Three Weeks and Counting!

Welcome Back!

I’m glad to see you all made it back from Grandma’s safely. Perfect timing, too. Tonight we have 3 (count ’em, 3) episodes of Chuck being broadcast on NBC; Anniversary, Aisle of Terror and First Fight. That’s pretty timely, because Dave and Thinkling will be discussing Aisle of Terror later this week, and Ernie and I will be delving into First Fight a little after we recover from the New Years Eve parties.

Well, I assume we’ll recover. 😉

Over the years Chuck fans have had to endure many intervals without new episodes. You remember. There was the writer’s strike during season 1, the infamous gap between Santa Claus and 3-D that was extended by presidential fiat (is it a coincidence that the political fortunes of this President have shifted since that mis-calculation? I think not!), and of course the threatened 10 month gap between season 2 and season 3. We’ve developed some survival skills and some ways to mitigate the jitters and depression that comes along with these long lay-offs. There’s only three weeks left until Chuck vs. The Balcony, but if you’re finding the wait difficult to endure, here are some tips.

Re-watch recent episodes on or Hulu. Even if you’ve seen them two or three times already, you’ll be amazed at how much you missed. You’ll be even more surprised at how the passing of time changes the emphasis and import of certain scenes.

Re-watch old episodes on DVD (or if you have them, your DVR). You have the DVDs, right? Surely *someone* bought you Season 3 for Christmas! Just yesterday I saw The Pilot and Helicopter again and guess what! I picked up on a “call-back” that totally went over my head the first four times I watched Leftovers – Stephen used riddles to verify Ellie and Chuck had possession of his computer, and Bryce used a riddle to get Chuck to open his e-mail. Of course, *you* saw that. I just love finding these little gems.

Work on your Music from Chuck play-lists. New music becomes available all the time from iTunes and your local bookstore-that-still-sells-CDs and Amazon. Maybe you or your older brother have a copy of some of the music from the ’70s and ’80s (ahem – “I Can See Clearly Now” – Johnny Nash, “Africa” – Jeffster Toto…). There’s always more to be added to your iPod. Playing some of those songs again is like experiencing a particular scene with the High-Def, 70 inch, Surround-Sound with Dolby 5.2 system of your imagination. It can’t be beat! Don’t forget to exercise to your favorite playlist. Long walks taken to the music of Arcade Fire or Frightened Rabbit will give you a whole new level of appreciation, even in winter! Me, I’ve got about two inches of global warming to shovel today, so my tunes will come in handy.

Continue to visit your favorite Chuck sites on-line. We’re grateful that you visit us here at Chuck This!, but there are other great sites too, like Chuck, Chuck On-Line, The Chuck NBC Boards (where good discussions are always to be found) and many others. Thanks to the fans, the community is active and vital.

Don’t forget to check out the Season 4 Spoiler Page every so often. News has been hard to come by lately, but I promise to be vigilant and post the good stuff when I find it. Because it’s getting long, we’ll be putting up a separate page for the second half of the season, offering the same (hopefully) early look at promos and Chuck-news collected from around the net and from Twitter.

And speaking of… Check out your friends on Twitter. That’s easy enough, and a great way to get the news incredibly quickly. If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to and register for free! Then, what you want to do is search for other Chuck fans by using the search string “#Chuck” (the quotes are not needed) and save that search! Then you’ll posts by everyone who uses that “hash-tag” in their posts; other Chuck fans. You can follow me, @JM_Buckley (I’ll follow you back, too!), and @ChuckThisBlog and it won’t take you long to find many of your friends. Warning: Twitter is addicting! We love long-long-long comments and posts here, but saying something in 140 characters or less is totally different. Need more inducement? Zac, Yvonne, Josh G., Adam, Josh S. and Mark-Christopher are all regular twitterers, as are Ali Adler and Norm Buckley (and his famous sister Betty). About the only person who needs to join the 21st century here is Chris Fedak himself. I understand they’re working on him!

So tell me! With three weeks left, how are you getting by?

– joe

About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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87 Responses to Three Weeks and Counting!

  1. joe says:

    No sooner do I mention Twitter and Season 4 spoilers than a new one comes up.

    From the keyboard of @excitedforchuck comes the totally unverified (by me) but delicious rumor that Mini Anden will be back as Carina Miller in 4.15, Chuck vs. The Cat Squad. How perfect would that be?

    We’ll be keeping an eye on this one, but until I (or you!) find more, please consider the news completely rumor-ish, not fact.

    • iNewbie says:

      Aren’t we getting a little too many comebacks this season? First Chandler and Panzer, then Roan and now even Carina… It would be great news if bringing back old characters weren’t something that’s usually done in a series’ last season.

      • Michael says:

        I don’t know that I would put Carina and Roan into the same category as Chandler and Panzer.

        I look at Chandler and Panzer as plot complications to push some relationship issue. IMHO, using them again would be tedious.

