Fish or Cut Bait

That’s What Time It Is

At least, according to the NBC promo I just saw (which was every bit as riveting as Ernie said it would be…)

Let this be your early speculation and first impression thread! And I hope you enjoy the show.

– 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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273 Responses to Fish or Cut Bait

  1. kg says:

    LOL Joe. My late father wasn’t nearly as eloquent, but I believe his expression conveyed the same sentiments.

    “Shit, or get off the throne.”

    • joe says:

      Yeah. My folks still say approximately the same thing 😉

      Some expressions are so useful they’ll just never fall out of favor.

  2. kg says:

    It’s about an hour and 15 minutes for you folks on the east coast. Enjoy the show and enjoy those foot longs. I’m envious. Have to wait an additional three hours.

    Damn, I’m still frustated. I live in Vegas, but unfortunately found out that Yvonne was a guest celebrity at a club in the MGM Grand on Saturday night. I was out all day and evening and thus missed the notification post by Mel on Chucktv.net.

    We’ve had a couple of good episodes in a row, let’s hope for the hat trick.

    • amyabn says:

      I’m visiting the west coast as well, kg, so 4 more hours to go for me! ARgh!

    • Faith says:

      It’s a good and bad thing IMO. I’m able to guard myself against the Masks of the world and I’m antsy in my little world against Colonel, et al 🙂

  3. joe says:

    Oooohhhh! The MGM Grand! My stepson used to work security there. I saw Carrot Top there a few years back.

    Can I trade both for the sight of Yvonne?

    Oh wait! That came out wrong…

  4. Ernie Davis says:

    Well, it happened. Apparently I don’t care. I got distracted, missed 8PM, and now I don’t really care. I’ll catch it on iTunes later. So it’ll be all my fault when the show fails. But tonight, I’m watching Wonderfalls.

    I’m sure it was an epic game changer.

    • Emily says:

      The episode started good, but left me dissatisfied. I think I shall join you.
      By the way, thanks for the tip. Wonderfalls IS great. And much more satisfying than Chuck at the moment. 🙂

      • JLR says:

        Wonderfalls is awesome… Another casualty of Fox. I’ll never forgive that network for what happened w/ Firefly. I know there were other forces in play, but Fox surely didn’t help matters.

  5. weaselone says:

    Casey is awesome. Chuck’s not so bad himself. Sarah is an idiot.

    • Lucian says:

      I didn’t think I could like Sarah less. I was wrong. She and Shaw really are a cute couple. I sure hope Chuck hasn’t thrown away Hannah’s number.

    • Mike B says:

      I agree she can kill five bad guys a week but because she thinks Chuck killed someone who stab him and then pulled a gun she doesn’t love him any more. Especially after she basically told him the only way they could be together is if he was a spy!

      This story is becoming so lame and frustrating. It looks like this is going to drag out until the end. But hey lets all rally and fight for our show, unfortunately my show ened at Colonel.

      • weaselone says:

        I’d been trying to stay away from actually spoiling the episode, but I can’t help but either take Sarah’s comment as her telling a lie to herself, or being something that has existed far longer than just the last few minutes of this episode. You don’t turn off love like a switch.

      • Mike B says:

        You do on the Gossip Girl , er I mean Chuck.

      • Faith says:

        I don’t have a problem with spoilers personally. It clouds my judgement some but not to the point where it sways it completely.

    • kg says:

      Weaselone summed it up in one succinct sentence. Believe it or not, she was at her worst when she said at the beginning, “Well Chuck, I guess you’ll get everything you’ve always wanted.”

    • Emily says:

      Well put weaselone.

  6. sniderman says:

    No spoilers, but suffice to say that someone on this very blog actually posted the exact sequence of events that played out in tonight’s episode. We even jokingly predicted some of the dialogue. (I say “jokingly” because none of us thought they’d stoop to cliches.)

    Being able to predict the plot down to the scene is not a good thing, as I see it.

    • Faith says:

      Is it me 😉

      Anyways I don’t think I’m looking forward to it anymore.

    • weaselone says:

      To be fair, we went through a nearly endless stream of scenarios for a scene that had a limited number of possibilities. Someone was bound to hit the mark.

      Although Sarah’s reaction was nauseating. It’s not as though Chuck’s target met his end in cold blood.

  7. BigCheese says:

    I’m busy with another show (Stargate Atlantis).

    Anyway, what happened?

    • Rick Holy says:

      I’ve never watched Stargate Atlantis, but with that being said, I think you made the better choice for your Monday night viewing.

    • BigCheese says:

      Yeah, I am reading what happened.

      I also had never seen SGA, I think I found a PLI for the show 😉

      Next: Battlestar Galactica.

    • Zsjaer says:

      Ah a Stargate fan..What do you think about the new series SGU? It was a big disappointment one of the biggest but then season 3 of Chuck started 🙂

  8. herder says:

    So, what are the chances that the woman Sarah killed was Eve Shaw? The 3.13 synopsis speaks of the Ring agent behind her death, it could be that a Ring agent put false information in the system resulting in the red test for Sarah to kill Eve. Other than that a pretty intense episode, and they are determined to drag this WTWT thing to the very end.

  9. BeCoolBoy says:

    Not a single original thought in the show. Not ONE. It’s really, really, really sad to think the product placement was the most clever part of the show.

    I mean, I’m now with AngelTwo. I call jump the shark. I just wish I’d seen it sooner.

    Oh, by the way, of course Sarah is lying to herself. It’s the last thing about Sarah from Season 2 they’ve left her with.

    • AngelTwo says:

      I take no joy in being first. But, man, this show is impossible now.

    • HenryH says:

      BeCool, you’re right. I was howling at how well they worked in the Subway. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that we got a glimpse of the Orange Orange again and Sarah working it.

      Other than that, I think the episode, in a word, was EPIC. Unfortunately, the other word is FAIL.

  10. atcdave says:

    OK, overall I think a very weak episode. Very high on angst and manufactured drama; not much we could call fun or heartwarming. They apparently thought we were all kidding about how cheezy and manipulative the Mauser shooting was, because they just replayed it from the opposite perspective. There was some interesting stuff I’m sure will develop later; but on its own merits, It’s another episode I’ll probably never watch again. Bummer, because I was hoping things would start to turn around in this one. They really are going to wait all the way to the end before things get any better.
    My lovely wife and resident casual viewer says, “the people who already stopped watching are the smart ones.” She followed it up with something to the effect of “you said it was supposed to getter better, I don’t believe it.”
    That’s why we’re loosing viewers.
    TPTB seriously owe their fans and supporters an apology.

    • Jason says:

      i’m trying not to have a comment until tuesday or wednesday, but yea, evidently I this type of tv is not my type, season 1 and 2 sure suited my eye, sarah’s actirons, geez, what a waste of acting talent and zach / yvonne chemistry

  11. sniderman says:

    Ok, one spoiler. Made me laugh out loud:

    I’M
    GOING
    TO KILL
    YOU!!!

  12. Lucian says:

    Here’s a big spoiler for any one who hasn’t seen it – there is an epic misunderstanding between Chuck and Sarah regarding what goes on!

    • weaselone says:

      At this point the existence of the misunderstanding is irrelevant. Let’s take Sarah’s statement at face value. She doesn’t love Chuck any longer because he’s turning into a spy and killed a rogue agent. She’s falling into the arms of a spy and known killer, a man who manipulated her into tempting Chuck to kill and who has been driving his transformation into a spy. WTF?

      • JC says:

        That’s that I’ve been saying she runs to the guy who’s sole purpose is turn Chuck into what she hates.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree entirely weaselone. The only thing epic this season is bad writing. How does Sarah come out of this situation and turn to Shaw? Mind numbing stupidity. And yet another dig at fans, Sarah discussing her first kill with Shaw. This is a good week for me to step back from the discussion a little bit. I just don’t like these characters anymore.

      • SWnerd says:

        I am hereby renaming the majority of this season’s episodes as Chuck vs. WTF because that seems to be the prevalent reaction to a lot of the decisions.

      • weaselone says:

        Come on atcdave, I think Chuck has gone a long way towards being a sympathetic character again. I just want to shake him and tell him to wake up, the girl is toxic. Is that a Brittany Spears song I hear playing in the background…to think I always thought it was a reference to the poison, but it actually referred to Sarah the entire time.

      • atcdave says:

        You are right Chuck isn’t quite so bad. But I’m not nuts about the cocky, strutting, so cool demeaner he tries to put on. Maybe the failed/passed test will cure him of it. But I see Chuck and Sarah both as severely flawed right now; not to deny its “realism”; but I think I’ve established I watch this show for fun, which currently leaves me questioning why I watch at all.

      • Mike B says:

        What are the odds that Chuck gets shot down again next week when he tells Sarah he loves her…2 to 1?

      • weaselone says:

        I’ve just been viewing Chuck’s demeanor as a light comedic attempt, much like his lack of finesse in certain situations on missions.

      • Mike B says:

        I’m beginning to watch just to see what ridiculous road they are going to take. It’s actually becoming quite funny how TPTB are so out of touch with their fan base that or just so arrogant. Based on the CF interview today I would have to say it’s arrogance.

      • Chris says:

        WTF is what I was thinking about that whole ending too. Not only with C/S situation but also with Shaw. I thought once Shaw insisted that Sarah be the one to give Chuck a kill mission then that would be a “deal breaker” for her, or something she could not forgive him for, and be a good excuse to put an end to that relationship. I hoped at least.

        Nope, I forgot that we really need to drag this angst out and push it far beyond what I think is tolerable. Sham must last until the end. It is fun right? Who cares if it makes Sarah look flakey and has damaged her character in some fans minds.

        This is the story that must be told and I would not change a thing either JS. Imaginary high five to TPTB. 😉

        So when exactly does the “promised” Chuck and Sarah stuff get better? We still want Chuck and Sarah together, right? I forget.

      • kg says:

        Yeah, can’t wait for Old Darth to spin it.

    • Jason says:

      as I said, her love is 100% bogus, totally conditional, not love at all

      • kg says:

        Mike B you have it wrong. It is such a certainty that the house would only offer it as say a 1-5 lay.

        You’d have to bet 500 merely to win 100 that Sarah doesn’t shoot him down again.

      • JC says:

        I really hope she doesn’t say anything after he tells her.

        Then when he saves Shaw he tells her that he’s glad she’s finally happy and leaves for Rome. Bring on the angst.

      • JLR says:

        Shippers should be very glad that I am not a new writer on Chuck, brought in right now to help finish the C/S story. I’d complete the job TPTB have started WRT that ‘ship, and finish it off as a good ol’, tear-jerking tragedy. I’ve felt this way for a long time (since during S2, in fact), but tonight cemented for me that there is no believable way for C/S to wind up together & make me cheer for it.

  13. JC says:

    So am I supposed to feel bad for Sarah? Is that what the writers were going for?

    • Faith says:

      no actually I think you’re supposed to hate her. We all are…it’s to illustrate how F’d up she is at current state.

      • weaselone says:

        I don’t hate her, but I’m at the point where if Chuck were actually real I’d be trying to stage an intervention. Also, Casey’s wrong. At this point Sarah Walker is not a good woman.

      • JC says:

        So I have to wonder why is Chuck trying to get her back? He should be running to Lou’s or finding Jill.

        And from the promo I seriously hope he drops Shaw at her feet and walks away.

      • Lucian says:

        So if we really aren’t supposed to like Sarah, why would we be particularly happy when and if she and Chuck do ever find a way to be together?

        Or, maybe when TPTB talked about “resolving” their relationship, what they meant was making us dislike Sarah enough so that any kind of positive relationship really didn’t matter? If that is their game plan, they are doing a bang-up job. I didn’t think they were dumb enough to go down the path they are going down. I really thought they wanted a fourth season.

      • atcdave says:

        Just for the record, I do like and believe in redemption stories. But the painful thing is, Chuck and Sarah were beautiful characters in the first two seasons, so far this season, they’re anything but; so um, that’s not really a redemption story. And while I look forward to watching them come out of it, I do not appreciate this particular “journey.”

