There is incredible humor in Chuck vs. The Suitcase. I laughed harder every time I watched this week.
Diane: Yes – Understood. I will put a team on it tomorrow.
– And thank you for shopping at the Buy More.
Diane? That’s a whole new side of you! And Chuck? Will you PLEASE get your hand off of Sophia’s perfection? Lester expands his knowledge of the universal mind, and Morgan poses to Casey a question like a quiz-show game master: “Top 3 things you can do with a Roomba. Number 1, Go!”
Sarah and a Supermodel battling it out on a cat-walk? That’s right up there with Sarah vs. La Ciudad and Lizzy. (And really, can you think of a better way to get the male 19-29 demo to tune in?)
And Sarah finally unpacking her suitcase was one of those moments that Chuck does with a perfectly light touch. It was sweet. Also, it was clever how they tied that into the spy-plot with Sophia not unpacking her most important dress, too. I liked that.
Yet last Monday night after the show was over I wondered for a bit if it was just too light-weight. I’ll tell you honestly, I want more from Chuck, more than guffaws and even more than sweet moments. All that stuff I saw early on was fun, but there is always a depth of meaning that I’m looking for, the kind of thing you feel when Sarah bumps Chuck’s shoulder on the beach, or when Chuck tells her that, amazing as she is, they both know that she will never be a normal girl. So often I’ve come away with a flicker of light hidden in the laughter, and something I don’t even notice for awhile. Did I get that?
Yes, yes I did, sometime after I realized that more than one suitcase had been unpacked, and before I found the lyrics to the final song. So, yes, yes.
Lucy takes the long way home
meets me in a field of stone
she says I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel
my body’s cold, my guts are twisted steel.
And I feel like I’m some kind of frankenstein,
waiting for a shock to bring me back to life,
but I don’t want to spend my time
waiting for lightning to strike. Ohhh…
So underneath a concrete sky
Lucy puts her hand in mine
She says “Life’s a game we’re meant to lose,
But stick by me and I will stick by you.”
Cause I’m like a princess in a castle high,
waiting for a kiss to bring me back to life,
but I don’t want to spend my time
waiting for just another guy. Ohh….
The song is A Girl, A Boy and A Graveyard by Jeremy Messersmith. It was played during the final scenes, starting with Ellie leaving her bed while Devon slept.
The melody is actually very sweet and it fit perfectly with Sarah showing Chuck that she had finally unpacked. But the lyrics, which I did not find until later, seem at odds with Sarah saying that Chuck is her home. They speak of uncertainty, resignation, and sadness. Why should Sarah be sad?
She’s not the only sad character. It may have been transparently true that the title referred to Sarah finally unpacking and to Sophia not unpacking the most important item she had. But now it seems that after all this time in Burbank, Casey too had just barely started unpacking. The man walked away from home two decades earlier to serve something greater than himself. And now, cold-school professional though he is, it’s dawning on him that he’s been away too long.
And then, Ellie. Ellie pulls out her box of memories from childhood, the home she once had, and one by one, like Sarah, she decides finally to unpack them. These characters are not smiling. Casey and Ellie are solemn and thoughtful, perhaps even sad because something deep and important is changing. Like Sarah, they’re discovering they need family and the walls that they built for protection – everyone’s protection – must come down. It’s scary. It’s an end to a way of life that they’ve known for a long time. Each of them had been resigned to a life they thought was right and good, and now they resolve to end that life for something unknown.
Chuck and Morgan, the two unambitious characters who grew to be most unsatisfied with their station, met up with two extremely competent, cynical and established professionals who showed them the ropes. I do believe Chuck and Morgan are going to return the favor.