Chemistry 101

Latent heat and bonding anyone?

Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing

Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing

Chemistry, that catch all for the magic that some actors have.  The one thing that can make or break a scene no matter the talent involved.  Zach and Yvonne could power a major city with theirs.  Zach and Kristin have it, Zach and Rachel had it too.  Zach and Jordana…meh, OK.  Yvonne and Matt did pretty well, especially when fighting.  Yvonne and Brandon Routh…thud. This is how you kill a plot twist, even when you see it on the screen you don’t believe it.  If Sarah and Shaw are supposed to be real, well, I don’t believe it.  If it’s supposed to be a con, well of course, look at them together.  Either way what is on the screen doesn’t do the job, so far.  But we’re really only to the point where Sarah seemed to be considering considering allowing something to happen.  The real test of chemistry will come March 1st.  See why I think so after the jump.

In one sense Brandon Routh has an impossible job, and his not pulling it off as well as Zach doesn’t offend me.  There is no way anyone coming in temporarily is ever going to be able to duplicate the kind of chemistry and cooperative acting that Zach and Yvonne have developed.   I can allow myself to be convinced he’s playing a straight laced unemotional spy, though I think he has absolutely killed (in a bad way) what should have been great comedy lines (like telling Chuck that tranq’ing Jeff wouldn’t be a problem).  But I have to say that I see almost no chemistry between him and Yvonne, making what was going to be a stretch to begin with even worse.  But I have a theory.  Indulge me if you will.

The compressed season 3 front 13 along with the budget cuts combined with the spoiler-phobic JS and CF practice of, as confirmed by several cast members, not releasing scripts till a week before shooting made any set up of the Sarah/Shaw dynamic impossible.  But lets return to that chemistry, or lack of it first.

Tense?

Tense?

I could be convinced, on repeated viewings,  that what we were seeing between Sarah and Shaw was sexual tension of the kind found in the more traditional WTWT setup.  Two equals, essentially dueling, neither willing to give in and admit an attraction to the other.  It’s seems a stretch, but I can read something more than plain discomfort in Sarah’s expressions if I’m open to looking for it.  The problem was we weren’t.  We were basically told not to look for it in First Class with Sarah’s antipathy toward Shaw and what he was doing to Chuck.  This was, as one commenter described, a rabbit out of a hat relationship, complete with the tada.  Why?  Let’s get some clues from the one that didn’t go thud last episode.

Totally Comfortable on His End.

Hannah and Chuck, two outgoing emotionally open people were first introduced to each other on Chuck’s first spy mission.  Friendly conversation and, while not really flirting they at least openly showed interest in each other for however long they were together.  Lots of interaction and getting to know each other, and a few confessions made their mutual interest seem both unforced and kind of sweet.  The chemistry, while nowhere near Levi-Strahovski levels was there and real enough.  But then Zach seems to have chemistry with all his PLIs to some degree.  In the following episodes while on the back burner there was an obvious interest in Chuck by Hannah, always trying to corner him and get some face time, but obviously a little hurt by how into his ex he seemed.  When she finally did get to be alone with Chuck her move seemed both unforced and almost natural.  She obviously didn’t come to Burbank for the exciting career.  I still think she’s an agent, but that’s for another thread.

OK, Back to Sarah and Shaw.  Here we have the exact opposite.  Two emotionally walled off professionals thrown together in a work environment with conflicting priorities.  While they both have feelings they don’t share them, with anyone.  Sarah met Shaw before Chuck met Hannah, but we see more of a relationship develop between Chuck and Hannah in First Class than we ever see between Sarah and Shaw.  The problem is that there was exactly one episode to establish an attraction between Sarah and Shaw, First Class, and they were busy arguing about Chuck and making accusations.  This was a nearly impossible task to begin with, but apparently they couldn’t afford to have Routh in Nacho Sampler where the Sarah/Shaw connection could have at least been set up better.  The one moment they could have started things down a more believable road in First Class would have been a deeper conversation between Sarah and Shaw after Chuck was safe, leading to some kind of reconciliation that they were a team when it came to Chuck, or that they understood each other over the wedding rings.  I didn’t see it.  Here’s my question.  Why didn’t I?  Here’s my theory.  The actors didn’t know enough to put it there.

If anyone has any inside information or can correct me please do, but my understanding is that they shoot on about a 6 day schedule and get the script for the next episode at about the beginning of shooting the previous, so for instance when shooting First Class both Zach and Yvonne already know, or are finding out what happens in Nacho Sampler.  In addition writers and directors are rotated through with little overlap.  This may have been fine when you had 22 episodes and time to re-shoot, but it is absolute death in a 13 episode season on a tight schedule with a lot of story to tell.  We are seeing the problem in 3.7 IMHO because of a fatal flaw in the way they are handling things.  Neither Yvonne nor Routh knew when they were shooting First Class that they were going to be falling for each other in the next episode they were both in, the Mask, and so despite what was on the page the actors couldn’t put the scenes they had together, which were many and long, into the proper context.  Here is where I think TPTB may need to make some adjustments that they haven’t made, or perhaps have now.  The actors need to know where the story is going every bit as much as the writers in cases like this, and if they knew anything, I’m guessing it wasn’t enough.  When a large portion of the fan base tells you something didn’t work, they may be on to something.   It might be time to re-consider how much story you can cram into one episode or how fast you can evolve a relationship.  These are they same sort of fumbles I see often with trying to turn on a dime with characters and relationships, and why I think that often when going for the big epic traumatic seismic event the tremor that precedes it has to be seen clearly, even if you think it tips your hand and lessens the impact.

Then again there is always that indefinable factor.  Chemistry.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in Angst, Inside Chuck, Inside Sarah, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

182 Responses to Chemistry 101

  1. JC says:

    You also have to wonder if the actors believed what their characters were saying and doing in the scripts.
    Yvonne had played Sarah for over two years and Routh admits to being a huge fan and shipper. They might have had some of the reactions as the fans to what was happening.

  2. Jason says:

    are you serious, shaw has done NOTHING but hit on her from the moment he entered the picture, he has not been in a scene without her, he is like the lame geek who goes to his hot girl friend’s party, and if she does not stand and hold his hand the entire while, he stands there alone. You essentially listed every PLI in the show having chemistry but sarah and shaw. Do this for me, picture

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I don’t totally agree, but I can see how you would see some of Shaw and Sarah’s interactions in First Class as him hitting on her, or at least trying to establish something. My bigger objection was that Sarah had shown, as far as I can recall, absolutely no receptivity to anything other than a professional relationship or even anything I can recall that could be interpreted as attraction until The Mask.

      I think you must have been cut off while replying, so I’ll revise if necessary, but I didn’t think Levi and Brewster had great chemistry, but some. Yvonne with Jonathan Cake (aka Cole Barker) was only so-so as I recall, and Yvonne with Matt somewhat better, except in the fight scenes where they were great.

      In one way Levi has it a lot easier because he plays a very friendly and open character and the connection with his female leads is easily on display, that is part of my point. Trying to show an attraction in cases where one or both parties might be trying to hide it is a bit tricky and takes some doing, but Yvonne and Zach have been able to knock that one out of the park on a weekly basis. Strahovski and Routh, lacking either chemistry or the time necessary to establish the chemistry or the attraction didn’t manage very well IMHO.

      • Jason says:

        must have hit the return button prematurely, routh’s portrayal of shaw creeps me out, watching him with sarah is like watching a pimp seduce a mark, perverted more so than romantic, my comment though was I picture routh’s acting to be indentical in this as it was in superman, near identical to what he sounds like in interviews, among all the other painful parts of 3.5 thru 3.7 is watching the combo of his acting, the creepy lines he uses, and the SS chemistry, as well as full knowing each scene he only has one character to interact with, so that is time he steals from the main show (CS time), which has slowed to at best 2-3 minutes an episode

  3. joe says:

    Heh. I start to have the same problem in reverse. On re-watching First Class, Hannah and Chuck are absolutely marvellous together. There’s no way Hannah can be anything but what she seems, a sweet innocent who attracts the bejeebers out of Chuck.

    Then I noticed the mystery of how the Martini conveniently appeared. Yeah, the second ring agent, the stewardess, put it there. But wasn’t Hannah sitting there all the while? Her reaction to Chuck drinking the poison is just a little – odd.

    Or am I seeing things? I don’t know. Hannah has been so sweet that if she suddenly becomes either a ring agent or even Shaw’s operative, my head will snap. Their new relationship won’t be any more believable than “chemistry” (or lack thereof) between Shaw and Sarah. Maybe less so.

    • JC says:

      Whether Hannah is a spy or not her showing up at the Buymore struck me as odd. You would think Chuck, Casey or Sarah’s “spydar” would be going off like crazy.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well, I’ll outline briefly why I think Hannah is a spy. Some of it relates to the mythic structure. The one episode where Chuck clearly enters the spy world completely this season is First Class. I mentioned the nearly literal reference to the threshold. In First Class, his introduction to the spy world he interacts with three people on the plane, and Sarah, Shaw, and Casey. The first person he interacts with on the plane is the flight attendant, who turns out to be an enemy spy. The second is Hannah, who introduces him to his new world via a tour. To me it is screaming friendly spy. The third is Hugo Panzer. Now it could be that of all the people Chuck interacts with on his first mission in his strange new land only one, Hannah, is something other than a spy, but I’m leaning the other way.

    • Fake Empire says:

      While at first, I was strongly suspicious that Hannah was a spy, now I’m no longer convinced. She could be, but maybe this will be one character who ends up being simply who she is: an unemployed worker who came to Burbank to find love and a job. It was written somewhere that Hannah is not who she seems; that could have already been addressed when we learned that this well-put together passenger on first class was actually unemployed and at a hard place in life.

      Also, if she ends up being a spy, then Chuck goes back to Sarah as a default. I would like to see him wake up, reconnect with his feelings for Sarah, and choose her again.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Fair point, but then Hannah would be just another Lou, who Chuck finds it impossible to have a relationship with because of the lies and requirements of the spy world, and again the choice is made for him. I think if Hannah is a spy and on the same side that means she and Chuck might have a chance at a relationship, but Chuck chooses otherwise.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Yeah, she would be similar to Lou in that she’s a civilian. That’s true. What I was hoping for is that, even though she’s a civilian, he still “wakes up” and realizes Sarah is the best for him. This would lead to him hurting Hannah, who then leaves Burbank.
        I would feel bad for her because she is so sweet and kind.

      • Jason says:

        i think the kiss could shock chuck into realizing sarah is the one, at that point, it is somewhat irrelevant if hannah is or is not a spy, he picked sarah without caring what hannah is or is not, I think the kiss (and / or punch) could also shock sarah into realizing chuck is the one, again, with very little regard to what shaw is or is not

      • joe says:

        Also, if she ends up being a spy, then Chuck goes back to Sarah as a default.

