Observation Thread: Chuck vs. The Anniversary

Well Chuck fans, we are down to one and a half hours remaining for those of on the east coast for the kick-off of Season 4.  This is your opportunity to share your reactions after your chance to watch!  Looking forward to sharing after the show!  (Credit to our friends at ChuckTV.net for the picture!).



About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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302 Responses to Observation Thread: Chuck vs. The Anniversary

  1. amyabn says:

    Wow! That was amazing. I am so glad we have knocked out the whole lying thing and we won’t have to speculate about when Chuck shared the OC with Sarah and Casey.
    The sexting gag was well done. I’m still squeeing, so I will go fire up the tivo and watch it again!

    • Jen says:

      Hi Amy! The Sexting was AWESOME!Sarah on the plane trying to quickly take pics of herself before case could catch her was great comedy :P. Funny that she asks Casey “Have you ever been in a long distance relationship?”.. Dating advice from Casey, LOL.

      • amyabn says:

        That’s funny, Jen, because I tweeted last night, questioning her asking Casey for advice and said she should call Carina at least!

      • Jen says:

        LOL, i never saw your tweet (i think i’m following u) but that struck me a so funny. Must have been a moment where she just needed to ask ANYONE and Casey was the only one… spur of the moment thing.
        I’m sure Carina would be partial to sexting =P

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Talk to Ellie! Ellie+Sarah friendship FTW!

  2. herder says:

    What a wonderful episode, a great start to the season, I can hardly wait ’til next monday which is what the cast and crew and TPTB shoot for. This is the show that I fell in love with.

  3. jason says:

    In honor of the episode’s overall quality, I am going to watch the event – quid pro quo back to NBC – I really enjoyed 4×1!

  4. OldDarth says:

    Solid start with almost all the lies issues put to rest right off the top. Didn’t like the Ellie scene even though I knew it was coming.

    Harry Dean – RepoMan – Stanton was hilarious.

    One thing for sure Linda Hamilton IS MamaB! 8)

  5. kg says:

    That’s great Amy and guys. Wow. Less than two hours now on the left coast. Can hardly wait. Thanks for the thumbs up.

  6. sniderman says:

    Credits and upcoming season’s promos now rolling. And here are my thoughts:

    * I never thought I’d see a season OPENER that held as much as a season FINALE. Wow, this was…dare I say it?…epic.
    * Everything we feared and took issue with during the hiatus was actually dealt with. With the exception of Ellie (who it appears is brought up to speed soon according to the promo), Team Bartowski is right where it needs to be, ie, “New rules: No secrets. No lies.” and “Well, I’m just peeved that you didn’t ask us for help.”

    And now, snippets of what I loved:
    * Beckman in the credits. ‘Bout time.
    * Nano commerical with Cake. Nice!
    * The Seinfeld ref was hysterical.
    * “And Casey? The chutes were a good idea.” “Thank kyew.”
    * “And how did she react?” WHOOOOOSH…
    * “I’m Michael Carmichael.”
    * Sarah’s withering look of disgust. “Oh my God!”
    * “So tell me… Who are these Master Spies?”

    And the shivers:
    * “I have a family.” “So do I.” BLAM

    • Casey's girl says:

      LOL I loved Adam’s delivery on his ”Thank you” That was awesome.

      -indiana jones map/stick figure. Priceless. 🙂
      -”Have you ever had a long distance relationship?” ”No, I either leave or they die” aww. 😦 Poor Casey.

      – Mama B is a badass.

      -The gunfight/in darkness with only the fire of guns lighting up the place was out of this world awesome.

      -Chuck’s badass fight of screen/vs with static from walkie talkie. Cool imagination fuel there.

      -Trap doors uptown Buy More/slide to downtown Castle is made of win. 🙂

      -the gang becoming a rogue agency behind Beckman’s back is totally cool.

      -Yay Ellie’s preggers.

      – Is it next Monday yet?

    • Jen says:

      Hey! Everything you said here aand everything Casey’s girl said below.. DITTO TO ALL!!!! Man, what an amazing ep. I had ti to the writers from great lines, comedy, the direction.. the gun fight, the scary moment where Sarah thinks something has happened to Chuik.. wow, that was DRAMA! All in all, it feels to be back watching Chuck!
      Chuck’s line to Morgan: This isn’t the opening of a TV show buddy, it’s real life (or somethign like that)… super well placed!

  7. thinkling says:

    I’m still smiling … Getting ready to watch again before I comment. I must savor a few things first 🙂

  8. atcdave says:

    What a total blast. As others have said; our worst fears seem to have been laid to rest quickly. Well, I would have liked Chuck to return to the CIA more willingly, but that’s a minor issue. Loved getting the team back together. Harry Dean Stanton was very funny, I expected him to actually be more important, I guess he just likes Chinese food.

    “I must break you!” ‘nuf said

    The sexting was quite funny from both parties, but did Sarah ever get that Chuck was pretty much not involved at all?!

    Like the new Buy More manager. Of course we all saw it coming, but still very funny. Still, something was missing. I know, Big Mike and Jeffster! They’re still in the credits so they have to be back. The store just felt lonely without them. And every store should have a trap door. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to see one open up at a Geek Squad desk.

    $43000 in credit card debt, ouch! Hope being a Nerd Herder/CIA agent pays pretty well. I get the feeling Sarah could cover it, but talk about strain on a relationship…

    Loved Chuck taking care of the Ruskie gunmen. And we still get to see Yvonne turn on the water works even with no relationship problems at all (I seem to remember mentioning there might be a little drama in the life and death stuff).

    I really like the no more lies or SECRETS pact; and Chuck has actually honored it bringing Sarah (and Casey) in on everything. But not Beckman, interesting.

    Ellie is clueless again, but it doesn’t look like for long.

    Awesome entrance for MEB. She doesn’t seem to be much of a prisoner! Can’t wait for the Sarah/MEB faceoff.

    I’m assuming we saw the titled cubic zirconia in the previews. Looks like a misdirection to me, I still don’t see Chuck proposing to Sarah with a phony diamond. Its either mission related or someone elses.

    • joe says:

      I don’t think that we find out if Sarah thought Chuck was sexting (but I’m willing to believe they talked it out off-screen). My question is, why did Chuck & Morgan go back to the impounded car for the menu? I must have missed something.

    • thinkling says:

      I’ve been speculating that MEB was captured, yes, but is held captive by threats to her family rather than iron bars. Now that Chuck is actually involved, she has to be more pro-active. I also surmise that she is one of the good guys, maybe a double agent for the sake of protecting her family.

      Of course, I could be so wrong.

      • joe says:

        Very good, Thinkling. I like that idea. Right now it’s a mystery just begging to be solved – this powerful woman obviously can’t be contained for very long against her will. So why did she choose to stay wherever she is?

        Very cool premise.

      • atcdave says:

        I like that idea too. I’m REALLY looking forward to the MEB/Sarah face-off. Will MEB have to prove herself to Sarah or is it the other way around?

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave: Excellent question! I’ve kind of wondered that myself. One or both of them probably think they are protecting Chuck.

        Or maybe MamB is about to run again and Sarah’s trying to stop her and convince her to talk to her son.

        Puzzles, puzzles. Fun, fun.

  9. weaselone says:

    I’m going to have to watch it again before I give my opinion of the first episode, but I will say that I enjoyed it and hope that the little pervert Morgan gets his just desserts some time this season. Seriously, taking and sending half-naked shots with an explicit denial of permission and then engaging in sexting with you best friend’s girl is most definitely not Kosher as the Captain would say. Of course, Morgan really never has been one to respect boundaries.

    Now for the individuals we’re trying to reach (new viewers). My wife considered the first part of the hour too campy and I suspect that colored her view of the rest of the night.

    • atcdave says:

      Pretty funny, you’re right about Morgan NEVER understanding boundaries. Hasn’t Chuck always been kind of campy? I thought that was part of its appeal.

  10. weaselone says:

    It’s actually me.

  11. joe says:

    Oh, wow. You guys are reading my mind already.

    So, okay. I’ll start with my withering negative. – IT WAS TOO DANG SHORT!!! Give me 10 more minutes of Olivia Munn, 10 more of H.D. Stanton and 10 of Jeff & Lester, Mike, Ellie and Devon, add in commercials, and then we’re talking another full hour. Can I have another hour, please? I mean they did it for me last May!!

    No? I have to wait until NEXT Monday. [grumble, grumble].

    I am one happy dude.

  12. joe says:

    Oh, I can’t leave it at that. I really love the New Rule. I love it that C&S are talking, and that Sarah cried and that she’s still very kickass. That opening scene was fantastic.

    Everything Mel said about Linda Hamilton was spot-on. From the “Oh, Chuck!” to taking care of Markus, absolutely great. I’m very glad that they got Chuck back into the spy-biz so quickly.

    I’m even a little happy that Chuck is going to be conflicted about telling Ellie. That’s his character, and like usual, he has a great reason for not telling her just yet. Like Sarah said, he’s a brother.

    Oh! The trailer – was it for the next few episodes? I think that’s what they said – Like usual, it looked fantastic.

  13. Merve says:

    What was bad: very choppy, awkward pacing; Chuck lying to Ellie again (which felt a lot more contrived than Sarah’s “I love you” interrupting Chuck telling the truth about his condition)

    What was good: pretty much everything else

    Overall: enjoyable, slightly better than “Pink Slip,” not as good as the Pilot or “First Date.” Not the greatest episode in and of itself, but it gets me excited for what’s to come.

    (Sorry to sound so negative. I liked it, I really did, just not as much as everyone else, apparently.)

    • atcdave says:

      I think its fair to have reservations Merve. I loved it, but my wife said “fun, but not as polished as it used to be.” I think from a quality perspective the show peaked in S2 and we may not get back there. But I still had a great time and am a very happy camper tonight.

      I wish he’d come clean with Ellie, but that’s way down the list of possible concerns to me. I also agree the Pilot and First Date were better premiers. I think Pink Slip was an utter disaster so its far better than that.

    • joe says:

      Naw. You’ve judged it fairly as you see it. If you sound negative, Merve, that’s only because many of us sound so exuberant ATM.

    • Crumby says:

      I agree with you Merve. I found it great, I enjoyed it a lot but it wasn’t an awesome episode. First Date was better, but hey if every episode were awesome, wouldn’t they end up all all mediocre.

      I think that people may overrate it because of all the fears that was there about the lying and stuff and they didn’t go there. It’s really excited for what’s to come.

      I am really excited for the following episodes but this one felt a lot like a transition and therefore lacking something. I couldn’t tell what though.

      I loved a LOT of stuff though: the sexting scene between Morgan and Sarah was hilarious and a laughed a lot. Maybe I was a little to spoiled, like with Beckman expeding Chuck to Castle, I was expecting it so it lost a little of its effect.

      I’m glad Team B’s back and CS seemed really well in their relationship, Mama B was great, Beckman will be hilarious I’m sure and I can’t wait to see what’s next…

      Btw, why Chuck is only shirtless when Sarah’s not here? LOL 🙂

      • Mike says:

        “Btw, why Chuck is only shirtless when Sarah’s not here? LOL”

        Glad to see I’m not the only one to notice that. At the end, she’s in shorts and a small top (blue top, little buttons – yet another throwback) and he’s wearing a t-shirt and is under the covers. Even in Honeymooner’s, she spends half the episode in her underwear and he’s in sweatpants and a Tee. Chuck must be shy- the tee on;y comes off when he’s alone. 🙂

  14. the shrink says:

    I like this start better than last season start. I made myself a promise this year that I was going to sit back and enjoy this season. I am not worried about a back nine or season 5 or ratings or gigantic plot holes. The show is never going to win any awards and maybe would have never got past season 2 had it been on cbs or abc. So I am happy that the show is still on and it always makes me smile. Any every monday after a Detroit lions loss I will be watching it starting at 8:00 est and DVRing House.

    Crap that not fun!! who thinks that the season will end with Mama B being at the birth of elle’s child.

    • atcdave says:

      Great to see you back Shrink. Agree this was good start, and lots of fun. I will worry about ratings and what comes next, but that’s just sort of how I am.

      Sorry about your Lions. Bummer Calvin Johnson didn’t know the rules about catching in the NFL! I would actually agree that rule needs changing. I was rooting for the Lions against the Eagles, sooo close.

      I don’t know if they’ll get all the way to child birth this season, maybe if they get the back nine. But I’m sure MEB will be on good terms with Ellie by then, I kind of want to see the showdown between her and Honey Woodcomb!

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Always a pleasure to see you the shrink.

      Oh man, I don’t know for sure but with what I’ve read I can almost imagine her as a permanent fixture in Chuck from now on. So bring on Ellie’s baby’s birth, Chuck and Sarah’s wedding lol…all the milestones, MamaB is there.

  15. Gord says:

    I loved every bit of this episode, but I would have to say my favourite part was when Marko tells his men to kill Chuck and Morgan – you hear gun fire and screams – Sarah`s in tears, Casey wants revenge then after a moment of silence Chuck is on the radio. “You made the mistake of only sending 10 guys”

    Then the promo afterwards – Chuck down on one knee in front of Sarah with a ring. The uber shippers must be going nuts. We know this will happen within the first 6 or 7 episodes because they haven’t filmed past that.

    • atcdave says:

      Mission or someone else. I’ll bet money they didn’t show us the actual engagement. It will probably come shortly after the scene they previewed (same episode or next one).

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I’m betting that he found the ring on the floor and was getting back up and she was there and awkward moment time.If there’s any actual engagement it will come later in the season. But that awkward moment might start them both thinking about marriage.

  16. JC says:

    Legs Legs Legs

    It was good but not great. It kinda felt all over the place during the first half of the show, the second half was much better. It felt like a season premiere with a whole lot of story setup. Hopefuly the main arc is strong. They probably could have cut the Repo Man and job interview scenes.

    Morgan’s greatness continues to grow, the Predator handshake between him and Chuck had me rolling.
    Linda Hamilton was perfect as MEB,I forgot how good of an actress she is.

    My only gripe was how accepting Ellie was of Chuck going back to the BuyMore. She should be suspicious but I can go with it as long as it isn’t dragged out.

    • herder says:

      It’s funny how different bits get different reactions, the interview bit was one of the funniest parts of the show for me. The only part that I felt was slow or could have been missed was the Chuck/Morgan bit at the begining and maybe the Morgan sexting with Sarah part in Moscow. Incidentally did anyone notice three governor watches, could there be more intersects on the horizon?

      Personally, I wanted to see the whole show again right away and did, something that was absent last year. My guess is that I will repeat it again a few more times before next Monday.

      • JC says:

        I liked the episode a lot and it was much better than Pink Slip and most of S3. Still not as good as First Date but I’d say it was up there with the pilot.

        My complaint about the story is something most serialized shows go though when setting up the season arc.

