Leftovers: Thinkling and Joe Talk Turkey

How much time until CHUCK TIME?

Terror. It's what's for dinner.

Joe Has His “Duh” Moments

Let me start out with the obvious, Thinkling. Chuck and Morgan found a much more interesting self-defence class than then ones I ever taught! Chuck vs. the Leftovers starts off with a whole lot of revelations like that – we’re told: Chuck is training, he’s working on his proposal (but keeping it “close to the vest”), convinced that his mother is evil, about to propose in front of a jewellery store, and that Sarah is worried a lot about family, that Frost responds to Alexei Volkoff like a top lieutenant… hey wait! Back up a second!

Chuck: Speaking of looking forward to the future…

He was about to propose??!! I missed that! No, I didn’t miss that TPTB placed C&S in front of a 4 foot neon diamond ring and a sign flashing Brandt & Eisner. “Wedding Rings and Fine Jewellery”. Hit me over the head with a two by four, will ya. I thought it was just a feint! I missed that Chuck was actually going to pop the question right at that moment when the assassins attacked. I was just too smug about uncovering the coded message left for my subconscious by those wily Powers That Be. Watch again – it’s no feint.

There was little chance that I would enjoy Leftovers as much as I enjoyed Phase Three. I must admit, this is one of the few episodes that I did not appreciate more with time. I know why, too. We’re still wondering about Mary Elizabeth Bartowski’s nature. She responds to Volkoff like she would to a boss with whom she’s having an affair, yet she has no trouble undermining her own position by sabotaging the mission she got from him. Chuck wants to get past his blind spot and almost forces himself to not trust her. Mary’s awfully convincing, though.

Chuck: We should believe you ’cause last time, trusting you worked out so well.

Frost:Chuck, I didn’t want to have to do the things I did.

Chuck:Most people’s moms don’t have to explain to their kids why they shot them or tied them up and blew up their childhood home!

Frost:I didn’t have a choice!

Chuck: [shouting] There’s always a choice! You could choose to let me know what your plan is!

We’ve been a little – what’s the word – concerned? upset? – that Ellie still doesn’t trust Chuck to be a spy; she doesn’t quite trust that he’s not “normal people”. Ellie wants normal. Yet it’s barely registered with fans that Chuck doesn’t trust Frost in the same way; he doesn’t trust her to take care of business. It’s taken this long for Chuck to realize that Sarah’s really wasn’t fooling him about their relationship at the beginning, and that he wasn’t fooling himself either. Is Frost fooling him? Now Chuck thinks his blind spot has moved from Sarah to his mom, and it’s hard to know if we’re supposed to trust MamaB or not, especially trust her to take care of business. My head hurts with all the possible interpretations of her words, especially the words she doesn’t say and the words we did not hear her say.

How to treat dinner guests.

Speaking of interpretations, what are we to make of Alexei Volkoff? He’s a great villain! The best since Roark and Vincent, for my money. He’s been wily, subtle, commanding, intimidating, and now… NUTZ??? HAND FROST THE DAMN PHONE!!! That made my head snap. When his voice became loving and tender to Frost, inquiring about the quality of her food while under the CIA’s gentle ministrations, my head snapped off! I mean, how could someone who warps reality so much also see clearly enough to run an evil industrial empire? That, my friend, is a contradiction!

Thinkling responds
As for the obvious, the whole Cinnamon’s-School-of-Self-Defense gig was about 10 degrees below unappealing to me.  Anyways, I sort of figured that it wasn’t like the classes you taught, Joe.

This episode was bound to be received differently from Phase 3. To go from larger-than-life to subtle is a huge swing. The rampage of the Giant Blond She-Male is a sharp contrast to the tightly wound tension of Leftovers. However, there is a lot to love about Leftovers. The story isn’t over, of course, but Leftovers made a nice bookend to Aisle of Terror and primed us for an even more dangerous game. My reaction goes the other direction from yours, Joe, in that I like it more with each rewatch.

Let’s start with an obvious one … Volkoff. Timothy Dalton is fantastic as the World’s Biggest Psychopath (WBP). He plays the range brilliantly, wanting to have a perfect family dinner with the same people he threatened to incinerate an hour earlier. See, he’s not without his charm … half the time. His shift from wanting to kill “Charles” as a romantic gesture for Mary, to welcoming “Chuck,” Mary’s secret son, like long lost family was great. And he gave us one of my favorite lines … “Kids love me!” Charades … very apropos. How can you not love this villain? Best villain since Vincent and Roark? At least that. For my money he is certifiably the best ever. Plus, he’s just getting wound up.

As for his most valuable agent, his top lieutenant, and the woman he loves … how would you like to be in her shoes? Shiver. Mary Bartowski, aka Frost. What was it you called her, Joe? An enigma in a riddle in a mystery. Good description. By the time leftovers are consumed, though, there is clear and convincing evidence to back up her claim of loyalty to her family. I fully expect the evidence of her commitment to take Volkoff down to be forthcoming. For this juror, that mystery is cleared up. The riddle of the details of her mission are yet unsolved. As for the enigma? Well, she’ll always be that, Joe.

Why else do I believe her? Her face tells the story. She fears him, even as she manipulates him. When she says that Alexei Volkoff is in love with her, she looks annoyed in the extreme — put upon. When he gushes over the phone about her safety and the tastiness of her meals, her responses are matter-of-fact and detached. When she thanks him for coming for her, with the expected hug, her face shows no gratitude, no warmth … none … z-e-r-o. This is not a man she is “with,” in any sense of the word. In fact, I get a definite three-against-one vibe during the whole encounter (or more appropriately, one against three). I love the Chuck/Sarah/Mary dynamic that takes shape in Leftovers. I would like to see it as a permanent part of “Chuck.”

Back to you Joe.

Oh, I believe her too, Thinkling. After re-watching, I’m certain that she working to protect Chuck and Ellie, and I should have been from the moment Chuck broke into her safe-house, and from the moment we heard her say “Oh, Chuck!”

I caught that Sarah says the exact same works in the exact same way just minutes later.

Well, I didn’t quite finish my list of reasons why this episode left me cold; there’s also that ending. Non-ending. Frost leads Volkoff away, and Chuck gets the Intersect back. End of Story. But starting with the motivations of MamaB (and also the amazing acting of Tim Dalton), we’ve started on the reasons I think I underestimated the plot line.

About Tim Dalton, I was w-wr-wrong! I only recognized the two distinct characters Tuttle/Volkoff before, and based my appraisal on that. But Volkoff himself is both master villain and completely love-struck insaniac. That’s three characters in two episodes. I tried to imply earlier that seeing Volkoff as insane sort of made the “master of the universe” Volkoff less effective. I take that back. Now they co-exist in my mind.

Like a lot of people, I’ve been mystified by Frost, too. Justifying 20 years away from her children was never going to be easy. Doing that and maintaining the characters integrity and believability, even more-so. Honestly, I started to fear that it couldn’t be done. Yet, there’s something about Mary… Like you, I see it when her eyes show disdain and disgust for Volkoff. I saw it when Frost noticed Chuck and Sarah holding hands in the Castle elevator.

I’m developing a theory. This is going to be speculation of the highest order, but I think Stephen and Mary were communicating and came up with a plan together. Mary knew to remind Ellie about that ’68 Mustang, and she knew about the PSP device and what it would do to Chuck. But using it wasn’t Stephen’s plan, or at least, he didn’t agree with it completely. Mary’s improvising. I think if we were to find an encrypted e-mail between them, it would look like this:

Decryption Key Accepted
Decryption Key Verified…………………………………………..……………
Decryption Complete
From: Stephen <Orion>
To: Mary Elizabeth <Frost>
Subject: Phase 2
This has to end soon, but not this way. Chuck and Ellie are safe for now. Volkoff knows nothing about them. Chuck is becoming more and more able to protect Ellie every day, but, you see, he has other things on his mind that are important to him too. He has – someone else – to think about besides Ellie. He’s not ready yet and if I don’t keep him away a while longer, he’ll rush in and fail and, and he’ll die and everyone will be in danger.

