The Early-Bird Vs. The Beard Speculations and First Reactions Post

Go For It!

Think it will be good? Think it *was* good?

Think it was worth the bit of hype we’ve all seen? Tell us your thoughts!

In a bit of personal news, I discovered suddenly that I start at a brand, spanking-new job in just two days. I hear deep, metallic voices saying “YOU ARE NOT READY!” But I am. Sadly, this also means that soon I will have much less time to spend on my diversions and hobbies, not the least of which is this one.

Oh, I’ll still be posting, maybe even as frequently as I have. But my greatest fear is that I will not be able to spent the time I need to read all your comments the way they deserve (and yes, I’ve tried to read and consider every single one). The dialog has been amazing, and I truly feel like this has been a conversation. That, in turn, was exactly what I hoped to have when I started this. I quite literally fear losing track of the conversation.

But I’ll do my best! This blog has acquired a reputation for having intelligent discussions. Hey! That’s not my fault! That’s all on you (and thanks).

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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289 Responses to The Early-Bird Vs. The Beard Speculations and First Reactions Post

  1. Waverly says:

    Anyone want to speculate on exactly what and how much Morgan learns about Chuck’s other life?

    It seems to me that there has been an excessive secrecy throughout the series. Certainly there’s no reason for people close to Chuck to know about the Intersect or flashing or the things he learns that way.

    But why couldn’t Chuck be in a much more comfortable position by having Morgan and Ellie know that he does have a real job as a spy? That’s already been demonstrated by Devon, who has helped cover for him in the past.

    I don’t think abstract knowledge about Chuck’s job would endanger them. It would certainly help Devon, since he wouldn’t have to lie to Ellie any more.

    Chuck’s need to lie on the job is quite understandable, but Chuck’s need to lie to his family and close friends is not.

    • atcdave says:

      Lying to friends and family is largely a dramatic device. People will gradually find out, largely because those are fun stories. I think Ellie will find out late. I think she will always represent “normal”, or Chuck’s old life, or something like that; so Ellie will be in the dark until late in the final season. Of course, I’ve been wrong about nearly everything this so season so….

    • joe says:

      Wow! I never thought that Chuck would tell him everything. After 2.6 seasons, I’m fascinated to realize that I really liked that.

  2. OldDarth says:

    Good luck with the new job Joe!

    Congratulations!

    • Rick Holy says:

      OldDarth and I don’t always see things eye to eye, but we do on this one! Congrats, Joe – and all the best in your new position!

      And THANKS again for developing this blog. It’s been – and I hope will continue to be – a blast with our back and forth and exchange of opinions, biases, etc., etc.

    • BigCheese says:

      Congratulations for you 😉

    • joe says:

      Thanks to all you guys. From what I can tell, the job is an excellent fit for my skills and experience. The rest depends on the people. I haven’t universally found that I can work well in all situations, but usually, I can.

      I was very lucky to work pretty much at my dream job a few years ago. That spacecraft that’s heading to Pluto – it’s got my fingerprints on it. I don’t need to re-live that fantasy. It’s been time to expand myself – past time, really. I may have a chance here, and I’m looking forward to it.

      • atcdave says:

        What’s the point Joe, its not like its even a planet anymore!

      • joe says:

        Heh! Where I come from, Dems fightin’ words, Dave! 😉

      • Gord says:

        atcdave you beat me to it I was just going to make that Pluto reference when I read your comment.

        By the way Joe I want to echo the congrats on your new job.
        Since it is past midnight I`m going to have to wait to really get into the comments here, but just want to say that tonight`s episode was definitely the best of the season. It even had a happy ending.

      • Congratulations Joe on you new job advenutre. May god bless you.

      • joe says:

        Thanks, Bernard (and everyone else that I may have missed this week)!

        Sorry I hadn’t noticed you here before this – and welcome to the discussion. I’m usually quite a bit more vocal than I’ve been these last few days.

        Honestly, I’ve been up at 5:30 am and in bed by 11:30, so I’m almost-but-not-quite burning the candle at both ends. The excitement (we’ll call it shock and awe) of the new job has left me feeling a bit uncreative, though. I’ve been in awe of everyone else’s originality and expressiveness! You guys are good.

        So as soon as I can catch my breath and think of something creative to say, I’ll chime in.

  3. Faith says:

    Awww, we love you too Joe! And I second OD in congratulating you on the job.

    You know when it comes down to it, specs, reactions, suckers all that aside I just want to get some questions answered. Satisfactorily or not, just get on with it.

    • joe says:

      You are special, Faith. Thanks!

      So, did you feel like Chuck got on with it tonight?

      • Faith says:

        It was good! But my standards since my big “I’m an idiot” revelation has dropped drastically.

        I hate to be sour grapes but I really didn’t get the big to do with the revelation. Yes it’s great that finally someone told him it’s ok, that someone listened to him. It’s great that he has a confidant. But in essence we’re back to square one. Not even really because what has been set wrong has yet to be set right.

        One thing I’m happy about though is the semi-return of Sarah Walker. Granted it’s not exactly her-her but for awhile there it didn’t even seem like she cares what happens to Chuck if anything happens to him she’s so caught up with herself. The whole, “he’s a part of my team” definitely message underlying there but I told myself I’ll stop doing that so much 🙂

        Morgan is awesome. He brought back the light-ness and some of the fun that was missing in previous episodes. I said before that TPTB and Shaw is purposely isolating Chuck and although a part of me is wondering WTH Shaw, I like that for once Chuck has Morgan. Getting dumped by Morgan though, piled on to rock bottom 😦

        Earlier today I also asked has Sarah hit rock bottom? She hasn’t, yet. Not even at the “you can talk to us” juncture in this epi.

        Finally, loved Jeffster. I admit I didn’t get those guys in previous seasons but there’s something about being deprived of the fun that makes even Jeffster’s stalker tendencies and queerness that makes one nostalgic.

  4. Faith says:

    Some twitter goodies from Adam Baldwin aka Casey:

    Tonight: #chucktastic @ZacharyLevi directs ” #CHUCK vs. the Beard” – http://bit.ly/cr70uB / (the ep. contains my very favorite line).
    27 minutes ago via web

    It is my very favorite line in #Chuck. 1st to tweet it back to me will win a #chucktastic , signed piece of #chuck memorabilia.
    22 minutes ago via web

    Hint: It’s a new (never heard before) ‘Casey’ line. #Chuck. #chucktastic #chuck
    7 minutes ago via web

    [edit: Faith, this wound up in the bin because the filter hates more than 3 links! Sorry! – joe]

  5. BDP says:

    Speculation: Mopey Chuck for one half of the show, half scared/determined chuck the other half.

    Work = BLEH, but congrats

    • joe says:

      Heh! More like mopey for 10 minutes. Once again, I found this to be the fastest 60 minutes in television.

      Around here it’s Commute = BLEH! Lucky for me, it’s going to be a relatively easy commute this time (and I AM grateful)!

  6. herder says:

    Speculation: when Chuck can intersect again, it is better than before, he is more able to access the intersect abilities and more than one at a time.

    • Waverly says:

      While we’re at it, we might as well ask for the ability to learn/remember from the flashes so that he doesn’t have to flash again.

      Even if he can flash on command, just the delay needed to flash can be a killer.

      Also, it would be great if he could query to find out what kinds of things he knows about. Why can’t he flash about the Intersect itself?

    • Marvin says:

      So…was he using the intersect in Duck Hunt? If so, major improvement in access…

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    I’m going to speculate that Chuck realizes that the not flashing has something to do with unresolved emotional conflicts. We saw how he was basically paralyzed by his failure as a spy and his rejection of Sarah. We heard about the “dark place” and Stanford. From the spoilers we see that Chuck is able to flash after clearing the air with Morgan.

    I somehow doubt this is a good thing for Sarah. Chuck may decide to resolve things, and Chuck being Chuck, he will not try to steal someone else’s girl. My totally left field prediction is that tonight or early next week we see Chuck seek a bit of closure.

    • joe says:

      Seems like you got it dead on, Ernie.

    • Faith says:

      Props!

      I am yet again wrong lol. I really thought his inability to flash had something to do with his internal conflict between the life of a spy and lies and all. Talking to Morgan would help with that. Little did I know, shipper and all, that it’s Sarah related :-O

  8. kg says:

    Joe

    Congratulations. You do what you have to do for you and your family. We’ll understand.

    We’ll appreciate you reading our stuff and responding whenever it is possible for you.

    As Ernie has reminded us recently, this still just a hobby, albeit very important, very enjoyable and very fun.

    Although not personally face to face, I’m still appreciate to have met some wonderfully caring and articulate schnooks and lassies.

    KG

  9. sd says:

    ***Spoiler Alert***

    Just watched. Wow…they went there…Morgan knows all!

    I thought it was a great show…one free of angst. Sure, there is the inevitable S/C talk with Morgan…but after surviving last week, no gag-reflex from me.

    It makes me think that if the showrunners bury the S/C r’ship for once and all…the show could still work with all of the supporting cast. It certainly wouldn’t–imho–excuse the way the C/S character development has been handled…but it gave me at least a chance to realize this can be a fun show w/o the whiplash writing and angst thrown in for good measure.

    • atcdave says:

      I would say, it could have been a great show with no Chuck/Sarah. Its a great testimony of how good things can be when everything is working, that this show could have been great with no Sarah Walker at all. But now she’s kind of the 900 pound gorilla in the room (sorry, that phrase makes me laugh!); they HAVE to fix Chuck and Sarah.
      While there was no progress per se. We do see Chuck clearly admitting to Morgan he loves her, and immediately he can flash. I think Chuck may have figured something out tonight!

      • Faith says:

        I don’t mean to be all sour grapes here…but didn’t we know this already? The 64,000 dollar question is what is he going to do about it? And what is she? 🙂

      • joe says:

        Seemed to me that Sarah was more than a bit concerned about Chuck and his concerns too. Uh, that is, Sarah was oozing concern.

        If anything was dropped or ignored it was the final scene of The Fake Name. I’m sure they’ll get back to it, but it seemed to be the last thing on Sarah’s mind.

        Oh, and The Ring was no longer a joke, I thought. This was formidable. Diedrich Bader (last seen on the Drew Carey show) was a great bit of casting, switching between Buy More stooge and Ring Agent.

      • atcdave says:

        Apparently, that is to be determined. Things may move fairly quickly now, we know they work together, with no Shaw, next week. And by 3.11 they’re on a sort of date together. By most counts she’ll be done with Shaw in 3.12. So whatever they are both going to do, it will unfold quickly (about time!)

      • herder says:

        I wonder if she will realize that the thing that he most needed was what she denied him, her friendship and support. I think 3.10 will be a return of the friendship, 3.11 will be the start of something more.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah herder, that would be my bet too.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Very enjoyable episode – but Faith, your point is excellent. He admitted he loved her. Hello? He admitted he loved her at the end of S2. There’s no great “reveal” here.

        And you’re right again, Faith. The point NOW is “watchya gonna do about it?!?!” Hopefully the remaining of the original 13 episodes for this season will deal with THAT.

      • Who Dat says:

        To me, the difference was that for the first time Chuck was denying his true feelings for Sarah. In the past, he denied his feelings to others, but never to himself. What would have been a great seen would have been Chuck looking into a mirror and liking what he saw for the first time in a while.

  10. Marvin says:

    So, first reaction…Now we know why Ellie and Awesome are headed for Africa…Morgan the Organ with National Secrets? And a nice segue into next weeks episode.

    Shaw is psychotic. But we all knew that.

    If the bad guys were able to upload the info to their headquarters, why does Shaw think they never had a chance to inform headquarters of the location of Castle? There’s a plot hole here big enough to plant a Large Mart.

    The looks passing between Chuck and Sarah could be taken a multitude of ways, depending on which way you swing. We don’t know for sure because…THEY NEVER TALK!

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t know if a plot hole, if Shaw is mistaken, or if Shaw is trying to force the issue. A lot of options there.

    • Marvin good point. the ring did upload the infro from castle and he tells Sarah that they didn’t. I believe he is lying to Sarah and using her to control chuck for his revenge against the ring.

      Shaw was not too happy with Sarah backing up Chuck when it came down to him putting Morgan underground.

      When Chuck and Morgan start walking away heading up stairs from Castle for the first time in a while Sarah smiled as they walked away.

      And Shaw knows that his control over Chuck/intersect and Sarah is starting to fall.

      • JC says:

        But then why did he want to blow up Castle with Chuck in it?

        That’s whats been so hard about nailing down Shaw’s agenda. He seems to want a weapon in Chuck but then he’s willing to kill him without hesitation.

        Sometimes it seems like he’s testing Sarah more than Chuck.

  11. Waverly says:

    It wasn’t clear to me how much information the Ring got out. Did they really upload the discs that they found? Why did Shaw say that nothing got out?

    How many Ring men were there — were they all apprehended?