        I guess I’m saying, I will continue to watch, and I’ll be happy when we get past this junk; but I see no scenario where I will ever like this season.

      • Faith says:

        Lucian, because sooner or later she’ll arise from this fall from grace. They’re totally F’ing up the dramatic effect but that is what it is…they’re illustrating the fall and the rise and hopefully the rise will be make up for this crappy fall.

      • herder says:

        Oh, if I had to guess, I’d say that in3.12 she shoots him down when he says he loves her. She goes to Shaw after Chuck saves him then at the end Casey explains that he was the one who fired the gun in the red test and Sarah has her epiphany, that Chuck is the same guy that she fell in love with and she hasn’t been seeing it.

        So 3.13 starts with her persuing Chuck for a change. She is the one who has to talk and to explain herself, this is supposed to be the redemption of her character. Of course she manages to do all this without mentioning that she loves him so that there is something to be angsty about in the back six.

      • Mike B says:

        Atcdave the problem is I have no reason to believe the final destination will be a happy place. TPTB have rubbed our noses in it all season long. Why should we expect them to give the fans what they want now.

        They have only two episodes left to clean up a big mess, which they said they would clean up back in the second episode.

        Also if they do wind up in a better place will anyone care or more importantly will anyone be watching.

      • Rick Holy says:

        herder – I think you’re right on the money. It will be Casey who will again “save the day,” this time by giving Sarah the “big reveal” that is was HE and not Chuck that killed the guy.

        Truthfully, Casey has been the best part of this crappy season – by leaps and bounds. At least TPTB and the writers haven’t screwed him up (yet).

      • Ryan says:

        JC, I’m not going to lie, after imagining chuck walking up to Sarah and dropping Shaw at her feet and then walking away, I almost peed laughing, if JS/CF actually did that, they would almost be redeemed, for me at least.

  14. herder says:

    Well, I guess that I’m in the minority here, I liked the episode. It was exciting and moved the story forward. I’m not going to defend the continued LI or the continued battering of the Sarah character, mainly because I had expected it and discounted it before it ran. The episode on it’s own was pretty good, interesting things happening with Casey, Chuck manning up and Shaw is still a douche.

    I will say that I think that this is pretty shabby treatment of the fans by JS and CF, if the fans had known ahead of time that this is what they had planned for season 3, the renewal campaign would have been much less effective and I don’t expect to see anything like it this time around. A shame really.

    • weaselone says:

      Actually, I like the episode overall as well. That’s why my first short statement was complementary of Casey and Chuck. The fight scenes were entertaining and Casey’s Buy More scenes were hilarious. Also the further C&C bonding was nice to see.

      I actually “liked” Shaw in this episodes. Not the warm, fuzzy type of emotion, but I thought his character was relevant, effective and well done here.

  15. Fake Empire says:

    Keeping my post very brief because I am too disgusted:

    1. Chuck deserves a better woman.
    2. The fans deserve a better show.

    • Faith says:

      😦 FE.

      30 more minutes for me.

      • Fake Empire says:

        The positive for you in staying connected to this blog while viewing the epi is that the “conditional love” blow will be softened for you. At least that will help.

      • Faith says:

        Most definitely. Thankful for this blog everyday.

    • Rick Holy says:

      FE. You left out #3. And I know it may be “unthinkable” for me to even say it, but at this point here goes:
      3. The show (as it stands) deserves the axe!

      Thanks PTB for taking the gift that was given you – a third season – and taking a big dump on it.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Yes, Father Rick, I find it increasingly more difficult to root for the show. It’s been a while since I referred anyone to it. I’m holding out hope, but man, I hope not to be disappointed more along the way.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, I no longer recommend it. I’m not proud to be associated with it. I will miss the show and this community, but I don’t look forward to what they will do with an S4.

    • Faith says:

      FE, speaking of psychology. Sarah NEEDS therapy. Stat.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Yeah, she does. Her attachment wounds are so profound she has an avoidant bonding style. There are also shades of anxious attachment too: “I don’t want to be with you. Wait. Wait – I do want to be with you” – a yo-yo’ing of the one she loves. Sadly, both she and Chuck suffer because of her attachment wounds. And the ‘shippers too – I could probably use a session or two myself after all of this angst. 😉

      • Fake Empire says:

        Correction Faith: I’m sorry, I accidentally referenced the “yo-yo’ing” attachment style as the “anxious” type. It’s the “ambivalent” type.

      • amyabn says:

        Maybe Doc Brown is coming to town to help both of our leads. Lord knows they both need the help!

  16. joe says:

    I’m even more in the minority then, Herder!

    Perhaps you folks will all think I’ve gone ’round the bend. But I was blown away.

    Seriously. I found Final Exam to be better than Tic Tack and at least equal to Colonel. I want to re-watch and write at length about this soon, perhaps by tomorrow. Until then, I was overwhelmed by the Sarah reliving her loss of innocence. Despite what she said, it’s not Chuck she’s fallen out of love with.

    • weaselone says:

      You have to give us more than you like the 20 second flashback she shares with Shaw to tide us over.

      • HenryH says:

        Actually, weaselone, that was the only other thing besides how hilariously they played the Subway placement that I liked. At least NOW we know Sarah is projecting guilt on Chuck.

        And, by the way, TPTB weren’t even clever enough to have SOME character mention Kobyashi Maru. It would have been GREAT coming out of Casey’s mouth. He looks like a closet Trekker to me. Roots for the Klingons, you know…

      • weaselone says:

        Hmmm…I could definitely see Casey as a Klingon fan. How else did the Bat’leth find it’s way into the Castle dojo?

    • Mike B says:

      Joe,

      Don’t get me wrong there were alot of aspects about this episode that I liked. It just gets over shadowed by the fabricated angst for angst sake. I feel like I’m watching Knots Landing.

    • IHateInsurgents says:

      Again, I’m with you this week Joe. I thought this was an excellent episode. Had everything we love, drama, action, hilarity, call backs for the die hard fans, and really good plot movement. You can tell this was intended to be the 11th episode of a 13 episode run.

    • OldDarth says:

      Me too Joe. Another great episode. Put it behind 3.09 & 3.10 but another strong outing.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Well, there it is. The official seal that PROVES this episode was a disaster. And it only, took, what, two hours… (Sorry, Joe, I respect YOUR opinion, even if I disagree.)

      • weaselone says:

        Looking forward to your review OD.

    • John says:

      It was about as believable that she has fallen out of love with Chuck as it was that she and Chuck could just be friends earlier on.

      Sarah is frighteningly un-self aware.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I know we’ve talked this lingo before – repeatidly – but your brief and insightful comment leads me to use the same language again. So, I guess that makes me like some of the writers of Chuck, using the same kind of “stuff” over and over again – so it must be O.K., then, right?

        So here goes: To be a fan of this show, you have to suspend disbelief that a guy could get a “computer” downloaded into his brain. It’s rather sad, however, that instead of that being the only “hump” you have to get over to really get into the show, it turns out that you have to “suspend disbelief” about more and more things the more episodes that air.

        You’ve all stated it so clearly and much more eloquently than I. You have to suspend disbelief about EVERYTHING Sarah, because it’s just become absolutely ridiculous. And it’s damn pathetic because as much as the show is centered around Chuck, Sarah’s story was almost, if not just as, interesting and appealing as Chuck’s.

        Well, here goes, folks. I hate to really spoil things for you, but I no longer have any choice. Sarah is going to wind up in the arms of “Big Mike.” Remember, she has a “daddy complex” because of the screwed up way her own father raised her – so in Big Mike she’s going to get the “daddy” she never had and a decent man to boot.

        Why the heck NOT? All it takes is a smidgen more “suspension of disbelief!”

      • weaselone says:

        I think that would have been a more viable way to play the season. Big Mike hooking up with Blondie, making inappropriate comments to Chuck about her ummm… preferences.

      • atcdave says:

        And he’s a more appealing character than Shaw.

  17. JC says:

    Just random speculation but there’s going to be a jump in time between episodes 12 & 13. A couple weeks at least or maybe even months.

  18. Rick Holy says:

    O.K. I might as well chime in. Please believe me, I WANT to be excited about what I’m seeing. I WANT to be able to say, “That was a great episode – that was some great writing – I REALLY LIKED the character development that came to the fore in this episode.” I WANT to, but I can’t. Otherwise I’d be lying through my teeth.

    They have so royally – excuse my “French” here, folks, but I have to use some strong language – “dicked up” the character of Sarah here that it’s reached the point of pitiful.

    To paraphrase: “I don’t love Chuck anymore because he did something that obviously he didn’t want to do, that pained him to do, but that he thought – based on what I told him – was the only way that the two of us could be together. Oh, and by the way, I understand how he felt because I had to do the same thing and I hated what it did to me. So what I’m going to do is turn to the guy who has no problem killing anybody!”

    This is getting pathetic. I’m still watching, because I’m pretty sure how it’s going to wind up, but then again, as illogical as some of this stuff has been, I guess I shouldn’t assume anything.

    Sarah used to be the most interesting aspect of the show character-wise. Now TPTB are just letting her contradict herself and twist and turn in the wind (whichever direction it happens to be blowing that day). I’ve said it before about other things regarding CHUCK this season, and I’ll say it again about what they’ve done to Sarah. It’s a shame. It’s a d**n shame.

    I’m beginning to think that the “budget cuts” that were supposed to have been necessary to make this season even possible were all in the area of creative thinking (story and character development) and in episode writing – because they’ve all taken a major nose dive.

    Again, like usual, I “Facebooked” people to watch this episode. What the heck was I thinking??!!??

    • BigCheese says:

      I thought I could watch 310/311 together (yeah I haven’t seen yet), but I think it’s not a good idea…

      Honestly, I have no reason to watch anymore, it’s GG 😉

  19. herder says:

    I guess that a part of the reason that I am able to enjoy this episode is that over the past few weeks I have come to the conclusion that I don’t much care anymore if Chuck and Sarah get together, I just want the Shaw arc to end. DR in his blog said that we would fall in love with Chuck and Sarah again over these past two episodes, didn’t happen for me.

    The irony, at least to me is that the whole season is geared towards getting them together at the end, but along the way it has become less relevant. I still would prefer them to be a couple, not for anything that has happened this year, but for what the show was in the first two years. TPTB have gradually, and in some cases by sudden lurches reduced my emotional investment in what is supposed to be the heart of the show.

    So, by some sort of schitzophrenic(sp) way, I can enjoy the show by caring less about what they themselves call the heart of the show. Good plan.

    • weaselone says:

      Well, he was partially right for me. I certainly reconnected with the Chuck character over the last three episodes. The Sarah character, not so much.

    • SWnerd says:

      That’s pretty much why I, for the most part, was ok with the episode as well. I’ve just become desensitized to the whole relationship. There is still that small hopeless romantic part that cringes at all the angst crap, but my cynical side just shrugs. I actually had to laugh because my roommates that I watch the show with showed more disgust with the episode and they used to make fun of me for being angry.

      • Jason says:

        yea – as long as you don’t care about the show’s major plot, the show is great, nice

      • atcdave says:

        OK, I will agree with most of this. Chuck bottomed out in 3.08, where he really came a cross as a pathetic jerk. He has mostly pulled himself up out of the mire. I guess, we can expect the same for Sarah. Perhaps she will recognize the no win standards she’s been holding Chuck to, perhaps she’ss recognize that she is the only person who can help him deal with some of his issues in his new profession. It will be wonderful if that plays out well. But it still will never make me like most of this season.

      • SWnerd says:

        Hey I’m just saying that’s where I’m at. That’s where TPTB have put me. As irrational as it may be, I can’t walk away, but I definitely have a much different outlook on the show. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact.

      • John says:

        You said it Dave.

        They have Chuck back to being the guy we like. I really liked him in this episode and Casey is just as great as I hoped he would be as a civilian.