        I’m not down on the episode by any means. I’ll be watching it again a few times myself.

      • Merve says:

        I wonder where the other two Governors came from. Did Chuck figure out how to build his own Governors over the summer?

      • atcdave says:

        I think I agree with Herder here. I loved the interview bit; maybe too much Chuck and Morgan, but it seems we get more Chuck and Sarah next week so I’m fine. I noticed the three watches; I’m glad they did that, otherwise it seems a little frightening to have your life hanging on the function of a single watch.

        JC, I did think about that with Ellie too. You’d think it would occur to her that last time Chuck was at the Buy More he was also a spy. I’ll write off as Ellie is in full blast baby mode.

        I also had to watch again right away; well after posting some comments here and watching end of an excellent Monday night game.

      • atcdave says:

        Merve, maybe he reverse engineered them. His dad seems to have built it without a lot of specialized hardware, so it must have been within Chuck’s capabilities too.

      • Merve says:

        I like that explanation, Dave. It’s not as if it’s a major plot hole. In fact, I kind of like the idea that Governor-building is Chuck’s hobby. Ordinary men build model planes. Chuck builds devices that prevent his brain from frying. 😀

      • atcdave says:

        I’m blushing Merve, you just called me ordinary. No one’s ever called me that before.

      • Merve says:

        Wait, you build model planes? That’s actually awesome.

      • JC says:


        Yeah, as long as Ellie doesn’t look dumb I’m OK with it. From the promo it looks like he tells her fairly soon which makes me happy.

        And let me mention again legs and more legs. Holy crap, they should’ve put that in the promo during football.

      • atcdave says:

        Merve, could you mention to my wife how awesome having a basement full of model airplanes is? She doesn’t always agree! But seriously Chuck has been the first thing to disrupt my model building for very long in many years. I’m thinking by the time Chuck goes off the air I’ll discover all my paints have dried out… (dang that’s going to be expensive!)

        And yeah JC I’d rather they didn’t make Ellie look too stupid; as you said, looks like Chuck will come clean pretty quickly.
        And yeah that might have been an Emmy worthy legs shot. Not to mention talented toes!

  17. aardvark7734 says:

    It’s hard not to be both relieved and excited by the rebirth that this episode represents, since we’re still in the very long shadow of the abysmal start of S3. Judged in those terms, this was a great episode, despite it’s occasional flaws.

    Instead of the fun being dragged down by the derailed (no pun intended) relationship as happened last season, this time we get a sense of renewal and life moving on. The Buy More has been rebuilt and what’s happening within is quirky and interesting. TB has set forth on new missions sans Chuck, but clearly he’s missed. Chuck and Morgan have reforged their friendship over Chuck’s search for his mom. And while Chuck and Sarah are apart due to their separate paths they clearly and openly miss each other. A great opening to whet our appetites for the story to come and yet…

    It was almost more like another finale.

    It seemed that way because most of the conflicts that many of us feared would take a few episodes to resolve were just hammered out by the end. Chuck lying to Sarah? For the moment, quashed with the “new agreement”. Sarah and Casey finding out about the bat cave? Done. All of that stuff about Sarah and Casey having to report it to Beckman? Not even an issue. Chuck rejoining the CIA? Done, matter-of-factly, even. Chuck coming clean to Ellie about rejoining the CIA?

    Uh, well, there had to be one exception. 🙂

    But it’s all good, I think. The promos seem to hint that Chuck will come clean, and I’m okay with waiting another episode or two for that to happen. For now, I’m going to just enjoy having another “Colt” style larger-than-life villain, some funny, sexy albeit sometimes wince-worthy humor about “sexting” and lighthearted tone throughout – something I haven’t been able to enjoy on this show since the beginning of S2.

    This first episode might not have been a home run to start the season, but I think it went a long way towards putting the contentious parts of last season behind us and focusing back on what the show does really well.

    Let the healing begin.

    • atcdave says:

      I know I’m feeling a lot better now than I did back in January. I liked that keeping Beckman out of the loop wasn’t even Chuck’s idea.

      I’ve already watched this twice and I think I was even happier on second viewing. I almost never re-watched last season.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I don’t know if I like Chuck keeping secrets from Dianne. Sarah probably suggested it just to drive wedge between them. That Sarah is getting crazy jealous. Did you see how she reacted when she saw Chuck and dianne together in the BuyMore?

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Dave, this was a big growth step for Chuck, after he blew it, of course (but we knew he was going to). He actually asked Sarah and Casey for advice. Wow. And Sarah and especially Casey are the ones to say not to tell Beckman. My how the team has gelled. All of them down in the secret basement together …plotting behind Beckman’s back. If the show goes on long enough, she may even go rogue with them. I fully expect it at some point. But I don’t think she’ll be allowed into the club-house.

      • joe says:

        Beckman echos the “Why didn’t you ask me to join?” line???

        I love it.

        The Duck ‘shippers are having orgasmic spasms. Or, maybe it’s a spastic colon. I can’t tell.

      • Crumby says:

        Walker vs. Dianne! This is so on!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Hey Sarah’s realized that with Dianne in town she’s got to up her game. What do you think the sexting was about. Chuck all alone with Dianne, Sarah on the road, desperate times…

      • steph says:

        im just a lurker here (you guys post so fast! i struggle just to keep up reading ;), but wanted to say that ernie’s dedication to the duck pairing never fails to make me laugh. yes, that was definite stank eye when sarah saw chuck in the buy more with beckman!! keep it up.

        from his keyboard to fedak’s ear.

      • joe says:

        Greetings, Steph. We’re always glad to have someone come out of lurking!

        As for keeping up with us, well, it is four of us against one of you, after all. 😉

        Please be careful when you feed the Duck shippers. Ernie doesn’t need too much encouragement to go a bit crazy…

        (double 😛 )

      • atcdave says:

        Great to have you chime in Steph; especially glad we can get a laugh. But please don’t let this Duck stuff make it to Fedak’s ear!

      • Merve says:

        Too late. It’s been Fedak’s plan from the start. Clearly, Zachary Levi and Wendy Makkena had no chemistry together. That’s why the role was recast. 😛

      • atcdave says:

        That’s funny Merve! Talk about obscure humor that only a true fan could love.

      • King Chuck says:

        I absolutely loved this episode. I’ve watched it three times already and it’s still not enough. For a moment I was worried that my dislike for last season would prevent me from enjoying this epi, but nothing could be further from the truth. The humor, the action and the spy stuff it was all perfect. It was almost as if even the actors were having more fun than last season. If this is a taste of what’s yet to come, I can’t wait for the rest cause it’ll be awesome.


  18. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Spoiler alert: Chuck is BACCKKKKKK. And I don’t just mean in existence.

    Now for my detailed 😉 thoughts:

    Bad: I didn’t like (AT ALL) the fact that Chuck purposely brought Morgan to the cave and included him in his quest. Where is Sarah, why not Sarah? I mean come on. There are reasons to withhold things, acceptable reasons and honestly they haven’t seen in each other in awhile (we’re led to assume because she’s on a time consuming mission) but that is still no excuse.

    -Beckman at Castle! Too funny. General Beckman brings a dynamic to the show that combines patriotism, comedy and seriousness all in one. The whole “I changed my mind” was hilarious. Blackballing him? Too funny. Beckman gets what she wants and she wants Chuck lol. Turning her down only leads to tunnels haha.
    -Linda Hamilton’s short scenes were as equally powerful as if they were 3 hour Titanic like explorations. She packed a lot (not only in terms of acting but also storytelling and mystery) in what little time on screen she had. I can most assuredly say I AM hooked. I can’t wait for more MamaB.

    The Fantastic:
    – S.O.S. the whole sexting thing is seriously fall off the chair hilarious. I said earlier, who could have ever imagined Sarah Walker, the Sarah Walker we knew from Season 1 and 2 reaching this point of playfulness and openness? Certainly not me. Also there was a line in which right before Sarah leaves Chuck says, “what do we say?” “I love you” I love that. He’s helping her become more couply (remember she didn’t—past tense—really have someone in her life who cared about her) so just saying the words is a magnificent leap and definitely one that warms the hearts.
    – Tears. Chuck at its finest combines all the genres to the pinnacle of entertainment. The scene in which Sarah thought that Chuck was dead…very powerful stuff. It could just as well have seemed fake but instead it was powerful. Sarah loves Chuck a whole lot but she’s not one to go all Juliet to Chuck’s Romeo so the way it was done with enough emotionality in that single tear was perfect. Also Casey LOL. I swear if he didn’t lose his tear ducks at some point after not being hatched and being in the military I think he would have cried too.
    – Talking at the end. Yes the “new rule, no secrets, no lies” was a welcome clarification but the intimacy in discussing not only his feelings about MamaB (remember for Chuck it’s just something he doesn’t talk about much because it was just always was) but also where he will go from this point on was fantastic. Chuck needs to learn to trust and go to Sarah the way he does to Morgan and in that one scene, I am wholly encouraged he will be doing so from this point on. Sarah is more than just a spy, she’s a girlfriend and she can be as supportive if not more so than the people Chuck has always counted on since his family was torn asunder.

    Last comment: I thought Olivia Munn’s role would be bigger than it was. It’s basically just a cameo.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      BTW my “beckman gets what she wants and she wants Chuck” was directed at the Duck shippers. I’m always thinking of you guys! 😀

    • joe says:

      I just want to ditto everything you said here, Faith. And I was starting to think I was the only one falling off my chair about the sexting bit. 😉

      • Casey's girl says:

        Not be a party pooper here but I kind of thought the sexting was a bit much. Shame on you Morgan for being such a pervert. The little elf still needs some growing up to do.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Thanks Joe. There was a lot to love.

        Casey’s girl I understand completely. But I also think that with the overall tone and the seriousness of the search and deception it was a perfect foil. I can tell you that I am and was personally appalled when I first learned about sexting…especially the idea of teenagers doing it. There is/was just so many pitfalls and morality issues going on there. But I think (and this is where to me Chuck stands out from the rest) is how it was done. It was funny. Plain on funny. It was light-hearted with just enough realism and tugs at your heartstrings-ness because you realize that these two people have been apart for so long and they’re so very much bereft and empty without each other that sexting is their one left intimacy. At least that’s how I saw it on Sarah’s part.

        On Chuck’s part there was this quick almost ignorable shot where he wakes up and the first thing he does is reach for her and she’s not there. Morgan’s idea of sexting isn’t borne out of immaturity but in love. Love for his friend whose suffering without his own love. And an attempt at intimacy that is otherwise out of reach…literally.

      • Casey's girl says:

        Oh I didn’t mind Chuck and Sarah sexting, it was Morgan taking the liberty of doing FOR Chuck is what I had a problem with. It just wasn’t cool.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Ok. I understand better now. Well you could try to think of it as an altruistic act on Morgan’s part. I don’t think Morgan was getting any vicarious thrill in initiating sexting but rather I think he hoped that doing so would inspire Sarah and thereby Chuck who already shot the idea down. Well that and we don’t know if Morgan even saw the last texts.

        Now for another topic haha…I was initially more enamored by the depth of intimacy and trust that Chuck showed towards the end there with his conversation with Sarah about his mom and his intentions/plans/emotional struggle in not being able to tell Ellie but now I’m intrigued by the “no lies, that was our deal.”

        I’m wondering (aloud) when did this conversation come about? Is this the initial “just give me this one and I promise you I won’t ever lie to you again” from Final Exam or does this come much, much later post Sarah’s devastation of not knowing Chuck’s grievous diagnosis? Did they sit down and hash out all the years of truth and lies and made a conscious decision to be true to each other above all? This is intriguing to me because for someone do used to lying as Sarah is this is again a huge step into the relationship, into the depth of their relationship.

        Of course rehashing this just makes it all the more upsetting that after all this Chuck still lied. Oh sorry, not lied, withheld the truth. But I do love the adaptability and forgiveness in “new rule, no secrets, no lies.” After an eternity campaigning for a Chuck lying punishment he gets off virtually scott free. Well not really because he lost the lead to a mission entrusted to him by his dearly departed papa, and well he internalized just how much not telling her hurt her. That just might be good enough haha. I guess in the end I cared much more about what his transgressions has brought than the capital punishment for such a grievous offense. Which makes me a sucker 😉 and proud of it!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I agree that it is totally Morgan to take it on himself to do “relationship maintenance” for Chuck and Sarah if he thinks they are neglecting things. It’s the lovable part of Morgan, plus the part that knows no boundaries…

      • jason says:

        I’ve been really hard on morgan in the speculation season – spec’ing that he would be the screen time sapping device this season that shaw was last season (shaw keeping sarah from interacting with chuck, morgan keeping chuck away from sarah), I have to admit, I thought Morgan was on with chuck way too much in episode one, but …. when chuck is on mission with morgan, it allows CS to have more intimate personal time, without the show going to far out of balance …. I thought this episode just pushed the limit of chuck / morgan time, as well as CS personal time, I doubt most episodes will have that much of either.

        I think the money thing will never be spoken about again, chuck’s season 2 paycheck was sufficient enough to throw a wedding for 25-50 people in hawaii, my guess is sarah earns more than that? Plus any orion inheritance?

      • thinkling says:

        @Ernie: This wouldn’t be the first time Dr. Morgan tried to do relationship maintenance. He experimented on Devon and Ellie a couple of times. Now he has a new couple to play with. In Moscow, he clearly forgot he was supposed to be Chuck. Poor Sarah got unfiltered Morgan.

    • thinkling says:

      I so agree with all that you’ve said, Faith. The bad was bad. We braced for it, b/c we knew it was coming. But still. Agghhh. At least it seems to have been dealt with, instead of dragging it out and ruining many episodes (à la s3). I like that Sarah called him on it and that he responded the way he did. Aha, growth.

      I love your word choice for Sarah … playful and open …heartwarming, indeed!

    • atcdave says:

      Thanks for some great comments Faith. I’d say ditto to all. I really hope to see more of Sarah taking Morgan’s place as confidant; she’s got like all the brains and loyalty PLUS discernment!

      • thinkling says:

        … and the sooner Chuck figures this out, the better. I loved it when Chuck was asking Casey and Sarah if they would help, and she said, “Of course.” It was just the right tone, too. Now, if it will just sink in.

      • atcdave says:

        I liked that too Thinkling; its kind of the polite way of saying “Do you really have to ask, stupid!”

    • Crumby says:

      I especially loved Sarah’s reaction to Morgan sexting, the scene is HILARIOUS. 😀

      • herder says:

        They let Yvonne do three comedy bits on this episode, teasing Casey about missing Chuck, fish out of water Sarah taking pictures of herself for sexting and her reaction to Morgan’s dimness about her messages. “Oh my god! he thinks were still sexting”. That is probably as many comedy bits as she got in the first thirteen last year.

