First Bank of Mua-ha-ha!

Chuck and Sarah Go Neo and Trinity

Or Bonnie and Clyde, if you’re of a certain age. Well, the bank heist is more Bonnie and Clyde, the clothes more Neo and Trinity, but either way, they’re looking a bit like outlaws robbing a bank.

At least it’s an evil bank they’re after, with Vivian McArthur, daughter of Alexei Volkoff.

While Chuck is finding his inner Keanu, Sarah is finding her inner bride. That should be fun, but I’ll be disappointed if it’s too difficult for her. We’ve seen Sarah fretting over her nearly empty guest list quite a bit already. She got a good start at filling her side of the church with the CAT Squad and I would hate to see her stop now, or even go backwards a step over her mysterious, absent mother and disappeared-always-on-the-lam father. Besides, I would like to know the real story about her sister as much as Chuck would.

Sarah excels at half-way measures in her personal life, though. It’s time for her to decide – include them or exclude them. One foot in, or as painful as it might be, both feet? Which will make her happier?

With Morgan gone from the apartment, Sarah has a chance to be even more “versatile” than she’s been since The Suburbs and to step back and enjoy the whole “Martha Stewart thing”. That is something I would like to see! What are Chuck&Sarah going to do now that they are empty nesters? Will they finally refurbish the apartment Sarah style?

And where is Morgan going to wind up, anyway? Back with Bolonia? One hopes not! As much as I’d love to see her again, Morgan deserves a bit better than rooming with Big Mike and mamaG. He needs to decide on a direction – towards home (which has been mostly Chuck’s home for most of his life) or towards Alex. He should be with Alex, of course. But there’s a complicating factor, and it’s not Casey this time.

It’s Kathleen. Casey is coming up fast on a double decision. Will he stay with TeamB (which used to be much more TeamC)? And does he need to re-consider his decision about staying out of Kathleen’s life? After all, in Burbank he remains part of Alex’s life, which means Morgan is there, which means, inevitably, Chuck&Sarah. I don’t think the half-way measure of leaving for an office behind the wall in Castle will do it for him. It’s time to fish or cut bait.

Which will make him happier?

And finally, there’s Vivian. She was introduced as an unhappy, purposeless, little rich girl. It looks like she too has a decision to make. Vivian has been training and acquiring skills for a long time and now that she understands the purpose, there is only one question. Is she her father’s daughter? When she has her answer, will it make her any happier than she was?

Speculate away, my friends!

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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68 Responses to First Bank of Mua-ha-ha!

  1. atcDave says:

    I speculate that I’ll be very excited at 7:59 on Monday night; which makes it pretty much a normal Monday!

  2. Herder says:

    It sounds like this will be a series of seperate stories, Chuck and Sarah with Vivian, Casey deciding what to do on his own, Morgan finding his place to live. Unless Casey is feeling shut out of things I don’t see how these stories interact with one another.

    I suspect that Chuck and Sarah have a Charleses’s vibe “we make a pretty good team Mrs Charles” but at the end Vivian hijacks the subject of their heist for her own perposes. Vivians purposes are not necessarily bad or good, but they are her own and different than what she told Chuck and Sarah to get her involved in the heist.?

    As to Sarah finding her inner bride as wedding plans ramp up, first who is ramping the plans up? Chuck, Ellie, Morgan? Secondly who is it that pushes Sarah to find her inner bride, I’d like to think it was Ellie who by pointing out that if Sarah doesn’t take charge that leave Chuck doing by the planning and by Chuck we mean Morgan and does she really want to be wed at a ceremony planned by Morgan Grimes. Should be enough to spurr any bride into action.

    • Herder says:

      Remember, a Morgan planned wedding would involve him chosing what both Ellie and Carina will wear, not an appealing prospect for either of them. And unicorns, somehow a Morgan planned wedding will involve unicorns and other mythical beasts, not a pretty sight.

    • joe says:

      Herder, you got my imagination going.

      Seems to me that every long-running show gets to a point where there try to do something very different. Buffy went and did a musical episode. Seinfeld did one backwards. M*A*S*H did one from the perspective of a temporarily mute patient. These kinds of episodes always have a different flavor and let the cast do some interesting things in an AU kind of way.

      Having a Chuck episode done in a series of vignettes would be fun.

      And that’s a great point about Morgan taking charge of planning the wedding. I’m guessing he’ll take a stab at that but will back down after one glare from Sarah.

      I know I would! 😉

  3. thinkling says:

    Herder, I always welcome the Charleses-ez. The more we see of them the better. In fact the future of the show, at least for the next 5 seasons, should be based around them. Last week was a perfect example. It looks like this week will be, too.

    Vivian and Bentley remain the real wild cards.

    But, then there’s Volkoff’s lawyer. When it comes to Vivian, I expect him to play the devil to Chuck and Sarah’s Jiminy Cricket. Adding to Herder’s spec, I think the lawyer is playing Vivian for his own evil purposes (perhaps on Volkoff’s behalf), and that he may be behind the heist, lying to Vivian and getting her to set it up. Vivian trusts him at first but later finds out that he is bad. So Vivian ends up tricking Chuck and Sarah, which makes her look bad, but she may not be bad yet … just a pawn, used/set-up by her father, as she has been her whole life.

    The Casey/Vivian plots do seem like separate stories. I wonder if they will ever converge, or will the Bentley plot be a mythology thread and Volkoff just the big bad?

