Chuck vs. Honeymooners Feels Good

Europe, pastries, Jeffster unplugged, a kick ass tandem fight and “Feeling Good,” these are just some of the things that makes Chuck vs. the Honeymooners one of Chuck’s finest (if not the finest if you ask Dave). As Ernie pointed out in his recap of Other Guy, Chuck and Sarah have reached the point of no return, and are now free to ride off into the sunset and so they did, in Honeymooners. Although the ride in this case is a train–a train trip that suspiciously took far longer than is possible according to our friends from France–this was still Chuck and Sarah’s moment, their happily ever after and it was all that and more.

Chuck vs. the Honeymooners was the episode that illustrated that there can be more than WT/WT and that there can be life after happily ever after (a fun and satisfying happily ever after it was). It’s the episode many critics turn to to illustrate that which most shows are too afraid to cross. So join Dave and me for some genius…

Chuck's going to need a walker when Walker is through with him.

We start off with an eerie John Carpenter look-a-like. An ominous beginning to what would be one of Chuck’s most lighthearted episodes, but just as we start to fear what’s become of our favorite couple, we’re reminded that things in Chuck are never as it seems. John Carpenter turns out to be compartment service and a very radiant, happy Sarah and scruffy but equally overjoyed Chuck opens the door and all is well in the world. I can tell you that this is a welcome sight for me, not just as a shipper but as someone who rooted for and identified with these characters. Throughout the “Backwards Walk”-s, and the “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”-s I’ve grown to miss that smile, that which makes an already beautiful Yvonne Strahovski even more gorgeous. A happy Sarah and an equally happy Chuck and all of a sudden the spirit is uplifted.

And we learn something with it, turns out music hasn’t been Sarah’s priority. Quell surprise. A fantastic call for continuity on one of Chuck’s most endearing and yet subtle details, Sarah Walker isn’t one for music. Chuck tried to find a common cultural interest with Sarah through music during their first-first date, only to strike out (but hey at least she wasn’t a cannibal). She was seen buying iPod speakers in Cougars but that turned out to be a red-herring, or maybe she bought it for work to use with wiretap recordings or what not, either way music still wasn’t the top of Sarah’s interests. Enter Honeymooners, but more on this later.

So Chuck and Sarah pledge to run away together and never look back. Beckman’s “Shaw incident” was eerily accurate, that’s how I prefer to think of it but more importantly, another iPhone bites the dust. Soon celebrities will be calling for donations to save the iPhones, something must be done!

In any case, Beckman’s got a problem on her hands: two of her best agents going AWOL. If you missed it, do pause it at Beckman’s briefing of Casey, there’s a hilarious photo of Morgan (Joshua Gomez) eating a hamburger that is bigger than him. So Casey is tasked to retrieved Chuck and Sarah with Morgan as his secret weapon. This’ll be fun.

Enter Ellie and Awesome. “Babe, this didn’t happen by accident!” Sometimes some lines just fit. Honeymooners didn’t just happen by accident, not the euphoria, not the commitment and definitely not the growth. All that’s come before had a hand in Honeymooners, some more than others but they all gave way to one of the best episodes of Chuck. Chuck and Sarah running away together, putting each other’s needs above their own, prioritizing the other above it all, these have been a long time coming. Just as Chuck growing up and moving away from Ellie is a long time coming. We cut to a shot of Ellie looking out of her apartment into Chuck’s. They’ve had such a tight bond since their mom left them and it’s not easy to be separated, even when one chooses to leave. Chuck didn’t make his decision to leave Ellie and Morgan lightly, that’s how much Sarah’s come to mean to him. Similarly Ellie didn’t choose to leave Chuck lightly and go off to Africa, in fact the decision is still weighing on her.


Even after an awesome S4 I think this may still be my favorite Chuck episode.  Of course many Chuck episodes have earned “more than 4 stars” from me; but Honeymooners is such pure joy from beginning to end its hard to imagine anything beating it.  The Chuck crew is consistent in not understanding time, as Faith mentioned above, the length of a train ride from Paris to Lyon can only mean one thing, Chuck and Sarah were eating themselves into a stupor (six meal carts for a 2-hour train ride!).  This episode is considerably less risqué than some have assumed.  I’d also agree with Faith about the smiles, and I think we get more smiles for Sarah before the opening credits than in the whole rest of the season before!  And they don’t stop there.

I can’t argue that the proceeding episodes made this one particularly sweet, just as it feels so good when one stops banging their head on the wall; but I think this episode would feel joyous even with a less traumatic set up.  We finally get how Prague should SHOULD have gone.

We get a pretty good Morgan usage in this episode; he is funny, saves the day with his unique brand of clever cluelessness, and is NOT over used.


From melancholy to joy. Chuck and Sarah aka The Charlesesez are finally out of their compartment and apparently “Europe is genius!” Chuck once asked Sarah to take a vacation with him, I believe Europe was mentioned, only for her to turn him down. Sarah later on asked Chuck to run away with her and he turned her down. Maybe they just didn’t have the right timing, because fate it seems is calling. This time they’re doing what they dreamed, together.
Chuck: “No matter where we go or what we do…”
Sarah: “So long as we’re together right?”
Though they knew they wanted the other long ago, it seems details always seemed to get in the way. That’s no longer the case and Chuck and Sarah are embarking on life’s greatest adventure, together. But the decision to run away together is not without its caveat because, pum purum! Juan Diego Arnaldo is in their train and their calling, is quite literally calling.

These guys were born to be spies, together.” (Yet another one of those lines that just fit). Though their priorities have firmed, and their future is seemingly set, they’re still heroes. They couldn’t help but step in when the world is in need. Difference being, now they won’t let that keep them away from being together. I don’t think we would have seen Chuck step into the role quite as confidently in the past as he did here. Sarah? Well Sarah is Sarah, her “we do everything big in Texas,” complete with full Texan accent tickles. Drunk Sarah? Even better. It’s very hard to erase a lifetime of cons and roles and really why should she? So we enter the conflict within the episode. They were short-sighted. Though wanting to be together is admirable, and let’s face it welcome, doing so by way of changing who you are isn’t the way to go about it either. Running away and never looking back? Too easy. So “one last mission before we quit?” Not quite. Chuck and Sarah were meant to be who they are, and it’s only right that they fulfill, nay live their destinies. Though thankfully in this case, together; with a twist, because the “real girl” is finally getting her moment.


Chuck and Sarah’s big adventure together is a brilliant piece of comedy, made extra satisfying because of the fundamental change that’s happening to our favorite show here.  More and more, we’ll see romantic comedy replacing some of the darker thematic elements used previously.  No more “asset/handler” issues, no more stone-walling from Agent Walker, and no more wt/wt.  We get a beautiful homage that Nick and Nora Charles would truly be proud of, and the promise of much more of this type to come.  This is also where we first learn that Yvonne Strahovski is very good at comedy.  For the first two seasons she was brilliant as the show’s emotional heavy; and now with the weight of the world off of Sarah’s shoulders, it turns out she’s funny too.

This is also where I wish it was easier for show runners to make major changes to a show’s format.  Even apart from thinking this episode was too long in coming; I would have loved it if Chuck and Sarah had stayed on the run for a while, like maybe the entire back arc.  A couple episodes of Chuck, Sarah, a handful of guest stars; and no other characters in sight.  Maybe culminating in how they decide to return to the CIA and Burbank.  But now I’m getting into fan fiction territory.  I want more because this episode was so good.  Other wonderful things do lie ahead; but this one will always be special.


You’re right Dave, the honeymoon ended too soon because Casey eventually found them, as you knew he would. Morgan, “the intersect on Chuck” satisfied his title. Who knew Chuck was a DC Comics guy? And so they’re off to Paris with Morgan “the nut job” keeping the plane afloat. (Side note about the plane scene, that baby looked very fake. Blame the budget cuts.) Whatever Morgan was doing worked because they landed safely in Paris, as did Morgan’s secret pouch and Canadian flag knapsack.

Meanwhile Chuck and Sarah proceed with their plan. Having stolen handcuffs from a guy that looks strangely like Yvonne Strahovski’s real life boyfriend (yes I know he really is her real life boyfriend), and pain pills from an unsuspecting French skier, they’re off to confront the bad guys, but not before foreshadowing wedding vows once more, this time in front of a mirror. Sarah’s facial expression was dreamy, as if she really was pledging her life to Chuck, as if the rings weren’t from the lamps, and the commitment was real. Then again, the commitment was real, though the rings were not. Brilliant shot and scene.

Fast forward to apprehending the bad guys and the return of Mrs. Charles, “Hi y’all it’s me! From you alls room!” Hilarious. Zachary Levi’s French accent was off but his Texan accent was spot on. Between the two of them, the accents completely made the scene. Who didn’t laugh when Chuck remarked, “she’s a tigress” at which Sarah said, “rawr!” Too funny.

Just like that, two of the bad guys were apprehended, or were they? Casey finally caught up to Chuck and Sarah. (Second side note, if you pause at the hand holding by Chuck and Sarah during the scene when Casey was interrogating them, you’ll notice that the hands aren’t Chuck and Sarah’s. They were far too old to be Yvonne and Zac’s hands). And Morgan tries to charm a fellow Canadian. Things are again never as they seem because the Canadian was Basque–though her “stay away from me, or I’ll cut you” was obviously Canadian (just kidding Canadian buddies)–and Chuck and Sarah caused an international incident. It turns out that Juan Diego Arnaldo was turning himself in and Chuck and Sarah just knocked out two Interpol agents. A fantastic one-handed fight scene wasted but it’s all for the best because a better one came later.

Secret’s out, Chuck and Sarah are quitting. In a brilliant parallel, Casey tries to talk Sarah out of quitting just as Morgan tries to talk Chuck out of leaving.
Morgan: “I can’t believe you’re just quitting, walking away from everything.”
Chuck: “I’m not, I’m walking towards something”
Chuck’s right, he’s not leaving so much as walking towards something, towards Sarah. But I prefer how Sarah puts it,
Casey: “That’s it you’re throwing away your life for Bartowski?”
Sarah: “I’m making a life.”
Simple words and yet so much meaning. We see just how much Chuck and Sarah have come to mean to the other, “if this is what she/he wants…” and we hear how they see this new journey together. Of course Juan Diego Arnaldo had the best line, “does it have to be a choice?”

Decision made, for the moment, Chuck and Sarah depart. The first bars of “Leaving on a Jetplane” plays. Yet another brilliant piece of editing. The lyrics chosen worked on many levels: Chuck and Sarah are leaving a life behind and Ellie is leaving Chuck. “Oh babe, I hate to go, I hate to go.” I consider Jeffster’s unplugged “Leaving on a Jetplane” their best work, over Africa, over Mr. Roboto and not just because of the significance of these lines but because it’s pleasing to the auditory senses. I would buy this single in iTunes if they’d only release it. They should blow the amp during rehearsal more often!

But enough about Jeffster. Taking their conversations to heart, Chuck and Sarah attempt to discuss their future but was cut short because Casey and Morgan are in danger. Still it wasn’t over, only postponed. After a second tandem punch, a James Bond moped homage and one of Chuck’s finest fight choreographies, Chuck and Sarah come clean.
Sarah: Chuck I don’t want you to choose me over something that you want for yourself.
Chuck: I want you, I want us!
Sarah: Chuck Bartowski, do you agree to not quit the spy life and be with me?
Chuck: I do. Sarah Walker, do you agree to not quit the spy life and be with me?
Sarah: I do.

Bad guys, the real ones this time, finally apprehended, the team debriefs with General Beckman. Loved Beckman’s “No!” when Chuck and Sarah revealed their relationship but her “about damn time,” takes the cake. Sarah had her own moment of levity by repeating Chuck’s earlier bumbling words to her, “dating, exclusively.” With smiles all around, Chuck catches a glimpse of the monitor and has the same melancholy moment as Ellie did earlier on.
Chuck: I’m so sorry Ellie, I wanted to be here.
Sarah: Chuck it’s fine. You missed one party. The truth is I think I got so drunk because I was upset with myself. I’m leaving my little brother.
Chuck: I’m not so little anymore. And just so you know, you’re not leaving me alone.
(Cut to Sarah, with bracelet)
Ellie: (happily) You guys are back together?
Chuck: We’re together.

Amidst one of the most lighthearted and fun episodes of Chuck, we experience a bit of sadness and heartbreak. Chuck and Ellie are growing up, growing apart. Change is painful, often sad but it’s not all bad, Chuck and Sarah are together and Chuck and Ellie are moving on to bigger and better things, growing up.
[audio|titles=Feeling Good|artists=Nina Simone]
This is cemented by the following scene, Chuck’s finest scene in Feeling Good. “I think I’ve found the one,” remarked Chuck, a line that works on a couple of levels. While Sarah Walker of “music has not been at the top of my list,” found music she liked in Nina Simone and “Feeling Good.”

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, a new life…” and we’re all feeling good.


I love the return home segment of this episode as much as the earlier romp.  General Beckman’s “release Agent Walker” still makes me laugh every time (and we’re talking about a lot of times at this point!).  And speaking as a hopelessly out of touch old married guy, the last scene set to Nina Simone’s classic is the most amazingly romantic thing I’ve ever seen on television.  This show is often quite good at warm and fuzzy, but that scene melted me outright.


Perfectly put: warm, fuzzy, and so utterly satisfying (Chuck vs. the Honeymooners in sum). As we await for Chuck’s final season, we shall dream of Honeymooners Part 2: TBD.


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.
This entry was posted in ChuckMeMondays, Music, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

180 Responses to Chuck vs. Honeymooners Feels Good

  1. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    The following constitutes my views of this episode.

    **heavy smiley sigh with a little bit of dopey grin thrown in**

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Well, well..ok, ditto that, but don’t tell anybody, eh?

      I’d get drummed out of the He-Man Woman Haters Club for sure.

  2. jason says:

    We talk a bunch about accents on this site, did anyone else think Zac did his Texas accent very Larry Hagman like?

  3. Amrit says:

    They were their hands but the shadow on the hands make them look older. As a non-shipper I must admit that when he turns around with the dinner tray the smile on sarah’s face and his was priceless and so was the one when she smiled when he asked to run away with her in the same scene. You missed the wonderful handwave she gave when they left the terrorist after drugging him, Yvonnes cheeky smile was wonderful and sweet and adorable. I must admit when they smiled at each other the first time I finally understood why so many fans wanted this, I felt a little odd that I was smiling too, lol. The reaction to Sarah’s line about wanting Chuck to not give something up for her was priceless, when he told her what many of you thought he should have said earlier, priceless. Sarah just looked so radiant and happy and there was some genuiness their. I think you missed where they agreed to do one more mission…the cheeky smiles were perfect and there was a total lack of fear from them both in this episode. I think having Sarah back as assertive Sarah was awesome too, the way after the cafe fight and after arnaldo’s speech she just grabbed his hand and lead him for the conversation is how their relationship is best defined in pictures, they do things together but they are great because it is a metaphor of their relationship…sarah leading chuck together hand in hand. Chuck is at it’s best when Sarah is there to guide and sort of be in charge of them, in the nicest way possible. Young love….

