Beyond the Limits

Ernie’s fantastic summary and excellent explanation of Fear of Death made me think about our heroes, their actions and reactions, the balance and complementarity of their relationship.

Do they still have some issues about being a spy couple. Oh yeah, but they’re real and dramatic, and show us both the tragic and heroic parts of our heroes while keeping them both who they are, and people we can root for. ~ Ernie Davis

This is great drama … genuine conflict that comes from the heart of our heroes. It doesn’t diminish them or demean them. It makes them real.

I think sometimes the tragic and heroic are two sides of the same coin. The best and most heroic aspects of Chuck & Sarah and their love for each other must work in harmony or things turn tragic, and their relationship and partnership are compromised … like trying to use half a pair of scissors.

Protector Sarah. Her love for Chuck and her desire to protect him go to together. Protecting him was at first just a part of her job (Helicopter, for example). As she fell in love with him, it became an acceptable expression of a forbidden love and later went well beyond the call of duty (Marlin, Santa Claus, Colonel). Now it is a constitutional part of her love for him, quite apart from her duty as his CIA partner. Chuck interprets her protection as a lack of belief in him. Rather it is her belief in him, her love for him, and her need for him that manifests itself in trying to protect him. Chuck needs to recognize it as such, because refusing her protection is living with only part of her love.

What about Hero Chuck? Sarah inspired both his love and his inner hero. At some point they became integrally bound. (If I had to pick a moment, I would say at the end of Ring when he uploaded the 2.0.) It’s interesting that the picture she focused on in the last scene was the one from Sandworm. That mission gave us the emerging, unlikely hero with a dangerous capacity for trust and self-sacrifice … the hero Sarah was falling for, the one she described to Ellie, “He probably wouldn’t admit it, but your brother is kind of a hero.” It’s a real catch 22 for her. She cannot separate the hero from the man, not even to keep him safe, because then he wouldn’t be the man she fell for, the one who began rescuing her the moment he rescued a certain ballerina. She needs Chuck the Hero, but she needs him alive.

So, why does she ask him not to be a hero; and why does he refuse her protection? This episode shows us. Most couples have His & Hers matching T-shirts or coffee mugs. Not our Chuck & Sarah. They have His & Hers matching Fear-of-Death. The one fear that trumps all others, the fear they cannot and will not face is death … each of the other. So, rather than allowing each other to risk death, they each resist the part of the other that puts him or her at risk. She says, “Chuck, don’t. Don’t be a hero. Just come home safe to me.” In going with Rye, he eschews her protection, “Let’s be heroes”. It’s a blind spot that prevents each of them from the full enjoyment of the other’s love and the benefit of their complementary strengths. The Hero needs the Protector. The Woman needs the Hero.

Season 4 has explored these themes in Anniversary, Suitcase, Couch Lock, Aisle of Terror, and First Fight; but with the Intersect AWOL, these back-burner issues became the focus in the quest to restore the Intersect.

So, what’s the solution? Well, we all know what it’s not. It’s not a team of scientists, a bucket of water, and a Video marathon. It’s not a CIA, Psy-ops PhD with a penchant for pain, fear, and danger. It’s not dangling 200 feet above rocky death with a lunatic all but dancing on your fingers and crowing, “Flash or die!”

In truth, the Intersect solution is probably in a ’68 Mustang with blue leather seats, but no one could have known that.

So Chuck & Sarah were pushed … pushed by loss … pushed by emotion … pushed by circumstances … pushed by other people. They were pushed to the point of breaking, pushed beyond their limits. There they will be tested as never before. I predict that there, beyond their limits, our heroes will draw new strength from the untapped reserves of their love and return stronger than before with a greater understanding of what it means to give and receive love.

The solution to many problems isn’t a new lesson, but a deeper understanding of a lesson we’ve learned before. Like a cone intersecting a plain, as our understanding of a lesson deepens, its application in our life broadens. So we will be better prepared tomorrow than we were yesterday to face life’s challenges.

