First Impressions: 4.10 Chuck vs. The Leftovers

Here is another roundtable assessment from the Chuck This crew…….after the break!

What Joe Saw

After such an amazing episode as Phase Three I’m not too surprised that I was left feeling a bit colder about Chuck vs. The Leftovers. It almost had to be. For most if it, I felt like the episode was walking a tightrope.

Jeff and Lester were at it again, in classic form (good)! And just about the time I thing I’ve had enough of them (bad), that’s when Volkoff appears and we have about 20 minutes of great spy story in the Buy More (good). Well timed! From the start, Chuck and Sarah were comfortably together (good). That’s wonderful! They were so comfortable, in fact, that The Romance ™ was a non-issue (bad). Volkoff was as monstrously evil as you could hope (good). And twice as demented. Was he going to prove to be an absolute loon? That would have been silly. I thought only fools fall in love, not twisted arms dealers! He came close, but nearly saved the completely unbelievable story-line in Echo Park (bad) with great acting by Timothy Dalton (good).

Linda Hamilton was every bit as wonderful as MamaB as she’s been, but honestly, I’m tiring of the game they’re playing – is she good or is she evil? We have to ask if the twists and turns in her character and the various explanations for her actions that she gives are acceptable, and really, each of us will come to our own conclusions about that. So please don’t go shouting to the skies that “her reasons made no sense!” or “her reasons made *perfect* sense!” – we’re each going to decide that one on our own.

Everything was a re-use, including “Guys I know Kung-Fu.” But by adding “Again” to it, by having Morgan almost-but-not-quite save the day, by having Chuck ask Devon to be awesome again but laying down the law about Ellie, by having Jeff and Lester in the story but passed out for 35 minutes not counting commercials, the show just managed to pull it back from the brink.

Chuck’s ability to flash is back, but without seeing the episode again, I’m not sure how Stephen knew what had to be done. At the same time I’m impressed that way back in the middle of S3 TPTB had enough foresight to plant Ellie’s neurological knowledge in the story for its use now. So I am going to watch again, but I am doing that to study it, and I am doing it to get to the next episode. It may turn out to be a nice bridge, but that will depend on where we go next.

Dave’s 2 cents Worth

First impression,  I had a great time.  Laughed a lot and enjoyed myself.   Timothy Dalton may be the best villain they’ve had.  He manages to be both funny and scary,  and one of the most convincing psychopaths I’ve seen.  He even made charades frightening.  I liked the way mom proved her loyalty to Chuck, while maintaining her cover with Volkoff.  Devon was well used in this episode;  he does what he can and has Chuck’s back,  while resenting it at the same time.

Morgan was very funny;  and the Die Hard parody was the best.  Pretty funny how many times they keep mining material from the same movie.

A very good use of Jeff and Lester,  they were unconscious most of the episode.

Casey had little to do.

Sarah also had little to do,  but I guess that’s to be expected after owning the episode last week.  Yvonne is however,  always impressive.  Even with a fairly small part she is actively involved in every scene, and her reactions almost do more to set the tone than anyone else’s actions.

I was a little disappointed in Chuck being so passive.  You would think when an enemy starts hacking into Castle’s computers,  Chuck is the one who know what to do about it,  not Casey.  I think I like the way the Intersect was restored;  Ellie was pivotal yet in the end she didn’t know it.  But I am disappointed Chuck never got to prove himself without the Intersect working.  It is good Sarah was clear last week about loving Chuck without the Intersect;  she is clearly completely committed to Chuck.  But it would have been nice if Chuck had been able to do something more worthwhile purely for his own self-confidence.

So this doesn’t rise quite to the level of some of the earlier outstanding episodes we’ve seen this season.  But it was very good and a great time.

Ernie Really Wants to Know What Volkoff’s Charade Was.

It’s a funny thing watching your favorite show return to its roots, but in a more grown up way.  We’re back to “trust me” versus “believe me”.  How can you protect the ones you love in the spy game, where everything is built on deceit, without losing their love and trust?  It’s a bit of a game Mama B has had to play, expecting, or hoping for trust, but having to continually disappoint Chuck.  She knows the stakes, and knows that hurting Chuck is protecting him in the long run.  This is something Sarah is all too familiar with.  I was glad to see it pretty much resolved tonight.  Another round of good or evil mom would have been flogging the lame, but not yet dead horse.

It’s a funny thing to see your favorite show return to its roots.  Literally, funny.  Chuck has managed to present menacing villains humorously, and tonight was one of the best examples for a long time.  Volkoff wanting to connect with the family, playing charades, I’m sorry, it was both bizzarre and hillarious.  There was a more dramatic tone, but seriously, Timothy Dalton was just absolutely fantastic.

The A and B plot were so intertwined as to be inseparable, and despite knowing from the second I saw Morgan in a wife beater soaking his feet where it was headed, it was no less fun.  They managed to pull off the capture of the Buy More/Die Hard episode, which they do about twice a saeason on average now, and still keep it fresh.  Oh, and a poll dancing class… Of course.  It’s Morgan.  OK, that one seemed a bit strained for a moment, but when I just relaxed and went with it…  Kind of like Chuck and Morgan.  Yep, funny.  Cinnamon is a hard taskmaster after all.

It’s a funny thing, finding what you loved and thought you lost in a show back again.  Maybe some of the passion is a little more subdued, but the thing that struck me was that I was back to loving Chuck, and while this wasn’t my favorite episode of the season it did occur to me, I felt comfortable with Chuck again.  This wasn’t a Colonel or Fat Lady episode, there were no giant shifts in the season, no grand reveals, and so I can see some thinking not much happened.  Not much was resolved after all, but it was a fun and funny and dramatic Chuck.  It hit all the aspects of the season it needed, and set us up for a three act mini-finale.  The intersect is back, Mary is on their side, and Volkoff is a major threat.  Now comes the hard part.  Waiting for seven weeks.

Tonight was interesting, and I’m still letting it sink in.  I just sat back, let go, and enjoyed watching my favorite show again.  Huh, the angst is gone.  Funny.

Faith aka Jem has so many questions:

I guess I have to depart from my fellow bloggers because my initial thoughts: I didn’t like it. Meh lol. I know that they don’t often get to decide which episode to leave off of, but as a “Chuck” fan (let’s face it we’re more cognizant of the consequences of breaks and ratings than most) I felt like this was a bad episode to go on a hiatus on. I’d rather they ended with last week’s tour de force of badassiness. But again, I know they don’t get to decide these things; sometimes it’s just the roll of the dice.

What I did like:

– There are couple of things I called within this epi. I’m totally tooting my own horn on these in particular lol…namely that a.) Volkoff is in love with Mary and b.) Mary and Sarah will have a kinship of some sorts because they both know full well the life each have led/have had to lead and the choices they have had to make.

– Linda Hamilton is fantastic. I can’t say enough about her and what she brings to the show. I felt her pain in imploring Chuck to trust her, and I felt her panic at having to toe the line between being a mom and being a spy. She has a mission and it’s become sort of her only thing in life at this point. She’s lost everything and all she has to show for it is taking down Volkoff Industries (emphasis on industries), eventually.

– Timothy Dalton is no less impressive. On a night where the plot really struggled to get off the ground these two professional actors brought their best and made what would have been an ok episode into a Chuck episode (obviously I’m using “Chuck episode” as synonymous to good if not great lol).

– I really liked the camera movements on some of the shots. In particular the psychoses of the dinner. ZL chose a perfect angle and illustration of just how bizarre and awkward that moment was, not to mention it was a great illustration of just how off the rocker Volkoff is.

– Finally, the spy biz. I don’t have as much an issue at the lack of hands on with regards to Chuck and computers. In fact I didn’t have much of an issue with his role in the spy game in general. On the contrary I’m impressed at the short hand he and Sarah have developed. It really reminds me of Bryce actually. Remember when Sarah came into the view in Break Up and Bryce just knew? Chuck and Sarah have developed that same bond and that partnership even without the intersect and in their case it’s all the more powerful because like Volkoff puts it, it’s just different when it’s the woman you love that’s threatened.

I also found the parallel between Volkoff and Frost and Chuck and Sarah interesting. The repeated references to, “this is how you do it” was inspired. We’re reminded just how long they’ve been doing this and how much of a life this has been for them. For our heroes (Chuck and Sarah) it’s what they do (something that has changed for Sarah in particular BTW, from years past) not who they are. For Volkoff and Frost, it’s who they are. Notice Mary’s “you don’t know how to love…”

Now for the questions and perhaps the biggest detriment to me praising this episode:

– What now? It felt like a lead in episode but where it leads to almost doesn’t even get off the ground. I mean usually when you lead in, you clue in to where that is and you get the viewer/reader interested somehow, someway. This episode didn’t really have that. Instead it felt like there were missing pieces and missing plot breadcrumbs that would have made it make much more sense and create more of an anticipation on behalf of the viewers.

– So does knowing that MamaB is stuck motivate Chuck to get her out? They didn’t really give us enough on that front to really move the plot along.

– Does Ellie figuring out the ins and outs of the intersect and the brain involve her further into the Bartowski legacy? (I say legacy because at this point it’s become quite clear they are a family of spies, all your really need is what should be done which is Ellie being hands on with Chuck’s intersect health/well-being).

– What exactly did MamaB do and it was fixed just like that? While I believe her when she said she did it so he wouldn’t follow her, I think just like most of her answers it’s incomplete. I still think that she did something apart from just temporarily disabling the intersect to get away, but time will tell on that front. But I have to depart from Joe a bit on this, I think the fact that we don’t know and are never given any clues makes it all the more intriguing. I think it’s inspired not to even tell Hamilton the side her character plays because it adds to the puzzlement of the role.

Thinkling’s First Thought — Farther Up & Further In

Though not nearly as emotionally or physically intense as Phase 3, Chuck vs the Leftovers, with its unique “Chuck” blend of humor and action, cranks up the tension on all fronts as it takes us farther up and further in (another Clive Staples reference) to all things Chuck. We learn more of the complex life of MEB: her loyalties, the psychopath she works with, and the world she has lived in for 20 years. Chuck & Sarah’s relationship, the Intersect and Chuck’s destiny, family issues, and spy plots all find themselves on higher plains where the demands are greater, the stakes are higher, and there’s no going back.

I can’t praise TD and LH enough. They have such a great chemistry with the cast. The more of them we get the better.

