S3 Revisited: The Other Guy (3.13)

From Ernie

Where to start. The end of American Hero and Beginning of Other Guy reminded me of a spy version of the Fat Lady/Gravitron transition for Chuck. Unaware of the danger the new LI poses Sarah, like Chuck heads out of town into unknown danger.  It kinda made me miss the bigger budget and more stylized episodes of season’s past.  Sigh.  But I can’t really find a thing to complain about in this episode.  Well I could, I’m just tapped out on complaining.  But really, with the fun back complaints seem to be pushed to the background.  Did I say fun?  Yes, fun.  I know it’s a dark episode, but they used to know how to do dark and fun.  Think of the torture scene in Beefcake or Tango.  Dark, but funny.  This is much the same.  Casey giving Chuck the strike team contact; “You’ll be forwarded to Col Sanders”  The priceless look, “Don’t make fun of his name.”   And when has a full tactical strike complete with armor ever been a visual punchline.  And who but Chuck could pull it off.  They had me at “cancel the tank”.  It’s all uphill from there.

Back at Castle, Beckman is in her default mode of exasperated and angry.  Thank god for Dianne Beckman.  When I think of the scenes Shaw took from her… Sorry, I was going to the dark place again.  Still, I’m going to love to see Beckman as the new team forms and tests her boundaries.  Comedy gold.  Shaw comes to Chuck’s defense and Sarah, still working on that whole communication thing thanks him for the tank.  Such a softie that Chuck.  What girl doesn’t dream of a guy ordering a full armor assault for her.  But, at last, to Dave’s relief we start to see Shaw’s evil plan come to light.  Ok, not before one last bit of angst, but it’s played for laughs, and it is Sarah’s moment to shine.

Chuck, being an emotional guy has a skillset other spies lack.  He can read people, like Karl Stromburg or Daniel Shaw.  He doesn’t buy the whole consummate professional bit.  His call to Beckman is another great moment in Chuck and Dianne history.  Too bad the Love Bunker™ just isn’t in the cards.

Chuck: General if I could speak freely?

Beckman: That’s not a good idea.

Ahhh Chuck.  Once again you’ve tipped Dianne to your feelings, and she decides her nemesis Sarah Walker needs to be moved to DC, sending Chuck into a tailspin.  (Beckman will be there to pick up the pieces, she’s been slow playing Chuck for years)  It’s Morgan however who is the first to try to pick up the pieces, or more precisely the bottle.  Morgan will learn, as he does here, what the intersect wants, the intersect gets.  Poor Morgan, thankfully he has a heart and a forgiving nature as big as Chuck’s.

At Chuck’s low point Sarah arrives, and we find out a few new fun facts.  First Sarah stuffs her bra.  But being Sarah it’s with a 6″ lock blade.  Morgan is freed, the Bartowski-Grimes man-cave needs a complete new set of game controllers, and Sarah is working on this whole communication thing.  Bless you Sarah.  Yes, we know its tough, and yes, you were a few seconds late, again.  But this time you did it.  You made sure that when you saw Chuck start to fall apart and everything crash and burn, you stepped up, and your Chuck was your reward.  Was that so hard?

Chuck and Sarah on a mission.  Sigh.  Oops, Shaw is there too.  Still I love the little Chuck and Sarah code.  It reminds you just how well these two know each other.  Something you might not get from this season.  Anybody else notice how good Chuck has become at this spy thing?  For a guy with vertigo rappelling down an elevator shaft sans intersect as if it’s nothing is pretty significant progress.  And we don’t think twice about it.  My how our nerd has grown.

OK, the tranq gun.  Chuck, can we talk?  Use it.  Doesn’t matter that you’ll give away that it’s a tranq gun if everybody other than the director is snoozing.  Sarah has her real one.  But still, the setup was needed and Shaw, the big “Hero” saves the day, except that he doesn’t.  Morgan does.  Yes, Morgan saves the day.  My how our nerd has grown.  Of course Beckman doesn’t want to hear it (love the clapper), and Morgan steps up and becomes the Alfred to Casey’s Bruce Wayne, or is he the Q to Chuck’s Bond.  I get confused.

One more nice moment.  Casey, Chuck’s true mentor, helps Chuck over that last hurdle.  “Before you were the intersect you were smart.”  Casey and Sarah have recognized Chuck’s innate gifts all along, and come to appreciate them.  And finally, Casey returns a favor.  The gun was his idea.  Casey knows Chuck.  Chuck isn’t a killer, but he also will not let anyone hurt Sarah, ever.  Chuck can pull the trigger when it matters.  Chuck is a spy, and Sarah has her guy.

I came to Chuck late, and some of the context of the vernacular still eludes me, but I think there is a exclamation that applies in such situations.  I’ll leave it for one of the ladies however, cause you know us guys aren’t in to that romantic stuff.

OK, but just once. SQUEE!

Now I need to go watch some hockey and eat a steak.

From Joe – Enjoying My Old Life

You just know I believe S3 ended with the previous episode, with Chuck waiting for Sarah at Union Station, discovering late that she’s with Shaw.  We’re about to begin something new, but we need a transition, and Chuck vs. The Other Guy is it.

Chuck thinks – he knows – Sarah is in danger.  What Chuck doesn’t quite know yet, is that she was about to join him to run away. It would have been glorious, really; lovers on the run, romantic Mexico, then Paris and then who knows where. We’d see the occasional running into former colleagues and bad-guys triggering a fight-or-flight response, big time.  Magical! We’d see a fight for survival that could be either intense, or clever, or even humorous, maybe, as Chuck and Sarah struggle together, overcome and celebrate the week’s victory. It would have been a ‘shipper’s dream.

We didn’t get that.

No, Shaw has taken Sarah to a Ring stronghold, a warehouse, and has apparently taken her there to show Sarah one thing; that five years earlier, she killed Evelyn Shaw.  Sarah didn’t know it at the time, of course, and in fact, had very nearly not done it. Sarah had nearly failed her red test, and never knew anything – nothing at all – about the person she shot. Ignorance is no defence. Sarah’s ignorance never, ever saved her from the knowledge of what she had done, or the guilt, and that always had consequences. Chuck felt those every day he knew her, every bit as much as Daniel Shaw.

So  Long, and Thanks For All The Fish

So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish

Chuck mounts a furious counter attack, with complete tactical support, to save Sarah from the evil Shaw, which is very cool because you see how Chuck is now a real take-charge kind of guy. I sort of like the idea that the bill was bigger than the General’s copy of Atlas Shrugged. Too bad for him that Shaw wasn’t trying to kill her. And too bad the General wants to move both Sarah and Shaw to Washington, while Chuck stays in Burbank. Ohhhh – that’s so very Chuck-like, just the way we met him. So Long and Thanks for all the Tanks, Chuck.

But Sarah does look at him rather sweetly, doesn’t she. Still, there’s this awful Washington job for her, and maybe Rome for the lemon. If you can’t be with Sarah Walker, there’s always Johnny Walker, video games, the works of John Hughes and sugar free, mint ice cream.

Lucky for us, Morgan the Ewok isn’t having it. Not any more. Well, that’s a great scene that we would not have had if Sarah had met Chuck at Union Station – Chuck flashing and hog-tieing his friend, only to be freed by Sarah (who’s still producing major weapons from nowhere, btw, just as she did in that British S1 promo…). Don’t you love it?

Finally, the ‘shippers get another moment.  It’s a great one because we get to relive the pilot again, and ask, like we used to, when Sarah first fell in love with Chuck.

I fell for you a long, long time ago, after you fixed my phone, and before you started defusing bombs with computer viruses. – Sarah

It was Ernie, I believe, who posed this exact question in the NBC Chuck group last summer.  I’ll bet you didn’t think TPTB would weigh in, did you, my friend.  So much has happened, but he’s still her Chuck, and they kiss. We’ll take any tender moment we can get, of course – kisses between them have been so rare in season 3. But it’s not lost on us that they kiss, not like hormone addled teens on a second date, but more like survivors of a war. They’re like combatants who have already given every ounce of their strength for the cause and are bleeding, bruised, but alive. The word “mature” comes to mind. If we called Chuck a boy and Sarah a girl before, we cannot any longer.

