A Good Start

Chuck: I think I found the one.

Sarah: I like this.

Chuck: That’s a good start.

Ernie: What?  You though that was about music?

So on the open post we’ve had some fun.  Merve has made a few good posts (gross understatement alert) and he highlights an interesting topic, one that consumes a lot of time on this board, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  So, a lot of things seemed to be pushed a notch too far.  But the discussion seemed to settle on a favorite topic.  Sarah Walker.  Wow, what a surprise.  But more specifically her state of mind.  Now there is an angels dancing on pinheads argument.  But one worth having.  What are you thinking Sarah Walker?

We’ve had a great discussion about a lot of things in the open post, but a lot of it, once again, came down to season three and how it treated Sarah Walker.  I think I might be guilty of creating the self-loathing, hating the spy life theme, or I at least contributed to it.  But I think it might have been misunderstood.  At the beginning of Pink Slip when Sarah asks Chuck to run away I believe we and Chuck are SUPPOSED to think she hates the spy life.  The way she phrases things in castle and then again in Prague she pretty much says it’s no way to live and that she wants to live a normal life with Chuck.  Chuck puts the emphasis on She doesn’t want to live that way anymore, propelling the CRM (Central Relationship Misunderstanding) forward.  We find out soon enough that Sarah, taking Chuck’s breakup speech to heart, felt she couldn’t ever be with Chuck if she were a spy.  But without Chuck to leave for, she had no reason to leave.  We also find out Sarah’s desire to run was more about keeping Chuck out of the spy life so they could be together, neither a spy.  She didn’t think they could have anything together if either was a spy.  When Chuck entered spy life voluntarily it certainly created some conflicting emotions.  but she clearly didn’t hate herself or spy life, except perhaps once, which we can deal with later.  I think it was perfectly plausible then to bring in a new mentor.  Clearly Sarah couldn’t train Chuck effectively.  Casey probably could have, but I understand the theory.  The other notable thing we see is starting in Fake Name, Sarah in the van first asking where the job ends, thinking about her part in making Chuck a spy and losing who she is (actually who she’d become with Chuck).  Now I really do believe she experiences a lot of self doubt about being a spy and what she is doing to Chuck, and I think part of that can be seen as a convoluted reason for turning to Shaw, give up the last vestiges of thoughts of being real with someone like Chuck and just be a spy.  Sarah thinks it’s an either/or proposition.  Love or career.  Chuck chose career, so does she.  But being a spy does end up bothering her, as mentioned above.

Sarah wants to be a spy, but on her terms.  Clearly this has been a factor others have seen.  Sarah won’t cross certain lines, like sleeping with Chuck to control him or abandoning Chuck to a bunker.  Or killing Chuck.  Casey or Carina, at least at first, would have done any of those in a second.  (Except for Casey sleeping with Chuck.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that. … No there’s something seriously wrong with that.)  Clearly both Beckman and Graham knew this about Sarah.  If they wanted Chuck dead, Sarah was the obvious choice to kill him.  She had his trust, her proximity was much more easily explained, and she had the trust of all his friends and family.  Sarah Walker would come under virtually no suspicion had she and Chuck run afoul of muggers.  And yet it wasn’t even considered by Beckman and Graham.  What Sarah fears is that in becoming a spy, Chuck will become not like her, she has a Chuck-like streak of empathy that I believe is  what she comes to fear is the real she’s losing, but that Chuck will become a spy like Casey or Carina, or Shaw.  She respects all of them, and clearly can form friendships with them, but she also constantly comes into conflict with all of them over their willingness to use and discard innocents.  Enter Hannah.  “I can handle Hannah”.  “Meet you back at castle, I just have to smooth things over with Hannah.”  Chuck doesn’t seem overly concerned with her feelings and what he’s done to her, does he?  He just seeks to make the conflict go away, to handle her.  Hannah is pouring out her heart to Chuck, again and again, and he’s handling her.  Sarah’s first low point comes at the meet Hannah dinner.  Sarah watches how easily Chuck replaced her.  Just weeks ago it wouldn’t be the same without her, now, a woman Chuck handles has taken her place.  This is not Chuck.

Chuck basically said he gave Sarah up to be a spy, more than once, so I doubt there were thoughts of rekindling anything on either of their minds, even though there were still feelings.  Sarah was more concerned about Chuck losing himself than she was about losing the man she loved.  As far as Sarah was concerned he was gone, and so was her desire for a normal life.  But was she still a good spy?  How much of what was happening to Chuck was what he wanted, and how much was because of her?  Was she back to using him?  Burning him?  She thought she’d protected him, but she started to see Chuck think like Bryce, or Casey, or even worse, Carina, and it worried her.  Had she crossed a line?  Find the hole in their life and fill it.  Sarah did.  It wasn’t a girlfriend Chuck needed, though that may have been the initial impression, and the first mistake.  What Chuck needed was a sense of purpose.  A feeling he mattered, and could make a difference.  And the illusion he could do it on his own terms.

Now, I think some took the self loathing and hating the spy life too far, but I think it was there.  I think Sarah’s absolute nadir was the end of Final Test, and I think we now have the clues to see it again.  Sarah seems to have had the idea that she could never have anything real or normal as long as she was a spy.  When Chuck left her, to become a spy of all things, she gave up on real or normal and went back to being a spy.  But it gets worse.  She is stuck in the position of making Chuck into something she doesn’t want HIM to become, because she fears he’d lose what was best about him.  She says so in Tic Tac.  So while she is fearful and conflicted, and without her emotional anchor, Chuck, she doesn’t really hate herself or being a spy, except, and I’m still convinced, for one scene at the end of Final Exam.

Here’s the thing I think people miss about the red test.  It isn’t about the ability to kill, it’s about assassinating a complete stranger on orders.  That was what upset Sarah about hers.  Also I don’t think it is a coincidence that Sarah recounts the worst night of her life on what I believe we are basically told is the new worst night of her life.  Once again on orders she basically killed off a person, Chuck, her Chuck, or so she thought.  Shaw told her, Chuck told her, she knew it, Chuck would NEVER have been in that position, except for her.  She’d delivered her asset at last to the tender mercies of the CIA, and he’d become exactly what they wanted, a man willing to kill on an order.  Her order.

I thought and still think that it was very clear Sarah wasn’t very happy with herself or being a spy at the end of Final Test because of what thought she had done to Chuck.  She says she didn’t want to believe he could do it, but what she is really thinking is if it weren’t for me he wouldn’t have done it.  Shaw told her, he’ll do it if you tell him to.  Chuck told her, “Sarah, I don’t know if I can do this”  Sarah told him that if he wanted to be a spy, he had to do it on their terms.  Terms she’d never accepted, despite one panicked lapse and one very hard decision to protect Chuck. Terms she never wanted to believe Chuck could accept, but terms Chuck apparently was fine with.  He was no longer the guy she fell for, and it was because of her.  Hell for Sarah walker.

Rebirth?  Well she tried.  Chuck wasn’t the guy she fell for.  It wasn’t her fault he was capable beyond her idealized opinion, but he was just another spy.  Aside from the feelings of guilt mixed with love she still felt.  Chuck was over.  A mistake.  Whose, she’d deal with later.

But he was still Chuck.  It was practically inevitable he’d throw her for a loop.  First, the jab, what you think you know isn’t truth.  Harkening back to Sarah’s speech.  Nothing is real.  Second, Chuck is not OK with being a spy on their terms, and Sarah is a big part of that.  Third?  He’s willing to give it all up for her, just like she was for him.  American Hero, despite my quibbles, throws Sarah for a loop.  Who was she leaving for?  We don’t know, till after Casey, but we do know this.  Chuck told Sarah she was right.  This was no way to live a life.  Had he been corrupted?  Lost?  No, Chuck may have lapsed, but he was still Chuck.  Casey’s revelation was gravy.

And Sarah Walker was saved.  She didn’t cross that line.  She put Chuck into a situation, one she thought he’s pass, and the reality was he did.  Just with a different outcome.  She didn’t kill Chuck.  She didn’t con an honest man.  She filled the hole in his life, and he emerged a better man.  She saved him.  He saved her.

That’s a good start.  A talk would help.

Both during and after the Honeymoon.

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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.
This entry was posted in Inside Sarah, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to A Good Start

  1. kg says:

    Ernie I’m not so sure that Chuck himself fully understands Sarah’s true feelings about the difference between killing on order and killing to protect or save.

    Even in the Paris hotel room when Sarah comes to and pieces together the puzzle, and she realizes he has drilled Shaw, a still somewhat insecure Chuck thinks he might have offended Sarah by seemingly killing the lunatic and consequently begins the process of begging for her forgiveness.

    “I couldn’t let him hurt you, Sarah,” he said. “Trust me, I did what I had to do. I’m still the same Chuck, I’m still the same guy.” Yeah, all that was obvious, he need not justify his actions here.

    Then Sarah steps up and quips, “You saved me,” and he knows it’s OK.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I agree and would go one step further. I don’t think Sarah fully understands her own feelings.