        Carina is a strong character that has a lot of history with the regular cast. She is ‘there’, even when she isn’t. Things happen that make you think about her. For example, I half expected her to show up when Chuck and Rye were heading into the vault. If you know what I mean. :O

        I think the same could be said about Roan. Whenever there is some relationship issue, I think of what he would say to them. It would be great for him to make another appearance the next time there is a seduction scene. Which I understand is right around the corner! 🙂

      • joe says:

        Speaking of Roan…

        After re-watching Helicopter, I noticed that the good General was wearing a wedding band. Now we know that she’s either got or had a “thing” for the dashing Seduction Instructor, but has anyone noticed that ring in the past few seasons???

      • thinkling says:

        I noticed the ring in Helicopter, Joe. The next time I noticed (sometime in season 2), it was gone. a GB mystery. I haven’t seen it since.

      • joe says:

        Maybe she *is* available. Don’t tell Ernie, but Duck Lives! 😉

      • iNewbie says:

        @Michael I agree with you on the guest stars roles. but that’s not actually what I meant – I was just saying that having so many guest stars back might be a bad sign in terms of getting a 5th season. I guess we’ll have to wait and see though…

        @joe So you’re saying that the “spies don’t fall in love” guru is (or was) actually married? That would be a twist! xD I’m more positive about a Beckman/guy-in-the-background-from-The-Tooth marriage, though. Or maybe Bonita is married and forgot to take her ring off for that scene?

      • joe says:

        The ring was pretty obvious in 1.02. By the time we get to Seduction (2.02) she’s pretty obviously on the same Husband Hunt that the Thai attache accuses Sarah of being on.

        And where does that guy appear raiding GB’s ‘fridge? Honeymooners, I think. Somewhere around 3.14. I think Ernie would definitely point out this natural progression as a confirmation of his thesis.

      • Michael says:

        > I noticed that the good General was wearing a wedding band.

        Take a look at declassified scenes on the DVD. It explains what happens to Mr. Beckman. He ran off with an inflatible. ::smirk::

        >I was just saying that having so many guest

        Ah, ok. Gotcha. I do wish they had Carina in more episodes. She was a lot of fun to watch.

    • Sarge_87 says:

      4.14 Seduction Impossible was directed by Patrick Norris (Alma Mater, Cougars, Beefcake, Tic Tac)

    • atcdave says:

      Very exciting possibility of Carina’s return. Can’t wait to see her taunt Sarah about being tamed!

      iNewbie, I really wouldn’t read anything into the returning characters. Many shows make use of recurring semi-regulars. And Chuck has such a rich history in that sense. I think we’re getting a few favorites back both because of the longer season order, and to entice previous viewers to return. I think ratings are the only thing that will determine if we get a S5; if they go up even a little, we’re good.

      • iNewbie says:

        Mmm, that makes sense, dave. I really hope you’re right! Looking forward to seeing Carina (I’d definitely like her in more episodes too, Michael!), I wonder how she will react knowing about C/S – after all she’s always been supportive of them in her own way. But yeah, I don’t think she’ll give up the opportunity to make fun of Sarah… That’s going to be fun!

      • atcdave says:

        I think we can count on Sarah getting some major teasing! I hope she’s even wearing the charm bracelet when she first runs into Carina again.

  2. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Hola Amigo – actually I believe that the Carina Miller 4.15 spoiler came from Chuckgasmic – he’s updated his Season 4 back half spoiler page. Say what you will about his tactics – he’s always dead on when it comes to insider info.

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    Well Joe, if recovering from New Years is a pre-requisite for our post we may be waiting a bit…

    Just a bit of Christmas cheer.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Three Weeks and Counting!: --

  5. You credited someone else with my spoiler?

    Your rock.

  6. jason says:

    seems like most channels have reruns of the normal sched, abc has a movie, then castle – I would have thought expectations for viewership to be around 1 Million, this article made it sound like 2-3M? Any thoughts?

  7. Faith says:

    The Chuck marathon starts now in the east coast…I hope all of you are watching (those that can at least)!

  8. Herder says:

    I’m trying the Chucktoberfest game of a sip of beer each time they say Chuck, never noticed how many times they say “Chuck”, it’s mind boggling.

  9. Herder says:

    First thing that I missed on earlier viewings, Ellie’s “Devon your two little ladies are here” is the awesome baby a girl?

  10. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Sorry to break up the baby naming game… just a couple of burning questions for yall to kick around:

    What is to become of the Orion Laptop now?
    Did it just re-intersect Chuck, or could it be used to turn a whole arm of agents into lean mean intersect machines? Where should it be stored? or should they destroy it?
    Did Ellie just hang a huge target on herself? – by fixing the orion laptop and the intersect “bugs” in the way information is stored and retreived in the brain – has she just become the worlds leading expert in intersect technologies?

    Is General Beckman working for Volkoff? If you look carefully at the plot and story path – I think she is somehow involved. Particularily in her eagerness to let Chuck throw himself into very dangerous situations. we’ll need to wait and see…

    And finally – my fan fic of the day…
    Has Volkoff put a bounty reward on the head of Charles Bartowski? Volkoff agreed not to hurt Chuck himself – but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t love to see Carmichael come to an end…
    I have a connection to the Carina story in mind – but its just fan fic – no basis of reason or logic at all….
    Happy New Year – yall – cheers!

