What Condition Is Your Condition In?

Poll Time

As Chuckthisblog’s resident pollster I bring you the latest snapshot of fandom’s mood, at least on this board.  Have at it, but let’s try to be nice in the comments while eviscerating TPTB.

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.
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241 Responses to What Condition Is Your Condition In?

  1. Crumby says:

    Can’t do much from where I am, but it definitely would make me sad to see the show ending. There’s still much to say, and laugh.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    I think you touch on one aspect of the fan anger. Many who fought to save the show suspected that season 3 was likely to be the last. It is the feeling that we’ve been had, we fought to save Chuck so the story could continue and we could see things we wanted to see before it ended, and TPTB squandered that opportunity this season for an angsty soap opera we never asked for.

    • Gord says:

      Personally, I found the first 6 episodes pretty good. I didn’t mind the fact that there was no love relationship between Chuck and Sarah going on because there was at least a fair bit of interaction between the two characters. But then Mask came along and ever since, with the exception of Beard they have taken what were reasonably good episodes in the first half, and ruined them in the second half with teenage soap-opera secondary plot lines.

      Every time we thought they were ending this cheesy story line (eg. beard, tic tac, final exam) they would pull back in the last 5 minutes with (what one critic aptly named flip-flop) Sarah running back to Shaw

      I started the season having sympathy for the anguish that both the Chuck and Sarah characters were feeling. I understood where TPTB wanted to take us, but what should have been a 3 or 4 episode secondary plot line has lasted now for 11 (and probably up to the last few minutes of 13)episodes.

      Just about all of these episodes were pretty good to me, with the exception of their last few scenes.

      With every episode since Mask, my enjoyment of the good stuff, kept me tolerant of the soap opera, but by the end of Tic Tac they had surpassed my limit. With every new episode I thought, finally we are going to see an end to this drivel.

      I will be watching 3.12 and 3.13 simply because there is nothing on TV that I care to watch in that time slot. I will have to see a big change in the direction of the show in the back 6 before I would go out of my way to support a 4th season.

      I suppose TPTB will scream this is a fan’s ridiculous sense of entitlement. Well if wanting to watch a show that entertains you means you have an unjustified sense of entitlement, than I’m guilty, but if the bad writing outweighs the good for me why should I support it?

      I do hope the show gets better in the back 6, and the ratings reflect the improvement. Maybe then TPTB will realize what kinds of storylines work for this show.

      In my opinion TPTB lost focus of what made Chuck a great show and that is why the ratings have dipped to 1.9. It’s not crazy shippers, its people just not wanting to watch the show anymore.

      If ratings don’t recover, well at least we had two great seasons, and I will mourn a show that had one of the greatest ensemble casts I have seen in years, and if not for the poor execution of this season could have been a long-run show.

      Also, I honestly think that it doesn’t matter how many subway sandwhiches the fans eat between now and Season’s end, only good ratings will save the show now.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow Gord, we used to agree all the time; finally we’re mostly on the same page again!

      • Zsjaer says:

        Gord…u were always one of the most optimistic fans in NBC forum and i remember about your speculations before this Season started…always enjoyed your vision of the show and optimism.
        I knew that me initial feelings were correct i m only sad because even fans like you are being desolated with this Season.
        I ll be happy if the show is renewed but i m not going to do nothing to help that. Its with NBC they re on their own. My vote was the last option.

  3. josh says:

    Chuck used to make me smile after I watched an episode, that’s what got me hooked. This season I ‘ve sat down to watch Chuck 10 times and out of those 10 times I only got up smiling twice (Beard and Op Awesome)

    Would I support the show unconditionally? No probably not, I ‘ve come pretty close to indifference to be honest so if that line gets crossed I ‘ll probably just fade away. If I somehow get convinced that I ‘ll go back to watching Chuck and smiling in the end I ‘ll support them. The thing is the only real support the show needs is more people watching, I seriously doubt campaigns like last year’s will be effective. And where we are now I just can’t bring myself to recommend it to anybody, not because it’s a bad show, because like I said I ‘m not sure the person that will watch will get up from watching with a smile.

    • Gord says:

      You are right, there have only been two happy endings in this season so far.

      Although for me there were a few other episodes where the endings may not have been happy, but I thought were good/appropriate to the story – (Three words, Angel de la muerte and Nacho Sampler). To me it was not that the Sarah and Chuck being in anguish story lines were bad, they just lasted far too long.

      After they ended they could have still taken 3 or 4 episodes to get them back together romantically.

  4. amyabn says:

    Ernie, thanks for working your poll magic for me! I had to vote unconditionally, and based on my last article, most of you will see why.

    • Faith says:

      I voted the same. But I got to thinking what does unconditional mean? Because I will buy whatever I have to buy but I can’t in good conscience sell this current Chuck to my people. Those that I haven’t sold it to I mean.

      I used to start these random conversations with strangers…I’m not kidding 🙂 about Chuck. Not doing that anymore.

  5. atcdave says:

    Just for the record, the most meaningful support we can give is getting people to watch. That’s bigger than a footlong every Monday or an e-mail to NBC.
    So I answered “after 3.13”, because I’m not currently comfortable with advocating this soap opera to people who know me. Obviously, if 3.13 is unacceptable, I will remain on the sidelines. (but I do expect good things).
    As I indicated on Amy’s thread, TPTB could convince me to get active earlier. I said I want an apology, but I realize after reading several comments that isn’t quite a good answer. We will never get an apology as such. But an explaination of what the show will look like going forward would do the job nicely.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Agreed Dave. As I said in a (surprise) really long post over on Amy’s post nothing will matter unless the numbers are back up by early May.

    • Gord says:

      JS will probably tell us something traumatic will happen to Chuck and Sarah, but it will be really good.

      All kidding aside (although too true it’s not funny), we should be excited about the season finale based on the spoilers, but whenever JS says there are big game changers, I’m a little nervous. I keep thinking about his comment last summer at comiccon.

      Having JS or CF telling us what to expect in the remainder of season isn’t enough for me. I want to see it for myself.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, the game changer concerns me. Its possible I’ll be enthusiastic and on board after 3.13; only to feel I have to withdraw my support after 3.19. I think that’s unlikely, but there it is.

    • John says:

      Yeah I did that and spread the word to my friends.

      I am pretty sure Chuck will win out in that competition. We have the most fans and the best show even in its angsty messy state.

  6. larcollins says:

    I’ll participate in another fan campaign because I love the show, but I really don’t see that working again. While I’ve enjoyed this season so far, and appreciate the artistic merits of its darker tone, the remaining episodes this season really need to lighten up. I’m worn out and agree with Josh’s comments – I want to smile again as well.

    I imagine the casual fan may be feeling that way. Hopefully if the tone does lighten up for the remaining episode, the causal fans will return.

  7. John says:

    wow, quite a lot of unconditionally votes.

    • John says:

      Love is not always rational. Even for TV shows.

    • metajoke says:

      Actually, not. If you’re only getting 39 percent of a FAN base to offer unconditional support, that’s pretty poor. We’re the COMMITED ones, the unconditional vote should be closer to 80-90 percent, frankly.

      Myself, I voted for hearing from TPTB first…

  8. amyabn says:

    I got word from Mel over at ChuckTV.net that they have something in the works. I’ll keep you posted so you can decide if you would like to participate or not.

  9. JAB says:

    Although not for me, I’m wondering if a lot of fans aren’t recording the last 4 to 5 episodes in order to view them in one sitting. Either that or they are waiting for the DVD’s’to do the same.

    Although the form of storytelling they used this year (waiting until the end to reveal everything) to date might appeal to some, it’s’not really my cup of tea.

    • Gord says:

      I am still watching live. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Actually there is still a lot about the show I do like. Its just the soap opera stuff at the end of the episodes that I hate. Also, I guess being the optimist that I am, I kept expecting that the angst was ending in the upcoming episode and wanted to see it for myself. After all there is no way they would be stupid enough to make it last for 13 episodes right? I guess we all know the answer to that question.

      Now that we only have Shaw in 2 more episodes, I might as well keep watching live. Frankly there is nothing else on in that timeslot that I want to watch anyways. I gave up on HIMYM about part way through last season – I was finding it stale – and I have never been into medical dramas so House did not appeal to me.

      The one thing I am not sure of is whether or not I will buy the S3 DVD or blu ray set when it comes out. That will depend on how good the back 6 are.

  10. JLR says:

    I voted for waiting to see what happens in 13. It is consistent with my vow to watch the original order, and, tbh, leading up to the premiere, had it not been for that vow, I wouldn’t have been watching more than likely.

    I’m not sure where to put this observation… I haven’t seen it addressed specifically, but I’m wondering if some fans are fatigued by the darkness/angst beyond merely being tired of WTWT WRT C/S. Times are tough for many; it’s plenty dark in the real world. Maybe people don’t care to see darkness on a show that was largely built on a comedic foundation, and a lighter tone? That’s the idea I got from a gal I recruited to watch this season. Her husband (a upper level manager) lost his job 8 months ago, their lives have changed drastically. She watched Chuck based on my recommendation that it was a fun, comedic show (I made my recommendation to her before I was aware of such large-scale changes in the show). Well, the show isn’t what it used to be, she’s depressed enough, that family quit watching weeks ago..

    • DaveB says:

      I couldn’t agree more…The same thing happened to Star Trek Enterprise. They decided to tap into the angst of 9/11 and failed miserably. I don’t think that people in general watch TV, go the movies, listen to music, etc, in order to deepen a depressed mood. Yet that is often what Hollywood feeds us. I want to be entertained. If I wanted “art” I’d go to a museum.

      • atcdave says:

        There used to be a conventional wisdom that when times were tough, entertainment got lighter. So far, in the 21st century that doesn’t seem to hold true.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Let me throw something out here as a way to explain part of what has gone off track with the show as far as the romantic angst.

        1) The show has had TWO long breaks (after season 1 because of the strike and before season 3). That has extended the plot line far beyound what would normally happened. In real time, we’ve gone from October 2007 to March 2010, three years, without resolution. Most REAL relationships don’t last that long, let alone take that long to gestate.

        2) By my count, Chuck and Sarah have been broken up TWICE (in Ring and Pink Slip) without EVER having actually been together. There have been at least THREE cover boyfriend-girlfriend breakups, too. There have been at least three bed scenes. Plus, what 10 or 12 “almost” kisses and almost as many “fake” kisses. So this is NOT a normal WTWT relationship. It’s been Chinese water torture. I can’t remember ANY show where people have broken up without ever having been together.

        3) We were TOLD by Fedak that Colonel was the point of no return. It wasn’t. In fact, the “couple” lasted 3 scenes and less than 3 minutes.

        4) Forty-six episodes have aired. If you ignore the “kiss you/would that be so bad” moment at the fountain in S1.E3, we can trace the start of the “relationship” to tne end of S1.E4, when we are all shocked to hear Carina inform Chuck that Sarah wants him. In other words, 42 of 46 episodes have been consumed by the WTWT. That is 91 percent of the show’s run.

        5) There has been no fun about the relationship this year because the showrunners, frightened by the negative reaction to the plotline reveal in July, TOLD us it would happen this year. So there has only been expectation–and dread that they would get it wrong when they finally finished milking the scenario again.

        I would submit to you then, given this state of affairs, there are no such thing as “crazy shippers.” Just Chuck fans anxious to get it done because they a) want it finally to be done with so the show can move forward sanely or b) the inevitability of it makes the show unwatchable until it is done.

        If Chuck and Sarah being put together is delayed until the last scene of episode 13, I can’t imagine folks who vote “check with me after 13” will be happy enough to support another show-saving drive.

      • atcdave says:

        Great comments BCB. Your point 3 weighs huge with me. For some reason I’m sure related to a mental defect on my part, I took them quite seriously when they said that. Combine that with what we actually saw on screen; and to me this whole S3 main story arc is simply invalid. My brain rejects it like any bad test sample. I used to love a show called Chuck. It had a really great finale called “Colonel.” Rumor has it, we may see new episodes in a few weeks. I’m with-holding judgement.