  2. Big Kev says:

    Ernie,
    There have been a lot of theories flying around as to what Sarah does and doesn’t want, and how that has played out in Season 3, but I think you’ve nailed the most accurate one in this post.
    Maybe I’m guilty of being wise after the event, but it always seemed pretty clear to me that what Sarah wants, and the only thing she wants, is Chuck. “Real” never meant out of the spy life for Sarah – “Real” just means with Chuck. They can’t be together as asset/handler – but go back to Ring and remember how disappointed she is when Chuck turns down the analyst job. That wasn’t the reaction of someone who wanted out of the spy life. That was Sarah seeing a chance for them to be together and still have meaningful “real” lives – and Chuck turns the opportunity down.
    Prague is solely about Sarah wanting to get Chuck out of being a spy – because she knows what’s coming, and she knows what he will have to become and what it will cost. The reasons she gives in Castle before making the offer to run are all about him. And those reasons are specifically what is explored during the season.
    Certainly Sarah has made some references about getting out of the spy life – but we never saw her as overly conflicted and hating the spy life in Seasons 1 and 2 – because I don’t think she did.
    And in Season 3, I think you’re right in saying that whatever distaste she shows for the spy life is purely and simply through the prism of what that life could do, and is doing, to Chuck. In Fake Name, the catalyst for her reflection is Chuck and how he is changing.
    Going to Final Exam, I think that Sarah has reconciled her actions in her Red Test in terms of how they affect her. I believe this because it’s never been mentioned before – and again, the catalyst for the new reflection is Chuck. Some have said that these reflections are retconning Seasons 1 and 2 in terms of Sarah’s attitude to the spy life. I don’t agree. As you point out, the difference in Season 3 is that Chuck is a spy. She hates what the life could do to her Chuck – I don’t believe she hates what the life has done to her. Aside from a couple of whimsical “what if” moments, we’ve seen very little evidence of that. On the contrary, Sarah is drawn as someone who gets validation and a sense of importance from doing what she does as well as she does it.
    And of course as soon as Chuck proves that he is still Chuck, that he can be a spy on his own terms and that she hasn’t irreperably ruined him, she yearns for the spy life and the sense of accompishment and purpose that it could give them together.

    • kg says:

      Kev I think you’re correct. Did you see the genuine smile on her face in Honeymooners when Chuck mentioned to her that they should tell Beckman the truth and he wanted to have it all?

      Certainly better than any of her other season three smiles.

      Her kiss was very authentic and she jumped in his arms.

    • 904 says:

      I had forgotten the scene from Ring. She is clearly disappointed by Chuck’s choice. She knows that she and Chuck can work together on the new Intersect program (even if Bryce might complicate things) as peers. She knows she probably won’t be hanging around Burbank, either. Without knowing it, Chuck actually chooses then a path that takes him away from Sarah, despite his assumptions to the contrary.

    • cas says:

      I have to watch that scene again because I thought she was releived when Chuck turned down the Analyst job

  3. odysszeuss says:

    putting these complex things in an understandable context, ernie, you’re really good at this…

  4. Faith says:

    I can’t help it 🙂

  5. jason says:

    ernie – I hate to sound like a broken record and it was a great analysis, it joins the now seemingly volumes of post psycho sarah arc analysis – but did you ever stop to think why a near endless amount of stuff has been written about season 3’s interpretations of sarah?

    the only way we know something – is when the writers tell us stuff – about the only way writers can tell us stuff is when the characters tell another character – since chuck does not use a narrator.

    that is why, IMO the most powerful scene in the the psycho season 3 was 3.9’s morgan – chuck’s ‘you love sarah – I love sarah’ revelation. From 3.9 on, we clearly knew where chuck was heading, and he really never acted OOC again.

    Sarah talked to shaw three times about chuck from 3.1 to 3.12 that I recall (twice in 3.8 and once in 3.11) – carina once 3.2 – once to chuck at the fountain – and then at the end to casey – that was it. From what I can tell, that info tells us of a downward spiral in sarah’s feelings for chuck – ending in 3.11’s I used to love chuck but I no longer do.

    If you use the ‘downward spiral’ theory – none of sarah’s behavior was psycho or OOC – she gradually liked chuck less and less, less in 3.6 than 3.4, less in 3.7 than 3.6, less in 3.8 than in 3.7, so much so that she took on a new lover, less in 3.9 than 3.8 – matter of fact, so much that she did not freak out as her new lover was about to murder chuck. Less at the end of 3.11, as she tells her now established lover while sitting on her bed with him, that she does not love chuck, without ANY hesitation in answer to a direct ? – words to tell the audience a story. Then in 3.12 we finally see a happy sarah having a romantic dinner with her lover talking about hopes and aspirations for the future. Again, words that the story told, not made up stuff about how or what she really thinks.

    Finally at 3.12’s end, Sarah, after chuck put the full court press in words and actions in 3.11 and esp in 3.12, Sarah packed to go somewhere that again, no story was told about who she picked, matter of fact, the story was purposefully written to NOT TELL us who she picked. She was obviously moved by chuck’s final plea to pick him, but also in some pretty obvious turmoil.

    Casey shows up and she then reveals AFTER casey tells her that she picks chuck by her smile and happy thank you to casey. Logically in 3.11 she no longer loved chuck because of the red test, why would not one assume she now picks chuck because Casey told her she was wrong? Her thank you were her first words to the audience of her choice but more importantly and unfortunately, possibly of why she made her choice.

    People interpret that as ‘icing’ because they want to, but the story is told differently, thru the words of the characters to one another.

    That is the story I was told – I can make up some other story to fit what I wanted to see, but that isn’t the story I was told?

    So to go full circle on you of why so much is written in analysis of season 3’s first arc, is because the story we were actually told thru words on screen was pretty darned depressing – neither beautiful or epic.

    • odysszeuss says:

      well, jason, that’s what i was talking about. on the one Hand it’s clearly obviously we see the chuck world through Sarah’s eyes and a story is told without a narrator, the characters are telling the story in their communication. I go absolutely with that. But there is more. The story is told by EVERYTHING you can see and hear on your TV!

      The JS/CF Team is an Angst/relationship Story teller team, at least in the last 3 Seasons. All these Sarah Walker problems with her character near OOC is all about telling an Angst Story. Your Problem is to accept or not to accept that. Accepting this, you can decide for yourself, if you want to deal with Sarah Walkers (the Angst Factor Character near OOC) as a Person that is living in a believable way (like Ernie translated her behavior in) or in an OOC character.

      You can point that out, again and again. But that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. That’s “impossible” to discuss. Accepting that the story is told as it’s told and that the Angst mechanisms are what they are. Minimum One Character “suffers” with this writing style. Sarah Walker is an broken character and she is one half of the Angst. CF/JS Style is their style. So that’s it.

      I prefer the way, ernie is working with that problem. The story is not only told by the Character interaction. ALL you can see and hear is part of the Story that is told. AND you have that much information’s, so that the characters aren’t OOC. But you have to listen and you must really watch every frame of an episode.

      It’s probably really a German way to work such things out, it’s “cold” and analytical (dealing with such a heartwarming thing like the love commitment of Chuck) but putting all factors together that ARE shown (Frames, Dialogs, Sound, Music, Character history) you have this: http://bit.ly/99Xnwn

      AND all you can see is shown frame by frame on TV. That’s no Fan fiction. It’s the story that is told and shown with all influences of Character interaction, video, sound…). There is not really much place of an other interpretation. I think…

    • joe says:

      Jason, I know what I wanted to say, but Odyzzeuss beat me to it!

      You’re analysis IS quite right, and I was one of the people clammoring as far back as Beefcake for people to “stick to the story on the screen. Forget the one in your head.”

      But then again, recall the scene with Sarah under the effects of pentathol; she tells Chuck that they have no future. She doesn’t exactly retract that, either. Chuck tells her point blank, and she doesn’t deny, that to tell Sarah that they’re “just taking it slow, and feel no need to label it” is “just another lie.” Sarah tells Chuck outright that someday he’ll “forget all about” her. It is what she believes, and it is what they’re tell us.

      And happily, none of it is true! The truth is found as much in half-smiles and in the fingering of a ring as it is in dialog. And even then, they’re allowed to be wrong, correct and change their minds, just like human beings are wont to do.

      One of the better things about Chuck is that, as viewers, it asked us to drop our realistic cynicism for a while, and to dream a bit. That’s what we’re escaping from, after all.

      Maybe that’s why Shaw and S3 were so much harder to take. The chances for that happy ending were taken away from us, one by one, until it seemed that there were no chances left.

      • jason says:

        joe – sorry – you know I came to this board as big a shipper as the most your fans, but at some point I have to be honest – the examples you gave like the truth serum one, sarah tells casey within minutes she was able to withstand penethol – the story was told – in this season – the story was also told – the fans just did not buy it – that is why fedak and schwartz several times told the story to us in interviews – they told the story I outlined – not some elaborate wish that all of us have attemtped to justify the season with – I was on such a rant when I wrote – I forgot to mention in the castle in 3.12 when shaw left, again, that was a crazy in love sarah moment, not a calm spy sarah moment, unfortunately, the concern was for shaw – I wish that wasn’t the story – but it was – sarah was in love with two people – very different love – but none the less a choice – unfortunately – the story was poorly written, poorly cast, poorly conceived, and poorly executed, until one great, epic finish that this shipper found most satisfying

      • sd says:

        But remember, Joe…when Casey calls her after Chuck leaves…and he asks her if she said anything she shouldn’t have to the asset…and she says I may have if I weren’t able to withstand pentathol. I thought that was a weird thing to say to a guy who she still hasn’t warmed to…but it’s a way to tell the audience..yes, she digs Chuck and can’t do anthing about it.

        I do agree not to read too much into the story line…what so many of us did to make sense of the crazy ride of most of S3. But it’s easy to “go there” when so much of the subtext is wrapped up in “longing looks” ie: When Sarah is about to get shot in Fake Name

      • jason says:

        matter of fact, the story was so poorly done, that one of the most pivot-able points of the entire story – would sarah pick chuck & running away or shaw & DC – the answer was left up for debate until casey intervened.

