To Kill or Not to Kill: That is the Question

A lot of speculation has gone on in other blog discussions while we are on a forced Chuck hiatus about what the future holds for our hero and his transformation into a spy.  A lot of the conversation revolves around whether or not Chuck will kill someone this season.  Or to be more specific (since he whipped out The Morgan tm successfully, twice) will Chuck shoot someone with something other than a tranq gun?  I know this is a rather dark topic, but I wanted to take the opportunity to explore this topic with you as we wait for the conclusion of the Olympics.

Chuck has never been fond of guns, dead bodies or killing.  Let’s be honest:  it freaks him out.  Without rehashing all of the past illustrations of his aversion, let’s look at what possible situation(s) would force Chuck to violate his moral code and shoot someone.

I don’t think it is as far fetched as some will argue.  He has inadvertently killed using The Morgan tm twice, and was complicit in the use of the Fulcrum Intersect on crazy cougar lady and company to save Sarah, which left some agents dead, other in a vegetative state.  What would it take to employ a gun?  Would he do it to save a teammate, most likely Sarah?  Would he do it to protect his family?

I think there is a good possibility he will shoot someone this season.   I also think we will see Chuck use every ounce of Chuckness (I know, I couldn’t come up with anything better) to avoid it until there is no other choice.  Only then will the choice be deemed acceptable.

Then he will understand Sarah and her choices better.  I have always maintained that Sarah uses violence as a last resort.  Her default settings are intellect, assets (hers 😉 ), then violence.  You never see her relish the kill like you do with Casey and that makes her far more human to me in that dimension.  I think Chuck will understand the Mauser shooting and the toll the spy life has/is taking on Sarah.  Now please understand:  I’m not saying either Chuck or Sarah like it.  I just think that should it happen, it could be a way to bring them closer, more as equals and partners.

I want to know what you think about the odds, situations, and ramifications if Chuck is put in the position to have to pull a real trigger.



About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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118 Responses to To Kill or Not to Kill: That is the Question

  1. OldDarth says:

    “I’m not saying either Chuck or Sarah like it. I just think that should it happen, it could be a way to bring them closer, more as equals and partners.”

    IMHO, it will happen and this is the reason plus as a couple.

    • amyabn says:

      OD, Do you think we will lose the Chuck we love or do you think he will come through it ok?

      • Jason says:

        not an expert like OD, but I think both CS will be viewed extraoridinarily heroic and loved by the end, within the majority of our definitions of ‘ok’, not lost by any stretch of the imagination. I am worried about the lack of fun in the journy taken to get him there however?

      • OldDarth says:

        What we are seeing now is Chuck swinging wildly to one side as he overcompensates trying to become a spy. He has built of a house of lies with his friends and it will soon come tumbling down. Expect him and Morgan to clash in 3.08 and 3.09 before they reconnect.

        He and Sarah will also reconnect starting in 3.08.

        By season’s end ie 3.13 Chuck should find a comfortable balance point between the two worlds.

        We will end up with a better all around Chuck. 😀

      • Faith says:

        OD I think you’re more romantic (shipper? lol) than even you think. Because to me it seems like there’s only one person that can help him find that balance and in doing so bring them closer together: Sarah. 🙂

      • Faith says:

        also why does your smiley have a mustache? Weird lol.

      • OldDarth says:

        Faith – I am an unabashed romantic and a realist to boot. There is indeed only 1 person for Chuck to help keep that balance.

        And the same applies to Sarah.

        How romantic is that? 😀

      • Faith says:

        LOL very.

    • Lucian says:

      I’ve never liked the fact that Chuck doesn’t want to kill anyone, but doesn’t mind if Sarah does it for him (i.e, First Date). It is clear from Nacho Sampler that he understands he can no longer expect her to do his dirty work. Its time for him to man up if he really wants to be a spy.

  2. Waverly says:

    The writers love putting Chuck into increasingly “impossible” situations. That’s part of his growth — trying to make the least bad choice under a great deal of stress.

    So of course he’ll pull the trigger.

    Despite the big to-do that will be made of it, I don’t think this will really change Chuck at all. He’s been involved in increasingly serious situations since the very first episode. The only issue is the immediacy that comes with “pulling the trigger”, and that is something he’s been getting used to as well.

    After all, how many people were killed in vs the Ring? But there never was any mention of the repercussions and presumed cover-up.

    • Jason says:

      i think of when he first met cole, a helicopter attacked, and sarah stood up and shot at it to protect chuck, chuck unhandcuffed cole, who saved sarah’s life, I simply think if chuck 3.7 was in that spot, he would not hesitate to stand up besdie sarah and shoot. On the other hand, if he were given a kill order on casey, nope, no way, not now, not ever.

  3. BDP says:

    I’ve been waiting for it to happen from lethal weapon onwards.. And i was half right with “The Morgan”… even though he did and save the second guy…

    And i honest to god think it will completely destroy him inside… even with Sarah’s help… and even if it was to protect someone …hell maybe everyone he loved

    But then again this may segue to him needed to see a psychiatrist… Isn’t that the one with the Doc coming on board -Vs the tooth isn’t it?

    I would also see this as a deterrent for Chuck and Sarah getting together… more angsty issue’s here and there and so forth… I wouldn’t trust the “By ep 13 we will have our payoff” theory… there’s always more barriers to throw in there way even if we all hate them…

    But that’s me, the eternal pessimist… I guess that’s why I like Chuck so much… its always seemed like a bright optimistic show.

    • joe says:

      But then again this may segue to him needed to see a psychiatrist… Isn’t that the one with the Doc coming on board -Vs the tooth isn’t it?

      This may be an excellent catch-in-advance. BDP.

  4. atcdave says:

    My default setting is to say I hope Chuck never shoots anyone. I would like to see him as a MacGuyver like hero who uses his brains and non-lethal skills to avoid killing.