    As for Sarah’s inner bride and the Ellie/Sarah moment, I expect it to combine the humorous and the sweet, kind of like Cat Squad did. I do hope to hear a little more about mom as things go along. I don’t need the whole enchilada tonight, just a bite at a time for now.

    You know, they have bitten off a lot for 8 episodes. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

    Joe, my CG pesos are on Sarah not having a sister. I think the sunburn thing was just made up. But it sure will be fun to find out one way or the other.

    Dave, my 7:59 meter is already running in over drive.

    • joe says:

      I’m going back and forth on the question about Sarah’s sister, myself, Thinkling. Today I have to wonder why she would make the story up. Has there ever been a point to conjuring up a sister just to appear to have a “normal” family in front of Ellie?

      Sarah’s cover philosophy has always been to stick fairly close to the truth – it’s easier that way. If there was ever a chance that she might need to produce a sister for Ellie, then it could get complicated.

      And now she has the need!

      • thinkling says:

        True enough. I’ve always had the feeling it was made up for the game, but you’re right. She did say when you’re undercover, you’re still you, but the details are different. So is the sister part of Sarah’s life or one of the details that are different for the family game/setting? Sarah Walker, the most mysterious woman in the world.

        The sister could’ve lived with mom (while Sarah was growing up) and be equally estranged. The sister could have died, contributing (maybe) to the strained relationship. Or there is no sister.

        She didn’t mention a sister in her short talk to Ellie, while she was listing her family, so I go with options b or c.

        Or it was a throw away line in an early episode, when they didn’t really care too much about Sarah’s back story. In that case we will never hear of the sister again … from anybody. 😉

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe I agree. In my reading the history here at ChuckThis I keep reading a common point that I agree with completely. To season 1,2 Sarah the cover life was her real life. Or at least it was the closest she would ever come to having one. She lived her desire for a real life through her cover life with Chuck. It wasn’t perfect but it brought her about as much real joy and happiness as a spy could have at least in her mind. So the sister story I tend to believe is probably better than 50/50 true. I wonder if Ellie will bring it up and ask her about her sister? She obviously heard it but I wonder if it is a fact they will ignore like the millions of other ignored events.

        There are so many great possibilities tonight and I really have no absolute feel for where it is going but I don’t really see anything that worries me in fact it is the opposite. Every possibility seems exciting and I can’t wait for it. That is something so different I am seeing in my reading as well. So many people were speculating both more from what they wanted to see to end the torture that was season 3 but also anticipating things to get even worse such that it was no longer excitement about the next episode but how many more do we have to endure the end all this. That is no way to run a successful show.

        @Ernie Davis
        I will say to you that I love reading so much of what you wrote to try and explain that journey of misery and despair we were subjected to and I have learned a better appreciation of how some view the direction they took. But what I also see in your writing is that the same things that bothered me as just a fan who watched the show week to week only with no contact with the online world you saw as well but maybe were not as bothered by it as much as I was. And as I believe Dave said in response to one of your essays though we understand what you are saying it shouldn’t be this hard to understand it. You shouldn’t have to dig deep into what the motives were because it should have been clearly shown to us unambiguously. Not liking it and understanding it is much better than not liking it and not having a clue what the point was. But another sad part is I’m finding that reading and understanding more of what was going on and how others viewed it in relationship to how I felt is not getting me to appreciate it more and want to watch it again but exactly the opposite. It has made it much more likely I will never watch that arc again or at the very least the first 8. It has deepened my hatred for much of it especially Fake Name and Mask. I’m glad I’ve been doing this and I really admire many here even more but in some respects the opposite of what I expected to happen has. I’ve become more bitter when I thought I might finally get past it. And I lay a lot of that at the feet of Schwedak and the absurdity, arrogance and cluelessness of their statements during all of it. Not only did I not like what they were doing but their justification and lack of understanding of their audience and characters made it even worse.

        Now it seems that the tone is so much different I am thrilled for monday to come again instead of dreading it. I don’t care the direction they take because all of them will likely be great again. Tonight’s in particular just looks like so much fun.

      • joe says:

        I’m chuckling, Thinkling. It’s an interesting thing about the “throw-away lines”. I’m sure TPTB realize by now that The Fans are not about to let them have such things.

        We pour over every word and frame, memorize and analyze dialog and Mona Lisa half smiles. Every word has been deemed by us to be important, if not “the last word” on the subject.

        I’m going to say that this is a good thing ™ overall! It’s still a measure of how engaged we are. What’s amazing to me is that the talent (especially the on-screen talent) seem to recognize this. LeJudkins realizes this.

      • joe says:

        @Uplink You’ve produced your share of great essays in these comments too. And what you just put down is another.

        Good point about how the knowledge of S3’s details may lessen your desire to see it again. But can I suggest that the discussions may also have distorted it a little?

        Distortion is hard to avoid, actually. You know (’cause I’ve said so many times) that my views – the nuances that stick with me, actually – about individual episodes seem to change depending on a few things. If I’m watching several in a row, in a marathon, for instance, it’s quite different from seeing one episode a week.

        You realize as much as I do that there were many incredible moments in S3.0. That music is, overall, my favorite set. Lot’s of gems to be found! But the downers have had some emphasis precisely because of the contrast with S2 and what came after – Paris.

        The great scenes are still there, and you may be surprised at how enjoyable they are. Think Manoosh at WeapCon. Think C&S on a “stake-date” or Sarah destroying about forty-seven game controllers with one snip of her knife. Chuck leading Devon to Shaw’s office was worth several viewings.