We saw at the end of American Hero that Sarah and Chuck are – what? Together? A couple? Not exactly. But wow, are they comfortable now. They’ve found new strength in each other, and they work together well too, don’t they? Chuck should not envy Bryce that teamwork he saw in Nemesis. Would we have seen that in Mexico? I can’t say. The fact that the mission in the Ring stronghold is a hoot (especially in the elevator) is a bonus. I was just enjoying watching Chuck and Sarah enjoying working together! In fact, I began to wonder if Sarah was still planning to go off to Washington. “Just one more mission.”, she said. Maybe not!

The Other Guy started out alright! We-who-call-ourselves-shippers were happy. The story was… hey? Shaw didn’t kill that Ring director? Morgan – Morgan? Morgan! spots the clue. Shaw is demented after all and – Wait just one moment, this is getting good! That’s what I’m saying to myself as I watch. It may be just a stupid line, but then I notice I’m grinning from ear to ear when Morgan tell Casey that he’s been “Buy-Mored”. It’s a great line! And this episode is just full of those.

We all saw Sarah in grave danger. In what would have been an inexplicable plot complication in any other show, everyone is off to Paris to either kill or save her, and as I watch I am happy about it. The intersect is not going to help; it’s going to be useless. I don’t say “bah”. I say “good!”

Did You Think I’d Be Okay With That?

Oh yes, my distaste for Shaw is great enough that I was glad to see him finally revealed as insane and absolutely evil for the third time. Chuck is much more understanding of him than I. No one watching would have expected anything less than Chuck coming to the rescue of a helpless Sarah, but even I didn’t think that what I’d see in her face at exactly the right moment would be – regret and sadness. The camera is out of focus so that we see through Sarah’s tears, and it’s perfect that the only thing that is clear, is Chuck. As obvious as it is to us now, I would not have it any other way.

Tell me, please. Which of these things would we have seen if Sarah had met Chuck at Union Station?

No Morgan martial-arts scene expertise. No teamwork in the elevator. No Casey chiding Chuck with “Before the intersect, you were smart.” No hidden weaponry. No Shaw, revealed. And no Chuck discovering that the intersect was never, ever going to help him win Sarah, that this was only within him. No understanding that the intersect only had the power to keep them apart, if he let it.

Don’t kid yourself. It almost did.  When Shaw threatened to kill Sarah, it wasn’t the intersect that found the strength to pull the trigger.

In American Hero Chuck said that he hated himself for not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, and not knowing who he wanted to spend it with. Now he knows that wasn’t exactly about being a spy – it was about making a difference. Funny that making a difference isn’t dependent on whether it’s General Beckman or Big Mike signing his paycheck. Making a difference is how the nerd gets the girl, though.

We might think that it’s foolish to even bring up the ‘who’ that Chuck wants to spend his life with. It was always Sarah, right? The thing is, Chuck could have been happy with Jill, or Lou or with Hannah, and that would have been alright. It certainly is for most of humanity, if not for us romantics and dreamers.

But then, with Jill, or Lou, or Hannah, then he would not be making a difference, would he.

I’m not going to restate the end of the episode, which we shall always refer to as “Paris”, I know. The retelling is for our private moments, because we’re each going to experience again it in our own ways. We’ll share it in intimate groups and with close friends because it’ll be an intimate thing, at least, for a while longer. And in larger groups, well, we’ll have many one-on-one conversation, not one-to-many like this, to talk about what it personally meant to us. The words will have winks and nods and obscure references, but we will know what the other person means.

Because I’m the one who kept saying “have some faith” months ago (you remember the days when we barely knew how to spell PLI), you may be surprised to find that I don’t think any of this was a sure thing. I don’t think any of the things we saw in season 3 that we consider successful were inevitable, and failures were always possible. Chuck has always taken gambles, and many in S3 were major. I’m happy that in the end, the gamble paid off for most of us, if only in the sense that we’re willing to lay our money down again.  I’m more than ready to continue this ride, just to see where it goes.

The story of Chuck and Sarah coming together is over, and we’re about to begin something new. Clearly there’s some fun times ahead, starting with the very next episode.

From Dave

This was supposed to be up from the start,  don’t know why it didn’t publish.   Anyway,   My wife and I are celebrating our 13th anniversery this week,   so I have little spare time.    My review of The Other Guy is:    Good episode.


About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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130 Responses to S3 Revisited: The Other Guy (3.13)

  1. herder says:

    Great post guys, and it has been a tremendous job you and the others have done on this review of the season, personally I didn’t have the heart to review all the episodes as I still have problems with much of the story that they decided to tell.

    Ernie, thanks for the mental image of the General persueing Chuck romantically, it’s one that I’m sure will haunt my nightmares over the next little while. I would like to make a point about that conversation when the General says that Shaw is an absolute professional. He was brought in to train Chuck, but in most episodes it is Chuck that extricates Shaw from his own messes. In Awesome Operation Shaw is the absolute professional, but it quickly changes. In First Class, he screws up and ends out putting Chuck alone against two Ring agents alone, in the Mask, Chuck rescues him when he gets trapped in the vault and again by getting the antidote after Shaw accidentally poisons himself and Sarah. In Fake Name it is Chuck that prevents Shaw from being assasinated, in the Beard, he saves Castle and the intelligence after Shaw left it and Chuck unprotected. In Final Exam Shaw sends Chuck on a red test before he is ready and in American Hero he literally saves him from being blown up. In light of all this why would the General think that the guy who was screwing up was the professional and the guy saving the day wasn’t.

    I’d also like to point out Yvonne’s acting in this episode, Ernie mentioned Sarah having problems with that whole communication thing with her “thank you for saving me, I appreciated the tank” bit. But look at the scene in the elevator shaft after Chuck asks if she has told Shaw about them, she says no but can’t look directly at Shaw, she looks up down side to side and only small glimpses at Shaw, a woman who knows she has an unpleasant task and finds it hard to face.

    The other bit that struck me is the scene in the hotel in Paris when Chuck is talking to the general. As he is talking Sarah is looking at him with a look that most men would kill to experience only once, when he talks of needing a couple of extra days in Paris she gives a small nod, closes her mouth and gives a little smile. these are small bits, away from the main action that add so much to the show. It reminds me of one of my favorite bits from last year in the Ring, Chuck is talking about getting a champagne buzz and having having an extra slow dance with his date, all the attention is on him and Sarah, but look at Casey, the expressions that he has on his face are priceless.

    I’ll even give credit to the much maligned Brandon Routh, when he says “Sarah, you killed my wife, did you really think that I’d be ok with that” he has a real psyco half smile on his face. He may not be able to sell himself as a legitimate love interest but he certainly is convincing as a deranged psycopath.

    And Joe, while the destination may not have justified the journey in my mind, I am willing to lay my money down again and I am really looking forward to the next few episodes and I agree that there are some fun times ahead.

    • joe says:

      Thanks, Herder. I like your take on those scenes.

      And hey, you’re right. Brandon Routh had an impossible task, to make us accept him as a legitimate love interest for Sarah, even as he had to show us repeatedly that he wasn’t. From a fan’s POV, we had to hate him, and since he kept Chuck from Sarah, we had to hate him every moment.

      I’m nothing like qualified to comment on the craft of acting, so anything I say about his acting skills, good or bad is meaningless. But speaking strictly as an observer now, one who bought many of the change-ups he had to throw, it was a good job. I see why people say his performance was “wooden”, but that kind of brittle character was perfect for the kind of dangerous, invisible insaniac he had to be in the end, one able to switch instantly between safe hero to dangerous killer.

      • JC says:

        I think you really have to lay a lot of the blame on the writers too. He was great in his first two episodes, parts of Am Hero and Other Guy. But those episodes in between he was nothing. It actually was a 180 from his character at the beginning and end of his arc in emotions and abilities as a spy. So as much as I want to buy the whole Sarah was settling for Shaw my cynical nature says the romance was added in to up the angst.