        Contrast that to when cole asked sarah to runaway, which he made sound appealing from even my shippers POV – I was kind of going, come on sarah, say no, please, but she came thru in flying colors, and the story tells us she picked chuck, why, because Cole tells us (I think sarah sort of did too) – that was a very satisfying conclusion to a pretty tough 2 episodes.

        What we witnessed in season 3 is reprehensible, and really cannot be explained away with retcon, it just sucked.

      • joe says:

        You never have to apologize for disagreeing with me, Jason!

        To you and sd, yes, I know that no one was fooled at the end of Truth. The point is that we always have to allow the possibility that there is an “out”. The writers make sure of that. Sometimes they’ll take it, sometimes not. Sometimes we don’t know if they’ve gone left or right when they come to the fork in the road – at least, not for a while.

        I can see that the Sarah-Shaw interaction in 3.12 bothers you, Jason. It bothered me too (as did Sarah’s comfort level in the restaurant). But yes, you end with the same thought I have. When all was said and done, it was satisfying.

      • odysszeuss says:

        Hier beißt sich die Katze in den Schwanz
        il cane che si morde la coda
        pescadilla que se muerde la cola
        cercle vicieux
        vicious circle

        – would sarah pick chuck & running away or shaw & DC – the answer was left up for debate until the last moment-

        -in 3.12 when shaw left, again, that was a crazy in love sarah moment, not a calm spy sarah moment, unfortunately, the concern was for shaw–

        THAT IS AN ANGST STORY. That’s a terrible way of making Viewer invested. But it’s only a mechanism 🙂

        That’s not a poor way of Story telling. It’s only the angsty way of doing it.

        I have to admit, i liked the way of Angst in Season 1 and 2 much more AND the Poochie character didn’t worked.

        Angst, a not working character (Poochie) and frustrated Shipper… that’s not really good for ratings. I don’t know if this Style of Storytelling really is so popular at the audience. I doubt that.But their intention was a good one.

        Ein Teufelskreis eben 😉 Darüber können wir seitenweise schreiben und wir kommen nicht weiter 😉 …aber Spaß macht das trotzdem…

      • atcdave says:

        Not to nit-pick OZ, but I’d have to say that is a terrible way of telling a story. In any sort of story telling audience investment is a primary goal; whether you’re trying to entertain or teach a lesson, you need your listeners invested. So damaging that and driving the audience away is a failure. I have no problem calling that poor story telling.

        Of course angst can be used effectively, and has been by these writers before, we just saw little proof of that this season.

      • odysszeuss says:

        OHHH! You Americans are really great with shortcuts. I have my own abbreviation. I like OZ.

        And, Dave. It’s OK! I AM nit-picking.

        For me it’s different if the Story telling is poorly done within Jason’s arguments or yours.

        With your arguments to agree is no problem for me…

        And i have to accept there is an Jason/shipper way of thinking about that…

      • atcdave says:

        Happy to help with the abbreviation!

        I guess Jason/shipper and Dave/shipper are just a little different.

      • jason says:

        OZ / dave – jason – the shipper did not write the story of season 3, nor did jason – the shipper enjoy it, TPTB – the masochists created the season and possibly even enjoyed their own work, my comments centered around ernie’s diatribe on season 3, and my opinion that although logical and palatable, the simplest explanation for season 3 is each episode sarah liked chuck less and shaw more, almost right up to the end, when she finally started breaking down under chuck’s almost stalker-like pursuit of her – she finally saw the light. Most of the words spoken in the episodes support this simple notion,as do most of TPTB’s damage control interviews, I despise my own opinion’s position, and wish I thought otherwise.

      • atcdave says:

        Jason, your position is very supportable. Mine is a little different, I simply call most of S3 a mistake. Ernie’s analysis was interesting and well thought out. But I never would have been interested enough to do anything similar myself, I mostly want to ignore large chunks of the season. Since Honeymooners, I’m just glad the show I used to like is back. (you know I’ve said before, there are 6 episodes from this season I simply won’t watch again)

      • kg says:

        Joe, do you recall what Chuck defiantly said to Sarah after her “you’ll forget all about me,” statement?

        Chuck said, “I seriously doubt that.”

        Now, he may have thought he lost her once or twice, but obviously Chuck has been true to his word.

    • cas says:

      Jason, I think you’re my new Liz..That’s compliment by the way

      • jason says:

        thx cas – that is a real big compliment – liz is one of my fav posters here (along with the mods joe, amy, ernie, dave and faith (a near mod?)), although recently the blog has found all kinds of new blood with great new ideas, many of the best ideas on this site are a confluence of many different points of view, lets hope we all get to do this again next season, as soon the door will close on this year.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Jason, there is only one problem with your theory of Sarah losing affection for Chuck. The opposite is shown on the screen. She may feel she is losing him or needs to let him go, but there are very clear examples of where Sarah’s feelings pop up. The mission in Mask where both their jealousies come out, the hallway talk in Mask where Sarah’s brave cheerful face fades as soon as Chuck leaves, Sarah’s sad and perhaps longing stare at Chuck and Hannah’s dinner party, her emotional crisis over him changing, “I was hoping you’d say that” in Tic Tac, and “I thought you’d changed” and “don’t give up on what makes you great”. Move on to Final Exam and Sarah has to hide behind binoculars when Chuck starts to wonder if they could have had something together, and how they are seconds from kissing when Shaw calls. These are not the actions of a woman moving on and losing affection, and they were all there to clearly tell us Sarah still had real feelings for Chuck. She basically says so when Chuck asks if she and Shaw are a couple. Her simple statement that it’s different with Shaw than it is with Chuck tells us she was in love with Chuck, and the interrupted kiss tells us she still is. She is not in love with Shaw the way she was and still is with Chuck. That is on the screen.

      As far as American hero, I think it’s absolutely clear she was leaving with Chuck. First there’s the visual clue, Chuck’s picture. A woman who had lost her affection for the love of her life who dumped her doesn’t keep souvenirs around. My theory, reading way too much into it, is that with Shaw an occasional guest (that is on the screen at the end of Final Exam, I’m not making it up) the picture went into a drawer, and then came out when she went home to pack. Yes Sarah was going to leave with Chuck, but she was perhaps still somewhat afraid she was doing the wrong thing. Was Chuck still Chuck, just a slightly compromised version due to her putting him in an untenable situation where he had to act in self defense? Had the experience changed him the way it changed her? Would he come to resent her? I can imagine her sitting on the side of the bed, looking at the picture for quite some time before starting to pack. Second, why was she packing? Shaw was in a coma in the hospital, Sarah wasn’t going anywhere with him any time soon. So with Shaw in a coma and Chuck waiting at the train station ready to do what she’d wanted him to do before he saw what the spy life meant, Sarah going home and packing is ambiguous? To me that takes a lot more strained reasoning than to just buy what was up on the screen.

      • BeCoolBoy says:

        Ernie: I’m a little confused as to when you think it’s okay to speculate and when you insist we must believe ONLY what is on the screen. You seem to use both memes interchangably and I am a little confused by that.

        Generally, I just think you’re working too hard to find a thread when there isn’t one. All the characters were jerked around according to the needs of the plot this year. And NOT just the overall arc. The plot of individual episodes. So I tend to be in the camp of those who are simply going to ignore most of the third season as nonsensical.

        And just one factual point: Sarah could have been packing to go to Washington at the end of American Hero. Beckman was wishing her a good flight at the end of the video call.

        As for her packing to go with Chuck, well, I’ll buy it, but only because I want to. The music cues don’t start until Casey tells her about Chuck’s red test. The cue would indicate that THAT is when she made the decision to go with Chuck. Moreover, since they now claim that Sarah never wanted to run from the spy life at all, a valid argument is that she HAD chosen duty (Washington) over the “damaged” Chuck until Casey did his reveal.

        But, as I say, generally, I am just going to ignore Season 3.

      • herder says:

        To my mind Sarah had made the decision to go with Chuck for all the reasons that you mentioned. For her this was a leap of faith and Casey’s confession was a confirmation that she had made the correct decision, that her faith was rewarded.

        Going back to Jason’s original post, that may be the story that was on the screen, but if you put it to TPTB I don’t think that they would agree that that was the story that they intended to tell. This, I think, is the problem with the first thirteen, the story that they intended to tell didn’t corrospond to the story that they did tell which even further didn’t corrospond to the story that the audience was willing to accept. So you had to have JS and CF trying to explain what was on the screen and neither what was there nor what was intended to be there was entirely understandable to those who watched it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        BCB, I speculate for fun to fill in details after the fact, and as above I try to mention the fact that I’m speculating. I try to stick to the screen for trying to understand the story TPTB are telling.

    • greenstone says:

      The first time I watched the scene where Sarah was packing to leave, I was not sure if she was packing to leave with Shaw or Chuck until Casey stopped by. Upon rewatching the scene, I realized that Sarah has a picture of Chuck on her nightstand. Now I firmly believe she was packing to leave with Chuck before Casey stopped by.

      My only comment on Season 3 and really the series as a whole, is that I needed to watch it twice before I felt like I understood all the dynamics at play. For the front part of Season 3 which was less entertaining, I can understand if some folks have no interest in doing this. But for me, I agree with the analysis offered by Ernie and Joe.

  6. JC says:

    In regards to Hannah, I always saw it as a typical rebound fling nothing more. So when he handled her, it seemed what a guy would do nothing more. It never seemed spy related to me. But this is nothing new really, Chuck has always been a jerk to the brunette ladies since Sarah came around. Don’t get me wrong I’m not defending what he did, but its not that uncommon.