      • thinkling says:

        Joe, agree about the throw away lines. Now TPTB realize they can’t have any. But back then, I don’t think they dreamed how rabid the fan base would be about such things. And I really don’t think they anticipated Sarah’s popularity. That’s why I’m not sure anything will ever come of the sister.

        But if she exists, bring it on. I want to know all the details 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Sarah destroying about forty-seven game controllers with one snip of her knife.

        I’m coming up empty … which episode was that?

      • armySFC says:

        thinkling, i may be wrong but in 3.13 didn’t chuck use game controllers to tie morgan up and sarah cuts him loose? maybe that’s the one joe means?

      • joe says:

        That’s the scene, Army.

        Morgan: What the heck is going on here? Oh. Are you mixing gaming with whiskey?
        Chuck: [drunk] She’s leaving, man. Leaving with the other guy.
        Morgan: No. This cannot happen. This cannot happen.
        Chuck: I thought I stood a chance, you know?
        Morgan: Yeah, well, you just…
        Chuck: [fighting Morgan for the whiskey bottle] Okay. Okay, buddy. Hand it over.
        Morgan: Mm-mm- No!
        Chuck: Let it go!
        Morgan: You are on a precipice of emotional ruin.
        Chuck: I’m already over the edge.
        Morgan: No you’re not! You’re gonna start quoting the works of John Hughes. Then things are gonna go dark. Then things are gonna go really dark and I’m not gonna let that happen.
        Chuck: Hand over the bottle!
        Morgan: Never! Unh!
        Chuck: [Flashes] Yes you will.
        Morgan: Make me.

        And Sarah has to rescue Morgan from the Intersect. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink, thanks for a fun review. It is interesting to see your perspective as a late-comer to this site. I think you phrased it better than I ever did, it is better to understand what they were trying to do than it is to be baffled; but at the end of the day I still don’t like it. In the end, I think there’s only three episodes (3.03, 3.04, 3.13) from the front arc that I will ever choose to watch again.

      • uplink2 says:

        @Joe, thank you so much for the compliments. It means a lot coming from you folks. I agree completely that reactions can get distorted based on other peoples perspective as we all look at this show or anything for that matter very subjectively. I think I tend to fall more in line with Faith and Dave in their perspective but as I’ve learned more about how all of you folks view things I can manage that distortion better in my head. People can tend to pile on a bit at times and that’s ok as it is part of the venting process but the core of their point can still be very valid.

        I also agree there were a number of good moments in 3.0 and Joe if you can isolate those moments in your head and appreciate them outside the rest of an episode more power to ya. I can’t. It is impossible for me to watch those isolated scenes and appreciate them for what they were without thinking about what comes next. The schizophrenia of Angel where Chuck and Sarah shake hands as mere friends but then Sarah gives him looks and a hug that was anything but just friends tempers my enjoyment of the great Casey scenes in it. It wasn’t the same WTWT aspect of feelings denial as it was in season 1 and 2 it was forced and manipulative plot device use. Ali Adler’s attempts at humor in Fake Name come off as insulting when taken in context of the rest of the episode. So I find myself unable to enjoy moments I should have or were intended for me to.

        I will say that I have gained a better appreciation for Liz James’s writings now that I have read all of her work and many of her comments. She was right on the money in many ways though I still completely disagree with much of her why Sarah/Shaw mattered piece.

        As far as the music goes I do like a lot of season 3 music but I hate the fact that when I listen to Down River on my iPod I keep hearing that stupid door opening at the end lol. But again I can’t isolate my enjoyment into compartmentalized segments and separate them from what I hated so deeply.

        What I’m also curious about is I see so many posters from back then that no longer seem to post. I know there is always attrition on forum and blog sites and that hopefully new members fill in those gaps but I do find it curious how many that hated the Shaw arc no longer post here. Maybe they moved on from the show as well.

        Joe, I’m glad you are a glass half full guy and usually I am as well but what I see is that the glass was a lot less than half full and much of it evaporates when you look at it more closely.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Uplink, Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed some of what I’ve written. I have to say though that like Joe a lot of it depends on what my mood was, the current mood of the fanbase, or what episode or how many times I’d watched it recently. I have to say in general even Shaw, flat as that fell, didn’t make me angry, per se, and Schwedak’s statements, which ammounted to please stick with us at a time when they were leaking that the back 6 was a shipper love letter didn’t leave me feeling bitter or betrayed as it did some. There are certain realities in the business, and admiting you totally misread the fans and screwed up isn’t something you can do if you want another season, or to be paid for your ability to provide entertainment. They showed me they got it rather than told me.

        As for the rest of it, I’m pretty much done with season 3 discussion. I’ve spilled enough words, made my points, and people have either made their peace or not. I liked a lot of it, and have even re-watched and enjoyed a lot of it that many swear they will never watch again. There are a few aspects that didn’t work well, and a very few that bothered me, and maybe one or two episodes that I plain didn’t like at all. But it is over.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink its always bothered me some that our community is so transient. A lot of regular posters from last season are gone. I’m sure a lot of it is just the ebb and flow of enthusiasm; I hope they all still watch the show even if they aren’t as rabid as they once were. I think there were a couple of extra issues at play; some may have finally given up and burned out before 3.14 (although I HOPE we helped some viewers hang in there with the idea better things were ahead); some may have been visiting just to vent, and maybe now that they’re happier they feel less compelled to write; and I’m sure some actually preferred S3 and have actually lost interest now that the show has changed.