    • joe says:

      Good Qs, Waverly. I’ll need to watch at least once more to see if there’s an answer in there somewhere. I don’t know if we know if they really uploaded the discs!

      Don’t trust Shaw!

  12. herder says:

    There’s my show, I thought that I had lost it for a while there, but now it’s back. Wonderful episode, from the start to the finish, and some interesting things set down to see how they play out.

    Obviously there is the Awesome/Ellie threat to move to Africa, Casey getting the call on the Ring phone and how Morgan knowing will play out. But for me the most interesting crumb was Shaw’s why didn’t they shoot me in Malibu? could it be that there is someone in the Ring counsil who doesn’t want him dead, perhaps a deceased wife?

    Easily the best episode of the year and one of the best of the series, finally an episode I can rewatch without wanting to throw something at the screen.

    • Waverly says:

      Apparently, getting the lost information was more important to the Ring than killing Shaw. Not that it couldn’t have been copied at any time….

      It still isn’t clear to me what the Ring thinks of Devon.

    • Marvin says:

      The setup in Malibu, aside from getting Shaw out of Castle, was to get the Ring phone into Casey’s hands. Shaw’s death was not as important as Casey’s connection.

    • I’ve wondered about that very same thing Herder. Why didn’t they kill Shaw in Malibu?It was not in the Ring council plans at the time? Is Shaws deceased wife is alive and is the member of The Ring?or could it be Gen.Beckman? That’s interesting.

      • joe says:

        You know, it wasn’t clear to me that “they” were even trying to do that – to kill Shaw in Malibu. Did I miss something? Even on two viewings, I couldn’t figure out why Shaw said that they came close to him there.

    • I agree with one your earlier comments Herder,thats what Chcuk was looking for from Sarah the whole time once he decided to become a spy (full time)her friendship and support.It took his best friend Morgan to fufull that role.

      Remember the ep.”THE FAKE NAME” when Shaw wanted Chuck to impersonate Rafe the worlds greatest assassin and Sarah sure Chuck wants to become a spy and Casey gave her that look like, you don’t even care what happens to him do you.

      Sarah has denied Chuck the opprotunity to be himself with her(an outlet from the spy world)She has been as much if not more responsible for Chuck acting the way she feared he would act and letting Shaw so-called mentor him is a big joke if he was a real mentor he would never left chuck behind in Castle while Sarah,Casey went on a mission without him. Shaw could have had Chuck in the van for suvallence with Casey.

      I believe in ep.10-11 Chuck and Sarah to have some quality time together without Shaw hanging around her neck like a knoose and air out some issues like Sam amd the events in Prague which started both of them on the decline that lead to rock bottom.

  13. Ernie Davis says:

    OK, first reaction. Good episode. Does it in any way measure up to what we were told to expect? Are you kidding me? Very solid, very well done, back to S2 fun but employing S3 over the top stuff. Wow, Jeffster sang, that fixes everything. Oh, and Chuck still loves Sarah, which puts us back to relying on S2 to support S3 while simultaneously trashing it.

    I liked Chuck facing down Shaw. Good omen. But nope, not fixed. Even with lowered expectations I didn’t see this as much more than a solid top … 12/41?

    Frankly I’m seeing a lot of whistling past the graveyard. Morgan finding out about Chuck’s life and Chuck single handedly saving the day should have been awesome, as should have Sarah’s name reveal, but I didn’t much care. Why? That is left as an exercise for the student.

    • John says:

      I agree. The episode was good, but imo hardly warrants the “epic” status that many of the reviewers gave it. I’d probably rate it around 12/43 also. Not surprising, the episode reaffirms my guess that S/S doesn’t end until 3.11/3.12.

    • JC says:

      I’m more convinced then ever that the last ten minutes of 3.07 and all 3.08 will never be mentioned again.

    • atcdave says:

      I’ll pile on here. I enjoyed this episode. I’ll rank it among the top three of this season. There was nothing wrong with it; but it hardly fixed what’s been wrong this season.

      I really did have a good time tonight, and there were some indications of how things may go in the future. Mainly, I was so glad just to have a good time again.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Ditto, that! No “cure all” to this season – but FINALLY an enjoyable, FUN episode!!

    • JLR says:

      It actually sneaks into my top 10, but not “epic” lie Lethal Weapon, for example, precisely b/c of what you said Ernie: I can’t look at it in a vacuum. I was just happy to leave an episode not pissed off for once. Great action sequences, and Ellie in a bikini…oooh la la!

  14. sniderman says:

    Well, it took 9 episodes out of an inital order of 13, but they finally (FINALLY) had an episode this season that had the feel and fun of the first two seasons. Action, comedy, friendship, heart – it was all in place. And guess what? Didn’t miss the C/S angst one iota.

    This episode shows us what the writers are capable of and what this season could have been. Imagine if this had played earlier in the season.

    Who would have thought that Morgan would replace Sarah as the emotional grounding anchor for Chuck.

    • atcdave says:

      Except it was Chuck’s admission about Sarah that brought him back; even when the episode is all about Chuck and Morgan, its still really all about Sarah.

      • sniderman says:

        I didn’t see it that way. It wasn’t Chuck’s openly verbal admission of love for Sarah that rebooted Intersect 2.0. It was the unloading of all of the emotions Chuck had bottled up (as he alluded to in the beginning of the ep.). Morgan was there to listen to it all, talk it out, and be a supportive understanding friend. THAT’S how I see Morgan – as the emotional anchor Chuck needs.

        Chuck ended his purge with the Sarah “revelation,” but it was the purge itself that rebooted the Intersect. And Morgan was the one who was there for Chuck. Not Casey, not Devon, not Sarah.

        “You need the Intersect,” Chuck said. “And I need him.”

      • Hey atcdave I read one of your comments about Sarah knows that Chuck loves her and she has less of an excuse for not knowing that.But she rather have a potential love intrest with Shaw. I think it’s time for Sarah to learn that lesson all over again.Picture this story plot in ep.11 or 12 Shaw or Sarah finds out that his deceased wife is alive. now! would that be somthing.

    • joe says:

      Hi, sniderman. Good comment. The fact that Morgan *was* the reason Chuck found himself was – I have to admit – unexpected and satisfying. It sort of made me think that I’d been taking everything a bit too seriously.

      Of course, in light of that scene in Prague, it was hard not to. But today’s episode really changed the perspective to something much more like S1 and early S2.

    • Marvin says:

      I’m hearing a lot of people saying it was Chuck’s revelation of his loving Sarah that got him his superpowers back, but I think it was the fact that he’s been hiding his real self from the people he cares about the most: Morgan and Ellie.

      Morgan is down, Ellie to go. And we have the added plot twist of trying to keep Morgan from being a part of “Team Bartowski”.

      Sarah? Well, she’s just a blip.

      • joe says:

        I sorta agree with you, Marvin. He knew he loves Sarah. It was his inability to say anything to anybody that was blocking him up. Call it emotional constipation.

        Sarah’s hardly a blip, though.

      • atcdave says:

        I don’t agree; while opening up to Morgan was important, I think its his constipation over Sarah that was the malfunction all season. They said Kryptonite and Spinach. We’ve seen how this plays out, when he’s frustrated and can’t talk to her, he shuts down. When she calms him down, or as we saw tonight, just when he admits what the issue is, he can do anything; as she has told him, and as Morgan has observed her affect on him. I think we will see Chuck taking control now of both the intersect, and making his feelings known again to Sarah. He may communicate better with Ellie too, but he will now be more successful, even though he will NOT reveal the truth to Ellie.

        Don’t get me wrong, I find this all a little silly. Chuck has stated he loves her since 2.22. He has never denied it, even when he was acting like an ass with Hannah. And Sarah has even less excuse for knowing how Chuck really feels; yet I think we’ll be subjected to her learning the lesson over again too.

      • Crumby says:

        “Um, so if Sarah is your handler, does that make her your beard? In other words, like, is your whole
        relationship a fake?”

        It’s not all about Sarah, but she definitely has something to do with it.

  15. sd says:

    It will be interesting to see if it’s two steps forward or two steps backward in the fun next week…isn’t that when C/S go on a mission to save Casey?

    It kinda makes me whyince (combo wince and whine)…more angst, longing looks?

    Too bad Chuck can’t bring Morgan on the mission instead…

  16. Ernie Davis says:

    OK, I dont want to rain on parades, but after watching this episode, watch Broken Heart, Fat Lady, or Graviton. Compare and contrast.

    Watch Nach Sampler, then watch 3D. Compare and contrast.

  17. AngelTwo says:

    Good episode. But would I rewatch it? Not particularly. Any episode in season 2 is better than this one. Okay, maybe this was as good as Sensei, but that’s as good as it gets.

    And can we ALL gather round Mo Ryan? Shaw is a waste, romantically and as spy fodder. No wonder why this season sucks. Everything is running through a black hole…

    And Chuck loves Sarah? Who knew?

    • atcdave says:

      Well, apparently he didn’t mean it when he admitted it to Ellie last week, but he’s told Morgan so it must be true!

      Shaw is the black hole of the show. Even in an overall good episode, he is a noticeable weak link.

      I would rank this one above Sensai (my least favorite non-triangle episode!), but certainly below Best Friend or Tom Sawyer.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Yeah, was that about , what, the 30th time Chuck heard from someone else that they knew he loved Sarah/she loved him because of “the way they look at each other”. WOW, glad they decided to develop these characters, ’cause I might have missed that otherwise.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        C’mon, Ernie, be fair. How Chuck and Sarah look at each other IS important. After all, they aren’t allowed to talk or anything…

      • Rick Holy says:

        Yep. Didn’t quite get how Chuck’s Intersecting “fix” was the result of an admission of something that he (and we) already knew. That was the only (glaringly) weak part of the episode for me. Other than that, at least for S3, is was a return to a lot of the light hearted fun and enjoyment that CHUCK is supposed to be! Thank God for that. Another episode like the last two and I’d be watching DWTS or some other crap next week. At least with DWTS I wouldn’t get p.o.’d. Now lets hope they don’t return to the “bad episode follows a good one” format. Let’s keep on the upswing, PLEASE!

      • herder says:

        I’ll take a stab at replying to this seeming plot hole. I think that TPTB are intimating that at some point between Three Words and First Class Chuck gave up on Sarah, that he told himself that he was over her, that he didn’t love her. That is what allowed him to flirt with Hannah in First Class, that is what made him ok with the seduction in Natcho Sampler and what allowed him to persue Hannah and say he was ok with Sarah and Shaw.

        We and all the characters in the show knew that he wasn’t over her and that he still loved her, but he didn’t. Until this climax of Fake Name, how hurt he was by the name reveal, Ellie pointing out the obvious that he wasn’t over Sarah. Finally in this episode Morgan tells him bluntly that he isn’t over her and that he still loves her, finally Chuck realizes what everybody around him already knew, he still loves Sarah.

        In earlier episodes what we thought of as OOC behavior by Chuck was really consistent behavior of a poorly explained plot thread. At least that is how I see it now (I didn’t see it at the time either).

      • JLR says:

        @herder: Good theory..yet still, wouldn’t it be a decent idea to give the audience some kind of explicit idea that was Chuck’s thought process?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Herder, I would buy that explanation, but I thought we had just about the same revelation last week with Ellie. Maybe I over-read last week, or Chuck wouldn’t let himself admit it because of feeling betrayed by her (confiding in Shaw but not him). To me it just seemed a bit forced and contrived.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        OK, NOW I think I’ve figured out how Chuck realizing he loves Sarah comes as a revelation. At the family dinner Chuck starts to realize he’s doing something wrong, we see that from his reaction to Hannah’s toast. When he overhears Sarah talking about Hannah and revealing to Shaw her real name two things become more apparent. He is hurting Hannah and he has been hurt that Sarah never confided in him and is reminded of that now. When Chuck goes to talk to Ellie she lays out two things. You like Hannah, but you are moving to fast because you still have feelings for Sarah. Chuck calls Ellie half a spy, in other words he decides she’s got it half right, he likes Hannah but it’s moving too fast and it isn’t fair to her to live like he did with Sarah, never really knowing the one they love but who can’t let them in. At that point Chuck could decide that (as I hinted at before) Sarah is history. She never opened up or shared with him the way he saw and heard her do with Shaw, and he wasn’t going to do that to Hannah. My initial take on Chuck’s breakup with Hannah was that he was doing it more because he didn’t want to treat her the way Sarah treated him. What we saw was Chuck thinking he’d reached closure on both counts, he let Hannah go, the right thing but done horribly, and closed the book on Sarah, living a lie in that case.

      • Jason says:

        the odd sham part is – had the genius’s not decided to extend the shaw arc, 3.9 was it. Geez, what was the end of 3.9 going to look like? Same? Tearful sham goodbye? Sarah breakup based on what? Shaw breakup with sarah, cause she can’t stop talking about chuck (that actually would be sort of funny)

      • atcdave says:

        I think this is all correct, we’re supposed to think Chuck thought he was over Sarah in first Class, admitted there was a problem in moving too fast with Hannah in fake Name; and didn’t really come to grips with still being in love with Sarah until he told Morgan in The Beard.

