Through a Glass, Darkly
For the fans, Season 4 has been a rocket trip to Chuck & Sarah’s future together; their relationship seems to have moved that fast. But for all that acceleration, we’ve actually seen only a little of it so far. The question is always “What’s next?” and “Should we be worried?” Faith, aka ChuckNewbie8, shows us what we know to be true so that we can peer ahead.
A Guest Post from Faith
I said I was going to take a few days to take all of Chuck vs. the Suitcase in and as it turns out, a week (or so) is just about right. For the past couple of days I’ve been rewatching all the episodes that dealt with commitment, the past and the future. I’d like to take all of you into the journey that was and the journey that will be.
Yes it all began with the pilot, but the idea of who they are and who they have become to each other didn’t really get explored until much later. Think back to Wookie:
Carina: I love taking what Sarah wants.
Chuck: Me? No, Sarah doesn’t want me.
Carina: She probably doesn’t even know it herself yet. But, I do.
Carina is a teasing, cold-vamp-agent but she’s often on point. Sarah didn’t know yet what she wanted, nor whom she wanted.
Fast forward to Crown Vic. I remember awhile back having this discussion with a lot of you. Just who did Sarah choose in Crown Vic? Bryce or Chuck? Or neither? Well the answer is neither. She was sinking very deep into “real” with Chuck but didn’t yet fully realize how deep. The very idea of a choice that had to be made, of a life that had to be decided, of a dream to be realized scared her. Some wondered aloud after Suitcase, how can we coalesce the Sarah Walker that desired a family in Crown Vic with the Sarah Walker that panicked at the very idea in Suitcase? Simple, listen to her words:
Sarah: Do you ever just want to have a normal life? Have a family? Children?
Casey: The choice we made to protect something bigger than ourselves is the right choice. Hard as that is for you to remember sometimes.
Sarah: I’ll talk to Chuck and if I can’t fix this, I’m gonna ask for a reassignment…
Sarah: Well it’s my job, it’s what I do. It’s the one thing I’m good at. As you can see from everything that happened with Bryce, I’m not so good at relationships.
The implication being that she may desire that life, dream about it but she’s afraid…no, she knows she’s not good at it. She has always held all the keys, always had the real power in their relationship and for the longest time it’s the fear that held her back, held them back. She may have gotten to the point where she’s learned what she wants (dreams about it), she’s yet to realize that she could have that with Chuck. She said “I’m going to ask for a reassignment.” That statement is a very important distinction that will be all the more important later on.
Still, in essence, during Crown Vic and beyond, the lines were clear. There’s the job and there’s Chuck. There’s what she knows and what she dreams about. That is until Break Up…
Chuck: I’m a normal guy, who wants a normal life and as amazing as you are Sarah Walker, we both know that you will never be normal.
Contrast that ‘truth” with what Sarah says in Suitcase:
Sarah: I know it’s probably taken me longer than a normal girl but you should know you’re my home Chuck, you always have been.
The idea of home is huge. Not just because like she said she’s never had one, but rather her desire to finally make one, with Chuck.
Sarah: I’ve never had a real home and I wanted this to feel like one.
She’s always known that Chuck wants the whole package. He said it in Break Up, he said it in Truth, and everywhere in between. The problem is she has never imagined a reality in which she could have that happily ever after with Chuck. That she could have that which she secretly desired in Crown Vic, that she wasn’t aware of in Wookie and that which she was jarred into awakening in Break Up and the very idea is not only frightening it’s exhilarating. Chuck makes her wish she could be normal for him, that she could be that person to have that life with him and the very idea is so scary, it’s tantalizing.
But going back to Break Up for a moment, in Break Up suddenly the idea of being apart is no longer welcome (it wasn’t welcome in Marlin but that was short and not as eye-opening as Break Up in my opinion).
Bryce: She has feelings for you Chuck, feelings that will get her killed. The people we deal with are cold-blooded assassins they have no emotions, no feelings…anything less gets us killed.
We’re reminded at this juncture why Sarah doesn’t put down roots. Why she doesn’t often dream. But she does, she hesitated because she does.
Look at her face, examine the exact moment when it dawned on her just how real her feelings have become and how deep she has fallen. That is the moment that changed everything.
Lethal Weapon added to this commitment:
Sarah: I guess I’m not the type of girl who cheats on her cover boyfriend.
Cole: Is that all he is, a cover? I saw the way you were looking at him when his life was in danger.
Sarah: When you meet someone you care about, it’s just hard to walk away.
And there you have it. She may not believe herself capable of living that normal life, of ever being normal, but she’s committed, in love. There is no going back. And being so deeply in love propelled her to bravery, to commitment.
In Role Models she got even deeper. In this instance Role Models trumps Other Guy, Honeymooners and alike because Role Models revisited her greatest fear, explored the forward progression in their relationship and the idea of the future. If you notice in Pink Slip she asked him to run away with her, in Honeymooners they were running away and although she said “I’ve been all over the world but Burbank’s really the only place that felt like home” (there’s that word again) she was still only willing to go so far in their relationship. Running away is easy, hotel rooms, suitcases, she’s well versed in all of that. While having that one guy be with her through it all will be different, the rest is what she’s familiar with; it’s a life she’s familiar with. Moving in? Putting down roots? That’s unfamiliar and once again scary.
Sarah: I’m sorry that I freaked out when you asked me to move in with you. You know how I grew up I spent my whole life living in hotel rooms, having fake names. I’ve been trained to survive a thousand different situations in the field but no one ever taught me how to have a normal life…Well I’d like something to fall back on when our spy life is over.
Finally it’s all come together. What she dreams of, what she wants, who she wants and what she’s actively trying to attain. Having learned all that, is it unexpected that she’s yet to unpack in Suitcase? Not at all.
Sarah: I do feel comfortable here…
Notice she doesn’t say “home,” but “comfortable.”
Sarah: …It just doesn’t come naturally to me putting roots down.
Chuck: I know, you were always on the run with your dad and being a spy doesn’t make it easy for you to make a home anywhere. It’s what you’re used to.
Every step will be a struggle, a struggle within, a struggle against fear, doubt and joy. Joy at finally having that which she has always dreamed of but was incapable of believing possible.
Sarah: That’s just something I like to keep in my suitcase at all times. Whether I’m in Portugal or Russia or Burbank. This makes me feel comfortable, safe. I know this has probably taken me longer than a normal girl but you should know you’re my home Chuck, you always have been.
Perhaps most telling (and amazing) are those words. The girl who has never had a home, who actively (finally) wanted one in Role Models finds herself having had one all along. She’s been rooted all along. Falling in love with Chuck made her realize that which she has always wanted, yet feared. Except now her roots will extend to more than just the emotional commitment at which the picture illustrates, but to that of the future and what the future shall bring. But just like Chuck’s maturity, “baby steps” it shall be. Enter deer in the headlights: why was she so frightened? She’s committed to putting roots down; she’s known all along that Chuck is a traditional “normal,” albeit spy-ish guy. Why the fear? Why the uncertainty? Because it’s yet another dream she’s long been afraid to believe possible.
“What’s eating you Walker?”