        Unlike Ernie I will likely never be “done” with S3, I think it permanently affected how I view the show. But as time passes and we get more episodes that are purely fun, the scars are fading. A few issues can get me fired up again in a hurry, but I don’t come here looking to vent and opine like I once did.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thanks Ernie. I do know that for many of the long term members both here and elsewhere re-visiting these discussions can seem pointless and many have said their piece and moved on which I can fully understand. I am just a number of months behind is all.

        I would like to focus though on 2 comments from Schwedak though I also appreciate what you are saying about what they can and can’t say in order to stay employed. First is the infamous “you don’t stop reading a book after the 7th chapter” That is one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read. Especially in recent light of a Norman Buckley twitter discussion telling disgruntled fans to do just that. If you don’t like what they are doing then stop watching. If you are proud of what you are doing you shouldn’t need to tell folks to stay with you because it gets better. You shouldn’t have to leak things you think the fans really want instead of what you are giving them. The current work should stand on its own. And what they did showed they realized they had a serious problem on their hands. I have always wondered how badly Chuckpocalypse would have been if Fake Name had been the episode before the 3 week break. I think it could have been much worse.
        Second the “we were amazed at how great Chuck and Sarah were when we put them together” well duh!! Do they ever even watch the show? That comment has to be the biggest clueless comment I have read. Also it doesn’t fall into the proper line you speak of. The proper comments should have been “we knew how great they were going to be together and we couldn’t wait to grow them to the point where putting them together was honest and they were ready for all of it. But they needed to find their way back to each other first”.

        But as you said its all done now though reading the past has given me a lot to think about. And unfortunately I am even less likely to watch it ever again.

      • armysfc says:

        dave no comment just a question. have the number of hits to this site been dropping along with the posters?

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I’d watch the Beard and Tic Tac again, I’d just have to fast forward through any scenes with Shaw in it (and Sarah attached to him and simpering) for Beard and stop watching Tic Tac before the taxi ride at the end at the latest.

        I liked Casry’s glee at getting to use the mini gun in one of the early eps and the fact that it was obvious that he could flash for Sarah but not himself gave me hope at the time (hope that was soon dashed) .

        The ep that had Carina in it I thought it was interesting that they brought up that the bad guy was more upset by his heart being broken than his business because it hightlighted how cruel doing something like that was but the speech Chuck gave him (so he’d let Carina go) about how maybe Carina needed to be with somone else to learn to love him (or something like that) made me cringe and yell Oh no that’s what they’ll base the whole thing on. It annoyed me then and royally pissed me off later because all it did was make Sarah look like an idiot (one that could be swayed by any male spy ) . The repercussions are still being felt in season 4. There are many that would like to have a scene where Sarah realized her behavior made no sense.

        My personal evil plot bunny has someone show up do evaluations on everyone based on video , psych reports and interviews and declare Sarah a security risk based on her behavior with Cole Barker and Shaw. She would then be interviewed and asked to explain everything that didn’t make sense.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I agree strongly with all your comments, and of course you’re right that the situation is so different now.

        Army I don’t think the number of comments have dropped as much as the number of hits (so we have fewer visitors, but nearly the same number of comments). Now don’t get me wrong, when we started this, any of us would have been thrilled with the thought of over 2000 hits a day. I’ve talked to friends who have blogs on different topics, and my wife even has one for her artwork; and 2000 a day is a very busy site. But at the height of viewer anxiety last season (Feb & March) we would often score well over 5000 hits a day and occasionally close to 6000. I think a lot of people were looking for answers, looking to commiserate, or looking to vent.

        And for the record, I’d trade a slower blog for a better Chuck any day.

      • thinkling says:

        Got it Joe and Army. Thanks. Brain cramp. 😉 🙂

      • armysfc says:

        dave i was just curious. most of the comments here come from a select number of people out side the moderators. not taking the time to count its about 10 if that. also its hard to keep a discussion going when all the views are the same. there is only so many ways to talk about morgan and alex playing patti cake.

        i do think apathy is part of it, as well as people liking the show the way it is. people that don’t care for the show much anymore may just be giving up, not posting and leaving the show. you can never tell with blogs though.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Uplink, I think a lot of people totally misinterpret the great together comment. I think it was clear to everyone that there was a lot of chemistry between Zach and Yvonne, but might it not have been partially because the moments of real intimacy, like Hard Salami, or Seduction or Colonel were used sparingly? With two people, who were both in relationships with others up through most of the front part of season 3 (Zach broke up with his girlfriend just as season 3 started) pulling off realistic intimacy on a regular basis can be tough, because face it, it requires real intimacy and a tremendous level of comfort and trust that, so far, hadn’t been required of them on a regular basis. We see Chuck and Sarah. TPTB see Zach and Yvonne, who like it or not are not dating each other. We see the end product, TPTB see how nervous Yvonne was before the first big kiss in Hard Salami (as noted in the extra features on S1 DVD) or how many takes they need to get a kiss or a scene right. In short I think they are in a better position to see where there could be concerns if the chemistry can survive being taken to the next level.

        As for the you don’t put a book down in chapter 7 comment, yes, not entirely the best thing to say, but the context was that the story was still unfolding, so please stick with us. In that way I thought what Schwedak did show a lot of guts. They admited that the fans might not be happy now, tacitly admiting there could be some problems, and asked the fans to stick it out. This is after all Fedak’s first ever show, so he may have a bit of a learning curve. The other thing I see is that, poor wording aside, he had a point.

