The Opposite of a Profound Truth

It’s Awful!

The fighting, the bickering, people taking sides… I just can’t believe what I’m seeing on TV. It’s like they’re deliberately trying to misunderstand what the other is saying and what each has accomplished.

Oh, wait. That’s the the gubernatorial race here in Maryland. Sorry.

I’m going to be so happy when this election season is over. It’s not the terrible ads so much as the false posturing and distortions that bother me. That’s politics – sigh. What’s bothersome is that they aren’t even trying to tell us their vision of the correct path for us to follow, or the correct actions for the nation to take. Nothing so high minded. They’re merely trying to score points in a contest. Sort of cheapens it, don’t you think?

So, about Chuck and Sarah…

Let Them Not Cheapen It!

Pretty much everyone for the past three years or so has said the same thing, one way or another. Chuck and Sarah are a great couple – our favorite, in fact. It’s understandable that they sometimes make mistakes and misread each other – that’s human nature – and that’s okay because these characters are very human to us. But let’s not have too much of that! There comes a point where the bickering and mis-reads just appear silly and get in the way of the show. There’s another point at which it becomes depressing. Our measuring sticks and our tolerance for such things vary (and mine is different on Saturday from what it was on Tuesday!).

I’ll go on record with my opinion here – Chuck and Sarah are, as a couple, light years ahead of where they were not so very long ago, and since I’m one of those who thinks The Relationship ™ drives my enjoyment, that’s important to me. Comparisons to S3 are cheap and easy. Sarah putting her hands on Chuck’s shoulders and explaining that she loves him precisely because he finds a way to trust people is way better than wondering if their future is going to resemble the Turners. Other shoulder-rubs can be safely put out of mind.

A big fight is coming – that’s no spoiler. But is “fight” even the right word? What we have is a conflict of world views, not a contest for domination. Chuck is still and once again all about family. Sarah is still and once again weighing the greater good and making the hard decision to put her duty before her own happiness – and Chuck’s. These are more than just the correct decisions – they are honest decisions. Chuck and Sarah are being true to themselves.

They are terribly, deeply mistaken, too. Chuck is blinded by his emotions and knows it. If he’s upset about Sarah trusting him, he needs to be more concerned about how much he trusts her. Besides, even if he’s right this time, we (and Sarah) have to worry about the next time his blind spot comes into the picture. Jill might return, after all. How will his decision to let her go before look then? For all that, he’s almost certainly correct about Mary Elizabeth Bartowski, mother and soon-to-be grandmother.

Sarah betrayed Chuck and by not giving Chuck the information she had, broke their pact to not lie and withhold from each other. Sarah also honored Chuck by doing precisely the right thing, just as he would have and despite her own wishes. By protecting Chuck from the one place she knew he could not be objective, Sarah did more than her duty. The fact that she did in anguish precisely what Agent Walker would have done three years ago without a second thought is purely coincidental and almost meaningless.

Unlike many of the political campaigns swirling around me at the moment, I don’t find their dilemma silly or contrived at all. It’s a conflict between hearts and minds, and I’m aware of none more profound.

Believe, oh please believe, in all your wild dreams,
We’re found and still we never stop to search.
The world is swinging open, hearts and minds come first.
The time right to make up with our words.

Oh – Do you know what the opposite of a profound truth is?

Often, it’s another profound truth.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Angst, No Spoilers, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

120 Responses to The Opposite of a Profound Truth

  1. Big Kev says:

    “Sarah betrayed Chuck and by not giving Chuck the information she had, broke their pact to not lie and withhold from each other. Sarah also honored Chuck by doing precisely the right thing, just as he would have and despite her own wishes……”

    Damn, Joe…’re good! That’s a perfect summation.

    • joe says:

      Thanks, Kev. Lemme tell you a secret. I had written something completely different. Your comment last night made me rethink the whole thing. Thanks for that, too.

    • herder says:

      The only question that I would have about this is Sarah’s duty to what, her job or her self-imposed duty to Chuck. Up to Casey’s revelation about the cancellation of operation Isis, Sarah was ok with ignoring her questions about Mama B’s alliegences but once she started taking shots at Chuck then Sarah’s duty to protect Chuck from anything and anyone, even himself kicked in.

      You have a conflict between Sarah’s inclination to act and Chuck’s inclination to trust (which also happens to be one of the things that she loves about him). Cubic Z, not one of most people’s favorites set the theme, they are crap communicators. That has played out in Aisle of Terror in her not communicating with him and, presumably in First Fight with him not communicating with her.

      This is drama based on character traits not manufactured angst based on treating one or both of the characters as plot devices. I’m really looking forward to Monday.

      • joe says:

        I am too, Herder.

        Interesting question: “Sarah’s duty to what?” I’d have a hard time answering that, but the reasons are clear. So does she.

        Right now, at this moment in the story, Sarah is trying to understand this very question, I think.

      • jason says:

        you guys think this is angling toward CS going independent from the CIA for good, maybe around 4×13, no orders, no rules, no being apart, no boss forcing himself or herself (Duck fans delight) on them? If you like the drama aspect, the CIA rules allow the writers easy ways to force angst, just give an order to split them up, which has been done several times already – 49B, shaw in order to seduce sarah, now it looks like again in 4×8 (and deservedly so, maybe a firing squad?) – not exactly gone with the wind in terms of drama now is it – come on – really you guys – this cast & creative team is best when it is making GET SMART. Trying to justify the drama is the real use of fanfic by the fan base IMO.

      • Faith says:

        Jason, I don’t think it’s that exactly.

        I think this is angling toward an understanding of their priorities. I tend to repeat myself but I truly think what they’re working towards is acknowledging and learning to accept that which they can live with and still grow together. I think we’re always going to have Sarah acting with her blindside in motivation and we’re always going to have Chuck want to do things for himself but this doesn’t have to constantly be an issue…they can and need to get to the point where they’re equal partners able to communicate and work things together, in a mature, Chuck is more than the asset/bf I would die for way.

        Hope that makes sense.

        The other thing this comes to a head towards is the separation of fate between Mary and Sarah. I think we’ll find that the choices Sarah will eventually make, and the mentality that she takes on because she has Chuck with her (the way Mary does not, hasn’t had Stephen) is something that we will get into in the coming days and weeks. That part I’m looking forward to most of all.

      • jason says:

        faith – I think I am a lost cause, your explanation, joe’s, seems just like ernie’s hero journey last season, a case of the fans having alot more to say, interpreting more than is there, I think the show itself is relatively superficial in its story, they need to get to pt A (CS apart), so sarah can bring mama b to pt B, so mama b can get away, so chuck and sarah can be split by beckman, so chuck goes on a mission with riddle, so he gets caught, etc, etc – almost no thought goes into the motivation, more paint by the numbers, sorry faith, like I said, I might be a lost cause, which is ok, I have enjoyed all but the last few minutes of season 4, and all of the last 6 of season 3, I can take a few scenes of lousy tv, I will find plenty I like along the way – but thx faith – I will try to ‘keep the faith’ myself (ok bad pun)

      • Faith says:

        Jason, that’s fine…it wouldn’t be the first time lol.

        I could have sworn on my mother that Shaw was evil, and that Sarah had a plan way back during the end of Mask…I even had screenshots to prove it but alas it wasn’t to be.

        I will say though that based on the things I’ve seen in the EPK, how they’re dealing with this conflict is in a far better…far more humorous spirit than I imagined and that’s a good thing.

        As for what the future brings, well there’s a reason why it’s called the future right? To quote something from Smallville (which I’m still bummed I missed the discussion on 😉 Kidding) “a hero is made in the moment, not from questioning the past or fearing what’s to come.” Somewhat apt words I think.

      • joe says:

        Jason, I’ve been told by more than a few people that I’m seeing more in the show than is actually there. Given that I spent large parts of my childhood daydreaming, they could very well be right!