      • atcdave says:

        Have to give credit to Yvonne too. I mean I don’t think the actress is even a little shy, but she played that perfect.

  19. odysszeuss says:

    Hey! What can I say, wasn’t that awsome?!? Legs, Sexting, Superhero Chuck (confident AND funny), Kickass Sarah AND -I LUV U- Sarah, grumby Casey AND caring Casey, Morgan is still Morgan but he’s an adult version of himself, Beckman the storemanager- how funny is that: seeing forward some customer complainig about her staff in the buymore 😉
    …i really think schwedak menwhile had find out for themselves what their TV-Show is really about. The Story is nonsens, but we LOVE the Character and their chemistry 😉 😉 ;-)the low budget sets doesn’t bother me -they are funny for themselve 😉 THE FUN IS BACK – I LOVE THAT!!!

    • odysszeuss says:

      btw. the show was online aviable 2 minutes after it airs. that is really really really fast. house was 1 minute and how i met your mother 6 or 36 (don’t know if it end on 00 or 30). I mean, that’s good, isn’t it?!? House is a very big player and Chuck is nearly that fast. I have a really good feeling about Chuck Season 4. this one we really could enjoy…

    • joe says:

      Great to see you back, Oz!

      Thanks for pointing out how quick the episode was put online. I’m off to watch again NOW!

  20. jason says:

    OK – as many of you might guess – I loved it. I have only watched once, so here is off the top of my head in no order:

    1 – chuck’s lie to ellie at the end, sort of addressed his lie to sarah in the S3 sarah ‘ILU chuck’ scene – ellie was so happy, chuck couldn’t bring her down, sarah perfectly understood, maybe not the perfect solution to some fans, but powerful, and was told as a plot / story, not just left hanging as a WTF

    2 – two casey lines, ‘your boy friend is good at it / needs to get big boy pants (to his sister)’ – echoing what many of us thought about chuck – and his call back to sarah’s season 3 ‘ Thank youuu’ – not big things, but I liked

    3 – I don’t like morgan / chuck missions (I don’t like morgan missions I guess is more accurate), but it ended at just about the point I was getting bored – faux angst rather than angst – plus the story told why chuck didn’t tell sarah (several times) rather than leave me guessing – as well as chuck told sarah why he didn’t tell her, and sarah understood, again, casey giving audience perspective, ‘I am just mad you didn’t tell me’ – I loved the part where the 4 of them where in the cave

    4 – like other tendancies when morgan gets involved with this creative team, the sexting lasted a bit too long, but again the sarah – morgan – chuck love triangle – yea that is the triangle this season – might really work for laughs – if just held in check and not overwritten

    5 – linda h’s ‘oh chuck’ might rival ‘chuck me’ as a line, as well as’i have a family too’ kaboom, only took mama b about 2 or 3 minutes of screen time to have a mauser moment and two great line, not a bad introduction

    5b – added this as I was rereading, I loved how sarah found out about the rogue mission, as chuck was saving her life and possibly getting killed, plus markov calling CM a pair of great spies using public transit, as he saved the day and wasn’t dead, how could she be mad at him, then right after using the term ‘great spies’, creating a new ‘sarah rule’, don’t know if either was intentionally written to be call backs, but was the strongest part of the show

    5c – I love that the guest stars aren’t important, I don’t want screen time robbed from team B – I am quite content to have 30-35 minutes of CS with as bit of morgan and casey sprindled in there

    6 – chuck and sarah’s mutual, open affection for each other, all I can say is TPTB better be very careful if, how and for how long they take that away from me, I am growing very fond of that part of the show – LOL

    Overall, I liked how the story was told to address the conflict that was raised, instead of left hanging in the wind. Chuck is best for me when funny, romantic, and action packed in that order for me, this version of chuck was pretty close to ‘best’ as I recall.

    • Casey's girl says:

      #3 of your analysas I really liked, I loved the four of them together at the Lair as well. I loved the way Casey called Chuck out on not asking him and Sarah for help. Did Chuck really think they’d sell him out after everything they’ve been through together?

      When Marko asked them if they recognised Chuck/Morgan, Casey and Sarah had more of the family loyalty then Chuck did at the moment. They understand that families, even mixed ones like theirs don’t betray, lie, or keep secrets from each other.

      Man it’s great to be back, I can’t believe I haven’t been here all summer shame on me. : /

    • atcdave says:

      Great points Jason, I agree with all. I forgot to mention the “public transportation” line earlier, very funny stuff!

      • thinkling says:

        Public transpo was a hoot. Especially when it had to serve as the getaway car. Too funny! That’s probably why Sarah wants him to rejoin the agency. They provide getaway transpo. Tell me the private jet didn’t beat the Moscow public bus.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I’m going to have to join the chorus here. That was also too funny. They WERE stealth because the used public transportation. What better way to remain anonymous? Of course that last little bit about the anniversary was shipperific.

      • patty says:


        A private jet may be cooler but I doubt you could use Knockout gas on a drafty Russian bus!! 😉

  21. Rick Holy says:

    Simply put – FUN! Have to admit – the “sexting” parts were a gut-busting laugh. I can’t recall the exact line, but I loved Casey’s response to it when he and Sarah were tied up – “What does that even mean?” or something to that effect. Love how they are able to interject little things that point out Casey’s age difference and where he’s out of touch with what’s going on today.

    GREAT start to S4. Let’s hope we get a back nine announcement – soon!!

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I think fun is the perfect word. On my second watch I noticed several things I didn’t previously (of which I’m sure I’ll get into sometime soon lol)…and the tone that was set from the music alone was that of fun.

      Tim Jones can create music to enhance the mood, in Anniversary’s case that mood is that of playful fun.

  22. Big Kev says:

    Only have access to an IPhone right now and can’t be bothered to type a novel – but LOVED IT!! About to rewatch.
    Too much funny stuff to mention. Loved the chute in the Buy More and Morgan’s reaction. Loved the light tone – but with a real sense of presence and menace from Linda Hamilton. Surprised that Olivia Munn and Harry Dean Stanton were so peripheral, but not upset by it. Not bothered by the final scene either. Completely understood Chuck not bring able to tell Ellie at that exact moment – and promo suggests it will be addressed.
    So much good stuff! The bad taste from the last premiere (Pink Slip) officially removed!

  23. Buy More Associate says:

    One hates to be the fly in the ointment, but when you do a five-minute sight gag about a cult movie (Repo Man) than even many in Chuck’s core audience probably haven’t seen, you know the show is wobbly.

    And while one always has to accept logic holes in Chuck, why is he cash-strapped? Ostensibly, Orion left him a ton of money, since Orion always had what he needed and worked for hire.

    And why is a repo man going after a $900 car? Amd who makes a loan of $900 these days? And I guess there are no car fans on Chuck because the AMC Pacer shown is something of a cult car now and commands thousands of bucks, especially in show shape.

    And why weren’t Chuck and Morgan using Sarah’s Porsche? Is Chuck not allowed to drive it? That would have actually been the better way to go because it could have been a callback to the pilot when Chuck asks Morgan to drive the Nerd Herder. Chuck telling Morgan he couldn’t drive Sarah’s car could have been a funny bit.

    All this messiness from a 5-minute sight gag that was virtually meaningless to the plot, which was weak enough as it is.

    Finally, is anyone really TRULY grabbed by this search-for-Mama-B storyline? I mean, the occasional curveball notwithstanding, this arc is a no-brainer. Mama B is Sarah, a generation ago. Whatever character Dalton plays will be a Shaw type. And the whole idea is that Mama and Papa B made decisions about spying and being together that, while honorable in themselves, did not honor their life TOGETHER. And Chuck and Sarah, of course, are now going to be TOGETHER no matter what.

    I don’t say Anniversary didn’t have its moments. It was certainly easier to watch than anything in 3.1-13. That in itself is happy news. But Chuck no longer has a great hook: The Everyman who doesn’t want to be a spy is gone. The kick-ass spy who is having a fantasy relationship with a phony boyfriend is gone.

    And something about the Chuck/Sarah chemistry simply isn’t right anymore. The combustibility is gone. Strahovski was terribly photograhed this episode. The tenderness seems gone. And the Chuck/Sarah scenes together (save the last one on the bed) were amazingly awkward with stilted dialogue.

    Sorry to be the dissenting voice, but I am very worried by what I saw.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Interesting points. I never saw the movie Repo Man, so truthfully, I didn’t quite “get” what that part of the episode was about. I’m going to have to re-watch, but I wasn’t even sure what the deal was with that car in the first place.

      (And nothing against Harry Dean Stanton – was he IN the movie Repo Man? – but, I think it would have been cool to have Dean Stockwell as a guest star since he was in Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula. I have to be honest I got the two actors’ names mixed up and that’s who I was expecting to see – “the guy who was Scott Bakula’s side kick).

      Your points are all noteworthy. I think, however, that after season 3, “the bar” was lowered as far as expectations for the premiere of season 4 – so when it turned out “not to suck but to actually be entertaining,” a number of us were willing to grade high on the curve.

      The other thing may be – and I didn’t notice who was given credit for writing this episode – is that so many of the writers for CHUCK are new this season – it may take them awhile to get their CHUCK feet wet.

      I think my take on the Chuck/Sarah chemistry angle is different than yours – not “better,” or “more accurate,” but just different. The chemistry is going to be different because the situation is now different – they’re together – which is what at least the majority of fans SEEM to have wanted. I don’t know if that chemistry will be “combustible” again, but I still think that it CAN BE pretty hot. Time – and future episodes – will tell.

      No apologies necessary for being the dissenting voice. It’s what makes this site unique – and makes for great conversation/discussion/debate.

      Perhaps someone has mentioned this on a previous thread, so I don’t claim to be the first. But I HAVE to believe that either Schwartz, Fedak, or both were ALIAS fans. I know that CHUCK and ALIAS are different shows, but there are also a number of significant similarities. Mom and Dad BOTH spies. Child discovers that parents were/are spies – first Dad, them Mom. Mom missing for a loooooong time. Agent and Handler “apart” for several seasons, then together. Fulcrum/Ring = SD6, etc.

      I loved ALIAS for what it was, and I love CHUCK for what it is – even when I was less than happy with it. Guess it’s kind of like a marriage. You LOVE your spouse ALWAYS – even when at times you might not particularly LIKE him/her.

      Take care, all. And “Keep on Chuckin’!”

      • thinkling says:

        @BMA- I have to agree with you that the repo time could have been better spent, but maybe somebody more pop-culture savvy than I am got it more than I did. Not such a big deal to me.

        As for the search, I’m in. I figure it’s kind of like ski-tubing. I *think* I know where we’re headed, I mean I am following the boat, right? But the fun is the ride: the speed, the quick turns, the rough wake, catching air and the wind and spray in my face. Bring it on. So, first, I wouldn’t be too quick to think I know the route they’re going to take. But even if I do, I’m ready to hang on and enjoy the ride, because it’s fun.

        And the chemistry. I’m thinking like Rick on this. The chemistry is still there. It’s just different. And I beg forgiveness up front, but I looked up combustible (bear with me). The adjective means capable of igniting or burning. And so it [their chemistry] was. But it didn’t get to ignite very often S1+2. It exploded 3 times, and it never really got to burn. We knew the love was there beneath the surface. It was undeniable, and yet constantly denied. The noun combustible is something that can be burned to provide heat or power – fuel basically. (Hear in Brazil we say we’re going to fill the car with combustible.) So I think instead of pent-up passion ready to explode, we should now see a relationship fueled by a slow-burning passion that is igniting on a regular basis, not that we’ll see the combustion, but we’ll see some evidence that it’s there. In Vs the Anniversary, C/S were separated most of the time. The moments they had together, gave evidence of off-screen love and intimacy. I’m pretty happy with it. I’d much rather see Chuck wake up and reach for the empty side of the bed (ache, feel the longing) than see him wake up staring at the ceiling, with the covers gathered around his chin b/c he knows he can’t touch the beautiful woman beside him (Lethal Weapon). Anyhoo, I think there is chemistry a plenty and combustion in our future. Don’t give up yet.

      • Buy More Associate says:

        Father Rick/thinkling:
        First off, an obvious comment but it probably should be said: I’m talking within the context of a TV show, not a real-life relationship. Naturally, in real life, it would switch if two people were (heaven forfend!) go through what Chuck and Sarah have.

        But looking at Anniversary on screen and, frankly, most of the back six last year, I just don’t see it playing out right on the screen. The dialogue is often very weird, the body positions are often stilted and it seems as if the characters are being played as strangers who meet for a hook-up every once in a while rather than a couple in a relationship.

        It was actually abnABN who first picked up on this point in a post she made some months ago. For me, I don’t find the relationship as it’s been shown since Other Guy has been quite as…I don’t know…what’s the word…fun or romantic or playful or even all that believable. The Chuck/Sarah chemistry that first attracted much of us to the show seems gone.

        Or it just may be that starting the fourth year in, and after such a dreary string of episodes last year, the characters are simply less believable now, which would make the relationship less believable.

        On-screen stuff like this is very subtle and sometimes undefinable. So I guess I am trying to define the undefinable…

        PS: As for Repo Man, you both sort of prove the point. To give Harry Dean Stanston (a formidable presence, to be sure) such a plot-irrelevant part just because he was a repo man in a cult flick 25 years ago seems like a waste of screen time AND a waste of Stanton’s talent.

      • jason says:

        no big surprise, I think the opposite, I love the chemistry between them as a couple, the last 10 minutes of 3.12, all of the back 7 as well as the anniversary – hot – ouch. The only trouble I see, is they appear to be wanting to jump each other’s bones for real – and obviously they do have to stop at some point – don’t know what you view as sizzling, I don’t think I’ve seen a pair of actors more into it than they are, maybe too much, is that possibly what you don’t like?

      • thinkling says:

        @Jason: Maybe I didn’t say what I meant, but I much prefer the slow-burning, heat-and-power-producing, passion we’re seeing now to the pent-up frustration of yore.

      • atcdave says:

        I’ll say what comes naturally to me, I agree with Rick. I was very happy with how Chuck and Sarah interacted on screen, and hope for more of it.

        I love Thinkling’s take on combustibility. I like seeing the comfortable warmth between Chuck and Sarah; much better than the volatility of the first two seasons. OK, better might be the wrong word, how about appropriate? After two years of not knowing how to make things work together, they are now getting it right. Very satisfying. I think early S3 did major damage though; we have something sweet and satisfying, but not magical like it could have been.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a great way to say what s3 did. It stole the magic. And speaking of s3, I can think of a few things I would like to make disappear.

      • patty says:

        I did not see Repoman” but My husband apparently has. He could not stop laughing and going on about how cool it was.

