Chuck vs. the Push Mix – First Reactions Post

This is it, ladies and gentlemen, we are this close to 10 minutes of (insert superlatives here). More importantly this:

could happen. And if you’re paying attention there are a couple of possible foreshadowings that’s already been given to the moment (read: tvsquad article – spoiler warning re:back 11). But if and when it does (or doesn’t) happen, in true Chuck fashion we’re guaranteed entertainment. This is it, this is Chuck’s big hero moment; Ellie and Awesome’s Clara is entering the world, Mary Bartowski is returning to the fold and Volkoff, well he’s due a true villain’s exit. Not to mention Casey, Alex, Morgan, Jeffster’s antics. Oh and did I mention kick ass music? My money’s on a Slow Club selection tonight.

There is no other show in television quite like Chuck and none comes close to Chuck finales, so buckle your seatbelts, hold on to your love ones and prepare to be heartwarmed.

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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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240 Responses to Chuck vs. the Push Mix – First Reactions Post

  1. joe says:

    Hey! We can’t forget about the newest cast member too! Welcome Clara “Awesomette” Woodcomb!

  2. sniderman says:

    Watching it live right now.

    “Hello Volkov. I want my wife back.”

    Holy ……!

  3. jason says:

    going to watch the cape, but off the cuff, my favorite chuck episode ever

  4. sd says:

    A clever, gentle “oh, know you didn’t” to those shippers who wanted to hear those four words and Sarah’s answer.

    • herder says:

      I liked the way they handled the proposal, we all get to imagine the words he used. Clever competent Chuck, Casey gets to give sage advice again, and I laughed out loud at Jeffster for the second week in a row. An episode full of win.

      • joe says:

        Truly! We had all the “perfect” proposals in Balcony. This time, we got the *perfect* one.

        And I didn’t have to feel like a voyeur, either.

      • bdaddydl says:

        Joe that is a fantastic point. They way they did it was almost as if you just happened to be someone in the hallway. Amazing, and remember it was written by leJudkins, someone on twitter asked if they could write all the episodes. Not a bad idea.

    • Paul says:

      We already knew the answer. This was merely a formality. I think her smile and her jumping to kiss him was more eloquent than a yes.

    • weaselone says:

      We already knew the answer and although we didn’t hear the four words, it’s implied in the kneeling with a diamond ring. Plus, Chuck already all but gave his entire proposal spiel two episodes ago.

      • sd says:

        Don’t get me wrong..I thought the scene was brilliant…I just know there are those who wanted to hear those words…

        Also—do you think there was some subtext to what Ellie said in Casey’s hospital room when she looked at Chuck and mentioned family. Do you think she hasn’t been fooled all along and knows Chuck is still a spy

      • Rick Holy says:

        Exactly, my friend. See my comment below as well.

      • Faith says:

        I thought even the kneeling part was well done. She kneeled with him rather than him standing up and they’re hugging while standing. It shows that they’re both on the level and in some ways symbolic.

        Either way, it was definitely a great choice. As Herder said, full of win.

      • thinkling says:

        I loved the kneeling part, too. It was, in many ways perfect. My only wish was that they had delayed the fade out by few seconds.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree with that Thinkling, but it did make for a beautiful fade-out.

    • joe says:

      Those two really *love* the old episodes. I mean, LOVE!

      When I woke up this AM and some of those scenes rolled over in my still half-asleep and coffee deprived brain, I started to notice call-backs that I had missed while watching. I’m going to re-watch and make some notes. For instance, Chuck facing Volkoff in Stephen’s cabin reminded me a lot of Chuck facing Shaw in Shaw’s office (and pardon my ‘French’) in The Ring pt. 2. Morgan in the laser beams called back Chuck in the vault in The Three Words and again the two laser-sensor scenes with Sarah in Tic-Tac.

      Good thing these were killer lasers this time!

  5. OldDarth says:

    Fantastic standalone episode.

  6. Paul says:

    Very enjoyable episode, but felt a bit anti-climactic for me. It didn’t have the tension or sense of menace that Other Guy or Ring II had. Still some nice stuff in there.

    • Chanman says:

      Well yeah, it didn’t had the same amount of tension and desperation as The Subway or The Other Guy, but I think it wasn’t the point this time.

    • joe says:

      Agreed! But I think I understand why.

      This morning I woke up thinking the episode really felt – not like a season ender, but like a series ender. There may have been a number of questions left unanswered, but emotionally, lots of stuff was wrapped up.

      Lots of call-backs like kisses to the fans! That made it fun and very satisfying, but there’s a lot less anticipation for what’s coming now.

      Except for the belly-dancing. I’m definitely anticipating that!

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joe I think they managed to give a great wrap up and give us something to look forward to (well, the guys anyway!).

  7. Rick Holy says:

    Excellent. Period. And at first when the floor scrubber drowned out “the question” and “the answer,” I said, “OH NO!” But then I thought – we don’t have to hear the words. We know what they are! (We didn’t “hear” them with Ellie and Awesome, either, now did we?). All you need is the girl – and that’s what he had.

    Definitely one of my favorite CHUCK episodes – and like 3.13, 4.13 could have been a satisfactory ending to the series should the 13 episode order have been it. BUT TBTG, Chuckaholics, we’ve got 11 more episodes coming – and the preview for the next one looks like it will be a gut buster!

    If I was “home,” I’d be watching the episode again right now, but since I’m NOT home, I’ll have to wait for tomorrow to watch it again on NBC.COM.

    I don’t know if I’d use the word “epic.” It’s almost cliche’ by now. But – like the lunch I enjoyed earlier today – it was about as satisfying as satisfying could get. (Except for the god-awful polo shirt that Chuck was wearing at the beginning? I know TPTB like to pay homage to the 80’s, but Chuck still doesn’t have to have part of his wardrobe look like it got stuck in the 80’s. That multi-colored striped polo was just horrid – and you’re talking to a guy who except for his clerical blacks wears jeans and shirts that you don’t have to tuck in!).

    Anyway, apart from that (and the lack of a parachuting Elvis impersonator), it was one of the best episodes – and I don’t throw that kind of praise around all the time.
    Can’t wait for next week and the return of Roan. I LOVED Yvonne’s line in the promo. “There’s no way I’m going to dress up as a belly dancer!” And THERE SHE IS as a belly dancer!

    Now I think we’re going to transition back – or at least I say I HOPE we’re going to transition back – to a more light hearted, FUN, Team Bartowski spycapade type show. Time will tell. Can’t wait to re-watch!

    P.S. Did you notice that one of the commercials during the episode was for a jewelry company with guys asking girls in different languages, “Will you marry me?” Very appropriate. We didn’t need to hear Chuck say it. We heard it in the commercial. Now if we REALLY wanted to talk about “product placement” on CHUCK, the inside of the ring box would have said “Kay Jewlers!” 😉

    • joe says:

      I thought it *was* a product placement, Fr. Rick! 😉

      • Paul says:

        Also noticed the babies in the Buy More monitors. I don’t think they’ve used that gag in a while.

    • AndyT says:

      Nice shoutout Father Rick, Chuck’s proposal was much like Ellie’s and Awesome’s. We did not hear the dialogue, instead we see and feel it while having an outsider’s view(just not through a window in this case).

      • Paul says:

        I wonder if they are saving that window for Carina in 4.15 to look through. Forcing her to watch Chuck, Sarah, Morgan and Alex emjoying a “real life” moment while she is out in the cold.

      • uplink2 says:

        I really like that idea. I have been specing about a will Carina be jealous of what Sarah now has. I do think we will see a very sweet scene between Sarah and Carina. They do seem to sincerely care about each other.

        She may see it and just be happy for her but there could be a bit of envy though we never get the feeling that Carina is interested in the real thing.

      • atcDave says:

        I do expect Carina will be very nasty about it before she is nice however!

      • joe says:

        Very cool idea – spec’ing about Carina.

        I could see her being, well, a bit shocked, at the turn Sarah’s taken. She’d try to talk to her friend and sometimes partner, saying things like: “This isn’t the Sarah I know! What about the good times we had in Cabo and Morocco? What about Prague?! You were fun then. I can’t believe you’d settle for the safe life! Boooorrrrinnnggggg!

        Sarah, of course, would prove her rather wrong about the boring part, and we’d see Carina having second thoughts. Wistfully (wishfully?) she’d contemplate Morgan and Alex and the things she’s missed. We’d see her wondering if the exciting life she’s led has a happy ending. We’d wonder if she was considering putting away the toys of her life (like the fast cars and dangerous men) and let herself be domesticated.

        Then we’d hear her answer as her cell phone rang with the DEA’s call. “Naaawwwww!”

    • herder says:

      There also was a bit of a throwback to Awesome and Ellie’s proposal, in that one you had Sarah saying the celebration was for family and then her and Casey looking in. This time when the nurse said “are you all family” everyone, Sarah and Casey too (who was something of an uncle to Awesome) said yes. At the start of the year we were told that this season would be about family, now they think they are.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Note how easily the wildcard anforcer and the cold school killer chimed in as family. They’ve come a long way.

        And I like Casey’s bits of advice. He knows now what he missed out on and doesn’t want people he’s come to care for to have the feel the same loss.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Good catch!

      • Faith says:

        Casey, Morgan and Alex’s exit was a bit like the old west where the guy with the gun walks off into the sunset. At least it felt like that to me. Definitely a nice choice for an old west kind of hero.

  8. joe says:

    I’m going to be thinking long and hard if this was may favorite Chuck of all time. But that’s only because the competition is so stiff.

    Right now this moment, as far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely in the running.

    Arresting Jeffster might just put it over the top! 😉

    • weaselone says:

      Jeff and Lester singing “Push It” while Ellie was in labor was definitely a new high or perhaps low for the comedy in the show.

      • Rick Holy says:

        BOTH! I just want to know where the heck the jackets suddenly appeard from!

      • Paul says:

        I loved the look on Ellie’s face when she realized yet another impoartant milestone in her life is going to be forever scarred by Jeffster….. 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I will admit that I was saying to myself please let them be arrested for this… 🙂

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I loved the fact that they apparantly stole Salt and Pepa’s jackets, Ellie’s horror when she realized it was them on the loudspeker and the way some people were getting into thier show.

  9. sniderman says:

    * Chuck used that brain of his. Had a plan all along. A plan that worked. Nice.
    * Volkov had a plan too. There was a true sense of malice there for a sec.
    * I figured we wouldn’t see the return of Papa B. But it was interesting wondering how this was going to pan out. Nice to see the cabin again.
    * Casey shoring up Awesome was … awesome.
    * Best last 10 minutes of Chuck ever? Meh, I wouldn’t go that far. The 20 minutes before it though? Absolutely. So Minutes 30 to 50 got my vote.
    * Proposal was a bit of a letdown. Was expecting some great Chuck historical callback – the fountain, the beach, in the apartment…
    Overall, a solid end to the Volkov arc. Could have worked as a season/series ender too.

    • AndyT says:

      I would point out as above thanks to Father Rick that it was a call-back to Ellie and Devin’s proposal in many ways which is incredibly sweet and appropriate for the Bartowski siblings.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Yeah, I think it was a callback of sorts to Ellie and Awesome’s engagement, which was all sorts of awesome. We didn’t need the big, long speech, or more teary eyed from how sweet it is, etc etc. We had a nice, simple moment as the possible last scene from “Chuck”. Then again.. we obviously know it’s not the last scene as they got the back 11, but still.

      I would agree that if you included the previous 10 minutes before the ‘epic’ last ten minutes, then I’d say I agree about some of the best “Chuck” ever. I just think Josh really amped up the final ten minutes a bit too much.

      I did love it, though. Definitely a great Stand Alone episode. A shame a few of the other episodes this season have been so forgettable.

    • joe says:

      That’s a pretty good list, Sniderman. Good analysis. For a second there, I was really wondering if Orion *had* come back. Heh! Another character risen from the dead!

      But every time it looked like they were going to go over the top they pulled it back perfectly. And that includes Jeffster. It was like they *knew* fans wanted them arrested next. 😉

      Like others have said, I sort of like the idea we got a “quiet” proposal. It went nicely with all the “perfect” proposals we’d already seen.

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    Liked it, not sure I loved it. It was, in some parts, the best of Chuck, in others, I think I saw the best Chuck ever, going in a different direction that isn’t entirely clear. We made three new families, and Chuck and Dianne finally understand one another. 😉 Sadly I think I can feel the hate coming.

    • joe says:

      Don’t you love the General riding in like the calvary, though?

      I did! 😉

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      You rang?

      But seriously, it was never that SuzieQ Bartowski that had me worried, but that jerk Montgomery. I mean, look at Chuck:

      Too young
      Too tall
      and entirely TOO much hair. On his head, that is. Back hair is another matter entirely.

      And now that over-ripe has-been Roan returns.

      Is there anyway we can book the skydiving Elvis impersonators for next week?

  11. OldDarth says:

    My fav sequence was the Chuck/Volkoff stand off in the cabin.

    A fantastic stand alone. Too bad the same cannot be said about it resolving all, or any, of the dangling season arc threads.

    • bdaddydl says:

      Ok I have heard this before. They touched on most of them, but just touched.
      The Sarah Good/Bad situation resolved when Casey whispered Sarah. Chuck knew what happened.
      Why did Mary do what she did? she explained it, in 20 seconds, but she did.
      Why is chuck spineless. the didn’t answer that, but they did have him have an epiphany on being passive.
      Was it perfect …No Did they drag it out to much? Yes does not seem to covr it.
      Well that’s my 2 cent rebuttal to your post
      By the way, I can’t wait for the podcast!

