Loose Ends and Speculation

We are starting to see a lot of speculation in our discussions, even as we re-watch the first ten episodes of season 4.   I suppose that’s completely natural,  there’s only so much “what happened here” we can get into before “what comes next” gets really interesting.  I think the first step in this process ought to be looking at unresolved hooks from earlier in the season (or series!).  So many loose ends are out there; from Project Omaha, to RIOS, to Ellie’s redesign of the Intersect(?!).   Which of these will come up in the season ahead?  Which of these do we want to see revisited?   This is all fertile ground for a good discussion.

A lot of unofficial spoilers have popped up the last couple days too.  I hate to even bring that up here,  such things are usually misleading and explosive.   So I do ask for a little restraint in provocative tidbits from other sites.  Hopefully we’ll see an official 4.11 episode synopsis soon. The first official source I’ve seen for the back part of the season was this interview with Ryan McPartlin.  So we do know, as previously speculated, baby Awesome will be born in 4.13.  Of course the little lady’s name is still fair game…

– Dave


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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355 Responses to Loose Ends and Speculation

  1. thinkling says:

    Thanks for this spec post, Dave. It should keep us going indefinitely b/c there are always loose threads out there.

    I’m going to start with one (I’m sure I’ll jump in on others) that’s popular. Patty’s comment on the Suitcase post made me think put it this way.

    Will Ellie ever accept Chuck the spy or will she remain the one person who will just be clueless about everything around her?

    If the former, what will it take for Ellie to make peace with Chuck’s being a spy?

    • atcdave says:

      It is an interesting situation. Like you I was disappointed by her reaction in Coup. It seems plausible that if she ever saw what Chuck does in a bigger sense than just the personal risk she would come around. It seems to me I did read somewhere that Ellie will find out again, but there could be a big disconnect between that and acceptance. I do get the idea that Ellie represents what is good and normal in life, but I don’t quite get the point of why normal and ignorant need to be linked. I’m fairly sure we’ll see a positive outcome, perhaps when they’re finally re-united with mom.

    • joe says:

      When you put it that way, Thinkling, it seems like Chuck is torn between two women, one who he’s not sure wants him to be a spy, and one he’s not sure wants him to be normal.

      Poor Chuck!

      Okay, I’m guessing that this really *is* a loose thread. Chuck has been coming to terms with those two facets of his life, and the women will show him that they’ve come to terms with it too.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      @Dave – thanks for this thread.


      Will Ellie ever accept Chuck the spy or will she remain the one person who will just be clueless about everything around her?
      If the former, what will it take for Ellie to make peace with Chuck’s being a spy?

      For Ellie to accept Chuck as a spy she may have to first of all come to terms with the Bartowski Family legacy – spying is in their blood. What we are seeing now is Ellie running away from that truth to hide behind the facade of normal life and in the process also browbeating Chuck into it. She has done much for Chuck – but she has to realize that he was meant for this life. In short words – she has to let Chuck go.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true, but do you see a particular person or conversation or event that might catalyze those realizations? Or is she just gonna take a smart pill?

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Succinct, are we? 🙂

      • Faith says:

        I try 😉

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Admirable 😉

      • thinkling says:

        You mean like an Ellie/Sarah talk? Or Ellie seeing lioness Sarah in action? I’m good with either one of those.

      • Faith says:

        The first one. There is no one as close to or as knowledgeable about Chuck at this point. If there’s one person that can make Ellie understand how this is Chuck fulfilling his destiny and how much her approval matters it’s Sarah.

        And to cap it off, it’s kind of like passing the torch in a way…Morgan had his, “take care of my boy,” Ellie and Sarah need to have theirs.

        She already saw them in action and that wasn’t enough to convince her just how much this means to Chuck, I think it requires them sitting down and having another one of their “Chuck is like a duck” talks. I think it’s essential.

      • atcdave says:

        I really hope you’re right Faith, I like the idea. This is where I go back to my normal feeling that TPTB simply aren’t interested enough in Sarah to give her such a role. But I do hope you’re right.

      • Faith says:

        Dave, based on the first several episodes of S4, to me there is no question that TPTB are somewhat more invested in the Sarah Walker character than we originally thought (albeit not as much as us Sarah Walker fans would like ;-)).

        I mean just think about it, from FOD to Phase Three you can almost make an argument that they’re more Sarah epis than any one else’s.

      • atcdave says:

        I guess you’re right Faith. I would certainly agree they’ve done more for and with Sarah than I ever thought they would at the start of the season. It does give me a little hope for her importance to the Bartowski family; the ladys’ scene from First Fight might even foreshadow a resolution involving the same trio, that would be a great way to tie things back in.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        The Sarah character is certainly not a loose end or dangling thread this season (to date).

        Keep it up. No. Really. Keep it up

    • armySFC says:

      i’m also disappointed in how ellie is treating the whole chuck being a spy thing. after he saved then in coup she knows how good her brother is. ellie has been chucks ‘mother’ most of her adult life. just like all moms she feels the need to protect him. my hunch is after the baby is born she will focus he motherly instincts where they belong. her own child. this will allow her to finally see that chuck is a grown man and not the young boy she made the promise to protect.

    • Big Kev says:

      Why would Ellie want Chuck to be a spy?
      It’s not like Ellie is discouraging Chuck from becoming a doctor, or something normal, so I really don’t think we can discuss her motivations in “normal” terms.
      What has the spy life ever done for Ellie? It’s cost her 20 years without her mother, several years without her father – and that’s before she got to see her father killed in cold blood by a lunatic. The spy life ruined her “first” wedding and required 24 hour protection for 2 years for her brother. And that’s just what she knows. If you add in the fact that the only other spy she would be aware of (Bryce) is also dead….and just how close Chuck, Sarah and Casey have come to being so, then that would just be more ammunition for her opinion.
      From Ellie’s vantage point, Chuck is caught up in a profession that, odds are, will probably kill him – and there are people “disappointed” that she can’t accept Chuck’s choice? I’d be doing everything I could to keep Chuck out of that world too, if I was Ellie.
      Of course, for the sake of the story, something has to happen to help her change her mind, and accept the greater good that Chuck can do. My point is that she hasn’t seen much evidence of that greater good yet (one snippet in Costa Gravas notwithstanding), and she’s seen plenty of evidence of the costs. The ledger is in no way square in Ellie’s view. I’m actually quite surprised at the lack of sympathy for her position.

      • Faith says:

        I guess I’ll answer…

        I guess I’m less sympathetic with her plight because of Chuck. Namely I’ve come to believe that this is Chuck’s destiny. They are a family of spies and in essence Chuck was fated to be the hero he is. It gives him purpose, it gives him confidence and he’s saving the world. Danger aside…really like any family of military personnel or cops, you will never get past the fear but you learn to live with it because that’s who they are, what they want.

        Chuck was always “special” as it were, and by not accepting this aspect of his life, she’s holding him back…because she means that much to him, what she thinks and her approval means that much to him. For the longest time they’ve only had each other, and I think it hurts Chuck to have to hide this from her, but it also speaks volumes that he’s doing so…because it does mean that much to him, being a spy, saving the world, it’s who he is.

        You add the fact that Sarah is a spy, through and through and it means a lot to Chuck to be with her, as a spy, as a team.

        This is pretty much what I imagine only Sarah can make Ellie understand. During First Fight, it was implied that Ellie took Sarah’s side in the fight, and I think that and their common feelings of Chuck being in danger, combined with the Chuck Bartowski, hero that only Sarah have been able to see can and will convince her to support Chuck and give him her approval.

      • Big Kev says:

        I agree with you that the story is trying to tell us that it’s Chuck’s destiny to be a spy. I’m not so sure they’ve done a very convincing job of showing us – and herein lies the problem with the Ellie situation.
        I’m still not convinced that Chuck has absolutely accepted his destiny to be a spy. Aside from the vault scene at the end of 3 words, we’ve heard nothing more from him about what being a spy means to him. This season, if anything, his only spy related concern has been to get the intersect back so that he wouldn’t lose Sarah – not a mention of what he could do with it for the greater good – and to find his mother. Laudable concerns both, but purely personal. Not at all the words of a man taking on his destiny.
        No doubt that’s where we’re heading – but we’re not there yet.
        And if I’m not convinced that Chuck is prepared to accept his destiny (having had the benefit of seeing Chuck’s POV through the series), how is Ellie going to be? Chuck hasn’t once sat down and explained to her what being a spy means to him. He was going to in Anniversary, and decided not to, and he had the perfect opportunity at the end of Coup – and declined to take it. So if anyone is to blame for Ellie’s lack of understanding of where being a spy fits into Chuck’s life, it’s Chuck himself. We’re asking Ellie to deduce something that she hasn’t been told, when the only evidence of the spy game that she has is negative.
        All that said, I’m sure Ellie will be clued in by the end of the season (and hopefully before) so this part of the story can move on.

      • joe says:

        What a great question, Kev.

        Ellie is meant to represents home and all that is normal for Chuck, isn’t she? Sarah represents adventure, dreams, doing (and being) something above and beyond the ordinary and mundane. Chuck is caught between Sarah’s heaven and Ellie’s earth in some metaphorical sense, and his whole existence is built around Stephen’s dictum – “You always have a choice.” I can see why Ellie wants Chuck to choose her way.

      • Faith says:

        Fair point Big Kev. But I’ll counter…

        I’m going to hate myself for airing “dirty” laundry once more (oh, how I hate that) but it’s the only one I got.

        I get into these arguments about how Pink Slip was relevant, how Three Words was good and the growth (and there was one) between that up to Final Exam and subsequently American Hero, made sense. It wasn’t laudable but thematically it was understandable. See it was exactly those episodes that tried to show us that being a spy is more than just a circumstance for Chuck, that it was his destiny. More, it was a conscious decision on his part to be more than the Buy More loser he has always seen himself as.

        “How can I do that, knowing what I’d be turning my back on…You’re the one that taught me that being a spy is about choosing something bigger, it’s about putting aside your own feelings for the greater good. I chose to be a spy for my friends, my family and you. I chose to be a spy because Sarah, I love you.”

        “Think about that me a real spy…doing things that really matter.”

        “They told me I could make a difference…for years I’ve been kicking around not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, acting like a loser…really important people told me that I could change the world. Me, Chuck Bartowski.”

        “When all this started, I didn’t think I had a chance of ever becoming a real spy. But then if I can’t do this, then what will I be?”

        “Sometimes it’s good to know what you’re fighting for” (This last line is by Sarah).

        Those are just some coming off memory. Now what changed between these and Honeymooners when it seems he was willing to forsake his destiny as it were to run away with Sarah? Well priorities, “if this is what she wants…” and the previous episodes’ “It just finally clicked for me, Sarah is the most important thing. What’s the point of being a spy without her?”

        I’m not going to get into the crater size characterization holes, not to mention the frustration factor but again thematically what they tried to show us is that being a spy, and intersecting in Ring 2 was more than just a decision made out of desperation, but rather one that he consciously and maturely made. One that out of most people, perhaps Sarah understands best…let’s face it she had a front row seat in the devastation parade.

        But being a spy is and has always been two-fold for Chuck; it’s his destiny and in his mind it’s the only way he can reel in the Big Fish that is Sarah as it were. The latter was just recently put to bed, to my utter satisfaction and endless squee in Phase Three.

      • jason says:

        faith / kev / joe – great topic – possibly the most basic topic of the series – is the end game a spy couple who tries to be normal or a normal couple with no spy ties – i.e. at the end do they walk away?

        Sarah has given some hints about the latter when trying to flesh out the issue with carina once and casey another time, mama B’s life hurt chuck and ellie so much, and it seems both papa B before and ellie now have held their ground on this issue – this all might hint the end game is CS walk away from the spy life?

        I found sarah 4×10 water fountain comment that mama b is the only thing protecting us to be of interest – sort of a dumb comment given sarah, casey and the us government are still around, but I think given ellie will have a child soon, that CS are getting serious, that CS have lots of enemies out there, it all would seem to beg for a climatic ending.

        Certainly, 4×13 would have been too soon to tie it all up well, but the problem for TPTB & the great thing for fans, is they have to keep unraveling things as new eps are given to them, it is no wonder there are so many loose ends given all the unraveling that has been done the past few seasons?

      • Ernie Davis says:


        I get into these arguments about how Pink Slip was relevant, how Three Words was good and the growth (and there was one) between that up to Final Exam and subsequently American Hero, made sense. It wasn’t laudable but thematically it was understandable.

        THANK YOU!!!!!

        The genius of this season is that it explicitly fills in some of those craters in the characterization. It would have been better to do it more thoroughly then of course, but it is nice to get confirmation that the larger story I saw was the one they were trying to tell.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree, Faith, themes and all, as miserably as they were told.

        I’ll add that with the big-fish issue completely off the table, and with Ellie’s objections clearly reiterated, Chuck chose to re-Intersect. To me that’s a definitive step in accepting his destiny.

        Does Chuck need to be more honest with Ellie? Ideally yes, but Ellie has made it difficult to impossible by being so closed. And Chuck doesn’t want to hurt her. It goes both ways, though. Ellie should talk to Chuck before she makes a comment either way.

        Bottom line. It’s understandable why Ellie would want a safer life for her brother, but it’s simply NOT her decision. It’s his life.

        I’ve been in both positions, so I can understand her feelings, but I can never justify her actions.

      • atcdave says:

        I don’t doubt or question Ellie’s reasons for despising the spy biz. It makes perfect sense given what she’s seen of it. What I find ridiculous is her attempt to control the actions of her adult brother, and being so closed on the topic he can’t even discuss it with her. I won’t even deny that it’s realistic and happens (obviously this is more often a parent’s position, but we know Ellie is the default parent), but that doesn’t make it any less foolish. Trying to dictate what an adult can do is surest way to alienate them and destroy a family. This is a lesson adults have been learning (often the hard way) since the dawn of creation. Ideally you teach character, values and faith to children so when they become adults they can make their own decisions wisely.

        Sorry, long way of saying I get Ellie’s feelings, but her actions are still selfish and stupid.

      • JC says:

        I don’t think anyone doesn’t sympathize with Ellie’s position about Chuck. I know she took tons of heat during the finale last season because of her asking Chuck to quit. To me it was completely understandable at the time, she was tricked by a rogue spy, watched her father get murdered and almost lost her brother.

        Where it changed for me was the ending of Coup. In Coup her wanting Chuck to quit became more about her than it was about Chuck. When she said how much he gave up and dismissed that being a spy is something he wants is when she started looking bad. It went from being protective to selfish. Its the same thing they did last year with Sarah when it came to Chuck being a spy.

        Now of course Chuck isn’t without fault. His need to protect Ellie from everything and keeping her in the dark is part of the problem. Case in point, Volkoff. Ellie should know the guy she thinks is good is actually a psycho arms dealer.

        While I agree part of S3 was about Chuck accepting his destiny they lost it near the end of S3 and the back six. And that’s because he’ll always need the blessing or acceptance of certain people. Last season it was Sarah and Orion, this one its Ellie. Its a double edged sword. In some ways its a great trait that he cares so much about what the people in his life think about him. On the other hand it lessens his choice of becoming the spy he was always meant to be. Of course though Chuck’s need for acceptance is understandable considering the way people treated him when he makes decisions without their blessing.

      • jason says:

        JC – seems I am the only one with this opinion, and I am not expressing it well at all, but I think the famous fedak storyboard has a line at the series end, be it 4×13 or 13×24, chuck has a choice, to be charles carmicheal the interested spy or chuck bartkowski the insectless man – the series will end with his choice.

        Ellie is not meant to make sense, simple to be there as a voice from the real world – appealing to the Bartkowski in chuck, not the Carmicheal.

        Even some of Sarah has been to there to value & validate Bartkowski – although I think the showrunners constantly run into trouble in that Carmicheal and Walker are the hottest item on TV and one of the few things their crazy fan base seems to agree on.

        I think at the end the plan is for Chuck to walk away from the spy life, with his Walker by his side.

      • Faith says:

        Jason, I’m going to tell you something about me, I have no imagination. I mean in some ways I do but just like when it comes to things ending, I prefer to be told rather than given the opportunity to determine for myself what happened.

        Awhile back there was discussions on how Chuck will end and there’s the comparison to Will and Grace (fantastic but totally depressing!) and other finales and I have to say how ever hard that ending was I’d really prefer that over how Chuck would have ended in S2. There’s just too many questions and I’m not equipped to answer them.

        But to get back on point, I have this vision in my head of Casey 5-20 years from now. He’s a 4 star general, he’s got 2 little Caseys in their military uniforms, and he’s got a for lack of better comparison, as close to a traditional Stepford wife as possible. Beckman has retired, maybe with Roan, who knows. Ellie and Awesome live in the suburbs, happy as can be with their awesome children who are probably card carrying Mensa members. Jeffster has died asphyxiating on self-pleasure (sorry for the visual) after a rolling stones like career.

        But Chuck and Sarah? I have no earthly idea. How this show ends and the manner at which (both continuing in the “evil never ends” crusade, or the forsaking everything to live a normal life has merit) it ends is a question mark to me. I can’t seem to stick to one and commit to it. Not a surprise 😉 but still. In most television shows there is usually a changing of the guard, an opportunity for betterment that you take as the lights get turned off…certainly in Mary Tyler Moore that was the case, but in Chuck the way they’ve done it, we’ve already had so much of that as it is…that the actual end really is hard for me to imagine.

        In the end (pun intended), Zac Levi is correct, without the perennial chopping block, Chuck wouldn’t be the show it is, able to take these risks and these leaps of faith and just like that, in its eventual series end that too will be surprising and hopefully heartwarming.

    • Michael says:

      This isn’t exactly a ‘Loose Thread’, but, in a way it is. OK, maybe it’s just a pet peeve about something I feel is missing.

      Chuck has been the Intersect for four years. And how many times has he found himself alone with a need to defend himself? Why hasn’t Casey or Sarah bothered to give him any self-defense training? If for no other reason than to be the last line of defense for the Intersect. Granted, he wouldn’t be a bad-ass ninja spy, but they could have taught him something. Even Cole taught him to sweep the leg ( Beefcake? ). It didn’t ruin the episode that he failed to get the gun. It would have been cool for him to have saved Cole, and he was this close, but it was a humorous scene. And you do have to learn to control that tunnel vision you get with an adrenaline rush. A few bar fights will cure that. Er… maybe that’s a bad idea for Chuck. 🙂

      Just a few episodes ago, when the Intersect was suppressed, he got all girly ( sorry, ladies ) when they were assaulted by Volkoff’s men. Humorous as it was to have the one move, a swing around the dance pole, he should have had something at his disposal that doesn’t require the Intersect.

      • timlay says:

        I do not disagree with that, chuck turned into a wuss when at the start of the season he was so great. It does not make sense sarah would not be helping him train. Or casey for that matter give what happened in 4.8 and 4.9

  2. joe says:

    We’ve got some big things from S1 & S2 that are still hanging out there. It’s surprising.

    I’m no longer sure that Mauser will be brought up again, because both Chuck & Sarah have come to terms with her “wildcard enforcer” past. Haven’t they? Hum… Maybe not. The bracelet, Ali Adler’s gift to us, is something I expect to see again. Those are the big ones, I think.

    There are smaller hanging threads. Have we seen the last of Anna Wu, or even of Harry Tang? What if (and wow, is this dreaming) C&S are not the only ones to tie a knot? Think Alex and Morgan. Having those two come back for that would be a great S5 episode.

    And there’s Sarah’s mother and maybe cover-sister. I’d still love to hear an explanation, no matter how terse.