        One of the things I saw as a big problem in S3 was that a lot of people got ahead of the story, some way ahead of the story, and then plain wouldn’t accept the story as it was being told. I was guilty of that as well. I had to really adjust my expectations as to the direction, and the pace of the story TPTB were telling as opposed to the one I wanted to see. Now I don’t disagree with many who said there were some mistakes in that direction and some poor execution. One of the things that bugged me most about The Mask wasn’t the last 10 minutes, it was the cliched setup of Sham much earlier. Where Chuck had avoided or subtly mocked TV tropes before it seemed to be not just relying on them but embracing them. In that sense my feelings about the show were changed by season 3, just not so much as some others. But again, that aside, whatever problems we may agree or disagree on and inartful comments and the limits of what TPTB could or could not say, they showed me that they understood where they went wrong, and this season have shown me they will do everything in their power to fix it and avoid future mistakes. So I’m willing to let it go at that.

      • thinkling says:

        @Uplink – re: Schwedak’s dumb remarks. I couldn’t agree more. Of course people can, and did, quit watching after 7 chapters. It was a testament to the greatness of the first 2 seasons that they stuck it out that long and didn’t quit between Pink Slip and Three Words.

        And, you’re right of course, how could they not know how great Chuck and Sarah would be together? It does make you wonder if they watch their own show. But it’s a dead give away that they don’t have clue about their fan base.

        And just recently they were surprised at how well Phase 3 was received??? Somebody needs to get out of the ivory tower and do a little walk around their fandom.

        I didn’t find Chuck until S3 was coming to a close, so I had the luxury of watching everything back to back. I don’t know how I would have fared having to watch the misery arc week at a time.

      • atcDave says:

        The “chapter 7” comment was one of several where TPTB seemed to suggest we just needed to be patient. But that hardly strikes me as ringing endorsement for your product if it becomes a test of endurance. I don’t know what sort of books CF routinely reads, but if a book is not satisfying to me in chapter 7 there is very little chance I will ever finish it (I’m thinking that’s normally about where things are transitioning from introduction to main event). It is both funny and sad that they knew they had a problem and could only tell us to wait. I’m sure at that point they were frustrated and disappointed too, but as Ernie points out, it would be professionally difficult to admit a total screw up.
        I’m even less sympathetic about them knowing what kind of chemistry Zach and Yvonne were going to have. Right from the beginning fans were thrilled with the interactions of Chuck and Sarah, designing a main arc that limited their interaction is a historically bad decision. The comments about Phase 3 are interesting too, I’m still not sure Schwedak understand how most of us feel about Sarah/Yvonne. They have clearly created a much more satisfying show this season, but they still reduced Sarah to little more than a tertiary character in Push Mix. I suspect CF in particular, just isn’t very interested in Sarah’s story; fortunately the majority of the other writers currently on staff are interested.

      • thinkling says:

        Dave, that’s just dumb … not your remarks, but the idea that Schwedak would create a female lead and then not really be interested in fleshing out her story. Especially after her seeing the depth and range of her skills and seeing her popularity. It boggles the mind.

        I know it’s called “Chuck” but if it weren’t for Sarah, I wouldn’t be interested … probably never would have been. She is Chuck’s better half. No Sarah = No Chuck.

      • JC says:

        I’m more interested in what went on behind the scenes. Was there meddling going on by higher ups? The lack of chemsitry Routh had with the whole cast and the how incompetent they made Shaw look. Did anybody on set see this? I really can’t believe someone just didn’t speak up privately and say that it wasn’t working.

        Or was it rewrites that caused a lot of the problems. Part of me thinks this was the major factor. I have nothing to back this up but it seems like we saw parts of three different stories mashed together.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah JC, I’m more than a little interested in what went on behind the scenes. Like if anyone did realize they might have a problem and when, if anyone said anything or not, and if any attempt was made to fix it. It would be awesome to get a credible behind the scenes account some day. I stand by saying the idea was doomed at conception, but certainly a lot of what they did made it worse. Especially sad when its not too hard to imagine some small tweaks that would have lessoned the disappointment many of us felt (like maybe some more Chuck and Sarah “friendship” scenes sprinkled throughout; and reducing or eliminating the seriousness of the OLIs).

        Thinkling that is all just my interpretation of things. Supposedly the dancing scene from the Pilot (nerd and hot spy dancing while she’s taking out agents all around them without nerd noticing) was Fedak’s original inspiration for the entire series; so clearly Sarah is a part of the initial concept. But my suspicion is that Schwedak continue to view the show purely as Chuck’s story. Funny when you consider Cougars and Delorean were clearly fan favorites from S2. But they do seem to be coming around now, I suspect we’ll continue to see a heavy Sarah focus for the duration.
        I would have to add, I could imagine the show working if Sarah had not been a part of it at the start. After all, my first impression of the Pilot was just Chuck is normal nerd I can relate to trapped in a dangerous world. That story could have been told many ways. But as early as Tango I was thinking Sarah was one of the best traditional heroic characters I’d seen on television in many years (like since Captain Kirk or the demise of the television western); so there’s little doubt that by that point I was watching for her at least as much as I was for Chuck. And my wife has actually yelled at the screen a couple times when Sarah has done something stupid (yes, mainly in S3); so I also have little doubt what her investment in the show is.

