The (Formerly Beard) Tic Tac First Reactions!

And open discussion!

Go for it!

– joe

Update: Thanks for the title correction! Shows you what lack of sleep will do! – 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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118 Responses to The (Formerly Beard) Tic Tac First Reactions!

  1. BDP says:

    “The Beard First Reactions!”

    1 week to late i thinks

  2. pandachuck says:

    very surprising. did not think Morgan would know EVERYTHING, this quickly. However, still a pretty well put together episode and it made my day.

  3. Faith says:

    #Chuck #Bartowski is trending in twitter. You know what that means? Ratings gold! Or as close to it as poss 🙂

  4. sniderman says:

    Errrr… I enjoyed “vs the Tic Tac” tonight. Did anyone else see it or did I somehow travel ahead in time agian?

  5. metajoke says:

    This show, sadly, has jumped the shark. I mean, there’s hardly a second I don’t feel manipulated now.

    And Sarah is now largely unrecognizable. Just one more thing, person, idea thrown into the black hole of “we don’t talk.”

    And as recently as episode 3, weren’t we told Casey was harrassing Costa Gravas’s dictator? And didn’t he call his mother and identify himself as “Johnny Boy” in Santa Claus?

    So much for canon…

    • metajoke says:

      Harassing the dictator in the 1980s. That doesn’t track with the time line in Tic Tac.

      • Waverly says:

        Actually, it might — wasn’t the scene where Alex was recruited taking place in Honduras in 1989?

      • metajoke says:

        You know what’s sad, Waverly? I no longer even care enough to go back to listen to what is exactly said in Angel of Death. And it doesn’t matter. What’s to say that they don’t just rewrite this canon in episode 17 or 18 or year four. So I withdraw my comment because, honestly, I no longer care enough to check.

  6. Ernie Davis says:

    Well I would change it but the editor says Joe is working on it. Probably adding thoughts.

    Speaking of thoughts. Remember last week when I wanted to grab JS and/or CF by the lapels and shake them violently screaming in their faces “WAS THAT SO HARD!?!?!?”

    Yep, still feeling it. Probably the most dramatic episode. More clarity and character development than I’ve seen all season. And who was absent? Beckman was back, and badass as ever, and, god forbid, Chuck and Sarah talked, and in less than 20 seconds they moved the story further than the last three episodes.

    Shaw is Poochie. Post to follow.

    • atcdave says:

      No doubt Shaw has screwed up the show more than anything else they could have done. Even with his shadow hanging over things; the chemistry and all around fun factor was vastly improved this week without his physical presence. It is so much fun watching the original team work and interact together; from Chuck accidently ratting out Casey, to Chuck and Sarah bluffing their into Casey’s cell, to Sarah taking out five armed thugs; just a much more fun episode. The team actually seems more capable without Shaw around.

    • lou federico says:

      Wow an old Simpson reference. You are a man of many talents Ernie

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Anyone else notice a total lack of a certain character in the promo for next week? Could it be that they are cluing in on a few things as the season progresses?

      • atcdave says:

        And yet rumor has it he’s been on set for 18 or 19; perhaps the network gets it, but JS doesn’t.

  7. Jen says:

    I feel so happy right now… i loved this ep! To think we could have had this awesomeness all season… man!
    Anyway, I enjoyed having Yvonne have dialogue, talking to Chuck, see her in action, i really had missed Sarah!!!
    Seems she’s realized Chuck hasn’t changed, that he is still the same guy. Chuck changing was one of the things that drove her away from him, but now seeing that he is still the same guy. She know he’s still the one she loves.
    I can’t help but wish right now they could have built the SS relationship more… not that i like Shaw, cause i don’t, but it doesn’t feel right that she seems comitted (even if it’s for the wrong reasons) to a relationship w Saw when none of us can see why, or feel their connection. Their getting together was so forced, but i wonder if TPTB planned it that way so we could see how this is OOC for Sarah, as a demosntration of her mental state…
    This ep felt good to me, and i hope this is the kind of stuff we get from here on and into next season.

    I wanna say more, but i gotta go now. BRB!

  8. sd says:

    Despite some continuity issues—Casey was a busy boy in the 80’s…and did his new name (johnny boy) come with a new mom…I thought it was a very good ep…and one that finally gives Casey more to do than just grunt..

    Did anyone notice that Sarah seemed to “break through” to Chuck after he had taken the pill and was about ready to snap the guys neck—just as Casey succeeded in doing to his old boss earlier?

    It was clear he was still feeling the effects of the pill..but when he turned to Sarah and saw her horrified look…he stopped.

    I loved the separate fight scenes…looked big budget…and S/C actually said something to each other…even tho she changed the subject.

    And I loved how Chuck asked S if she shouldn’t be heading to DC…and she just said matter of factly…Shaw can wait….kind of interesting.

    Anyway…liked the episode.

    • Paul says:

      Ever consider “Hello Mother? It’s Johnny Boy” was Casey talking code back to HQ…?

    • sd says:

      Never considered it was a code…I can’t remember…was there any reference to HQ moving on the Johnny boy code?

      • atcdave says:

        I suppose if they ever retcon it, the line would be that he was checking in, in code; of course we all know it was simply a continuity error.

      • weaselone says:

        I’d always assumed he was talking to Beckman.

      • amyabn says:

        I assumed he was calling Beckman as well. That’s how they got the backup so quickly-it was on the way before Casey and Sarah were escorted out of the store.

  9. herder says:

    It’s interesting, of the regular characters they all have so much chemistry togeter. That last scene of the General and Casey, you can tell that she has a soft spot for the team.

    I think we saw the beginning of the turn for Sarah, she actually initiated a conversation (but then cut it off). Is it just me or did she seem unhappy that the General offered her a new job, also she seemed to be saying things that she was supposed to say about Chuck rather than what she thought.

    Great action, great drama, but it is getting hard to keep up with all the changes. That being said wonderful to hear Casey speak his mind honestly rather than via quips, not that I don’t like the quips and grunts but they have their place but sometimes a thought needs to be spoken.

