Walk the Line: A Sarah-Mary Parallel Introspection

By now the parallel between Mary Bartowski and Sarah Walker has become crystal clear. Not just in the path they walk, or the men they fell for but also the kind of person they are, were, has had to be.

Do I have something on my teeth?

After Balcony, and all the subtle goodness I had to revisit some scenes from the past that I just couldn’t get out of my head. We enter the story with the pilot: Sarah walks into the Buy More on search for a mark. A guy that initially seems an easy mark for Sarah Walker, superspy. She does her vamp thing, gets him interested in her and pretty soon they’re sitting down for dinner. Interesting dynamic that dinner, full of helpless reveals. “I did just come out of a long relationship, and I may come with baggage.” Of course initially the audience was enamored by the charm of Chuck and so was Sarah, “I could be your very own baggage handler.” But things beneath the surface are equally alluring. Sarah Walker, superspy was charmed, straight to her very heart. The smile she gives right after that line was worth a 1000 words. Suffice it to say she was hooked but she was still Agent Walker at this point, and she managed (albeit with some changes to protect the innocent) to reveal only so much and yet draw intel from Chuck. That’s her job after all, but consider the reveals. “…DC, after I realized that all my friends were his friends, and everything in Washington reminded me of…Bruce (Bryce!) I needed a change.” And she did, and change it was. Little does she realize that from this moment on nothing will ever be the same.

Please, give me some visine!

Mary Bartowski had a similar moment. Two of them. One begun a life, one ended one (all metaphorical of course). “It all begun with a scientist whose code name was Orion, but his real name was Stephen Bartowski.” Sounds familiar? Both Sarah and Mary’s lives were changed meeting the one, a Bartowski. Their path from that moment on changed. But it’s not a change to regret, for Mary she gained a family, for Sarah a home, but for both, a love. “Watching you (Ellie) sleep curled up on that seat, was one of my favorite things.” But with love comes responsibility. “I wished telling you I did this all for you and Chuck made a difference, but I know it doesn’t.” And so we enter the second moment, the one that brings Volkoff into the picture, the one that ended the only thing in her life she cared about. Sarah: “Chuck, I was lucky, I was assigned to you…your mother was assigned to Volkoff.” Fate is a funny thing, and yet free choice is equally fickle. Mary chose to take the assignment, more, she chose to enmesh herself fully into this assignment. Yet again we have a vamp superspy out to seduce a mark except this time the mark isn’t the charmer that Chuck is but a shark. How does the saying go? When you swim in rough waters you end up with sharks and Mary most assuredly went into the deep end. Volkoff is in love with her, much like Chuck was initially infatuated with Sarah but there’s a painful distinction: one gives, the other takes. She lost everything that ever mattered to her and yet one thing remains, she loves. Is it any wonder that Sarah Walker, superspy feels a kinship for one Mary Bartowski?

Returning to the comparison for a moment, it’s interesting to note that at their core both are good guys, heroes. They manipulate,

Sarah: “I’m saying you could have everything you’ve ever wanted” (Seduction)
Mary: “Alexei, we’ve had our dinner, you’ve met the family, we’re leaving…you should know I could never love a man who would do anything to my son” (Leftovers).

Strength and manipulation apparent in both. But more than that they protect those they care about. From:

Sarah: “Chuck’s my guy, he’s my asset, just please give us more time” while she feels for the gun to do whatever is necessary to keep him with her, to
Mary: “Alexei you know that I am loyal to you but I will not return with you until you promise me that my family and their friends will remain safe. If you don’t, I will end you.”

And yes they often sully themselves in the name of the mission/greater good–often at the risks of their own soul. Neither likes this aspect of the spy life but both accepts it.

Sarah: “I need to go back to being the old me just for a little while longer, if I’m going to survive this.”
Mary: “Chuck, I’m sorry for everything, I hope someday you’ll trust me.”

They’re also both as honest as they could be, often leaving large gaping holes in their explanations but they try. Sarah talked about “Bruce,” she didn’t have to. Mary repeatedly tried to be honest with her children, “they don’t know you’re my son, no one does.”

So where does that leave us? It leaves us into the fork on the road. The one that can either lead to Mary or lead to Chuck. It’s one of the most painful similarities…this issue of abandonment. Sure there are reasons! When you love you want to protect and give as much to that person (more even) as you’ve been given.

Sarah: “Chuck, we have so much together, we have a real life and a future, but I need to get back to the old me just for a little while longer….I’m doing this for you, I’m doing it for us.”
Mary: “Protecting him (Chuck) has always been my number one priority!”

But on the surface what it comes down to is that they’re leaving those they care about to do things on their own.

Mary used up all the visine. Damn her!

Sarah: “It has to be me, I’m sorry.”

Why do I get the feeling that Mary once uttered those exact same words to Stephen Bartowski? The threat is serious, the separation all the more so. The conviction is admirable, “I’m not coming back without your mom,” but this path is painful and full of pitfalls. Going down this path led Mary to a life in which she has had to abandon her family for a 20 year mission. She missed every birthday, holiday, Ellie’s marriage and now possibly Chuck’s engagement. What will Sarah miss? Lose? It’s been asked repeatedly, how is Sarah different? How will this be different from Mary attempting to take down Volkoff and his organization as a lone, rogue agent? Well that’s where the story gets interesting and why it is we have to stay tuned.

My 2 cents? In the end the choices they  (plural) make will determine their fate. Remember the story? “And the king was freed, and the Castle was restored and the Frost Queen returned once more and the Frost Queen promised her children that she will never ever leave them again.” So long as Sarah’s got Chuck, nothing can stop them. Similarly Mary’s not alone anymore, none of them are.

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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271 Responses to Walk the Line: A Sarah-Mary Parallel Introspection

  1. beti says:

    I can’t believe it , you can read my mind ! The first thing I wanted to do after watch s04e11 was goin’ straight to vicky vale scene! To the first date !

    If I can change the plot somehow I will make chuck fight with sara CIA’s agents so they both will go with volfoff

    • Faith says:

      Haha. I’m flattered, but I’m not that good. Glad you saw the same thing I see though…I just HAD to look back, it was that strong-the pull.

  2. herder says:

    So I’m wondering is what is the thing that Sarah does that Mama B couldn’t (or vice versa) that enables Sarah to avoid Mama B’s fate. Is it that she loves Chuck more than Mary did Stephen? don’t know that I’d like that story. Is one of them more ruthless than the other. Do we see via flashback the point where Mary went off the rails in the mission so that we can know where Sarah has to choose differently.

    My guess is that it is the fact that Sarah can call on the rest of the team with absolute confidence whereas Mary felt she had to go it alone. Add to that Sarah’s team has the unconventional thinking of Chuck (no ordinary spy) Bartowski to offset the crazy thought patterns of Alexi (froot loops) Volkov. That and the fact that like the Grinch her heart has grown five times since walking into the Buy More.

    • atcDave says:

      I was thinking along the same lines Herder. I’m not sure why, but Mary apparently had no back-up she could count on when things got ugly. But Sarah has a team that won’t let her slip away. Of course that means Mary has team now too. Sarah seems to want to rescue Mary with the same tenacity that Chuck (and the rest of teamB) will have Sarah’s back.

    • sd says:

      Herder—

      I do hope we get some kind of interaction that shows us why one chooses one path and the other doesn’t.

      At first, I thought it would spool out that it no longer becomes a “role” for Sarah and she goes to that dark place (pre-Chuck) for real…but that doesn’t look as if it will happen.

    • jason says:

      I think why sarah may succeed where mary didn’t, is mary only had orion, sarah has chuck, casey, and morgan, as well as ellie, all of orion’s research that went into the upgrade intersect, and sarah also has mary with her.

      But, if I read the synopsis right for 4×13, chuck really is the parallel, he ultimately defeats volkov, not sarah or mary. Sarah saves mary, from what I read.

      I somehow or other, picture chuck being back for the delivery with volkov defeated, with no sarah or mary, they are reported dead. In the last few minutes of the ep, mary and sarah show up. Before the extension, an engagement was going to occur in the last 30 seconds, now, it will be more a heartfelt hug.

      You know, after that, seduction mission in 14, cat club in 15, and a possible PLI in 16 for chuck, could be a while gang …????

    • joe says:

      Herder, I can’t resist playing this rhetorical trick on you. It’s in the way you framed your question: .what is the thing that Sarah does that Mama B couldn’t.

      It’s not what she does, but who she is. You’re right: Mary’s situation has been different. For 20 years, she’s had to go it alone, because that’s what spies do. Sarah doesn’t have to go it alone any more. That’s no longer the kind of spy she is.

      Sarah said: I need to go back to being the old me just for a little while longer, if I’m going to survive this. (and thanks so much for giving us that line in print, Faith. I’m just now grasping the significance.) She can’t tear herself away from Chuck without doing that. I’m going to speculate that the first thing the “old” Sarah discovers in the heart of Mordor – uh, Volkoff Industries, is that she might survive that way, but she cannot win. That will take more, and Mary is “more”. So is Chuck, and Casey and Morgan and all those people (spies call them resources) to which the heartless and cold who go it alone do not have access.

      But that’s definitely getting ahead of ourselves.

      Added: Jason, you beat me by seconds, but I think we’re in agreement.

    • Faith says:

      I do think they’re setting it up where no man is an island and that’s what it’s going to take to defeat a great villain.

      Just think back to Colonel…what did it take to free PapaB? Well a team of Chuck, Sarah and Casey. It’s going to go full circle now and in more ways than one (hint: Chuck and Sarah and marriage).

      SD, not to get into much spoilers but I think we will. The thing is when Mary chose the path she did she isolated herself and that led ultimately to her downfall/situation. Without Stephen by her side (I’m operating under a lotttt of assumptions here) she was weaker and a lot more vulnerable. Not to mention, I don’t know how far into the Orion biz he was back then (I can only assume he didn’t become Orion the badass until after she was gone, before he was simply a scientist) but it couldn’t have been that much help for her.

      Jason, I think they’re setting it up so that not only Sarah will accomplish (with the help of the team, and Mary) what Mary couldn’t, but Chuck will accomplish what his father couldn’t. It doesn’t mean he’s better, but that he’s got his father in him and expanded on it.

      • sd says:

        Hi Faith–

        Are you saying–and maybe it’s venturing into spoiler land–that Sarah, indeed, goes to that dark place and isn’t playing a role?

      • Faith says:

        No, not at all. It will be a role for Sarah but she doesn’t have to go to the dark place to be the “old me.” Think of it this way, to take down a baddie of Volkoff’s character, there needs to be like a chess match of deception and Sarah, much like Mary is a master of deception (remember that line from First Fight).

        And all speculations, in case I haven’t made that clear lol. Sorry, I don’t want to give the wrong idea…

        The “I think we will” was for your first point: “I do hope we get some kind of interaction that shows us why one chooses one path and the other doesn’t.” In years past we’ve had gaping holes in exposition and character motivations, this year they have really done a great job with that. Certainly far more into the “crap communicators” fixer upper than ever before so it’s almost guaranteed that there will be an interaction/conversation about fate.

      • thinkling says:

        Precisely, Faith. It will be a role, but it will be very convincing.

        I think part of what is crushing Sarah right now is that she has just reached this point of vulnerability with Chuck and was in the middle of such a sweet moment with Chuck, and now she has to shut all that down again. Not to the point that it’s gone, but just to have to be that Sarah after having become this Sarah, is painful in the extreme.

        I so hope you’re right about the full circles. I hadn’t really thought about the PapaB call back and wedding finale, but duh! That was Sarah going rogue for Chuck, too. Only this time the stakes are higher.

      • sd says:

        I’ve noticed some distress in various posts about Chuck giving pause about Sarah’s decision as it relates to their future together.

        I don’t think he’s going to go down that road…the look on his face as she explained was one of concern but understanding, imho.

      • atcDave says:

        I totally agree sd.

      • Paul says:

        I believe it’s going to be a role…but she has to play the role to the hilt to “sell it”. We know Sarah is going to do some very questionable things next eps in order to “sell it” that accoriding to DR will cause some fans to flip out (and I’ve already seen a small example of that on ChuckTVs board). For her (and for Chuck), I think the challenge is to accept that as long as she in spy world, a part of her will always be the “old Sarah”, even though she is becoming “new Sarah”.

      • herder says:

        I wonder if a part of this was planned in the event that there was not back order and not season 5 that they could end with Sarah being disgusted with her job and it’s demands allowing her to quit and become Mrs Bartowski full time as a series ender.

      • Paul says:

        Doubt that she will be disgusted and quits. I do think it will be a look in the mirror moment and come to the realization that you have to reconcile who you are.

      • herder says:

        Paul, I meant that in the event that Push Mix was a series finale, the writers had set things up so Chuck and Sarah could go off into the sunset together and out of the business. Obviously they won’t do it that way now.

      • Faith says:

        Herder, I think you’ve got something there. I think we’ll kind of see a “I don’t want to save the world…” sort of revisiting from Ring part 1 in a sense. Even in Balcony we get the feeling, as Thinkling so aptly put it that she feels the pain of having to go back to the person she was (the robot, able to turn her emotions on and off, cold-unfeeling spy)—and having to do a mission without Chuck.

        Paul, DR, who I’m sure is a really nice guy, has a talent for inciting unrest. I’m not surprised lol. But really it’s a wait and see situation. I do not have an insider ninja so I don’t know any secrets but I do have a show I love that I will hope for the best for.

      • Paul says:

        Faith, it was not DR that caused the commotion. It was my spec (based off of some of DR’s spoilers but mostly on the aired promo) that Sarah attempts to kill Casey and that it was not a set-up. These individuals couldn’t, nay, wouldn’t accept that Sarah could do such a thing in the line of duty. That is was too dark. That it ruined the image of Sarah for them.

        The sad thing is, this is EXACTLY the response that DR was predicting out of a certain portion of the fanbase.

      • atcDave says:

        excellent spec Herder. That sounds like it could have been a very satisfying end.

        Paul, I’m not sure why you call that a sad thing. speccing that Sarah would actually try to kill Casey is outrageous and they simply won’t go there. I’d congratulate the fans who figured out that was out of character and over the line even for a mission.

      • Paul says:

        Because Dave, I honeslty don’t think it’s outrageous or over the top. It is well within the realm of what “old Sarah” would do on a mission to maintain her cover and complete the mission. We already know she’s done some pretty unsavory things in her past. Do we have to like it? Nope, not at all. But to live in denial is the sad part.

      • Paul says:

        I do need to add that my complete spec was that Sarah would hesitate at the crucial moment and Casey would tell her to do it. Again, neither act is OOC for either of them. It’s a part of their character that folks may not like, but it is a part of them.

      • jason says:

        @Paul / @ DAve – I think the sarah / casey thing is going to try to help us forgive Mary as a fandom, since Mary probably has killed hundreds / thousands of people in the past 20 years, sarah coming close to killing casey IMO is meant to show how easily that line is gotten to. Our best intel on sarah is that she has killed – in the one flash chuck did have of sarah, it looked like she poisoned a room full and Mauser that I know of, I would guess the graham wild card enforcer to be a plot device to also help us understand mary.

      • atcDave says:

        Paul I don’t believe Sarah has EVER killed a team-mate or fellow government agent just for cover. She protested way back in Other Guy that she always considered herself a “good” spy, and we have never even seen her use “following orders” as an excuse for killing (even her Red Test she thought she was being drawn on). Even if she’s tough and fearless, and has accomplished many difficult missions; I don’t believe she has ever knowingly killed someone who didn’t present a deadly threat to herself or someone else (again, that includes Eve Shaw, Mauser, and French Assassins). I think your spec is outrageous as stated; now I saw your more detailed spec below and actually agree with it, but there are significant differences; most significantly, Sarah won’t try to “kill” Casey until he gives her permission to toss him.

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave That’s all true.

      • Faith says:

        There is a very fine distinction between what Sarah does/has had to do and being a cold-blooded killer.

        We draw conclusions based on Heather’s line, “we’re the same” and of course Casey’s “I didn’t like that Sarah Walker” but nowhere in there was there ever any indication that she killed for pleasure or without remorse.

        Think of it this way, when Heather said “we’re the same” she meant it in the out for yourself way–when push comes to shove you look out only for yourself. Sarah is no longer that person. She really hasn’t been in my opinion since the Pilot when she told Chuck, “don’t freak out” (Easter egg hunt: did you catch the Don’t Freak Out in Balcony? And did you feel goosebumps like I did? Squee!). But it wasn’t until later she got to the point where she, much like Chuck could, think her way out of those situations instead of taking the path of least resistance. The old Sarah would never have given Heather the gun, because she wouldn’t have thought of that approach. Trusting people, especially Heather Chandler was not the old Sarah’s M.O. Far from it.

        Sarah has always in my opinion killed as the last resort. It was the same with the assassins in the pilot flashback and with Mauser: “I did what I had to do. He knew who you were, your whole family was in danger.”

        I also don’t get the feeling that Mary is all that different. She kills when she has to. Obviously in her enforcer role she has had to kill a lot, but isn’t that just another “have to” situation? She has to do what she has to do to live, for her family to be safe.

      • joe says:

        Oooohhhh! Faith, that’s absolutely right. Sarah killed as a last resort, and Mary complained to Chuck (loudly!) that she just didn’t have a choice.

