The Balcony: Final Thoughts

The Perfect Couple

It’s been hard for me to write about Chuck vs. The Balcony, not because I’m out of words (I’ve written thousands this week, just not published them!) but because my thoughts keep moving to different aspects in scattershot fashion and then one of my amazing co-bloggers writes about it better than I could! I really don’t want to review the episode again for you – suffice it to say, I really, really liked it. I started the week thinking it was my second favorite this season, after Phase Three, but now I’m not so sure it’s not number 1.

Could Balcony make the list of my top five favorites? Is it better than Best Friend, Colonel, Honeymooners, Subway and one of about a dozen that I could put into the last spot? I start to think so. I really laughed at Lester and his “Hinjews of Saskatchewan”. I thought the spy adventure with Pierre Melville in the Loire Valley was great, very much like the spy adventures of Season 1 and Season 2 (do you remember the “bad guy” in The Breakup? It wasn’t Von Hayes, but an unnamed, female Fulcrum agent. Sometimes the spy story *does* serve the romance very well indeed!).

I really enjoyed the humorous nuggets in Balcony. Casey was marvelous, reduced to muttering about his demotion to “man-servant – for a nerd!” and threatening to rip off Chuck’s leg if he calls him Jonathan again. Of course, my favorite Casey moment was reminiscing about that incredibly romantic bus station in Buffalo where he proposed to Kathleen, but that’s just me. I know the place. Trolls and orcs and golums of all sorts get romantic there! They love the grit and grime and the depressing brown color scheme. 😉

Morgan was, once again, the Morgan we always hoped he would be. He makes a great quarterback, wing man, double agent… Only he could give Sarah permission to marry his best friend.

I can’t exclaim enough about the amazing acting done by Yvonne Strahovski, playing romantic girlfriend, deadly spy, interrogator, glowing fiancee-to-be and distraught lover – again. I say she did it with the help of amazing supporting from Zac Levi, Josh Gomez, Adam Baldwin and even Bonita Friedericy. They had to be perfect to make all that work, and they were.

But the spy story, the humor and Morgan were not at the center of the story. Two things loomed much larger – Volkoff and Chuck&Sarah.

Growing Up

Chuck was a bit nervous and almost awkward throughout much of the episode. Certainly, he was not completely with it. Was that off-putting to viewers? Many fans want to see Chuck be that James Bond character he talked about, suave and confident in himself, able to rise to the occasion even if the occasion is proposing to Sarah Walker. Seeing him like that would really help wash away the memory of the $11 an hour nerd with the girlish scream who cowered in his room rather than attend his own birthday party and meet cute girls. That guy would rather play Zork or Halo. Don’t you hate to see him revert to that stage at all? Man-up, Charles.

Not to worry. Chuck can’t be James Bond all the time, but he certainly makes the grade sometimes. Even his aborted proposals were not embarrassing; they were just – thwarted. Chuck is not regressing back to the point where he could pine for the days when “we had so much fun.” Those days with Bryce and Jill at Stanford are gone from his memory. He doesn’t want that any more, and in a way, it makes me sad.

It’s like this: That Chuck, the one we first met, used to play at being a hero, and didn’t we all? I did, tying a towel around my shoulders and “flying” around the room (mom hated that!) and using my super powers to fight eeeeevvvvviiiiillllll! But I was 6 years old. Fighting evil (especially the evil we’ve been seeing it in the news lately) is not fun any more. It’s sad and depressing and requires (at minimum) hard work and (often) sacrifice. That’s what Sarah’s been doing.

But why? Why would she do that? It’s no fun.

Rising to the Occasion

Something major happened at the end of The Balcony, and yes, I missed it, even after several viewings. When Sarah reopened a channel to Beckman to explain why Chuck keeps thinking every bad-guy works for Volkoff, she was telling us about how important Chuck’s mom was to him and how important it was to protect his family. Thinkling put it exactly right – they were all being held hostage, and it’s going to take a hero to rescue them. Not Chuck – surgeons do not operate on members of their own family for good reasons.

