How laundry night turned into a moment of truth.

It finally happened.  I got distracted last night and missed the beginning of Chuck.  Rather than jump in I of course decided to wait for iTunes today and watch it later.  Now I’m considering something more drastic.  Space and time.  If you want to chime in, please no spoilers outside what was in the promos or on our spoilers page as of last night, I’m attempting to remain spoiler free for a bit.

I rarely watch broadcast TV.  Oh, I’ll have it on in the background, or for news, or sports, but I haven’t followed a network show in real time for nearly a decade.  Instead I’ve switched almost entirely to Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, renting and buying shows after they become available on DVD.  In this way I can read up ahead of time, find the ones I’m likely to enjoy, and enjoy them in a more condensed form.  I think it helps me avoid something I’m experiencing with Chuck lately.  Fatigue.

I’m tired of Chuck.  I’m Tired of Chuck and Sarah.  I’m beyond tired of Shaw.  And I’m guessing that last night, based on the previews, we had another round of all of them.  Was some progress made?  Given the way this season is going I’m doubting it.  Somehow that kiss we see Chuck and Sarah leaning in for will be interrupted, like we’ve never seen that before.  Somehow Any conversation Chuck and Sarah start will end up without any resolution, probably interrupted and never to be continued or revisited.  Like we’ve never seen that before.  And somehow Chuck passing his spy test will make Sarah run away to Shaw and feel as if the Chuck she loved is gone.  Like just about every bit of Chuck’s growth this season hasn’t been viewed through that lens.  And I’m just not looking forward to that.

Which brings me to my most recent pet peeve.  The relationship we’re told is only one part of a fun action-comedy-drama IS the show this season.  It has not only been moved front and center it has taken over the show.  Every aspect of the A-story, the mission, Chuck’s growth and progress, Chuck’s conflicts and reservations, the compromises necessary and the distasteful aspects of the spy life is now viewed through its effect on Sarah and her increasingly incomprehensible emotional state.  They are tearing Sarah down purposefully.  Either this episode or the next will be her rock bottom, and based on how much more poorly they’ve handled the Sarah character than Chuck, I’m not sure I want to watch till I can know I don’t need to take two to three weeks to see some progress or resolution.  It’s not fun.  If I want to watch a deep drama about morally compromised characters I have The Wire on DVD.

So I’m testing my willpower.  I doubt I’ll make it.  My guess is I’ll be watching on my computer by later today.  It’s almost impossible to remain spoiler free, unless I leave this blog and wait it out, and I don’t want to do that.  But I’m not looking forward to it, and that is depressing.

Thanks for letting me vent.


About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in Angst, No Spoilers, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

145 Responses to Options

  1. weaselone says:

    If you’re that worried about it, I’d recommend watching the entire episode and then stopping right after either the death of the enemy agent, or Chuck’s conversation with Casey in the courtyard. It’s a solid episode with lots of Yvonne and Levi chemistry and eliminating most of what you don’t want to see is fairly easy.

    As a side note, I found Shaw a useful and relevant character this episode, which is a vast improvement.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m not so much worried as bored. I want to see the plot actually advance for a change. By my count this will be second official solo mission to prove himself as a spy with Sarah and Shaw observing, and about the 5th time we will be told Sarah is uncertain about her feelings for Chuck after seeing him change. And apparently Sarah will again seek out Shaw for comfort. So other than maybe a cool fight scene or two it really doesn’t sound like the plot has advanced at all since 3.07. Am I wrong? If this is going to be another episode of treading water to milk some more angst out of the status quo I’m getting a bit bored.

      • weaselone says:

        Honestly, the show is probably worth watching for the moments Chuck isn’t alone on his solo mission and not just because they have Yvonne run a gamut of very fetching looks.

      • John says:

        See I think we did see the story advance FINALLY in this episode. Chuck himself is at the end of his character developement arc and seems to be this confident emotionally stable guy who knows what he wants. Sarah is still stuck though. I was so overjoyed to have Chuck open his mouth and be the character I have enjoyed so much I was willing to tolerate one more episode of not much happening on Sarah’s end.

  2. JC says:

    You know what the worst part is. You can see the makings of good story arc but it was just too much for 13 episodes.

    • John says:

      Wait you wish they had stretched this thing out longer?

      Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the episode but…really? It seems like they had to repeat plot points and go at a frustratingly slow pace as it was.

      • JC says:

        The way the story has played out no. But given more time to actually build up some of things we’ve seen yes. That’s the key problem characters having two or three emotional revelations an episode. So they don’t actually serve a purpose other than to move the plot forward. All these emotional scenes are forgotten about the next episode. (Sarah’s name GRRR) Too much whiplash.

        I haven’t really disliked any one episode but as a serialized story it hasn’t worked for me. I can see where they’re going but it wasn’t handled well. It almost feels like the writers don’t talk to each other.

        Oh this doesn’t include PLIs there was no reason for that. In fact they ruined Shaw by making him one. I think I posted this before but he would’ve been so much better as an Iago type character for Chuck.

      • John says:

        I do agree season 3 has had lots of problems making the episodes flow well. The same ground on the story arc is covered over and over again. I mean we got Sarah is afraid Chuck is changing way back in episode 6 and we just keep having to hear it again and again.

        Most of the episodes have been good on their own though. It just has not been told well. Now another version of this story done well and stretched over a regular 22 episode season may indeed have worked well…but it would have to be done differently. And in that sense a 13 episode arc could have worked well also.

        Anyway this arc will be resolved soon and we can move on to something else.

      • atcdave says:

        I’ll go ahead and say the really obvious and shallow thing, if there had been no outside LIs; and Chuck and Sarah had been together all season, I probably would have been fine with this arc. Although I prefer to laugh more, the damage to Chuck and Sarah’s characters and relationship is the near deal breaker for me.

    • Jason says:

      sarah ended up alone with shaw end of 3.5, shaw not in 6, 3.7, 8, 9, sarah on her way we find out in 3.11 to see shaw end of 3.10, sarah alone with shaw in 3.11 – that is about as many episodes as chuck will be with her on the back 6, assuming they aren’t fighting in half of them or more? How much more drawn out could it have been. I think the opposite. they should have jumped in the sack when shaw showed her the rings in 3.5, then spent the next 7 episodes with all kinds of jealousy, anger, etc, but noone sleepin with anyone, the way they did it was like an untreated toothache, my way would have been like a heart attack, although severe, within a week or two, you are right back to your normal life.

  3. Matt Simons says:

    I saw it as a mirror image of the Christmas episode last season. Definitely one of their best episodes. Loved the chemistry between them, and can’t wait for next week.

    Agree with weaselone, Shaw had a use in this episode. If they can use him like they did this episode, I wouldn’t mind him hanging around. They used him sparingly, which helped out a lot.

  4. Chuckaddict says:

    If I could, I would wait and watch the remaining episodes back-to-back-to-back. At least then I wouldn’t have to wait for the resolution. That’s how I watched the first 2 seasons. Unfortunately, I’m too vested at this point to make myself wait.

    The episode was solid until the very end, just like almost every other ep this season. I used to look forward to the post mission part of the episodes, it was a pick-me-up. Not so far this year, it’s a downer.

  5. Faith says:

    Actually Ernie I think there has been real growth. It’s not perfect, it’s not even likable in many viewpoints but there is real growth. Namely on Chuck’s part. He’s really changed and he’s changed for the better.

    I spoke of redemption on his part around First Class, etc. and it’s coming in spades. “This isn’t over” is very strong words for our resident nerd. He’s never gone after what he wants so aggressively. He’s also never really come to peace about Prague, his choices and his future…now he is and now he knows. He’s laying his cards on the table and although, what else is new? He’s doing it in a way that shows just how much more of a man he has become. He’s no longer the meek geek that folds after being turned down, if Sarah turns him down again (just speaking in general) this Chuck will pick himself up and live. He’ll find a great girl and flourish. Chuck of old would play video games and eat cheeseballs this one will be a hero and a good husband/bf.

    • weaselone says:

      Agreed, Chuck has improved significantly this season. This is why I list him along with Casey as being awesome this episode. He was outstanding this episode and they definitely establish a confidence and strength on his part that makes his pursuit of Sarah more of an exercise in confidence than his earlier attempts. He’s going to play his hand and force her back into his orbit and then attempt to make his move. This isn’t something season 1 or 2 Chuck would have done. That Chuck would have just let her go.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Oh I think they’ve actually handled Chuck and Casey well, and appreciated the changes. Chuck and Casey are now better together than Sarah with anyone. But as well as they’ve handled Chuck, Casey, Morgan, and Awesome I think they’ve badly mishandled Sarah. In a sense it’s because she’s been treading water for so long while they flog her angst at Chuck’s changes.

    • Faith says:

      Then I’m gonna have to disagree with you then 🙂 And this is going to sound hypocritical after ^ post. But I don’t think they handled Chuck’s “growth” all that well. I understand and I see the payoff (it’s happening right now) but when he was falling down the rabbit hole I thought all that was unnecessary. I thought it was fabricated if not outright OOC. To be succinct, they made me hate Chuck. It just so happens that redemption has made me fall back in love with him. I really, really like what he has become. I want to marry this Chuck.

