To The Moon, Alice!
Nope. No review here, sorry. After looking at all of your amazing comments, I can hardly find a line in the episode that needs expanding, or explanation, or elaboration by me. Really, after watching the episode as many times as I could this week, the only thing left to say about Chuck vs. The Honeymooners amounts to three words – It. Was. Great! We’re still quite “over the moon”.
Okay – Even though it’s often boring (and poor form!) to simply write about personal reactions to what we’ve seen, I want to dwell on that, briefly, anyway.
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feeling good
When I heard this music, my first thought was that my old Chuck playlist was going to be unlistenable. The mood from seasons 1 and 2 was just wrong, now. I mean, what meaning can be ascribed to Blitzen Trapper’s God and Suicide after hearing I’m Feeling Good? Just look at what’s happened! When the former was played, we saw Chuck and Sarah laying in the same bed, but hardly together. And for the latter? Wow!
One of the favorites from season 2 showed me how wrong I can be. Please enjoy Bloc Party one more time.
I see signs now all the time
That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping
I believe in anything
That brings you back home to me
It’s sung by a mourner at a funeral, and is very sad. At best, the lyric can only be interpreted as the apparent death of a relationship, and it was given to us, in fact, to make us feel hopeless.
But now, starting with the last moments of The Other Guy in Paris, it feels like a miracle has happened – the signs were right, and faith, no matter how blind, was justified. Today the song doesn’t sound like the last shred of hope is fluttering away in a cold breeze, but sounds instead like new-born strength. Did I mix my metaphors? Think of a sapling. Hear that song and you can’t help but see Sarah’s faint smile at the fountain. A bright line exists between that fountain and Paris, two places connected by that smile.
Some seeds were planted very long ago, like Sarah saying apologetically in the Pilot that she didn’t know any music. You don’t have to, but I saw the act of bringing that thought back to us in The Honeymooners as a minor act of genius. It came nearly silently, the way my cat does before climbing onto my bed at night; all of a sudden, it’s there, purring and warm. It makes you smile. The same goes for the café-fight scene. Chuck and Sarah partnering while handcuffed was a scene put there specifically to make us recall (and to top) Sarah and Bryce partnering in Nemesis; it was presented to us almost like a gift from the writers. As they say in the Linux world, it just works.
I’m looking backwards, and I shouldn’t be doing that. It’s easy to agree with Maureen Ryan.
I enjoyed “Honeymooners,” but I’m really, really glad to see the last of episodes that center around what I call the CRM, Central Relationship Misunderstanding. For three seasons now, we’ve seen Chuck and Sarah not hook up, date others, misunderstand each others’ intentions and desires and otherwise reside on an increasingly labored merry-go-round that kept them apart.
Yes, I’m looking backwards to seasons 1 and 2, and even what’s happened in season 3. It was so enjoyable and maddening because, admit it now, every minute made us ache for displays of passion between Chuck and Sarah. Not that we were voyeurs. Not at all. It was our own passion that was on display, and our own that was finally expressed in The Honeymooners. Make no mistake about that.
But as Lester would quickly say, “sweet release!” I too am glad to see it’s over. First reactions have been saying “Who cares what happened before? Let’s enjoy this NOW!” And so, we will. For at least the next five episodes, I expect this romp to continue, mostly. And I expect to enjoy every second.
Chuck vs. The Great American Hero aired on March 29. When Sarah threw her gun on the bed near the end of that episode, it became clear to most of us that she had decided to meet Chuck at the station and run away with him. This act was some sort of turning point, and for many, marked the end of a dark passage. It was the faint beginnings of a new atmosphere and tone that’s permeated the comments ever since, a feeling in the show that I’ve been calling a “‘shipper’s high”. Can you believe it’s been a month?
It has. I’m starting come down from my lunar excursion. I’m starting to come back to earth, and as good as the past looks through my lens, the present, the remainder of the season, looks even better. It looks like comfortable fun for the lovers coupled with challenges that they’ve never seen before (but challenges that we, the audience, will recognize from our own experiences, I hope). As strong as they’ve been separately, we’ll see Chuck and Sarah come into their own as partners of a unit, and as part of a family.
The future? Season 4 and beyond? I see nothing, and honestly, that’s a bit frightening. I don’t mean that I think Chuck will not be renewed; I mean that I don’t have a freekin’ clue as to what’s coming next, or worse for me, I don’t even know what I want to come next. It’s a black hole the likes of which astronomers have nightmares about. We’ve barely gotten to Paris, but even if it is a place to remember for a lifetime, it’s not a place to stay forever. Things will be changing again. At least, I hope they do, because this feels too much like an ending.
Thankfully, this is not really a problem. It’s an artefact caused by the show-runner’s need to have almost everything resolved at this point in the series, a need that was “overcome by events” late last year. If I can’t see the direction in which the show is going, it’s because that’s not known, yet by anybody, I think. This only offers new opportunities for the creative talent to move in new and unexpected directions. Even better, since Honeymooners was written by Lauren LeFranc & Rafe Judkins (both new to the team this season), and since a promising new director tried his wings this season (you may have heard of him? Some articulate shnook by the name of Levi….) it seems foolish to be anything less than optimistic about the long-term quality of the show. It seems too early to wonder “where do we go from here?” So I won’t.
But I worry, a little. That’s just me.
P.S. Thank you, Faith, for letting me use your space for the music!