        But two things – it wasn’t killing Mauser that was so bad. It was lying to Chuck afterwards that gave everyone pause. Sarah might very well kill Mauser once more if she had to do it over again, but she wouldn’t lie to Chuck any more, right?

        And Chuck told Frost in no uncertain terms exactly what Stephen told him – “There’s always a choice.” Even if the decision was the *right* one, it wasn’t because that was the only thing you could do (so don’t complain that somebody made you pull the trigger). I see it as a cry to see that the consequences of your actions on others shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten or shrugged off.

        The person who could assassinated of French diplomats was the old Sarah Walker. She was right – they would have done the same to her. The new Sarah Walker might have done it, but I think she wouldn’t have said “…and I’m glad I did.” about the incident later.

        She has a heart that can be reached. I’m pretty sure Frost does too.

      • atcDave says:

        Great comments Faith and Joe. I agree entirely about Sarah’s reluctance, but willingness to kill. I’m not sure Joe if I would say Sarah’s lie to Chuck was worse than killing Mauser; but I would certainly agree one big difference, she would kill again for Chuck if she had to, but I don’t believe she would lie.

      • Not only we don’t have any proof that Sarah ever killed without a good reason, but partnership means a lot to her, it always did, even before Chuck.

        Killing someone innocent just to save herself is one thing, but killing her partner? I really can’t see it.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree entirely Crumby. Carina knew Sarah was someone to be trusted, as did Bryce.

      • Paul says:

        Again, I think we need to look at the context of why Sarah attempts to kill Casey. It’s a loyalty test that is seemingly sprung on her by a sadistic madman who probably enjoys watching them squirm. If Sarah doesn’t do it, ALL of them are dead because her cover is blown. If she does do it, she would have sacrificed Casey to compelte the mission….something that both Sarah and Casey very well knows may be asked of them to do sometime in their careers. Theirs is a world where people are expendable as long as the mission is completed. It’s a Devil’s choice, with NO good options.

        But again, we are not talking Sarah 2.0 who has been affected by Chuck for 4 years and has reawakened part of her supressed humanity. She has had to regress back to Sarah 1.0, pre-Chuck Sarah, Grahams’ wild card enforcer. THAT person is capable of doing a lot of things that Sarah 2.0 would hesitate at or do differently.

        “I AM someone who is deadly”
        “I’m different without Chuck…”
        “I have to be the old me for a bit longer…”

        We’ve been given ample warning of what she is capable of and what is to come….

      • atcDave says:

        Still don’t buy it Paul. She’s not capable of it; in neither 1.0 nor 2.0 versions.

        She will come up with a plan to avoid that situation. Sarah is smart and resourceful, she always has been; and she will not let it come to killing a team-mate. She would have accepted her own death before doing that; but she is smart and clever it will never come to that, that’s the whole point of having a team.

        I think you are letting the historic fact that people have been forced into horrible no win situations distort what you surely know about story-telling.
        This is a heroic fantasy with larger than life characters. there is no such thing as a no win scenario and an out will be found. Sarah Walker never has, never will, and never would kill a team mate. This is NOT Sophie’s Choice.

      • Paul says:

        We’ll have to agree to disagree then, because from what I’m seeing, it’s going to happen next week. And the internets are going to explode.

      • atcDave says:

        The preview is already up, Casey clearly tells her to do it; he isn’t going to die. Chuck may freak out, Casey will call him a moron; all will be well.

      • thinkling says:

        Dave, I totally agree. Sarah’s not capable, neither the 1.0 or 2.0.

        Not only that, to think that Sarah actually becomes the old Sarah again is, in my view not accurate. Sarah’s not going to lose what she has gained with Chuck. That’s what’s going to sustain her. She will have to play a role, and in that sense be the old Sarah. But inside her motivation and all that makes her good will not change.

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    I think it is interesting, not just the parallels, but how they are going to manage to tell the story. We’re all pretty sure Mama B is one of the good guys, but all we’ve really seen is that while crippling the CIA’s effort to take down Volkoff she’s acted to protect her family at the same time. So the question is, will Sarah trust Mary, and will Volkoff trust either of them? We see hints of what Sarah will have to do to prove herself, but what interests me is how she will explain her motivations for going rogue. Will Chuck be in on that bit of information and will Mary believe it or know Sarah is on a mission? All great stuff and likely to give us some WTF? moments in the next two shows. And it’s only about mid-season.

    I have a feeling, and this is pure speculation based on the story I think they are telling, that Sarah starts to lose herself again and at a critical moment either Chuck or Mary has to pull her back from following through on killing Volkoff at too great a cost to her or team B.

    That will leave Volkoff’s organization cripled, Mama B free, set up a few Honeymooners-ish fun shows arc of Seduction Impossible through Cat Squad and First Mate, leading to a return of Volkoff at some point for the finale arc. But that’s just a theory. 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Last we knew it wasn’t clear if they even could get Dalton back after 4.13. So it may not be decided yet how the back arc will resolve. The main baddie could conceivably be a Volkoff flunky (or daughter!).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        OK, so lets say the return of “A” Volkoff.

      • thinkling says:

        I figure they’ll lock him away, not kill him, because another resurrection would be too much. If he’s locked away, he can either escape (if they can get TD back) or pull strings from jail and send an equally evil villain to do his bidding.

    • thinkling says:

      I’ve thought of that possibility, too, Ernie … Sarah about to go too deep, etc. I would want Mary to be there in that moment. It seems fitting. But I would rather see Sarah stop herself short of whatever it is, and then have Mary do the evil deed, whether it’s killing him or knocking him up side of the head with a 2×4. It would parallel Chuck’s decision in Ring 2, which would be a very satisfying wrap to Sarah’s mission.

      And then can we please have ring 3, either engagement or wedding? Putting it off after Phase 3 and Balcony will feel so wrong. Oops, sorry, that’s not what this thread is about. My bad.

      • armySFC says:

        i may disagree with how deep she will go. she goes deep if the promos are correct. tossing your former partner out a window in an attempt to kill him in front of the guy you want to marry is about as deep as you can get. this moment occurs with mama b right there.

      • thinkling says:

        Come on, Army. We all know Sarah is not really going to kill, or try to kill, Casey. Remember he’s used to faking his own death. There’s a plan, but of course they’re not going to put that in the promo.

      • atcDave says:

        Thank you.

      • armySFC says:

        thinkling, dave. i do hope you are right. we’ll see monday won’t we? my money is on a plan gone bad and sarah having to actually go through with volkoff’s last minute demand that she kill casey. the plan they had did not include faking casey’s death.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Army

        I like your spec about it being a last minute order from Volkoff to kill Casey. Raises the stakes to a dangerous high. Maybe Sarah tells Casey about what she has to do and he goes along with the plan and gets himself seriously injured during the process – he may do so for the sake of the mission.

      • herder says:

        New promo on NBC, part of the Monday night shows joint promo, Casey says throw me out the window, he tells her to do it.

      • uplink2 says:

        Is that promo up on YouTube yet? I really want to see it!

      • atcDave says:

        That’s perfect. Never doubted it.

      • Paul says:

        Actually Thinkling, according to discussion on DR’s board, Team B IS NOT in the know about Volkoff’s kill order and she DOES throw Casey off the builidng. That would seem to me that it was a legit attempt to kill him. HOWEVER, Casey would understand that Sarah has to do what she has to do to maintain her cover and would not hold it against her.

      • Paul says:

        Herder, did you see that promo or is that just internet rumor?

      • herder says:

        I saw it, it was on NBC only once last night, I’d expect it more times tonight. I only posted here and not on the spoiler post because it was a network promo and not a gossip site or “insider” blog material.

      • Faith says:

        Herder, BURN! :-D. I hope you get understand that lol, otherwise what a waste of a post!

      • armysfc says:

        supposedly a link to the promo herder was talking about will be out later. if i get it i’ll drop it in the spec section.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks army, that would be great!

      • uplink2 says:

        Saw the three show promo tonight. Loved it! It doesn’t look planned but Casey does tell her to do it.

  4. Katsumaro says:

    Nice read here on the comparisons between Mama B (didn’t Casey call her Mama B in one of the episodes? or was I hearing things?) and Sarah. I really never thought about some of those comparisons, honestly.. and they’re all as clear as day now.

    I really love the stuff that pops up here at chuckthisblog, though. Real thought provoking stuff.

  5. thinkling says:

    Good work Faith. This is one of my favorite topics this season. I’ll comment more, but gotta run right now. 🙂

  6. JC says:

    But what about Chuck in all of this. Will Sarah going undercover give him pause about proposing? It would be a legitimate concern to wonder if he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. He knows that Mary loved his father and I would hope by now he doesn’t question Sarah’s feelings. But like he said to his mother in Aisle, you had a mission. So in his eyes will Sarah always have another mission like his mother. I don’t know how much they’ll go into it but I do expect another Chuck and Ellie talk that deals with the situation.

  7. herder says:

    Faith picks up on one of the things that got my attention, “It has to be me” why does it have to be Sarah. Is it because Sarah has to do this to exorcise some demons about her past, is it because she feels she has to earn her place in her family-to-be’s future. Or is it because of the fact of what she stands to lose if things go wrong that she is less likely to fail.

    My guess is that there is some connection between Volkov and Bartowski that the General knows, that she has communicated to Sarah but that we don’t know yet. For that reason, as a near Bartowski, Sarah is in a unique position to act.

    Or maybe the fact that Sarah is with Chuck gives her a level of credibility with Mama B that no other agent would or could have. As Faith has pointed out above, there is some level of connection between Sarah and Mary (explain it to him Sarah) as evidenced by the fact that Mary would pull a gun on Volkov to prevent him from killing her. With that connection perhaps Sarah could reach Frost in a way that no other agent could to push her to complete the mission after 20 years.

    • First Timer says:

      @herder:
      The answer to “it has to be me” is given in the episode. Beckman set up a mission that suggests Chuck and Sarah are rogue agents selling the nanochip and SPECIFICALLY instructs Sarah to make the exchange. So the answer is Beckman set it up that way. I don’t think the writers meant anyone to think about it any deeper than the self-evident mechanics of the con being shown in the episode.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        That’s another way to look at it.

      • Paul says:

        I think the explanation is simple – Sarah is more competent than Chuck and more experienced with going deep cover and being able to maintain that cover. And Chuck is STILL the Intersect. Beckman IS NOT going to send him into the lions den where the possiblity exists of not only losing the Intersect but potentiall compromising the intel and skills it possesses.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      @Faith – Excellent write up as always. Thanks.

      @herder –

      You raise some nice points about the connection between Sarah and Mama B. So, when will Sarah reveal her true motives to Mama B? Or will Mama B catch on pretty quickly and confront her as soon as they are out of Volkoff’s eyes and ears. When will Mama B take the first step in acting against Volkoff? Will it start as soon as Sarah reaches Volkoff Industries? Will it need some heartfelt convincing from Sarah? Will we see a scenario where Sarah tells Mama B that although she has come undercover, she has no intention of making the same mistakes Mama B made? Will such a declaration finally spur Mama B into action? Will something happen to Sarah that requires Mama B to break her cover so as to save Sarah’s life? I am most eager to see Sarah/Mama B interactions and hopefully a discussion or two on the one thing common to both of them – Chuck.
      And the next big thing I am eagerly anticipating – the moment when Volkoff learns the real truth regarding Mama B? Will he go bat-shit crazy? Or will he take a bottle of Johnny Walker and sit dejectedly with a plastic guitar in his hand? 🙂

      • herder says:

        Another line that I was thinking about that Faith poiints out above is Sarah’s “Chuck, I was lucky, I was assigned to you…your mother was assigned to Volkov”. Does Sarah get to see just how lucky she was, how much Chuck has, in fact, saved her.

        Will there be some sort of “It’s a Wonderful Life” where Sarah gets to see what her life would be as a spy without Chuck. Is that what makes her round up the team “hello boys” to complete the mission.

      • jason says:

        herder, I like “It’s a Wonderful Life’ scenerio alot, but just to remind you, the synopsis for 4×13 reads chuck and morgan take down volkov, not sarah and mary:

        ‘As Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) works to free Chuck’s mom (guest star Linda Hamilton), Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) embark on their own mission to take down Alexei Volkoff (guest star Timothy Dalton).’

      • thinkling says:

        I just don’t see Volkoff as a Johnny Walker and plastic guitar kind of guy … Vodka and a plastic thermite grenade or machine gun, maybe.

        I’m anxious to see the same things Genie. I think, having seen Chuck & Sarah together, Mary will know instincctively that Sarah is not really a traitor, but she will help sell it. I’m hoping for some good MamaB and Sarah moments. I think it will be great to see them work together. There’s a definite bond.

      • thinkling says:

        Herder, I think on one level, Sarah already knows how lucky she is and how horrible Mary’s luck was. That’s at least a small part of her willingness to do this mission … and she’s Chuck’s mom, to boot. Sarah was enough a part of that world to understand. That’s not to say her good fortune won’t be confirmed again to her during the mission.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I just don’t see Volkoff as a Johnny Walker and plastic guitar kind of guy … Vodka and a plastic thermite grenade or machine gun, maybe.

        Breaking News: President of Volkoff Industries commits suicide.

        Deeply saddened and shocked by the betrayal of the love of his life, Volkoff takes his own life. Details to follow. 🙂

    • Faith says:

      “It has to be me” is two-fold. Just think about it through Volkoff.

      1. It has to be Sarah because Volkoff will not believe anyone else will turn. Chuck certainly wouldn’t be believable, just like ultimately it had to be Mary to take on this challenge and not Stephen.

      2. By aligning with Sarah, Volkoff now has two women that Chuck loves and he is now holding all the cards. In one snap of his wrist he can take away all that is valuable to Chuck–if he really wanted to.

      And a half reason (so that makes it 2 1/2? lol) is that she’s a woman, Volkoff seems to gravitate towards strong women. And although there will be no romantic entanglements here I think Volkoff does admire and have admired Sarah’s spy-strength. In First Fight for example he remarked how they couldn’t fool Sarah, she’s that good. That’s a strength to be considered at his side of the battle.

      But I do think he’ll be cautious at first at Sarah all of a sudden turning. I think we might be led to believe that he buys into all this but he doesn’t.

      Alladins, batsh*t crazy is FTW. The expression alone is LMAO funny. But to get back on point, I don’t think we’ll see the meet-greet between Mary and Sarah. Chances are we’ll time jump and the episode will open with them thick as thieves. But we’ll see an interaction during the mission I’m sure.

      Herder, It’s a Wonderful Life is a fantastic idea! If we can go fully into that that would totally rock. Unfortunately time as it is, I don’t think so. However I think we’ll still have a conversation with Mary about luck and choices. At the very least, I hope we do. I mean that would be beyond fantastic. The acting chops of both of these actresses will elevate that scene to new levels.

      And I agree Thinkling, Sarah knows that she’s lucky. In fact it’s part of the reason why she’s doing all this, being her old self again.

  8. First Timer says:

    @faith:
    I fear you’re cruising for a bruising here. The showrunners have been totally inconsistent about anything and everything concerning the characters this year.

    Why is Chuck spying again? Well, Anniversary tells us it’s because he needed to rejoin the CIA to find his mother and because Beckman forced him. Yet, at least twice, (Fear of Death, Balcony) he talks about wanting to be on missions with Sarah.

    Was Orion searching for Mama B? Chuck seems to feel that is so, but there was nothing in Orion’s speech in Ring II that said that. And everything they have shown (except a box that said “missing”) would indicate that Orion was doing stuff for/with Mama B for the last 20 years. There’s no on-screen evidence of a search by Orion, only Chuck’s probably misdirected assumptions.

    What is the “old” Sarah? Except for one line about her being Graham’s “wild card” and one line about her being a killer like Casey (both lines from Casey, reflecting his view only), the Sarah character was always posited as a smart, thoughtful, fairly by-the-book agent as opposed to Casey’s “cold school killer.” This “old” Sarah seems like a VERY convenient plot twist with no previous support in the canon.

    My bet is that whatever resolution is offered will be plot-driven and not necessarily easy to fit into a Sarah/Mama B parallel.

    Besides, no matter WHAT they offer, there is a difference here: Mama B had a family and was spying and, we are supposed to believe, brought the scientist Stephen Bartowski along for the ride. Chuck and Sarah aren’t married and don’t have a family.

    So we can assume (at least I THINK we can assume), that the show ends when Chuck and Sarah get married and decide to quit the spy life. They’ve already given Sarah some after-our-spy-life-is-over dialogue (Role Models), so I think you can assume that Chuck and Sarah will not even try to mix spying and family…

    • jason says:

      FT – I could picture the last ep, if done on tptb’s terms, might be sarah reading the frost queen story, and little stephen asking ‘mom, will you ever leave me’, and sarah answers, ‘no never, mom isn’t ever going anywhere, hero’s like the frost queen make the world safe for your sister, you, daddy and I so we can always be together, goodnight stephen, I love you’ …. pan to chuck standing in the door smilin and cut ….

    • iNewbie says:

      FT – here’s my take on the problems you raised.

      Chuck’s spying again because he loves being a spy and “doing great things, doing them with (Sarah)”. The mum search was his excuse to himself to get back to the spy life without feeling guilty for lying to Ellie.