I’ll keep them safe. Maybe later Chuck can protect everyone. But not now, Mary. Not yet. Besides, there are still one or two things I need to fix before he can fully use the Intersect.

It makes me so angry to wait longer. Yes, yes we could destroy him and half of Moscow now – I can control nearly all Volkoff’s Predator missiles from Hong Kong if that would do any good. But, Mary, all those innocents! Please don’t make me pull that trigger, darling. I’m so angry because we – I could have stopped Volkoff long ago, and I should have, before any of this was necessary. But he got lucky. Dumb luck. And now, now that I could destroy him in 10 minutes with just one of those missiles he himself built – now that just means his organization will come after everybody. They’ll find Chuck first because he’ll go after them, I’m certain of that. Then they’ll find Ellie. I can’t let that happen.

No, you still control Volkoff, Mary, and that’s kept a lot of people safe for a long time. Please don’t let my failure endanger everyone now. He’s trying to control the world, but you can still control him. So long as he trusts you, we have have a chance.

I did solve one problem, darling. All those files in my workshop, they just weren’t safe. Almost all the information we need to take his empire apart is now stored properly. I could give it all to Chuck at any time, and even put it in the palm of his hand. But if I did that, it’s only a matter of time before he would try to access it directly, and I don’t want him to see it.

But that doesn’t matter. I don’t have that pesky brain-interface problem solved yet. The pathwayn should have the bandwidth, but somehow the brain just can’t utilize it. In fact, the Intersect would just shut down if I overloaded it like that – there’s something I still don’t understand about the synaptic connections.

It’s frustrating because I’m certain Ellie knows the answer. When it comes to neurology, she’s always been a genius, just like her brother with engineering. But I’m NOT going to get her involved. I’m going to do everything I can to keep her out of this – this spy world, and away from the Intersect. I promise. I’ll solve the problem soon.

Use the delta encryption key next, darling. And don’t lose heart. Together we’ll get you home soon.
Yours always,

I don’t know how Mary Elizabeth answered, Thinkling, but I’m guessing that she agreed to ride the tiger a bit longer. Then, when Stephen died she realized that she had to bring Chuck and Ellie both into the spy world, and Stephen himself had already started halfway down that road. He had this big blind spot, you see. He wanted Chuck and Ellie to stay far away from the spy world, but he always kept trying to solve problems. Sadly enough, each solution just brought his children tighter into it.

I’m guessing, of course. But I think TPTB have taken us in that direction.

So now when I think of where we are, it’s pretty clear that Leftovers is a bridge. We’re about to see the end of Nerd Gets the Girl and (now that Chuck is on the verge of making the proposal that Sarah’s already accepted), we’re about to start something else.

At first I thought it was odd that they did not go there directly, and even thought that TPTB might be marking time until 4.13. Few questions were answered. Instead, much to my surprise, we were shown that answers were coming and that’s really not such a small thing. If we wondered if something in Stephen’s legacy was going to help Team B, why, yes it will. He’s the unseen hand guiding them still. We don’t know what that something might be. If we wondered if Mary Elizabeth was good and about to save Ellie, Chuck & Sarah, or bad, and she’s going to be an impediment to them or betray Stephen, she is good, but has taken her on a dangerous path. We just don’t know how she’s going to pull off her mission yet. If you wondered if Chuck and Sarah have jumped the last of their relationship hurdles and can make it permanent, the four-foot, neon diamond ring tells me the answer.

There were so many little things in Leftovers that made me smile, Thinkling. Not only the movie and cultural references, but things like the way Mary reacted when she saw Chuck & Sarah holding hands. Then, there’s this.

Sarah: Hey – are you okay?
Chuck: How can I trust anything she says? Every time I do, I end up getting shot or almost blown up. I haven’t been stabbed, yet.
Sarah: Chuck, going undercover for so long and staying well is an extremely hard thing to do as a spy. I mean, I got lucky – I was assigned to you. Your mom got Volkoff.

And with that, Sarah explained to Chuck what knowing him has meant to her life. Not bad. Not bad at all.

This episode may very well end up as my least favorite of the season. But if it does it’s only an indication of how much I’ve enjoyed everything else that’s been going on and how strong the season has been.

Thinkling again

Joe, you’re such a romantic, but we already knew that. “Stephen’s e-mail” made me smile, as did the four-foot neon engagement ring. Sarah’s conversation with Chuck seems like such a small thing, but it reveals so much, like how fortunate she feels to have gotten Chuck (that has two meanings, as Jeff would say). It also hints at some very ugly spy realities (ones that Chuck doesn’t — can’t — see), and it betrays a burgeoning sympathy for Chuck’s mom.

That brings me to something I have watched with fascination in this arc … the Mary/Sarah relationship. I want to look at that and two other things that struck me during my rewatch of Leftovers: the totally out-of-control situation, and the fleeting glimpse of what might have been.

Mary/Sarah bonding. We knew it was bound to happen. We saw it on the horizon as early as those  Oh, Chuck’s you mentioned. (Sorry, but I can’t resist just a bit of backtracking.)

How about you, do you remember the day you met your future mother-in-law? Sarah and MamaB. Hasn’t their relationship has been FUN to watch from the first gun dance to the last. Sarah studies Frost with extreme distrust from the moment they meet. I can hear the song in my head, “Don’t think your story’s quite true … can’t take my gun off of you …” Sarah will never let anything happen to Chuck and doesn’t trust his long, lost mom to have the same priority. Mary, for her part, pays surprisingly little attention to Sarah, at first. In retrospect I think she thought Sarah was Charles Carmichael’s partner/cover-girlfriend (remember she knows everything about Carmichael and nothing about Chuck). In First Fight Chuck’s remarks about their fight let her know that Sarah might be both Carmichael’s partner and Chuck’s girlfriend. That’s when Mary begins to scrutinize Sarah with reciprocal interest. The bond between Ellie and Sarah further convinces her that Sarah is indeed Chuck’s girlfriend. That realization prompts her remark, “I know you think I don’t care for my family, but I do.” By the end of First Fight, Mary trusts Sarah with what is most precious to her, “Protect him.” Sarah has earned Mary’s trust by demonstrating her love for Chuck as well as her ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to protect him. The one woman for whom protecting Chuck was always her number-one priority has found her match … (oh, Chuck). After Mary gives Chuck & Sarah a way out of the explosion, Sarah sees a glimmer of hope that MamaB does indeed care for her family. However, she is still watching, still wary, and still guarding Chuck’s blind spot.

That brings us to Leftovers. As usual Frost planned her mission perfectly. She ordered a close-range, silent kill to insure that Sarah and Chuck would have a chance to fight back and that she could provide backup. During this visit, her demeanor is different … more mother than spy. Well, aside from shooting three people. Sarah is still trying to figure things out, though. Why would Volkoff pull off a full-on assault on a CIA facility for one agent? Other than the fact that he’s … what do you call it? … Crazy! When Mary says that Volkoff is in love with her, Chuck and Sarah are both horrified, but from different perspectives. What follows is the first real Bartowski family (Chuck/Sarah/Mary) conversation. Mary explains, “Alexei and I have never been together. It’s just that he … he’s in love with me, that’s all.” In that moment, Mary’s life flashes before Sarah’s eyes. Mary addresses Sarah by name for the first time when she asks her to explain her [Mary’s] situation to Chuck. The bond begins to form on Sarah’s end.