        But what a pile of tripe. The story telling has been sloppy at best, dreadfully unfun; and the grand revelation is something we always knew. This is supposed to be the epic S3.

        At least The Beard was fun in tone, that is progress.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Agreed Dave, but I’ve found that if we can try to accept the story TPTB are pushing the season is more enjoyable. Let’s suppose that the “friends” talk at the end of Angel of Death was taken by one, the other, or both as the other saying no to trying again. Those misunderstandings have happened before. As usual Chuck, the more emotionally healthy one moves on first. With no cover dating as an excuse Sarah can’t really stop him, so at the end of Mask, even though she’s in love still she thinks he isn’t and steps aside. Chuck, having thought that Sham was already a done deal, they were just keeping it low key for him, moves on, with some sadness, but convinced he’s doing the right thing. Sarah, having lost Chuck and the family he provided desperately looks for someone to connect with, and creepy Shaw is only too happy to oblige.

        Is that at all plausible? Well of course not, in real life two people who considered going on the run for life to be together might exchange a few heartfelt words before moving on with their lives, but in the universe we’re presently inhabiting it makes some sense.

      • JC says:

        So are we going to hear anything from Sarah though? I’ve read something about 3.12 that makes me think no and its going to be Chuck chasing her again.

    • AngelTwo says:

      Well, look at the bright side. The last time Sarah trotted out the “Chuck deserves it because of all the good he’s done for this country” line, they ended up in bed together.

      So e10 is Chuck and Sarah getting right. She dumps Shaw at the end of 11 to be with Chuck. They finally do something with Shaw in 12. Happy ending in 13.

      Sorry about The Mask and Fake Name. We were in a hurry… And, hey, maybe Sarah’s last name is Malone. Sam Malone. I like it.

  18. Fake Empire says:

    Good epi – the Chuck and Morgan from S1. Glad to see Chuck was fully honest with Morgan. Is it strange for a shipper to now root for the C&M relationship more? That’s how I’m finding myself feeling at this moment.

    Morgan cracking the Ring agent over the head: too funny!!

  19. Who Dat says:

    I just started watching Chuck a few months ago, so I do not claim to be the expert most of y’all are, but last week stopped the bleeding that season 3 had caused. Now I am not saying last week was the best episode, but it was leaps and bounds above the mask.
    Tonight I have my faith restored that this season’s journey will be much better from here on out.
    I can not wait to re watch this episode tomorrow.
    The one place I really disagree with what I have read so far is that Chuck flashed because of Morgan. I think because finally Chuck admitted to himself that he loves Sarah is why he flashed.
    (btw after last weeks episode I no longer think I am a shipper)
    Also did anyone notice we may have another Shaw free episode next week? I did not see him in the promos.

    • Who Dat says:

      1 more thing, I think there is soo much untapped Casey Morgan material, if I was a writer I would have had jokes waiting for this moment.

    • atcdave says:

      Yes, there is no Shaw next week. Hopefully we’ll see Chuck and Sarah reconnecting on some level.

  20. weaselone says:

    Personally, I think the episode topped all but a handful of episodes in season 2 and quite possibly every episode in season 1. Great mixture of comedy and bromance, but once again Shaw is shown to be less than useless unless you happen to be working for the Ring. The big mystery is why the Ring wants Shaw dead when they should be paying him a stipend.

    Not only does Shaw abandon the world’s only Intersect, but he apparently leaves Castle vulnerable to what seemed to be a predictable Ring attempt to locate, loot, and destroy the facility. His next brilliant idea is to assume that the Ring has been unable to transfer out any data and demolish the Castle before the Ring, obliterating the Intersect and the data, which is presumably more valuable to Team Shaw and the US intelligence community than it is to the Ring given the Ring should know about itself already.

    It bares repeating one more time. Shaw is so stupid that his solution to thwart the Ring which was at that moment planning to kill the Intersect and destroy Castle so as to deprive the CIA of the data and facilities was to blow up the base and kill Chuck. Brilliant!

    • BigCheese says:

      I don’t believe I’m going to say it, but he has a bit of Chuckles.

      I don’t know if is to show a resemblance to Chuck, “future” Chuck or “old” Chuck.

      Must be what Sarah found on him. I have no other explanation.

    • Jen says:

      And for this same reason i don’t understand why it seems Sarah is just waiting for his every instruction. We know she loves Chuck… but was she gonna let Shaw blow up castle?

      I really liked this episode, even if i think the spy portion was a little lacking and there are some plot holes. It was nice to have Chuck reconnect with Morgan. The ep showed that contrary to what Sarah was afraid of, Chuck has not become a spy machine is still just Chuck.

      • herder says:

        That and by denying Chuck the opportunity to be himself with her (an outlet from the spy world) she has been as much if not more responsible for Chuck acting the way that she feared he would act. If Sarah had stayed close to him and been proud of his accomplishments she would have done what Morgan just did in the Beard.

      • Jen says:

        Which makes complete sense in normal adult relationships… but they had to go and make them act stupid. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

        Of course, to be supportive and be a friend, you have to talk… and these 2 don’t.

      • weaselone says:

        Talking is overrated anyway. I just thought it was a cheesy line used as a joke, but apparently it’s a truth of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship.

      • Jen says:

        And Actions speak louder than words… In the case of these 2, i think we are in need of both right about “yesterday”.

      • Jason says:

        if you want to get a great sarah look, when shaw tells chuck if the ring wants a fight we’ll give them one, sometimes I think yvonne is just jacking around on her own to protest some of these lines, look at her face if you get a chance to rewatch

      • Jen says:

        I saw the smirk but i haven’t interpreted it yet.
        Was it a “yeah right u’ll give them a fight!” as in she doens’t believe him?

      • Jen says:

        I love Yvonne and her ability to show all these emotions with her face. Zac did awesome too. But my favorite character from last night is, of course, Morgan… Josh Gomez was pure genius.

      • Faith says:

        I kind of think of it as both.

        Sarah needs to stop acting and start talking. We’ve always known how she felt, she’s always shown it but denied it verbally.

        Chuck needs to start acting and stop talking. Please no breakup fountain talk, for once LET HER TALK!

  21. BigCheese says:

    I have to admit, though I was not very confident after the last 2 but:

    This is easily one of the best episodes of season 3 so far (even with Shaw in it). But I can’t say this is on my favorite list.

    I can’t say much more, if what happened in 307/308 will have consequences in the coming episodes. It was like “wait a week to find out…”

  22. JC says:

    So about Shaw

    1. Completely pointless a romantic and professional foil to make Chuck look good.

    2. Being blackmailed that his wife is alive. The Ring wants Chuck dead, so he creates chaos.

    3. Is being protected by someone within the Ring, because is obsession has made him predictable.

    4. Something similar to the Bryce/Sarah arc from season one is going to happen with him and Eve.

  23. Viridis says:

    My gut responses to this episode:

    * Awesome is getting much better at lying. He looks in Shaw’s eye and says, “Okay,” only to go and say that going to Africa “isn’t about Chuck.” Either that or he’s always been good at half-truths.

    * Really, Morgan and Chuck still having a working NES, Duck Hunt, and the old joystick systems? That’s … impressive.

    * Good to see Sarah, again, showing concern for Chuck’s personal safety (rather than emotional stability as a spy). She’s been less obvious about it compared to previous seasons. Although given how few lines she has this episode and how much other action goes on, it does seem like a heavy-fisted way of reminding us that TPTB still believe in Charah.

    * I would put my standard Shaw-bashing here, but it’s been pointed out most clearly above. The guy is creepy, useless, and a bit psychotic.

    * So, if Shaw faked being Buy More higher ups in the last call to Big Mike, who placed the original cover call for The Ring? Or did The Ring just show up and bluff their way into getting the rights to examine the Buy More?

    * And I agree with some posters above, “Yay, we get this game-changing revelation that Chuck loves Sarah!?” As if we didn’t notice in either Pink Slip or Three Words, Chuck’s ability to flash is tied to how calm he is with regards to Sarah. Thank you, TPTB for reminding us of that.

    * Morgan stepping out of Castle was awesome.

    • Viridis says:

      Oh, preemptive comment on next week’s episode. The promo says that “Casey performs a mission for his old commanding officer.” (Sorry for that spoiler if you’re unaware :)) If the voice on the Ring phone at the end was supposed to have been Keller, shouldn’t that have been a clue to Casey to, I don’t know, not follow the guy’s orders?

    • Fake Empire says:

      I wondered the same thing about Shaw’s call at the end, but most likely he was just cleaning up.

      As a side note, Routh portrayed a Buy More corporate man more convincingly than he has portrayed a super spy and love interest.

  24. OldDarth says:

    Morgan is da man! He kicked ass six ways to Sunday! Loved his Indiana Jones like entrance into the OO!

    He had so many great lines I don’t know where to start and the cat meow he made when he bumped into the Castle Wall corridor. lol But the coup de grace was his Ewok jab at the bad guy to make sure his was really out.

    Great episode!

    • Jen says:

      Hi OD…
      Josh was amazing and he was my fave too in this ep. THe guys is talented and it made me happy to watch his performace. Him sneaking through the castly hallways was hilarious. He had so many quotable lines, i wish i could remember some of them now. I liked him also being protective of Chuck, his BFF.

      There are still things i’m thinking about.. like was Sarah gonna really let Shaw blow up the OO? How does The Ring know about Carmichael? I know Shaw is the “boss” but i don’t like how it seems Sarah is waiting for his every instruction. Chck is realizing agian that he loves Sarah???? didin’t he tell that to his dad at the end of The Ring in S2, and told Ellie in 3.08? i guess maybe him “admitting” it now just means he is finally realizes there is no way around it.

      That “someone else” directed this ep was evident and i loved it, loved the different angles and touches Zac gave it.

      • joe says:

        I’ve been saying all along that Morgan is the most changed character. Ever since he became the Ass. Man., he’s been a whole new man.

        Definitely someone I like.

    • joe says:

      Heh! Ewok jab! I love it!

  25. lou federico says:

    It is nice to have an episode that cracks a smile. I never would thought that Jeff would save the day. I guess casey is happy that he let Chuck save him in Tom Sawyer. Long live Jeff Barnes “Special!!! agent. Lets get right!

  26. Merve says:

    Good episode. I’d put it about on par with “First Class,” but below “Angel de la Muerte,” “Operation Awesome,” or “Nacho Sampler.”

    Random thoughts:
    – Morgan was the highlight of this episode. Next to “Colonel,” I think that this was Josh Gomez’s best performance. Josh Gomez is at his best playing a balanced mixture of comedy and drama.

    – The scene where Morgan convinced Chuck that he was still in love with Sarah was kind of lame.

    – I haven’t been a huge fan of Brandon Routh’s acting, and I don’t think that he sells the drama particularly well, but I haven’t failed to laugh at single gag involving Shaw. Shaw impersonating Buy More corporate was no exception. Routh was good in Zach and Miri; maybe he should stick to comedy.

    – Jeff using chloroform to take out the bad guy was hilarious.

    – As usual, Lester’s disloyalty got laughs out of me.

    – Ellie was underused in this episode, though I always approve of seeing Sarah Lancaster in a swimsuit.

    – What happened to the Sarah/Shaw stuff from last episode? Is that going to be revisited, or is that just a dropped story line?

    – The Jeffster! performance was a bit of a letdown. I thought that the scene was just too busy. Plus, I have an inexplicable intense hatred of CCR.

    – I think that Casey receiving a mysterious call from the Ring is the plot twist that will receive the most attention, so I’d just like to mention the other big one: Shaw realizing that the Ring may not want him dead. I mean, on paper, it seems obvious that the Ring would want Shaw dead. Shaw has dedicated his life to eradicating the Ring for the past five years. He has presumably killed or maimed many of their agents. He also holds a lot of intelligence on them. Why, after attempting to assassinate him and saying they wanted him dead in “Mask,” would they suddenly decide that the set-up at the resort wasn’t the ideal time to attempt to kill him?

    – We finally know more about those damn discs, but it would cool to know some specific pieces of information that are stored on them.

    – Up until now, I’ve been led to believe that abilities flashes were linked to Chuck’s emotions, but that information flashes were unpreventable. That may be an inconsistency in the writing, but at least it led to the hilarious flashcards gag.

    Chuck had me a little worried after “Fake Name.” I didn’t dislike that episode, but it made me worried about where the season was heading. In my opinion, “Beard,” though it wasn’t the strongest episode of the season, assuaged those fears. There wasn’t much Sarah in this episode, but what we saw of her wasn’t pathetic. It’s nice to see that the Chuck-Ellie and Chuck-Morgan relationships have now largely been repaired, and there are signs that the Chuck-Sarah relationship is back on the upswing. What I’m worried about is the Chuck-Devon relationship. Devon is now trying to shut Chuck out of his life. That can’t be healthy. I’m going to wait to see how they resolve that conflict. I’m hoping that they don’t drag it out too long because it might start to get annoying.