      • Drakan says:

        Your second point reminded me of that EOnline poll about best couples. I find it hilarious that C/S was included…and won. They were never a couple (unless you count the fake bf/gf cover).

      • DaveB says:

        Great points, BCB. At a certain point, even foreplay becomes boring.

      • herder says:

        That also brings up the line that Sarah said in the last episode, “it isn’t like it was with you and me”, when exactly was there a Chuck and Sarah. He asked her in Colonel, what happens with you and me and she said one mission at a time. He asked her to go on a vacation in the Ring and she said she was leaving with Bryce in the morning, when were they ever together?


      • joe says:

        “I can’t remember ANY show where people have broken up without ever having been together.” – BCB

        But-but-but… (Joe will attempt to stop this motorboat imitation.)

        That’s exactly the complaint I’ve had about NCIS (both with Tony and Ziva AND Tony and Kate), with White Collar (only a prolonged breakup), with Royal Pains (except that the two main characters have barely been introduced even though they’ve broken up twice), Psych, Bones and maybe even House.

        We were spared this in Monk.

        It seems to be SOP.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        All good points BCB, but I have noticed one thing this season. Chuck and Sarah seem to acknowledge, almost casually, that there were real feelings between them and that even their cover was real at some level. True, no ILY moments, even in the past tense, but as early as Nacho Sampler, perhaps even earlier but a specific scene doesn’t come to mind, you have Sarah sheepishly describing her initial take on Chuck as “I thought we could connect”, basically admitting she had no idea how much they’d end up connecting. Anyway, just my take. They at least got past the denial and were talking about feelings they had, not a normal coupledom.

      • Crumby says:

        “Chuck and Sarah seem to acknowledge, almost casually, that there were real feelings between them and that even their cover was real at some level.”

        To me the obvious moment which proves your point is during the stakeout in Final Exam when Chuck is questionning Sarah about Shaw.
        “- […] you guys real serious or what?
        – Uh, I don’t know. It’s different.
        – Different how?
        – Than with you.”

    • Merve says:

      JLR, that’s what I’ve been thinking too. People just aren’t liking the darker tone this season. There’s a way to keep WT/WT relatively light; they did it with the Lou and Cole arcs.

      But I think that now that this show has gotten dark, it’s going to be hard to bring it back to a lighter tone. I don’t think that it’s ever going to be light again, even when Chuck and Sarah finally do get together. I don’t think that people are going to like the back six at all. This show is toast. It was fun while it lasted, and as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed season 3 so far, I’m sure that I’ll enjoy the remaining episodes. But nobody is going to fight for a product that they don’t like, so if the back six anger the fan base (which I bet they will) the series will almost certainly be canceled.

      Or maybe I have the measure of the fan base entirely wrong, and it really just was about being tired of romantic angst. We won’t know until around 3.16 or 3.17.

  11. AngelTwo2 says:

    I just happened to look at the poll results at the 100 mark and I would have to say WOW! Wow meaning that I think Chuck is dead.

    If you only have 40% of this insane fan base–after all, if you’re not insanely part of the base, what are you doing READING this–for unconditional support, I’d say done.

    Moreover, you have 12 votes for the showrunners are on their own. Add that to the 9 saying “check with me after episode 19,” when we know it’ll be too late, you essentially have 20 percent of the base voting the show off the Island.

    Let’s assume the 19 people who say “have to hear from the TPTB” will NEVER hear from TPTB, that’s a solid 40 percent who are basically prepared to let the show end.

    The remaining 20 percent are “check with me after 13.” Let’s be generous and say 75 percent of then (15 votes) will love the ending and switch to unconditional.

    That means just 55 percent of the Chuck-obsessed fans are willing to work to save the show.

    I’d say that it’s curtains…

    • joe says:

      Angel, I’m sure that there are people more versed in the use and abuse of unscientific (that is, self-selected) polls than I, but I do have a background that tells me say you can’t draw that conclusion either.

      Essentially, in a poll like this, people can vote their selections for any number of reasons, including “just to make a point.”

      • atcdave says:

        Don’t forget the possibility of multiple votes. Also have to consider, even among the die hards who read here, not all may ever participate in a fan campaign.

      • Faith says:

        You guys know you can set it so the voters can only vote once per ip address right?

      • AngelTwo says:

        Jeez, Joe, with all due respect, I didn’t realize you were going to submit this unscientific poll to Gallup for PROFESSIONAL analysis.

        You put up the poll. Are you suggesting we should just LOOK at the numbers and think nothing? Fair enough. Take my post down. I don’t want to be accused of make unnecessary sense of anything,,, 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        I think the validity of the poll is perfectly in synch with the validity of the season! (joke, kind of, sort of)

      • metajoke says:

        And to think I came up with those choices as part of a post. Now I feel as if I am tearing the fanbase apart… 😉

      • atcdave says:

        You are very devisive metajoke; shame!

      • joe says:

        Oh, naw, Angel. We’re not doing professional anything here.

        And I certainly wouldn’t want you to thing nothing about it.

        But I’m just saying that, by the nature of the poll, the conclusion you were drawing isn’t any more warranted that the opposite conclusion (you know. The one you were objecting to.)

        It’s the nature of the beast.

    • Jason says:

      i voted right around the 100 vote mark also, I would guess posters in general (and certainly on this blog) are a little more negative than the fan base in general (at least right now), but the thing that struck me is just how split the voting is – interesting

    • Ernie Davis says:

      AngelTwo, actually I posted the poll since I was asked to. I have some background in statistics, but this is by no means scientific, nor are any of my polls about anything other than the general mood of the people who regularly read and post on this blog.

      In one sense it tells us that despite what a lot of people consider a negative tone on this blog a clear majority still would engage in some sort of campaign to try to save it. Others would rather wait before deciding if they find the show worth saving.

      In the end none of this will matter. If the numbers remain where they are for the next two episodes I’d say the show is dead. There may be a caveat if the numbers after the return are back up to beginning of the season numbers we might get back on the bubble.

      If the numbers for the next two weeks are on the rebound and stay up after the return, we are probably back to a decent chance of S4, and a fan campaign might help with some of the finances, via a continued Subway sponsorship.

      • AngelTwo says:

        I don’t disagree with anything you are saying about the scientific nature (or obvious lack of it) in the poll.

        But I think we CLEARLY disagree on the “meaning” of some of the numbers. Regardless of the lack of any supportable and overarching truth, we can, logically, at least assume that the people voting in the poll ARE Chuck fans and RABID Chuck fans at that.

        So the “fact” that less than half offer unquestioned, unconditional support to an additional season is notable. You twin that with the more “rational” (within the context of TV, of course) ratings data and I think you CAN determine where this is going.

        As for your theory that the show can get an additional season if the numbers rebound and stay up, well, consider this: The show would need to get back about .3 ratings points just to put it back to the precarious bubble status it had last year.

        Now this is my guess, of course, but it is informed because I do know how media works: NBC has already decided NOT to renew Chuck.

        Failing a STUNNING and sustained recovery (say back to 2.5, where it was for the first few weeks in the Monday slot), Chuck’s only hope for an NBC change of heart is a more modest recovery (say to 2.2) and NBC’s near-total dislike of the 2010-11 pilots they ordered.

        Moreover, I frankly don’t think a fan campaign will mean much this year since NBC already knows (perhaps unlike last year) the depth of the fan base.

        As for outside financing, a la Subway, well, I don’t know. But we can make a guess: Subway’s entire campaign–all of the collateral material–was built around Chuck and Sarah together. I haven’t seen any in-store displays that show them apart. Subway’s advertising agency cannot be happy that we’ve seen 11 episodes where that is NOT the case. And it is those kind of skittish small points that sponsors use when they are making decisions. If you think fans get unhappy when they are mislead about something, trust me when I tell you advertisers go insane when they feel they haven’t gotten the product they were sold…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I agree, it does show that a large portion of the committed fanbase (us on this board) has basically decided the show can’t be saved creatively speaking, absent some major change of heart by TPTB, and are not willing to put any effort into saving the show minus a clear indication of a new direction

  12. HenryH says:

    Sadly, AngelTwo, your analysis is extra-solid. If you consider where the fan base was for the last several episodes of season 2, this is a telling indictment of the story told this year. And I’d say 55-45 is about where the fanbase is split.

    Forget the Moonlighting precedent. I think people are going to be talking about the Chuck precedent for a long, long time.

    The funny thing is that if the showrunners had curbed their let’s-get-dark and let’s-rerun-the-angst tendencies, there was so real opportunity here.

    In my mind, I always thought they could have spun the BuyMore into a 30-minute workplace comedy. I mean, what BETTER place to have a workplace comedy these days than a big-box electronics story. That would have freed Chuck-Sarah-Casey into an interesting spy dramedy.

    But you could have occasionally had overlaps (a la the old days, when Warner had a whole series of destinations shows like Hawaiian Eye and Basin Street Beat shooting on adjacent sets and doing crossovers) between the two. And it would have allowed them to keep all of the sets, amortize the cost over two shows and essentially have a larger ensemble cast spread over two shows, thus offering another cost savings.

    Oh, well, there goes my career as a network programmer…

  13. BDP says:

    Yeah ill definately wait until after 13…

    ive just seen the canadian promo – me no likey / much prefered the US promo.

    • JLR says:

      Yeah, as I said in the Fish or Cut Bait thread, the CTV promo sheds more light on the whole C/S dinner scene. My optimism is starting to flag once more. They really are gonna play melodrama up all the way till the end, aren’t they? Too bad; I do like drama, but Chuck just doesn’t do it well enough for me.

      • BDP says:

        Well Chuck is practically stalking her in that scene – seems a little creepy – im hoping the ending is going to off-set what looks to be a… hmmmmish start.

        I kinda just want to see Chuck move on now the show and from Sarah.

      • sd says:

        Do you have the link to the CTV promo? Can’t find it with google search.

      • JLR says:

        I agree…regardless of the circumstances of the S/S “date” (i.e. work-related or not), the word I would use WRT Chuck/CAM is “stalkerish.”

      • JC says:

        Lets put odds on whether the Ring agent behind Shaw disappears and Awesome putting Shaw through the window makes Chuck look even worse.

  14. sd says:

    Oh…I just found the Canadian promo…..wow, in three seasons we’ve seen

    1-light chuck

    2-dark chuck

    3-stalker chuck

    • Faith says:

      I wonder when we’ll see lightly toasted Chuck…sorry just a little toasted cheese-it humor.

      • sd says:

        You mix the first letters around and you have LSD…which is what I felt I have been on this season…trippy. 🙂

  15. BeCoolBoy says:

    You know, all joking and kidding aside–and all fan melodrama aside, too–this Canadian preview really depresses me.

    I don’t want to judge based on 30 seconds, of course, but what is funny about turning your lead character, your show’s eponymous character, into a stalker? What’s charming about that? What’s uplifting about that?

    I don’t know if I can watch this show anymore. I really don’t. Last week, we find out Sarah loathes herself so much that she’s in an abusive relationship. Now we find out the star of the show is a stalker.

    Is there no end to how far they are willing to debase these characters?

    Truly, life is too short, and too hard, to sit through this kind of awful stuff…

    They have lost me now. For good, I think. I just can’t stomach it anymore.

    • Zsjaer says:

      I m curious to see how low they (TPTB) can still get.

    • SWnerd says:

      I choose to look at it as instead of stalking Chuck and his team of merry men are trying to pry away that rather unbecoming growth that seems to have attached itself to Sarah’s hip this season. If it takes some surveillance and diversion, so be it. In this light it’s a worthy undertaking for our hero considering that said growth is really crippling Sarah’s character.

      • rac2873 says:

        By the Way I am literally burned out on Chuck angst and debasing of the lead character that I dropped the name Agent Chuck. No thanks. I am ready to stop promoting this show all together. I am thinking about deleting all my promos and calling it a day.

        Ok so I saw the Canadian Promo. Whoever said that the glass scene was soured has it correct. Chuck stalks Sarah, she yells at him because he ruined her perfect date and she cannot stare at her lovers eyes anymore. Man Chuck is going to be in Sarah’s dog house. Seriously this show is approaching gag worthy territory. I am not down for another soap opera episode.

