Was It Worth It?

Going back to last July we were all assured this season would be wonderful and “epic.”   We’re finally done with the main arc,  so I thought it would be interesting to discuss our thoughts in hindsight.    I’m not trying to stir up trouble or create a forum of bitterness.   My main question,  given that most (?) of us seemed to be unhappy as the season went,   is just if this particular “destination”  made the journey worthwhile?   or even if in hindsight we have real appreciation for the journey we were brought on.   I suppose some may even feel they enjoyed the journey more than the destination.   You know I’ll never agree with that,  but please feel free to present your views,  and defend your position!   I’d like to see the defense of the position be what this post is all about.

I’m sure you all can guess my position.   While there a few good episodes this season,  I did not and do not enjoy the journey they took us on.   I can think of three things I mainly object to this season.

1.  The chemistry of the show leads was disrupted by a long term guest star.   Really two guest stars,  although Kristen Kruek fit the tone of the show better.   But the effect of long term guest spots was to take away from the interactions between Chuck, Sarah and Casey.   As Ernie has discussed,  one guest star was almost a new star at times,  and he took so much time away from the characters I actually want to see;  and impacted the ways they related and interacted.   Obviously that mainly means Chuck and Sarah;  but Casey has been fun as a foil/obstacle between them since the beginning,  and his interaction with both of them suffered this season too.

2. I really never enjoy “love triangles”.   Polygons are geometrically worse,  not better.   I guess I start with thinking,  I don’t really want the show to be “about” the relationship anyway.   I would rather they made a bigger deal of the spy plots;  and used Chuck and Sarah as both comic relief,  and a dramatic anchor.   Both of them being involved with long or short term guest stars undermines both.   I don’t find any of it funny,  and it parts from any sort of drama I can relate to or want to see.   I think the comic potential is huge for Chuck and Sarah trying to have something like a normal life while saving the world.   Between Sarah having no experience with normal,  and Chuck being a computer nerd,  it shouldn’t be that hard to make it funny.   And dramatic impact?   Well there’s the whole life and death thing.  

3.  I don’t really want to see characters I like fighting with each other.   This season started on a down note;  with Sarah abandoning Chuck to his fate after thinking he had abandoned her in Prague.   The mood lifted a little before we plunged into the angst arc.   To me,  this just meant the show was mostly no fun this season.

Now,  for the record.   I am hugely pleased with how the main arc ended in The Other Guy.   While it didn’t undo all the earlier damage done to characters I had previously liked and respected;  it did end in a happy place.   And it looks like they may stay in a happy place.  Even if Chuck suffers emotional fall-out from killing someone,  or if Chuck and Sarah both get frustrated with the job interfering with their together time,  or if Sarah has to face demons from her past;  as long as Chuck and Sarah face their challenges together,   the show will be a lot more fun for me.

Even when the show got rough and depressing to me this season,  I enjoyed our discussions here.   I do look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts.   If you think I’m a total idiot,  please say it nicely.   If you think I’m genius,  be sure to go on at length.

– Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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93 Responses to Was It Worth It?

  1. amyabn says:

    Dave, you are a genius. Sorry, that’s all you’ll get!
    Anyway, you and I have mostly seen eye to eye on this season. I really am enjoying the destination. I’ve re-watched The Other Guy more times than I can count (well, mostly highlight stuff!).

    I found myself going back, watching elements (selected scenes) of the Pilot, Sizzling Shrimp, Hard Salami, First Date, Seduction, Cougars, DeLorean, Colonel, Angel of Death, and Beard through Other Guy. I went back to look at elements of what I love about the show.

    The strongest element, even at a cursory glance, is the relationships highlighted in these episodes. I went full circle, from “an evening of Morgan” to his backing Chuck in Beard, to his announcing his official assistant role to one Charles Irving Bartowski-and it was great!

    I went through personal revelations, done mostly lightly, such as the geeky Jenny Burton to the con artist dad. Those were done so deftly, with moments of drama, love, and comedy.

    I saw the strength of family, through “fake” dates with Awesome and Ellie, to shared conversations between Ellie and Sarah (“I have both feet in”, “Chuck is like a duck,” etc). Family dinners, mother’s day, Halloween. Moments with Casey, showing his inner feelings towards his team, from putting in a word for Jack Burton, to covering Sarah and Chucks AWOL, to putting himself on the line for Chuck.

    Those are the elements I so sorely missed this season. This season eliminated most of those in favor of a very poorly done arc. Did I mind the darker tone? I don’t think so, in retrospect, except that it was done with an almost complete absence of the other elements. Could some of the issues been handled differently? I think Yes, and many here theorized and gave TPTB multiple ways out of what they had done (not that it mattered-the shows had been shot already). Do I like finally getting to this particular destination? Absolutely! Do I think we needed to sacrifice all of the things that we (or at least I) loved to get here? Sadly, my answer is still no.

    • herder says:

      Amy, I agree with most of what you have written and again this saves me from having to do a lengthy post on the subject. The difference is that I haven’t got back to the point where I am rewatching episodes from previous seasons, yet. The confession of both Chuck and Sarah that they have loved each other does make me reinterseted in seeing earlier shows, but TPTB trashing most of what has gone on before is a bit of an anchor against that.