        Sarah is still…well when she is with Chuck it is still sorta like the first two years. They get her turned around and I will be fully back on board. They have two more episodes to get this thing rolling for a big six episode finish.

        Here is hoping.

  20. The Shrink says:

    I really liked the episode. Maybe I am just indifferent to all the angst or maybe John Walker “black” made everything alright. But how many times must they use the phone interupting stunt.

  21. Rick Holy says:

    Hope I’m wrong, I really do, but especially with the return of DWTS this evening, I’m predicting a 1.8 demo rating for CHUCK. A continuation of the decline. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

    Like so many of you have stated, this MIGHT (and with TPTB it’s certainly not a given) turn out “O.K.” in the end – it’s fairly predictable and contrived writing – but by the time we get there, it’s likely there’ll be hardly anybody left who even gives a you know what.

  22. lou federico says:

    If you have not checked out spoiler TV they have some good stuff especially Josh trying to crack up the Save Chuck campaign. Maybe if you didn’t screw the pooch this season Josh we would have to keep saving you ass. I with padre rick. save it yourself with better writting Jerkwad. I did like this episode. But how can you recover the Chuck and Sarah relationship? You can’t

    • atcdave says:

      I’d say the characters and relationship can be redeemed; but season 3 cannot. Even they bring us around to a “better” spot, the depressing season and deservedly diminishing ratings remain.
      Those of us who stick it out may love and root for Chuck and Sarah again, but we won’t be enough to get a season 4 (yes, that’s me trying to sound upbeat!)

    • Faith says:

      I hope you haven’t read the TV GUide interview with CF Lou!

  23. JC says:

    If you watch the promo for 3.12 and Sarah’s flashback, they basically give away Sarah killed Eve or at least thinks she did.

  24. Blake says:

    I have to agree with everything being said here. I am not sure why the writers thought it would be great to kill the Sarah character. As several have already discussed none her reactions to Chuck having his first kill made any sense. She goes running to Shaw when it was him who forced Chuck into this situation. Also if she is still dealing with the guilt from her first kill, from her perspective (Chuck killed him)how does she think Chuck feels? Wouldn’t she have wanted someone back then to talk and help deal with huge emotional toll of killing someone. I know Chuck is full of plot holes but wouldn’t they have a “cleaner” examine the scene and clean up the scene and discover that the guy had pulled out his gun and was ready to shoot Chuck? Who knows as far as her character this season is concerned maybe she wanted Chuck to be shot.

    • herder says:

      Except that Chuck doesn’t have great emotional toil after killing someone because he didn’t. If Sarah goes to him she will realize that, they want her to find out in a more dramatically satisfying way (sarcasm intended). Having said that it is still a pretty poor way to treat a friend, but it isn’t the first time she has done that this season.

      • Blake says:

        Sorry if I didn’t make it clear that I know Chuck didn’t kill him. I was just saying from Sarah’s view he did. Your right though if any of these characters actually acted like people we wouldn’t get to enjoy the wonderful season that TPTB have generously given to us.

      • weaselone says:

        Actually, she might not have if he kept mum to protect Casey. In that case he would have come off callous for not being upset about the kill and Sarah could conceivably have a legitimate reason for fleeing to Washington to get herself sorted out.

      • JC says:

        Actually I’ll defend Sarah on that point. I think she hates herself for manipulating him and allowing herself to do it. And I think she might believe Chuck hates her for what she did.

      • weaselone says:

        Except that Chuck’s repeated attempts at contacting her following the mission would seem to indicate that he doesn’t hate her. He wants to talk with her and she’s refusing to answer.

      • JC says:

        I didn’t say it was a good defense. 🙂

        But I’m sure it’ll be combo of that and not wanting to see the “monster” she created. And Sarah being stupid.

    • DaveB says:

      Yeah, one of the odd things about Sarah’s reaction is that she didn’t help Chuck deal with the emotional recoil of killing someone. But that is thinking from our reality of psychological counseling for police who are forced to kill someone. This is fantasy, and TPTB can do whatever they want, including leaving Chuck in the assumed “pit of despair”.

      Actually, if Sarah spent some time with Chuck she would probably be further repulsed by how callous he was to his first kill.

      Casey knew that the test wasn’t over by the reaction that Chuck had to “passing with flying colors”, it’s why he showed up at the rail yard to finish what he knew Chuck couldn’t.

      In many ways, Casey knows Chuck better, and at a deeper level, than Sarah does.

  25. Faith says:

    I don’t hate it.

    • herder says:

      Shouldn’t we aspire to something more than not hateing an episode?

      • Faith says:

        You’d think right? But no…it’s become that bleak lol.

        Honestly there were some really good things about the epi. But they’re all clouded by my overwhelming feeling of bleakness. Hence all I can say is: I don’t hate it.

      • atcdave says:

        Actually Faith, that’s pretty well put. There was some very good stuff, especially early on with Chuck trying to reconnect with Sarah, and Big Mike trying to help Casey. But the mood was so bleak, and the ending felt utterly hopeless. This show used to be fun.

      • Mike B says:

        There is just so many misunderstandings and interrupted conversations you can take. It is inconceivable how TPTB think that they can keep wheeling out these tired ploys and the fans will just say “Thank you sir can I have another”.

  26. Merve says:

    Good bits:
    – The very tense opening.
    – The fight scene in the steam room.
    – Chuck and Sarah scenes were mainly good, but they had a little bit of weird dialogue.
    – The self-destructing DVD players.
    – Casey and Big Mike need to interact more. They make a fun pair.
    – I actually liked Shaw in this episode. I’m glad to see that the Shaw from “Mask” and “Fake Name” has not made a reappearance. This Shaw is much more interesting, even when he doesn’t have much to do.
    – Sarah’s flashback to her red test.
    – Did anyone else notice that the Chekhov’s Gun of this episode was an actual gun, i.e. the one that Chuck gave Casey? Brilliant writing or silly coincidence?

    Bad bits:
    – I usually find Jeff and Lester hilarious, but they were a bit annoying in this episode.
    – The Subway scene was just really awkward.
    – The slow-motion bathroom fight scene was really poorly directed and edited. The slow motion was at too low a frame rate and it made everything look really choppy.
    – Sarah continues to be an emotional basket case. I still feel that it’s in character for her, but it’s not a place that I enjoy seeing her character taken.

    Other thoughts:
    – I thought that the show wouldn’t get darker than “Nacho Sampler.” I was proven wrong with “Tic Tac.” Then I thought that the show wouldn’t get darker than “Tic Tac.” I was proven wrong with this episode. I don’t think that it’ll get any darker, but I look forward to being proven wrong again next week, when Chuck finds out that his mother was eaten by Eve Shaw, and that Eve was actually a cannibal who passed away because of a prion disease she obtained from eating raw human flesh.
    – Having Casey shoot the mole opens up a whole bunch of issues, only some of which were addressed. The main problem I had with Casey shooting the mole is that we have no clue whether Chuck would have killed the mole or not if Casey hadn’t made the shot. I get that it’s left up in the air so that the writers can go either way with it later, but it’s aggravating for the audience because they don’t know if Chuck has really “changed” or not.

    Overall:
    Not the worst of the season, but far from the best. I think that this episode falls more on the “like” side of the spectrum than the “dislike” side, but that’s coming from someone who has enjoyed almost all of season 3. I think that I’ll need to rewatch it to get a better idea of how I really feel about it.

    • Emily says:

      You should write for Chuck! I’d much rather watch a hilarious soapie than one that makes me cringe. And I think the show would take a much more interesting route with the cannibal scenario 😉
      My thoughts? Loved the first half, disliked the second. Casey shooting the mole was way too predictable. Saw that one coming a mile away. I think it should have been Sarah.
      Sarah frustrates me. She has the entire season. Double standards much?

      • Merve says:

        I know that I was being facetious, but I really don’t mind the show taking a darker direction. I’m more worried about how everyone else is reacting to it, especially those who haven’t been a fan of the darker tone this season. The tone of the show has changed. Chuck is no longer a lighthearted action comedy. Chuck is now a dark, complex spy dramedy, full of moral dilemmas and characters who don’t always do the right thing. I’d argue that that’s what the show has been since “Lethal Weapon,” or at the very least, that “Lethal Weapon” started the transition to a darker show. I don’t think that the show will ever be lighthearted again. We’re probably never going to get another “Tango” or “Tom Sawyer.” The show can’t go back; it wouldn’t make sense.

        I have no problem with this darker direction. But I think that even when the current Chuck/Sarah angst arc is over and they’re together for real, the show will still be dark. Casey might still be out of a real job and he will have to confront his past. Chuck and Sarah will still have tough, morally complex decisions to make. Chuck will eventually have to kill someone. Ellie and Devon might have marital problems. Chuck’s family is still in danger. Ellie and Chuck’s past will be illuminated and we’ll learn more about Stephen. Devon and Morgan will become more aware of the stakes involved in the spy world.

        My point is that I fear that people who don’t like the show’s current darker direction won’t like the back six, and if the show gets a 4th season, they won’t like the direction it takes either. The Chuck/Sarah relationship likely won’t end up all sunshine and roses; I’m pretty sure that while they’ll be together for good, they’ll still face issues. But even if it does, the show is going to get darker. It’s almost inevitable.

      • Jason says:

        right on merve – I think that is what to expect, I think most would be willing to give it a chance

      • atcdave says:

        I’m not so sure Merve, we had lighter mostly fun episodes just earlier this season (Angel of Death and Operation Awesome). I think there’s always been a certain level of darkness, right from the Pilot we had Chuck trying not to freak out as he’s faced with his new future. Some of that is endemic to the format, and that sort of “realism” adds to the excitement. But yeah, the basic appeal for many of us is the humanity and decencey of the main characters. Not to say they can’t have problems, but when the main characters become less respectable and likeable, it does get much harder for some of us to get excited about the show. Obviously, I’m not a casual viewer, but I do relate to those who are calling it quits.

      • Merve says:

        Actually, Dave, I don’t totally disagree with you. I was a bit unclear with my earlier comment. One of my points was that even if Chuck and Sarah get together, they’ll still be forced to do immoral things as spies. They probably won’t be “likable” characters anymore.

        In fact, though I have very little evidence to support this, I’d bet that the back six will piss fans off even more than the original 13.

      • John says:

        Wow Merve that is probably the most negative thing I ever heard said on these boards. That is really saying something.

        I fundamentally disagree with your premise. I think most fans will accept Chuck and Sarah doing a few sketchy things in the line of duty. Them being miserable and unfun and self-loathing just brings us down though.

      • atcdave says:

        I really hope you’re wrong about that Merve. Government agents should be about protecting the safety and interests of the nation. They may have to do hard or ugly things on occasion, but in the end they ought to be seen as heroes. Sarah has given Chuck several variations on the hero and duty talks; hopefully, that will be their theme going forward.

      • Merve says:

        John, I don’t see the two things as mutually exclusive. Heroes can be miserable and self-loathing. Just look at Sarah. Chuck and Sarah can have a rock-solid relationship and still face pressures from the outside world that make them feel horrible. (Why else would Chuck need to see a shrink?)

        In any case, in a few weeks, we’ll be able to see whether the negative fan reaction was actually about the romantic angst or whether it was about the darker tone of the show. (I’d wager it’s about 50-50 split.)

    • DaveB says:

      I think that Chuck has not fundamentally changed. As Casey so adroitly confirmed: “You’re not a killer, Chuck.” The reality, of course, is that the first time he comes up against a killer on his own, he’s going to die. As the writer’s have so often shown, though, this is not about reality.

      The tension breaker in the next couple of episodes is how Sarah finds out that Chuck didn’t kill Perry.

      • JC says:

        Well from the promo it looks like Chuck locks Sarah in Castle to protect her. And somehow she gets out, seems like it’ll be Casey. And I’m sure once he finds out what Chuck is doing he’ll tell her.

  27. JC says:

    So I watched the episode again. Its the second best episode of the season but I still like Tic Tac more.