    Now, that said, I have absolutely no moral qualms about killing to save your own life or the life of another (the international legal standard to determine when the use of deadly force is appropriate). As such, I would hope Chuck would have the fortitude to kill if it were the only way to save, well any innocent really. Dramatically, I can easily see them having him shoot to kill for Sarah (I think saving anyone else this way, except maybe Ellie, would a squandered opportunity). It could be both a bonding experience and painful. It seems fitting with the darker tone we’ve seen much of this season. Sarah is the one and only person who should help him cope with the consequences. Of course they’ve already trashed that opportunity on the handling of an asset, creatively I think the writers are working well below their potential this year (just comparing this season to the previous two); so who knows what they’ll actually do. Sending Chuck to a shrink because because he can’t handle a shooting seems like the epitome of a wasted opportunity (I’m still hoping its mostly an investigation/assignment sort of thing).

    As I said at the start, I hope Chuck remains non-lethal in his approach; but there is potential either way.

    • Faith says:

      Chuck’s like the girl. He won’t necessarily go out and kill just for gratuitous violence but you put his people in danger (namely Ellie, Sarah, maybe Morgan) and you will see Mama Bear protect her cubs. There’s a study on how many women actually think to use guns as a first resort to killing someone and Chuck would fall into that line.

      I too would like it if he never crosses that line but I think they’re building up to it that it’s something you can non longer help.

    • Waverly says:

      I think it would be wonderful if he could be a modern MacGyver.

      The question is how serious this show wants to be — how difficult are the quandries that Chuck will face? Since there’s already been a lot of killing by everyone, although not so directly by Chuck, I think it will happen. And to keep the show from getting too dark, there will not be any long-term effects on the characters.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, and I hope you’re right. Chuck should care, and even be upset if he is forced to kill; but prolonged moping belongs on other types of programs.

      • cholitau says:

        I agree that the “lightness” needs to continue and since it’s been done before, i’m confident that even if Chuck does get to kill someone, the show won’t dwell on it.

  5. Michael says:

    I think this would be a very difficult place for the show to go and continue to be what it is – it would be very difficult to return to the latest Buy Moron shenanigans if Chuck kills in any situation short of saving Sarah, Casey, Morgan, Ellie, etc.

    I wonder if instead the lesson to be learned is self-sacrifice – maybe he has to take a significant (possibly life threatening, but obviously non-lethal) bullet for Sarah.

    • amyabn says:

      That would make for a nice symmetry from when Sarah was concussed after pushing Chuck out of the way from the blast.

      • joe says:

        …And also a do-over from the Beefcake scene where Chuck is complaining about his twisted ankle after Cole Barker has taken a bullet for Sarah.

  6. JC says:

    Realistically I could see him killing without hesitation someone who threatened Sarah or Ellie. Morgan, Casey, Awesome and even Bryce I could see him doing as a last resort.

    In terms of the show and keeping it somewhat light, only Sarah and Ellie.

  7. Faith says:

    Amy, I’ve always taken exception to Chuck’s over-reaction at the Mauser incident. I mean what did he think she would do? Judging her for her actions without taking into consideration the facts and her psyche was completely unfair in my opinion. I also didn’t like the resolution to that event. It never really seemed settled to me so much as put under the rug.

    You fast forward roughly 1.5 years and the shoe’s on the other foot. This time around I think it will be Sarah that will over-react and perhaps take exception to such an act (even at the risk of her mortality) because if you think about it it’s the ultimate step to him becoming the spy she fears he will be turned into. Re-watching Nacho Sampler, although it felt to me like she was concerned more about what Chuck was going through post spy-life reality, she was also thinking of herself and her fears coming true. So I don’t foresee a different scenario in the eventuality that Chuck fires a gun.

    But like I said, I can see it happening. I feel very vanilla about it lol, but it will probably happen. It’s what they’re working toward ever since Shaw came into the picture. Incidentally it would make much more sense for the “training wheels to be off situation” had Chuck already shot a gun. Then you can kind of see that more plausible but I digress. In the end it’ll take an adjustment on both Sarah and Chuck’s parts. Hopefully they’ll use such a tragic loss of innocence to grow even closer while growing as characters.

    • joe says:

      You know, Faith? It *was* a lousy resolution to the Mauser incident. Which is why it isn’t resolved.

      This morning I wrote that they couldn’t have Chuck even pull the trigger without destroying the character, and destroying what Sarah sees in Chuck. But after seeing Pink Slip again, I don’t think that’s true any more.

      We focused on the Prague scene in 3.01, but when I rewatched, Gen. Beckman’s question loomed very large. “Why didn’t you shoot Yuri?” she asked. Lots of questions got answered, but not that one.

      And now you’ve made me wonder. Chuck didn’t have nightmares over Sarah pulling the trigger. He had nightmares because she essentially executed an unarmed man.

      I think Chuck can find it in himself to shoot if his family, friends or Sarah are threatened – now. But what if it’s closer to the situation Sarah faced? “I’m unarmed, but I can threaten you and your family and your friends even from a bunker.”

      And what will Sarah think if he pulls the trigger then?

      • Jason says:

        joe – I hated that chuck did not get on the train in prague, but I’m starting to come to appreciate why he did not, at least why once the writers decided to get serious, rather than be ‘Get Smart’ in the ’24’ era – this is not the show I fell in love with S1 / S2, jury is out how I will feel about the journy of episodes 3.1-13, right now I am not impressed, even though I do think I will like the destination – the will he kill, will he shoot, when will he, etc, etc, is a little like adding 2 LI’s this season, the answer might be ok, but dealing with the ?’s is far too serious for the show I used to love, I am hoping I can find a way to like this one

      • Merve says:

        I think that you hit the nail on the head, Joe. The problem with the Mauser incident wasn’t that Sarah killed someone. Chuck had seen Sarah do it before. The problem was that it appeared to him as if Sarah had killed someone in cold blood. I don’t think that Chuck could bring himself to do something like that.

