Tooth and Bone


First, a personal note: I broke my collar bone!!! Awww – Poor Joe! Tripped over his own feet while jogging and landed on his shoulder. The lesson for you all is “Don’t be as klutzy as Joe!”

But hey, I can still type, and I’m not in too much pain, so my complaining is almost done. The only thing is that as much as I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the first viewing of Chuck vs. The Tooth, I really don’t want to type too long. That would be bad! So please accept my apologies for the relatively short posts and fewer responses to comments. I read them and enjoy them immensely, so please don’t feel ignored.

Like usual, my enjoyment of Tooth seems to be for particularly personal reasons, so please don’t feel like this is anything like the last word on the matter! It’s just true that I think Chuck is at it’s best when the spy story is moving like an out of control freight train, and the romantic tension is lessened into second place. Although the show approached this balance in The Honeymooners and even in The Other Guy, the last time I saw this work so well was in the final episodes of season 2, especially from the point that Chuck and Sarah decided to run from Casey and Beckman, when they wound up in Stephen’s camper outside of Barstow CA, acting like an established couple. Back then, Chuck could stop his worrying over Sarah for the purposes of worrying about his father. Now, the drama is as high, and they are no longer “acting” like a couple. As comfortable and secure as Chuck and Sarah are in their relationship, there’s still a little worry, but there are dark clouds on the horizon that have nothing to do with Walkertowski.

Let me backtrack a little. Are they comfortable with each other? Sarah did hesitate to say “I Love You.”, after all. But hey, I’ve seen more hesitation in real life! Leonard and Penny are still on the outs three weeks later, over the same issue, much to my surprise. Sarah finally saying those three words directly to Chuck, and again for emphasis, put the issue to rest so quickly that I am as happy as I was over Sarah’s decision to move in. Angst has been crushed, and it feels good. And are they secure? Well, yes. Chuck did not tell Sarah the truth as he knows it about his condition, and that feels like insecurity. But it’s clear that, for the moment, he’s shielding her. So long as this doesn’t go on too long I can understand and accept this (rightly or wrongly, that tends to be my default reaction to bad news too – for some of us, it’s not an easy reaction to overcome). The question then is, how long is too long? I’m not shy! I have an answer. No more than one episode. The resolution cannot last more than the very first scene of Chuck vs. The Ring (pt. 2), or much of the good will that’s been regained since the end of The Other Guy will have been lost. (Ha! See? I can be definitive too!)

All of this bodes well, because there are other things for Team B to worry about! Ellie certainly is going to be foremost; She’s already entangled with The Ring! We can see that in the plot-line already. Morgan and his slow but steady climb to full fledged adulthood (and 3-dimensionality as a character) is just as pressing for Casey!

Sarah is starting to understand what a ‘normal’ life is, and that means friends and family. It’s wonderful to watch Sarah so completely focused on Chuck, but Chuck does not come alone. He comes with both those concerns – that’s what he stresses over. Sarah’s concerns are going to be broadened, and I think, so is the number of people she’ll need to trust and rely on. If we are fortunate enough to get a season 4, then Devon and (I hope I hope I hope) Anna could be on that list of people.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in ChuckMeMondays, Fan Base, Observations. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Tooth and Bone

  1. odysszeuss says:

    Joe, get well soon!

  2. Crumby says:

    Hope you’ll recover well Joe!

  3. Aardvark7734 says:

    Hope your collar bone heals quickly!

    With regards to:

    “Sarah’s concerns are going to be broadened, and I think, so is the number of people she’ll need to trust and rely on. If we are fortunate enough to get a season 4, then Devon and (I hope I hope I hope) Anna could be on that list of people.

    I was astonished you left Ellie off that list. Intentional? Already been beaten to death? 🙂 More than any other character except, perhaps, Sarah herself, Ellie holds the short cord to Chuck’s heart.

    The bloom of a Sarah Ellie friendship is one of the precious bullets not yet expended from the “Chuck” series arsenal.