        But I will take Routh to task when he had to emote any feelings towards Sarah, it just wasn’t happening. Not even from a sexually attracted standpoint.

      • amyabn says:

        JC, it does make me want to know how many episodes BR was supposed to be in. I think originally it was 4, but Lord knows we got much, much more. 😦
        We also know that they shot these episodes so far in advance-they never got the feedback from viewers in time to change azimuth-as if JS and CF would, but we’ll never know.

      • JC says:

        Lots of things point to his whole character arc being changed. Mel over at ChuckTV flat out said Hannah was changed, so it wouldn’t surprise me that Shaw was too.

        At first I thought he was supposed to be what Chuck could become. Falling in love with a spy and losing them. He was a world class somewhat crazy spy in those episodes.

        Then you get the romance bit and he completely becomes inept in everything. That’s when I swore he was a double agent for the Ring. And some of the story supported that.

        And then at the end he’s completely lost it again which fits into how he started.

        So honestly I don’t know where it went wrong but the whole Shaw arc was a complete failure IMO. Something got lost from paper to film.

      • herder says:

        Amy, my understanding is that BR was supposed to be in at least six episodes and that was upped to eight. Obviously the first two Awesome Operation and First Class were planned as were the last two, American Hero and Other Guy, I would guess that Final Exam was planned too. That leaves two of the Mask, Fake Name, the Beard were the extra ones. I can see the Beard taking place without him, but the story must have been changed for either the Mask or Fake Name to be one of the extra episodes. Unless at some point TPTB tell us which were the extra episodes it will remain a guessing game.

  2. Paul says:

    Herder, I totally agree that with Yvonne, what her little emotes are just as important as her dialouge, if not more so.

  3. amyabn says:

    Kudos to the blog team for their reviews. And on to one thought that has bugged me for a while: why, if Shaw wanted to make Sarah feel what he felt, wouldn’t he try to kill Chuck? He knows how Sarah feels about him-he questioned her on it numerous times. If Shaw is hurt from the loss of his wife, then he would (logically) want to make Sarah feel that loss too-not take her out. Even his speech about the drug not letting her feel pain blows the point. Trust me, I get that they needed Chuck to be the hero so he could solidify/confirm that he was still Sarah’s Chuck.
    They could have twisted it where Sarah is drugged and would have to watch Shaw try to kill Chuck. Chuck manages to save himself, and when Shaw goes after Sarah, he reacts as he did. The lack of logic is appalling, but let’s hope we are past all of that and on to greener pastures!
    Is it Monday yet?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah I also thought it would make sense for Shaw to want to emotionally hurt Sarah by killing Chuck first in front of her and then probably killing her. His logic of hurting the CIA by killing one of their agents was pretty ridiculous. Seriously, how is that the same thing as him losing his wife? But he constantly made mistakes and did stupid things throughout his entire arc, so it wasn’t totally unbelievable based on his character.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Remember, as Casey judged immediately, Shaw is a moron.

      • Anonymous says:

        But that would mean Sarah was planning to set up house with a psycho/moron/wooden/frequently incompetent spy who she knows doesn’t really love her? He does die really well though.

        IMO, this was a great episode and pretty much had all the elements that make this an exceptional series – action, romance, comedy and drama (not angst). I am looking forward to the rest of the season.

      • lucian says:

        apologies – anonymous (above) is me.

    • Josh says:

      It’s one of those sharks with laser beams things you just have to accept an move on. Same applies to the whole I paralyzed you so you can witness my betrayal and understand why you ‘ll die from those sharks with laser beams.

    • herder says:

      In a weird sort of way I think that they were trying to say that Shaw had some respect or affection for Chuck. He didn’t tell the Ring about Chuck’s secret, I think that he still had some loyalty to the intelligence service, he simply wanted to punish the CIA by giving the Ring the info on how to advance their intersect project and by killing Sarah who killed his wife. Doesn’t make a lot of sense but that’s the way I read it.

      • amyabn says:

        I’m restating someone else’s idea from another post, but when Shaw said he didn’t tell them (the Ring) Chuck’s secret, was it that he was the intersect, or that he is affected by emotions?

      • Paul says:

        It was the Intersect. I think it’s trying to show that Shaw isn’t a totally evil man, just one that has been consumed by his rage and grief that he makes a bad choice. He’s taking Sarah out because she was directly involved in Eve’s murder. But Chuck had nothing to do with it, which is why Shaw wasn’t going to directly hurt or endanger him.

    • joe says:

      Good question, Amy. I wish I could put it to Chris Fedak.

      I understand how the story had to get Chuck to pull the trigger, finally. In review, I saw how many times they referred to that, in many cases subtly. But you’re right about Shaw’s method of revenge. Josh may have it exactly right with using the Austin Powers reasoning.

      Oh gee! One thing that I wanted to bring us and keep forgetting:

      Shaw gave the CIA plans for the Cypher to the Ring. The director gave it to an agent to take away. Even though Casey got the director, we don’t know for sure that the Ring won’t be building an intersect real soon now.

      I’m taking bets that a new, ring controlled intersect agent shows up in season 3.5.

      • amyabn says:

        So does Sarah end up intersecting herself (since she was part of the Omaha Project) to help Chuck fight the bad guys? I can’t see her letting him do it alone. Could be an interesting twist….

    • atcdave says:

      You know, I almost wonder if Shaw is so clueless he doesn’t really get that there is anything between Chuck and Sarah, or he took her at her word about not loving him since the red test. I did say almost….

      • Jason says:

        after shaw kissed sarah in hero, he told chuck to take care of her, if that line were real life, you could conclude he is so good with women that he could care less if chuck likes sarah, or he is not near as far along with her as one might think. I actually grew up with a guy who ended up training / dating fashion models for a living, he was a ‘stallion’, I later found out he was much more the latter than the former, the girl’s gay friend thing that some posters have discussed about shaw. But more than likely, yet another plot hole – I doubt TPTB are going to come out and clear this one up, there is little doubt in my mind, they send conflicting info out on purpose, simply so people don’t know.

      • JC says:

        I don’t know it almost seems like he knew when Sarah shushed Chuck.

      • Paul says:

        Could also be at that moment he broke it off with Sarah, and just never got the chance to try to “patch it back up” after his suicide mission didn’t quite turn out to be suicide.

    • Faith says:

      I know I’m reading into it to make sense but what I gathered was…

      In theory killing Sarah will do nothing for the CIA. That certainly wouldn’t hurt them. It’s a plot hole at its finest. But reading into it, you have to assume that who will end up hurt the most is Chuck and since all the CIA’s marbles rest on his shoulders then it’ll really be a pain. He doesn’t hate Chuck though so he wouldn’t go as far as to get him killed directly by telling the Ring his secrets but he’s perfectly happy to have Chuck fail and thereby the CIA in the process.

      I can’t help but think some of our theories (namely mine 😉 that Shaw was always evil) would have worked best but such as it is. I’m extremely, BEYOND happy with Other Guy that I’m overlooking several things happily and willing to just enjoy the wave.

    • Jen says:

      I’m rewatching the coffe shop scene. Shaw’s explanation for what he’s doign is that he wants to send a message to the CIA that they “betrayed the wrong man”, “They need to know what they did to me”, “they need to feel the pain that i felt, and that is why i have to kill you”. So apparently his revenge is on the CIA. He never found out who got the order, i’m sure he would have gone off to kill that person too, but can’t let it slide that Sarah killed his wife, even if she did it in a self-defense move, and with orders. I don’t think Shaw was evil, just REALLY CRAZY, so this is why he doesn’t go for Chuck… he’s got nothing to do with any of it, he’s going fro those involved.

      I’m intrigued by that “they betrayed the wrong man” line though. Do u guys know what he’s referring to?

      • Jen says:

        And why does he think the CIA would feel so much pain at him killing Sarah? I’m sure they would regret the loss of a good agent, but from there to feeling pain??

      • joe says:

        It’s a good point, Jen. That line stuck with me too, “They need to feel the pain that I felt.” My immediate reaction was that the CIA thought of Sarah as a “beloved agent” (but, um, no. That’s us the fans doing that.) and my second was that Shaw had just gone ’round the bend.