        The scene worked for me though since it was obvious that the car was getting taken for non-payment. I liked that Chuck ignored Morgan’s suggestion to kung-fu/intersect the guy to keep the car.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      While Papa B definitely had revenue from somewhere he might not have remembered to leave the info (account numbers, paswords, bank cards with the pin number) lying around. He was a bit squirrly after all so it’s very conceivable that he remembered a dying message just in case but didn’t remember cash flow as aproblem. The moeny to keep the electricity on at the Encino house/Orion cave could be set up to be automatically deducted from an account set up and will continue to be paid until the account is empty.

      And I never saw Repo Man either , I just guessed he might be from that. I wanted Morgan to take him out for Chinese food.

      • atcdave says:

        I guess its also possible Chuck and Morgan just had a communication breakdown; as in Chuck can get the money, but he hadn’t yet and Morgan didn’t know what to do. It will be interesting to see if this is a recurring theme, or if $43000 in credit card debt is ever mentioned again!

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      What’s so great about Chuck and Sarah is that we all have different interpretations of the thing that goes on within and around their relationship. Because they are simply that enchanting and lovable.

      I do disagree with you about the chemistry aspect, but I appreciate and can identify with your fixation. I see the difference in amorousness as it relates to their kisses but where fire burned, love now grows. That initial spark has translated into an intimacy (I’ve said that a lot lately lol) that is for me a sight to see.

      Having said that I thought the kiss early on in this epi right before Casey interrupts them has been one of the steamiest ones of late. It was kind of explicit.

      • thinkling says:

        Well said, CN8. What they have now is so much more!

        And you’re right about the “kind of” explicit kiss. It may be kind of a good thing Casey interrupted.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        You are so spot on about the kissing. I thought it was totally hot and explicit too.Special mention to the “mmmm” sounds that Sarah was making during the kissing scenes (both at their house and in Castle after wards). That was hot too.

  24. DaveB says:

    This doesn’t have to do with this episode persay…but in the preview, with the naked girl, there rises an issue that I’m sure people have thought about: What about those times when Sarah, as a spy, has to do the fake relationship thing with a bad guy. How will Chuck deal with that? But in the promo, we have that issue turned on its head: How will Sarah deal with it? Hee hee!

    Great episode, BTW. The sexting thing with Morgan headed into creepy-ness a bit. Honestly, sexting your best buddies girl? Not awesome.

    Mamma B is pretty frosty. Just enough ??? to create anxiety about her actually finding Chuck and what that would mean.

    And did anyone catch the look on her face when she turned out the light on little Chuck? She knew she was going to disappear. Why?

    I guess we’ll find out.

    All in all, they packed a heck of a lot into 42 minutes. As my wife said: “That was a little confusing.” But it was a good beginning.

    • Casey's girl says:

      Yeah I didn’t like how Morgan could feel so free as to sext another man’s girlfriend (his best friends girl at that ) it wasn’t cool nor mature.

      And the thing about MEB, sure I bet she loves her family, but as LH said, she has her own agenda. And the TPTB has said that points would come up to make us speculate if she’s friend or foe.

      I can’t wait to see the Big Bad Volkof (sp?) I wonder if it’s Dalton….

  25. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    @michaelAusiello Among returning shows, DANCING, HIMYM, CASTLE up vs. last year, CHUCK and HOUSE (sigh) down.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Ratings are ALWAYS going to be a problem. DWTS is a juggernaut – and even HIMYM – Neil Patrick Harris gets ALOT of exposure – Zach Levi? Virtually nill – other than those occasional commercials for Xfinity. I’m not going to even pay attention to the ratings this year. Whatever happens, happens. Bottom line is does NBC have in the works something CHEAPER to produce that they feel will give them better ratings than CHUCK in the time slot it’s in? If they do, then CHUCK will come to an end. If NBC and WB are STILL making money on CHUCK even with low ratings, then it will live to see another day.

      I don’t really care what some people say about Seinfeld and those occasional rare show which somehow magically “catch on” with viewers in their 3rd or 4th seasons to become hits. That’s simply not going to happen for CHUCK – as much as we’d like it to, it’s just not.

      Soooooo…… with that being said, watch the episodes, enjoy them as much as you can, and “ratings be d***ed!”

    • jason says:

      if this has not been posted, here are the prelim’s, I think they make chuck sound better than it is, this is not the 18-49 numbers, just the household numbers, I don’t think the chuck number was very good, faith understands these better than I, she might chime in, the real numbers come out in another hour or two:


      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Unfortunately I have to head to my statistics class (no lie) in like 10 minutes so I’ll check it out later (or during..kidding).

        But I will repeat this one from Ausiello: “Two things of note re: preliminary CHUCK ratings: It was up over last season’s finale and it got virtually zero promotion. #glassishalffull”

        Fr Rick. Strong words lol. I still have faith 😉 (well in general but specifically for Chuck in this instance).

        Amy, a fella named Rafael has continued them. You might just see him here one of these days. Me and Jen have been Chuckthisblog fangirls for the NBC board members over at twitter.

      • Buy More Associate says:

        These numbers are actually quite acceptable. 2.1 is good considering the cost of the show and the lack of promotion. Chase barely did better with a lot more promotion. And the event was less than half better with millions of promotion.

        If Chuck were to hold at 2.1, it might get a back order.

        As for it “shocking the world” as the Darth tool claims, well, he predicted a 0.9. So I guess it shocked the idiot fake insiders. The rest of us should accept 2.1 as a reasonable rating for a reasonably priced show with less than reasonable promotion.

      • amyabn says:

        @CN8: wow! does this mean you and Jen are our groupies! We are happy to have you spread the good word! Thanks!

      • joe says:

        Whoa! I need to get over there more (and back on twitter, too – I’ve been so remiss!…)

        Faith, can’t thank you enough for that!

        And before I forget to mention (again), it’s so nice to see no many familiar names back from the summer hiatus. If you have the time, you may want to venture into the blog archives and wallow around barefoot in ’em for a bit. There were some great posts and even better discussions!

      • Jen says:

        Amy, i don’t mind being a ChuckThis Blog groupie… i’ve advertised this blog to anyone i can. There is a guy in Argentina that has his own Chuck fan site. I let him know wbout this site and invited him over (i took the liberty. :D)

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Amy, oh no, it has nothing to do with you guys. You just supply the forum, cultivate the introspective, articulate and vocal environment and generally keep us on our toes.

        You do absolutely nothing, we’re the headliners here 😀 haha.

        Jason. Well the 2.1 demo rating says it pretty much but what I gathered from the one you linked is that even with all the buzz and all the promotion the Event still didn’t win the ratings battle in their time-slot. Doubling our numbers isn’t the point, we’re in the same network and in essence the competition is less intense (within the network) but not winning the 9 pm (new shows battle) after Lone Star tanked isn’t good either. Hawaii 5-0 could very well steal their share. For our part consistency is our very best weapon. NBC knows 2 things: fans of Chuck are (for the most part) loyal to Chuck and with heavy promotion there is a guaranteed uptick in Chuck ratings. Not a lot…and there tends to be a regression to the mean after the promotion…hence my belief that NBC is purposely doing a cost-effective (their idea of cost-effective) manner of supporting Chuck.

        I’ve said before Chuck can get 2.0 easy. We are 2.0. That’s the fanbase. The 1.8 and the consistently downward spiral during S3 was essentially the fans leaving the show—scariest event of all—but I think with this 2.1 we’re seeing the return of many a disillusioned Chuck fan. I know I saw several old posters coming back over the boards…in full excitement and optimism. Finally, excitement and optimism.

      • atcdave says:

        I think you’re exactly right Faith, and with everyone more enthusiastic again it should be easier to bring in new viewers; these things tend to snowball. Shows die when their core audience is no longer satisfied.

    • amyabn says:

      The actual ratings and shares should be out around 1130 Eastern. I’m curious as to how things will shake out, and enjoy comparing the shows. I wonder if Snickrz will continue the ratings spreadsheet this season?

    • atcdave says:

      I think we have to be pretty happy with those numbers. No promotion, up against killer competition, and we still did better than the last part of S3.

      Back in S2, the numbers usually started down after a break or bad episode, and then gradually improved over time. In S3, we started really strong, then started loosing viewers until the story improved in 3.13; at which point ratings stabilized at a fairly low level to the end of the season.
      So my thought is, this is the ground floor. We are all (well, mostly all) excited about what we saw. So it should go up from here. Remember, if you’re excited, share it! enthusiasm is infectious (so is pessimism, another reason why S3 probably eroded until late).

      • herder says:

        What I am hoping is that some of the people put off by season three dvr’d the episode and enjoy it enough to watch live rather than recording it. Push up those numbers a bit and get the back nine.

      • thinkling says:

        @herder: Showing my ignorance, but how do they know if I tivo or watch live?

      • herder says:

        Not quite sure they know what you specifically do, but I think that the Nielson families habits are monitored and that is projected onto the population as a whole. Then again they may simply make it up, I don’t really know, but they do release live +7 numbers to reflect those who watch the show live and within seven days. Traditionally Chuck is a show that has a higher percentage of people who watch the show on delay when compared to other shows.

      • thinkling says:

        OK thanks. A little creepy.

      • atcdave says:

        Herder and Thinkling; one of my Chuck recruits was a Nielson viewer until just recently. She said they put another box on their DVR/cable box that monitored exactly what they were watching vs. delaying. They were also expected to journal who was in the room and who was actively watching each program. I believe they have a new generation of equipment that can monitor for itself how active viewers are (I think the technical term is a camera!); really creepy.

        The number of Nielson viewers has always been controversial. I don’t believe its much more than 20000 households. They have two year contracts, get a small stipend for participating, and aren’t supposed to tell anyone that they are Nielson viewers. (my recruit told me after I got her hooked on Chuck; of course she’s also one who got discouraged and quit during S3. She’s back now, but no longer has the box).

        DVRs and most service providers can record your exact viewing habits. But for a variety of reasons that sound like BS to me; this data is considered less accurate than Nielson’s.

  26. herder says:

    I may have missed something but what was the 6 – 9 month aniversary about? Six or Nine months of what. The thing that I liked most about this episode is that it was fun, maybe things are more fun when Chuck and Sarah are in a good place but this episode felt like more than the sum of it’s parts.

    It was an especially strong episode for Casey, from the disgust at the beginning when Chuck and Sarah are saying goodbye, to the look of incomprehension when Sarah tells him he misses Chuck ( and the look on his face when he returns from the washroom in the airplane). Great little lines for him too “oy gevalt” in the castle when Chuck and Sarah are kissing, “I’m going to rip you limb from limb from limb” and my favorite, “anybody injured? (Morgan says he is a bit hurt) “anybody that matters?”. And a call back to the Colonel in that he was upset that he wasn’t asked to help get Chuck’s parent and Chuck formally asking him to help.

    The biggest thing is that it was fun, fun, fun.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      There are some theories/explanations at the boards. The strongest one is that if you consider the 3 month hiatus, Chuck and Sarah has been apart yet another 3 months within this one episode. She leaves in the beginning and doesn’t come back until it’s yet another 3 months (castle scene return).

      For my part I think if you consider Other Guy to have been March in Chuckverse, Honeymooners April it just barely fits the time they allotted in the 6/9 months.

      This will of course get fixed just before actual holidays coincide with Chuck with the logic that a week in between Chuck isn’t always a week. Could just as well be days.

    • Casey's girl says:

      @herder, I liked what you said about Casey he was awesome wasn’t he?

      The part where he said ”Well, I’m little peeved you didn’t ask us to help” wasn’t as angry or hurt like in the Colonel, in fact he said it rather in a gentle, slightly disappointed big brotherly way. I loved that he was the first to say yes when Chuck did ask for help.

      I can’t stop gushing how much Operation Bartowski has gelled together. From the reluctant band who were paranoid and distrusting of each other, to have created such a strong family like bond has been a treat to watch and I like now that they always put family first before the job, even though they could be punished for it if caught. Man I love this show and I adore Team B. 😀

    • Crumby says:

      The 6 months makes sense, March (Other Guy) to September (Anniversary), but 9 months? I didn’t get it either.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        March to September (beginning of Anniversary) but remember they were traveling all over the world within Anniversary itself. Chuck and Morgan on the bank breaking (haha) search for MamaB and Sarah on a mission that just won’t end.

        So it could be 6+3 or 4+5 or 6/9 LOL.

      • herder says:

        I agree with Crumby, last year they spoke of Sarah being off the grid with Shaw on march 23rd, this year they are filming a thanksgiving episode. While you can fit a six month aniversary in there how do you fit nine months.

        By the same token the 1994 start with Mama B seems too late, I would have thought that she left in ’90 or ’91. There must be a reason for choosing that date, it doesn’t coincide with the Iraq war or the fall of the Russian communists, could it have something to do with some technological breakthrough in “94. On the other hand they could simply be bad at math.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well figure things started around April 5th, the air date of Other Guy. That would make early October the 6 month anniversary, so with some fudging that could fit. Nine months I’m not too sure about, but it could be referring to when Chuck came back from Prague and the team re-formed. Somebody tweet Schwartz and find out! The fans demand answers!

      • thinkling says:

        April 15th was the day they left for Zurich, as per Morgan’s sleuthing. Other Guy was just a few days (not 10, by any means) before that.

      • thinkling says:

        That would make October 12th-15th the 6 month anniversary. If the beginning of the ep is in September, then the initial globe-trotting gets us into October.

        I can’t get 9 months out of it no matter how I hold my mouth. But then again their time line is always a little off.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I give them a few days in Paris before they took off on the three day trip to Lyons (timelines do seem a bit difficult for these guys…). Plus, they were pretty much together at the beginning of Other Guy when Sarah said yes to Chuck DYLM question.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true, but if I were picking a day to be my anniversary (based on life instead of date-challenged writers), I would pick the day in Paris after Shaw was killed – or the “Honeymoon” on the train. Of course, we’re only talking a few days’ difference … nothing to account for the /9. It boggles the mind.

      • odysszeuss says:

        the 6 (slash) 9 line from chuck indicates anyhow, the writers weren’t sure for themselves. nothing else seems to make sense…

      • jason says:

        I think I could easily watch a show where sarah and casey were the lead characters, as a neither ever wants to wt/wt kick butt spy couple, ok I could easily watch a show where sarah and morgan were the lead characters, as a he wants to they never will spy couple, I guess there is a trend somewhere in there – lester and / or jeff and sarah works too – carina and sarah works – emmit and sarah real good – fitzroy and sarah a blast – ok I think I see the pattern

      • thinkling says:

        OK. New theory. If they are going by the ILY’s, -then Three Words is 3 months (+/- a day or two) before Other Guy. Granted Sarah’s ILY was realy just yes, yes, yes. But that’s the only thing that makes any sense to me at all.

      • atcdave says:

        I think nine months since the reforming of Team B works best. There also may be an inside joke at work we don’t know about; like the shifting dates for when S3 actually started airing; or just generally the vagueness of time and dates on television. Halloween will be the first real world date “anchor” for the show since Valentine’s Day of 2009.