CHUCK & SARAH get one step closer to a proposal, this time thwarted by North America’s top 3 assassins. I hate it when that happens! Poor Chuck. If this keeps up, he’ll have to settle for a drive-through wedding in Vegas … or not. Maybe it’s just me, but is there a new C/S vibe after Phase 3 … a greater level of comfort … the walk/talk … the hand holding … a deeper connection … a constant awareness. Though not the center of the episode, their relationship was a subtle force throughout.

FAMILY. Families come first, and this one just got in way over its head in the spy world, in this CIA version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The family scene was really perfect. It oozed tension without losing its humor, and the Doctors Woodcomb were blissfully unaware. If Timothy Dalton was funny as Tuttle, he’s hilarious as the world’s biggest psychopath trying to fit in with his “new family.” There’s always a mess to clean up after company leaves, but nothing on the level of the mess that Volkoff left behind. Devon knows Chuck is spying, and he’s plenty mad about it. Volkoff knows who everybody is and where they live. Until TeamB can clean it up MamaB is the only one keeping them safe.

MEB the MOTHER/SPY. Oh to be loved by Alexei Volkoff … not! No doubts linger about MEB’s loyalties or that she has never been in more danger than she is now. Linda Hamilton did a spectacular job as the Mother/Spy whose worlds just collided. She walks a tight rope throughout as a Mother determined to protect her children and the Spy trying to keep her cover. Only Alexei’s love blinds him to the truth about his top agent. The nuances of the characters and the story were sold by facial expressions, and on that point LH does not disappoint. Her reaction to Volkoff’s decking Chuck, to the phone call, her silent communication with C/S, and her distaste of having to cozy up to the likes of Alexei Volkoff. She was great at the dinner. Her telling of the last Bartowski Thanksgiving was poignant, a memory that haunts and holds her. Her connection with Ellie and Devon is genuine on one level and a deception on another. I continue to be intrigued by the layers of MEB.

SARAH. Sarah’s facial expressions tell a wordless story, from what she thinks of MEB, and of Volkoff, and of … everything. Watching Yvonne’s face was a treat, as always. How can an actress communicate such a broad range of expression with her face. So entirely different from last episode’s expressions, but no less revealing. Amazing.

I loved the connection between MEB and Sarah. MEB connects with Sarah as a spy. Sarah is the first to get her … to believe MEB and understand her predicament. Usually Chuck is the peacemaker. This time it’s Sarah who is keeping things in balance and maintaining perspective. I can’t help thinking that when MEB notices Chuck & Sarah holding hands on the elevator, another connection begins with Sarah. I don’t know if MEB noticed the almost-proposal, but Sarah now falls under MamaB’s protection as family.

ALEXEI VOLKOFF. TD is awesome, er, GENIUS. Psychopath indeed. What mood swings from his anger over the phone to his childlike glee over family. One minute he’s going to incinerate everyone, including his beloved Frost, b/c he’d rather she die than have to live without him. What a sweetheart. The next minute he’s all You didn’t think I could have a relationship with your family? Kids love me! I’ll bet. They’d be afraid not to. Kind of like Chuck. Hey whatever your in-law problems are, I bet they just got smaller.

ZL’s face was no less expressive in wordless communication than LH and YS. I don’t remember an episode in which so much was communicated by looks alone. It seemed appropriate, given the tension of the situation.

THE INTERSECT. This was an Intersect episode, with back references from the pilot with Chuck and Morgan getting their gloves on for a mission to Guys I know Kung Fu, again and Sarah’s Chuck? after the upload and his standard collapse. I love that Ellie fixed the Intersect … that she recognized the problem and knew it needed a neurological solution rather than an engineering one. I love that PapaB got them to solve the problem together (Subway back reference) with his series of passwords. And I loved the upload.

Chuck is not blind sided as in the Pilot, and it’s not a hasty decision of mixed motives like the Ring. He makes a deliberate, calculated decision to embrace his destiny once and for all. His team is with him this time, but it’s his decision, his right of passage. It’s also a couple thing … Sarah asking if he’s sure, letting him decide, supporting either way. Casey’s grunt and nod of approval. Then the upload … and the smiles. The team is back together. Sarah is happy for Chuck to be the hero and the spy. And Chuck is happy to be back to his new normal.

And not a minute too soon! With Volkoff’s knowledge of TeamB and Castle, they will need the whole team functioning on all cylinders to bring him down. Farther up and further in for all of TeamB. No going back.

Amyabn’s reaction.

I always end up going last (darn schedules!) so I don’t have too much to add.  I think the story moved forward on many levels.

-We saw a very comfortable Sarah and Chuck, able to walk and talk and hold hands.  Simple but profound, and it carried on in the elevator as they headed upstairs to face off with Volkoff.

-Morgan was solid this episode, choosing to save the BuyMorons.

-The non-verbal communication was awesome, which is to be expected by such an awesome cast.  What a treat to gain insight from the looks and glances!

-I’m still not happy with the regression of Chuck.  He has just been assured of his value to the team in Phase III, only to become hapless in the one area he doesn’t need the Intersect for (computers and hacking).

Don’t misunderstand me:  I liked the episode and waited with anticipation at the commercial breaks for, well, something more than what I got.  I hope that while MEB will return and further parallels will be drawn between her and Sarah, I hope MEB, and more importantly, Chuck, will see that Sarah would never make the same choices MEB made.  I think that has been established in Subway/Ring II, but I thought we had lost some of Chuck’s neuroses with last weeks episode too.  It will be a long few weeks between episodes!

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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167 Responses to First Impressions: 4.10 Chuck vs. The Leftovers

  1. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Thank you’ll for your wonderful impressions.

    @Thinkling – While reading your impressions about Volkoff’s eagerness to get to know Mama B’s children, I was reminded of my own jokingly made speculation before the episode aired about Volkoff seeing the Bartowski siblings as some sort of extended family and you had mentioned that it was creepy. We both turned out right, didn’t we?

    @Amy – Agree with you on the regression of Chuck’s character. It’s gotten to a point where one’s tolerance level is being tested to the limits.

    • patty says:

      I don’t think Chuck is the go to guy to man machine guns and take out a large number of people, even if computers are involved!!!

    • thinkling says:

      Yeah, Alladins, I thought of you as soon as he asked if she didn’t think he could have a relationship with her family. And it was major creepy.

  2. patty says:

    I am glad to see that I was not the only one who had a good time watching this episode. I was starting to feel lonely, although my daughter said she liked it too.

    Not sure Chuck exactly qualifies as Heaven though.:-P

    • thinkling says:

      No, you’re quite right. But I guess you can go farther up and deeper in to other things. Good catch, Patty.

    • joe says:

      Patty, it almost always happens that when I watch a given episode a second time I enjoy it more than the first. That happened again to me today. But what was most unusual was how much more I enjoyed it.

      I don’t think Leftovers will ever make it into my top 20, but I really liked the gentle humor. I missed quite a bit of it the first time around. The story itself, although it frustrated me a bit at first, hung together quite a bit better than I thought.

      There were tons of plot holes. Really, what did happen to all the CIA agents in the Buy More??? The second time around I was ready to allow that it was “Black Friday.” They were off from work too! Okay, it’s silly, but we’ve suspended our belief at least as much for this show before.

      I didn’t accept the whole notion of MamaB having some sort of “fake” relationship with a psychotic genius for 20 years. Then I re-heard MEB asking Sarah what would happen if Sarah had been in her shoes. “What would that make you?” she asked. “A valuable asset.” was the answer. It was poignant. For every question I had about motivation like that they actually provided an answer. Some of them weren’t bad, either.

      Personally, I never liked it when Chuck was portrayed as a helpless/hopeless boob back in S1, always needing to be rescued by Sarah (and I really loved the quick appearances of Charles Carmichael). Chuck’s without the Intersect, and it started to look like he was going to be incompetent again. But they didn’t do that. At least he got to fight once without the Intersect this time. Held his own, too. Not bad!

      I do wish they had used Ellie more. I’m both glad and a little disappointed that she “fixed” Stephen’s mistake. It brought her into the story like I hoped, but glossed over it too quickly, I thought. My biggest disappointment, though, was that we sort of figured it out! I can’t quite fault TPTB for not pulling an amazing rabbit out of their collective hats, but had they done that, it would have moved the episode up several notches for me,

      And finally, the good points remain. Both Linda Hamilton and Tim Dalton were stellar! I liked Awesome in this episode. If what remains of the first 13 is Chuck rescuing Mary Elizabeth (and *redeeming* her), then it’s possible that several things started here, Ellie’s involvement in particular, will bear some major fruit.

      • JC says:

        Joe Chuck was never a boob, he was just someone who was in world he didn’t understand at the time. But what made him great was he used his own skills and smarts to survive and succeed.

        What happened to the Chuck that connected the dots on his Tron poster, tracked Orion down, hacked a Fulcrum chip, etc? Just because he can fight doesn’t mean he has to lose all the skills he had before the 2.0.

        Its a shame the 2.0 had tons potential but its become a crutch for the writers.

      • joe says:

        Well, “boob” was rhetorically excessive, I’ll admit. 😉

        But I was very glad to see Chuck get beyond the girlish screams. No, he really wasn’t successful early on. He was stuck in an $11/hr. job with little motivation to strive for more. At least, not until Sarah came along. That’s when he started connecting dots, jumping off of buildings and hacking chips. I think he could have understood the world he was in, but he just decided he wasn’t going to bother with it, and he reverted a lot. Some of what Lou and Jill were about was Chuck reverting to his former life, I think.

        I’m so glad Chuck started to get out of that pretty much when we first see him, but it took some time, remember. He was still insecure and intimidated even as late as Beefcake, at least, some of the time.

        I was worried that the 2.0 would become the answer to every problem too. But I think that, overall, they’ve avoid doing that for the most part. Having it reappear so easily at the end of Leftovers gave me pause, but I want to wait and see how they use it in the next few episodes. If the big problem to be solved is rescuing Mary Elizabeth, I’m hoping that Ellie is still more of the solution than the Intersect. We’ll see.

      • JC says:

        I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying.

        I’m not denying that Sarah didn’t motivate him and bring out the best. But Chuck was successful in the spy world before the 2.0. It was his smarts,instincts and courage that did that not the Intersect. But since he’s gotten the 2.0 the Chuck who used his brains is gone. S1 Chuck was more of spy than the Chuck we saw without the Intersect this season.

