Quick! Don’t Think… React!
Did it grab you? Did it leave you cold? Confused? Wanting more or “meh?”
Did you find yourself screaming “PINEAPPLE!“? This is the place to tell us, and maybe even tell us why, if you can. No opinion is a wrong opinion.
We’ll be along later this evening trying to describe what we felt, trying desperately not to step on our Internet toes as we commit our thoughts to bits and bytes for all of posterity to see and for your amusement and amazement.
Please check back, refresh the page and look for updates. They’ll be below the fold.
What Joe Learned
In the last hour, I learned more about Sarah Walker than I have in three and a half seasons. Agent Walker was Langston Graham’s enforcer? That tells me a whole lot, much more than I even knew before. Without Chuck she is different (“And I don’t like it!”) And without Chuck, “I am nothing but a spy,” she says. After last week, those words and the way they were delivered were more effective to me than anything I could have imagined.
Yvonne Strahovski has just shown me her best work.
The entire cast, with perhaps only the exception of Zac (who got to sit there, reclined, with his eyes closed almost throughout) were dramatically effective, even (and especially!) Jeff and Lester in the dream sequences.
I could imagine someone thinking that there was too much of that fight scene, especially coupled with the night-jungle scene with Sarah rising from the water like Rambo. No, no I can’t. Like usual, I thought the choreography of the fight was spectacular.
Now, for those who have not seen it yet, what follows IS a spoiler, so avert your eyes until the next paragraph.
Chuck’s proposal is something I will have to think about. It wasn’t, and it was. I mean, Sarah accepted, but Chuck has yet to officially ask, which is very, very Chuck like, but certainly not anything like a perfect, dream-scenario proposal like fans would be imagining for Sarah. I don’t know what to make of it just yet, but we’ll see if this isn’t precisely the kind of do-over that we’ve seen in another context.
Lastly, I will say that I’m not troubled by Chuck’s seeming recovery after being “lobotomised”. I really can understand if someone complains that they strained credibility too far in that regard, but to that, I say “Com’mon. This is Chuck. He’s ‘special’ and that’s the way it is.”
Wow! Wow! WOW! That’s my quick take on Chuck vs. Phase 3. Colonel and Honeymooners will always have a special place for me, but this might be my favorite episode ever. So much fun. Yvonne deserves an Emmy. Yeah I know it will never happen; but HOLY SMOKES! We saw Sarah in tears, happy, and ready to kill; all in 43 minutes of television. We learned a lot about Sarah’s growth over four seasons, and have even seen it in the last few weeks. Remember Suitcase? Can you believe that was only 6 episodes ago? Sarah panicked about the idea of marriage; now we know, and Chuck knows, Sarah is just waiting for him to figure out how he wants to do it (maybe “Chuck vs. the Balcony”?). There is so much to consider about Sarah this time. I remember being disappointed when we heard there would be no Sarah back story episodes this season; maybe not, but this sure was a Sarah story. I never believed she was a reckless enforcer character, but now we’re learning she truly had a fearsome reputation before Chuck ruined/saved her.
And I don’t want to forget Chuck was in a pretty scary position here. We’d been pondering all week if Chuck would be without memories for an extended period. Looks like we worried over nothing, but its one case where I think our speculation actually enhanced the viewing experience; I was tense! It was great seeing him with nothing left except Sarah. And it sure seems like she put all his fears to rest from last week. She doesn’t see being a spy as something worth aspiring to; after all, without Chuck that’s all she is. At the same time she seems well pleased for his value to be appreciated by the General.
Morgan was perfectly used as the comic relief this week. I have no complaints. I loved his scene with Sarah, and the things he witnessed… have I said wow?
The “B” plot was short and not very distracting. It was funny how the Buy Morons are so eager to exploit; and Devon is such a nice sap! I suppose I could have done without this story, but it was good for a few laughs. And obviously we’re setting something up. What is on the computer? Will Ellie become an Intersect? Or does the computer just contain the key to restoring it in Chuck?
This is now officially my favorite season. Many of you know I was a huge S2 fan, and I always will be. That’s when I first became completely hooked on this show. But S4 is becoming what I always wanted the show to be. (um, I do reserve the right to change my mind if they do something stupid! But I’m feeling pretty good right now that won’t happen).
Ernie’s lame attempt at instant reactions.
I don’t do instant well apparently.
Don’t think, react. But I can’t help thinking that this is Chuck firing on all cylinders. We have amazing drama, romance, action and yes, comedy, in both the A and B plots. I’m a little blown away. When Chuck works at it’s best, and this is an example, it works on every level.
And I can’t shake the feeling that the writers and TPTB have been reading a few blogs and some fanfic lately.
OK, so off the top, the funniest and most disturbing use of the Buy More crew so far. Lester might not have been the right choice, and Awesome’s sacrifice is on par with Sarah’s. OK, maybe more.
I will not mention the Hero’s Journey. I will not mention the Hero’s Journey. OK, I fold. Sarah is on it this season, and it’s on steroids. But that is stewing about in the left brain, we’re doing right brain tonight.
So here’s the thing. My first reaction. Great episode. Why? Great drama, romance, action. The Chuck dream scenes were maybe a bit long, but I understand.
Nope, I don’t do first reaction well. Everything I want to react to brings up several new trains of thought that I want to explore at length. So I’ll close.
Loved it. Great on virtually every level. Yvonne, what can you say. We all wanted to see a Sarah meltdown, not out of malice, but because the meltdown lets you see the person. And it was … moving and illuminating.
