This, I fear, will be a huge post. Not there are so many truths to write about in the first half of Chuck‘s Season 2. There’s only a few. It’s that big questions are asked, the answers are given many times, and the characters are given many chances to reconsider. That, and I also found that the scenes where Truth is Spoken are my very favorites. They stand out and shine.
So permit me once again to recall those scenes where we are not misled, those scenes upon which we can say with certainty that we know what’s going on, and that we are not deceived.
Season 2 begins with the biggest of big questions, and we get to see that Chuck is not yet exactly prepared to answer.
The First Date
Colt: Who are you?
Chuck: You know what? You probably wouldn’t believe me.
Colt: Last chance. Who ARE you?
Chuck: (shouting) Chuck!
He’s got to do better than that. The fact is that Chuck is probably the most important intelligence asset in the world. And since those words are spoken on a roof top, you know you should believe it! But what’s true is that Chuck is only doing spy work part time.
It also may not be permanent. Chuck’s been told he’s about to be made free of the Intersect, so there’s plenty for him to think about, like “What are you going to do with the rest of your life, Chuck? What do you want?”. At the fountain:
Sarah: Are you okay, Chuck?
Chuck: Yeah, I’m uh… I mean, I don’t believe it, but, uh, I think I’m great!
Sarah: Well, you’re gonna get your old life back.
Chuck: Yeah, I was starting to think you and Casey were gonna be my spy protectors forever – or whatever the adult version of forever is.
Sarah: Don’t tell me you’re gonna miss all of this.
Chuck: No. No, of course not. I don’t think I’m really cut out for a job where you disarm a bomb, steal a diamond, and then jump off a building.
Sarah: Well, you could have fooled me.
Chuck: That’s very kind of you to say. But I’m pretty sure my girlish screams in the face of danger give me away.
Sarah: So, what happens now? You’re almost free. What are you gonna do next?
Chuck: Well, you know, I’ve got the Buy More.
Sarah: Chuck, can I tell you something?
Chuck: Of course.
Sarah: You can do anything. I’ve seen you in action. And I’m not just talking about the bomb-defusing or the diamond-stealing. I mean, anything you wanted, you could have.
We can’t help but wish that Chuck had blurted out the truth right then and there – “I want you, Sarah Walker.” He didn’t. But can you think for an instant that as carefully chosen as they were, Sarah’s words were merely a comforting lie? I can’t.
There is one thing he does know. Chuck wants to asks Sarah for a date. We’d like to know the truth about Sarah, too. Would she go out on a date with him? Forget bombs and spys and being dropped off of roof tops. For Chuck, asking Sarah is really scary.
Sarah: So what’s up.
Chuck: You wanna go on a date sometime? I mean, a date without aliases and spy gear and a mission.
Sarah: Oh, like a real date?
Sarah: Chuck, ahem, I’m still a CIA agent, and there are a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t do that.
Chuck: What do you have to lose? In a week, you’re gonna be undercover in some place like Jakarta, in a knife fight with some evildoer, and in that exact moment you’re gonna wish that you would’ve spent one last of fun with me.
(pause for thought)
And of course, Sarah knows he’s right about that.
Big truths are about who you are and about your place in the universe. Ellie corners Chuck.
Ellie: What about you? Any revelations? Any ideas about what you’re going to do next?
Chuck: Um, yeah, a few.
Ellie: If you say, “Pilot the Millennium Falcon,” I will hit you.
Chuck: Wa – Why would I say that? That’s absurd. I’m gonna be a ninja assassin.
Ellie: No. Try again.
Chuck: Um… Olympic…
Chuck: Secret Agent.
Ellie: This is what happens when you sit in front of the television set too long.
See? He didn’t lie.
Ellie: Seriously. What are you gonna do?
Chuck: I don’t know. I’ve got a bunch of ideas. You know, a bunch of things to think about and choose from. I wanna go finish college. I think that’s important. And I wanna travel and I don’t know. I wanna learn an obscure language that only really cool people know.
Oddly enough, not one of my dreams includes working at the Buy More for another week.
Ellie: Huh. Well, look who’s growing up.
That’s for tomorrow. For today, it’s instructive to know exactly what Chuck thinks of Sarah, and exactly what he thinks of himself. That’s what first dates are all about, right?
Sarah: So our first date is a Morgan recommendation?
Chuck: Wow! No faith in the little bearded man. I think you should know that he’s always been supportive of our fake relationship, and he’s never found it remotely unbelievable that a guy like me could be dating, um, ahem. You know.
Chuck: Um, you know. You.
Sarah: What about me?
Chuck: You’re really gonna make me say it, aren’t you? You, wow – Okay, fine. All right. We’ll play it your way.
A girl like you. Or more appropriately, a woman like you, considering the fact that you could probably kick the ass of everyone in this joint. And a smart one, at that, not to mention cool, and extremely beautiful and – you can stop me anytime with the compliments if they’re becoming – you know.
Sarah: No, that was, uh, very sweet.
Chuck: “Sweet”? Golly, gee. Thanks for making me feel like I’m eight.
Sarah: Well, you’re not so bad yourself.
Chuck: Please. I’m fantastic.
Sarah: Yeah, you are.
They’ve been “playing” boyfriend-girlfriend for nearly a year, broken up, gotten back together, slept (or at least, tried to sleep) beside each other, shared hamburgers, pizza, a secret or two, thought they were going to die and even saved each other’s life once or twice already. But the truth is, Chuck and Sarah still discovering each other and themselves.