After failed negotiations, they get ready to deal with Alexei-the-psychopath Volkoff. From this point forward, non-verbal communication tells the real story. The elevator scene is fleeting, but significant. Nothing says intimacy like holding hands while, at the same time, holding machine guns. (There really is nothing typical about this couple.) MamaB notices. I can’t help wondering what’s going through her head … her own life with Stephen, perhaps; or wishing for a better life for her children, for Chuck & Sarah? With the knowledge that Volkoff has Casey comes the sinking realization that the madman is in control and one step ahead. From there things slide sideways and wildly out of control. Mary scrambles to find a way to regain control. She maintains her cover with Volkoff  as his loyal right hand, whose CIA son uses her maternal love against her. Mary’s face, however, tells the story of a mother trying to keep the WBP away from her family. Every time Mary seems to find her footing, the situation gets worse … and harder for her to explain. Sarah’s face conveys the sickening reality that the Bartowski family threat level is rapidly rising to red … redder than red.

The family dinner continues with the same duality of keeping up appearances in order to hide what’s really going on. Devon and Ellie’s faces portray the enjoyment of a happy reunion and a normal family dinner. They love having Mom back home, and they have totally fallen for Alexei’s charming side. Watching the facial expressions of Sarah, Chuck, and Mary shows the intensifying tension and danger. Of course, Daddy Psychopath is having a blast fitting in and playing charades with his new family. On the surface, all appears normal, a sad reminder of everything this family lost. For me, two moments capture the loss: the moment when Mary is returning from her daughter’s kitchen with her glass of water and catches a glimpse of Alexei’s fun side; and the moment when Ellie looks back at Chuck to share her delight with him. Two women, tasting for a fleeting moment the happiness that might have been.

The after-dinner good-bye’s were haunting because of the tension coiled beneath a facade of normalcy. After bidding Devon and Ellie a fond family farewell, Alexei turns from charming to chilling. He demonstrates his tough love approach to fatherhood as he cocks his pistol to kill his potential daughter-in-law. In this hopeless moment, MamaB finally regains control of the situation and her life. While not the Giant Blond She-Male, her quick thinking and courage were breathtaking, in this conclusive demonstration of her loyalty to family. Watch the faces again, because that’s where the story is. Mary stood up to the WBP and risked everything to save Sarah. The bond is sealed, and Sarah feels not only gratitude, but profound sadness and a kinship and compassion for Chuck’s mom.

The episode isn’t action packed and exciting, like Phase 3. Leftovers is totally different from any other episode I remember. It oozes tension but keeps its humor. I love the progress of all aspects of the Chuck/Sarah/Mary triangle. TD and LH were superb, as always. Alexei Volkoff had me laughing one minute and quaking in my boots the next. I felt MamaB’s fear and lived the coiling tension right along with Chuck & Sarah. Now what? The Intersect 3.0 is online, and TeamB 3.0 is about to do perilous battle. Leftovers brought Chuck & Sarah and TeamB to a new level of readiness and whetted my appetite for the rest of the MamaB/Volkoff story. Bring! It! On!

Joe and Thinkling


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.
This entry was posted in Analysis, No Spoilers, Reactions, Season 4, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

117 Responses to Leftovers: Thinkling and Joe Talk Turkey

  1. thinkling says:

    OK, everybody, Joe says to put your wild speculations in this post … especially since he already did.

    What do you think/hope is coming? What would thrill you? What would shock you?

    What’s Baby Awesome’s real name going to be (and will we be able to call her anything other than Baby Awesome)?

    Will Ellie find out about Chuck spying … again?

    Can’t wait to hear all your thoughts…

  2. joe says:

    And what better way to start speculating than with this vid?

    • thinkling says:

      The promo videos have been fantastic. That can only mean one thing …

      • joe says:

        What’s that, Thinkling? That C&S are getting engaged?

        I’ll be seeing *that* in the grey space between each frame! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Well, actually, Joe, I was thinking that the episodes themselves will be fantastic, too

        I’m still afraid to say the “E” word out loud. But It is screaming in the gray space between my ears.

      • joe says:

        Think, the left side of my brain says that I’ve recorded an 83.7% correlation between the fantasticness of a given promo and the awesomeness of the episode (give or take a 6.2% margin of error).

        The right side of my brain says (and I quote) “SQUEEEE!”

      • thinkling says:

        It’s my policy to never let my right brain know what my left brain is thinking.

        Or is it the other way around? I’ll never know because my brains aren’t speaking to each other.

      • atcDave says:

        Well, if the network is pushing it now I’d say has to be imminent. You know I’ve been saying 4.11 for a while now (like at least since it wasn’t 4.10!); I’d say it HAS to be by 4.13 at the latest.

    • amyabn says:

      SQUEEE from afar!

  3. joe says:

    Spoiler TV is reporting (on Twitter) the title of Episode 4.17.

    Chuck vs. The First Bank of Evil.

  4. jason says:

    I loved the fictional email, wish it were part of the show, I usually don’t like fanfic or even when we bloggers make stuff up, I am more a screenology analytical type, but loved the email, yep.

    Also, did not know that the sarah line ‘I got lucky, I got you’ was from this ep, if I were chuck, that would have made me feel good, twice, both for what it meant about my mom, as well as hearing sarah say it, she really does not say why (she loves chuck) very often.

    Finally, a comment, this is my second fav ep of the season, 4×8 has no hope ever, but this one, just maybe at the end of the season, it could be recognized for some genius buried inside & move up the rankings, time will tell

    Funny, with dalton and hamilton getting so much screen time and doing well, it is interesting that by and large most found the ep kind of meh.

    • jason says:

      that should read 2nd least fav ep of the season, but for ahead of Roger Rabbit Rycard’s stupidity exercise in 4×8

    • joe says:

      Thanks, Jason. Sometimes I get the urge to try my hand at fan fiction, but then I snap out of it. I’m glad you enjoyed.

      The thing about Sarah’s line “I got lucky; I got you.” that I love, is the way it tells Chuck what he’s done for Sarah. I’m not sure he knew before.

  5. Robert H says:

    I have been out of it for a while. Which promos do I
    need to watch and where prior to the Monday return
    on the 17th? Thanks.

    • joe says:

      Robert, there seems to be a few (3, maybe?) slightly different variations of one 30 sec. promo floating around. I think the the one to which I linked in the S4 spoiler page (the second one for 4.11) is the longest, and the only one I’ve seen showing Chuck cheating on Sarah. (You’ll not the other has a bit for 4.12 in it too).

      Uh, what??? Was that a MAJOR SPOILER??? 😉 Sorry couldn’t resist.

      Also, the 50 sec. promo embedded above (“The real adventure”) is a good one to see.

  6. atcDave says:

    I feel bad this post is getting relatively ignored with all the spoiler excitement these last couple days. Really a good write up on a difficult episode. I think Leftovers mainly suffers because it is so weak compared to Phase 3, which is easily one of the best episodes ever. But there really was a lot to like about it. Timothy Dalton is one of the best TV villains I’ve ever seen; both menacing and psychotic. Thinkling mention the “children love me” line, wow! Funny and terrifying at the same time. Which is kind of Volkoff in a nutshell (emphasis on the “nut”). I think I was in a minority for actually liking Dalton as Bond, back in the day, I really felt it was a wonderful improvement to have a real actor playing Bond after so many years of a rather stiff Roger Moore. But I never realized what a complete actor he was! We’ve already seen him with two radically different persona on Chuck, I still like Tuttle. But as sweet, inept, and charming as Tuttle was, Volkoff is dominant, off-kilter, and frightening.
    Linda Hamilton is an awesome partner for him now, playing a strong but conflicted character. I hate to rank-order these things; S2 gave us so many wonderful characters too, so all I can really say is I’m very happy with the show just now.

    • thinkling says:

      I’m wondering if TD is going to survive past 13. I hope so, but I also want MamaB brought in from the cold.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, I agree with both parts of that. Maybe we could have Volkoff stick around for a little after his beloved Frost has betrayed him?!!

