of the humor bounces off of CS into the support characters to play with, casey, morgan, ellie/awesome make a wonderful mixof spy, buymore, home comdey straightmen

      • atcdave says:

        Ditto Jason, That would be brilliant, funny. Dang I miss that this season.

      • Mike B says:

        Sarah might say something to the effect of” I’m not asking you to trust me I’m asking you the trust (real name revealed)”

      • atcdave says:

        Not to be overly sentimental Mike B; but that brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

    • lou federico says:

      I can see the only way Chuck kills somebody is if it is to Save Sarah.

    • Zsjaer says:

      Old darth i agree with your prevision completely.
      But this doesn t make much sense:
      “- Sarah can see that Chuck and Hannah are good together and so she has stepped aside with hopes that she may be able to connect with Shaw in the same way she did with Chuck”

      But i m not saying that you are wrong about this..its what the writers prolly want to transmit but in the screen it was so bad so forced so contrieve.

    • Zsjaer says:

      Old Darth pls post this in NBC`s forum also…
      if your prevision is correct maybe..just maybe the show can go in the right direction again..its this type of feelings and emotions that i was looking for to this Season!…I really hope you are right!

    • Zsjaer says:

      OH my …i was suspended for 3 days for posting your speculation in the NBC forum :)..specifically
      for this part :

      “here is where it is difficult not to indulge in some fanciful theorizing, so much for listening to my own advice! – though ChuckTV has posted 5 post Olympic spoilers one of which says there will be a feint and doublecross which gives a measure of confidence to doing so by building on what we have seen so far”

      Anyway I wasn´t able to pass your message through as it is very difficult to have a realistic and healthy discussion on that forum right now. Most people want to find an answer for those last ten minutes that will not change their previous opinions of the characters.More or less like Liz James´idea;nevertheless I think, as you do, that what we saw is what really happened and to assign complex storylines to that is not believable.

      • atcdave says:

        Sorry about the suspension Zsjaer. But their loss is our gain, and you know, we all feel your pain! Its how we started here in the first place.

      • Zsjaer says:

        Thx..well it was really my fault..i should not have posted that part..when i made the copy and paste i completely forgot about it. 🙂

  13. DN says:

    Liz James,
    IF you are correct in your analysis of that scene in “Mask” AND on target in your speculation, these producers and writers are brilliant. Yes, I’m saying that. That is a very complicated plot you’ve just described, a story line they have never done before, keeping things rather simple. I really like what you’ve proposed but I do not have confidence that’s what’s happening in the show. There’s no evidence to support your theory, no precedent has been set to show the writing would get that complicated. Simple base emotions (no intricacies) and original but simple plots are all I’ve seen in the show. But I do hope you’re right.

  14. amyabn says:

    I for one hope you are right, Liz. To me and my vantage point, it is the only think that makes sense. And I do think the writers have stepped up their game. The problem with that, imho, is that the casual viewer is not going to dig like we do. They take the episode at face value, and quite frankly, there has been very little fun in this season. Put the relationship aside and just look at the elements the casual viewer has been exposed to. If you just joined in for S3, you don’t understand the torturous dance C&S are going through, you don’t get the significance of things like the bracelet, etc. Many posters here have described other folks tuning out because they don’t see the show we fell in love with.
    But as far as I’m concerned, I’m liking the conspiracy/con theory more and more, because it makes a very convaluded sense to me.
    I do hope that Sarah chooses to reveal her name to Chuck and not have Shaw or anyone else do it. There has to be that nod to both Chuck and the audience that solidifies them. No, I’m not arguing for everything to be magically fixed or that they fall into bed, but something real that shows that the two of them are FINALLY on the same page.

    • lizjames says:

      Amy-
      I think there will be something real between Chuck and Sarah in 8. But I’m leaning to it being the bracelet and not the name because Adler took ownership of the bracelet in Episode 2. She tends to loop back on herself and there doesn’t seem to be to be any reason for her to bring the bracelet in during Episode 2 (it wasn’t her invention, after all, she didn’t write Santa Claus) unless she expects to pay it off in 8.

      That’s my humble opinion and best guess just now.

      As for the convoluted nature of the plot this year, well, they WARNED us it was going to be complicated and unreal on the train platform. As for the casual fans and new viewers, they don’t need to see EVERYTHING. The show can work on the surface for them and deep for the folks looking at the mythology. Shows do THAT all of the time.

      • atcdave says:

        You are right shows can work on different levels. But we’re in trouble with Chuck, because most casual viewers I’ve spoken with completely don’t like where things seem to be heading. There better be a payoff in 3.08, or it will be too late (it may be too late already, we’ll see).

      • amyabn says:

        I’ll be interested in tracking the ratings for 3.08 to see where they fall. The ratings have been dropping slightly, and I think you are right in that most casual viewers aren’t getting the good Chuckness that we are used to. I hope the bottoming out is close to an end and there is nothing but blue skies and improved ratings ahead!

      • Waverly says:

        The problem with trying to attract new viewers is that it’s difficult for a new person to catch on when each episode depends on the previous one.

        Imagine trying to get into “Lost”, ABC’s sci-fi series that is in its last year. I suspect that is nearly impossible without access to the episodes of the previous seasons.

        The same is true for Chuck (although less so, I suspect). Although I can understand not carrying episodes from seasons 1 & 2, NBC and Hulu really need to keep all of the episodes from this season available so a newcomer can catch up.