There’s some debate in Team B about Chuck’s prowess. There in the O-O, Casey tells us point blank who He thinks Chuck Bartowski is. And Chuck doesn’t like it one bit.
Chuck: Let me come along. You gotta bring Charles Carmichael. You remember, debonair super spy who also happens to have the Intersect in his head? You know me? I can help you guys!
Casey: Charles Carmichael isn’t your real name, Chuck. You made him up. You’re just Chuck Bartowski and you’re not a real spy.
Sarah: We have a tactical team meeting us at the location you gave Casey. We’ll take down Colt and find the cipher. And you go back to work.
So who is Chuck Bartowski anyway? Don’t look now, but the nerd has started to change into exactly the debonair super spy he calls Charles Carmichael.
Colt: Where you going? There’s nobody here to help you. Oh your friends. That’s right. They’re next on my to-do list. See, you walked into a trap, Chuck, if that is your real name.
Chuck: My name is Charles Carmichael. I’m a CIA Agent, and this is my trap. I don’t think you gentlemen realize the gravity of the predicament that you’re in. That phone call you made to the Buy More? Yeah, we traced that. Your compound is currently surrounded by 23 infantry troopers, 16 snipers, 7 heavy gunners, 4 demolitions experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger. You’re outmatched and outgunned. Those pea shooters your holding might as well be sharp sticks and strong language.
Man: Nothin’ there, boss. Looks clear.
Colt: (Laughs) Good try, Chuck.
Chuck: Of course you don’t see anyone. Who do you think we are? The FBI? The only thing you’re gonna see is a muzzle flash, followed by an e-ticket straight to hell.
So make the smart choice and why don’t you hand over the cipher?
Cool! Chuck may be a super spy only part time, but he is no fake. He’s got it in him, at least, sometimes.
We’ve seen that lies have a way of turning into the truth on roof tops. Even Sarah learns that you can’t completely trust your own eyes, as Casey catches Chuck when he falls (it’s very touching, really).
Colt: Your boyfriend’s dead. Now baby, what you gonna do?
Fight scene between Sarah and Colt.
Colt: You know you gotta put that gun down. ’cause you’re surrounded. Meet the rest of my men.
Chuck bursts in.
Chuck: Excuse me. Excuse me. Hi. Sorry to, uh, I’m sorry to interrupt whatever’s going on here, but, uh, Mr. Colt, I just wanted you to meet my team. Tell me something. Do you find them imposing? Go ahead. You can be honest. I was going for imposing.
And just like that, Agent Charles Carmichael is a real as it gets.
Chuck can have everything he’s ever wanted. Sarah’s told him that, and repeats it. But when a relative stranger like Roan Montgomery shows him that he can, it has more impact.
Roan: You think a woman like this… (points to Sarah) …could ever fall for a guy like you?
Chuck: I don’t know. Baring any national security emergency, I think I might have a shot.
Roan: Be reasonable. (refers to Sarah) This is a gorgeous and sophisticated woman. And you’re –
Sarah: (Interrupting) – Passionate and sweet and caring.
Roan: (sceptical) Really!? Tall, dark and caring. What a combo.
Sarah: I didn’t mean it like that. He has a lot to offer.
Roan: Fine. Let me see this caged passion. Kiss him.
Sarah: Excuse me?
Chuck: I don’t think that’s necessary at this particular juncture right now, Roan. I’m solid as a rock in that department.
Roan: What’s wrong? Don’t you find Agent Walker attractive?
Chuck: Of course I find her attractive. It’s just that I had a burrito earlier, and I’m trying to be respectful.
Roan: While I admire your chivalry, if you can’t kiss her now what makes you think you’re gonna kiss Sasha Banacheck when the entire mission is on the line?
Sarah: Chuck – it’s okay.
Sarah: Yes. Yes.
Chuck pecks Sarah on the cheek.
Roan: Perhaps I’m moving too fast. Have you had intercourse before?
Chuck: Okay. You know what? You’re crazy. This is crazy. I don’t have to take lessons from you.
Roan: Really? Maybe I picked the wrong agent. I’ll get Agent Casey to kiss her.
Chuck: You want me to kiss her?
The kiss that follows has be reviewed countless times by many a fan already, if only in their minds.
Back in Casey’s room (where the truth escapes sometimes), Sarah prepares Chuck for the mission.
Chuck: Oh, it may not be the steamiest, but we probably have the strangest relationship in Los Angeles.
Sarah: I doubt that. Morgan’s still dating, right?
Chuck: Good point.
Sarah: Tonight will be fine. And I wouldn’t take Roan’s advice too seriously. Just be yourself.
Chuck: I doubt Chuck Bartowski’s gonna be charming anyone.
Sarah: Why not? Worked on me.
Sarah’s not telling us what it is she wants in words. But there’s something in the way she straightens his tie that does.
Sarah and Casey are captured and in danger. Chuck is desperate for help and guidance and he needs to know what he can and cannot do. Surprisingly, it’s Roan and Chuck who have a fountain talk, and it’s doubly truthful, because Roan is under the influence.
Roan: You know, she’s going to kill them.
Chuck: I guess I’m just gonna have to take my chances, then. But I can’t save them alone. I need your help, Roan.
Roan: They knew what they were getting into. That’s the game we play. If you show up, there will be three dead agents instead of just two.
Chuck: What? So that- that’s it? What happened to being the world’s greatest spy?
