Phase 3 – Uncharted Territory

OK, be honest. Did you ever expect our Chuck heroes to be here? Casey going this far rogue with Sarah? Cobra in a pit with … well, a cobra? Sarah threatening death by ammonia injection? Chuck facing, not the loss of the Intersect, but the loss of his mind … all of it? General Beckman so tolerant, almost sympathetic to Chuck & Sarah? Agent Bartowski sans Intersect? Ellie hacking an Orion next gen lap-top? Yeah, me either.

Uncharted territory … often the place of defeats or defining moments. From uncharted territory people shrink back unchanged or emerge reborn, stronger, with new growth and fresh insight. What did Phase 3 uncharted territory mean to TeamB?

General Beckman. I really like this woman that I used to love to hate. You know the one who wanted to kill Chuck as soon as the Intersect was no longer needed? That same general now cares about his well being, is glad that Agent Walker (read: Sarah)is back to normal (read: not crazy out of her mind with worry over Chuck), and wants to find the recently de-intersected Agent Bartowski a position in the CIA, b/c he’s an asset with or without it. She also played a great straight man, dutifully questioning the rogue team about the kidnapped Thai diplomat … and pretending to believe their answers. Can we say it? Can we say that GB has finally gone rogue with TeamB? Yes, Chuck fans I think we can. Uncharted territory.

Casey. It’s probably safe to say that the whole Chuck experience as been uncharted territory for Casey. From going rogue with Sarah and helping her get a grip, to reminding her of who she used to be, to backing her up and saving her life, he became the big brother of the team … of his family. Did you notice that he didn’t even grunt while Sarah cried over Chuck. He just stood guard. And when they kissed? He smiled … no kidding. Now that IS uncharted territory. Sarah is not the only one who is different with Chuck.

Morgan. This was the best Morgan we’ve seen all season. This is a Morgan I could like week after week. Morgan is entering uncharted territory as more of an insider on TeamB, even with GB. It is a place of growth for him. Morgan finding useful information, gotta love it. Daddy does. Morgan determined to help rescue his friend and threatening Casey to do it. The Morgan Sarah interaction showed his sensitivity and a slightly dialed back version of his meddlesome nature. Progress.

Sarah. Sarah is in a place she has never been before. The whole relationship thing has been uncharted territory for her … no prior experience at a love like this; no role model (that we know of) for a love like this; never before a thought of marriage, kids, happiness … all new to her. And now this … this terrible, new place. This is the first time she’s been the old Agent Walker with an awareness of what that means … the first time she has actually compared and discovered how different she is without Chuck and that she doesn’t like it. The old Agent Walker had quite a rep, and like it or not, she will become that Agent Walker again to save the man who made the difference.

This is the first time she has been in a position to miss Chuck in this huge what-if-he-never-comes-back sort of way. I miss him. Everything about that scene from Sarah walking into the room and hitting the bed to seeing his shirt was perfect. Her hesitancy in clutching his shirt and the intimacy of drawing in his scent. No words.

Her vulnerability and candor with Morgan was touching. Sarah’s sense of family is expanding. Then the leak of the proposal plan catalyzed some much needed, very emotional Sarah epiphanies. Just as I love Chuck’s capacity to forgive, I also love Sarah’s capacity to respond and give herself to Chuck. She has been discovering new areas of her heart she needs to give, and once discovered, she gives them without reservation. She had no idea he didn’t know she loved him without the Intersect. The thought that she might have made him feel like she wouldn’t marry him without the Intersect was a knife to her heart. But once she knew, she took the first opportunity to give him that assurance, those words he needed to hear. (Morgan’s gentle nudge in that direction, was a nice touch.)

Lioness Sarah, AKA the Giant Blond She-Male. How did they find her? Just follow the trail of broken bodies. Funny, most drop-dead-gorgeous blonds leave a trail of broken hearts. I don’t know if we’ve ever had such awesome, terrifying Sarah fight scenes. Wow. I keep saying that. Where are adequate words when you need them? Sarah, coming out of the water, knife-in-mouth (is a spy disease?). And she won the last battle on reputation alone, cracked me up. At the appearance of the Giant Blond She-Male all the Short Bald Thai-Males fled the area. A rep on two continents.

The rescue scene evoked such a range of emotion: cheers, tears, relief, and smiles. Found the Belgian and punched him out … cheers. The brilliantly conceived, perfectly executed, overlaid scene with the beautiful, rational, dream Sarah and the battle-worn, emotional, real Sarah telling Chuck how she feels. So much she needed to say, so much he needed to hear … tears. The awakening … relief. The kiss … smiles.

Sarah is back to normal. I’ll wager it’s a new normal … a lighter, freer, happier normal than she’s ever known before.

What an absolutely stunning performance from Yvonne Strahovski! She really outdid herself.

Chuck. We wanted him to maybe escape on his own. I prefer what we got. Given his predicament, it wasn’t demeaning to him at all. Sarah got to fix things. Chuck fought hard to keep a hold on reality, and did an amazing job. His mind was working hard, clinging to what was real and rejecting what was false. It’s always been a reality of their relationship … the warrior and the nerd. I thought the dream sequences were well done … super creative!! The proposal plan was an insight into Chuck’s love. Chuck appears spontaneous, but we know he is a thinker and a planner. He has some of the characteristics of the Intersect, even in his Chuck-brain. Remember the Tron poster and his connecting all the dots to find Orion? He’s at it again. Only this time he’s connecting the dots and plotting a proposal. My favorite was the airplane with the I ‘heart’ you banner. It would have been wonderful to see. Now that they’ve outed all of the obvious components of a proposal, we can look forward to something utterly unexpected full of Bartowski magic. Or maybe it will be a hallmark Bartowski moment like Ellie’s wedding. Either way I can’t wait.

Sarah’s gonna marry him with or without the Intersect. The government wants him even without the Intersect. If Chuck embraces the affirmation, he can finally relinquish his need for the Intersect as a means of validation … which means he is finally ready for it.

The rock is gone. Not the rock that was sitting on the Intersect, but the rock that was sitting on Chuck & Sarah. For the first time since that morning on the beach, they are free to move forward as individuals, as a couple, and as a spy couple.

Final thought My best wishes for the episode and my prediction from my post Beyond the Limits were fulfilled in ways beyond my imagination.

Chuck & Sarah were pushed to the point of breaking, pushed beyond their limits. There they were tested as never before. There, beyond their limits, our heroes did indeed 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.

Phase 3 — PARTING SHOTS

New ER concept: Nerd Herder meets Doc in the Box. I think this might catch on.

Dr. Awesome will do anything for Ellie (a theme?)

Speaking of Dr. Awesome, did you see his latest computer accessory … a stethoscope. A new way to listen to tunes, maybe? This will never catch on.

Morgan the magnet and his trusty travel backpack. The hat alone was worth the price of airfare.

The Morgan sandwich between very threatening Walker and Casey. If he were any taller the daggers might have killed him.

Agent Walker may be on the edge. … really? … ya think!

Abduction by Robo-rug … cool.

The opening steam, er, dream sequence? Ahh, so close — and yet so far away. Oh well, it was so funny that I almost didn’t mind the interruption … almost.

Thinkling’s thoughts

~^~^~

OK, so now that you’ve slept on it, tell me your 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.
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178 Responses to Phase 3 – Uncharted Territory

  1. joe says:

    The proposal plan back-references the Tron Poster??? OMG – you’re right!!!

    Season 4 is GENIUS!

  2. JC says:

    Great Post Thinkling

    I was one of the people wanting Chuck to rescue himself but I really applaud the way they did it. Even though Sarah saved him, his value without the Intersect was recognized by everyone. After last weeks you’re not a spy comment that needed to happen. I really hope until he gets the Intersect back we see or hear about him being trained.

    My absolutely favorite scene was between Sarah and Morgan. Everyone knows Chuck is insecure especially about Sarah and that scene showed that its understandable. It was nice for Sarah to realize that her being closed off took a toll on Chuck. It was like a bell went off in her head.

    And the ending with her saying “There’s so much I want to tell you” blows every “I love you” out of the water”. The willingness to open up about yourself good and bad is the ultimate sign of trust and love.

    • thinkling says:

      Absolutely JC. So many stand outs in this episode, and so much Sarah growth, like the ones you mentioned. Gotta get the ratings back up!

      And how bout that new Morgan, huh?

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      And the ending with her saying “There’s so much I want to tell you” blows every “I love you” out of the water”.

      That scene was gold – ultimate gold. She had realized that there was so much to tell Chuck -so much she had always bottled up- and she was frantic with worry that she wouldn’t be able to.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, there was a desperation at that point. So powerful.

      • JC says:

        @Genie

        Yep, I always complained that Sarah still being closed off bothered me to no end. But it was great for her to finally realized it.

      • Faith says:

        I caution people to take a pause the next time she regresses though. Remember that each of these progresses on her part is a struggle. It was so hard for her even in the end there to be bare and vulnerable but it doesn’t mean she didn’t want to be revealing, loving and honest it’s just not what she’s used to.

      • JC says:

        I’m sure she’ll have moments where she regresses or stumbles but there shouldn’t be any a major steps backwards. The same goes for Chuck’s insecurities when it comes to Sarah.

    • Rick Holy says:

      You’re absolutely right. The Morgan/Sarah scene in the bedroom was probably one of the strongest scenes of the series – for everything that you mentioned, but also for what it showed as far as the bond between Chuck & Morgan. Sometimes we fans get a little annoyed with the way the showrunners and writers use Morgan, but some of the best parts of the show involve that bond of friendship between the two. Morgan was able to reveal to Sarah a part of Chuck that Chuck was not able to reveal to her himself. And it was beautiful!!

      • thinkling says:

        That’s really true Rick. Great perspective. I think that’s why I like the Morgan/Sarah scenes more than the Morgan-advising-Chuck scenes.

        Morgan is the Intersect of Chuck. So he can help Sarah understand. And he was really gentle with her, which I found endearing. And she hung on his every word, also very touching, I thought.

        But when Morgan is giving Chuck advise, he’s shooting in the dark, b/c he’s not the Intersect on Sarah … or relationships apparently (Achilles heel, first fight advice, communication, hoo-boy). Makes me a wee tad apprehensive about this engagement mission.

        But this Morgan was gold all the way.

      • atcdave says:

        Some interesting observations here. I loved just how Sarah did treat Morgan with such respect; even if he’s a bit odd, she knows what he means to Chuck. Pretty unexpected that one of Sarah’s most intense scenes ever would played opposite Morgan.

      • thinkling says:

        Pretty unexpected that one of Sarah’s most intense scenes ever would played opposite Morgan.

        You got that right. Somebody could have cleaned up with that bet. 🙂

    • Faith says:

      The willingness to open up about yourself good and bad is the ultimate sign of trust and love.

      and the best part is there has been this consistent forward progression toward that. This season IS genius.

      • Rick Holy says:

        And really, in a manner of speaking, a “make-up” for the disaster [O.K., maybe I’m exagerrating a little ;)] that was Season 3. The “interrupted conversations,” the never “saying what you really mean,” etc. We’re FINALLY getting past those interruptions and getting TO those conversations that needed to be shared for a looong time.

        Whether or not we get a Season 5, and I still think we’ve got a shot, if we end our “affair” with CHUCK at the end of Season 4, I think it will have been (at least with what I’m expecting beginning with the rest of the episodes in January) an AWESOME ending. And if it’s NOT the ending, then will be in for what I hope in Season 5 will be another great ride!

  3. Anon says:

    Ok,Chuck Bartowski finally got it:

    Sarah Walker loves him. She will give up anything for him.

    While time away from each other may have made him doubt that,i think finally he is sure of it.

    And Beckman.Sorry, but right now she is doing her least to help Chuck. After the end of Season 3,i think Chuck has more than earned her “least”.

  4. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Great post Thinkling. Thank you.

    I would like to draw attention to one important facial expression of Sarah’s during her talk with Morgan – when he said that she was a big fish for an average guy like Chuck – her face betrayed so much emotion -as if she was coming to a realization that Chuck valued her so much – the same way that she values him as great.

    • thinkling says:

      Wow, Alladins. Great catch. I’ll have to pay better attention. Thanks for that.

