Summer Rewatch – 4:15 Chuck vs. The Cat Squad

The CAT Squad

Much like Couch Lock earlier this season and Role Models before that, Chuck vs. The Cat Squad begins with a tribute of sorts to a television show from another era, Charlies Angels. You know – light, comedic, fun. You sit back in your recliner, eyes start to glaze over because the blondes are so very stylishly-nice to look at and the jokes are boozy-sophisticated-funny.

Chuck: Sarah?
Sarah: Groan… Head. Hurts.
Chuck: You’re… very dressed up, for bed.
Sarah: [Groans] Went to a club in Hollywood and then another one in Vegas and then an after-hours spot in Miami. Who knew that Mikhail Gorbachev could dance so well?

Odd thing, though. The episode refuses to stay that way.

Sarah: I don’t need help with my job! And I don’t need help with my past. So stop trying to help me, okay? I DON’T NEED HELP!

Oooooh! That’s not good. Sarah and Chuck are a loving couple, right? Sarah’s outburst is a punch that packs the wallop with a lot of momentum behind it. It has a history. In fact, if you had never seen Chuck before, you’d still know it was a BIG THING.

We’ve been dropped smack dab in the middle of a bunch of situations that are not so light and airy as Charlies Angels. Take Morgan, for instance.

Carina: Something is different about you. The confidence. The straight spine. It can’t be true, but… you’re behaving like you’re having regular sexual intercourse. Huh! Martin, get back in this bed!

Like he has most of this season (and very much like this episode), Morgan refuses to be merely a clown and just a sidekick. He’s still got a couple of problems with growing up, but is problem is not exactly Carina Miller.  His problem is the secrets he’s keeping from Alex. It’s not a small problem.

Zondra

Or take Zondra as another example. It was in 2003 that Sarah, Carina, Amy and Zondra were the “Clandestine Attack Team”, solving problems like the drug lord Gaez with high caliber machine guns. Turns out they also came up against one of those problems that no amount of fire power was going to solve, and that was problem was a loss of trust. It didn’t go away, either. Sarah can’t trust Zondra, Zondra can’t put up with Sarah’s mistrust, and that left Amy and Carina caught perpetually in the middle.

Amy

And then there’s Casey. Everyone’s got a past, and Casey’s past includes Kathleen. His first reaction might be to use the usual high explosives to extricate himself from this particularly sticky situation, but even Casey knows that’s not going to be effective this time. Kathleen is not going away because Alex is not going away and Morgan is going to be there bringing the sit-rep. to his attention constantly.

Oh, we’ve got the spy-adventure story with Gaez. But the real deal is laying underneath.

Ernie’s Take On The Under-story

Chuck and Sarah are still works in progress, and a work in progress. Sarah is still fiercely proud and self-reliant. She still doesn’t do vulnerability well, as we saw at the end of Seduction Impossible. Chuck is still determined to “fix” everything for Sarah, to make it all better, as we saw in Balcony. He’s a bit pushy and a bit nosy, but then again she did agree to marry him… Chuck understands something about the past that Sarah doesn’t. By ignoring the past, spies like Sarah and Casey feel as if they are freed from it, but in a way it robs them of a future. There are no lessons learned, no regrets, no “I’d do it different if I could” and so no growth or emotional movement. Their lives are characterized by packing light and constant travel, but they are lives that are headed nowhere. There is no final destination to look forward to. Well there wasn’t before Chuck.

As stuck as Chuck was when they met him, both location and lifewise, Chuck is different. As soon as someone told him that his life was not allowed to go beyond certain bounds he rebelled and pushed back. The slap to the face woke him up.

Chuck has faced his past, and reconciled with it. Bryce, Jill, his father, his mother, and even to an extent Sarah, as much as she’ll let him. Does Chuck carry some baggage because of that? Well he has. He’s had issues with trust and abandonment and lost opportunities and moving on with his life, all because he can’t seem to let go of the past. As he’s dealt with it all he carries something different with him, a life full of memories that can be accepted as a part of him and his life, even if they aren’t the most pleasant, and a life that has direction and purpose and progress. We saw Ellie doing the same thing in Suitcase, dealing with a past she felt might come back to haunt her even as she was determined to face her future as a mother.