    • atcDave says:

      I’m really glad this episode worked for you Amrit. And I agree about when Chuck is at its best…

    • joe says:

      And so well put, too, Amrit. One think that I’ve failed to mention over the year of writing about Chuck is how often those little things (like the way C&S smile at each other) make a scene or an episode special. Those things are often so small and frequent it’s hard to believe they’re scripted, yet, there they are.

      It’s gotta be the genius of the acting, right?

      But why would you feel “a little odd” at not smiling back, Amrit? They’re entertainers. It’s exactly what Zac and Yvonne were hoping you’d do. 🙂

      • Amrit says:

        Oh I do understand that Joe I do and my response takes nothing away from the moment. I am from England and some of us are a little reserved, I think Todd Van Dewerff say’s the same thing of people where he is from…that their responses are always mild mannered and measured. When I sit in a bar and watch a game when people score or win a point or score a touchdown a lot of people will stand and scream and I will remain quiet, lol. I do appreciate moment, it is just that….why are we English so reserved? lol and always apologise first when we knock into someone, lol. Anyway, watching those scenes in the episode I expected there to be joy and fun and oh boy was there, I just did not expect myself to be smiling as goofily as I did for an entire episode, lol. Great episode and great..excellent work done by the cast. Every moment is nuanced in itself, when they close the door on the porter in the opening scene you see sarah lean into chuck with her head, genius! When you watch her reactions to Chuck proposing to run away, first there is a little apprehension because Chuck does not realise that she wants a family life in Burbank with just not him but all the people that come with it, and then Sarah transforms that to happiness that Chuck is doing this because all he wants is her and she realises that. The scene trancends emotions for Sarah and they are brilliantly played by Yvonne…genius. Throughout the episode there is this balance where the characters want one thing and you can see they are doing another and it is layered and brilliant. Sarah wants to be a spy but she wants a home, she wants chuck but she is willing to give up everything that entails because her priorities have clearly changed since episode 13. It is an episode that clearly is built on emotions that are new for them since their relationship has changed but it is also something that builds on emotions of the past. Sarah knows that Chuck will not change for the goverment to be a spy and that changes the possibilities from either being a normal person or being a spy, because he past that test earlier in the seasons and so her choices and reactions are based on that knowledge. So what do you do when faced with the same question that was raised in the season premier? you base your decisions on your experiences old and new and take a leap of faith that makes you happy in the short term and hopefully will make you happy in the long term. As we know it has all worked out so far, a journey it has been but the reward is fantastic and the actors have done a great job in showing that. The body language for the remaining seasons are fantastic and indicative how much chemistry there really is (and not just make out chemistry! lol) but every look, every joke, every conversation…it feels very natural and organic, it certainly saved season 4 for me.

      • Amrit says:

        Oh when I said Todd Van Dewerff I was refereing to the LA Times and AV Club writer. He say’s he is from the mid-west and mid-western people are reserved. Sorry I forgot to mention the comparison, lol. No offence to the people from the mid-west.

  4. Ernie Davis says:

    I absolutely loved this episode, and it was such a relief to get an episode that was almost total comedy front to back, with the minor angst about Ellie and whether to stay or run settled within the episode.

    But I do want to comment on a few of the highlights. The musical montage featuring only food. Such a clever way to show (ahem) appetites being satisfied. Repeatedly. With some serious gourmet dishes… They get a pass on the timeline as far as I’m concerned. Other shows get alternate universes and time travel, we’ll give Chuck a free temporal disturbance on this one. Chuck’s slightly wobbly answering of the door, and the death of yet another iPhone to perfectly bracket the season’s CRM. From the backwards walk to barely able to walk. And yet they didn’t ignore the CRM, they gave it context. Each of them was so busy trying to become something or establish themselves in the other’s world, to change into or become what they thought the other wanted, and after initially failing almost giving up, well the confusion remains, but the focus has shifted from I’ll be who you need me to be so we can be together to we’re together, now lets figure out who we are and what we need to do. And they do. They’re heroes, and they need to face their challenges, be they Beckman, the spy life, or Juan Diego, and defeat them, not run.

    Oh, and Morgan’s expert use of “the Morgan” to take down Juan Diego didn’t go un-noticed.

    Other little tidbits that help show how they compliment each other, their search of the room. Sarah checks the passport first having identified Juan as a threat, then goes for the code book. Chuck discards the passport, because after all he already knows who he’s dealing with, and then goes for the code book. Could have skipped a step or two if they were on the same page.

    Also I agree with Faith, I’d buy a Jeffster rendition of Leaving on a Jet Plane. Any good montage makes me happy, but this one was wonderfully poignant. Chuck once said Ellie would always be his girl, to Ellie’s horror, and finally that day she hoped for has come.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I always thought they were playing video games when they were getting food brought to their room. What were you thinking was going on?

      • atcDave says:

        I’m telling you they were eating! No time for anything else. And look at them, ridiculously happy, glazed eyes, constant laughing. They were eating, there is simply no other rational explanation…

    • Faith says:

      Good call on the full circle of iPhone abuse Ernie, missed that.

      Shep & Dave, remember that Sarah may or may not have been faking it this whole time. Ha.

      • atcDave says:

        Fake eating?! Oh I hate when a woman does that!

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        No no no. You didn’t hear it correctly. BAKING it not FAKING it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Are you saying Sarah is bulimic!?! Man, I can’t believe you guys said that about Sarah! OMG I would NOT want to be in your shoes right now. And you call yourself shippers, or fans! You’ve just destroyed the greatest character on television!!


      • Faith says:

        You know we never did see if she ate that ice cream…

      • atcDave says:

        Hey that was Faith, …or Shepperd, I’m not taking the fall for this. You’ll never pin it on me!

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Ice cream ???

      • Faith says:

        Ice Cream was Sarah’s excuse to go snooping.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I know.

        Think about it for a bit and you’ll get what I meant. 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Meant to add that the iPhone toss really did have some resonance. The first was to shut Chuck out of her life as a spy, the second was to shut everyone else, all the spies, out of her life with Chuck.

    • joe says:

      You just gave me an excuse to bring this up, Ernie.

      I was watching Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill just the other day. How is it that the (unnamed) Uma Therman character goes from catatonic (and in a 5 year coma) in a hospital bed to flying to Okinawa in 13 hours? That’s what the “marquee” said.

      My wife’s reaction was “Where did she get the money for the ticket???”

      Of course, one does not ask such question from a Quentin Tarantino movie, but breaking the time-space continuum is a hallowed tradition in Hollywood, it seems.

  5. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    This from the person who gave us “Duck”.

    Hello pot meet kettle. 😉

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      Damn. Wrong spot.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Yes, but Duck is so wrong it’s right… 😉 Come on, you saw Dianne’s look at Chuck when Sarah said they were dating, and Chuck’s reaction. It’s all there. You’re going down this road again Chuck? Well I suppose it’s about damn time he got Sarah out of his system so he could move on to Dianne. (She’s been slow playing him for years.)

  6. Verkan_Vall says:

    Thank you both. This episode was such a pleasure.

  7. Amron says:

    Ok, let’s get on shipper mode…

    If “Mr. Roboto” is the best action/comedy musical montage, “Feeling Good” is the best romance musical montage of all the seasons! This is one of those silent moments that said so much, and I think it’s perfect!

    And the Casey’s, in their first mission is something remarkable, too.

    This is the Chuck’s masterpiece of shipper chapters.

    • atcDave says:


    • joe says:

      Oooohhh! You just gave me an inspiration for a play-list, Amron. It starts with A Comet Appears and features every song used when C&S have “a moment”. Lots of Fountain Scene songs.

      It’ll culminate with Young Blood by The Naked and Famous (from The Push Mix). Feeling Good will be featured, of course.

  8. ArmySFC says:

    this was the third in the series of episodes from season 3 i liked. for me to say i like 3 in a row is nuts, but i liked this one and the next. which is beyond crazy. i would take these four from 3.12 to 3.15 over anything season 4 had to offer. can i say why i liked it? not really, lol. it was fun, it was romantic and the fight scene was great. nuff said.

    • joe says:

      That’s the kind of thing thing that makes “blanket statements” about an entire season tough to swallow, Army. Anyone can say “S3 was the pits”, but that same person will find something truly enjoyable in it.

      And yes, I know S3 has become shorthand for the first 13 of the third season.

      • ArmySFC says:

        joe, im not really sure what you mean. the four episodes i mention to me were better than any episode in season four. so in that case a blanket statement works. for example if a person says honeymooners was their favorite episode of all time, they can say it was better than anything done in season 4. that would be a correct statement. i never said season 4 did not have good moments or episodes. there were several i really liked, just not as much as these 4. so i really don’t understand what you were trying to say.

      • joe says:

        Ah, then your definition of “blanket statement” differs a bit from mine.

        There’s no doubt “honeymooners was their favorite episode of all time, [and] they can say it was better than anything done in season 4” is correct. But what I mean is that condemnations of S3, for the most part, ignore the great stuff that is there, even if that isn’t the author’s intent.

      • ArmySFC says:

        joe ok, well i think. i thought it had something to do with my post. i may not have been clear enough, sorry bout the confusion. i understand your point. there is a lot of dislike for season 3 and how wound up people get talking about it.

  9. OldDarth says:

    A long overdue episode from a story and fan perspective.

    It was also the big chance for sexy times and while the food montage was a clever visual representation some more ‘moments’ between Chuck and Sarah would have been nice. Since that episode there has been a dearth of Sarah and Chuck together moments.

    The aspect that I really enjoy the most is the opening up of emotional doors for Sarah which in turn allows Yvonne to show much more acting range especially on the comedy side.

    And, of course, to smile.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      Oh OD you’re setting off a powder keg and if I knew what dearth meant I’d likely agree with you.

      There have been lot’s of sweet C&S moments for sure, but a certain “passion” is missing. Moreso in S4 however (the kiss in Gobbler is a good example, it was good but needed to be great) I don’t need hot & steamy nor do I wish to imply that I do. But it is a bit like watching my grandparents.

    • atcDave says:

      I love it when we can agree!

    • Verkan_Vall says:


  10. cholitau says:

    I haven’t read the post yet, bt i want you guys to know i’ve bee looking forward to it since Faith announced yesterday on Twitter. I’ll read it the first chance i get!

  11. joe says:

    !! Makes me wanna go back and watch every episode from the beginning. Again.


    Oh, wait. That was Harry Tang being channeled.

    Great post, Faith, Dave.

  12. luckygirl says:

    It always amazes me how close we came to not having this episodes. This sweet, fun, almost perfect episode. Not many shows get episodes like this.

  13. AgentInWaiting says:

    This might not be the “best” hour of TV I’ve ever watched, but it’s certainly my favourite. If you recall, there was three week break between Other Guy and Honeymooners and, given that Other Guy was supposed to be the series finale, I spent those three weeks wondering if the writers would attempt a reset (i.e., the night in Paris didn’t go so well or Sarah had second thoughts after). When Sarah appeared in the cabin doorway with that beautiful smile on her face to be joined by Chuck seconds after, well, that was just magic. Describing my reaction to the rest of the episode would probably consist of “loved that, loved that, loved that…” but I do want to bring up the music that was used. There were five song snippets used in the show, all five fit absolutely perfectly, and all five are on my “favourites” list (substituting Chantal Kreviazuk’s version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” for Jeffster’s). Alex Patsavas isn’t credited for being the music supervisor for this episode but if it was her, she has my thanks and kudos.

  14. Cenodoxus says:

    1. The last minute and a half of Honeymooners should be shown to film students as an example of what a scene with little to no dialogue can accomplish.

    2. I still don’t think that Sarah was fully invested in this relationship until the events of Tooth, truth be told. Don’t get me wrong; she’s deeply in love with Chuck. She wants the happy ending. But I don’t think she allows herself the luxury of believing that there’s going to be a happy ending — not until she’s forced to show her cards (as it were) and really start opening up. Even then, it’s a process, not an event, and one that really runs for most of season 4. She doesn’t unpack (yet) and she doesn’t redecorate (much). In some fashion, Jack Burton’s daughter is always waiting for the inevitable moment when things start heading south.

    3. On that note, perhaps it’s not surprising that Sarah conducts her relationships at the approximate speed of a glacier. I still think there’s an argument to be made that, appearances to the contrary, she may actually be the less sexually experienced of the two. There’s a lot about Sarah that suddenly makes sense if that’s the case, though it’s an admittedly shaky theory.

    4. Chuck vs. the Truth makes it clear that the walls in this apartment are not exactly soundproof. Poor Morgan.

    5. Nothing to do with this episode, but rather the opening of the one immediately after — Josh_oi_squirol observed in his/her recap of Chuck vs. the Role Models that it’s Sarah up getting orange juice around 1:00 or 2:00 am when Morgan stumbles to the kitchen after his Hart to Hart dream. Early foreshadowing (maybe) of Chuck’s Intersect-induced nightmares and how they’re waking her up in addition to him.

    6. Is Ellie ever told what the nature of their relationship was pre-Honeymooners?

    • atcDave says:

      Some excellent points as always Cenodoxus. You know that last 90 seconds is one of my favorite television moments ever.
      I do agree later events show that Sarah is still a little reserved about things after Honeymooners. That always bothered me a little since I saw no evidence of it in 3.14, and she was the one who initiated the Honeymooners cover. But obviously, things worked out well. And by milking every step of relationship growth they gave us many wonderful moments along the way.
      You’re not the first to bring up the possibility of Sarah’s lack of experience. Obviously she’s a bit behind on having a real relationship with someone. I’d like to think she’s always been cautious in other ways too, but I think that’s probably unlikely.
      I think you make a good point that Ellie really never had a clue. Sarah seems to have deepened her friendship with Ellie along the way and apparently even talked to her about family after CAT Squad, so perhaps she came clean about why things used to be “complicated” too. Unless we hear something S5 (really unlikely I think) that’s what I would assume.