      • Paul says:

        Losing Sarah doesn’t do anything to the CIA…but losing the Intersect data would be DEVASTATING to the CIA. Having a top agent killed is merely icing on the cake for The Ring and personal satisfaction for Shaw.

      • Jen says:

        Thanks Paul, I’ve brought me clarity!
        The CIA betrayed th wrong man, or agent. I doubt the fact that the agent suspected of having turned to the ring was a woman is important. We don’t know if Eve Shaw had really turned to the to the ring, but right now Daniel Shaw has turned, for revenge. That makes ES “the wrong man”.

        U r right, giving away the intersect data is the bad part. The CIA would get over any agent quickly. I had forgotten thus detail. Thanks!

      • Paul says:

        What would be sad irony is if Eve was never turned but instead was discovered to be a mole within The Ring and they manipulated the CIA into taking out their own agent. Thus Shaw turning, killing Sarah and giving them the needed data would all have been based upon a carefullly constructed lie.

      • Paul says:

        “They betrayed the wrong man” was Shaw talking about the CIA betraying him. As far as he’s concerned it doesn’t matter that Eve was turned or not, they killed the woman he loved, thus betraying him.

      • Crumby says:

        They not only killed his wife but lied about it for 5 years, letting him think the Ring was behind it, and setting up his revenge.

      • kg says:

        Jen you are right. He’s more crazed and lovesick than evil. And it’s not mentioned, but perhaps Shaw appreciates Chuck pulling him out of harm’s way in American Hero in addition to telling Chuck this has nothing to do with him.

        “They betrayed the wrong man,” simply is Shaw a lot crazy, lovesick and self-assured – totally believing in his abilities and self importance. “I’ll show them.”

        The betrayal was using Eve as a pawn and rubbing her out, and then he blaming the CIA for the order as well as the lies and coverup after she was shot. I think he’s insanely upset, not just because his beloved wife was murderd, but because the CIA led him to believe it was the Ring, when actually it was L Graham who ordered a green Sarah Walker to kill her.

        Graham is already dead thanks to Fulcrum. Sarah has to pay directly for pulling the trigger. And yes, Shaw knows failing to save Sarah, Chuck is absolutely junk and virtually useless. Therefore the intersect project is a bust and the CIA looks ridiculous.

        It got me wondering though. What if Sarah five years earlier had murderd Ellie accidentally in similar fashion? How would Chuck react now? Could he forgive her and understand the circumstances? That would be awful to the nth degree.

        Chuck and Morgan as human beings and men with feelings get it. Eve was everything to Shaw.

        Beckman looks like an idiot believing that Shaw is an example of a consummate professional (like a robot) “married to” duty and country.

        Sarah’s been an agent in the field for so long and seen just about everything. Her belief in Shaw was puzzling and odd after she learned the Ring didn’t kill his wife. That it was her. “That was the worst moment in my life up there on that screen,” she said. “Mine too,” Shaw deadpans. Sarah is not that naive.

        In essence Sarah tells Chuck in the elevator shaft that the last thing Shaw wants to do is kill us. He wants to stop the Ring and capture the director. There’s nothing else on his mind. What the?

        Sarah Walker and the CIA killed his wife. My question is what beef does Shaw have with the Ring? Ahhh…none.

        I never liked Shaw and never felt his presence was necessary, but believe it or not, I felt bad for him in American Hero. But in the end, he had to get his. You don’t mess with Chuck when it comes to Sarah and her safety. And conversely, you don’t mess with Sarah when it comes to Chuck. “I’ll always come back for you.”

        I got to thinking about if I were Shaw. Like him, I would have been obscessed to find and punish those responsible for killing my wife.

        I see myself as a tweener in relation to Chuck and Shaw. I’m big-time emotional like Chuck and was raised to be a macho guy like Shaw. I’m a lot stronger than Chuck, but not as tall as Shaw. Let’s just say “I don’t fill out a pair of slacks” like he does.

        So, I don’t think I could have killed Sarah for a couple of basic reasons. One, I have feelings for her and just can’t shut them down that fast, and two, she’s a woman. I just hit one or physically harm one. I’m just like Chuck in that sense.

        But I’m insane and lovesick for Eve. So, I want to hurt Sarah badly without killing her. Unfortunately, that means Chuck becomes the victim of my rage. I’m going to torture and kill Chuck in front of Sarah. Make her horribly and visually feel the sense of loss I had to endure.

      • kg says:

        second to last paragraph – squeeze a “can’t” betweeen the existing words just and hit.

  4. Robert Haar says:

    Just 1 quick comment which in part I already mentioned on another post briefly and then I’ll
    shut up about it.

    The point of the whole episode was supposed to be drama and yet in the final scene the producers had
    to add 1 last bit of agnst. They just couldn’t leave
    what should have been a very tender, romantic, reconciliation with some somber reflection on Shaw’s
    tragic demise between Chuck/Sarah alone. They just
    had to interrupt them again with Beckman’s call on
    the laptop. That was supposed to be “humor” which
    was totally out of sync with the whole emotional tone of the episode. Then Chuck/Sarah duck under the
    bedcovers like a couple of high school kids instead
    of just allowing the scene to fade out with at last
    separated lovers coming together.

    It was one more reminder from the producers that
    they could care less about the audience and want to
    show who’s “in charge”. They just couldn’t leave
    well enough alone as usual.

    This is precisely why the ratings have dropped
    dramatically and the show is on the verge of
    cancellation. JS/CF just can’t resist infuriating
    people and have lost the viewers’ trust.

    Well enough said, the proof is in the pudding. Through their arrogance and absolute incompetence
    which comes of not knowing the audience or worse
    simply not caring they may well have killed their
    own show.

    Season 3.1 has been from start to finish a complete
    disaster. The producers have done what they have liked and now they are going to have to like what
    they have done.

    Thanks to both of you for taking a nice little show
    and completely ruining it. Your fans really appreciate it….

    • herder says:

      I don’t know about that, the scene did show real action by Sarah to reject orders to be with Chuck rather than to protect him. Unlike in the Marlin and First Kill when she disregarded orders to keep him from being sent to a bunker, this time she shut off the general to spend personal time with her guy, progress of a sort.

    • 904 says:

      I liked the way that scene played out.

      1. The whole reconciliation would have been empty and trite is Chuck and Sarah immediately jumped into bed together, totally ignoring all that had just happened with Shaw. We (and Chuck, obviously, as he probably had a sleepless night) needed to know that Sarah accepted what he HAD to do.

      2. This is still a dramady, and Beckman’s interruption fits that tone. Plus, it plays off the countless interruptions that always seem to stop Chuck and Sarah from taking the next step. We saw examples of those moments in the restaurant scene and the stakeout date. The difference here is that Chuck and Sarah made the conscious decision to “hang” up on this interruption and ignore it. A big step, and satisfying to the audience that has seen this play out differently time and again.

    • joe says:

      Robert, Hi. I don’t recall seeing your name before. Sorry if I missed it. Welcome to the discussion.

      Tonight I’m going to put up a guest post that addresses this stuff that you mention. I recommend you read it, if only because it’s well written, focused piece that’s not going to attempt to change your mind, but in fact, supports you, and shows that your anger has justification.

      Then it’s going to show you why it’s possible to think that the show you might think is dead and gone ain’t so dead after all. Maybe.

      I hope you read it.

    • atcdave says:

      I actually really liked that bit, it struck me as a perfect Bond homage.

      • JC says:

        All it needed was an “Oh Chuck” line from Sarah and it would’ve been perfect.

      • amyabn says:

        I agree. My first thought was, Chuck, why are you bringing the computer with you? but I thought it was hillarious. The facial expressions between the two are priceless.

      • Paul says:

        Ditto. I actually speculated that 3.13 would end exactly that way. Perfect “Bond-esque” ending.

