Seductions Impossible — Loves Indispensable

Laugh. Out. Loud. Funny. The Seduction Impossible has to be one of the funniest Chucks ever. Funny and fun. Roan Montgomery, Casey in a wall, and Beckman in the field. Mother/Spy turned Grandma/Spy. Babies and diapers and wipes. Family and weddings and stress. Seductions and missions and spies. It’s all in there; everything you need for a hilarious spy romp and pre-wedding … discussions.

But this is Chuck, after all, and there’s always more than first meets the eye. I laughed so hard and so often that the real story snuck up on me. On the surface the episode is about impossible seductions, family events, missions, and bad advice. Underneath the laughter and blessed events are rhythms of relationship, currents of love, and stories of pain. A lot like real life. How do they do that?

Simple. This is Chuck.

As Roan strikes out in Moracco, Clara is batting 1000 in Burbank, putting the master to shame.

It’s baby bedlam at the Woodcomb house and all of TeamB is involved. Mary shows she hasn’t lost her touch, but her point of reference has changed — big time. Do you know of anyone else who equates holding a baby with handling live explosives? … Me neither. Although, I do admit that babies can be, um, explosive.

Talk turns to weddings, specifically Chuck and Sarah’s. Everyone is totally engrossed in wedding plans, except for Chuck who’s wearing his panic face and Sarah who is sweating bullets, “I’m actually sweating. The last time I sweat, there was gunfire involved” (one of my favorite lines of the episode and season). In the midst of the pandemonium, a couple of things stand out. Mary’s total integration into the family conversation and her offer of her veil. And Ellie’s response. Mary’s offer was soft and gracious, a gesture of love and acceptance to Sarah. Ellie’s remark, “I don’t know if Sarah’s a veil girl,” shows a level of familiarity and empathy that I liked. I hope for more Bartowski female interaction in the future. I think both Mary and Ellie could be helpful without overwhelming Sarah. Sarah may need that before it’s all over. Who knows they may even help fill a void.

Seductions Impossible

This episode’s title, like Suitcase, completely blind-sided me. I never saw it coming. In all the speculation about The Seduction Impossible, I don’t recall anyone guessing the scenario. At least I know I didn’t. We thought it was a seduction mission for one or all of them. Boy were we wrong, much to my entertainment and delight. Everyone did seduce someone, though … or at least try.

First Morgan seduced Casey. Yeah. He used Alex’s emotions to seduce Casey into talking to Kathleen so that he, Morgan, would feel more comfortable. It worked … sort of. Turns out, though, Morgan didn’t really understand Alex’s emotions. Shocker, I know.

Beckman in the bottle was too funny. Ordering TeamB on an off-the-books mission to rescue Roan Montgomery. Hilarious. Even Casey and Sarah are snickering about it. So, the Short Titian General misappropriates government resources to rescue her man. She’s not as good at hand-to-hand combat as the Giant Blond She-Male, but she’s wicked scary with a rocket launcher. Duck.

I loved Sarah’s teasing Chuck about his overpacking (I can relate), and I liked her proposition. It was sweet and romantic and understandable. I bought her reasons. Chuck’s kiss turned pout was adorable.

Chuck turns once more to that tainted fount of wisdom that is Morgan. OK, will someone please give Chuck a 900 number … or a psychic hot line … or somebody, anybody, to call for advice. We desperately need Ellie restored to the inner circle, so Chuck can get some decent advice. You know it was in Seduction(I) that Chuck told Devon what a bad idea it was to get relationship advice from Morgan. Hello?! OK, rant over. This bit of advice was particularly annoying, because Morgan was really only concerned for himself. Practice no’s? Really? Really dumb. Although I do admit it led to some funny moments.

Roan’s seduction of Fatima was a nice call back to Undercover Lover, with Casey under the bed this time. Chuck and Sarah behind the dusty tapestry was funny, especially the look on Sarah’s face when Chuck says, “But nothing. I said no … woman.”

Well, Sneezy gets them caught, and Grumpy is not a happy prisoner.

I liked the dungeon therapy session with Dr. Roan (except that I don’t care for ball-and-chain humor, but that’s just me). Bravo that Sarah-the-Silent, who was also the most offended at the time, started the communication, “What’s with all the no’s lately, anyway?” And hurray that Chuck-the-Pleaser finally told Sarah, albeit with prodding from Roan, what he was really saying no to. Sarah closes her eyes against the pain (Yvonne is perfect, throughout) and reloads for round 2. I loved Roan’s obvious affection for them.

Casey’s arrival took everyone’s mind off the disagreement and turned their attention to something they all agree on. Casey is better with guns and amo than romance and seduction. This scene was roll-on-the-floor hilarious, every word, every expression, from all of them. In most episodes, it would stand out as the funniest scene, but in Seduction Impossible, funniest-scene is too close to call.

Roan and Dianne. Awkward. So awkward, and Chuck and Sarah would rather be anyplace else. Not me, I can’t wait to see this. Roan’s charms fail him, and he winds up in the Buymore, too funny. I don’t know which was worse for him, the job or the polyester. At any rate we get some fun back story about GB as a dirty blond and a woman in love.

The advice from the Seduction Master, isn’t the best, but it’s in a better neighborhood than Morgan’s advice. It also gives us another side-splitting, hilarious scene. I mean, come on, Sarah had the whole course on seduction, not just the Cliffsnotes. Chuck is so out of his depth here, but he does recognize it for what it is and calls her on it. Sarah is appalled … appalled that he is doing the same thing she is doing. Kudos to Zach and Yvonne for a perfect scene!!

Are these scenes with GB intense or what? Chuck and Sarah may be glad when she’s back in her box. Get me Roan Montgomery. Easily a 4.7 on the Richter Scale.

One last seduction (the one the episode is named after) for Roan, with Beckman quarterbacking from a nearby turret. Roan’s performance is smooth, even if not fast enough to suit the general. He gets the location of the mint, and GB orders the strike. Our economy is safe from collapse. But I am not. I collapse in laughter every time I watch the rest of this scene. Dianne is a terrifying figure with her rocket launcher. Quacks me up!

Loves Indispensable

Roan and Dianne. The general got her mint and her man. They have a long history, a famous romance, and a future. Just not the future they once agreed on. Theirs is a spy love whose mutual affection is subordinate to the job, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s not much more to tell.

Casey and Kathleen. Theirs is the definition of a tragic romance. Casey chose duty and never knew that he had a daughter. Kathleen thought she lost her fiancé to the war and never knew that her daughter had a father. She has lived her life with a sense of loss.

Casey believed he made the right choice … until he got to know his daughter. Now he regrets the years and the love that he missed.

The choice we made to protect something bigger than ourselves is the right choice. (Crown Vic)

Don’t make the same mistake I did. I missed my daughter’s birth, missed her whole damn childhood. Alex’s mom had to raise her all on her own. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret that. (Push Mix)

 

Maybe he can fix the past. Maybe he can have a place in Kathleen’s life again. Maybe they can be the family now that they weren’t before. But Kathleen has finally moved on. She’s finally happy. “Good for you, Kath.”

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!” (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Ellie and Mary. The layers never end with these two women who have lost so much. This is one of the best Ellie scenes of the season, and another powerful, layered moment for the two women. Kudos to LH and SL.

Mary is restored to her family, but she can never restore what was lost to them. She can’t fix the past, though she clearly wants to try to make up for it.

M: I want to give everything to this baby that I never gave to you or chuck.

E: That’s my job. You just have to be the best grandma in the world.

 

Forgiveness is giving up hope of a better past. And it clears the way for a better future. There are no do-overs. But there are clean slates. Clara is their clean slate.

In forgiving her mom, Ellie is no longer chained to her past or its pain. She is free to be the mother she never had and to give Clara all that she wished for. That’s her job. In receiving Ellie’s forgiveness, Mary can let go of her own regret and pain and live in the present as the world’s best grandma.

There’s one more gem in this scene. (I know I’m going backwards)

E: I made Chuck quit the CIA. And sometimes I wonder if that was the right decision, because I know that he’s a good person who’s helped people, and he’s protected us.

M: He’s a Bartowski.

E: And he says that you’re the best. I can’t keep another person from being a hero, simply because I’m afraid. If you need to be a spy that’s not another abandonment.

So much in so few words. Ellie is beginning to realize, maybe, that Chuck should be allowed to live his own life. That she shouldn’t have kept him from being the hero that he is. (He’s a good person who’s helped people, just like Sarah said.) It’s a big step for Ellie, and my heart is cheering.

Mary’s response couldn’t be more perfect. As we saw in Push Mix, legacy is destiny. Chuck is who he is and can be nothing else. Mary didn’t out him. She didn’t criticize Ellie. She merely explained Chuck in a way that may help Ellie come to terms with Chuck’s choices. (Once she finds out.)

Chuck’s words spoken through Ellie to Mary must be welcome indeed, coming from the son who had lost faith in her. Ellie doesn’t know the half of it yet. But she couldn’t have delivered a more healing message to a mother’s heart.

They say it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. Ellie gives her mother both.

Chuck and Sarah. Roan gave Chuck and Sarah their first bit of good advice, “Remember you’re in love. Listen to each other. Never go on a mission angry.” Finally, a nudge in the right direction.

Well, OK, I mean, who am I going to invite? … Who’s going to come? and … Who’s going to walk me down the aisle?

 

This is the story. From the moment Sarah asked Chuck to elope, this was the story.

I loved this scene — the way Sarah came clean and how she berated herself for not having been honest to begin with. She has come so far, even though avoidance was still her tactic of choice. Compared to the Sarah of old, this Sarah is practically see-through.

This will be the most lopsided wedding in history. But that is only the tip of the iceberg.

As difficult as it would be for Sarah to explain her family’s absence from her wedding, it might be preferable to having to invite them. Does she even know where they are? Maybe she knows where they are, however many they are, but they are estranged … really, really estranged.

Whatever it is … her past is pain. A big family wedding will uncap that well and flood the happiest day of her life with a sadness she would rather leave behind.

Safe.

There’s one place that Sarah feels safe. In Chuck’s arms. Like the picture, the one she keeps with her at all times. That picture was taken during Seduction. Not long after that, in Cougars, Sarah had to revisit her past, with Chuck. The last thing she wanted was for him, or anyone, to know about her past. During that experience, she learned that Chuck’s love was steadfast and trustworthy, and some of the pain began to seep away. She gave him a gift, offering to answer a question about her past. He had seen enough and didn’t need to ask. Instead he gave her what she needed, unconditional love and a safe place.

Whenever her past reappears, Chuck is her safe place, and he somehow makes it all better. Still he has never asked her to open up old wounds, confront her past, or talk about things she doesn’t want to talk about.

Now, her past seems unavoidable. I mean, when you get married aren’t you supposed to invite your family?

The last scene is tender … intimate … safe. They’ve talked and listened.

Chuck offers to help Sarah’s family. If they can take on terrorists and despots and oligarchs, together they can handle her family. Right?

Why do I get the feeling, Sarah would rather take on the terrorists and despots and oligarchs? Her face registers such pain at the thought of dealing with her family. (Yvonne is utterly amazing in this scene.) But Chuck still makes her smile, makes her trust, and she knows it will be OK.

She is his Sarah Walker, the most mysterious woman in the world. Now he finally asks what he hasn’t asked for two years, to get to know her better. He’s more than earned it, after all he is the future Mr. Sarah Walker. But that’s not why he’s asking. He is asking now for the same reason he didn’t ask before. It’s what Sarah needs. His love is still unconditional. He is still her safe place. Safe enough to open her past and let go of the pain.

Safe.

Thinkling’s thoughts

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About thinkling

In my [younger] youth, I was a math teacher, basketball coach, and computer programmer. In 1984, we moved to Brazil, where we serve as missionaries. I like to design things and build things, read things and write things. We now live part-time in Brazil, part-time in the US. Love them both. Wife, 37 yrs; mom, 30 yrs. I am blessed.
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282 Responses to Seductions Impossible — Loves Indispensable

  1. joe says:

    Just a large cast of characters that we all love. And now we want to make it bigger. I really enjoy Gen. Beckman there in Castle, in Burbank. I expect her to be at the wedding.

    And there’s GrandmaB. I could stand to have her in every episode from now on. Alex & Morgan – of course. But now I want to see Kathleen enter into the “family”.

    Can’t forget Clara too!

  2. atcDave says:

    Thanks for a great write-up of an outstanding episode. Seduction Impossible was so much fun. Very funny with just a touch of well done drama. This is what I tune in for.

    Now my burning question, does Ellie realize what she said to her mom and how it needs to apply to Chuck? Or will the realization still be some time in coming? I look forward to it, whenever it happens.

    • thinkling says:

      She did say she sometimes thought it was the wrong decision. But she thinks he has moved on, and she wouldn’t want to push him back into the CIA. I don’t know if she will give him permission or if she’ll find out. But hopefully she will react according to the sentiments she expressed to her mom.

      I really loved Mary’s reaction, beginning with her turning away and her courageous reply. Fantastic.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      My guess is that Ellie’s epiphany will come when she next sees Chuck in action – most probably saving her(again).

    • Paul says:

      I think they’ve been laying the seeds for Ellie to give Chuck her approval, whether verbally or tacitly.

  3. Faith says:

    Reading the last line, I’m having flashes of the Dos Equis guy but instead of him, it’s Sarah that’s the most mysterious woman in the world LOL.

    I don’t think I really considered the seduction impossible portion of the title. I’ve just usually just put emphasis on the titles when it’s convenient for me. I mean one of the best Chuck/Sarah episodes was titled Colonel. How…unexciting lol. But then there’s best friend and what was essentially a beginning of its own so I appreciate the titles every once in awhile. In this one, I think we had way too many negative nellies predicting apocalypse that really that’s where our mind went but TPTB meant what they said when they said they’re not interested in separating Chuck and Sarah and they stuck with it. In turn we had an episode that was just fun, fun all around. 43 minutes of pure escapism, and isn’t that what Chuck does best for most of us? Mission accomplished General. In more ways than one 😉

    I do have some nitpicking to do though. I fully admit this is me nitpicking. *Slaps my own wrist* I didn’t much care for Roan’s relationship therapy mode in this one. It was missing something from Seduction…not the teasing, or the needling, but something. For the most part it felt forced to me, especially that last scene where he’s climbing. I can’t explain it but it didn’t hurt the episode so it’s all good. And in some ways the fact that he served as more than that, read: Diane’s love interest, made his role richer. I guess it comes down to what I linked from the Times awhile back…an old friend came to visit and while our heroes have grown the friend remains the same and that’s ok. That’s fun.

    Second grievance…I’ve long since placed emphasis on Chuck’s family now being Sarah’s family. It was disheartening to hear in this episode how she referred to them as his family. Don’t get me wrong, that’s true/fact and obviously she has her own family to worry about – I’m happy that she’s at least developed enough and comfortable enough to interact with them genuinely and in un-spy like situations, progress, if you may. But still, I was saddened that she didn’t see that these people will stand up for her, just as much as they would stand up for Chuck during their step towards a future together. In some ways I see this as a step back from Push mix’s “are you guys family?” “Yes.” But the reason I place this under nitpicking is because I also know and fully acknowledge that without going there, we wouldn’t have…by saying “your family” they’ve opened the door to the delving into her family and her past…which I welcome. Wholeheartedly.

    • thinkling says:

      I definitely agree that the Roan/Dianne love interest was icing on the cake! Roan’s climbing the wall was clearly fake, and the wink was over the top, but the words were good, emphasis on the listen to each other. A lot better than practice no’s and seduction, as hilarious as the dual seduction was. 😀

      I see your second point. I think Sarah has demonstrated that she does consider Chuck’s family her family, and has for a long time, so it didn’t bother me too much. For a unifying event, weddings tend to highlight the your family/my family dynamic. In part, I think the writers were keying into a stereotypical pre-wedding thing, like Honey and Woody, only not nearly as bad. They have a golden opportunity to let the Bartowski’s help Sarah in a genuine, non overwhelming way, in contrast to Devon’s parents “helping” Ellie.

      I think the real issue was more her lack of family. Even if everybody spread out and eliminated the bride’s side/groom’s side thing, a big wedding would highlight the absence of “her” family. It’s not so much that Chuck’s family isn’t her family, too, as it is that she has no family of her own, or none that would be as cohesive and happy as his. And that’s sad, especially at your own wedding. She’s marrying into a family that is so close, and she has nothing to offer from “her side,” a big reminder of her pain. I hope they let the whole “your family” thing die a swift death, and I hope to see Sarah welcoming Ellie’s and Mary’s help in future episodes.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As for the Sarah’s family, I think we’re being set up for Carina as maid of honor or a bridesmaid and Jack Burton walking his girl down the aisle. Aside from that I think the quest for Sarah’s mother (and family) is a bit too much. I’d rather see Jack return than try to crowbar a whole family in.

      • thinkling says:

        Part of me would like it if they found her family, but without a cheery reunion. They could leave it the way it is … resolved to be unresolved. A sad note from her past, more than compensated by the loving Bartowski clan and all the people who genuinely love her. I still see MamaB filling that void some, something I really like. Two women with painful pasts and so much in common helping each other. It has a sweet symmetry about it.

        They could also do a nice-to-catch-up / sorry-I-can-t-make-it-to-the-wedding / have-a-nice-life resolution.

        But it would be nice for Sarah to have some closure, even if it’s not of the happy-ever-after sort.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie, what you suggest is what I’ve long expected. But I do hope we at least learn a little about her background; specifically what became of her mom.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Aside from that I think the quest for Sarah’s mother (and family) is a bit too much. I’d rather see Jack return than try to crowbar a whole family in.

        I agree partially. I think the story of her mom is something that they do intend to do. But I hope it isn’t a major arc. As for siblings – IMHO, that would be too much.

      • Faith says:

        This is my response. 🙂

        Warning: prepare to be heartwarmed!

      • thinkling says:

        Fantastic 🙂

      • Crumby says:

        I think they should concentrate on having Gary Cole back, and if they can have Carina again for the wedding that’d be awesome. That’s two characters we know and love already.

        But at some point, it’s just really weird not to know anything about Mama W. They should just explain why Sarah’s mom is out of the picture briefly. They could still can come back to Mama W in S5, the same way they did with Orion and Frost. Nothing is as it seems. All we used to know about Mary was that she left. It was enough to pose a context without revealing anything.

      • thinkling says:

        I’d be fine with that Crumby. Like Chuck explained his mom to Sarah as early as Sizzling Shrimp, it would be good to know Sarah’s mom’s basic story and how it affected Sarah. But that doesn’t mean they have to find her for the wedding.

        Gary Cole back, yes please. I think Carina too, barring some major debacle in Cat Squad.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I thought the missing element was Roan’s boozy charm and resigned air. Remember in Seduction 1 he was essentially retired and a happily alive drunk coward until Chuck shook him out of his own BuyMore. That initial state at first gave Roan a more devil may care attitude and vibe towards speaking out of turn, as if he were more ammused by it all than anything else. He seemed almost too sincere in Seduction 2, until the end scenes where the real Roan (who still has it) pulled off the second seduction.

      • herder says:

        I kept waiting for him to say “first, we need more gin”.

      • Faith says:

        I think you’ve caught it Ernie. The boozy wisdom is indeed missing.

        I keep having flashes of him with gin saying to Chuck, “rule number one of being a spy, never fall in love”—powerful line and enhanced by that boozy-ness.

