Aces Wild, The Story of Two Wildcards (And A Joker)

You’re Aces Charles.

Team B Is A Man Down

Oh the grumbling, the moping, the angst, the lack of focus, it seems out of hand sometimes. But don’t worry, Chuck will be just fine. He’s going through a rough time, but Beckman’s wildcard enforcer will come through in the end. You see, it isn’t about an engagement or a mission, or even mom. It is as it has always been about what comes between Chuck and the life he wants to live, with the woman he loves. The Duck shipper in me wants to say it’s that Sarah Walker b***h who keeps leading him astray and breaking his heart, but I’ll leave that for another post. For now I’ll go with the conventional wisdom that it’s all about Chuck and Sarah.   We at ChuckThis were exchanging some speculation behind the scenes recently, so while the others were busy re-designing the blog I decided to steal all their best ideas and put up a spec post, with a brief review of where the season stands.    Feel free to add some speculation, but if you fear being spoiled be warned there could be spoiler-ish speculation.  After the jump.

The Deck is Stacked.

Frankly Chuck needs to focus.  He tends to drift aimlessly sometimes, especially when he experiences a loss or a betrayal.  Five years at the BuyMore and a month or so growing a beard on the couch eating cheeseballs are testement to that.  It isn’t his most endearing feature, but as Dr. Morgan notes, it is there.  Chuck needs to have a goal and to feel his life has purpose and direction, and he’s a horrible multitasker so that goal usually comes down to one thing, Sarah Walker.  She’s good for Chuck.  Everyone has seen it all along, and he’s good for her too, but let’s focus on Chuck for a change.  It is his show after all.  Sarah is important though, don’t get me wrong.  With Sarah, Chuck is the Chuck we always knew he could be.  She draws him out of his self indulgent shell and helps him focus.  She points him toward a goal and makes him feel as if he matters, even if she was a bit manipulative about it at first when she was his handler.  She was after all doing it for his own good, and it isn’t like it didn’t bother her.  Even then she had his best interests at heart, and she gave him direction and focus for so long I guess it isn’t hard to see why he seems to drift when she is gone.  He’s getting better.  We saw that at the beginning of the season when he could focus on the search for mom even with Sarah off on another mission, but lately, well it’s tougher.

Chuck went back to being a spy so he could find and rescue his mom, and wow, for a while he was en fuego.  Nothing like taking down Volkoff’s top weapons broker, nearly besting Hugo Panzer hand to hand, quelling a revolution in a nuclear armed Costa Gravas and beating the A-team (with a Morgan and Casey assist) to build some confidence in a guy.  But then it turns out mom didn’t need rescuing.  Frankly she didn’t want to be rescued.  She was a spy on a mission and chose not to be with Chuck because of that.  She just wasn’t a very good mom.  It’s sad.

So there Chuck is, with a mom who really did abandom him after all, regardless of her motives, and a career he wants but seems ill equiped for at times.  But he has Sarah, and they’re en fuego, so life can’t be all bad, right?  Well except for that psycho arms dealer who holds his entire family and his future hostage.  Let’s come back to that later.

Chuck has been through a lot recently, with Volkoff and his mom and being captured and tortured and losing the intersect, well it seems there isn’t much Chuck can control in his life anymore, and he kind of lost focus.  So he decided to focus on what he could control, proposing to Sarah.  Except it turns out he couldn’t control that either.  He wants so much to give her a future together with him with a clean slate, but something is always in the way.  It has always been like that with Chuck when it comes to Sarah.  One way or another spy life always manages to come between he and Sarah, whether it’s her issues or missions or asset/handler relations or his family history, spy life seems destined to keep dangling that tantalizing future with Sarah just barely out of reach.  Someone really should take matters into their own hands.  Unfortunately it seems that someone is Sarah.

Will Chuck Fold?