      • thinkling says:

        I don’t know, Dave. At the reforming of the team, Sarah was still really steamed (or cold, whichever way you want to look at it). At least after Three Words, she knew he loved her. It was the first skinny plank in restoring their relationship.

      • luckygirl says:

        I was thinking since Ring part 1 ended in April then you add the three weeks for his training that puts us into May. Add six months to that and we’re in Nov. since it’s unclear how much time passed during season three it’s big of a lapse time wise.

      • atcdave says:

        Well, I don’t believe there is a GOOD answer. Nine months ago was the beginning of a miserable season with no bright spots for Chuck and Sarah. Maybe the three words, but given that Sarah then proceeded to beat Chuck with a stick I don’t think that’s a good choice either. Having Anniversary show three months of time doesn’t work either because we have the Halloween episode as an anchor point next month. For the couple; 6 months/3 years seems most logical (together/met); but that’s not what they said.

        I think 6/9 months has to be couple together/team together. As I said above, there may be some sort of inside joke at work we don’t know about. That or a major retcon is coming were we’ll find out Chuck and Sarah were secretly together all season last year…

      • thinkling says:

        Agreed that there is nothing worth commemorating prior to Other Guy. I think TPTB are still trying to convince us that there was. plghphghphgh

        (But Sarah did beat him with a stick before she heard his confession.)

      • jason says:

        if the first 13 last season started in sept like this season did, 13 weeks later is 3 months, so they have been together since 3×13, hence 9 months – just ignore any other fact to the contrary.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s the key, Jason … ignoring facts 🙂


      • jkl says:

        According to Josh Schwartz:

        “@sheebs08 it’s their six month anniversary they’ve had to put off for 3 mos bc of mission mishegas (weirdly IPhone recognizes ‘mishegas’)”.

      • herder says:

        Like the fact that in Living Dead Casey said that Sarah had spent March 23rd off the grid with Shaw?

        I think the intent was that they were to have a six month anniversary but they both went off on three month missions ( “this is the mission that won’t end”, “we haven’t made a payment in four months” “over the last six months two spies have got closer to Volkov than any others”). Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the timeline of April to September/October).

      • jason says:

        if you buy into my logic, episode 4×13 will be their one year anniversary – not a bad time to propose if you had a predisposition to do so?

      • atcdave says:

        Based on JS’ tweet it looks like we’re back to just really sloppy continuity.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        We’re assuming that each episode is a week or is set the same day as the viewing day but that’s not always the case. It’s possible that (considering there were no dates) a month passed in between Other Guy and Honeymooners and it’s also possible that there were 6 months on just Anniversary alone (or whatever #of months requires for 9 lol).

        Of course then you have to ask, what about thanksgiving and all the holidays…well that to falls under the unknown time periods between episodes (and it’s best that way). Technically Suitcase, et al. could be taking place a day after not telling Ellie, or days after (plural) to get back into “real time” and thereby holidays.

        And Amy LMAO. True. Touche.

      • herder says:

        My problem with this is that in Living Dead Casey asks Sarah what happened when she was off the grid with Shaw on March 23rd. If that is true nine months would take you to December or January, while that may explain snow in Moscow, it doesn’t leave time for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

    • amyabn says:

      You know, I think it is awesome that we pay so much attention. Has anyone done a timeline, a show bible so to speak? Maybe we should….
      Anyway, I say this with a smile and not to be derogatory to anyone, but I love how we all (and I say we) can completely accept that a guy has a computer downloaded into his head with no reservations but fixate on dates. My name is Amy, and I’m a Chuck-aholic!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        We’re just worried because we don’t want the timeline screwed up so that we miss our Thanksgiving or Christmas episodes. 😀

      • atcdave says:

        Speaking of which, have you guys counted out episodes for season yet? I think if 4.06 is the Halloween episode, and airs 10/25, that leaves 5 episodes to the end of November. So do we get 4.11 on 11/29? Does that make 4.10 or 4.11 the Thanksgiving episode? Will 4.11 be the last episode before Christmas? or will they show two more before break (fingers crossed) with a proper Christmas episode? Or will they skip a couple weeks in there so 4.11 is the Christmas episode airing in December?

        Too many questions, sorry.

      • amyabn says:

        @ATCDave, my question is: when will we know about a back 9? Being optimistic here!

      • herder says:

        My guess is that unless we have a sudden uptick in ratings the decision about the back nine won’t be made until late October. That will give some time for returning shows to demonstrate where they are and for new shows to indicate where they are going.

      • atcdave says:

        I was kind of just assuming a back nine in all of that. My guess would be, if they cancel Chuck, they’ll probably finish up any unaired episodes in December. But if we get the back nine (I think better than 50/50 as it stands now) where the break goes becomes a more complicated issue.

  27. joe says:

    I’d like to remind you all about Rewards TV. This is not a plug for them – they are clearly a tool for the advertisers.

    But the promise and hope is that it’s a way for non-Nielsen homes to have their impact on advertising dollars and on Chuck‘s chances for more episodes this season and eventual renewal.


    • amyabn says:

      Good call Joe! I’ll check it out when I get home tonight (there are things I like to not do on work computers!).

    • Rick Holy says:

      And if you’re financially able – keep buying the DVDs/Blu Rays. Christmas isn’t far off! They make GREAT gifts.

      ALSO – don’t forget SUBWAY. Subway isn’t done with CHUCK yet. Big Mike is going to have to return in some way, shape or form. As Beckman’s “Ass Man?” I doubt it. As the manager of a Subway in the strip mall somewhere between Buy More, Large Mart, Underpants, etc., and the now defunct “Orange, Orange?” Sounds like a good possibility!

      • Rick Holy says:

        O.K. I LIED! But like Forrest Gump’s mother said, “It’s just a little white lie and it didn’t hurt no one.” I know where to go to confess my sins – down the hall to my pastor (who by the way I’ve “converted” to a CHUCK fan!!

        I DID see that Chuck’s demo ratings were a 2.1 with a 6 million total viewer numbers. For CHUCK, that’s not too bad, all things considered. Maintain that it THAT time slot, you’re keeping your head above water.

      • herder says:

        The 2.1 demo is up from Subway/Ring’s 1.8 last May. Truthfully, it’s not that great a number, but considering the lack of promotion it’s not unexpected either. House seems to be showing it’s age, maybe we’ll get some of it’s viewers.

  28. Jen says:

    “this is not the opening of a tv show, it’s real life”.. and real life is holding me back from commenting more guys! i wish i could be reading all of your comments on here and spending tiem on the message board, but i got so much work to do! Sheesh!!!
    Anyway, loved the ep… loved soem of your comments up there. The sexting, FUNNY. I do see how it was Morgan in caring fro his bff. THe no lies or secrets pact was needed ages ago, i’m glad we now have it 🙂 And how cool were Casey and Sarah jumping off of that building???
    I don’t have time for more! You all have a chucktastic day! i’ll check in as much as i can. 😉

  29. Rick Holy says:

    While checking TVbytheNumbers to see how Hawai 5-0 did (ANY show with the stunning Grace Park [Boomer/Sharon from BSG] and the very appealing Daniel Dae Kim [Jin from LOST] was worth a look – and apparently a lot of people looked.

    But on the CHUCK front, TVBTN is “early predicting” a pick up of six addtional episodes for CHUCK this season due to it’s very strong “Male Skew.” Somehow that helps THE EVENT, for which CHUCK serves as a lead-in.

    Lot’s to this ratings stuff. I think that’s why we’re still enjoying CHUCK in a 4th season even though it’s “basic ratings” haven’t been that good. It’s all us GUYS who have been saving the show from the axe!! 😉 Chalk one up for the “Y” chromosome!!

    Now as to whether it’s the beautiful Yvonne Strahovski that accounts for this strong “male skew” or the Gaming male crowd (the “Nerd” factor), I’ll leave that for others to banter about. My vote is for Yvonne. There’s no doubt she’s gorgeous, but she can also act. Just watch her when she’s kicking someone’s butt. The facial expressions are so right on – better than any female a**-kicker that I’ve ever seen on TV. And of course the range of emotion that she seemingly so easily and wonderfully demonstrates is right on.

    Let’s keep the momentum going, folks. Keep on Chuckin’!

  30. Lucian says:

    The first episode was, IMO, light years ahead of Pink Slip, but not as good as the best Chuck episodes. If they want to build ratings, they’ll need to do better. It had the right pieces – comedy, family, romance, action, but they didn’t quite pull it together into a compelling story. Chuck is becoming more of the “everyman” again, which is a step in the right direction. The implied Chuck Foo scene was outstanding. And, like others, I am really glad they got to “no lies or secrets”.

  31. Tamara Burks says:

    The only thing I found off was the date on the opening scene , it said 1994 which is 16 years ago and the Chuck in that scene was clearly too young for that to have been 16 years ago. We know from Best Friend that Morgan promised a lanky curly haired Chuck (approx 12 to 14 years old) that he would stop stalking women for at least 19 years and then it said 19 years later.

    Morgan doing the sexting to Sarah is within his character. He’s always had boundary issues where the Bartowski’s are concerned and he thinks he’s helping by trying to keep things going (especially given how long it took for them to actually have a relationship not to mention he might not quite trust Sarah to not leave his bro at the first sign of trouble) and Morgan has a bad habit of taking things too far.

    But even though this crosses a lot of bounderies, it’s a far cry from the Morgan who stole Ellie’s wedding ring because he didn’t want Chuck marrying Sarah.

    I like that they showed that Casey and Sarah do work well together without Chuck but that Chuck made things easier for them and they miss him being on missions with them.

    • thinkling says:

      I agree that they are bad with dates. I thought Chuck said his mom left when he was 9 and Ellie was 12. He looked younger than 9. Even so 9+16=25, if my math degree serves. Chuck is, what 29 now. Go figure (b/c they can’t).

      I hadn’t thought about the ring and Morgan not wanting to lose Chuck, but good point. He has come a long way. At least now he is totally in favor of them, and he’s trying to help, however misguided his methods, at times. And I liked that his first response in the basement was to ask Casey and Sarah.

      Yeah, I liked the Casey / Sarah relationship. Things seem to be progressing toward a proper balance in the relationships.

      • Sole says:

        Does anyone remember the dates from when mama b left in the subway episode? I believe the little chuck then was played by the same child actor…

      • thinkling says:

        It was the same kid. But in Best Friend Chuck says Morgan was in the 5th grade when his mom left. Morgan and Chuck are the same age right. I don’t know where exactly I got the age 9, but 5th grade would be around 9 or 10, I guess. That still makes 16 years not quite enough. Oh well.

      • patty says:

        These are the same guys who put Shaw in an Annapolis t-shirt repeatedly and then said he went to West Point!!

        Obviously the kid is the same age as he was last season and that was said to be a much more reasonable 1991. 19 years ago! Chuck also said that Mom left “a few days” after that scene anyway.

    • Paul says:

      Well, Morgan has no sense of boundries because he lives vicariously through Chuck. Which is why I think giving him a hot romance of his own (with Alex) is a good thing to help break him of that.

  32. kg says:

    Happy Anniversary. Indeed.

  33. atcdave says:

    So far no sign of Chuck S4 over at iTunes. Last year it took several weeks before they posted the season. I was wondering if Comcast might have a different marketing strategy; but other new NBC shows are available now (meaning Event). Of course, Chuck is kind of a hybrid with both NBC and WB having claim. Hopefully they’ll sort this out again quickly, I get tired of watching commercials.

    • Michael says:

      I read on Macrumors that WB has opted out of Apple’s plan to switch to a .99 rental model to go along with their new AppleTV (go figure – .99 to rent an episode for 24 hours, as opposed to 2.99 to own it). I dunno if this will complicate the process of getting it there.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Per Josh Schwartz it’ll be a month for Chuck S4 to get on the ‘tunes. “Some deal to work out I guess.” I am not a fan of how WB and universal always has to object to the low pricing. 99 go rent or 2.99 to buy works just as well for abc and fox.

      • amyabn says:

        Thanks for the update. I’m frustrated about this because, as a Soldier, I’m often gone. We can’t stream, we can’t catch the show live, but for whatever reason, you can still get iTunes. That has been my saving grace.
        I was in this position in January of this year, deployed, and Chuckless. I’m making light of it, but really, it sucks when all you want to do is laugh for 40-odd minutes with your favorite show and can’t. I hope they resolve this quickly, not only for me, but for my fellow military members who love Chuck.

      • atcdave says:

        So Amy do you think we can make some sort of national security argument to force Apple and WB to settle their differences. Or maybe just question their patriotism.

      • joe says:

        When dealing with Apple, you must remember Casey’s words of wisdom, Dave:

        ‘Cause the only thing I hate more than Linux and neo-liberal Free-Software anarchists are the hypocrite fat-cat MacBook Pro Users they eventually grow up to become.


      • atcdave says:

        It occured to me as I was typing Joe that Apple might consider us questioning their patriotism as a point of pride.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        There Joe goes, trying to start a religious war again… 😉

      • joe says:

        [Joe raises a flag emblazoned with a – a RED PENGUIN???]

        Viva La Fedora!!!

      • thinkling says:

        @Amy: Same thing in Brazil – can’t Hulu, can’t stream, can’t Netflix, can’t Amazon, and unfortunately can’t even iTunes. Can you grab a bit torrent? Pay for it on Amazon, even though you can’t download it overseas. Then find another source for download? I’m sling-boxing and and then downloading. A Brazilian site had it up the next day for download.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      One of these days somebody in the TV/Movie industry is going to need to wake up and realize that they don’t sell little plastic disks and advertising, they sell content and the fans are willing to pay for it. The music industry practically killed itself staying wedded to the $18 CD years past viability all the while fighting those who wanted to market music in a new way and those who just plain wanted the music without buying an overpriced CD with an extra dozen cr*ppy songs they had no interest in.

      Anyway, considering the ubiquitous presence of iPhones and iPads in the show you’d think Apple practically owned the show already. At the very least Apple and WB seem to be on good product placement terms.

      • Buy More Associate says:

        Apple doesn’t pay for product placement. Period. Which is why you saw some Microsoft-branded products last season. (See netbook Casey is using to negotiated with Beckman in Other Guy).

        If Warner and others in the industry were smart, they’d stick with products that pay them for placement.

        As fot the TV/movie industry, Ernie, you’re actually only half right. They sell discs, advertising AND content. Most people wouldn’t pay for the true cost of content alone. You need other streams of revenue.

      • atcdave says:

        I think its inevitable our entertainment content will eventually be all via download. I currently love buying DVDs and Blu-Rays, but my CD collection has been rellegated to storage tubs in the basement since all have been ripped to iTunes. I still occasionally buy CDs, but only because I can rip at a higher sampling rate than the iTunes store. Video is currently a slightly different situation because of better DRM, and HD video takes a huge amount of storage space.