  4. Robert H says:

    Why does Chuck have to be “allowed” to live his own life? He doesn’t have to be
    “allowed” to do anything. He is supposed to be a grown man for heaven’s sake and
    he’s going to be “allowed” to live his own life? “Allowed” by whom, Ellie? She doesn’t
    give advice, she issues orders “I made Chuck quit the CIA” and little brother won’t
    confront her, he just lies behind her back. I really don’t know which one is worse. It’s
    a toss up. Is mommy going to “allow” him to live his own life? I find that laughable
    after a 20 year absence. It’s up to him to live his own life rather than have anybody
    “allow” him to. It’s one of many reasons why I don’t really like the Chuck character
    anymore. He won’t really confront someone unless he has to or he tries to get around
    it in an indirect way, lying if necessary. Even his “fights” with Sarah are not the same
    as they were in season’s 1 and 2. He seems to be afraid to confront her too and has to go to Morgan for “advice” that is usually screwed up in execution if he even manages
    to get that far with it. He was not that way with Sarah in seasons 1 and 2 and was not afraid to confront her sharply if necessary. Their fights then were real and they did not
    tiptoe around issues like they do now. It’s simply absurd. His reference to himself as the future Mr. Sarah Walker makes it even worse. She is certainly wearing the pants.
    Maybe he should put on the dress and make it a complete role reversal. Then the show
    could be renamed “Sarah” rather than “Chuck”. Just making a point and to be realistic
    at this stage of the game it’s unlikely to change. Time moves on. Yes I know he “argued” with her in the last episode but once again he couldn’t or wouldn’t make a decision on his own. This time he went to Roan for advice. He just seems to be tentative in almost everything he does, not like the character in seasons 1 and 2. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. By nature I’m not a big fan of change and maybe that’s the root of the dislike I have for the character now, the motivation of the character has
    changed. He went from a guy trying to get out of a life thrust on him that he didn’t want to a guy living a life he isn’t cut out for by nature or training.

    Well like it or not all things evolve and change. It is as it is…..

    • Rick Holy says:

      No, it’s not just you. As much as I LOVE the show, what you’re saying is COMPLETELY valid. I don’t know why, but it seems like they (the writers) still keep Chuck in this kind of “I’m inferior” or “I’m not good enough for her” mode. Even Morgan’s explanation to Sarah about the “stalled” proposal. “You’re a big fish – and to a regular guy with no super-computer inside his head, I have to think that’s pretty intimidating.”

      He’s proposed to her. She’s accepted. She’s stated over and over again that she fell in love with HIM. If this kind of “inferiority complex” thing is maintained, what kind of marriage is it going to make??

      That’s one of the reasons why – and I like how it was Morgan who pointed out to Chuck that he’s never been able to say “NO” to a woman (or something to that effect) that Chuck started saying NO! Just the jaw-dropping reaction on Sarah’s face when he said “No!……… Woman!”

      I harken back to Season 1 when Ellie and Morgan were discussing Chuck’s future – I believe it was actually right in front of Chuck – and Morgan commented that Chuck wasn’t ready for the “real world,” that he was a GELDING – to which Ellie replied, “Do you even know what a gelding is?” Well, in ways to which you refer, Chuck has been made a gelding. And to echo your observations – and to use the words of Casey – he needs to get his “man parts” back!!

      • Excuse Me! says:

        I agree that Chuck lying to Ellie is overdone and it needs to end pretty soon. However people have to realize that Morgan is Chuck’s best friend. He is going to go to talk to his best friend because that is what you do. This is a comedy for petes sake of course he is going to get bad advice. Nobody has ever had a friend who is good in their own relationship but gives the worst relationship advice ever. My friend Kevin gave such bad advice that Morgan advice seem genius in comparison.

        If Morgan gave Chuck great advice and Chuck talked to Sarah about the elopement issue in minute 5 what comedy or story line would you get? You would not get the “no Woman” scene or the dual seductions. People want Chuck to be funny but how they want the characters to act sounds really boring.

        I wish people would stop comparing Chuck and Sarah from season 2. They are in a completely different situation. If you want to watch Chuck and Sarah of season 2 go watch S2 there was plenty of angst in that season.

        So just to be sure we don’t want Chuck talking to Morgan or taking his hilarious advice, we don’t want comedic situations of Chuck and Sarah hashing out relationship issues on missions, we don’t want Chuck to be a push over or neurotic we want him to go from adorkable to Bryce. Chuck and Sarah should only have issues in the presence of their own home. We don’t want the Buy More, Jeffster needs to go.

        So what everybody wants is a drama filmed in Echo Park. Chuck and Sarah can fight in their room and then not talk to each other on missions because they need to get back home to clear the air.

        There are some really good writers on this site but man the demands you put on the writers and the characters could not be tighter. Stop trying to put the show in a box that under the best circumstances no TV writer could make it work.

        I thought this episode was about as perfect as you can get. Yet people still need to gripe about it. I guess Josh was right “We are going to do some things that some people will not like” He said that when he was putting Chuck and Sarah together and I have seen many a complaints how they are handling that. So I guess he was right. Tell the story and stop letting the armchair directors dictate the story line.

        Chuck and Sarah bickering Bring it on, Morgan giving bad advice I am game, Sarah freaking out and withholding the truth from Chuck yup I will watch that too.

        Fedak said it best “this is a spy show of course there are going to be secrets”. Maybe we should all go to the Covert Affairs page and complain that Annie has not told her sister she is a spy” because how dare we lie to our family.

        Chuck season 4 is my favorite season with minimal angst. I will continue to watch while some of you can complain about what the show is not giving you. I will embrace how special and awesome and perfect this show is.

      • atcDave says:

        Seriously, the vast majority of here are having a great time with S4. The level of our nitpicks this season is mostly trivial and we all know it. I believe it’s actually been stated several times that Morgan’s terrible advice was set-up for some good comedy. I think a lot of the discussions we’re having may be very similar to talks they’ve actually had in the writer’s room.

      • jason says:

        me! – I don’t understand what you are trying to say / ask / prove – the people on this site love the show, season 4 is near universally acclaimed as a winner, a keeper, such that the few who may have dissented, have kind of thrown their hands up in frustration or left. Of course we write ad nauseum over the detail and minutia of the show, but that writing is born out of passion. If a blogger is lucky, he or she can find others to correct some flaws in thinking, or might convince one or two of the logic, but either way, they are sure to get engaged in a wonderful discussion.

        You are the second or third newer contributor to throw something like you just wrote out of left field, I wonder why? I don’t know ‘Josh’, but I would have guessed him to be rather amused by this wayward bunch of wanna be pundits. We really and truly are the least of his worries or problems concerning the show, and most of what we asked for and lobbied for in season 3 has come to pass in season 4, I sometimes swear Josh monitors our blog, or maybe even is our own @earniedavis.

        Pull up a chair, pick a topic, throw it out there, and see who you reel in, you might be surprised!

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Excuse you? Ok! Done. You are excused. 🙂 Now back to ‘nitpicking’ err I mean passionate discussion 😉 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Was anyone else here as irked as I was to see in the Chuck/Morgan discussion at Buy More that the store apparently still has a display of older iPod nanos up. Seriously, they were three models out of date! It’s major continuity issues like that that undermine any credibility the show has.

      • Rick Holy says:

        @ Excuse Me. Understand where you’re coming from, but if all we did on this site was say “Great Episode!” “Great Writing!” “Great Story Arcs!”, etc., then there’d really be not much reason for the site to exist. It is a discussion board, after all. Sometimes we’re “Cheerleaders,” and that’s great. Sometimes we voice an opinion of what we’d like to see more of, or less of, or different. But that doesn’t mean we love the show or expect it to be perfect.

        Let’s be honest. As I’ve stated before, CHUCK has declined in viewership every season. Yet WE’RE (including YOU) are still here. We’re loyal, We’re devoted, and we’ve fought – and will continue to fight – for this show to the bitter end.

        Don’t disagree with you that sometimes we can nitpick. But I think that comes with the territory when you’re EXTREMELY passionate about something – even if it IS only a TV show.

        Bottom line, we love the show – and we love to talk about it: the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s kind of like a family. We can disagree amongst each other, but if someone from “the outside” (and believe me, I’ve been on other discussion boards and there are PLENTY of people who would “delight” in CHUCK’s cancellation) attacks “the family,” we defend the family.

        My memory of American History is a little rusty, but I think it was Patrick Henry who said, “My country, right or wrong, my country!” Well, to rip him off (or whoever it was who orignated that statement), “My TV show, right or wrong, My TV show!”

        Appreciate your input – but none of the stuff that any of us writes on this site should ever be taken too seriously. We know we’re just fans – and we’re just having fun expressing our opinions. Even if we’re disappointed about some aspect of the show, you’ll still catch us tuning in on Monday nights – and “talking CHUCK” throughout the rest of the week!

      • Rick Holy says:

        Oops! Should say, “that doesn’t mean that we DON’T love the show….. 😉

      • joe says:

        Excuse Me!? Is it possible we’ve had a visit from The Real Vickie Guerrero??? (Also, see here.)

        Oh my!

        Okay, now that I’ve outed myself as a WWE fan, hi! Welcome to the discussion.

        You do make a good point, and of course it’s true that we have to let the writers, cast and crew tell the story. I’ll go beyond that and say that I blanch at the idea of running off with our own.

        But to one extent or other, we all do it, and for some pretty good reasons too. The story has, from the first, been something with which we identify. It’s been in large part about us as much as it’s been *for* us. To be blunt, it’s our story.

        It’s hard not to feel possessive about it – it’s a very human thing to do. It’s why we care.

        It used to be that I saw a lot of cheap shots being taken, both at other fans at at TPTB. That was a long time ago, now, and those who took those cheap shots are mostly gone. Those who remain have stuck with the show through parts that they didn’t like (or parts that didn’t speak to them) and often found it worth their time. For that, I’m really glad.

        Now what I really hope to see every day is a willingness to recognize the good stuff in every episode – even in the depths of S3. It’s what I try to point out every week. Good news – I see that here, too, in these comments.

        Sometimes it overflows!

    • rac2873 says:

      I agree AtcDave all in good fun,

      That being said, my biggest gripe about fans, podcasters etc is that they are constantly complaining about Chuck and Sarah fighting or bickering on missions. Well they are spies they are almost always on a mission. Where else are they going to hash it out? At home. What fun is that? People need to remember that Chuck and Sarah live and work together. They are at work more than home. Just by that situation alone you are going to have issues. I love the way they are handling Chuck and Sarah and I had a gripe about the 800lb gorilla of the proposal but now that they are engaged I have nothing to complain about. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 🙂

      • jason says:

        rac – yep – I put FNL’s to bed this week, very sad, the last few weeks, all the fan bickering kind of ended, and a collective ‘Oh Crap’ kind of came across everyone as the realization hit things are over, no more this, that or the other thing to nitpick …. Chuck may be only 10 eps away from its oh crap moment too, so you hit it on the head, enjoy …. eps like 4×13 and 4×14 sure makes that enjoyment come easy for me at least!

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. I also love that they can take pot shots at each other about it like Sarah saying talking about personal stuff was “very unprofessional” on a mission. That was hilarious as it is what makes it great. The fight scene in First Fight was a classic and simply perfect. The bad guys were secondary as the fight between them was more exhausting to Sarah than fighting the bigger men.

        This is by far my favorite season and if I rate the episodes there have been

        2 10s Phase Three and Push Mix
        2 9s First Fight and Balcony
        4 8s Suitcase, Coup d’etat, Seduction and Gobbler

        and the rest are 7s. I’d like to see any other season stand up to that in the first 14. Season 3 had 1 ten in the first 14, Honeymooners and nothing higher than maybe a 7 for Three Words, Other Guy and Beard. It also has a zero and a 1 with a lot of 4s and 5s.

        So it is clear that any issues are very minor this season and we still have 10 more episodes!!

      • Crumby says:

        I miss FNL already! What a great married couple facing life together. And we got our shipper moment in front of the Alamo Freeze! 😉

        It’s funny because FNL had its misery arc too. It recovered though and gave 3 more great seasons after that.

      • jason says:

        crumby – chuck and sarah need to provide our show the anchor that coach and tammy did in FNL’s, everything revolved around them, actually, we are starting to see those types of adult discussions & issues for CS in s4!

        As for the shipper moment, I would not mind seeing morgan struggle just a bit with his alex romance, the fact that casey is around, as scary as coach was for matt and julie, and julie and her LI, casey would take that to a whole new level. Plus, is there any couple on tv more boring than alex and morgan, a little spice would relieve schwartz’s need to do a LI?

        Finally, s2 of FNL’s vs s3 of Chuck, now that FNL’s is over, Katims has done several interviews about the entire show, s2 is almost always discussed, one I read said s2 was his biggest disappointment, that he told what he thought was a great story, and the fans rejected it or something like that.

        I think in the big scheme of things, season 3 of chuck was no more or no less than that, a story got told that the fans did not accept. Lets hope chuck gets 3 more seasons to prove itself, I liked s3,4,5 of FNL’s the most, I see no reason chuck fans won’t someday so the same things about chuck s4,5,6.

      • thinkling says:

        I’m sorry. FNL?

      • Crumby says:

        Friday Night Lights

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks Crumby. Sorry, I’ve never heard of it. Guess I’ll have to look it up.

      • Crumby says:

        Amazing show. I can only recommend it. A very unique drama. Watch the Pilot, it’s one of the best Pilot I’ve ever seen I think.

  5. Tamara Burks says:

    A few things.

    That veil Mary offered, exactly where would she have hidden it? In the house over Orion’s lair because that blew up. Unless Ellie has it or Mama B has one heck of a long term storage locker somewhere then I think it would be impossible to find.

    The reason Chuck told Devon to not listen to Morgan is that at the time Morgan still wanted Ellie. Morgan has since realized that he loves Ellie like a sister (who he’d like to have sex with ) and he’s now solidly with Alex. Morgan was actively sabotaging Devon when he gave him advice. He however has no interest in Sarah for himself and he’s made his peace with his Chuck having Sarah in his life , so no sabotage there.

    I think Casey will have to find closure with Kathleen if he wants to continue to be in his daughters life. They’l cross paths sooner or later because of her.

    And speaking of Casey, how does he getting into walls? He’s not tiny enough to squeeze through a normal sized vent (like Morgan or Alex would be) be he makes a habit of being in walls.

    And just have all the attendees spread out instead of being the bride or grooms side. Chuck family and friends include Sarah. The Buy More employees came to Ellie’s weddings even though they are really Chuck’s friends rather than hers, it’s just that they considered her part of the extended family and Sarah is also part of that.

    • thinkling says:

      I’m not too worried about where the veil was. As plot holes go, it’s just a pinhole. She had a safe house, a Mustang in storage, and a veil … somewhere. It’s kind of a throw-away line that’s not worth spending any more screen time explaining … a good issue for fan fiction.

      I never thought of Morgan’s advice to Devon as sabotage, but maybe that’s just me. By then Ellie and Devon were engaged, and Morgan was dating Anna. I always thought it was that Morgan’s Ellie Intersect was in need of a serious upgrade; that he gave Devon advice based on the high school Ellie he once had a crush on. In Seduction, Chuck and Sarah also made fun of Morgan with regards to dating, that as odd as their relationship was, it wasn’t the strangest, because Morgan was still dating.

      I agree that at some future time, it would be good for Alex to tell her mom about her dad. I doubt it will be this season. Since people don’t always do what they should (or what we think they should), it may never happen. Tragic. As for TPTB’s intentions, I think this episode was meant to indefinitely postponed that resolution. Or they could surprise us late in the season. You never know.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Morgan is just that clueless. He isn’t artful enough to really be deceptive in his goals; he even told Chuck his agenda for Chuck’s wedding was to be best man. So shame on Chuck for paying him any heed at all.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Dave –

        Shame on Chuck. Sure, that’s okay. But is it his fault that he is suddenly written totally clueless on relationships just so as to accommodate a Morgan scene or two. I miss the Ellie/Chuck conversations on Sarah.

        I also agree with Jason. Team B is best when the three biggies (Casey, Chuck and Sarah) are working together sans Morgan. Throwing in Morgan on dangerous missions(him going with Chuck on to the Contessa) is just plain unbelievable. I would rather see him sitting in the Castle and helping out with info and intel.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all that Genie. I’d be happy to see a little less Morgan; and Ellie reclaim her place as Chuck’s council on family/relationship issues. But for now, Ellie has taken herself out of the loop, that needs to change first.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree Alladins and Dave. Get Ellie back.

      • jason says:

        I was a sarah lancaster fan b4 chuck, I thought she was brilliant in everwood, as a very unwelcome (by the fan base) LI to the young male star, I miss her and chuck too. But, good news, chuck’s writers do tend to telegraph their punches, the ellie – mary scene was warming us up for eillie finding out about chuck, I half expected mama B to simply tell her there, but this will be a great opportunity for mama B to roll up her parenting sleeves for old times sakes.

  6. Tamara Burks says:

    And if Ellie is softening towards the idea of Chuck being a spy , it might have to do with the combination of her having her own child to mother and Mama B returning to the fold (indicating to Ellie’s subconcious that her job as Chuck substitute mother is over and she can return him to his original mother).

    • thinkling says:

      I think that could easily be part of the mix, Tamara, especially with Mary there to help her see it … to relieve her of a burden she no longer needs to carry. We could even get a reverse “that’s my job” conversation.

  7. Verkan_Vall says:

    @Thinkling:

    I refuse to use the word ditto on this site anymore. I agree with your writeup and it hit the main points of this episode right on the money. Great escapist fare indeed.

    And why didn’t they let Yvonne do comedy more and sooner?

    More please?

  8. jason says:

    thx think –

    I like faith loved the episode, but unlike faith, I just have one quibble, the Mr Sarah Walker thing didn’t do it for me – when I tried (and like many of you, I sincerely tried and tried and tried) to come to grips with the misery arc, my rationale was always somewhere along the line that chuck had to man up without sarah holding his hand. That was the purpose of the misery arc, chuck had to become Cole’s equal. Ever since then, chuck has been on a downward spiral in terms of testosterone floating around in his veins (although granted there is a possibility that massive qty’s are being removed – LOL).

    Anyhow, Mr Sarah Walker was not a title Cole was ever going to be up for, maybe Bryce, I don’t know, that line just fell flat for me. Don’t really care about the line, more that Fedak and Newman view the CS relationship that way?

    A ? for you, is discomfort with that line more a guy thing (I noticed Robert H mentioned it too), do the ladies on this site have less issue with it?

    • thinkling says:

      Here’s my take on Mr. Sarah Walker.

      First, I don’t care for the humor leveled at Chuck’s masculinity, like Morgan’s “soft feminine hands — must be Chuck” (paraphrasing). So, I was more offended by the “two women and a large man” remark. Other people thought it was hilarious. No big deal, just not my cup of humor, like the ball and chain bit.

      So, Mr. Sarah Walker. It takes a secure man to apply that title to himself. If for no other reason, I didn’t see it as an affront to his masculinity. He has no issues with Sarah’s superior fighting skills. In fact he’s proud of them. That would be Sarah and her fists … Does she have and Intersect, too? No dad, that’s all her. Just like Sarah appreciates his intelligence and gentleness and has continually defended his charm and qualities to other people (GB, Lou, Roan, Jill, her dad).

      The other thing I see is the context. I don’t think Chuck would say the same thing any place else. That would bother me … a lot. It would be demeaning to Chuck and an insult to Sarah, as well. But in this situation, I think it was rather brilliant. It made her smile, for one thing. It’s one of the ways he puts her at ease. He wants to encourage her to open up, for her sake, not his.

      They both know that their relationship has progressed to a unique level of intimacy, to the point of marriage. Sarah has in Chuck what she has never had with anyone else. They both know that the trust is there. She just needs the courage. So, he reminds her of all of that, in a safe and humorous way. He’s not demanding. Had he referred to her as the future Mrs. Chuck Bartowski that would have smacked of possession … like he deserved some answers, and she’d better spill it, now … woman! But that’s not his position. She doesn’t owe him. He’s not collecting a debt. He’s offering himself and all his love to face her past and her family and deal with her pain together. It was received as it was offered and had the desired effect. She will open herself up to him, but she still dreads it a little.