I suppose you can’t really totally blame Sarah.  Sarah didn’t come up with the plan, she just volunteered to help take down Volkoff and his organization.  Sarah just wanted to give Chuck, and all the Bartowskis (whom she is about to join) a clean slate and a chance at a life without a psycho weapons dealer threatening and manipulating them and their mother.  It was Beckman’s lame plan to send Sarah undercover to take down Volkoff, like they haven’t tried that before.  That isn’t a plan, it’s just replaying past mistakes.  And why doesn’t Chuck have anything to say about this?  I mean it’s not like he’s still Sarah’s asset, to be tricked and manipulated into doing what she or the government wants him to do.  He’s a spy after all and he should have a say, or at least a seat at the table when these things are discussed.  But then Beckman and Sarah have a point.  He really hasn’t made a lot of good decisions when it comes to his mom and Volkoff.  He’s been played every step of the way.  He just gets too emotionally involved, and it makes for that really big blind spot.  So Beckman realizes Chuck isn’t going to think clearly on this matter, fair enough, and Sarah sees it too.  She probably has a point.  But why does it have to be Sarah?  Sarah said to trust her, that it had to be her for Beckman’s plan to work, and he does trust Sarah, but Beckman the genius thinks Sarah will somehow make everything happen that Chuck’s mom couldn’t for 20 years?  This is the plan that could cost him his future with Sarah?  Worse, it cost Sarah her new sense of self.  She’s worked so hard to be the woman she is, and she deserves that future she’s so desperately trying to buy, but this seems a pretty lame way to go about it.  She’s already slipping away, and just like she said, she’s going back to being her old self, the one that always broke his heart by putting the mission above everything else, who kept secrets from him and lied to and manipulated him, dangling that future in front of him just to get him to play ball, to get him to focus, or worse putting up those emotional walls and shutting him out because she needs “distance”.  Someone really should take matters into their own hands…

The Final Hand

Does anyone think Chuck won’t come through for Sarah?  Even Beckman knows better, which makes Beckman’s choice of Sarah…interesting.  On the surface it makes sense.  Sarah is the best, and half of Thailand will testify that she’ll do anything for Chuck.  Anything.  And Volkoff, the chess master, whether he can trust Sarah or not he’ll accept her.  He has a dizzying intellect.  He knows he can’t trust her, and he knows that she knows that he knows.  You know?  So he’ll keep Sarah close and use her and her loyalty against Chuck and Mary and Sarah herself.  That’s why she’s such fun.  But does anyone think Chuck will sit back and let it happen?   Are Beckman, Sarah, Mary and even Volkoff all so clueless that they’ve introduced a wildcard into this poker game?  I don’t think so, and each may be doing what they are doing for reasons yet to be seen.  I think I know Sarah’s motives, outside the obvious ones, to take such a mission without telling Chuck the whole story, and a part of her may hope that she can keep him out of it, or the worst of it.  I think I know why Beckman is sending Sarah, and why it has to be her to make it work, aside from the obvious outlined above.  And I think I know why Volkoff is so willing to let Agent Walker so close, he loves to take what the Bartowski men want.  He’s a bigger badder more evil Ted Roark.  I’m not so sure Volkoff knows how Sarah feels about smirkers however.

So the final hand is about to be dealt.  Casey is largely out of commission is my guess, leaving Chuck with his former partner.  We’ll see what the two master spies who expertly use public transportation can come up with.  Awsome and Ellie have other major concerns, which should make for an interesting story.  Sarah and Mary, working together?  I have a feeling they’re going to amount to more than just a pair.  But we’re ready for that last hand, I expect to see a lot of bluffs and big bets on slim odds, and the stakes will be enormous.  In the end, someone is going to take home a huge payout.  I think it’s us fans.   Team B has two, maybe three wildcards, and a joker.  Volkoff doesn’t stand a chance.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Season 4, Spoilers, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Aces Wild, The Story of Two Wildcards (And A Joker)

  1. Faith says:

    “The Duck shipper in me wants to say it’s that Sarah Walker b***h who keeps leading him astray and breaking his heart, but I’ll leave that for another post”

    Of course you know this means WAR! 😛

    You know I’m beginning to see a pattern with Chuck. He’s better as a spy emotional. He’s like the drunken master except instead of drunk, his vice is his emotions. Just think about it, all the big heroic moments he’s ever had, what has caused it, brought it on? It always goes back to Sarah and it always goes back to the love and emotion they feel for one another. Yup, drunken emotional master :D.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I agree, and I think that part of what the intersectless arc was about was contrast. Chuck was OK on the mission, trying to be a real spy without the intersect, but in a way it also showed how he relied too much on the intersect and trying to be James Bond to the point he forgot about the things that made him great before the 2.0. Brawls with known bad guys was not something Chuck sought out in the past, yet while firmly grasping the stupid stick he sought one out on the advice of Rye, based on a questionable theory. I think based on the Schwedak talk and the previews Chuck will have to face down Volkoff and will finally remember his strengths and beat him without using the intersect.