    • joe says:

      Great questions, Gringo.
      I also wonder about all the data lost when the Orion Cave was destroyed. Does it survive in the laptop? And what *did* Ellie see when she put in her password? All we got was “Oh my God!”, nothing more.

      After rewatching the first 10 of S4 again, I’m impressed by MEB. She’s not so ambiguous after all, but clearly on a mission to protect her children regardless of what happens to her. I wonder how much she’s working in concert with Stephen’s wishes, though. She led Ellie right to the Mustang, but then, “Your father never wanted you to see this.” I’m guessing Orion’s dead hand is more in play than we’ve surmised up to now.

      My imagination did do a leap regarding the Intersect 3.0 (if that’s indeed what it is). But really, but for one flash, we have no information to go on.

      You just have to expand on the idea of Beckman working for Volkoff, Gringo! Did you see some clues that we’ve (I’ve!) missed? Inquiring minds want to know!

      • Gringo Chuck Fan says:

        All I’ll say for now – is that everyone has their price… well, that and the fact that I’m way out on a limb – without any real justification… just patterns and clues. [how many times have they told us that Volkoff is pulling strings inside the CIA?] The Generals tone has changed significantly from ” stay in the car” – to encouraging him into some very reckless cirmumstances and situations. The intersect project was SOOOO important once upon a time – and now??? I’m just wondering what has changed… or why…

      • JC says:

        The importance of the Intersect and Chuck tends to fluctuate depending on the plot.

  11. amyabn says:

    Here (finally!) is a short synopsis for next weeks episode from our friends at

    “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.”

    A longer synopsis is due in a day or two. I am having Chuck withdrawal! 🙂

  12. Faith says:

    In case anyone was wondering the marathon last night got NBC 0.6’s across the board. It was originally a .8, .7, .7 (in order) but the .6s aren’t bad either.

    My feelings about this whole thing is less about the numbers and more about the future. You almost expect abysmal rerun numbers but you have to do it in the hopes that you get new viewers that will tune in when the new episodes come in. Lots of shows have died without reruns to keep it afloat.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah I think the re-runs are good to keep the awareness up. Of course, if the numbers are too abysmal the network may not want to sacrifice all their advertising for the hour; so it certainly is a trade off either way.

  13. James Bond says:

    So chuck is preparing yet another romantic trip…..why cannot he just sit at home watch the game with his bro’s (casey, awesome and morgan) while sarah brings them snacks and beer….what is the rush to a wedding, chuck does not even know sarah’s real name and so when he gets to the alter and they exchange their I do’s….who is he really marrying? does he know? does it matter? is there more he needs to learn about sam lisa….before he keeps moving their love affair all the way to the alter? I know fans on this site want a proposal! I do too, but still it would be nice for them to be further along….just sayin!

  14. James Bond says:

    In my previous post I was kidding about sarah serving chuck (since she would never do that and he would never let her) but I do have a question for you guy’s, do you think that when the show started that it was their intention for it to become such a heavy chuck and sarah show….I mean my first thought was that they were trying to take chuck on a journey from buymore supervisor to super hero and it seems that after fan reaction of early season 3 when they tried to focus on that fans did not care for his solo journey but more about sarah and chuck’s. Have we as a fandom forced them into writing a series that veers and away from what swartz and fedak intended? they did say last season that they write the show for themselves as well as us, have our reactions post mask made them write a show where chucks hero development is second, because although I have loved this season I can’t but help that chuck’s development has come to a standstill only because they want to keep chuck the same and with sarah….I always want chuck and sarah happy but a little more of chuck development would be great…..

    • joe says:

      do you think that when the show started that it was their intention for it to become such a heavy chuck and sarah show

      Great question, Mr. Bond. James Bond 😉

      You know, I’ve been worried since the end of S2 that the fans were really wagging the dog. Um… You know what I mean! There was a lot of good stuff floating around the fan sites and message boards back then. Even more lousy stuff, though. I worried that TPTB would get intimidated too much and write for the mass market.

      The could be okay, but I’d have some mis-givings.

      So as I’m re-watching S1 this week my big revelation this time is that Sarah is not at all thinking what I thought she was thinking. Remember Wookie? Chuck gets all upset because he discovers that Sarah’s been – um, less than truthful – about her relationship with Bryce. All he was asking for was honesty, and that’s the one thing she couldn’t give him. That’s not new for her, but this time, it hurts. That’s new. She wants to be honest and open, but that’s dangerous for him.

      In Tango Chuck gets to go on his first mission. Sarah says outright that he’s “not a spy,” and Chuck agrees. The first time, I focused on Chuck and his desire to be a spy, someone that Sarah could admire. I saw him thinking that he’ll never be up to that task. Sarah, though, isn’t asking him to be a spy, much less, to be Bryce. She wants him to be who he is. “I’m good here.”

      And that means that she must be Chuck’s protector, which doesn’t help his feelings of inadequacy.