        True, FE, but only if Chuck is not trying to find out about this possibility. So far, he seems to be accepting Hannah completely at face value, much more than we are. Yet all of S3 so far has been about the scales falling from his eyes. We thought Chuck lost his naiveté a while ago!

      • amyabn says:

        Unless he chooses Sarah first, the breaks the news to Hannah, who then reveals herself as either Shaw’s or Beckman’s accomplice. That fixes both issues-Chuck freely chooses Sarah, tries to be a decent guy and cut Hannah loose, and then finds out that Sarah is the only one in his spy/real world that is in fact real. Could neatly move us forward in one fail swoop.

      • Jason says:

        amy – that is how I think it will play out too

      • Waverly says:

        That’s a good twist, Amy, but I think that settles things too quickly, given how their relationship appears to be progressing (or not).

      • amyabn says:

        It may be a fast solution, but let’s face it (and I’ve mentioned it other places) we are running out of time. This arc is only 13 episodes long and we are going to have 3.8-3.9 apparently not fixing too much. I think something needs to move them towards one another quickly-not magically fixed, everything is perfect, but committed and fixing things as we complete the arc.

  4. weaselone says:

    Ernie, an excellent article and I definitely think you’ve hit on at least part of the problem. It’s quit possibly something we might see and probably have seen throughout the season even in regards to the interactions between the established characters.

    Still, it doesn’t exactly explain what we saw in 3.07. Presumably Brandon and Yvonne were handed complete scripts to 3.07 at some point and had the opportunity to read it in its entirety before shooting. There wasn’t really any chemistry or establishment of a relationship within the episode itself until the gas hit the Castle. We see that Shaw is taking an interest in Sarah through his actions and Chuck’s jealousy, but we never see why he’s had this change in heart, nor is Sarah’s change of attitude ever telegraphed in any way. Shaw poison’s them and instead of kicking his butt all over the Castle until she expires, Sarah suddenly indicates actual interest.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Weaselone, you and I are pretty much on the same page, but I do think, if you are generous, you can read Sarah’s reactions in the museum to Shaws advances as slightly flustered upon realizing she was enjoying his attentions. This could have been more evident without overplaying if we’d seen some indication of an attraction on Sarah’s part before this episode. I still think it comes down more to chemistry, hence the post.

      I have a theory on what JS and CF are doing this season (yep, another post!) in the works, so I’ll leave that part of your comment for later if you don’t mind.

  5. Fake Empire says:

    This was good reading Ernie. No doubt about the ZL & YS chemistry. The constraints you mentioned affect BR & YS, but I also think that BR’s talent is not at the same level as ZL’s, nor YS’s for that matter. Levi and Strahovski play off of one another so well, in part, because they are so skilled as actors. The other part is that they simply “click.” You can’t teach that; it just happens.

    Routh, while I’m sure he is a good person, cannot convey the emotional depth and nuances in order to make dialogue or relationships more believable. I noticed it in Superman Returns and see it again in Chuck. Much of his speech is monotone, and his facial expressions are flat. Levi and Strahovski far outpace and outperform him individually and when together.

    • Mike B says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I mentioned numerous times on other threads what I think of BR’s acting skills, or lack there of. What made it worse was the forced Shaw and Sarah relationship. It would take a much more gifted actor to pull it off. Even Yvonne who emotes deep emotion with just a look wasn’t able to pull it off.

  6. queuebert says:

    If discussed the lack of chemistry between Yvonne and Brandon a little bit with some people. I agree with you that BR has the unenviable task of not only playing Sarah’s PLI, he has to play it cool, like a spy.

    Part of me wants to believe the the lack of chemistry has to do with the character. BUT, the more I watch, the more I blame BR. On paper, Sarah Walker is just like Shaw. Hard, detached CIA agent. The difference is that Yvonne is a better actor. BR performances lacks the nuances. Had the role been given to someone more capable, I think the S/S romance might have been easier to swallow.

    If the chemistry had been there since, say, First Class, I would have bought their romance. Zac & Kristen had less time to establish chemistry, but they did it better.

    The writers set up Shaw pretty well. He’s smart, talented, attractive, and has pretty poignant back story. All BR had to do was sell it and Shaw would have been such a great character. It’s too bad that all that was wasted.

    After saying all that, I am open to the idea that the lack of chemistry is intentional. I doubt it, but i would be glad to eat my words if the writers can pull something out of their sleeves.

  7. Jason says:

    I have a ? which really is sort of a sad one given what a blatant shipper I am – why does chuck love sarah? I get why chuck desires sarah, but why would he want to be with her forever, as a couple, with kids, as an uncle and aunt?

    • Michael says:

      This is possibly the point where Lester looks at Jeff and says “What does THAT mean”.

      I’m not sure that we see much explicitly onscreen other than her willingness to care for him, protect and encourage him. We could read between the lines and say that there’s probably more going on that we don’t see – maybe that little breakfast at Sarah’s in DeLorean happens more frequently than we know.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Look at first date when they have dinner in the Chinese restaurant where he spells it out to her or the numerous scenes where she encourages him, telling him how special he is and how much he is capable of.

    • lizjames says:

      Jason-
      Because she is everything he has never had: A strong woman who has never abandonned him (a la his mom and first love, Jill); has sacrificed for and protected him; trusts him implicitly, even when he seems wrong; and has never obviously “needed” him like Ellie or Morgan. Plus, as he said in First Date, she’s smart, could kick the ass of everyone in the room and extremely beautiful.

      And other than her infuriating inability to express her feelings–and keep them in control when she does–she’s basically perfect.

      • joe says:

        You forgot that she’s also not a cannibal! 😉

      • SWnerd says:

        And she laughs at all of his stupid jokes.

        Plus I think that he sees that even though she lives in this not very nice spy world, she’s a good person and has a really kind heart. (At least when she occasionally lets him/us see it)

      • atcdave says:

        Sorry SWnerd, weird glich; you beat me to the perfect response, by a couple hours!

    • atcdave says:

      Everyone’s forgetting she laughs at his dumb jokes. I can’t think of a more important qualification in a mate. Their relationship as always read as warm, respectful, and fun; to me, there is no great mystery here.

    • Faith says:

      ^all of that. Love it.

      There’s a certain amount of infatuation after a rescue and a certain amount of close encounters (the protected at times—maybe more—tends to falls into infatuation with their bodyguards, sick to their nurses, etc.) that’s going on there but aside from the fact that you don’t see him falling in love with Casey haha…I think the biggest reason, to throw a cliche out there is that she makes him want to be a better man.

      With Sarah he has embraced his heroism, graduated from Stanford, found his dad and owned up to his destiny. He may have always (in fact he does) had these qualities within him but she was the spark to his flame 😀

    • Waverly says:

      All of the above, of course. But also I wonder if there’s a part of Chuck’s personality that wants to help Sarah open up and grow. We’ve seen bits of that before.

      Sarah did say she came with a lot of baggage, and Chuck just wants to be her baggage handler.

      • amyabn says:

        LOL! I think the tie in of the whole Baggage Handler line from the first episode is perfect! I think Chuck’s speech to Karl in Three Words was about spot on. He has helped Sarah open up. She just has to get around to admitting it and maybe even thanking him for it. That is another step to the middle for both of them.

  8. Yves says:

    I do agree on how (too) fast a couple for Shaw and Sarah takes place. I’ve already written how I like the idea of other sentimental bonds for Chuck and Sarah… If it’s done in a right way.

    Releasing scripts a week before the shooting might be part of the problem. On another matter not unrelated, I think there is a problem with the casting. The management of the casting, to be honnest.

    I re-watched the Mask. The actors who play Jeff and Lester are mentionned in the openning, but other than that, where are they? If my wish were to be fullfilled, I’d like for them to be guest stars while shaw becomes a regular member of the cast. Like it or not, the “buy morons” don’t keep up such a big part of a show anymore. This gets even worse with a shortened season.

    Building a character takes time. I mean, we got to see the spark between Chuck and Sarah, not only when they’re on the verge of death, but in the tiny moments before and after the mission, when they are playing cat and mouse game. As an exemple, I think of the second of Lou’s episode. Getting ready for the evening, Chuck has to put a listening device into his ear, and Casey hands him a rose

    “I bet this is equiped with a micoscopic device designed to detect her mother’s communist afiliation”
    ” No, idiot, it’s so you can get laid”.

    Sarah’s face at this moment is eloquent, the least to say. I’m not gonna list all those little red flags we all saw. My point is, they are to be seen for every TV couple, and we never saw them between Shaw and Sarah other than in the Mask.

    For good measure, I kind of like this one “It it were a real date, this would the part when I’d be forced to kiss you good bye”/
    “Forced? Would it be so bad?
    “Sure I could suffer through it”
    “… Me too.”

    I don’t know the ratings. But I do hope for a longer fourth season, and a change in the cast.

    (Again, sorry If I made any grammatical or vocabulary mistakes. )

    • joe says:

      Welcome to the discussion, Yves!

      I’m not gonna list all those little red flags we all saw. My point is, they are to be seen for every TV couple, and we never saw them between Shaw and Sarah other than in the Mask.

      That’s a great point. It adds to our suspicion that all is not as it seems with Hannah and Shaw.

    • amyabn says:

      First, welcome Yves. Second, I would say that I’ve had too much of BR. I don’t like his character, I don’t find him a credible romantic threat to Chuck (sorry, he does nothing for me, I think Zach is way better looking), and he is in most of the first 13 episodes. I don’t want him on. I want to get back to the fun and goofy antics at the Buy More (as long as they are related and not a total B storyline).

      Love the quote you pulled out about the real date/kiss scenario. I am nostalgic about the good old days when we got to see the awesome chemistry!

      • Yves says:

        Thank you Joe, Thank you Amyabn.

        First and foremost, I have to say I tilt to think Hannah’s not a spy. She’s really into Chuck, and when she sees him with Sarah on the monitor in the Mask, she seems truly hurt, she has no one to play along any fake romantic interest.Besides, writers can’t always display the card of the-would-be-lover-that-is-a-spy-in-the-end. The already did that with Jill. To put it simply, in Fake name, Sarah will show up in the middle of an intimate moment between Hannah and Chuck, He’ll go with her, and Hannah will leave with her wounded heart.

        On another matter. I remember a post (don’t recall the name of the writer, sorry), which said that what could be seen as clues for a conspiracy could be plain inconsistencies as well. I think there is something here we have to keep in mind. Remember Josh Schwartz was part of the teen drama the OC, where many plots were only one-shots. I see the same in Chuck, and guess it is a bad habit of Schwartz. (He also used again the scene of kiss on the big wheel).

        To justify the sudden bound between Sarah and Shaw, it is implied that the coffee move took place before the episode. In the vault, Chuck tells her about “the way he brings /her/ coffee every morning”.