    Overall, though it didn’t live up to the hype for me, it was a solid, enjoyable hour of Chucky goodness.

  27. JC says:

    I have two different takes on the episode.

    I loved this as stand alone episode. Morgan has slowly become my favorite character on the show. His reaction to everything was priceless. The Red Dawn shout out and Morgan with the electric knives was great. Wish we could have had more Jeffster especially since it was a CCR song. And Ellie was just wow. Everything seems to click when the whole cast is together.

    As part of a shortened more serialized season this episode didn’t work.
    The spy and C/S stories really didn’t move forward. Chuck loves Sarah like others have said what a shock. Shaw is an idiot and possibly a psycho, that was pretty apparent last week. The Ring wants Chuck dead, ok not shocking. I really thought they were going to try and turn him.
    Nothing mentioned about what happened in 3.08 and other than the two lines it seems completely forgotten. The only game changer was Morgan knows his secret.

  28. Lauren says:

    Hey all,
    Finally worked up the courage to post something. I’ve followed this blog for a few months now and really enjoyed reading all the comments. Helps me ignore grad school.

    Anyways, I just wanted to chime in and give kudos to Zac Levi for this episode. I definitely noticed some of his little directorial touches and I liked them.

    I know this episode wasn’t exactly as “genius” as all the critics made it out to be, but I think the hype might be partly responsible for the disappointed reactions. All I know is I had fun and while it may not be the best episode ever, it showed me that the light-hearted Chuck isn’t completely gone. It might not be for some others, but that’s hope enough for me.

    • Faith says:

      welcome and thanks for finally posting 🙂

      You know it’s like the poll for the best s3 epis. When you compare it to episodes of the past there’s like no comparison. Ever compare season 2 episodes to season 1? The favs really pile up, not that s1 wasn’t great but for me personally s2 just rocked it. So in comparison (only fair) to the epis of this year this is actually good. I still like Angel de la muerte and 3 words over it though.

    • joe says:

      Hi Lauren. What you in for… uh, what are you studying? 😉

      Yeah. It was rather great to see Levi’s name as director. I had a reaction – a grin – when it came up.

      I really enjoyed the clips I saw of the cast talking about it. McPartlin’s in particular. They apparently like to jibe each other, and it comes across as a very tight kind of comradee.

      • Lauren says:

        Thanks guys 🙂

        I’m in for a master’s in East Asian Studies (weird, I know). I actually discovered season 2 of Chuck while I was living in China. I remember being really upset that everyone in the U.S got to watch it first while I had to wait for someone to post it online 2 days later.

      • joe says:

        That’s not as weird as my Astro deg. was, Lauren 😉 Turns out everything they taught me was wrong!

        Sounds like a great trip. My nephew got to spend a few weeks in Hong Kong this summer. Me, I’ve never been further east than Ecuador!

  29. Emily says:

    Great episode, not the best of season 3, but still good. I agree, Jeffster was a bit of a letdown, and the Buymore plot seemed a bit hurried. But it was good to see Chuck back and involved in his workplace, and Chuck/Morgan story was excellent.
    But seriously, if the writers insist on writing stupid, angsty storylines, the least they could do is continue them! There was no advancement in C/S (other than Chuck discovering that he loves Sarah again)or S/S. They have Sarah and Shaw kiss to a fadeout and then nothing!!! Follow up please, so that we can be rid of the most annoying romance of my life!
    At the very least, it would have been interesting to see Sarah and Shaw pretend to be a couple with Ellie present. Could help advance the storyline, we’d get some more Ellie action, and her take on it (“Shaw’s just a rebound guy. She’s still in love with Chuck” etc.)
    I was actually hoping that the ‘Sarah, do you love me’ scene would be at the end of this episode. Even if she said no (which would be likely, seeing as there were no advancements to suggest otherwise), it would have given a purpose to Chuck’s ‘sudden realisation’ that he loves her (again.)
    That being said, still a great ep, though did not live up to expectations, just like fake name wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be.
    Oh, and a final thought – with the buymore story taking prominence this episode, it made me really miss Anna. Looking forward to her return.

    • weaselone says:

      I don’t think it was so much Chuck realizing that he loved Sarah, as to his coming to terms with what that meant and actually being OK with having those feelings. They’ve always been forbidden, but in the Castle with Morgan he was free to express them with someone who wouldn’t judge them as inappropriate or pretend they were and deliver a swift kick to his family jewels for his efforts.

      • Emily says:

        Thats actually an excellent point. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Morgan is like Chuck’s stress ball – he relieves the pain and tension. Or maybe thats not the right analogy. Hot bubble bath? Asthma puffer? Long walk? Anyway…he’s a stress reliever.
        This could prove a useful story telling device…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Excellent point Weaselone. This is really the first time he’s been able to tell someone who knows the whole story about how his feelings came about. He may feel a bit sheepish falling for Sarah given that she, at least at first, played him as a mark to keep control. Being able to break through that bit of unresolved angst is probably a good thing.

      • Jason says:

        so why would chuck’s confession not be on castle tape, or has shaw shut down all in-castle taping? would it not be a great scene, shaw reviewing the tape, then hitting delete and smiling, hell even maybe an evil laugh – but that would be impossible, because he does not appear on screen without sarah within a few feet of him.

      • weaselone says:

        I would assume the Ring probably would have shut down the surveillance while they were going about their business just in case their was some sort of unknown direct feed out of the Castle.

        The confession could still be on the Castle tape without changing the impact. There’s also a Shaw and Sarah make out session present on the tape presuming it wasn’t deleted.

  30. Jason says:

    so is the major (game changing forever) revelation
    1-morgan knows
    2-chuck knows he loves sarah (look at zach’s face, he played it like a major revelation??)
    3-awesome&ellie going to africa
    4-ring won’t kill shaw
    just saying, I follow this show pretty closely, and I am not sure which is a failure, but if it is chuck realizes he loves sarah for the last time, permanently, I am all for this show, top 5.
    I’ve hit a ‘little schwartz who cried wolf point’ in the story, chuck saying i love sarah or sarah longingly looking at chuck, has no affect – it is going to take ACTION – loving action to move me?

  31. Jason says:

    shaw continues to be joined to sarah at the hip, of course he can’t ruin 3.10, funny, he probably ‘shaws’ up to the stakdate on 3.11, but if he is kidnapped in 3.12, that will again give CS non-shawed screen time.

    It is hard for CS to talk, when shaw does not venture more than 3 feet from her at any moment in 8 episodes of his guest star arc.

    finally, one sarah plot hole, shaw got to the langley part of the kill chuck call, was she going to let him kill chuck?

  32. BeCoolBoy says:

    Guess what? Turns out LizJames was right. Not about her con theory, but her earlier theory that Season 3 was going to flip Season 2.

    One benefit of being new to this blog is that I read everything all at once. If you scroll back to just before the season started, LizJames was suggesting that season 3 would flip a lot of concepts from season 2. That’s just what is happening.

    Last night, The Beard flipped Best Friend. Morgan “saves” his best friend Chuck by giving him clarity and support for his spy life. Extra added bonus: Sarah learned the lesson of Best Friend! She shows it by supporting Chuck when he demands that Morgan be released. She finally UNDERSTANDS what it means to have a best friend.

    Now scroll back a bit. Nacho Sampler is actually a flip on–wait for it–First Kill. Just as he used Jill in First Kill, Chuck uses Manoosh in Nacho Sampler. But the flip: Last year he let the didn’t-mean-to-be-bad Jill go. This season he burns the didn’t-mean-to-be-bad Manoosh.

    The Mask, it turns out, is a flip on Suburbs. Klemmer, who wrote both, showed us the false but happy life Chuck and Sarah thought they could have in Suburbs. In Mask, he shows us the false but happy lives Chuck-Hannah/Sarah-Shaw thought they could have. The flip: Shaw saves Sarah’s life this time. And in both episodes, Sarah regrets in real time the choice she’s making at the end. In both cases, she’s given up Chuck for something she doesn’t want. In Suburbs, it was back to her phony spy life. In Mask, it was back to a superficial relationship with a spy.

    Fake Name, it turns out, is flip on Lethal Weapon. This time it’s Chuck as the uber professional instead of Cole. The other flip? Remember when Sarah tells Cole that she’s a girl who doesn’t cheat on her cover boyfriend and we KNOW it means Chuck is her real boyfriend? This time both Chuck and Sarah forget what’s “real” and cheat on each other.

    So that brings us to Tic Tac next Monday. It’s clearly a flip on–gasp!–Colonel. This time, Casey has committed treason and Beckman orders Chuck and Sarah to get him, dead or alive. That’s the very simple spy flip from the premise of Colonel.

    The big question: How do they flip the intense romance of Colonel? Does Chuck have a condom this time? Do Chuck and Sarah really do “one mission at a time” this time? Do Chuck and Sarah finally get to be together? Or are Chuck and Sarah “fake” not “real”–at least for this episode. And do they TALK about what happened in Colonel? I don’t know about the other questions, but I think they will address what happened at the end of Colonel because TPTB in season 3 have touched the other romantic high points of Season 2 (the bracelet, for example).

    So out of the detritus that is season 3, at least we can finally see some logic to what TPTB are doing. I think most of us agree that the flip episodes aren’t nearly as good as the ones they mimicked, but Beard does at least come close to Best Friend. It would be insanely wonderful is Tic Tac comes anywhere near Colonel.

    And thanks to LizJames for realizing months ago what TPTB would do. I’m a newbie here, but I wish she’d come back…

    • sniderman says:

      Wow. Awesome post. Well thought out and some meaty concepts to mull over.

    • Emily says:

      Well, if this all proves true (and it’s a brilliant theory, by the way), then i can’t wait till Tic Tac. You have given me hope.
      And if we go for the full flip, does this mean Morgan will be blackmailing Buymorians in this next episode?
      If so…it will be awesome.

    • Marvin says:

      Do you think ‘Tic-Tac’ will be a flip on Colonel, or Sensei? In Sensei, Casey rejected his teacher. In Tic-Tac, it looks like Casey will follow the rabbit and take the pill.

      • AngeloTwo says:

        Well, it’s Casey committing treason and Beckman ordering Chuck and Sarah to hunt him down. We know that from the previews, so it sure sounds like the flip of Colonel to me…

      • Emily says:

        True, but General Beckman says to C and S, capture Colonel Casey, dead or alive, which mirrors the exact same order she gave to Casey in Colonel.
        Maybe a mashup of the two? Which means that we may not get the Colonel C/S flip that we are hoping for…

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      My thought is that it’s getting awfully late to ignore Chuck and Sarah. My guess is that it plants the seeds for 11, Chuck’s Final Exam, which I assume will have both spy and romantic implications.

      It could be that they DO the “one mission at a time thing” or state it subtly, as they did with the lesson Sarah learned from Best Friend.

      • metajoke says:

        On the other hand, this is the first episode for two new writers on the show. They may have them go light on the romance…

      • atcdave says:

        I really don’t see there being too much romance in Tic Tac. My bet would be we get some talking (Shock!), which of course is important in its own way. sarah may admit she still has some feelings for Chuck, but I really don’t see it going much further yet. I’m thinking we won’t really see Chuck and Sarah declaring for each other until 3.12 or 3.13.

        Basically, the original season will end where it should have begun.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Great post. A lot of us have played around with the ideas of role reversal and revisiting old scenarios but this really lays it out well. It also gives weight and purpose to something I’ve been thinking about. My take on the not flashing is that we see continually how Chuck becomes paralyzed when he’s in emotional turmoil, and not just the intersect. We hear about how Morgan needed months to get him over Stanford and Jill and “the dark place” when Jill dumped him for a while his junior year, and we saw him on the couch eating cheeseballs for weeks after flunking spy school and losing Sarah. So let’s assume Chuck has realized that he needs to be clear headed and have things resolved to be a spy. Next week he really needs to be a spy because it appears his and Sarah’s lives are on the line, so Chuck decides he needs closure with Sarah. In a flip of the Colonel where Sarah gives into her emotions but can’t tell Chuck she loves him Chuck tells Sarah he loves her, but says he understands things are over between them because she’s with Shaw, giving Sarah a push to move ahead.

      • metajoke says:

        Ernie, but neither Chuck nor Sarah said anything about love per se in Colonel. And, as I said, these are new writers with their first Chuck script. It may actually be just a straight ahead Casey episode without much angst, as Beard was largely a straight ahead Morgan episode without much angst. The Shaw/Sarah situation may end up being kicked to 11.

        Besides, if we’re looking for a clue, is Ausiello’s comment that e11 has a mash-up Chuck-Sarah date/stakeout any guide?

        Weirdly, could it be that Tic Tac ends with Chuck and Sarah saying “let’s start again.” In other words, take it back to First Date?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Ernie, but neither Chuck nor Sarah said anything about love per se in Colonel.

