Chuck vs. The Zoom 5.01

First Impressions

The first episode of season five is history.  So what did everyone think?  Carmichael Industries, Morgansect, the grand conspiracy..

Let’s talk first impressions of the first episode of the last season.


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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234 Responses to Chuck vs. The Zoom 5.01

    • jason says:

      I skimmed thru a doz web reviews, as well as the comments here:

      1 – What happened to Chuckthis, the ultimate shipper, Chuck loving site? The comments here blasted the episode vs the reviews I read????

      2 – I did not read one negative comment about Morgan and Sarah. I am a huge shipper & don’t want any PLI’s this entire season, let alone a hint of LI’s. With that in mind, I thought the Morgsy and Sarah scenes were quite tasteful and appropriate to what going on a cover date with your best friend’s girl would be like? Matter of fact, I thought the shrimp scene and the getting the folder on T.I.T.S. Sarah showed the appropriate disdain that I have seen in more than one on my friends wives when her husband and I were off-grid so to speak. I also thought Sarah, Morgan AND CHUCK all reacted appropriately to the sleezy touch in the dancing scene.

      3 – I loved how poorly Shaw’s character was received in s3, so I must admit, I was happy that the actual Morgan intersect execution did not go all that well. So any negative I read (that was near unanimous on the web) about that I viewed as positive. But, one thing I thought and also read in one review, Morgan has not had ANYTHING to do on missions, at least with the intersect he has a role. There is plenty for four to do on missions, most spy / mystery / detective shows use 4 or 5 agent teams on missions / investigations anyhow.

      4 – Going into the ep, I did not like the losing all their money plot, calling Chuck and Sarah ‘dolts’. But to make the Buy More relevant these last 12 eps, this was a great idea. If it were me, I would have had them spending 400 mil on startup costs, and had Decker steal their last 471 mil, which was in a dozen investments, all linked to the one account, but that is just me.

      5 – I loved the parallel between the house Chuck thought Sarah wanted, and the house Sarah wanted to the man Chuck thought Sarah wanted to the man Sarah fell in love with.

      6 – I hope quickly that the Decker story gets less cryptic, and more defined bread crumbs are given, and soon.

      Anyhow, just my opinion of the episode. But, I have liked all the first eps more than most people, this one was no exception.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with most of that Jason. I enjoyed this episode. I’m baffled by any complaints about the Sarah/Morgan interaction; I really like that the two of them have become friends, but that friendship has its limits. As you said, completely fitting for a best friend’s wife situation.
        The money thing just struck me as typical made-for-tv silliness. You have to know with a big windfall like that they’re not going to just leave it alone all season. Making the Buy More matter struck me as an excellent choice.
        And yeah, besides the fact we know Decker is a bad guy, we don’t really have a clue what his mission is. He wanted the Intersect removed and Chuck out of the agency; but he wants Chuck to fail outside of the agency too? Does he want him crawling back? and Why? It is all very mysterious right now, I too hope we get answers soon.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I don’t care if the answer does not come until the end, I just want some tangible clues, so I can feel like guessing. Maybe some inventive people here will start to figure stuff out about Decker or some teasers will come out, but I would prefer something on screen to get the discussion rolling. Right now I have nothing.

        One thing nobody has ever written about as far as I know. Do you realize how great this show would be if Orion’s identity was still unknown? He should have been the one pulling the strings behind the scenes, sometimes helping Team B, sometimes hindering them, such that we did not know if he was good or bad?

        The most popular current explanation of the conspiracy is something along the lines of Graham (or shaw, or Beckman, or maybe Orion yet?) being an evil behind the scenes guy. But most of the back story will have to be made up between now and the 13th ep to make that work. What TPTB come up with will have to be made up going forward to fit the past, rather than the past part of a big masterfully written and unfolded story. This is the challenge going forward for the next 12 eps.

        Last night was not a strike out or no show regarding the conspiracy, more like a swing and a miss, luckily, in boring baseball the batter gets three strikes and the team get three outs, so we have a little time.

    • Faith says:

      “What happened to Chuckthis, the ultimate shipper, Chuck loving site?

      Too much hate on the quote-unquote crazy shippers, now they’re gone. We’re stuck with this ;).

  1. Rick Holy says:

    Great start. This is going to be an AWESOME season. I actually even liked the idea of Carmichael Industries losing all the money. It would almost be too easy with unlimited funds. Now it makes the Buy more relevant – as a necessary money maker. In the end, I think the house with the red door and the picket fence will be the Bartowski home – part of a perfect ending.

    I know it’s against all odds, but my Christmas wish this year would be a back 9 episode order to take us up to an even 100!

  2. Yep – Great start. Not too fast – not too silly… Chuck thinking on his feet – always a good thing.
    Anytime we can see that much [of] Sarah Walker : )
    I just wish they would have started with a 2 hour season premier ~ just say’n.

  3. atcDave says:

    Well that was fun! Awesome to have my favorite show back. Zoom won’t go down as one of my favorites, more like an average episode; but you know, an average episode of Chuck still beats anything else in my book.

    My favorite part was Chuck having to save the day with his brains. Of course we’ve seen this plenty of times before, but without the 2.0 its like he’s working without a safety net. And I was laughing out loud to see his “plan” in action. He manages to be nerdy, excitable Chuck and yet clever and brave all at the same time. I always like seeing that.
    The Morgansect was played mainly for laughs as we expected. Although it was nice to see Morgan make a difference at times too, I especially thought the racquetball scene was a lot of fun. The Morgan/Sarah dance scene was very funny, all the more since I’m the same height as Joshua Gomez. Sarah probably shouldn’t have worn heals (she looked about a foot taller than Morgan!). But I loved that scene!
    The Chuck/Sarah relationship felt just right to me. I’ll be happy if they can maintain that sort of dynamic for most of the season (I’m not ruling out some real drama at some point, but I hope sweet, fun and honest remains the baseline).
    The Buy More clearly felt like an afterthought, but in the end that was the point and it seems clear the Buy More will matter more in future episodes.
    I’m sure I’ll have more later. But those are my initial thoughts…

    • Rick Holy says:

      I loved the Morgan/Sarah dance scene – it brought back memories of Bryce/ Sarah and then Chuck/Sarah dance scenes. It’s like Morgan was so into it, yet at the same time he knew he had to “Curb His Enthusiasm” since it was his best friend’s wife.

      Yvonne always nails it, no matter with whom she’s paired. I seem to remember reading that she had some dance training in her background. I hope the cast doesn’t disappear once CHUCK ends. They’ve all got so much going for them.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah absolutely. I liked Morgan “looking out” for Sarah in his own confused way. I felt really bad for Chuck trapped back in the van, but it was awesome to see him keep the mission focus and talk Morgan back down.
        There’s no doubt Yvonne can dance, and she seems to have chemistry with anything except a block of wood! I sure hope she goes on to big things, but I’ll never forget Sarah Walker.

    • joe says:

      Me too. For a second I thought they were going to over-do Chuck’s insecurities. Then they pulled it out with Ellie’s “the training wheels are off” speech. Perfect! I thought they might re-hash the “Chuck’s keeping secrets from Sarah!” trope. Nope. It was playful fun. Worried for a moment that there wasn’t enough action. Then Chuck goes flying through the window. Fantastic!

      The opening was great! Weeks ago, when I saw a clip that featured Jean Claud’s (Mark Hamill) chateau, I mentioned how I would love to see Chuck&Sarah, power couple, living there. Chuck had the same idea. It’s better that Sarah is a “toes in the sand” kind of girl, and man, that scene of the house with the red door and picket fence was better yet. Not because of the house, but because Sarah sold me on it.

      Did I mention that I really like how Chuck looked like a hero? Yeah, even without the Intersect, he’s the leader.

      Like you Dave, I need two hours too. I missed Alex, Devon and Big Mike. Well, maybe Alex anyway. And another hour of Sarah is always welcome. Loved her new hair-do.

      • atcDave says:

        Ditto all Joe. I thought Chuck hit exactly the right level of being a little down over the loss of the Intersect, but not getting carried away with it.

        And did anyone else appreciate the irony of the baseball slam? I haven’t seen ratings yet, I imagine we got crushed, but it was funny to get that dig in. Of course there’s no way they could have known they’d be opposite game 7 of the World Series when they filmed that.