Roan: That was a long time ago. Roan Montgomery is not the man you see before you. My life may be boring and cowardly, but I’m alive. That’s more than most in my line of work can claim.
Chuck: But you’re a legend, Roan. Don’t you understand that? So how can you just sit there and watch them die?
Roan: Because I’m not in love with one of the agents.
Chuck: I’m not… (Roan looks sceptical.) I care about them. I care about both of them. Besides. We heard what she said, okay? To her, I’m just an asset.
Roan: No, no you’re not. Trust me. The lady doth protest too much.
But Charles, you have to ask yourself is she worth dying for?
Roan: (Sighs) Poor boy. Lesson number one in being a spy: Never fall in love.
Chuck: Well, then I guess I’m not much of a spy. And you’re not much of a legend.
Now you have to ask yourself, just who is this person? Is is a foolish idiot, or a hero? You see, Chuck wasn’t thinking about that question at that moment. Someone who’s “just a guy who works in a Buy More” doesn’t usually think the way Chuck is thinking. He’s only thinking about Sarah and Casey.
We know that Chuck saves the day (and in dramatic fashion, too). But there’s more than truth that’s told at the fountain. There’s something about what’s to come, and we’re permitted to see it dimly.
Roan: Ah! (Roan stops Chuck from following.) Let her go. A great man once said it will give her the illusion of being pursued. You trust me?
Roan: Good. Do you own a white dinner jacket?
Roan: Rent one. Tonight you will show up with a bottle of Chateau Margaux, the dinner jacket, and a single red rose. It’s known in several countries as “The Montgomery.”
Roan: Good-bye, Charles.
With good reason, Chuck has had a hard time believing in himself. It’s got something to do with someone he’s never measured up to very well.
Devon: Don’t sweat it Chuck. This guy can’t hold a candle to you. What does he have that’s so great?
Chuck: Uh, that would be good looks, sophistication, an exciting career, and much more history with Sarah.
Ellie: Know what? I’m sure that Sarah will take care of it. This guy will be out of your life in no time.
Chuck: Something tells me it won’t be that simple.
Of course not. Even without meaning to do so, Bryce Larkin always gets the jump on Chuck. Even with Sarah. For our boy, it’s what you call a set back. Fortunately, Sarah’s not so fickle as we sometimes want to remember, though.
Time for Chuck to face his problems head on. Chuck knocks on Sarah’s door, but Bryce opens it.
Bryce: What, no rose for me this time, lover boy?
Chuck: Cute. We’re just protecting our cover.
Bryce: Sales up at the Buy More?
Chuck: Yeah, as a matter of fact. Buy More is good. We just got a new MacBook SMC Firmware update, so you know, things are a little nutty…
Bryce: I can imagine.
(Chuck ties his tie as Bryce ties his. Chuck notices Bryce’s things.)
Chuck: So, uh, staying with Sarah, huh?
Bryce: Protecting our cover. How are things between you guys?
Chuck: We’re good. Good, good, good. Solid. Why, did she say something?
Bryce: No, it’s just that she’s a beautiful girl pretending to be your girlfriend. I was afraid you’d let the lines get blurred and fall for her.
Chuck: (scoffs) What, me, fall for Sarah? Please.
(Sarah walks in and smiles.)
Sarah: (looking stunning) Hey, guys. So how do I look?
Chuck: (looking stunned.) Good! Yeah, yeah, really good. Red’s not really my color, so… (whispers) I forgot, ahem, my jacket. (aloud to Sarah) Or salmon or whatever that is.
When you watch again, look at the expression on Bryce’s face as he looks at the expression on Sarah’s. Chuck’s oblivious to what’s going on, but he isn’t. Oblivious? The truth is that Chuck is a whiny little man-boy who needs to be slapped up the side of the head! There are flashing arrows on the scene pointing directly to Chuck shouting “Idiot!”
It’s only because Bryce and Sarah look so good together! They dance “The Forbidden Dance” and even we are fooled. Listen to Sarah telling Bryce the truth, though.
Bryce: Any security behind you?
Sarah: (coldly, professionally) No.
Bryce: You’re still a great dancer.
Sarah: (still coldly) You’re a bit rusty.
Bryce: Will you just let me lead?
Sarah: (smiling) No.
Heh. You wanna tell Bryce to take the hint, but don’t worry. He’ll get it.
Later, Sarah is injured and resting in a hospital room. Chuck walks in.
Chuck: Hi. I, uh, brought you some gardenias.
Sarah: They’re my favorite. How did you know?
Chuck: Well, I’m not an entirely incompetent spy, you know.
Sarah: Thank you. You can put them over there.
Chuck sees a mountain of flowers from Bryce.
Chuck: Bryce Larkin, huh? I guess no matter what it is, I’ll always come in second to that guy.
Sarah: Not always.
Insecurity isn’t easy to overcome. It’s Devon who has to toss Bryce the final clue-brick, though.
Devon: Hey, bro.
Devon: Whoa, that cut looks infected. I better take a look at that. Come on.
Sorry bro. You a lot of dirt in there.
Devon: So, how do you know Sarah?
Bryce: She’s my ex.
Devon: Based on all the flowers you sent, I’d say you still had feelings for her.
Bryce: It’s complicated.
Devon: I know. She’s dating my soon-to-be brother-in-law, Chuck.
Bryce: (looks askance) I didn’t know. Sarah said she wanted to tell me something, but then she got hurt. Ouch!
Devon: Cut’s pretty deep there.