It is the same for Chuck …

Well, I’m glad I have you. Chuck, Gravitron

But I do need her! I love her, and I’d rather love Sarah than have the Intersect. Chuck, Fear of Death

and Sarah …

Yeah, we’re better as a team. Sarah, Gravitron

I need him to be OK. I love him. Sarah, Tooth

I’m gonna go find Chuck. Sarah, Fear of Death

I’m different without Chuck – and I don’t like it. Sarah, Phase Three Promo #2 (added after the initial post)

Thinkling’s thoughts.

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About thinkling

In my [younger] youth, I was a math teacher, basketball coach, and computer programmer. In 1984, we moved to Brazil, where we serve as missionaries. I like to design things and build things, read things and write things. We now live part-time in Brazil, part-time in the US. Love them both. Wife, 37 yrs; mom, 30 yrs. I am blessed.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Inside Chuck, Inside Sarah, Observations, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Beyond the Limits

  1. Ernie Davis says:

    Loved this piece Thinkling. Sarah IS still protecting Chuck’s blind spot, and protecting Chuck, despite the potentially devastating consequences she faces by either doing so, or not. The no-win in Aisle of Terror is still there, haunting her. Both of them actually. Chuck can’t ask for her trust and for her to believe in him, yet refuse to believe she has his best interest at heart. But at the same time he knows he is her blind spot. It is wonderful drama that comes from characters who feel real and feel like they matter. They are people you want to root for, even when they seem at odds.

    Season 4 is GENIUS!

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Ernie. Sarah is in a really tough spot. It’s easy to criticize, but when his life is truly in danger, needlessly, she is right. Had he tried the heroics of Anniversary or Suitcase without the Intersect he would already be dead. She knows this. So what is she supposed to do? … we’re about to find out. 🙂

  2. atcdave says:

    Wow we got a double today. Excellent post. A huge part of the appeal of the show is two characters who are so fundamentally heroic and in love that they will stop at nothing to protect each other.

  3. joe says:

    Sarah inspired both his love and his inner hero. At some point they became integrally bound. (If I had to pick a moment, I would say at the end of Ring when he uploaded the 2.0.)

    Of course I’m totally inspired by this wonderful, almost tangential thought of yours! Please let me add another moment when Sarah inspired Chuck’s inner hero. It was in Suburbs, when Chuck (still half in a stupor from being unconscious moments earlier) looked at Sarah in full view of the Fulcrum agents and said “Close your eyes.” Then he took her head to shield her eyes from their Intersect.

    And yet another. At the end of Best Friend Sarah is on shaky ground and more than a bit lost in an uncomfortable world she barely understands. It’s the world of Chuck, his family, his best friend, and she has no idea how to cope. I don’t really have anyone in my life like that who cares about me. she says.

    Yeah, you do. is the heroic response.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I still see the hand holding at the end of Best Friends as one of the top 3 episode ending scenes.

    • thinkling says:

      I love both those scenes, Joe.

      • kg says:

        Yes, and might I add the closing scene from Seduction?

        The last thing Chuck wanted to do or even believed he could do was jump off the roof of the Buy More. But he also knew if he didn’t, Sasha was going to kill Sarah. Hero/lover Chuck simply could not have any of that.

      • joe says:

        Great choice, kg. But I’ll tell ya, Chuck coming to the conclusion that he would *die* for Sarah, and saying so to Roan, was it for me. That was the decision point!

      • thinkling says:

        Agree with you two. That was such a good episode … for both the Lover and the Hero. The well reasoned “yes” of the Lover gave way to the Hero’s leap from the building when saving Sarah left him no other choice.

        It’s also an episode (one of many) in which Chuck protests the notion that he is a real spy.

        Roan says, “Now that’s what I call a real spy.” I think that’s what Sarah would call a Real Hero.

