Observation Post: Chuck vs. the Cubic Z

Ok Team, only a little over 30 minutes to this weeks Chuck! Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks!  More after the episode airs!

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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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206 Responses to Observation Post: Chuck vs. the Cubic Z

  1. The shrink says:

    Best ever! Wait it’s not on yet. Just practicing

  2. Jen says:

    I’m parked in front of my TV!
    #ChuckDay —> sorry… i’ve got the twitter bug =P

  3. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Cant wait to see the episode and participate in the discussion after wards.

  4. atcdave says:

    Fun episode, I’d say the best action we’ve seen this season. It was good to see the return of Big Mike and the Buy More back to its usual dysfunctional self. It was nice to see Chuck and Sarah working as a team again, sort of like last week. That is exactly what I want to see from the show.

    The faux proposal was actually more serious than I expected, but of course the preview gave a little glimpse of how it will play out. Certainly no engagement via an accidentally delivered ring. Kind of too bad, it was a really sweet scene up until it ends with a cliff hanger we already know means no. Now we have a pretty good idea what the communication issues will be next week.

    • weaselone says:

      Well, I was going to warn everyone who didn’t want to spoil the next episode not to watch the preview. They should also avoid reading atcdave’s post.

      • atcdave says:

        I thought about censoring myself, but seriously, we’re going to be discussing it all in agonizing detail over the next week anyway!

        General rule of thumb, if you don’t want to know what happens in an episode, don’t read the discussion thread!

  5. herder says:

    Another really fun episode, Nichol Ritchie is great as a b**** on wheels, Casey and Sarah sparring and discussing their personal lives was great (and Sarah may have found a confidant). Really fun action, I especially liked the Sarah/Heather Chuck/Hugo concurrent fights, I had a grin on for the whole sequence. The talk was really good too, sharing tooth brushes, bathroom door open or closed was funny. Too bad they spoiled the cliffhanger in the promo. Interesting that the idea of children bothered Sarah but she never mentioned a problem with marriage.

    Still too much Morgan, not enough Greta but Hugo punching a girl was funny. Thought the Buy More stuff was a bit slow until Big Mike’s speach. Hugo and Heather were good bad guys in that they were capable and therefor threatening.

    It sets up some things to come, first there is a question of what Mama B was doing with Volkov, second we now know why they go to Burma. Third, with Big Mike proposing to Bolognia the issue of marriage will remain in discussion.

    Most of all this is still my show and I’m already pumped for next week.

    • SWnerd says:

      I also thought it interesting that Sarah didn’t really verbally express any discomfort with the marriage part of Chuck’s recent word vomit, only the kids part.

    • atcdave says:

      Ditto all! I noticed that about Sarah; I think (I hope) the marriage issue will be resolved fairly quickly, as in I hope we see a proposal next week. I know, I’ve been pushing for that all season, but I really do think it will come soon (the topics been broached, they wouldn’t dare draw it out for six or more episodes, would they??).

      • rac2873 says:

        Oh yes they will. You probably won’t see a proposal until 10 at the earliest.

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave: No way. That would be like trying to put silly string back in the can. I think it will resolve next week. (Of course this is me channeling my fondest hope. I’m not very good at channeling TPTB. I got Big Mike right, though … just saying.)

        And, yes, it was nice that it was only the kids part of the conversation that really bothered her.

      • rac2873 says:

        They will talk about it but there is no way a proposal comes up.

        I don’t even know why they brought it up in episode 3.

      • atcdave says:

        Not sure rac why you’re so certain of that. The most logical thing would be to do a well publicized wedding during sweeps month in November. They don’t even need NBC to cooperate for that, print and broadcast “entertainment news” goes nuts for prime time weddings. Now it is possible they’re thinking proposal for November (maybe a “family” themed Thanksgiving episode) and a wedding episode if they get a back nine (maybe February sweeps or season finale); but I think the mamaB encounter in 4.06 will play out stronger if Sarah is already wearing Chuck’s ring (don’t want to cause too much trouble with the future mother-in-law). It could also be quite the interesting scene if MEB is confronted by this spy chick wearing her old bracelet AND a diamond ring (OK, that’s likely too subtle for prime time).

        Even if they mean to put it off for some time yet there is a very good reason for putting the topic in play now; it makes some fans (like me and Thinkling for starters!) very excited for where they are heading.

      • thinkling says:

        If they’re planning a wedding for this season, then the engagement needs to be soon. That way they are prepared for a short or long season.

        I really agree with you Dave. For a variety of reasons, I would like Sarah become Chuck’s fiancé before she faces off with MEB. The bracelet and a ring would be a nice touch, especially if the ring is a family heirloom.

      • herder says:

        I had figured before the season started that there would be several proposal fake outs before the real one. I’m sticking with that for now, but I’m not as sure as I was previously. If I had to guess I think they will resolve it without an answer, some thing like Morgan walks in and thanks Chuck for finding Big Mike’s ring. What you will get is both of them seriously thinking about it, each of them alternately blowing hot and cold.

        Some great lines in this episode though, the one about not having authority to use the supply closet for what they use it for might be the best. “My foot slipped” was great and sort of like when she punched Fitzgerald or what ever his name was last year. I also liked that Sarah knew that Chuck wasn’t ok when he said he was.

        Although I felt that there was too much Morgan he did get a good one in about the no hand wringing, a call back to the General’s comment in American Hero.

        Casey getting shot opens up the next episode to be split with Chuck/Sarah and Awesome/Ellie in Costa Gravas and Casey/Alex/Morgan in Burbank. From the promo it looks like we get a scene of Sarah trying on Bikinis to decide which is most enticing for her man.

        I don’t think that this episode was better than the first two but it wasn’t much below them either. If anything I’d say the show was consistently good so far, and the next one has the potential to be really good.

      • atcdave says:

        Agreed again Herder. I rank Suitcase as the best of the short season so far; and am very excited for next week. I loved Armand Assanti the first time around and look forward to the return visit, even if we don’t get a proposal yet!

      • rac2873 says:

        Well lets see what episodes we have coming up.

        Coup D’etat – Vacation – Doubt it will happen then.
        Couch Lock – Casey Centric – Nope
        First Fight – No Way
        Aisle of Terror – No
        Fear of Death – No
        Phase Three – No

        So I guess I cannot see it happening at least in the next two weeks.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m still guessing next week. I think a vacation get away is perfect. I also don’t believe a Casey centric episode rules anything out. If it goes to 4.06 without a proposal I agree it will likely not be for a couple weeks as the MEB story line will dominate; but apart from titles we know little about the late November episodes, and I really can’t see them putting it off past the break.

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

    Why was Heather Chandler in this episode?

    For me, I’m sorry, but it was the weakest episode yet. This episode never seem to get going, probably because we were always flipping back to the Buy More.

    • atcdave says:

      You know I’d be happy if they took a minute or two away from the Buy More stuff, but otherwise I was pretty happy.

      Nicole Richie is not a great actress, but she did fine as a mean b***h. I thought she was fine in her part, and I liked that she voiced what may have been “old Agent Walker” thoughts and fears. It let them state categorically in the end that was no longer who she was. Now we’ve all been saying that for a while, but I believe it was the clearest its been articulated on the show. As we were discussing earlier today, this is sort of “treading water” in the relationship growth department. But much as I want to see them move to that step, I can enjoy some of the fun stuff along the way.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I guess what I meant is that any captured spy could have said those things. I expected more from the Heather / Sarah dynamic.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        It had to be Heather that she admitted she used to be like because we all know how much she hated Heather and in that way Sarah tells us that she hates who she used to be.

      • atcdave says:

        Its funny though, could you imagine Heather in Cougars claiming to be just like Jenny Burton? The difference a couple years (and some jail time) make!

    • joe says:

      I have to disagree with you, Joseph. Heather had an important function! She was perfect as the one pushing Sarah’s buttons. For me, that part of it was a great continuation of the original Cougars; Sarah started opening up to Chuck back then, offering to tell him one thing about her past. This time, they are talking the way they should.

      After two really strong episodes I was half expecting to be a little let down this week. As a bad guy, I thought Hugo Panzer was the biggest disappointment of S3.

      As it turned out, he was great, the Buy More story was great, Big Mike was great, and Sarah & Chuck…

      I did not expect that cliff hanger!

      Confession, I must have missed something in the promo, because I’m not sure what Dave is talking about up above. But it’s not clear to me at all what happens next with them. Except,

      – it seems to be mature! It seems to be non-angsty. I am very happy about that!

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Joe, Hugo was much better the second time around.

        If you missed it, the preview starts with Morgan saying something to the effect (I still need to re-watch) “did you really expect her to say yes to an accidental proposal with someone else’s ring?” as it shows Chuck and Sarah walking away from each other in the obvious conclusion to the cliff hanger scene.
        Part of the episode description for 4.04 is that Chuck and Sarah need to work on communication issues, which both seem ready and eager to do on a trip to Costa Gravis. So I do think we’ll see a real talk about it next week; and I HOPE we’ll see a proper “resolution” to it.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Joe – I agree about Heather needling Sarah (and Chuck) and their history was needed for effect. However it was all “present day” needling. I guess I was looking for a little more Sarah backstory with the high school nemesis.

        Agreed Hugo / Chuck was excellent.

        Morgan – meh, I don’t know.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Dave – From the promo of 4×04 – Morgan says – “So you would have been happy if she accidentally said Yes to your accidental proposal”. the operative word here is “accidental”.

      • atcdave says:

        Thanks Genie, I knew it was something like that!

      • herder says:

        I don’t remember the exact words but what Heather did in this episode is show Sarah what she had been, what she feared she still was and made her realize that she wasn’t that way anymore. Something like “it took a night in the guts of the building to realize I’m not anymore”.

      • rac2873 says:

        I must be dead inside because the fake proposal really irked me. Why do it. I am failing to see the point. Couldn’t they just have talked about it. In fact they never even broached the topic of marraige.

        Yeah I know where is the fun in that, also why the cliffhanger. It seemed pretty pointless.

        Other than that last bit the episode was good.

      • joe says:

        Thanks, all, for filling me in. Seems like I only missed Morgan’s word, “accidental.”

        I need to see that promo again (and I’m hoping I can find it somewhere). My initial interpretation was that neither of them freaked out the way Sarah did at the end of Suitcase. My imagination may have taken it from there.

        Then again, I missed the 0.5 seconds of Sarah choosing a bikini, too (sigh. That’s one of the first signs, you know…)

      • Paul says:

        I thought it was a great episode. Just the right balance of humor and action. I REALLY liked Nichole Rithcie in this eps. She pulled off the b*tch role much better than she did in Cougars. I loved how her needling of Sarah was really getting under her skin.

        As far as the cliffhanger, IMHO it’s really a nothing-burger at this point. Chuck and Sarah have had their talk and both know that Sarah would like to take it slow. Chuck doesn’t seem to have a problem with this. Both saw the ring fall, so Sarah knows the ring wasn’t planned. My guess (from the promo) is that Chuck will propose to her in half-jest to relieve the tension, and Sarah laughs it off. But Chuck was still half-serious, hence his dissapointment and his talk with Morgan. I fully expect an engagement by the end of the season. Depending on if we get a back half pick-up they may put it off for a bit, but all signs point to it coming….

    • Faith says:

      The main purpose for Heather wasn’t so much as to dazzle with acting or lines but to contrast the Sarah that was to the Sarah that is.

      She said it best, “we’re the same” but it turns out there is a very, huge difference…one fell in love for real, the other not. And that love changed that person in more ways than just deception but all the things to come with love. Including communication.

  7. atcdave says:

    Good thing about S4 so far; I am once again excited to re-watch later tonight. That only rarely happened last year. we’re three for three this season.

    I like the way this episode ends with the theme of how very well Chuck knows Sarah. He’s not worried about some of the things Heather taunts her with, because he really knows Sarah. Its a direct call back to the last time we saw Heather in Cougars; Chuck knows the girl she is.

    And this really felt like an S2 episode to me. That is a VERY good thing.

  8. weaselone says:

    I think we saw a little Heather, Chuck chemistry there towards the end. It may be time to start a Huck fandom.

  9. Sarah Sam says:

    LOL weaselone. Huck!!! LOL awesome.

