First Reactions: Chuck vs. The First Bank of Evil

I Resist Adding ‘Mua-ha!’

Oh wait! No I didn’t! Some Snark Soothing Syrup, please. Stat!

I have 1.67 hours left, but I can’t wait to see more about Vivian. She’s not really a hostage, is she? And why do Chuck&Sarah seem to enjoy robbing banks so much? There *must* be a story there!

After you’ve seen the episode, please tell us what you thought. We’re all ears! Oh, and don’t forget to visit RewardTV in the morning to give the sponsors valuable feedback. It actually counts towards the ratings!

– joe

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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.
This entry was posted in ChuckMeMondays, Observations, Reactions, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

259 Responses to First Reactions: Chuck vs. The First Bank of Evil

  1. alladinsgenie4u says:

    Joe – As always, thanks.

    Oh wait! No I didn’t! Some Snark Soothing Syrup, please. Stat!

    Thinkling, Congrats. looks like we found our first test subject for the SS Syrup. 😉 🙂

  2. Tamara Burks says:

    I think we can definitely rule out the lawyer influencing her , especially with that bad accent he was using.

  3. Tamara Burks says:

    Poor Morgan!

  4. Tamara Burks says:

    Considering what they know of one Volkov , that sounds like a terrible idea. If it works they will have another villian on thier hands.

  5. Tamara Burks says:

    Saying I see your father in you is NOT a compliment.

    And if anything softens Vivian towards her father it would be finding those clippings and photos of her.

  6. Tamara Burks says:

    She picked the dress with the bullet holes and blood on the back. You would think that it would have been fixed before being put back into rotation.

  7. Tamara Burks says:

    This ep does give us a definite age for Chuck when papa B left 13. mama B left when he was 9 . I’d love to have something explain how the heck they managed to stay out of foster care . They would have taken Chuck in and possibly Ellie as well depending on her age.

    • thinkling says:

      When he was 27, he said his father left 10 years ago. Go figure … or not.

      • armysfc says:

        thinkling, as per many of my other posts. they stink at time. i gave up trying to figure it out because it makes no sense.

      • weaselone says:

        Temporal consistency is for lowly fan fiction writers, not TV’s writing collossuses.

      • Paul says:

        Well remember that Orion leaving was more of a gradual thing. From what I gathered, he started being around less and less and finally not at all when the kids were old enough to take care of themselves. It wasn’t an abrupt thing like with their mom.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        If that was in the Pilot it was his 26th birthday. I’ll have to rewatch sometime to see the exact wording.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        He could have said over or about 10 years ago.

      • thinkling says:

        The conversation I remember was in DeLorean. I think that’s the first Sarah (and we) heard about it. The chocolate croissant scene; your fathers sins are his not yours; that’s awfully eloquent for 9 am; I am an articulate Schnook. That scene … on Sarah’s bed in her hotel room.

    • atcDave says:

      I would assume dad’s disappearance was a gradual thing that could be tracked over a period of time and wasn’t a single event. So over a period of four years he became more secretive and prone to longer absences as he worked on various secret projects.
      He may have remained present enough to escape legal notice. Chuck had previously mentioned that Ellie was managing the household, including money, before dad disappeared. So if bills are paid, the kids do well in school, and don’t appear to lack anything, I’d think it could escape DPS (or whatever its called in California) attention for quite some time.

  8. Tamara Burks says:

    Considering that they’ve both been there before , shouldn’t they be wearing masks?

  9. Tamara Burks says:

    Evil lawyer alert! Maybe she will be the bad guy without realizing it.

  10. Tamara Burks says:

    Looks like Vivian may have gone to the dark side and if she has we can blame Beckman and the evil lawyer.

    • Herder says:

      Or who ever the bad guy that nixed the idea of a meeting between Vivian and her father, I’m sticking to the theory that Volkov has an asset in the CIA influencing things.

    • Paul says:

      I think Vivian is going to be seduced by her desire to learn more about her father, but is going to see what becoming like him will do to her and change her mind.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that’s what I’m hoping Paul. It may require Chuck to open her eyes, but I think we’ll see her get in some bad situations and do some questionable (or worse) things before she’s pulled back.

  11. patty says:

    No preview. Does that mean no chuck next week? 😦

  12. OldDarth says:

    Intriguing – 2 set up episodes in a row. Laura Cohen was the best, and most interesting, part of the episode.

    The Jeffster stuff and the Sarah wedding prep stuff felt forced.

    Love me some Ray Wise too!

  13. weaselone says:

    Looks like the US intelligence services need Chuck to start teaching courses on the proper care and feeding of assets. It’s a running theme on the show that the government treats assets that are still of value and could actually pose a threat like dirt only to see it blow up in their faces.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      True, they’re lucky that happen with Chuck.

      Unlike Chuck though, she doesn’t have anybody to keep her rooted the way Chuck always had Ellie and Morgan.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I mean thery’re lucky that DIDN’T happen. I type way too fast.

      • weaselone says:

        They got lucky with Chuck. At several points the higher ups made decisions that should have come back and bit them in the rear ends. The termination order, Sarah’s removal, and then the decision to bunker all should have ended in absolute disaster. Fortunately, Casey was reluctant to pull the trigger and Sarah disobeys orders where Chuck is concerned.

      • atcDave says:

        You’re right weaselone, even Casey was a good handler in the end. But Sarah was above and beyond, from pretty early on we knew she was more committed to Chuck’s best interests sometimes than the mission (that would be the very definition of “compromised.”)

    • atcDave says:

      Although we do know of at least two assets whose handlers actually did care about them!

    • Faith says:

      I thought it was interesting that Chuck “promised” her something. We’re led to believe (in this episode in particular) that spies give empty promises to get something but on the contrary Sarah I think always tried to not promise Chuck anything because she knows it’ll just be a lie. Even if that promise is something as simple as she would still feel the same way after no longer having to be his handler. So it was an interesting dichotomy on the difference in their spy personas and personality. Albeit with different connotations because Sarah knew it would be a lie, while Chuck believes, naively he can make it true.

      • atcDave says:

        Safe to say Chuck is occasionally rash and impulsive, which led to him making the promise he couldn’t keep. Sarah was simply far more disciplined about such things. Of course she used that discipline because she cared about Chuck. Chuck just let his own recklessness alienate an asset. We may know he was well intentioned, but Vivian does not.

      • Faith says:

        Dave, you’re definitely right about the difference in experience, but I don’t think it was a rash or impulsive decision on his part. On the contrary, I think Chuck if given time and space would make the same promise. But the difference being he thinks differently than most…what others see as asset and handler, right or wrong, lie or truth, black and white, he thinks in grays and I think it’s part of what makes him a good (and bad) spy in that he doesn’t just use muscle. This is kind of a continuation on that.

        I think they meant to show him making that promise as a departure from not just Sarah who cared about him, but also as someone who will do all he can to make what he promised happen. Even if it’s naive of him. That said you’re right, we know that he’s good at heart and will make good on his promise, and she doesn’t. It’ll be interesting to see how essentially burning this asset will work out.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Chuck did try to make sure that promise was kept and he asked Beckman before the mission so he probably told Vivian what Beckman said about seeing her father.

        He wasn’t playing her the way Beckman seemed to imply he should.

        They really should have someone tell the people in charge like Beckaman that behavior like that is the reason people turn to other organizations like Fulcrum and the Ring. They feel used and undervalued , like they’ll be tossed to the side and betrayed.

        They might not be outright executed like the bad guys but there lives don’t seem to be considered valuable. Maybe any executions are handled by a red test. Who knows the true reason behind Eve Shaw’s death. We certainly weren’t shown her as a bad guy the way we were with Chuck’s red test.

  14. Katsumaro says:

    Best part of the episode had to be the dress montage with Yvonne and then the robbery. Sarah and Chuck talking back and forth as they held up a high-security bank, and then each threatening to basically break someone’s faces… priceless.

    Sarah’s realization that she was marrying Chuck after she found the perfect dress, and then her and Ellie’s convo at the end, and Ellie realizing she made a Bridezilla? Also priceless.

    God this episode was so much fun. Yeah, we had more contrived/didn’t pick up the phone sort of angst, but who cares? Episode was too fun!

    • atcDave says:

      Agree with all of that Katsumaro. Fun episode. Ellie did create a bridezilla; hmmm, perhaps Sarah was pulling her leg a bit?!

      • armysfc says:

        dave, no i think ellies prediction came true. sarah had her epiphany looking at dresses and now she’s all in.

      • atcDave says:

        Maybe, but I just don’t see them continuing the Sarah as a spoiled princess gag for very long. I think (I hope!) its too out of character to play out until a wedding in 4.24.

        I suppose they could just not touch it for a couple weeks until the next big wedding oriented episode (4.21 I would guess). She also could get a brutal reality check on budget; but my guess is we’ll see Sarah mostly back to normal on her own fairly quickly. Maybe she’ll only freak out when wedding talk comes up?

      • armysfc says:

        dave could be. on the budget part she probably has lots of money stashed. for the last 3 years what did she spend money on? rent was CIA probably per diem as well. i doubt she makes chucmp change. she could have put almost all her money away. go with that over the long haul and shes probably got boat load of money.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, she could be seriously loaded. If she’s been basically TDY and collecting hazardous duty pay for her entire career (I’m thinking when she moved in with Chuck may have been her first “permanent” residence of her entire career, and presumably that’s when she stopped collecting per diem), she could have SERIOUS savings.

      • weaselone says:

        Cars.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that might be her only real expense. What are the chances that 911 was Company property?

      • weaselone says:

        Oh and a tombstone for Bryce appropriately sized to accommodate his ego.

      • Anonymous says:

        tombstone for Bryce appropriately sized to accommodate his ego.

        Priceless. LMAO

      • armysfc says:

        car and she had it from the beginning. she flew in to burbank then met chuck. she had it then right? odds are it is a company car given to her for the mission.

      • atcDave says:

        And that might explain why she wasn’t traumatized by it exploding.

      • weaselone says:

        A Porsche doesn’t seem to fit her cover so it seems a little strange for it to have been provided as a company car when it doesn’t support the mission.

      • armysfc says:

        if she had enough pull at the time she could have requested one to use while there. she was just supposed to get close not be there for 4 years.

      • thinkling says:

        I think Sarah has the money, but I bet she comes to her senses and backs off to a more normal excited bride. Like you, Dave, I don’t see the bridezilla going all the way to the wedding. Chuck will talk her off the ledge.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        She probably does have a boatload of money stashed away since we know she pretty much didn’t have a life outside of the CIA.

        We know she took one vacation at least with Bryce but for all we know part of it was mission related and she didn’t have to shell out money for it. She appears to have had no downtime activities like music, movies or tv and all her clothes seem to have been picked out by the CIA until recently.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      A bridezilla with expensive tastes and heavy weaponry.

  15. Rick Holy says:

    I really like Laura Cohen as well – and I’ve LOVED Ray Wise since Twin Peaks. But honestly, this all kind of felt “predictable.” You get the bad guy to convince Vivian that Chuck really isn’t going to help her see her father – and of course, Beckman says they’ve determined it’s too dangerous. So Vivain loses her trust in Chuck, who’s just trying to do the right thing.

    1. Too predictable.
    2. We’ve kind of seen this before.
    3. The whole situation is kind of a “crock.”

    Gee, I wonder what’s coming next? Could it be that Volkoff turns her to “the dark side,” only to have her turn back to the light when all is said and done.

    I’m usually not overcritical. But even this is too predictable for me.

    Sorry.

    Maybe the week off with “The Event” coming back next week will change my mind – but I doubt it.

    • Katsumaro says:

      See, I’m having this argument with a friend about this same thing.

      Yeah, this sort of plot direction is predictable, but without the sense of danger in the series since SeasonThatShallNotBeNamed, I’ve grown used to it.

      Anyway, his point was.. he thought Vivian took over for her Dad at the end of the previous episode. I, on the other hand, don’t see how such a HUGE turning point in the series/season could be handled like that in the final moments of an episode, you know? I figured they’d need more time to setup (ala another episode) before they dropped that sort of bomb.

      My view is I don’t think she’ll take over until she sees her father, and even then, I don’t think she’ll honestly take over for good. Something tells me she still has trust in Chuck, even if the lawyer did what he was supposed to do in manipulating Vivian, who’s naive in this whole game as it is.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Chuck will have to win her trust back. Its a little hard to believe anyone would trust Ray Wise over our boy Chuck, but then Vivian is pointedly naive.

      • patty says:

        Given what he told her about Chuck the lawyer’s story looks pretty credible from Vivian’s point of view. Also Alexi can be very charming so I don’t see meeting him as a way for Vivian to get the truth either. It will be when Volkof does something that shatters her illusion of him that she goes back to the good guys I expect (hope).

    • armysfc says:

      hey rick, in response to 1, 2, and 3. it happens all the time on this show. look at all the praise it gets here for all the call backs to other episodes or things that have happened in the past. they continually recycle old plots or events. why does this come as a shock to you now? just curious on this, not a complaint or a disagreement.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I know things happen “all the time on this show,” but when they’re so predictiably stupid, it still is worth pointing out.

        As soon as Chuck promised/told (whatever) Vivian that she was going to be able to see her father – you just KNEW that it was going to get shot down. Someone pointed out in a reply to a preceding post that apparently the CIA (or NSA) or maybe it’s just General Beckman, doesn’t know how to “treat” assets. They don’t.

        We are getting close to what could likely be “the end” of this series. Have we seen SOME things before? Sure, throughout the entire run. But you’d think/hope that at SOME point -especially nearing a potential end, they’d think of an ORIGINAL way to handle (or should I say MIShandle) the whole Vivian visiting her father thing.

        I know it’s not the the same as “burning” an asset, but this episode felt a little “Manoosh (sp?)-like” to me in regard to Vivian. Vivian should have been a “handle with care” asset from the moment they found out who she was. Doesn’t seem like they’ve handled her that way.

        Yes, the Sarah/Ellie stuff was fun. The Morgan stuff I mostly ignored (until he got to “room” with Casey) because it was over the top. The fact that he can’t handle his mother “doing it” with Big Mike is SOOOOOO stale it’s just not funny anymore. And his “desperation” about looking for a place just for ONE NIGHT with the whole Jeffster situation was a little too much. Jefffster was used beautifully in the previous episode. This episode, they were more “forced” into it – which never works out well.

        The Sarah/wedding stuff, while fun, didn’t supercede for me the whole “Vivian gets screwed” (predictable) aspect of this episode for me.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Right. Also, not sure how you could enjoy the last week’s episode so much, but not this one nearly as much.. or did I misunderstand the post? To me, this was infinitely better. Yeah, the Vivian plot is still sort of stale, but there was some real growth there.

      And Sarah trying on wedding dresses should immediately push any sort of dislike the episode may generate, at least partially.

      • atcDave says:

        I did think last weeks episode was stronger. This one was mostly fluff. But some of the set pieces were fun, like the wedding dresses and the bank robbery — while discussing wedding dresses.

  16. luckygirl says:

    All the women ignore Chuck’s calls.