Face to Face With The CAT Squad

While Sarah seems to be moving on with life and have a goal, she still feels the weight of her baggage holding her back. We saw in Seduction Impossible that her unwillingness to deal with the past had her ready to manipulate Chuck into giving up the big family wedding with his newly re-united family he’d always dreamed of. All because she didn’t want to re-connect, or talk about, her past. And whether she’s ready yet, we don’t know, but at least she’s acknowledging the terror, and how having some family around to talk about it does help. Ellie has had her own share of baggage in her life, and Devon helped her with it, but Ellie realized he could only help her, really help, when she was ready to be helped. Then they could be a team, after talking about it. Chuck just dives right in. And Sarah is about to come face-to-face with her past. The C.A.T. Squad.

She isn’t exactly thrilled. See, Carina was the mellow one.

True to form, the C.A.T. Squad shakes things up a bit, and after an unexpected entrance, a night of partying that either bled into two or involved procuring supersonic transportation to Miami and back (how they may have done that boggles the mind), an awkward (for some) morning and breakfast, and Sarah thinks her trip down memory lane is done. Sorry Sarah, you didn’t face your past, you visited it like a tourist on a long weekend. You aren’t getting off that easy.

Joe On The Fixers

Did I imply that this was ever a light and fun episode? I take it back. The people who blithely think they can just waltz in and fix things are mistaken. Sadly so. Casey is willing to say so outright.

Casey: Y’know I used to be like you, to try and fix everything. Not now. Example: Grimes suggested I approach Alex’s mom. I was tempted at first. But, ah- she’s moved on. So – getting your life disrupted… I let it lay.

It’s true – letting go of that past is not easy at all, and every time Chuck tries to “fix” Sarah’s problems he seems to make it worse. That’s their history. She would much rather be the one saving Chuck from his problems, being the strong one, being the “handler”. For Sarah, that’s easy. Relying on him for help, or anyone else for that matter, is not.

You may not have noticed, but Carina’s one of those fixers too. She loves to jump in the middle of people’s lives and stir things up, her way. She thinks Morgan’s problem is that he doesn’t have enough fun (read, women) in his life and she’s always ready to give the little guy a thrill. What she didn’t expect was to be told off, certainly not by the little bearded man.

Morgan: Okay, listen. I don’t know what it’s gonna take to get through that thick, spy skull of yours, but you need to understand something. You are NOT the only game in town, and I am in love with somebody else.
Carina: You are really angry.
Morgan: You’re damn right I am. I’m through with you, and I’m through being your slave.

Casey is – what’s the word – resigned? He’s resigned to things as they are with Kathleen, and Morgan is something else entirely. He is angry, angry enough to tell Carina to “go to hell” in the very next line he speaks. That, from the mouth of a character whose been a clown and a sidekick. And you know what? On re-watch, I share his anger. I feel Casey’s resignation and capitulation to reality, and I understand Sarah’s frustrations. This episode is more than a mere bow to Charlie’s Angels.

Ernie On The CATS

The C.A.T.s are back, Carina wants Morgan, and Casey is hunting unicorns. Oh yeah, and Chuck is going to fix this for Sarah. The mission may be Gaez, but Sarah is bent on finding closure once it is clear the mole is setting her up. She’s determined to prove herself right, to justify the ill will and the hard feelings she caused, and harbored all those years. Seems letting go of the past isn’t so simple as Sarah (and Casey) think. There is a lot of investment in being right if the only thing you live for is a cause. Sooner or later the possible wrongs start to make you question if you are doing right and if your greater good justifies what you’ve done, or given up.  Sarah needs to know she was right. Chuck, he just wants to help Sarah reconcile with the past, to find out what happened and face it so that it CAN be part of the past as opposed to more baggage she carries around. He is after all Sarah’s own personal baggage handler But before that, I want to talk about Casey and Morgan.

Part of facing the past is facing yourself and who you were versus who you are, or want to be. In Seduction Impossible we saw a Casey and a Morgan determined to fix things. It was a marvelous foreshadow of CAT Squad. Morgan was determined to fix things with Kathleen. To get everyone to agree that it was all one big misunderstanding and that they could all move on, no problem. But Casey understood, at some level something else. He made a decision, based on the information he had, and he was probably wrong. Would Casey have “died” and dedicated his life to service if he knew he had a child on the way? From what we know of Casey, certainly not. But with only a woman he loved, he did decide. He decided she wasn’t enough. Was it right? Who knows. But it was his decision, and not only he, but Kathleen and Alex have to live with it. So why doesn’t Casey want to meet Kathleen? Well easy, she’ll hate him for leaving her for a job at the Buy More. Right. Again, you aren’t getting off that easy. Casey, you did leave her for a job. Just one you thought was worth it.  Suddenly, your sage advice to Chuck, don’t try to fix things, looks a lot like, dare I say it, cowardice.