  4. Gord says:

    Sorry, but I had a totally different take. To me that was one of the worst episodes of Chuck I have ever seen. I think it ranks right down there with Mask.

    Most of the jokes fell flat for me, Morgansect was even worse than I feared, the action sequences were mundane and the plot was just a little too contrived for me. It seemed like they were trying too hard.

    I was extremely disappointed with what they did with the Decker conspiracy in this episode too.

    We all see different things in this show, and I suppose its good that the bulk of the fans enjoyed the episode, but with the exception of Sarah’s technique for extracting secrets and operation Toes In The Sand, I was not impressed.

    I will give it another week but the show will have to get a lot better for me to keep watching.

  5. Cenodoxus says:

    Wonderful kickstart to the season, and I think it’s a sign of just how good Chuck can be when the showrunners and the writers have a firm handle on how many episodes they’re going to get. I’m depressed we won’t get more than 13, but if they’re all this good, at least the show’s going out with a bang.

    Zoom did feel a little bit “Everything but the kitchen sink”-esque, but season premieres tend to suffer from that no matter what. However, it did a great job of setting up the season’s themes:

    a). Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. More of this, please! I would love to see the two of them in quiet, mundane, wholly domestic moments. Levi and Strahovski play off each other brilliantly, and it’d be great to see Chuck and Sarah going about their lives for a few minutes unconcerned about their jobs.

    b). Chuck’s feelings of insecurity over the loss of the Intersect and where he stands relative to the team now. I think this has the potential to be a really strong arc over season 5. The Intersect has always been sort of a MacGuffin for the various crutches a young adult relies on in order to navigate society successfully, and the loss of it is a great chance for Chuck to ask who he is on his own terms — particularly because the Intersect wasn’t just Dumbo’s feather and does actually make a difference to a mission. The massage scene dealt with this well.

    c). How the Morgansect fits into the scheme of things. I thought the use of it was really just right. Funny and useful but not overbearing, and I think it’s cool to see Morgan get his day in the sun after throwing himself into every job, no matter how unpleasant or boring, for the team previously. Everyone needs a friend like Morgan.

    d). Casey’s injections of pessimism (or, depending on how you want to see it, realism) and humor (“Do I have to?”). Casey’s moral issues with their clients is pretty consistent characterization, because his world starts coming apart at the seams when his personal and professional senses of honor don’t line up with each other (e.g., his growing discomfort with the order to eliminate Chuck in the season 2 premiere). I’m looking forward to the tiff with Verbanski.

    e). The dependence on the Buy More to keep both businesses running. As much as it’s hard not to /facepalm over the specter of Carmichael Industries burning through $800 million in startup costs (!) and then losing the last bit of it to the CIA, I think Chuck is ultimately more interesting when it embraces its limitations. There really wouldn’t be much at stake every week if they could shrug off a $10 million loss on a mission and keep chugging along. However, the inmates are now responsible for the financial health of the asylum. Take it away, Jeff and Lester!

    f). The wider arc of the season and what the hell’s going on with Decker.

    g). I’m glad we got at least a brief Ellie scene. As with A, hopefully we get more Bartowski family stuff.

    One thing I wondered about is the apparent neutering of Sarah — time was when the writers might have relied on her to get them out of the sticky situation at the end — but I wonder if that’s just a sign of Carmichael Industries’ being a private enterprise. As civilians, Casey and Sarah don’t have the freedom to negotiate missions with guns/knives blazing anymore. Hmmm.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for some good and thoughtful comments. I expect we’ll get more “domestic” sort of scenes as the season goes. The friend and family relationships are so key to why Chuck works. But it seemed like their hands were full in this one establishing the new reality.
      You know I never get enough of Sarah saving the day, but I think it was important to get Chuck as the hero using his brains this time around. I expect we’ll get a few moments for Sarah to shine as the season goes. It will be interesting if we continue to see a difference in how they handle the use of force as a private interest.

    • I agree with your bullet points.

      They are civilians now. B&E and theft are bad enough for civilians, but the authorities would probably not look too lightly on murder.

      I didn’t see Sarah and neutered and more than Casey. Sarah showed a lot of spy skills 1) disarmed a guy when Morgan started a distraction at the beginning 2) “handled” Chuck even though he was the leader 3) knew Chuck was hiding something 4) extracted the secret from Chuck 5) intimidated Morgan to handing over the binder 6) stole the keycard while showing restraint in not hitting the bad guy thereby blowing the mission 7) carried the dance 8) followed Chuck to the house

      To me, Casey seemed to do less (except for the 6 guys off screen). They got the drop on him a couple of times. However I loved how Morgan’s iPhone picture is of Casey in the armory. It’s not good for the cover, but it is funny.

      Sarah can’t go all Phase 3/Gobbler in every episode. The story arc required Chuck and Morgan to do the heavy lifting this episode.

    • joe says:

      Cenodoxus, great comment. I can sign up to a lot of what you said.

      About Sarah being neutered, I think I know what you mean. She ran back to the van with Casey and Morgan, leaving Chuck to die??? Don’t think so. Not after Phase-3, right?

      Well, that’s not exactly it. The opening scene established two things; that Chuck and Sarah were not afraid to face mortal danger and that they trusted each other, and Casey and Morgan. Chuck had to trust Sarah to execute his plan. She did. Sarah had to trust Chuck to get back to her safe, even without the Intersect. He did. They were a lot less tentative about trusting so much than they used to be, and I liked that a lot.

      Like with Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, that’s not to be confused with a lack of passion!

  6. Cenodoxus says:

    I should probably also add (as if the giant comment above weren’t enough) that it’s interesting that Sarah’s taste in houses runs to the simple after a decade’s service in high-tone espionage. The CIA kept her in a ritzy Los Angeles hotel for years, driving a Porsche and a Lotus, flipping through enormous wardrobes of designer dresses and shoes, sent her to expensive hotels in famous cities on private jets, and she’s obviously developed a taste for good wine and good food.

    … and her dream home is a relatively small house with a red door and a picket fence.

    Sarah is still arguably the most interesting character on the show. So much of her characterization tiptoes in so quietly.

  7. Aerox says:

    To me it didn’t feel like… “Chuck.” But before I delve into the reasons for that, first the things I liked and disliked.


    – Liked Chuck’s plan. Thought his whole dramatic speech followed by the frantic videotape was very well done. Had me chuckling.

    – Morgan as the Intersect. It’s true, Joshua Gomez did a fantastic job and I found his fight scene with Mark Hamil and his baddies much more believable than I’ve found Zachary’s.

    – Jeff made me laugh. Also, RAZER! Product placement that not a lot of people will truly care about, but I found it to be a nice touch.

    – The way they cut the seduction clip. I saw it coming but when it did, I still laughed. The talk afterwards was very well done but left me wondering why he decided to keep it a secret in the first place.

    – Chuck (finally) being secure in his relationship with Sarah.

    – CASEY! I really liked him this episode. He was funny, witty and he spoke a lot more than normal! Just a shame there weren’t as much grunts as I had wanted there to be.


    – Mopy Chuck,

    – Decker. I know, I know, he’s supposed to be a villain and we should hate him regardless, but it wasn’t so much what he did and what he stood for that annoyed me, but more or less the fact that his character felt… off. I think what they tried to do was to get us to associate Decker with someone kicking puppies (thanks ninjaVanish!) or something unneccesarily evil but Burgi felt off. Just a minor observation.

    – The almost perpetual reminders that they were married. I loved it the first time they mentioned it. I smiled the second time. I smiled the third time. I was neutral the fourth time and every time after that just got on my nerves. We get it, you’re married. That’s great, that’s what we all wanted. But they didn’t show it in actions, nope, they kept it strictly to words. They had a hug and an honest, emotional chat (which still felt like pulling teeth. Luckily, Chuck seems to be adept at teeth and the removal of them from gum) but that was it. Oh, and a seduction.

    – The choice of villain and his way of acting. When Bane or whatever his name was, had his hand inching towards Sarah’s bottom with her not making any sort of move to stop it, I felt like I was flashing back to an APR story. It felt like it was put in there to make us hate the villain even more or maybe to show the emotional growth that Chuck had made when it was Morgan that threw a hissy fit but it doesn’t matter anyway. It felt very forced.