    Casey is the ultimate big brother or crazy uncle. He seriously loves Chuck, he’ll never admit it but he does. Great scenes with him and Buymore guys. One thing didn’t make sense though. I assume when he said about it being over he was talking about Sarah. Why the 180 again.

    The spy stuff and fighting was damn good, except the bathroom scene. Love the Eastern Promises moment. The Ivan Drago name and Chuck’s reaction was great.

    Hey Shaw has a purpose finally. Only took most of the season to get some of it. I don’t know if how we were supposed to take his reaction to Chuck flashes but it still comes off creepy.

    Sarah.. I’ve been pretty harsh on her but I understand some of it. I really think she hates herself more than anything. But I do think they’ve gone a little far with her. After Shaw told her to make Chuck kill and he was basically using her. I find her opening up to him again a little jarring. That might have been the over the line moment for me with her.

    The relationship talk well Chuck still didn’t tell her how dumb her plan was and that’s the only thing I’m waiting for on that front.

  28. JLR says:

    Like Faith said, I didn’t hate it. I LOL’s at Chuck’s reaction to “Ivan Drago”.

    Dave, you are being very hopeful WRT to C/S… I greatly respect your opinion, but there is zero chance in hell I can ever advocate that ship again. Others have articulated why, and I have done so prior to this episode. Tonight was a kill shot. Shaw: “Are you still in love with him?” Sarah: “No, not anymore.” WTF?

    I opined several episodes ago that were Chuck a friend of mine asking for advice, I’d tell him to kick Sarah to the curb. Tonight cemented that for me. Stick a fork in it shippers, it’s DONE, regardless of the fact they’ll wind up “together” via tortured contrivances…. I stated that concern before the season even started, and that’s what we’re gonna get. There’s no way back (for me & others) from this to actually cheering for C/S..

    Other than the C/S stuff, I enjoyed the episode. Casey has been a pillar of strength for this character-killing season.

    • kg says:

      This reminds me of nurse Wratchet in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. TPTB just keep beating us up until we no longer care about the characters, the romance, the chemistry, them as a couple.

      Until we have nothing left to whine about.

      Then they’ll act all incredulous when the ratings plummet and they’ve killed the entire show.

      Like blaming last week’s poor number on Daylight Savings Time. What will it be later today?

  29. DaveB says:

    This was an interesting episode, in which we knew that Chuck would not kill someone, and of course would not be killed, leaving us with the question of who would pull the trigger. That it would be Casey was not surprising after the shadowing gift of the handgun.

    Sarah’s reaction was not terribly surprising, as her love of Chuck has always been in question in my mind. Even the scene in “Colonel” left me with the question of how much her heart was in the relationship. The gesture she made as Chuck flew for the circular indentation in his wallet has always seemed to me to be “what the hell am I doing?”

    So now Chuck has passed his spy test, but failed Sarah’s, which leads Sarah down a long cold tunnel of self-doubt, and poor Chuck, who has been played for three years by a pro, is left wondering “what the hell am I doing?” He, of course, has no idea that he has failed in Sarah’s eyes, and so is left where he was at the end of his stake-out: “This is not over.” Little does he know.

    So what’s next? We are left, like the followers of “Perils of Pauline” with hero, heroine and ‘shippers alike hanging by their collective fingernails on the edge of an emotional cliff.

    Of course Sarah loves Chuck. She can only deny that so many times. The question will only be resolved when Sarah begins to love herself. Right now her despising Chuck has it’s roots in her feelings about herself. How that will be resolved should be interesting. TPTB have dug themselves quite a hole. How they tunnel out will be the resolution of this season, and the results will no doubt be a springboard into next season.

    Unless of course, the audience gives a collective shrug and turns the channel. The cliffhanger may violate confidence between creator and viewer, but it is also a successful device. The balancing act is that use does not fall into overuse. And when the possible viewing options are broad, it is a delicate balance, indeed.

    • herder says:

      I think part of the problem is that many think that Chuck and Sarah will be together for good at the end of 3.13 and that the relationship will be resolved. Not going to happen.

      My guess is that they are put together after fashion and the back 6 is working out the kinks and making that “after a fashion” permanant. Let’s face it they aren’t going to go from broken to fixed in one episode.

      Shaw/Sarah will be resolved, she will have decided on Chuck, acepting all the uncertainty that that entails. In other words it still won’t be all rainbows and butterflies for Chuck and Sarah.

      • weaselone says:

        Well, it shouldn’t be all rainbows and butterflies.

      • JC says:

        Honestly I think that promo is completely misleading. The only scene that really matters is the one where Chuck says he’s going to rescue Shaw and why.

        The writers have been selling the idea of sacrifice. He saves Shaw even though he thinks he’ll lose Sarah in the process. I don’t think they’ll be any real choice but a wake up for a certain women. But will it be too late?

  30. Fake Empire says:

    I’m thinking that Chuck and Sarah need new nicknames. Charah, CS, C&S, etc. are all great, but I wonder if “Flash and Dash” would also work . . .

  31. Jason says:

    shaw and sarah make a great couple, chuck had his chance and he blew it. I hope sarah did killl eve and that chuck’s mission in 3.13 is to kill sarah, who is the head of the ring, and I hope chuck pulls the trigger and then finds lou for ep 3.14 thru 3.19, that would be so epic – I did not watch 3.11 (didn’t watch 3.10 live either but broke down and watched it later on), have it on tape, might wait until 3.13 then watch the 3 together – seems like many fans like this sort of arc, I do not, no big deal really, there are plenty of chuck fans out there who like the ‘gossipboy’ type shows, i simply do not

  32. Lucian says:

    IMO, one of the biggest mistakes of the season was attempting to have Shaw/Routh play two roles – love interest for Sarah and mentor for Chuck. For all kinds of reasons, it doesn’t work.

  33. herder says:

    Brace yourselves for bad news, the early numbers are in, Chuck got a 3.9/6 share, for comparison, two weeks ago it got 4.5/7. The only hope is that DWTS so increased the number of total viewers that 6% of last night is the equivalent of 7% of two weeks ago.

    • John says:

      not surprised. TBTP succeeded in destroying the show.

    • weaselone says:

      I suspect that might come in to play somewhat. Their definitely should have been more overall viewers given it was no longer the after daylight savings, weather on the east coast was less than favorable, and dancing with the stars premiered. Also, viewers trickled back slowly over time after DST last year. If we get even a 2.0, or 2.1 I think we’ll be on the right track.

    • weaselone says:

      Didn’t it get a 4.0/6 two weeks ago?

  34. John says:

    -Yesterday’s Winners:

    Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS), The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

    -Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

    Chuck (NBC), Life Unexpected (CW), Trauma (NBC), Gossip Girl (CW)

    NBC opened the week on a typically lackluster note with its combination of dramas Chuck (#4: 3.9/ 6), Trauma (#4: series low 2.8/ 4) and granddaddy Law & Order (#3: 4.5/ 8), which did build from the 9:30 p.m. portion of lead-in Trauma (2.7/ 4) by 67 percent. That said, there is every reason to believe Law & Order will continue into season 21. As for Trauma, tick, tock…the cancellation clock is ticking.

    • weaselone says:

      That’s not so bad is it? Didn’t Chuck get a 3.9/6 for the Mask and Nacho Sampler? That could translate into a 2.2-2.5 demo which puts the show back on track.

  35. Rick Holy says:

    TVbytheNumbers just posted CHUCK at 1.9. That’s two weeks in a row. I hate to say it, but get used to it folks.

    When you keep putting a crappy product on the grocery store shelves, people aren’t going to buy it. The same goes for TV shows.

    Let’s face it, the story arc this year is KILLING this show which USED to be able to at least hold it’s own against the same tough competition on Monday nights.

    Demos below 2.0 aren’t going to get you renewed – not even on NBC. Instead you roll the dice on something “new” (especially after you’ve give the someting “old” three seasons and what do you get for it? DECREASING ratings).

    Too bad, really. This show had so much promise.

    • Faith says:

      Fans again say FU. When will they say, “ok fine, for now?” 😦

      Interesting sidenote, I knew that some of my casual friends watch Chuck but they aren’t obsessed like I am. Last night I posted in my FB page, “Chuck is awesome but sad” got several replies most of which is “I don’t like what they’re doing with Chuck and Sarah” and the other is “I didn’t watch it the last 2 epi, but I loved Hannah!” Um. Ok. See we might not be “casual” fans but we’re at the core a microcosm of it.

  36. weaselone says:

    *sighs* It’s too bad because I think we’ll like what we see in the back six and that a fourth season would be similar in feel and tone. But what is a fan to do? We can’t save the show a second time with a fan campaign. It has to survive on its own merits.

    • Jason says:

      one thing might save it, an honest admission that the gamble of shaw, and sarah shaw, and sarah an emotional wreck, the prolonged seemingly and seld admitted by fedak increasing level of closeness between sarah and shaw, the continued stymie of talk between chuck and sarah, the lack of on screen time between chuck and sarah, that it simply did not play to the crowd the way they thought it would, and that things will improved for 3.14 thru 3.19 and that they will not screw it up again. right now I have no confidence at all, that 3.19’s reset will be ‘nice’, ‘accepted’, ‘fun’, I am ok with that, not ok with totally illogical and violating several of the

      • weaselone says:

        How’s that? It’s not going to boost the ratings to a 2.5, it will just lead to a group of smug shippers grinning like Chesire cats as the show goes down in flames.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Well, I would suggest that the decline in ratings NOW are, in fact, once-committed fans that we could reach and get back.

        If…anyone trusted the show runners to NOT repeat this crap again.

      • Jason says:

        only way to get to 2.5 again is to bring the fans back to the show who have quit watching, which an apology ‘might’ do, it is the most effective form of damage control, as whining people are essentially neutralized by it? notice I said ‘might’, once the damage is controlled, there still is a lack of trust, which is trickier to recover from.

      • atcdave says:

        I think a little apology would help, I for one would be far more likely to encourage friends and casual viewers who have strayed from the show, that this is a good time to get back in to it. For now, when people tell me, “I started watching this year, but it was just no fun (I’ve heard at least 3 versions of this)”; there is nothing I can do except agree. I did just have this very discussion with my in-laws yesterday. If I had some assurance TPTB knew they had screwed up, and wouldn’t do it again, I would be far more likely to start pushing for them again.

  37. Rick Holy says:

    “No More Mr. Nice Spy!” How about NO MORE SHOW! Thanks JS/CF for killing it.

    I’m more and more convinced of the position of the posters who said that the show that we loved ended with “Colonel.” I was an addict. I was in denial. I’m not anymore.

    Anyway, we’ll ride out the remainder of this awful, miserable, poorly conceived and even more poorly written season – and then hope Zach, Yvonne, Adam and company can get hooked up with better series in the future. THEY’RE not to blame for this debacle. They deserve better – and so do we.

  38. wdm0744 says:

    I can’t say I was overly pleased with “Final Exam” either, but I certainly don’t want to see Chuck go down for good.

    I’m not suggesting another big push Subway campaign to save the show, but are you guys so seriously ticked off that you:
    a. Don’t believe it will get any better (despite the spoilers)
    b. Are willing to quit watching with the knowledge that your apathy may very well doom the show?

    Once again, I’m not defending the instances of crappy writing throughout Season 3 and I’m not defending the OOC and WTF moments in this episode. What I am doing is defending the show as a whole despite the ill-advised path of this season.

    We love Chuck. We all do or we wouldn’t be here. Are we ready to kill it, guys? Seriously?

    I don’t know what the rest of the season holds, but based on the spoiler buzz I still believe it will get better (maybe that’s naive – I don’t know).

    Bottom line is that I am still optimistic. If we give up now, the show may die on a down note. Shouldn’t we stick around so that it has time and a chance to redeem itself?

    I’ll be sticking around to the end – whenever that may be. And I do acknowledge that the show could pass a point where it is so unlike the one we loved that it is time to say goodbye.

    But I don’t think we’re there yet.

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      I’m okay if this show dies this season because I do not trust the showrunners not to do it all over again if they get a Season 4.