    Nice to see them give another small humor bit to Sarah when she knocked out the security guy. A really good episode again for Morgan and we also saw the start of the return of Captain Awesome. Unfortunately next week the black hole of emotions returns.

    My only fault is the Chuck/Sarah romance, maybe it is that it has been done so much that I don’t have much patience for it anymore, but earlier this week I was thinking put them together or break them up just get it done. Maybe we are finally getting there but really, as this episode showed there is so much other stuff going on that I am starting to get tired of the romance story as it takes away from so many other stories.

    • sd says:

      Hi Herder…

      What is the “black hole” of emotions…don’t tell me more angst next week? Thankfully, I will be on an airplane when the ep airs…

      • herder says:

        The black hole of emotions is special agent Daniel Shaw. This year, in almost every scene he has been in since First Class Sarah has been within a few feet. She doesn’t get to react or play off anybody else and Shaw just sucks in all emotion around him without letting any of his own escape.

      • Faith says:

        Somebody from the NBC boards’ sister counted how often Shaw and Sarah are on screen together versus Chuck:

        “Sarah and Shaw have had 27 scenes together without Chuck and 12 scenes together with Chuck. In contrast, in those same three episodes, Chuck and Sarah have had only four scenes together without Shaw–all of those scenes happened in the “Mask,” and in one of those, Shaw was watching (the scene in the museum where CS were preparing to steal the Mask)! “

      • BigCheese says:

        Ridiculous right?

      • atcdave says:

        That pretty much explains what’s been wrong all season.

  10. BeCoolBoy says:

    This was generally a good episode. But they are totally destroying the Sarah character. There seems no pleasing her now when it comes to Chuck. And while I never had a problem with her turning to Shaw for a little, er, comfort, this theory that she is now going to take a job in Washington is bizarre.

    I’m not a shipper, per se, but they have now warped the Chuck and Sarah dynamic beyond recognition.

    And the longer she is with Shaw–and decrying Chuck for becoming a spy–the less credible it is. She loves Chuck, but hates that he’s becoming a spy. Got it. But the solution is not a move to Washington and (one presumes we’re supposed to assume) a long term relationship with Shaw.

    Needless to say, I expect Chuck and Sarah together by the end of 13 and together “seriously.” But now Chuck is basically going to have to walk on water–maybe literally–to win her.

    No longer credible. Not sure I’m with metajoke on the show jumping the shark. But it’s sure in the water and I see a fin …

    • Mischievous says:

      I actually took the last Chuck/Ellie conversation to be about Chuck and Sarah as well which illuminates things a bit. Sarah has been sacrificing herself this entire season so Chuck could be the spy he always wanted much like Ellie was about to sacrifice her dream to give Devon what he wanted. Why? Because they both love their men. Her going to Washington is still her sacrificing to make sure Chuck has no distractions. Looking at it that way, it doesn’t make the season any easier to swallow but it does make a lot more sense.

      • herder says:

        I have been wondering about that very point, that Sarah’s relationship with Shaw is her way of putting herself out of Chuck’s reach so that he can do what it is he wants to do, become a spy. Frankly it doesn’t make a lot of sense and strikes me as cheesy writing, but that has never stopped TPTB before.

        In that case, her telling Chuck not to lose the person he was is her real thoughts then her shutting down the conversation is her following her plan to let him be free of her.

      • Mischievous says:

        I’ll agree that it’s a pretty elaborate (aka labored) way of explaining things but it does make sense to me. If it makes sense when Ellie says it regarding Devon I can buy it regarding Chuck/Sarah.

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      I can’t accept that Sarah is wearing her “Mask” so Chuck can have everything he wants. That would be giving credence to a poor episode and a worse concept. Ellie was prepared to make a sacrifice for her man. I get the parallel. But Sarah is acting stupid and I hate it when the writers try to justify stupid actions by claiming its a sacrifice. It’s just shoddy, soap-opera-like storytelling.

      • atcdave says:

        But becoolboy you miss the pure genius of sucking every bit of fun out of the show. When you look at how good the first two seasons were, how good the cast is, how great the chemistry (really all three leads, not just Levi/Strahovski) is; it took some serious creativity to utterly ruin most of the season, yet they pulled it off. I can honestly think of no other writing/production staff that’s been able to effectly craft such divergant styles with equal skill; going from something fun, exciting, funny, sweet, and uplifting; to sloppy, depressing, and boring. Truly a work for the ages.

      • Tim says:

        Flying out to the guys place is not sacrificing anything for Chuck. If anything it is so Sarah can break her three year drought. Wish the writers would have had her wait a few more weeks for Chuck. The writers are turning this into a lackluster reunion. I am so blah about her attitude with Chuck about Shaw and the fact she goes out there to get laid.

        I mean do I want the hero to get the woman who spends a week in this guys place and comes back and kisses me.

      • Anonymous says:

        atcdave – this blog wouldn’t be near as fun without your insightful comments! Rock on, bro!

        This episode, was, THANK GOD, more of a “return” to what made this show so enjoyable. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It was just plain STUPID planning, strategy, or whatever you want to call it to do all this promo-ing before the January return (in the hope of attracting new fans), only to feed them the gruel that constitued most of the first 8 episodes of this season (by then most “new” fans were gone – along with, unfortunately, some of the “old” ones).

        I just wonder what COULD have been – if all the hype and pub could have introduced the new fans – and there WERE new fans (remember, we had like a 3.0 in the demo for the premiere) – to the show “like it should have been” (and like it’s starting to return to (FINALLY) now.

        It will be interesting to see the ratings numbers this week – and then when DWTS returns. What’s it going to take to get an S4? Or has NBC already made up their minds?

        No more “save the show” campaigns for me. Either it’s good enough to move forward (in the eyes of NBC execs.) or it isn’t. I’ll still continue to “Subway” my way through the season. I think Subway deserves that for all the support they’ve show to CHUCK. And who knows, they STILL might have some impact on whether or not there’s a “next season.”