    – The potential for Morgan to go after Sarah. I don’t know if anyone else got that vibe, but the moment he uttered the words “My girl,” I immediately went: Oh you have GOT to be kidding me. I hope that they don’t go that route, but I could see it happening.

    – The dance scene. Not that there was anything wrong with it, it just looked super awkward due to the height difference.

    So anyway, the reason I felt like this wasn’t “CHUCK” anymore was simply due to the elements that we’ve grown to appreciate seemingly being binned. The romance was so-so, the comedy tried to survive on slapstick alone, the villain was interchangable (there were three, Jean-Claude, Bane and Decker. All three were meh). The only thing seemingly okay was the action. Now, we’re told that this was to be the worst episode of the first three and I still enjoyed it (most of it because I’ve grown so very fond of the characters) so that does bode well for the other two episodes. But as a stand-alone and especially as a season premiere, it felt weak. Let’s hope for a better second episode.

    Final rating, I’d give it a 6.5/7 out of 10

    • atcDave says:

      Funny, I’d agree with your overall rating, but I don’t have nearly so many real complaints. I’m not at all worried about Morgan and Sarah, I think that’s more of the bromance effect.
      I think Decker comes across as a thoroughly contemptible character, just as some of the past villains did; sort of comically overdone. He clearly didn’t have much to do in Zoom though, I think we’ll get a better gauge of him next week.
      The “married” references seem normal for newly-weds; I still remember many years ago when the first of my friends got married, he pointedly introduced “my wife” at every opportunity. We were teasing that she’d taken “my wife” as her married name. I would also expect that on the show, just like in reality, those references will be toned down as the season goes.

      • Aerox says:

        I hope the Morgan/Sarah angle doesn’t pan out (or even lifts off) but for some reason, I can’t really trust Fedak with those kinds of things anymore 😛

        Maybe so on the Decker point, but I don’t really agree on the point that you made with regards to them being comically overdone. I loved Dalton’s mix of villain but he was the exception that proved the rule. I thought Brandon Routh did an AMAZING villain. He was driven, had a purpose (how flimsy it might’ve been) and was believable. Same with Jill. Her motivation might’ve been worse, but she was believable. I actually felt that she had a conflict in interest, but was metaphorically bound and couldn’t do anything about it. Hell, even Roark was believable as a villain. But with Decker, the only thing I can think is that he just has a really nasty bout of constipation and that’s his motive for being an ass. I truly hope they flesh him out somewhat, because if they don’t, I have a feeling we’ll have
        a very flat villain. Granted of course that he will actually be the over-arching villain.

        It’s not so much the fact that they kept referring it, but we get a glimpse in their lives
        where they are simply on themselves. And even then it seemed to me like it was
        just them exchanging words rather than actions. Obviously I can’t talk out of experience
        but I’d like to see them more affectionate than what we’ve seen in this particular episode.

      • Was wondering just how much hate we’d have for Decker if that Smarmy B@st@rd had been integrated into the CIA storyline in season 2 or season 3 already….. He’s become much more of a nemesis than Vivan could have ever hoped to be. ~ just say’n

      • Aerox says:

        It depends a lot whether or not they give him a suitable motivation for his actions. Jill did the things she did because she was pressured into them. Roark did the things he did because he wanted to control the world. Granted, in the grand scheme of things that ranks among the lowest of motivations, but we’ll roll with it. Shaw did the things he did because he wanted revenge on the organization that had his wife murdered. The seniors of the Ring did the things they did because they got a killer discount at the local diner and they just couldn’t resist the crab. Well, I’m not entirely sure on the Ring’s motivation, but it seemed to be in the direction of world domination as well. Volkoff was evil because he was created to be evil. (although that storyline did feel a bit weird, but I’ll accept it as a legit reason anyway) Decker however, is supposedly fighting for the good guys, And yet he’s still being a dick. And so far, we’re not told about any of his motivations, we’re just supposed to accept that he’s a douche. And that’s the thing that I have a lot of problems with.

        With Jill, we only found out in the climactic scene, AFTER Chuck had hooked up with her, that she was evil. With Roark, we found out when Roark Industries had an Intersect in their basement and Orion got kidnapped. With Shaw, we found out that he was actually a good guy (albeit the fact that he was still somewhat of a dickhead) until he found out that his wife was murdered by the CIA and he wanted revenge. And the Ring well I don’t really know what to think of their motivation, but it was sure to be awesome and a totally legit reason. Besides, we already knew the Ring was evil. The same with Volkoff, he didn’t appear until it was well and truly established that he was evil, he rivalled Mephisto and Diablo was his brother. With Decker, we were told that he was a part of the CIA. Oh, and apparently he was out to see Sarah Walker die of radiation poisoning. There was no background given, no motivation given… Hell, we barely got a name before we were forced to accept that he was an evil S.O.B. And they continued that trend in season 5. There was no background information given on his motivations, so we’re still left with: “Oh, and he tried to make sure that Chuck couldn’t save Sarah… What an asshole!” It just feels so incredibly flat to me. I want to know why a character does what he does, but they’re just not telling us. I don’t have a problem with Decker as a character per sé and Burgi does the job of playing an asshat pretty well… it’s just that we don’t know why he is one that annoys me about his character.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t see any reason why Decker needs a personal motive. Plenty of people have done terrible things in the cause of evil with no personal investment. The Third Reich found thousands of vicious thugs who just loved doing awful things in the name of “following orders.” I’m not trying to dismiss the need for a reason and motive for what’s going on, but I don’t believe Decker himself needs to have either of those. He’s just a high-level thug. It will be satisfying to see him go down, but the “puppet-master” is who really needs to be uncovered.

  8. Aerox says:

    Oh, one more point that I really disliked.

    It took them 41 minutes to realize that MAYBE they could use the Buy More as a source of income? REALLY?! Wasn’t Chuck supposed to be really smart and stuff? What about Sarah? Casey? Morgan? I think even Jeff and Lester could’ve figured that one out.

    • atcDave says:

      I can accept that they’d never viewed that as a priority before. The CIA was clearly never worried about it (zero chance of ever recouping the expense the had rebuilding that thing!). And especially in this economy it does take effort to make money in the retail business. I think they were just viewing it as a cover expense. Now it has to earn its keep!

    • It is obvious, however considering the Buy More was going to be closed by Moses at the end of S3, the story has probably been losing money for years. I doubt the government was making a profit with it considering the game launch and G7 phone problems (and considering it was the government). That’s why Morgan and Chuck were MIA as Buy More management. The store was a “write-off” for cover purposes. Fully funding a weapons, power, and tech budget would require a really good profit.

      • Aerox says:

        Simply sustaining the Buy More itself would require a profit. If they would lose money or just about break-even, Buy More corporate would eventually take over which would leave Chuck and his gang without a cover. And at the beginning of the episode, Sarah mentions that they’re running dangerously low on money with their expenditures. It just seems to me that at least one of them could’ve piped up and said: You know, we DO actually own the buy more, y’know?

        I don’t know, maybe I’m reading WAY to much into this, but it just seems… weird how they
        didn’t think of it much sooner.Yes, 870 million is a lot of money, but at the end of the
        day, it was silly for them to assume they could sustain on mission profits alone.

      • atcDave says:

        Different companies have different policies for their franchisees. Many times a franchise may fail with little or no involvement from a corporate overlord. Other companies take far more interest in who is using their name; but even McDonald’s franchises occasionally fail.
        We know this particular Buy More was struggling even while it was corporate owned. From way back in Predator Big Mike mentioned things weren’t going so well for his branch, to Ring II when Corporate decided to close them down. Apparently the CIA purchased the store as a franchise, but clearly had no interest in turning a profit at the location (spending a fortune on equipment and electronics, and staffing the store with junior agents who were likely all making 40K a year or more). We don’t know how the store was doing later under Morgan’s oversight, but we do know the staff’s assumption seemed to be that when it sold they’d be closed down, so it likely was never turning a profit.
        Now its going to be an interesting new game. It will be interesting to see if Chuck can ever get any real work out of his Buy Morons.