  10. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    I’m gonna try to cram a few thoughts in here quick -before I loose track of events and perceptions.
    A fairly solid EP – but it didn’t raise the bar for S4 for me from 1 and 2.
    Pretty good pace – Very good action/ fights/stunts.
    Loved Mr. Austin. [ When you’re that big – they call you Mister] Heather Chandler was a good plot device….
    There was very creative use of small spaces…. holding cells, air ducts – [Hopefully the supply closet scenes weren’t cut out to save time].
    Morgan is better when he’s funny… actually you can say that about the whole Buy More gang.
    Lester’s stream of consciousness with Jeff’s Kung Fu – fell really flat for me….
    Nice to have Big Mike back – That guy can really fill out a pair of slacks!
    Really loved the open dialogue between Chuck and Sarah… and we were also able to see that they are clearly at different levels [for now]… hmmm – is Chuck lying again? If not exactly to Sarah – then to himself??? Is he really OK taking things slow?
    Or is he agreeing because he knows its what she wants to hear? Not really fond of the ending – but the way they both reacted to the ring was VERY interesting….

    • atcdave says:

      Agree with most of this Gringo. Jeff and Lester often fall flat for me, ironically that’s part of the humor!

      You’re right about the small spaces, although Castle/Buy More certainly has some extensive ductwork (always reminds of Mythbusters doing the “sneaking into a building via ductwork” thing … “Thor, the God of Thunder, is breaking into my building!” … ductwork is not quiet!).

      I think Chuck was just being wise about “taking things slow.” He’s clearly ready for it all, but until Sarah is there’s little point in pushing. I loved their reactions to the ring, Sarah is more ready than she lets on, I really think an actual engagement will come fairly soon.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree, Dave. I didn’t think Sarah looked upset about the prospects of proposal. They were considering readiness for a variety of things. When the ring fell and Chuck picked it up, the implied question was “are we ready for this?” She didn’t look unwilling to take the current discourse in that direction.

        Chuck agreeing to go slowly is wise and pretty wonderful. He understands Sarah and puts her at ease. (I’m barely on solid foods, myself.) And starting the conversation he started was also wise. It was sort of like moving forward sideways.

  11. Merve says:

    This was much, much better than the first two episodes of the season. Things I liked:
    – Fight scenes galore (and any one of them was better than last week’s awful fight sequences)
    – Steve Austin running around with guns
    – Morgan and Chuck’s chat at the start of the episode
    – BIG MIKE
    – Lester’s additions to Big Mike’s speech
    – Casey and Sarah actually talk about stuff now.
    – Chuck and Sarah’s issues felt a lot less contrived than last week.
    – The Buy More riot

    There was one teensy weensy thing that I really didn’t like, and that was Heather’s parting words to Sarah. I liked that Heather told Sarah about Frost’s whereabouts, but it was in no way believable that Heather would tell Sarah that Chuck was a great guy and that Sarah was capable of love. I didn’t need a Hallmark moment; the info about Frost was enough.

    On another note, it seems as if a lot of Greta’s scenes are ending up on the cutting room floor. Stacy Keibler didn’t have much to do. They got a lot more mileage out of Isaiah Mustafa. Also, I hope that they make better use of Casey in the coming episodes. He had a lot to do in “Anniversary,” but he hasn’t played a big role since.

    As for how this episode fits into the larger story, I’m a little happier about the approach that they seem to be taking than I was last week. (I thought that they were going to waste at least half a season on Chuck/Sarah issues.) I guess that they’re trying to get the Chuck/Sarah stuff out the way as fast as possible so that we can get to the Mama B stuff – the good stuff – quickly. So get ’em hitched or don’t, I don’t care, let’s just get on to the mythology soon. (And I wouldn’t mind if they blew some stuff up along the way. ;))

    • joe says:

      Wow, Merve! I agree with a lot of this. I wasn’t quite so blah about Heather’s final speech as you, but I can understand your POV. For us hard-core fans it could have been much more subtle and still gotten the point across. (Well, okay, you did say it was a tiny point. We agree after all!)

      Every week my wife and I look at each other and say “I can’t believe the hour is over already!” Gretas on the cutting floor – no Ellie and Awesome and DIANE! – that’s all budget stuff and I only hold NBC to blame for that.

      [And I blame them to the point of resenting all the commercial interruptions to MY SHOW! STOP IT! MAKE CHUCK TWO HOURS! TRIPLE IT’S BUDGET! DO IT NOW OR I SHOOT THIS COMPUTER!!!]

      /rant. (Huff – huff)

    • atcdave says:

      Well we’ll never agree on everything, but I agree with much of what you say; the action sequences were dynamite this week. Even the Sarah/Casey sparring was well choreographed and fun to watch. You kind of touched on one of the reasons I would like to see a proposal come quickly, so it will be less of a distraction to the MEB story-line. I know for me it will be much easier to invest if I’m not holding my breath about the other (can you tell? I probably am not the sort of guy who would get along well with Casey!)

      • Big Kev says:

        Dave…..invest anyway! The proposal is coming. It’s as close to a done deal as you get in TV. Personally I think Mama B will be used as a device to drag it out for a while rather than bringing CS together before the “face off” but i have no doubt whatsoever where the relationship will end up.
        In the meantime I’m with Merve – would love to see a couple of Mythology episodes to balance things out – although I’m guessing they won’t come until after next week.

      • atcdave says:

        Oh I agree Big Kev, and I’ll have fun either way. But I would seriously prefer they do it sooner rather than later.

    • herder says:

      Merve the little homily at the end by Heather was the one thing that bothered me about her part too, although in fairness even after saying nice things about Chuck she still had a little shot at Sarah, “he is really in love, are you?”.

    • thinkling says:

      Heather’s speech that seemed so nice? I’ll have to re-watch, but given the zinger at the end, the whole speech was probably aimed at hurting Sarah.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I thought Heather saying that at the end felt natural. Like maybe she had been having regrets about her husband (even though she referred to him as her victim ) and missed having someone love her like that.

    • weaselone says:

      I’m telling you Merve, Heather’s wordiness at the end is because she fell for Chuck over the course of the episode. She’s warning Sarah that when she drops the ball, she’ll be waiting in solitary to explore the intriguing difference in height between her and Chuck. 🙂

      • Merve says:

        Cheather FTW! Duck fans had better watch out because Diane has a new rival, and this one never had to serve wieners for a living. 😛

  12. joe says:

    Ooohhhh!
    Really Off-Topic note here. But our major source of Spoilage, Michael Ausiello is moving on from EW.

    Soon, anyway. I suspect he’ll still be dishing out stuff, though.

  13. BDaddyDL says:

    Before I mention my thoughts on this episode, one thing really struck me. I remember Old Darth saying fan fiction is wish fulfillment. I have to say I have come to agree with that. The question becomes, what happens when the episode becomes wish fulfillment. Sarah and Chuck talked. It adressed Sarah walker changing, brought the focus on the main 3, and the addressed the wedding issue. Joe can you do me a favor and ask old darth what happens when the writers wish fulfill?

    • joe says:

      I will, BDaddy. But I suspect he’ll see this and get back to you first, if he has an answer that he wishes to share. (It is a bit of a rhetorical question, you know, which means that the answer really depends on who’s asking the question!)

    • rac2873 says:

      They addressed the kids issue but never talked about Marriage. That is the current Elephant in the room.

      • joe says:

        Rac, Thanks for posting the promo for 4.04 on twitter! Appreciated!

        I still can’t tell their facial expressions at the beginning, which is about 2 seconds after Cubic-Z ended.

        It looks like the Casey is at the fountain at the end. But if you can’t take the Casey to Costa Gravas…

        Armand Assanti is amazing. I can barely believe this is the same actor as the one who played in several episodes of NCIS as La Grenouille (Shawn’s father, the CIA backed arms dealer).

    • atcdave says:

      Wish fulfillment is part of it. But I think its reasonable to explore different directions a story could have or might have gone. Sometimes its part of understanding why things WEREN’T done a particular way. Of course the main issue in most (yes, I’m guessing, this is not the product of an actual statistical study) fan fiction is putting Chuck and Sarah together in different times and different ways. It is interesting to explore the different issues and problem connected with that. And I find it satisfying (wish fulfillment? sure, why not) to see how many fun stories can be told that way.

      When we consider the writers did finally go there, I think it adds a certain legitimacy to the whole exorcise. And of course there will be endless issues and twists to play with that the show will never get around to.

    • Frea O says:

      I’ma gonna quote another CIA member here, BDaddyDL: “Wish fulfillment in fic is when you take the characters out of their current characterizations and force them into ones of your own creation to satisfy your own desires. It’s, by its very nature, out of character for the people involved. This last episode included two characters rationally and calmly talking through a specific issue to get to a final point, and even that was interrupted by some ambiguity. There was little truly resolved, but it made for two likeable leads and reasonable conversation, something any good show should have.”

      This episode is not wish fulfillment in the slightest. Having your characters in a happy place together isn’t wish fulfillment if the writing they took to get there is logical, rational, and made sense. What IS wish fulfillment would be Chuck and Sarah getting together in Other Guy, but we all know my opinions on S3, so I’ll stop there. Examples of how this episode could have been wish fulfillment? Chuck beats Hugo Panzer in the cage fight. Sarah realizes very early on that she and Heather are nothing alike. Our leads say they magically want to get married between of twoo wuv. Chuck takes his shirt off and wanders around the Buy More shirtless for an entire episode–oh, sorry, that’s just Frea’s wish. Carry on. What, I’m shallow! I never claimed otherwise!

      I liked the episode, for what it’s worth. I liked it a whole heck of a lot. Would happily lose Buy More stuff, glad Big Mike is back, sad that they wasted an opportunity to have the spy life intrude upon the Buy More like weaselone said, but that’s small potatoes compared to the fact that I actually enjoyed both of the main characters, Nicole Richie wasn’t too bad, and there were unconventional Castle Slides!

      • joe says:

        Zounds, that’s good. I’m going to interject my own musings from somewhere out in left field, only because you just inspired me, Frea.

        I’ve been contending for a while now that this has been a love affair we’ve seen going on for over three seasons now. But I’m not talking about the one between Chuck & Sarah. I’m talking about the one between the show and the fans.

        There was a song (written by Neil Young, but I’m only familiar with a version done by Linda Ronstadt – Love is a Rose). It starts:
        Love is a rose, but you better not pick it.
        -only grows when it’s on the vine.
        Handful of thorns and you know you’ve missed it.
        -lose your love when you say the word “mine.”

        Wish fulfillment is much like that too, I think. It’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it’s very easy to have to much of it.

      • odysszeuss says:

        chuck shirtless… i like that idea 😉 but no way thats tvd (stefan and daemon salvatore). here is chuck shirtless on a sexting pix an Sarah in a miniskirt a whole episode (4×01) 😉 …and next episode: yvonne and the bikins try ons. i will enjoy that for sure 😉

      • Frea O says:

        By the way, I forgot to give I Am Not Amused the credit for that quote. It was all him, guys. He’s a force of nature. And Joe, I’m listening to that song now.

        If next week has Sarah trying on bikinis and shirtless Chuck, Odysszeuss, the weekly mxpw vs. Frea we do over at CI will just be mxpw and I drooling. We’ll have to let Liam2 and Crystal fill in. 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Sarah trying on bikinis is going to enthrall the audience, that’s for sure – what would make it even better would be if Chuck is there to appreciate it.

        Can we dare to hope for a relaxing beach scene in 4×04 – then we will have a shirtless Chuck and a bikini clad Sarah – a win-win for all.

      • atcdave says:

        If that doesn’t show up in the Sunday Night Football preview next week someone at NBC should be fired!

      • JC says:

        All the love for Yvonne and none for Sarah Lancaster? Lets not forget her bikini scene in Beard last season.

      • odysszeuss says:

        a good point JC!!! i go with Frea’s phantasie adding JC’s thougth putting shirtless Awesome and Lancaster to the bikin costa grava beach event/party…

      • BDaddyDL says:

        @ Frea I thought that quote was familiar, but way to articulate for me.

        I stand corrected on the wish fulfillment part. Wish fulfillment would be a date between Chuck and Sarah at the Smithsonian…oops.
        (reference to a fantastic chapter of What fates Impose)
        In all honesty thanks for clearing that part up. I guess finally seeing a bunch of stuff I wished I saw in season 3.

        @Joe I think Josh Schwartz hiring fans of the show is paying off in the writing. A lot of the things that didn’t work in season 3, and some even in season 2 have disappeared.

        For those that are coughing into their hand saying buy more. Remember that set for the Buymore helps Chuck stay afloat.

  14. Faith says:

    My short and sweet thoughts about the epi (so far): is there was just something that was iffy for me with the epi. I didn’t not like it, I didn’t not love it but something.

    I’ll try to watch it a couple more times to see what it was. If it was…

    I will say though that I liked the conversation. When time was they would let these issues fester, now it’s handled very adult-like and with attention to maintaining that which is essential: what they feel for one another.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, I really like that they talk now. And that they have confidence in each other; like how Chuck wasn’t buying any of what Heather was selling, he just wanted to know why it upset Sarah.