      All this carries right through to season 4. Chuck wonders if Sarah will love him without the Intersect, Sarah is desperate for Chuck to be who he is, and being “not a spy” is part of that. For four seasons they both have been trying to do what they think is best for the other, even if that means ending the relationship. At times, it has.

      Is this what the fans have been asking for? Not as a group, perhaps. But I think it’s the story they (Fedak in particular) wanted to tell.

      It’s still a story about “becoming”.

    • Michael says:

      @’James Bond’
      >> In my previous post I was kidding about sarah serving chuck (since she would never do that and he would never let her)

      Wanna a bet? Remember Suburbs and the breakfast scene?

      >> do you think that when the show started that it was their intention for it to become such a heavy chuck and sarah show

      IMHO, the show has always been Chuck & Sarah. While the spy stuff is great and I wish there was more of it, in the end, it is a show about relationships and, in particular, redemption/salvation. Sarah saves Chuck from drowning in self-pity. Chuck saves Sarah from, well, herself. Casey helps both of them save each other. And they both save Casey who has given up on what really matters in life.

      I know that we, I do it too, talk about the relationship as Charah fluff, but it really isn’t. When you look at the overall arc of the show, the spy stuff is the fluff, it is a vehicle to tell a love story.

      Last night, I watched The Other Guy. I had been watching the DVDs starting with Season 1 to get my Chuck fix and finished with Mask. I had to skip to The Other Guy as the episodes in between are still too painful to watch. I’ve mentioned it before that I identify more with Sarah and she still pokes me too much. I was actually able to watch Chuck & Sarah in the drunk scene without too much guilt.

      Tonight, The Honeymooners! Whoo Hoo!

      • joe says:

        Sounds like you’re mainlining Chuck there, Michael! 😉

        You’re ready to enter a “You know you’re addicted to Chuck when…” contest now!

      • James Bond says:

        I ask these questions because I know chuck is never going to go too dark and like the last scene in the dark knight between batman and joker where the joker belittles batman for being incorruptable, I think that is what chuck is incorruptable, shaw tried it and tried to get chuck to kill him and destroy his soul, I understand that chuck will never be all jack bauer and more batman and I am cool with that, but at times I want as batman said in the end the hero we need not we deserve, we need a hero in this story and so I do hope they concentrate more on getting chuck there…wherever there is….I want to see the hero journey that TPTB wanted and tried to show through a albeit some painful season 3.0….but I do hope fans have not made them abandon that part of the show with their needs and desires……if you not what I mean….

      • Michael says:

        >> Sounds like you’re mainlining Chuck there, Michael!

        Oh boy! I could quit any time I wanted. Really! I mean it. I quit all the time.


        My name is Michael, and I am a Chuckaholic.

        But, no, I did NOT watch all the episodes in one sitting!

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Michael IMHO, the show has always been Chuck & Sarah. — [edited for length]

        Agree on all counts. It’s the same way that I perceive the show.

        @Bond.James Bond [couldn’t resist. 😉 ]

        You raise valid points about Chuck and the hero’s journey. If you go back and look at an earlier contribution of Ernie’s – well, he has written an
        in-depth article on said journey. Very informative and enlightening.

        IMHO, as for incorporating exactly the same traits/elements/situations that superheroes like Batman/Spiderman have faced in their lives into Chuck’s life/journey doesn’t work. Common themes like self sacrifice, bravery and incorruptibility are okay but using the same situations to highlight these points takes away from Chuck’s character. Chuck’s journey should be his own – and hopefully not exactly parallel someone say for example Peter Parker.(which TPTB kind of did with Chuck leaving Sarah in Prague for his ‘calling’ and thereby losing her – similar to Peter Parker at the end of Spiderman I. And Sarah somewhat mirrored Mary Jane of Spiderman 2). And this ‘borrowing’ of themes made the characters in Season 3 hard to understand and unlikeable.

      • JC says:

        I have to disagree.

        I think the show’s original intent was Chuck’s journey from nobody to superhero. All the other character were meant to service his growth and nothing more. That’s why Sarah and Casey’s pasts are such inconsistent messes.

        But I do agree that somewhere either before the show premiered or during the early parts of season 1 the show changed into Chuck and Sarah. I think that’s what happened to S3 they tried to incorporate those opposing stories together and it just didn’t work.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:


        Okay, let us put it this way. It came down to what TPTB perceived (as they say their intention was always the hero’s journey) and what the fans saw on the screen. TBH, I had never even given a thought about Chuck’s journey until TPTB started spewing out statements to that effect in Season 3.

      • atcdave says:

        JC, i’m pretty sure Sarah was always meant to be a more complex character. All the original promotional material was about Chuck and Sarah together. Even the clips that were shown prior to the airing of the Pilot prominently featured Chuck and Sarah. I think you are right about Sarah simply being written to serve the plot in S3 only, which is among the major complaints many of us had. But I would agree with you again for S4, her part has been expanded in response to viewer demands.

      • JC says:


        I agree with you, what TPTB intended doesn’t always translate to what the fans see. In fact I think this is has caused a lot of problems with the direction the show goes.

