Summer Rewatch: 4.13 Chuck vs. the Push Mix

“Chuck and I’d do anything for family”

Group hug!

One of Chuck’s most admirable themes is that of family. In season one it was “just the two of” them, but Ellie put it best even then, “we’re growing up” and with that growth comes a bigger family and responsibility. Enter Push Mix where a circle is formed and with it family.


Let’s start with Sarah. She undertook a dangerous and potentially life-changing mission to rescue Mary. Remember Santa Claus? “What about my sister, Ellie, and Morgan and everyone else?” says Chuck. “We’re instructed to remove you and only you. There’s a team coming to remove the rest and they could be in good hands…there are rules Chuck and we have to follow them,” replied Sarah. See back then, she didn’t yet see the value of family. Chuck was increasingly becoming her home but she didn’t yet see herself as family. Times and things have changed. In Chuck’s family, they’d do anything for each other, rules and danger be damned. “I promised Chuck that I wouldn’t come home without you,” and so she shall. This is her chance to be a part of family, Chuck’s family, and she wants (for him) for it to be complete.

Mary had her own thoughts regarding Sarah’s mission, “I made a lot of promises too. I don’t want you to become me and I will not let my son be his father.” Again we’re brought back to family. Mary has lost hers, for 20 years. Though she made a conscious decision to take this mission, the extent and consequences of it was out of her hands and because of that she refuses to stand by and watch history repeat itself. But Mary is still an Agent, one who has got more of a predilection for rules and the greater good than even Sarah of season 2. Perhaps greater than her need for self-preservation. Stephen is gone, she’s lost him forever but Sarah still has a chance with her Stephen-er-Chuck.

Chuck robbed the '80s and all he got was this shirt.

So we have gone from Ellie to Chuck to Sarah to Mary and now Stephen. Chuck took down Volkoff using Stephen’s memory. It was an absolutely inspired “plan” and one that honors a great man in Stephen Bartowski. “The truth is my husband alive or dead will always be 10x the man you are and every moment that I’m with you, I was thinking of him,” says Mary. And it is the truth. This was Stephen’s mission, and it took his memory and his family to finally end a 20-year mission, to reunite a family. Volkoff wanted the one thing he couldn’t have, Frost, and she belonged to Stephen. That eats at him; his phone calls, wealth, reach and affection pales in comparison to what Stephen and Mary had and that was just the perfect nerve to prick. Thus far, Volkoff has been holding all the cards, Chuck put it best, “you took my mother from him, you took his whole life.” He’s been moving all the pieces in this latest chess board, he even thought he had a contingency plan in place but Volkoff isn’t the man that Stephen was and he’s just been played by Chuck using that nerve, into a trap. Though Stephen Bartowski’s memory took down Volkoff and uncovered Hydra, it was all of the Bartowskis (Sarah included) that made it happen. Chuck couldn’t have confidently trapped Volkoff without Sarah rescuing his mom, without Casey taking out the assassin, without Alex giving her dad the weapon.


“Are you family?”

Not quite, we still have the formality. Or rather the romantic trappings of making a family: the proposal. Though this episode has shown that Sarah is already entrenched deeply within Chuck’s family, the proposal was the bow in this fantastic present and very well done. The moment was in the most romantic setting possible: two simultaneous beginnings and this, all theirs. There were no words, no poetry, just love and with it a family.

Dave’s Thoughts

I do love the family theme Faith did such a beautiful job summarizing.  It is easily one of my favorite elements of Chuck, especially as the numbers of the Bartowski clan have grown steadily over time.  But at the mid-point of the fourth season we see those bonds stronger than ever.  It is ironic for an episode that starts in a lonely and desperate place, Chuck can only turn to Morgan for help in bringing his family back together.

And what a fun ride it is!  So often this season, my biggest complaint would be “too short!”  This episode is a great example of that.  My biggest complaints all come down to that one thing.  I always want more Sarah time, more Chuck and Sarah time, and even more Volkoff time (funniest recurring villain ever).  But I really don’t want to get into the complaints here, when this episode is so much fun.