        You probably remember my story, taking hour long walks for the past couple of years during lunch hour (I still do that). I have spent an embarrassingly large number of hours trying to understand the characters and why I relate to them the way I do. I conclude that it’s due in large part to my personal experiences (both as an adolescent and as an adult) and to the music I grew up with.

        I’m forever surprised that *any*one else relates to the show – it seems that personal to me sometimes. Finding those who do has been a great experience!

        I’m quirky, too, in that I have just enough love of theater and the performing arts to appreciate the nuts and bolts of the craft. Doing that without losing the magic is a trick, sometimes!

        That’s my long winded way of saying that, for me, the story works and has an internal logic that I can admire.

        As for your specific question about C/S leaving the CIA, my immediate reaction is, probably not. But I’m not sure why! I know that most of the fans would be fine if there was no more Buy More, or if Jeffster disappeared (sad, but fine). Yet the CIA gives them a bit of a hook, a threat to their careers to cause some dramatic tension for more than one episode.

        Chuck’s not structured as an episodic show, and I really don’t think that would change. But that’s what it would become, I think, if they were to free-lance.

      • atcdave says:

        Jason I love the idea of Chuck and Sarah going free lance, but I don’t see it ever happening on the show. They are fairly resistant to format changes, and I don’t think TPTB would ever want to be rid of the overall structure of it. Figure it would involve getting rid of Beckman, maybe the Buy More, maybe Casey (of course those things could be rationalized to remain), but it sounds like more restructuring work than we are likely to see.

  2. atcdave says:

    Excellent post Joe. I think so far we’ve seen well how much things have changed in a season. We can be sure when the storms come this time it will play very differently; they didn’t spend the last 12 episodes building a foundation for Chuck and Sarah for no reason.

    • joe says:

      I’m in full agreement with that, Dave. Things between C&S even feel different to me – I expect different too.

      And I like it! I wasn’t completely worried about all the new writers when the season began, but I’m still glad to see that they’ve exceeded my wildest hopes. It feels like they are fans, you know?

      • herder says:

        I’m pleasantly suprised with the new writers too. I also enjoy the fact that they are willing to go back and fill in some of the things that were glossed over last year.

  3. PeterOinNJ says:

    Thank you Joe for once again being that calm eye in the storm. As Dave said the foundation is strong – no one should doubt that. How they build on that foundation is what is and always has been in question. Always has been – and now it looks like that will be addressed. I have bored you all many times with the lyrics from “A Matter of Trust” so I’ll resist this time around – but if you want to see how I think this will play out, take a listen.

    Again, thanks for being so articulate so early in the morning!

    • joe says:

      That won’t happen to us,
      ’cause it’s always been a matter of trust.


      I know that Billy Joel has been critiqued as a bit of a schlock-meister for a while. He is a master of the musical hook, after all. But I really love his stuff. Turnstiles and The Stranger are still two of my favorite albums of all time. Hummm… Piano Man, too, but that’s really reaching back!

      Thanks, Peter.

      • herder says:

        Too bad one of my favorite Billy Joel songs, Only the Good Die Young, really doesn’t fit the show, at least any more (and it was ruined by being on Glee first). Although Uptown Girl may still fit.

      • joe says:

        Hum… When Chuck & Sarah are a bit “on the outs”, how about She’s Always a Woman? I like that one!

        The Stranger works all the way through S3!

        Well we all fall in love
        But we disregard the danger
        Though we share so many secrets
        There are some we never tell
        Why were you so surprised
        That you never saw the stranger
        Did you ever let your lover see
        The stranger in yourself?

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  5. Ernie Davis says:

    Hey Joe, great post. I think the great part about this setup they’ve done is reflected in the comments in several threads. You can make a case for Sarah doing exactly what she did on several levels and you can make a case for Chuck feeling betrayed on several level, and neither negates the other. Both Chuck and Sarah are right. The right thing to do doesn’t necessarily mean the easy thing to do or the fun thing to do.

    I said it before, this is the perfect kind of drama to me. Both characters are sympathetic, both are acting out of who they are at their core, both are right to act as they do, and yet there is real conflict. Amazing stuff if you ask me. Scratch that, I’ll say it whether you ask or not, amazing stuff.

    • joe says:

      Neither negates the other. Perfect! It’s rather like the two characters personalities too, isn’t it?

      Gee! I wasn’t thinking about how it works as an attribute of story-telling, but you’re absolutely right. It’s rather amazing. I’m guessing that’s why they’re the pros and I’m just an amateur at it!

      For now, I’m just going to sit back and appreciate it.

    • thinkling says:

      Wonderful, succinct summary, Ernie. You highlight the very KEY difference of this drama and conflict as opposed to the season of our discontent, as you dubbed it. Both characters are sympathetic, true to themselves, and right in their actions. Not one of those things was true of either of them the front half of s3.

      Once they figure out the dance of complementarity, it will be a huge asset to their partnership on all levels. They know each other well. Their conversations all through the episode show that. They love each other for their differences. Chuck asked her to watch his blind side. Sarah wants to go along with Chuck as far as prudence permits, perhaps further. She loves his capacity for trust. But they are still learning the dance … how to function as a unit employing their complementary instincts and skills. Whose skills lead when and whose follow. When to lead and when to trust.

      Communication is key. In this case, time was a factor, but they each withheld pertinent data. Sarah withheld Casey’s potential lead, and Chuck didn’t explain what he learned of his mother’s motivation.

      Then there’s the trust factor. Chuck thinks Sarah didn’t trust him, his judgment of his own mother. But does Chuck realize that perhaps he didn’t trust Sarah to do what he asked her to do? Hmm.

      Hopefully our heroes will reach an understanding and enjoy a new level of trust … the give and take of the dance.

  6. amyabn says:

    Great post Joe. I hope that, as I often state, they can meet in the middle. I am enjoying Morgan’s role as relationship counselor again, and hope Chuck can talk to Sarah instead of running his mouth with everyone else. I find it interesting that Sarah just expects Chuck to spill his guts and yet she has been hiding from him.

    • joe says:

      Heh! My first cut at this post was in the form of a personal letter to Morgan, warning him that he was going to have to be more than just the pen-clicking Dr. Morgan, Relationship Councilor! This time, he was going to have to tell Chuck to stop running his mouth and see why Sarah is doing what she’s doing.

      I love in the promos how Sarah is trying hard to talk to Chuck, but is still obviously afraid to do so.

      • herder says:

        Hmm, Sarah did try to teach Chuck about boundies in Helicopter, maybe Sarah pinning Morgan up against the wall will teach him that there are certain lines you do not cross with Sarah Walker.

      • atcdave says:

        It is truly amazing she hasn’t hurt the little bearded troll yet. Based on the clip we saw, I’m thinking the only reason he’s alive is his relationship with Chuck.

      • joe says:

        Heh! He already had his thumbs broken once in The Ring Pt. 2. He doesn’t need that again! 😉

    • Faith says:

      Welcome back Amy. Inquiring minds want to know where you stand on this whole Chuck vs. Sarah vs. the world vs. trust vs. what happens now lol. Your input is valued. Especially in light of the fact that for once Ernie agrees with me and something has to give! Heh.

  7. Anon says:

    It seems in American politics,voters get to have 2 options:
    -Corruption with ignorance and obnoxiousness
    -Corruption with “ideology” and “principles”

    Hopes it works put!

    As for Chuck and Sarah,I’m glad that they are both afraid to confront each other harshly.But also when they have an elephant in the room,they don’t go on ignoring it.

    Growing up?

    • joe says:

      Yeah. Seems that way sometimes.