        I’m not calling for the return of the girlish screams or the damsel in distress but that’s what we got during this arc. I want the Chuck who’s as deadly with his brain as he is with his fists.

      • jason says:

        JC – I think chuck was more insecure as a man than a spy in s1/s2, in s4, I think the writers very simply were told make chuck the spy joe cool early (4×1), then we are going to totally break him, strip him, make him hapless, hopeless, and helpless, and show that sarah loves the man, not the machine …. then we will return him better and stronger than ever. I think that arc just ended. If we only had 3 eps left, they are in perfect position to wrap things up with 3 eps of charles carmicheal, international bada$$ and his hot nordic she male partner, lover, girl friend soon to be fiancee.

        Given the addition of 11 more eps, I have no idea what is in store.

        Many of you have hoped they tear sarah down by looking at her past transgressions, I hope CS move forward and do some new things – the past has been explored way, way too much in this show already, if zero past is brought up, I would be far, far happier.

      • jason says:

        I talk about new, rather than destroy sarah again.

        One dramatic thing this show could do is have morgan get tortured or shot, maybe even killed. He has been way too foolhardy in rushin in to situations, his death would raise the ‘spy’ stakes immeasurably – show chuck there is a price to be paid.

        But even Morgan laying in a hospital bed, after being beaten and tortured by volkov would raise the stakes (I would laugh and laugh if he was beaten about like cole was, shot in the knee cap, man that would be so much fun after putting up with his crap for 4 seasons)

        Then send a highly motivated chuck (and casey) after volkov (and how about devastated ellie delivering the line ‘Chuck, let’s get the ba$tard) – maybe even sarah having to tame chuck down some, the way casey had to her in 4×9.

        I just find no pleasure in seeing sarah being ripped to shreads – she has more than endured her share in this series already – move the crap onto someone else’s back.

      • JC says:

        @Jason

        You could be right but it really didn’t do Chuck’s character any favors. Like you said the whole arc seemed to be about showing that Sarah loved Chuck not the Intersect. That’ something I never thought about. Now it did give us the greatness of Phase Three and some good growth from Sarah. And they did address Sarah being closed off to Chuck which for me was the major thing that needed to be addressed and hopefully not forgotten.

        But it did raise two issues for me. One, why the need to diminish one character to highlight the other. Chuck looked like a moron that had never been on a mission before throughout the arc. They did the same thing last year with Sarah needing to be rescued to show Chuck the action hero.

        And that brings me to my other problem. What happened to the Sarah that encouraged Chuck in S1&2? The one that saw all he brought to the table without the Intersect? The way she dismissed him in Castle was worse then Casey’s comment. You expect that from him but not Sarah. Something is wrong when in the last two seasons Casey has recognized Chuck’s worth more than Sarah.

        It seems like the Sarah that saw Chuck’s value as a spy without the Intersect has gone missing along with the Chuck who realizes how smart he is.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @JC Something is wrong when in the last two seasons Casey has recognized Chuck’s worth more than Sarah.

        May I add one sentence – And something is really wrong when Morgan, startlingly gets growth with each episode whereas Chuck regresses back to S1. I don’t mean to say that I am not okay with Morgan’s ‘growth’ but when contrasted with Chuck’s character being all over the place it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Who is the real protagonist of this story after all? I am really glad the Intersect-less arc is over. And since TPTB have decided that Chuck is useless without the Intersect, we will have take their word for it and forget all his other capabilities that used to save the day on a constant basis. Hope we at least see a more confident Chuck after the hiatus.

      • JC says:

        Morgan is on the edge of becoming a Gary Stu type character. He was used perfectly in Phase Three, Other Guy and Role Models but he’s become the guy with the answers to everything. I love his character but even I’m getting tired of it.

        And you’ll get no argument from me about Chuck. Where’s the guy I saw in Other Guy and Ring PT2?

      • Anon says:

        There are many people who are in love with Sarah’s character among the fans. I’m not one of them but i also don’t want her to be torn down.

        Sometimes,she just doesn’t make sense as a character. While it is a good reason to not judge her harshly,it also takes away my interest in her.

  3. Rick Holy says:

    @Thinkling. I’m all over Yvonne’s face (in a manner of speaking). You hit the nail on the head. Don’t know what acting school she went to “down under,” but they definitely taught her how to use the gift she was given – the power of communication through facial expression.

    I’ll be honest. I love Zach Levi, Adam Baldwin and most of the cast (esp. when they’re “used” properly). But I watch this show for the “Sarah” story. Maybe it’s because I love to root for the underdog, and even though the show is CHUCK, when it comes down to it, Sarah is the “real” underdog of this series. Maybe it’s also a “guy” thing, but you just rooted for her right from the first episode of the first season – that scene where she’s sitting on the bed looking at phone photos of the then “dead” Bryce Larkin and the pain on her face.

    She is in many ways “the protector” (re: CHUCK), but in a totall different sense, SHE is the one who needs protection – from her past, from what she’s become, etc. I LOVED Casey’s line to her in this last episode about her behavior reminding him of the spy that he used to know and didn’t like – Langston Graham’s “unpredictable” enforcer. And I LOVED Sarah’s admitting that she realized that she’s NOT the same without Chuck – that she doesn’t like who she is without him.

    It doesn’t hurt that Yvonne is so awesome in the role of Sarah – and it IS so often the range of emotion she shows with facial expression. That scene with Morgan in the bedroom after he spilled the beans about the proposal. Just look at her face when Morgan explains that she’s a “big fish” and to a guy without a super computer in his brain, she’s very intimidating. She captures Sarah’s reaction not just well, but beautifully.

    Love the show for a lot of reasons. But #1 is because of Sarah/Yvonne. There’s something about this grown woman/trained killer that is still very much a little girl and a lost soul – and you just can’t help but root for someone like that. The character development (overall, ignoring the occasional misstep) of Sarah has been wonderful to watch – and Yvonne has done a spectacular job of capturing Sarah Walker at every stage of the journey.

    Can’t wait for the next 14 episodes!! Must have re-watched on NBC.COM, HULU, and my own DVD recording “Vs. Phase Three” at least 15 times. It’s one to savor, like a nice pina colada on a hot summer day!

    Hopefully we’ll win the TV Guide cover at the cast of CHUCK – including, of course, Yvonne – will get some well-deserved attention!

    Last, but not least, I think this has been an excellent season. Problems here and there on occasion? Sure. But the overall story has been good now that the characters have actually been able to communicate and grow without all the not-to-be-named-any-longer distractions. Credit to TPTB. They said S4 was going to be about “Family,” and it has been. Not just the “Bartowski Family,” but the “CHUCK” family as well.

    • Faith says:

      The winner is revealed in a week. Here’s hoping!

    • joe says:

      You just know I want to use the word “redeemed” with Sarah too, Fr. Rick.

      She’s not there, yet. I think we saw in Phase 3 what she’s like without Chuck. With him, well then she has a chance to face up to what she did with Mauser, with Evelyn Shaw and with the French diplomats she poisoned and consider that she “always has a choice.” Chuck’s and Stephens words become more haunting as time goes on, don’t they?

      And that puts quite a metaphorical load on Chuck’s back. I’m not sure the show’s going in the direction I’m hinting at here, but I would sure like to see it go that way.

      • Rick Holy says:

        There is still “much to be told” re: the Sarah story – and I think the direction you’re talking about would be great, Joe. Let’s save that for the “back 11” of Season 5! And don’t forget we have SOME indication that we’re going to get more “into” Sarah, unless the line in “Phase Three,” — “I have so much I want to tell you” was just a one time throw away line. Hope not, because there is still much to tell.

      • Faith says:

        I think they’ve been having these talks off-screenville as it were…bummer for us.

        It just occurred to me after the rewatch tonight that they’re on a date…it turns out they have dates just like real couples. Of course that makes me question whether you still don’t bring a gun on a real date…she didn’t have a gun then, MamaB had to shoot the bad guys.

      • thinkling says:

        @Faith: I loved the date. I still say we’re seeing some very nice growth in them from the previous episode.

        And the gun? Good point. Maybe she was so busy beating off these top assassins, that she didn’t have time to go for it. I thought it was another testament to MEB’s planning that she told the assassins that it had to be a close range kill. She knew that way Chuck & Sarah would have a chance, and she would be there for backup. (this is on the level of her planning in Aisle and checking for the vest)

    • atcdave says:

      Great write up Rick. Agree with all that!

    • thinkling says:

      Yes, Rick. I agree with all of that. Sarah is by far the most intriguing character to me. And Yvonne continues to amaze. She’s in a class by herself.

      Sarah’s protection of Chuck is obvious. I sometimes wonder if he remembers just how much she needs his protection. He certainly stepped up in Cougars, but does he realize just how important he is to her? Well after Phase 3 and all the things she needs to tell him … hopefully he knows.

      Everything about s4 is a gale-force breath of fresh air. Great comments Rick.

    • bdaddydl says:

      When I read your post I think that Sarah’s journey is the most like a walk of faith. She has to believe in her love and have faith in someone when that is foreign to her.

      Sarah’s journey is about redemption, but also about a kind of faith.

    • OldDarth says:

      Interesting.

      While the individual episodes have been enjoyable, to date, this season’s arc is the most disappointing of the four.

      Ellie and Devon and Chuck lying and keeping secrets again. Yuck. Chuck regressing in spy skills without the Intersect. Double Yuck. The Search for MamaB adding up to very little. Triple Yuck. No defined spy mythos…. again. Quadruple Yuck. Ellie kept out of the spy world for nth time. Just plain Yuck!

      On the plus side the growth in Sarah, Morgan, and Casey has been great. MamaB has been mostly excellent. Timothy Dalton has been fantastic!!!!

      The biggest concern is the show seems to have lost the soul and heart of its titular character. Chuck has been in react mode all season. Really, really hope that can be turned around.

      Resigned to watching this season for moments instead of the big picture.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Ironic, isn’t it?

      • First Timer says:

        Said it before, say it again: Chuck and Sarah only matter if they are fighting for some greater purpose. Fulcrum was a threat to the world. In the original Season 3, The Ring was a threat to the world. But Season 3.5 was about fighting Shaw, who was bent on personal revenge. Season 4 is even smaller: finding mom who, once found, has the big bad of the season eating out of her hand. For all of his danger and Dalton’s great acting, Volkoff is a paper tiger.

