Four and a Half Stories

Chuck vs. Seduction Impossible was a fantastic “stand-alone” episode in that fits in so well with other Chuck favorites like Suburbs, Honeymooners, Alma Mater, Cougars and of course, The Seduction itself. For 38 minutes (sans commercials) it was a hilarious romp through Marrakesh. Then we got something extra in the last five minutes.

That would be four stories that I’m hoping will be continued. Oh make that four and a half. I really want to see more about Diane and Roan! Those two clearly have a future together, if only someone could get them to slow down.

The Story of Morgan and Alex

Morgan and Alex have been special together this season and they are getting even better all the time. Much to my surprise, we have angst, now. The unresolved issues between Casey and Kathleen have the potential to come between them, which would be awful. Yet, somehow, Morgan has consistently been doing the right thing at every turn with Alex. He’s been honest and forthright, caring and even brave when necessary. He’s been acting and reacting much better in his relationship than Chuck did at the beginning of his.

Perhaps that’s because Morgan doesn’t listen much to Morgan’s own advice. Smart. Very smart.

The Story of Casey and Kathleen

Casey and Kathleen are another thing altogether. Casey saw Kathleen happy with another guy. Are we jumping to conclusions about him? Probably. Is Casey? Maybe. Is Alex? She’s the one who would know best, and she told Morgan in no uncertain terms that she does not want to jeopardize her mother’s happiness.

Casey does not play the martyr very well, and he won’t go pining after a women he can’t have very long either. We saw that in Undercover Lover. So what will he do here? My guess is that for once, it does not depend at all on what advice he gets from the little bearded man. Morgan has already had his say.

It depends much more on what Casey’s daughter wants to happen. If she’s not already, this is Mekenna‘s chance to be major part of our love affair with the show.

The Story of Sarah’s Mother

Chuck&Sarah have more to talk about, that’s clear, especially about that mysterious woman’s past. Fans have speculated for years about one brief mention of Sarah’s sister, knowing full well that it may very well be a cover story. We know about her con-artist father, Jack, and desperately want to see him back to give his daughter away at her wedding. Yes, that would be awesome. With Jack, nothing is guaranteed.

Only now have we heard anything about Sarah’s mother. We know that Jack’s proposal was a comic disaster (one that Chuck only narrowly averted himself!) and it’s not even 100% clear that her parents were even married.

But if they were and separated when Sarah was still very young, then what kept Sarah apart from her mother? Who’s choice was that, and why? She’s not told Chuck anything at all about that, and at this point, I have a hard time believing that she would do that unless it was extremely painful for her to think about.

Perhaps it was. We want to know more!

The Story of Mary Elizabeth and Stephen

GrandmaB wants to be everything to baby Clare, because she couldn’t be to Ellie and Chuck. Well, that *is* Ellie’s job, but it’s still nice that she’s going to be around, applying her talents towards becoming the worlds best grandmother. After hearing part of the story about Sleeping Beauty, I want to hear more of it and more about what she and Stephen did together as partners.

We were told there was a sleeping potion involved. Does that give a room to speculate about the future? It shouldn’t. Stephen was killed, and presumably buried after a funeral. TPTB have gone to the well entitled “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” enough times already.

Still… Why is it I hope to see Stephen again? I know the answer! Obi-Wan engendered in me the same feelings a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

No! That’s not it. I believe in miracles. That’s why. And if you really have doubts, please listen again to James Vincent McMarrow’s We Don’t Eat.

So we don’t eat until your father’s at the table
We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust
Never once has any man I’ve met been able to love
So if I were you, I’d have a little trust

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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155 Responses to Four and a Half Stories

  1. Mike says:

    Um, five stories. Let’s not forget about the story of Diane and Roan!

  2. sd says:

    I know people can have strong feelings about Morgan—not all positive. But, despite the awful, self-serving advice he gave Chuck about Sarah and the elopement “issue”…he seems to have turned into a great boyfriend to Alex.

    As I was watching all of them head to dinner I couldn’t help but think about the disaster of a dining experience he had with his last girlfriend. He was so uncomfortable in his own skin he felt it necessary to invent someone else (sound like his best friend back then?)

    I, for one, like Morgan–so much more than I did in Seasons 1&2—and I am interested in where this “b” plot takes us.

    I also am very interested in Sarah’s backstory—in fact I have always found it potentially more compelling than Chuck’s hero journey–sorry.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that SD. Morgan navigating the minefield of Alex and Casey just got a little more interesting. Especially if Casey wants to play 20 questions…

    • Mess says:

      I agree with a lot you are saying SD. Current Morgan is really an improvement in comparison to the S1 &s S2 Morgan(boy was he annoying back then), what a change has that guy gone through. My current main problem with Morgan is, his advice is generally speaking awfull. I love the dynamic between Chuck and Morgan, and as such I really liked their buy more scene in 4×14(the background music also fit very well IMO), but man his advice focused on what he wanted was awfull just bloody awfull. And in all honesty what on earth is Chuck still doing talking to the guy about these things? I know he’s a great friend, loyal through the biggest set backs of Chuck’s life, but my word Chuck shouldn’t blindly follow the guy.

      I am also very interested in the Sarah back story. As joe wrote, the history has to be extremely painful for her to not even tell Chuck. But not only that, in the final scene, all I could see on Sarah’s face was pain, also in the ball and chain scene, when Chuck said no to the Eloping, there was a quick glance at Sarah’s face, just for that split of a second you could see the scars of her past on her face, that instantly illustrated what was really going on. There is so much pain there, I really wonder what happened between her and her mother. And much like you SD that is the story I want to see.

      • weaselone says:

        Actually, for the most part Morgan’s advice has been fairly strong. He’s given sage advice to the rest of the characters and deftly navigated his own relationship with Alex. It’s only Chuck who has been consistently receiving Morgan’s turds of wisdom.

      • thinkling says:

        Turds of wisdom … ROTFL. Good one.

      • patty says:

        Chuck really should have gone to Ellie for advice on this one. If you watch that first scene ellie is trying to talk the other guys down when the get all wedding crazy on Chuck and Sarah. If she talks to the others about how uncomfortable they are making Sarah she should get results.

  3. JC says:

    We could always get a some flashbacks between Stephen and Mary, it would be weird having they play really younger versions of themselves but I doubt anyone would care. Who doesn’t want to see Bakula and Hamilton on screen together? Also I wouldn’t mind them finding some video message Stephen left to Mary, Chuck and Ellie.

    Sarah’s past and her mother are another issue, I’m looking forward to it but I’m hesitant in how they’ll use it. If it fleshes out her character good or bad that’s great. But a part of me worries it will be used to create pointless tension in the relationship, dirty up her past or somehow make Chuck insecure again.

    • joe says:

      Joseph (can’t be Joe) point out in another threat that it’s also a place where they could do a ret-con of the worst sort on us to “correct” the fans impression of the infamous name-reveal.

      I can see where that would be a temptation and a potential mine-field. The creative talent has been rather good, though, in handing things like that with a light touch. In fact, I’m under the impression that most fans would like to see *more* exposition about some things (Mauser, the bracelet…) rather than a sentence or two that leaves us to fill in much with our imagination.

      I prefer the light touch, myself.

      • JC says:

        Don’t misunderstand me Joe, I want more exposition about her past. I’m just worried that we’ll get more name reveal type moments where it’s made out like it never happened in the following episodes. That’s extremely frustrating to me. I want the exploration of her past to lead to real growth not just to serve the plot of the episode or arc.

        And Joesph does have a point where they could use this as a retcon of sorts but I think we’re already seeing that with the idea that Sarah was nothing but a spy before meeting Chuck. It seems like they’re trying to lessen Sarah’s value of her life pre Chuck so the name really didn’t matter to her.

        I’ll withhold judgment until I see how it plays out completely but I’m still hesitant.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I am with you on Train Hesitant. I am curious to know about Sarah’s past but apprehensive as to how they go about it.

        As for the name reveal – they could do either of three scenarios

        1. Make it known that Sarah wants/prefers Sarah Walker and doesn’t want anything to do with Sam – this is kind of hard if they intend to bring in her family – at least her mom.
        2. Go with Sam and sort of gloss over the circumstances in which it was revealed and show Chuck being completely okay with it.
        3. Ignore the real name completely

      • Mess says:

        When it comes to the name thing, I don’t really think it’s much of an issue between them. I don’t think Chuck will ever see Sarah, as Sam Lisa whatever her last name might be. For him she’ll always be Sarah Walker, well perhaps Sarah Bartowski but that’s a different story in itself. Ofcourse it could be somewhat strange for her family, but considering she has no contact with her family, I’d say it would be something for her to discuss with her fiancee rather then with her family.

        As for the hesitation about her family history, there are some valid concerns there. All I can say is this, there is no reason for angst between Sarah and Chuck based on her past(granted TPTB don’t need valid reasoning) but he knows she has a bad history, him freaking out over it would be odd. He told her himself, that it’s about who she is now, not who she was or what she did. Let’s hope that as that story unfolds TPTB remember that, and we see the enigma unravel if only a little bit.

      • JC says:

        While I agree principal its still odd he doesn’t know the woman he plans to marry birth name or anything about her.

        I really believe they wrote themselves into a corner with the name reveal. If its retconned away it’ll be blatantly obvious and how do you achieve it? Have her say that she lied about it last season? And if they bring it up, I don’t care what anyone says that has to be a sore spot for Chuck. So does he just forgive right away or will he show some believable anger? But if they completely ignore it, that would be even stranger.

        And the only reason I worry about her backstory is the show loves to use Sarah as a source of darkness. She’ll always be the one in need of redemption for whatever reason.

      • atcDave says:

        I could see Sarah saying that she wanted so bad to tell someone what her real name was; but at the last minute after she started to talk she decided it just couldn’t be Shaw. Except that they’ve let it sit for too long to do that I think.
        There are three things that still could come up I think in the name department. 1) She hasn’t revealed her last name to anyone yet, Chuck should still be the first. 2) She could be mistaken about Sam, given what we know about her family it doesn’t seem too out of line to say she didn’t actually know her “real” name. and 3) Say Sarah Walker has been her legal name since Graham recruited her anyway, so this is all sort of a side issue.

      • shawmustdie says:

        So many thing, so many things to talk about. But, I love the whole name thing…

        Unlike most of you, I never experienced the Charah angst. The first episode I ever saw was the Honeymooners ( still my favorite ) followed by Role Models, this past August. We had just gotten the On Demand feature and I went nuts.