      • Rick Holy says:

        Oops. I’m “anonymous” above. Forgot to put in my name and email!

  11. pandachuck says:

    Chuck ❤ Sarah
    Chuck </3 Sarah
    Shaw is ass.

  12. Lucian says:

    Overall, I enjoyed it. It was kind of like the gang was (more or less) back – Awesome and Ellie are a great couple; Morgan is Morgan; Chuck and Sarah kicking butt together, and some depth to Casey. Outstanding to hear Casey tell Chuck that Sarah’s “a good woman” (or something to that effect); Hopefully “the pill” won’t become another traumatic issue between them.

    Too bad they needed most of the season to get to this point. As Ernie said, it didn’t need to be this hard, and I don’t think we like or respect the characters more because of their version of “the journey”. Hopefully the roller coaster has only one more fun little bump.

    IMO, probably the best episode of the season, but still not as good as some of my favorites, like DeLorean.

  13. BigCheese says:

    I haven’t seen the show. I’m waiting for the spy notes, and reading what you think.

    Without Shaw, when the whole season is dedicated to him and Sarah, too bad huh? ^^

    Don’t be so sad, next week he returns to destroy destroy what is left.

  14. John says:

    best episode of season 3 (although that doesn’t say much considering how bad most of the other episodes are).

  15. atcdave says:

    Definitely a good episode. Enjoy Morgan so desperately wanting to be involved, and Devon so desperate to stay out. It was so satisfying to see Chuck and Sarah working together; makes me kind of sad for what the season could have been. It is stunning how much chemistry Levi/Strahovski have together; and how TPTB have decided the show is better off keeping them apart for half the season?!
    Obviously a little sad that Sarah still ran off to Washington in the end; man I SURE hope she tells Shaw to take a hike next week.

    • Paul says:

      At this point, I wouldn’t assume anything as to WHY Sarah ran off to DC. Yeah she could have been going to have a tryst with Shaw. OR it could have been to discuss her next assignment and have nothing to do with Shaw. Wouldn’t be the first time her “personal” business had nothing to do with a tryst with a LI.

      • atcdave says:

        Of course you’re right, but its still a downer of an ending.

      • weaselone says:

        Didn’t she say at some point in the episode that Shaw would have to wait? She was going to DC even before Beckman offered her the plane ride.

  16. SWnerd says:

    Kind of confused as to why Chuck seemed surprised when Sarah told him she was afraid he had changed. I mean did he not just listen to her whole conversation with Shaw 2 weeks ago? Plus that would have been a good time to bring up the name reveal. I feel like that’s just another of those things that falls into the black hole of never being mentioned again.

    I’m really beginning to dislike all the plot holes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pill never came up again either (which by the way was the first time Beckman’s words to Sarah to protect the world from Chuck have had any weight, and it wasn’t even really the Intersect’s fault). We still don’t know what Beckman was so concerned about in the beginning of Shaw’s arc. Nothing ever came of the Rios virus from season 2. I have no idea why the Ring just magically replaced Fulcrum with no real mention of their connection. Still don’t understand what, if any, important information was on those disks. And don’t even get me started on the character plot holes or what I would consider just plain lack of common logical sense in dealing with their lives.

    • SWnerd says:

      Oh probably should at least mention that I did enjoy the episode, especially compared to much of this season. At least Chuck and Sarah had some sort of conversation and interaction. And I loved Casey especially his shipper comment at the end. Could have done without the stupid Sarah going to visit Shaw in DC dialogue which invoked my gag reflex, but at least I didn’t have any visuals of that d-bag.

      • atcdave says:

        Excellent observations swnerd. The plot holes are easier to live with when the show is fun. Right now, that final scene is the only thing keeping me from rewatching.

      • BigCheese says:

        I’m glad I haven’t missed ANYTHING.

      • Faith says:

        I think he was just about to…bring up the name and his feelings and stuff when she interrupted. However I do agree there are still a lot of questions left unanswered if not downright puzzling.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Faith – you’re right. Another moment when they can FINALLY have that REAL conversation – and yet it gets “interrupted” AGAIN.

        How many times can you use that device? TPTB use it over and over and over again ad nauseum. I know they want to squeeze three more episodes out of this season before (hopefully it will actually happen this season) Chuck and Sarah actually do “talk it out” without some kind of “interruption.” But good God almighty, it’s beyond lame already with the “interruptions” to the “big talk.”

  17. Anonymous says:

    There are very few episodes thus far this season where I really felt every word, every expression and every development. This is one of them.

    I’m going to be honest, I cry at greeting card commercials, I cry at stories of soldiers separated from their loved ones and I tear up at every tear jerker movie there is. This was a tear-jerker. From Sarah’s “don’t change” to Young Casey’s goodbye to Ellie’s “he was the best decision I ever made” to “Sarah Walker’s a good woman.” I just could not stop bawling.

    Among the things missing this season was the emotional component, that emotional pull where they make you feel something other than angst and rage and anger. This episode wasn’t perfect but it’s a really good step towards resolution. Everyone’s pretty much said it but it bears repeating, this episode had the things that were missing in previous ones: chemistry, emotion, love.

    I applaud Yvonne Strahovski’s talent. She was once again vulnerable and emotive. You couldn’t help but feel her disconnection and her overwhelming fear that she’s lost and is continuing to lose the Chuck she fell in love with. With every kung fu move and every spy lie it’s reinforced in her and she’s almost forced to runaway from this fear.

    I don’t think she’ll move to DC. I’m not gonna get into Shaw and all that…he’s a non-entity. A very annoying, please get rid of him non-entity but a non-entity all the same because when it comes down to it, Sarah is acting the way she is because of fear, loss and a broken heart.

    Lastly perhaps most encouraging is the face value mask has dropped. We are once again back to where we were comfortable, where we believed. Ellie and Chuck’s conversation is perhaps one of the most endearing conversations I’ve ever heard in Chuck, I put up above that with Casey. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about choices. Chuck may have thought he has already made his and lost out, but that is not the case.