      To sum up: Affronts to Chuck’s masculinity bother me. Mr. Sarah Walker in other circumstances would hit me wrong. But in this context I thought it really worked. It was charming Chuck wrapping her in all of his love and giving her his strength, without cornering her. Brilliant.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        @Thinkling – Nice write up. I am very late getting on this thread – still recovering from the massive usage of brain bleach while navigating the latest S3 discussion on the previous thread. 😉

        Had he referred to her as the future Mrs. Chuck Bartowski that would have smacked of possession … like he deserved some answers, and she’d better spill it, now … woman! But that’s not his position. She doesn’t owe him. He’s not collecting a debt. He’s offering himself and all his love to face her past and her family and deal with her pain together.

        Very nicely put. And I thought that it was a very gentle way of encouraging her to open up more about herself.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Alladins, I thought it was quintessential charming, loving Chuck.

    • atcDave says:

      I actually thought the “future Mr. Sarah Walker” line was sweet, I liked it. Sarah had just been voicing her insecurities about having no family identity to speak of; so Chuck was acknowledging that in the professional world she is the one who has an identity.
      I know my wife and I have different sets of friends based on jobs and even our involvement in different church activities; I have no problem with the idea sometimes, I’m just Jodie’s husband. Other times, she’s better known as my wife. Varies with the crowd and function.

    • Faith says:

      I don’t know if this is a gender thing but I’ll try to explain what I see anyway. I’m going to borrow heavily from Herder’s post and my and Ernie’s details piece: the genius of this season is the callbacks, subtle and overt.

      “Mr. Sarah Walker” was a callback line to seduction (I) itself. During the mish, inside the van…
      Roan said: “A woman wants a man to control. Even though she won’t say it, she wants to be rescued,” at which
      Sarah replied: “Actually, that’s not true Chuck. Some women prefer a man that can take a backseat.”
      Roan: I’m not talking about you darling, I’m talking about the Black widow.
      Sarah: So am I.. Maybe he doesn’t need to try and pretend to be someone else. I promise you Chuck Bartowski, on his own, can seduce this woman.

      So the Mr. Sarah Walker isn’t just done as a throw-away line, it’s a line to bring us full circle. See Chuck is Sarah’s guy. He’s Chuck Bartowski and he does that all on his own. He’s the guy that can willingly take a back seat when needed, the guy that would lead admirably when necessary and he’s funny and charming to boot. I always have these little epiphanies when I rewatch Chuck of, “that’s why Sarah loves him.” We know why Chuck loves Sarah, I think we’re more conscious of that but the Chuck parts are equally lovely: he makes her laugh, he cares about her, he’s intelligent, he’s brave, he’s heroic, he’s caring (period), and he’s real. To quote Sarah, “I think it’s safe to say Chuck that I’ve never seen anyone quite like you.” (BTW that line, also from Seduction (I)).

      So no, no discomfort on my part :).

  9. armysfc says:

    thinkling, great write up and comments. i said in instant reactions i loved this episode. i have a couple small quibbles and a big one. the big one, same as you. chuck going to morgan for advice, or in this case listening to him. it has played itself out and its time for the writers to come up with something new.

    small quibbles, sarah still not getting her own demands of, no more secrets no more lies, from the first episode. she keeps doing it over and over. like chuck not telling his sister he is a spy, its time for her to step up and follow her own words. when she wanted to elope she should just told him why and not tried to make him see her way. ellie still being naive and thinking she can run chucks life like she owns him.

    • thinkling says:

      I see the NSNL thing a little differently; maybe I’m too soft. For instance, if Sarah had gone on the undercover mission and hidden it or lied about it, that would have been a gross violation of their rule. But she didn’t. I cut her, and Chuck, a little slack in the emotional mine field area, an area he has given her slack, too. The good part is that she came clean pretty easily when they actually began to listen to each other, and she berated herself for not telling him to start with. I’d say that’s pretty good for Sarah in the feelings department.

      I’m past tired of the Ellie thing, but I was glad to see her acknowledge that it might have been a bad decision on her part.

      People don’t turn on a dime, so I’m happy with growth, and I think we got it in both Sarah and Ellie.

    • armysfc says:

      thinkling, nah i don’t think its you being to soft. i think its another case of not wanting to put the blame on sarah. she did go on the under cover mission ad hid the reason why. unless i am wrong she has never said to chuck, i went to beckman and said i would do anything to bring volkoff down. in the cell she said beckman has a plan, im the only one… but never does she say i told her i would do anything. if i missed the part where she comes clean to chuck about her planting the seed in beckmans mind, let me know where so i can rewatch and see it for myself. then i may give her some slack.

      • thinkling says:

        I see your beef, Army. I just don’t see it as as big a breech of the agreement. She disclosed a lot, and the specific plan was not hers. I think the whole plan and the way it came about blind-sided her, in spite of her offer. She accepted the mission, the details of which, were not her idea at all and were clearly very painful to her. However, I do see your point, even if I don’t really agree with it.

      • Crumby says:

        They definitely should be more careful about that NSNL rule. I don’t think they intended for Sarah to break the rule, but by not making it clear, the doubts are there. And they should have dealt with the end of AOT.

      • patty says:

        I thought that Sarah expected to be briefed on the mission at a meeting in Castle and that Chuck would be included in that. It seemed to me that Beckman came up with the plan and blindsided Sarah with it leaving both Sarah and Chuck with no real choice.

      • jason says:

        I think NSNL was more a pact between the writers and the fans, one that stated, we no longer are going to generate angst between chuck and sarah thru the use of secrets and lies, if you want to look hard enough and project enough, any time one does not say exactly what one thinks can constitute a secret, neither C nor S nor really anyone can pass that test – can they?

      • atcDave says:

        Great point Jason. Expecting mere mortals to follow such a comprehensive rule is probably unreasonable. The best one can expect is a good faith effort, and I’m completely satisfied we’ve seen it from both characters.
        Nitpicking is legalism that can only lead to frustration.

      • Faith says:

        *takes offense!*

        Agh?! I said I was nitpicking, what more do you want from me?!

        Just kidding guys. Yeah I agree if you’re looking for something, you’ll find it. Simple as that. For the most part I think they’ve been really good with maintaining the NSNL rule. Even though it might not be the default mode, both do a very good job changing old habits to suit new priorities. Like Jason said, same can be said for the writers…though it’s not really old habits since these guys are new and if I may say so tend to take the same viewpoint that we do regarding Chuck, the show.

        Side note: I recently watched an episode of That 70s Show and saw Kristin Newman’s name on the credits. One of the funniest episodes too, we’re blessed. Love her.

      • jason says:

        faith – donna was the original ‘giant red headed she male’, and if eric was not the first nerd who got the hot girl who could beat the crud out of him, he sure was an early entry in the contest

      • thinkling says:

        I think so too, Patty. I think she was totally blind sided. Even YS said as much in an interview. It all happened really fast, too.

      • Faith says:

        Jason, talk about your Mr. Donna Pinciotti. 😀

    • Crumby says:

      Small quibbles, sarah still not getting her own demands of, no more secrets no more lies, from the first episode. she keeps doing it over and over.

      “Practice No” isn’t exactly honesty either. Sarah wasn’t trying to hide a big secret from Chuck. She didn’t tell him the issue she had with the big wedding because it’s a painful subject. And she apologized for it.

      • atcDave says:

        Agreed Crumby. Not only that, I’d say Sarah was behaving more like most rational adults I know than Chuck was. Not to make too big a thing of it, after all it was quite funny.

  10. herder says:

    With the Casey seduction (impossible?) one thing that I thought while watching it is that this is the exact opposite to Leathal Weapon. In Leathal Weapon, Casey sees Chuck with a gun and says “Bartowski’s got a gun, we’re all dead”, this time Chuck hears that Casey is going to seduce a woman and concludes that all is lost. I like the way the writers this year pick notes from other years and pay hommage to some of the better bits.

    That and Casey’s seduction line”…it’s cold down here, but you can take it, you’re a healthy girl, I can see why they didn’t send one of those skinny ones…” what a smooth talker.

  11. Josh says:

    The Mr Sarah Walker was a joke that made her laugh…that was it…. and it just reminds us that although he masterminded volkoff’s downfall last week and has been the key reason why the ring and fulcrum have gone down…..he still remains chuck, a guy who does not have a super huge ego that makes people like Bryce, Cole and Shaw undesirable to us, we rather root for chuck.

    • sd says:

      I agree, Josh!

      I frankly don’t understand why I’ve seen blowback on the “Mr. Sarah Walker” comment. I took it as a gentle joke designed to soften the very real familial issues at hand.

    • herder says:

      I’ll also say that it reinforces one of the best things about the relationship, they both feel that they are the lucky one and they both feel that they are getting more from the relationship than they are giving.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, I love that aspect, Herder. Sweet.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Herder – True dat. That feeling of the one being lucky to have the other is what makes this relationship special. They are not taking each other for granted but kind of see each other as a blessing.

    • atcDave says:

      Josh and Herder, good comments both!

    • uplink2 says:

      It brings back the line about I have to try and win her over again and again ……. and again.

  12. Josh says:

    You know also this proves that you can just never satisfy fans…..I remember last year on the internet people were saying:

    1) Chuck is too good looking now
    2) He wears too many nice clothes
    3) He is too sexy
    4) He is too bad
    5) He is too awesome!

    Now that chuck has mellowed a little and fans are the complete opposite. You know I speak to people who watch this in the real world and no one ever complains about stuff like this, only on the internet!

  13. jason says:

    @think – one other loving reunion – chuck, sarah, and casey, the mission felt much more like a season 1 or 2 mission, with casey, sarah and chuck more back to their familiar roles. The collective we need a mission, the jumping at the mission as beckman proposed, the subtle knowingness that casey and sarah shared about roan and beck’s, with chuck’s cluelessness, the role reversal of chuck mistakenly placing his hand on casey where it didn’t belong in the changing tent.

    When Morgan is around, all that goes away, on missions, morgan kind of becomes the 800 lb gorilla, he has stolen chuck in some missions, casey in some, and even some of sarah’s best work this season has been with morgan. It was nice to see the old team at work, and I think contributed to some of the ‘feeling’ this episode emoted.

    @josh – do you think fans are over-reacting to the chuck – sarah role reversal this season to the point it bothers you? I am mostly a sarah fan, so I honestly don’t care that much about much about chuck as long as sarah is written well, strong, faithful, loyal, and honest. But I think at most, it is a minor complaint, kind of like jeffster is to some fans. I also think chuck’s toned down status, is completely due to TPTB trying to return to more of the s1/s2 show, which big picture wise was a great move. But Mr Sarah Walker, just fell flat for me, I find your interpretation of a ‘joke’ to be a good one, as jokes can fall flat for some, and work for others.

    • thinkling says:

      Ohh, me, too, Jason. I loved the threesome back together. All those things you mentioned really hit my sweet spot.

      Sarah has had great work with Morgan this season, no doubt. Her brilliance in scenes with him has actually helped him be a better character and less annoying. But the season is brimming with Sarah’s best work, so I don’t think the bearded wonder steels anything from her. In the massive wonderful work of Sarah Walker, he doesn’t detract. I’ve actually enjoyed their scenes. I also have enjoyed him and Casey together, but I’d jump at the chance for the old team together more often. This one was great, too, b/c GB was quarterbacking a rogue mission to lasso her man. Well, the second part was legit, b/c of the mint, but the first mission was all rogue. So hilarious.

      • jason says:

        think – great comment about the mr sarah walker thing, one reason to post here, is others may see things more clearly than I will …

        the point about morgan isn’t that morgan and sarah weren’t great, it is simply sarah realizing chuck wants to propose or that chuck thinks she is a big fish, etc would also be great chuck / sarah scenes, and that on missions of 4, morgan forces the 2 plus 2 pairings that used to be 3 man teams – hence he is the 800 lb gorilla & contrastingly, that was nice about 4×14, the gorilla was in his cage for the most part allowing the team I fell in love with to go on a mission together, their humor is very different without morgan there.

        I think most fans now love morgan as he is being written as sympathetically as a character could be short of walking on water, but if honestly asked by fedak, most would say he is over written & over used this season.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Jason – I am one of those who think that there has been a Morgan overkill this season. IMO, he is best when used in light doses just a little bit more than Jeffster but not by much.

      • thinkling says:

        Well, you’re right about that, Jason. Those would be awesome Chuck and Sarah moments. I hadn’t thought about that way. Maybe going forward they’ll learn to cut out the middle man.

        that was nice about 4×14, the gorilla was in his cage for the most part allowing the team I fell in love with to go on a mission together, their humor is very different without morgan there.

        I agree with that. And that a slight dial back on Morgan would be nice, or at least a balance like they had this episode.

      • Judy says:

        I think there was just the right amount of Morgan in this episode. For the most part, I prefer it when Morgan stays in Burbank and helps the real (3 person) Team Bartowski from afar. One of the reasons this episode felt like Season 1 and 2 is that the mission had no 4th (Shaw, Morgan).

        I don’t agree with the criticism of Morgan’s advice to Chuck. He and Chuck were on the same page from the start. Telling Chuck to try to say no wasn’t terrible advice, and I thought Chuck’s practice no’s were very funny.

      • armySFC says:

        judy its not so much the no’s that bothers me, it the part before it. remember after chuck says “its what sarah wants”, morgan says “sarah getting what she wants, and me getting what i want is not necessarily compromise.” at that point it becomes self centered advice from morgan so he gets what he wants. that’s why i have the issue with it.

      • atcDave says:

        seriously Judy? You don’t see an issue with saying no to someone just because you think you don’t do it often enough? Or because you’re practicing for something else? It strikes me as grossly manipulative.
        Again, it was funny, I don’t want to make too big a thing of it. But Morgan’s advice was terrible for any relationship.

  14. joanna says:

    Good considerations thinkling.

    I enjoyed it from start to finish, wonderful episode. But nothing was more gratifying than the subtlety of the final minute. I got a silly grin on his face. It was so captivating. Wow, Sarah Walker is a box of surprises, and I thought that his emotional openness could no longer surprising. Glad I was wrong. I watched several times the end trying to recognize the expressions of Sarah in some previous episode, but … nothing, it was all new. The position on the bed, the expressions, forthright conversation. A place where only Mr. Sarah Walker can visit.

    I think she does not want another 30 minutes before bedtime. I have not felt Sarah living in that house, until this episode, I think that was the feeling of comfort that only a home can give.

    Even with Chuck and Sarah, for me the episode walked miles in the development of Sarah, the first she was very happy around the little Clara, after she took the initiative to propose an option as good as a big wedding, she pushed through the belly as usual, and said an emphatic no, somehow, in flight, short or no family, she was planning her wedding. Then, for the first time I see Sarah as an equal fight with Chuck for what she wanted. And then finally, I remembered cubic Z, when Sarah was fighting with Casey to work through their problems. Delorean and pumas, she did the same thing, the punching bag. But now it goes the other way, she talks to Chuck. Funny, is that I had the feeling that she was preparing to go into a difficult fight, she was afraid, and his coach Chuck was there giving strength, some instructions before it enters the ring. The fight was still there, but the punching bag was replaced by the future Mr. Walker.

    One more thing, I think this line … Mr. Walker, was used as entertainment, as articulated idiot (DeLorean) , but both also have a dramatic direction he wanted to make her comfortable. And Sarah seems to enjoy being in control. He wanted to give this false illusion to it.

    • thinkling says:

      Great to see you back, Joanna. I love your take on the last scene. It was just a whole new experience and 9 shades of wonderful. Sarah’s face was indeed full of new expression. Maybe b/c this is the first time she is touching those emotions. It was a new level of amazing in Yvonne’s ever-amazing faces. A place where only Mr. Sarah Walker can visit … I love that. It’s also the only place where Mr. Sarah Walker will visit.

      I agree about Sarah’s growth, too. Just a great episode. So full of great relationship things to be so light in tone.

      • Joanna says:

        Thanks thinkling,

        One more thing, very nice parallels between the couples Diane / Roan, Chuck / Sarah. The unprofessional conduct of the couples was very funny. The seduction works for one because it is a novel, but for the second, Chuck / Sarah is love, seduction trick is to love. But somehow the four at the end if they help and they understand each in its own way. Roan and Diane will eventually end in a bed in a hotel room. Chuck and Sarah end up in a bed in his room in their house.

      • thinkling says:

        Parallels but miles apart. Interesting. Especially, as you mention, the unprofessional conduct of both couples. Really funny to see Beckman in Sarah’s shoes.

        It made me think of Roan’s words to Sarah before when he observed that she had “real, non-spy” feelings for him.

        I guess you could say that in this story, Chuck and Sarah are the real, non-spy version of Roan and Dianne. Even though Chuck and Sarah are spies, they have a real non-spy love and real life as well. The episode shows some parallels to be sure (Dianne rescuing her Roan), but also demonstrates the wealth and depth of the real relationship in contrast to the fake one.

    • jason says:

      isn’t that mr sarah walker line what used to make the show chuck great, a simple line, throw in a great setting, and the A team’s (chuck and sarah) chemistry, the episode / story leaves us with so many interpretations and possibilities for the upcoming episodes …..

  15. Rick Holy says:

    To directly address the write up for this thread – THAT’S WHY WHEN THIS SHOW IS GONE I’M GOING TO MISS IT SO MUCH! Not just for the characters that I’ve fallen in love with, but because the show packs so much into it – it truly is unlike any other show on TV. That’s one of the reasons why as strongly as I’m supporting the Emmy4Yvonne campaign, I would be shocked if she would get nominated – because based on the genre of the show, what category do you nominate her in? Drama? Comedy? The show doesn’t “fit” either category because it’s both – and more.

    It aint perfect – nothing is – but it’s the only thing that I actually look forward to watching and “plan” my TV watching around. Anything else I watch is just when I happen to be in front of the TV and happen to “stop” on it while channel surfing.

  16. uplink2 says:

    Great write up Think. I agree with the majority certainly. I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet but I wanted to focus on one paragraph of your in particular.

    She is his Sarah Walker, the most mysterious woman in the world. Now he finally asks what he hasn’t asked for two years, to get to know her better. He’s more than earned it, after all he is the future Mr. Sarah Walker. But that’s not why he’s asking. He is asking now for the same reason he didn’t ask before. It’s what Sarah needs. His love is still unconditional. It is still her safe place. Safe enough to open her past and let go of the pain.

    This was possibly my favorite moment of the episode, I’m always a sucker for these scenes. I agree with you completely that this is the exact same Chuck that passed on the question in Cougars. He isn’t demanding it or expecting it but just doing it for the same reason he didn’t ask last time. He knows who she is (has become) and just as he knew back then that by passing on it would make her feel safe with him, so does it now. He is telling her that he is there to help her with her pain, to carry if for her and for her to know that no matter what he will always love her completely. He encourages her and supports her unconditionally. But he doesn’t ask her other than to say what she needs to hear. In her heart she knows its true and real and that his only motive is his love for her. I have no issue with the Mr. Sarah Walker line at all. I find it very endearing as if to say I am part of your world too. I think it is an expression of strength, confidence and love that he is her partner in life and all that means. Beautiful moment.

    • thinkling says:

      *sigh* yeah. I love the last scene, too.

      I find it very endearing as if to say I am part of your world too. Exactly, well put.

      Every time they do one of these bedroom scenes (Suitcase, Coup) I think it can’t get any better, and it always does.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree entirely with both of you.

      • thinkling says:

        You know Chuck does intimate, practically fully clothed, better than most shows do it with a lot more skin. Not to be crude or anything, but it’s amazing. The scenes are tight and well written, but mostly I think it’s Zach and Yvonne.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Thinkling. They manage to be believable and sweet together. Smallville by comparison is far racier, and yet Clark and Lois seem to have far less chemistry.

      • Faith says:

        *huff*

        Smallville has loads of chemistry…sometimes I wish Chuck would go there ;). I could use a gratuitous steamy scene here and there haha.

        In all seriousness though while I agree and I think Feeling Good is the best illustration of that, I sometimes wish they would go for more traditional and revealing (not literally) forms of intimacy. For example, more Gobbler Castle kiss please. Balance.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Ah! PDA Discussion FTW!! I love these discussions and no I am not sick. 🙂 Totally agree with Faith. We need some or should I dare say (without the fear of being nitpicked on my nitpickingness) we are entitled to some steamy scenes now and then. As Faith says balance between sweet and hot is the key.