      • Gringo Chuck Fan says:

        Interesting bits from the HitFix podcast interview with Schwarts and Fedak:
        they called the Chuck Season 4 poster an “Easter Egg”….
        Chuck’s profile on a green background – showing an unplugged computer in his brain… Chuck Unplugged…
        Really?!!?? – were we ever really worried about Chuck losing the Intersect?
        I think I missed something…

      • thinkling says:

        Maybe the poster is more like Ellie’s fixes made the Intersect even more a part of his own neurological functions.

      • atcDave says:

        The only S4 poster I get when I google it is the one with Chuck and Sarah together at a computer terminal with a variety of show clips displayed above (doesn’t sound like what you’re describing Gringo). Is this right? The only “Easter egg” I would get from that is that it’s all about Chuck and Sarah.

      • herder says:

        Dave http://www.chucktv.net has the poster on their article about JS and CF’s interview, it shows a computer in Chuck’s head with the plug disconnected.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks Herder! Wow what a boring poster. Okay, I see the unplugged part; we’ve already had an Intersectless arc, so I don’t know. I wonder if I’ll get it when it’s obvious?!

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    Well I was trying to stay a little unspoiled, but then this episode got me thinking. A lot of people were less than pleased with Leftovers, but to me it’s like FOD, it had a job to do in the larger story and the development of the characters, and sometimes, unfortunately, the individual episode suffers. But the big thing about this episode is consider how much more we know after compared to before.

    We now understand Mary and Volkoff’s very weird relationship, sort of. We now have an enemy who has made things very personal, like Shaw, but, you know, well done. We know there is a story when it comes to Mary and Stephen and the intersect that we’ve just scratched the tip of, and that Chuck and Sarah, and even Ellie are going to learn a lot of Stephen’s secrets as they work to bring Mary back.

    So I gave in and read the spoiler page and listened to the podcast. And wow, they really sound like they have thought a lot of these things through. We may not have liked “Sarah is the emotional rock”, but there may be something to it, and it sounds like they have a plan. We wanted to get more out of the mythology and the Orion story, and it sounds like they have a lot more to come. Overall I’m pretty excited for what is to come. But since there is a ton of engagement talk above I thought I’d address something Joe brought up, engagements and head fakes. I think we’re in for one. I’m going to start sawing the limb I’m on and based solely on Schwedak’s statement that they think we’ll be surprised at how fast they move things along in the final three act arc, I’ll say it. Chuck and Sarah are married by the end of this next episode. That is my out of the blue spec on TPTB pulling a head fake by building up to an engagement, then going straight to a wedding to make some headlines and bring in viewers for the February sweeps.

    • joe says:

      Ernie, let me help you. Please hold this while I start my chainsaw… 😉

      Heh – I just love the spec., and the sentiment. I have to admit, I’ve been wondering if TPTB would dare to do that – have C&S elope so soon, Like, in about 56 hours from now, as I type. I mean, there have been so many times when, but for the strength of the amazing speculations I’ve seen over the years, those kinds of things have come out of the blue from the creators.

      Sarah grabbing Chuck and planting a major kiss-before-death on him, Chuck being blown up in the herder, Casey being ordered to kill, and later to embunker Chuck, Sarah admitting 4 times in the space of 5 seconds that she’s loved Chuck all the while (after years of saying nothing) – those all surprised me with their suddenness or timing.

      Now to have them married when we haven’t even seen the proposal yet… it strikes me as being in that same vein. It’s possible and in character.

      But two things give me pause. First, despite the storage closets, there’s something about their relationship that make C&S very traditional in their outlook. Gee – Chuck likes a Romance-era proposal scenario involving white horses, sandy beaches and I imagine, unicorns. The sports cars are a nice touch, of course. And every time C&S stray from that straight and narrow path of tradition, like, when they try to run away to Mexico or Gstadt or use up that Europass, they get deflected.

      Second, I think TPTB like the idea of Sarah in a white wedding dress (a la Ali’s blow-up of the photo from Suburbs) and want to take us there. Church wedding and all.

      Maybe they think they can do both – the “run away with me” elopement C&S never seem to pull off AND the white wedding later on. But I see a tease attempt at elopement in C&Ss immediate future and see the attempt thwarted.

      • atcDave says:

        Joe you kind of hint at the main reason I doubt for the quickie marriage. I think I often see the show as more of product than many others here (I really don’t mean that in a bad way, I love my iPad, Fusion, and the Chicago Bears; which are all products), and I wonder if the network could be convinced to skip the promotion opportunities of prime time wedding. 4.13 is the fastest I could see in that regard; if we see a proposal in 4.11, they might start showing Sarah in the white dress right away and we would have 2 weeks of previews leading up to it.

        On the other side of the coin. NBC has put together the spot you linked above that could be called a wedding promotion. And the network hasn’t pushed Chuck that hard this season anyway, they may have decided its just not that big a deal. And as I’ve argued all season, simply mentioning Chuck and Sarah are now married may bring back a few of the viewers who were lost last season. So I certainly wouldn’t rule anything out entirely.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Dave, I don’t think it’s the network so much as the TPTB. If that makes sense. They’ve really failed in my opinion to sell anything romantic with regards to Chuck and Sarah. The public is crying for something from the two and yet they give us crumbs.

        I’ll give you a comparison. In Phase 3 we essentially have what amounts to a proposal flag being waved, do we get press about it? No. Meanwhile Kristin did a month long PR stint of proposals coming up for shows back in early November. Was Chuck included? No.

        Now we have what could possibly be a wedding? Anything? No. They should be doing what Smallville is doing…which BTW is contributing tremendously to their spike in 18-49 ratings, something they’re not known for.

        I’m just so frustrated at how they sell the show sometimes. Women would eat this up and they don’t even bother.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Faith that it’s an obvious chance to gain women viewers. I tend to assume that the network would care about these things, even if Schwedak and co. do not. Isn’t NBC who produced the promo at the top of the comments? Perhaps that’s all the engagement/wedding press we’re going to get. But it does seem strange, normally the entertainment media is all over this sort of thing (like Kristen). I have to believe NBC would love to run a 15 second spot showing Sarah/Yvonne all decked out in the white dress; I’m not sure how much control they have though if Schwedak don’t want to show it that way.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I’m fairly certain the promo that Joe linked to is fan made. It’s pretty good but the production value itself (like credits) is not up to professional standards and it’s lacking the network signature. Last year when TPTB released their own March 3 promo (one that is not network made, or originally endorsed since it was youtube’d only to later be put on NBC.com), it still had the signature of Chuck and NBC. And it was linked to by Josh Schwartz himself…this one isn’t.

        As for the network control…I do believe they have a lot of pull but they can only go off from what the show runners themselves pitch to them.

      • atcDave says:

        I thought it had NBC logos prominently displayed; but I guess that only proves it was sourced from NBC at some point.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Right, sorry I should have been more precise. The clips themselves people got from either torrents or recordings of the episodes, they just spliced them together to create the promo. But if it was made from NBC itself, the logo would either be prominently displayed all throughout (including during text) or not at all. In NBC.com when you watch the episodes, the episodes have no logo…which I always find to be odd.

        Also they have what they consider signature text. The Chuck text is called dymo. Whenever they do some sort of promotion/clip they always include some sort of that font. Here’s an example (this clip was shown live and online in 2008). Here’s the march one. Font and clips arrangement are a bit different, more professional?

        Ok, so this probably isn’t as precise as you wanted lol, but I thought it’d be informative at least.

      • Gringo Chuck Fan says:

        Regarding the specs on a Chuck and Sarah engagement… in a recent interview with Zac:
        someone asked him that very question….
        [can’t recall the source] and without giving too much away – he basically said that it would happen before the end of episode 13. Combine that with the Schwedak outburst about the last 10 min. of 4.13 being the best 10 minutes of the show ever…
        Well??? Options???
        Jeff gets his back shaved?
        Lester tracks down a Greta?
        Ellie has her Baby?
        Big Mike gets married…
        Morgan and Alex get engaged…
        MEB finally shakes free of Volkoff?
        Chuck and Sarah show up already married!