  12. AndyT says:

    WOW that was fantastic. As Chuck episodes go this was one the absolute best. It was great to see at the end that Chuck’s plan comes together so brilliantly. He outsmarts Volkoff because he is “special”. As Chuck says, he is his father’s son. Also the last ten minutes were absolutely beautiful. Jeffster was appropriately hilarious, over-top and creepy all at once. I like Casey’s advice to Devin and the little family that Casey has around him including the “litte bearded one”.(whose yoga training payed off!!) Finally, I had a tear in my eye with the proposal. It was sweet, romantic and beautiful. As I said elswhere, it was a callback to the Ellie/Devon proposal from “Marlin” and it was so perfect. We did not need the words the looks on their faces told everything and was so much more poetic. A fantastic end to this chapter.

    • joe says:

      As nicely as the proposal called back to Ellie & Devon’s moment, “the Plan” called back nicely to the Tron poster too, I thought.

      • Rick Holy says:

        And it was nice that they showed the Tron poster behind Chuck as he and Morgan were formulating their plan piece by piece on the “other” wall of his bedroom.

  13. sd says:

    The “last ten minutes” hype was a bit over the top…I thought the best part of the episode was Chuck executing his plan. For a moment, I actually thought Orion was alive.

    I also think I so enjoyed the plan b/c Chuck has seemed so impotent at times this season. It was great to see him strategize without the intersect and using his distaste of guns to his advantage.

    And, how about Chuck giving his mom a stern talking to about the use of a gun when a tranq dart will do.

    • weaselone says:

      I have to agree. Minute 30 to minute 50 was probably the most epic part of the episode, although Jeffster provided some good amusement in the last 1o minute segment.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      The lead character talking to his mom about her use of deadly force is definitely something you won’t find on any other show.

      • atcDave says:

        I loved that he was pretty sure of himself too. We didn’t see much wussy Chuck in this episode. Well, maybe when mom was left behind in their escape; but he got over it quickly.

  14. JC says:

    I planned to have a big write up about the episode but then that promo killed my brain.

    • weaselone says:

      No looking at Sarah without sunglasses.

    • Rick Holy says:

      How ironic – for me. I ate lunch at “The Marakesh” restaurant today in the Morocco section of Epcot at Disney – and an absolutely STUNNING Moroccan woman did a belly dance while I was “trying” to focus on eating my shishkabobs. Now I have more belly dancing to look forward to NEXT Monday with the lovely Yvonne taking a stab at it. I’m sure she’ll do admirably (as she does everything else!) 😉

      Looking ahead to that episode (4.14) I loved in the promo where Chuck, Sarah and Casey walk in to save the blind-folded Roan and he says, “I hear the footsteps of TWO WOMEN, and one large man.” THAT is just too funny. I am SO GLAD that they’re bringing Roan back. There should be some great jokes in that episode. Not only is the character a riot, but I think John Laroquette (sp?) is one of the great comic actors of the past two decades. Glad “CHUCK” could nab him again.

      I’m repeating myself from an earlier post, but I think/hope we’re taking a turn to a more light hearted “spycapade” show – with the team together and “in command” going about their business and dealing with the wackiness that can come with it.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree with all that Rick, including not knowing how to spell John Laroquette’s name! I do look forward to the return of Roan; I’m sure he’ll have some dreadful insights to offer Chuck and Sarah.

      • bdaddydl says:

        Mais Sha he’s just a N’awlins boy done good. Ever since night court I have watched him in just about everything he has done, but i think Chucks not gonna like him for some of the episode.
        Why cause Chuck said “I like that guy.”

      • weaselone says:

        Now the question is, who is Roan referring to with his comment. The obvious would feature Chuck and Sarah as the two women and Casey as the large man. Of course, Roan could be referring to Casey and Chuck as the two women and Sarah (the giant she-man) as the large man. That way he insults all of them in one go, not just Chuck.

      • joe says:

        Hum! I see Larroquette in the Wikipedia – two ‘r’s.

        And wow – Night Court was 1984 – 27 years ago! Darn time flies!

  15. Katsumaro says:

    Yeah. I believe I went blind from Bellydancer Sarah. Blind in a good way. Oh god I hope my vision returns by next week.

  16. silvercat42 says:

    I agree with those who thought the best 10 minutes (or so) of the episode was Chuck’s confronting Volkoff in the cabin. Definitely a callback to Chuck revealing his plan to Shaw in the hotel room (without the mua-ha-ha, unfortunately… :()

    While the last 10 minutes were a pretty good way to end the episode, and the proposal and Volkoff arcs, not the best 10 minutes ever. To me, the last 10 minutes of The Other Guy hold that honor. I did, however, love the way the proposal was handled, and kudos to all those who predicted it would happen at the hospital right after Clara was born.

  17. silvercat42 says:

    One other thing… I’m glad they didn’t kill Volkoff. Now I’d like to see an episode where Shaw and Volkoff escape, Jill comes in from the cold, and the three of them team up to take on Team B. (Just kidding, you all).

  18. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Loved Chuck’s use of office supplies…. great plan!
    Played Volkoff into a corner very very well. ” I want my wife back!”
    Not enough Chuck and Sarah working as a team, nor Sarah and Mary as a team…
    hmmm – was that episode actually the same length of time as all the others – cuz it sure went by really really fast!
    Yep – the big family reunion at the hospital was fully expected – complete with Jeffster. I was secretly hoping that Alex would have brought her mom…
    Would have been a very emotional moment for Casey… but its not a series finale : )
    My son had a great comment about the big showdown in the cabin –
    he was hoping the whole cabin would get air lifted by Helicopters to a military prison.
    – And he expected Morgan to be riding on one of the Tanks : ) – Big surprise, the same way they ambushed Chuck and Sarah on the balcony.
    Really nice to see General Beckman acknowledge what Chuck had accomplished.
    The proposal was nice – we’ve already heard what they would have said to each other -so there wasn’t really anything else left to say. Devon needed to be a little more awesome [ for Ellie] –
    BUT – it was the most wonderful episode of Chuck. Not funniest, or sexiest, or most dramatic, of most suspenseful or exciting …. just the most wonderful, and I love the fact that we have 11 more episodes to look forward too!

    • Paul says:

      Next episode looks REALLY good. Already have a feeling it’s going to be hilrarious.

    • Rick Holy says:

      I thought it was EXTREMELY appropriate that the first one they handed the baby off to was Mama B – or should I say GrandMama B. It was a wonderful bonding/re-bonding moment for MEB and Ellie. It just wouldn’t have been the same if they handed Clara off to anybody else. I think MEB even held the baby before Awesome did!

      One thing we have to remember – and maybe one of our excellent writers will put something on this thread about it – but it came to the fore when MEB told Volkoff how much “better” Stephen J. Bartowski was than him – and how every time she was “with” Volkoff, she was thinking of Stephen J.

      But this is what I wanted to point out. The woman left to protect her family. But she was STILL in love with her husband. Now, it was only recently that he was killed. So even though she was apart from him, she knew he was still alive. Now she’s a widow – and we’ve never really addressed her grief – the grief that ANY wife would have over the passing of a husband. Even in a messed up situation like the Bartowski’s that still would apply. (Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this previously, but I thought it was a point worth bringing up. It’s another reason why I think having MEB be the first one to hold Clara – after Ellie, of course – was most appropriate).

  19. atcDave says:

    That was a lot of fun. It was probably over-hyped, but completely enjoyable. I still think Phase 3 was better, but this was a dynamite episode.

    Loved seeing smart Chuck take down Volkoff. Very satisfying to see the smug baddie get completely outmaneuvered. I was pleased our fears about Chuck doubting Sarah proved to be unfounded, and Casey helped nip it in the bud. Morgan was quite funny in this one. Loved the old “Liberty ship” being used as “The Contessa”; I don’t know about Volkoff’s claim of SAMs but it did still have very nice 1940s vintage twin 40s on deck. But I doubt many wealthy crime lords want a yacht that cruises at 7 knots. I also really liked how Volkoff proved his pure evil and wickedness by not sharing his ice cream with any of his flunkies. I was thrilled by the Orion call backs, and I loved Chuck placing the fake messages in the communications log.
    The last 10 minutes won’t bump any of my previous favorites from their spots, but it was very good. This may have been the funniest Jeffster has ever been; that was laugh out loud funny, and as Ernie mentioned, I was so glad when they got arrested. I did like Casey’s father speech to Devon, and the extended “family” moment in the hospital; very sweet stuff and I never get enough of that. And what can I say about the proposal? Wow. I thought the empty corridor except for the buffing machine was every bit as romantic as a French balcony. Beautiful scene.

    So let’s see, tomorrow is February, we have a big winter storm coming… this may be the perfect time to hibernate until next Monday!

  20. JC says:

    Strong episode but not the best ever.

    No flashing on Kung Fu at all. Chuck used his brains and the ghost of his father to take down Volkoff, finally. Nice callback to flipping the Tron poster, with it framed in the background of the scene. Best use of Chuck since Coup.

    Almost the perfect amount of Morgan this episode but I could have done without the laser scene. He should be the goofy all in side kick not the guy with answers to everything.

    After wondering why the whole season we got no mention of Orion it came out in full force tonight. Called the scene with Mary throwing her love for Stephen in Volkoff’s face and it was great to see her finally show some emotion. Even better was the scene where she tells Sarah that they shouldn’t make the same mistakes as her and Stephen did.

    Oh Dalton how you’ll be missed until your daughter turns evil. He steals every episode he’s in. The fear when he thought Orion was still alive, his confrontation with Chuck and the line about having Mary visit him in prison was the perfect last line for him. Can we start a campaign Emmy for Dalton.

    Some nitpicks

    Wow was the ending to Gobbler pointless or what. No mention of the rejected phone call and Sarah was still clueless about following the same path as Mary. Really didn’t like that at all.

    Like last season the conclusion of the arc didn’t live up to pieces they set up. That was a real let down.

    And Mama B just didn’t work. Linda Hamilton was great but I just didn’t care if she made it back to her family or not.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      Agree with almost all your observations. Relieved that there was not too much Morgan – and remember our spec that Morgan finds the chip in Casey’s pocket turned out to be true. 🙂 . As for the lasers scene, I kept hoping until the end that Chuck would disable them but then I realized that the writers would not miss out on the moment to showcase Morgan’s growth. 😉

      Like last season the conclusion of the arc didn’t live up to pieces they set up. That was a real let down.

      IMHO, they should abandon their habit of cramming everything into the last two episodes and instead build up to the conclusion of the arc for at least 3 episodes and then have the final episode of whatever arc they are following.

      • JC says:

        Yep, they should have cut the Intersect less Chuck arc by an episode and made this two hours.

        I find myself slipping into the same camp as OD and Big Kev that show should give up season spanning arcs.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        JC

        An arc of 2-3 episodes works just fine on Chuck. Any further stretching tests the patience. One would think they would have taken lessons from Shawgate.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree with that Genie. I’m not a big fan of the long arcs anyway. Keep it all in a couple episodes, except for a few character stories; like the baby and engagement.

      • Big Kev says:

        I think at the moment the show falls between 2 stools. They try and have a lengthy(ish) mythology arc and a couple of smaller arcs – and then some standalone romps as well. That’s an awful lot to pack into 13 episodes and to some extent it leaves both camps frustrated, and the pacing of the season feels off to me.
        I think if you’re going to have a mythology, and a season arc you have to commit to taking the time to set it up and tell the story properly. So for me, Suitcase/CubicZ is mashed into one episode to deal with Chuck and Sarah relationship stuff, and Fear of Death can be scrapped completely, except for Chuck’s kidnap to set up Phase Three. 2 more episodes to flesh out MamaB and what she’s doing, and still plenty of time for missions of the week and TeamB stuff.
        An expanded spy story would be my preference. But if they don’t want to do that – or more likely can’t afford to pay the guest stars for that many episodes – then I’d rather see more standalones like the wonderful Coup D’Etat. Maybe not quite as suspenseful and rewarding (at least for me) but also not as rushed and frustrating.

      • weaselone says:

        I also feel they have to strong a tendency to cram everything into the last two episodes of the season, likely in some misguided belief that this is what makes things “epic” and that resolutions can only be had at the end of the season. Inevitably this leaves many scenes that would have addressed some of the season’s loose threads on the cutting room floor.

        Then there is the habit the show seems to have of forgetting it’s own mythology, or making characters act in ways that conflict with their established characters. It’s difficult to argue that this stems from the long arc vs short arc vs stand alone conflict. It just seems like laziness.

      • JC says:

        @Genie

        Season long arcs work it you actually explain the things you setup. The problem is they throw everything and the kitchen sink into episodes but hardly resolve any of them. The PSP, Laptop, Mary’s mission, Hydra, etc I’m guessing we’ll get no explanation about them. I’d much rather they focus on one or two of those and go into detail.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Chuck will always have problems with the longer arcs just because so much time and energy goes into the character based humor. Having written both action and humor I would have to say humor is A LOT more work; and if that’s where their priorities are going to lie, it will always be to then detriment of the “serious” story telling.

        Which is part of why I just prefer the “villain of the week” approach. I think it suits this particular show better. (and for the record, it also means I’m a very happy camper right now; because that is mostly what they’re doing. Notice even Volkoff had a different ensemble of thugs every week).

    • atcDave says:

      I wouldn’t quite call Gobbler pointless. It was a solid stand alone episode. As you yourself mentioned, they do those better than major arcs anyway, so just enjoy it for what its worth.

      But that does of course mean the end of Gobbler was just a cheesy angst game. Chuck never seemed to believe he was loosing Sarah beyond the obvious physical sense; and I was disappointed they didn’t let Sarah reassess her priorities on her own.
      Although I did like the way Chuck took down the heavy while Sarah rescued mom. As I said, good episode purely on its own merits.

      • Katsumaro says:

        The ending of Gobbler had so many people up in arms, and people questioning whether Chuck believed in Sarah, or whatever.. and I thought that was silly. I mean.. they’ve gone through how much stuff together? So just because she simply ignores one call.. yeah, it was contrived angst at it’s best. Didn’t lead anywhere at all. I didn’t think it would.