      • thinkling says:

        I started to qualify my intimacy remarks, but I knew someone would bring up the steam. 😉

        I would appreciate the more passionate kiss now and again, too. But I love the Chuck and Sarah intimacy like that last scene, and it is un paralleled, as far as I know.

        Take Bones, for instance, a lot more steam and a lot more skin, but nowhere near the intimacy. Just my opinion.

        Sorry, Faith, I like Clark and Lois, but I don’t think they have the same sweet intimacy as Chuck and Sarah, even though they are, as Dave said, racier. But I do really like them. 😀

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Thinkling

        I don’t think anyone is disputing the sweet intimacy of C/S. I believe what Faith was getting at was there should be a balance between sweet intimacy and hot intimacy. Too much sweetness slightly causes an imbalance. Even it out by some spicy scenes. 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean one to the exclusion of the other. I’ve always said I’d like a little more steam. Colonel, Seduction, the Gobbler reunion … all good. Phase 3 minus Lester. 😉

        My main observation is just that this particular element of intimacy seems to be a Chuck exclusive, and in many cases is more intimate than the more traditionally intimate scenes.

      • Faith says:

        The really interesting is we’re all talking about the same things, and yet different things at the same time. I’ll explain.

        There’s something called emotional intimacy. That is something in my opinion is unparalleled in Chuck. There’s no other show in television that communicates, conveys and warms through emotional intimacy. Contrast the scene in Best Friend for example with most other forms of intimacy that you see including but not limited to when couples on other TV shows tell each other they love each other. There’s really no comparison. Which is amazing on its own.

        But there’s also physical intimacy and this is where in my opinion Chuck has fallen on the wayside more often than not. I appreciate that Chuck is a family show, I’m not saying they have to have soft core well you know…but something far steamier would make the relationship more real to me, more intimate and more believable. This is where (Alladins is correct) I made the distinction of balance. I love the hand hold, the pecks, the hugs, but every once inawhile I want this:

        The argument has always been, they’re together now, they don’t have nearly as much sexual tension as before. Valid, but also bull. This shows me that there can still be passion in there and that is what I want to see:

        Then there’s chemistry. Chemistry can lead to steam but it doesn’t always convey intimacy. Clark and Lois have some major chemistry (*fans self*),
        supergirl
        so does Bones and Booth (and they never touch!), Chuck and Sarah. This is where I have to go back to you can’t really compare one to another, different chemistry for different couples. Some hotter than others admittedly but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

      • Faith says:

        Feel free to nitpick my need for visual aids 😉 lol.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree with all that.

        I love the hand hold, the pecks, the hugs, but every once inawhile I want this: … … This shows me that there can still be passion in there and that is what I want to see:

        Me, too. Me, too.

        The argument has always been, they’re together now, they don’t have nearly as much sexual tension as before. Valid, but also bull.

        Pure bull!

        And I love your visual aids.

        No nitpicking on my end.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith – Here’s my nitpick 🙂

        How dare you not use the kiss from Salami? It would have added more weight to your argument and at the same time delight our eyes too. Don’t you want to pander to the fans’ wishes? Or do you believe in the policy of giving us what we need and not what we want? 😉 😀

      • Crumby says:

        Colonel was definitely the Steamy High of the show, and we could use one scene like this again.

      • jason says:

        ok – just one thing, well maybe two, first, near all the time, they are on chuck’s side of the bed, I am not an expert, but based on my field experience, that is a good thin. That leads me to my main point, when in bed, usually, they both have a very satisified, and somewhat spent look to them, just saying, I still think 1 plus 1 equals 2 … and, not to nitpick or be accused of being ‘nitpickerishy’, but a 3rd thing, belly dancing, and to embellish point #2, I still think there is a 30 minute gap in suitcase, which if ever sold on CD, would fund probably season 5 and 6 and 7

      • Faith says:

        LMAO. Technically I could have used the trunk scene in Salami instead…talk about steam! 😉

        Though to be fair, that’s really more UST (unresolved sexual tension), the colonel one is really more intimate, hence illustration. Haha, if I wasn’t a chuckaholic…I’d need therapy ;). Ok, maybe I do anyway ;).

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Jason – We all understand the 1+1 =2 action going behind the scene, but sometimes we need visual aids to better appreciate the addition, multiplication, division and subtraction. 🙂 Now I hope nobody accuses us of being nitpicky about the lack of steamy scenes. 😉

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith – No need for therapy. I thought your gifs were therapeutic enough. 🙂

      • Faith says:

        “they both have a very satisified, and somewhat spent look to them, just saying…”

        I have no imagination so…I need visual aids ;). JK.

        “I still think there is a 30 minute gap in suitcase, which if ever sold on CD, would fund probably season 5 and 6 and 7”

        LMAO.

        Waiting for Ernie to say 45 minutes to hours ;)…

        But seriously though ok, I’ll buy that. Doesn’t mean I don’t second Crumby in that we could use more on the show :).

      • Crumby says:

        I’m really okay with how the show is about those scenes.

        I just think we could use ONE scene, because I think that sucks the more “action” we got on screen was with Jill… It didn’t have the emotional component that any CS scene has, but still. I want Chuck & Sarah to have that moment.

        Then it can go back to how it has been since CS got together. It’s been great.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Um…I was going to say something, but this whole STEAM thing has pretty much erased it…oh, bugger it.

        Two things: is it just me, or does Yvonne have a:

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Sorry about that, does anyone else think that Yvonne has a

        – gorgeous back
        – beautiful eyelids.

        and those visual aids are INCREDIBLY distracting.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree about the Jill thing, Crumby.

    • Crumby says:

      I find it very endearing as if to say I am part of your world too.

      Yeah, and Sarah is integrated completely in Chuck’s family. It’s time for Chuck to be integrated in the Walker family.

      Maybe it bothered people because the role reversal was very present in that episode. Chuck is the one overpacking, he’s the one that want a big family wedding and that has wanted it all his life (do you think he used to practice in front of the mirror, too? 🙂 ), Chuck can’t say no to Sarah, he’s the one going to his best friend for relationship advice, Sarah’s the one eluding the real issue, and finally he’s Mr. Sarah Walker.

      + there were the “2 woman and a large man” and “the performance issue” lines.

      Maybe it was too much for one episode.

      It didn’t bother me at all, the role reversal has always been there, that’s just who they are. And Chuck doesn’t have to prove his masculinity to me.

      Edit: fixed italics -Faith

      • atcDave says:

        I guess I always figure if Chuck got Sarah Walker; the joke is on everyone else who questions his manhood.

      • Crumby says:

        Thanks Faith. Sorry about that.

        And I agree Dave. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        LOL. Great point, Dave.

        Reminds me of some of the funnier Buymore scenes when everyone was trying to figure out how Chuck got so many women. And Lester’s “I am so lonely” remark.

    • thinkling says:

      You know as crazy as this sounds, here are my latest musings.

      I don’t think Sarah could have let go of her past and its pain before, because it was all she had. Her pain grounded her and fueled her. Her pain was her strength in many ways. Take it away, and what would be left?

      Now, she’s a different woman. She is grounded in a real love and a real life as a real person. She knows who she is and what she wants. She has a family. She has something to lose, someone to fight for.

      The pain that used to ground her and fuel her now holds her back, keeps her from soaring. It’s time to let it go.

    • uplink2 says:

      I also loved the little shake that Chuck gives Sarah in that scene. Its kind of like “Hey come on, its me Chuck. I love you and you are completely safe with me. We are in this together, always”

      I also love the way it was set. Sarah is being held on his side of the bed, I know side of the bed discussion again lol, and framed around them are the two pictures that have been with them since the beginning, the ComicCon one from SandWorm and the one from Seduction, the most significant picture they have. It is saying that this is home, we are safe here and our life together centers here.

      • thinkling says:

        The gestures were perfect.

        Seems like she’s usually the one listing toward his side of the bed.

        What? I missed out on a side-of-the bed discussion. I almost can’t sleep if we swap sides of the bed. (But I have to in the summer because I like to be by the window, and David wants no part of the breeze.)

      • Faith says:

        It’s cuddle night. Tomorrow, complete silence LOL!

    • thinkling says:

      Jason, you are priceless.

      • thinkling says:

        That should have gone up above, under Jason’s math lessons and side-of-the-bed doctrine. Just in case anyone was wondering. 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I believe I was very specific as to the length of the gap in Suitcase and the … reasons. A similar gap before the final scene in Seduction, which may or may not involve revisiting attempted seductions, and costumes, and expending a lot of energy to the point that two very (ahem) fit people seem a bit spent, well, some things are best left to the imagination.

  17. Crumby says:

    The Chuck/Morgan scene didn’t bother me this time. Probably because in those armchairs, they reminded me of Joey and Chandler. 🙂 Also Morgan’s “is she trying to kill me?” and “but you giving Sarah what she wants and me not getting what I want is not, necessarily, compromise” made me laugh. It is so much Morgan. It reminded me of moments like in Tango or First Date:

    Morgan: “Where do we see him in five years? Ten years?”
    Ellie: “We?”
    Morgan: “Fine. Then just you and I.”

    Chuck: “I’m not completely convinced that the Buy More is where I want to work forever, you know.”
    Morgan: “Got it. Where would we work then?”

    Finally, Morgan advice was only half bad. Chuck did need to say “no” to Sarah. The Practice No is a ridiculous idea but Chuck is the one thinking it’s “interesting” and he’s responsible for the execution. Turning down water?! Plus, I’m willing to give Morgan some slack, being Chuck’s Best Man at his wedding is probably an important day for him too. It’s not like he’s trying to persuade Chuck to have a big family wedding, that’s what Chuck has always wanted.

    I think it was only annoying because it happened so many times before. But that particular instance wasn’t bad IMO.

    • thinkling says:

      OK, Crumby, you’ve talked me down … some. 😉

    • thinkling says:

      Oh, and I love those quotes from Tango and First Date.

    • armySFC says:

      i used the same lines above. that’s why i hated it. a true friend would sacrifice what he wants so his friend can be happy. if chuck is ok with making sarah happy by eloping then so be it. while it may be true that it sounded like morgan, i find morgan most times to be an idiot. the less i see him the better, so i am biased in that respect.

      • Crumby says:

        a true friend would sacrifice what he wants so his friend can be happy. if chuck is ok with making sarah happy by eloping then so be it.

        Well that’s the thing. Chuck isn’t ok with eloping. He’d do it for Sarah but he doesn’t want to.

        Morgan isn’t Sarah’s best friend, he’s Chuck’s. Chuck has always wanted a big family wedding and that’s the reason Morgan wants Chuck to have one. Not the other way around.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I agree with Crumby on this. Morgan knows Chuck wants a family wedding not an elopement. After all Morgan is the one who let slip that Chuck had an elopement plan that had been revised from childhood . It makes sense for Chuck to want the big wedding since it’s the start of a family bond and he’s had so many bonds break for him he’d want one heck of a visable showing especially with Sarah and the regular enials of thier relationship like when she said she didn’t love him under truth serum.

  18. herder says:

    Oh and Thinkling, I love the photo with the article, the three men at the back being a bit cool and stoic and the five women at the front gushing over the baby. The Bartowski family writ large, is that the first time that all eight have been in one shot?

    • atcDave says:

      Funny photo, but it still seems a bit OOC for Sarah!

    • Faith says:

      Now this is me REALLY nitpicking…why aren’t they all looking at the same thing? I mean you’d think the camera man/crew would have taped something somewhere and said look here but instead it seems as if they’re looking at different things. Some directly into the camera, some off camera. I chalked it up to maybe Alex’s looking at Clara’s teeny, tiny toes, Morgan at her ears, and others Clara’s other adorable baby features. Heh.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know Casey is just thinking about how to get away…

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith

        [slightly sarcastic joke – with intention of humorous ribbing]
        This is really a bad blog. Nitpicking of the Nitpicky people has even corrupted the Queen herself. Of all the things, she brings up the location of the character’s gazes. Cant she just enjoy the scene and not ruin it for the others by pointing out what struck her as odd. Is it so hard to ignore and not passionately discuss even a trivial thing as misplaced gazes. 😉 [joke]

      • Faith says:

        I shall now nitpick on your need to put a disclaimer on your nitpickingness. In this “bad” blog, have jokes no longer become transparent? Not that they ever were? Sarcasm font need not apply. LOL!

        This is like the limericks, nitpicking gone wild! I blame the lack of brain bleach. The supplies were used up for the previous, previous thread.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith – My lame attempt at combining limericks and nitpicking.

        Some say that this blog has too many nitpickers
        Vociferous are they in nitpicking on the nitpickers
        Oblivious to these things are the regular nitpickers
        For in reality this fandom as a whole is a family of nitpickers.

        🙂

    • herder says:

      One thing that I hadn’t really noticed is that for a show that is pretty much a guy fantasy (nerd gets the girl) all the women are written as pretty strong characters. Of course like all people they have their own weaknesses, but Sarah, Ellie, the General, Mary and now Alex are all strong women. In the three relationships Sarah, Ellie and Alex are the Alpha of the pair, they are considerate and at times indulgent of their guys but they all hold the upper hand.

      Interesting for a show that when Anna Wu was let go some thought that there was an imbalance between men and women. And judging by the photo, baby Clara will rule them all.

      As far as the men are concerned, Casey is the traditional man’s man, Awesome is awesome but I think it is safe to say that Ellie rules him (albeit lightly), Chuck just said he was the future Mr Sarah Walker and although he is the hero of the piece, it is Sarah that makes him the Chuck we all knew he could be, Morgan in many ways is the most feminine of the characters.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I can safely say I’m the alpha at home without my wife hurting me (!). But I don’t really have any problems with the gender roles on the show. Some of that may be that I’m a product of my time. But as you observe Herder, Casey is clearly an Alpha male. I Think the Captain and Ellie have a pretty balanced partnership; of course we mainly see things from a Bartowski perspective, which will always be Ellie’s realm.
        I think Chuck and Sarah show more balance than we often give them credit for, its just that Sarah is dominant in a more traditional male arena. While Chuck actually seems to make more of the family type decisions. They play up role reversal, but its very much modern roles that are being reversed, which means pretty balanced right from the start.
        Like most modern television, the only way we’ll ever see a male character take decisive action in the home is if he’s being set-up as a butt of jokes. My bet is, if the show runs long enough for Casey to get involved with someone, even he will abdicate household responsibilities. That’s just how modern entertainment is. I’m just glad they’re willing to give us Devon, Casey, and now Chuck who are all strong and decent characters when appropriate to the situation.

      • Faith says:

        That’s entertainment!

        In all seriousness though the CW recently did a “Women who kick ass” panel and although that didn’t go as it’s meant (it became more about the merits of physically kicking ass as opposed to strong women who kick ass, well you know what I mean) it did bring to the forefront this idea of strong women dominating media. It’s no longer the days of one dimensional damsel in distresses; it’s now the comfort and the security in being that damsel at times, hero at times and strong and vulnerable whenever necessary. I don’t know, I’ve always maintained that Sarah Walker is the single most unique and incredible character on television today because of it…rather the portrayal, the complexities and the premise all in this one package. In some ways that’s why she’s so lovable and to your point, why the women on Chuck rules.

  19. Crumby says:

    My personal quibbles:

    -I found it a little sad that Chuck was at the same level of discomfort than Sarah and Casey about the baby situation. Where’s Uncle Chuck? I feel like his only “normal” Chuck moment about his niece was in Anniversary when he hugged Ellie and asked her if he hurt the baby…

    -Droan was a complete retcon! It was fun, but still. Especially when Casey and Sarah started telling Chuck all about it…

    -I also found it weird to have Chuck being overly happy at Casey when he actually used a real gun. I know the guy just saved his life but they shouldn’t point out so much that Chuck uses tranq guns and then do that.

    -I liked the Ellie/Mary interactions, but isn’t Ellie’s reaction a little unfair? Her mom that has been off for 20 years gets to go off on mission again, but Chuck that has never accepted to leave his family doesn’t. I hope they’ll get over that soon.

    Having said that, the episode was really fun, the Chuck/Sarah interactions were great and the Casey/Alex/Morgan storyline too. Team B was back on mission (without Morgan), and Beckman and Roan were a blast.

    I thought the whole eloping thing was really well played. I personally didn’t want to see them elope because I think it’s a moment they should share with their family and friends. And I was happy they tackled the issue in both a funny and deep way.

    • thinkling says:

      Agree with all that Crumby.

      My theory on the Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sarah thing is that men are typically (or maybe stereotypically) less comfortable around newborns. I’m thinking Chuck will excel with a slightly older baby that you can toss in the air and do fun things with. He’ll come around. It’s just newborn trauma.

      • atcDave says:

        Our best friends have a two year old I still haven’t touched. I’m just not into very little kids. I have several little nieces and nephews; and it seems to me they start to be fun at around four. I’m probably a bit aloof even as guys go, but until they can speak in sentences I don’t find them very interesting.

      • uplink2 says:

        Interesting thoughts Think. From my own personal experience I’m not so sure about men and newborns. When my son was born my wife had a harder time with it than I did and I took a larger share of the early care giving. I’ll never forget coming home with him and looking at each other in total terror about what to do when he wakes up lol. However when my daughter was born it wasn’t the same for me and she took more of it. At one point she even asked me if it was different for me this time and it was. It took driving my 3 month old daughter to the emergency room at 3am for that amazing father/daughter bond to happen. Now with her at 20 it is one of the most cherished things in my life.

        Maybe its just the circumstances that someone has to do it so someone always steps up, hopefully. I just think all three of them get overwhelmed when 5 people are talking at once lol.

      • Crumby says:

        I think we’ll have a baby moment with Chuck and/or Sarah when they’ll try to make a point about the relationship.

        I just find it weird that Chuck would freak out as much as Sarah and Casey about the wedding stuff.

      • thinkling says:

        Uplink, that’s why I added stereotype. Just a thought. And I guess stereotypes get started somehow. Fun memories, Uplink.

        I do think the level of pandemonium had something to do with it. Having others aggressively group plan your life is never comfortable.

        Dave, hilarious. What do you do around adults who still can’t speak in sentences?

      • thinkling says:

        C/S baby moment is a must! Surely TPTB know that, right?

      • uplink2 says:

        I know. I don’t think any of them are comfortable with others planning their lives. I’m just glad as the guy all I had to do with the wedding plans was shoe up and do the Honeymoon planning. My wife and MIL took right over lol.

        Can’t wait for the spoiler that Gary Cole is coming back! To do this right maybe its Casey that finds him.

      • bundy says:

        @uplink2 I just posted something on the spoiler page about Gary Cole.

      • thinkling says:

        Since Casey heard the discussion, I wonder if he will offer to walk Sarah down the aisle … especially since he may not get to walk his own daughter down the aisle. Just a thought.

        But I’d always love to see Sarah’s dad again. He’s already given Charlie his blessing, and he would charm the socks off of everyone. Not to mention the cash out of their wallets.

  20. rac2873 says:

    I loved it, I don’t have one single complaint. It was one of the best Chuck and Sarah episodes because it was real couple issues. No matter what issues they had you know they would have worked them out. This is no different than honeymooners but it felt more lighthearted because both parties wanted to have their say. Great stuff.

    This is in my top 5 easily. Not a drop of angst. Loved it.

    Morgan’s advice is hillarious and I love it. It makes me chuckle just thinking about it. lol

    • atcDave says:

      Wow, awesome RAC. I wouldn’t go quite so far as top 5, but it sure was a great time.

      • rac2873 says:

        Maybe not top 5 but easily top 5 Chuck and Sarah episode for me.

        I don’t know but for me I watched this epsiode six times laughed at every single joke every time and it seems this episode is a classic I could watch it another 10 times and still laugh just as hard. Maybe because I had my own issues about to elope or not to elope, pressure from my wifes family, and just recently had a baby.