  4. herder says:

    Hard luck Joe, I don’t think that the issue about Chuck trying to conceal the seriousness of his situation will go on too long. One of the things about this season 3.5 is that contrary to earlier seasons, Chuck and Sarah issues seem to be raised and then resolved very quickly. In Honeymooners they go on the run but by the end they both admit that they’d rather be spies together. In Role Models there is the issue of moving in introduced before the opening credits and resolved by the ending credits. In the Tooth the “I Love You” issue was again brought up before the opening credits and resolved by the ending credits.

    It might be part of a father and son talk “I ruined my marriage by keeping secrets from your mother, don’t repeat my mistakes” that act as an impetus for Chuck to come clean, but I expect him to do so in the Living Dead.

    On of the stills shows Chuck, Ellie and Papa B sitting at a table in the apartment talking. I would like to see an initial scene of Sarah saying to Awesome “let’s let them have some family time” and at the end of the scene have the Bartowskis’ insist on Sarah and Awesome joining them as they are all family now. Sort of a counter part to the scene at the end of the Marlin when Sarah doesn’t go with Chuck to congradulate Awesome and Ellie on their engagement because it is a family time, but then wistfully watches them through the window.

    Incidentally it is Lefranc and Judkins who are writing this one, the new writers who have done so well with Tic Tac and Honeymooners. I’m really looking forward to this.

  5. bundy says:

    I know this isn’t the place to put this,but I had to share this:I’m not able to confirm it yet, but a source that has been very reliable in the past says Chuck has received a standard 13 episode pickup with an option for a back 9. Hardly a shocker if true, unless you were one of those definitively declaring it had zero chance for renewal. If that’s you, please wait for confirmation before going into hiding!SOURCE–

  6. sd says:

    Get well soon, Joe! Hopefully, you will be out running again shortly.

    I agree…what a welcome few episodes it has been when something that would–in the past– roll into several episodes of angst is resolved in one. I think the last scene when Chuck wakes up Sarah with another nightmare foreshadows his discussing his problem early in the next ep.

    Perhaps an early ep “misunderstanding” is that he initially thinks it’s Sarah who tracked down his dad…when he walks into the Buy More (if you recall in a promo…we see Chuck say…what’s my dad doing here?) I think it will be Ellie who gets her dad to “come home” at the direction of Justin.

    And I really love Morgan and Casey’s growth…the scene at the doc’s door with Sarah, doc and then Casey was just great….so well done.

  7. jason says:

    joe – get well – have a couple of friends who a tri-athletes, most all of them have done a collar bone riding bikes – maybe you should change the story – it sounds better – something about having to swerve to miss a toddler who was running away from his mother – just kidding – just occurred to me, think my friends were jogging too and made up the bike story’s – son of a gun – those guys – anyhow – quick 3.16 thing – someone stated the parallel between chuck helpless in 3.16 and sarah saved him vs sarah helpless in hero. Did you notice what sarah did as she opened the door? Guns ablazing. That is why I wanted chuck to take out shaw – how a real spy would. Also, chuck has to get one of those ring tranc guns, they almost fire like a machine gun. anyhow, get well

  8. herder says:

    I don’t know that he needs a fancy Ring tranq gun, he seemed to do pretty good with two of the standard ones in both Dream Job and Awesome Operation.

    Oh and Joe, maybe you should say that you broke your collar bone while decapitating a bear, just saying.

  9. BDaddyDL says:

    Get better Joe! just look oh the bright side, when Chuck tripped he shot someone.

  10. Sole says:

    First of all, did you really hurt yourself or are you just one of those soccer fans who would do anything to stay at home and watch all the games? just kidding… I’m actually sorry for you, that must really hurt. Hope you get well soon, and get some rest…
    Second I’ve not watched this episode again, but i’ve been thinking about it all day long, and i think the only thing i didn’t like was the Ellie getting involved with the ring plot… Also, I realized i don’t enjoy much the dark side of events in this show, i prefer the light ones. Don’t get me wrong, i love the drama, and the angst, but not so much the dark.
    And third, no Ellie and Chuck? Still? No Ellie and Sarah? Come on…

  11. amyabn says:

    Joe, feel better! Injuries suck! Believe me I know!