  9. armysfc says:

    before the season started i decided to watch 4 episodes. 1, 8 . 12 and 13. so i watched. things i thought were well done.

    the talks between chuck and sarah. i like the idea of her house it was a nice touch.
    thought decker was good, i figure the more i hate him the better they did, thats the intent right?
    chuck’s plan to get them out and get the phone.
    casey’s attitude towards the client.

    things i didn’t like…
    the amount morgan used the intersect. if it was a crutch for chuck its worse for morgan.
    morgan calling sarah his girl, pathetic.
    chuck having to be talked too twice to help him get over insecurities.
    chuck stumbling and bumbling in the massage room. 5 years and his own spy company and still no skills?

    i’d rate this about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. not enough to get me to watch any more except the ones i planned on.

    one question to all…. the previews showed moss in the next episode and the helicopter. i thought that was episode 3? thanks for the help on that.

  10. uplink2 says:

    Well first impressions are overall good. But I do have to disagree with my good friend Aerox I thought the Morgansect fight scenes were simply awful. The editing and concealment of the fact that is was a stuntman was pretty bad. There was so much I really liked about this episode but sorry folks I’m not interested in Morgan being so predominant in this new role. There were a few funny moments but please end it by episode 5. Somehow have Beckman get them a suppression device and just get it out of the bearded bandit’s head soon.

    I love seeing Ellie. She was perfect but you could tell that Sarah Lancaster had just had a baby. She looked a little different. But her support for Chuck was perfect. I still say the increased role in this show should have gone to her and not Morgan.

    I loved the whole Casey being so front and center. I was worried about him losing screen time and importance to Morgan but that really wasn’t the case.

    The Chuck/Sarah marriage partnership was well done for me with some great couples moments and yes we got to hear the Chuck/Sarah theme music which was great.

    I will say that it felt much more like Anniversary than any other premier and if I had to rank them it would be Pilot, First Date, Anniversary/Zoom tied and Pink Slip a distant dead last. It was fun and I think this is going to be a good season but to be a great season it needs IMO to end Morgansect by episode 5, have a good Sarah’s mom story and end with an episode that focuses on the big three and their journey. Yvonne needs to be in 41 minutes of the series finale.

    • Aerox says:

      I’ve heard a lot of people say they really didn’t like Morgan as the intersect but for the life of me I couldn’t see why. I thought Joshua did a fine job with it (as did ShinyJayne, but that’s on a completely unrelated note :P). Maybe it was because I was watching it on a 240p stream and I’ll probably give the 720p version a watch tomorrow but still, I liked it.

      I have to say though, the thing that even now (1 hour and 37 minutes after the first episode has ended) still bugs me is the way they went around with Morgan’s line at the party. He didn’t say “your wife” or “your girl” or even something like “the woman you’ve been pining over the last five freaking years” but instead he opens with “my girl”. Not “my partner” or anything. I have some serious issues with understanding the reasoning behind that line, but alas. It’s been done. Hopefully “The Bearded Bandit” is a bit better.

      Have to say though, I did find the little secret handshake that Morgan and Sarah had enjoyable. So there’s that.

  11. ladycat713 says:

    Barely recognized Mark Hamil until I rewound later. The accent threw me.
    Morgan is still a klutz even with the Intersect.
    I’ve gotta wonder what the height of the stuntman that did Morgan’s stunts was. It looked like they filmed it so it wouldn’t show that the stuntman didn’t have a beard.
    Sarah doing the sexy dance with someone Chuck would never have to worry about making a pass at her.
    I like Sarah’s hairdo.

    Notice that Decker said it was Chuck they needed to fail, not the Intersect. It seems he’s some kind of threat to the bad guys with or without it.

    I like Sarah’s dream house.

    Chuck made up a plan to save the day and pulled it off all without the Intersect.

    • atcDave says:

      Mark Hamill has changed so much its amazing. If I didn’t know who he was already I would have been scratching my head thinking “does that guy look familiar?”

      I loved Chuck using his brains to save the day.

  12. Ernie Davis says:

    I think Fedak did something remarkably clever, and good for the show. He set the bar for happily ever after. The house with the red door and the white picket fence. It sets up the happily ever after this season (in the front 13), and leaves open an avenue to future happily ever after that goes beyond getting the perfect house.

  13. SarahSam says:

    I think it was VV who mentioned that the show didn’t have the budget to portray the life of spy billionares, so why mention the amount at all. Realistically, having that much money would reap a lot of interest for you. A Stanford grad and a Harvard grad don’t understand diversifying your portfolio and investing ? It’s silly. A plot device. They still have assets though, the Buy More, the Gulfstream, the weaponry…. they’re just not liquid right now. Agree with you about the ” Sargon” thing Aerox. I think we saw Morgan actually have his hands on Sarah more than Chuck in this episode. no wonder he thought it was his ” girl”. The chemistry between Levi and Strahovski has seriously diminished lately in my opinion . The words and the actions must have some symmetry or it just feels off. Maybe that’s just me.

    • Aerox says:

      No, I fully agree. I thought it was ridiculous when they didn’t even keep somewhat of a reserve just in case things went south. Economics 101 doesn’t apply when you’re a super spy, it seems 😛

      And yeah, I thought about saying the same thing but the last time I tried that statement, I was told that it was simply because they were engaged and they didn’t HAVE to act so handsy or affectionate. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one noticing it though.

      • They still have alot of money – but the government has frozen all their accounts…. so other than the things they actually own – they can’t touch any of their money. ~ just say’n

        But, yep – there seems to be a wee bit of distance between Chuck and Sarah – especially for newly weds. However, in the wedding montage – the two of them have lots of ‘those’ moments – just not on camera. Funny that Sarah can go all ‘Victoria Secrets’ on us – but really not even a hint of hot steamy romance….. what’s up with that?

      • Aerox says:

        Yeah, but as Sarah herself pointed out, they were burning through that $43.000.000 at a ridiculous rate thanks to rockets, bullets and shrimp. I just don’t understand how the alarm bells didn’t go off until they were like: “And now we literally have no money anymore.”

      • I don’t agree with the the missing steamy romance comments, but I know a lot of people think that way. What people need to remember is it’s a 8/7 central show on network TV, not a 10/9 central subscription cable show. Only so much is going to be shown.

      • Aerox says:

        The thing that bothers me about it is that we’ve had plenty of scenes like that (Hard Salami once with Lou and once with Sarah, Seduction, Break-Up (Twice, both with Bryce, but still), Beefcake, Colonel) but it seems to have fizzled into nothingness over the past two seasons. Especially considering the fact that we’re supposed to buy them completely in love yet the way they act around each other makes me think that I’ve seen steamier scenes in kindergarten (seriously, don’t ask 😦 ) I understand it’s not all about that, but a physical reminder every so often (maybe two/three times during a season) would be nice. And besides, if they’re okay with Yvonne prancing around in that, then I’m sure they’re cool with a proper kiss every once in a while.

    • Verkan_Vall says:


      That’s a good point, but I don’t remember saying it. I think someone else brought that up.

      • Aerox says:

        I know that I’ve been saying it the moment they used it, but I can’t remember whether or not I publicly voiced that. But I was definitely someone who thought it extremely dumb to make them billionaires if they almost couldn’t afford the show.

      • atcDave says:

        Making them wealthy was just all about starting up the spy biz. Obviously that would take a huge amount of money to buy Buy More and Castle. So now Chuck and Sarah are still pretty well to do, they’re just not liquid; and struggling to keep a business and appearances is a pretty timeless story hook.

  14. Aerox says:

    After a quick rewatch, I did notice three pecks that I didn’t thanks to the stream cutting out when it happened. I therefore amend my statement to:

    They had three pecks, a hug and an honest, emotional chat (which still felt like pulling teeth. Luckily, Chuck seems to be adept at teeth and the removal of them from gum) but that was it. Oh, and a seduction.

    Which is slightly better 😀

  15. Aerox says:

    After a quick rewatch, I did notice three pecks that I didn’t notice thanks to the stream cutting out when it happened. I therefore amend my statement to:

    They had three pecks, a hug and an honest, emotional chat (which still felt like pulling teeth. Luckily, Chuck seems to be adept at teeth and the removal of them from gum) but that was it. Oh, and a seduction.