        So we’re left with soap opera: Oooh, Chuck in insecure about Sarah’s love. Again. Oooh, Sarah isn’t reassuring the uber-dense Chuck clearly enough. Again. Gotta find Mom. Gotta make overbearing Ellie happy. Again. Gotta calm down super-tense Devon. Again.

        I adore the Chuck and Sarah characters. But only because they once stood for something outside themselves. Anyone remember when Sarah wanted to save the world instead of just Chuck? Anybody remember when Chuck thought he could help people instead of obsessing over himself or his girlfriend or his family?

        I almost hope Sarah is headed to federal prison in Balcony to check on Shaw. Okay, maybe I’m not THAT unhappy…but it’s close.

      • JC says:

        While I wouldn’t go as far as First Timer I have to agree with some points.

        With Fulcrum they seemed to have an agenda that went beyond the Bartowski familiy and they seemed like a real threat. The Ring on the other hand seemed like incompetent idiots with no goal. And even in 3.5 the take over the CIA plan felt out of nowhere and didn’t match up to what we’ve seen before.

        Now with Volkoff we once again have an actual threatening villain but whats the threat beyond keeping MEB from Chuck and Ellie? Is it just money from selling weapons or something more sinister and hopefully its not just building his own Intersect. I think that’s the key on whether this arc holds up.

  4. Big Kev says:

    Joe,
    I’m late reading the episode reviews this week – but wow, every word of your review hit the nail on the head – a tightrope episode, the good was great and the not so good was almost excruciating.
    You know, if Volkoff is going to be dementedly in love with MamaB (and I’m going to toot my own horn like Faith on that one too!) I would actually have preferred that they were intimate. I just didn’t buy the “in love for 20 years but not involved” thing, not for a second, and it damaged Volkoff, because it made his motivations nonsensical.
    MamaB, on a deep cover mission, having to get involved with a psycopath and slowly becoming compromised – and being guided back to the light by the love of her family, even as they fight their feelings that she batrayed their father – that would be a great story. I think we’ll get most of the redemption part anyway, but it’s a lot less convincing the way they’ve chosen to tell it.
    Loved the twist that MamaB revealed Chuck’s identity to save him – didn’t see that coming – but my opinion about her spy competence is changing. There are only so many last second rescues and lead-the-bad-guy-straight-to-your-son moments a spy can have before you wonder if she really knows what she’s doing, or she’s making it up as she goes along – but Linda Hamilton is just so good that you’re hooked anyway.
    I said in an earlier post that I’ve enjoyed the performances this season more than the stories, and this episode is a classic example of that. You can’t take your eyes off Volkoff, MamaB, Morgan, Sarah and (even) Devon this episode, even while the more rational part of your brain is going “but….this doesn’t actually make any sense”.
    Damn, this cast is good. Seriously.

    • Paul says:

      I read it somewhere at the beginning of last season (don’t remember if it was here) when talking about seduction vs sex, particularly when the topic of Sarah’s past assignements came up. The gist of the comment was that they weren’t the same thing, and that a good spy doesn’t have to have sex to seduce someone in order to manipulate them. Sex, as Casey put it, was just a nice bonus if you wanted it. As for Frost’s situation, I could see her stringing Volkoff along, not quite giving in to his affections for her, but teasing and enticing.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree Paul. I would think actually sleeping with a mark constitutes a sort of professional failure in the same league as getting shot on a mission.

        We also need to remember Chuck is a comedy. I think the whole idea of the love sick psychopath is very funny. And they got good mileage out of it as comedy and drama in Leftovers; overall brilliantly done.

    • joe says:

      Thank, Kev. I’m detecting a good amount of agreement about this episode all around, actually.

      Damn, this cast is good. Seriously.

      …and about the cast, too! 😉

    • Anon says:

      It would be great if Volkoff was playing Frost as much as she was playing him. It would make him an awesome villain.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh yeah, it would indeed. That would be motivation to pull off a rescue.

      • atcdave says:

        I half expect to see that, Frost busted utterly as Volkoff locks her up somewhere to trap Team Chuck. I kind of hope not, he’s just too funny as the nefarious baddie with a fatal blind spot for Chuck’s mom. Either way, I expect to enjoy every bit of Hamilton and Dalton.

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto that!

  5. odysszeuss says:

    CHUCK & SARAH get one step closer to a proposal, this time thwarted by North America’s top 3 assassins. I hate it when that happens! Poor Chuck. If this keeps up, he’ll have to settle for a drive-through wedding in Vegas … or not. Maybe it’s just me, but is there a new C/S vibe after Phase 3 … a greater level of comfort … the walk/talk … the hand holding … a deeper connection … a constant awareness. Though not the center of the episode, their relationship was a subtle force throughout.

    I felt that, too, Thinkling!!! Hoped for after vs.P3, wasn’t sure that’s possible, but Zac’s and Yvonnes chemistry is that good, they really pulled it out.

    • thinkling says:

      Good, odysszeuss. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Someone else commented on it, too. Amyabn I think.

      • odysszeuss says:

        Hi, Thinkling

        I quoted your Post: THINKLING “CHUCK & SARAH get one step closer to a proposal, this time thwarted by North America’s top 3 assassins. I hate it when that happens! Poor Chuck. If this keeps up, he’ll have to settle for a drive-through wedding in Vegas … or not. Maybe it’s just me, but is there a new C/S vibe after Phase 3 … a greater level of comfort … the walk/talk … the hand holding … a deeper connection … a constant awareness. Though not the center of the episode, their relationship was a subtle force throughout.”

        and Sorry Admin’s I had to quote that again, but it sounded a bit like these are words of my own. I was thinking the same Thinkling, but I’m not gifted of writing that good as you are in a forign language ;-(

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks Odyss. I totally understand the foreign language hurdle. I never quit learning and wanting to be better in Portuguese, even after 26 years.

      • joe says:

        Quoting like you did is fine, Oz. We understood.

        I wish I could give everyone editing capabilities so that handling this kind of thing would be easier, though.

        And hey! Your “American” is fine! Trust me on this – I’ve seen a lot worse from native speakers. Texting and Twitter is creating a whole new language, so the young-folks today sure aren’t learning the Queen’s English. 😉

    • jason says:

      @odyss – I commented on that too, my thinking is the new CS angst will be multiple eps of proposals being thwarted by the writers … I hope not, but it is my expectation of this creative team

      I liked how you described the vibe – comfort – connection – awareness – etc, I would love to see how that worked in a CS centric episode, in this case, CS mostly just stood back and let dalton and hamilton act, supplying occasional filler lines to allow the two guest stars to get to his next set of lines.

      But if CS were front and center in an ep, I wonder how the connection being placed in the background would work, I would love to find out. In a way, sarah’s line earlier this season, ‘why can’t we just be’ comes to mind.

      • herder says:

        So what’s the over/under on thwarted proposals before we get to the real thing. We had a small one last night, my guess is that we get at least three more before the one that works.

      • thinkling says:

        I don’t see it so much that they stood back and let TD/LH act, but that C/S were in a position that there wasn’t much they could do. Volkoff was such a convincing psychopath, that they (and their family) were truly hostage to a dangerous situation, perhaps the most dangerous ever (excluding Chuck’s lobotomy last week). That’s why all the facial expressions and non-verbal communication worked so well. It was appropriate for the situation.

      • thinkling says:

        @Herder: I hope less than that. If you wear people out with fake-outs, it will take away from the real thing. Or that’s my take, anyway.

        Since it’s CG pesos, my money is on Balcony for the real deal.

    • herder says:

      I think that may be a bit of a Zach thing, last year in The Beard at the end he had Sarah smile while Chuck and Morgan were heading home for subs and playstation, it was one of the only affectionate signs from Sarah between 3.04 and 3.13. Similarly this time while directing he has them holding hands a fair bit, affection and comfort as opposed to over top romance. He seems to get that it is the every day comfort and affection that makes the grand romantic gestures possible. Yeah, I know, this is a lot to make of two small scenes of them holding hands but I did like it a lot.

      On the down side of his directing, in both episodes he had a sequence of oddly framed shots, taken from odd angles. It was intended to show disorientation, instead I found it irritating.

      • odysszeuss says:

        “two small scenes”

        …with this cast, it’s all you need. vis á vis á Fr.Rick about YS…

        GREAT catch Herder!!!

  6. thinkling says:

    I just had another thought.

    I am endlessly tired of the Ellie not accepting Chuck as a spy. So, along with some of you, I was disappointed that we didn’t see a resolution to that. Devon made it crystal clear that her position remains unchanged, as strong as ever. Hold that thought.

    I also maintain that this upload is significant, in that it was a calculated, sighted decision. When he uploaded the 2.0, he did so, in part, to deserve Sarah, be with her, and to become the hero she thought he was.

    Chuck’s reset to regular guy sent him on a quest to regain what he lost, including, at least to some degree, a worthiness of Sarah and validation as a hero. Phase 3 concludes with no hope for Chuck to ever recover the Intersect, but what he got instead was far more valuable. Chuck’s worth as a CIA agent without the Intersect was affirmed. And he knows beyond the whisper of a doubt that Sarah loves him unconditionally, irrefutably, unequivocally without it … and that she will do anything for him.

    Leftovers begins with Chuck feeling the best he has in a long time, ready to train and move forward. Chuck has grown up. Chuck & Sarah have grown up, as a couple. It’s all good.

    The Intersect returns. What should he do? He doesn’t need it, like he did before. His sister is adamantly opposed to the spy life. His choice is a big step forward … a step he is taking with Sarah at his side (but not influencing him either way), and his team (Casey) … a step he is taking against the wishes of his sister and brother-in-law. This makes me smile, too. I’m cheering, in fact. I feel like Chuck finally cleared a big hurdle in his quest to fulfill his destiny and in his relationship/partnership with Sarah.

    My point: If Ellie had been on board and said Yes, I approve. It’s your life. Go for it, b/c I can see it’s what you were meant to do … well, I think it would have diminished his decision. I think the moment symbolized his taking control of his own life, no longer the little brother, but a man at a crossroads with destiny.

    Retread, you say. I say no. A hero on a journey, even on the road of destiny, will face enticements to quit, to take a furlough, or to return to easier paths. Chuck chose to continue the journey.