    And maybe that was my problem this season. The audience was supposed to see Chuck through Sarah’s eyes. Unlike the first two seasons in this one everything he does is his choice. So the lying, missions, etc looked worse because he was doing it willingly. One thing though nobody will ever convince me burning Manoosh wasn’t the right thing.:)

    As for Sarah’s journey it really felt like she was just following Chuck but one step behind him. Outside of wanting Chuck and being a spy I didn’t see much growth as a character. Everything she went through this season was all about Chuck not her. I can honestly say I learned more about Sarah in Cougars than I did through those first thirteen.

  7. atcdave says:

    Really excellent analysis Ernie. I’ll buy most of it. I do think Sarah hated herself, or at least had serious regrets more than just the once. But I do agree the conflict was not there, in any significant way, in the first two seasons; and in S3 Sarah’s internal conflict was mainly about her impact on Chuck, not a deep seated self-loathing.

    The biggest problem is they made this confusing and hard to see. It really isn’t until the end of American Hero when a get a clue, basically at the same time Sarah herself does. So even if its possible by looking at things carefully, to sort out what we saw this season; it still rates as a story telling failure when you have to go almost to the end to understand what happened.

    • amyabn says:

      Great post Ernie. I agree with Dave that if it took us all of this retro analysis, there was a serious problem with the story telling. JC is right-we learned more about Sarah in Cougars, and I would add DeLorean, than the first 13. I think that is another reason I like the 14- episodes much better.
      In Honeymooners, we readdress music, Sarah’s life of business travel (but not seeing/enjoying things), her sense of Burbank feeling like home, and her sense of contentment with Chuck.

      In Role Models, we see them interacting, reacting to stress, and Sarah and Chuck’s exposition (Bartowskis clean, Sarah acts-whether she’s hitting a heavy bag or going after the Turners), Sarah’s explanation at the end about freaking out and how she grew up (nice tie to DeLorean).

      I’m glad Sarah freaked out a bit, to be honest. I think the little interactions like I described above, are how the show should have started this season. They are working through all of this stuff, while working missions, while interacting with Casey, Morgan, Ellie, and Awesome. We wouldn’t be left guessing and theorizing so much and rather discussing what we LIKED about the arc/episodes so much more (although the analysis is fun!). Cheers!

      • herder says:

        Another little thing that I liked about Role Models is the way that they both stuck up for each other when third parties questioned anything. Morgan made his comment about “a leggy Valkrie with an aversion to clothing” Chuck doesn’t say yeah isn’t it great he goes after Morgan for the same thing. Mr Turner gives an ambivalent comment about the drink that Chuck made and it’s Sarah who wants to know what is wrong, the same person who was bored throughout most of the conversation. It’s a return to the first two seasons when they stick up for each other all the time, now they also answer any criticism of the other that anyone might voice.

      • amyabn says:

        I agree with you Herder. Their sticking up for one another was contrasted quite nicely by the Turners blame game.

  8. gringochuckfan says:

    Ernie – I think part of the problem with Season 3 is that TPTB have created a monster they can’t control… Sarah Walker.
    There is part of her character – the lying cold blooded killer… that we refuse to accept.
    The affection and chemistry between Zac and Yvonne is just too real.
    We saw Chuck have his fling with Hannah, and we basically swept that under the rug. But when we see Sarah with Shaw – well – all hell breaks loose.
    Lets face it the Sarah/Shaw ‘relationship’ was purely sexual.
    Both characters were lonely and alone – both know that there can’t be any strings attached – but both of them have needs.
    Only HUGE PROBLEM, this kind of TV program can’t show that… they can’t even mention it. The Shipperpocalypse at the Olympic break was like a giant earth quake through the writers room.
    Chuck had become a classic tale of the “Created vs the Creators”. Problem – what to do with Sarah Walker? She far outshines everyone else!
    So where do they go from here…. well – give ’em what they want! Its always better to have loved and lost – then never to have loved at all… But – there’s always a but…
    Why do they really want a quick decision about Season 4? I’m hoping I’m wrong – but my worst fear is that Sarah dies in the final scene – saving Chuck’s life… the ultimate sacrifice of Love.
    This show always has these wonderful parallels…
    so as the Buy-More goes up in flames – Chuck holds Sarah in his arms… fade to black…
    There have been all kinds of speculation about big buget cuts and epic game changing moments that redefine the show – I hope I’m wrong – but I fear there are all kinds of little signs that point us in this direction…

    • atcdave says:

      There’s no way they kill off Sarah Walker. Yvonne has the same six year contract as Zach, and every fan/character poll has shown Sarah is the most popular character on the show by a wide margin (a good 10% ahead of Chuck). Killing Sarah is the end of the show, period. That doesn’t mean they won’t leave a big cliff-hanger involving her safety or survival, but the outcome isn’t really in doubt.

      You are right though about creating a monster they can’t control. I don’t think TPTB ever expected Sarah to be such a huge draw with fans. That popularity is part of why her acting in seeming OOC ways generated so much fury. I think its caused by a combination of they way she was written in the first two seasons (emotionally damaged yet utterly heroic) and the charisma Yvonne brings to the role.

      • cas says:

        Yeah I’m with Dave a bout them not doing that..Sarah Walker dying is where I’m going to have to draw the line. No more watching and no more lurking on any blogs pertaining to the show.

      • kg says:

        Oh yeah. Unequivocally GAME OVER.

    • kg says:

      I agree dieing for someone is the ultimate sacrifice of love.

      Romance, tenderness and physicality on television and the movies is nice, but my favorite scenes are the ones where a character loves another so much so that they are willing to die to protect them.

      In that sense, Chuck and Sarah have always loved each other. Sarah had saved Chuck many times, but Chuck’s first chance came in Seduction where he jumped off the roof for her. Then again, of course, in Other Guy.

  9. lucian says:

    Ernie – you have made a great defense of what the story tellers were attempting to do. Sarah’s behavior hinges on the fact that Chuck is becoming less and less the Chuck she knew and loved, with the Red Test being the proverbial “last straw”. It is hard to accept your analysis and still consider Sarah’s responses to be in the range of emotionally healthy; specifically, the fact that when Chuck accepts responsibility to burn Manoosh, something he clearly doesn’t enjoy doing, but knows must be done, her response is that he is no longer the Chuck she loves (yet she can do this, and a lot of other stuff, and that is okay); secondly, she accepts Shaw as her life partner who seems to be everything that she is afraid of Chuck becoming. Of course, the big difference is, she didn’t play a role in Shaw’s decision to be a spy, but still, it is behavior that can only be attributed to someone with some significant “issues”. So, to understand Sarah’s behavior, you end up needed to conclude that she has major issues. How major is an open question. The resolution in Honeymooners “I didn’t want you to choose me over something you wanted for yourself” really doesn’t cut it (but I will gladly accept it so they can move forward; I prefer to leave all issues related to He Who Cannot Be Named in the Seine).

    • BDaddyDL says:

      Of course she is not emotionally healthy. If she was then, season 3 arc would not have been so long or would it…

  10. Weaselone says:

    I’m going to go for something short and not so sweet.

    Now that the season has wound down, we can apply ever more sophisticated and complicated analysis to explain Sarah’s actions over the season, or we can simply accept that Sarah Walker was used as little more than a prop and cheap plot device for most of the season. We’re talking angst, eye candy and spinach/kryptonite for Chuck. She was also used as a lens through which the fans viewed Chuck, so that they like Sarah would draw the worst conclusions regarding his transformation.

    As a consequence, Chuck had to do the heavy lifting for both of them this season. First he had to contend with the demands and psychological trauma of the spy world. Then he had to dig himself out of the hole he’d fallen into. Finally, he had to rescue Sarah both emotionally and physically. While Chuck was doing this Sarah was busy not speaking with him, connecting with Poochie and looking forlorn and aimless except when they needed her really committed to the idea of going to DC with Shaw.

    • AngelTwo says:

      I agree totally with Weaselone here. Ernie is trying to put lipstick on a pig here by trying to make sense of Season 3.

      Season 3 makes no sense from the point of view of character motivation. It is a manipulative series of plot devices. Sarah is used as a plot device in season 3. Shaw is used as a plot device. (Was he the target of Ring assasination attempts or was the Ring try to turn him? It varied from episode to episode based on the needs of the plot.) Even Chuck is, essentially, a plot device. (Was he being trained to work autonomously or run a team?)

      In fact, I am going to do EXACTLY what it is clear TPTB are now doing with Season 3: Ignoring it. It’s fairly evident that we are never going to hear about these themes again. So I’m going with TPTB here: Out of sight, out of mind.

      And when the season 3 DVD comes out, I will happily trash episodes 1-11 and never watch them again.

      • odysszeuss says:

        “It is a manipulative series of plot devices.” But Ernies way trying to put lipstick on that pig (*) here is logical and OK, at least for me…

        (*)Is out there a photo of that?!? I really would like to see that…

  11. joe says:

    What Chuck needed was a sense of purpose.

    Everyone’s calling you brilliant this morning, Ernie. Don’t get a big head now, but they’re right! 😉

    What I quoted above represents a shift in emphasis that affects my interpretation of all three seasons. Not a minor one, either. “What Chuck needed…” Hum…

    Chuck: Guys? I was thinking…
    Casey: I told you to stop that!

  12. Merve says:

    Ernie, I’d like to thank you for your kind words and acknowledgment. You’ve also once again done an excellent analysis of the situation, and now I can understand how some of the “self-loathing Sarah” idea came about.