        I slightly disagree with you on the resolution of the Mauser issue, though. I agree that it wasn’t a great resolution, but I think that Sarah adequately explained her reasons for shooting Mauser. What wasn’t dealt with was the subsequent lie. Sarah never explained why she lied. But now that we’ve seen Casey lie about Emmett’s death and Chuck lie about Sydney’s death, I doubt the issue of lying to someone to protect them from an uglier truth will ever be properly addressed.

      • joe says:

        You’re right, Merve. I’ve mis-stated the problem that was posed in Santa Claus and the nature of the “resolution” in 3-D. You said it much better.

        Chuck may very well have understood why Sarah shot Mauser, and accepted it. But not the lie. That’s not resolved, I think.

      • Waverly says:

        I think Chuck had problems both with the cold-bloodedness of the shooting as well as with the lie. After all, he did have a sexy nightmare about the killing. And he did confront Sarah about the lying.

        I agree with Merve that the show didn’t then and probably won’t now adequately explain a lot of the decisions they make.

      • herder says:

        I’m wondering if the whole punch incident isn’t tied into the Mauser lie issue. Chuck is told that he is to be the world’s most dangerous spy but in fact he realizes during the mission that he is being set up in a situation where he has to shoot someone (which he doesn’t).

        Because of Sarah’s encouragement he beleives that she was involved in the set up. He goes to Shaw’s appartment to confront both of them about the lie, Shaw makes the issue about his feelings for Sarah, goads Chuck with the “you had your chance and you blew it” comment and Chuck slugs him.

        Sarah realizing that she has been put into a position where she has innocently lied to him again and that he has lost his trust in her has to provide him with a bigger truth. So she goes to him and tells him her real name as a demonstration of trust in him.

        I think the situation where Chuck does have to shoot comes later, probably 3.12 in a situation where he has to save Sarah’s life in a shoot or she dies situation. The subsequent discussion lets them talk about things that they have in the past avoided. Also if JS can claim that Shaw saving Sarah’s life is a reason for her to show interest in him, how much more interest would she show knowing how many of Chuck’s principals he would have to overcome to shoot to save her. Personally I don’t like this last part too much, but it seems to be up JS’s alley.

      • herder says:

        I should proof read before submitting, I meant most dangerous assasin, not most dangerous spy.

    • atcdave says:

      As I’ve said on similar topics, I hope they keep things light and fun. Even if he’s forced to pull the trigger, keep it morally unambiguous. Its such a hollywood cliche to construct “shades of grey” circumstances; and Chuck, in particular, has already been there, done that (Mauser). I do expect Chuck to be shaken even in a fairly straight forward situation, and it should be a point of connection with Sarah.

      • joe says:

        Yeah, what I’m pondering is too dark, even for this darker season. It would give me nightmares too.

      • Faith says:

        I have a tendency to picture a darker scenario than even what the Chuck TPTB come up so I understand Joe.

        At the same time though they have a tendency to go full circle and revisit certain scenarios that happened before. And I don’t know who posted it but someone on the previous page implied that Chuck hasn’t really been all that dark this year and the writers did say it was gonna be a darker Chuck. Instead it it’s been a serious Chuck but not necessarily darker (I think Nacho Sampler is pretty dark though)…so they can certainly delve even deeper into the dark side. Scary thought.

        As for how Sarah will react, I think she’ll be devastated and probably a little disgusted. It’ll require a resolution (hopefully better than Mauser) and an evaluation of their wants, needs and what they can live with but in the meantime the hurt will dominate. Again full circle. When Chuck asked Sarah to run away with him (though it’s not really running away so much as a vacation but considering her job and what they’ve already established in vs. First Date, it’s pretty close) her answer was she was leaving in the morning with Bryce thereby breaking his heart. In Pink Slip Sarah asks him to run away with her and this time Chuck broke her heart. These people just keep on breaking each others’ hearts and yet they keep on hoping and healing and maintaining that hope that someday they’ll find a way together. It’s really amazing.

    • amyabn says:

      I agree with Joe. The resolution about the lie was terrible. I never had a problem with Sarah shooting Mauser. I was hoping Chuck would draw a personal parallel with Mauser and Laszlo. Chuck helped stop Laszlo, who was dangerous, and facilitated his being bunkered. Mauser was directly dangerous to Chuck and his entire family. What other choice did Sarah really have?

      I agree with your comments about Sarah understanding Chuck’s feelings. I’m hoping that in 3.08 Chuck will show his Chuckness and Sarah won’t worry so much!

      • kg says:

        You Amy, folks have intimated that situation was shoved under the rug and never resolved.

        Perhaps. I think Chuck now, and for some time, understands that he was harder on Sarah than he should have been. I also think he understands how difficult it was for her. She’s tough, but he knows she has a softer side. She’s not as naturally cold-blooded as Casey.

        He understands that Sarah made a tough judgement call in order to protect him and his loved ones.

        If there exists any residual angst from the Mauser incident, it is that Sarah simplied lied to him and fed him a bunch of crap.

        It’s OK, though, right? It was a lie because it happened in the Buy More, not at the fountain.

      • amyabn says:

        I hope you are right, kg. I think it was good in that scene that Sarah flat out admitted she lied (which she admitted at the fountain, since you mention it). I think it really took Chuck time and experiencing spy world to fully appreciate it. Maybe that is one of the truths that could be expressed at the fountain. A mutual, fully supportive expression of them supporting each other and “getting it.” Hopeful, yes. Realistic? Probably too much to hope for!