  17. atcDave says:

    I thought this episode was a lot of fun. I won’t argue with those who found it quite predictable, it was, but that’s a long way from being the worst crime a show can commit. I was also mildly disappointed that the Sarah/Ellie scene was purely about wedding planning.
    In the end, this felt like another set-up episode. We now see how Vivian is turned to the other side, and we see Sarah starting to gear up for a wedding. We see that Ray Wise may be the real villain of the back arc, at least until Volkoff himself returns.
    The good news here was plenty to laugh at. I’m sure we’ll see more meat in future episodes.

  18. Tamara Burks says:

    Them burning money made cringe a little bit . Throw it my way people!

  19. First Timer says:

    So I can’t figure out whether this is a gigantic plothole or the show runners have tipped us: Beckman has nothing for Casey to do the entire episode. Casey claims he’s on a separate mission for Beckman, which seems fishy but he knows about the Macao mission.

    So it’s either a big plothole … or … we’re being subtly told that Casey is already working as a double agent for Beckman inside the NCS.

    • armysfc says:

      not real subtle. he told c/s he was working on something and could not tell them what it was. then morgan caught him in the room they were building and told morgan he could not say anything.

      • First Timer says:

        armysfc:
        Well, aren’t you SUPPOSED to think he’s working for the NCS?

        I’m suggesting he’s already being positioned as a a mole for Team B inside the NCS…

        That way my point. How could Beckman not inquire about Casey’s whereabouts or tell C/S that he’s on a separate mission.

        Even for this show, that is either an oversight of great magnitude or a plant…

      • armysfc says:

        opps. the double agent threw me. i figured he just transferred out of team b.

    • thinkling says:

      I like the spec that Casey is a Beckman plant inside NCS.

      • First Timer says:

        @thinkling:
        I hope that is what it is, otherwise the plot hole with Beckman taking no notice of Casey being absent, not inquiring about him and not assigning him to be in on the Macau mission is simply bizarre.

      • Paul says:

        Don’t think that is what it is. I think it is Bentley trying to take away Beckman’s best assets one by one. I think the whole Casey joining up with the NCS is ultimately going to force him to choose his loyalties when the interdepartment rivralry between the NCS and CIA really cranks up.

      • thinkling says:

        Either way could play well.

        I guess Beckman could already know about Bentley. She knew about the additions that NCS was making to Castle, so perhaps she knows that Casey is being recruited for … whatever it is.

        If we get a season 5, I’m thinking that TeamB will assume the place inside NCS doing some higher lever of secret stuff … a better version of Bentley’s project, run by our favorite titian general instead of Bentley of course. Ultimately I think her project will be well intended but fraught with unintended bad consequences, requiring TeamB to take over.

        Just spitballing … it could be a eucalyptus steam room with a tr … whatchamacallit.

    • Faith says:

      Or neither. I think they might be shaping up Casey to betray Beckman somehow. I know there are spoilers of Jane Bentley and Beckman. I just can’t help but think this whole thing is not good.

      Also it’s possible that Casey has clearance from someone above Beckman to not participate in the mission and so they didn’t show us that in camera but they could have had a conversation about it. While briefing him I mean.

      This was probably the least screen time for Casey in awhile, not sure I like that either.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Just finished viewing the episode. Liked it.

        The Bridezilla Princess FTW!! – Absolutely loved Sarah.

        This was probably the least screen time for Casey in awhile, not sure I like that either.

        Don’t get me started. Poor Casey’s plot was intricately tied up with that of Morgan. He was on screen because his story serviced that of Morgan’s and and ( Whew! I need to calm down) Anyways in 4×18 we can at least hope he leads the Gretas and shoots some people. – but then again that will be the C-plot with the main plot being Morgan adjusting at Casey’s.

      • Faith says:

        I can totally open a can of worms but I’d hate myself for doing so LOL. So I’ll just say, ditto on absolutely loving “Bride” Sarah. 😀

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I can totally open a can of worms

        Now I am very curious. 😉

      • Faith says:

        Let’s just say he who shall not be named is at the tip of my keyboard-“tongue” lol.

        Ok good thoughts…Honeymoon. *Squee* Sarah planning for their honeymoon involving an island, a bit much, but hey honeymoon! Love! LOL.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Synopsis for Honeymooners 2 – Chuck and Sarah are having the time of their lives on their honeymoon at an exotic and slightly isolated island (Sexytimes FTW!!). Trouble finds them when a mysterious plane drops a package. C/S retrieve it but now they have a host of bad guys willing to kill them to get the package back.

        What is so important about the package? Tune in on Monday so and so date at 8pm NBC

      • Faith says:

        …Not by plane, but a package. The package is a baby. The greatest human asset known to man. How? We’ll find out. Pum pum purum! LOL.

      • thinkling says:

        OK. Fun, fun wedding stuff. Love Bridezilla, especially the it’ll-make-Chuck-happy part.

        She said she ought to book a private island for the ceremony. Hopefully she will dial it back to just the honeymoon.

        Love the package drop, Alladins. De plane. De plane. 🙂

      • rac2873 says:

        What’s the big deal. Sarah has about 10 years worth of Salary which averages over 50K a year. Every expense was on the company’s dime so that should leave her well over 500K in the bank. You would think Chuck being the only Intersect and appointed by the President makes 100K.

        So put all that money together and they can easily rent out an island for a week. 25 people for $40,000. Chump change. lol

        http://www.cocoplumcay.com/rent-an-island.htm

  20. James Bond says:

    I think this is a better episode then last week simply because as an audience you can tell when actors are not buying the material and when they are they come off far more genuine. This week Yvonne was totally into the wedding stuff and you could tell with her performance as sarah. When she said that all this stuff will make chuck happy, you could tell she was lieing and when she said that she thought that the wedding stuff was weird, again you could tell she was lieing. Yvonne seems to love all this wedding and chuck and sarah stuff and that is why I liked this episode more, the actors are more genuine and the story seems to flow better! So I liked the episode and Old Darth your heart must be made of stone if you felt the wedding stuff was forced!

    • atcDave says:

      I certainly agree the wedding parts were fun and well played. My only beef would be the “A” plot was a bit predictable, but everything else was so much fun (and Morgan didn’t save the day!)

  21. jason says:

    I liked the episode, alot. I love Yvonne and Ellie, two scenes or 3 counting the phone call, probably about as perfect vs how I would have written those scenes. I like chuck / sarah missions more than with casey and esp with morgan, I liked the bank robbery scene. I liked the wedding dress & epiphany scene, I am a shipper, it was a great shipper moment. vivian is pretty bad as a guest star, at least so far, the lawyer was not too good either, they got overshadowed by chuck and sarah. Morgan only wasted a little screen time instead of his usual lots, and jeffster I did not care for, but I like it when jeffster and morgan are together, as I need to FF thru less of the show.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I did love when Sarah found the right dress, too funny about the bullet holes though.

      • thinkling says:

        That was a really sweet Casey moment. Ellie/Sarah were really good together I thought. I am so glad to have Ellie back!!!

      • MichaelCarmichael says:

        I think those holes would fall into the category of major foreshadowing. I hope the network makes some definitive decision on renewal/cancellation in time to head off something like a Sarah gets shot at the wedding cliffhanger.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think they would do that Michael. They’ve been pretty good about wrapping up major story elements and just leaving us with a few hooks each season. I’m pretty sure the bullet holes were just a gag. Not only that, I think they know renewal is a 50/50 proposition at best, and they will do something that would be an acceptable finale.

      • thinkling says:

        Could be Michael, but I think the holes were there to force Sarah to buy her dress on a shopping spree with Ellie.

      • jason says:

        I hope sarah being shot is not a cliffhanger, much as I want the wedding early and the season to end on honeymoon, I think the season will end with a very star wars themed ending, the one where everyone is at a feast, chuck and sarah standing together, with morgan and ellie and casey and awesome, maybe even a dead stephen’s spirit in the background like Obi Wan and Anakin – my question, will any other hero be dead by then, casey? mary? someone else????

      • atcDave says:

        I’m betting against any main character deaths. The closest would be important secondary characters, like Frost, Volkoff, or Vivian. I could imagine, if there is ever talk of running the show beyond the main actor’s contracts, they could kill off Casey; but that’s still a couple seasons off yet and S7 may be just a pipe dream.

      • armysfc says:

        i also don’t see a major character death or injury in the finale. i know whats out there about the show’s chances. the thing is there is a lot of time yet for things to change. they will have wrapped up filming before the announcement comes either way. there is no reason to end in a cliff hanger like that for several reasons. it will serve no purpose if it gets canceled, if it doesn’t get canned how do you bring them back? my bet is a disrupted wedding like ellie and devons’s with them finally getting hitched.

  22. Herder says:

    I’ll have to wait until I can rewatch to say for certain, I watched it tonight on a HDTV that made it look like the show was shot on video and the picture ratio was off so Sarah looked short and stocky, so very wrong. But there were two bits that I out and out loved, Sarah sticking her tongue out over one of the dresses and Chuck with the stocking over his head to do the robbery only to be told that it was brought along so that it could be used if they had a chance to go out after the mission.

    A quibble about the end, for years Elllie has pushed Chuck to leave the Buy More, but his cover is that he works there and supposedly she thinks he still does, but he is engaged to someone who wants to rent an island for the wedding (let alone the fact that she hasn’t worn the same outfit twice for over a year since they started living together) and her reaction is that maybe he can get a few extra shifts? Shouldn’t she be telling him to get a job commensurate with his abilities so as to keep this woman in the style to which she apparantly aspires.

    • atcDave says:

      Sounds like someone had their tv set up wrong (4:3 480i signal fed to a widescreen tv with an expander on; yeccch). I’m assuming it wasn’t yours, but simply switching to native format should have fixed the ratio problems.

      But yeah, Sarah with the dresses was funny; I liked the train she just threw over her head…

    • Tamara Burks says:

      I think the extra shifts comment was meant to show that Ellie now has no idea what to do with a full speed ahead Sarah the bride.

      Getting more shifts is the only thing Ellie could think of to get more money given her past experiences.

      It’s more of a flail response than a logical one.

  23. JC says:

    Wasn’t terrible but nothing special. I have to echo what others have said, it was too predictable and Lauren Cohen has been fantastic. I might have to retract my statement about Vivian’s setup being fine because she and her story have been carrying the last two episodes.

    I liked we got a replay of Manoosh somewhat without the melodrama. And while it did feel out of place. I was OK with Sarah trying on wedding dresses because they let Yvonne do comedy again which she nailed. The bank robbery was fine but the banter between C/S was great, a little Mr and Mrs Smith there. “I feel like a princess” 🙂

    What didn’t work was the BuyMore and way too much Morgan again. Not enough Ray Wise.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      way too much Morgan again

      Hey! It was the A-plot of the episode. What else did you expect? 😛
      Don’t worry it’s all a set up for Morgan’s future exploits – the least among them – bringing world peace. 😉

      • JC says:

        I know I complain about the amount of Morgan but this time it was really pointless. It just seemed like the whole point was to have him stumble onto Casey’s side mission and the TX thing they were installing. I’m just waiting for the next episode when he mentions it at some point, Chuck’s flashes and either connects something to Volkoff or saves the day.

        Seriously we could have done without most of Morgan’s scenes, all of the BuyMore crew and given time to Ray Wise recruiting Vivian.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I complain about the amount of Morgan but this time it was really pointless.

        SACRILEGE. 😉

    • atcDave says:

      I’d agree about too much Morgan again. What’s worse, its one of those contrivances based on stupidity (wouldn’t a rational person find an apartment BEFORE moving out of his best friends place? Its not like he was evicted or anyone, not even Sarah, was demanding his evacuation). It only works a little because we know Morgan isn’t the sharpest tack…

      If the last few episodes have shown us anything, its that Sarah can more than take over a fair share of the comedy. And Super Spy/trained Assassin goes domestic is a nearly bottomless well of potential.

  24. Faith says:

    It’s kind of funny how tastes differ. 🙂

    Anyway, my thoughts about the epi. Sorry, it’s copied and pasted:

    I’m still having trouble with the chemistry and overall, Vivian. Not that again, Lauren Cohan did a bad job, she didn’t. I thought she was far better in the role in this episode compared to last. And I thought the feelings of confusion and anxiety translated much better in this one. Not to mention a badass pen move!

    It was interesting to me that they revisited the asset-handler role on this one. I liked seeing Chuck have to man up and take back what he promised. Realistically he really should have known better than to promise her anything, Sarah in my recollection never promised Chuck anything (or at least tried not to) because she knew it would be a lie (and well you know she was in love with him so that threw things for a loop anyway) so I thought it was an interesting twist to have Chuck, a spy promise his asset something that turned out to be a lie. But with a twist, because he naively, in a Chuck-way thinks he can make it true…and he probably will.

    I’m not enjoying the diminished role of Sarah as a spy. It’s not a deal breaker, don’t get me wrong, but Sarah Walker doesn’t belong in the van IMO and she showed it with the moves and the ferocity when robbing the bank. On the other hand, I am thoroughly enjoying Sarah Walker as a bride. As mentioned that scene with the dresses was something wonderful. She has put all these pressures on herself and in the moment but when she put the dress, the right dress everything just fit into place. That was beautiful. The tears were perfect. Maybe it’s something only girls understand but tears are definitely the right reaction to something that significant.

    The island and the cake stuff was icing. Heh. I think we’ll find out a little bit more on why she drives a porsche lol, considering you know…Chuck works at the Buy More as stated. Ellie created a monster too funny. Side note: I am also thoroughly enjoying Sarah Lancaster’s increased role. More Ellie is always more win. The heart to heart about the moment was absolutely fantastic. I love that she can impart wisdom to Sarah and yet still be supportive. I think Sarah needed to hear about the moment, because she was totally out of it, and it was great for someone “normal” to be able to empathize and yet still let her know it’ll come.

    As for Casey, I don’t know what he’s up to but I’m not getting a good feeling about it. It’s just…too secretive. For lack of a better comparison, villainy. I certainly hope that he doesn’t end up working for the bad guys but I think he might.

    Casey and Morgan is…awkward. I thought the renaissance gag was hilarious. The Buy More stuff can be a hit and miss sometimes but I thought this was funny. A departure from the Victoria Secret models of 3D but equally creepy, and hilarious. The Centaur and the moving tail was LMAO. But I will say, Casey and Morgan moving in together? Am I the only one weirded out about the idea of Alex spending the night? In any case certainly looking forward to the odd couple.

    The toys! Oh the toys! So very…spy-ish. I love it. Now I can imagine just how the CIA “made” Sarah’s comic con dress from S1, and well ♥ at Sarah enjoying Chuck in black tie.

    Overall I thought the episode was a fairly plot heavy one, and very serious. So many questions, and yet we’re told a little bit here and there at the same time. But not without its merits and fun moments. 3.5 bride dresses out of 5.

    • Faith says:

      Crap that was lengthy. Apologies guys, I’m tempted to make another review post out of this but there really isn’t enough goodies in this one to make sense of an entire review :).

      • Paul says:

        I don’t think the NCS is “evil”, just that they have a different agenda than the CIA/NSA and it’s going to cause some interdepartment rivalry. That agenda may put him at odds with Chuck and Sarah in the field. I think they are going to play Casey having to figure out where his loyalties really lay.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Just wanted to point out one thing about the Casey bit.