    (Of course Ernie’s our hero’s journey guru. That’s just my penny’s worth on the matter. ;))

    • jason says:

      think – I liked what you wrote – nice – I more and more liked the end of 4×10, the end of this little mini arc, chuck, sarah, and casey – chuck getting re-intersected.

      Funny little quirk of the scene, notice how sarah and casey are sort of afraid of the intersect computer, even as chuck falls down, they keep their distance – both might be remembering the suburbs, those orion images can be hazardous to the health of a normal person.

    • Big Kev says:

      Agreed Thinkling – and a good catch. I have a question for you. Do you think Chuck would have made the decision (particularly over Ellie’s wishes) if MamaB was not involved? Or did he reintersect for one specific reason – to give himself the skillset to go and rescue his mother?

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, I think he would have anyway. His mom is still out there, but I think she is not the force she once was, that is not the specter over his life she’s always been. I think he meant it when he told Sarah he was moving on. And when he said he trusted her, it was a moment of forgiveness, which someone has said is giving up hope of a better past.

        Plus at this point, I don’t think they think she needs rescuing, as per the fountain discussion. So, I think this was a free decision on his part.

    • joe says:

      I am endlessly tired of the Ellie not accepting Chuck as a spy.

      Great comment, Thinkling. I agree with the idea of Ellie not accepting Chuck, but the nuance I want to add is that I think both Ellie and Chuck are changing their position.

      Ellie just seemed more reflexively protective, like you’d expect a mother-to-be to act. She was less dogmatic. Chuck, on the other hand, seems no where near as likely to leave the CIA now as he did at the end of The Ring pt. 2.

      I expect a change to come quickly. Make sense?

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, Joe. It does make sense. I just think that for this moment, it was good for Chuck to take the step he did. Now I think it can be resolved with Ellie without taking away from Chuck making the decision within himself.

        Like I said in FOD and Phase 3, when Chuck no longer feels he needs the Intersect, then he’s ready for it. After he has made the decision without Ellie’s approval affecting it, then he’s ready for her approval.

      • wax_eagle says:

        Remember that Awesome can’t keep a secret to save his life. This will come out very soon. Ellie will have to be on board and in the best case scenario she becomes a tangential, if not integral part of the team.

        One of the key issues here will be the fact that they both fear that the spy game will turn them into their parents. They will have to resolve to not let it affect their lives in that way. Until that happens there will always be misgivings about their participation in this life.

      • thinkling says:

        How true. We are now going to be treated to Awesome in the know and losing his awesomeness.

        You’re right they have to rewrite the Bartowski spy manual … the C/S version that refuses to do what their parents did.

      • wax_eagle says:

        thinkling,

        I had completely forgotten about the Sarah aspect of this too. She in a way has to learn that she does not have to turn into her father. I think for the most part she realizes this.

        The parent issues of these characters is something incredibly interesting. Here are all of the ones that I can think of.

        Chuck/Ellie – Recovering from the realization that both of their parents were far more than they ever realized. Realizing that their feelings of abandonment, while completely justified, had far more reason behind them then they ever could have dreamed. Mom left because she felt like her duty was more important or that she could not cleanly sever herself from her duty in such a way that would not harm her family. Dad left ostensibly to protect them, but also theoretically to either find mom or to continue to assist her mission, possibly also to protect Chuck from his work. Long and short, they fear the life that has chosen Chuck (and that he has now seemingly fully embraced) because they fear turning into their parents.

        Sarah – We don’t know anything about her mom. Wonder what that is going to look like when we do start to find out (if we ever do). But her situation with her father is already incredibly intriguing. How locked into the spy life is she really? Its obviously from what of her back story we have learned directly related to the trouble she got into from helping her father and the aftermath of that. We know so little about what shapes who she really is because she has lived her life as a creation of her imagination since she was a little girl. In some ways this is a good thing as she can be anyone that she wants to be. In other ways this is horrible because she can forget who she is. Not being grounded to a person or a place is a dangerous thing when you can be so many different people. You stop realizing where your cover starts and stops.

        Devon (+ Ellie in some ways). The Awesomes are awesome, but it can fast drive a wedge between wife and Mother in law, especially if the son doesn’t know how to stand up to his mother (been there in my own life). Devon will have to get over his mommy (and daddy) issues in order to be a better husband and father. It something remarkably typical and will probably go unexplored unless Honey is brought back in to contrast with Merry Elizabeth yet again.

        Morgan. This one is one of my favorites. We don’t see much of his mom, but sounds like she is well taken care of. The more interesting parental relationship is that with Big Mike. He is a soon to be stepfather to our beloved Magnet and he often offers sage, if not slightly weird advice to Morgan. its an interesting relationship as the power balance is far closer to equal than it has been in past seasons, but Big Mike still has a lot of power at the Buy More even if he isn’t the big man. Morgan is finding his way around the spy world and a burgeoning romance and he truly needs a father figure. Big Mike is an odd one, but along with Casey they can seriously mentor Morgan as he becomes a man.

        Casey – Another favorite, totally picture this as a Jayne + mom kind of relationship, all he needs is an unmarked package with a knit aviator cap with a giant pompom on top for this to be a complete nerdgasm for me (if the prop department needs one I will surely lend them mine).

        Alex – the newest parental issue. We don’t know much about her mom, but her dad has fast become a major player in her life. I hope that she can continue to humanize him.

        Finally the two least known parental issue characters.

        Beckman and Volkoff. Beckman has total daddy issues and Volkoff has serious mommy issues. Maybe once ME blows Volkoff off they can get together and run a massive Acme style criminal Kabul that provides the bad guys for the remainder of Chuck. Think Wyle E. Coyote to Chuck’s Road Runner.

      • thinkling says:

        Great list wax_eagle … enough to entertain us for several more years. I think Sarah has found herself in Chuck. He’s her home and she’s anchored. It’s fun to watch that unfold. I guess I was putting Sarah under Chuck’s umbrella, although Sarah could still take a look back and realize how much more she and Chuck have and how their family will be different … no Salvation Army scams at Christmas, real people in a real home with real love.

        Interesting to mention the Awesome’s. I hadn’t really thought of that one. Good one.

        I can’t wait for all the in-laws to meet. One big Bartowski-Woodcomb-Burton affair. Maybe Volkoff can drop in for charades.

      • thinkling says:

        Ooh, come to think of it, that sounds like a wedding scenario. 😛

      • amyabn says:

        I think it will be interesting to see Mary and Ellie butting heads over Chuck, both in a mothering way. After all, Ellie was Chuck’s stand in mom for 20 years. Put poor Sarah in the middle, having her tell them both that they don’t know the man Chuck has become.

        Really I think that is what it could come down to. Ellie still sees Chuck as a boy and Mary doesn’t know anything about him other than he is a good spy.

        And as far as the relationships go, I keep going back to Morgan’s comments about Sarah and that Chuck is the Chuck they knew he could be with Sarah in his life (if someone could tell me the episode, I would appreciate it!). I think Morgan could serve the job well to advance Mary and Ellie’s acceptance of Chucks choices.

      • atcdave says:

        I do like the idea of Sarah sort of setting the other Bartowski women strait about Chuck.

        I think Morgan has spoken up about the value of Sarah to Chuck a few times, but the most specific was probably Beefcake after Ellie told him to dump Sarah. There may have been something in S3 too but I wouldn’t remember that as well.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah … Beefcake.

        That would be a great dialogue among the 3 Bartowski women about Chuck. MEB and Ellie overlap only on the little boy Chuck. Sarah and MEB overlap on the spy Chuck. But Sarah has knowledge of the man in ways neither of the other two do. It could be a very dynamic conversation … funny, poignant … each of the three women learning more about the one guy they all love.

        I would also like to hear Sarah give her perspective on how she and Chuck met and how she fell in love with him, etc.

        So much potential. I hope LH sticks around for a long time.

    • JC says:

      “Yes, I approve. It’s your life. Go for it, b/c I can see it’s what you were meant to do … well, I think it would have diminished his decision.”

      I wish that was the case Thinkling but the way Chuck is written he needs validation from the people he loves. He didn’t embrace being a spy until Sarah was on board and to a lesser extent his father. Until Ellie gives her blessing it will be a problem.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s my whole point, JC. He’s growing up.

      • Paul says:

        Yes Chuck is growing up….and Ellie, like most “moms” is having a hard time accepting it. But the point is, this sentiment is not coming from a mean place. She’s not holding Chuck back because she doesn’t want him to be successful or happy. She is afraid for his life. And so far, all she has seen of the spy world is danger and death.

        That being said, I think this season has been set up for Ellie in the end to give Chuck that, at the very least, tacit approval to be a spy.

      • thinkling says:

        You’re right, it’s Ellie’s blind spot and a burden she has carried since she was 12, when her dad asked her to protect Chuck. And it is from love, not spite or meanness.

      • JC says:

        @Thinkling

        What you’re saying is that Chuck is growing up because he uploaded the Intersect without Ellie’s blessing right? If I’m wrong please correct me.

        And I what I’m getting at is just like the previous time he uploaded it on his own until he gets certain people’s blessing Chuck won’t fully embrace being a spy.
        Just like last season Sarah is ok with it, Orion left the laptop for him and all he needs is Ellie to be OK. Once the threat of Volkoff is gone if Chuck didn’t have Ellie’s OK he would quit if she asked again.

        While I love the notion of Chuck taking charged of his own life, I just don’t see it happening without certain people being OK with the decisions he makes. I hope I’m proven wrong but I just don’t see it happening.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, I think Chuck has turned a page, that this upload is different from the previous ones. I don’t think he would quit for Ellie again, regardless of the state of our favorite Russian psychopath … the one that kids love.

        You could be right, though, b/c only future incidents will confirm my hunch or blow it out of the water. That’s just my read on Chuck growth today.

        I reserve the right to deny everything, in case TPTB do another U-turn. 😉

      • joe says:

        Once the threat of Volkoff is gone if Chuck didn’t have Ellie’s OK he would quit if she asked again.

        But then I have a question, JC. What if Ellie *does* ask him to quit once Volkoff is gone, and he says “no.” Isn’t that then OOC? I mean, considering his decision before?

        It’s a problem because if Chuck doesn’t grow up and stop letting his notion of what others want for him be the determining factor in his life, he’s even worse off than he was at the very beginning. He’s a child. You know that can’t be true.

