S3 Revisited: The All American Fraud (3.12)

Chuck is a spy now.  He doesn’t feel like one.

After eleven weeks or so of taking steps forward to his goal and then stumbling back all that distance and more, he’s not exactly feeling confident. And to be honest, I didn’t either. It’s exactly what he signed up for, and it feels exactly wrong. General Beckman knows Chuck is a special case, but doesn’t like the idea of treating him different from any other world-class spy. What’s wrong with going to Rome to spend some time (and money) posing as a millionaire playboy anyway? Chuck should be asking himself that question instead of baulking at it.

Chuck: Sarah, I want you to go with me.
Sarah: Chuck, I can’t.
Chuck: No. Beckman says I can choose my own team. Creme of the crop. That’s you!
Sarah: I’m going to Washington, okay? I’m going with Shaw.
Chuck: Wait a minute. Wasn’t this this plan? There’s nothing stopping us from being together now. I passed my spy test.
Sarah: That’s why I can’t be with you, okay? You’re NOT the same guy that I fell for.
Chuck: How? Why?? – because I’m an agent now? How am I NOT the same guy?
Sarah: You killed somebody, Chuck. I saw you kill the mole!
[pause]
Chuck: Sarah – I know what you think you saw on the train tracks, but it’s not that simple. It’s more complicated than that. It’s not what you think and I need you to believe me.
Sarah: I don’t.


Simple, direct and honest. All these weeks of watching Chuck become a great spy, all these weeks of Morgan coming into his own, and Casey being supportive, and raising the flags at Iwo Jima, and Devon and Hugo and Rafe and … it’s been all for nothing. There was only one important issue; nothing else seems to matter. His name is Daniel Shaw, of course, and even I – me, the last one standing – was ready to call it quits.

Casey: There goes our chance to get out of the Buy More.
Morgan: Really? Is that what they teach you in the marine corps?
Casey: Hum?
Morgan: Roll over and die?
Casey: This isn’t exactly combat, Morgan.
Morgan: That’s where you’re wrong, Casey. Because love – love is a battle field.

I was feeling pretty beat up by this time, so I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t listening to Morgan.  All I saw was Sarah smiling at Shaw and getting all comfortable with him on a date.  I saw red.

You probably caught my rant before. What’s happened to Sarah? Oh, we know. Chuck burned Manoosh. And he lied to his own sister and to Morgan, and for a mission, he became an assassin, so realistically like Rafe it was spooky. And that was murder she saw in his eyes when he took the Laudinol.

Then he shot the mole. No role, no drug. Just the mission.

Just like Sarah shot Mauser, Chuck shot the mole. And she can’t forgive him. What’s the difference? Well, for one thing, forgiveness is easy when your ignorant of the sin. It’s a lot harder when you know. Sarah is giving up on Chuck.  She’s much more concerned with Shaw and what seems to be a suicidal mission.

Sarah: Are you trying to get yourself killed?!
Shaw: You’re asking if I’d trade my life for the man who killed my wife? I would.
Sarah: Well, what if I don’t let you?

Won’t LET him??? Who is this character? Why does she care so much for this “type”, and not for the guy who’s begging her to go to Rome to start a new life? Read those lines with rising anger, because that’s the way I wrote them.

No, wait. That’s not the way the story went. That’s not the way it was at all.  It’s not that Chuck is just like Sarah, making the same mistakes she did.  And really, it’s not even that Sarah’s treating Chuck unfairly because she did something similar. Not at all. You see Chuck has been off pursuing his dreams. And Sarah was trying to prevent him from making a mistake she’s all too familiar with. That’s all.  How did things get so bad between them?

Everything  Chuck and Sarah did and everything they wanted only increased their separation. Even in season 1 there was already an ocean of violence between them, and now, sadly, there’s even more. When Chuck shot the mole, he didn’t commit Sarah’s sin; he committed his own. And what’s come between them isn’t that Sarah doesn’t love him, or that Chuck had to remain an innocent in her eyes. It’s not even that Sarah loves anyone else. What’s come between them is that Chuck’s sin is in addition to Sarah’s. It’s separated them that much more, and it is sad.

Sadder still, there was never a chance that it could have been any different, not once Chuck re-intersected and realized he had this dream. It was Chuck who chose to walk down this path.

I said above that forgiveness is easy when you’re ignorant of the sin, so yes, Chuck could forgive Sarah Mauser. It’s a lot harder when you really know what’s been going on, like Sarah does. Forgiving yourself is the hardest thing of all. All he has to do is come back. All she has to do is ask.  It seems so simple, but he can’t, and she can’t.

I missed and had forgotten so much of Season 3;  Sarah sing-songing “Thank you!” to Casey’s “I stand corrected.”, and Morgan poking the fallen Ring agent ewok-like with his stick.  I missed entirely how much Sarah had been begging Chuck every way she could to not be hypnotized by the false glamor at the end of his journey. It seems now that, in every episode, Sarah wanted to ask him to come back from this adventure, and yes, she wanted to ask him to give up his dreams. Oh, she tried! That was Prague. That was a mistake, she thought. Sarah could not do that again, ask Chuck to give up his dream for hers. Better to go through life numb. Didn’t we, the fans, ask if this was about the journey or the destination? We did, and Sarah votes here. Sarah despairs at Chuck’s particular destination. Chuck’s almost reached it, though, and Sarah seems to give up on him ever coming back from so great a distance.

Even when she gave up, even when I gave up, you can hear echoes of Sarah pleading as Chuck seems to call from very far away.

Sarah: Chuck? What are you doing here?
Chuck: I’m here for you.
Sarah: What do you want me to say?
Chuck: I want you to say that you’ll come with me to Rome.
Sarah: You know that I can’t, and you know why.
Chuck: Look, Sarah. I don’t want to have to make a scene in front of all these people, but I will literally do anything to change your mind.
Sarah: (angry) Well then tell me what really happened at the train tracks. If you didn’t kill the mole, then who did?
Chuck: Look – I don’t want there to be any secrets to last between us ever again. But please. Let me have just one. And I promise I will never lie to you.

I know that you think I’m not the same guy you met that first day at the Buy More. And you know what? You’re right. That guy I was back then hated himself for not knowing what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, or who he wanted to spend it with. But now, finally, now I know, I want to be a spy and I want to be with you.
Sarah: What are you saying?
Chuck: Sarah, I’m saying that I –

Are you saying that you love Sarah, or are you saying that you’re going to Rome, Chuck?  Sarah’s not giving up so much as she is defeated, a feeling I understand. And Chuck would hate himself if he gave up on his dream. And Shaw? To Sarah, Shaw may be the spy-master who “destroyed Chuck in order to save him” and made Sarah put the gun in Chuck’s hand. But spy that he is, Shaw at least knows the score. He’s working the same turf that Sarah is working. He knows that in this game, you don’t give it all away; it’s always temporary. He’s safe. He’s – temporary.

He’s temporary?  Yes.   Oh.

Daniel Shaw goes off to play the American hero and Sarah can’t stop him. She couldn’t stop Chuck from wanting to play that game either.  One super spy is just like any other after all. Wait. That’s not right. One of these super spies is different. You can see it when the “flash-bang” goes off and one of them clears his head just a second before the ring agent does. No flash necessary. You can hear it in Chuck’s speech in the restaurant, because you know that he was going to end with I love you, Sarah Walker, before being interrupted. And you can see it in Sarah’s smile when one of them comes from the exploding building carrying an unconscious, defeated, and now demented – Shaw.

But you’re being silly if you think for a minute that Chuck being that guy once again is what this episode is all about.  It is about Chuck ending the journey he’s been on.