        We know the show was changed into more of a comedy and romance once Schwartz was brought on. What I was getting at was the show we saw in S3 was the show that Fedak pitched by himself. The hero’s journey was always there but it was never at the forefront like it was during S3. The same with the focus on Chuck. Other characters were just there to service his growth and became cardboard cutouts.

      • atcdave says:

        you do bring up an interesting point JC; that is, if Fedak was more responsible for the tone of S3. I always suspect Schwartz on the love triangles, but perhaps the combination Schwartz triangles and Fedak’s darker stories were a perfect storm for turning off many viewers.

      • Michael says:

        My face seems to have recovered.

        The wife fell asleep, she’s just not as big a fan, but I watched The Honeymooners.

        Queue the conductor, sharpening his knife and…

        full face grin to “But off the record: It’s about damn time”.

        Well, actually, right up to the point where the credits roll, except I just love that line.

    • atcdave says:

      You ask some really excellent questions James Bond! I’ve been on record as saying way back in S2 (on the NBC forums) that I thought the intent was to have Chuck and Sarah married by S4. I still feel that way, so to answer part of your question, I don’t believe they’ve changed the pacing at all. I would also mention that even on the S1 boxed set the tag line was “He’s the secret, she’s the agent”; and every subsequent box has featured just Chuck and Sarah on the cover (assuming those are Sarah’s legs for S2!), which all suggests to me its been about Chuck and Sarah from the start.
      But I do believe we the viewers have had an impact on how they tell the story. I think fan reaction to S3 surprised them on a couple levels, the first being that we wanted more of Sarah. By separating her from Chuck, Sarah really became a secondary character for most of the season. When you consider most viewer polls have shown Sarah to be the single most popular character on the show, that was really a bad move. So in S4 we’ve seen a lot more of Sarah in every episode, I’m very happy about that (and greedy, I still want more!). The second possible change has to do with the will they/won’t they aspect of the story. Given that I suspect the original outline always called for them together at this point, I don’t think there was meant to be much doubt anymore anyway; but they might have kept Sarah a more enigmatic character which heightened Chuck’s natural insecurities on occasion, instead of the all in Sarah Walker we’ve seen this season who freely tells Chuck that she loves him. They’ve also dealt with every relationship bump in the span of a couple episodes, so we’ve likely seen far less relationship angst and uncertainty than TPTB may have intended for this season.
      To me, this all means viewer input to the process has made this a far superior show. That is exactly how it ought to be. I feel really good about the impact we, as fans, have had on our favorite show.

    • jason says:

      such a great ? bond

      I think from the pilot on chuck and sarah have been written very different than most wt/wt, diff than most tv really – afterall, chuck thought he really had the girl in the pilot & he obviously dug sarah, to him he was on a real date and she really appeared to be into him, chuck’s affection was obvious.

      almost 3 seasons later, we find out in 3×13 that sarah was hooked from the pilot too

      I do not think fan reaction has driven the story near as much as NBC’s obvious plight on whether or not to renew or cancel the show, the end of S2, the mid of S3, the end of S3, and now probably the mid of S4 are all going to suffer a bit from rushed writing, story hurry up then slowing down, pushing back, expanding, etc, etc.

      I think the show is more or less on schedule

    • JC says:

      I see the problem as two fold.

      The first is they have this line that the character of Chuck can’t cross even though he’s a “real spy”. They want him to be pure and untainted unfortunately this leads to character regression. This wouldn’t be a problem if wrote Chuck with brains but since S3 the only way Chuck can be a hero is with his fists. Look back at S3 all the things the show claimed Chuck was doing that was bad or showed him changing. A lot of fans didn’t see it that way at all, in fact most of things he did we saw before and after.

      The second is Sarah’s lack of development. Other than wanting Chuck I have no idea what she wants or who she is. Her character has been used as a plot device or it changes depending on the plot so often it’s hurt any real growth. The only constant is that Sarah will always be the dark or dirty one because the show needs Chuck’s purity. I’ve been fairly happy with the way she’s been handled this season but I do see some hints of them trying to portray her pre Chuck as something different than we’ve seen or been told.

      • Michael says:

        >> The second is Sarah’s lack of development. Other than wanting Chuck I have no idea what she wants or who she is.

        >> I think you are right about Sarah simply being written to serve the plot in S3 only, which is among the major complaints many of us had.

        I would have somewhat agreed until I re-watched the first seven episodes of S3. Sarah was heart-broken and had put up some pretty high walls. For as far as she had come in her relationship with Chuck, she had no foundation to stand on and reacted with the emotional maturity of a school-girl. It took Carina, yeah, that Carina, to turn her around. He chose to be a spy because he loves her. Add to that, Beckman’s private warning to Sarah of protecting the world from Chuck, I think Sarah was stuck between going back to Chuck or being the handler. Chuck, being Chuck, spirals out of control emotionally, has had enough of Sarah’s rebukes and looks else where. Enter Hannah. I can see Sarah’s face now, near the end of Mask after they agree to see other people, she wasn’t happy, she was in distress. It isn’t really what she wants, but she thinks it’s what Chuck wants.