  15. Sole says:

    Well, i liked this ep, the first of the 3 i’m not dying to re wach, but still will, cause, it’s Chuck, you know… I found the buy more a snooze, except for Lester wanting to be a part of Big mike Speech, that brought me the laugths… It was nice to see Nicole, she didn’t dissapointed, ahd Hugo, I liked him better in this ep than in first class. For me the best one so far was suitcase. But this was good. Loved Sarah in every scene. Oh, and that smile when she sees the ring, priceless

  16. JC says:

    This episode was kind of hit and miss for me. Solid overall and a good first outing for the new writer.

    Heather Chandler was great, she’s moved up my list of favorite villains after this episode. Although I’m disappointed that we didn’t get any Sarah back story out of it. I had to laugh when she kept calling her Jenny Sarah. Oops my foot slipped 🙂 One of Sarah’s best lines ever.

    The action and spy stuff was much better this week. Loved the fight between Sarah and Heather while Chuck and Hugo are punching each other in the vent. The whole episode reminded me of Assault on Precinct 13.

    The BuyMore fell flat again, it’s just not working for me anymore. I love the gang there but it really feels forced. Greta feels like a waste completely. Its one of those things that sounds great in concept but its not working.

    The Chuck and Sarah relationship stuff was handled great. It felt real and organic to me much better then the suitcase issue. Loved her fears were about children and not really marriage. I could see it really coming to head as more of the MEB storyline plays out.

  17. Tamara Burks says:

    Except for Big Mike the Buy More fell a little flat this week. I was looking forward to the interaction between the Buy More Freaks and the spy freaks. The only indication of any action were Greta’s words about Doc Bollywood looking down her shirt (Lester I presume) and referring to the Green shirts as losers in lime (which made me glad she got punched out , what a b***hy thing to say!) were freaking her out and that’s why she was downstairs instead of upstairs.

    One big question that begs answering is where were all the other agents during the riot ? Where they hiding in fear or because they thought were too good to handle a store riot.(Because past views of some agents definitely gives the impression that spy service attracts the arrogant more often than not, for example Bryce Larkin (who played God with Chuck’s life), Cole Barker (who said a chip was unhackable why exactly?! Maybe because he couldn’t hack it) and Danial Shaw (who claimed to always have a plan yet got caught in a vault and gassed himself and Sarah in the same day and proved to be majorly incompetant).)

    I think it would have been incredibly funny to have obvious agents (Awesome looking) either hiding under a desk or trying to deal with people and be overwhelmed by the crowds and unable to fight and end up getting tied up or something similar.

  18. weaselone says:

    So I gathered one of the top three uses for a Roomba during last night’s show:

    To clean up cheese balls after a game premier fueled riot.

  19. sniderman says:

    Great episode, and I’m really likin’ the new direction of the show, the characters, and this year’s story arc(s).

    That said, I have some real problems with some plot points from last night:

    1. A helicopter lands on the roof of the Burbank Buy More and a massive automatic weapons firefight breaks out on the same night the store is packed with gaming nerds and no one notices or says a thing?
    2. Along the same lines, a riot breaks out in a CIA base FILLED with hyper-trained undercover agents, but only the Buy-Morons are on hand to squelch the uprising? Or are the agents around only when it’s funny/convenient to the story?
    3. I’ve now come to the conclusion that the role of Greta is a complete waste and used only for cameo effect. It’s like the cameos from the old Scooby Doo show. “Hey gang! Look! It’s Stacey Keibler!” If Greta was designed just for walk-ons, they should have saved the money for the stars and pooled it toward bringing one new character – say Alex – in as a somewhat regular this season (ala Shaw for nearly all last season).

    Overall, I enjoyed the episode, but the “plot holes and lack of continuity for convenience’s sake” are really starting to surface. Hope the writers rein it in.

    • weaselone says:

      I agree regarding the disconnect between the Buy More world and the spy world in this particular episode. Personally, I consider this episode a huge wasted opportunity to show the two galaxies coming together, distorting each other’s structures with many near misses and a few actual collisions. The only one we really got came at the end where Big Mike takes down Panzer. That was the best part of the entire Buy More storyline this episode. The entire show could have contained moments like that.

      They had a huge premier for a game with a spy/military theme. It’s the perfect setting for mixing the two spheres of Chuck together with lots of excitement, but no lasting damage to his cover. It would be like Halloween with everyone dressed up as ghosts and ghouls, demons and devils anticipating frights and strange happenings so that the real thing can pass by unnoticed.

      The general idea is that the conflicts remain the same. The Buy More is not receiving the games it was promised with a resulting surly crowd, while Chuck, Sarah and Casey have to deal with Panzer and Heather. The actual spy world serves to distract the angry mob who believes it’s part of the Buy More’s premier festivities.

      1. They should have walked the prisoners straight through the front door of the Buy More. Multiple guards in full tactical gear with chained, masked prisoners. Let the extras hoot, holler, whatever.

      2. The activities in the duct-work should have been overheard by the mob, up to and including voices. Have the extra’s react.

      3. Have some of the action spill into the Buy More proper. Use this to take the Buy More CIA employees out of the action.

      4. Ultimately have Chuck and Panzer’s final fights take place on floor of the Buy More. Morgan could have set up a cage in anticipation of the game’s arrival.

      5. Make the Greta a double-agent for Volkoff. Have Sarah go toe to toe with her in the final scenes when she attempts to kill Heather. The Greta could also be used to put the other CIA agents out of commission earlier in the show.

      6. Ultimately have Big Mike take down Panzer.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I agree with you about the agents (and said so above) and Greta is a one note joke .Last epi they could’ve dropped the old Spice guy (or at least had part of Morgan’s spiel about it not being a Buy More any more include the fact that that Greta was not a man but a cartoon) and had more Bronson Pinchot who’s cameo was blink and you miss it.

  20. Casey's girl says:

    Cons first:

    Morgan being a baffoon again (what happened writers?)

    Buy More plot was lame.

    Jeffster unnessessary.

    The never ending maze of tunnels got boring after awhile.

    The so called cliffhanger was pretty anticlimatic.

    NOT ENOUGH CASEY!!!! 😦 Writers you’re breaking my heart over this.

    Now for the pros:

    Loved the sparring fight with Casey and Sarah (all of their scenes together made this episode worth while for me. 😉

    The talk they had together in the end I loved Sarah’s expression of fond affection at him. AB and YS brought it when they were together.

    and I loved her worried ”Casey!!” when he got shot.

    The ring coming down the slide like the freakin’ Ring of Power was rather cool.

    I like it when Morgan gave Big Mike his premission to marry his mom.

    Chuck and Sarah’s talk was great too.

    And I also liked the call backs to the earlier seasons: BM coming to morgan’s rescue like he did for Casey, and Morgan losing the ring reminded of Chuck losing Awesome’s ring for Ellie.

    Filler episode at best nothing spectacular. But I’m excited for next week. 😀

    • Paul says:

      I think Casey is going to get more time in the next 2 eps, particularly time with Alex and Morgan. Thinking “Couch Lock” is going to refer to him being stuck on the couch recovering from getting shot in this eps.

      • Merve says:

        Weird. When he got shot last season, he recovered overnight between “Angel de la Muerte” and “Operation Awesome.” My fanwank is that in “Cubic Z,” Casey received several bullets to the leg from an automatic weapon, and as such, even Casey’s super-regenerative healing powers will take several weeks to heal his leg.

    • Casey's girl says:

      You might be right, but it doesn’t stop him from going to the premiere’s island to help stop the Coup e’tat with C/S. The Angel of Life haha I can’t wait. 🙂

  21. Rick Holy says:

    Loved Heather getting under Sarah’s skin in the interrogation room – only to have Sarah talk to Chuck as if HE was the one being bothered by the “Heather talk.” And the time machine thing was cute and clever.

    The only thing I could have done with less of – A LOT LESS of – was the trapsing through the air ducts. I know it set up the conversation between the characters, but after a while, it was too much. I think it was in season 2 where they had a little “duct work” with Chuck and Sarah going through the air ducts and Chuck’s phone getting activated (to call Jill) and Jill hearing the duct talk as “sex talk.” That was cute. All the “duct” stuff in this episode got to be a little much. Even the ring falling through the duct work was drawn out waaaaaaay too long – especially when you KNEW what was eventually going to happen to the ring.

    Other than that little bugaboo, an all-in-all fun episode. Now – fingers crossed for at least a 2.0 demo rating!!

    Happy Tuesday, all. Keep on Chuckin’!!

    • atcdave says:

      I loved that bit with the interrogation. Sarah scolding Chuck about letting Heater get to him; while Chuck’s fine, its Sarah who’s freaked out.

    • odysszeuss says:

      Chuck and bugaboo… i don’t care anymore. i’m so so so glad we’re back to fun.

  22. OldDarth says:

    My thoughts:

    Giving The Past The Shaft – Episode 4.03: Chuck Vs The Cubic Z – http://tinyurl.com/2eyulve – The Return of Big Mike

    • odysszeuss says:

      only by reading your “Episode Flashes:” makes me laugh. thx for the review OldDarth. (as always)

    • BDaddyDL says:

      I enjoyed the review. I agree that the end of the episode possible set off a lot of things in motion. As many have said, neither C/S were opposed to marriage.

  23. herder says:

    Early, early numbers (no demos) are in, up slightly from last weeks early numbers , down slightly from week one’s early numbers. Those early numbers in week one resulted in a 2.1 demo, adjusted down in the final numbers, last week the early numbers gave a 1.9 adjusted up in the finals. Expect the same, maybe slightly better than last week. The Event and Chase both down.

    • Casey's girl says:

      2.1 is good right? I mean when the final numbers come in we’ll be ok? I hope so.

      • joe says:

        It’s very hard to say, CG, but I think so!
        Most every other show, certainly the new ones, are off on NBC. Seriously, most shows on network TV are off. The audience has gone elsewhere.

        A show with a solid, committed audience like Chuck has a leg up. In the short run, say, for the potential back 6 and even renewal for S5, this is good.

        But TV must change. So what that means in the long run…? [shrugs]

        Personally, I’m more than a little optimistic. But then again, that’s my nature.

      • atcdave says:

        2.1 would be good, but its looking more like 2.0.

        Not really good numbers, but we’re holding steady while everything else plummets. My guess is we will get a back order in the next few weeks. But unless something gets better we’ll have to sweat every single decision point.

    • herder says:

      Early numbers, 1.9 demo 5.37 million viewers. Viewership is identical to last weeks finals, for the demo it was 1.9 in the early numbers and went to a 2.0 in the finals, wouldn’t be suprised to see it do so again. Not much difference between a 1.9 and a 2.0 but I’d feel better with a 2.0. Chase did a 1.7 (18% drop) and the Event did a 2.4 (17% drop), NBC’s in trouble on Mondays.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        The ratings being down on network tv is because the lingering aftereffect of the writer’s strike. Chi McBride gave an interview after the strike (he played Emerson Cod on Pushing Dasies, which was killed by the writer’s strike and because they didn’t show reruns during the strike to drum up more of an audience) said that it took 10 years for network tv to recover the last time there was a writers strike. Add onto that the fact that non network tv has expanded quite a lot since the previous strike and it may take even longer for network tv to recover this time.NBC also made things worse for themselves with the whole Leno debacle and having to buy out Conon O Brien.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I found an interesting article on ratings and cancellation here. The gist of it, that sales of ad time are made with contingencies for making certain ratings or compensating with extra ad time bodes well for Chuck. Based on last season’s ratings Chuck is likely outpreforming it’s ratings as sold to advertisers and thus not costing NBC money, whereas Undercovers, Chase and The Event likely are or soon will be.

  24. Rick Holy says:

    Is anyone a “gamer” out there? Since Chuck’s audience is reported to be “male-skewed,” I would think SOMEONE is (not to say that there aren’t women gamers!). The reason I ask is this. Is “Spy Attack” an actual/real video game. They sure devoted enough attention to it on last night’s episode. If it’s “real,” that’s DEFINITELY one of those “product placement” advantages that “CHUCK” enjoys with the Buy More presence – and part of the “change” it TV (or at least TV advertising) that Joe alludes to.

    Bottom line, I think most network TV is “down” because we have so many other choices with cable/satellite – and the choices are good ones. Mad Men on AMC hasn’t won all those Emmys for nothing. And wasn’t “The Sopranos” an HBO thing? The networks may still be “in the lead,” but I wouldn’t say they’re dominant anymore. Those days are over.