    As for Carina, will we ever know what happen between Casey and her in Prague? That was an interesting story before she met Chuck, apparently.

    As for the CIA, there’s more than Omaha, apparently. There was also Operation Sandwall.

    Jill’s on the run. Still.

    And I hate to bring this up, but someone who shall not be names is NOT dead, and is also an Intersect. Oh Nos! A story line!

    • thinkling says:

      Ah Joe, some of those I have to think about, but one I’m relatively certain will stay buried, even though he’s not dead. He is an Intersect, but he has no governor. I like to think of him sitting in a cell somewhere irreversibly approaching insanity.

      And if TPTB brought him back it would certify their insanity.

      • atcdave says:

        If he’s ever even mentioned again it should simply be to verify he died in prison.

        But my money is on never mentioned again!

      • Maybe have it where Mama B goes to kill him and tells him who she is and that he killed her husband and hurt her children. Either she kills him or realizes that he’s going insane because of the Intersect or because he was already a few cards short of a full deck and leaves him to suffer after telling him she changed her mind because he’d get off too easy if she killed him.Maybe walk away with a by the way your wife was a traitor and she was cheating on you.

    • Faith says:

      I’m thinking it involves something sexual, and Merlin 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Brain bleach, please, and hurry! 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Please don’t sully the good image of Merlin by associating him with you know who. 🙂 My spec is he is owned by Merlin’s Army and not in the fun way. 🙂

        Jokes aside as Joe says TPTB have a ready made storyline to explore. If you know who comes back,I hope he gets killed off – yeah,I hate him that much. Sue me. 🙂

      • Faith says:

        Just open your minds…tragic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Anakin and Padme. But this time it’s Merlin who is holding all the cards :-D.

        And well, I can’t think of a worse fate for Shaw LMAO.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      Speaking of loose ends and prospective story lines – what about the rogues gallery from Orion’s Cave. All those code names for the ruthless people that Orion told Chuck about. Have we seen the last of their info when the Orion’s Cave blew up? Or can TPTB use them as a potential story line for Season5 – yeah, I am an optimist.

      • JC says:

        We can hope the new Intersect had the files or maybe the PSP did and Mary was lying. I’m grasping at straws I know.

      • joe says:

        Excellent point! I do wonder what they are about, Genie, especially since they’re some of my favorite constellations!

        And really, all that stuff about Orion’s cave, his life’s work and all that data (blown to bits, literally!), that *has* to be resolved.

      • atcdave says:

        Not to be cynical, but I bet its never brought up again. Another perpetual loose end..

    • armySFC says:

      i’ll toss my two cents in here. if we took all the dangling plot lines from all the episodes and revealed them, the show would need to go on for ten more years. and that would be with out any more being tossed out.

      i’m probably in the minority here in my way of thinking. the number of episodes of chuck has been uncertain from the start for various reasons. by leaving open plot holes it would allow the writers to come up with the additional episodes need that season to fill in the blanks. take season 1 it got 13 episodes but no additional ones. so the open holes so they could not be filled that year. instead of going backwards they came up with the new arc. although this doesnt hold true for season 2. in season 3 i think the fan pressure and falling ratings caused the big shift in the show. my guess is they had to abandon some things to get c/s together. same in season 4. but there still are 14? episodes left to go so maybe some of the ones for this year well be explained.

      again this is just me but i don’t need the answers to all the plot holes and missing ideas. if they just keep doing what they have been this year and i’ll be a happy camper. because in reality do any of us have all the answers to all life’s questions? just some food food for thought.

    • jason says:

      what bothers me about all this shaw a great villain, tell the sam backstory, bring back shaw, etc is a very small minority of the fans really liked season 3 and seem to be infactuated with daniel shaw still, but those fans got their chance, TPTB got their chance too, to tell that story, not only did the story fail, but it failed to connect with the majority of the fans and the critics, to now call for more, seems ridiculous – Daniel Shaw got his chance to entertain us – two of them really – as he was brought back and pulled the show down again with his presence, he failed, I want the rest of Chuck the series to not be stained with Shaw’s repulsive misery – come on, with only 14 shows left for sure, you guys have to have enough imagination to come up with better than that, than him – you could not possibly have enjoyed him that much?

      • Big Kev says:

        Completely 100% in agreement with you mate. I’m not normally one to have a list of things that I require from a show to be happy, or “red lines” that can’t be crossed – but that’s one. Bringing back the single most damaging, ill-conceived, poorly-written and badly-acted character in the shows history would be suicide. Fortunately it’s about as likely to happen as Josh McDaniels getting another head coaching gig in the NFL anytime soon…

      • atcdave says:

        Too funny Kev. Aren’t you an Aussie? Following American football! But you’re completely right, there’s no chance of Shaw coming back, at least for now. If the show goes as far as S6 (and Chuck and Sarah are happily married) I could see Shaw brought back as a baddie to get quickly killed off. But for now, there’s just way to much bad blood on the subject between TPTB and fans; I don’t think they would dare touch it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think the big determining factor is that I very much doubt Routh would want to re-live that role. He was ill-served, both by being cast against actors whose forte is subtlety and selling a scene with facial expressions and by the lack of character definition or direction in his first 7 of his 11 episodes. He has talked about his initial reluctance to take the role and his frustration with much of it. Why on earth he’d agree to come back is beyond me.

      • atcdave says:

        You’re right Ernie, it’s one thing we often don’t take into account. The part was not a good fit for Routh and he apparently knows it.

  3. JC says:

    Omaha is my white whale but after four seasons I doubt it’ll be mentioned again. Would love to see that Chuck and Sarah were intended to be partners from the beginning.

    Jill to me is bigger than Agent Buzzkill. Chuck let her go and you have to think that would come back to haunt him. Maybe not from Jill herself but if Beckman or Sarah found out.

    Not that I want or think they’ll revisit this but was Eve Shaw a traitor? You’d think worst day of your life you might want to know if you killed an innocent woman.

    Will they bring up the name reveal? Dangerous territory but part of me thinks it needs to be addressed.

    From this season

    Were Orion and MEB in contact the whole time?

    Volkoff seemed to really hate Orion, is it more than his obsession with Mary?

    Why choose a married agent with two kids for a long term mission? Was Mary’s family in danger and that was her reason?

    The new Intersect? Upgrade ,3.0 or just the 2.0 with the kinks worked out. The PSP of Doom?

    No bracelet scene or conversation about Stephen’s death. That strikes me as extremely strange.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      They really missed out on Sarah’s Red Test and Eve Shaw. The whole story line felt like bits and pieces joined together to form – a mess, nothing more. But like the name reveal it will be swept under the carpet and we will be left to speculate whether the CIA messed up and assassinated an innocent agent or if Eve Shaw was actually a Ring agent.

      Volkoff’s hate for Orion seemed to be personal. He was resentful of Papa B’s hope to find and bring back Mary.

      As for choosing a married agent for the mission – I dont think it was intended to be that long term. Once she was outed as an agent, Mary had to change her plans. ( according to her that is)

      • thinkling says:

        Agreed Alladins, and now it’s really too late to do anything with it … the red test mess. Better to let sleeping angst die.

        I also don’t think the mission was supposed to go this long, but even so it is difficult to explain, unless she figured her family would be in danger until her mission was complete. And now the stakes are higher b/c Volkoff knows too much. As Sarah said MEB is the only thing keeping them safe.

        I don’t know what’s between Orion and Volkoff, but I agree it seems to be personal.

      • JC says:


        Eve Shaw was a complete waste, the story behind her and the character. She would have made probably the best villain the show had especially if she was innocent.

        But I agree that it and the name reveal will probably swept under the rug. This whole idea that Sarah wasn’t the woman she is until she met Chuck thing they’ve been doing is proof of that. They’re trying to undermine her real name.

        The idea of Volkoff having personal vendetta against Orion beyond Mary is just me hoping there’s more to the story. The same thing with putting a married agent with kids undercover. Its hope that there’s more beyond what we’ve been told.

      • joe says:

        Question: Does Volkoff know that Orion was married to Frost? I don’t think he does. I don’t know that he’s connected Orion to Bartowski yet, except as a mentor.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:


        In First Fight, when Chuck and Sarah are bound to the chairs and Volkoff taunts Chuck that Orion was a fool to keep looking for Mary and after wards Chuck asks his mother “You told him?” and Mary says “About my husband? Yes.” So,Volkoff knows about Orion and Frost.And in Leftovers, Volkoff finally go to know Carmichael’s connection to Orion.It’s a pity it wasn’t explored a bit more.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Sarah’s Red Test.

        I always thought her line should have been, “It was the worst day of my life – until today”

        THAT would have explained Sarah’s supposed journey of misery. Instead, I really didn’t care.

    • joe says:

      JC, the interesting thing about the name reveal is that there are several scenarios under which it’s not yet resolved. Yet, the only way it *is* resolved is if Chuck doesn’t need to know who Sarah was, because he knows who she is.

      Sound familiar? I think *I* have a much bigger need to know everything about that than Chuck does.

      • JC says:

        Its weird Joe, they’ve been all over the place with the name and who she was before the pilot that it hurt the character.

        Now I know they won’t go down this path but the this idea they’ve been going with that Sarah was nothing before Chuck is weird. Is she just playing a role of the type of girlfriend she thinks Chuck wants or is this the real Sarah? The idea that so much of Sarah’s humanity is directly tied to Chuck is kind of a disservice to her character.

        My biggest problem with the name reveal is that Sarah hasn’t shared any of her past with Chuck willing. Now I know in Cougars he said he didn’t need to know but you would think he would want her to tell him. They had Sarah address that fact in Phase Three but will they follow through?

      • Faith says:

        But we’re assuming they’re not having these conversations but they could just as well be…I mean they did hint in Suitcase about some conversations about how she grew up.

        It’s not outside the realm of possibilities that a lot of their past are being explored offscreenville.

      • armySFC says:

        joe i think you maybe right with your need to know more than chuck does. my thoughts are do they want to open the can of worms that sarahs past would cause? i’m not talking about relationship problems for chuck and sarah. i’m talking about the fans reactions. i’ll list my reasons below.

        this is what i know about her past as a spy. when chuck is given his red test it was to prove he could kill. thus becoming a spy.
        in 3.13 at the beginning sarah asks shaw why he has her red test, and it was the worst day of her life and her first kill. later in the episode chuck tells casey the red test was 5 years ago. based on that sarah didn’t become a spy (by the definition they gave us) until 05. she said in earlier seasons she was partnered with bryce for 2 years. she teamed up with chuck in 07. so for the only years she was a spy ( by what we were told and not guessing) 05-07 she was partnered with bryce doing deep cover missions. as we have learned deep cover missions take time. they are not in and outs like the missions they take part in now. plus they were in a relationship. not that i like to draw conclusions from what may have been left out, but with the know relationship, one would assume that they spent down time together (the pictures on the phone and verbal conformation) as well.

        to try to fit a bunch of her spy missions (that she would have into those two years without bryce) would cause serious damage to what they have already told us happened. my guess is they know this and will just let most of her past stay hidden. let us believe that they talk about it or she had chuck flash on her mission files. so for me if chuck doesn’t care, that’s good enough for me. it would take more than a couple episodes to fix that mess, so would it really be worth it?

      • atcdave says:

        I’m okay with assuming they’ve discussed a lot off screen. The botched name reveal still irks me; Sarah’s birth last name is still missing, and I’d love to find she was lying to Shaw (but I’m sure that won’t be the case). But I would like if we (and Chuck) finally knew her real full name via a marriage licence. Of course that may be skipped too by the simple expedient of saying Sarah Walker has been her legal name for many years.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        I can appreciate that some wish to believe that some of these discussions are occuring offscreen. But with regards to the true name – until I hear her tell Chuck, with dialogue, in an episode – she hasn’t told him.

      • armySFC says:

        Joseph (can’t be Joe) this is said tongue in cheek, but do you need to see them having sex to believe they do?

        dave this may sound funny as well. on a speculation board (NOT the teaser site) like this a poster said that the tease, sarah leaves chuck for another man, refers to what you said about a marriage license. that she leaves with another agent because she needs to get divorced from him. a screw up happened when they were on a mission together and she is actually married. i just that was funny

      • atcdave says:

        That is funny Army. Better keep it quiet though, don’t want to give them any ideas…

      • treecrab says:

        It’s always perplexed me when people bring up that line in Suitcase as proof that Chuck and Sarah talk. I’ve never seen it that way. They frequently use the line “You know how I grew up” as a cheat for Sarah’s character so they don’t have to actually write her any backstory. And really, Sarah could easily just mean that Chuck knows how she grew up because of what he learned in Cougars and Delorean. Both those episodes gave a pretty basic overview of how she grew up, and it’s completely believable to me that she’s not told him anything else beside what he learned in those two episodes.

        The fact that in Phase Three she said herself that there was so much she still wanted to tell him leads me to believe that’s she’s still not really opening up to him or sharing things about her past.

      • JC says:

        Thinkling and I were talking about this in the Suitcase rewatch thread. The whole “You know how I grew up” line is just an easy way for them to mention her past without actually showing it. They used the line in both Suitcase and Role Models.

        And I have to agree with Joesph, until I see them talk about the name reveal it didn’t happen.

      • thinkling says:

        We can know from some things that have been said that they are conversing off screen, besides the fact that that’s what couples do, of course. The first thing we know they settled off screen was the no lying rule.

        Sarah said in Role Models, “You know how I grew up. I spent my life living in hotel rooms under fake names.” Then Chuck says in Aisle right after Mom shows up, “…[to his mom] I got a story, 10th birthday. [then to Sarah] You haven’t even heard this one …”

        I infer from all of this that they are having intimate conversations and resolving issues off screen, and that’s a good thing. We might be curious about some things in particular, but with limited screen time, it’s unlikely we’ll be privy to very much of it. I understand, though, how the lack of certain information still bothers some people.

        I’m happy enough with s4 that I can live without knowing most of those things. S3 loose ends at this point are more of a curiosity than a worry.

      • armySFC says:

        heres my thoughts on her real name. think back to when you were a kid. whats the earliest you can recall being called your name? how did you know what it was? because your parents or guardians called you it right? when was the first time you saw your birth certificate? now you grow up with her past, always changing names because you father was a conman. would he use his real name? probably not leaning towards no. would he have his important papers like SSN or BC with him? again probably not. then you get forced into the CIA. grahm would have set it all up, name birth certificate ete al.

        say she was born doris day thats on her BC. but the first name she can remember being called is samantha lisa burton (an example) she never saw her BC. she may not even know what her real name is to reveal. now your probably saying no way that could happen.

        this is a true story about my uncles. my grand parents came from germany before the war. tensions were high so when both my uncles were
        born. they went by joe and fred until they got married. thats when they found out what their real names were. they were in their 20’s. i think the same logic can be applied here. only they had the proof of their real names. maybe she does maybe she doesn’t. my guess is she doesn’t. just my take on the name issue.

      • thinkling says:

        I could buy that, Army, with no trouble at all. It would actually make a pretty good story. Chuck could flash on something and be the one to unlock a past she has no idea about.

      • atcdave says:

        I think its reasonable to conclude Chuck and Sarah talk plenty off screen; its what couples do. But we will never know on any specific instance until it comes up. I would love to have more scenes where they demonstrate some knowledge of each other that we’ve never seen on screen, but I don’t require it to be comfortable assuming Sarah practices the same full disclosure she expects from Chuck.
        The name is a unique case because of its role in Chuck mythology. I’ll assume the opposite here. Chuck told Sarah way back in Cougars he didn’t need to know, combine that with the mutually embarrassing way “Sam” was revealed; I’ll guess its never been brought up since. Army did a great job bringing up the potentially confusing issue (even for Sarah herself), which might even mean Jack is the only living person who knows Sarah’s “real” name. I still suppose Sarah Walker likely is her actual legal name (or “alpha alias”), either that or it will be revealed in conjunction with a marriage licence. Neither one would surprise me. In time, her legal name will be Sarah Bartowski and the others will not matter.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i agree. in my long winded explanation i neglected to say the docs made for her have her legally listed as sarah walker. whether its from her BC or not who knows? but agree it will be bartowski. i just hope it happens this season, in case there’s not a season 5.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah ditto that army. I’m thinking wedding in 4.24.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i’m also thinking 4.24 unless the ratings go up during their second half and they get an early renewal. as bad as NBC is doing across the board an early renewal may be possible. we know for a fact that they just finished 4.13 so they would have time in the second half to change the last episode and move it to 5.01. with as loud as chuck fans are concerning the show, pushing it to the next season would drive up the ratings for the show. on non chuck sites there were contests done to see who from the prime time shows would get engaged by the end of this season. if i remember right chuck was number 2. so it seems not only chuck fans are interested in the couple. give them a couple months to pump it up and i would predict a good showing. this is one kind of cliff hanger i can deal with.

      • atcdave says:

        I’d be okay with that sort of cliffie too, but I hope they use it to bump up ratings for May sweeps. That determines add rates for the fall season, which of course means better revenue stream for the show.

      • JC says:


        The show is pretty direct about things, so the idea that they haven’t discussed the name reveal makes sense.

        Whether they address it on screen is the real question. For a lot of fans Sam is still a major black spot on the show and Sarah. So the TPTB are in a bind. Do they try and lessen the meaning of it which they seem to be trying. Or do they open the S3 can of worms? They seem screwed no matter what.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        The problem with the name reveal still stands with me as well. I think in Cougers the reason he didn’t ask her any personal questions when she gave him the chance is that he wanted her to willingly tell him . I think the only things she’s willingly told him is stuff about her father and that’s only because he found out about her dad by following her. However she’s willingly told Shaw about her name and about her red test.

        First Fight proved that the bizarre willingness to completely trust Shaw and not Chuck has not been addressed . At the end of Phase Three she indicated a willingness to be open with him but there’s no indication that’s happened as of yet. I’m hoping we will find something out.

  4. Faith says:

    I’ve been doing a day of Plan B over at the boards…that’s a feel good topic right?

    Last night’s plan B of the day involved Farmer’s Market…

    Walking hand and hand, Chuck and Sarah stop at a blueberries stand and in one of the containers is the ring. Awww.

    Also spec for little Awesomette’s name: Deli! Short for Devon and Ellie! LMAO.

    • joe says:

      Awwww – I like the Farmer’s market idea!
      But Deli made me think of Lou the Sandwich girl. I wonder if Chuck (or Sarah!) might object to that, a little. 😉

      • Michael says:

        I don’t Joe, but of all the ‘others’ that Chuck or Sarah dated or slept with, Lou was probably the least offensive to the Charah relationship.

        She and Chuck seemed to split on amicable terms. After a few words! I could even see her being friends with Charah, the couple.

        Or maybe I just like Lou too much and that’s wishful thinking.

  5. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    Your all missing out on one of the biggest dangling plot threads.

    Who exactly was getting a midnight snack in Beckman’s fridge?

