Keep It Or Blow It Up?
After three and nearly a half seasons I shouldn’t be surprised that TPTB who control Chuck‘s fate chose to do both. That place, that location and that set, has become a symbol of the frivolous and silly things that remain in the show. Things happen there that often do nothing for the story, like Mitt (Michael Strahan) and the Mighty Jocks threatening Lester and Morgan or the Buy Morons throwing a kegger to make-up for Lester’s last scheme to boost sales. Things happen there that are just plain dumb, like “creepy” Jeff serenading (solo!) some random female customer after arguing with his partner. It takes time away from a jam-packed episode when we’d rather see Sarah talking to Ellie or Greta being a real spy or face it, Chuck kissing Sarah.
But I’ll tell ya right up front – if the Buy More went “boom” permanently, I’d miss it.
If we go on listing the meaningless moments that occurred in the store, it would be unfair to forget or ignore such things as “Vic – Vic – Vicky Vale!”. I really don’t want to forget what happened at Christmas, when a random car chase proceeded through the front doors and, in a direct line, led to a silver charm bracelet and the assassination of Mauser. It was in the Buy More where Chuck made Morgan sit up and understand that Anna should not be put to the test.
I mean, honestly, buddy, you know that I love ya, but you’re lucky to have a girl in your life who loves you, for you, even though you are, in fact, you.
We heard his words and just knew it meant that Chuck would stop testing Sarah, right? – and after that he’d say “okay” to moving in with her despite the fact that Cole kept making him look like an idiot. (Wow – were we wrong! But I digress…)
Those are scenes that were important or my imagination says will become pivotal before we’re done. Although they might have happened in some other venue, you can’t say they would feel the same. At least, I can’t.
You don’t understand. I quit. No more Buy More. No more you.
We were born in the desert,
We were reared in a cave…
We conquered in the sun,
But we lived in the shade
Yeah baby we were savage…
We existed to kill…
Our history is damaged,
At least it was a thrill!
But now we can see!
Now We Can See – The Thermals
The Buy More has been the nesting grounds for three dearly departed characters; Harry Tang, Anna Wu and Emmett Milbarge. These characters were never indispensable. Indeed, I see their footprints fading in time. But each of them changed the colors of what we saw, and each left something indelible in a place that’s harder to see than a set – on Chuck’s heart. Yes? Honestly, by making me laugh the way they did, their mark is on me too.
The Buy More is not the center our attention. It has very little to do with the spy-story (except that it physically sits above Castle) and it has nothing to do with Chuck & Sarah’s romance. Every time a bad-guy appears there, the CIA clean-up crew has to come in and sweep away another plot hole that leaves a few of the sharp-eyed fans a little more annoyed.
Every argument I make to get rid of the Buy More makes me think of reasons to keep it. I continue to sit firmly on the fence about its future because of the Buy More’s past. It’s been more than Chuck’s incubator. The bright but unmotivated and nerdy guy we were introduced to was more than just “at home” there. In some real sense he was the Buy More. Small wonder then; the store seems smaller now that Chuck is more than a “mere” spy (Sarah’s adjective) and now that Chuck has grown in his abilities as a human being. An incubator becomes useless and even a hindrance pretty quickly. Discarding it would be a pretty good idea if that’s all it was.
But it’s never been just a box around him. When Sarah says that she doesn’t want to lose her Chuck, she’s talking about those very qualities that were nurtured there and make him special to her. If Chuck loses sight of them, if we lose sight of the Buy More, something essential is gone, and I don’t mean a nice venue for product placement either.
It’s like the small town I was raised in. I’ve lived in suburban D.C. for over 30 years now, so I’m officially a city boy. By contrast, the Norman Rockwell town of my youth has only 3000 people, one stop light, dairy farms and a train that blows its whistle when it passes through at midnight. I love to go back there, I’m just glad to not live there. As they say, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the Buy More out of the boy.”
And that’s probably the best reason of all to bomb the Buy More. Chuck should leave that store. He has to, in fact, or he’s not grown at all. It’s only a question of when and how sad we’ll be when it’s gone.
Perhaps you can see why my emotions are so conflicted on the idea of losing the Buy More. I think it’s needs to happen, and I think it’ll actually be better when it does. It’ll hurt. Now tell me – how will you feel about it?