  5. herder says:

    I like the idea of Ernie’s that Chuck has a skillset that other spies don’t, the ability to read people. I goes back to Sarah’s dad’s comment that he has one real talent, the ability to read people. He says that Chuck would never betray her and that he made a ten million dollar bet that he loved her. This is a skill that Sarah should value, daddy issues aside, but other spies might not.

    The other thing that I have been thinking about is the whole Sarah attracted to Shaw thing, I still don’t get it. I think that at least a part of the problem is that I don’t necessarily think that Sarah’s type is super spies but rather charismatic men. Bryce was a spy but also was charasmatic “Bryce always got the great girls”. Cole was a charismatic man’s man, Chuck in his own way is charismatic, he has a group of people who beleive in him because of who he is. Shaw, at least what we saw of him on the screen wasn’t charasmatic, we were told he was a good spy, but we never saw any charisma. Casey thought he was a moron and we never saw him lead anyone by virtue of anything other than the fact that he was given the role of team leader. That spark that would explain what she saw in him was never shown. Whether this was a failure of writing or of acting I don’t know, but it isn’t there so the romance seems inexplicable.

    • joe says:

      Yeah. I do like Morgan’s line, though: “He’s a stud. 99 times out of 10, they get the girl.” He’s describing Shaw like he’s a force of nature, which seems about right.

      All I can suggest is that Sarah doesn’t fall for Shaw so much as she defaults to him – he’s her “type” – the way that Chuck reverts to Hannah. Sarah’s referred a couple of times (as have Casey and Carina) to her reputation at the CIA. Perhaps it’s deserved. Perhaps we only know these three, and there are others she’s been involved with. To me, the last-minute revelation was that she never saw him as more than a temporary thing. All the spy-guys in her life are. Maybe all the men in her life are. Except Chuck. In fact, that very permanence was a reason to stay away from him, right?

    • amyabn says:

      I’m hoping they play on this (the skillset) more in the back six. Casey noted on the plane that before the intersect, before being a spy, he was smart. We, the viewer, have been able to see that Chuck’s latest accomplishments have been flash-free. I’m not sure Sarah and Casey have that little nugget of realization yet. I also hope that seeing Team Bartowski’s victories, Beckman will come to rely on them, however unconventional they may be. Adding Morgan to the mix will only serve this notion.

      I totally agree with your Poochie assessment. Shaw had the charisma of drying paint. I think Lester had a better shot in the Weinerlicious in Season 1 than Shaw ever had. At least Lester has personality, repulsive though it may be at times!

      • BDaddyDL says:

        So many thoughts on this episode, and y’all have touched on most of them. I think that they have taken Chuck from needing handlers to be the lead of team Bartowski. This is also another goal of season 3 possibly. btw it is now 46 hours 25 minutes away from the honeymooners, not that I am looking forward to it…

    • Merve says:

      If Chuck’s skill set involves reading people, he’s certainly improved in that regard since his “Sandworm” days.

  6. Faith says:

    no Dave?

  7. lizjames says:

    If I may, a MUCH simplier explanation: Sarah Walker, as they’ve written her, always falls for the hero.

    Now we hear the line in 13: She fell for Chuck after he fixed her phone and before he began defusing bombs.

    What did Chuck do in that period she describes? He bailed out the ballerina and her dad. He didn’t hound her even though she left him her card. He made her laugh. He offered to take her with all of her problems (“I could be your personal baggage handler”). When the “date” turned violent and scary, Chuck never ran away, never abandoned her, helped as he could and was always concerned for her welfare. And then, finally, he stepped up, without any context, and put all the pieces of the spy tale together.

    Chuck was a hero. A better kind of hero than she’d ever known because he was real, not a spy.

    And Sarah Walker Walker ALWAYS falls for the hero.

    • lizjames says:

      sorry, this post was aimed for the herder-joe strand above… Yesterday I couldn’t get my name to register, today it’s something else…

      I need a hero…

    • Faith says:

      OK seriously who doesn’t fall for the hero. I love them.

      But that said she may have initially fallen for the hero but she loves the entire package. Guy cares about his family, guy that doesn’t let people down (even Morgan!), guy that does the simple things even at the risk of the big things, guy that’s smart, guy that’s funny. Her problem has been Chuck hasn’t been that guy for much of this season. And honestly that’s my problem too!

    • joe says:

      But it’s a great starting point for a discussion all it’s own, Liz.

      Chuck – the everyday hero.

      That’s what we wanna be, everyday heros.

      [Joe looks around the room, and quietly, to himself, says “Gee. Sometimes we are.”]

      • JC says:

        I’m going to be a bit of a comic nerd but I think in Chuck we see bits of probably three of the most famous characters.

        Season 1&2 it was Spider-Man the hero role was thrust on him unwilling. But he used the what he was given to help people.

        End of Season 2 and most of 3 we see him being Batman. The higher calling, feeling like he alone can make a difference, even at the expense of himself.

        But along the way we see bits of the predestined hero like Superman. His father created the Intersect, Bryce, Jill. All these people are connected to a world he thought he wasn’t part of. So I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the season we get some other revelation about this.

        And Sarah isn’t Vicky Vale as much as Lois Lane, although a Lois who could beat him up.

    • herder says:

      Ok, so she falls for the hero, when did we ever see Shaw as the hero? Except for the first episode that he was in and maybe calling for the satellite in First Class he screwed up regularly and was bailed out by Chuck. Seriously, name one heroic thing that he did, one time when he stepped up and saved the day that would explain why she would be attracted to him.

      • atcdave says:

        He was a great hero in American Hero; after using Morgan as a shield, he took out two Ring agents. Truly a great man.

      • amyabn says:

        Yet another plot hole-he would have been shocked by holding on to Morgan.

      • SWnerd says:

        ^^ Do I detect sarcasm here? 😉

      • Faith says:

        I’m not good with sarcasm outside of my real life so…I’ll answer seriously 🙂

        1. She didn’t fall for Shaw. He was a convenient and essentially safe choice for her because she was still and is still in love with Chuck. This isn’t Bryce we’re dealing with here, and if she couldn’t fall back in love with Bryce (of all people) how are we to believe she would fall for Shaw? Her objection to him risking his life has less to do with love so much as caring. Whoever he is to her he is still someone that’s been there while she’s watching Chuck have dinner with Hannah and her family.

        2. Is he an inept hero? Yes. But he started with promise. His intentions were pure, to take down the ring at the cost to himself and his wife when it came down to it. That’s a heroic. Granted in everything else he seems like an incompetent noob but it doesn’t take away from the fact that for awhile he was a good guy. An idiot but a good guy. That changed though…as we know.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        Chuck is the great American Hero, not because of his acts of valor, but in the end he does whats right because its the right thing to do, and just as importantly he does it out of Love for Sarah.
        Btw just a thought, what if the bad guys make Chuck do bad because of his Love for Sarah. That could be season 4

      • Paul says:

        Well he did carry her out of Castle while she was poisoned.

    • Jason says:

      the was a tough arc for sarah, although, in a sense, she got free sex (maybe) with a hot lookin guy, got her man in the end on her terms (while teaching him to appreciate her and also while learning to appreciate him), and probably sees the ‘real’ world as ‘real’ rather than some idealized concept for the first time, maybe ever – since from what we can tell, she has never lived in the real world.

      I loved lots of 3.13, 4 subtle sarah moves I loved, and I think will foreshadow the future:

      1 – how submissive she got when she delivered the ‘thx for the tank’ line

      2 – how kick ass in charge of chuck she got in the elevator mission

      3 – her ‘knowing’ smile watching morgan ‘mother’ chuck

      4 – she did this move with cole, again with chuck at the end, after the kiss beckman interrupted, she sort of opens her mouth & rolls her eyes like she is trying to ‘cool off’, it is really hot – did anyone else notice that

      ok – adding a 5th when she returned chuck’s laugh in the DYLM – YES x 4 scene

      • amyabn says:

        I’m sorry, and slightly off topic, but the show tried to beat us over the head with
        1. Shaw is a great spy
        2. Shaw is a stud (or stallion if you prefer)

        I’m sorry, but speaking as a woman, I didn’t find anything about him appealing. I’m not sure why your comment pushed a button for me, but I guess it is the Shaw Fatigue Factor (I should TM that) that has taken it’s toll.
        I didn’t and don’t find Shaw attractive at all. He isn’t particularly articulate, he has proven himself pretty darn stupid, he has the cheesiest pick up lines, and I don’t find him physically attractive.
        Maybe some women like red rimmed eyes, unexpressive faces, and bad conversational skills. I’ll take an articulate schnook who is sweet, smart, and has heart any day of the week! Ladies, your thoughts?