        As far as ratings are concerned, depending on the promotion, I bet there will be a slight uptick after the Olympics. And then it will tail off again. But I don’t know what its competition will be showing, which of course affects the ratings too.

      • atcdave says:

        Chuck has been more serialized this season, which I think is harder for a show with marginal ratings; as you said, new viewers are hesitant. I’m hoping for an uptick after the Olympics, if 3.08 is the turn-around episode for the season, it could give occasional/casual viewers a better feel for the show.

        So far, I haven’t seen any previews for Chuck, hopefully we will more in the last week. But I hope we get something better than Sarah and Shaw kissing. That could be a kiss of death.

      • Faith says:

        if I’m not mistaken the full season 1 of Chuck is available at thewb.com That’s where I make all my new Chuckies watch it. But here’s the funny thing they see like an episode but they like s3 so much better. Maybe I’m just out of touch with the general viewing public lol.

        But it’s ok coz so is JS. Didn’t he say, “angst, that’s what people want to see right?” Well Josh, 3.7? Worst nielsen rating of the season.

        Actually “like so much better” might be a stretch. They like it enough to watch it weekly now I guess but not enough to watch all of the previous seasons epis repeatedly like I do/did.

      • Waverly says:

        TheWB (Chuck) only shows half of season 1 episodes at a time. I don’t think they show any of season 2.

        But they can buy the DVDs. Or use iTunes, I think (I haven’t checked, since I don’t use iTunes).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, the SIMPLE answers are NOT the right answers this season. You’ve already seem more deception and more games being played in the first seven episodes than in the first two years combined.

    Liz is right. Sarah told us: The spy world in not real and complicated. So, this year, a complicated answer is the right one. Nothing at all is as it appears on the surface. Liz might not be right on all the specifics, but I am convinced that there is a lot of decption going on this year.

    And for those of you who think Shaw’s wife is dead, I have a few questions:
    1) How do we know he’s even married. Just cause he said so?
    2) Did he specifically say his wife was killed? I thought I heard him say he “lost” an agent.
    3) Couldn’t the return of the ring with the data discs at the end of First Class simply mean Shaw’s wife has defected to the Ring? I mean, that would explain his obsession even more. That may be the secret of Shaw: He’s on a mission to get his wie back.

    Forgive me, but if you listen to his dialogue in First Class carefully, Shaw switches between ‘wife” and “agent” a lot. And I never heard “die.” We could be dealing with more than one person here: The agent who got the material to Shaw and died and Shaw’s wife, who is now with the Ring.

    • OldDarth says:

      We will see – look forward to comparing notes after 3.08 airs.

    • joe says:

      Good point, Anon. And note that Shaw is quite adept at manipulating people while appearing to be up-front about his motives.

    • compromisedcover says:

      Since the Ring data discs was mentioned, I thought it will be used to upgrade Intersect 2.0 yet again. I got the impression in First Class that 2.0 still lacks crucial intel on important Ring agents or the higher-ups of the org because Chuck didn’t flash on Serena (the flight attendant). The same with Sidney Prince. But Chuck flashed on the disposable ones like Panzer and Vassily. Maybe they could use Manoosh to make Intersect glasses for the upgrade if they couldn’t find Orion. Just spitballin’ here, General Beckman.

      • Waverly says:

        It doesn’t make sense in the story line that some useful information wasn’t discovered in those disks and acted upon.

        Or, if necessary but unlikely, that there wasn’t any useful information, and it was a big waste of time and effort.

      • Stef62 says:

        One thing about the data discs. Why was it okay for Chuck to look in the case when Shaw was there, but he was warned off by Beckman when they 1st captured it?

      • joe says:

        All I can think of, Stef, is that the contents seemed to be very personal to Shaw. Maybe the “order” to keep hands off came from him through Beckman.

    • amyabn says:

      I’ll have to go back and look, but if he lost an agent, maybe that means she defected (switched to the Ring) while the wife references mean he thinks he can save her/get her out. And why didn’t TB get a look at the data on the Ring? Even if it isn’t as an Intersect upload, Team Bartowski should see all there is available on the Ring.

      Again, his character is all over the place. One minute he’s warning against getting involved with other spies, then next he takes off on some top secret mission. Next episode he’s back and hitting on Sarah. It may be fun speculating on where Shaw ran off to. It may not matter, but I don’t think much is being left to coincidence this season.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, I have long thought that Shaw used to be part of the Ring, and that he recently “defected”.

      But I never had any evidence for that, just suspicions.

    • JLR says:

      Nothing’s been “resolved” yet, so have can we so certain things aren’t so simple?

  16. Zsjaer says:

    Well Joe your speculation isn t bad i wouldn t mind that it was what`s going to happen..but unfortunately i think you are completely mistaken.
    I also think that Chuck saying in ep 8 that he doesn t want to be a spy (and punching Shaw cuz of that)it would be another assassination of Chuck`s character and of the all Season itself..Unfortunately i don t even think the bracelet will be used again by Ali Adler at least so soon.

  17. Waverly says:

    Wow. Step away for a few hours and get buried by all of the new ideas!

    I think Chuck really does want to be a spy. He has long known some of the costs that that life entails. He has been living more of those costs this season, learning the hard way. So it’s unlikely he would casually decide he doesn’t want to be a spy any more and confront Shaw. Particularly when Chuck knows that the only way he can sustainably be with Sarah is as a spy. Even though they haven’t figured out exactly how.