        To think we got 13 episodes and this is what they were going to give us, that is hillarious. Charah can get together in 3.13 but it will ring hollow. To think I have been waiting for 3 years for the Other guy. Seriously that is depressing.

        When this season is over I will forget it ever existed unless somehow they drop the angst and have fun again. But with Josh Schwartz I don’t see that is possible.

        I made the mistake of being excited about Final Exam and I got burned, now there is no way I think any Charah will come out of American Hero because we all know how this show humiliates it’s heroes. So for the first time in forever I feel nothing for an upcomming episode of Chuck. If they keep this up I might just quit the show knowing with Fedak and Schwartz writing the finale there will be some melodrama that is complete BS. So should I cut bait now and watch the sinking of the ship on a life boat or should I go down with the ship?

    • Jason says:

      yea – the thru the window scene was going to be a source of all kinds of fun, now it looks to be yet another real sour tasting scene

    • HenryH says:

      BeCoolBoy: I feel your pain. I can’t imagine why they think this will be funny after three years.

      I think we know enough now to say that these showrunners really do disrepect us, the characters they created and, ultimately, themselves.

      It’s very disconcerting. Oddly, the ONE thing I thought TPTB did well lately was have Chuck man up when it came to Sarah and Shaw. He wasn’t whiny about it and didn’t give Sarah any reason to doubt his sincerity about he good will toward her “decision.” But having him stalk her is very scary.

      Chuck has annoyed me this year. I’ve disliked the story arc and the writing.

      But this puts a knot in my stomach. This isn’t what I want to watch even for 30 seconds.

      I don’t want to watch the “happy ending” when a self-loathing woman with a stalker guy. It makes me want to take a shower.

    • metajoke says:

      I am actually glad to see these comments here. I was beginning to think I was the only one who found this offensive.

      As a gag in Season 1? Probably okay. But at this point in what these two characters have been through. It is really, really alarming.

      I have to wonder if the showrunners have totally lost contact with their own creations and how they are being seen on the screen now.

      I don’t know how this can be seen as funny and how this can even be positioned as part of the fast journey to what they claim is a resolution.

      Sarah last week was pathological. You can almost accept that. But Chuck stalking Sarah. It’s show killing if you ask me.

    • Lucian says:

      Early in the season: rooting for Chuck and Sarah
      Middle of the season: apathetic toward Chuck and Sarah
      End of the season: stalker Chuck going after self-loathing Sarah. Wow.

    • atcdave says:

      Let’s hope it doesn’t play out as bad as it looks. As I’ve said before, I find much of the fanfiction better imagined and crafted than the show itself. Funny how amateur, but serious and thoughtful fans can do better than professionals who clearly don’t have much pride in their work (or perhaps I should say have only misplaced pride).

    • AngelTwo says:

      I am never at a loss for words. Ever.

      I am at a loss for words.

      • Mike B says:

        I’m still waiting for the destination and payoff to be worth it. It looks like ep.12 is going to be super sized angst so by default ep 13 has to be one helluva episode.

      • atcdave says:

        I’d heard 3.20 will be dynamite.

      • Jason says:

        the shell game continues

      • Lucian says:

        I keep hoping at some point in the not-too-distant future, we will see some behavior from our favorite couple that approximates their arrival in adulthood. However they do the stalking thing (and it probably will be funny), it just underscores the fact that Chuck still hasn’t grown up a whole lot. In fact, he seems to have regressed considerably (but that is based on the preview; perhaps he really isn’t stuck in adolesence. Previews can be misleading).

    • weaselone says:

      I don’t know so much about stalker Chuck. Chuck looks reluctant. It’s almost as if he was badgered into this by Morgan and Devon. But I agree. Is it really necessary to see this stuff again?

  16. rac2873 says:

    Yeah it will, it will be all the fans blowing up the WB because Schwedak screwed them over and got their show cancelled.

  17. Big Kev says:

    Wow…everyone really is in a dark mood after those promos.
    I’m sure I’ve read a spoiler somewhere saying that the audience will know where the plot is heading in 3.13 before the characters do – so my guess is that stalker Chuck is at the start of the episode, then the mission and the saving of Shaw. Chuck leaves, finally accepting that Sarah doesn’t love him – not realising that his saving Shaw has convinced Sarah, once again, that he is that guy – with maybe an intervention from Casey about the Red Test thrown in.
    Last scene is Sarah trying to find Chuck to confess all, only to find that he has already gone.
    Angst…..but good angst!

    Oh yeah – not that it matters to those of us in the colonies (ie Australia) but I would be supporting a Season 4 unconditionally. No matter how much this season has frustrated me at times, and no matter how confused I am by some of the choices that have been made, I’m still enjoying the show. But more to the point, I don’t want to have the choice of whether to watch or not takan away from me.
    I’m excited about where a Season 4 could go, particularly if (as we all suspect) Chuck and Sarah will be a couple of some sort. It may be that they manage to stuff Season 4 up, and if they do, I will choose not to watch. But I want to have that choice, and it’s frustrating that I can’t do anything about it except watch and hope that the ratings go up!

    • JLR says:

      Good points Kev. I have always said even if I don’t decide to “support” a 4th season, I won’t begrudge anyone else for doing so. Your point about simply wanting the choice to watch S4 makes sense.

      I also do hope to see American Hero end as you state. I’ve also seen a spec that adds Chuck’s death in the explosion being faked for mission purposes; Sarah actually thinks he’s dead between episode 12 & 13, time passes, and the team re-assembles for the Paris mission. That’s angst I wouldn’t mind seeing either. As I explained to a kool aid drinker on another forum weeks ago, I do love drama. When drama is well-done, nothing satisfies me more from a viewing standpoint. It’s just been my opinion that Chuck hasn’t done drama very well this season. It speaks to my viewing habits: I simply don’t watch scripted TV. Chuck got its hooks into me b/c I really liked & cared about the characters. I don’t watch scripted TV b/c they all seem to follow the same formulas. Chuck has done the same, and not in ways that I find believable or likable.

    • JC says:

      I think people are just burnt out. And the fact the promos are playing up the angst and now stalker Chuck. Just venting I assume.

      I read someone else’s speculation about Chuck leaving at the end of the episode. They said Sarah would try and call him but he wouldn’t answer. Then he’d toss his phone in the fountain and she would find it. Angst I can finally enjoy.

    • herder says:

      The idea of TPTB that they wanted to create a real choice for Sarah doesn’t seem to be playing out on screen. If your fans collectively decide that the reason she is with this rival is not attraction but self-loathing then you have failed. What you percieve as a choice between romantic rivals the fans perceive as a choice between self-loathing and balanced personality. This is not even angst, it’s hopeing someone gets well soon.

      • josh says:

        Yeah the choice for Sarah isn’t playing up on screen that’s why Fedak and co have to do interviews to convince the fans that Shaw is a real choice for Sarah.

        Meh seriously guys, be glad we got the 6 extra episode order so at least season 3 can have some redemption. Imagine how everybody would feel if Season 3 ended with 13?

        I ‘ve pretty much conditioned myself to expect some amount of whiplash whenever the whole romantic “storyline” wraps and just hope that this mess doesn’t end up getting Chuck canceled. But even if it does at least we ‘ll have 6 episodes to see what might have been. 12 was always going to be angsty, it’s supposed to bring the whole romantic plot to its climax, it just sucks for the show that the viewers have been pretty much sucker-punched by the angst all season and they are approaching the episode with such trepidation. We know Chuck will go from stalker to big damn hero in the episode, so it should be entertaining at least on some level, I just hope it all wraps on a positive note, even if it’s whiplash, cause I really think if it ends on another downer literally nobody will tune in to actually watch the big climax in 13.

  18. Ernie Davis says:

    Hey all, Sorry I haven’t kept up the spoilers page or been posting as much, and unfortunately that will continue today as I have to run in to work. But for those who care here is the CityTV promo.

    I agree. it looks bad, but I have a feeling it’ll play out slightly different. Chuck will try to talk to Sarah after his promotion and either Shaw will interfere or it will turn into a fight where Sarah shuts Chuck out. Perhaps Shaw issues her an ultimatum, but my best guess is that Chuck uses his team because it is the only way he can get Sarah to talk to him. In other words, for extra angsty flavor, the “they can’t talk” bit is flogged to the breaking point where Chuck has to result to subterfuge just to get some face time with Sarah for the talk he’s started or tried to start continually since the beginning of Beard while Sarah and Shaw have continually shut him down and out.

    • Jason says:

      I hope so ernie, if any of you are magnus fans, he is getting lit up pretty good & he is very capable of writing prose to defend himself and his position, somewhere around his 277th post, he actually has admitted some pretty stark things about season 3, interesting stuff really if any of you are interested in hearing a defender of season 3 describe his POV

      • amyabn says:

        I’ve been over to his site, but all I have found are links to the podcast. What link am I missing?

      • JLR says:

        Amy, IMO, you’re not missing anything… But if you wanna read, if you look down at the bottom of each main entry, there’s a link for “Comments.”

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Actually you can see it in the promo. Shaw is essentially pushing Chuck out of Castle as he’s looking over his shoulder and Sarah is watching him go. It looks to me that it’s Shaw who won’t allow the talk, because he knows the inevitable result.

      • Jason says:

        yea – i see that now, makes more sense, ernie, will ratings recover into the 2.4 area? do you have hope?

      • HenryH says:

        How does that make Chuck’s decision to stalk Sarah better?

        It was gauche in Season 1 when Chuck stalked Sarah in Crowne Vic. It was almost intriguing when he stalked Sarah in DeLorean because WE were stalking along with him to find out the mystery “personal” mission.

        But Chuck claims to LOVE Sarah now. He’s supposedly an adult agent now. For him to stalk his former girlfriend and their collective boss is unacceptable even for story-device reasons.

        It shows you that the showrunners have no clue about how to write a show for adults. Moreover, it is indication of what is to come in the back six and any potential season 4.

        Like BCB, I think I have had enough of this. I’ll watch through 13 to see how they “resolve” this. At this point, however, I can’t even see myself watching the back six. I don’t want to watch a show that requires me to take a shower to feel clean at the end of an episode.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Remember, Chuck is starting to question Shaw’s stability also. There is probably some pretty creepy Sarah/Chuck/Shaw interaction that sets this up.

        But I take your point. I’ve never liked how TPTB seem to want to demonstrate character growth and newfound maturity by making them act like 13 year olds.

      • weaselone says:

        I’d say it’s because Chuck get’s pushed into stalking by team CAP. If you look at the scenes, he’s not comfortable stalking Sarah. This isn’t done on his initiative as it was in Crown Vic or DeLorean. This is more like Best Friend where the stalking was done on Morgan’s initiative. Here, Awesome and Casey are filling in for Lester and Jeff.

      • Lucian says:

        It occurred to me this morning that Bryce was probably as close to a hero as we’ve seen on the show. When Sarah indicated her decision, he accepted it and moved on, even though it was “a bad day to be me”. A good spy, and a decent guy.

      • JC says:

        See I think that’s why you see all speculation about Chuck leaving at the end of episode. They want Chuck to have his Bryce Larkin moment.

    • Crumby says:

      I watch this promo last night and it gave me a really bad feeling…
      I am now torturing myself to find a satisfying scenario (for me) for this episode.

    • Crumby says:

      What is Casey’s line? I can’t understand what is saying.

    • weaselone says:

      My interpretation of the CTV promo is a little different from the “Chuck’s a crazy stalker” speculation that’s been going on above. I see something similar to the following taking place:

      Chuck get’s a mission that requires a partner, possibly one specifically of the female sex. Chuck knows Sarah is the best, the only woman he can trust, and by choosing her he gets an opportunity to win her back.

      In order to win Sarah back, Chuck sets about constructing the perfect date. We see some of Chuck’s preparatory work in the Canadian Promo. Morgan is at least aware of Chuck’s efforts and quite likely an assistant perhaps with additional help from Awesome and Casey.