    • thinkling says:

      That’s a great point, Faith. To use one of your words, though, I’ll go with heart. He is a hero by heart, not by might or ego or even duty, but by heart. That’s why it’s Sarah and his family and friends that light a fire under his hero feet. He likes helping others, too, but to really light the hero torch, just mess with his family.

      Emotions are tricky. Chuck’s emotions got in the way in S3 because he didn’t have Sarah. It’s like she’s the other half of his heart. Her love and confidence in him stabilizes him … so his emotions don’t derail his heart.

      Splitting hairs, maybe, but I think his heart, rightly motivated and stabilized, produces more than just emotions, but also marshals his other resources to get the job done.

      I guess I just think of emotions as all over the place and the heart as more than just the sum of its emotions. Sarah is his rock. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I REALLY like that take on it.

      • uplink2 says:

        I really like that take on it too. Especially this comment:
        Emotions are tricky. Chuck’s emotions got in the way in S3 because he didn’t have Sarah. It’s like she’s the other half of his heart. Her love and confidence in him stabilizes him … so his emotions don’t derail his heart.
        Sarah IS the other half of his heart. The half that gives it structure and focus. Bryce saw that if left to itself it would get him killed and it took Sarah to focus that heart and in so doing made it his biggest asset as a spy instead of his biggest liability in the traditional Spy ethic.

        However Chuck is also the other half of Sarah’s heart. Without him she can’t find that focus either and that is why she felt she needed to gain the “distance” to find her spy focus again. But this is the same mistake that Mary made. Without that emotional “heart” she simply could not take down Volkoff. Without it she is weaker not stronger. It will take Chuck and Sarah both realizing tonight that it is their biggest strength and that is what will focus them to complete the task at hand.

    • joe says:

      Oh no! Dissension in the ranks! Run for cover!!!

      Hum… Did you know that there is real martial art called “Drunken style?” Really! Quite effective too, I hear, in bar fights.

      😉

    • thinkling says:

      Good point Uplink. They’re better together. It will all come down to that.

  2. weaselone says:

    I’d push Volkoff’s motive’s a little further than that. Volkoff runs a massive criminal organization not because he loves power and money, but because he loves running a massive criminal organization and all the sadistic pleasures it allows him to partake in. OK maybe it is a little about power, the power to bend people to his will, to let them struggle about in his web with varying degrees of cluelessness. He enjoys that and the greater and more unexpected the challenge posed to him and his net, the more pleasure he derives from it prior to draining his hapless victims of all their bodily fluids.

    Volkoff wants Chuck to challenge him, so he needed to maneuver all the pieces in place first. It wasn’t enough to catch Chuck unawares and dispatch him. Volkoff wants Chuck all in, bringing all he has, capable of shredding portions of his web in order to derive maximum enjoyment. That’s why Volkoff keeps toying with Chuck, collecting and threatening the things which are most important to him, Goading and taunting him. Chuck has been aimless, and reactive. Volkoff wants a worthy opponent and he’s trying to get Chuck’s heart and head into the game.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      Chuck has been aimless, and reactive.

      Care to expand? Please. 🙂

    • JC says:

      He comes the nerd in me, so Volkoff is basically the Joker. It wasn’t about beating the Batman it was the fight and having a worthy opponent he could match wits with. He loved toying and pushing him to his limits as a hero. Maybe Volkoff had that in Orion but with his death who better to fill that void then his son. So I guess its time for Chuck to step up as the not so Dark Knight of Burbank.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually the joker refered to Morgan, but um yep, I meant to do that…the double meaning, yeah.

        Excellent catch on Volkoff/Joker. I think one of the things people sometimes miss is the information we get from how a talented actor like Dalton or Hamilton chooses to play a role. Timothy Dalton chewing scenery tells you a lot about how he and the producers see both the show and the villain, over the top fun.

      • JC says:

        @Ernie

        Totally agree about Dalton, the show needs some cheese and he throws in just enough to balance out the menacing.

        I’m surprised nobody has really noticed the similarities between the Chuck mythos and the Batman ones. Losing parents at an early age, the semi annoying side kick, the redeemed love interest, etc. I’ve been saying for awhile that the writers need to make Chuck into a Batman type character. That type of hero works so much better in the spy world they’ve created.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        JC, I had a season 4 spec about Chuck finding and taking over his dad’s heretofore unknown fortune, essentially becoming Bruce Wayne and the new Orion. I think it could have been fun to have Beckman call on Chuck, and possibly team B as her off the books enforcers, doing the things governments are affraid to do. Shine the Nerd Herd signal into the night sky, and team B leaps into action in the Crown Vic.