        It’s Chuck’s heart, who he is at the core of his being, that makes him a hero. Nothing can change that. It’s the Intersect that makes him a spy. The spy aspect of Chuck is less important to Sarah. Chuck doesn’t understand that there is a difference. He needs a place to hang his Hero hat. That’s why being a spy is essential to him. Perhaps Sarah doesn’t understand that.

        Oh, and that episode? It’s the one when the picture was taken … the one that Sarah keeps in her suitcase at all times. (at least according to clothing) 🙂

      • kg says:

        Excellent Joe. I concur unequivically. Seduction had been my favorite episode for so long and offhand the only ones that might compete with it are Other Guy and Honeymooners.

        Roan, like Carina, was an outstanding guest character. He certainly pushed some buttons didn’t he? I know I’ve used that conversation you alluded to, the one Chuck and Roan had in the courtyard after Sasha captured Sarah and Casey, in previous posts.

        Roan certainly noticed the genuine feelings and passion our heroes displayed in the “show me” kiss. He knew Chuck was in love with Sarah, so he posed the question directly. “Is she worth dieing for?” And Chuck, with nary a hesitation, answered with an affirmitive yes. Then, faced with a difficult decision, his head might have said no, but his heart conveyed a resounding YES and he leapt off the roof for his girl.

        As you say, Joe, a defining “decision point” for Chuck and then a dangerous act of pure love to prove it true.

        Roan also realized correctly that Sarah was equally in love with Chuck. And he called her on it in the van. And naturally, she did not like it.

  4. Anon says:

    “Most couples have His & Hers matching T-shirts or coffee mugs. Not our Chuck & Sarah. They have His & Hers matching Fear-of-Death.”

    LOL. They are really not normal 😛

  5. jason says:

    castle continues to bang out boilerplate episodes each and every week, I hope they never put them together, but they seemingly are inching closer and closer each week. No ordinary family had its first cringeworthy moment for me this week, it took undercovers about 5 minutes of ep 1 to get there. But for those who haven’t tried it, check out human target, they brought in matt miller, and he retooled it, I thought it was awesome, they had no regular female character, this season they brought in two, a sarah-like character at age 18 and a wealthy lady whose life they saved who offers to bankroll their operation, she and the lead have ‘it’, you can see ‘it’. How much of that ‘it’ factor, that chemistry, is acting, how much is writing I wonder????

    • atcdave says:

      I gave up on Human Target quickly last season. I knew about Matt Miller and was meanng to give it another chance, I guess I still have to do that.

      I’m enough of a romantic that I do want to see Castle and Becket together, but I’m in no hurry. That pacing there seems plenty relaxed, for now I’m okay with it coming in the theoretical future. Besides, they both have significant others for now.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, same here. The thing that’s nice about Castle is that the SO’s aren’t ever around, so they don’t bother me.

      • atcdave says:

        Exactly Thinkling. The show is still about Castle and Becket’s relationship, even if for now, it’s just platonic. That way it doesn’t disrupt the chemistry or even the feel of the show so much. Trying to make Shaw (and Hannah a little) a part of the central story was among the major problems of Chuck S3.

      • thinkling says:

        Same with Bones. That would be my one complaint about the way they’ve done Chuck, with all the multiple break-ups and OLI’s.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Bones was good enough but the way they’d jerk you around thinking somone was going to get together burnt me out on it along with the destruction of Angela’s character. I didn’t mind the way they had Zack be the serial killer’s apprentice because not only was there the chance he had ptsd making him more susceptable but he was a character you could easily imagine him being turned around by a strong personality, Plus he was basically caught because when he tried to destroy evidence he set it to blow but Hodges was too close and he got in the way and got hurt to protect his friend . Plus that line later where told Sweets that he didn’t kill the man but he would go to prison if he wasn’t thought of as crazy and Hodges told him he wouldn’t do well in prison .