      Unfortunately, Shaw braves possible Ring assassination to be with Sarah in Burbank ruining Chuck’s plans. Sarah has dinner with Shaw instead of with Chuck. The Three Stooges (Awesome, Casey and Morgan) refuse to let that stand. They organize the stalking mission and cajole and prod a reluctant Chuck into going along. In other words, this isn’t like Chuck in vs. Delorean, but like Chuck in Best Friend where he’s basically drug along for the ride.

      Even while spying on Sarah and Shaw, Chuck is reluctant. You can tell in the clip they show that he’s not comfortable spying on her and he throws up Shaw as an objection to the plan they have in mind. Once Morgan lures Shaw away, Chuck walks into the restaurant to speak with Sarah.

      My guess would be that things don’t turn out to well for Chuck. Sarah doesn’t seem too happy to have Chuck interrupting her romantic dinner with Poochie. Plus, Sarah has had a tendency to redirect internal conflict at Chuck throughout the serious. Given the level of Sarah’s self loathing at this point, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see her rip into Chuck in a manner that makes the end of Helicopter, the middle of Crown Vic or similar incidents seem tame by comparison. Things are not likely to improve when Awesome crashes through the window with her date as shown in the NBC promo.

      Personally, I think this will take place at the beginning of the episode and along with the Shaw and Sarah kiss and likely silence or a noncommittal answer in response to his confession of love will convince Chuck that Sarah’s completely over him and falling for Shaw. He resigns himself to the idea that he will never be able to win Sarah back. This leads him into his effort to rescue Shaw.

      • josh says:

        I can easily see Chuck’s “confession” of love being every but … I m sensing a “but” at the end of his “I m going to be blunt and honest, Sarah I love you” statement

        I m pretty sure after the whole Shaw/Sarah datecrashing thing Chuck will go noble, say fine I love you but you want Shaw, I accept it, setting up the final part of the episode where he goes to rescue Shaw for her.

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah josh I agree.

        Here’s my speculation:

        I think Chuck won’t be happy by his conversation with Sarah at the restaurant. But their talk will be interrupted by ring agents. Sarah and Shaw may even have been on a mission and not on a date.
        Anyway, Team CAM realizing the danger, Awesome has to save Shaw from the ring agent by throwing him through the window.

        After that, Shaw decides to sacrify himself. And as you said josh, Chuck saves Shaw for Sarah.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Interesting point Weaselone. I forgot that Chuck tries to choose Sarah as his partner for a mission. So what happens if Shaw gets all possessive and won’t allow it, or allow the two of them to be alone or even talk, which appears to be the case from the promo. Chuck starts to question Shaw’s mental state, and just needs to talk to her. Then we find that Shaw and Sarah are actually on a mission which Morgan thinks is a date. Morgan unintentionally puts Shaw in the Ring’s hands, requiring a rescue, but Shaw, having found out something from the Ring agent goes… You know what, I need to flesh this out as a post, later.

      • herder says:

        This is my bit of fanwankery, there has to be a reason for Sarah to become disenchanted with Shaw, I think his less attractive qualities start to hit home with Sarah. I think that he is jealous, controlling and over-protective of Sarah and this rubs her the wrong way.

        He gins up a side mission for him to he close to Sarah, interferes,even physically, to prevent her from talking to Chuck. Maybe he goes to far and exposes Chuck to risk on his mission out of spite (in the promo Sharah asks Chuck why he would help Shaw, there may have been a breach of trust between them).

        Because of what happened with his wife, he won’t allow Sarah to expose herself to risk and locks her up in the castle when he sacrifices himself, maybe even he slips and calls her Eve at some point. All in all he doesn’t treat her like an equal, but rather a possesion. Remember, she should chose Chuck before she finds out that she killed Shaw’s wife, it has to be a choice she makes not an option that has been closed off.

        Contrast this to Chuck who, despite his own abilities, looks to Sarah as more than an equal, has always allowed her to make her own decisions (even when they have hurt him) and always puts her interests ahead of his own.

        I do think that he gives up and that unbeknownst to him she has picked him. I think the episode ends on her going to find him, but he is gone, even more angsty she find a torn up princess leia photo( the only real thing she has given him).

        The trick to figuring out what is going to happen is to think of the cheesiest, most miscommunication/noncommunicating, most melodramatic thing that you can think of then take it two steps further.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Herder, those are the lines I was thinking along. Clearly by the time Chuck goes to save Shaw there is some reason for Chuck not to do so, and it’s apparent to Sarah also.

      • josh says:

        herder good speculation but afraid Shaw is gone when Sarah gets locked up, so only Chuck could have locked her up. Look at the original NBC promo, when Sarah tells Chuck that Shaw is sacrificing himself she is in the castle “monitor” room, therefore not locked up yet.

        Unless Shaw comes back, locks Sarah up then goes again, I m pretty sure Chuck is the one that does it.

      • JC says:

        Josh is right Sarah isn’t locked up when she tells Chuck about Shaw. I’m assuming he knows this could be a suicide mission.So Chuck locks her up to protect her. Wonder if she’ll notice him taking tranqs instead of real guns.

        Now how she gets out could be interesting. Casey seems like the obvious candidate. Odd he wasn’t in the promo much. I couldn’t see him sitting back and doing nothing if he finds out Chuck’s plan.

        As for the ending, I’m sticking with Chuck leaving. Hopefully she doesn’t see him and he slips away. Cue the gigantic angst scene. Chuck saying goodbye to his friends and family. Sarah racing to get to him. Her knocking on the door, Morgan answers with he’s gone. She tries to call and she sees his cell phone in the fountain. I can’t take credit for that angst, someone else came up with it.

        Now I’m hoping the rescue mission is the majority of the episode. If they can limit the angst to about 15-20 minutes I’ll be okay.

      • Jason says:

        jc – like your scenerio – right now, the longer chuck and sarah are delayed the better, as it just magnifies how silly the sham arc has been – i have gone from assuming i would enjoy eps 9-13, to saying they all have been about the same, all 11 eps so far and guessing the last 2 will live up to the sham of the first 11, 50 pretty good minutes, with a couple of minutes per episode that just plain and simple suck, all of those minutes shaw is in. When they make the dvd, he should edit him out – show a 4×8 piece of plywood with a red cape over it and sarah staring at it longingly.

      • Jason says:

        by the way, sarah is still in the hunt for the season ending pregnancy spoiler, with an unknown father, was narrowed down to 6-10 shows, from the original spoiler. Would that be a great going away present from TPTB?

      • JC says:

        Somewhere JLR mentioned that it was the execution of S/S that was problem and he’s right.

        So the best thing you can do is just wait it out till 3.13 and then decide if you wanna keep watching.

      • Jason says:

        jc – I personally will watch as long as chuck is on, but I slowly am backing away & lowering all expectations for the future – I did not watch 10 or 11 live, I watched 3.11 on wednesday, after watching 24 and castle, although I had read enough about 11 I sort of knew what was coming, which eases the disappointment over the episode. I will not watch 12 live either, but will watch 13 and 14 live, then decide if I will continue to watch live or not. I think 14-18 is going to give me what I want, then 19 will take it away.

      • atcdave says:

        I fear the same thing about 19. I’m not quite sure how to handle it. Depending renewal/cancellation situation I may skip it entirely. I remember when Aliens came out it was about my favorite movie ever, then I read reviews for Alien3 and knew I didn’t want to go there, so I’ve never watched anything to do with the franchise since. Chuck may be similar.

    • Lucian says:

      I hope you are right, Ernie, and Chuck’s behavior is somewhat justfied. Unfortunately, it has been consistently the case this season, that the “adult” scenarios we construct don’t usually play out, and things are as juvenille as they initially appear.

      By the way, the most enjoyable aspect of the Chuck community (IMO)are your “epic” posts. I hope you continue caring enough to keep writing them. I’m hoping sometime in the next few weeks I’ll find the show itself somewhere near as entertaining as I once did. They did something fairly unique and entertaining in the first couple of seasons, so I know they have it within them. I really cared about these characters, as stupid as that sounds (kind of like how I still care about Frodo and the gang).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Thanks Lucian, I appreciate it. Unfortunately lately, due to a certain fatigue with the show and a work schedule that is a bit more hectic than usual I haven’t had the time to dissect a few episodes and launch into a 3,000 word essay on Chuck, but I enjoy them too. 😉

        By the way, regarding totally implausible things that you posted about some time ago, one of my last posts came in at only 958 words. Miracles can happen apparently.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m thinking Sarah will never see Shaw as the creepy guy we do, because I don’t think we’re supposed to see him that way. Somehow, at the end of 3.12 she will “choose” Chuck for seemingly no rational reason; just like she “chose” Shaw back in Mask.

      • Gord says:

        I can’t help thinking that one thing Sarah will start questioning is why Chuck didn’t take a real gun. He uses a tranq gun to rescue Shaw.
        Some of you may have seen my speculation regarding this on the NBC board.
        But I wondered if Casey ends up helping Sarah get out of lockup. While he is working on the door he and Sarah have a conversation where she mentions that she doesn’t understand why Chuck didn’t take a real gun for the rescue.
        Casey will respond “Because he is not a killer”
        Sarah: “Yes he is, he passed his red test”
        Casey: “No you think Chuck shot the agent in the trainyard”
        Sarah: “How did you know it happened in a train yard?”
        Casey: “Hypothetically, suppose there was someone who cared about Chuck, who knew he wanted to be a spy so he could be with the girl that he loved, but also knew he couldn’t kill. Suppose that this hypothetical person showed up at his red test and killed the agent for him. Of course this is all hypothetical because if this person, being the civilian that he is, killed someone it would be murder and Chuck would not be a spy”.
        Sarah with a relieved smile on her face says: “Of course this is just hypothetical, I saw him pass his red test”.
        Casey gets the door open and Sarah says: “Thankyou John for getting the door open and (pause)other things” then gives him a big smile and a hug.

      • JLR says:

        [in a fangirl voice] I LOVE when Sarah calls him by his first name…and I think that’s be the first time we’ve ever seen physical contact between Casey & Sarah…I’m trying to think if there is another time(s)

      • joe says:

        Gord, *that* is a perfectly Chucky solution to the problem!

        I like it. 😉

      • herder says:

        Gord, I like what you have written and I can see a lot of it happening, but I can’t see Casey saying all that without throwing in an insult or a “moron” in order to be true to his character. He may be a shipper at heart, but his true nature is angry so I can see him saying something like he had to do it as she was too caught up in Agent Moron to protect Chuck. A darker version is that he had to do it or else Chuck would be dead and she would be suicidal. The black version is that he had to do it or Chuck would be dead and she would end out eating her gun. I realize this is unpleasant but how would she have reacted if Chuck went out on the red mission on her say so and got killed.

      • dungeonmasterlevel4 says:

        And as for the physical contact stuff, Casey did sorta give her a piggyback ride in Sensei. Granted she did have a knife to his throat, but it was still pretty freakin adorable!

      • Jason says:

        gord, love what you wrote, way to warm and fuzzy for this season, I would not be surprised if sarah does not find out about the red test at all in a warm way, she probably accidentally hears about it and then discusses it with shaw while smoking a cigarette in bed with shaw as 3.14 ends – LOL

      • atcdave says:

        Excellent scenario Gord, which is exactly why it won’t work for S3. Chuck will always be Sarah’s second or third choice; and Chuck will always suspect she was assigned to make up with him. Sorry, very down on the show right now.

      • JLR says:

        I feel that way sometimes too Dave, and that’s why doing the PLI thing again was so risky. For some people, it’s going to cast some doubts on the “legitimacy” on the C/S ‘ship unless handled perfectly. The problem is, so far, it doesn’t look like anything has been handled in such a manner this season. That’s why I keep saying for many of us, the decision to keep watching after 13 will come down to making concessions; what is each viewer willing forget? Part of me doesn’t care; part of me hopes I will be able to “sell-out” & just forget. About the only thing I am very confident about is that there will be many holes, large & small.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, I agree JLR. It will be tricky to pull off what they have to, and currently I don’t believe they con. In the first two season I often wound up liking episodes I had little anticipation over (Delorean and Best Friend come to mind); this season has been different, very few episodes have succeded for me. So my expectations keep getting lower. I kind of think that’s why Beard and Tic Tac worked as well as they did, they were simply better than most of what we’ve seen. I still want great things to happen, but may settle for more terrible things not happening.