      And here is the hypocrite part: I don’t think it’ll be different for me with Sarah. I currently don’t hate her, but I have immense dislike…and when she “grows” like Chuck has really grown and better-ed then I’ll love her again. When she gets redeemed (like Chuck has been redeemed in my eyes) I’ll love her again. I think.

      • John says:

        I think that was what they were getting at right? The whole Chuck growth arc was a little weak but we like where it got him. I can only hope they do the same thing with Sarah also.

      • JC says:

        Yep the stakeout was growth and her admission to Shaw even though what she said after was a lie. But I’m guessing her rock bottom will be next episode. Plus a huge wake up moment.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Faith, I know this sometimes comes down to almost taking sides in the Chuck/Sarah thing. I agree that Chuck came off as a bit of a jerk and a bit cocky at times, but I never disliked him, I just saw him as a bit clueless. Some of my issues with the execution do have to do with Chuck’s falling for Hannah, but mostly that they weren’t explicit enough that the “friends” cover was, to Chuck at least, the end of his pursuit of Sarah and telling himself they were over. Given that, yeah, Chuck was a bit of a jerk to be so openly moving on and enjoying it in front of Sarah, but he had told her he loved her and tried to talk it out, and was met with silence. From his perspective she was over him, or at least not receptive to him trying to re-start anything. Given that, Chuck’s biggest problem was knowingly getting involved with a woman he didn’t care that much about and who he knew he could never be open and honest with. And handling it remarkably badly when he realized it.

        In Sarah’s defense the keeping Chuck’s emotions in check and handler issue does kind of put a crimp in professions of true love, but the difference is that she KNOWS chuck’s feelings and from First Class on she’s not even been as much a friend as she was in season 1, even though she is well aware of what he is dealing with and the sacrafice he feels he’s made. Even discount the friend thing, professionally it is remarkably cold to not offer any advice on how to handle the emotional fallout of learning to do things that go against your nature. Casey was more help on that front. So Sarah has, for years, pushed Chuck to be more of a self sacrificing hero, and when he finally steps up and tries she immediately pulls back her support. I know Sarah has her own issues, but so far they don’t make a lot of sense in how she is reacting or treating Chuck.

  6. Chanman says:

    Hey guys!

    I have been reading this blog for some time now, and its my turn to contribute to it, cause this episode, and all the comments about it were kind a turning point to me. I watch the first 2 seasons and the epis before the olympic hiatus in a row in two days time, and that should tell you how much I fell in love with this show. After that I religiously started to look up everything about ‘Chuck’ on the internets, and found you guys who have been ever since takinng away quite some time from my everyday life:D! Thank you for that!

    But enough of the introduction!

    I wanted to congratulate TPTB for pulling off one of the biggest turnarounds in TV history. They said some time ago that this show is evolving and that in the future, probably in the 4th season, it will become a different thing then before. Well if this season is an epilouge to the old ‘chuck’, and prolouge for the new one, than they did everything right!

    The reason why i say this is in a comment that I read about the last ep. I forgot the writer sorry, but it said, that TPTB teared down everything we loved about season 2, and that we don’t really care about the Chuck and Sarah stuff anymore. That made me think a bit. It’s true that one of the main themes of this show was about the love between the two main characters, and that it was one of the reasons for me too to fall for the show. But if the future ‘chuck’ is a new thing, then they had to remove that part, cause the angst thing kinda started to overshadow all the other qualities and possibilities of the show.(for me). And in that they succeded flawlessly. During the past few weeks I started to grow tired off the whole Charah thing. And as I said earlier this episode was a turning point for me. When Sarah told Shaw that she isn’t in love with Chuck anymore I felt relief and some kind of closure. It’s over.(I know it isn’t:D) And thats why I congratulate TPTB, cause they made me care less and less about Charah, until this point, where I personally can move forward, and look forward for a new Chuck with all the other awesome things that this show has to offer!

    The spy stuff was great, Cassey and the buymorians were really good,allways love Morgan, and the Awesome’s and I start to see the light at the and of the tunnel. Just not the light that I expected at the start of the season.

    Maybe I’m alone with this but I actually am looking forward to a new ‘Chuck’ with all the action and fun it had before(hopefully), without the Charah stuff.

    • Chanman says:

      P.S.: sorry for the grammar, I’m from Hungary! 😀

    • Chanman says:

      Oh and don’t understand me wrong! If they can bring back the season 2 feelin, or make it even better I would be more than happy!

    • weaselone says:

      Thanks for posting Chanman. The more views the merrier. Please don’t worry about the grammar. I’m a native speaker and I still don’t get it right.

    • JLR says:

      You’re definitely NOT alone in your sentiment. I’m not a shipper, & I just want the C/S stuff to be over at this point. I do sometimes gnash my teeth about wanting it to be “believable”, but even that desire is starting to wane. There are so many plot holes, I figure there’ll just be more even when it comes to the central relationship. I just want to like & care about the characters. This PLI angle is doing the opposite for me. It brings out the worst in real people & fictional characters alike, IMO. If this is to be the final season, I want to have some fun going out, NOT more angst.

  7. Waverly says:

    Actually, Agent Shaw was pretty good last night in Castle.

    (ABC, Tick Tick Tick)

  8. Alex says:

    If you can mentally completely disconnect yourself from the Chuck/Sarah WT/WT mess it’s a good episode. There’s a decent spy story and some amusing antics involving casey and the buymoreons.Problem is you can’t disconnect from he angst, because the mess is front and center and it is as you say very very cyclical. It’s been now what? 7 episodes that with the exception of the Beard I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth after watching Chuck. What happened?

    They are constantly resorting to cheap angst solutions to delay something they “want” to give to the fans, thinking the delay will make the payoff seem somehow better. I beg to differ, the delay, the contrived drama, the predictable twists and most of all the constant angst have actually turned people completely indifferent to the payoff and that my friend is an achievement.

    If they had a bit of common sense they would have dealt with all the crap in 4-5 episodes and moved on. I mean seriously. How many episodes of Shaw being around Sarah and hearing her blurting random info do we need before we figure out Shaw can’t help her? Chuck’s LI was dealt with well, there was chemistry, a start a realization and an ending. Sarah’s is seeming like a never ending angst fest that goes nowhere, accomplishes nothing except maybe to keep the angst going for another episode.

    Good news is, based on the overnights, you are watching the first of the final nine episodes of Chuck … ever. So at least you know there’s an end to the Chuck addiction in sight.

    • atcdave says:

      I know I’ve said some stupid things (really!), but I don’t really want the show to end. But I’m stuck, I can’t in good conscience recommend this season to anyone either. So I just watch, and hope for the best; both with the story and the ratings. I fear the story is easier to fix.

      • Alex says:

        Let me put it this way. At the start of the season (and don’t forget that was 2 months ago) there were 12 of us watching the premiere. Myself, my roommates, our gfs and 4 friends. Out of that circle I am the only one that has seen tic tac and final exam, and I saw them a day later. That’s a problem, and I promise you, we are not a bunch of weird impossible to satisfy group of people.
        I hope Chuck gets renewed, I really do, but I fear the damage done is irreparable at this point. Like I said in my previous point people flat out stop caring and that you can’t take back or fix.

  9. JLR says:

    I’m fatigued, but can’t help posting this….

    –I see now it is being suggested on come “TPTB-friendly” blogs that “crazy shippers” &/or overly-critical viewers have “killed the show”; i.e. low ratings. What amuses me about those comments is that oh, only 24 hours ago I saw statements that the views of those dissatisfied with S3 were restricted to a meaningless few blog/forum posters. So which is it? Those of us who are critical are meaningless, or we have the ability to “kill the show”?

    –I see certain commentators state they “love” S3, and prefer it to the first 2 seasons “by a long ways.” Some of those same commentators have suggested that viewers not liking S3 should just quit watching. So, I have a question…if S1 & 2 were in such need of “improving” (thus winding-up w/ S3), how did said commentators become fans of the show in the first place? I mean, if the show wasn’t sufficiently high-brow for those viewers, how did they endure all the incredibly boring comedy & feel-good moments?

    • Jason says:

      yep – lol – other good one is how we kept hearing what you see is what you get, yet now the fanboys are assigning all these crazy theories to explain sarah’s behavior – substitute the name for such behavior of your choice – but possibly more entertaining than the show itself

      • JLR says:

        Yeah…ChuckTV has a 100+ page “Sarah Walker Character Analysis Thread.” If it were so simple, why the need for such a thread?

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    As much as I’m trying to stay spoiler free it seems to be seeping onto this post that there is a Chuckopalypse again? Ugh. Still most of the posts here seem to indicate that the episode did actually advance the story and characters?