    In some of the comments that I made on the other post, I wasn’t clear about a few things, so there are two important clarifications that I’d like to make:

    1. Sarah may have at one point disliked certain aspects of the spy life, specifically those related to the Red Test, but it was never enough to make her want to quit. She clearly understands the positive aspects of what she does, but one has to go all the way back to “Helicopter” to be reminded of that.

    2. Sarah wanting to run away had nothing to do with any distaste she may have had for some aspects of spying. That desire to run was solely about Chuck and her mistaken belief that that was the only possible way to be with him.

    There’s one more point that I wanted to address, and it’s about the Chuck-Sarah relationship. (I tend to stay away from specifically discussing the relationship because I don’t think I’m good at dissecting it, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway.) Ironically, despite the fact that we see supposedly negative changes in Chuck through Sarah’s eyes, I think that season 3 did a pretty good job of showing the audience what Sarah saw in Chuck, or what she (had) loved about him. Where it didn’t succeed so well was in showing what Chuck saw in Sarah. In fairness to season 3, the show has never done a great job of this. “Sandworm,” “First Date,” and “Tom Sawyer” provide particularly good insights into why Chuck loves Sarah, but if any other episodes do, they’re escaping my mind at the moment. These three episodes do an excellent job of showcasing Sarah’s kindhearted, encouraging nature. This side of Sarah has been almost completely absent in season 3, even in the post-Shaw episodes. (There were a few little moments in “Pink Slip,” “Three Words,” and “Nacho Sampler,” but those moments aren’t nearly enough.) Bringing back those qualities might help paint Sarah as someone who is more than just a woman who loves Chuck.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree with much of this Merve, except I would say Sarah’s strengths are on display more often in small doses. She is not only kind hearted, she shows patience, makes an effort to understand Chuck’s position, and is often gentle and calming. S1 highlighted this quite often, right from the beach scene in the Pilot, the pre-mission briefing in Tango, the end scene of Alma Mater. We see this some in S2 as well; the fountain scene at the end of Graviton, two different discussions in Sensei….
      I really liked this aspect of her character right from the beginning. She is the experienced professional who gets the most out of her asset because she treats him with dignity and respect (especially in contrast to Casey). I never found it the least bit surprising Chuck would fall for her utterly. The mystery for a long time was how much she reciprocated.

      I do agree we haven’t seen so much of her strengths this season. Both her personality and mission capabilities seem to be wildly in flux with the demands of the story. Hopefully we’ll see that stabilize some as her situation finds a new normal.

      • herder says:

        Dave, I usually agree with what you write, and your first paragraph is no exception, but I do take issue with some of the second paragraph. I think that the last two episodes are a reset of the Sarah character that was in evidence the first two years.

        Starting with the whole going on the run thing, she gave up the spy life despite it was what she really wanted, why? because no matter how much she wanted to be a spy she wanted Chuck more. She didn’t want Chuck to give up what he wants for her but she is perfectly willing to do the same herself. Confronting the General she is willing to be the fall guy ( or girl ) and in both cases Chuck is willing to do the same for her.

        In Role Models she goes after Mr Turner for the minor sin of questioning Chuck’s bartending abilities. She is put off by Chuck’s nervousness before the Turners arrive, but she smiles at it too, sort of an amused exasperation, something that was absent for most of this season.

        She understands his nervous cleaning and redirects it to salvaging the situation and claims the Turners picked the wrong couple to stab in the back (them against the world). Despite fer ambivilence about the Turners she follows Chuck’s lead and lowers her gun and makes a plausible excuse about their actions to the General. Also don’t forget the fact that she removed her guns and left her gun from the the hotel in the car because that’s what Chuck wanted despite the fact that it was not the right move.

        These are all of Sarah’s good qualities on display, the qualities that were so noticably absent for the first part of the season. Self sacrifice, tolerance mixed with affection, understanding and loyalty, all are there if you look for them, that and a notion that if you mess with her guy then you will have to deal with her.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m sorry if I disappointed you Herder! I was sloppy in that last paragraph. Somehow to my mind, S3 ended at 3.13. Honeymooners and Role Models have been the show I was waiting for, and I feel great about the current Sarah Walker. When I mentioned “the new normal”, I was thinking of what we have seen these last two weeks, and hoping it continues. We’ve seen many of Sarah’s best traits on display (OK everyone, minds out of the gutter!) and even a bit of comedy thrown in. Chuck truly would have to be nuts not to love that girl!

  13. BDaddyDL says:

    Ernie great post, and the fact in the Honeymooners Chuck carried a gun show that Yvonne did not want Chuck the assassin.

    There is something else, I would like to give TPTB credit for something. Chuck and Sarah could not be together once Chuck put in 2.0. He became an asset and a threat again. He needed handlers again, someone who is officially in love can not protect an asset. In order for them to get together then, Chuck has to be a spy. He has to be able to protect himself.
    If they had run away GB would have been forced to bunker Chuck and make sure Sarah never saw Chuck again.
    All I can say is I hope they let Sarah be more then a girlfriend next season. If not, well history is littered with canceled shows that did not.

    • atcdave says:

      You know I have a problem with your basic assumption. How is loving someone detrimental to protecting them?!
      I would agree if the point was being a government agent or handler. That’s the whole point to the term “compromised.” If Sarah is in love with Chuck she won’t be a very good handler, because she would rebel at any order that is not in her asset’s best interest. It could become difficult for her to talk him into dangerous missions and she might even do something stupid like run away with him when she’s been ordered to deliver him to custody. But as a pure body-guard she will be better than ever, not to mention happy to never let him out of her sight!
      As far as all this goes, she really stopped being a fully effective handler late in the Pilot. Her sense of duty and professionalism kept anyone, including herself, from fully grasping this until the end of First Kill.

      I think S3 would have worked better if one of the main conflicts had been around grasping this distinction (protector/partner vs user/handler) instead of the LI garbage.
      I do agree the show will need to develop the partnership/relationship aspect more for another season to work.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        I am not saying Sarah would not have done a great job, but the ring/the government/ and eventually even C/S would not have let them live a happy quiet normal life.

      • Merve says:

        Dave, that all makes sense in theory, but in “Break-Up,” Sarah had trouble even acting as a bodyguard because she was afraid to hurt Chuck. However, in fairness, that issue was never touched upon again, so I guess that it can safely be ignored.

      • Weaselone says:

        Sarah was compromised somewhere between Vicki Vale and defusing a bomb with a computer virus. She hasn’t been a suitable handler for Chuck longer than she’s actually been his handler. It just took her an inordinate amount of time to come to the realization of how incredibly compromised she is. My suspicion is that Graham and Beckman knew she was compromised to some extent from day one, but assumed it made her a perfect bodyguard and source of emotional support for Chuck. Casey could be depended upon to do the dirty work should it become necessary.

      • atcdave says:

        I was trying to say something much like what weaselone posted (even down to the timing), so thanks!.

        Merve, I do acknowledge you can construct scenarios where there are problems even with a pure bodyguard in love with his/her subject; but really not many. Being in love with someone, and being charged with protecting them should be pretty easily compatable.

      • Paul says:

        Weaselone – I agree with you for the most part (particularly in that they were relying on Casey to do the “dirty” clean-up work had it become necessary). But I don’t necessarily agree about Beckman or Graham thinking/knowing that Sarah being compromised being an asset to the mission. If they did, why the 49B in S2?

  14. Weaselone says:

    Originally Sarah was deemed the “smoking hot angel” by Morgan and that seems as apt a description of the Sarah Walker character as any other over the first two seasons. It was a term that reflected not only the characters physical attractiveness, but also her sweetness protective nature with the dangerous agent with a temper boiling just beneath the surface.

    During season 3 we sort of lost that and Sarah became Sam, a name that Sarah hadn’t gone by since she was a young child. This fits quite well. Sarah wouldn’t have gone by Sam as a very small child before she had ever found herself and the Sarah of season 3 had apparently lost herself.

    Morgan’s bestowed a new, slightly more verbose name on Sarah. She’s now a “leggy Valkyrie with an aversion to clothing”. This terminology seems promising. Let’s just hope that Chuck can enjoy a few more dinner’s with his Valkyrie before they join Odin at his banquet.

    • kg says:

      Weaselone I agree Beckman and Graham both knew Sarah was compromised.

      As early as the pilot, Sarah’s telling Graham she doesn’t believe Chuck’s a bad guy. He’s obviously skeptical and tells her she’s basically “on her own on this one” if she continues to proceed.

      Sarah’s not involved in burning Chuck (Longshore) and Casey is tasked to kill him. She’s out of the loop, but as you say they know she’s a perfect bodyguard because of her feelings/relationship with him.

      I recall the delated scene from First Date, I think, where Sarah and Casey are in the Orange Orange and she has that horrified look similar to the one she displayed in Castle during First Class.

      The government has the scifer and is about to build their own intersect. If successful, Chuck will be obsolete and “they don’t want him running around Los Angeles.”

      Sarah asks, “Casey, I don’t have anything to worry about Chuck do I?” Casey lies and assures her that he doesn’t.

      Of course, if Sarah is a moment later delivering the news that the scifer is a Trojan Horse and the intersect destroyed, Casey (inspite of some internal conflict) would have undoubtedly killed Chuck and fled Burbank.

  15. 904 says:

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read the open discussion thread or read comments, but I want to say that Ernie captured many of my thoughts with this piece. Well done.