    • Faith says:

      sorry the anonymous was me.

    • atcdave says:

      Great comments Faith. I’m a bit of an emotional sap too; its good to see they can still do a good episode.

    • Waverly says:

      To this blog’s TPTB: could you please require the Name field be filled when submitting a comment?

      That would help people, including me, that have accidentally posted “anonymously”.

      It’s not as if one can’t be anonymous by choosing a random name, such as “Anonymous”.

  18. AngelTwo says:

    I’ve intensely disliked (people seem to, er, hate it when I use the word hate) this season, but I was predisposed to liking this episode. After all, it’s Chuck and Sarah against the world. What could be bad?

    And while there was much to like about this episode, TPTB have let the plot holes get totally out of hand:
    1) This is the only pill ON THE PLANET? What happened to the formula that was used to create it? Was it destroyed along with The World’s Funniest Joke from Monty Python?
    2) The Ring is not smart enough to lock down Casey’s fiancée BEFORE they threaten Casey? And no one on Team Bartowski is smart enough to call in the cavalry to protect her? Chuck is sent in alone?
    3) Sarah hears Chuck promise he won’t change. She stops him from telling her he loves her. Then she alone prevents the drugged Chuck from doing something he’ll regret. And in her mind that means she needs to run away–again? And not to a “real” life out of spying, but to a Washington desk job and a relationship that she clearly loathes?
    4) Having been shorn of his career, Casey decides he also won’t even see his daughter and his fiancée because he has to be true to a decision he made 20 years ago? After he just committed treason to help her?

    Oh, and to add insult to plot injury, they give us a promo for the crucial episode 11 and Chuck has to pass the test “or go back to his old life.” In other words, the government is going to take the man with all of the world’s spy secrets in his head, flunk him (again!) and send him home (again!) to work at the Nerd Herd.

    I’m sorry, folks, this show is hopeless now. And in three episodes we’ll all be whipsawed with a happy ending. Lord help us all.

    • JLR says:

      I enjoyed this episode (especially since wooden boy wasn’t in it), but yeah, pretty much everything AngelTwo said. I’m too worn down by this season to say much more right now, and it’d sound a bit weird complaining after consecutive good (IMO) episodes…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I think hate is a perfectly appropriate word if you feel that way. I wasn’t particularly happy to see it attributed to others as a motive for the lack of quality this season, or to be asked to agree with and/or recognize that sentiment. That’s my only issue with the word being tossed around, but no big deal.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Ernie: I used “intensely dislike” because that is the dictionary definition of hate. That’s where I think TPTB are on the fans and the characters they created. And that is, sadly, part of the the creative process.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        And you’re perfectly entitled to that opinion and to express it. Just understand that I’m not comfortable characterizing other peoples motives and am not likely to engage in that part of the discussion since it seems I’m unlikely to change your view.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Ernie-Actually, honest to goodness, I was trying to recognize that people disliked that I used the word, not provoke you.

        That said, however, and since you brought it up, I think this discussion highlights the difference between folks like you, who have the liberty and freedom to take the academic view (honest, a compliment), and folks like me, who have to pull the trigger on creative decisions.

        We HAVE to attribute motive because we’re trying to make decisions on creative things, which are all emotionally driven. And if we’re smart as decision makers, we recognize our own decisions are never free of taint, either. That’s why the creative process (and especially the creative process in a collaborative media that is being judged commercially) is so tricky.

        I admire your willingness to never attribute a negative motive. I just wish it played out like that in real life for creative people–and for the creative people who make the judgments.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Fair enough, and it is good to have divergent points of view here, we all learn something. I don’t doubt that pride, ego, disdain, love, hate, and all the rest play into the creative process and sometimes need to be taken into account. Poochie the dog is a prime example of TPTB both admitting to some lazy thinking and telling the fans they’re a bit TOO involved with a show for their taste, so I understand where you are coming from.

        For me, I guess it’s more about civility and my personal feelings about how far I should go in my criticism. I guess sometimes that may affect my ability to be an honest critic, hell I keep going to great lengths to keep from stating the obvious, Brandon Routh is not a very good actor. But I’d just don’t like to think about one of his relatives coming across some of my writing ranting about what a jerk he is. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, same with JS & CF, so I try to keep it from being personal and confine my criticism to the professional and the execution.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Oh, and just to add, I don’t feel provoked. Quite the opposite, I felt I needed to clear the air a bit after my rather lengthy post on artist/fan interaction. I felt I was a bit of a scold in retrospect and might have worded things differently.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Nice summation, AngelTwo. The plot holes are bigger than the POT holes in winter in Northwest Indiana!

      But is the show “hopeless?” I won’t quite go that far. When I think of where we’re at right now, I remembe those old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials with the poor elderly person lying on the ground just out of arms reach of the telephone. We’ll that solution is one of those things they wear around their necks that they press the button and the calvary arrives to save the day.

      That’s about what this season needs right now. An “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” help device wrapped around it’s neck! Hopefully they can come up with one. Heck, the came up with a “pill” that turns one into an emotionless, superspy! (Can anyone say “rip off of the second HULK movie with Banner’s doctored blood creating super soldiers??).

      Anyway, here’s “HOPING” that things aren’t beyond help!

    • weaselone says:

      1) Not sure it’s the only pill on the planet. The method of synthesizing the drug could be held in an even more secure lab, or perhaps the process is so complicated or the raw materials so rare that only a few of the pills have been made with one being shipped specifically to California as a contingency plan should Chuck balk at performing some task for the agency. The Ring finds out that this pill is in a relatively less secure facility, wants to reverse engineer it, and knowing that Casey is involved have the perfect opportunity to get their hands on it.