      I love where they are and have great expectations as to where they are going but the elimination of so much of what makes the show special to service an overly extended PLI arc has left a bad taste in my mouth. After the events of Comic-con I was prepared for PLI’s but it was over done, over long and in order to make it happen they did away with too much of the character’s better qualities to make the result justify the means to get there.

      Having said that I am willing to put that behind me, the only effect being a loss of trust in TPTB, not the show itself. Where they are now is where they should have been at episode eight or nine and leading into happier times that will justify the faith of the viewers. I guess what I am saying is that if this is the way that they wanted to go, it should have been shorter, more consise and less hurtfull to the characters. Where they are now may have justified a briefer arc, but not this one.

      It is the difference between a drama and a soap opera. There are other aspects to the show, action, comedy and adventure but the drama part verred into soap opera territory this year.

      At the end of all that all I can say is that I am good here for now, so bring on the back six.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Well said Amy. I think even in other guy the darkness permeates and yet it worked and it’s largely plot directed and not in spirit.

      I hoped I was as poll-smart as you Dave. The one I started at the NBC boards (everybody go vote) wasn’t nearly as specific. Namely yes, no, don’t care and yes is winning 😦

      • atcdave says:

        Hey Faith, Gord still found a shortcoming. I needed “enjoyed most of both but the journey ran too long.”

  2. angeloanthony says:

    That Sarah Walter Twitter thing http://twitter.com/sarahwalkercia
    is so good that I’ve been looking back a lot at Season 1/2 for clues. The balance was perfect between comedy and drama and where they were headed seems so clear, even on an episode-by-episode basis. I never felt that this season. No balance and lots of blind alleys. And a LOT of wasted time and stuff.

    The last scene of Wookie is so intensely romantic, for example. You have to wonder why Adler then decides to trash the name reveal this season. It’s almost as if they don’t want to you love what you loved in the first two seasons.

    But it is what it is. I’m just having fun following the fake Sarah Walker tweets. Whoever is doing it seems to have the balance between comedy, romance and drama that Season 3 lacked.

    • Josh says:

      This will sound weird but IMO Adler used the name reveal as a substitute for sex. It was something huge that would shock Chuck, without having Sarah go there.

      What does bug me though is that it was said … and completely forgotten since.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Good points. Both of them. So is Chuck going to keep calling her “Sarah” as if the “Sam” thing never happened?

        I can understand still using Sarah “in public” so to speak (as part of the cover). But if they’re truly becoming “a couple,” you would expect/hope that they’d want to communicate with each other (in their private, personal moments) HONESTLY – and that would begin with, uh, say, USING EACH OTHER’S REAL NAME!!

      • amyabn says:

        My only thing with that (the Sam vs. Sarah bit) is that she has been “Sarah” since Graham found her in 1998 (class of 1998-Go Cougars!). As she took on this “clean” identity, it is likely her college diploma bears the name Sarah Walker. Bryce was partnered with her as Sarah, she has been Sarah for the last three years with Chuck, so that adds up to about 12 years out of approximately 28. Her birth name may be Sam(antha), but we know she went by many names throughout her childhood/teen years.
        I guess that is why I think the whole real name business isn’t that important. Chuck told her in no uncertain terms that he knows who she is (another great scene!). Sarah Walker is the woman Chuck fell in love with, and she is the woman who fell in love with Chuck. I think the name reveal was pretty cheap (and not well done) and in the scheme of things, not important. Just my 2 cents.

      • Josh says:

        amy the name was used once, by Shaw, and Sharah pretty much umm you know “assaulted” him after he said it. So it has some significance for her, even if just as an icon of a person she’s not anymore.

        That whole conversation was the most intimate details Sarah ever divulged about herself, I didn’t mean Chuck should start calling her Sam, I mean he should at some point acknowledge he heard what she said during the whole name reveal scene. Because so far, it’s been mostly about Chuck and his issues, I guess I m just saying I ‘d love it if they also delved a bit into Sarah and her issues that don’t directly involve Chuck.

      • Crumby says:

        I totally agree on that Josh.
        Sarah hasn’t told Chuck anything about her past apart from what was needed for missions or cover.
        She told Shaw her name. She told him about her red test. I hope were gonna have some serious talk between Chuck and Sarah too now.

      • amyabn says:

        Josh, I guess my problem with it is that now Sarah seems to have resigned herself to being the spy and Chuck gets to be, well, Chuck. That is why I had a problem with their discussion in the elevator-Chuck asking Sarah to be the butt kicking spy, basically so he doesn’t have to. If that is what she was trying to get away from, why would she be ok with that? Are we going to get a conversation and she says she wants to get out of the spy game, or are we going to brush that whole concept under the rug too?
        I guess they should re-visit it, but Chuck did hear her say it, and acknowledged it by playing Rafe, telling Shaw that he stole his girl, Sam. I agree that more Sarah backstory would be great!