    I have rewatched the episode twice so far. While I still don’t like the pacing, my opinion has improved.
    Hitting on some things I don’t think I commented on earlier:
    -I loved the silent exchange between Casey and Sarah at Doc’s house. The look on Casey’s face was really awesome without being soft, imho (which some argue is OOC, but I don’t).

    -Loved Morgan. ‘Nuf said.

    -I thought Anna’s reappearance was a bit of a waste.

    Does Sarah work at the OO anymore? She is never in “uniform” and I was hoping Anna Wu would be the new junior agent in training assigned to work there to maintain the cover. Now that has possibilities!

    Still no Sarah and Ellie interaction. We’ve had one sort of wave after Ellie is excited that they’re “back together.”

    • Paul says:

      I will withold judgement on Anna coming back for one reason: it didn’t seem like they definitively closed the book on her. I could see them playing up the comedy of her stalking Morgan trying to win him back.

      • amyabn says:

        That would be a nice reverse from Best Friend. She could enlist Sarah’s help to win Morgan back.

  12. Chuck604 says:


    Hope you have a full and speedy recovery.

  13. Faith says:

    First off feel better Joe. Rest and relaxation is just what the doctor ordered 🙂

    Second, I really like the flash to Colonel you put up there^. I can definitely see the high stakes and the depth of personal feelings coming into play. Whatever the situation, however it turns out, we know that Sarah will be there for Chuck (cough won’t mention early season 3 cough lol) and that she will “always come back for” him 😀 I loved that line.

    I guess one of my biggest beef also ties into what you brought up/said. In colonel when no one else would stick by him Sarah did and she has shown she’s worthy of his trust. But I just don’t know. I’m really putting more emphasis on this lie than I should. It’s going to be resolved and oh so satisfactorily in my opinion in the coming episodes.

    Meanwhile, hang in there…watch some Chuck. It’s at its finest one of the best ways to relieve pain and uplift spirits. I’m not kidding either lol. Research shows that entertainment, particularly humor can help in the recovery of cancer patients.

    • Chuck604 says:

      Yeah Faith I’m sure it’s going to be resolved soon, but it bothered me as well. Especially after Chuck said that he wouldn’t lie to Sarah ever after the red test; though it kind of pains me to bring that episode up.

    • alex says:

      Chuck I love you, all I can think about is our future together

      Yeah you know about that? That intersect thing is destroying my brain at a rate nobody can determine so that whole future thing won’t be that long but hey, we ‘ll always have Paris.

      It’s just not a conversation you do … you know?

      • Chuck604 says:

        Yup Alex,

        I know what you mean, it’s not something you bring up that would ruin your future with someone who just moments ago professed their unconditional love for you, especially if Chuck feels there is a way out of his situation. Would be a serious buzz kill, and obviously something Chuck would never ever expose to his family, friends and most especially Sarah.

      • Faith says:

        Point of clarification though he said I love you back. So technically the cycle is complete, the conversation already ended on a good note. He could very well have told her the truth and they’d move on from there. But in all honesty, “I get it ok?” it’s for conflict’s sake. And again in all honesty I prefer this to whatever kind of PLI conflict they could throw out there. That said, I still think it was wrong of him to lie.

        I think this is one of those things that I just won’t be pacified/convinced over lol. I’m open minded but apparently not over this one lol.

  14. gringochuckfan says:

    Joe – I hope that they gave you some adequate pain meds? its the only good thing about a trip to the hospital these days.
    Ok – back to 3.16 – I thought it was good – not great – but good. Flash in the first dream was a Bryce/intersect reference – the thief and the knife quote from their game – when Chuck received the original intersect? Interesting.
    I accepted the dream scenerios – and I thought that they covered alot of ground in a hurry without being rushed. Loved the Morgan moments again.
    Casey has been a mystery lately??? Has he gone soft or what?
    Ellie’s story is way over due! but I expected much more from Devon.
    So happy to see Anna back at thy BuyMore – and I’m certain we have much much more to see between them.
    Chuck was a little outta character – still anxious – but not nearly as articulate as usual. And was it just me – or was there a lack of passion in the kisses? I don’t need a tonsil hockey match – but perhaps some noticable affection? It looked like he was kissing his sister.
    Did anyone else catch the field of study for the African Scientist? Organ harvesting – reanimation – cloning… have they created a Shawenstine???
    Bigger stronger and faster? – as long as he’s not more boring-er [ not sure that would be possible]
    Anyway – I loved all the foreshadowing – the end of the season is gonna be awesome!