        But in Dave’s dream world we’ll eventually see an iPod size AV server that can be used to store and display HD video in addition to high quality multi-channel audio. I can already carry my entire collection of 1500 CDs with me everywhere I go; I look forward to having hundreds, or even thousands of discs worth of HD video at my fingertips as well.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        BMA, you are correct, Apple doesn’t directly pay for product placement according to what I’ve read. Apparently they just throw MacBook Pros and iPads by the dozen at the producers to get them into productions. 😉

        As for selling advertising and discs my point is that you don’t want to confuse the means of delivery or one revenue stream with the product. Selling disks is a means to deliver the real product, and it was to the music industries detriment that they confused the two.

        As for selling advertising, in a way the studios do sell it in product placement, but WB does not sell advertising per se. I was thinking more along those lines than network TV. You are correct that advertising is what network TV sells, but it may be that the network TV model of free broadcast paid for by advertising needs some re-thinking with the new options available. I think HBO and Showtime have shown that subscription TV can be a viable competitor at the very least. I think HBO has done some of the best drama on TV in the last decade. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

        Dave, they’ll eventually just implant the iPod chip into our brains directly. 🙂

      • aardvark7734 says:

        To join you on this digression for a brief moment, Dave, I don’t think you’re going to get your portable AV server in an iPod form. I used to think so, but now I think it’s going a different direction.

        It’s much more likely now that your iPod will become a thin client, with even less local (flash) memory than it has now. It will be economically able to be in constant wireless contact through ubiquitous white-band WAN connections and serve music from either your home NAS or (more likely) from cheap space in the cloud that you put all your music into.

        Further out, something like Pandora will serve (stream) your choice of mix between your own tracks and new ones. And at some point the distinction will become irrelevant since your music collection will become nothing more than a playlist across the various music services, for the most part, which all guarantee access to your songs in perpetuity for a low, annual fee.

        Welcome to the future. 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        Aardvark, I’ve thought about the “cloud” or Pandora model some and it concerns me. I own so much content that is simply not available on the internet. I have CDs I couldn’t even locate on-line for their album art. I actually had to scan several, shocking but true! Don’t even get me started on LPs. And of course this ties right back into S4 not being available on iTunes yet. I guess bottom line is I don’t want to trust anyone else to maintain my library. I’m fine if all I’m carrying is some sort of wireless device that lets me access my own centrally stored library; but I will always want control of my own collection.

      • aardvark7734 says:

        No, I definitely get that, Dave.

        I’m really speaking to the bulk of consumers, not to you or I specifically. There will always be a solution in the near term, a “hybrid” as you will, that services our needs as owners of various types of “plastic” sourced music and video. This solution will persist for awhile but will become increasingly marginalized as the mainstream moves past physical media and on to net based sources.

        I am only suggesting that Apple, for instance, will drift from making portable players that attempt to store everything locally to players that cache a certain amount but stream most everything else. These players will be introduced more or less in sync with the maturity of ubiquitous, affordable wide band networks (3G, 4G, whitespace).

        In the near future, with nearly free or actually free cloud space, e.g. Dropbox’s first 2GB, instead of ripping your commercially unavailable music to your hard drive you’ll just rip to the cloud. When you buy from iTunes or Amazon, it’ll download it directly to the cloud. There, it’ll be available to any device (portable, car, office, home, travel) that can connect to the internet, without the hassles of copying to that DVD, memory stick or player and available to you even if you accidentally leave your iPod at home.

        Just for reference sake, I’m using your model right now – I have a ReadyNAS that keeps my A/V collection centrally located and available to every device in the house, has an iTunes server and is DLNA accessible. Using plugins it can transcode and stream video to local and remote devices as well as acting as a buffer for the Tivo. But it’s limited in that it’s volatile (even RAIDs die) and it’s constrained by my upstream bandwidth.

        After living with this for awhile, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather have it all be in an encrypted container in someone’s cloud (Amazon S3, Rackspace) with a contract for availability and security. Just my opinion, nothing more. 🙂

        Oh, and to everyone completely bored by this discussion, so sorry, I promise to stop now.

      • joe says:

        Not at all, Aardie! It’s fascinating. – a great look at the future.

        But I gotta say, the very next comment that came into my queue was Thinkling telling us that but a fraction of all this is available to her.

        And to me, too (mostly ’cause I’m a Luddite! No cell phone!) It’s gonna be spotty for awhile, the way (good) cell phone coverage has been in my area.

        I’ve only kept a few of my treasured LPs from long ago. My turntable is packed away. So far, there’s only one album that’s been un-replaceable (does anyone know where I can get a CD or download of Chuck Mangione’s Hill Where The Lord Hides? Good luck, btw. It was his master’s thesis from his days in Rochester, performed with the Rochester Philharmonic and released only between Buffalo and Utica N.Y. in 1969. Best Latin-Jazz fusion, ever.)

        I am stunned at how quickly my music collection has become digital, but also that the legacy stuff remains so long.

      • thinkling says:

        @Joe: My main lack of availability is b/c of the contracts with the networks. So, I have no technically legal sources. Once the turf war ends, maybe Hulu, Netflix, et al will be available outside the US. But the Internet is alive and humming with bit torrents and other download possibilities, so one way or the other I keep up.

        Spending part of the year in the US and part in Brazil, E-everything is my best friend. Six months’ worth of books and DVDs will NOT fit under the seat in front of me 😉

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Since we’re talking technology, is anyone else wondering why Chuck and Sarah would be sexting (“No phones necessary, unless you want?”) when they both have the capability of face-time? 😀 haha.

      • Jen says:

        Hi Guys! man, this week has been busy. I wish i could have been here for all these discussions…

        On the topic of tchnolgy and product placement, i wass thinking, if C&S both have iPhones, why isn’t AT&T all over the place advertising on Chuck? Maybe have an AT&T kiosk at the Buy More? Talk about rollover minutes =P ???

        The obviously have the iPhone 4 with the front facing camera 🙂 Jem, for facetime you need to be connected to wifi, which terribly limits the sexting opportunites =P just plan MMS can happen from anywhere 😀

  34. andyt says:

    Great episode, I just watched it again.

    1. The Funny: All of the Casey lines, especially his response to sexting, “What even is that?”, the sexting(which could have been creepy but was hilarious and a little sweet). Dolph Lundgren, “I must break you” and “Who are these master spies?”.

    2. Harry Dean Stanton: that was flat out funny,he delivery and the absurdity of being repoed in the middle a spy show.

    3. Beckman torpedoing Chuck’s interviews.

    4. And Linda “OH MY LORD” Hamilton. Mama B makes Sarah look like a kitten compared to her intensity and fierce protectiveness of Chuck. You’d have thought Dolph was a Terminator.

    A few other thoughts, the keeping the secret from Ellie has never bothered me. Let’s remember this was done in the Pilot. And for those who hate the lie, don’t let Sarah off the hook. She told Chuck to lie to Ellie from the very beginning and keep the Intersect/Spy stuff secret; fake relationship for TWO YEARS. Now she supports Chuck lying again to Ellie. Remember, for Sarah it is only lying to her that is wrong, not to others if it protects them.

    And did anybody catch the fairytale at the begining about the Frost Queen. I think the writers laid out many of the plot themes in that opening. Mama B’s codename is Frost, and Chuck liked the Prince. Well now he is the prince who has to save the queen that is the season in a nutshell.

    Great episode, I have not laughed like that in a long time.

  35. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    Has anyone noticed that we learned more about Mama B and Volkoff Industries in 1 episode than we learned about Shaw and the Ring in 19.

    I know I’m probably in the minority but knowing the “direction” or “purpose” of the story seems a better way to go, at least for me.

    • joe says:

      Naw. You’re not alone, Joe. I was thinking the same thing. It’s amazing how much story they can put into an hour sometimes.

    • atcdave says:

      You’re right Joseph. S4 already seems deeper and more satisfying than S3 ever did. Not that that’s necessarily the main strength of the show anyway, but better is always better!

    • JC says:

      Yep, Volkoff already did more in this episode then the Ring did all of last season. Hopefully it continues into all the spy stories. I have to wonder if it’s the influence of the new writers, specifically the guy who worked on Prison Break.

  36. thinkling says:

    I’ve been having so much fun reading everyone else’s replies that I haven’t really gathered my own thoughts on the Anniversary. OK, two words: fun & growth.

    Sarah, Honey, is this the gun you were looking for? (Guess the 30 ft rule is not a problem anymore.

    The map – some great effects.

    The chutes were a good idea … Thaank yoou.

    Parachuting off of buildings.

    All things Beckman! Welcome back, Chuck … Pride in the new Buymore The all-new High-Tech-Beck, er, Beckman … The face-down, beginning with “You, you, you tanked my interviews, didn’t you” and going through to Sarah’s expression when he slides into home, er, Castle; Beckman’s pursed lips and Chuck’s smirk; Sarah’s “How did she react … Chuck, hello” … The all powerful finger — used to just end teleconferences, but with her mighty tablet, that finger is dangerous.

    Public transpo … The two super-spies … The getaway bus … Happy anniversary!

    Sexting. In real life I’m with Chuck – Now that the really terrible ideas are out of the way – yeah, not gonna happen. But in this ep, I’m with Sarah – Don’t worry I thought it was kind of cute. It was hilarious and kind of sweet, except the Morgan part. That was kind of creepy. But this is Morgan we’re talking about.

    All things MamaB – I’m putting her under fun, b/c I don’t really have a category for scary …or maybe terrifying is a better word. This is gonna be fun, folks.

    Chuck – has come a long way from the aimless guy (the guy he hated) of S1. He’s accepted his destiny as hero/spy, and he’s found his love. He momentarily deserted his destiny, but Casey was keeping his place warm, “He’s a spy, and he’s good at it.” Even Chuck finally owns up to it, the last obstacle (Ellie) being addressed. “I have to tell her the truth. I have to tell her that I *am* a spy.” What a moment! The other area of growth is his agreement to the new rule: No Secrets / No Lies. Finally, amen and amen. Oh, and one of my favorite moments: “It’s not worth losing you.” Sarah is finally put above family. Maybe I’m reading into it, but I thought that the subtext was intentional on Chuck’s part, that Sarah caught the significance, and that it was a very tender moment for her.

    Sarah – wow. No vestige of the handler. She’s all girl-friend when it comes to Chuck. She now has something she has always wanted, but never had. She is set free in her relationship with Chuck and it’s a delight to behold. I like that we get to see her with him as a civilian. I can’t wait for the spy stuff, but this has been a window into the unadulterated real relationship. “Are you sure you’re ok with this” … The kiss … Trying to figure out the relationship and give to it, to Chuck, even if it means a foray into sexting. She did a good job showing mixed emotions about Chuck’s civilian status. “He made a promise to his sister,” held a note of regret, but her defense of his status was crystal clear in the Castle when she saw him w/ Beckman. Her gentle nudge that he would have to join the agency again. Her sensitivity to his feelings for Ellie. Her immediate decision not to tell Beckman *yet*. Her tapping into government data bases (without a second thought, evidently) to help him find his mom. As handler it was her job to control him, even though she broke protocol too many times to count. Now, we see her fully supporting him in his decisions, while still being a willing confidant and sounding board. Very satisfying foundation (finally) for their relationship.
    And last, b/c I don’t know where else to mention it, the scene in Moscow when Chuck is apparently killed off-screen … perfect.

    Casey – nice. For all his grunting and groaning and oy gevalt-ing, there’s an acceptance (however reluctant) of Chuck and Sarah as a couple, and it makes things a little easier between him and Sarah. His admission that Chuck is a good spy and that he wanted him on the mission. His being peeved that Chuck didn’t ask him to help him find his mom and his agreement that they should keep it from Beckman, which this time is different from Colonel, when he was motivated by a mix of keeping his word and admiration for Stephen’s honor. Now we see a sense of loyalty to his team and his friends – huge growth for Casey.

    Some people lament the loss of the nerd who didn’t want to be a hero. Mmm … not me. I love growth. I’ve never longed much for the nursery. My son was a cute kid, but he’s an awesome adult. S1 was cute and funny and great in its own way, but S4 is gonna be awesome. Growing up is a good thing.

    • Merve says:

      Wow, great summary! I totally agree about growth. Shows that stay the same for too long get boring.

      I wanted to add: how great was it to see Casey and Sarah working as a team and being good at it? I also like that when they now make quips at each other, there’s no nastiness behind them. They’ve come a long way since “Sensei.”

    • atcdave says:

      Agree with all this Thinkling, thanks for a great summary. My only minor point would be about Chuck’s growth; I’m not a huge fan of the Intersect 2.0. I like it when its played for laughs, but it is too much of a super-power. I wish they’d let Chuck grow into his own sort of agent with the original Intersect; more of a planner/puzzle/computer guy who left the heavy lifting to his partners. But I can live with it as it is, its just I would have written it a little differently. Either way, growth into a real man and hero is fun to see.

      • thinkling says:

        My mind kind of went, not exactly an opposite direction, but maybe a sideways one. The intersect 3.0 would have teaching/training modes that help him acquire skills and knowledge at a fast rate and then keep them. Is it cheating, like superpowers? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just having a teacher that can teach as fast as he can learn. Remember the intersect kill most people.

      • JC says:

        At one point I thought that Chuck’s brain would absorb the fighting skills from the Intersect and he wouldn’t need to flash to fight anymore. The more he flashes on a skill the more it becomes a part of him.

      • thinkling says:

        They sort of led you to believe that, what with the Casey training and the bow training. But evidently it didn’t exactly work out. A glitch be be updated in the 3.0

    • joe says:

      Some people lament the loss of the nerd who didn’t want to be a hero. Mmm … not me. I love growth.

      Oh, so do I! When I rewatched S1, I was almost impatient for that growth. I can’t help but put it in terms of watching your children grow up. You don’t want to see it, but you do, AND then it’s so much better.

      I think it was the loss of innocence and fun that fans reacted to, Thinking. But really, isn’t it exactly the same thing? For a fantasy, Chuck sure seems to have a handle on our internal reality.

      • Buy More Associate says:

        Some people lament the loss of the nerd who didn’t want to be a hero. Mmm … not me. I love growth.

        You guys are confusing character development with concept hooks. That’s dangerous.

        Character development is crucial since television is driven by character. (Movies are plot driven.) Of course the show needed character development.

        But Chuck started as a high concept show: The guy who was determined NOT to be the hero and wanted his old (not too great) life back. And the girl who was having a fantasy relationship with a fake boyfriend.

        These are CONCEPTS. When both were ended at the end of Colonel, TPTB didn’t have anything good to replace them. So Chuck now, despite all its genre bending, is basically about a guy and his girl in the spy business.