      • JC says:

        I didn’t think all of Gobbler was pointless but this episode swept that ending under the rug. The cliff hanger was completely pointless and the same with double agent Sarah. The whole point to it was to give Mary some humanity by expressing that she didn’t want C/S to suffer the same fate as her and Stephen. And it came at the expense of Sarah’s growth. The way it was written she was perfectly fine with staying undercover for an indefinite amount of time.

        Remember how I always say Chuck is the only character held accountable for his actions. This is just another example of it.

    • sd says:

      I actually liked the laser scene…I thought it was an “everyman” callback to the Chuck intersect laser scene in S3

      I do think Morgan has manned up and–in some ways–grown in more ways than Chuck…but he had sooo far to come and moving forward you can see him as a valuable member of the team.

      • Paul says:

        I would find it hilarious if in the epilogue to the series, we find out that Morgan eventually became one of the best spy the CIA had.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I liked it,second best episode of the year behind Phase Three.I liked the smart Chuck putting his plan together.Glad they went back to that kind of Chuck.Funny how they kidnapped the …….wait are we in a bathroom…..wrong guy.Mary telling Sarah that no matter what Sarah is out.I liked how they have bonded.The Chuck and Volkoff showdown in the cabin was genius.It’s a good thing Chuck is a good guy or he could be a real criminal mastermind. The proposal was perfect.Chuck said everything we wanted to hear on the balcony.This way I think was just as sweet.Didn’t need the words,the scene spoke volumes.Like Sepinwall said this would have been a great series ender.I’m so glad it’s not.Especially looking at next weeks promo.Yvonne and belly dancing,you can not go wrong wiht that.

  22. Mike says:

    I got *CHILLS* with “You’ll need an army to get out of here!” … and the door opens … and there stands General Beckman in silhouette, ramrod straight. Plus, “Get this man a chopper!”

    The Crowning Moment of Awesome to beat all Crowning Moments of Awesome. GLORIOUS.

  23. Faith says:

    Some quick thoughts about the epi. Sorry it’s copied and pasted from my same thoughts on the boards 🙂

    How do you quantify #Chuck greatness (sorry a bit of twitter getting in there lol):

    – is it the Tron poster reveal?
    – is it Chuck being brave Chuck and jumping off the roof to save the girl? (or any of the other heroic Chuck things only he can do?)
    – is it Chuck and Sarah holding hands as Jeffster plays their rendition of Africa? Chuck and Sarah playing with each others’ hands in a dirty motel in Colonel?
    – is it Ellie crying after seeing her father get shot? Or Ellie telling Chuck that he’s a good person and a good brother?
    – Morgan coming off a locked down Castle and saying, “bag ’em and tag ’em”?
    – General Beckman saying, “it’s about damn time”?
    – Finding out Scott Bakula aka Orion is Chuck’s dad?
    – Finding out that the intersect was MADE by Chuck’s father?

    Which is it? Or is it all of these? Well tonight, we got all of that and more. Chuck at its finest and you know what? It’s full of heart.

    Chuck didn’t just own his big heroic moment, he planned it. It’s been said but bears repeating, the Chuck that defused a bomb using a Demova virus has returned and it’s absolutely fantastic. That plan was all sorts of win with twists and turns and deception. But most of all, it’s standing above the shoulders of Stephen Bartowski.

    Awhile back many of us wished for Chuck to be Orion, to continue his legacy. Well tonight we were treated to the best way possible to do that. Chuck isn’t just following Orion’s legacy through his “toys” or his smarts, Chuck IS Orion’s legacy. The way he is his mother’s as well. Family lives on and though we lost a great man in Stephen, we have Chuck. It’s an absolutely brilliant piece of storytelling, he IS his father’s son. The repeated mention is all the more poignant because we see it. His line, “my father taught me…” had me in tears (in fact as I type this I’m crying a little–I am a total pushover if you didn’t already know ).

    Speaking of Family, they said this season was going to be about family. Well we’ve come full circle. In Subway he lost his dad and he fragmented a bit. He went to search for his mom for his dad and maybe for himself as well. It was a great decision to have Mary in the room for the birth of Clara. Fantastic acting from both Linda Hamilton and Sarah Lancaster. The understated teary eye and the inescapable joy Ellie showed when she saw her mom, just powerful stuff. Three generations of Bartowski women and it was, to quote Devon, “awesome.” The birth was very emotional, poignant and yet hilarious. Jeffster’s rendition of Salt and Pepa’s Push it was a laugh riot. There was a part there where a woman was actually freaking (dancing) with Lester that was just…hilarious.

    Proposal. So very well done. In the end Casey was right, there is no right right spot or time, just the girl. I thought they chose very well. The lack of speech, the setting, the music. It really reminds me of the powerful Sallie scene in First Fight. Words weren’t necessary then and it wasn’t this time either. A picture tells a 1000 words and this one is no different. In the end the proposal was about love and their future. Together. By panning out they made it an intimate moment, one to be shared only by the couple. It didn’t escape my notice that they were alone and in some ways the way it’s done reminds me so much of the pilot’s beach scene. It’s a beginning and it is that for the two of them.

    Bravo Chuck cast, crew, TPTB and specifically Lejudkins. We can’t wait to see how you can possibly top this. Simply heartwarmed.

  24. Robert H says:

    Well done episode. At last the Chuck character finally does something decisively, actually two things. He takes down Volkoff and proposes to Sarah. He finally acted instead of waffling, bravo. The ending was done simply and elegantly. One picture is indeed worth a thousand words. No dialogue could have topped how they handled the proposal. There was no dialogue, none was needed. It has been written that sometimes
    the art of accomplishing something is to know how to get there indirectly with finesse and simplicity has its own grace with nothing else required. So it was here. For all of the criticism that has been done regarding various aspects of the show, one needs to give credit where credit is due. They finally got it right, so congratulations, bravo.

    The look in his eyes when he caressed her so gently and tenderly said it all and yes, I think she was surprised in a way she never could have imagined because it came from
    deep within the heart. Perhaps when he looked at her in that long moment, when he realized just how much she had given, had always given from the day that they first met, through everything they had been through together, that he was seeing her soul,
    a rarity that most people will never see, a beauty that will never age, a love that will never die, timeless and infinite for all eternity. It generated its own timing that no plan
    could ever match. No matter what happens to the show going forward going forward one way or another, it will always have that moment. I hope that everyone who watched it appreciated it as much as I did.

    No doubt I will comment on other aspects of the episode later, that can wait. My above
    comments couldn’t, thanks.

  25. Big Kev says:

    Sensational Episode! Chuck/Volkoff cabin standoff, cut to Beckman – hands down one of my favorite scenes of the series!
    Episode was a lot funnier than their usual finales, and I loved that. Kidnapping the wrong guy, Morgan and the flippers, Jeffster – all perfectly pitched comedy.
    The episode really had me from “I want my wife back!” I took Fedak at his word, so I assumed it was Chuck, I hoped it was Chuck……and what a masterful plan it was. As Faith says above, just a perfect way for Chuck to step up and take on Orion’s legacy.
    On first watch, I’ll admit to being slightly disappointed in the proposal. But on rewatch I’ll admit to being completely wrong. The full realization of the parallel with the Ellie/Awesome proposal didnt hit me until second viewing (duh!) and when you watch how Zac and Yvonne play it – everything’s been said, both by Chuck and Sarah, and by people here. Understated, simple and beautiful – as many of the great moments on this show are.

    And the promo for 4.14?? Quick Nurse, the screens!!……

    • jason says:

      kev – this is the chuck I fell in love with, both the character and the show, this felt like an ep where the 800 lb gorilla never interfered, even in the engagement moment, CS never got in the way, much like 4×9, I probably could rattle off over 100 things I loved, here are a few:

      -the way CS worked together, yet apart, completely in trust
      – how chuck looked like scotty b in that chair, wonderful moment
      -I am my father’s son
      -I want my wife back, again, just superb
      -Sarah giving morgan her coat, how can she make handing a coat to a gross looking little elf sweet, yet sexy, how
      -the tron poster and subsequent plot it mapped out

      only negative, a huge opportunity to make ernie squee, chuck should have turned to GB and said, ‘general, I appreciated the tank’

      • Big Kev says:

        Hahaha! You’re so right Jason. But Ernie did get his Duck moment. The look on Beckman’s face as she orders Chuck’s chopper? As close as GBecks gets to adoration 🙂
        Whole tone felt like a season 2 episode to me – there’s no higher praise than that.

    • atcDave says:

      Man you guys are all right! The more I think about it the richer this episode gets; so many awesome moments.

      Jeffster was laugh out loud funny, the proposal was wonderful (I complained in Balcony that the proposal was played out already and it hadn’t even happened yet. Well the writers knew that! Nothing else needed to be said!)
      Yeah Jason I loved the bit with Sarah giving Morgan the coat; it was sweet and funny (poor Morgan, just isn’t as manly as Sarah!)

  26. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    I don’t want to harsh everyone mellow because it was a nice episode. It was nice to have the return of “smart” Chuck. The proposal was well done. I could tell the army was at the door but GBecks was a nice surprise (she’s so tiny). Oh and Sarah finally threw a knife this season, it’s been a while, the last one was an axe I think. The episode certainly did gives a lot of the scenes we were looking for, but arc-wise leaves me wanting.

    Mama B telling Sarah she was “going to send her home” really make Gobbler a weaker almost pointless episode. All of the Sarah hand wringing from Gobbler was taken away. I was really hoping Sarah would come to the realization that this mision wasn’t for her prior to Mama B telling her so. It worked somewhat, but took some nice growth away from Sarah.

    I’m kinda hoping that we get more 2, 3 or 4 episode arcs from now on however. The backloaded 13 episode ones haven’t worked me. Hydra and the 20 year mission needed more help from earlier in the season.

    I know I harp about set-up, and to this end Balcony works better for me now. To pull off the proposal the way they did, and they DID pull it off, Balcony was required reading for it to work. It was nicely done.

    • OldDarth says:

      Agree Joseph. Weakest of the season arcs to date. Contrived and dishonest story telling. MamaB remains a story device not a character.

      Oh well at least Chuck was released from his season long passive story line. Just hope it lasts more than one episode.

      Paging Mauser Mop again. Cleanup! Aisle – Season 4.

      • Joeeph (can't be Joe) says:

        IDK about the weakest to date. You and I will never agree on the merits of S3, so I won’t even bring it up. Overall S4 has returned Chuck to a more fun show to watch, so I’m going to cut them some slack. But I think, like yourself, think I see the potential for “more” out of the story, but mileage will vary.

      • OldDarth says:

        My ability to enjoy the ‘funness’ of this season is undermined by the shoddiness of the season arc.

        If the episodes are viewed are distinct entities they are much more enjoyable.

        As a collective group they frustrate more than entertain.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Yes I understand, TPTB never put in the work to establish Morgan as a Yogi in previous episodes, therefore it is an artless contrivance and the show fails as a serialized story. They never explored the dark side of seduction missions and how far agents need to go and the damage it does, therefore seduction missions are a dishonest plot device. You know what, there isn’t nearly enough slapstick and they need a laugh track too. And I say again, people are complaining that Chuck isn’t good at things it has never presented itself as doing or for not going in directions it has constantly turned from to stay relatively light.

      Chuck is not the best comedy, the best serialized drama, the best action/adventure show or the best spy story, but it combines elements of all those things and mixes in wonderfully drawn characters with real human emotions and relationships that gives us an anchor in it’s world and a reason to invest and care about what would otherwise be a pretty silly show.

      I think Chuck took an interesting turn last night, to a new direction. If I like that direction I could be convinced that the final act, which set up that new direction, was the best 10 minutes of Chuck, ever.

      • OldDarth says:

        All that is needed is a honest storyline. Items such as Morgan all of a sudden knowing yoga is a harmless gag that has no lasting impact on the series.

        It is when they don’t explain character motivations aka MamaB, build a season arc on an unbelievable premise – MamaB, and by inference Orion, unable to take down Volkoff over a 2o year period, provide no explanation for story points that have major impacts on the characters ie the PSP/Laptop storyline, and tie down the star of the show to support such a storyline for almost the entirety of the arc; IS where the season arc fails.

        These are things that have lasting impacts on the show.

        It is like the writers get bored with the storyline or have A.D.D. or believe the audience will forget the ongoing storyline simply by distracting them with new story points.

        Chuck has the best cast, the best characters on TV, and the best fans. The writers continually fail to honor that.

        Chuck does not have to be the best anything. Or emulate other shows.

        But every show, including Chuck, must tell a story honestly.

        The Season 4 arc of Chuck did not. Without that honesty our ability to invest in the characters and their relationships are diminished.

        If one does not buy the storyline then how can one be invested in the characters?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I understand what you are saying, it didn’t pay off where you wanted payoff. I get that. So for you the story falls flat. My point is that expectations are a tricky thing. Did they ever go into Orion’s backstory in season 2? No, he simply had to leave to protect his children. End of story. What mattered was how his decision affected Chuck and Ellie, so they just plain didn’t bother with anything more detailed than people were looking for him because of the intersect. Yet most people considered that a well constructed story arc. The thing I am seeing more lately is expectations in areas that Chuck has never fulfilled nor tried to fulfill. Frost got trapped in a mission she couldn’t complete or walk away from. She couldn’t take Volkoff down because she never gained his trust. She couldn’t walk away because he’d follow her back to her family. She was stuck. End of story.

        This season Chuck is again paying off where it has traditionally paid off, the growth and progress in the main characters and their relationships and the fun, and I think it is doing so wonderfully.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Old Darth and Ernie. Two different perspectives – and I respect them both. There are things that frustrate me about the show, but in the end the way the characters have endeared themselves to me is just too much for me to every “give up” on it. Bear with me here, fellas, but this show (and your talking to someone who is going to be a life long bachelor) is very much like a relationship. Sometimes it’s GREAT, sometimes it’s only good. Sometimes it’s tolerable, other times it SUCKS! But I’m committed “for better or worse” till (my) death or (the show’s) cancellation do us part.