        What’s bothering me is that there was a way to build a link between them without making it come out of thin air. In order for this to happen, it would have required scenes writtn for them, and Routh presence on every episodes, in place for Jeff and Lester, for exemple.

  9. Marvin says:

    I frankly wasn’t thrilled with Routh as an actor in Superman, and he hasn’t improved in Chuck. He comes across as somewhat cardboardy…So it isn’t a surprise to me that there is no chemistry between he and Yvonne. (I didn’t think there was chemistry between Routh and Bosworth, either.)

    Now, getting to the characters, unlike Chuck, I don’t particularly see Shaw as a hero. He saw his old nemesis in action, getting a “wow” moment seeing Sarah and Bryce acting as a team, but that hasn’t happened with Sarah and Shaw, and isn’t likely to. (Actually, I’d like to see Chuck and Sarah tag-team on some baddies.) Chuck obviously has his type (short and brunette), Sarah has hers, and if Chuck wasn’t feeling typically inferior, he would have gotten the implied message from Sarah.

    So where will it go? Somehow I don’t see Sarah hopping on to Shaw simply because he’s there. I sense an ulterior motive. The mood music at the close of “Mask” enforces that idea: Shaw is not the safest person in the world. That the Ring is gunning for him is not the bad news.

  10. wdm0744 says:

    Great article and discussion!

    Didn’t JS and CF confirm that 3.8 will be Hannah’s last episode? I might be incorrect on that, but I thought I remembered reading it on the “What’s Alan Watching” blog interview.

    If that’s true, there could be the possibility that Hannah is innocent and somehow is killed after she gets caught in the spy world.

    I can’t imagine the show going quite that dark, but it would explain how things could be so hot and heavy at the end of 3.7 and then have her be gone in just one more episode.

    Of course, this would be the ultimate sort of easy out for Chuck as he would obviously have only Sarah to turn to, but with such a condensed season, I can’t imagine that Chuck could get over the shock of Hannah’s death and then become a spy couple with Sarah by the end of 3.13 (if that is indeed where we are heading).

    Hannah’s death seems like a possible scenario, but it may not be probable. Which leaves only three possibilities, as I see it:
    1. She is a spy in league with Shaw
    2. She’s with the Ring
    3. She’s another Lou

    Any other possibilities?

    • joe says:

      This is not what you mean to stress, WDM – I know. But you made me notice something – again. 13 episodes? 13 hours is a condensed period of time to tell a story? To quote Chuck himself,

      That’s preposterous!
      Why, yes. Yes it is!

      We’re treating time very oddly here. Shaw his been around far too long! Yet at the same time, we don’t know but a fraction of his story. Hannah is gone in one more episode, yet she may be completely the opposite of what she seems to be now. Or not. We have too much Buy More! And we have too little in the way of light moments, and nothing of Jeffster.

      Oops. I made that sound like a complaint about the use of time in the show. It’s not. It’s a measure of how much story there is to be told, and a measure of how much more we want to hear.

      • Faith says:

        someone jokingly said that they’re no longer watching “Chuck,” they’re watching “Shaw” over at the NBC Boards earlier this year. I shrugged it off and laughed a little. Now I’m not so sure lol.

    • lizjames says:

      Other possibilities:
      1) She works for Orion, keeping an eye on Chuck.
      2) She works for Beckman, keeping an eye on Shaw.
      3) She’s freelance.
      4) She works for Buy More corporate.
      5} She works for Sarah and/or Casey.

      The only possibility that ISN’T likely is that she is a civilian. ZERO possibility of that.

      And, by the way, e8 is her last episode and she does not die. We know that much.

      • herder says:

        I can see a potentially fun bit where Sarah is at castle keeping an eye on Chuck’s mission and at the same time watching Hannah with Ellie waiting for Chuck to get back for dinner. Ellie asks Hannah how she met Chuck Hannah explains that they met on the flight to Paris and the shock and worry suddenly appearing on Sarah’s face as she realizes that Hannah isn’t what she seems. Sort of the reaction that she and Casey had when they realized that Jill was Fulcrum. Probably won’t happen that way, but I can see the meeting on the plane coming up something like this.

      • Waverly says:

        How do we know that Hannah doesn’t die in this episode?

      • atcdave says:

        They were discussing bringing her back for another episode; could be misdirection, but it probably means she doesn’t die.

  11. Rick Holy says:

    Unfortunately, that chemistry has not been allowed to be where it SHOULD be this most critical season – at the FOREFRONT of the show. Either TPTB “know” that NBC is going to give CHUCK a 4th Season so they’re “saving it up for then,” OR they’ve wasted a golden opportunity to “grow” the show this season. I hope it’s the former and not the latter.

    For me, at least, CHUCK’s primary draw is the Chuck and Sarah dynamic. I’m not saying it’s the ONLY draw – the Chuck/Spy World, Chuck/Morgan, Chuck/Ellie, Chuck/BuyMoron dynamics are also interesting at times necessary aspects of the show. But PLEASE, if TPTB don’t realize the the Chuck/Sarah dynamic is central/key to the show, then they’ve either got blinders on or they’ve never had “significant others” in their lives. (And YES, this observation is coming from a priest!).

    From now on I think my sign off isn’t going to be “BRING ON THE CHUCK,” but “BRING ON THE CHUCK AND SARAH!”

    Peace, all! And here’s looking forward to a hopefully outstanding (FINALLY) episode on March 1st! (And don’t forget SUBWAY, either!).

    • weaselone says:

      As if I could forget about the Subway. There’s just so many tasty options.

    • atcdave says:

      Funny how a Baptist and a priest always seem to be on the same page with this stuff! I love all the character interactions and relationships on this show, except the two that now are getting the most attention. I do agree with Joe though, Hannah, at least in theory, is more believable. But given the shortened season (OK, actually under any circumstances, but the short season makes it worse), it is a shame to short change the one screen relationship I really want to see.

    • amyabn says:

      Any ideas on when we will know if Chuck gets a season 4? They rather quickly gave Chuck the extra episodes for S3 and with Leno gone and decent (not stellar) ratings, I would hope we would know someting soon.
      And I agee with you, Fr. Rick, that they have wasted a large chunk of S3. Even if they know they have a S4, they have managed to alienate a chunk of the die hard fans and looking at the ratings, have failed to attract a large new following. Not trying to be a downer-I want a Season 4 as much as all of you. I just don’t want to be in a “save Chuck” position yet again. I would do it, of course, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it.

  12. Yves says:

    About Routh… As I said, I don’t think we’we seen enough to picture him as an actor. From what we saw, I a gree though. I don’t see any shady zone in his character however I know there is one.

    About Chuck’s type. Maybe it’s a way to part Chuck’s lives. Short brunette one one hand, blond (spy) angel on the other hand. It makes sense for me that Chuck’s love interest’s are no Sarah’s clone. They impersonnate a link to his old nerd herder life.

    About Sarah and Shaw.Remember, Casey gave us the key weeks ago. Sarah systematically falls for the man she’s working with. It’s not true that she hasn’t loved before Chuck. Anybody remembers Bryce Larkin? And the way she was torn both times he came back into her life?

    What bothered me was: why choosing Chuck over Larkin, or Cole? Because Chuck offers her something nobody gave her in the spyworld. Trust. At the beginnig of the show, Chuck is unable to lie, or hurt anyone (or at least willingly).

    In the third season, the spark is still here, but on a minor mode, as both of them are still hurt after what happened in Prague. Chuck’s understand that he can’t be with Sarah, and Sarah always knew they couldn’t be together as long as they are spies (As I recall, every kiss hapened on the verge of death, or just before going away for good).

    So, in the Mask, What Chuck said is ambiguous. He says: If I have to see you with someone else, it might as well be a hero”. He doesn’t like the idea of letting her go, but in a way, he knows he has to, and Shaw prooves himself worthy of it.

    This reaction is partly triggered by what Sarah said. She might be the one having a hard expressing her deep feelings, but, as they can’t be together, and Chuck and Hannah get along pretty well (After all,Chuck’s the one being jealous just after kissing another girl. And HE is the one who starts it!)

    • lou federico says:

      Very good insight Yves.. Over the last half of season 2 Sarah has been trying to merge off the spy interstate while Chuck is trying to merge on. I guess we can only hope for a 2 car pileup.

  13. Marvin says:

    And why are we stuck on this 13 episode idea when we know that Doc Emmett Brown is coming in episode 16 to deal with Chucks mental instability? There are 19 episodes this season, not 13.

    • weaselone says:

      We can’t be 100% sure whether Chuck is actually having mental problems, or if it’s just a cover of some sort. Spoilers, even accurate ones are generally misleading.

    • Yves says:

      True enough, Marvin. Sorry. I don’t spend that much time wandering on Internet about the show. Season will be longer than expected? Great! Then, what about Shaw and Hannah? Are they gonna stay?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      The back 6 were not ordered until the original 13 were well into production. In interviews Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak said that they made a decision to, for the most part, preserve the original 13 episode story and do the back six as a sort of mini-season, with perhaps minor changes to the episodes that hadn’t started production yet. At the time of the back 6 order I think they were well into filming 3.8 or 3.9, meaning that they probably had up to at least 3.11 or 3.12 already written. So in essence we are assuming a lot of the conflicts and stories we see now will be mostly resolved by 3.13.

    • Gord says:

      Two possible reasons for Chuck to see the CIA shrink
      1. He is having an existential spy crisis of sorts. (sorry watched Truth again the other night)
      or
      2. He and Sarah need couples therapy.

      • Michael says:

        Or, perhaps, after the cumulative events of S2 and sparked by the death of Bryce and “failure” to protect Chuck (from re-intersecting), Sarah’s being treated for PTSD.

      • amyabn says:

        Or maybe Orion has cracked up again and Chuck has gone undercover to save him? Could be a cool way to bring him back.

      • Faith says:

        Could be for Awesome as well. He looks like he’s way past ready to crack.

      • Waverly says:

        Or Morgan will be at the point where he needs it.

        Or, more likely, every spy needs therapy all the time. And it’s another way to introduce both drama and comedy.

      • amyabn says:

        I don’t know about you guys, but since Morgan is going to be in on the secret, I think it would be funny for him to play relationship counselor for C&S like he did for Ellie and Awesome. Could make for some really funny stuff.

      • atcdave says:

        Amy, I think that could be very funny, once. But they don’t seem to do comedy anymore.

  14. Gord says:

    When you mention chemistry, you also have to admit that there is chemistry in many of the regular character relationships on that show. Sure not necessarily romantic chemistry (although sometimes I wonder about Chuck and Morgan LOL), but there is a genuine flow to how they work together.
    You mentioned the chemistry that Chuck has with Hannah, and I’m not sure it is there to the same extent as the Chuck/Sarah chemistry. To me the way they kissed, it didn’t seem to have the same intensity as the Chuck/Sarah kisses or even the Chuck/Lou kisses for that matter. Perhaps that is intentional, and we will see in the next episode that Chuck realizes that the magic really isn’t there like it is with Sarah, which is the reason for Chuck and Hannah breaking up.