    Well, let’s hope for the best. NBC/WB seem to like Chuck – it’s still here! Keep on Chuckin’ all! And PEACE!

    • BdaddyDL says:

      Im on the peripheries of gaming. I have never heard of spy attack. Although the costumes looked like call of duty.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I think they dropped the ball on that one Fr. Rick. Prime opportunity for in show promotion and they lapsed. I mean come on!

      You mean to tell me there is not a single game out there willing to pay a couple of thousands of bucks for prime real estate against a ratings share of nerdy 18-49 year olds? It doesn’t even have to have recently launched. There are plot holes all over the place anyway.

    • sniderman says:

      When they kept talking in the promos about an upcoming game release, I honestly thought it was going to be for Halo:Reach — a recently released mega-release and also the game the online Jeffster! series was about.

    • JC says:

      Since the timeline this season is so wonky they could have used the new Call of Duty that comes out next month.

      And Spy Attack isn’t a real game.

    • atcdave says:

      I thought it looked like a Halo knock off. Its possible between the riot and laughably short order (8 copies for 300 customers) no actual game developer wanted that association.

    • CAB_30 says:

      Zac did some voice work on the knew Fallout game that comes out later this month and then there’s always Mass Effect 2 which is going to be re-released for the PS3. This seems like such a wasted opportunity for the show to make a little extra cash.

  25. amyabn says:

    Sorry to take so long to weigh in. My reactions to the episode is a generic “it was ok.”
    -Loved the interaction between Sarah and Casey, Sarah and Heather, Sarah and Chuck. We got real communication.

    -the Buy More stuff was too long. Sorry, I though the whole Jeffster schtick was dumb. I would have much rather had more Greta vs. Hugo action. The BuyMore stuff felt forced adn stretched. I did, however, like Big Mike.

    I will try to rewatch tonight. This is the first episode of the new season that I didn’t feel the immediate need to go re-watch.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I second that Amy. There was just something there that didn’t work for me. In theory I should have loved it: Heather Chandler, childhood issues, commitment conversation, slam poetry, bad-ass action sequences. But nope. I think was missing certain things that made Cougars a favorite, anniversary fantastic and other characteristics of the handful of eternally rewatchable Chuck episodes. I think it was emotion.

      I will make myself watch it again though to see what’s up or at the very least to get some revenue for Chuck.

      • JC says:

        I think it was a lack of learning anything about Sarah’s past. Cougars gave us Jenny Burton and how Sarah became the woman we saw in the pilot.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Jc thanks for the thought. I wish? But I can’t rightly say that was it either. The point of Heather (at least in this epi) was to contrast who Sarah is or was with Chuck. Much like they did with Cougars’ “you should have been suspicious right off. How can a girl like me fall for a dork like him?” “You’d be surprised.” I actually liked that. For the most part (* grumble * didn’t like the last line of “are you (really in love with Chuck)” would have been better to go for commitment again, “he seems like a picket fences guy, are you ready for that?”). Loved the idea of love changing Sarah…not just change but wanting to be different.

        Anyways I digress. My point was more that because of that contrast I didn’t mind not having anything revealing about her past for the time being.

      • JC says:

        I get that, it’s just hard for me to buy that Sarah was like Heather at any point. Carina sure but once again I get what they were doing even if I think the execution was a bit off.

        The reason I brought the lack of Sarah’s past is when characters show up you expect certain things. Orion mythology, Carina sexy times and fun, Bryce angst and drama, Shaw splinters and lack of emoting. Other than Jack Burton we don’t have any characters but Heather with insight into pre CIA Sarah. So it feels like a little bit of a waste.

      • atcdave says:

        I’d agree JC that I don’t buy Sarah was ever much like Heather. After all Sarah’s apparently been a loyal CIA agent her entire career; and was careful from the beginning to NOT lead Chuck on about the nature of their relationship (she certainly could have controlled him with sex if she were so inclined).

        But perhaps we’re being too literal. Sarah may see some similarity in the sense of being an adrenaline junkie or something. Whatever similarity Sarah was worried about, Chuck wasn’t; he knows her better than that.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Among the things I really liked was the sense of familiarity with each other…

        “I know your ‘I’m all good’ and that is not an ‘all good'”
        “I know her angry face and this is not…”

        There’s a comfort between them, a settled trust in a way that wasn’t there before.

        JC, I get what you mean. I find that they’re sort of, kind of revisiting the Sarah I thought she was even before coming into the Buy More during the pilot. It seems as if what actually transpired, and how she seemed in the pilot was a lie, but instead the one in nacho sampler was more accurate. Correct me if I’m wrong that that’s what they’re going for here.

        It just seemed like Sarah from Nacho Sampler is just a little too close to “user” Heather than I’d like and one that I didn’t particularly appreciate. But I do love the idea of change and having been changed after falling for Chuck.

        As for her background, well we can only hope. I actually wish they’d expand more on the “you know how I grew up”—I gather from those statements Chuck and Sarah actually converse about more than just what we hear about or see, but it’d be nice to know that as well.

        Dave, I agree. I think in the end it wasn’t so much the person Heather was as much as the issues she has internally. I think the exact lines were, “You’re nothing like her” “For a long time, I was exactly like her, and it took me all night in the guts of the building to realize that I’m not anymore. At all.” I guess that’s one of my problems with this epi as well, the dialogue just didn’t do it for me. The idea was good, the conversation welcome but the actual way it was said, not for me. I will say though that I find it interesting that in a way Chuck knows her better than she knows herself as it relates to this whole thing: “you’re nothing like her” and he’s right.

      • luckygirl says:

        This episode felt like a little Sarah self-actualization to me. It seems she is developing self worth and awareness. For whatever the writers may or may not be doing wrong I’m impressed that it seems like they are doing their best to make Sarah a whole person.

      • JC says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I like what they’re doing with Sarah. She’s been an actual character week to week this whole season instead of a plot device. I just don’t think they used the best examples(suitcase & Heather) to achieve it. It’s not a huge deal because they’re not dragging it out.

    • atcdave says:

      I think ladies, with the action and nerd/game sub-plot, this was an episode that will always appeal more to the guys. You all know I’m as invested in the romance as anyone, but I seriously enjoyed this episode.

      • joe says:

        Good observation, Dave. But I’m not exactly sure the split is along gender lines. It seems to be along a fault line that lies between those who really pay attention to the spy story and those who really pay attention to the relationships.

        Seems like most everybody is qualifying their “thumbs up.”

  26. JC says:

    http://www.spoilertv.com/2010/10/chuck-episode-406-chuck-versus-aisle-of.html

    Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan must stop Dr.Stanley (Robert Englund) from releasing a toxin that induces nightmares… Chuck’s mother’s allegiances are questioned; Lester and Jeff celebrate Halloween at the Buy More.

    Well finally one my speculations seems to be right. Englund plays a Scarecrow like villain.

    • joe says:

      Many thanks, JC!

    • Tamara Burks says:

      And they worked nightmares into his character to call back to Freddy K.

    • JC says:

      http://zacharylevifan.com/wordpress/?p=5537

      Full synopsis

      CHUCK’S DREAM OF FINDING HIS MOM MAY BE HIS WORST NIGHTMARE — LINDA HAMILTON, MORGAN FAIRCHILD AND ROBERT ENGLUND GUEST-STAR — When Chuck (Zachary Levi), Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are tasked to stop Dr. Stanley Wheelright (guest star Robert Englund, “Nightmare on Elm Street” films) from releasing a nightmare-inducing toxin, they’re also lead to question the allegiances of Chuck’s mom (guest star Linda Hamilton, “The Terminator”). Meanwhile, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) use their unique sensibilities to celebrate Halloween at the Buy More, and Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) get a visit from Dr. Honey Woodcomb (guest star Morgan Fairchild). Bonita Friedericy and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.

      If I’m not mistaken this episode where Sarah and MEB are having their stand off. I wonder if its real or Sarah’s nightmare?

      • Casey's girl says:

        Actually that’s the Aisle of Terror.The ep after Coup d’Etat. 😉 I’m looking forward to this one.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I kind of want it to be Sarah’s nightmare. I can imagine that if Sarah is scared or intimidated by Ellie than Chuck long term CIA agent mother might scare her to death especially if she’s (at least subconciously) admitted to herself that Papa B was killed because of her (directly or indirectly and Sarah’s enabling of Shaw’s bad behavior didn’t help) .

      • Judy says:

        How was Stephen’s death indirectly caused by Sarah?

  27. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    I wonder if Chuck’s one liner about supply closets – is part of the reason Sarah took 8 months to unpack?

  28. Weaselone says:

    Time for a review of decent length after slacking for a couple of episodes…

    This episode had an amazing amount of potential. You had the return of Hugo Panzer and Sarah’s arch nemesis from High School coupled with a spy themed game being released at the Buy More. A perfect opportunity to have the spy world burst forth into the “real world” and be put back in its box at the end of the episode. They could have done more, although perhaps this was more a failure of budget than creative vision.

    Pluses:
    -Sarah vents about her relationship with Chuck to Casey. Casey, apparently enjoying getting knocked around continues to goad her.
    -Beckman’s interruption and admonishment to Sarah is classic.
    -Steve Austin receives the most improved villain reward.They kept his role brutish and physical which played to his strengths. The cage match with Chuck was classic.
    -The spy part was entertaining.
    -Richie as Heather Chandler filled her role as Sarah’s catty foe quite well. She also made a convincing fight opponent despite only clocking in at 5’1″
    -Chuck and Sarah’s interactions were also a strong component.
    -Loved Sarah admonishing Chuck for letting Heather get under his skin, while it was Sarah who was coming down with a major case of Heather induced dermatitis.
    -Big Mike taking down Panzer was perhaps the only decent part of the Buy More plot.

    Cons:
    -Yet another ineffective use of a Greta. If you’re going to hire guest stars use them in a manner that doesn’t result in their scenes being left on the cutting room floor in favor of more crawling through duct work, a ring falling through said duct work, or scenes of extras doing very little. They should have used this Greta as a villain. Panzer knew too much about the New Castle computer systems. Having the Greta as a double agent explains Volkoff’s forces always being a step ahead.
    -Chuck apparently hasn’t read the New Castle manual yet. In previous seasons he outmaneuvered Fulcrum from within a cell. This time he’s bested by the muscle. I’m revoking his nerd card and giving it to Panzer.
    -Too much duct climbing. They needed to bring some of the action out onto the Buy More floor with the extras.
    -Lacked interaction between the Buy More and spy plot. They’re releasing a spy themed video game which provides the perfect circumstances for the spy world to spill out into the “real world” without lasting repercussions. Bring the cage fight out onto the floor. Have Sarah take out Greta in an in order to save Heather. Have men in full tactical gear push through the crowds.
    -Where did all the agent green shirts go? Do they only work 9-5? Have the personnel been reduced to a single Greta and Castle staff? Were they drawn off by another mission?
    -Buy More = Dullsville. Outside of Big Mike nothing really worked here. Jeff and Lester were dull, Morgan was a combination of helpless and clueless and the disconnect between the Buy More and what was going on above, below, and in the back room pushed suspension of disbelief a little too far.

    Overall, the episode was entertaining due to the quality of some of the ideas, the entertainment provided by some scenes and the performance of a subset of the actor. Everything was there for the perfect episode of Chuck, but somehow something broke down in final assembly that rendered the episode merely watchable instead of watchable dozens of times during the week.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree with most of your specifics. Greta seems to be sort of a gag/inside joke thing. Maybe funnier in concept than execution. So far, I bet many casual viewers haven’t even noticed (especially since last week the gag was confined to the name tag).
      The disconnect between Buy More and spy world was dramatic, but that’s been a frequent problem since S2. The only difference being it used to be funnier!

      In spite of several issues, I had a really good time, and remain excited about the show.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I’m not revoking Chuck’s nerd card just yet. It could be that they changed things because Chuck did that from within a cell and they were thinking that if Chuck did it then a bad guy could. It ties in with how they underestimate Chuck. Remember when Barker had the suppossedly unhackable chip they wouldn’t let Chuck mess with it but after he took it it took around 2 minutes to hack. A prime example of underestimation.

  29. alladinsgenie4u says:

    I am a little late in dropping in with my two cents on the episode – but here goes.

    Although this episode wasn’t up to “Suitcase” level awesome, it was still very good entertainment.

    Things I loved about the episode

    Opening scene and the music that went along with it.
    Sarah and Casey sparring and talking normal life. That was so in character for both of them.
    Chuck’s complete obliviousness about Sarah’s freakout over his ramblings from 4×02 and his boyish enthusiasm for the upcoming trip to Monaco.