  6. First Timer says:

    One of the overseas sites, Chuck.pl, had some BTS pictures of e14 and there is an external shot of a Weinerlicious. It may be nothing more than they still had the Weinerlicious sign prop and threw it in as a joke. But you have to wonder why the show runners are revisiting Weinerlicious, especially in an episode with the Roan character…

  7. armySFC says:

    i’m liking this thread a lot. so in my sleep deprived state i began to think of how some of the unresolved issues played out in the episodes they came from. i looked at it from a writers perspective not a viewer. when i started dabbling in FF, i looked up writing tips. one of the first things i found was, this paraphrasing of course. open a paragraph or chapter with a line that gets the readers attention. then go from there.

    i hope the bracelet scene we are talking about is the one from the end of season 3. what did it do? it showed the viewers that chuck’s mom was alive. it also showed that she still cares about her kids because she still has it. would the scene of her sitting at the desk have the same impact with out the bracelet? probably not. it was a lead in to the next episode.

    orion’s cave. if chuck walked into the room and there were only a couple boxes and one was marked frost. would it have had the same effect as the full room? add the charm to that. now the viewer can see that the lady in the chair is his mom. again it sets up the next scene.

    throw away lines

    grahms enforcer. we know sarah was only a spy for 2 years (see my post above for more). what that line did was grab our attention and focus it on sarah. it reminded us what sarah was like before she met chuck and what she is capable of doing. it was a lead in to her going after chuck. it made what she did more believable for many viewers.

    your not a spy. grabbed our attention in a big way. it also set the scene for what happened next. chuck did something he never did before (i’m hazy on this so if i’m wrong correct me) he went on a mission without the comfort zone of sarah and casey. they would not be around to have his back. it was a big move for him. again setting up the rest of the episode.

    these are just a couple. but if we looked back at each open plot hole or cast off line they never followed up on. would we see the same thing with most of them? if so didn’t they writers just follow what they learned. use a line to get the readers attention. then expand on the idea behind the line. in these cases i think they did just that.

    i saw a good line the other day on a spoiler site. he said “i just put the words out there. its not my fault what the reader takes from it.” maybe that’s what we as viewers are doing here. taking a line or scene from the show and expecting there to be more than what it is. when the writers intent was simply to introduce the next scene.

    just my take from the other side of the coin.

    • atcdave says:

      I certainly think it’s true that we viewers occasionally latch on to something as important that was never meant to be. Even more so for us fanatics who remember all of those dangling hooks, when more casual viewers forget them if nothing happens in the next scene or two. But sometimes it really is the writer who is at fault for the misplaced hook. Unlike an amateur, it is actually a professional writer’s job to entertain their audience. So if the viewers remain more enamored of a direction not taken than the direction that was taken; it has to be a bit of a professional “oops!”. I don’t mean to get into the major cases of “oops” we saw transpire in S3; I’m thinking more of all the little things we had hoped to see happen that never did. Everything from rampant speculation about a “secret romance” that simply never happened to Ellie becoming the Intersect projects resident neurologist or a certain charm bracelet playing a key role in finding a missing mom. Obviously keeping us guessing is a good thing, but if the surprises are disappointments it’s not quite so good.

      I guess what I’m getting at is, I think the professional writer is taking on a certain responsibility for picking up on those moments that capture the audience’s attention and delivering. We don’t all want exactly the same thing, and I’m certainly not talking about catering to every whim of the viewers. But when there is much excitement remaining over something the writer’s thought they were done with, it would be nice if they found a way to “pick up the spare” later.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i agree with what you said. but here is a question for you. of all these hooks and unsaid things. how many did you notice on the first watch? i’m not trying to sound flippant when i ask this. i’m a casual fan as you know. i watch an episode once, maybe twice if its real good. what i’m trying to ask i guess and poorly i might add, is if you need to re-watch the episode a few times before you notice it. was it really that important? i’m sure if you look at any show on tv or any movie and watch it over and over more things come out that are not explained. i hear it all the time, every time i watch that (fill in the blank) i pick up things i missed the first time.

      • atcdave says:

        Army i think it varies a lot from viewer to viewer; maybe even from show to show. But I do think just by coming here and discussing things you’re a little beyond a casual viewer. Even with only a single viewing (most of my S3 experience) by discussing the episode we are more likely to remember and form opinions on things. It is so hard for me (or most of us here I would guess) to know what casual viewers are thinking sometimes. We were discussing how tired many of us were with the Buy More here a couple weeks ago, and I remember mentioning it to my wife and some friends who also watch the show; and was surprised they all LOVED the Buy More. My wife (geez, she sits right next to me every episode and I didn’t know this!) said she loved the shot of “normal/funny” contrasted with the life and death stuff. Well, not many of us here see it that way. It’s usually pretty easy to figure out what casual viewers are thinking about major theme/mood issues (one friend told me after Pink Slip, “when Sarah threw her phone in the pool my wife said ‘change the channel I’m never watching this show again'”) but sorting out little details is tricky. You want to pay enough attention to reward those careful viewers, but television has neither the time nor the budget to hammer out multiple continuity issues like a cinematic feature does.
        I think in the end it’s just a matter of paying enough attention to avoid major gaffs. But if a significant number of viewers are excited (in either a good or bad way) some effort should be made to address the issue. And in this modern information age there is no excuse for not knowing what your fans are thinking.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i consider myself a casual viewer for several reasons. 1) if i don’t like the way the show is going i tune out. like i did during season 3. i only came back when the angst was done. if it happens again i’m gone for good. 2) i don’t worry about what they may have left out or what they didn’t say. the loose ends fit in that category. it just doesn’t mean anything to me. as long as i like the episode that’s on that night i’m good. 3) i don’t hold any of the characters in as high standard as you guys do. to me none of them is any better than the others. they are just characters on a TV show. so when sarah goes trekking across Thailand looking for chuck it’s no different than what jolie does in a move or garner did on TV, or what any of the other female action stars do all the time. when casey kills someone its the same as any male action hero as well. 4) the thing i enjoy most is how the intersect works. that’s the unique thing for me. no other show has it. when that is taken from the show, like in the last arc, the show pales for me. i in no way am demeaning the acting abilities of the actors on the show.

        i enjoy talking about the show because i like seeing somebody else’s view of it. maybe i missed something or don’t undestand something and it gets explained. so that’s why i think i’m a casual fan. i like the show, i write fics based on the show but if bellies up this year it’s no big deal to me. does that make sense?

      • atcdave says:

        That does make sense, you do seem to have a more casual attitude than most of us. For myself the Intersect is pretty much the least interesting aspect of the show, I especially think the 2.0 is too much. I love the characters; all the way from relating to Chuck, admiring Sarah, and laughing at the oddballs. Of course those first two aspects sum up why S3 outraged me.

      • armySFC says:

        dave funny we should be talking about the intersect. you are a die hard and i am a casual. you place little emphasis on the intersect, i place a lot on it.

        season 3 numbers by millions starting at 3×15 and going to 3×19 in order 5.4, 5.3, 5.2, 4.9.

        season 4 numbers starting at 4.06 and going to 4.09 in order. 2, 2.2, 1.9, 1.7.

        now your wondering where i’m going with this? 3×16 at 5.3 was the first ep of the arc where the intersect wasn’t working it ended in 3×19. 4.07 at 2.2 was the first ep of the last arc where the intersect didn’t work. can you see the trend? no intersect ratings go down.

        is it coincidence that the ratings dropped both times they embarked on the same type of arc? or is the fact that the casual fan like me tunes in to the show for the uniqueness of it? will we ever know for sure who knows. but the numbers do seem to bare out my guess. i can see one time being an oddity but twice?

      • atcdave says:

        Your numbers don’t quite match; you’re using total viewership for S3 and key demo for S4. But the point is the same. I think the drop was bigger during the misery arc, and things stabilized a bit for the end of S3, but the situation is similar in both; bad things are happening to Chuck. I think most viewers like the show more when its fun, this just isn’t an audience that enjoys dark stories as much. And I do acknowledge I’m in a minority about the Intersect. I’d rather see Chuck as a planner and problem solver, S2 Chuck remains my favorite; the Intersect was only an information source and Chuck saved the day on his own merits. I think the 2.0 has diminished the value of his bravery and resourcefulness. But its not a big thing to me, as I said, I watch for the characters.

      • armySFC says:

        dave, yeah its the only numbers i could find. but the one time i did see the demo numbers they were worse than the ones i used for season 3 while the misery arc stayed mostly the same.

      • armySFC says:

        sorry hit enter by mistake. your also right about not liking a dark show. but that’s probably because it strayed so far from the intent of the first 2 years which was mostly up beat and funny.

      • herder says:

        armySFC for raw viewership numbers wikipedia under chuck nbc has them (no demos). 4.10 at 6.17 million has the highest viewership since the Beard which was 6.3 million. My take is that even after Mask and Fake Name there was some faith that things would get better, but then after Beard, despite the fact that it was a very good episode, people realized that the Chuck/Sarah thing wasn’t going to be fixed soon and they started a near fatal slide. The happier episodes starting at Other Guy and Honeymooners were too late to prevent the slide.

      • Anonymous says:


        I also feel that Beard had a lot of viewers because fans were hopeful of some resolution to the Sham arc. Instead we all know what happened – and then it was free fall from then on. I perfectly recall that on the day 3×09 aired there were over 900 users following the live commentary of the episode – similar to live tweeting. Most were hopeful of a resolution and were left severely disappointed. Now, it may also have been other factors that contributed to the steady decline after Beard, but I personally believe that one such major factor was that a lot of fans gave up at that point.

      • jason says:

        My opinion, i have always thought after the beard played was when the pro reviewers, who got the beard early, really figured the fans out … the pro reviewers loved the beard, came out and said it was excellent, the fanboy type fans fell in line, but the shipper fan base hated it, when sarah allowed daniel to order chuck’s murder, after she had been sleeping with shaw for a week or two, that was it, those fans who loved CS and who heard that the beard was the ‘best’ of the eps the pro reviewers saw, knew the sham was going to play out to the end, after 3.9, very little love was shown for the series again in the media, and even the moderate bloggers started to pull back a bit, as the shipper fan element was no longer just frustrated, rather bitter anger had set it, for many of us, it is still present. Re-hiring klemmer, who obviously is talented and appears to be a great guy, just throws fuel on that smoldering anger ….

      • atcdave says:

        I agree Beard is kind of the crises point episode. Although it was mostly a good episode on its own merits, it did NOTHING to fix what was really wrong with the show at that point. And Sarah’s half-hearted attempt to stand up for Chuck rubs me wrong to this day.
        Actually, I’ll take it a step further and say the only way to have fixed things then and there would be if when Shaw tries to call Langley, Sarah had pulled her gun and shot him in the head.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I think Beard was probably the original end of Sham and if they had ended it there it would have worked well plus we wouldn’t have had Sarah basically jump from one man to the other so quickly and maybe have her approach Chuck cautiously unsure of her reception. They could have ended the Sham by having Sarah punch out Shaw yelling at him was he crazy , Chuck is the more important than those discs.

        Her lack of action in stopping Shaw added to the name reveal , her basically watching while Shaw strangled Chuck, and her either cruelty or cluelessness earlier in Beard in suggesting Chuck talk to her and Shaw about why he couldn’t flash really added up to honk people off royally.Plus there was the idiocy of her going arm in arm with Shaw to Paris (where she killed his wife ), the giant plot hole of her not calling Chuck until they were way out of town and presumably in an area where she would believe there was no service, and the back burner additions of the receipt pile and earrings (that she was still wearing after Shaw tried to kill her and Chuck was having nightmares about killing him) aka booty call evidence just poured salt and lemon on a still open wound (I didn’t like Papa B referring to Shaw as her lover either) for a lot of people.

        Season 4 has had a few bits where I said YES and given me hope that all the weird season 3 behavior will be explored (I think Sarah could benefit from a few visits to Doc Brown) like the bit where it was mentioned she had daddy issues and Chuck saying that she only trusted people that Beckman ordered her to trust.

      • atcdave says:

        Safe to say S3 was a total fubar.

    • JC says:

      There’s no doubt that hardcore fans latch onto ideas or lines that the writers had no intention of exploring. But also as writers they have to be careful about putting emphasis on certain ideas and then ignoring them when it suits the story. This also applies to throwaway lines or ignoring plot points that drive a season.

      All shows have these problems but why can a show like Fringe that deals with two universes or Buffy that had the timelines of century old vampires mapped out not have these many plot holes.

      Its things like that make me think they don’t care or put enough effort into the writing.

      • armySFC says:

        you could be right about them not caring. it could be that they just don’t have the time to go over every line with a fine tooth comb. take this year. chuck was not renewed until may 13th. the first episode aired on the 20th of Sep. that gave them a little over 4 months to write, plan the shooting schedule, get the sets ready and everything that goes with it. that’s not a lot of time.

        like i said above. the bracelet seems like a sticking point. but is really? my explanation for it is plausible. once it had its desired effect it becomes a non issue, except to people that want to see more from it. i can see your points don’t get me wrong. but is there a line out there that bothers people that had no follow up? then i would agree that its a hanger. but if a line such as enforcer which reminded us of the sarah we had not seen in a long time. was just a reminder. is it a throw away line or is just a line that people want to know more about?

      • JC says:

        The bracelet I was talking about was the one Chuck gave Sarah in Santa Claus. The one Stephen gave Mary, with her appearance you’d think they might mention that. Or maybe even a casual mention about his death.

        I’m OK with certain things being ignored or throwaway lines. As a fan I understand that something I see as important they don’t. Omaha is a perfect example but where I have the problem is when they ignore major plot points for the current episode or arc. Whats even worse is with a couple lines of dialogue they could fix it but they don’t even do that.

        A perfect example is Alex Coburn, first thing I thought was who was he calling in Santa Clause when he said it’s Johnny Boy? Throw in a line of dialogue where Chuck brings it up and have Casey say he was calling Beckman. Simple and plot hole gone.

        What bothers me is what can I believe as a viewer. If a season or a few episodes down the road what I saw is completely invalidated whats the point.

      • jason says:

        jc – it is interesting – but we all have different stuff – I am shocked that the fav ep for many with the charles’s, we haven’t had the Charles’s go on several missions, instead we see more morgan, more rogue sarah and rogue chuck, and even when CS on mission, largely they are bickering or fighting, very un-charles like

        I don’t know what project omaha is, but I am pretty sure I am glad it is gone as I really don’t like the spy backstory stuff, almost always screws things up or used as a device to screw things up, because TPTB appear to be incapable of writing drama without throwing some device between chuck and sarah

        the bracelet, I am baffled how that has not been used …. only can hope the reason is TPTB are saving it for the big moment(s) coming up

        We all are very different I guess

      • JC says:


        I don’t want spy stuff all the time, I just wish they spent a little more time crafting better spy stories.

        And my fascination with Omaha is because of an idea I had floating around in my head. I always assumed that it was the beginning of putting the Intersect in a human. And since that seems like where Sarah met Bryce it would’ve been interesting story. Had Chuck not been kicked out of Stanford he most likely would’ve been partnered with Sarah.

        So Chuck’s destiny wasn’t just the Intersect but also meeting Sarah. It would’ve been a way to tie the mythology and romance together.

      • Michael says:

        > Had Chuck not been kicked out of Stanford he most likely would’ve been partnered with Sarah.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love this whole idea, but, how do you connect the dots there? Chuck could just as easily have been partnered with some other adorable psycho bytch.

      • atcdave says:

        You know JC a lot of fan fiction has dealt with that exact issue, you certainly aren’t the only one who’s fascinated by that particular loose end.
        I too wish they’d put a little more effort into the spy stories. I love the characters but I’m tired of the repetitive relationship issues. And you know I’m mostly happy with S4, as long as we never get the wt/wt stuff back I’m mostly happy. I just wish some of the Buy More stuff would go into the “A” plot.

      • JC says:


        A lot of is assumption and guessing on my part.

        I’m guessing Omaha had something to do with the Intersect program and it seems like that’s where Bryce and Sarah met and partnered up. From the show we know that Chuck had the highest retention of images and since Bryce was given the 2.0 we can guess he was the second. So if Chuck isn’t kicked out of Stanford and recruited by the CIA it’s likely he meets and teams up with Sarah at Omaha.

        Not a lot of facts to back it up but the pieces are there. Plus we know the show has done similar things before. Bryce working for Orion, Jill, etc.

      • atcdave says:

        JC I would add, since we really haven’t heard anything about other candidates the program was likely very small.

      • JC says:

        That’s a good point Dave. Although they’ve been kinda all over the place about who can get an Intersect. At first it seemed small but all those agents in Colonel contradicts it somewhat.

        And sorry guys for derailing this with my Omaha idea.

      • atcdave says:

        Or Fulcrum was more ruthless and willing to sacrifice 30 guys to get one or two intersects. They also may have been given misleading information by Orion to think it was an easier thing that it is. Remember in Suburbs they had no luck Intersecting anyone but Chuck.
        I like the idea that only a select few may even be capable of handling it at all. Agent Superman Statue and Orion are the only other characters who have ever had a functioning Intersect. The CIA seemed to think Bryce and maybe Sarah (not sure if she was in Omaha as a candidate or just a candidate partner) were on the short list of potential Intersects.
        And this is why it might be fun to learn more about Omaha at some point…

      • joe says:

        I’m wondering if some of the dropped threads is a by-product of having a large and changing team of writers. I love that LeFranc & Judkins seem willing to preserve some of these things, but I’m sure they all have their own ideas about what makes an interesting hook.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m sure that’s an issue Joe. When you look at shows with smaller writing staffs, from Burn Notice to Babylon 5, you often see tighter continuity and fewer wasted hooks.

      • JC says:


        I like that idea that Fulcrum was willing to sacrifice all those agents to get one or two Intersects. And your right it does make me want to learn more about Omaha. That got me thinking about another dropped plot, the Alpha Intersect. Does Chuck still have it and what did it do?


        I’m sure having a new group of writers is part of the problem. But you have to lay a lot of the blame at the feet of Schwedak. As show runners they have direct control over the stories and where it goes, the writers just follow the outline of the arc.

      • joe says:

        Clearly, TPTB just read our words, and decided to do something about it.

        See the news about Klemmer below!

      • JC says:


        The wildcard enforcer line bothered people because it doesn’t match up to the little we’ve seen of Sarah before the show. It didn’t bother me but I admit it seems like another attempt to darken or dirty her past.

        And I do think there were two major lines that were never followed up.

        The first was the “No your not” line about Chuck being a spy without the Intersect. It was never addressed or resolved because he got it back so quickly.

        And the second was Mary’s line about Orion not wanting Chuck to see the PSP. That makes no sense and it goes against everything Orion wanted for Chuck. Now I admit there could be more to the story but going by the show’s history I doubt it.

      • atcdave says:

        I think the “wildcard enforcer” line just doesn’t track well with what we saw in the Pilot.

      • armySFC says:

        @atcdave & jc. i agree with both of you. the those 2 lines i picked were for a certain reason. i thought i explained them pretty well in the posts above it. maybe i didn’t do such a good job. the ‘not a spy’ as i see it was used (poorly i think) as a catalyst for chuck. chuck was hurt by it. we saw that. it made him leave his comfort zone and go with an agent he didn’t know for a mission. because he wanted to prove sarah wrong and prove to himself as well.

        the enforcer line to me was a reminder of what she is capable of doing. we hadn’t seen a bass butt walker in a while. it was a lead in to her going wild.

        i agree the enforcer line is against the pilot and many other things we have learned about her through the seasons. the not a spy line was dropped quickly.

        to me they just set up the scene that followed it and had no other purpose other than that. they weren’t meant to go any further than that. as dave said in an earlier post they just didn’t do it well enough if they left people wanting more from it. i’m just lumping some things dave said in a reply to me earlier so i hope i got dave’s intent correct.

      • atcdave says:

        You got it right army. The “not a spy” line may be a good example of something that was too heavy handed in that it really annoyed many viewers. It seems Chuck himself was over it pretty quickly (maybe his little priorities talk while hanging from the gondola, certainly by the time he and Sarah are reunited); and Sarah regretted it almost as soon as she said it. So I think TPTB consider it dealt with. But it was a provocative line that really rubbed some viewers wrong.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Chuck might not have necessarily been partnered with Chuck if he hadn’t been kicked out of Stanford and had made it to Project Omaha but it’s a pretty sure bet that she would have met him and it was shown that she was intrigued by Chuck soon after meeting him so at Pmaha she probably would have sought him out after first meeting especially if she met him before she became sexually involved with Bryce.