        The character they completely ruined was Angel. First she “forgot” she was already married and later when Cam slept with her soon to be ex husband she got jealous and then Hodges got jealous over her jealousy (whichmade sense) and she got mad because of that and dumped him (which didn’t make sense) . Later she remet a woman whose heart she shatterred in college and when comtemplating getting back together with her (Roxie) she was worried about her taking a chance not Roxie. And she said that the 6 weeks since she broke up with Hodges was the longest she’d been without sex since she was 16 and that she’d been in love with everyone she slept with . Apparantly she falls in and out of love very quick. All that was pretty much a character killer but later after Roxie broke up with (You go girl!Good on you Roxie) she consoled herself what looked like an hour later by sleeping with Hodges who was still in love with her. I stopped paying attention after that. And I really wanted to like Angela so all this annoyed me no end , she seemed like such a wonderful character at first , a great contrast to Bones non emotiveness .

      • joe says:

        Heh! Tamara, I’ve given up on Bones more because of what they did to Zack than what they did to Angela! What she did seemed total in character. For Zach, it was almost the same as having Morgan turn out to be Fulcrum or something on that order.

        But both of that has been secondary to the stagnant nature of the Bones-Booth relationship. I’ve only seen the show in reruns, and it just doesn’t matter which episode you watch, it’s always the same with them. And about 1/3 the time one or the other is dating someone else. Sigh.

        The one that’s got me mystified is Leonard and Penny on TBBT. I was surprised that they got together, and surprised that it worked exceptionally well. Then I was surprised that were together for the better part of last season, then broken up. And (yes, you guessed it), after yesterday’s episode I’m surprised that they’re *still* apart.

        I have never been able to get the right feel for that romance, and as much as I like the comedy (and I really, really do like the comedy), it’ll always be a lightweight show in my mind because of it.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Actually Zack was such an oddball that I could see him being subverted into thinking a seriel killer was right but even so he still let himself be hurt to protect Hodges.Plus there’s the possible ptsd.So it was at least semi plausible.

        Angela OTOH hand came off as a little flaky at first but when they did all I menationed she actually came off as callous and heartless. I do not like callous and heartless.

        And the major jerking around as to the Bones/Booth relationship got tiring after a while. I was willing to hang on anyway because of the secondary characters but then they ruined Angela for me. Doing that to her on top of making Zack a killer (even with it being semi plausible ) was the end.

        And I like Penny and Leonard in TBBT. Wierdly enoughly you can see something of Sarah in her way of dating guys she knows aren’t worth the effort(like Shaw) . Basically the good looking and dumb are her usual choice. I think the last two eps show they might get together again a little older and wiser on both parts . Penny can no longer date guys just for thier looks so she’s either getting ready or is ready for a relationship that is more than shallow and when she was asked how would she feel if she was ready and Leonard had moved on , she left the room.

    • JC says:

      Funny you should mention Human Target Jason. I loved it last season but I’m really not liking the direction Miller is taking the show. They completely ignored the finale from last season. The new female cast members are OK. The younger one is pure eye candy and the heiress was great on Rome but I already see them setting a romance up between her and Chance which I don’t want. The biggest mistake was replacing Bear McCreary with Tim Jones. His score is so out of place on the show.

  6. PeterOinNJ says:

    Great post thinkling – and now you have a new Sarah quote to add to the above, courtesy of the new promo:
    “I’m different without Chuck – and I don’t like it.”

    I certainly would call that “a deeper understanding of a lesson we’ve learned before.”

    • thinkling says:

      You’re right Peter. By Monday, we may have a lot more quotes 🙂

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I think that’s very indicative that Sarah’s been doing some self analysis during the non action times. I like it!

    • thinkling says:

      Tamara, I think Sarah does a lot of internal processing. She decides to unpack, decides she’s not at all like Heather any more, decides she wants to marry Chuck. And I think she’s known for a long time the difference Chuck makes in her. Of course since they’ve been together the difference is even more pronounced … it’s stunning. It was really good to hear her say it though. I can’t wait to see the context, the whole episode actually.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Anytime something like that is said out loud it makes it more real and is integrated more into thier daily lives.