  8. Merve says:

    Personally, I think that the most interesting scenario would be Chuck shooting someone to save a group of civilians. It would be consistent with the notion of protecting something bigger than himself, which he stated as one of his reasons for becoming a spy in his vault speech. It is the sort of selfless action that Casey would admire, and Casey might help Chuck deal with its emotional repercussions. However, given the relatively lighthearted nature of the show, I doubt that this scenario will come to fruition. I think that Chuck will shoot to kill this season, but in order to keep things from getting too dark, it will probably be to save the life of someone he loves. (I’m guessing Ellie, Morgan or Sarah.)

  9. Waverly says:

    Shooting a firearm is not the only way to kill a person, even in American TV shows where it seems that’s the customary daily exercise.

    Does anyone think Chuck would react differently just because the device he has to use is a firearm instead of some other lethal object, such as poison, a long fall, or a kick?

    • atcdave says:

      It depends on his level of responsibility. Although he’s been an “instrument” of death before (Fulcrum agents and dark intersect); pulling the trigger (or stabbing with a knife, or poisoning someone) seems different and personal. I think Chuck will respond based on his level of culpability.

    • Faith says:

      Actually yes.

      He uses the tranq gun knowing full well that that can have awful consequences (namely neurologic) but that risk outweighs the outright attack that a gun brings. Remember he originally had an objection to tranqs dating back to the superbowl episode (Chuck vs. 3D) but fast forward to dream job and that’s his weapon of choice. He even shot Casey with it multiple times.

      There’s a certain amount of innocence lost when someone fires a handgun. It’s more personal in a sense, certainly far more personal than say a bomb.

  10. Waverly says:

    So far the discussion revolves around how personal or direct Chuck’s death-causing actions could be.

    What if there were a situation where two different groups of people were about to die, but he could only save one, and he had to choose? Evil guys might not even be involved at all.

    (Hmmm, that reminds me of the Batman Forever movie climax.)

    • atcdave says:

      Oh goody, a complex morally ambiguous situation. Just the sort of thing a light hearted action-adventure show can deal with in such a sophisticated way.

      OK, I really am sorry for being a jerk. I just really hope they don’t go into a hopeless situation like that.

    • Merve says:

      When I read this, it conjures up images of the famous dilemma where a train is careening towards a group of ten people tied to the tracks, but if you flip the switch, the train will change course and kill only one person, who is tied to the tracks on the other fork.

      Based on the kind of show that Chuck is, I think that they’d just blow up the train.

    • Faith says:

      correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t something like this already happen? In Mask?

      The dilemma was running to Sarah and delivering the antidote and saving Hannah from asphyxiation?

    • Waverly says:

      Blowing up the train — that’s funny! Of course, that depends on how many people are on the train.

      I don’t think the situation occurred on the Mask because they (Chuck and Casey) were able to do both at the same time.

  11. Who Dat says:

    Somehow I think it will be chuck with the gun and the bad guy saying he will kill Elley, bad guy is unarmed and Sarah can see it

  12. Lucian says:

    I hope that his killing someone doesn’t further convince Sarah that he is “not that guy” she fell in love with. They gave us some of that in Nacho Sampler, and it defies logic – its okay for her to do all this stuff, but if Chuck does it, he is not the man she fell in love with.

    • compromisedcover says:

      Besides, Chuck pulling the trigger to protect someone he loves could actually reinforce Sarah’s love for him because this shows he is willing to break his personal moral code given the situation. Sarah knows killing would tear Chuck inside, but when his loved ones’ lives are on the line, going through the internal conflict won’t matter for him.

  13. Waverly says:

    OK, let me make the hypothetical situation easier for Chuck to choose. There are two groups of people that are about to die and he must choose one. But one group is actually just one person who expresses willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Do you think Chuck could “pull the trigger” on that admirable person?

    What if the other group consists of people he loves or people he knows rather than people that are unknown to him?

  14. Waverly says:

    Finally, let me make the situation really easy for Chuck. Let’s say the one person who is willing to die for the other people can arrange it so that Chuck only needs to injure him, not kill him.

    Recognize this situation? That one person is Shaw, and the other group is just one innocent person, Devon, with an unremovable explosive device attached to his head.

    Yet Chuck still is unable to pull the trigger. Chuck was willing to sacrifice Devon’s life to Sydney just so that he didn’t have to injure Shaw in the shoulder.

    • joe says:

      Clever, Waverly.

      The more we discuss scenarios, the more “do-overs” I’m seeing. Do you think it’s possible that we’re being set up for a do-over of the Shaw-introduction scene? I start to think so.

      • OldDarth says:

        The crux of the do-over is how much Chuck has evolved when it occurs.

        The Chuck of 3.07 is a lot closer to pulling the trigger than the Chuck of 3.01.

        He is not there yet but by 3.13 – my money is on Chuck being able to pull the trigger.

      • joe says:

        Major point, Lou. This is precisely the mechanism by which we see Chuck’s evolution. Before and after.

        In re-watching, I’m seeing many other less dramatic changes in Chuck happening also, especially in his abilities to flash. It started with him only able to flash when the need is dire. He’s much more in control of that long before The Mask.

      • Waverly says:

        It would be nice if they did a complete do-over of 3.01.

      • atcdave says:

        Perhaps 3.14. It at leasts seems they will get on the train together.

  15. weaselone says:

    I’m going to posit the guess I made earlier in the season. Chuck’s going to shoot someone to save Shaw’s life.

    And if Sarah pulls the whole “Chuck’s no longer the guy I fell in love with stuff” I may through something at my TV. She can calmly off 20-30 Fulcrum members in a gun fight, but Chuck’s bad for shooting someone to save his partner.

    • Lucian says:

      I think we have been under a false assumption. We’ve been thinking that Sarah is looking for a “life partner”; it seems that her biological clock is ticking and she is hoping Chuck is the child she hasn’t had. She actually prefers adolescent Chuck. But, if she can’t have the adolescent, she’ll settle for the superspy with a broken heart.