      • jason says:

        Certainly more than one great opportunity has been missed, sarah (and or chuck) explaining the nature of their relationship the 1st two seasons would have been fun for me to see, that is for sure. The closest thing we might ever get was chuck’s answer to ellie – ‘we are together now’

        I think in terms of visiting Europe, sarah mentions her passport has been punched more than once, but Honeymooners was the first time she sat back and enjoyed the place, maybe her past relationships worked just a little like that too?

        Honeymooners is difficult to add too much more about than I’ve already written, or that has been written here right now. But I will toss out one observation. I read many differing POV’s on this blog about the show, but when I read this particular group of comments, taken with near everything else I have read about the show on the web, Honeymooner love may be the most homogeneous show of hands I see regarding the show.

      • atcDave says:

        One other thought about what Ellie knows, or doesn’t. In a typical season we’re seeing about 15 hours to represent a year in someone’s life. We can assume we’re getting the highlights. But there’s always going to be a lot of gaps to fill. We can make some assumptions about those gaps, but we need to be mindful that an assumption can always be undone by cannon. This is among the things I really enjoy about fan fiction, we get some pretty involved examinations of things that were skipped over by the show. I remember laughing along hard at one writer chose to show Sarah, Ellie and the other bridesmaids looking for their bridesmaids dresses together. Its the sort of thing the show never would have “wasted time” on (and of course, it didn’t); but it was laugh out loud funny at times as Ellie learns things from Carina and Zondra, who are perfectly happy to paint Sarah in the worst possible light.

  15. Good morning Joe, Ernie, Atc Dave, Thinkling, Liz, Faith and Chuck fans all over the world! I know it’s been 10 weeks since I’ve commented on this website. But sometimes, you have to break from the PC and it’s Summer, I had other things to do. But I’m back!

    I’m Currently whatching a few episodes Chuck S4 on my Dvr for the very first time and it never Cease to amaze me that some of the relationship issues that Chuck and Sarah are still having is carryover from S3 and lets face reality! S3 is still the most talk about season that I ever recall for a tv show. Even when s4 was in full swing, Chuck was still commenting on S3 which gives me a Idea!
    Since Chuck S5 won’t premire till mid October which is real good, I have a Debate. Call it a challange!
    We all know that the S3 epsiode of the “FAKE NAME” is the most controversial and talked about episodes not only for S3, but for the series up to this point. I know that S3 of Chuck is on DVD and I also know that there usually are extra episode’s on DVD than what the networks are showing. Qusetion to all the Chuck Fans have purchase S3 on DVD. Is there an episode after the “FAKE NAME” and before the “BEARD?” Please let me know and I will get back with you with this challenge that I came up with for all the main writers of this website, but for the fans as well!

    • AgentInWaiting says:

      I see what you’re getting at but there’s no extra episodes on the DVD. Having extra episodes is very, very rare and only happens when a series is cancelled and there are unshown episodes in the can.

    • joe says:

      Good morning, Bernard. Welcome back!

      Well, Fake Name is #8 and Beard is #9 on my DVD, so unless they were cut in Hilbert-Space (extra dimensions, you know), then nope. Nothin’ between them.

      Do we still have a challenge? I loves me a good challenge!

  16. thinkling says:

    Faith and Dave, thanks for the great write up. Such a fantastic episode. I loved the smiles and the joy and the love and the hilarity. I smiled from start to finish and still do, every time. The episode is perfect.

    Faith, agreed that the broken amp is a positive thing in the Jeffster universe.
    I liked Arnaldo and his nut cake and communication therapy. He tried so hard and finally was heard.
    Beckman’s caller ID photo.
    Release Agent Walker. Makes me laugh every time too, Dave, and … do you both think me an idiot?
    The end was truly romantic, Dave. Just perfect. ZY have amazing chemistry.
    Morgan and his secret pouch … the conductor gets a star for that laugh-every-time scene.
    Yvonne’s comedy. They finally let the botticelli out of the basement … hurray.

    Faith, the collage is really fantastic!

    Music question, Joe, Amy, somebody. Did Simon and Garfunkel ever do Leaving on a Jet Plane? I know it was written by John Denver and made famous by PP&M. Couldn’t find out if S&G ever sang it.

    • atcDave says:

      It’s very hard to prove a negative (!), but I can’t find any association of S&G with Leaving on a Jet Plane. That is very much my era and style of music, and I have both John Denver (2 versions) and PP&M recordings of it; as well as quite a bit of S&G’s music. I can say pretty definitively they never did a studio recording of it; but its very hard to be sure what might have been done at some concert that was never released commercially, and that means there’s a chance such a thing could surface someday. But I’ll cautiously say they never did it.

      I do agree it was Jeffsters best song. Of course its also the only Jeffster song that wasn’t done mostly for laughs.

      • thinkling says:

        My era too Dave. But I didn’t remember them doing it. Good Jeffster / S&G mock up though. Their finest moment. Jeff’s finest being the rehearsal dinner montage.

    • joe says:

      I’m coming up empty on that too, Thinkling. I don’t think S&G covered that one (or Paul Simon by himself, either).

      I know everyone wants to think of S&G as folk singers back then, but really, by the time Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme came out, they were getting away from folk and Simon was much more into expressing his own style.

      Remember Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrcle? Pure Paul Simon. Not folk music at all, and it was written much earlier.

      Anyway, I start to think that Jeffster’s cover of Jet Plane is my favorite! Man, I’m getting old! 😉

    • Faith says:

      I think the composition also had a lot to do with it (being so pleasing). Tim Jones did a great job.

      • joe says:

        Ah, he always does. I’ve been a big fan of the music, but I often forget to note how great some of his themes are. I’m still waiting for that soundtrack CD, Tim!

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I want to see a Chuck score too. To me, Tim Jones does the sounds that will always bring back Chuck for me.

  17. jason says:

    the episode was my favorite on chuck. By the time the first credits had played, we had 4 separate Chuck and Sarah ‘honeymooning’ scenes, the first with the conductor, the second with the conductor, the bed scene with the vows, and then the train car introduction to the Charles. We also got an ellie / awesome shirtless scene & a beckman – casey ‘Get Smart’ scene. But the first 22 seconds, repeats from the other guy ep, b4 any of that, may have laid the groundwork for the next 30 episodes. Beckman welcomes morgan to the CIA and Chuck and Sarah kiss – probably the two dominant themes for the show going forth.

    Was that a good thing? It was for me, but …… I am surprised that those who take the show seriously don’t point out, this is probably the point that TPTB began the journey to lose the fans of serious Chuck, those who were OK with the misery that had preceded honeymooners. TPTB didn’t lose those fans because of comedy, because of chuck and sarah being together, or because of anything with the word morgan in the sentence.

    The reason TPTB lost the serious fans, is the direction stopped being chuck saving the world and doing good – chuck became whiney, inconsistent, stupid, a bold faced liar, fixated on getting the girl, and sort of odd – nothing at all like the noble character he was in s1 / s2. Now as a shipper and a fan of ‘funny’ Chuck, I never found the hero Chuck saving the world to be a dominant theme anyhow. But, I do think it still is the ‘right’ theme for the show, I might just amend that and say ‘chuck and sarah (with a little help from their friends) saving the world as the show’s main theme’, but save the world they must for this show to be at its best. I sure hope the show finds that quest for the greater good again in s5, I think it might, do you guys?

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with a lot of this Jason, although I think some of the problems are overstated. Some things like the lying and whining have really only been present briefly. Lying was an issue in four (and a half?) sequential episodes. It was about mental deterioration (to Sarah), Intersect 2.0 (to Dad), and the search for mom (to Sarah again, but only for part of 4.01). Much as many of us hated that aspect of the character, he stopped it in 4.01 and its never really been a problem since. The Chuck/Ellie relationship presented a similar problem, but I think (?) most of us saw Ellie as the main culprit in that. The “whining” has been an intermittent problem going all the way back to S2 (Sensei irked me a little in that regard), I don’t believe it was any worse in S4 than in the past and it has mostly been used for comedy.
      But I think that comedy is the source of much discontent with S4. The show had always been a mix of drama and comedy; but as some of the dramatic issues were resolved they were replaced with more comedic elements. I can imagine those who want a more serious, or more “macho” Chuck would find some of the funnier elements of S4 not to their liking. I think its inevitable over time, that a show that balances drama and comedy will shift its focus one way or the other. Remember how MASH went from being so silly in the first few seasons to a much more serious and meloncholly show in later years? Chuck sort of went the other direction. In both cases, some fans will be very pleased, some will be quite annoyed. Fortunately for me, the S4 change was completely to my liking; I hope S5 finishes out in similar style.

    • Jason, I understand from perspective about S3 and yes it did loose some fans of the show because it was different! More real and more human than S1 and S2 which Zackery Levy, Yvonne, and Adam Baldwin said on a interview they did when they started shooting S3 and some fans wasn’t prepared for it.

      Read my blog about Chuck S3 : What was it really all about and You might get a different perspective about S3 my website is

      I did a short story on the original 13 epidsodes and my personal opinion on them episodes. If you on Windows 7 or vista, using IE 9 or above, it should work . But if you still using windows xp with IE8, download Google Chrome and you should get my blog!

      • jason says:

        gil – the main thrust of my statement was about s4, I tried to steer clear of the first 13 of season 3 – sorry if that did not come thru

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I never understand when people say the characters were made to be more ” human” in S3. I could understand this statement if the characters were driving the story. But when the story is driving the characters, as it did in S3, the characters aren’t more human, they’re puppets.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Shepperd I agree entirely. I just saw characters doing random things to serve an unpleasant plot. They pointedly became less human and more caracature. They certainly became less like any real persons I know.

      • Faith says:

        It’s “more human” in the sense of being more flawed, less idealistic. Doing things and living a life that’s more dark and more disdainful than how they otherwise would have done. Though I do agree that season 3, in comparison to all that came before was more plot directed as opposed to character driven, the consequences of the plot fell on the characters.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Shepperd, i can see you point but my take is different. when i started writing (i’m not that good, lol) i was told the character should not change the world, the world should change the character. to me that’s life in a nut shell. take chuck for example, had bryce not gotten him kicked out and messed with jill would he be the same person? probably not. he would have gotten his degree and maybe or maybe not joined the CIA. but i doubt he would have been the insecure person he was in season 1. what happened in his life changed him, the world changed him. the events we go through in our lives make us what we are. we don’t change then the world around us changes. i don’t know if that’s being a puppet or not. i think the events that happen in ANY show should drive the characters, not the character changing the show.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow army, that’s a pretty fundamental difference in world view between us, I’d much rather the characters changed the world. Of course, I’m a classical mythology kind of guy. I like heroes who set out to change the world. Don’t get me wrong, the effects should flow both ways. But, if the world feels unchanged I’d call the story boring. I sure don’t want to read about characters who are just hopelessly caught up in events. I don’t even read that sort of dehumanizing history; I’m far more interested in reading about those who made a difference than I am in reading about the pawns. I guess sometimes, the pawn is interesting too if they are witness to great things and deeds; but even then, it’s the great things and deeds that are interesting to me. Not the character who just sees and reports.

      • atcDave says:

        Just to be more specific army; I’d call what you described a mechanistic or industrial view of the story. I lean towards a heroic or individualistic view of things.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave very true. i might not have explained it good enough. if you look at most hero’s journey something happened to make that person do what he did. look at the hero’s in war. had the war not been there, they would have been in the place to be hero’s. after the war began, then they went out to change the world. maybe i like the combination of them both. i’ll give an example in chuck. chuck began his journey when he got the intersect not before. the world (intersect) changed the course of chucks life. starting him on his journey. in season 4 chuck tried to change his world by going after his mom, not because of something happening in his life to change it’s course. that’s how i saw it anyway. so I think i enjoy both as long as the personal change happens first. did nay of that make sense?

      • atcDave says:

        That made sense army, and I think I said some of the same thing. Although I’m not concerned with which comes first. And I’m okay with the protagonist NOT changing in a major way (I still love James Bond and Indiana Jones); Changing the world (saving the world maybe) is what I REALLY want to see. But learning life lessons is a nice balance, especially in a more serious story.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Couple of points in response.
        I think radical TV, if produced at all, is only produced from a position of strength. Good ratings or an understanding network. Chuck had neither. The ratings were in decline and the network slashed the budget. We’ll never know but I’m willing to take an educated guess that a season of Chuck and Sarah together, with the dynamic and tone of the show otherwise unchanged might not even have been sanctioned by the network. Chuck was quirky enough, and in the eyes of many that is/was the reason for it’s lack of viewers. Adding further unconventionality by putting Chuck and Sarah together was probably not what the network were looking for at that point.
        Second point is that the reboot wasn’t aimed at the fans who may have been disgruntled about the S3 direction at ComicCon. It was aimed at new viewers and I’m sure the assumption was that existing viewers would stick around through the wt/wt even though they might whinge a bit – after all, that’s what happens with most other shows, right?
        Clearly that assumption was false, and they lost a significant chunk of shippers. I doubt if they were expecting that. And they didn’t pick up the number of new viewers they were expecting either – hence the further ratings decline.
        I’d love to get the inside skinny on what was said in the discussions with NBC prior to S3 – I think it would shed an awful lot of light into what we saw on screen.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Damn – put this in the wrong spot. Should have been in response to the thread further down. Sorry!

      • atcDave says:

        I think I can follow the bouncing thread! I agree almost entirely with all of that Kev. Although I’m not so sure NBC was the culprit; as a non-network show I think NBC was pretty hands off with Chuck (I’ve heard some rumors, but that’s mostly pure speculation).

        But whoever was to blame I think you’re exactly right right about their thought process. Our only difference is I’m far less generous about the result. I am convinced they should have known better. The complaints about their intended direction were so overwhelming, they had to be deaf and blind to miss it. And this is back to what you and I have argued about for two years! I still call it hubris (specifically meaning, they were blinded by professional pride); they misread their audience and thought they knew better than what fans were telling them; and they payed a price for it. After the strong start, and quickly falling ratings for S3, I remain convinced we’d be looking at a full S5 order now instead of a half order. Yeah I know, more pure speculation on my part.

      • jason says:

        I was a fan of Castle b4 Chuck. I think the wt/wt banter is central to the show, in many ways, it is the show, Castle wants to make fun of Beckett more than make love to her. His teasing and her indignant responses, are what makes her by the book procedural investigation each week aided by some imaginative Castle quip to solve the crime work. Conversely, Chuck and Sarah BOTH wanted to jump each others bones since the ballerina scene, Chuck possibly milliseconds after he first saw her. The shows that last a long time with the wt/wt, legitimately keep the pair at arms length, Chuck & Sarah were in each other’s crawl space since the get go.