    Which is slightly better 😀

  16. ChipLecsap says:

    The episode
    It was Better than I expected :).
    I mostly agreed everything What Magnus said. on his podcast, so go listen 🙂
    And Chuck and Sarah well, they are cute, but…. well , I think I need to accept this tame tone of thier relationship now.
    that is why my favorite moment was when the Guy touched or stroking Sarah’s ass . Yes I’m perv like that , get use to it :).
    although when Morgan calling Sarah his Girl, I paused a little. :S. although He touched Sarah more than Chuck so , May be ther is a new love in the air?!! :S.
    But as I said it wasn’t as bad.
    One more thing, this whole Decker thing hmm …………. pff. XD

  17. Aerox says:

    It seems I’m the only one who thought it extremely painful that Chuck had to play the ‘husband’ card to get Sarah to open up about the house. Am I truly alone in that, or am I just the only one who makes such a big deal about it?

    • armysfc says:

      your not alone. after last year i figured it was over with sarah not wanting to open up about things. my guess is it will keep going until they get to 5.08 and her mom comes in. they still need her to be reserved to set that up. the spoiler for the episode hints that a big reveal about her past is coming so they’ll play it till then.

    • joe says:

      I don’t think Sarah resisted all that much, now. She opened up appropriately.

      I shudder to think about the alternative. That would be something like Sarah’s brief “Bridezilla” outburst on steroids. 😉

      • Aerox says:

        I sort of saw it like:

        “Okay, I want to know what the hell is going on,”

        *sigh* “Fine, I’ve been looking for a new house, because I want to make you happy”

        “Oh… well, I really don’t like that house very much.”

        “Well, we dodged a bullet there then. That would’ve been awkward had I bought that house. Gosh, I’m sure glad that you found out. So what house do you like? Because all I want to do is give you the house you want so you can be happy.”

        “Well…” *trails off awkwardly*

        I mean, c’mon, the fact that she even made an attempt to resist struck me as ridiculous. Weren’t they supposed to be past this already? Having trouble talking about family? Fine, I’ll give you that one. But a house that you are going to share with your husband? Really?

        Plus, I get the whole “I’ve been a spy so it’s hard opening up.” but the fact that she’s still making bones about it shows me at least that their relationship obviously hasn’t matured enough yet if they’re still making issues about those kinds of things.

        I’d much rather see a confident (it’s been five long years after all) Sarah who doesn’t mind sharing her hopes and dreams with someone she supposedly loves and trusts than someone who still feels it necessary to awkwardly trail off whenever something intimate is broached.

        BTW: this is not in any case meant to be an attack on your views Joe, they are simply my reasoning on why I found that particular scene to not work at all.

      • luckygirl says:

        I saw it as her being more embarrasssed than anything. He went to all this trouble to find her this big amazing beach house and all she wanted was a simple “Leave It To Beaver” home. White picket fence and everything. She even tried to beg off saying it was stupid and telling him not to laugh at her. Sometimes its just hard to say what you want if your embarrassed to want it.

      • Aerox says:

        That sounds like a very valid explanation luckygirl and one I’m willing to accept as the reason, in which case the scene would be much better (albeit still not completely saved). However, if that were the case, then the sentence that Chuck uttered about being her husband and knowing things that others weren’t supposed to know still feels somewhat off to me. Even if she was embarrassed about things like that, it shouldn’t have been the husband card that was played in that case, while Chuck found it neccessary to do so. But like I said, I’m probably reading too much into this (and I really did enjoy the episode, regardless of the negative points that I put in a previous post) and your explanation of events does make a lot of sense.

      • joe says:

        Oh, sure Aerox. You’re explaining your POV very well.

        But I must admit, I’m chuckling just a little to myself, though, because my memory of the scene honestly doesn’t even last as long as your retelling. That tells me that the scene didn’t register on me the same as it did on you (and presumably on Army). We really did see it differently, if only on the first viewing.

        Of course, I may change my mind after the 3rd viewing (which I’m sure I’ll get to later this week), or as the season progresses. I mean, if they go the same “Oh, Sarah, won’t you tell me what you’re thinking, because I am your husband, after all?” route again and again, guaranteed, I’ll come around to your POV. This one time was enough.

        Us fans are an observant bunch!

      • I like how it was handled. However, my take on the whole house thing is tainted by watching Stargate SG-1. [Sam Carter (the character, not the poster here) broke up with her (fan-hated) fiance, Pete, because he bought the dream house he thought she wanted without consulting her. It made her realize the relationship was wrong and she still had feelings for Jack O’Neill.]

        Based on that, I was thinking loudly in my head, “CHUCK WHAT ARE YOU DOING! YOU DON’T BUY A HOUSE WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR WIFE!” Of course this show makes it a little funny and sweet, while showing more advancement in Sarah’s character development. S1 and S2 Sarah would have sat silently pretending it was not a problem. Early S3 Sarah would have left the room. Late S3 Sarah would have struggled with it before coming clean in a few days. Early S4 Sarah would have have had a little tiff with Chuck saying, “Don’t push me.” Late S4 Sarah would be the same, except she would change her mind and say, “Go ahead and push me.” S5 Sarah asks for a little push, explaining she is not used to this, and then gives in right away.

      • armysfc says:

        Joe, i look at this like i look at the insecure and panicked chuck that came out a bit tonight. it’s less than last year and yes it can be explained but as ernie said some peoples tolerance of it vary. for me it was a combined thing. she felt chuck had a secret so she seduces him to get what she wants because it bothered her that he was hiding something from her. then when she finds out what it is she hesitates to open up about it? that’s why it bothered me.

      • luckygirl says:

        I think the husband card was exactly why she ended up feeling safe enough to open up. Its just a short handed reminder “Hey, I’m your husband, you know I love you and its safe to share these things with me” Just my take though.

      • JC says:

        I think Army is right about it being a setup till her mother’s appearance.They’ve done this before with Sarah issues. They build them up until a reveal several episodes down the line. The house issue wasn’t a big deal for me but I get why it seemed off to some people. It all comes down to how it’s handled. If continues through the season and Chuck still has to pry information from her about everything it’ll become a problem.

      • herder says:

        Actually I thought the whole house thing was consistant with the way that Chuck and Sarah deal with things, they both try and figure out what the other wants and then try and give it to them without the other asking for it. What was the phrase, precious misunderstandings and tender makeups or something like that. Chuck tries to give her the perfect proposal, Sarah tries to give him the perfect proposal for both of them, same thing.

      • atcDave says:

        I thought the house story was mostly sweet and well played. My only reservation being that Chuck was a little foolish for trying to do such a thing behind Sarah’s back. But it is consistent with his character; and I thought both the coming clean scene (in the bedroom) and the final resolution were beautiful scenes.

  18. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    vs the Zoom was OK.

    Morgansect wasn’t the issue I thought it would be (although I’m still not a fan), however having Morgan in 95% of the episode’s scenes was an issue. The episode seemed to circulate around Morgan moreso than Chuck.

    Honestly, my biggest concern after this episode is that I hope TPTB don’t wait until episode 11 or 12 to tell us why “Chuck must fail”. If it’s that important, tell us so that we can understand the story now.

    • “If it’s that important, tell us so that we can understand the story now.”….. seriously – have you been watching this show for long????? – hate to burst your bubble, but don’t hold your breath…. In past years, something that big in one episode – actually might never be brought up again… ever. That’s what carpets and brooms are meant for.

    • joe says:

      Hum… that’s a good point, Shepperd. I thought I understood Decker’s reasoning at the end of last season. Chuck can embarrass the various 3-letter agencies in general and him in particular with the “The CIA created the most murderous man in the history of the universe” idea. But it’s not clear to me now that there isn’t something more. Is there something else brewing?

      TPTB do have a tendency to take such things one twist too far for a lot of fan’s tastes, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s been more a function of late season extensions.

      If 13 episodes are inhibiting to their imaginations, the good news is that it can also help them to keep a tight story-line.

    • herder says:

      I will say that I didn’t understand why Chuck must fail either, presumably that will be made more clear in subsequent episodes.

    • Gord says:

      Can anyone answer this for me? Chuck has this huge weapon that he can use on Decker at anytime – the file containing all the information on Agent X which includes Decker’s and the CIA’s involvement in the cover up – so why is Decker poking the bear, and why is Chuck letting him poke?