What would Volkoff do for a Klondike bar?

I love the little details   Both times Chuck and Morgan kidnap someone they immediately pick-up on being in the bathroom.  Lester’s militant defense of cover tunes over indie music.  Morgan insisting Sarah’s coat will be too small for his shoulders.  And of course my favorite; Volkoff happily eating ice cream while plotting evil, and we KNOW he’s evil because he isn’t sharing (no, I’m not letting that one go guys, its an important detail!).  As a hard-core history buff one other detail really busts me up, Volkoff bragging about his ship and its high tech weapon systems and stealth properties.  It’s a Liberty ship!  It’s a World War II era, mass produced, cargo hauler that can do 12 knots on calm seas.  The type we generated propaganda by how fast we could crank them out (nothing high tech even when new).  It still has a 5″/38 stern gun and 40 mm twin Bofors guns with a simple ring sight.  And for the record, crewmen on Liberty ships were always happy when a real warship joined a convoy because real warships DID HAVE ice cream parlors!  That ship is one of the funniest gags of a very funny season to me.

"Ugh pregnant women." "Ooh! Pregnant women."

More than anything, Push Mix was about a climax that was billed as the best ten minutes of Chuck ever.  Fortunately, I never believe the hype or I might have been disappointed.  It was a lot of fun.  Chuck got Volkoff in a way that honored his father, Sarah rescued mom, and Casey rescued himself.  Seems fitting.  We got a good scene between Casey and Devon, and the best Jeffster scene since the last time we had a good Jeffster scene (I dare anyone to argue that point!).

And the proposal.  Sometimes less is more.  I know I’m on record as not being very happy with the ending of Balcony, but I do believe they did find the perfect way to fix that.  Nothing more needed to be said, we’ve known they were ready for a while.  I sure am glad that wasn’t a series finale!  But it was an awesome way to reach mid-season.

Faith one last time

Ha! You learn something new everyday, I didn’t know that about the ship, but I do agree that Volkoff’s gag about the ice cream parlour was entertaining. For a moment there you can see the duality of relationships. Volkoff with his arms around both Frost and Sarah, as if he had his own cherished family but it was, fittingly, superficial because Volkoff (though an entertaining villain) doesn’t “know how to love.” And just like “The Contessa,” it was only a façade.

As for the hype, while I wouldn’t go so far as to label it the best 5-1o minutes of Chuck, I do think it was the best 5-10 minutes of the season. Yes, even over the wedding, even over Suitcase, etc. By my count the clock starts at 31:45 when Chuck says, “gotcha” to Volkoff and his entire plan and Volkoff and his Industry unravels. From there we go to the birth of Clara, adorable; the touching reunion of a mother and a daughter; Casey and family (Morgan included) walking into the sunset; and Chuck and Sarah? As it should be, together, in love and embarking on life’s greatest adventure. It didn’t escape my notice that Sarah kneeled with him as she answered his proposal. They enter this new phase in their lives as equals, as a couple.

They said once that they wouldn’t and couldn’t write an ending without a question, a cliffhanger but with Push Mix, they showed they could. Push Mix‘s ending effectively and satisfactorily closed all the story lines in logical, humorous fashion while giving way to the imagination and it did this in typical Chuck fashion, heart-warmingly. A fantastic and utterly satisfying conclusion to what has been, for the most part, a fun and satisfying season.

Dave Again

I like what you noticed about Volkoff’s facade of a family,  good catch.  I’d agree the end was maybe short of a “best 5-10 minutes ever”,  but it was a lot of fun and sweet when it needed to be.  And even if their weren’t any direct hooks for the back arc, it sure was nice to go out on a strong note.  I thought the front episodes of the season rivaled the legendary season two.  I know I was pleased and excited.  I know the season had its detractors, but I will never be among them.  Chuck has finally become the show I always hoped it would be,  the front arc ended in a completely satisfying way, and I think I liked the back arc even better!