      • atcdave says:

        That’s not a fair assessment. Decent and gentle is not the same as adolescent (in fact, I’d call it a polar opposite). I’ll agree Chuck is emotionally immature, but his morality has usually been above reproach. I’ve long identified with Chuck for his attitudes on violence. I think its among Sarah’s more appealing characteristics that she can admire Chuck’s morality in spite of her own experiences and skills.
        This is where we need to find a middle ground. Chuck’s desire to cause no unnecessary harm, meeting Sarah’s pragmatic willingness to use force to protect the greater good. Currently we have Chuck testing his limits, and Sarah worried about where it might lead. This is a conflict these characters and this story need; I just wish they could face it as a team and couple, it still seems counterproductive to me to tear them apart first.

      • Lucian says:

        Okay, I was probably overly harsh, but I am still not buying that it is okay for Sarah to wack anyone that needs it, and if Chuck burns an asset, he no longer is the guy she fell for? Clearly, if she finds this behavior so unappealing in Chuck, she must be a woman filled with self-loathing and not ready for an adult relationship. She needs major counseling.

      • atcdave says:

        I think some of what you say is exactly right. I think Sarah truly hates much of what she does in the line of duty; think back to her speech in Prague, she is not proud of herself. I think in Nacho Sampler she is horrified, and guilt ridden over what she’s done to Chuck. At least that was my read on it.

        But there is such a thing as duty, and sacrifice for the greater good. Sarah’s sacrifice, at least as long as we’ve known her, is doing things she finds unappealing to achieve an end (Casey, in contrast, likes most elements of the job). The middle ground we need to find has to do with Chuck’s morality and decency; and Sarah’s pragmatism, duty, and sacrifice.

        In the mean time, Sarah is worried she’s damaged Chuck beyond repair; and Chuck’s worried he never had her in the first place.

        And gee, I’ve never been over harsh!

      • Lucian says:

        At the core, my issue is that I see Sarah’s issues as probably more profound than Chuck’s. He is fundamentally emotionally healthy (no one should feel good about killing anyone).

      • atcdave says:

        I agree you’re right about that. The only qualification being, he has chosen to enter her world, so her problems may become his; unless they can find a way to strengthen each other (gee, you think that might come up!)

  16. Fake Empire says:

    Hi guys: this is a welcome break from the angst that is the current state of affairs. (Boy, given that it’s the dark topic of Chuck shooting someone, what does that say about my current level of angst? lol).

    I do think we are seeing the trend head toward the inevitability of Chuck shooting someone. I believe that when being a spy, one has to be prepared to kill in order to protect yourself, someone else, or the mission. The seeds have been sewn that this is one of this season’s major hurdles to cross for Chuck: the inability to shoot Yuri in Pink Slip; Shaw in Operation Awesome; and Sydney in the same epi.

    We’ve also seen Chuck inch toward this eventuality by grabbing the highly potent tranq gun (50 cc’s of ether) and shoot Manoosh in Nacho Sampler. As Faith pointed out earlier, Chuck was adverse to tranq darts at one time, now he is able to use basic tranq darts in Dream Job/Operation Awesome to a tranq dart on steroids in Nacho Sampler. I’m sure we all remember Chuck’s aversion to lying in S1, especially demonstrated in the Truth, but look at his adaptation and skillful, albeit unfortunately necessary, use of dishonesty now.

    Ever since the pilot, Chuck has been slowly assimilated into the spy world and all of its accompanying harsh realities of subterfuge and manipulation. As he has become more adept at these angles of the spy world, it has come at the expense of his innocence, but the essence of his character remains intact: high morals and unwavering love and loyalty.

    The final harsh reality of the spy world is killing. I believe just as he has adapted to dishonesty and misdirection, he will be forced to adapt to this too. But, his integrity will remain intact; he will not become a Hugo Pazner. Though it will be traumatic for him, I believe the only digestable “first kill with a gun” for both Chuck and the audience would be for him to use a gun to protect Sarah. The rationale would be justified; the ramifications would be powerful as Chuck and Sarah sort through the emotions; and the end game would be poignant as their bond is deepened. I think it will happen before 3.13 and that this is the most likely scenario, fwiw.

    • cholitau says:

      I’m on teh same page with you… just posted somthing below were i tried to express the thought that if he will be a spy, he will have to end up killing. Can Chuck deal with that? He has been getting more comfortable with those tranq guns, but the fact is the knows that “tranquing” someone dfoesnt kill them.

      • Fake Empire says:

        I agree with you; it is inevitable. Being a spy and killing is like being a counselor and giving advice. They go hand-in-hand. It’s a huge upcoming event in Chuck’s life, one that he began careening toward when he re-intersected and chose the spy’s life.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree this will likely happen. I’m actually more concerned with how they handle it than the event itself. My guess would be it happens in Final Exam (3.11 I believe). I HOPE, its a bonding moment for Chuck and Sarah; but that would have been my hope for Nacho Sampler too, and they totally flushed that opportunity.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Yeah; I agree re: Nacho Sampler, and as you can tell, I share your thoughts about “Final Exam.”

  17. OldDarth says:

    Agree with everything you posted Fake Empire except it will happen in 3.13.

    • Fake Empire says:

      I’m thinking it is one of the meanings of “Final Exam,” similar to what Ernie said. We all know how TPTB love their mutliple meanings in the titles. We’ll see . . .

      • Faith says:

        Is it really a final exam if it’s at the risk of someone you love? Coz in that situation there really is no other solution.

        They’ve been working towards making Chuck the ultimate spy and to be that he needs to kill much like Sarah does as a last resort yes but not necessarily at the immediate risk of one’s love ones.