      • Jason says:

        amy – my second cartoon fanfic is going to be a general beckman – sarah cartoon (I’m limited to 2 characters) which will explain most of the s3 arc’s rationale in 2-3 minutes, your two concerns – shaw is a great spy and shaw is a stud will be addressed for sure – recall – beckman trained shaw….stay tuned.

      • Faith says:

        here here Amy. I made a joke awhile back if you recall about maybe Shaw turning me gay coz I’m nowhere near attractive to THAT. LOL.

        Chuck over Shaw any day. Hell Morgan over Shaw any day.

      • amyabn says:

        Amen sister! Wonder if we can get the other ladies to chime in?

      • Jen says:

        Amy… No Shaw, No Way! I don’t find the man attractive in the least for all the same things you listed. And i prefer Chuck for all your same reasons 🙂

      • SWnerd says:

        I’d definitely take Chuck or even Morgan over Shaw. No contest.

      • Jen says:

        A friend of mine that ocasionally watches Chuck told me “hey, the have a hot new guy on Chuck, Routh”… i had to give her a dirty look =P

      • joe says:

        Call to Ernie! We need a poll here!

        And hey! Nobody mentioned Casey?

      • Paul says:

        @SWnerd – y’know Morgan actually cleans up pretty well, particularly when his hair is combed and his beard fashionably trimmed. I wonder if they’re going to let Morgan suave up a bit in the back half and (hopefully) next season.

      • Jason says:

        probably will do a few more of these, #2 has a reference to what faith, amy, and jen think of shaw? I am shocked at how easily they are to do, although seemingly shaw is my major source of attmepted humor again?


  8. Aardvark7734 says:

    It was completely and utterly shocking to me that neither of your reviews mentioned a scene that I found jaw dropping and wholly unprecedented:

    Chuck: We’re never going to get our chance, are we?

    Sarah: (smiling) Once we get back it’s going to happen. You and me. (kiss) Don’t worry. (kiss) Just one more mission.

    When, let me repeat, WHEN has Sarah ever taken the role of confident aggressor in pursuing their relationship? Her previous attempts, (“Two beds?”, “You can live the life that you want with whoever you want”, “it IS real”, “we could run”) were timid at best and oblique at worst.

    Truly, this scene was a signal buoy with flashing red lights alerting us to the sea change we were about to witness.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      This is a wonderful point. I thought about that scene. It was interesting that they were so completely comfortable in couple in waiting mode so quickly, but here’s my take. They’ve been in that mode, without saying it, since First Date or Seduction at the latest. Had Bryce not been there, would Sarah have resisted the Montgomery? OK, there was the whole heartbreak thing, but to me the big breakthrough was Sarah’s yes. For once, even though she waited a few seconds too long, when she saw Chuck coming apart due to her reluctance to speak, she spoke up, and that was all it took. That must have been a revelation for Sarah. All it takes is a few words about how you really feel, and Chuck is hers.

      • Jason says:

        ernie – every chuck fan guy has known that, a couple of words and chuck was hers, plus, since she could have pulled him down and pinned him anytime she wanted, might not have even taken a single word – but that is the issue about S3 vs S1 / S2 – chuck had to follow thru and show sarah he was serious – that did not come that easy for him, all spy world and intersect aside – I think in some ways – what he got to emotionally on the fake real date – the real fake date – then shams real first date – and finally his ILU proposal to run – that was the real hero’s destination in S3 – the ability to pursue and win the prize – the Shaw arc was just filler, bad filler.

    • Jason says:

      yea – I forgot that one – I loved the almost 4th wall statement by chuck – we are never going to get our chance – a last effort by TPTB to remind us what they put the fans thru with the ridiculous WT/WT

    • BDaddyDL says:

      there is another part of that scene that I thought of, but no one else has, in Tic Tac Casey tells his fiance one more mission…

    • joe says:

      I’m glad you mentioned it, Aardvark. But truthfully, Sarah’s words sort of blew by me, and were gone in an instant. Maybe because they were the verbal equivalent of your “signal buoy with flashing red lights”, I actually preferred to dwell on Sarah’s simple “yes”, and a single sentence to detail exactly when she fell for Chuck. Gee. She’s seldom so expansive in her oratory.

      And I’m not kidding ’bout that. I’ve typed out dozens of speeches and hundreds of lines of dialog these past nine months, and Sarah’s seldom go to a second line! “Two beds?” and “He’s my guy!” were nuggets of gold. What we got from Sarah this time was an entire diamond field!

    • Paul says:

      Aardvark – I liked that scene particularly because it was just a “cute couple moment” between the two. Sarah is finally comfortable showing her affection to him in a “non-dramatic moment” way. I also loved how she looked back to make sure Shaw was gone before she kissed him. Secret lovers indeed.

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        Definitely cute, no question.

        But if you took that scene out, and rewound time back to last season and showed it to one of us who was stop-framing Sarah’s face trying to glean the slightest whisp of how she felt about Chuck, you’d probably knock us clean out of our chairs.

        To me, this was a complete 180 for her character – from carefully guarded to aggressively open. I’m not complaining, I loved it! But does it not raise eyebrows in anyone that a character who’s seemingly been unable to express her genuine feelings to Chuck could suddenly convey such natural, casual affection?

        I have only Ernie’s explanation to rely on. She said ‘yes’ four times. And when the sky didn’t fall she turned loose the reins and let the horses take her wherever they wanted to go.

        Apparently, the oft-used rationalization that Sarah was especially careful in the OO or Castle not to betray her feelings for Chuck through some indefensible action is now rendered null and void. Cameras? What Cameras? 😉

        Your other point, about “Secret Lovers” gave me a poignant notion. I’d always wanted there to be a period in Chuck and Sarah’s relationship where, like many fanfics portrayed, they were both trying to be together in secret. I was hoping it’d go half a season or more before it ran out of gas – they could have had close calls and one-by-one, the people close to them would find out the truth.

        It might have been fun.

        But now it looks like that opportunity has passed. With Chuck an agent rather than asset, the whole “forbidden” appeal, and the tension that would have come with it, is pretty much shot.

        I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the seemingly great episodes right in front of us. I’m ecstatic about them. But the road untraveled might have been cool, too.

      • Paul says:

        Well, we get them doing the sorta-secret lovers thing for about an episode… 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Aardvark, I agree. Its a great missed oportunity. We were all talking about it at length a year ago, and fanfiction is full of the idea; but the writers choose a different “journey.” I’m glad we’ve gotten to where we are; but the “secret relationship” idea would have been a lot of fun.

  9. BDaddyDL says:

    I also want to thank the reviewers for a fantastic job well done. When I read the post before I went to work, it put a smile on my face to know that someone else thought how great this episode was for the same reasons. Are there plot holes? Sure, but when someone is deranged revenge is different when they are not blinded by their hatred. In the end, Chuck got the ultimate Bond moment by ignoring M (in this case B) and he got the girl.
    Hallelujah and pass the ammunition.

  10. Martin Traynor says:

    Please forgive me if this has been addressed, but at the point where Chuck points his gun at Shaw on the bridge and tells Shaw that this isn’t him,that he can’t do this, Shaw retorts something to the effect of, “No, YOU can’t, but I can.” He then raises his gun, at which point Chuck Shoots him.

    My question is, what did Shaw mean by that? Does he know what we know about Chuck’s red test (that he didn’t actually shoot the mark), or does he now something that we don’t know? As far as I know, he should think that Chuck pulled the trigger and is now, or could be, a cold-blooded killer (at least that what Sarah thinks now).