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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46 Responses to Summer Rewatch: 4.13 Chuck vs. the Push Mix

  1. thinkling says:

    A great bedtime read. Push Mix was such a good episode. I love the family theme, Faith. Dave, I agree about the season … best ever. I liked it all the first half and the second half I liked even better. As far as finales go, S4 has had the best two by far.

    Thanks for a good review, you guys. I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow. My brain is fresh out of thoughts tonight.

  2. Amron says:

    Family! Of course, as some of us agreed, one of the most important things in Chuck is that t is a show with hearth, and this family sensation is, in my opinion, what give it this heart. On my mind, this big family is divided into three “clans”: the Awesomes, the Bartowskis and the Caseys (and yes, I’m placing Morgan into the Caseys) and “vs. the Push Mix” is a great example of those: at the end, we see all characters taking place in their right spot: Awesomes welcoming a new member (maybe two, with Mary holding her granddaughter), Bartowskis making it official (Come on! Everybody knew Sarah belonged with Chuck) and the Caseys pledge allegiance to each others… even if the patriarch didn’t like it at all…

    On other thoughts, I liked the irony about how Mary didn’t want Chuck to become his father and a couple of minutes after we see him imposting Orion… Poor Mary, she didn’t understand that Chuck is his father’s son, his creation in all the extension of the word, both as his descendant and as the Intersect.

    The scene with Volkoff and Mary finally coming clear is one of the best acted scenes of all Chuck: that forced kiss was so repulsive and full of fear at the same time… and you can see it in both Timothy’s and Linda’s eyes. It give me goosebumps.

    The funny part was great, too: I laughed a lot with Chuck and Morgan’s interrogation room. Sometimes all the Charah thing made me forget about how funny Chuck and Morgan could be… Although I am still skeptical about the Morgan Fu, I expect to see more of this forgotten chemistry in S5. More of Chuck interacting with all his whole family and not just Sarah, because one of the things I really missed on S4 was Chuck and Casey insulting each other. It was always fun…

    And finally, the shipper part. Even for a person that believed it was too much Charah on this season, I really believe that proposal was perfect. It actually made me squee!

    • atcDave says:

      Putting Morgan with the Casey’s! I can hear the incredulous grunt now…

      • Amron says:

        It will pale in comparison of the grunt he’s going to give us if the Casey’s become the Grimes’ in the future!

    • thinkling says:

      I agree with almost all of that Amron. We get distracted with the spy stuff and the action and comedy and explosions, but at the heart of all things Chuck is Family.

      Good catch on Mary not wanting Chuck to become his father, which, whether she wanted it for him or not, he already had. I like that. She, of course, doesn’t want Chuck to become Stephen … spending his whole life looking for his lost love. However, Chuck has become Orion, but an all new Orion who is more pro-active and not afraid to confront. He really was that guy all along, but with the Intersect and Sarah, he has reached bold new levels of heroic. Push Mix brings Orion full circle and we see that legacy is destiny. Mary finally see this, as we see in Seduction Impossible.

      I loved the scene with Mary and Volkoff, too. What two great guest stars. These two scenes answer a lot of our questions about Mary. Win all the way around.

      • Faith says:

        Like most mothers she would rather her son not be in constant danger (think police officers) but just like Ellie, this is what he wants and what he was born to do.

      • thinkling says:

        I think they did a good job of combining the mother and the spy in MamaB. And a lot of that credit goes to LH.

      • atcDave says:

        A lot of it was clever writing too, the way they contrasted Chuck and Morgan reminiscing for mom’s homemade treats while we are seeing her purely in a mission perspective. It was strong contrast that established a duel nature.

      • Faith says:

        I actually think it was uneven. The mom and the character was influenced tremendously by Linda Hamilton’s personality (she is a mom afterall) and portrayal instead of what the character dictates, for the most part.

      • patty says:

        I really think Chuck has become a combination of the best of both his parents. He has the tech skills, intellect, compassion, and morality of his father. However, when pushed, he will act decisively like his mother.