Bryce: So, um, Chuck and Sarah. Is it serious?
Devon: I’m specializing in cardiothoracic medicine. That means there’s one thing in the world I know best: the human heart. Spent enough time with them to see how they are together. See how she looks at him. My professional opinion? She’s in love with Chuck, dude.
All the messages in Break-Up have been nice and sweet, and should have been very encouraging to Chuck. Bryce got the message. Bryce knows the score, and even better, he knows Sarah. As far as being a PLI for Sarah, he’s gone.
But Bryce knows one other thing, that Chuck’s feelings, and Sarah’s, will bring them serious problems. Not once but twice, Bryce has to confront Chuck in the courtyard, by the fountain to tell him how much danger his feelings put Sarah in.
Chuck: (screams) Ah! What – did I say about the entrances?
Bryce: We need to talk about Sarah. She had a chance to take the shot back there, and she didn’t. She hesitated and it almost cost us the microchip and your life.
Chuck: I know.
Bryce: What are you gonna do about it?
Chuck: I don’t know, Bryce. You tell me. What am I supposed to do?
Bryce: You’ll do the right thing. You always do. It’s why I sent you the Intersect in the first place.
As much as Sarah’s been encouraging Chuck, showing him that he could have anything he wanted, there is a bigger truth that stands between Chuck and Sarah.
As Chuck sits at the fountain thinking about Bryce’s last words, Sarah walks up and sits besides him.
Sarah: Everything okay?
Chuck: Yeah. Yeah, just – There’s, um… I just had a couple of things I wanted to tell you before dinner.
Sarah: Yeah. Me too.
Chuck and Sarah: Look… I’m sorry. They both chuckle.
Chuck: Look, we both know how I feel about you, so I’m just gonna shoot straight. Sarah, you’re the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you laugh at all of my stupid jokes, and you have this horrible habit of constantly saving my life. The truth is, you’re everything that I thought I ever wanted and more. And for the last few days, all I can think about is our future together. – About what it’s gonna be like once I finally get the Intersect out of my head. How we’ll finally be together for real. No fake relationships, no covers, no lies.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that you and I can never have a future together.
I fooled myself into thinking that we could, but the truth is, we can’t. Because even if we had a real relationship, it would never really be real. I’d still never know anything about you, your real name, your hometown, your first love, anything.
And I want more than that. I want to be able to call you at the end of a bad day and tell you about some funny thing Morgan did and not find out that I can’t because you’re off somewhere in Paraguay quelling a revolution with a fork.
I’m a normal guy who wants a normal life. And as amazing as you are, Sarah Walker, we both know that you will never be normal.
Sarah: You know, someday when the Intersect is out of your head, and you have the life you always wanted, you’ll forget all about me.
Chuck: I seriously doubt that.
Sarah: (holding back tears) Come on. We better get inside. They’re waiting for us.
It’s devastating because it’s true.
Sarah: Dinner??? Come on. What the hell were you thinking, Chuck?
Chuck: What was I to do? I flashed on the guy.
Sarah: These people are from my past, a past you have no business poking around in.
Chuck: Well, I’m sorry. I was just trying to do my job. I thought you’d be happy I used a little initiative.
Casey: Uh, don’t kill the messenger. Not the kid’s fault you went to high school with a treasonous scumbag.
Beckman: Good morning, boys and girl. First matter of business: Mark Ratner. He’s an engineer at Winthrop-Keller Aeronautics, has clearance to extremely sensitive plans for future weapons technology, pictures of the next generation of F-22 Raptors. Essentially, a super-bomber. This technology has been leaked. Chuck’s instincts were good. Your mission is to go to dinner with the Ratners, see if Chuck flashes off of anything.
Sarah: General, I apologize, but I’m afraid I must recuse myself from this mission. My cover has been compromised.
Beckman: Agent Walker, you have preexisting social history with the target. Seems to me like you have the perfect cover.
Sarah: But it’s not a cover, ma’am. It’s – me.
Beckman: Well, I hope you enjoy Italian food.
We’ve been so busy trying to understand Chuck that it’s easy to forget that we hardly know the truth about Sarah. I’m sure she’s say “Well, what’s to tell?” The truth is we, and Chuck, don’t even know her real name.
(In Sarah’s room.)
Chuck: Okay. Here’s what we know thus far. Jenny Burton went to James Buchanan High School in San Diego, California, class of 1998, – Is it safe to assume “Jenny” is a diminutive of “Jennifer”?
Sarah: Back. Off. Chuck. You have as much information as is pertinent to this assignment.
Chuck: You spell “Jenny” with an I, or would it be – ?
Sarah: All Jenny’s boyfriend needs to know is that Jenny hates questions about her past. (The deadly pencil emphasises the point.) You got that?
Chuck: I’m good. Yeah, I’m good. (Sarah walks away and Chuck whispers How do you do that?
Indeed! To date, Sarah’s been a dream girl to Chuck. Even when he’s not with her, Chuck has to wonder if he’s been dreaming.
Mark Ratner: I never should have stolen the bomber plans. I should have gone right to you guys. But they threatened my wife. I wasn’t thinking straight. See, I’m just a guy who likes math, you know? And somehow I got a beautiful girl like that to fall in love with me. I have to pinch myself sometimes. It’s like I’m dreaming.
(Chuck looks at Sarah walking by.) Ah, forget it, Agent Carmichael. I mean, how can I expect a cool guy like you to understand?
Chuck: You know what, Mark? Sometimes the nerd gets the girl.