        And as for the bracelet , i wouldn’t mind a scene where Sarah takes it off and puts it down on a table or in her jewelry box because she’s getting ready to do something where she can’t wear it -like going on a mission requiring her to crawl through air ducts – and Mama B sees her do this goes over to it and picks it up -after Sarah has left the room (Sarah doesn’t conciously think about whose bracelet it is because she thinks of it as HERS given to her by Chuck) looks at it says Stephen and starts sobbing her heart out but trying to keep quiet out of land standing training.

  8. Faith says:

    So Phil Klemmer (writer of Mask FYI but also Suburbs, Dream Job) is back on Chuck.

    Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing lol.

    • JC says:

      To quote Shaw


      Seems fitting since Klemmer also the wrote the horrible Am Hero.

    • timlay says:

      yeah thats not good news i do not necessarily think its a coincidence that undercovers was a complete flop. His episodes were pretty rubbish part from role models but given he wrote a few episodes he had to get one right. I know alot of people called for his sacking after the mask including me. Its a really bad sign he was the goto guy when they were going to split sarah and chuck up. Man this really sucks.

    • atcdave says:

      He has written Chuck and Sarah together well too. Just like any staff writer he will do as the show runners mandate. None of his episodes are among my favorites, but Dream Job and Role Models are decent. With the large back order this season they’re likely happy to have extra help that already knows the story and characters.

      • timlay says:

        Yeah role models is good, dream job is ok. But on the whole his episodes are pretty bad. We will see i watched 3 episodes of undercovers and was utterly bored and did not buy the leads. I saw his episode he wrote and just lost interest and played COD instead.

        I was happy that they got rid of last years writers (i saw that as a clean sweep) a good sign. To have the one person back who wrote the worst episode that i have ever watched on TV apart from Fake Name just makes me more sure not to bother watching the next 11 episodes.

        Seriously The Mask made no sense and caused huge damage to chuck and sarahs characters mind you fake name was I think worse i remember someone saying to me Ali Adler would fix it in fake name how wrong we were.

        The mask was the jump the shark moment for the show and the Fake name was the moment when the show became a soap opera and the moment i stopped watching. American Hero was just terrible.

        On TPTB half if they really want to forget season 3 its an odd choice to bring back the one writer who caused a open fan revolt that lost them 2 million viewers. I remember one fan openly saying boycot the show, it sort of happened except people just did not come back when they finally got chuck and sarah together.

      • Faith says:

        I have no basis on fact on this but from what I’ve been able to discern they have a bit more freedom than being “staff writers” per say.

        I say that because in one of the interviews in S3’s DVD, Ali Adler and Matt Miller talk about where certain writers strengths and attachments lie and how they fight for those. Now obviously the veto power goes to the EPs but I think breaking the story is still a group effort. I think what went wrong with S3 might just be the opposite of that…too many writers trying to make what they want happen that there was no cohesion…but also I’ve brought this up before, I don’t think they bought the overall direction either. In essence this is the difference between being a producer and a writer and just a writer.

        Timlay I don’t think bringing him back has anything to do with his weaknesses but his strengths. And they didn’t pick and choose him out of all the other writers, it just so happens that he’s available to come back. I think if Human Target were to tank and Matt Miller wasn’t immediately offered another venue he’d also be welcomed back…he wrote Beefcake does that automatically paint him awful? P.S. I love Matt Miller as a writer.

      • timlay says:


        yes i have seen that as well, the writers know the direction of travel. chris said at the end of season 3 he perhaps should have shortened the shaw arc but he would have to look on the white board my guess is they have a plan map of whats going to happen and the writers do the story to that direction of travel. I guess there is little time to check everything.

      • First Timer says:

        Only one writer was let go last year. That was Zev Borow. They didn’t “get rid” of anyone else. Miller and Rosenbaum got jobs as showrunners on other shows. And Adler and Klemmer left because they got offers before Chuck was renewed and they took the sure thing because it is how they make their living.

        With some minor exceptions (Ali Adler’s jibes at fans in Fake Name, Borow’s very poor script on Final Exam), the failure of Season 3 belongs to the showrunners for an unpopular arc. Not the writers. Not Brandon Routh.

      • timlay says:

        faith no it does not mean Matt should come back. I did not mind beefcake it was not my favourate episode but its ok.

        But the creative failure of season 3 means they had to make changes. While they have been trying to reassure and fix the damage done to the show and the fan base it is i find very funny that the one person that can be seen to have caused much of the problem.

        He wrote Mask and amercian hero probably the most damaging episodes of the season and the ones that make the least sense especially the last 5 mins of each of those episodes.

        I just find it a bit of a PR problem given they have a fan base that is willing to just stop watching (maybe because DWTS) but the point is people are happy to turn off. How can say with any excitment that “hay everyone the guy who wrote Amercian Hero and the wonderful? mask is back to write for us”.

        Dont get me wrong i wish him luck and hope he can write more like the role models.

      • timlay says:

        First Timer i do not agree writers are a major part of the success. They are key to a movie or a show. If the script and story make no sense as mask and american hero or some films i can think of that i have walked out half way through. Then it does not matter how great the main focus or story arc is. As for Shaw well whoever they put in that was going to be hated but really nothing against Brandon i hear hes a nice person but he was just not up to the job compared to the lead actors such as zac, Yvonne and Adam hell Gomez is a way better actor than brandon. Brandon sucked the life out of each of the episodes he was in he just did not fit it that was a complete miscast and yes that was TPTB fault. They fell in love with stunt casting superman – a superman film that pretty much killed a great american icon.

    • joe says:

      From our friends at Chuck TV, “Gray just got the exclusive news that Phil Klemmer has rejoined the Chuck writing team!”.

      Hum… Mask is not my favorite episode. But I must say, Dream Job is very high on my list (it has my all time favorite Chuck song in it too), as is Suburbs.

      I’m taking this as great news!

    • First Timer says:

      I’m glad Phil Klemmer is back. He’s a good writer.

      Yes, Mask was a poor episode. But everything else he wrote for the show was terrific. I love Suburbs myself, everyone respects Tom Sawyer and Role Models, in retrospect, is EXACTLY the kind of Chuck-Sarah-against-the-world episode everyone on this board SAYS they want to see more frequently.

      I personally love his style of Chuck episodes, too. He episodes always do “this is not what it seems to be,” which is perfect for a show that, last time I checked, still claimed to be about spies.

      • atcdave says:

        Oh yeah, I’d forgotten Tom Sawyer was one of his, dynamite episode.

      • timlay says:

        Yes Tom Sawyer was a good episode ok so hes done two good episodes. As i said i think its funny they have brought him back not good funnny. It will be interesting to see what kind of episode they give him. I suspect if they are smart they will go for a nice shipper one to try and redeem him for the mask and american hero?

        Jason i agree i find his writing style nonsensical and yes depressing it just is not real to the characters its as if he does not know them at all. At times really the last 5 minutes of those episodes he writes were very depressing. Sarah gets turned on my a swivel stick? she first does not like shaw then she likes him leching over her really? Then sarah cares nothing about chuck going into danger but is deeply upset about shaw in danger in american hero. They are going to have to do something special to maintain fans. This is not it.

    • jason says:

      I think he is terrible, almost morbid in his writing, he wrote the mask and the american hero, either of which should have gotten his butt fired, also, the suburbs was heart breaking – much like the mask, gave so much hope then ended with a morbid punch the the guy, no respect for the fans at all, worst news possible

      • atcdave says:

        The writer does not determine major story arcs or status of the central relationship. He has been a capable writer, including Tom Sawyer, Dream Job, and Role Models. All decent episodes.

        The major malfunction of S3 was Schwedak, not the individual staff writers. with a better main story going Klemmer will be a huge help. There is absolutely nothing to fear from his return, I’m sure the change will be completely transparent to most fans.

      • JC says:

        Of course you can’t blame them for the direction of the season. But you can blame them for the dialogue of the individual episode they wrote.

        His track record is 50/50 in my opinion so I’d much rather have new blood brought in.

      • jason says:

        I’d have to find the exact quote – but mo ryan on chuck, something to the effect the good is great and the bad is maddeningly frustrating. Many shows I watch are just ‘good’. Klemmer reminds me of that quote, there were parts of even mask that were really great, and other than the last 15 minutes, suburbs was a dream ep, but his bad is repulsive, morbid, makes me hateful toward the show, which is not good …. I don’t think that can be layed on the show runners.

      • atcdave says:

        Jason I think both those episodes show why this will be fine (I mean Suburbs and Mask). Both episodes were well written and fun, except for an excruciating wrap-up. That is exactly the part the individual writer would have least control over. The show runners are the major determinants in how the episodes tie into each other. If he’s being given better start and end points work with, well he’s already shown he can write good dialogue and some sweet moments. I expect to be happy with his future work on the show.

      • thinkling says:

        I have to agree Dave. My problem is not with the episodes he wrote per se, but with the established direction of the arc. Suburbs was great, except for the end, and Mask was entertaining as well, except for the end and the arc it kicked off. I really liked Role Models and Tom Sawyer. Am Hero had some highs and lows.

        If they hold the direction of C/S so far, I have no problem at all.

      • joe says:

        I think he is terrible, almost morbid in his writing, he wrote the mask and the american hero…

        Jason, this is interesting. My first take on The Mask was that it was actually a pretty good episode (I loved the fight scene with Chuck going down and Sarah going up – with a Whooo!!!) – right up until the final 2 minutes (not 15, like some have said).

        And even on Am. Hero (where, you might recall, I had may famous break-down), that came down to my personal sensitivity to one scene. Over time, I recognize it as the beginning of one of the best stretches of the show.

        As I see it, those were parts of the story over which Klemmer had very little control, so I can’t blame him for that. I mean, that end to The Mask was part of the larger story arc conceived much earlier, right? I doubt that changing the dialog (and really, the acting either) would have changed my reactions.

        Added: Oops. I see that Dave make the same point. He beat me to it!

      • jason says:

        joe – the misery arc started with the line ‘i kind of liked it’ – yvonne seemingly nearly hurled when delivering the line, she showed no joy, nor did any of her fans, until the end of 3.12

      • joe says:

        Well, perhaps that’s true for many, Jason. But there were moments in Tic-Tac and Beard that made even those who were discouraged take heart. That’s what they were there for. And by Other Guy it was all over but the shouting, as they say. And I mean, both the misery and the shouting for joy that continues.

        Even so, none of that was Klemmer’s doing. His strengths seem to be away from the Chuck & Sarah romance, and towards writing Chuck as a spy and a hero; Tom Sawyer had Chuck being recognized as a hero by Sarah, Suburbs had Sarah acting like a real girl and Chuck acting like a real spy when he saved her…

        I think I like Dream Job a tad more than most, and that may be attributable to Bakula and Chase. But once again, I point to Chuck and his spying, even defying Casey to save his father.

        Hum! I realized before that I always liked that side of the Chuck character, but I never realized how much.

      • mxpw says:

        This news is kind of depressing. I don’t really want Klemmer back. I really liked Tom Sawyer (one of my fave stand alone episodes) and Suburbs is mostly good, but Dream Job is only so-so and Mask is terrible. American Hero is probably the worst episode of S3, in my opinion. Two decent or good episodes out of five is not a very good track record. Klemmer might not have control over the larger story arc, but as several of other people here have mentioned, he does have control over most of the dialogue and tone of his episodes and I haven’t been impressed by him since early S2.

        What I want to know is, with a show that is so strapped for cash as Chuck is, how the heck can they even afford to add another writer to staff?

      • herder says:

        I’m of two minds about Klemmer’s return, Dream Job is one of my favorites, mainly because of the interaction between the various characters, which is within the writer’s control.

        On the other hand the Mask is one of my least favorite episodes mainly because it didn’t give any reason for the Shaw/Sarah romance which it had to sell for the arc to make sense and it contained the single worst line from the entire series “my desert is contained within your desert” and the most out of charactert bit of dialogue when Sarah said she sort of liked Shaw kissing her neck.

        I think the idea behind Mask was a failure which is not the writer’s fault, but the execution of that idea was bad as well which was. I remember my reaction to Mask when it first aired, that it was a meh episode until the last ten to fifteen minutes when it completely went out of character.

      • Faith says:

        I’m not taking sides in either way…I stick by my I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, however a good writer can turn a bad story into a good script, a bad writer can turn even a good story into an awful one and an ok writer really doesn’t affect things one way or another. My 2 cents.

      • jason says:

        @joe – I know tic tac and beard were supposed to be good eps, the advance reviewers told us so – but honestly – should all eps be good ones? And even those two had miserable endings for sarah as she was teathered to shaw’s hip in 3×9 after shaw tried to murder chuck while she stood helpless – then she ended 3×10 off to DC to carry on her torid, passionate love affair with sha, not exactly celebrations for those chuck fans who love the chuck sarah relationship – were they????? And those where the happy episodes. Hence the title misery arc.

      • atcdave says:

        Well Herder you do manage to bring up some awful moments, but again those are all serving the main arc that was a Schwedak issue. My guess would be that in the current situation the occasional dud line will simply be forgotten.
        I know that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. My feelings on Klemmer’s previous episodes is mixed. I just don’t think it will hurt the show.

      • First Timer says:

        Klemmer DID NOT write “my dessert is in your dessert.” That was Ali Adler in Fake Name.

      • herder says:

        You’re right, my mistake. Some of the season 3 episodes blend in together in my mind.

      • JC says:


        There was a rumor awhile back that Kristin Newman was leaving because she got her own show, maybe he’s replacing her? I hope its not true since she wrote two of the best episodes this season.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:


      Seeing the NOOOOOOOOO reminded me – that was one of the briefest instance on the show when BR actually emoted something. Seconds after that it was back to normal. 🙂

      • jason says:

        the reason everyone makes fun of it, that was just pure awful acting like a cow bellowing in a pasture – nnoooonahhhhh

      • JC says:


        Really? I thought it was one of his worst scenes. It actually made Vader’s Noooo in Revenge of Sith look good and that’s saying something.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        When I say emoted briefly -I meant a minuscule change from the normal wooden face. I never classified it is anything good 🙂

        It actually made Vader’s Noooo in Revenge of Sith look good and that’s saying something.

        So something good did come out of that “NOOO”. Darth Vader’s “NOOO” is not in the last place anymore.It has been replaced.

  9. timlay says:

    hay everyone its just been announced on twitter NBC will not be showing chuck on 20 and 27th they are extending the sing off show thing they are showing. That is not a good sign for the show. Man i hate reality TV its cheap rubbish i would prefer to be on my xbox.

    • atcdave says:

      That is a bummer. Although given that Sing Off has been doing well, and reruns really don’t do well it’s hardly surprising. Bummer though, I don’t get reality TV.

      • thinkling says:

        Me either. Reality Entertainment is usually neither.

      • First Timer says:

        maybe, but as of 8:06pm ET there is NO twitter announcement of anything like that. Neither the NBC twitter page nor the SingOff twitter page says that.

      • herder says:

        Funny, I was half watching the Sing Off and there was a song that I thought would be excellent for the show, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. I thought what a tremendous song for a Sarah moment or retrospective. Then it goes and bumps Santa Claus one of the episodes that cemented my love for the show.

    • First Timer says:

      The reruns (including the specially purchased right to S2 Santa Claus) are gone. But it won’t be Sing-Off. It only gets an extra half-hour on the 20th and then a preview of a new NBC sitcom. On the 27th, a made-for-TV movie has been programmed.

      • joe says:

        Thanks so much for the information, FT & Timlay. I haven’t found this anywhere yet, so I’m grateful for the news.

      • Rick Holy says:

        TVBYTHENUMBERS is reporting it. Truthfully, it’s really no suprise to me. NBC is taking advantage of higher than expected ratings of “Sing Off” to introduce a new comedy. Not sure what the rationale is behind the airing of the movie, however. I really doubt there are going to be a whole lot of people glued to the tube two days after Christmas – that’s why I figured they were running the three hours of CHUCK in the first place. And, if history is any indicator, CHUCK never “repeats” well ratings-wise.

      • First Timer says:

        The sitcom is Perfect Strangers. It’s inevitable NBC might want to squeeze some more juice out of The Sing-Off. And the Perfect Strangers is a show NBC premieres on Jan. 20.

        But the movie scheduling on the 27th is odd. It’s called A Walk in My Shoes and it premiered on Dec. 3 (Friday) with awful ratings: Just a 1.0. But it is what is called a “time-buy.” P&G and Wal-mart bought the time for the movie.

        But the movie is just 2 hours. So you wonder what NBC will program at 10pm on December 27. Maybe they’ll run Santa Claus then…

    • herder says:

      I think that NBC did something similar in the first season, scheduled repeats around Christmas then subsequently shelved them in favor of something else. However that may have been a consequence of the writer’s strike too.

  10. First Timer says:

    This is Klemmer’s complete credited production for Chuck:

    Season 1: Sandworm and Undercover Lovers
    Season 2: Tom Sawyer, SUburbs, Dream Job
    Season 3: Angel de la Muerte, Mask, Role Models and teleplay on American Hero and Subway

    There is only one clunker in that list (Mask). All the rest are good to excellent episodes. And those of you criticizing Suburbs seem to have forgotten that, at its airing, it was the FIRST TIME we saw Chuck and Sarah together. Yes, it IS a heartbreaking episode, too, but it was supposed to be because it showed you clearly how much Sarah was sacraficing to keep Chuck safe and how much she actually wanted to be with him. In the context of Season 2, it was intensely romantic.

    As for Klemmer’s writing style, examine each episode and you’ll see his pattern: Nothing is what it seems. That is PERFECT for a spy show. Moreover, even in the mess that was the original Season 3, he produced Angel de la Muerte, which was a comparatively happy Chuck-Sarah episode and he drew the Goya character so well that people were thrilled to see the character return in Season 4. He also wrote the Season 3 episode that has Chuck and Sarah fighting as a team for the ENTIRE episode (Role Models). No other episode since has shown that much of Chuck and Sarah fighting together as a team.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course, but Klemmer’s return is GOOD news. Unalloyed good news. He’s written great episodes for Chuck alone, for Chuck and Sarah together and for Casey alone. He actually can tell a spy-type story. He’s created characters we want to see again.

    I don’t know what more you can want from a writer.

    • jason says:

      I want happy endings – Klemmer wrote 2 of the unhappiest endings in the show’s history, I want as many of the creative types who contributed to the misery arc to be held accountable, Klemmer contributed the beginning and the end, both of which were awful, in some eyes the worst of the misery arc. Klemmer wrote the chuck telling sarah I love you as forgettable and unshippery as it possibly could have been written – while writing the shaw sarah romance in 3×12 the strongest it had been written all along, he single handily contributed more to the misery arc than any writer, although a second writer actually hurt the fans even worse. I hold him in utter contempt for what he did.

      • First Timer says:

        “Utter contempt” for a person over a script for a fictional television show? Really, my friend, you need to reassess your priorities in life.

      • jason says:

        @FT – that felt like a personal insult.

        You defended Klemmer, I defended my position, why insult me – my position should not have frightened you away that much, you seem to know far more about tv than I do

        But .. life priorities, that sort of is in my wheelhouse, since you asked ….

        I will humor you, you suggested my priorities are out of whack, in order they are God, family, health, friends, job, society, recreation … I am pretty solid on those as my priorities, a list I first wrote down over 40 years ago, I even have done OK with most of them which affords me a great deal of free time these days – what would you have me change?