      You know, in a very real way, Chuck succeeds in acknowledging those elephants in the room, and yes, I’m talking about ugly, cynical, political truths of life in the 21st century (and every other century I’m aware of…)

      Think of it. The show brought up betrayal and treason in the CIA/NSA from the start, and never portrayed anyone in a position of power as an innocent. I loved the rogue CIA/Fulcum agent Tommy in S1. He’s the epitome of corruption in government (that is, he is unless they make Graham even more duplicitous).

      Equating cynicism with maturity isn’t really their point, though. Casey is cynical, but Sarah loves Chuck because he still tries to trust people. Arriving at a maturity that can balance both – well, that’s hard!

      • Anon says:

        The show has always been about reaching a compromise when it comes to Chuck and Sarah.

        And when deeds-Sarah- finally matched the words-Chuck-,they got together.Now in their relationship they have to find middle ground.

        Chuck always lacked cynicism and Sarah was the opposite.Like you mentioned,Cynicism =/= Maturity.

        “Arriving at a maturity that can balance both”

        I think they are headed in that direction.They are helping each other be better. I really like that.

  8. Rick Holy says:

    Sorry to vere sharply off this thread’s topic, but I WANT THAT COVER OF TV GUIDE!!!! We still have time this weekend and I believe all of Monday. Vote for CHUCK! Vote for CHUCK! Vote for CHUCK!
    (Joe – if you could put a link to the site again, thanks). I have the site saved as a “favorite” and keep returning to it for “bursts” of CHUCK voting. We’ll have NO EPISODES of CHUCK during December. Let’s at least get the cover of TV Guide!!

    Thanks, all! (and sorry for interrupting the flow of this thread).

    If that Yvonne Strahovski video isn’t enough to get you to vote for CHUCK (and for the ladies, the Ryan McPartlin video), then I don’t know what will. Let’s give our “relative unknowns” a chance to get a little more “known.” VOTE CHUCK!!

    Thanks all. Have a GREAT weekend. And PEACE!!!

  9. Faith says:

    Joe, you have a rare gift of finding a balance between the more voracious sides and fostering an understanding between them. This must be why OD and company asked you to be in their podcasts lol.

    For myself it comes down to one thing: it’s never one-dimensional and I like it like that.

    Oh and don’t forget to vote 😉

  10. herder says:

    I note that there have been over 1000 comments since the end of the last episode on monday. That is a tremendous number, all credit to those who set up this site. To add something of relevance to this comment, I was rewatching the first episode of this season tonight and I noticed that the symbol of Volkov was the dragons of a Chinese food restaurant. While it could be something to fit a joke for the first episode, it could also be a connection to a British agent (Hong Kong) that we are about to meet in the next episode. Forshadowing or coincidencee

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I was thinking today that Christopher Walken ($$$ notwithstanding) would make a good Volkov, whoever he may be.

      (Also Lindsay Wagner as Sarah’s mom)

      • joe says:

        I wouldn’t mind Cheryl Ladd as mama Burton either!

      • jason says:

        jeri ryan, look near alike to sarah, and the reveal can be sarah walker is part borg – ok just kidding, but it would explain alot. Plus jeri ryan can really notch up the acting and / or the action if she is asked to, and she is still a legitimate ‘sexpionage’ character, would love to see her mark morgan for some reason, or even oh oh could it be casey – yikes?

      • joe says:

        Oooohhh! 7 of 9 is a seriously cool suggestion! And she is the right height to be Sarah’s mom, too.

      • atcdave says:

        But more than a little YOUNG! Was she 12 when she had Sarah?

        Too funny, yeah I heard of make-up.

        Physically she’d be a good choice.

      • joe says:

        Eech! You’re right. 1968. My bad, but my excuse is that, at my age, every woman looks 25 years old to me.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow, lucky guess!

      • herder says:

        I was thinking that dragons are an unusual symbol for a Russian organization, could foreshadow the introduction of Volkov as someone other than a Russian, maybe an MI-6 operative gone rogue. An MI-6 operative (Tuttle) would have experience in Hong Kong, the place where Casey and Sarah got the EMP device in 4.1 and a place where a dragon symbol would be common.

  11. jason says:

    my son is going to start a webpage to document his basketball career & resume, as he is going to try to hook up with a d1 program as an assistant when he graduates college or maybe even as an NBA scout – a little like your kid trying to be a movie star, but he is sort of the real deal, already knows several NBA GM’s and is on a first name basis with head coaches in college, and I have a connection with ESPN. anyhow …. I poked around the ‘webpress’ structure of this site, thinking using webpress may be a good idea for him.

    As I poked around, I found my way back to season 3, right around episodes 8-12 & read a bunch of stuff. I find it interesting that those promoting the drama the most now say forget season 3. I don’t blame them. You want a profound truth, many of you celebrating the ‘new age angst’ of season 4, wrote some incredibly passionate pleas that the show never go that route again. Funny how quickly profound truth is lost on these blogs, and how the written word on blogs has a momentum of its own, both in a direction last season as well as an entirely different direction this season – maybe several of them – LOL.

    Joe, I think you got this right, blogging is pretty much the art of the ‘opposite of profound truth’ – I like that!

    • Big Kev says:

      I can’t say that I’ve had an exhaustive re-read of the blog through S3 but I’d feel reasonably confident of what many of the complaints were.
      The problem with much of S3 was implausible plot scenarios, made worse by character reactions that were equally implausible based on previous evidence, and topped off by character motivations that were either not explained at all or explained too late.
      In short, TPTB constructed a story that was neither believable nor compelling, and didn’t reflect the characters as they’d been put together over the previous 2 seasons.
      I dont recall many people arguing for no drama at all in the show. There were certainly those who wanted a lighter tone – but in general the call was for the drama to flow organically from believable scenarios or character traits. I think the majority think we have had that this season, even proponents of the lighter version of the show.

      • Merve says:

        I’m going to try to split the difference here. I’m never going to argue against the use of drama. Simply put, without any drama, Chuck would be boring. But I prefer drama that comes from Team Bartowski operating in the spy world than drama that comes from internal conflicts. That’s at least part of the reason that I think that “Subway” and “Ring: Part II” are two of the best hours of television ever produced.

        As for the setup for a potential conflict at the end of “Aisle of Terror,” it feels a bit contrived to me. It needed six things to happen:
        1) Casey had to lie to Morgan.
        2) Casey had to believe that Sarah wouldn’t tell Chuck if he told Sarah the truth.
        3) Casey had to believe that telling Sarah the truth was the right thing to do.
        4) Casey had to tell Sarah the truth.
        5) Sarah had to hide the truth from Chuck.
        6) Sarah had to be the kidnapper.
        As cold as it is, I can believe 1), and it doesn’t bother me much (even though it probably should). I can believe 2) because Casey is good at reading people. I can even believe 5). Chuck has lied to Sarah to protect her from the truth before; I don’t have a hard time believing that Sarah would do the same. 4) is clearly a corollary of 3), but 3) itself is a little trickier. It’s fine for Casey to ask for help from one of his partners, but he betrayed his other partner in the process. Besides, Casey probably could have handled the situation himself, without Sarah’s help. 6) is where this setup falters for me; as far as I’m concerned, it happened solely to give a reason to shift the conflict from Chuck/Casey to Chuck/Sarah. Casey’s betrayals are the biggest and most significant. He lied outright to Morgan. He then hid the truth from Chuck and though he had good intentions, he essentially exploited Sarah’s love for Chuck, her “blind spot.” (I can’t take credit for the very astute observation that Chuck is Sarah’s blind spot, so if you came up with the idea, please accept an imaginary box of cookies from me. :)) In a sense, Casey has betrayed every member of his team.