      • joe says:

        Well, if Jeff is getting his back shaved, then I don’t see how it can possibly get any better. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        C’mon guys, this still has to air on network TV!

        Finding out Chuck and Sarah were married at some previous point would be humorous, but I bet they won’t deny us the moment. I love the wedding in 4.13 idea, I’m not sure how likely it actually is. I guess I’d say I’m too close to the situation to be objective!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m pretty sure they’ve confirmed that baby awesome arrives in 4.13 so I’m banking on TPTB doing to childbirth what they did to a traditional wedding in Ring I. Baby awesome’s birth will undoubtedly involve international terrorism, full tactical response, Chuck and Sarah tag team fighting, thousands of rounds of ammo, Casey, Morgan (perhaps even with bullets this time) and Jeffster. Or maybe not, but I’m inclined toward the scenario above.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        Sorry, I don’t mean to be the glorified fact checker of the weekend but ZL didn’t say 413, he said sometime before the summer:

        TVGuide: Levi tells us he would start placing bets on an engagement taking place between accidental superspy Chuck and agent/girlfriend Sarah Walker sooner rather than later. “I’ll say this. That stuff has been boiling on the show since before we went down for Christmas, and we were originally only picked up for 13 episodes. So I would place bets that it would happen before summertime,” says Levi, who would be excited to see the couple evolve. “I love character progression. You want to keep changing.”

      • jason says:

        I think Zach is like the least shipper on the entire show, to me, he was teasing, much like schwartz and fedak were with those 10 minutes, both messages imply to me later rather than sooner, i.e. trending toward 4×24, now if that means 4×16 or 19 or 22, so be it, but not 4×11 or 4×13. Since we have heard more than once that CS will always have problems to overcome, in some ways the longer the foolish proposal plot drags out, the longer b4 they introduce some other plot device, in some ways, at least the proposal thing is ‘nice’. albeit potentially one of the stupidest plots on tv

      • atcDave says:

        I think Fedak’s comments actually make the engagement by 4.13 seem likely. An actual wedding is more of a long shot, but I’m hopeful for that too.
        Yeah Ernie, I think it was Ryan McPartlin said flat out; baby Awesome in 4.13. He wasn’t at all ambiguous. So a baby, Volkoff take down, mamaB reunion, maybe a big C/S moment; mixed with bullets and bombs, I’m expecting great things!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I know I’m probably wrong, but this scenario strikes me as just the sort of thing TPTB likes to do. They are always trying to top themselves and go just a bit bigger. So if there is an impending Orion/Frost-ish separation looming what better way to both lessen the impact with fans of separating Chuck and Sarah again, and of simultaneously drawing the parallel tighter and heightening the drama? Or I just like to stir things up. 😉

      • joe says:

        Oh, wait! You mean, you think they might put Sarah in a situation where she’s about to be separated long-term on a mission (perhaps Frost/Volkoff related) and C&S elope before she goes off???

        Now *that’s* a spec. I hadn’t considered that possibility at all!

        If that’s 4.11, I guestimate TPTB have 1 week before the torches and pitchforks are brought out from the barns.

      • armySFC says:

        i think you are right on the money with c/s being separated in an orion/mama b type deal. the synopsis point to that. 4.12 sarah goes with mama b in some form. then comes back based on the promos to enlist the teams help. 4.13 sarah is going after mama b to rescue her while chuck goes after volkoff.

        for the fandom in general c/s getting married would be the highlight of all highlights. so if the last 10 minutes of 4.13 are the best the show ever did (per the interview) if they did do a quickly wedding i would bet it would in the last 10 minutes in 4.13. for most shipper type fans could anything be better? and for the casual fan it would be a very satisfying ending.

        from all the promos, synopsis and interview there is a lot of danger and possible final separation for c/s. after they take volkoff down, rescue mama b (up in the air on these but i do see the vilkoff arc coming to a close) and see ellies baby they decide life in their line of work can be really short and decide to take the plunge.

        i may not be right but it sounds good on paper, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        I think that all sounds plausible army. They also suggested a new ballgame for the back 11; a newly married spy couple would certainly be new.

      • JC says:

        Can Generals marry people? Because in my mind I’m envisioning a scene similar to one in Pirates of the Caribbean where Bloom and Knightly get married during the climax action scene. Maybe they’d do it before or after the final act to take down Volkoff.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        The “I dos” while kicking Volkoff’s ass. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Not unless the General is a Chaplain!

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        That would be something Casey would have in his bag of tricks.

        Or maybe Morgan.

      • Faith says:

        Muhaha 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Wow Ernie, and I thought Faith was being bold! I’ll stick with engagement in 4.11, maybe (maybe?!!) wedding in 4.13.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well remember I was the guy who said they’d really be on a honeymoon in Honeymooners too, so I just trot this out every so often and figure I’ll be right one of these times. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I was wondering if I should bring that up or not…

      • sd says:

        Given S3, I can’t imagine TPTB separating C/S over multiple eps…but what if she knows she’s going on this long-term mission and they elope before she leaves.

        So, after one ep of separation, angst and danger…they do a “jump ahead”…something like “six months later”…sort of what we were led to believe at the start of season 4?

      • atcDave says:

        I agree about that SD. I think they learned from S3 that pretty much everyone wants Chuck and Sarah on screen together. They’ve already strayed from that a little, but I doubt they would plan anything more than a single episode at a time of separation.

      • joe says:

        SD, I don’t think that C&S will be separated at all. I was just thinking that the story might have C&S face strong possibility of Sarah going on a years long mission with no possibility of seeing Chuck, but that it never occurs.

        C&S facing up to that fear seems quite possible for 4.11!

      • JC says:

        I see 4.11 ending with Sarah leaving, either she’s contacted by Mary directly or intercepts a message meant for Chuck. That scene from the promo with Sarah saying she’ll bring his mother hints towards this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah puts Castle into lockdown mode to stop Chuck from following her or she steals the nanochip to solidify her cover. And I can see that conversation happening with the glass in between them.

        Like others have said I wouldn’t be suprised if 4.12 happens a few weeks or months later. Sarah is undercover as Mary’s enforcer but she needs help on a mission. So she breaks into Castle and we get Chuck in prison. Here’s where I differ from other people, she has to leave again at the end of this episode.

      • jason says:

        jc – i agree with all but one thing, I think sarah will leave in 4×12, but time may pass in 4×12 just as you said until she returns, I think 4×11 will end on par with 3×14.

        I am not sure how the story will get told in any rational manner (I know why), but for some reason, CS are not getting engaged until later this season. Since CS will always be THE show, and the WT/WT between them will always be THE B plot, using the engagement faux as the plot device is far superior to a LI, so what the heck, if TPTB want to insult everyone and try to convince us that chuck actually wouldn’t be able to figure out a way to propose for another 4 or 6 or 12 episodes, whatever ….. they got away with insulting loyal fans last season with shaw, nothing will stop them from doing it again this season – seems like the episodes are going to be great, so really, who cares, the B plot is sort of like pick your plot device to create angst between CS and beat it to death for 1 or 2 or 3 seasons.

      • Big Kev says:

        Jason – I’m not feeling insulted by anyone. We know Chuck and Sarah are going to get engaged, so I’m happy to let the writers do it whenever they want to do it. For now, I’m much more interested in the MamaB/Volkoff characters and story.
        In some ways it makes sense for them to stretch the engagement into the back half. That way they can write it so it stands on its own, rather than being packed in with the resolution of the main arc in the front 13. They can promote it better that way and maybe finish with a wedding in 4.24. I’m not saying they will do that – but it would make sense to me if they did. Either way I’m just going to enjoy the story rather than worrying too much about the exact timing of simething that everyone knows is coming.
        As for angst, there’s been next to none of it this season. I don’t think that’s going to change in the back half, even if they do drag the proposal out.