        Mary and my wife have something in common when it comes to charting the baby feedings and poops. lol I just use Total Baby but apparently Mary uses some sophisticated computer program.

        I was in the same situation I wanted a huge family wedding, she wanted to elope to St Lucia. we compromised. We eloped at a JP in town of course in and then had a big wedding in the fall and went to Jamaica on our Honeymoon. Best of both worlds. 🙂

        But this episode was pitch perfect on how a couple would talk and deal with these issues.

      • thinkling says:

        Congrats Rac. And don’t feel too bad. After all, Mary is a spy. She would have all the coolest poop monitoring technology.

      • Crumby says:

        I think it’s Orion tech. He invented it when Mary was expecting Ellie.

  21. silvercat says:

    I’ve rewatched this episode 4 times once live, three times on Comcast’s On Demand. A couple of observations I don’t think anyone else has brought up:

    1) I found it very interesting that the only time Sarah wears her ring in this episode is at the table with Chuck and Gen. Beckman. It’s as if she’s saying, “See, we’re more than dating exclusively now, General. We’re engaged!” Of course the General had already pretty much accepted them as a couple in “Role Models,” but now she’s going to have to adjust to them being a married couple. I wonder if she’ll bring it up at all in future episodes.

    2) Chuck’s question to Sarah (while cuddling in bed), “Sarah you’ve done so much to help my family what can I do to help yours?” seemed to come out of left field for me. Why did Chuck think her family needs help? And what kind of help would they need?

    As for Chuck’s “Mr. Sarah Walker” remark, I didn’t find it emasculating at all, but, as others have said, was very sweet (“Sweet… Golly, gee thanks for making me feel like I’m eight…”) Of course I’ve never really bought into the criticism that Chuck has become wimpish and more insecure this season. After all, he had some pretty legitimate reasons to be emotionally screwed up once his mother re-appeared in his life. Oh well, ’nuff said.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      Chuck’s question to Sarah (while cuddling in bed), “Sarah you’ve done so much to help my family what can I do to help yours?” seemed to come out of left field for me. Why did Chuck think her family needs help? And what kind of help would they need?

      And here I thought you were against nitpicking and all about enjoying the show. 😉

      Jokes aside, it also seemed strange to me. A more plausible statement would have been “How can I help YOU with regards to your family”? It isn’t like Sarah’s family needs help (I am guessing) of some sort or maybe it is foreshadowing of some kind – Chuck helping out her dad or mom in the near future.

      • silvercat says:

        Wasn’t nitpicking at all… didn’t say I didn’t like it, was just curious about why it came up. Upon reflection, it could be a bit of foreshadowing: the showrunners telling us they intend to have Chuck. I guess technically it’s a plot hole, which tend to drive many fans crazy. I just chalk it up to typical Chuck and to on enjoying the show.

      • silvercat says:

        Earlier post, I meant to write “the showrunners telling us they intend to have Chuck deal with a future crisis involving Sarah’s family.”

        To clarify, I brought this up not to nitpick, but to get other folks ideas about what was going on. I see I’ve been successful.

    • atcDave says:

      Well, I’d say if a daughter is estranged the family has a problem. whether the problem is all on Sarah’s end or somewhere else is currently unknown; but either way I like Chuck’s willingness to help. And of course he’s helping as Sarah’s partner, he’ll have her back whatever happens.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree. Estrangement is a family problem. If I had to guess, based on what we’ve seen, I’d say Sarah’s mother has been out of the picture for a long, long time.

        In the DeLorean flashbacks, it looked like it was just the two of them; and in all their conversations, no other family was mentioned. So mom probably left early, at least before Sarah was 9. Sarah, with conman dad, crisscrossed the country under different names, so she would have been hard to find or keep up with, even if mom had wanted to.

        When dad was arrested, did Sarah try to contact her mom? Interesting question. Then came the CIA, and her past was another world, another time. She could have ignored it indefinitely.

        But not any more. She has learned with Chuck and his family that family matters. And the wedding brings her family front and center. It’s time to do something about her family, or at least try, because that’s what real life is about.

        So helping Sarah is broader and more complicated than just helping Sarah, it means helping her family as well. And with her family, it seems that it will be more complicated than just finding them. Finding them will be the easy part.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess I’d been assuming Sarah’s mom was dead; but I’m guessing this season will address that one way or the other. At the very least, I’m thinking Sarah hasn’t communicated with her since she was very little.
        This could be interesting.

      • herder says:

        Who knows, maybe she is and after burning down their restaurant her mother’s family blames her father. Perhaps Sarah kept up the grudge out of loyalty to her dad or her grand parents ended out with her sister splitting them, we’ll soon find out.

    • Katsumaro says:

      As brought to my attention by alladinsgenie4u about how I haven’t posted a lot on here lately (no I’m not mad! :P), I figured I’d weigh in here before I head off to bed.

      Point one: I don’t look into when she wore it as an important thing here. I look at the engagement ring as a prop, much like the bracelet, where we’ll probably see it at random times where there’ snot much going on, and as a way for TPTB to go “See? She’s wearing it, now hush!” Yeah, you can look at it as a way for Sarah to show off the fact that her and Chuck are engaged, as she’s sitting with Beckman, but I don’t think that was the motive at all. Considering this is a show that has a *lot* of moving around, what with missions, scene changes, etc.. it’ll be hard for her to wear the ring all the time. Can’t really wear it during a mission, especially if it’s not in her cover. Yeah, she could wear it in regular scenes like the belly dancing and all that, but is it really that important?

      Sorda got off tangent. I just hope fans don’t complain if they don’t see Sarah wearing the ring. I can just see it now. ‘Zomg, Chuck and Sarah fussed and I don’t see Sarah with her ring!! Contrived angst!’ and I seriously don’t think that’ll be a reason at all.

      Second point: The line about Chuck wanting to help her family.. well the thing that gave him a clue about that is the fact that he already knows Sarah’s dad is a conman. He’d probably need help, especially if he’s in jail (though now with him being apart of a new show, having him around could prove to be difficult, though still possible), and then she’s got the rest of her family she’s worried about. Obviously we don’t know what that consists of (mom? siblings?), but Chuck knows there’s issues there considering what she said on the mission. That and her family life seems to be a direct opposite of Chuck’s; while Chuck has had his sister raising him most of his life, spies for parents, a close friend in Morgan, et all.. Sarah hasn’t had all that. Yeah she has Carina as a friend, and then Bryce in the past, but not much else, so I figured the parallel for family would come into play here too.

      So obviously it’s *all* assumption by all of us, unless someone has secret access to spoilers or something, about how Sarah Walker’s family is and whether she really needs help with them. The fact remains that Chuck just wants to return the favor to her if there’s need to, just like she helped get his family back together.

      With Chuck and the “Mr. Sarah Walker”.. I just found it funny. Come on, you can’t really say that Chuck’s worn the ‘man pants’ the entire time we’ve seen them together… can you? Plus, the only reason I think he used that line, really, was to be his typical Chuck self and try to bring some lightheartedness to the situation. I don’t really look into it any more than it needs be.

      So.. long post is long. Just figured I’d pick this post out and reply to, since genie did have to bring up on twitter that I’d been absent. =P Where would everyone be without my wall-o-texts? Oh.. yeah. Probably better off since they wouldn’t need to read them..

      😀

      • thinkling says:

        I agree that she can’t wear the ring during missions, and given her history of missions and covers, she’s not in the habit of wearing much jewelry.

        But I think it’s quite a bit more than a prop. Most people view engagement and wedding rings as among the most significant, if not the most significant, pieces of jewelry they wear. I mean typically.

        We know Chuck considers it that way. Remember Marlin and his desperate, unrelenting search for Ellie’s ring, “the one she’s supposed to wear forever” (his words).

        I won’t make a huge deal of it, because spy life is complicated. Though I noticed, I didn’t comment on it. However, I will find it somewhat odd if the ring isn’t on the finger increasingly more often, at least away from missions and around family.

      • Crumby says:

        Obviously, there’s a lot of scenes she can’t wear it, and it’s fine.

        They should be careful about it though because a engagement is more significant than the charm bracelet IMO.

        And it doesn’t make much sense that Sarah would put it on to go to Castle when she changed after the belly dancing session, and not wear it while their apparently off to family time at Ellie’s.

      • armysfc says:

        thinkling and crumby, i agree. but consider this, a wedding and child birth are two very important events an anyone’s lives. yet the writers chose to ruin (for me) both of ellies big days with jeffster. i guess they don’t see the same importance in things we do. so yeah the ring will be the bracelet.

      • Crumby says:

        They ruined Ellie’s first wedding but the beach wedding was perfect. And even if they had Jeffster at the hospital, once Mary entered the room and told Ellie that everybody came and was there for her, it kind of was a “start over” for Clara’s birth. So I don’t consider either of them ruined.

        And it’s still really different than the bracelet or the ring. The charm bracelet never bothered me much. Sarah has worn it a lot. In Balcony she almost wears it the entire episode. But I do think they should be careful about the ring because it is very significant, and people will care about it.

        Now it won’t ruin an episode either. There are more important things.

      • jason says:

        joe, faith (and others here) are the music people, but how cool would it be for ‘nobody does it better’ to be played at chuck and sarah’s wedding, heck, I could even see chuck singing it to sarah (I think the words might fit near perfect from what I recall) with jeffster providing the music

      • armySFC says:

        crumby, huh? you said this “They ruined Ellie’s first wedding” (yeah i get the second one part, that still doesn’t mean they didn’t ruin the first one) then this “So I don’t consider either of them ruined.” i am confused by that. my statement was made from ellies POV not mine. was she happy that they were there? what i saw was no. you may have seen something else. as i said on another thread, we all watch a show our own way and see what we see in our own way. there is nothing wrong with that. i will just agree to disagree with you on this.

      • thinkling says:

        I wouldn’t relegate the ring to the prop heap just yet, Army. They had Chuck go dumpster diving for Ellie’s.

        People have varying views of Jeffster. It’s sort of the point that they ruin the moment, but it’s played for laughs. Hospital security came to our rescue in time for the sweet moments (except the Sarah/John hug). Any longer would have been too much for me. We all have different Jeffster thresholds, and a lot of our discussion revolves around that. But the story did a lot to honor Clara’s birth. Casey gave Devon a pep talk, so he would get it together for his fatherhood debut. Chuck and Sarah made the world safe for Clara’s arrival and brought Ellie her mother in time for the moment. Everyone being there and chiming in as family … what a great moment. All that far outweighed the Jeffster debacle. They are like annoying relatives that keep showing up at family events, to everyone else’s dismay. But you put up with them because they’re family. You cringe, roll your eyes, share a laugh together, and enjoy everything else. At least, that’s the way I have to look at it, because I think Jeffster is here to stay.

        Ellie’s “first” wedding was an unmitigated disaster. No one would argue that. But it was supposed to be. One of the huge themes of the show was Chuck’s spy life ruining his normal life and trying to keep the two separate. Given that, I think it’s one of the funniest sequences of Chuck, ever.

        Most people know how highly I regard marriage, and I don’t consider myself an irreverent person, but I can’t watch those scenes without laughing my head off. Jeffster were their cringe-worthy selves, and everyone was properly appalled, which added to the humor. The fight in the reception hall, Roarke, Casey’s men … and Chuck’s horror. Well, it was just hilarious … to me anyway. If it had ended there, it would have been tragic, but it didn’t.

        All that just opened the way for something better. They ended up honoring Ellie and her wedding and marriage even more than if the original plan had gone off without a hitch. Ellie got her dream wedding, rather than the one Honey planned for her. Chuck got to save the day in one of the biggest, sweetest Chuck moments ever. We got a great scene with Chuck and his dad and then Sarah, too (not what a normal guy would do). We got wedding planner Casey and his mighty men helping with the flowers and dresses … hilarious and sweet. Casey calling in national security emergency measures to get the site. You gotta love it. The wedding itself was beautiful, everything any couple could hope for. In the end, Ellie’s wedding was beautiful and properly honored.

        I’m not arguing that you should hold a different view of Jeffster. I can see how Jeffster could ruin the moment for people. What I’m saying is that I don’t think Jeffster’s presence is an indication of irreverence toward family on the part of TPTB. They have always insisted that Chuck is about family. Chuck is also a comedy. They put Jeffster in for outrageous situations and laughs, but in the end, I think they do justice to the events and honor the moment in unique and special ways.

        So, the ring is still important. My two cents on it, anyway.

      • Crumby says:

        I’m just not sure of what bothering you with this. I can understand that Jeffster was a bit much in Push Mix, especially if you can’t stand them anymore (I personally found it funny). But Ellie’s wedding? The Mr Roboto scene was epic, and there will always be something to ruin things, that’s how the show creates conflict. In the end they fixed it. And Ellie got a wedding that was much more like what she wanted. “If it were up to me, I would have a small ceremony on a beach. Sand between my toes, people I love.”

        I don’t see that kind of stuff as “i guess they don’t see the same importance in things we do” like you said. They interrupted Chuck’s proposal, but eventually they did make it happen in a very significant manner. Ellie’s wedding was the same thing for me.

      • Crumby says:

        Well, yeah Thinkling, you said it better. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Nah, Crumby, I just used more words. Earning my gruel, you know.

      • Crumby says:

        They are like annoying relatives that keep showing up at family events, to everyone else’s dismay. But you put up with them because they’re family. You cringe, roll your eyes, share a laugh together, and enjoy everything else. At least, that’s the way I have to look at it, because I think Jeffster is here to stay.

        That’s a really good way to described it. I don’t think they’re going anywhere either.

      • atcDave says:

        Speaking as someone who isn’t even a very big fan of Jeffster I’d have to say; “Mr. Roboto” and “Push It” were two of the funniest television moments of my entire life. I think the creepy duo is over used and not always much fun; but in the occasional inspired moment they have proven to be pure genius.

      • Crumby says:

        They’ve gotten really creepy and there’s a disconnect between them and the rest of the show but they still can be funny at times.

        Africa wasn’t bad either! Lester is hilarious in that scene and that’s a CS moment of epicness! I liked them in Honeymooners too.

      • Faith says:

        This will come as no surprise to anyone but I actually do put a lot of emphasis on the ring being present.

        I chalked up its absence at certain scenes as a crew malfunction. Basically it’s up to crew people to give the actor the ring to wear on a daily/scene basis. They missed several, ok fine.

        Obviously you can’t have the ring on missions…it’s like a woman carpenter, just too dangerous (albeit different levels of danger), but that just puts more emphasis on the moments when she should wear it and treasure it as such. I don’t know, I personally get a shipper glee every time I see it and to not see it can at times be disconcerting. I’m not even the one engaged to him and it matters to me that much ;). They also shouldn’t forget that Ellie should always have her rings, Awesome his but with the amount of screen time they get, the attention to detail for them is a bit more faithful.

        The bracelet is different. While I would hope that she were to wear it at all times post Santa Claus, it’s really more of a thing you may wear depending on outfit because well it’s not an engagement/wedding ring that is for all occasions. Plus I have a theory that Ali Adler took it when she left ;). Also point of emphasis, it was NOT present in Balcony. They tried to fool us but we weren’t fooled.

      • armySFC says:

        crumby, the point is you don’t have to see what is bothering me about it, the same as i don’t have to see why you are not. your views are yours, and mine are mine. i don’t need to look at an episode the same as you, and you don’t need to look at an episode the same as me. its up to you and i to accept that people can look at the same scene and have a different reaction to it. as long as we both enjoy the show, whether it is a lot or a little is all that matters at the end of the day.

      • Crumby says:

        I think it’s important too. The same way that I thought it was weird that Morgan was wearing a ring on his ring finger when he “called” Casey in Castle.

      • jason says:

        i am ok with her missing a few scenes now and then, surprise, the only thing I don’t want to see is intentional use of the ring to signify angst,but in 4×14 the ring or lack of seems more to be a sin of omission than commission. I did love the red turtleneck and the ring combo after sarah failed to seduce her mark or her ‘chuck’ in this case.

        Many of us are smallville or fringe fans, don’t know how many are both, just happens each are heavily using alt universes to create multiple copies of characters, bring back old ones, etc, makes Chuck’s weak mythology ratchet up at least one notch for me after last night’s stuff, as both went a little overboard with alt-copies of characters.

      • Crumby says:

        armySFC, we certainly can agree to disagree or appreciate different things about the show.

        However I do like to know what bother people and why, especially when I don’t see the same thing. I just find it interesting! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Crumby, I noticed Morgan’s ring, too. Whaa? Where did that come from?

        Engagement/wedding rings are important. Like you Faith, I hope it’s just a crew glitch. It would just be odd for her not to wear it, especially as hard as it was to remove the Suburb rings. Details are important.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Faith, you know Ali Adler taking the charm bracelet with her when she left is not true.

        Brandon Routh took it with him after his arc was over to get back at you meanie shippers.

        Mu-ah-ah. 😀

      • Faith says:

        Sarge :P. BR and his wife are shippers too 😉 There is a shipper in everyone. Muhaha back to you lol.

  22. First Timer says:

    I ended my emotional involvement with Chuck after Gobbler and tuned into Seduction Impossible almost totally to see Laraoquette. Maybe that’s why I was able to notice what I don’t think anyone here or anywhere else has mentioned: Seduction Impossible is essentially another effort by Fedak to deal with the themes of Pink Slip.

    As I was watching the belly dancing scene, live and in the moment, I was struck by how much Chuck’s reaction reminded me of Prague. Sarah is throwing everything she’s got at Chuck to get him to run (elope) and Chuck is tempted, but then chooses something else.

    Then when I rewatched, I saw that Seduction Impossible is largely a rewrite of Pink Slip. Sarah wants desperately to run, to avoid the craziness that’s coming, because she sees pain coming. Chuck makes a different choice, one that could alienate him from Sarah. It goes without saying that Seduction Impossible is much better than Pink Slip because a) it’s hilarious and charming and well written; and b) the themes had been foreshadowed in previous episodes. Pink Slip failed because a) it was nasty and unhappy and poorly written; and b) we were never prepared for a Chuck that would choose spying over Sarah or a Sarah who’d then walk away from Chuck.

    But the Seduction Impossible/Pink Slip parallel got me thinking: Almost ALL of the episodes that Fedak writes are blatantly about the choice between running from something you have to do or staying and dealing with the responsibility and the consequences. Consider some of Fedak’s other episodes:

    THE PILOT starts with Chuck literally trying to run (from his party) and ends with him asking Sarah, “There’s no where I can run, is there?” NEMESIS ends with Sarah in her hotel room trying to decide if she should go off grid with Bryce or stay with Chuck and the emotional turmoil that Chuck will entail. GRAVITON starts with Chuck and Jill on the run and ends when Chuck stops Jill from escaping. Light as it is, THIRD DIMENSION is about Chuck trying to run from his responsibility, even for just a day off. RING is totally about staying or going: Will Sarah stay with Chuck or go with Bryce? Will Chuck stay in spying or go back to his real life? Will he destroy the Intersect 2.0 or take on the responsibility? RING II is about choosing between going off the grid or staying to fight Shaw and the Ring.

    As I’ve said before, I never thought the hero’s journey really applied to Chuck. And it’s pretty clear that Fedak, the creator, is largely consumed with one particular topic: run or stay. His meme seems to be running from responsibility versus staying and fighting, whether the fight is trivial (a birthday party, a day off), emotional (a coupling or a wedding ) or the big battle against evil.

    • Crumby says:

      That’s a really interesting observation FT.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Not a bad observation at all. I suppose the positive here is at least with his latest plots of running versus staying, things have come out to be on the positive side for the most part.

    • atcDave says:

      Interesting observation First Timer. Makes you wonder what Fedak wants to run from!
      I like the way, at the end of Seduction Impossible, Chuck spells it out for Sarah; he’s with her on this one. She won’t be left at the station again.

