Adventures Lost, Adventures Found: Chuck vs. Wedding Planner Review

(wow these titles are getting Ernie-esque 😛 JK Ernie!).

The mark of a good Chuck episode is one that embraces that which defines its spectrum of genres: dramedy, sci-fi, action. The mark of a great one is one that does this while infusing its trademark heart. Chuck vs. the Wedding Planner was great. Full of heart, sentimentality, humor, and a backstory to boot. It’s no surprise that most Sarah centered episodes bring with it Chuck’s finest because like Chuck, Sarah Walker has stolen our hearts. Wedding Planner is no different.

Gary Cole was once again fantastic. He simultaneously brings into the role the deviousness of Jack Burton’s chosen profession while balancing it with a father’s love. His puzzlement of Sarah still being in Burbank with the “Schnook,” worse, living with him was gold. Sarah may not have lived the life of adventure (more on this later) she dreamed of with her father, but she was her father’s daughter. One that shed covers and people as quickly as she shed names, accents and roles, not any longer. At least not completely. Chuck’s changed all that and with Chuck she’s found life’s ultimate adventure.

Jack Burton: I never thought my little girl would settle down. I thought you’d end up more like me. One adventure after another, never staying in one place too long. Isn’t that what you want?
Sarah: It was, I found a home here a good one, and I’m happy. I’m sorry Dad.

During that same scene, with Jack and Sarah dancing probably the only dance they would have in a wedding (per his statement), Chuck’s look of happiness for her to have that moment, to experience that which she probably never even really considered was beautiful.

“Fake it until you make it,” Sarah said during dinner with her father. It’s an interesting line if you consider the history of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. In the beginning what was a fake relationship was real to Sarah, but they were nevertheless just a fake couple, albeit with real emotions. Well today, they’ve made it. Sarah’s finally gotten what it is “she deserves,” Chuck. A man that sticks, one that stays, one that fulfills all the dreams that young Sarah yearned for: “a life of adventure” (a life of adventure was written in the piggybank). Life’s greatest adventure in fact, one that is done together. That which Jack Burton couldn’t and wouldn’t give her.

Speaking of the piggybank, an absolute stroke of genius. A full circle for the child and the man who may not have had a relationship based on truth, but one infused with love all the same. You may have started the episode laughing helplessly at the idea of Chuck exposing himself, of Daphne being netted, of Sarah flash faking (genius!) but you end the episode equally helpless but not with laughter, but with tears. Tears of a heart warmed, a heart made fuller with the realization that whatever kind of man Jack Burton was, he loved his daughter.

It was great to see the con-man’s daughter not be fooled by the father (funny that Chuck was fooled!) but it was even better seeing Sarah take comfort in Chuck. Jack Burton hasn’t changed, he comes and goes into her life on a whim, on a con, just like he did when she was a child, just like Delorean. Though this time, like in Delorean, she no longer had to find comfort from abandonment by teaching stuffed animals a con, she has Chuck. And he makes her happy, gives her a home and with him she can finally live life’s greatest adventure: love.

Casey’s back story was also very well done. Kathleen finally finding out was a welcome event, one made stronger by the manner at which they took care of business. The conversation towards the end, brought with it its own teary resolution, “you finally have everything you’ve ever wanted.” Not quite Kathleen.

All in all the episode was one of Chuck’s finest. Great work by the team of LeJudkins, illustrating their strength as storytellers and building from the foundation that which writers before them have established. This was the quintessential Chuck episode, and very well done. 4.5 pink piggy banks out of 5.

iOs link.

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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158 Responses to Adventures Lost, Adventures Found: Chuck vs. Wedding Planner Review

  1. Katsumaro says:

    As mentioned on the Twitterverse, I approve of this rating you gave the episode. *Nod*

    Lovely review, as always Faith.

    One bit of the episode I loved that’s not mentioned much is when Jack peered into their room and saw the photo.. it was the photo of Sarah and Chuck when it was still ‘fake’. I got a kick out of that. I wonder in the future, when their kids ask them about that picture (okay, so I”m assuming kids, but hey, sue me for thinking ahead in the future!), what they’ll say?

    “Oh, that was when I was fake dating your mommy.” Haha.

    Anyway.. keep up the great work! Good luck to your beloved Lakers!

    • Faith says:

      The first thing I thought of with the piggybank returning (while trying to mop up the tears lol) is that, hey now their future little girl can have a piggybank as well!

      Re: pictures, good catch. Though that too has its own full circle doesn’t it?

      We start off with this photo:

      Goes on to this (also displayed):

      And finally this:

      That photo is displayed here.

      • herder says:

        They actually had a bunch of really clever little things that you have to look for. Chuck’s music mixes that he sets out are; Chuck’s Mix, Chuck and Sarah road trip mix, Chuck loves Sarah mix vol 1 of 6 and a fourth that I can’t make out.

        Another running gag, Chuck still can’t drive Sarah’s car, he’s always the passenger. New car, old rules.

      • Faith says:

        You’re right. What’s fun about the mixes is one of them had an olive with a X over it…as in no olives.

        A great episode for certain.

        LOL about the Car. With the way Chuck drove the lamborgini(?) in Ex, she’s probably right not to.

      • Crumby says:

        Hey Chuck’s got the herder if he wants to drive! 😛

        Also, the pic in the Chuck Loves Sarah mix is from Balcony.

      • Crumby says:

        And the pic one the road trip mix look like the pic on Chuck’s iPhone in Phase 3.

      • Faith says:

        Yup it is ♥

      • Crumby says:

        Faith I hadn’t seen the no Olives stuff. LOL

      • Crumby says:

        They should sell that wedding plan.

      • herder says:

        Another fun little call back was Jack in his Miami swindle was pushing Nakamichi 3000 shopping plaza, the name was 1) the name of the building he was selling in Delorean and
        2) taken from Die Hard, a frequent source of the writers.

      • rac2873 AKA Rich says:

        I love those CD covers and the photos all over the house. Man does Chuck really love Sarah. 🙂 It is so funny how she is on everything. That no Olive cover cracks me up. lol
        My friends criticized us for having pictures of me and my wife all over our place, looks like Chuck and Sarah have the same problem. They love to look at themselves.

    • Crumby says:

      Isn’t it kinda weird that they keep the first picture? I mean the one in Palm Springs is real, but that one is photoshopped. It’s like they were displaying the photo from suburbs…

      • Faith says:

        For me it’s not really weird because it’s just like the fake relationship…it was real on some level (emotionally at least). Plus I think it’s that exact same episode that Sarah tells Chuck that they are a real couple, just a different kind of real couple so that picture will always have something special for me. And I assume for the show (to show it as often as they do).

        The real question is what happened to the picture she took at the end of that episode? Last I remember it was inside Chuck’s locker, but I have no proof lol.

      • Crumby says:

        I like the pic too, and they’ve showed it so many times I don’t mind, I was just wondering.

        The photo at the end of Sandworm would make more sense that this one, because they made a point of having real pics instead of photoshopped one.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        But remember what Sarah said when she gave Chuck the Comicon picture? “We are a real couple, we’re just a different sort of couple.” Truer words were never spoken.

      • Faith says:

        She was also visibly upset when he threw that picture into the trash 😦

      • Crumby says:

        Yes that’s true.

        I guess when they look at it they think of the moment when she gave it to him instead of normally thinking of the moment they took it.

        It’s a real picture, it’s just a different kind of picture. 😉

      • Paul says:

        I think Chuck just likes having a pic of Sarah in the Princess Leia metal bikini. It appeals to his, ahem, nerd side…. ;o)

      • Crumby says:

        LOL Paul. She was in that outfit in the real photo they took at the end of Sandworm as well.

    • Crumby says:

      What I love about the Palm Spring pic, is thinking about Casey taking it! 🙂

      • AtcDave says:

        That makes me laugh too! Although they might have used a timer, but I think Casey making nasty comments while Chuck and Sarah are happy just to be so close is too funny.

  2. joe says:

    I’m lovin’ the episode even more after a good night’s sleep, and you hit on why, Faith.

    C&S were incredible with the fake-flashes (and Sarah trying to imitate Chuck was a hoot! 😉 ), and I am in awe of Yvonne’s talents with accents – again. Adam was absolutely perfect with Clare (she got so much out of so few lines!), and Ryan will never get enough credit for his performance.

    But Gary Cole stole the show. I simply can’t imagine Sarah’s father being any other way.

    In a show full of amazing guest-star performances for four seasons, he’s right there.

    • Faith says:

      Don’t forget Chuck’s mustache Joe! They’re really fulfilling all items on my wish list. That was quite funny seeing bearded Chuck, threaten to expose himself :D.

  3. herder says:

    It’s interesting the progression of men in Sarah’s life: Jack, Bryce and finally Chuck. Jack is a charming rogue with little substance, Bryce has a bit more substance than Jack but their similarities outweigh their differences. Chuck on the otherhand is almost all substance and while he is charming it compliments his substance rather than hides the lack of it.

    • armysfc says:

      herder or…she can’t control jack, she could kind of control bryce and she can definitely control chuck.

      • herder says:

        I don’t think either are very good at saying no to the other and making it stick.

      • armysfc says:

        herder not what i said. she can make him do anything she wants. i only watched once but who wanted the fake flash? who wanted to use all the resources they could? and who got their way?

        granted she will cave to him as well, but she rules the roost in this relationship.

      • Crumby says:

        No, when Chuck really wants something he gets it. First Fight and Seduction Impossible come to mind, or even Push Mix when he told her “it ends now, you’re coming back with me.” Chuck loves to please so he’ll do a lot for Sarah, to a certain point. When you bring reason into it, they generally agree anyway.

      • armysfc says:

        crumby ok lets nit pick, lol. push mix. based on this line you said or the part where sarah says she is going to get his mom out. at the end is she with chuck in the cabin taking down volkoff or is she on the ship getting mary? she is on the ship getting mary doing what she said she would do. she stayed behind right? she didn’t come back till she had mary then she came back with mary in tow.

        we can go all day with this but i won’t. chuck has followed sarah around like a lost puppy since day one. one of chucks biggest fears is losing sarah (see FoD) i’m not saying sarah doesn’t feel the same way now. but sarah is in control.