        Ironically I think they could have and should have intersected Sarah she’s the perfect spy—maybe better than Bryce.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Faith, when you put it into that context, that makes a lot of sense. It takes on far less of an “exam” and rather becomes more of a “no-brainer.” My thinking is along the lines of an “internal” type of litmus test or “exam.” Can he/Will he be able to forego his self-imposed ban on using a gun and thus making it past a huge test, benchmark, “exam,” etc. We’ll have to see when and how it actually unfolds . . .

        Agree on your thoughts re: Sarah – she’s far superior

      • joe says:

        Oh, wait! Could Sarah really handle the intersect?

        I’m thinking of the end Marlin (on the roof top, saying good-bye) or the bomb going off in Best Friends or the end of First Date or … wow. Sarah has plenty of emotions, and she’s been awfully, awfully close to having them get the better of her, hasn’t she?

        Okay – I feel poetry and music coming on now. I want to rhapsodise on all the times in S3 Sarah’s barely kept it in check!

        But here’s a thought. What if the second meaning of Final Exam is that it’s also Sarah’s final exam?

      • Waverly says:

        I thought most people couldn’t handle being intersected — it was a small percentage. We don’t know about whether Sarah could handle it, do we?

        It would be funny if Morgan could. Especially if the skill flashes gave him muscle memory meant for a taller person.

      • amyabn says:

        I agree that Sarah is a better spy than Bryce. Bryce was all about Bryce! Sarah and Chuck have emotions in common, which I think is yet another link between the two. Sarah is evolving into a more caring, dare I say softer, woman. Chuck is learning to harness his feelings more. Meet in the middle….?

      • Waverly says:

        Or maybe “Final Exam” means autopsy.

        (I think I’m joking.)

      • Faith says:

        True that. I read this awhile back and I just love it:

        “Yvonne Strahovski: When she first started, she was really focused on her work and being a CIA agent. But I guess meeting Chuck Bartowski has really kind of rocked her boat. She’s grown to like him and love him, so much that she questions her own trajectory in life and the professional versus the personal. And this season, especially, Season 3, she’s breaking down her walls that she’s kept up for so long. I think she’s showing a little bit more emotion, which is really fun for me.”

      • amyabn says:

        Great quote Faith! You made my evening.

  18. Ernie Davis says:

    I think it needs to happen, the lighthearted Chuck that could plausibly avoid the scenario is long past, that much we saw in Operation Awesome. I have kind of assumed it would happen in 3.11, Chuck Versus the Final Exam. But based on spoilers we’ve seen lately it might not be till 3.13.

  19. cholitau says:

    Hello gang!
    Chuck being able to shoot is definitley a major part of this season… it was mentioned from the very begining by Beckman in Pink Slip and will most likely be part of his final exam, what “really” makes him a spy. I wonder if he shoots maybe he won’t shoot to kill, but to at least incapacitate an enemy. It has to be a mojor situation though, which would ihnvolve the 3 most important people in his life: Ellie, Morgan, or Sarah.

    In the end though, to be a real spy he will, at some point, end up killing somebody. THis is another “cost” he has to think about and be sure he wants to deal with.

    • Lucian says:

      So, are we supposed to believe that Chuck, who has lived in the spy world for two years and seen dozens of people killed, is so niave that he thought he could be a spy and not kill someone?

      • Jen says:

        When he re-intersected himself I don’t think he had time to think it all through… It all happened in a flash and at that moment he did what he thought was right, which was to save the intrsect. Now he has to deal with consequences of his choices. He’s decided to be a spy… He is no longer looking for a way to de-intersect himself to then carry a normal life. He feels he’s doing the right thing becoming a spy, but that shouldn’t make him comfortable with the idea of killing.

      • Lucian says:

        Jen – I agree that he didn’t think of the implications the moment he chose to re-intersect. He chose again to be a spy in Pink Slip. By this time, he had plenty of time to figure out what he was getting into, and he experienced first hand the implications of not being able to shoot.

      • cholitau says:

        Yah, you are right, and i’m sure he knows the moment will come where he will have to shoot a gun at someone, but this doesn’t make it any easier to actually do it. The moment he kill ssomeone will be devastating for him. I wonder if taht ends up changing how he feels about becoming a spy, will want to continue or will he want to search for a way to get the Intersect out of his head? Or will he sacrifice himself for the greater good until The Ring is finished?

  20. Zsjaer says:

    This has nothing to do with Chuck having to shot someone..but i m asking myself if Emmet´s death will be addressed later in the Season again ..after all Casey lied to Chuck..he doesn t know he died cuz of a way ofc.
    I think it could be interesting.

    • Fake Empire says:

      When Javier killed Emmett, and then the next scene showed the punctured and bloodied glasses, that really got my attention on how much higher the stakes were and how much darker the story is now.

  21. Ernie Davis says:

    Yes, I think it is possible Emmett’s sudden disappearance just after his confrontation with Chuck will play into an upcoming episode. Possible spoiler here.

  22. Stef62 says:

    Not on topic, but thought you be interested in this.

  23. Stef62 says:

    Umm…everyone has seemed to forget that he’s got in his head, something that gives him the skill sets that means he doesn’t need to make a killshot

    Also he’s not Casey, Shaw, Sarah, or even Carmichael

  24. Gord says:

    I think that Chuck will kill once and only once in this show. It will be for the powerful emotional impact and perhaps be the point where Sarah realizes that Chuck is still Chuck. I just see a very emotional fountain scene after the fact, with Sarah reassuring and comforting Chuck.

    Not saying that Chuck wont accept that there will be times when there is no other choice, but the writers will just keep Chuck in situations where he can always find another way to accomplish the mission.