        It took a while to catch up on the other season 3 episodes. The only scene that hurt was when Chuck dumped Hannah. Wow. It was like they took my life and changed the guy’s name to Chuck. Oh, and you’d have to forget a whole bunch of spy stuff.

        I did not think much of it when Sarah told Shaw that her real name was Sam. The first time I saw it. But, that was before I watched every episode in order on DVD.

        I never felt that she was telling Shaw the truth about her name. Why would she, after a life of changing it like most people change their underwear? I didn’t even think that Sarah had any real feelings for Shaw except for the obvious hard body reaction and a warm bed to get over Chuck. Chuck had Hannah and Sarah had Shaw. No biggie. Again, I knew Charah would be back by Honeymooners, so it just didn’t make me crazy.

        BTW, am I the only one that was creeped out by Shaw fondling his wedding ring in one episode and hound dogging Sarah the next?

        So what is her real name? I think that will have to be revealed at some point, for two reasons.
        First, they made such a big deal about spies and their names; real vs. cover.
        Second, our name is an integral part of our identity. With exceptions, of course.

        I think that one of the story arcs in the second half of the season will be the search for Sarah’s mother and father. In the same way that Chuck went looking for his father for Ellie’s wedding. Whether Sarah knows about it or not or is happy about it, is another question. Knowing Chuck and Sarah, he’ll search, she’ll find out and tell him to stop, he will do it anyway, behind her back, she will find out and there will be fireworks.

        In the end, what do I think her name is?

        We KNOW Lisa is her middle name.

        No part of her name is Sam.

        And in a twisted piece of cosmic humor, Langston Graham gave Sarah back her identify with her new cover name. Her real name.

        Say, anyone remember what B. J. Hunnicutt’s name was?

      • joe says:

        Sure. B.J.’s real name was… (drum roll, please)

        B.J. He was named for his mother (Bea) and his father (Jay). 😉

        Great points, Shawmustdie. We’ve put a lot of energy into the discussion about Sarah’s “real” name. Even though she insists now it’s Sarah Walker, we persist in wanting the original. It seems – important, especially, in light of the way Lisa was revealed to us.

        It carries great weight. I think the only reason *I* believe she wasn’t lying to Shaw in Fake Name was because Sarah was so distraught at that moment. She seemed incapable of maintaining the cover.

        Likewise, when she copped to the Tiffany earrings, it more or less confirmed that she had succumbed to Shaw’s *cough*ambitions*cough*. (For the innocent amongst us, I’ll still contend that there’s wiggle room.) That makes it even less likely she was maintaining her cover at that moment.

        And that’s what’s *really* grating about the whole thing. She maintained her cover through think and thin with Chuck for so long, it hardly seems fair. Some contend it wasn’t even within her character.

        Others are still looking for an explanation – an ‘out’. A few of those will never be satisfied with any.

        Oooof! Now I did it. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to never bring *that* up again. And here, I just reopened that wound bag of worms. Apologies!

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Wait! Do you mean me?

        Let me finish these worms….slurp, slurp, yummmm. Although, you really should try the canned worms, Joe, they don’t dry out as much.

        Joe, this thread is a perfect (although incomplete) recounting of why Season 3 is basically a congealing puddle of amoral slop that makes season 4 impossible.

        Which is why I ignore all but 4 or 5 episodes of season 3.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I guess I just don’t see how we can explore Sarah’s family history and not have the name reveal somehow come up in the story (eventhough I have no doubt it won’t). It will be interesting to see.

      Also, I get what people say that, for Chuck, she’ll always be “Sarah Walker”, and I get that. But the fact of the matter is we (the fans) have no choice but to believe that because of the way the name thing was handled. There’s just no way to ever mention Sam again and not have the audience cringe, and not in a good way. (It doesn’t matter what Chuck thinks, this is an audience issue).

      For this reason I don’t think we’ll get very deep into Sarah’s family history. If they can somehow pull a believable rabbit out of their hat and fix the name reveal, I’ll pull a “Jason” and only sing their praises from that point forward. (That should be incentive enough.)

      • herder says:

        I think that the name thing can be handled, she was so traumatised by the break with her mother (and sister?) that she changed her name to Sam. Up until she met Chuck that was who she felt she was (in much the same way she now thinks of herself as Sarah Walker), now with Chuck she will explore her real past including a real name.

      • thinkling says:

        Nice save Herder. It’s a great idea that could be easily sold.

        I don’t think it will be addressed at all. My guess is that by now her legal name is Sarah Walker, and that will be the end of it.

      • thinkling says:

        Another thought. Her dad already knows her new name. No problem there. Plus with him she’s gone through so many names, the latest of which was Jenny Burton. So he will call her whatever is on her DL (I am if it says I am).

        Her mom (and any others) could have always called her Lisa. No need to mention Sam at all.

      • atcDave says:

        The other possibility is maybe we’ll find Sarah doesn’t even know her real name. We won’t even need to revisit “Sam” if mom spills the beans quickly the name on her birth certificate was Grunka or something.

        Either way I’m with Thinkling on this, I think her legal name has been Sarah Walker for a long time.

      • jason says:

        I think the whole sarah family thing, name reveal, heck, maybe even a bit of shaw retcon can be done as much or as little as TPTB choose to, I would suggest to expect to see multiple excruciatingly awkward scenes involving sarah along those lines early, and probably ending with a top notch heartwarming moment which may or may not leave us all satisfied.

        Much as I love season 4, even in season 4, we have seen a tendency to take the bad so low, that recovery is hard, this season, chuck’s mom was taken too low, as was chuck’s insecurities / haplessness, etc – season 3, sarah was taken too low obviously, then later, chuck telling the truth was taken in an odd path, did that ever get explained – I can’t recall a good reason, other than it just sort of went away?

        How much they want to retcon fake name / shaw is their choice, they will find a pair of willing ears and an open mind from me if they choose to make it all sort of go away – such a move would motivate me to give the next fedak or schwartz project a try, obviouosly, S4’s happier, warmer path has already moved me back into their direction!

      • Crumby says:

        I really don’t want them to retcon Fake Name. It would diminish even more S3. Why on earth would she have told Shaw a name that wasn’t hers? It doesn’t make any sense.

        The Sam thing just showed that Sarah didn’t really know who she was anymore. She was a mess. Since Chuck and her got together, she’s Sarah Walker and don’t we forget it.

        If they want to address it, that’s how I’d want Sarah to explain the whole thing. Seeing Chuck going through the process of becoming a spy made her questioned her own choices/changes from Sam to the person she was at that moment. But Chuck put her worries to rest, by both staying her Chuck and love Sarah Walker, the person she is now. “I love you Sarah Walker. I always have.”

        The point is she’s been whoever people have wanted her to be all her life, which in turn, turned out to be “nobody, nothing but a spy.” For the first time in her life, she’s the one that has chosen. She’s somebody with Chuck, she’s Sarah Walker soon to be Bartowski. Chuck doesn’t define who she is, he just makes it ok for her to be herself, even more, he loves her, the real her. This is something that nobody has done before.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m mostly with you on this Jason. They do tend to go too low sometimes; and so much of S3 is beyond hope without a total mulligan. I’m fine with them just ignoring the Fake Name fiasco; but if they revisit it I hope for a good recovery. I haven’t had any similar problems with the various issues this season (well, aside from the fact a couple of episodes had to be seen as part of the full arc to be appreciated. That just isn’t my preferred sort of story-telling).

      • jason says:

        cumby – I was speaking strictly for myself on the retcon, I think it is pretty clear sarah’s backstory is going to bring the show misery, with 5 minutes of joy at the end, much like mama B did in s4’s first part, much like sarah’s love affair did with shaw in S3’s first arc.

        But, in a show where bryce is brought back from the dead 8 or 10 times, they bring back shaw from the dead to ruin 3 or 4 extra eps, and they retcon the sarah shaw love affair even after the healing had started, why not retcon it away – is that any less miserable to your POV than what has already been done for harming, disgracing sarah and those who love her?

      • Crumby says:

        and they retcon the sarah shaw love affair even after the healing had started

        Was it really retcon?

        I’m was just saying that retcon-ing the Sam thing wouldn’t do any good for me. I understand that this is a sore point for most of us, but add nonsense to a mistake isn’t going to make it better, IMO.

      • JC says:

        It wasn’t a retcon, but it sure was trying to establish it was something that was never seen on the screen. It’d be the same thing if Lou came back with a curly headed toddler asking for money.

      • Crumby says:

        To me it was more a “for those who still have doubts, yes they slept together.”

      • jason says:

        all I am saying, is bryce can be brought back from the dead, shaw can be brought back from the dead, the shaw sarah love story can be retold and enhanced, I would laugh and laugh and laugh if sarah says shaw was impotent, or lost his man parts in a mission, or was gay, not near as incredible as shaw coming back from the dead, and bryce coming back from the dead multiple times – just saying

      • atcDave says:

        You are right Jason, they never showed anything so they could still explain it away. But so much time has passed with Sarah not explaining herself it makes it less plausible. So if Sarah denies anything happened now; I for one would be happy, but many would regard it as a retcon.

      • Crumby says:

        I hear you Jason, I simply disagree. The show did retcon a lot of things, last episode is a good example, Beckman and Roan? Total retcon. I know that, but it doesn’t mean I encourage it. For me, saying Sam isn’t Sarah’s name or that Sham never slept together would just be ridiculous and would certainly not make S3 better (but I can understand it could satisfy other people). I do wish they could give us some peace with what they’ve done in S3 but ignoring it existed all together really wouldn’t do it for me. I’d much rather have them making some sense out of it.

      • Faith says:

        “I would laugh and laugh and laugh if sarah says shaw was impotent, or lost his man parts in a mission, or was gay, not near as incredible as shaw”

        LMAO, tell us how you really feel Jason. 😉

        Any revisiting of S3 is bound to be a minefield but it’s really how it’s handled that will determine whether we should duck or watch the fireworks. If they go more Wookie and less Mask it’ll be great. I have complete faith they’ll choose Wookie.

        BTW, I still maintain that Fake Name was not an awful episode. It had awful plot point within it, but by itself it was well written.

    • joe says:

      Great ideas all around!

      I get the distinct impression that most of us aren’t quite sure what it is we’re looking for to resolve the issue about Sarah’s “real” name. The question “What is it that will make me happy.” isn’t so easy to answer (and if we *are* sure, disappointment is sure to be around the corner).

      When you add in that some of us are rather eager to forgive TPTB almost anything (Joe raises his hand – “Guilty!”), it becomes rather important to get a handle on our own expectations, if we’re to remain honest about our own feelings.