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah amy I didn’t really like Chuck’s comment about Sarah taking care of most of the bad guys. I think Sarah didn’t really like it either. She had a weird look after, but then the Director arrived.
        I really hope we got to see a discussion about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Chuck made that comment because he didn’t have a real gun while in the elevator. It’s kind of two-faced to criticize Chuck for leaving the killing to Sarah when Sarah doesn’t want him to do any killing.

      • Josh says:

        Exactly amy, we got Sarah’s issues but they were only used as plot devices, hurdles Chuck had to overcome to win her over. They weren’t really deal with, they just got brushed off to the side a bit.

        I guess what I m saying, in the context of this thread at least, is that the journey and the destination would have been better server by actually resolving both Chuck’s and Sarah’s issues, instead of going for the Chuck the hero angle.

      • Josh says:

        “dealt with” and “better served”

        typing while working doesn’t agree with me, sorry

      • caster says:

        Honestly, I think they should leave the whole Sam thing alone. They already ruined the moment and there really is no other way Sarah can redeem herself from that one.

    • angeloanthony says:

      You know, I hate to be really silly about that Sarah twitter feed, but whoever is doing it has an interesting point of view.

      One of the tweets said this:
      I told #Chuck April in Paris is not like the song. But it is 2day. 16 degrees, sunny. Maybe I can be Sarah, just 4 him. Sam was never happy.

      Isn’t that the point? Sam, real as she is/was, never was happy, at least so far as we know. Sarah is making someone (Chuck) happy. And Sarah is happy.

      As as someone said up the thread, they had Chuck let go of all of this in Cougars when he said he didn’t care who she was because he knew who she is.

      It’s only us fans who care. Which was my point. Why burn the reveal? Either let it die or have Sarah GIVE it to Chuck. But to use it (as she also did with the bracelet) just to tweak fans for caring struck me as destructive. And it was clearly ADDED because the episode wasn’t called Fake Name originally.

      • herder says:

        Personally I would like to see the whole Sam thing end, I like what they have done in the twitter thing, whoever it is. The thing that I don’t like is in the spy notes bit on the Chuck site where he supposedly says “Sam, my Sam” when he has never uttered the name onscreen. The spy notes have been more of an annoyance than an enlightenment.

        Yes, I am following the twitter stuff, but I’m not sure if it is fanfic or a very clever promotion. In any event it is fun so I’ll keep at it for a while.

      • angeloanthony says:

        I think it’s fanfic, and good fanfic. It has too many other things to be a promo. Why bring in an old movie like Charade and the Hotel Regina, the safe house from Bourne? And restaurants and concerts that are all real?

      • amyabn says:

        I hope they bring the bracelet back in the next episode or two. I think Chuck should give Sarah two more charms for it (and to make it more hers): a mini Eiffel tower and a train. Great memories! 😉

      • herder says:

        I’d love that Amy I hope that happens.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Ok that is too sweet to NOT happen. Good stuff Amy.

      • Crumby says:

        Ali Adler said on twitter:
        Maybe you should look for it in 3.14. RT @candommar: I want to see Sarah’s bracelet again

      • Paul says:

        Well if Ali Adler responded to that tweet, maybe someone should ask her about the name thing…it’s worth a shot…;)

      • Paul says:

        It’s likely fanfic, but really good and imaginative fanfic. I’m following it for now. They even made a shout out to Rick in it!

      • drosejr says:

        Seems like Twitter (or someone else) shut down http://twitter.com/sarahwalkercia account. Disappointing, as it was becoming a good read.

      • joe says:

        I’m getting a “does not exist” message from twitter about that account too, drosejr. It’s a shame. It was starting to look like read good fan-fic.

      • angeloanthony says:

        I took it as Chuck and Sarah going off the grid, actually. Which would be a clever way to end it. I mean, did we want two more week of nattering about Paris? It was pretty clear (at least to me) that the “canon, not scripts” comments in the Tweets indicated the writer wasn’t going to push the story past Paris.

        Of course, I don’t even have a Twitter account, so this could all be horse-hockey on my part…

    • sd says:

      Hey there…

      Anyone know what happened to the twitter thing? Must admit…kinda fun to read…

  3. joe says:

    Dave, I think this is how we met, months ago, cogitating over this very question! 🙂

    I suspect that most everyone knows where I’ve been on this (well, maybe not any more), but as it turns out, much of what I’d say is coming, coincidently, in a separate post.

    Suffice it to say for now that I’ve always been “it’s the journey” kind of guy. And having said that, I’ll state that I’m still on that ‘shipper’s high that The Other Guy gave me five days ago. Wow! What a destination.

  4. JC says:

    I watched the whole season again over the last two days. And I’d like to give huge credit to Ernie who said this was Chuck’s hero journey, he was right. The whole season was about Chuck becoming a hero. Sarah became the prize at the end.

    Is Sarah more open? Yes but along the way her emotional revelations were nothing more than hurdles for Chuck to overcome. That’s why she was saved by Shaw in the Mask because it setup Chuck truly saving her in the end. I’ll be curious if her lack of trust and faith Chuck will be explored in the back six or just forgotten about.