    All the interactions between Chuck, Sarah and Heather.
    Sarah’s freak out over Heather’s baiting and she in turn advising Chuck not to let Heather get under his skin.
    Panzer was properly used this time. His fight scenes with Chuck were awesome-specially the cage one. Sarah kicking Heather’s ass and feeling good about it.

    Sarah saving Heather on the rooftop – IMO that completely changed the way Heather looked at Sarah. She was expecting to be given up to Volkoff – the old Sarah might have done exactly that- but Sarah surprised her. Maybe that’s the reason Heather opened up in the end about Operation Beacon. One good turn often brings out some good in others. (that’s how I looked at it- therefore Heather’s turnaround at the end didn’t look odd to me)

    Big Mike is back and I liked all his scenes.- the speech in the end with Lester providing footnote type comments was comedic. Also Big Mike’s take down of Panzer- a little parallel to his take down of Leader way back in 2×08

    The “talk” scene between C/S was nicely done. Sarah is done running away from her fears. She is airing them in front of Chuck and friends too( Casey) .I also noticed that she never mentioned a fear of marriage- only children. Absolutely loved their banter about toothbrushes, bathroom doors and not to mention supply closets.

    I was expecting the ring scene to be early on in the episode and not end in a cliffhanger- but I loved the myriad emotions that cross Chuck and Sarah’s faces in those last few seconds.(Kudos to Zac and Yvonne)

    Moving forward of the Mama B arc – Chuck and Sarah believed that she was captured – now they learn that she was with Volkoff all the time during the underground weapon transfer/smuggling operation- questions about her motivations are bound to rise in the coming episodes.

    Things that fell flat

    The Buy More sub plot was sub par. And for the first time, I didn’t find Jeff and Lester funny. I was hoping for a Jeffster performance to stall the crowd, not a poetry slam.Time spent on the game release could as well have been devoted to the Greta plot, which to be honest is steadily becoming a bore.

    Too much Morgan again – but at least he wasn’t butting in on Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Less screen time for Casey in comparison to Morgan – that is an unforgivable crime in my eyes. At least put the two together in more scenes. I missed the Awesomes. Hopefully we will see a lot of them in the next episode.

    Overall it was a good episode which entertained me and I have watched it twice already. Going by the promo for next week’s episode, it looks like the ‘ring’ing cliffhanger they left us with wont be such a big deal after all. I am guessing that there will be an awkward moment before both Chuck and Sarah rush off making excuses. The best thing is that, they will be talking more -which IMO can only lead to more solid growth in their relationship.

  30. DaveB says:

    Too much Buy Moria, especially Lester’s role as crowd control. The whole Spy game subplot was then wasted when a helicopter, gunfight, and cage fight all went on without the knowledge of the gathered crowd. Now, that would have been pre-release entertainment!

    I thought Morgan’s sendout to the shippers was pretty funny, though.

    I was a tad bothered by Chuck being bested by the bad guy, granted to give a comedy bit to Big Mike, but it puts a hole in the armor of our hero, throwing into question just how useful intersect 2.0 is.

    As to the question of how Sarah feels about marriage…I think the issue that will come up is how Chuck feels about marriage, and whether Chuck is up to it. I was left a little cold at the end of “Suburbs” as I really didn’t get Sarah’s reaction at the end. Too much antipathy on her part. Why? Does that issue come back to haunt her, because Chuck is over-reacting to something he thinks she fears?

    • atcdave says:

      Shaw also beat Chuck in hand to hand in Other Guy; all the skill in the world can’t ensure victory against someone with such a huge size/strength advantage. Of course, such fights are the stuff of much good entertainment (Sarah routinely trounces bigger foes, then struggles against 90 lb. Heather!). I actually like that Chuck occasionally looses, it adds a little excitement to things.

      • JC says:

        Size and close quarter combat. As long as Chuck can keep his distance against someone like Panzer he’s fine. Its when it gets up close and personal that Chuck lack of bulk hurts him.

      • atcdave says:

        I was listening to Jeffrey Donavon’s commentary on an old Burn Notice episode (yes, the actor actually has multiple Black Belts) where he made the comment about a much larger opponent (6″ and 50 lb. difference if I remember correctly) “there isn’t any training that can make up for a difference like that.” I’m sure there’s some assumptions being made there, like roughly similar experience level; but I’ve also read similar things about Marines vs. Japanese troops in WWII (like how their martial arts training did them a disservice, they thought they had a chance against much bigger brawlers).

        Sorry, just a round about way of observing size matters a great deal. There’s a reason David vs. Goliath is a big deal!

      • thinkling says:

        Touché Dave. I wonder if a sling-shot is in the 2.0

  31. Michael says:

    What an episode! Well, the ‘Castle’ side of things anyway. The ‘Buy More’ stuff has gotten quite annoying. What pleasure I took in watching that place burn to the ground.

    I just started watching Chuck this past summer. I caught “Honeymooners” by accident and got hooked. It is still my favorite episode. I think it was the idea of spys-turned-lovers running away on a train that sucked me in. My local cable company had only a few episodes available in ‘On Demand’, so I went and bought Seasons 1, 2 & 3 on DVD. Watched them all within two weeks with my wife.

    First, an observation: the Chuck and Sarah Drama was no drama, it was a freakin’ emotional knife fight. I can’t believe that there is anything left of either of them. And they are still going at it. Poor kids!

    Second, a bit of speculation: In season 3, Episode 13, it seems that the writers had a fear of cancellation and decided to give fans what they wanted, Chuck and Sarah together. And Chuck saw the Eiffel Tower. Cool. I think this ‘fear of cancellation’ thing will happen again this season. What will we get? Mom is found and brought back into the family. Just in time for the Chuck and Sarah wedding. But, what will they come up with in the back nine?

    Finally, some fantasy: I hope they use the ‘wedding bands’ from “Honeymooners”. That is, of course, if Sarah kept them. BTW, whatever happened to the charm bracelet? Hey, writers! If you are reading this, shouldn’t Sarah be wearing this now?

    • atcdave says:

      Great to see such a late coming fan! We need more like you. I do agree Honeymooners was a series highlight, I like that much of that mood has continued forward and especially liked Suitcase for that reason.

      I think the stories are pretty well outlined ahead of time; we’ve been specifically told by the writers that the end point of the front 13 episodes last season would be that Paris hotel room all along. But the ill conceived main arc that lead to it is a good example of how scared Hollywood writers are of having to write an adult relationship. They put it off as long as they could. Actually I’d say too long; if they hadn’t gone with such a sad story for much of last season we might not have lost over 2 million viewers.
      I think we’ve seen enough examples of how fun Chuck and Sarah can be together when everything is going well; that I wouldn’t worry about what they’ll come up with next for them. Chuck and Sarah will be fun to watch together wherever their journeys take them.

    • joe says:

      Great to see you here, Michael. Although I saw a few episodes in season 1, I didn’t really become such a fan until, oh, Santa Claus in S2, myself. For a little while it was like a little guilty pleasure, until I started to discover a few friends who also felt that way. It was quite a revelation to find that Mondays had become so popular. 😉

      Love the way you describe S&C’s relationship trauma as a knife-fight. I sort of saw it as “an angry tango,” myself. I think you’ve got the better image!

  32. kg says:

    For me, this episode wasn’t great and it wasn’t terrible. It really was much ado about nothing. At least between Chuck and Sarah and hyped communication problems. They talked about things. Important things. She at least tried to. This is CHUCK afterall, there are always interruptions.

    I can understand why and how Heather is able to push some of Sarah’s buttons. But I can’t see whatever crap she was selling to come between Chuck and Sarah would honestly bother either one beyond say the annoying stage.

    Chuck and Sarah, well before they became a “real” couple, had made so much progress and growth together before and including Cougars. And look how has happened in between Sarah’s high school reunion and last night’s transfer en route to nearby (for me anyway) Yucca Mountain.

    You all know the details: MEB’s charm bracelet, protecting and covering for each other, saving each other’s lives, going on the lamb, it is real, admitting love, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, moving in, I’ll always come back for you, No lies no secrets, you’re my home – you always have been. Heather Chandler and her noise are insignificant.

    Chuck knows exactly who and what Sarah is. He should anyway. He did in Sarah’s hotel room at the conclusion of Cougars. Sure, everything isn’t completely perfect, (whose situation really is) but if they don’t fully understand what they each mean to each other, then they never will.

    Heather’s attempt at comparing her and Mark to Chuck and Sarah was laughable. Sarah’s certainly no gold digger. She implored her dad to leave Chuck alone because he had no money. She’s always treated him, his feelings and concerns with sincere respect and sensitivity.

    At times she was guilty of influencing Chuck so that he and the intersect would function for missions, often lying or conveying half or stretched truths. But we all saw how it hurt her to do it; like Chuck himself, some of her actions were undertaken to protect him. And we all agree she more than proved herself in Broken Heart, First Kill and Colonel.

    If we know it, then Chuck should know it. Sarah said it best. Goodbye Heather.

    One more thing please. I’ve been randomly thinking about Sarah not being a “normal” girl (Suburbs, Suitcase). Chuck always insisting for the better part of two years that he was a “normal” guy wanting his “normal” life back. How important family was to Chuck.

    Well, if you really think about it, Chuck is actually no more normal than Sarah is. Family may be important to him, but he’s no expert. His upbringing could never be confused with Leave It To Beaver.

    Both his mother and father worked for the government and were separated from their kids. Ellie did her best to make things as normal as possible, but that’s not normal. She’s not Chuck’s mother. She’s merely his big sister. On the surface, Chuck may seem normal, but he has issues like Sarah.

    And he’s the son of a world class spy and electronics whiz who was instrumental in creating the intersect. That’s not normal. We now know Chuck had the acumen and brain power to absorb and process intel as far back as a little kid. To reiterate, that’s not normal. We saw his test prowess was off the charts in Alma Mater. Not normal. More like exceptional.

    • joe says:

      Great post, kg!

      I can understand why and how Heather is able to push some of Sarah’s buttons. But I can’t see whatever crap she was selling to come between Chuck and Sarah would honestly bother either one beyond say the annoying stage.

      I think I have an answer; at least, one that works for me. If Chuck had not opened the topic of “babies”, Heather couldn’t have gotten to Sarah the way she did. It took the combination of the two things, plus a little needling of his own by Casey (because of his own apprehensions about being in Alex’s life) to do that.

      I thought that the idea of Sarah once being “just like” Heather was interesting. That’s not exactly what I had imagined.

      Can I trust what I think I know about Sarah Walker in her life BC? It’s hard for me to believe that I haven’t filled in some of the gaps with my own imagination and the (often wonderful) speculations I’ve seen on-line, though. Sarah’s past really is a blank slate as far as we’re concerned. Isn’t it? – sitting out there just waiting for us to write in the lines. I try to resist that and only hope that we get more canon before the inevitable end sometime after season 10.

      If we know it, then Chuck should know it. Well put! I’d say, if we know it, he should too, eventually (and the sooner, the better). For me one of the best things about this episode was that, for the first time, I got a strong sense that they really do know each other now. At least, they’re very much on the way to that.

      • kg says:

        Thanks Joe.

        I agree with you that Heather really didn’t have to effort, as they say, all that much. It all started with Chuck rocking Sarah’s comfort level in bed. It manifested itself with Casey and exploded in Heather’s presence.

        I guess the purpose of last night’s episode was to demonstrate that while Chuck and Sarah have grown, enjoy being together and are basically solid, their past insecurities can and may surface from time to time.

        TPTB might have figured out we as fans were becoming very giddy and satisfied with our favorite couples’ situation. Heather’s role might have been used to bring us back to earth if you will. Not season three angsty and uncomfortable, but a little jolt to ground the characters and us as well.

        But by the 40th minute, we could see there was nothing major to worry about. Yes. Our obviously in love heroes do know and trust each other and acted mature enough to work it out.

        Like us, Chuck may wonder from time to time what Sarah was like before she met him, and a flash or two coupled with the Mauser incident may have unsettled him, but he’s gained a mental toughness now that was not evident in season one. He’s a seasoned spy with or without the intersect.

        He’s desmontrated and admitted that he accepts Sarah for who she is and who she was. His love for her is so strong, he’ll take the whole package – good and bad. And if she didn’t know or believe that, it’s safe to assume she never would have given him her heart and shared all the special moments we’ve come to cherish.

        And Chuck has that unique talent to focus on the very best of a person, while not totally ignoring the bad, but never holding it against someone he cares deeply for. He’s very good at not allowing himself to throw the “bad” in someone’s face.

  33. Casey's girl says:

    One thing the writers need to be careful of. This show isn’t just about C/S they have four/ or I should say five other main characters now and when it’s focusing on C/S the others are just vying for screen time.