    Really, I wasn’t talking about quitting the show. Quite the opposite. I was looking for a way to enjoy it again, and having missed an episode figured if I could hold out another week I could watch at least two back to back if (as I am still sort of assuming) this one was another go around on all the stuff I’ve already seen. The interrupted kiss. The interrupted conversation, Chuck pulling the trigger sending Sarah into Shaw’s arms after she gave Chuck the gun and told him he had to pull the trigger. Even though I tried to stay spoiler free it seems that the first time Sarah ever uses the word love anywhere near the name Chuck it’s to deny any feelings for him to Shaw (like we couldn’t see that bit of angst coming, or like we believe it).

    Now it seems the ratings stayed tanked and anti-shippers are already blaming shippers for killing the show. And I’m guessing there are a few shippers playing I told you so, like before. Ugh.

    Really looking forward to this episode now…

    On the bright side, having confined my Chuck browsing to one post (this one) I got quite a lot more work done today with no Sepinwall, no TV By the Numbers, no twitter, etc. Having been so consumed with Chuck for so long, I was quite surprised how easy it was to remain ignorant of what was/is going on. Stay off the web pretty much covered 80% of it, and only reading and posting on this post covered the rest, except for the few inadvertent spoilers here.

    So I guess I’ll be watching before next Monday, since it seems like I may need to defend myself for killing the show. I’ll check back in after I’ve seen it twice. Thanks for the opinions. Taking a break was always a longshot I guess, as if I could stay away from this blog for a week.

    • JLR says:

      Sorry Ernie if I contributed to bringing the negativity into this thread. I couldn’t help it…. I just despise the holier-than-thou attitude being espoused by certain commentators. Some of them making statements like “I’d like to punch some shippers in the face.” Yeah, that’s making a compelling statement….

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well I can guess where it’s coming from. It isn’t like I didn’t see this coming.

      • JC says:

        Chuckopalypse nah more like a sinking ship and everyone is scrambling and blaming each other.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        So the deck chairs will be well ordered and the band will play on. Great.

        OK, I’m going to iTunes to buy The OC and inoculate myself.

      • Faith says:

        Don’t listen to them Ernie…if I’m not mistaken their “source” is the same one that basically called us crazy shippers lol. Am I right guys? 🙂

        Anyways, while I don’t know what is going to happen…I do know of certain old spoilers that paint a much better picture. Not to mention the synopsis. So I’m assured (incorrectly?) that Chuckapocalypse is not revisited.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Sorry Faith, busy, watching The OC.

      • Faith says:


      • atcdave says:

        Cool, were any of us mentioned by name? I’d love to know who wants to punch me out! I think that really raises the level of discourse and encourages an open and honest discussion.

      • JLR says:

        Nah…no individuals named. But after seeing the Chuckthis blog referred to by name as being populated by “bad” fans in another thread @ DR’s blog, I’m guessing some of the comments may have been directed at some of us. [shrug] Who is being reactionary now? LOL

      • Faith says:

        Dave, somehow I’m reminded of “I don’t care what they call me, so long as they spell my name right” mentality lol.

        Anyways, my opinion which doesn’t count for much. This place epitome of AWESOME. We’re mature, knowledgeable, articulate and we don’t mince words. What you see is what you get.

      • atcdave says:

        Faith, it is sort of a perverse honor that this blog would be singled out. I’m sure Joe never intended us to be an object of scorn; but it really does make me happy when I hear that people can express opinions here that aren’t welcome elsewhere. I hope TPTB are wise enough to realise we represent a significant portion of their fan base.

        It is funny, until recently I didn’t really even consider myself a ‘shipper; but now I’m honored by the company I keep here.

      • JLR says:

        Dave your last sentence reminds me that I’m allowing myself to be cowed by the reactionaries (meaning, I repeatedly state I’m not a shipper, well, b/c I’m not). I guess I’m so sensitive to the fact that there’s a certain stigma attached to that label. At most blogs/forums, if you state any POV criticizing the show, BAM!!!, you are instantly labeled a shipper & maligned.

      • John says:

        Chuckthis full of bad fans? Nonsense we have lots of positive people here we just call spades spades.

      • Jason says:

        I’m sure it hurts those prima dona’s feelings, they are getting the show they wanted, they had been insisting it was great, now that it sucks and they know it they are blaming the same fans they had been making fun of & taunting to quit – oh well – pretty funny

      • atcdave says:

        JLR, I used to joke I couldn’t be a ‘shipper because I love football and normally rate movies by how often things explode. I was drawn to this show by the promise of action, adventure, and humor. I still want the show to be more about the spy adventures, and less time on the romance. But the only way that works more for me is a stable, low maintenance central relationship. If Chuck and Sarah aren’t right together, everything else is sour, and I can’t enjoy it. Obviously, a lot of people feel something similar; I can’t believe the number of comments I’ve heard to the effect of “the show wasn’t fun anymore, so I quit watching.” I think ‘shippers form a fairly broad spectrum of exactly what they want to see; but bottom line is, Chuck and Sarah must face all hazards as a couple and a team. Nothing short of that will satisfy most of us.

      • John says:

        Dave it seems I almost always agree with you.

        I was not really a shipper either…but making that romance the central plot of the show and generating angst from it has a way of turning even the biggest football and explosions fan pining away for resolution.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah John, we know from the previews there is one awesome explosion coming next week, and I have a feeling you and I will be able to enjoy it!

      • John says:

        Actually I have been waiting for that stealth bomber blowing up that building ever since I saw it on the March 1st preview hehe.

      • atcdave says:

        oh yeah! And for the record I’m impressed, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen call it a stealth “fighter”. Uggh. B-2, not an F-117.

        Good job!

    • Alex says:

      It’s not a Chuckopalypse, honestly, the “bad” few minutes of angst are transparent, you can very clearly see where they are going … I mean there are a bunch of anvils being thrown before it happens.

      It’s more pent up frustration for a run of 7 wtf episodes coupled with lousy ratings. That’s what all the complaining is about imo.

      Either way, watch it, it really is a fun episode. It may leave a bitter aftertaste but it’s not completely bad.

      • JLR says:

        Yeah, just a little “bitter beer face” after the closing scenes..

      • Faith says:

        I think Ernie is referring to the future episodes…hence the spoiler comment.

        He hasn’t seen the promo or the spoilers past that of crap I can’t remember the name of the last epi.

      • John says:

        Chuck versus the Tic Tac 🙂

  11. Sole says:

    Hi! First time commenting, long time reader. I keep thinking that maybe we are experiencing with chuck (the show), the same thing Sarah is with chuck (the person)? It’s darker, more mature, not so funny anymore. We feel like it´s lost the charm. We still love it, but it’s different, and we’re not sure if we’ll stick with it/him forever. So, I’ll wait and see…

    • atcdave says:

      Welcome aboard Sole, its always great welcome new voices to the site. I think wait and see is the operative thought right now. The show is clearly in transition, in the next couple weeks we should see if it can still work for many of us who have been here since the beginning, or if the changes are too great.
      But in the meantime, we can celebrate or complain and worry here together.

      • Sole says:

        Wow! It’s great to have feedback so soon, specially because non of my friends are fans of chuck, so the angst get lonely. Of course I’m in Argentina and season 3 is not here yet! It’s great to do this, i’ll be here more often, i was afraid because my english is not great, but I’ll do my best to be clear! Thanks for the welcome!!I also believe that 13 eps were just too little time for the arc they are playing, maybe if there were 19 eps from the begining of the season we would not feel this holes in the plot. As someone once said, I keep hoping that the dvd has some cut scenes..

      • atcdave says:

        We have quite an international community here; I’m impressed with anyone who can follow and discuss a show that isn’t even in their first language, so don’t worry about apologies. Do you mean you haven’t seen any S3 yet? Be warned, its a rough ride. Looks like we’ll get to a good resolution, but depending on what parts of the show you liked before, it may not be a lot of fun. Just hang in there, we’re all pretty sure good things lie ahead.

      • Sole says:

        Yeah I’ve been watching!! I watch it as it airs, on line…

  12. herder says:

    Flipping through a few things I saw that Chuck and Sarah won the watch with kristin top couple contest. I know these type of things are usually won by fanatic fans who vote repetedly, but a couple of points. First they won despite not being together at all this year, second it shows that this is what the fans of the show (or at least those who are inclined to vote in these things) want. Third, I found out about it while checking JS’s twitters, a bit ironic that the person most responsible for keeping them apart is the one announcing that they have won. Also it highlights a missed oppertunity for a bubble show to capitalize on it’s biggest strength.

    On a slightly different point, I have read about people blaming shippers for sinking the show by not watching. My feel of the issue is that those that were upset continued to watch the show, that is why they continued to be upset. What happened, as I see it is that there was an erosion of those general viewer who were watching the show and disheartened shippers stopped promoting the show to others and reduced the number of new viewers.

    Finally, there was some critism of this site on DR’s blog, specifically the negative tone. My experience since I found this place has been that it was very positive up to the Mask, a dip, then more positive during the Olympic break. Upset after the Fake name, but a desire to see it through while wary of what was being done over the last three episodes. To my mind this tracks exactly what happened with the ratings.