      • JC says:

        I could see some like that happening at least with Chuck taking on the mantle of Orion.

        But I was talking more about his persona as a spy. Neither one will kill needlessly, their smarts are as dangerous as their fighting skills and the biggest in my book why they chose to fight crime/be a spy. Not for selfish reasons but to do the right thing, help people and make sure nobody has to go through what they did. This is what I really want to see from Chuck as a spy. Purpose beyond his parent’s legacy or being a spy with Sarah. Say what you want about S3 but at least he wanted to be a spy for the right reasons then, this season it seems pretty self centered.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Say what you want about S3 but at least he wanted to be a spy for the right reasons then, this season it seems pretty self centered.

        JC, I still believe he wants to be a spy for the right reasons – saving the world, helping people, being a hero – but he wants to do these things with Sarah by his side. Always. (maybe his journey to being a spy in Season 3 made him realize that he couldn’t do it alone)

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah JC, I think they fumbled a bit in the motivation department when Chuck was so easily dissuaded by his sister. Its been a sticking point most of this season. He redeemed his motives a little with his proposal speech on the balcony; I’m hoping either tonight or in the back part of the season he’ll confront his sister and sort out his motives.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Dave

        I really hope they address that issue – in fact all it would take is two or three sentences from Chuck to Ellie. Hope it happens soon in the back 11. 4×13 is too packed -cant imagine such a dialog between Chuck and Ellie taking place in it.

        Even with Ellie being out of the loop, I have always thought that by Episode 4×02 or 4×03 they should have showed a scene where Chuck confesses to Sarah that he had really been missing the spy life and although he had rejoined the CIA as part of his efforts to locate Mama B, it made him realize that spying was his destiny or something like that. That alone would have made his motivations crystal clear as well as explain why he loves being a spy with Sarah.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Genie. It would have helped with a lot through the Intersectless arc especially.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Weaselone, one of the things I noticed about the intersectless arc was how Chuck lost focus and a sense of purpose when it turned out his mother really didn’t need, or want, to be saved. He tried to focus on being a spy, but just that doesn’t really mean anything to him without Sarah and a larger sense of purpose. Volkoff gives him that tonight is my bet.

  3. jason says:

    hey ernie – that was a fun write up, maybe the best work I’ve read about the current arc, and you kept it kind of short, how did that work? … well done

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Thanks Jason, this was just a fun look into Chuck’s mindset when I started, it just kind of came together at the last minute when we were exchanging speculations. I’ll be back to annoyingly epic, or epically annoying soon though, don’t worry. 😉

    • Faith says:

      “and you kept it kind of short, how did that work?”

      I wasn’t collaborating with him that’s why :P. Heh.

      JK Ernie. I know you were verbose before me.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well if you had joined in you would have told me I was wrong, then I’d have to explain your eroneous conclusions were eroneous, you would of course point out why I am completely mistaken, I’d give you the last word, then take it back, etc…

        I think Joe is on to our little wordcount padding trick… My gruel was watered down this morning.

      • joe says:

        Now I’m going to deduct from your salary BY THE WORD!!!

        Muah-ha!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        So we’re back to the haiku?

  4. thinkling says:

    Brilliant Ernie. Full House … well, now that we’ve established 2 jokers and 3 aces. 🙂

    I totally agree about Chuck’s mom issues. Her not needing to be saved started it. Then since he has such raw abandonment issues, his buttons were there for the pushing, and his mom played them like Mozart. I don’t think she meant to, but she didn’t have time to deal with it.

    For this reason, I cut Chuck some slack. I really think we’ll have Chuck en full fuego tonight. I predict he stays around.

    It will be really interesting to see how scheming GB has been on this … really interesting spec.

    My bet is on the 3 aces that will play like 5. Five aces beat anything, right? Can’t wait to see how the hand plays out.

  5. joe says:

    Sorry to put in something a little OT here, but besides Emmy4Yvonne’s great interview today, we also have an interview with Mekenna Melvin at Stay Famous.net.