        Right, so this time Chuck does say something but does not act on his feelings, the flip of Sarah not saying anything but giving into her feelings.

        This can be handled pretty quickly and easily, or left to the end. If Sarah then reacts in some positive way it could be the setup for the stakeout date.

      • atcdave says:

        I think that’s a reasonable guess Ernie. Basically, this will put Sarah back in the game, but settle nothing (I mean, Sarah will know Chuck [still] loves her, and the next move is up to her).

    • joe says:

      Newbie or no, BCB, you are astute!

      I rather like the analysis!

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Thanks, Joe, and the great thing is you have people to bounce ideas off of and get their input.

        But can you get LizJames back? It was her idea I was working off. I don’t think I would have seen it had she not first mentioned it back in November or so…

    • Waverly says:

      And now it’s Ellie and Devon that are planning on running away.

    • Chuckaddict says:

      You’re spot on. Now apply it Shaw, he’s the flip of Chuck. Chuck is emotional, Shaw is a Ken doll (I wonder if he’s missing boy parts too…). Chuck puts the people he cares about above everything else, Shaw puts his mission against the Ring above everything else. Chuck is able to remain calm and think under pressure, Shaw loses control. Chuck is a good spy, Shaw is a liability. It’s going to become a choice of black and white for Sarah.

      This whole season thus far has been about Chuck’s existential crisis, nothing else. I tried to read too much into what was going on. The show simply isn’t that deep, and that’s OK. I understand the story that is trying to be told, I just don’t understand the method. Imagine what we would have had to go through if the season had been originally renewed for 23 episodes instead of 13? I originally thought they were nuts, but now I think NBC had it right for ordering 13 and then following up with 6. At least we only had 2 weeks of real BS. It could have been a lot worse.

      The remaining season promo shows Chuck and Sarah sitting at dinner in front of the window. Shaw is outside watching them when Awesome comes and tackles him through the window. Shippers rejoyce, Shaw is going to unravel.

      Faith, you are not an idiot. You are a fan, which might make us all idiots, but not you singularly.

      • Chuckaddict says:

        In Colonel, it’s Sarah that makes the first move @ the hotel. In the flip, it would be Chuck, hence the “Do you love me Sarah” preview. If the theory holds, it will be in tic-tac.

      • weaselone says:

        What exactly do you see as being the first move? They’re threading fingers at the beginning of the scene, but it’s difficult to assign an instigator to that. I always consider Chuck’s kissing of the back of Sarah’s neck to be the instigating step, but I’m interested in hearing your take on the scene.

      • Chuckaddict says:

        Sarah woke him up with the finger play. Her intent was obvious, and he reacted to it. Last season, he would not have had the stones to put a move on Sarah, not even one as subtle as that. He was ready to sleep on the floor! This season is about putting Chuck in the drivers seat.

  33. Emily says:

    to Schwartz – to take a perfectly good show, and angst it up leaving behind a shell of its former self and a rabid fanbase, eventually leading to cancellation.
    eg. ‘I used to love that show, until they schwartz’d it.’

    to Shaw – to add unnecessary plot devices/characters to a show, in order to create unnecessary angst.
    eg. ‘Wow, they really shawed that episode.’
    or ‘The episodes downfall was due to unnecessary shaw.’

    • Emily says:

      I’ve seen people use these terms before, so I thought I’d provide an all around definition 😉

    • Lucian says:

      Great addiitions to the Chuck lexicon!

      On a different topic, I thought I was going to pee my pants I was laughing so hard at that Hitler video. If you haven’t watched it, you really should.

      I enjoyed “the beard” – great bromance; nice to see Chuck doing his thing. My only beef is that the spy story is still pretty muddled. The storytelling would be much improved if they could bring some coherence to that.

      • sd says:

        Agreed on the spy plot. We don’t know what the mini-discs do, correct? Why were they just laying around castle so the bad guys can easily find them and upload them to their HQ?

        I do find a comment the head bad guy said when he saw the Buy-Morons…something to the effect “so that’s what liberty looks like?” The shot lingered long enough to make me think there is more weight to those words than just a line.

        But again…no really info on the Ring…

      • weaselone says:

        It didn’t seem like the discs were just laying around as it took the Ring some significant looking to find them. They were probably secured away by a Shaw jealous to protect his precious secrets from everyone, even those on his own team.

      • Lucian says:

        Isn’t Shaw supposed to be the spy who is never wrong? So far, he looks like he should be working for the FBI.

      • joe says:

        Exactly right, Lucian. He’s avoided coming off looking like a complete doofus so far, but not by much.

      • Waverly says:

        Except that when they first got the discs out of the lockbox, Shaw handed them to Casey, presumably to copy and store.

        Not that we have knowingly learned anything from them….

  34. herder says:

    For those who care about such things the early ratings are in, looks like Chuck is down about 10% in total viewers (4.5/7 vs 4.9/7) from last week. How that breaks down in terms of demos will have to wait about an hour and a half. Strangely it had bigger numbers than L&O did at 10.

    • Rick Holy says:

      10% drop – although not good – isn’t totally unexpected, especially since going up against a NEW episode of HOUSE.

      The DEMOS, however, will be key. If those don’t remain about the average (2.4-2.5) there could be trouble a brewin’.

      Plus, isn’t DWTS returning SOON. I know it’s a different “crowd” that watches that (mostly older folks) than who watch CHUCK, but I can’t help but think that DWTS WILL negatively impact Chuck to some extent.

      What bothers me the most – as it did last year – no matter what my feeling might be about the quality of season 3 – is that NBC (AGAIN) is renewing other shows with WORSE ratings than CHUCK! I don’t get it. I don’t. Put Community and Parks and Rec. into that Monday night timeslot and I’d be willing to bet my paycheck that they’d do SUBSTANTIALLY worse than CHUCK. But put CHUCK in that Thursday night time slot and I’d also be willing to bet my paycheck that CHUCK’s numbers would be better than they are in that Monday night slot.

      Let’s remember, NBC doesn’t have a great track record with programming decisions over the last 1-2 years. CHUCK got renewed by the skin of it’s teeth – yet other shows like Southland were renewed (well before CHUCK and with much worse ratings than CHUCK) only to be “chucked” by NBC before the fall season even started.

      So trying to apply logic to whether or not CHUCK gets renewed is rather difficult. Again, it won’t be the end of the world if it gets axed – but if the rest of the season continues to “look up,” it would be a shame to see CHUCK go while Community and Parks & Rec get – in my opinion – “free passes” (with their dismal ratings on a night and time when they should be doing much better).

      O.K. Rant (or small rant) over.

  35. Rochelle says:

    Absolutely LOVED this episode!!!!

    Granted, I’m one who just loves to watch and get into the characters and the humor. I don’t like to think too deeply about it, overanalyze, or try to predict what will happen later as a result. I’m all about the here and now, and loving the characters as the writers develop them. I’m enjoying being along for the ride. And right now, I think it’s a pretty great ride!!! 🙂

    I love Morgan’s reaction to the news, it seemed SO him! I’m so glad they didn’t have him freaking out badly about it. Yayyy! I loved Chuck’s admission to loving Sarah. I love Zachary’s amazing ability to act AND direct, wow!!

    Holy cow, this ep rocked! I loved it so much I watched it again an hour later. And still laughed as much. And rewound parts. And laughed again. And jumped up and down with joy. And clapped my hands in parts. Rewound several times so I could get Casey’s hilarious line down on paper.

    I really hope Ellie and Devon don’t move away, that would be a crazy stupid twist, but alas, I will wait to see what happens. So excited. Wish it were already next Monday!! 🙂

    • joe says:

      Hi, Rochelle. I haven’t noticed your handle before. Pleased to meet you.

      If this group (me included!) has a fault, it’s that we tend to over-analyze the show. What can I say? That’s us.

      The part that made me laugh ’till my sides hurt was Casey saying “Peace, Out!” to Jeff when Jeff saved him. Fantastic. I tweeted Mr. Baldwin about it. Couldn’t resist!

      • Rochelle says:

        Yeah I tend to just read in the background instead of comment, mostly because I’m not an over-analytical one and figured my two cents really didn’t matter in the great debate… but alas, I had to chime in about the awesomeness of this episode. 🙂

        I agree, that was a hilarious line. I tweeted him about it too!! But the line that he was having a twitter contest about that I kept rewinding to make sure I heard right was “Because the only thing I hate more than hippy, neoliberal fascists, and anarchists are the hypocrite, fat-cat suits they eventually grow up to become.” I didn’t win the contest. I tried with the “peace out” hoping that’s what he was going for but sadly no. 😦 Both lines were crazy funny.

        I laugh the most with Chuck’s antics and Casey’s grunts. I love both characters and hope they stick around on TV a long time. I think it helps that both people are good people in real life and share some of the same values as me. I think it’s great when anyone in Hollywood can stand up and have a mind of their own instead of getting swept away in the craziness. They both appear to be really good guys and I appreciate that. It makes me like the show that much more. Personally I could do without all the skin they show, but I put up with it for the sake of the storyline and loving everything else about it. 🙂

      • joe says:

        I get the impression they’re good people too, Rochelle. It sorta comes through on screen.

        Hey! We need your 2 cents! It’s not really a debate – it’s a discussion. Fact of the matter is, it’s a chat and we are very chatty people. 😉

  36. Jason says:

    mask, fake name, beard, tic – tac, final exam, great american hero – I wonder if maybe the con is on, but it is TPTB on us, what if shaw – sarah is nothing more than 2 kisses, a shoulder rub, and a few smart-alec chuck jealousy comments forthcoming. What if the purpose was indeed simply to jack fans up – kind of a warning, we can take CS from you whenever we want, with post scriptive comments from TPTB it all was in your imagination, nothing ever happened other than what you saw, sarah obviously was in love with chuck the entire while?

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      They could probably try to sell that, Jason, but it won’t wash. Moreover, when Sarah is pleading for time for Chuck at the end of Beard, she asks Shaw to give Chuck five minutes, “for me.” There is no logical way to claim anything other than Sarah, in her lonliness, has turned to Shaw.

      Only the most credulous fans–or the ones who can’t bring themselves to challenge TPTB–would believe anything else.

      In a weird way, though, you might be right, too. They are moving at such a pace, and the scripts are generally so poor, that we might never hear of Shaw/Sarah again. After all, Hannah was dispatched with one line in last night’s episode. Sarah might dispatch the Shaw relationship just as quickly.

      Which goes to the idiotic nature of this year’s storylines. There has never been a reason to keep Chuck and Sarah apart EXCEPT THAT THEY WANTED TO. They wanted to tell a story that not only kept Chuck and Sarah apart, but minimized Levi and Strahovski’s on-screen time. It’s a stupid decision from a business perspective certainly, if not a storytelling one. And they gambled and lost if they hoped the angst would bring in more viewers. It hasn’t–and it has dispirited a good segment of the fan base.

      As badly as Chuck is doing, NBC is doing far worse, so the show might eke out a fourth season simply because NBC has no better alternatives. But if it needs a fan push to survive, I think the see-no-evil fans will be surprised how many of us will be apathetic.

  37. herder says:

    Again for those interested, overnights are in and Chuck got a 2.3 demo and 6.31 million viewers. I was worried that this would be the Beefcake/Leathal Weapon drop for this year, but losing one demo point and 400k viewers, while not great is within a week to week swing rather than a significant drop. I expect next week to he higher.

    Interestingly the demos for Trauma and L&O were 1.4 and 1.5 respectively, Chuck almost matched the combined demo. Maybe we’ll see some Chuck promos this week, poor Trauma, it seems to be in the NBC version of the witness protection program.

  38. Jen says:

    A funny on Twitter:

    moryan We all (well, most) loved #ChuckvBeard. Shaw? Er, this says it all–The Many Moods of Agt Shaw http://twitpic.com/171u61 (via @swfangirls)

    Check out the twitpic.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Wow, Yvonne better step it up with competition like that!

    • metajoke says:

      I never saw Routh’s Superman or anything else he’s done. Does anyone have a read on whether he’s a bad actor or simply has bad material? I can’t tell.

      If he’s supposed to be a “creepy” good guy, he’s actually doing a fairly good job. And it’s clear he’s supposed to be a good guy and will be dispatched at the end of his run as a good guy.

  39. Marvin says:

    Something I’ve noticed in TV shows in general is the incredible amount of content that is stuffed into 42 minutes. The result, I think, is a large proportion of trails that don’t lead anywhere, and a lack of dialog. This episode, while a good one, showed just how crammed a show can get with extraneous ‘stuff’ (like the Buy-Moria flag raising, or telling Shalker how cute a couple they made) at the expense of real movement, plot-wise (like getting to the bottom of why Shaw is even on the show).

    After watching an episode of “Northern Exposure”, the change in pacing becomes more noticeable, and annoying. Maybe I’m just getting old.

    • joe says:

      Awww, Marvin, I thought the flag raising was great. Any time my person hero Skip Johnson gets face time, it’s a red letter day!