      • uplink2 says:

        Interesting comments all. Ernie I would content that the chemistry between Zach and Yvonne was so strong and so obvious even more so in the non-intimate scenes, Wookie, Marlin, First Date, DeLorean etc that having it be shown in the intimate/physical episodes looked even stronger because of it. That is why the result of putting them together was so obvious to most of the viewers. The power came from them emotionally and not from the physical intimacy. I would also strongly disagree that the personal lives of the actors have any impact on how they keep up the intimacy on screen. I believe that part of the reason that they don’t seem to socialize or have an off screen relationship is intentional as it keeps the onscreen relationship more real and intimate. But even if they were together off screen it wouldn’t matter. Case in point Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki were revealed to have been a couple off screen then broke up and now are on to new relationships and the obvious chemistry between Penny and Leonard is as strong or stronger now than it was then and no one saw an impact because of their private lives. Sorry but I disagree with that premise completely as well as the seeing Zach and Yvonne as compared to Chuck and Sarah. All you have to do is watch the episodes and it is crystal clear. This was said as a way to pump up them being together rather than explain true surprise at it and therefore acknowledging they blew it.

        And as far as giving them credit for acknowledging that fans may have issues what it really was was damage control. They admitted nothing but instead said stick with us and here are some leaks to calm you down. Instead of promoting what was immediately, Fake Name, they said look beyond these next few toe the end. The journey doesn’t matter because the destination is what you want. It was patronizing and dismissive. Remember “We are farther along in the story”. That’s just letting them off the hook for poor decisions and poor execution.

        The Phase Three comment is bizarre as well. Part of it is I really don’t think that they fully grasp how Sarah is viewed by the fans. I believe that Fedak identifies with the Chuck character and looks at the show through his eyes but a large part of the fanbase looks at the show for Sarah Walker and through her eyes. I also contend that Yvonne has proven to almost be too good an actress for the original vision of the character than they planned. They have been slow to realize the greatness they have in her and it took till this season to evolve that vision to take advantage of it and now we have #Emmy4Yvonne because of it.
        I point back to TBBT for a case where this was done very successfully. The character of Sheldon was supposed to be just s supporting role much like Raj and Howard. But they saw very quickly how great and actor Jim Parsons was and how the audience was reacting to him and evolved his role to where he is the star of the show. Sometimes Schwartz in particular comes off as so arrogant that he would never agree that his vision was not what the audience was reacting to and evolve the show to adapt to the new reality like Chuck Lorre did.

        But I will agree that this season they are showing us they got what we were saying and reacting to it positively. So for that I do give them a lot of credit its just that their PR blitz for damage control did not come off well and showed just how out of touch with their audience and what they were putting on screen truly was.

      • JC says:


        If anyone was to speak up my money would be on Routh, he did once after 3.13 aired and it seemed like an attempt to salvage all the hits he was taking professionally. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he did it again.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree JC. I doubt he’s privy to what may happened in the writers’ room, but he has shown some openness about the things he does know about. He’s made comments about not even knowing how to play the character from one episode to the next, and I loved his comment about how fan input should matter.

        He takes A LOT of heat for his portrayal as Shaw, but I seriously have a lot of respect for the man.

      • uplink2 says:

        Guys, even though I will probably get cooties reading anything Routh said where can I find those? I’d like to read them.

        BTW not being cast in the sequel to Superman Returns does speak volumes about his skills as an actor or at least how the producers felt about him however.

      • atcDave says:

        Routh’s comments about listening to your viewers is on one of the interview features on the S3 discs. (don’t recall which one). It made me laugh hard when I first heard. I had to wonder if he was consciously digging at Scwedak.

      • weaselone says:

        I believe that Routh at some point commented that he and his wife enjoyed watching the show. It’s quite possible that not only was he thrown a bit as an actor by the situation, but also that he didn’t agree with the direction taken as a fan of the show.

        As for the whole Sheldon issue…I actually consider the excessive focus on Sheldon to be more than slightly irritating. I enjoy it when Wollowitz, Penny, Leonard and Raj score points against him, but I feel the show works better with a more even balance between the characters as opposed to being reduced to episodes of Sheldon and friends. It’s grown to the point where they seem to be running out of fresh material for Sheldon and have resorted to altering his personality and character traits simply to put quirky lines in Parson’s mouth.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        When I was reading the Season 3 comments in this thread and the Moving On Up thread, time and again I found that whenever I had something to say or add, it was said better than I could by posters like atcDave and Uplink2.

        So…I agree, wholeheartedly. I will say that I don’t know if TPTB “get” it or not, and I don’t think in terms of “trusting” the writers. All I know is that I want more Chuck. It is, as I think Fr. Rick said, a refuge, the best escapist entertainment on TV right now.

        So, all I can say to Mssrs. Schwartz & Fedak, the writers, the directors is: Please don’t screw this up.


    • jason says:

      going to have a bentley / vivian mini arc for the next two, almost assured to have 2 CS procedural eps in the 8 remaining, that leaves 4 eps, since volkov will get 2 or 3, that at most would leave 1 or 2 for sarah’s family, I am guessing one, don’t expect it too be too inspiring, I suspect f half the sarah arc is not about papa burton.