      2) I think it’s weird that the Ring hadn’t secured her initially, but it’s possible Casey set this as a condition for securing his assistance, or the Ring wanted to avoid any entanglements with general law enforcement by avoiding an abduction if at all possible. As for the Calvary, there’s no knowing what Chuck and Sarah’s official status was at the time. They were assisting Casey against orders, they may not have had the authority to call in a team. Even if they did, a member of the cavalry could have been a Ring member.

      3) Yeah, I don’t have an explanation for this. The chorus would probably chime in that she’s still really hurt and confused about what happened in Prague so spending time in Washington with Shaw somehow makes sense. We’ve put up with the “no talking” rule for nearly 3 seasons, and flaky Sarah for the entirety of this one so I guess we just have to keep on keeping on.

      4)I think Casey’s just confused, licking his wounds, and feeling depressed at the end of the episode. At a gut level he probably also irrationally feels undeserving of his wife, daughter, apple pie, and his own piece of the American dream. He’s fought for it so that other slobs can have it, but in doing so he’s committed some fairly horrible acts that would make him feel unworthy or incapable of it himself.

      • weaselone says:

        I’m going to also note that this clearly identifies that the producers of the show made a huge miscalculation. As long as fans are content with the show they generally overlook plot holes, but once their tolerance is exhausted they stop and eventually even start looking for and identifying plot holes that might not even exist. It’s pretty clear they’ve taken the sheen off the apple for many fans and these fans are now noticing all the flaws, even those that don’t necessarily suggest a poor quality apple.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Bang on Weaselone. Many of those same plot holes are in The Ring. Roark stays in the reception hall and lets Chuck and Sarah roam free and Ellie sit waiting for the wedding unguarded? Chuck is allowed to go alone to get the intersect and returns with only Bryce. Sarah doesn’t call anyone? Chuck doesn’t immediately get Ellie out of the reception hall, by maybe say taking her to Castle? HUGE plot holes, but the episode was so much fun we overlooked them.

        When the show is working and fun, they don’t matter. They’ve mattered to me a lot more this season.

    • Waverly says:

      Looks like there are a bunch of us on this blog that ought to take some Laudanol.

      It’s interesting to see that the reaction has been so polarized.

      • Merve says:

        The reaction to this entire season has been polarized. Some like the old Chuck. Some like the new Chuck. Some like both. The fact of the matter is that the show has fundamentally changed. It has retained the same setting and characters, but the premise and tone have changed substantially. The most polarizing episodes seem to be the more dramatic ones: this one, “Nacho Sampler,” and “Three Words.” This might indicate that a lot of fans aren’t pleased with the more dramatic direction that the show has taken.

        Analyzing fan reaction tends to open up a can of worms, but I’m feeling bold today so I’ll take it one step further. I’ve noticed that for all the episodes this season except “Pink Slip” and “Mask” (for which fan response trended mainly towards negative), there have been a lot of comments to effect of: “I enjoyed this episode but I’m not liking this season.” Assuming that the same people have made these types of comments on multiple occasions, I’m slightly puzzled. How can people like the episodes but not the season as a whole? That’s a serious question, intended to spark discussion, not a rhetorical one. I understand that one can enjoy an individual episode while not enjoy the overarching story or character arcs. Is that the problem that some fans are facing? I’d like to hear some thoughts.

      • BigCheese says:

        Tell me someone who loved the Pink Slip, really, the bottom of your heart.

        I personally just hope one episode that can make C/S back to state they were in before the 301, which at the moment seems impossible. Each week, they seem more distant, but of course, in my POV.

        Now I ask you: What do you like most?
        1 – 8 episodes with Shaw;
        2 – 5 episodes of /S apart from each other;

        Please choose only one 😉

      • BigCheese says:

        Sorry a little mistake:

        “2 – 5 episodes of C/S apart from each other;”

      • JC says:

        I wanted to try and answer Merve’s question.

        I don’t dislike this season. I just think its been handled poorly as a serialized one. I loved individual episodes, in fact Tic Tac is one my top five now.

        The change in tone to a darker one doesn’t bother me. In fact I’d would’ve liked to have seen more of the dark Chuck at the end of Tic Tac earlier in the season. Another problem is the villains and spy stuff still seem too campy. I’m not asking for Burn Notice style but something in between would be nice.

        The character arcs feel rushed and disjointed. The ending to the Mask is a perfect example of this, it felt like I missed two or three episodes of S/S development. Another one seems to be the ending of Fake Name. No mention by Chuck of what happened at all? Seriously that’s completely unbelievable, considering she says something similar to him during Tic Tac. It feels like all the emotional drama is just something to move the plot forward and nothing else.

        I also find myself questioning why Routh’s stay was extended. Is that why some of the plot feels off? I know the TPTB said not much of the story would be changed but I’m not buying that.

        In the end I loved the concept of the season, its just the execution has been poor IMO. It might have been too ambitious of story for a short season.

        Now if the next three episodes sheds new light on what I’ve seen so far that changes things. And I mean real explanation not something rushed. I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. Hell I might even forgive Schwartz for season 3 of the OC.

        Hope my rambling made sense.

      • Emily says:

        Merve – I like some individual episodes (such as 1-4 and 9-10) but have disliked the whole Shaw/Sarah arc. But i will hold full judgment until the first 13 have aired, in case any of this confusion is explained.
        Looking back, I realised that my reaction to each season 3 episode has almost been exactly the same as my first reaction season 2.
        1-4 – loved them.
        5 – meh.
        6-8 – groan! (all though, upon re watch, i now don’t mind the jill arc)
        9-10 – getting better.
        If the episodes continue in such a manner for me, then 11 should be awesome, 12 pretty good and 13 awesome again. And 14 is possibly my absolute favourite.
        So things are looking up.