        Everyone should be mad at Casey (Ellie included). Chuck and Ellie should be mad at Sarah for her betrayal. Ellie should be mad at Chuck for keeping secrets from her. Devon should be mad at Ellie for pretending that she was fine without her mother. Chuck should be mad at his mother for repeatedly lying to him. And Beckman should be mad at Team Bartowski for keeping the search for Frost from her. All these conflicts should be addressed. Unfortunately – and I hope to be proven wrong tomorrow – since so much of this season has focused on Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, I think that most of the drama in the next episode is going to come from the fallout of Sarah’s betrayal. (Please note that I haven’t been reading spoilers, so I might be way off base here.) But that’s only because it was Sarah who was wearing that ski mask. If it had been some random agent, the case for a significant Chuck/Sarah conflict would be much less compelling.

        Now, here’s where I might differ from the popular opinion of commenters on this blog. If season 3’s problem was that the drama was neither compelling nor believable, then that problem has been exacerbated in season 4, at least over the first four episodes. In seasons 1 through 3, the drama came from fully realized characters. In season 4, most of it has come from sitcom caricatures. Things have picked up a lot since “Couch Lock,” the characters seem to be fully developed again, and I’m enthusiastic about the show now, but “Coup d’Etat” was just embarrassing to watch. If the show is going to follow that route again, the conflict should come from something a little less reminiscent of a bad Friends episode than “communication issues.”

        In any case, whatever one’s opinion about Chuck throughout the seasons may be, I think that at least some of us can agree that if the rest of the season brings us intriguing villains, cool stunts, and lots of big laughs, then we’ll be in for a heck of a ride.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow Merve, I agree entirely with your first paragraph, I get your second paragraph, and then you totally loose me!

        I really don’t want anybody being “mad at” anybody as entertainment. And I’ve loved every episode this season, especially Coup d’Etat.

        But I totally agree with your last again, so I guess we’re good!

      • JC says:

        I like the idea of everyone being mad at each other. They don’t have to drag it out but with all the lies going around it makes sense we would see the characters being angry at each other.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @JC – We know from the sneak peeks and advance reviews that the fight is played more for comedic effect. Cant see the characters being angry at each other for too long. Personally speaking, I would like to see the fight’s resolution to be reached via a hard hitting emotional scene – The comedy aspect could go throughout the episode(Chuck to everyone: I can’t believe she did this; Sarah to Chuck: I can’t believe you told everyone) but when the final act rolls on and C/S try to resolve their differences by talking to each other – the scene hopefully carries emotional weight and is not downplayed for comedy.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m just never a fan of internal conflict. Not that I want everyone to just roll over on important issues, but I always want the characters I like to like each other. A few confrontations would be in order after last week, but I hope for rapid and congenial resolution.

      • atcdave says:

        Agree with Genie!!

      • Merve says:

        @Dave: When I say “mad at” I don’t mean that characters should be engaged in shouting matches with each other. That’s counterproductive and entertaining only if played for laughs. But I do think that at least some of the conflicts I mentioned should be addressed. What annoys me more than pointless drama is sweeping things under the rug to avoid drama.

        Speaking of shouting (and going totally off-topic), I’m impressed at how little shouting there is on Chuck. When it happens too often, I think it’s a cheap way of upping the drama quotient, but the only two instances of shouting matches that I can think of on Chuck are in “Crown Vic” and “Nacho Sampler,” and the latter was partially played for laughs.

      • atcdave says:

        Sorry if I misunderstood Merve, I totally agree with that.

      • Merve says:

        I just realized that Casey didn’t know that Mary hadn’t dropped off the map when he talked to Sarah on the road, so as far as he knew, he was just sharing intel with a colleague. So, in my epically long post above, I was unfair to Casey, and Sarah shares a larger proportion of the blame than I originally attributed to her. In my opinion, that doesn’t justify Casey’s actions completely, but I no longer feel that he exploited Sarah. In any case, I’d like to apologize for not getting the facts straight. Oops.

      • joe says:

        Merve, I took a break this evening, and I see that I miss some incredible discussions! I’ll probably make a fool of myself for jumping in here in the middle with what seem to be a random thought, but I’ll stick it in anyway.

        Casey is a bit myoptic. He puts duty ahead of everything, and when he doesn’t, it’s a shock because only something really, really big can make him change his priorities.

        But “duty first” is a good thing, right? We *like* consistency, and certainly patriotism is one of those things that’s always “right”, isn’t it?

        Turns out that there’s nothing, not patriotism, duty, *love*, mother’s milk(!) that is always “right” any more than middle C is the right note to play in a song. It depends on the song. (And G# is sometimes the correct note, too, if only much more rarely, much like pulling the trigger is very occasionally the right thing to do.)

        I need to go back an evaluate Casey’s actions, and of course Chuck and Sarah’s with that in mind. Did they do the right thing then? I come to think they all did.

        And finally getting to the point, the dramatic tension is coming from that, not from the guess game of “does s/he love me or am I fooling myself?” that we labeled “angst”. I’m looking at it and seeing a much deeper thing.

    • joe says:

      Oh, I love it when a good discussion goes “meta!”

      I think you’re right Jason. I know that historically, consistency hasn’t been one of my strong points, that’s fer sure.

      We’ll always make the claim, though, that much like Chuck itself, this is still a “work in progress!” 😉

      Wishing success for your son’s career, Jason! My “kid” brother once had a legitimate shot at being a baseball player (my un-informed guess is that he could easily play AA ball and maybe even AAA). The NBA is a whole ‘nother level though, so congrats to him for making it that far!

      • jason says:

        coaching joe, not playing, to play in the NBA you gotta be almost freakish.

        Your brother regret not going for it?

      • joe says:

        You’re right about the freakish thing. A local college round-ball hero of mine was Calvin Murphy, who I think still owns the NBA consecutive free-throw record. He was quoted once in Sports Illustrated answering the question “At 5’8″, what’s it like being the shortest guy in pro basketball?” His answer was “Short? Hell, I’m not short! I’m just playing with a bunch of freaks!” Love it.

        Coaching in the NBA is awfully close to the tip of that mountain, Jason. More head, less dunking.

        Anyway, my bro. always understood that although he could probably make it in the minors, the majors are a long shot for anybody. He decided to become an engineer like many of his big brothers. Then he went on to marry a model-beautiful woman and have three fantastic kids with whom he plays soccer to this day.

        He intends to retire to a life of golfing! I’m glad to say he regrets his decision not at all.

      • jason says:

        actually joe, college coaching is his goal, breaking in is easy (a little like acting), but getting anywhere is very difficult (a little like acting). I don’t know, but I would assume coaching in the NBA is near impossible for anyone other than an ex player.

        Good for your brother, can never have enough golfers out there!

  12. jason says:

    Kev – thank you for addressing me directly and not calling me any names, I appreciate it –

    you might be right, but please, my issue is the use of angst as the most compelling source of drama, i.e. the end of 4.6, and apparently in the episodes that follow, repeating the pattern of using angst as the most compelling source of drama throughout the series.

    I submit to you that there is a CLEAR TREND IN THOSE POSTS which you did not read rejecting angst driven drama.

    I also submit to you that there are a near infinite number of ways to create drama. I furthermore submit to you that continually using the same source, is frustratingly BORING.

    And the notion, that those who reject angst as the source of drama for this series are in somewhat inferior as fans, nauseates me.

    That is very different from those who write such nauseating things, who by and large have contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the show, including chuck.

    Thanks for all you do, you are a great writer and fan, but think about my position, I don’t think I am near as wrong as you think I am, and I think my position if far closer to the average fan out there than you might give me credit for.