    • jason says:

      joe, you can’t criticize at me for posting this here, since you just did, I have no idea why I was criticized the other day by the way, thought it was WRONG of you – anyhow enjoy the link & hope the show is great tonight for everyone, fedak stuff, new, talks about chuck’s loss of cleverness a bit, chuck and sarah, etc

      http://www.tvsquad.com/2011/01/31/chuck-co-creator-chris-fedak-promises-big-things-in-second-half/

      • joe says:

        Jason, I fear I was misunderstood.

        I don’t mind OT at all. I indulge myself a lot. It was that I didn’t want the group to have a discussion about another blog or blogger on this one.

        And again, that wasn’t intended to be a criticism of your comment at all. It’s just that I saw the potential for a really runaway discussion. I was worried about the possible follow-ons.

        I certainly don’t mind links to other blogs, and often something specific found in other sites is a great starting point for a conversation. That’s cool! I never mean to squelch talking about ideas (as opposed to talking about people).

        I hope you understand!

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry if you got caught in that Jason, our real concern had to do with people bringing in disputes from other blogs and continuing them here. I don’t know of any instance where you did that.

        But that was is an excellent interview you linked, thanks! Funny if They’re know referring to S4 as too dark, so far I’d say Gobbler is the only episode that could qualify for that; and even then only the end.
        But it excites me if it means more light episodes coming up. Also was happy to hear about Chuck using his brains more. It does sound like TPTB are bigger fans of the Buy More than most of us are, but as I’ve said before, I think casual viewers like the Buy More more than we do to, so I guess that’s fine.

      • Big Kev says:

        Joe/Jason,
        Not to start a discussion that’s off the topic of 4.13, but I’m interested about Fedak’s comments about “moving the story”. It’s the second time I’ve seen him make a similar reference, and it interests me because, to be honest, my impression of the season is diametrically opposite.
        To my mind, for a 13 episode season, we’ve had way too many transition, set up or just filler episodes that don’t really move the story forward – Suitcase, Cubic Z and Fear of Death are the obvious examples, but you could also plausibly add Balcony to that list. Throw in the standalone Coup D’Etat and the one Casey episode of the season, and you have almost half a season that doesn’t add to the season arc in any significant way. Don’t get me wrong, I loved some of those episodes, but I just haven’t seen aggressive storytelling this season.
        And on that note, I return you to regular scheduled programming!
        I’m off to sequester myself away from the blog and twitter, until I get a chance to see the episode later tonight. Enjoy the episode all. Even if it doesn’t quite live up to the best Chuck ever, it’s going to be fantastic, because these guys write awesome end of season and half-season finales. Looking forward to seeing all your reactions later tonight!

      • Faith says:

        Mark it down!

        ” Fedak referred to Sarah as Chuck’s fiancée briefly before correcting himself and saying she was his girlfriend”

        Down. 😀

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith

        And it is now written – in stone.

        Hell Ya!! 🙂 *that’s my excitement bubbling up*

  6. bundy says:

    @Faith I agree.I liked that part myself.

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    OK, my predictions. Chuck and Sarah will be married by the end of the ep… Wait, I used that one before… Pure speculation, but could ruin the surprise so I’m posting late and proceed at your own risk!

    Engaged tonight. Bonus for ending on the beach with a Chuck “Trust me” and shoulder bump.

    Sarah only agreed to take the mission if it was their last. Beckman would let them both quit with no more coercion on Chuck or her if they wanted. She is buying a future with the man she loves.

    Beckman, or someone else, likely Beckman, gave the mission to Sarah knowing Chuck would eventually go wildcard. Casey may have known. Sarah may or may not to some degree fully understand that that is a part of her mission, give Chuck some focus.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. For a few more hours at least…

    • herder says:

      Still sticking with the reverse Awesome proposal at the fountain with others looking out at them. Bonus if they go to the “that’s only for family/a real girlfriend – I know” line.

      Also I agree with the last mission, now we are out condition on Sarah taking the undercover role.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      That proposal scenario is equally satisfying, I just think Morgan was foreshadowing the beach for a reason, the same reason I think Sarah’s buying a future with the man I love line was pretty much the truth.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Oh, almost forgot, Sarah was kind of coerced, to some degree, to take the mission and only agreed with terms. Bonus, she gets a new clean slate courtesy of the CIA as… Sarah Walker.

    • Faith says:

      This isn’t mine but I thought it’s particularly notable: reverse Balcony–Sarah speech (why marry Chuck, love, etc.) with proposal scene.

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