      • herder says:

        I don’t think that the return of the PLI’s was necessarily dumb, let’s face it we all knew that they were coming and while not thrilled about it we were accepting of it. The dumb part was making it the major theme of the season. I still think of Ali Adler’s video saying that “we all love Chuck and Sarah together” then making the entire 13 episode season about them being apart. That was the dumb part, knowing what was best about the show then deciding to eliminate it.

    • Merve says:

      That’s probably the stupidest promo ever. But promos tend to be misleading. Remember the part of the season 3 promo where Chuck punched Shaw? Look at how that turned out. Frankly, I think that it’s more likely that Sarah is revealed to be an extra-terrestrial from the planet Nebular than it is that events in “American Hero” will play out exactly as that promo makes it seem.

    • AngelTwo says:

      Magnus is entitled to his opinion, just as we all are. As others have said here, just because you have inside information does not mean you have insight. Both Darths fit into that category. Normally, in fact, I don’t read any of either of their stuff and wouldn’t have read this unless you just pointed it out.

      However, Magnus’ opinions notwithstanding, facts are facts: One third of the Chuck audience from Pink Slips (3.0) to now (1.9 for Tic Tac & Final Exam) has departed.

      So while Magnus is correct in that the Internet is NOT reflective of the world as a whole, neither is his anecdotal information about people in the “real” world he meets who “love” the show still.

      The real world is the ratings because THAT is how renewal and sponsorhip decisions are made.

      And in the real world, a third of Chuck’s already small viewership has disappeared. And the show now, in fact, is garnering FEWER viewers than it did last year at any time.

      The market is talking. I am sure NBC is listening, so who CARES whether Magnus is listening?

      • Jason says:

        what I found interesting, is magnus, under some pretty heavy ?’ing, has admitted the angst has gone too far? Considering his POV, that is somewhat remarkable

      • JLR says:

        I’m viewing many of these “friends of the show” much like I do critics… They’re part of the machine; too invested in the enterprise they cover. Ever heard of the term “regulatory capture”?

        Magnus flat-out admitted in his podcast following Beard that up until that episode, he had been more concerned with the success of the show than whether he actually liked it any more. I’ve got respect for him as one of the forces behind fan mobilization, but I question his objectivity. At least he’s been a driving force. Some of the posters on his blog & various other forums are nothing more than parrots, repeating whatever he says, or towing the party line to extremes, applying tortured logic or flat-out attacking any criticism of the show with an arrogance that is mind-numbing. One can’t even engage in a civil debate (I’ve tried) w/ most of them. They spend more time looking down their nose than anything else. That’s why I have so much respect for Joe. He’s got a different outlook on the show than I do, but he’s willing to engage.

      • metajoke says:

        Another point worth mentioning is that none of these “friends of the show”/fan leaders seem to like each other anymore. Magnus and the ChuckTV ladies seem to have had a falling out. Wendy Farrington, who created the Subway campaign, seems to be a free agent. So we might see two or three or more fractured attempts to “help” the show.

        And I wonder if we could get AngelTwo’s input here since s/he is clearly in the media: Any effective fan campaign would naturally be aimed at getting news and entertainment-news outlets interested in the “save Chuck” campaign. What are the chances of TV shows and radio stations and the entertainment press interested in giving publicity to the save-the-show movement a second time?

        Wouldn’t that be a matter of old news and been there/promoted that?

      • weaselone says:

        Caution. Irony follows. This should in no way be taken either seriously or as an endorsement for the activities listed. Self immolation should only be performed by experts in a controlled environment.

        Easy. Fans of the show could set themselves on fire or poison some of the blue raspberry Koolade they’ve been drinking. That should garner media attention.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think another thing people need to understand is that there are a few people on each side who are invested in being proven right.

        Some of the extreme shippers want to see the show go down because TPTB pooched (pun intended) the relationship, just like they said it would. Some of the anti-shippers who were previously over invested in being proven right that this would be the best season yet of Chuck are now determined that, since it seems the show will fail, to see the show fail because of negative comments by shippers on internet boards that nobody reads.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Irony in Weaselone’s hands does tend to be a lethal weapon.

      • joe says:

        He’s got a different outlook on the show than I do, but he’s willing to engage. – JLR

        Thanks for that!

        But honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve been engaging much lately. Not from lack of desire; I’ve really been pressed for time since the new job started.

        I do try to address the points I see here when I can in posts, but I’m not satisfied that it’s really engaging people as directly as I like.

        All I can do is promise to consider them honestly. And really, that’s pretty easy ’cause the points are generally well stated.

        Another point worth mentioning is that none of these “friends of the show”/fan leaders seem to like each other anymore. – Metajoke

        Meta, I don’t know that this is exactly true. I don’t know if you consider the four of us as part of that group, but I can assure you that “friends of the show” were never that organized! I’ve conversed with Magnus and Wendy Farrington on occasion, but only on-line, just like anyone else. I think I’ve exchanged more words with Bailey’s mother, actually. Yes, that means that you too could become one of those leaders! All it takes is a free blog and a willingness to write.

        It does make me wish I could meet with many here, though. Someday I’m going to collar Ernie and make him buy me a drink at the Old Ebbet’s Grill! (15th and F, Ernie. Take a date there if you haven’t already!)

    • Merve says:

      At the risk of speaking for someone else, I think that what Magnus is often trying to say is that we shouldn’t hate the show for what it isn’t; we should enjoy it for what it is. Living in the world of “what if” or “what could have been” is depressing. If you need evidence of that, just watch “Chuck versus the Suburbs” again.

      • weaselone says:

        I agree with Magnus on this and enjoy listening to him. It’s what I try to do when watching the show.

      • metajoke says:

        I respect that you enjoy Season 3 and I enjoy reading your thoughts. But I think it’s wrong to suggest that people unhappy with Season 3 dislike the show because we wanted it to be something else.

        Most of us DID, no question. But ALL of us (in my opinion) have loved Chuck and would have given it very wide berth. Almost all of us did, in fact.

        But rather than us liking the show more as the episodes go on, we find we like it less. We find less logic, less cohesion, more bathos, more triteness and ginned up stuff.

        And, again, WE are still here. Complaining, but we’re still here. It’s the one-third of the general audience that has disappeared since Pink Slip that is at issue.

        So either they are all delusional “what if” shippers or, more likely, a third of the audience starting with Pink Slip have largely just not liked what they’ve seen, especially since the so-called “heart” of the show was torn out beginning with First Class. And I refer more to Levi and Strahovski being on screen together than Chuck and Sarah not being coupled.

        The market is SCREAMING its disapproval in the way the market does it: By choosing not to buy anymore. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

        (BTW, Suburbs is my favorite Chuck episode of all time.)

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m sure Magnus has some constructive things to say and you are correct in his advice. I try to watch that way too, but it has required me to continually lower my expectations only to have them met, which is a bit sad.

        As for Magnus, I listened a few times and went through his comments on a few things. It always struck me that he got more pleasure out of hating a certain segment of the fan base and calling them stupid than he actually got out of the show itself, so I decided to just quit listening, even though I’m sure I’d agree with him on some things.

      • Merve says:

        metajoke, I’m sorry. I should have been clearer with what I was trying to say. I also should have said that it’s alright to dislike what you see on its own merits. However, given the large number of comments to effect of “it would have been better if…” or “I would have liked to see…” it seems that some of the fan base might be seeing the season through the lens of what they thought that they had wanted to see from the show. That’s not to say that I’m not guilty of asking “What if?” on occasion; that’s part of the fun of speculation. But I try not to let it impact my enjoyment of the show.

        Again, I’m sorry, it’s dangerous to try to attribute intentions behind actions to people, and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. This is just how I see it.

      • HenryH says:

        Merve: I have little or no patience for Magnus because I do not appreciate his style. So I don’t listen to or read his stuff.

        But the point about liking the show for what it is rather than hating for it for what it isn’t is quite interesting.

        And, sadly, that is why Chuck Season 3 is tanking. Over and over and over again on NETWORK television, the market says it does not want unhappy or repulsive characters in their living room. Chuck and Sarah right now are NOT happy characters and you can trace the serious ratings decline this season to that development. The ratings went right down the tube right after Chuck picked up the bottle in First Class.

        Can shows driven by unhappy/unlikeable characters work on TV? Yup, just not on network. The Sopranos, for example, worked well on HBO, a pay channel.

        Chuck looking on the bright side of life (h/t Monty Python) can win/has won in the ratings. Near-killer Chuck and self-loathing Sarah is proving to be ratings death.

        I’m frankly a bit confused why this is even an issue. The market is talking.

        And if the back six is happy, thus driving ratings back up to acceptable levels, you have to ask why the showrunners embarked on a course that was historically guaranteed to be ratings death.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Metajoke, you just zeroed in on my increasingly feeling less enthusiastic about the show and why. Before the season even started most of my posts dealt with how difficult I thought it would be for TPTB to pull off a reset and run through all the WTWT angst again without doing serious damage to the story and the characters we love. It was precisely that story and those characters that had me invested in the show, so damaging them either intentionally (as they’ve done) or unintentionally (as they’ve also done) was likely to cost them some viewers from past seasons unless there was some reason to stick around, the weekly contract payoff.

        As the season progressed, several times I posted about how I found I could enjoy the show by watching it at face value and waiting for the big A-ha when it came. I also tried to shed light on where I thought the story was going and what TPTB were trying to do. I’d like to think I was somewhat successful. The problem is I am doing exactly what all those other viewers who left have done. With no weekly payoff and no a-ha or payoff in sight, I’ve lost interest. The difference is that TPTB had a lot of goodwill to draw on in my case, but that account is just about depleted. It was spent recklessly with a weekly withdrawal rather than a weekly payoff to me.

      • Lucian says:

        In defense of season 3 (and I am not someone who sees it as an improvement), the “feelgood” version of Chuck was going to be axed due to the size of the audience. TPTB felt they needed to do something different (definition of insanity – doing the same thing and expecting a different result). So, they went OC, and hyped up the angst. We’ll never know what might have happened if they had decided to continue with “feel good” Chuck and just promote it better. I believe that would have been the wiser direction, but they had two years of history telling them that more of the same wasn’t going to build an audience. If the back six has a more positive / less angsty tone, and the ratings improve, then there will be some evidence to support that is the better direction. If the show continues to tank even with a less angsty tone, it may be too little too late. We will never know “what might have been”.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Actually, Lucian, the ratings for season 2 are turning out to be incredibly consistent with the track of season 3. They begin to decline when the romantic angst arc takes over. So you can make the case that they DID revert to insanity by doing the same thing in Season 3 that they did in Season 2 and expecting a different result.

        Worse, at least in Season 2, they kept the self-admitted “heart” of the show–Chuck and Sarah–on screen at the same time even through the angst. In Season 3, they removed the Levi-Strahovski on-screen chemistry at the same moment they injected romantic angst and the ratings fell even FASTER than they did in Season 2.

        Those are facts. You really CAN look them up.

        NOW, IN MY OPINION: I think most of us agree that the basis of Season 3’s reset (getting Chuck out of the car, so to speak, and making him the heroic star of his own show) was a sound choice. There was only so far you could play that. The problem was they didn’t want to let go of the romantic angst. They tried to play that ANOTHER year and they got the same result they got in season 2.

        Bottom line: Like all creative people, the experienced showrunner here (Schwartz) has a style. It’s angst. And he does it, frankly, to the exclusion of all else. And has been referenced here very often, he pursued the same show-killing formula for his big hit, The OC. He did two great seasons of angst that were good in the ratings and when he went back to the angst well for the third season, The OC began tanking.