    • jason says:

      that should read, including kevin instead of chuck, typed that rather quickly, and rather passionately I might add, LOL

    • Big Kev says:

      Thanks for the thoughts. They are reciprocated. A good lively discussion between knowledgeable fans is why I enjoy this blog so much. It’s late here, but I’ll take the right of reply before I go to bed!
      Funny thing is – I completely agree with you about not liking angst. Completely. I’m not interested in watching Gossip Girl for spies.
      The question here though is how you define angst. I think the MamaB custody scenario at the end of AoT is completely believable within the parameters of the show. I think how it plays out will illuminate exactly what Chuck and Sarah are prepared to sacrifice for each other – and maybe what MamaB has already sacrificed for her children. It’s a story I want to see because I think it will further deepen my enjoyment of the characters. It’s not angst to me. It’s drama. I don’t think they are the same. Yes it drives Chuck and Sarah apart for a while and I completely admit it’s a well the writers
      have gone to before – but it won’t bother me if they continue to tell a good story.
      Compare and contrast to Prague, which was a scenario I never believed, with characters acting in ways I never believed to tell a story that I really didn’t want to watch. That’s angst – and you
      and I are in complete agreement as to it’s lack of merit.
      Chuck and Sarah between them probably account for 60-70% of screentime, so it follows that 60-70% of the drama in the show is going to be derived from them. I take that as a given and it doesn’t bother
      me. As you said yourself, they could write a big dramatic arc about Morgan falling out with Casey – and most people wouldn’t care. So most of the drama is going to centre around Chuck and Sarah handling the obstacles and the conflicts that their double life throws at them. Stated so baldly, it is a bit of a writing cliche – but you can say that about any TV show simply because the medium has been around long enough now that most of the tricks are well known and well used. Ultimately if you like where a story is going, you forgive the parts where you see the join. If you don’t, you call them out.
      I hope I’ve never said that you’re wrong. It’s just an opinion after all. But I will be respectfully honest and say that a Chuck that was significantly lighter than what we have now (say a season full of Suitcase or CubicZ) is not a show that would hold my interest. The episodes in question barely did that. I have my hierarchy of what I like about the show like everyone else but the fact is I’m greedy – I want everything when it comes to Chuck – the drama, the fabulous likeable characters, the heartwarming, the comedy, the dialogue, the spy plots, all of it – because to me Chuck is the only show that tries to do all that in one show. It doesn’t always succeed – but when it does it touches greatness.

      Alright – that’s it for me for the night. Thanks again to the blog for the platform and to Jason for the stimulation!

    • timlay says:

      I could not agree more Jason. Also I am not happy that given at the start of the season we were told they will be a couple all season do not worry we have learned our lesson regarding that. Then when suddendly they are being split up for what seems like alot of episodes we are told oh come on its fine.

      Well like last year i simply will not watch this scenario yet again, its like sitting with the mad hatter he keeps changing the cups but they still remain the same cups. I do not care the reason they split up they have done that to death. I was expecting to see them take on the world as a spy couple seems thats not the show I will get.

      Yet again we get some “fans” casting us that are calling this rubbish are being cast as bad fans and its the same old fans last year that were saying no season 3 is really great. When 2 million fans left because it was rubbish.

    • JC says:


      The show has been on long enough for us to know that the C/S relationship will always be the main source of drama on the show. I would love for them to focus on the espionage and mythology more but I know that’s not going to happen. The show is what it is and that’s not going to change.

      With this season the angst has been all fluff. The end of Aisle was like Big Kev said drama and reminded me of Santa Claus. Which led in my opinion to the strongest arc the show has ever done, the hunt for Orion. Now if it’s executed as flawlessly as S2 I can’t wait but if it’s done stupidly like S3 I’ll be right with you in your complaints.

      • atcdave says:

        JC I mostly agree, but I always thought the last scene of Santa Claus was overplayed. It actually struck me as silly at the time how Chuck over-reacted. I wasn’t as involved in the Chuck community at the time, but I clearly remember laughing with friends about how silly that ending was. “Chuck has known since the Pilot Sarah was a killer” and “If Chuck hasn’t figured out by now Sarah is a lioness, but she’s HIS lioness, he’s pretty clueless” were comments I heard from friends at that time. My reaction to the end of Aisle of Terror was not as strong, but it was similar. I thought the situation was well crafted, interesting, and true to the characters. But there was a touch of melodrama in the staging with Sarah being in mission garb and accidentally unmasked; or Chuck’s glum “she’s a spy” line.

        I guess what I’m getting at is, I am excited and believe great things are ahead. But some of the “drama” or relationship angst (or whatever term one prefers) seems a bit cliche or over done.

      • luckygirl says:

        I don’t know if it matters but I’m pretty sure she pulled the mask off herself.

      • JC says:

        I agree with you Dave. Both endings were somewhat over dramatic but that’s Chuck. And like I said I do get tired of the C/S relationship drama/angst but I’ve come to accept that will never go away.

        With regards to the episodes I got the same vibe from both of them. It wasn’t what Sarah did but that she kept things from him. Let’s just hope the followup episode isn’t terrible like 3D.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah JC, but the previews already look better!

    • Merve says:

      I ask this question not to be a douche, but because I’m genuinely confused: what differentiates “angst” from “legitimate drama?” The Chuck fanbase’s use of the word angst seems to be shorthand for a lot of things, but I’m not sure that it means the same thing to everybody; maybe we’re arguing about semantics as much we’re arguing about preferences.

      • atcdave says:

        Your right about the semantics being a problem, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been jumped on for word choice and I think a lot of it is pretty silly. Strictly speaking angst is a form of drama. The problem is, the clumsy teen form of relationship angst has been so overused by this show (especially in S3), that I think many are using the word “angst” to mean “teen relationship angst” exclusively. I know I’m on record way back as saying this format invites, or even demands a certain amount of angst. A normal, decent guy living a double life that involves life and death, lying to friends/family, and differences of reality/perception is a story that WILL generate angst. But we’ve seen so much of the wt/wt and PLI crap that many are equating that with all angst.

        It just means we need to be careful with our terms to avoid being misunderstood. I think many have such a negative view of “angst” that it practically means “drama I don’t like.” So I’m trying to make the allowance that if I use the word angst it is immediately perceived as negative by many fans.

        I’m not trying to offend anyone with that answer, but I am a little frustrated by fluid word definitions.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        If you enjoy it it’s legitimate drama. If you hate it, it’s angst. It may not clarify things but I think it’s as accurate as we’re going to get. 😉

      • JC says:

        Speaking for myself angst is a type of drama that refers to people questioning their feelings for each. Whether its through the use of outside love interests, actions or words. The first four episodes had angst but it was fluffy. Then you have natural or organic angst in form of someone like Bryce or Chuck breaking up with Sarah at the beginning of S2. And finally you have stupid and contrived angst which for me dominated S3. The name reveal, Hannah, Shaw, etc.

        Using Aisle as an example, I thought it was dramatic that only drifted into angst right at the end with the Sarah reveal.

      • Merve says:

        Thanks for clarifying, guys. Ernie, that’s the impression that I’ve gotten too. It’s a little confusing, but maybe I’ve just become particularly sensitive to word usage after living with someone who majored in English in university. (And on the subject of word usage, why do Americans call it “college?” ;))

      • JC says:

        Yeah I think angst has become a catch all for some people and automatically equates to bad story telling. Break-up was all angst but it was fantastic and felt completely natural and real to me. Compare that to Pink Slip which was angst but felt forced to me. Of course it’s all subjective.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Merve, the difference between college and universitiy in the US is basically one that comes out of tradition. In the US there was a long tradition of small regional colleges that were specialized, often trade schools in essence. Mostly agricultural colleges. These are more akin to the traditional designation. However, as these schools grew into universities many retained the college as part of their name. In addition there was a long tradition of people going to college as opposed to university, so as usual an American colloquialism became part of the language. At least that’s my totally OT understanding.

      • atcdave says:

        Seriously, the dictionary definition of angst just involves emotional turmoil usually involving fears and depression. Its very broad. Its just our common usage that paints it as a dirty word. I suppose its safe to say angst is not a very exciting drama tool; but I have often enjoyed the appropriate usage of it (by which I mean that which is endemic to the format, as opposed to the type that feels unnecessary and manufactured).