Chuck: Since I’ve already given the fancy, eloquent version of this speech before, right now I’m just gonna be blunt and honest. I love you.
One more time because it feels really nice to say – I love you. I feel like I’ve been bottling this up forever. I. Love. You.

Sarah: Chuck, you know you don’t have to…
Chuck: I’m sorry – I’m sorry. I’m getting out of hand. But – look – you were right in Prague. You and I were perfect for each other and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, away from everyone else and away from the spy life.
Sarah: Chuck – I’ve made a commitment, and not just to Shaw.
Chuck: Don’t go! Don’t do it! Leave with me instead. Tonight at 7 o’clock, Union Station. We go to Mexico, and after that, anywhere you want. I would, however, like to go and see the Eiffel Tower at some point, if at all possible…
Don’t answer now. Don’t say a word – I don’t want to have to convince you. I just want you to show up.

Sarah was right, in Prague. After all that, and after all we went through, Sarah was right. Did you hold your breath, wondering if that was going to be enough? I didn’t. I didn’t even see what was on the screen, the first time through. I saw Sarah packing, and was certain she was packing for Washington, not Mexico.  I’m grateful my cynicism didn’t last much longer, and that I was wrong.

If Casey’s little confession didn’t close the book on season 3, then Sarah’s joyful smile did.

Casey: I just wanted to come by and tell you something about Bartowski.
Sarah: Well, if you came to plead his case, then that’s really not necessary.
Casey: He didn’t send me. He doesn’t know I’m here. I just wanted to tell you something in case it changed anything.
He didn’t kill the mole.

Sarah: What?!
Casey: I did. He didn’t have the stones to pull the trigger. The kid’s not a killer. He’s just not wired that way. Not like us.
Thought you should know. See ya around.

Sarah: (turning) Casey? Thank you!
Casey: Have a nice life, Walker.

Once Sarah threw the gun on her bed we knew.  Season 3, and maybe even Chuck as we know it,  was about to end.

A week ago when reviewing The Three Words I said that we, the audience and fans, were standing in Sarah’s shoes. Throughout the season we’ve heard the same words that were written in newsgroups and even in this blog spoken by the actors in ways that made some of us laugh, and made some of us angry. But it was no accident, and we were not hearing things. The writers and creators of Chuck were talking to us, just like Chuck was talking to Sarah and were being asked to accept that he, they, had to go on this adventure no matter how Sarah, we, tried to warn him or tempt him to come back. Chuck did it for the right reasons, and he did it for her. He did come back to tell Sarah that she was right all along, right about Prague, and that they should have gone off together. Chuck came back, changed, but the same.  It was always a gamble, a big one against severe odds, taken for the sake of love.

The episode ends with Chuck waiting for Sarah at the tracks. She’s not coming, but it’s because of one, last, dire threat. It’s not Chuck who’s the fraud after all.

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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110 Responses to S3 Revisited: The All American Fraud (3.12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    joe – I loved your review, one of the finest written, I cannot exactly tell from your review, was she going to mexico or washington b4 casey showed up.

    Alos, you are a glass half full type guy – seemingly when it is near empty from what I can tell – how would you rate 3.1 thru 3.13 vs S1 and S2?

    • joe says:

      Anon, thanks. I was trying to not beat people over the head with things I said before in comments, but sometimes I’m lousy at being subtle, too. 😉 Essentially, I was trying to retrace my thoughts as I went from hating what Am. Hero did to “my” characters (especially Sarah) and to my view of the rest of S3, to understanding that neither they, nor the earlier episodes, nor the story in toto were so bad. In fact, I began to see that I had missed something major about Sarah (and about her true feelings for Shaw) and I had seen, but glossed over (and then completely forgot about), the incredible humor and even joy that flows through many episodes.

      Oddly, the humor itself led me to downplay in my own mind what was really going on between Chuck and Sarah, and what Hannah and Shaw really meant to them. You see, it was easier to say that “things will be alright; C&S will get together.” when you don’t think there’s a serious problem, only the kind you see on TV. It’s harder when you realize, like I did late, that it was world-class serious. The kind of serious that real-world adults face when their relationships – marriages – are in trouble.

      Yes, the glass got near empty for me. I’m not sure that I will ever enjoy this season as much as I enjoyed S2.

      Here’s the glass-half-full part. I find it more meaningful already than S1. S2 was an amazing season. But for me, I am almost done watching it because I am satisfied. S3, I think, will wear better in the long run, and will give me more in return.

      Oh. I think she was going to Mexico with Chuck, Anon. We’re allowed to be uncertain about it, though.

  2. Jason says:

    among the many contributors here, although not all agreeing, I do think this blog has more or less fleshed out the story the TPTB were trying to tell, Joe, this written piece certainly contributes to that overall understanding

    But, now that I sort of get it, one of the most satisfying things for me is to hear Fedak & McNeil coming out of the closet and tell us how good 3.14 was, using words like I was afraid to do it, I was surprised how good is was, fedak making fun of his use of ‘game changing’ – I think they know what happened in s3 so far.

    I am ready to forget 3.1-3.12 (other than 3.13, I may never watch a shaw arc chuck show again) and move on to the fun stuff – I wonder if there is enough left in the tank to get the 20-25% of the old fans back required to convince NBC to renew – I doubt real many new fans can be found at this late juncture?

    • joe says:

      Jason, I just realized what a great compliment this was. Thanks.

      As for NBC, renewal and the 25% you mention, right now I’m not sure the old rules apply. I’m not sure NBC knows either. Things are different now in the network-world, and by necessity moreso at NBC than any place else.

      So given that there’s very little real intel to go on, I can’t find any reason to feel either optimistic OR pessimistic about renewal.

      I’m no where near panicing, yet.

  3. weaselone says:

    The problem, if you actually want to call it that is that Chuck and Sarah will discover at some point in the back six, probably in episode 3.14 that Sarah really wasn’t correct in Prague. Not only was running away impossible, but also not what either of them ultimately really wanted and desired. The reasons this is so are legion.

    1. Chuck and Sarah are both heroes with a very specific calling. Run away from that calling and fate generally intervenes painfully to coerce heroes back on to their destined path. Chuck and the intersect are destined for one another. Orion and Bryce tried to intervene and the ultimate result was a significant amount of suffering and stagnation for Chuck, followed by ultimately being the recipient of Intersect anyway. Sarah tries to run away from Chuck and the life of a field agent by pursuing Shaw and moving to a desk job in Washington. She gets a season full of pain, which ultimately culminates in her would be lover seeking revenge against her for the death of his wife.

    2. If they had run, Chuck would have been nearly completely dependent upon Sarah. She would have been his 24-hr per day protector and he would have been her love asset. This is not a stable dynamic. Ultimately, one or both would have chafed under this arrangement.

    3. No normal life. They’d be on the run from every government espionage agency, as well as multiple interested foreign and unaffiliated agencies. The odds that Sarah and Chuck would be able to settle down in some cul-de-sac somewhere and raise a family is remote. Most likely, Sarah would accrue a significant and highly varied body count until she was ultimately killed and Chuck either killed himself or was captured.

    4. In the event they actually did settle down in some sort of cul-de-sac, does anyone for one moment actually believe that Sarah and Chuck would have been content to spend the rest of their lives in that situation? Sarah may have liked the normalcy and comfort of Chuck’s life and family, but she was still out kicking, knifing, and shooting bad guys on a regular basis. Either one of them leaves out of sheer boredom, or we end up with a version of the Incredibles.

    • Anonymous says:

      ..and weaselone…wouldn’t aspects of those scenarios have made for a more interesting season leading up to 13? I don’t know how it could have been done…perhaps as “flash forward” “flash backward” stuff…each dynamic is far richer dramatically than a lot of what we got…

    • 904 says:

      Great insight, weaselone.