      There is absolutely, positively, no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that Casey would work for the bad guys. His values on serving the country are just way too high for him to do anything like that. I’m guessing it’s just an “A-team’ sort of thing, a secret squad that puts him back in the field to blow stuff up.

    • Faith says:

      I don’t think he’ll know Katsumaro. If they do turn out bad I think we could be looking at a situation in which Casey didn’t really have a choice. Interestingly enough I think what will end up happening here is that he’ll end the season deciding to leave the spy life altogether because he’s getting too “soft” (he’s not, but he’ll think he is) and that he’s getting too old to not be sure of who he can trust.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        I personally think that Jane Bentley is not going to end up being bad and also Casey will not be recruited for anything bad. Consider the synopsis of 4×18 and the spoilers that the Gretas are going to be led by Casey. Pretty sure Bentley’s operation is a covert one – question is – will it coincide with the Volkoff business? Or is it something related to the Intersect?

        Faith – I like your speculation about Casey retiring. He could then be C/S’ unofficial, off the books part time enforcer.

      • Katsumaro says:

        I think it’s possible he could retire. That’s most definitely a possibility, but I just don’t think it’ll be anything ‘evil’ at all. Maybe a new wave of training super agents of sorts, since Casey’s served apart of one of the best teams to date in terms of what Team Bartowski’s done? That was my thinking behind it. Just a super, covert operation where he needs to be his hardened self from seasons past.

        @Genie: I love that idea. The Chuck and Sarah enforcer, eh? Maybe their bodyguard, especially when they get married? That’d be outstanding.

    • JC says:

      I don’t think Chuck really thought of her as an asset when he made his promise. But the whole situation really makes the CIA look like the bad guys and like someone else said above they lucked out having Chuck get the Intersect because of the way they treat people.

      In that interview with Fedak he said things from previous seasons will come out, maybe like the kill order on Chuck? I’m almost wondering if all of this is going to lead to Team B cutting ties with the government at the end of the season. It would set up an interesting dynamic for a S5.

      • Paul says:

        I don’t think Team B will cut ties. I think this is being played out to give Vivian a temptation to join the dark side. I think in the end, she will find that the CIA may have gone back on their word, but her father is infinately worse.

  25. uplink2 says:

    Re-watched it and though I did think the first half was a bit slow I really liked where they went in the second half.

    Things I loved:

    The Sarah wedding scene was fantastic I really loved the look on her face, the realization that something she never saw for herself in her life was real and was happening. That look of pure joy was something don’t think we have ever seen from Yvonne yet. She has been happy but there was a blissfulness about her facial expression that was unique and I’ve replayed it a few times already. It is one of my favorite moments of season 4.

    The Bank heist was great. The comfort they have with each other now is amazing. They really are a great team and discussion was terrific. I don’t see the plot hole there as they knew that Chuck in the terrible fake mustache was a fraud and so now they know he was using Vivian to case the joint for the robbery not that she was part of it.

    The Casey story has me very intrigued as we really are unsure of where this is going.

    I liked Vivian alot as a villain type. I think Lauren was much better in those scenes than some of the straight stuff in Castle. Her scene with the Lawyer in the beginning was great with some pouty expressions that were excellent. The hug of Chuck seemed a little forced and rushed but I’m fine with that.

    Tolerable levels of Jeff and Lester.

    Didn’t like:

    No promo and the promos for The Event don’t talk about a special 2 hour comeback but leaves it open to the idea it will be at 8 going forward.

    Chuck and Sarah getting duped by Beckman. They both should have seen that coming.

    The rejected phone call plot device again but it wasn’t that bad this time. Its just overused by this show.

    • Big Kev says:

      @Uplink,
      Funny how two people can look at the same scene completely differently. I thought the Sarah wedding dress scene was notable for Yvonne, for once, being utterly unconvincing. It’s so rare it was almost jarring – didn’t buy the scene in the slightest.
      Aside from that – laughed a bit, enjoyed the heist, rolled my eyes a bit – and was apathetic about most of the rest. Disappointing.

      • jason says:

        kev – it is funny, that wedding dress scene, I probably have watched in 5 or 6 times, just watched twice after reading your post, I love it, right up there with the DULM scene from other guy … it is a shipper thing I am afraid, always has been with this show,

        not much any of us can do, to try to explain why, here is a shot, that was a private moment, sarah walker versus jenny burton, was meant to be part runway model, part awkward girl, part superspy, the girl who punched out the bouquet at Ellie’s wedding trying on wedding dresses and having her epiphany that she is marrying the ‘boy’ she loves

        it is sort of the essence of the show I love monday nights, not at all the show that uses words like ‘mythology’ and ‘stakes’ – simply a different POV I hold than some posters here do – I’ve quit trying to change anyone’s minds or ridicule other POV’s, only explain my own view

        Does that help?

      • First Timer says:

        @jason, @bigkev:
        I didn’t find the wedding dress scene convincing, either. And it’s not for lack of shipper sympathies. I thought the payoff was wrong (Sarah probably should have realized she’s a “real girl,” not a princess) and I wanted Sarah to be BORED, not flummoxed, as she went through the dresses. I don’t find it plausible that Sarah Walker is defeated by a dress train…

        I bring all this up simply because I honestly, truly, think this says something about (oh, boy) Season 3. Even good stories and good bits can be ruined by bad execution.

        You can be a shipper and dislike the wedding dress scene, just like you didn’t need to be a shipper to dislike Season 3.

      • Big Kev says:

        Hey Jason,
        Yeah, I definitely get what they were going for, and most other posters seem to love it, so it’s just me. That’s OK – I’m getting used to that this season 🙂
        Although I’m (clearly) less of a shipper than I used to be, I’m more of an Yvonne fan than I’ve ever been – and usually I love those glimpses into “real girl” Sarah Walker. Yvonne is so good that she makes them seem natural, even though we have so few “in character” reference for Sarah
        acting that way. Exhibit A – the T Shirt scene in Phase Three. Perfect.
        I just thought she missed this one and it looked forced – and it stuck out for me because it’s so rare for Yvonne not to nail it.
        Glad everyone else loved the ep though!

      • Big Kev says:

        FT,
        I didn’t think about alternative reactions when I watched the scene – but I like your take. Bored would have been a much more interesting “real girl” reaction.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        I think the word to describe that scene is “cliche”. For some it will work for some it won’t. Let’s face it Sarah Walker shouldn’t do “cliche”.

        Now her struggling to find the right dress and Casey coming in and picking out THE dress from the computer and getting it right the first time could have been funny, sweet and not a cliche all at once.

        Besides we all Casey in the ultimate wedding planner.

      • weaselone says:

        I’d have to say that Casey is more the ultimate wedding executor. Pun intended.

      • First Timer says:

        @bigkev, etc…
        I think we had A LOT of OOC Sarah Walker moments in last night’s episode. I get the wedding is being considered difficult water for the Sarah character, but I think she’d address it as she does everything: methodically. So I think the dress scene could have worked if she was doing it doggedly, intellectually, rather than being overwhelmed by her lack of “feeling.” The payoff would have been better. We’d have seen superspy to real girl better.

        And Sarah Walker, superspy, has NOTHING to say when Beckman says she could arrange a Volkoff family meet? The Sarah Walker WE know would be all over that, warning Chuck that something was wrong… I’ve always believed the Sarah Walker character worked best when her natural wisdom came into play. She was constantly the character in the show who best balanced government heavy handedness with common sense. It’s what made viewers first care about her. She WASN’T the “cold school” spy that the Casey character was created to be. Sarah cared, although I admit that began to change when they ret-conned the first meeting in, ironically, Nacho Sampler.

        I put a lot of the problems this year down to the writing crew . Meyers, DeGregorio and Wootton just don’t have the sense of the characters, I think. Newman is better, but barely. An episode like this, in the hands of Miller or Rosenbaum, would have been better. Both of those guys handled spy vs. real life quite well and a lot of the best Chuck-Sarah moments came from THEM and not (as usually believed) Ali Adler. It was Miller who wrote Colonel. Rosenbaum wrote the speech in Break-Up that everyone finds so amazing.

      • jason says:

        kev – I like the season 4 writers better, I don’t remember the season 2 stuff being THAT great, still lots of misery in season 2, I prefer season 4, and those writers did not exactly walk away from chuck into the real world and become rock stars in their new positions. Although, in fairness to them, if you were a tv writer – would you take a job in this genre – romance – action – drama – comedy – sci fi ‘ ish – seems to be a high risk, low reward place to be.

        I still think these shows – all of them – try to be too much, what chuck attempts to do, makes it almost impossible to simultaneously please everyone.

      • jason says:

        @ft – sorry I meant you, not @Kev

      • weaselone says:

        @FT I agree that would have been a far better way of handling the Sarah dress scene. At first it looked like that was the way they were going to go with it, but I don’t think they could resist the call of cheap comedy. Making Sarah go cold school spy in her search for the perfect dress could have also been milked for some humor, but it would have been more difficult to pull off. A scene like that also would have seen Yvonne in far fewer white dresses which was likely a strong secondary purpose of the scene.

        What we probably should have seen was Sarah with a note pad, furiously scribbling down information while occasionally glaring at a dress. Maybe she could even torch a particularly egregious violation of the laws of fashion. At some point they would cut out from perfectly coiffed Sarah with a cup of coffee to sexy disheveled Sarah surrounded by empty coffee cups and a piles of balled up paper. The perfect dress would show up. She’d walk up to it and inspect it as if it were some sort of insect. Then she’d try it on and the agent would shatter to be replaced by the real girl.

      • First Timer says:

        @jason:
        As I’ve said a couple of times, I do think Wootton and the season 4 crew are talented. But not every writer is suited for every show. But you take your paycheck where you can find them in ANY business these days. These folks ARE in a busines and I try not to forget that. I can like or dislike their styles or their “fit” in a show, but I don’t take it personally.

        As for Season 1/2, I think those of us who viewed it week by week were mostly thrilled by the ride. It was new and fresh and honestly a ride into the unknown. We DIDN’T know what Sarah was thinking. We DIDN’T know how far into the spy world Chuck would go. It was angsty, sure, but it didn’t feel fake then. And, of course, the stakes were much lower. All that changed with Colonel. No one watching the show at that moment could have imagined anything of what came later because that is when it became manipulative for its own sake.

        Season 3, of course, had the double whammy of trouble: The vicious budget cuts and the wrong-headed decision by the show runners to delay the payoff of Colonel for 13 episodes. Season 3 might have survived one of those problems, but not two. When you write a season backwards (as Fedak has admitted they did because they started with Chuck and Sarah together in the last scene in Paris and filled back from there), you better be brilliant.

        Season 3 was not brilliant, even though it had mostly the same writers as the much-better crafted Seasons 1/2.

        I will actually go further here: I don’t actually think Seasons 3.5 and Season 4 are any better written or crafted than Season 3. Most people just like the story they are telling better. The budget cuts and the poorer writing are more easily excused when you’re seeing a story you want to see…

        I know I’m virtually alone in not thinking much of Phase 3, so I leave that aside. Of all the others, though, Honeymooners was fun because it was a release. Role Models was good because it was a Season 2 episode with a HAPPY ending. Subway was okay, but unbalanced. Nothing much (as a writing exercise) has really impressed me except First Fight. I think that was the most clever episode since Colonel. And even that rests on Dalton’s scenery chewing and the wonderfully executed fight-fight scene that sort of highlights what almost everyone wants to see when the Chuck and Sarah characters are on screen…

      • uplink2 says:

        Well I know we all see things differently and that is a strength of this show many times but I loved that scene and thought it was perfect execution on Yvonne’s part. I love that we saw a new expression from her, a new emotion from her, and I found it a very real and honest emotion. I will say that for me this show rises and falls on Sarah Walker and Yvonne Strahovski. This season in particular she has been simply amazing and to me at least last night was another great example of that. She is trying very hard to fit the role she believes the Bartowskis want her to fill as the bride but without a clue how to do it. But Ellie and Chuck both lovingly suggest things in a soft and undemanding way that leads her to discover for herself that little girl who dreams of her wedding day but in Sarah’s case never really did because of circumstances. To me it is right up there with “You’re my home Chuck” and “My answer would be yes” from this season.

        Sure it was a bit cliche but when a character has never been involved with anything like this in her life there is a reason it becomes a cliche because it really happens. It was meant to be a sweet look into the inner girl in Sarah. It was meant to show a real joyous moment that she never would have imagined happening in her life before she met Chuck. This scene never happens if she left with Bryce, ever. Chuck has opened up a new world for her and she is experiencing the beauty of that world for the first time and yes it is a fairy tale for her and yes she is a princess. This scene is what makes the scene in the bank so great. The calm confidence, the team of equals, and the ease with which they jump from talking about the dress to screaming they will blow the heads off anyone that moves. All of that comes from the epiphany of the wedding dress scene.

        It was full of comedy and Sarah Walker does hot and sexy well but formal gowns with trains and things not so much. That was perfect execution to me. Plus the dress she picked out was perfect for Sarah Walker, simple elegant and without all the frills of so many of the others. My wife would love that it isn’t strapless as she thinks too many brides are caught up with the strapless trend and they don’t have the body for strapless.

        Sarah Walker is not a girly girl and the comedy of dealing with all of the stuff about dresses and the elements of a wedding are difficult for her but funny to watch. However what she does have now is a sense of what it is to be a woman that is about to marry the man she is completely and totally in love with and who feels exactly the same way towards her. Her epiphany was not really about her, it was about them. That is why she said “We’re getting married” and not “I’m getting married”. Seeing the holograms of her and Chuck made it real for her. After all the hardship and pain of her life she has found something very precious and rare. Something that brings both a sense of excitement and a sense of serenity at the same time. Sarah Walker and Charles Bartowski are getting married and the previously unthinkable and unattainable became real for her in that moment and IMO Yvonne played it brilliantly. It is a moment I will cherish from this series for a very long time.

      • Herder says:

        I’ll go with uplink on this one, I thought that they set up the scene pretty well, Sarah overwhelmed dealing with Ellie, Chuck giving good advice (not something they do often enough) in saying deal with one thing. Sarah picking the dress as the one thing she can deal with, on her own in her comfort area (castle). She seems to be struggling with it ( still love the tongue stuck out at the reflection of the horrid dress on her) until her moment of clarity, this is a perfect dress for something that I really want with all my heart. That is the reason for the tears, the import of it all hitting her suddenly, very well done.

      • uplink2 says:

        In thinking about it some more this scene brings back and restores one of the greatest lines from the series. In this moment for Sarah Walker she finally realized that “It is real”.

      • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

        @herder,

        I agree, Sarah making the “OMG this medicine taste awful” face when tried on that horrid (it really was) wedding dress, still brings a grin to my face today. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I’d admit my reaction to the dresses scene was purely emotional; no real objective analysis involved, but as such it blew me away. It was the perfect balance of sweet, heart-warming, and funny. Yvonne’s performance is completely what made the scene, so it doesn’t surprise that those who can’t quite buy the performance are less enamored of the whole scene.