      What’s wrong here is a lack of trust. We don’t trust the showrunners. Why don’t we? Becasue they have proven untrustworthy.

    • John says:

      Even Sepinwall, a huge JS/CF brown noser, admits Subway campaign is not gonna save the show.

      “A fan campaign like last year’s isn’t going to work again. All that matters at this point are two numbers: the ratings the show pulls over the rest of the season, and the license fee Warner Bros. is willing to agree to for a fourth season. All we can do is watch (and encourage anyone we might know with a Nielsen box to watch), wait and hope.”

    • BigCheese says:

      Ozzy Osbourne – Goodbye To Romance

    • Rick Holy says:

      wdm0744 – We may be expressing our displeasure, but the vast majority of us are STILL watching the show – so it’s not “US” that are killing off the show with it’s declining ratings. It’s the “normal TV viewer” who have TRIED to watch and enjoy the show so far this season – decided what they saw wasn’t what they wanted to see – and moved onto something else.

      I don’t trust TPTB and what more carnage they’d inflict on a fourth season. But even with that being said, I’d surely be HAPPY if we got a fourth season – hoping beyond hope that they would actually “get it” this time around instead of screwing it up.

      But the way things are going, it looks less and less like an S4 is a possiblity. And you can’t blame that on the posters here. Blame it on the “American TV Viewing Public” who are tuning out and turning off this show in favor of something else.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Father Rick-
        I disagree. Ernie Davis is out. He missed the show. What more do you need to know.

        I think the ratings decline since Mask has been within the COMMITTED fan base. We can get these fans back.

        But who trusts the showrunners? No one. So it’s their move.

      • Jason says:

        i did not watch 3.10 live, and I have not watched 3.11 at all, I am going to watch 3.11, 12, and 13 all at once, unless 12 ends sham and CS are a couple, then I will watch 13 live. I usually do not watch any tv live, and I ff thru viloence to women or kids and PLI or LI action on any show.

      • Rick Holy says:

        BeCoolBoy. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong. I do. I’m royally p.o’d and what’s transpired this season, but I’m still watching to the bitter end – and that takes some doing with as much “bitter” as there has been to a third season which was SUPPOSED to be BETTER!

        If there’s a turnaround in the numbers, I’ll be shocked – happy, but shocked.

        I like Jason’s idea. Instead of another EW or TV guide column/interview which quotes TPTB as how “game changing” the finale of this season is going to be – how about an admission that based on the EVIDENCE – the decline in numbers – we didn’t exactly handle the show like we should have. Let’s face it, “Apologies,” “Mea Culpas,” “Oops, we messed it up a little” statements make the news and get you free publicity (can anyone say TIGER WOODS) and gets people talking – even if they’re only “TV show apologies.”

        It would be interesting to see – but I won’t be holding my breath.

      • Mike B says:

        I think its safe to say the writers on this blog are/were dedicated fans. After Mask and Fake name how many of them said they were done with the show? True to their word, they have not returned. It’s the once loyal fan base that is leaving due to the angsty crap they keep dishing out week after week. This show should serve as an example of what keeping the two leads, with great chemistry, apart can do to the ratings. There are just to many entertainment options these days for people to put up with a this crap. If Soap Operas were all the rage they would be put on on prime time.

      • wdm0744 says:

        I’m with BeCool on this. I don’t guess we could prove it, but I think it is the committed fans who’ve gotten disgusted and left.

        I don’t know what that says about the show, but I think it is more fixable.

      • herder says:

        If it is the die hard fans who have given up it may be repareable, if it is casual viewers probably not. Die hard fans can be reached because they tend to congregate at sites like this so a message from TPTB can reach them, the general public is too diffuse to reach.

        1.9 demo is not at all good and there is no sense pretending otherwise, the ratings have to go up if the show is to have any chance of renewal. The good news is that both Parks & Recreation and Community dipped down to those numbers but came back and were renewed. I realize the factors that go into renewing a comedy are different than for a 1 hour drama, but the point is that it can be overlooked if the ratings go back up.

        I would be really interested to find out if any tweaking to the scripts were done when they found out that they got an extra six. Particularly did they make things a bit angstier knowing that they could make things happier in the back end of the season.

    • Faith says:

      Honestly and I’ve said it before…I’m willing to save the show regardless of this crap. If for nothing else because it’s still one of the better ones (as is crap) in television. I mean DWTS? Yuck.

      That said, it’s a sad statement in the state of Chuck^

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Father Rick: Apologies are irrelevant. This isn’t YOUR arena, so to speak. The past is, sadly, done. We’d need to hear TPTB promise a stable Chuck-Sarah relationship for season 4 so the angst factor drops. The chance of getting that promise? Zilch. AngelTwo was/is right. These people simply don’t like the fans.

        Faith: Forgive me, I don’t know about your life. But my life is one US TV show (Chuck) and one British show (Ashes to Ashes). If Chuck goes down, I don’t look for another show. I read a book or watch a movie or clean my house. 🙂

      • Rick Holy says:

        I think a “we screwed things up” this season admission WOULD be relevant – because it would IMPLY (at least one would hope) that by making such a statement they’d also be acknowledging that they wouldn’t repeat the same screw up if a fourth season actually came about. That was my point.

        And my other point was, again, saying, “we pooched it,” gets people’s attention – maybe even those die hard fans who HAVE turned the show off – and will maybe help you to get them to turn it back on.

        I see what you’re saying. I do. I just think that what I’M saying would serve as a preface to what you’re saying about plans for a fourth season.

        It’s kind of like the chairman of Toyota. He knew he had to stop the bleeding and do whatever he could to get the “fans” of his cars back. So he came out and said, “WE POOCHED IT, and it won’t happen again, and we’re going to do this and this and this in order to make it right again.”

        So I don’t think it’s necessarily one or the other – what I was talking about in my post or what you were talking about in yours. I think it’s both.

        But again, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for either one. But there’s always the possiblity they could surprise us!

      • Mike B says:

        The only way TPTB will admit to screwing the pooch is if some interviewer will point blank ask the question “Many fans that fought for season 3 have left due to the direction of the show has taken. What would you say to get them back?” Then JS/CF would come back with their lame “you don’t stop reading a book with 2 chapters left”. And the response should be ” you do if the previous 11 chapters sucked” or words to that effect.

      • Jason says:

        I coach kids, I often use the nixon handling of watergate vs the clinton handling of his impeachment to illustrate how to fess up and fight for yourself vs deny and coverup (note, I am a republican, this is no attempt to bash nixon or glorify clinton) – I have several wonderful, somewhat heartwarming stories of young people’s rapid recover in overcoming some pretty severe personal choice failures by getting them to admit the truth and move on – my guess is Father Rick could talk all day about such things

      • Faith says:

        LOL actually I have probably around 5 shows I can’t miss on any given week…there used to be more but I boycotted ABC…anyways the point is, I have no life haha.

  39. Stef62 says:

    Chuck Numbers

    NBC Chuck 1.9/5 5.43

    • John says:

      1.9 again.

      Well we still have 8 episodes to go. Hopefully it will pick up again. It is not like it has to recover by that much to get its 4th season on NBC.

  40. Faith says:

    From JS’s twitter (retwitted by Ali Adler):
    Keep the faith people. Never quit. Never surrender

    • Faith says:

      This is from 13 hours ago (last night?) : what’s the shelf life for “epic fail” as the meanest internet insult available?

    • weaselone says:

      Darn, they would have had me if they’d pulled a Galaxy Quest reference. It should be “never give up, never surrender.”

  41. wdm0744 says:

    I’ll admit, Faith, that twitter from JS and AA isn’t exactly what we want to hear.

    I agree with Father Rick – I think an acknowledgment from TPTB saying that they pooched certain elements of this season would be welcome and could do a lot to get the fans back.

    Still, though, I think we may be overreacting just a smidge here guys.

    We can’t give up now. Not when we’re just in the middle of the season and we have all these spoilers telling us that things will get better.

    I understand your concerns. I share many of them, albeit not to the same degree.

    But I AM NOT willing to give up on Chuck, even if my faith and optimism could get squashed by TPTB in a 4th season.

    Father Rick – you said you would be ecstatic if Chuck got a 4th season, but yet your willingness to give up may very well doom it to die here and now.

    I don’t think we can have it both ways.

    I’m not saying we should support TPTB no matter what and I’m not saying that we should just take everything they give us without question…

    But, things are NOT beyond repair, both in terms of the story and the ratings. If we give up now, all could very well be lost. If we keep watching and keep loving the show and keep telling people about it, we might be disappointed, but things just might turn around.

    I hope I’m getting my point across. I am not discounting the arguments here. I agree – I just don’t agree that it is time to give up. It’s time to be (very) cautiously optimistic and to stick by a show we all adore.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Very nice post. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember everything I’ve posted on this site. I’ve expressed a lot of displeasure, but I don’t think I ever expressed “willingness to give up” on the show. I haven’t missed an episode – I haven’t missed checking out TVBTN on Tuesdays to see how the show did. And I haven’t stopped hoping that “this next episode” things will get better.

      Yes, I HAVE expressed the viewpoint that in my opinion (and apparently that of others) TPTB are killing the show this season with the direction they’ve taken it. There have been some excellent posts in the past weeks on this site by people who have a gift for analyzing the story that’s being told: and where the problems have been apparent.

      I’ve been extremely disappointed this season, yet I’m STILL watching it – even though it’s been kind of like watching the Cubs during those rare seasons when they make the playoffs – only to then go about the business of blowing it.

      That’s what this season feels like. CHUCK “made the playoffs” by getting a season 3 – and let’s just say they’re playing like the Cubs did the last time they made it into the post season (got swept by the Dodgers in 3 straight games).

      But, I’ll be a CUB fan ’til the day I die. I’ll bitch and moan for sure – the Cubs will give you plenty of LEGITIMATE reason for that – but I’ll stick with them. I’ll stick with CHUCK, too. But what I’m saying is that the way things are going, I may not have to stick with it much longer – because it won’t be around for much longer. And that’s not because of me – I don’t have a Nielsen box. I don’t “count” when it comes to these things.

      But there’s always hope. ALWAYS. Maybe this is one of those “when things seem like they’re at their darkest, a glimmer of light will shine!” We shall see.

      • wdm0744 says:

        I’m sorry if I misinterpreted what you were saying. No offense meant or malicious intent, I promise.

        I’m glad to hear it. I’ve always considered you one of the more positive voices concerning the show, so I’m glad to see we haven’t lost you.

      • atcdave says:

        wdm, I don’t think anyone was ascribing any hostility to you; your previous post was excellent and I agree 95%. I think where Father Rick, and I, and several others disagree a little is; we will support the show by watching to the very end, maybe even buy discs of every season; but we will not “go the extra mile (um, biblical reference intentional)” for now. When we recommend a show to friends it reflects on us. We cannot, in good conscience, push for the show just now. If (OK when, the spoilers are pretty good) the show gets better, we will push it again; if we get promises and apologies we will push hard. But for now, all we will do is support it personally. (does that make sense?)

    • amyabn says:

      I’m with you. I am not liking this season but it is a heck of a lot better than most other shows.

      I found it funny last night because I was excited/apprehensive about watching the show. My mom watched an episode a couple of weeks ago, based on my talking about the show. Her comments were that it was stupid, not funny, and that she didn’t know what I saw in the show. She is the casual viewer who literally tuned in one day and didn’t like what she saw.

      I have been up and down these boards holding out hope, and a very small part of me still does, because otherwise, why watch? There were elements of last nights show that I really enjoyed and found myself laughing out loud. It seems like they pooch the last few minutes of each show just to piss off the fans.
      -Why on earth would Chuck be happy about Rome? I get that he thought Sarah would be going too, but he is all about family and being away from Ellie is a new, harsh reality for Chuck to have to deal with, but it was pretty much glossed over.
      -If Sarah had been in on Casey pulling the trigger, it could have brought the team closer together.
      -Why on earth would Sarah even put herself in the same room with Shaw after he ordered her to give Chuck the kill order? No way! That should have killed the fauxmance right then and there.
      -Casey encourages Chuck last week (it’s not too late) to digging on him that he doesn’t know when things are over. Huh?
      -Sarah doesn’t love Chuck? Can you say denial?