    • joe says:

      I just finished rewatching Genie, and this time that scene and Sarah’s expression completely blew me away. It was outstanding.

      Tonight Lou is going to ask me to rate this episode, and I’m having a hard time not giving it 11 out of 10 “Aces”. I thought I would be able to be more rational and critical (in a good sense) after seeing it again and considering what I saw, but the effect was just the opposite.

      It’s affecting me more, emotionally, than it did last night.

    • amyabn says:

      Alladin, I would also argue (as I have numerous times, sorry to be repetitive!) that it was also that Sarah never saw herself that way. I think it is poignant that each holds the other in such esteem and themselves as not worthy.

      Thinkling, great article! I’m still digesting it!

      • thinkling says:

        It is poignant. So very touching, really makes you root for them … love them. And it appears they both get it. That’s why I talked about receiving love. They both seem to struggle with receiving love. It’s sweet that they both look happy at the end, and my take is that’s a huge part of the reason.

      • herder says:

        They both beleive that they are the lucky one in the relationship, that the other gives more than they receive. I know that we have talked about this a number of times but things like that go a long way towards restoring the epicness (is that a word) of the relationship.

        Sarah has made a quantum leap (excuse the pun) towards being a real girl, the ball is now in Chuck’s court to come up with real magic for the proposal, I can hardly wait. Volkov has no idea of what he is up against if he moves against Chuck, and I suspect that if he moves against Sarah he will find himself against a fully functioning intersect, Cole’s record of taking out eleven men will be in jeapordy.

      • atcdave says:

        That would be perfect. Especially after Rye tried so hard get Chuck to forget her, if she were that direct a key would be wonderful. I still predict he’ll actually need help from Ellie and/or the Orion laptop, but I like your way better.

      • kg says:

        Yeah Herder, didn’t he come close at the factory in Russia during Anniversary? I believe it was 10 and Chuck mocked Marko by saying it wasn’t nearly enough.

      • thinkling says:

        @Herder: I think the epic-ness of the relationship is officially restored.

        You know, maybe the PSP made the fight-skills side of the Intersect more a part of Chuck. He’s been trying to access it by flash; but maybe when he quits trying to flash, his own adrenalin will kick it off. But I also still think that there’s more of the new Intersect on the laptop.

        That would make the “your father never wanted you to see this” make more sense.

  5. atcdave says:

    Great post. I agree with all that. I had liked the idea of Chuck partially freeing himself, but the writers knew better. They came up with powerful and sweet scene. Sarah fixed most everything herself. This may still leave some issues of Chuck not feeling as respected as he wants, but everything else is better than ever. We’ve already seen how light hearted Sarah can be when she’s with Chuck, and I loved the last scene in Castle; the giant blonde she-male laughing with her nerd boyfriend. I always hope for more of that.

    My wife and I were talking about some of the make-up/costuming/photography choices they make. Mainly in all the different ways they show Sarah (obviously major kudos to Yvonne Strahovski on that too); but they change her look and the way she is shot so completely. Sarah looked huge and terrifying in Thailand; then back in Castle we can tell she’s only 5’9″ next to her 6’3″ boyfriend, and she seems soft, friendly, almost girly. Very dramatic change.

    • JC says:

      She was channeling her inner Laura Croft in Thailand.

    • thinkling says:

      Yeah. I hope for more of GBSM laughing with her nerd boyfriend (almost fiancé). Would love more of that. If the ramifications of the episode play out, it’s a given. Sarah is lighter and happier now.

      Interesting how much those details play into things. I notice her hair, too. Different style give off different moods. Absolutely loved the episode.

    • atcdave says:

      One other thought about Sarah doing all the rescue. In the front part of S3, every time I can think of, when the writers went a different direction than we thought, it seemed to be a mistake (and yes I mean that; we’re the audience, when their twists all serve to outrage us instead of entertain us, it is a mistake). But many of us stuck it out on the strength of the first two seasons when the various twists were (usually) fun and exciting. I’d say we are completely back to an S2 feel now. I’m willing to trust the writers to surprise me in good ways again; they’ve done a masterful job this season.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh what a relief it is!

      • kg says:

        Dave I agree it does FEEL much like season two because of all the positive Sarah/Chuck interaction.

        But it’s not season two anymore because the stakes are higher. Chuck and Sarah are a real couple with marriage aspirations, our favorite couple is much more honest and open and the Morgans, Awesomes, Caseys and Sarahs are much more open with each other. Mama B is a very strong and curious guest character. Is she good or bad? Even more sinister, is she neither? Good and bad? Volkoff is ruthless.

        And I think this is why folks keep using the word genius. The genius partially exists in how they amped up everything around Chuck and Sarah but in an attempt to make up for the awful elements of season three. Restoring the Chuck and Sarah characters back to the ones we fell in love with during season two, their most admirable qualites and traits exploding on the screen.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree KG, the stakes are higher now and the show is different. My comparisons to S2 relate to the quality of the entertainment and hold the show has on me.

      • kg says:

        I think I know what you mean Dave. You actually look forward to and anticipate the next show. Can’t wait. The whole 10 yards, not just Chuck and Sarah.

        Your week isn’t dulled by an angst-ridden, sour presentation. You’re not dejected because TPTB destroyed the characters you fell and root for.

        You don’t continue to watch only because you made a pact to see it through, even though you most likely dread what is to transpire next.

        I’m with ya.

        Phase Three was incredibly powerful and moving televison. My name is Ken George. I’m 5-11, 240. Fancy myself a macho guy. Played football and baseball. When folks collide with me, they usually get the worst of it. The truth is I wept. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

      • thinkling says:

        Genius is the new awesome! It’s the best of what we loved about S2, only on steroids.

        Great comments KG

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @KG

        The genius partially exists in how they amped up everything around Chuck and Sarah but in an attempt to make up for the awful elements of season three. Restoring the Chuck and Sarah characters back to the ones we fell in love with during season two, their most admirable qualities and traits exploding on the screen.

        Couldn’t agree more.

        Your week isn’t dulled by an angst-ridden, sour presentation. You’re not dejected because TPTB destroyed the characters you fell and root for.
        You don’t continue to watch only because you made a pact to see it through, even though you most likely dread what is to transpire next.

        This^^^. KG, thank you.

        This season, I am looking forward to each episode in eager anticipation of some epicness or the other. And I have not been disappointed at all. No more hand wringing, hair tearing and no more expletive laden diatribes hurled at my screen (which was common during the Misery Arc). To paraphrase Nina Simone ” I am feeling good”

      • Faith says:

        @KG Phase Three was incredibly powerful and moving televison. My name is Ken George. I’m 5-11, 240. Fancy myself a macho guy. Played football and baseball. When folks collide with me, they usually get the worst of it. The truth is I wept. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

        LMAO. Awesome. Whoops I mean genius!

      • kg says:

        Faith it was my pleasure to offer myself up for your amusement. Take care.

  6. amyabn says:

    I just wanted to add that there was such a “rawness” to Sarah in this episode. Every instinct, every reaction, every counter reaction was raw and exposed. So different than the Sarah Walker we have seen. We had vulnerability and resolve too. Such a gamut of emotions and I was left thoroughly impressed with both the writer and the acting.

    As an aside, I wonder if they shot the dream sequence part of Sarah’s rescue because Yvonne was so distraught and difficult to understand (I’m hard to understand when I’m balling too 🙂 ). Just a question on the technical side of it-I liked it.

    • atcdave says:

      Not even a little reserved this time!

      I don’t know how it came about, but the intercut scene at the end was wonderful.

      • thinkling says:

        Ah, surely the intercut was planned. It was just too symbolic of his figuring out Sarah was real and fighting his way to the surface. Besides the fact that it was just awesome.

      • joe says:

        One under-appreciated aspect of Chuck is how many times they’ve been able to do that kind of thing.

        So many times shows revert to some stock emotional manipulation to get the audience to experience – something. You know, the music, the hesitation or sidelong glance before eyes meet. It’s the TV equivalent to puppies and children’s laughter/tears in the movies.

        But use of that inter-cutting, Sarah saying the words simultaneously, once calmly, ones in desperate tears, that was new to me, and amazing. It easily rivalled my other favorite scenes, like in Fat Lady (Casey and Sarah running in semi-slo-mo up the stairs to save Chuck), Dream Job (The use of Luisa’s Bones while Chuck suited up) and of course, Colonel the music filled silence of the motel scene.

        What an effect!

      • herder says:

        Joe, listen to the words of “Miss Friday” that plays through that scene and the Morgan/Sarah scene in the bedroom. “Wake, wake up you’ve got a lot to live for” perfect words for both Chuck and Sarah, and the best tie in between music and what’s on screen this year. As good as any of the other scenes that you listed. Live Sarah bearing her heart, dream Sarah pulling Chuck back to life and the music tieing them both together. Season 4 is genius.

      • joe says:

        Herder, I was just barely getting to the music underlying everything, starting to make a note of it, when you pointed this out. Perfect!

        I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff (Heh! Like *that’s* a big secret).

        Thanks for the heads up!

    • thinkling says:

      Raw is the perfect word, Amy. I don’t think we have ever seen this Sarah, or even come close. But I think we may have suspected she was in there.

      I had said I hoped Morgan would share his eye-full with Chuck. The thing is that not only did we see this raw Sarah, everybody else (well, GB, Casey, Morgan) saw her, too … except Chuck. That’s why it’s good to have Morgan to fill him in. I would love for Ellie to get the report someday, too. Wonder if she’ll notice the difference.

      Suffice it to say this marks a new day in the Sarah communication arts. Hopefully she will tell him all those things she said she had to tell him 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        She has so much to tell – Cant wait to hear more sweet nothings,endearments and who-knows-what-else from her. Hope the writers follow up on this in the future episodes.

      • atcdave says:

        I keep thinking about the eyeful Morgan got. He already knew Sarah could be a little scary, but he’d never seen a legend in the making before!

        I’d love Ellie to find something out. I was imagining the spies and the Awesomes out to dinner at a Thai restaurant. The staff staring at Sarah and talking nervously amongst themselves; then shaking and bowing in her presence. Ellie would snoop until she got the story. Can’t you just see her discovering so many people terrified of the sister-in-law. I’d say they have to do something with it, but this is the sort of thing they generally ignore; we fans are far more interested in what Ellie and Sarah think of each other than TPTB have ever been.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, me too, Alladins. It doesn’t even have to be too overt, but there seems to be a difference now, in a good way. I hope we continue to see that, and the more talking side of them.

        Yeah, Morgan is probably a changed man. He had no clue before. I think this episode changed everybody. Even the Buymorons got a free doctor visit.

        I liked how it was Morgan who jumped in the pit and called her name. So many nice touches. Sarah and Morgan bonded over an I miss Chuck moment, only on a pretty deep level, even though Sarah thought the eating something icky was weird.

        Great set-up Dave. I’d love to see it, like I wanted Ellie to see the fashion magazine in the checkout line. Oh well.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Of course Morgan would jump in to help her, she’s family now. And Morgan is loyal above all else. Chuck is like his brother, Ellie is like a sister he wanted to sleep with (I have a feeling he imprinted on her as an ideal at an early age ) and Sarah and Devon are part of his family now that they are making Chuck and Ellie happy.

      • thinkling says:

        It is a Morgan move, kind of like Couch Lock. But then, of course, the cobra freaked him out. Didn’t seem to phase Sarah.

      • amyabn says:

        I rewatched last night and still chuckle at Morgan’s self perception of he and Chuck being twins. I also appreciated that Sarah didn’t scoff at his declaration. I think she gets it.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Amy. She does get it, and for a while she didn’t. I think she thought the icky food remark was a bit out of left field, Chuck’s soup du jour not being her top concern. But then when he said the twin remark, it put it in context for her. It wasn’t what Chuck was eating, but what Morgan was feeling.

        I’ve really liked the Morgan/Sarah interactions. Looking forward to more. I also much prefer this Morgan to the ear wick Morgan of First Fight. He can be really funny without being quite such a caricature … the sandwich moment, the twin remark, lots of bullets comment, the snake, that’s what I did today. To be that funny and still have some really good team/friend moments … that’s the Morgan I’d like to see more of.