Sarah has good reasons to stay with Chuck and let him continue his mission his way. In the course of the episode, Sarah got her perfect proposal (a few times, in fact) and we had the pleasure of watching Chuck pull it off. Her moonlit smile on the balcony told me how perfect it was. And by the way, fans who wanted Sarah to take charge and make the proposal herself should be as happy as the fans who wanted Chuck to do something more traditional. It almost feel meaningless that Chuck never got to finish his sentence, and Sarah didn’t get to make it official.

She’s already accepted, of course, and Sarah should trust Chuck. But still (and just barely) it’s not over. Sarah can still be the unemotional, detached and dispassionate (read, cold and heartless) super-spy for a little while longer and the dagger pointed at Chuck’s heart – and at hers – makes it imperative that she do so. That’s why it has to be her – it can’t be him. She’s doing it for Chuck; she’s doing it for the both of them. What I missed earlier was the extent of her sacrifice. Chuck didn’t. What he saw was the Sarah he’s always known, the Sarah he loves.

The Art of Becoming

Maybe you can tell, I bought it, hook line and sinker. To me, it has nothing to do with a need to extend the story line until the next sweeps month, and it has nothing to do with artificial delays or other contrivances. Sarah’s jumped with both feet into the fight of her life and it’s a fight to save Chuck’s family. Those people will be her own family soon. If she does not try or if she fails, she has nothing. We’ve talked about redemption before, but this is the only way she can be alive. This is her chance at resurrection.

Even though we just saw lots of it, I tried to imply that Chuck is beyond the boyish awkwardness of youth. That doesn’t make him bitter or jaded or, as they say, down on life. He has no need for kid’s games any more, but he hasn’t lost his sense of wonder. Chuck discovered the real world is just as exciting, has more colorful sunsets, shinier moonlight and Sarah. Oh, and milkier chocolate too. Is that being childish? Not at all. It’s being appreciative. If Chuck has grown and changed it’s not because he no longer dreams of knights, sports cars and princesses. It’s because he now sees knights, sports cars and a princess in his life every day, just like he told her. In that, Sarah sees the Chuck she’s always known, the Chuck she loves.

After saying for a year that Chuck and Sarah have grown and changed, I am amazed to see that they are still exactly who’ve they’ve always been. They are still characters that matter to me. If they’ve grown in my eyes, it’s only because they matter more.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Inside Chuck, Inside Sarah, Observations, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to The Balcony: Final Thoughts

  1. Rick Holy says:

    Me like A LOT! 🙂

  2. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Some nice thoughts Joe. I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten short tempered a couple of times these past several of days because I’ve just been so frustrated. In some ways I did and do consider this one of the top episodes of the season. A genius season and I was shocked and awed that people don’t and doesn’t see what I see. In some ways it feels like a personal affront…which was weird. But I like the way you put it, I was frustrated people couldn’t see the genius because to me the show has grown, the characters have grown and it does matter more. At least Balcony did.

    Though there are times when I feel like we better get a new episode soon, beating this dead horse is getting near PETA standards 😉 JK.

    As for the episode itself, love it or hate it. I love it. 3rd or 4th (haven’t decided) best of the season.

    • joe says:

      Heh! Me, I just like spirited discussion a whole lot! 😉

      I have a feeling that the way I write appeals most to the romantics in the room. And this certainly was a romantic episode.

  3. armySFC says:

    nice write up. very well done. thanks for taking the time to do such a good write up. you and i just don’t share the same opinion of the episode. i rank it just above fear of death. which i hated. for me it ranks in the bottom 3 of this year.

    • joe says:

      Army, you’re one a few that made me sit down and carefully consider why I *did* like it. Thanks.

      I really wouldn’t try to make you change your mind, but I am glad you can consider what I have to say too.