      • Crumby says:

        Don’t you think Chuck wanted to get Mary? They followed his plan. It made sense that Sarah would be the one getting her.

        There were so many times in the show were Chuck wasn’t listening to Sarah, I can’t agree with this “chuck has followed sarah around like a lost puppy since day one.”

        Like I said, Chuck loves to please and he trusts Sarah’s judgment, but it only goes to a certain point. And Sarah isn’t always in control. Isn’t she the one adapting to Chuck’s lifestyle after all?

      • armysfc says:

        the only reason they are together is because chuck refused to listen to her when she said there can never be an us. he forced the issue from day one. like a puppy that follows you home and you don’t really want it but it refuses to leave. we can agree to disagree from this point on.

        BTW and FYI i posted in the spoilers section the spoiler that shows the guys go camping for the bachelor party.

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah I saw Army, thanks. I guess that explains the wood! 😉

        I think we will indeed have to agree to disagree on this one. I don’t consider fighting for what you want and the woman you love acting “like a puppy that follows you home and you don’t really want it but it refuses to leave.” Especially since she did want him and he did choose several time not to follow her.

      • Rick Holy says:

        What it comes down to is that they’re each being true to their personalities. Is Sarah more “take charge” and “wanting to be in control” (that sounds a little better than “controlling”)? Sure. Is Chuck more laid back, docile and be willing to yied? Sure. But that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a door mat or a lost puppy. Chuck DID have “control enough” to break up with Sarah when he felt (via Bryce’s advice) that their relationship was putting her life in danger.

        What it comes down to for me is this question. Are “control issues” present/significant/negatively affecting the relationship between C & S? My perception may be through different colored glasses, but I see it more as complimenting personality types, not a matter of “who’s in control and who’s being controlled.”

        Either way, makes no difference to me. Somebody has to wear the pants in the relationship – usually the one that has the stronger personality type, and that’s definitely Sarah, based on her past. And to show how “modern” and “open-minded” I am, I’ll admit that although I love women in dresses, I also feel that PANTS are very appropriate as well! (Especially those BLACK ones that Sarah often wears. Black, after all, is my color!). 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well Army, I wasn’t going to say anything about your initial nitpick, but you’ve convinced me otherwise. 😉 For a guy who claims not to be that invested in Chuck (I think you said it was your 6th favorite out of 6 you watch?) you spend a lot of time on this board. And for a guy who claims to watch only once and to not want to have to dig into repeated re-watches you find a lot of nitpicking and negative things to say about the show and characters. Sometimes you basically ignore what is on screen to do so, as with Muuurder where you vehnemently claimed Chuck failed as a leader becasue he didn’t isolate and search the suspects despite him being shown doing so on screen. This is another case of that. If what you say is true Chuck and Sarah eloped in episode 14 this season. More to the point if what you say is true they never worked on their communication skills, she never unpacked, or going back even further Chuck ran away with her in Prague. Or we can go back to the beginning and they never fake broke up in season 1 and Chuck never dated Lou, and he always stayed in the car.

        Has Sarah manipulated Chuck on occasion and used his attraction to try and control him? Yes, that was kind of the point of the first two season’s angst. He couldn’t be sure if the attraction was real and she couldn’t tell him until Colonel that it was.

        I am sorry, but by simplistically characterizing their relationship that way you are flat out ignoring a major part of what drove Sarah’s development throughout the series. She found that she couldn’t always control Chuck and she had to open up to him and appeal to his inner hero to encourage him to get his cooperation, and in doing so she felt something more real than she ever had before, but by doing so she had sowed the seeds of his becoming a spy and potentially leaving her forever.

        I think discussion is fine and criticism is fine, but it is tiring to continually read posts that nitpick details that aren’t even a problem. And Army, while this is directed at your comments I’m not talking solely about you, so don’t feel like I’m personalizing it, there are others. It seems to me that some posters are just trying to get a rise out of the people here who enjoy the show. That is the very definition of a troll. And Army, I am not accusing you of being a troll, but I do want to point out that the tone of some of your posts can tend to inflame people on occasion. If you feel like you are getting singled out or unfairly criticized you might want to consider that as a source rather than having an unpopular opinion.

      • thinkling says:

        Interesting call backs Ernie. One of the things that makes Chuck so appealing is his capacity to forgive, to compromise, to bend … and his ramrod core of integrity. He adamantly refused to take fake for an answer in their relationship. (So, now they have a real relationship.) He was determined to live the life that he wanted with the girl that he loved. (And now he is, and they are both happy. Neither would have been happy any other way.) He was determined to find Orion. Sarah knew this “Chuck knows Orion is out there, and he is not going to just sit in his room and do what we say. She knew she couldn’t really manipulate him, unless he allowed it.

        Chuck is real, and he’s honest. He does want to please Sarah … to make her happy, but not at the expense of honesty in the relationship (like not eloping, like not faking it, like never giving up on the life he wanted with the girl he loves). Sure Chuck knew they had to play something of a game because of the CIA, but he refused to let Sarah manipulate him on personal or relationship issues.

        I believe that’s one of the things Sarah needed most. He was/is the first/only man she can’t con. He’s also the first man who didn’t try to use or manipulate her or take advantage of the unbelievably fortuitous situation. He forced her to pursue something honest, something real. But he did it through honesty, patience, and love. That’s what drew her to him and inspired her growth, real growth at her own pace. He is unlike anyone she’s ever met, and he indeed rescued her from a life of cons.

      • First Timer says:

        Sarah is now and has always been in control of the relationship. Any other reading of the situation totally misunderstands one of the basic foundations of the show: Sarah is the dream girl that Chuck will do anything to have.

        In the first two seasons, that was obvious since Sarah refused to declare her emotions. The original third season makes a half-hearted stab at trying to show Charles in Charge, but, at crunch time, at the end of American Hero, Chuck pitches Sarah on what he thinks she wants: a runaway. So even as he’s trying to “win” her back, he’s doing it on what he thinks is her terms. And the DYLM moment in Other Guy is all on Sarah’s term. She doesn’t respond until Chuck (finally) overtly asks her. She volunteers nothing. And the sexual component of their relationship only starts when she says, “Shut up and kiss me.”

        In Season 3.5 Sarah only moves in with Chuck on HER timetable. She says she loves him only after a doctor tells her to, not when Chuck tries to get her to.

        In Season 4, the physical/emotional unpacking issue is totally about when SHE decides to unpack. Chuck doesn’t even think about asking her to marry him after she tells him she would marry him in Coup d’Etat . You’re even shown Sarah directing Chuck’s proposal scenario in Balcony. In the back six, Chuck gets to “pry” in her life only after Sarah says it’s okay to do so at the end of CAT Squad. Sarah’s coming to terms with the big wedding scenario is on HER terms, at her speed.

        There are, in fact, only two times when Chuck actually leads in the relationship: He finally proposes on his own at the end of Push Mix and gets his family wedding in Seduction Impossible, but only because Sarah ASKED him to run away. Had she ordered him to run away with her, he would have.

        The show is called Chuck and thus you see almost all of the show from his perspective. And Chuck’s perspective is that this is the “big fish” for whom he will do anything and for whom he will do what he is told.

        Sarah is at first mysterious (Season 1). Then she is unknowable (Season 2). Then she is detached (Season 3.0). Then she is wary (Season 3.5). Then she is alternately frightened and manipulative (Season 4.0). And in Season 4.5, she has been reluctant. But they all lead to one thing: control.

        Sarah’s in charge of the relationship and Chuck knows it. It’s not “good” or “bad” per se. It’s just how they write the show. It’s the conceit of the emotional gender flip: Sarah is the stereotypical “male” and Chuck is the stereotypical “female.”

      • ArmySFC says:

        ernie…good take on me from your point. i don’t feel singled out on this board. in fact i posted several good things about this episode along the way. just look back and you’ll see them. the thing i don’t see is why when i raise a question or disagree with something about the show it causes such a fuss. i try base my posts not on my like or dislike of the show. what i saw early on was sarah not wanting to be with chuck (insert many reasons here) and chuck wanting to be with her. is this observation incorrect?

        chuck being chuck began wearing her defenses down over time and she responded in kind. now again is this observation incorrect?

        my final point. if chuck would have listened to sarah from the start, would sarah have pursued chuck to initiate a romantic relationship with him?

        it’s in that way i (may have been a poor choice of words) that chuck followed here around like a puppy. he formed his affection early on and got to her just like a cute puppy wins the heart of a cynical person.

        i do bring up good points. the difference is i bring up the bad as well. it seems any mention of anything wrong with the show angers people. i also find and post spoilers for the show, something i haven’t seen you do. i bring some good things to the table as well. did you read any of my other posts on this episode or just focus on this one point.

        i hope that explains it a little better what i was trying to say. i went to the most basic form in this discussion with out all the details you included. i won’t argue about what you said, but how did you come to the conclusion that i in anyway thought c/s eloped?

      • Faith says:

        herder or…she can’t control jack, she could kind of control bryce and she can definitely control chuck.

        Seriously Army? Seriously? If you can’t see it’s more than that, I’m not even going to bother.

        For the record, love and relationships bring with it compromise, not obedience. If that’s the kind of relationship there is, it’s not a relationship, at least not one built on love, it’s co-dependence. This is not that kind of relationship.

      • atcDave says:

        I really don’t think its fair to say either character is completely “in control” of the relationship. They have different strengths and take leadership in different ways. It is quite often a reversal of traditional gender roles, but I see neither in a position of total dominance and control. Sarah is more mission and task oriented, but Chuck has been the instigator at every phase of actual relationship growth. The fact that they both follow the other’s lead has long been one of the more appealing aspects of the show and relationship to me.
        From the very beginning we saw Sarah was not completely successful controlling Chuck with “feminine wiles”, and her need to be honest and real with him drove both Sarah’s character and the relationship growth of the first two seasons. And of course Chuck has learned to lead and take initiative in the spy world too. So we get to see both characters venture into the other’s comfort zone quite often. I think the way they compliment each other is wonderful to watch.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Army, I know you do post positive things, and I’m not against posting negative things and discussing them. My point in replying to your post was that some posters post nitpicks and complaints that are not only trivial, but basically objectively untrue. Your contention that “she can definitely control chuck.”, basically characterising as a big part of Sarah’s reason for being attracted to him, and claiming “she can make him do anything she wants.” is just plain not true. Were it a trivial thing I wouldn’t bother, but the fact that Sarah finds she can’t control Chuck is a major part of her character and her development. As such it is shown repetedly that while she can influence him her control is limited by the extent that Chuck allows it. There was an entire plotline about Sarah trying to get Chuck to elope and him refusing to give in to her. In a world where, as you claim, Sarah can control Chuck and get him to do whatever she wants, Chuck elopes with her rather than have the big family wedding he wants in Seduction Impossible, or Chuck runs away with Sarah in Prague or dozens of other times where the entire premise of the story is that Sarah can’t control Chuck. That is the nature of my complaint. It is fine to comment on the show’s positives and negatives, all I ask is that you and others pay enough attention to at least not contradict what is on the screen and then complain about it as a flaw in the show.