    Spot on about the bracelet.

    I’m still reluctant to believe that Chuck and Sarah are conspiring to con everyone else. It’s an attractive theory, but one that would require a rather large and ongoing deception of the audience.

    But it’s possible that the “con” is not a true conspiracy — Chuck and Sarah might be doing it without explicit coordination and planning. Perhaps each is already trying to figure out how to be together without being “together”, but they are doing so in their own ways, and those ways might not seem that smart from our perspective.

    In Sarah’s case, she’s willing to deny what she wants to let Chuck have what she thinks he wants. She’s done that before, with both Lou and Jill. This time is different, though, in that she knows the depth of Chuck’s feelings. So she can remain hopeful that Hannah is just a temporary fling that Chuck has to go through. Maybe she even knows that Chuck knows that he can’t have a real long-term relationship with someone that doesn’t know and acknowledge that he’s a spy. (And that applies to everyone, not just girl friends.)

    In the mean time, Sarah needs to make the best of the situation she’s in. Presumably her relationship with Casey hasn’t changed, nor with General Beckman. With Shaw (not “Daniel”?), it’s tricky. He’s the boss, she knows that he knows he made a mistake falling in love with a spy, but he’s coming on to her anyway. So she knows something isn’t right, and the best way to find out is to let the relationship develop. She really doesn’t want to do it, particularly with respect to Chuck, but she doesn’t know what else to do.

    All of this doesn’t require the explicit cooperation of Chuck.

    In Chuck’s case, although he’s still waiting for her to say the three words, he now again believes she still cares for him. The problem is that neither of them has figured out how to commit to each other in a way that will work for both of them in the long term. So he is seduced by the old prospect of a having real girl friend, especially one that seems so compatible. But at the same time he is torn by the realization that such a relationship is not going to last. And of course he’d rather be with Sarah anyway. He’s OK with Sarah-Shaw, because he’s done that before, with both Bryce and Cole. But again it’s different this time, because he’s a real spy now, and because he knows that Sarah really does care for him.

    • Michael says:

      I think you can back up much of your theory about what Sarah’s doing with what we’ve been shown on screen. Some people have mentioned the “looking right” tell. I’d add in a couple of things: re-watch the scene at the end where Shaw and Sarah are sitting at the table. Sarah’s chewing a stir stick, Shaw looks at her, then at the stick, then back to his work. Sarah looks at him, then pulls the stick out. To my mind, she’s got the same look in her eyes as she did when she talked to Lou at the Wienerlicious in S1 – not exactly interested as much as interested in emptying a clip.

      Moving forward to a few beats after Casey leaves: Shaw gets up and moves towards Sarah. Watch her right arm – it looks very much like one of those discreet movements to speak into her watch.

      Some time ago some one (Liz, I think) brought up the Castle warnings – not only do they not go blank, the high def view of the screens shows they read “prepare for perpetrator threat”. Considering that Casey’s wearing a “Klemmer” jacket at the opening, it’s hard to believe that details like that are incidental.

  18. Lucian says:

    The conspiracy theory does plug a bunch of inconsistencies we saw in Mask. I am not convinced the writers are as clever as Liz is. I’ve been hoping for better since Pink Slip, and so far, they haven’t delivered. They are overdue.

    • atcdave says:

      That may be the Achilles’ Heel of the conspiracy theory! The professional writers may not be half as clever, or expect their audience to be half as clever, as Liz!

  19. kg says:

    It’s not too late Dave. 3-8 will be huge, we all agree there, and I think it will be a good one to get our emotions and the show in a better direction.

    However, you cannot fairly or realistically expect the “payoff” to occur in 3-8. You can’t expect everything to be perfect in one episode, to have every loose end tied.

    • joe says:

      You’re right about that, kg. Ever since The Colonel TPTB have been tying up some loose ends even as they’re creating new complexities. A payoff will, of necessity, have to come in parts over a period of time.

    • atcdave says:

      Like Joe said, I’ve never expected one episode to fix everything. At this point its a matter of digging out of a very deep hole. If we see Chuck and Sarah are working together, for the eventual purpose of being together, I will be a very happy viewer. By payoff, I only meant reason to hope. I don’t see major issues being resolved until 3.13.

      • herder says:

        I see Fake Name as being the end of the downer aspects of the season, and Chuck making a start of repairing the things that he has broken. Things like his relationships with Morgan, Ellie and Awesome. Also the start of his renewed trust in Sarah. I really don’t expect much if any payoff in this episode, but rather a start in the return of Chuck of old.

  20. odysszeuss says:

    It’s heard for me to get the clue. How does the Real Name revieling fit together with the Story that is told. We have an “established” move on situation. Cuck and sarah don’t share intimiat moments. They Love each other, ok. But there are 100 Reasons why the can not to be together, ok. Sarah is sharing her intimate privacy whith chuck because he is down and she wants him to smile? He is friethend upset beeing a spy or anyhow? Menawhile i can not belive that. Somthing big must happen. Sarah put on her Charm braclet as Cole was captured and she told Chuck that they have to move in together and can not break up (in 2×15 42:13/42:33). This time her real name will be revealted and we know from Carina (1×04: a spy don’t want u to know anything real about you/your past) that this is the ultimate proof of trust. Something more or less big will happen. I’am not a friend of the con-theory’s. I think the hitman/killing problem (Chuck’s worst szenario of beeing a spy) will force an intensive spyrelated diskussion between chuck and sarah. This talk will apear in something emotionally connected with Sarahs past. Or did anybody else has an other plausible constellation??? They van not meet by the way in the Buymore and sarah talks to chuck: and chuck, by the way, my real name is….” SOMETHING BIG MUST HAPPEN! Chuck lost a real “girlfrind” (Lou) and a Spy “girlfriend” (Jill) so it would propbaly not depand there on. Sarah was in a realtionship with Bryce and in an small coonection withe Cole. Her Name Revealing can not depend on Show nor Hannah. Thats all happend in the past and we get only Lisa. Somthing new must happen…