        One thing I’m wondering – and maybe it’s “too late in the game,” but you never know. Although story arcs are/can be interesting – like you and others have discussed, sometimes they can be problem-filled or simply too long. So, can we have a “CHUCK” that is written WELL, that is engaging and entertaining, WITHOUT “story arcs?” Can we have a “CHUCK” that has basically “stand alone” episodes? I know there will ALWAYS be SOME KIND of underlying arc – i.e., Chuck’s journey, Chuck/Sarah relationship, etc., etc. But they can be underlying enough that people don’t have to follow the show so closely – and maybe that (although it’s probably too late now) could get more people watching.

        It seems like I get drawn into shows with long story arcs (serialized? I think they’re called). ALIAS, LOST, etc. Truthfully, I’m excited about the next episode with Roan, because it definitely – at least by the 30 second promo – has all the appearance of a “stand alone,” “self-contained” or whatever you want to call it – episode. I’d like to see CHUCK become more that type of show. Again, keep the underlying “themes” but can the story arcs – or at least keep them to no more than 2 or 3 episodes.

        But like I said, I’m in this “for better or worse,” and because not only do I like the characters (most of them most of the time), but – and I know I don’t know them personally – I like the actors as well. They all seem like decent folk you could kick back and have a brew or a cocktail with (sorry, ending with a preposition).

        Bottom line, I see both of your points of view. Like they say, “different strokes…..” All I know is that there isn’t anything else out there right now that I enjoy remotely close to CHUCK – and when it’s gone, I’ll miss it.

      • andyt says:

        I agree with Father Rick in most respects. I respect both opinions above very much, but I would tend to agree more with Ernie than OD in this case. I think back on S2 where we are introduced to Orion in “Lethal Weapon” and in a few episodes he was Chuck’s dad creator of the Intersect. Then in “Ring” we are told in only about 2 minutes that Bryce knew Orion(who Beckman and everybody had been searching for nearly 15 years) and he sent the Intersect to Chuck so he could find out that his dad was a hero. The writers play very fast and loose with the nuts’n’bolts of their stories because it is the emotional life and relationships that are the heart of the show. I also agree that part of the reason is that the show at its heart is very silly and light. This is NOT Alias, Fringe or any other serious genre show. It is much more whimsical and light much like Eureka or dare I say SG-1 at times. The overall story arcs are much less important than characters. I find this perfectly alright. Chuck fills a very important need in entertainment life, if I want more logically storylines then I look somewhere else its not what I expect from Chuck nor ever have. Just my thoughts, but remember I am a herectic since I enjoy each season including S3(yes even the first thirteen).

      • OldDarth says:

        Time for the show to drop the big seasonal arc and go for the stand alones and the occasional 2 or 3 parter.

      • OldDarth says:

        Payoff comes with a story that hangs together. This one does not so the payoff suffers accordingly.

        Contrived payoffs are inherently less gratifying.

      • Faith says:

        That’s your opinion OD. I for one think it’s been very satisfying.

      • jason says:

        OD – I have been saying for near the duration of my posting here that I felt Chuck was stronger in stand alone format than serialized, but hey, even truman capote would struggle writing serialized stuff when he was told to expand his 13 chapter books to 19 or 22 or 24 after he finished 10 chapters, and Fedak / Schwartz – well truman capote they are not.

      • OldDarth says:

        To Faith: “That’s your opinion OD. I for one think it’s been very satisfying.”

        ? Of course it is. Not being paid to speak for anyone else. ;D

      • Big Kev says:

        Ernie, you make a really good point – is Season 2 an intrinsically better arc, or are we just judging the same thing in different (and harsher) ways?
        I think it’s both. The Orion arc was made just vague enough that you could believe it. “On the run from the Government” is so all-encompassing that you can imagine someone being gone for 20 years. The problem was they made Mary’s story specific – about one man. So they have to answer the question “why not just take him out?” – and they never did that convincingly. That was the difference, at least for me. And I do believe that the Orion arc was just better written, and more consistently delivered – but that’s a subjective opinion.
        But no doubt there’s a certain amount of 4 season fatigue in my judgement too. After 4 seasons I’m less willing to forgive gaping plotholes than I would have been in Season 1 or 2. So you’re right – I am judging the show in a different way than I may have done previously. But I also think that’s legitimate. You forgive a rookie QB for stupid interceptions – but if he’s still doing it after 4 seasons, you begin to worry. The fact that most of the writers are new mitigates that point, but it doesn’t invalidate it.
        I wish Chuck would learn from its mistakes and tighten up its stories – but I’m guessing it’s not going to. So my “mission” for the back 11 is to go back to treating this show as a Season One show – so I can enjoy the genius when it happens and worry less about the rookie errors.

      • uplink2 says:

        Reading all this I find very interesting because I believe that sometimes there is a bit more romanticizing about season 2 than is deserved sometimes. There were equal plot holes, weak story arcs, disregarded events and plot devices left dangling all through it. Many things that were mentioned in the previous posts. But it has one thing going for it that Season 4 doesn’t. It was BEFORE season 3. It was before we knew how annoying those things can be because Season 3 took much of the fun out of the show. It was no longer just about entertainment but got into some dark, poorly written, poorly cast, disturbing storylines that stripped almost all of the enjoyment from the show for the first half season.

        Season 2 had the same issues that season 4 does in many ways but it still was gloriously fun so we ignored them. Now because many of us were so jaded and turned off by Season 3 it can make it more difficult to just enjoy the show for what it is and not expect anything more. After Gobbler I was worried a lot about them going back to that Chuck was unsure of Sarah crap and would react poorly to the Casey event. I was worried because I had been conditioned by season 3 to expect it. But fortunately they completely got rid of all of that in the first 2 minutes of the episode with the grunts from Casey and Beckman telling Chuck that Sarah had contacted them. Sarah had her moment of distance to deal with what happened but once she landed she got back to her mission with some help from Frost I’m sure.

        So with that season 4 has brought the fun entertainment back that season 2 had and I can ignore the holes like I did back then. But I still think that the stench of season 3 will haunt this show for a while longer but it is fading after great episodes like this one. Brilliantly done, great music, great performances and they could not have had a better proposal scene than they did. It was Chuck and Sarah the normal couple, not Chuck and Sarah the super spies from Balcony. It was the real life that both of them have wanted since she walked into the Buy More with a broken phone. It was warm, touching and normal. They honored their privacy and it was brilliant.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow Uplink! Profound and excellent comments. I think you hit the nail on the head in several ways. We have often discussed the damage S3 did to the characters; but it also damaged us.
        I think many of us had an idealized and hopeful view of where this show could go. So while S3 was undermining the qualities of the characters we loved, it was also undermining the show itself.
        So now, we’ve been conditioned to expect bitter disappointment. As you said, with time we are getting over it; each at their own pace. We know a lot of viewers simply gave up and quit watching last season. But I think many of us who stuck it out have become less trusting and more cynical with our expectations of the show.
        You are completely right the show has always been sloppy about the spy plots. Its easy to over look when the show is fun and we have confidence we will like where it is going. But when we’ve been worn down and no longer believe the show will be fun every week, it’s a lot easier to pick on those shortcomings.

        I have thoroughly enjoyed this season. The complaints I’ve had are actually fewer than what I had in S2. I think S2 will always have a special place in my affection because that’s when I really fell in love with the show. But S4 is when the show became what I always wanted it to be. So maybe it will become my new gold standard.

      • Faith says:

        Uplink thanks for the thought! In fact I couldn’t agree with you more.

      • Big Kev says:

        Uplink,
        You’ve expressed your argument very well, and I have no doubt that it probably represents a majority view on this blog.
        I do think there has been another consequence of Season 3 though, intended or otherwise, and it’s this – this has been a very safe season.
        If we think about the main arcs, I think most people figured out early on that MamaB was going to be good, as hard as they tried to make her ambiguous; Chuck and Sarah are together for the duration; the proposal has been telegraphed since Coup; and Ellie and Awesome were going to have their baby in 4.13. So we’ve essentially known the outcome of all the main storylines since very early in the season.
        The only real twist there’s been has been Tuttle’s metamorphosis into Volkoff – and that was brilliant. MamaB getting arrested was a mini-twist – which nearly set off Chuckocalypse II. I know I’m out of synch with many on the board at the moment but I have to be honest – I’ve been bored by big chunks of this season, and I think that’s a direct result of Season 3. The showrunners have given us a very light, very safe show – that some think is becoming dull.
        Don’t misunderstand me here. I DO NOT want a return to WT/WT and angst central – but I would like to watch an episode or an arc and be surprised by a twist or two, or have a sense that actions may have real consequences for our heroes.
        Even last night – which I thought was a fantastic episode – there wasn’t anything in there that I couldn’t have predicted. No twists to rival Shaw’s intersecting or the committee appearance in Subway, or even the show being brave enough to kill off PapaB.
        I’ve never been bored by Chuck. Even in the parts of Season 3 that I didn’t like – at least I was invested enough not to like them. But this season has just had a real sense of predictability about it, that I think has been damaging. I’ve absolutely loved some episodes (First Fight, Phase Three, Push Mix, Coup d’Etat) but much of the rest has just felt predictable, safe and – meh. I’m not used to that from this show – and I don’t like it.
        I think I’m in a minority with that view, and I’m seriously glad for all those who are loving the season – but be careful what you wish for when you have showrunners who are so scared of previous fan reactions that they tell safe stories.

      • jason says:

        kev – 2 things for you to consider

        1 – many, not really you, only see twists or surprise as beating the living heck out of sarah in some emotional way shape or form, the reason, she is the only regular on set who has the ‘chops’ (in more way than one) to pull it off – they jumped the shark with her in season 3 episode 7 and / or 8 or 11 or 12 or 17 such that there just is not much room to maneuver with her, hence in 4×6, or 4×8 or 4×12 even the slightest hint of doing something dramatic centered about her love for chuck, and about 10-20% of the audience goes, uh-uh, won’t have it.

        I submit (and on this I think many of those who are bored by some of s4 on this board agree with me, maybe you included) there are near infinite ways to create drama without damaging sarah yet again, to me the MOST BORING thing chuck can do is damage sarah, and also the MOST ILL ADVISED – I would love for TPTB to write drama without damaging sarah

        2 – sometimes, I think some fans are so interesting in damaging sarah, they miss real great writing with chuck, stephen I mean chuck in that chair I loved far more than seeing repulsive shaw brought back to make me dislike the final arc in season 3, to remind me of how the show damaged itself, I found “I want my wife back, orion, orion, orion……” very dramatic, mama B telling sarah it is over, you can’t become me, that was payoff, far more than tiffany earings or sarah ending each episode with shaw in season 3, if you look for it, it is there, but some people just want sarah to be harmed and equate that to drama – there are many shows that can be found to generate drama that way, chuck has tried it, and it FAILED MISERABLY, even the biggest fan boys admit the Shaw Sarah love affair has been the single most epic failure on the show Chuck

        That is why the show is having trouble exciting you, there is no other cast member capable of generating drama, no one at buymore, not morgan, casey we don’t care about enough, and chuck they can’t destroy, my goodness, when he had a gun in his hand in season 3 the boards errrupted, let alone go off and execute 5 or 10 people because the intersect malfunctioned (Fringe fans can appreciate what I mean)

        This is simply not that show.

      • Big Kev says:

        Jason,
        Completely on board about not wanting to damage Sarah. 3.07 and 3.08 are the only 2 episodes that I dislike enough not to rewatch. Broken Sarah/Shaw is the only story this show has done that I pretty much find irredeemable.
        Much of this is personal opinion, but I do think it’s an objective fact that the writers have less room to tell their stories than they once did. Thats compounded by the fact that we’re 4 seasons in and many of the stories have already been told. I just think that fewer stories left to tell and less room to tell them isn’t a good combination and it’s come home to roost a bit this season.
        I’m not so sure that Yvonne is the only one with the chops to handle drama – but clearly Chuck and Sarah are now so central that a major arc not involving them isn’t going to fly. Yet another constraint.
        Put those constraints together with a new writing team and you have a recipe for a safe season.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Kev, Uplink, Jason, et al.

        No question that the show operates under constraints that weren’t there in season 2. And uplink’s point that season 3 hangover could be a factor in some fans level of tolerance for plot holes, etc is spot on. I’ve made the same point about the fans level of tolerance for Chuck and Sarah angst. I think my main point is that some of these things are not entirely matters of personal taste though personal taste does enter into it. There is some room for objective discussion on the merits of the writing and the quality of the show, if you are careful. The feeling I get from OD and a few others is that he is sometimes claiming there is objectively a decline in the quality of the writing and the show. If I’m misinterpreting that I’m sorry, but it certainly comes across that way, so I doubt I’d be the only one getting that impression. I only want to make sure Chuck is being judged fairly, as Chuck, not as Fringe or Supernatural, and that when we talk about the quality of the show we make sure that we at least acknowledge our biases and the possible ill effects from the season 3 mess.

        On that basis, judging Chuck as a show that has never gone to extremes in exploring some of the characters motivations or the dark side of things and has always been a bit fast and loose with continuity and characters for the sake of the story or a joke, I think there is a pretty solid case that things are much better this season than last, and that the storytelling is at least as good as season 2.

        And here is another component. If you don’t like the story you need to acknowledge that as a bias, as ATCDave did last season. I didn’t like the decision to go the direction they did either, but I tried to allow for that and let them tell the story and judge it on it’s own terms rather than based on my preferences and expectations. Based on that I was able to enjoy a lot of last season and I thought there was some decent drama and some legitimate exploration of the characters based on the creative decisions of TPTB. The storytelling wasn’t great at times, and was frustratingly drawn out and backloaded, but it wasn’t a totally incoherant mess. Well except for Shaw. 😉

        Anyway, I hope you all understand what I’m getting at, and why I keep harping on this. I just want to make sure Chuck is being judged fairly on consistent terms, the terms we accepted when we signed on as fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Just to get my 2 cents worth in (okay, I’ve said it before, so maybe its 4 or 6 cents worth by now); I do agree with some of Kev’s comments about how the writers now find themselves constrained. But I don’t think that’s either all that bad or unusual. Speaking for myself (and I know I’m not alone on this) I actually enjoy the show a lot more knowing they’re less likely to do some of the very destructive things they did in the past. I never enjoyed the angst-filled elements of the story and am perfectly happy to know they won’t hit it as hard in the future.