      This is why I thought the reset this season was actually necessary (even if it wasn’t handled particularly gracefully). There is no way things could have worked out as Sarah (or Chuck envisioned) if they went on the run.

      The strength of their relationship is based on the dynamic of Chuck being connected to a “normal” life and accepted by his sister, Devon and Morgan, which offers Sarah something she never had,
      Sarah’s ultimate faith, belief, and admiration of Chuck’s “Chuckness” gives Chuck makes Chuck a better, more content person. (Or as Ellie and Morgan have both said, paraphrased: “The Chuck we thought he could be.”)

      On the run, those basic values would be lost or changed in a way that would ultimately be unsatisfying to either or both to seem believable or realistic.

      Now, they might be able to hold on to both while remaining true to their calling.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well said Weaselone. Of course that won’t stop me from coming up with an overly long post that covers much of the same ground later. 😉

    • Crumby says:

      I agree that there is no way for them to just quit the spy world and live happily ever after…

      But the point here IMO is that, finally, they have settled for a way to be together. Whatever the way they chose, they are finally at the same spot, at the same time.

      And when they will realize that they actually can’t just quit, because they’re heroes and can do so much great things together and help so many people, they will choose TOGETHER to be spies.

      Also, it’s the same thing that Chuck and his choice to be a spy. He never completely understood what being a spy meant until he experienced it.
      So they have this “fantasy” about normal life and until they experience it and realize that it’s not for them, they will always have it.

      • weaselone says:

        I’m not disputing that they’ve now finally *crosses fingers* arrived at a point where they’re both on the same page. Ostensibly we’ve stumbled through this entire season of pain and suffering because Chuck decided to be a spy and didn’t leave with Sarah in Prague. I would posit that had Chuck run with Sarah in Prague it would have torpedoes their relationship far more effectively. Chuck by opting to stay, forced both him and Sarah to face their respective issues and evolve into people who were far more equal in all respects than the couple standing on that train platform.

        Had they run in Prague, they would have also been running away from these issues and asymmetries in their relationship, fatal flaws that like the government would have eventually caught up to them and destroyed them.

      • herder says:

        This is the setup episode for the back six, they will agree that they will be together, the question is in what capacity.

        I think that initially it will be as a couple only, then one last mission then as they like doing this together they will decide to go back to the spy world to see if that can work. Probably with certain rules: they are together or they are not spies, Sarah handles gun play, if either feels it’s not working they are both out of the spy world (might not share that one with the General), the rest of the time they live their lives as any other normal couple starting out together.

      • Crumby says:

        Yes I agree that running away by then could have been bad.

        Personnaly at the moment I tought it was “stupid” from Sarah to ask Chuck to run away. I didn’t really see how it could play well. So my main problem with Prague wasn’t about Chuck chosing to be a spy, but give up on being with Sarah. I didn’t understand how he could renounce when all he’s been thinking in Season 2 was being with her.

      • Crumby says:

        I should had that I had find an answer that works for me by now.

        1/ Chuck didn’t want to keep Sarah from a real life without him.

        2/ He believed chosing to be a spy meant he couldn’t have it all. “Feelings get you killed” and all that stuff.

      • Chuck604 says:

        I think they both realized they bring out the best in each other. And the feelings they have for one another is a big reason why they can accomplish that.

      • AngelTwo says:

        My problem with all of these Prague-was-silly memes is that running away was built into the reset. Sarah NEVER exhibited an interest in running away from the spy life at ANY time before Pink Slip.

        Did she sometimes want a “normal” life? Yes. Was she about to tell then-normal Chuck that she wanted to stay with him near the end of Ring? Yes. But there is nothing before Pink Slip that presages her run-away/spies-are-hideous notion.

        That was part of the reset. They could have done the reset MUCH more simply and still kept Chuck and Sarah apart until 13. They could have even had all the angst…

        But can we NOT ret-con the canon on this point? The runaway gambit was part of the Season 3 story arc, never preordained or even hinted at.

        Up until Pink Slip all we knew about Sarah is that she was a great spy, a willing spy, a committed spy who sometimes wanted (and once was prepared to choose) a normal life. Nothing more.

      • weaselone says:

        I almost completely have to agree with you Angeltwo. At best we saw Sarah express curiosity and interest in another life as she did in Crown Vic, or after great struggle opt for a normal life with Chuck as she did in The Ring. The complete loathing of everything spy life and her job with the CIA was injected into the season out of basically nowhere. We little more than concern for Chuck when he was forced to lie poorly, or the spy world interfered with his life through the first two seasons. Certainly there was no indication of a deep self loathing and hatred of the life even when she made Chuck lie, or gunned down a few dozen Fulcrum agents.

    • AngelTwo says:

      Weaselone-
      I got pounded on by Ernie yesterday– unnecessarily, I thought, but sometimes its good because because if forces you to rethink your own position.

      So here IS what is/isn’t known and canon:
      1) Chuck re-intersects in a moment of crisis at the end of Ring, but all he knows is that Bryce, who sent him Intersect 1, wants him to destroy this Intersect because it is “too powerful.” He doesn’t know anything about it and there isn’t any explanation about why he thought it could help him.
      2) After learning that he knows kung fu, he defeats bad guys.

      End of Ring. Begin Pink Slip
      3) In the same evening (based on clothing), Beckman want him to be a spy and immediately ship him to Prague.
      4) Sarah doesn’t want him to be a spy. She wants a “real” life and proposes a runaway. He agrees to run away with her. She tells Chuck to go to Prague and meet her in three weeks time at the train station.
      5) After a stop in Lisbon (backward reveal from First Class) Sarah is on the platform in Prague. Chuck arrives, listen to Sarah give him new credentials and say there is an immediate train. He tells her there is a facility to train him and he can live a life of adventure and be a spy.
      6) Sarah tries to talk him out of it and kisses him. Chuck pushes credentials back in her hand. I would say at this point that he walks away but, as Merve noted yesterday, we don’t even see THAT.

      That’s all we have. If Chuck “chose” between Sarah and the spy life, it was an internal choice because Sarah DID NOT require him to make a choice. He never asked her to change her mind and never asked her to stay. She didn’t say she wouldn’t change her mind or that she wouldn’t stay. She didn’t volunteer. He didn’t ask.

      My point in being this rigorous is simply to show the incredibly obvious: 1) There is NOTHING to suggest that Chuck HAD to chose or was FORCED to choose the spy life over Sarah. And anyone who says he HAD to choose has no support in canon or what we were shown.

      So even Chuck’s “choice”–the key of Season 3–doesn’t even really exist. We’re shown a unilateral decision, not a choice. Chuck later claims he made a choice and then later claims he made the wrong choice, but there was no choice. There was a decision.

      Which is why the more you examine the season now that the original 13 is done, you can see that virtually everything is a new creation for a story they want to tell. And when you apply previous character behavior, patterns and feelings, it shows as false.

      • Crumby says:

        AngelTwo I followed your discussion with Ernie yesterday and I think I finally see your point.

        I just have a question.

        We are shown that Sarah didn’t volunteer to stay or wait for him or whatever, so that would prove that he was either coming with her or be a spy.

        We are shown that Chuck did say “Sarah, there is an entire facility here dedicated and designed to turning me into Intersect 2.0. I mean, think about it. Think about that. Me, a real spy, you know, living a life of adventure, and doing things that really matter.” Could have been Chuck’s way of trying to be with Sarah and be a spy, but Sarah’s reaction proved that it wasn’t what she wanted.

        So Sarah didn’t want spy-Chuck, that’s what we’re shown I think. So when Chuck says he can’t go with her, he’s choosing.