    One thing I do believe is that the writers will have Chuck break up with Hannah and Sarah with Shaw rather than vice versa. If they truly want to bring the two lead characters together it has to be by their chosing rather than as a consolation prize or as Morgan would say conso-loving prize.

    • Jason says:

      another fun chemistry angle is sarah and casey, each has nearly killed the other at times, yet also seem to have one another’s back – find it interesting casey said goodnite at the end of 3.7, also for the con fans, sarah put her wristwatch within whisper range as shaw was moving behind her, since chuck was ‘busy’ at the time, if she was communicating, it had to be casey – also, casey ad sarah exchange glances when shaw announces shaw – sarah will team up in the museum

    • joe says:

      Missed you here, Gord. Watching the Olympics? Every time a Canadian steps up to compete, you come to mind, though.

      Yeah – one place we’ve seen no chemistry at all is between Sarah and Shaw. I’m not ready to ascribe that to bad acting, either. I think we’re an unusually perceptive bunch of viewers.

      • Gord says:

        Joe,
        It is a combination of things. Just very busy these past few weeks. There have been days where I get a chance to read the article, but no time to go through all the comments or respond. I should have a bit more free time after this week. Not to mention Chuck will be back so we will have more to talk about.

  15. Fabiano Gaspar says:

    Hello Guys, sorry for my English borrowed!

    I am Brazilian and is the first time I write something here. For me it’s a pleasure and I am very grateful to have this space to increase my passion for this show to me is better than my eyes so far contemplated. Theories of you are amazing and the discussions here in Brazil leave much to be desired. But come on.
    You’re right about the chemical between the characters and who knows better than you at this point is because I believe Shaw’s true that Hannah is a spy him (despite being balanced with the post of Liz James by the way is wonderful).
    He knows exactly the kind of woman who attracts Chuck and Hannah really fit this purpose.
    As James once said Liz: brunette, short, sweet and newest quality: GEEK. In these respects she wins because the Shaw even know all of the past and that Chuck was involved with girls with this body type (hitchhiking in Article Chuck vs. Jhonny and Sarah Walker).

    But I present the items in Hannah Chuck vs. First Class:

    0) Shaw gives Chuck ticket here that “by order of the destination” is based next to Hannah.
    1) Shaw said that his spies are never alone. And Hannah was there. Even if we develop Chuck, he knew that sometimes he seemed to James Bond and sometimes Jerry Lewies. In other words, could not gamble, see help of Sarah is the safe haven of Chuck, even for not being able to use Hannah at the beginning of the plot.
    2) The mission was in flight, so I see that Hannah stimulates the flash Chuck in Hugo Panzer through play to discover the types of people around them.
    3) The issue of unemployment and Paris is where she could touch it because we know that Chuck is emotionally weak. Then open a real connection such as “I know how, I’ve been there too!” and yet see that there is affinity between the two.
    4) She suggests that he was poisoned after one drink unwanted. And if they perceive when Chuck looks pro Hugo drink after the camera kind of closed his eyes and hides Hannah gradually. Do not know if he says something but I think I saw something, rsrsrs …

    And finally, something came up in my mind even more crazy that with Hannah, and Stewardess Hugo Panzer could be the team of Shaw and the latter because of his facial expression at the end of The Mask, being a double agent trying to recruit Chuck for THE RING because Chuck could be the pioneer of the perfect soldier and was the purpose of creating multiple FULLCRUM but it did not work as they changed the strategy. Also taking into account that there is a spoiler out there saying that Chuck should pose as an assassin. And Shaw was with this purpose of making an agent Chuck THE RING?
    I will study something about it and then I try it says here.

    Well we thank you … I’ve written too much and sorry for my bad English Google Translator …

    God bless you all …

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Hello and welcome to the blog Fabiano. Your English is far better than my Portuguese, so don’t worry. We are an international group, so we try to be open to anyones ideas and don’t mind, in fact we are flattered you think enough of our group to make the effort to join in. Thank you.

      Your ideas are very close to mine as far as Hannah goes. I also think she’ll turn out to have been there to back up Chuck.

  16. Sarah Bartowski says:

    Personally I believe the Shaw+Sarah dynamic acted out in 3.07 was done on purpose. Sarah is still hurting from her rejection by Chuck at the Prague train station, so she will not open herself up emotionally to anyone. Hence her interest in Shaw. Just like Bryce, there will be little to no emotional entanglement, just a physically satisfying relationship.

    • atcdave says:

      Hey Sarah Bartowski, is this your first post here? I do remember you from the NBC forums. You do bring one possibility, that, well, I’m not fond of; but that doesn’t mean its wrong! We could see Sarah trying a “meaningless fling” to distract her from Chuck, or even to convince Chuck she’s moved on. I do find the con theories more appealing, only about 9 days until we get some answers.

    • herder says:

      I recognize your name from the NBC boards, welcome, I don’t post there much any more after a 2 month period of moderated posts, but I have enjoyed your comments. I disagree with the physically satisfying part of your post mainly because of Adam’s “don’t want to jump the shark, even a superman shark” comment but I do think that Sarah is trying to move on, or at least let Chuck think she is moving on and it may become more than that as time goes on.

      I think that Sarah will develop a real friendship with Shaw that Chuck will interpret as more than that, sort of how he may have reacted if Cole had stayed on for another four episodes or if Bryce had become the team leader for an extended period. But ultimately I think that Sarah will set boundries with the Shaw relationship as she has set boundries with every other relationship that she has had in the series so far.

    • joe says:

      Hi, SB. I recognize your handle too. Always liked your posts!

      We’ve be speculating that Sarah’s playing Shaw a bit. There’s more that a couple of clues that this may be the case, but that kind of twist would certainly make the end of The Mask go down better.

  17. herder says:

    I guess this fits under the topic of chemistry. I’ve noticed that JS and CF in their interviews didn’t spend much time justifying the Chuck/Hannah relationship, there seems to be some chemistry between them so not too much time was spent explaining why they might be together. A fair bit of time was spent explaining why Sarah might be interested in Shaw; they have similar backgrounds they went to the same spy school, I think one of the quotes was that in any other spy story this is the type of guy that she would fall in love with.

    There are a number of reasons why they might have gone this extra length to give these reasons; because of time and budget constraints they couldn’t show this on the screen, Chuck/Hannah is going to end in Fake Name so why bother to explain but Sarah/Shaw is going to be here for a while, it is a character inconsistency that they didn’t see in editing. I think the most likely reason is that they see what we see, a lack of connection between the two characters that is more apparant on the screen than it appeared in the script. So as a result they have to explain it in interviews.

    • atcdave says:

      I think its just a bigger leap for Sarah; we more often see her as steady, reserved, and cautious. So it just more out of character for her; explainations are required! Actually sonce Colonel I find this all unacceptable for both of them, but you probably already knew that.

    • Faith says:

      There’s a double standard as it relates to Chuck and Sarah hooking up with PLIs. I think there’s just a double standard in general with males and females but especially as it relates to Sarah…I admit, I’m guilty of it as well.

      For example the very idea of Beefcake versus what could be argued as a far more damaging arc with Jill—Jill was around for 3 epis so that was 3 epis of agony for Sarah (Chuck even slept with Jill) and yet most fans found Beefcake more objectionable (and the very idea of Sarah sleeping with Cole—good god I’d have drowned my sorrows in many many bottles of vodka and blog/boards community) if for nothing else than there’s history with JIll. But then there’s Bryce.

      • atcdave says:

        I hate to disagree with someone I never disagree with; so I’ll say I don’t entirely buy the double standard arguement. I mean, we all know Sarah’s been with Bryce, and probably others pre-dating Chuck. We assume Chuck is far less experienced, possibly only having been with Jill. But I think Chuck is often given a pass because he doesn’t know for sure where Sarah stands. Several times during the show’s run; getting over her and on with his life would seem to be the wise move. For myself, I want to scream “idiot!” every time he even thinks about it; but he really does have cause to think that would be wise. Sarah, by comparison, has generally known Chuck was hers for the taking whenever she wanted. So if she runs around with someone else while she’s “thinking about it” with Chuck, it makes her look very bad. You are right, Chuck is sometimes given a pass for his actions with Jill (it did make me sick to my stomach), I think because she was an ex. People generally don’t agonize too much over what may have happened with Sarah and Bryce in Nemesis either.
        In the current situation, I know both my wife and I were more disappointed in Chuck than Sarah; mainly because Sarah seems more likely to be up to something; while Chuck actually seems to be moving on.

      • Faith says:

        Idiot is correct lol. It occurred to me why they sell popcorn in movie theaters. Not just because you get thirsty and will therefore buy their 12 dollar soda, but so when you hate the film you can throw something not so damaging (albeit oily) at the screen but I digress.

        You have a point. He never knows because she’s incapable of voicing her true feelings and he’s too insecure most of the time to realize just how deeply she feels (and fight through her rejections) that said it still doesn’t excuse it. There is a tendency in media to portray a story a certain way as it relates to gender roles. James Bond is sauve, womanizer who is generally revered but if you have a woman portray the same role she’ll be labeled as something else entirely. In television you have Rachel going out with Paolo and it’s despicable (especially since he felt up Phoebe) and yet they paint Julie in a way that you are endeared to what Ross ever saw in her. In Chuck, again understandable that he’s trying to move on coz he’s getting nowhere…and he’s never really had closure with Jill but you give Sarah Bryce who is painted not only as his nemesis but also you have him enter S2 opening Sarah’s apartment. Compare Lou with Cole as well. Lou was cute and as damsel in distress as it gets (built in sympathy) while Cole was this guy who made Chuck look ridiculous in comparison with every move (thereby making us the viewers dislike him), because Chuck’s our guy…the protagonist.

        I don’t know maybe I’m seeing things I want to see again lol.

      • joe says:

        I think you might be a little, Faith.

        Gee – I totally forgot about Julie. The one I *do* remember was the flake that Rachel convinced to shave her head – again. Rachel came off much more sympathetic that time (more than Ross, who came off like an idiot).

        But as far as our couple is concerned, you may be exactly right. It’s a little easier to sympathise with Chuck, I think, ’cause up to now Sarah’s seemed much more in control of the relationship. She’s the superspy, after all. And he’s just the articulate schnook.

        But that was S2. Now he’s a superspy too, and I’m not so sure that she’s in control of the relationship any more than he is. One of the reasons that the last 10 minutes of The Mask was so frustrating was because they *both* seemed be heading off in the wrong direction.