    After the Mask and Fake Name my sense is that those who watch the show became less invested in the show and when a resolution to the Chuck/Sarah thing didn’t appear immenent some people started to drift away. Which is why there was a drop in the viewing numbers over the last two weeks, it wasn’t that the episodes were not good, they were, it was the general drift of the show was into a “been there done that” feel.

    I think critism of this site and it’s demenor is not valid because A: it is representative of the audience as a whole and B: I suspect there was less of a drop off of viewers from here than from the audience as a whol. I do think that many of us who post here stopped pushing friends and acquantinces to start or continue watching the show, but that is a function of discomfort with the story that was being told.

    Unlike some I don’t feel that all is lost, but it is a very big hurdle to climb, especially considering that this slump is coming as the first 13 is reaching it’s peak, in other words where it should be increasing ratings. Personally I was stunned at the decline last week, I had expected a decent increase in numbers, DST to my mind accounted for a bit more than half the loss, the rest was lost viewers that I didn’t see coming. I believe that all is not lost because, as I understand it the last eight episodes do have the bits we have been missing throughout this year.

    • JC says:

      I don’t know what people can do really. Fans are blaming each other. The TPTB aren’t doing anything to get people motivated. In fact I would say before the ratings came out they were provoking a certain group of fans somewhat. It seems like a general case of apathy has set in.

      I’ve tried to get people to watch to no avail. Even my g/f who got me into the show is struggling to hang in till the end.

      • ethan says:

        It’s fan fatigue, isn’t it obvious? Look around the Chuck fan sites, nobody is actually excited about what’s coming up even though it’s supposedly “good stuff”. They went too far with angst and people stopped caring which is the worst thing that can happen to a show, and a bubble show at that. We ‘re getting into the final 2, supposedly climatic episodes of the original 13 episode order and people are completely indifferent when they should have been excited. That’s bad management.

        I really hope people tune back in after whatever climax is supposed to happen happens, I really like Chuck, it’d be a crying shame if it got canceled cause the showrunners couldn’t figure out how much is enough.

        And yeah sorry, I don’t think anybody can blame the fans no matter how “crazy” they perceive them to be. Fans want to be entertained, the ratings are a simple reflection of the fact Season 3 failed to entertain. It’s as simple as that. Nobody switches off cause random people on the internet whine cause Chuck and Sarah aren’t together. People switch off cause what they see isn’t worth their time.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I still have some hope for this show. Yes, they’ve dragged things out for way too long and the fan fatigue is a factor, certainly with me. However, as I’ve said and CF has confirmed the back 6 will be what determines the course of the new show. The front 13 will end with Chuck and Sarah as a spy couple on April 5. There will as I understand it be a two week break, then the back 6 will start April 26 just in time for May sweeps. Renewal decisions are apparently mid to late May, so the critical episodes are 3.14, 3.15, 3.16 and 3.17. The decision will probably be made before the epic game changing two hour finale on May 24. Fortunately those episodes are after the angsty arc should be done, so hopefully some of the fans will start to tune back in.

      As for what is killing the show, whether they know it or not they are re-playing the REAL Moonlighting scenario perfectly. Take the show’s charismatic leads with incendiary onscreen chemistry, and after dancing around the WTWT put them together, briefly (Colonel). Immediately retract the coupling, split the couple apart, physically so they share little to no screen time the bulk of the next season all the while making the characters act like jerks. Finally put them back together, physically, but make sure the woman is still involved with a third party love interest so you can try to have it both ways, the onscreen chemistry but the WTWT dance dragged out longer. Once the show’s rating’s have tanked, put the main couple together with a grand TA DA to the sound of chirping crickets. Blame failure on putting the couple together.

      • atcdave says:

        Funny it comes back to the Moonlighting scenario. Everyone worries about repeating those mistakes, yet they seem to have stepped right into it.

      • ethan says:

        Totally agree, right down to the completely nonsensical LI for the girl. Walter and Shaw make about the same amount of sense to me.

      • herder says:

        In retrospect it seems that Mo Ryan had a much better handle on the reactions of the fans than JS and CF did. Compare the interview with Sepinwall after Mask “who stops reading a book after the 7th chapter” to Mo’s “don’t give up it gets much better” after Fake Name.

        In other words Mo saw what the problem was and tried to adress it, JS and CF seemed mystified that there was a problem. At this point a trust us from JS and CF won’t work, but saying it gets much better might in that it suggests that they know what the problem is, they foresaw it and put things in to adress it when filming. In other words they know what people want and they will give it to them in the context of the story being told.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        To be fair though Moonlighting’s biggest problem was production. They had so much dialog and so many scenes that they often couldn’t get a new episode ready in time. With that you virtually never knew whether there was a new episode or a repeat. That was what originally turned fans off.

      • ethan says:

        Isn’t it strange though that Mo hasn’t reviewed either Tic Tac or Final exam? Last review of hers I ‘ve seen was Beard

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Herder, it’s been my theory (and hope) that they saw there were problems early on, hence the pre-screeners first 5 release and the three episode in two nights premier. They got to a fun episode quickly, thank goodness. Fairly early on we started getting the detailed casting calls, and then over the olympic break (after the WTF end of Mask), what do you know, we got actual shooting schedules “leaked” on a French site and another pre-screeners release so they could tell us to stick with it through Fake Name.

        In short I’m convinced they were well aware this was going to be a rough season by the time the back 6 were ordered. I don’t think they quite understood how rough though.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Mo Ryan is on vacation. But I twittered her and she said she generally liked Final Exam.

  13. sd says:

    The problem I have with C/S isn’t necessarily that they aren’t together…they don’t even feel as if they are friends…especially the way S is being scripted. As C is growing in the spy role and has struggled at times…S hasn’t acted as the encouraging friend (and then more) she became to him in Seasons 1 and 2.

    I get that she was crushed by C, she needs to “let him go” to grow and she has her own issues…but the bottom line is that wasn’t the character development that got many of us invested and kept us watching. We tuned in at the very least for the friendship not to see people who have turned into distant work collegues.

  14. BeCoolBoy says:

    Folks, a couple of points here, if I may:

    1) We’re starting to see a new meme: It would have been better had TPTB knew they were getting a “full” season to work with. In other words, if they knew they had 19 (or 22) episodes to work with from the beginning, they’d have dragged out their Tweener Angst crap (which Monday morphed into Faux Psychology crap) over a full season, instead of just 13 episodes.

    2) Why does ANYONE think getting a Season 4 will cure any of this? Writers and showrunners have styles. These people’s style is angst. Season Four will be slightly different, but exactly the same: They are going to pick at Chuck and Sarah (and Casey) endlessly.

    So why go for a Season 4? Why should we support a Season 4? Without some clear promise from the showrunners that they won’t play the same games, I say let the show die.

    The ratings have tanked for a reason: They not only told a foul story (really, who wants a self-loathing lead character projecting her guilt on the other lead character, who happens to be the only character who’s ever really loved her?), they kept their charasmatic leads off the screen together for most of the season.

    Time to die. A season four simply won’t be better than the originally planned season 3. And WHY would anyone here trust that the showrunners, who have ALREADY told us there’s another show reset coming at the end of 3.19, will produce a season 4 that we want to watch.

    Chuck fans REALLY need to accept that the Chuck show we loved ended with Colonel. If you LIKE Season 3 Chuck, that’s cool with me. But it isn’t Chuck. And Season 4 Chuck wouldn’t be Chuck, either.

    • weaselone says:

      This is taking it too far. It’s legitimate to criticize aspects of the season and choices the writers have made, but they’ve still managed to deliver 2 season that attracted a rabid following to the show. The idea that they don’t have it in them to create a show that entertains everyone is ludicrous. The question is whether they’ve done it in these last 8 episodes and if it isn’t too late to save the show.

    • John says:

      BeCoolBoy: I totally agree about how it is good they only had 13 episodes to stretch this particular arc out…but I think the rest of the what you said is way over the top negative and absurd. How come the style of the first two entire seasons is not the writers and producers style and the last few episodes are? Does that make any logical sense?

      Put down the suicide note and think this through a bit. No reason to drown yourself in ‘in the world has gone to hell and is now irredeemably evil’ angst just because the show has had its problems with it.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      The thing is I think we are getting that promise and proof that they have changed if we’re willing to read between the lines a bit. Just about every casting notice or “leaked” spoiler from a notoriously spoilerphobic production is telling us that the back 6 is the Chuck and Sarah Spy Couple Roadshow. Fedak is basically saying this is the new show formula we’ll be seeing, and now in a recently released interview with Yvonne, this:

      SNMag: Can you tell us anything about what’s in store for Chuck and Sarah?

      YS: Things develop a little further, obviously. They now have different love interests. You see Chuck end his love interest. The story unfolds a little bit more with Shaw and Sarah. … At the end of the day, the Chuck and Sarah thing is an ongoing thing.

      I’m not looking for sack cloth and ashes in public. I think the apology and the assurances are there though.