      • armySFC says:

        the way i see it is everyone likes different things. that’s what makes each of us unique. i wouldn’t try to change yours either. just one question if i may. was this written on first watch as soon as it was over or did you write it up after giving it lots of thought? either way again very good job.

      • joe says:

        Thanks! I wrote parts of it yesterday and major revisions today, both after my 4th viewing of the episode.

        I had written two other pieces that were discarded, one of which was fairly lengthy, too. That’s about par for me. Call it my process. Lots of those ideas turned up as comments or completely covered by my co-bloggers.

    • silvercat says:

      I agree with you, Joe, that Balcony was one of the best of the season (and series) for many reasons. Phase Three is still my favorite, because, to be frank, Sarah is my favorite character. But actually her range of acting in Balcony was much greater, as you pointed out.

      Even though Sarah didn’t get to say “yes,” the moonlight proposal was incredibly romantic, on both Chuck and Sarah’s parts.

      I had a lump in my 60-year old, male heart when, just before Sarah was lead out in chains, she told Chuck she’s going after Volkoff not just for him, but for both of them. Plus it was great that we had Morgan and Casey also involved in the sub-mission.

      I want to add that I get so frustrated that negative comments both here and in other forums seem to outnumber the positive, but that’s actually pretty normal for most fan forums of many shows, not just for Chuck.

      I think much of the negativity comes from fans not getting what they wanted or expected. That’s why I don’t really see much use in speculating, especially concerning Chuck, because the show-runners love to throw in twists, even though it’s pretty clear where things are going.

      While fans have the right to critique and express disappointment in this or that, some of them seem to imply that those of us who enjoyed episodes they don’t like just aren’t as smart or discerning as them. That’s definitely the impression I get at times.

      • joe says:

        Silvercat, I don’t think I ever properly greeted you here. Your comments have been well received!

        I think us “old timers” are the biggest romantics. I got caught up in the same moments you did.

        Yeah, I understand the frustration. But by far, the most heated arguments are from passion. Someone really liked some aspect, and perhaps thinks it’s been forgotten, ignored, ruined or twisted in the story. They want to have again what they saw previously, only more perfectly. We have a pretty exacting standard.

        It’s fine. I have a hunch that usually, it comes back and patience is rewarded, or there’s an evolution that can be accepted and then embraced, or sometimes Schwartz & Fedak realize that they misjudged fan reaction and even try to fix it. 😉

        Sometimes fans actually change their minds too. And when they don’t, they sometimes go on to prove they can do it better for another generation of viewers.

        I think that frustration levels are actually a bit higher here, but very seldom malicious. People know it’s not a perfect show, but they can see perfect from where they stand, and that gets people involved.

        I most identify with Stephen for a reason.

      • JC says:

        It works both ways though.

        Some fans see deeper meaning in things that just might not be there and then pile on people who didn’t see it. I think this episode was a perfect example of that.

        And I do get tired of the mentality that I should just sit back and enjoy it or I’m negative because they didn’t do what I want. They can take me wherever they want with the story but I do expect well thought out arcs and not repetitive sloppy ones. I won’t give theme a free pass on inconsistent characterization, massive plot holes and continuity errors. That does distract from my enjoyment of an episode and I know they can do better as writers because I’ve seen it.

      • armySFC says:

        JC, i believe you right. this blog is a good example of that. this is said with no offense to anyone on this blog. these guys are unique and from what i see, do not represent most fans of the show. these guys love the show, they study it to no end in an effort to get as much enjoyment out of it as they can. most of the main posters (blog owners) watch the show multiple times and they tell you that. it allows them to see things that the average viewer misses. i learn a lot more from the show by reading what they have to say.

        the average viewer is not like that. i go to several other boards to see what people think. it is completely different animal. there are no discussions on the nuances in the show that you can find here. they just watch it once and move on. i find i get a truer view of the show there. when they see the first proposal they don’t mention that chuck stopped because of what sarah was saying, the just see chuck getting nervous and backing off. they are bothered more by it there than here.

        i like this blog better because the discussions and better and the posters better informed. but for the pulse of the average fan, the other boards are better.