  3. lappers84 says:

    This episode is a perfect example of how Chuck has essentially out grown the intersect, he flashes once at the beginning and comes up with a plan (though had to deviate slightly near the end) that bought down the worlds most prolific arms dealers and his Hydra network, something the government spend 20 years trying to do (and yes it was a team effort, but was still something he came with) Which makes me believe that Chuck is better off without the intersect in season 5, as much as fans seem to be against that. And of course the last 10 or so minutes can’t really be topped, though it is rather unfortunate however Push Mix didn’t get better ratings thanks largely to the critical review of Gobbler which left fans with a slightly sour taste in their mouths. All in all an extremely satisfying ending to Chuck story arc.

    • atcDave says:

      I do agree about the Intersect Lappers. Of course, in haven’t really been a fan of the 2.0 from the beginning; but I always love when Chuck can play with the big boys without using the darn thing. I do think it’s a lot harder to write a hero who triumphs through his wits, but I’m hoping that’s what we’ll see more of in S5.

      • lappers84 says:

        I’m hoping that the Ellie fix will have left some kind of intersect imprint in his brain (memory muscle) so he can still perform actions that was left by the intersect 2.0

      • thinkling says:

        My only worry with Chuck sans Intersect is his lack of serious fighting skills when needed. So, like you Lappers, I hope some of that has been stored somewhere in his brain, thanks to Ellie’s fixes — somewhere that the suppressor wouldn’t have known to wipe. I don’t need the balcony leaping, wine balancing nonsense, but I would like him to last longer in a fight and be a better partner for Sarah than he did in Leftovers against Volkoff’s assassins.

        My worry about Morgan with the Intersect is that it may rob screen time from Chuck and Sarah, or Ellie or Casey. I thought we were easing up on the Chuck/Morgan bromance, which is NOT my favorite part of the show. I loved Morgan/Casey. If we stick with that, I’m good. I like Morgan with Casey and Morgan with Sarah. Morgan with Chuck is a mix … sometimes good and sometimes, um, not. In Push Mix Chuck and Morgan were good, but as a steady diet it was way too much of Chuck/Morgan. And in an episode that had so much going on, I think a disproportionate amount of time was spent in the hall of lasers. I’m afraid with Morgan as the Intersect we may get more of that, and it just doesn’t entertain me like Chuck and Sarah together. I like Chuck and Sarah together as a great spy couple, like FBoE. In fact my enjoyment of any Chuck episode rises in direct proportion to the amount of Chuck and Sarah screen time — S4 style. I love the chemistry of the old trio on missions together (the milk and cookies time at the end of Muuurder was great). I loved having Ellie back in the second half of S4, her chats with Sarah especially. So I would be very sad if all those things I really, really love about Chuck were sacrificed for more Morgan time. Morgan is a great character, and I like him —really — but the show is not about Morgan. Wow. Did I really say all that. Sorry. Rant over.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d agree with most of that rant. Except I guess I’m okay with a mostly helpless Chuck who has to rely on his smarts and his team (First Date being the perfect model for this), especially Sarah for his physical protection (I like the role reversal that the show was founded on). I have enjoyed some the team fights Chuck has been involved in, from Honeymooners to First Fight to First Bank of Evil; but as you said, I don’t need the silly wine glass fight at all.
        But whether Chuck has any combat skills or not; my biggest concern by far is just that the show doesn’t add too much Morgan time in S5. I’ve liked his character and the growth we’ve seen from him this season. But I do not want him to have more screen time than he already does.

      • thinkling says:

        Exactly, Dave. I think they’ve struck a good Morgan balance ever since he moved in with Casey. I hope they don’t upset that balance.

      • jason says:

        I am hoping TPTB take one crack at out-doing the honeymooners ep, with a standalone sometime early in s5, with no morgan to rob screen time – but other than that, my guess is he will be featured as a tie for 3rd in screen time with casey. Problem with morgan on missions, morgan is so cheesy, so goofy, so ‘get smarty’, that he robs from the magical way chuck, sarah, and casey spoof james bond with a get smart approach – morgan the spy makes maxwell smart look like kiefer sullivan / jack bauer / of 24 fame.