    The past few days I’d been considering some of the hand-wringing from people about the arc of season three and Sarah in particular. I actually enjoy this season and think it was necessary for the characters to get to this fulfilling point. Was it frustrating? Sometimes heartbreaking? Yes, but it works for me even if imperfect.

    The summations of my thoughts:
    — Remember, Chuck wanted “this thing out of my head” for two seasons. By the end of S2, Sarah was complicit in helping him do that. So of course she is going to seek to give him options in the moments after he “re-Intersects.” She doesn’t know why he did it (until the train station) but knows that he won’t get the clean break he talked about for those two years. It wasn’t that she hated the spy life, or even herself, but that she wanted Chuck to find his life away from the government. Time and time again she chose to stay in Burbank because it’s her job. And we know that she became more and more attached to Chuck and the normalcy he offered. It makes sense that she would be willing to run to protect Chuck, not because she hated the life she led.

    –As Ernie said, she went back to Burbank because without Chuck, that was her life. No reason to run if the reason to run doesn’t run.

    –Why Shaw? Chuck was unavailable emotionally to Sarah. His singular focus became being that spy. He broke her heart and seemed to be a different person at times. She reverted back to her shell after Prague. How can one confide in the person who caused the hurt. Instead, we have Shaw — also hurt by the life he led. He was uncomplicated, the type of guy she was with in the past. He wasn’t veiled in nuance and emotion like Chuck. He was proximal. Chuck had replaced Sarah with Hannah; Shaw didn’t hide his interest. He let her talk and he became the confidante Casey would refuse to be. Everyone else in her Burbank life was related to Chuck. Really, what did she have to lose? This wasn’t Chuck vs. Shaw and hypocrisy. This was Chuck taking himself out of the running with her through actions (however misunderstood). I love yous in a vault don’t take that away.

    –And, yet, when Chuck decides he wants Sarah, she doesn’t offer much resistance. The stakeout in Final Exam was the first. The red test complicates this, but as Ernie said, Chuck used precedent to his advantage. In American Hero, she almost coaxes ILY from him at dinner. She doesn’t refuse his kiss in Castle. She seems likely to run with him before Casey arrives. And after Casey’s confession, we know the choice she made.

    Without this journey, I really don’t think Chuck and Sarah would have succeeded the way we want them to. Could they have “honeymooned” with such joy had they run in Prague? The Awesomes would have been affected. Morgan would never know why Chuck disappeared. Those are burdens we know “Sarah’s Chuck” couldn’t bear. And we know both Sarah and Chuck have a calling that wouldn’t have disappeared. And, perhaps most important, Chuck still has his best features while also ascended to a capable and equal partner for Sarah professionally. He is refined. He no longer needs handling. He can finally offer her what she offered him for two-plus years: protection. This is no longer a one-sided exchange.

    • Weaselone says:

      The problem is that you point number 3 doesn’t seem to fit with the season I saw. At no point in the season was Chuck emotionally closed off to Sarah. Through the first couple of episodes he quite clearly tried to reconnect. Towards the end of the season he attempted to reassure her. Even as late as the Mask he was clearly jealous. As for replacing Sarah with Hannah. Never happened. Chuck gave Sarah veto power over that relationship in the Mask. Generally, one does not give the woman being replaced veto power over her supposed replacement. Hannah had one episode as Chuck’s girlfriend and it basically involved displaying how his fake real relationship with her didn’t quite measure up to the real fake relationship he had with Sarah.

      • 904 says:

        Weaselone,
        Honestly, I don’t particularly like my position on point three, as I don’t think Shaw was a viable option beyond a sounding board. But it’s how I interpret it.

        Someone earlier mentioned that the relationship with Shaw was strictly sexual. I disagree. If Sarah were a women so consumed by sexual needs (and we know from her recent time with Chuck that she is, as Big Mike might say, a sensual woman), she would have acted on them in the two years before with Chuck, Brycex2, Cole — especially as Chuck was getting his at times. I think her attachment to Shaw came from the fact that he was there and willing to listen, like Chuck used to. The difference is that Chuck didn’t possess the confidence that Shaw did. When Chuck was shot down by Sarah in the past, he would become mopey or introspective. Shaw, meanwhile, took it as a challenge. He manipulated Sarah by telling her that she was coddling Chuck, asking her if she loved Chuck, asking if he had ever told anyone (Chuck) her real name. He was the vulture there to pounce on the carcass or Sarah’s damaged psyche. We weren’t suppose to like him. He was Sarah’s parallel downward spiral while Chuck was also bottoming out.

        To your point:
        As viewers, we know Chuck would always be there for Sarah. But we also know that our characters have particular traits previously established. Chuck speaks, and often first, making anything Sarah was going to say irrelevant. Sarah is reserved unless Chuck asks the right questions or doubts himself or his role (here is where Sarah does the most talking. Even if she’s a woman of few words, she’s always first with encouragement).

        But we can’t underestimate the hurt Prague must of caused. Sarah finally opens up, and she’s shot down. Then Chuck is out of her life for six months. I don’t think many people would open right back up with that person when they reappear after that time.

        You are right about veto power. They both had it. But another thing we have learned about the two is that they both sacrifice in the best interest of the other. Chuck sees Shaw as “her type.” Sarah sees Hannah as the cute brunette who speaks his language. Neither sees the other as a viable option at this point. They don’t veto because that’s not who they are. We can refer later to the Honeymooners as another occasion in which this basic misunderstanding appears.

    • joe says:

      Whoa! Not a bad summation of my own position, 904 (and can I call you 9 for short? 😉 ).

      I don’t know that we would have found no – or even less – meaning if we (the audience) hadn’t watched C&S go through this in this way. I know we would have found a different meaning, though. The joy seems pretty universal, but that’s coming from us. The writer’s success is not so much in telling a story this time, but in bringing that out in us.

      • odysszeuss says:

        And from Joe i quote:
        “The writer’s success is not so much in telling a story this time, but in bringing that (joy) out in us.”

        AND, yeah! let’s call him 9 😉 Dave gave me OZ. I thought it’s 5/6 letters are to much. But even 3 are a lot…

      • 904 says:

        9 will do. And I’ve enjoyed my time at this blog over the past few weeks. I came on right as the S3 revisited series got started. It’s been fun to read the diversity of opinions grow in the weeks since. I’m a shipper in that my favorite aspect of the show is the Sarah-Chuck romance, but I felt like a loner in my praise for the season as I read about a lot of the dissatisfaction with the direction of the season. Relationships are complicated, even without spying, working together, hiding secrets from friends and family. I feel the first part of the season did justice to that, even if we all wanted C/S to live happily ever after. If there’s one thing life has taught me it’s “love…love is a battlefield.”

      • jason says:

        joe – I’ve joked you were a glass half full kind of guy, but that last analysis is like rejoicing that the glass is half full of arsenic, are you saying the plan was to write a bad arc, so the audience would be joyful once the arc was over and resolved with CS together – you really think that or am I misinterpreting your words?

        A tidbit, assume for a moment sarah loved shaw (albeit ‘differently’) up thru 3.12’s decision to leave with chuck – the what you see is what you get interpretation. Just how dramatic is it to be defenseless and paralyzed and betrayed by that man in 3.13 – and to what degree does that deepen the epic love for chuck the hero in the waiter’s outfit – the one man, friend, lover, hero she can always count on.

        In my humble opinion, I would have loved to see chuck put a bullet thru shaw without warning while shaw was seated, have him wounded not dying but able to speak, threaten chuck and sarah and ellie and morgan while prone and have chuck execute him, right in front of sarah – to me – that would have been really ‘dramatic’ & I am pretty sure what many of us would have done with a dangerous assassin about to kill our wife / girlfriend?

      • joe says:

        Well, Jason, I AM a “glass half full sort of guy.” Even so, I’m certainly not going to say that I agree with all the choices that were made by the characters, or that even think that the word “fun” could be used to describe what we has in the first 11 of S3. Fun is not the right word.

        But half full of arsenic? No. When I reviewed the episodes again two things hit me. First and foremost there was a lot more cleverness and humor going on in every story than I remembered. That these things were there is to their credit; that I found them easily forgotten is not. The second is that I just don’t find what the characters did to be outrageously out-of-character, which is an oft-made complaint. That’s not saying it well. I never saw their characters as so cast in concrete that what they did was unbelievable to me.

        So what I’m saying is not that they wrote a bad arc so we’d enjoy it’s end, but that the stuff in it that was so hard to take – Sarah’s turning to Shaw and Chuck’s inability to own up to his calling – those were legitimate springboards to get us where we are. If we don’t like them or don’t understand them, we’re only criticizing the mechanics. The drama was there just as you describe in American Hero despite the mechanics.

        It might have been enjoyable, and it may have been very James Bond-like. But we actually *didn’t* need to see Chuck assassinate Shaw the way Sarah did Mauser, did we? That would never have addressed Chuck’s trauma over needing to pull the trigger, and that really would have been out-of-character.

        What I find now is that I can believe the characters in The Role Models when they bicker over having guns in the apartment, but still come to a quick accommodation. And I believe the characters when Sarah first freaks out about moving in, but changes her mind by the end of the episode.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well said Joe. I think when we did our re-watch prior to Honeymooners I came away with a LOT better appreciation of the season. As you said the good stuff seemed to fade. I really became convinced that what I saw was not Sarah or Chuck acting OOC, but a part of their character that we’d never seen being revealed.