        Sorry – I know by putting it that way, I made the issue sound silly. The real deal is about the cost of his growth, not about if he will or won’t. You didn’t put it in terms of Chuck acting OOC, but using Chuck’s past actions as a guide this way only takes us so far, I think. We have to be careful to allow the characters to evolve in some realistic ways while retaining some consistency.

      • JC says:

        I would love for Chuck to tell Ellie no that being a spy is what he wants. Its the same thing I wanted him to say to Sarah last season.

        Make no mistake I want Chuck to take charge of his life and not give into other people. Everyone is selfish when it comes to Chuck, they put their wants ahead of his and they expect him to live with it. But lets be honest, everytime he’s done something he wanted against the wishes of someone he loves. They’ve treated him terrible. So his need for validation is understandable.

        I just don’t see any of this changing. In Leftovers he got Sarah’s approval with her lack of objection and his father’s since he left Chuck the laptop. The only one who is missing is Ellie. I’m not sure when it’ll happen but I’m sure its coming.

        I want to be wrong about it but I don’t think I am.

    • atcdave says:

      Great observation Thinkling. I love the idea of Chuck showing some maturity. I’m sure it will still be important to him when the approval comes, but in the meantime he can do what he knows he should regardless. I HOPE they show his behavior as consistent on this point, but I do still have concerns that we’ll see more childish behavior from Chuck in the future; they seem to fall back on that too often. I guess that’s reasonable, a single mature decision doesn’t instantly change who you are. And it probably stands to reason that Ellie, like mom, will always find his hot buttons (parents have a way of doing that!). But I do hope Chuck will continue to show more growth and maturity as the series unfolds.

      • thinkling says:

        At least they have a great setup and opportunity for Chuck and C/S to show a new level of maturity. Like you I hope they go that way rather than regress.

        I think I’m seeing it in Leftovers. Hope it’s a new continuing trend.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Dave and Thinkling

        Speaking of maturity and Chuck( the character), I seem to recall an interview by JS/CF after Season 3 ended where they stated that Chuck won’t become a James Bond type character but will continue to retain his nerdiness/goofiness. IMHO, TPTB have been trying to balance spy Chuck with normal Chuck. – so far it seems that they have not succeeded in getting the balance right. Hence the constant regression to neuroses, immaturity/childishness. But as Dave says, But I do hope Chuck will continue to show more growth and maturity as the series unfolds.. This is very important. Also I recall CF saying that in Season 1 Chuck was like a boy and in Season 2 became a man and Season 3 was about him becoming a spy. So, as per TPTB growth has been achieved in the past three years – that is why it gets frustrating when he regresses.

    • PeterOinNJ says:

      Thinkling – you gave me the breadcrumbs to the next three episodes! Chuck re-intersecting is very different this time:
      “He makes a deliberate, calculated decision to embrace his destiny once and for all. His team is with him this time, but it’s his decision, his right of passage. It’s also a couple thing … Sarah asking if he’s sure, letting him decide, supporting either way. Casey’s grunt and nod of approval. Then the upload … and the smiles.”
      And then you spread out some more for me: “His choice is a big step forward … a step he is taking with Sarah at his side (but not influencing him either way), and his team (Casey) … a step he is taking against the wishes of his sister and brother-in-law. This makes me smile, too. I’m cheering, in fact. I feel like Chuck finally cleared a big hurdle in his quest to fulfill his destiny and in his relationship/partnership with Sarah.”
      I wonder if maybe we are back on our Hero’s Journey? Isn’t this much like The Ultimate Goal where the protagonist becomes self-assured and often receives physical gifts and/or emotional rewards. Didn’t he just get both?
      But wait there’s more: Since personal limitations are broken, the protagonist can see the big picture not only in relation to himself but also in relation to others. The protagonist understands how the ultimate goal can be accomplished and the mission completed. He made a choice!!!
      So maybe it wasn’t defined well enough, but I do see how the journey is on track.

      And I agree with you 100% about Ellie. I don’t want Ellie involved in the spy world because I fear that Chuck will lose his link to normal (whatever that is). I do however want her to give him her blessings at some point. It goes back to the whole hero thing for me – I forget which episode it was but didn’t Chuck once lament something like ‘what use is it being a hero when nobody knows’. I really would like Chuck to experience that from Ellie.

      Thanks for the bread crumbs – they may help sustain me for 7 weeks.

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks Peter … we’re on the same page. fist-bump. And Ernie makes 3 (for the Hero’s Journey)

        Agree on Ellie’s blessing being important, for both of them. At this point it’s her own fault she’s missing out on sharing her brother’s life, and that’s a shame.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh, and nice projection. You did more with my thoughts than I did. 😉

      • First Timer says:

        This is all, frankly, Season 3 silliness. Chuck abandons Sarah at the beginning of Season 3 SPECIFICALLY because he is desparate to be a spy and give his life meaning. Then because it is convenient for plot, we have Ellie telling him to quit because SHE can’t protect him. And he does.

        This is a 30-year-old man whom the government bureaucracy (via Beckman) claims is the ultimate weapon. He is partnered with the CIA’s best agent and they have been tapped to be the CIA’s top couple.

        Yet he quits because his older sister tells him SHE has to protect him? It’s been absurd since the meme first appeared. It’s also part of the reason Chuck hasn’t been a great TV show since the end of Ring. Instead of Chuck embracing his destiny, they have him cowering in a corner whenever his sister tells him so.

        It’s silly. And it makes the show silly whenever it goes to this well for drama. Chuck should have told his sister to butt out in Ring II. He should have told her the truth in Coup D’Etat.

        Turning Ellie into a nag and Chuck into a little boy whenever she nags him is NOT maturity, either for the character or for the show.

      • First Timer says:

        Oh, by the way, this probably WILL finally end when Ellie’s child is born. Hopefully, they will give Chuck (or maybe even Sarah or Mama B) dialogue that says something like “You have someone more important who needs your protection.” And then, hopefully, this incredibly annoying thing will stop popping up.

      • atcdave says:

        I also found that aspect of Ring II very annoying. But Chuck did right this time, he has chosen to embrace his calling even if big sister doesn’t approve. I’m not sure if Ellie will be angry when she finds out again, or if she’ll immediately recognize the worth of his work. But either way I think (or hope!) it’s just about Ellie next time; Chuck has made his choice.

      • thinkling says:

        I hope she comes to it more on her own. I don’t know how, but it’s past time. But I think Chuck has moved past it.

        I don’t need her to be a spy, quite the opposite. She doesn’t need to know the details, but I would like her to support Chuck in his life. And having her neurological expertise would be a good thing for TeamB.

      • First Timer says:

        @atcdave, @thinkling:
        The right way to have come at THIS angst was to have Ellie pay the family card. Something like: “Chuck, spying destroyed our parents. Don’t let it destroy us.” That would have been reasonable and sustainable. She could have kept harping on THAT and it would have buttressed the Chuck-Sarah real life/spy life tension. And it wouldn’t have left Chuck as the 9-year-old needing protection and cowering under the stairs whenever Ellie says he needs to protect him.

        Moreover, the whole “quitting” thing was a mindless blind, anyway. It WOULD have made story sense if, in Season 4, Chuck was a soldier of fortune type, a la Orion. But TPTB literally abandoned that immediately in the first episode of the season.

        So the Ellie “no spying for you” angst is useless, ridiculous, and ill serves the Chuck and Ellie characters and the entire show.

        A couple of threads back, I was expressing my hope that the show would be Hart to Hart meets I Spy, but it turned into Get Smart meets The OC. This henpecked-Chuck meme is actually right from a 1960s show called Captain Nice. William Daniels becomes a secret hero and has to keep it from his mother, played by Alice Ghostly, and his girlfriend, played by Paula Prentiss.

        Get Smart meets The OC meets Captain Nice is ratings poison and insulting to viewers, most of whom were expecting more from this show after the initial concept (Pilot through Colonel) ended.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah I’d rather she wasn’t spy too. Leave Ellie and Devon as the normal part of Chuck’s life, but just knowing what Chuck does for a living shouldn’t make them any less normal.

      • atcdave says:

        First Timer I do agree with what you’re saying, but I still don’t think I see it as such a big deal. They apparently have fixed the situation for now, Chuck has done the right thing even without his sister’s approval. I’m okay with that. At some point the issue is bound to be revisited, I’ll worry about that when the time comes. Even if the show has failed to deliver on some of it’s early promise, it is great entertainment the way it is now and I have few complaints.

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave: Yeah, I agree. She should know he’s a spy, but not the details like he’s preventing a nuclear disaster or tied up in a hut in Thailand, you know, those details.

        I still don’t know where she thinks they go off to all the time. I also wonder if she knows about the house. I guess she probably thought it had been sold.

      • JC says:

        She has to find out sooner or later right? The more they drag it out the stupider she looks.

        Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan all disappear for days on end. I can only fan wank her being pregnant distracts her for so long. Like after this episode, how does Devon explain the fake bus crash?

      • thinkling says:

        I wondered about that, too. They get to the hospital … what bus wreck?

        Crank call, or a bear, or Casey was drunk?

    • Tamara Burks says:

      And this time he really had a choice. When he was a kid it was an accident because he was a curious kid.As and adult he didn’t know what was going to happen when he downloaded it, with 2.0 he didn’t really have a choice since he was surrounded and there was no way he could get back into the ceiling with no ladder (and he’d gone into that room in the first place because Bryce was the nearest available help from Casey and Sarah) and downloading the Intersect was the only shot he had at helping (even though he didn’t know about the king fu skills , he might have traded himself to keep them alive ot have them be let go.

      This time though,there’s no accident, no outisde interference, no urgency – there’s just his choice.

      • JC says:

        I have to disagree about having a choice this time. Volkoff is still out there with knowledge about everyone he cares about so until that threat is gone the Intersect is necessary whether he wanted it or not.

        The first time Chuck downloaded the 2.0 was for me the first time Chuck had somewhat taken charge of his life. But you’re right there were other circumstances involved.