    • Jen says:

      I too loved ther flag raising. That, and a lot of how the ep was directed by ZL goes with my personality and sense of humor.

      • Marvin says:

        Oh, it’s not so much that I didn’t like it…The Iwo Jima image was funny as hell, it’s just that they try to cram so much into one episode, that I feel there’s a lot I’m missing.

      • JC says:

        Am I the only person who yelled “Wolverines” when Morgan mentioned Red Dawn?

      • Marvin says:

        Wolverines…hee hee

  40. Ernie Davis says:

    So I have a question for us all to ponder. When I first watched Chuck come to the apparent stunning realization he loved Sarah I was a little ticked off. Isn’t that what Chuck himself said in The Ring last season to his father and to Sarah in Three Words this season? How is the thought that he loves her a revelation? Well Herder had the observation that we could, if we’re open to the idea, see that Chuck thought he fell out of love with Sarah at some point. I’d previously suggested that Chuck overhearing Sarah and Shaw should have closed the book on that relationship for Chuck, so perhaps he thought it did in addition to maybe convincing himself at some other point after Three Words that he’d fallen out of love or should move on. The scene that came to mind almost immediately was the handshake at the end of Angel of Death. I’d wondered if that was to be taken literally as their new relationship. They’d often talked about their “cover” when discussing their feelings, like Sarah not cheating on her “cover” boyfriend. So I thought it possible that one, the other, or both took that as the other saying let’s keep it simple and not get involved again (and the music playing was the same as when Chuck is breaking up with Hannah at the end of Fake Name). You could see that lingering handshake as the perfect symbol of their reluctance to let go. But then the very next scene Sarah is hugging him in what seems a very non-friend way and the next week Sarah is back with the family for dinner. Was handshake the point we were supposed to believe that they both decided it was over, that they weren’t going to try to clean up the mess after all? Is it another case like Valentines Day in Suburbs where Chuck says give our covers the night off meaning one thing and Sarah takes it to mean another? Thoughts?

    • weaselone says:

      Ernie, I’ve offered some ideas in that regards without necessarily referencing past episodes. At this point you can draw almost any theory and grasp at various moments and scenes to provide support. My suspicion is that what Chuck meant in 3.09 will be more easily answered by examining future episodes than looking back at past episodes.

      For my part, I see Chuck plainly and emotionally telling Morgan that he loves Sarah as the equivalent of him telling his father that he loved Sarah in the Ring. Up to that point in season two everyone and their little furry friend knows that Chuck loves Sarah, and Chuck himself has strongly hinted at it, but when Chuck states it to his father, it’s clear, it’s unapologetic and it leaves no doubt that he’s going to take action.

      Since 3.02 it’s become fairly apparent that Chuck’s given up hope for anything more with Sarah and he’s reverted to speaking of his relationship and feelings for Sarah in either the past tense or code, even with Ellie in the closing scenes of 3.08. His confession to Morgan is a clear break with that pattern and could suggest a more active pursuit of or at least engagement with Sarah in future episodes. In other words it’s far less an acknowledgment that he loves her than an acceptance that loving Sarah if OK and a declaration that he’s going to do something about it.

    • herder says:

      Sorry the post below was supposed to be a reply to yours.

    • Faith says:

      I said in my long winded idiot post that they meant it when they said friends and over. So the answer to your question is you have to take things at face value with Chuck now. The rules of was no longer applies. That’s why he moved on to Hannah and why Sarah is with Shaw. And it’s really sad.

    • Merve says:

      I’ve always taken the line about fixing the mess to be about Chuck and Sarah getting back to a friendship situation, not necessarily a romantic one (which is why I always argue that Chuck and Sarah did work on fixing the mess). The handshake at the end reinforced that, but also hinted that maybe they wanted something more. (However, Chuck and Sarah, being the emotionally-stunted morons that they are, don’t voice any romantic desire.)

      I was a little annoyed at Chuck’s “realization” that he loved Sarah in “Beard,” but I think that it can be taken to mean that he realized that he didn’t want to move on.

  41. herder says:

    First of all I think I said that he convinced himself he was not in love, if I didn’t say that, it is what I meant. Twice he has said “do you know what I gave up to do this” once at the beginning of Pink Slip and again at the start of the Beard. He started off with the idea that he has lost her, but still says “…I did it because I love you” present tense.

    He gets no where with Sarah, and at some point says move on, you are not in love, despite those feelings poping up from time to time. Angel del Muerte is as good a place as any although I think it is more a gradual thing rather than a sudden moment.

    He still has feelings for her but brushes them aside until the end of Fake Name where his feelings for her cause him to stop flashing. Dolt that he is he never examines what those feelings and emotions are although he recognizes that they are part of what is blocking him ( his call to Awesome mentions that Sarah is seeing a new guy, although he has told Awesome that there is nothing between them). It isn’t until Morgan pushes him to ask himself the question that he gives his answer that he realizes that he still loves her.

    Sarah’s situation is different, I think that she was reluctant to make herself vulnerable to Chuck again. This of course made things worse, I don’t think she considered moving on until Chuck started to persue Hannah in the Mask. I don’t think she decided to move on until Chuck went to Hannah at the end of Fake Name. We don’t know (although we suspect) that she has in fact moved on. Even if she has it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still love him.

    All this is compounded by two factors, they don’t talk and they both seem to acquiesce to what they think the other wants without either expressing what they want. In three years Chuck has said “I want to live the life I want with the girl I love” and “I don’t know what I want to do with my life but I want you in it”. Sarah has said that she wants to be a real person again with Chuck. This is the total that these two characters have expressed of what they want from the other in three years.

    What you get is Chuck convincing himself that he isn’t in love because he believes that Sarah doesn’t want him any more. Sarah moves on because she beleives that Chuck doesn’t love her and hasn’t since Prague. Neither has asked the other what they want from the other or what they feel for the other. Yet. I think that changes over the next four episodes.

    • metajoke says:

      Herder-
      This isn’t aimed at you. You understand that, right?

      Geezus, folks, Chuck loves Sarah. Sarah loves Chuck. Everyone on the planet–even the poor bastard Jeff–knows it.

      The only ones who don’t are TPTB because they keep making believe they aren’t. And we encourage them to keep the angst going whenever we make believe there is something to analyze.

      Get on with it! If they don’t couple them up, we should hire Old Darth to kill one of them so his bizarre rants about why they can’t be together could come true.

      Get on with it!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        We all get that, but the way they have always played the WTWT with Chuck and Sarah are through the things we’re discussing above. I am just looking for something I may have missed that makes Chuck and Sarah’s behavior more plausible, at least in Schwedakland terms.

      • metajoke says:

        ernie-wasn’t aiming it at you, either. Honest. It’s just SOOOOOOO tiresome plowing through the same old arguments and the same discussions (of which I myself am guilty, I freely admit) about the topic when we DO all know that this is a phony, stupid scenario.

        It’s fueled by the idiocies of TPTB who incorrectly believe they can jack up the ratings, the see-no-evil fans who insist you have to “enjoy the ride” (unless, of course, you DON’T enjoy the ride, then you should focus on the destination) and showrunners who expect us to believe that two people who’ve commited treason together, run away together, fought together, etc., can’t have a two-minute conversation with each other.

        At this point, there is no justification, no rational contention, no logical storytelling reason why Chuck and Sarah aren’t together or can’t be together.

        Except because TPTB don’t want to. And beating the dead horse trying to analyze the reason-of-the-week roadblock erected by TPTB only gives the situation a dignity it no longer deserves.

      • metajoke says:

        Or how ’bout this: Chuck, grab the sexy bitch and kiss her. Sarah, maul the hero boy. End of discussion. 🙂

      • joe says:

        “…the see-no-evil fans who insist you have to “enjoy the ride” (unless, of course, you DON’T enjoy the ride, then you should focus on the destination)”

        Yeah, well, that’s me, MJ. Don’t worry. I don’t take it personal anyway.

        I think the point is that both sides of this running debate really DO see and understand the other side. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t resonate for them.

        We do have to translate your statement “…there is no justification, no rational contention, no logical storytelling reason why Chuck and Sarah aren’t together or can’t be together.”, though, into something that starts “…there is no justification I can accept that….

        I know it should go without saying, but people here can be passionate about the show.

      • joe says:

        “Or how ’bout this: Chuck, grab the sexy bitch and kiss her. Sarah, maul the hero boy. End of discussion. :)”

        Now this, I like!

      • metajoke says:

        Joe-
        Forgive me, I overreacted. But it was only because I found out that next week Chuck and Sarah can’t be together because Chuck hasn’t finished filling our his March Madness brackets and Sarah has to run to the airport to get a refund for her ticket to Saint Tropez… 🙂

      • joe says:

        Oh gee. Is there *any* better reason to put things off than MARCH MADNESS??? Really!

        Go Villanova!

      • metajoke says:

        I dunno, Chuck sorta strikes me as a Gonzaga guy… And that leads to the obvious: e13 is scheduled for April 5, the championship game. So what happens? Chuck and Sarah are about to finally talk and Chuck says: Sarah, can I watch the game and then we can talk?

      • joe says:

        I like saying Ganzaga. It just feels right in the mouth – Gonzaga. Sort of like Seinfeld and “salsa”.

      • JC says:

        I’m guessing since Chuck’s confession at the end of Three Words and her not bringing it up plus her transfer request. That were supposed to believe Chuck has trued to move on.

        I still can’t figure out Sarah, hopefully she actually talks in the next couple of episodes.

      • Faith says:

        um UCLA? Stanford?

        I don’t follow college ball but assuming they’re the family and Chuck’s alma mater lol.

      • Lucian says:

        Joe – I am curious. Do you think that season three has been fairly strong from either a storytelling or character development perspective?

      • joe says:

        Good question, Lucian. Honestly, I can’t quite square what I’m seeing with the question you ask.

        Season 3 has affected me deeply, but yes, negatively, at least, up until The Beard. I’m convinced it was supposed to do that, and unlike many of my friends here, I don’t see that as an altogether bad thing.

        I just started to type that what I’ve seen “is neither particularly strong storytelling nor particularly strong character development – it’s something else”. But that’s not right. There’s many elements that are *indeed* strong, especially from a technical POV. Think about Morgan. His development has been great all season. Manoosh was a great mirror for Chuck. Carina is luminous. She helps define Sarah like no other for us. Hannah was devastating for Chuck. Those are STRONG characters and stories. It’s that what we’ve seen hasn’t been expected or desired. And that’s different. No one likes a broken Chuck or broken Sarah, but that’s what we saw.

        If S3 to date is a launch pad to where *I* want the show to go, then of course *I’m* happy. Honestly, it looks exactly like that’s what’s happening. If it gets there then I will unambiguously see S3 to-date as “strong” in both story and development. As of this moment, it’s unfinished, but with very strong promise.

        Which is as it should be. Right? I would only disagree with those who insist that “you can’t get there from here.” That’s where we were at the end of Fake Name. Today, it looks to me like we can.

      • atcdave says:

        Well Joe, I do agree with your last statement. They can fix things from here. I will always object to a season that was so pointedly not fun; but things are looking up, and I believe we will see a satisfying resolution.

        But this is a show I used to eagerly look forward to rewatching every episode, and memorizing every detail. This season I haven’t even wanted to rewatch most episodes once.

    • Marvin says:

      There is a huge gulf between being in love with someone and loving someone you don’t believe can reciprocate. Chuck says “I couldn’t…” love Sarah. His pointedly telling Sarah in Beard that he gave her up so he could be a spy was tacit acknowledgment that Chuck believed that being a spy was essentially saying he could not have Sarah. Ever. It’s not so much that he believes he is not in love with Sarah, as that he can not be in love with Sarah. This is no longer about the intersect and normal lives.

      Of course, Sarah’s relationship with Shaw makes that whole argument moot, just one of the logical irritations of this season.

      • kg says:

        Metajoke

        At this point, I’m willing to bet a couple feet O meat that the Zac and Yvonne want to and are willing to, but that course of action is simply not in ny of the scripts.

    • Jen says:

      I really need to stop reading and get back to work!!!!!! I hope i can be strong enough…

      • joe says:

        Well, good luck with that, Jen!

        I have no idea how I’m going to cope starting tomorrow.

      • Jen says:

        That’s right! you are starting a new job on Monday! Congrats… i hope it’s all you want it to be 🙂

        And as you can see… i’m not doing stopping this madness…

      • joe says:

        I know. You’re as addicted as I am.

        Staying away from here is going to be the worst thing I face. But hey! If that’s the worst, I can say in all honesty that I’m truly blessed. Right?

      • Jen says:

        Yes… i need a 12 step program.

        YEs, with how things are, having a job, even if we don’t love it (or they don’t give us unlimitted Chuck blogging time), is a real blessing. Thankfully, i love my job.

    • John says:

      It was a good episode, but I still can’t get my head around all these critics saying that this was the best episode ever in the series. Even just comparing Best Friend vs. Beard, Best Friend wins hands down.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I think all the “best episode in the series” talk was all hype to get the fans who felt like they had just watched two of the worst episodes in the series back on board.