        With the original intersect Chuck’s life was put on hold indefinitely until he was either bunkered or killed. We never saw a Chuck who was free to do what he wanted, other than an extra long slow dance with his date, which turned into his first REAL test of heroism and commitment. Chuck followed Sarah and Casey, absent anything other than a cool computer, because when it was his choice he chose to serve something bigger than his desire for a normal life. It put him in the position to be the intersect again, the job he never asked for but was always supposed to have. He had no way of knowing he wouldn’t be right back in the life he just spent years trying to get out of. Essentially being government property one step away from being bunkered or captured and tortured, but still able to make a difference. He chose to be a hero at the end of Ring. Chuck gave up his own life for a life of service right there as far as he knew.

        So we’d never seen that side of Chuck before. The Chuck who willingly intersected as opposed to dealing with what he’d been given. He didn’t know it, but it gave him another choice, to be of much more service in a much bigger way. So if you wanted to, you could say that Chuck re-intersecting was wildly OOC since he wanted to get the intersect out for two years, but it wasn’t. We were seeing something that was always there, heroism and self sacrifice, just on another level given new circumstances.

        So again it is said that Chuck could never choose anything over Sarah, and to do otherwise would be wildly OOC. I’m going to modify that a bit because Chuck could choose many things over being with Sarah. Her life, her happiness, we saw as early as Marlin that Chuck was willing to give up being with Sarah if he thought it was best for her. Chuck thought Sarah wanted out of the spy life, with him, but he didn’t think he could leave since he was the intersect and had already made that choice to serve. But he couldn’t ask Sarah to give up what she said she wanted, to be a normal person again. Again, I want to point out that I’m not defending every decision or saying everything was well done, this is still CRM flogged to death and pushed way too far. But Prague is not wildly OOC seen in this light, it is showing us another side of Chuck that we started to see. The guy who needs to matter and needs to help people, and if giving up Sarah is the price, he’ll pay it since he can’t ask her to be miserable just to be with him. This is reinforced in Honeymooners, not retconed. Chuck wants to make a difference, but now that he knows Sarah’s happiness depends on him, he will not put his wishes above her happiness. The same is true for Sarah. It was the CRM, the idea that each thought the other could be happier without them that I think too many of us were willing to see or accept. It is only in Final test on the stakedate, when it is clear to Chuck that Sarah isn’t just a spy “for now” or until his training is complete that he starts to see that some of the assumptions he’d been working under need to be re-examined. “This isn’t over.” Was that wildly OOC, or was it the new Chuck we’d seen growing up, ready to take on a challenge rather than allow a mistake to stand. They don’t really figure out how to do that until they have a Honeymoon and are locked away together for days, talking, and even then they were still trying to put the other first without telling each other how to do that. Same CRM, just solved at last.

      • jason says:

        ernie / joe – I admire your courage to keep trying – as I said earlier, the two hot shot writers (3 if you include hot shot adler) in 3.14, did their best to help retcon the entire fiasco in 3.14 – sure chuck got some looks and some bones thrown his way before he went cole 2.0 after sarah starting in the stakedate in 3.11 (where he got about as far as cole got) & I said who sarah picked in 3.12 was left unclear – I tend to agree she probably picked chuck, but to say she put the picture away when shaw shows up and takes it out when he is gone, well that is fanfic, not told in this story.

        but starting in 3.5, who was sarah with the last scene of nearly each episode (3.6 & 3.10 she was alone, although in 3.10 that is even up for grabs I suppose, but then again, who cares)? Sarah was essentially reduced to shaw’s lapdog attached to his hip in each scene of the shaw arc, metaphorically on the bridge reduced to a ragdoll in his clutches until our new hero ‘saved her’, that is what we got, it is really nice you guys are trying, let it go …. was a bad arc, poorly storyboarded, poorly casted, poorly written, and poorly executed.

      • jason says:

        although 90 comments in 24 hours, that sure is a testiment to how that arc affected us, how it affected me, I am still hopping angry over what was done to sarah in the arc, what was done to the loyal fans, what was done to the ratings …. so when someone defends said arc with clarity and passion, I am just very tempted to point out an opposing point of view just as passionately and as clearly as I can. With nearly as great a passion, I have enjoyed most of 3.14 & 3.15 – although I do not trust the showrunners at all to continue to deliver – Oh well – I’ll always have Paris – LOL

      • odysszeuss says:

        as you said before, Jason. i have to admit i need some sleep and i was absent for the night in my timezone. but you Jason:

        Jason May 8, 2010 at 6:25 am to
        Jason May 9, 2010 at 4:10 am

        please don’t be angry, I’m “only” impressed.
        are you a shapeshifter or what 😉

        I wish you all a nice and peaceful Sunday. TOMORROW IS CHUCK!!!

    • odysszeuss says:

      OHHH! That’s fine. If anyone asks me for my opinion i can copy and paste from your quote.

      espacially:
      “I actually enjoy this season and think it was necessary for the characters to get to this fulfilling point. Was it frustrating? Sometimes heartbreaking? Yes, but it works for me even if imperfect.”

      “He is refined. He no longer needs handling. He can finally offer her what she offered him for two-plus years: protection. This is no longer a one-sided exchange.”

    • atcdave says:

      You know 904, I really don’t agree with any of your points (sorry). I think I see some of my positions addressed in there, but my main point is to dispute the “necessity” of anything we saw this season. I’ve never seen a couple actually benifit from going different ways and Chuck and Sarah are no exception. At every step along the way, the experience would have been more benificial to both characters if they’d been able to support each other through the process; which was the major theme of the first two seasons.

      Keeping Chuck and Sarah apart was a creative/business decision, not based on any truth or logic. The fact we can rationalize some of what happened is satisfying, at least a little. But I think more people would have bought into this journey if it had been more fun from the start. And it would have been easy to do (how about even easier than what they actually did!). No one will ever dispute Chuck and Sarah had a lot of growing up to do; doing it together would have been epic and beautiful in this age of deep cynicism. Having them separate and turn to others is just modern TV cliche.

      • jason says:

        yep if we don’t get renewed, those 13 episodes represent 20-25% of the entire show’s history – what a waste!

      • 904 says:

        Fair enough, but one person’s “necessity” is another person’s “contrivance.” Is this the way I would have written the season? Probably not. But I am willing to go along for the ride and try to find the story within. And I had fun. The comedy in this season was probably superior to previous seasons as a whole. The action sequences, even with budget cuts, often held up well (though Fake Name’s sniper sequence and the destruction of the warehouse in hero were pretty lame).
        Meanwhile, I feel I did learn about Chuck and Sarah and they learned about themselves. They can now, finally, communicate. They are equals.

        You’re right that the producers are tasked to create a show that is engaging and can find and keep an audience.
        I think they were under a lot of pressure to create a new show for a wider audience while maintaining the mythology and back story fans were used to. Starting the season with a new, happy, cute couple does not read as a compelling story on paper for an action/comedy/drama, even if it’s only because conventional wisdom says so. They tried tell the story of Seasons 1 & 2 in a new way — the gradual courtship with obstacles within a predefined framework, but with a “consummated” finish. Unfortunately, it wasn’t entirely enjoyable for those of us along for that ride. And it obviously wasn’t a rousing success by the new viewership numbers. Lesson learned, hopefully, for next season.

      • atcdave says:

        But its that fundamental assumption that a story about a loving couple can’t work that I dispute. There is plenty of historical precident; from the Thin Man movies (and TV series) to Hart to Hart, to others I can’t think of right off. There is no reason why that format can’t be successful. It is obvious they now must try. Of course now they’re competeing with Undercovers, which reads like exactly the show Chuck could have been/should have been from the start of S3. So they drove away 20% of the audience (probably the 20% who would be most excited about what the show has become), to delay that format for one season.

  16. JC says:

    I think another problem was the change in tone of the series in certain episodes. Through the first 2 seasons, the spy world was presented as comic book version. There was drama and darkness but it fit within the world they created. Now with season 3 they tried to make it somewhat more realistic and gritty when it suited the story. But of course the situations and villains were still campy beyond belief. So the characters reactions became even more unbelievable. Tic Tac worked great because they didn’t bash you over the head with “This is dark and dangerous”

    Even the way they presented spies, Cole and Bryce they didn’t seem like cold blooded monsters to me. In fact they were played completely opposite, look at Chuck vs The Ring. Bryce is more than willing to sacrifice himself for Chuck and his family. So now all of the sudden all spies are cold blooded and unfeeling monsters. Sorry not buying it.

    • jason says:

      JC – I loved the Get Smart spy attitude in S1/S2 – with a few exceptions, like the mauser incident, which didn’t fit at all with the show. The problem with S3, this team does not write the tense spy stuff well, and the cast is not a high end drama team, and this season, the high drama characters – casey and sarah were largely sidelined. It was odd watching, I think many serious fans were just waiting for that episode that explained it all, that episode just never came – funniest thing – the closest thing to that episode wasn’t even in the arc, it was 3.14, almost like that hot shot writing team took pity on us fans and tried to put 3.1thru3.13 into some perspective?

      • JC says:

        I never saw the show as Get Smart, it really felt like a comic book with some elements Roger Moore’s Bond thrown in. My problem was they changed the world they created to suit the story. It’d be like watching Moonraker and then we get the foot torture scene from Casino Royale shoved in to up the drama.

        The Red Test is a perfect example of this. I’m expected to believe the Turners both assassinated people? Or when Beckman chews Shaw out for killing the director because it wasn’t a Red Op. No mention of Red Ops when Casey was tasked to kill Chuck?

      • amyabn says:

        JC,
        I think what you are describing was sort of summed up by Yvonne in one of the interviews on set (I think it was done by televisionary). To summarize, the actors never know what is coming next. They live by the script of the week, not having the vision of where their character is going. There is goodness and badness to that.