    It doesn’t always have to C/S sorting through their relationship problems (second episode in a row they’ve done this) And too much Buy More, Jeffster, and Morgan. There was hardly any Casey and no Awesomes. So not cool. 😦 I hope they can remedy that.

    • joe says:

      Sure they can, CG! My prescription is somewhere way up above…

      Make Chuck a two hour show each week, and triple their budget! Et Voila!

    • atcdave says:

      Are you saying two different things there CG? Kidding, but I think the Buy More characters are just part of the large ensemble they are trying to serve. Chuck (normally with Sarah, but occasionally Casey, Morgan, or Ellie) will always be the A-plot, while the other characters fight for the scraps. We get a little more of Casey than the others as he has always existed in both the spy and Buy More worlds (as does Morgan now too), and I think he is very much the third most important character of the show.

      I think its always a problem with ensemble casts that it feels like the parts we don’t like as much get too much time. But one good thing I’ve found about the Buy More crew, its always easy to start conversations with other viewers about the Buy Morons latest hijinks. We often have different interests on the action and romance issues; but the Buy Morons are always morons.

      And Joe certainly has the perfect solution! Maybe after The Event closes shop in a couple weeks…

      • Casey's girl says:

        What I meant was this was the second episode in a row that focused more on C/S relationship and both episodes we only saw a little of Casey not as much as I’d like. Heck even the Buy More and Jeffster got better screen time in this one then Casey. All I’m saying is to give everyone equal screen time and just cut out stuff that doesn’t help the plot like you know what. Did I explain myself better?

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, we are supposed to get a Casey centered episode in a couple weeks.

    • Merve says:

      I agree. Casey needs more screen time to go around kicking butt. Ellie also needs more screen time. After all, two of the the major dramatic threads – her impending motherhood and the search for her mother – have to do with her.

      As for Jeff and Lester, I’d like to see them show up every two or three episodes to say hilariously creepy things, and that’s about it. I don’t want them to leave the world of Chuck entirely, but I find Big Mike far more entertaining and I wish that he’d get more screen time.

      But I must admit: I’m just nitpicking now. It’s not such a big deal.

  34. herder says:

    So, this season is all about family, how many family connections/issues do we have so far?

    1. Chuck’s search for Mama B

    2. Ellie and Awesome start a family

    3. Sarah’s baby fears

    4. Casey, what is his role in Alex’s life

    5. Big Mike working for his idiot step son

    Those to come as I see it

    6. Chuck and Ellie abandonment issues

    7. Mama B disapproving of Chuck and Sarah/Sarah not wanting to do what Mama B did to her family

    8. Honey Woodcomb not thinking Ellie is good enough for Awesome (she’s in the Halloween episode – see above)

    9. Casey dealing with Alex’s boyfriend (Morgan)

    10.Mama B as a potential bad guy and the conflict between family and duty

    That’s a lot of family issues for a spy show.

  35. thinkling says:

    I must have liked this episode. When it takes effort to wipe the idiot grin off my face, something must have worked.

    So, Cubic Z … Three things: FUN & LAUGHTER & SMILES – oh my 🙂 / IDENTITIES / NEW TERRITORY.

    FUN & LAUGHTER & SMILES … OH MY 🙂
    Morgan: Needs a sidearm … to run the Buymore? Russell Crowe serious. Filter! Filter! “Let’s pause, be very still. You are in a happy relationship; let’s savor it.”

    Big Mike, excuse me, MR. Big Mike: Found his inner Big Mike. A full 1/2 Karat, hand-cut cubic z … ooo … (a full half; is that like a whole half?). The Assistant Manager Vest is a sacred vestment. He carries a cattle prod, seriously?

    Chuck: Lord and Lady Carmichael. Spent the night as a canned good. Hanging on by his chucks. A trip to Monte Carlo or a quiet evening at the Buymore … too close to call. Boy, you’re a charmer. Tell me, why are we saving your life again. Misappropriation of the Castle supply closet to use it for what it is they use it for.

    Beckman: Harness your fury Agent Walker. Your mission to Monaco with Agent Bartowski has been cancelled. Was she listening? If so, does she know about the supply closet?

    Heather: Love your dungeon; can’t wait to catch up. Frosty the Snow B*.

    Unnerved Sarah: The whole Sarah/Casey sparring match.

    Bad A. Sarah: Sarah Walker … and don’t forget it.

    Lioness Sarah: Sorry, foot slipped. [Provoked by Heather’s unkind remarks about Chuck]

    Uptight Sarah: Remember, Tough — Silent. DO NOT let her get under your skin. (Loved that whole scene!)

    Kick A. Sarah: That felt good. Sarah was working out her issues, while Chuck went one on one with Hugo, which didn’t feel nearly as good.

    Flustered Sarah: [beginning the chat the first time] Yeah, OK. Look, it’s not a big deal. I mean, well, it is. Maybe. […] I love you Chuck. That’s the first thing. I love being with you. […] It’s just, um … can we please, just for a second…

    Spoke-too-soon Sarah: At least it can’t get any worse.

    Remember, whenever things look bleak, just look for the manganese lining (#25 on your atomic chart).

    Welcome to the new Castle Override Mainframe. For Patio Furniture, press 1; to Hire Nursery Over-hottage, press 2; for Fire Emergency Override, press ctrl/esc; to hear these options again, press 9.
    _______

    Some fans were expecting a scandalous Sarah back-story-reveal, or at least more Sarah back story. Some expressed disappointment. I like what we got so much better. Give me honest introspection and real character growth over tabloid sensation any day.

    IDENTITY: how others perceive you v. how you perceive yourself v. who you really are. For Sarah, identity issues forced their way to the sufrace because of Chuck’s musings about the future. They are exacerbated as Heather exploits every vulnerable spot she can find.

    “I’m a spy. I can’t even process the idea of having kids right now.” The fear of having children forces Sarah back into the spy identity she’s comfortable with. (Remember, it’s the only thing she thinks she’s good at – Crown Vic.) Heather projects her own cold persona onto Sarah, partly out of meanness and partly b/c she figures that Sarah the spy must be like Heather herself. Then there’s Chuck (who has always known the real Sarah, “I don’t need to know more, not about who you were, because as much as you don’t think so, I know who you are.”) and his love which Heather mocks and shreds at every opportunity. There are three perceptions of Sarah warring for dominance in Sarah’s mind. She has to figure out which one is who she really is. After a night in the guts of the building, finding her way through 2 different mazes, bombarded by the taunts of the loveless person she feared she might have become, she finally realizes who she is and who she wants to be.

    Casey has his own identity issues, though he pretty much ignores them, until Sarah pokes at them (or punches at them, as the case may be). “I just don’t know what my role is.” After a much more gentle prodding from Sarah, he decides he may explore just what that role is.

    Chuck seems increasingly more comfortable with his spy identity. Casey tosses him a gun and sics him on Panzer. Chuck catches the gun, and down the hatch, just like that. He fights, flashes, and takes a beating …all without whining or hand-wringing. Who’d a thunk?

    NEW TERRITORY
    Marriage and kids. It’s fun to watch confidence and relationship skills emerge as Chuck and Sarah begin to explore this particular territory.

    I like their awareness of the other. While it’s not totally new, it was nice to see it going both ways. Chuck steps between Sarah and Heather, “Heather, guess what, you talk too much … She’s not upset. I know what she looks like when she’s upset …” Sarah pulls Chuck aside on the roof to make sure he’s ok, “You’re not letting Heather get to you are you? … I know your ‘all goods’ and that was not an ‘all good'” And Chuck’s reply (which I love), “It was a fake all good. I’m just curious why what she said got under your skin like that.”

    Calm, relationship-neurosis-free Chuck. Chuck remained remarkable calm and focused even with the impending chat.

    Honest Sarah. I liked her soft, straight-forward confession (and her trust in the strength of their relationship to be able to have this conversation), “The other night when you repeated what Awesome said about us being next having kids … it scared me.”

    Open, vulnerable Sarah, “For a long time I was exactly like her. And it took me a night in the guts of the building to realize that I’m not any more … at all. And I don’t want to be. But I do need to take things slow.” These are real issues of a real relationship and real discussions leading to real progress. So Sarah says she needs to go slow. That’s fine. The main point is that she does wants to go.

    Communicating Chuck and Sarah. Chuck has always been the better about saying what he feels. But communication is a two-party, two-way exercise, not just one person talking. For the first time Sarah is talking and Chuck is listening and responding. His responses in the final conversation were perfect. “You’re nothing like her.” And my favorite, “I’m not ready for parenthood, either. One day, hopefully, but not yet anyway. Who are we kidding. I’m barely on solid food myself.” Is Chuck using humor to diffuse and deflect? No, this is communication on a heart level that says I’ll wait for you. We’ll do this together … when you’re ready. Message received and acknowledged with a Sarah megawatt smile (reminiscent of the one at the end of Cougars). Then Chuck begins moving forward at a pace Sarah is comfortable with in the ready / not ready exercise.

    As for the engagement idea, are they ready or not ready? I think they will realize sooner rather than later that they are ready.

    • joe says:

      Holy Cow! You folks are all making my job easy! My review is “What she said!”

      And seriously, I jotted down something for the upcoming podcast that was nearly word for word something you said here…

      Some fans were expecting a scandalous Sarah back-story-reveal, or at least more Sarah back story. Some expressed disappointment. I like what we got so much better. Give me honest introspection and real character growth over tabloid sensation any day.

      Honest! Really, I had the same thought. I hope you don’t mind if I use it, Thinkling!

      Great post.

      Added: (Sorry – I have edit privileges, and sometimes they help!) One thing that I want to point out; Sarah saved Heather from Volkoff’s men by handing her a (big) gun. The alternative was to hand her over to save herself. My question is, would S2 Sarah do that? I’m certain the Sarah we met in The Pilot would not have done that. However, Chuck would have. I think he’s rubbed off on her.

      When Casey was hit, he gave Chuck a pistol to go after Panzer. I may be wrong now, but I saw no indication that it was a tranq gun (even though Hugo did call it a “pop gun”). We know that S3.0 Chuck (and later) would not have taken it – and I think that Sarah has rubbed off on Chuck every bit as much as he has on her.

      I’d like to think it’s significant, too. For both of them, it strikes me as a lot of maturation.

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks, Joe. 🙂 Feel free

      • thinkling says:

        Agreed. It’s wonderful to see them meeting in the middle.

        Definitely a real gun for Chuck. Would he have used it? Don’t know, but he didn’t hesitate to carry it and point it.

        With Sarah giving Heather the big gun, it’s hard to know. The alternative is handing her over to Volkoff, and that’s pretty hard to imagine, too.

      • kg says:

        Very significant Joe.

        And I recall thinking at the time that she didn’t do it merely to obtain information for her Chuck. Sarah and Casey have rubbed off on Chuck and he has rubbed off on them.

        And although risky, Sarah wanted Heather to clearly see that she was not anything like the hateful cheerleader thought.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I don’t quite remember but I think there was a post around these parts about how love changes people and if there was one thing that they tried to show in this episode it was that.

        Chuck more mature, secure…happy. Sarah more human, less robot-like, able to turn her emotions on and off.

        I think ZL said it best, what Chuck has done for the agents in both Casey and Sarah is taught them there are more ways than just by the book. On Sarah’s part that has emotional connotations to it as well.

    • atcdave says:

      Thanks for this Thinkling; great write up. I think you came up with what I was looking for earlier; how was Sarah ever like Heather? She was loveless. Now I don’t buy that any more than I buy being a spy is the only thing she’s good at. But it seems to sum up her worst fears about herself.

      I loved her emphatic statement afterwards; “…I’m not like that anymore — at all.” I love that last bit. No matter how she fears she once was, she knows who she is with Chuck.

      • herder says:

        And she follows it up with “…and I don’t want to be.” Sarah Walker is developing emotional self awareness, they are giving her character growth rather than using her as a plot device ie how will Chuck react if she… .

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Herder, its a nice change from last season!

      • thinkling says:

        Great point, Herder. So much of Sarah’s identity crisis was about perception … the fact that she has long perceived herself as incapable of love and the kind of relationship she has with Chuck. And you can’t really live above your perception of yourself. So with this epiphany and emotional self awareness, she can grow and develop as a whole person. It is an empowering moment for her.

        And yes, it’s so nice to have Sarah back.

  36. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Have you guys seen this?

    “Are they ready or not ready” for marriage?!

    That’s it, it’s official, they’ll be getting a-hitched this year! Squee!

  37. BdaddyDL says:

    there I was about to go to bed, since I’m up in less than 5 hours, and then I read it. The first Fan fic that I have read that includes Duck.