    • ethan says:

      BeCoolBoy I don’t agree with this. Call me a sucker but I do think people learn from their mistakes, and I am sure the showrunners figured out by now that what works on Gossip Girl audience doesn’t work on Chuck audience. I m pretty sure they ‘ll come with some admission of indirect guilt and move on, after all they are in it for the money, they ‘d rather keep a show on air that sit on their behinds.

      I hope Chuck gets renewed, it’s entertaining TV, I really feel it is. Take away the stupid angst and season 3 was good, honestly. Good character growth, what seems like an intense storyline coming together in the final 2 episodes with regards to the spy stuff, it’s generally good. What sucked was that at times it seemed like somebody gave a monkey access to an angst button and said monkey kept pressing it. They hide away the monkey all will be ok.

      • weaselone says:

        The monkey pushing the button was an interesting analogy. I had been thinking along similar lines. In testing the effects of addiction on animals, their were experiments where they set up mechanisms where rats would have to press a button to get their fix. After each fix, the number of times the button had to be pushed would be increased until you had the rodent pressing this button thousands up thousands of times. I sort of imagined JS like that, pushing an angst button in a back room somewhere, face contorted, and eyes crazed needing to push it more and more times to satisfy his craving.

      • Fake Empire says:

        Another intersting note to that study, weaselone, is that the animals chose their “fix” buttons over their food buttons, causing extreme malnourishment and even death in some test subjects.

        I think that JS’s strong desire to plot out angst overruled his ability to gauge the potential fall-out – a “dying” fanbase evidenced by dwindling ratings. I believe TPTB have learned, and the back 6 will reflect that. I think the back 6 will most likely feel like a separate season, a quasi-S4.

    • BeCoolBoy says:

      Folks, you’re missing the point. The style of the first two seasons and the third are EXACTLY the same. That is EXACTLY my point.

      We loved the first two seasons because the angst was new and more logical. The third season angst has been forced and illogical. And the defense for that, from the showrunners, is NOT we went too far. The meme is that if we had 19 episodes to stretch OUT the angst it would have been better than just squeezing it into 13.

      The power of the angst ended at Colonel. Not JUST because that was as far as they should have logically taken it, they said it was over. (Remember Fedak claiming Colonel was the point of no return?) Yet the Season 3 reset came and they started again.

      So we’ve had THREE seasons of angst.

      What proof do YOU have that season 4, which they have TOLD you will be another reset, would be any different? And without proof (or a guarantee), how can you logically take on faith that TPTB won’t do what they did this year. Angst is what they do.

      I’m looking at this with my head. You folks are looking at it with your hearts. Which is admirable, but, given the reality we have seen, not consistent with the facts as we know them.

      • John says:

        Um you are contradicting yourself. First you say ‘woe is us the show we loved died with Colonel’ and now you are saying ‘woe is us the show we loved never existed!’

        Anyway I disagree. It seems to me you are taking this emotionally and you are the one thinking with your heart.

        Angst is not all they do that is an easily demonstrable fact. There has been alot of good stuff in this season when the angst is not present.

        However, I am intrigued by your claim for season 4 did they really say they were going for another reset? Interesting.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        My point is that the back 6 will be the proof, and if as I’m speculating, they’re bringing Poochie back to kill him in the finale that will be the apology.

      • HenryH says:

        I would have to agree with BCB on this one. Angst IS what Schwartz does. (This is Fedak’s first show, so he has no real track record.)

        And you’re ignoring the historic parallel between The OC and Chuck. I’ve never watched the show (at least I don’t think I have), but all the critics say that Season 2 of The OC was brilliant for its form. Then Schwartz came back with the same thing for Season 3 and the rating tanked.

        And BCB is right about the new meme: It’s not an apology for Season 3, it’s a claim that if they knew from the beginning that they had all 19 episodes to work it, they’d have stretched the story the have been telling into 19 episodes and it wouldn’t have seem so rushed.

        And there is this bizarre and unexplained decision to keep Levi and Strahovski off the screen together. Which is very poor business, if nothing else. It’s hurt the show in the ratings from First Class to now. And their sponsor, Subway, pitched all its Chuck-related collateral around Chuck and Sarah in an embrace.

        Yet season 3, from First Class through at least (we assume) the tail-end of American Hero, will have Chuck and Sarah apart.

        So you really can seriously question both the creative judgment and the business sense of the showrunners.

        Without a clear indication of what the showrunners are planning for a Season 4, I wouldn’t lift a finger to help them get it.

        Or, look at it this way: If you were told in advance that Season 3 (the original 13 episodes as planned) would be what it was, would you have fought to get it last year? I certainly wouldn’t have. I’m asking this question of folks who came to Chuck in the first or second season and were part of the fight.

        If you knew what you now know about Season 3, episodes 1-11, would you have been willing to fight for it last year?

        My answer would be no. So, logically, I would not support a “fight” for season 4 if I don’t get some sense of what they are planning for it.

        There is no logical reason to think Season 4 wouldn’t resemble the angst-fest of Seasons 1-3. If Schwartz didn’t learn his lesson from what happened with The OC, why logically would you think he learned his lesson the second time he got clobbered in the ratings with Chuck?

        People are their records. In sports and in television. (And a lot of other fields.) Schwartz does angst, even when it’s a proven loser in the ratings after a certain point. It would be illogical (whoops, Star Trek reference) to think otherwise…

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        No, John, I am not contradicting myself. I am saying we liked Seasons 1-2 of angst because it was new and seemed to be leading to a logical conclusion. Which it did at the end of Colonel. They even SAID it was the end.

        Then they repeated it ad nauseum this season. So, again, I ask, as a matter of fact, not emotion: Why would you think they won’t revisit it AGAIN in Season 4.

        As for the reset, really, just read what they have said in their interviews. The last one being the TV Guide thing on Monday. They are planning changes to the show in season four that they say will surpass the season three reset.

      • Stef62 says:

        I have to agree with John, that maybe you’ve overstated your case.

        Though I will agree that JS has talked of another ‘epic game changer’ for the end of the season.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Don’t want to hijack this thread, but I take your point: If you think the back six would be proof of a change of intent, then are you suggesting we wait until the back six play out before deciding whether we would “rally round the flag” for a Season 4.

        I am not necessarily against that because then we COULD ask TPTB what show are we going to get? The “problem” with that is I can virtually guarantee that the “save Chuck” campaign will ramp up now, virtually the moment after episode 13 airs. And you’ll be told by the “fan leaders” that you must decide NOW because the fate of the show’s renewal demands IMMEDIATE action.

        And I’m saying no to that. (For myself, of course…) But if they want to wait until late May before making a push, well, I’m willing to judge them on the ENTIRE record of the full season 3.

        Although, as I say, you are asking us to ignore the fact that they supporters are saying that, if given 19 episodes of Season 3 up front, they’d have stretched out the existing angst-fest.

        So it will be interesting to see who bellies up to the bar on blind faith and who says “talk to me around Memorial Day.”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d say we’ll know within the first 3 or 4 of the back 6 what kind of show we’re getting, and it is precisely to let us know NOW as opposed to when it is too late to rally that TPTB are leaking like a sieve.

        My prediction is that after 3.13 that puts Chuck and Sarah solidly together we’ll get a massive back 6 promo loaded with Chuck and Sarah together doing everything from finally getting that uninterrupted kiss to kung-fuing out on some baddies.

        As far as the stretching things out meme, I’m not sure I’ve seen what you are talking about.

      • AngelTwo says:

        I think The OC history is damning here. Schwartz really did do exactly the same thing in Season 3 with The OC as he and Fedak did in Season 3 of Chuck: A nauseating, ratings-repellent rerun of Season 2.

        You add that to the fact that their claim now really does seem to be “Season 3 episodes 1-11 wasn’t bad, just rushed.” That indicates they would have stretched out this storyline for the entire 19 episodes had they known early enough that they were getting the back six.

        In fact, from what I’ve read, the only thing that changed when they learned they got the back six was they moved the “epic, game changing Season 4 reset” to episode 19. So they were going to go right from this 13-episode mess right into another show reset.

        We wouldn’t have ever had what we THINK will be a relatively happy back six if they’d had their original choice.

        And while we’re discussing this, why does everyone assume the back six will be the show we “wanted/expected” after Colonel? As far as we know, there is one, perhaps two relatively upbeat episodes. By the third of the back six, someone is visiting a shrink. So can we at least SEE the back six before we claim it as proof of intent. (As for apology, who cares. This isn’t confession, it’s television.)

        The problem with Season 3 really hasn’t been that they brought the love triange/parallelogram back AGAIN after promising that Chuck and Sarah had reached a point of no return in Colonel.

        It’s that they have essentially warped their lead characters into travesties of the characters we came to like. Chuck, by his own words in e11, doesn’t know who or what he is anymore. Sarah is a self-loathing basket case. Semper Fi and never-leave-a-man-behind notwithstanding, Casey walked away from his own daughter.

        These really aren’t showrunners you can take on faith if your commitment to Chuck was to a a nice, fun, generally upbeat, occasionally meta-clever and romantic spy parody.