      • atcDave says:

        Even then army I think the simple fact a viewer is posting at all makes them a little more than an average viewer. I’ve always tried to talk with more casual viewers, starting with my wife (who officially thinks I’m nuts by the way), and including co-workers, friends, and family who watch. Trying to speak for more casual viewers has always been a priority to me.

        I did find most casual viewers simply considered Balcony to be a sad episode and didn’t really care for it much. I feel bad if my own growing enthusiasm for Balcony led to my not speaking for them. I’ve expressed some of my own misgivings, but I do believe casual viewers were far more disappointed than most of us here were.

      • armySFC says:

        dave exactly my point. we had the best rating all year with this last episode. those new viewers came from some where. with an episode that saw as sad and as you said they didn’t care for that much. what are the chances they come back?

      • Faith says:

        Some fans see deeper meaning in things that just might not be there and then pile on people who didn’t see it. I think this episode was a perfect example of that….

        Wow JC, if I ever made you feel like that I apologize.

      • atcDave says:

        I get that army, and I do believe it was extremely foolish from a marketing perspective to end the episode the way they did. I think a far better ending would have ended with Chuck and Sarah happily celebrating their new engagement. Then START 4.12 with Sarah getting arrested to launch the next story.
        I wasn’t upset with the story to the point where I wanted to start getting into it. But I think that ending would have sold much better to the mass audience and would have helped enormously with ratings. I believe I did however mention that these sort of small fumbles are what keep Chuck a cult show and prevent it from broader appeal.

      • armySFC says:

        dave, it wasn’t just the proposal that they didn’t like. it was some of the things you and i both had issues with right after the show. the 4 proposal attempts being dumb, the poor performance of jeffster and that whole b plot. the chuck fight scene with the wine glass. and there were others. like you said for them it was a bad episode.

        if you think it got bad reviews here you should see some of the ones other places. ot got torched. your right, they may be a step above the casual viewer because they post. but no where near the level fans you guys are. here you are more willing to over look a large bad point because you notice a lot of good little points. like sarah looked nervous. there not so much. here its a trade off much of the time. on those boards they see the bad points because its obvious, the little ones slip by because they don’t look for them as they watch.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        army – Not to bust your bubble.

        Yes this place is relatively calm – NOW.

        Go back and read from February to about June or July. But first watch 3.01 to 3.13 over a 19 week period to drag it out.


      • JC says:


        You don’t need to apologize at all, the bit we had over Sarah earlier in the week was just us getting our wires crossed about my complaints.

        What I’m getting it is that I’ve never diminished how someone gets their enjoyment out of the show or why they didn’t enjoy it. I don’t use blanket statements like nitpicking or not getting what I want. One person’s nitpicking could destroy an episode for someone else.

        And again in general everyone here has been great about that but I have noticed some tempers have flared of late. But that’s understandable when it comes to something people are passionate about.

      • armySFC says:

        i believe it. the point of it all is no matter how bad it was or how bad it gets these guys will still be here. how many of those on the other boards will, and worse yet those that have the same opinion but don’t post. my belief is that the main reason a person leaves a show is because they no longer enjoy it. if they are new and don’t like the first episode they see, they look else where.

        i do agree this season is pretty good. and in the beginning of the season i was more entertained than over the last 4 episodes.

  4. herder says:

    Joe, I’m glad you liked the episode so much and there is a lot to like, but for me the annoying bits didn’t make up for the good bits. It does improve on rewatching but not to the extent of being better than many of this season’s episodes.

    That being said it does make me very excited about what is to come. In fact I am in the unusual situation of being more excited about what is to come than what has happened. It was a very good set up episode, but one with many flaws, as I have said elsewhere, I am very fond of this episode, but with all the implied lack of love.