      I liked the Chuck of old, the stakate (stakeout date), the stakeout mix, Chuck and Sarah actually talking (a little). The two lit up the screen, as usual.
      I apologize for focusing on the negative, but next week doesn’t look any better (on the angst scale).

      My predictions, for whatever they’re worth:
      -Sarah finds out before the building blows that Casey pulled the trigger. The building blows, and she finally has her epiphany (kind of like when the herder blows in Best Friend). Chuck carries Shaw out (hopefully dead, but I doubt it). Sarah chooses Chuck, but of course, that won’t be smooth.

      • weaselone says:

        Comment on Chuck and Rome.

        1. We don’t know what the final decision on Doctors without Borders is yet. Devon’s now willing to stay, but Ellie’s willing to go.

        2. Chuck hints throughout his episode that the choice made in Prague might not have been perfectly correct. Maybe a life with just Sarah, even without his family and friends is enough for him now, especially considering he can still talk to Morgan and be relatively open and contacting his family would still be an option.

  42. JLR says:

    Man, how sad what has become of the show & its fanbase. I, like MANY others, did my part to help this show. I got people to watch S3 (none of them continued after Mask; & now I’m ridiculed by a couple professional colleagues for watching & recommending a teenage melodrama). I don’t particularly care whether there is a S4. I won’t fight for it, and I won’t begrudge others for wanting it.

    Anyone catch one of the first comments at DR’s blog site? I THINK it was the comments section following the weekly podcast. A reader there mentioned this blog & commented how people who post here are terrible fans (DR agreed). Like either of those two things are surprising. I guess “true fans” drink the Kool Aid & suck up all that TPTB throw out there.

    • weaselone says:

      I’m not certain DR so much agreed took the comment at face value and stuck to his basic line of avoiding negativity.

    • John says:

      I listen to DRs podcast and he certainly doesn’t shrink from critisizing aspects of the show at times. I think the negativity of the fanbase gets to him.

      I don’t blame him really.

      • wdm0744 says:

        Okay, at the risk of sounding ignorant – which site is DR’s?

        I generally follow this one, chucktv.net, and spinwell’s.

      • John2010 says:

        So I guess now it’s the crazy shippers vs. the kool aid drinkers.

      • JLR says:

        Yeah, John. Those are fair points. I guess I’m just overly-sensitive to the reaction against show criticism ever since Mask. DR & others repeat the mantra that only shippers have a problem w/ the show; that simply isn’t true. I am not a shipper, and find many things wrong w/ the show this season.

      • herder says:

        wdm0744, DR (Darth Razorback)runs the chuckgasmic site, there is a link to the right, just below who is posting.

    • Rick Holy says:

      I never look at DR’s blog site – didn’t even know there was one. But if what you’re describing is accurate, what you’re seeing is the demonstration of a lack of understanding of what it means to be a fan. A fan cares so much about something that when they see it tanking (and lets be honest, it’s tanking in the ratings as of late), they speak up about it. A fan isn’t someone who just says, “Oh, you’re so great” all the time – unless of course there’s just reason to actually say something like that.

      I have no problem with Old Darth or Darth Razorback or Darth Vader for that matter. If they think this season rocks, then I say “have your say.” You’re a CHUCK fan and you watch the show and we need every fan we can get to tune in. At the same time, they shouldn’t have any problems with those – like many of those who post on this blog – who see things differently – those who watch the show hoping for something BETTER.

      With that being said, I am going to bid a fond farewell to all of you. The give and take on this site has been interesting and most of the time, quite fun. But I’m finding that I’m getting a little too absorbed into a TV program, if you know what I mean. Joe may remember me commenting weeks ago that “maybe we’re taking this stuff a little too seriously.” I should have heeded my own words, because I think I’ve crossed that line myself.

      So it’s time to return to the status of devoted fan, but “casual” viewer – one who watches the show, hopes it does well, but limits him/herself to an hour a week of time devoted to it.

      So, PEACE all! And let’s hope that I’ve got more than 8 more hours of CHUCK to watch! It’d be nice to have at least 13 more next season!! 🙂

      Thanks again, good peeps. And “Keep on Chuckin’!!”

      • Faith says:

        say it ain’t so Fr Rick! Another one bites the dust *tears*

      • AngelTwo says:

        The problem with the Darths–Razorback and Old–is that they think inside knowledge gives them insight. It does not. They both had/have inside knowledge. They have ZERO insight.

        The ratings numbers are IRREFUTABLE. From First Class to now (in other words, the entire love polygon thing) the numbers have trended sharply downward. That also correlates to when Levi and Strahovski stopped being on screen together and started going their separate ways.

        Inescapable conclusion: The viewers who’ve peeled away are what Razorback calls “crazy shippers.” They are also the people Old Darth so cavilierly wished away before the season started.

        The problem isn’t the show or even the network the or the timeslot. It’s the showrunners who decided to thumb their collective nose as the fans and the wider viewer base who told them they like a Chuck show about Chuck and Sarah and the joy of two people going on adventures together. And two actors with great on-screen chemistry.

        The showrunners demanded their unquestioned right to create the show they wanted to create. Season 3 is what they created.

        And they own the failure. Period. Full stop.

        The Darths and their dittoheads don’t get that. So let them go down with this ship.

        But here’s great news: Levi and Strahovski and Baldwin are terrific actors. We’ll see them in other projects.

      • amyabn says:

        Best wishes Fr. Rick. I hope you will change your mind and share your insights with us-I for one enjoy them.

      • John says:

        Yeah Angeltwo Zach Levi, and Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin are fine actors and we will see them in other projects…but not together and that is hardly something to rejoice very much about IMO.

        I guess if the show fails I will not sharing in your moment of triumph over your Darth enemies. I frankly do not really care about them I just know I like the show.

      • John says:

        Sorry to see you leave Rick I enjoyed what you had to say. Hopefully at some point you will return and we have more pleasant things about the show to discuss.

      • atcdave says:

        Hope you change your mind Rick, this will truly be a poorer place without you.

    • Faith says:

      I don’t dislike DR but I think sometimes he comes off as a sanctimonious jackass. And I say that even after he was very jovial about my comment on his blog.

      • JLR says:

        Oh yeah, there’s a certain smugness that across form both “Darth’s”, IMO. They’re very knowledgeable about the show….and they like to remind us of that fact. Which I don’t have a problem with. My best friends are very arrogant, so it’s a trait that doesn’t necessarily repel me. I enjoy & even appreciate some of the stuff DR does.

      • John says:

        There is no doubt DR is a sanctimonious jackass. You either find that entertaining or you do not.

        Also I think he has a ton of personal capital wrapped up in this show. He wants it to succeed so much it messes with his ability to be very objective.

        Having said that I enjoy his podcast even if I do not agree with him all the time.

      • amyabn says:

        I used to enjoy his podcast but now it has degenerated into a swear-fest. I’m no angel, mind you, but the f-bomb every other word and bashing “crazy shippers” is not necessary imho.

      • John says:

        I guess I just see the “crazy-shippers” and the cussing as part of his schtick and don’t take it seriously.

  43. BeCoolBoy says:

    Does anyone know how to get in touch with lizjames? Before she left, she made it clear that she had some ideas of what to do when we hit EXACTLY this moment. I’d like to hear them.

  44. Stef62 says:

    I suppose we can see where this is all going to pan out.

    Sarah finding out he’s not a killer, followed up by ‘Best Friend’ on steroids. Shaw slinking off back to DC, and Team B off to Rome/Europe.

    Then eventually once Shaw finds out that the wife is still alive, (ep18/19). He’ll be the spy that changes sides as has been mentioned, and that’ll be one of the ‘game changers’. An enemy that knows all their secrets.

    The second ‘game changer’ is that they’ll now have to re-visit Prague again, by having them go on the run, but from the Ring

  45. Jen says:

    Hey Everyone,
    I’ve taken long to comment at all about this ep because i have such mixed feelings about it… specially cause i let myself set high expectations for it. I’m not totally disappointed, it was a good ep, C&S talking with each other, a near kiss (which was interrupted… what made me believe it wouldn’t
    this time???) lots of good action, ZL in only a towel… Casey getting fitted for a suit was funny, the stakate where Chuck tries to charm Sarah was nice… but i also feel that his effort comes on a little too late, and it’s stuff like that that doesn’t let me enjoy this ep fully. I have to almost quote Amy here, because her points are the same one that troubled me:

    -Chuck happy cause he would ago away to Rome… until he realizes Sarah wouldn’t be there. But does he actually voice this? no.

    -Why couldjn’t Sarah know about Casey beign the one who actually killes the mark? For angst effect, of course… i hate angst for the sake of angst.

    -Why on earth would Sarah even put herself in the same room with Shaw after he ordered her to give Chuck the kill order? No way! That should have killed the fauxmance right then and there. DITTO AMY.. what’s up with that???

    -Casey encourages Chuck last week (it’s not too late) to digging on him that he doesn’t know when things are over. Huh?
    Another Ditto… WTF???

    -Sarah doesn’t love Chuck? Can you say denial?

    All those points show that the show right now, while has amazing talent and so many great possibilities, is being filled with BS by the show runners, and that pisses me off. I dont’ want to analyze Sarah or Chuck’s behavior anymore… it’s a lost cause… until they decide to fixe them up.

    The whole thing with Chuck now wanting to talk. Now?? really?? he should have done it long ago, before he decided to go hook-up with Hannah. Shaw in the room with Sarah, really?? he just told her to go tell chuck he’s gotta kill someone and she does it?? really?? i get from Shaw more of a “brother” vibe that an LI, so it feels weird to see SHAM, there is 0 chemistry there.

    I’m also upset at all the “crazy shipper” bashing going on on twitter, as if we are to blame for the low ratings. If you tell a story well, your audience will be captivated… but destroy the heart of the show (all the OOC and WTF moments), and what result can you expect other than your fans leaving? It sounds only logical to me… even if at the same time it saddens me cause i really don’t want this show to end.

    I’m gonna continue watching and cross my fingers for a season 4. I guess that makes me a sucker, but i’m too invested to leave now and i love the characters too much. If the show end here it would be one of the saddest stories in TV history ever (as far as i know, but i don’t know too much anyway)

    • John says:

      Not a sucker. We might only have 8 episodes left we might as well stick around and see where the story might probably end.

      Man not seeing Zach Levi and Yvonne Strahovski playing off each other anymore is sad. Not that they let us enjoy that dynamic much this season…

    • Lucian says:

      It feels like they have created a “perfect storm” of excessive angst, OOC, PLIs, Poochie, and Fear of Moonlighting. I hope they can recover, but it doesn’t look good for our favorite couple (is that Shaw and Sam?).

    • Jen says:

      Hey John, at least i’m not alone :). I’m ok with all the changes, the reset and all, but when they remove Zach and Yvonne, aaaah, that kills it, becuase for 2 seasons they sold us their story, and then made them into emotional crazies in this season. I’ll keep watching and waiting for Sarah to come out of that cause it seems Chuck is “feeling better”.
      From what i’ve read on twitter, it seems like it’s easy that have seen what happens next to criticize those that haven’t and just keep waiting for things to change. At least we, in this community, are informed viewers and know about the promised “payoff” and can decide to wait things out, but the average viewer who is not twittering or on the blogs doesn’t know anything, just gets tired and leaves. People got other things to do and have other shows that entertain them better. Being a show viewer can’t become about reading the next spolier or interview or review to see if the story improves… to see if one decides to stay or go. And while not everyone will be happy with how a story goes, when a show starts losing its fanbase, u know something has not been done right. It pains me that Chuck could be that show cause this show is trully one of the best on TV and i’m still selling it to people. Heck, my personal trainer is watching S1 and loving it! I’ve been heavily facebooking about it and some of my friends are back on.