    So was the journey worth it? I don’t know, I expected more from the writers. Maybe that’s my fault but what I got in the end was a typical story that I’ve seen before and executed much better.

    • Crumby says:

      I was re-watching the “Will you run away with me?” scene from Pink Slip for the Most Heartwarming Moment poll and I noticed something.

      In the scene Sarah told Chuck “you’re not gonna be the same person” and he answered “yeah that’s a good thing”. That’s where we began the season and in the Other Guy we finished with “I’m still the same guy. I’m still Chuck. I promise”.

      Like you said JC, Ernie was totally right this season was the hero’s journey. But it seems like Sarah had the answer all along, she knew what a hero he was, and she’s told him several times, he just never believed her, until now.

      • JC says:

        Yep, he’s the same guy but now he realizes that guy is a hero. I still don’t like how Sarah was used as she was nothing more than a prop for his journey. I wish we had gotten an episode focused completely on her. Hell just give me one piece of dialogue from her that saying she’s sorry for not believing in him.

        It just seems to me the writers were fully intent on making a hero at the expense of other character development, especially Sarah.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree JC, Sarah was very poorly served this season.

      • JC says:

        See that’s what angers me about this season. I was ready to see the other side of Sarah but we really never got it. It just served a purpose to make Chuck rethink what he was doing or to make him step up and do something heroic.

        I really hope the back six shows her opening up to him.

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah Sarah is definitely the character that suffered the most this season.
        I hope they come back to it at some point, try to explain a few things a little. It would help. We can’t just forget what happened because they’re together now.

      • herder says:

        At the end of the first thirteen, Chuck has grown, Casey is as much a hero as before if not more, Morgan is actually an engaging character, Ellie is redeemed “you’re a Bartowski, act like it”. The characters that have taken a hit are Sarah and Awesome, two of the most appealing up to this year. I hope that something is done to rescue both those characters too.

      • caster says:

        I don’t like what they did to yvonnes character either..But in Sarah’s defense, After what they did to her in Prague, who can blame her

      • JC says:

        I have no problem with what they did to her character, its that they really didn’t do anything. Her growth was done to make Chuck the hero, nothing more.

      • Chuck604 says:

        I agree, TPTB could have transformed Chuck without going through the expense of Sarah’s character. They could have gone through the up’s and down’s of Chuck’s development together, and still have Sarah blame herself for Chuck’s potential character assassination. But at least they could have gone through it together talking about it. That would have been a lot better in my opinion.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        While I agree Sarah’s character sufferred rhe most this season I disgree that she didn’t grow. If anything she really changed, she went through her, what I like to call “I hate you now” period. She was just poorly executed. Her growth wasn’t nearly as visible or identifiable. I’m still waiting for a full redemption really. But she did change, grow and evolve like Chuck. She is now more than she ever was a “real girl.” One that found the balance between hysterical baby to loved woman. One whose priorities are forever changed and whose emotional expression is much more healthy.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        She wasn’t a prop. Shaw was her prop.

      • Chuck604 says:

        I think Sarah grew this season, but I think it would have better served if they grew together. Going through the bumps and bruises together, not necessarily as a couple but as friends or partners. I understand how you say she grew, because she was willing to take another chance with Chuck, even with the red test; before Casey told her the actual result. The old Sarah, probably would have shut it down after the Prague incident. Thing is when they agreed to be friends, they weren’t really friendly during that period. But hopefully they’ll open up to each other in the coming episodes.

      • JC says:

        I’m not saying she didn’t grow, its her growth was never shown till the last 10 minutes of American Hero and Other Guy. We got bits of her growing throughout the season but it was done for the sake of Chuck’s development at the time not hers.

        As for the prop comment, well she was in regards to Chuck being a hero. Need a problem for Chuck to deal with, have Sarah get emotional.

      • kg says:

        You’re correct Crumby. These two lines you found were the crux of the whole damned arc.

        But I think it was another classic miscommunication between our two favorite characters.

        When Chuck answered “yeah that’s a good thing,” Sarah took that literally against what she said to him herself and her knowledge about what he’d have to do and how he’d change in the process of becoming a true spy.

        But that’s not what Chuck meant. He was never too worried about his personality changing. In his mind, he thought he could preserve the same beliefs and values.

        Chuck was trying to tell Sarah that he didn’t want to be a nobody the rest of his life, an underachieving , unsatisfied Buy More employee. To him, the intersect 2.0 and the government provided him with an opportunity to lead a dashing, exciting life and to help and protect the people he loved. Chuck had a big problem believing in Chuck far too long.

        Because Sarah took his admission so literally, the more she loathed what she thought Chuck was becoming and the more she began to feel she was losing him. This process was gaining steam at a downhill rate.

        Along the way, watching Chuck brought back painful memories about her experiences and she began to loathe herself. She believed she had lost Chuck, she didn’t like herself, she didn’t know who she was and it allowed the creepy Shaw to exploit the situation. Well, he got his.

        Yes, I always believed there was plenty of sincerety from Sarah about her belief in Chuck. I never thought it was just a manipulation for a mission.