      • Lucian says:

        AngelTwo- that’s good to know. So I guess I can consider them idiots and not feel I am being unfair or overly critical. They really should have known better. 🙂

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I will say that I don’t think the idea of a more angsty season with Chuck changing and Sarah fearing she’d lost him was a bad idea on it’s face. The thing was that Chuck and Sarah never had an angsty relationship. They weren’t constantly being torn apart because of outside forces or their fears and problems and insecurities, they were coming together despite them. That’s why by the time The Colonel happened it would be a tough sell that they wouldn’t try to make things work. So instead of just one or two scenes where they sit and talk and try to consider what to do next, acknowledging that they want to be together, we get the increasingly contrived interruptions as a means to make sure they never talk. To top it off, the romance they had so successfully played subtly in the background was shoved to the center of the story and turned into melodrama, and in the case of Poochie a poorly executed one at that. I’ve never considered them particularly hostile or stupid, I just think they weren’t able to pull off so many changes in such a short time on a limited budget.

    • Faith says:

      Douche is over-used.

  19. herder says:

    I came up with an idea while walking the dog (best non-shower way to think laterally) that I think has some vaidity. Shaw’s act of sacrifice that Sarah is talking about is an act of attonement (yes I have read Ian McEwan) for something that he did earlier in the episode.

    Sarah asks Chuck why he would want to help him, perhaps during the mission Chuck is in a bad spot and urgently requests extraction or assistance, Shaw to get more information on the Ring ignores the request effectively burning Chuck. Chuck manages to escape using his own initiative but there is a permanent breach between him and Shaw.

    He bares his heart to Sarah, she tyically doesn’t answer, she breaks it off with Shaw, the kiss is a good bye kiss. Chuck walks in on the kiss, draws the wrong conclusion – again typically- and the story goes on from there.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Since they seem determined to make Shaw the flawed hero that makes a lot of sense. Good one!

      • josh says:

        They are also determined to establish Shaw as a believable choice for Sarah. I think making him flawed before Sarah makes her choice would be kinda anticlimatic, considering the whole point is to get Sarah to choose Chuck, not default to Chuck.

      • JLR says:

        It doesn’t appear that we’ll be getting the “perfect” C/S reunion. I said many weeks ago that I am more concerned w/ how the reunion is handled than the fracturing of the relationship. Of course, it still could very well wind up being “satisfactory”, but I am doubting it’ll be “epic.” To be sure, JS DID tell us that we’d be getting resolution, but just not in the way the fans expected (wanted?).

        I’m guessing ep. 12 will start out angsty as all get out, but will end on a hopeful note, even if the characters don’t fully realize it yet. After ep. 13, soem of us will have to conduct a re-set of our own: trying to sort through what we’re willing to forget in order to enjoy the back 6…at least that’s the process I’ll have to go through as I’m still undecided whether I’ll be watching after 13.

      • Crumby says:

        Yes I agree with that josh.

        I agree with your last paragraph herder.
        Sarah won’t respond to Chuck ILY or as said by josh earlier it’s not the whole statement Chuck is making and it’s followed by a “but” or something.
        Then the kiss will be a good bye kiss, Chuck misinterpreting it, and going to save Shaw for Sarah, because he thinks that’s him she wants.

        But I don’t think Shaw need to do something so that it doesn’t make sense to go save him. If he’s sacrifying himself it means he putting himself voluntary in danger because he thinks he has to. Which means Sarah could accept that and let Shaw go. Especially because she knows he has personnal motivations related to Eve’s death.

      • herder says:

        Josh, they have failed at making Shaw as a believable choice for Sarah, the point that I was making is that they have to have a beleivable reason for making her chose against him. This does it while making him a flawed hero.

      • JC says:

        I gotta agree with JLR here. So Sarah is left with a choice between the selfless noble hero in Chuck and the manipulative psycho in Shaw. What an epic romance.

      • josh says:

        herder I m pretty sure they ‘ll spend the whole first part of American Hero making Shaw a believable Sarah choice. Date scene points to that, as does that brief glimpse of Sarah’s body language.

        I do agree they will deconstruct Shaw, but I m sure that will be in 13 AFTER he has found about about his wife and whatever else that ring director hologram in 12 tells him.

        I m pretty certain Sarah’s choice will be made this episode,not necessarily communicated to Chuck but made. Will it be made before Shaw goes off to “sacrifice” himself or after Chuck gets his hero moment I don’t know. But I think it will be independent off the truth behind Chuck’s red test and Shaw’s fall from grace.

        Honestly tbtb have no reason to add something at the last minute to sour the whole payoff they have been building towards all season. I ‘m critical of them too, don’t get me wrong, the journey thus far has been less than enjoyable for me. But I don’t think they would be downright vindictive on their fans as to make it apparent Chuck is Sarah’s you know backup plan in a sense. Angst is one thing, this would be a total different thing.

      • JLR says:

        ^^^ Yep, and not only that, if TPTB weren’t careful when crafting the reunion, it could easily come across like circumstance dictate Sarah’s “choice.” Now, I know some kool aid drinkers would jump in now & say “But there is no choice, it’s always been Chuck!” Well, if that’s the case, then why all this build-up to Sarah having a choice to make? Just TPTB having fun?

      • Faith says:

        I’m kind of torn about what you said Josh. I don’t think they’re making Shaw a believable choice…I mean outside of it being someone she can confide in. Because when it comes down to it, the choice is Chuck or not Chuck. Shaw is a non-entity. Sure they’re on a date, sleeping together whatnot, but based on what I saw in Final Exam, the choice is easily Chuck…just not as easy to follow through emotionally.

        She may be “with” Shaw but contrary to the promo, it’s not exactly a choice. If you get what I mean.

        That said, I totally agree that I want it to be believable, I don’t want Chuck to be the default. That’s would be the ultimate robbery not only in the payoff to the darkness this season sense, but also in the “what the hell has these 2 years been” sense.

      • JLR says:

        ^^Faith, I understand the risk of pre-judging based on promos, but those are clearly tears in Sarah’s eyes when she tells Chuck Shaw is sacrificing himself. Whether we believe it or not, we are supposed to believe Shaw is a choice. IMHO, of course.

      • JC says:

        And that’s what fans are having problems with. We’ve seen what Shaw has done and what he’s forced Sarah to do. I just can’t forget all of that.

      • Faith says:

        When Ring came about, I remember I, and a lot of people thought the scream and tears Sarah shed in the intersect room was for Chuck…it ended up being for Bryce. And even then people were upset that she was shedding a tear for Bryce.

        The fact of the matter is, although what they had wasn’t anywhere near close to what she feels and felt for Chuck, he did make a dent in her life. He was a friend.

        I see Shaw in the same vein. Note: I’m not getting all like those that shall not be named and being irrational about them not having sex (ugh lol)—they probably are, I really don’t care, but just that I see it more superficial than that. But nonetheless, meaningful–in the friend sense. She could be shedding the tears for the choice, she could be shedding the tears for a friend who’s about to die or even shedding a tear for both Chuck and Shaw who are both about to die.

      • JLR says:

        Faith, I don’t think the way you’re looking at is wrong. I agree wholeheartedly: Shaw has not been set-up properly as an alternative to Chuck, but that’s what we’re supposed to believe. I THINk it’s gonna get crammed down our throats ep. 12 for dramatic effect. Fedak’s interview last week makes more sense now…I think “they” realized S/S just wasn’t projecting on screen, they needed to get out & stump for S/S.

      • JC says:

        If she didn’t shed tears for Bryce that would’ve been horrible. But the difference is what we’ve seen of Shaw. Now this isn’t one of the instances where the audience sees something the character doesn’t. She’s seen and been part of some horrible actions by him. Yet she has feelings romantic or otherwise? What does that say about her.

      • Crumby says:

        Yes Faith, I see their relationship as sort of a “friends with benefits” thing.
        I mean that’s not love between them and they both know it. I mean Shaw he’s asking her if she’s still in love with another guy while they’re dating.
        But I can buy that there is affection, that they can relate to each other as spies etc.

      • herder says:

        Faith, that is what I am trying to say, I don’t want Sarah to choose Chuck because Shaw is evil, I want her to choose Chuck because he is right for her and Shaw is wrong. We have seen why Chuck is right for her, I want, and I think the writers to show why Shaw is wrong for her too.

      • herder says:

        Whoops, that last bit should read “and and I think the writers should show why Shaw is wrong for her too.

      • Faith says:

        Sorry to post and run, this is what I get for blogging during lunch 😉

        JC – I’m the wrong one to ask to make sense of Sarah’s actions of late, because frankly I neither get it or care for it. But I’m gonna try…if you separate that in which is the job and the life you’ll get an answer. The thing is these spies have gotten used to doing just that. In this case I really think that is what she’s done. Because I can’t see any excuses for why she would even consider talking to him after making her do the dirty work. But if you think of it as a separate thing it makes sense. He ordered her to basically put the gun in Chuck’s hand – job. He’s there for her when she’s feeling the anguish – life. Even her saying “do it for me” has more to do with the job than life (of course we know that’s not entirely the reason but her examples on why he should do what she said were job related – Chuck’s a part of my team).

        Herder, I see where you’re coming from. In fact I feel the same way. But I also, like I said think the choice isn’t so much Shaw-Chuck (explained 🙂 ) but that it’s Chuck and not-Chuck. Regardless of whatever relationship they have fostered it’s really Chuck and not-Chuck. Because even though her relationship with Shaw matters, it doesn’t matter enough for her to be almost making out with Chuck in Final Exam. It didn’t matter enough for her to forget Chuck altogether. What it is is her stubbornness and her persistent need to be standoffish. To the extent of fabricating in her mind, the guy that Chuck has become. Even Casey gets it, why doesn’t she? Because she’s afraid and she’s an idiot.

      • JC says:

        Faith I agree with you to a point.

        But last episode those lines crossed. He told her to use Chuck’s feelings for her to get him to kill. And obviously she loves Chuck.

        So I have to ask how can Sarah have feelings for or care about someone who tells her to do that.

    • joe says:

      I like the scenario, Herder.

      I sense a lot of desire to speculate on the details of 3.12. I’ll try to put up a separate “early speculation” post, perhaps early tomorrow. If I forget to include these ideas, please be sure to bring them up there too.

    • Gabbo says:

      Regardless of how and why Shaw tries to sacrafice himself, is’t the turning point going to be that Sarah will allow it? He’ll kiss her goodbye and go. And she’ll be sad but realizes it’s part of the job.

      But when Chuck arrives, locks her away and prepares to go rescue Shaw, she realizes she DOES have something to lose if Chuck dies.

      Isn’t that/Won’t that be the significance of the statement she made to Shaw in episode 5 about it helping to know you have something to lose?

      • atcdave says:

        That is a hopeful way of looking at things. Its one of those themes they could pick up to redeem a lot of what’s been done this season. So far, I’ve been only disappointed though in the response of Sarah Walker this year; I hope when she “chooses” Chuck we will know she has choosen him in a significant way for good reasons. I suppose realizing what she can’t loose would count; but she’s already written Chuck off multiple times this year, starting in Prague. She has shown little determination or toughness.

      • herder says:

        Excellent point Gabbo (and welcome to the site) I hadn’t thought of that at all. I would much rather that she came to a decision or moment of clarity before she finds out that Chuck didn’t kill Perry. That and it does tie in with what has been said earlier so it isn’t so much of a whiplash situation like the end of the Mask.

  20. JLR says:

    Yep, and that is the kind of thing that bugs me about this arc. I could live w/ angst for sure, I could even live w/ C/S semi-cold to each other, but if you decide to use OLI’s, then make damn sure you establish them. SELL them to me; whiplash at end of Mask didn’t do it, then an almost air of indifference between S/S since then hasn’t “established” anything either. It’s the worse kind of retcon, IMO.

    • herder says:

      That is what has bugged me about CF’s comments in a couple of interviews and the spy notes that they had on the chuckmeout page they are trying to imply something that has not been evident on the screen. If they wanted him to be a beleivable romantic interest then write him that way, otherwise we cast about for other reasons like a con or he is a mark or Sarah is self-loathing. To tell a story on screen that is not visible from what can be seen just confuses people then makes them angry if they are supposed to accept it.