    • joe says:

      Odysszeuss, the importance of both the name reveal and the bracelet are in the idea that they signify the truth and something that is real. Sarah keeps saying that nothing is real in the spy world. Carina said the same thing to Chuck. Every time we can identify what is real, we have something valuable!

      And Sarah’s real name has a second significance. Remember when she was protesting to Gen. Beckman in Cougars about contacting her old high school classmates? “That’s me!” she said. It was too real for her to deal with comfortably. It was hard for her to even tell Chuck her middle name. This kind of reveal is a major sign of her trust.

      And if she can do that comfortably for Chuck, their relationship is on a much deeper level than we’ve been shown up to now.

      • herder says:

        My problem is that both these reveals would deal with Sarah’s feelings and commitment going forward. I think the Fake Name is about reassuring Chuck that the past has been real and not manipulation

  21. Lucian says:

    One thing is clear – this debate has taken on epic proportions! (which is a lot of fun). Both sides have valid, well-reasoned arguments; but, come the end of 3.8, one will be right, and one, not so much……

  22. Zsjaer says:

    I m certain the Bracelet will not be used By Ali Adler in the next episode…its to soon for that. My feelings usually are right.
    Unfortunately, cuz i have a baaaddddd feeling about this season since the first episode…i hope OD is correct and the show can go back to the right track

    • Jason says:

      I think the bracelet will come out in the ILU moment, if we are lucky enough to get a serious conversation in 3.8, I don’t think it will be an ILU moment, more about trust, about choices, about moving forward as partners to figure out the spy challenges, this would be the ‘con’ retcon essentially real time in 3.8 “one mission at a time” might even get used, would be great if chuck said it to sarah? This could set up a great, triangle that would be funny, shaw likes sarah, sarah likes chuck, and chuck wants to be ‘professional’ in spite of his obvious feelings for sarah, geez, wouldn’t that be fun????

  23. Yeefiver says:

    Question to all those who believe Shaw is really a Ring spy:
    Why hasn’t Chuck been captured by the Ring by now?
    -In the “Ring” we know the Ring wanted the Intersect
    -In “Operation Awesome” we know Shaw had been briefed by Beckman that Chuck is the Intersect
    -In “The Nacho Sampler” we know the Ring had contracted Manoosh to build a new Intersect. So the Ring is still very much interested in acquiring the Intersect.
    So if Shaw is a Ring agent, why hasn’t the Ring invaded Castle and destroyed Team Bartowski and captured the Intersect by now?

    • Faith says:

      Capture him and do what? They would be better off turning him…or in Chuck’s case making him believe he’s fighting for good when it’s really evil. The best way to do that is to separate him from those closest to him and in the know (Casey and Sarah). Didn’t Bryce believe he was doing something good by stealing the intersect only to find out later that he was committing treason? “It’s too powerful, they’re gonna use it against us, Chuck” – Bryce Larkin.

      Also another possibility is that Shaw is angling for Chuck to fail.

      • Who Dat says:

        ok so the question was asked why would the ring not enter into the dungeon id Shaw ia a spy. Well I had to admit I wasnt sure, but if they wanted to isolate then turn Chuck, by using his family once Sarah is out of the way and Casey who is out of the picture later, then the ring has them right where they want him. If Shaw is a member of the ring then they would no the only way they can use the intersect is if Chuck voluntarily gives it up.

      • OldDarth says:

        If the Ring has an end game that involves manipulating Chuck into doing something and Shaw is a Ring agent that could explain why they are not using a direct approach.

        The simpler, and IMHO, more likely scenario – Shaw is out for revenge for his wife’s death, blames the Ring, and will use anyone or anything to do carry out his vendetta. Shaw sees Chuck and the Intersect as the best tool to achieve it.

      • joe says:

        We’re way into speculation here, OD. But tell me. If Shaw is seeking revenge, has he gone around the bend?

        There have been moments, but only moments, when his actions have seemed more maniacal than resolute, and more out of compulsion than reasoned. In the end they’ve come out in Chuck’s favor. So far.

        Do you think that ultimately he’s not even rational?

      • Faith says:

        Because I’m the kind of person that likes to throw a wrench in my OWN theories lol…well I tend to see both sides of every story, freakin curse…

        That wouldn’t work either because doesn’t Chuck flash on ring agents? Making him believe he’s doing good by eliminating the good guys wouldn’t work coz their files would say “good guy”

        Still think Shaw is evil though.

      • OldDarth says:

        Joe whether Shaw is rational or not will only be revealed the closer he gets to his goal.

        Spies are adept at compartmentalizing their feelings etc so it will be very difficult to determine.

      • herder says:

        My take has been that Shaw isn’t necessarily evil, but rather a fanatic, one who is willing to sacrifice others inorder to achieve his goal. I think we will find that he is willing to sacrifice, the whole team Bartowski and especially Chuck to achieve his goal.