      • Crumby says:

        I think Sarah did grow but all wasn’t resolved. Does the fact that Chuck is still Chuck make everything else OK? I don’t think so.

        They don’t need to run away from the spy life because Chuck won’t change. Ok.
        Sarah is not responsible for Chuck’s transformation. Ok.

        But what was she missing about being Sam? What did she want to remember about it? If Chuck knows who she is, and if that’s enough for her, fine, but I’d like that stated.
        And her red test is still the worst day of her life, if anything it’s worst now that she knows it was Eve. And yet Chuck is still counting on her to do the killing (his comment on the elevator). Is she fine with that? Was her self-loathing only about Chuck changing?

        If all her issues were about Chuck, then it makes the season even worst for me. That’s why I’d like to have some insights on what she thinks, and see her opening up to Chuck about those things.

        I hope the back 6 will do that, but considering the 13 episodes were supposed to work alone, then some answers and resolution about Sarah are lacking IMO.

  5. sd says:

    Great post!

    I actually don’t mind the concept of a “dark arc”. But this one was done with a heavy, heavy hand that almost killed my interest in the characters and –frankly–the show as a whole.

    Having said that, I found both characters came out the other side as equals and ready for a mature, long-lasting relationship. Having gone back and watched Colonel, I don’t know if that would have been believable without Chuck learning more about himself and how spying isn’t all about adventure.

    Could that have been realized without the PLI’s? I think so. It would have required Sarah saying to Chuck essentially…you made your bed…now you get to lay in it—without me—and without my help. I won’t help you and comfort you because I know what this life is really like and you wouldn’t believe me. So you get the distance…you understand why she won’t help him–or enable him.

    The angst–if necessary– comes from Chuck trying to talk with her about Manoosh etc and she struggling with that but not willing to comfort him.

    So–the relationship payoff of The Other Guy was amazing…so “real” where the Colonel was not IMHO.

    • amyabn says:

      Well said, sd. I think your solution-of Sarah distancing herself and making Chuck deal with his choice without her would have been a better way to go. Casey wold have been stuck in the middle and would have given Adam Baldwin some great stuff to work with. If they had gone in the direction you suggest, Shaw could still have been brought in as the mentor role (only) and messed with the team chemistry. Sarah and Casey would still have been coddling Chuck too much and he could have served as the shake up.

      • sd says:

        Thanks, amyabn…

        And agreed…bring Shaw in…but not as a PLI but as a guy who shakes the team up…

        IMO that would have been more challenging–and fulfilling story telling.

        So what to do with the Sarah angst…the name…the need to spill to someone about her desires for a normal life that Chuck overhears and shakes him up? Maybe it still is Shaw…but as collegues…not as lovers.

    • atcdave says:

      I could see this working quite well. It should have been a much shorter arc, and no PLIs. We still would have seen Sarah’s concerns over the changes and challenges Chuck will have to deal with, but with out so much damage to the characters or the entertainment quality of the show.

      • Jason says:

        dave, great topic, only way the journey was worth it, is if that was the only way TPTB were going to give me the ultimate destination. I disliked the journey, the CS interaction in nearly episode from 3.5 all the way to 3.12, right up to the end.

        I’ve tried to express this a bit, will probably try again, but I now am convinced, all of sarah’s actions are logical (poor story but a story none the less), they just have to be viewed thru one filter, her heart was not broken in 3.1, her heart was slowly breaking each episode, as chuck was becoming a better spy.

        I kept wanting her to start liking him for how much he was being a hero all along, she did the opposite. She did not want him to be a spy, as he got closer, she moved further away. If you rewatch 3.1 thru 3.12, try to notice that one filter. Explains why she wanted out early in the arc. Even little things like in 3.9 when he couldn’t flash, she was more like a mother who was glad her child was cut from the football team.

        Finally, I found sarah’s attire when she went to chuck’s apt to be interesting, she was dressed more like florence henderson’s brady bunch mom than the ‘carina’ like look she branded around shaw. Indeed, as chuck was moving toward becoming a real spy, sarah was moving toward becoming carina, heading towards a life of loveless encounters with hot men. Rick Holy got that right, when sarah said you saved me chuck, he not only saved her life, he saved her.

        Problem is, this is just a bunch of fanfic and retcon and postmortem rationalization, of what was one bad journey.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Jason, they are still making us work way too hard to make sense of things. I really doubt we’ll get much explaination. I would love some exposition on Sarah’s views on the use of deadly violence, what she really thought of Shaw, etc. Even some mention of details like the charm bracelet and her real name could be interesting. How much we’ll ever get is hard to say, but I’m betting not much. Of course, as poorly as most of S3 was managed, maybe its best to just forget it.

  6. Crumby says:

    It wasn’t worth it for me. It helps to have that destination though. It makes it easier to look at the whole season, and especially what I didn’t like. Because there were also some good stuff.
    Anyway, what would really be good to make up for this season would be to not just act like nothing happened. I hope TPTB don’t act like what we saw and didn’t like (name reveal for example) weren’t a big deal and don’t mentionned it ever again. I hope they use those things to actually give us something deeper and more enjoyable moments that what we’ve seen so far. And I’d like them to make up for the lost of Sarah Walker…
    Anyway my point is, I hate when shows make characters do stupid OOC things, and in one episode just erase everything, like everything’s ok. Yes Chuck and Sarah are together and that’s great. But I don’t want this season to be just The Other Guy.
    I don’t think the back 6 will really give some answers on that but if there is a 4th season, I’m really hoping for that.