      • JLR says:

        [sarcasm/]But the pay-off in the very last episode wouldn’t be possible then! Withholding info from the audience is the new normal apparently.[sarcasm/] I mean, a curveball now and then, or a twist or end-of-episode cliff-hanger is great, but why do that kind of thing when it comes to central relationships?

    • josh says:

      I m really convinced they were afraid to go full on with the PLIs. They wanted to climax with Chuck/Sarah getting together, they wanted to do the whole Sarah emotional journey BUT they also expected major fallout if Sarah was in a full on relationship with Shaw for what? 5-6 episodes. So they went the copout route, they kept Shaw around, close enough to Sarah to make a point but not so close as to make it a full relationship.

      Personally I would have preferred it they hadn’t been so chicken about it, Sarah would have made more sense to me that way. Cause right now what we get is her confiding effectively to a brick wall.

    • JLR says:

      I failed to acknowledge it wasn’t always an “air of indifference” between S/S after Mask until now… I mean, Sar– er, I mean Sam, did tell him her real name. That led to, of course, all sorts of Sarah analysis: why did she tell HIM? And, understandably, people came up w/ all sorts of psychological reasons (Shaw meant nothing to her, so she could tell him things w/ the knowledge he couldn’t hurt her, etc.).

      All along, I THINK (again) that we were SUPPOSED to see that Sarah was truly going for Shaw. How else can we explain the whole “Shaw is a real choice”, or, in Fedak’s words “in some version of reality, Shaw is right for Sarah” [paraphrased]? They NEED to establish Shaw as a legit choice to give her “choosing” Chuck any dramatic effect? How best to do that? Whiplash us w/ showing Sarah being closer to Shaw. Of course, in their eyes it isn’t whiplash. They thought we were seeing it all along. Of course I acknowledge this is merely my opinion, not fact…

      • JC says:

        See in any reality I couldn’t see Shaw being right for Sarah. Bryce or Cole sure but not Shaw.

      • Crumby says:

        Just a random thought.
        Nobody believes Shaw is a real alternative for Sarah except Chuck lol.

      • JLR says:

        J.C. I agree with you. And I agree with the way Faith sees it too. That’s what we were given on the screen. My contention is that we were actually supposed to be seeing S/S as a viable coupling. The epic fail was in the on-screen execution. That’s why so many of us are having a hard time accepting it. That’s why we see so many specs out there (con, Sarah crazy, etc) & that’s why Fedak came out last week to make sure fans realized his female lead actually likes someone not named Bartowski. AGAIN I STRESS THIS IS MERELY MY TAKE, I DO NOT CLAIM IT TO BE IRREFUTABLE FACT.

      • JC says:

        I do agree with you. At first I thought it was just supposed to be someone she could talk to. But it seems like they’re trying to sell it as real.

        What I just can’t believe is they thought it would work. I mean what I’ve seen on screen, she should hate him. I just can’t get past those things. Did they really think people would just forget and be happy that C/S get together?

      • atcdave says:

        I’ll never understand why they thought this was a good idea. Ratings generally slipped after past triangles; fans were rabidly happy after Colonel, that’s almost certainly what provided the impetus for the save the show campaign. Then they cheapen it/ruin it in the worst way possible. What did they think the impact would be?
        I just knew so many fans who were gushing happy after Colonel, and then the rug was pulled out from under them. The ratings decline is not hard to understand.

      • JLR says:

        But Dave, don’t you realize the ratings decline is all due to Daylight Savings Time? 🙂

        Oh, and I just want to make clear, I am not trying to lay claim to the ideas expressed above. I’ve seen several people reference this line of thinking. I was merely responding to a couple people who are still stuck on “but Sarah & Shaw don’t even make sense.” Of course they don’t; the showrunners did a poor job of setting that up, whether b/c they were afraid to go all the way w/ it or whatever. I simply believe viewers are supposed to believe it. I think they counted on YS’s uncanny ability to emote, but they didn’t write good foundational situations for her to show that progression, IMO. That’s why it comes across as whiplash, making no sense.

        And that’s why I believe the first part of ep. 12 might be hard to stomach; I think we’re gonna get our faces rubbed in it b/c they need to show Shaw is a viable choice, otherwise, what’s the point? They need to show Chuck overcoming, winning. Of course, I could be way off base in terms of what I think we’ll see.

      • amyabn says:

        JLR, I would have to normally agree about Yvonne’s ability to emote. But let’s face it: Sarah has more chemistry with Lester than she does with Douche. See the evidence here: http://tinyurl.com/yduj8wk

        Yes, I’m trying to be funny, but sadly, it’s true.

      • JLR says:

        That link took me to a 404 error, Amy, but I think I get your drift. 🙂 And I don’t disagree, but in my mind, if I have to choose between YS not being able to show romantic interest (even towards a totem pole) or TPTB/writers not properly setting things up, I always pick the second of the two. Of course I realize I am leaving out a third option: that S/S chemistry actually is on screen, but many of us are missing it. I feel safe in saying I don’t think I’ll offend many people by leaving that off the list of possibilities.

      • amyabn says:

        Sorry about that! It was a pic of Sarah turning the tables on Lester in the Weinerlicious in 1.09. Looks like I’m gonna have to ask Faith for more computer lessons!

      • Jason says:

        jlr – 3.5,7,8,9,11 ended with shaw & sarah alone, shaw was not in 3.6 and in 3.10, but 3.10 sarah was presumably on her way to hook up with shaw. She kissed him twice in 3.8, the second time, in a scene where she went for it & a logical conclusion to that fadeout, was they jumped the shark. 3 eps later end sitting on a bed talking, 4 eps later, dinner, kissing, etc – they are a couple. the fact fedak said sham is growing closer b4 3.11, my answer is ok, whatever? It is a mess, fedak knows it, magnus knows it, yvonne knows it, mo ryan knows it, everyone knows it … simply speaking there is nothing ANYONE can do about it

      • JLR says:

        I see your point Jason, but what I’m really thinking about is the lack of chemistry. Enumerating a list of episodes where S/S are in proximity at the end doesn’t overcome, in my mind, the utter lack of spark between the 2 characters. Besides, all those endings WERE left open to interpretation. I’ve even argued TPTB should have explicitly broken the “Sarah rule” if they wanted to make it clear S/S was the real deal. I know that’s not a popular view…. Even given the amount of screen time they have shared, at no point have I ever felt anything ( I know that is SO subjective). But I think saturating screen time w/ the two missed its mark. Otherwise, why so many incredulous comments WRT S/S? Like I said, I see your point, but it doesn’t, to me & obviously many others, equate to a convincing job of making S/S a real thing.

      • JLR says:

        Oh, and Jason, LOL, I actually, for a split second, considered citing that stupid (what is it?) e-online couples contest as further proof that fans weren’t buying into S/S (since C/S won).. I almost did it, but my training prevented me from doing that even as a joke as it clearly has zero probative value.. Sorry, don’t know why I find it so funny, nor why I felt I had to share that. If it isn’t obvious, I am not “upset” by anything I’ve posted. I’m actually kind of giggling about it. I think so much of this season has been ridiculous, that laughter is the only way for me…

      • JC says:

        Yep at this point all you can do is laugh. You have to wonder if the writers thought people would be rooting for Chuck to leave her.

      • atcdave says:

        You know, I naturally laugh easily and often. Its part of what drew me to Chuck in the first place. But I can’t about this. It makes me angry because it is so stupid. There was such an overwhelming shout of “don’t do that” when the plan was first revealed at Comic-Con. Did they think we were kidding? No. They thought they knew better. They did something fans, and even some critics (Mo Ryan questioned the wisdom of continuing the WTWT) plainly told them they didn’t want to see. The show can be made fun again, and I believe it will be. But something beautiful and special was ruined, and can’t be regained.

  21. Gord says:

    Here’s a horrible thought. Maybe the reason why they have made Sarah such a horrible character is because she is the “significant death” in the season finale.

    I have to admit that I never thought I would dread seeing a scene with Yvonne in it, but lately I have been cringing almost everytime she has come on screen.
    If Sarah’s character continues the way it has been, I think it is to kill her off at the end of the season.

    • Zsjaer says:

      U know Gord..maybe that´s the only thing that can justify what they are doing with Sarah.

    • JLR says:

      I just can’t see it… The show would instantly lose, I don’t know, what?, probably at least 1/3 of remaining viewers? Of course, that’d only be relevant if there’s a S4. Are you suggesting at all that TPTB pretty much knew that a fan-saved show just wasn’t going to get renewed, and they decided “to heck with it, we’re gonna kill off Sarah in the presumed series finale.”?

      • Gord says:

        Well they did say they would resolve the romantic subplot and lets face it, the way they have been writing the Sarah Walker character lately by the end of the season how many people would even care.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think Yvonne is an amazing actress and that Yvonne and Zac have amazing chemistry; but how much of that have we actually seen this season?

        I think if we actually do see Chuck and Sarah back together again, and a rekindling of that amazing chemistry then we will know Sarah is safe. If after the Shaw arc they continue to keep Chuck and Sarah apart though, then it makes such a horrible possibility more likely.

        Of course if they continue that route, I don’t see even the most patient fan sticking with the show until the end of the season. Forget 1.9, the show would have less than a 0.9 share.

        The one thing you can all take comfort in is that 99.9% of the time I am wrong on my speculations.

      • atcdave says:

        That would utterly end the show. Even as poorly as Sarah has been written this year, I think its safe to say Yvonne has a stronger (correction, FAR stronger draw than Zach). She can’t be replaced with another pretty face. If Sarah goes, half the remaining fans go, I don’t think I’m exaggerating.

    • Faith says:

      death is irrelevant in Chuck…Bryce has died several times. So I can see it.

    • Jason says:

      pretty sure she has a 6 yr contract, but ….. who knows, after what I have seen so far season 3 …. anything is possible

  22. Seb says:

    Isn’t it bizzare that Chuck has been building up this epic moment that the lead couple get together for 11 episodes (and 2 years before those) and pretty much most of the fanbase is saying for the love of all that is good do it and move on from this mess?

    Isn’t that a creative failure? When your audience gets to the point where your masterpiece moment is a nuisance they want to be done with yesterday so that they can go back to enjoying your show?

    • JLR says:

      What, are you trying to say it’s not gonna be an epic, awesome, game-changing moment? 🙂

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t recall seeing you here before Seb, so welcome to the site! Good job with a first post, I’d say you’ve spoken a significant truth.

  23. rac2873 says:

    Sarah and Shaw are as real as you can get. They have been knocking boots since Fake Name. How else can you explain that Sarah is moving to DC to possibly live with Shaw.

  24. Crumby says:

    I’ve read on some others boards some reactions about Casey shooting Perry for Chuck that have surprised me. Some thought Casey put Chuck in an impossible position, that he shouldn’t have interfere, that if Chuck can’t kill it will put him in even greater danger later so this was a poisoined gift etc.

    So I was wandering what you guys thought about that?

    I personnaly read the scene as if Casey hadn’t shoot, Chuck would be dead, because Perry had a gun. Casey waited until the last minute so that Chuck could make his choice. And Sarah would have been to late to save him.
    So he kind of did a favor to everybody even if it has consequences. That’s how I saw it anyway.

    • atcdave says:

      Casey definately did Chuck a favor; I agree Chuck would be dead if Casey hadn’t acted. I’m still not sure if Chuck will kill; maybe later to save Sarah, we will see.

      • Zsjaer says:

        But if if he had the time to understand that Perry was grabbing the gun to kill him, you still think that Chuck would freeze and wouldn t be capable of shooting him and defending his own life with that?

      • JLR says:

        That’s the question, isn’t it? Some see it as a cop-out by the writers, others see it as a way to keep hammering away the point Chuck can’t kill as a prelude to WHEN he does kill to save someone (probably Sarah). It’s creating drama, some might call it something else.