      I’m not sure what will satisfy me yet. But I am pretty sure that what ever it is will be more satisfying emotionally than logically, initially. That’s the way the show’s been speaking to me from the beginning.

      Even so, the logic can’t be totally lacking. Often I’ve seen it make far more sense after review. Often times I go back and spot seeds that flower into points that make sense much later (so yes, I’m willing to debate that the scripts are actually much tighter than they sometimes seem if you’re willing to dig enough).

      But that only goes so far, especially with the larger audience that won’t ever see an episode twice.

      Right now, I’m just a little surprised that they’re going down this path. I thought for sure that Sarah’s past (and therefore her name, unavoidably) was going to remain shrouded in mystery. I’m almost relieved to see they’re going to tackle this head on.

    • shawmustdie says:


      >>> B.J. He was named for his mother (Bea) and his father (Jay). 😉

      Hey, points to you! But, that was an easy one. Even though it’s almost a trick question, most people have forgotten it.

      >>> And that’s what’s *really* grating about the whole thing. She maintained her cover through think and thin with Chuck for so long, it hardly seems fair. Some contend it wasn’t even within her character.

      All I can say is, Thank God I did not have to live through the original unfolding of the show. Honeymooners was in my back pocket. And I have to admit that this crappy little show has had an enormous impact on me. I revealed this about me before, but there was only one movie/TV show that made me cry; Brian’s Song. And only one that choked me up; Love Story. There have been several points in Chuck that I have had tears and way more when I choked. WTH?

      Damn it, I get teary looking a pictures of puppies now.

      damn stupid, crappy, steekin’ tv show.

      I got something in my eye, dammit!

  4. armysfc says:

    well im gonna be different but what else is new, but i hope they leave them all alone. the people that write for this show can’t get the continuity right on much. look at everything they already started and left unfinished. to ask them for more is just nuts. they’d just screw it up. with the state of the show now they better just concentrate and improve what they have. if not this is the end.

  5. Verkan_Vall says:

    “I really want to see more about Diane and Roan! Those two clearly have a future together, if only someone could get them to slow down.”

    No, no, NOOOOOOO!!!!

    What are you saying??? Future? With HIM?
    And here I thought Mr. Tall, Young and Hairy was bad.

    What, what do you mean: SLOW DOWN???



    That’s it. I can’t take it any more. Time for the Tequila and Geritol shooters.

  6. Robert H says:

    Just a few comments here, some of which may be silly but since things seem to be that way all over, well what the hell….

    Someone made a comment above that a Sarah backstory would make Chuck feel more
    insecure. More insecure? Can the character be any more insecure that he is right now?
    His insecurity was never there in seasons 1 and 2. Nervous and terrified on occasion but always coming through in a pinch but rarely insecure. He knew who he was and didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t which made the character appealing. That disappeared with the onset of season 3 never to really return on a consistent basis.

    We all know pretty much the Chuck story while knowing very little about the Sarah story which would make that kind of arc or episodes very interesting and necessary
    provided there is enough time to do it. Their story would be incomplete without it.

    Iwould like to see them married at the end of the series but not before, as I think it
    would be less of an incentive for people to continue to watch the show.

    It would be nice to see the Chuck and Awesome characters act more like men and less
    like emotionally insecure, self doubting, indecisive idiots. It simply hurts the show.

    That’s about it for now. I just ran out of silly, thanks.

    • Paul says:

      Dont’ know what show you were watching, but Chuck’s insecurity was there since the Pilot. He’s embarrassed that he was kicked out of Stanford, which makes him insecure with his life plan. He’s insecure around women, because he doesn’t see himself as someone desirable like Bryce Larkin is (and that only gets worse when he finds out Sarah dated Bryce). His insecurity is a big part of his personality and why he does a lot of the things that he does.

    • herder says:

      Gotta go with Paul on this one, Chuck’s insecurities were the reason for his underacheiving, his life at the Buy More and the reason for Ellie’s concern.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes. His insecurities were there in the beginning. He already had a mom who left him and a dad who ran off once he and Ellie could fend for themselves. But he was making something of himself at Stanford … until Bryce. All the rest of his insecurities about his life and his future and women directly from Bryce who stole his girl and got him kicked out of Stanford.

        It seems that every point has now been addressed. Though old habits and perceptions die hard, I do think they are dying.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I think our boy has grown up pretty nicely. The way he was riddled with insecurities at the start (“Did you see her? Why wouldn’t you ask her out?” “Because I live on planet Earth Morgan.”) was a big part of why I identified and related to him. In fact, he was insecure in much the way I am, sure of the things he knows he’s good at (computers, electronics, and dealing with his team) but nervous about things he isn’t sure of (escaping from his own birthday party). I think we’ve seen a lot of growth in that area. He was set back some by dealing with mom and loosing the Intersect; but even then not a whole lot, and he’s snapped back pretty quickly.

  7. Crumby says:

    I really like the Morgalex relationship, and what they’ve done with it so far. Mekenna has been really good in all of her seen, and they’re cute together. It allows to talk more easily about Casey and Alex relationship as well, and it makes more sense for Casey and Morgan to be “close.”

    I’d be fine if the Kathleen/Casey stuff was left alone after that. Casey made a choice years ago, and if it wasn’t for Alex, he wouldn’t have considered going to Kathleen. Being there for your kid is one thing, and obviously Alex likes it, but reintroducing yourself in your ex-fiancée’s life, the one that you left behind years ago, is something else. Choices you lake have consequences. I’ll be fine if they don’t address it again until Alex wedding. 🙂

    I’ve said it in another thread, I’m excited about Sarah’s backstory but it does worry me. I want it to make sense, I don’t want it to be full of retcons, and I don’t want it to just be a plot device. Ideally, I’d really like it to reinforce the idea that family isn’t necessarily about blood, it’s about the people that are there for you and vice versa. That’s a theme I’ve really liked in the show, and having Chuck’s parents so easily forgiven for what they’ve done kind of diminished it for me.

    Finally, I don’t really care about Orion and Frost, and the little bits we get of them, like in Seduction Impossible is fine with me. It’s nice to know they were in love, especially for Chuck and Ellie, but they still abandoned their children. It’s hard to just forget it and seeing them treated like heroes doesn’t work for me. I’d rather have more Ellie/Awesome stuff. Ellie was the real hero in Chuck’s life before Sarah came around.

    • Faith says:

      I think it’s more important to see them through Chuck and Ellie’s eyes than really sympathize with them. We’re back to the show essentially keeping players neither black nor white, they just are. Whatever went on in the past, and however it was wrong (in our mentality) doesn’t matter, just that they tried their best and their best wasn’t good enough.

      I loved Ellie’s line to Mary’s “I want to give this baby everything I didn’t to you and Chuck.” — “That’s my job.” Mary knows she failed, and Mary knows she wasn’t perfect. I don’t think it was put there for us to feel her plight and identify with her (although it doesn’t hurt), but rather to show us she’s human with flaws and regrets and that more than anything the life she chooses to live from this forward on will be a challenge.

  8. uplink2 says:

    2 things I’d like to comment on.

    First I see the lying about Casey issue really eating at Morgan and a source of serious problems with Alex. Even though he loves her I believe, his friendship and admiration for Casey is so strong that he won’t be able to accept Alex’s decision even though Casey will tell him it is the right thing to do. That is the reason for the teased Morgan/Casey argument I believe. Even though I did not like Morgan at all in season 1 and 2 he has come around and now is an important character with a true moral compass. As Chuck said in Beard, the one thing that Morgan is, is loyal. He is loyal certainly to Chuck but also to Casey. That was clearly shown in Balcony when he apologized to Casey for calling Chuck the best friend he had ever known. That loyalty will eat away at Morgan and as he has no real inner filter he will say something about it. This could be a challenge to him of how to comply with Alex’s wishes but remain loyal to his second best friend and mentor.

    Secondly, the Sarah Walker back story and possible Fake Name revisit. This is the trap that they set for themselves when they so trivialized and took a dump on what they had promised the audience in Wookie and Breakup. I really don’t know how they can revisit it and repair the damage that was done. Every time I think about it I get just as angry as I did back then. It is probably the biggest blunder of an arc that was in and of itself was the single biggest blunder they have ever made on the show. So how do they deal with it and respect the great character that Sarah Walker has become? I really don’t know how they can do it other than just to say that her real name is now Sarah Lisa Walker. I just wonder if they have the guts or stupidity for that matter to venture into this cesspool again. But it is also difficult to ignore if they are going to talk about her family. Somehow the name Jack Burton has to be reconciled as well if they want to fully deal with it. That is obviously not his real name either.

    This is a very dangerous area that will need to be skillfully navigated. I just wonder where it could be going. Hell maybe Vivian is Sarah’s sister.

    • Crumby says:

      About Sarah’s birth name, I guess the question is how can they make it the less painful? Should they address it? Should they ignore it? Whatever they do, it will make us cringe.

      Maybe they could have a “girlfriend talk” between Sarah and Casey, where Sarah talk about Sam lisa Whatever and Casey talk about Alex Coburn. 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Very good take on Morgan, Uplink. And at this point I much prefer the odd couple interactions of Morgan and Casey to those of Morgan and Chuck. I would love to see this be a recurring issue for a while. My guess is they play it out all the way to a Morgan/Alex wedding in S7 (!?!).

      I completely agree about the disaster that was Fake Name. I know its your number one hot button Uplink; I think I’ve got a couple others that rival it (all S3). That’s why I really think Sarah Walker has to be her legal name; I think its the fastest, cleanest way to be done with it. Nothing has to be explained to Chuck’s friends and family for a wedding; Sarah’s professional associates wouldn’t be phased by it. Leaving only whatever Sarah family members (i.e. guest stars) who need an answer; and given that they all likely know her dad’s story, the name can be dismissed with a simple “I changed my legal name to Sarah Walker several years ago for professional reasons.”
      It’s simple and it’s all that’s needed. So far, I think this years writers have done a better job reading their audience than they did last season; so if they choose a more complicated route I’m sure they can come up with something we would buy. But I don’t think anything more is required.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave that may be the easiest solution and I agree with you on the new writers. I attribute that to the fact that they learned these characters the same way we did, by watching them on screen. They were not part of the writers meetings that discussed what their concepts were in their original plans. They saw the execution and that is the same thing the audience sees. We have had this discussion before about the fact that it seems at times like TPTB never watched what was going on on screen but only cared about the written word.