      Funny, from my FNL experience, they ran out of eps, all the crazy theories and hopes went away, pretty much what you saw is what you got at the end, in a very, very nice way … I only hope chuck follows suit.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well Vivian is not in 4.18 but Bentley is. That’s why I think she may take off with something tonight from the heist. As far as Sarah’s family I agree not much of it will be about Jack Burton as I have stated before I think it is a very strong possibility that Casey finds Jack and brings him to the wedding to walk her down the aisle. Can’t wait for another Copface and Schnook episode but I don’t think he will be the source of drama for the wedding. Her other family story will be what is driving that arc.

        Does Ellie even know that Sarah’s dad is a con man? It has never been shown certainly.

      • thinkling says:

        I don’t think Ellie knows about Sarah’s dad at all.

      • atcDave says:

        It would be nice to have Ellie find out about Sarah’s sad background in one massive emotional scene. I’m not holding my breath; as I’ve said before, I don’t think the writers find Sarah/Ellie interaction as interesting as most of us do, but at least since CAT Squad there’s some hope.

      • thinkling says:

        True, Dave. And then we would get to watch and learn, as well. At least we’re getting more Ellie/Sarah action.

    • Herder says:

      I don’t think that we will get to it in this episode, but I’ve been thinking about Langston and his role in Sarah’s estrangement from her parents. He was there when Jack Burton was arrested, was his presence benign or was he the cause of Jack being arrested. At this time Sarah was about sixteen or seventeen and would likely have gone to her mother’s for at least a short while.

      Was Langston there at the demise of her relationship with her mother or was he the cause of the problem. As I said I don’t expect that to be adressed in this episode but I would like to see it adressed as it may explain how Sarah came to be the person she was when we first met her, “Langston’s wild card enforcer”.

      • thinkling says:

        I always figured Sarah was already a senior when her dad was arrested, but you may be right. I might not go so far as to say that he arrested dad just to recruit Sarah, but he definitely took advantage of a vulnerable girl who was used to being taken advantage of.

        Interesting thought about his possible role in the mom problems. I would like some more back story on him. I have never liked him … at all. That part won’t be addressed with Ellie, but it might be with Chuck.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        In the episode I believe Graham claimed to Sarah to be responsible for her dad’s arrest. At the time she was living under the alias Jenny Burton with her dad, and apparently finished school as Jenny Burton. That was all in Cougars. In DeLorean we got more of the story of Sarah and her dad. Part of that story, according to Casey, and if TPTB feel the need to follow it and how closely, was that Sarah’s dad was in and out of prison throughout her childhood. That would mean that at some point Sarah would have been a ward of the state or living with other relatives. I think they have decided and made clear that Sarah’s parents weren’t together for most, if not all of her life. That leaves a lot of leeway for Sarah to have both known and been estranged from her mother and the rest of the family.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        In the Cougars , I’m pretty sure Jenny was referred to as the jailbird’s daughter so it seems to me that she kept going to the same school after he father was arrested. Though given that Graham approached a underage girl about joining the CIA and she was later officially recruited at college possibly with the CIA paying her way makes me thing it was all very underhanded.

        I think Graham probably did something to keep CPS from taking her in or finding her family , leaving her twisting in the wind until he reached his hand out and got he into college under her new (picked by him) name. By that time she would be so grateful to him she would do whatever he wanted (becoming his enforcer) .

        He probably also figured out enough of her psychology to realize that she would trust a manipulator like her father (and him ) and he may have deliberately paired her with manipulators to get the most out of her.

      • uplink2 says:

        My feeling is the simplest solution may be that there was a big falling out between her mom and dad and Sarah may have had a fight with her mom and decided to live with him to get back at her mom. So much time passed that she has been unable or unwilling to figure out how to resolve that. A perfect problem for Chuck and Ellie to help resolve just as I see Morgan being true to his friend in spite of his relationship with Alex. Lying about one of his best friends is very alien to loyal Morgan and that issue between them and Alex is not done I believe.

      • atcDave says:

        Do we know Sarah was underage when recruited? If I recall, I was in a definite minority in high school for not having turned 18 prior to graduation. If her birthday was anytime after December of her Senior year (and her if her father’s arrest came after that point) she would have already been of age.

        still doesn’t make Graham any less of a user, but its possible there were no legal issues at all.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        If there were no legal issues in recrruiting her then he would have recruited her on the spot instead of her being officially recruited in college.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        We don’t know that Sarah was under age when Graham approached her. She was apparently in her senior year since the flashback noted it was 1998, which was the class having a 10 year re-union. In Delorean her age is specifically noted as 28, so there certainly is a possibility that she was 18 by the time her dad was arrested.

        As for a falling out, Sarah said to Chuck there was no big misunderstanding to clear up with her family in Cat Squad, and that she had either a “strange” or “strained” relationship with her mother. As long as Beckman isn’t Sarah’s mother I’m willing to go with it for now and see what they come up with.

      • thinkling says:

        I assumed she was recruited on the spot, and college was part of her “training.” I would assume they wanted her to have a degree and would have had some say over her course work.

      • atcDave says:

        Tamara a lot federal positions are “career conditional” which means you are required to complete a certain level of training or education before you actually hold your position of record. As a controller you have to complete a 3 or 4 month course (varies with the exact specialty) at the academy before you are even considered a “developmental controller”, and then another 1-3 years training in the field to get rid of the developmental part.

        So Graham’s “offer” may have been conditional on completing High School, getting a BA, and successfully passing her courses at The Farm. She was likely considered a recruit or candidate or some such after completing high school; but wouldn’t be considered an agent until all training was complete.