    • joe says:

      You’re right, Herder! This episode built excitement for 4.12 and 4.13 very effectively.

      Heh! I actually had that thought while writing, but totally forgot to put in the write up!

  5. armySFC says:

    i did mine immediately after it ran. first impressions are lasting impressions. i found that if i watch a good episode i find things wrong with it and it takes away. same in reverse. plus i’m not big a fan. i think most viewers are like me. they watch it once and move on. by seeing it only once i get a better feel for how most of the viewers feel. whether or not they agree is a different story. but so far it has paid off. i have correctly picked the ratings rise and fall of the last 8 episodes. BDaddydl can confirm this. we have a bet on the ratings for 4.12. i’ll let ya know how well we did.

  6. uplink2 says:

    Great writeup Joe. I for one am in your corner and love this episode on many levels. In fact I find some of the criticism I have seen very curious and TBH unfounded in fact. But that’s just me. Is it the best episode of the season? No Phase Three has that one locked I believe but it definitely has the most heart. And my favorite episodes are the ones with the most heart. Honeymooners, Colonel, DeLorean.

    What gets me most are three scenes. Sarah with Morgan taking over the proposal mission. Her addition of “and for mine” was huge for me. It signaled once again that she wants this as much if not more than Chuck. It also showed how she is finally trying to take care of her own needs and wants. Acting to make what she wants happen for her. I get the feeling Sarah Walker has never done that in her life before. As Beckman once said, “It’s about time”.

    Second the balcony scene was a true romantics perfect scene, the full moon, Sarah helping Chuck by picking up the ring and putting it back in his pocket, Chuck’s speech was unrehearsed and so sincere. He was truly speaking from his heart. I simply loved how Sarah beamed as he said it. The “don’t freak out” callback was perfect.

    Third the scenes in Castle. Casey sharing something very personal with Chuck and making him realize he had everything perfect all along because he had Sarah’s love. Nothing is more perfect than that. And then the scene in the cell was the most poignant scene I have ever seen in the show. Sarah’s ultimate gift to Chuck beyond her heart, Chuck’s complete belief in her and trust even when he might think she is wrong. Finally the most beautiful and special “I love yous” they have ever spoken to each other. I don’t think Yvonne or Zach have ever delivered those lines any better.

    All in all it is one of my favorite episodes of this season, probably #2 but the final measure of this episode will be what they do with it going forward. Will they honor this episode with a proposal at the end of 4.13 or will they diminish it as they have done too often in the past by stretching things out for the sake of a ratings book or a back 11 pickup? Until that happens I can’t give a final verdict to this episode. It didn’t move the story along at all really but it was a perfect setup for the next 2 episodes. But will they follow through on that setup will be the ultimate question.

    • thinkling says:

      First of all, thanks for the write up, Joe. You KNOW I liked this episode. It gets better with each rewatch and with reflection. There’s just so much in it. You’re right that even though absent from the episode, Volkoff’s presence was heavily felt.

      Uplink, agree with all your comments, but especially the last paragraph. If they postpone the proposal, they diminish this episode … and not just this one. They diminish the best moments of the season. Again, not just because I want a proposal, but because they’re the ones that have gone there in such huge ways. To back away diminishes the whole season, from Suitcase through Balcony. You just scratch your head and go, “What was that about.”

      • armysfc says:

        i agree with both of you on it diminishing the whole proposal arc. i also feel it takes away from everything sarah did to take volkoff down. that was her main goal right to ensure an ‘us’? by protecting the most important thing in her life, she gave up her chance to have the most important thing in her life, chuck. lets hope we aren’t all walking around like we have a bad case of dandruff.

      • atcDave says:

        yeah, ditto that army.

    • atcDave says:

      You know, I wanted to agree with a few things you have to say Uplink, then I saw that darn Thinkling had beat me to some of it!