    Since the nbc game has me feeling good I will share it with you and then go to bed.
    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6376230/1/An_Excess_of_Exes

    Enjoy Duck fans!

    • atcdave says:

      I just read the same story Bdaddy! Very funny stuff. Even if you don’t normally do fan fiction I recommend this highly. Very, very funny.

  38. Big Kev says:

    Finally got a chance to write some thoughts on Cubic Z, albeit after only one watch.
    Gotta say I’m surprised by the strength of some of the negative reactions to this episode, not so much on here but certainly on Twitter and on some other blogs. I thought it was a good, solid bottle episode and a commendable effort from a debut writer. I particularly enjoyed some really sharp dialogue, and I thought he caught the voices of Chuck and Sarah really well.
    I will say though that I hope we’re coming to the end of the Chuck and Sarah “problem of the week” part of the season. I’ve enjoyed the resolutions and the character growth that has come from all 3 episodes this season, but the setups required to facilitate those resolutions have become increasingly forced, I think. Culminating in the whole falling ring episode – the effect of the cliffhanger was rather lost on me because I was too busy laughing. And for once, I wasn’t supposed to be.
    I’m ready to move on to the meat of the season. Mythology, Mama B and Volkoff, the meaning and definition of families and how those resolutions affect all our characters. I love me some Chuck and Sarah as much as the next guy (well, maybe not as much as Dave or Jason!) but I’m ready to put them to the background for an episode or two. There are other stories to tell, and I think it’s time we got into some of those.
    Angel de la Muerte was one of my very favourites of the front 13 last season, so I’m seriously looking forward to this next episode. Always a pleasure when Ellie and Awesome get a chance to play with all the other kids.

    • atcdave says:

      Hey Kev, I really laughed at the cliff hanger too! I thought it was supposed to be funny. My wife watched the night after and had the same reaction, she actually said it was her favorite episode of the season so far and called it “really sweet.” So there goes my theory about it being more of a guys episode…

      I do agree that I want them to get to the meat of the season, and I would also prefer they quit worrying about the little “relationship crisis moments”. I’ve always just wanted to see them as a team so the show can focus on other, more fun stuff!
      I do expect great things this week, I loved Angel of Death last season (the only episode of the front 13 I could really say that about); Armand Assanti is brilliant.

  39. Ernie Davis says:

    Now that I’ve had the chance to watch a few times I have to say my opinion hasn’t changed from first impressions. I think TPTB have decided to put more of the story on the surface than as an undercurrent like they did in season 2 and to excess in season 3. Knowing a bit of Sarah’s self image (“for a long time I was exactly like her…”) and how it was changing could have helped her character in season 3, but I’m glad to see they are dealing with the Sarah Walker mythology that has been ignored or pushed into the background too often. Other than another blink and you’ll miss her Greta and a somewhat forced BuyMore story this episode was all win for me.

    The main guest stars were pitch perfect to me. Nothing brings back Sarah’s insecurity and self image problems like being turned back into Jenny Burton, but instead of retreating or pushing Chuck away she actually uses him for support, after a bit of initial discomfort. Facing Hugo Panzer again was a nice bit for Chuck, sort of a realization that he’s made some enemies. But I thought it interesting and somewhat appropriate that Panzer still didn’t see Chuck as a big threat. He was more interested in doing the job for Volkoff and getting away. I think they’ve developed Chuck just enough so he can live in the spy world without straining suspension of disbelief but left him still needing the team and using his innate skills more often, like inventing tranq gloves last episode or taking on leadership of the group when necessary in this one.

    The only thing that really didn’t work for me was the BuyMore riot. If you look in the background of the Buy More scenes you can see some very impressive Nerd Herders and Green shirts who are obviously supposed to be CIA/NSA agents, but other than an apparent offscreen interaction between Lester and Greta we get to see nothing of one of the most amusing possibilities set up with the Buy More reset, the culture clash between the two Buy More factions. In addition, the riot starts and all of the sudden all the agents dissapear. Oddly I was OK with Jeffster this episode since they weren’t as over the top. Lester buying into the master thespian bit a little too much was funny, and Jeff being … well Jeff was fairly amusing too. Used sparingly Jeffster does add a little flavor to the Buy More and the show in general.

    As is often the case with a bottle show this episode really helped establish a new baseline for the characters. Sarah has acknowledged both the problems that arise from her past and her ability to make progress with Chuck’s help, and is able to talk about it. Chuck is for the most part over his hand-wringing insecurity both personally and professionally, but still has great potential, as in the last episode, to put his foot in it and create an uncomfortable (and amusing) situation. Both personally and professionally.

    Morgan, despite his leaps and bounds is still Morgan-ish at heart. His heart’s in the right place, but he still isn’t quite up to running the Buy More alone, or packing a Desert Eagle. While it would have been fun and possibly funny to see Morgan call on the CIA to hijack or buy a supply of games, and I still think the riot seemed forced, having him put Jeffster in charge of the launch and be unable to handle things alone put Morgan back into his proper role as a source of both amusement and mischief.

    Casey has his episode coming, but it seems to me they’re setting him up as getting a bit long in the tooth again. Getting beat up by women is starting to be a habit with him. Maybe he has some Chuck issues surfacing that weren’t apparent in Hellicopter. Then again, maybe having a daughter is changing him. I also like how they’ve set up this season’s forced “retirement” for him. It was about time one of the spies got more than a bloody nose or a paper cut too. His relationship with Alex could be interesting, especially with Morgan thrown into the mix. While it looks like a reset from having pie where she worked on a regular basis I get the feeling it’ll be shown more as a retreat after seeing her put in danger by contact with him. Having her date a spy, let alone Morgan, could be some additional tension.

    The cliffhanger? Cleverly done I thought. Even with all the communicating going on Sarah seeing Chuck on one knee with a diamond and Chuck seeing Sarah’s face light up before realizing what she’s reacting to is bound to be a bit of a spanner in the works. Hopefully next episode will finish establishing the state of the relationship, my guess is with a real engagement, and we can just have some episodes with it in the background as baseline for the characters new life together. I like the relationship stuff fine, but one of the reasons I thought they should have resolved the WT/WT earlier was the tendancy of the romance to dominate every episode, and lacking any movement or resolution, drag it down into TV cliche. Overall, I like where they are and where they seem to be going, and I’m really looking forward to an Awsome episode next week.

    • atcdave says:

      One of the great things about this season so far, is Ernie and I are on the same page about most things again. But don’t worry Ernie, I’m still okay with you being wrong on occasion…

      I think I agree with everything you said. I was really hoping the Buy More riot would have more overlap with the spy world; but when I re-watched the episode with my wife, she was laughing hard the whole time. So maybe it just plays better with less critical viewers. I agree entirely about the hoped for engagement soon; not only do I want to see it, but it needs to be settled so its less of a distraction to the main story arc (just not sure if TPTB see it the same way).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well Dave emotionally I was on the same page as you last season, just not to the same degree. I just felt the need to make a case for the larger story.

        I know I go on about the Hero’s Journey, but I have to say that sort of knowing what was coming, Sarah flaking out, Chuck basically abandoning friends and family, really lessened the negative impact for me so I tried to share that aspect. I think I’m still firmly on record as wishing they’d chosen a different direction.

        Besides, being emotionally on one side and critically on the other assures that contra-Dave, I’m never wrong. 😉

      • herder says:

        I wonder if they aren’t going to rush the Chuck Sarah stuff so that they are in a very good place and then Mama B arrives and upends everything. Chuck questions if he wants to do to his family what his parents did to him and Ellie, Sarah questions if a spy can really make a commitment, Ellie quetions whether a spy wife is best for Chuck (let alone the spy life).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’ve kind of thought the same thing herder. Obviously there are some trials ahead (First Fight anyone?) for Chuck and Sarah that seem to coincide with Mama B’s reappearance. Read the synopses that are coming out and it seems that Mama B creates a lot of doubt for Team B.

      • thinkling says:

        Next week seems the most logical time (and setting) for the engagement. I agree that it’s best to let it happen for the sake of the rest of the story. If it weren’t going to be soon, then they should’ve waited to bring it up. Ep 6 has MEB, most likely in a nightmare, but still, not a good ep for an engagement. Ep 7 — the first fight could imply that they are already engaged, though maybe not. I just see this as the best window to establish the engagement and move forward.

        You may be right Herder. Whatever incites it, they are bound to face those questions of spy-life/family-life and the Bartowski legacy. I just hope they don’t drag it out.

        And, Ernie, way to cover your bases with that whole dichotomy thing. Good to know. 😉

      • atcdave says:

        It does look like mamaB’s prime function will be as a grenade in the works for the whole extended Bartowski family. But I’m hoping a major lesson learned from last season is that we’ll have fewer episodes ending on a down note, even when they do deal with tough issues in the body of the episode.

        I don’t think any of whats coming actually requires Chuck and Sarah to be engaged, but it sure does SEEM like a logical way to handle it. Except First Fight; I mean seriously, engagements are largely about fighting continuously anyway, the first fight of an engagement is hardly a milestone. Now a first fight after a wedding is another thing entirely (yeah I’m just stirring up trouble! There’s no way they’ll do that without significant fanfare!).

        Oh and Ernie, playing both sides also means you were wrong every time!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        How could I be constantly wrong? I agreed with you. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto Dave. I hope we never revisit the lows of s3. And when it’s necessary to visit a low spot, I don’t want to stay there very long.

        I had the same thought about FF. I thought, oh come on how many first fights can they have? Then I thought that if they were married it would make more sense. But you’re right they’ll want to take full advantage of a wedding.

      • atcdave says:

        Ernie, most folks would say agreeing with me is an excellent way to be wrong.

      • amyabn says:

        I remember trying to look at twitpics that AB posted and they would’t come up, but in the pics, ZL and YS were covering very important fingers. I’m wondering if they don’t impulsively run off and get married, only to deal with whether or not it was a good idea. I think they are ready for marriage and commitment, but they could have “buyers remorse” for acting impulsively, not that they regret being married. That could be the first fight. Totally spitballing here, though.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The picture you’re thinking of is available here. Adam Baldwin posted it at the end of August when they were shooting 3.05 if I recall.

      • atcdave says:

        While an elopement is appealing, I would honestly be shocked if they went that route. As I said, there’s just too much attention to be gained through a network wedding, and Chuck needs all the attention it can get. Although these are the same folks who think stunt casting 80s has beens is the key to success, so they not be the most PR savy crew.

      • atcdave says:

        Also, reference that funny pic AB posted, I think Yvonne really is hiding something; Zach is just coincidence or messing around.

      • JC says:

        Dave it allows them to double dip on wedding. Chuck and Sarah eloping gives the fans the marriage they want and they can do a proper wedding episode down the line if they want.

      • atcdave says:

        I suppose that’s a good point JC. I certainly know people who have eloped and then later had a big reception. But its not quite the same. I bet they do a more traditional engagement/wedding. At any rate it will be interesting.

      • thinkling says:

        About the pic: Yvonne could be hiding and engagement ring, but honestly, it just looks like a casual shot with coincidental hand-placement to me. But I’d be happy to proven wrong 🙂

      • herder says:

        Personally I thought it was just a shot taken while they were waiting to shoot the Chuck promo for The Event (“it’s awesome”). They are all in the same clothes and in the promo you can even see a bit of Yvonne on Zack’s left.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        You know you’re a chuckaholic when you’re reading into “convenient” picture shots 😀

        Besides I’m fine with it being purely for promo and unrelated to actual Chuck episode shots.

        @Ernie, what? Not enough words to count as its own blog thread post? 😉 Just messing with you Ernie! 🙂

        I hate to keep harping on it but the pieces you mentioned is exactly why I should love this epi. Heather Chandler, Hugo Panzer, and Jenny-Sarah…all awesome. The talks? Something I myself have been whining about since the beginning of time. But I’m stuck in this untenable position of dissatisfaction/entertainment. Oh well, costa gravas will be coming up shortly, I’ll get over it 😉

        @Dave: “Except First Fight; I mean seriously, engagements are largely about fighting continuously anyway,” LMAO. Not considering the size of the wedding and all the hoopla (elope? Church or beach wedding?), I think this will be fairly easy (once they actually get there)…whatever Sarah says goes! 😀

      • atcdave says:

        Maybe it is just a random photo, but I sure thought Yvonne looked like she was hiding something.

        Hey Faith I’m glad someone appreciates my humor! I don’t really remember fighting all that much, but I do remember several weeks so busy I never knew if it was morning or bedtime! If Sarah gets into wedding planning overdrive I would expect Ellie to be the main source of her frustration anyway, Chuck wouldn’t care. Hmmmm, I can’t really see Sarah caring either, just let Ellie plan everything to make up for being cut out of her own.