        To be very judgemental (but in a loving way!) about it, I’d take ’em both by the collar and tell ’em “Hey! You’re being stupid. Stop that!”

      • Faith says:

        Ok you guys swayed me. This is pretty much why I like to keep an open mind, someone somewhere always has a different and perhaps clearer picture than you. Good chat.

      • atcdave says:

        Glad you came around Faith! But I do have to agree there is quite a double standard in society generally. James Bond is an excellent example, a woman character acting the same way would not be admired by many people. But I do think the standard is changing, and I don’t believe its been at play on Chuck (so far, I mat change my mind depending on how the current situation plays out).

  18. Faith says:

    This isn’t Routh—actor bashing—but he didn’t have chemistry with Kate Bosworth in Superman returns either 😦 Although to be fair I didn’t like either of them in their roles. Only one I liked in that movie is Parker Posey.

  19. Jason says:

    opinion only, with 12-20 seconds of editing, we would not even know there was a SS LI in this season’s arc, only a PLI, that is assuming there is a SS LI at all, and it will all be over by 3.8’s end.

    TPTB addressed the Sarah issue, because they know it bombed, time will tell, but if you tally how many CS friendly sentences they used and how many cautious this will go on for a while comments, the friendly ones far outweighed the negative ones.

    Problem is, I don’t think they have any other issue that fans care about that they could write a suspense about other than CS’s relationship, do they? If not, they probably are going to mess with CS every single arc?????

  20. BigCheese says:

    Hello, my first post. Read this:

    http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2010/02/19/pilot-kristin-kreuk-jack-carpenter/

    Depressing news, depressing season.

    What more can I say?

    Sorry for gramatical errors. I’m braziliam, yeah believe me I know.

    • joe says:

      Welcome to the discussion, BigCheese.
      May I ask why you find the news depressing? Schwartz in currently involved with another show (Gossip Girls) along with Chuck. I’ve always suspected that the day-to-day decisions have been made by Fedak, and a new show won’t change that.

    • amyabn says:

      Welcome BigCheese. I agree with Joe and this isn’t a big deal. If only Ali Adler got more day to day say in what was going on……Anyway, the thing that I find almost ironic about this show description is that it really mirrors where Chuck and Sarah could/should be. The description has two newlyweds who realize that their marriage is only the beginning. Sound familiar? Chuck and Sarah should be there with their relationship-we’re together but have a lot to work out, both personally and professionally.

      • atcdave says:

        Another case of the show we wish Chuck would be. I know JS is a newly-wed himself, I keep hoping he will find it fertile ground for Chuck. Maybe in S4!

  21. Faith says:

    If they were shooting for a love-hate relationship between S/S much like Lois and Clark had, they failed. Epic fail.

    That said, I have to somewhat disagree with not knowing (though I don’t have first hand knowledge). Every show I know of, although the exact scripts aren’t released, their character arcs are discussed and any big event that will happen is usually discussed before table read. There’s an overall arc that the writers plan before the season, that gets worked on during the season but the actors (for the sake of staying true to their own vision of who they are, after all they’re the one that knows their characters best—if they take pride in their art) are told and get some sort of feedback on their characters. They may not be able to say, “I object to falling in love once again with a stranger” but they can say “maybe I shouldn’t kiss him there it would seem disingenuous.” I know in the Office Pam was told months before the finale that she would be pregnant in the finale…granted not the best example because an arcing PLI isn nowhere near as big as a pregnancy.

    When Ali Adler said, “intentional breaking of antiquities” I think she meant that this was an intentional and planned event that dated back from Pink Slip, maybe Ring (I remember JS and CF already saying they have know how s3 would go). So if the actors of Chuck weren’t aware of the sideswipe that the PLIs/chemistry-ruin brings they’re probably the only show that does so?

    Though I maintain it was off because it was supposed to be 😉 . The writing and the directing was as such that you were supposed to be hit hard with the inconsistency of the last 10 minutes compared to the former 30. Don’t have an answer specifically for the chemistry though haha.

    • Waverly says:

      I agree, Faith, that the actors and writers and directors will know, either because they are told or because they are diligent and ask, all of the past and relevant future character points for every scene that they shoot.

      Ascribing the story and character flaws to their scheduling is an interesting theory, Ernie, but I just find that too unprofessional to believe likely. There must be something else that’s wrong. Including possibly us viewers trying to read too much into the actors’ expressions.

    • joe says:

      I agree with that too, Faith. We were meant to be jarred.

      I’m not bother by it, myself. My tastes, whether I’m watching Shakespeare or football, run towards feeling something emotionally. I’d rather feel sad at the end of an episode than feel nothing at all (that’s the definition of entertainment failure in my book).

      But that’s not everyone’s tastes, and some, like my friend Dave, are expressly seeking something else, something other than “jarring”.

      My guess is that in a mass market medium like TV, something of all of that must be satisfied, eventually. It comes down to how many episodes make up “eventually”.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, I’m a light weight; just give me the fun. I’d love to know when the show would get back to it; currently I find it boring and depressing.
        I do love football, when my team wins. Emotional investment is low there (except the Bears), so I move on fairly quickly.
        And I like Shakespeare; comedys only.

        As I said, light weight.

      • Jason says:

        joe, I like watching ’24’, still like it, I expect a jarring / depressing ending most of the time, 23 hrs and 55 minutes of misery for 5 great minutes at the end. I liked chuck season 1 /2, what I generally got was 55 minutes of intertwining humor from 3 sub plots, a very weak spy story, and remarkable chemistry, with a weekly 5 minute ‘heart-warming’ ending. This season has had too many ’24’ moments, not enough chuck s1/s2. It isn’t about staisfying what any fan might want, it is about being true to what your show is on a regular basis – that is my uproar over S3 has been, especially E-1/6/7..

      • atcdave says:

        Excellent post Jason, I’m with you all the way.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m of two minds on this. On one side I agree, it would be incomprehensible for the TPTB to not know enough to lay the seeds of a developing storyline, so if it comes as a shock it was meant to. On the other hand I’ve seen so many dropped balls this season that haven’t been resolved I’m starting to believe that the new production schedule is actually taking a toll and things are being missed. I had a test at the end of Nacho Sampler. I’d seen other things dropped and saw a scene develop that I thought had to be addressed the next episode, or if not, it meant they were just cutting things without paying enough attention to continuity.

      At the end of Nacho Sampler, Chuck is drinking alone, and Captain Awesome is freaking out about Paris tickets with strings attached. Devon storms out of the apartment with the tickets and is CLEARLY heading across the courtyard towards Chuck’s apartment. Ellie, while talking to Morgan even points in the direction Devon headed when talking about Chuck. The clear indication is that Devon is heading over to talk to or confront Chuck, but nothing ever came of it. Was a scene cut? If so they should have probably re-edited so the impending confrontation didn’t seem so evident. Was there never a confrontation? If so did nobody among the professionals notice that they were setting one up?

      So which is it? Am I supposed to watch for clues or not? If I am, then that scene was an epic fail. If not, well I guess I can swallow that, but the next week, no Captain Awesome at all, an the whole dynamic of Ellie and Awesome arguing and Chuck and Awesome being alienated gets dropped for a week, which seems, odd to say the least.

      I see more and more things like this as the season goes on, like why did the Ring assassin in Angel mistake Devon for a spy. It makes no sense. Why do they assume Devon is safe when they know the assassin is still out there. It is getting harder and harder to reconcile some of these plot holes and apparent production problems.

      • Waverly says:

        I thought at the end of Nacho Sampler it was clear that Devon was leaving the courtyard, through the passageway, not going to Chuck’s apartment, across the courtyard. So Devon wouldn’t have talked with Chuck and caused an important unresolved thread.

        Nevertheless you are basically right, because what happened to Devon and the tickets to Paris is a huge unresolved thread on its own.

        Maybe we should come up with a list of unresolved issues and apparent inconsistencies. In addition to the ones you mention, there’s my favorite: why didn’t Hannah see Shaw & Sarah after Chuck rescued her from the vault at the museum?

        On the other hand, there are other disappointments that aren’t really problems. One example is the expectation I had that Jeff and Lester would report what they had discovered about Chuck. But when Morgan said that they hadn’t found anything, I just chalked it up to saving money by reducing actor appearances.

      • joe says:

        Sorry I didn’t see this earlier, Ernie.

        I thought, like Waverly, that Devon was headed out, and not to Chucks. But at the same time I certainly expected that thread to be picked up in The Mask. Except for Ellie’s snooping on Chuck’s love life, it wasn’t.

        Oh yes, I noticed.

        It may still be a small thing, and it won’t be the first time a thread got picked up later. Believe it or not, I just noticed something from S1, how the Laszlo episode is entitled Sandworm, but it’s not until Bryce reappears in Nemesis that we find out why (that’s the project he was on when Casey shot him in the Pilot).

        If a scene as dramatic as Awesome storming off gets dropped on the cutting room floor, they’re having some pretty serious, show-threatening problems. But I don’t think so. It’s just a matter of how much is put into a single episode.

        The critics and we are capable of deciding that they’ve overreached, but perhaps not until we’ve seen a bit more.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well after checking out a few stills of the courtyard and then re-watching the scene I have to admit you are both right. Devon takes a quick right as he exits the apartment, which is toward the gate, not Chuck’s apartment. I must have had the courtyard turned around in my head.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      An interview with Yvonne seems to indicate that the actors are often surprised by the direction things take, so I’m back to wondering about the possibility of production problems playing into some of this.

      How much control do you have over Sarah? Do the writers ever consult you about big changes with the character?

      No, they just kind of write away. We don’t really ever know in advance what’s going to happen, so it’s a surprise to us all when we open the scripts up and read them. But I love where it’s going this season. I think it’s really exciting.

      • amyabn says:

        That could explain some of the inconsistencies we keep seeing. On one hand, life is really like that-you don’t know what is coming, so from one perspective, it is a kind of neat way of doing things.
        With that said, I think the fact that they have multiple writers doing the show, they lose the bubble on the characters themselves, which has led, imho, to much of the OOC behavior.
        I really would love to be a fly on the wall and hear some of the actors feedback. I think the cast has been extremely professional in towing the party line, but I would hope that in some way, they are at least voicing concern behind the scenes.

      • SWnerd says:

        I think I’d be concerned if the character I had spent the last two years molding flipped a switch becoming superficial and losing sympathy and empathy of the audience. But honestly I’m not sure there’s really anything they could do about it.

      • atcdave says:

        The other issue is, they’re way past the airing episodes are now. Even if Zach and Yvonne complain now, its already either too late or already fixed. As I said the other day, I am sure, with modern editing, they still make changes/fixes to unaired episodes if they really wanted to; but I don’t think the “professional” culture would allow for it, and I seriously doubt TPTB are in the mood to admit to any mistakes. Especially the way media critics have rallied to their defence. If NBC really insisted on changes, I bet they could make things happen, even at the eleventh hour; but I think that is highly unlikely.