      Orion was searching for Mama B, Volkoff said it pretty clearly it at the end of First Fight. Not sure how MEB can know so much about Stephen’s work, but I still hope they’ll give some explanation in the next episodes (though I have to admit I’m skeptical about it.)

      The “old Sarah” stuff is a little more tricky. I agree, she was never depicted as a cold murderer, but you can’t deny she has changed a lot since she and Chuck met – as bloggers here have pointed out more than once, Sarah’s story in the relationship is one of redemption. It doesn’t necessarily mean she redeemed herself from being a liar and a murderer (all stuff she did only for the greater good); it can also mean that now she’s not constantly running away, that she’s finally able to let people in her life.

      • atcDave says:

        Good comments inewbie. I would add, I think Chuck learned during his time away just how important it was to him to work missions with Sarah. Its who he is now, and he can’t let her go off without him (I thought that was made beautifully clear in Balcony).

      • First Timer says:

        @iNewbie:
        You’re basing your claim that Orion was searching for Frost on a comment from Volkoff? Really? Sorry, then, I can’t help you. You SHOULD be paying attention to the fact that neither Orion nor Frost has ever said there was a search. But, hey, watch the show that makes you happy…

        @jason:
        You know, if Push Mix had been the show finale, I couldn’t think of a better ending than the one you just proposed. It would have been a lovely bookend to the season itself and given viewers a touching look into the future of Chuck and Sarah. Alas, Push Mix isn’t the end and I don’t know that the showrunners have that kind of poetry in them anymore…

      • sd says:

        IMHO, Chuck made a promise to his sister…we know it was not his choice. Despite the “run away with me” speech in S3, Chuck has wanted to be a spy with Sarah…Ellie demanded that he stop. Perhaps finding his mom was just a plot point set up…but didn’t Stephen say in his farewell that he “did it all for her”…a “her” Chuck decides to find.

        As for Sarah…sure, we get what may be considered an out of left field comment from Casey about her being a “wild card”…but if you recall in the pilot, there is a scene with her taking down bad guys with abandon and then coldly shooting the video surveillance camera. The look on her face didn’t show anything but anger and determination.

        So, yes,…I had mentioned it once before, I think Sarah took on a role foisted on her by her boss b/c she had nothing to lose.

      • Paul says:

        Actually Newbie, I disagree with your last part. “Old Sarah” WAS a cold blooded killer….not by nature (remember how torn up about her Red Test she was), but because they made her that way. We’ve seen enough bits and pieces in flashbacks, flashes and in her own actions and words to support that fact without any doubts. HOWEVER, since meeting Chuck she wants to be more than that. She wants to be more than “just a spy” and I think she wants to be able to put “Old Sarah” into a box and not revisit her again unless she absolutely has to.

      • iNewbie says:

        Wow, First Timer, I really hope when you answered my comment you were already mad about something else because if you act like such a jerk to everyone who has an opinion that’s different from yours you really have a problem. If you think I said something stupid it’s fine, just tell me why you think I’m wrong instead of blabbering pointless insults. And don’t worry, I surely won’t stop watching a show I like just because some angry person criticizes it…

        @Paul – Like I said, I’m not sure what to think about “old Sarah”. Flashbacks and stuff show us that she has been very cold at times, but ever since the pilot she has looked way more human to me. So I’d say I agree with you, she was a good person all along but the spy life made her lose that for a long time.

      • joe says:

        FT, iNewbie – there’s going to be a couple of posts coming up to address this, I believe. They’ll be worth reading.

      • Paul says:

        Newbie, “Old Sarah” means pre-Chuck/early S1 Sarah. She has looke more human since the pilot because IMHO of her contact with Chuck. But there is more than enough evidence pointing to her having a very unsavory past.

      • iNewbie says:

        @Paul – Well, I totally agree with you then. Though I think she was more human than most spies even before Chuck – just think about her face when she looks at Bryce’s pictures on her phone, or how she risked her life to save Carina (as they say in Wookie).

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Newbie, I think Sarah always had more conscience than most in her position. Sarah/Carina is such an excellent contrast; imagine if Carina had been sent to the Buy More back in 2007. Things likely would not have worked out nearly as well for Chuck.
        So while I would agree Sarah has changed a lot and for the better in her time with Chuck; I do not believe she was ever someone who killed outside of life and death situations, or took pleasure in any of the darker aspects of her job.

      • Paul says:

        @Dave -kill outside of immediate life or death? Yes. She is a trained assassin after all. And assassins don’t wait for their targets to arm themselves and get ready to fight. Enjoy the killing? No. But I think she learned to compartmentalize herself from it.

      • armySFC says:

        dave all you points are good but this one. “I do not believe she was ever someone who killed outside of life and death situations”. did she not kill and unarmed man in mauser just protect chuck? that falls outside of what you wrote.

      • atcDave says:

        Mauser was a direct threat to Chuck’s safety, while her action was outside of strict legality, it seemed fitting to the situation. I’ve actually mentioned him several times today, and I’d agree it pushes the limit of “life and death”, but not by much, I’d say he proves my point; although Sarah found killing him distasteful she did what had to be done. I think Mauser may be the “greyest” killing she’s ever done.

        And Sarah may be an assassin by training, but we’ve seen no evidence of her doing any of that sort of work. She couldn’t shoot Eve until she thought she was being drawn on, and still called it the worst day of her life. I think if she had ever done an actual hit, that would be the worst day of her life.
        Besides, we aren’t even sure if she is an assassin by training, we only know Casey called her one once. She acquired her knife skills at some point in her youth; they pre-date her association with the CIA.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree with all that, Dave. Except for one thing, maybe. Sarah did tell the Thai diplomat that she was trained in over 200 ways to kill him … could’ve been a bluff, but I bet she has a repertoire more extensive than most people. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah you’re right Thinkling. It’s probably is safe to say she is trained to be a very deadly weapon.

        But not only is assassin an ugly word, its a highly illegal profession both in US and international law. I guarantee no such job title actually exists! (in government work than is!)

      • armySFC says:

        dave, i may have a job that comes close, military sniper. they basically shoot defenseless combatants.

        also on the life or death thing. it’s just a difference of opinion, but to me life and death is just that. you need to take out the opponent before he kills you. mauser goaded sarah into doing it by saying that he knew chuck was the intersect (i hope im close. its been a while) but at no point was her life in danger during that exchange. she may have done it for the right reason, protect chuck and the intersect. it was done on the prospect of something happening down the line and not at that moment. so i can’t say it is even a grey area.

      • Paul says:

        @Dave – this IS the CIA we’re talking about here. They do things in secret that the public doesn’t need to know about (and don’t tell you about) that sometimes more than flaunts international law. To think that they don’t is naive. Now the show does take liberties with what and how the intelligence community does things for real, but assassination is definately within their repotoire.

        As this pertains to the show:

        Had you said that Sarah would never kill outside of Line of Duty, I would have agreed 100%. The same goes for Casey. But Line of Duty goes far beyond “immediate life threatening”. S1 showed Sarah recieveing orders to kill Chuck if he ran. Casey was on standby to kill Chuck if required. BOTH of those are not “immediate life threatening” situations, but fall squarely within “duty”. Would either one have carried out those orders if told to? IMHO, yes, absolutely. Sarah would have, although she likely would not have liked it. Casey was a hairbreadth away, when his orders were canceled.

        As to what “old Sarah” is capable of, I think your example of her Red Test is not really a good one. Why? Because it was her first kill. That one is always the hardest. After? Well, lets say for some it gets much easier to pull the trigger. Not saying they have to enjoy it, but merely easier to carry it out. Further, that was over 6 years ago timeline wise. Sarah had A LOT of time to get used to doing things the CIA way. And lets look at Chuck’s Red Test. His test was to assassinate a mole, essentially to kill him in cold blood because he was a traitor. Again, well within duty, but not within “immediate life threatening”. Sarah’s distate with the mission wasn’t that it was an assassination. It was that CHUCK had to do it. From this (and other tidbits of data) we can extrapolate that Sarah has been at least exposed to these kinds of missions, if not taken part in them. We have ample evidence that “Old Sarah” was someone who walked in that underworld and did things that polite society doesn’t think or talk about.

        So what does it all really mean. Well, for me, it means that your take on what she “can/cannot, will/will not do” is IMHO much too restrictive for this character. Sarah Walker is a product of an organization that does very bad things, very secretly for the greater good. She may not be cruel or sadistic, and definatley not a psycho- or sociopath but I totally believe that she is capable of doing unsavory things if duty calls her to do it. And if duty calls for to throw Casey off a building to maintain her cover in order to complete the mission, I think Old Sarah is capable of it.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree Casey was, and possibly still is capable of killing on command in any situation that could broadly be described as duty. And I never used the term “immediate” life or death; I’m perfectly willing to assume she’s capable of more strategic thinking than that; in fact that’s exactly what the Mauser situation was. The threat to life and limb was more of a long term nature.
        But again, I think they made the point with the various kill orders that Sarah was always excluded. In one of the cut scenes we saw her confronting Casey about what orders he might get. So I would conclude Sarah has been exposed to enough to know how things are sometimes done, but I think her exclusion speaks to what her superiors think of her usefulness with a termination order. Just because she is deadly and dangerous does not mean she would simply kill on command, and I think her superiors know that.
        Now I do agree she has likely done many things we would rather not know about, and I’m fine with that. But I think they took some pains to show in S1 she had a conscience that her superiors occasionally found troublesome.

        And Army I get what sniping is. Usually snipers are not well received when captured, historically they’ve occasionally been treated as automatic war criminals. But your mission is to target enemy combatants. That is a situation similar to the Mauser shooting; you’re dealing a more long term than immediate problem. While some may consider that a grey area, I’m fine with it. And that is exactly the same light I regarded the Mauser shooting as. But when is a sniper called on to shoot friendly forces? or even innocent civilians? Now I know you could create some implausible scenario where it might happen; that’s where human discernment enters the picture. But I would imagine, and hope, many snipers would not be able to shoot an innocent civilian no matter how operationally advantageous it might be. In fact, I would guess as a soldier you are well aware of your responsibilities where immoral orders are concerned. I know it would never be easy to tell a superior officer where to stick it, but you know perfectly well there are situations where that would be expected of you. So I’m not willing to just assume Sarah would kill without cause. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs on this; I even agree its possible she would have killed on an order with no personal knowledge of the situation. But I do not believe she would kill a team mate in any situation.

      • Paul says:

        Dave, we never said Sarah would kill without cause, merely that she was capable of doing some very bad things if it were necessary or in the line of duty.

      • Faith says:

        Semantics, “if it were necessary or in the line of duty” IS cause. 🙂

        The main point is Sarah kills as a last resort, and yes kill or be killed in a shootout is the last resort. That’s where it all comes down to.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks Faith. I think my original point was just meant to be I don’t believe the show will go so dark. Casey’s death will be a risky operation, but it WILL be a faked death.

        I don’t think we’ll see an internet melt down over it. I expect a fun and exciting sequence that most viewers will have a good time with.

  9. armySFC says:

    excellent comparison. when the smoke clears and everyone is back safe and sound. will the sacrifice sarah made be in vane? just like mary she kept her loved ones safe. her doing “it for us” may just cost her that. can chuck get over what she did while taking volkoff down? will the relationship be the same? by doing what she asked for she may have ended her chance at what she sought to preserve.

    • kg says:

      You mean like kicking/throwing Casey out a window? We’ll have to wait and see the entire context. These sneak peaks are often deceiving.

      And if Chuck indeed has these feelings and reservations about Sarah, perhaps Mary can help Sarah by knocking some sense into her son.

      • JC says:

        He should have some reservations moving forward. The woman he was about to pop the question to, just took the exact same mission that took his mother away for twenty years. If they don’t have him hesitate somewhat, I wouldn’t find it believable.

      • atcDave says:

        If Chuck has reservations he’s a fool. Sarah’s a keeper. Devoted, protective, forgiving; idealized in the best way.

      • thinkling says:

        Thank you.

        The differences make all the difference. It is not the exact same mission, far from it. All that we know about Mary’s mission indicates it was just another mission. Of all that she has said about protecting family, she has never said that her original mission had anything to do with protecting family.Things went south and she was cut off.

        Sarah and Chuck have “so much together … a real life and a future.” Right now Volkoff holds all of that hostage. Every minute that he is free, their future and all the Bartowski’s (including the one on the way) are in really serious danger. Rescuing family and buying back your future are very different from the usual mission. That’s a huge difference just in the two women and the two missions.

        Volkoff is history, guys.

      • armySFC says:

        willing to leave at a moments notice because of the job? willing to discuss major decisions before making them? unwilling to keep pacts they made with each? unwilling to tell the truth?

        sarah is not the typical gf and never will be. he should be worried that when the next baddie that comes along she will again be the one that gets tasked for the job.

        chuck was already abandoned by his mother and father. add to that the betrayal by his best friend and girl friend. no matter how much he loves sarah it would have to cross his mind. he already worries about losing her this mission just adds to it.

        both c/s have issues thats for sure, but sarah is far from ideal.

      • atcDave says:

        Great comment Thinkling. What a great story, epic heroes, high stakes; and characters I can relate to, respect, and like. It just doesn’t get better.

      • thinkling says:

        Army, you’re not listening, so I’ll type slowly.

        Sarah is not going anywhere “because of the job.” She is leaving because of family, because of Chuck, because of them.

        She is not accepting a mission to bring down another baddie. She is on a mission to rescue family, to guarantee their future, and to take the bulls eye off of the Bartowski family, her family.

        She is not happy to be leaving. She is not happy at all to have to go back into that dark world. This is not something she does lightly. And did I mention that it’s not about the job. It’s about family.

        It’s killing her to leave him. But it was killing her to watch him worry about his family. And it would really kill her to do nothing and watch Volkoff come after her family. If someone doesn’t stop Volkoff, constant danger and probable death are the guaranteed outcome for everyone she loves, especially Chuck.

        As to losing her to some kind of betrayal, he knows better. He hasn’t worried about losing her since Coup, and especially not since Phase 3. He knows her heart belongs to him. He understands her motivation.

        Neither is he stupid about Volkoff. He knows the danger. He’s been worried about it. She knows he’s been worried about it. He knows that she knows that he’s been worried about it. He accepts her sacrifice, much as it kills him for her to do it, and he does love her for it.

        As to worrying about losing her to the mission, that she might get killed, well, of course that. But last I checked Chuck was the one dangling from a gondola taking the risks to get the Intersect back.

        No one is ideal, neither Chuck nor Sarah, but both are motivated toward each other by love.

      • JC says:

        Nobody is questioning Sarah’s reasons for taking the mission. What it comes down to is Chuck’s reaction and how unbelievable it is. The guy is insecure about everything when it comes to Sarah. So you have an arc where Sarah takes the exact same mission as his mother who abandoned him for twenty years. He should be angry and upset that the same thing will happen to Sarah. And it should make him wonder if marrying her is the right choice, he would be stupid not to think that.

        If this storyline was reversed I can guarantee that Sarah would have exploded at him. Chuck is the only character held accountable or called out for his actions.

      • armysfc says:

        tinkling, wow now your down to insulting someone that has a different idea than you. here i thought it was a friendly blog. guess i was wrong. never did i question her motives or the reason she does it. never did i question anything you said. jc said it better than me. but the bottom line for me was how will chuck react? my thoughts were on his possible mental thoughts after it’s over.

        i don’t live in a kittens and rainbow world where true love can over come all. i live in a world where i have seen people die and know what comes from taking a life because i have. i have seen countless men and women try to over come what they have seen or done. never have i seen a wife/husband kiss their spouse and poof those visions go away. i have seen it tear the best relationships apart. sometimes it takes years and sometimes they never get over it. maybe this is why i have a different idea on how chuck would react. from me it would add a real world touch to the show.

        chuck from all accounts doesn’t handle emotional problems (killing seeing or doing) as well as casey and sarah. so seeing sarah toss casey out the window, even if he finds out that casey did tell her to do it could affect him in a negative way. did i say a break up? no. i pointed out that her actions may cost her what she holds dear.

      • atcDave says:

        Army its just that you’re trying to make a problem that doesn’t exist. I thought Thinkling’s explanation was perfect. Sarah is doing what she does because she loves Chuck. She is doing it for her new family so that they CAN have a life together without worrying about a madman who might someday kill MEB or send assassins after Chuck again; and she’s doing it for herself so she can have the life she wants WITH Chuck.

        And if you hadn’t noticed, a major theme of the show IS the love of Chuck and Sarah; and all the great challenges they overcome for it. Love of friends and family is also a major theme. That is the show. Compared to more “realistic” spy thrillers like Alias or 24 it is a story of sunshine and roses; and that’s why many of us prefer it to darker entertainment.

      • joe says:

        Army, there is *no one* friendlier than Thinkling. That too is the real world.

        I’m sorry. I’ve been away for the evening and haven’t been able to pick up on the threads and conversations yet. But I’ll insert myself anyway to second what Dave said right above.

        We respect what you do, Army, but Chuck is the place where we get away from what you described earlier. It’s not quite right to say it’s running away from reality either, because the fears, the tears, the reactions and the joys we see in the characters are the truths we’ve found in our own lives. We’ve all recognized the truth about ourselves to one extent or another right there every week.

        None of us here wouldn’t write about it so passionately if we didn’t.