        With Chuck, Chuck and Sarah have had no teasing banter, the banter has been more between the creative staff and the fans. This is a very dangerous game to enter – kind of like when a company decides to purposefully disdain its customers – it can work for a while, but it is doomed to fail. This corner Chuck wrote itself into probably hit the low points in the Fake Name ep several times, including the 4th wall commentary (I think that is what the critics called it) & the name reveal – the 4th wall stuff was direct shots to the fans, while the fake name seemingly had no meaning to either character after that ep, while it has lived in infamy to many fans.

        I don’t know, with 43 eps of a couple, 13 of which they are married, and all but maybe a dozen where they were in a real / fake relationship, I think they will not be compared to Moonlighting much at all, rather remembered as a couple. They have beat THREE cancellation notices since beginning to live together – 3×19, 4×14, 4×24, that is hardly a curse, for a show that had to beat 2 or 3 cancellation notices prior.

        I believe the Chuck legacy will be as a cute, quirky little show that never quite committed to a genre – I think its legacy for future showrunners will be to do what you do best, and try not to please everyone …. the funniest thing about Chuck is my last statement may mean near opposite things to OD / Big Kev than it does to Actdave and myself – hence the quirky part of being a Chuck fan. I’m happy to be counted as one, and to passionately defend my own point of view.

      • ArmySFC says:

        follow the bouncing thread, lol. my 2 cents. this is just a theory mind you and has no basis in fact. with a little knowledge of how ratings work, as complex as it might be. my theory seems possible. the numbers alone say 2.6 million fans left the show during season 3, it is possible that they lost 3.1 million fans but picked up .5 million as well. the numbers just reflect the total. i think it’s impossible to rule out that x number of nielsen box owners tuned out and that others tuned in. i know the science works and is the standard for the ratings game. i guess in the end what im saying is they lost a lot more than they thought, and picked up far fewer than they hoped.

      • OldDarth says:

        In truth Army, I agree with you that Chuck will merely be a footnote. Your post adroitly captures the issues with the show.

        Shows that get remembered do so because they ran with all cylinders firing and even that is no guarantee – vis a vis FarScape. There are intangibles that go into the mystique of why certain shows survive and others do not but ultimately it is because the shows were about something. Usually in relation to the human condition. The original Star Trek is testimony to this. The writing, acting, and technical aspects of the show may be dated but the ideas it put forth are ageless.

        When a shows’s fanbase cannot agree on the best aspects of a show it is proof the show lacked clarity. ie you postulate dumping Season 3 and making tweaks to Season 4 would raise the show’s prospects for long term remembrance. I would postulate some minor tweaks to Season 3 and dumping Season 4 – or at least do a major overhaul of the Season 4 spy story, dropping the horrid hammer job done to tie the Volkoff and Bartowski families together, and give Chuck, the character, a purpose along with some sense of danger and/or risk.

        A show without fan consensus and a fractured fan base has little hope of carrying a long term legacy.

      • atcDave says:

        I mostly agree with Jason’s comments. Certainly a big part of why wt/wt was worn out on Chuck before it is on many other shows is exactly because Chuck and Sarah didn’t do the teasing/competitive banter thing. Their relationship seemed warm and affectionate from the very start. That situation demanded a fulfillment. Castle has more similarity to Moonlighting in that regard. The central relationship is characterized by teasing quips and banter. If the couple is going to come together, the writers will have to give serious thought to how they’re going keep things fresh and exciting in spite of a changed relationship.

        This ties directly back in to what the legacy of Chuck may be. We’re already seeing the question asked “if they made it work on Chuck…” And Jason is exactly right, they did make it work on Chuck (43 episodes of “together” is not a failure). The exact situation of every show is different, but it forces the question on resolving the wt/wt. I stand by what I said earlier too, its reaching a point of implausibility on Castle that needs to be resolved. NF’s comments in the video Faith posted tell something about the difficulties they will face in making it work, but it doesn’t let them off the hook.

      • BigKev67 says:

        As much as I agree with you about where the show is now and what it’s issues are, I think it will be a lot more than just a footnote, certainly to it’s fans. No doubt it has an identity problem, certainly from S3 onwards – as Jason said in another thread it “couldn’t pick a genre”. But that wasn’t a problem in S1 and S2 – in fact, most people would have seen that as a strength. At the end of S2, you, me and (for example) Dave might have disagreed on exactly what the strength of the show was – but we would have been unanimous that it was one of the best shows on TV.
        That’s what I’ll remember. The times when I didn’t have to worry about whether Chuck was a fluffy comedy, a drama, a comic book or a Heroes Journey – because it was written well enough to be all of them, and to keep everyone happy. This show touched some serious heights for 2 years – once the dust has settled I think people will remember that, rather than dwelling on the fractures and disputes of S3 and S4. Hopefully we’ll also get to enjoy the Hollywood careers of Zac and Yvonne to keep new fans coming to the show. That’s a little more than just a footnote, I think.

      • OldDarth says:

        Kev totally understandable. My comments were crafted towards future viewers.

      • ArmySFC says:

        OD what you said about the original star trek is true. my comments about tweaking was more aimed at how they could have avoided the mass exodus from the show over the last 2 seasons. if they only lost 700k fans during season 3 (same as 2) vs the 2.6 million they did lose. then they would a have been a shoe in for a 4th season. it may have also allowed them to keep a bigger budget. a negative effect of being a bubble show is fans that may not be as vested may turn away thinking it’s gonna get canned anyway why watch? even with our thoughts on 4 if they went into 4 with 7 million viewers, the loss of the 1 million during season 4 would have acceptable. they most likely would have gotten a full season and stayed on mondays. that’s ball speculation.

        you are correct about the splintered fan base affecting how chuck will be viewed later. there is no one right answer.

      • thinkling says:

        Randon thought on this thread.

        With enough shows for syndication, Chuck can remain popular, especially if promotion was one of the problems. I see it as far from being a footnote, at least not yet.

        Having the leads together wasn’t the problem with the show. S3 did damage of a more catastrophic sort by damaging the leads and losing a large number of ardent fans, many of whom would have loved S4. I think the problem was similar in both seasons, in that they lost some of the cross genre-ness of the show. S3 became too dark and angsty. S4 moved (for some) a little too far into the romcom category. Hopefully S5 will come back to center.

        The other “problem” about resolving wt/wt (all of this just my 2c of course) is that often when they bring the leads together, they miss the timing. Either the time is past for the wt/wt. It’s become boring, so the coupling is anticlimactic, or the show itself is already in decline. If the latter is true, it’s hardly fair to blame continuing decline on wt/wt. It’s pretty much a nice scapegoat.

        The other thing about wt/wt is that audiences are conditioned from very young (fairy tales and movies) to see the wedding as the end, with a footnote, implied or stated, and they lived happily ever after. Is it too hard to write for a couple? I don’t think so. Shows seem to be OK if the couple starts out as a couple. I just think it’s hard to change the focal point, because of what we are conditioned to expect: throw rice, roll credits. Personally I am really excited to see the Bartowski’s and their Carmichael Industires Spy Co. I am often more interested in the rest of the story.

        I wish someone would tell these people that wt/wt isn’t as great as they think it is. I think it would be smart to have a wedding really soon in the story … the first part of 2nd season. That way nobody can think it’s the end.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that Thinkling. The changing perspective from wt/wt to “they have” seems to stymie writers and some parts of the audience. But I do think if it’s done well it will work. And I think you’re exactly right about wt/wt often ending when the show is already in decline. That makes putting the couple together and ending the show a self fulfilling proficy. I will always believe if Chuck’s S3 had been less damaging to the characters and their relationship the show would have retained more audience, and we’d likely be looking at a full S5 with possibility of renewal today.

    • Dale says:

      The first 13 I think the actors as well as the writers hearts were not in it to be honest. If you go back and watch the set of episodes Chuck and Sarah were not the only ones whos characters seemed affected by this change, I mean how on earth did Casey go 13 episodes and not once snap Shaw’s neck for being an absolute awful spy? When Sarah tells Chuck at the end of pink slip that it is over or whatever it seems like and I hate to say this because this is harsh but it seems like she is phoning the line in, like she does not believe that her character would act this way and the same with Zach. Throughout the season it just seems like none of the actors bought the storyline and it just felt off in a technical way. The same goes for the writers, you could see that the writing reflected milestones, dialogue was fit around milestones and ones that the writers did not believe in, they just did not seem inspired. The first episode that sort of made sense was honeymooners..and not because I am a shipper, but because the actors looked like they were having fun and so did the writers. I mean how many times did Casey threaten Morgan, then Chuck and Sarah and then Arnarldo. I mean one of my favourite moments is when he says shut up to the terrorist, lol. I think the writers and actors know what does and does not make sense on Chuck, what tone fits. I think the first 13 was not even Schwartz’s fault, I put the sole blame on Fedak. The people on the show know the tone, I just could not believe Fedak did not. Maybe it was a case of pride for him, he was not going to let Chuck be with Sarah unless he was the MAN! like a jock, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not sure who was to blame, but otherwise I agree entirely with this Dale. I think the individual episode writers were given direction “from above” that they never bought into; and that trickled down to the performers never quite bought it either.

      • Dale says:

        I mean if anyone is familiar with how a season is broken down or how writers break a story is they take storylines and they put them up on a whiteboard and they put post its on certain things they want to achieve in a given episode or a given arc. Now from what I have learned form listening to Vince Gilligan on the breaking bad podcast over on AMCTV.COM is that not only are the moments broken down, but the detail involved is so precise and everything is taken into account. The emotion is taken into context, the physical appearance of the actors, the setting, the sound, the picture, etc. Everything is worked down and they make sure it fits the story organically. Now with the first 13 it seems like they reset everything and started from fresh and it seems like the writers were writing for characters that they never have written for before and the details were not coherant or well thought out or anything. I mean how can there be a milestone in 8, 9 and 10 that is all the same, a different person telling Chuck that him and Sarah belong together, it makes no sense at all. It seems like whatever whiteboard they did have was really empty, because the ideas were empty, because they did not know where the characters were going. It really is disheartening to admit that the writers were just not on the ball in that very instance. Take honeymooners and the story is not great, it is simple but the characters know where they are going and they know what they want. It just feels like we got back to the characters that we know and love and that is strange to me that no one else saw that at all. Myles McNutt said it over at Cultural Learnings, for him it just was not fun anymore to write about the show, it was like the story was moving too fast and he was saying can they just slow the damn down, lol. I mean his biggest critisism was that people kept saying Chuck was changing but he was not, it was like lying and being able to pull a tooth constituted a massive change? Myles was not worried because it was a smoke screen manufactured to stall the story to fit Fedak’s need to make Chuck a hero, a hero that was without the girl until he officially saved the day and was made a hero…if that makes sense. The plotting, pacing and plausability as Mo Ryan said was just off all season and she is right, no one bought the arc at all and this is something that will tarnish the series forever and it was not needed at all, it really was not.

      • Faith says:

        You have to remember that Chuck almost got cancelled in season 2. It was getting not so good ratings. Something had to change, preferably for Dave and myself, not the spirit and essence of the characters but we aren’t/weren’t in that pitch meeting with the network. We weren’t at that writing room. They tried something, to some it worked, to others it didn’t. But they tried not just to tell a different story for artistic purposes but also to get more viewers, attempt to satisfy the bottomline. That’s how it goes.

      • atcDave says:

        you’re right about that Faith. I’d say they zigged when they should have zagged.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Dale, I agree with you and Dave. Those first 13 episodes of S3 seem like a completely different show to me.

        Faith: When Dave says that they zigged when they should have zagged, it was one heck of a zig. Normally, when you attempt to increase the number of customers, you try to expand your current base, not throw part of it away in a gamble. S3 basically sacrificed the shippers in an attempt to attract an audience element mainly interested in a darker, more violent show. Just one of many mistakes they made.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah VV, that’s exactly what they did. There was some talk at the time about it being like an all new show, and unfortunately it was. I do understand if they thought they needed to do something different if they wanted to escape the bubble (although they also said they were pretty sure they would be 13 and done, so I’m not sure how hard they were really trying). But yeah, trying “something new” that ticked off a huge chunck of their existing audience was probably not the smartest move. As I’ve always said (and yeah, I know most readers are tired of hearing it) I think actually having Chuck and Sarah as a couple trying to work through the issues (Chuck’s spy and Sarah’s “real girl” issues) would have been VERY radical television and would have made most of those grumpy fans into very happy fans. Just imagine S3 with Chuck and Sarah talking in place of Chuck drinking alone, or anything involving Chuck/Hannah or Sarah/Shaw. It boggles the mind!

      • BigKev67 says:

        I don’t think they sacrificed the shippers necessarily – but no doubt they didn’t anticipate the anger of the shipper response for S3.
        But something needed to change. S2 was a critical success but a ratings failure and, status quo ante, the show was going to be done after 3 seasons.
        So in retrospect it seems obvious that they tried to make Chuck a more conventional hero, hoping to broaden the shows appeal especially to 18-35 year old males. Liz James wrote a great post postulating the same thing during the S2/3 hiatus. Add a conventional wt/wt to the mix and there’s an argument that S3 was actually a pretty conventional story and commercial choice. As much as we hated the wt/wt, it’s what every show does – it’s tough to criticize showrunners for not realizing that the same choice every other show made wouldn’t work on Chuck. The fact that something becomes a cliche usually means it’s become successful after all. We’ll probably never know how much of those decisions were network driven or Schwedak driven.
        No doubt the decision didn’t work, either artistically or commercially. S3 failed on the terms under which it was commissioned. But I think it’s undeniable that come the end of S2 something had to change or the show was toast. Schwedak took a conventional option and found they were running the one show it didn’t work for 🙂
        I don’t think the shippers were sacrificed. You may still disagree. But they also had a season written specifically (some might say only) for them in S4 – and I can’t think of another TV show of any kind where that has happened. When it comes to shippers, even despite the front 13 of S3 I’d argue that Schwedak have given a lot more than they’ve taken away!

      • atcDave says:

        Kev I actually do agree with some of that. But of course, I do blame them a little more for taking the “conventional” route with S3. I think they created a pretty unique and special show for two seasons, and then apparently failed to recognize both what was unique and special about it, and what their audience was truly ready for.