Come here, Martin.

Morgan, well, you took a stand way back in the day of Three Words. Carina couldn’t even remember your name right, and kept asking for favors, but then you read her the riot act. It’s Morgan, and you are not the only game in town, so take your suitcase and your leave. Oh Morgan, you were determined to show some backbone and let her know you were not her toy. Until of course she got you into bed and you caved to everything. Call out in the night, restricted Facebook friend, the contact information preciously guarded… Nice try. See Carina is the smart one. She’ll call your bluff. Sometimes that sucks, and you find yourself a helpless hapless nerd, overjoyed she remembered you. Sometimes it helps, like when a video tells you there is no running away from this one, no matter how tempting the offer. In the end Carina is about one thing, you want it? Prove it. Think you’re in love Chuck? Sure it’s not just the fact that a smoking hottie seems to want you? Think staying here, for now is what you want, or that it’s going to work? OK Walker, here’s what you’re dealing with. The CATS back together… Interesting. Zondra is the traitor? Prove it. Walker in a white dress? We’ll see. Morgan off the market? Prove it.

Joe’s Gut Reacts

So, you got that anger too? Honestly, it’s easy to miss because the wrongs are righted so gently, and the anger and frustrations disappear before you realize Morgan’s truly upset.

It starts with the most gentle of characters, Ellie. We’ve seen her get all big-sister/doctor on Chuck, and we’ve seen her supportive of Morgan before. But watching her be a friend is something much more rare.

Sarah: I’m really excited for the party, but digging into the past – old friends and family – it’s um, a bit complicated for me.
Ellie: And Chuck just – dives right in.
Sarah: Head first.
Ellie: Well, I could talk to him.
Sarah: No, I should probably try and get over the – terror – that I’m feeling right now.
Ellie: [laughing] Sarah, if you ever need to talk about complicated family situations, wedding stuff, anything – you can come to me.
Sarah: Thank you. I appreciate that. It does feel good to talk about it. Anyway, have fun.
Ellie: Well – not likely, but, thank you.

Well, of course, everyone whose ever tried to fix things [Joe raises his hand shyly from the back of the room and says “guilty”] learns pretty quickly that a lot of the time no one wants you to step in and actually do something. We all learn that listening is often the best and only thing to do. Know what’s great about Ellie? She also knows that there are exceptions and that her brother is actually pretty good at the doing part, too.

Ernie Faces The Truth

So yeah, back to the CAT squad, the mission, and all that. Chuck is going to fix things for Sarah. Well he will, in his own inimitable way. Sarah, ever the spy, wears a dress with several hundred places to conceal a knife as opposed to the more, (ahem) traditional spy-wear the other CATs choose, and so Sarah gets the drop. But by forgetting about the past, by refusing to deal with the past, and refusing to consider her past decisions, Sarah is uniquely vulnerable. Gaez knows what she wants to hear. He knows she’d accept it gratefully, without question. And he’d probably have given her that, and used it to turn Zondra, or manipulate Sarah, or Chuck. But he doesn’t get the chance.

Oh Chuck, how we love you, and how your occasional cluelessness when it comes to Sarah ends up saving the day. Before Gaez can permanently poison the well, Chuck interrupts, temporarily denying Sarah the closure she seeks, and Gaez, and Amy, the opportunity they seek. But Sarah, she just sees Chuck in the way of what she wanted to hear. Chuck wanting to fix things got in the way of her hearing she was right. She wanted closure, even if it was a lie, just to let go of her past. Chuck made her face it. Zondra, like a real friend, helped. In a very weird “let’s beat on each other” way.

In the meantime Chuck is now carrying the baggage of the entire CAT squad. I’ll leave the reader to decide the degree of the metaphorical versus physical truth of that statement, and it’s implications.

Joe Wonders If Chuck Can Multitask

Watch Sarah watching Chuck on the monitor as Gaez and Amy are going after him. “He has a plan,” she says. “At least, I think he does.” But what the heck is he doing? Chuck is not only shopping for various small electrical appliances, he’s also fretting to Sarah, obsessing over what Ellie’s told him, and apologizing for being such a fool.