        Nothing unique there. And, oddly, TPTB have missed the opportunity to replace those concepts after Season 2.

        If they had Chuck and Sarah having a real relationship in Season 3 while making believe it just was a cover, that would have been an interesting concept. If this year they had the entire Bartowski clan in the spy game, that would have been a great concept, too.

        So be careful not to confuse the need for character development with the concepts that sell a show to both an audience and a network.

      • joe says:

        Great point, BMA. Character Development isn’t the same thing as a plot device used to hook us in.

        Similar concept in music too. Billy Joel has been a master of the musical hook for (wow! can it be?) 40 years. Neil Diamond has been accused of being a schlockmeister as long as I can remember. It’s rather obvious that neither is Bach or Beethoven.

        Still, I’m at a loss to name anything else currently on TV that continues to affect me in so personal a way, so I’ll let them lead me down their path a bit longer. There’s a quieter truth that I’m responding to, it seems. And yes, I still think The Stranger is a great album, 35 years later. That’s not as timeless as Beethoven’s 9th, but it counts for something. I’m always seeing hints of something deeper in Chuck than I get in other shows. Sometimes I’m just seeing ghosts, and things I want to see, but not always, right?

        What did you think of the audience targeting for 4.01, BMA? There was some notice that the 19-35 male demo was pretty good. Yet, I got a sense that “they” were aiming at pleasing the fans who read the boards and Chuck-related blogs like this one. They didn’t seem to be aiming so much at new viewers, which I thought was interesting.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        BMA, I know what you’re saying, but to me, by the end of season 2 Chuck’s character had grown to the point that the original hook was sort of played out. They might have made another season out of it, but I think most of the fan base was ready to see Chuck step up. Remember it’s not about wanting to be the hero, it’s about needing to be, and Chuck stepped up again and again to be the hero.

      • atcdave says:

        I think its important in any concept to remain flexible. Once the original Chuck idea was played out changes had to be made; there was simply no satisfying way to return to the original concept after Colonel. Of course, TPTB managed to find another unacceptable direction to turn, but that’s a seperate issue.

        Nothing is worse than a show that clings to its starting premise after everyone is tired of it. I do the “secret relationship” would have been a wonderful direction to go with S3; maintaining a real relationship while trying to convince Beckman (and maybe Casey) that nothing was going on. Would have been a lot more fun than what we got. But at least they’ve been willing to move past a flawed concept to far more fun one; even if it is more “conventional.” To my mind, original is good only if its fun; I don’t need new unpleasent ideas!

      • thinkling says:

        That’s something for me to ponder, BMA and a new perspective I hadn’t considered.

        For me the guy determined not to be a hero and the girl “having a fantasy relationship with a fake boyfriend” aren’t the concepts or the hooks. They are two characters who want, need, and were meant for so much more. I don’t really see the girl living out a fantasy with a fake boyfriend, as much as I see her doing her job, which keeps her from having the real relationship she wants.

        If you look at the intersect – the data base of secrets uploaded into the brain of a regular guy – as the concept or hook, the show is still true to its original hook. The intersect necessitates his becoming a hero and working with the CIA. It keeps his life in turmoil and puts him under constant surveillance and protection by his handlers. The intersect demands that the girl make protecting him her top priority, which keeps her from pursuing a real relationship with him.

        The concept – the intersect – is still intact. The regular guy is a hero, but somehow still a regular guy. The girl gets the real relationship she has wanted all along, but she’s still a spy. The intersect still drives the CIA part of things. That whole Buymore was built (on orders from the president) for the regular guy with the computer in his head … and he’s still a little freaked out about it.

        The concept is essential to the show. For me that’s the intersect. It’s why Chuck had to re-intersect at the end of s2. If the intersect goes away, game over – no more “Chuck”. The guy and the girl have a lot of room to grow and change, but the intersect is non-negotiable.

        That’s my initial response to the whole concept topic, but that’s just my take. Others may see something very different.

      • Buy More Associate says:

        Oh, I don’t disagree. The original hooks, both of them, were played out by Colonel. You couldn’t keep Chuck the whiny nerd or Sarah the fantasist. I don’t think ANYONE ever argued that either concept could have continued.

        The problem is that nothing was invented for Seasons 3/4 to replace the original concepts. That was especially disastrous for Season 3.1-13 when the story arc was awful and the character development was so erratic.

        What’s scary about Season 4 is that we ALREADY know how it’s going to end. We were told that as Mama B read to young Chuck as she from the book: The Frost Queen saves the Castle and is a hero again. So Season 4 isn’t about the search for mom, it’s for mom (Code Name Frost) to save the day and be rehabilitated in everyone’s eyes.

        Fine. So why not play it for what it’s worth? Bring Ellie and Awesome into everything. Have the entire Bartowski Family (and the extended family) be in the spy business. That’s a better concept to sell to viewers (I mean, new ones) than this half-hearted search for mom, a character no one knows and no one really cares about.

        That’s what Chuck has been missing since the original show ended with Colonel. The “high concept” that drives viewership. Turning the Bartowskis into the Corleones of the spy world might have been a good one. (BTW, anyone who carefully read lizjames’s “scenario” for what could have happened after the rehersal dinner would have caught that she was hinting the same thing. She had PapaB quoting all of Don Corleone’s “family business” lines to Chuck!)

        My guess about why they didn’t go this way is that TPTB are stuck on Ellie as the “normal, centered” person in the story. That was fine for Seasons 1/2, when you had the Chuck-Sarah fantasy dance. But as Chuck and Sarah have moved on, though, there’s been shockingly little growth in Ellie and Awesome. In fact, Awesome has gone backward because they decided to make him an “un-awesome” spy. (Of course, originally, the TPTB were going to use him an enemy agent, but that idea was dropped early in Season 1, probably because the beefcake angle was working for them.)

        For better and worse, that is how TV goes. Sometimes you get it right (Seasons 1/2), sometimes you mess up horribly (Seasons 3-1.13). But most of the time you just muddle along, which is what’s been happening since Honeymooners. We still love the characters, but it’s no longer as compelling because there is nothing unique about their reality.

      • jason says:

        @buymore – maybe – but then again, I don’t think any of what you said is canon by any means – hooks may or may not be played out – S3/4 may or may not be with or without – you do not know for a fact of what you speak – plus – listen to the beginning again – how does the line ‘and the king was freed’ play into your remarkable analysis? – I’m not ready to ‘buy more’ yet, ‘hook’, line or sinker – thank yooouuuuuuu

      • andyt says:

        BMA, I must respectfully disagree with your assertion about the “hook” of the show from the beginning. The TPTB made it very clear that the show was about the nerd who got great power and had to learn to become hero. In fact, they explicitly referenced Star Wars in Season 1 and 2 and compared Chuck to Luke Skywalker. This was in reference to whether Chuck had a choice to be a hero or whether it was his destiny. Clearly, they chose the “destiny” angle with his Dad being the creator of the Intersect and Chuck having a “beta” version downloaded as a kid. Even more they have followed the Hero’s journey path laid down in countless myth stories, to steal from Joe’s well presented thesis(I believe, if I am wrong please correct me). I have also seen the show as a riff on the Spider-Man story with Chuck as Peter Parker. Again the nerd who gets great power and has to learn how to use it wisely. While Chuck may have complained about the Intersect, it was clear that the theme was that Chuck was a potential hero and just needed to step up an accept the responsibility, or again to borrow from others GROW INTO the role.

      • joe says:

        Ah, I’d love to take the credit, but the Hero’s Journey was a great post by Ernie.

        I subscribe to the idea, though!

      • andyt says:

        Thanks for the correction Joe. I believed it was you or Ernie. I just could not remember which. Thank you again

      • Merve says:

        I’d say that Chuck has a hook now: “A spy searches for his missing mother.” It’s completely different from “A regular guy accidentally downloads a computer full of government secrets into his brain and is forced to work with spies,” but it’s a hook nonetheless. It’s kind of funny: the original hook is what’s used to describe the show to new viewers, but that’s no longer what the show is about.

    • JC says:

      While growth of the characters is great, I wish the they hadn’t gone back to the status quo. Chuck at the Buymore and the CIA, lying to Ellie, etc.

      S3’s finale set up an interesting new direction for the show but it was absorbed back into the old premise. I wish they had taken the risk of getting rid of the BuyMore for good and making Team B a group of good rogue spies. Maybe over the course of season that’s where it’ll lead but I’m not holding my breath.

      • thinkling says:

        I think too many people like the Buymoreans – Big Mike, Jeff, Lester. And they do need some civilians and diverse characters to be foils for the spies. Spies aren’t really spies, if everybody is one. I guess I see it as a convenient, necessary thing for now. And if you want to maintain some aspect of our loveable nerd form s1, what better way than to keep him in his native habitat.

        At least they’ve given the Buymore an interesting new twist …and a tunnel to go with the trap doors.

      • thinkling says:

        … And that may be coming, but maybe it’s a bit too soon.

      • JC says:

        The BuyMore feels tacked on at this point and just a way to keep Ellie in the dark. You can still keep Big Mike and Jeffster around with the BuyMore being off screen.

        They blow up the BuyMore and have Chuck quit the CIA in the finale and then completely reverse it in the premiere. Nothing on the show has real consequences and eventually that catches up in the story telling. If every major event that shakes up the show is reset at the beginning of the next season why even watch?

      • atcdave says:

        I think the Buy More is just too much a “signature” part of the show. I would love seeing Chuck with his own software company, it wouldn’t be too hard to work the Buy Morons into that setting. But everything from the opening credits to the little running nerd icon as Chuck and Morgan traveled the world… That’s just all what “makes” Chuck as a brand.

      • JC says:

        I can see that about BuyMore being a signature part of the show, I just wish they’d get Chuck out of there. Give Chuck a cover job with Sarah as international buyers or something. Make the cover the believable if he’s still lying to Ellie. You can still have Morgan and Casey working there as cover. A lot of the scenes there feel really forced at this point.

  37. herder says:

    Went back to the post for Pink Slip/Three Words, a total of 69 comments, wow how the blog has grown. Very interesting to compare the reaction to this episode compared to the reaction to that one. Dave and Joe have been remarkably consistent about those episodes, guess which one liked it and which one really, really didn’t.

    Over all I’d say the reaction last year seemed to be that “TPTB have somewhere they want to take us, I don’t think it’s what I want but I’ll wait and see”. This year it’s more of a “I’m comfortable where I am, give me more”. Certainly things are more positive and upbeat now compared to nine months ago.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      Last season we never got the purpose of the story until, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!” and by then it was 6 – 7 episodes too late for it to matter. The story used and abused so much that the supposed climax meant next to nothing.

      As I stated above, I think the issue this season compared to last is that they have shown in episode 4.01 what is the purpose and direction of the story.

    • atcdave says:

      Oh Herder I can guess! pick me! pick me!

      It is amazing how much more active this site is now. We saw an explosive increase in activity during the “dark days” of Mask and Fake Name. I wasn’t the only one who wanted to whine about it (if I remember, we had some days with over 5000 hits). Even during this whole summer we rarely saw less than 1000 hits a day, that’s more than were getting at the start of S3. Tuesday we had about 3000 hits, that’s a lot for a happy fandom!

    • joe says:

      Heh! We’re nothing if not consistent, Herder! 😉

  38. Jan says:

    Chuck is back…and not just the show. The spirit is back.
    For all the reasons posted here, and so many more, the fans again have the series we love back for Season 4.

    Kudos to Chris Fedak for creating a season opener that harkens back to the creative splendor of the Pilot and First Date. It was a near perfect mix of drama and romance, serious and fun. Chuck and Sarah got to show us how they are coping with their adult relationship, and all that goes with that. And, as thinkling pointed out, Chuck saying “It’s not worth losing you” presents the depth of his commitment to Sarah and their relationship.

    Casey got to smirk and grunt…and show his true feelings when both he and Sarah thought Chuck had been killed.

    Morgan, while creepy as the sexter, still was able to shine throughout the episode as Alfred to Chuck’s Batman (a reference that Fedak has used extensively since Morgan first learned about Chuck being a spy).

    We got to see Mama B and she is bad-ass awesome.

    We have a brand new BuyMore, with more CIA/NSA features, including a button that takes us to security levels way too important to be at the BuyMore.
    General Beckman is front and center, where she belongs.
    Ellie is pregnant. Jeff, Lester, Big Mike and Awesome are waiting in the wings.
    Season 4 has the potential to bring CHUCK back to glory.

    Perhaps I’m most excited about the season opener getting a rating higher than last season’s finale. Were the numbers, great: No. Were they better than anyone could have anticipated, given NBC’s complete lack of promotion for the show: YES!

    Never have I had more faith in the fan base or the editorial support. No Subway footlongs. Just a total dedication to a show we all love. I will never look at Twitter or online blogs and videos in the same way. And, after the tepid acceptance of CHASE, despite so much time and money spent on its promotion, I’m sure NBC will not either.

    So, Chuck is back. Huzzah!

  39. BdaddyDL says:

    OK I just had a thought after watching the show for the 5th or 6th time.

    Chuck saved Sarah and Casey, he used the intersect to do what it was designed for. He took out 10 guys, I guess in season 4 we no longer are going to worry about Chuck handling the spy thing.

    • thinkling says:

      I liked the whole off screen fight on so many levels. Apparently the intersect is working just fine. So, Chuck beats Cole’s 9 guys. Wonder if he went for the knee?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Remember Chuck has the governor now. We saw only one flash last season where he had it, and if you recall he didn’t even stop talking to his dad the whole time. I’m thinking there may be an additional bit of mythology to go with the governor. Then again maybe not.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, I’d like to see the governor explored. I’d like to see Chuck tweak it and improve on it. He has evidently, at the very least, duplicated it.

        Um, I went back and looked at the flash. Was it when he and his dad were standing in front of the fake wall in the Ring base? The flash was fast and smooth, but looked like he stopped talking long enough to have it.

      • JC says:

        While the governor is interesting, I’d like them to explore Chuck’s reboot and what the Alpha Intersect entails. Has he had an Intersect since he was a kid or did his dad remove it?

    • amyabn says:

      My thing about that fight is I thought we heard gunfire. I know a thing or two about them 🙂 and how did either of them (Chuck and Morgan) not get hit? I know it’s tv, and the gunfire was used to upset Casey and Sarah, but it seems a stretch.
      Oh, and I really hope that we see Cole again some day, hearing about the exploits of Charles Carmichael!

      • thinkling says:

        I wondered about that, too, but decided just to go with it. It was too good to split hairs. I guess that was a secondary reason it was “off screen.”

      • kg says:

        It threw me off as well, but still, Chuck is such THE man. He’s so cool.

        “Obviously you’ve never heard of me. If you had, you wouldn’t have sent only 10 men to take me out. Let my break it down for you. If you touch one hair on Sarah’s head, I’m going to do to you what I did to your men.”