        I wouldn’t be suprised to learn that Eve Shaw is still alive and at a critical time he is willing to give up Sarah to get her back, then messes it up and gets both of them captured. This opens the door for Chuck to save the day in his own unique way without Shaw riding him to do things the “spy” way.

  24. Faith says:

    Sorry OD, nothing in Chuck is ever that simple. If I’m to believe that Sarah is not on the con from the get go and she is attempting to create something real with Shaw, then I have to believe she has lost her mind.

    Just lost it.

    For starters she’s now exhibiting schizophrenic looks when he’s not looking 😉 And for another, another personality has taken over her body because she fell for him a might too fast. She didn’t even fall for Chuck that fast. And this is Chuck we’re talking about.

    On Chuck’s part…I can sort of buy him not being on the con, although admittedly I have questions either way on that topic. I’m not sure Chuck is trained enough or changed enough to actually pull something like that off, but here’s the thing…they proved to us Chuck has changed and he has changed in not so savory ways. Remember that oh so easy lie to Ellie? The best the old Chuck could come up with is “Sarah has a spastic colon” now he’s saying things like “I wanted it to be a surprise, a honeymoon for you guys in Paris!” He’s burning agents, he’s drinking Jack Daniels…

    But perhaps the biggest roadblock to me not believing everything is as it seems is the cavalier attitude that both Sarah and Casey exhibit towards his safety and his future. Wasn’t it Shaw himself that said, “my guys are never alone”? Now all of a sudden Chuck’s training wheels are off and he’s now gonna be alone? This illogical fallacy is what stumps me the most. Casey thinks Chuck’s a moron, he knows Chuck can do and will get out of jams but he continues to think Chuck’s a moron and will need him. Sarah? Well Sarah’s biggest concern from Pink Slip on was the danger to him and what spy life entails. We forget that she just saw Bryce die not that long ago, you don’t think she continues to have fears that the same will happen to Chuck? And instead of that fear, she now has chosen to move on and fall for Shaw? Impossible 🙂

    Ok so you take away all that. You just take the writing as a product. That was one of the shoddiest writing I have ever seen in my life (if it’s true and at face value). Why? Because it’s missing certain key components, mainly exposition. It’s missing a key component in working towards the last 10 minutes; it’s missing the explanation for the sudden and surprising change in that last 10 minutes. What happened between the jealousy scene and the goodbye scene that made that possible? I’ll go one further, what happened in the poisoned scene (before Chuck rushes off to save them) and the last 10 minutes that made that same last 10 minutes plausible? If it’s a matter of being saved, it’s a weak plot device because we all know Chuck has saved Sarah plenty of times. If it’s a matter of moving on, then the jealousy and the longing close ups shouldn’t have been introduced. No, something had to have happened between these two scenes—should have happened between these two scenes (exposition) to make it logical and to make it work as a plot. It’s far too convoluted and it’s not explained well enough. Writers, these writers would know better imo.

    • OldDarth says:

      I agree the turn around was too quick but that is a writing issue.

    • Zsjaer says:

      “Sorry OD, nothing in Chuck is ever that simple. If I’m to believe that Sarah is not on the con from the get go and she is attempting to create something real with Shaw, then I have to believe she has lost her mind.”

      Sorry Faith but OG is probably right..you have to remember this Season is originally 13 episodes…And i know and agree that we fans would like to see some more things to justify those incredible last 10 minutes of vs the mask..but OD is right this is about a story the writers want to tell us..unfortunately in the screen is not working.,..the Mask was a prove of that..most of the Season is forced..contrieved…made us loose the empathy towards Charah almost…thats why by reading OD prevision to the next episode i think the show can go to the right track again..they wanted to present us the Shaw and Hannah thing..now it´s done ..maybe from now on the storyline could flow better.
      Yeah the simplest explantion is the right one in this case..Old Darth is right.
      I hope…if he is not..then this show is really lost

    • Mike B says:

      I have to agree with OD. It was just a poorly written episode. Case in point when Chuck says to Sarah “how do you think I feel the guy carried you on his back” How does he know that, he wasn’t there, he didn’t see it. It was a poorly written episode that just pushed along the story line.

  25. Merve says:

    While I think that the “Chuck and Sarah are colluding” theory has some merit, I still find it incredibly difficult to believe.

    I think it’s perfectly plausible that Sarah is playing Shaw, to some degree, and I’m pretty sure that Shaw is playing Sarah. This would be consistent with what he has said about “losing” his wife. (However, if by “losing,” he means that she was turned, then I can believe that he’s actually trying to pursue something with Sarah.)

    Where the con theory loses me is on the Chuck/Hannah side of things. I just don’t think that it’s in Chuck’s nature to pursue a fake relationship just for information. He was conflicted about it in “Nacho Sampler” and I don’t think that he’d be okay with it now. I don’t want to speculate about Hannah’s involvement in all of this because she could really be anything. But I will say that I don’t think that she has any link to Shaw because nothing has led me to believe that she does, and Hannah doesn’t seem aware enough of the spy world.

    The reason I don’t think that Chuck and Sarah would collude is that Chuck and Sarah aren’t in a “let’s plot together” phase of their relationship at the end of “Nacho Sampler.” Remember, Chuck is drinking ALONE at the end of the episode. Sarah is too hurt and horrified even to consider going over there to comfort him. Also, plotting with someone requires a certain level of trust. Chuck realizes that at the beginning of his relationship with Sarah, he was just another mark, and knowing this, I think that it would be difficult for him to trust Sarah enough to plot with her.