        But I think the even bigger issue is that EVERY show gets more constrained in its story telling as time passes. There becomes more history, character background, and mythology to be faithful too. The best writers can make that richness a strength that brings believability and life to their world. Think about how full a setting like Star Trek is. All that history is clearly a double edged sword; its fun when you can know so much about how things came to be and how they work in a fictional setting. But wow have there been contradictions and inconsistencies!
        Chuck is starting to reach that point where its own history is an issue. We know enough about character backgrounds that the writers have to be careful about additional details they provide. We’ve seen certain story telling devices used several times (love triangles, miscommunication) and viewers will have less patience with them being used again.
        I am really sorry to hear Kev that you found this season predictable. I found it no more predictable than any previous season; and some of the very things that surprised me were the things you mentioned as “safe” moves, since they hadn’t taken that route before. I’ve never considered the spy plots on Chuck to be first rate; its the colorful and lovable characters that define the show to me. When they throw in a good plot twist its just pure bonus.

      • JC says:

        @Ernie

        Speaking for myself I don’t think the quality of the writing is worse but I think they’re hampered by Schwedak’s inability of letting go of the status quo. Like the S3 reset of the relationship this season it felt like everything else was. Ellie and Devon were back in the dark, Chuck is back at the BuyMore/CIA substation, Chuck is still insecure about Sarah and Sarah is still emotionally stunted. They act these are new things but its rehashes of old issues.

        When it comes to angst I’m fine with it when it actually leads somewhere. But Push mix gave me the vibe of last season with them completely ignoring what happened previously to wrap up the story. That’s why I complained about the ending of Gobbler, that it was angst for angst sake . Sarah learned nothing from it, in fact she was fine to carry on her mission for however long. So what was the point? I think people are wrong when they say fans don’t want angst it’s they don’t want the contrived angst from last season.

      • thinkling says:

        @Uplink: [Season 2] has one thing going for it that Season 4 doesn’t. It was BEFORE season 3.

        Brilliant! Well said. S4 is my favorite season on it merits. I loved 2, but 4 has it beat for my CG pesos.

        S3 made us long for the good ol’ days of season 2, but it also made us completely distrusting of TPTB to be able to do drama without misery and tell stories that ultimately mean something. I believe at least some of S4 negativism comes from both of those syndromes: an idealization of S2 into something it wasn’t and a fear of enjoyment, lest it be snatched away.

      • OldDarth says:

        Wow! Sorry no real reason for it but everyone else does so I felt the need. 😀

        Kevin you hit on most of the issues. Don’t agree with uplink on the S3 dividing line argument at all. As to the season arc issues, each season has had them so to Ernie’s assumption about the writing suffering this year; not really. It is more the accumulative build up of dangling story threads over the past 3 seasons that is the problem. Much like a chronic condition each successive reappearance irritates more as tolerance levels are worn away.

        Everyone slags on Season 3 but it is the last time there felt like there were any real stakes for the characters. Since 3.5 the spy portions of the show have become mainly comedy.

        The Season 4 arc is the least engaging because the show has not been able to replace the lost overhanging source of tension or dread the show use to have. In the first two seasons Chuck constantly fought from being bunkered. In the third season Chuck was struggling to become a spy. In the fourth Chuck is…. Well, I guess Chuck was struggling with when to propose to Sarah. Quite a drop in the intensity level.

        Now the major source of tension will be when the wedding takes place. Not much more of a dramatic engine driver. So go to the stand alones and the mini-arcs.

        Three whiffs at a season long arc is enough. Under the restraints of the production costs of the show and the creative constraints the fans will tolerate, it is the best path the show can take now.

      • Faith says:

        Just because it’s dark, it doesn’t mean it’s drama. Just because it’s painful, it doesn’t mean it’s entertainment.

        Thanks for the post Jason.

      • atcDave says:

        JC you are right about the angst. We’ve actually had this discussion before. While I’m never a huge fan of it, a certain amount of angst will always be endemic to the genre. When I speak of angst disparagingly it’s mainly the manipulative sort that was so over-used in S3. I agree the way it was used at the end of Gobbler was heavy handed and repetitive; but I thought it was well applied at the end of Aisle of Terror. I know I tend to brush with broad strokes sometimes, I guess I assume my context will be understood; I need to be more careful about that.

      • OldDarth says:

        “Just because it’s dark, it doesn’t mean it’s drama. Just because it’s painful, it doesn’t mean it’s entertainment.”

        And the corollary holds true.

        Just because it’s light, it doesn’t mean it’s drama. Just because it’s happy, it doesn’t mean it’s entertainment.

        All you are doing is restating your personal preference.

        Which in no way addresses the lack of drama and tension which DOES generate viewer interest – neither of which have to be dark and painful – due to the sloppily written arc in Season 4.

      • Faith says:

        Well I do tend to be repetitive. It’s my superpower.

        For the record there have been enough drama, as in conflict on Chuck without resorting to dark. Exhibit A: Sallie scene in First Fight. And yes happy doesn’t often mean entertainment but happy usually means fun and when the fun is back on Chuck, I, for one (hey there’s that restating of personal preference again!) find that entertaining. Should there be a balance? Not disputing that at all! Happy is brighter with a bit of sad but this is Chuck, it’s not Dexter, it’s not even Grey’s Anatomy. The levels at which it goes about its storytelling is mild in comparison, as it should be. Play to your strengths and their strengths are heart, relationships and comedy.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t believe anyone claimed the reverse was true, OD. But it does seem most of us were mostly pleased with the S4 arc in general and Push Mix in particular. It is a bummer if you don’t enjoy the show the way you used to, but you are criticizing things most of us simply don’t agree with. Most seem pleased with the execution of Volkoff’s story; the 20 year mission may always be a bit silly but Mary was a welcome presence and her character was nicely redeemed by the resolution; the proposal also was dragged out a bit long, but it also yielded several wonderful moments in different episodes and was ultimately sweet, beautiful, and satisfying.

        There seems to be a broad consensus that the long arcs on Chuck are not particularly a strong suit of the show; but even so, I think S3 remains the only season most of us were particularly disappointed with.
        You are always entitled to your opinions, and you are certainly not alone. Just be aware most of us are very happy with things right now.

      • JC says:

        @Dave

        I wasn’t saying anyone here felt there should be no angst. When it’s handled right you can get fantastic episodes of Chuck, Break-Up and Broken Heart are great examples. But like you said I think fans tolerance of manipulative and contrived angst is gone. And I think S3 did that no doubt.

        I just hate when people say fans don’t want angst or dark stories. That isn’t true at all, its we don’t want contrived angst and stupid story telling. I said that was the cause of S3’s discontent and they would have the same problems if they tried it in S4 which I think we’re seeing now.

        I wasn’t satisfied with the resolution to the ending of Aisle but at least they addressed it. I can’t say the same thing about Gobbler which is why it felt very S3 to me.

      • jason says:

        I lurk on a Friday night lights site, never posted, get spoilers there mostly, but as a lurker, there is a definite ‘beat’ to fan postings, some fans ship this couple or that couple, want more football, more drama (imagine), or this, that, or the other thing.

        Season 5 of FNL’s is the last one, 13 eps, ep 12 is airing tonight, I have found as the season started, nothing changed, everyone was the same on the blog, but as we are down to 8 nights and it is over, how appreciate fans are of the story, of each other’s POV, etc – i.e. the bickering has largely stopped as a collective melancholy has set in with the realization, it is over.

        My point, from what I read about the next 11 from fedak, seems like the serialized vs stand alone, the chuck vs sarah, the drama vs comedy, all of it is going to be about the same. Right, wrong, or indifferent, may as well kick back and start enjoying it, and along the way take a crack at enjoying TPTB’s style, the writers, and yep, each other’s POV – why wait until the last 2 or 3 weeks?

        @Faith – I have not been perfect, but I really am working on this kinder and gentler POV – it is sort of fun, although I have about 6 feet of snow to take my frustrations out on today!

      • atcDave says:

        Agree entirely JC.

        Jason that’s interesting about the end of FNL. I think the most united this fandom ever was right after S2 when we were fighting to get another season; then it all ended with Comic Con 2009! (when the S3 arc was first revealed).

        Don’t worry, we won’t hold you to the kinder gentler bit; that’s just the shoveling fatigue speaking (I’ve got it too, but I think you’ve seen twice the snow we have!)

    • atcDave says:

      I agree Joseph this arc was far superior to S3. It didn’t have a lot of depth, but then Chuck never has (gee, what is the story with Omaha or RIOS). So much is just thrown out there as window dressing. Just like the Orion arc of S2, this was a fun ride based on the strength the characters, both serious and funny. They do like to use angst as a club on occasion (the declined phone call that never turned out to be a big deal), and they dropped the ball on Sarah having to be told this mission wasn’t for her. But I thought they made up for that the way Mary was redeemed, both in wanting to send Sarah home to Chuck and standing up for Orion when the time came.

      I’m sorry the deficiencies bothered you, some disappointed me a little too. But this was so much fun it won’t bother me much!

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        Nope, no disappointments.

        I think I just saw the chance for a grander spy story and it never materialized. I saw a “spy story lite” version instead. I blame my own expectations.

  27. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    I’m usually not good with symbolism, so if I’m totally out to lunch please let me know.

    Floor polisher = Clean slate

    (Hey it works for me)

  28. herder says:

    Did anyone else get a wiff of The Godfather in Chuck’s speach to Volkov at the end, “today the Bartowski’s settle all scores: Tataglia-dead, Barzini-dead, Moe Green-finished”. Maybe it was the cuts to the scenes, but it seemed familiar.

  29. Jake says:

    I loved the proposal, I think something fans have always loved about chuck and sarah the most is the way he looks at her and she looks at him. So if the final scene with the proposal did not come down to words but a look, then they just nailed it and showed that the chemistry is still there in abundance. I love it ! the looks say all that you need to know about where these two are and the kiss and hug helped of course!

    • Rick Holy says:

      You hit the nail on the head, my friend!

    • atcDave says:

      Agree entirely Jake; perfect scene.

    • Chuck604 says:

      I loved the way the proposal was shot; Chuck and Sarah in the background while all the viewer could hear was the hum of the floor cleaner of the janitor in the foreground. It created a strong sense of intimacy without the being obtrusive. Chuck has said all he has needed to say when it comes to how he feels with Sarah. Sarah’s reaction to his proposal was just as awesome if not better than any well written dialogue, as the saying goes actions speak louder than words.

    • joe says:

      The other thing was how they timed the fade-to-black.

      The ending – the last 20 min. – really was tremendously exciting. From about the point that G-Becks entered the cabin I had almost forgotten about the engagement. But we still had to introduce Baby Clara, and time was getting short.

      Then Jeffster had to do it’s thing! Oh – no! There won’t be time! And Morgan and Casey and Alex and…

      Finally Chuck & Sarah are alone and the clock has run out. She turns to him, he turns to her and touches her hair and as I recall it, the fadeout begins as Chuck is got up and pulls out the ring. He’s down on one knee and we barely get to feel (Faith – you had that right!) Sarah’s reaction as she throws open her arms and hugs him.

      You just feel she’s as happy as we are about the whole thing. The screen is black.

  30. joe says:

    It looks like some of the fans have told Josh Schwartz what they thought of the episode.

  31. jason says:

    interesting the range of opinions … while battling the snow & getting my morning computer work done here in the midwest, I took an hour off to rewatch – I liked it even more the second time, from my POV – episode was perfect – a lite, deft touch of drama, jsut enough comedy, smart, tech savy chuck, sarah the spy, and just a whole heaping helping of heart – that to me is the show Chuck at its finest.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Amen! Good luck with the snow.

    • atcDave says:

      My only hesitation in calling it perfect is that I still prefer Phase 3. But it was a wonderful episode.

      • jason says:

        dave – yea – by perfect I meant all the elements were there, family, CS, sarah the spy, and chuck being a clever hero – my favorite – that might be a bit different – I am not sure Honeymooners is ever going to lose that distinction, but 4×13 could have been done by the charles, CS were in love and in trust and in synch, I think regardless of the format (comedy, drama, serialized, stand alone), what is essential going forward for the show, NO MORE ROGUE, NO MORE OLD SARAH, NO MORE HAPLESS, HELPLESS, HOPELESS CHUCK, team chuck and sarah moving forward, since fedak mentioned 4×13 is a springboard to the series, that is my hope, same hope I had after honeymooners, after role models, then again after anniversary, hoping this time TPTB can sustain the momentum and not derail themselves

      • atcDave says:

        You know the various elements will get scrambled up on occasion. I’m fine with that as long as they don’t mess with the truths we expect from the show and characters.

        But Push Mix was certainly one of the very best. I’d be happy if they never wen’t any darker or longer than this latest arc.

    • atcDave says:

      That is unsettling. All I can figure is two downbeat endings leading up to it; and many casual viewers likely had no idea a big climax was coming.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i’m going off the charts here on this. i just don’t think the arc/TBC mode works in this fandom. look at the last 3 arcs. the last three episode of season 3. the lead in show did the best then the next was worse and finally the last ones was the worst. (i’m iffy on the numbers for this arc) then we have the middle arc of 4.07-4.09, same thing. now this arc, dare i say the same thing? maybe its the content they put in them i don’t know. i do know that the ratings tended to stay the same this year until you get into the arcs. the best rated ones seem to be the stand alone episodes. maybe there is something to all the talk of just doing single episodes? someone told me we now live in the age of instant gratification. the arcs don’t give the viewer that. just my different take.