  7. joe says:

    Before the day ends I want to wish everybody who’s travelling tomorrow and Thursday for Thanksgiving a safe journey.

    We’ll be posting and I’m sure many of you will be commenting like usual, but we’ll also miss those of you who’ll be away. See? Communication does that to people, and not just to the giant she-males tearing through Thailand.

    Enjoy the holiday, enjoy your families and please do take the time to be thankful, even if only a little.

    We at Chuck This hope to see you right after you recover from your Tryptophan poisoning! 😉

  8. Robert H says:

    Was Sarah having to rescue Chuck again demeaning?

    A good question that could be hard to answer. Was it
    outright demeaning? Given the very high quality of
    this episode and wonderful performances from the cast, especially Yvonne Strahovsky, the answer would
    be obviously no it wasn’t.

    But was it demeaning to Chuck in a more subtle way
    that was masked by the emotional tone and once again the high quality of the episode? That’s a lot harder to answer. Given what happened in Episode 8
    I really thought Chuck had to show something and to be fair to him maybe he did, mentally and emotionally. After all he was in a very tough spot
    that even James Bond himself would have had a tough time getting out of. The woman he loved went through
    absolute hell to get to him and then declared her
    unconditional love for him, with or without the intersect. That has to count for something in a huge
    way, no doubt about it.

    On the other hand, I think it also demonstrates, that although he still thinks he is a “spy” he never
    will be, not really. He just isn’t cut out to be one
    given his personality,values, and emotions. These are the qualities Sarah fell in love with and there
    is nothing wrong with that. It seems that just about everyone realizes this but Chuck (with the possible exception of Morgan). He still has some growing to do. When he finally realizes that and accepts it with confidence and grace, he will find his real place and destiny-with Sarah, wherever that may take him, but not in the spy world. This
    will probably occur at the end of the series but then again who really knows? The journey should be an interesting one though.

    That’s about all for now. Really enjoyed the episode
    and will wonder how and where it will take us to
    Episode 13, thanks.

    • thinkling says:

      Good comments, Robert. Glad you liked the episode, btw.

      For now I think Chuck is happy that he can still be a spy in some aspect. Casey and Sarah both recognize his innate abilities and value. I don’t think they have any trouble accepting him as a spy, just not the killer/fighter kind.

      Sarah will probably be happy with this new definition of spy, as long as Chuck realizes his limitations and doesn’t take unnecessary risks with his life.

      Chuck will be content to be this kind of spy, b/c he knows he no longer has anything to prove.

      Having said all that, it will most likely be a short-lived experiment, b/c I strongly suspect that a re-Intersect-ing is at hand. I do think, though, that all that they have learned in Phase 3, these defining moments were needed for them (individually, as a couple, and spy-couple), even if Chuck gets the Intersect back and keeps it forever.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I am guessing that the Intersect will be back to full functionality by the end of 4×10. The Leftovers episode isn’t about a mission. It’s about extenuating circumstances brought about by the arrival of Volkoff/Mama B.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s what I expect, too, Alladins. Looks like a very intense episode coming up. Only we don’t know what surprises await as to how it’s restored and what “full functionality” means. 🙂

        I can’t wait, but there’s so much to savor from Phase 3 that I’m in a good place. For the first time in weeks, I’m OK waiting.

    • armySFC says:

      @ Robert H I posted a similar resopnse the other day but i think it fits here as well. What we have come to know as spies does not fit the definition of spy. It fits the James Bond and Bourne types that were developed by Hollywood to keep people entertained. A true Spy by definition is someone who gathers classified for a government from another government. This is something Chuck could do. Earlier this year over ten Russian spies were deported from the US. the had been here doing just that for over 10 years. they were true spies, living and working here gathering information about the US and sending it back home, they killed no one, stole nothing and from what’s been released broke no major laws. I think Chuck could do all that and more. He may not fit the contrived version of spy that we see in movies and TV but he is one by definition, and that is something i can live with.

    • kgvet44@cox.net says:

      Why would it be demeaning? Because she’s a woman? That’s ridiculous thinking, especially if it comes from Chuck.

      Sarah can kick collective asses of men bigger, stronger and tougher than he. Hell, she even gave Michael Clarke Duncan a run for his money.

      Every hero, and Chuck is a hero by the way, needs some help or rescuing now and then. Sarah and Casey are great agents, good spys and tough, combative people. But they’re not infallible. They’ve been captured, lured or fallen into their own traps.

      That’s the beauty of this rather unorthodox looking team. Morgan, Chuck, Casey, Sarah. It matters not which needs rescuing They all bravely jump in to rescue a member ignoring odds against, considerable personal risk and trouble it may incur.

    • atcdave says:

      I think the key is just recognizing different strengths and weaknesses on the team. Chuck is a planner an puzzle solver. Those should be great assets for a spy. I can imagine how an insecure guy could be intimidated by having his girlfriend be the muscle on the team; but c’mon, she’s Sarah Walker. She handles Casey when she needs to, and leaves broken bodies across half a country. Not only that, Chuck has known she was his protector from the start; and Sarah herself isn’t put off by Chuck being in need of her protection.

      I would like to see Chuck do something great to save day (as he often has in the past) just with brains. But that has more to do with his own confidence than anything else. Sarah might some reminder of his professional worth, but it has nothing to do with her personal respect for him.

    • JC says:

      After this episode and the complete and utter validation Chuck received personally and professionally I do hope they move on from the insecure Chuck. Sure he’ll still have his moments of doubt but just like Sarah opening up I think this was the point of no return moment in regards to their growth.

      Now part of the problem still is with how they present the spy world. Spy and Assassin are still too closely linked in my mind. And its hard for me to accept a CIA who orders agents to make their bones also built a castle slide. If the show moves forward that blurred line will continue to hurt the show. I’m hoping with this storyline we’ll see the show push Chuck into more of an Orion type role and that distinction will be clearly made.

      But I do think there’s one thing we’ve all missed including myself. This episode was the TPTB fixing all the damage they did to Sarah in S3. In one episode she faced thought of losing Chuck forever, went Marlin on steroids and realized how closed off she was. Those were three of the biggest complaints about her last season and they took care of it one episode.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree on the growth, JC. I think they passed several points of no return: the insecure Chuck, the closed Sarah, and the relationship (i.e. they are going to put a ring on it). Defining moments a plenty, and hurray for that.

        It would be nice for the spy thing to be dealt with, but it will probably slide back into the background.

        I am very grateful that they let the real Sarah come back. Hopefully her alien replacement has moved on to another galaxy far, far away. You’re right this week we got all the very best of Sarah and the damage is erased. To their credit they have been erasing that damage all season. Sarah has been great and normal in every episode. But this episode she was particularly epic.

      • JC says:

        Yep, I can’t see any going back after this episode. Way too much happened and was expressed for any major steps backwards. Will there be stumbles of course but anything more than that and it would really ring false.

        I agree with you about the spy stuff but they do have an opportunity with this arc do it. It doesn’t have to be blatant but if they had Chuck and Sarah stepping into the role of Orion and Frost on their own terms you could do it. Wishful thinking on my part I know.

        I saw a lot of what they did earlier as an extension of 3.5 with some exceptions like the ending of Suitcase and Coup which pushed her growth even more. But this episode really seemed to be one that tried to erase all of those head scratching moments she had in S3.

  9. Bellatrix says:

    This episode was awsome in every way! It is my favorite so far. Everything was perfect exept for te deciving title (i hoped phase three would mean chuck getting the 3.0 but I was quite sure that would not happen). Anyway, great episode.

    Still waiting for Chuckday (the word monday has no meaning to me anymore)

  10. kg says:

    Now that Sarah’s successful and arduous love quest to find and bring Chuck home has settled in, it got me thinking a little.

    We’ve known for sometime how Sarah feels about Chuck. We remember how it began to take shape as Chuck began to step up in Final Exam (stake date), Chuck’s rescue in Paris and how our couple finally got a chance to enjoy one another’s company in Honeymooners.

    So, Monday’s epic show actually recalled Tooth for me. When Sarah really began to worry for her man. How she admitted to the doctor that Chuck was special, she loved him and needed him to be OK. Those were wonderful, touching words from her and gave us a sense of how committed she was to Chuck, especially when all things weren’t great.

    But with her ACTIONS on Monday, Sarah more than provided credibility to ALL of her previous words to convey how special and important Chuck IS. Literally, no force, no general, no rules or a bevy of thugs were going to stop Sarah Walker from finding, rescuing and bringing her man home.

    And if that wasn’t enough, she instantly went from “wildcard enforcer, crazy in love lioness, Giant Blonde She-male,” to Oh My God, what have they done to my Chuck, please come back to me emotional wreck. All in a matter of seconds after knocking out the Belgian.

    In an aside, what an actress. Yvonne’s performance seemed so real. Really. Don’t we generally agree it would be a travesty if this artist does not bring home some future hardware?

    WOW, then Sarah drops the proverbial final hammer in the ninth inning with more beautifully crafted words to tie in her aforementioned prose and actions of love. With all the chips on the table, and Chuck’s life, memories and personality vortexing down the drain. “I have so many things I want to tell you.” Her new and sudden openess after realizing how holding things in exasperated this predicament she and Chuck were in. “I’m nothing without you. I’m just a spy.” This is where we find out exactly why she has undertaken this do or die quest. Her strong feelings for this guy clearly appear destined to last forever.

    And it also validates her declaration that she loves him with or without the intersect, believes he’s special with or without it, and hopefully eases some of the pain she caused with her ill-timed “you’re not a spy,” remark. It’s as if she’s saying, “Chuck, I’ve been a spy my entire adult life. It’s important, but not more important than YOU are to me. And I know it’s important to you, but it will never be more important than US.”

    And all of this got me thinking about Morgan and his role. I was so touched that Morgan and Sarah got to share some tender, viable dialogue together while they each missed Chuck.

    I’ve read how some folks are irked that Morgan has seemingly become like a third wheel. But seriously, were would this couple be without Morgan?

    Who got Chuck to admit his real and actual feelings for Sarah in Beard? Grimes. Who noticed that Shaw’s fight scenes with the Ring was merely a fraudulent, staged joke? Who is Grimes? And without this keen recognition, helpless Sarah would have suffered a hideous drowning. Who straightened her out in Tooth, when Sarah was beginning to doubt Chuck? Grimes again. Who bravely absorbed electric currents to save the team in Couch Lock? Ooh, Ooh (KG raising his hand and answering) Grimes. Who admittedly “threw gas on the fire” but also had the termerity to calmly remind Sarah what she said to him in the bedroom – exactly what Chuck needed to hear from her, albeit subconsciously. That’s right, Morgan Grimes, former stalker, who now in season four carries the moniker of The Magnet with pride.

    Moving to another theory, I was intrigued by Ernie’s thoughts that perhaps Chuck himself was preventing the extraction of the intersect. That perhaps Chuck himself was possibly sandbagging and controlling his flashes?

    When he continued to voice that “I can’t” flash, did that mean he was unable to flash or as Ernie suggests, he couldn’t because he didn’t want to. Very mysterious.

    And for those few who feel Chuck looked like a wimp because his girlfriend had to rescue him, or also believe she “castrated” him in front of the others during Fear of Death, I believe someone soon (possibly Volkoff) will threaten Sarah and he’ll flash in order to save her. Now Ellie and her dad’s computer may play a role, but me thinks Chuck will get his mojo back.

    • joe says:

      Ken, you’re turning into as much of a hopeless romantic as I. Well done! 😉

      Remember who Sarah was? I re-watched Cubic-Z today and got reminded.

      I got hitched to a dork, Chuck, like you. Sweet, dumb, loyal… a mutt. And that was attractive. I thought “This schmuck is going to make me a better person.” And for ten minutes, I convinced myself I didn’t mind movie night, or dinner at 6. But then my true nature kicked in. And the reason this conversation has Burton so upset is because it’s doing the same for her. We’re the same…
      She’s all spy. White weddings, rug-rats in a minivan… it’s not in our wiring.
      Burton, be kind to him. He’s too sick in love to see the truth. Just remember. She keeps secrets for a living.