      I found how they used Decker in this episode to be really bad, and although before the season I thought I would really love the conspiracy bit, now I’m thinking it is as pointless as a love trapezoid or a Greta.

      For me this show is like the bottom of the 9th with two out, and the batter up has two strikes. Will he get that 3rd strike or a home run? I should know within the next few episodes.

  19. Louzeyre says:

    I have to admit I was really, really disappointed after I watched this episode. It pretty much confirmed everything I was worried about at the end of last season.
    First I should confess I’ve never been a fan of private spies. It feels too much like trading protecting the greater good in for protecting the bottom line, even if its someone else’s bottom line. In this episode, that was definitely the case. However, Casey did touch on this, so I’m still hopefully that it might be dealt with. However, in an episode that already rubbed me the wrong way, it just added to my frustration. Also in that category was Morgan using the Intersect. Not because the stunt work, I really can’t comment on that, but because I’ve never really been a fan of things that are humorous because they’re embarrassing and every time he “Zoomed” I found myself cringing so much I really wasn’t paying attention to what was going on anymore.
    I’m not saying it was a bad episode. My complaints really have nothing to do with quality and everything to do with what made me love Chuck. It wasn’t Sarah and Chuck’s romance, although I definitely rooted for them. It wasn’t the humor or the geeky references, even if I do enjoy them. The reason I fell in love with Chuck was because I loved watching a character evolve from one thing, over the course of a series into something more than they ever would have imagined. Specifically, I loved watching Chuck’s evolution from bumbling nerd to spy. In this episode Chuck seemed to take a giant leap backwards, back to the bumbling brain he was in season 2.
    Was what he did at the end of the episode smart? I suppose so, but it was also, more or less, what we would have expected from Chuck towards the middle to end of season two: pretending to be and IT guy, trying to bluff the bad guy into believing he was a lot more danger than he was, then relying on a plan that was based on a lot of luck and the odd ability to survive seemingly any fall (After First Date, and Seduction I started to wonder if Chuck had a mutant gene somewhere.) In fact, with the exception of the tranq gun, which Chuck didn’t start using until the end of season 2 and which turned out to be useless anyway, the fight in the massage room reminded me actually of something from early season two, specifically when Casey came to Chuck’s rescue in Cougars.
    In Season 2 that didn’t bother me because Chuck was taking steps towards becoming a more competent spy. I also, I have to admit, knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, for Chuck’s growth. I didn’t start watching the showing until the summer after Season 2, and a friend had told me that Chuck was going to take a giant leap towards becoming a spy in the season finale, although they hadn’t told me how.
    I don’t have that now and it feels like, as I said, Chuck has simply taken a leap backwards to the awkward not-really- a spy he was before. That wouldn’t have been as bad if it there was an indication that Chuck’s big step back is going to be followed by any attempts to move forward. This episode, however, doesn’t really give any. No one seems the least bit interested in teaching Chuck the skills he previously relied on intersect for. Sarah’s comment that Chuck’s position in the group is as the “leader” while she and Casey are the superspy and Morgan is the Intersect at least appears to confirm that this is the new status quo. That everyone is fine with Chuck going back to being a brain that’s slightly bumbling when actually in the field, but muddles through it even through logically he shouldn’t. I realize logic really doesn’t have a place on Chuck, and I’m usually fine with allowing The Rule of Cool to rule the day, but watching Chuck fumble through situations he once would have handled readily and confidently doesn’t feel cool to me.
    Chuck is no longer an agent, or even an analyst, and he no longer can protect himself. It’s where Chuck thought he’d be, or at least said he wanted to be, during season 2 and to me it’s incredibly frustrating when we know Chuck can be so much more.
    I’m still going to watch, but right now it feels like most of the character development I liked during the last two seasons, (except the Chuck and Sarah relationship), was yanked out. Hopefully I’m proven wrong. And if anyone can point out something that would indicate that, please, please do so.

    • lappers84 says:

      Let’s keep in mind this is only the first episode, and Chuck will come across as slightly bumbling simply because he has been so used to having use of the intersect, he probably has to actually adjust to that. I imagine over the next few episodes we’ll see him come out of his shell and be the man and spy he was destined to be.

    • Gord says:

      After reading your comments, I realized that what you had to say was a big part of why I hated this episode.
      I just found everything off in this episode and while I plan to watch one or two more episodes before I make a decision, if the rest of the episodes are anything like this one I don’t see myself sticking with the show. I didn’t even find most of the jokes the least bit funny.

      It’s obvious from reading the comments here and on the NBC boards, the bulk of the fandom enjoyed the episode last night. I really wish I was one of them.

    • Gord says:

      I want to add, that the idea of being private spies isn’t necessarily bad (I enjoy burn notice), but the way they have executed it so far in this show has been pretty lame.

    • atcDave says:

      This may be a part of the big divide in fans that manifests this season. My absolute favorite Chuck is when he’s using his brains and not cheating with the Intersect. I love the idea of Chuck being the mastermind while his buddies do the field work. Especially when Chuck is capable of the occasional appearance in the field to save the day. This part was very similar to First Date, which remains one of my all time favorite Chuck episodes; Chuck using his cleverness to outwit a group of thugs. And he’s actually far more capable than he was back then, he does know how to throw a punch now, and he doesn’t hide from danger. He was perfectly willing to come in from the van when he had a plan. That’s exactly what I want to see from him; smart, capable and brave, but not foolhardy or rash.
      I expect and hope Chuck’s confidence will grow as the season unfolds, but he will likely always have some neurosis, that’s an established part of his character going back to the beginning.

      • jason says:

        I liked the story, but it could have been great. Chuck needed to communicate to Sarah – TRUST ME – GET in VAN and Sarah needed a line in the panic, Casey, get in the van, quick, Chuck has a plan. This missing opportunity to show trust is the sort of nuance that has been missing from the Chuck story telling for a long, long time.

  20. BigKev67 says:

    Interesting comments re the character of Chuck.
    I lost my connection with him early in S4. It seems to me that everything about him has been magnified, even his good qualities to the detriment of the Chuck who used to notice little things and be endearing. Now everything is a production – the Cubic Z, the proposal, the
    dream house, the neuroses. Don’t know if I’m being entirely fair – but the upshot is I find Chuck himself by far the biggest weakness of the show – and so it was in this episode.

    That said, I really enjoyed the rest of it. I thought the set up of Morgan’s entrance in the first scene was pitch perfect in how to play Morgansect. As you’ve probably gathered I’d honestly rather see Morgan than Chuck, and I loved Josh Gomez’ work in this episode. He
    does physical comedy well. Enjoyed his dance scene with Sarah very much – although Sarah/Yvonne would have made anyone look good in that scene!
    Wootton’s dialogue was sharper than normal with a couple of zingers for Casey (great Rush
    Limbaugh line) and there wasn’t as much transitional stuff as his solo episodes. Frea tweeted that it felt like the writers “ate their wheaties

    • BigKev67 says:

      Sorry – premature pressing of enter!!

      I agreed with Frea’s assessment.
      The development of Chuck that I did like was the acknowledgment of his problems of not having the intersect. Interesting to see how he deals with that. I hope he
      stays intersectless and they give that story a chance to play out. Didn’t think the final plan was one of his best but I’m with Dave – no problems here in seeing Chuck as the planner while others deal with the kicking of posteriors.
      Not worried about the conspiracy – yet. It was always going to be an afterthought that raises more questions than answers in the premiere.

      Good, solid start. Hopefully LeJudkins will build on it next week!

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Kev we’ve heard elsewhere that the first three episodes build nicely and keep getting better. So my expectations for next week are also pretty high.
        Interesting observation about Chuck missing the little stuff now. I don’t know, but I do remember being a bit annoyed last season at how he had to make such a big production of the proposal. Actually, that was really an annoyance to me for a while, I guess I couldn’t let it go until the end of Push Mix when the final, actual proposal was so sweetly understated.
        I did see the house thing in a similar light. That is, I thought it was foolish and unnecessary to try and keep it secret from Sarah. But the pay-off and me getting over it cycled much more quickly with things feeling right to me by the time they got to the bedroom talk.