        Ok there is no question in there, lol. Just wandering what you think about what I just said.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great article…a wonderful summation of this “journey”.

    However, b/c the writers so often use Sarah’s expressions rather than verbal skills…if you watch the scene between them when Chuck professes his love…there is a–imho–an obvious “tell.”

    That tell comes when Chuck says they could run away together…Sarah is listening and gives subtle–very subtle–nod of agreement.

    I guess one of my primary beefs with this season is this—when did Chuck finally realize he wanted out–with her. Up until he pulled Shaw out of the warehouse, he had every intention of being a spy–in Rome—and with luck, Sarah.

    Would that “ILY” speech been better served if it included a line about…his change of heart and new desire to run away with Sarah? And I don’t think “you were right about Prague” works b/c he’s talking about how perfect they are together…not perfect on a train running away together.

    • Josh says:

      Chuck realized Sarah was more important to him than living the spy life. When? Right after Ellie gave him her speech about not going far enough. Like Ellie was prepared to give up her dream fellowship to go to Africa with Devon, because like she said that’s what’s important, Chuck was willing to give up his dream of being a spy cause the desire to be with Sarah far outweighed the desire to be a spy.

  5. JC says:

    This episode had all the makings of being great and fell completely flat for me.

    Only a few things saved it. Ellie confronting Awesome, Morgan and Casey, Ellie’s speech to Chuck, the flash bang scene and finally Chuck’s speech at the end. The rest of it was full of fangst, horrible dialogue and some of the worst acting by Routh ever. His Nooo will live on forever.

    • joe says:

      You know, JC? I really like that “flash-bang” scene too. Both Levi and the actor playing the ring agent (Sorry! I should have recorded his name) get this “Oh – crap!” look on their faces just before the thing goes off in slo-mo, Chuck clears his head and throws a beautiful right.

      It’s somehow James Bond at his best while being completely Chuck Bartowski, with or without the intersect. Love it.

    • Crumby says:

      I LOVED the return from jail scene. I don’t think it would really be that funny though for casual viewers.

    • JC says:

      Yeah that’s what I loved about it Joe. Even better was the Ring agent played a good guy on 24 for a couple seasons.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was his ‘Khaaaaaaaan!!!!!!!’ moment

  6. Warp says:

    Thank you, Joe for a very nice review of e12 – As I prefer a glass hall full myself, it always feels good to read something with a more positive “vibe” to it. Especially after yesterdays rather messy discussion, if I might say so. I saw it coming and didn’t take part because of that – Guys, it was the episode that caused the aggression not your partner in discussion.

    Still, I very much concur with Weaselone in his opinion about the Prague-situation: Running away was a (rather impulsive) decision a spy would make (out of desperation) and it wouldn’t ever have worked out for all the reasons we can read in the post above. So in a way Chuck saved Sarah (before e13), because of a more rational approach to the moment. Does he know it? I’m not sure, but perhaps Sarah knows and the knowledge made her even more mad about herself (and thus about Chuck) in the time afterwards (e1-e12 so to speak).
    She was actually wrong and he was right, but to admit your error, especially after being confronted with the dire consequences the “right” decision had, is not that easy (as we saw).
    The whole situation and its aftermath remind me of a double bind situation in psychology (please correct me if I’m wrong).

    So, I think you are both right.
    Joe is right with his opinion of Sarah being right about Prague if you see Prague as a _symbol_ for turning away from the spy-life.
    Weaselone is right about the consequences of the factual procedure of running away.
    Both sides of the mirror together create the whole mess we had to endure until the end of episode 13 brought us a cozy little suite parisienne avec deux amants fous.

    • Warp says:

      Hmmmh, I’m too slow – When I started writing there were just three comments now there are 12…

    • joe says:

      That’s a great take on Prague, Warp.

      I get a bit dizzy myself, wondering who’s right and who’s wrong, so I find myself going back to Chuck’s S2 advice to Morgan. Go with your heart, buddy. Our heads just screw things up.

      When I think about it, I’m surprised we didn’t hear that line again!

  7. Crumby says:

    Great review Joe! I mostly agree with it.

    It is a detail but I don’t know if I really would compare the Mauser incident with Chuck’s red test.
    Sarah did kill Mauser in cold blood, but it wasn’t to follow orders, it wasn’t killing a random guy that your superior wanted dead.
    I am not saying she did right or wrong, but in my mind it was more a “preventive defense” act. She did it because he threatened Chuck and his family and friends. And she wouldn’t take the risk. I think it’s different than killing Perry.

    • joe says:

      Oh, I agree, Crumby. I was actually noting that, although the comparison had been made directly and indirectly many times (usually in reference to Sarah having no reason to reject Chuck for passing his Red Test), it was ultimately a false comparison.

      In writing, though, I found it hard to get all the aspects of my thoughts out coherently. You can see that I had a sentence about forgiveness in there twice. That’s part of the same issue. I can’t tell you how many times I moved that sentence to make it have the right meaning in context. I knew what I wanted to say, but all the thoughts were so interconnected!

    • Chuck604 says:

      Sarah killed Mauser to protect Chuck, you could say it was in cold blood because he was defenseless. But like she said earlier in the episode she wouldn’t let anything happen to Chuck, and she made sure Mauser took the secret of Chuck being the intersect to his grave, because she couldn’t risk that intel being leaked to Fulcrum (at the time).

    • Crumby says:

      Joe I think I understood what you wanted to say about forgiveness (tell me if I’m wrong). Sarah knowing what it is to kill couldn’t forgive Chuck to have done it, because she knew what it is and therefore “her” Chuck couldn’t do it or he wouldn’t be “her” Chuck.
      And Chuck forgave her Mauser because he was never put in that situation and knew that she did it for him.

      But I think that it’s interesting to come back to the Mauser incident now. I don’t believe that the Chuck we know now would kill Mauser like Sarah did, even though she had her reasons. I think he would arrest him. What do you think? Would Chuck kill Mauser in the same situation?

    • Crumby says:

      But like I said it is really a detail, because your review is awesome!

  8. Jason says:

    the show time that was not chuck, sarah & shaw’s love triangle was great in season 3 – the 20%-40% of the show time that related to the love triangle, just fell flat, there is no reason to make sense of it, it won’t stand up, the goal of that part of the arc was to keep them apart – some thought was given to how would sarah act or react or how would chuck act or react, or how either’s actions play vs S1/S2, but the final vote was how can we push it close to resolution, then pull it apart again – the entire while not giving much info as to what sarah is thinking to give the end away , because lets face it, from 3.9 to 3.13, the entire arc was about who would sarah choose? Considering how badly routh came off to fans, no wonder 3.9 thru 3.13 was hard to watch?

  9. odysszeuss says:

    Ein wunderbarer Artikel, Joe! Tausend Dank!!! Wer Chuck liebt kommt an diesem Forum, Deinen und den anderen genialen Beiträgen einfach nicht vorbei!!!

  10. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    “I love this. One more time because it feels really nice to say it. I love this. I feel like I’ve been bottling this up for awhile now I love this. American Hero, don’t go. Leave with me instead. I don’t want to have to convince you, I’m going to go home and pack, both summer and winter wear.”

    that’s pretty much how I feel about this episode. After months of living a lie and waiting it out Chuck knows what he wants now: he wants to be a spy an he wants to be with her. The growth from the fumbling, insecure, immature idiot is complete. He is a Bartowski and he’s acting it. The season has been about choices, his bad ones mostly but now finally he made the right one. His 5 year plan solidified an his internal hatred turned upside down. Our boy is growing up.