      To that, Sarah had to insist that she *wasn’t* anything like Heather Chandler, and that her name was not Jenny Burton. It’s Sarah Walker (“And don’t you forget that!”)

      We’ve seen how much these characters have changed. Their self-perception has changed. They have to be looking at each other differently now, too. “Without you, I am nothing. I am just a spy.” she said. And for Chuck, way back in Pink Slip, it was “For years I’ve been kicking around not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, like a – like a loser.”

      More than just a spy, not a loser. That’s where we are now.

      • kg says:

        Joe in that episode, Heather comes across as mean-spirited from high school Chandler just trying to jab at Sarah. And perhaps in the first half she was doing just that.

        But, later on, and certainly with the quote you highlighted, I got more of a sense that she took a liking to Chuck. She was sincerely trying to warn him of what he was up against. It wasn’t going to change anything, but she may even have felt a twinge of guilt for the way she treated and played Mark.

        And what I appreciate is from her point of view, she thought she was correct. And that’s because she didn’t see what we saw BEFORE Cougars. And she certainly didn’t see what we saw AFTER Cougars.

        Following their big brawl in the shower, Heather naturally assumed the BF-GF thing was just a front. She figured out they were agents. Just spy partners. But she’s also clever and in the holding cell she quickly noted with surprise that they were a “real” couple. Just from the silence and looks on their faces.

        We saw that Sarah really enjoyed and appreciated all those little moments Heather alluded to. The family get-togethers at the dining table. Vegetarian pie, no olives. The board games with the Awesomes and Morgan. Jenny Burton was high school. Right Joe. The woman was Sarah Walker. And Heather Chandler had no idea who Sarah Walker was, who she became, AFTER meeting Chuck Bartowski.

        Ironically, it was in Cougars that Chuck respected her privacy issues, changed his mind on finding more about her past and accepted the Sarah Walker in front of him.

        “No thanks,” he gallantly said. “I don’t need to know more about who you were. As much think I don’t, I know exactly who you are…..a girl I’d like to share a cheeseburger with.”

        Have you noticed this season how Sarah is always uttering “Let’s go home, I can’t wait to get home, I’m so glad to be home, please come home to me safe, the important thing is you’re back home?”

        But I can’t forget how she termed Chuck “her home, you always have been,” in Suitcase. And if we are to believe that, well, Sarah was ‘home’ as soon as she helped wake Chuck up in that chair. At that point, the junge in Thailand was home. Getting on the plane and returning to Burbank was merely a formality.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @KG Sarah was ‘home’ as soon as she helped wake Chuck up in that chair. At that point, the jungle in Thailand was home. Getting on the plane and returning to Burbank was merely a formality.

        Awesome and excellent thoughts. You put into words a very powerful sentiment – the concept of home to Sarah Walker.

      • thinkling says:

        Good thoughts, Joe. You hit on why I really like Cubic Z. I know it’s not a favorite, but I think it’s pretty rich.

    • atcdave says:

      Some really excellent stuff here KG, thanks. It seems so many of us were inspired by this episode and Yvonne’s performance, deeply moving.

      I’ve not been a huge Morgan fan, but he was perfect here. Funny, sweet, and a good friend to both Chuck and Sarah.

      I do still feel for Chuck being cut down professionally in front of the General. Its a completely separate issue from being loved; being respected matters too. But I am certain that will be addressed soon. I don’t know if Chuck will flash, or if he’ll use one of his more basic abilities, but I do believe he will save the day, and Sarah in particular, in Leftovers. I am VERY excited!

      Love your comments about Cougars and Heather Chandler too. But I do still wonder if we’re supposed to think Chuck screwed up somehow there. I mean, what was Fake Name about? Why was Sarah still so desperate for her “real” name to be known if she’d forged a new reality. Perhaps it has something to do Sarah Walker belonging to Chuck and she thought she’d lost him. Maybe I should just stop thinking about the Sham fubar.

      • kg says:

        Yeah Dave, I’m afraid that’s the best explanation we have for the Sham fubar. She definitely thought she lost him and felt quite responsible and guilty for pushing him in the direction he was heading.

        It screwed her up so badly she was even willing to run to and reveal personal secrets to plywood.

        And Joe, before I forget, I think I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. It’s just here I’m not at all afraid or ashamed to admit it and/or express it.

        Thanks guys. Happy Thanksgiving to all our writers and readers.

      • joe says:

        Me neither.

        & Happy Thanksgiving!

      • JC says:

        Dave it’s probably best just to ignore most what Sarah did in the front thirteen. Trying to make sense of it takes enormous leaps of logic. The simplest explanation is the best, Sarah was a plot device and nothing more.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah JC, that’s exactly what it seems like.

      • Anonymous says:

        The whole purpose of Fake Name to me was setting up the conditions for Sarah to try to move on after thinking she has lost Chuck….and realizing ddep down she can’t. I think that whole arc also sets up this season, where Sarah realizes just how precious what she has with Chuck really is….allowing her to do something akin to this week’s episode.

    • thinkling says:

      Really, really great comments, KG. Agree with pretty much everything you said.

      I’m not sure I’d give Heather Chandler as much credit as you do in warning Chuck … well, maybe just a skoche. I think she was still poking at Burton. I don’t think she got it until the rooftop, where she saw Sarah’s concern about Chuck’s all-good’s. I think that’s when she saw something in Sarah’s relationship with Chuck that she was totally lacking. Then of course Sarah’s protection of her even when pinned down by gunfire. She finally realized that Sarah Walker wasn’t Jenny Burton.

      I’ve enjoyed letting the guys handle the whole warrior/nerd relationship dynamic. 😉

      Dave, I can put the misery arc puzzle together and make some sense of it, but I just don’t want to try anymore. I’m too happy now to revisit it. Just put a big anomaly-OOC banner over it and chalk it up to a most unfortunate TPTB malfunction. Then selectively re-watch with caution … and skip over lots of stuff. Sad, but necessary.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah it really is sad. I’d love to able to either get it, or skip it entirely. But there some good episodes and important moments that got us where we are now, so I can’t quite do that. Well not entirely. I don’t intend to rewatch any of S3’s main arc anytime soon, but it would nice if more of it actually made sense to me!

  11. Robert H says:

    Ridiculous thinking kgvet44? I hardly think so.
    She doesn’t just “rescue” him once in a while, it’s
    all of the time. I think you need to read my earlier
    posts regarding Episodes 7 and especially Episode 8.

    She got him into the mess partially because she brutally
    damaged his ego with her very public, disrespecting
    comments regarding his spy abilities without the
    intersect in the video conference in front of his
    professional colleagues, one of whom was his boss.

    She later blamed herself, rightfully, for putting
    him into a situation that he couldn’t handle
    where it might have been avoided if she had been
    more tactful. No matter what her motivation she was wrong to do so.
    She disrespected him not privately but publicly. No
    man with any self respect could ever accept that
    without trying to do something about it. What she said,
    while accurate factually was simply brutal emotionally forcing him to do something that cost the life of one agent and nearly his own in the process. That created the guilt that so motivated
    her in Episode 9.

    I have no problems with a strong female character. In
    fact I welcome it, but not at the expense of a male
    character or anyone else for that matter. The women
    in the show are continually shown as stronger than the men at their expense and I’m getting tired of it. Real life doesn’t work that way and though I
    realize its just a TV show it has to be grounded
    with some reality to retain its credibility. “Equality” doe not mean assumed superiority for either sex, male or female, a little
    fact you seem to have overlooked in your comment.

    Sarah just doesn’t “rescue” Chuck once in a while.
    It’s all of the time and if she isn’t around Ellie
    is certainly there to issue “orders” and now the
    absentee Mama B. is getting into the act as she tries to take care of her little boy. There’s just
    one problem. She’s 20 years too late and her “boy”
    is now a man. It’ time he starts to act like one.

    I tried to be gracious with my first comment above.
    You managed to ruin it with your “ridiculous” comment, and now my blood is up. I don’t know what
    gender you are but I’m willing to bet you’re not a
    guy. If you were you would have understood where I was coming from but obviously you don’t.

    Ridiculous kgvet44? Yes something is ridiculous here
    but it’s not coming from my end. It’s coming from yours.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m not sure what you’re responding to so strongly Robert. Chuck and Sarah’s relationship has been role reversal from day 1. We’ve seen Chuck gradually emerge as a more capable partner for Sarah; he has saved her life many times, but he is still mainly the brains to her brawn. Just as they built to Sarah’s epic adventure to save Chuck for personal, not professional reasons; I think they are also building to Chuck saving the day on his own, without the Intersect. My guess is we will see something awesome along those lines in Leftovers, before Chuck does get the Intersect back. He will settle the question with Sarah, that he can be a spy without the Intersect. We know its important for a guy to be loved AND respected; and Sarah did do some damage to Chuck’s self esteem last week. But Casey and Beckman are the only surviving witnesses to the event, it wasn’t exactly a public forum and neither of those characters are gossips. I’d say the damage is pretty contained. And Sarah has been very clear about all the personal properties Chuck has that she values and respects. So the problem really just comes down to one of professional pride. Chuck will prove himself, don’t sweat it.

      You know most of us have been pretty crazy happy around here this week after what many feel is one of the best episodes ever. Its okay if you disagree, we even value the difference of opinions and are happy to discuss it. But please keep the discussion civil. I don’t care who started what, really. Everyone play nice, or no supper!

      • JC says:

        I have to say I’m worried and excited about how they’ll show Chuck moving forward as a spy without the Intersect.

        I’m hoping we get a mention of him being trained and some recognition of his accomplishments without the 2.0. Maybe even a callback to fact he was going to recruited by the CIA.

      • thinkling says:

        I think Chuck is going to land on his feet and do awesome things, maybe save Leftovers without it, or maybe with it. I think it will be back, though. And to me, the sooner the better, not for Chuck, but for “Chuck.” We need to move on. I know people like the Intersect in varying degrees, bit I think it is a permanent “Chuck” feature, so let’s get on with it.

        I was under the impression that the reason the CIA was interested in Chuck was for his off-the-charts susceptibility to sub-conscious information retention … basically his suitability to the Intersect project. So even then (I think) his qualifications were Intersect related.

        Having said that, I think he has excellent qualities and could be trained, but even way back then, they were looking at him as an Intersect candidate.

      • herder says:

        The problem with statements like she emasculated him or she rescued him again is that it is quantifying who brings what to the relationship. Yes he probably was hurt and stung by what she said, but the story that they are telling, in my opinion is that each of them gets more from the relationship than they give, or at least that is the way that they both percieve it.

        So while we might see that Sarah is at times harsh, Chuck sees that he is lucky to be with the girl of his dreams who gets him. We might think that Chuck is needy and requires rescuing too often Sarah thinks she is lucky to be with someone who makes her into a real person again. The characters see the relationship differently than we do at times.

      • thinkling says:

        Great point Herder. We sometimes project feelings onto the characters that they themselves don’t project.

        I think you hit the nail on the head about the story they are telling. A huge part of its appeal is that they both feel like each of them gets more from the relationship than they give. The unusual gender reversal only adds to its appeal … to me anyway.

        The fact that Chuck finds her super spy skills and fighting skills not only appealing (First Date), but very sexy (Couch Lock) complements the fact that she is attracted to him b/c he’s not like every other spy.

    • armySFC says:

      @ Robet H
      I agree with you on several points. When she publicly told Chuck “your not a spy” it cut him deep leading to the events that followed. i would love to have seen Chuck yell back, “That’s because you haven’t trained me.” the show continues to fail chuck in so manys ways they’d be hard to list. in the time they have been working together they couldn’t have taught chuck some self defense? Sarah used to train in the castle so why not use that as a place to work with chuck? ellie needs to cut chuck loose and let him succeed or fail as a man. so over all i agree with the post.

      @atcdave it doesn’t matter that Casey and Beckman aren’t gossips. What matters is that for a long time Chuck has been trying to earn the respect of both Casey and Beckman (who happens to be his boss and holds his future in her hands) these to are not minor players in his life. they are two of the biggest ones. His one goal for a while has been to prove to Sarah that he is a spy. She cut him off at the knees.