Now the big question is, can Chuck see that Sarah is a real person, and not some fantasy? When the question “Who are you?” is asked, it applies to Sarah too. Just exactly who does he thing she is?
Sarah: Isn’t that supposed to be a raw steak?
Chuck: Not on a Buy More salary, thank you very much. I did however scrape together enough cash to get you a cooked one as well. Medium rare with extra pickles.
Sarah: (at the same time) Extra pickle?
Chuck: Come on, who do you think you’re dealing with here?
Sarah: Well, I never doubted you, Special Agent Charles Carmichael.
Chuck: So I guess the big secret about you is that you used to be just a typical high-school student. Wish I knew what happened to change that.
Sarah remembers her first meeting with Grant. She throws her knife at him.
Grant: Nice toss.
Young Sarah: Who are you.
Grant: I’m the man who put your father in prison. The question is, who are you? In San Deigo, you go by Jenny Burton, in Wisconsin, it’s Katie O’Connell, in Cleveland, it’s Rebecca Franko. Funny thing is, when I looked at your birth certificate…
Young Sarah: I get your point. What do you want?
Grant: Your father scammed some pretty dangerous people. I saved his life by putting him in jail.
Young Sarah: Well don’t expect a thank-you note.
Grant: I can save your life too. (Sarah holds out her hands, expecting to be cuffed.) No, not that way. Your dad trained you pretty well. The CIA can do even better.
You like names so much, hmm? What do you think about Sarah Walker?
Chuck: Sarah Walker, hello?
Sarah: Okay, fine. I’ll answer one question about my past. You’ve earned that much.
Chuck thinks about it for a moment.
Chuck: Hummm.. No thanks. I don’t need to know more, not about who you were. Because as much as you don’t think so, I know who you are – a girl I’d like to share a cheeseburger with.
For now, when Chuck asks “Who are you Sarah Walker?”, that will do.
One of the many places in Chuck where you can count on being told the truth is when Ellie and Sarah sit down to have one of their too infrequent conversations. It’s places like that where we discover that “Words taste like peaches.”
Ellie: I’m starting to think that there’s something going on with my brother.
Sarah: Oh… Why? What do you mean?
Ellie: It’s just everything seemed to be moving along just fine for Chuck. And you had everything to do with that.
Sarah: Oh, thanks, but, uh, I can’t take the credit.
Ellie: Then, I don’t know… It’s like – it’s like he’s slipping back into old-Chuck mode. You know? No confidence, no direction. It’s the Morgan years, revisited. I mean, he went to Stanford, for God’s sakes. Did you know he’s 12 credits short of graduating? Twelve credits short of a real life.
I know that I sound like his mother. Just tell me that I don’t have anything to worry about and I will lay off.
Ellie: Should I be worried about him?
Sarah: You know, um, Chuck is, um, Chuck is like a duck. Sometimes it seems like he is just gliding along, but beneath the surface his, uh, little feet are just paddling away like crazy.
Deep down, I really think Chuck is an incredibly mature and responsible guy.
Who can deny the truth of that imagery?
On the balcony, Chuck has received his diploma. He’s concerned that it is merely a piece of paper, another lie added to the pile.
Chuck: Well, thanks for my fake diploma.
Sarah: What do you mean?
Chuck: I get it. You had one of your CIA pals doctor it up to get Ellie off my back.
Sarah: It’s real, Chuck.
Chuck: Come on.
Sarah: I’m serious. You graduated.
Chuck: What about my last 12 credits?
Sarah: Well, Casey and I decided that your exceptional field service ought to count for something, and Stanford agreed.
Chuck: Huh. And by “exceptional,” you mean, like, uh, I don’t know, decrypting weapons-satellite codes?”
Sarah: Electrical engineering.
Chuck: Or running away from exploding games of “Missile Command”?
Sarah: Physical education. You earned it, Chuck.
Chuck: Thank you.
Sarah: You see that star out there on the horizon? That’s the air-force, bouncing Morimoto’s satellite off the atmosphere and burning it up. Make a wish. It’s yours.
Oh, wait. This is not new truth. Rewind that to see what happened just a bit earlier! (Ziiiippp!)
Chuck defeats “Missile Command”, gets to the kill screen and the code to disable the killer satellite just in the nick of time. He’s being carried off on the shoulders of admiring fans and the “the girl” is smiling so broadly that he can see it through the cell phone. “What’s it like being a hero, Chuck Bartowski?” A hero? Is that who you are now, Chuck? Is that the answer to “the big question?”
No, the truth is, he’s still Chuck. Chuck gets to date an old flame, and it’s pretty clear that he’s not quite ready to forget who in was. In doing so, Chuck loses sight, again, of who he is now.
Sarah: What do you think you’re doing?
Chuck: Getting closure. She owes me an explanation.
Casey: No she doesn’t. She exercised her first amendment right to dump you. Now get back in there and find out what Guy is planning.
Sarah: Look, Chuck. I know it’s hard, but tonight, you have to be a spy first.
Chuck: Yeah, it is hard. I’m not like you, Sarah. I can’t turn my emotions on and off like some robot.
I’m sorry. That was uncalled for. I’m not acting like myself tonight.
Sarah: (hurt) Are you done feeling sorry for yourself?
Chuck: Personally, I’d like another 10 to 15 minutes of really pathetic self-indulgence. But duty calls. I’m going back in. Thanks.
Really pathetic is about right. At least Chuck recognizes it for what it is.