        This makes me wonder , in season 3 was it just Chuck that Sarah was terrified was changing or herself as well? And if it was herself was she worried that she was changing into a different person than she had been all along open to the joys and the pains in life or was she worried that she was turning back into pre Chuck Sarah with Shaw being a big sign that she was doing this because he was the same type of guy she’d always gone with?

        Though if Shaw was a sign that she was turning back into that Sarah (Heather Chandler like) then why didn’t she run screaming from Shaw? Or was pre Chuck Sarah’s habits so blindly followed (like orders) that she clung to Shaw until something massive shook her out of it?

        Like for instance Chuck saving Shaw in American Hero and saying Shaw would do the same for him which she knew wasn’t true due to Shaw willingness to blow Chuck up over some discs in the Beard.

        I love Season 4 . It’s everything that season 3 should have been but wasn’t.

      • thinkling says:

        @Tamara:
        Here’s my brief, OK semi-brief, take on those questions.

        I think the spy world deadened a part of Sarah that was pure and innocent, perhaps making her feel undeserving and incapable of the kind of normal life that Chuck enjoyed. It probably started long before the red test, but that was the final blow.

        But then she walked into the Buymore, and that inner part of her responded to Chuck. Just by being himself, he began massaging feeling back into the numb parts of her life. She started becoming a real person again, feeling things she hasn’t felt before, and longing for a life she thought she’d never deserve or have.

        When Chuck wanted to become a spy, she feared Chuck would similarly lose himself; and feared that if he did, she would lose herself all over again.

        Watching what she believed was Chuck’s impending destruction and knowing she was partly to blame was just too much for her. At that point it was easiest to divest and detach. So, she retreated into the spy life and settled for a spy relationship to numb her regrets and silence her desires. She regressed back to the only life she thought she deserved or could have.

        I don’t think it’s a good story or a convincing one. It was flawed and OOC. Then to make matters worse, it dragged out 11 episodes with nary a clue to explain Sarah’s bizarre behavior. Others will see it differently, but I think that’s the story that was being told.

        I think some of the issues were worth exploring, and so the major themes I keep in the back of my mind (like the different perspectives of the spy world that C/S have). But mostly it’s a story I try to forget, treat as an anomaly. I loving season 4 too much to look back at the season of our discontent.

  7. Amrit says:

    I think that an episode like this can seem like a retread of season 3 at the end, like many of the early season 4 episodes. but here’s the thing that I agree with on this blog, season 3.01 to 3.13 sucked the fun out of the chuck experience sooooo bad that they had to throw in all happy times from 3.14 to 3.19.

    If they could do it again, they would have explored the relationship better, like they are doing now, but at the time they could not risk it, fans had lost patience in a big way and so I have no problem with them retreading some of the things they glossed over in the end of season 3 (because they were in fixer mode at that point, for example sarah moving in should have been a bigger deal then what role models showed).

    Now we come to this episode, I see this kind of the same as first class where sarah is worried sick about chuck, but an episode like this may look the same but you can use it to guage how the characters now feel about each other. Sarah still loves chuck now like in first class but because she has moved in with him, said I love you, I want to marry you, your my home, your my chuck, etc. She is far less willing to let him do a crazy mission with a crazy agent and die. Did what she say to him when they were conferenceing harsh and wrong at the time? probably, but here is the thing, as I wrote in my previous posting chuck has this ability to let things go, and he did, by the time of the gondola scene, he said if it is a choice between being a spy or sarah, he chooses sarah. He has forgiven her and if fans really think he should be still angry and upset then fans do not understand who ultimately chuck bartowski is as a human being. Casey was a lot more flippant about chuck being in danger in first class, now he is a lot more respectful and feeling to chuck and sarah and thoughtful in what he say’s, for both sarah and casey this is progress. Where first class was about chuck, this episode was about them.

    • thinkling says:

      Nice distinction, Amrit. You’re right about Chuck’s capacity to forgive. It’s one of the things that makes him great. But I love the gondola scene for another reason, too.