        Perhaps it was a case of loosing their nerve for taking chances. I do agree they didn’t MEAN to sacrifice the ‘shippers, but that was the practical out come of their decisions. I think they expected less fireworks and more excitement for the “destination”. But again, shame on them. If they’d been paying attention to fan reactions there was just no excuse for it. Feedback was strong and consistent. I think VV hit the nail on the head when he mentioned it as being like any poorly received advertising campaign; the hostility they were met with from Comic Con on should have been a clear indication that their “Plan A” was fatally flawed.
        Now I do agree entirely that S4 is an extraordinary example of acting on lessons learned. They almost perfectly produced the show myself and many other ‘shippers were waiting for. I will forever be disappointed with the S3 product; but I am EXTREMELY pleased with S4. And given that S3 can’t actually be undone, that’s as good as it’s going to get.

      • Dale says:

        I suppose they could re-do it Dave if you or anyone else is willing to pay the millions of dollars it cost to do so. Anyone? Anyone want to put the money up to get the show that they want. Any takers at all? I am being serious, I was upset with season 3 but I am not much of a fan because I am not willing to put my money where my mouth is, I am just a loud mouth Shipper, I wonder if anyone is willing to be better then me and actually get the show tuned exactly to our likeing. You will make the whole fanbase very happy including little old me.

      • jason says:

        couple of things, not sure exactly who I am responding to, but here goes:

        dale I think you said the actors phoned in parts of s3 like their hearts were not in it, I saw that too

        of course, we’ll never know, nor will we know even if s3 was a retool, or the original plan. Mile high thinking says at s2’s end a near coupling, at s3’s end a coupling, at s4’s end a marriage, that seems like it could have been the plan all along, with planned LI’s as a tool to keep them apart in s3.

        The LI’s were doing OK as PLI’s while CS were having fun in the mask, but all hell broke loose when they stopped having ANY fun with the LI / PLI concept, from 3×7’s end, all the way thru 3×13’s beginning. The next fun CS had after the mask stealing scene, was probably ‘I appreciated the tank’ in 3×13’s begin, that is a long, long, long time on tv to have the lead couple miserable. An episode or two would have worked, 5 or 6 or 7 straight episodes is too long, especially for a show that has pretty strong comedic tendancies.

        One thing we might find out, I have read several so called experts on how s3 was prior to the extension, it sounds like it was much better. I wonder if possible the sarah / shaw romance was more like a one night stand, that ended somewhere in ep 3×9 originally, much like chuck and hannah? If so, I think the season would have worked much better.

        But S3 was what it was, luckily Honeymooners and most of what has followed has more or less redeemed what I did not like.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Dale I have participated in numerous save the show campaigns and I have invested both time and money in Chuck. I don’t think “fixing” S3 would actually be that outrageously expensive; I’m betting they could do it with some re-edits and maybe a couple days of pick-up shooting. And then, I absolutely, categorically would buy the resulting disc set of “S3: ‘shipper’s alternate”; even if it was a pretty expensive boxed set (up to $100, maybe a little more). In fact, I’d even pre-order such a set if it would help get it done. We all know many movies have had such things done (the extended cuts of Lord of the Rings were in production nearly a year after their theatrical releases; Peter Jackson has even joked about still working on Return of the King AFTER he’d won Oscars for it!) I also recall the Pilot of SG-1 being re-edited and remixed a year after the series was off the air. Such things DO occasionally happen. But I would be shocked beyond words if TPTB were willing to mess with Chuck S3. Happy but shocked.

      • Dale says:

        I think the list of things done wrong by fans is quite a lot and it would take more then a couple of days of reshoots and even if it was a couple of days the cost would be at least (including edits and other stuff) over a million dollars. Considering a Chuck episode probably costs over 3 million dollars. Also the WB would not get revenue from advertisers for that so they would have to cover the entire cost, also fans who said the entire arc was faulty will means that over 13 episodes there are a lot of areas to cover. I mean a reshoot of the train station scene, the last 10 minutes of mask, any scene with Shaw in it, the end of final exam, parts of best friend, fake name and the whole name reveal needs to be reshot, and so much more needs to be redone. I would say that they would need to reshoot half the season (13 episodes) and that would take a long time. DVD sales for chuck are horrendous, season 3 and season 4 actually. All seasons to be fair are not high. The cost Dave would be in the millions to save season 3 and are there any fans willing to put the money up? I doubt it, money talks and bu****it walks…

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think a complete re-work of S3 is in any way feasible. I would much prefer they spend their efforts making new material anyway. But I do think a very small re-working would fix those things that were most egregiously wrong were most ‘shippers are concerned. The budget numbers I’ve heard are more 1 million an episode. But again, I wouldn’t even want them to waste their time redoing themes that we’ve already moved past. I’m now far more interested in the new private teamB and Mr. and Mrs. Bartowski.
        But for the record, there was a strong feeling among commenters here at the time it ran, that S3 could have at least been made palatable with pretty minimul changes. Like removing the LI aspect of the guest stars and adding a couple of Chuck/Sarah scenes in their place (like at the end of First Class, Nacho Sampler, Mask, Fake Name and Tic Tac) I’m thinking 1 million should be adequate for my taste; at that point they would only need to sell 10000 copies at $100 to break even.
        If I were a multi-millionaire I would happily pay for further production of Chuck; but again, I would rather see new stories than rehash an arc I didn’t care for the first time around.

      • jason says:

        dave – I’d leave 1 thru 6 alone. I’d redo the end of ep 7 with chuck breaking up with hannah from the 8th ep and to end up with sarah and shaw in a car rather than in a backrub, most the film exists, just needed to be jostled around. I’d tell shipper fans to act like 8 thru 12 never happened. I would reshoot the 13th episode to include telling morgan about the intersect while tying him up, probably would take about 5 minutes total needing replacing. I’d just blank out the interrogation scene and papa b line from the back half of the misery season.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:


        People did put their money where their mouth was, PRIOR to S3.

      • ArmySFC says:

        big kev, i would agree with most of what you said except season 2 being a ratings fail, based on numbers. season 3 led the way with 2.6 mil in loses, season 1 with 2.2 (keep in mind they lost 900K between the first and second episodes), season 4 with 1 and season 2 with 700k. season 2 lost the least amount of viewers. while the ratings may not have been good enough at the time to warrant instant renewal, it still lost less viewers.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I was trying to avoid getting specific to the point I might have to do research! But I do agree they could fix the worst problems pretty cheaply. American Hero might be the biggest problem. Although maybe adding an earlier line of dialogue where Chuck and Sarah decide they’re suspicious of Shaw’s agenda and Sarah is spending a little time with him to try and get him to talk.

        Obviously the interrogation scene fro Living Dead was pretty awful. But I always thought the simplest fix was a Sarah line to effect of “he was trying awfully hard to get into my pants, but he never succeeded.” Seriously, that line could still be used any time. But again, I think for most viewers just not talking about it may be the best choice.

      • atcDave says:

        Army Kev is exactly right about the ratings fail in the spring 2009 sense of the word. It was a weak performer and everyone wanted it to do better. The fact that the bar was lowered significantly by the Leno fiasco was purely a lucky break. Chuck’s S3 numbers were not catastrophically bad compared to the rest of the network. But I maintain had S3 been handled differently Chuck could been an actual success, not just the least among the failures.

      • Dale says:

        Zach levi makes 60 k an episode, Yvonne I guess would be around 50, Adam I heard because of his status in the industry actually gets the same as Zach which is around 60 so that is 170 k then josh gomez gets I think aroun 30 k so that is 200 k. So Dave you heard that they get a million? so the rest of the cast and the whole crew and fedak and schwartz and all the writers have to split 800 k between them? lol. I think the highest network episodes get 5 million an episode, cable like breaking bad or mad men get 2.8- 3.5 million an episode. I think Chuck gets maybe 2-2.5 million an episode. Reshooting or re-editing I heard takes a long time, doing pick-up shots is not easy in the slightest. Fixing a parts of a whole season is simply not just about grabbing a camera and shooting new parts of dialogue. The costume designer has to look for the exact clothes they were wearing on the day and I have seen some of those wardrobes on set (there are thousands of clothes to look for) the make up people have to get the exact same make up and hair done for those scenes. The lighting and locations need to be re scouted. For example Shaws hotel room needs to be rebuilt and re done to get the fake name name reveal fixed. The restaurant scene in final exam at the train station has to be all re done. I mean that stupid line where sarah basically says you either kill perry and be an agent and we cannot be together or you do not do it and we still cannot be together…that whole conversation needs to be retooled and so they need to reset the whole scene. The orange orange has to be rebuilt if they destroyed it to reshoot that crappy scene where Sarah has to plead with Shaw not to kill Chuck when she should have just grabbed a gun and put a bullit in his head. The old castle needs to be rebuilt to season 3 status so that every time shaw is down there with casey they have him beat the crap out of him for being a terrible spy because how did casey let that go? I mean does anybody not remember that scene in season 1 (it was deleted) in hard salami where he told the homeland security guy to get lost? lol. So Casey needs his re-caseyfication for sure, because I love Casey! I hated what they did to him. What else? hmmmm, they need to re-edit all of shaws scenes and either put a plank of wood or c3po from star wars in there, I mean someone who can actually act, lol. Actors need to actually believe their lines that would be good instead of yvonne just standing there reading off the top of memory what the script says and not putting any effort or thought into the scenes. Oh and Zach needs to be reshot where he is actually acting like Chuck and not some idiot we have never seen before.

        I think if they can do all those things and more at a cost of 20 0r 30 million dollars then we are golden! sad to say a few 5 dollar footlongs will not cut it this time.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i’m kinda confused so let me see if i have it straight. based on the loss of 700K at the time 2009 it was considered a fail, because they expected it to do better. either lose less viewers or pick up some. is that correct? back then i just watched the show and never paid it another thought, which is the opposite of now.

      • atcDave says:

        Dale you are WAY over thinking this. It is absolutely not worth that much effort to redo S3. The show and story are beyond it now, it simply isn’t worth that much effort. I wouldn’t advocate anything that requires regathering cast or rebuilding sets. Like I said, mostly a few re-edits. Maybe redubbing some lines. Maybe add a couple Chuck/Sarah scenes shot at the fountain or in the living room (sets still in use).

        I don’t know why you’re so determined to make a big thing of this, I think major work and spending are much better invested in new product. It remains interesting to analyze past failings, just like its interesting to study Pearl Harbor or, from my own field, past operational errors. But I can’t go back and make a pilot understand a clearance that got him killed; and I can’t go back and completely redo every TV show I don’t like (it is valuable to understand what went wrong, but you can’t expect to fix every past failing). I can imagine what it would take to make a bad episode more enjoyable; but it is 99.9% likely to just be a pipe dream. I have truly never seen a movie or TV show that was perfect, but its not realistic to think anyone would just keep tweaking something until it was.

        You started this by suggesting we put our money where our mouth’s are about S3. All I’m saying is there is a limit to how far I would take this. If a few changes could be made for minimal cost, such that the studio could make something back for their trouble I’m all for it. But when you get to the sort of effort it take to make a whole new episode; PLEASE, make a whole new episode! Don’t revisit the S3 tangled mess!

        A significant number of us would be happy with some pretty minor changes. Apparently you want more. That’s fine. But for my money I would prefer new content.

      • Dale says:

        I am being a little hyperbolic…actually a lot hyperbolic. I kind of knew that when writing it, I know full well that it is not feasable, lol. But my mind did wonder a little since I was thinking about it. I mean the quesiton is how much of the season was flawed? I think most of my points are valid, they are scenes that just not fit with the characters and no minor scenes added are going to fix that. I mean what fountain scene can replace the name reveal? it would have to be an incredible one, lol. Same with the Final Exam restaurant scene…how can any minor scene make up for Sarah telling him that either choice he makes he is going to lose her? I mean how can anyone tell someone they love that? I mean she did say in other guy she has loved him or fell for him in the pilot and so how do you say something like that to someone you fell for?

        The truth is there are not really any minor changes that can change those heartbreaking moments…sadly….So my brain just skips over it….2.22 – 3.14…la de dah! lol

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Army, the ratings the network needed were much lower in S3. Remember the cancelation bear? To outrun the cancelation bear shows just needed to outrun other shows, its not a matter of absolute numbers. Of course the network would prefer if the numbers kept getting better; but NBCs numbers went dramatically south in late 2009/early 2010. So while Chuck was dangerously close to cancelation at the end of S2; it was in relatively better position, with lower ratings, for S3. And when Chuck’s S4 numbers held steady through the fall of 2010 NBC was very pleased; even though those numbers were well below S1 or S2 totals (hence the generous S4 back-order). Of course Chuck’s numbers dropped again winter and spring 2011. There’s also been a change in ownership at NBC, the new guys (Comcast) seem more willing to just dump everything and start from scratch that GE was. So Chuck ends up with a firmly small order for S5 (hey, better than nothing!). If numbers jump up in the fall, even if they never get back to S2 levels, the network could conceivably reconsider the order, but I seriously wouldn’t count on it.

      • atcDave says:

        Dale you are right that those specific examples represent the biggest problems. And I’ve advocated many times just skipping from 2.22 to 3.14. Maybe editing episodes 3.01-3.13 into a single 60 minute recap (let’s see introduce Shaw, Morgan learns about Castle/Chuck, Casey meets his daughter, Chuck shoots Shaw) and jump right into 3.14! They could even have Sarah’s offer to run away with Chuck come last to negate Prague and make Paris, and actually getting on the train together, the substitute! Now of course I’m being silly, but I’m really not interested in wasting precious time and money on fixing those mistakes.

      • atcDave says:

        BTW, somewhat unrelated. I used to love a computer game series called Baldur’s Gate. Well the games have been modified many, MANY times by enthusiastic users. One big modification allowed players to just skip the entire first chapter from the second game and go strait the chapter 2. I never quite got it, I loved chapter one. But apparently some gamers didn’t feel that way! Maybe now I understand a little better, I’d love to be able to just skip 3.01-3.13 without sacrificing so much continuity!

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry I can’t seem to shut up today. But the most obvious big fix to me is making it so Chuck and Sarah ARE actually scamming/investigating Shaw. We speculated a lot about this during the run of the season, and of course we were completely over thinking it.
        But we know a few scenes showing Casey’s mistrust of Shaw (even one discussing it WITH Sarah) DO exist. So use those, and add a couple showing Chuck and Sarah discussing it and deciding to have Sarah get close to Shaw to figure his agenda. Might work. I think the restaurant scene from American Hero would just have to be butchered all to pieces. I never liked that scene anyway…

        Remember I only watched most of those episodes once; they gave me head and stomach aches! I would have to do more research to figure out HOW such things could actually be implemented. And since I have no interest in ever rewatching, this project isn’t going to go very far!!! (but I would buy the boxed set if someone else did it!)