  7. Rick Holy says:

    The journey wasn’t worth it. The destination is pure gold, but the journey still wasn’t worth it. It’s like you’ve stated previously. In the first two seasons of CHUCK you could watch episodes over and over and over again. So far the only one I’m watching more than once is “the other guy.”

    And what REALLY makes the journey so awful is that TPTB decided to have THAT be the introduction to many “new fans,” “casual viewers,” etc., after all the pre-January promotion hype. It’s not just a coincidence that we went form a 3.0 in the demo down to a 1.9. Luckily we’ve eeked our way up a little again – but try getting back fans you’ve had a chance to cultivate but then lost. Rarely happens. And as painful as “the journey” was for me to watch, it was MORE painful to see it reflect in the dwindling ratings and the “on the bubble” status (AGAIN).

    So…… I’m going to enjoy as much as I can the “back six,” hoping that now that “the destination” has been reached, things will be better again. Back six may equal Final six. Hope not. But it’s a possibility again this season, and I don’t think it had to be.

    • atcdave says:

      You summed up a lot of my concerns nicely. I’ve got one friend who missed the season so far, but actually wants to catch up again; so I’ve been showing him only the “good” episodes. Its actually kind of funny; he knows my biases, so he knows exactly what sort censored version of the season he’s going to get. But he seems pretty OK with that.

  8. caster says:

    Love the destination hated the journey. I still firmly beleive that they could have gotten to the same destination by taking a shorter route. I think that Chuck vs the other guy should have been the 6th episode rather than 13th and I still can’t get over pink slip but thats just me

    • Rick Holy says:

      It’s not just you. And you’re right. They could have gotten this “heroe’s journey” through in six episodes – TOPS. But 13? Too much angst for two 3 minute scenes of Chuck and Sarah actually becoming the couple they were meant to be in the 13th episode.

      I’m enjoying, FINALLY, their arrival. But it was like being in one of those airplanes that gets stranded on the runway for hours and hours and hours and they don’t let the people off!!

      • atcdave says:

        You mean one of those delays the airlines always call an “air traffic control” delay; don’t get me started!

  9. Crumby says:

    I think we also all enjoyed the destination so much not only because here it is Sarah and Chuck are together but also because we’re gonna get to see them together in the back 6. If the Other Guy had been the last episode, it wouldn’t had been as appreciated I think.

    • atcdave says:

      It does make me laugh, back when NBC first ordered the extra six; I felt a huge relief. I knew from talk at the time S3 was not setting up to my liking, and I just thought maybe the back six would be better. Funny how accurate a vague feeling can turn out to be!

  10. Gord says:

    We won E online Save Our Show poll.
    We won – check out the video in the corner – Zac thanks the fans.
    I opened it and it is Zac thanking fans for winning Save our show. He seems a little perturbed about having Josh Gomez’s baby though. You don’t think he will reneg on the deal do you? LOL

    http://ca.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/index.html?edition=ca/

    • Rick Holy says:

      Gord, I clicked on the link, but I didn’t get to the video. I DID, however, notice on the eonline site that they’re still taking votes and that it says that the winner will be announced on April 12th (Monday). Are you sure this is right? I hope it is.

      • amyabn says:

        I just checked too. We are in the final round, with results posting on Monday. I wish you were right, buddy! I hope you are right on Monday. Keep voting people!

    • Rick Holy says:

      Gord, tried it a second time and DID find the video you referred to. I guess the voting ended earlier than originally announced and CHUCK did take the prize!

      And Zach seems somewhat confident that there will be a Season 4, although it’s obviously nowhere near a certainty at this point.

      Thanks for the link!!

      • amyabn says:

        I went to the American page, and the video you mentioned isn’t playing. I saw the link, but couldn’t play it. I sure hope Gord is right! I will happily apologize!
        In the mean time, I keep voting, ’cause it is letting me!

      • Rick Holy says:

        I went back again, too, and the video wasn’t there – so I voted again for CHUCK because as you said, it keeps letting us!!

      • Gord says:

        I’m thinking some staffer jumped the gun.
        I wondered if it would be pulled quickly.
        Too late, I already saw it.

      • Gord says:

        I can tell you I’m not the only one who saw it. I did check again and now it is saying that it is not available.

        I suppose it doesn’t hurt to keep voting, but obviously some zealous staffer accidentally posted the video a few days early.

        Someone with a twitter account should twitter Kristen and tell her its too late we saw it so you might as well come clean.
        LOL

      • caster says:

        We did win..I got through after the third click. Did someone drop the ball on that one?

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Was there ever any doubt? Lol. If we can beat 35 couples and Ross and Rachel esp considering they weren’t even talking then…we can do anything lol.