      I think it remains clear that both Chuck & Sarah, if forced to choose, would choose each other over the spy life. Honeymooners laid that foundation. In a way, Sarah has already chosen Chuck over the spy life … when she unpacked (keeping a suitcase packed symbolized being ready for the next mission, being a spy first — they even said so), when she decided she wasn’t like Heather at all, and when she decided definitively that she wanted to marry Chuck. She is still a spy, but she has chosen Chuck over that. She did it again at the end of First Fight. And it looks like she’s going to do it again when she goes rogue in Phase Three. Chuck reaffirmed that choice while hanging from the gondola.

      This is where they need to be. Their love for each other and their life together must come first. Then they can still be spies, really great spies. But if they don’t land on this page together, then you get the Frost/Orion story. And we definitely don’t want that for Chuck & Sarah.

      • kg says:

        Right guys.

        Chuck has forgiven her already, and when he’s rescued or if Sarah is captured and he then finds a real reason to flash in order to save her, we can already imagine Chuck apologizing to Sarah 100 times and admitting she was right and he was wrong. And then going home all happy for Leftovers.

    • atcdave says:

      Some really good comments Amrit. I like your point about the parallel to First Class; and I certainly agree about the time spent in fixer mode. Chuck does have a great capacity to forgive, it’s one of his more appealing characteristics. You ever notice Sarah is really quite good at that too? At least where Chuck is concerned, and it probably doesn’t figure all that strongly into her self image either!

      • Amrit says:

        I think what best defines there relationship in this episode is before and after switzerland. When agent Rye broke into the bedroom both said what are you doing in our bedroom and our house/home. Afterwards general beckman said go home, and she went to find chuck, because that apartment is not home to sarah without chuck, she went to find her home (chuck) so that she could feel safe and comfortable and at home agan (suitcase).

      • thinkling says:

        Brilliant Amrit! Very nicely said.

        Phase Three promo #2 tells us she also went to find herself.

      • thinkling says:

        You ever notice that Sarah is really quite good at [forgiving] too? At least where Chuck is concerned

        Seldom … uh, almost never … acknowledged, but very true. Nice catch.

      • kg says:

        Well done Amrit. Beautiful catch. It’s not her home without Chuck. And they both used “our” in dealing with Rye.

  8. Amrit says:

    Actually the only thing about this show that is really starting to grate on me is the buymore! Jeff, lester and big mike need to be gone. I mean having the buymore around makes morgan regress! I mean he should have taken a firm stance with them and said you either leave gretta alone or I fire you both! I mean come on! Morgan has been so awesome this season and as soon as he has to do a buymore scene it damages his character, time for buymore to be gone and soon, blow it up!

    • thinkling says:

      … again. 😉

      • Amrit says:

        Yes again! There is no use for it anymore, chuck and morgan are spies and pretty awesome ones at that! Jeffster and big mike were good 2 years ago but the best episodes are ones that they are not in, do you see a trend here…………

      • Anon says:

        Jeffster is fun,imo. They wake up in the best dumpsters in the city 😛

        Chuck’s world,from what saw in the last 2 episodes, is too dangerous for Morgan.In fact,we are gonna learn if spy world is too dangerous for Chuck next episode.

        Personally i liked Orange Orange and Buy more plots can be fun. IF they are written well.

      • thinkling says:

        No, no. I mean … yes, yes. I was agreeing with you, Amrit. By all means blow it up … again.

        Or … since a major CIA base is underneath it, just reassign everyone, like they did Tang, and leave it there as nothing but an outer office for Castle. They could create some other funny characters in the form of bumbling spy underlings posing as Buymore employees or even a Moneypenny and a Q working right there in the Buymore. But they have pumped every last drop of funny out of Jeff and Lester, and they’ve hit boring, creepy, and annoying. Time to close that well.