      • Verkan_Vall says:


        Sorry, but we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m with Dave in feeling that a 3rd season that didn’t separate the series leads would have done better than what we actually got. For many people, the angst generated by that (unconvincing) breakup obscured the other story they were trying to tell.

        Unlike you, I do blame TPTB for S3’s failure. They are in the business of entertainment, and 8 pm Monday night on NBC is still the big time. Chuck was their show, how could they NOT know where the story they had told had led the audience? I get the feeling that they completely lost touch with their customer base; they decided to ignore what the fans said, and that’s hubris, as Dave has said.

        For whatever reasons, the showrunners crafted a show that seemed designed to drive the shippers away and which basically sucked all of the fun from the show. It ignored the feedback from the fans and puncutated the season with downbeat episodes that seemed designed to tell the audience “This isn’t the old Chuck”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more effective way of burning bridges than the name reveal in Fake Name. It dragged on for so long, and did so much damage, it even drove away passionate fans, fans who had gone to the mat for the show trying to bring it back from cancellation. The DYLM and Paris scenes came across as almost as afterthoughts, bones thrown to keep the shippers happy, if they had stuck around.

        Now, I enjoyed S4, and I’ve even been able to get people who left during S3 back to the show by getting them to sit down and watch episodes like Phase 3 and Wedding Planner. But S4 was a gift or reward for the fans who didn’t like S3 but who stuck with the show anyway. Season 4 came too late for the great majority of people who left during S3. They’re gone; better to have never driven them away in the first place, instead of trying to make it up to them. The Powers That Be should have known that, it is after all their business.

      • Army SFC says:

        VV i completely agree with you leading the fans one place and going another. i’m not sure why they did it other than to keep the status quo, don’t put the leads together. i don’t think it’s just TPTB of Chuck that have the same ideas. i think it is the unwritten network standard. i’ll explain.

        this fits in with what you said VV. it kind of explains what happened to chuck in season 3. the finale of castle had beckett getting shot. castle says he loves her. we know beckett likes castle. to the viewer it looks like they will be a couple in the next season right? wrong, lol. TPTB of castle already said they did not feel the fans were ready for them to be a couple. they also said the pair will have lots of personal things standing in their way during the next season. they will have trials and tribulations in front of them. they are doing the same thing that chuck did, lead the audience one way and go another. if they don’t want the leads to be together, dont have the ILY moment. sometimes i think TPTB are either to smart for their own good or to arrogant to care.

        All, my guess is season 3 would have had much better results had they not introduced the OLI’s. Fans may not have liked them not getting together, but they hated the OLI angle. that to me was the biggest fail in season 3. i also think that on some level either JS or CF is living vicariously through chuck. the way a father pushes his son to do good in football because he never was. he takes his sons praise as his own. it sometimes feels like TPTB see themselves as chuck, and ultimately want to be him. just an opinion.

      • Verkan_Vall says:


        Agreed. The real damage came with the OLIs. I think the audience could have handled Chuck and Sarah being separate for a while, if it had been done right.

        Interesting theory about the showrunner(s) living vicariously through Chuck. I wonder what that says about them, if so.


        I have to go with Dave on this one; it would be a lot more affordable to just do new material that changes the way we view S3, instead of trying to reshoot it in part or entirely.
        It wouldn’t even take that much, in the hands of Ms. Strahovski and Mr. Levi.

      • atcDave says:

        I know Big Kev can speak for himself, but I do want to be clear I think he was right in significant details. I’m sure the writers thought they needed to make some changes to increase appeal. And they likely thought they were doing some good by continuing the wt/wt and shifting to a darker tone; both of which are very paint by numbers ways of doing modern television. So in a way, what many of us were hoping for was very radical. We were expecting an imaginative light hearted show to deliver a sort of story we just never see on television.
        Army’s example of Castle is very fitting. I think Castle is the network show closest to Chuck in feel and tone. And yet Castle’s show runners un-apologetically continue their own brand of wt/wt. Its easy to see that this is indeed the formula for network television. Castle has always been a little more formulaic than Chuck so this isn’t a big surprise. I’d also say the differences between Castle/Beckett and Chuck/Sarah make the continuing wt/wt less troublesome. As far as I know, there is far less uproar over the situation on Castle than there was for Chuck in a much shorter period of time.
        So I do understand we were expecting a lot form Chuck’s writers. I will cautiously agree with VV that wt/wt could have been continued without the OLIs. Perhaps that would have satisfied TPTB need to make the radical shift of turning Chuck into less radical television without infuriating us ‘shippers. But I’m not completely sold on that idea. I think the best solution would have been to Chuck and Sarah together, or fighting to be together all season in spite of significant EXTERNAL barriers. The most obvious mechanism being a government that is convinced Chuck needs to be isolated from emotional stimulus; maybe combined with demanding a high level of “objectivity” from Agent Walker. I think that could have resulted in a very satisfying and exciting season. The emotional stakes would have been very high, the emotion and angst would have been organic to the story, and the characters would have remained the Chuck and Sarah we know and love from the first two seasons. I admit, I’m not exactly sure how a “secret” relationship would have played on screen. But I can imagine the combination of drama, angst, and sweet that Chuck has long been known for. Could you see the briefing where Chuck and Sarah are cold towards each other, maybe even being a little snarky. Then cutting to a scene in Sarah’s apartment where they are all over each other, then jump to a dinner scene at the Awesome’s with Casey present and they’re trying to be affectionate when Ellie is watching, then detaching themselves when she leaves the room and Casey is watching, then getting their signals crossed when Ellie re-enters the room…
        I really think that would have been a fun and different story to tell for most of S3. What we got seems very cliche by comparison.

      • Army SFC says:

        Dave i agree with you on the two shows being alike in some ways. there were to big differences however. on is the way they approached the OLI’s. one: On castle they were rarely seen, you knew they had them but the contact was small. on chuck it was in you face every time. so as a viewer you could still focus on the one you wanted. Two: castle is good enough to watch with out the relationship. it does not drive the show, it’s there but it doesn’t interfere with it. so if it never happens fans can still enjoy it. on chuck it does. the relationship drives chuck. without the relationship chuck IMO is just not that good of a show. for my money that’s why season 3 took such a hit.

        if you look at all the episode reviews for season 4, i bet you will find that between 60 and 70 percent, mention the relationship first and the rest later. there is nothing wrong with that, but when you ruin the part of the show that draws fans in, you made a mistake. from everything i have read since coming here, that has been the main complaint. as you just said,” I think the best solution would have been to Chuck and Sarah together, or fighting to be together all season in spite of significant EXTERNAL barriers.” i don’t know what other complaints were made when the eps aired, i’m sure it was more than that. over the last months, it has been the relationship and how they acted.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree entirely about a big difference in how the OLIs have been handled on Castle. I’m not as sure about the difference in relative quality. I remember back in S2 having the discussion about if the show would have worked without the romance, and I think maybe yes. I liked the balance of adventure, comedy and drama. So I can imagine if Sarah were replaced with another guy spy that the show still might have been a lot of fun. But I think the moment Yvonne was cast there was no going back. The combination of her charisma and chemistry with Zach is intoxicating. And as we’ve said many times here, I think that combination quickly became THE most compelling aspect of the show for many of us. That is why we pretty much require attention be paid to the romance (which TPTB did understand) and why we want it to remain warm and fun (which TPTB failed to grasp).

        And yeah there were many other complaints made when the episodes first ran. But I think the bottom line was always the central relationship. My patience with the occasional story element I don’t like is actually pretty high, but when my favorite part of the show is messed for most of the season I get pretty cranky (as everyone knows by now!)

      • atcDave says:

        I would add (to this outrageously long thread!) a couple thoughts about Castle. I think their time for wt/wt is fast running out too. Although the situation has never felt as intense as on Chuck, I think three seasons of growing friendship is starting to test the limits for Castle and Beckett too. Of course I can’t say until I see the final product, but my sense after watching last season is that they are getting close enough where excuses for keeping them apart are starting to feel just like that, excuses. I think every show, story, and set of characters has its own tempo. And Castle’s is beginning to feel due to me. I know what the show runner has said; and I’ll make a prediction (no wagering please!) if Castle and Beckett are not together by the end S4 they will be faced with an increasingly belligerent audience. I think saying “the audience isn’t ready” is a self serving comment with no particular basis in truth, I think the audience will be ready and eager any time now. But just like on Chuck, they will burn out on the wt/wt and start getting very cranky if the story and relationship don’t deliver more than just endless tease. Now I don’t actually spend much time on Castle sites, so I’m basing this entirely on MY feeling as a viewer, not any particular feel for the mood of the audience at large. But I may have to start visiting such sites if the manipulation starts to feel as dishonest as it got to be on Chuck.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i never go to a castle site, nor do i ship them. but i agree with you. their time has played out. one reason i think affects people when the leads get together is how long it took. if it drags too long (chuck) the pay off feels cheap. it is more like a relief that the whole wt/wt is over. that’s why so many chuck fans feel they were just tossed a bone in 3.13. the return on the investment was to small. they did make up for it the next episode, the episode chuck and sarah got together should have been one the shippers talk about most. from what i read it wasn’t.

        the only way network tv will change from its tried and true, is when one show runner has the guts to start a show having the lead like each other and by the seasons end or the very beginning of the next get together. chuck had the chance to be that show and didn’t have the guts to do it. castle i fear is headed the same way. i see the same thing happening with castle that happened with chuck. like you said it won’t be pretty.

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave: totally agree about Castle. Their time has come.

        Prolonging wt/wt only cheapens the whole process, anticipation as well as pay off. Personally I think wt/wt is pretty boring after a while and very unoriginal. I was disappointed when I read what the Castle show runners said, not because I’m so invested in Castle, but because it’s just another eye-roller.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow, army, Thinkling; aren’t we an unlikely bunch to be in total agreement (er, army can probably guess who the odd man out is…)

        And yeah army, I had totally pegged Chuck to be the show to break from that convention; BIG part of why I was SO disappointed. I never really expected Castle to be that show, but briefly thought otherwise late in S3.

        My reaction to Castle was pretty much exactly like Thinkling’s, just sort of an “oh brother!” moment.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Holy Smoke this thread is long!

        @Thinkling, Dave, Army:

        Never seen Castle, is it worth a watch?

        atcDave: I would have much preferred the season that you described. Pitting C/S against an overbearing and unsympathetic beauracracy has a great deal of potential in a number of ways. What they did and HOW they did it during S3 just doesn’t make sense to me.

      • ArmySFC says:

        VV i like it a lot, so i would say yes. also white collar is very good.

        Dave, strange i know! are you saying i’m the odd man out? i better be, lol. just because i don’t ship the show, doesn’t mean the wt/wt doesn’t affect me. it really does. it just gets boring watching them make goo goo eyes at each other and not do anything about it. i roll my eyes when it happens. i feel like slapping the pair silly until they come to their senses.

        with wt/wt they always use the same reasons, he/she is to good or not good enough. my job wont let me…you get the idea. its rehash after rehash.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah VV I think Castle is a lot of fun. It’s a more traditional show (episodic, murder mystery of the week) but it’s a good balance of mystery, humor, and a little touch of drama. The central relationship is friendly and funny, but not romantic (yet, see above!). I would recommend it highly, but as I said above, we are starting to reach the point were the wt/wt will be going too far.

        And yeah army I meant you! (since Thinkling and I tend to usually agree). It makes sense to me that wt/wt would annoy non-shippers too!

      • Big Kev says:

        I’ll be honest – I usually try and avoid shows that are overtly about one central couple. That’s partly because the wt/wt gets awfully predictable, and partly because any show that runs every storyline through a central couple and has nothing else to offer just gets pretty dull, pretty quickly. I stay away from Bones and Castle for precisely that reason. They’re episodic too, which doesn’t help them appeal to me.
        I made an exception with Chuck because I loved the premise so much, because it had such a strong ensemble cast – and also because the central couple were written so sharply and originally. I loved the role reversal of Sarah as the silent protector, and I loved the way that the relationship was laced in with broader themes about destiny, loyalty, love vs the greater good, sacrifice… wasn’t just a standard wt/wt. At least not until S3.
        I think Chuck has now reverted to being exactly the sort of “one couple only” show that I used to avoid, and that’s a large part of why S4 didn’t do it for me – but that’s an old and well-worn discussion topic.
        More interesting, I think, is the question of whether Chuck will now become a good or bad example of the case for abandoning the wtt/wt stereotype and putting the lead couple together? Will other shows be inspired to follow Chuck’s lead, or will they say that it hasn’t worked? I think the jury is well and truly out – but I’d be interested to hear other thoughts?

      • atcDave says:

        Your last questions were most interesting Kev. I suppose the safest answer is just, as you said, it’s too soon to tell. I’ve seen a few variations on the old the old theme recently; namely Psych and Burn Notice. In Psych they finally put the “lead” couple together in S5, and for a few reasons I’ve wondered if they took some of their cue from Chuck. But the couple aspect of Psych is secondary at best, more like tertiary. They still have entire episodes where you wouldn’t even notice the couple is together now if you weren’t following along (its a buddy show, and its still a buddy show). On Burn Notice the lead couple has been together almost since the beginning; they are both stable and unstable at the same time (if you watch the show you know what I mean!). Since they recently moved in together I guess you’d have to say they are moving along, but this is a clear secondary story element so I don’t think I’d draw too many conclusions from it.
        The shows that feature the “romance” more prominently seem as mired as ever in the old model. I don’t watch Bones, but have reason to believe that won’t change until the show is ending (I guess that means they will follow formula until the end). I HOPE Castle will break the mold, but things do not currently look promising. I actually like a nice romantic angle to a story, but serial television has NOT been a good place for it for the reasons you mentioned. I typically find movies far more satisfying in that sense.
        I know the serial romance model is taught in film school and believed as gospel by many studio execs. I very much HOPE we will see more change in the years ahead, and I would like to see Chuck recognized as a trail blazer. I am seriously pleased they did take that big leap in late S3, in spite of the earlier fumble.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Big Kev i disagree on castle. the show doesn’t run through the central characters. they solve crimes that are independent from them. they do work on each case together, but thats no different than olivia and stabler on svu. starsky and hutch, or any set of partners that works together.

        on chuck setting the standard for getting the couples together, see above this post, lol. i think they could have been that show at the end of season 2 start of three. they screwed that up good in 3. i think it will be the standard of how not to keep the leads apart in the future. don’t lead a thirsty fan to water and not let them drink.

        i fear that TPTB of some shows will look at chuck the same way as moonlighting. they will ignore the underlying problems moonlighting had and say it was the leads getting together. it wasn’t the leads getting together on chuck that caused the demise, it was what TPTB did to keep them apart. unfortunately in today’s day and age people would rather pass on the blame to someone else than accept responsibility for what they did. TPTB of Chuck are no different. in the world of show business where you may want to work with another show runner, its better to blame the show, than the person that made the show.