      • JC says:

        @Dave

        Its not that were seeing issues that don’t exist, what I and I’m guessing Army is getting at is this. These could or should be Chuck’s reactions to Sarah’s mission. The show has a tendency to pick and choose how characters react depending on the plot. We all know Chuck has major abandonment issues and IMO its hard to believe this arc wouldn’t bring them to the surface even if he knows Sarah’s reason. I can deal with outlandish plots to a degree but not character interactions. And that’s where my issue of believability or realistic comes into play. I can’t just buy into Chuck as the complete pushover anymore or Sarah who seems oblivious to the whole situation.

    • armySFC says:

      i’m actually hoping she knocks some sense into sarah. pointing out that the job is not as important as family and loved ones. that there comes a time when you need to put yourself first and let someone else do the heavy lifting. this coming from a woman that was away from her family for 20 years would speak volumes and help the relationship. will we ever see it? prolly not but one can hope.

      • kg says:

        I agree with Thinkling. This is not necessarily Sarah “merely” choosing “A” mission over family and loved ones. THIS IS “THE” mission.

        Sarah already knows that family and loved ones are more important than the job. And she’s proven that.
        * Ready and willing to cap Longshore
        * Doing a bunch of things that added up and forced Beckman to call in Forest.
        * Directly disobeyed an order and fled with Chuck to Barstow
        * Teamed with Chuck to break out and help Casey in Tic Tac.
        * Kidnapped a diplomat on foreign soil, illegally and forcifully obtained information of a prisoner and then tore up half of Thailand to find “her” Chuck.

        This mission is exactly about taking out Volkoff to protect and esnure the survival of her “new” family. And Sarah is uniquely qualified for two reasons. One, she has the ability to romp through half of Thailand, and two, yes, I agree that she has a connection and bond with both Chuck and Mary.

        Army, I do partially agree with putting yourself first at some point, but in this most senisitve case/mission, Sarah is the only one who can do the heavy lifting here.

        And to reiterate, I agree that after/if she’s successful, she’s going to have the gumption to tell Beckman all my future missions are with Chuck or “we’re” out.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I actually have the same questions as Army does. If there isn’t some grand set up for fake killing Casey, how will Chuck respond to that? Afterall he has always had a problem with that part of the job, and that was when it wasn’t a team mate. That is actually the kind of thing that could make him question weither or not he wants to propose(funnily enough the same kind of thing lead to Sarah questioning her love aswell), or will perhaps Casey explain to him, just like he did to Sarah in American Hero?(you got to commend the guy he’s quite the shipper)How will he respond to other dark things that she’ll have to do to take down Volkoff? Will Sarah lose herself in the darkness? If she does, how will that changed behavior effect Chuck’s opinion of her? And just as important, will Volkoff set her up to do such things, to destroy not just Sarah but to destroy all the things that Chuck loves, and thus destroying him without physically touching him? Effectively destroying him, without Frost ending him.

    Sarah is absolutely risking it all in the coming episodes. She knows what Chuck is like, she knows his standards, his morals, and his attitudes. She knows how sacred family and friends are to him, just like doing the right thing. She knows what this mission might mean as in what she has to do. She knows what it has done to Mary, and she also knows that leaving Chuck like Mary did would leave him devastated. She also knows, she might just lose herself again, she knows she might die.

    There will be a lot of things for Chuck and Sarah to deal with these coming episodes, and I hope they actually resolve them, rather then ignore them.

    • joe says:

      Those are good questions.

      It’s funny – I think we actually know the answers to all of ’em. No one’s really believing, for instance, that we’re about to see the end of John Casey. Yet we’re quite willing to let ourselves be fooled for a bit that it might happen. We’ll let ourselves be emotionally manipulated, just a little.

      You’re right that it would be awful (on many levels) if “they” ignore some of the issues that have been laid out. That would be manipulation in the worst sense.

      But I have to laugh, because I can’t conceive of a way that it would even be possible to do that. When you write Sarah is absolutely risking it all…, Anon, it tells me you see the incredible tableau that’s already been created. Getting us to the point where we believe “Sarah is absolutely risking it all” was the hard part. We’re there. Getting us to the reward at the end of that risk is almost easy – it’s the down hill part of the roller coaster ride. I don’t know how TPTB could stop that coaster now.

      Those who are more experienced and professional than I know the techniques and tricks of how this bit of magic is done. They know how the gears turn to pull us to the top. I’m forever amazed that they sometimes can’t let themselves enjoy the ride because of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        But that’s the thing, Joe. We are told and are supposed to believe that Sarah is risking it all with this mission, but if most of the very valid questions that Anon brought up are not covered or answered or Chuck doesn’t reflect on what Sarah is doing and wonders if maybe Sarah is too much like his mother or there is no evaluation of Sarah’s actions, is she really risking anything? Is there any real risk if the threat of Sarah losing it all isn’t real?

        People like Thinkling and Dave talk about how Sarah is doing this mission for Chuck and his family and so that she and Chuck can have a future together and that Chuck shouldn’t take much issue with things, so then where is the risk? What risk is there in the storyline if Chuck doesn’t question Sarah, if Chuck doesn’t wonder if Sarah does horrible things (hypothetically) that they can move on from that, if she becomes a different woman from the person he loves and wants to marry? Is the risk that she might die? But then how is that different from any other mission she goes on? Is it that she might get mired in another 20 year quagmire like his mom? But then Chuck SHOULD be upset if that is the case, but I don’t think it is.

        See, I’m not all that excited about this storyline because I don’t feel like there is any real risk at all. Chuck won’t get upset with Sarah, Volkoff will act like a James Bond villain and won’t make Sarah do anything actually horrible that might make Chuck think of Sarah differently (like, I don’t know, making her seduce somebody to prove that she really has left Chuck and has no ties to him), and Sarah won’t become some totally different person. I don’t buy the drama because I know nothing will actually happen to threaten Sarah’s relationship with Chuck.

        I’m not saying I want S3 levels of angst or that I want to see Chuck and Sarah breakup, but if there’s no real threat of that happening, then the storyline doesn’t hold much emotional or dramatic weight with me. It might be entertaining and fun and cool and we might see some great stuff happen, but that’s all it will be. Fluff. Surface. Nothing with any real power behind. At least that’s how I feel. In fact, that’s how I’ve felt for most of the Mary/Volkoff arc. It’s been a pretty tepid arc over all and I’m not expecting a dramatic finish.

      • armysfc says:

        joe i agree with you. i know casey is not going to get killed off. we know that sarah would do anything for chuck. that’s not the question. we know she is risking it all. we know all about how far they have both come since season one.

        what if the show runners decide to push the envelope and actually make it so sarah does have to kill casey? no plan to fake his death, no last second go ahead from casey. a simple gang tactic of making your bones before you are let in. thats what i was trying to say early on and now. how will they handle that? it would be interesting to see.

        what i see from reading all the posts related to this topic is simple. there are two main groups voicing their opinion. the first are people that believe the show will not go that dark. they give their reasons. the second are people that think the show will go that dark. they take guesses as to how it will be handled.

        i tend to look at the worse possible out come of a situation. that way when it happens i’m not surprised by it. to use your own line “Yet we’re quite willing to let ourselves be fooled for a bit that it might happen.” can’t the same be said for those that don’t think it can happen. all options should be left open for both groups. because until monday no one knows whats going to happen.

        if on monday night the worse case happens and sarah attacks casey in the parameters i said above, meaning a true intent to kill. the group that thinks it can happen will be less affected than those that don’t.

      • Paul says:

        Honestly, from what I’ve been seeing, Casey is not in the know ahead of time of the kill order. However, there have been hints that he give Sarah permission (either verbally or tacitly) to go through with her instructions in order to perserve the cover. We know Casey is a mission first type of guy who would sacrficie himself to complete a mission. We know the old Sarah would do anything (to include burning collegues) to complete a mission. So the question comes down to Chuck. I think the will be a little shocked at first, will digest it some, and will come to the conclusion that Sarah is in way over her head and it’s up to him to get her out. Besides, I tihnk Casey will dispense some more wisdom (likely from a hospital bed) that Sarah did what she had to do and there are no hard feelings.

      • atcDave says:

        Paul I actually do think you’re right on how things will unfold. But I guess to me that just doesn’t sound particularly dark; the operative difference being, nobody on teamB will believe Sarah actually meant to kill Casey. That makes the entire difference on how dark the story is perceived as being.

        Now as far as Chuck’s doubts go; he may be freaked out a little at how intense the situation gets, that’s Chuck, its just how he is. But I don’t believe he’ll ever loose faith in who Sarah is, that’s Chuck too.
        Sarah herself may worry about how far she’ll have to go and what she’ll have to do to sell this cover; and she may worry about how upset Chuck will be with her. But I expect Chuck to be the understanding voice of forgiveness that he always has been for her. That is part of why we’ve seen the redemption of Sarah Walker, she’s found someone who loves her, believes in her, and trusts her. I expect that theme to continue to play out.
        Of course I believe this involves real risk. This is what I’ve been talking about all season. I find much of the hand wringing aspect of this to be quite boring. I’m far more interested in the actual external threats and risks. I want to see fights, chases, explosions and stunt work. I prefer all the tension and excitement come from external sources. I know who the main characters are; and I like them and believe in them. So the internal issues will always be mostly boring to me. Just give me a great fight scene and a baddie getting his just deserts and I’m happy. If the heroes risk life and limb to bring down Volkoff; well, that’s where the excitement lies to me.

      • joe says:

        Oh my, Anon. I think you’re misunderstanding Dave, Thinking and even Sarah a bit.

        Let me put it this way. Sarah *is* risking everything – and “everything” is her relationship with Chuck and their future together (and maybe her life). That’s because she’s “all in”, just the way Ellie meant it in S2 when she wondered if Devon had both feet in. It’s not that Chuck can’t object because Sarah’s taking a risk. He can. He *did*! It’s that if she doesn’t try to save Chuck’s mom, then she’s not “all in”. Sarah knows this, and I think Chuck does too. Chuck wouldn’t ask it of her; Sarah’s demanding it of herself.

        There *is* a real risk here. Mary Elizabeth has been kept away from her family for 20 years and the same could happen to Sarah. Chuck’s family hangs in the balance.

        And remember what she said. “You are my family now, Chuck. You always have been.” She is indeed doing this for the two of them.

      • joe says:

        @Army if on monday night the worse case happens and sarah attacks casey in the parameters i said above, meaning a true intent to kill. the group that thinks it can happen will be less affected than those that don’t.

        Heh! I think you’ve put your finger on working definitions of pessimists and optimists. We’ve got plenty of both here.

      • jason says:

        joe – she of course is not going to have the intent to kill casey, but she also may not have his permission, at that point, the safest place for casey, with or without his permission may be out the window, since if sarah doesn’t send him flying, someelse from volkov will likely simply shoot casey, kind of like shooting her dad, only much, much riskier – you might think I am very pessimistic, this whole sarah going dark means nothing to me, I could care less, as long as it gets over quickly, much like s3, there is a synopsis out for 14 that says chuck, sarah, and casey go on a mission, can’t really be that bad now can it?

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a good way to put it Joe, and succinct to boot.

      • jason says:

        another possibility, sarah kicks casey and he hurls himself out the window (he did once already this season) – sarah (and the audience) does not realize this at the time, making us all feel bad & letting the blogs go crazy for a week, we all find out in 4×13, when sarah meets casey, and he tells her, ‘you can’t kick me anyplace I don’t want to go walker’, I jumped out the window to save your butt.

  11. Faith says:

    On a tangent…65 comments in less than a day. I think I deserve more than gruel this week but 2 buck Chuck 😉 LOL. Kidding. Just trying to inject some humor.

  12. armysfc says:

    MODERATORS. since i don’t know how to remove a post could you please remove all of mine? it was not my intent to stir up trouble like i apparently did. my personal ideas got in the way of good dialog. i feel that i did over step my bounds when i reviewed some earlier posts. thanks guys/gals.

    • joe says:

      Really, there’s no need, Army. Your POV and the issues you bring up are quite valid and have certainly generated discussion! We always welcome that.

  13. Robert H says:

    What will be interesting to watch are not the women in the next episode ot two but how the Chuck character reacts or not to all of this. The character is being given another chance to man up and do something to make a difference in whatever happens or remain a passive figure in the background. The character failed miserably in the last arc and to some degree, even in the last episode. He needs to demonstrate some emotional distance from mommy’s “protection” and Sarah’s “rescueing” and show some independence from
    both of them ( and that includes Ellie too ). He’s a grown man now and not a nine year boy anymore. He chose the spy life in Season 3. It’s a life that requires assertiveness, not passivity, and if he can’t or won’t show it, then he needs to leave it and do something else. But then this is why this character has changed from Seasons 1 and 2. His motivation has been changed from independence to being extremely passive with massive emotional insecurities and it ‘s hurt the show, not helped it.
    I don’t see any real positive changes coming with the character but we’ll have to wait and see what happens (or doesn’t) in the next two episodes, thanks.

  14. Robert H says:

    Postscript: Had a chance to read most of the comments after posting my own. Noticed from the comments and some promos that have been commented on that I haven’t seen raise some good questions other people here have discussed. It seems everybody else will “handle” Volkoff but what will the Chuck character do? Given what we’ve seen probably very little except maybe “plan” or do something else that won’t get his hands dirty. Why? Because the Chuck character could never deal with Volkoff one on
    one for any reason. He’s not ruthless enough and Beckman (along with everybody else) knows it. It’s partially why Beckman wanted Sarah to make the drop
    in the last episode and handle the double agent mission. Yes, I know there were other reasons but as
    I’ve posted before this is why he doesn’t belong in the spy world and never will. He plays at it and avoids for the most part the darker realities. I know the show won’t go there of course but this why
    in part the chuck character to me has no credibility
    any more, other people do his dirty work for him.
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 2 episodes, thanks.

    • Big Kev says:

      Gotta agree Robert. Chuck is not remotely convincing as a spy – at least not as a ‘whatever it takes to get the job done’ field agent, which is what the show has established being a spy to mean.
      It does seem to me though that the show is beginning to address it. Firstly there was Sarah’s “you’re not a spy” comment, which I thought was dead right despite the widespread gnashing of teeth.
      Secondly there’s the fact that Beckman, apparently, hasn’t involved Chuck in this plan at all. Clearly she doesn’t feel that he’s ruthless enough or capable of
      keeping his emotions out of his decision making either. And she’s right on both counts.
      As far as dirty work goes, the writers have really moved away from that this season. Both Casey and Sarah have done a lot less killing this season, the shoot out in Anniversary excepted…..at least that’s the impression I have.
      But yeah, Chuck as Casey and Sarah’s equal in the spy game? Not buying it. Something’s got to give.

      • herder says:

        My guess, based on the synopsises and my own feel for the show is that Sarah’s mission in the Gobbler will be a mixed sucess at best, a failure at worst. At the end you have Volkov’s organization damaged but still intact, Mama B blown and a prisoner and Volkov at large.

        Sarah goes to rescue Mama B as she feels resposible for her cover being blown and Chuck (with Morgan) goes after Volkov. Chuck the full spy, equal of Sarah goes after the big guy. Maybe they end out at the same place as in Anniversary but my sense is that Chuck does step up and it is his smarts that win the day.

      • herder says:

        I’ll go a step further, I’ve been trying to figure out which lines from Anniversary will resonate in the last two episodes. I’ll say that Chuck’s giving up the search for the data on his mom because “it’s not worth losing you” will pop up again. Only this time Sarah will give up the search for something on the mission to choose Chuck over sucessful completion of the task at hand. Maybe this is why Mary is taken prisoner and Sarah goes after her, that in a choice between Mary and Chuck she chose Chuck.

      • Faith says:

        That will certainly distinguish her from Mary Herder. I like it. Mary couldn’t do that and in the end she lost so much because of it…Sarah will be different, she’ll have a life, a future.

        But at the same time I can’t help but think that where Sarah will be different in this case is that she’ll ask for help instead of thinking she can handle it alone. Maybe it’s the promo of Sarah all decked out returning to Castle. Seems like a sneaky thing to do, and not just to make out with Chuck ;-).

      • herder says:

        I see it as a sort of reversal of Chuck’s line in Subway “I’ll always choose to protect you” , I thought that one fell flat as Chuck was running away to protect her (not very heroic). I expect Sarah’s version to come off better.

    • joe says:

      That’s pretty good, Robert. I think I see the rationale for letting Sarah handle the drop a bit differently – it was essential to Sarah being framed. But other than that, I agree with you. Chuck is not ever going to fit comfortably in that world.

      I think it’s okay, though. As you noted in your 1st post of these two, Chuck *is* that nine year old boy. Well, not always, any more, and he’s that boy less every day – he’s becoming adult. But that 9 yr. old is there to remind us of the child within ourselves, right?

      Personally speaking (and I know I shouldn’t do that!), I’ve given presentations and demonstrations to Colonels and Generals holding (OMG! It’s true!) billion dollar contracts in their hands. I also had no fear of doing that. (Of all the quirks I have, my greatest is the complete lack of fear of public speaking – I too never get butterflies, except when proposing marriage). But when I’m on my bike I revert to that 9 yr. old boy again, just as smart-mouthed and stupidly silly. My wife says it’s endearing, but I hope she’s not lying about that! 😉

      Chuck is still a comic book, so in some sense we can’t expect it to adhere to all the rules of great literature and art. Given that, it’s tremendously adept at reminding me of things I thought I had forgotten, like putting a towel over your shoulders and flying like Superman. I was 6 the last time I tried that. Now I remember what being a hero felt like. Chuck can man-up and I really like it when he rises to the occasion. But he also can’t kill that little boy.