      • atcDave says:

        Army there’s still plenty of shows that do very well with the long arcs and deep mythology. But for whatever reason the Chuck audience doesn’t seem to appreciate it. I’m not sure if it has more to do with the actual strength of the writing or personality of the fans.
        I am clearly a poster child for that phenomena, I prefer the episodic format, at least on Chuck. There have been a few more serialized shows I really liked (Babylon 5 comes to mind), but I usually want the story to be self contained.

      • armySFC says:

        dave i agree with you that for some reason the arcs don’t work. i was trying to say that in the above post. my bad for not saying it clearly enough. as far as the writing goes i see one big problem. take this arc. they had 3 teams write it. 1 per episode. its been mentioned several times that things get let go, not explained, put there for angst and so on. maybe having just one team do all three episodes would help? i sure don’t have any answers. because except for the balcony i really liked the last 2.

  32. Rick Holy says:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but according to TVBTN, we hit a season low 1.7 in the demo rating last night. As usual, one of the better episodes (like Phase 3) and we get one of our lowest ratings. This isn’t looking good – at all.

    • joe says:

      Yeah I’m seeing that here.

      Like usual, the ratings can’t be considered final, and they can’t be considered a referendum on the episode. Frankly, I’ve given up on seeing any real rhyme or reason to ratings (and not just for Chuck).

      But be thee not discouraged. To paraphrase Hillary Rodham Clinton, “It takes a season to make a renewal.”

      Added: Same link as above. Thanks, JC!

      • Gringo Chuck Fan says:

        I wonder how much the DVR – or download percentage of the Chuck fan universe comes into play? And well – lets face it, Chuck has 11 more episodes this season!
        Is there an urgency? Has it become too predictable?
        Certainly not boring… nor any less entertaining…
        How often does this show drag things out so long….
        We’ve leaned to chant – enjoy the ride, we’ll get there eventually, one way or another….
        When was the last time that something BIG happened right outta the blue – completely unexpected?

        People watch the show – people like the show – but is there something that drives them to change their life plans to watch in live on Monday night at 8 pm?
        Heck, we had a Chuck party last night – invited a bunch of friends over to watch it with us…
        I know the ratings numbers make us wonder what’s going on – but seriously, NBC does not promote the show enough.
        The fact that its had roughly 5.5 million viewers each week is amazing!

    • jason says:

      two explanations of the many 1000’s of theories out there I would guess:

      1 – fans already know what is going to air on the show that night, and decide to not watch 4×9 or 4×13 because they know they won’t like it …. or

      2 – the ep b4 drives the ratings, FOD was a lousy angsty episode, hence phase 3 did poorly, 4×12 was a dark episode, hence push mix did poorly.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I think you’re right on number 2. The occasional BAD episodes at best aren’t helping, and at worst are killing the show.

      • OldDarth says:

        Or they saw in 4.12 that the seasonal arc unanswered questions were not being, or going to be, addressed and lost interest.

      • atcDave says:

        I lean towards your number 2 Jason. But with a great ending this week numbers should start to rebound (I hope!)

    • James Bond says:

      Well it is one week, last time we hit back to a 2.0 and 2.1 then 1.9 so we could hit back once the fans realised how good this episode was! I hope!

    • luckygirl says:

      I think we might share an audience with human target.

      • atcDave says:

        That is a great point Luckygirl.

        In particular, last night on Human Target, a show with a former Chuck writer as show runner and a former Chuck writer writing the episode; was about a nerdy computer programmer with a beautiful blond international super spy/assassin wife; who’s maiden name was apparently Schwedak!
        It was like a choice of Chuck or AU Chuck!

    • Faith says:

  33. Faith says:

    Some good read from critics:

    Sepinwall: “what it now gives Fedak, Schwartz and company is something to top for episode 24, and then hopefully for the season five finale, etc., etc., etc. ”
    Ryan: “‘Chuck versus the Push Mix,’ a delightful and epic episode of the show.”
    EW: “they more than made up (Balcony’s interrupted proposal) for it.”
    LA Times: “‘Chuck Versus the Push Mix’ was a very fun episode of television, taking nearly every element of the show that works and blending them together into an hour that kept things zipping right along, even if some of them were wildly improbable”
    IGN: “Ultimately, I didn’t feel this wasn’t quite the home run that ‘Chuck Versus The Other Guy’ — with all its Chuck shoots Shaw and has sex with Sarah wonderfulness — was, but it was still a very good and heartwarming episode. “

  34. jason says:

    I can’t find the 4.5 spoiler link, so I will toss this here, don’t know if any of you are old enough to remember this, but after seeing Yvonne in that belly dancer get up, anyone think fedak / schwartz should write an “I dream of Genie (Jennie)” spoof? The resemblance is striking?

    Zach as maj nelson, Yvonne as Genie, Morgan as Roger, Ellie / Awesome as the general and his wife, and casey as the cranky psychiatrist, jeff and lester would for sure fit somehow, maybe as aliens? – big mike as a man genie – OH MY

    • joe says:

      The link to the spoiler pages is up top, Jason, right underneath Faith’s new header.

      That’s a great idea! But I’m twisted! You have me reminiscing over the old conundrum; “Jeannie or Ginger or Maryanne?” “Lou or Jill or Hannah?” “Sarah or Ellie?”

      A brain given too many good choices tends to explode! 😉

    • Faith says:

      I can’t believe I missed that reference! I love genie! Now if we had Jeannie’s sister, Jeannie as well– my mind will officially be blown!

      Also is it me or is there a bit of role play in there? I mean she did say at no time during the mission will she be dressing up as a belly dancer but when they get home…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        That was my first thought Faith. Schwedak said this episode would have a Honeymooners vibe, so instead of a room service cart…

      • joe says:

        I doubt that wasn’t intentional Faith. They knew what they were doing.

        Those guys are a bunch of closeted teenagers sometimes! Not that there’s anything wrong with that… 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I’m hoping that line comes after she’s played fantasy night with Chuck…

  35. joe says:

    OMG! This is fantastic for her, but may present some logistical problems for the beginning of S5!

    Sarah Lancaster made a BIG announcement today. From EW:

    Sarah Lancaster — the actress who plays Chuck’s sister Ellie on NBC’s Chuck — has married her boyfriend, attorney Matthew Jacobs, People reports. The couple, who have been together two years, tied the knot Saturday in Southern California. Lancaster and Jacobs also have another project on the horizon: The pair is expecting their first child together.

  36. Rick Holy says:

    Hey fellow Chuck lovers. I just posted this over at TVBTN. The blog is very Chuck friendly and gets a lot of hits from Chuck fans – and also hits from those who range from not caring about Chuck to absolutely hating it and rooting for its demise. Anyway, this is rather lengthy, but this is the questioned that I posed to the TVBTN posters – “friend” and “foe” alike to see if SOMEONE, ANYONE could provide me with a satisfactory (at least in my opinion) answer. And I’ll state right from the start, “NBC is in sorry shape” in and of itself STILL doesn’t explain it. There has to be SOMETHING MORE to it. Anyway here it is. If you’re willing to take a stab at it, then stab away! Here goes:

    It’s true, the writing of CHUCK has suffered the past two seasons. I believe it’s because a numer of the “founding writers” left for other gigs after Season 2 ended. We’ve had a hodge podge of writers in S3 and S4. Some produce excellent episodes. Some produce weak ones. It’s the lack of consistency, at least imho, that is bleeding viewers from an already fairly low rated show. One week you have an episode that makes you say, “this borders on, if not IS, CRAP.” Another week you have an episode that makes you say, “this is great!” But a good number of viewers aren’t going to put up with that. They’ll book. Can anyone say HEROES?

    But this is the question that still has me in a quandry, and if someone has previously provided a satisfactory answer (other than NBC is in BIG trouble) and I missed it, sorry. Here goes. Chuck has been CONSISTENTLY, if now slowly, declining in viewership over its first three seasons. The last half of season 3 saw that decline. I think we ended the season with numbers similar to last night’s episode – around 1.7 or 1.8. YET CHUCK GOT RENEWED FOR A BIGGER EPISODE ORDER THAN EVER (13 + 11) for its 4th season. So what gives? NBC renews a show that ends at around 1.7/1.8 and eventually for 24 episodes! Is there SOMETHING to this show that NBC and or WB knows that “the rest of us” don’t? Is there some reason that someone can give me that it’s stayed around this long?

    It seems like there is a “bottom level” that NBC is willing to accept with this show – like a 1.7/1.8. Is THAT enough to be making a profit for both the studio and the network? Is it NBC.COM viewership and HULU viewership that somehow help? Is it Subway or Call of Duty or Guitar Hero or Toyota or whatever other advertiser is helping underwrite the show?

    Someone PLEASE try to explain to me – and I’m a CHUCK fan, and am still puzzled – as to why this show would have been renewed at the end of S3? Don’t get me wrong, I was happy about it – but I still didn’t get it. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if even if the show stays at a level of 1.8 or so, it still comes back for a “wrap up” Season 5 – even if only 13 episodes to “fill in” for some other new NBC show in 2011 that will likely crap out quickly. Can anyone say Undercovers, The Cape, etc., etc.?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated, because it has to more than just “NBC ias in sorry shape.” It’s about $$. And CHUCK at the end of S3 was at around a 1.7/1.8 and STILL got renewed. If it wasn’t making money at those levels, there’s no sound business decision for renewing it for a fourth season – which is what they did. So how is it making WB and NBC money at those ratings levels??

    • sd says:

      Fr. Rick–
      Upfront…I have to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. But I live in Florida and you are visiting Florida and it’s 73 degrees, man! We are the only state–I think–that isn’t under a cold/blizzard watch.

      So–and I say this gently, step away from the computer and get outside!!! I just went for a run on the beach 🙂

      • Rick Holy says:

        I’m going in and out. Let’s just say I went to the Magic Kingdom. If I die without ever going to the Magic Kingdom again, I will have lived a full life. I’ll take Epcot anyday over M.K. So appreciate the advice my friend – but rest assured, I’m not sitting all day at this computer! 🙂 It’s only “day 2” of vacation. By tomorrow I probably won’t even post anything! (And then ya’ll will miss me!) 😉

      • sd says:

        If you get a chance and have a car…try to get to downtown Winter Park. It’s like a mini-Carmel, California. It’s about 35 minutes from Disney.

      • thinkling says:

        We’ll miss you, but we’ll hold your place at the table. Vacay!

    • armySFC says:

      here’s my stab at it. the monday night line up is loaded for bear. the other major networks have established well rated long term shows. the posters here feel chuck is a good to great show, and as been said several times will watch it no matter what. i lay 1 to 9 odds the same can be said for the viewers of the other shows on against chuck. how many viewers are left that have no real affiliation to a show? that’s probably a small number.

      now take a new show and put it in chucks slot. the most likely people to view it are the chuck fans. this is because the show they watched during that time is no longer on. what are the odds a new show will do as good as chuck? even if every chuck fan watches, the ratings will be the same as chuck. then it has to be good enough to hold those viewers. i think nbc knows this as well. so they are faced with a choice, try something new or stay with what gives them numbers they know how to budget around. my guess is they stick with what they have because the horizon looks just as bleak with heavy clouds on the way.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Thanks for your input. But I think if you put another show with a “big name” in CHUCK’s spot -and let’s be honest, as much as we LOVE the cast, no one is really a “big name,” you’re likely to draw – and if you’re NBC hopefully KEEP – the interest of viewers – and not just CHUCK viewers but viewers of other Monday night shows who might be interested in checking out something “new.” If they like it, they’ll stick with it.

        I just can’t believe that NBC will keep going on with “there’s no (immediate) hope of replacing CHUCK with anything that will do better over the long term.

        Something in my gut tells me that SOMEHOW – even with low ratings – the show is still making money. Whether it’s because of a “sweet deal” with WB, or “subsidies” from Subway, Toyota, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, etc., or whatever.

        It’s like there’s a “bottom level” of a demo rating that they’re willing to accept (maybe 1.7/1.8 is it) and be happy that they’re making money – at least going up against DWTS and (Lord, I can’t even bring myself to say it because I just have such difficulty swallowing that even IT gets decent ratings) The Bachelor/ette.

        But at some point you “roll the dice” and try something new (other than a game/reality show) as a long term solution. Sing Off did well – but it wasn’t going up against DWTS – which would kill it off quickly. I just hope that whatever NBC has up its sleeve for Monday nights at 8 p.m. in the future, it can wait until the Fall of 2012!!

      • Katsumaro says:

        I don’t understand the reasoning behind ordering thirteen episodes for S4, and then a back eleven, considering it’s ratings weren’t anything amazing in comparison to what they were. Then again.. I don’t understand NBC at all as it is. I knew NBC had been falling off for a while now, outside of football, but the whole Conan O’Brien versus Jay Leno thing really brought to light just how truly dysfunctional they are, and how badly they are at promoting stuff. Heck, watching football on CBS and FOX, you see a ton of the “House on Mondays, only on FOX” and then HIMYM advertisements by Jim Nantz, and all that.. but then you go to NBC’s Sunday Night Football.. and the advertisements there are mostly bare. I don’t really see why they choose to leave a lot of them out. Yeah, I don’t mean *just* Chuck, but the network as a whole. Their comedy line-up seems to do alright, and it gets enough buzz.. but it feels like they choose to just concede that their Monday nights don’t compare to other major networks.

      • armySFC says:

        i look at as one episode that went south. most of the episodes have done pretty good. i’m not getting worried till i see it happen over the course of a couple weeks.