      • Faith says:

        Me too Jason, me too.

      • jason says:

        one thing push mix shows me yet again – the cast is really thin for spies in terms of having different pairings on missions – paying jeff, lester, big mike, ellie and awesome as cast members really limits TPTB’s ability to write fresh, compelling spy stuff, esp since finale’s seem to require the big 3 to be split apart. Seems like the same thing has gotten written over and over and over again for finale’s, chuck goes off without sarah or casey, then saves poor Sarah and brings down the big baddie in some way shape or form – 2×22 – 3×13 – 3×19 – 4×13 – 4×24

        I read Mama B is coming back S5, she is certainly going to shore up the team, morgan the intersect will too, maybe we will see ellie, awesome or alex be more part of missions off and on, since now morgan is not a civilian so to speak. I am hoping chuck will be bryce good as a spy this season without the intersect, I don’t care how it is explained, doesn’t matter, I just want chuck to be capable.

        Some of my judgement of s5 will be “Do chuck and sarah go off on their own and save …. some combination of the day, morgan, all their friends and family, the world….. at the end” – really doesn’t matter as 5×13 will be the end – but it is something I will be looking for.

      • thinkling says:

        @Jason: That’s fantastic news if MamaB is coming back. I liked her being part of the missions in 4×23 and 4×24. I liked that Ellie was finally let in on the secret, and I wonder if the new dynamic will reset Ellie … again. I hope not. I hope she will somehow be included, in her puzzle solving, doctor-neurology ways.

        I would like the Series finale to be a shared hero moment for Chuck and Sarah, although the finales so far have not bothered me quite as much as you.

        I saw 2×22 as a shared mission, everybody saving Ellie’s wedding and going to save Bryce. Right up until the very end, everybody was working together. Sarah was a big part of that, bigger than Chuck actually (until the 2.0 upload).

        Other Guy … no comment.

        Ring2 had everyone working together, except for the very last showdown. I did think it was lame that Sarah was handcuffed to the rail (no knife? no lock picker?). But I could see why they wanted Chuck to beat Shaw by himself. At least Sarah got to bash him over the head.

        In Push Mix they were both heroes. Chuck took down Volkoff, and Sarah saved Mary. I know they were separated, but neither had to save the other. It was appropriate for Chuck to finish his father’s mission (as his dad had asked him to) to find his mom and take down Volkoff. And I liked that Sarah got to bring home Chuck’s mom (just as she had promised). That seemed very right to me.

        Of course Sarah was totally powerless in Cliffhanger, but I still loved the episode. I loved the fact that everybody was working together to save her. That’s what family does, after all. The Casey/MamaB/Chuck team was fun. Having Hartley in on it was fun, too. It was a fitting final chapter for their individual stories, before beginning their united story, especially considering their starting points. Chuck has become a full fledged hero, and Sarah has become a normal girl. Chuck, the once reluctant nerd, now functions with confidence in the spy world. Sarah, who spent her life alone and always saving others, is finally part of a real family who loves her and will do anything to save her. There’s great symmetry in that.

        In S4 they have absolutely nailed the family theme and given us satisfying closure to the arcs. For me anyway

        The only two finales where Chuck actually had to save Sarah were OG and Cliffhanger. I do see what you’re saying, though. It’s more fun to see Chuck and Sarah as heroes together, on screen together, in the finale. I hope they do that in S5, and I think they should. They aren’t on individual journeys any more. I can see reasons for doing what they did in the past. I see no reason going forward, story wise, for them not to be joint heroes in the end.

      • atcDave says:

        I would ditto most of that Thinkling. I’ve enjoyed every one of the finales so far; but I would prefer if Sarah had a bigger/heroic role to play in the next (last) one.