        It was a good episode. Probably one of THIS season’s best. But you’re right – not in the same league as some of the episodes from S1 & S2.

        Let’s just hope that things keep looking up for the remaining episodes.

      • Lucian says:

        They have beaten us over the head with angst for most of the season. The episode was enjoyable (IMO) because it was largely angst-free and fun. Chuck and Morgan understand what it takes to be friends, and that is alot more enjoyable to watch than the wtwt dance.

      • Matt says:

        I was happy to see Chuck being Chuck again. He was able to talk to Morgan and rely on his best friend as he had done all of the time before the intersect. Chuck was happy and content to spend the night playing Duck Hunt.

        It also showed that a Chuck could flash again once the weight of the world was lifted from him. As soon as he was able to tell Morgan, he flashed. With Morgan taking his rightful place at Chuck’s side, instead of Sarah, he was able to function. Before Sarah came into the picture, Chuck was able to function, he was happy in his dead-end job and confided in his friend who was also happy to remain in a dead-end job. The intersect and the gov’t may have raised the stakes, but Chuck still needs his best friend. Before the season people were saying Sarah was Chuck’s kryptonite and his spinach. Last night he proved that Sarah isn’t even required if he has his best friend. Its nice to see him have a little bit autonomy. He deserves to have some freedom. As he put it, he gave up a lot when he chose to be trained. He gave up possibly the love of his life.

        BTW, great to have the real Chuck back at the end. Sorry shippers, I like where Chuck ended up after where he was to begin the episode.

      • joe says:

        Excellent point, Matt. This was Chuck as he was pre-Sarah, but not a loser.

  42. Faith says:

    I have a message from Liz (after I told her Jason and BCB and myself was asking about her…

    “The show we loved ended with Colonel. This show that started with Chuck versus the Ring is not the same show. You (and I) just made the mistake of thinking it was a continuation of Chuck. It’s NOT. It’s a different show. Bizarro Chuck, if you will.

    That’s the adjustment you need to make. Leave your friends Chuck and Sarah behind. They are off in TV valhalla somewhere, dancing at the Rehersal dinner. Having a great talk about all they’ve been through. Making love. Planning a real life together. They are happy somewhere. Maybe they are even married by now.

    These new characters, Charles Carmichael and Sam something or other, are different people. You don’t have to care about them so much. You don’t know them, in fact.”

    Words to live by IMO. Certainly saw some Bizzaro moments lol.

    • Faith says:

      Forgot this part:
      “Please try to look at it that way. And tell all the wonderful folks on the blog to think that way, too. It won’t hurt nearly as much.”

      Interestingly enough as soon I accepted them as Sam and Superspy Charles I felt better about what happened with Hannah, Mask et al. I’m still upset but I feel better 🙂

    • Marvin says:

      I hate to say it Liz, but

      They are off in TV valhalla somewhere, dancing at the Rehersal dinner. Having a great talk about all they’ve been through. Making love. Planning a real life together. They are happy somewhere. Maybe they are even married by now.

      makes for boring TV.

      • atcdave says:

        I think planning a real life together while taking on international crime and terrorism would make excellent TV; pretty much my ideal. Fighting the good fight, with constant reminders of what they’re fighting for.

      • Faith says:

        agreed.

        There’s so much you can do after you put them together. Life doesn’t end in happily ever after, if anything it gets more complicated.

      • Rick Holy says:

        As usual, dave and faith are right on!

      • Jen says:

        That is a show i would DEFINITLEY watch… Yvonne and Zac are perfect for that dynamic.

    • Merve says:

      I can sort of agree with Liz’s statement up until she says that Sarah and Chuck are different characters now. I disagree. I don’t think that they’re acting out of character. Whether or not their actions in “Ring” were in character has been debated to death, so I won’t expand on that here, but what I’ve seen since “Pink Slip” are how two people react to heartbreak, and it seems natural. Have I wanted to punch both Chuck and Sarah in the face at different points this season? Yes. Have I wanted to punch both of them in the face at certain points in seasons 1 and 2? Also yes. A character doing something that I don’t want to see is certainly annoying, but not out of character.

  43. BeCoolBoy says:

    Could I bring this up? The most jarring moment to me last night was Chuck telling Morgan he’d never had sex with Sarah. And that is the second time this year he’s told someone that (he said it to Awesome in Angel of Death).

    Am I crazy or are TPTB setting something up in e11 where Shaw does something mean or un-Chuck-like and Sarah says to him: “You know, this is why I never slept with you.”

    I bring it up because there is that clip of Baldwin and Strahovski at some function saying Sarah would “never jump the Superman shark” and there is that guy Lekay who says that Sarah has a line in e11 that makes no sense in relationship to what we saw of Sarah and Shaw in Fake Name.

    So if that’s the case, what’s the point? What is TPTB’s obsession with the PHYSICAL act? Are they so childish that they think that is what fans are waiting for, Chuck and Sarah having sex? Are they so silly that they think Sarah must remain virginal while Chuck can bed any passing brunette?

    Can they really believe we’re obsessed with the sex? Or are TPTB just not mature enough to understand that Charah fans are looking for an emotional commitment and an honest relationship between the two people we’ve come to know?

    I mean, is this the show we’re watching? About when Chuck and Sarah finally have SEX? ‘Cause if it is, I’ll just switch to pay per view to get “a payoff.”

    • joe says:

      As I watched, the way Morgan shook off the line made me think it was exactly for those fans who went “squeeee” during the famous motel scene. It was the same as Tony Siroco’s WT/WT line in The Fake Name – something addressing the hard-core fans directly.

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      So, Joe, forgive me. What you’re saying is that Sarah says “real” when she means love and TPTB say “sex” when they mean love. Or have I misinterpreted because I never thought the motel scene was about sex. I thought it was about love, the nonverbal, physical expression of it.

      I, for one, am not interested in Chuck and Sarah hooking up. I THOUGHT they were going for more…

      • joe says:

        Hum… Maybe I misinterpreted. What I thought I saw was exactly the opposite, BCB. It was TPTB telling the hard-core fans not to be so obsessed with the physical act.

        I think the message was that it’s not TPTB saying “sex” when they mean love. It’s the hard-core fans doing that. They are, in fact, on *your* side in this.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Joe: Maybe it’s me being dense. I don’t think I’ve ever heard fans yelling for a Chuck-Sarah hookup. I thought fans were yelling for them to be TOGETHER as a couple, not just sex buddies.

        It seems to me that it is TPTB who’ve brought up the sex line twice. It’s really jarred me, frankly. And I’m no prude. I mean, Chuck and Sarah are both gorgeous-looking characters. Bone jumping would be understandable.

        But I’ve not heard that outcry from the fans. I’ve heard: Why aren’t they TOGETHER?

      • joe says:

        Well, I guess that I heard the outcry that you didn’t, BCB. Oh, it was often turned into a standard wink-wink-nudge-nudge joke quickly enough. And sometimes it was even addressed by fans much more realistically, honestly, seriously and artistically. Think about what Liz James meant when she talked about what happened after the reception at the end of Colonel.

        “Hook-up” is the wrong word, I’m sure. That connotes something even more shallow than what I heard the fans asking for. But physical? I have no doubt.

        Myself, I’m with you.

      • Faith says:

        There are some fans that are clamoring for a “hook up.” After so many years you just have to root for it in Sarah’s part (mostly haha) and maybe Chuck too.

        But I agree it’s not the end all, be all. They can wait until they’re married for all I care but TALK! TALK! 😀

      • atcdave says:

        There may be some more adolescent fans who are focused purely on the physical; but I don’t believe that is a majority opinion. From the discussions I’ve seen and been involved in for the last year and a half I think fans are far more interested in the long term emotional commitment than, um, the other.

      • atcdave says:

        By the way, I mean adolescent in terms of emotional maturity, not necessarily chronological age.

    • Jason says:

      I think the chemistry is the problem, if they put them together for 3-6 scenes per show, 1 or 2 alone, it is hard to keep them apart, so they wrote them apart the entire season, largely reducing sarah to being no more than shaw’s lapdog, pretty amazing, reducing a comic book hero to that, but that is what season 3 has become

    • Sarah won’t sleep with Shaw before ep.11 or after even if Shaw does something to Chuck because she had her share of PLI’S.When Bryce Larkin came back from the dead in season 1 then he came back in season 2 in “THE BREAK UP” then there was Cole Barker and now Shaw.Sarah knows that sleeping with PLI’S while you still in love with someone else ends up in tragedy for every one involved.

      Chuck main problem with relationships is that he does not listen to nobody especialy to Sarah about rule no.1 As a spy you never date a civilian under any circumstances.

      He pay the price with Lou,then Jill Roberts Fulcum Agent who Chuck thuoght was a civilian and Hannah. all three end up in tragedy as well. He slept with Jill and Hannah and stll was in love with Sarah.

  44. Gord says:

    A few comments I have about last night’s episode.

    1. I loved Morgan’s fish maybe we can call him Norman Jr.

    2. The Chuck/Morgan bromance was great.

    3. When Sarah was pleading with Shaw for more time before activating the self-destruct it reminded me of the rooftop scene in S1 Vs The Marlin.

    I was expecting a Sarah/Shaw scene where she ended their relationship, but based on this episode I’m not sure it ever really started. Sarah kept her distance from Shaw tonight.

    I was also hoping for a Sarah/Ellie moment at the resort.

    However, this episode was about Chuck/Morgan not Chuck/Sarah and I was ok with it.

    I think we will see some major growth in the Chuck/Sarah relationship in 3.10.

    • joe says:

      I forgot about the fish! I expected the thing to start singing behind him!

    • herder says:

      The fish was a great sight gag. One other little thing that I noticed was that as Chuck and Morgan were heading up the steps Sarah was giving a little smile, sort of like the ones she usually has when Chuck says something to the General that she won’t understand. I think that is the first time this year that I have seen that smile.

      • JLR says:

        Yeah, I really liked that as well. Perhaps it’s the first sign of Sarah realizing Chuck isn’t changing as much as she feared? He’s still a “good” guy?

      • JC says:

        But when does her epiphany moment come? In the next two episodes? Is she ever going to speak about her emotions at all.

    • Faith says:

      Can Chuck put Sarah’s engagement ring in that fish’s mouth? That would be a good call back to Marlin 🙂

  45. herder says:

    I know the show is all about coincidences and the like, but how did the caller on the Ring phone know that Casey would pick up. If they know he was in castle then Shaw is wrong about information not getting out. If Shaw is right then they have other means of getting information about castle. Does that mean there are factions within the Ring. What if someone else picked up the phone does the caller say sorry wrong number.

    • Paul says:

      Ever consider that CASEY was the true target and everything else was just an elaborate feint? I wouldn’t put it past an organization as nefarious as The Ring to sacrifice a bunch of low level goons for a deeper purpose.

      • Merve says:

        That might make sense, but if I recall correctly, the bad guys made several references to “Shaw’s base” and “Shaw’s intel.” You’re right, though, that doesn’t preclude the notion that they might have also been searching for Casey.

      • Waverly says:

        It’s more likely that there are multiple groups within the Ring with their own agendas.

  46. prechuck says:

    Just a few thoughts, I loved last night’s episode. It was the best of season 3 and easily on par with the best episodes of season 1 or 2. It brought back the Chuck and Morgan friendship to the forefront. Quiet honestly, this is the most important relationship in the show for me, sorry C/S shippers. From the very beginning, I was hooked by this very strong and real friendship between the two “nerds”. It was great to see that back. Also I was talking to a friend today who I got hooked on Chuck last summer. He is loving this season. He said that he would not want to keep watching the show if it did not change because then it would become repetetive and boring. This is also my feeling and I know runs counter to others here, but this is the Chuck that I like. I hate to compare, but it is like Buffy where each season is different and the characters changed and grew, even in the infamous for some sixth season. I am not sure I would be watching the show now if these changes had not been made. Just my thoughts

  47. sd says:

    I know we have a spoilers section…but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas what we will see in the next three to five eps based on speculation and/or web postings?

    Any bullet point info?

    So many think a S/C r’ship truly begins by ep 13…I’m not convinced…so..just askin’

    • JC says:

      Well there is that short synopsis about 3.12. Chuck has to win Sarah back with some help.

      That really changes any speculation about how I thought it was going to play out.

      I’m still hoping for a just friends ending to 3.13.

    • John says:

      Why am I not surprised that S/S will last until the end of the arc (end of 3.12, possibly into 3.13)

  48. BigCheese says:

    The episode was good, if the season had started with an episode of that level would be perfect. But nevertheless, I also thought the episode out of place. The positive side is that reduce the angst of 307/308.

    Well as I mentioned before, I was disappointed with this season. And what happens after 309: nothing has changed. It was something like “wait 2 more weeks to find out”.

    I would stay around until the 314, but 310 will be my LAST episode. It’s time to move on.