    • thinkling says:

      Nice catch FT.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      FT, you’re going to hate me for this, but what you are highlighting is one of the central aspects of the Hero’s Journey; whether to take on the hardship and the work, or to turn away. Now you are right, it seems that Fedak likes to flip the running versus staying, which I agree is a good catch I’ve missed in his style, but the overall theme is still there. In the basic sense the Hero’s Journey is about leaving one world or life to take on another as you are called or destined to do.

      I’ll just add that I know I seem to harp on the Hero’s Journey a lot, and it is fun, but this isn’t something I just made up. Before I ever saw a live episode of Chuck, Schwartz and Fedak came out and said they were writing a Hero’s Journey.

      One of the most interesting conversations from the call was Schwartz talking about the evolution of Chuck – boy to man to spy. This is season is about seeing how he becomes a spy. Fedak and Schwartz both cited that this is a heroes journey.

      Schwartz mentioned that “a big crux of the journey for Chuck last year obviously climaxing in the season finale was I want to get this thing out of my head and I want to go back to a normal life. And then he accepted his – the mantle and, you know, responsibility of who he was and his destiny really to become a hero. And now this year is really about the ramifications of that and him really embracing that and going with it.”

      So I’m not running everything through this filter just to tick people off, I’m looking for the structure that the creators and show runners tell us all that they are using to put events into perspective and to make sense of some of the story elements. In fact FT you have done the same, know it or not, by predicting (accurately I think) the end of the series. Chuck and Sarah leave the spy life and live happily ever after. The hero returns home from the other world.

      • First Timer says:

        @erniedavis:
        Like a lot of folks, I find the “monomyth” idea in general lacking. Like a lot of folks, I find it so broad (especially the way Campbell writes about) so generic as to be meaningless.

        So, to be honest, I’m not a fan of the category itself. I certainly admit that colors my judgments.

        Then we come to the matter of the Chuck TV show. I know that Schwartz and Fedak claim Chuck is on a journey, and maybe in their mind it is the hero’s journey, but I honestly don’t think they know what they are talking about. Because of the strange nature of TV in general and the Chuck show’s history in particular, I find it impossible to fit it into the monomyth structure.

        For starters, at some point the show stopped being just about Chuck. The moment they started filling in the Sarah character’s backstory in Cougars, you could see them starting to tell a tale about Sarah, too. And certainly by Season 3, they were talking as much about Sarah as they were about Chuck. By definition, you literally CAN’T have two people on a hero’s journey. The monomyth is essentially a solo journey. (BTW, a lot of us women hate the monomyth genre anyway because women are always secondary characters, the seducers, etc. Monomyth was designed for men by men.) And if you want to claim that there are TWO parallel (or I guess in Chuck and Sarah’s case, intersecting) hero’s journeys going on, the whole idea of the MONOmyth really does fall apart.

        Plus, as I say, one of the creators, Fedak, clearly does not write his characters on a journey. They are always at the VERY SAME fork in the road, no matter where they are on the road: Do they fight or do they run. Here we are, 68 hours into the show and Sarah is still having to choose whether she runs from emotion or embraces it. Sixty eight hours into the show, Chuck is still insecure about his abilities. The monomyth is always about the NEXT challenge. Chuck and Sarah never get to the next challenge because they are always presented as having to make the same choice.

        So my point to you is threefold: I don’t personally accept the monomyth idea as a way to explain stuff. I don’t think Schwartz and Fedak have presented a show that fits into the traditional monomyth’s structure. And one of the creators almost never seems to move the characters from his own personal theme (stay or go).

        So to me, looking at Chuck based on what is PRESENTED in 68 hours of TV to date, I see a show about choices and consequences, not a hero’s journey…

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not meaning to stir up trouble. But I would say I’ve never quite seen what was interesting about the Hero’s Journey. Following a template hardly strikes me as a point of pride in something that theoretically is about “creative” writing. The mere existence of the template only serves to diminish every tale that follows it.
        Until you read about the monomyth. Then you realize an entirely different shortcoming is at play. With 17 different stages
        at play, which may or may not be optional; I think Joseph Campbell’s template has an entirely different problem. It is generic to the point of saying “the main character goes away, does some stuff, and comes home.” Especially when one considers the alternately literal and figurative elements of the myth; it seems to be an acceptable template for everything from Luke Skywalker to my wife’s weekly grocery run.
        Now to be fair, I wouldn’t worry about gender roles in said myth either. Again I think the template is generic enough it can apply to men or women. I likewise see no reason why a story couldn’t be constructed of two intersecting journeys. Perhaps that makes it a “duomyth” instead of a monomyth. But given the looseness of this template I see no particular reason for that to be a problem.

        I mean no disrespect Ernie. I know you find it fascinating. And you have absolutely drawn some interesting and enlightening insights while examining the template. I just don’t get it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well you both raise interesting points. I suppose I’ll have to do another lengthy post on the Hero’s Journey, though as for the why I think it matters I talked about that in Why Our Stories Matter and the nuts and bolts of the structure in A First Class Journey. Hate to be so self referential, but I have written enough on this topic that I feel like I’m getting repetitive, yet people keep bringing it up. 😉

        As for the short (heh) answer before I go off to write the epic post. I’ll say this to FT, I’m not overly impressed with Campbell either, but he did point out something that nobody else had bothered to notice. Across nearly all cultures there are remarkable similarities in the mythology of very different societies. Now for literary criticism or cultural study the mono-myth really may or may not have any validity, that isn’t my interest. My interest and the more interesting question is are they descended from a single mono-myth or do these elements represent something all humanity has in common? To me, the fact that storytelling exists in nearly all cultures and seems to have some aspects in common across all cultures points to the latter conclusion. That is the interesting part to me, what light does it shed on humanity, and the human condition. So my interest in Campbell is limited, as I’d guess is Schwedak’s. Campbell basically gives broad strokes about transformative experiences, and yes, skewed heavily male since most are about war or the hunt or family legacy, which face it were culturally male dominated for a long time. The themes are there, love, betrayal, redemption, reconciliation and transformation from a boy to a man to a hero. The return home.

        As for the other part, and I guess I should be more explicit about it, the template is referring to Chris Vogler and his very famous The Writer’s Journey. My guess is that it is him that Schwarts and Fedak are more influenced by. What Vogler did was lay out a dramatic structure that works extremely well in a three act formula and exceptionally well for hero stories like comic books, action movies and superhero adaptations. Now I know the nuts and bolts don’t interest most people, so I tend to not concentrate as much on them. Frankly Dave is right, it tends to diminish the accomplishment when you see the bones. What I like seeing is how they flesh it out. That’s where the true accomplishment lies. I’m by vocation and temperament a scientist and an engineer. I love to see how the pieces fit together and work. I love to take a theory and based on a turn of events cry eureka or go back to the drawing board. Now fit that side of me with the superhero loving hopeless romantic sap, and you can see why I’m a goner. The engineer takes apart the structure, studies each piece, figures out it’s purpose and how it fits the overall functioning, the scientist forms a theory and weighs the evidence, and the sappy geek is told where to look in the story for the twist or turn that is going to tell you where you are and what’s to come. And it’s very likely to be a moving story about people I care about and how they muddle through the same human condition we all do.

        So do I care about reaching the point where the hero meets the goddess protector so I can check off that box under the 17 points? No, I care because in the structure that we are using to tell the story, be it an episode, arc, season or series this is where our hero, be it Chuck or Sarah, finally feels and understands unconditional love. Seriously, who doesn’t want to see that at least a few times per season.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess to me Ernie, I have often found your analysis and insights interesting; but I think you use the Hero’s Journey as a crutch. You are sharper and more observant than the creators of the mono-myth. There is some value in observing common themes across time and culture; but as I said, the generic template is too broad to be interesting to me. And in particular your analysis of Chuck specific issues is always more relevant on its own merits.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @FirstTimer:

        Thanks for opening that door for me. I did not see that about Fedak.

        @Ernie:
        This should be interesting, actually trying to read Campbell bores me to tears (I get most of my exposure to Campbell by way of Greg Stafford), and I have seen both attacks and defenses of Vogler’s work.

      • armySFC says:

        great discussion. i see both points clearly, though i agree with FT and dave more. the one question i have for ernie is this. did the use of this hero’s journey story telling pay off in terms of keeping the viewers entertained enough to stay with the journey and see its completion?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think people over-read what the structure of the Hero’s Journey (Vogler’s) I talk about means. Think of it as a genre. In a murder mystery you expect certain things to move the plot along. A murder first of all. Then comes the detective to question the cast of characters, uncover secrets and clues and move the investigation along. Usually somewhere in the second act the detective is threatened by an unknown menace or has a major revelation that turns the investigation on it’s head. So there is a pre-existing structure and well known elements to a certain genre. It doesn’t relieve the writer of having to write a good and compelling one, it just gives him a place to start. We all know what to expect from a murder mystery, and if it didn’t show all the clues or reveal the murderer at the end, we’d be incensed, because we signed on for a murder mystery. In that sense we go into viewing a murder mystery or a romantic comedy, or a slasher film (if that’s your thing) knowing what to expect. Hero’s Journey, thanks essentially to Vogler, is basically a genre. Chuck is a Hero’s Journey, and it is about transformative experiences for it’s characters. The key element of the genre is getting you to invest in those characters and cheer for them through their highs and lows, and there will be lows. Chuck is not, though it sometimes seems that way, a romantic comedy. It is not a mystery thriller, or an action spy flick, but it borrows liberally from all those genres.

        Anyway, I hope that clarifies my view on this. Chuck is a pretty unique show, in that it has a huge ensemble cast, elements of action, comedy, drama, romance, mystery and sci-fi thriller, and manages to pull it all together for a highly entertaining hour nearly every week. I like to look deeper, you don’t have to, you can just enjoy the ride.

  23. First Timer says:

    Since I opened this door, I might as well also say this: I don’t think we can use the hero’s journey as an overarching theme to analyze the show because we aren’t looking at ONE show. To date, I believe we’re looking at three shows:

    The “original” Chuck, which ends with Colonel or Ring. The “original 13” of Season 3, which are clearly of one piece and almost totally divorced from the original show or what has come after. And what you might as well call “Chuck and Sarah,” which is the show we’ve been seeing since Honeymooners.

    The original show is clearly about Chuck, but there legitimately are three heroes: Chuck, all emotions and not too much training; Sarah, all training and a willingness to surpress her emotions; and Casey, all training and no emotional commitment to anything but the job. That created a rather nice tryptich. I’ll admit to you that I still haven’t found a meme to explain what Season 3 was all about and who the heroes were. The Chuck and Sarah show, the one we’re watching now, is all about a pair of intertwined heroes and Casey has almost been relegated to part of the Greek chorus with Morgan and Ellie.

    So the danger of trying to apply the hero’s journey to ALL 68 hours of Chuck is that it papers over at least three different shows. I also have a feeling that the “Chuck and Sarah” show ends with S4E24, when Chuck and Sarah get married. The showrunners will probably have to create still another version of the program should they get a fifth season.

    • jason says:

      @FT – I know you and I don’t always look at the show the same, but I really like how you framed that analysis.

      One comment about your comments, I think all of season 3 was meant to move chuck toward a mainstream leading man hero, it wasn’t until the season was shot including much of the back 6 or lets say created that TPTB realized Sarah was equally or possibly more popular than Chuck. Hence season 4 was written to equal things up, and move chuck & Sarah back to s1/s2’s status – the role reversal. I don’t know if you recall this or were part of this, but when fedak spoiled a season 4 ‘role reversal’ many of us did not know what he meant, since it seemed like chuck already was the man in season 3, it took maybe ep 2 or 3 of S4 to realized they meant, sort of a second role reversal, back to the original role reversal – confusing to say the least.

      I would love to see you and ernie co-write a point / counter point piece about the hero’s journey(s) taking place on chuck.

      I don’t always agree with ernie either, but I love reading his analysis work when he writes about the hero’s journey, it is done with as much passion as anything on this site, which is what makes reading things on this site worthwhile.

      • First Timer says:

        @jason:
        I think the only thing we’ve ever disagreed upon was Phil Klemmer. I love his stuff and you don’t and I was taken aback by the passion you brought to your comments about him. I just thought it was overwrought considering it’s just a TV show.

        And in case I didn’t write this, I think you’ve come up with two GENIUS ideas in the last couple of weeks.

        Your idea about Push Mix ending with Sarah reading her children the Frost Queen story would have been a really wonderful series finale. (A series finale wouldn’t have needed an proposal scene if it went with Sarah reading the story, of course.) And your bit that Sarah’s family is/was mafia is equally wonderful. I mean, that would even justify why Jack Burton took off with Sarah. The petty conman didn’t want THAT much crime in his family. But that angle is more Sopranos than Chuck, so it probably won’t happen.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      FT, you raise an excellent point, and I have to agree with most of it. The thing is, it doesn’t invalidate my point. Remember TPTB may have a general outline, but they are making it up as they go along. Each arc and each season functions as it’s own transformative experience, and each can lead to the next level of the story. It is what Schwedak have said they are doing. Just as both the hero and the story goes through changes and phases as they progress, so does the show. This is why I always say the original Chuck basically ended with the words “It is real.” There was your happily ever after. The Ring I was a pitch for another season, and it worried me because I barely recognized Sarah in much of it. Professional constraints finally removed, and yet she still couldn’t talk to Chuck or consider anything other than meekly following orders. Were they trying to tell me she was that broken? Turns out they were. Through seasons 1 and 2 we weren’t in the “spy world”. Season 3 was the entry to that world and passing the initial test (taking down Shaw and the ring). The initial test is usually a dark part of the story. That done we get a bit of celebration and a lighter tone as our heroes continue to face foes on the way home. The final Volkoff/Frost arc could have worked as a series finale with the proposal and the birth the happily ever after. The Paris hotel room was meant to do so if necessary, but would have left us all with a bitter taste if it had been. This is what I think so many of us hated about season 3. It was supposed to be a payoff to the fans, as far as we thought, for fighting for the show. They had 13 episodes to wrap it up and give us happily ever after, and they dragged out the dark and gave us 5 minutes of happily ever after. But the thing is TPTB learned from that. Five minutes in the final episode is not payoff for the kind of investment we’ve given them, but in their defense they always seem to start with one episode order, 13, and end with another, 22, 19 or 24, and that does stress the ability of the writers to tell the story they want. This season has it right I think, and it’s restored my trust in the writers and show runners to wrap things up properly.

      So yes, I agree, there are big changes to the nature of the show and the characters as it progresses, and some parts hang together better than others. But I like that. Having an outline doesn’t relieve the writer of the obligation to write a compelling story, and season 3’s story threatened to ruin the overall story and the characters by leaving insufficient time to re-build them after doing excessive damage to transform them. So is Chuck the same Chuck we met? Certainly not, and he isn’t supposed to be. Same for Sarah. Is the story the same one as in season 1 or 2? Nope, in the overall structure those were about Chuck seeking to avoid his destiny. Three was accepting and being initially humbled by his entry into the spy world. Four is presently the initial test passed and the celebration on the way home. Five, I hope, will be the final test passed and the happily ever after. We’ll see. The thing is I now trust TPTB to end this right. They will construct a back half that takes what was the initial test, the intersectless arc, replaces it with the initial takedown of Volkoff as the initial test, and brings back Volkoff again as the final test, ending with probably a wedding so we again get happily ever after if there isn’t another season in the works. It is essentially the same thing they did last season (thank god), following the same structure. The only thing I hope they do is leave out the Orion Cave pitch from Ring II and go with the apparent closure of Push Mix.

      • atcDave says:

        I completely agree with all of that Ernie. And I’ll even agree S3 makes perfect sense from an overall outline perspective. I’ve said many times S3 failed at conception; but the problem never was the idea things might get hard or ugly. They failed by abandoning the theme that held viewer’s attention. In a nutshell, I think they were too enamored with the motif or overall journey; and turned away from the actual draw of the show.
        Anyone else remember the series finale of “Everybody Loves Raymond?”. They had a brief cancer scare. Not really funny stuff. Well you can sometimes get away with departures from form for a single episode. But imagine if they’d chosen to do a whole season of that! It would radically change the show and alienate their fan base.
        To me, that’s the story of Chuck S3.

      • armySFC says:

        dave, i agree. from what i read s3 became more of a soap opera than it was in the past. from what i read here most people thin k it was because of the chuck/sarah/shaw triangle. it maybe as simple as what you said. even though there was wt/wt during s 1&2 it was not as bad as s 3. i believe many casual fans just said the heck with the soap opera style and bolted.

        ernie, while i can see your point to a degree, i see it mostly applying to each season not over the course of the show. for me chuck’s culmination as a hero happened in 3.13. (i picked up s 3 in 3.12). in that episode he risked it all. he knew how sarah felt aboout him killing, but he did it anyway. he did what he does best, used his smarts to locate shaw and made a plan to catch him. from that point on chuck has never lived up to that hero mantra again. he has done some very good work, some impressive things. my opinion is a hero should never go backwards from the heights he has achieved, but always move forward. do i want chuck to start killing bad guys? not at all, but i do expect him to be willing to go full out to get them even if it means shooting them.

        chuck has become a cookie cutter show of itself. they use the same basic outline to end each arc.

        s-2 ending: chuck thinks sarah is in trouble, gets told its not his job (dad) recruits someone (dad) to help him, goes after sarah with a plan, downloads 2.0 saves sarah.

        s-3 middle arc: chuck thinks sarah is in trouble with shaw, gets told to satand down (beckman) recruits someone (casey), uses his smarts to find sahw, makes plan, saves sarah.

        s-4 middle arc: chuck thinks sarah is in trouble with volkoff, gets told to stand down (beckman) recruits someone (morgan), uses his smarts to locate sarah and volkoff, makes plan, takes volkoff down. by taking down volkoff, saves sarah and his mom.

        to me this just sounds like the same thing over and over. the journey to get there may be different but it has the same end. it could be that i just don’t care enough about the journey, just the entertainment.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I do think the triangle(s) was the most irredeemable aspect of the story (for several reasons that we’ve well discussed). Several other elements of the story didn’t work out very well; but I’ll always believe most of the other deficiencies could have been overlooked except for the triangles. The triangles had been done before, Shaw was poorly cast (at least from a Sham chemistry perspective), and most viewers seemed to feel it was time for real progress for Charah; so even apart from any merits the story might have had, the triangles were destined to be poorly received.

        So while Ernie may be right in asserting the show is a Hero’s Journey and not rom-com (or something else); TPTB did themselves a disservice by embracing their genre at the expense of its entertainment value.

        Now as far as lessons learned I’d say things have gone very well. S4 has been the best of the best to me. After a painful detour we have arrived at a good place. And I’m very thankful the show didn’t end at 3.13; that would have been massively disappointing.

      • First Timer says:

        @armysfc:
        It’s actually WORSE than you say. If you look at Ring II and Push Mix, it’s EXACTLY the same plan. Chuck lies in wait for the bad guy and the bad guy comes to him. Then Chuck tricks the bad guy into talking, which is the bad guy’s downfall. Bad guy even thinks Chuck has missed a beat and taunts Chuck for a bad plan, even as Chuck reveals that he’s been one step ahead of the bad guy all along. Chuck’s “plan” in both Ring II and Push Mix are identical.

        Push Mix even recycles the “army outside the door” gag, too. In Ring II, it was Chuck bursting in on Sarah and Shaw with a tactical team and a tank. In Push Mix, it’s Beckman behind the door with an Army.

        But that, in fairness to Ernie, is different than whether Chuck the show is using the hero’s journey template. I wouldn’t confuse repetitive plots with the overarching approach to the characters’ development.

        The repetitive plots actually go to the problem the show has had since the end of Colonel. The two things that the show once rested on (the guy desperate to get back to his normal life even though it wasn’t great and the girl who lived her life in a phony relationship with a fake boyfriend) had to end with Colonel. They had taken the concept as far as it could go, IMHO. The problem with Season 3 and beyond is that they’ve never come up with any situation nearly as good as the two pillars that were at the heart of the original Chuck show. So you start recycling old bits.

