“Guys, I know kung fu.”
Familiar words with not quite familiar reactions, at least from this poster. I should disclaim that this will probably mostly be a rant piece. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to Chuck season 5 (I am), or that I dislike Joshua Gomez (I like him, read this piece for proof), it’s that I’m apprehensive about what those 5 words will bring for Chuck in its last season and I shall attempt to convey those concerns within this piece. With me will be guest poster, @BDaddyDL to clarify and add his POVs on what fans have come to call Morgansect. There may be spoilers within so read on with caution.
The Intersect is symbolic | Remember the pilot? We meet this cute guy, sort of shy, definitely down on his luck and hopelessly, repeatedly striking out. We come to learn that he’s Charles “Chuck” Bartowski, the most charming guy on the planet. A guy whose life has dealt him unfavorably: kicked out from Stanford, living with his sister, basically underachieving but we knew who he was outside of all of that. We come to learn that he’s charming, heroic, with a vast height difference that intrigues and he’s funny. He’s got leadership qualities, and he sees more than meets the eye in our favorite spy Valkyrie, Sarah Walker. We fall in love instantly because, well, mostly because she does. He’s not just charming, he’s genuine, sentimental, caring and different. So lands the “thing” that changed his life: Bryce’s email containing the Intersect. Of course you can argue that Sarah changed his life but it all really begins with that email; Chuck references it himself in Masquerade. The Intersect was the manna from heaven for the Chuck Bartowski of the pilot. To be blunt, he deserved that break and he got it. It’s more than just an opportunity for a down on his luck “loser,” it’s the sun shining on his gloomy existence. An out from the bowels of mediocrity, an awakening from his reverie. Although for the foreseeable future he would come to see this as a burden, what it really was was the pathway to his destiny. To be that hero that he was always was (albeit in a smaller scale), “You’re good at your job, too, you know the one where you risk your life to save others, the one you didn’t ask for but were supposed to have.”
So now Morgan has the Intersect. Is that fair? All we’ve really seen from Morgan is that he’s a great friend, occasionally unknowledgeable about boundaries, and that his life revolves around Chuck bailing him out. So this “gift” called the Intersect, has he really earned it? There are talks of him being different from Chuck in that he’s psyched about it, dreaming of using it to hurt people without conscience and without remorse (this is of course meant to be humorous) because it’s this wicked cool toy that’s fallen into his very lucky hands. To be frank, Morgan doesn’t deserve it. Although it gives him a role, a very important role in the comedic aspect of the show, it really in essence devalues what the Intersect is and was and in turn makes a mockery of that which symbolically led Chuck to his path of heroism.
In the Chuck panel at Comic-Con a fan asked point blank, what we all wanted to know: “Is this season going to explain why Chuck’s brain is so special because it seems like everyone gets the Intersect pretty easily?” The answer being that they’ll differentiate Morgan’s reaction to the Intersect, just like they have differentiated everyone else’s reaction to the Intersect from PapaB to Vicky, etc. In theory, I’m not as opposed to the idea of an evolving Intersect, after all the whole point of Fulcrum, Ring, etc. was to evolve the Intersect to the point of being able to create an army of Intersects but emotionally it’s another matter. None of these guys were really able to fit well with the Intersect and whatever manner at which they acquired it came with it hardship, reverence and even emotional and physical tolls. Granted we don’t know any of that as it relates to Morgan as of yet, so we just have to wait and see. But right now for Morgan, it seems like a lark. Actually that’s not accurate, to be precise [spoilers ahead -highlight to see text], it won’t be easy for Morgan either what with “frosting his tips.” by mid-season.[spoiler end] And so Superman (Chuck) is without his cape (metaphoric cape). While I’m intrigued, I’m left wondering why not just leave the intersect out of the equation altogether?
