Well, I think this is officially the last time I can use that title. My purpose here is to launch the next round of speculative posts about where things are heading. We’ve had a lot of spoilers from a lot of sources, but still know painfully little about how things will actually happen. So don’t be afraid to post something that will make you look really stupid in just a few days time, I know I’m the master of being wrong.
Shaw himself now seems to be mostly nuts, and driven mainly by the need for revenge. Sarah may be the last of the main characters to see it; I would be seriously surprised if she ends up being the one who’s right about him. The two main theories floating around seem to be either Chuck kills Shaw to save Sarah; or Sarah kills Shaw to save Chuck. I’m leaning towards Sarah doing the killing, it fits nicely with the shot we saw of her crying in the previews, and it keeps Chuck from having to do any actual killing, yet. Casey made such a big deal of Chuck not being wired that way, so they are forcing our awareness of this aspect of Chuck; of course Casey can be right or wrong on this point and still deliver some emotional impact, I’m just hoping he’s right.
There is still the possibility of something else happening. Shaw could die a hero (or suicidal head case) in bringing down the Ring. He also could yet survive as either a hero or villain; although I think surviving as a hero is the least likely of all possibilities at this point. If, on the off chance, Eve survived her supposed death scene, Shaw and Eve may finish the arc as new baddies for the end of the season (there are some rumors about Routh being in 3.19; of course flashbacks are always a possibility).
My thought for the end game is Shaw tries to kill Chuck so Sarah will know the pain he experienced, and Sarah has to kill Shaw.
So what will the situation be as we enter the back part of the season? There are few issues to be resolved. How will Casey get back in the game? It could be a simple as the new intersect/agent chooses Casey as a permanent part of his team, and forces Beckman to accommodate him. Of course we know Casey is a man of action all the way through, he just prove himself to TPTB through his own actions. The latter is my guess.
The new agent Bartowski was supposed to quit the Nerd Herd cover and be assigned to Rome. We know this will never happen. I can only see two scenarios for Chuck remaining in his old life in Burbank. First is that LA is such a nest of Ring activity and international intrigue Beckman decides to let him remain there as his base of operations (or perhaps he insists on keeping it as his home base). The second possibility is that Chuck is downgraded after his failure in the Red Test is discovered and goes back to some sort of asset or “junior agent” status. Both of these solutions seem weak to me, if anyone has any better ideas I would love to hear it. It even begs the question, how will Chuck come to decide to remain in the spy life? It may come back to a “greater good” situation again; Chuck has special skills that make him particularly useful as an agent, it seems consistent with his character to accept the higher calling. Especially if its suggested any other option will result in his death. Perhaps, at the end of 3.13, Chuck (and Sarah) will be allowed a week or two to think things over (again), or perhaps they will try to run at the end of 3.13. My money is on vacation.
There are still a few questions where Sarah is concerned too. At the end of American Hero she was ready again to leave the spy life to run off with Chuck. Barring that, she was scheduled to report to DC for a new duty. Perhaps it will be as simple as accepting an assignment as Chuck’s partner. But given her struggles and issues through much of this season, they have to pay some attention to the idea of Sarah staying in the field. The easiest answer is that maybe, just knowing Chuck was willing to leave it all behind for her was enough. And now she’s ready to face life with a partner who will sacrifice anything for her. Combine that with Chuck retaining enough of his core character and values to still be “the guy”, perhaps that’s all we’ll ever get. But I do suspect some of these issues will be regurgitated at least one more time.
Some other burning issues. Devon and Ellie apparently are really leaving home. Does this mean they are leaving the show? Or perhaps their role will simply be diminished further and we’ll only see them occasionally from here on out. Will Morgan ever leave the Buy More? I know its been hinted at, but I strongly suspect not. There were some rumors about a return of Anna in the back six. I would love to see it if she returns as a regular; otherwise, I wish they would leave that alone (um, not that anyone asked). We were told there would be a significant death at seasons end; my money is on Orion, but at this point, its so far out I don’t really have a good read on it. I only say Orion because he’s important to the characters and history of the show; killing him would have great emotional, but little practical impact on the show (kind of like Bryce).
The last thing I wanted to address was what big “game changers” we would see in 3.19. I believe we’ve heard there would be two. One may be the character death, but probably not if its Orion. The most obvious change I can think of is Chuck and Sarah getting engaged. If they actually do get engaged at any point prior to 3.19, I will change my prediction to Chuck and Sarah getting married (3.19 is called Chuck vs. The Ring, Part II; which really may suggest a wedding or engagement). They may even rush it if Ellie and Devon are leaving the country, which might be one of the game changers in its own right. Some people have suggested issues with the intersect as one of the game changers. I’ve seen the idea a few times that it could be killing Chuck; or that Sarah may get intersected too. I don’t buy into either of these, but I’ve been wrong before. An upgrade or another deletion are possibilities, as is a “dark intersect” agent of some sort (Shaw maybe?).
I obviously don’t have strong opinions about a lot of these (shocking, isn’t it?). I look forward to reading wild speculation the next few days; it’ll be fun to see if any of us come close. I better end this post now, its getting to be as long as one of Ernie’s…