      Pure Schwartz, isn’t it?

    • Faith says:

      Robert, I think we might be overthinking this a bit. It’s probably a lot simple: like the fact that Volkoff wouldln’t believe Chuck but he’d be apt to believe Sarah. And more importantly by it being Sarah Volkoff now holds all the cards and thinks that Chuck does not. It’s all about mind games.

      • thinkling says:

        Good point. I think Chuck could handle an undercover mission … to a point. But lets take Chuck at his very best and confident. Let’s say we have Chuck being just as convincing as he was in Fake Name, only without all the other junk. He and Sarah are great; the Intersect is at its best. Chuck can do a cover.

        But not this one. Chuck is Mary’s son, which makes him not believable. Tuttle spent a lot of time with Carmichael. Only Tuttle was really Volkoff, and Carmichael had become Chuck with him, telling his life story.

        There is no way Chuck can do this particular undercover work.

        But it’s clear that sometime in Gobbler, all of TeamB is involved. And we do get to see him and Morgan go after Volkoff, though. I am guessing that there is at least some measure of success to all the missions by the final act of 4.13.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m still pretty curious and excited to see how Sarah sells herself as a traitor to Mary, let alone Volkoff. Of course we suspect Mary will catch on to what is going on, but Frost, along with Volkoff will need to be convinced it is genuine. Which I think brings us to the interesting part for the dynamic. Is Sarah going to sell being a traitor as something she’s doing for Chuck, or to Chuck?

        I see two possible scenarios. One she says she’s doing it for the money to get her and Chuck out of the spy game. Mary/Frost might be sold, but she’s spent time with them and knows Sarah has real feelings for Chuck. But would Volkoff buy it? The plus for Sarah is that she basically makes her cooperation conditional on no harm coming to Chuck. But then there is the other option. She claims she is betraying Chuck and counts on Mary’s continued protection of Chuck. But then does Volkoff buy Frost allowing Sarah to betray Chuck and go on living? He then has the perfect weapon to use against each of them and test their loyalties. Each other. I think Beckman’s evil plan has some interesting twists in store for us, and Chuck’s solutions to the problems each scenario poses could be interesting.

      • atcDave says:

        Interesting questions Ernie. That’s the part that gets exciting to me, the details of how they pull this off. My suspicion is she’ll have to win over Mary in a way that makes her commitment to Chuck clear, but to do that while betraying the agency could get tricky. After all, she can’t just play wrongfully accused, she has to sell bent on revenge or something to be trusted.

      • Paul says:

        @Ernie – I think Mary catches on VERY quickly and VERY early. It could be something as simple as Sarah using a double meaning that only Mary would catch on to:

        Mary – “So why are you here, Walker?”
        Sarah – “You know why I’m here…. I’m here because blah, blah, blah”

        2nd half isn’t really important because it would be her cover excuse. But telling Mary she should know why she is there should be a tipoff.

      • herder says:

        Ironically Mary told Sarah to protect Chuck in First Fight, for Sarah the only way to protect Chuck is to take down Volkov and his organization. So in trying to keep Volkov and Chuck apart from one another Mary has set up a situation where they have to confront one another.

  15. Rac2873 says:

    What if Sarah & Chuck had a child in the future. Say Sarah never took this mission and Volkof kidnaps their child. You think Chuck would have a problem with his wife going all kill bill on the bad guys. Is Chuck going to devorce her because of it?

    It’s okay for Sarah to rip up half of Thailand looking for Chuck but it’s not okay going after Volkof? Chuck knows Sarah will protect him and her family at all costs. If Sarah must do despicable things to survive then I hope she would or else her slip up could cost her life.

    Chuck may not like what he sees but he knows deep in his heart that Sarah is doing this to save his Mom, and end This black cloud “Volkof” that has been hanging over the Bartowski family for 20 years. But to do this Sarah must trick Volkof thinking that she is one of the bad guys.

    Sarah sees a future with her new family but with a madman hellbent on destroying your family out there the future doesn’t look so bright. Sarah is a problem solver. She wants her whole family back and her future husband at peace.

    I know I am babbling and I am not as articulate as you all but I just wanted to get my point across that Chuck has seen some horrible stuff Sarah’s has done and this is no different.

    How mad can Chuck be when he himself joins the fight to take out Volkof once and for all.

    • jason says:

      rac – we are prisoners of just how much TPTB want to jerk us around. There is very little evidence that some central conflict theme will continue to resonate between chuck and sarah for the duration of the show, just depends what it is …. in all ways possible, the proposal conflict is the nicest one I can think of – a LI about the meanest – chuck being mad over sarah defending his mom (and arguable his whole family) too aggressively, in the big scheme of things, well, that is pretty nice too, especially vs a LI – overall, us big time shippers (I am one big, big time) just have to get used to the fact some conflict will exist until the final 5 minutes of the series, and be thankful when the conflict is over a nice issue.

      Does that make sense?

      • jason says:

        sorry = i meant there is lots of evidence some conflict will continue – not little – joe where is that darned edit button?

      • rac2873 says:

        Conflict is fine. Heck me an my wife have Conflicts all the time. It is what a realtionship is all about.

        I just was trying to point out short of cheating on Chuck I cannot see anything derailing the Chuck and Sarah engagement.

        People are saying they should have Chuck question his love for Sarah. I don’t agree. Chuck saw Sarah blow away Mauser point blank range. he loves this girl flaws and all.

        There will always be conflict. He might not like how she does things, how she seduces a mark etc but Sarah would feel the same way. I want that conflict it makes it fun and interesting. What I don’t want is Sarah doing this amazing gift of love for Chuck and his family for Chuck to reject her. If that is what people want to happen then I think they might be wanting a darker show.

        So yes there will be some tension but not the uber angst that some people want to happen. That ship has sailed. I would be shocked if they are not engaged in 4.13. If they put it off because of Chuck then Sarah was wrong and the future doesn’t look so promising afterall.

      • Big Kev says:

        Jason – As you’ve probably guessed, I’m an advocate of the “character growth comes from challenge and conflict” school….at least as far as TV and film goes. Everyone’s mileage varies of course in how much conflict and drama they like. I think I probably like more than you, but maybe not quite as much as OD! 🙂
        Where I do agree with you is where this show chooses to generate it’s conflict from, particularly this season. We dont need ridiculously contrived commitment issues (Suitcase) or rings falling in slow motion round corners, or four thwarted proposals. It’s a spy show – you’d think the very job that they do would create enough drama, tough decisions and hair raising situations without the need to manufacture them in occasionally cringeworthy ways. Thats why I want to get back to MamaB/Volkoff – great villain, enigmatic family matriarch, double crossing, double agents and redemption stories. Great stuff!!!

      • armysfc says:

        very true jason. when you look at the history of schwartz’s shows they have few happy couples or ones that stay that way. he said in the pod cast that a happy couple is boring (or something to that effect). he tweeted “It was a great episode with a twist at the end that promises to sustain the plot for the rest of the season.” i can’t see an engagement/wedding plot being used by him to drive the season. i see a back half driven by c/s trying to over come a traumatic event that happens during this arc. it will be one they are both involved in at the same time. my guess in the whole the arc is the casey part in the next episode. sarah has major bad things in front of chuck (killings and seductions)and he knows about what she did to get him out of thialand. what better way to create that traumatic event than have her hurt or kill someone on purpose that is close to him (in context with a lot of the above thread. she needs to do it for the mission to succeed).

        i also fully believe that dave was right when he predicted the engagement in the balcony. they would have been engaged when she went under cover to take down volkoff. the push mix would then end the season with the family back together and the big bad guy out of the way. it would be a nice end to the show if it wasn’t picked up. it would allow time for most fans to forget about the actions of 4.12. this plan got messed up by the additional 11 eps allowing them to push the engagement back till whenever and made them address the actions of the arc.

      • joe says:

        @Jason joe where is that darned edit button?

        Last I heard, Stephen was working on that upgrade to WordPress, but got distracted working on the Intersect 3.0

        Sigh!

      • atcDave says:

        Well that and being dead…

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Actually Rac worst case scenario with Sarah doing something non violent that would make Chuck back off wouldn’t just be cheating (one suggestion above was that Volkoff may try to get her to continue to prove that she’s turned by seducing someone) but by cheating with Volkoff himself. He’s twisted enough to do it and he acted like he was leering at her right before trying to blow them up.

        If he does try to make her sleep with him, that may be the thing that could both cause problems with Chuck (he could see video of her apparantly going to sleep with Volkoff , the man his mother basically tore apart his family for) and blow Mary and/or Sarah’s cover because Sarah realizes that she can’t through with it completely but after enough has been filmed to hurt Chuck.

    • JC says:

      Here’s the problem Rac, Chuck is expected to just get over whatever Sarah or anyone else does. Chuck on the other hand gets yelled at and actually accepts responsibility for his actions. And after four seasons of the same type of story telling it’s gotten old. Can you honestly tell me that if this arc involved Chuck going undercover that Sarah would just deal with it?

      • Big Kev says:

        JC,
        I think that gets back to how convinced you are by Chuck as a spy. I’d be confident that Sarah could handle whatever being undercover can throw at her. It’s her job and it’s what she’s trained for. I just don’t think Chuck has the same capabilities, intersect or not. And I think Sarah and Casey would have similar doubts.

      • JC says:

        I can see that Big Kev but you have to lay some of the blame for that at the feet of the writers. We did see in S3 that Chuck was capable of those things but of course Sarah couldn’t deal with it. So we’re left with the question does he hold back because of himself or how Sarah will react. Part of also seems to be the writers are struggling with making Chuck a hero and keeping his core personality intact.

        And I wasn’t just talking about spy capabilities but accountability on the show. Chuck goes undercover as Rafe and its OMG he’s changing into a monster. Sarah goes undercover and it’s deal with it Chuck. When it comes to Chuck other characters have the mentality do as I say not as I do.

      • Faith says:

        Don’t take this the wrong way JC…I certainly don’t speak for the blog on this one, nor do I mean any offense but you have an almost unhealthy obsession with knocking Sarah down a peg. She gets plenty of grief, most from herself and sure it may not equal to what Chuck gets from multiple sources but that’s just because it’s coming from multiple sources. Sarah really only has Chuck in her life. Of late that’s been changing, that’s a good thing.

        And maybe when it comes down to it is that Chuck gets grief because he jumps both feet without thought a lot of the time. All the people in his life who gives him grief for that speak out of the heart, not to give him grief.

        Anyways, like I said I mean no offense, just speaking from the heart. And I will give you an apology in advance if there is any. I’m sorry.

      • JC says:

        No offense taken Faith.

        I think people are taking what I’m writing the wrong way. My main problem isn’t with Sarah or what she’s doing, in fact I think they’ve used her better than ever this season. My issue is with Chuck and his reactions to situations. When Sarah and other people yell at Chuck right or wrong I like that because it’s believable to me. What I don’t like is they won’t let Chuck do that. Right or wrong he just sits back and takes it.

      • Paul says:

        But JC, THAT is Chuck’s character. He’s a passive guy that is forced to do great things. Sure, when he finally steps up, he’s wonderful, but it does take a bit of prodding. And you know what, I actually know many folks who are just like that.

      • jason says:

        @kev / @rac / @faith / @everyone – I actually love drama, problem for drama and chuck, there are only a few regulars who can act ‘dramatically’ well – lets face it, most of the heavy drama lifting is done either by the guests or by Yvonne.

        Trouble with that is, there are only so many ways to dramatize the relationship & little else to dramatize about the story, and if anything goes wrong, the whole thing becomes a mess, especially if the guest star can’t bring drama and the central relationship story does not hit it near perfect.

        I don’t understand why they don’t lean more and more to comedy, I just don’t get it, Zach and Josh and AB and Ryan are so funny & Yvonne / ellie are adorable as the big sister types who love their boys and their antics, The reg cast is so much more funny the the morons, yet I think the morons are ten times more funny when the ep is a comedy or lite, than when TPTB are sucking my breathe away with drama, while making me sit thru ten minutes of lester.

        Sorry for the rant.

      • Faith says:

        JC, *sigh of relief* To your point Chuck hasn’t had nearly as much volatile moments as much as Ellie or Sarah for that matter. But there are again reasons. I tend to agree with Paul, it’s just not in his makeup. Chuck’s a guy that sees all sides and leads with his heart on all of it. So when someone does him wrong, he doesn’t become a p*ssy and take it, but he thinks before he explodes and considers their part in it. It’s one of his most admirable qualities. Even then in my opinion we see Chuck uncensored more than you’d think with his character. From his, “I’m not like you Sarah, I can’t turn my emotions on and off like some robot” to his tirade in First Fight, these are just 2 examples. Can he do more? Yes, but like I said, he’s a big heart guy by nature and there are more that comes with that than just understanding.

        Jason, why can’t there be more comedy? Awhile back I remarked that the show has really in some ways changed leadership. Sure it’s still a Schwedak show but CF has taken more of the reigns and control in my opinion. CF has always meant this show to be a drama, it was JS that thought to inject comedy. It’s a fine balance and more often than not it leans towards one more than the other but of late it’s tied directly to the seriousness of the mythology. These are high stakes that Chuck is dealing with, no longer is he finding the Laslo’s of the world and putting them away, he’s dealing with international weapons dealers…a little humor sure would work wonders but a lot wouldn’t fit. Having said that, we (in my opinion) had our fair share of humor. Among the genius of S4 in my opinion has been the dance/the balance. We had Sarah joking around this season, that’s far more than we can say in recent memory! And it was a blast!

      • armySFC says:

        i think there is another reason he doesn’t blow up. to me he has been the slowest developed character on the show. i believe it all relates to his past. he puts to much blame on himself for what goes wrong. he shows that in 3.13 (don’t know the name). even in the balcony he says he wishes he was more like james bond despite what sarah told him in phase three. he is still selling himself short. he did it in fear of death as well. he still doesn’t believe he can be helpful with out the intersect and when he has it it makes him more confident.

        we know he is capable of killing to protect sarah (at the time we were lead to believe it anyway till shaw rose from the dead). add sarahs issues on top of that is why i pay little attention to the relationship. granted i may speculate to where it may go and problems that may arise but thats for fun. they will give us just enough to lead us on to the promised land. it will just be a slow journey till they finally if ever figure out to make it really work. by that i mean they no longer have doubts about each other and communication flows freely between the pair.

      • JC says:

        @Faith

        Even though you don’t agree, I’m glad you saw what I was getting. I’m probably didn’t articulate myself that well and have a tendency to ramble. The only reason I use the Sarah comparison is because her and Chuck have so many interactions. But it’s how he reacts to all the characters.

        I’m not saying Chuck should explode at everything but there are times that he should. I know he’s a passive guy but they do need to show some growth and have him stand up for himself once in awhile. I feel like they’re doing to Chuck what they did to Sarah last year. Having him regress to serve the plot.

        IMO this episode would have been a great moment for him to explode even if had been irrationally. Have all those abandonment issues and fears come to the surface like Sarah in FOD.

    • joe says:

      Actually, that’s one of the best justifications for Sarah’s decision that I’ve seen in print, Rac. Well done.

      Like you, I have no little problem understanding Sarah taking on this mission. Those tears at the end of Balcony felt justified by the story and in keeping with the character now. I’m amused by the teaser – Sarah in a black cat suit saying “Hello, Boys”, because of the contrast. I mean, exactly how do we get *there*?

      I can’t wait to find out!

    • Faith says:

      You make a great point Rac. Throughout all of this what we’ve overlooked is the danger. We’ve considered the emotional (Mom) aspect of it all, and even Chuck’s loss of concentration but the danger is equally daunting. As long as Volkoff is out there and Chuck is the intersect there will be danger to him and to those around him. Mary can only keep a dog so long in its cage…as the saying goes.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks rac, great comment. I agree entirely.

  16. Mess says:

    The Question isn’t so much if Chuck will come to terms with it, but how will he do it? I saw some people suggesting that some people seem to be out to see Chuck and Sarah break up, or any of that drama, but I’m not, I’m a massive shipper. But still I have the questions I posted earlier(the Anon that wrote down those questions) What I’m looking for is a credible play out of events, what I’m looking for is to see Chuck come to terms with how she has to handle things, to not just save Mary, but to save herself and her/his family. And I’d like to see the same thing from Sarah, afterall we are to believe she is different now.

    I’ve seen people say, yeah but he saw her kill Mauser, he didn’t stop loving her, no he didn’t, but it took him some serious time to get over it. If she then will have to kill Casey to save everyone, then it would make somewhat sense to us, but Chuck will need to deal with it, and so will she. No matter how right she might have been.

    There is definitely the chance that there will be some fall out for the rest of the season, but we have to remember, Seduction Impossible will be an episode that is just fun similair to Honeymooners, so it’s more likely to be resolved in the arc itself. For me it is asking such questions, that makes me want to watch again. And it’s a great job from TPTB that they make me ask those questions.