Chuck got beat up, but fared well. He’s more clever than we thought. It’s pretty clear he brought up uncomfortable discussions with your sleeping partner, then reaped the benefits of faking it (sleeping that is). He was gonna rock Sarah’s world, and god bless him for it. And now, we the fans know it’s coming, and like Sarah, are on the edge of our seats waiting to see how he pulls it off.
But here’s the thing. Chuck is a smart guy. He knew he was in a dream every time someone asked him to flash. His answer was always “I can’t, and you know that”, because the people who knew him, and knew of the intersect knew that fact, and others like Lester and perhaps Ellie would not know what flash meant, and Chuck would know he was in a dream. He only knew Sarah was real when she didn’t ask him to flash, but talked about them, Chuck and Sarah. So, could Chuck flash, or did he choose not to? Chuck is after all, a hero.
Faith/Jem’s emotional goo illustration – aka instant reaction
It wasn’t that long ago that Chuck told Sarah, and us…”prepare to be heart-warmed.” Tonight’s Chuck should have had these words as a disclaimer: tour de force of poignancy.
Every moment an emotional pull, every scene a testament to the growth, love and sentimentality that have grown in between our favorite characters, and every reveal a win. And on a night where the stakes were as high as it could get, so did the depth of their emotional connection. They made a distinction towards the end between Sarah Walker, the agent and Sarah Walker, the girlfriend that just…blew me away. More on this later.
I’m not going to lie, I cried buckets. I’m a self-avowed cry baby, but this…this had the tear-jerker aspect of Terms of Endearment, the triumph of Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, the romance of Love Story…with a happy ending of Disney.
He’s going to propose! He’s going to propose! Ok I just had to get that out there. The “plan” was a stroke of genius. Who else but Chuck would bring it all back to the beach where they ended their first date, had their first “real” conversation and basically fell in love? Who else but Chuck would have this wholly involved, step-by-step plan that showcases how deeply he feels and how much she is loved?
There was a moment in this episode where it dawned on me just how lucky Chuck is. To have her, to have his friends, his family and you know, he totally deserves it. They are who they are because of Chuck. As Sarah made clear later on.
Speaking of Sarah, my favorite topic, or as I will henceforth refer to (not really lol) as the Sarah Walker chronicles. I was floored from “I’m different without Chuck” days ago but I’m all the more prostrate at the openness she exhibited in this one episode, in that one powerful scene. Yvonne Strahovski is a fantastic actor. She channeled all the necessary panic, love and hope that was needed in that one scene and she added strength to it. And if you consider the fact that she basically had to say these lines twice, on two different context complete with its own set of emoting, it’s all the more impressive. It’s the perfect combination that was exactly what was needed in perhaps the most revealing scene Sarah Walker has ever been on in Chuck. Morgan, I will never question your issues of boundaries again because you, you got her to reveal herself to Chuck and it was a sight that brought me down to my knees.
“Chuck please, come on.”
“Tell him what you told me, before…he’ll hear that I know it. This is your chance. Don’t be Sarah Walker the spy, be Sarah Walker, the girlfriend.”
“Chuck please, I love you. Please wake up (voice breaks). I have so much I want to tell you.”
“I found your proposal plan…you were going to do it on the beach in Malibu. Where we watched the sun rise after our first date…Chuck I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don’t care if you have the intersect or not. Without you, I’m nobody, I’m nothing but a spy. Come back to me, Chuck. I want to marry you.” (Jem’s side note: she did end up proposing, sort of! Yay!)
Sarah Walker isn’t standing with one feet in and one out of the relationship anymore. She hasn’t been since Suitcase’s reveal…but tonight she is all in, and it’s a sight to see. And more importantly Chuck knows that now. I’ve stated several times that these two weren’t ready for marriage, but now they are unequivocally ready for such a milestone. After tonight, bring on the cake (well wedding cake that is). Because she’s not holding back, and neither is he. For the first time in a really long time (if not ever), they’re transparent to one another, honest, revealing.
Some other not so shipper centric noticeable: the fight choreography team IMO outdid themselves here. The fights on Chuck are always tops, but tonight, even without the dual-and thereby coolness aspect of Honeymooners we were shown some fantastic moves and some smooth delivery.
Honorable mention for scene of the night: smelling his shirt. That is so…what a girl in love would do. Well she would wear it and then crawl into bed but that scene was no less powerful and it got better from there.
Final thoughts: Kristin Newman is my new Ali Adler. She continues to put out these fantastic scripts full of imagery and imagination. The dialogue is sharp and the emotion overflowing. The team of Lejudkins still may reign supreme because of seniority and the pure awesomeness of Honeymooners (lol) but Newman is the Ali Adler to their Matt Miller haha.
P.S. How hot was that opening scene. Steamy PDA FTW. Now do it for real, and not in a nightmare 😉 LMAO
Thinklings First Thoughts
Well, I’m not very good at instant reactions, either. They amounted to “Wow … Um, wow … AH, wow.” Only with my time difference, by the time I finished watching, I didn’t remember how to spell WOW. So, my truly first thoughts as I dozed off:
Roller!Coaster. You know that frisson of anticipation you get on the long, slow ride to the top of the first peak of a roller-coaster? That’s how I feel all week before Chuck, and this week … best ride eh-ver! … Squee! … Do it again!
Does it seem weird to you that every week I say, no THIS is my favorite Chuck episode? But this week I really mean it … honest. WOW!! Best fights, best romance, funny plot B, mystery lap-top, great Morgan, Amazing! Yvonne … nothing not to like.
At Joe’s suggestion, the rest of my post sleep, fresher thoughts will begin a new post, b/c this one is EXPLODING (his word). So, stay tuned for yet another post where your can put your most excellent comments.