    • joe says:

      Percocet is great! As Casey would say… Whhooooo!

    • Paul says:

      Chuck and Sarah are kissing like 2 folks in a relationship do when they share casual kisses – very sweet and tender, but don’t necessarily need to have “fire”. You can leave THAT to the imagination (it is a PG show after all).

    • jason says:

      I get the impression (chuck’s smile, morgan’s line, the food cart would be 3 clues) they are doing it like rabbits in the comfort of their room, in public, those sorts of ‘cute’ kisses are appropriate to the story

  15. cas says:

    Awesome was awesome in this episode but something felt a little off about him….. Maybe I’m just being paranoid because he didn’t utter the word awesome at all in this episode

    • Merve says:

      Be we found out that:
      – he exercises even when recovering from fake malaria.
      – he now realizes that he’s just as safe, if not safer, in Burbank than in Africa.
      – he thinks that ER is the best show ever.
      – he’s gotten slightly better at lying.
      – he looks kind of ruggedly handsome with a little bit of scruff on his face. (And that’s coming from a straight man.)

      If you ask me, that’s pretty awesome.

  16. cas says:

    I forgot..Hope you get well soon Joe

  17. joe says:

    Thanks, everyone. Really, I’m fine, and not in any real pain.

    It’s more of an annoyance!

  18. Kevin Kilmer says:

    First time posting here. Now I understand where everybody went from the NBC boards from last year. You all came here.

    Joe, I hope you get to feeling better. Those hurt like a son-of-a-gun.

    • Faith says:

      I’m trying to get them back 😉 We need more shippers in light of the anti-shipper movement lol.

      So OT…I’m watching Delorean as I try to get some reading done. And wow, I can’t watch this. I keep on expecting them to say “I Love You” now and kiss. A lot. Haha…

      In all seriousness the fake relationship was really all too real even back then. Because I see the same essence that is in the real relationship now, even back then. The affection, the emotion, the caring. Fake or real, it was always real on some level.

      • atcdave says:

        Some of us are still moderated Faith!

        Seriously, this is a full time commitment, and we don’t have to play by NBC rules. You know, we can be nasty here. (just kidding, please don’t everyone get nasty now!)

      • Faith says:

        LOL. There are the rules…but honestly it’s changed a lot. And I’m not just saying that because I am now a mod and can remove you from moderation. Which I have been doing…there are people that have been on mod preview since 2008!

        I’m not sure if people were aware but JD (Azizal) got kicked off the mod team for her actions and hostile-moderation. It just wasn’t conducive to a community environment.

        But like you said it’s a full time commitment and in all honesty this place is a lot more mature and laissez faire. But sometimes I wish you guys were still there lol.

      • herder says:

        Faith is right, it has changed a lot. I do check it out from time to time to get a feel for what other boards are saying and thinking, but like here there are so many posts and so many conversations to keep up with that it is hard to properly follow both places.

      • atcdave says:

        Faith, that’s kind of great news about JD. I hate to wish ill of anyone, but she was not facilitating the network’s public image!

        I do miss the larger community and better site architecture, but this place has been a blast.

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        Echo that about JD.

        That moderator was the reason I left the NBC boards, and the one and only time I ever sent a formal complaint to a site administrator over the conduct of one of their mods.

      • jason says:

        faith – there are 2 or 3 frequent posters on the current NBC board that simply seem to flame everything that isn’t totally positive toward the show which drove me off – I will sign on and lurk every once in a while, but frankly, the content is not all that interesting, as those same 2 or 3 posters seem to move the conversation away from some of the best topics – but as you said – maybe it is better now – as I seldom log on – often log on to read the ‘ratings’ thread

    • atcdave says:

      We were kicked off, so we took our ball and left!