    • jason says:

      by the way, too bad the beckman’s ineptness is used so often to ratchet up the ‘stakes’ – it is the sort of thing done in ‘Get Smart’ plots, I was hoping for a ‘smart plot’ instead, don’t think that sort of cleverness is forthcoming

      • jason says:

        one more random musing, just how many eps this season involved two trips of somewhat substantial distance to the same place? the milan fashion show, Costa Gravis, seduction impossible, to vivian’s estate, and now to the bank of evil – a budget thing? Luckily, Captain Kirk and Scotty gave team B their transporter technology I guess?

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve noticed that about the long trips Jason. They spend A LOT of time in the air; time that is not really accounted for in the story. Made me laugh that after the visit to the bank they had to return to castle for 10 minutes of conference then fly BACK to Macau. Too funny!

      • armysfc says:

        i generally don’t have a problem with the travel unless they put a specific time on it like in cat squad or gobbler. we see in one night what may take a week so i’m good on that. most shows leave out the travel times and when things happen. look at any LOA or CSI. same thing on the cases they solve. you know it takes days or longer but we see them do it all in one hour.

      • atcDave says:

        None of it really bothers me army, its just good for a laugh…

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

    This is a first reactions thread so here’s my first reaction. I feel like I just watched a much better version of last week’s episode. If fact after watching FBoE, Masquerade becomes lightweight and somewhat redundant.

    • Big Kev says:

      Interesting Joseph – because I confess I felt precisely the opposite. Last week felt significant and intriguing to me – and this week felt like fluff.
      Interested in your take – what did you like about this week compared to last?

      • JC says:

        I loved last week but was underwhelmed this week.

        Its interesting, people who liked last week’s episode seemed to have been so-so about this one. And the ones who didn’t like last week, liked this one.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        JC

        Morgan didn’t save the day in this episode. That alone made it good for me. 🙂 And I enjoyed both 4×16 and 4×17

      • JC says:

        Well thanks for ruining my theory in five minutes 😉

        I don’t think the episode was bad by any means but I really liked last week’s. I can’t put my finger on the reason really, they were basically the same in a lot of ways.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I just think this episode works better as an introduction of the Vivian character. The main thrust of Masquerade was to get Vivian to Volkoff’s office (the “key”), other than that not much happened.

      Really, I think if you were to take the first halves Masquerade & FBoE and combine them (somehow) it would work better, but alas.

      For some reason when both episodes takes us back to the place where the first half of the episodes take place (Vivian’s manor and Macau) storywise the episodes grind to a halt. I’m sure I’ll be one of the few for whom the bank robbery sequence didn’t give me a thrill, but it was an improvement over the horseback sequence.

      • Faith says:

        I think it’s Vivian. She’s just not working for me overall.

        I think your combining theory works actually because I felt like there was a lot missing in getting to know her/sympathize with her in Masquerade and we got a bit of that in FBoE, but it was a tad too late.

        On the other hand the side stories are working very well for me. The Valentine’s day in Masquerade and Sarah as Bridezilla in this one. Although honestly I’m starting to see less Sarah Walker overall and I’m not liking it ;).

    • jason says:

      interesting, reaction is sort of like FOD, seems like the sarah stuff either worked or not … I thought the whole point was sarah SHOULD be 100% OOC, because, she was OOC. Reminds me of35 years ago in vegas, I saw impersonator rick little, impersonate richard nixon, impersonating Mao Tse Tung – in this case yvonne – sarah walker & then the real girl who has become overwhelmed – I liked it – both mao tse tung and that real girl last night. If it is any consolation, I thought casey sort of ruined it a bit, would have rather had sarah ‘call’ ellie, but I am a sarah ellie shipper. Again, might be some of the reason I loved the ep so much.

      one other ‘musing’, seems like in the past TPTB have been criticized for not taking their time setting up the villain or lets say the conflict, here they took 2 eps to walk us into vivian and whatever scam jane bentley is up to …. while filling in with some CS stuff that felt like eps 4×1 thru 4×5 (which of course I loved – LOL)

      • Big Kev says:

        I think FOD definitely had a more negative reaction – certainly from me! FBOE has cool spy Chuck, and no whiny Chuck, so a definite improvement there.
        I did appreciate the slower exposition of Vivian, especially her selling of the slap in the bank. I’m enjoying Lauren Cohan’s performance too. I really hope that it takes something more than Chuck seemingly not keeping his word to make her go dark though (if she goes dark) – hopefully there’s another couple of twists in there somewhere.

      • thinkling says:

        Big Kev, I don’t think we’re done with the Vivian path yet. I think she will straddle the line for a while yet, before she decides. Her deal is that she wants to get to know her father. Chuck is sincerely trying to help, and the lawyer is playing her … for himself or Volkoff, we don’t know yet … mua-ha.

  27. jason says:

    I saw the early number on spoiler tv, 3.4/5 which I am pretty sure what is is each week, going to guess 1.7/1.8M when tv by the numbers releases the number in the next hour.

    1.6 will suck, 1.7 will be ok, and 1.8 will be cause for celebration – fingers crossed.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Hope it’s AT LEAST 1.7. 1.6 is “TROUBLE!” because with a week hiatus, DWTS coming back, and Daylight Savings Time soon to be upon us, I fear 1.7 will be “looking good.”

      Ay. Ay. Ay. I’m so tired of looking at the ratings. Why in the heck do I do it? Still “re-watching” multiple times on NBC.COM and HULU – as it seems to “count” something at least for NBC. Still doing the rewardtv survey the next day. And still buying “stuff” (like that sheep which hasn’t arrived yet!) including Subway. Don’t know what more I can do.

      I’m – sadly – beyond the point of thinking that ratings are going to “rise.” There are just too many obstacles that are going to be coming up against us over the next 1-2 months.

      Fingers crossed for 1.8, but truthfully, I’ll “rejoice” in a 1.7. A 1.6 – at least for right now (with no DWTS or DST) spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E.!!!

      • Rick Holy says:

        Well, according to TVBTN, we remained at a “steady” 1.7 (unless there are any downward adjustments in the final ratings which come out later). Harry’s Law was up slightly to a 1.8. With all the promos it gets, you’d figure at SOME POINT it would start to rise.

        One interesting thing to note AGAIN about CHUCK if you go to the TVBTN site. For the second half hour we drop in both demo number and total viewers. This seems to be a recurring trend. Some viewers “tune out” by the second half hour of the show – and that’s NEVER a good sign.

        Well, will “1.7” be good enough for renewal? Pretty darn “iffy” if you ask me. I think it’s going to take some “Divine Intervention” to get a 5th season. 😉

      • IzziE says:

        I don’t mean to sound rude but it is just a TV show … I do not agree with this whole deal SweDak got going where they are putting the onus on the fans to go out of their way to basically save their jobs. I have a job, I don’t need a second one as a professional show supporter. Because that’s what some people are becoming, professional Chuck supporters (some make money out of the gig but most don’t, they loose money buying crap they don’t need).And I would recommend the same to you. Sure watch the show, sure if you ‘re in the market for something made by a company that supports the show factor it in your choices but in no way should you be made to feel obligated to go buy every piece of crap that ‘s loosely related to Chuck cause you feel you “have” to. My 2c. And the same applies over this constant agonizing over renewal (not you the poster I am replying to specifically, the fanbase generally). Chuck has been on the bubble for 3 seasons. It has floated by fan mania, dumb luck and questionable network choices. It can’t keep floating like this. It either has to carry its own weight or it will get canceled, it’s the way the world works.

        And that “Chuck fans – find the .2 of you who were watching like three weeks ago. Thanks!” tweet was insulting, to me, and I was around filling Subway comment cards 2 years ago. A show runner should not need to try and guilt or bully the show fans to get them to do his work for him. He either produces a product that can stand on its own two feet or he ceases to produce it … it’s like a 50 year old man asking his folks for pocket money from their pension. It’s THAT ridiculous

        And once again your comment was just “inspiration” for me to vent on this. I mean no offense, and I am not trying to address you specifically.

      • atcDave says:

        For most of us here supporting the show is a labor of love. Schwartz’ comment was a bit condescending, but honestly, we’re in the business of supporting Chuck here anyway. It isn’t a burden because we love what we’re doing. I especially appreciate Rick’s enthusiasm and creative ideas on the issue. And I too worry about it ending. I will enjoy the next seven episodes regardless, but I sure do hope we can get an S5.

      • Rick Holy says:

        @IzziE. No offense taken, my friend. And your point is ABSOLUTELY LEGITIMATE!! I’ve stated more than once on this blog that I will never, NEVER get this absorbed into a TV show. Truthfully, I’ve been a “fan” of a number of shows throughout my life, but I’ve never been a “fanatic,” until now. Is it embarassing? You bet.

        I, too, found the J.S. “tweet” about the “0.2” fans distasteful. And with all honesty, I’m not trying to do what I can to save the show for HIS sake. I have to admit that first of all I’m doing it for MINE. I like the show – love it, in fact. It’s brought a lot of pleasure, even when it hasn’t been very good at times.

        And I know this may sound “sappy,” but I genuinely like (not that I’m pals with any of them or “know” them) the cast of CHUCK. They all seem like decent folk. None of them seem like the stereotypical “Hollywood” types. And they seem to be graceful AND grateful to the fans.

        Is it MY job to see that the show survives so that THEIR jobs continue? No. If they’re good enough actors, they’ll likely land somewhere else. But what I do is kind of my personal way of thanking them for bringing characters to life (most of) whom have brought me great pleasure.

        As far as the who show runner thing – when you’re right, your’re right. And you’re right! Produce a better product and the fans will watch. Kind of like “if you build it, he will come!”

        BELIEVE ME – if “this is it” this year, my life will go on! 🙂 Monday evenings will be a little less enjoyable, but who knows? Maybe “Wonder Woman” will actually be GOOD and I’ll at least have my “one show TV fix.” That’s all I ask from the networks – give me ONE show that I’ll love!

        But again, your points are valid, no doubt! So no personal offense taken at all. No harm, no foul!!! 🙂

      • armysfc says:

        rick, as for wonder woman, if what is coming out is any indication you wont worry about it long. imagine the same reaction chuck got prior to going on for season three, from what i have heard early it will bomb big.

  28. armysfc says:

    here’s my 15 cents on the episode. the thing that stuck out most to me is growth, both individual and as a spy team. all season we have seen sarah question chuck’s abilities as a spy. from the first episode where they make the MSNL pact, to the your not a spy, its to dangerous, its my mission to what are you doing here? he was going to reveal the mole. this was the first time i remember seeing where sarah let chuck go on a dangerous mission with no complaints. beckman says we have lost agents in that bank. sarah never questions beckman on sending chuck in. she doesn’t question chuck on his being able to do it. then the actual mission comes up. she stays in the van and treats him like a partner would, one that has confidence in her partner. she trusts him so much that she actually goes off mission and talks about the wedding. is it OOC behavior or the fact that she now see’s chuck as capable? chuck gets in some trouble and she doesn’t panic. then chuck gets hit on purpose to get the key card and with sarah’s help moves on. they worked as a team that trusted each other. sarah doesn’t come in to help until chuck says he needs help, like i’m sure she would do for any partner.

    when they go back again the same thing. they worked well together as a team, and had fun doing it. she treated him as a partner. i found this to be refreshing over her constant worrying about him.

  29. Rick Holy says:

    Don’t know if anyone has any “moms-to-be” in their family or among friends, but through our friends at Chucktv.net – who are really plugging the SleepSheep as a way of again showing Chuck fan support of Chuck advertisers – you can get the sheep at 50% off during the month of March. Go to Chucktv.net for the details. Here’s the link: http://chucktv.net/2011/03/01/chuck-fans-save-50-on-sleep-sheep/comment-page-1/#comment-29767

    Not saying this will get us a fifth season, but it’s worth a try – and at 50% off it’s actually a nice and inexpensive gift for a new mom (and dad). And there are always charities and crisis pregnancy centers who would gladly accept them as “gifts” to give to new moms in difficult situations.

    Just a thought.

  30. rac2873 says:

    Wow to think I used to love coming here to discuss the episodes. Now it seems hardly anyone is satisfied.

    It will be interesting when the Series finale airs what will everyone think of the show. Will it be I hate season 3 but I still watch it and complain about it all the time, or man the writers really sucked for season 4 so glad that show is over or will people actually just watch the last 7 episodes enjoy them and realize that in a few months you may never see Zach, Yvonne and Adam on the same screen again.

    I agree that not everyone should be a cheerleader but it seems sometimes that some fans are so nitpicky that nothing this show does will ever make them happy. They want season 2 all over again.

    It’s funny that so many people have issues with the writing and the actors and the storylines from season 4. Yeah I agree that some of them have been weak but what I am more disappointed about is the fans of this show.

    Reading this blog and other comments it is no wonder why Chuck is getting a 1.7 in the ratings. Well I won’t be one of those fans that nitpicks this show to death. I will happily watch the last 7 episodes and shed a few tears when the credits roll in the finale.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Honestly, to even insinuate that Chuck’s declining ratings are because of what fans write on this blog is pretty sad. How many people do you think actually READ this blog as compared to the MILLIONS of TV viewers “out there.” Millions, yes MILLIONS, have chosen to “tune out” CHUCK on Monday nights over the past 5 seasons. We started at (I believe) around 9 million. Now we’re around 5ish million.

      If you follow the blog regularly, I would think that the overall “vibe” you get from it is that we are the “die-hards,” the “stick with it until the bitter end” supporters of the show.

      Now, does that mean that on a blog/discussion board that we have to LOVE every aspect of every episode? No. If we did, they might as well call this the “Chuck Cheerleaders Blog,” because that’s what it would be. Many of the threads on the blog have gotten very in depth analyzing each episode – much more than I think what you’ll see on other blogs. When you get into in depth analysis, you also get into in depth discussion and differences in opinion as to what is good/not so good, effective/not so effective.

      I can’t speak for others, but as far as myself, even when there are elements of a particular episode that I find “not up to par” in terms of what we’ve come to expect from CHUCK, it’s still by far and away my favorite show on TV. And I think you’ll find that even those of us who do occasionally point out shortcomings are by far the most vehement supporters of the show against the “Chuck-haters” that are out there just rooting for it’s demise. (If you don’t believe me, just check out what pops up on most of the TVBTN “CHUCK” threads).

      But again, this is just a fan blog. A really great one – the BEST of the CHUCK blogs (imho). However, any negative comments that have appeared on this blog haven’t accounted for the decline of 3-4 million viewers over the span of CHUCK’s run. I WISH we had that kind of influence on people. If we DID, then I’d think you’d have seen a SIGNIFICANT uptick in CHUCK’s ratings in this 4th season – because most (though not all) of us have been extremely happy with this season and have said so. Does that mean that we “love”EVERY part of it of EVERY episode? No. When it’s GREAT, we say so. When it’s lacking, we say so. But whichever, we still love and support the show.