      • atcdave says:

        I do get that; I’ve been through periods where my marriage was great but my job was awful, it stinks. No matter how loved you feel at home something is missing when you don’t feel capable of doing your job. I can imagine it would be worse the same person is responsible for both feelings. I also agree it’s a dumb scenario that Chuck has received no actual training apart from using the Intersect. But for all that, I just don’t see it as huge long term issue. Sarah affirmed several times in Phase 3 just how highly she does value Chuck; and she did so to everyone involved, Casey, Beckman, and Chuck himself. It may not undo her reckless words, but until Chuck does something to restore his own confidence it seems like a serviceable apology to me.

        And in the end they were just words. We’ve seen Chuck and Sarah’s relationship grow for several years now, and we know there is strength and commitment there beyond one rash statement. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to be forgiven for foolish things I’ve said; or even forgive someone else for the thoughtless thing they said to me. That’s just life, it sure isn’t worth ruining what’s good over a few poorly chosen words that were immediately regretted. Chuck himself seems to be mostly over it (and yes, I do still believe he will do something to prove himself professionally to Sarah), we certainly ought to be.

        Herder’s comments above are excellent. Chuck and Sarah both feel they get more from the relationship than they give.

      • armySFC says:

        @ atcdave i completely agree with you on the point it’s a non issue now. it will probably remain that way as well. i think everyone has at one time or another been in the position you described above. i sure have. and you highlighted on the point i was trying to make above. it was not so much the emotional hurt the words caused but the professional one. he still needs to prove to himself that he can do what is needed as a spy. which i think we will see next week.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree entirely army, and I’m really looking forward to Monday!

      • armySFC says:

        @ atcdave i am looking forward to this episode way more than last weeks. when the pics for last week plus the synopsis were released you knew what was going to happen, just not how. it was clear as day that Sarah would kick butt and get Chuck out so the ending was never in doubt. the emotional revelation was unexpected and welcomed. but for the next one the ending for me is still unknown.

    • kg says:

      I apologize if you took the word ridiculous personally. I don’t know you and I certainly wasn’t referring to you as ridiculous.

      However, you asked if Sarah rescuing Chuck was demeaning. I answered that is rediculous. What is she supposed to do? Allow a charming, sensitive, caring, loving man to become a robot because he can’t fight or defend himself without the aid of the intersect?

      I believe you also feel so strongly about this, you claim Sarah castrated him. Her remark was offhand, and she regretted it because I believe it appeared worse than she intended, but far from that injurious. She doesn’t believe Chuck isn’t a useful spy without the intersect, but he can’t fight without. He can’t be Bryce or Cole or Shaw without it. He thinks he has to be to keep her. It turns out, he need not. It turns out, Sarah was right.

      Yeah, I’m a guy big man. And if I have to take a back seat to have someone like Sarah Walker in my life, someone that special in my corner, someone who would battle half of Thailand to save me, well, I’m all in. She can do or say to me almost anything. You can have your excessive amount of male pride. I’ll take the gorgeous blonde who can kick a lot of ass.

      Naturally, Sarah felt some guilt. Her character is always hard on herself when it comes to Chuck. The truth is Chuck and Rye were going after the Belgian anyway. Rye wanted it and Beckman wanted it. Watch the show again. Chuck shook off Sarah’s comment fairly well. He was apprensive and started to realize Sarah was correct, even before he was hanging out the door.

      You’re wrong about Sarah is to blame for Rye’s death. Rye is responsible for that. He insisted upon no safety net. When Chuck got shoved out the door and was hanging by a thread for his life, Rye had two choices. One, finish the job and capture the Belgian or two, at the very least pull Chuck up. He did niether. He babbled on like the idiot he was and the Belgian recovered and shot him because he wasn’t paying attention.

      Oh by the way, Robert, if my apology was not nearly enough and your blood is still up, you’re welcome to meet me anytime and attempt to kick my ass. I’ve got nothing to lose.

      • kg says:

        Herder makes a very good point. I completely agree. Each, for different reasons, sees the other as the “big fish.”

        Anyway, I’m just trying to say that I’ve learned that everybody – even the biggest, toughest, smartest most capable people need rescuing and saving. Physically and emotionally. It’s not demeaning.

        Admittedly, Chuck has come along way from passing out at the sight of a needle, all the girlish screams and freaking out during the pre-torture, he he. But he’s no warrior among killers without the intersect. That’s what Sarah was attempting to intimate, but she was worked up and worried and “but you’re not” spilled out in front of colleagues and supervisors.

        Of course, as a male, I understand that hurts some. Been there. But that’s what makes Chuck a special guy. It doesn’t cause him to change the way he feels about Sarah, he has the large capacity to understand and forgive.

      • JC says:

        I’m going to have to disagree on two points.

        Before the 2.0 Chuck had gotten out of worse situations without fighting, Chuck using his brains to outsmart villains is something that’s been lost since S2.

        Chuck never gets angry at any comments directed at him. I get that he’s a forgiving guy but it’s gotten beyond ridiculous at this point.

      • atcdave says:

        I would like to see Chuck use his wits again, you’re right JC they’ve got away from that the last two seasons.
        But I do love Chuck’s forgiving nature. It’s always been one of the main appeals of the show to me, Chuck is as forgiving as I wish I was. And really, ditto for Sarah; I have often been blown away by the things she gives Chuck a pass for. (“It’s not your fault” is virtually her mantra!)

      • JC says:

        I’m not saying Chuck shouldn’t be forgiving that’s a great quality but sometimes it goes too far. There’s been times on the show when it comes off completely unbelievable to me. His reaction to her comment was one of those moments.

      • thinkling says:

        Lots of interesting discussion, most of which I won’t touch.

        But a couple of points I’m wondering about. JC, I can’t think of a time Chuck got out of a worse situation than this one with only his brain. I can’t think of any situation he was ever in that was as bad as this one. Come to think of it, in many ways he did use his brain, without the Intersect, to get out of this situation, or at least hang on as long as possible. His brain alone wasn’t enough (b/c he was cuffed to a chair and drugged, in a hut surrounded by armed guards, in the jungles of hell), but his brain held its own against the Belgian and his Dr Frankenstein. What more could we ask for under the circumstances. I think he was no less a hero than Sarah. Even completely restrained, unconscious, drugged, and psycho-electro-manipulated, Chuck still matched wits with everything they threw at him. I would hate to underestimate that.

        I loved the inter-cut scenes of Sarah’s fight in the pit with Chuck’s dream escape. They are both fighting so hard for each other. I didn’t really notice the significance of that until my last rewatch. Two fights being fought simultaneously, on two very different plains of battle, but for one purpose. GENIUS … goosebumps.

        I think he still uses his brain — Anniversary, tranque gloves, Couch Lock strategy, gemology course — but maybe not quite as much. Maybe we’ll see more of it in episodes to come. I love that part of Chuck, too.

      • JC says:

        @Thinkling

        I had no problem with Sarah saving Chuck at all in this episode. IMO it was more about her saving him emotionally than physically anyway.

        It just seems like since he uploaded the 2.0, everyone including Chuck has forgotten how smart he is. I want him fighting people but I also want the Chuck who used a Call of Duty plan to escape Mr Colt. There needs to be some balance between him him using his brains and fists. Morgan shouldn’t look more competent as a spy than Chuck without the Intersect. It seems like they’ve forgotten all he achieved in the first two seasons.

        The other point is just because he can’t handle something or is captured characters act like he isn’t a competent spy. In the premier both Sarah and Casey were easily caught and at the mercy of Marco. Yet nobody questioned their abilities, that needs to apply to Chuck too.

      • atcdave says:

        While I agree with most of your comment JC, I think it is fair to add that the CoD scenario might be hard to top. Chuck had no real survival skills at that time, so he had to use brains and bluff only. It was fun and satisfying to watch. But a similar situation with the 2.0 he would likely use a lot more force, and not be nearly as scared. Some of that is just how the show, characters and circumstance have changed; and some of it was an inspired and fun scene that really can’t be duplicated. I know that isn’t quite what you mean; but I would say Chuck has used his brains, even in Phase 3. I mainly want to see him gain some confidence on what he’s capable of without the Intersect; and of course Sarah needs to show more professional respect for him too (I don’t want to make too big a thing of that, I do think Sarah understands her mistake and will make an effort to make amends).

      • JC says:

        I think we’re on the same page Dave.

        What I was getting at is I want to see Chuck use those natural spy instincts and aptitude that was hinted at during the first two seasons.

        I don’t expect another COD moment because at the time Chuck didn’t know the spy world so he used what he was familiar with. But now that he is a spy I’d like to see those instincts used in more spy related solutions. I know with how the show presents the spy world that fists will always be the main way of getting out of a problem but occasionally I want a holy sh*& moment from Chuck using his brain.

        It’s not just Sarah who needs to show professional respect but its Beckman and Casey. Chuck isn’t a normal guy, he went to Stanford, would’ve been a spy if not for Orion and Bryce and from Orion’s mouth “Chuck is smarter” than the creator of the Intersect.

      • thinkling says:

        OK, JC, I see where you’re coming from. Maybe we’ll get to see a more confident, well-rounded Chuck from here on. It feels like we’ve turned some pretty significant corners. Hopefully we don’t just go around the block again. 🙂

    • joe says:

      Robert H., you wrote (way up there) But was it demeaning to Chuck in a more subtle way
      that was masked by the emotional tone and once again the high quality of the episode?

      I think this is the core of the discussion you generated. There was a conflict, egos got bruised, someone has to be a winner and someone has to be a loser.

      It can be seen differently, though, and I have an example. For real, KG is twice my size. I’m an experienced martial artist, but I have no doubt that if we meet in a dark alley, KG is walking out – not me. Of course, that means a dark alley will NOT be by battlefield of choice (and KG, I hereby challenge you to a battle of the Blues-based Rock ‘n Roll Bands, at 20 paces! 😉 )

      Chuck was in a deep hole in Phase 3. His battle was very psychological, challenging his sense of reality, his sense of self, and his understanding of everyone close to him. Sarah’s battle was quite different and no more difficult (but no less). Both had to win their separate fights if they were going to get out of this together, and fortunately, both were well equipped to fight on their respective battlefields. Because of that, I don’t to see how Chuck was demeaned (your word) by Sarah’s victory.

      Now, I’m gonna admit to being the first one who gets miffed when men are dissed and demeaned on TV. I’m sensitive to it, it’s a standard trope (and has been ever since Father Knows Best), it drives me crazy and it drives my wife crazy when I point it out (again and again and again…). So I’ve stopped doing that. But this is NOT one of those instances. Sarah expressed her legitimate concerns (But then there is NO safety net!), Chuck was overly sensitive to it (see Heather Chandler being happy with a “normal” guy for about 10 minutes) and Agent Rye was an insaniac. He took unnecessary risks. This was not at all about Chuck acting stupid or being a wuss.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Joe, I never saw Chuck as being stupid in this. He may have jumped in to trouble a little quickly to prove himself, and Rye certainly was a bit stupid, but overall I thought Chuck was portrayed well.

      • Rick Holy says:

        If someone already said this, then “sorry” for repeating. But I think there’s an underlying point – perhaps THE underlying point – that’s being missed here, and it’s this:

        THEY’RE RESCUING EACH OTHER!! Have been since their first encounter and continue to do it throughout the series. Are there bumps in the road along the way? Sure. But Chuck is resucing Sarah from a past in which there was no realy “family,” no real “love,” (that’s why it’s taking her so long to really understand and experience “real” love). [Recall her line from the recent Heather Chandler episode: “I WAS/USED TO BE just like her!” That speaks volumes].

        Sarah’s rescue of Chuck is more along the line of the obvious. She’s rescuing him from precarious situations which he’s really not trained (receiving the Intersect is not really the same as being a trained spy – I think that’s what was part of Sarah’s point in the “No you’re not” response to Chuck’s “I’m a spy.”