      Welcome to the site Kevin, we’re always happy to see old timers (and not-so-old timers too)!

      • amyabn says:

        Yeah! What Joe said! I lurk every now and again but JD pissed me off royally (which isn’t easy to do). I’m much happier here with my friends!

      • Faith says:

        lol, it all worked out in the end. I have this running joke over there that I’m cheating on the boards with another blog (namely you guys) lol. But like I said, sometimes I wish you guys were there. I missed you guys there too! 😀

        Jason, I can’t say a lot apart from I know exactly who and what you’re talking about. And in a lot of ways there isn’t a lot we can do (and let’s just say I’ve done my part as a mod) without people complaining to us firsthand. But I understand what you mean and where you’re coming from.

        Speaking of though, is already planning on what to play over the summer (hopefully that means we get a season 4) so tell them what you want over here.

  19. atcdave says:

    Bummer about the injury Joe, glad to hear your not in agonizing pain!

    I really loved so much about this episode. I’m excited about Ellie getting sucked into the spy world. For all the buzz we heard about how “epic” Shaw’s intigration into the story would be, I’m actually more impressed with Justin and The Ring’s set up of Ellie. It will be interesting if its all about Orion, or if they want Chuck and/or Agent Awesome too. I’m hoping it leads to Ellie’s integration into the spy world; would love to see her as Chuck’s specialized intersect Doc (overseeing treatment while working on a cure kind of thing).
    Of course Chuck’s lie(s) was the one down note here. I can forgive the action as misguided concern for others; but of course Sarah deserves better and we need to see this addressed quickly. I believe it will be, its not like he can convince her he’s no longer having nightmares.

    • JC says:

      You know Justin may have created his own downfall by poisoning Awesome. He’s not afraid of spy world anymore, so he’s more likely to get involved with Team B. And he’s using his wife.

  20. JC says:

    Hope you feel better Joe

    I broke my collar bone playing football years ago so I feel your pain. Milk it for all its worth.

  21. Rick Holy says:

    Joe – stick with a treadmill. The only thing you’ll “break” on one of those is a sweat!

    Happy healing!!

  22. Paul says:

    Actually Joe, the moral to your personal predicament is: Running is BAD for you!!! 😉

  23. Michael says:

    First things first – get well, Joe!

    So I’ve finally seen ‘Tooth’ yesterday and I’m still in the process of digesting it. I’m not a quick analyst, so it will take some time and the usual re-watching to draw my conclusions – knowing that a few weeks later, I might see everything in a different light. And that’s what makes Chuck stand out from the crowd for me – damn, it’s complicated. But I also know that the thorough exchange of thoughts here in this blog will help me understand the recent developments faster and in a more complete way…thank you all for that. 😉

    The first scene that stuck with me was Chuck and Sarah on the couch (‘Spies like Us’ on TV? Genius, haha. I’d love to see Sarah and Casey being forced to wear those suits!), with his head resting in her lap, and her having trouble -again – saying those three words. Instead, she answers with a more caring than loving gesture, caressing his face and giving him, and us, one of her Sarah Walker signature looks that seem to say ‘You can’t understand me, and neither can I’ (is that some kind of CIA torture tactic designed to work on large TV audiences? Well you hit me with it, Agent Walker). I was confused. We’ve come to terms with Sarah being a highly complicated character, especially when it comes to relationships, nevertheless one would have thought that after Paris and the Honeymooners the words would come over her lips more easily – at least that’s what I thought first. But a theory about this is forming in my head, though I’m going on a limb here. The events in Paris and the Honeymooners might have had such a strong impact on Sarah that she let her self-control (self-defense?), which she has trained for almost all her life, down for a while, resulting in a condition that was totally unknown to her for a long time – happiness. Now that self-control is creeping up her leg
    again, whispering ‘your happiness isn’t real’. After all, Chuck, the guy who now can’t stop telling her how much he
    loves her, told her that she would never be normal in the fountain break up scene. One might argue that Chuck told her that before he became a spy, but seriously – he’s got a badge now and an official CIA agent status, but he is not and will never be a spy like Sarah or Casey (‘the kid’s just not wired that way. Not like us.’). What I’m trying to say is that even if probably all of us believe, better: know that Chuck’s feelings for Sarah and his determination to spend his life with her are nothing but the truth, she might still have doubts, even after all we’ve witnessed, and I can’t blame her after 10, 15 or maybe more years of lying and running and hiding. I’m gonna stop here cause this theory is getting out of hand in my head and there’s no need to be hasty with conclusions…let’s wait and see.