Ellie: Wow. That’s something I haven’t seen in a while.
Chuck: This? I wear this like four times a week.
Ellie: No, your smile. You look happy.
Chuck: Yeah. Yeah, that. That thing. Um, I don’t know. I guess, uh, I found some of those answers that you said I was looking for.
Ellie: Well thank God. I am so relieved. I just think that, you know, Sarah… There’s really something special about her. I think you had to go through that stuff with Jill so you could figure out who the one is for you. And now that you’ve found her, you’ll stop wondering about somebody else.
Even when Chuck refuses to see what’s plain to everyone else, the truth pours over him. That’s sort of okay, because we already knew Chuck could be an idiot about such things. What we didn’t know before is that Sarah can be one too. And we hear her fooling herself about it in:
The Fat Lady
Sarah: Casey? Is that necessary? How much trouble can he get into on a date?
Casey: It’s Bartowski. You’re pretty nonchalant about your supercomputer boyfriend trying to browse someone else’s network.
Sarah: Well, I am just his cover girlfriend. Chuck’s entitled to a real one.
It is, of course, not exactly easy for Sarah to limit her relationship with Chuck to being “just a cover”. Even if she thinks that being with Chuck may not be “the right thing”, she has no doubt about her responsibilities to him.
Jill: Thank you for saving my life. I’m sorry for not trusting you with Chuck.
Sarah: You wanna pay me back? Don’t hurt him again.
Jill: I won’t. I wouldn’t. I care about Chuck.
Sarah: Me too. It’s my job to protect him.
Sarah should tell him that he won’t find love in a hole.
A gravitron is a place where you get all spun around, tossed up and down until you’re dizzy and you’re not quite certain which way is up.
Sarah: What? What is it?
Chuck: Sarah? I need your help. How am I gonna survive tonight?
Sarah: Well, a good spy knows what their mark wants. And what do we know about Jill? She’s a spy. She wants you to be under her spell.
Chuck: Okay. How do I do that?
Sarah: She’s gonna test you. When the time is right, she’s gonna make certain that she has you. That you love her.
Chuck: How’s she gonna to that?
Sarah: When you’re most exposed. Emotionally exposed, like, uh, an intimate moment. Say, a kiss.
Okay. Imagine that I am Jill. The moment is romantic, she’s close to you. She’s looking into your eyes.
Chuck: Got it. Okay. I got the… I’m trying not to be distracted by the oh-so-romantic secret base.
(Sarah turns down the lighting.)
Sarah: Concentrate. Keep looking into my eyes. Don’t look up! And if you can’t hold Jill’s stare, look at her lips.
Now move her hair back over her ear. And when you start to kiss, focus again on her.
Then just before your lips are about to meet… close your eyes…
(they move closer.)
Okay. Good! (and the lesson is clearly over.)
Good. You’re all set.
Chuck: Huh? Oh! Yeah. Good.
If there is any one place that fans can point to and say “Look, Chuck. Enough is enough. Forget this distraction and get back to Sarah before it’s too late.”, well, this is it. Chuck thought he had seen The Truth in a vial of pentathol, and he thought he saw it in the results of Jill’s lie detector test. That was wrong. Fortunately, Chuck really isn’t a complete idiot.
Jill: Just do what he says and you’ll be okay.
Chuck: What about my friends?
Jill: Just do what he says.
Chuck: How could you do this, Jill?
Jill: Chuck, it’s complicated.
Chuck: Listen. I know complicated, okay?
How could you do this?
It just takes him a while to get it. Chuck tells Jill to take the Matrix and drive as far as she can. Old flame Jill offers him one last temptation.
Jill: Come with me. We can still be together.
Jill: Just you and me, no secrets. No spies. Come with me, Chuck.
Chuck: No – no, I can’t. I can’t. I…
Look, obviously, there’s the whole opposites-attract-chemistry thing – that we have, and I It’s just there’s one small problem.
Jill: What are you doing, Chuck?
What’s going on? Why did you do this to me, Chuck?
Chuck: You should know I wanted to help you. I was gonna let you get away.
Jill: Chuck, no.
Chuck: But you were about to kill Sarah. You made the decision for me.
You’re under arrest, Jill. And I’m breaking up with you.
I think Chuck has decided a little about what it is he wants. Not completely, but some. Jill is not a part of it. At the fountain we are told that, for better or for worse, Chuck is on a new path, and he’s going down that road with Sarah.
Chuck: I’m sorry, Sarah. I should have listened to you from the beginning. You were right. I wasn’t ready for this mission.
Sarah: No one is ready for this type of mission, Chuck. Your girlfriend being Fulcrum isn’t something they teach you in spy school.
Chuck: I’m just too trusting. Ever since I was a kid, I really wanted to believe what everybody always told me. You know? I’m just getting used to this new job, all the spying and lying.
Sarah: Don’t get used to it. What makes you special is you’re not like every other spy. You’re a good guy and you wanna help people.
Leave the deception to me.
Chuck: I’m glad I have you.
Sarah: Yeah. We’re better as a team.
In a Casey-centric episode, even he must hear some hard truths. They come from Sarah.
Casey: Heh. I can’t believe it. Beckman was out of line pulling me out of this mission.
Sarah: I agree with her. You’re too emotionally involved.
Casey: (scoffs) This from the agent that can’t keep her chocolate out of Bartowski’s peanut butter.
Sarah: Whatever my feelings may be for Chuck, I never knowingly endangered the asset. You let your anger toward Bennett cloud your judgement.