  7. DaveB says:

    Instead of the glee seen on Sarah’s face at the reinitialization of the intersect, I would have liked to have seen some mixed emotions…Just my desire for complication, I suppose…

  8. Paul says:

    I don’t remember if I said it here or not, but I really liked the compare/contrast between Sarah and Frost in this eps. Both women are obviously very professional and very adept at their craft. Both were assigned, essentially long term, to a men who fell in love with them. However, where Sarah got lucky and was assigned to a good, kind, caring man whom she immediately fell in love with for real, Frost was assigned a psychopath with whom she’s had to walk a very fine line with for over 20 years. Give enough to keep him interested, enough to keep control him, but not enough where he could destroy her. Sarah was correct and indeed very lucky. As for Frost, if she is a good guy (which I think this eps has subtly implied) I kind of feel sorry for her in that she’s had to deal with a madman for 20yrs.

    • thinkling says:

      Agree Paul. I think that very sentiment (what she’s had to endure) was all over her face when she said, “It means that Alexei Volkoff is in love with me;” and again when she hugged him. And it was a strong connection with Sarah, when she asked Sarah to explain it to Chuck. During that whole scene you could see the light coming on for Sarah, starting when Volkoff began talking to Frost on the phone. By the time MEB passed the explanation to Sarah to handle, there was a great deal of understanding and sympathy from Sarah for MEB. At the same time, sarah’s heart broke to have to explain it to Chuck.

      They won’t meet for lunch next week, but Sarah and Mary have a definite bond on multiple levels.

      I know some people don’t this episode did much, but I think it advance every aspect of the story and the characters, perhaps more subtle ways than usual for “Chuck.”

      • Paul says:

        All that being said, I would love a scene where Frost talks to Chuck about his dad and how she felt about him. Similar to what she told Ellie, but only for our ears too…..because I truly believe she loved Orion for real and it hurt her to be away from him.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, I agree with that. A scene like that would be great.

        I think Sarah has probably made that connection, too, that MEB did love her husband and has had a very sad life as a spy … away from her husband and kids … too high a price.

      • jason says:

        at some point, at the right moment, I would love for mary to give chuck her mother’s or grandmother’s wedding ring to give to sarah, especially if TPTB play the proposal angst shell game for 1 or 11 more episodes, getting mary’s formal seal of approval would be worth the wait (her little smirk at the elevator hand holding was really neat),

        plus, from a practical standpoint, who would want to have an angry mother in law who happens to be the world’s foremost assassin? Forget that, the nordic shemale of thailand could probably fend for herself – yet another reason CS are a match made in heaven?

      • thinkling says:

        Jason, I would like to see an heirloom ring, too. Maybe even MamaB’s. But I don’t want to wait that long for it.

        I was thinking a safe deposit box key from mom to Chuck …

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Speaking of the proposal,I like it that Chuck is playing it very close to his chest – even Morgan is not privy to what he is planning.

      • jason says:

        genie – do you blame him given morgan’s self admitted tendancy to be a connector? – in a very OOC way, chuck seems more unforgiving to morgan about telling sarah about the map than near anything in the whole history of the show (given what morgan took from his wallet in 2×21, that is sayin somethin)

        of course, if yvonne strahovski delivered that line, ‘i really miss him’, I think she could get henry kissinger to tell us who killed JFK – so even I, the quintessential morgan hater, can’t blame morgan for that – LOL

      • thinkling says:

        @Alladins: That is a good thing. Even better, Morgan isn’t part of the planning 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Speaking of that, Jason, I thought of the scene in Castle in Living Dead, when Sarah wanted info from Morgan, and he was hiding behind the riot shield LOL. Well this time she wasn’t even trying to get info out of him, and he spilled just b/c she was so sad and he wanted to cheer her up. What a softie.

      • JC says:

        I would to see a couple scenes of Chuck getting advice on the proposal from different people. Of course he would come up with his own idea but it has so much potential for comedy gold.

        Can you imagine that conversation with Casey?

        “Can’t go wrong with Neil Diamond moron”

      • thinkling says:

        That would be gold. Then Ellie can say something like he asked all the wrong people and should have asked her (like American Hero).

      • herder says:

        The obvious person to be going for advice to is Awesome. Awesome, despite his own rather toned down proposal would probably have some great ideas for Chuck to create magic. Morgan’s advice is unlikely to remain confidential for long and is prone to involve imposible or impractical fantasies “get her a unicorn bro!”. Any advice that Casey would have to give would probably involve firearms and things blowing up, best to stick to Awesome.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Herder

        Nice scenario about Chuck asking Awesome and not going to Morgan or Casey. But I still want him to do it without advice – because as per Sarah he is Chuck Bartowski and he is great on his own.

      • jason says:

        if he does it on his own, the best thing about it, we will all be surprised, since the new creative team appears to be able to keep secrets, it is possible schwartz could put a proposal hint out this holiday break in the promo he better do, and each episode could look like it is going to be the one, would have to help ratings, then tap it out as the conclusion to the first sweeps month

      • First Timer says:

        You’re all missing the point about all the proposal build-up. When writers do that, the proposal ACTUALLY comes at an odd, unexpected moment. In fact, it will probably come at a moment of stress and Chuck will say something like, “I don’t want to die without having asked you to marry me, so, Sarah, will you marry me?”

        Some form of that is what will be done. Nothing at all elaborate or expected.

      • atcdave says:

        I still think an episode titled “Chuck vs the Balcony” just screams romantic proposal. Now don’t get me wrong, being Chuck I’m sure it will get all messed up. In the end, Chuck and Sarah may the only ones happy with the results!

        I like the idea of Chuck not talking to anyone about it. But I do think TPTB should make some effort to promote it. I know that’s contrary to springing a surprise, but Chuck needs publicity! This really could bring back some of the viewers who left last season.

      • thinkling says:

        @FT: But if we expect the unexpected, then the unexpected becomes the expected and the expected the unexpected. So, that means they’ll do the expected which is unexpected … a romantic proposal.

        But if they know that we know that they are going to do the unexpected and therefore that the expected is now the unexpected, then they’ll do the unexpected which is no longer expected … an out-of-the-blue proposal.

        Sorry, I was having a Princess Bride moment … and seriously pulling your leg. 🙂

        Leftovers was kind of in the unexpected vein. I’m fine either way.

      • atcdave says:

        And never argue proposals with a Sicilian (especially not when death’s on the line)!

      • thinkling says:

        ROTFL 😛 😛

      • amyabn says:

        I am looking forward to Mary seeing Sarah wearing the charm bracelet. I still hope Chuck adds a few charms (Eiffel tower, locomotive perhaps) which may throw her off as far as maybe expecting a proposal, but it would really make it hers.

      • Faith says:

        “I am looking forward to Mary seeing Sarah wearing the charm bracelet. I still hope Chuck adds a few charms (Eiffel tower, locomotive perhaps) which may throw her off as far as maybe expecting a proposal, but it would really make it hers.”

        I’m dead. You just killed me. That would be AWESOME!!!!

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Amy and Faith

        It would be awesome if the Eiffel Tower is added as a charm , but to be fair Paris is already being commemorated in Chuck’s bedroom. There’s a mini replica of the Eiffel Tower on one of shelves. It was shown in FoD when Sarah was massaging Chuck’s back.

      • Faith says:

        http://yfrog.com/02eiffeltowerwj

        yeah but that’s for Chuck, this would be for Sarah ♥.

      • thinkling says:

        I don’t know why the bracelet couldn’t be part of the proposal.

        Two charms for the bracelet, in 2 boxes, a third box … another charm? I think not. Third time’s the charm, er, ring.

    • First Timer says:

      As one whose background IS Sicilian, I must say that no one gives the word as much dignity as Wallace Shawn! 🙂

  9. sd says:

    I know this is off-topic–so, apologies.

    I was wondering if anyone knows whether NBC.com or Hulu will post all of the first part of season 4’s shows during the break?

  10. JC says:

    Off Topic

    People on Twitter are saying that Roan is returning in Seduction Impossible. Was this a spoiler I missed or just wishful thinking?

    • atcdave says:

      That would be awesome, hopefully we’ll get some confirmation soon.

    • Faith says:

      Just speculations. Because it’s “seduction” people are assuming Roan comes back but nothing I’ve read…even from shady sources have confirmed that.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      If he is coming back, wonder why Team B need his skills again? Would it be wrong to hope that it’s Morgan who has to seduce someone this time around – so that Roan’s skills and patience will be tested to the maximum. Comedy Gold.

    • PeterOinNJ says:

      Check out Magnus’ blog and you’ll see the source of this one.

  11. adedyal@talktalk.net says:

    You know I think that in the chuck universe the characters that suffer the most when the writers need to pull back story or service other elements of the show are chuck and morgan. One week morgan is awesome (first fight, anniversary, phase three, couch lock,etc) but when they need to have the stupid crappy buymore and jeffster they have to regress morgan (cubic z, fear of death, leftovers, etc) whyh cannot they just blow up the buymore! The same with chuck, they think they have 13 episodes in season 3 and 4 so they send him on this journey, but the time it gets to episode 10 this season and they realise that they have 11 more episodes then it is easier to pull chucks character back. Now if they changed sarah or casey one can only imagine the fans reaction if they pulled sarah back from her relationship with chuck, fans would go insanely wild, and so hence chuck and morgan have to suffer, I hate it, but the fact is this show keeps expecting to be cancelled, first in season 3, then after 3.5 then after 4.0 then after 4.5 and so on and so forth, so when episodes come at times like this in the season I just have to accept that it what happens when you are a bubble show like chuck.

  12. Robert H says:

    On the one hand I didn’t care a whole lot about this episode but on the other hand there was a nice
    increase in the ratings which was good. Better to go
    into the hiatus on an upward tick than a downward one.

    To be fair I half expected some sort of a letdown after the impact of 4.9 so I don’t feel too bad about it.

    What bothered me the most was how he got the intersect back. Three episodes were devoted to the impact of its loss and its suddenly restored without
    a real explanation (it has to be inferred-did Ellie
    do something here?) and it’s not made clear. Without
    a real connection as to how and why this came about
    is extremely irritating and reflects poor writing or
    possibly the producers getting cute again (I hope not). Maybe they’re saving the explanation when the
    hiatus ends. And I didn’t care for the smirks of satisfaction on all of their faces afterwards. It
    turned me off completely.