        The tragedy of the name reveal in many ways hinges around what Old Darth likes to talk about with the promised payoff. We, the audience, were promised the payoff that only Chuck would be the one to hear her real name first by the way they had written 2 of the greatest scenes in the shows history, the Lisa scene and the scene at the end of Breakup. It is almost a contract with the audience for investing in the show emotionally. Yet for some ungodly and unknown reason they decided to, for lack of a better description, spit in the face of the audience for pure soap opera melodrama. What also bothered me was that it was done by Ali Adler, my favorite writer at the time. The writer that had written Wookie and made that initial contract with the audience.

        We will probably never know why for real but if as some have speculated it was a way of showing an intimate relationship without violating “the unwritten Sarah Walker rule” then it failed and was a huge disservice to her character. Plus they threw that rule out the window with that ridiculous and offensive attempt at comedy in Living Dead. If it was to show her desperation then it failed as well as it only served to piss off the audience and not have people connect with that desperation.

        Now they find themselves in a corner of their own making. There are so many ways this new storyline could have gone if they had never done what they did in Fake Name. The only solutions I can see are to ignore it, the probable course, or a serious retcon and that is wrought with danger.

        For me personally it is the most painful moment ever on the show and not in a good way. Something I wish I could just forget and “embrace the fail” but it is also a moment that is destined to come back and haunt the show or at least me. I just hope whatever they do it is written by Kristin Newman. She is the writer I trust most to deal with a sensitive issue like this in a way that respects both the characters and the audience.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I feel like I’m in your “Amen corner” recently. I agree entirely about the implied, and violated contract. I don’t believe I was ever more disappointed in any show than I was with Chuck on that scene. And you’re exactly right that if the intent was to avoid other intimacy they failed that too in Living Dead; which is one of those other moments I was referring to as an equally offensive betrayal. The other very bitter moments for me being the end of Three Words (I loved it at the time, but was embittered later when proved to be a lie); and Sham intimacy at the end of Mask, Fake Name, and Final Exam. I would have left the show immediately if I were any less invested. The endings of First Class and Nacho Sampler bother me only slightly less, and I would have considered either “worst episode ever” at any point prior to S3.
        Obviously I was ready for Sarah’s “it is real” to mean something; but TPTB were just kidding.
        I think you’re right about the new writers, they seem to share the common audience attitude of falling in love with show in its first two seasons and have bent over backwards to restore that show.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        What uplink says is why I think I can’t let go of the Name Reveal as the single worst scene ever in the now 3.5 ish seasons of Chuck. “The Name was to be given to Chuck” was a nugget for the audience almost moreso than even Chuck. In this case Chuck and the audience are the same person. Which is why I says it doesn’t matter whether Chuck (the character) accepts the explanation or not (let’s face it, he will) it is US the audience that has to accept it.

        So if they are going into the shark (pun intended) infested waters that is Sarah family, FOR REAL, they need to be very careful and feed the sharks something they’ll eat.

        On this point I really don’t care if people call entitlement or not.

      • atcDave says:

        You know Joseph the whole entitlement argument never went far with me anyway. They are professional entertainers, it is their JOB to entertain us. If they fail, we are doing them a HUGE favor by explaining it to them rather than simply changing channels.

      • jason says:

        the problem is, look how quickly the thought of going to the fake name pulls this blog back into the misery known as season 3 – just as healing was just about over, with the delightful episodes of 4×9, 4×11, 4×13, and now 4×14, if I were advising TPTB, I would tell them to RUN from this potential story, RUN

      • Crumby says:

        I agree about the promised payoff, and Fake Name is certainly my list favorite episode of Chuck ever. I hated both Chuck and Sarah in that episode. It’s just painful to watch. But the truth is, we’ll just never get that moment. It’s gone. They ruined it.

        So I’d prefer them sticking with whatever they were trying to say at that moment than just ignore it or retcon’d it.

        I agree that “The Name was to be given to Chuck” was a nugget for the audience almost moreso than even Chuck. In this case Chuck and the audience are the same person.

        So how about Sarah apologizing to Chuck for that moment and explaining why it happened. Then she can give her last name, or say that it doesn’t matter what her birth name was, or whatever, so that we can be done with it.

        If they could do that, it would never make Fake Name a better episode, but at least, I would make peace with it.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        The funny thing is the more I think about it, the more I think Cat Squad will be it. as far as the the Sarah family backstory minefield. Maybe something in a later episode.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I know this looks dumb but;
        @atcDave: ditto
        @Jason: ditto
        @Joeseph: ditto
        @Uplink2: when you’re done with my brain, may I please have it back?

        The only thing I can add is NOT to underestimate the impact this issue will have with people who left because of season 3. I’ve been trying to get a number of them back, and this is still a white-hot issue with all of them. The two people who got me into Chuck walked away from the show after the name reveal scene, not even waiting until the end of the episode. They haven’t come back.

        To TPTB: Please don’t screw this up, guys.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        [i]So how about Sarah apologizing to Chuck for that moment and explaining why it happened. Then she can give her last name, or say that it doesn’t matter what her birth name was, or whatever, so that we can be done with it.

        If they could do that, it would never make Fake Name a better episode, but at least, I would make peace with it.[/i]


      • herder says:

        What are the secrets about Sarah’s past that the CAT squad has, that her family really were canibals? Also in the promos they have three of the squad, Sarah and the other two who aren’t Carina in white dresses, are they going undercover as bridesmates?

      • Crumby says:

        I don’t think it’s about her family, but more about what happened between those four. I’m curious about when they were a team and why they aren’t anymore. I think Sarah stole Bryce from Zondra. 🙂

        Also the bridesmaids theory make sense, those dresses do look weird. Is Carina getting married… again?

      • JC says:


        I can see Cat Squad being the episode where they dirty up Sarah’s spy past even more if they’re going that route. Carina will always be the one to tweak both C/S playfully. But it looks like that Zondra has it out for her. I could see her throwing some of Sarah’s past into Chuck’s face, do you know who you’re getting married to type scene.

      • uplink2 says:

        Sometimes when I get into discussions with the season 3 apologists they always seem to minimize these discussions as “you just were unhappy that they kept Chuck and Sarah apart”, when it is so much more than that. It is great for me to read comments that my view on things was not simply my own bias. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on this site but I never became involved in the online Chuck community till this summer. I just watched the episodes week to week and never read any blogs, any interviews with Schewdak, had no idea about Chuckpocalypse but once I did join this great community I was amazed to see that my reactions as simply an uninformed viewer were exactly the same as a very large part of the fanbase. They were not unique but an accurate reaction to what was on screen.

        I was horrified by the name reveal. It was so unnecessary and such an insult to me the viewer who was invested in the show. Also at that time I had not even seen Wookie yet as it wasn’t till this summer that I bought the DVD’s but even without it I knew I had been promised something as a viewer and they spit in my face. Its not about entitlement its about storytelling and the implied contract with the viewer. If you are going to do something so intimate and so shocking to the viewer there better be a good reason and an even bigger payoff and there was neither.

        Jason I agree with you that this is the minefield they have created and even hinting at something about back story with the marriage immediately opens up those wounds that will never fully heal. So how do they deal with it? Either run away or have Sarah apologize to Chuck and the audience.

        Verkan_Vall I hope your brain finds it roomy as there is a lot of empty space caused by living through the 70’s lol.

        This is going to be a very interesting arc.

      • weaselone says:

        Wow. Sarah steals Bryce from Zondra. Now that would be interesting, particularly if Zondra holds Sarah partially responsible for Bryce’s death.

      • Faith says:

        We’re all so tense. Maybe we need a backrub from he who shall not be named. Too soon? I guess I’ve been spending way too much time with Casey-Killer from the boards. His quips crack me up. 😀

        Alladins will tell you…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think it is interesting that we were given, very sympathetically I might add, some insight into just how capable a seductress Sarah Walker can be when motivated.

      • Crumby says:

        Was there any doubt? 🙂

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Ah! Season 3 thou art a heartless bitch. 🙂

        Just when I go away for 10 hrs, the blog erupts. Now reading all the discussion with liberal help of my trusted brain bleach.

        @Faith – Ha! Casey_Killer’s quips are the best. Derisive and hilarious at the same time.

    • weaselone says:

      If Chuck and Sarah have discussed anything since they’ve finally become a couple, it would be her life since becoming a spy. It’s even implied in the summary that Chuck is behind the appearance of the CAT squad which indicates that he must have some clue about Sarah’s history in the spy world.

  9. patty says:

    I think that saying I was born Samantha Lisa Smith (hopefully something better for last name) and then continue the conversation to talk about the real issue.

    My suspicion is that Sarah has not contacted her mother at all. Once she reached 18 and her dad was in jail she chose not to. That would make it difficult to talk now.

    Is mom an awful person? In the Criminal world? A wealthy victim of dad? Was the breakup between her parents too hard on the young Sarah? Was she trying to get away from her family because she had decided to rely on herself only because her Dad was unreliable? Was she ashamed of helping her dad con people?

    I think this stuff is what they will focus on and her “real” name will be the least stressful thing Sarah has to deal with.

    • Paul says:

      The only way I can see Sarah’s real name impacting anything is if they find her mom and she’s like “Sam, why does he keep calling you ‘Sarah’?” I agree that Sarah likely has not contacted her mom or mom’s family at all. From the sounds of their make-up talk, it may even be that she doesn’t have any family left.

      • patty says:

        I agree Paul. I really don’t think there is any way to “make up for” the name reveal and I really doubt they will try. They will focus on other stuff related to Sarah’s pre-Chuck life and maybe mention it in passing, if at all.

  10. silvercat says:

    I’m sorry, folks, but harping about Season 3 is getting reeeeally old. I realize it was touched off by the prospect of revelations about Sarah’s backstory, but instead of fretting about it now, why not wait and see how it plays out?

    All this talk about feeling betrayed by TPTB and being “entitled” to this or that just seems a bit intense for me. I just don’t understand how people expend emotional energy and anger about a TELEVISION SHOW!!! On the positive side, at least all of you kept watching, and we got the payoff of the last half of Season 3 and all of Season 4.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      Hi SC,

      I was just curious (because I’m living a different Fringe experience than most long time watchers) as to when you started watching Chuck (what episode), and then did you catch up with the old episodes in one fell swoop, etc.

      My belief is that this does affect a person’s take on the show.

      • silvercat says:

        I started watching Chuck when I was in palliative care back in 2008. I read about the show’s premise, got interested and and watched the first season and a half’s episodes back to back. Up until then, I watched CBS on Monday nights. the first episode I saw live was Chuck vs. 3-D and haven’t missed an ep since. My favorite tv show before Chuck was Babylon 5.