  11. Merve says:

    I enjoyed the journey for myriad reasons that I’ve posted elsewhere and don’t feel like I need to elaborate on. It was fun, it was exciting, and some of the characters matured a lot. My main beef: Shaw was basically two characters rolled into one; he just didn’t work in “Mask” or “Fake Name.”

    That being said, I’m not too excited about the destination:
    – Chuck and Sarah are together now. So what? The romance was never a big draw to the show for me. I like humour, explosions, and scantily-clad women. I don’t need romance to enjoy a show.

    – Morgan as a spy? Come on. That’s just ridiculous. The show has to walk a fine line between making the spy world too serious or too comical, and putting Morgan into the mix might put the show too far on the comical side. Chuck isn’t a farce, nor should it be. However, I’m willing to admit that if done properly, it could be interesting. I just don’t see how they’re going to do it.

    – We still don’t know what the heck the Ring is doing. Is all they’re doing trying to build a new Intersect? There must be something more to it than that. Also, a more detailed explanation of what was on those discs might be useful.

    – The Awesome/Chuck conflict was never really resolved and will probably just be swept under the rug.

    Truthfully, I enjoyed the destination. I’m glad to see that all the characters have ended up in good places (except for maybe Beckman, haha). But I enjoyed the destination just as much as the journey. If the destination is just as enjoyable as the journey, then I’d like to remain on the journey. In that case, at least I’m going somewhere.

    On the subject of general fan response, I’m not sure that it’s the darker tone of the series was responsible for most of the negative reaction; I think it has more to do with the PLI arcs. The reason I say that is because two of the darkest episodes of the season, “Nacho Sampler” and “Tic Tac” were pretty well-received. “Final Exam” wasn’t well-received, but it was also super-angsty compared to the other two, and was completely devoid of humour in its second half. Now that the PLI arcs are over, I predict that fan response will be mainly positive going forward. However, if I’m mistaken (which I very well could be) and the negative fan reaction was really caused by the darker tone, then I don’t expect much positive reaction in the future. The next couple of episodes might be more lighthearted, but then Chuck is off to see a shrink, and Papa Bartowski is coming back. It’s not going to be sunshine and lollipops, nor should it be.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah Merve, I really don’t think the dark aspect is that big an issue; it was the PLIs that rubbed so many of us wrong. I do agree Morgan could easily be a problem to the A plots, but I liked the way he was handled in The Other Guy.

      One of the things I’ve said about the romance all along is, I really don’t want the show to be “about” the romance. I think resolving it, by having Chuck and Sarah happy together is the best way to accomplish that. Now of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care. If they “resolved” it by marrying off Sarah to Shaw, I’d quit the show and never come back here either! But given that we all knew that would never happen, they just wasted all the dramatic energy of the season on doing what should have happened in the first couple weeks.

      • Merve says:

        I think that I see eye-to-eye with you on that. While I wouldn’t have like to have seen the Chuck/Sarah issue resolved right at the start of the season, I think that they might have dragged it out a little too long. “Beard” or “Tic Tac” might have been good times to resolve the issue. That being said, what actually did happen didn’t really bother me because the romance isn’t the big draw for me.

  12. bundy says:

    If you all get a chance go to youtube and check out the channel for Fridolizzer86.He put together a great video called Chuck vs The Cancellation part 2.It’s perfect for the Chuck Declassified campaign.Post it on Facebook,Myspace,Twitter or wherever.

  13. Gord says:

    As for the poll, I can’t vote, none of the options applies to me.
    I enjoyed most of the journey and loved the destination, but I didn’t enjoy all of the journey. I thought they dragged it out about 3 ro 4 episodes too long.

    • atcdave says:

      Thanks for the input Gord, I really hadn’t thought of that possibility. I am kind of wondering who marked they didn’t enjoy either! Please tell us, I’m wondering why you watch the show!

      • Gord says:

        I enjoyed 3.01 to 3.06, I enjoyed Beard, and most of Tic Tac and Final exam.

        It was the whole Shaw/Sarah thing, that just dragged on too long.

        Sarah was flip flopping like crazy in the last few episodes before American Hero.
        It was like, I love Chuck, no I love Shaw, no I love Chuck, nope Shaw. It was getting very annoying.

        Like I said I enjoyed most of the journey, and that is why I was still watching. I am just so grateful that they put the Beard episode in there to break things up a little.

    • Patty says:

      That was my feeling. I wanted something between the first two options.

      Really they were not ready for a beleivable romance with Chuck as the Junior partner. He needed to get a chance to become more competent. Shaw was right about one thing, Sarah and Casey were protecting him too much.

      I see from the preview that the issue will still have to be worked out, but now Chuck is in a better position to work it out.

      I still think it took too long though. I hope the show survives this misstep.

  14. Gord says:

    Just checked again. Instead of clicking on the video window, I clicked on the link below it and it worked. Somehow I am on the UK eonline server maybe that’s why it is working. I imagine it will soon be taken down there as well. But if you want to watch it early you might try the e online UK site.

    As you have all said though, best to keep voting just to be on the safe side.