    • rac2873 says:

      Does it change if Casey tells her to throw him out the window. Also if she does not do this and prove her loyalty to Volkof then will Chuck and her are dead for trying to pull a fast one on him.

  17. treecrab says:

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    Forgive the cliche, but I’m a bit perplexed at what seems to be a common theme in many of the posts I’m reading here. That theme seems to be, whatever Sarah does, however bad it is, it’s okay, because it’s for the sake of the mission and it’s what she had to do and Chuck will understand that.

    Now maybe I’m not understanding what people are saying, but I find that shocking, if that is what they mean. That kind of moral justification, the ends justify the means, is really shocking to me. I don’t understand it. The ends DON’T justify the means. They almost never do.

    How can this be a redemption of Sarah if she violates her new principles or becomes a different person or loses herself in the process?

    • rac2873 says:

      How else can they defeat Volkof. Mary needs someone on the inside. If Chuck and Company go after Volkof then Volkof’s promise is off the table and he will kill her daughter, Son in Law and he is crazy enough to kill everyone Mary loves.

      This guy is a sociopath. So Sarah knows if she is on the inside then she can do much more damage.
      Sarah has probably experience being a double agent and she will use this experience along with her team to take out the badguys.

      I can hear Casey now. Moron that girl loves you, I told her to throw me out the window. She saved all our lives.

      I am shocked people can’t see that.

      • jason says:

        yep, I don’t get the big deal at all – SARAH USED TO KILL PEOPLE FOR A LIVING, her unique skills are going to save chuck, ellie, awesome, awesomette, and mary, what more can a girl do?

        Casey is in the synopsis for the next couple of eps, he isn’t dying, geez.

        nayhow, you didn’t find that video yet, where casey tells her to throw him, did you?

      • treecrab says:

        Substitute “Kill Casey” with “Sleep with this mark” and I really wonder if you’d be having the same kind of reaction.

      • armySFC says:

        let me try this with out being sarah. lets say its another agent that has outside contacts and can get to them anytime they want. its the concept of the mission i have the issue with.

        let me start here. mary has been dark for 20 years. she previously stated that she needs to take down the entire empire not just volkoff. to do that will take massive amounts of information on the organization. mary has appeared several times without volkoff to save chuck and sarah. this means at this point in time she can move freely when she wants. now she needs the information to do it. if she doesn’t have it already how long would it take to gather it. my bet is a pretty long time. now say she has it. why didnt she just bring it with her on one of her trips to see chuck and sarah and turn it over then? like when she came and killed the three assassins. she know at that point in time they want to kill chuck. that would take down the empire just the same. i find it hard to believe that she didn’t have this freedom before.

        remember also that they told us volkoff has contacts inside the intelligence community. which from the start puts the mission in danger.

        once in side the agent has to convince mary that she should come back into the fold so to speak. there is no way of knowing at this time if mary even wants to come back. beckman is sending the agent into a very bad situation. if you look at it like that it would seem an almost impossible mission to complete.

        having sarah go in does make the most sense because of the family angle and those reasons that have been covered. so thats ok by me. we still dont know if shes good or bad. maybe shes been talking to gen b again who knows. the mission is flawed at best from the start no matter who they send in.

        this is chuck. we know that all the major players will be there in the end and that sucks most of the drama out of it. as dave constantly says they wont go that far. i feel hes right. there are many other reasons why i don’t like this arc, not because its sarah but because for me the mission is full of two many variables and doesn’t fit with what we have been shown.

      • atcDave says:

        Treecrab, Sarah won’t be sleeping with any marks either. As far as we know she never has. We know she’s had a tendency to get involved with co-workers, but we have never heard of her sleeping with a mark. I can think of only situation in the history of the show where it even might have happened. The Sarah we’ve seen has always been smart and resourceful enough to avoid that.
        And I can’t even tell you how illegal any sort of order like either of those would be. Any agent could bring down someone who issued such an order by going to the press, congress, or the UN. So it’s not like it would even be easy to force an agent to go against their conscience (which we know Sarah has).

        Army I do agree there a lot of holes in the mission plan, at least as far as we know. But I do think that’s sort of the limitation of the genre; as an action/comedy/drama/romance, there’s only so much time left for serious mission planning and details. They leave us to take a lot on faith, and just enjoy the ride.

      • herder says:

        I don’t think that there will be a situation where Sarah has to sleep with a mark, but I do suspect that there is a seduction situation coming up in the next three episodes. Unlike in Beefcake where Chuck was the one bothered by it, this time I think that Sarah will have real problems with it. Job vs Family commitments, I suspect will be an issue that is examined and how the new Sarah handles it compared to the old Sarah. In the sense of comparing Mary and Sarah, Mary has led Volkov on for twenty years, Sarah’s inability to do that now would be a real difference.

      • atcDave says:

        yeah Herder, I do agree they will eventually examine the issue; if nothing else just to have Sarah get openly jealous when she has to watch Chuck. But I think its a situation they will play mostly for laughs, and there will be little real risk involved; certainly nothing near actually sleeping with a mark.

      • treecrab says:

        @Dave – You misunderstand. I’m not saying that Sarah will sleep with a mark or that she ever has (though the start of S3 certainly made it seem like a possibility). What I was arguing is the idea that Rac illustrated up above, that because Sarah is being asked to “kill Casey,” what she has to do is okay. That the fanbase isn’t upset and shouldn’t be. My assertion was, what if you substituted Volkoff’s demand that instead of killing Casey to prove her loyalty, he asks her to sleep with a mark. Would the fanbase still be okay with this storyline then?

        My guess is that no, they wouldn’t. And that people are only arguing that Sarah’s mission isn’t a big deal because it’s not a threat to the relationship, but if that it was a threat, you’d see a LOT more people here getting upset.

        That’s what I meant, earlier. Though I’m not sure why you started talking about agents and orders and such. It’s Volkoff that would be giving her this order, not the CIA. And he’s a bad guy. He’s not going to care if it’s morally wrong to order Sarah to sleep with a mark. It’s wrong to order Sarah to kill Casey too, but that didn’t stop him. And if I wanted Sarah to prove to me that she no longer had ties to Chuck, making her sleep with a mark is the first thing I’d have her do. But I know that won’t happen. Really, it was more a hypothetical to illustrate a point.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay, sorry tree crab if I got a little distracted; I’m kind of responding to A LOT of different comments today. I think my point had to do with Sarah’s career history.

        Sleeping with someone of Volkoff’s choosing would be a harder scenario to just fake on her part; and presumably easier for Volkoff to set-up. But it would have the draw back of being somewhat irrelevant. If Volkoff is looking for a useful fighting machine, he could alienate or tick her off quite easily by insisting on something that isn’t even what he wants her for.
        It would be like if I volunteered my services as an assassin and my would be employer choose to test my loyalty by making me eat broccoli. Well, I really hate broccoli. So instead of getting a new assassin he just ticked me off, and now I don’t want to work for him. Its an irrelevant screening apparatus.

        Now of course the fandom would be even more upset. But I don’t think its because of any sort of moral concerns; its because the life and death stuff is viscerally exciting, and yet its easy to imagine Sarah setting it up as a big con with her team. If we were told Sarah would be required to sleep with Volkoff’s oldest son, well, it seems hopeless and pointless. Bad entertainment.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m definitely not a “ends justify the means” sort; not even a little. But what I see Sarah doing is a heroic mission driven by love to make the world a better place.
      If she were to kill an innocent person, or team-mate, or fellow agent; I would have a huge problem with that. But she won’t. Its that simple. Sarah would never do that. Not even old Sarah would have done that. She may be ordered to do it by Volkoff, but she won’t. She will try to “fake” killing Casey; and Casey will play along (at some risk to himself, but that is what the business involves).

      Chuck will worry about Sarah’s safety, he’ll worry about her being able to get out of the mission quicker than his mom did, and he may worry about what she’ll be forced to do for her cover. He may worry about if she’ll still love him, because he’s Chuck and he’s insecure.

      Sarah will succeed in this mission because she has Chuck and her team to help her. She will succeed where Mary failed because she won’t repeat Mary’s mistakes, although she may worry about it because it is a big and dangerous mission.

      The only bad thing I see Sarah having done in this is having her initial talk with Beckman apparently without Chuck’s knowledge. But to my mind she fixed that by telling Chuck all about the mission in Castle. She doesn’t want to go; but she has to fix this so they can have a life together without an armed psychopath threatening them, Mary, and the Awesomes.

      It is a tense and exciting situation with potential for action and drama from multiple directions. But we don’t need to be worrying about non-existent moral issues. This is NOT S3. The writers are different, the show is different. The good guys will do the right thing (yes that means Sarah too) and they will triumph in the end. This will be a fun ride, and that is the point. Chuck is not Battlestar Galactica, it is a FUN show.

      By the way, thank you RAC and Jason for your excellent comments.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with all of that, Dave.

        It’s true Sarah talked to GB before telling Chuck. Two things brought on the impromptu conversation: Chuck’s nervousness at dinner, which she attributed to all that’s been on his mind; and his assumption that Pierre the terrorist was one of Volkoff’s men, plus the look he gave Sarah after that.

        Not only that, I think when things settled down she would have broached the subject with Chuck about somebody having to do something. But she never got the time. She was blindsided, and I’m pretty sure she never dreamed it would come to fruition in the way that it did, or as quickly.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks for mentioning that Thinkling. There were reasons why Sarah made the offer when she did. And I also agree she would have told Chuck when time permitted, but was overtaken by events.

      • herder says:

        Dave, I agree that this season is different and that the good guys will prevail in the end, but not at the end of Gobbler. I think the mission ends out busted at the end of Gobbler, sort of it’s always darkest before the dawn type of thing. I think that at the end of Gobbler you get Volkov at large, Mary a prisoner, Casey seriously hurt and Chuck and Sarah seperated (but not necessarily at odds or on different pages).

        I think that this is the dark ending for the first part of the season, and if it is done only occasionally that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is the mission that the season has been building up to and just like Subway ended with team Bartowski down but not out I think that Gobbler will end the same way. Just like Subway you can have the team in a bad way but that they pulled together to prevent total disaster so it is uplifting in a way. I expect something like that. Of course these are just my own guesses and I could be completely off the mark too.

      • atcDave says:

        I think those are reasonable guesses Herder.

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto that. Sounds reasonable. Except we won’t get them back to back.

      • armySFC says:

        herder good specs. i’ll add mine. i think the end of gobbler is when sarah has the run in with casey or just after. it leaves a big cliff hanger.

      • Faith says:

        I think old Sarah would have just taken off and led him to believe that she was over him/no longer in love with him to spare him heartbreak in case she doesn’t make it. Seems like the thing for her to do. Illogical as it is. But the new Sarah is far more communicative and on the pulse than that. That’s a good thing.

      • thinkling says:

        Great point Faith. I agree, and wouldn’t that have been so much worse. Glad those days are behind us.

    • Faith says:

      I have another cliché 😉 “don’t borrow trouble.” Heh.

  18. Ernie Davis says:

    I have a few things to add about what is going on recently, apparently throughout the online Chuck community, but I first want to make it clear that none of this is a personal attack on anyone. I also want to make it clear that while we don’t censor and hope we never have to we expect people who visit here to help us maintain the courteous anarchy we’re known for. A lot of us are here specifically to escape the tone of other sites, so we really don’t want that imported here.

    I’ve always said that since there is often a lack of context, no facial expressions or body language, you should always attribute the most generous tone and motives possible to every commenter. That said, we do develop personalities, and we do bear some responsibility for them. They come from the tone of our posts and the interactions with various other commenters. Joe, myself and the others have worked hard to keep our tone courteous and our disagreements cordial so that when misunderstandings arise we get the benefit of the doubt. But we like to have fun and a bit of teasing or tweaking or the occasional snark may be misinterpreted, both from us and from other commenters, so again, please be responsible and try to keep things between us positive.

    We are nice people here and we have great discussions because traditionally we do something remarkable. We listen. We don’t typically talk past each other or over each other. I suppose it is part of the success of the board, that we attract so much good discussion, that sometimes we read to quickly or miss something someone has said, but unfortunately it sometimes comes across as dismissive or unnecessarily harsh. Each of us needs to be responsible for making sure our on-line persona is well enough established as someone who deserves the benefit of the doubt in such cases. But if we are going to have a discussion we need to listen.

    It’s OK to be negative about aspects of the story you don’t like, but having stated your dissapointment, accept that someone here is going to try to talk you off the ledge. I think it is still part of the hangover from season 3 but some commenters tend to immediately paint the story, TPTB or the characters actions in the most negative terms possible, even when their motives (the characters) are clearly laid out on the screen. Some posters also assume the worst possible reaction or thoughts or attribution of motives from the other characters, even when, for a change this season, the characters have basically told each other why they are doing what they are doing. One commenter has famously quit the board and the show (or such was the claim). And that is fine by me in that case. A lot of us spent a lot of time calming him and allaying his fears about events to come, and in a parting rant he called us liars and fools for not giving in to despair. Sometimes, just repeating your disapointments or concerns when other views are offered comes across as demanding negativity. It’s OK to be negative occasionally, but don’t demand negativity from other posters. Just because we listen doesn’t always mean we agree.

    Ignoring what is on the screen or ignoring what others point out, does not lead to a good discussion. Painting actions and motives in the most extreme or negative possible light when the story is far different, and then simply re-stating or ignoring when a differing view is offered is not a discussion. Dismissing opinions from others as uninformed is not a discussion, especially in matters where the resolution has yet to be seen. As someone who went through a lot of this last season it is endlessly frustrating. Despite a lot of new writers and a new direction for the show a lot of people still seem determined to be dissapointed with the direction the writers want to take us, even though it isn’t always clear and it often ends up being precisely what a lot of them asked for last season. That’s fine, but don’t be offended if some of us have regained our trust in the writers and want to look forward to the next episode with anticipation rather than dread. Lets have a discussion we can all enjoy.

    • sd says:

      Agreed, Ernie!

      As someone who faithfully reads this board, I am surprised at the angst/anger? that seems to be boiling over at times as we try to suss out what the writers may end up doing in the upcoming episode(s).

      I also find it amazing where we all fall when it comes to Sarah’s actions–and potential actions in 4.12-4.13.

      I do agree that many of us feel a bit burned by S3 and to mess with an old saying…some of us may be feeling “once burned, twice shy.”

      But having said that, I think we need to try to trust where the writers are taking this…and trust that it isn’t OOC.

      Okay, let the beat-down begin—I can take it 🙂

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for that comment Ernie. There does seem to be a lot of lingering distrust left from last season. But I don’t remember as much sniping at each other last year. I’m not sure where its all coming from. But would agree entirely that show has become almost exactly what I always wanted it to; and I’m happy to give the writers a little leeway now.

      • herder says:

        I too am willing to give the writers a little leeway now, they have won back some of the goodwill that they spent so freely last year. No all the goodwill that they had at the end of season 2 but they have won back enough for me to sit back and see what is to come.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Herder

        I believe the watchword on this blog has been ‘cautiously optimistic’ before the start of Season 4. Is it safe to say that 11 episodes in, we can upgrade that watchword to ‘positively optimistic’. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Herder I think S2 was sort of high note in a lot of ways, trust among them.

        Genie, I can go with “mostly optimistic”. They’re not all the way back, but I feel pretty darn good about things.

    • PeterOinNJ says:

      “Just because we listen doesn’t mean we agree.” Thank you Ernie. Thank you for being calm, rational and – well, real. This isn’t S3. This isn’t S2. It’s S4 with growth, commitment, and much more fun than I can remember in this show.
      The only thing I think you missed was to paraphrase the words that Ali Adler once shared with the fandom: Relax and enjoy the show you love. I know I am. Thanks for ensuring our “safe haven”.

    • Faith says:

      Just for the record, Ernie is speaking for all of us. Ok maybe not all of us (I certainly don’t speak for all of us in this post heh) but certainly for me.

    • armySFC says:

      ernie i agree. i was not one to have witnessed the debacle of season 3 before 3.12. so i look at this season based on season 2. its hard for me to compare how much they have changed the show since season 3. that said i am not getting as much enjoyment out of this year as the rest of you. for all the growth i keep hearing about i can see it in sarah casey and morgan. where i found jeffster funny and amusing before now i find them creepy. buymore no longer has the appeal it once did.

      the main thing i find missing this year is the chuck that jumped off a building to save sarah, the chuck who went into a ring lair to rescue sarahs boyfriend, willing to sacrifice his life because shaw was in danger, the chuck that ran away from his handlers to defuse a bomb or exposed himself to a deadly disease. heck he even kissed casey because he thought it would save him. that took guts, lol. and the big one, the chuck that risked losing sarah by shooting shaw despite knowing how sarah felt about him killing someone. this year we have seen none of that. at one point he was worse than before the pilot. this is why i have trouble trusting the writers. season 4 maybe better than season 3 for those of you that saw it. for me its not as good as season 2. that is the part that bothers me.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Army, I humbly disagree. The only time where I believe they regressed Chuck this season was during the Intersect-less arc. Apart from that the one reason why Chuck hasn’t stood out this season is that there has been a lot of emphasis on team work rather than individual heroics.