  22. Faith says:

    From Ali Adler’s twitter:
    “RT @televisionary: #Chuck 308 by @aliadler is fantastic! Deals with emotional complexities of Chuck and Sarah’s jobs in a v. meaningful way.”

    some more words from televisionary:
    – delicious play of meta elements in #Chuck ep 308. Some very nice moments of self-awareness going on.
    – @zacharylevi is amazing in ep 308: funny, vulnerable, and unlike any way we’ve seen him before. Nicely played. #Chuck

    • Faith says:

      not sure what to think of that exactly because this is his view of Mask.

      Not close to mine.

    • Jason says:

      i read his review of 3.7, made it sound like frickin ‘gone with the wind’, geez, where do they get these guys from? probably does not bode well for my fav couple by 3.8’s end, looks like I will be saddled with another episode of ‘shaw’ in 3.9

      • Mike B says:

        Like the guys from Chuck Me Tuesday said “The critics wouldn’t know quality if it jumped up and bit them in the butt” PG version.

      • herder says:

        Relax, Mo Ryan who is a critic I do trust, tweeted that 3.09 is one of her favorites of the whole series. She didn’t mention 3.08 except initially when she mis-numbered the episodes.

    • herder says:

      Can someone explain to me what a “meta element” is? It feels like he dropped a bit of ancient Aramaic in the middle of his tweet.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Meta is sort of hard to explain. In science metadata is essentially data about the data, so it is kind of a scaling phrase. A metastory would be a story about the story, so I’m thinking this indicates one big element of the show that touches on many others.

      • Waverly says:

        “Meta” typically means talking about abstractions rather than specific things. So, grammar describes how words fit together in sentences; the constitution describes how to create laws and what kinds of laws are allowed; teaching methodologies guide teachers for many subjects; and challenge-level square dancing calls involve concepts that modify the effects of regular calls.

        In this context “meta” often talks about self-reference rather than abstraction. So the story might be talking about the story (perhaps describing the characters), or might be directly involving the viewer.

        Maybe an episode will involve Team Bartowski infiltrating the studios of Wonderland Sound and Vision and secretly changing all of the scripts and storyboards and notes so that Chuck and Sarah can live and work together in a fulfilling relationship while saving the world and keeping all of their friends and families happy.

      • Jason says:

        I thought the meta elemcents were a reference to things like the bracelet, places the beach or the fountain, possibly holding hands, using key phrases, like partners or trust, the cheeseburger or pizza in earlier episodes, a new picture or an old one, a new tron poster, etc – that seemed sort of obvious to me, am I wrong????

      • OldDarth says:

        Meta is when a story steps outside of itself and acknowledges that elements that it is made up of. A type of breaking the fourth wall if you will.

        In Chuck’s case it will probably acknowledge the wish fulfillment elements of the show.

  23. Jason says:

    faith, I could not get your line to work, cut and paste this will get to his review of 3.7: http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2010/02/night-at-museum-breathless-lovers-on.html

    don’t know if this will make it thru the spam filter or not

    • JC says:

      Wow if he thinks that was an adult conversation between C/S at end of 3.07. I’m really worried about the rest of the season.

    • atcdave says:

      That review is almost scarier than the episode. Well, it proves we aren’t all interested in the same things. I’d prefer something more like Undercover Blues; others prefer 21 Jump Street; sigh.

  24. Big Kev says:

    Ernie,
    Wonderful post, as always. I’m probably a more “casual” TV viewer than most of the people on this blog, so I have no idea of the mechanics of script releases and such things – although I do recall hearing on a podcast that the original intention was for the Sarah/Bryce relationship to be played more intensely, but Yvonne disagreed, and the relationship was downplayed somewhat. If that’s true, it would imply that the actors have knowledge of the entire arc, rather than just an episode or two.
    If you’re right though, it would seem to be a strange way to run a show. Season One had more stand alone episodes in it, to my mind, so you could probably get away with it – but when you have explicity designed a season to be a 13 episode commitment, where one episode deliberately builds on the next, it just seems perverse that you wouldn’t let the actors in on the story, and give them every chance to sell it. If the inner workings of Schwartz/Fedak really are that perverse, then I completely agree with you. They need to reconsider. And quickly.
    That said though, my personal opinion is that Strahovski is a good enough actress that she can emote whatever needs to be there, short notice or not. I read Televisionary describe Shaw as “charismatic” which nearly made me spit out my morning coffee – but I think Yvonne is good enough that she could convince me she was attracted to Shaw, if that’s what I was supposed to be seeing. I might not like it, but I think she could make me believe it, the same way she made me believe that she was at least somewhat attrated to Cole.
    What I think I’m seeing with Shaw is resigned indifference, which is why I’m still on the con bandwagon.

    • atcdave says:

      I think I agree Kev. She seemed pretty unenthused with Shaw to me; that and her parting look (Sadness? regret? I don’t know) when Chuck left Castle. Something is up with Sarah.

      • Big Kev says:

        I’m hoping that we’re right anyway, Dave. I can’t be as sanguine as Ernie if we have to take “The Mask” on face value.
        When she sighs as Chuck leaves Castle, I took that as her regretting that her job once again means she has to lie to the man she loves, together with the realisation that this time, she really might lose him.

      • JC says:

        Just wondering if you think it could be her and Shaw working together for different reasons? And the whole “This is dangerous line” is about Chuck finding out.

      • atcdave says:

        It is possible JC; but that seems darker to me (scamming Chuck is hardly better than dumping him!). I don’t get the “dangerous” bit.

      • Big Kev says:

        I think they’re definitely working together as far as Chuck’s spy training is concerned JC, albeit from different perspectives – but as far as anything deeper than that goes, I don’t see that at all.
        I can’t get her line about working with “the best spies in the world” when Chuck was in Prague out of my head. My crazy theory is that she’s been a double agent within the Ring at some point, and that’s at least part of the reason she was in Lisbon (where we know there is a Ring cell). And Shaw of course knows she was in Lisbon and he’s still trying to find out why. He hasn’t bought the line about burying Bryce at all. So….they’re playing each other.
        That’s my theory, at least until tomorrow when I come up with another one!

      • atcdave says:

        Great theory Kev, that would be interesting.

      • joe says:

        Oh wait, Kev. Shaw told Sarah that he believed her (about Lisbon). “Every word.”

        Do you think that both of them are lying?

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Good thoughts Big Kev. I think she is that good, that she is capable of making us believe that she’s into Shaw…heck she can make Shaw think she’s into him (straw scene) but I don’t think that’s the case.

      And don’t sell yourself too short. You listen to podcasts of Chuck, you’re already ways from “casual” haha.

      • joe says:

        Oh no! Our first “You know you’re a Chuck addict when…” thread! 😉

      • Big Kev says:

        Thanks Faith! That’s the funny thing….I don’t watch a huge amount of TV, by and large, but this show just grabbed me and won’t let go….so I’ve moved from “casual” to “has a serious problem” in fairly short order. Good job I found this blog, and a bunch of people who are similarly afflicted!

      • JC says:

        What I meant with Sarah and Shaw working together. He wants Chuck to have no emotional connections, approaches Sarah that it’ll get him killed. But obviously there’s more to it. She agrees to work with Shaw because she doesn’t trust him and is trying to figure out whats going on. The whole “this is dangerous line” is about Chuck finding out. Because of how dangerous he could be with the new Intersect and she could lose Chuck’s trust in her completely. She knows they’re playing a dangerous game.

      • Waverly says:

        I resemble that, Big Kev!

      • joe says:

        Don’t we all, Waverly. Don’t we all!

      • Big Kev says:

        Joe….I know exactly when I was hooked. I got into Season One around Episode 4, and I really enjoyed it….but by the time we got to Marlin, I knew I was in trouble. Then Casey lets Sarah go and find Chuck, Chuck has the scene in the cab with Longshore when he asks what he’s going to tell Ellie, and then Chuck and Sarah have the “save you later” scene on the helipad. At that point I was gone.
        The back half of Season 2 is some of the best TV I’ve seen, but purely personally, Marlin and First Date back to back remain my favourite episodes.

        Off topic for a second, I read the original pilot script the other day. I still love the pilot, even though I saw it out of sequence….but man, I really wish they’d kept the scene where Chuck flashes on the Legends of Punk.

        “Johnny Rotten is a spy!”…..would have been the best first episode ending in TV history. Gold!

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Lol Joe. Can’t be helped haha.

        This place is like group therapy. Though it’s actually more an enabled thing haha.

        JC I said once before that I believe Shaw’s main mission is to disconnect Chuck from the same people he’s doing it for. What specific purpose? Who knows although I’m leaning towards the nefarious. By disconnecting him he may end up a “better” (debatable IMO he’d be worse—3.9 sounds like) spy but he would also be easier to corrupt and or neutralize.

    • Big Kev says:

      Absolutely Joe, I do. Haven’t figured out how they could both be infiltrating the Ring and not know about each other….that’s the big hole in my theory, but I’m staying with it for now!

      • joe says:

        Ah – had to read back. This was about your theory that Shaw & Sarah both lying ’cause Sarah was actually in Lisbon acting as a mole inside The Ring.

        Yes, the theory holds up. Sarah believed Bryce had gone rogue, so clearly Shaw could be allowed to believe (by higher power, whoever they are!) that Sarah’s gone Rogue.

        Of course, *we* can’t believe that. Not that TPTB won’t try to put doubt in our minds, of course…

        My only question is: How far up the chain do you have to get before you’re allowed to know the whole story? I’ve been assuming, Beckman. But if Shaw is effectively her superior, if only temporarily, and only for Team Bartowski, then why wouldn’t he know the whole story?

        Or has Sarah *really* gone rogue? It’s not like she ever tried to run before. Is it?

        Oh… wait…

        😉

  25. Jason says:

    a second pro reviewer came out and called 3.9 the best chuck ever (not 3.8), and full of plot twists. Given that they guy who liked 3.8 said CS deal with the complexities of their jobs and something about the use of meta-tags?, my guess is there won’t be anything straightforward about this arc. Don’t know if that means liz’s con theory has legs going forward or not, if any use of flashback reveal is going to be in play, almost ‘anything’ is possible. Although the guy who loved 3.8 both loved 3.7 and loves routh’s acting and the shaw character, still I would guess 3.8 & 3.9 will be decent episodes, at this point, I have lowered my expectations to simply hoping for max CS screen time & near zero SS LI time short term, and that some credible explanation emerges for this season at some point. I largely have given up hope that this arc will be consistently be fun, except for the mythological, epic last 5 minutes.

  26. JC says:

    Saw that on televisionary’s twitter. It does lend some credibility to the con theory.