      • ArmySFC says:

        ernie… i get it i do. i’m not saying they don’t compromise most of the time. just as you had points that support what you say i have some as well. this happened this week…who wanted the fake flash? who wanted to use all the resources they could? and who got their way? sarah. chuck was against it correct? this was shown on screen.

        it’s not a bad thing in any way shape or form. most of us have been around a long time and have seen a lot of things. in most relationships there is one partner that has slightly more pull than the other. that if push comes to shove that partner will get their way. it may just be what i have seen over my years i don’t know. i have been in contact with hundreds of married couples and i have never seen the perfect relationship that you want to see here so that may be my problem.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually Army I’m not sure you do. In this thread you’ve gone from an inflamatory characterization that is blatantly false to arguing with Crumby that it is a general character trait that can be seen in other episodes and in fact from the beginning, to self refuting your own characterization and isolating your argument to one episode, as if a character is developed in one episode. You are either arguing for the sake of arguing or you need to be more clear in your posts what you are arguing about, because I can’t tell anymore.

    • Crumby says:

      @Army
      what i saw early on was sarah not wanting to be with chuck (insert many reasons here) and chuck wanting to be with her. is this observation incorrect?

      That’s really simplifying the issue Army, which in turns results to be incorrect yes (IMO).

      It wasn’t just about what Sarah WANTED but about what she COULD or COULDN’T do. Chuck may have always want to be with Sarah, but it was because he wasn’t aware or didn’t understand the reasons Sarah had not be with him.

      @FT
      If Sarah often decides when she wants/is ready to move forward on the relationship, she ultimately often does what Chuck wants. Sure she deciding when she wanted to unpack, but Chuck wanted her to do it. He’s usually the one initiating most of the step forward in the relationship, Sarah needs time to wrap her mind around it, and they find middle ground.

      I don’t know if I would qualify their relationship like you do “Sarah is now and has always been in control of the relationship.” when she ends up pretty often doing exactly what Chuck wanted in the first place. He’s the one that wanted her to move in, unpack, have a big wedding, etc.

      So is being in control changing your mind and do exactly what your partner wants but on your own schedule?

      For the record, from their personality Sarah tends to be the ‘guy’ but I see it more like Dave, they complement each other. And each takes control when needed.

      • ArmySFC says:

        crumby… you said “It wasn’t just about what Sarah WANTED but about what she COULD or COULDN’T do. Chuck may have always want to be with Sarah, but it was because he wasn’t aware or didn’t understand the reasons Sarah had not be with him.” so using what you said and inserting it where i said “insert reason here”, you get sarah did not want to be with chuck because she couldn’t be (i’ll use the against regs/ be re-assigned bit here). that makes the answer yes, what i said was a correct statement. i agree it was a valid reason for her to stay away from him. his desire to be with her and what he did to show her, caused her to question the rules and regulations and began them on the road to where they are today.

        that was one of the reasons to be inserted here, hence why i put “insert reasons here.” there were a multitude of reasons and i didn’t want to list them all. what you said was just one of them.

        agreed i did simplify it. and i said so to ernie as well. sometimes it pays to look at the basics before you go to deep. ernie don’t take offense but im going to use the heroes journey as an example. according to campbell the hero goes through 12 steps. there is one paragraph that explains each step. those 12 steps are the simple version. the chuck show is the filled in completed parts of the journey.

        i am saying that at the base of all complicated situations is a basic idea from which it was built. no matter how complicated something is most times you can find a simple idea on which it was built.

      • Crumby says:

        What I meant is that, we don’t know if Sarah wanted to be with Chuck or not, because even if she did she just couldn’t be. But anyway that wasn’t the point of the conversation.

        What you implied at the beginning she can definitely control chuck is incorrect because she hasn’t been able to control him plenty of times in the show.

      • ArmySFC says:

        crumby… you are correct i did say that. now a question for you. did i ever say she controls him completely and runs every aspect of his life and he never has a say? no i didn’t. some how this got inferred from that one line. i may not be able to write what is exactly on my mind and do it well, but i never meant to imply that chuck would bend to every idea sarah ever came up with. again that general statement got turned into an absolute.

        i will be as clear as i can for the last time so this nut roll ends, lol. i think that if push comes to shove on an issue that sarah feels really strongly about she would get her way. like in using the CIA to get the wedding planner. it goes the same for chuck as well.

        i don’t think she could change her dads mind but may have been able to change bryces on occasion, with chuck a better than 50 percent chance of changing his mind.

        i have always said they compromised on many issues and done it many times.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I’d even take it a step further Crumby, and say that from pretty early on Sarah categorically DID want to be with Chuck, but she held herself aloof for a variety of reasons.
        We’ve heard the word “compromised” thrown around so much, but it’s helpful to look at what that really means. As Chuck’s handler she is not only responsible for protecting Chuck; but she has to keep him capable of doing government work too. As in the very dangerous, scary stuff he has neither training or temperament to deal with. On a very basic level, becoming compromised with her asset would mean she might not be representing the agency’s best interests anymore, and would come to be too much of Chuck’s advocate. Obviously, a good handler needs to be aware of their asset’s needs and wants; but all while remembering their JOB is to get the asset to do the government’s bidding.
        But wait there’s more! In an extreme situation a handler may have to do something clearly NOT in their asset’s best interest. VERY dangerous missions come to mind, but also the possibility of delivering them into custody (“the bunker”) or even killing them to protect their secrets or ties to the agency. Now any boss with half a brain in their head (Beckman arguably does NOT qualify!) will know that when a handler works closely with an asset for any period of time it will become more difficult for them to do those extreme actions that are contrary to an asset’s best interest. As such they will likely have back-up resources available (notice Sarah was never even included in the various “kill” contingencies, her bosses at least knew that much!)

        Now I would argue that quite early on Sarah was hopelessly compromised. But by maintaining an illusion for her bosses of impartiality she was better able to protect Chuck from her own agency. We see this play out first in Marlin. Because Sarah has kept how compromised she is a secret (from everyone except maybe Casey), when the bunker order goes out, Sarah is still in the loop and knows it has happened. Even if her attempted rescue shows that she is in fact completely compromised. In the very next episode, First Date, Sarah knows she is out of the loop on a possible kill order (this is per deleted scenes, so this is arguably not canon) so she takes initiative to confront Casey to protect Chuck, even from the government. In two episodes in a row we see a completely compromised Sarah Walker. Yet she continues the impartial act; and much later in the season the government involves her in a new bunker order, and our still completely compromised Sarah is able to circumvent the order and puts Chuck’s interests clearly above the governments.

        Now I wrote all of that, um mainly because it was a lot of fun and once I got going I couldn’t stop! But I did have a point too! No matter how much Sarah might have WANTED to be with Chuck, she knew the best way to protect him both from baddies and from the government; was to play the part of the dutiful handler who would follow her master’s bidding. That way she stays close to Chuck AND remains in the loop if things go bad. If she ever let slip, and told Chuck how she really felt about him, her ability to protect him would be immediately diminished. They did such a beautiful job on the show of giving us that conflict. We saw Sarah declare her love with actions and sacrifice; but never a spoken word. (okay, I won’t go off on an anti-S3 rant here!) If she ever appeared too compromised she even could have even been reassigned. Then she would not only be out of the loop, she’d no longer be able to protect Chuck from anything. So I would say Sarah was not in control of the relationship in the first two seasons; she was on a knife’s edge waiting to protect Chuck from friends and foes alike.

      • Crumby says:

        Dave I agree with you about all that. That’s actually exactly what I had in mind. I didn’t want to get too much into it so I just kept it simple. 😉

        What’s fascinating is that from a CIA POV, the best thing for Chuck would have been for her to ask for a reassignment because her feelings were interfering (like she said in Crown Vic). But she could never do that because, she couldn’t trust anybody else to protect not only Chuck from getting killed or being put underground but protect who he was, that great guy that cared about family and friends and ballerinas.

      • atcDave says:

        Agree again Crumby; she wouldn’t ask for for reassignment because she was compromised. Another agent could have protected Chuck from the baddies; but only someone as compromised as Sarah could protect him from the government.

        Are suggesting I didn’t keep it simple… (!)

      • Crumby says:

        No I’m just saying you were less lazy than me! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Well said, Dave / Crumby.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      Not to mention with side trips to 2 guys she fawned over (one a little while and the other a lot longer) , one smarmy who endangered her life in order to “save” her (and claimed something was unhackable but gave no reason so he possibly figures into the legend in his own mind book) and another with an even worse personality (who never seemed to be good at his job in spite of his rep ) who endangered her life long before he tried to kill her.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d hardly call Cole a side trip. She was obviously a little infatuated, but apart from one kiss she rebuffed him at every turn. And as I was mentioning above she was at a hopeless impasse with Chuck (no matter how she felt about him she couldn’t get involved). She ultimately chose her hopeless love for Chuck over a superficial fling (that presumably represented the sort of thing she was familiar with prior to Chuck).

        Now I would agree the whole Shaw situation reflected very poorly on Sarah. That is probably the single biggest reason (on a list of about 20 reasons!) why I despise S3 and simply won’t rewatch it. They turned an awesome and noble heroic character from the first two seasons into a flakey doofus.