        The goodness is that it is at least realistic. We as regular folks don’t know what is around the corner so our actions can’t be “colored” by what is coming. The same can be said for the actors.

        The negative (or poorly used “badness”) is that they have been very inconsistent in the application of what most of us deem as keeping them in character. They rotate writers each week and they are following what is laid out for the arc. This season was much more serialized than in past seasons and not too much made sense. Characters randomly doing things and revealing things (Sarah’s Sam revelation come to mind immediatlely) that just didn’t fit.

        If I were ever to write a tv show, I think that I would have a very full show Bible which would have some back story on each character to let the actors work off of. Backstory shouldn’t change and it should provide a foundation for future performances.

        It just felt arbitrary and false this season. Hit or miss. It was like, “we haven’t thrown the shippers into a tizzy for an episode or two, so let’s throw in for effect.” I don’t know if I’m being very clear today-I won’t win the articulate schnook award for this post.

      • JC says:

        You made complete sense.

        I’m forgiving when it comes to characters acting OOC at certain points in a story, people do change or sometimes we react differently. But I hate when its used solely to move the plot forward and they revert back with no mention of their previous actions. Whiplash is ok but not three times every episode.

        Where I’m less forgiving is plots and the world the characters are in. There was no spy arc during the first thirteen and the little bits they threw in were terrible. Shaw was a failure on every level except as psychopath. The value of the Intersect was reduced to nothing until Other Guy when it was suddenly important again.

        What strikes me as strange is that with thirteen episodes, the plot should have been tighter and put together better. I found myself scratching my head more than I did during the previous two seasons.

        But I don’t blame the writers because like you said they work within the story arc. Something Fedak said made me think about what went wrong IMO. They wrote the Paris scene first, so they worked backwards instead of letting things progress naturally. Throw in actor extensions, characters changed because of chemistry and you get a jumbled mess of an arc.

      • JC says:

        I hate replying to myself but I wanted to expand on what I meant by plot holes.

        They don’t bother me when it’s something like traveling the world in a few hours or a stealth bomber dropping a bomb in downtown LA. It’s plot holes in regards to the overall canon or ones that are used to move the story ahead and are forgotten about.

        The Intersect being a Team project for Bryce but its a solo mission for Chuck then its a team effort again is one for example.

    • jason says:

      get smart clip from youtube – geez I was in 4th grade school when this came out – the internet is amazing – chief = beckman, agent 99 developed into a ‘sarah’ character as the show went on, and maxwell smart is not really chuck, probably more like morgan or jeff or lester, but you get the point:

      • kg says:

        Hilarious show. Buck Henry.

        The name of the villian here was Craw and he always got upset with Max when he referred to him as “Claw” or something related.

        Ninety Nine was always in love with Max and naturally became jealous of other women.

        A few seasons in the two of them were caught in a seemingly inescapable trap, and when Max mentions that he would marry 99 should they somehow manage to escape, she quickly goes into action and saves them both. Max wished he had kept his big mouth shut.

        They do marry in the following season and have twins, but although still an active agent, Barbara Feldon (99) seems to do less and less on missions with Max and the show fizzles.

      • atcdave says:

        KG, you know my all time favorite Get Smart line; “Max, why do you still call your wife 99?” “Because I don’t know her name.”

        I would love to hear Carina someday ask Chuck “Why do you still call your wife Sarah?” To bad, Chuck actually knows more than poor Max ever did.

  17. Aardvark7734 says:

    One of the fun impressions I have of this blog is that it’s like a crime lab. Episodes are like evidence that enters at the top of a thread and is then systematically categorized, dismantled, sorted into bins and subjected to various tests and conjecture. All, of course, in the interests of finding the truth of what happened.

    And as far as I can tell, just about everyone that posts here is a highly adept criminologist! 😉

    Anyway, with all of your hard work as a basis, here are some of my own conclusions about Sarah and S3. I have no illusions about universal agreement with these and am comfortable standing alone on my island, so feel free to chainsaw as you see fit. 😉

    TPTB’s determination to keep all elements of the show in service to Chuck’s journey no matter the cost was a root cause of its dysfunction before 3.14. As Dave mentioned, character polls have shown Sarah to be as popular (if not more popular) than Chuck. It could be argued that the show had inextricably become the “Chuck and Sarah” show as early as season one.

    By forcing Sarah into behaviors in S3 (in order to force Chuck through his journey) that ran counter to fan expectations and providing inadequate exposition to justify those behaviors, TPTB alienated those fans. I believe this, above all else, was the single largest factor in the Chuckpocalypse.

    If you think back, the flash point was Sarah’s admission to Shaw that she actually *liked* his neck slurp in ‘Mask’. The fans weren’t asking “How could you do that to Chuck?” They were asking “How could you DO that with such a creepy, unappealing clod?!” They were seeing the world through *her* eyes and were appalled for *her*. I think that the elastic band of credulity had been stretched past its limit and had just snapped. And the resulting distress from this jarring disconnect is what fueled the fans’ vitriol on Sepinwall’s blog.

    In the end, many fans simply rejected Sarah’s arc, or found ways to rationalize it, however improbable or convoluted that rationalization became. Because that’s how we, as people, deal with failure and disappointment. There certainly was a mountain of it on this blog! 🙂 But these are just crutches, and for Sarah fans the middle arc will be remembered as a waste of what could have been.

    I found it telling that some of the fan comments on the various forums after 3.14 was aired were of the “Sarah’s back!” variety. That these fans thought they’d found the character again is an undeniable clue that they’d previously lost her.

    All this is not to say that there weren’t many other reasons for fan displeasure with the first thirteen, far from it! But as a high-level view of Sarah’s involvement it works for me.

    • atcdave says:

      Good post Aardvark. I guess I’ve been exposed as a Sarah fan (cuz, you guys hadn’t figured that out yet, right?)

      • kg says:

        Right Dave. She was always going to be 99 to Max. That’s the girl he married.

        Sarah is always going to be Sarah to Chuck and us her fans. Not Sam, not Jenny Burton or middle name Lisa. Sarah Walker.

        Sarah do you take Chuck…..

        I’m sure you fondly recall all of Max’s Would You Believe lines and missed it by that much. Bernie Kopell (Ziegfried) did a nice job portraying KAOS’ top operative.

      • atcdave says:

        I’ve been re-watching all of Get Smart the last few months. Wickedly funny show sometimes. i would say Chuck is a little more sophisticated, but not much!

  18. Robert Dammers says:

    Let’s not let them get away with the pretense that the darkness of S3 was a more “realistic” presentation of the spy life. The “red test” was an obscenity – pretending that a mob initiation ritual would form part of standard operative training. It might have been a vile political point – more likely just par for the inept plotting of the first part of S3.

    If you need complex analysis like Ernie’s (all power to him, by the way), the writers have failed. This is not depth, it is ineptitude. Vital plot points carry no weight from week to week, until they can be revived to assist a new plot contrivance, and never mind the damage done to the characterisation.

    I can summon the discipline to ignore at, end enjoy having “my Chuck” back for the last few episodes. But the writers have no reservoir of goodwill with me whatever.

    • atcdave says:

      You make a really good point about the Red Test. It reminds of some of the really bad WWII era propaganda told to indoctrinate naive young recruits; especially things the Soviets said about SS or Japanese said about Marines like “they had to kill their parents” to pass training. Not to say atrocities don’t happen, but the “Red Test” certainly reads like a bizarre anti-government paranoid dellusion sort of thing.

    • JC says:

      I’m guessing this was in response to my comment about the more realistic approach to this season. By more realistic I meant by Hollywood standards, not actual real world ones. The second half of Final Exam was a giant homage to Casino Royale & La Femme Nikita.

  19. Merve says:

    Please forgive me for making a bit of a controversial comment, but so many of the criticisms of the first part of season 3 (poor plotting, inconsistent characterizations, etc.) could also be applied to the first two seasons. What I think it boils down to is that when we enjoy, we accept. When we don’t enjoy, we rationalize.

    • atcdave says:

      Merve, you know none of us have ever made a controversial comment before. I think I’ve been clear my main objection is it failed the fun test (for me). Any TV show can be nit-picked on details, but it feels more satisfying or necessary when you don’t like the end product. I know many other posters have acknowledged the same thing, we nit-pick because we’re unhappy with what we see (and maybe hope to make sense of it).

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      Not so controversial a comment. At least I don’t think so. Also insightful and, IMHO, correct.

      As an example, consider the last episode. I really liked it, overall, but I had issues with the relevancy of the Turners-Bartowskis mirroring and the degree of cheese in Beckman’s “who could possibly replace you?” line.

      Do I dwell on it? No. Because it was fun, it had some sweet moments in it, and I’d rather watch it ten times in a row than “Fake Name” once.

    • Robert Dammers says:

      You are absolutely right. For myself, I just don’t care about plot holes while the tone of the show is right – it has to remain, at some level, fun. That doesn’t preclude some drama or darkness, but a basic level of goodwill must be maintained in order to keep the eyes of the audience averted from the shortcomings of the plot etc. That level of goodwill was maintained for the whole of series one, for much of series two, but is only now beginning to be achieved in S3.

  20. cas says:

    I noticed that this site is the only Chuck fan site where you are truly welcome to voice out you own personal opinion without being attacked by the mob, people calling you name, getting kicked out, or having your comments removed by the moderator. Kudos for all the people who made this site.

  21. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Honeymooners (3.14) | Chuck This

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