    It’s been a very rocky and oft times unnecessary journey but the journey isn’t complete. American Hero was the beacon of light amidst the darkness, amidst th WTF because now finally he knows. He knows what she has known all along: he is a hero and love trumps all. I’m not going to get into was certain things necessary because I think at this point in time it’s irrelevant. It’s about choices and how the choices we make affects more than just our own lives but others as well. Daniel Shaw made his dark choice in this epi and that is all the more glaring with the light that Chuck embraced. One walks into the light, the other literally (shortly). Finally.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      By the way Joe, I liked how your post paralleled the episode. From dark and painful to joy and exuberance.

      Go don’t stop 😉

      • joe says:

        Makes me think that what “they” did was intentional (and it worked, too).
        Right?

        But now I need you to stop being so wishy-washy about your feelings, Jem. Dig deep and tell me that you REALLY love this show! 😉

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        LOL. I might as well have shipper tattooed on me somewhere so it’s really no surprise I loved this epi and this show.

  11. atcdave says:

    It is interesting to me how this episode finally wore you down Joe. I wonder how typical that is of many who were on board all season, but seemed to tire of the whole Shaw thing late in the season. I think for many of us who were unhappy farther back, we had such confidence this episode would set things right, we were more willing to suffer through a rough beginning. The whole Sham date thing didn’t irk me anymore than the end of Mask or the name reveal in Fake Name. I was numb to it. I was just watching to see when the momentum would shift. We saw a little shift in the restaurant, maybe a little more when Chuck ran off to rescue Shaw. But the big moment, Chuck and Sarah in Castle, was like a huge sigh of relief. All wasn’t quite right yet, but that was the tipping point. This was the first episode since Angel of Death that left me thinking, “I want more now!” I don’t mean to say it was the first good episode since then; but it was the first time since then I knew I wanted to see what came next.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, I find that interesting too, Dave. It’s like every episode gave me something to hang onto, something that said “this” (meaning mostly the C&S relationship) will work out all right. Then it collapsed when Sarah smiled at Shaw during the date. This is amazing. was the point, actually.

      If the intent was to wring it out of me, it worked. These guys are part sadists then, but it worked.

  12. Rick Holy says:

    Sorry I’m wildly veering off the topic of this thread, but there’s something I wanted you all to be aware of – and it’s happening QUICKLY.

    Check out chucktv.net. They are organizing what they call “Chuck FLASH MOBS” on Monday, May 3rd between noon and 1 p.m. in major cities/media markets to promote Chuck. Sounds like a pretty neat idea. Check it out over on their site. Even if it doesn’t “save the show,” sounds like it’d be a lot of fun and a way to meet other Chuck fans – without having to always travel to San Diego or where ever it is they always have the conventions.

    Happy Friday, everyone. And have a Save and Blessed Weekend! PEACE!

    • joe says:

      Very cool, Fr. Rick! Don’t know if you know this, but Flash-Mobs are a straight-out-of-SciFi idea, one that technology has actually made possible today! Think teleportation booths.

      Thanks.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I actually have no idea what it all means – but I’ll show hopefully be able to show up (unless I have a funeral) wearing my Nerd Herd hat, Chuckaholic Sweatshirt, BuyMore/Chuck Denim Jacket, holding my 11×17 framed Season 1 Promo Poster (“He’s the Secret, She’s the Agent”), and hopefully also with my 8 year old still-functioning lap top in hand looking like a total CHUCK Nerd!

        Dear God. This reminds me of when Triump the Insult Comic Dog used to go to the Star Wars movie premieres and make fun of all the Star Wars nerds – hillarious stuff if you’ve never seen it. I just hope he doesn’t catch wind of this!!

        Anyway, if peeps can make it, Go for it. Hopefully it can be pulled off in at least a handful of major market cities.

  13. Ernie Davis says:

    Curse you Joe. I started to write a reply to tell you how much I enjoyed this review. I think you and I are on the same page for the most part for this season, although I think I’m more likely to indulge my shipper sympathies and by about Beard when I started to see the story advance I relaxed a bit. I actually liked Final Test because I could see “around the bend” if you will, and how things would soon play out. But my point was that you raised some interesting issues. Both Chuck and Sarah were on their own journey, and they seemed to be going in different directions for much of this season, until you realized this was the descent to hell for both. Essentially the end of act 2. Most of this season was to get the nerd who wanted a life of adventure and meaning and the spy who wanted love and a home on the same page moving forward together. The rest of this season is basically the reward where our team is together and unstoppable until they approach the climactic battle (which may start with the season finale). The problem is that I stared writing the damn thing up, and now it’s going to be a whole damn article. Curse your blasted insights. 😉

    • joe says:

      And curse you too for your amazing review of Final Exam, Ernie. You left nothing for me to say about it, you fiend!

      And Dave’s fine writing and comments deserve such scorn also.

      Don’t even get me started about Amy’s contributions even though she was incredibly overworked and underpaid in service to our country. SHEESH!

      And THE NERVE! of Faith and Liz to get me so envious of their writing skills and wonderous insights about the music, relationships and inner-workings of season 3!

      May you all get every bit of what I truly think you deserve! In spades!

      😉

  14. Aardvark7734 says:

    Busy “Chuck” day for Ausiello today. First, he’s claiming his inside sources are telling him that fortune seems to be favoring a Chuck S4:

    http://tinyurl.com/24lrta3

    Plus, a bonus – a Chuck dream sequence from ‘Role Models’, which is pretty grin-inducing, IMHO:

    http://tinyurl.com/2ao3ozf

    Ed: Sorry this got put in the mod. bin, Aardvark. The filter is set on ‘stupid’ when it sees more than one link, sometimes. – joe

  15. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Ok guys you seriously have to watch this now. Chuck-Sarah Hart-to-Hart.

    http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2010/04/23/chuck-hart-to-hart-homage/

    • Rick Holy says:

      Freakin’ AWESOME, Faith. Just the CHUCK promo itself, without the “homage” to Hart to Hart is a hoot. Is that avaialble “stand alone” on Youtube? That’s the kind of promo stuff that CHUCK needs right now. People want to be “lifted up” with some light hearted, “feel good” fun again.

      Unemployment still sucks. Gas is back up over $3 a gallon. Afghanistan, Iranian and North Korean Nukes, etc., etc., etc. Plus all of life’s other struggles that we all deal with at one time or another.

      When I turn on the tube – especially with a show like CHUCK – I want some FUN mixed in with a little bit of escapism! This add was perfect for that. Enough of the journey – it’s time for the FUN!!!

      I sure hope Ausiello is right. If they can make this show more “enjoyable” for the casual viewer – and move it the heck off of Monday nights – it might just have a fighting chance!

      Thanks again, Faith. YOU ROCK!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this a promo like the Virgin ads or is it something that will actually be in the show (Morgan’s daydream?). In any event they seem to be having fun as a big part of the show again. And Faith is right, you do have to watch this.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I don’t care if I get sued, that is all kinds of awesome I had to upload it to the tube:

      And Rick and Herder, aw. You guys rock too.

      Also…I’m fairly certain it’s a clip for a future episode. Check out the last shot which is an eye…making it seem like it could be a daydream or some kind of dream.

      • herder says:

        Maybe this is one of those vivid dreams that Chuck was talking about. Not a nightmare but a strange dream nontheless.

      • Jason says:

        the screeners, reviewers and the showrunners almost seem giddy about 3.14 & 3.15 …. great news to say the least

      • Crumby says:

        Ausiello’s comment isn’t that clear but I thought he said that it’s from 3.15. Anyone else understood it that way?

      • Crumby says:

        Hum yes the clip is named “Chuck vs the Role Models” so I think it is from that episode.