      • thinkling says:

        Me, too, Dave. Going forward, it should be both of them most all the time, especially the finale. I can appreciate the symmetry of Cliffhanger, but it is now a new day for the Bartowski’s. I sure do like that it’s official now. How good did that envelope look “Chuck and Sarah Bartowski?”

    • Faith says:

      While I wouldn’t go as far as saying he has outgrown the intersect, I do think Push Mix is a concerted effort by TPTB to return to the “Chuck solution,” the “Chuck” who defuses bombs with a virus. And very well done.

  4. thinkling says:

    I really do love this episode, for the hero moments for everybody, the teamwork, the family, the closure of old stories and the beginning of new ones. So satisfying. Chuck and Sarah’s story intersecting with Mary and Stephen’s story … but with a totally different outcome. Mary got to be a part of that, as did Stephen, if only through his son. Chuck and Sarah redeemed the elder Bartowski’s past. Mary and Stephen, finally through a united effort with their children, realized the redemption of their children’s future. Win. Win. Win. Win. And more win.

    Love the call back to Sizzling Shrimp, Faith. Oddly enough I was thinking about it recently as our rewatch of the pilot led me to rewatch a lot of S1. SS is not a particularly popular episode, but it’s an important one to family. It’s the episode where Ellie makes peace with Morgan and where Sarah is first included in inner family via Chuck and Ellie’s mother’s day. I know they had game night in Wookie, which I loved, but this is different … means more. Push Mix is a nice window back to that evening when Sarah was became part of the family that would one day really be her family and in the mystery that she would play a part in solving. In that often ignored episode, Sarah learned about Chuck’s mom: a woman so much like herself, with whom she would have a unique bond; a woman she would help rescue; her future mother-in-law. Who could have known.

    I absolutely love s4’s story and mythology and family stuff.

    • atcDave says:

      One thing that always strikes as funny in Sizzling Shrimp is how Ellie seems ready and willing to yield Chuck to Sarah. Of course she doesn’t begin to understand the complexities of that relationship; but she does recognize both the true feelings, and underlying qualities of Sarah long before Chuck and Sarah have a clue.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, and I love that about Ellie. Ellie sees it all along. From Helicopter (different from Jill), Tango (she is into you), Sizzling Shrimp (new best gal). She is also quite content for Sarah to wear her mom’s charm bracelet. Not to mention AoD (you still have feelings for my brother) and Am Hero (her Sarah’s-special speech).

    • Faith says:

      I’ve always underrated season 1, with how fantastic season 2 is (with exceptions like Wookie and Truth) but lately I’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for it. Especially Tango.

  5. jason says:

    ‘chuck and I do anything for family’ was a great line, I wish TPTB had followed up at some time in the future, to remind the fans of the line, and that ellie DIRECTLY intended those words to get chuck off his duff to go save mary and sarah from volkov’s clutches. As it was, I am pretty sure the on screen meaning was more an indirect knudge, ellie did not intend for chuck to go rescue mary and sarah at the time.

    Another missed opportunity, showing sarah and mary / morgan and chuck meeting up at the end, as well as a bit more sarah (morgan and chuck too) with casey at the end, finding out they all were ok. I would have loved the whole gang in the hospital room at the end, rather than in 3 little locations, the end still could have been chuck on a knee, only this time with his entire family watching on. I thought the choppiness of the end – good choppiness, but still – took a little something away. That being said – is the scene in the cabin a top ten ever chuck scene – might be the best chuck saves the day scene for me in the entire series?

  6. joe says:

    Great job re-capping! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this episode; it’s so incredibly satisfying, even when you *know* what’s about to happen. Amazing.

    There’s so many ways to love so many scenes in this show, but the word “satisfying” comes up only occasionally in my mind. When Chuck faces down Volkoff in the cabin, Volkoff tied and Chuck pointing a gun at him, somehow it’s not at all un-Chuck-like. He’s his father’s son at that moment, and he fills the roll perfectly.

    This is the Zork playing nerd we first met trying to escape his own party? Yes, and I believe in the transformation and growth. It’s real, and it’s satisfying.