What does this mean for Casey and Sarah? | In an hour long show, with only so much material to be spread out it’s only rational to be concerned about how that time gets spread. Granted contracts being what they are, they won’t completely phase out characters, but the emphasis on our favorite pairings might not be as present, much less our favorite characters. Team B used to be Chuck, Sarah and Casey and even then Casey was often slighted but still he was an important member of the mod-squad. [Spoiler ahead – again highlight to read]Even joking, quotes like these, “She foresees marital complications between Sarah and Chuck with, of course, Morgan in the middle,” are concerning[spoilers end]. I enjoy the dynamics when they are Chuck – Sarah, Morgan – Casey. I think the pairings work best when grouped as such. I’m concerned that Team Bartowski’s fat kid will be Sarah and Casey. With Morgan having the Intersect and Chuck being his handler, time needs to be allotted for the bromance and Morgan will inevitably save the day. A role that once came with it implied importance, understated emotion and surprising reveals.
It seems as if more and more in these interviews, Casey and Chuck&Sarah (as a couple) have become secondary. But perhaps most objectionable of all, Sarah has become secondary. These characters are intriguing, identifiable. They call on our sympathy, our hearts, our intellect. Casey’s growth from cold hearted G-Man to squeeing usher/Best Man was memorable and entertaining. Similarly Sarah Walker has transitioned from emotionally defensive “Agent Walker” with walls that rival the great wall of China, to “real girl,” complete with a husband and a future. These two story lines are something we wanted to see and definitely wanted to continue. To be frank, we’ve become attached to them and the very idea of shelving them for Morgan, is worrisome. Do we know this will be the case? We don’t. It’s important to remember that nothing has been filmed and no script has been leaked, but logic and reason at this point falls behind emotion. And emotionally we react unfavorably. Isn’t that why we watch? Isn’t that why we enjoy the show because we’re emotionally attached to these (Casey and Sarah specifically) characters and therefore want to see them evolve? Or even just be present? There were spells even in season 4 (a genius season!) where the relationships between those that we care so deeply about took a back seat to the bromance, for sophomoric humor. (Note: I’m not saying I don’t want Chuck to be funny, I do, but balance is essential, for a time during the latter portion of season 4 they’ve found that balance only to upend it again with this new venture). For a show that is at its core about relationships, this is concerning.
Five Hundred Forty Six Minutes, that’s all we have, just thirteen episodes of Chuck left. Yep, I did the math, five hundred forty six minutes. For our favorite show all we have left are those few minutes. I’ll admit it I can be selfish. I watch Chuck for Adam Baldwin, Zachary Levi, and Yvonne Strahovski. While I think Josh Gomez does a fantastic job, there are only so minutes available (546). So, when I hear at the panel yesterday, that Morgan Grimes is in a lot of scenes, well it disappoints me. To make matters worse Sarah Bartowski does not have a lot of interests. The wildcard enforcer seems to be a wife and a spy. Does she read? What’s her music taste? What movies does she like? All of these are good questions, and when Morgan seems to be all over the place, I doubt we will find out. Last year Casey spent most of his screen time being a mentor. He advised Morgan on how to enter the spy world. He advised Chuck on how to be a man, and advised Sarah on how to be….a real girl. With the Morgansect, Chuck will be his mentor. Sure Sarah will be there, but as his wife. So far, it appears that Sarah will become the costar that she listed herself as, for the Emmy’s.
H₂O, the chemical composition for water. Two molecules of hydrogen, and one of oxygen. Its simple. Add another molecule, and it’s something different. Hydrogen Peroxide (H₂O₂) has a lot of uses, but I have no interest in mixing it with Kool Aid. I think Morgan makes Chuck funny without having to make the big 3 look like idiots. Let’s face it, the Shipper Army is a large part of the fandom. We ship Sarah and Chuck, and while I don’t think every episode should be 42 minutes of them looking into each others eyes, (Joe shhh) I think that the reason why most of the fans are so devoted is to see Team B succeed, and then have Chuck and Sarah stare at each other for a while.
For a lot of us the intersect was almost sacred, only the Bartowskis could have it. Now it appears every Tom, Dick, and Morgan can have it. “You’re Special Son,” what happened with that? Now every time I see Morgan flash it will almost be like a Bronx Cheer to the fans. Hey the fans, ya know the ones who bought the sandwiches, and even hung around after the season of Sh@$. I just hope TPTB get the hint. Please, if you are reading this, take the hint.