    But like my g/f said it’ll probably be something absurd like Shaw is Chuck’s half brother and their mother is part of the Ring.

  27. Jason says:

    in terms of chemistry, seems everyone on the blogs and on the set love scott bakula, not me, thought he single handedly brought down the star trek franchise, with the most ‘illogical and unmanly’ portrayal (including jadeway) of an enterprise captain ever, didn’t help that my rec over 45 basketball team starting 5 could beat the tar out of the 5 leads in the show, but anyhow, he now is my 2nd least fav character in chuck (thx BR), reason, I think he acts just fine in chuck, but rather than Papa B, his nickname should be Papa “Reset’, when he shows up, we know CS reset is around the corner

    • lizjames says:

      Jason-
      Just so you know: The legs are the last to go on a woman… 🙂 So I’m sticking with my twists and turns theory. Plus I actually think Shaw is one of the good guys. I think ep12, American Hero, is essentially about him. I actually think he’ll make some sacrifice for Chuck and/or Chuck and Sarah.

      As for Bakula, he’s a good actor. GOOD. What was wrong with Enterprise was, well, Enterprise. That show was unsalvagable.

      • Jason says:

        my son and I used to hoot at how wimpy malcomb (esp Malcomb) and tripp were, and archer was reeeeeaaaaaly whiny, and tupal was like 4 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 75 lbs, the only charachters I would not have wanted to mess with was the doc and hoschi, both of whom were cast very well.

        But yep, I would agree with the legs! Those spoilers add credence to the ‘con’ theory – if there is no con, then there is a remarkable amount of coincidental gesturing going on, especially in 3.7, with the episode name the mask. But if the arc moves on from SS toward CS in 3.8, con or no con, the ship will get righted pretty quickly.

  28. eaglemmoomin says:

    Well I loved episode 6 and thoroughly loved episode 7. I think Sarah is open to getting to know Shaw better because she can’t have Chuck for various reasons the big two being that a) I’m not sure that she totally trusts Chuck to put her first any more especially after spending six months stewing after being dumped by Chuck in Prague (I got the impression that Chuck was really letting Sarah go in Prague and accepting that he may never see her again) b) I think Sarah can see that Chuck is interested in Hannah and they are both giving the friends only a good try.

    I just don’t think Sarah is playing Shaw she’s too much of a mess emotionally right now, she having difficulty being cold and emotionless and has had several emotional outbursts this season. Shaw is another matter. I just think Shaw will be someone for Sarah to talk to in that way that she used to be able to talk Chuck. Through the course of this she will see that Shaw isn’t Chuck and won’t react and see things with the same perspective as Chuck does.

    The small leaks about episodes 8 and 9 and even some very spoilery hints on teh interwebz confirm to me that TPTB know exactly where they are going, and yes Sharah isn’t going to be ‘fixed’ in episode 8.

    • joe says:

      Welcome to our little discussion, Eaglemmoomin. (And wow! That’s quite a handle!)

      I like episodes 6 & 7 too. But are you open to considering that they might be good for exactly the opposite reasons?

      Here’s my thought. I’ve been (quickly) going over as many episodes as I can (okay, the end of S1 is in sight, and I hope to finish S2 by tomorrow or Monday). And I discovered (again) it’s really hard to not watch every single second of every single episode (again). What’s so enjoyable is the discovery. – Chuck and Sarah discovering each other, discovering they’re in love, trying to fight it, discovering they can’t… and me discovering all that.

      So now that it’s all out it the open, what’s left to discover? What’s left of the thing I enjoyed the most about S1? We hardly need to have TPTB reset everything back to the beginning, just so we can go through all that again, do we?

      After thinking about all that’s been said by so many (insightful!) commenters here, I really start to believe that we’re not going to discover anything, except that Chuck and Sarah have been “good” for a little while now. I think we’re going to find out that everything we knew before was right, that they are not merely playing games with each other, and that there are some things that we just haven’t been told, yet. Sarah’s not “an emotional basket case”, like you said, but someone who’s gathered her wits about her already. Chuck hasn’t let go, either of the idea of being a spy or of Sarah. He’s become far to adept for that.

      Naive? Possibly. Hopeful? Definitely. 🙂

    • lizjames says:

      Joe–
      As you were watching Season 1 again, I hope you reviewed the First Kiss scene at the end of Hard Salami. It was, in retrospect, perfect.

      Sarah goes from protector to carzy-Sarah-in-love (pulling a gun to make him run from the ‘bomb’) to seduced by the fact that there is finally a man in her life who doesn’t abandon her to embarassment that her emotions showed.

      Chuck goes from scared, to logical, to heroic, to controlling the action by refusing to leave and then being estatic about Sarah’s release of emotion.

      We can only hope that when Chuck and Sarah come together again in E13 that all of the right elements fall into place like the First Kiss scene.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Right on, Sista! You – as per usual – hit the nail right on the proverbial head!

      • joe says:

        Liz, Rick, I simply could not flash by that scene (or most of the episode) looking for the fountain. How could I?

        You bet it was perfect.

        Did you notice exactly *how* Chuck controls the action? It took one word – “No.”

        Look in the dictionary under the word “Chemistry”. You’ll find a still of that kiss.

      • OldDarth says:

        Liz my money is on getting the First Kiss scene you described but with the roles reversed.

        It will be EPIC!

  29. Rick Holy says:

    I thought I’d throw out a bit of a different “angle” regarding this thread, which – after all – is titled, “Chemistry 101.”

    One of the first things we learned in basic chemistry was the difference between an EXothermic reaction and an ENDothermic Reaction.

    An EXothermic reaction, as it is taking place – as two or more elements are combined – releases energy as HEAT. An ENDothermic reaction does the opposite, in effect sucking up heat (Again, it’s been 25 years since my last chemistry class, so if I’m incorrect on this, someone please correct me).

    The problem with the “chemistry” between Zach & Yvonne (Chuck & Sarah) so far this season is that the reaction has been very ENDothermic – in effect – sucking the heat out of the reaction when the two elements (C & S) combine. At least during S1 & S2 we had sufficient smatterings of the reactions of the EXothermic variety – giving off “heat.”

    Now stick with me – because I’m not simply talking about “sexual” heat – but heat in the sense of their relationship and all its aspects.

    Bottom line, S3 – WAAAAAYYYY too ENDothermic when it comes to the “chemistry” between Zach & Yvonne (Chuck & Sarah). Hopefully that will change post- Olympics.

    So – BRING ON THE CHUCK AND SARAH – in an EXothermic kinda way!

    Peace, all. And enjoy your weekend.

  30. herder says:

    I’ve been wondering about how Casey fits in to all this. I suspect that when the break between Chuck and Shaw occurs that Casey will take Chuck’s side. But how much of what has gone on does he know, does he know what happened in Prague? If so what does he think. In Pink Slip he says that he doesn’t want to know what happened between Sarah and Chuck, but he also says that Chuck still loves her, showing that he is at least able to read Chuck.

    Presumably he was Sarah’s partner that summer and noticed that she was gone for three days and that when she came back there was a big difference in how she was acting. I wouldn’t think that he would be comfortable with the idea that the intersect was on the run. Further he hasn’t shown the same resistance to the idea of Chuck becoming a spy that Sarah has, also his concerns are more of the nature that Chuck might not be ready rather than the more basic should he be doing this in the first place.

    He has to know how the two of them feel about each other and sense that this new idea of them both persuing new romantic partners, one of whom is on the team is a recipe for disaster on missions. If there is a con he almost has to be in on it or he could inadverantly sink it. But even if he is in on a potential con, how much does he know about the events in Prague which are at the root of the disconnect between Chuck and Sarah.

    • joe says:

      Good points, herder. He has to know that Sarah was in Lisbon, too, off the grid.

      I’m not 100% buying that Sarah and Chuck are both running separate cons, but I have to admit, it would be a hoot if they were and Casey was in on both.

      And come to think of it, he hasn’t been quite so integral to the action lately. I wonder…

      • atcdave says:

        I’m currently leaning towards Sarah is running a scam, Chuck is not. IF, Chuck is scamming too, I’m sure they’re in on it together. Casey is a mystery to me. He clearly is “looking out” for both Chuck and Sarah, but apart from the big picture (Chuck and Sarah love each other, anything else is trouble) I don’t think he knows what is actually going on.

  31. eaglemmoomin says:

    Thanks joe, its an unusual handle so its normally available! I go back and forth on the ‘CS’ playing everybody idea, and ultimately I think its a little too complex to work with in the original shortened season, what with all the other story balls up in the air. That and JS and CF have said in interviews that Sarah is still hurt about the ‘platform of relationship doom’ makes me think she is being hormonal rather than calculating if that makes sense. Sarah keeps saying KISS so I’m inclined to believe the storyline with regards to C+S’s feelings towarrds the PLIs are KISS. I do think that the spy storyline and character background is going to be very important in the upcoming arc. I think the C+S chemistry has been less overt and more subtle this season with a few looks and Sarah’s reactions when questioned by Ellie. I’d be interested to see Ellie’s take on Chuck and Hannah in relation to Sarah.

    On another note Shaw has painted an enormous target onto Sarah and made her a person of interest to the Ring, I think that is going to have ramifications.

    • JC says:

      Welcome

      The main reason I believe in the con theory is that without it I can’t buy into a C/S relationship by 3.13. If I thought for a minute that the writers had the guts to keep them apart for good or at least a whole season I would take what we’ve seen at face value. If isn’t a con and somehow they end up together, we’ll I’m done with the show. With all the insane things that happen on the show, that’s the one thing I couldn’t accept.

      • eaglemmoomin says:

        Why? They’ve been apart and in a state of arrested development since Chuck broke her heart and rejected her the first time she made her herself emotionaly vulnerable to Chuck right down to pleading with him on a train platform. I see the PLIs as necessary to jolt them into realising actually ‘no we had something good’ and somebody…..C2B messed it up. Granted I’d rather they sowed Shaw and Sarah’s interactions against the background of the way Chuck is changing in episode six then take a big run at it at the end of ep7. But budget cuts and shorter shooting schedules have I think impacted somewhat

        I think after six months of stewing Sarah’s reaction to Chuck is not all that suprising, she clearly still loves him but initially wanted to break his man parts off. That she has gotten herself to a point where they are talking in friendly terms after about two months of him returning is not too bad. Its wierd everybody thinks Sarah dumped Chuck and broke his heart and keeps coming back to stomp on it. When in reality and I think this is crucial its the other way round. With Hannah, Chuck appears to be doing a good job of moving on, Sarah not so much and I imagine that Sarah is going to have a lot more trouble with this arc than Chuck is initialy, all taken from YS’s performance of the Castle goodbye scene. All this eventually leads to C+S getting together. I’d rather not see a convoluted ‘playing’ Shaw plot as its too left field to work mho in the original remaining number of episodes. Shaw playing and feinting I have no issues with, its what he has been inserted into the show to do.