        I’m sorry, I don’t see Sarah as a cardboard cutout or a plot device. I think people object to the path Chuck and Sarah take because it isn’t the one the viewer wanted or was expecting. You could almost hear a massive “OH NO!” by the viewers. “The Other Guy” and “Honeymooners” work so well because it happens after such a horribly low-point in their relationship. Maybe I’ve internalized too much of their relationship, but the worst breakups and arguments and best make-ups have been with my wife. Hell, my wife saved my life and perhaps that’s why I want Chuck to save Sarah. By the time we get to “Tooth” she has learned to express some of her thoughts, somewhat, as she does to Dr. Dreyfus. But, she still can’t say the three words.

        >> To me, this all means viewer input to the process has made this a far superior show. That is exactly how it ought to be. I feel really good about the impact we, as fans, have had on our favorite show.

        Heh! Damn right!

        At least they didn’t make the same mistakes they make on Bones. I watch the episodes now for the cases. As for Booth and Bones, who cares. And they are making the same mistakes with Castle. Does anyone watch NCIS? I love this show because it is the case that is important and there is angsty wt/wt thing. Or is there? 🙂 They drop little clues here and there but there is no angst thing between Tony and Ziva.

      • James Bond says:

        I have no problem with how they have written sarah, to be honest the reason they have never explored her character because they want us to love her like chuck does….as is…why go through every tordrey affair and bad thing she has done, what benefit does it provide. The fact is chuck is the first good thing for her character and living through him via friends (morgan and casey) and familly (awesome and ellie) does not diminish her character, it just says that she wants what chuck has because she has never had it. The same goes for casey, chuck is now his “brother” and he lives through chuck and that is just as great. Do they use sarah to keep pure? sure! they want to make sure he never turns into jack bauer and after seeing what bauer did for 8 seasons I do not blame them, he lost his soul each time he tortured or killed someone and it told on his face as he it became more haggered as he went on his journey, I kind of like that chuck will be our chuck but I hope more of a hero…

      • joe says:

        I don’t see Sarah as a cardboard cutout or a plot device. I think people object to the path Chuck and Sarah take because it isn’t the one the viewer wanted or was expecting.

        Did I write this in my sleep Michael? Or are you just channelling me??? 😉

        In other words, I really, really agree with the sentiment (for what that’s worth). Well said, too.

        I suspect TPTB were aware of this from the first – This was not the kiss we (the fans) were expecting. The rub, of course, is that this is not what entertains some fans, and they do have a right to those expectations. I’m still in the camp that when a vehicle like Chuck strives to be more than just mass entertainment it will lose some along the way. Some will shrug, stick with it and be rewarded. Some that stick with it, won’t. I’m just not going to fret about it. After all, it’s always our choice to tune in “next week.”

      • JC says:


        I have no problems where they take Chuck and Sarah, what I do expect is a well thought out journey. Both character arcs have been all over the place since the end of S2.

        Chuck doesn’t want to be a spy but then he does. He gives up Sarah to be a spy then he doesn’t want to be a spy without her. Then they’re spies together but he quits without even talking to her.

        Sarah on the other hand has been all over the place since S1. She kinda wants a normal life and to tell Chuck something real about herself. Then she has a chance to have a normal life with Chuck but she doesn’t really want it. Now she hates who she was before Chuck even though she didn’t before.

        The problem with Sarah is in the first two seasons she had few episodes of growth that were never built upon or ignored. And with S3 she was fine the first two episodes after that she was the villain and prize. Nothing that happened to her was to benefit her growth it was all for Chuck.

        @James Bond

        I don’t want Chuck to be Jack Bauer either. But what happened to the Chuck from the end of last season or the beginning of this one? Whiny Chuck at Beefcake or this Intersectless arc is not an appealing character.

      • atcdave says:

        Well, you know I’ll always believe we saw a lot of behavior in S3 that simply doesn’t track well with what we saw both before and after. Even if its possible to create a plausible explanation for some of it, Chuck and Sarah’s behavior (mainly Sarah’s) rings false to most viewers. Starting with Sarah’s petty viciousness in 3.01 (“the lemon”) and continuing through 3.12; it rendered the show unpalatable and radically different from what viewers were tuning in to watch. Rationalizing behavior after the fact doesn’t improve entertainment value. I don’t ever believe it is quality writing to PO your fans; and yes, I know there are audiences that like angsty and dark material (in that case you pander to your audience by annoying them!!?) so I won’t even give them that.
        But the front part of S3 is so frustrating largely because it is so contrary to the characters we already knew and loved. I think the first two seasons developed wonderful characters and an exciting and unlikely central relationship. The destruction of said relationship was cynical and unimaginative on the part of writers who were clearly scared to write an adult relationship. So they fell back on their time tried (and tired) wt/wt model. I think Honeymooners works so well because it finally gets the world back on track, and delivers the show most of us wanted from the start of the season (no previous angst was ever required to make that episode a ton of fun).
        I do agree that we never need to know all the sordid details from Sarah’s past. At this point, no good could come from that. But I do still think it would fun to know more about her past life, I see no reason why we should assume it was all dark. She surely has past foes and friends who can show up without uncovering aweful things; but simply add details to a sketchy life.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        With reference to Sarah’s journey in S3 I see it like this. There are people who understood and appreciated her trials and there where others that were confused and unsympathetic.