      • joe says:

        I’m not sure what it is, but somehow fans of Bab-5 also seem to love Chuck. I’m one of them. I just don’t understand the connection!

        What is up with that???

      • atcDave says:

        It’s all about Bruce Boxlietner…

        I think both shows attract fans who want a fun and imaginative story. B5 was more about mythology and less about characters, but was far more fun and creative than say Star Trek (and yes I’m a Trekkie too).

      • joe says:

        Bruce Boxlietner! I can’t believe I forgot that connection!

        You’re right, Dave. The mythology was amazing. We are all Kosh. The second time I experienced that runaway freight train of excitement was the second half of S2 of Chuck – from the end of Lethal Weapon to The Ring.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Joe; very similar feeling between the third season of B5 and the second season of Chuck.

        I even remember thinking B5 was the about the best thing I’d ever seen during S3 and S4.

      • silvercat says:

        I don’t know about you guys, but I think what drew me the most to Babylon 5 was the multi-layered overall story and the very diverse cast of colorful characters that we really cared about. I also liked Fire Fly for the same reason. Other sci fi shows, primarily concentrate on stories and fantastic plots, but don’t give us real reason to care about the characters. With Chuck, I found myself caring about Chuck and Sarah in the very first episode, and grew to care about Casey, Ellie, and Awesome fairly quickly. It took me two and a half seasons to actually enjoy and care about Morgan. Until Best Friend, he was primarily an annoyance. Just in case you’re interested, my favorite Bab 5 villain was Bester.

    • JC says:

      Fretting? Intense? People are talking about what they could do based on the track record of the show nothing more. The s3 discussion might be old but the complaining about people talking about it is worse. If you don’t like the conversation and the S3 talk don’t get involved.

      • silvercat says:

        It’s pretty hard to stay away from discussions about Season 3 when it keeps getting brought up in thread after thread by certain people.

        I was enjoying reading the comments on Joe’s thoughtful post, and then found myself mired in all this Season 3 hate again, which, by the way, not all of us share. I have every right to express my opinion as you or anyone else does.

      • uplink2 says:

        Silvercat, this is exactly the problem they created with the Name Reveal. As soon as you bring up Sarah’s family and back story especially as it relates to getting married, the Name Reveal rears its ugly head. Had they simply never done it they could have had a very beautiful moment when Sarah does finally take down her final wall and tells Chuck her real name. But that is out of the question now and what we are left with was a very ugly moment.

        Maybe they didn’t anticipate how badly people would react to it but they now must deal with the consequences of it because they brought it up again.

      • JC says:

        And nobody is saying you can’t express your opinions but yours seems to be if season 3 is mentioned its tiresome or harping. Obviously to some other people its not, so again why get involved in the conversation in the first place. Is it just to complain about the complainers?

      • silvercat says:

        Actually I brought it up with the hope that maybe people will restrain from rehashing Season 3 so much in the future. Guess that was a hopeless cause…

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry, that will never happen. Whether you accept or reject it it’s too big a deal to ever go away.

      • silvercat says:

        Yeah, I that’s painfully true. But just be aware that continually emphasizing the negative can drive many fans away who come to this site primarily to share their appreciation of Chuck. We read enough negative stuff in other media sites where some reviewers take particular delight in slamming my favorite show.

    • atcDave says:

      The point is it’s not about entitlement, it’s about them doing their job. When you’ve POed your regular viewers and lost a third of your audience that is a professional failure, period.
      S3 will always generate passion because for thirteen episodes many of us completely lost the show we loved.
      While I think most of us are quite happy with the show we’ve seen since Honeymooners, we will always have a certain fear that history could repeat with a new misery arc. Now honestly I think it’s highly unlikely that they ever be so foolish, but when they start playing with themes from that hated season we do get nervous. Sarah’s name and family are loaded situations, it could be a lot of fun; or it could dredge up some unpleasant memories.

      • silvercat says:

        Legitimate point, Dave. I guess I’m just not as concerned. I was happy with the way they resolved the darker side of Season 3 , and I expect them to do it again this season, no matter what we find out about Sarah.

        I don’t share your reaction to Season 3, but if I did, I probably just would have stopped watching. For me, when a show stops delivering or goes a direction I don’t understand or like, I just stop watching, which is what happened with Voyager, Alias, and Lost.

      • atcDave says:

        And I would have quit if I were any less invested after S2; which, by the way, is very common sentiment among regular posters here. That’s part of why so many of us call it the misery arc.

        I don’t expect it to go so dark again. I believe TPTB learned a lesson. Thanks in large part to the modern information age, television is becoming more like traditional story telling where the writers can get more direct and detailed feedback from their audience. It is obvious they have listened to many of our comments.
        SC I think you are in a small minority of viewers who enjoyed S3. Obviously that’s great news for you. But I have honestly never spoken to any casual viewer who shares your attitude. I hear comments like “spy Chuck isn’t much fun” or “we just don’t make time for the show anymore.” Those same people seem to be having fun again, and I think the show is a better place now in large part due to our clear criticisms.

      • uplink2 says:

        One obvious way to see that it had an impact is the fact that at ComicCon when asked about doing things differently with the Sham arc the response was “He was a great villain wasn’t he?” That isn’t an answer to the question. Nor is it accurate. Volkoff was a great villain, not Sham though I will agree that he was better at that than anything else. I would have had much more respect for them if they had simply said that they had what they thought was a great story to tell but unfortunately they didn’t tell it well and they screwed up. The final three episodes of season 3 were about trying to salvage something from the debacle of the first 13 which is why I’m convinced we will never hear from him again. Also look at this season when they brought up the death of Orion they said “he was killed by The Ring” and not “he was killed by Daniel Shaw”. That is very telling to me.

    • uplink2 says:

      There is that word “entitled” again. The Name Reveal has nothing to do with being “entitled” to it. Its about good story telling. No matter what you may think personally great storytelling does involve an implied contract with the viewer/reader. In asking the viewer to become engaged with their characters they are expected to set up certain payoffs for the viewer who do get emotionally involved. Now they may not necessarily be what the viewer has come to expect but if they do decide to change that expected payoff it better be done well and be clearly explained. In the case of the name reveal it was neither. There was no justification or explanation for it implied or otherwise. It was pure soap opera melodrama. Also the payoff we did get wasn’t done well in the least. No groundwork was established for it and in the end it was completely unnecessary and a complete letdown to the viewer. It was simply the worst case of bad storytelling in an entire arc of bad storytelling.

      The numbers don’t lie either. Now there are many factors in ratings but it is a fact that the ratings for Chuck haven’t approached the ratings for that episode since. Those that claim it was daylight savings and nothing more don’t explain why the viewers haven’t come back once it got dark again this fall. Again there are a zillion reasons for ratings changes but one of them certainly is that some viewers rejected this story and rejected this event. We have heard testimony from folks here that former fans left after this and have been difficult to get back.

      • silvercat says:

        I get it. But does this have to be brought up in every discussion?

      • uplink2 says:

        See my point above.

      • atcDave says:

        SC, last season was pivotal for Chuck on many levels. The show changed radically in tone, and many of us didn’t like it. It will play into many discussions about the show. Certainly when we start discussing Sarah’s backstory memories of S3 loom large.

      • joe says:

        Silvercat, please don’t get too upset by it. I can tell you from personal experience that my reaction to the discussion has been, historically, the same as yours.

        I accept two things about the discussion and about S3.
        – The passion and energy shown is precisely about the passion we see in the show; It’s a reflection of us, and it’s a *good* thing that people were affected deeply.
        – Both ends of the spectrum of opinions about S3 speak the truth with sometimes brutal honesty, and that too is a good thing.

        Hum… It also seems to be less vitriolic than last year at this time, but that’s just my read on it. 😉

      • Crumby says:

        I get that S3 discussions are tiring, I’m tired of them most of the time as well. But I do think that most people here, when they refer to S3 are trying to do it in a constructive way.

      • uplink2 says:

        Crumby and Joe, this is the point I was making above about the risks of going to Sarah’s back story. The lynch pin of her back story as we know it now especially as it relates to the future wedding arc is viewed by a very large part of the active fanbase as the single worst moment in the history of the show. So it is inevitable that these discussions would come up. While many may not like bringing all of this up again it is the can of worms they have served themselves. Either they can deal with it once and for all or they can ignore it but both are wrought with potential danger.

        I apologize to anyone who finds this discussion tiresome but as you say Joe it is a symbol of the passion fans have for the show and for many of us it has never been fully vented. It is and always will be the 3000 pound gorilla in the room until it is finally dealt with or simply never mentioned again.

      • silvercat says:

        Crumby, for the most part you’re right about Season 3 discussions mostly being constructive. However, at times I pick up a bit of a nasty tone directed at the show runners. And I also think Season 3 detractors should realize they don’t speak for all fans. I come across positive Season 3 posts all the time… and everyone I introduced to Chuck during Season 2 also liked Season 3.

        I’m really enjoying Season 4, and agree with Ernie that it’s genius. That’s why I get a little flummoxed when Season 4 discussions still get bogged down with Season 3 angst. I guess it’s understandable, but I don’t have to like it.

      • Crumby says:

        I totally get your point. But obviously, if you didn’t have any problems with Fake Name, Sarah’s backstory don’t bring the same issue for you. But it’s only natural for people that did have problems with it to talk about it. Where would they talk about it if not here?

      • Big Kev says:

        Well, in light of this conversation, and in preparation for what may be to come in the last 10 (and because I need to get out more….) I rewatched Fake Name last night. I’ve only watched it twice (unheard of for me, for a Chuck episode) – and Mask/Fake Name have always been my 2 unredeemable Chuck episodes. Mask is still a dud, but I’ve changed my mind quite a bit about Fake Name.
        Now, to be honest, I can’t even imagine what all the fuss was about. Once you take the emotion out of it, and the sense that “this isn’t what I want to see” (that awful word “entitlement” again), the purpose of the scene is pretty clear, at least to me. Sarah is broken, detached not only from Chuck and his family, but from all the qualities that made us, as fans, fall in love with her. Ali Adler chose to illustrate the depth of that loss and disconnection by taking something that she knew was precious to us, and having Sarah give it away cheaply. I still think Sarah/Shaw was a dreadful story choice, but I completely get why Ali wrote the scene the way she did. I’m actually a bit embarrassed now that I was so worked up about it at the time.
        I don’t raise this to reopen the old Season 3 arguments – but merely to illustrate how perspectives change, and how it’s much easier to see the merits of a story, or a scene when you’re not so invested in one view or the other being right.
        Having said all that, I really hope they don’t retcon “Sam”, if they go there at all. There’s only one thing worse about a poor story choice, and that’s not having the courage to stand by the story you told. Ignore it by all means (and let that stand as your admission that it was a poor choice), but don’t retcon it.