        That’s why it’s been by the numbers this year. I fully expect the back-11 arc to be predictable, too. Vivian will be the anti-Chuck and Volkoff’s daughter. She’ll get some type of Intersect and the final battle royale will take place at Chuck and Sarah’s wedding. (The only way it won’t go that way is if they decide they don’t have the budget to compete with the wedding in Ring and try to do something else so as to avoid comparisons.)

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        I will forever say that the story they needed, or tried, to tell was going to be “heavy” enough without the additional burden place on it by the LI’s (both LI’s), who quickly overtook the story to the point that we didn’t care about the supposed journey.

        Yes, we knew that Chuck and Sarah would be together. But that wasn’t enough. The Chuck and Sarah realtionship is forever scarred by the suicidal and confusing story they never told. Whether people see that “scar” as a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion. For me, the “epicness” of the Chuck & Sarah story (and YES, it is the “Chuck & Sarah” story) left with the train.

        S4 has been very good so far (Mama B story arc notwithstanding) and is trying desperately to get the “epicness” back, but it is still fighting an uphill battle against some issue form the previous season. Issues which are, IMO, wisely being treated as if they never happened.

      • atcDave says:

        Well put Joseph. I’m happy with the story we currently have, but the characters certainly were damaged by the triangles arc. Not only that, it was such a massive distraction that the potentially more interesting themes of Chuck growing into the spy world were completely obscured by the malfunctioning central relationship.

      • armySFC says:

        FT agreed. i just wanted to lay out the basic outline and not really go into any depth. when people say they have faith in the writers and the show runners now i wonder why? do they trust them to not go down the dark path again? they kind of did that during the last arc. we both pointed out the same plot lines have been used over and over again. i’m not a writer by any means but for people in their craft you would think that in a genre such as chuck you could come up with some better ideas for an arc. thats why i have little faith in the show runners. like you i fully expect to see a similar final arc this year. i’m not sold on vivian having an intersect or even being bad at this point. but i do expect to see the same type of volkoff story.

        i may be in the minority here about volkoff coming back. he was the best bad guy they had so far. if he comes back in any type of power situation, what was the purpose of the first 13 episodes? a failure to do what they set out to do, take volkoff down? i’m not talking about the human growth part of the show but the nuts and bolts part. i’m not sure how well that will be received. i will be disappointed if volkoff comes back in any form of power situtation.

        it’s for the reasons we listed (i think JC says the same things) that i feel the show should just go to an individual episode style. right now i feel certain we will see another rehash of the same plot with a wedding at the end.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        The Chuck and Sarah realtionship is forever scarred by the suicidal and confusing story they never told. Whether people see that “scar” as a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion. For me, the “epicness” of the Chuck & Sarah story (and YES, it is the “Chuck & Sarah” story) left with the train.

        Total agreement. 🙂

      • Crumby says:

        The Chuck and Sarah realtionship is forever scarred by the suicidal and confusing story they never told. Whether people see that “scar” as a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion. For me, the “epicness” of the Chuck & Sarah story (and YES, it is the “Chuck & Sarah” story) left with the train.

        Yes, that’s sadly true.

        I think there is something going on in Prague. Casey himself seems to have been affected there. 😉

      • jason says:

        I think TPTB are recycling the season 2 story, volkov aquires the intersect technology and kidnaps ellie to modify the program in such a manner that his minions can get intersected. Chuck and Sarah go off grid to free ellie, because beckman won’t allow them to, and beckman order casey and morgan to track them down. 4×23 ends with volkov destroyed, only little do they know, he survives to unleash mayhem in 4×24’s epic last episode – oh yea – ellie removes the intersect from chuck’s brain and chuck and sarah retire, until just as they are ready to leave on their honeymoon, they discover that something isn’t right, and rush off to save “Cobra” from Volkov’s bosses who really are meanies, really, they are, oh yea, those guys are called the ‘ellipse’, yada, yada, yada

      • weaselone says:

        To be fair there isn’t anything particularly wrong with Volkoff coming back. Villains like heroes are more than capable of rebounding from a defeat to engage in a second, third or even fiftieth round. Not every victory has to be an ultimate one nor should they be if the show wants to engage in any sort of realism. A powerful, well connected and wealthy arms dealer is going to have an army of allies, blackmailees and perhaps more importantly lawyers to call on.

        I will say that they need to do this right given they’ve already played this game when they brought Shaw back from the dead.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I trust the writers now simply because I believe they’ve learned from their mistakes. I have some bitterness and a bit of “I told you so” mixed in with that; but I’m satisfied they will not repeat the worst errors of seasons past. I’ve read multiple interviews that lead me to conclude they MOSTLY get it.
        As for other points; I’ve said all along I prefer the more episodic approach. It plays to the strengths of this show to focus on fun action adventure and character based humor, as opposed to getting too wrapped up deep mythology.
        And I’m all for the return of Volkoff. Dalton is too good and too fun to only do battle with once. Creating a story for an excellent character shouldn’t be that hard. Bonus points if it actually serves the greater mythology.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with all of that, Dave. TPTB have kept their word about a lighter S4 and keeping Chuck and Sarah together. They have discovered what works and what doesn’t. They’d be fool-hearty to revisit the stuff that cost them so many viewers.

        I have no problem with Volkoff’s return. Like you said he’s too good not to bring back, and he would have a pretty deep bench to keep the game interesting.

      • armySFC says:

        dave and weasel, agree mostly with both. what i don’t trust the writers with is the ability to handle an arc. i’m coming from the nuts and bolts part of the show, not the relationship angle. i think they get that.

        despite the preference of some, the relationship can’t be the sole focus of the show or the majority (see season 3). all parts have to be in sync for it to work with me. that’s why i enjoyed seduction impossible so much more than any episode so far this season. comedy was there, mission was well defined and executed, bad girl was decent, no plot holes left over and a good lead in to what might come from sarah’s family. none of the main characters was that much more important than the others. it was a well rounded episode for everything that makes chuck what it is. granted i had some issues with certain parts but nothing major.

        i haven’t been impressed yet with TPTB ability to sustain that over the long haul of an arc. i do think that if they had one team write an arc vs 3 teams like in the last one many of these problems would go away. that’s not how they roll however.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree they tend to focus too much on the central relationship in some ways. This is a big part of why I so aggressively dislike the relationship angst. It distracts from other stories they could be telling. The “declined phone call” was simply the repetitive type of miscommunication angst they’d used many times before, and should have been done with post S2. There are better stories to tell if they would quit revisiting the ones we’re already tired of.

        Now keep in mind I don’t consider this a huge thing. I am mostly very happy with the show now. I am only making the point; I would prefer to see the central relationship used mainly for the fun bits while tension and conflict came from external sources.

      • armySFC says:

        dave, exactly my point. all my above posts pointed to the same thing. they repeat over and over the same things. whether it’s the missed calls or the predictability of how the arc will progress is why i don’t hold much faith in TPTB or the writers involved. i said a while ago, when i quoted einstein “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” yet the show runners do it constantly. maybe that’s part of the shows struggles this year. while i agree it has been a very enjoyable season, it has been to predictable in its design. for lack of a better term its become stale from a plot venue.

        we can almost predict when the angst will come, when the stand alone episodes will come. when the arcs will come, and what will be contained in each one.

        instead of using sarah/chuck to provide the drama, use morgan or casey. heck even put ellie or devon in a bad place. like you said make it an outside source that does not involve relationship angst or playing with the intersect again.

      • atcDave says:

        Except army that they have MOSTLY learned their lesson. The repetitive relationship silliness has been very underplayed this season and it’s only reared it’s ugly head a couple of times. They are not simply repeating past actions; the miscommunication and relationship angst has been dialed way back and played mainly for laughs. At this point, my “complaint” is little more than the occasional eye roll. Much as I would call S3 dreadful tripe, this season has been genius. The arcs have been short and focused on fun characters, the central relationship has been fun and sweet, and they’ve even fixed most of what went wrong last season.
        I can look forward to the rest of the season because the first part of the season was so brilliant. I expect the back of the season to be more like the first part; and unlike S3. The show runners have learned their lesson and good stuff lies ahead.

      • armySFC says:

        dave while i agree again on some parts i’m not sure if i am saying things the right way to make my point clear. the whole volkoff arc was long and left a lot of issues hanging, mama b being the biggest one. the 2 mini arcs followed the exact same process, as have the 1/2 seasons. we have already gone over those. that’s what i mean when i say repetitive. if this was math, all they are doing is taking the same formula and plugging in different numbers. i did clearly state that they have mostly done away with the relationship angst. my points are mostly directed at the formula they use and continue to use.

        thats what i mean it’s getting stale. there is predictability to it that may be turning some viewers away. once they see a small arc start they know what the next 2 episodes will most likely be like. i’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, and if i can see a pattern, others can as well.

        i am anxious to see how the ratings fair after 4.16 when the next mini arc starts. will it be a repeat of the last 2 this year where the first one starts out about the season average then drops over the next 2 or will they ratings stay where they started at over the next 2? i do hope its the second. but based on past arc performances it doesn’t look good to me.

        the sad part of the arc’s is the best episodes of each was the least viewed.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @all

        Fascinating.

      • JC says:

        What I think Army is getting it is this, they’re telling the same story and using the same tricks with a different coat of paint. For all the talk of growth they’re unwilling to take the next step with the characters. Chuck has saved the day how many times and yet he’s still treated as junior spy when the plot calls for it. The relationship while handled much better is still presented as Chuck is insecure and Sarah being emotionally stunted. You can only go to save plot device so many times before people stop caring.

        When it comes to seasonal arcs, the problem is the same as the standalone episodes its just magnified. We can overlook the motives and plot holes in stand alone episodes because they’re one and done. But when you drag that out over the course of a season the questions start piling up. And the show starts getting weighed down by its own unanswered questions.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        JC

        Let’s see what they do with the ‘Vivian arc’. It is certainly a new angle they are playing.Lauren Cohan is scheduled to appear in 5 episodes. On a show like Chuck that is quite an extended stay for a guest star. Hope her story is riveting and in the end doesn’t make us scratch our heads at another wasted arc.

      • armysfc says:

        JC, yep that’s pretty much what i was getting at.

      • JC says:

        @Genie

        I have high hopes for the “Vivian arc/Volkoff strikes back” arc. I could see it being a turning point in the show when it comes to Chuck the spy and Sarah the woman. I just hope it doesn’t go off the rails like the first thirteen did around FOD.

      • Big Kev says:

        This has been a fantastic conversation. Seriously, things like this are why I enjoy this blog so much!

        @Ernie,
        I’ve always loved your Heroes Journey posts. They made me see some context around the time of Pink Slip, when my first reaction was to scream “WTF have they done?” and go and find another show to watch 
        I think the progression from Boy to Man to Spy has been clear over the first 3 seasons, but I guess my question to you is this – do you see a journey/progression in Season 4? I guess I’m not sure I do. Boy to Man to Spy to – what? Fiancee? To me, Chuck is at the same place he was as a spy at the end of Season 3. Yes, he’s found his mother (well, Sarah did most of that for him), and he’s on the verge of claiming his father’s legacy – but that’s where we were at the end of Season 3, isn’t it?
        I think the Heroes Journey has suffered this season because there’s never been a sense that the obstacles faced have been significant. TPTB have removed any sense of stakes from the story, so I think the value of the journey and/or the lessons learned has decreased as a result. Just my 2c worth.

        @FT,
        I loved the insight into Fedak’s obsession with “stay or run”, although I agree with Ernie that it’s legitimate that each stage of the journey could have many such “stay or run” moments.

        @FT/Army,
        Sadly, I find myself agreeing with you that the show has been too predictable and bordering on stale this season. I think the difference is that for the first 2 seasons, the writers drew much better on the whole ensemble cast, and constructed the mythology so that Chuck and Sarah were a part of the story, rather than the whole story.
        Starting with Season 3, Chuck and Sarah have gradually become the whole story, around which everything else is secondary. Casey is peripheral, and the Volkoff/MamaB story is largely told in terms of how it affects Chuck and Sarah. Their backstories cannot be fleshed out, because we cannot have extended periods of Chuck and Sarah apart.
        Chuck, essentially, is a romantic comedy at this point in its’ evolution – with the slight twist thrown in that the leads are actually together. There is no longer any sense of drama or unpredictability about where the story is heading. This cast is that good that Season 4 has had its share of magical moments in spite of those limitations, but I do wonder where the story goes from here. I’d love to see some genuine twists in the final 10, and some scenarios that we haven’t already seen. The show has proved in the past that it’s more than a standalone “by the numbers” show – it needs to prove it again, to prove that it’s not running out of story.

      • atcDave says:

        Army, JC. I just really think they have delivered in terms of variety, creativity, and even learning from past mistakes. Like most writers/artists/people they do have tendencies and a particular style. But they have made spectacular progress in learning and fixing past mistakes. Even after sinking to all time low for S3 in which they lost most fan goodwill; they fixed all the major complaints we brought up, and returned to producing an extraordinary high quality product.
        You always have the right to express your frustrations and desire for change with any aspect of the show. But I think you’ve been strident and insistent with an extreme minority viewpoint. I believe most of us can happily overlook the occasional plot hole or unresolved plot device; in exchange for a show that is exciting, funny, sweet, uplifting, and celebrates a cast of characters we’ve come to love.
        I honestly hope you guys can find a way to be happy with Chuck. I think most of the rest of us have made our peace with the season of our discontent and completely enjoy the show once again. There are still some deficiencies we can discuss (and do quite often). But don’t let a few quibbles rob you of the show you fell in love with.

      • Big Kev says:

        @Dave,
        It’s a minority opinion on this blog – but this is a very shipper-heavy blog. A sense of ennui/disappointment is a much more common opinion on other blogs and (especially) podcasts. I say that not to claim to be right or wrong – there is no right or wrong – but to point out that there is a spectrum of opinion that isn’t necessarily always represented here.
        I do still enjoy the show. I said in another post that I’d give this season a solid 7/10 with hope for improvement. But I do sometimes find myself disappointed when I think back to the days when this show was an automatic 9/10, and better. Those days are gone, and I don’t think they’re coming back.
        That said, I’ve made my points at length, so I’ll cease and desist until I have something different – and hopefully better – to say!

      • JC says:

        @Dave

        I think you misunderstanding, I’m happy with the show. But I also can point out flaws that if they were addressed would make the show better IMO. Now I admit I watch the show and get something out of it than the majority of people on this blog.
        But I also think a lot of people here see things in the show that aren’t there to explain deficiencies in the script. Fanwank if you will, well thought and written but still fanwank. In fact I think most people here are more willing to overlook flaws as long as Chuck and Sarah are in a good place at the end of an episode.

      • uplink2 says:

        JC I would disagree with you on one point. I am most definitely a shipper and I’m fine with that. I don’t need Chuck and Sarah in a good place every episode. Hell if you look at Season 2 they weren’t in a happy place for most of the final scenes. Last season one of the biggest flaws was that they weren’t together at all at the end of the episodes for most of the first 13 in fact they were rarely together and we got more unappealing Sarah/Shaw scenes (bleh). This season they are back to being the final scene very much like season 2 and not every time was it happy. But what they did do was you saw progress, you saw a story developing each time. 2 of the best scenes from season 2 the end of Breakup and Lethal Weapon were not happy together scenes but they were great for the story. In season 4 the ending of FOD was not a positive moment nor was Gobbler but both advanced the story and I loved them.

        I won’t deny that Chuck/Sarah is the primary reason I watch the show and all other elements are secondary so I’m happy with it. Also I think sometimes certain podcasters views of the show I don’t agree and we have very different views of what we want in the show. What I want from the show has never been better than here in season 4. I’m entertained, I laugh, I get misty, everything I look for.

      • armysfc says:

        @ dave. i believe you misunderstand me as well. i do like this show. but it is not the same show it was in the first 2 years. it used to be a top 3 show for me, now its number six of the six shows i do watch. when you say the show has evolved your right it has. it has gone from a show that paid less attention to the relationships and more to the spy mythology. now it pays more attention to the relationships than the spy mythology.

        i’m not that into the relationship angle of the show. you said that we represented a minority view point. on this blog i agree completely. dave please do not take this the wrong way. take a look at the past several threads that were started here by the owners of the blog. how many deal with the mythology of the show? it tells what is important to the writers. they have been about the romance of the show. the relationships of the show. whether its the c/s m/a e/d or the parents. no one has started a thread dealing with any of the actual mythology of the show. i see nothing wrong with that. for the people that want to see a happy couple this season has been a delight. you will get no argument from me.

        from what i hear this season is much better than last, maybe that’s why its considered genius by a few people here. again nothing wrong with that, but that leads me to ask you this question. why are people leaving the show this year? if the vast majority like this show why have almost 25% of the viewers that started this season no longer here? there are a huge number of reasons and they have been discussed at length elsewhere so there is no need to go over it again.

        while i like the show less than i once did but continue to watch, it looks like many more people in the minority have said, peace out. just my opinion.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I agree entirely.

        Army, numbers have mostly been steady since 3.14. annoyingly steady sometimes, we get little up or down movement regardless of promotion, story line, or competition. The fluctuation in the key demo is from 1.7-2.1; it seems we’ve found the core audience, and unless something really upsets the apple cart I don’t think there will be any dramatic changes. I continue to talk up the show and try to sell friends on it, hopefully we’ll get things trending in the right direction as the season plays out; but I don’t believe we’ll see large swings anymore.
        I’d also say the vast majority of more casual viewers (meaning everyone who doesn’t post on a blog) are very happy with the show this season. This site is now the only place where I encounter such harsh and cynical discussion. I know 8 other households that watch Chuck, and they are all VERY happy with things. Most regard Chuck as a breath of fresh air for finally breaking the decades old TV romance model that was a long standing cliche. Of course that isn’t the only thing the show has to offer, but I believe it will be the show’s historic legacy. And I’m hugely happy to have witnessed it; hopefully it has broken the ice for many shows yet to come.

      • armysfc says:

        @ dave. i know i sound negative about the show but maybe answering these few questions will help see my point. you like the bears correct? you were probably happy with the season they just had. but could they be improved? could they add a lineman or linebacker to make them better? could your baseball team add a player to get better? do married couples stay where they are at when the first get married or do they do small tings all the time to make it better? ernie is an engineer, when he designs something i bet he looks for ways to improve it almost right away. if the phone call never happened in the gobbler would it have been just a bit better.

        on the romace front. c/s got engaged. your happy right as is everyone. why are we talking about when the wedding will take place? because it will make the romance better. then we’ll be asking for kids? each one improves the other. its just that they are improving a good thing.

        i guess my point is no matter how good something is at the time i feel it can get better. after all if we were so happy with prop planes why are there now jets?

      • JC says:

        @Uplink

        I have to disagree, they were in a good place, maybe not together romantically but they were together as close friends. That was one of the mistakes on S3, that they made me wonder why the two of them would even want to be friends let alone anything more.

        What I’m getting at is the same flaws that hurt the overall arc of S3 are still present this year but some fans are more willing to overlook them because the C/S relationship romantic or otherwise is stable. From the end of First Fight to Push Mix is a basic replay of last season with two difference, Chuck and Sarah are OK and a much stronger group of writers.

        Both seasons suffered from an unsympathetic third party driving the arc and actions of the main characters. A paper thin and back loaded spy story that makes zero sense . And a thirteenth episode that basically swept all the dangling plot threads under the rug.

        Here’s the thing I don’t think this season has been bad by any means, I’d rank it up there with S1 which I think is underrated. In fact two of my favorite episodes of the series are from this year Coup and Phase Three. IMO the shows works better with standalone or shorter arcs building to something bigger like S2. The writing style of the show and what they seem to care about doesn’t lend itself to long term spy stories and mythology. I’m not saying to abandon those things completely but they should write to their strengths and those aspects of the show aren’t one of them.

        I just hope they stay away from season spanning arcs moving forward into the these eleven and hopefully S5.