      • jason says:

        Kev – most of what you wrote I agree with, esp the giving the engagement its own stage, the timing of the engagement / wedding will be key. I do think they are waiting, if they are renewed, they will engage around 22 or maybe even 24 and plan the wedding for S5, if not, they might go sooner, and try for a wedding in 24.

        I use insulting which you took issue with. Here is why. I did not write an ep titled honeymooners where they put rings on, call the 3x19th ep ring 2, call 4×1 anniversary, have chuck with a ring in his hand in 4×4 on one knee, have sarah say yes in chuck’s sleep, have sarah tell chuck she would marry him in 4×9, write 4×11, which by all accounts is going to be shipper heaven, they did. So if now they postpone the engagement for another 3 months, AFTER WHAT THEY DID IN SEASON 3, yep, that would insult me, kind of like a long intense foreplay session where your partner simply walks away and laughs at you.

        I would have been perfectly happy for chuck and sarah to be spy partners like the honeymooners and role model eps for all of this season with no mention of engagement, but that is not how this show goes, this show runs hotter and colder with chuck and sarah, the hot is what we all love, the cold is sometimes done in a thoughtless and somewhat reckless manner.

        They tease, conjole, bait, fans with the central relationship plot in a angsty manner, this time not with PLI or LI, but with the proposal, it is what they do …. a little is ok, alot is, well, insulting, especially given how dominant the theme has been in the show for 16 episodes now.

        Again, the key will be the timing, a little foreplay is wonderful, exciting, and adds to the experience, at some point, it is not.

      • JC says:

        @Big Kev

        I think most of the hesitation you’re seeing is about the execution of these upcoming episodes not the actual story itself.

        You’re right about the angst which has been basically non existent. But it seems to me its more about how they handle the dramatic elements. So far this season those episodes have been fine but the resolutions have been somewhat open ended IMO. And now we’re getting an arc where Sarah follows Mary’s path which could be dangerous territory if it’s not handled perfectly.

      • jason says:

        ok – going to enter into a little fanfic, first, check out zach asking his tangled co-star to appear on chuck and her accepting

        is it just me, or does the very taken and off the market mandy moore look at zach exactly like yvonne does, I think that is the ‘is this goofy guy for real’ look, rather than I want to jump this guys bones look

        fanfic – mandy moore shows up as sarah’s long lost sister. She was given up for adoption, and raised very strictly by a minister and his family – in every way, shape and form, she is chuck pre pilot episode, (smart, cute, nerdish, quiet, unfulfilled, but a hero inside) Meeting chuck and sarah moves her toward her own desitiny, while the climax of the episode / arc is the chuck / sarah wedding – can you imagine a more devious way to get a couple of million tangled fans to at least consider watching an episode or two of chuck?

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve enjoyed this season a lot and I’m okay with the pacing of the non-engagement so far. But they have tweaked us for quite some time now, and we really need to move on. But I’m also not worried about that, I’m confident the next step is coming soon.

      • Big Kev says:

        I didn’t have a problem with them stretching the engagement arc to 4.13 – I think that’s just an inevitable constraint of having to write a “season finale” for serialized TV. I’m happy to accept the artificiality implicit in that as long as they tell a good story – and I think Chuck does “end of season” arcs and episodes as well as any show – Subway/Ring II and Colonel are 2 of my 3 favorite episodes (first date is the other) and Other Guy wasn’t too shabby either.
        I do agree that if they stretch the proposal to 3.24 as another end of season plot point, that would be stretching things in the context of where things are now. I don’t actually think they will do that for that very reason. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them deal with the engagement fairly early in the back 11, if they hold it over at all. I’ve got no basis for that other than thinking that they’ve handled the pacing of the relationship pretty well this season, and that’s my personal sense of where I think it would fit.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that Kev. I’d be happy with Faith and Ernie’s specs of a wedding coming much sooner, but my expectations are closer to yours.

      • thinkling says:

        From some of the interview sound bites, it sounds like they might not try to extend current story lines, with Zach saying they couldn’t massage the extension in very well and that some big story lines would come to fruition, etc; and Fedak saying that things would happen quickly and excitedly and finally (referring to 11 that doesn’t have LH/TD). As much as they’ve telegraphed an engagement, including being so bold as to mention proposal in their teaser for tonight, if they wait too long, the bait and switch will turn off new viewers that may have tuned in specifically for that.

        Honestly, with 11 more episodes, I think they might be better off tying things up much the way they had planned and start into some fresh bad guys and stories, with Chuck & Sarah engaged or married, instead of doing an endless proposal dance.

        My other thought in favor of an actual wedding is that, in some ways the proposal has been covered. Sarah has said yes twice, so a head fake toward a proposal and a pivot to a wedding would almost make sense.

        I had been using the promo that Joe embedded up at the top of the thread in my reasoning, but it looks like it wasn’t an NBC promo, but a fan promo? I’m confused. If that was an NBC promo it all but says engagement/wedding. If it’s a fan promo, it might just be wishful thinking. Does anyone know?

        Did you see this on NBC’s website today:
        new, tonight 8/7c
        Chuck returns! Chuck finds himself on a secret mission in France planning a secret proposal for Sarah.

      • Faith says:

        It’s a fan promo.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I saw that Thinkling, I’m thinking engagement tonight is a good possibility. I am hopeful you are right about the wedding coming very quickly, and ZLs comments are among the reasons why I think its a reasonable possibility. I do think something drawn out to the back eleven is more likely, but we might (might!) see a quick wedding in 4.13.

        I had also thought the promo at the top was official and very exciting; but Faith has cruelly crushed our hopes with a dose of reality, darn her!

    • thinkling says:

      I’m of two minds. A wedding/elopement would be an extreme jaw-dropper, heart-pounder. But I would think they would want to surprise us with an engagement and promote the wedding to lure people back.

      On the other hand, they’ve essentially been promoting the engagement since Suitcase. Skipping right to the wedding would be the head-fake of TV history.

      Joe, they could elope and have a family celebration later. There’s one other aspect to those failed attempts you mentioned. They all involved leaving the spy life.

      I don’t know if I see Chuck & Sarah going through all the stuff that Ellie and Devon went through. So, maybe a short engagement, or an unannounced small, romantic wedding with just the extended Bartowski family.

      Ernie’s spec would certainly fit the words quickly, excitingly, and finally, but I’m inclined to think that they’ll do an engagement arc, building to an e*** wedding.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I don’t think there will be a long separation when it comes down to it, maybe most of an episode or two with a visit in a leather catsuit thrown in to keep the homefires burning. All the synopses and spoilers point to them fearing Sarah going solo ala Frost, so some sort of temporary mission related absence is coming. They’ll probably want Sarah back with the family for the baby’s birth, and I am pretty sure they have confirmed the birth of baby awesome in 4.13 so drastic time changes are pretty unlikely. But then Ellie is now somewhere around 14 months pregnant according to the show’s increasingly confusing timeline, so I suppose anything is possible.

      • sd says:

        longest pregnancy ever!

      • thinkling says:

        Ernie, where do you come up with 14 months? Just curious. The timeline is like Nessie. You get a glimpse of a hump every now and then and have no idea how much is under water.

        I came up with 7 months by the end of Jan. I kind of thought the “separation” would appear to be another month or so to let baby Awesome get ready.

        The only firm date we have is Leftovers.
        + 10 weeks until Push Mix
        Day after Thanksgiving Nov 26
        – 6 weeks for Phase 3 + FOD
        = Mid October
        – 1 week (+/-) for FF + AOT + CL
        – 1 week for CD + CZ + end of Suitcase
        – Suitcase begins end of September (13 weeks pregnant)
        – Anniversary ends on the 20th

        That’s 31 weeks. She still has 6 to 9 more weeks to go.

        With that time line, I’m throwing out the 6/9 month anniversary, because that doesn’t jive with any other dates we know. I figure it was more like 3/6. Assuming that by the time they got back, they had been together almost 6 months. When they started off on their respective globe trotting, they had been together only 3 months. The only way I can make it fit is for Anniversary to have started almost immediately after Ring 2, giving a 3/6 month anniversary.