      • Big Kev says:

        Merve,
        For me, they’ve managed to load up all the things that I don’t like about the show, and the execution of Season 3, and put them all into certain episodes – so while I’m OK with large swathes of the season (and Tic Tac makes it into my top 5 of the series) you have 1 episode of this season which is unwatchable (Mask) and 2 which are incredibly damaging – Pink Slip and Fake Name. That leaves me feeling schizophrenic about the season as a whole.
        I’m certainly not one who condemns the entire season out of hand because Chuck and Sarah didn’t stay together after Colonel. I understand that argument, but I don’t agree with it. I think there have been 3 major problems with this season, in no particular order.
        1 – TPTB have tried to tell way too much story in a short season. This has led to character development that has been badly set up, and the whiplash moments of unexplained out of character behaviour that we have all commented on.
        2 – PLI’s. They’ve served no purpose this season, even if (in Hannah’s case) they have been relatively well set up. It’s simply angst for the sake of angst, and I’ve had enough of it. I thought the warnings through the summer were overdone and that the writers would be better than going one more round of the same old formula. I was wrong.
        3 – Shaw. I’ve tried to understand his purpose and get my head around what TPTB were/are thinking, and I just can’t. He kills every scene he’s in (aside from his very first one, which was brilliant and further emphasises what a waste the rest of them have been) and I just want him gone. I no longer care how they do it.
        If you look at the 3 episodes I’ve mentioned, all of them have those elements in spades.
        The episodes I’ve loved have been the ones where they’ve given us serious and believable character development and backstories, ratcheted up the drama and used that to heighten the impact of the comedy. They’ve done that enough for me to love a lot of Season 3 – but the stuff they’ve got wrong, I think they’ve got very, very wrong.
        This is my first foray into TV fandom. I’ve picked a hell of a season to start with!!

      • JC says:

        After reading what Big Kev wrote, I have to ask are we clones?

  19. Merve says:

    Aside from a few bits of cheesy dialogue, this was an excellent episode. I thought that it was way better than last week’s episode. “Beard” was alright, but watching it kind of make me feel like I was eating ten cupcakes. I like cupcakes, but eating 10 of them makes me feel kind of ill. It was kind of as if “Beard” was screaming at me for an hour. In contrast, this episode felt more like a full-course meal: a little bit of everything I like about the show – a little bit of hilarity, weird references, good drama, and awesome action.

    “Tic Tac” surprised me in a lot of ways. I didn’t think that Chuck would do another episode as dark as “Nacho Sampler,” but I was wrong. It seems to me as if the show has officially crossed the line from action-comedy to spy dramedy. Hey, it’s not what I signed up for, but I’m enjoying it all the same, so I’m happy. I also thought that Alex Coburn was just another alias, and I didn’t expect him to have a fiancée and a kid. I’m kind of surprised that the Doctors Without Borders storyline got wrapped up so quickly, and I thought that it might have led somewhere interesting, but I think that they wrapped it up quite nicely (without making Ellie screechy or annoying).

    I’m hoping that we’ll see some good stuff out of the Casey-as-a-civilian storyline. I’d like to see how he adjusts to life at the Buy More and if he ever goes back to his family.

    Like I said, I really, really liked this episode. If the show maintains this level of quality for the rest of the season, I’ll be very pleased.

  20. pandachuck says:

    Good Good episode. Not amazing like the Save Awesome 2 Ep. Story IMO. However, this does lead for a lot of interesting story-lines in next week and other episodes. Chuck has once again satisfied me.

    • pandachuck says:

      The only time i think i mightve of cried when watching Chuck was the episode he had to dump Hannah. Just the expression on his face is so painful and you can tell how devastated and heartbreaking it is for him.

  21. JC says:

    It was a good episode, nice work by Baldwin as usual. Wish we would’ve gotten more Robert Patrick though. Nice to see Sarah actually fighting instead of crying and moping. Liked the bit of her snapping him out of his emotionless state.

    I’m not going to comment on the C/S thing too much because I have zero interest in it now. But I do find it funny she says the exact same thing to him that she did Shaw. Guess everyone forgot that happened. Or Shaw is a super agent and his kiss loosened her lips.

    • JC says:

      Two things I noticed when they mentioned the drug. Chuck is really starting to think of himself as machine not a person. And why is Sarah surprised that he wants to take it.

  22. Emily says:

    Loved it. Had me on the edge of my seat. Although, I was screaming (in my head, of course) “DON’T DO IT CHUCK” when he was about to take the pill. Great, another thing thrown in by TPTB to prolong the inevitable Chuck/Sarah coupling (it is inevitable, isn’t it???)
    The way Sarah was talking, I was under the impression the pill had a longer lasting affect than it did. So I’m glad it didn’t. Did anyone else notice it was not the pill that caused Chuck to flash, but his emotions (Casey, sorry Alex’s ex fiance in danger). Should bring up interesting plot stuff in the future. You probably all noticed it, I just realised. I have a way of pointing out the obvious 🙂
    ARRGH I can’t believe Sarah is considering DC (sorry, had to vent).
    Anyway, fantastic ep, liked it better than Beard, loved the old references (like Chuck/Casey kiss, and Morgans fondness for snacking on stakeouts!)

  23. Jason says:

    another unhappy ending – near morbid really with sarah again in near tears and casey fired – other than that I liked the episode – about how I liked 3.9 – chuck sarah had much less mission time than I pictured – much less alone time than I pictured – I said a few episodes ago that I am numb to CS journy because it sucks so much – even more so now after 3.10 – just sitting back and letting TPTB convince me they can tell a great story – in that regard – 3.10 was just so so for me, better than the season overall, but not that great, TPTB are running out of episodes to convince me

  24. Jason says:

    one other thing, it seems pointless to me to worry about plot holes or future story lines based on current status, neither make any sense at all, the spy plot continues to be ‘get smart’ good at best, the ellie / awesome story is even getting on my nerves – seems like the same story is getting told there each week – sarah – I have no idea who she is scene to scene – maybe there is no zack – yvonne chemistry left either – I didn’t feel it in 3.10 – and even chuck – he now has felt and been just about every way imaginable that is repugnant to sarah – like who cares anymore really