      I don’t lose my hope for Season 4 though!

    • weaselone says:

      Chuck did try to talk before going off with Hannah. That was what the whole being beat with a stick, death’s door confession was about. Then there was the friends conversation, Chuck inviting Sarah to dinner with the family and his asking her permission to date Hannah. All attempts to reconnect with her.

      Doesn’t mitigate the angst, but those attempts to reach out are there.

  46. Zsjaer says:

    I think that even the acting is not as great from Zac and Yvonne as it was in the previous Season…They are really great actors, already proved that, but the bad writing can also hurt the actors performance and the chemistry they transmit to the audience

    • Jason says:

      i’ve noticed it with yvonne, almost seems like she’s pissed at the writers when she’s delivered some of her lines, I remember an interview where she said something like we don’t think it can change any more, we show up next week and go wow, to me, that is a nice way of saying, WTF ….. at times this season, zach has really nailed stuff, A+ acting IMO, like when he did Raif the assassin, or with morgan and casey, the CS stuff has been off though, I tend to agree, may sound really stupid, one of my fav cs scenes this season was the jealous bickering before stealing the mask?

      • amyabn says:

        I would love to see/read that interview. Do you have a link? Thanks!

      • Jason says:

        I do a little googling see if I can come up with it, be sort of interesting to revisit, almost sure it was back in jan when I read it

  47. Big Kev says:

    I’m clearly in the minority here, but I have to say, I really enjoyed the ep. I was foolish enough to check in here before I watched, so I was expecting to hate it – but (like Faith) I didn’t. I wasn’t quite blown away, as Joe was, but I thought it was a great episode.
    What of Sarah? The thing that really struck me this week, is something that they’ve hinted at before, but never really spelled out until now. She hates herself. She believes Chuck chose to become a spy because of her, and she hates what that is doing to the Chuck she loves.
    Think back to 3 words. Some people have asked why there has been no progression from Chuck’s vault confession. 3.11 showed why. Chuck said “I chose to be a spy for my friends, and family, and you”. For Sarah, that would have been the worst thing Chuck could have said. It would confirm to her that she is to blame for everything about what is happening to Chuck. He did it for her. I didn’t get the significance of her agony over that in 3 words…..I got it tonight, and it explains a lot of what might otherwise be incomprehansible.
    She goes back to Shaw even after his awful manipulation of her this episode simply because she doesn’t believe she deserves anything else. She believes she has personally ruined the love of her life.
    Of course, an uninterripted conversation could fix all this, and the whole arc has been stretched way too long – but the black hole that Sarah is in is believeable to me. It wasn’t in Mask, or Fake Name, because it hadn’t been explained or set up, but this episode finally sheds some light, at least for me.
    The question of course is why doesn’t she beg Chuck to change his mind? That’s one that I don’t think has been well addressed. We’re supoposed to believe that she is standing aside to let him make his own decision, in spite of what she knows it will cost him? I’m not buying that…..but at the simplest level it’s a plot device because if Chuck goes back to his old ilfe, then the show is over. After the ratings, it probably is anyway, but that’s another discussion!

    • joe says:

      You got to the heart of what I wanted to post about next, Kev. I’m still working on it, but it’s going have quite a few of these thoughts embedded. 😉

    • weaselone says:

      I also tried to get across that I enjoyed the episode. There’s lots in it to love. Regarding Sarah, I think you’ve landed on the basic point regarding the discontent this season. Yes, she has reasons for how she’s acting, but her wallowing in either self pity, or self loathing for 11 episodes is a little draining even if you understand and commiserate with her reasons for doing so. It’s all the more obnoxious because it’s a go to ending for many of the episodes. It’s also difficult to love a character who hates herself.

      • Big Kev says:

        Weaselone……absolutely no doubt, 11 episodes of this has been way too much. And the lack of real insight into Sarah until Fake Name (when it was all bundled into one episode) was just ridiculous and damaging. I would love to have seen this played out over the first 6 or 7 episodes, with Chuck and Sarah’s feelings and motivations explored at the same time, with Casey as a sounding board and against the backdrop of Shaw trying to break the team up for his own ends. No need for PLI’s, bring Chuck and Sarah back towards each other by Ep 7, say, and give the back half of the season over to Team B tackling the Ring. TPTB chose to go the angst road, and it’s probably going to cost them (and us) a Season 4. Very sad.

        Joe – looking forward to your post, as always!

      • JC says:

        I liked the episode too. Ivan Drago come on who didn’t laugh.

        But your right they pushed the angst too far. And Sarah is getting thrown under the bus in the process. I read that we’ve lost 1 million viewers since fake name, I would think that’s telling of what people think of the season.

      • herder says:

        JC the figures for Fake Name were 2.4 demo and 6.7 million viewers, for Final Exam they were 1.9 demo and 5.43 million viewers. That is a 20% loss of both demo and viewers, in numbers that is closer to 1.3 million viewers.

      • JC says:

        Damn I guess that was the tipping point.

      • atcdave says:

        Actually Big Kev, I agree with all of that, except for the liking the episode part! I think most of us get the idea Sarah hates herself, hates what what Chuck has become, and blames herself for it. Perhaps the turn around will be when she realizes Chuck has become a true hero, not a monster like she thinks.

        My objection is not about “getting it”, its about entertainment value. Even then, Final Exam was mostly very good; but the ending was sour and left me a feeling of sadness, which isn’t what I want from any show.

    • herder says:

      I took it as hating herself for a mixture of what she has done to the Chuck she loves and sort of burning him as an asset. But to follow it up by saying she didn’t love him anymore was jarring, it could be her lying to herself or to Shaw to cover the reveal that she did love him in any event the lady doth protest too much.

      In any event I did like the episode too, it’s just the end sucks the life out of it and that is the mood you take away after watching.

      A funny thing, after last year I wanted Sarah to have someone she could talk to about how she felt about Chuck, I had figured that Ellie would be the one. Instead she got Shaw, I guess that teaches me to be careful of what you wish for.

    • John says:

      Minority? Didn’t most people like the episode overall? I mean the few of us who saw it anyway. It was a good episode I enjoyed it alot.

    • Jen says:

      Good post Kev, and it’s exactly what i think Sarah is going through. We have to accept that she IS a very emotionally damaged character and all her actions come from there. We are NOT to believe, though, that she isn’t in love with Chuck anymore… even if those words come out of her mouth.

      Talking things out and putting cards on the table would have gone a log way in fixing the C&S situation, but like you said… that wouldn’t provide the angst the show runners wanted to jam in this season. I coulnd’t express this any better than you guys have already done.

      🙂

      Man, i really do want a Season 4!

  48. Ernie Davis says:

    I finally got the chance to watch last night, I gotta say, angst for angst sake aside I liked this one. Finally they decided to clue us in on what Sarah is going through. A lot of things fit a bit better now. Regardless of her self loathing I still have a little trouble seeing Sarah seeking solace with Shaw after being forced into essentially burning Chuck, but then I can absolutely see her unable to talk to or face Chuck.

    Other than that my cynical side was right. Interrupted kiss, interrupted conversation, although “this isn’t over” was a nice touch if they only follow through and kill some of these way past tired devices, plus the life changing decision absolutely must be made this very second (the ride to the airport) so they can’t talk when they need to do so most is getting old too.

    Overall a good episode, but as others have noted this has been dragged out far too long for no real reason other than to milk angst for angst sake. I should be looking forward to the next two episodes, but I’m just kind of over the show now. It’s still good, great performances, but I can’t bring myself to care much anymore other than as a casual fan.

    • JC says:

      Good to know I wasn’t the only one who found Sarah talking to Shaw after he forced her to burn Chuck hard to believe.

  49. Jason says:

    thx to joe, ernie, amy, and actdave (faith & lizj too) – this blog has been the most rewarding part of season 3 so far. I started blogging after 3.1, as I was shocked at what happened – more for trying to figure out if I was the only one pissed. I quickly found out I wasn’t alone. Since then, I found out a bunch about tv, a bunch about chuck the show, and a bunch about fans – while letting the show play a shell game with me shipper emotions. I got my ?’s about chuck all answered, not the answers I was looking for, but answers non the less. I leave this blog a little less naive about TV – which is a good thing. I am rooting for a season 4, but I don’t have a Nielson box, so there is not much else I can do for the show, other than quietly go away & keep my anger and cynicism to myself & allow the fan friendly bloggers to create a warmer blogging atmosphere. Thx again.

    • amyabn says:

      Thank for the kind words, Jason. I have to agree that I enjoy our little community here a lot! I enjoy everyone’s POV and glad that we have a place to share ideas.

  50. RH says:

    Well everyone who doesn’t care about the show, you will get your wish. Since Chuck is sure as cancelled. I am going to enjoy the last 8 episodes of the show. I am not going to kick it while it is down. We will finally get some Charah and that is okay. 8 episodes is better than none. I just want to see Chuck and Sarah have fun again.

    I find that yes the show has not been that great this year but man I am going to miss it next year. Good luck Yvonne, Zach and Adam I will miss you. 😦

    There will never be another show like this one, so time to savor it while you can.

    • atcdave says:

      We will all miss it if this is indeed the end. Keep your hopes up, it ain’t over yet!

      • John says:

        Nope. This is NBC. If the show climbs up and shows a pulse it is as good as renewed.

        They rallied last year down the stretch maybe they will again.

      • Mike B says:

        The sad part is they were warned at Comic Con. They knew the fans were tired of the angst, and what did they give us, the longest angst arc of the series. I just can’t figure it out.

      • John says:

        I don’t know much about TV production but it does seem strange that when their loyal fans who just fought like heck for the show were…unhappy to hear what direction they wanted to take the show that they didn’t think on it.

        Maybe by ComicCon it was going to be too late? I sometimes see the gamble of trying to expand the fan base by changing the formula to try to attract new fans. Sometimes it works but if it doesn’t then you alienate the existing base while having gained nothing for you efforts. I guess with being near cancellation after season 2 TPTB decided such a big risk needed to be made even at the expense of the fans who helped bring it back. That makes some sense I guess.

      • Mike B says:

        Comic Con was in July. Production didn’t start until I believe August/September so they had time to a least tone it down. Also why would they think a show filled with angst and self loathing would attract new fans. Because, in all honesty if I was a new viewer that started in season 3 I would see no reason why Chuck and Sarah should be together. Without the history of the first 2 seasons there is no reason these 2 should be together.

      • John says:

        Yeah I think I made that point earlier on here. Unless you watched the first two seasons or caught the few times Chuck and Sarah are being awesome together this season it would be hard to think why you would be invested in them getting together.

        I was just speculating on the decision to take the show in a different direction despite it playing poorly to the core fans.

      • atcdave says:

        Its hard to know exactly what they were thinking; but its easy for many of us to call it arrogance. I think they were so sure they knew better than us lowly fans, that they would do it their way no matter what anyone else thought. We heard so many variations of “trust us, we know what we’re doing;” its almost funny now how obviously they didn’t. Even allowing for the possibility the story will still resolve in way that is satisfying and powerful (I will be honestly surprised, but hey, you never know); the bulk of the season was so sour and dreary that viewers are voting with their remotes. This may be good news for writing of TV in the future; there may be some “Serial Television 101” courses that get re-examed; but it does mean a deep hole to dig out of for our favorite show.

  51. Jen says:

    I don’t know if anyone posted this link already, but it’s the review for FInal Exam. I like it.

    http://chucktv.net/2010/03/24/a-fistful-of-catch-22s-episode-3-11-chuck-vs-the-final-exam/

    Really… i do really really really want a Season 4!

    • herder says:

      It really is a pretty good review, doesn’t explain everything for me but still better than most.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m still not convinced on the Sarah Shaw thing, I wish they’d set it up and handled it better, but I can see a self loathing Sarah pull back as Chuck walks her step by step back into the life she wanted to leave. I suppose I could see Sarah clinging to Shaw in desperation as he keeps telling her she’s doing the right thing for Chuck, but after the end of this last episode I can’t imagine that not blowing up soon.