      • jason says:

        kev – sam never bothered me, but the show did jump the shark at the end of 3×8, any chance of sustaining a mid 2 to low 3 type demographic, ended with the end of that episode. Other than the end when sarah made love to shaw for the first time and the shark got jumped, the two most disgusting things, neither were sam, one was that sarah walker superspy allowed 280 lb assassin daniel shaw beat the living hell out of untrained nerd chuck bartkowski for several minutes while she stood and watched, the second was how after casey shot the bad guy, what was sam going to do as her soon to be new lover, and her annoying nerdish asset were standing there.

        A close 3rd, the dessert in a dessert line, and really that entire dialog, the fact sarah celebrated shaw’s jaw jacking a defenseless bad guy, and the fake name reveal.

        a good episode, nope, barking up the wrong tree on that one Kev

      • silvercat says:

        Big Kev–
        I remember when Fake Name was aired, I hated that Sarah revealed her name to Shaw, and I also hated that at the end of the episode she ended up closer to Shaw. But I also had faith that Sarah and Chuck were going to end up together, so I also looked at it analytically as being symptomatic of the despair Sarah was going through… not only because of Prague, but also because of the way Chuck burned the asset in Nacho Sampler. I re-watched it during the hiatus after The Other Guy, and found that it actually fit into the narrative well, and was instrumental in both Chuck and Sarah’s journey toward each other. Uplink and I have gone back and forth about this over on another forum, and I doubt that we’ll change each other’s minds.

        As for fans expressing concern that revealing Sarah’s back story could be problematic, I do see that as primarily fretting over somehing that may or may not be a problem. Worrying about it just generates angst, and, for me, subverts enjoyment of the show.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think the reason everyone hated Fake Name was because it was where it became evident that TPTB were intent on making Sarah a basket case for the sake of a contrived and otherwise unexplainable relationship just to stretch the WTWT out to the last few minutes of the last episode.

      • Big Kev says:

        I’m still not sure I’d call Fake Name a “good” episode – partly for the reasons that you refer to, but mostly because it’s just not that much fun. But I’m happy to admit that it’s much better on rewatch than it was at the time – and the name reveal doesn’t bother me anymore.
        Ratings – who knows? I think the back end of Season 2 is the best this show has ever been, as you know – but we lost a million viewers from Suburbs to Broken Heart. Does that mean Lethal Weapon was lousy? Does it prove that people turned off after Beefcake? Who knows? It just means that ratings can be used to prove any point that you want to make. Personally, I think ratings prove nothing except the habitual bad taste and short attention span of the global TV viewing public.

        I (sort of) saw the logic of the story in Fake Name at the time, but I just disliked Shaw so much (and Shaw and Sarah together) that I didn’t care. My analytical qualities went on temporary sabbatical! Joe made the point at the time that he thought that was another sign that Ali Adler had done her job with the episode (that we were supposed to feel exactly that way) – and now I think he was right about that.
        Agree completely that worrying about what may or may not happen is completely counter-productive. Sadly, I’ve done it myself on occasion, and this fandom has turned it into an art form, but this season at least, most of the worrying has been for nothing, and hopefully that will continue.

      • armySFC says:

        SC in this type discussion yes. any type of sarah back story will ultimately come down events in her past. the name a big one.

        @all my point was made way above. one thing i would like to point out from what i am reading on this thread is most posters still do not trust the writers. look at all the posts that include i hope they do it right or something similar. statements like that are not born from confidence.

        the big reveal is how fast season 3 comes up. from my seat if the posters did trust the writers there would be no reason to bring up season 3 because there would be NO worry of them repeating mistakes they made. with all the times i have read on this blog, i trust them now, this discussion shows me you really don’t.

        before anyone gets annoyed, i do understand where you are coming from. if i sat through that mess i probably would be as well. my last point is be careful what you wish for. my take is the more they wrap up about what you are asking, taking things that could be brought out next year, hints that they may be expecting or know cancellation is near. after all why keep something in reserve if you don’t think you’ll ever have a chance to use it? just my random musings.

      • Big Kev says:

        Completely agree. And the manufactured nature of the angst (and the fact that they still don’t talk) is just as clear on rewatch, and just as annoying. I’m happy to have made peace with the name reveal though!

      • armySFC says:

        big kev, your statement about ratings confuses me. ratings prove one thing and one thing only. people stopped watching the show. that’s the bottom line. there never will be an exact answer for why they left but the two biggest reasons i have seen mentioned is they don’t like the show any more or i found something i liked more. so no matter how you slice it or dice it at some point last year people said screw this and left. guess what? most never came back.

      • Crumby says:

        Also Chuck was a jerk in that episode.

      • Big Kev says:

        Have no problem with the statement that people left. It’s when people use ratings as proof that a show has declined in quality, or that an arc, a season, or an episode is obviously bad because of the ratings……that’s the part I have a problem with. They may be right – but it’s impossible to prove, especially on a show like Chuck, which has lost viewers every season – even those where we all agree that the quality was pretty good.

      • armySFC says:

        big kev, do people leave a show they think is good? not very often. i think bad does apply to the views of those that left. you and i both agree with the ratings dropping from the beginning, it happens with a lot of shows. then it levels out. lose or gain a few here and there. but chuck hit a big wall last year. so what ever they did was unpopular with a lot of viewers that were not as vested as those here.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Ernie makes the most valid comment. There were numerous other issues that caused us problems; but drawing wt/wt out to the bitter end was the single biggest blow. We could have enjoyed the show with a lot of other shortcomings, but I’ll always maintain continuing wt/wt past Colonel was a doomed decision. No other issue causes so much disillusionment.

      • jason says:

        kev – I am equally as frustrated back at you that any comment linking the lousy season 3 to bad viewership is meant with your disdain, even the fan boy critics agree that season 3’s shaw arc failed, it does not take a PHD to link the failure of the story with the failure to sustain fans – is your story really the show just loses fans all the time, has nothing to do with the quality of the show, is that really what you think?????

      • Crumby says:

        No offense Jason but there is much more to ratings than quality, like competition and promotion. Otherwise the most popular shows would be the best shows and this isn’t the reality.
        There are people that liked S3 and there are a lot of fans that stayed for the ride even of they didn’t like it. Who’s to say that people just wanted to watch something else or do something else and that it had nothing to do with the show itself? There are plenty of shows whose ratings don’t illustrate much.

      • jason says:

        thx – I didn’t know that – you should be a tv show runner – success through ruining great shows as your niche – good luck with that

      • Faith says:

        I’m sorry, it seems I’m not understanding all of this. Are you guys saying that the quality of the show is unrelated to the ratings? I know that at times it can be, but my mindset isn’t so much just the general public but the indicative exit of a number of loyal fans post season 3. Quality speaks, it doesn’t dictate fate or the future but it speaks. Even extremely loyal fans like myself have a threshold.

      • uplink2 says:

        Interesting take on everything to come back and read. Yes Silvercat and I have gone back and forth on this issue, well Season 3 in general, and we have learned to agree to disagree and I’m fine with that. Both of us love season 4 and have learned to enjoy that a great deal. My issue with a lot of this also comes down to many of the folks that didn’t mind season 3 that much saying that it was because they knew they would end up together in the end. So did I but my issue with that is that in great story telling it is never about the destination, it is about the journey. I also see TPTB using that logic as well in their excuses for what was done, the goal of the season was getting them to that hotel room in Paris like that was enough to have us forgive all of the sins of the previous 12 and 3/4 episodes. Well for me that dog argument doesn’t hunt. You can’t excuse the sins along the way just by getting to a happy place in the end. Hey I’ve explained my hatred for that episode many times and if Ali Adler’s intent was for me to hate it then she succeeded in spades.

        But for me Chuck should never be about hating on it. It tried to be a different show and it failed miserably. DR has said that even the folks that work on the show admit that Sarah/Shaw was a complete disaster. If I wasn’t so invested in the characters I would have left like millions of others did. Some apologists say that the folks that say the ratings drop was because of Shaw are crazy and there is no proof of that. Well there isn’t any proof that its not true either. The only fact that can be proved is that the ratings for Chuck have gone down hill ever since Fake Name and though there is no absolute reason for it, obviously not as many people are interested in the show as they were then so at least some part of it has to be that the story was rejected.

        Kev, I’m glad you have come to terms with Fake Name, maybe some day I will but it isn’t today and won’t be for a long time. I do agree that retconning it could be an even bigger disaster. But again that is the corner they have painted themselves in. I am really fascinated by this statement of yours:

        Ali Adler chose to illustrate the depth of that loss and disconnection by taking something that she knew was precious to us, and having Sarah give it away cheaply.

        The more I think about that statement the more wisdom I see in it but unfortunately it doesn’t make me feel any better about it or hate the episode any less. It was the single worst moment but there are so many other horrible moments in it as well. And one of its lasting legacies is that even now when we are in the best season of the show with a wedding coming, Carina coming back all it takes is a hint at Sarah’s back story to generate 50 some odd postings about an episode from a year ago. It is a stench that will never leave this show completely and still bothers me at least, just as much if not more than the day it happened.

      • armysfc says:

        crumby, i disagree. you need to look at any show from the outside in an impartial way and not what you think of the show personally. look at monday nights at 8. chuck got 5.4 mil, house 12.3 mil, how i met you mother 10, bachelor 9.5.

        you said the highest rated aren’t necessary the best on TV but the numbers do not lie. there were 31.8 million people who decided they liked these shows more than they do chuck. i am going on the idea that most people watch shows they, like not ones they don’t. many here believe that chuck is the best show on TV, ill bet that a portion of the 31.8 million think the show they watch is the best.

        ratings may not show what the best show on TV is, it does show what shows people prefer to watch. i said earlier that people will watch a show they like vs one they don’t. when a large enough number watch a show it gets the status of a good show whether you or i personally think its good or not. as i just showed 31.8 million people chose not to watch chuck.