      • herder says:

        The only problem with neither Chuck nor Sarah taking a strong hand in any wedding planning is that it allows for one Morgan Guillermo Grimes to insinuate himself into the process. From there it can only go downhill, sizzling shrimp at the reception, Jeffster as the band, groomsmen in pale blue tuxes, brindsmates in inappropriately short skirts, the mind reels.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        @Faith You can’t be serious, that wasn’t even a thousand words. Clearly that barely qualifies as musings. 😉

  40. thinkling says:

    @CN8: Can you pinpoint what it was that made you not really like the ep, or is it general satisfaction? Just curious.

    I think you’re right that whatever Sarah says goes [regarding the wedding]. But I have trouble figuring out what kind of wedding I think she might want. What say you?

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      Thinkling I’ve seen the epi a grand total of 3 times since Monday night. The last involved fellow Chuckaholics over at the boards whom made it much more bearable for me to be honest but otherwise eek.

      And through all that I can’t rightly say what it is exactly that turns me off of this epi. It might just be the “filler” part that everyone seems to be pointing out. It might be the dialogue itself that which I expressed my dissatisfaction for the most part. It might be the lack of emotion with said dialogue. They were dealing with very emotional issues but it lacked that which made Cougars, or even Best Friend emotionally charged. It might be Lester’s not-so-entertaining echoing of Big Mike (although I enjoyed the slam poetry). It could also be that I’m stuck in my mode because I can’t buy Casey and Sarah talking over life, love, future. Or that Heather Chandler can all of a sudden “know” Chuck. There are so many variables.

      I don’t want it to seem like I’m bitching or any such thing…I think it bears repeating that it’s Chuck on some level I will always love it. All of it. Give me Mask, Beefcake and there will be some aspect of it that I find entertaining and still far better than most of television currently.

      • thinkling says:

        OK. It is hard to beat Cougars. I liked the call backs: the punching bag (played by John Casey the 2nd go round), Ratner’s bomber plans were for Volkoff (who knew), and the Sarah smile at the end when Chuck once again showed how well he knew her and relieved her fears.

        I think if Sarah had tried to have the chat earlier, it would have been more emotionally charged and stressful. Beating up on Casey and Heather (that felt good) drained some of the tension. Mostly, though, it was her finally figuring out definitively who she is and what she wants that took the sting out of the issue. She no longer saw herself as incapable or even undesiring of the family life, so the issue became one of timing.

        The more I think about it, the more I like Sarah’s journey in this: navigating an emotional maze, while crawling through the Castle ducts (which were surprisingly spacious); coming to such a good place with Chuck; empowered finally to be who she’s been all along inside — the girl that Chuck has always seen and loved.

        The Casey / Sarah thing works pretty well for me. He accepts Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, which is a welcome development. Chuck and Sarah are free to be open, although not too much so if they know what’s good for them. So, I guess I like it that Sarah has a confidant that accepts her real life feelings and understands her spy feelings. Casey has shown some understanding in the past (Tic Tac to Chuck, Honeymooners, Subway), so I can see how, with them partnered lo these months, a friendship could develop. Having said all that, though, I also see how this dynamic would probably either fly or crash. People would either like it or not like it at all.

        Not trying to be argumentative at all. Just tossing out some ideas. I’m really looking forward to Costa Gravas, too. Hope it will hit your sweet spot. 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        I could easily see how Nicole Richie could be grating. She really is not a very good actress, and I thought many of her lines were poorly delivered. But to me, I buy her in that part anyway, I suppose due to her noteriety; so it really doesn’t bother me.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        No worries on argumentative front. I love that you’re trying to change my perspective…a welcome one at that.

        I too like the metaphor (I didn’t see that before so thanks for that) of her crawling through the ducts like it’s an introspection within. But I suppose in a way it’s also exactly what you said that I have a problem with. Great writing doesn’t tell you what the characters are feeling but shows it to you through action, lines, dialogue. In a way it would have been far better had her internalization been explored with more…more rather than the manner it was. Think of it this way, while I buy that she’s conflicted about having once been Heather (damnable lie ;-)) I’d have liked to see it rather than the way it went down. It just wasn’t convincing enough. I liked the tension though but it felt more like a tension of her not liking Heather rather than actual conflict about fear of being once like her, or still being like her.

        As for Casey, et al. to each her own lol. I don’t mind it exactly, like I said I think I’m stuck with the idea that it just doesn’t work and would work better had it been with Ellie and that perception has clouded my vision.

      • atcdave says:

        You’re right Faith about not buying Sarah as being much like Heather. From the beginning, it has felt like Sarah has a sense of duty and decency that is completely lacking from Heather. The last couple days we’ve discussed a few ways here that Sarah might have felt like she was similar; so Heather may have managed to play on some of her worst fears. But there wasn’t much tension about it, because we knew Chuck would never fall for it (he didn’t), and we knew Sarah would reject it in the end (she did).
        I thought the whole idea of the same Heather we met in Cougars trying to claim now that she and “Jenny” were just alike was kind of funny all by itself.

        I guess I’m saying I can understand why you would consider this a flawed episode. But I had a blast anyway. I’m really enjoying watching Chuck and Sarah work as an actual team; and I thought the action was the best we’ve seen so far this season. So I was a happy boy.

      • thinkling says:

        The thing that doesn’t go down very well with this episode is the line that Sarah was just like Heather, say what?!?!? In what way? Well, obviously Heather has no moral compass, and Sarah has a moral compass that faithfully points north, even when her superiors tell her to go, say, northwest. So, that can’t be it. What then?

        That’s why I say Cubic Z is about identity which, like it or not, is unavoidably affected by perception. There is a disconnect between Sarah’s perception of who she is and who she really is. This will keep her from living a fulfilled life until it is resolved.

        Cougars marked the beginning of Sarah/Jenny’s healing from her past, and Chuck had everything to do with that. Cubic Z bookends the process, completing it. In Cougars, Sarah’s first verbal admission that she has fallen in love with Chuck is also a tacit admission that she and Heather are, on some level, alike. Heather: “Why would a girl like me ever fall in love with a dorky nerd like him?” Sarah: “You’d be surprised.”

        Sarah? Like Heather? NOooo! Well, mostly no, but from Sarah’s words to Chuck, there was at least a grain of truth to Heather’s taunts. And Heather found that one grain of truth and needled it for all it was worth. “We’re the same … she’s all spy … white weddings, rug-rats and a mini-van — it’s not in her wiring.” This exactly echoes her conversation with Casey over a sparing match. (I know most of us discuss these things over coffee, but this is Sarah, and we know how she deals with stress.) “I’m a spy, and I can’t process the idea of having kids right now.” This has been Sarah’s perception of herself all these years: incapable, perhaps even undeserving, of love and family and happiness, so she became a spy and assumed the “all spy” identity.

        Now, look at Sarah’s face during Heather’s speech. You can see the turmoil, the inner conflict. So can Chuck. He cuts Heather off both verbally and physically. He steps up, cuts in, and breaks it off. But he’s a little worried, not ultimately worried — not about the relationship or that what Heather says is true — but worried for Sarah. Hence the fake “all good.”

        Somewhere between that exchange and the rooftop, the light comes on for good, and Sarah knows she isn’t like that any more … at all … and doesn’t want to be. Maybe it was a mixture of Chuck’s confidence in her, them working as a team, and the fight itself, which was a spy’s fight with her prisoner, Heather, and a woman’s fight with her jailer, the false perception that has held her hostage all these years.

        All of this taking place in the claustrophobic guts of the building, for me anyway, reveals the mood of what is going on inside Sarah. She is closed in with the very person she was afraid she might have become, and she is forced to deal with it.

        In the end, she is free and whole. Her perception of who she is and who she really is are aligned, and she is empowered to be that real person she wants to be … with Chuck.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Great points Thinkling, excellent post. I agree that it is more about Sarah’s perception of who she is than who she really was. As early as Wookie they hint about a wilder past where Sarah and Carina were much more alike, but even then Sarah hints at liking the adjustment. “I’m good here.” maybe has more than one meaning.

        My take was that Sarah started to change some time around when she and Bryce became romantically linked. Bryce was always sort of the alpha-Chuck, so it made sense that he’d posess some of the same qualities as Chuck, but Bryce still had a ruthless and manipulitive side to him also, so Sarah couldn’t really escape that part of her life till she met Chuck.

        Because of that I always look to the end of Nemesis as Sarah’s first real test on who she wanted to be. She could go back to the life she knew and a slightly improved version of herself, or she could stay with Chuck and risk everything for what she was feeling but couldn’t yet understand (hope). I always got the feeling that there was a part of Sarah that didn’t feel she deserved Chuck, or was afraid she’d ruin him. Even as late as Ring I it seemed she felt he’d be better off without her. While I’m glad they’re finally getting around to this they really needed to at least make these issues more apparent in the arc that shall not be named.

      • atcdave says:

        Good comments Ernie. I do agree Sarah has long felt Chuck would be better off without her. Which is also a difference between her and Heather, she’s not worried about herself, she’s worried about what’s best for Chuck. That may be among the issues the wrestled with during Heather’s taunts.
        In the end, her declaration “that’s not who I am anymore…at all” was clear and firm. I love that line!

      • thinkling says:

        All good points, Ernie. I hadn’t really thought about Bryce as a half-way house. That’s interesting.

        As for Sarah thinking she might ruin him, that idea was also explored in that arc which will not be named.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Thinkling, I agree they did explore Sarah’s fear that she had ruined Chuck, but like the self-image it really needed to be more apparent earlier on that she was going through that and it was driving her away from Chuck. If they’d given us a few more hints and exposition on her character in say episodes 3.8 and 3.9 instead of waiting till basically 3.11 to get any definitive read on what was going on it might have helped. As it was I think they relied too much on Yvonne pouting as telling us what we needed to know about why Sarah was acting the way she was.

      • thinkling says:

        It just occurred to me that there is an interesting sequence of growth-inducing events between Suitcase and Cubic-Z.

        At the beginning of Suitcase Chuck’s insecurity about Sarah’s not unpacking reaches a crescendo of paranoia …to the point that he actually buys into Morgan’s utterly ridiculous Achilles Heel theory.

        This produces his usual hand-wringing-relationship-neurosis. This unique Chuck-condition manifests itself in his blurting out his fears over a bomb diffusion and takes over as Chuck picks at Sarah’s weird-unpacking-thing periodically for the rest of the mission. That’s our boy/man/spy Chuck.

        Something happens in Milan (we’ve speculated on the doorway, I-love-you-Sarah separation) that makes Sarah ready to unpack. She tells Chuck that he is her home and always has been. Chuck, with an overly expansive sense of well-being, muses about his dreams for their future … out loud … in Sarah’s listening ear.

        Sarah’s tender confession transforms Chuck into the man/spy we see in Cubic-Z. Even Morgan notices, “Where’s the Chuck relationship neurosis; where’s the hand-wringing.” This is a very good thing b/c Chuck’s warm ruminations of children throws Sarah into a tailspin.

        Notice how differently Chuck handles the emergence of personal issues in the middle of a case. Calm Chuck? This is good, but it’s too funny. Chuck is all calm, and Sarah is totally freaking out. Role-reversal.

        Now Sarah doesn’t know about the new-and-improved, neurosis-free Chuck. It’s interesting, therefore, how much she worries about him through all of this. Even while she is dealing with deep personal issues, she’s worried how he will be affected and wants to make sure he’s OK: downplaying the chat “Look, it’s not a big deal.”; the time-machine pep talk, “Do not let her get under your skin.”; the rooftop all-good talk, “You’re not letting Heather get to you, are you”. And he wasn’t, or at least not in usual Chuck-fashion. He was secure. His only concern was how and why Heather was getting to Sarah.

        Chuck’s growth from Suitcase enabled him to be strong and in control as Sarah faced down her past and her fears. I think it was fitting that he was there in the guts of the building with her. He was her strength in the beginning (Cougars), and he was the stabilizer in her emotional labyrinth of Cubic-Z.

        Together they have reached a higher plateau in their journey together, preparing them for things to come.

      • thinkling says:

        I totally agree Ernie. To wait 11 chapters in to explain bizarre and irrational behavior that began in chapter 1 is … well I don’t know what it is, but it failed miserably. They could have been interesting issues if handled way differently.

  41. thinkling says:

    Dave, that’s a good idea. That would give Ellie something to take her mind off of Devon in daddy-overdrive.

  42. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Cubic Z (4.03) | Chuck This

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