  25. PeterOinNj says:

    This has been a spirited discussion and I’d like to weigh in with my two cents. Actually, they aren’t all mine – I am heavily influenced by my favorite philosopher, Dr. Seuss. Who liked to say “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. So here goes:
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
    — Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
    Let’s be clear, when it comes to pulling the trigger, Chuck will make his own decisions. He knows what he knows and maybe more importantly, he is learning more every day. We saw in Nacho Sampler that Chuck is ‘knowing’ more than he might ever have wanted to know. In the very near future, he will know when he will have to use a gun and he will (I agree Lou, 3.13). The decision really has to be his, otherwise we diminish the integrity of the character.
    Now, you may ask why and frankly, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”— Dr. Seuss. Because he has to. We can speculate on the specific WHY, but frankly, it doesn’t really matter does it? He is Chuck and I believe in the character enough to know that it will not be a flip decision. Will it change him? Another complicated question and simple answer – so no, he will still be Chuck, with the same integrity, the same moral compass. He wont look back and he will realize that: “Remember that life’s a great balancing act…”
    Thanks for humoring me ……

    • Fake Empire says:

      Well put using a good, but often overlooked resource! I use that book with the kids and pre-teens that I help. The moral and points made are indeed accurate. Never thought I’d see them applied to Chuck, but hey it does work.

    • joe says:

      Peter – re: your use of that great philosopher, I’ll add only two words from my mentor, the great Darth Vadar.

      Most impressive.

  26. kg says:

    The name of the piece was To Kill or Not to Kill. And Amy’s correct in that Chuck has already been responsible for killing.

    Vs. the Suburbs. Chuck prtended to be brainwashed by the Fulcrum intersect because the only way he saw getting Sarah out unharmed was to take that tact and mometarily put Sarah into more danger and the hot seat if you will. He knew Casey would take care of the rest. He selflessly shielded Sarah from the images.

    The question now is would Chuck use a firearm to kill. And I say unequivically, only if immediate harm or death stood between Ellie or Sarah. Then he pulls the trigger. No other scenario. I also see him taking the bullet, a la Cole, if similar dire circumstances require him to do so.

    And in a somewhat unrelated note, I never bought TPTB’s preseason claim that Sarah was Chuck’s kryptonite when it came to intersect 2.0. She has been unjustly blamed for Chuck not flashing.

    Look back at all the evidence. SARAH WALKER IS the reason he flashes. It’s evident from the outset in the White Room. Miles points the gun at Sarah and instantly Chuck flashes and suddenly knows and executes flawless Kung Fu skills. David Carradine would be envious.

    Sure, Chuck is emotional and it can be argued that those feelings wreak havoc with the new intersect. When did he fail? After Prague. When Sarah wasn’t there.

    When has Chuck succeeded with the intersect? When he believed Sarah needed him. The cells in Mexico. Sliding down the line in Pink Slip. And the episodes after the season opener.

    And he’s succeeded without the intersect and without her at his side. He acted like the old Chuck using the unique skills of his own brain.

    That proves to me that Chuck and Sarah’s relationship is in better shape than what might appear on the surface.

    • amyabn says:

      I agree about Sarah getting a bum rap on the kryptonite analogy. Chuck has increasingly used his own intellect and not the Intersect. And you are right that Sarah seems to help Chuck focus rather than be a hindrance. I wish someone..ahem..Casey or Beckman..would recognize that fact. I really would like to see more of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith fun vibe from the show. If they would just resolve the wt/wt, PLI nonsense, we could move on to a very fun, unconventional spy team.

    • Paul says:

      The only problem I have with your examples of previous Chuck “Kills” are that they were either inadvertant or he was merely present, and didn’t actually do the deed himself.

      We see as late as 3.04 that Chuck is not willing to pull the trigger. He even stated once that “I’ll tranq someone all day” because he knows there is really no permanent harm done. But faced with doing real and permanent damage, not so much.

      Intentionally taking a human life brings with it a very high emotional price (unless you are a sociopath). I’m sure Sarah and even Casey both expereinced it their first time (and for all we know, the reason why Casey drinks alone is to stave off the demons of the people he’s killed). If Chuck is forced to do it (and I think he will have to eventually), it is going to take some soul searching on his part tolearn to live with it.

      There is a really good book written by a West Point psychology professer called “On Killing”. It talks about this very topic and how people who are taught and expected to pull the trigger deal with the impact on their psyche.

  27. herder says:

    The issue of Chuck and guns is one that has been running throughout the season:

    Pink Slip, he washes out after the General is telling him to shoot.

    Three Words, as they go into the courtyard Sarah offers him a gun and he refuses.

    Angel Del Muerte, I don’t remember a gun issue.

    Awesome Operation, Shaw asks Chuck to shoot him, Chuck refuses. Also Sydney taunts him about being unable to shoot.

    First Class, Chuck brings nunchucks because he needs some sort of offensive weapon and won’t use a gun.

    Natcho Sampler the Ring agent taunts Chuck in the stand off that he doesn’t even have a gun.

    The Mask, I don’t remember a gun issue.

    Most of the episodes have made a point of bringing this issue up. I agree with PeterOinNj and Gord that Chuck will use a gun to kill, probably only once, on his terms, and on his timetable, not Shaw’s or the General’s and he will be able to deal with it. The interesting thing is I recall a similar discussion last year on the NBC boards and the consensus was that Chuck probably wouldn’t be able to deal with it, now it won’t be easy or without soul searching but he will deal with it. This is the first time that I can think that I get a real feeling of how Chuck is growing and maturing this year. He seems more able to make the hard decisions and deal with the consequences than the Chuck of season 1 or 2.

    • Paul says:

      In Mask, the Ring baddies taunt Chuck because they see it in his eyes that he won’t kill them. DOn’t remember if it was with a gun or not.

  28. Big Kev says:

    Haven’t read all of these replies – so apologies if I’m raking over old ground here.