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Father Rick:

      I can think of a couple things that might explain some, if not all of it. If I remember correctly, NBC renewed Chuck last season just before Episode 3.17 was aired, when the show was running at a steady 1.9 rating after Shaw. The show dropped to 1.7 for episode 3.18 and rose to 1.8 for the last episode. Even so, 1.9 isn’t that great and you’re right, numbers matter. So why is Chuck special enough to get a pickup of 11 episodes on top of that renewal? It has to do with the type as well as the size of the audience, in two respects:

      1. Fans of shows like Chuck tend to exhibit brand loyalty; their purchasing habits will tend to shift to those products that they associate with the shows they love. If their experience with the show is very long term and/or positive, this preference for those products may last a surprisingly long time after the show itself goes off the air.

      2. The audience of a particular show may be a very good fit for that product or service. So, let’s say for the sake of argument that Chuck got 10% of the viewers for a given Monday night; 10% doesn’t sound like much, but if that 10% covered 50% of Subway’s present market (or the markets Subway intended to expand into), then that would make Chuck a pretty good fit for Subway, and so worth spending the money to buy advertising time during the show’s time slot.

      From a marketing point of view, what was done to the show in the first part of season 3 made no sense whatsoever. I have to wonder what was said in the meeting(s) between NBC and the sponsors on one side and the show runners on the other after it became apparent that TPTB had screwed up so badly. How much of the change we see in Season 4 is a response to the fans and how much is a reaction to the network/sponsors’ demands?

      In any event, I think you (and Dave and Army) are right; Chuck may be just television, but television is a business: lose too many viewers and the show goes under.

      • Paul says:

        But you also have to remeber that TV viewing habits are changing. It’s not just about head to head competition anymore. With the advent of DVR, and web based media, shows are competing more against a bottomline than each other. If anyone has noticed, online media sites are now featuring commercials, so someone at the exec levels are finally getting it that there is a huge untapped market there. So if Chuck is able to draw enough viewers overall, even through “non-traditional” venues, it may still meet the bottomline needed for renewal.

      • thinkling says:

        Don’t forget that Chuck is the number one pirated TV show. That’s a negative positive (or is it a positive negative). It’s a measure of popularity and a market to tap.

      • atcDave says:

        And an interesting thing about piracy; the product placement still works!

  37. Robert H says:

    OK, my 2nd comment on 4.13. What a shame more people did not watch. It was definitely a Season 1 or 2 type of episode and I hope more of the same is to come.

    But we need to get real here. A 1.7 or 1.8 is not going to cut it. I’m going to rationalize here a little bit. The huge winter storm that hit a third of the country may have had something to do with it. We’ll know better when the adjusted ratings are done for DVR’s and so forth. One bad rating will not affect the overall seasonal ratings as long as it does not continue to go down and NBC is still making money on the show. Relative
    to the other NBC shows, especially the new ones, Chuck, at the very least is holding its own while the new ones are bombing. NBC still refuses to change the time slot while
    allocating few promotion dollars to Chuck. All of that money which went into The Event, Chase, and Undercovers was a disaster. The Cape is on the ropes while Harry’s
    Law changes from week to week. It seems that Comcast (the cable company that bought majority interest in NBC likes Chuck-hope I got the company name right) so if
    Chuck can hold steady with syndication looming it might just get a 5th season to wrap
    things up. We’ll have to wait and see….

    For those viewers who left or were dissatisfied with the previous episode “Gobbler” not to watch Monday night out of pique was a very good way to hurt the show or kill it
    if that is their desire. The episode was as close to Seasons 1 and 2 as we’ll ever see. For
    those who didn’t watch please hit your DVR’s, NBC.com, or Hula to boost those numbers which are desperately needed, thanks.

    P.S. Glad they kept Volkoff alive which means he may be back for revenge. Timothy
    Dalton was just great. Hope he returns.

    • atcDave says:

      I think its safe to say people who tune in and out each week on a whim aren’t very invested in the show and don’t really care if it continues or not. I also think a lot of Chuck viewers may still have bad memories from S3 and aren’t inclined to give TPTB much leash. Which is of course, too bad because Push Mix was an awesome episode.

      It all comes back to us. Be sure everyone we know who is a more casual viewer knows, Push Mix was a great time and worthy of anyone’s 43 minutes.

      • bundy says:

        As much as I disliked the first 12 1\2 epsisodes of season 3.This year the writers have earned my trust back.I will give them as much slack on the leash as I can.I haven’t had one complaint this year and thats good in my book.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree Bundy. But I think there’s a lot of more casual viewers who just know the show has been fun and the show has been bleak; if they didn’t know the arc was wrapping up last night they might have thought it was going to be bleak for a while.
        That and Human Target was on opposite Chuck last night; I think there’s a good chance we share a lot audience.

  38. Tamara Burks says:

    Here’s my blow by blow rewatch

    1 or 2 days. That’s for mere mortals not Casey.

    Where did Mama B get her tech? From Orion or Volkoff?

    These superiors Beckman talks about , are they the same ones that thought Shaw was a good idea? The ones she referred to him as an American Hero in front of (not necessarily because she believed it). Beckman has become a kinder and gentler person.

    Chuck says he did nothing while everything was taken from him but what could he have done? He was a child when both parents left and he had no clue they were spies and Sarah set up this mission without consulting or informing him.

    Chuck doesn’t need to hide things on the back of the Tron poster anymore, Ellie doesn’t live with him after all and anyway there’s no room for this.

    Love how Volkoff was freaked out by the lights going out, the elevator and the phone. And then just at the right moment, Papa B appears to come back from the dead.

    One of the people listed as a guest star was actually named Igor. I wonder if it was that pale guy in black .
    I tried repeatedly to understand what Awesome said was his music , still couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t see the babies on the tv on the first showing. When Awesome’s freaked out his eyebrows are very expressive. And Placenta pills , you really can’t unhear that. Who are they meant for?

    Morgan has got some skills. I wonder if Chuck rubbed off on him the way many fanfics have speculated Chuck’s skills rubbed off on Bryce?

    Yes it is a bathroom. and those guys do look alike.

    From the look on his face , he realized they were enemies of Volkoff and spilled everything so he wouldn’t have to live in fear.

    What, no pizza or burger franchise?

    Morgan makes a cute frog , doesn’t he?

    He has a point about how do you get clothes on under the wet suit. Considering it’s unlikely he has dive experience , Morgan’s doing good in following Chuck.

    That speech to Sarah about she doesn’t want Sarah to become her and won’t allow Chuck to become his father , there’s your regrets right there.

    Love Chuck scolding his mother about guns. Tranq guns are quieter, that’s a benefit.

    Surprised there was no Resident Evil (movie) reference because of the lasers.

    I’m sure Alex will appreciate that Morgan’s a limber little dude.

    Mom moment: her telling him not to touch that (probabaly a common occurance when he was a child) . Of course she doesn’t know that it’s part of his plan which he can’t tell her there because the walls might have ears.He actually needed her to try and break in so that Volkoff would tell them the passphrase they needed to copy in his voice.

    I wonder who made up the plan on the wall, Ellie, Chuck or Devon? It might be Devon because one of the routes says Awesome route but he doesn’t refer to himself as Awesome so it could have been Ellie or Chuck.

    No push mix, no baby? I don’t think it works that way! Those guys must have been waiting and listening becausee they knocked right as he hit send or maybe even before. Ellie may figure things out about the transport later or she was humoring Devon to keep him from panicking.

    Leaving behind his mom was NOT part of the plan. That’s why they had to adapt so that Sarah was hidden and could rescue her after Chuck told her the plan.

    I don’t imagine there’s a great retirement plan in that company.

    Love the confirmation that Frost and Volkoff never knocked boots. Not to mention her saying Papa B was 10 times the man Volkoff is dead or alive.

    Is the Twin Pines cabin down the street from the Twin Pines Mall?

    Chuck certainly never meant for his mother to see what looked like evidence his father was alive. You can see the pain on her face. She probably never had the chance to grieve for what she lost.

    Great Alex sr and jr scene.

    Ellie knows Devon can do the massive freakout. Luckily she’s usually pretty calm.

    Orion we finally meet. For those who thought they may have worked together this should answer that question.

    Chuck really can punch hard when he wants to. Plus Volkoff ususally has his minoions do things so I imagine he hasn’t had much practice taking a punch.

    The thing with arrogant bad guys is that they never question things like why are these knots so easy to untie?

    Chuck’s good at taking a pounding, Volkoff punched him twice and kicked him in the face and he was still awake.

    This is the last 10 minutes and a few seconds

    when you see that Morgan has the passcode.

    Chuck says looks can be deceiving and Casey opens his eyes shows the bad guy the sensor and clocks him with the bonsai Alex gave him

    Fight for your family, lights go off and Sarah comes in and she and Mary kick ass.

    Never use a gun unless you absolutely have to, Volkoff tries to shoot Chuck and realizes he’s holding an empty gun.

    Either Volkoff was out longer than he thought or that’s one quiet army Beckman brought.

    Get this man a chopper! Chuck certainly grew on Beckman.

    Enter Jeffster! Showing how tone is important in how something is interpretated. Of course we already knew Jeff liked Pregnant Ellie apparantly it’s all pregnant women.

    Could them saying Snow Patrol and Coldplay be considered product placement?

    Casey rolled up to Devon and actually called him Awesome. I think he started out referring to him as Woodcomb.

    Casey’s got his regrets too. I think he is also supposed to ba a parallel to Mama B. Except he didn’t know he had a child.

    Ellie looks so happy and then she recognizes the sound of the men she blames for ruining the first wedding. They set off the sprinklers so she didn’t find out about bad guys, cake destroying commandos crashing through the skylight, dead waitstaff and Bryce Larkin.Not to mention the presents being ransacked for weapons.

    I think they gave a pretty good performance, they had the jackets, people were bobbing thier heads and dancing and that one girl with the teddy bear seemed to like Lester. (Jeff was scaring one lady) Plus people went ohhh when they pulled the plug.

    Casey probably would have stopped them but he was guarding Ellie’s door.

    Sarah called Casey John. I don’t remember if she’s ever done that before. And it looked like she went to hug him.

    Why isn’t Jeff allowed to shape the youth of America?

    Everyone says yes to being family.

    Mam B looks like she wants to say her but isn’t sure she has the right but Chuck’s the male head of the family (Ellie’s the female) and he makes the decision. She’s missed so much of her children’s milestones it’s nice that she made it for this one.

    Alex basically tells Casey she’s as stubborn as him. And with Casey’s reponse you have the feeling if they tried to reassign him, he’d take retirement to not be far from Alex even though he’d miss the missions.

    And Chuck finds his moment with the girl. We don’t hear it but we know her response.

    • thinkling says:

      Love it, Tamara. You hit all the highlights.

    • joe says:

      Awesome list of points, Tamara.

      Good point about Chuck saying he did nothing while everything was taken from him. Fact is, it seemed right. I felt that myself when I said that I wanted him to be less passive and cut those puppet strings.

      Now I suspect that I was meant to feel that way because – you’re quite right – he had no real reason. Score one for the talent. They drew me into that.

      Volkoff’s reaction to “Orion’s” return was perfect. For a moment I said “Orion’s back?? He’s back!! No – wait. Something’s up.” It turns out that the dufii (that’s the plural of dufus), Chuck & Morgan were bumbling their way through a plan that was much better than I figured. In fact, it was better at every step, including when the titian haired powerhouse stepped into the room. We weren’t told about it – it unfolded. We were shown.

      Actress Sonity Henry was given a credit as a Dr. Ayab, but I’m convinced we never saw her. I’m guessing she was another one of Volkoff’s people, and was supposed to be Ellie obstetrician. She was to threaten Ellie the way that the character played by Igor JiJikine was threatening Casey in the hospital. (I think the character’s name was Armond or Amon or Amond.) I’m guessing it was left on the cutting room floor for time and would have been AWESOME!

      I think the Placenta Vitamin pills were meant for Ellie. I hope they’re not for Clara! 😉

      You’re right about the wet-suits too! They’re supposed to be tight for a reason. I never wore anything except my swim trunks underneath!

      I was also so glad that Sarah gave Morgan her coat to cover up! It was really a sweet peace offering, after the way she nearly high-heeled the poor guy to death a couple of times, turned him into a double agent and scared him half out of his wits more times than I can remember!

      Either Volkoff was out longer than he thought or that’s one quiet army Beckman brought.

      That one puzzled me at first. But the next time I watched, Chuck wakes Alexei up with “Good morning, Sunshine.” Apparently he *was* out quite a while!

      The last time I recall Sarah calling Casey “John”, was in Tic-Tac when the General had basically told her (and Chuck) that Casey was a traitor. That moment was shocking! She only uses John when she’s really personally involved!

      Ooohh! That was great! I feel like I just had a rapid-fire gab-fest with you, Tamara!

      • patty says:

        Sonity Henry was the doctor who wanted to know if Awesome was nuts. She is also the actress who played the doctor who delivered Jim Kirk in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek.

      • Paul says:

        I liked Sarah being nice to Moragn too. I think she’s always liked him, in a exasperated big sister sort of way (ie I can mess with him, but no one else can). And considering that she is now going to marry Chuck, like it or not, Morgan is a part of the package.

      • Amrit says:

        Yeah it kind of shows that Morgan and Sarah being room mates have brought them closer together and their love for chuck!

    • Faith says:

      Love the post Tamara! Great job breaking it down to the 10. With that in mind it was really as close to, if not the best 10 minutes of Chuck, ever!

      On a different, but not totally unrelated note, per my to do list from the post up there:
      ☑ Proposal ♥
      ☑ Chuck’s big hero moment
      ☑ Clara
      ☑ Mary Bartowski returning to the fold (very nicely done with being the 2nd family member in the delivery room)
      ☐ Volkoff’s true villain’s exit – only because I operate under the assumption that a true villain’s exit usually involves dying
      ☑ Casey, Alex, Morgan
      ☑ Jeffster’s antics
      ☐ Slow Club selection
      ☑ heartwarmed

      7 out of 9 ain’t bad ;). Although someone should have bet money against me, they’d have cleaned out with my “my money’s on a Slow Club selection” statement. Instead it’s The Naked and Famous.