        If you let the 6/9 months stand then Suitcase was in February, and you would be correct in the 14 months. But then all these back to back episodes don’t work, unless TeamB took 8 months off between Coup and Couch.

        I know if I were Ellie, whose calculations I would choose!! 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well I go back to Honeymooners where they left Paris on April 15th. Figure a nine month anniversary in anniversary and that gets you to late January for Suitcase and fits with Milan Fashion week. But then we find Ellie is past her entire first trimester (13 weeks pregnant, we won’t mention two doctors and THAT stupid stick). Then in Aisle of Terror it’s halloween, then after First Fight Chuck spends a month trying to get the intersect back, but it’s not yet Thanksgiving, so we’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say Aisle was pre-halloween, which still puts us at Black Friday for Leftovers. Some 14ish months into Ellie’s pregnancy.

        I suppose the 6 month anniversary could be approaching at the start, and that might work, but then what is the nine month anniversary? Since she beat him with a stick? Schwartz said on twitter that the 6/9 month anniversary was their 6 month anniversary that had been delayed 3 months with missions. Then again I don’t think he’s in the writers room that much anymore, so that might just be his take. Then again, maybe we think too much.

        So I think the key is we’re not supposed to do that.

      • armySFC says:

        heres another log to throw on the on the fire. why does everyone believe she told chuck the minute she found out? there are some couples that wait till after the first trimester to tell people because the chances of loosing the baby go down. just a thought.

      • thinkling says:

        Army, in Suitcase, she specifically says that she’s 13 weeks.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        To quote Devon, “We’ve lost 13 weeks”. Then he goes on, like he is just suddenly starting to plan… That seems to imply neither he nor Ellie were planning, or necessarily in the know.

      • thinkling says:

        Maybe we should think a little less and they a little more 😉

        If you accept the 6/9, nothing else fits. If you pretend they goofed and shave 3 months off of that, it’s a tight fit, but these episodes have been very close together … like one day after the other.

        Milan has more than one fashion week. One of them was the end of September 2010. So that would fit.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well then I think it hinges on whether they were showing spring or winter fashions in Milan…

        I am so out of this conversation.

      • patty says:

        guys, last time I was pregnant I had 2 months worth of signs of non-pregnancy! It was quite a shock! I was actually at 10 weeks when we found out. Also the way they count the weeks you are actually not pregnant the first 2 weeks of your pregnancy.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      How far into the bottle are you now Ernie with the Duck news? 😉 LOL.

    • herder says:

      I think Ernie may have something here, maybe not an elopement but quite possibly an engagement before a long mission to cement their commitment. Give the long mission, starting either at the end of Balcony or the start of the Gobbler with Sarah showing up during Gobbler in the cat suit to bring in the rest of the team.

      One thing I am a bit suprised about, considering the topic is Leftovers is that no one has mentioned (at least I haven’t see the comment) that NBC is replaying the episode tonight at 8 PM. for some reason I don’t recall rewatching this one yet and tonight is a good opportunity to see if I agree with Joe and Thinkling’s posts.

      I will say that one thing that suprised me about this episode is when Volkov pulled the gun on Sarah Chuck did not step between them, it seemed out of character for him not to act in that situation. The little things seem to be very important for these two, similarly in FOD I was suprised that when Sarah made her entrance into the Buy More and was talking to Chuck she didn’t hold his hand. Physical contact denotes emotional closeness as was shown so well with them holding hands in the elevator in Leftovers.

      • atcDave says:

        Detroit NBC is not running Chuck tonight.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        You guys are missing the greatest hook of all. The forbidden love, the steamy torrid affair! After Chuck settles for Sarah (poor deluded fool thought the guy at the fridge meant something to Dianne) and now Roan returns, and TPTB are exploring that as we know from the podcast, I think we will finally see Dianne and Chuck fight for each other. Come on, Chuck running slow motion towards Dianne? Could it be any more clear where this is headed?

      • herder says:

        I get the Boston feed, it is on the schedule, I checked before putting it up.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        The broom closet?

      • joe says:

        Herder, one part of me is scared at the thought. But a larger part would love to know, after you’ve watched, if Thinkling and I gave you anything that added to your enjoyment.

        About the hand-holding (and other physical signs of closeness), I have a suspicion that because of the funny way time is compressed in the performing arts (especially live theater, but in television too), they have to handle those kinds of things differently than real-life dictates. A little PDA goes a long way.

        The fans *do* like to see them happy together, don’t we.

      • herder says:

        Joe, this is the Chuck who literally jumped off a building (albeit tied to a banner) to come between Sarah and a gun pointed at her, yet he wouldn’t step in front of Volkov. He didn’t act at all, perhaps Mary acted before he could but it was still suprising.

      • joe says:

        Good point. Of course, we *would* like a little consistency in our characters 😉

        The only (very mild) defence for Chuck is the difference between his reflex and his thought-out actions (like tying a banner to himself and jumping after Roan urges him on twice). I’m sympathetic, ’cause my reflex isn’t as cool as, say, Casey’s either. Working on it!

      • thinkling says:

        I’ve thought a lot about the gun, Herder. You know, Sarah didn’t get between Chuck and Volkoff’s gun either. In that situation, there’s no way they could take the hit. They couldn’t move fast enough to save the other’s life. Since Volkoff is clearly not rational, but a total madman, any sudden move could provoke the shot. It’s a total lose/lose situation. Sarah was as close to Chuck as possible, to be with him, but she couldn’t protect him. Chuck pleaded, for all the good it would do, but that’s about all he could do.

        The difference is in the person holding the gun. Sasha Banichek wanted the cipher. She wasn’t going to kill just for perverse pleasure. If she killed her hostage prematurely, she wouldn’t get what she wanted.

        It was more like the beam in Couch Lock. If Chuck moved, they were both dead. If Sarah moved, she was dead and maybe Chuck. MamaB was the only one who had a chance of diffusing the situation.

        At least that’s the way I look at it, because I noticed the same thing.

      • herder says:

        Having rewatched it now, a couple of things stand out, first Volkov has at least three personalities. Second I think that Chuck not standing in front of Sarah was a writer’s choice to leave the heroics to Mary, if he had then her actions would have been to save Chuck, not Sarah, saving Sarah is her redemption in Chuck’s eyes.

        The whole having someone falling in love with the person getting close to them was interesting, it was phrased in the sense of Sarah talking about Mama B, but could apply to Chuck and Sarah too, no one had a problem with Chuck falling for Sarah, the 39B was because Sarah was too close to Chuck. Sarah seemed to be uncomfortable with the topic, maybe because it was too close to home.

        In any event Sarah seems to have a better feel for Mama B and what she has gone through than Chuck does, a point to consider going forward. That together with the fact that Mama B drew the gun to prevent Volkov from shooting Sarah seems to be the start of a kinship between Sarah and Mary.

        Oh, and nothing in your review about Morgan and the Die Hard homage? As an aside, I seem to recall something about a recurring character of Volkov’s minions, is it the woman at the door who spared Morgan’s and Casey’s lives.

        Self defense bit didn’t do too much for me, the proposal fake out was just another like the deus ex machina ring in Cubic Z, letting us know what is coming but keeping the how from us.

      • atcDave says:

        I can’t think of the actress’ name(the blond you mention Herder); but as of last week she would seem to be done with Castle, we may see her again!

      • herder says:

        One other thing, talking about the last Thanksgiving they had together Mary said it was 1990, four years before the bit at the start of Anniversary. Maybe we will get an explanation of the seemingly incomprehenisible time line, then again maybe not.

      • atcDave says:

        Or maybe they could just redo the sub-titles for the disc release!