        So we’re left with two portrayals of one of the main characters. IMO this is a storytelling issue.

        Sarah’s story in S4 is much clearer for everyone.

      • JC says:


        I think they’ll always use Sarah’s past for dark and dirty aspects of the show. That’s why I mentioned that line they won’t have Chuck cross. Because of that unwillingness, Sarah’s character will always be the dark one in need of a savior.

        This season we’ve already gotten two lines that have tried to dirty up her character. The comparison to Heather Chandler and the wildcard enforcer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an episode or two that tried to reinforce that notion. And IMO that doesn’t quite match to Sarah’s characterization.

      • jason says:

        JC – I think agent carmicheal, the kind hearted hero is going to rebound quickly in the next few eps, I think the hapless nerd arc is over.

        I just don’t know how far TPTB can go with Sarah’s past and drama. For example picture chuck realizing she murdered in cold blood 12 of graham’s enemies, chuck spends an ep or two freaked out, then confronts sarah, and sarah tells her side of it, maybe she was tortured, beaten, or worse, she was alone, scared, it was her first mission, she thought she was going to die, maybe she wished she would have died, great drama, but just how much drama should a lite comedy with jeffster, big mike, morgan and awesome in the cast have? I might like an ep or two of such, but not …. 12 eps like season 3 & maybe not taken too far, even in the ep or two that it may be addressed.

        @joe – that is always going to be my problem with the 12 eps starting season 3, there is some show in some universe that would indeed make great drama for 12 eps, but I think most agree it laid an egg in this universe with this show, 1 or 2 eps of shaw just like hannah probably would have worked, starting with the pink slip all the way thru the tragic sham kiss in 3×12, way too much

      • atcdave says:

        I do agree with both of those instances JC. The situation doesn’t track with what we knew of Sarah. I think, starting in S3, they retconned her past a bit. Like, how exactly did Heather Chandler ever conclude she was ever like the shy nerdy girl she used to pick on in high school? My own response to her “we are both alike” talk was just “no they aren’t”. Sort of ditto on the “Graham’s wild-card enforcer” line. That’s just how Casey used to see her.
        Now of course I do believe the writers want us to believe these new revelations we’ve had about her past. But it seems a lot of us who’ve been watching since the beginning have a hard time buying it.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree with that Jason. It could still be fun to have villains from Sarah’s past re-emerge or even friends/agents she’s worked with before. But I’m tired of everyone having to come up with some new piece of dirt to embarrass her or Chuck with. I mean she should be portrayed as having a proud and heroic past more often, they’ve already bludgeoned us with the sadness of it.

      • JC says:


        That’s why I doubt that Sarah was originally a complex character. Too much of her past and characterization is all over the place. Honestly can you tell me what Sarah wants out of life other than Chuck? Does she want to change only for Chuck or herself? We’ve gotten glimpses of her past and who she really is but its never consistent. In some ways it feels like they’re trying to start from scratch this season.

        I also think part of the problem is the show trying to make the spy world dark and gritty. It really doesn’t match up to the show we saw in the first two seasons. Plus the way they handle some of darker aspects of the show is less than stellar. They either sweep them under the rug or create these ideas that seem out of left field.

      • Michael says:


        Thanks for the ‘Sarah’s lack of development thread’. It is bringing up so much good stuff. I love it! 🙂


        >> Sort of ditto on the “Graham’s wild-card enforcer” line. That’s just how Casey used to see her.

        Exactly, that’s how Casey may have seen her. It also doesn’t mean that it is true, it is just Casey’s impression of her.

        >> But it seems a lot of us who’ve been watching since the beginning have a hard time buying it.

        Why is that? I don’t mean to be argumentative about it, it’s just that I have a picture of Sarah’s past that is very nasty. I have very little difficulty believing that Sarah had many more Mausers in her life. I have a very difficult time believing that she had many Manoosh’s in her past. That seems to be more of Carina’s or Ilsa’s style.


        >> Honestly can you tell me what Sarah wants out of life other than Chuck? Does she want to change only for Chuck or herself? We’ve gotten glimpses of her past and who she really is but its never consistent.

        Several times she has asked Casey or Carina if they ever wanted a normal life. I think that is what she wants, to get off the spy merry-go-round and be normal. But, does she even know what normal is? She thinks she sees it in Chuck. Maybe I’ve gotten soft, but I always thought they should have used “Melt with You” in the show at some point when she is having one of those “I just want to be a normal girl” moments.