  4. Rick Holy says:

    With one exception (and it’s really not the actor’s fault – more the way the character was written and the story arc played out), the choice of actors to play guest roles on CHUCK has been outstanding. One of the shows greatest “assets” (pardon the pun). As has already been mentioned, Gary Cole was fantastic (again) as Sarah’s dad. Looking back, there have been so many great guest stars that have added much to the series – and when their roles are written WELL, it makes for outstanding episodes, like last night’s.

    Hopefully enough people will have tuned in last night, because it seems like what usually happens is that the better/best CHUCK episodes wind up being seen by fewer fans, and that doesn’t help keep viewership numbers up.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen regarding a fifth season. I still think it’s a toss up. Neither cancellation or renewal will be a surprise to me, I think it’s that close. But we’ll see.

    I know I’ve harped about how much time, effort, money, etc., I’ve invested into this show and its DVDs/Blu Rays, Merchandise, and advertiser support, vowing to never do it again for ANY TV show, but for what it’s worth, AMAZON.COM has CHUCK Season 4 available for pre-order. I would think most of us are going to order them eventually, so might as well pre-order now and show WB (and NBC) that there’s still definitely fan interest.

    When the final chapter of the CHUCK story is written – be it now or later – I will just have been glad to have been part of the (although sometimes bumpy) ride.

  5. First Timer says:

    Three interesting points:
    1) I didn’t like that Sarah knew where her father was. We’d been EXPLICITLY told in an earlier episode (CAT Squad) that she had no idea where he was. And we’ve also been led to believe that since DeLorean. These kind of games with the continuity really hurt the show for people who pay attention and WANT to believe the storylines the writers put out there.

    2) On the flip side, people who pay attention to the show have to be impressed how the writers laid out the scene in the parking garage. If you had seen DeLorean (as we all have a zillion times), you had to be expecting Morgan to take a well-placed bullet. That is what they are setting you up for because you KNOW the setup from DeLorean. So to have Gary Cole’s character do a talk-down not only serves a plot and an expository purpose, it’s a wonderful callback for careful viewers. That was an extraordinarily well-crafted execution of a scene.

    3) I commented on the other thread about how Judkins and LeFranc did a plausible backstory without ever addressing the issue of Sarah’s mom. Pay attention to the note in the final scene. There’s no salutation to the note, thus we don’t know what name Sarah’s dad calls her. And since the note is signed, “Dad,” again we’re not told who Jack Burton (and thus Sarah) really is, either. VERY VERY well crafted.

    • armysfc says:

      FT agree with all points. for point 1 they do it so often it doesn’t bother me anymore. they change what they want whenever they need to, to make a script work.

    • thinkling says:

      Yeah, all good points, FT. I sort of took your first point more loosely, that Sarah didn’t know where her dad was, but if she really wanted to find him she could, like she did Stephen. After all, she is a spy.

      It’s more convenient for her not to know where he is, because he only disappoints her, and she doesn’t want to invite him to the wedding, for a variety of reasons.

    • Faith says:

      3. I thought it was an interesting and puzzling acrobatics myself. By having her live with her grandmother, they in effect left us even more intrigued on the status of her mom and whether or not this grandmother is maternal or paternal. The only picture in her pink room was that of her and her father…interesting. At the same time, it calls into question when it is exactly she lived and conned with him. We know from Delorean, Santa Claus, Suitcase, etc. that she lived, at least for a time, a life of con with her father (note I’m calling it a life of con, not a life of adventure, somewhat different in experience although for little Sarah, the same).

      2. If you notice the interior of the car in this past is the same as Delorean’s past. Great continuity from a show that gets beat up for dropping those balls :D.

      1. I would argue that they can’t explain everything. To do so would take away from valuable time progressing the actual story within the episode.

      To me it could be something as simple as, she didn’t know where he was and she didn’t want to know…but with Chuck (the guy who found Volkoff) she was able to find him.

      • Crumby says:

        The grandma stuff was really interesting. In DeLorean, Casey stated that Jack had been in and out of jail her whole life, and in Chuck’s flash of him, we could see that he had been arrested when Sarah was a kid. That raised the question of where was she when he wasn’t around. Now we know that she was probably with her grandmother.

        It raises another set of questions of course, which is also very interesting. Well played!

    • uplink2 says:

      A bit late to these discussions but I wanted to comment on 1 point in a very well thought out posting FT. On point 3 they did do a masterful job of avoiding giving too much away about Sarah’s back story by using the grandmother, Jack, Dad, the lack of salutation etc because they obviously are saving that for whenever they visit Sarah’s mom in season 5. They are keeping all the mystery there.

      But part of it goes to another thing we have discussed ad nauseum. Sarah’s real name. Revealing Jack’s real name, having him call her by her real name, or mentioning her mom or a salutation puts them into the corner of again having to deal with a subject they simply want no part of. The name on the top of the pre-nup was the definitive end of that issue for this season at least. It was a close to an outright admission that they really blew it with the Sam name reveal as we will probably ever get. Embrace the beloved name reveal, ignore the hated name reveal. So any mention of anything real in Wedding Planner would bring that back up so like they always do, they simply ignore it. In this case and episode it was the right thing to do. However the issue comes back again when we do finally meet Sarah’s mom next season. I’m curious how they deal with it then.

      • armysfc says:

        uplink, my guess is they either treat it the same way, have her mom use pet names or she calls her sarah. they can then claim sarah was just lying to shaw. weak i know but as you said they don’t want to go back there again.

      • uplink2 says:

        Yep, Sarah Lisa Walker is her name till it becomes Sarah Lisa Bartowski. The top of the pre-nup was almost like Bobby Ewing in the shower. Sam never happened.

        I really did find it interesting that they chose to add Lisa. It was a peace offering to the fans to bring back one of their favorite moments ever on the show. Hoping it would help erase one of their least, if not the absolute least favorite moment.

      • atcDave says:

        Well put Uplink. I’m not as completely sure the name issue will never be revisited, but I’m sure “Sam” will never be a major point of discussion.

      • thinkling says:

        The name thing is dead, I think. Her legal name is obviously Sarah Lisa Walker, and probably has been since Graham gave it to her. I don’t expect any more Sam references. She is definitively Sarah.

        I’m more curious if she’ll be come Agent Bartowski or remain Agent Walker for professional purposes. Three Agent Bartowski’s would make for some funny moments.

        With her mom, I doubt we’ll have pet names (strained relationship and all that). She will either call her Lisa or ask (snidely) what name she’s going by now. Or she’ll refer to her as my daughter in condescending tones, until some sort of truce is reached, at which moment she’ll call her Lisa. It would give her middle name more weight — the name she whispered when Chuck asked — making that scene even more important. In fact, we could learn that she was officially Lisa until the split, when her dad chose to call her something else.

  6. Rick Holy says:

    Another 1.3 demo rating for CHUCK last night. Seems like that’s pretty much the territory we’re in now. Ratings really aren’t going to matter these last few episodes as far as renewal or not. NBC knows what kind of ratings CHUCK will get. What will determine renewal if if WB and NBC can work out a deal that allows both parties to STILL make $$ from producing and airing CHUCK. If they aren’t able to make that deal, then we’re pretty much finished.

    • armysfc says:

      yep. on the bright side LOA-LA and the event pulled 1.1 so its still the best thing going on monday.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Even thought that’s good, it’s actually really sad, too! If CHUCK makes it through to next season, I don’t see how NBC keeps it on Monday night. They need to roll the dice and do a complete overhaul on Mondays. They keep getting pounded on Mondays and it’s been going on for years now.

        At (hopeful) best, I would see CHUCK either as a 13 episode “replacement” order or “on the schedule,” but on Friday or Saturday nights.

    • jason says:

      does anyone know if the time slots are evaluated equally? So a 1.3M in the first hour when far more fans say 20M are watching is not as high as a 1.1M the 3rd hour when only 12M are watching???

      • Rick Holy says:

        Good question. Answer: I have NO idea!

      • jason says:

        rick – thanks – I only ask because from following tvbtn, it does not seem so, yet it would seem logical that some time slot adjustment needs to be taken into account?

      • ArmySFC says:

        jason… i checked a while back on the cost of commercials during certain shows. from what i read its based on the entire time period of the show. for example house gets about 250k for a 30 sec ad, DWTS was about 400k per ad. they didn’t break it down buy 1/2 just the show. in fact for NBC on monday they only listed the night not the show.

      • Seb says:

        the 10pm slot has some leeway cause it kicks viewers back to the affiliates for news and stuff so you can get away with lower demo so long as you have high total viewers.

        8 and 9 are pretty equal, 9 is considered to have more available viewers but not by a huge amount, and no networks don’t evaluate 8 pm shows and 9 pm shows differently.

        @ArmySFC ad rates depend on the demo and its breakdown, they are completely irrelevant to the time the show airs, I m not sure where you were going with that 🙂

      • ArmySFC says:

        SEB…it was an answer to jasons question if the split 1/2 hours were evaluated different by advertisers. i used monday because from what i could find out there is no break down for the NBC monday shows, just that a show on NBC monday gets about 87k for a 30 sec spot.

      • Seb says:

        ArmySFC if you reread his posts you ‘ll realize he wasn’t asking about halfhours, he was asking about the 3 different primetime slots each night and whether they get treated differently as far as ratings expectations go

      • ArmySFC says:

        SEB…opps my bad, lol. thanks!

      • jason says:

        thx for the replies, sounds like more or less chuck’s 1.3M trumps (what a great name for donald?) the event’s and lalo’s 1.1M then?

      • atcDave says:

        I think the best way of looking at it is; Chuck did poorly, but it did better than other NBC programming. Only time will tell if that is good enough.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jason…yep that’s what it means. it’s the ratings in key demographics that matter not the overall number of viewers.

  7. jason says:

    faith – I wonder – if the no goodbye (which was telegraphed several times) might open the door for jack to return for the wedding to finish the dance? I say that because why tell us several times they would not say goodbye, then not say goodbye, unless ….. the princess bride conundrum so to speak???

    For me, watching last night’s ep was a treat – I got to watch ‘my chuck’, the one that I fell for during the first two seasons. I know that type of ep is not everyone’s choice, but certainly is mine!

    Sounds like the next ep may be fun too, before the rug gets pulled from the fun train and the alias – themed chuck returns for the final two eps.