      This episode had some truly brilliant moments in it. And a couple I didn’t like so much; but on repeat viewings those have actually bothered me less.

      But my final verdict is pending. What you said in your last paragraph struck me as very true. They must honor this episode properly by the end of 4.13 or it simply becomes a sad lost opportunity, on the same level as Three Words.
      If they do honor it correctly with a proposal and engagement, this could be one of my favorites (always below Phase 3, but maybe not by much!).

      To be continued…

    • joe says:

      I appreciate it, Uplink! But I really don’t feel like there’s an opponent in a ring in the opposite corner from me (and I *know* what that feels like. – been there). I promise you, when I see something I don’t like (rare, but I have!) I write about that too.

      Tell you what I don’t do, though. I consciously try to not look ahead and declare something bad or wrong in advance. We do see a lot of spoilers and make a lot of speculations. Sometimes they verge on fantastic, too. But wow, those spoilers and promos and teasers can be misleading. Guess work is, well, guess work. I try to control my addiction to that stuff (and it has it’s place). I try to pigeon-hole it appropriately.

      Like Dave, I agree with you about this episode ultimately hinging on the next two. I’m pretty confident it’ll be great.

  7. jason says:

    Joe – I watched the ep again last night, prob #4. I would rate in top 3 or 4 for the season, but many have mistaken my position (and many like me I am afraid). The end of the ep, dropped what would have been a top 3 or 4 ep ever, to a top 3 or 4 this season. If chuck drops on his knee and they get engaged and the ep ends with them together, like honeymooners, top 3 or 4 ep ever.

    So again, top 3 or 4 ep this season the way it was done, the anger toward the ep, is what it could have been.

    When I prove correct, and there is no proposal in 4×13 or 14 or even 15, I think you will understand – we are all being played.

    For those who loved season 2, actually you should all like this, as it is near identical, except the proposal is being subbed for the consumation & movement forward of the relationship.

    The good news, even with all the teasing, things are moving forward, the only thing being teased is the proposal, they still are together and working / fighting thru stuff.

    Sorry for being such a jacka$$ toward all you guys & gals singing out of the same hymnal, but near all of you are saying that if the proposal isn’t in 4×13, then 4×11 isn’t as hot, I’ve consistently posted here the proposal is not when you think it is going to be, I continue with that line of thinking.

    • jason says:

      hey one more thing, hope we have a classic football game, either way, one heck of a season for those bears.

      Interesting, I knew thru a very good friend who was in favre’s circle, many of the details of brett favre’s escapades thru the 90’s and 2000’s in our area. Amazing it all first is coming out now.

      But, in this age of iphones and facebook, aaron rogers is being trashed this week for not autographing something for a young cancer victim. The truth is the young person is a friend of rogers, and he and her have been together quite often.

      Again, in a little town like GB, stuff is just hard to hide, rogers was asked to appear at a bowling event for big brothers this past xmas. He said yes. 75 kids attended. When he showed up, he brought along 15 other packers. It does not end there.

      After bowling, each of the kids was given $100 gift card, 5 kids to each packer, they went xmas shopping together.

      Needless to say, one guy footed the entire bill, never as far as I know made it into any media – pretty cool huh?

      Have a great day everyone – I am fully into football mode for the next 24 hours – sorry Father Rick – God Loves the Packers – my mom told me so!

      • Big Kev says:

        Ahhh, I do miss playoff season from my time living in the US! I was there in the Majkowski/Tomczak era – so never saw either club remotely near their best. As a Broncos fan, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Pack for their part in Elway finally landing the big one 🙂
        As for this season – you, Dave and Ernie are going to hate me, but the Jets are the great story this season and I would love to see them get up. I love an underdog story and LT has been a class act.
        I look forward to seeing who has bragging rights on the blog tomorrow!

      • joe says:

        Ah, the Jets. Bills fans only hate them one season at a time. Real empathy is reserved for the Pats and above all, the Raiders.