  15. Lucian says:

    I had a chance to watch a few episodes from Season 2 last evening (Cougars, Fat Lady, Gravitron, Tom Sawyer). It was evident to me that most of the characters and the spy story had more depth than this season. In their attempt to be more “epic” and darker, the humanity and integrity of the characters was really damaged. Though I appreciated the destination, given everything they have done to each other, particularly in Pink Slip, Mask, and Fake Name, I didn’t care as much as I might have. There is, IMO, still little coherence to what the Ring is doing, and why we should care. There are probably more dropped plot lines than I could easily count. The show was a really unique blend of action, comedy, romance, and drama. I am hoping they can get back to getting all the ingredients back in balance again fairly quickly. Chuck seemed a more competent and believable spy when he didn’t have intersect 2.0 to rely on. Sarah was a complex and compelling character. This season, much of that was thrown away because of the desire to go down the PLI route one too many times. That said, my heart was still warmed considerably with the “you’re still MY Chuck” line.

  16. Big Kev says:

    I have to say, I’m another one that needed another category – “I enjoyed MOST of the journey, and loved the destination”. There is one episode that is unwatchable for me (Mask) and two that I really didn’t care much for (Pink Slip and Fake Name) – so presuming I enjoy the back six, that still adds up to a pretty good season, in my book. The timing of 2 episodes that I didn’t like, with the Olympic break in between made things seem worse in the fandom than they would otherwise have been, I think.

    I don’t think I’m qualified to second guess the story the writers chose to tell. The sum total of what I know about TV writing, production, casting etc wouldn’t produce 2 minutes of watchable TV, so while I have opinions, I’m happy to concede that they are not particularly informed. But that’s our prerogative as fans – we can exercise the final sanction (turning off the TV) over a process about which most of us know very little. Ratings appear to be roughly on a par with last year (even Colonel only pulled a 2.2 demo) – so the worst you can say is that their choices this year didn’t really bring in any net new fans.

    That said, this season had more poor moments and badly executed scenes than the other 2 – comfortably. I have no issue conceding that. But I also think that the block of episodes, from Beard to Other Guy (and with power to add), taken as a block, are comfortably better than season one, and match the back end of season two.

    I think we’re all agreed about the PLI’s. If they were going to go down that road, it would have been nice to see them bring in another spy for Chuck to date, or even a civilian for Sarah – something other than what we had already seen, ad infinitum over Seasons 1 and 2. A better idea would have been to ignore PLI’s all together.
    Shaw could have worked as a competent spy/mentor, and a means to break up Team B. He could have worked as a crazy grief-stricken psycho. He should never have been considered as a PLI. In the end, for various reasons, I thought he was unconvincing as all of them, except finally in Other Guy.
    Sarah’s development was messy and confusing at times, and I think the real problem was that we were given revelations all at once (Fake Name and Final Exam) rather than gradually, as we were with Chuck. So we could see the consequences in terms of Sarah’s behaviour before we had the revelations to explain it. That’s a consequence of the “Chuck the Hero” angle, as others have said. But now we’re at 13, I really like where Sarah is as a character, and where she has the potential to go, together with Chuck.

    In terms of damaging the canon, I’m not sure I agree with that. The name reveal (and the scene in Wookie) is the obvious exception, and was just badly handled, but I honestly don’t think much else is harmed. Sarah is a little more damaged than we thought, but I can still watch earlier episodes with that knowledge. I don’t think this season was ever about Chuck and Sarah not loving each other, so my enjoyment of earlier episodes was never affected by that. This season was about making that love real, rather than idealised. Now that it is, they’re together for good, not without problems, but definitely for good.

  17. Rick Holy says:

    Happy Sunday, everyone.

    Don’t forget to STILL vote for CHUCK in the http://www.eonline.com “SAVE ONE SHOW” poll.

    I know Gord saw a video interview with Zach Levi which already proclaimed “CHUCK” the winner (and I actually saw it once as well before it “disappeared” from the eonline site). Perhaps, because they can’t always “lasso” stars from the shows on Monday mornings (when they announce the winner tomorrow), they may have pre-emptively interviewed someone from ALL of the shows “as if they had won” so to be ready to roll with the video on Monday. Just a thought. So as long as the eonline website still allows you to vote, then keep voting for CHUCK.

    And I know it’s likely not going to make a difference when it comes to renewal time – I just don’t feel like losing to the other shows in the poll. (I’m a CUB fan, after all. I’ve had ENOUGH losing in my life! And we’re already off to another miserable start for the new baseball season!). I need a “win” somewhere!! 🙂

    Take care, all. And PEACE!!!!

    • SWnerd says:

      I planned on voting like crazy today but for some reason it doesn’t work for me. I go to the page and the poll doesn’t show up, just the Thanks for voting message. Not sure if it’s just my computer or what. Hopefully we win though.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Just tried it again as of 5:30 p.m. CDST – and it let me vote for CHUCK! So there must be some glitches – but it worked for me via AOL.

      • joe says:

        I saw the video on the Canadian version of E!’s site yesterday – the one with Zac being congratulated for winning the pole. But not today.

        Very odd!

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