    • Faith says:

      Are you asking for spoilers Jason 😉 lol.

      Among the many reasons I love of Chuck is this ever changing tone. Some don’t like it, others argue that to be really competitive it needs to choose (a genre). For myself, I like it because I could be laughing while watching seduction impossible today, and tear up with Subway/Ring Pt.2 next week. And yet it still all goes together. What’s not to love? (Freakin Nielsen! Sorry a bit of a frustration bubbling out).

      • jason says:

        faith – I don’t like the show near as well when the show tries to go dark. I tolerate it, so I get to watch the fun eps, I think other of chuck’s great fans on this blog are near the opposite in their choice of chuck eps.

        For devoted fans, that is fine – we stay fans. But for those who are not intense, I would have to think they just walk away at some point, IMO that is what is wrong with the show’s ratings … also, both NBC and TPTB tend to tease the dark side of the show, which really doesn’t make anyone happy, the serious fans are left underwhelmed by the lack of delivery to the promise, and the fun fans are upset about the initial tease, maybe to the point of not tuning in.

        Yep – I love spoilers – got any?

      • Faith says:

        Let’s just say that this episode made it tougher to stay mum, but mum I must lol.

        As for the changing of tone, who knows. I tend to see it as what helps keep it on the air. Everyone gets something they like. 🙂

      • jason says:

        faith – at this point, that probably is true – i.e. the need for balance – I think season 3 peeled off most of the casual fun fans, and season 4 peeled off most of the casual serious spy plot fans … leaving a 1.3M core that is willing to accept some of what they don’t like as long as they get some of what they want.

        But, don’t you think it is not ideal, when the dark promo for the season finale’s and sweeps leaves a fan like me only interested in getting the season over with a minimum of damage to the lead characters (i.e. chuck and sarah)?

        Conversely, do you realize how much I would be looking forward to an actual wedding ep done classy and well?

        I don’t think the mythology spy plot bunch is all that excited for the 4×24 ep either – in other words, both camps wish the wedding was done earlier and well – say 4×22 – in a grand way – shippers so the wedding is a huge story – spy plot people so the wedding does not get in the way of the final showdown between the good guys and the bad guys – sort of how CS did not get in the way of season 3×18 & 19.

        I doubt anyone who has stuck with the show this long will mind too much, but a real wedding ep promoted as such might have gotten a few old shipper fans back – this way – what we know about chuck 4×24 is more of the same, and reminds lost shippers more of why they left than why they should return.

        I honestly don’t get it?

      • First Timer says:

        @jason:
        What you DON’T get is that the viewers who have been lost this year are men in the 18-49 demo. That’s where the show is bleeding this year. And men in the 18-49 demo are NOT your “let’s promote a wedding extravaganza” market. So what little promotion they do (whether on air with spots or with the lead actors talking) will not be aimed at the wedding.

        When this season started, believe it or not, Chuck had a better male demo than Hawaii 5-0’s number. Now those numbers have plunged. So why exacerbate the problem by promoting a wedding that may drive away even more of those viewers?

        Chuck’s survival over the last two seasons has been largely because it had disproportionately good numbers with men, a harder and harder market to reach. So when the show starts shedding male viewers, it’s future in dire. Why make things worse by promoting something men (especially YOUNG men) have proven not to like.

        Finally, who says “the mythology spy plot bunch is [not] all that excited for the 4×24 ep”? As far as I know, exactly one person, this Magnus character. Who makes HIM a spokesman for anyone? And he hasn’t seen the episode, either. Just heard (he says) stuff his doesn’t like. How about we not worry about HIM? He was the guy who thought Shaw was a great addition to the mythology. How’d that work out for us?

        How about we wait and see the mythology shift (which, given how the showrunners write, will affect Season 5) before we decide if it’s any good. There may not be a Season 5 to worry about.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a good reminder, FT, much as I hate being excluded from the demo of viewers that matter.

        Lots of other sectors have begun to recognize the value of courting boomers (and their bank accounts), why not TV? It niggles in the back of my brain, though, that Joe cited and article about some writing and casting being done with boomers in mind, but what good does that do if the ratings system doesn’t change?

      • First Timer says:

        @thinkling:
        I don’t like being the wrong gender and age, either… 🙂 On the other hand, I’ve basically stopped watching scripted TV except for Chuck and Community, so maybe that makes the marketers’ point for them…

      • armysfc says:

        FT…i agree with your comments about the male demo shrinking. i have made many posts that state basically the same thing. promoting the wedding as some suggest would not be a bad idea. what you said is true though most males especially young ones aren’t interested and it would not entice people to watch any episodes but that one. the schedule announcement is scheduled to be announced prior to the episodes airing so that up tic if there is one won’t matter. if i’m wrong about the announcement please correct it, thanks.

        Jason…there is a type of movie out there that has been labeled chick flick. someone posted on this blog that every episode but one had some family or relationship tie in to chuck and sarah. i don’t know if that number is correct, but most of the episodes fit that bill to some extent, some more than others. here’s why i bring that up. during the time DWTS was not on the female demo increased as the male demo decreased, allowing chucks numbers to stay constant. most young males, or single males don’t watch chick flicks. they got the nickname for a reason.

        Faith…coming from me this may seem strange. i enjoy the change in moods. i just wish it wasn’t such a big swing all the time. you have episodes that are almost pure humor one week then heavy on the drama the next week. maybe a more even distribution could be found? i dunno.

        bottom line…we will never know why fans are jumping ship. it’s fun to guess at it, but at the end of the day we will still have the same question, what if they did this different, could it help?

      • jason says:

        @ft / Army – I am going to surprise you both and say I agree with both of what you posted, but I don’t think what I posted is inconsistent with what either of you are saying

        If you reread what I posted, all I suggested is promoting and giving fans a real wedding might draw back some of SEASON 3’s lost fans – which I am pretty sure is a big number.

        Furthermore, I suggested if the wedding had been written for 4×22, then the lost SEASON 4 or spy or young male crowd would probably enjoy 4×23 and 4×24 more, much like in eps 3×18 & 19 last season, when CS’s relationship was largely a footnote.

        Remember, the point of my post was to address faith and my conversation about balance vs pandering to one or the other of the two main remaining segments of the fandom.

        Finally, if you reread my post, I also said I doubt any of this matters, as the lost fans are probably lost, and I feel the remaining fans are probably pretty loyal.

        Did I just word my original post that poorly? I don’t think what I originally posted was THAT objectionable or inconsistent with either of your own POV’s?

      • jason says:

        @FAITH – speaking of fun vs misery – I just walked in from outside – I played 18 holes of golf on monday & shoveled a half of wet sloppy snow today – the joy of life in wisconsin vs say, I don’t know, LA maybe – we do get variety in wisconsin – just like chuck fans

        at least I am able to root for the lakers & not the bucks, even though I don’t live in LA – a real testament to the fun vs the misery theme – LOL

      • armysfc says:

        jason, no you were pretty clear. i’m just not real good at putting my thoughts down i guess, lol. if you looked at what i said to faith i also agree with you on that. since the start of this year i think i have been the one screaming loudest for a balance on the show that will fit every ones tastes. i also agree with you on why viewers dropped last year and this year.

        i still believe that having a wedding early won’t matter to the young males as you suggested for this reason. what happens after a wedding? the honeymoon. a normal response would be well they had the wedding this week, guess next week will be the honeymoon. even worse sarah’s pregnant!

        it looks like all in all we agree, just the communication got messed up along the way.

      • Crumby says:

        With the heavy-on-the-relationship season we had, wouldn’t a huge promotion on the wedding scare away more people than it would attract?

        Besides, it’s Chuck. If they can promise you a wedding that goes smoothly, it would be the same show.

        By the way, the mythology stuff is pretty exciting.
        Who is Agent X and what is special about him? What was Orion’s research trying to accomplish and why did he gave them to Ellie? How dangerous will the situation with Ellie get? What will the government try to hide and clean up with the Eraser? Will the Eraser try to kill someone? If yes, who? Who will get hurt? And how will Vivian, Riley and Volkoff fit into all of this? (We have NO spoilers about that.)

        Through in bachelor and bachelorette parties, last details wedding prep and rehearsal dinner, and a wedding, and that seems kind of fun.

      • thinkling says:

        @FT: Touché. I only keep up with 5 or 6 shows, but maybe that’s because they target 20-something males. It cuts both ways.

      • armysfc says:

        crumby… i think i can answer this question…What was Orion’s research trying to accomplish and why did he gave them to Ellie? ellie said he was trying to allow people to learn with out actually doing it (along those lines anyway). who will get hurt is sarah thats almost a given with the release of the hospital pic and the someone we love gets hurt.

        i can only speak for myself on this about the mythology stuff. the questions you asked are good and look good on paper. its how they do it that’s the problem. most of the spy stuff this year has been tied to the relationship. not much of it has been independent. for example the volkoff arc. sarah went to beckman and said she would do anything to get volkoff because it was affecting chuck, not because he was a menace to millions. then chuck gets involved because he wants to save sarah and his mom. again not because he wants to save millions. the taking down of volkoff was a byproduct of saving or protecting loved ones. the missions became personal not the job. it looked to me like it was more a case of vigilante justice than the save the world first. NOTE: please guys this is the cliffsnotes version.

        as for the other things you mentioned i’ll say this. i’m a betting man who loves to wager on the ponies. i’m placing the odds at 1-9 that all the spy stuff including the eraser centers around chuck, sarah and family. this loses the appeal for me. sarah will get hurt, chuck will save the day, she will recover, they get married. agent x is chuck (maybe sarah or ellie). they will change something in 4.24 to set up next year.

        while it will be interesting to see it play out, its been pointed out here they have followed a similar pattern for a while on how they do the three episode arcs. this will probably be no different than the last ones. having seen this pattern there is little suspense or drama. because at the end of the season all will be good. i’m sure almost everyone on this blog will agree with that.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree with most of that army. But I would add with a lifetime of watching action/adventure themed TV and movies I’m not really surprised by that many story lines or plot twists anymore. The pleasure is in the execution. Whether a story is exciting, explosive, or just funny; how it plays out is generally more important to me than if I’m surprised by anything.
        Given that I see Chuck as being about the characters and comedy at least as much as it’s about the spy stories, I don’t hold it to an extremely high standard on the spy plots. As long as the stories mostly make sense, serve the characters well, and provide a fun ride I don’t really have any complaints. The occasional surprise or twist I didn’t see coming is pure bonus.