    Is it possible Shaw knows that Chuck didn’t pull the trigger? Thoughts?

    • joe says:

      Martin, I always thought that Shaw believed Chuck was incapable of “pulling the trigger.” Even moreso, he believed that Chuck was incapable of doing what he needed to do to be a spy and especially incapable of proving to Sarah that he was a spy.

      To put it bluntly, it was a game of “Mine is bigger than yours.”

      If Chuck’s Red Test was supposed to be in Shaw’s thoughts, it was just a small part.

  11. Martin Traynor says:

    Sorry. Should read “Or does he know something that we don’t know?”

  12. Martin Traynor says:

    Interesting take, Joe. And I can certainly see that. I just had wondered if Shaw knew Chuck didn’t actually kill the mole, And then I started “spiraling” and took it to the next step, i.e., how juicy would it be if Shaw DID know Chuck didn’t kill the mole, and intentionally kept it from Sarah in order to make sure she never went back to him…? But that’s a little too dark for me, so I’ll lean toward your theory…Thanks!

  13. Okay, full disclosure this episode has my favorite scene (or at least top 3) in the entire series…I just Zac, Yvonne and Josh in the confession scene! Zac played, drunken and distraught so amazingly and Yvonne’s non-verbal acting shines here; her reaction to his question is perfect and when Sarah finally comes back to life (figuratively of course) I just find it special:)

    I also think i should point out that it takes real talent to sell a complete shift in a characters personality and for 12 episodes that’s exactly what Zac and Yvonne did; which might be the real reason “the misery arc” was difficult to watch…this is of course just a thought…

  14. Martin Traynor says:

    If you’re talking about the scene where Sarah confesses that she loves Chuck (and it’s amazing how romantic and wonderful that scene is – and we get that she loves him – but all without her EVER SAYING those three little words. Amazing!), I agree. It’s a top 5 for me as well, and one I replay often. I don’t struggle as some others do with the characters acting out of character, because I think in life we all do that sometimes.

    And I must say that because of the way I am, I would have given up on Sarah a looong time ago, if it’s me. Someone shows and tells me me basically that they don’t want me, I say fine, to heck with you, and move on. I don’t go back time and time and time again for more abuse like chuck did. Now am I glad that he did? Yes, and I love them together. But if the show was called Martin instead of Chuck, there would never be a love triangle. I would just move on…to someone else.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, it’s a fantastic scene and in my top 5 too. (And now you guys have got me wondering what my very favorite scene might be. There’s so many it’s hard to decide.)
      Martin, you would have had the same reaction to Sarah’s – what is it? Stubbornness? Reticence? Dithering? Caution? – as most of us would have had. But that’s the point they were trying to make, I think.

      The story of Chuck and Sarah is great precisely because they went through the same things we do, and they did it better. Perhaps it was the way we wish we had, or would have, given the chance. It’s a fantasy that’s just close enough to be real.

      I can’t think of many shows that actually made me want to be a better person, but Chuck did that.

  15. Martin Traynor says:

    That’s a great way to look at it, Joe. I think that’s why the finale was so tough to take. Because it wasn’t just Chuck that lost Sarah. I did, too. She was taken away from me…from all of us.

    When I think of my favorite scenes, they almost all have something to do with Sarah saying just the right thing. Her 4 yes’s in Other Guy. Her “No, that’s what make you great” in Ring 2. Her “I’m different without Chuck, and I don’t like it” in Phase 3. Her “You’re my hoe Chuck. You always have been” in Suitcase.

    Casey has one or two in there as well (my favorites are “Shut up. You’re Chuck Bartowski, the 2nd best spy I’ve ever worked with. Now you’re gonna go save the best one” in Cliffhanger and “Before the intersect, before you were a spy you were smart” in Other Guy.

    Because I relate to Chuck the most (or maybe Morgan, but who wants to admit that?!?), I guess I like it best when he gets words of encouragement, acknowledgment or reassurance.

    • joe says:

      Let me add my favorites here. There’s Chuck and Sarah at the fountain at the end of The Break-Up

      We both know how I feel about you, so I’m just gonna shoot straight. Sarah, you’re the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you laugh at all of my stupid jokes, and you have this horrible habit of constantly saving my life. The truth is, you’re everything that I thought I ever wanted and more. And the last few days, all I can think about is our future together, about what it’s going to be like once I finally get the Intersect out of my head, and how we’ll finally be together for real. No fake relationships, no covers, no lies. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that you and I can never have a future together. I fooled myself into thinking that we could, but the truth is, we can’t. Because, even if we had a real relationship, it would never really be real. I’d still never know anything about you, your real name, your home town, your first love… anything. And I want more than that. I want to be able to call you at the end of a bad day and tell you about some funny thing that Morgan did, and not find out that I can’t because you’re off, somewhere in Paraguay, quelling a revolution with a fork. I’m a normal guy, who wants a normal life. And as amazing as you are, Sarah Walker, we both know that you will never be normal.

      And again, at the fountain at the end of Lethal Weapon

      Oh, and, uh, just so you know… I am gonna get this thing out of my head one day. I will. And when I do, I’m gonna live the life that I want with the girl that I love. Because I’m not gonna let this thing rob me of that. I won’t.

      Funny thing, is that in both cases, Chuck is never more right than when he’s wrong.

      There’s also the scene in Suburbs, when Sarah is making Chuck breakfast.

      Sarah: No, Chuck. [smiling] I’m cooking for you. What?
      Chuck: Nothing. It’s just funny. I never pictured you doing this.
      Sarah: Well, what can I say? I’m versatile. Sit.
      Chuck: Hold on. Are – are you enjoying this whole “Martha Stewart” thing? I can’t believe it! Please tell me you’re not going soft on me.
      Sarah: Just shut up and eat your breakfast.

      What can I say? I like it when they’re normal together! Besides, the twinkle in Sarah’s eye as she’s telling Chuck to eat his breakfast is, well, cute!

      But maybe my very favorite, #1 scene of the entire series is one that has no dialog. It only has entwined fingers, golden morning light unforgettable music and a passionate kiss. Care to guess which scene I’m talking about?

    • joe says:

      Oh, and let me add too that the character with whom I most identified wasn’t Chuck or Morgan, but Stephen. I never felt like Chuck had to “win the girl” because I wanted to. wanted him to find his destiny. (Ack! That’s corny, but I can’t think of a better way to put it.)

      Oddly, Scott Bakula and I are the same age.

  16. Martin Traynor says:

    Make that “home,” though he might also be her hoe, or the other way around…

  17. Martin Traynor says:

    Great scenes, all. Yeah, that morning in Colonel was magic. And they played it so freaking naturally, too! I mean Zach and Yvonne nailed that scene, didn’t’ they? So much so that I felt it in my knees. It was just so natural.

    One thing I wish they did more was give us more of the domestic scenes when Chuck and Sarah were together for real. The best domestic scenes (except for Bullet Train) were when they were pretending (I know, it was ALWAYS real, but you know what I mean). Once they got them together, they never really gave us those cutesy scenes. I did like the exchange when Chuck goes to the couch looking for the gun during Role Models and he and Sarah get into a little tiff about her listening to his request and him now wishing she hadn’t. That was played well. But it would have been nice to see Sarah play happy homemaker for real…Or Chuck, for that matter.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I definitely would have preferred more domestic fun sort of scenes. The whole contrast of sophisticated and glamorous super spy building an ordinary home life with the ordinary nerd who loves Sci-Fi and plays computer games. We got glimpses of it; but I would have loved more of the social misalignment banter and gushing affirmation. Fan fiction has served that part of the story far better than canon.

      • I think lack of those kinds of scenes is nothing more than its only a 40 minute show…but if we’re talking strictly “fluff” scenes then it really doesn’t get better than the beginning of Masquerade!:)

        CHUCK was really a shining example of how one person can change the lives of those around them !

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah there were some good glimpses like that. I also really like the early part of Business Trip for that reason. But more would have better!