        Even when Chuck saves Sarah in the same manner in which she has saved him (i.e., the Shaw incident – and remember, if I recall correctly, the Intersect wasn’t working properly then, either. He had to go through Shaw’s file and figure it out on his own – (where Shaw would be taking Sarah to “off” her). Sorry, I know that was a long, complicated sentence, so let me start again. Even when Chuck saves Sarah in theh same type of way that she usually saves him, there’s a deeper level at which he’s saving her. For example, when she tells him in the motel room in Paris, “You saved me,” it’s MORE than just saving her life from Shaw – it’s saving her from being “stuck” in her past – “rescuing” her from a spy life in which she knows nothing of real love – and bringing her into the world of normalcy and “real” love – thereby showing her what “real” love is.

        What did she say in the wonderful scene in this last episode when they were going back and forth between Chuck’s “dream state” and Sarah’s pouring out her heart to him as he was in the chair in “The Belgian’s” little lab? This, I believe was key. “Without you, I’m NOTHING. I’m ONLY a spy.” That sums it up plain and simple.

        Yes she may save Chuck in a more “masculine, spy-like manner” more frequently than he does for her, but it doesn’t give me the feeling that she’s cutting off his ba**s while she’s doing it. SHE is after all, the trained spy, the experienced “killing machine.” He isn’t. Intersect or not, he’s NOT a killer. That’s the whole point – and in the end, that’s part of the real beauty of their relationship – the “roles” don’t always have to be what you’d expect.

        Isn’t that what a life partnership is all about? GIVING of yourself something to your partner that they don’t possess themselves, while at the same time ACCEPTING what they give to you that you don’t possess YOURself? Sorry to get religious here, but that’s all part of the idea of “two becoming one.” I think that’s what’s happening with Chuck and Sarah – and I don’t think it’s demeaning to either character. In their relationship, it’s simply the truth – and it works, at least for me.

      • thinkling says:

        Works for me too, Rick. Great summary.

      • atcdave says:

        I’d agree with every bit of that Rick.

      • jason says:

        rick – the fun thing about CS – yes- sarah has physically saved chuck, but also she contributes to his vocation in life, and yes chuck may have ‘saved’ sarah emotionally too (you rightly pointed out a long time ago the paris line was more than a physical ‘save’), but he is a pretty great spy partner for her – the middle ground gets more realistic with each little mini arc of the show

        the real trick for the show now seems to be able to find a way to keep the stakes high in most eps, yet keep the fun and joy somewhat serialized and growing, so far, that has been the single best part of s4, serialized love and joy with weekly knashing of ones teeth brought to a close by the shows end – fullfilling the weekly contract so to speak.

        This show just is not the type of show that can sell serialized misery – the cast is too comedic in nature – so is the premise the show is based on (a nordic she male heroine falls head over heels crazy in love with a tall brunette neurotic nerd hero with a huge heart and a computer in his head).

      • jason says:

        my hope for s4 was one titled ‘chuck vs the first christmas’ – my plot was sarah obsessing over having the perfect xmas – caroling, volunteering at an old people’s home, the perfect tree, house decorated, having everyone over – and striking fear in all the boys in the show – what is she going to make us do next sort of thing – casey-morgan-awesome-chuck-jeff-lester hiding from her, with very little luck – she is trained at finding people after all.

      • atcdave says:

        I think there could be a lot of potential in the whole over-achieving domestic goddess bit; but I’m not sure if they’re ever going to go there.

      • JC says:

        They could do it for an episode. Have Chuck and Casey off on a mission. Then have Sarah obsessing over Chuck’s birthday and make her work with all the non spies on the show.

      • atcdave says:

        That would funny. Sarah trying to organize a party like an op; and treating friends like subordinates, I would guess Morgan won’t argue with her much!

      • JC says:

        It could be really heart warming too. Sarah is trying to go all nerd with gifts and the party. So of course she goes to Morgan first and then to the BuyMore for a gift which brings in Jeffster and Big Mike. Then you have Devon make some uncomfortable comment about sexy times. And at the end Ellie sets her straight that she knows Chuck and all he would want is Sarah there. Yes I can be sappy.

      • jason says:

        my original spec was based around 30 year old sarah possibly has never had a christmas tree of her own, one she purchased, decorated, or done any of the other things that kids get to do for 10 or 15 or 55 years of their lives …. hence the notion of chuck vs the FIRST christmas – isn’t going to occur, just fanfic

      • herder says:

        Jason, sadly no first Christmas episode, but there is a likelihood of a real valentine’s episode this year. Suburbs started with them getting their wires crossed about real vs cover, this would be their first real valentine’s. One or the other could go overboard, or keep having Morgan awkwardly show up.

  12. thinkling says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you. It’s not a Brazilian holiday, but we are celebrating with some Brazilian friends who picked up the holiday living in the States.

    Our family is in the US; our son is in Europe; so it’s a little bit lonely for us this year. But we can be thankful from any place on earth and in any situation.

    Enjoy the day and count your blessings!

    Thinkling

    • Bellatrix says:

      Happy thanksgiving for you too :-).
      We dont celebrate it here either but all my family is coming tonight for my sister’s birthday (so we’ll be celebrating something anyway)
      Hope you all enjoy the holliday!
      Bellatrix

  13. Sarah Sam says:

    Great episode. Agree with most that it went a long way towards restoring some S3 character damage. kg I like your comments about Sarahs actions. For myself, its kinda what I wanted to see.The words are nice but Sarah is a woman of action and at some point the words and actions had to merge to erase the doubt. The revelations were needed for her because some of us have seen too much hesitation and ambiguity on her part. I also agree with Robert H on many of the issues he raises but I have found that in my travels within the Chuck community that Sarah is the most popular and sympathetic character. I don’t think you will find many that will be overly critical of anything she does. In fact, most of it is explained away with various terms (OOC, plot device , alien behavior, zombie Sarah, lazy writing) by the fanbase and there is certainly an element of truth to all of these phrases. Hell, I’ve used them myself. We know we don’t have to agree on every facet of the show, doesn’t mean we’re always right or wrong. We can have different perspectives on character behavior, heck, I know I do. I look forward to Sarah’s backstory, to learn more in-depth details about her journey to this point.

    • atcdave says:

      Glad you liked the episode SarahSam, it was a total blast.

      I would have to say though; while I agree Sarah is, by a wide margin, the most popular character on the show, during the front arc od S3 I think we were equally hard on Chuck and Sarah. Both characters behaved in stupid ways, inconsistent with what we’d come to expect from them in the first two seasons; so for many of us, all of 3.01 – 3.13 is just hard to stomach. TPTB really brutalized two loved and popular characters.

  14. Faith says:

    Fantastic!

    I just love this episode. It took all of Sarah Walker to save Chuck: spy, badass, girlfriend, lover. And it took Chuck all of his own sets of strength to hold on to his sanity. It was close there because remember “everybody talks” but he did it for her.

    Their love is amazing.

    I do have a comment about Beckman. While I too love her now (previously not the case) I didn’t appreciate her reference to Chuck and his importance as the intersect first and foremost. But I understand that it was a prompt (in lit terms) for Sarah’s “this is about Chuck!” outburst. Also another full of win line.

    • thinkling says:

      Point taken about GB. I didn’t like that remark either. But the rest of the episode I found her quite funny … and uncharacteristically solicitous.

      You’re so right about the all-in nature of their striving to get back to each other … amazing is a good word for all of it.

      Good call back to “everybody talks.” I think of that episode every time needles come into play. And I thought in these two episodes how far Chuck has come, in terms of sheer bravery, no Intersect required.

      I’m right with you on all of your Sarah/Yvonne observations in the First Impressions post. I loved your thoughts on the Sarah scenes. And I also loved the shirt moment. Such a small thing, so brief, but so revealing.

      Best Sarah episode yet, and that’s saying a lot. And probably the best Yvonne performance. As I rewatch, I keep thinking how much it must have taken out of her to make this episode. Unbelievable.

    • joe says:

      Something else about Diane Beckman too. I have the funniest feeling (totally unsupported by any facts, mind you) that she’s on the verge of going rogue with the rest of Team B. I don’t mean merely accepting their cover stories and claims of ignorance. I think she’s going to risk her position/job to aid them.

      And if she was in Burbank, I’d say she’s going to be risking her life, too. THAT would be cool to see.

      And on Yvonne, after Monday’s show there were many people tweeting her directly saying what a marvellous performance she had given, and indirectly, saying she should get an Emmy. Heh. Several tweeted *joshschwartz76* saying he should do something about that!

      Anyway, early yesterday she apparently had a chance to read the mountain (I’m sure) of tweets in her in-box, and came back with:
      “Wow. Thank you for the messages about last nights episode. Thank you for watching, so chuffed 🙂 “

      First, isn’t that nice? Second, can anyone give a good American translation of “chuffed” from the original Australian???

      Thanks! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        British Informal.
        delighted; pleased; satisfied; stoked

        I just googled it. If an Aussie or a Brit cares to enlighten, please help us out.

        But I’m glad she’s chuffed.

      • atcdave says:

        I think its like stoked. She seems to be pleased and excited!

      • atcdave says:

        Thanks Thinkling, What a guess!

      • thinkling says:

        You may be right about GB, Joe. She’s inching in that direction. I miss her being in Burbank.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeh, good onya, mate. 😉

      • joe says:

        Oh, that’s fantastic! Thanks, Thinkling & Dave.

      • Big Kev says:

        Funny – as an expat Brit now living in Australia I feel uniquely qualified that Chuffed does indeed mean excited – stoked, psyched, etc.
        And in 10 years of living here I’ve never heard an Aussie say Chuffed! At least I can’t remember hearing it. It’s something you only hear from the Brits. Yvonne’s a Sydney girl – if she spent much time on Bondi beach (where British and Irish backpackers are everywhere!) she would have heard it a lot!

      • joe says:

        Ah, despite that fact that Thinkling writes with a convincing Aussie accent 😉 I nominate you to be our official translator, Big Kev.

        Awesome responsibility, you know!

      • thinkling says:

        Good thinking, Joe, b/c that pretty much exhausts my Aussie repertoire.

  15. herder says:

    Had a drive of a couple of hours for a meeting and back yesterday, came up with a bunch of speculations for next week, but one of them relates back to this episode so I feel ok posting it here.

    Casey told Sarah that she was acting like Langston Graham’s “wild card enforcer”. A number have commented that seemed to be different from what we had understood Sarah’s past to be. One said that it was there to lead up to Sarah’s “I’m different without Chuck and I don’t like it”. My view is that I’m always suspicious in this show when something from the past comes up out of the blue.

    This is the second time that they have brought up Graham since he died “the reason for your redtest will be one of those things Langston Graham took to his grave”. I think they have a back story involving Graham, in the short run I think we find out that Agent Frost used to be Graham’s “wild-card enforcer” and it is more fitting with her character. I think we find that Sarah was recruited by Graham to replace the missing Agent Frost over the long term. This will compare and contrast the two women and the choices that they have made in the past and the choices they will make going forward.

    I think part of the longer story about Graham is what he had planned for Sarah and Chuck’s role in changing those plans. Was he the one who sent Bryce after Fulcrum, why did he send Sarah after Chuck, it offers the chance of a flashback episode with a return of both Graham and Bryce. I think they may shy away from any back story about the red test and Eve Shaw for obvious reasons.

    • atcdave says:

      Fun spec Herder. Love the idea of Sarah as Frost’s replacement. I don’t need to have the Red Test revisited; but some more about Graham, Orion, Frost and Bryce would be awesome.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I seem to remember that the actor who played Graham went onto another show, but I can’t remember what it was. I DO remember seeing him on SOMETHING after CHUCK. If it has already been axed, who knows, maybe we WILL see him back in a “flash back” episode. Remember we still have a LOT of episodes this season. Graham and Frost are probably (at least in the show) about the same age – so they may have worked together.

        It’s always interesting to delved into the characters’ pasts (although not for toooo long) in order to get a better handle on who they are NOW and how they came to be that way. Once we clear up this thing with Frost and get Volkoff out of the way (as much as I AM enjoying Timothy Dalton), it seems like it would be appropriate to get into the “meat” of the story of Frost’s past.

        If Sarah’s mother never turns up in this series – and if we dont’ get a S5, it’s likely we won’t – to have her be able to identify with Frost I think will be a good thing. I think it could pan out really well, especially if we continue to have the excellent writing like we have in the last episode and the other episodes that featured Linda Hamilton.