        I think in American English a University is usually a collection of colleges. Usually means more than one field of study. So “college” is used as a collective term for colleges and universities. I went to a university that had colleges of business, liberal arts, natural sciences, nursing, etc.

      • Faith says:

        Merve, still not done with the angst rampage I see 😉

        I’ve always maintained that angst, the fan definition of it will always differ from that of the dictionary (unless you’re looking at urban dictionary then it’s pretty close). It’s definitely subjective and in some ways an umbrella term.

        For myself angst is something that is utilized to separate a main couple in ways that are fabricated. Obviously it’s all fabricated but there’s angst for the sake of angst and there’s organic angst.

        I second JC’s view…Break Up is one of my most favorite and eternally playable episodes. It really calls to me.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Faith – For me the one other episode besides Break Up in terms of likeable/lovable organic angst would be Truth. Playable again and again.

      • Faith says:

        Definitely. Did you see my sig? ♥

      • atcdave says:

        I’d agree with both of those examples and add the end of Predator as being an example of more general/spy world and less Sarah specific.
        Where the break seems to be for a lot of us, is the last round of angst at the end of First Kill before “Take off your watch.” To me, wt/wt angst after that point is manipulative and contrived, period. Much of the S3.5 angst was centered around Chuck’s lies, which while a vast improvement over the S3 angst, was still a little disappointing. So far, in S4, we’ve seen angst played more for fun and humor. The end of 4.06 being the first more serious use of it this season and it feels more honest and respectful of the characters.

      • Faith says:

        Good point, Dave. There’s also something to be said for repetition. What worked in Truth wouldn’t work with where they are today*. Even though at that point in time it was organic, if you re-introduce such conflict today it wouldn’t fly. Where they are now is so far removed from that.

        Having said that I’m of the belief that what they’re doing right now is organic. It’s not easy, certainly not smooth but it’s something that needs to be done.

        *I had an inkling likening S3 to Truth et. al but I’ll keep it to the current topic. No need to revisit that which is combustible for most parties lol.

      • Merve says:

        That’s the weird thing about drama: everyone has different opinions on what works and what doesn’t. I didn’t like the end of “Truth.” I hated the end of “Break Up” because I thought (and still think) that it was completely irrelevant to the rest of the episode. But I loved the end of “Predator.” Does that make “Truth” and “Break Up” full of “angst” and “Predator” full of good drama? I don’t know. But at least I know what I prefer. As for how I feel about the end of “Aisle of Terror,” I’m not completely sold on it, but as I think I’m going to be saying for the rest of this season, at least engagement rings aren’t dropping from air ducts.

      • atcdave says:

        Angst is a real technique used in dramatic writing. Whether we like it or not has no bearing on if it is present or not. Like any story-telling device it can be used well or poorly. Because of the way it is often used repetitively in serialized television many of us have a very jaded and cynical view about it. In particular, Schwedak like to use it like a hammer; but I think they are learning to get more creative in its usage. I would say S4 has shown both more restraint and creativity than S3; so to me that is progress.

        It is interesting Merve that you didn’t like the end of Truth or Break-up; to me both endings were unpleasant but appropriate. I prefer happier endings, but I can tolerate what I see as a well crafted “down” ending if I believe things will ultimately sort out. To me, S3 failed on both counts; it seemed clumsy (and untrue to the characters as I understood them) and the gratification was too long delayed.

        I do prefer more comedic elements, and I’m fine with engagement rings falling from the ceiling; I just don’t want to see them give up on each other ever again. If they have to fight to be together, well I like the sound of that.

      • Big Kev says:

        Angst always has negative connotations for me, so that tends to be how I define it. I use angst to describe any conflict generated by scenarios or character actions that I don’t believe, or I don’t find convincing. Conflict generated that way feels forced or manipulative to me – and that’s what I term angst.
        If I believe in it, or am convinced by it, then to me it’s drama. I don’t even necessarily have to like it – but I do have to believe it, so in that respect I take a slight detour from Ernie’s “if you don’t like it, it’s angst” dictum.

        I don’t think I’ve been using the term correctly, by the dictionary definfition, although I have been consistent in my application – so from now on I’m going to use the dictionary definfition of the term – unease or conflict – and talk where necessary about what I think is “good angst” versus “bad angst”.

        For the record, I agree with Merve, in finding the unpacking scenario of suitcase and the slow motion round corners Cubic Z scenarios to be way, way more forced or implausible than anything I saw at the end of 4.06. They didn’t bother me over much because they were played for laughs and resolved quickly enough – but if they ever decide to apply that level of implausibility to a more weighty or “serious” arc, then I’ll be the first in line with the pitchforks.

      • atcdave says:

        Big Kev, I think what you described is very much the common understanding of the word, at least on TV show internet discussions! It is frustrating to me that we have to qualify terms so carefully, but you are exactly right about “good angst”/”bad angst”. The word just has to be handled carefully or you’re asking to be misunderstood.

        And Kev I agree with you also about the sillier endings. I liked them, but that light treatment only works for the fluff aspects of the show. It wouldn’t be right if the MamaB arc was resolved by a pie fight. That story BETTER be tense and exciting.

        But I’d really rather laugh and have fun with Chuck and Sarah. If Chuck proposes with a ring he finds in a Cracker Jack box, or they get married by a Klingon at Comic-Con, I’m fine with that.

      • thinkling says:

        I missed A LOT of discussion yesterday. I found this one interesting. So, I’ll comment a little late.

        Angst = An acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety; at least that what one dictionary says. Other dictionaries say other things.

        Angst has within its very definition a certain measure of subjectivity. That alone makes it hard to reach a consensus. Add to that all the different layers of angst, and speaking with authority becomes tedious at best.

        There is character angst, that is anxiety felt by the character. And there is viewer angst, anxiety produced in us as a reaction to character angst or other disturbing (on whatever level) situations facing the characters. We may have angst over situations that the characters don’t (or don’t yet). Viewer angst is subjective and varies from one viewer to the next. [Here’s a confession I may regret. I hate animal angst. Do not ask me to watch Old Yeller or White Fang or Where the Red Furn Grows. I even thought Beethoven was stressful. So I’m sure my angst meter differs from some (OK many) other movie-goers.]

        There’s adolescent character angst that is pretty uncompelling. Smallville was used as a recent example. Rather than angst, this produces (in me anyway) boredom and uncontrollable eye-rolling.

        There’s baseless character angst that seems contrived, manipulative, and unnatural to the story and our previous understanding of the characters. Ring any bells? This produces angst in a lot of us, but when unresolved for, I dunno — 12 episodes, leads to ravaging frustration and raving anger.

        Then there’s organic character angst that is endemic to the story and natural to the characters as we know them. I think we’ve been calling it “good angst.” But even in this group of fairly like-minded viewers, we have different thresholds of tolerance for “good angst.”

        Even with good angst, there are honest and dishonest ways of using it. What we have so far from Aisle of Terror is pretty honest. I knock it down a little on the honesty scale for the over-dramatized execution. If the fight is drawn out too long, it won’t seem true to the C/S relationship we’ve watched develop this season. However, if their internal conflict is resolved and replaced by an external one, that will still be honest given the inevitable fallout from the mom debacle. However, drawing that out too long will again seem manipulative. The main story needs to move along or you get a soap opera, the very definition of baseless angst.

        It seems like there can be an objective appraisal of character angst, with the acknowledgement that we all respond to what plays out on screen with our own angst meters. I can argue the merits of the on screen angst, but I can’t impose my angst meter on any of you. … You may love Beethoven 😉

        Well, those are my brief (HA) thoughts on the matter.

      • jason says:

        think – I am near done with this point, I try to quit debating it with ALL of you, but here I go again, angst, we now have good, bad, and now organic.