Shopping, apologizing, planning and saving the day

No, he’s not. He’s dodging the killers, fashioning a weapon from a waffle iron and a CD, flashing on the skill he needs and apologizing for being such a fool. It’s known as multitasking these days, and Chuck’s actually pretty remarkable at it. Did Sarah’s faith in him waiver for a second? No, it didn’t. She clearly didn’t know what he was going to do and clearly worried for him, but believed in Chuck even without knowing precisely what he was up to. That’s the very definition of having faith in someone, and right now, I can’t tell you how important that is.

It’s almost perfect that Chuck&Sarah have come to tacitly trust each other like that, even if it’s not immediately apparent to the outside world.

And you know, that’s the way it was for me too. I’ve often said that I really didn’t care for that unmotivated bumbling whiner that Chuck used to be. I would cringe at the guy with the girlish screams who compared rather unfavorably to Bryce and Cole when they were side by side. Was that Chuck back, shopping in the Buy More, unfocused and ineffective? It turns out that you gotta have a little faith in the character. It might have looked like that Chuck was back, but that lasted for only about two seconds.

Zac Levi and TPTB gently played me for about that long, and the realization made me smile.

Morgan doesn’t have quite so serious a problem. What he’s searching for is a way to be open and honest with Alex in a way that doesn’t scare her away. It’s something pretty much everybody in a serious relationship faces. Suffice it to say that he too needs to have a little faith.

Carina herself tries to fix his situation. The spy with the e-mail address Carina@Azzkicker.com realizes her games playing has just cost Morgan and she seriously tries to make amends properly by apologizing to Alex. Like usual with the fixers, it doesn’t work. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to, because Morgan has learned enough from Chuck to be honest and forthright. He puts his faith in Alex and finds that it pays off.

Oh. And the rift between Zondra and Sarah? Amy’s duplicitous – she’s fooled everyone. My only complaint about this episode is that we didn’t really see a proper on-screen reconciliation between Zondra and Sarah, only their teaming up with the rigorously neutral Carina to stop Amy from pummeling an Intersect that refuses to punch out a woman. I think we can safely assume the reconciliation happened formally off-screen.

Ernie Keeps The Faith

Well, Truth has an annoying tendency to come out. It makes you face mistakes. It makes you face yourself. We all like to be right, but both Sarah and Zondra have some humble pie to swallow. And it is interesting to watch this. Sarah, the new Sarah, gently seeks to bring her old friends into this new reality where she deals with her past and fixes her mistaakes rather than runs from them. She has a real life and can have a real wedding with real bridesmaids who are real friends, not disposable friends.

And then there is the spy thing. Spies hate to lose. The problem is that by nature they don’t play fair. Carina has an amends to make. She crossed a line, perhaps one she set for herself. Martin had moved on, yet she still wanted to win, to be right, to take what others thought they had. It’s a tough thing to face your past, who you are, who you’ve become. To introduce doubt where there was none, a lipstick smear, well, maybe that pushed things a bit.  Fun and games and stirring pots might be OK for emotionally detached super-spies, but when there are real feelings involved, maybe it needs to be dialed down a notch.

Speaking of dialed down, let’s party.  One can’t help notice the contrast between the parties, all of them.  Hmm, where they pointing us at the party girl?  Well it was pretty obvious, as Chuck says, nobody is that perky.  So, note the evening Chuck had planned for a CAT squad re-union.  A quiet evening in with some wine and cheese and fruit.  Perfect for a newly engaged couple re-uniting with old friends.  And not quite the CAT squad’s cup of tea.  Their idea of a party involved continental travel just to get into the right after-hours place.  And apparently a lot of drinking and dancing.  Sarah’s let’s party is the perfect wrap-up of the new lifestyle.  She no longer needs to try  so hard to have fun.  She has a family, a (soon to be) husband and a home that fills in the places in her life where nightclubs and dancing and drinking couldn’t.  It is also funny to note that Zondra, Carina, and Casey hang together, almost as if they are afraid to mingle, or don’t feel part of this world.  Perhaps add a yet.  Sarah, she lives in that world where engagements and families and weddings are real, not a mission.  In that world she’s learned she still needs a bit of help.  Chuck really does help her, despite the diving in headfirst.  But some things she’s not quite ready for help with, from Chuck at least, given Chuck’s eagerness and style.  So Sarah Walker, who claims not to need help, who doesn’t do vulnerability well and is fiercely proud and independent does something amazing.  She asks for help.  As Sarah and the other CATS see this for real stuff is a bit scary.

Having people you can count on to help you through makes it less so.