      • First Timer says:

        Since you ask, I would suggest you change the concept of holding an actual person (Klemmer) in “utter contempt” over a piece of fiction that he wrote.

      • timlay says:

        I am with you Jason

        While not massively religous i do have a strong moral code so can understand Jason, family and work and yeah having fun I am able to go off skiing for most of december in my mid 20’s (very lucky and worked really hard) and have the pick of my life with the work i do and spending time where i want to and with who i wish. Next year i will not even need to work if i choose not to.

        I believe in honesty, being decent as much as possible. It is another reason i worry about what they plan for sarah and chuck in my eyes she is already damaged if they reconfirm her as the office bike.

        It will be finally too much for me to forgive her as a character. I am still wavering if this show is worth watching the news that klemmer is back does not help that. When watching a show you have to like the people the hero and the leading lady. The show is truly better when they are working and team bartowski is together it seems that morgan and her are the new team in the next episodes and we will see less of chuck and sarah together which since 4.7 we have seen little of them together.

        Also as i said the only reason i returned was TPTB promised the fans they would be a couple this season. If they lied about that i will not forgive them again. That will be it for me. There are limits to what i will tolerate and while i can understand anothers point of view or creative abilities, If i do not like or respect someone its fair to say it. As for Klemmer he is as people said at best 50/50 while i wish him no harm i think it is bad PR at best that the one person who is demonstratably responsible for the loss of 2 million fans has returned. It does like jason not excite me about the next few episodes and is more likely to not watch as i do not like the direction of where the show seems to be going. I watch TV to be entertained not depressed.

      • atcdave says:

        Let’s nip this in the bud. No personal attacks folks. I’m not pointing any fingers, but this could get explosive fast and we don’t need that here. We value everyone’s opinion and we all take a TV show more seriously than we need to sometimes. Remember we all come here to discuss the same thing, let’s keep it a fun experience.

      • joe says:

        What Dave said. We encourage strong, diverse, heart-felt opinions. I personally love well considered and sharp debate. But we’re friends here.

        It’s always good remember; Make no offence/Take no offence, please.

      • armySFC says:

        timlay you said “I believe in honesty”. so i’ll be honest with you. you need to stay away from the spoiler site you visit. there have been no official spoilers released from NBC on the next 3 episodes. at least none that i have seen. there has been a cast release from IMDB that shows another agent (possible stunt double listed as cast) and a wine connoisseur. that’s it. the place you go has said, “i just put the words out there and it’s not my fault where they go with it” that’s a paraphrase BTW.

        we know from pictures released that in 4.12 morgan and casey are together in prison guard uniforms, and we have seen the picture of the jail. it looks like they are working as a team in that one. in 4.13 from an interview with Ryan baby awesome is born. my best guess is most of the episode will be centered around that. that leaves 4.11 as the only episode she could be paired with morgan.

        i’ll give you an example of how he works. in his previous teasers he put out this line sarah’s new boyfriend bad. people went nuts with it. what was he referring to? the scene where sarah goes into the bar and kicks butt, stands on the dude she whupped and says, any one else want to be my boy friend?”

        i’m not the first one to try and explain this to you either. if you want to get all worked up based on snippets on a site where the host likes to rile up a certain segment of chuck fans, that’s up to you. but you really should just wait and see how things play out. when its over and you want to leave fine. but don’t go in thinking the worst because that will take away from your enjoying the episode.

      • timlay says:

        Hi armySFC

        Sure i understand “that” site is designed to get a rise, the owner is a cruel in behaviour thats his default.

        I guess for me i am less down the road of forgiveness than you all are i did not watch season 3 until i decided to watch season 4 which was after the comic con interview that i saw. I actually like spoilers as while certain one irate me and make me wonder why i am even watching this show it allow me to decide if i do actually wish to watch anymore. As I said for me its a week by week deal I did not watch 4.7-4.9 until they had aired as i did not like the sound of the spoilers. Sorry but TPTB have damaged any faith i have in them. In actual fact i really enjoyed them, but as i said i care little now if they show gets cancelled entertain me and i will watch. I wish them or the show no ill will but while i have enjoyed this season i am not confident about the shows direction as i understand it.

        I have to say i enjoy talking here more than actually i am looking forward to the future episodes of the show.

        But thank you armySFC for your comments you maybe right i may need to stay away from that teaser site he seems to like being cruel and does not seem to understand how much damage he is doing to a show that is close i think to being cancelled.

      • armySFC says:

        jason, i’m not sure how the process goes on writing an episode. but i’ll take a guess. TPTB lay out what they want to happen over the course of the season and when. they pass that information to the writers. the writer has an idea of where they characters are at the beginning and where they need to be in then end. so if in 3.12 he was given his guidelines to make the shaw romance strong by the end of the episode. then he did his job as he was told to do it. after the writing is done it probably goes back to TPTB for review and approval then into production. this is just a guess on my part because i have no idea how it works, but it makes sense.

        now based on that. if the writing for 3.12 was a strong as you suggest. what could he do if he was told to write a c/s episode that has lots of romance or even a wedding? logic would say it would be as well written.

        i think the writers take a lot of abuse for the relationship failures. but look at schwartz, that’s his MO. if the episode is choppy, or makes no sense then yeah it’s the writer. if things are left hanging then yeah its the writer. but the writers have to get the basic plot from some where or we would have no continuity at all. again just my thoughts.

      • armySFC says:

        timlay, you just said it yourself, you stayed away from 3 episodes because you did not like the spoilers, yet you enjoyed the episodes when you saw them. i gave up on season 3 as well so i know what you are coming from in that respect. i don’t think anyone other than TPTB really knows where this show is heading. but i do feel it is and will be better than last season. so to help us all out watch the show live like i do and help keep the ratings up. do what i do on a part i could care less about (buy more idiots) hit the mute button and read a paper. when the parts over un-mute and keep watching.

      • timlay says:

        armySFC yeah i think TPTB hold alot of responsibility for the creative failure of season 3 and its fallout. I am still not sure how bad they realise how bad it was. The show has not recovered nor i think have the fan base and they seem clueless about it. As i said i have not decided if i will watch or not the thing is i held out until 3.8 and it felt like i rewarded them for a bad season never again will i do that. If it looks bad i will just not waste my time. If it looks like i may enjoy it then i will watch.

      • atcdave says:

        I do think there’s plenty of blame to go around for S3. When we’re talking Mask in particular the ending was jarring, contrary to the characters we thought we knew, and thoroughly unpleasant. There is some responsibility on the episode writer for that. But the major burden is on the show runners (some combination of Schwartz and Fedak, not exactly sure who did what) for conceiving a major arc that the vast majority of fans despised. It is possible that some of what went wrong with Mask is the result of a writer/director/actor who did not understand or believe in the story they were doing.

        Why do I say all of this? Just because I don’t believe we can assign specific blame. In aviation we talk about a chain of events that usually leads to an awful event. Many terrible things happen because multiple people made small mistakes. With Chuck S3 we may have a pretty good idea how the misery started, but many people contributed to the misery arc. The show is in a better place now, small mistakes are less likely to snowball into huge ones.

      • timlay says:

        atcdave yeah in my work we have the same idea your project was a mess because the team each did not do their jobs.

        I hope your right that there maybe small mistakes that do not form the same mess that was season 3. Like i have said before there are some cool ways they could write friction in chuck and sarahs relationship and it does need it the make up could be fun. IT ALL hinges on if the characters are not treated badly or cardboard cutouts. I have said before i would really love chuck to give sarah a good talking to .. about her past behaviour. Chuck has become a bit too much of a wuss recently. That is to me a major loose end.

      • armySFC says:

        dave you said that so much better than me! that’s what i was going for that everyone made the mistakes. thanks

      • herder says:

        Comming back to Phil Klemmer, subject to my complete lack of knowledge about how the writing of an episode proceeds, judging by all the executive producers and story editors I suspect that all of them have a hand to varying degrees in all episodes. Maybe one of his strengths is the contribution in the writers room when commenting on other writers scripts or story lines. If he is being brought back, surely it is because CF/JS think he has something to bring to the table that has been missing this year.

      • JC says:

        Once again you can’t blame him for the direction of the show but the dialogue and like someone else said the tone of the episode rests on his shoulders.

        Looking at all the episodes he wrote other than Undercover Lover & Subway which were great. Its filled with average ones and Am Hero the absolute worst episode in the show’s history.

        We’ve seen what Klemmer can do. If they were going to bring in another writer I’d much rather it be someone new.

  11. jason says:

    as for speculation, not too much time or effort devoted to figuring out the next 3 eps. The set has been really tight lipped too, even compared to the first 10 eps. I wonder if they are hiding something big – like an engagement or some relational anxiety.

    You would almost have to think that anxiety is on the way, but at some point chuck has to grow up, maybe the point will be that something will happen and chuck won’t be ‘phased’ even one single bit? Many of us won’t like that, but it seems consistent with how the show has told its story in the past.

    Otherwise, if no relational anxiety is forthcoming, CS will simply get engaged and take down the big baddie in time for baby awesomette to be born, just does not sound like the way our team creates things (I hesitate to use the word write, since evidently writers have no part in the show)

    • armySFC says:

      jason, what the heck i’ll toss my speculations into the ring. with what IMDB has released on the cast for the next three episodes i’ll go this way.

      4.11 there is an agent and a wine dude. Sarah gets paired with the agent and has to go after the wine dude. c/s arent happy about it. chuck has his own mission but smaller. maybe we get a glimpse of her past because she worked with the agent before or knows the wine dude from the past.

      4.12 has casey and morgan as prison guards and IMDB has a cast member listed as the gobbler. chuck has to go under cover as a bad butt in the prison to get information from the gobbler. sarah plays his biker type girl friend.

      4.13 i don’t see bad guys in this one. ryan said the baby is born. most of the episode i think will deal with the birth and home coming of the baby. IMDB list a doctor and nurse as cast members. chuck proposes to sarah while ellie is in labor.

      these are just my rough ideas on how they could play out based on things i have seen that are ‘official’ releases.

      • timlay says:

        you know that sounds sensible spec armySFC you know that tracks with the teaser line drunk flirty sarah which may suggest she either pretends to be drunk or is drunk and seduces the wine guy.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Army – As you say from the available “official” sources you have indeed put up some fine speculations.

      • atcdave says:

        I like the proposal while Ellie’s delivering idea, cram all the sweet stuff into one episode! I’m still guessing 4.11 for the proposal, but my confidence is not high on that. I’m sure we’ll all revise our specs a few times once synopsis and other official information come to light.

      • armySFC says:

        dave, since i said almost from the beginning of the season that they would wait till the last episode of the original 13 i’m sticking to that. in that way we are alike. it could come earlier, but i doubt they will string it along any further than 13.

      • Judy says:

        At least 2 of the three episodes focus on Volkoff and MEB because those are the original contracts for the front 13. 4.13 is the big (scaled down a bit) finale, like 3.13.

      • JC says:


        The 4.11 spec seems highly plausible. If it happens or something similar I wonder what Chuck we’ll see.

      • armySFC says:

        judy you may be right. i’m not trying to say your wrong, just how and why i came up with mine.

        i can’t argue about the contracts. TPTB did say some of the plot lines from the first half would be pushed to the back side. what i can guess about is that if an actor is contracted to film 4 episodes (an example) that’s how many they film unless they work out an agreement for more or less. are they also contracted to be certain episodes where they air?

        when i made my speculation i said it was based on information from IMDB. they get the cast list from NBC as far as i know. TD and LH are not listed at all for the next 3 episodes. you would figure that NBC would include 2 stars of their magnitude in the cast list before the lesser known ones.

        i will revise my speculations again like dave said if the cast list changes again or press releases from NBC or an official place come out.

      • timlay says:

        there is another speculation here i can see your spec that sarah is paired with another agent rosembaum or whatever thats the she leaves chuck for another man. From the cast it looks like it could be foreign – maybe there is the Pierre Melville (volkov agent?) what about the comment from mamm b about cia agents in volkovs employ surely they need to take them down?

        I can see that sarah gets flirty and the wine expert suggests that drink is involved so the drunk flirty sarah is she trying to honey trap a mark.

        With one of those two it could go a little too far (cause a problem between her and chuck for a few episodes) or not who knows we are told by teasers it could. But heres the thing this season as others have said is almost a recon back to season 3 (without mentioning it) fixing the mess and making ammends the big gorilla in the room is sarah’s past and her behaviour to men and sleeping with those she works with what if this is the episode(s) where they are trying to resolve that for her character?

        Maybe thats TPTB’s attempt at resolving that.. it is clearly there it was mentioned in fake name she has a reputation and casey has said it before.

      • luckygirl says:

        I’ve never really saw Sarah dating people she works with as a problem. Spies hooking up with other spies would

      • luckygirl says:

        (hit enter accidently)
        probably be safer and easier. Not to mention she knew nothing really of the civilian world before Chuck. Besides Casey is one to talk considering he hooked up with Carina.

      • armySFC says:

        timlay, i know s-3 left a bad taste in you mouth with the show. i for one would not be surprised if something happens to put a strain on the relationship in the up coming episodes. i don’t believe it will come from anything chuck or sarah do. it will come from things like sarah having to run a mission with the new agent or chuck running his prison mission with out her. the separation from each other creates the issues just like they would for any couple that spends a lot of time away from each other. it is just human nature to miss the one you love.

        this is what those teasers you keep referring to mean to me. my guess is she is paired with the agent as husband and wife. the flirty you bring up is she needs to sell the marriage so she flirts and acts giddy with the other agent. the wine dude gets drunk maybe makes a pass and sarah sets him straight.

        i may not trust TPTB to not add some tension to the show. i do not think they would be stupid enough to have either chuck or sarah sleep with someone else for a mission or not. they have invested to much time and effort to build sarah back up from last season to trash her now. if it ever happened that chuck or sarah did do anything with someone else it would kill the show. i think TPTB know this as well.

        i am going to make a bold prediction here. i personally think the days of seduction missions for our favorite couple are over.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah army I would ditto all of that. There’s no way they’ll have Sarah really get entangled with anyone else at this point. The worst we’ll see is professionally caused conflict. Sarah may play a role on a mission, but I’d be surprised if things even went as far as the Beefcake hotel scene again.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i’ll give you another spec on 4.14. seduction impossible. chuck and sarah have refused to seduction missions and roan comes back to try to convince them they should do them. that would be a hoot to see.

      • JC says:

        The agent is probably an ex partner that Sarah had to marry as part of the cover. That’s why she was so freaked out about Chuck mentioning marriage, she still needs to get a divorce. 😉 Yes I’m joking.

      • armySFC says:

        jc no problem i said this on the 14th:

        on a speculation board (NOT the teaser site) like this a poster said that the tease, sarah leaves chuck for another man, refers to what you said about a marriage license. that she leaves with another agent because she needs to get divorced from him. a screw up happened when they were on a mission together and she is actually married. i just that was funny

        so i can see that as well. ya never know with her past missions!

      • JC says:

        If they played it for laughs I wouldn’t mind at all. I’m all for certain past LIs coming back. Cole and Jill would be great just to see their reactions to the changes. That’s part of the reason I mourn Bryce, him seeing spy Chuck and g/f Sarah would’ve been an awesome moment.

        I just don’t want to see whiny Chuck or some retcon that Sarah was in real love before. No fangst, my own term for contrived or fake angst.

      • armySFC says:

        it would be different to see coles reaction, jill not so much. i agree the marriage thing. it would be funny to see if beckman says by the way we found out some clerk made a mistake a made you marriage legal after the (blank mission). while your on this one take care of it. that might go over ok as long as sarah was appropriately shocked so the viewers knew she had no idea she was married. anything else would be flamed by the fans. she did pose several times with bryce as a married couple.

        the trouble with that idea (and why i didn’t mention it in my real speculations) is it puts another bad light on sarah and leaves more open plot holes for people to wonder why it wasn’t addressed soon or in more depth.

      • JC says:

        I would love to see Jill’s reaction no so much to the relationship but how much Chuck has changed. But I understand the hesitation about bringing back Jill, her arc shares a lot of similarities with Shaw in its execution.

        I agree if they played the marriage thing up for laughs it’d be fine, like you said if she didn’t know. But if it’s played serious yeah that’s a place I don’t think they want to go.

      • timlay says:

        hi armySFC

        I agree it probably looked epic on paper but actually in the end it really did not work. I am a DM in role playing games and really i have to be so careful of my stories I can get really carried away with my own clever epic story then find out i am beating my players over the head and i need to pull back.

      • jason says:

        thx kev – I like how you worded that, I see what you are saying and I agree that CS are not a parody, they are real … I think that is why the writers miss every once in a while … but am I wrong in thinking most of the misses have been when they have made the CS story sad in order to bring the payoff that Joe aptly described?

      • atcdave says:

        You know I mostly agree Jason. I think I’m a little more accepting of relationship tension than you, but not much! I’ll even buy the theory that some tension and conflict makes the pay-off that much better; it certainly adds a real element to things. But we all seem to draw that line in different places. To my mind, Colonel will always be where the worst of it should have been over. S3 was a grotesque abuse of fans patience. I’m still fine with the occasional problem coming up, that’s life; and as long as Chuck can be counted on to have an uplifting and heartwarming resolution to such tension I’m all for it (have I mentioned recently that I loved Aisle of Terror?). But I prefer when things are light and fun. I hope for more Honeymooners, or at least Suitcase. And I do believe we will see some of both ahead.

      • JC says:

        I don’t mind tension in the relationship in fact I love it when its from external forces. Broken Heart, Colonel, even Break-Up all were great episodes. I also think Aisle and First Fight were on the right track.

        Where I have problems is when its constantly generated from their own insecurities. I don’t mind those episodes occasionally but it feels like that’s where all the tension has been from of late. Even in the earlier episodes this season which were fluff.

        Now I hope these upcoming episodes lay off the relationship stuff good or bad and focus on Volkoff.

    • timlay says:

      Jason i really do not think there will be an engagement certainly not in the next 3 episodes. I think if it happens at all (and i am not so sure it will never mind a marriage) it will be one of those things that chris in a recent interview says will pay off later on in the season given the extra 11 episodes. I hope they do not leave it too later on as it may well get cancelled before that point. I will be willing to bet on their being relation problems with the stunt spy or wine guy or volkov.

  12. herder says:

    I was thinking about what would appropriate Christmas gifts for the characters be?

    -Chuck: a book, “The Power of Positive Thinking”

    -Sarah: a new heavy bag for the apartment

    -Casey: Yoga lessons (to find his inner calm)

    -Morgan: A lease to his own apartment

    -Ellie: her mom at her delivery

    -Awesome: a stool and a five minute timer for his timeouts when he gets too overprotective (let’s face it he already has everything else)

    -General Beckman: An office in Burbank

    There are lots of other possibilities but those were the ones off the top of my head.

  13. Michael says:

    There seems to be a continuous thread running through the posts to this as well as other blogs. Season 3 was bad and it was primarily due to the characters doing things that were OOC. OK then. Does someone have a link to where these are discussed?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Michael I’d say you can look at the archives on the right sidebar. Just about everything from February 2010 on through April 2010 is pretty much on that topic.

      Personally I liked all but a few episodes of season four three, and even those I thought poorly done had a lot to like. I think the one thing even the show runners will agree on is that the Shaw character was poorly done in the initial stages of the show, before he became a villain. The lack of chemistry with Yvonne and the failure to establish him as a viable love interest for Sarah made the triangle seem forced and hence OOC for Sarah.

    • joe says:

      It’s been running through most every thread here too, Michael, one way or another.