        It was lizjames who brought up the John Larrouquette Show going from dark to light and losing itself. Chuck really is the flip of that. It’s just not appealing to me if it’s dark, ugly and pseudo-Freudian and constantly having the lead characters mucking about in bathos.

      • weaselone says:

        1. Ignoring the CS melodrama for the moment, we’ve definitely seen major twists and variations in story telling this season. The darker tone, the progression of Chuck, the development of Morgan, the shift away from the Buy More. Those are all significant changes. Look, JS also has a great attraction to other aspects of this show like the pop culture references and the whole geek becomes super spy thing. JS has other interests and avenues to explore and like most creative types I suspect he will if given the chance. The angst well is tapped, he’s going to move to more fertile ground.

        2. The angst is far thicker and not nearly as tinged with sweetness as previous years. It’s not the same as season one and season 2 angst. Season 1 and 2 were largely puppy kick moments and fallout. This years lies thick and heavy and infuses the entire show. Whatever happens in 12 and 13 it’s almost impossible that it could remain this way.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jeeze, you guys are determined to make me watch The OC aren’t you?

        Agreed, Schwedak does seem to like their “epic game changing” resets, but also remember they didn’t consider breaking Chuck and Sarah up a part of that, to them that was SOP and to be expected. The game changing reset was Chuck actually becoming a superhero as opposed to just metaphorically. Also note that apparently Schwartz’s contract to produce Chuck expires after this season. What that means I’m not sure, but given that S&F are friends I’d guess that Schwartz agreed to help produce the first few seasons so WB would take a chance on Fedak. Once Fedak was a known quantity Schwartz could leave the show for other projects. Just a thought, otherwise why 6 year contracts for Levi and Strahovski but only 3 for Schwartz?

        So what would a Fedak produced Chuck look like? Well look at his episodes. He is very much more into action and throwing everything at the viewer at once like in Helicopter, Nemesis, First Date, Gravitron, 3D, Predator and Ring. I think he’d be perfectly happy with a (mostly) stable relationship that can be safely ignored for an action episode or played for angst for a dramatic one.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Weaselone: I know you to be a smart (and wonderfully sarcastic) person. My answer to your post is pretty simple: Didn’t we ALL say “it’s almost impossible that it could remain this way” after the Season 1/Season 2 angst?

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and layer Colonel on top, shame on me. Fool me three times, I deserve to be the target in a Red Test.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        And this season we (and TPTB) have seen the fallout of not believing that Colonel was a game changer, and they’re leaking love letters to shippers begging them to stick with the show for “the payoff”.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Ernie–The problem with the “payoff” IS Colonel. TPTB thought they paid off on the Season 1/2 angst with three (to be generous moments). They say payoff and we HEAR stable.

        Weird, and this struck me: TBTB are Sarah. You have to listen to what they DON’T say… So watch the track record. The track record is angst.

        And I guess I’m one of the few that believe a) The payoff this time won’t feel anywhere near as much fun as Colonel, even if it lasts an episode or even two; b) the back six won’t be particularly fun.

      • Mike B says:

        And if the “Sarah DYLM” moment doesn’t happen by ep 13 the back 6 will continue to have angst.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        AngelTwo, I think you missed my point. They DID think they could do the angst arc again after Colonel, this season is the result of that, they learned a lesson and are now practically saying it won’t happen again. Shcwatrz is on record saying that the romantic subplot would be resolved this season. There are only two ways that can happen, they’re together or one dies, otherwise WTWT will pop back up. Now, with all the leaks and a direct statement on the record that C&S is resolved this season, I’m guessing I will take the leap of faith and assume that C&S will be resolved this season. With Fedak’s statement that the back 6 is a preview of S4, and given the leaks, I’m going to guess that this means C&S are together, perhaps with some angst, but together from 3.13 on.

        So, based on all the leaks, teasers, and direct statements from TPTB, I think they are trying to tell us the shape of the show to come NOW, so we’ll be ready to rally for the show before May.

      • herder says:

        I think that they will be together by the end of 3.13, in some form, but not as a fully formed functioning couple. That is what the back six is about, them trying to figure out how to do what they have to and be what they want. Not angsty, but there will be some problems, one night together isn’t going to eliminate all the personality quirks of these two people.

      • HenryH says:

        I think we need to be honest here: Even for those of us who DIDN’T want a functional rerun of the Seasons 1-2 romantic angst, the show really went off the tracks at the end of Three Words.

        After hearing (and being affected by) Chuck’s speech to Karl, Sarah then watches video of Chuck confessing the dictionary definition of “perfect” love for her. Her reaction? Do nothing.

        Nothing that’s happened since the end of Three Words has been logical, not even in the goofy relationship world into which they have placed Chuck and Sarah.

        It’s not JUST that the angst repeated itself, it’s that it was repeated badly.

        So I simply do not accept that TPTB learned their lesson, won’t follow their track record and or have “reformed.”

        Of course the angst would be different in Season 4 if there is one, but it will be there. We’ll find out Sarah is jealous of Chuck when he goes on a seduction mission (and we KNOW Sarah can be jealous). Chuck will hate it when she goes to Paraguay with a fork–even though he CAN tell Morgan now. Sarah will discover Chuck has been getting secret text messages from Jill. Chuck will learn Sarah had an evening with Tiger Woods. Cole or Lou will return

        Has anyone simply considered that these showrunners just don’t WANT to write a happy show? I mean, can any ONE of you say they’d even watch the pilot of the Schwartz comedy that Kristen Kreuk will star in. I mean, angst is what they do…

      • HenryH says:

        Ernie, to accept your emotions in check/bodyguard rationale for the romance/emotion, you’d then have to junk what ELSE has happened physically: Chuck has been alone by fiat of Shaw, Sarah isn’t bodyguarding Chuck but is attached to Shaw, and both Shaw (explicitly) and Sarah (inadvertantly) are pushing Chuck’s buttons.

        That’s what I meant by no logic. There are so many conflicting things that it is impossible to rationalize. It’s angst for the sake of angst and badly written angst.

        Episodes 1-2, taken in tandem, were hard to swallow, but broadly fixable. Episode 3-4 were okay. But episodes 5-11, from the emotional/relationship standpoint, is irreconcilable. And anyone who says it’s not all about Chuck and Sarah are kidding themselves. It’s all about Chuck and Sarah. Or Poochie and Sarah, which is a garish metamorph of Chuck and Sarah.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        There’s good angst and there’s bad angst. Season 1 and 2 may have both had angst but they were acceptable not because they were new, you’re right they’re not. But because they were done well…acceptable…didn’t want to make me flog myself into oblivion. Entertainment at it’s core is just a retelling of the same story over and over again, how it is done is the difference. If they get back to what worked and what felt good we and they will be fine. If they repeat that which shall not be named then there is no need to stop watching, it’ll self combust before our eyes.

        One thing you have to remember is by and large our culture is a forgiving culture. Although they have imparted on us transgressions they need to be given and should own up to the reparations of their mistakes. That is why I’m going to continue to tune in. That and really what is the alternative?

      • herder says:

        Hmm, forgiveness or DWTS, I’ll take forgiveness thank-you.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Faith: Read a good book? Take someone you love to Monday-night dinner? Wait for new stuff from Levi and Strahovski?

        Really, I did watch Chuck because it was exceptionally good TV in teh first two seasons. I’ve watched season 3 out of a sense of commitment. I don’t feel the need to find another TV show to watch in Chuck’s place. There are other things to do with an hour on Monday night.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        BCB thank you for asking, yes actually. All the time. DVR is one of the 21st century wonders for a reason and I have one, as well as iTunes and a tv tuner recorder on my computer. The point isn’t that I have no life—thank you, I don’t but—that I choose to be entertained with my life. Chuck is and was entertaining, it can be again. If you want to go for the fooled me once, shame on me, fool me twice mentality well it goes both ways…entertain me once, entertain me again. These guys pooched it plain and simply. Let them, I will give them the opportunity to make up for it. Because they made me believe to begin with, they made me care. That hasn’t been entirely lost in the shuffle, it’s just been misplaced.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Faith, I believe in redemption and in the power of forgiveness. However, TPTB would have to apologize because admitting your mistake is where you start. And I don’t mean apologize to me or admit a mistake to me. I mean, to themselves. They’d have to ADMIT that they made a mistake.

        I don’t think they can. If they could, they’d have been out there massively saying stuff like “We know what you want and it’s coming.” In fact, now that we’re clearly coming to what they consider “the payoff,” they should be out there promoting the hell out of the next two episodes.

        And what are they talking about? A bad music video by Jeffster and the “epic” and “game-changing” twists for Season 4.

        I am sorry, I just don’t see why anyone thinks these people are capable of changing their spots–or admitting they have spots…

        And you have a life. I know it. You have all of us. 🙂 “Yeah, you do!” to quote Chuck from when he was Chuck!

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Actions speak louder than words for me in this specific instance. I don’t need them to tell me they pooched it. I don’t need them to apologize for the transgression on my shipper heart but I need them to show me the money.