– joe & Ernie

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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21 Responses to Summer Rewatch – 4:15 Chuck vs. The Cat Squad

  1. Waverly says:

    I really appreciate being able to gain new insights on old episodes. Thanks for the wonderful “review”. It also makes me wonder how many of your deductions were actually intended by the writers — are we reading too much into the characters?

    Alas, I can’t actually re-watch it, since I prefer DVDs and don’t want to spend double.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      You raise an interesting point, about what is writer intent and what the viewer may read into a show that might not be there. However here is an interesting example in my local paper recently upon the death of Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of Gilligan’s Island.

      It seems a college professor had written a book on how Gilligan’s Island was an allegory for America in the cold war and the resilience of American values and character. Well it turns out that the Sherwood Schwartz had written Gilligan’s Island as an allegory for the virtues and resilience of democracy and American values.

      Writers do write some of these things into shows intentionally, and probably on occasion they are unintentional but there because of how we’ve internalized so many stories or tales or metaphors. In any case, it’s fun. 😀

      • atcDave says:

        I may have read the same story; it is funny both how the writers often do intend deeper truths, and how we often find more truths whether intended or not.
        So (Sherwood) Schwartz did intend deeper meaning for Gilligan’s Island; while Tolkein always insisted he did not for Lord of the Rings.

      • Waverly says:

        Well, the bigger the message, the more likely it is to be intentional, and that would certainly apply to whole story lines.

        I was actually referring to the smaller things, such as the motivations of individual characters in particular situations. Certainly we know that some phrases are chosen simply as homages to earlier sayings or to movies. But I guess we won’t know until the writers tell us.

  2. joe says:

    Thanks, Waverly.
    I know what you mean about the expense. Getting all the DVDs at one time is quite an investment, (I still have my season 4 shows on the DVR, fortunately).

    I still get something out of each episode every time I watch, perhaps just a word that a writer stuck in there, one that resonates with me.

    Chuck is just popular entertainment, but it’s done one thing for me. It’s made palatable some of the truths that I should have learned a long time ago, truths that came from parents, friends, teachers – you know the list – things that I should have appreciated earlier.

    But hey, sometimes I did! I’ve had my “little Chuck” moments too, when I did the right thing, or got to be a little hero or even get the girl. It’s more than enjoyable to recognize those moments when some character has them in an exaggerated manner and to be able to say “I’ve been there!”

    If there’s anything genius in the show, it’s in the way it’s made me think that this is happening to the nerds and girls at the cash registers I see every day. They’ve had their moments too and have a bit of that same specialness we see in Chuck and Sarah, probably more than I will ever know.

  3. jason says:

    I have not rewatched this very often, I really liked in on rewatch, no surprise i guess – lots of action, lots of heart, a little bit of romance & fun, less comedy than usual – which I think may be true of many of the great chuck eps. A really good episode for ellie fans, two ellie – sarah conversations, and a very good ellie – chuck conversation – those always contribute to the show’s heart! Couple of other random lines:

    * – sarah says to ellie ‘it does feel good to talk about it’ – my how our girl has grown up
    * – ‘excellent the plan is going perfectly’ – always better when that line comes from a baddie
    * – ‘perfect’ at the end sarah describing chuck, that is a trend that continued into the cliffhanger ep
    * – and ‘never know, maybe we’ll add another member to the cat squad’ as ellie and sarah hug, how neat would a season 5 ep be with ellie taking amy’s spot?

    also, it has been my contention since the cast is a bit thin in ‘B’ characters to add to the story, andf that a narrator would help move stories along, this was one of the few eps chuck used a narrator, I sure liked it

    finally, it should be mandatory that chuck and sarah have one scene in their bed every episode, this was one of the few times sarah did not occupy 95% of the bed, but that made her and chuck no less effective in delivering a very entertaining scene – hot bed comedy works just fine in this show

  4. Waverly says:

    On a completely unrelated note, I was watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Guess which Chuck actor I just saw? Mark Christopher Lawrence, an orderly at the hospital.

    • atcDave says:

      Does that mean you didn’t notice Linda Hamilton? (Sorry, I’m being stupid on purpose)

    • Amron says:

      I just watched “The Patriot” for the first time and it was a little hard to me to stop thinking about Adam Baldwin as Casey, so it was a real shock when he burned that church full of people…

  5. herder says:

    Interesting example of how to do a guest star and sort of how not to do it. Zondra was a new character but by the end of the episode I suspect most viewers wanted her to come back as they would like to know more about the Zondra/Sarah dynamic. I thought that Carina got a bit lost here in the sense that there wasn’t much for her to do except torture Morgan whereas I tend to like her poking Chuck and Sarah with a stick (metaphorically) to get a reaction out of them.