      And we’re not a “one size fits all” group. Some of us love certain episodes, while others don’t love those episodes as much. Then we might have a complete visa versa on the next episode. But bottom line is that WE’RE STILL HERE – supporting the show – talking it up to our friends – doing whatever we can to bring in new viewers or bring back old ones – and definitely spending our cash either directly (DVDs, NBC merchandise) or indirectly (by STRONGLY supporting advertisers/product placers).

      So trust me, my friend. Most of us will be shedding tears along with you when the credits role for the finale. And we ARE still hoping against hope that we might even GET a 5th Season. But as far as CHUCK’s decline to a 1.7 demo rating, you’re going to have to look elsewhere to account for that.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks for the enthusiastic endorsement Rick! We have been blessed with many excellent and thoughtful writers and commenters here, and we certainly reflect a variety of opinions.

        But I’m not picking up a particularly negative vibe here. I gather most viewers had a good time with this episode, there are just a few details to fuss over. As usually happens, many of us have a few moments or aspects to gripe about; but I think there were even more things to be pleased with. I know I had a great time, and I know my wife laughing and smiling beside me the whole time; so I’d call it a successful episode.

  31. Rick Holy says:

    Oops. Make that FOUR seasons in the first paragraph. (Wishful thinking??) 🙂

    • rac2873 says:

      Sorry I did not imply the ratings were because of this blog. I meant to say this blog is probably a good indication of what the fans think. It is no coincidence that the ratings dropped for good. I guess it is just me, I try to avoid the negativity and nitpickiness this year but it seems it is everywhere in every blog and review and message board. Maybe Chuck did actually jump the shark in season 4 but I was to busy having fun to notice it.

      I still love the show and I have found very little to complain about. I guess in the past I would have loved to pile on the show but not now. I just want to enjoy it. It seems in the past I could go to boards and blogs and I would find many Chuck fans who agreed with me but now it is everyone is just so critical of the show. I love reading about what people love about the show. However it seems I have to skip 60% of the post to get to read those comments.

      I guess this happens as the show gets older fans expect more and more and if they don’t get that they get upset.

      If anyone has any free time they should definitely count the number of negative vs positive responses on this board. I think negative would far outweigh the positives.

      I never understood why actors and producers avoided blogs and forums. Now I know why.

      • Rick Holy says:

        My bad for misinterpreting your post. The situation with CHUCK, however, is that the showrunners, Josh Schwartz especially, “Twitters” (or “Tweets,” whatever is the “proper term for it) Chuck fans who he knows follow his “tweets.” So he’s part of the “blog equation” when it comes to CHUCK.

        Unfortunately – and I say that with ALL sincerity – most of S3 left a bad taste in many CHUCK fans’ mouths – and if you notice, that’s when the ratings drop occurred from which we have sadly NOT recovered. Now S4 is something that we’ve (for the most part) have enjoyed very much (especially when compared to the first 2/3 of S3).

        The bottom line with CHUCK is that the showrunners and the actors turned to the “bloggers” and sought their help when the show was “on the bubble” at/near the end of Season 2. That’s when the whole Subway thing came about. Even THIS season when CHUCK was in the running to make the cover of TV Guide, how many Youtube and blog video posts did we see with the CHUCK cast (God love ’em all) encouraging fans to VOTE, VOTE, VOTE for “CHUCK” in the TV guide poll.

        So I’m pretty sure that the producers of CHUCK read at least SOME blogs – and they definitely know that by “twittering” or “tweeting” or whatever that what they “tweet” will wind up on the blogs. I believe it was at last summer’s Comic-con when Josh Schwartz (much to his credit) stated that “Chuck and Sarah would be together this (4th) Season. We learned our lesson.” He and Chris Fedak understood that a big portion of an already small (though loyal) fan base was NOT happy with much of S3.

        So they ARE aware of what the fans are thinking. Mr. Schwartz recently “tweeted” that we fans need to rouse up the additional 0.2 demo number of fans (the decline from the S4 average of 1.9 to it’s current 1.7). So AGAIN, he’s turning to the fans, via the blogs, to help save the show again.

        Of course, unless WE or our friends have Nielsen boxes, we don’t and won’t count. But we do what we can.

        Anyway, I’m glad you’re enjoying what MAY BE the final episodes of CHUCK forever (perish the thought). Most of us here are enjoying them very much as well. Now, we might chime in about something we didn’t care for – like I did about how Vivian got the shaft – but that doesn’t mean that I (or we) didn’t find the episode entertaining.

        It’s kind of like going out for a nice dinner and having everything be GREAT – except that the service was lacking. So although you might talk up the great food, you’re certainly going to also mention the “wanting” service. That’s kind of like what’s happening here.

        When you LOVE something passionately – which most, if not all posters on this blog I believe do (as much as you can “love” a TV show), you want it (just like you would want a person you love) to be as “great” as he/she could possibly be. That’s what we want for CHUCK – and thus you are likely to see concerns/complaints/gripes expressed – but not at the expense of the great love for the show – only with the intent of wanting it to be as great as it CAN be! And it can ALWAYS (just like anything/anyone else) be better! 🙂

        So KEEP SUPPORTING and advocating the show however you can. If you’re not doing rewardtv, give it a try. Doesn’t take more than about 20 minutes the next day after the show airs – and supposedly it “helps” the CHUCK cause. Same with views on NBC.COM and HULU.

      • atcDave says:

        Richard the very nature of analysis is that we try to identify the good and bad of things. In any business, complacency is the enemy of excellence. You have to be able to critically analyze things to perform well; and TPTB NEED our honest feedback to continue to deliver an excellent product.
        We all heard the interviews leading up S3 where everyone associated with the show went on and on about how much the fans just love the wt/wt and relationship angst between Chuck and Sarah. They had drawn a completely mistaken impression from our gushing enthusiasm for S2. Well, that and they probably weren’t reading enough blogs! So when we celebrate our favorite show, it is in everyone’s best interest to say WHAT we love, and what doesn’t work quite so well. Ideally, that will effect not only Chuck, but shows not yet even created.

      • JC says:

        Honestly I think sometimes we’re too forgiving about episodes, myself included. If something isn’t working or a story device is being played out, we should voice our opinions about it.

        @Rac

        I do find it odd you’re complaining about people nitpicking when you were angry about one word synopsis earlier in the season.

      • Rac2873 says:

        JC i think at some point I realized that this show is on borrowed time. So I started to look at what is great about this show and embrace it. I stopped being nitpicky and moved on from the negativity. I enjoy the show much more when I am not picking it apart. I just want to experience with other Chuck fans how great this show is but I come here and have to ignore alot negative comments. Maybe I changed or I just want to enjoy the final 7 episodes.

        I love reading the articles but I think I will steer clear of the comments. They knid of kill my buzz for the show.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I don’t quite agree with that JC. I want to be very clear to emphasis the things I am happy with first, at least as long as I’m generally happy with the show, I want generally happy to be the mood I convey.
        Criticism has a way of inflating and taking on a life of it’s own. I think that naturally happens for a few reasons, the most obvious being there’s simply more to say about a malfunction (why it didn’t work, what it’s impact on other story elements is, and how it could have been done better). But I think it’s also worth adding that a single negative or bitter comment simply seems to carry more weight than a single good one. Pretty soon the criticisms seem to take over a discussion. In fact it’s been a source of great frustration to me how negative many of our discussions here have been, especially towards the weekend when we’re several days removed from the previous episode. It’s amazing to me how one or two minor beefs expressed Monday night become the only thing we’re still talking about on Saturday.
        I don’t believe there’s an easy fix, except that I always make an effort to include my general satisfaction when we start digging into minutia. It’s sort of the exact opposite of S3, where I wanted to be sure to conclude with my general dissatisfaction every time I brought up something good.

      • Big Kev says:

        Rich,
        Sorry mate – I’m with JC on this one. I’ve seen you threaten to quit the show more times than anyone else I can think of – and now criticism is just “nitpicking” and we should all just enjoy the show?
        You’re certainly not the only one guilty of that particular double standard – but your post is certainly the most blatant example of it.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Dave. I’m kind of thinking that if we were right now at a 2.5 demo with 7-8 million total viewers, you’d see a heck of a lot less “nitpicking” on our parts. I think, in large part, it’s a result of EVERY SEASON being “on the bubble,” and especially THIS season – which most of us have enjoyed a great deal – we’re even in greater trouble with a lower demo and fewer total viewers.

        I think the frustration in the “why isn’t everybody else seeing what’s great about this show like WE do” comes to the fore in the dissecting of every episode [and every scene :)]. Honestly, if we weren’t dealing AGAIN with the “anxiety” of being axed, I think things would be much different.

        Overall, I think we’re all very positive about this season – and for good reason. Not only has it been much, MUCH better than last (at least in the opinion of most of us on this blog), it MAY be our LAST season EVER! 😦

      • JC says:

        @Dave

        I think negative comments live on because people have a need to defend their opinions. And you’re right they tend to feed off each other.

        But my comment was about the show in general not specific episodes. Like the over use of Morgan , lack of resolutions or my personal one continuity. I see those as separate issues, the show’s general weakness versus an episode’s. I don’t know if that makes sense.

        @Rac

        Everyone is different, negative comments from other fans don’t bother me one bit. I enjoy reading what went wrong for other people. It doesn’t change how I view the show one bit.

      • Big Kev says:

        @Dave,
        Question – did the level of negativity frustrate you so much in S3? Or was it easier to deal with because it reflected your own opinion?
        I know I’ve found the blog hard to read at times – and then at others I’ve contributed to the flow of negativity that others find hard to read.
        What I do think is that people this season tend not to feel as strongly about the overall story direction – for good or bad – so discussion has often been more around “structural” stuff – production choices, writing tricks, plotholes, that sort of thing. It’s just part of the fact that the overall story is less polarizing than last year.

      • Faith says:

        I agree somewhat Rac. And sympathize.

        Dave, good point on the feeding frenzy.

      • atcDave says:

        Last season I was so frustrated with the show itself I didn’t really find other complaints that hard to deal with; but then I felt the complaints WERE the way I felt about the show.

        The difference this season being that the complaints are not indicative of my mood. I admit that’s a totally self serving viewpoint; but most of us seem to be happy Monday night and Tuesday, and then talk is all full of criticism over the weekend. So there’s a sort of dichotomy to it that frustrates me. I don’t feel like the heavily critical talk is reflecting the majority viewpoint, it certainly isn’t the majority viewpoint among the authors of this blog. And THAT concerns me because I think we’re presenting a non-representative view of attitudes. I seriously believe the show’s biggest hurdle is still damage control for S3 (for bringing back viewers we lost); not some of our minor beefs about structure or pacing.

      • Rac2873 says:

        Big Kev,

        I have changed and I hit a low point with season 3 (guilty as charged). I guess it’s not people voicing displeasure because we all do that. I get that. It’s the feeding frenzy mentality I don’t get. I just wish it was more balanced. It’s a blog about everyone loving Chuck well with the bad there is also good. But I am dropping this because I am coming off as hypocritical.

      • Faith says:

        Truth, because if we can’t be honest amongst ourselves when can we right? We’re among friends…I hope. Note, this isn’t pointed at anyone, I mean that. With me you’ll always know I mean what I say and this is no different.

        I haven’t been posting much. That’s not because lack of time (I have no life ;)) or anything but because the blog has turned into something else altogether. Dave is right there seems to be this set time where everything just seems to go dark (for lack of a better term). Understand, criticism is fine, I criticized this episode myself, and the last one but negativity/cynism and dwelling can be painful. To be frank, I didn’t like either episodes when it comes down to it. But it’s more than that. I’m afraid to criticize it because I’m afraid it’ll just feed into the frenzy. There have been far too much about S3 and what went wrong with S3 of late, really I thought we’ve moved from that, but more fool me. Because what did go wrong or right with season 3 is how season 4 is being judged. Fine, I disagree, so I comment less. That’s just me.

        This blog used to be fun, now it’s work. One has to work up the courage to wade through some very tough comments and then still come out encouraged about the show. It burns you out to the tune of not being able to enjoy the show anymore. I just want to enjoy the show again, so I’m commenting less.

        This is just my own personal POV. A heartfelt one that I hope people will take as is and not get offended or huff off. I certainly don’t speak for the blog or the commentors. Just me, myself and I. And honestly I think I’m not the only one burned out. I’m also a bit extra burned out from the OOC (I now hate that word with a vengeance) discussion of the boards from like 2 weeks ago. Anyway, as you were…

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        *must resist entering the positivity vs nitpicking discussion* *takes deep breaths and a few shots of the Snark Soother*
        *goes back to lurking* 😀

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Faith – this is for you

        My time pass activity during my lurking phase – plucking out artificial beard and groin hair from the Morgan Voodoo doll. *insert ominous music and evil cackle here*

      • armysfc says:

        here’s my 2 cents, i have seen less negative comments over the last couple weeks. i am one that posted some good and many bad comments about the show. i no longer post the negative ones and just posted my first positive one in 2 weeks. i am remaining as neutral as possible. the reasons is simple, there have been many comments made by the moderators of this blog expressing the number of negative comments made here. one really hit home. the comment concerned the love the moderators have for the show and the blog itself. how the negative comments caused the writers of this blog to take a week off at a time because the comments were getting to them. i do not come here to offend anyone or take away the enjoyment they get from it. since it is their blog i no longer post negative or positive comments. i feel its fair that way. i did post a positive one today.

        i don’t believe this blog is a reflection of most of the viewers of chuck. i concede it reflects a certain segment but not the majority. this blog and its writers tend to focus on the relationships first and the rest of the show comes in after that. my opinion is most of the viewers focus on the whole show rather than a certain portion of it. while the relationship part of the show has been great the rest of the show has not. i think many viewers see that as well. that could explain why some viewers have left. it has been a fun season for most and not so much for others.

        no matter what happens in the future this has been a fun season for me but not real enjoyable if that makes sense. the fun parts have not been able to over take the things i like but didn’t get to see until 3 of the last 4 episodes (less cat squad). you guys have a good thing going here and i hope there is another season for you guys to enjoy and talk about.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I have noticed and appreciate your effort to be more positive. I always feel bad even bringing it up, because criticism is absolutely a legitimate part of analysis, and one I’ve used plenty. But as Faith said, it has occasionally been over the top.

      • jason says:

        @Faith / @actDave – My take on all of this, the feeding frenzy over season 3’s arc is simply not going to end until after a few months after cancellation. What happens is a new poster who needs to vent like we all did last season finds this site, here they find a place where most agree with their POV, and they heal themselves thru their words, just as I did last spring, and many of you did too.

        This ‘healing’ process, angers those on this site who liked season 3, who use comments over season 3 as justification to either cut down the user (most recently I saw this yesterday) or the season 4 show. It seems like the same verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are in use to judge season 4 for the those fans who post here regardless of the episode, I could post their comments for them, they are so predictable.

        Faith, like you, I almost have hit a point where I prefer to not analyze at all, rather, I tend to match the negative in kind with my own positive tripe. My line goes something like ‘I loved the series for XX straight episodes because the series has been true to the Chuck & Sarah relationship for XX episodes’.