      • JC says:

        You would also think Sarah might realize that if Chuck hadn’t pulled the trigger he would be dead.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree with that JC, it staggers the imagination to think Sarah (and the CIA clean-up team) wouldn’t know Perry was armed and going to kill Chuck.

      • Zsjaer says:

        Ofc that if Chuck did had shoot him in self defense then TPTb couldn t make this all drama about Sarah thinking he killed him in cold blood.

      • Zsjaer says:

        “Ofc that if Chuck did had shoot him in self defense then TPTb couldn t make this all drama about Sarah thinking he killed him in cold blood.”

        Now that Dave mentioned it Sarah must know that Chuck killed in self defense..Perry was armed..unless Chuck removed the gun from Perry but that wasn t shown in the screen.

      • Waverly says:

        Nah, Shaw would have removed the gun and any other evidence that Chuck isn’t a killing machine. 😉

    • weaselone says:

      I’m not sure what to think. Part of me suspects that Chuck was about to take that shot and would have done so a split second after Casey.There’s honestly room either way. Of course, if Chuck had gone through with it the writers wouldn’t be able to go to the Chuck shoots someone well again later this season.

    • Crumby says:

      Chuck didn’t seem like he flashed though, so he wasn’t able to shoot to kill.

      • herder says:

        When Chuck does shoot, I don’t think that it will be because of a flash, but rather because of an act of will. I think that it has been made abundantly clear that intersect or no intersect that there are lines that Chuck won’t cross without his own volition.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        There is one complication to that theory Herder. Remember in the premier when Chuck was being taunted by Emmett in the BuyMore and he flashed on what were obviously killing techniques, not just a martial art, and he had to work to restrain himself, as if he wasn’t in control of his actions. He also flashed on those same things at the end of Tic Tac, when under the influence of the pill he didn’t even try to restrain himself from killing the Ring agent till Sarah stopped him.

        Of course they’re probably not connected, they were just there to serve a momentary purpose and will be dropped as plot points. After all, why explain that Chuck has a kill program in his brain that he can barely control when you can make it about Chuck and Sarah angst.

      • Waverly says:

        Except that often after flashing Chuck has chosen to fight the bad guy without killing. First Class comes to mind. And there was no evidence of needing to control any wild urge to kill.

      • Crumby says:

        What I meant is that even if he had shoot, if he didn’t flash I don’t think he’s trained enough to shoot exactly where he wanna shoot. So if he want to kill someone IMO he has to flash.

    • Merve says:

      The fact that Casey shot Perry annoys me. A lot. It annoys me far more than Shaw or WT/WT angst or pretty much any complaint that’s been leveled at the show this season. (To be fair, most of those things don’t annoy me at all, so that’s not saying very much.)

      The reason it bothers me so much is that it robbed Chuck of a choice. It doesn’t bother me when a main character is robbed of a choice by circumstances. I would have been fine if another Ring agent had killed Perry to clean up the operation, or something that effect. That would have been a natural extension of the plot. But the fact is that one character robbed the other of a crucial choice. Casey is not God, but he seems to be doing a pretty good job playing Him these days. Casey thinks that he’s a better judge of Chuck’s character than Chuck; he thinks that he knows what’s best for Chuck. If he knew what Chuck would do, why didn’t he warn Chuck about a possible upcoming Red Test beforehand? Why didn’t he warn Chuck and let the guy come up with his own decision? Even if he had warned Chuck, he could have still come for backup, just in case Chuck couldn’t go through with it. But at least Chuck would have been given a real choice, and he would have had an opportunity to make a real decision.

      On a slightly unrelated note, I hope that the writers don’t keep drawing from the “Casey saves the day” well. We already had Casey save the day in “Pink Slip” and “Fake Name.” Then it happened again in “Final Exam.” It’s starting to get a little silly.

      • josh says:

        I think Chuck made his choice, he was taking his finger off the trigger when Casey fired.

      • Crumby says:

        And he made his choice in the bathroom too.

      • Merve says:

        Josh, that could be true, but it could also be interpreted as a moment of hesitation before going through with the deed. It’s kind of ambiguous, and that bothers me.

      • Crumby says:

        But I understand your point Merve and what it bothers you. So thank you for that.
        I would feel the same way. But I like to think that Casey did not say anything to Chuck and waited for Perry to grap his gun to shoot because he wanted to let Chuck make the choice. But Perry take his gun and therefore Casey felt the need to shoot so that Chuck don’t get killed.
        But that’s just me and how I want interpreted things.

        What is annoying is what he said after. He should have said “You’re not a killer and he would have killed you”. Nobody talked about the fact that Perry had a gun. That’s what’s creating the confusion IMO.

      • Crumby says:

        I meant “I understand your point Merve and why it bothers you.” Sorry.

      • Merve says:

        Crumby, I think that you nailed some of my frustration with Casey. He’s still coddling Chuck. For a guy who is supposed to say things bluntly, he’s kind of beating around the bush. Say what you will about how horrible Sarah has been to Chuck this season, but at least she stopped coddling him after “First Class.”

  25. herder says:

    To use on of Mel’s (from chucktv) expressions it was a catch 22 situation. If Casey hadn’t shot, Chuck would be dead, if he does then Chuck is a spy, but in over his head, bad but less bad than being dead. So Casy did Chuck a favor, the wrong was Shaw, and by extension Sarah, who put him in the situation where he was in a no win position.

    I hope that Casey has some harsh words for Sarah about helping to create this problem and even harsher for her reaction to it. To take the catch 22 scenerio even further Chuck was in a position where if he killed in cold blood he would be destroying himself as Sarah did in her red blood test and if he didn’t I think we will find out that he was to be killed by Shaw, his choice that Sarah set up for him (unwittingly, but she should have known better) was ruin himself or be killed.

    I think that Casey understood what was going on even if Sarah didn’t and that was why he acted, electing to persue the course of action that had the least harm. Sort of a Sophie’s Choice.

    • joe says:

      What I’ve been thinking about lately is that Sarah is not a killer either.

      She almost failed her red test outright, then acted essentially in self-defence when she thought the woman was reaching for a gun. She saw it poorly in the reflection.

      We know that she considered poisoning of the French diplomats (1.02 Helicopter) an act of self-defence. And even with Mauser, she acted in defence of Chuck and everyone he loves (with the possible exception of herself). We don’t know of any time that she’s acted in a way that Chuck can’t accept.

      I’m not sure that Chuck will think himself so innocent either. My interpretation of the first scene was that he was squeezing the trigger. He hesitated and Casey beat him to it.

      • atcdave says:

        A lot of us argued this position throughout S2. Sarah has a very strong conscience, and I’d even say Graham knew it and was careful on the missions he assigned her (they carefully left her out of the loop on the kill order against Chuck). Perhaps we should say she still has a conscience, but is being driven nuts by the compromises that come with the job; and add to it the guilt of having dragged Chuck in after her. Of course the problem with giving her too much credit this season is she has consistently failed to act on her conscience, as became obvious from Nacho Sampler on when she offered no advice, counsel, or comfort to Chuck as he dealt with the same difficult situations.

        Man I hate this season.

      • JC says:

        Who knows Joe, she might have failed her Red Test. She never went back to check if Ev.. I mean the woman was dead.

      • JLR says:

        ^^^ And Sarah’s failure to do any of those explicit signs of caring is causing some viewers to question the depths of the C/S ‘ship/”love”. I know I’ve questioned it quite a bit this season. But, I can be so black & white about some things though, even things as enigmatic as “love” (probably explains why I haven’t married yet), LOL. All I know is the lack of C/S on screen together has had the opposite effect than what was probably intended: I just don’t cheer for the ‘ship anymore (tbh, I haven’t “cheered” for it since early S2, & fleetingly in between Colonel & Ring). It’s not a “love for the ages” based on what I’ve seen on the screen. Then again, I refrain from doing all the deep analyzing that others are so good at WRT to character motivations.

      • herder says:

        That is one of the things that I don’t understand about the whole “red test” thing, up to this point the question was would Chuck be able to pull the trigger when it was necessary. The General’s simulation in Pink Slip was a kill or be killed situation, but Chuck didn’t think it was, and sought another way out. With Sidney, it was the same, and Chuck failed the kill or be killed moment.

        With Perry it was an asassination, find him and kill him. Assassin seems a very different job than spy, in one being able to kill is a side obligation of the job, in the other it is the job itself. Why if they are training Chuck to be a spy is is necessary for him to be an assassin too?

      • JLR says:

        ^^^ I always thought things like red tests were more about testing someone’s loyalty/ability to blindly follow orders…

      • joe says:

        she might have failed her Red Test.

        Good point, JC. We really don’t know that she did kill anyone.

        But Sarah believes she did, and certainly did afterwards. Either way, she suffered a major loss of innocence.

      • weaselone says:

        Joe, she’s definitely a killer. She might be a killer with a conscience, but a killer she remains.

    • Jason says:

      she might be aq virgin too, might not be sleeping with shaw, might not have shot 3 guys in episode 3, and thrown knives at government agents in 1.1, and everything else she did in between … or we can zone back to reality and she is what she is, except when someone want to invent some fanfic to describe what she is really feeling, since she can’t interact with any character in the show this season other than shaw?

  26. JC says:

    Is anyone else checking out DR’s blog? He’s got people hunting for clues about the plot. I don’t always agree with him, but he sure knows how to get traffic to his site.

    • Gabbo says:

      And when Chuck is cancelled, no one with care about DR. Which is why he is really worried about Chuck’s fate. His identity is totally tied to a television show and, more specifically, having inside information about a TV show.

      When the show stops, his inside info stops and he goes back to much-deserved obscurity, cursing all the way and looking for someone to blame.

      Which, all in all, is okay by me…

      Sorry to make my first post here so negative, but I came to THIS blog because people told me it was a place to sanely discuss the show. Which, of course, is not what DR does…

      • joe says:

        Greetings, Gabbo.

        I do hope this is a place to sanely discuss the show, but generally that means leaving personalities like DR out of the discussion, if at all possible.

        You’re certainly welcome to discuss the ideas he tosses around, though.

      • HenryH says:

        You’re an honorable man and have built a great site that will last (should you wish it) long after Chuck ends.

        But the new guy/gal speaks truth: DR is a cancer and has fractured the fan base by labeling some fans acceptable and others “crazy.” Guys who label others deserve the condemnation Gabbo visited upon him.

        My two cents, anyway…

      • joe says:

        Thanks for the compliment, Henry. I appreciate it.

        Fractured coalitions, accusations of “crazy” and finger pointing sounds more like the health care debate to me, though. That’s DRs game, and he plays it well. He’s successful and has a following.

        If we try to do that too, I’m pretty sure we’d find that he’s better at it than us.

        Seems to me that there’s a valid discussion to be had about ‘shippers and their value to the wider fan base (or even *if* there are any fans who are *not* ‘shippers), and the creative tensions between TPTB, show runners and really committed fans, which is what DR talks about. And as someone who self-identifies as as ‘shipper, guaranteed I have several points of disagreement with him.

        Consider though that many people enjoy his commentary, colorful language and all. There’s just no need to antagonize them (some of them comment here too), when the point can be made without all that.

      • Zsjaer says:

        If it is the same Razorback that has some youtube videos about Chuck i think he keeps deleting the negative comments in there. I remember one post of mine to be deleted so i think there is censure in his blog on negative posts about this Season of Chuck. That`s if it is the same person..if not my apologies.

  27. Jen says:

    I finally have time to sit and read the blog. I just voted (maybe a little late), i selected Unconditional support. Maybe i’m a sucker for punishment, or maybe i’m terribly optimistic about what TPTB will do with S4, but i would really like a chance to see what they will do. I also enjoy this cast way too much and want to enjoy them just a little longer.

    I don’t know if it will help but i just emailed a radio personality that does shout outs about shows on TV each day to please mention Chuck. Who knows if she will do me this little favor, but it will only cost her 2 seconds of time, so maybe she will. I’m also buying S2 for a friend and my trainer cause i got them hooked. Maybe this won’t contributing to the show staying on, but i’m trying to do my part.

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