      • ArmySFC says:

        dave i agree. that’s why i added the part about how its done. from my point of view only, they haven’t done that part near as well as the relationship part. so i’m not holding out much hope they get it right this time either. i’ll wait and hope for next year to be better, lol.

      • Crumby says:

        I agree with you Dave, that’s the execution that count and how it affects everyone.

        I would point out that yes, Chuck is a show that ends well, no surprise there. Doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what is going to happen, and how it plays out.

        Also, we’ve had lots of speculations and spoilers last year about Living Dead-Subway-Ring II, and I don’t think anyone knew what exactly was going to happen. We knew there was a big chance Papa B would die, and yet it worked well. We knew that Mama B would be saved, and that the engagement was a strong possibility, and Gobbler-Push Mix were still surprising.

        They generally give us enough spoilers to mislead us on an important part of the plot. So the show may not be full of twists and completely unpredictable, we can all agree I think that there’s a big chance Chuck will save the day, but I don’t think it is as predictable as you suggest. And even if it was there’s still plenty of good stuff along the way.

      • Faith says:

        This will come as no surprise…to anyone really, but I disagree.

        I’ve long since hoped, pleaded and stressed the importance of selling Chuck to women. Whatever demographic 18-49 we lose of men with the tone and direction of the show we can gain by catering to the women. These are the same demo that’s making DWTS (*vomits*) the highest rating show on those nights, why can’t we get in on just some of those demo? I guarantee that if you sell the show the way it actually is, you will get more women, and maybe some of them will tune into to Chuck rather than the brain-dead medium that is DWTS.

        I’ll give you an example. I used to watch HIMYM pretty consistently. Nowhere near my devotion to Pushing Daisies of course but I hardly ever missed a week or two. Why? They sold it to women. They have enough of the male demo stuff with Barney but in the end the show is one that appeals to women. So how did I get into Chuck you might ask? They promoted the Lou arc. It’s nuts to think about it now but the PLI (of Lou, everyone else ewww) sold me to the show. I didn’t even try to see an episode of Chuck (I knew about it, they talked about Chuck fairly heavily in both promotion and press in season 1) until Truth, and I definitely didn’t get hooked until Break Up. What does these two episodes have in common? The pull of the relationship*, and with that they hooked me. Why can’t the show, which by most accounts is what the show has been about this season anyway (and really the majority of previous seasons), do more to cater to women and thereby make up the demographic that they’re losing by gaining women?

        You can’t tell me that the women 18-49 doesn’t spend. I’m not saying go CW, obviously there’s a difference (before anyone brings that up), but I do think they would do themselves a service if they promoted the strengths and the pull of the show and showcase that which actually is (at times), instead of what it isn’t (most of the time) to women.

        *Note: when I say relationship I don’t just mean Chuck and Sarah, but that which encompasses all that is really what Chuck’s about: Ellie-Chuck, Ellie-Devon, Chuck-Morgan, etc.

      • atcDave says:

        I think the biggest issue is to promote the show in a way that accurately reflects what it is. The most important issue is key demo numbers, that matters far more than specifics on the break-down. If Chuck’s audience shifts dramatically isn’t as big a deal as long as those key demo numbers are good. I still think the biggest hurdle is that S3 was radically different in tone from the other three seasons. Many of those who left in S3 would like the current show A LOT. In fact, I know this for a fact, I just (5 minutes ago) finished watching Wedding Planner with a woman my age who had been a fan in S1 & S2, but who quit because of the darker stories in S3. So at the end of Wedding Planner she was happy and had tears on her face. She’s back. These are the people we need to reach. No matter how the show is promoted, many 20-something males are not going to be completely satisfied with it. Many 30 and 40 – something women will be. So let’s promote the show FOR WHAT IT IS and get those women, who ARE still in the key demo, back watching!

      • ArmySFC says:

        dave faith…i agree promote it any way you can to what ever fan base you want to draw in. what ever way you do promote the show change the show accordingly. please nobody take this the wrong way…if you promote the comedy angle then make that the main focus of every episode. if you promote the romance then make it all about the relationships and so on. don’t promote it’s a romance then make it action, don’t promote comedy then go dark. don’t mislead the audience to believe one thing and give another, that can’t end well.

        i think for this year anyway you have what you are going to get. this is it. at this time of year most shows are declining not rising. the best you can hope for is a season 5. promote the heck out of it and hope for the best next year.

      • Crumby says:

        What I love most about Chuck is that it’s all of that. It’s a spy comedy with great characters and relationships. I don’t want the show to choose something over the other just to pick up more ratings.

      • ArmySFC says:

        crumby, trust me i know what your saying. thing is the current version is not working. ratings declines for 3 years in a row prove that. if people want the show to go on for more than one year i think changes have to be made. i know i will never see the show i want. i will give any change they make a chance.

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah but you can’t make everything about ratings. S2 is considered by a lot of people like the best season the show had, and yet it wasn’t a hit by then either.

        I mean if the show has to change dramatically to keep going, what’s the point?

        But that wasn’t what Dave and Faith were saying anyway, I think. What they were saying is sell Chuck for what it is, not change it.

        To be honest I thought the promotion this year was pretty close of what we got. They promoted a season about family, the search for mom, Volkoff and they promoted the romance.

      • ArmySFC says:

        crumby… i wasn’t saying massive changes BTW. i agree with what you say about how they promoted it. i don’t feel it was enough but every promotion is loss income so i can see why they did that. i fully understand that dave and faith say promote what it is. if you say they did just that then what else can they do? Tv is a business. each promotion costs them lost time on ads.

        i understand almost everyone on this blog thinks this is the best show on tv. i won’t argue with anyone on that because that falls under personal preference. all i’m saying and have been saying is the way chuck is now doesn’t seem to be working. when the ratings were at 1.9 and steady people said we are at our core base. then it went to 1.7 and steady and i read the same thing. just today i read we are at our dedicated core base at 1.3. i’ll be honest 2 weeks ago i predicted the ratings on the finale would be 1.1. i stand by that today.

        i’m just tossing out ideas that i think could help the show get back to the viewership it once had. i have no emotional stake in this show like some people do. to keep the same format, that at least to me doesn’t seem to work, seems rather stubborn. i’ll be the first one to say it works if over the next 3 episodes the ratings go up. i don’t see that happening.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I’d like to reinforce what atcDave said somewhere in the middle of this incredible thread: it IS possible to get fans lost during S3 back again.

        Chuck didn’t lose just casual viewers during the the S3 catastrophe; it lost a big chunk of die hard fans from S1-S2 as well. Those people are bitter and angry, but if you can actually get them to sit down and WATCH one or two S4 episodes, you will get them back again.

        All of the efforts by TPTB to reassure the fans that I have heard of (video montages at the conventions, hints dropped during the show) are aimed at fans that are still watching Chuck. This is just preaching to the converted so to speak.

        It is those fans that left that we need to reach, and this is where NBC’s refusal to support the show is lethal. I’ve lost track of the times that I have heard something to the effect “Is that show still on? I haven’t seen any ads for it this season”. It doesn’t help that the showrunners cannot or will not try alternate promotion pipelines such as Youtube.

        If you know anyone who left during S3, ask them to watch just one S4 episode; tell them to forget S3 entirely if you have to (Lord knows I certainly can’t sell S3).

        Just one good look is all it takes.

      • armysfc says:

        VV @ ALL…this is NOT a comment on the quality of chuck. just the number of viewers. it’s largely agreed that season 3 cost chuck a ton of viewers. the reasons are many in number. VV you said reach out to those who left during or after season 3. that if they see 1 0r 2 episodes they will come back. now lets look at some numbers.

        season 3 ended with 5.1 million viewers. season 4 started with 5.7 million viewers. chuck gained 600k more at the start. where they folks who left after season 3 and came back or new folks? we will never know, but they were there.

        season 1 lost 1.3 million, season 2 lost 600k viewers
        season 3 lost a total of 2 million viewers. season 4 has lost 1.6 million so far. there is only a difference of 400k between seasons 3 and 4.

        season 3 is considered bad by many here and season 4 is considered good by many here.

        if we try to get back those we lost during season 3 how do we try to get back those we lost during season 4?

        during both seasons the air dates after Jan are about the same. the shows they went up against are the same. there are a multitude of reasons why people left and continue to leave. my best guess (not based on my view of this season) is the hang over effect from season 3. fans that stuck through season 3 are gun shy. any hint of the show going dark causes them to leave. some have stuck around longer, but each time it happens more of them go. maybe the recent drop has been spurred on by the release of spoilers saying someone will get hurt. who knows?

        ATT i am more concerned about keeping the people i know that want to bail from doing it, than getting the lost ones back. i would love to see an upturn in the ratings. maybe it will happen.
        *** figures based on numbers i could find and averaged. i tried to be as accurate as i could. i don’t want to skew any numbers as that would not be fair.

      • atcDave says:

        Army there is certainly a lot of truth in what you say, but I really think we can do better than just retain the numbers that are left. For starters, well some viewership loss is normal in any season (TV draws more viewers in the Fall than in the Spring; and serialized shows in particular tend to loose viewers as they go). I think the S4 loss is sort a double whammy, I do buy your explanation, but I would add to that; many viewers who actually liked S3 are now completely unhappy. So we’ve had back-to-back seasons that alienated some portion of the fan-base. I’ve been quite clear S4 is a very Dave-friendly season; but we lost so many people last year who have very similar tastes to me. I don’t want to dwell on that too much except to reiterate (as VV was stating above) we can get some of those viewers back. I know at least 4 households that quit watching Chuck in S3, I now have 3 of them back watching. It may require tact, patience, and ultimately just watching an episode or two with them (I think Wedding Planner is really the ultimate weapon for these purposes) but it certainly can be done.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave…i agree we can get viewers back. as you constantly point out only an interested/ committed type fan will post. i agree with that. you have also questioned a few times if you see the show different than the rest of the fandom. there’s the rub. take this thread. there are 139 replies by 17 people. 6 of those are the mods. that leaves 11. i don’t know how many hits you guys get per day or to each thread but 11 out of even 1k hits is small. that says to me (just me BTW) that despite popping in for a view they are not vested enough to post. if they are not vested enough to post they won’t spread the word. now i’m not saying ALL the people who stop by won’t try, but even if 50% try its still a small number. while you brought x number back i saw 18 or more leave this year. so even just me to you the show lost viewers. i’m trying to keep 3 more from going. it’s not easy to say the least.

        i just look at the reality of this. no matter what those of us that post here say there is more than one person that bailed this season. how many of those tell their friends that may still watch the show, chuck stinks? then try to convince them to give it up? or they just succumb to peer pressure and do it. hey it happens. we are also up against that.

        joe said it best, TPTB are trying a balancing act every episode they put out. here’s hopping they find a better balance.