        The Raiders will *never* be forgiven for stealing Daryl Lamonica from Ralph Wilson, and leaving Adam Powell in return! NEVER!!!

        Take that! 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Suffice to say I’m sitting here getting pretty excited as we approach kick-off. It’s a great game, because this match-up is the stuff of life long dreams. So I want the Bears to win, and I want the game to be worthy of the hype!

      • thinkling says:

        You guys ENJOY!!!

    • joe says:

      When I prove correct, and there is no proposal in 4×13 or 14 or even 15, I think you will understand – we are all being played.

      Heh! I get it, Jason. That will be frustrating. But at the risk of frustrating you, let me restate what I was trying to get across.

      We saw an “escape hatch” to that. It’s hard for me to imagine more or more perfect proposal scenarios than the 4 we saw last Monday. AND Sarah said “yes” weeks ago. They left me in a place that both lets me say it happened, and yet, I can still anticipate a bit more. As Ernie would say, “Genius!”

      I like your analogy to S2, but I’ll bet you’re thinking of Colonel, right? So close, and yet…

      What I see is that they are very much in the same position that they were at in Suburbs (AaahhHH! Don’t hit! Lemme explain!!!)

      Just like Chuck said to Ellie at the end of that episode, it was so close to being perfect. But Sarah asked for the ring back, even as she couldn’t remove hers. Now, I believe the timing is different, but once again there is something she must take care of before she accepts that ring, and that is, of course, Volkoff.

      Okay, I just turned it into a transparent plot device, which really ruins the fun (sorry!). But it’s not going to take until 4.15 to eliminate Volkoff, right? The raison d’etre of TPTB is not to continually keep C&S apart and frustrate us in the process (that’s the job of the show runners of Bones and NCIS and TBBT it seems!). They *have* established the pattern of conjuring up something between C&S so that they have to grow to overcome it and get to the next step. Upwards.

      We can get annoyed by how many steps there seem to be, but hey, they want the show to last for years, after all. I’m glad that they’re generally moving in a forward direction at a pretty good pace for television.

      • jason says:

        hey – @Joe and @faith, first joe – it was suburbs I saw in balcony, in the midst of giving everything the shippers want and then bammo take it away with a completely sad moment / turn of events, although in some ways that was true of colonel too – Faith – some of that explains your reaction to balcony vs mine – you have the hope and faith that we all felt after colonel in you, I feel more the pi$$ed off feeling of getting the warmth snatched away like suburbs. Faith’s approach is better and more accurate, since we WILL NOT have to put up with anything like S3’s misery arc, but I do not think the next 4 eps are going to exactly be S3.5 like either, more like S2, we have beefcake / lethal weapon to get thru, to get to colonel and the ring.

        @ft – I will never lead the pitchfork brigade over 4×13’s non-proposal, I will be almost the opposite, sort of like the stock market on rumor, I have already discounted the bad news should it occur, and if they do propose / marry – I will gladly pocket the money – LOL

      • First Timer says:

        I understand, but the CGSE (Costa Gravas Stock Exchange) is notoriously oversold just now… 🙂

    • First Timer says:

      You know, you are right. They are essentially rerunning huge chunks of the Season 2 scenario. Although I would say that they are making it uber-clear that neither Chuck nor Sarah are good at this. I mean, the bit that all four of the main characters are in league to make the proposal work and it STILL doesn’t is something a little different than Season 2. Season 2 was about missed opportunities and lingering doubts, etc. Balcony, for all of its faults, was interesting in that they were positing a couple that simply can’t get it right no matter WHAT they do and who they enlist to help them!

      Still, and without defending the show runners, I keep going back to their use of Slow Club in the interrupted final Balcony scene. Only the hard-core fans would remember that Slow Club was also playing at the SUCCESSFUL beach wedding of Devon and Ellie.