    From a purely subjective standpoint, I also just don’t like the collusion theory. I know that it would provide a shocking twist, but it would feel strange and dishonest to me. I loved the twist at the end of “Lethal Weapon” and it worked for me because Chuck had always shown a strong desire to get the Intersect out of his head. The twist at the end of “the Ring” worked for me because of Bryce and Stephen’s final conversation. I like twists when they’re set up well, and make sense in the context of what has happened previously, but still manage to shock me. To put it bluntly, I prefer “HOLY CRAP!” to “WTF?” A reveal of collusion between Chuck and Sarah has nothing more to back it up than circumstantial evidence (i.e. the smiles between Chuck and Sarah, the “bickering” potentially being fake, etc.) I like to apply Occam’s Razor to situations such as these, and I find that all these actions are more easily explained if things are just what they seem. To me, it would be even worse than the “OMG Bryce is still alive” reveal at the end of “Hard Salami,” which I did not enjoy. The shock of that reveal rested on the assumption that Bryce was dead, and prior to that, the audience was given no reason to believe otherwise. Even a throwaway line like Casey saying, “Agent BlahBlah dragged away his body,” would have provided at least some backing to the revelation. (That being said, I’m glad that Bryce actually turned out to be alive because it opened up a whole bunch of cool plot points. However, that’s not the matter at hand.)

    So while I think that the con theory is interesting and intriguing, I don’t buy it. It just doesn’t fit for me. But I have a tendency to be wrong about these things, so we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks.

    • herder says:

      Merve, I think my ideas about this are very similar to yours. I suspect that what we were presented with at the end of the Mask is very much where the two characters are, Chuck is moving on and Sarah is letting him by expressing an interest in Shaw that allows him to do it without feeling guilty. I don’t think it was well written about why they are doing that and because of that you get a lot of speculation.

  26. Stef62 says:

    In a way they’ve rolled things back to S1 levels between them. So I’m viewing the next couple of ep’s as this years ‘Truth’ and ‘Nemesis’, with Morgan seeing C/S in action the way Chuck saw S/B in ‘Nemesis’

  27. Stef62 says:

    Sorry, I meant ‘Hard Salami’, not ‘Truth’

  28. Jason says:

    sure plan to get sarah and chuck together, carina, probably 10 seconds of carina kissing chuck and 4minutes and 50 seconds of Carina and chuck getting a black eye or two or three. Oh geez, isn’t that what shaw is doing? Just a thought?

    • Faith says:

      lol I like Carina. I can’t stand Shaw so there’s the diff.

      • Jason says:

        yea – me too about carina and shaw – sad as this sounds, the more the group picks this apart, the more i see that chuck has not made a single visible romantic move toward sarah now in 3 episodes, while he has been all over hannah, that really is not being such a ‘nice guy’ toward the woman you love – sarah is not reacting all that different than many real women would react at some point, maybe that is all there is? My goodness, 99.999% of the male population would not say no to a 2 year crush asking them to run away with them, 99.998% would say yes to sarah, if they had met her at mcdonalds and she asked them to runaway in the checkout line. Our boy has got to ‘man up’ and soon, in this case his being one in a million is not so smart?

      • Stef62 says:

        As the lady herself has said, he’s not a normal guy

      • Faith says:

        Irony! Zing! lol

        But who knows maybe Sarah is right, “Chuck is like a duck, sometimes it might just seem like he’s gliding a long but underneath the surface he’s pedaling like crazy!”

      • Lucian says:

        Jason – the last time he made a romantic move he was beaten over the head with a stick. I don’t know about you, but that would kind of put a damper on my interest in pursuing romance.

  29. herder says:

    I don’t know, it seems to me that any reveal that Sarah makes to Chuck of her past has to be directed at reassuring him that what happened over the past two and a half years was real and that he wasn’t and isn’t being played or manipulated by her. Her real name would be a symbol of her trust in him but telling him now wouldn’t confirm that what had happened in the past was real and not manipulation, it would be more of a symbol of trust going forward. I think more likely the rest of the answer to why her thinking he was sweet, and why that made things more difficult that she started to say in Natcho Sampler would fit the bill more.

    I am a bit suspicious about the seequence of the episodes, Natcho Sampler that dealt with the ways of manipulating an asset is followed by both Chuck and Sarah moving to new relationships in the Mask. Maybe Sarah needs to realize that Chuck’s doubts brought to the surface because of Manoush are the reason that he was so willing to accept Sarah’s interst in Shaw and also willing to move on himself.

    Trust has always been one of the big issues in the show, Chuck’s trust in Sarah and how she feels about him were damaged by seeing the manipulation of an asset. I don’t see how revealing her name now reinforces the idea that she wasn’t manipulating him all along. The same goes for the charm bracelet, Sarah wearing it would be an indication of how she feels going forward, not an indication of how she felt in the past. Sarah has always demanded trust on faith, maybe now she has to provide proof to regain that trust that she once enjoyed from Chuck.

    • atcdave says:

      I think on the surface, the bracelet seems to have greater value, because of what was said at the time. But depending on what a name reveal causes Chuck to flash on, and we know Sarah has some knowledge of what’s in the intersect, the name may be the bigger deal. Either way, the writers have done such massive damage to the characters, they have their work cut out for them.