      • armysfc says:

        here’s an interesting article on why people stop watching TV shows. it sheds a lot of light on this discussion.

        http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10003/1024891-67.stm

      • atcDave says:

        Couple of things Army. We normally see 1000 – 2000 hits a day on this site. Sometimes more on Monday/Tuesday, sometimes less during a long hiatus. That’s a fairly significant number of people reading what we say. I have no idea how many of those people read through comments, or just read the posts, or whatever. But we see many occasional commenters who do comment, just not as often as you and I. I also know from my own web browsing experience, I have a dozen sites I check daily, but only three of them (all Chuck related) do I do anything more than read. And a few of those other sites (one for the Chicago Bears, four for scale modeling) I check and read faithfully every single day. Those are my core interests and I’d say my “involvement” is pretty high even if I don’t comment. By that measure, I would guess a significant number of those who visit this site but comment rarely or not at all, are extremely devoted Chuck fans. It is hard to know for sure, but I tend to think anyone who’s even seeking out an internet site about a show is pretty interested in that show.

        The article you linked is very interesting. I guess I’m a pretty uncommon viewer according to it. The stated most casual viewers watch one in three or four episodes. I don’t get how you would ever follow a serialized story that way. Of course that may be why serialized storys generally don’t do as well. But apart from a few comedies, I either watch or don’t watch a show, I have no in between. If I like a show its on my DVR’s “to do” list, if I don’t, I’ll never watch it. I often try out new shows when they come along (always by adding them to the DVR); if I like a show enough to get past one or two episodes, I will almost certainly watch to the end of the season. The end of the first season is sort of my next decision point; but if I still am interested after the end of the first season, it is unlikely I will ever miss an episode. If I do miss its a very deliberate act of removing the show from my DVR (play taps, shed a tear for what might have been, and watch my wife peal off as the “missing man”).
        Perhaps I have a compulsive personality? It’s probably a good thing I don’t drink!

      • ArmySFC says:

        dave…thanks for the info. glad you liked the article. it does explain some things very well. i also tend to give a show one full season unless its really bad. then again i have no qualms about bailing in the middle of a season either.

      • DS says:

        Interesting discussions going on here (as usual).

        All of the people to whom I’ve recommended chuck are now watching it yet their tastes are very different from one another: one likes 24 while the other likes ugly betty but they all somehow love chuck. This tells me that chuck has the potential to draw in a lot more viewers than it is doing now. I still believe that a lot of people just don’t know about chuck yet, they heard about it but never bothered to check it out. While I concur on the notion that good promotion is vital to maintain viewers, I don’t know if a promo or trailer (at least not when they only promote it on their own network) can really capture new viewers , since chuck is a show that gives the viewers a certain feel, which, in my opinion, cannot be portrayed in 30 seconds. In my opinion, the more effective way to draw in fresh viewers is by word of mouth. They need to see a full episode in order to really get the vibe – preferably two – and this may require some ‘convincing’…but in the end they all thanked me. Unfortunately this won’t help us now because it only has a long-term effect, we need something that works now….

      • atcDave says:

        DS I think you’re exactly right that the show can have a pretty broad appeal (although I’m a little surprised by the extremes you listed!) I think the best technique is just to sit down and watch an episode or two with people; but yes that is very time consuming. I’ve never had anyone not like what they saw, and over 50% of those I’ve cornered and coerced do watch now! Now I admit I do some “pre-screening”; that is, there are some folks I won’t even bother with because I know it won’t be their cup of tea. But those I think might be interested, usually are once they see it.

      • ArmySFC says:

        DS good points. one of the things i look at for drawing new viewers aside from the actual show is the time slot. it’s a no win situation from my POV. there are just so many people that watch TV during that hour. no matter how we feel about DWTS its a beast, so are house, HIMYM. trying to get folks away from those shows isn’t going to happen. there are over 4 million folks that have turned away from chuck since it started, that’s almost as many as still watch today.

        you guys all want as many seasons as possible from chuck. i don’t see more than one more in it’s current slot. i know i’m in the minority on this but i feel that a move to friday would be best. i think that chucks core fan base would continue to watch after the switch. some people will argue that chuck would lose some viewers with a move. true but right now in its spot its hemorrhaging viewers so could it really hurt? i also feel that more viewers that quit would come back for another look if its not on against the beasts of monday night. i feel most of them left to watch one of the other shows offered during that time. a 1.3-1.5 would rock the ratings on fridays, lol. i would also bet that a move would push the ratings over 2 possibly 2.5. chuck would be the best thing on friday other than fringe and that’s in another slot.

        bottom line for me is we can get viewers back just not enough in its current slot. in another spot yeah we can get a lot more back. enough it will make a difference.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I don’t think anyone is particularly wedded to the Monday night slot. Whatever works for the show works for me. I’ve mentioned a change of networks and taking Smallville’s slot several times (which is Friday at 8). So many of us (and Chuck has a very tech savvy audience) are DVR time-shifters. Half the shows I watch, I couldn’t even tell you what time they actually air, the DVR figures it all out. In fact, among the viewers I’ve recruited, when its on and what its up against is never even brought up. I seriously don’t even know anyone without a multi-event DVR.
        Now because Chuck is both my favorite show and always on the bubble, I do watch live and encourage others to do so also. A couple have only promised to watch next day (which does still count, just not as much) but most will watch Chuck live then switch to something else.
        I’m not saying the time slot doesn’t matter, but from what I’ve seen, its usually not a deal breaker or even a big deal.

      • armysfc says:

        dave ya do now, lol. i don’t have one because tv is not that important to me, other than sports of course and that i have to watch live. remember though only 40% have DVR’s. at this point any time works for me, but friday seems like a good fit.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I know I’ve seen the 40% figure before. But I’m serious that no one I know (Sorry, I mean flesh and blood, not on-line!) doesn’t have one. Even my parents who are into their 70s (although I wouldn’t bet money they know how to use it!) have one.
        Most people I introduce to the show only want to be sure of the name for their DVR and/or Hulu/iTunes/NetFlix to catch up on old episodes. Especially my younger co-workers, such issues as a broadcast schedule are of zero interest to them.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree Jason this was the very best of Chuck. Just like DeLorean two seasons ago, this left me with a happy/satisfied feeling that has carried through to today.

      • Faith says:

        Gord put it best, 3Hs: heart, humor, happy ending.

        Apt.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with that. The whole episode makes me smile, except when I’m laughing out loud.

        Enjoyed your take on the episode, Faith. And I love the title. I especially loved Chuck watching Sarah dance with her dad and his trying to get Jack to walk his daughter down the aisle.

    • Big Kev says:

      @Jason,
      I’m sure you’re right that a well promoted wedding might get some old viewers back, or even some new ones. But I’m also pretty sure they wouldn’t be in the male 18-35 demo, which is what really counts, as FT says. The ridiculousness of the advertiser funded network TV model is that not all viewers are created equal. On the other hand, promote a wedding with stuff getting blown up, people getting shot and the whole thing on the edge of disaster, and I’m guessing that’s more in the younger male wheelhouse.
      Just using this blog as an example, I’m sure most of the male shippers here are some age north of 35. The female shippers probably skew younger, but as FT says, they’re the “wrong” sex.
      I think TPTB did the right thing to try and keep the fanbase intact after the traumas of S3, even though it clearly hasn’t worked. But any way you slice it, a shippery “romcom” type Season was never going to play to 18-35 year old males, and so it’s proved.

      • Crumby says:

        To be honest, I’m a young female and I kinda miss the explosions and the gunplays. We haven’t had much of that this season. And I’m not even an action-type person. I usually get easily tired of car chases and the like, but with Chuck it’s fun. I hope they kept some stuff budget wise to blow our mind in the last 3.

      • First Timer says:

        @BigKev:
        You’re right, I think. A big shoot-em-up wedding might pull some of the right demos to the final episode. But to do that, you do, in fact, have to have a big shoot-em-up wedding to promote. And you have to admit to having a wedding…

        I have a feeling that the wedding will be a small and (relatively speaking) calm part of the final episode. Partially that is a tactical move (they don’t have the budget to match the wedding hijinks of Ring and don’t want to have to deal with the inevitable comparisons) and partially it is stylistic. The showrunners have mostly treated things like weddings, engagements and funerals pretty respectfully. Even the blow-em-up in Ring didn’t actually involve the wedding. It took place BEFORE any ceremonial stuff actually happened.

      • Crumby says:

        Whatever they do with the wedding, promoting it now won’t bring viewers to watch Agent X, I don’t think. They’ll promote it when time comes. I don’t get why people are so hang up on it.

        Not to mention that they’ve promoted the relationship ever since Chuck and Sarah got together. They’ve said so many times that they were together now, that there wasn’t any Moonlighting curse, and blah blah blah, and they made a super relationship-heavy season. If you cared enough to quit the show just because of C&S, there’s been enough element to bring you back all season.

    • ArmySFC says:

      faith, i agree they could target more towards females. this begs the question. how much further do they have to go? i may be a minority on this but this year seemed to be pretty heavily vested in things females like in a show. it didn’t seem to help much. granted i’m male but by almost every one here this season focused on family and relationships.

      i pointed out earlier that during the time DWTS was off female viewers were up over males keeping the ratings steady. so females do enjoy chuck, just not as much as TWTS. when TWTS returned they left.