      • armySFC says:

        genie i agree with you that its been team work. its true he only acted that way during the intersect-less arc. that’s my point in all this. in the examples i gave, with the exception of saving shaw (feel free to correct me if i’m wrong) where he used the intersect to get in the elevator, he didn’t use the intersect to do any of them. he did it all on his own. during the intersect-less everything he showed me he could do before he didn’t.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        he didn’t use the intersect to do any of them. he did it all on his own. during the intersect-less everything he showed me he could do before he didn’t.

        I totally understand what you say. Fact is that me and JC have had similar discussions about the wasted opportunity of utilizing Chuck’s smarts during the Intersect-less arc.

      • rac2873 says:

        I think we may see that soon.

        Have you seen any spoilers or are you refraining.

      • Faith says:

        Army, if you don’t mind me saying so go watch season 3. You need to see the full picture. My 2 cents.

        Alladins, I think that’s a deliberate move on their part: teamwork. And I think we’ll see coming towards the end that it’s necessary.

      • armysfc says:

        faith, i thank you for the advice. to be honest this season isn’t doing a lot for me in itself. i have no desire to go watch a season that most people say was lousy. i watch a show to be entertained. maybe i’m expecting more than it is capable of giving. i have enjoyed 3 episodes this season. i won’t list the reasons but many have come out in the posts i have made. i watch it because there are good discussions here after each episode. i enjoy them. this may sound strange but if i wasn’t shown this blog i probably would have given up on it by now. so i guess that’s a good thing.

    • JC says:

      I’d also like to mention that sometimes what you meant in a comment might be taken the wrong way. Faith and I had a complete misunderstanding earlier today, she thought I was complaining about Sarah to an unhealthy level.:) When in fact my issue was with how Chuck is being written.

    • jason says:

      ernie / others who care – the holiday season was rough on the blog community for a couple of reasons I won’t get into. Then, I simply don’t think the Fedak / Schwartz interview helped, just seemed to remind many of last season’s interviews around this time in the arc, not a fond memory for anyone I would guess, even TPTB?

      I told faith if Cs were married at the end of 4×13, I would not trash TPTB any longer, I am going to go one better, I simply no longer am going to trash TPTB regardless of 4×13, nor the writers, nor for sure any of the actors, even if Rob Riggle (I have called him so many names, I had to google him to get it right) or Brandon Routh return, they are golden – maybe will still trash some stupid bloggers, ok not them either, that is it, this is supposed to be fun.

      Finally, in terms of fan support and renewal, I feel like the show is sort of at the point they were last season in january, they have exactly 13 episodes to make the case, I think this time the show will be much stronger, much better, and continue to have competitive numbers, albeit a tough road as daylight savings time and sports playoffs approach, but this journey is going to work for most of us – and I do think 4×24 will have a really great destination to go along with a very satisfying journey.

      • Faith says:

        what a sacrifice. You’re my hero Jason. I don’t even think I could do that. But I do agree, this is supposed to be fun. The past 24 hours or so, has not been fun. And yes…certain ehm deserves the scrutiny and pointedness more than others.

      • armySFC says:

        jason, i think in terms of renewal they are at a stronger point than last year. ratings have been pretty constant all season. comcast getting nbc has to help. they were interested in chuck before. i think the networks take into consideration the drops as summer comes. from what i see a lot of shows ratings go down during that time. so i would guess they use a curve of some sort. nbc has not done well with new shows, even the ones they hype to no end like the event or harry’s law. it seems like nbc has little choice but to keep a known quantity that does ok vs trying a new show. its all theory on my part of course but it seems to add up.

  19. joe says:

    I’d like to add this, meant to be heard as you read Ernie’s comment above. There’s a better side of us to admire.

  20. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Aha! And I thought global warming was only affecting the environment. Now I find that even blogs are not immune to getting heated up. 😉 (that’s my lame attempt at interjecting some humor into some tense discussions) 🙂

    My small take on the Mama B and Sarah parallels.

    My speculations/theories follow, don’t ask me for solid proof and please don’t jump down my throat. 😉

    Regarding Mama B and her long stint as Volkoff’s enforcer – Faith mentioned in one of her earlier posts that everything Mama B has done is with the goal to protect her family. Now, 20 yrs is a long time and there may have been numerous occasions where Mama B crossed in to ‘grey areas’ of what is right and what is wrong. It’s even possible that she may have had to do somethings that would be seriously frowned upon by the CIA/NSA. Can we be sure that in the 20yrs that Mama B has spent in trying to protect her family by carrying out Volkoff’s orders – she may not have crossed the line not once but too many times? She may have done it because it helped protect her family but we know nothing of the collateral damage that may have been caused by her actions. Maybe she facilitated the sales of dangerous weapons that were used to kill innocents? Maybe in some way while trying to save her family the lives of other innocents were affected? In short, what I am trying to say is that Mama B while trying to protect her family (end goal) may have inadvertently done so over a pile of other innocent bodies.-although she may never have been directly responsible for killing someone in cold blood.

    Hypothetical Situation: Please bear with me. 🙂

    Now, we see a newly recruited Sarah being ordered to kill her partner as her first test of loyalty. We know she doesn’t do it – she sort of does,but it’s a setup. Now forget for a moment that we have 4×12 and 4×13 coming our way. Just imagine the risks Sarah is taking to protect her family and future. All good intentions. But let’s suppose she faces a situation like Mama B surely did. Facilitate the sales of nukes, sale of weapons to underground movements etc etc all the while trying to bring down the organization and protect her loved ones. How much time will it take? During this period will her actions have indirect consequences for unknown innocents?
    Will Mary and Sarah’s actions be counted as doing things for the greater good or much more selfish(any other good word?) like protecting one’s family and ensuring their good future?

    I imagined a scenario where exact parallels for Mama B and Sarah may be drawn and I came up with the above ramblings. But as to what is surely going to happen in the next two episodes:

    We know that Mary was left in the lurch and alone but fortunately for Sarah she has Team B with her. Together they will ensure that that the reign of Volkoff will end soon without major damage to Sarah’s ethics/code of conduct/morals – a damage that will surely come about if she gets stuck like Mama B did.

    • rac2873 says:

      Sarah would sabotage the mission and contact Beckman and her team or she would bail and get Chuck and her to go off grid.

      Sarah would never kill innocent civilians. That is a great point and I think that is where the parallel splits. Sarah would never do something to endanger innocent lives.

      Chuck does fear she is in too deep and maybe that is why he strikes first. To get her out. Enough of the passive Chuck time to act. I can’t wait.

    • Faith says:

      Alladins, on Chuck there have always been this question of the altruism over self. Chuck chose the spy life in Prague out of a misguided attempt to save the world. But we’re human beings, there will always be more than just the world…we need connections, interpersonal connections that makes what we do worthwhile. Sarah didn’t use to have that, now she does. So has she had to make decisions that could possibly have led to calamity in order the save the one she loves? Definitely. Ever since she told Chuck not to freak out, she has prioritized him over the world. But it doesn’t mean she ignores the threat to the world, nor does it mean she makes the choice easily.

  21. I haven’t had time to read all the comments yet, but there is something I wanted to say that I haven’t seen yet mention. (Sorry if it had).

    I understand the frustration about Sarah going on this mission and Chuck maybe not being a little “mad” about it considering his abandonment issues, and Chuck not being a little upset about what she might have to do. Especially after all the fuss made about his red test and lies.

    But wouldn’t it be a little selfish from Chuck to be angry or disappointed at Sarah for doing this, considering she’s doing this because she loves him rather than not doing this because she doesn’t love him enough? I could buy Chuck being more guilty that she feels she has to do this for him, rather than angry at her for it.

    It’s really a no-win situation. Either she does that and risk losing him and herself, or she does nothing and risk losing him anyway. And it isn’t Chuck’s fault that they are in this situation but it certainly not is Sarah’s.

    So I’d rather have him accepting that she does that and help her coming back to him than having him whining that she went on that mission in the first place.

    Just a thought.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      So I’d rather have him accepting that she does that and help her coming back to him than having him whining that she went on that mission in the first place.

      But if he fears and worries that she may end up stuck like his mom – that wouldn’t come under whining at all. It’s a legitimate concern – but as you say the best way to avoid that situation is to help her in taking down Volkoff once and for all.

    • thinkling says:

      Spot on, Crumby.

    • thinkling says:

      Sorry posted too soon. Sarah has more resources, and more at stake than Mary did. So I don’t see the likelihood of her getting stuck like Mary.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Sarah only has Team B behind her. Officially she is a rogue agent – but compared to Mama B, she has the advantage.

        and more at stake than Mary did.

        Ahem! Didn’t Mary have her family and their future on the line too? At that point of time they were the highest stakes for her.

      • rac2873 says:

        Stephen did not become Orion until after he left. Sarah has Chuck and Casey and the US governement on her side. I think she will be okay.

      • Faith says:

        Yes and no. The stakes are the pretty similar, but not completely. I think coming in the stakes were less clear for Mary than they are for Sarah and that makes a difference. I don’t think she had any knowledge that it would take her away from her family for 20 years. But more importantly it’s everything else that sets them apart. Dude did you not read the piece? Just kidding Alladins, you know I love you.

        In all seriousness, see Mary isolated herself purposely. I think this is where Sarah will differ. She can choose to go at it alone but I think she won’t. Whereas Mary possibly had Stephen (scientist by that time, and not fully Orion if we’re to read into his words post-mortem 😦 ), Sarah has Chuck (the intersect), Casey, Beckman, etc. Whereas Mary was going into an uncharted situation, Sarah has the knowledge from Mary and from what she knows has happened (not the least of which is losing everything).

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I think coming in the stakes were less clear for Mary than they are for Sarah and that makes a difference.

        Ah! I see the light. 😉 Operative word being “coming in”. I just wanted to say that when Mary was outed as a CIA agent, the stakes increased dramatically and dangerously for her too.

  22. JC says:

    I think I’m seeing where the divide on this issue that’s been rearing its the last day or so.

    The way the show is written, Chuck is not expected to question other character’s motives or actions whether it’s justified or not. But other characters always do that to him. So some people see that as a double standard or not believable like in my case. Other people don’t. I also think is where the issue of Chuck getting mad or venting comes into play.

    This also plays into how some fans or TPTB view Chuck’s character. Chuck being passive in his responses or reactions during the first two seasons was understandable and worked. All that he went through before the pilot made it completely believable in my eyes. My problem is since he’s become a spy that he shouldn’t be that way all the time. He should be more confident and want to stand up for himself. The fact that hasn’t changed that way feels like he isn’t really growing as a character. And I’m not saying they should change that forgiving nature. But there have been moments where it was hard for me to believe he wasn’t angry.

    I’ll use a non Sarah example since I don’t want to be murdered. 😉 At the end of Leftovers when Awesome confronts Chuck over the fact that he’s spying again. Perfectly understandable but Chuck should have been angry about them keeping Orion’s laptop from him. I just wish once in awhile they would let Chuck express that emotion.

    • armySFC says:

      well said. the other issue i have this year with chuck is his growing dependence on morgan and sarah. i can see sarah because he loves her. but the morgan bit i don’t get. he keeps turning to morgan for relationship advice. when has morgan ever had a good relationship. the one he had with anna was messed up beyond belief. it seems he needs to inform morgan of everything. i get he’s been his friend for most of his life but he needs to handle things on his own. there is a lot morgan does for chuck.

      the ellie issue is another thing. i know i’m not the only one that feels he needs to just tell ellie, ” you know i love you and you have always been there for me, but i want to be a spy. i’m good at it. you can’t protect me forever, i have sarah now and she can do it just as well. i need to start living my life for me and not for everyone else. i hope you understand.”

      • Paul says:

        SFC, I think we’re coming to a point where that is going to happen. We’ve been given small clues that Ellie knows how good of a spy Chuck is. I think the birth of her baby is going to change the dynamic of their relationship. I think in the end Ellie will give Chuck tacit approval.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      JC

      At the end of Leftovers when Awesome confronts Chuck over the fact that he’s spying again. Perfectly understandable but Chuck should have been angry about them keeping Orion’s laptop from him. I just wish once in awhile they would let Chuck express that emotion.

      Was it Chuck’s fault that Volkoff came to their home? No way! And Awesome castigated him for something he had no control over. On the surface it looked good that Awesome was standing up Ellie – but the reason for which he was laying it on Chuck was flimsy and judgmental to boot. And what did poor Chuck have to do with the laptop? Was it his fault that his father left that?

      Army

      but the morgan bit i don’t get. he keeps turning to morgan for relationship advice. when has morgan ever had a good relationship. the one he had with anna was messed up beyond belief. it seems he needs to inform morgan of everything.

      That is one thing I have found a bit disconcerting in some episodes(4×04 and 4×07 to be exact). The writers in their effort to give Morgan growth have him juggling a lot of roles – sidekick, confidante, counselor extraordinaire, etc. And in this effort they have made Chuck a bit more dependent on Morgan – which is a huge reversal from past seasons, where Morgan was the one who always looked to Chuck for advice. And now all of a sudden he is doling out wisdom to not only Chuck but Casey and Sarah as well.

      • JC says:

        @Genie

        I’m with you that Chuck had no control over the situation but I do understand Awesome’s anger. And I’m OK with that type of situation but where I have issues is they have Chuck just stand there and take it. Or like I said not bring up the fact that he was being lied to about the laptop. That’s where I see a double standard on the show.

  23. jason says:

    at some point, we were teased that chuck’s worst fear was going to surface in this arc: here are some guesses:

    1 – sarah is evil / bad / mean
    2 – sarah is in trouble / dead
    3 – chuck is in love with his mom (ok a carbon copy)
    4 – chuck is afraid to tell sarah he digs he with black hair

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      Ah! A breath of fresh air.

      Chuck’s worst fear is definitely the fourth and I will go even further and say that Chuck likes cheating on the blond Sarah with the brunette Sarah and he is afraid that once Volkoff is taken down, the brunette Sarah will disappear thereby robbing him of his fantasies. 🙂

    • sd says:

      Jason—

      Very succinct.

      I’m hoping if it has to be something it’s #2 which would stand to reason unless we are going to get a protracted arc of Chuck and his worry that Sarah will–like his mother–abandon him to fight crime…which means no ring for you.

    • armysfc says:

      sarah and mary are in a stand off, guns pointed at each other

      sarah and mom both in danger of dieing and he thinks he can only save one.

    • JC says:

      Sarah gets cut off like his mother within Volkoff’s organization. Chuck fears that his relationship is doomed like his parents. But after a little pep talk from Ellie (crosses fingers) he decides to take down Volkoff head on unlike Orion.

    • jason says:

      I don’t know, worst fear sarah in trouble makes the most sense, but that look when she throws casey through the window, he looked pretty fearful that sarah has turned. I would love for part of the ‘win’ for team B involves chuck convincing everyone sarah can be trusted, or simply chuck trusting sarah after the window toss scene – we’ll know soon enough.

  24. rac2873 says:

    Here is the promo that aired tonight.

    • jason says:

      thx rac – has anyone else seen harry’s law or the cape, of harry’s law, undercovers, the cape, and the event, I enjoyed harry’s law the most. The cape and harry’s law started very poorly compared to the event and even compared to chase, so time will tell

      At some point, I think it will be in chuck’s best interest for other solid shows to join it on monday’s or for chuck to move to another night with some solid shows already in place, I don’t know if NBC has such a night or timeslot open, hence might be best if NBC just finds a lineup for mondays and stands up and fights for mondays,

  25. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Latest promo courtesy of RAC2873

    http://bit.ly/fF47zp

    • JC says:

      Looks like Chuck wasn’t expecting that and we know he gets knocked out after that. I’m curious to see Chuck’s reaction after he wakes up.

  26. Robert H says:

    But Joe that’s just it. He’s in a profession where
    he can’t act like a little boy. It isn’t a place for little boys. Ever notice how he talks about Mama
    B.? It’s always something like “Sarah, it’s my mom, General she’s my mom.” He always refers to her as his mom, not his mother and when he does this he sounds exactly like a whiny 9 year old or worse. He’s supposed to be a grown man. I know it sounds like I’m nitpicking here but I do this to make a point. It reinforces my view he doesn’t belong in the spy world. The character’s motivation from Season 3 on which has been getting worse on a gradual basis is a person who is getting more and more passive with severe emotional insecurities, in short, he is simply dysfunctional. The character was not that way in seasons 1 and 2. Even
    with the girlish screams now and then, the character
    was assertive, could think independently, and was very resourceful in a pinch. We rarely see any of that now. I wonder if Zach Levi really enjoys the
    character any more either, just curious.

    Faith, really liked your article but this is not a
    question of mind games. It’s a question of force of
    personality, assertiveness, and when necessary ruthlessness. Volkoff would eat Chuck alive, intersect or no intersect. That was amply demonstrated in “leftovers”. That is why Sarah, mommy, and Casey will have to handle it. The Chuck
    character simply doesn’t have what it takes to deal
    with a man like Volkoff, a guy like that cannot be
    finessed. He as to be crushed with finality or the threat will never go away. There is no compromise here. You destroy him or he destroys you, period. Jail is no answer here. Try that and he’ll be out in
    10 minutes and take a terrible vengeance on all of them, including their families. Of course the show will never go that dark but it will be interesting to see how they handle it. After all, compared to
    Volkoff, Mauser was a boy scout. Guess we’ll find out in the next 2 episodes, thanks.