  30. JC says:

    I still believe that some sort of con is going on but I keep flip flopping on whether Chuck is involved. I see 3.08 as the episode where everything comes crashing down personally and professionally. I keep thinking about the “this is dangerous line” Sarah said. Perhaps her and Shaw are playing a game, Sarah to protect Chuck and Shaw for his own end game. But she knows if Chuck finds out that could be his breaking point. The one thing through everything has been he could always trust her. Whatever he confronts Shaw over whether its over his mission, Hannah, Sarah or a combo of all three I think his trust in her will be broken. Either he comes to the conclusion himself that they played or Shaw lets it “slip”. Spies don’t trust people and in Shaw’s eyes that could be the final step into making Chuck one.

    I’m only throwing this out there because the writers have said we’ll see a darker Chuck and even though 3.07 left a bad taste in my mouth. I really wouldn’t call it dark.

  31. Big Kev says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read the ideas and eloquence on this blog…..but I’m going to lower the tone now, just for a sentence or two.

    Can I just say that regardless of how it plays out (and with aplogies to Father Rick), I’m just seriously looking forward to seeing Shaw get walloped?? If they manage to throw in the return of the charm bracelet, then all would be well in the Chuck universe from where I’m standing.

    OK. Rant over. I’m off to ruminate on what I’ve read and leave the rest of you to restore the debate to a higher plane!

    • joe says:

      Sorry, Kev. You failed in your mission. You’ve left the eloquence and level of debate higher than ever.

      From where I stand it looks like *everybody* wants to see Chuck wallop Shaw. (No need to ask what the guy with the square jaw did to deserve that – we know what he did).

      Has Chuck been so reserved for two seasons that we *want* to see him express himself – physically? Apparently so. We want to see beta-male Chuck go gorilla on any alpha-male’s butt, it seems, and Shaw fills the bill nicely. It’s precisely what he didn’t do when Cole Barker was in town.

      Yet another instance of Chuck getting a do-over from season 1 and season 2 scenes?

    • Anonymous says:

      I gave up wondering why he pounds Shaw weeks ago. I’ll kindly take the Ernie approach, watch with delight and figure out why later.

      I’m just proud he finally mans up in some fashion. He is apparently incapable of or afraid to with Sarah.

      The Name Reveal and/or return of the bracelet is simply the whip cream and cherry on top of hot fudge sundae.

      • KG says:

        sorry. No cowardly anons on this site. Was at work and forget the computer didn’t have me logged in.

      • joe says:

        I’ll kindly take the Ernie approach, watch with delight and figure out why later.

        Good plan, KG!

      • Big Kev says:

        And it will resonate with Sarah – a woman of few words for whom actions are everything. I guess we’ll find out if she spoke some Sarah truth in “Beefcake” – “sometimes a woman just wants a man who acts”.
        Can’t wait!

      • Lucian says:

        The punch is one of the strong reasons (IMO) that Hannah may be a Shaw plant (but I would still put my money on her being an innocent). I would love for Chuck to say, after the punch, “in case you were wondering, that wasn’t the intersect”. It’s time for the boy to be a man.

  32. weaselone says:

    Haven’t had time to read through the 150 responses, but I’m going to say that this scenario has legs in my humble opinion. I’m not certain about how much of the layers upon layers of deceit, intrigue and seduction I buy into, but I definitely believe the whole “name”, punch and bracelet issues could play out as you’ve indicated.

  33. JC says:

    Just saw this on MSN.

    Episode 3.09
    When Chuck can’t flash, he gets left behind while Shaw, Casey and Sarah go on a mission, Chuck gets into a sticky situation back at the base.

    I know you can’t take these at face value but its looking more likely that EP 3.08 is going to be the dark episode of the season.

    • herder says:

      I can see Shaw, Casey and Sarah being a dysfunctional team, Casey sniping at Shaw “nice job of breaking the intersect moron”. Plenty of scope for funny scenes and I bet this is where Casey and Shaw end out in opposition to each other as I bet he would take Chuck’s side in any arguement with Shaw.

      • Big Kev says:

        And if Chuck’s not on a mission, there’s the device that leaves room for his showdown with Morgan – vs the Beard.

      • KG says:

        Casey reminds me of the older brother who delights in mocking and teasing the younger brother, in this case Chuck, but is angered and bothered when someone else tries the same.

        Casey has the “he’s my little brother not yours mentality, so it’s OK for me, but not for you.” He becomes protective like Sarah, but in a different fashion.

      • ND2488 says:

        I had a thought that is way out in left field, but I thought it might be worth putting out there.

        What if Chuck’s punch is instigated by being “benched” and not by being taunted about missing his opportunity with Sarah? I might have missed something, but do we know that Shaw’s comment about “blowing it” was definitively about Sarah? Might it be that he chocked and could not flash when he had to, thus blowing the mission? He had his chance at completeing the mission but he failed and now he is benched.

        Chuck’s frustration over S/S surely plays a role in the punch, but it might not be the immediate trigger. If all of his friendships and family are going down the tubes because of his choice to be a spy, I could see him punching Shaw for calling him a failure at being one.

        If Sarah takes Shaw’s side, I could see Chuck losing trust in her. Perhaps that is why she does the name reveal and/or starts wearing the bracelet.

        I don’t think this scenario precludes the idea that Chuck and Sarah are working angles on Shaw and Hanna.