      • herder says:

        Those were my problems with both the episode and the review. No explanation for her lack of clarity to Chuck’s we can be together if I’m a spy and can’t if I’m not. No explanation of why a formerly strong woman would remain with the guy who just manipulated her into betraying the guy she loved. No explanation of why she would share the details of the worst day of her life with him ( and is this a new worst day?).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Precisely. I’m guessing what happened after Sarah said worst day of my life, then stood up and seemed to storm off will be significant. However Chuck is of course in DC being inducted, meaning anything she would say comes too late, leading to another conversation where she hasn’t yet come clean about her status or her feelings before a mission intrudes and Chuck goes to save Shaw thinking they are still together, etc. etc, etc.

        Whatever, it’ll be suitably angsty and will probably rely on our old favorites, the interrupted conversation and the immediate departure with conversation never to be re-visited.

      • Lucian says:

        Are there cia agents like Sarah, filled with self-loathing? Probably. Is watching them work through their self-loathing entertaining? Not so much. Will I somehow like or respect the characters more because of the season-long angst? Nope. Were the showrunners forewarned? Yes. Did they do it anyway? Not so smart. This was their season to build an audience, and get lots of people eating Subways on Monday nights? Really not smart.

      • josh says:

        I am pretty sure the Sarah getting up from the bed at the end of her conversation with Shaw was just done for “cinematic” effect. It was just to build up a mini 2 second suspense thing that the next scene after the cut, where Chuck is at home and hears a knock on the door, that it might be Sarah knocking. Nothing more. I don’t think it will be any more significant than that.

      • atcdave says:

        Great comments Lucien

    • amyabn says:

      I have this review from tv.com on the episode.
      http://tinyurl.com/yzu4jvk
      The title of the article says it all: Chuck: Bad Romance, Sarah the Flip-Flopper, and Subway

      Enjoy!

  52. Merve says:

    I just rewatched this episode with a friend. Her reaction: “I felt kind of cheated.” And I’d have to agree. It’s not that she and I didn’t enjoy the episode. And most of it made sense. (Unlike in “Crown Vic” or “Mask,” I understood why the characters were doing what they were doing.) It’s just that the episode kept kicking the characters in the groin without any sort of emotional payoff. It worked in “Nacho Sampler” and “Tic Tac” because there were only a few swift kicks to the groin right at the end of the episodes. The drama packed a maximum emotional punch with a small number scenes, and it didn’t wear out the audience (or at least it didn’t wear me out). But every time I saw my friend’s reaction to an emotional or dramatic twist while she was watching “Final Exam,” I told her, “Just wait; it gets worse.” And I wasn’t lying.

    It all starts with Shaw telling Sarah that Chuck is going to have to perform his red test that night.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Shaw manipulates Sarah into giving Chuck his red test.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Chuck gets emotionally crushed when Sarah tells him the details of the red test.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, the mole stabs Chuck in the leg and manipulates Chuck into sparing his life.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, the mole escapes, making Chuck look like an idiot.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Chuck hesitates when the mole is about to kill him, and Casey makes the kill shot that Chuck wasn’t sure that he could make.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Sarah sees Chuck’s smoking gun and believes that Chuck killed the mole. (By the way, it was a really nice touch to have Chuck fire the warning shot to make it look like he’d killed the mole. It also showed that Chuck is no longer really afraid of guns, and that he has no problems with using them for intimidation if necessary; he’s simply afraid of killing. It’s a nice, subtle way of showing Chuck’s development as a spy.)

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Casey explains that what he did amounted to murder.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Casey tells Chuck that he can’t tell Sarah the truth, leaving Chuck conflicted about whether he’s a real spy or not.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Chuck feels like a disgusting cheater when he hears General Beckman’s congratulatory message.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Sarah declines Chuck’s phone call.

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Sarah emotionally recounts her first Red Test (to Shaw – and I put that in brackets because it didn’t bother me in the slightest that this was something that she recounted to Shaw. Shaw is a spy who has probably performed a Red Test and has dealt with its aftermath, something that Chuck wouldn’t understand yet.)

    Then, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Chuck has to leave for D.C. without having a chance to explain anything to Sarah.

    I count 13 kicks to the collective character groin. Ouch. That’s a lot of pain to pack into 15 minutes of an episode.

    Was it a bad episode? Not really. I still enjoyed a lot of it. And the show has really amped up the suspense, which I like. But rather than feeling entertained after watching (and rewatching) this episode, I felt kind of uneasy (and queasy). The whole concept of a Red Test bothers me. The fact that Chuck wasn’t given a choice (not only in the acceptance of the test, but also in the execution of the test when Casey killed the mole) bothers me. The fact that Sarah is a self-loathing emotional basket case who clearly needs psychiatric help bothers me. Have the stakes risen? Sure. But that came at a price: it made the episode less enjoyable. Television series have to set up future events if they want to have plotlines. But everything can’t be just be part of the setup. There has to be payoff in every episode. In a certain sense, every other episode this season has delivered some sort of payoff (whether it was positive, comedic, dramatic or suspenseful). But this is the first episode this season that has failed to do so.

    (Okay, some of you might be thinking: “Holy crap! Has relentlessly positive Merve gone over to the dark side?” No, trust me. I haven’t. But I will call it as I see it. All you season 3 haters take note: this might be the first and last time that I’ll ever agree with you. 😛 )

    • Faith says:

      and just when it couldn’t get any worse, Merve crosses over 😀 Kidding.

      All in good fun. I think if you amplify that which you felt about that epi, that’s how some of us have felt every week 😦

      • Merve says:

        Nope, not crossing over. 🙂 I still find Shaw intriguing. I still think that keeping Chuck and Sarah apart was a good idea. I still think that “Fake Name” was a great episode. I still think that the writers have done a good job of showing that The Ring is more sinister, dangerous and manipulative than Fulcrum. I still think that Sarah being uncomfortable with the changes that she sees in Chuck is an interesting premise. I still think that Prague was a good idea with a poor execution. And I still think that “Beard” was overrated. I’m not going to retroactively change my opinions to fit the comments on this blog or my feelings towards this particular episode. And hey, I like a little bit of angst. If I didn’t, I’d just watch Sesame Street.

      • Faith says:

        We’ll work on you yet! Kidding…again.

      • Merve says:

        As long as you don’t try to brainwash me like Casey did to Lester, I’ll be fine. 🙂

    • JLR says:

      Yeah, what Faith said. At least now you have a semblance of understanding how many of us have most of the season.

      • Merve says:

        Frankly, JLR, I don’t have really have that understanding because from my perspective, the show has been great for most of this season. I’m not saying that the negative opinions are invalid; I’m just saying that I don’t share them or agree with them. That being said, I want to make it perfectly clear that I respect those opinions and enjoy reading them (except for when they degenerate into mindless fan base or TPTB bashing).

        To be honest, my biggest beef this episode wasn’t with the angst. (I was trying to illustrate how my friend – and how I think a large portion of the fan base – felt.) What most annoyed me was the fact that Casey shot the mole. It bothers me not because it involved taking a choice out of Chuck’s hands, but because em>another important character took that choice out of Chuck’s hands. I wouldn’t have minded, if, for instance, another Ring operative had killed the mole in order to clean up the operation and Sarah had still believed Chuck to be the killer. At least, in that case, external circumstances, and not another character’s potentially inaccurate assessment of Chuck, would be the cause of Chuck not having the opportunity to make the choice to kill. But Casey attempted to play God in this episode, and that rubbed me the wrong way.

      • JLR says:

        I’m sorry Merve, I probably over-stepped the bounds in attributing a feeling to you.. My bad. That is why I said “semblance” though, so I must have been semi-aware of it when I typed it.

        I like reading your comments. People like you, Joe & a few others allow me to believe there are intelligent people who like S3. [yeah, that sounds kind of snotty, but not intended to be] It makes it seem possible that I MAY have blinders on. I don’t think so, but I’ll at least consider that possibility.

      • Merve says:

        No need for an apology, JLR. You were pretty clear that you weren’t attributing any feelings to me and I appreciate that.

        I guess that I was just trying to say that however I feel about this episode doesn’t make me enjoy the rest of the season less. Actually, I feel better about “Pink Slip,” “Three Words,” and “Mask” now. (Those were my 3 least favourite episodes of the season.) And I’m not sure if I even disliked “Final Exam.” I guess what irks me – and this is really silly – is that after seeing this episode I don’t feel as if I can clearly rank season 3’s episodes anymore. Before, it was clearly 6>3>4>10>5>9>8>2>7>1 for me. Because there was such a sharp dichotomy between the two halves of this episode, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I don’t know where to place it in my silly ranking. Worse still, it’s making me rethink my ranking. It’s making me question what I like about the show and what I don’t like. Sometimes, I think that the way I feel about an episode is based far more on my gut reaction than anything else, and that I try to rationalize my feelings after the fact. But now I’m getting into psychology, which is dangerous territory for a student of mathematics and economics, so I’ll just stop there.

      • JC says:

        I’ve been watching episodes twice before I write anything at length. I still get my gut reaction but it lets me calm down if anything really bothered me.

        Like that damn lip curl Yvonne does. I keep saying why Chuck wants anything do with Sarah. Then I see that and I’m a bit more understanding. 🙂

  53. jason says:

    Canadian Promo for whoever wants to see it

    http://www.citytv.com/toronto/show/micro/episode/72647

    warning:

    it’s a lot more spoilery than the NBC one (or to put it another way covers parts of the episode the NBC promo doesnt)
    Includes a bit of comedy and obviously different angst than the one on the NBC promo

    • JLR says:

      Yeah, just saw the preview. Gives a different spin on the whole C/S “dinner date” doesn’t it? Chuck is again pursuing; just hoping he doesn’t come across as whiny. TBH, it is kind of stalkerish that he use CAM to interrupt S/S date.

    • amyabn says:

      Love it. So much better than the US NBC promo. Love the three amigos helping Chuck! Hope Sarah doesn’t get too pissed. Also explains Shaw flying through the window in another preview.

      • atcdave says:

        Actually, I find it more than a little depressing. Yet again, a scene that was exploited to get our spirits up, turns out to be no where near as positive as we hoped. have I mentioned, I really don’t like this season.

      • JLR says:

        That was more or less my reaction as well Dave. I didn’t really convey that in my post above. So it APPEARS Sarah is really getting closer to Shaw as Fedak stated (makes ZERO sense after Shaw manipulating Sarah). Chuck/CAM stalking S/S…ehh, if nothing else, will be interesting to see.

      • JC says:

        What I find strange is from the earlier promo it seems like there’s an agent behind Shaw when Awesome tackles him. So another agent happens to be there, when team Cam draws Shaw away?

      • josh says:

        JC There’s a chance the whole Sarah and Shaw date shown is on a mission. Yes the multiepisode promo released by JS during the Olympics hiatus showed a guy with a gun behind Shaw when Awesome tackled him, and I m sure the NBC promo shows Chuck fighting that same guy in the white room I presume is Ring HQ.

        The way I believe that whole scene plays out is Morgan, by getting Shaw out of the restaurant actually puts him in the hands of Ring agents. Casey/Awesome see this so Awesome tackles Shaw to save him. Otherwise it makes no sense for Awesome to tackle Shaw onto the table where Chuck/Sarah are talking. Why would he interrupt what they tried to setup ie get Chuck and Sarah alone. Now Ring agents could be there by coincidence, or it could have been some Sarah/Shaw mission that Chuck’s (rather pathetic) romantic overtures interrupted/messed up

  54. karen says:

    I know CAM has comedic value but comeon, datejacking? Can it get more desperate than that?

    Obviously it could all be a huge misunderstanding (yeah right) like Sarah and Shaw are out on work or something but … they are milking the angst to the nth degree.

    I m undecided if I should watch, I sense I ll be better off watching this and 13 back to back next week.

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