    • jason says:

      I’ll take one more stab at this, since the season is all shot and completed, it appears season 4 has been produced in such a manner to appease fans who did not like S3. Yet, in interviews and promotion pieces consistently season 4 has been promoted to tease the fun fans and appeal to the serious spy fans, then the actual episodes turn out much lighter and more fun than teased or promoted.

      This strategy has been wrong twice, first, since the promo is dark, no season 3 fans lost are coming back, second, since the eps are fun and light, those serious fans who liked S3 are getting too much fluff and fun in season 4 and are leaving.

      My suggestion which started all of this, if a wedding is going to happen or even if the last two eps are going to be great, cheer up the fan base and promote how awesome the end is, maybe getting some lost fans back. Right now, everything I have read or heard is embarrassingly understated or negative, that is no way to promote something.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jason well put. they are trying to keep a tight lid on whats going to happen in the up coming episodes. instead they should be promoting the good things that are to happen, not the someone we love is going to get hurt angle they are taking. as for promoting the wedding i think they are in a tough spot with that. i don’t think we will see an actual wedding just the results. it would be hard to promote that.

        it could be they are taking that approach to warn people it’s coming. like they did for gobbler and push mix. they wanted people to know up front casey would get hurt but it was his choice. lessen the blow so to speak.

        at this point the best hope is to promote what chucks about now and if season 5 takes place promote what chuck will be like next year.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree entirely Jason. Although it is still a month from the finale, we may see some more positive spoilers before the end (especially after 4.23, which I think will be the emotional low-point)

  8. JC says:

    Wow a lot of debate about this episode.

    I loved it , it’s episodes like this that made me love the show in the first place. Thats two episodes in a row. Everyone got their moment to shine and the focus was on Chuck and Sarah without relationship drama. The girl who played young Sarah was awesome, I loved the scene with her explaining the shell game to her stuffed animals. LeJudkins get these characters especially Sarah.

    Would have I liked some more backstory on Sarah instead of the little retread we got, sure but I just don’t think we’ll ever get that. The writers have turned that into an art, Sarah backstory without actually exploring it.

    I don’t know if anyone else caught this callback but what Kathleen tells Casey about getting everything he wanted is the same thing Sarah told Chuck in Final Exam.

    • alladinsgenie4u says:

      I don’t know if anyone else caught this callback but what Kathleen tells Casey about getting everything he wanted is the same thing Sarah told Chuck in Final Exam.

      I caught it too. IMO, Sarah’s statement was accusatory and said with hurt/anger while Kathleen’s statement was one of resignation and acceptance.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it definitely had a less bitter feel this time.

      • Crumby says:

        I guess the difference was that like Casey told Chuck in Tic Tac, it was too late for him, but not for Chuck and Sarah.

      • Paul says:

        Actually, I took Kathleen’s statement to have a little bit of hurt in it as well.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I probably missed it because FE was one of those eps I ended up being horrified by Sarah’s behavior throughout .

        I liked Casey protecting Chuck in FE even though he knew he’d be in deep trouble if he was caught since he was a civilian then. And I do have sweaty , glasses wearing Chuck in a towel as my default lj icon.

    • Crumby says:

      Wow a lot of debate about this episode.

      I thought a lot of people liked it on the contrary, even people that usually don’t like the same thing.

      I REALLY liked the episode too.

      I think the only “complain” I would have, and it’s really minor because I still enjoyed it, is that the ‘chasing Daphne’ part was a little too long. I didn’t find the SuperShuttle scene that funny, I could have done with a little less. But hey, I had a good time reading their tweet today, so… 😉

      But otherwise:
      – I liked that the episode surprised me in the way the story was constructed, with for example Jack not actually being on the con right away.
      – Gary Cole was great! And every bit of the Sarah/Jack relationship too. (That ending!)
      – I like what they did with Sarah backstory. (See my point about the grandma above).
      – I laughed pretty much the entire episode and when I didn’t it was because it was touching.
      – I think Morgan was well used once again (spy high five!), and the Awesome/Jack scenes were surprising (he only rock climb a couple of times of week!).
      – I liked this season that the Casey stories are done really simply without overdone drama, but are very touching nonetheless. It’s very Casey actually. That episode didn’t disappoint in that regard.
      – The Sarah/Chuck relationship was very strong without any drama. They’re “we’re ready” at the beginning was great, and that scene where Sarah tell Chuck her dad’s gone was great too. Also, they actually communicated pretty well in that episode. Sarah told why she didn’t want to invite her dad and even though Chuck didn’t really understood why until the end of the episode, he completely respected her wish and supported her, while still trying to get her dad to stay. That’s a difference from CAT Squad that a really appreciated.
      – Finally, it’s no surprise but Yvonne really delivered. So many nuances. She was outstanding.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree on all points, Crumby. I wasn’t too wild about the shuttle ride, either. Some of those seconds could have been better used in other places.

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah that was exactly my thought Thinkling. The whole ‘having the government after Daphne’ thing was funny but it lasted a little too long and we could have used that time for more Casey/Kathleen or more Jack Burton.

      • JC says:

        I don’t know if it was Sepinwall or Ryan McGee who suggested the shuttle chase should have been more over the top. That might have worked more but its understandable they couldn’t with the budget.

      • Crumby says:

        It was McGee. He said that if they deployed so many means to catch Daphne surely it would end up being more than a van. I get what he was saying but the budget is what it is and IMO they made it work. The moment they caught Daphne was pretty hilarious.
        I also disagree with McGee that Gary Cole was underutilized since I liked that they surprised me with something the Jack/Awesome interactions.
        However by the time they finished this Daphne thing I was eager to see more Sarah/Jack and Jack/TeamB. That’s why I thought it was a little too long.

      • JC says:

        I get what you’re saying but I think they had a reason for that. If Jack and Sarah had spent the majority of the episode together how couldn’t the issue of the rest of Sarah’s family especially her mother come up? Even the flashback skirted the whole issue.

      • thinkling says:

        Crumby, I did laugh out loud when GB launched her full-scale, inter-agency search for Daphne. Hilarious, and Chuck and Sarah’s reactions were fantastic. The netting of Daphne right after she said she didn’t buy their con, and Sarah’s wave … also laugh-out-loud funny. I could have done with less of the scene inside the van.

        I would have liked a few more seconds at the end, in the Bartowski kitchen with the hug, and a little more Casey/Kathleen time … maybe some Charlie/Jack conversation.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree that the scene inside the van was probably the least satisfying of the episode, but almost everything else in Wedding Planner was about perfect. When your biggest complaint is “too short!” you know they’ve got a good one.

      • thinkling says:

        Agreed Dave, Wedding Planner is a fantastic episode. S4 has been so consistently great that picking favorites is really hard. And when you look back on all they’ve done since Anniversary, it’s really remarkable, including mythology, IMO.

      • Crumby says:

        Like I said it was my only and minor complaint.

        The whole “fake a flash” thing was hilarious and Beckman jumping on it and calling everybody too. When they did catch Daphne after her “I’m calling your bluff”? Pretty funny too. Not to mention Beckman’s “She’s your wedding planner?” and “Let me guess, you flashed.” All around I really liked the whole thing, but it lasted 10 minutes of which at least 3 minutes were dedicated to the SuperShuttle. Considering that by the end of it, when they got suspended, we were right in the middle of the episode, I was beginning to think: “as much as this is funny I want to see the real mission and Jack interacting with Team B.” That’s just the reaction I had while watching. I’m just saying, do the exact same thing in 8 minutes instead of ten. or something like that.

        But again, it was funny. The episode is one of the strongest of the season, I think.

        Also, I appreciated that Sarah was bumped about the Klugs and the Zephyr but not about being suspended. They didn’t make it a personal thing, but kept it about doing the right thing with the Hungarians.

      • atcDave says:

        Great point about doing the right thing Crumby. That is something we were complaining about a little just a few days ago, and then we get a very mission oriented Sarah. Perfect timing.

      • Crumby says:

        Yes I thought it was worth mentioning since we had that conversation recently.

  9. Ernie Davis says:

    Oh, Faith, I meant to add that I’m flattered that I seem to have my own Ernie-esque genre for titles, but shouldn’t the word “Hero” or “Journey” be practically mandatory? I suppose “adventure” can act as a stand-in… 😉

    That and you picked the right soundtrack. That was my song of the night too.

  10. Tamara Burks says:

    Also this is the second ep where a guy who has been made known as a Russian in a commercial is used. This time he lasts longer though. The first one was in Masquerade and he played “Peggy” in those Discover card commercials.

  11. herder says:

    Am I the only one who thought “Munchkins” when Alex and Morgan were talking to Casey at the begining. Seriously they looked like they were four feet tall or Casey looked like he was eight feet tall, a giant among children.

    • Faith says:

      whenever they stand next to Chuck and Sarah, the first thing I think of is mini-me lol.

    • thinkling says:

      I notice that a lot. Casey is a big guy, and they are so tiny. One of the funniest scenes in that regard is when Morgan insinuates himself between feuding Sarah and Casey in Phase 3.

      And Sarah was taller than her dad, too. Of course she’s in heels, but still.

      • Crumby says:

        They are a cast of giants. Adam, Zac, Ryan, Yvonne…

      • atcDave says:

        Sarah towering over Jack was funny.

        I’m wondering where Alex got her height from, she’s shorter than Morgan; but Kathleen clearly is not. Must have been double recessive height genes!

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Crumby, it’s kind of like Night Court where 2 of the actors were 6 ft 5 and the guy playing Bull was even taller (I’m blanking on the names right now of some) so that when the woman playing Roz was there she seemed short even though she was 5 ft 10.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      OK, I’m freaking out. I’m re-watching Wedding Planner, at 9min in, and all I can think is “we represent the lollypop guild, the lollypop guild, the lollypop guild…”

      Curse you Herder!!

  12. Crumby says:

    I don’t know the guy from the DirecTV commercials and I haven’t seen them, but I heard that there was a giraffe involved or something like that.

    Do you guys think that’s why Little Sarah had one? Was it some kind of wink?

    • atcDave says:

      Funny point. My guess is its all coincidence. But it was funny to see him on Chuck; it took me a couple minutes to place him, but those DirecTV commercials are very funny too.

  13. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Wedding Planner (4.21) | Chuck This

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