For the first time since the snow started falling, I ran yesterday. I didn’t have to; it was a choice. The sun was shining, but it was cold, and the breeze was bitter – really “in my face” in the worst way. I had to run in the road for the most part, between the drifts left by plows formed ice-walls and and cars. Slipped once or twice on the ice, too. It was – not nice.
Mind if I recap what we know about Chuck and Sarah? Chuck started out as a loser with no ambition and no future, found Sarah and became a hero. When he lost Sarah in Prague, Chuck quickly became a capital-L Loser – no job, no future, even “dead” to Ellie.
Sarah was a con and a known seductress (just ask Casey about her reputation). She had no feelings, she had little soul. She found Chuck and learned about home and family. She lost Chuck and immediately went back to seductive lies and an emotional shell the way other people crawl into a bottle. Poor Gilles.
Chuck and Sarah had hurt each other in Prague. In the months after, they discovered one thing – that what they had tried to leave behind, Chuck’s “safe” cocoon of a world and Sarah’s world of lies, wasn’t all that. They had made a mess, and they even may have trapped themselves in exactly the place they did not want to be any more. But Chuck and Sarah agreed that they had seen better versions of themselves in each other’s eyes, and that they cared. By the end of Angel of Death they may have called each other friend, but the hug they shared was far more tender.
And by Operation Awesome we saw two characters that has re-discovered their better natures. Unmotivated, lazy Chuck was again precisely the hero that Sarah told him he was. Unfeeling, soulless Sarah was ready to force Shaw to shoot her rather than leave Chuck alone when he needed help. In season 3, we see that both have made their choice, again.
Not that these new, strange worlds are easy for either of them. In Nacho Sampler Chuck discovered how hard it is to lie to someone you care about, and once you’ve started, how easy it is to lie to everyone. Sarah discovers again and again that having emotions does make it harder, and far more dangerous for everybody. But they’ve made their choice again, haven’t they? Chuck chooses to become a spy and reinforced that decision. Sarah chooses to care for something other than the mission.
Chuck: I am the spy you are looking for.
Sarah: Sometimes it helps if you have something to lose.
Chuck: Sarah, I am a spy.
We would hope that this is permanent, cast in concrete and frozen for all time! But it’s not. Our choices seldom are.
It dawns on me that Shaw is not Bryce 2.0 or Cole re-do. He’s a perfect male version of Sarah. His soul is not gone; he doesn’t like guns, but he knows when they’re necessary. He cares for Chuck, but has helped the boy be far more self-reliant and effective as a spy by letting him make mistakes, the way she hasn’t.
Hannah is cute and intelligent and innocent, and yes, she is neither Jill nor Lou. She is like the perfect female version of Chuck, motivated without overarching ambition, transparent without triviality. She doesn’t protect Chuck from danger, but leads him away from it. What Sarah sees in Shaw and what Chuck sees in Hannah is everything good at the end of the path before them, if they leave each other behind.
Regardless of any motivation that Shaw and Hannah may have, Chuck and Sarah have been shown both the good and the bad side of the choices they can still make. And so have we.
I finished my run yesterday. Today, I’m paying the price; I’m sore. But you see, I had an uncle who died at my age from heart attack, and heart conditions run in the family. I’m a little motivated to get out in the cold, rather than stay in a warm bed. I do it to spend a little more time on this earth with a person I love.