      • Big Kev says:

        JC,
        I’m not quite ready to give up on the arcs yet. That’s partly because the show has done them well before, and I refuse to believe that they cant do them again. And it’s partly because I’m genuinely not sure whether a potential S5 of story-lite standalones would hold my interest.
        I really hope they do something different with Vivian. Something unexpected. Something we haven’t seen before. Something that sheds some new light on Chuck’s capabilities as a spy.

      • Crumby says:

        I do think that people are willing to let go of issues because CS are in a good place most of the time.

        I’m happy with S4, I’ve had a great time with it and I love seeing Chuck and Sarah together. But after 3 seasons and a half some issues are tiresome and ruin a little bit of fun for me.

        The end of AOT wasn’t dealt with, not in a satisfactory manner to me anyway. Instead they give a resolution to First Fight that really irk me, and I loved the episode, so it’s a shame.
        Then there was the FOD mess, and once again the issues weren’t dealt with a satisfactory manner to me in Phase Three. The question of whether Chuck was spy or not without the Intersect was answered by Beckman saying he was still an ‘asset’ because he did an incredible thing to prove himself: he was stupidly kidnapped and then saved by his awesome spy girlfriend.
        Then I had great hope about Ellie and the Intersect, but the Intersect-less arc really proved to be useless, because that new Intersect still hasn’t been mention at all.
        I didn’t have any problem with Balcony, but the end of Gobbler was once again useless. They gave Chuck and Sarah a mean to communicate with each other that served only one purpose: Sarah not answering the phone, like she did in 4 previous episode (Nemesis, Broken Heart, Pink Slip, Final Exam). But the worst thing about it, is that they completely ignored it in Push Mix. If they don’t care about the issues they bring up I wonder why I should.

        Another example of that for me was in Seduction Impossible. I liked the interactions between Mary and Ellie but when came the last scene, it only made me roll my eyes. It reminded me that everybody is lying to Ellie, Clara might even know the truth before her, and there isn’t any reason for it anymore. Chuck was spying again to find is mom and didn’t tell Ellie because he didn’t want to worry her. Their mom are safe now, and Clara’s born. If he waits for the next danger to come, obviously he’s never going to tell her. It reminded that they’ve been dragging this out for 13 episodes for no good reason, and it’s barely believable: Ellie isn’t stupid, am supposed to believe that Chuck being gone that much or that her father’s computer going missing isn’t noticeable? The worse thing is that when it will be convenient, I know she’ll learn the truth and it will be no big deal. She’ll be fine with everybody lying to her, and she’ll be fine with Chuck spying again. For the record, I hope the writers prove me wrong. They said they something in store for Ellie, and I’m willing to wait & see.

        Those “no proper resolution” issues aren’t new. They were there in S2 as well. But after all this time, like I said, it’s tiresome. I can understand plot holes, Chuck will never be a perfect spy show. But when it comes to the characters, they should do better than that. At some point it’s seems to me that whatever happens, Chuck and Sarah will end up fine with each other whether they resolve the situation or not, and the fact that they’re happy won’t always be good enough.

      • jason says:

        no surprise I am piping in – my observation is the fan base that remains is fragmented, on this site it may be shipper heavy, but I freely admit there are heavy mythology people out there in way too substantial numbers to alienate. To those, I submit at least a 3rd substantial fragment exists, that would be the casual viewer.

        My take on this issue overall is the serialized dramatic arc has a higher risk of infuriating shippers, especially each and every time the CS relationship is put into doubt, than the lighter, stand alone episodes stand to infuriate the serious chuck fans.

        I also submit the casual viewers really are by and large looking for a lighter show – sorry – the overall premise, acting, and stories border on near ridiculous to my son & his friends, who watch it largely to laugh at jeffster, ridicule how lame chuck & morgan are, and ogle Yvonne, his words not mine.

        The point is the serious, dark, mythology fans don’t get near as angryf by the weak spy stories as the shipper fans get when the darkness touches the CS relationship. You need only look at the reaction to FOD, balconcy, and gobbler vs push mix and seduction for proof.

        So the proper course for chuck is to keep from infuriating the shippers by leaving CS in a good spot, to try to piecemeal some spy arc together to keep the serious fans at least with them, and to throw as much lame comedy & skin as possible to the rest of the fans.

        A – that appears to be the strategy
        B – it makes sense to me, based on what I might do in the same position

      • Big Kev says:

        Jason,
        You know, I completely agree with you. I wouldn’t have phrased it anything like as entertainingly though 🙂
        What you’re describing is balance. Action, Comedy, a slice of longer-arc mythology, a dash of Bartowski family goodness and a pinch of non-angst drama. Throw in some surprise plot twists and smother with loads of Chuck and Sarah. A perfect Chuck recipe. Something exactly between the darkness of S3 and the fluff of S4. Can I place an order, please?

      • JC says:

        Why can’t the show cater to both groups of fans. I love mythology based shows but I understand Chuck was and will never be that. And that’s fine the show stands on its own but when they do deal with mythology and spy stories it would help the show if they were stronger. I love the over the top nature of episodes like Seduction, its episodes like Gobbler and Push where they up the drama is where the show stumbles because of the weak spy plots and mythology.

        And this notion that mythology has to be dark is strange. Actually I do know where this came from, thanks again S3. Like everything else the tone of the show dictates it. Chuck is a comic book so I would expect that type of mythology behind not something dark like BSG.

      • jason says:

        Kev – yea / JC – exactly dark and chuck don’t mix at all, but really, chuck can do near anything, anything from slap stick to executions, as long as CS cuddle in their bed at the end of the day in at least 1/3 of the eps, the family has a warm laugh in 1/3 of the eps, and the team has a knowing smile of what team and friendship means at the end of 1/3 of the eps – by and large, the eps have to end well.

        I watched the final librarian (2008) last night, where the LI co-star is Beckett from Castle. There are two others, 2004 (kelly HU essentially plays sarah, to the point I am not so sure fedak did not get inspired by this movie), and 2006 with of all people, fiona from burn notice as the guest star. Kind of scary, two of the main wt/wt’s in this genre co starred in the movie. The main character is chuck with all brain, to the point, he is so smart, he sort of is intersected. I think the movies are great, stronger in plot than chuck, sad endings, but sort of who cares.

        I bring that up, because what I think happened in chuck, chuck and sarah were written too close, too sizzling, too everything, it stopped being about sleeping together, it became much more about something far deeper. In the Librarian series, the LI’s stayed in the background, the spy plot stayed in the foreground, somehow it got flipped in chuck. At this point, there is no turning back, I am not so sure they did not get to that no turning back in the pilot, fans just figured it out quicker than the showrunners.

      • uplink2 says:

        Lots of great stuff in this thread. Jason, I agree with you that the fanbase is fractured. That is one of the lasting legacies of Season 3. Not only did it damage the characters but it damaged the fans. Prior to season 3 I believe that it was a much more unified fanbase because we all got what we wanted out of the show on some level in season 1 and 2. Plus they ended season 2 with a great spy story and a great love story. They also had such great promise going into season 3 for both the relationship and for the 2.0. The fans were behind them solidly and what did we get? A disaster that no one wanted. The central relationship was destroyed almost beyond repair and a really crappy spy story with dangling plot holes, plot devices, poor acting and a story hung on a character that most people simply wanted dead.

        I will say and maybe this is personal bias that the shipper/relationship being #1 side of the fanbase seems to be the largest and they alienated that part of the fanbase the most. So this season to try and make up for that and “learn their lessons” they have put the relationship front and center and we shippers are very happy about it. However the spy side of the fanbase is still left wanting with the same loose ends we had last season. The key going forward is to get back to that balance they had in seasons 1 and 2 in particular. Don’t mess with Chuck and Sarah too much and focus more on the spy story. I think many of us shippers want that as well. We want to enjoy those aspects of the show just as much as the spy folks do. I believe that is what the casual fans want too. They don’t watch the show for the dark brooding angsty stuff that they tried last year. Plus maybe if they had done it better things would be different today.

        I keep thinking about how things would have been different for the show with all of its promotion last season and all of the excitement from the fans initiatives etc had they had Chuck and Sarah actually talk to each other in Angel about what was said in the surveillance video. Had they come to the realization that they needed to work together to have Chuck become a spy for them to have a real shot at making their love for each other work long term. How Chuck had stayed true to himself and that he still wanted Sarah to be in his life forever. Had they then brought in the Eve Shaw killing to showcase for Chuck how it affected Sarah and how it would affect Chuck. Be there for each other as friends and partners who cared deeply for the other. Not have Sarah run to Shaw after she had made Chuck have the “worst moment of his life” but been there for him like he would have been there for her. Things would be quite different today and I think the fanbase would be less fractured as the stories would have made sense instead of a jumbled mess tied to an unlikable character played by a very weak actor.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree 100% Uplink. I think we’d have better ratings and a less fragmented fan base.

      • Faith says:

        Well said Uplink, but I think you’re missing a key piece. SOME of those that are purposely fragmenting the fanbase this season actually liked season 3.

        JC since you seem like a guy that appreciates directness I will be direct and brutally honest with you. I didn’t appreciate the insult to half the writers on this blog. But hey it’s good to know where we stand.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thanks Faith. As the new guy here I tend to stay out of any of that. While I can understand, sort of, those that liked the concept of season 3, a darker, more uncomfortable exploration of Chuck becoming a spy and all that entails, I will never understand how anyone could like the execution. The plot holes, the dropped and ignored plot devices, complete character retcons, destroying the central relationship, terribly displayed “villain organization”and a very weak actor who brought absolutely nothing to the central role in the retcon. Some may find that there was a need for Chuck and Sarah to go through what they went through to finally come together in the end but I don’t see how anyone can defend the execution of that story. It was simply the weakest most poorly written and executed arc ever.

      • JC says:

        @Faith

        Please tell me where I insulted half the writers on this blog? This is the second time you’ve accused me of something based on your assumptions. If anything I think this blog has become less welcoming to be people that don’t share the opinion that this season is great.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith and JC

        May I suggest a bottle of Genie’s “Chill Out Juice” to cool down things. My marketing manager, Thinkling informs me that it’s the latest offering from our R&D guys.
        Disclaimer: Untested on humans. Side Effects unknown 😛

        P.S: Go for it guys, you will be making history here. 😉

      • Faith says:

        But I also think a lot of people here see things in the show that aren’t there to explain deficiencies in the script. Fanwank if you will, well thought and written but still fanwank.

        Specifically.

        I also don’t appreciate the insinuation that by calling the season “genius” I’m overlooking its flaws, more, blind to them. But that’s my problem, I’m reading things you aren’t saying.

        Like I said, fine. Insult received. At least I know where people stand on the things I personally write about. Ok then.

      • JC says:

        My intention wasn’t to insult anyone on this blog.

        All I meant by my comment was that not every fan here sees those same things or deeper meaning from episodes. And when someone like myself doesn’t agree with these type of posts we get piled on for not getting it or being nitpicky. That’s just as insulting as someone saying you overlook or are blind to the flaws.

        I won’t single anyone out but I’ve seen a lot of hostile comments towards other blogs and bloggers here that don’t subscribe to the greatness of this season. So remember it works both ways.

      • thinkling says:

        @Alladins:

        All right, you’re a bit ahead of the release date, but Chill-Out Juice is an excellent product.

        A tasty, refreshing blend of passion fruit and orange juice with orange zest, it has extract from passion flower, erva cidreira, and chamomile, for a calming pleasant effect.

      • armysfc says:

        faith i think i’m the one that mentioned genius in one of my posts. so i’ll take the hit on that one. do me one favor if you will. take a look at any episode this year. pick out three things you like and three you don’t like as much. i bet you can find them. then ask yourself on the three things you found you did not care for as much, how would it have been done better?

        do not get me wrong i do like the show, just not as much and for different reasons. i accept the faults of the show as well as the good. that does not mean i ignore the things i enjoyed to focus on the things i didn’t. i base my like or dislike of an episode or an arc on everything that is presented in that episode or arc, not just the mythology which i favor.

        i do bring up a lot of negative comments but i also bring up a lot of good ones. here is my closing thought on this discussion because for me it’s just repeating itself. when and if the show gets canceled this year. it will not be because of the failing of the chuck and sarah relationship. that part has been done strong and very well. if you have read my previous posts that go way back, you will see that i mostly agree on how it has been handled. chuck will meet its end because the show runners did not put as much effort into bringing forth all that chuck has to offer on a regular enough basis to appeal to all of its fans not just the majority. this season they concentrated on one aspect of the show.

      • atcDave says:

        I know I speak for the whole crew here when I say we DO draw attention to the deficiencies and shortcomings of each episode. This blog has never been a place where criticisms are white washed. But the criticisms seem to have overtaken the site. More to the point, a small number of posters have made every effort to drown out the majority of us who want to celebrate and have a good time with the show. The same complaints are brought up in every discussion, and I assure you all six of us principals are beyond tired of it. This blog was created as a labor of love, but these last couple weeks it has become a drag. If we really felt there was a major problem worthy of complaining in every post it would be different; as indeed it was LAST SEASON, we were at the forefront of airing our criticisms daily.
        But as of now, ALL SIX OF US are thoroughly happy with the show. And yet our blog barely reflects that because a small number of our guests have decided this is THE PLACE to complain. It is unlikely the blog would be taken down, but we’ve all taken turns here the last couple weeks saying “I need a break.”
        We all understand the need for criticism as a part of an honest exchange of opinion, which is why we keep going. But if you claim to love the show, lets hear about the love. If you don’t love the show, please visit sites for the programming you do love.

      • JC says:

        Fair points Dave

        But I’d like to point out one thing. Someone could post one hundred reasons why they love an episode and one thing they hated. What generates the most replies?

        I know I’m in the minority on this blog that I can rip something apart and still love it. Its how I am with my favorite teams, books, shows and movies. But I thought about your comments and realized not everyone feels this way. So I’m going to stop posting here, I don’t want my opinions to ruin other people’s enjoyment of this show. So its been fun ladies and gentlemen, keep up the awesome job you do as fans. Oh and Faith no hard feelings, if you felt insulted by my comments I’m sorry.

      • thinkling says:

        I won’t leave Dave out on the limb alone, here. He has spoken our frustration eloquently and graciously.

        We welcome all views. Many people talk about their criticisms along with all the things they love about the show. We welcome that. It makes for good discussion. Balanced sparring is good, and we learn new perspectives from each other. That’s all good and fun, and that’s what this is … a forum for fun discussion.

        It’s not balanced criticism but constant complaining that sucks the fun out of it. Unrelenting negativity leveled at a show that I love is disheartening. After multiple iterations of the same point, I begin to feel a bit hammered. Just dialing back the intensity and the belaboring of one point will go a long way toward restoring the fun for everyone.

        If you need to say something privately to the authors of the blog, that’s always an option.

      • Faith says:

        JC, you and I, we’ve been through the ups and downs together (from this blog and the boards starting out). Believe it or not I understand and know where you’re coming from. It’s just like Dave said, it’s not the view that’s grating, it’s… I can’t explain it as well as he did so I won’t even try. Apology accepted and I’m genuinely sorry that you feel you have to leave.

      • Big Kev says:

        All,

        Firstly, apologies from me. I’ve got caught up in some negative posts of late. It’s not my normal habit and given that I tend to tune out of anyone who’s posts are consistently negative, it’s time for me to start taking my own advice. There is still much about the show that I love, and I need to get back to posting about those things.

        I do feel like there’s a double standard going on here though, because at the height of Season 3, many posters, and some moderators, had nothing good to say in any of their posts – and (with the honourable exception of Ernie) I don’t recall any similar calls for restraint from the moderators.
        I think keeping tabs on constant complaining is a good guideline (this is a fan site, after all, as you say) and I’m going to make a better effort to observe it – but it’s a guideline that should be observed at all times, not just in support of whatever happens to be the majority opinion.

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

    It’s been shown, twice now, that they can certainly start an arc. They just wait too long to start to end it. Both 3.13 and 4.13 are good standalone episodes, because they are jam packed with the scenes we wish to see. But these scenes, although heartwarming and nice, do absolutely nothing to resolve the story that came before.

    For example:

    I have no doubt that Sarah’s, “You saved me” in Other Guy is not only supposed to mean from Shaw (physically), but also (in a matter of speaking) from herself (emotionally). Unfortunately from the story as presented before 3.13, we can only assume the “physical” saving. The more powerful “emotional” saving (which was probably supposed to be a point of the story), needed to be set-up WAY before Other Guy. So, it’s certainly a sweet moment, but means less then it could have because they waited too long and then just threw it in.

    The same can be said to Hydra. This is a great thread to keep the story going while either Mama B or Volkov (or both) aren’t in certain episodes. But we needed to be introduced to it earlier if the entirety of the spy plot was going to hinge on it. (The 20 year mission, is just a mess)

    So I think they have the right idea, but they are trying to do a “Lost” type of ending and it doesn’t work because of waiting too long before starting to tie up loose ends.

    For this reason I think 2, 3 or 4 episodes arcs would be better. We don’t have time to get all the story, nor do we expect it. But it forced the point of the story to be revealed much earlier in order for the mini arc to make sense.

    (BTW, I couldn’t write a TV show to save my life)

    • atcDave says:

      Agree with all of that Joseph (although I’m not sure if you could write a TV episode or not!)

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      Oops. Meant to post under army’s above. Sorry

      • armySFC says:

        lol. and thats why i keep saying leave the long arcs alone. even the small ones leave things out, but i think it’s mostly because the same team doesn’t write the entire arc. so if team 1 puts something in they wanted expanded and team 2 misses it, it is left hanging. then it happens between 2-3 again. if one team were to write all three, they know what they want to expand on and what they don’t. i read somewhere that a writer said the hardest thing they ever had to write was a collaboration with another writer. that they had a hard time putting their ideas together in a cohesive form. i don’t know if it holds true to script writing but it makes sense to me.

    • uplink2 says:

      Joseph, I agree with much of that. We have discussed elsewhere that one of the big problems with the Shaw arc was that they waited for their big, enormous, fantastical, surprising, yes game changing secret, Sarah killing Eve Shaw until so late that the audience wished she had shot him too. No one cared in the least about Shaw’s story by that point. The majority of the audience I believe hated him and just wanted him dead and not hated in a good way. The reason behind all of what was about to happen was irrelevant to the viewers and once again the actor involved fell flat on his plywood face with that ridiculous Noooooo!!. Sorry Brandon, I didn’t care in the least. That element may have made sense earlier on but it would have got in the way of the LI angle they seemed desperate to hang the story on. When you destroy or damage the central relationship of the show you shouldn’t be surprised when no one cares about the other plot elements you are trying to get folks engaged in. Especially when the other plot elements revolve around the person everyone sees as the cause of destroying the central relationship. If they had revealed it earlier and kept Shaw and Sarah apart then the story of Sarah’s and Chuck’s Red Tests could have been used as a way of getting to “You saved me” much cleaner. Dealing with those experiences together would have laid the groundwork for DYLM and You saved me.

      In a lot of ways in season 4 the short arcs worked well but the longer arc of Mama B didn’t. However the engagement arc is probably IMO the best longer arc we have seen them do. You can easily follow it all along the way to the hospital corridor.

      • armySFC says:

        uplink2, agree on the proposal arc. it is the best long arc they have done, but it was also the easiest. in two episodes we pretty much knew it was a done deal. the only suspense was the when and how. all the other arcs required much more work.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        For the understated, quiet, intimate proposal as shown in 4.13, the set-up from all the episodes before was well done and necessary. The proposal they did in fact “pull off” in a very satisfying way.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joseph. They’d completely played out the loud over produced sort in Balcony. So they did the perfect thing (only thing) left to them, and went completely understated. It was a beautiful moment.

      • thinkling says:

        And he surprised the super spy … as much as you can when you’ve been talking about it all season.

    • Crumby says:

      Both 3.13 and 4.13 are good standalone episodes, because they are jam packed with the scenes we wish to see. But these scenes, although heartwarming and nice, do absolutely nothing to resolve the story that came before.

      That’s very true.

  25. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Seduction Impossible (4.14) | Chuck This

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