      • Big Kev says:

        I’m not here to defend Season 3. Honestly. I liked it more than some people and less than others. But I am asking you to follow the logic of your own argument.
        From Santa Claus (7.6 million) to Broken Heart (5.7 million), we lost 25% of our audience. If I used Third Dimension as a benchmark, the figure would be even higher, but I’ll discount that because of the promotion it received. Your own argument states that such a loss of viewership would be “proof” that the episodes and arcs didn’t work, and proof of a poor quality story.
        The only point that I’m making is that if a 35% drop in Season 3 proves that the season was no good, then what does a 25% drop in Season 2 prove? That season 2 was also lousy, just less so? The show has gone from 9 million viewers to 5.4 million in 4 seasons – that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean that all the episodes are rubbish, even if occasional ones might be. All it proves is that, for a multitude of reasons, Chuck cannot be considered a “commercial” success. If I knew why that was, I’d be consulting to Schwedak and NBC and making a lot more money than I currently do.
        I know you don’t like Season 3, and in many respects I agree with you – but using ratings to “prove” that point is a slippery slope, unless you’re prepared to make the same arguments for Seasons 1 and 2 – that’s all I’m saying.

      • jason says:

        kev – I did no such thing – what i did say was when the shark got jumped at the end of 3×8 and sarah started her 5 episode love affair with daniel shaw, the chances for ratings in the mid 2’s or low 3’s went out the window, I think the show runners would agree with that statement actually, it is not controversial and not a slippery slope – season 3’s misery arc failed, episode 3×8 was the tipping point, the point of no return, if you have read this blog this season, still, many of the reviews our bloggers do, comment about how s4 is about righting the wrongs of s3. By the way, that is why I mentioned the concept of retconning some of the sarah shaw love affair, it seems consistent with what else we have seen this season – and again, not because jason did not like season 3, but because TPTB did not like the reaction their creation got by the fan base – and yes, included in that is viewership

      • atcDave says:

        It’s very hard to “prove” anything where group behavior is concerned. But I also think it is unwise to dismiss the correlation of a largely negative fan reaction and a large drop in viewership. The wisest course of action is to assume they are related.

        If I remember, most of the drop off in S2 was also during and immediately after the angst arc involving Cole. The overwhelming majority of viewers posting on line AND with whom I’ve spoken have always tuned into Chuck for the warm and sweet central relationship. While I will not claim the writers should never add drama or conflict between Chuck and Sarah; I will say that it should always be used in moderation. And when the central relationship has been a major source of tension viewers are mostly unhappy. Yes, even as early as S2. That is very early for an audience to tire of the wt/wt on a romantic comedy type of show; but TPTB set a fast (and HOT!) pace on Chuck that led to many people burning out on it quickly.
        Now I freely admit this is conjecture on my part, it cannot be proven. But I am 95% certain pushing the wt/wt past its expiration date is what led to most of the S3 discontent. Different viewers burned out at different exact times, and had different precise reactions. We know some even liked the season. But for myself I’m certain of what the major problem was.

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry, I didn’t notice Jason’s last comment there. I largely agree. But I do want to say for the record, a retcon of the Sham is not what I think TPTB are MOST likely to do. It would be my first choice; not because I like retcons, but because I loathe Sham.

        But I believe ignoring Sham is the most likely course of action. That assumption is what makes exploring Sarah’s background fertile ground for speculation. It will be interesting to see how they navigate it without setting off a few mines. I certainly expect the writers to handle it better than they did in S3, but I am not certain exactly what that will look like.

      • armysfc says:

        big kev. your numbers may be skewed. you picked the third most viewed episode to start at. if you start at the first episode it drew 6.8 million. the last episode drew 6.1 million. while there may have been a low in the middle the difference at the end was 700,000. the last 4 episodes drew over 6 million each. in fact the 5th to last drew 5.8 million so it actually went up. there was no rapid decline at the end. most episodes in season 2 drew over 6 million. so based on the numbers for the entire year, less people dropped off than in season 3 and by a considerably less number than you brought up.

      • Big Kev says:

        All I did was take the highest rated and lowest rated episode in each season, regardless of when they were, to illustrate “peak to trough” – although I discounted the actual highest rated episode in Season 2 (3rd Dimension) because of the unusual amount of promo that it got.

      • uplink2 says:

        A Sham retcon? Paging Bobby Ewing!

        I mentioned this earlier but I think proof that they are never going anywhere near Sham again is in Push Mix when they said The Ring killed Orion not Daniel Shaw. If Volkoff’s people knew that Orion had been killed then they had to know it was by Sham. But yet TPTB chose not to even say his name. Coincidence? I think not.

        On the ratings thing everything is a factor. But if you are going to say that negative reaction to the poor quality of a show is not a factor in declining ratings then you have to say that good reaction to quality is not a factor in increased ratings. I think saying it is the biggest reason may be a stretch but an even bigger stretch is saying it wasn’t a factor at all as I see some folks on some sites claiming.

        Right now we are down to the hardcore Chuck fanbase that will stick with it no matter what and may even be enough to give it a season 5 because of all of the other difficulties at NBC but if they were to ever to go the angst or LI route again it would mean certain death to the show I believe. That is how thin our margin is right now. I think TPTB realize that and that is why this season has been a lovefest for the fans so some see it as a safe season. Season 2 was a safe season in many ways. I’m fine with that as I watch this show for light hearted fun and romance. So with that we will probably not see anything really controversial or risky in Sarah’s back story and IMO the name Sam and Sham will most likely never be mentioned.

      • Crumby says:

        Obviously, the quality of a show impacts its ratings, but I just don’t think the ratings are proof of quality. There are to many factors.

      • armysfc says:

        kev i saw what you did and that was the point of my reply. 2 went from 6.8 to 6.1 season 3 went from 7.7 to 5.1. while 2 held over 6 million 3 kept going down. so if you just use ratings as a viewer response to a show there is a big difference. every show is going to have its highs and lows that’s a given. there are many external reasons for people tuning in or out on any given week. when you said lost 25% to me that says they didn’t come back, but in 2 they did. some came back in 4 but not by much so those lost in 3 are gone. thats why a full season is needed. this year we have dropped again. i bet one of the highest rated shows will be when c/s get married, if they promote it. but if its 24 you need to use the eps before as well. bottom line is what ever they did in season 3 killed them.

      • uplink2 says:

        Ultimately ratings discussions are never going to be conclusive. There is more spin about ratings than just about anything in this business. So all I can really say with certainty is how it affected me and other fans of the show I know. The Sham arc and Fake Name in particular were just blown by TPTB.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I agree entirely about S3 doing in the show if this is it. s3 started with good ratings, but many fans were unhappy right out of the gate. Even so I think there was still some cautious optimism for the first 4-6 episodes. The Chuck-pocolypse started at 3.07, ratings took a dive and never recovered.
        Darn shame. We got lots of promotion that season, lots of feel good energy after S2 and the fan campaign to save the show. If TPTB had delivered I think they ratings would have held or even grown. But a downer story; that featured a lovable nerd loosing the girl and finding himself in ugly situations squandered viewer enthusiasm. Down the drain we went. Numbers have mostly stabilized since 3.13. But they’ve stabilized at a pretty low level.
        I do think a few fun episodes coming up could conceivably set things back on the right track. Any growth at all would likely get us another season. But there is zero margin for error now.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        A number of people find the constant reappearance of Season 3 annoying in these discussions, but atcDave just put his finger on one reason why I think it will never go away.

        start quote
        Darn shame. We got lots of promotion that season, lots of feel good energy after S2 and the fan campaign to save the show. If TPTB had delivered I think they ratings would have held or even grown. But a downer story; that featured a lovable nerd loosing the girl and finding himself in ugly situations squandered viewer enthusiasm. Down the drain we went. Numbers have mostly stabilized since 3.13. But they’ve stabilized at a pretty low level.
        end quote

        There is frequent mention of how Chuck is a show always on the bubble, and how it would change things if the showrunners could plan ahead more and if the network would support Chuck with more promos, reruns, etc. The problem is that season 3 was Chuck’s chance to get off of the bubble and the showrunners blew it.

        As Dave mentions, Chuck had:
        – a lot of positive buzz from the conventional media
        – a dedicated fan base that was highly energized from the successful campaign to bring the show back from cancellation.
        – significant support from NBC (I can still remember the “Something AWESOME” ads) and some unconventional media like G4’s AOTS.

        Just imagine if the Schwarz & Fedak had done something else, just about anything else, and the show lost only half as many viewers as it did. Where would Chuck be in the ratings now, especially compared to the other shows that NBC has, if we had a million more viewers each week?

        Instead, the fanbase has been wrecked, the show has to swim against the 3rd season rep and the bad word of mouth generated by ex-fans, and it is unlikely that the network will ever take the risk of backing Chuck in force again unless Comcast replaces some people.

        This is a big part of why we just cannot let this topic go: we love Chuck, we want more of it, and season 3 was the golden opportunity, an almost perfect storm of positive factors, and the showrunners threw it away. Sigh.

        Some have mentioned the saying “Give the audience what they need, not what they want.” The problem with that is that most people in the entertainment industry have a great deal of trouble distinguishing what THEY want from what they think the audience needs. Some do not even try.

    • Verkan_Vall says:


      “However, at times I pick up a bit of a nasty tone directed at the show runners.”

      Most likely that was me, at one time or another. I don’t think highly of the showrunners, for a number of reasons. I will say that my opinion of them has improved since the end of season 3, both because of the events of Season 4, which I’m enjoying immensely, and because of the different perspectives offered by the host and posters to this site. Hopefully, that will continue. I’m willing to just wait and see.

      Hey, Joe! You know that, that thing you and Dave and the Padre keep on pushing, that “optimism” thing? It really is exhilerating, isn’t it?

      Gives me heartburn though.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well my tone towards them isn’t always positive either. Even though I didn’t know about it back then I find the Post 3.07 interview to be really condescending and obnoxious. Same thing what I heard about the San Fran conv where they took no questions and just played Other Guy to appease the audience. Even this years ComicCon with “He was a great villain” being the answer to a direct question about the early Shaw arc is sidestepping the issue. They deserved a lot of the grief they got and I can’t be a fanboy that feels everything they do is great and you can’t criticize them.

      • JC says:

        Its also part of the job, you put any sort of creative work of art out for public consumption and you’re bound to get called out if someone doesn’t like it.

      • joe says:

        On that optimism thing – yeah. It is exhilarating.

        Red pill, blue pill. Red pill, blue pill. The choice really isn’t so simple. What’s easy to forget is that both contain some truth (even if the red one is bitter).

        My wife’s got a saying that makes the same point. “There’s three sides to every story – yours, his and the truth.” The red pill/blue pill deal always misses that last part of what’s going on in the universe.

  11. kg says:

    Yes Joe. Gary Cole’s return as Jack Burton would be awesome. Sarah was great in DeLorean.

    She never pretended to Chuck, Casey or the general who or what her father was. She never made excuses for him or apologized for him in an embarrassing or awkward manner.