    Keep up the good work on the blog, it’s best place to talk about Chuck.

    • BigCheese says:

      You guys from the blog SHOULD make a podcast, I’ll love to hear it.

    • JLR says:

      I feel you. I’m sticking to my guns; I promised myself I’d watch the original 13 episode order, and I will do that. But, given TPTB’s inability/unwillingness to give us coherent storylines & characters I can like/empathize with, I can’t see myself watching after that. I don’t care how “epic” the remaining episodes may be, and I did like the Beard very much. I just don’t trust TPTB; it’ll all get torn apart again if they get renewed anyway. Rinse, repeat; season 4 will end up being more of the same.

      • BigCheese says:

        I’ll take a break, you know that story about being exposed in the relationship and get hurt?

        Well, I say the same about me as a fan. I love the show, I registered on forums and blogs, and what happened this season? I’m feeling very tired and disappointed. I can’t lie to myself anymore. I need a rest.

        I’ll keep an eye on the blog, if something exciting happens I’ll be back. For now, it’s not for me 😉

  49. sd says:

    How exactly would C “win” S? It could be pretty funny—or not.

  50. sd says:

    Someone posted that Casey would strap the two to a lie detector to force them to figure it out…but if S is such a good liar (the ep with the truth serum) don’t think that would work…

    Anyway…I am “all in” for the full season 3 run…but if the showrunners don’t “resolve” the S/C thing–one way or another–I’m pretty much done.

  51. Jason says:

    ok – figured it out, This will be tricky, but none of it will be revealed, until 3 minutes left in 3.13, shockingly shaw and sam leave on a train together, then all of a sudden chuck walks out of ring headquarters with sarah – sarah has a twin sister named sam, sam took sarah’s place prior to prague, sarah has infiltrated the ring and is busy bringing them down, and has not been seen all season. Shaw gets sam, chuck gets sarah, life is good.

    good nite to all and to all a good nite.

    • sd says:

      Jason…

      You just can’t post that and say good nite 🙂

      If the showrunners would follow the intricate and intriguing arc that some of the posters have posted…your idea would be a perfect “ending” to the arc.

      Sadly…we are in the grips of pedestrian “rom-com” story telling…so…none of that.

      Likely…a close up..a look of longing…cue alt music track from obscure–but interesting new band–and fade to black

    • atcdave says:

      The really sad thing is Jason, that sounds better than anything we’ve seen this season.

  52. Who Dat says:

    Ok 2 things I heard about listing to a podcast (chuck you tuesday)
    first I liked Chuck the character after this and that has not always been this season
    2 a proposed ending to a scene chuck and morgan are tied up and morgan cant believe c/s haven’t had sex, chuck should have said I was going to but SOMEBODY left me an IOU..

  53. Big Kev says:

    Gotta say, I loved the Beard. Not to the extent I might have expected given the advanced publicity, but a really good, fun episode, that gave us heart and comedy, while still managing to handle major plot reveals really well.
    But….now I’m really confused.
    What was the point of 3.07 and 3.08 again? Out of nowhere, we’ve had one episode and 10 minutes of Sarah coming unglued – and now she’s back to normal? She’s made a serious emotional decision to open up to Shaw, and give him something real about herself – and now her and Shaw are back to looking like work colleagues? And “Sam” doesn’t even get a mention? And Shaw isn’t even in the next episode, and in 3.11 Chuck and Sarah are on a date??
    Roll on any episodes with no Shaw, and roll on Chuck and Sarah on a date – but are the writers serious about trying to tell a serious story of emotional progression?
    I was with OD and Merve right up until Nacho Sampler. I liked the idea of exploring the real costs of becoming a spy, the stakes and sacrifices involved and making that, as far as you can in the realms of this show, a serious and believeable journey. And to the greater extent, I think they’ve done it with Chuck – even if the “I still love Sarah” epiphany was overdone.
    But damn…..what they’ve done to Sarah in the previous 2 episodes is pretty much indefensible, especially if much of the stuff raised in Fake Name isn’t even going to be touched on again. I don’t know – I’m going off what I’ve read on some other sites and off a couple of podcasts, but it sounds like much of this stuff is swept under the rug. And if that’s the case, it blows any “emotional realism” defence for the progression of Sarah as a character this season – and that annoys me. I remember Liz wrote that the dealbreaker for her would be if they blew up Sarah as a character – well, they did that in 3.07 and 3.08, and then they ignored the fact in 3.09. And if someone as smart as Liz can’t understand it, then what chance have I got?
    I didn’t want to believe that the PLI’s were just there purely for the angst factor. I really thought there was some point to Sarah and Shaw, and Chuck and Hannah, but it seems I was wrong. Hannah’s gone, having given Chuck a telling off that could just as easily have come from Ellie, and Sarah and Shaw really do seem to be no more than a back rub and a Crock Pot. I guess it shows us all up for the shippers that we are for getting so worked up about it – but if that really is all there is to it, you have to ask – what was the point?

    BTW – was Sarah really going to let Shaw blow up Castle the second time? They really didn’t let the scene play out, but for a woman who was prepared to off Longshore and commit treason to save Chuck, I didn’t see anything like that level of desperation this time round. There wasn’t much in this episode that bothered me – but that did.

    • Emily says:

      Agreed!!! And is Shaw stupid enough to kill the most importance asset the CIA has??? Could they not have just blown up one of the entrances?
      Or…
      Maybe it was evil Shaw’s test to see how far under his spell Sarah was, and he never had any intention of blowing up the base. He just wanted to see Sarah’s reaction to this suggestion. Hmmm?

      (a girl can dream)

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah it bothered me too. Sarah should have stopped Shaw.
        Beside the ring operatives couldn’t communicate with the exterior, so they would have come out eventually by one of the entrances. Wasn’t it enough to wait for them with enough men to bring them down?

    • Merve says:

      I agree with pretty much everything that you said, Kev. Like I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think that Sarah is necessarily acting out of character, but it is strange to leave her character arc hanging without resolution for an entire episode. It’s alright in some ways because we really didn’t see enough of Sarah in “Beard” to judge her emotional state, but it’s odd not knowing where Sarah and Shaw stand right now.

      I’m also with you on Shaw and Hannah. I like them as characters, but not as PLIs. Hannah was fun to watch as a new Buy More employee who didn’t understand all the insanity around her. Shaw was fun to watch as a mysterious super-spy. Neither of them were fun to watch as PLIs.

  54. AngelTwo says:

    Has anyone considered the reason that virtually everyone who watches Shaw hates him is because he shows us how weak TPTB’s thinking about the show has become?

    As lizjames suggested in her post about how TPTB were resetting the show this year, they are running all of the changes (emotional, romantic, spy world) through the Shaw character. He’s sort of the Mr. Fix It of Season 3: Whatever and whenever TPTB have wanted to change something about Chuck, they give it to the disposable Shaw character.

    Fair enough and probably necessary given the speed with which TPTB are working and the budget constraints they were handed.

    But the problem with focusing everything on this one disposable character is that it magnifies every flaw in TPTB’s thinking about Season 3. It shows how weak and unsure the show now is compared to seasons 1/2.

    Shaw as superspy? Uh, hardly. All of the plot holes TPTB now have are now concentrated in Shaw. He wants to blow up the asset he’s supposed to develop, he makes insanely stupid mistakes, he’s marginalized Team Bartowski, pushes Chuck-the-solo-spy too fast and nearly destroys Chuck (and Sarah along with him) by upsetting the delicate Chuck-Sarah spy partnership.

    Shaw as romantic interest? He’s so weak that TPTB had to show you how much Sarah was hating to get involved with him even as she was deciding to do it. And as he woodenly moved along, the weakness of the Chuck-Hannah relationship was revealed.

    Shaw as emotional instigator? Well, who cares? I mean, even the show’s most fervant fans, amateur and pro alike, question whether his character is really needed. And even those who “hate” Shaw don’t do it with much passion. He’s sort of an emotional black hole.

    My point is that by running all of the changes in Chuck (the show) through one character, Shaw, all of the weaknesses of the showrunners have been revealed.

    In Season 1, Chuck was a fun, light hybrid: part action, part comedy, part romanace, part science fiction. In Season 2, it got better, stressing more romance, less science fiction and finely nuanced lead characters and supporting players.

    Season 3? Like Shaw, TPTB have created a bad soap opera. No one seems to know what the show is anymore. One week (Beard) its a comedy. One week (Fake Name) its bad romantic melodrama. One week (First Class) it’s a spy drama. And none of the storylines carry over. Anyone even remember Chuck explaining love to Sarah in Three Words? Anyone remember Sarah trying to run away in Pink Slip? We’re just one episode past the Mask/Fake Name disaster and no one even remembers Hannah and Sarah acts as if Shaw was just her annoying boss again.

    Everything that’s wrong with Season 3 traces back to Shaw because TPTB gambled everything on introducing his character to make the changes.

    Shaw, and TPTB, haven’t been good enough to pull it off.

    • atcdave says:

      Excellent post AngelTwo. To me, the really stunning thing is that it seems they’re going to draw the Shaw thing out to 3.13. So that means until they got the extra episodes, they were planning on flushing the entire season down the toilet.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I don’t think everything wrong with the season traces back to Shaw, unless by Shaw you mean the decision to use PLI’s again this season. I was pretty unhappy with some of the character problems and tired use of the same plot devices from Pink Slip on, long before Shaw was introduced. The Ring started that trend. The idea that Sarah and Casey wouldn’t be able to push Chuck so an outside force was necessary wasn’t bad, Beckman could have been employed for that, but a guest star wasn’t necessarily a bad idea either. If they originally brought in Shaw for this arc, well the last part was poorly handled. I didn’t find Shaw THAT annoying until 3.07. I didn’t find him particularly interesting in 3.04 and 3.05 either. Most of the problems I see are in the execution and writing, one of those being making Shaw so much of a focus of his episodes. Something they managed to avoid with past guest stars.

      • weaselone says:

        Shaw’s great contribution so far this season is to make fans pine for Beckman.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        I actually DO miss Beckman, weaselone. She was a perfect distillation of the government bureaucracy. Or, as Sarah said more charitably, “Beckman’s a soldier.” Either view you adopt of her, you knew where she stood.

        That is part of what Chuck misses this year. With TPTB throwing everything up in the air and anchoring everything around a black hole called Shaw (h/t to AngelTwo for the definition), there is no signpost of stability.

        It’s what the Shins said in the great song played at the end of the pilot:
        Every post you can hitch your faith on,
        Is a pie in the sky, Chock full of lies,
        A tool we devise, To make sinking stones fly,

        Season 3 has been a sinking stone trying to fly.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        And we get her back next episode!!! She’s far tougher than Shaw IMHO.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        And she SCARES Sarah. Back in the day when Sarah was Sarah, it took a real tough nut to scare her. That made Beckman formidable. Even Sarah was afraid of her…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Something has been rattling around in my head and it finally connected. Shaw is Poochie.

        Simpson’s fans may need to cast their minds all the way back to the late nineties, but for those of you not familiar or want to refresh your memories, go here

        The episode deals with the problems that arise when the producers try to make a show “fresh” again or boost sagging ratings by adding a new character. That character, being a focus group creation, ends up cliched and lifeless, but taking over the show and destroying the elements that originally made it successful.

        I really hope they kill him off on the way to his home planet.

        I originally meant to post this here because it was appropriate. I added it to another one accidentally, but decided that it worked there too, so sorry for the duplicate post if I’ve confused anyone.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Ernie-
        This is also posted a tthe other thread. Poochie is a brilliant deduction. And everything IN this episode is appropos to Chuck Season 3. And they make fun of the fans better, too.

        Here is the episode online: http://bit.ly/bFYV4u

        Can’t miss viewing for any fan distressed by Season 3 of Chuck.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        AngelTwo, you get some of the credit for the insight, I didn’t make the connection till your remarks about Shaw becoming the focus of so much of the show. That is what is so great about this board, there is always another person with an insight that makes you look again or that turns the light bulb on.

      • AngelTwo says:

        And I got THAT idea from lizjames posts. In fairness, she was the first to point out that they were running all of the show changes through one character.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well then thanks for channeling Liz. I always got great insights from reading her posts. She absolutely clarified how to understand Sarah Walker for me and a lot of others here (in season 2 when she was still Sarah Walker as Liz would say).

  55. Rick Holy says:

    If I hear TPTB use the word “epic” to describe one more episode of this program, I’m DEFINITELY turning it off for good.

    A good, even “great” episode (especially by Season 3’s lowered standards) – sure. But epic? C’mon guys. If they think that’s epic, then if Chuck and Sarah finally get together, they’re going to have to call it, what, CATACLYSMIC?? There’s another word I was going to use, but I’ll save that for others who don’t wear collars – if you catch my drift.

    Anyway, here’s hoping that the remainder of the original 13 will keep looking up, and not throw us any more stink bombs.

  56. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Beard (3.09) | Chuck This

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