        Why is angst of any color, equated with the one solution to light, comedic tv? I have submitted to near each and every one of you, that there are a near infinite number of alternative ways to generate drama, with CS as a couple an a adventure, versus CS apart generating the drama while an adventure is going on.

        Added to that, the CS apart drama, is the major source of show drama the last 3 seasons, it has become boring and given the circumstances of season 3, extraordinarily frustrating. Many of those favoring and applauding this organic angst, were up and arms lasts season – interesting how quickly we forget?

      • atcdave says:

        Thanks Thinkling for pointing out the distinction between character and viewer angst; that’s something we’d previously failed to do, yet it is a big part of the issue. As always we appreciate your concise comments!!

        Jason I hope you didn’t feel like we were just arguing with you about this! I thought it was interesting discussion all around. And I think you’re allowed to simply just not like angst in any form. It be like saying while I generally like to laugh and like comedy; I’m not as big a fan of purely physical comedy. I do acknowledge it can well done or poorly done, and on occasion I like it a lot, but in general its one of my less favored forms of humor. It seems you can say the same about angst (actually I would too, it will never be my favorite dramatic device).

        But don’t think that means we’ve forgotten anything. I remember S3 quite well, and TPTB burned many bridges with how it was handled. But they’ve given me 12 episodes I’ve been pretty happy with, so I’m willing to give them a little room to tell the story they want to now. I will certainly allow less leeway than I was ready to after S2; but for now I’m willing to go along. As I’ve said before, I expect to pretty happy with this arc, even if I’m not thrilled with every twist.

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

    Jason – Respectfully and for curiousity’s sake. If S3 hadn’t happened (yes, the first 13 were a complete mess) would your reaction be the same?

    I’m with BK on this, the upcoming story as I hope is plays out is something I want to see. I do reserve judgement to change my mind however. 😉

    • timlay says:

      I cannot speak for jason but yes for me Season 3 was a massive mistake and TPTB promised at the start of the season they would be a couple all season. THAT IS THE ONLY REASON I STARTED WATCHING AGAIN, after i stopped watching after 3.8. To be straight I just stopped watching and viewed it online when the season was over.

      I note 3.18 omly pulled in 4.9 viewers so clearly from 7.7 viewers at 3.1 season 3 was a mess. I hoped they had learned the lesson and would give us a fun season. Now people are telling us oh its different from season 3, well it does not feel that way.

    • atcdave says:

      I sort of see both sides in this. I think so far, S4 has been excellent story telling and I couldn’t be happier. They are delivering the show I want to see.
      But I was so massively unhappy last season; if show had been any less to me I would have quit. I think TPTB expended every last bit of good will they had with me. I know many viewers, who were less invested than I from the start, who simply threw in the towel.
      Most of those viewers I know who quit are now back; MAINLY because of me repeating promises made by TPTB about the tone of the show being lighter and Chuck and Sarah being together this season.
      So while I’m still happy with what I’ve seen, I do worry about what those more casual fans are thinking. When I see how annoyed Jason and Timlay are it really concerns me what our ratings will be. I think TPTB may be making a planning/marketing/strategic mistake in running this sort of arc during sweeps month in particular. But if they really deliver, I mean deliver like the final arc of S2, this will be awesome. Aisle of Terror was a wonderful episode; Chuck and Sarah are a great team and couple, Linda Hamilton adds a sort of gravitas the show is often lacking, the mom story has built in drama, Timothy Dalton adds both buzz and credibility to a potentially wonderful character, and I strongly suspect even the most die hard ‘shipper will be very pleased with the way this story plays out. So I expect to be very happy over the next month. My only concern is with how many viewers we will still have.

      • timlay says:

        Hi atcdave thanks for being civil, compared to some things I have read on this board over the last day. I nearly did not bother posting. I am feeling lied and betrayed to. I will never work to save a show again like I did after chuck season 2.

        Frankly I feel TPTB have lied to me they assured us fans they would be a couple and the angst stuff was over. There would be problems but they were a couple that would not change. So hearing that I decided “oh ok .. looks like this maybe more to my liking” so faithfully i start like a idiot watching (and yes as I said last year we are neilson viewers) thinking whatever happens they are a couple not to worry the problems will come from somewhere else. To be clear I have said I want them to argue I do not want a picture post card with arguments comes passion and make up.

        However thats not what is clearly going to happen, so yeah I am not happy and no i will not vote or waste my time watching any more I will do what I did last year. Basicly I was taken for a sap last year remember “Something traumatic happens but oh its going to be cool ..”. Well actually no it wasnt sarah was stupid and vindictive.

        I do not take away that sarah was awesome in S1 and S2 but she was rubbish as one critic said she was really stupid in the first 13 episodes less spy like.

        I wanted to see a return to that but with chuck and sarah facing the world, thats what i thought we were going to get. Sadly they have decided right when the show will go into a few weeks off screen so we will not see any resolution to pull the angst card yet again. It does not matter how its that they are doing it when they said they would be a couple. I would not be surprised to hear that the thing the “shippers will not like” that magnus spoke about is a LI for chuck and/or sarah.

        I will be willing to bet the viewing figures will go down hill. Hell it could be that sarah decides she loves morgan not chuck she does have a history of falling for those she works with. I am beyond anger to be honest atcdave I am at the stage I was at 3.7 before i quit watching I am getting to the point of to hell with it, this show is not worth the time.

      • atcdave says:

        Timlay, please don’t act rashly. So far, we have an explosive situation, but not a single harsh word has been exchanged. Did you see the EPK clips available at It looks like much of the “fight” will be played for laughs, with Chuck venting to friends while Sarah is trying talk to him. I strongly believe we will know Chuck and Sarah never intend to “break-up” even as they argue over her actions and his avoidance. After ruining a mission it appears they will be professionally separated for an episode or two; but neither of them will like the idea. Don’t worry about ANYBODY’s spoilers; some people love getting ‘shippers like you and me worked up, but whatever you hear, I would BET MONEY no outside interest will ever come between Chuck and Sarah again. That would be stupid story-telling AND a bad business decision. IT WON’T HAPPEN. This will be fun, it will play more like the end of S2 and I’m sure you will have a great time if you stick it out.

        And I do understand if you won’t go out on a limb for this show again. I refused to do much for most of the off season, but they have won me back. Its okay if you are more cautious, don’t promote a show you feel disappointed in! But I bet if you stick it out you’ll be wanting to show episodes to family and friends by Christmas break!

      • timlay says:

        Your a decent guy atcdave more than some

        Yeah I am aware of that persons behaviour he, among some other cheerleaders were one of the reasons I just stopped watching they were all so dishonest about the show and how much it was rubbish. They beat up on people that were being honest about the show.

        I did see the clips yeah they looked good its afterwards I am not happy about. I have no problem with a professional split its if its a personal one so we never see them together that was a major problem in season 3. The idea of sarah running to save her man with mama would be awesome.

        I am now not going to watch the next 2 episodes I will check back after 3.9 see if its more to my liking. Its better than what I did last year I just quit out right and although I looked at reviews I just did not bother watching until the end of the season.

        I found it was actually easy to do in the end especially with what I was reading and seeing the viewing figures. Like I said I am no longer a hard core fan. The only reason I started watching was cause of the assurances of TPTB.

        There is that zombie thing starting soon.

      • herder says:

        Timlay, as I understand it you are upset with the show for what you beleive is going to happen, I am looking forward to the show because of what I beleive is going to happen. The strange thing is that we don’t beleive the same thing is going to happen and we both can’t be right. If you want to stop watching the show that is your right and perogative, but if you are going to stop, please do so based on what you have seen, not what some spoiler is hinting may happen.

        Watch the show, if it is what you fear then stop watching, the odds are you won’t be alone. Last year, I think it was Ernie or Dave, who kept on repeating that the show was a week to week contract. If the show didn’t entertain then the contract was broken and they could stop watching, evidentally many chose that route last year.