      I’m a little surprised – stunned, actually – at how difficult it’s been to keep S3 out of the discussion. I’m concluding that it would not be a good idea to even try. There’s just too much energy emanating from that direction, and really, not all of it is negative energy either.

      Think of it as the show’s troubled adolescence.

      • JC says:

        I think part of the reason is, people are still having trouble understanding or believing the way characters acted in S3 in relation to this and previous seasons. IMO it’s a exercise in futility. What writers intended was lost because of the execution of certain characters and plots

      • Ernie Davis says:

        JC, while I understand what you are saying I don’t think it applies universally to the fandom. I think with season 4 it’s becoming even more clear what the story of season 3 was. It was just one a lot of people didn’t like or accept and was poorly executed in some critical areas.

      • joe says:

        Lots of truth in what both of you say, I think. There’s definitely resistance to what we saw, and much of that is because we love the characters.

        Changing them in any way becomes much more problematic. Pitchforks and torches, you know. But if there’s no changes, there’s no story.

        I stopped watching Bones for that reason. I hear that Booth & Brennen are no closer, but no further apart either, and that it’s been frustrating the fans. I may be way out of date with that, though.

        Anyway, execution is something else, and has to be distinguished from the need for fans to see their resolution. We simultaneously want the tension inherent in the story and that resolution. As they say, we got it, good and hard.

      • atcdave says:

        At some point Ernie you’re going to have to give us a rundown of you think S3 means in light of S4. To me, S4 seems more like a redo and apology for S3, not a direct development of it. In particular, Chuck and Sarah feel more like they’ve picked up where S2 left them minus the S3 c**p. (I feel like these are the characters I knew before, not the pod people who replaced them).

      • atcdave says:

        Joe, you are right that a story does need tension to be interesting. But I think the problem was it was completely misapplied. They put tension where the audience craved peace and strength, and minimized the external threats. They got it completely backwards.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, that is a project that has been on and off the back burner since my mamoth Journeys and Stories and Plots (Oh My!) post. Where I intended that to be the end of my season 3 discussion it really just turned out to re-start it in a lot of ways. I think I also did some of that in Deja Vu, but yes, every so often when season 3 rears it’s head again I think about my long simmering season 3 post.

      • joe says:

        Clearly, from the POV of a majority of fans, you’re quite right, Dave. I think that means *every* fan felt mostly that way, too. Too much pain, too long for even the frisson to be welcome.

        Hum… If Chuck & Sarah were even remotely real, I wonder what their take on it would be. Would they say that the outcome was worth the crucible they endured? Would the progress in their relationship during S4 make them feel differently about Hannah & Shaw, and about how close they came to giving up on each other?

      • jason says:

        I think there is a basic divide between those who want to find serious reasons (like tension, drama, and if I want to be mean – misery) to enjoy the show, and those who view the show as warm, romantic, funny, and a parody of serious drama.

        I am not certain, but I honestly think TPTB try to do both, which is what I think gets the show in the most trouble. I think ‘my’ chuck would be far more successful, and that when the show leans toward ‘my’ chuck, it has been far more critically acclaimed, yet this is all opinion, I have no idea what is truth on this issue.

        But, one thing for me, since I do think of the show as parody, when they try to do something really dramatic, it falls incredibly flat from my POV.

        Beckman is a prime example, she is a female ripoff of the ‘boss’ in get smart, plus she reminds me a bit of ‘Yoda’, near everyone has to see her physical appearance and style is meant to amuse. But, she was the plot device used to generate the most repulsive arc of the series. Hence, my utter distaste for the 4×8 Rock Rickley story line as she again generated the angst. I love her as a parody, but to accept her that way, I don’t want to buy her as drama.

        Another way of looking at the show from my POV they can do near anything unlikely, dumb, inconsistent, repulsive, or illogical that they want, but I want CS to be the rock giving everything else license to be out of control.

        By and large, S4 has been my type of show, more so than S2 and S1. S3 took the show in a dark direction, for those looking for meaning and seriousness, S3 was serious, but I think meaning had to be supplied by the viewer, since so much of the show still is parody filled with plot holes and plot devices.

        Looking for that meaning, is why season 3 won’t go away on this blog, as this group is enormously serious about the show, and tries very hard to convince the doubting bloggers on the other side of the fence of the veracity of the home court POV.

        Did I convince anyone?

      • armySFC says:

        i think you guys are right about a few things. your correct about not having change not being good. the change they made was radical to me. they made the characters way different from what i was used to seeing. i think that hurt the most. as for bones its still the same, except for 1 thing. B/B have talked several time about their relationship. one episode was centered on them trying to date and them mutually deciding they would not be a good match. yet thee is still a hard core group of fans that scream for them to be together.

        i’m using that as an example on how some fans, no matter what the show does or tries to do will never be happy until they get what.

        if chuck started with them never going to be together and just be partners i would have been ok with that. just focused on the spy angle, the comedy i would have been ok with it. they could have developed chuck further and faster without have to build the relationship.

        i have noticed that this show goes to the extreme when trying to make a point. i think season three was an example of that. the characters acted very different than in the past. same thing this year over the last 4 episodes. chuck became useless. compare his actions in ear of death to the pilot. they weight of the world had just come crashing down on him, yet he still used his skill and knowledge to defuse a bomb. in fear of death he was so scared he didn’t even attempt anything to escape the freezing room. way extreme. they need to find a medium setting that will appeal to the largest number of fans and stay there. keep the relationship on course, bring up the spy work and get the comedy back to season 1.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        @ jason

        Without getting into a long winded, already been done debate about LI’s, I think I could have appreciated the S3 depressing and suicidal tone better without the muddiness of the LI’s.

        In other words, I think the story (drepressing as it may have been) of both Chuck and Sarah would have been better served, and in Sarah’s case much clearer, without the additional story burden caused by the LI’s.

      • Michael says:

        Oh dear, it looks like I’ve hijacked another thread.

        > Hum… If Chuck & Sarah were even remotely real, I wonder what their take on it would be.

        > the characters acted very different than in the past.

        Ah, the Chuck/Hannah & Sarah/Shaw quadrangle…

        I have identified with Sarah quite a bit throughout most of the series. Not so much with Chuck. They could have lifted that whole quadrangle arc from my life some thirty years ago when I was in college. Without getting into all the painful details, as jealous as I was, I pushed my then girlfriend into a relationship with another guy. At that moment, I was trying to be noble and do the right thing as all I did was hurt the girl over and over, so I was looking to make things right. I even liked the guy she dated. My ‘Shaw’ was a very bad girl ( bad in a good way ) and my friends hated her. In the end, the first girl won me back.

        No, it wasn’t a Chuck and Sarah knife fight and no, I am not with that girl today. But people thought she was the one. It would be another ten years before my wife would rescue me from myself.

        My point is that what I did, was ‘in character’ for me. So, why couldn’t it have been in character for Sarah? I was actually more pissed at the scene where Sarah threw her phone in the pool.

        I guess I have a bunch of reading to do.

      • joe says:

        You didn’t hijack the thread, Michael, so much as we picked up and ran with the ball! We’re like that. 😉

        My point is that what I did, was ‘in character’ for me. So, why couldn’t it have been in character for Sarah?

        I don’t think I really understand the out-of-character thing, myself. It’s been hard for me to think I understand Sarah (in particular) at all. Most of what she does has been a surprise to me.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m not completely comfortable with the OOC charge myself. The best I can normally muster is “not the characters we knew through the first two seasons.”. People are complex, I get that. And fictional characters will always do the bidding of their creators so the argument is somewhat moot anyway.
        To me the bottom line is no fun and lousey entertainment. It is purely subjective and all about me. But a third of our regular viewers left which leaves me bold about identifying the shortcomings I see.
        There is some value in trying to understand the intent of what they were doing. But it will never change the bottom line; no fun and lousy entertainment.

      • JC says:


        I didn’t mean to imply that everyone felt that way. But here and other places I’ve seen people including myself at one point trying to rationalize certain events from last season. And IMO I don’t think you can.

        Now whether I like the direction a show is going or not one thing I do expect is a good story. And I don’t feel like I got that last season.

        For me the failure of S3 came down to a few things.

        The first was the repetitive nature of the story top to bottom. If they were going with outside LIs again switch it up. The same with the Ring, how were they any different than Fulcrum. During the holidays if you guys have free time watch S1 than S3 it blew me away how similar they were.

        Trying to change the spy world into something dark when it was never presented that way before. They tried something similar with the recently canceled Stargate Universe.

        Way too much tell not enough show. Everyone kept saying Chuck was changing I just didn’t see it. The same with a certain agent being a great spy which also killed him being a villain in my eyes.

        Character actions, this one I could writer paragraphs on but I’ll keep it short. I know I’m in the minority on this but Sarah was nothing but a plot device and prize for Chuck. And like Army pointed out they went to extremes to make a point. Perfect example Pink Slip, no way in hell Chuck doesn’t say anything on that train platform.

        And my personal pet peeve continuity. This show has some of the worst I’ve seen on a serialized show ever. Instead of hiring a new writer bring someone in who’s sole purpose is to handle this.

      • timlay says:

        I think the whole fact that sarah was like i cannot go out with spy chuck but can go out with shaw the agent it made her look shallow and frankly not a nice person. That coupled with her being ok with chuck being killed and not with shaw. Then you saw how easily she fell for shaw more so than she ever did with chuck it was show suicide. It lost 2 million viewers who are only just some of us returning but i think from the evidence are less interested and more casual viewers.

        You have to like the lead characters or emphasise with them last season i grew to hate both chuck and sarah and did not like either of them. As others said season 3 was just depressing and like watching a soap opera the characters were all just plot devices. You include a poor story, bad writing and poor acting by the major guest star who really was miscast then the loss of fans and fall out was really no surprise I last til 3.8 and then gave up and did not watch again.

      • joe says:

        I think it’s a mistake to think that Sarah was ever perfect. That’s sort of inhuman. She *does* have her shallow side and at times she has *not* been nice. Besides making for a richer story (perfect people can be boring!) it also gives Chuck a chance to do his thing. It starts with the healing power of love, and goes on from there. It’s Chuck that gets her past all that. It’s his purpose, in fact, and the reason he’s an active (and not a passive) character.

        I’m not sure that it’s correct to interpret Other Guy in such a way as to say she was okay with Chuck getting killed, but not Shaw. She did not request that Chuck go after him, Chuck knew she would have stopped him (hence, he locked her in), and she really didn’t do much to stop Shaw either. She did much more to stop Casey from following her to Thailand in Phase 3.

      • Michael says:

        > I’m not sure that it’s correct to interpret Other Guy in such a way as to say she was okay with Chuck getting killed, but not Shaw.

        I’d have to agree with that completely. I always got the impression that Shaw was nothing more to her than a bed-warmer. Her way of getting over Chuck.

      • JC says:


        I think Timlay is talking about the difference in Sarah’s reaction in Beard and Am Hero. In one she seemed resigned to the fact that Chuck was going to die and in Am Hero she was ready to die with Shaw.

      • herder says:

        Joe, in fairness I think Timlay is refering to Sarah’s reaction to Shaw wanting to blow Chuck up in the Beard vs her reaction to Shaw going to be blown up in American Hero. “5 more minutes, for me” vs “I won’t let you”.

      • timlay says:

        yes JC and herder that is exactly where my issue with that lies. Sarah was so protective of chuck yet she just was willing to let him die in S3. That is contrary six months later that we saw in 4.9 phase 3 shes willing to tear the world apart. To me thats a whiplash change that damages what your seeing in the character.

        As for people being perfect no i do not expect that. I do expect to like them … or see them pay for their behaviour she never has. Nor as she ever been called out for her behaviour. Chuck is always and frankly he is becoming less of the hero. While i see that chuck is her saviour in terms of her bad life … i hope there is more to his purpose than just to save sarah from being a bad person. That is not a fun romantic love its a very unhealthy relationship they need to fast become equals.

      • joe says:

        I see. Pardons for my confusion, then, Timlay.

        But let my argue this. I don’t think we can say, even then, that Sarah thinks Shaw’s life is more valuable than Chuck’s.

        It’s true that Sarah always knew that spies die. Carina told us that, too. Sarah may be willing to die (in S3) as a spy, but she doesn’t want Chuck to die.

        We’ll get to the idea that Sarah doesn’t see Chuck as a spy later, I’m sure, but it’s more like she doesn’t think a spy’s death is the same level of tragedy – it’s part of their job description.

        It’s not Chuck she sees as a lesser person. She and Shaw are “mere” spies. Anything more is Chuck’s fantasy and ours, through him. When Sarah starts to feel differently, that there is some humanity in herself and maybe even in Shaw, it’s because of Chuck, and she knows it.

        And her only moments of doubt about Chuck is when she starts to know he’s losing that very idea, when he becomes capable of killing.

        To get poetic about it, the story is about the death of self and ego. That’s a bit different from “hot spy meets another hot spy for meaningless sex and drives nerd to distraction in the process.” It’s not that at all.

      • timlay says:

        hi Joe no problem no apologies needed this is a discussion. I am actually enjoying it.

        I see that we saw that in 3.9 “i am just a spy without you chuck your better than a spy” i get that and understand it this season it was executed well. I think 3.9 did more to fix sarah’s character problems made from season 3 than any other episode. I like her again i just hope they do not make me dislike her again.

        I do understand what your saying but sorry simply it was badly done season 3 none of it made sense even within the shows mythology and the characters actions past or within this season. Trying to make sense of it is just i do not think possible.

      • atcdave says:

        And Joe that’s exactly why S3 is so hated. We get what Sarah’s view on spy worth is, it’s clearly been shown in S4. I think it even caused some legitimate tension in Fear of Death; what Chuck is striving to achieve, Sarah doesn’t value. She cares far more about Chuck’s personal qualities than she does about if he’s a spy or not.

        But in S3 that never played right, and her attitude in Beard and American Hero is difficult to reconcile with what we’ve heard from her at other times. Her half-hearted pleas on Chuck’s behalf in Beard still seem pathetic for the once heroic Sarah Walker. There may well have been a point to that, but for most of the audience it just played like a once respected character was just phoning it in now.

      • jason says:

        @dave – forget it – this ground has been covered and covered, either people got this near right away or never will – on both sides of the equation. Joe is not wrong in his side, my goodness, he is backing what the writers and show creators think, obviously some pretty smart people see it his way, you and I have some part of the fan base on our side, those still here and some we lost.

        @joe – my ? – “Is it smart to produce such controversial TV in a comedy oriented show, that a significant portion of the fans strongly dislike (I abstain from using the H word) you your show, your characters, your writers for your story’ a followup ? – was the story that great for you that it was worth it, honestly?

        to both of you, I think we are in for more of Joe’s show the next 2 eps, so we will again find out how the near 2M coalition can hang together. You will never lose me as a fan, but I am losing my love for the show, although I do enjoy blogging about it, more to bemoan what could have been than celebrate what is.

      • timlay says:

        exactly actdave

        she became cruel, vicious and less agent like less the character we all knew.

        I desperately wanted it to be all a play and honeytrap but sadly what we were watching was once awesome characters (chuck, sarah and there was little casey in season 3) dieing a death as the show crumbled around them.

        I read a book once where a person went to hell except it was a normal world except everyone just acted oddly, cruel, uncaring season 3 was hell from start to finish.

        It lost the heart .. it lost the cool factor .. it lost the geek factor .. it just was not fun anymore. It felt like a 1000 mile hike with no end in sight. I fear we will get this in the next 11 where they think OK we have 11 more episodes lets do something to get some tension going like last season. What they do not understand i think is how badly people are tensioned out… if they do the WTWT with the ring she says no when he finally does it .. she decides she finally wants to .. he does not .. well that will finally kill the show. I think thats where this is heading the new WTWT will be the engagement.

      • atcdave says:

        I do think they get it now timlay. I don’t believe they will try to recreate the “tension” from S3 at all. My feeling is that they know they screwed up. My guess is S3 gets more aggressive defense from some fans than it ever will in the writer’s room.
        I think they will be particularly careful about the sort of tension they use in the Chuck/Sarah relationship. There will be no more triangles, I’m quite sure of that. And even wt/wt will be used sparingly.

      • timlay says:

        i agree jason we will see more “tension” we will see if it is good or bad. I fear we are in the final episodes of the show. I suspect if its too bad then the 2m coalition will cease to watch my tolerance is very low. So if they do a long arc then sadly there will likely be no resolution as i think NBC are close to cancelling it.

        As I have said i enjoy the show but its just a show to me now, I do like you jason enjoy talking about it more than I like watching the show. I would quite happily wait til the season ends and watch them all at once as i did in season 3.

      • armySFC says:

        wow lot of good thoughts on this from both sides of the coin. my take on all of this may sound simple. the writers had a good idea to build the characters but it did not work when it was on screen.

      • timlay says:

        Hi Atcdave

        i hope your right i would not like to see another show i loved just end with no real resolution.

        I think it is amazing that some fans still try to defend it even when chris and josh have publicly accepted it did not work and from what some one said chris feels he needs to redeem himself after season 3 mess. I think they do … have they partly we will see if they truly mean it by the end of the season.

      • joe says:

        Oh my! The S3 thread that wouldn’t die!!! The horror!! 😉

        This is actually a great discussion. Forgive me if points get left un-addressed, though.

        Jason, you asked some big questions: @joe – my ? – “Is it smart to produce such controversial TV in a comedy oriented show, that a significant portion of the fans strongly dislike (I abstain from using the H word) you your show, your characters, your writers for your story’ a followup ? – was the story that great for you that it was worth it, honestly?
        Is it smart? Clearly not if your goal is to win ratings or make big advertising profits from a standard, typical mass-media product. Of course, I’m just enough of an elitist snob to think that these are not particularly worthwhile goals. I won’t claim that Chuck reaches the level of high art. It’s not Shakespeare. But lemme tell ya, there’s some Shakespeare that doesn’t rise to the levels we’ve seen routinely in Chuck, either. For me, honestly, yes. Honeymooners, Subway and Phase 3 were worth Fake Name and The Mask.

        If you’re asking me if I liked it, well, yes, I did. It was not the enjoyment of Tom Sawyer, or of Colonel but Fake Name served to heighten my appreciation of Am Hero and Honeymooners.

        I tend to like the episodes that are more psychologically dark and less comedically light and easy. (But that’s true only to an extent. There was at least two too many anxious cliff-hangers in the first 13 of S3 for my tastes.) The resolution of that darkness has to justify it, though. For me, Colonel DID justify the darkness of Dream Job and Predator. For me, the last 7 of S3 and S4 was made possible by the very dark story we saw in S3.

        Of course, I wouldn’t want you to think that I thought the season was flawless, or even close. I thought that technically, the Shaw-turns-insane arc was too drawn out by at least two episodes. I thought that, much like the resolution of the Mauser incident in 3-D was weak, so was the name reveal in Fake Name.

        But what I see to mitigate that is a realization that the scheduling did stretch out the story, and that they have a history of revisiting key moments much later, in a way that imbibes them with new meaning. In other words, I won’t be surprised to see the name reveal addressed.

        But that’s just my speculation, and I may be wrong. What I can’t really agree with is the idea that the characters were damaged. I’m sure you all understand. In my view, they’re just not ours to define like that.

        I keep coming back to Sarah. I know I’m not the only one who built up a fantasy girl there. But even if everyone did that, it was the wrong thing to do for a lot of reasons. Sarah had to become less fantasy and more human.

        Does that make her less enjoyable? Perhaps. Fantasies are fun. Bring on the Victoria Secret Angels, I say! But I’ll contend that this particular fantasy makes the story less rich too. To put it in other terms, making Sarah more human doesn’t “damage” her; it enriches the story. At least, it has a chance to.