    I think it would actually make the most sense and have the most resonance for the final “kill or be killed” reckoning (and I do think there will be one) to involve Ellie.
    Schwartz and Fedak have said that while Chuck and Sarah is the heart of the show, Chuck’s relationship with Ellie is the soul of the show. What better way to demonstrate the starkness of his choice? The final battle for Chuck’s soul.
    It would also demonstrate the contrast between Chuck not willing to kill for things that are not real (ie to fulfil spy world objectives) – but being prepared to do so when something real is threatened.
    When you add in the ramifications of the fact that Ellie would therefore find out about his spy life, and be in clear and present danger….some potentially epic possibilities for the back six. Sarah and Chuck united, together with the returning Papa B, working together to kill the bad guys, and keep Ellie safe in order to – explicitly and metaphorically – preserve the soul of Chuck.
    At the end of which Chuck and Sarah renounce the spy life and begin Season 4 happily married and living in the suburbs, until……
    Completely unlikely, of course – but I’d be hooked.

    Of course, if they want to repeat the pattern of Season 3, the Season 4 reset (if there is one) is as likely to be Chuck and Sarah existentially divided by their reactions to Chuck finally having a “licence to kill”…..
    They wouldn’t dare, would they??

  29. Big Kev says:

    Of course, the other positive in the above scenario is that it gives us more Ellie. And more Ellie is never enough!

  30. lizjames says:

    I think it’s sad that the willingness to kill people is part of what makes you a good spy. And that is what TPTB have used so much this year.

    That said, however, I’m surprised no one has come up with this scenario, which could go a long long way to making things fix.

    In E8, Chuck must cold-bloodedly shoot someone, a la Sarah killing Mauser in Santa Claus. He hesitates, searching for a Chuck-like non-lethal option. Who then appears but Hannah, who does the deed. (Remember, Shaw says his agents are never alone.) In other words, Hannah does what Sarah did to Mauser.

    Chuck storm off to Shaw and insists he COULD have done it, which leads to the “you had your chance” taunt and the Chuck punch. The punch, of course, is payback for the double reveal: Hannah was Shaw’s plant and Chuck didn’t get the job done to Shaw’s satisfaction.

    It then takes Sarah, wearing the bracelet, to a) Calm Chuck down and, perhaps, even give him credit for trying not to do what “the average spy” would have done; and b) Defend Hannah because, well, she was just doing what she was trained to do.

    Needless the say, both the charm bracelet and the Mauser incident are from Santa Claus and gives Adler the symmetry she needs to pull it off this way in the episode.

    Also, it saves the Chuck-shoots-someone scenario for later, when it’s part of Chuck’s maturation and forces Sarah to understand that Chuck CAN somehow intgrate both the old Chuck that she loves AND the new Charles Carmichael.

    • Jason says:

      liz – I really enjoy your views, I wish you wrote the show, but I still think Chuck has got to willingly pick sarah over hannah, or nothing was accomplished with the CH PLI arc, although I suppose chuck could break it off with hannah first, then she still could complete the mission.

      if 3.8 ends with a warm CS moment, I really look forward to the rest thru 3.13, if it ends up with a broken chuck and a SS warm moment, I’d be getting pretty close to not caring anymore – I won’t want to invest any more hope in the series ‘chuck’, because I won’t trust the writers to disappoint me again and again – seems like that is where our story line chuck and sarah are at themselves – LOL.

      • atcdave says:

        Great comments both Liz and Jason. Liz, your scenarios are always appealing, let’s hope the writers are as clever as you suppose. And Jason I agree with your take too. Its unlikely I would stop watching the show, but my enthusiasm is slipping, and at a certain (currently unknown to me) point, I will no longer care about these characters anymore.

      • lizjames says:

        Well, I think we disagree only because I don’t think Chuck has any real interest in Hannah. I’ve convinced he started suspecting her from the “perfume lathered all over you” comment Sarah made in Mask. So it’s just the matter of how they reveal to Chuck that he was right about Hannah’s affiliation.

        As for a warm Chuck-Sarah moment at the end of E8, well, I think you are going to have to accept a broad interpretation of that. For whatever the reason, TPTB have decided not to let Chuck and Sarah directly communication on screen much in Season 3. You might have to find your warm moment obliquely, a la Sarah looking at the tape of Chuck in Three Words. And, in fact, that is why I think the device will have to be the bracelet and not Sarah’s name reveal. Chuck and Sarah simply haven’t been given that kind of intimate moment together where Sarah could reveal her name to Chuck.

        Besides, Adler’s last information reveals were in Sarah’s apartment when she told Chuck her middle name (Wookie) and Chuck decides not to ask Sarah a question (Cougars). Chuck hasn’t been near Sarah’s apartment this year on screen. I’ll be surprised if it happens in E8.

      • atcdave says:

        Liz, that is sort of the thing that has me doubting Chuck will be the one who gets Sarah’s name. She will surely not reveal it someplace with surveilence, which disqualifies virtually Chuck’s entire life. Unless they do end up at her place, or maybe in her car (which we also haven’t seen this season, is it a Porshe or Challenger?); my fear is Shaw will spill it. Horrible writing. I could imagine Sarah alone, just playing with the bracelet at the end of the episode; that would be about the bare minimum for a hopeful scene.

      • Paul says:

        Liz, killing is part of the job. Someone would be considered a bad soldier if they were not only unwilling to kill, but inept at it as well. Same goes for a spy. You don’t have to enjoy that particular part of the job, but if you are going to pursue that line of work, it is a fact of life that you have to be willing and able to perform.

      • atcdave says:

        I know you’re right Paul, but Chuck has been mostly light entertainment, at least until this season. I would prefer if they found a way to keep him from ever pulling the trigger, but I think the tone of this season suggests otherwise. I’m pretty sure he will have to kill at some strategic moment; hopefully, he’ll never do it again.

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