      To me, it is a signal that the show runners THINK that have something really special up their sleeve that will make the games worth the payoff.

      They MAY be wrong (Season 3 is proof that they clearly have a disconnect issue with us), but I think it IS worth seeing what they have up their sleeve. I still think something important will happen in 13, either an actual accepted proposal or a jump to a marriage.

      If not, considering how they jerked us around by using Slow Club and calling on one of the show’s best moments, I think you’d be more than justified in leading the torch-and-pitchfork brigade.

      I really do think the show runners raised the stakes with the fans by using Slow Club. Let’s see how/if they pay it off before assuming they are wrong. If they DO get it wrong, there’ll be plenty of time and blog space to hammer them. After all, we’re 17 episodes past the original Season 3 and we’re still (justifiably) hammering them for that! 🙂

      • Faith says:

        Agreed. A little patience would go a long way right about now…not to mention some good faith. Heh.

        Jason, glad to see I wasn’t the only one seeing shades of Colonel in this. It’s actually one of the most frustrating things for me of late…that people don’t see that! :D.

      • patty says:

        Reading all the speculation about why they would hold off the actual proposal for Valentines (and sweeps) I have sadly concluded that that is the plan. 😦

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks for the insights, FT. Faith, I do see some shades of Colonel.

        Perhaps the hint from Slow Club is that this time around they are going to make it.

        I keep thinking you’re right FT. It seems logical that there is something great coming. It’s that darned S3 bug (stays in your system longer than malaria) that keeps us from whole-heartedly believing the signs. I mean we’ve been bitten before, right.

        Well, I can leave my pitchfork in the garage a while longer … hopefully for the duration of the series next 6 years.

      • armySFC says:

        thinkling, i do believe something good is coming. it’s just not going to be when would like to see it. my belief is would have happened in 4.11 and then the end of the volkoff arc would have ended the original season. i have a thought as to what their thinking was. by having it happen in 4.11 with the way the episode plays out their could be no celebration, no letting ellie in on the surprise. by moving it to another episode that is completely upbeat, they can put all that stuff in. now you have the proposal and all the fluff that goes with it. because shouldn’t the day a woman gets engaged be one of the happiest days of her life? by doing it in 4.11 tht joy would have deminished for sarah because she is going on a mission she may not return from. that in itself may make up for the delay. just a thought.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a really positive way to look at it. I think we know it’s coming.

        Although I think they left Balcony as was. I think they intentionally didn’t want the proposal before Sarah had to go on this last mission. Sad as it was, robbed as if felt for them … and for me, I see the logic from the story point of view to save the “marry me … yes” until after the successful completion of the mission.

        Thanks Army.

      • atcDave says:

        Good point about being able to celebrate army. I’m also pretty sure the proposal will come in 4.13, I can see some good reasons to put it off further (Valentine’s episode); but I think it’s time, and I don’t think it would be easy to keep the tone fun with another delay.

        Ultimately, it comes down to if TPTB are in synch with the viewers; and so this season they have been.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll ditto Thinkling once again here; mostly good episode episode except for a downbeat ending. To me, it could become a great episode if the down ending is made good in a timely fashion.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        A down ending not made good in a timely fashion (and occassionaly ever) would make this season 3.

  8. Tamara Burks says:

    I thought a thought as to one of Sarah’s motives in going on this possible suiciide mission.Guilt over the death of Papa B. After all Shaw turned after finding out that Sarah killed his wife(on Graham’s orders )and seemed to target Chuck after Chuck saved her from Shaw.

    If Graham had assigned someone else to take out Eve Shaw than Shaw still would have turned but most likely wouldn’t have focused on Sarah or Chuck, he would have bided his time until he could get close to the person that did kill his wife.

    It could be that guilt over Papa B’s death has been working at her under the surface and she’s trying to make amends to the man she loves by rescuing his mother even if it costs her her life.

  9. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Balcony (4.11) | Chuck This

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