Another week, another one of those episodes. Chuck Versus The Other Guy is another one of those episodes, originally intended as a season, and frankly series finale, it is chock-full of action and romance and international travel. And then there’s the tank. It’s almost too much.
This was the episode that would tie everything up and send Chuck and Sarah off into the sunset together. And they did. Sort of. After the jump.
Chuck Versus The American Hero was the end of season cliffhanger. Everything that has been brewing all season is now up in the air. Has Shaw turned evil? Will Sarah leave with Chuck? Will Chuck get the girl? Will he and Sarah stay as spies? Or will they choose to leave that life behind for happily ever after? Well, one cliffhanger at a time.
The end of Chuck Versus The American Hero reminded me of the Chuck Versus The Fat Lady cliffhanger. Unaware of the danger the new LI poses, Sarah, like Chuck heads out-of-town into unknown danger. But Chuck is on the case. Beckman, of course, has told him to do nothing, meaning Chuck is about to go for some serious overkill. After getting some digits from Casey’s mental little black spy book, Chuck is off to defeat the evil Shaw and save Sarah so they can be together.
Sarah meanwhile has been dragged into Shaw’s latest spy mission. Sorry I’m planning on going AWOL with the intersect being an ill-advised excuse to beg off. But Sarah is unaware this mission was planned as her last. Shaw was planning to kill her, until as he approaches Sarah, who is watching her red test, his gun still at the ready and finger on the trigger, a reflection on the monitors alerts him to someone’s presence. Sarah doesn’t see this, she just sees Shaw lower his gun, and it’s only later that Chuck arrives, startling them both. Yes, Shaw is evil, but he also apparently has a plan. Or at least doesn’t want to be blamed for Sarah’s death. Yet.
One full tactical strike complete with armor later Sarah is safe and Chuck is in hot water. Again. They had me at “I appreciated the tank”. Still, it’s tough, this communication thing. Especially when you’re planning on running away together, but you can’t quite discuss it in front of the boss, or your “boyfriend” who just found out you killed his wife, and then forgave you. Just your typical couple communications issues.
So everyone’s back together? Well not really. See Shaw was ready to go on a suicide mission, leaving Sarah to return to Chuck, but then Chuck saved Shaw so Sarah wouldn’t lose him and end up “settling” for Chuck, but then he told her he loved her a few times and said they needed to get away from the whole spy-thing and be together, and she was going to go even though she thought he’d changed too much, but he said he didn’t shoot the mole and she should trust him, and she did, but Casey helped her feel a lot better about it when he told her he shot the mole and Chuck wasn’t a killer so she was on her way to meet him when Shaw showed up and she couldn’t call Chuck so he thought she wasn’t coming and all she could say was “Thank you for saving me. I appreciated the tank.” and then Chuck left and Shaw found the director’s hideout and there was another mission so Sarah went to get Chuck, who had tied Morgan up in a bunch of controllers and was really drunk because he thought he’d lost Sarah to Shaw, and then there he was just asking her flat-out “do you love me?” and then he started rambling about being a fool, and so she said yes.
And that’s all it took.
All the worries about who they were, and assets and handlers and spies and regular guys and real girls and whether to run or stay, but none of that was what really mattered. Yes. That’s what mattered. The rest is details.
Well, about those details. Chuck is still a bit unsure of Shaw, and Sarah hasn’t quite figured out how to tell the guy whose wife she killed that she’s dumping him, and by the way thanks for forgiving me for killing your wife. This is complicated by the fact that the same guy just bailed the both of them out of a trap by, well, working out some of those anger issues about his wife.
OK, so Chuck isn’t exactly a master-spy, what with his aversion to guns and trusting nature, but hey, he’s got the girl. Sarah’s off for one last mission, then she promised it’s gonna happen, the two of them, sealed with a kiss. Life is good, so what could go wrong?
Oh, except that Beckman doesn’t think he’s field-ready and Morgan quit a managerial position in a down economy to be a spy, Shaw really is a traitor and has managed to get Sarah alone on a mission to Paris with him. And Beckman isn’t taking his calls anymore.
Time to be a spy.
But before he was a spy he was smart, as Casey points out, and it isn’t the intersect or flashing on Shaw’s every mission that’s going to save Sarah, it’s Chuck.
Sarah trusts Shaw. Why wouldn’t she. Shaw had his gun pointed at her as he watched the video of her red test, watched her kill his wife, and he lowered the gun and forgave her and tried to comfort her. That was why Sarah fell for him in the first place. He had a Chuck-like streak in him. He understood. The life they lived, the pain and broken promises, the lies and manipulation, and the secrets. And the loss. He understood it all. And he was there for her. After she lost Chuck, it was Shaw who was there for her. Suddenly it looked like she could have something real after all. He knew who she was and all about her past, he’d read her file. And she didn’t have to lie, or hide, or say a word. There was no baggage between them, and she could start fresh, with no lies. On paper Shaw really is perfect for Sarah, as written. As far as it goes.
So Sarah trusts Shaw enough to go to Paris with him. Clunky as some think that plot point, it is set up. But we know Shaw has always been evil…Right?
Now that Sarah sees Shaw’s true nature it’s too late. She’s paralyzed and helpless. The final scenes are amazing, Sarah’s tears, realizing she’ll never have that life she dreamed of, Shaw’s creepiness (or his usual demeanor now fitting the part as some might say), and Yvonne’s ability to sell and entire emotional scene with just her eyes.
Whatever your opinion of season 3, this was a great episode of Chuck. Issues previously not resolved, or not resolved to the liking of some notwithstanding we get that closure. The climactic scene on the bridge with Chuck still hoping to be able to talk Shaw down, then finally pulling the trigger, not for himself, but for Sarah, even as he worries it may once again cost him Sarah. But then Chuck always does the right thing.
And so we reach the end. Chuck wouldn’t give up on Sarah, in more ways than one, so he’s saved her, in more ways than one, and Chuck and Sarah are free to be together and ride off into the sunset.
Even after Dianne tries to have the last word.