  25. Big Kev says:

    Loved it!! Easily the best of the season, and one of my favourites in the series as a whole. It reminded me of some of the most powerful epidoes in the back half of season 2, in the intensity and the pacing.
    The whole Casey backstory was very telling, and him getting dismissed was a twist I didn’t see coming. A genuine twist that arises out of the stprytelling – not manufactured or done for the sake of it.
    As much as I love Casey on the team – and I’m sure he’ll end up back there somehow – there are some serious dramatic/comedic possibilities from him as a civilian which I would love to see explored. The shipper in me would love to see him reunite with Kathleen too, but I don’t remember any more casting calls for her in the back six?
    I thought the drama in this episode was perfectly done…from Casey’s “it’s not too late” to Chuck’s “the only thing I don’t know is why”. The drama heightened the value of the comedy, the fight scenes were fun, and Sarah got a break from getting her backside handed to her. This was an episode where our characters frailties were completely believable and made us love them more, rather than want to throw things at the TV screen. And no Shaw. What’s not to love?
    Yeah, there are plotholes you could drive a bus through, but when the rest of the show works as well as it did tonight, I really don’t care about them. They’ve redeemed themselves for 7 and 8 in my eyes with 9 and 10, and if we get a similar quality through to 19, like Merve, I’ll be very pleased.

  26. Dave says:

    It was an entertaining episode, very dramatic with the whole “no emotions” pill (I expected Casey to tell Chuck that the pill he swallowed was a fake).

    There was one thing I noticed and I wasn’t sure about it: When Chuck and Sarah are having a ‘moment’ and Chuck says he isn’t changing, did he push the gun away, or did Sarah move it away from him? Layers of meaning, depending on which it was.

    So is this an action-comedy or an action-drama? It’s moving towards drama, and if so, then they’ve got to make some effort at continuity. No one cares about what happened last week if it’s funny, but drama is another beast. So they either need to lighten up the tone, or start reading their past scripts.

    A recent spoiler said that 2 people would be leaving Burbank, and two people would be staying. Let’s have a quick poll here: How many people imagined that Sarah would be one of those 4 people?

    • weaselone says:

      I didn’t originally think so, but given the synopsis for 3.12 it’s seems fairly certain that she does indeed leave if only for a short period.

  27. Ernie Davis says:

    Oh, I just thought I’d mention this little point. Did anyone else find it interesting that having known Devon’s specialty (cardiology) for three seasons we’re just now finding out Ellie specializes in … yep NEUROLOGY!!! Orion II anyone?

    • weaselone says:

      The head and the heart.

    • Merve says:

      That’s a strange writing inconsistency because I’m pretty sure that in “Best Friend,” before Jeffster’s “audition,” Devon told Jeff and Lester that Ellie could “replace an aortic valve.”

      Unless there’s some newfangled medical field known as cardiac neurology…

  28. Faith says:

    Daylight Saving Time strikes! Against weaker than normal competition, both House and Chuck dropped 17 percent in adults 18-49 versus last week. House to a 4.0 rating and Chuck sunk to a 1.9..

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/03/16/tv-ratings-chuck-vs-daylight-savings-time-drops-big/45105

    Forgive me for saying so but SH$t

    • weaselone says:

      They finally broke it. That 1.9 definitely demonstrates damage to the show’s bedrock of support. It will have to be repeated to demonstrate that we actually have witnessed an erosion of some portion of the core fan base, but given two solid episodes and these ratings it’s tempting to conclude that the decent episodes have convinced shippers and some of the other fans that they just aren’t that into Chuck.

    • lou federico says:

      At least everything dropped. However 1.9 will get it cancelled even at NBC. Is this the worst rated episode every?

      • lou federico says:

        Chuck VS Golf in Michigan

        Fore!!!!

      • weaselone says:

        Yeah. They’ve never cracked 2.0. They’re taking a pick axe to the basement floor right now.

      • Faith says:

        I’ve always maintained 2.4 thereabouts are just the fanbase. When we get casual viewers we reach into 2.8, 3.0 range.

        This is the fanbase saying…FU. Or the most respectful thing close to it.

        That said it’s probably best to see trending before we really judge. Daylight savings time is an excuse but it’s a valid one.

      • weaselone says:

        It’s an excuse, but 1.9 is still the series low no matter how finely you mince that particular onion.

      • atcdave says:

        I think we are seeing a loss of interest from many casual viewers. So many things done wrong this season, starting with the loss of Levi/Strahovski chemistry and overall darker, less fun tone. This was a stronger episode and yet many people have already given up. They still haven’t convinced me to start pushing hard for another season. If they intend another reset like this year, well, I’d rather they didn’t get the chance; cancellation is better. (yes, that’s a plea to the writers, tell us progress made between the leads this year is meaningful and permanent and I’m on board; but I will not sit through another season of depressing soap opera).

  29. Rick Holy says:

    At this rate, try to enjoy (to the extent that it’s possible this season) what’s left of this season, because it’s likely to be the last.

    D.S.T. responsible for the drop? Please! CHUCK experienced DST before and never dropped this low.

    I agree with you, Faith. The fanbase is saying the “F” word followed by YOU to TPTB.

    Next up is Dancing with the Stars. At that point we may be HOPING for a 1.9 in the demo. I’d love to see things turn around. I hope to see things turn around – but I’m not optimistic.

    • weaselone says:

      Maybe the new format of the back six will prove more attractive to TV viewers. Might actually attract new eyes as original programming on the other networks sputters out.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Nice thought my friend, but I seriously wouldn’t count on it. That ship sailed with the miserable run of episodes in early January.

  30. Rick Holy says:

    I saw on another blog – I think it was TV by the numbers – that someone noted that J.S. posted on Twitter for “Chuck fans to mobilize!”

    The fact is they ARE mobilizing – and they’re moving away from CHUCK to something else.

    My advice to them is this: don’t count on the fans to “save” the show again – SAVE IT YOURSELF for cryin’ out loud. It is YOUR show after all, as you have so clearly showed “the fans” by ignoring their hopes and pleas for the show this season and basically serving us up a load of crap.