      • OldDarth says:

        Kev – you really need to watch FarScape. It has many of the same ingredients of Chuck ie John Crichton & Aeryn Sun have that same crazy chemistry Chuck & Sarah do with the role reversal. Aeryn has been selectively bred and trained to be a soldier and John is all too human, emotional, and wears his feelings on his sleeve.

        The beauty of FarScape is the show wrote for the characters first and story second. So no WTF moments while watching the characters. Everything they do is plausible. Plus John had a hero’s journey that stuck for the entire series. Just a fantastically written show that created templates that shows like Lost, Fringe, and Chuck have followed to one degree or another.

        Not to say that the show is perfect, it definitely has its share of clunkers, but overall FarScape delivered a fully satisfying series arc capped off beautifully with the 4 hour PeaceKeeper Wars mini-series.

        Check it out! Highly recommended.

      • OldDarth says:

        ‘ I think, is the question of whether Chuck will now become a good or bad example of the case for abandoning the wtt/wt stereotype and putting the lead couple together? Will other shows be inspired to follow Chuck’s lead, or will they say that it hasn’t worked? I think the jury is well and truly out – but I’d be interested to hear other thoughts?’

        Kev it is doubtful that aspect will receive much consideration when Chuck’s legacy is mulled over in the future. What I feel is more likely is that Chuck will be remembered as a show with a great cast that was ultimately let down by the show’s creative team.

        Everything else will return to that observation, IMO.

      • Faith says:

        Kev, in some ways the jury is already out. Not so much as the standard other shows imitate but as the show critics point to in how to go about doing it. I made this point up above, Honeymooners was largely hailed as the right way to resolve the WT/WT. Many critics (Mo Ryan, Alan Sepinwall to name two) then and now showcase it as a show doing what others are afraid to, crossing that line from WT/WT into new territory of post WT/WT. I’ve read many articles where show runners are asked repeatedly about their own WT/WT couples and whether they see Chuck and Sarah’s resolution to be an inspiration, or if they consider the way Chuck went about their story.

        Most recently Nathan Fillion (speaking of Castle) was asked whether he thinks his character and his leading lady should get together and his answer was no. He made a joke that that’s the reason why Chuck’s ending…he even went so far as to mention moonlighting curse.

        I think Chuck is still trying to find that balance between life after WT/WT and telling a good, full story. On some days it works, on others it doesn’t but I applaud them for trying…for venturing where few shows do. I’ve never believed the Moonlighting curse, I’ve always thought that the reason why shows end is because they throw in the towel after WT/WT. I believe there is far more story to tell after the couple gets together, most shows just are unwilling and unable to tell a creative story in the same spirit as before the couple gets together, or even at all. I’ll give you an example: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Now I loved the show, but apart from dipping a little too much into ridiculous tropes to keep the couple apart before getting them together—they used a clone, need I say more?–in the fourth season the couple married (this ties into DC continuity but that’s a separate topic), but their villains were laughable. I mean they actually had a ghost of a lonely housewife as a villain for an episode. A ghost. This is quite a letdown from Tempus or Lex.

      • atcDave says:

        Army I do share some of the same concerns about incorrect lessons learned. That would be serious downer to me. I hope there’s a little more clarity about the problems of contrivances to carry out wt/wt past its expiration date. But of course, completely erroneous conclusions were drawn about Moonlighting, so I suppose clarity is something industry is not known for.

        OD I’d bet you’re wrong about that lesson; as a total series perspective I’m thinking it will be more like “a brilliantly conceived quirky series that was occasionally let down by execution.” Of course I don’t particularly agree with that view either, I would put a finer point on it about a botched single season. But I admit there’s been enough controversy over S4 it will likely be lumped in with S3 as “flawed.” Many shows that are primarily comedy are judged more on the quality of the laughs than the technical merits of the story telling; and I think Chuck will be remembered mostly as a comedy.

      • atcDave says:

        That was a great clip Faith. He does make a good point about the role of conflict in the Castle/Beckett relationship. Clearly they would have to know what to replace it with if they were going to continue. This is where I usually bring up Thin Man as a good example of sustaining a sort of loving rivalry; he brought up Hart to Hart, but that’s a less perfect analogy as Hart to Hart were mostly just sappy/sweet with each other (not much rivalry or competition between them).
        Interesting that the question about Chuck was specifically asked. This really excites me. It may mean show runners will have to more seriously consider if the wt/wt serves a real story telling interest on their show. Now that many viewers know it can be done, and done well, it becomes something that will have to be answered to. NF kind of ducked the question by talking about the risk falling off after a great high; but the point is, Chuck and Sarah have been together for 30 episodes now, with 13 more to come. That IS taking a creative risk and it is something other shows apparently will have to answer to.

      • OldDarth says:

        Dave, you’re on! Get back to me in oh say 10 years? 😉

        ‘Many shows that are primarily comedy are judged more on the quality of the laughs than the technical merits of the story telling; and I think Chuck will be remembered mostly as a comedy.’

        As you noted, the show’s fan base has pointed out issues of execution in Season 3, Season 4, and even the often lauded, gold bar standard – Season 2 contains moments of fumbles – ie. Mauser Misfire, Jill Arc, Beefcake Blowup etc; all of it is an accumulation of evidence that makes it overwhelmingly clear that the creative team let the cast down repeatedly.

        When you have large portions of 2 seasons plus parts of a third leaving fans questioning creative choices that is far more than an occasional fumble.

        As for Chuck being best remembered as a comedy; another sign that the creative team fumbled the ball. The show was always presented as a mix of drama and comedy.

        Your prognostication that the show will be remembered mostly as a comedy would leave me extremely sad and further proof of the show’s untapped potential.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave OD, i sit on the fence of how chuck will be remembered. i honestly don’t think after the show is finished there will be much talk at all. it never reached that large of an audience or to the greatness it would need to be talked about. it may get some thoughts with the show runners, but with TV fans in general not so much. granted the fan base is vocal but it is still small by TV standards. second, people tend to remember the last things they see about a show. a good example is MASH. when it began it was mostly a comedy. as the show progressed it changed into more of a drama,taking on PTSD, and infidelity (where in the beginning it was common place and funny) and some say a protest on war. by the time it ended it was mostly a drama, and that’s what most fans remember. another is roswell. similar to chuck it had a rabid fan base that actually got it another season, what do you hear about it now? insert crickets chirping here.

        OD talks about farscape and lauds it. i never saw it. i think that will be the reaction to chuck years after the show is over. that to me is a shame. chuck had the potential to be so much more than it is. a few changes here or there in season two, they removal of season three, some changes in season 4 and yeah it would have been a show people talked about for a long time. and also still on the air for more seasons.

      • OldDarth says:

        In truth Army, I agree with you that Chuck will merely be a footnote. Your post adroitly captures the issues with the show.

        Shows that get remembered do so because they ran with all cylinders firing and even that is no guarantee – vis a vis FarScape. There are intangibles that go into the mystique of why certain shows survive and others do not but ultimately it is because the shows were about something. Usually in relation to the human condition. The original Star Trek is testimony to this. The writing, acting, and technical aspects of the show may be dated but the ideas it put forth are ageless.

        When a shows’s fanbase cannot agree on the best aspects of a show it is proof the show lacked clarity. ie you postulate dumping Season 3 and making tweaks to Season 4 would raise the show’s prospects for long term remembrance. I would postulate some minor tweaks to Season 3 and dumping Season 4 – or at least do a major overhaul of the Season 4 spy story, dropping the horrid hammer job done to tie the Volkoff and Bartowski families together, and give Chuck, the character, a purpose along with some sense of danger and/or risk.

        A show without fan consensus and a fractured fan base has little hope of carrying a long term legacy.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        It all comes back to the “balance” we always seem to talk about.

        Chuck and Sarah work well as a couple, of that there is no doubt. Also, it can be said that putting your romantic leads together is not necessarily the kiss of death. But in Chuck’s case I attribute this solely to the actors and their “bombsized” chemistry. (NEWSFLASH!!!! It’s been there  since the pilot!) 

        But in all honesty, I think Chuck will be seen as example of HOW NOT to put your romantic leads together. Not that they should’t be together, just how not to do it.

        (Bones just did the same thing but for external reasons. I’m done with Bones)

        The relationship on Chuck always worked best when it was bubbling underneath the surface poking its head up once in a while. The relationship only became the true central focus of the show when it WASN’T there. The show hasn’t found its balance since. It could also be said that there were no relationships present for a good portion of that certain story arc of doom.

        Castle, to me, has reached its tipping point. I’ve read that there is already an LI in the works for Rick this season. I give Castle 1 or 2 episodes to impress me. I’m not optimistic.

        TPTB at TBBT have totally “Shawed” Penny and Leonard to the point that Penny and Sheldon would be more believable, and likely more fun. 

        I agree with OD, John and Aeryn were done well (there were a few wobbles mind you) and most importantly in happened in an “organic” way. Something that didn’t happen with Chuck and Sarah.

        FNL notwithstanding, I wonder sometimes if showrunners, in general, just don’t have a clue how to conceive a compelling story with the romantic leads together, so they’re scared of it. According to their comments, Schwedak certainly were.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Why does that NF video remind me of a certain AA video?

      • atcDave says:

        Shepperd I believe the problem is institutional to Hollywood. Film school doesn’t even teach writing a couple together, they teach that putting a couple together is the end. I think the issue is almost comically bad in a number of movies (Legend of Zorro, National Treasure 2, Jewel of the Nile) where the writers are so clearly clueless and terrified of writing a couple together that they stage a stupid break-up, just so the sequel can feature getting them back together again. It would be even funnier if it weren’t so sad. Makes me appreciate even more how bold they were with “The Mummy” movies keeping the featured couple together through three films. That makes Chuck very daring too. As I said elsewhere, I really HOPE this puts new pressure on writers to actually write relationships, and not just endless wt/wt. But it has become a lost skill; it was clearly more common to write for couples in the 40s and 50s, let’s hope Chuck is the start of relearning a lost art!

      • Faith says:

        Eric of IGN described Chuck to a T this weekend, namely as a “cult-show” and I agree. So to me it won’t be not remembered (sorry for the double-negative) because it had horrible ratings, but despite of it. It’ll be that little show that could, inspired, different but just didn’t pan out for its early audience but achieved cult-status. And maybe those that come after will come to appreciate it more. I still get people that have just tuned in to Chuck that think it’s the best ever…they’re not at all bothered by the same things that we are, they love it and think the seasons we may or may not object to, are the best!

      • atcDave says:

        We really need some way of keeping score of “longest thread ever”, we may be setting a record!

        I do agree Faith that Chuck will always be a “cult show.” But that doesn’t mean it won’t be remembered! Like Star Trek or Firefly, it will remain an all time favorite for an enthusiastic but small group. I expect to have fond memories of Chuck (and a much smaller number of bitter ones!) for the rest of my life.
        It’s funny, I know plenty of folks (including my mom) who basically turn up their nose at anything I like. It’s almost an automatic, “if Dave likes it it must be weird.” I think I’m a fan of a large number of cult shows. I do believe Chuck will always be first among those. Well, its hard to say what the future holds, but I have a hard time imagining getting this invested again.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I THINK this is the right thread.

        I’d like to second OldDarth in regards to Farscape. It is the only other show in the past 20 years that got to me as much as Chuck did, although it has a different mix of comedy/action/drama. Not perfect, but well worth your time.

        I think that I agree as well with OD’s prediction that Chuck will be remembered as a show with a great cast that was let down by the creative team. But if I HAVE to choose between drama and comedy, give me comedy. A lighter S5 may not be Chuck at its full potential, but laughter is more precious that most people realize, especially nowadays.

        Here’s hoping for a great season 5.

    • JC says:

      Its been said countless times but its all about balance. Going too far in any direction with the show doesn’t work. The show is horrible about continuity and dropped plots so going in more a serious direction doesn’t work. Go to far with the comedy and the show becomes Get Smart. Too much romance and angst you get the OC. I’ve always said the show is like a live action comic book and that’s where they should take their cues And all they have to do is watch their own show. From First Kill through Ring Pt1 hit every mark.

      Jason your point about Team B saving the world is on point. The last two seasons the main villains sole agenda seemed to be about keeping either Chuck and Sarah apart or his family. Even though Fulcrum’s main goal was Chuck the threat they posed seemed far greater. Whoever the villain is this seaon needs be a threat to the world not just the extended Bartowski family.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Balance. I have to agree. The pendulum swung totally one way in S3 and then totally (OK maybe not totally) the other way in S4.

        I’m truly hoping the can find it again for S5.

      • ArmySFC says:

        JC good point. it was the threat to only family B that caused me to lose interest as season 4 went along. like you said they need the big bad to threaten the world to make it work again.

        Shepperd, agree 100% on the pendulum swing and the balance. for a show like chuck that has a diverse audience in what it wants, they need to keep all aspects almost equal. swing to far you lose the shippers, go the other way you lose the drama fans. it’s a hard balance to keep.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      But see, this is where I usually pipe in and talk about not paying off the drama. There are many examples of this in S4 which frustrate the snot out of me.

      I mentioned earlier about Sarah not realizing that the Volkoff mission was not for her (Mama B told her at the start of Push Mix) really making the Sarah drama from the end of Balcony and all of Gobbler pointless.

      Look at 4.24. Chuck spends 3/4 of the episode in drama trying to save Sarah, and when he finally does, the payoff (Sarah waking up) is pushed aside for a supposedly comedic split second funeral fake out that IMO wasn’t worth it.

      So from my chair it wouldn’t take much to payoff the drama and still have the comedy. But not paying off the drama, and in some cases in favor of comedy really started to add up in S4.

      • atcDave says:

        The only one of those that really bothered me was Sarah on Mary’s mission. I’m okay with the more comic tone, and I was even okay with sacrificing the drama of Sarah waking up for the sight gag of the church events board (although I wish they’d done it differently, I’m not angry about the way they did). My only real wish is for a story we can all be happy with in S5, although I was mostly happy with S4 so I don’t see much that needs changing. Maybe a more serious attempt at continuity; a main arc that finds the right level of menace without damaging the main characters.

    • OldDarth says:

      Oops – I thread jumped! I have copied the post above to the right thread.