    However the episode did do me a favor quite unintentionally. It gave me a insight why I’ve been
    down on the Chuck character since the end of Season 2. I just couldn’t put my finger on it when it hit
    me at the end of the episode when he got the interect back and used almost the same line used at the end of Season 2 “guys, I know kung fu-again”.
    Aside from the line turning me off because we all know where it lead to, the disastrous Season 3, I
    finally realized why I don’t really like this character anymore. It fits in with the comments made
    by Dave and FirstTimer above-the character is too passive and inconsistent and showed virtually nothing on his own in the last 3 episodes. His return has been practically glossed over, no real
    communication at all between C/S-courtesy of another Schwedak interruption before the three goons attacked them-same old stuff we’ve seen before. Will the producers ever learn? Apparently
    not. Of course Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton were very good, no doubt about it.

    But I think now I realize why I don’t really like the Chuck character any more since the end of Season 2. After Season 2 the major premise of the character was changed. He no longer is the nice,
    unassuming guy coping with a major change in his life he didn’t ask for or want and spent two years
    trying to get rid of-the intersect and hoping to
    live a normal life with the girl he loves-remember
    all of that? He reacquired the intersect at the end
    of Season 2 to save Sarah’s life as well as Casey’s-
    not to embrace the spy life as a way of life.

    When Season 3 started all of this conveniently disappears. No real reference is made to Bryce’s death and the impact this should have had on both of
    them. Sarah briefly uses Bryce’s death as a cover for her trip to Prague where Chuck rejects her because now he wants to embrace the spy life and do
    “great” things. And of course the ratings slide started at that point, slow but sure downward in the very first 2 episodes and of course it finally blew up in the infamous episode 7 when C/S were separated. No need to review this here again.

    But I now realize that’s when I lost respect and sympathy towards the Chuck character from that point
    going forward. It came full circle when he reacquired the intersect in this last episode. The basic premise for his motivation was changed from
    where it was in Seasons 1 and 2. I just missed it.

    At least now I know why and I’m wondering if this also happened to other people who stopped watching the show. I’m not suggesting this because of my own
    personal reaction, I’m just curious. Obviously I’m
    sure other factors weighed in as well-the separation
    and the PLI’s with the angst that went with it, as well as other things that occurred.

    Despite my dissatisfaction with the evolution of the
    Chuck character Ive continued to watch the show because on the whole its good entertainment as
    compared to last year when I almost stopped watching
    it. However I stuck with it and so far I’m not sorry
    I did. It will be interesting to see what happens
    after January 17th when the hiatus ends, thanks.

  13. Damien L says:

    I really appreciated the part at the very beginning when Volkoff is listening to music in his office.
    Felt really intensively the “classy side” of Volkoff, so greatly played by Mr. Dalton.

    By the way if anyone knows the name of the classic music played at that moment, i’m really interested, thanks !

  14. rac2873 says:

    Did anyone recognize that Chuck last flash became quite easy for him and there was this weird like teleportation thing.

    Did Ellie make it more effecient and if so does Chuck now retain the skills from the intersect. If it is a brain thing does the skill falshes get retained in his memory?

    I look at Chuck’s journey as this. Chuck was a boy in Seaon 1. Season 2 was about Boy becomes a man. Season 3 was about Man becomes spy. With the new re-invention of the intesect it is time for spy to become superhero.

    If Chuck can retain falshes and falsh at will then he will surely be a superhero for the back 11.

    • thinkling says:

      Yes, the flash looked different and easier.

      What Ellie said was that it was a memory problem. Her dad was trying to store data in the brain, but he was approaching it like an engineer. She said human memory works differently than a computer so she made adjustments and solved the problem.

      The implications of that are not clear, but we observed a “better” flash. If Ellie has found the best way to store the information in the brain, then it could mean more efficient retrieval with less stress on the brain (less overheating as PapaB described it). Maybe even a more efficient storage of skill-type data … kung-fu always on line. It will be fun to see how this 3.0 compares with the 2.0. The skill sets may be the same, with the only difference being storage and retrieval. Or it could include enhancements like super quick learning of almost anything, eidetic memory, who knows.

      • atcdave says:

        Even if it just frees Chuck from the Governer it will be quite the improvement.

      • First Timer says:

        Although the arc of “Chuck loses the intersect” is done, I am sure they’ll keep playing with the mythology of it for quite a while.

        But what I noticed that surprised me and I don’t think anyone else has mentioned: He flashed ON DEMAND. They’ve never written that before. There was always a reason he flashed on specific information or a specific skill.

        For the end of this episode, he flashed on kung fu for “no reason.” I mean, why Kung Fu? (Exceot for for the obvious callback to Ring.) He didn’t need Kung Fu at that moment. And he’s never flashed “for effect” before.

        So logic would dictate they are setting up a storyline where Chuck can call on skills and data simply by “asking” the Intersect for it. That would be new.

        I mean, can he walk into a karaoke bar and call on “singing” as a skill? Could he walk into a sushi bar and turn himself into the sushi chef as a way to impress Sarah with HIS knife skills? Can he be a card shark on demand when they go to Vegas? Could he call on the perfect recipe for Feijoada when Thinkling comes to visit Casa Bartowski? 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        I think JC and I were discussing that point about the flash on demand over on the “Observation” thread. I’m not positive that’s meant to be a change. He’s mainly flashed on martial arts skills this season and only when he’s needed them. His control has been flawless. But was he flashing on demand or as needed; and does the distinction matter? It may be one of those issues only addressed in fan fiction.

      • thinkling says:

        @FT: Thanks for the Feijoada shout out, mmm. His flash did look awfully easy. The flash in First Fight looked sort of on demand, in that he flashed intentionally when he wanted to. But you’re right that he was in a situation where he needed something. It wasn’t just for the heck of it.

        It’ll be fun to see where they go with it.

      • JC says:

        The key thing to me was what Ellie said. She changed the way the Intersect stored information. Orion built it like a computer and she mentions human memories.

        Instead of his brain accessing it like a computer the change lets him access it like any normal memory he has. So if the skills aren’t permanent yet after repeated use they would be. Almost like an accelerated learning program.

        Even if I’m completely off the mark I still think something is different with this Intersect. During the upload the very last couple of images seemed different and they lingered on them longer. The shaking effect when he looks at his fists and the Kung Fu flash was much longer than normal.

      • thinkling says:

        @JC: That makes total sense. And if the Intersect works more like human memory than computer memory, that will be really cool.

        I’ve thought a bunch of times that accelerated learning and more permanent skills would make sense. Our brains retain things, even it we learn slowly. So it’s always been odd to me that Chuck didn’t retain any thing. Now we know why. The Intersect was technologically correct, but not neurologically correct.

        So the first longer flash with the shaking, that might have been the first intensive Kung fu lesson. We’ll see what he retains now.

        And I agree that the images looked different, too and the burst of light at the end of the upload.

    • Rac2873 says:

      Yeah it was crazy how in control of the intersect he was. He thought about Kung Fu and bam he flashed. Also his eyes did not flutter and you could barely tell he flashed. It was all internal.

      I think we have heard the last of “Come on Flash or 123 Flash. Lol

      • jason says:

        think of the access speed now like comparing internal ram (after ellie;’s fix) vs an external flash drive

      • thinkling says:

        I thought of that too, Jason. And what if it stays in RAM, instead of having to be retrieved from the hard drive each time? Faster, seamless, easier on the processor and the gray cells.

      • First Timer says:

        @thinkling:
        Well, I was considering that you’d perhaps want the Intersect to allow Chuck to perfect the box and one, strip Kobe and take it from the top of the key for a dunk. But then that would get Faith angry. And, let’s be honest, NO ONE seems to know how to play the box and one properly anymore… 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        @FT: And who wants to work on your defense when you can eat, right?

        @Jason: Right, that’s what you meant …duh.

      • Faith says:

        Go Lakers!

        Oh wait, this isn’t my lakers blog? Haha.

      • joe says:

        Oh gee. Will somebody PLEASE restrain Faith.

        Laker fans… sheesh! Bad as the Duck ‘shippers. (Grumble Grumble)

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I resent that Joe. Nobody is worse than Duck shippers.

      • First Timer says:

        Yeah, Lakers fans ARE worse than Duck shippers after four-game losing losing streaks. They get SOOOO cranky. 🙂 They oughta try being a Knicks fan…it’s like rooting for a Shaw-Sarah reunion.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yeah, but us Duck shippers are on a four year losing streak, watching Sarah constantly steal Dianne’s man away. 😦 And if that’s not bad enough now I hear they’re bringing Roan back again for more love trapezoids! I fear Chuck and Dianne are doomed to only get together in the last 5 minutes of the last episode of Chuck. TPTB are just cruel.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Ernie

        Don’t worry. The payoff for the ‘Duck’ fans will be worth the wait – even if their dreams are realized not in the final five min, but in the final 2 min of the show. 😉

      • First Timer says:

        @ernie:
        This is something that, I admit, has always confounded me about you. You DO know how this has to end. The last scene of the last episode has Beckman on the video link after the Chuck-Sam wedding saying, “Sarah, I am your mother…”

        So Chuck and Diane can never be…

      • atcdave says:

        Or is it just that the Duck is more sordid than any of us dared guess?

      • First Timer says:

        Well, I think we’ll find out in the last episode when it turns out that the entire show was a daydream Harry Tang had one day. Which, of course, is okay, because by then we’ll have had Fernando and Skip Johnson’s backstories and … 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Dave – When you say sordid, are you insinuating that there may be Tiffany earrings and massages involved. 😉

      • atcdave says:

        Oh please no Genie, I just ate.
        I really need to avoid the Duck discussions!

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Listen, people who can’t plainly see the Diane / Chuck relationship are Quacks.

        *meekly* sorry 😀

      • Faith says:

        The Graduate, much? 😀

      • thinkling says:

        And when Chuck & Sarah ride off into the sunset together and leave Dianne with Roan … waddle you say then?

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Thinkling –

        We will mourn the loss of ‘Duck’ and move on with the consolation prize that is Chuck/Sarah. 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        I’m glad to see you’re taking it so well. 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I can’t wait for the line “General Beckman, are you trying to seduce me?” Oddly there is an episode called Seduction Impossible coming up. 😉 Hope springs eternal in the hearts of Duck Shippers!

        But oh the pun-ishment we must endure in the meantime. 😀

  15. Crumby says:

    I don’t know if someone already said it, I haven’t had time to read all the comments but I just saw yesterday the Nerd Machine Robot on KK’s computer in the episode at around 13:40! Sweet touch!

  16. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Leftovers (4.10) | Chuck This

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