A Guest Post By Jason
I’m not defending the writing in season 3, which felt like a Marquis de Sade script detailing the seduction of one’s daughter by a creepy pervert. But, I’m going to explore Sarah’s journey to find epic love beginning with the pilot and ultimately will justify some parts of season 3’s mess.
I realize this effort is ‘retconish’ in nature, and do apologize. I ask fellow chuck fans to lower the standard for such things and bear with me. After all, it’s the middle of summer and no new Chuck stuff is available to mess around with.
“What can I say, I have a type.” Sarah said to Chuck in 3.7. This line started Sarah on the final leg of her journey to an epic love. Read on for my thoughts about lionesses & lambs, Bryce, Cole, Roan, Prague, Shaw, Casey’s new role, Yoda, and Paris.
Sarah’s ‘type’ was overtly self confident. Chuck was not. Yet, she fell for Chuck almost immediately. Doesn’t make sense one might ask? I think it does. How many end up loving a different ‘type’ of person than they thought they would? Sarah certainly was not looking to fall for a mark, yet she did seemingly within minutes of meeting Chuck.
Chuck’s presence did not make Sarah uncomfortable, she liked being around Chuck, she liked liking Chuck. I’ve called her ‘Sarah the Lioness’ around her ‘Chuck’. But she was anything but a lioness around her ‘type’, she was flustered and made poor choices, more like Sarah the Lamb.
When Sarah’s ‘type’ was around, Chuck became downright unnerved. Most people have a radar when their partner is around a member of the opposite sex who ‘bothers’ them. Chuck stepped aside in both Bryce’s and Cole’s presence, and even was given lines like ‘they look good together’ or something of the sort as if fans didn’t know.
As further proof of that ‘radar’, notice how uncomfortable Chuck’s brunettes were around Sarah (I can’t blame them). Sarah ‘bothered’ Chuck from the pilot on, Sarah was Chuck’s type, everyone saw that, even Jeff.
Whenever Sarah was courted by her ‘type’ of man, her commitment to Chuck wavered, not failed, just wavered. Sarah kissed Bryce in Chuck’s room of all places during Thanksgiving dinner of all times. She was packed, dressed and ready to run away with Bryce. She obviously was taken with Cole, their kiss was hot, the Cole kiss happened right after the very moving Best Friend episode. Then, Sarah told Chuck she was leaving with Bryce in 2.22, an episode after she was ready to make love with Chuck in the Colonel. Sarah Walker’s ‘type’ turned her head, even if for a moment.
So what if Chuck went with Sarah in Prague? Would Sarah’s head been turned each time she came in contact with her type? This would have been a living hell for self conscious by nature Chuck. So a few loose ends had to be tied up before the ‘epic’ the couple could hook up in ‘epic’ fashion.
Season 3 was about Sarah growing up, so she would not waver when faced with her old type of guy. Many face the same situation when growing up. As I recall, experiencing or witnessing this process was painful. Sarah’s experience was no less painful and near fatal, for Sarah, for Chuck, and for the show’s renewal prospects.
On paper, a solution (not by any means the perfect solution) to tie up the loose ends was the introduction of Daniel Shaw. Shaw was Sarah’s type and could force Chuck & Sarah to face their issues.
The mess started with Sarah alone and angry at the world, especially at Chuck. She hooks up with her type, not as a difficult choice between Chuck and her type, but as an easy choice between no one and her type. What followed was 6 episodes of ‘epically’ bad writing that even had staunch supporters making fun of the creative team’s ineptness. I’ve discussed this failure in other venues so I will ignore the distraction now and plunge forward.
THE ROAD BACK
Just as Sarah needed to grow in her commitment to Chuck, Chuck needed to become more self confident. Testosterone laden guys were going to hit on girls like Sarah Walker. Chuck didn’t need to be Cole-like confident, but Chuck needed to stop sulking and cowering, using his Chuck-like wit and charm to disarm potential rivals.
With this part of the story, Chuck did great. Cole and / or Roan would have been proud of him. Chuck fighting for Sarah was the point of 3.11, 3.12 & 3.13. 3.13’s DYLM scene was a brief setback, and reminded Sarah Chuck was still ‘Sarah’s’ Chuck – the old hand-wringer himself, but overall Chuck took care of business.
Still, Sarah did not choose Chuck in 3.12 even after Shaw essentially ignored her and ‘gave’ her to Chuck in the Hero castle scene. Chuck’s heroic rescue of Shaw did not budge her. She was not overcome by Chuck’s heartfelt plea for her to run away and choose him, torn yes, confused for sure, convinced, I really don’t know. Ironically, Chuck’s pitch to run away with Chuck the hero was met with the same reaction as earlier pitches made by those ‘other’ guys who were Sarah’s ‘type’.
Only after Casey told Sarah that Chuck did not kill Perry did I know for sure she picked Chuck. Sarah showed joy for the FIRST time in the season. Funny how Casey became Sarah’s emotional ‘muse’. When did that happen?
Even after she picked Chuck, the mess was not finished. Shaw manipulated Sarah twice more, once when he whisked Sarah away while Chuck was waiting at the train station, the other led her to Paris. When Sarah says “Shaw is a great spy’ in the touching DYLM scene, she admitted Shaw was still her ‘type’. The great spy, saving the world, look good together stuff had always been code for her ‘type’.
She loved Chuck, but her type still bothered her and knocked her off balance. She was still Sarah the lamb around Shaw making bad choices. So the arc was nearly over, and best case the mess was back where it started seemingly at the pilot, Sarah loved Chuck and Sarah was bothered by her type.
AND END THE MESS, YOU MUST
As the action shifted to Paris, the clock was running out. Yoda himself seemingly was required to fix the mess, so epically mis-written the story was. But, in Paris, Sarah realized what Chuck did for her, finally Sarah completed the last leg of the journey started with the line ‘I have a type.’ She ended the mess with the line ‘you saved me’ and at that moment, Sarah Walker KNEW she had a NEW ‘type’. Sarah never looked more radiant. She was smitten by, bothered by, reduced to a schoolgirl at times ‘exclusively’ by her Chuck, her ‘type’ of guy.
The back 6 episodes bore witness to the new epically in love Sarah, part lamb, part lioness, but now at all the right times, in all the right places, for all the right reasons. I’m looking forward to lots more of that girl in season 4 and beyond.
What do you think?