      • atcdave says:

        Speaking for myself, in the first two seasons I saw Sarah as a wonderfully heroic character, in contrast to Casey’s more world weary burn-out. From the Pilot when Sarah was insistent “fixing this”, to going above and beyond to keep Chuck out of the bunker, to Helicopter where she gave Chuck the hero speech, to Wookie where Chuck was able to convince Sarah’s old friend Carina that Sarah was about higher things than just careerism. I think the early conception of Sarah always strove to do what was right and serve her country regardless of cost or sacrifice.
        At the time of the Mauser shooting I really took it as a unique situation for her; the right and wrong of it was more complex than just following procedure, she was unable to do right “by the book” because it put too many people she cared about at risk. She was a very idealized heroic character. The Manoosh situation is one of the things I didn’t care for much in S3. I had a hard time reconciling Sarah as that cavalier with the caring professionalism we saw from her in the Pilot. It may not be a true retcon, but it doesn’t sit well with what we’d seen before; but even after both of these events we have Sarah claiming that she always saw herself as a good spy. So while I can accept that she is very capable and deadly in her professionalism, I have a hard time with “wild-card”.
        Some of that is bound to be sacrificed as the story developed and we come to know the character better. But throwing in things like the Red Test is really grotesque and damages the character and setting in ways not quite fitting for a comedy/adventure.

      • JC says:


        Except on two occasions she could have had a normal non spy life and passed. During Honeymooners and before the beginning of S4. That’s just another example of Sarah the plot device, her wants never go beyond Chuck.

        And the problem with wanting normal through Chuck is he’s not normal. That aspect of his character died in Alma Mater. For me the idea that Sarah is changing only to suit Chuck bothers me.

        When it comes to Sarah’s past the problem isn’t what they do its how they use it. In most cases it used to make Chuck insecure or create some sort of relationship drama.

  15. Faith says:

    Emmy magazine pics with Phase 3:×09-i-4×10-w-emmy-magazine/

    “‘I’m amazed how fast the relationship is progressing between Chuck and me,’ Strahovski says. ‘It’s really fun because now we can be a couple like in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'”

    • Michael says:


      >> “‘I’m amazed how fast the relationship is progressing between Chuck and me,’ Strahovski says. ‘It’s really fun because now we can be a couple like in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’”

      Thanks for the link! I loved the pictures but struggled a bit to get the text from the magazine. I always love prop shots; I made a lot of stuff for HS and College plays.

      I had to laugh at two dovetailing parts in the quote you provided; “Chuck and me”, and not “Chuck and Sarah”? A Freudian? And “can be a couple like in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”? Has Yvonne seen the movie? It could get painful and messy in Burbank. Hmmmm… maybe they could shred the Buy More at the end of the season and we would be rid of it for Season 5. 🙂

      I’m surprised I haven’t run into any “Yvonne and Zach” gossip, given the obvious connections/parallels between the series and movie. Or it could just be that I never pay attention to actor gossip; they’re paid to do a role, not live out our fantasies in their real lives.

      • atcdave says:

        I used to do a lot of stage acting in school so it doesn’t really surprise me when an actor uses interchangeable terms for their character and themselves, even if the character is radically different from yourself there’s a tendency to identify with “your” character.
        There has been a little Zachary/Yvonne gossip over the years, but it was mainly concern that they might not like each other very much. That’s likely just another S3 problem; because their characters were often not together, the actors were often not together. This season they’ve even been making more public appearances together, it seems the concerns were indeed just silly.

  16. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Just came across another little gem – to keep us busy while we wait for Jan 17 – and this ride to start to pick up speed again!

  17. atcdave says:

    Just a brief heads up. The longer episode description is now up at the NBC forums for episode 4.11.


    01/17/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Monday) : CHUCK PLANS A SECRET MISSION WHILE ON ANOTHER SECRET MISSION IN FRANCE — When an assignment brings him to a French vineyard, Chuck (Zachary Levi) juggles tracking down a nano-chip with trying to create the perfect romantic getaway for Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). Back at the Buy More, Lester (Vik Sahay) comes to Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) for his own romantic problems. Joshua Gomez, Scott Krinsky, Bonita Friedericy and Adam Baldwin also star.

    looks to me like Chuck is at least planning a proposal as we had been discussing. Whether he pulls it off, or it is delayed once again is impossible to know from that description. My money is still on it happening.

    • thinkling says:

      I hope so. We’ve had a long proposal arc, if you count that it started in Suitcase. I’d like a nice engagement arc. How could they pass up that gold mine? Then I want a wedding/honeymoon story in 23 or 24 with bad guy intervention mixed in.

      In the conclusion, they can finally get to their honeymoon. If it ends, it ends. If we get a season 5, they can start with the honeymoon and the next big villain interrupting it.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah I hope that’s how they pace it. I’d hate for the engagement to be one of the things drawn out with the back order, but I do fear that’s what will happen. That episode description gives me some hope, less than two weeks until we know!

  18. Gringo Chuck Fan says:
    Question: How about some Chuck scoop to celebrate your first Ask Ausiello at —Hillary
    Ausiello: Works for me. Mark your calendars for Jan. 17. That’s the date Jeffster makes its triumphant return. But that’s old news. Here’s some new news: They’ll be performing a cover of Whitesnake’s “Is This Love.” In other Chuck news, Lou Diamond Phillips has been cast as the V.O.W. (Villain of The Week) in 4.15, “Chuck vs. The Cat Squad.”
    Sorry if this is already old news –

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