    Amy and Baez really didn’t make that much of an impression on me, neither villain seemed all that threatening. So I guess one of my wishes for season five is a return of Zondra and Carina, if they do come back give them a real story, I don’t want to see them used the way they were in Cliffhanger where they were essentially potted plants – or may as well have been for all that they were given to do.

    • joe says:

      Herder, that’s pretty astute. You’re absolutely right about Carina. Compared to the two other times we’ve seen her, she did get a bit lost.

      If I have one misgiving about Cliffhanger, it’s in the fact that Mini and Mercedes basically had cameo appearances. Like usual with the season enders, I can’t imagine how they could pack more into a 1 hr. episode, though.

      Question for Dave and the Fan-Fic writers: It would seem that a fertile area for exploration would be CAT Squad stories. Has anyone attempted that yet?

      If not, I’d say – go for it!

      • atcDave says:

        Some writers have made pretty good use of Zondra, and Carina has been a fan fiction favorite from the beginning. Although I haven’t seen much about the CAT squad specifically, but early history for Sarah tends to be done cautiously anyway, must writers and readers seem far more interested in Charah stories.
        But I expect to see more usage of Zondra and Carina. There has always been a shortage of canon friendly spy figures, and characters with a connection to Sarah are even more uncommon.
        I also really hope we see more of them in S5. If they were fired along with teamB we could see them as recurring contractors; or if they’re still federal they could show up when they need to do some “off the books” work.

    • herder says:

      Just read today that Mercedes Masohn, who played Zondra, has got a role as a regular on the Bones spin off Finder. I guess the chances of a return by her just dropped quite a bit, pity, I liked the character.

  6. Rev says:

    It’s true that Canon has relatively few friendly spy figures, but in truth there is no limitations on using OC’s, so there is no real need for a million characters from Canon. Look at Frea for example, Fates has plenty of friendly spy figures, and not so much spy figures, who are still allies to Chuck and Sarah. The difference is Frea is capable, and willing to create her own characters. Still Sarah’s history, and the CAT’s being a big part of that is definitely an mostly unwritten page atm.

    • atcDave says:

      That is true, but OCs have a few built in hurdles to overcome. The first is just the need to introduce them, it takes time that could otherwise be used for moving the story along. The second big one is that I’ve seen a few OCs that dominate so much of the story they actually become a hindrance; I mean I read Chuck fiction really to read about the characters and setting I love. And while I’ve come to feel quite a bit of affection towards a number of OCs too, I’ve also seen a few stories that are really about the original character, and NOT really about teamB. That’s sort of a turn off to me. It’s especially a shame when the writer is clearly talented and enthusiastic.

      I guess I’d say bottom line is, OCs can work, but they require far more effort than appropriate canon characters do.

      • Rev says:

        I do understand what you mean Dave, and I agree fully that creating an OC can be a definite risk. But honestly, Zondra in essence would be just as much of an OC as a complete OC, we don’t know much about her(other than a hint or two about her CAT squad past, we don’t know anything about what makes that girl tick). What I mean is, to make an OC work, it has to be not only an appropriate character, but you need to create a depth there, and for Zondra to work, to have her really work as an interesting character that really adds to the dynamic of a story, the same basically goes. And in truth, the same actually goes for Shaw. I mean it’s easy to use Shaw as a villain, after all the whole fandom hates him, but too often in fanfiction we see him being flat, and he just pops up, spouts his evilness, and we dont really get to see why. What makes the difference between a good fic, and an awesome one, is the progress, and the changes from the characters, and the way the creator of said fic portrays that.

        And now I feel bad about making this discussion about FanFiction rather than this episode.

      • atcDave says:

        Some good points rev, I can’t argue with that!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      One word. S#@w. The OC that many feel ate the show. In the fanfiction context I’ll say this, one of my least favorite types of ff is where Chuck and Sarah and the rest of TeamB serve the “awesome” new OC. The depth of S#@w hatred always kind of puzzled me until I saw it in that context. There were existing characters, like Casey and Beckman to act as either mentors or to push Chuck into changing, or like Sarah, to express confidence in his achievements and his ability to grow and mature, but by giving those things to one poorly developed plot device for the sake of a really cool spy-plot they not only diminished the previously developed characters, but made the entire story seem more contrived to essentially push S#@w front and center.

  7. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The CAT Squad (4.15) | Chuck This

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