      • Jen says:

        I believe the EW site said this clip was from Chuck Vs. The Role Models

      • Jen says:

        HA! I just noticed you guys already knew wehre the clip was from. Sorry!

    • joe says:

      I just got home from work and see all this buzz. Wow!

      And hey! I’m seeing an awful lot of very familiar names in Ausiello’s comment section. Are you guys great, or what?!

    • amyabn says:

      I just added it to my FaceBook. Thanks Faith!

  16. Chuck604 says:

    Another insightful review Joe. Just a quick question though. What made you think Sarah was going to fly to Washington at the end of the episode? I guess interpretation varies from individual to individual, but for me IMHO I was pretty certain Sarah was going to meet Chuck at the train station. I guess her reactions from the restaurant to her reaction to Chuck’s profession of his love for her sealed that conclusion for me. Though the strongest indicator for me was when she told Casey that him pleading on behalf of Chuck’s case was unnecessary. But like a lot of people have already echoed, from this episode onwards, my anticipation for the upcoming episodes was like day and night compared to the previous airings.

    • joe says:

      “What made you think Sarah was going to fly to Washington at the end of the episode?”

      Anger, Chuck604. Anger and a general feeling that if I got my hopes up yet again, they would be slapped down to the ground yet one more time.

      Kick a dog enough times, you know…

      I was still fuming over the Shaw-Sarah date and the “don’t sacrifice yourself” kiss when Sarah was packing, you see, so it was ealy for me to think the worst. I sort of knew that things were getting better quickly by the end, but my heart wasn’t quite there yet.

      We were a week away from Paris, of course. And even then I had to go back and understand what I was seeing vs. what was being shown.

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      Chuck604, I’m not Joe, but since I waited patiently for this episode to be reviewed just so I could make this one comment, I’d like to suggest an answer, if you don’t mind.

      Like many people, when I first saw this scene I had the initial impression that Sarah was going to meet Chuck. But later, I started to have doubts for a number of reasons, some based on the idea that I was projecting my desires without supporting evidence, some based on the clumsiness exhibited in the preceding episodes, some based on storytelling convention and the rather shallow patterns they were using.

      What I’ve concluded (for myself) is that they cut it so finely that it’s hard to be sure either way. But if you ask me to put money on it, I’d probably say she wasn’t going to the train station until Casey intervened.

      Here’s why:

      As the obviously affecting kiss concludes at the castle, Sarah seems to be emoting that while she still has strong feelings she can’t go with him. But as she waits out his last profession of love and then contemplates his retreating back, the expression seems to be more “What do I do now?”

      At the beginning of the Casey scene, Sarah is packing at her bed. Look at her body language. Watch her face as she puts an item into her bag right before the knock at the door. This is a very sad and resigned face, not the one you’d expect from a Sarah Walker who had made a bold choice to be with Chuck. That would likely have been more fearful but with an undercurrent of excitement. And instead of the fatigued motion she displays as she packs her items, you would expect more urgency and energy.

      I think she was packing for Washington D.C.

      When Sarah tells Casey, “Well, if you came to plead his case, that’s really not necessary…” She has worry lines in her brow. It’s broaching an unpleasant subject. Wouldn’t a Sarah that had decided to go with Chuck have emoted more relief and joy, maybe even a hint of a smile? I think if Casey had let her finish, she was about to reaffirm her previous commitments to work in D.C. and that Chuck had made his own choice to leave the spy world.

      When Casey says “he didn’t kill the mole, I did”, Sarah’s reaction is profound. It’s not the reaction, IMO, of someone whose decision was just reaffirmed – it’s the reaction of someone whose world has just been upended. This is the moment Sarah sees everything she assumed was wrong – that Chuck was still Chuck and that there was still a chance for them to be together.

      And when Sarah catches Casey before he leaves and says “Thank you”, the strength of her delivery speaks to the value of the gift he just gave her – not just the lessening of her hand-wringing over Chuck’s ability to kill, but for literally saving her from making a terrible mistake.

      I think the whole scene is constructed to play that way for the most basic of storytelling reasons: Because it’s the way that best justifies the scene’s existence. If it had been constructed solely to ease her conscience, it is limited in its potential impact and therefore less worthy of the screen time it consumed. I mean, if she’s already decided to accept Chuck and go with him, is removing all remaining reservations here really needed?

      Anyway, that’s my pitch. The truth is, I’m just peachy with accepting that she was going to go with Chuck before Casey’s visit. In fact, just for the sake of having some lightness in the story at that spot rather than the continuation of wearying angst I’d vote for it. But my dispassionate, analytical side has whispered in my ear, and I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

      Feel free to kick it around if you want. 😉

      • Jason says:

        first thing you said is we don’t know, which I agree with. could be all your evidence was that she was angry that she picked chuck (much like the bryce incident and throwing the pencil), yet she did, I read from one of the screeners that the picture on the nightstand was meant to signal that she was going – but as you started – we don’t know.

      • Josh says:

        I tend to agree, at first glance the scene says Casey changed her mind, even the music cues point to that (Go don’t stop starts after Casey tells her he killed the mole). Plus the the whole WHAT? thing screamed Oh shit I wasn’t expecting that, that really changes things.

      • joe says:

        Oh, wow. Very well said, Aardvark.

        And you bring to mind the scene in S2, at the end of Nemesis, when both Chuck and Bryce call Sarah at the same time. She has to choose which to answer, and she can’t.

        The sad thing is that then, by not acting, she picked Chuck by default. This time, either way, a deliberate choice had been made.

        Because Sarah woke the next day (at the beginning of Crown Vic very – um – hung over? – at her non-choice, I’m not 100% sure that she *would* have shown joy and relief this time either, had she decided on Chuck before knowing that he had not passed his Red Test.

        That might have been her choice, but it would not have been an easy one.

      • JC says:

        The head nod she gave during the ILY speech when Chuck mentions running away.

        The picture of her and Chuck on the dresser.

        The fact she was packing to leave while Shaw was unconscious in the hospital.

        These all pointed to her leaving with Chuck.

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        Sure, JC, they could point that direction. But just like my own points, they could be interpreted a different way.

        Sarah’s nod could have simply been a bemused acknowledgment at Chuck’s choice of a train station getaway (instead of airport) as a way to heal the damage done in Prague.

        The picture on the dresser could just be a clue to what was in her heart, not what action she was going to take.

        With Shaw already on the road to recovery, there’s no reason for Sarah to stay there to wait for him – she could be heading to D.C. the next day.

        Again, I’m not saying this proves or disproves anything. Every interpretation you gave could have been right on target. Unless we hear it directly from Fedak, the director or the writers, I don’t think there’s a way to be certain.

      • Karen says:

        Sarah said herself in Other Guy, what convinced her he was still her Chuck was Casey and the mole. I don’t see why she would run away with a guy she didn’t believe (or believe in apparently)

        Picture on a nightstand? Well technically it was on the nightstand, she wasn’t packing it, could have ended up like her gun, left behind.

        Flight to DC was independent of Shaw, Beckman told her in Castle before Chuck’s speech, have a safe flight.

        Either way, the scene was ambiguous enough to allow either interpretation, so everybody is entitled to their opinion. But ask non hardcore fans, people that just watched the episode as it aired and haven’t spent 3 hours rewatching the scene, I bet they will tell you she chose Chuck when Casey told her the truth about the red test. The obvious cues (visual and music) point to it.

      • cas says:

        Aard, You nailed it for me. I was never convinced that she was going to leave with Chuck had Casey not say anything. I just never had the smarts or enough knowledge of the english language to make a valid arguement over it. Also another thing that I want to point out that convinced me was what Casey had said as he was leaving..First, he said “See you around Walker” (As in I’ll see you around)
        2nd time after Sarah said Thank You, he said ” You have a nice life Walker” . Meaning he knew that he had changed Sarah’s mind and that he defenitely will never see her again. imo

      • HenryH says:

        Sarah would NOT have been packing for Washington since Shaw was still in the hospital.