        Talk is cheap, get them together and entertain me again 😉

        LOL I have a funny/sad sidestory about this place and my life but I’ll refrain haha.

      • amyabn says:

        I’m also very much wondering what resolution Chuck and Sarah will come to. I really don’t think it is what we want. The answer may lie in the answer to this question: What episode is it that Chuck asks Sarah if she loves him?
        I thing if it is in the back 6, then Chuck and Sarah will not be together at the end of 13. Why? Because if they were together, he wouldn’t be asking that question. I don’t think he would accept a casual dating relationship without a commitment at this point. How many times has he told her (including next weeks episode) that he loves her? I think (again, based on when that line pops up) that Sarah will be ok with being Chuck’s partner and friend status will be restored. That’s it. Not trying to be pessimistic, but I don’t want to get my hopes up for what has been promised to be “epic” only to have the football yanked away as I’m about to kick it, ala Charlie Brown. If anyone can answer the episode question, I would appreciate it.

      • Faith says:

        Amy, I can’t answer that…there is currently a betting pool (for costa gravas pesos lol) at the NBC boards but I’ve long since failed, epic-ly at it. I chose 3.8.

        Anyways I can’t answer but here’s my thought. I think it’s in the front 3.13. Why? Because it’s its own season, if we’re led to believe that it’s its own season then some sort of resolution needs to happen. What better resolution could there be than DYLM-Yes? Bad angst over, reparations under way.

        But and this is a big BUT, some part of me thinks it’ll be better off being at the back 6. Which is not to say that they won’t be together/co-existing better at the end of 3.13 but that it would make more sense and allow for more believability that it leads to that. Let’s face it right now while I want to see Sarah kiss Chuck at the end of 3.12, I’m not gonna be entirely happy about it if she just finished kissing Shaw at the beginning of 3.12. Do you get what I mean? I want resolution, so bad but I want it to make sense. I want redemption. However, I really am greedy for them to just get together already. 🙂

      • amyabn says:

        I get exactly what you mean, Faith. That is why I can’t believe they have dragged this resolution out so long. How do you have such a badly damaged character (Sarah) turn on a dime and decide that Chuck is the guy for her? And with TPTB’s track record, I doubt their definition of resolution is going to be the same as mine, hence I’m steeling myself for disappointment (from my own expectations).
        In a totally random comment, I keep getting the feeling that Sarah’s Red Test was in fact Eve Shaw (Sarah doesn’t know) and that we will find out that Shaw’s intentions all along were to isolate Sarah and the team (to move Chuck’s training along). He wants the perfect spy in Chuck to reap revenge, and he will act emotionally unstable in 3.13 (maybe that is when he realizes Sarah killed Eve) and goes crazy. It would almost be poetic if Chuck has to shoot Shaw to save Sarah.

      • HenryH says:

        I think the answer to your question of HOW Sarah will turn on a dime is probably the simpliest one to answer.

        Go back to Hard Salami and see the moment when it all started: Once Chuck refuses to leave her when he could have run to safety, thus being the first man who didn’t abandon her, she realizes he’s the guy for her. Hence her grabbing him and kissing him.

        In American Hero, Chuck will do something heroic that makes Sarah realize he’s still “her” Chuck. I hope it won’t be as cheesy as saving Shaw. I hope it’ll be something better. But there will be an ACTION, not words. Sarah, as we know, is bad with words and doesn’t react to them well, either. To her, it’s action.

        BTW, as time passes, that great moment in Hard Salami is looking like the best moment of the series for Charah fans. It was pure and beautiful…and well scripted.

        It seems SOOOOOOO long ago.

      • JC says:

        You also have to wonder why would Chuck want to get involved with her. I know he loves her but eventually you have to realize enough is enough.

  15. AngelTwo says:

    Ernie: Fedak also said Colonel was a point of no return for Chuck and Sarah. Was it? I am sorry, there is no reason to believe a single word of what these guys say. Everything is conditional. And Schwartz’s exact comment was that the romantic subplot would be “resolved in some way.” And he didn’t say permanently.

    So I think it would be wise to sit on our hands and watch the WHOLE back six before deciding. But doing that IS a decision because by then the show will be dead.

    In fact, I do think this entire discussion is somewhat moot. I don’t think the show will be renewed. The ratings have fallen so precipitously that I don’t see how even a massive fan campaign can change it. Last year, the entire fan base went all out (I know you weren’t there, Ernie) and it didn’t impact ratings at all.

    And we KNOW this year it’s gonna have to be about ratings, not fan commitment. So last year, with complete unquestioned support, no ratings impact. This year, with ratings in even worse shape and the fans ambivilent (I’m being generous), what are the odds?

    Moreover, I think the same thing that worked last year (NBC needed a back-up if Leno tanked, hence the limited commitment to Chuck) will work against Chuck this year. NBC is hellbent for new product and has probably doubled the number of pilots it commissioned. Without a serious rating improvement and still another Warner cut in license fee, the show is probably toast.

    • AngelTwo says:

      And has anyone considered what this massive fan campaign to get casual viewers back would entail: Hey, come one back, the show doesn’t suck anymore. I mean, functionally, it would have to be some form of that.

      Or, worse, Mr. Nice Spy is BACK. And Hot Blonde, too.

      • herder says:

        It would have to be an appeal to those who have left the show (considering that there were more than 8 million at the start of Pink Slip that leaves 3 1/2 million to woo).

        Title it “the couple you love are back, and kicking ass together”, push it on the web et al. I could work.

      • herder says:

        It could work, I already work, except when I goof off here.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        “Mr. Nice Spy Is Back” would be funny. And hilariously meta. Never happen, though…

        Or perhaps we could enlist one of Old Darth’s unintentionally hilarious Season 3 defenses in a new form: Watch Chuck Again! They’re Together Now and They Won’t Die!

      • HenryH says:

        Chuck and Sarah Together for The Final Four! Because You’ll Believe Anything!

        Sorry, couldn’t resist…

      • HenryH says:

        And in all seriousness, the “fan leaders”–if you consider ChuckTV.net, the Two Darths, etc. fan leaders–seem as much in denial about the state of Chuck as TPTB.

        They seem to resent the fact that Chuck has lost a third of its audience this year. It’s like they’ve been saying: How can you people be so stupid as to not watch this show!”

        And rather than try to reach those people, they’ve focused their ire on those of us who still watch but have been impolitic enough to point out that the Emperor…um…has no ratings.

        Not only don’t I particularly trust the show runners, I’m not sure I trust the emperor’s tailors, either.

      • Faith says:

        While I have disliked a lot of things about this season I think it can be great again. I would sell it on that more than anything.

        Or at worse, sell it to those that enjoy this kind of angst lmao.

        The thing about sales is you don’t have to explain, you just have to make people believe. Focus on the good, ignore the bad 😉

    • amyabn says:

      I think if they put out a preview video, showing the good stuff they have planned in the back six (and yes, I’m sure they’ll show us the parts we want to see and editing can do weird things to trick us), they might get the casual viewer to get back on board. If they don’t get the fanbase excited again and pushing for other folks to watch, then yes, I think they have killed Chuck.

      My other concern is the splintering of the fanbase. I’m tired of being scorned for having a not so flattering opinion of the crap we’ve been served up. I also agree with another poster that certain sanctimonius bloggers seem to morph their opinions with the wind and aren’t helping the situation. Some of them do have the resources to see the un-aired episodes. Good for them. It isn’t fair for them to criticize those who are only get bites at a time and don’t like how it is going. To go back to the destination vs. the journey, the journey has not been fun.
      I appreciate everyone here with their reasonable tone and opinions, whether I agree with all of them or not.

  16. weaselone says:

    Fans dueling over the heart of the show and its ability to earn redemption. Dare I say it? It’s an epic battle on Chuckthisblog.

    Anyway, I choose to have faith. It will cost me little more than some disappointment and money on 5 dollar footlongs I’m more than happy to eat…well will eat again after the visual of Casey biting into a Jeff gnawed tunaroni sub fades.

    • John says:

      I think some of us are overstating how bad the show is right now. I think most of the episodes are pretty decent to good on their own but the angst brings it down or there is a problem with continuity and so forth.

      But all those problems to me come directly from keeping the two leads apart in contrived ways.

      If they simply stop doing that I think the show is still strong enough to go on without a hitch for the short time it still has left. Or they won’t…and then there are only 8 episodes left so no big deal.

      And hey this is NBC if Chuck recovers even a little bit they might be desperate enough to bring it back.

    • JC says:

      I just don’t understand the war that’s broken out. Love, Hate or somewhere in the middle we’re the ones still on board. Its the viewers that aren’t invested enough to watch on a weekly basis we should be concerned about.

      • Faith says:

        Frankly it’s because others refuse to put the blame where it rightly belongs…simple as that.

      • Faith says:

        and can I just say, Weaselone, you’re a better person than me. I’d have gotten all defensive and cursey all over Chuckgasmic.