        So I’m weighing “entertain the most people a bit” vs. “enrich a few people a lot” on the scales, and coming out on the side of the few. I recognize that’s the “elitist/snobbish” view, too. But hey, I grew up with the idea that TV was always going to be a trivial sop for the masses. I’m delighted any time it rises above that!

      • JC says:


        Please don’t take offense to this, its not my intention.

        Where you see something deeper I see manipulative writing.

        If she truly felt that “spies” deaths were part of job why go out her way to help Casey in Tic Tac and her plan to go after Shaw in Am Hero? Yet she stood by and did nothing in Beard.

        Its because her character actions had to serve the story. She didn’t do anything in Beard because Chuck needed to save himself. And she was going after Shaw because they needed Chuck to prove himself to her.

      • joe says:

        Oh no, JC. It’s a great discussion, and an intelligent question. No offence taken at all.

        You’ve put your finger on a flaw, all right. I can see exactly what you mean.

        But for some reason, it just doesn’t bother me nearly as much as Sarah enjoying her dinner with Shaw in Am. Hero. Sarah just didn’t come across to me as “indifferent” to Chuck’s situation in Beard; she came across as helpless.

        That’s not much better, because Sarah wasn’t that helpless before. But she sure was later. So mechanically, I don’t think it was a horrible manipulation.

        Even so. I’m no playwright, storyteller or script writer. So I can only critique from the point of view of someone who likes words. It seems to me that at some level the characters are always puppets, manipulated for the sake of the story. It’s only a matter of how willing we are to ignore the strings.

        [added – sorry!] … and their ability to make us willing to ignore the strings.

      • joe says:

        my take on all of this may sound simple. the writers had a good idea to build the characters but it did not work when it was on screen.

        Army, when all is said and done, I agree with this exactly!

      • JC says:

        The dinner date didn’t bother me because I saw it as manipulative writing too. After what Shaw forced her to do in Final Exam it made no sense to me at all. In fact all of Am Hero was like that and it’s why I think its the worst episode of the series. And one of the worst hours of TV I’ve watched.

        You’re right that characters are all puppets to a certain degree. The problem was that with Sarah in S3 it was so blatant.

      • timlay says:

        yeah when i finally watched season 3 after i decided to watch season 4. I watched half of American hero and then moved to the next episode. That is a really terrible episode I guess the idea that sarah was so blatantly all over the place is why i have such a problem with her now as a character. She just seems less interesting, fun, less sexy and alot less of a woman you would want to date. Thankfully so far they have improved her this season.

        As for the pleasing the masses joe … i sort of agree in some ways however market forces must win out. I would like to have a season i can watch instead of a season that is artisicly wonderful. I want enjoyment not shakespeare .. my life is painful enough at times. I have read lots of shakespeare it comes with having an english mother god its dull why anyone can say thats a great writer.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        @ Joe – from above.

        “In other words, I won’t be surprised to see the name reveal addressed.”

        I’m intrigued. Care to elaborate.

      • joe says:

        Well, there’s not much to say, Joseph. I’m certain TPTB know full well how big a deal the name reveal was to the fans. And really, it was a pretty big deal in the plain text of the script, too. They’ve spoken directly to the fans before and addressed their concerns. I’m thinking of both “Pauli Walnut’s” comment in Fake Name about how annoying “Will they?/Won’t They” can be and Chuck’s statement to Devon in Op. Awesome that went “Best not to speculate. Nine times out of ten, well, seven, you get yourself all worked up over nothing.” The fans in the forums had been discussing these things all that summer and fall.

        So based on that, my hunch (and it’s only a hunch) is that they won’t leave it hanging. I’m less confident they’ll handle it in way that’s incredibly satisfying, but it won’t be dropped entirely.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m glad you finished that the way you did Joe! In both of those cases addressing fan concerns actually felt more like a slap. Like they were ridiculing us for caring about their show. My motto for much of S3 is that I’d rather they dropped it.

      • Big Kev says:

        Loved the idea in your post about the divide between the fun and warmth and the drama. I echo your thoughts about Chuck and Sarah being the rock around which the comedy and the silliness takes place – but for me, your conclusion is only half right.
        I’m greedy when it comes to Chuck – I want the comedy and the heartwarming, but I also want a dash of drama and some high stakes, because to me that’s where you earn the heartwarming moments and give them the resonance we all love.
        I’ve never seen a show that makes me laugh, but also tries to make me think about love and loyalty, that goes from slapstick to poignancy in the wink of an eye. To me, the show is at it’s best when it combines all of its elements. It doesn’t always manage to do it well, but it would be a much lesser show if it stopped trying.
        I’ve always thought the show works best if the external situations, the spy plots and some of the lesser characters verge on parody – but the feelings and connections between those characters are not parody at all.
        From the pilot, right in amongst the ninja assassins, mariachi bands and porn viruses, the writers gave me a connection between Chuck and Sarah that was real, and a sense that someone was in real danger, that a life had been turned upside down and that both the bad guys and the good guys weren’t playing around. Comedy, connection, drama and stakes. That’s Chuck to me, and no other show attempts to walk that line. It’s an incredibly fine balance from a writing point of view, and I think it’s a tribute to the writers and actors that they get that balance right so often.

      • JC says:

        Honestly could it be satisfying after the way they handled the reveal and basically ignored it afterward? Over at Castle Inanity I was reading their review of Wookie and the Lisa scene was ruined by Sam.

      • thinkling says:

        @BigKev: Very well put. I so agree with all of that. Chuck does it all, all the time, and usually does it quite well. There is no other show that does it or could pull it off.

        S3 just went too far for too long and added things, ahem, that detracted from the real story. I agree with Joseph above that the story they were telling about Chuck & Sarah’s journeys would have been better served and explored without the LI’s. The LI’s muddied both the story and the characters.

      • Big Kev says:

        100% agreed – the LI’s was where they lost me. And it was a real pity because the story of Chuck’s decision to become a spy, how much of himself he stood to lose in the process, and whether Sarah really wanted Chuck the man/spy or just the fantasy of normality that he had previously represented, was a perfectly legitimate story to tell. In its way I think it was a more honest premise than pretending that Chucks decision to reintersect would have had no impact on Chuck and Sarah and keeping them together – although I accept that I’m in a pretty small minority with that view!
        But whatever integrity the premise had was lost when it was revealed to be just an excuse to recycle a hackneyed LI plot.
        As someone who has done a bit of writing, I would really love to know how some of those decisions were arrived at, both artistically and in commercial terms. On the basis that you learn more from mistakes than from successes, it would be a fascinating insight into the process by which a piece of art progresses from conception to execution, and how it changes along the way. I dont think we’ll ever get the inside view – at least in part because the reaction to S3 burned players on all sides – but I would love to read it.

      • atcdave says:

        Well you know I would not have been happy with any kind of break-up scenario, and I believe most viewers who were unhappy with S3 feel that way (as I say, S3 was doomed from Pink Slip). But certainly the LIs made everything worse. It would have been easier to forgive and forget if the writers hadn’t resorted to tired cliche (Chuck and Sarah can fight, but third parties are insulting to the viewers).
        Kev I would also like to know the thought process that led to the debacle that was S3. I suspect it just comes down to JS mandating the tripe he is best known for; but how he pushed forward a story that professional media critics were even warning against, and fans were in a panic over (and I would add, the writing quality may be testimony to a staff that wasn’t fully sold on either) is all hard to fathom. Hopefully we proved that all publicity IS NOT good publicity.
        I suspect if the misery arc had been done without the LIs, we would have avoided some of the over-reaction we saw here yesterday. Fans might still be anxious, but would maybe be less inclined to melt-down over a hint of trouble ahead.

      • Big Kev says:

        I know Josh Schwartz has a reputation for just trotting out relationship angst, and I agree that it’s completely justified on his other shows. But I think there’s a strong case that S3 levels of angst are the exception rather than the rule on Chuck, and that’s what would make an honest discussion into the process from the creators so interesting.
        Prior to S3 I had no problems with any of the LI’s. Chuck exploring a normal civilian relationship was inevitable. Jill was bound to make an appearance. Bryce’s return was a great twist and gave us 2 wonderful, “dramatic” episodes in Nemesis and Break Up. Cole Barker was a sympathetic character who showed more respect and empathy to Chuck, the person and the spy, than Casey ever had, and the LI part was brief and convincingly dealt with.
        It wasnt until S3 that the LI’s got obviously repetitive and manipulative, and became obstacles rather than legitimate ways to explore characters and move the story forward, IMO. At that point, the relationship got in the way of the story, rather than serving it. The cost of that, as we’ve mentioned, is that a section of the fandom now has no stomach for relationship conflict of any sort, legitimate and effective or not.
        I do think S4 has suffered a little for that in terms of a play it safe mentality, but I’m certainly not as far down that road as OD is.
        As for yesterday, all that proves is that there are some people who look for reasons to be unhappy and then blame others when they find them. On the blog, as in life, those people are best ignored, I think.
        For myself, I know that if someone is consistently negative about every aspect of the show or the writing, I eventually tune out of what they are saying. It’s a bit like the guy we’ve all sat next to at the football game who whinges every week, regardless of the score, about how the coach can’t coach, the receiver cant catch and the QB can’t throw. Sometimes he might be right, but by then you’ve stopped listening!

  14. armySFC says:

    we talk a lot here about open plot holes, lines that got thrown away and that type of thing. just for fun i’d like to see what people think is the dumbest thing that they did. so here’s my entry. in 4.10 morgan does his die hard routine with the gun taped to his back. here’s my question. if he could hold the gun on his back and tape it there, why can’t he reach it when he has to?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      If you re-watch the scene the gun is hanging down lower from where he attached the tape to his back. He could reach the tape, just not the gun. At least that’s what I saw. It bothered me at first too till I re-watched it.

    • armySFC says:

      true and thats my point. you would be holding the gun where you want it then apply the tape. even laying on the ground you’d hold the gun so it was where you wanted it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well that may be true for you and I, but this is Morgan after all. I thought it was hillarious at first then it bothered me a bit for the reason you mentioned, but then after looking at the scene again I concluded it was funny again. Of course Morgan would screw up something so simple.

      • armySFC says:

        ernie i guess that’s why i thought it was stupid. i’m not a fan of morgan. but he has come a long way this year. he has done some heroic things this year. for me it was just another way the writers regress the characters at their whim. they have done it with chuck, now they did it with morgan. for the life of me i can’t figure out why.

    • JC says:

      The pole dancing/self defense class from Leftovers. The blonde she-male rampages across Thailand but doesn’t make sure Chuck has any real training again. I know they play certain things for laughs but that didn’t work for me.

      • armySFC says:

        the whole thailand bit from start to finish did nothing for me either.

      • JC says:

        No the Thailand bit worked for me. It was after all that she doesn’t train Chuck or have one of the other agents do it? They do it all the time try to force comedy into something serious.

  15. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Heads up. Links to spoiler pics follow. Since this looked like the appropriate thread here are some BTS pics of Yvonne and Zach on the sets of 4×12


    Speculate Away!! . 🙂

    • timlay says:

      well my male reaction is loving the latex cat suit reminds me of blackcat from spiderman or the baroness from GI joe. I maybe they are channelling miranda lawson.

      Chuck is in orange trousers seems like hes a inmate?

  16. timlay says:

    Sadly everyone thats me done with the show i will not be watching this sorry exscuse for a soap opera show.

    I cannot believe i wasted 10 hours of my life trusting those liars josh and chris and started watching again after season 3 and its mess they promised they had learnt their lesson.

    Read chuck gasmic we are being played clearly they have decided that given they have 11 more episodes they will split sarah and chuck up. Accroding to the site its clear now that sarah does bad things in 4.11. They have set up more obstacles and she turns into a bitch to chuck about her behaviour. Chuck knows about it and does not like it. ANY proposal or marriage is been put off as they have extra episodes. This is not just some wind up. Sarah leaves chuck to do “naughty things”. This is more like fake name and a beefcake scenario is what is being said. YOU ARE ALL WRONG ATCDAVE THEY ARE PUTTING OTHER PEOPLE IN SHE BECOME A BITCH TO CHUCK. The show runners have lied I have written to NBC saying as a fan how disapointed i am and that I wish they had not given it extra episodes and this show should be cancelled.

    All the best everyone but I am finished with this series I will do as i did last season and just not watch anymore.

    • armySFC says:

      told ya not to go there. so bye

      • timlay says:

        I am glad i did why would i want to waste my time on a show like this where we are lied to and they are going to ruin the show yet again. Anyway I really loved talking to you guys but i will waste no more time on this show.

      • armySFC says:

        because your the fan he aims his posts at. ones that over react. he has said many times he will never reveal a critical part of the show like pop b getting killed. them breaking up would qualify. you wont listen to the people that make the show, yet you take the words of some one that has no affiliation to the show at all as the truth. he gets his info from insiders. he puts things out that can be taken many ways. you are taking it one way. he never says they break up. you are inferring that from what he said. you are conveniently leaving out the chuck hero moments and the one big thing he will reveal later that will make all the fans happy.

        dave. if what i say next offends anyone, feel free to yell at me, ban me but i need to say this. timlay you rants are getting very tiresome. yeah we know how you feel. but to call other members on this blog liars is just plain ignorant. the posts you read here are personal feelings and guesses. they don’t make this stuff up. they don’t say this is the truth. if i say i think it’s going to rain tomorrow and it doesn’t. does that make me a lair? not in the least. it’s how they feel, what their thoughts are on what they think is going to happen and why. i was personally offended by what you said as well as them. you don’t take advice and you don’t listen. so if you want to leave be gone.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m not offended army, actually thanks for that. Waste time on a web site that’s actually trying to tick you off but won’t watch the show, go figure. ‘nuf said.

      • JC says:

        Army’s post should be posted at the top of this blog.

      • amyabn says:

        Sorry Timlay, but I’m with the others. I’m not trying to gang up on you, but seriously dude, chill. I hope you find something that you enjoy more and can be a productive member of that fandom or hobby. Best wishes to you.

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto. Best of luck, Timlay. Tchau.

      • thinkling says:

        @Joe: This is totally OT, but why are the times off on the comments?

      • joe says:

        That’s interesting, Thinkling. The email version of your last message is stamped 10:04 and the version here in comments is stamped 11:04. I’m guessing the ‘puter hosting WordPress is back in Daylight Savings Mode.

        Or someone reset it and goofed. “To err is human. To really screw things up takes a computer.”

      • thinkling says:

        Hmm … MTD … multiple time-zone disorder.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        My guess it’s a UT versus UT with DST problem. I see other websites that are set to UT or a specific problem. My guess is that this “problem” only surfaced in the last few days Thinkling? For some of us it was apparent about the beginning of November. FWIW.

    • Gringo Chuck Fan says:

      Seriously??? You’re gonna throw in the towel during the best season so far – over some hints about what’s going to happen…. but you don’t really know how they will happen, or in what context… hmmmmmm – you’ve got me stumped.
      Seriously, after everything the show has been through….wow. Sad, and just a little frightening

    • PeterOinNJ says:

      Good bye – and have a nice life timlay.

  17. jason says:

    yea – going to be a tough couple of eps, I would have to think much of the teaser spoiler stuff would have been in place even in 4×13 had been the last ep, so it really can’t be TOO awful, since it was pretty clear 13 was going to be an engagement b4 the extension ….

    it is still possible that 11 ends in a happy spot, the boat might be rocking a bit for shippers at the end of 12, I think 13’s end the ship will be in a nice spot again, just not engaged – 14 thru 24, I have no idea, none, no clue really …

    But honestly, CS are not ever going to be happy in this show for more than a few minutes here and there, even if coupled, engaged, living together, married, etc, that is the nature of this show, it has taken me a while to figure that out, but I am pretty certain that is the case … if that is not your cup of tea, I suggest you move on – words I myself am going to strongly consider

    • armySFC says:

      not so on the teaser stuff. remember they would have had to wrap up the volkoff arc. that would mean two of the next three would have TD and LH in them. so they got pushed back. the two that replaced them i have a feeling are balcony and gobbler. the volkoff ones got pushed to the right. i think 4.13 waould have been the final ep of the season. they set that up.

      • jason says:

        army – that is interesting, I can’t remember, I thought balcony and gobbler were in the arc b4 the extension, and I think that LH and TD are in 12/13, just not listed for effect (BR was not listed in 3×18/19 either I don’t think) … but you very well could be right, that 11/12 are new ‘extension’ related eps.

        It really doesn’t matter, the material is going to have some cringeworthy moments, and some real drama, some fans here should really be happy, we’ll all find out how it works out.

      • armySFC says:

        jason that was a guess on my part. but having the arc concluded during the birth in 4.13 would have been tough.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Army –
        this of course depends on it being a well done episode with no lingering issues.
        This is what it will come down to, finally. The execution of the script on the screen. Exploring of issues may look good on paper – it’s the way it’s expounded that will determine it’s effect. And they have to be careful with what they do with the characters. There has been pretty sound and in depth growth for C/S and a scenario where either character is projected in a bad light undermines the strength of the relationship (that over the course of this season has been portrayed as a strong one)

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Oops! Wrong place. The above post should have been at the bottom. 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        If it involves flirting and nothing too far then he should handle it fine. Should there be some jealousy , sure just like Sarah was in Suitcase. What I don’t want to see is the whiny Chuck from Beefcake.


        No whiny Chuck and no ‘eager and giving’ Sarah either. The relationship has come too far for them to be completely unaffected by what they may be forced to do on a mission. Individually speaking, Sarah has come a long way – there is no way she can be completely professional about it – it would fly in the face of what we have seen this season.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Dang!! Again the wrong place. What is wrong with me? :). (*oops I am on an empty stomach and it’s meddling with my brain*)

      • atcdave says:

        Don’t you know posting on an empty stomach is dangerous? Cut it out! Come back after you’ve eaten, we’ll still be here.

      • JC says:


        I wouldn’t mind if Sarah did the seduction willingly to prove something either to herself or Beckman. Or if she dismissed his concerns because its part of the job.

        That’s fine as long as Chuck stands up for himself. They’ve already stretched the believability of his forgiving nature already. He’s an emotional guy and one of those emotions is anger. They need to let him lose his temper once in awhile.

      • armySFC says:

        jason also agree on the stretching of the believability. there are only so many times a man can get kicked in the teeth before he either loses it via anger or just gives up. if she blows his concerns off and enjoys the mission they will have their work cut out for them. it’s for this reason i don’t think they will go that route. i think it will be an emotional ride but turn out well when both parties realize what they have to lose if it goes to far.

      • herder says:

        Not quite sure where all this seduction talk is coming from, but if it is to be, rather than the same old Sarah/Chuck seduces, and the other becomes jealous, I think a more interesting idea would be for the one doing the seduction mission has a real problem and the other views it as the job.

        Let the the relationship be the thing that changes how the spy views the job rather than the job being what it is and the spy dealing with it.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        JC – you’re right about anger being an emotion and Chuck being an emotional guy . One of the things I love about Dream Job is that Chuck gets angry- even though he immediately apologizes , his father says he has every right to be angry.

        I think Chuck should get a chance to show that he feels anger with his feelings being validated like his father did. It would be especially nice if it was Sarah especially since she’s was the worst offender in not wanting Chuck to deviate one iota from her view of him.