Casey: Oh, you finally admit that you do have feelings for the nerd.
Sarah: No, all I will admit to is having feelings.
Casey: If 20 years in the business has taught me one sure thing, it’s that people let you down in the end.
Sarah: Well, it’s nice to know where we stand.
Of course, the truth is universal. We’re not just talking about Casey here. We almost never are.
Chuck: Did you talk to Casey? Is he mad? I feel horrible.
Sarah: Casey is always mad. That’s his baseline.
Chuck: I never should have said that stuff in front of the general.
Sarah: No. Your assessment was accurate. I mean, the facts are the facts.
Chuck: True. But the guy’s going through a lot. If I were really a friend, I’d look past what he’s saying, remember how he’s feeling. I mean, I should know better than anybody what he’s going through right now.
Sarah: Chuck, you’re so sweet.
But, you know an apology is not gonna work because Casey is combat-ready at all times, which means his feelings are liabilities.
Chuck: Well, aren’t you supposed to be combat-ready at all times?
Sarah: (smirks) I’ll meet you at your sister’s wedding tasting after your Buy More shift.
Sarah is a master of evasion. Isn’t she? That’s okay, too. She’s a good partner. Casey just needed a quick refresher course in partnership.
Sarah: (Jumping on Casey’s back and puts a knife to his throat.) You shouldn’t be here.
Casey: You wanna stop me, you’re gonna have to kill me.
Sarah: I’m your partner and I’m not letting you go in alone.
Casey: (smiles) Okay. Come on.
Chuck’s a part of that team, and one of the big lessons for everyone is that, Intersect or no, he does have plenty to contribute.
Chuck: I totally get how you’re feeling. You’re feeling betrayed by someone you care about.
Casey: You are damaging my calm, Chuck.
Chuck: You’ve spent so much of your life pushing people away, lashing out with hurtful words and punches but I know why you do it. You do it because you’re scared.
Chuck: Scared. Scared to be known. Scared if we see who you really are, we’d actually care about you.
Casey: You shut up.
Sarah: Yeah, shut up. You’re making him mad.
Chuck: (to Sarah) Nnnnn! (to Casey) Underneath that extremely terrifying exterior lies a man who deeply, deeply feels. You care. You care about us.
You care about me. Admit it. You feel all warm and mushy about me. Go ahead, say it.
You love me, John Casey.
Casey: (shouting) I’m gonna kill you!
Chuck: Wait, wait. Wait! Hold on! No, not me.
(points to Bennett) Him.
Sarah: Nice work, Sensei.
Chuck: Yeah, well, the thing is, Casey doesn’t really have a calm center. It’s more of an angry center.
That didn’t come from an Intersect file. That came from Chuck. The only question remaining is, does Casey see that? The fountain is the place where such discoveries are made and acknowledged, and the place where new paths are taken.
Chuck (imitating Casey): Well, thanks for saving my life today, Chuck.
(normal voice) Any time, Casey. Yeah. You know what? You’re my friend.
(Casey voice) Yeah, You know what? You’re my friend too.
(normal voice) That’s really kind of you, Casey. Have a good night.
Casey: Thank you.
Chuck: You said something, didn’t you? You said something. You said something! (Casey closes the door.)
I heard that. I heard that.
In a season and a half of Chuck, we’ve been exposed to enough deceptions and lies that it was hard to see the truth before us. It was harder for Chuck. He didn’t have the advantage of seeing it re-capitulated when Devon speaks to Morgan.
Devon: Permission to speak freely?
Morgan: There are no secrets between us.
Devon: Would you agree that you have no credit, no life plan, no apartment, no car, no adult responsibilities of any kind?
Morgan: On rare occasion, I do my own laundry.
Devon: Time to grow up, Morgan.
Morgan: I know. Here’s the thing, this apartment is a lot of dough. It’ll clear me out!
Devon: Whoa. Whoa, whoa! You’re a little short on cash? We’ll lend it to you. Don’t worry ’bout it.
Morgan: Wait a minute. You’d do that for me? Really?
Morgan: That’s – that’s super cool, man. Why?
Devon: Because I believe in you. Consider it an investment in your future.
Morgan: Whoa, are you sure about that?
Devon: Yes. I’m sure. Besides, you’ll pay me back.
That’s noting compared to the investment Jack Burton is about to make. The toys of childhood still beckon, but adulthood awaits. Jack is also used as a vehicle to remind us of the truths we should know by now.
Jack Burton: Well, you pulled it off, kid. You made me a believer.
Chuck: Well, by German’s a little rusty, but…
Jack: No, no. – that you two are a couple.
We should remember that Chuck is not the only one searching for The Truth. Sarah is too, and it’s A Good Thing ™ that Chuck has some for her.
Chuck: Hey, they were all out of fruit. So I was forced to bring up chocolate croissants.
Sarah: Well, I guess I have no choice but to take those off you. Come in.
Chuck: You okay?
Sarah: I’m fine. My dad will turn up somewhere. But I guess the real crime is that we didn’t get to freeze the sheik’s accounts.
Chuck: I’m sorry if I pushed you into trusting your father.
Sarah: If there’s one thing I learned from my father, it’s “Be ready for disappointment.” And if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine.
Chuck: No, it’s not.
Eleven years ago, my father left Ellie and me. He’s uh… he was an unusual man. I guess that’s generous. An engineer. We used to get Christmas cards and birthday calls, and then one year, it just stopped. I don’t know why.