        “Vs. the Lef-overs” is going to be our last episode until Jan. 17th! UGHHH! Let’s hope, hope, hope – and promo, promo, promo so that it can happen – that we get back closer to the 2.0 demo range. It’s within reach now that the DWTS garbage is over.

        And remember – since we want Subway to still see a “Monday (CHUCK) bounce,” if you’re looking for inexpensive gifts to get family, friends, office workers/staff this Christmas, SUBWAY gift cards are always an excellent idea. Everybody loves a “FREE LUNCH.” If you’re going to get ’em, get ’em THIS MONDAY so it will help the “CHUCK SUBWAY MONDAY NIGHT BUMP.” There won’t be anymore epsidoes before Christmas after this one.

        Well, after a morning of running to Walmart (yes, it was open) to buy a Wet/Dry shop vac to vacuum up the seepage in my mother’s basement from the heavy rains last night, it’s now FINALLY off to my sister’s place for Thanksgiving dinner.

        Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We have much for which to be thankful for. God bless you all!! And “Keep on Chuckin’!”

    • joe says:

      Fabulous spec, Herder. If Sarah’s been mystery to us, Graham is even more-so. He *made* her, after all.

      I’d love to think that there was a back-story (as opposed to a ret-con) from which this aspect of Sarah’s nature came.

      • jason says:

        I think this show does more than enough looking back, the past is largely sadness and melodrama for sarah, looking forward can be fun and joy, her character has been ripped to shreads enough by the story tellers – I would prefer looking forward with some new chuck and sarah as the ‘charlessesss’

        Happy Thanksgiving, gotta go take a nap.

      • joe says:

        Ah! The cure for Tryptophan Poisoning; a nap!

        You have a point, Jason. It was that miserable past that made Sarah into that soulless “Ice Queen” we glimpsed at first. We always knew she was warming up to Chuck, though, so it’s been very hard to remember that. (Hummm… and each time we saw it again, however briefly in S3, we didn’t like that in her character.)

        Crazy-in-love Sarah is much nicer, even if she’s a little hard on Morgan sometimes. 😉

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I’ve always been of the opinion that Graham exploited the arrest of Jack Burton to recruit Sarah. It was probably all kinds of illegal to appraoch her and even suggest that she be a CIA agent given that she would essentially be doing things that could get you arresting for contributing to the deliquency of a minor.

        He appraoched her , offered her a lifeline with a new name but didn’t yet pull it in yet. He could also have interfered in any local social services taking care of her since it was implied that she was alone and still in school after her father was arrested . This would be a form of manipulation by making her feel lost and alone with no one to turn to but Graham . By the time she was old enough to bring in she would see him as her savior and be so grateful to belong and be told what to do and that what she was doing was for the Greater Good (especially after her childhood) that she would do whatever Graham asked of her no question asked and no matter how down and dirty it was until she was sideswiped by the charm of one Chuck Bartowski.

        I was incredibly happy when he blew up. That happened because he wanted intersect agents , he just didn’t want one running around that had a conscience and wouldn’t blindly follow him the way Sarah once did . Plus there was a good chance he was more than a bit honked off that Chuck ruined his creation – Sarah.

      • thinkling says:

        Tamara, I hadn’t given that much thought to Graham’s schemes, but I was glad to get rid of him.

      • atcdave says:

        Tamara, I never cared much for Graham either. But it is possible, if Sarah was recruited late in her senior year, that she was 18. If so, she was of age to make career decisions so no protective services would have been involved. You are right though, he was still exploiting a young woman in a vulnerable situation.

      • joe says:

        Hum… I never gave Graham that much thought, and when I did, I sort of liked him, actually. He seemed to be a bit of a father figure to Sarah.

        But then, her complete lack of any reaction to his death makes no sense. You’d think we’d have seen something in Sarah when he died, wouldn’t you?

        Your interpretation (and your reaction to him) makes a lot more sense, Tamara. Next time I watch those early episodes I’ll be viewing him with a more jaundiced eye.

  16. Amrit says:

    You know one of the most heart wrenching scenes for me was when morgan said to sarah that chuck did not feel like he was good enough for her without the intersect, we as an audience have always know that not to be true, but I understand where is coming from. I remember when I was a kid and my friend asked out one of pretiest girls in our class and she said yes and he was so happy and he worked 3 part time student jobs to have enough money to get the right clothes and take her to a nice restaurant and treat her to a really nice time and then at the last minute she cancelled, I do not know why, but he was heart broken and I felt so bad for him, I cannot put into words what it was like to see a guy know that he was about to go on a date he never thought he would get and be so excited and then it just to fall through was gut wrenching. So when morgan said that to sarah especially after what she said in the last episode and watching chucks dreams, I really felt for him, that made me really feel for chuck and you could see what it did to sarah. This was a really emotional episode and I loved it, because I could kind of resinate with chuck’s position.

  17. Amrit says:

    Also remember guys this season was only supposed to be 13 episodes and that was it, but now that they have been extended and possibly season 5 do not panic if they slow the relationship down a little bit!

    • jason says:

      panic is not an accurate – 4×9 again moved things forward in such a manner that the only way to slow things is to reintroduce the relationship shell game, at some point, the audience gets tired of that game, if OOC chuck sarah angst slows CS down after 4×9, fans will not display a panic, more fierce rage

    • atcdave says:

      I’m certain we’ll still see an engagement by 4.13 at the latest. They’ve spent so much time foreshadowing it, it would be really poor technique to draw it out any longer. I hope for a wedding in 4.24, but that is less of a sue thing.

  18. jason says:

    was hoping for some promo this week, given that chuck is against no dwts and mostly reruns, here was the only link I found, not an uber spoilerish clip, but pretty darned great 46 sec scene:

    http://whosnews.usaweekend.com/2010/11/exclusive-timothy-dalton-revels-in-the-role-of-bad-guy-on-%E2%80%98chuck%E2%80%99/

  19. Robert H says:

    Kg your apology is accepted and you’re right, I did
    take your comment personally and thought it was indirectly directed at me. Given the way it was worded I could not see any other reasonable interpretation so I pushed back.

    I’m not going to comment on the end of your reply. It’s simply beneath me.

    I suggest we both consider the air cleared and move
    on. We look at the issues differently and what this
    boils down to is that we’ll have to agree to disagree and leave it go at that.

  20. Robert H says:

    Appreciate your reply, Joe. I guess we just look at
    it differently. I have a question for you though.

    Do you think Sarah finally disclosed the
    “Undisclosed Desires” of her heart in this last
    episode, Episode 9?

    I remember when you posted the video by Muse in an
    earlier post and you were kind enough to include
    all of the lyrics to it.

    I couldn’t help but think of the video after I saw
    the episode which I’ve watched several times now.

    Just wondering what you think about it, thanks.

    • joe says:

      I want to reconcile the violence in your heart
      I want to recognise your beauty’s not just a mask
      I want to exorcise the demons from your past
      I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart

      I had forgotten that video, Robert! Thanks for reminding me. The vid and those lyrics strike me as more true and revealing now than when I first found them.

      I may be alone in this (and it probably reveals that I’ve been even further behind the curve of understanding than I thought), but I learned a whole lot about Sarah Walker in this episode. Casey’s two word description – “wildcard enforcer” more than rang true for me. It was enlightening. Sarah’s out of control interrogation and rampage through Thailand verified it.

      It’s always way too easy for me to see Sarah as a fantasy figure for Chuck. He saw from the beginning that she was “too good to be true.”

      Sarah’s been presented as a perfect woman, but we were told that she was far from perfect. She’s been ruthless, calculating, amoral, a bit of an adrenalin junkie (like Carina and Bryce) and despite her good intentions, her cold calculations were intended from the start to keep her detached from her emotions, and from Chuck. I lost sight of that because she blew it right from the beginning and started to change “…after you fixed my phone and before you started diffusing bombs with computer viruses.” We met her just as she starts a major transformation.

      Of course, that’s all Chuck’s doing. Sarah credits him with changing her, using words that almost denote rebirth.

      Sarah rescuing Chuck in Thailand was only a part of the story last Monday, and I don’t think it lessened him in any way. I tried to get across the idea before that he had to save himself too. It’s pretty clear to me that Chuck has also rescued Sarah in a deeper way. She’s more than “merely a spy” now.

      You asked if she’s final disclosed her “Undisclosed Desires”. We’ve seen the start of it in the shack in Thailand. We saw that Sarah understood what Morgan was saying when he asked if she had ever told him what he means to her. I doubt we’ll see every second of every intimate conversation – that wouldn’t make for good story telling after all. But I think now Sarah has become a person who can tell Chuck these things.

  21. Sarge_87 says:

    If I had to sum up this episode in one word, it would be “incomparable”. Up until this point in the series, there has never been quite an episode which runs the entire gamut of emotions this one solicited, and to what extent of torture and agony the writers were willing to put Strahovski’s character through were pulled off brilliantly by both parties. We’ve seen small glimpses of Strahovski’s range as an actor in the past, but to see her pull it off for an entire hour, and to make you feel what she was feeling that entire time, was by far more powerful than anything I’ve seen to date from the series. Strahovski’s role here and the fight sequences alone should earn her and Merritt Yohnka an Emmy nominations.

    The team of Baldwin and Gomez just worked so well on so many levels in the past, and seeing the three of them (Casey, Morgan, and Sarah) together in this episode tells me the “bearded one” has really found his niche on the show. I was worried they wouldn’t find a spot for arguably last season’s MVP, but he has seemingly found his place on the team as sounding board, buffer, and occasionally “The Magnet”. The stoner disguise had me totally rolling.

    Baldwin is the rock steady professional you can always depend on to set the tone of the scene he’s in. Whether acting as the no nonsense partner or just as a friend with the advice of experience, he always seems to be the anchor that keeps everything grounded when things are going out of control around him. The best examples is the sideways glance he gives Walker as she strolls down the detention wing with her bag of torture goodies while carrying on a conversation with Beckman about keeping Sarah in check, then again as the voice of sanity explaining to Sarah how he didn’t like Langston Graham’s wildcard enforcer before she met Chuck.

    The secondary plot flowed nicely with the primary plot, sharing the same theme of stopping at nothing to help your loved ones. Captain Awesome carried on that theme quite humorously trading doctor consults for the Buy Morons in exchange for Lester fixing Orion’s laptop for Ellie. It was pretty much standard Buy More fare taking the gag right up to the point where you’re wincing at the gross out humor but not crossing the line into dry heaving.

    Personally, I was happy not to see another Greta this week, as that role has pretty much worn out it’s welcome. It seemed like a fun concept at the beginning, but it didn’t translate well to the small screen as hoped for, the two exceptions being Mustafa and Glau. Then again, Glau’s stint was more Subway porn than Greta-centric.

    For this being Kristin Newman’s second installment (Coup d’Etat, Phase Three), this was a roller coaster ride I would have willingly paid double to ride again. Phase Three was a real palate cleanser from last week’s The Fear of Death, after which I’m coining the phrase “The Woes of Wootton” from his two less than stellar outings (Cubic Z, TFOD) with the latter being saved by the final act leading up to this episode, but that is a post for another time.

    The only pitfall I can see coming from Phase Three will be every episode that follows it will be compared to this one, and that will be a tall order to fill. Understandably, for the first four episodes of the season, the writers were sticking their big toes in the water to check the temperature of how the fanbase would receive them being new and all. They chose somewhat of the safe route to concentrate much of the show on the Charah moments, sometimes ad nauseum. Hopefully, this episode and First Fight will inspire the other writers to not be afraid to push the envelope, and putting the feeling of real danger for our heroes in their spy stories.

    • joe says:

      Well stated, Sarge! I’m betting you’ve got heads nodding in agreement all over the place.

      I don’t recall seeing your handle before (sorry if I missed it!). Welcome to the discussion.

      • thinkling says:

        Yup, my head was definitely nodding. Just a fantastic episode, and you covered all the bases. Homerun.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        First, great post by Thinkling.

        Thanks Joe, for the welcome to your site. Faith turned me on to this site after penning her “Skinny Fear” piece.