  8. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Thoughts on the writeup:

    I second Dave first of all…all due apologies for you guys having the brunt of what is an unusually busy spoiler week. I don’t remember TCA’s being this intense. Anyways, back to topic:

    Joe, I like the idea behind the letter but something holds me back from really buying into it—namely the fact that Mary (if you believe her, I always feel like I have to say that) doesn’t know anything about Chuck; and Sarah is essentially Chuck’s. Stephen would know that and would want to talk about that. Even if you consider the fact that he didn’t know the state of the relationship in 3.17: “what is your CIA handler doing here?” he found out later and if they’ve been communicative this whole time he’d have told her (as you put in the letter) just how things have changed. And considering she didn’t want to know, it would mean he kind of forced her to know and in some ways just put his own children at risk.

    The other thing is…I really dislike how they’ve handled MamaB with regards to PapaB’s death. We don’t know enough first of all, to know anything. Does she even know he’s dead? If she knows where’s the outpouring of emotion? I understand that that’s not the kind of person and character she is but an uncontrolled reveal would be fantastic. You know like how she was with the bear? Have her look at his photo or something and grieve, that’s all I want.

    So because of that my thoughts are they’ve been incommunicative for so long that it’s almost like he was dead to her long ago. Not in the sense that she doesn’t care, or no longer feels anything for him (his memory), but that it’s too painful to dwell on that she has lost that she tries not to.

    Oh and I’ve of mind that what she and Ellie talked about was the past, not the present—that would be my excuse to the whole, “maybe they talked about PapaB’s death in FF.”

    As for the episode itself, its greatest fault is that it’s not what you would expect from an episode leading to a long hiatus. You want to be tantalized and this episode didn’t really do that.

    JC made a great point in the spoiler section about how this episode was so LH and TD heavy, and they have both been so fantastic so why didn’t this episode work as well as it should have? I think it’s not so much those two, but rather the way the story was structured. In some ways this episode to me showed the strength of these two professional actors in making what is a one dimensional plot, multi-dimensional. They put layers within the roles that this episode was never really meant to have and that’s why they’re so good.

    Plus I’ve always believed that ratings are retroactive. As in, the high ratings of Leftovers was an effect of the awesomeness of Phase 3. People expect the same/more and tune in with those expectations.

    Last point: Thinkling you brought up something really notable to me. You brought up just how we don’t know and aren’t privy to what’s in Mary’s head (not to mention background but I digress) and I’m shocked just how much that reminds me of Sarah. I’m definitely looking forward to that dynamic growing and evolving in the coming months and years ;-).

    • joe says:

      Oooohhhh! I agree with just about everything you said here, Faith! I absolutely agree that Mary knew nothing about Chuck’s love life and that Stephen wouldn’t tell her if he knew.

      But actually, that’s what I was trying to get across (and I’ll take it as a compliment that you saw the thought, even if I executed it poorly). In my mind I placed the e-mail somewhere about the time that Stephen was having suspicious about what Chuck was doing and why. He would not tell Mary outright (which is why I “hedged” the statement the way I thought he would). But Stephen is capable of slipping up just a little that way, I think. By saying that Chuck has “other people to think about”, he might think that Chuck is just being infatuated with the hot blonde. He is, in fact. Mary, on the other hand, might easily understand that her son is in the middle of something more important than simple infatuation.

      He also has a blind spot – he loves his scientific and technoligical puzzles. He’d be so focused on the technical aspects (and the wonder of the Intersect!) that he’d easily forget that by “Fixing it”, he’s putting Chuck right back into the game, not taking him out of it.

      I always see Stephen with his head in the clouds, but Mary has her feet firmly planted on solid ground.

      Regardless, I see both of them as very much able to communicate clandestinely; Frost AND Orion are great at what they do.

      You bring up a great point with Mary’s lack of reaction to Stephen’s death. I’m going to guess that we’ll actually see something of that before 4.13. Until then, rather than think of Mary as “evil” (Frost), I’m going to see her as the best compartmentalizer since Bill Clinton!

    • atcDave says:

      Great comment Faith about the sort of momentum problem with this episode. You’re right it seems odd to end for the break with a fairly unremarkable transition episode. It is also odd how it felt low key in spite of great performances by Dalton and Hamilton.
      I had also thought Frost’s lack of acknowledgement of Orion’s death seemed strange. I appreciate Joe’s comments, and it helps me get a handle on it. I like the idea that Frost does know, but she’s pushed it aside for the sake of the mission for now.

    • JC says:

      The lack of any talk about Stephen’s death strikes me as strange. Not just Mary but Chuck and Ellie too. My guess is they’re holding it back for some pivotal confrontation between Mary, Volkoff and Chuck.

      I’m still holding onto hope that Mary and Stephen were in contact and there’s some kind of twist coming about Mary’s mission.

      • joe says:

        It *does* feel a bit like they’ve been holding back on this, JC. But maybe part of that feeling is the 7 week break. If 4.11 followed 4.10 immediately, it may not have seemed quite the same way.

        That is, assuming the issue of Stephen’s death is addressed tomorrow.

      • thinkling says:

        Tomorrow … I like the sound of that.

      • thinkling says:

        I just thought of this re: Stephen’s death. Volkoff talked about Orion as if he was dead, no question. “It’s really pathetic. Orion spent his whole life looking for a woman who didn’t want to be found.” “What was he to you?”

        From that, I assume Mary knows. It’s the lack of reaction that is a little strange. At the same time, there hasn’t really been a calm moment or a family relaxed moment when they’ve had a chance to address such personal things.

        There is an affection in her tone when she talks about the drives in the Mustang and the blue leather seats. Even as she begins the story for Ellie, she seems a bit wistful. I do hope we find out more.

      • atcDave says:

        You’re right Thinkling, I’d forgotten about that. I remembered how Chuck had rather conspicuously avoided mentioning Orion’s death, and wondered if that meant we would later find Frost didn’t know. But you’re exactly right, Volkoff made it clear they both knew.

      • JC says:

        It could be the break Joe but you would think Stephen’s death would have come up in some of private conversations between Chuck and Mary. It was his death that started Chuck on the quest to find his mother.

        I honestly believe it’s coming but they want it to be “epic” especially since we know Volkoff is love with Mary. That’s why I expect it to happen when he finds out Mary has been playing him for twenty years.

  9. Robert H says:

    Appreciate the info Joe but I didn’t need or want the spoiler. I hadn’t yet decided to watch them or
    not for just that reason. I’ll be more specific the next time I inquire about something, thanks.

    • joe says:

      Then I’m truly sorry, Robert. Honestly, it’s merely a very humorous moment, one joke, no more. But still, I should not have spoiled it.

      I’ll control myself more in the future.

    • atcDave says:

      Seriously guys? It was a joke. The network promo had a joke about cheating, and we made a joke about the joke. Nothing plot or character related has been spoiled.

      Robert, nothing has been spoiled. The joke was in the network spot that has run several times in the last two weeks.

  10. Robert H says:

    Thanks for the clarification Joe,atcDave, appreciate

  11. herder says:

    Didn’t see the Golden Globes last night, was there much/any promotion for Chuck? As well, TV Guide has Chuck repeats scheduled for Saturday nights on the 22nd and the 29th. Don’t know if this will remain so, but it looks like NBC is giving the show a bit of a push.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I heard from those that did watch it that there were at 4 promos show for Chuck during the awards.

      As for the reruns…I was looking for official confirmation on that but haven’t been able to find it. Maybe it’s coz it was the weekend.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s quite a few promos Faith, great news.

        I’ve discovered, since I’m leaving all episodes of Chuck on my DVR until they show up on iTunes or Blu-Ray, that I have to manage this manually. The DVR apparently decides that since I already have the episode it won’t re-record it. But of course, I want to watch the encore airings just to see if there’s new promotional material.

      • herder says:

        The NBC site (www.nbc.com) has Chuck showing this Saturday at 8 pm, but it also says all new as opposed to a repeat.

      • Faith says:

        A vague confirmation, but it’s official at least. From NBCUMV:



        02/05/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Saturday) :

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