    Help save the show? Been there, done that. Not gonna’ happen this time. I’ll watch it – and HOPE it does better – but that’s about as far as it will go.

    Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on YOU.

    It’s sad, really. What COULD have been this season. Oh, what COULD have been!

    • atcdave says:

      I agree Rick with only one qualification; convince me you learned something this season, and I’ll support your show. But keep the “I wouldn’t change a thing” mantra and you’re on your own!

    • Jen says:

      And not only ignoring the fans’ hopes and dreams, but doing a 180 with the characters, starting with 2.22, continuing with Pink Slip and killing it with Mask…. plus adding the PLIs. They sire have made a mess, and i think this time they’ll be on their own to fix it. Problem is, if your fans dont’ care anymore, there is no fixing.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Truthfully, even though this IS NBC – where ratings are overall so horrible that even poorly rated shows get renewed – I think we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of what was such a great show – and could have been EVEN GREATER this season. Oh, well. This is TV. Something else will come along to grab our interest. I just hope that Zach, Yvonne, Adam and some of the others will catch onto other shows. THEY’VE done an outstanding job with what they’ve been given this season. It’s a credit to them and their abilities that many of us have hung around this long.

  31. amyabn says:

    Overall I enjoyed the episode. I say that upfront, and felt it was more like S1 and S2 with elements I really enjoyed. With that said, a few qualms:
    -We have a decent conversation with Chuck saying he isn’t changing. He flashes just fine on the mission to raid the CIA facility, but needs a pill to face those goons at Kathleen’s house? Chuck usually responds well to women in danger-well, at least when Sarah is in danger.

    -Sarah seemed in a better place with Chuck’s speech and things seemed good between them. Yet she runs off to DC. And Chuck seems to have forgotten his “I love Sarah” epiphany from just last week. Don’t you think he would be fighting for her instead of rolling over for Shaw?

    -I thought the pill would have longer effects as well. Maybe it is supposed to on other people, but not on Chuck. Glad Sarah snapped him out of it. I don’t know where/how fearless turns to murderous. All Chuck needed to do was incapacitate the guy and wait for Casey and Sarah to arrive.
    To me, Chuck taking the pill drove a nail in his chances to get Sarah back.
    I anticipated (shame on me) that their teamwork would have brought them closer instead of pushing her to go to DC. Really curious to see how they un-pooch (pun intentional) this next week.
    They will be putting Chuck in a no-win situation. He succeeds, he is a spy. He fails, he is back to the Nerd Herd. Either way, how does that effect his relationship with Sarah? I can’t figure out what these writers are thinking and it only ticks me off, so I guess I should quit trying.

    • weaselone says:

      Commenting on Chuck not chasing Sarah. Her original trip seemed to be somewhat of a shock from my perspective…Chuck seemed to think it was mission related until Casey corrects him. As for the ending sequence, Sarah left within an hour of Casey being escorted from Castle. My guess is she leaves without Chuck even knowing as he’s probably out trying to be there for Casey and he might need to oversee the complete dismantling of Casey’s apartment.

  32. Lauren says:

    Things I liked: 1. The episode overall
    2. No Shaw (although I did sigh at the “personal trip” mention at the beginning)
    3. In the “you know?!” scene with Morgan and Devon, Morgan instantly believes that Chuck can protect Ellie from spy dangers whereas Devon is less supportive. Morgan HAS seen some of the spy world danger and still trusts Chuck over everything. Thank god for the bromance.
    4. The Chuck/Sarah scenes…MORE PLEASE
    5. Casey. My love for Adam Baldwin knows no bounds. I really hope he drowns his sorrows at a Subway next week and decides he wants to at least know more about his daughter.

    Things I don’t like: 1. The ratings.
    2. The apathy I see spreading to all corners of the fandom. I know I’m unusually optimistic when it comes to this show. I just hope that everything will be different by the end of the (hopefully not last) season.
    3. JS’s tweet without any kind of encouragement whatsoever. NBC/Warner Bros may be behind some of the worst decisions (can Shaw leave now? please?) but he could’ve at least brought out the old “It will get better, I promise.” “Save the show again!” comes off as arrogant even it was unintentional. Done ranting now I promise 🙂

  33. Stef62 says:

    I enjoyed the episode for what it was, but it also highlights the best, and worst aspects of what they’ve tried to achieve this year.

    I found myself watching it, waiting for the shadow of Shaw to appear, so that even when he’s not in the damn episode, he taints everything.

    I’m guessing that he’ll come back in the last 2 ep’s for the ‘game changing’ moment. Originally I had Sarah down to have the intersect transfered into her, but now I can see them transfering to Shaw instead.

    It’ll it be JS/CF’s last ‘la, la, la, can’t hear you moment for them, and Chuck

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      Bad news, Stef, Shaw’s in 11, 12 AND 13…

      • Stef62 says:

        Unfortunately I knew that, but was just trying to block it out my memory, lol.

        No, was actually meaning ep18, 19 that ‘The Curse of Routh’ of will be affecting :/

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe we will see a chuck flash and an intersect ass kicking for shaw. That will be worth it

  34. atcdave says:

    Forgot to mention, my favorite obscure reference of the night; Sarah punching Fitzroi, and Chuck asking “was that really necessary?” Anyone else remember Time Bandits? Robin Hood giving out stolen loot to the poor, while one of his merry men (thugs) knocking them out cold as they try to leave. Robin asks, “Was that really necessary?”; and gets the same Sarah response, “yes it is.” Very funny.

    • Rick Holy says:

      dave, I agree with you COMPLETELY. That really was OBSCURE! I would judge by the lack of replies that no one knows what you’re talking about (including me).

      Now I do remember, “Robin Hood, Men in Tights” (which I think was a Mel Brooks flick), but Time Bandits (although it sounds vaguely familiar) escapes me entirely.

      Nice try, though.

    • Dave says:

      I totally got that…except she didn’t have the right accent…here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=167IhlXnN2Y

  35. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Tic Tac (3.10) | Chuck This

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