        At some point, the discussion becomes sort of silly on the blog, I wish I could offer some sort of proposal, a truce, a compromise of some sort … but just as things get sorted out here, a new user comes on board, someone who season 3 damaged, who reaches out for healing, finds it here, while driving those who have been here for a while back into the endless “season 3 sucks, no season 4 sucks” shouting match.

        I guess eventually Merlin will drive ‘Dr Brown’ crazy?

  32. Moi says:

    You have seven weeks to vent/complain then it’s curtians.

    Magnus said…
    Yes, I would not expect a 5th season.

    Could it still happen? Anything can happen. But based on this latest conversation, it isn’t being viewed as a bubble show right now.

    • weaselone says:

      Magnus was also pooh-poohing the idea of getting a 3rd season.

    • Rick Holy says:

      I wouldn’t expect a fifth season either – but then again, I didn’t expect a THIRD! 🙂 Magnus – a name I’ve heard many times but is not someone that I follow (at least as far as I know). Is he claiming to have “inside info.?” Unless he somehow DOES, then he’s only going with a “gut feeling.”

      Right now, two sources I put stock in say we’re on the bubble. TVBTN STILL says “bubble,” and Entertainment Weekly puts us at 50/50. So cancellation or renewal – neither should come as a surprise. Cancellation SEEMS more likely because how many seasons can a “bubble show” survivie? And THIS season has seen the worst ratings yet.

      But even if it ends with S4 – that’s a da** good run – and I think it will “end well” with the wedding. So really, it would be hard to complain. We’ll have 4 seasons “on the shelf” to watch whenever we want. That’s only one less season than one of my recent favorites (ALIAS), and only two less than one of my other recent favorites (LOST). Overall, I’ll take it!

      • Rick Holy says:

        and THREE MORE than one of my OTHER favorites – FIREFLY! 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        You’re completely right about that Rick. We got 3 excellent seasons to enjoy as many times as we want! Of course more is always better, but if this is the end I will always love what we got.

    • weaselone says:

      Well, if we want Chuck to get a fifth season, the appropriate time to start efforts is probably right now. Of course outside of Magnus setting himself on fire in front of 30 Rock, I’m not certain how we could attract additional viewers at this point without identifying and blackmailing people with Neilson boxes.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I think that “word of mouth” in regard to CHUCK promotion is no longer effective. It HAS to come from NBC – and we KNOW that they’re not promoting the show much, if at all. They did ALOT last year – but unfortunately that was the disastrous season that we don’t want to keep rehashing. The really bad part about it was that is was kind of a “blown” opportunity given the promotion that we DID get.

        I think we can come to the realization that NBC is done investing any kind (other than somewhere between “none” and “bare minimum”) efforts at promoting the show.

        Who knows? Perhaps that might work to our benefit. If they’re “happy” with a show that they don’t have to spend $$ on promoting (and every 30 second spot they devote to promoting a show is 30 seconds less of ad revenue) that draws a 1.7 in a tough time slot, then we’ve got a chance. An awfully SLIM one, but still a chance.

        That’s why I won’t say “it’s over” until THEY (NBC and/or WB) say it is. They’re “the fat lady” in this equation!! I’m just someone in the crowd.

      • IzziE says:

        TV Time costs money. Every second of promotion they do, for any show, is a second they could have sold to Pfizer for Viagra ads. NBC promoted literally the crap out of the show at the start of Season 3.The show opened with a 3.0 and closed with a 1.7. It’s clear to anybody that there is no growth in the show, whoever was going to sample the show already has and they are not convinced. So NBC won’t through good money after bad money, that’s it. They made a deal that basically allowed them to not loose money on the 8 o clock Monday slot, and Chuck got a 4th Season. They won’t throw millions at it trying to get Chuck to go from 1.7 to 1.9. Why ? Cause they won’t make any more money if it does. And even if it does, lets face it, it’s still an abysmal for a show that opens your night. Things might have been simpler (read better) if NBC could have used Chuck fans to launch 9PM shows (meaning if Chuck fans stayed on and watched the show after Chuck) but that didn’t happen. So don’t expect them to throw money at it for no reason.

      • IzziE says:

        and yeah, wtb edit button. Auto-Correct killed the above message

      • Rac2873 says:

        IzzieE

        So if NBC is not promoting Chuck and they don’t expect it to rise then they are satisfied with a 1.7. If they are not why not just tell WB that Chuck is not coming back next year. Let them end the show on their terms. Also if they think the show has no potential then I can’t see it growing so why renew?

      • atcDave says:

        Form starters NBC does not care about narrative or artistic issues, it is purely about money. And I believe they honestly haven’t decided yet. Chuck’s ratings are terrible. But everything on NBC has terrible ratings right now. So come May, when they are making decisions about what goes and what stays, they will look at Chuck’s numbers over the course of the season. They will look at what kind of money the show currently makes, if they think they have something that can do better, and if the show can continue in its current slot. Its highly unlikely they would flush the entire line-up, because then everything is unknown. But a show that doesn’t help the rest of the network isn’t much use either; so if they think another show would pull a 1.7 yet actually help Event or Harry’s Law it might be more appealing than Chuck. Of course, going against DWTS another new show might only pull a 1.0; so they will need to think carefully about whatever they do.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well fans have the option to help or not. It is clearly their decision.Will it matter? I don’t know. It did in the past and maybe it will again. But what I personally don’t like is seeing some folks say its a fait de complete. It isn’t. Magnus’s source is not the head of programming for Comcast/NBC. That person is new and that person is an unknown quantity outside of Showtime and they have some really great shows. Angela Bromstead is gone and so logic that was used to analyze her decisions is irrelevant. Plus the landscape is changed for ratings. A 1.7 this year is not the same as a 1.7 last year. Much of what happens will depend on the next 4-5 episodes and how the competition and the change of seasons affect it.

        I will say that there are things going on behind the scenes that hopefully will have an impact on their decision. Maybe a 13 ep mid-season order to cover their possible new show losses might work, a move to fridays might work and some cost cutting from WB might work. There are still options out there and I believe we will see something coming. Now will the fan enthusiasm from season 2 or 3 happen again? No but what does happen still might be enough.

        Here is what I see and yes it is coming from a fan’s pov.

        I see 5 shows vying for 3 pickups.

        Parenthood
        Harry’s Law
        Lola
        The Event
        Chuck

        If NBC’s pilots orders look good it will be only 2 spots but if the suck like they did last season there might be 3 with one being on fridays.

        I think Parenthood is safe, Harry’s Law probably and The Event very unlikely. So it comes down to 2 shows looking at 1 slot. LOLA and Chuck. LOLA had better numbers in the fall but is a mess and still on the back burner. If Chuck drops to a 1.4 or 1.5 its dead but if it holds at 1.7 it has an ok chance. Not great but maybe 40-60 and if that’s the case fan involvement will help. A bump up yesterday would be great but I am curious how The Event does next week. If it gets a 1.4-1.6 with all the promotion it got it has no chance built if it gets a 1.9 – 2.1 Chuck drops in possibilities. IMO I’d love to see a switch to fridays as if they did that and it keeps its 1.7, I think it comes back. We are at the mercy of what everyone else does and that is never a good scenario in sports or TV.

  33. Rick Holy says:

    @IzziE. I guess then it’s an indicator of what a mess NBC’s line up has been the past few seasons if they would take a show that in it’s third season went from a 3.0 to a 1.7 and then give it the largest episode renewal order in the particular show’s history (24 for S4). It’s no mystery to any of us that CHUCK if not in whole then at least in large part is “still on the air” because of the diaster that was/is NBC’s line up this year. How many new shows tanked QUICKLY. And how many of the shows that have only been around 1-2 seasons have already dropped to the level of S4 Chuck numbers.

    Unless they come up with a huge number of darn good pilots, they’re going to be in trouble again. And, as you know, new series are a roll of the dice. They cost a great deal to “get started,” with promotional costs being only part of the “start up” cost. I’m not saying there hasn’t been one, but can anyone tell me of a “hit” that NBC has introduced in the last 2 or 3 seasons? They’re calling “Harry’s Law” a hit – that’s what a mess NBC is in. A show with “Chuck-like” demo ratings (1.7/1.8) is a HIT? I know it has several million more viewers, but from what I understand – rightly or wrongly – the only thing the advertisers care about are the demo numbers.

    If “CHUCK” does survive for a fifth season (doubtful, but you never know) it will be a further indication of the mess NBC is in, not really a “credit” to the show itself (unless they’re STILL somehow “making $$” off of it – which I guess IS possible). Best case scenario for “survival” as I see it is as a “back pocket replacement” for a pilot that bombs quickly (some ALWAYS do) and makes Chuck’s 1.7-1.9 demo numbers look good! Highly unlikely? Probably. But it’s STILL NBC, so you never know.

    • Big Kev says:

      So here’s a question…..
      If Chuck gets renewed (and I agree, at this point it’s a big if) – is there any chance that Comcast would INCREASE the budget?
      At some point you would think that Comcast are going to try and increase ratings, and not just maintain the levels of NBC. To do that, they’re going to need to spend some cash on whatever shows they do pick up. I’m also guessing that Comcast have a cash pile put aside for that very purpose. So is there any reason why Chuck wouldn’t stand to benefit from that (either in terms of increased production or marketing budgets) if it got renewed?

      • atcDave says:

        That would be awesome; but my guess is, unless someone high up at Comcast is a big Chuck fan, they will want to see some improvement in ratings before they increase their commitment to it.

  34. Verkan_Vall says:

    This episode worked for me. I can see what other commenters didn’t like about it, but I have some good laughs, it moved the plots along and Yvonne was delightful as always.

    Can I ask for more than that? Sure, but this kind of pleasant escape will do just fine for now.

    @atcDave: couldn’t agree more with your comment about the show’s biggest problem being damage control for last season. Emotions are still running pretty high for some people I know.

    • Herder says:

      This episode was fun, entertaining and as you said it moved the plot along, that works for me too. There are stories developing that will have big resolutions but that isn’t what this episode was about, I think it delivered on what it set out to do so I’m in a happy place.

      I view season 3 comments as sort of the Tourette’s sydrome of the site, we all know that it is time to put that behind us and no longer say those things in public, but sometimes an uncontrollable urge to blurt something inappropriate overtakes us. I think a mixture of tolerance of the reason for the comment and a polite pretending it wasn’t said would be the best policy. This has been my own way of handling the subject not always sucessfully as I like many others have the same unfortunate urges, but I’m trying.

      • jason says:

        @herder – I’m trying too, like how you put it herder, you seem to have tapped into Solomon’s fountain of wisdom lately herder, post more – you are hitting on all cylinders!

      • Big Kev says:

        Honestly, I’m baffled by the continuing obsession with S3. At times this blog is like a guy that claims to be blissfully happy – while consistently reminding his girlfriend of that really dumb thing she did a couple of years ago… 🙂
        And most of it seems to come from the people who are happiest with the show as it stands. I truly don’t get it. If I truly thought S4 was genius, I’d be too busy talking about that to be worried about S3 and whether I still “trust” Schwedak.
        Faith’s right. We should be long past this by now.

      • Herder says:

        I don’t know if I’m easy to please or what, but so long as there are a few good moments which serve to elevate the rest of the episode, I’m fine. I this episode, Chuck and Sarah being in a happy place sets the tone for the rest of the story.

        In this episode for me the good moments were the wedding dress revelation, the centaur wagging it’s tail and the whole Matrix/Pulp Fiction bank heist. They elevate the Sarah as clueless bride, Chuck as failing handler and Ray Wise as evil deus ex machina stories. So what if Vivian isn’t the most compelling story yet, I don’t expect tevery guest star to be Meryl Streep or Al Pacino, I’m willing to let the story play out.

        I see this and the preceeding episode as TPTB tossing up balls into the air that will be juggled until the season finale. Is Vivian more like Chuck or her Father, is Casey being led down the garden path back to becoming the burn out that he was four years ago, how did Ray Wise know that Charles Carmicheal was the one who took down Volkov and how did he know that the visit would be denied (and for that matter how did he know that Chuck was the agent running Vivian and not the more senior Sarah).

        Lots of other questions floating around too, like where is Awesome, why did Morgan have to move out now, how will Chuck react to being a handler and will Sarah have to chose between being a girl and being a spy. Plenty to keep me interested, as I said, I’m in a happy place.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay Kev I recognize when I’m being called out. I’m a big fan of history. I love studying what’s come before and how it points to the future. That includes discussing all of what’s come before on Chuck from 1.01 to present. S3 will always be extremely important to the history of the show and it has a dramatic effect not only on what we’re currently watching, but also on ratings and the mood of the fan base. I don’t wish to discuss it constantly; but I don’t want to see misrepresentations of past events or discussions (especially of my own past comments); or even just discussions of things I have a strong opinion about; pass without comment.
        I love S4 and enjoy discussing it; but as I’ve said before, I can’t study Naval history by only looking at Midway and Leyte Gulf; sometimes you need to look at Pearl Harbor and Savo Island too. In fact, more lessens are often learned from the disasters than from the victories.

      • thinkling says:

        CTB Tourette’s syndrome. ROTFL!! Good one, Herder.

        Tolerance and a polite pretending it wasn’t said. Looks like we have CC (Chuck Correctness) policies forming. LOL 😉

        That’s kind of where I am.

        In the meantime, for all my fellow stragglers, may I suggest a new product line from Alladins’s Apothecary: Snark Soother Syrup for occasional flare ups and, for more persistent disorders, Tourette’s Tonic.

        Sorry, I’m too easily entertained. 🙂

      • JC says:

        To be fair the S3 talk only seems to crop up when an episode revisits a theme they tried last year. The last time was after FOD for obvious reasons and since this one was a play on Nacho Sampler its not surprising.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        INRE: Season 3

        Have you ever heard the saying that the most bitter words in the english language are “If only”? I think that is part of why we can’t let go of season 3: it is the great lost opportunity for Chuck.

        If only they had avoided the PLIs.
        If only they had left Shaw as spy mentor.
        and so on.

        @atcDave: Agree. I think that Season 3 was a catastrophic mistake (think Midway from the japanese perspective) , and while I do my best to ignore it, it has to be taken into account if you’re trying to bring people BACK to the show.

        If only (heh) to know what NOT to talk about.

        I’ll also talk about season 3 in respect to letting the showrunners know what I didn’t like about that season and what I really like about this season. Because I have this nagging fear that if they can do it once, they might do it again.

        But all things considered, I’d rather talk about Yvonne.

        @Thinkling: but…but I thought Snark Soother was a tonic? Now it’s a syrup? Oh, you mean like Grenedine?

        “Persistent Disorders: Tourette’s Tonic.”

        Now THAT bottle (drum?) has my name on it. Persistent Disorder describes me on more than one level.

      • thinkling says:

        VV:

        The working name was tonic, but Joe called it syrup and it had a better ring to it. So:
        Snark Soother Syrup
        Tourette’s Tonic

        I like alliteration.

      • joe says:

        @Thinkling: I like alliteration.

        I knew it! I knew it! 😉

        (and me too!)

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah VV, and among Japan’s strategic errors of WWII; assuming Midway was an anomaly and not honestly trying to study their mistakes (compare/contrast Japanese response to Midway vs. US response to Savo Island).