        If you decide to go that route this year all I ask is that you do that because of what you have seen, not because of what someone is saying it will be.

      • timlay says:

        Hi herder

        Sure I can see that, we are fairly sure what happens the key is are they seperated as a couple? Are they able to at least talk about things or are they seperated and we have the same old rubbish dark stuff we had last season. I still cannot watch 3.8-3.12 god they are truly the worst TV rubbish I have ever watched.

        Yeah I am on the week contract, so far they have kept me happy. Yes I would like some more heat but not if it means they split them up.

        Like I said I will check back in 3.9 and see if its to my liking or not. Not sure about 3.7 I sort of wanted a real argument chuck to step up and be the man for once but looks like it will not happen. Looks like it maybe funny, but 3.8 nah not interested sounds like a rubbish episode chuck thinks he will lose sarah surely he has to be over that she ran away with in in honeymooners gave up her career. Seriously does any of the writers watch previous seasons.

      • Merve says:

        Timlay, you shouldn’t believe everything Magnus says. I don’t believe that he willfully lies, and I’ll never accuse him of doing so, but not everything he says turns out to be true; even internal sources can be unreliable.

      • jason says:

        timlay – I think that weekly contract is a great idea, and as much as I did not like the ending of 4.6, the rest of 4.6 was pretty good (except for the lab gas III scene). I would also encourage you to keep watching, I think 4.7 is going to be pretty good also.

      • timlay says:

        Merve thanks for the comment apparently our friendly cheerleader thinks we are all idiots and dumb.

    • jason says:

      joseph, if season 3 had not happened, my reaction to 4.6 would not have been anything, I would have hardly noticed it. You know, 2.22 could have been followed by 3.14 in some Fedak universe, if so, 4.6 would not have bothered me.

      Unfortunately, I exist in a universe where 3.1 thru 3.12 do exist, and I now have a very low tolerance for no win obstacles being placed to keep chuck and sarah apart.

      • jason says:

        joseph, just to add, I read an interview with the guy writer of the writing team, rafe judkins his name????, anyhow, he sort of slipped up and said something like – if season 3’s issues did not happen, we probably wouldn’t have done the remaining S3 eps and season 4 the way we did, so maybe shaw was a blessing’ – those were not his words but my spin of them, then he sort of said, well, maybe not, after he said it, but I think there might be some truth to it.

        I am alot older than many of you, one thing I spend no time is worry about if I had done this, or that better, because you just never know what the chain of events that improving one thing might set off – for old star trek fans – I call it the ‘Edith Kieller conundrum’ – which pretty much gives away in what era I was a nerd

      • atcdave says:

        My own experience with creating fiction has had more to do with gaming than screen-writing; but there’s no escaping the truth that what you’ve done, can certainly limit your options with what you do next. Its sort of the nature of the beast. I imagine its particularly frustrating when the issues have more to do with audience reaction than internal realities; doubly so since they have to “fix” problems that weren’t their own doing. Its hard to know what Chuck would look like today if S3 had been better conceived, but I am glad we’ve avoided a “Smallville”-like wt/wt that is only finally being resolved in S10.

        And you’re not that much older. I remember first run of Star Trek: TOS, I just wasn’t quite old enough to know I was a nerd yet! And as alluded to earlier, I well remember all night D&D sessions without a computer in sight.

  14. Anon says:

    I think Prague storyline was believable.We knew Sarah’s motivations and hopes but Chuck didn’t. Even after Barstow,she told him she was leaving for another assignment. Why? “To save the world”-Chuck’s words-. So he tried to be that guy for her. The seeds were there before s3.

    But the way they went about it,was frustrating.Red test and the lack of mention of it to Chuck by Sarah,is obviously something for the sake of the plot development.

    Essentially, Chuck became Bryce at the beginning of s3.He had to kiss Sarah when they were in a bad place. He danced with Sarah when he had to sneak looks at her.

    They worked together and shared smiles when they were successful during a mission. But after that Sarah immediately became guarded.

    That’s the story of Bryce and Sarah in season 1 and season 2. Who do you choose? The guy you spent at least 3 years with? Or the asset who can never be part of your world even though you love him? At the end of the season 1,Sarah chose safety and clean slate of Chuck.

    Parallels. TPTB seem to be obsessed with them.Of course,Chuck got through to her and connected with her even more than Bryce.

    So when Prague happened,Sarah reacted way worse.TPTB pulled all the stops to up the angst but, considering the situations Sarah and Chuck were put in,they were in character.

    I don’t like some parts of the season 3 due to TPTB’s setting of the events.And angst.

    BTW,i don’t recommend relationship drama in a spy series. Buffy did that and the show went sour imo. Let’s have work related drama not a soap opera. MamaB causing problems?Perfectly plausible.

  15. herder says:

    Odd night for Chuck promotion on Sunday night football, two Chuck promos pointing out that Timothy Dalton shows up on Monday, that is to the good (no promos for Parenthood, Undercovers or the Apprentice so you can guess where they fit in NBC’s priorities). Loads of promos for the Women of SNL Monday after Chuck, sort of a mild plus. A promo for Monday night football on ESPN!!! Promoting the competition, WTF, why not have ads for House, HIMYM or DWTS too.

    • atcdave says:

      I also just saw the two promos. But I liked hearing Chuck mentioned every time “The Women of SNL” was plugged. I didn’t see a MNF preview, could that have just been in your market? If you’re in Indy or Houston we’ve seen local NBC affiliates have broadcast rights for this before. It does always seem strange though with ESPN being owned by ABC. Or maybe the NFL bought the time.

      • herder says:

        Although I live in Canada we get the NBC affiliate from Boston, it could be an NFL properties thing but it just seemed really odd seeing an ad for a competing network on an NBC feed.

  16. DaveB says:

    WDWDTWD? Way down deep in the heart and soul of each of us is a reason that we do what we do. The old saw of “know thyself” is aimed directly at that little kernal of Why Do We Do The Things We Do.

    Secondary to “know thyself” is “know thy mate.” Chuck and Sarah have been getting to know each other for 4 years now, and I think are about to make a deep dive into just who the other is.

    The funny thing is, I think Sarah has a better view of who both she herself and Chuck are than Chuck does.

    • jason says:

      DaveB – seems like since 4.1 chuck is being written like a basket case, I consider the entire series to be a parody of drama, and chuck the character to be dick van dyke from the 60’s, so I liked it, but if you are trying to find drama from the show chuck, the writing has got to be getting on your nerves, most of season 4, till maybe parts ep 4.6.

      Sarah on the other hand, is being written morgan like, a cartoon character, exceptin her case warrior goddess with near infintie wisdom, courage, and love for ‘her hapless chuck’.

      Much of my debating what seems like 90% of the board on 4.6’s end, is my contention that the average fan out there does not see all these deep character conventions that are being assigned to each chuck / sarah nod and wink, and by and large enjoy seeing the hapless fellow and the hot blond sometimes near naked goddess on an comedic adventure.

  17. herder says:

    Under the “take it for what it is worth” category, Daniel Fienberg (hitfix) has tweeted that this is easily the best episode of the year so far. Sepinwall has also tweeted that this is a very good episode and JS has called it his favorite episode in two years.

    • atcdave says:

      Hmmm, interesting “two years” distinction. I don’t think my taste and JS’ align all that much (okay, apart from the little thing of him creating my favorite show ever), but the outside verification is encouraging.

  18. thinkling says:

    Thanks Herder. All encouraging words appreciated!!

  19. herder says:

    A dumb question, but if NBC is showing “the women of SNL” and one of those women is guest starring on the show immediately before it, don’t you think that it would make sense to mention that? Unless Anna Gastheyer is doing a Balki style guest appearance (blink and you may miss it).

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