    The second issue was, of course, Chucks decision to keep his condition a secret. After his initial diagnosis by ‘Doc Brown’ (who, I’m absolutely sure, came to pick up his DeLorean), I could understand why he didn’t tell Sarah the truth – he had reason to doubt the Docs diagnosis because of two things: First, despite the Doctor being an expert CIA psychiatrist, Chuck is the only person who has ever had an expansive, experimental CIA database stored in his brain (stop – not true, there’s his father, but does the CIA know? And does his intersect work the same way Chuck’s does? The only flash we saw from Steven Bartowski almost knocked him off his feet), so it’s unlikely that the Doctor could come up with a solid analysis, rather an educated guess (he admits that at the end of the second appointment). Second, Chuck seems convinced that his dreams are no sign of deterioration, but rather a more blurry means of intersect data leaking into his consciousness (which is partly true, but we don’t know about more negative effects yet – it might get worse
    than just waking up every night sweating). Now, the second time he didn’t tell Sarah was different: She had finally
    said the words, twice to be exact. This would kind of ruin my theory described above, but she also had just been shaken up by the fear of Chuck being locked up in the mental ward. I guess we will never know if Chuck intentionally wanted to tell her what was going on when he came from his second appointment with the Doc – it seemed pretty obvious when he came in and started ‘we need to talk, this is very important’, but we just don’t know, anyway after she told him she loved him, that thought was gone. To come to an end, here’s another instant theory: I say Chuck has a plan. He came up with this plan when the Doc answered his question ‘Am I ok?’ saying ‘This is a new science. Time will tell.’ Now this put Chuck in a waiting position – just sit around and wait until you will eventually share a room with Merlin the Magician for the rest of your life. The problem with that is that Chuck stopped being a guy who sits around and waits
    quite some time ago. He acts. And I guess he will act again to resolve this situation (haven’t seen the trailer for e17 yet, so you probably know more than me).

    A quick side note to end with, and I have to label this OFFTOPIC:

    Most people here like the music in Chuck very much, and many including me have a Chuck playlist they listen to. Someone wrote, I think it was in a comment, that Stargate:Universe also has a great selection of music. In e15, which I’ve also watched yesterday, they chose a very nice track that I thought had “Chuck & Sarah” written all over it…what do you think? 😉


    (I broke the link cause I don’t know if linking is allowed here)

    • jason says:

      micheal – loved your sarah analysis of the silence after I love you – “Sarah Walker signature looks that seem to say ‘You can’t understand me, and neither can I’”

      might I just add, chuck is no longer all that insecure, he looked undeterred, that would have hit chuck S1/S2 much harder, almost like he is ready to ask her ‘why the blankity blank can’t you say it back – what’s wrong’

      matter of fact, sarah maybe needs to ask chuck the same thing about his dreams, ‘why the blankity blank won’t you tell me the truth?’

      these two have always had trouble being open and honest with each other, the roles morgan and casey now play in each of their lives, almost gives them both an out – although casey and sarah’s communication is very much on sarah’s terms, almost more like like telepathy than words?

      I just hope this issue does not become the next wall / angst between them – but I sure could see this creative team doing that? I suppose better than a PLI or LI?

  24. Jen says:

    Hi Joe. I’m sorry about your collar bone. I’ve never broken any bones, so i don’t know what it feels like, but i hope it’s not so bad and that you heal quickly. I send you a cyber-hug 😉

    I’m sure you have your Chuck S1 and S2 DVDs plus S3 to comfort you.

    All of S3 is in my DVR 🙂

    I’m with those that would like to see some Sarah/Ellie interaction. I’m hoping we get some in this coming ep.

  25. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Tooth (3.16) | Chuck This

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