      Feel free to delete these two posts. And hopefully only these two. 😉


      • atcDave says:

        Actually this kind of gives a chance at a fresh thread!

        I don’t think its all bad for Chuck to remembered as a comedy, many comedies are highly regarded. And often they have more going on than pure laughs. Chuck is clearly a step more sophisticated than say Get Smart or Home Improvement; and I think there’s little risk of it being confused with those shows. But it will never be seen the same was Lost or Mission Impossible either; and it never set out to be like those shows. It has drawn inspiration from a mix of genre and has consistently been eclectic (hmmm, is that an oxymoron?). I think it will be remembered for that mix, but leaning more towards the comedy.
        And I do think it will be remembered. In spite of a few fumbles, it delivered a multi-genre product very effectively most of the time. It made the lead couple a couple about half way through its run. It certainly ran longer after a fan based “save the show” campaign than any other show I’ve ever heard of. And it escaped cancellation threats MANY times. I think many of the characters will be remembered and known for many years to come too. I think Chuck will have an important legacy for a long time to come.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i agree with you on many comedies being highly regarded. maybe my idea of a comedy is different than yours. to me a comedy is a show that tries to elicit laughs most of the time like 2.5 men or the big bang theory. not a show that puts in a funny scene on occasion. i never thought chuck was a comedy, it was more like a drama. then again i may not think the same things as you are funny.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’m not thinking “sit-com.” the hour-long comedy is fairly rare, and when it’s done it’s normally more of a mixed genre show like Chuck (Psych being another example, although Psych is even more of a pure comedy than Chuck). I often enjoy the hour-long comedies, they typically have a little more drama and plot to them than a half-hour sit-com. I would place a show like Castle just on the other side of the line, more of a drama that occasionally uses comic elements. To me, the mixed genre shows are always funnier than the pure comedies because they make you like and care about the characters more; so the laughter is often more heartfelt. I am a big fan of this sort of show, it is my favorite thing to watch. Chuck being the best of the best for me, usually hitting that mix of comedy, action-adventure, and drama just perfect.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Shepperd. i think your right about the show writers being afraid of it. i think he reason for it is there is nothing they can copy from. there is no formula that they can use. if you look at chuck except for the basic premise of chuck, the mold of the characters is the same as most dramas out there today. they all had bad pasts or a traumatic event in it. they just tweaked each on a bit and got the big three. then add in a sprinkle of OLI’s and you have a drama. i’m sure it’s not that easy, but everything done on chuck has been done before many times. (leaving out the leads getting together).

        a show that has the leads together would be ground breaking territory. but it would need to be early in the show like season 1. the reasons are simple, most people do not like change. they prefer their comfort zones. once a pattern has been established for a show it’s hard to break that in it’s self needs to be done slowly. look at the mega post above for some examples. the banter on castle is one example. when fans get used to that it is hard to get away from it because the fans expect it to be there every week. to make it work it would have to be done early enough before most fans settled into what they expected on the show.


    • OldDarth says:

      Great thoughts Thinkling.

      It will be curious how big a deal syndication – in the traditional sense – will have. In these days of streaming video and VOD it’s so hard to predict.

      On the plus side, streaming was how I found FarScape and became a big fan so there is hope for Chuck in that aspect

      • thinkling says:

        Good point OD. syndication does catch some viewers, and you usually get to watch uninterrupted. Being in the US for blocks of time here and there, we wouldn’t have seen any shows if it weren’t for syndication. I’m spoiled. I much prefer picking a show and watching it in a more compressed time period.

        That’s another factor that plays into all of this, not the wt/wt, but the ratings and measuring viewership. This is sort of another topic, one that we’ve discussed before, but people aren’t getting their entertainment (in any medium) the same way they used to. I’m not sure how the industry will adjust, but adjust it will have to. Though I watch most of what I watch online/VOD, I have to know that it was all paid for, to start with, the old-fashioned way … by advertisers. Some people will never cut the cable, but a growing number of people aren’t watching live … or even DVR any more. That makes it hard to calculate viewership and even harder to calculate what percentage of viewers saw the ads.

      • OldDarth says:

        Totally with on the compressed time frame for viewing. Being able to watch a show at a pace of your own preference allows for a more engrossing experience.

        As an avid reader it makes watching TV feel much more like a reading experience ie more immersive.

      • thinkling says:

        Exactly. In the same way I prefer to read a book series after all the books are written as opposed to waiting a year for the next one to come out.

      • atcDave says:

        I do exactly the same thing on books, wait until the series is complete before I start (been staring at Lawhead’s latest for many months now, it will probably be a few years before I start the series!)

        But no doubt figuring out a new revenue stream to take advantage of changing viewing habits is a huge issue. I currently watch video content about four different ways, some clearly generate better revenue for the provider than others. I wouldn’t even object to a total pay-per-view system, except that it would make finding new shows tougher (I’d be hesitant to pay for any show that was a total unknown).

      • thinkling says:

        I’ve thought about that, Dave, but I don’t see how a total pay per view system would pay for the production of the shows. Maybe some sort of hybrid?? Still, some people just want to sit and surf. They like the idea of paying a relatively small fee for 2000+ options per day. I am more intentional and selective, and it annoys me that I have to pay for a boatload of c$@# to get the few shows I really watch (so I cut the cord). But like I said, the stuff I watch through Hulu, Netflix, and VOD, at one time was paid for by ads. It’s a real dilemma for the industry.

      • thinkling says:

        ** I’d pay in advance for more seasons of Chuck if they want to experiment 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’d pre-pay for a lot of Chuck!

        I guess I just meant that I would be fine with all pay-per-view, I don’t casually watch much anymore. Like I said though, I’m not sure how I would find new shows without previews/commercials. If $1 was charged per episode, most shows would be fine with 2-3 million viewers; and I’d be fine watching one or two shows most nights.
        I think a big thing that upsets the cart though is the number of more casual viewers, especially more “background” shows like reality/dancing with has-beens stuff and HGTV/FOOD/TLC sort of programming that virtually demands a lack of total concentration. I think those type of shows will need to stay in the commercial/free broadcast/basic cable realm.

      • thinkling says:

        I suppose any provider would find a way to pitch other shows. Like Netflix and Hulu both give recommendations based on your viewing habits. That’s how I’ve found a lot of series that I’ve watched recently.

        OTA could increase their ad based offerings, cable and dish companies could offer a hybrid of ad based and subscription/VOD, and internet could offer strictly subscription based and 2nd run series. Internet could also have ad based … like Hulu does (as long as they keep it short like Hulu).

  18. To Joe, Ernie, Agent in waiting, Liz, Faith, and atcdave! Sorry for the late response.

    What I commented on over 48hrs. ago that the “FAKE NAME” is the most talked about and controversial episodes not only for S3 but for the series up to this point! But what bothers me is what happens in the “BEARD” when Sarah asked Chuck did he flash? he says no and Shaw’s response is that he hasn’t flash in a week since Gruber was killed! First of all, how did they know that Chuck has lost the ability to flash unless a mission took place where he didn’t function well as a spy at all or he told the team at Castle. Another episode before the “BEARD” would’ve made since.

    So I’m challenging all the all the main blog writers of this website. If you were a acript writer writing this next episode know everything that has happened in the “FAKE NAME”, what will this episode will be called? Now, this eposide must have a story plot, what each character will be saying to each other and you can throw a mission in there if you want too, I mean everything! write it like a real script and most imprtant of all, it must co inside with what happens in the beginning of the “BEARD” when Shaw benches Chuck due to his inability to flash! Now I did came up with 2 titles for this episode, Chuck vs the “AFTERMATH” and Chuck vs the “FALLOUT”,but you can come with your own title. Put this as your main blog post on this website and let the fans of the show chime in. “GOOD LUCK!”

    • joe says:

      Hoo boy!

      Bernard, that’s quite a challenge, and your timing is AWFUL! I’m going to visit my parents for the Labor Day weekend (apologies to all – I’ll be computer-less for the duration), and I have a feeling that writing a script, fun though it may be, won’t be on my mind ’till I return.

      But tell you what. When I get back I will give it some serious thought. I’m not sure I agree with your premise, that there was, of necessity, a mission between Fake Name and Beard, but there certainly was fallout and an aftermath. Good titles, BTW.

      Based on that, I may throw you a curve ball! We’ll see. 😉

    • Faith says:

      Hello there Bernard. First let me just say I would never presume to think I could do a better job than any of the writers. While I wouldn’t say I “liked” fake name, I understood it and felt it was a deeply emotional and well written (in the sense of intended devastation and emotion) episode. Having said that, I would have started the healing sooner. I think Mask aptly communicated Chuck’s rock bottom and I would have explained that rather than built on it. But again I’m not a script writer, I don’t even play one on the Internet. 😉

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      Fake Name is where the show lost me in S3. So any episode after it, for quite a long time didn’t help. Like Faith says reconciliation WAS at least required to start by Mask, it would have DYLM a much better scene.

      But if your looking for an episode title I’ll go with “Where’s Chuck”.

  19. Amrit says:

    I put this in the spoilers page as something I would like to see, but since this is a thread of the most romantic episode of CHUCK, I will post it here as well. If they can create something this beautiful in the final season between Chuck and Sarah, then that would be unforgettable.

  20. jason says:

    A few random viewing observations from the weekend:

    1 – What makes a TV series a great re-watch for some of you? I don’t know exactly how to define it for me, but I do know it when I see it.
    2 – The movie Larry Crown, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (Pelican Brief is a fav of mine), the movie was spectacularly ordinary, yet I loved it & recommend to those who have not seen, esp those chuck fans who remember ‘punch cards’
    3 – I watched several eps of ‘Seven Days’, a real wt/wt in this tv series, very, very Moonlighting-ish, but the striking thing about the series, made in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, is how much technology has changed, one of the first eps also eerily portrayed / predicted a plane flying into the White House
    4 – I re-watched the first two s3 Castle eps, Castle has a much higher rewatchability ratio for me than Chuck. I find myself not FF’ing any of Castle. With Chuck, even eps I like, I cruise thru them with the FF button smoking. So much of what is on screen Chuck is irrelevant, Castle near none of it is. Sorry – not an observation I want to make, it just is that way for me.

    • ArmySFC says:

      Jason, i agree on numbers 1 and 4. 1 kinda hits on why i like a show or not. i cant really explain it. i just know when a show catches my fancy.

      on 4 i think you need to like all aspects of the show to avoid the FF button. not that i watch many episodes again, when i do i skip the parts i find to be filler. i have watched every episode of this years castle more than once, usually after it aired. anad haven’t FF yet. the one episode of chuck i did re-watch was push mix. the part of that episode that annoys me the most is when jeffster does their thing in the hospital. some may have liked it, i understand that. but there was so much serious stuff going on that it really felt out of place.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Chuck, except for most of S3, scores very high on rewatchability for me. Its the only TV show I EVER remember where I will happily rewatch most episodes the day they run. And I just watched Alma Mater (1.07) tonight. I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t rewatch at least a couple Chuck episodes.

      A FEW other shows, like Castle and Burn Notice, I can rewatch on occasion, but not back-to-back; and not endlessly. Burn Notice is in second place among shows currently running where I have watched some episodes 3 or 4 times. Castle is a lot less fun to me once I know who done it. Other series that are highly rewatchable for me would be, in order: Rockford Files, Star Trek: TOS, Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, SG-1, Magnum PI.
      I never FF when I watch (except for commercials).

    • thinkling says:

      Ditto Larry Crown, Jason. Very good. It actually teaches some ordinary values (education, friendship, respect (of men toward women), military service) that aren’t as ordinary as they used to be … kind of like Larry Crown. He is pretty ordinary to those of us who remember punch cards, but he’s becoming less and less ordinary.

      • jason says:

        think – yep – you saw what I did except you expressed it directly, what I tried to express with the phrase ‘spectacularly ordinary’ because I could not find the right words to describe what I saw, you did – ‘Aces’

    • AgentInWaiting says:

      I’m with atcDave on this except I’m in the small (tiny) minority that finds 3.1-3.13 very acceptable (and could have been very, very good with about 5-10 minutes of tweaks) so all seasons get rewatched. Going beyond not FFing, I make it a point not to eat dinner during the rewatches so I can focus on the little asides that are always popping up.

      Other rewatchable shows (but not as much as Chuck for me):
      Better Off Ted
      The Big Bang Theory
      Sports Night
      The West Wing (first four seasons)
      Doctor Who reboot Season 4
      Yes Minister
      Yes Prime Minister

      • atcDave says:

        I agree about the 5-10 minutes in most episodes, but those 5-10 are killer! (I can rewatch 3.03 & 3.04).

      • AgentInWaiting says:

        Actually I was referring to 5-10 minutes in total for 3.1 to 3.13, mostly focusing on Mask, Fake Name, and Beard.

      • atcDave says:

        Well those are the worst, plus Final Exam. But no, I just can’t do it, no rewatches for me!

      • jason says:

        I tried farscape, only made it 10 or 15 minutes and turned it off, will have to give it another go based on the recommendations here – normally I like what fans here like. I liked West Wing, and like Castle, do no FF’ing during West Wing as often the smallest B or C plot contains nuggets of relevance to the overall plot or some great stuff worth re watching, something Chuck simply does not do. For me and Chuck, there are probably about 20-25 eps I do not care to rewatch (17 of which were from s3), and another 5-10 minutes in nearly every episode that I FF.

        But …… why do I like Chuck more than those other shows? Mo Ryan wrote early this year on her new site, something about Chuck being both some of the best and worst TV she watches, that is how I see Chuck. The stuff I like on Chuck, I like more than any other TV I have ever watched. Honeymooners was the closest to an entire episode of such viewing for me.

        From my perspective, the reason s4 was better than s1 or s2 or s3, is there were far fewer cringe-worthy scenes, moments, and especially episodes that made me not want to watch the ep ever again. But even s4 had its share of wasted time. I have to agree with the majority here, s2 had the least irrelevant scenes, the season was written the ‘tightest’ of any. Was s2 the only season that Chuck got all 22 episodes up front, without an extension? If so, that might be the reason s2 felt more congruently written than the other seasons?

      • atcDave says:

        I think S2 got the back order shortly after production started, but before anything had aired.

  21. Sam Carter says:

    I honestly think that Chuck will be remembered as a really fun show. And a show with very charming characters, great pop culture references, great music, and a show with heart. Few can say that.

    I just have never seen a show (with live actors) as funny as this. Now I don’t know if S5 will be as good as I wish it could/should be, but I doubt it will be totally boring. Even S4 had some really funny moments.

  22. Pingback: And the Winner is … | Chuck This

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