      • Yeah I’m all for spy stuff but the fact that Zac and Yvonne have such talent both individually and as duo makes me wish there would have been more “normal” moments…its one reason i decided to axe the Buy More(ons) from my fan-fic and limit them to cameos at most…maybe its just me but they seemed to take up valuable screen time that could have been used for more of what we all wanted…especially come S3-S5.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll agree with that!

  18. Martin Traynor says:

    In addition to more Chuck/Sarah domesticity, I also would have loved more Devon/Ellie in the spy life. Ryan (the actor) was just hilarious as the inept spy. I loved that Devon was this uber cool dude at everything in life except at the stuff that Chuck excelled at. Talk about a perfect couple – Chuck and Devon. But Captain Awesome was aptly named, and the scenes of him in spy mode were the best. And I loved how impressed he was with Chuck when the latter did his thing, like saving Morgan from the balcony when hanging the lights and kicking butt in Costa Gravas.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I agree with all of that. Devon was my favorite of the minor characters, and I really liked what he and Ellie brought to the show.
      I always wished for more of the two couples too. Especially early on, I wanted to see more of the Chuck/Sarah/Ellie/Devon interplay.

  19. Martin Traynor says:

    YES! It seemed that while Chuck and Sarah were in that pretend/not-so-pretend relationship, Devon/Ellie always affected them in real “We can be better; we need to be better” way. They seemed to measure their relationship to Devon/Ellie, and it always made for some good, heartfelt laughs. Heartfelt – that’s what Chuck is to me in every area (except S3.0, of course). It walso led to some big moments.

    I’d like your thoughts (forgive me if it’s already been discussed, as I’m sure everything has), but when she told Chuck they needed to sleep together for their cover, I always got the feeling she was deliberately giving him mixed signals as to what that entailed. And I loved that she gave him grief for the music and candles, but then wore what she did for the cover, in case Ellie/Devon came in. His “set decoration,” or setting the mood, was a much better cover, and would have made it that much more believable. I wonder if she felt she wouldn’t be able to resist the Bartowski charm with that additional mood in the room. She did shut it down rather quickly. I was very much charmed by that scene…

    • I know its not the same but Fan-Fiction is great for that…I even am devoting an entire Chapter to the Christmas Holiday because i was inspired by moments where everyone is together! I.e the end of couch lock or even the opening scene in wookie among others.

      As for their interaction in truth I was thought Sarah was just trying to sell the notion that they “would be” sleeping together. its why she dresses the way she does. I think she wanted to be in control of the moment which is why she gives Chuck grieve about the candles and music…very funny bit of bickering between them though!

    • atcDave says:

      I think that was ALL about Sarah wanting it both ways. She wanted Chuck completely under her spell, she didn’t like him even thinking about other women.
      But at the same time, she “knew” they couldn’t have anything more, so she pulled back every time things got a little too close.
      I think Sarah’s admission in Other Guy pretty much confirms that duality. And I think a big part of the story telling tragedy of S3 is that it just eliminates that duality in the least inspired way imaginable. They get rid of all the external obstacles, and then once it’s okay for them to be together, they are.
      I think it would have been vastly more entertaining for them to start persuing the relationship while the external barriers remain. That would have been a more meaningful choice for Sarah, to actually have to put Chuck ahead of the Agency. Oh well, that’s a whole ‘nother rant.

      • I didn’t have a problem with Chuck choosing duty over Sarah in pink slip. I simply hated the fact that it was written like a soap opera. Several people have said it was written that way as an excuse for more wt/wt and that is 100% true…if it had been written the way the characters actually act i think it wouldn’t have caused so much backlash…Chuck was always blunt with Sarah but then JS pulled a 180 because he felt like it, so irritating…

        I agree about pursing a real relationship with the external barriers…Angus Macnab’s “the farm” proves that its not that hard to sell that kind of thing to the government besides most superiors would want there agents to fully commit to such a thing; especially given how important Chuck was… the writers missed gold there.

      • noblz says:


        Totally agree with how they should have done it. Also, Sarah’s statement in OG was something else that was trampled on by the retcon in 3.17. It makes Sarah look terrible. What was she doing sleeping with Shaw if she was so in love with Chuck?

        Without the retcon I would have said Sarah never did more with Shaw than flirt and go on one date (the flirting was when Sarah thought Chuck was with Hannah at the end of 3.08 and the date was at the beginning of 3.12). I never understood TPTB’s obsession with Sarah having sex with Shaw, it added nothing essential to the story or character motivation. It just made Sarah look as bad as they made Chuck look.

      • atcDave says:

        Josh I do have a problem with Chuck choosing duty over love the way did, because I really felt it dishonored the character I had come to know. He actually hurt the woman he claimed to love, with no explanation offered. Chuck of the first two seasons was so completely about people first and valuing the people in his life, this just seemed like a radical change. Maybe if Pink Slip had led to a short arc of Chuck struggling to accept greater responsibilities without loosing that basic humanity it could have worked. Or at least worked a little better. But Pink Slip was just such an ugly portrayal of Chuck, I don’t see any way I ever would have “liked” that episode. And then drawing it out so long, was just a complete disaster from my perspective.

        Noblz I agree wth all of that.

  20. noblz

    if she did or not is subject to opinion…I choose to believe she didn’t because hard evidence just isn’t there

  21. Dave

    Like i said i don’t have a problem with the idea…I do however hate how it was written because a “bait and switch tactic just isn’t how Chuck operates. Being upfront would have gone a long way toward making that situation better but JS wasn’t going to do that so i refuse to look down upon Chuck because that’s not the character, its contrived writing plain and simple.

    if you let a kid drive a car and he crashes it you wouldn’t blame the kid for the crash, its the parents fault. The same idea applies here.

  22. Martin Traynor says:

    I agree, guys, except that Chuck always…always put others first. Or at least, he intended to. He gave up the spy life for Ellie (though quickly went back to it, surreptitiously, anyway), which is not something he wanted to do. I think S3.0 was horrible and contrived and angsty, all needlessly. But I can see where Chuck would have made that decision. The way it was handled was wrong, wrong, wrong…but I could see Chuck choosing duty over love. Hey, his parents both did it.

    • yeah take a speech similar to the one in Break Up, throw Shaw and Hannah out completely and have Sarah and Chuck work together that would have been interesting…

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, most of the S3 story could have been made to work with fairly minor changes. The biggest just being that Chuck and Sarah need to be on the same page for most of it.

  23. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Other Guy (3.13) | Chuck This

  24. Neil Sandford says:

    I’m hoping somebody reads this, what with the three and a half years difference from the last post, but there are at least two things bugging me for years with this episode

    Firstly: I thought Sarah looked annoyed / aggressive at Chuck at the start in the warehouse when his radio startles them, considering she sent out a distress signal, she looks like she had the same expression as she did in AM when she didn’t believe him about his red test but may be it’s my take

    Secondly: Again it might be me but I thought “Sarah, do you love me?” seemed wrong, up to that point I’m struggling to find a reason why he would say that and not “Sarah, did you ever love me?” or something on those lines

    Apart from the stake-date (which actually topped the two scenes of them in OG for me) there most recent encounters didn’t show why she would.

    • I’m thinking he said “do you love me?” because they knew they had feelings for each other but neither was ever sure if they could embrace those feelings. That was a big theme of season 2 though it was done much more effectively in that period. Sarah’s love for Chuck is precisely why she struggles with his becoming much more like her, in the sense of being a spy. Chuck fears at that moment that all he has done is not enough to be loved by Sarah.

      Many say Chuck’s biggest fight over the series is with himself and I agree, that is why the last scene of the series is so perfect to me, he is the best version of himself when he finds her on the beach.

      As for the warehouse scene, I just think she was caught off guard, especially given she just realized she killed Eve; the stake date was a very good scene.

    • atcDave says:

      It does seem like a nervy question given everything that’s transpired in the last few weeks.
      But he did just profess his love for her at the end of the previous episode. And big shock, he may feel like he’s gotten mixed signals since then; she didn’t show up for their running away together, but then she did send him a distress signal and seemed much warmer towards him after. And that’s even after his botched non-rescue. So he’s maybe wondering again?

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