      • BigKev67 says:

        It just seems odd to me. Sarah has told him often enough that she values normal and understated (no olives on Pizza, chocolate croissants and simple bracelets) – but Chuck continues to insist on the perfect, the epic and the grand. And he insists on doing things behind her back. He may love Sarah – and the writers make sure we hear that 20 times an episode – but I’m not sure he actually understands her that well sometimes!
        Add Zac’s natural tendency to overplay and there just isn’t much subtlety to the character any more.
        I’m hoping that some pondering of Chuck’s role without the intersect will give the writers and Zac a chance to dial Chuck back a bit – both the good parts and the flawed parts.

        But hey – I get that my take on the character is different to most, and that’s fine. It does mean that Morgan taking over Chuck’s prominence for a while doesn’t bother me as much!

      • armysfc says:

        Kev… two things about chuck. with out parents he never got the life lesson the man buys the house, the woman owns it. the second part of the house bit was he used morgan again. at the bar morgan had the pictures of the house and the play book for it. i think he was influenced again. its minor but it seemed again he can’t plan anything by himself. just my 2c

      • jason says:

        Kev – I agree with parts of what you said. We see the show more alike than I used to think, although I don’t like Morgan at all, sorry.

        You said one thing that I would love to expand on, Zac’s over acting, and overall role in how the last 3 seasons have played out. But, it is his show and he is the reason the show works at all, so I think it is hard to discuss such a topic, without quickly drawing moans, groans, and trolls from enough corners, that any productive discussion would quickly disintegrate.

        One thing I would like a shot at explaining from my POV. You are right, Chuck does not understand Sarah. He really never has. But, Sarah did not fall in love with Chuck for his ability to understand her, I think that was part of the reason for Bryce, then Cole, then Shaw, they all understood Sarah the spy. Shaw may have in many ways understood Sarah the spy the best, in between all the OOC Sarah moments that story line inspired. But, she fell for Chuck’s ability to touch and inspire her toward what she wanted in life, with his good heart and intentions. Hence, the INTENTION behind the house hunt surprise or the proposal makes her really happy, and allows her to see that guy she fell for. His clumsy hi-jinx in such matters allows her to catch up to the next step in the ‘normal’ game at her own pace, a pace which makes a snail seem like Usain Bolt (a famous sprinter for you non sports types).

        Anyhow, twelve left, interesting that you are sort of meh over the conspiracy arc, and I would like to see some bread crumbs, not answers, but clues that would lead to questions with multiple potential answers. My fear is the story is not that layered to allow for much to be teased, hard to make breadcrumbs relevant, when you are lost only a few blocks from home????

      • BigKev67 says:

        What they’ve done with Chuck/Zac is clearly a conscious choice from S4 onwards. I think Zac showed more depth and range in S1 to S3 but it was written out in S4. It’s not a choice I agree with.
        The point you make about Sarah liking his intentions is related in a way. Thru S4 the established pattern was that Chuck would push issues, Sarah would resist and eventually come round. They’re still doing that and it’s a bit repetitive, writing wise and I’m not sure it serves either character that well. Sarah began to open up more in S4 and break her patterns but Chuck continues to do the same things – well intentioned that they are. There’s a lack of imagination to the way they write Chuck sometimes.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      “I find Chuck himself by far the biggest weakness of the show – and so it was in this episode.”

      Could this be because they’ve taken a lot of Chuck’s qualities and in a way now given them to Morgan? OD used to say this last season but I truly thought it was very apparent in vs the Zoom.

      • ArmySFC says:

        it could be. it could also be that they are addicted to the hero’s journey. they may be doing it to continue the process vs letting it end and having chuck be the man he can be now, they are saving it for later. what ever it is it’s getting tedious.

      • jason says:

        Lots of interesting growth occurred these five seasons with Sarah, Casey, Ellie, and Morgan, collectively, individually, and especially back and forth relating to Chuck himself. Chuck the character simply is not James Bond, he is a bit self conscious, scatter brained, needy and overtly caring, and he is not going to take a journey to fix much of that. Some of the problem is some fans are looking for Charmicheal and Walker to take a journey to Monte Carlo, while Sarah and Bartkowski may be heading to Kansas!

      • ArmySFC says:

        jason good points. i pointed this out several times already, networks did a survey about why folks leave shows. the main reason is the characters change. that’s why they prefer to air procedural type shows, they have no built in death march as it were. i have contended (personal belief) from the start that most fans don’t care about the growth of characters, they want a show they can enjoy. we know from posts here that over the last couple of seasons that fans want a whole lot of things from the show, and they did a good job of failing to meet those needs. one was claimed to be to dark another to light. you’ve seen them. then like you said they went ahead with an idea that from the start was dumped on by at least half the people posting about it, i think it was higher.

        they knew from the day after the season finale what fans thought and had McNeill do an interview asking people to give it a shot. what did they expect to happen? people that didn’t like the premise to sing the praises of the idea? like you said whats done is done.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s obviously a bad idea to charge forward with an idea most of your audience doesn’t like. And I do think these show runners have been particularly dense sometimes about what their audience does want to see. Although I’m not particularly down on the Morgansect per se, I do believe the reinvention this show tried to do every season ultimately shortened it’s shelf life. The Intersect 2.0 was their first big idea I didn’t like, add to that wt/wt going on too long (basically a manipulative story element that was left unresolved for a season too long), and the Morgansect it would have been easy for me to give up many times over except for my love of the main characters. It’s not hard for me imagine that viewers who are less enamored of the leads, the humor, or the sort of cartoon-action; would have given up long before I was ready to.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave my thought exactly. i think the last season is a bit to late to reinvent the wheel. i think they could have gone back to the season 2 feel without the morgansect. they could have just trained him to be a spy. they could also trained chuck in some skills as well.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I honestly think no Intersect at all would have been better received.

        As a related aside, I’ve spoken with three more casual viewers today who know little or nothing about all of the spoilers and off season talk we’re in on; and they’ve all said basically the same thing, “Morgan is funny and I liked last night’s episode, but I’ll be glad when this is over and Chuck gets the Intersect back.”
        I think they may have “pulled a Shaw” once again, and decided to spend an entire season on an arc that many viewers just aren’t all on board with. As I’ve been saying since Cliffhanger, it’s not a huge issue to me and I expect to enjoy the show anyway. But obviously many feel differently.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, that’s kind what we were saying. it was a bad idea and they charged ahead. now we know it goes past three. i just wonder if the decker thing isn’t just the first 3 episodes. the last 4 is an arc as well.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think we know for sure Morgansect goes past 5.03. I’ve seen a couple different versions of the “official” synopsis for 5.04, and they aren’t all clear that Morgan still has the Intersect. I want to see what comes up at in a couple weeks.

  21. On Re-Watch – few things stand out….
    1. “We’re still working the kinks out” …. more than apparent, as we watch Morgan try to find his way… Whether Carmichael Industries can stand on its own two legs.
    [ I hope yall notice that Morgan has way too much bravado- we are supposed to notice the difference – in him] – “Permature Zoom” : ) where chuck was alway hesitant and reluctant…
    2. “Save Jeff Barns” – could have more appropriately been >> “save the whole buymore plot”…
    3. Chuck has “Intersect withdrawl”…. is he a spy, or a guy with a spy wife?
    4. “Toes in The Sand” – little white house with a picket fence ->> clearly the final destination

    Biggest plot hole – How would the CIA [ read Decker] use Carmichael computers to access Bales account? Any Nerd Herder would certainly have a firewall and 256 bit encryption encoding ~ just say’n….
    ~ but I loved the way it allowed Chuck to think his way through a great backup escape plan…
    the rest of the whole episode was just a way to get to that great moment… ‘nuf said.

    • atcDave says:

      I loved, and my wife was also commenting on, how funny the difference in how Morgan acts as the Intersect compared to Chuck. All that bravado and cockiness. Compare that to Chuck’s caution, worries, and (for the first two years) just wanting to be rid of it!

  22. lappers84 says:

    good point 🙂

  23. The Ratings are out – and once again – so are all the doom and gloom prophets.
    1. Game 7 of a great MLB world series!
    2. Halloween!
    3. a reason to watch this show?
    ~ seriously, other than all the devoted fans who just plain love the show, no matter what they shovel out the window at us…. why are we watching? They really haven’t built enough motive [yet]. I keep hoping they’ll introduce a good device that we can’t wait to see resolved – but I might be wishing for too much.
    Will I stop watching? – NO WAY
    Am I excited about 5.02 [ and beyond] ? – Absolutely
    Do I have even the faintest reason why? – not a clue…. but I used to collect comic books in much the same manner. My heroes were never in any real danger… I just wanted to find out what happened… same here.