    There one thing I got on rewatch that I almost don’t want to bring up, because it might be the biggest spoiler of all time. But for now it’s speculation with a lot to say against it. So I will.

    Right after Chuck realizes he needs a plan, and with Morgan, collects office supplies to start in on it, the scene switches to Volkoff in his office at VI, somewhere in Moscow. That’s when Volkoff’s computers go haywire for a moment. He gets a message from a dead man, Orion, that says he wants his wife back.

    We’re allowed to believe it’s Chuck using his hacking skills, and indeed, we see him plant a virus later to get Hydra. But on rewatching, I’m not at all certain that he’s even started in on his plan. I’m not sure that Orion is dead, either; he’s “had to fake his death a few times.”

    If TPTB wanted to leave a hook to bring him back in S5, there it is. Now please forget I brought it up!

    • jason says:

      joe – one other bit that might support your notion of Orion: just b4 the cut to volkov, morgan says something like – oh no we need help.

      And …as long as you started, try this spec out – the series long big bad – Orion – beat that as a spitball spec LOL! My other candidate for the series long big bad has been beckman, or maybe graham – I am hoping it is someone who has been around from the start, only ones I don’t want to be the big bad, casey, sarah, chuck …. any other regular cast memeber is fair game as far as I am concerned. But orion does make some sense – he faked his own death easily, because shaw was on his side for example.

      • joe says:

        Good catch on the Morgan line, Jason. I think you’re right; it’s another clue and hook.

        But Orion as the ultimate betrayer? Naw. If he’s not Chuck’s ultimate guide, protector and inspiration (a la Obi wan and Gandolf), then who is? I firmly believe Chuck needs one of those, btw. I have to admit, though, it’s an interesting spec.

        Having said that, I’m firmly in the camp that Graham could prove to be the series long baddy. He’s in a good position for that, having affected the lives of both Chuck and Sarah in major ways. The best he can hope for is to end up an “ambiguous” character (I believe that’s “chaotic” in the D&D world). Beckman, OTOH, seems much more rehabilitated to me.

        I wouldn’t be too surprised to see her ending up as part of Team B’s new rogue operation. 😉

      • jason says:

        joe – listen to the chuck / decker interchange in 4×24 trying to convince yourself orion is or is not the big bad – chuck’s last line and decker’s response – kind of scary

      • thinkling says:

        I have a feeling Beckman will be eyes and ears for TeamB. Maybe an inside man to help find and bring down the PM.

        Whereas PapaB as the PM would be an intriguing plot, I think it’s too dark for Chuck. Decker’s laugh could mean 1) I don’t care if your dad was killed. 2) That was part of the plan, too, sucker. Or 3) You just think he was killed. If 3, then either a) Orion is held hostage somewhere or b) he’s the PM. I go with option 2 or maybe 3a. 3b just isn’t consistent with what we’ve seen of Stephen or the legacy/destiny themes of the whole series.

      • atcDave says:

        I can see a lot of permutations of Orion’s legacy, but I doubt they would go so dark as to make him the big bad. I hope we see Scott Bakula back in S5, although I have a feeling it would only be in flashback; I think they are well aware of the problem of “death has lost its sting” on Chuck and they are unlikely to do another resurrection.
        Now I love the idea of Graham being the master villain, it might be even more effective if he remains dead; and all that’s left is a master plan of evil. I agree Beckman is likely to remain coldly sympathetic towards our heroes, I’d hate for her to be a baddie at this point. I hope they go that route that Graham; I think it would have some emotional impact for Sarah, we aren’t sure how active his role in her life ever was but it could play out as a betrayal of sorts. I hope they DON’T introduce just some random new baddie that we’ve never heard of before; but my gut instinct is that’s exactly what it will be.