      • amyabn says:

        The thing I’ve been stewing about is how we are supposed to get them back together (which could mean clearly committed with much work to do). Going with the original 13 episode order, we are coming up on episode 8 with no clear resolution in sight. I’ll only speak for myself in saying that I don’t want another magic reset. They’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole for a quick wink and nudge. With that said, we are running out of episodes.
        Sarah is not a woman of words-a long exposition/explanation would be OOC. Chuck tends to ramble, but I think Sarah is in the drivers seat. We’ve discussed the bracelet and the potential of Sarah sharing her real name with Chuck. Other than that, how would you write it? How do you overcome a short arc which until now has been angst ridden? Ideas please!

      • lizjames says:

        Amy-I think the thing to think about this year is that CHUCK is in the driver’s seat. That’s the point of the reset: Chuck decides. When to be a spy, when to be normal, when to make the relationship happen. Sarah is now, officially, the helpmate… (I don’t say I like this, but it was the purpose of the show reset and how they sold it to NBC: We’ll make the star the hero this year…)

        As for when, well, we assume Adler works her magic in 8. So 9-11 are various Ring/team/family issues. 12 is the equivalent of Colonel. 13 they come together officially and roll into season 3.5 as a couple.

        Whether we’ll LIKE how they got there, well, that’s another matter altogether…

      • Jason says:

        liz – would be interesting to me if hannah asked chuck to leave with her (same decision sarah made with both bryce (twice) as well as with cole) – trouble with that, chuck really can’t leave can he? I agree the attempt to flip the roles, but if that were true, sarah at some point would make it obvious to chuck that he could have her, whenever he wants her (which does not appear to be either the case now, or seemingly anytime in the future from what I can tell). My optimistic viewpoint for 3.8 has dropped considerably based on the spoilers and leaks from those who have seen 3.8 and 3.9, I am starting to just come to grips with the show chuck is no longer the show I used to love, hope to fall at least in ‘like’ with the new chuck show.

      • amyabn says:

        Liz, I have to disagree. I think Sarah is in the driver’s seat. She could have Chuck with one word. I don’t buy Chuck’s infatuation with Hannah as anything more than superficial (and that is if we are wrong about the con). All Sarah would have to do is say the word and Chuck would be back with her. She tells him she is ready to work on cleaning up their mess and it’s game on! I know we will finally get there, but I’m tired of waiting!

  32. JC says:

    Why because I can’t believe two adults could get back together after what has happened this season. They can’t even have a real conversation let alone a relationship. Start over and try again sure, but to end up as a loving perfect couple nope.

  33. andpred says:

    Hello,
    I have been reading the blog for about a month, but have been without a computer for this past month. I have enjoyed the comments about Chuck because they have stimulated my thinking on the show.(Viewer since episode 1) However, I feel mainly incredulous at some of the negativity about this season and in particular “..Mask”. I have found this season very good. There have been many laugh out loud moments in each episode. About 3.07 in particular, I felt that the last 10 minutes were spectacular. From my perspective, Sarah did not look comfortable with Shaw; in fact, in re-watching the scene as the camera pans from his face to hers when she knows he can’t see her expression it looks like she just swallowed a very bitter dollop of medicine. My take is that she is playing a game on Shaw. It goes back to a theme that is playing out this season which is in the spy game “nothing is real”. This is a lesson that not Chuck is learning, but I believe the audience as well. Slightly off topic for the thread, the other element that thrilled me about the episode was the last scene with the Ring “elders”. Did anybody else catch the line about Shaw, “Is he in?” I think the writers might have slipped some very important information in there; especially knowing that some people would be so apopletic that they would miss it. Just some thoughts, nice to meet you folks.

    • Faith says:

      First off welcome.

      Second I don’t think this blog has been largely negative. I think if anything this blog has a more even keel and contemplative climate than most of the internet altogether. That said, I saw exactly that same thing about Sarah at the end. A couple of us (if you read some of the past threads) actually have remarked as such and expanded on the idea. It’s just too curious. Plus you add to it JS and CF’s “they’re not at the same place emotionally” comment and you have to draw conclusions. At the same time though I think there’s something to be said for what OD has posted and that sometimes a duck is a duck. I just find myself hoping that’s not the case.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Andpred. Yeah, what Faith said. We can be pretty vocal here, but mostly we think and wonder, ask a lot of questions and are happy to offer a lot of opinions. There are some things we hope to see come about, of course. But you’ll find that this group really loves the show.

  34. JC says:

    Saw this on Mo Ryan’s twitter

    My thoughts about #Chuck ep 3.8 (airs march 1) are too complex too express via Twitter. Have to think more about it/rewatch.

    Interesting reaction.

    • Big Kev says:

      This wait is killing me! And I won’t see the episode until a couple of days after it airs in the US…so I’ll have to try and stay off here to avoid spoilers! Yeah, good luck with that….

    • joe says:

      Clearly, if Mo Ryan really wants to wrap her head around these things, she needs to put us on her essential read list. 🙂

      But seriously, there’s something about this show that’s stimulating a lot of thought. We all started out thinking we were the only ones dwelling on Chuck. And one at a time, we discovered we weren’t exactly alone.

      • JC says:

        Makes me think that alot is revealed in this episode. And I find it interesting she doesn’t say whether it good or not. Especially after her praise of 3.09.

      • atcdave says:

        JS said a while ago that 3.08 would settle nothing, that seems to be true.

  35. JC says:

    I’m still thinking this will be a very dark episode. Things will be revealed but it’ll lead to more questions. And I can’t help but think the trust between C/S will be broken. Dark Chuck might make his appearance here and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some harsh words for Sarah.

    • eaglemmoomin says:

      I’m not sure about that. Chuck basically gave her his blessing to pursue Shaw, not that she was even asking for it. She was dropping hints left right and centre but of course Chuck is wrapped up in becoming a spy and he thinks he has blown it with Sarah (which he has to an extent, but not in the way that he thinks). I don’t think Chuck will be angry at Sarah, he knows he broke her heart (I don’t think he actually realised just how upset she is until she asked for reassignment and then tried to beat the crap out of him with a bo staff). Shaw on the other hand I can see his admiration turning into barely suppressed loathing. Yes I think ‘dark’ Chuck probably will make an appearance somewhere in ep 8 and 9. The snarl before he lays Shaw out is not a look we’ve ever seen on Chuck before.

      Zac made a comment that on some level Chuck has made peace with Sarah and Shaw being ‘together’ even though he doesn’t like it at all. Shaw is Sarah’s Jill so theres going to be a lot of Chuck grinning and bearing it and playing nice with Sarah while hating Shaw’s guts much like Sarah during the Jill arc. I don’t even think the trust between Chuck and Sarah will be broken but their bond will be stretched to the limit by Shaw and rebuilding the bond is how they will start to meet in the middle. I do think episode eight is going to be more like the breakup and Shaw and Sarah won’t actually properly begin until the end of episode eight before running its course in episode nine. It feels to me that this season the TPTB are putting Chuck into Sarah’s shoes in season two so he is going to learn exactly how she felt over the last two years, so I don’t think ep 8 is going to be a happy episode as such but I do think it will be satisfying as we as an audience will understand Sarah and her actions much more and crucially Chuck will understand by being put in that situation with Hannah. Episode nine is just going to be awesome I’m certain that by the end of it Chuck will have reconnected with Morgan and Morgan will finally understand Chuck and Sarah’s dynamic and the little bearded dude will actually be able to help Chuck. I believe episode 9 is where Sarah and Shaw’s connection comes out. So while Chuck is having his world upheaved I think Sarah will be reconsidering everything she thinks she knows.

      It was the threat of losing Chuck that finally made Sarah actually act and I think this is what Chuck is going to experience near the end of the original episode arc.

      • atcdave says:

        You might be right about the timing of things but I don’t believe “the audience will understand…” I haven’t “understood” anything since Colonel, I think this whole story has been a mistake and a wasted opportunity. Emphasis on “wasted;” the show was barely saved from cancellation, only to create a product that is not fun or satisfying. It may all work in the end, but people make viewing decisions everyweek, and they’re already leaving.

      • JC says:

        When I say breaking C/S trust. That she’s always had his best interest at heart and that’s what will be broken. I doubt the punch is over the S/S relationship and more about Chuck thinks he’s been played by both of them.

      • Stef62 says:

        From the synopsis of ep9, and the ‘dark chuck’ vibe a few people have mentioned here, and elsewhere. I’m 95% convinced that any real name reveal will come from Shaw, and not Sarah.

        This’ll bring about the ‘kryptonite’ moment that has been mentioned by the cast, and writers

      • atcdave says:

        Based on spoilers we’re getting about 3.08 and 3.09, I’m thinking you may be right. I may skip 3.08.

  36. SWnerd says:

    Sarah’s apparent discomfort in both the neck kissing and the shoulder rub just did not strike me as any kind of sexual tension. I saw more of that kind of tension with her and Cole (not that that’s any easier to digest, I’m just saying). Both the Shaw scenes seemed awkward and kinda creepy. He’s just a creepy guy. If I didn’t know she could kick his butt, I’d want her to carry some pepper spray.

    Maybe it is just their lack of chemistry or that we’ve been so spoiled by the Zach/Yvonne chemistry, Routh/Yvonne just pales in comparison to the point that we don’t even recognize any.

    • eaglemmoomin says:

      Dave, the ratings have been steady and even above average. The superbowl had a massive effect in CBS’s favor so I wouldn’t read anything into that. The show is going to get a similar boost thanks to the Olympics NBC are seeing big numbers right now. The important number is for episode 9. Also the shows +7 viewing figures are 3.04 and its rating highly on both Hulu.com and NBC.com. We might be losing a handful of overly impatient fans but I’m not sure statistically thats a great loss given the over reaction and high levels of heartburn of some.

      • atcdave says:

        The numbers have been down every week since the premier, .2 in key demo from 3.06 to 3.07. Its not a critical problem yet, but combined with the fact (anecdotal) that not a single one of the casual viewers I know is happy with the show this year (that’s about 8 people, not statiscally significant, I know), I think there will be a problem if things don’t turn more upbeat quickly. And I do mean really unhappy, this site has the only viewers I know who are happy with the show, and we’re about evenly split. If I didn’t know from spoilers that things are likely to turn around soon I would be gone already, and several of those casual viewers I know would be too.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree SWnerd; that’s one of the reasons I lean towards the con theories, I’m just not convinced Sarah is interested in Shaw. Either that, or Yvonne dislikes Brandon so much she can’t play nice with him. (kidding, mostly, there could still be something going on we don’t get yet).

  37. Pingback: Chuck Versus The Pink Slip (3.01) | Chuck This

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