    But Jack has a charming side and you could see throughout despite his faults that Sarah loved him. Otherwise, she never would have asked him to get her a “double scoop” and allow him those precious four minutes to escape. Besides, she couldn’t help but notice how it didn’t take long for her finance and her dad to bond and make a connection. Something about Sarah’s mom in the future would be juicy, but at the very least Jack Burton has to make an appearance at the Bartowski/Walker wedding.

    “I read people,” Jack told his daughter after a query about exhibiting trust for Chuck. “That’s the only real talent I’ve got. One thing I know is that kid would never betray you. I made a 10 million dollar bet that he loved you. Turns out I was right.”

    “I was growing accustomed to schnook,” Chuck said outside Sarah’s hotel room. “So have I,” Burton said. “I want to thank you for cominng back. I gave you 10 million reasons to leave. Chuck cut him off and said, “But ONE REALLY good reason to stay. And she would have done the same for me.” “I believe she would have,” Jack agreed. “Lucky for me she met the right schnook.”

    Similar to what Sarah said to Chuck earlier this season comparing her fortunate assignment draw to Mary’s involving Volkoff.

    Speaking of Beckman, I’m glad for her and Roan. That they have feelings for each other and a history. But I was more touched by the general actively joining her A-Team and contributing to a mission’s success. We got to see that she’s more than a face on the monitor who often makes terrible decisions.

    She’s accepted that her team is unorthodox, breaks protocol and will lie and fib and generally do anything to save or protect one another. We have seen her human side from time to time and as an example refer to her people as Chuck, Sarah and John instead of Bartowski, Walker and Casey. We’ve seen her reluctantly accept Chuck and Sarah as a working, loving couple and now we got to see that “Diane” is more than a general and has developed loving feelings in her life. We also see she hasn’t lost some of the abilities and competency which allowed her promotion to general.

    All in all a very good episode. Roan in fact could see back in 2-2 that Sarah and Chuck were in love with each other whether or not they wanted to admit it or not.

  12. Tamara Burks says:

    Eventually Casey has to come clean with Kathleen if he wants to maintain a relationship with Alex. Sooner or later they will cross paths. At the very latest Alex will have kids and one of them will mention Grandpa Casey to Grandma Kathleen.

    And bringing up Sarah’s family naturally brings up the name reveal since you have to wonder what name will she be married under. If Sarah Walker isn’t her legal name her marriage to Chuck could be invalid not to mention what would her mother’s family think if she married under that name. Would they think she was running some con like her father? And if she married under her birth name what would they tell Chuck’s friends and family? Chuck’s family knows about her being a spy but not about her history running cons with her father. They probably also don’t know about her history with Papa B’s killer. And hearing her referred to as Sam could bring up a feeling that he wasn’t good enough to know her name yet Shaw was after a really short period of time. It makes sense for it to be brought up.

    I’d really like her to have some sort of facepalm moment about the name reveal and for her to really get what she was asking Chuck to give up in Prague.

    And I can understand Chuck having trouble saying no to Sarah. Sarah usually does get her way (or the governments way ) and Chuck is usually on the receiving end of the no. Look what happened when he said no in Prague, she cut him off (even to the point of drowning her phone). It could make him gunshy about that and make it where he doesn’t pick the right time to say no.

  13. thinkling says:

    Lots and lots of discussion. I’ll just put in my very brief 2 cents worth.

    1. After all this time with the CIA, I’d be shocked if Sarah Walker was not Sarah’s legal name. But the marriage license, which we will never see or know about (but I still know there will be one), will bear her legal name. From the marriage on, her legal name will be Sarah Bartowski.

    2. I doubt that ” Sam” will ever come up, and I don’t really think it has to. They can have her mother call her Lisa, or some other nickname, once, just not Sam. All Sarah has to say is “I go by Sarah now.” End of topic, if they even give it that much coverage. “It’s Sarah Walker, and don’t forget it.” I think that’s the company line now, which is fine.

    3. The really wonderful thing is that her marriage certificate will make her legal name Sarah Bartowski. It will be the first legitimate name she’s had practically her whole life. Her dad gave her a bunch of fake names, and the CIA gave her Sarah Walker, when she wasn’t using other cover names in other cities. Sarah Bartowski will have a home and a name that is really all hers. That’s the best part.

    4. I don’t think they are going to go particularly dark with Sarah’s past. They’ve gone out of their way to rebuild her this season. I don’t think they are going to tear her down. I could be wrong, but I expect things to stay on the light side, nothing worse than we’ve seen in seasons 1, 2, and 4.

  14. Verkan_Vall says:


    Keep the brain, you’re saying some of what I think more clearly that I do.

    Ah, the 70’s. Luckily, the only things I can remember from the 70’s is college and the very first Star Trek convention, at the Commodore Hotel in New York city in 1973.

    That was a blast.

    • silvercat says:

      Yes, the 70s were definitely a blast. I spent the first half of the decade in the Navy and most of the second half in college. Some great science fiction movies back then: Omega Man, Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, the Planet of the Apes, and of course Star Wars. Star Trek The Original Series was in syndication and on every night of the week. My first science fiction convention was Vancouver’s V-Con in 1978, and although it wasn’t strictly a Star Trek con, trekkies pretty much dominated it, but Star Wars fans were also very much in evidence. As for comedy, we had to wait until the 80s, but Quark and Red Dwarf were riots… and Dr. Who started gaining popularity in the U.S. in the mid 80s.

      • Verkan_Vall says:


        Thank you for your service. I had a couple of cousins go into the navy, and my brother went into the Marines; but if I could have passed the stupid physical, I would have wound up in the Army, like my Dad and my uncles.

        There was some good things about the 70’s, but I wouldn’t want to go back there. No Internet, no multi-core processors, No Chuck!

  15. Robert H says:

    My comments near the top of this blog relating to the Chuck character’s insecurities were not meant to cover his pre Sarah-Casey meeting in season 1 or whatever his problems were before that. I’m talking about the character’s independence and assertiveness, despite those insecurities, in season’s 1 and 2 vs 3 and 4. It’s simply not the same character and is far less appealing now than he was in season’s 1 and 2. If that is “growing up” I can do without it. It may explain, at least in part, though certainly not all, why viewership has dropped so dramatically in the last 2 years. I continue to watch the show because on the whole it’s still entertaining and season 4 is far better than season 3. Insofar as Chuck the character goes, on the whole, is simply
    tolerated rather than liked because the show is a package deal. the character comes with it and that is that. I realize I hold a minority view here and that’s ok.

    By the way in reply to a comment made above, yes I am watching the same show as everybody else so I suppose the comment made above can be reversed. “What show have you been watching?”…..

    • armysfc says:

      i somewhat agree with your points about chuck. not having seen s3 i can only compare with 1&2.

      the answer to the question you asked is very simple. its the same show. it’s how each individual viewer looks at the show or movie, and what they themselves want to see that causes the issues. take any show on TV. shippers will always hate PLI’s or OLI’s. to them its always going to bring down an episode when the people they ship aren’t together. viewers that love a show will over look things or defend things that a person who is mediocre about the same show will not. same goes with the characters they identify with. for every point one side has the other has a good point against. each side will always defend its views.

      keeping with the what the viewers see what they want. i can offer proof of that. alex/olivia, seven/torres, janeway/seven, kim/shego and abby/ziva. all these couples are shipped. there are more websites dedicated to these couples than to chuck/sarah. they go to great lenghts to point out where the subtle touches were at, or where they saw longing glances took place. some of those couples have more than twice the amount of FF than chuck does, there more videos on the net as well. NONE of them ever had a relationship. viewers of the shows they are part of saw enough evidence to believe they could or should indeed have one. that’s all the proof i need to convince me that each viewer will see what they want in a show. that’s fine by me, it would be boring if we all looked at the same show the same way.

  16. herder says:

    I think that another factor for the sudden Shaw retrospective is that ratings for the last episode were poor, as a result people get frightened and look for a scapegoat. Personally I expect that next monday’s ratings to be in the 1.9 demo range and we get back to normal renewal handwringing rather than looking for reasons why things are going poorly. Personally, and again I mean from my own perspective, Shaw is over and in the past and I’d rather remember the good parts of the show’s history (Roan, Carina) and look forward to what is to come. Doesn’t mean that I am happy with the Shaw story, simply a decision based on how much enjoyment the topic sucks out of my review and speculations.

    Speaking of which, I would like to have Carina have a small quiet talk with Sarah containing the observation that she has heard that Sarah terrorized half of Thailand in persuit of Chuck so she must be happy in her decision. Also, depending on who Sarah gets to invite to the wedding, how many sets of steak and other types of knives will they receive as wedding gifts, could be a great sight gag, tables full of knives and a puzzled Ellie looking at them all.

    • Crumby says:

      A mention of Thailand would be hilarious.

    • thinkling says:

      Agree with that Herder. I know Shaw is cannon, but I’m still willing to sweep a lot of it under a heavy rug and look forward to all the good stuff.

      I love the knives idea. Even better if there was a reason for Sarah to employ one in her inimitable fashion.

    • silvercat says:

      All I’m asking when I plea for less Season 3 discussions. I’m not saying people shouldn’t bring up their complaints, but I’m serious when I say that continually emphasizing the negative aspects of the show does turn fans off. My niece and I both stopped going to Chuck “fan” sites because of the negativity that dominated them during the hiatus between Seasons 3 and 4. I came back at the beginning of Season 4, when mostly positive reactions returned, but I recently stopped browsing one web site that has become so snarky that I don’t understand how it can even claim to be a fan site anymore.

      I recently discovered Chuck This when one of the episode recap posts was cross posted over at I was very impressed not only by the original blog post, but by the commentators who displayed in-depth analysis of the episodes and the characters. However, recently I’ve noticed that increasingly some people just can’t resist bringing up Season 3 in virtually every post. I realize we’ll never completely put Season 3 behind us, and I’m very much aware that many are concerned that TPTB might repeat errors of the past. Does it constantly have to be brought up? Many of you are happy with where the show is this season. Let’s enjoy it for now, okay?

  17. Joe, Ernie, Liz, Thinkling, and Faith!
    Just speculating on tonight’s episode of “CAT WALK”. A team of female spies that Sarah was a part of and when there’s females are involved! There’s resentment, envy and jelously toward each other! When you are dealing with that combustible element, there are potential for secrets to come out! You know what they say! Women and secrets are a bad combination. I know today is Valatines Day! But don’t expect to much love in this episode!

    P.S. No offense to Liz, Faith, and all the ladies out there!

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