    • Big Kev says:

      To be fair to the writers, they have to walk a line between having Chuck be a convincing, believable spy, and still be….well, Chuck.
      Season 3 proved that the fanbase as a whole didn’t necessarily want to go down a darker road of Chuck seriously exploring the ruthless choices inherent in the spy world, but at the end of the season we did get a focused, smart operative who was willing to do what it took. I don’t recall too much hand-wringing and insecurity post Beard, and I think the show was much better for it.
      This season, the writers have chosen a different path for Chuck. It’s almost as if his insecurities have returned stronger than ever, and his motivation for being a spy is now explicitly to do with being worthy of Sarah and much less about the greater good. I’m really looking forward to Double Agent Sarah and the redemption of MamaB, but I’m really hoping they find a way to bring back the Chuck of Beard/Ring II and banish the one of Suitcase/the Intersectless arc.

      • jason says:

        excellent kevin – what I have seen too about s3’s carmicheal, and the return of nerd chuck in s4 … do you think Chuck’s mission in 4×13 to take down volkov and sarah’s to save mary (as written in the latest synopsis) will be together, i.e. will they return at once, or do you think one will return, then the other? My guess is sarah will not really know of casey’s fate until she returns in 4×13, that should be pretty powerful, as should chuck and ‘new’ sarah’s reunion – if casey is in a coma, noone but sarah will know casey told her to throw him – well the audience too. Wonder if sarah will tell chuck rather than casey – will chuck believe her, ?’s run a muck – which is great tv – oh how great TPTB are – ok that was not so hard (to compliment TPTB)

      • atcDave says:

        I mostly agree Kev. I think in some ways they’ve gone overboard trying to fix the errors of S3 (and in other ways not far enough); but it speaks well of Schwedak that they have made an effort to learn from the past. I don’t find his insecurities as annoying as some seem to, but I would prefer he grew up a little.

        Now that said, from what we’ve heard it looks like it will be Chuck who takes down Volkoff. Hard to say how it will play out, but the 4.13 description does say Sarah is trying to rescue Frost while Chuck and Morgan go after Volkoff. It will be interesting to see if that helps the situation.

      • Big Kev says:

        You know Dave, I actually hope it’s MamaB who takes down Volkoff – it would be fitting, given what he’s cost her and her family. That and having a convincing Chuck back, organising and planning like he did in Ring II would be awesome!!

      • JC says:

        I do hope we see the return of Ring PT2/early season 4 Chuck. For me they he hit the right note of super spy and BuyMore Chuck in Coup. I do agree with the way they’ve written Chuck of late, its like they written him to the extreme opposite of last season. That Chuck is not a likable character or someone you want to root for.

        But I do think the writers, critics and others still misjudge why some people had a problem with S3. They really never had Chuck go dark, they told us that but never showed it. The same with the spy world they tried to twist it into something that was never established before that season. And most of the stories relied on characters running with the Idiot Ball. I think that’s why you see some people questioning this upcoming double agent Sarah arc and the take down of Volkoff. The execution will have to be almost perfect for it to work.

      • thinkling says:

        Big Kev, I’d like to see Mary take him down, too. I don’t know how that would work, unless Mary and Sarah go to help Chuck and Morgan. That could be a great setup! Except I’m wondering how useful Morgan is going to be against Volkoff, unless arranging public transportation is part of the strategy. Or there are some live wires dangling about. 😉

    • joe says:

      You described the issue very well, Robert, and it makes sense. That spy world in the show is filled with secure, assertive, independent and resourceful people, and Sarah is one of them. Chuck had better be, too.

      But oddly, even I don’t want to see Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Tim Dalton or Pierce Brosnan play Chuck, and the reason is because I don’t want Chuck to be James Bond. I want him to be more like the insecure, non-assertive, not always independent character that I am. Then I want to see him rise to the occasion because he’s got it within him and is resourceful besides.

      It’s not that Chuck has boyish qualities (which he does, in spades), because they are charming. It’s not that he’s insecure and not assertive. It’s that *I* am. 😉 It’s still the cartoon, wish-fulfilment idea that Zeb Barrow wrote about in the beginning.

      You’re right that Chuck needs to be more like that to fill the job description, but I sort of disagree that he’s regressed since S1. To me, it looks like the problems have gotten bigger, and strike at his weakest points, especially when you consider his mom is his biggest problem this season. Sarah’s rescuing him quite a bit less this time around!

      Great discussion!

  27. James Bond says:

    The Sarah leaving arc would have been more angsty if they did not show her in a promo kissing chuck and that we know the arc ends in 4.13 so it is not like mama b where it is a 20 year thing, lol.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah, I’m seriously glad for that. I’m sure its on purpose too, they know they exhausted much of their fan goodwill last season and seem to be trying not to push it much this year.

  28. armysfc says:

    if it’s ok i’d like to go in a little different direction. it concerns the use of promo’s and synopsis for this arc. prior to the airing of 4.11 they released the promo that had parts of 4.11/4.12 in it. one scene has sarah sneaking in (my guess) and saying hello boys. the a second one showing her in the same outfit kissing chuck with tears in her eyes. at the end of 4.11 she leaves top go under cover. then at the end of 4.11 we get a promo that shows her pushing casey out the window. next we get one that shows the same scene but starting just before and showing casey telling her to throw him out the window. these promos to me both involve major happenings in the show. both having the potential to be very dark.

    my question to you guys is this. do you think that the network made a conscious decision to release these scenes in the promos to ease the fans minds about what will be happening to c/s and then the direction of the arc? same with the synopsis’s.

    my answer to this is yes. i believe the someone higher up than f/s made the decision to put the information out based on what i hear fan pressure did for the show last year. even if s/f still don’t really get the fan base, i think the network does.

    if the promos didn’t show sarah returning in 4.12 then the fans may go really crazy with the i can’t believe they are keeping them apart and why are they breaking them up. we have had some lengthy discussions her about that same thing. but they have been tempered by the line or something similar ” we know she comes back to see chuck so she’s not gone forever and has help during her mission.” it eased the shock of her leaving because we know she comes back fairly soon to ask for help. i don’t know how much time will pass on the show but for us it’s a week. we know we don’t have to wait until the very end of 4.13 for c/s to have a touching moment.

    the casey promos. this scene has the potential to be very dark. by showing us prior to it happening in the way they did it lessens the shock to the viewer for when it does happen. by adding sarah being told to do it by casey they have lessened the possibility of fans torching sarah for what she has to do. (please don’t rehash the same arguments as above. can i ask that? i don’t want to feel their opinions don’t matter but hey, there are plenty of posts dealing with it now. do we need another?) the synopsis for 4.13 says casey bonds with his daughter, again showing he is alive or not in a coma from injuries suffered in the fall. it also shows that chuck has decided to enter the fray to take down volkoff separated from sarah, letting fans know again sarah is not alone and chuck may finally be reaching his true potential (my guess).

    i think it was a smart and calculated move made by someone at NBC to do damage control before the episodes aired. as i said earlier these episodes may have seemed darker if it wasn’t for the promos and synopsis we were given. how do the rest of you feel?

    • Big Kev says:

      Army,
      I think TPTB have done everything short of paying for an ad on NBC that says “no darkness and minimal angst this season!!” Everything from interviews to casting has made that clear to me. I think if there is anyone out there that believes the show is going to go really dark and/or keep Chuck and Sarah apart for any extended period is either just not paying attention, or irreconcilably determined to think the worst of Chris and Josh.
      I’m guessing it’s the network that’s responsible for the promos and in this case, I think they’ve over-reacted. Of course we knew Sarah wasn’t really going to kill Casey, but I’d still rather they hadn’t spoiled the twist.
      Being sensitive to the wants of your fanbase is necessary – giving away the plot in advance because people might get upset is letting the tail wag the dog.

      • jason says:

        @army – i think your observation is correct. @Kev – at this point, could also be viewed as reestablishing trust with the fan base, these promo’s cause viewership decisions to be made much more than blogging or internet reviews, would have to think chuck has about 1.2-1.5M fans who would watch near anything, but another .6 to 1.0 who are very sensative to things. With each swing of .1, decisions on chuck will be made, I think it is best to play S4 very safe for promo’s – jsut don’t think many fans are going to say ‘sarah just killed casey’ I wasn’t going to watch, now I will – do you?

      • Big Kev says:

        Jason,
        Point taken. I’m not sure after 4 years how many “casual” fans a show has, and how reactive to promos they are, but I’m nowhere near a casual fan, so I’ll happily concede your point.
        I must be an unusual TV fan. I dont have any casual shows. I either like a show enough to watch every week or I don’t bother!
        It must be hard to be a showrunner for a bubble show, especially one where the fanbase is as “sensitive” as Chuck’s can sometimes be 🙂

      • jason says:

        kevin – I was a huge fan of 24, although I never blogged or gave it a thought, other than when I watched, but anyhow, if jack bauer threw his long term partner and friend Chloe O’Brien through a window, that would have made me want to watch, because it was possible, and it fit the tone of the show, the show was completely dark ..

        sarah in a cheap black wig, wearing an emma peel costume, with handwringing chuck bartkowski looking on, just doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit …. sure it’s dark, but we all can find plenty of dark shows for the sake of dark, chuck is about something else …

        I am trying to defend not only my position here, but what I consider to be a fairly significant portion of the ‘casual’ fan base and descriptive of how I think the show has been prone to misstep – chuck, lester, jeff, morgan, even casey, a goofy, comic cast with an extremely hot blond straight man to play off of, dark just doesn’t sell this show well, matter of fact, near opposite, when Yvonne goes funny, the show gets even better

      • Big Kev says:

        I think they get the balance right most of the time – and for a show that walks as fine a line as Chuck does, I think that’s a huge compliment.
        I think the spy arcs done well are just menacing enough to give the show some stakes, and that gives extra poignancy to the human and family moments that we all love. To me you can’t have one without the other. If you go too far down the comedic route then you lose the emotional connection with the characters, because they become cartoons, and I just don’t connect with cartoons. But that’s me.
        “Dark” is too much for this show – but Get Smart is too light. I like a balance that must be fiendishly difficult to write. I think it’s part of the genius of this show that they get it right so often.

      • Faith says:

        Agreed Big Kev.

      • atcDave says:

        Big Kev I think you’re exactly right. Its always been that very fine balance that makes Chuck such a unique and outstanding show. You know I’m of the opinion they went way too dark in most of S3, but other than that they’ve done an extraordinary job with what has to be a very difficult balancing act.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well said Kev. I think you’ll like the next piece Faith and I have in the works.

      • jason says:

        kev & I guess near everyone, yea – ok – but the margin for error on the ‘too get smart’ side is sort of big, and the margin for error on the ‘too 24 side’ is razor thin, we have seen this first hand.

        A challenge for all of you, is there any doubt, the signature eps for the show in the showrunners minds were meant to be the season climax eps.

        Yet, whenever best in show polls are done, many of the middle bottle eps get mentioned, the epic, gamechanging 3×13 gets killed by the sappy, warm, bottle ep 14th ep for example, delorean and best friends hold their own with ring or ring 2. The pilot holds its own, which still frames some of the most vivid, warm pictures in the entire show.

        I submit to you had the 4×11 not included the kick in the gut at the end or been part of the drama arc and been just a bottle ep meant to be fun, it would have been widely more popular and in many folks top 5, of that we will never know, it is just a theory.

        I mean, in some ways, in those bottle eps the creative team isn’t even trying – with money, with guest stars, probably with time and thought – yet they hold their own – food for thought, isn’t it?

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry if we ganged up on you there Jason!

        But I do think you’re right about the margin for error. They want to keep the show exciting, but crossing the line into too dark (like they did for much of S3) is quickly damaging. While they can get pretty silly before anyone objects.

        I also think it’s interesting that the best episodes have generally been apart from the climax. Not entirely mind you; I think Ring and Ring II were both pretty popular. But to me the best of the best are more often mid-season stand alones (okay, maybe not Colonel and Phase 3; but certainly Tango, Cougars, Delorean, Honeymooners… )

      • atcDave says:

        Oh while I’m at it, it also is interesting to me that they are often surprised by which episodes are fan favorites. Especially Cougars, Delorean, Phase 3; I see a pattern, you’d hope the writers do too.

    • atcDave says:

      Army (and Jason & Kev) I think you guys are exactly right. They did even say (Fedak I believe, but I can’t always keep them straight!) that the show would be lighter and more fun this season. I’ve taken them at their word (like with the potentially angsty ending to Aisle of Terror) and so far haven’t been disappointed. I’m glad they showed the preview of Sarah returning for her team, I think that’s exactly the sort of approach needed, especially with the central relationship which truly is a fan hot spot.

      I’m not sure how long it takes to put together a network promo (I would think they could do it in a few hours) but my guess would be the recent promo with Casey telling Sarah to throw him is a knee jerk reaction to the Internet reaction to the first spot. I personally don’t think it was needed, and it did give away something I wish they hadn’t. But obviously many fans were convinced things would be getting very dark, so maybe it was best to try to nip it in the bud.

      This did turn into a pretty stressful week on the blog, I’m glad the weekend is almost here and 4.12 will be airing soon, I’m very ready for it!

    • Faith says:

      Synopses are released 3 weeks before an episode airs by the network. Push Mix’s synopsis which lists Casey bonding with his daughter was released on the 14th before this episode aired. The fanbase still has yet to overreact because they have yet to see anything to take big gaping leaps on. The promos, in my understanding are made with the direction of Schwedak. But I don’t have concrete proof on that.

      However, this is pretty much why I suggested (cordially) why S3 is important for you to see, you won’t just “think,” you’ll know why Schwedak can’t go nearly as dark or p*ss off the fanbase.

      In any case, if you ever wanted to know who’s behind the promos, meet the promo guy. And yeah he really does actually make the promos for Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        The burning issue though Faith; was the preview that included Casey’s line a reaction to fan response? or did they plan ahead on letting that detail out?

      • armySFC says:

        faith, i get the synopsis are released early. my point is what they contain. for example. for 4.13 they say that casey is bonding with his daughter. they could have left that out and used ellie and devon ready for the birth of the baby. it would leave casey’s condition unknown. by having it in there it lets viewers know that hes alive and well? it lessens the fall. does that make sense?

      • Faith says:

        It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve revealed things inadvertently that really they shouldn’t have. This has been going on since long before the debacle.

        But I’m not taking away from the idea that they’re conscious of the fanbase sensitivity. We live in a socially conscious world. While writers may (these writers didn’t BTW, just in general) say that they write for art, you have to know some part of them write for approval. You add the internet aspect to it…in 1990 Chuckapocalypse would not have blown up as it was. There would be no interviews or articles responding to the backlash and more asking for patience. Simple as that.

        Dave, my money is it was always supposed to be the way it was. Which again is unrelated IMO to their vocal and genuine intent to not mess with the fanbase.

      • armySFC says:

        faith very well said and i agree. them being conscious and aware was my point.

      • atcDave says:

        And that is certainly something that has to be tricky about this current age. Not only do we have an amazing number of other options if we aren’t pleased with their product; but we can communicate every thought, complaint and concern we have.
        Of course it’s always been the job of professional entertainers to keep their audience happy, but I think the reaction cycle in television used to be measured in weeks. Now it’s hours.

  29. jason says:

    no packer bear talk – ok – here’s one

    my son’s team practices in an arena next door to lambeau field, yesterday, as he left, he noticed what he described as 100’s of fans walking the parking lot of lambeau with signs, middle of the day, its fairly cold in the midwest, with packer – bear signs – most common theme – ok here goes – “Da Bears Still S*#$”

    And some call us chuck fans ‘crazy’

    • jason says:

      one more, late night taco bell this week, a policeman is around in case of trouble (all night place), son says about a half doz guys in their 20’s, appear to be in some sort a gang, sitting eating all wearing packer shirts, seating next to them some preppy high school kids, one of the kids says to the table of thugs, “Go Bears’, my son thinking oh oh, the cop walks over, tells the preppy bears fans that they better leave, that with that type of attitude, they are likely to not only get beat up by these nice fellows, but by an angry group of grandmothers at some grocery store – I guess the thugs just burst out laughing.

    • Faith says:

      I was this close to saying to Dave yesterday, “so how about them bears?” to diffuse some of the tension haha.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Meh, Both are great teams with great history and fans. Steelers will be glad to beat either one in the Superbowl.

    • atcDave says:

      For now I’m just happy to have this dream match-up. This will be the biggest game they’ve ever faced each other in. This is better than the Super Bowl.

      And Jason I’m jealous, living in Michigan I miss the cultural aspects of the event. But having lived in Milwaukee for a year I can believe dangerous granny Packer fans. I’d say Packer fans strike me as a bit fanatical; but of course I wouldn’t really notice anything strange about rabid Bears fans, that’s just normal!

      Ernie we’ll deal with you next week… (and for the record, I really don’t like the Jets. I’d much rather your Steelers won Sunday).

  30. jason says:

    a friend of mine has hanging over his toilet in his office, a picture of mike ditka from the 80’s in what might be the same outfit that atcdave is wearing, walking out of the tunnel, in the snow at lambeau, my friend yelled something at ditka, who turned and flipped him the bird as my friend snapped the photo – everytime atc dave post I think of that photo

    if you aren’t a packer or bear fan, I doubt you’d understand, probably will be talked about for the next 40 or 50 years in those circles – kind of neat

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