      • weaselone says:

        I enjoy listening to his podcasts and frankly if I go over their and spout of the handle, I’ll be branded a crazy shipper and my posts will either not be passed through screening or simply not listened to in the event they are.

        Plus, it’s DR’s forum. I’m not going to go over and piss in his swimming pool. It’s not polite. 🙂

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Sorry I haven’t weighed in on the whole faith and redemption discussion, my stigmata has been acting up tonight. I’m off for some supper with the guys.

  17. John2010 says:

    Magnus posted in his blog earlier that Chuck is a good as gone.

    “Sam, I am pretty sure CHUCK is gone. I know Josh and others will try to be positive and they should be. It is their baby. But my sources say it is over and I believe them. CHUCK is not going to build up enough for NBC to bring it back. WB is never going to agree to drop the licensing fee low enough for NBC to consider keeping it (at this point, WB would have to drop it to practically nothing).”

    • HenryH says:

      Ah, the super secret fake insider who is, in fact, fake. It was Magnus who claimed the “Sarah rule” would never be broken. Well, anyone with half a brain sees that is gone. (And, by the way, who cares anyway. I hope, if nothing else, poor old Sarah is getting SOME kind of comfort.) He is also the fellow who twittered that that he didn’t want to hear about the 1.9 rating last week because it was a one-time blip. Well, that was wrong.

      Someone this week on this blog rather cleverly said having inside information doesn’t mean you have insight. I think the Darths prove that quite conclusively.

      As for Chuck being gone, I wouldn’t consider that inside information. I would consider that stating the (perhaps just a moment or two early) obvious.

    • herder says:

      Then he said that if it averaged 2.6 demo here on out it would be renewed, if a 2.4 it might.

      • SWnerd says:

        I don’t see that happening. I think once people walk away, they usually stay away, especially with a show that’s not completely episodic (although I could argue that the plot holes make it more episodic, but that’s a whole other discussion).

    • weaselone says:

      *shrugs* there’s certainly a lot of people on the NBC forums that don’t consider the Sarah Rule to be broken. But honestly, who cares? It just breaks down a fairly nasty double standard. I’m just upset I haven’t heard strains from a particular Frightened Rabbit song…or better yet “The Impression that I Get.” Not fond of the song, it would just be rather humorous.

      • HenryH says:

        Weaselone: The double standard comes from the showrunners, not the fans. I mean, really, as you say, who cares. And as I said, I just hope Sarah is getting something from Poochie. Besides, what the hell did the virginal fans think was going on at that mansion in Pink Slip? Sarah didn’t have pool privileges for “free.”

        As for the ratings, again, this was predictable. Look at Season 2. It started tanking when they went to the triangles. And by the time we got to the “good stuff,” no one came back. The only exception was the one-time boost from the Super Bowl.

        Season Two is exactly the same. Ratings were fine, even very good, up until First Class. They have been sinking every since with the exception of the small post-Olympics bump.

        I think the conclusion is pretty clear: The casual viewers are shippers. Which is really no surprise. After all, they haven’t been watching for the gripping spy drama…

      • Judy says:

        What is the Sarah rule?

      • weaselone says:

        No nookie for Sarah unless she Chucks Chuck.

      • Faith says:

        Maybe Shaw’s not important enough for FR…that is some verbage 🙂

      • JC says:

        The Sarah rule is stupid.

        Are people that dense, she was dating Bryce Larkin. Look at him, I’d hide my g/f and probably my mother from him. 😉

    • JLR says:

      I think DR is right in this particular case. [shrug] I wish it were not the case, even given my dislike of S3, but I don’t see it rebounding enough. Too bad as I don’t think the show even needed out-of-this-world rating to get renewed.

  18. Gord says:

    I have to admit I am now sufferig from shipper fatigue. With the exception of mask, if you looked at each individual episode on it’s own, I have found S3 episodes to be good to great. For advancing Chuck’s development as a spy, the humour, and the action. I honestly didn’t mind the drama/relationship issues in the first 5 or 6 episodes or so, but they have dragged it out beyond belief.

    My biggest fear for this season, based on what I heard at comiccon was they would turn Chuck into a teen soap opera. While it isn’t entirely a soap opera, certainly the relationship aspects of the show have become that.

    For the first part of this season, I had sympathy for what Sarah was going through. With the dragging out through 13 episodes (at least based on past performance this is what I expect to happen), they have made Sarah the most annoying character of any show I have ever seen.

    I think Yvonne is a great actress, and I never thought that I would ever dread seeing her on screen, but since Mask, I almost cringe everytime I see a scene start with her in it. Her acting is still top notch, but the material they are giving her to work with for the most part is crap.

    I cringe even more when I see Shaw. I could handle him in Operation Awesome, and First Class, but then should have been gone. If they wanted to give Sarah a love interest for this season, I think it would have been more believable if they had given her a “normal” guy – a civilian who has absolutely nothing to do with the spy business. After all she keeps saying that she doesn’t love Chuck anymore because he has changed into a spy but then goes for another spy – a class A jerk to boot. It might of also injected some humour with her trying to hide her spy life from a civilian boyfriend.

    Because of Shaw we have seen less of the characters we love to see, and we have seen less of the amazing chemistry between Chuck, Sarah and Casey – I’m not talking about the romantic chemistry as much as just how well those actors interact toghether. They did not have to have Chuck and Sarah together all season to make it work, they just needed them to be interacting more.

    I enjoyed the first 6 episodes, even the pilot (but obviously not for being light)because for most of them we still saw great interaction between our lead characters (even the conflict), as well as great moments with the secondary regular characters.

    The Mask in my view was a disaster, Fake name on its own recovered a little by giving us better insight into Sarah’s frame of mind, the beard and tic tac were very good episodes when assessed individually, but the cumulative affects of the drawn out soap opera-like relationship dynamics since Mask have really put a damper on this season.

    I was enjoying Final exam right up until about the last 5 minutes or so, when they once again did a flip flop on the relationship.

    Maybe its just me, but how much better would that episode have been if Sarah had told Chuck about her red test at the end rather than Shaw. If she had apologized to Chuck for putting him through that and how sorry she was that she had changed him. If Chuck had tried to reassure her that in spite of what she saw, he was still the same Chuck.

    Even if Sarah had then left his apartment telling him that she just didn’t know what to think and needed time to sort things out, it would have felt like an element of relationship progress.

    The promo for the next episode certainly hasn’t helped my frame of mind either. I keep watching, each episode thinking that it will be the one where to paraphrase JS said comiccon “it will get really good”. Yet so far that hasn’t happened.

    I should be excited about the next episode, but I’m not. After beard, the tic tac, and the promo for 3.11 I was really excited about Final Exam.
    Honestly everything about the episode except for the relationship stuff I thought was well done. I have heard some people complaining about the washroom fight scene but I even liked that. But once again TPTB had to ruin the episode in the last few minutes.

    In my opinion there have only been 2 episodes this season that had truly happy endings – Operation Awesome with the dinner scene, and Beard with the duckhunt scene. I thought Angel and Nacho Sampler had good endings too, but not happy endings.

    I think most fans could have lived with Chuck and Sarah being in a darker place for 4 or 5 episodes – at least I could, but 12 to 13 is way too much.

    • atcdave says:

      I do agree Gord. I know I often put a lot of emphasis on the end, but many episodes this season, including Final exam, could have been wonderful episodes except for the way they end them. Specifically, the handling of the central relationship has been the biggest failing of the season. Any other shortcomings would be fairly easy to live with, but the Chuck and Sarah thing would have ending my involvment with the show weeks ago if I didn’t know better was coming. It has become extremely difficult to keep the casual viewers I know interested, and I’ve started loosing more of those battles than I win.

  19. JC says:

    This is not the kind of synopsis the show needs right know. Misleading or not people are going to get negative again.

    Monday, March 29, 8/7c
    “Chuck vs. the American Hero”
    Chuck uses an undercover solo assignment to try to steal Sarah’s heart back from Shaw. Brandon Routh guest stars. (TV-PG)

    • josh says:

      It’s not really misleading, we kinda know she’s with Shaw and the promo for American Hero reinforces that (without going in to much detail)

      • JC says:

        I’m not saying she isn’t with Shaw , I just think they could have worded it better.

        ” Steal her heart back” lots of people will think that means shes in love with Shaw.

        Hey and maybe that’s how it’ll play out but it just doesn’t seem like the best thing to get people to watch.

      • josh says:

        Oh I m sure that’s how it will play out, Chuck will think she’s in love with Shaw. Probably after witnessing that thing in the Promo (I m being silly vague cause I take this is still a no spoiler thread).

        I m pretty certain this episode will continue with the angst, just end on a better place than Final Exam
        (Ps this is in reply to JC’s post, can’t seem to directly reply to it)

      • JC says:

        I agree its just I’ve been looking at some fan sites & blogs. That synopsis seems to be driving some negative reactions and these things tend to snowball. Its nothing big but with four days left till the show airs that gives some people a lot of time to speculate for the worse. My only concern is the ratings.

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