        She was packing to go with Chuck–or to leave EVERYTHING.

        For my own head, I’m going with that she was packing for Chuck. But the strongest counter-indication of that is that Down River doesn’t start playing for Sarah until AFTER Casey’s reveal about the mole. We shouldn’t ignore the audio cue–although I am going to…

        The reason why I suggest she might have been packing simply to leave was because I recently looked at the last scene in Nemesis again. And it occurs to me she was packing to leave EVERYTHING there, too.

        We know Chuck calls and that apparently stops her (although she’s not happy with the decision in the next episode), but why would Bryce be calling her? He’d already given her the code. He wouldn’t call. Spies don’t do that…

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I seriously have my people replay the Carina – Sarah dressing scene in Three Words several times to see if the picture frame was there and they’ve concluded it wasn’t…so that’s enough proof for me lol.

        You don’t bring that back, and as a cinematographer you don’t intentionally put that on camera if that’s not what you want the viewers to imply. Is it meant to be vague? Yes, but we’re also meant to believe IMO that she made that choice but Casey reinforced it.

        Also if you replay the lovely scene where Chuck kissed her and told her he loved her her non-verbals speak Chuck all over. She even nodded albeit unconsciously IMO after he said “eiffel tower at some point”—although obviously it’s a conscious movement as an actor. In the interest of fairness she did shake her head at the end like trying to shake off her doubts/feelings.

      • HenryH says:

        Faith-
        It’s pretty clear that the scenes were specifically meant to be ambiguous. Which is what TPTB do all the time, allowing for lots of speculation. But then some people decide you can ONLY speculate one way. It’s weird. It’s actual what AngelTwo was talking about in yesterday’s thread: When can you logical speculate on motives and off-screen stuff, and when shouldn’t you?

        Interesting, and slippery, slope.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        With all due respect to Angeltwo, what is obvious is obvious. It requires more analysis to consider otherwise than what really is. Think of it this way, if you go based on what we “know” and what we “saw” how is it that we believe Sarah’s loved Chuck all this time? She certainly tells him enough that they have no chance and that she doesn’t feel that way. But yet, we do.

        In life you there are no absolutes but there are always leaps of faith. And at times with that you have breadcrumbs of what is obviously meant to be.

      • Crumby says:

        HenryH-

        “Sarah would NOT have been packing for Washington since Shaw was still in the hospital.”

        Beckman told Sarah to have a safe flight, and when Shaw enters Sarah’s apartment and sees her bag he said “Washington can wait”. He wasn’t himself surprised she would go in Washington with or without him.

      • HenryH says:

        Faith-
        I was only pointing out that there are strains in the fandom out there who use the “on the screen only” and “you have to assume” angles interchangably and they insist only THEIR applications of when and what are valid. That was AngelTwo’s point. Can you come to any logical conclusions about the rules of when the screen rules and when logical interpretations can be added?

        As for the Sarah-Casey scene, I agree with YOU. I am going with Sarah decided in Castle. But the music cue IS troubling.

        And Crumby, you are right. Beckman did say “have a nice flight” so you can logically say she might have been packing for Washington.

        As for Shaw, I’ve already forgotten he exists and I no longer want to hear his name… 🙂

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I’m very zen when it comes to the fan boat. Whatever makes you happy 🙂

        I rocked the con theory for weeks. It ended up being false but for a time it gave me comfort during the dark days of the mask. So really who does it hurt to think a certain way?

      • JC says:

        We can argue in circles about when she decided.

        But the truth about the Red Test was to setup the tension in the next episode. If Sarah believed Chuck had killed the mole, we’d get no silent worry the he couldn’t pull the trigger on Shaw. We’d have no moment of her realizing he could only pull the trigger to save her. So they had to have Casey tell her then, Chuck wasn’t going to. And it would make no sense for Casey in the Other Guy to randomly walk up to her and say “by the way Walker I killed the mole”.

    • Chuck604 says:

      Aardvark, Joe, and everyone else brought up really valid points. Especially the fact, that the packing scene itself, before Casey showed up with his reveal, was very ambivalent. If she had said i’m on my way to see chuck or i’m not going to DC would have been much clearer, but that’s not been MO of TPTB for parts of this season.

      I guess that my instincts thought Sarah decided to pick Chuck also from the fact that from the way she felt about Chuck for a long time. His confession of love her may have been enough to allow Sarah to reconsider things, because of those long underlying feelings she’s held for Chuck.

      • Josh says:

        She may have loved Chuck but she didn’t believe or trust Chuck, that was obvious from her reaction to Casey. Casey didn’t reaffirm what she believed or secretly hoped, Casey surprised her with the revelation. Which means inspite of Chuck telling her he didn’t kill the mole she had completely rejected it as a lie. She wanted “her” Chuck and it is obvious that until Casey spoke she didn’t believe “her” Chuck existed anymore. Now it’s up to the viewers to believe whatever they prefer, that she was ready to swallow the mistrust and run away with Chuck or that she wasn’t. Either way makes no difference, the end result is the same, she went to Chuck.

        From a storytelling point of view the “dramatic” key moment is Casey reveal, if you play the scene as if she had already chosen Chuck Casey’s reveal becomes redundant. So maybe that’s why they played that scene so ambiguous, so as not to neuter their own dramatic climax. But by the same token they knew that if they made it obvious Sarah was DC bound before Casey came around then their Season climax (the Chuck/Sarah getting together thing) gets deflated. So ambiguity was their salvation from the corner they wrote themselves into.

      • Chuck604 says:

        That’s true on all counts Josh. I just think that at the restaurant when he confronted her. He mentioned to Sarah to give him this one pass, and he would never lie to her again. I know people would say that it would be a monumental task for her to trust Chuck again, but it seemed like she was ready to take him on his proposition until Awesome put Shaw through the glass.

      • Paul says:

        Josh, you make a good point, but I disagree to an extent. The important storytelling point and set-up in that scene IMHO was that Sarah would be with Chuck even IF he had killed Perry. She accepted that she still loved him, even if she understood that he would not be that “ideal guy” that she fell for. That directly set up her accepting him in 3.13 after she watched him kill Shaw (yes, different circumstances, but it was still him killing someone albeit for different reasons). Now, she didn’t have to LIKE it, but I think she did ACCEPT it, and I do truely believe she was still a bit leary of her decision. Casey’s reveal and music cue was an affirmation that she had made the right decision. The icing on the cake so to speak.

      • Jason says:

        when she decided to go with chuck does not mean anything to me, the entire WT/WT was so contrived anyhow, starting in 3.1, lack of communication and misunderstanding was the flavor of the day since then – plus, even though different, it took morgan to tell chuck in 3.9 that he still loved sarah & Ellie in 3.12 to tell chuck to man up, why not have Casey set sarah straight – not that far out in left field – for me, she looked real sad while packing, but I’d still put it at 50/50 she was going to mexico of DC – my guess is fedak would love the fact we can’t agree on what her intent was.

      • Crumby says:

        My take is that even though she didn’t really believe him, after all he’s done, she chose to trust him.
        “I never asked you to believe me, I asked you to trust me.”
        She took a chance that’s why she wasn’t that confident while packing but Casey gave her “the best news she ever heard”, hence the joy explosion.

      • Crumby says:

        My take is that even though she didn’t really believe him, after all he’s done, she chose to trust him.
        “I never asked you to believe me, I asked you to trust me.”
        She took a chance that’s why she wasn’t that confident while packing but Casey gave her “the best news she ever heard”, hence the joy explosion.