        “Was that scary enough for you?”

        “It’s not worth losing YOU…..any of you.”

      • jason says:

        i have not voted generally for any ep with a pli / li in it nor have I like those eps, but possibly IMO the MOST important story in the series was told in the cole eps, those eps pointed out to chuck how unable he was to help sarah & how poorly (in HIS mind) he measured up to the ‘type’ of man sarah has been attracted to (bryce, cole, later shaw) – to see Cole again now, to have chuck just totally dominate & to have sarah be over the top in lust with chuck, that in lots of ways would complete the growth – I know some don’t like the nerd becomes ‘joe cool’ master spy, but that is the story we are being told, we’ve been told that story for quite some time now it would seem

      • kg says:

        You’re right Jason. The reason Sarah is so in to Chuck is she gets the best of both guys. Carmichael is the macho man, but still the sweet, caring, compassionate (certainly no longer innocent)guy who almost always does the right thing.

        So now, he saves her by killing or kicking Shaw’s ass, wipes out a 10-goon contingent, but then, moments later he sacrifices his mission because it doesn’t compare to losing the girl of his dreams and his two best friends in the world.

      • thinkling says:

        Maybe he back-flipped out of the way, and they shot each other … circular firing squad style

  40. joe says:

    I’m so OT today! But I wanna spread the news –
    OD has posted the weekly CNN – Chuck Nerdposium Netcast, our thoughts on The Anniversary.

  41. kg says:

    Can’t profess that I saw the Event, but I did, however, catch Undercovers tonight. I liked what I saw.

    Steven and Sam are a very attractive, articulate, competent and stylish married spy team.

    Through one episode, it looks as though the government is typically not completely truthful and operating entirely on the up and up.

    • amyabn says:

      I watched the first 15 or so minutes and ended up turning it off. I think it may be attributed more to the fact that I am inundated with spy/procedural shows: Chuck, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, NCIS, White Collar that another show, which I would always compare to Chuck, just didn’t seem necessary to dedicate my time to. I did, however, watch Chuck twice! 😉
      I also decided not to invest in Nikita. Same reason, and that I was a LFN fan. I guess that’s why I keep pulling to have Peta Wilson on Chuck. She’s Aussie, she’s played badass Nikita, and although a stretch, she could play Sarah’s mom. Can you imagine Nikita vs. Sarah Connor?

  42. herder says:

    I’ve got to say that for a change I really enjoyed the Buy More bit the other night. Great music, it had a bit of Alice in Wonderland quality about it. Loved the Beckman reveal, I’m glad I didn’t see the spoilers showing that ahead of time. The posters in her office “Courage” “Leadership” “Teamwork” had the same ideas as the posters in Fulrcum headquarters, just a less creepy style. Beckman sending Chuck down the trapdoor/slide had a bit of the Monty Burns about it. Olivia Munn, didn’t get the wind machine effect, maybe they have moved the machine to Chuck’s apartment or it was lost in the explosion.

    Looking forward I’m wondering if Sarah, with her history of living with a conman isn’t the first to have suspicions about Mama B. Maybe that is what the standoff is about, Sarah acting on her instincts and there is no one she is more protective of than Chuck. Then again those instincts did fail her last year with Shaw. The paper that Sarah showed Chuck had a lot blacked out between Frost and captured, it could be “…Frost defected in 1994 and has not been captured since” or something like that.

    This past week was mostly reset to bring the team back together, next week I think the season’s story starts getting told. If we are to question if Mama B is good or evil, who is she evil with, I think we start hearing more about this evil russian and his minions over the next few weeks. Also does it tie in with some of the things in the past, after all Bryce was sent to eastern europe to recover before being shipped back in Imported Salami.

    • thinkling says:

      I must admit, I was sort of glad to see the Buymore go and groaned a little when I heard it was back. However, they have given it such a make-over and an interesting twist, that I’m actually fine with it. Apparently it exists for Chuck … or for the new Operation Bartowski. A new intensity and a whole new purpose for the Buymore about which the resident Buymorons will be utterly clueless. It could be great laughs to see this played, especially since they think they are such great spies. And to see Beckman with the Buymorons. Yep, I’m fine with it.

      Sarah will be conflicted. She must consider all possibilities to protect Chuck, but MamaB is the mother of the man she loves [and her future mother-in-law ;)]. She may have to walk a fine line.

      There’s little doubt that MamaB is involved in Volkov’s world: “Why have you brought me here … have you told Volkov?” My hypothesis is that MamaB is a double agent, but still one of the good guys. This is a show about family. And after the LH interview, I stick with my good-guy theory. [And I think she did it all for them … all of them]

    • Merve says:

      If I recall correctly, Bryce was sent to Finland and Tommy, a Fulcrum agent, was with him, so I doubt that saving his life had anything to do with Volkoff. But it would be an interesting twist.

  43. thinkling says:

    After thought: There’s been some speculation that the story MamaB was telling young Chuck was the story we are going to see. *If* it has anything to do with the story, I think it is more likely the mission she was about to undertake … only something went wrong, and she was captured.

    Maybe PapaB and family were being threatened in some way. She set out to free the king [neutralize the threat] and save the castle, but she didn’t get to return to her children as a hero. From then on both parents were doing what they were doing to protect each other and their kids. So she is still in it to protect her kids. “So do I” … KABOOM!

    This one event led to all of PapaB’s work, including the creation of the intersect … the very thing – or the very one, as the case may be – that will end up saving her and resolving the original case.

    If Chuck remembers the story, it could help him solve the puzzle.

    • thinkling says:

      Correction: The intersect was already underway when MamaB went missing. Chuck got the alpha in his head a couple of days before she left. So, maybe the intersect and its creator were what the bad guys were after. Therefore they would still be after it, if they knew it existed.

      • thinkling says:

        I think this is the story of why she left. So, yes, the king was freed … that is PapaB was in less danger or not killed or whatever and the castle (their home) was safe(r) b/c of her sacrifice (allowing herself to be captured).

    • jason says:

      what might be fun (although unlikely) would be several flashbacks to the frost queen story throughout the season at appropriate times – either to bail team B out of a tight spot or to help tell the story, what if the ‘prince’ was ‘special’ or gifted with special abilities – either way I still wonder how the ‘king was freed’ at the stories end?

      • thinkling says:

        Sorry Jason, put my reply to you in the wrong place:

        I think this is the story of why she left. So, yes, the king was freed … that is PapaB was in less danger or not killed or whatever and the castle (their home) was safe(r) b/c of her sacrifice (allowing herself to be captured).

      • thinkling says:

        I like the flash-back idea. I bet we get at least one.

  44. kg says:

    I know this isn’t the first time this has been brought up, but I’d love to see another episode or two featuring Carina and/or Jack Burton.

    There’s always a lot of action and a little chaos when Carina is on-screen. She knew our kids were in love with each other as she walked away in Three Words. She needs to see Chuck and Sarah together for real. Sarah may not talk to Ellie much, but she’ll certainly open up to Carina.

    Before heading out on the lamb, Chuck promised Jack that he would look after and take care of his daughter. Which he has lived up to. Burton had also figured out that Sarah “was some kind of a cop.”

    Casey and Sarah have beome trusted members of Chuck’s team/family. Morgan, Awesome and Ellie now know what they do and more of who they are. Perhaps the team can level with Jack to the point that maybe he can redeem himself with Sarah legitimateoy contributing on a mission or something.

    Perhaps that is asking too much.

    • joe says:

      I’d love to see Jack back too. Did you notice? The theme used for The Repo Man was the same as they used for Jack. Made me think of DeLorean.

      I could see Carina coming back and getting it in her head to break up Chuck and Sarah (for her own good, of course). But it’s Jack who convinces Carina that she’s wrong and that Chuck is the best thing for “his little princess.” I think there could be a sweet story in there.

    • atcdave says:

      Those are two characters I’d love to see back too. Carina has a way of stirring up trouble and getting a reaction out of Sarah. And I’d love to see Jack figure out exactly what sort of cop Sarah is! That would be fun.

      • thinkling says:

        I think it would be fun for Jack to see CS in action and figure out what kind of cops BOTH of them are. Will Chuck track him down to walk Sarah down the aisle?

  45. kg says:

    apologies. didn’t realize I double struck the enter key.

  46. Waverly says:

    OK, so I watched the episode again. I’m glad it was fun, unlike 3.01, which even now I’m not sure I’ll ever want to watch again. (But during the summer I did rewatch all of the rest of season 3 — it actually wasn’t so bad when watching it without analyzing it.)

    One thing that I wondered about: can anyone who knows Russian tell us what that medical catastrophe (or is it medicinal catastrophe?) headline was for, in the bus?

  47. JC says:

    Watching the episode again I kinda felt bad for Marco. He didn’t reveal that Chuck was looking for MEB. And Lundgren played the scene off like he was sympathetic to what MEB was going through.

    • thinkling says:

      I did, too, but he was a loose end and could end up talking. And you know Volkoff would make him talk. Nope, MEB, couldn’t leave anyone to endanger her son … A lot like Sarah killing Mauser.

      • JC says:

        I wouldn’t compare it to the Mauser situation since he directly threaten Chuck and his family. Marco just had the information about her family. Marco wasn’t an innocent but it was extremely cold blooded.

      • atcdave says:

        Of course Mauser wasn’t innocent either; I can see the parallel. It doesn’t have quite the impact because we have no expectations of MEB, but the situation was similar.

      • thinkling says:

        We don’t know much about Marco, but I have a feeling that the Volkoff world is a few degrees more cold-blooded than Fulcrum ever was. Madame “Frost” has survived in this frigid world for about 19 years. I think we just saw the rule of survival in action.

      • thinkling says:

        Since we’re comparing Sarah v. Mauser and MamaB v. Marco, I’ll add that I do think MamaB is harder and colder than Sarah but probably didn’t start out that way. I imagine she had to become that way to survive. I wonder if it bothers her?

  48. jason says:

    anyone notice what sarah did with the gun after chuck gave it to her in the apartment? if chuck ever had any second thoughts about cheating on sarah, that moment had to have him thinking twice, for more than one good reason – did sarah learn that in seduction school – or did she make that one up on her own?

    • atcdave says:

      Cheating on Sarah would be stupid on soooo many levels!

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Oh come on it’s Chuck 😀

      BTW there’s a picture and a snippet of spoiler about suitcase from Kristin. But I don’t know where to put it…

      • atcdave says:

        Was that an acknowledgement that Chuck is stupid?

      • thinkling says:

        Nice spoiler. And I’ve got to agree [with some earlier comments, don’t remember the thread] that red isn’t Yvonne’s best hair color.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Please, Sarah is obviously feeling threatened by Dianne, so she chooses to become a redhead. 😉

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Ernie? What do you think, any chance Diane get invited to Thanksgiving dinner?

      • BdaddyDL says:

        Oh wow, now that would be interesting, especially if Ellie invited her.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Wow, now there’s a fun spec! Dianne at a family dinner with the two women who’ve tried to take her Chuck away? Ellie who convinced him to quit the CIA and Sarah who kept him out of the Love Bunker for two years then threw herself at Chuck just as Dianne was about to decide what to do with Chuck after Sarah and Shaw were safely out of the way in DC.

        It’d be like Anna and Bryce at the first thanksgiving, but more so!

        Me, I wanna see what kind of dish Dianne brings. She seems like the green beans in mushroom soup with the crispy noodles on top type to me. Either that or creamed onions.

      • herder says:

        So Ernie, to continue your delusion, who does the General bring to dinner to make Chuck jealous? Roan Montgomery, someone to turn Sarah’s head (random superspy) or someone to turn Chuck’s head (random brunette)to get him away from Sarah as a preliminary to making her move?

      • BdaddyDL says:

        Now see Ernie I thought you would have thought she would bring Duck Confit with Whiskey Braised Applesauce.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Good question Herder. Roan would be great, but knowing Chuck he’d just be happy for them and settle for Sarah, thinking Dianne has moved on. I would say Cole mighty make Chuck jealous enough to start a competition, but again Chuck sees Cole as a fundamentally good guy like Roan. It needs to be someone who Chuck sees as wrong for Dianne. I would say Jack Burton might fit the bill if Chuck thought Dianne was a mark, but too many Sarah issues there. Some random general won’t do it, and Carina is just a bit too slash-fic for me. Sadly with Emmet dead I’m left with only one viable candidate, Harry Tang in your face.

        BDaddy, certainly a tasty choice, but … salt cured preserved Duck? What sort of message does that send? I see Dianne as a waspy traditionalist who, aside from raiding the fridge with her latest paramour during late night conference calls, doesn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        lol it’s an acknowledgement that no matter how stupid Chuck could get, he is not a cheater.

        Remember he got kicked out of Stanford for cheating and wouldn’t even let Casey copy from him during the fulcrum test.

        AND he was so appalled at being asked to betray his fake vows in Suburbs 😦

        LOL @ Ernie. You know this would be a great comedic blog post: “the many ways Beckman pursues Chuck”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Faith, I’ve considered it, but the origins of Duck are lost in the mists of time over on the NBC boards in the epic Angst Versus True Lies thread…

        One of these days I’l have to find it and do a Best of Duck post.

  49. JLR says:

    Just finished watching my Tivo’d copy of the season premiere, and like pretty much everyone else, I found it very enjoyable. It’ll be interesting to watch a hot brunette (not named Ellie) on the show who is not a PLI for Chuck… Major thumbs-up to Olivia in the Nerd Herder outfit.

  50. amyabn says:

    Ok, I loved the episode. I’ve watched it maybe 8 times now (mostly FF through the stuff I don’t really like). Here are my small list of quibbles:
    -The pacing did seem off. I think the scene in the room in LA where they find the menu was too long. And as much as I like the new and improved Morgan, I’d rather see more Casey.

    -I think I was waiting for a bigger payoff at the Volkoff building. i guess that is on me for my own expectation

    -The repo man shtick did nothing for me and I didn’t get the references

    -The new BuyMore is a bit over the top. How the heck are you going to get anything done if you have to close up the workstations every time you have a customer? Hokey premise; I do like the Greta concept.

    The music was great. The good bye scene between Chuck and Sarah was really good. I loved the “he misses you” moments and Chuck imitating Casey’s grunt. I would have really liked Ellie telling Chuck and Sarah about the baby, not just Chuck.

    Really looking forward to Suitcase!

    • atcdave says:

      Agree with most of this. I even saw Repo Man (a FEW years ago) but I don’t remember it well enough to get the jokes. I didn’t even remember for sure Stanton was in it. I thought he was funny anyway, but like Morgan, we got a little more of him than I needed.

  51. Katy Watts says:

    Haven’t watched this yet, but base on the reviews and comment, its pretty amazing. Surely I will going to watch it now. Thanks!

  52. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Anniversary (4.01) | Chuck This

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