        Actually I’d prefer that the time currently consumed by the Buymore be spent on family stuff … Alex, Ellie & Devon, Bartowski dinners, Ellie & Sarah, the Bartowski women trio, etc.

      • thinkling says:

        Ok, I did like the dumpster remark and this week with Summer Glau was OK, but in general the scarce moments of fun are not worth all the not-fun it takes to get to them.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m also mostly tired of Buy More, but I try to make my peace with it. I’m pretty sure it’s considered a signature part of the show and will never be allowed to go away. Well, maybe if the show ever changes networks, but I think that’s the only way.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think money wise it is cheap to have a set that they can use to cut costs but it still sucks

      • luckygirl says:

        I think the buy more plots are also where they stick most of the much appreciated product placement.

      • JC says:

        I don’t think you have to get rid of the BuyMore completely but you need to get Chuck out of there. That aspect of the show limits his character. At this point in the show Big Mike and Jeffster should be recurring characters only. Keep Morgan and Casey there for covers but the BuyMore should be limited in it’s appearances.

      • Merve says:

        I’ve resigned myself to the fact that we’re never going to return to the glory days of Lester as assistant manager, but I think that involving Chuck in a Buy More plot, if only peripherally, might make the store seem more relevant. It also might help to use Big Mike more and to let Jeff and Lester be Jeff and Lester instead of a two-headed sexual harassment monster.

      • herder says:

        The weird thing is that I thought that one of the things that Undercovers lacked is the equivalent of a Buy More to provide a breather from the spy story. For that reason I think that it still has a place in the story.

      • Merve says:

        I agree, herder. Chuck needs the Buy More. I see it as a sort of shorthand for “Chuck has a normal life.” If the show gets rid of the Buy More, then it gets rid of the notion that Chuck must balance his normal life and his spy life, unless, of course, there’s a significant increase in “family time.”

        On a more superficial level, the ludicrous premise that an electronics store clerk moonlights as a spy is part of the show’s appeal. It’s also why I’m kind of sad that they’ve gotten rid of the Orange Orange. There doesn’t always have to be a big B-plot involving the Buy More, but seeing Chuck there from time to time is nice.

  9. kg says:

    Herder you don’t think Steven and Sam’s catering business/kitchen is a suitable equivalent to the Buy More?

    Sam’s competent, but clueless sister (like Ellie) when it comes to all their “trips” to San Francisco disguised as missions?

    • Merve says:

      Unfortunately, the show didn’t spend enough time at the catering business for the audience to care about it. Plus, Lizzy was really, really, really, really annoying.

      • kg says:

        Fair enough. CHUCK devotes so much more air time to the Buy More than Undercovers does to the kitchen.

      • jason says:

        lizzy really reminded me of morgan, I can put up with annoying female characters more than male I guess?

        If it did cobblestone things together from chuck, it did it sort of oddly – no yin and yang among the two leads, they were like 2 bryces, not even 2 sarahs (i.e. complicated) – the undercovers leads were just ‘too cool for school’ cool.

        I was shocked when the first ep did both a sexpionage ep with the lady lead, as well as told us the lady lead was the ex – bf of their partner, it was taking the cringeworthy stuff from chuck, and starting that way – not smart?

  10. Faith says:

    Finally had a moment to read some great pieces. I want to thank you thinkling for the post. You really put it out there for me to really buy in this whole “don’t be a hero concept.” (Not that I didnt before its just clearer now.)

    You also made me realize just how much she really put in to unpacking…all the things that have gone on since anniversary have built up to this.

    You’re so right it’s not about him not being a spy or a hero, it’s about her and her fear of losing him. On the boards there’s this overall perception that fear of death isn’t really about Chuck and Riggle but Sarah. This was in a way a Sarah centric episode.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Faith. I’m just now seeing your reply. For some reason I didn’t get these by e-mail.

      Things have built up. She’s really put herself out there in a new vulnerability. She’s sort of dangling above her own rocks emotionally. Hmm, wish I’d thought of that b4 the post.

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