      • Faith says:

        2 things:

        1. I agree with Jason, you’re on fire Herder. You’ve been saying all the right things, the way we try to but can’t lol.
        2. Joe, how did you get your comment to look special like that?

      • joe says:

        It’s because *I’m* special, Faith! 😉

        Hum… I see today that Dave is special. I’m guessing the author of a post is tapped on the shoulder by a little blue fairae and is rewarded with a blue comment.

        Or something like that.

        And here, I thought YOU have discovered yet another wonderful option in the WordPress template. It’s cool, but I didn’t do it!

  35. Robert H says:

    Angela Bromstead gone already? Wow, didn’t know that. Comcast not wasting much time, are they? Agree pretty much with atcdave, Fr. Rick and Uplink2. Too early to tell, May Sweeps will be important, and how well The Event does or does not do will make a difference. The Cape cancelled already? Another disaster for NBC. All of that promo money that could have gone into Chuck, not to mention the development costs.
    Same thing for The Event too? Could be. I said last fall that people don’t have the time or patience any more to watch something that complicated, constantly shifting back and forth in time within the one hour shown every week. They then pull it in December and keep it off the air for 3 months after spending a fortune on it and now they are going to do the same thing again in March? And they think it’s going to be better now than it was in the fall with DST coming soon not to mention the return of
    DWTS? They are living in dreamland and Comcast needs to quicken the pace of mass firings at NBC. With the money spent on those 2 shows alone, not even mentioning what was spent on Undercovers and Chase, the budget for Chuck could have easily been restored, the show well promoted, and money still would have been left over for other prodjects better invested in. But alas, incompetence and stupidity won the day again at NBC so here we are at the precipice-again with the odds seemingly very much
    against renewal, but still too early to tell yet. Magnus better check his sources again…If those sources are at NBC it may well be those sources will get fired too in the
    housecleaning that is only just beginning.

    As for me personally it doesn’t really matter any more. I’ll watch the episodes as they play out more out of curiosity than really caring about the show’s survival one way or the other. Given what’s happened in the last 2 years with it it may have been better to have cancelled at the end of season 2 rather than continue to watch what we got afterwards, although season 4 is far better than season 3. Changing the basic premise of the show, the budget cuts, and the massive blunders by the producers and NBC killed the show and for all practical purposes the show died at the end of season 2. The massive defection of viewers over the next 2 years proves that, regardless of what all of the reasons were.

    Nice to see some comments attesting to Schwartz’s efforts to get his .2% of fans back by appealing to the viewers. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had a strong, negative reaction to that and I’m glad others did too. Given another 1.7 again this week
    and I guess Schwartz is living in dreamland too. Well that’s his problem, not the viewers.

    Well nothing to do now except wait it out and see what happens. I’m not even going to comment on the episode. What would be the point? It is as it is and it’s not going to get any better. Let’s just hope it doen’t get any worse in terms of the show’s chances for survival.

  36. joe says:

    Good morning, everyone. I’m so sorry that I’ve been a bit absent from the discussion. I’m only about 100 comments behind.

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed this little thing in FBoE, but I thought it was cute. Pardon me if it’s been mentioned:

    The scene when Chuck first escorts Vivian through the bank; it’s such a role reversal that it’s Sarah sitting in the van. Imaging Chuck in the van two or three years ago. Sarah would be the one inside the bank, waiting for a little help to get around an obstacle, and of course, Chuck would just then get a text from Ellie (or Morgan) about something trivial. This time, it’s Sarah getting the text message from Ellie. Two years ago a message to Chuck would provide a clue or an answer that would help Sarah or Casey, and this time, Ellie’s cake-tasting reminder gives Chuck a chance to give Sarah his advice. She’ll take it eventually and use it to solve her own crises.

    Maybe this strikes you as “more of the same”. But this complete role reversal was one of those things that I only recognized after a couple of viewings and after sleeping on it. I love finding those subtle gems! They make it worth the time.

    • atcDave says:

      Its like they’re beginning to reverse the built in reversal. Chuck’s role was backwards from the start, which was sort of a fun device of the first two seasons. Now we see them “unreversing” into each others roles. Very funny stuff.

      • joe says:

        Heh! You’re right. Maybe Sarah should not have been thought of as the one to propose! 😉

        New bumper sticker! Reverse the Reversal!

    • armysfc says:

      joe funny you should mention that scene. it held a bigger significance to me. i mentioned it above and will just cut and paste it here.

      here’s my 15 cents on the episode. the thing that stuck out most to me is growth, both individual and as a spy team. all season we have seen sarah question chuck’s abilities as a spy. from the first episode where they make the MSNL pact, to the your not a spy, its to dangerous, its my mission to what are you doing here? he was going to reveal the mole. this was the first time i remember seeing where sarah let chuck go on a dangerous mission with no complaints. beckman says we have lost agents in that bank. sarah never questions beckman on sending chuck in. she doesn’t question chuck on his being able to do it. then the actual mission comes up. she stays in the van and treats him like a partner would, one that has confidence in her partner. she trusts him so much that she actually goes off mission and talks about the wedding. is it OOC behavior or the fact that she now see’s chuck as capable? chuck gets in some trouble and she doesn’t panic. then chuck gets hit on purpose to get the key card and with sarah’s help moves on. they worked as a team that trusted each other. sarah doesn’t come in to help until chuck says he needs help, like i’m sure she would do for any partner.

      when they go back again the same thing. they worked well together as a team, and had fun doing it. she treated him as a partner. i found this to be refreshing over her constant worrying about him.

      • joe says:

        Army, that’s excellent.

        I have a (bad) habit of discounting complaints about OOC behaviors, mostly because I prefer to see much of it as character growth. There’s no way in which either Chuck or Sarah could or should be the same characters to which we were introduced in S1. Too much water under the bridge.

        But there is still such a thing as bad, sloppy and lazy writing. I don’t think this scene is an example. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

        I used to complain about Chuck’s whining and dithering way back when. Every so often he’d become Charles Carmichael for just a moment – very much like a flash – and I knew *that* is the person he could be. That is who I wanted to see.

        Now it’s just the opposite. Chuck is mostly Charles, and (very) occasionally slips and trips into Chuck.

        Sarah’s half and half. It’s funny – I heard a line on a repeat of NCIS just the other day. It was Ziva, trying to be a Mossad operative again, after years with NCIS. “Did you ever see a snake try to crawl back into its skin? It is – unnatural.” That was Sarah in The Gobbler, trying to be who she once was. She can do that, but less and less every episode.

        Here, with just a worried look, Sarah showed concern for Chuck when Beckman made him break his promise. Breaking promises used to be easy for her (before she met him). It used to be impossible for Chuck. They’re they same characters, but yes, they’ve changed.

      • armysfc says:

        joe exactly. that’s what i liked so much about the whole scene and the episode. chuck takes charge over telling vivian she can’t see her dad. he didn’t let sarah go in with him he took it upon himself to do it. i’m not one to notice growth so much but for some reason this stuck out to me. same with the sarah and dress/princess part. i have heard it called OOC as well. i thought it was her finally coming to terms that she could have the magical wedding she always wanted but could never have. it took her how long to finally tell chuck she loved him because of her fears? so for her i think it was in character. i think she wanted to push ahead with the wedding and elope because she was afraid something would come up again (volkoff arc) that would keep them apart. i believe she is full in at this point on the wedding.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree army. It’s like every little step towards normal has been hard for her. She was sold on the idea of marriage in the front part of the season; but the wedding (family and friends gathering with all the trappings of normal) was a separate issue that has only just now come.

      • JC says:

        Yep, even though it wasn’t my favorite episode the character moments were spot on. The interplay between Chuck and Sarah leading up to and during the robbery was completely in character with the growth we’ve seen. They weren’t Mr and Mrs Smith but they’re working up to it.

        I really liked Sarah in the episode, she treated Chuck as an equal. And even when she was worried about him in the bank and when he had to tell Vivian she let him handle it without any drama. These last two episodes should be outlines on how to write C/S as a spies and in a relationship moving forward.

      • thinkling says:

        JC, I agree these episodes make a good template for balancing the relationship with the spy stuff.

  37. Rick Holy says:

    “And now for something completely different……..” Well, I THINK it’s something “completely different.” If it’s been brought up in previous posts – SORRY! I didn’t review all 200 + of them before this “idea” and/or “crazy thought” hit me.

    So far the only thing I remember Sarah saying about her mother is that they had a “strained relationship.” (Am I remembering that correctly?). That leaves the door WIDE OPEN as to what was the “source” of the “strain.” Now we know that “dad” was a con-man, and yet it seemed like she spent most of her childhood/teen years with dad – NOT MOM! So “Mamma Burton” was possibly involved in SOMETHING.

    Since this show this season is “all about family,” what’s to say that “Mom” wasn’t also involved in something BIG. Perhaps “spy-life” (thus, Sarah inherited the genes from Mom) or something else – maybe something “not good.”

    What if? and again this is a BIG, wildly-speculated WHAT IF? – Casey’s mission – which he’s obviously not revealing to Chuck and Sarah (at this point to reveal it to one would be to reveal it to the other) has something to do with Sarah’s mom. Perhaps finding her, capturing her or whatever. Chucktv.net says Gary Cole has already been cast to appear as Jack Burton again, I believe in ep. 4.21. They also had a “poll” for which actress would best portray Sarah’s mom. (I went with Cheryl Ladd).

    Bottom line – what I’m tossing out here is that Casey’s mission has SOMETHING to do with Sarah’s mom. Not something “trivial” like “finding her for the wedding,” but FINDING her (either capturing her if she’s “bad,” or resucing her if she’s “good”) and that will fit in nicely with a Walker/Bartwoski wedding.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic for SARAH to have both parents at her wedding and Chuck (for obvious reasons) only having mom.

    Anyway. Am I nuts? or what???

    • armysfc says:

      rick, nice idea but in an interview last week this was said by TPTB….Will things get even more complicated for Sarah before the season is over? Given that mothers have loomed so large on ‘Chuck’ of late, I had to ask — might we meet Sarah’s mom? Fedak said he didn’t “want to make any promises” about that happening this season, but he it’s something he and fellow creator Josh Schwartz would like to explore at some point.

      based on that and the little that follows…”We’d love to get into that,” he said. “We do have some ideas” about where a Mama Walker story could go.

      my guess its unlikely they will get to heavy into it.

    • First Timer says:

      @rickholy:
      You know, this whole Sarah’s mom thing is interesting. I mean, as a writing challenge.

      She was never mentioned until Balcony and, as I said at the time, the show runners would never have allowed a freelance writer (Denby) to create backstory for the Sarah character without meaning to come back to it.

      The “problem” as I see it is that the previous mythology has the Sarah character with her dad from her pre-teen years right through high school.

      It’s not really plausible that the “strained” relationship with her mother dates to a childhood action to leave with her father. So there would have to been (logically) some adult interaction between the Sarah character and her mom. I mean, assuming the writers want to keep the backstory somewhat believable…

      So it will be quite interesting to see if they weave the Sarah mom character into the spy mythology, the con-person mythology or (as Jason speculated) turn the family restaurant into a Mafia operation…

      It’s the most delicious mystery of the back 11. We know that the Family Bartowski will defeat the Family Volkoff again, of course. We know that Chuck and Sarah will get married. We know that Casey will either return to Team B or be written out of any potential Season 5. All the unknowns in there (Vivian, Bentley, etc.) are going to be coming from set parameters.

      The one real, we-have-to-wait-for-it moment is the backstory on Sarah and her mom. We have no possible way of knowing, or even speculating intelligently, about how they take it. The only POSSIBLE clue we have is the synopsis from A Team, that Ellie is doing research that worries Awesome. You might be able to fantasize that Ellie (to whom the Sarah character delivered the “strained” comment) is searching for Sarah’s mom. But other than that, it’s all a to-be-created bit of TV writing…

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true FT. We have no framework for Sarah’s mom at all.

        I’m spitballing as much as anyone, because I have no magic framework either, but

        I say no to the spy game, just because it’s been done. I guess they could make it interesting, but I don’t see it.

        I don’t think they’ll go Mafia, but you never know.

        My option is that Sarah’s mom is a cop, a lawyer, or a politician … someone for whom a con man husband would be a huge problem. Sarah has been painted with the same brush in her mother’s mind. She probably has no clue what her daughter really does. Lawyer (prosecuter) turned politician is my favorite.

      • atcDave says:

        I like the mom as some sort of government or law. Possibly FBI or military or some other agency that would naturally have little respect for con artists or the CIA. That way Sarah’s background and career choice would both be sources of embarrassment.

      • JC says:

        I always thought her mother came from a well to do family and Sarah was the black sheep because of Jack. I like Thinkling’s idea of a politician’s family or old money that Jack tried to con his way into. Like the Rockefellers or Kennedy’s.

        I just hope she’s not connected to the spy world at all, in fact I want her to be completely normal.

      • First Timer says:

        @thinkling, @atcdave:
        The lawyer/cop/law enforcement spec might work. The writers this year have made it a point to create season four backstory and scenarios from the wispiest mentions in the first three years. And there is that VERY emphatically delivered line by the Jack Burton character to Chuck: “My daughter is some kind of cop, isn’t she?”

        It’s SO well delivered in the context of DeLorean that you could see one of the writers this year saying, “Hmm…maybe I can do ‘like mother, like daughter.'” I mean, things have been created from less this year.

      • First Timer says:

        Of course, I’m Italian. And since Denby sort of implied that Sarah’s family is Italian, I wonder if the “strained” relationship is nothing more than the fact that Sarah didn’t stay in the family restaurant business… I know Italian families who’ve been split by less… 🙂

      • armysfc says:

        @all. i like the idea of old money or politician. to add another i follow in my parents foot steps angel for me is too much. i want to see something different.

      • First Timer says:

        You know, it just struck me. Sarah’s mom may be hiding in plain sight already. What if she is the character of the wedding planner?

        That’s the episode that brings back the Jack Burton character. So that would be a logical place to introduce mom. And the Wedding Planner is described in the casting call as “Daphne Peralta, a fashionable, fit, smart, sexy woman in her 30s or 40s who sports a New Jersey accent.” Except for a fudge on the age, well…wouldn’t we like to think that Sarah’s mom is fashionable, fit, smart and sexy?

        And the wedding Ppanner character need not ACTUALLY be a wedding planner. She could be an undercover (hello, she’s planning a wedding for the daughter of a family of Hungarians working for Iran!). Or it could be that she’s (surprise!) working the con with Jack Burton…

        And since we can assume that Sarah’s mom isn’t logically involved in e18 (A-Team), 19 (the train homage) or 20 (Family Volkoff, e21 would be the first opportunity to introduce here…

      • armysfc says:

        FT. can see it. no need to fudge the age though. many over 21’s play HS kids so why not have a 40 yo play a late 40’s early 50’s? we know sarah is 30 (for arguments sake) if she was born when her mom was 18 that would make her mom 48 and that fits the casting call for 40’s. besides make up works wonders to age people.

      • thinkling says:

        If mom is a politician, they could do so many things with that. She could be connected, or not, to the intelligence community. She could be honest or crooked. She could be targeted and need protection. She could be leverage, if anyone found out her connection to the Intersect.

