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.
OK, so now that you’ve slept on it, tell me your thoughts.