        And if Sarah is the one doing the seduction mission then have her say later (not in front of Chuck but definitely in front of Roan) that’s she’s never felt like such a whore before (because she feels like she cheated on Chuck either because she never felt committed before while doing a seduction or because Chuck got angry earlier because she said she was doing it and blew off his fears -maybe he also said something about the guy being her type good looking scumbag) and Roan turns to her and says why do you think I’ve spent so much of my life drunk? (and I really wanted him to have hooked up with Beckman in a committed relationship-it could have benefitted them both and he could have stopped drinking and Beckman loosened up. )

    • atcdave says:

      I don’t know Jason. I’ve been pretty comfortable since Other Guy just assuming that Chuck and Sarah are very happy together, we just happen to see most of the rough spots. And even at that, they most often start and/or end happy; so I’d call that pretty awesome!

      • jason says:

        @dave – Me too really, pretty comfortable describes me somewhat at least. But, this show could have done so much more. And the ‘they love each other / don’t they’ dance is going to go on for the show’s duration.

        Three times the show has fooled me into thinking it could be more, after S2’s end, after 3.14’s honeymooners, and after the first couple eps of S4, since 4×6’s end thru 4×10’s end, coupled with what is pretty much fact upcoming – I am probably not ever going to expect anything more than what I see from the show…and it’ll make me ‘pretty comfortable’ – but not at all excited or happy

      • armySFC says:

        i have also been pretty comfortable with the show for a while now. at the same time i agree with jason. i want to be more comfortable with it. i’m not one for having whole episodes dedicated to them working out issues, or dealing with what they may or may not be required to do on missions. they just completed a 3 part arc that left me rather cool towards the show again. in the end what purposed did those episodes serve to further the relationship? we got to very nice scenes where sarah learns that chuck is not sure she wants marry him with out the intersect. then she puts those fears to rest when she rescues him. fear of death din’t show me anything other than chuck wanted to prove to sarah and himself he was a spy. by the way he acted he proved he wasn’t much of anything. so that episode was a waste.

        i know the couple is going to have obstacles to over come. all couples do. theirs will be different than most. but do they have to string so many together. maybe i’m different but i’m happy knowing they are together, and once in a while toss in an episode where they have to over come personal issues that stem from the job. but i would like to see them go on joint missions. have chuck and sarah play a married couple to bring down the bad guys. what about a five minute segment that has them out eating dinner and just talking. maybe sarah lets chuck in on some of her past. nothing major of course. i’m not sure where they intend to go with the rest of the season from here, but i hope the trend continues from last year and the episodes get better in the second half.

      • atcdave says:

        I mostly agree with both of you. I would prefer if more episodes (like Couch Lock) really had no relationship issues at all; just leave Chuck and Sarah alone they can focus on an external issue. But I mostly liked the final arc. When they are going to have real difficulties, address and resolve them in a fairly speedy and upbeat manner.

      • jason says:

        so far we have had serialized spy / intersect / family plots and episodized relational CS angst – I think I called for that last season as the winning formula for the show … so I probably shouldn’t complain.

        My spitball for the next few eps, sarah is going to seduce a mark very well (I think in 4×12, possibly in 11 & 12) and not feel bad about it – kind of the if you want to date a spy deal with it, then in 4×14 chuck is going to not do so well at seduction, hence roan. With Roan’s help, chuck will ace seduction, and sarah won’t like it, the end result, the couple will reach some sort of an agreement regarding seduction. Much as I hate this sort of arc, it seems to be a reasonable issue a spy couple must address, esp one where the female spy might be the agency’s best seductress and the male being the most insecure spy ever.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i agree on the speedy part that’s for sure. i have enjoy this season so far. i just don’t want to have every 2-3 episodes like that. take a look at the season so far.
        episode 2 was stress over her not unpacking.
        episode 6 was his mom
        episode 7 more of the same
        episode 8-9 the not a spy/afraid to marry you.
        this is what i’m talking about. they may have speedy endings but it’s almost every episode now. that’s what i have a problem with. we can guess that from past seasons 11-12 will have some kind of angst involved because they have done that every season so far. then it ends with a big happy 13.

        i’m all about developing the relationship and characters but not on an every or almost every episode pace. it’s getting to the point where i wonder before each episode what drama are they going to have to overcome this week, then oh yeah who’s the bad guy going to be. does that make sense?

      • atcdave says:

        I’d agree with that too Jason. I don’t really like the seduction mission theme, but I would have no problem seeing it dealt with that way; especially in the context of a couple’s relationship problem, not something threatening a break-up. Only real reservation being I think they may going past the expiration date on the proposal; if it goes any past 4.13 I will start getting cranky about it, and I bet I’m not alone.

      • JC says:


        I see what your getting at, not every episode has to deal with some aspect of the relationship. The villains and spy stories all feel like they’re crafted around or how it’ll affect the relationship.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i agree with the proposal. it looks like it will be pushed back. i speculated earlier in this post that i think the seduction mission will be 4.11. if done properly it could clear up some issues for the couple. given sarah’s revelations so far she may initially go on the mission, use her charms to get close. then come to realize that she can’t go past the flirting like she had in the past. she may come to realize that what she did in the past as a spy no longer applies. she can be an effective spy like before but with limits. this way would play out nicely for most viewers,

        if they have her do the seduction mission and enjoy it, and revert to her old ways, before chuck, it would not be well received. chuck maybe the ultimate nice guy, willing to forgive and forget anything she did in the past. most guys look over certain elements of their partners past. but if it goes to far, then they have a hard road to prove chuck is that understanding. i may be different than most but if i was married to a cop and she killed a bad guy i’d be ok with it. if she had to get close to a bad guy i’m ok. if it would go farther, not so much.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah I think it’s S3 all over again if Sarah goes too far on a seduction mission. The off season promise was lighter tone and Chuck and Sarah together all season. That’s what I expect and I hold them to it!

      • armySFC says:

        they said they weren’t going to blow up the buy more last year either. that was a joke but they did say it. this season has had some light and airy parts. maybe 1 or 2 episodes. but for the most part i can’t see it. if you look at the season as a whole there there is more subtle aggravation and angst than light and airy.

      • jason says:

        I don’t expect the upcoming aggravation to be subtle in any way shape or form

      • armySFC says:

        jason, i don’t either. i think the catalyst will be the bold and in your face type. there will be no subtle hints. BUT the type of fan you are will decide how angsty it is for you. if you are the type of fan that needs chuck and sarah fluff every week then it will be the type of episode you don’t like at all. if you are a middle of the road fan you will probably say wow they pushed it this week. and if your not vested to much or are new it will be no big deal.

        this of course depends on it being a well done episode with no lingering issues. they will eventually have to face this issue at some point. i would have preferred it later in the year but with everything from the last couple episodes i suppose this is a better place for it. my hope is it’s well done and helps the relationship vs its well written but leaves either party with lingering doubts about whether they can do their jobs and be in a relationship. doig it later won’t work because by then the relationship will be better than it is now.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Army,Dave,Jason and JC – thanks for this great discussion.

        Army, you say that maybe it’s a bold and in your face move – but I concur with Dave about what he says taking it too far. It stops being good drama and becomes cringe worthy material (Beefcake and Fake Name come to mind). Although, when such a situation rises for Sarah/Chuck, what would be interesting is to see if they (characters) stop to pause and think through with what they are about to do and how it may affect their personal lives.

        But it all comes down to what JC says – relational angst between C/S is the ONLY way that TPTB think of generating drama.

      • armySFC says:

        genie i agree with you 100%. dave and i were talking in the posts above this one about the same thing. when i say in your face i’m thinking sarah intentionally takes the mission to prove to herself that she is not affected by chuck and can still do that kind of mission. the deeper she gets the more she realizes she can no longer do it. that’s what i hope anyway. i do believe there will a discussion between the two about it. to show true growth from sarah she will need realize that she no longer has do do certain things as a spy to be a good spy. much as chuck has been forced to give up things and do things he would have done before.

      • JC says:

        If they go the seduction route and I think they should at some point. The key will be in how Chuck takes it.

        If it involves flirting and nothing too far then he should handle it fine. Should there be some jealousy , sure just like Sarah was in Suitcase. What I don’t want to see is the whiny Chuck from Beefcake.

        Now if they push it or have Sarah dismiss him outright that’s something different. I wouldn’t mind that if they had Chuck get angry or mad. None of this Chuck takes whatever someone says and lets it go. Yes he’s forgiving but he shouldn’t be a pushover either.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        i do believe there will a discussion between the two about it. to show true growth from sarah she will need realize that she no longer has do do certain things as a spy to be a good spy.

        100% agree with you. Now that C/S are together, if certain situations like a seduction mission are just played for jealousy and angst, then it loses it’s meaning – but instead as you say – if C/S are forced to reconsider/introspect on how much they are willing to do for the job and how it could affect the other and this leads to some positive epiphany then it will result in further strengthening the relationship. ( but I again reiterate – as an invested fan in the C/S relationship another Beefcake/Fake Name scenario would go down pretty hard for me)

        And I also agree 100% with what you and jason said about being hopeful of seeing C/S take on more missions as a spy couple – the thing that was hinted in Season 3 – 3×14 and 3×15.

      • armySFC says:

        jc i agree on the no whiny chuck. he may have issues with her doing it but he should stand on his own. that’s why i hope they talk about it. he should also keep it to himself and not involve others like he did in first fight. the other thing he needs to do is leave her alone while she is on the mission. don’t call or get involved as he did in the past. this would again show more growth from him.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Army and JC

        I am in complete agreement when we say that ‘whiny/needy’ Chuck should not rear itself again. But tbh, do you really think that the writers are going to go with stoic/unflappable Chuck who mans up and keeps quiet and doesn’t let emotions cloud his judgment. IMHO, they will not do that – even if he does keep quiet, we can be sure to see him hurting emotionally. But if Chuck keeping quiet and not interfering with the mission leads to a scenario where Sarah will have a chance to confront this issue on her own and come to a decision about what she is willing/not willing to do – then that I believe that would be good drama.

        @JC – I am not striking down the concept of exploring issues when faced with a seduction mission. As Army and Dave say – the fear is in the writers taking it too far leading to us (read me) end up cringing all the way. Seduction in 2×02 was perfectly done, not so in Beefcake. As far as seduction missions go – I like how they do it in Burn Notice – the flirting and entrapment done by Fiona never turns out to be over the top.

      • thinkling says:

        I feel like I’ve missed some key point; so please, forgive my enormous ignorance if that’s the case.

        Do we have any official information that leads us to believe that Sarah is going to be seducing a mark in any upcoming episode? Episode 4.14, maybe, but probably not since Roan is involved. Or is this speculation based on stuff from a certain site that puts out twisted spoilers meant to aggravate and mislead? Or maybe it’s speculation based on s3 fallout? Just checking. I know it’s a spec thread, so we can speculate about anything, but I wondered why this particular topic. The idea has a lot of legs, and I just wondered why.

      • JC says:


        I didn’t mean to imply that you weren’t for them exploring the issues a seduction mission brings up. And I understand your fear about how they would execute it.

        For me it all hinges on how Chuck handles it and whether it leads to real growth for both of them.

      • atcdave says:

        Thinkling, I think the catalyst for this is a certain trouble causing blog that suggests Sarah will have a seduction mission in 4.11 that will lead to new tension. Obviously that could be explored in interesting ways or damaging ways, we’re just sort hammering out the parameters of what would be good or legitimate to explore and what would be too much.
        I like the spec that Sarah could realize she’s no longer good for this sort of work. Of course how late in the process that comes could affect how good or bad we all feel about it. I’m still betting things will work out in a way we will be pretty pleased with.
        Of course, I really have no clue what may be going on, I haven’t even seen a synopsis yet; so I believe this is all rumor.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Dave – good summation on the reason of the current discussion. And I am with you in waiting eagerly for the detailed synopsis. That should give us (some) much needed context on what is ‘rumored’ to go down in 4×11.

      • JC says:

        Lack of casting announcements, promos, synopsis, etc. So we’ve started speculating on rumors because that’s all we have at the moment. Look at this way it’s better than discussing S3 once again.

      • armySFC says:

        that pretty much sums it up. but the synopsis, while being from NBC generally don’t say a lot. look at 4.09 and 4.10 did you see anything in the synopsis that resembled the actual episode? so i don’t even think they help to much with what goes on in the actual episode. as dave said most of the ideas came from teaser from another site mentioned by an irate poster yesterday. we are just tossing around ideas of how they could make it work if it happens to be true. nothing more. its just guesses, lol.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Army – slightly agree with you on the synopsis not being too open about what direction the episode takes but if you combine the synopsis with casting announcements (Ausiello is sorely missed) and promos (as JC said) it usually gives a somewhat rough picture on what may happen and a lot of speculations start hitting home.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah and sometimes the synopsis look like they’re designed to tick off fans instead of generating interest! I wonder how those things are even written sometimes! But they are often our first “official” hint of what an episode may be.

      • joe says:

        I don’t think it’s my imagination anymore. They (whoever they are in this case) are being extra cagey. We’ve really had very little in the way of spoilers all season. The big scoops are the names of the guest stars. Really, with few exceptions, the official promos and the trailers have been teasers to build excitement, they way they’re supposed to.

        Is this a good thing? IMHO, considering the way the spoilers were mishandled in S3, probably. I mean, we’re still liable to examine them on a frame-by-frame basis, so I can’t blame TPTB for being cautious.

        Still, I have to admit I hunger for more. It’s the sad refrain of an addict. Isn’t it? 😉

      • Tamara Burks says:

        ArmySFC – spot on about the synopsis not being quite right. In Leftovers it said Morgan would be dealing with Black Friday yet all we saw was the aftermath and a hostage situation. Seeing the synopsis , I was looking forward to maybe them having the agents pretending to be Buymorians trying to deal with rabid shoppers and failing. I think it could’ve been played for laughs and it’s the second missed opportunity to do something like that (the first was Cubic Z) . If they’re gonna have these agents around they need to use them against the occassional non pleasant shopper (like the one Casey was facing in Undercover Lover that he looked like he was going to kill until Chuck stepped in) and try to deal with them without using violence or seduction.

  18. joe says:

    I’m going to put this OT in here, the most active thread, and in the last one.
    It looks like the Chuck repeats are back on the schedule.

    NBC originally had three repeats of Chuck scheduled between 8-11p on Monday, December 27, but then nixed two of them between 8pm-10pm on to air a repeat of TV movie ‘A Walk in My Shoes.’ Now they’ve gone back to the original scheduled plans for three hours of Chuck repeats.

    Go figure!

  19. jason says:

    What I think we have gotten since the pilot and are getting to this day, is a relationship story between CS, where they will be constantly tweeked, growing, regressing, progressing, etc …. CS are the drama of the show …. with comic relief abounding in the B plot and a variable (from almost decent to completely lame) spy story floating around in the C plot.

    What gets me is TPTB write scenes where CS have already finished growing seemingly (like colonel or honeymooner or any of a number of times this season), then they are pulled back as if the scene / episode never happened. I honestly think the number of cancellation deadlines hanging over the show has caused this, and without those, eps like colonel or honeymooners or even phase 3 probably would not ever have been written, but would still be on fedak’s storyboard.

    I think whatever CS obstacles are coming, will be to move toward growth for the couple at the expense of the ideal that some may want for them or see in them already … which is both real life and drama. CS are not lite or comedy to the creative team or the fans, I guess they really never have been.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I have no (big) issue with “obstacles”. But please, for the love of all that is good and holy (sorry Rick) club us (read me) over the head with the character’s motivations and to not leave it wide open to any number of varying interpreations.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Edit. Edit. I want to edit. Should read:

        “do not leave it wide open to any number of varying interpretations.”

  20. herder says:

    If NBC sticks to the schedule from the first part of the season we should get the short synopsis for 4.11 on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and the longer synopsis on New Years Eve. I’m wondering if we get a Christmas present of sorts and the synopsis arrives early. Alternatively if there is the Chuck marathon on the 27th, do we get an extended preview or do they keep that until later say the 3rd or the 10th.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah Herder, I sure hope we get to see something then. Either an extended one or just next episode; I’m easy to please!

  21. Sarah Sam says:

    Nice thoughts all. Tamara, I love the way you think.

  22. Tamara Burks says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how Ellie’s changes effect the Intersect. She said that her father was using a software (or engineer’s I can’t remember exactly would have to rewatch) approach to memory instead of the way people process memeory. Add in the way Sarah automatically reacted using a technique that she had trained in but not used recently in Fear of Death and we could have wear the Intersect is training Chuck to use a martial arts or other technical techniques the same way she learned instead of him having to call it up each time the way you would call up a program to run it. That’s probably why we had that scene in FOD.

    • thinkling says:

      Good call, Tamara. I hadn’t thought about that as the reason for that demo in FOD, but you may be right. I hope you’re right about the memory. It makes sense if she made it work like the brain instead of a computer. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the Intersect 3.0, too.

  23. Tamara Burks says:

    One interesting little detail I found on the Chuck’s desk section of nbc.com/chuck was under note it had a note from Casey to Chuck to meet him for training during FOD. Now why couldn’t they say something like that on the screen and make it canon because it makes a lot more sense than not training him. Even before he could do kung fu he was always getting into trouble and needed to learn to fight.

    • thinkling says:

      That would make all of us feel a little better, I think. I think Casey would be a better instructor than Cinnamon, don’t you? 😉

  24. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Thought that this was the most appropriate thread for the short synopsis of 4×11

    Chuck – Episode 4.11 – Chuck versus the Balcony – Synopsis

    Chuck tries to create a romantic getaway for Sarah while tracking down a nano-chip at a French vineyard; Lester asks Big Mike for love advice.

    Airs: 17th Jan 2011
    Copied From: http://bit.ly/f08Hia

    • atcdave says:

      Thanks Genie. I’ve got a good idea what the romantic getaway would be about, perhaps speculating 4.11 is the big episode isn’t so far off after all.

      • thinkling says:

        I just hope they didn’t decide to push it back. I’m ready to conclude the proposal arc and get on with spy stuff, with the occasional engagement stuff.

    • JC says:

      Was this the episode they were filming when they got the order for more episodes? If so I wouldn’t be surprised if they pushed back any engagement plans.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        No idea about that. But I read somewhere that after they got the back 11 they had to restructure 4×12 and 4×13.

      • atcdave says:

        I hope (really hope!) the restructuring has mainly to do with Volkoff/Frost. I wouldn’t be surprised too if the original idea was proposal in 4.11 with a wedding/epilogue of sorts for 4.13. Then they got the back order which would have affected that part of 4.13 but not the engagement in 4.11. And yes, this may all be wishful thinking on my part.

      • JC says:

        It makes the most sense to me that the engagement would be pushed to the back eleven. We know baby Awesome is coming unless Ellie has the longest recorded pregnancy in history. And I can’t see them stretching out the Volkoff arc since Dalton has two more episodes left and we haven’t heard of any extension.

        Just from the couple titles we’ve seen, my guess there are some more bumps in the relationship coming. And that would allow them to stretch out the engagement arc.

      • thinkling says:

        To me it makes more sense to extend the main story arc w/ C/S engaged.

        They’ve already tipped their hand that if they get more episodes, TD’s run might be extended

        Dalton is on board for a handful of episodes—a run that could be extended should NBC greenlight additional episodes of Chuck beyond the initial order of 13.

      • joe says:

        Is it me, or does it seem to anyone else that they’ve been tremendously closed lipped, even for Chuck? I mean, there’s been almost nothing for quite a few weeks now.

        I could imagine that last minute changes to 4.12 and 4.13 are still consistent with an engagement in 4.11 or 4.12. In fact, I hope they would change some things to begin some story lines for the rest of the season. I agree with you, Thinkling; it makes more sense to continue with C&S engaged.

        In fact, I would think that the writers might favor starting with a cleaner slate and new relationships.

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