        I thank you both for the compliments.

    • Faith says:

      Welcome over these parts Sarge.

      Your post makes me consider a couple of things. When seen through the lenses of the past you have to question why it was that their actions (a large departure from who they were) didn’t seem OOC. And I have to answer with writing style. I can’t express enough how much I am a fan of Newman…she was able to progress, plot and entertain within 43 minutes. Not discounting the progress thus far this season—that too contributes to this epic-ness but even as a standstill still bad ass.

      Episodes like phase three emphasizes to me the importance of having characterization (strength and focus) and how when done well the villain or strength of villain becomes secondary. We all argue amongst ourselves about internal versus external conflict and I have to say Phase Three was a great argument for either perspective. But it was so brilliant that it’s subtle. Chuck and Sarah were fighting their own demons internally. Chuck obviously needed all of his heart (I say heart rather than brain because believing his brain in this instance would mean breaking—but because he used his heart he triumphed. His heart knows what is right and wrong and what matters–Sarah matters). Same for Sarah. She used all of her strengths but her heart dealt the blow and saved Chuck.

      But even during said internal struggle is this external threat. Not being a spy, death, danger, losing his mind–literally and it was a really great mix of both.

      I guess the point of this long winded post is when done correctly and written well we can have our cake and eat it too lol.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with all of that. The characterization aspect and whether it’s OOC, I agree that writing is really important, and Newman is terrific! Two such different episodes … great talent. Let her write a lot more. However, what we saw in Phase 3 wasn’t without some basis in what we’ve seen of Sarah in the past. (Whereas other OOC actions, which shall remain nameless, apparently came out of nowhere.)

        You touch on a deeper level of internal threat, as in internal to the character and not just their lives or family or what-have-you. That’s a nuance I didn’t really capture. Nice.

        Don’t know where to put this odd thought, b/c it really goes back to former FOD discussions, but it seems a bit down your alley. … When Sarah told Chuck, don’t be a hero, he didn’t hear what she meant. He may have heard don’t try to be something you’re not. She meant Just this once, don’t be ‘that guy.’ Don’t be that hero you are, b/c I need you to come ‘home’ safe to me.

        Like the saying I know you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you understood is not what I meant.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Is it more about fighting internal demons, or about fighting not to lose what makes them whole as a person?

        Sarah and Chuck’s relationship can best be described as the light surrounded by total darkness, the darkness being the double lives they have chosen to lead to ensure the security of their country and more importantly to their very own families. This paradox of imagery adds atmosphere to the moral dilemma facing the two lovers: loyalty to something greater than themselves as Casey once said, or loyalty to love and family. The question has always been if they can have loyalty to both or did it have to be exclusive. Having chosen loyalty to both seemed to suit them well until the spectre of losing one another became only too real for for both of them.

        All throughout the first half season three, Chuck had lost his heart being without Sarah. The seemingly OOC moments for Chuck all revolve around the loss of Sarah. His most important attributes, his moral compass, his ability to have compassion, his trustworthiness, and his humanity were all being wiped away. In short, it was turning him into another unfeeling Langston Graham wild card enforcer. It was only at this lowest point in his life, he knew the only person who could make him whole was Sarah.

        Now with this latest installment of Phase Three, Sarah’s greatest fear was realized, the possibility of losing Chuck forever. The intelligence dead ends and bureaucratic red tape pushed her to the breaking point of reverting back to the person she was before meeting Chuck. It wasn’t until Casey confronted her about nearly torturing a prisoner did she realize that without Chuck she has no soul. She knew she needed to find him to make herself whole once again.

      • thinkling says:

        Excellent comments, Sarge.

        Sarah and Chuck’s relationship can best be described as the light surrounded by total darkness, the darkness being the double lives they have chosen to lead to ensure the security of their country and more importantly to their very own families.

        I love that. I suggest that having chosen loyalty to both not only suits them, but is the source of that light in the midst of their dark world.

        Chuck’s OOC moments of s3 being b/c he had lost Sarah and thus his heart. Spot on. The same can be said of Sarah’s s3 OOC-ness, no? Sarah’s Phase 3 confessions may be the closest we get to an explanation of her s3 derailment.

        They make each other whole. I think on some level they have always known that. But these last two episodes made it abundantly, consciously, crystal clear to them.

        Sarah: I’m different without Chuck, and I don’t like it. and Without you, I’m nobody. I’m just a spy. And Chuck: But I do need her! I love her, and I’d rather love Sarah than have the Intersect.

        The much needed epiphany for each of them was the depth and unconditional nature of the love in which they are held by the other … stunning revelation.

        These are the defining moments that strengthen them, put them on solid ground, and bring them to a happy, secure place.

  22. Amrit says:

    I think the one aspect of this series that we forget is not only how sarah feels about chuck but how chuck feels about sarah. When you look at zach levi you sometimes forget that the premise of this show is that sarah is supposed to be way out of chucks league! I mean way out of his league! But the fact is when a girl as beautiful as hannah likes him for him and wants a relationship with him you can take for granted what a beautiful relationship he and sarah have. That is what is heart breaking about his dreams and sarah knowing deep down how he felt through morgan, he may date other beautiful women, he may be smart, he may be sweet, but to him he will always put sarah on a pedastle and she will always be very special and so although as an audience we forget that, this episode shows just how anxious he is to be the best he can be for her. I felt for chuck man, to carry that anxiety around all the time to try and win sarah’s heart every day, every day! and it puts into context what she said to him last episode about not being a spy and it makes the emotional beats in this episode all the more powerful.

    • joe says:

      Chuck really has to stop putting Sarah on that pedestal!

      Actually, I think he’s come a long way. He’s not reflexively chanting “I’m not worthy!” any more, which is a good thing. He’s mostly accepting the idea that Sarah does love him for who he is.

      The relapses make him seem rather adolescent, though. Don’t they? Much like the girlish screams, I hope we’ve seen the last of them.

      • Amrit says:

        I don’t know, his parents abandoned him when he was young and he thought that was his fault, his friend Bryce abandoned him by getting him expelled, even though he now knows it was for a good reason. Sarah took 3 years to finally start a relationship with him, and it only after 4 years telling him that she wants him for him. I mean with all these issues so ingrained into his psyche it it must not be that easy to let things go and to always worry, I understand his point of view and with his mom coming back to yet throw more confusion on the whole situation, I do not blame chuck for the way he is. But I like you do hope that he does get past this and starts to embrace what is good and what is not.

      • JC says:

        The same could be said of Sarah, Chuck is far from perfect. It gets glossed over by the show but he’s equally as messed up as Sarah. But you’re right Joe no more girlish screams.

  23. herder says:

    If we have ruled out the beach as the place for the proposal I’m going to go with the fountain as the likely site. I figure a reversal of the situation in Marlin, there you had Chuck and Sarah on the outside, looking in through the window as Awesome proposed to Ellie, afterwards Chuck asked Sarah to come in she demurred as that was for family and Chuck said “I know”.

    This time I think you get a proposal at the fountain with Awesome and Ellie, Morgan and maybe Casey looking out through the windows at them. Then you get Sarah and Chuck asking their “family” to come out and celebrate with them. The actual contents of the proposal which I have no idea is the “magic”, not the location.

    • thinkling says:

      That would be a nice turn around, Herder. It could be a Bartowski party that everyone knew to be late for. So the courtyard could be decorated for the shh—engagement—shh party.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m trying to decide if Sarah should be surprised or not. Obviously it would be really sweet if she was caught off guard. But it might be really funny if afterwards we hear Morgan or Ellie whisper to Sarah “you weren’t fooled by any of that were you?”. Either a knowing laugh or a (faux) innocent “I don’t know what you’re talking about” could be an excellent response.

    • jason says:

      some great thoughts – would have to think the ‘original’ engagement in 4×13 would have played wonderfully as herder described to end the series on, almost a star wars like ending, maybe with Papa B’s and bryce’s images in the background while all the cast gathers in celebration.

      This way, I am not sure, if delayed until 4×24 or if the engagement will be stuck in the middle somewhere.

      My opinion is the biggest hurdle left is how the rest of S4 will be promoted / positioned over the next 40-50 days, will schwartz make a video like last season, what will NBC do, how many interviews etc will the cast give, etc, etc.

      • atcdave says:

        I really can’t see them delayng until 4.24 for an engagement; the foreshadowing has been too thick and frequent to just forget for a while. My guess is, they considered all along doing an engagement by 4.13, with an actual wedding to follow if they got a back order. That way they can promote a wedding for the May sweeps. Any story changes with the back order my just be in the timing of Frost/Volkoff story arcs, if even that. It’s possible the only thing they were surprised by was two extra episodes in the back order.

        And of course, I’ll qualify all of this by admitting my batting average has been terrible this season (except I feel justified in being optimistic about the show!).

      • joe says:

        I have a feeling your schedule is about right, Dave. They meant for C&S to be engaged by 4.13, and will probably stick to that.

        But also consider that often, the emotional high point has been at least one episode earlier. The motel scene in Colonel comes to mind. For me, it’s often earlier, at the end of the previous episode, as a teaser. That would put a proposal early in 4.12 or even at the end of 4.11, leaving 4.13 as the chance for us to see them together that way for an episode.

        I wouldn’t mind the final 11 of S4 being about the wedding planning, stand-alone spy adventures and Frost facing her biggest nemesis yet – Honey Woodcomb. 😉

      • herder says:

        I do wonder how much of the end of the first thirteen has been changed by the back eleven. Last year and this year both TPTB initially said that if we get a back order we will keep the original story and then add on more new story.

        But last year there were some definite changes, for one the end of 3.13 was supposed to be a climactic fight between Shaw and Chuck at the Eiffle Tower (that’s why there was the keychain that his dad gave him in First Class). But Shaw surviving a drop off a bridge was more likely than a plunge off the tower.

        This time round I’m pretty sure that they have pushed off the the final resolution of the Mama B and Volkov stories. I’m not sure if a proposal will be pushed off or not.

        It may be a temptation for them to have Chuck asking Jack Burton’s permission to marry (as Awesome asked him and Big Mike asked Morgan) and another temptation may be for a Valentine’s proposal during sweeps in February. The birth of Baby Awesome may be another sweeps event or it may be for the season finale.

      • JC says:

        I think we also have to look at the ratings. We know that Fedak doesn’t like to write endings but if the show can’t get back up to around a 2.0 this could be the end of the show.

        In my mind they would be smart to have an engagement near 4.13. This allows them to do a wedding in the back eleven if this is the last season or put it off to S5 if they get picked up again. Personally I’m hoping they do marry them off in the back eleven even if we get a S5. For me Sarah being pregnant and them leaving the spy life would be a fitting ending to the show.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree JC on a couple counts. I’d love to see S5 with Chuck and Sarah married for the whole season. And then whenever they get the word they are done, end it with a pregnancy (or even a birth); and let us know Sarah (and of course Chuck, but that kind goes without saying) is happy about it.

      • thinkling says:

        Surprises all around … I agree with Dave. 🙂

  24. Ernie Davis says:

    Wow, a lot of catching up to do. But one question, the song at the end. Who was the one who needed to wake up?

    • thinkling says:

      Since it was the same song that played during the Sarah/shirt — Morgan/Sarah scene, I’m gonna say waking up to all that they have to live for is a theme.

      Sarah, though wide awake, had an awakening of her own in the first part of the episode: when she realized she was different without Chuck and she didn’t like it; in their bedroom when she realized how much she missed him; and when Morgan helped her see Chuck’s perspective of her and their relationship and of himself without the Intersect. Sarah left their bedroom fully awake … and loaded for bear.

      Chuck needed to wake up on a couple of levels, the most obvious, of course, being to wake up from the Belgian’s mind wipe. But Chuck needed to wake up to all that Sarah told him. He needed to know she loved him unconditionally, wanted to spend the rest of her life with him whether he had the intersect or not … that if he would just come back to her, she was gonna marry him. So, Chuck left Thailand a little foggy, but fully awakened to Sarah’s love and all that he had to live for. Being reinstated as a spy was an important affirmation of his value with or without the Intersect, but it is secondary to loving Sarah (FOD).

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