What I do know is that it wasn’t my fault. Granted, it took a significant amount of time and an incredible amount of therapy to come to that realization, but…
You need to know that your father’s sins are his and not yours.
Sarah: That’s pretty eloquent for 9 a.m.
Chuck: What can I say? I’m an articulate schnook.
Sarah: (chuckles) Lucky for me.
Yes, it is. But in case Sarah’s a deaf to the truth as Chuck is, her father has some for her to hear also.
Sarah: Why did you put the money in Chuck’s account?
Jack: I needed to put it somewhere because I didn’t trust ‘cop face’.
Sarah: But you trusted Chuck?
Jack: I read people. It’s the only real talent I got. One thing I know, that kid would never betray you.
I made a $10-million bet that he loved you. Turns out, I was right.
There are no fountain scenes in the final episode we saw prior to the Christmas break, but more than in any other, we see the reality of where their journey is going to take Chuck and Sarah. But not here.
Chuck: Hey. Sure is quiet around here. Bad guys taking a holiday too? Not that I mind, by the way, because the Intersect could certainly use some down time as well. Speaking of which, we have a cover date tomorrow. Christmas at the Bartowskis’
Sarah: Oh, uh, thanks for the invitation, Chuck. But I don’t do Christmas.
Chuck: I’m sorry, I think you just said you don’t do Christmas?
Sarah: Look. I would rather not get into it.
Chuck: But it’s Christmas! Look. I’m not buying the whole Scrooge act, okay? Underneath that spy cover is a regular person just like the rest of us. I mean, honestly, how weird could Christmas have been your you?
Sarah: Christmas at the Burton household meant the annual Salvation Army con-job.
Chuck: Okay, well, it’s a – Okay, you’re a little different than the rest of us.
But Christmas at the Bartowskis’ means eggnog, p.j.’s a fake gas fire place, and that’s right, Twilight Zone marathons.
I’m not taking no for an answer, Walker. So prepare to be heart-warmed.
No, Chuck. Prepare to be heart-broken.
I love this scene, because both Devon and Ellie are very right and argue their case exceptionally well. You see, sometimes the opposite of a profound truth isn’t a lie. Sometimes, it’s another profound truth.
Devon: Big Mike, Jeff, Lester, Morgan. Come here. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had enough. This guy’s dangerous. We need to take him out before anyone else gets hurt.
Big Mike: He’s right. The store closes at midnight. We got lots of merchandise to move.
Morgan: Fellas, I don’t know, man.
Devon: Time to be a man, Morgan.
Morgan: Yeah, I’ll do it. I’m in.
Jeff: So am I.
Chuck: Hold on. Hold on, wait.
This is a very bad idea, okay? Ned shot Casey on accident. He’s not trying to hurt anybody. We need to let the police handle this.
Casey: Chuck’s right. Let the cops handle this.
Devon: I know you guys work at a Buy More, but I’m a doctor, okay? I take risks every day. This is a matter of life or death. Someone needs to man-up and take action. Someone needs to be a hero.
Ellie: No, they don’t, Devon. Being a hero is being alive to take care of your friends and family.
This is not at the fountain – Chuck is in the “Romantic-Comedy” section.
Sarah: So, uh, Net let everyone call their loved ones. That was pretty smart to call me. Protect our cover.
Chuck: Yeah, well, you are my girlfriend. Sort of.
Sarah: So does that mean your offer still stands for Christmas?
Chuck: See? I knew you could be heart-warmed. I actually, um…
I have something for you. I was gonna give it to you tomorrow, but considering the circumstances, I kind of want to give it to you today.
Sarah: Chuck, we’re gonna get out of here. We’ll be fine. I —
promise. (Sarah sees the bracelet) Wow. That’s beautiful.
Chuck: It’s good luck. It was my mom’s charm bracelet. My dad gave it to her when Ellie was born.
Sarah: Oh, Chuck. I can’t take this. This is something real, something that you should give to a real girlfriend.
Chuck: I know.
She’s right. It is. He did, and she accepted it.
There should be no doubt, Sarah is in love. She tells him: Trust me. I’ll never let anyone hurt you. Before the night is over, Sarah will have to stand by that. You see, Chuck does not take Devon’s advice and “man-up”. Rightly or wrongly, he leaves Mauser for Sarah to handle, and for that, he pays a price.
Quoting the dialog when Chuck admits to Mauser that he’s the intersect does not do it justice. You have to see the terror in Chuck’s face when Mauser threatens to have Ned shoot Ellie. Even in Season 3, there is no darker scene, because Chuck is on his own and Fulcrum has him. And Sarah knows it.
She chases Mauser to the lot where Christmas trees are being sold.
Mauser: You may have beaten me, Agent Walker. But Fulcrum’s won. I know Chuck Bartowski’s the Intersect.
Sarah: Chuck’s secret is safe. And you’re going straight to a CIA detention facility, never to be seen or heard from again.
Mauser: Well, you go right ahead, Agent Walker. Arrest me.
But say goodbye to Chuck.
You see, I’m not like those other Fulcrum agents. They’ll do whatever it takes to find me. And when they do, every Fulcrum agent we have is gonna know Chuck’s the Intersect. It’s gonna be the end of his pathetic existence.
So take me in, Agent Walker. I’m ready to go.
It’s not so much that Sarah executed an unarmed Mauser. It’s that she lied. Through the first half of season 2, both Chuck and Sarah are no more prepared to answer the big question than they were at the beginning.