      • thinkling says:

        Mom in plain sight as the wedding planner would also be an absolute hoot.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Hey ya’ll. Don’t you be forgetting that there’s a POLISH mafia, too! (Chicago has the biggest population of “Polish” than any city in the world, except Warsaw). So with “Bartowski” being Polish, and Yvonne (in real life) being Polish – and heck, maybe even as “Sarah Walker” her last name is really Polish – I’m rooting for the POLISH MAFIA to appear in CHUCK before Season’s end.

        And isn’t Chris Fedak Polish, too?? Not sure, but some times those “ak” or “ik” endings to names are from Poland.

        SO BRING ON THE POLISH MAFIA!!! We’ll show you who REALLY rules the underworld. We’re so “stealthy” people don’t even know we exist! 🙂

    • patty says:

      I really thought Sarah said “strange” instead of “strained”.

      If we are going to have fun guessing Sarah’s mom how about wealthy family who wants to forget “That Man” and any of his progeny with Sarah’s mom caught in the middle. Sarah politely refrains from imposing her undesired company on them. Sister is by second husband (or maybe Jack never married mom so Sarah is illegitamate and even more of an embarrassment).

      • thinkling says:

        I can’t tell between the two, Patty. Either one lets us know it’s awkward.

        Portuguese subtitles say “tense.” They’re not always correct, though.

      • thinkling says:

        Your scenario would work. When Sarah said they postponed the wedding, I took it to mean that they did get married; but it could mean either. If they had never married, though, I can’t imagine Sarah would have ended up with her dad.

      • First Timer says:

        @thinkling:
        You can’t actually INVENT a scenario where a con man with no permanent address would be given custody of a child over a mother who is in any way competent. I think back in Season 2 they were going for a Paper Moon homage. But now it’s a continuity problem.

        Either Sarah’s mother was a basket case (weirdly, a la the mother of Martin Blank in Grosse Point Blank, the basis for Cougars) or Jack absconded with Sarah after stealing her from her mother or a social-services/foster home kind of life. Neither scenario is pleasant, at least since writers would want to create “lovable” scoundrels as Sarah’s parents.

        So get ready for a doozy of a ret-con at least from this side of the equasion. The writers clearly didn’t have a mom back story in the can when they invented the Jack Burton story…

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Sarah’s mom may have had legal custody but an ugly home situation. Perhaps she’s living with her own parents who hate Jack Burton and the wild child who is a constant reminder of how he ruined their beloved daughter. So when lovable rogue Jack comes to visit his daughter she begs him to take her with for an exciting life of fun and cons far removed from the stifling and distasteful situation she was trapped in. And of course Jack can deny his 6 year old helion nothing so off they go…

        Mom may have had plenty of time to regret her own behavior and failure to stand up for her daughter to unpleasant parents/aunts/uncles whatever…

        Of course we have no idea what they will do. I just don’t think legal custody is that big of an issue in the story. They can make the situation very ugly or more romanticized. Being Chuck, my guess is we’ll get a stressful situation that works out with everyone fairly happy.

      • First Timer says:

        Which, by the way, is why the writers won’t go ANYWHERE near this part of the backstory. They’ll never even TRY to explain why Sarah ended with Jack Burton. And Sarah’s differences with her mom with be about something else, something between adults.

        Same as they never really explained how Frost could disappear, then Orion could disappear, yet the teenaged Chuck and Ellie could live on their own…

      • atcDave says:

        That you may be completely right about. We may only hear about a mom who is freaked out by her daughters continued high risk lifestyle or some such, and they’ll never even touch on the distant past.

      • armysfc says:

        dave, i like the ideas but yours makes the most sense. i’m going on the interview posted in the spoilers section where fedak says they would like to get into it this year. from what i read it sounds more like it will be handled in passing more than anything else.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, FT, the mom story is a sticky wicket. I’m still game to go along with the ret-con, as long as it’s at least stretchable.

        Agreed, Sarah’s back story has been written on the fly.

      • armysfc says:

        thinkling i agree with sarahs back story being written on the fly. that’s why i don’t really expect to much or to meet mom. one never knows however.

    • weaselone says:

      @FT

      Are we 100% certain of Ellie’s age at the time Orion leaves? Provided they had the funds, two children who had essentially been taking care of themselves since their mother left could have flown under the radar long enough for Ellie to reach 18 or even just reached the age where she could be legally emancipated. At that point provided she could show she could take care of Chuck, she could have become his legal guardian. This would have been all the more possible if Orion were running some interference for them.

      • armysfc says:

        best information i could find out about ellies age is she was born in 1978. that would make her 33 some time this year. not a lot of information out there on her.

      • atcDave says:

        I think she’s either 3 or 4 years older than Chuck. So if Chuck was 13 when dad left, Ellie wouldn’t have had to fake anything for long. And we have reason to believe that money was not a problem, and Ellie had been actually running the household for quite some time anyway. Add to that, Ellie and chuck were both good students so they would have not drawn much attention from the school system.

        I think they could have easily escaped notice.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree with all that Dave. I think they could’ve easily stayed under the radar for a year.

  38. Rick Holy says:

    Another new “voting” poll, this time through HULU. If you’re interested in pointing and clicking for CHUCK, here’s your chance. Right now we’re paired up against Big Bang Theory – and we’re winning. Obviously the votes don’t reflect Nielsen ratings, but fans who take the time to VOTE on HULU. Vote early. Vote OFTEN.

    Here’s the link: http://www.hulu.com/bestinshow

    • patty says:

      I like the format better than the last few polls. Your vote can’t migrate if you use the down arrow to get to the next catagory!!

  39. Robert H says:

    Why all of the speculating about the Sarah backstory when the producers seem to have made it clear they are not going to get into it or mention it only in passing without
    going into much depth about it? Assuming this is true, this is one of the reasons the show is more than likely to get cancelled. You would think with the danger of cancellation looming large like it is they would want to bring everything together and
    wrap it up in a good and complete way to unify the story for all 4 seasons. But Fedak
    seems to say based on an earlier comment above they might not have time to do that this year. This year? This year? What the hell is he talking about? The odds are very good there isn’t going to be a next year. They got a 24 episode season and Fedak says
    they don’t have enough time to do it? This is exactly the kind of attitude and incompetence that brought about the infamous Season 3. You would think they would do this to at least reward what is left of their fan base and complete the whole story before the end, but no they are going to do what they want to do and complete these
    new stupid arcs no one gives a damn about. When the show being turned off in a lot of
    households after the first 30 minutes and ratings going from 1.9 to 1.7 in the last 4 weeks the handwriting is on the wall and they still don’t get it. The attitude seems to be to hell with the remaining viewers and by the way we need an extra .2% bump up
    in the ratings so watch the show but we’ll do what we want to do. What you want doesn’t matter. It ‘s the arrogance from season 3 all over again and it’s why the odds
    are very good the cancellation bear will get them this time around. They will get their own “pink slip” and deservedly so. Well it’s a shame we really won’t see the Sarah backstory but the last 2 years with this show have been a shame anyway. The viewers
    can’t really do anything about it except for one thing. They don’t have to watch it and judging by the ratings decline they aren’t. It may be time to say “good riddance” and
    be done with it. It’s time to move on emotionally and accept what seems to be the inevitable. It’s done.

    • First Timer says:

      @robertH:
      It’s a non-denial denial. Whenever Fedak doesn’t categorically deny, they are working on it. It’s what happened when he said he didn’t think Ellie should ever find out Chuck was a spy. He said it when he said there were no plans to give Sarah a “real” name. Moreover, Strahovski has said she wants a family backstory. She NEVER says stuff like that until she KNOWS it’s in the works.

      So we WILL get a mom backstory this year…

    • armysfc says:

      robert i’ll take a different tact than the others. first thing is you need to remember these episodes were most likely planned and fleshed out well before the ratings dropped the last .2. they are filming 21 now i believe. that means to do what you want the arc that has already filmed would go nowhere since it sets up the last couple of episodes. 18/19/20 are in the can 18/20 seem to fit in with the arc they started based on the synopsis of each. so even if they could rewrite an episode and get it done, her back story would need more than one episode to complete. i personally would rather see them get married, the NCS and vivian arc concluded well, than find out about sarahs mom. in the grand theme of the show if it ends this year more people will talk about the wedding than the fact that they never got to see or find out more about sarahs past. think about this, when was ellie born? when did she graduate UCLA? were debating on how old she is. we know very little about her compared to chuck and shes his sister. so all in all there is a lot that will be left out if the show ends. it just goes with TV shows in general.

      many shows have ended and no one knows what even happened to the relationships they followed. best example is jag. the last scene is a coin flip to see who retires and your never see who won.

      • Rick Holy says:

        That’s going to be the GREAT thing (at least that’s what I’m anticipating about this season) is that it will “End Well.” If there should (by some miracle) be a 5th season, they can always pick up from where S4 “ends.” They’ve done it before. The “end” could have come with 3.13 with Chuck and Sarah in Paris and the motel room, and that would have made a nice ending. But they got additional episode orders so they went on from there.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but when did the “proposal” come this season. Was it 4.13. If THAT would have been the last episode, it would also have been a “nice’ ending. You know they’re going to get married. But – fortunately, again – they got additional episode orders – and moved forward.

        As much as we sometimes – out of our love/passion/delight in this series we point out “weak points,” one thing that we SHOULD give credit to the writers and producers is that never knowing whether or not they’re going to be renewed (until usually the LAST minute) or whether or not they’ll get additional episode orders in a season where they HAVE been renewed (usually for 13 episodes), they’ve done a pretty darn good job an having good “potential endings” to where things might REALLY “end” for good.

        I think the ending of S4 will be the best yet – and if that’s “it” for CHUCK, we’ll go out on a high note.

        The next episodes are critical. How much DWTS and DST will affect us will be critical. If we can maintain that 1.7 – even as bad as that is – we STILL have some kind of chance, based on everything else on NBC.

        Look at it this way. How many shows are only SLIGHTLY above the 1.7 demo. Harry’s Law. I think that Parenthood isn’t much higher. Not sure about LOLA – I heard before it was pulled for retooling it was tanking – will be interesting to see what happens when it comes back. Same with “The Event.”

        So here’s my quesion/speculation/conjecture. I don’t know how big of a difference a 0.1 makes in demo ratings between one show and another in terms of which is chosen for renewal and which is chosen for cancellation. Should CHUCK end up on the lower end – we have to look at “other factors.”

        For example – “growth potential.” NONE of those shows that CHUCK is close to in the demo ratings have not shown “growth potential.” In fact, most, if not all, have shown “decline potential” (similar to CHUCK).

        So. Does the fact that CHUCK (and I know this benefits WB and not NBC – but it does then affect WB’s negotiations with NBC) has the advantage of product placements – Toyota, Subway, Sleep Sheep – even “Hot Pockets” was mentioned by Casey in the last episode – and then Chuck chimed in about how fiesta chicken is his favorite. I mean why bother throwing that in, if it isn’t some kind of INTENTIONAL “product placement.” The scene could have been done without it. And it’s not like it was put there because Adam Baldwin or Zach Levi are big “Hot Pocket” eaters. It was a “commercial” (again) within the show.

        And how much cheaper is CHUCK to produce per episode than Harry’s law or Parenthood. H.L has Kathy Bates who doesn’t come at “minimum wage” and I believe David E. Kelly behind the show who is a very established name in TV land – so he doesn’t come cheap either. Parenthood has Craig T. Nelsen and Lauren Graham (?) who was on TV for years on that show on the WB or CW. I’d bet they’re getting more per episode that a number of people on CHUCK combined.

        So….. I think there’s more to just the demo rating (especially if the season average difference is only 0.1 or around that) when consideration is made for what is renewed and what is cancelled. PROFITABILITY – $$$$$$$ – is the key in any of these decisions, and in a “close rase” demo rating wise, these other factors HAVE TO be weighed into the decision.

        That’s why I constantly harp on watching again and again and again the episodes of CHUCK on NBC.COM (or even HULU). It’s not a HUGE factor, but there IS ad revenue there for NBC. How many people do you think watch Harry’s Law or Parenthood online? I don’t have the stats, but I would bet fewer than CHUCK. That’s why we’ve got to keep “piling on” the NBC.COM views of CHUCK episodes. And it’s so easy to do. Just point and click and Mr. (or Mrs.) computer “watches away.”

        Supporting the advertisers is key. Subway OBVIOUSLY made a difference. Now, Sleep sheep isn’t going to have the same impact, but it’s obviously having SOME impact – they’re noticing that “CHUCK fans” noticed – thus the 50% off discount being given through a promo code (see ChuckTV.net for more info).

        So, in light of the overall bad shape that most NBC shows are in – at least they seem to have a lot of “bubble shows,” ANY difference (beyone the slight difference in demo rating) can only help.

        So REWATCH (Thou shalt re-watch via computer numerous times on NBC.COM) and try to patronize the advertizers if you can. Most of the Chuck “crap” I’ve purchased form the NBC site, I’ve actually used – the tee shirts, the hats, the coffee mugs, so it’s not like I’m buying things I’m just throwing in a junk drawer. Now the BuyMore lunch box is just going to serve as a conversation piece for people who walk into my office! 🙂

        The sleep sheep. I have enough relatives and enough parishioners with whom I’m pretty close that the sleep sheep would make a nice baby shower gift or gift for a newborn/baptism/etc.

        And of course, if you’re going to buy gifts for friends for birthdays or whatever occasions, the CHUCK DVDs (esp. S1 and S2 which I think are now a little cheaper) are ALWAYS a good idea. I know several people who have “gotten hooked” RECENTLY when they started watching the DVDs. Now, they don’t count on the Nielsen numbers, but they count in the DVD purchase.

        So, yes, it’s going to be a “toss up” on renewal or cancellation – but there are a number of “little factors” that when added together can perhaps be a decisive factor. And I think that if not all, at least SOME are reasonably “doable” for us who would really like to see a 5th season.

        Again, it’s not about saving the show runners’ jobs. It’s about getting another round of at least 13 episodes of a show that we enjoy – even when we bitch about it. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend time watching and then discussing CHUCK – the good points (which I believe are the majority, esp. this season) – and the sometimes bad or weak points – than I would just merely “watching” just about anything else on the tube right now.

        It aint over til it’s over.

      • atcDave says:

        Great rant Rick, thank you!

      • OldDarth says:

        Rick, you really need to rip the shrinkwrap off of those Fringe Season sets! 😀

      • Rick Holy says:

        @Old Darth. I will. I will. I happened to start with “Friday Night Lights” first. I’m part way through the first season. I may not get to FRINGE until AFTER Lent. People think Christmas/Advent is our busiest time of the year – WRONG! It’s Lent and everything leading up to Easter.

        But based on your solid recommendation and the recommendation of others, I’m sure it’s going to be a nice “treat” when I get to it. I’ve got two seasons worth – and I think the third is either on DVD or on TV right now.

        For now, the most pressing issue is CHUCK and its “death” or “survival.” Right now I think we’re on life support. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still be alive after the May announcements!! 🙂

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

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