      • thinkling says:

        Graham would be good, because we never liked him. If it’s Graham, I want him alive, but how could that be. If he’s dead, someone would have to be carrying out his evil scheme. ??? We have Decker to hate, but he’s no master mind. We’ve grown too fond of Beckman, and she has helped TeamB in potentially career impacting ways. Who’s left? Maybe one of the faces of the Intersect panel from Subway. But they are as boring as all get out. Like Chuck and Sarah, I’m racking my brain.

        I think I would almost prefer a new mystery man to the other options. Volkoff was a mystery man, and look what a great big bad he turned out to be. Whoever it is could have been pulling Graham’s strings. Just finding out that Graham was part of it will be gratifying.

      • jason says:

        out of sheer boredom I will pursue this one more post – the intersect of his era turned hartley into volkov – what if the intersect from the same era turned a ‘volkov’ like psycho path into a ‘harley’ like character – i.e. steven bartkowski?

      • atcDave says:

        Did you ever see “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”? The villain had been dead for years, and all that was left was his mechanism coldly carrying out his master plan (seriously fun movie, by the way). I would love to see something like that with Graham; his followers would all likely believe he was still in charge, we would be hearing his name whispered and spoken in terror, but the man would never appear. He’s gone. It could cause a lot of confusion and chasing shadows. And since he was blown to a million pieces there’s no body to find and prove his death. That’s likely too subtle for Chuck, but I think it could work.

      • patty says:

        I think I would be able to accept a return of Orion a lot quicker than a return of Graham. Orion was killed outside of a lab that was specifically id’ed as the place Shaw was “fixed”. Graham should be in itty bitty icky pieces, given the explosion we saw, although whatever tech they used on Bryce and Shaw may work on burn wounds as well since they said it was some form of cellular regeneration.

        As a fanatic Stargate SG1 viewer I certainly can’t complain about characters coming back from the dead!! I think Daniel died or was presumed dead about 10 times in the 10 seasons of Stargate!

        I agree with the spec that Orion may be responsible for messing with Volkoff! If Orion was watching Chuck on the survellience in his room then he would have known the whole plan and may have decided to give Chuck a little help. Of course the idea of Chuck’s dad watching the survellience in Chuck and Sarah’s BEDROOM is just…… eewwww!

        In terms of Orion being a bad guy, it is possible that after Shaw shot him and they revived him they put an evil intersect into him, forcing him to work for the bad guys. We know that Hartley was able to influence the Volkoff persona in relation to Vivian at least somewhat, so it does make it possible that Orion could help Chuck as well.

      • joe says:

        Well, there’s surveillance, and then there’s surveillance, Patty. 😉

        Yeah, Graham is truly, most sincerely dead. I believe Tony Todd said so himself in a recent interview. Of course, this is Chuck

        All I’m sayin’ is that storywise, the opening is there for Orion’s return. Graham, not so much. Langston’s legacy could indeed be living on in the guise of Decker now, and I’ll be very happy if they chose to do that.

      • Herder says:

        I’m leaning towards Graham as some sort of ploter, Graham’s evil plan as it were. Beckman said that the reason Eve Shaw was the subject of Sarah’s red test was something that Graham took to his grave. But what if he were plotting with somebody, Graham could remain dead and the co-conspirator could know the answers to those questions and be carrying on his legacy.

      • patty says:

        I think you are right Herder. Of course given how cheerful Graham was about killing Chuck in First Date I have never liked him! At least Beckman managed to look suitably grave. Even if he had a “valid” reason for killing Eve Shaw the way the CIA used Shaws grief to manipulate him was really evil.

    • thinkling says:

      Joe, I’vê puzzled over that timing a few times, myself.

      • joe says:

        Oh yeah. And as many times as I re-watch, by the end I’m so happy that Chuck has finally proposed, I forget entirely about that very early scene in Volkoff’s office.

        It’s very cleverly done on their part. More than anything else, it’s that cleverness that makes me suspicious! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        They covered all their bases and then covered the cover.

      • atcDave says:

        That timing did jump out at me on this re-watch. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably nothing; but there does seem to be a possibility of an Orion re-appearance.

  7. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13) | Chuck This

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