      • Waverly says:

        When you suggest a family relationship between Sarah and Beckman, I think of a wizard named “Saraman”.

        So who was the CAT squad leader that introduced them at the beginning of the episode? It certainly didn’t sound like Tony Todd, the actor who played Langston Graham. Yet Graham was directly involved with Sarah Walker from initial recruitment through season one.

  4. Tamara Burks says:

    The clip makes me think that Sarah has learned to let out something that her childhood and her training suppressed- her sense of fun. In Masquerade we see a adorable and fun Valentine’s day nightie instead of the deliberate underwear of her first official pretend sex night with Chuck.

    And in this we have Chuck ask if she’s having fun. Her answer yes.

    Before anything like that would probably be all grim purpose. She might have enjoyed the physicality of it and that the mission was successful but she wouldn’t have let herself have fun.

  5. Tamara Burks says:

    Oh and as for Ellie thinking Chuck planning his own wedding being a bad idea , as far as she knows he planned her second one perfectly. Sure he used what Ellie told him about her dream wedding but she thinks he carried it off. Rememeber she doesn’t know about casey’s part in planning the second one or what really destroyed the first one (she still thinks it was all Jeffster) .

    And I have an interesting person to add to the wedding planning mix. Mama B. She missed out on Ellie’s wedding – Chuck’s her last chance to plan one . She may prove to be more interfering than Honey Woodcomb. And if Sarah and Mama B clash over any wedding details -it could get violent.

    • thinkling says:

      Fun, Tamara. All true about Ellie’s wedding. I’ve always wondered if she’ll ever find out the truth.

      I can’t wait to see who all gets in on the Chuck and Sarah wedding. As long as it’s not Honey, things should be OK.

    • steph says:

      haha! i love this sarah/ mama b spec. yeah, it’s strange that linda hamilton hasn’t been back on this arc when they went out of their way to show that the two of them had a certain kinship (and potentially parallel lives). i know guest stars cost money and all that, just wishing out loud. 🙂

  6. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Hey! I came here thinking this was the 4×17 thread had I had to wade through the Season 3 discussion. At this rate I will be using up all the brain bleach instead of selling it in bulk quantities. 😉 🙂

    What follows is humorous snark regarding 4×17 speculations 😉

    The A-plot in 4×17 will be Morgan’s search for a new roommate. C/S and Vivian’s bank robbery will be the B-plot which will continuously cut back to scenes of Morgan and his search. Casey as always will be an afterthought. Be sure to catch all this tonight at 8 pm on Morgan err I mean Chuck

    • JC says:

      Don’t underestimate the Casey story. Obviously Bentley is just using him to get her real prize, Morgan Grimes super spy. The Chuck and Sarah story will be used to show if they took Morgan’s wisdom to heart and improved themselves based on his suggestions.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        And we will also find out that the supposed Sarah/Ellie bonding that is rumored to happen in this episode came about because Morgan was the one who advised Ellie to bond more with Sarah.

      • JC says:

        I’m looking forward to the scene where he talks Vivian back from the darkside and makes Volkoff realize being evil is just a cry for help from his inner child.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        JC – .LMAO We are on a roll here.

        I am expecting that Morgan will be the one who helps Casey reunite with Kathleen, give some soul searching advice to Sarah’s dad in 4×21, even convince Ellie to carry out her research.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out in the 5th season that Morgan has also been giving advice to S*@* in his cell – on the request of S*@* himself who in turn heard from Volkoff about the many qualities of Mr. Grimes.

    • thinkling says:

      Alladins, sounds like you need to sample some of our latest product … Alladins’s Snark Soother Tonic. Side effects are unknown at this point.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Ah! So, we are branching out to new products. I commend your proactive and thoughtful decision making. Expect a raise soon. 🙂

        Side Effects unknown you say? Let’s hope someone on this blog offers to be a test subject. 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        You’re the one feeling snarky … 😉 😉

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Test Subject? Sign me up!

        Alladins’s Snark Soother Tonic….hmmm. Catchy.

        What flavors does it come in?

        Hey! It’s a tonic; that means I can mix drinks with it, right?

        Wonder what a Gin & Snark Soother tastes like?

  7. jason says:

    chuck vs first bank appears to be very high spirited action between chuck and sarah, with the ‘are you having fun’ – seems like this may not be a morbid episode, which is great news, normally, about this time in an arc TPTB write something that pulls the story into the mud.

    I have been writing this since the middle of season 3, Chuck just does not ‘play nice with other kids’ when TPTB try to sell uglyness, yea, chuck does need a clever spy story to help pull the fan thru the arc, but when chuck goes bad, the story goes repulsive, as much as I loved season 4.0, the mary story failed because her story was pathetic in the end, not a story of sacrifice, not heroic, but largely inexplicable and pathetic. Whatever the purpose of the mary story was, the fans didn’t buy in, even though many fans loved the CS relationship dynamic as it unfolded.

    Sarah’s story in season 3 was worse. And stephen’s execution in 3.5 may have been near as odd as sarah’s inexplicable interest in a sexual predator in 3.0 was repulsive.

    I sure hope this final 4.5 arc is clever, mostly passes some modicum of a common sense test, and is high spirited, the show really needs to be hitting on all cylinders tonight and the next few eps, not just the cylinder the shippers love, but all cylinders. I am hoping for the best!

  8. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the First Bank of Evil (4.17) | Chuck This

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