      • ND2488 says:

        scratch my last post. The benching happens in e.9 not e.8. I shouldn’t have posted before I had my coffee.

    • SWnerd says:

      Well if he can’t flash I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that he and Sarah aren’t exactly on good ground after 3.08. Maybe this is the kryptonite issue. Or it could be about his relationship with Morgan. Unfortunately I will miss that episode, but I’ll be in Vegas so I’m not too broken up about it.

      • Jason says:

        did any of you notice josh schwartz’s last twitter, it made a reference to his fav OC episode on you tube, not an OC expert, but seemed to have a broken kid (seth) with a love lost, who when talking to his ex’s LI, got a ‘coded’ message, that immediately cheered him up and allowed him to hatch a recovery plan – I am afraid that is the sort of garbage we are stuck with in chuck – I doubt it is coincidence – leaves me with shaw communicating to chuck how sarah feels, after chuck has to witness all kinds of SS moments bringing him lower and lower, sounds like a great idea, NOT

      • Stef62 says:

        Any darker, and we’re going to have to wear head lamps to see the story unfold.

        Plus ep10 will be no better mood wise, as that’ll be the ep Sasey gets canned from the team…Oh joy

      • Stef62 says:

        *Casey* even

      • KG says:

        SWnerd

        Come by Planet Hollywood. I work the graveyard shift in the pit 4 am to noon.

        KG

      • SWnerd says:

        KG, I’m sure we’ll be hoping around everywhere. At least that’s the plan. However, not sure I can stay up til 4 am. I’m kinda a wimp like that. But I’ll try.

  34. herder says:

    If, as it seems likely that the writers are going to drag the whole is Sarah romantically involved with Shaw out for a number of episodes I have one request. Could they play Joe Jackson’s “Is she really going out with him”. An extreemly witty song with lines like “they say that looks don’t count for much or so there goes your proof” and “if my eyes don’t deceive me there’s something going on around here”.

    Or for the really angry and bitter; Ben Folds Five’s “Give me my tshirt back”.

    • joe says:

      See the pretty women walking with gorillas down my street.

      Oh, I know the song well, herder.

    • atcdave says:

      I see demos going well below 2.2 if they really drag it out without giving us a clue. Its one thing if we learn Sarah is working an angle, and Chuck just has to cool his heals while things play out; but I’m really not interested in watching a train wreck.

      • herder says:

        I can see a situation where Sarah, Casey and Shaw are a terrible team in the Beard while Chuck on his own at the castle saves the day. Then in the Tic Tac, Sarah Casey and Chuck are a great team without Shaw’s interference, the comparisons would be obvious. This Could help resolve the work issue. But I do think they are going to draw out the ambiguity about the Sarah/Shaw situation.

  35. Mike B says:

    Oh boy! This is becoming a clear case of TPTB smuggly thinking they know what the audience wants to see more then the audience does.

    • atcdave says:

      It goes without saying, this is the worst story planning I have ever seen on a show. I still remember last April how happy and excited the NBC forums were, now everyone is frustrated and taking shots at each other and TPTB. I’ve stopped telling people about the show and recently refused to re-watch a few episodes with a co-worker who had missed some; I know I’m not the only one who’s grumpy. This is how shows die before their time, ill-conceived story lines that alienate significant portions of their fan base.

      • SWnerd says:

        Yeah I haven’t been able to re-watch the last 3 episodes either. I planned to then I just couldn’t make myself do it. I don’t want to get frustrated and depressed again.

      • atcdave says:

        Its funny, a year ago I was watching an episode or two every day. Most of this season I’ve only watched episodes once. Even the older episodes seem tainted now, I don’t really watch them anymore either.

      • Mike B says:

        What I find very frustrating is, it’s not like they didn’t get any feedback. In this day and age of message boards and podcasts you have direct access to your fan base.
        I’m not suggesting “entitlement”, but at least have a clue of what the fans love about the show. This shows total indifference.

      • Jason says:

        For me, CS’s current state toward one another refelcts my state toward TPTB. I love the show they created, and the mood their show left me in S1/S2. In S3, TPTB have created doubt in my mind, that they will deliver that same show, that I had come to trust from them S1/S2.

        Isn’t that more or less where chuck and sarah are right now, doubting if what they felt was real? For them, we have a pretty good idea, thru a stroke of the pen, all will be right 5 minutes to go in the 13th episode. For me, I am not looking for 5 ‘mythical’ epic minutes at the end at the expense of 12 hours and 55 minutes of angst. I need a warm CS moment at 3.8’s end, at the end of most upcoming episodes, or I will probably never let the show ‘hook’ me quite the same as it did S1 / S2. By the way, that’s not a threat, it is something I prefer not even happen, it is just the way I’m starting to feel.

      • atcdave says:

        Jason, I really feel the same way. I can’t say with certainty how I’ll respond to various twists and turns; but so far, the only thing epic about this season has been my disappointment. If they wait until the end of 3.13 for Chuck and Sarah to get their act together, I’m sure I’ll ever like/respect these characters again. Not only that, JS inability to tell a fun story leaves me seriously concerned about a S4. Do I even want to watch? As I said, we’ll have to see exactly how things go, but I’m not currently inclined to give them much trust.

  36. JC says:

    I’m still leaning towards Chuck losing his ability to flash is about losing his trust in Sarah and not so much about S/S relationship. Of course it could be clever wording and Chuck is acting like he can’t flash for whatever reason.

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