  39. Jake says:

    Quickly going back to why chuck is still on the air:

    1) The budget is like a lot lower then other NBC scripted shows like chase, parenthood, Law and Order SUV, etc and yet gets similar demographics.
    2) Product integration: I mean apart from CBS’s undercover Boss chuck is the only other show that is in the top 10 for product awareness (subway). Also they advertise in the show for everything from cheetos to feetos to wet wipes to toyota to ….you name it they sell and promote it and get money for it to help with the budget! Some shows, well a lot of shows refuse to do this, but chuck can because it is a show about geeks and pop culture references and you can integrate that sort of stuff easily.
    3) Critics love it, now on it’s own that will never be enough because lets face it, if that was the case then terriers would not have been cancelled but the fact that chuck is in and around big news like cnn and bbc and any other major network because of fans and subway then hey that is good for NBC and the advertisers who are getting their product recognised in a big way that other shows that get similar ratings like parenthood cannot do!

    There are probably many other reasons why NBC keep chuck around on the business side of things, it could also be that some NBC executives just have a soft heart and want to see chuck and sarah married, I do not know but I cannot wait to find out!

    • Paul says:

      Good points Jake. Another thing to remember is that, when all is said and done, they look at the the performance of the season overall. Chuck is a stable, flat line statistically and averaging right around a 1.9-2.0 against very stiff competition. When +7’s are factored in, Chuck has a significant uptick.

      As I’ve stated here and on other sites, I seriously doubt Comcast is going to go scorched earth with their line-up next fall. While that could conceviably have some pay-offs, the risks are also VERY great, and if there’s one thing we know, CEO’s tend to not want to lose any more money than they have to. I could very easily see them keeping most of their average to well performing shows for at least another year, while they develop the shows they want to use to “reimage” NBC/Comcast. I think Chuck is safe for another 13 eps pick-up at the very least. Beyond that, I have my doubts.

      • Jake says:

        I would go further and say 22 episodes and done. 100 episodes perfect! I mean I think that is why they gave chuck 24 episodes this season, it is the only thing that makes sense….so if they do renew chuck for a fifth season they only have to give it 22 in order to get 100 episodes exactly….I would have no problem if somehow NBC/Comcast/WB have worked out secretly to carry out this plan, because I do think chuck will do awesome in syndication!

    • bundy says:

      Another thing too is all the actors still have one more year left on there contracts.

  40. jason says:

    OK – just went outside, this is officially the most snow I have seen in SE Wisconsin in my adult life, of course, back when we took horse drawn sleighs to school, it was typical to have 10 or 12 feet of snow on the ground – ah the good old days, the stories always seem to grow out of proportion, don’t they?

  41. Jake says:

    I think father rick says that nbc could replace chuck with a big name show….well first things first why would a big name want to be on NBC if he or she thinks that their show will be cancelled soon and not give them the exposure they deserve. Secondly Zach is on the cusp of being an A-lister, his tangled movie has grossed nearly half a billion dollars and that is just movie tickets, then there is the fact that it got recognition at the golden globe awards and now the oscars, he is singing at the oscars where millions of people will be watching around the world….he has a new agency a huge one. In short Zachary Levi maybe the biggest star that NBC has right now and he is only going to go onto bigger things in 2-3 years he could surpass di caprio. Then there is Yvonne, she has just done the killer elite and she is featured in loads of magazines and other stuff and just like zach she is on the cusp of A-Lists….She with Zach is the biggest draw NBC have. If I were NBC and Comcast and advertisers I would want to keep these two around for a little while so that my network could bask in the glory of the oscar attention the golden globe attention, the ……whatever attention that two very talented and brilliant actors are recieveing lately.

    Just a thought….

    • Rick Holy says:

      Interesting points. But “on the cusp” of being famous, and actually being famous are two very different things. Plenty of “cuspers” never get over the hump to the “fame” status. I’m in TOTAL AGREEMENT that Zach and Yvonne are great talents with great potential – but potential doesn’t always actualize itself. Hollywood doesn’t usually operate according to “norms.” I’ll tell you this from experience, because I deal with a lot of people. Hardly ANYONE even knows about “CHUCK” and even FEWER have any idea about whom you’re speaking if you mention the names Zachary Levi or Yvonne Strahovski (sad, but true).

      So why would a “big star” want to “risk” going on NBC. The same reason a big star would take on ANY risky project. PAY ME ENOUGH MONEY!! NBC used to ride high while other networks were in the toilet. Now it’s NBC’s turn to be in the toilet. These things are cyclical. If NBC is going to “grab viewers’ attention,” and get them to switch from the shows they’re currently watching, it’s going to take at least 2-3 shows with some big or at least very recognizable (by most people) stars to anchor one, two, or three nights of their primetime lineup.

      For example. Look at The Cape. Ever hear of any of those people (other than Summer Glau – and as much as I love Summer, she’s a “cult” celeb. at best). Look at “Chase.” Ever hear of whoever it is that’s the “star?” I haven’t. Yet bring a STAR like Kathy Bates in the Harry’s Law and at least you have the makings of a show with potential. We’ll see how it fares against Castle and H50 first runs, but it is drawing big viewer numbers, if not big demo numers.

      Why does NBC have at least ONE decent night a week (Thursday)? It’s because the shows have stars. Maybe not “superstars,” but definitely people whose names are known. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracey Morgan, Chevy Chase, Steve Carrel (he wasn’t a “star” to begin with, but in the first couple of years of “The Office” he did “40 year old Virgin,” “Get Smart,” and a numer of other movies that made his face and then his name known). Even Parks and Rec. has Amy Proel from SNL and now Rob Lowe (again, name recognition) is back.

      NBC needs to put up the bucks – and I think Comcast will help the $$ infusion – to get some better known actors to star in some of their new pilots over the next couple of seasons to get headed back in the right direction.

      Truthfully, I think Zach and Yvonne WILL become more well known. That’s why I think IF we’re lucky enough to get a fifth season, it WILL likely be the last. Five seasons of a “bubble” show is enough. Their careers really aren’t taking off as a result of “CHUCK exposure.” Sure, they’re becoming a little known, but not a lot. After five years it will be time for them to move onto other projects – and for us to relish the five years of having them as members of our “Chuck family.”

    • Rick H44oly says:

      And I DON’T disagree that Comcast sees a bright future for Zach. He’s definitely “the face” of the “INFINITY” commercials – which is a Comcast product. So they’ve already enlisted him in that regard.

      Yvonne just needs one big break – to land one role in a movie that would “show her off to the world.” It could be one of those big grossing action movies, or another Marvel or DC movie. Honestly, I think she would make a kick-ass Wonder Woman – a project that they keep talking about as a possibility.

      I LOVE the folks behind the “Emmy4Yvonne” project. I donated quite awhile back. She’s “on the cusp” of greater recognition, but again, getting over/past/through “the cusp” is another thing entirely. Here’s hoping she gets “the break” she deserves – that someone in charge of “something big” notices her great talent – and books her in something that people will flock to the theaters to watch.

      • JC says:

        She’d be perfect for Ms Marvel in the upcoming Avengers movie and this does pain me to say an older Buffy in the reboot that was recently announced.

  42. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    For some reason I think they might be hoping that the show just dies due to neglect.
    Almost no promotion – along with a pretty low budget to start with…. grrrr…
    Just look at the money that NBC has poured into other failed products going back to when Chuck first started…. enough to bring even John Casey to tears.
    It’ll be interesting if Comcast tries to pump new life into the show – bigger budget, different marketing, maybe even a couple new product placement sponsors…
    Then there is always the possibility of crossovers with other shows, or a spinoff.
    No shortage of options….. but answers? Aye, there’s the rub.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t think NBCwants any show it airs to just die. But I do think they’re happy to have a show that pulls steady numbers with no promotion.

  43. Robert Dammers says:

    Sonita Henry was the obstetrician who delivered Clara. If you look at her without her mask on (ca. 1:20 before the closing credits) she clearly looks like her IMDB photo. So she didn’t end up on the cutting room floor!

  44. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    Something that hasn’t been discussed yet, and I know that’s it will be a sour subject for some. The proposal scene at the end of Push Mix can be scene as the start of the next adventure for Chuck and Sarah. Unfortunately it and the promos for next week do seem to drive the final nail into the “Duck” coffin. Dianne is obviously ordering Team B to go save Roan, the man she had to now “settle” for, since Chuck seems completely blinded by Sarah.

    • Jake says:

      For some reason I think the next episode takes place a few weeks down the line where all team B has been doing is taking turns to baby sit Clara! Also I think Chuck and Sarah maybe enjoying themselves and celebrating their engagement in intimate style, if you know what I mean……I think Team B maybe getting cabin fever and want a mission to get their mojo back, they need a bad guy! This actually takes care of casey’s recovery period as well !

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Joseph, bite your tongue. Dianne clearly has a plan. When shipping Sarah off to Russia and telling Chuck to wait didn’t work she decided to go back to jealousy like in Tooth. Seeing Roan and Dianne together will obviously make Chuck uncomfortable, and when he realizes why, he’ll be Dianne’s forever. Never give up on the Duck! She’s been slow playing him for years, so a little thing like engagement isn’t going to dissuade her. Remember in the first few episodes Dianne wore a wedding band, but then clearly divorced when Chuck noticed the wrinkle twinkle in her eye eyes.

      @Jake, I agree, it appears Casey is fully recuperated, so I’m guessing a few weeks for that and Sarah’s bellydancing classes. 😉

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Bite your tongue, young man. Our titian-haired powerhouse will never have to “settle” for anyone, let alone that broken-down would-be casenova Roan Montgomery. Now, since that sprout Bartowski is out of the way (too tall, entirely too much hair), its time we found someone who will give our gold-braided dynamo the attention she deserves; someone cultured, someone mature…

      Hey! Did I mention that I still have most of my teeth?

      DIAAANNNNE!!!!!!

  45. Tamara Burks says:

    Another good thing is the awesomeness of Chuck essentially feeding Volkof lines so that he could have the passcode. Volkoff didn’t even suspect and it seemed like Chuck was keeping track of what words were needed in his head.

  46. jason says:

    I had a chance to watch push mix twice today, interesting, that is quite often for me now, at least 4 viewings complete. A few things I have not seen blogged about often:

    #1 – Linda H really excelled, she played her role as an enabler with a quiet grace, she meshed with Yvonne the entire season, again they did 3 or 4 or 5 scenes together – greatness, LH’s subtle looks and gestures (remind you of anyone) allows Volkov to be over the top without it being too out of place, TD has gotten the credit, but LH is there too, and finally, she shyly walks into the delivery room, this wounded 50 something year old grandma to be who probably has killed a couple of dozen men over these past ‘9 months’, yet she walks into that room with a gentleness.

    #2 – the second top notch episode this season, that did not have a great deal of CS interaction, for how much it was promised, CS on screen was not used near as much as I would have hoped in Season 4, but when CS were together in 4×9 and 4×13, they did have some impact

    #3 – how could they give Jeffster 20 seconds of getting kicked out of the hospital, and not let Yvonne finish saying hello to casey, what a missed opportunity, she was ready to say something when they panned to Jeffster, why not 10 seconds of each, oh well

    #4 – Ellie still seems to be required for the Chuck call to arms, this time, it almost was like she knew what was going on and said it on purpose, here is a conversation I see her having with herself

    “lets see, casey in the hospital, mom and sarah not around, my little brother is moping around, I’d better go kick his A$$ and get him to act, just like I’ve had to do for the last 20 years, I sure hope Sarah takes this job over for me, I have other things to focus on”

    #5 – someone on the set must really like morgan, for how much action was jam packed into this show, his laser show lasted about 30 seconds too long, again, sarah and casey could have used just 5 seconds of that time – and sarah and chuck’s engagement could have used a few extra seconds too – plus, just in general, take about 30 seconds of morgan’s time and give it to ellie, always, she is so underutilized on this show, I don’t get it, but that’s ok

    #6 – just so it is not missed, Linda Hamilton was impressive, great choice, not real many of the other choices would have sold killing people, beating people up, and taking a punch near as well as she did

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      #5 – someone on the set must really like morgan, for how much action was jam packed into this show, his laser show lasted about 30 seconds too long, again, sarah and casey could have used just 5 seconds of that time – and sarah and chuck’s engagement could have used a few extra seconds too – plus, just in general, take about 30 seconds of morgan’s time and give it to ellie, always, she is so underutilized on this show, I don’t get it, but that’s ok

      100% agree with the above. 🙂

      • patty says:

        Actually I would have liked to have seen Sarah hug Casey. I thought she was going to then they cut the scene.

    • atcDave says:

      I do think both TPTB and average casual viewers like Morgan more than most of us ever will.

      Funny point about not so much C & S time. I think just having them in a good place actually makes it easier for them to explore other aspects of the story without annoying or alienating anyone much.

    • JC says:

      The laser scene in general was too much. Take that away and the Morgan we got in Push Mix is how he should be written all the time.

  47. armysfc says:

    i would like to add my 2 cents about the last 10 minutes being the best. i think many fans see the time on the clock in their house as opposed to the time in the episode. i reference the number of times the comment, chuck in the cabin was the best or the ten minutes before the hospital or minutes xx-50. the actual episode minus commercials runs about 43 minutes in length. at the 32 minute mark or so (with no commercials factored in) volkoff enters the cabin. that begins the last 10 minutes of the episode. i verified this by watching on hulu. if you use the slide bar to advance the scene to where you want to view it gives you the time of the episode that does not include the commercials that the network adds. from TPTB point of view the last 10 minutes is the cabin scene to the engagement.

  48. SWnerd says:

    So my opinion of Linda Hamilton/Mama B increased significantly on my rewatch of Push Mix today. I didn’t notice it the first time but when Chuck hugs naked Morgan, she also gives him this really awkward pat on the bad and makes a slightly disgusted face at having to touch his bare skin. I was rolling it was so funny.

  49. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13) | Chuck This

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