        But who knows?! lol

  17. yeefiver says:

    Sarah asks Chuck the same question twice-” What are you doing here?” The first time was in ‘Pink Slip’ when Chuck tried to rejoin the team, and the second time was during the Sarah/Shaw date.
    If you recall, the first time the question was asked, Chuck responded,”Don’t worry, this is not about us, I’m purely here for back up. I need to prove to Beckman…,” Chuck’s answer led to Sarah ‘slapping’ Chuck unconscience.
    The second time the question was asked, Chuck responded,”I’m here for you.” Indications were if Sarah and Chuck weren’t interrupted by Shaw and Awesome, there might have been a reconciliation between C/S.(You could tell in her face, in her eyes that Sarah wanted to be back with Chuck)
    Same question but two different responses. Why? Because dreams (priorities) change. From the end of ‘Ring’, Chuck’s priority was to be a spy which was reflected in his answer at the nightclub. He thought that by being a spy it would give him a purpose and direction in his life that he lost when he got expelled from Stanford. But by the time of the restaurant, Chuck’s priority had changed.
    He had achieved his goal of being a spy (red test not withstanding) but realized being a spy had little meaning for him without his Sarah.

    • atcdave says:

      You touch on something interesting, I think Sarah personally WANTED to be reconciled to Chuck all season long. But she erects significant obsticles, and professionally is trying to get away from him. So she’s of two minds until the end of American Hero.

  18. Chuckaddict says:

    The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly are now saying the chances of Chuck getting a 4th season are good. No one confirming yet, but positive news.

  19. BDaddyDL says:

    Joe, I have always been told that the level of a persons intelligence is measured by how much they agree with a person. You must be a genius. I too am a glass is half full kinda guy, and this episode was such a welcome relief. Without being able to put it into words, you could see that’s Chucks development as a Hero was complete. Chuck had come through his quest, and was now a Man amoung men. Gone was the doubting Thomas who could never be a spy, here was Chuck becoming Carmichael without having to swap his soul for it. Now one question remained, and that questions name was Sarah. The Sarah that stood before him in Castle, and had been able to sacrifice everything for Chuck, including them being a couple.
    So now we have 2 heroes, might there be a third? Yes, and his name is John Casey. Casey sacrificed his freedom for family. Definitely Hero material.

    What is left is a show that has gone through the depths and emerged with the possibility of being an escape, with characters who you can identify with, respect, and even want to be a pal with all at the same time. Whether or not that journey was worth it depends on who you are. For me it was, but then again I really like the new Chuck, more then the old Chuck. Now, he is an equal for Sarah Walker, and is strong enough to lead John Casey, and yet still be a true friend to Morgan. To borrow from Heroes, Team Bartowski can save the world.

    • joe says:

      BDaddy, my wife just looks at me, laughs and says “Going along to get along again, heh?”

      I like what you say about the characters. Gee – for all the changes they’ve been through already, how is it that characters we fell in love with sometime after Chuck fixed Sarah’s phone are STILL characters that we love?

      My theory is that although they’ve evolved, they’ve taken many of us along with them. In the greater world, that’s a good thing.

  20. Jason says:

    someone sent me one of these last night – was much funnier than what I did, but, I took about about an hour and did up a chuck parody, ‘chuck versus the return of shaw’:

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6459763/

    2 plus minutes of a little fanfic, some unexpected reveals occur when shaw returns to burbank, find out more about roan, beckman, eve’s past, morgan and casey’s new jobs, as well as what chuck’s been driving lately

    wiht a little time and effort, these could be a hoot

    • joe says:

      Oh, that’s a riot, Jason. Thanks!

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      all kinds of awesome! Good job!

      “you’re a pervert” — that sums up “my dessert is inside your dessert” so well. lol.

    • amyabn says:

      Jason, I just tried to look but it said your movie couldn’t be found 😦 Could you re-post or put it on YouTube with a link? I go out of town for work and miss out on all the good stuff! Ok, I’ll stop whining now!

    • Jason says:

      fooled around with editing, sort of deleted it, but got it back, here is a new link, I have never uploaded to youtube, might take a crack at that, tell me if you enjoyed it, really was not that hard to do>

      http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6461983/

      • amyabn says:

        Thanks Jason, I just shared it on FB! I practically spit out my lunch with the Beckman seduction school bit I was laughing so hard!

  21. Merve says:

    It’s interesting that my least favourite episode of the series, “Final Exam,” was followed by my favourite episode of the season. I loved “American Hero.” I don’t care if Shaw should or shouldn’t have used Morgan as a human shield. I don’t care if a stealth bomber doesn’t fly that low. I don’t care if Sarah was going with Shaw or Chuck. This episode entertained me. Isn’t that what television is supposed to do?

    • joe says:

      Actually, Merve, the sad fact is that television is “supposed” to sell our eyeballs to advertisers, as many as they can for as much as they can.

      The fact that television can do that AND entertain anyone is rather amazing, I think (but pros can do that fairly reliably). The fact that every so often a show comes along that leaves us inspired and maybe even a bit better for having seen it AND happy, well that’s a miracle.

  22. Jason says:

    Largely speaking, one of the losers and winners for season 3 is GB, having shaw running stuff showed how much we missed GB, but GB did bring in shaw and did not listen to chuck almost causing sarah to die, allowed her best team to be fractured, and so on, but in the case of 3.12’s DC meeting with chuck, I think GB knew exactly what chuck was going to do with that week – most think GB is going to resist the CS coupling, what if she is a shipper down deep – we probably will find out soon?

  23. sd says:

    Who wants to place bets on the first scene of 3.14?

    I think it’s Casey in Castle…the general demanding that he tell her where C/S are …and then demanding he track them down using any means possible (which opens the door for Morgan’s involvement).

    Next scene–C/S on the train (the continuation of the clip from the first 3.14 promo.

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      sd, the leaked French shooting schedule shows the Casey-Beckman scene as scene 3, so it seems like there’s two scenes preceding it. I have no idea what they are, though.

      But yeah, the sequence you depict makes sense and feels like how they might do it.

      I’d suggest they could also open with the bad guy doing something evil on the train, then segue to Chuck and Sarah on the same train in that clip we’ve seen. After a little action have Chuck ask, “do you think they know we’re off the grid yet?” to which Sarah says, “I think they have a pretty good idea” and then cut to the scene with Beckman and Casey.

    • herder says:

      My guess is the first scene is semi-romantic establishing that Chuck and Sarah are a couple and deciding to run. After that you get maybe the start of the Ellie/Awesome story and then the Beckman scene.

      Incidentally, you have Casey’s first mission back and Morgan’s first mission being one where they have to go after Chuck and Sarah, somewhat ironic in that those two are the ones who had the most to do with Chuck and Sarah getting together other than the two principals.

  24. Pingback: Joe vs. S3 « Chuck This

  25. Martin Traynor says:

    I’m sure this has been said before, but I thought I’d add my thoughts and throw some gas on the fire. Since I’m a pessimist who always – always – looks for the worst…my take on the Sarah/Shaw date was that they had “been together” before, and that the date was Shaw’s way of making it legitimate. As in, “Since we’ve already done ‘everything,’ I should have at least taken you out to dinner and showed you off in public,” before now. I take it that at this point, Shaw feels confident enough in his relationship with Sarah and his role in her life now that they can start dating- publicly, officially. It’s like those movies where people get married and THEN fall in love, only in this case it’s Sarah and Shaw gettin’ busy and then they started dating.

    Which makes me all the madder. But hey, I’m always looking to be mad at something, so…That’s my take.

  26. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The American Hero (3.12) | Chuck This

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