    • ArmySFC says:

      i think you have a point with devoted fans. the thing is their numbers are going down and down so how devoted are they? will they be the few left when its over? does it make them any more special then the ones that hung around for other canceled or finished shows? it looks like to me they will have less devoted fans than other shows that ended.

      as for wanting to see how it ends, i do but ill just wait till the last episode.

      • Gord says:

        My devotion to a show is incumbent upon the show entertaining me. With Chuck in S3 there was still enough good stuff going on that I was able to get past the secondary soap opera love trapezoid crap that was going on.

        However, in Zoom I found there was only about 2 to 3 minutes of the episode I liked and the rest was crap to me. We all know one or two bad episodes of Chuck doesn’t mean the whole season will be crap – S3 proved that, but I am not willing to sit through 12 episodes of crap for a pay out in the 13th and last episode of the final season. I will give it a few more episodes before I make a decision.

        I have seen other shows take a new direction (uisually because of new show runners) that totally ruin the show for me. One show I was enjoying in its premiere season was Insecurity (Canadian spy comedy show), which had a very Get Smart-like feel to it. This year they decided to change the approach. I watched one episode and found it awful. I haven’t bothered watching a second episode. The only reaon I’m willing to wait a few more with Chuck is because the show has a track record for me, and I’m really hoping it improves within the next few episodes.

        We all have our own individual tastes, and I’m happy for those of you who really enjoyed Zoom.

  24. FSL says:

    Didn’t know what to expect. Clearly, the writers are in “arc” mode more than in “episode” mode. This episode was all set-up and no pay off. The house, the intersect glasses, Decker, etc. It’s so depressing that they fail in 3 mission in a roll, lost all their money, and Chuck is brooding most of the time. I hope there are pay offs in later episodes, because taken as an individual episode, this one is rather disappointing. And I wanted so much to like it.

  25. JC says:

    Good episode and probably the best opener since S2.

    I know they want to get back to smart Chuck but for the life of me I don’t understand why Kung Fu and smart Chuck can’t coexist on screen together. Maybe this was just me but I really wanted to see super spy Chuck during this last season. Not another variation of Chuck has to learn his worth again and again. The show right now has its first legit villain since Vincent with Decker, so instead of taking away the Intersect to show Chuck struggling with overcoming him make the villain his equal or stronger. Since the show has no problem giving anyone an Intersect why not give Decker an army of Intersects to go against the original.

    That was why I had problems the Morgansect, it had nothing to do with Morgan but Chuck not having one. I actually really liked Morgan in this episode but to me it would’ve worked far better with Chuck still having his Intersect too. Starting last season the writers shifted the bumbling heroic fish out of water trait to Morgan which is fine but they still haven’t let Chuck be an equal to Sarah, Casey, Bryce, Cole, etc. Sure they’ve had characters say it but as writers it just doesn’t seem like they’ve embraced it.

    It sounds like I was down on the episode but I wasn’t I really liked it. The show still does great moments between characters. Ellie in Castle like it was no big deal and the moment between those two was my favorite of the episode. That dynamic had been missing since S2 and I loved it. Chuck and Sarah scenes always have chemistry in spades. Casey one liners. Yvonne has legs that go for miles. The only thing I was really disappointed about was no Joker laugh from Hamill. Solid B.

    • Gord says:

      Smart Chuck and Intersect Chuck in my mind not only can exist together, but is what made episodes like Push Mix and Other Guy so great (at least for me).

      Also miss Chuck and Sarah on spy missions together – now its Morgan and Sarah.

      • ArmySFC says:

        another episode comes to mind, in fact its always at the top of everyone’s list, the honeymooners. the A Team is another i felt they did it well in. it shows me they can do it and do it well. what i think causes the problems is they use the intersect as a crutch for when chuck needs it. compare how they used it between morgan and chuck. with chuck when he went on missions it was subjective when it would happen. with morgan they planned the missions around his use of it. he palyed squash with the guy because he could flash on the skills he needed. they worked it in. why not the same with chuck?

      • JC says:

        You’re right that we’ve seen that version of Chuck on screen but he only makes his appearance in finales for the most part. By this point in the show shouldn’t the threats be external and not Chuck’s self doubt? Instead of constantly neutering your hero, create stronger villains for him to fight,

        I like when the writers team up the characters differently it keeps things fresh. I’m still waiting for a Undercover Lover type team up with Chuck and Casey this season.

  26. Dale says:

    “Morgan becoming the new Intersect was obviously a way for the writers to give him the purpose he so sorely lacked every time they forced him to participate in a mission. After watching how the directors/writers and most of all Joshua Gomez dealt with the Intersect plot, I have a newfound respect for Zachary Levi given just how easy he made everything look, from the basic flashes to the fight sequences to the confidence he imbued in the various dances, he brought a charm and awkward elegance to Chuck under the influence of the Intersect which Gomez, unfortunately, does not. His big intro involved climbing through a pool and making Scarlett Johansson-in-Iron Man 2-esque beauty poses while the camera moved behind a pillar in order to hide his stunt double’s face. Later he had to dance, which really entailed looking gleeful while Sarah did all the work.” – Daemon tv review.

    Enough said! Fedak must know that with someone like Zach as Chuck it is easier to reverse his looks and attitude and make him into a geek (ala season 1) then to suddenly build Josh into a hero? I mean Zach had the looks already, the charm and chemistry with every female actor to ever grace Chuck and the physical ability to some day pull off the intersect kung fu…Zach is like that kid at school who can do anything…smart, jock, good looking, etc. That is a very unique characteristic..that kid at school is probably like the only 1 or 2 in a year. Fedak was so lucky to get him to do this to pull it off! and he actually thinks that Josh can do the same? has he lost the plot? maybe if he stopped saying umm arr all the time and stopped staring at the floor he would have realised that this morgansect is a terrible idea, full stop. arghhh…I blame that for the terrible ratings…the morgansect.

    • ArmySFC says:

      question, are you gina or dale? i saw the exact same post word for word on another blog under gina. just wondering.

      • Dale says:

        I am Dale, my girlfriend is Gina. She wrote that and I agreed and posted it for her here because I said this would be a good site for her to post this opinion because a lot of fans would understand her point of view. I should have put it under her name, mea culpa.

      • ArmySFC says:

        just wanted to make sure no one was copying your stuff, it happens.

      • Dale says:

        Yeah… I still agree with her sentiment none the less. I do not know what Fedak was thinking. With Zach in season 1 all they had to do was grow his hair out, put him the worst clothes ever (the buymore gear) and put a comic book or x box controller in his hand and he was transformed into a geek…a sweet one at that. Those were all cosmetic changes that could be reversed in about a week..give him a good haircut, clothes and just let him speak to a girl (girls love him, hehehe). He is also a great athlete (Sepinwall pointed it out in Chuck versus Tom Sawyer that if they tried to sell Chuck as unathletic then maybe he should not have been able to carry Jeff at all) that it was not tough for him to fake being awesome at Kung Fu or a great dancer or anything else that was required.

        Whereas Josh…Josh, Josh, Josh, Josh! He just does not have that at all, any of it. My respect for Zachary Levi is so high right now, he makes being Chuck as a swarve charasmatic spy who has a computer in his brain look so easy. Fedak should never have done this with Josh Gomez, him and Yvonne just looked so awkward in that dance, it was awful…as was the fighting and everything else, yikes!

      • ArmySFC says:

        i do agree with the dance being off because of the height. it also had to be the worst cover BF/GF ever. as for the fight its hard when the stunt man is not even close in height or appearance to josh. it all started because as fedak said himself he did it for josh. i still say they did it as a joke not thinking they would get season 5 and then they did. then much the same as season 3 they were to stubborn to listen to what was being said by fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Geez guys it was funny! Of course Morgan is a joke as the Intersect, that is also the point! The show is a comedy, we’re supposed to laugh. The Morgan/Sarah dance scene was as funny as anything I’ve seen on TV this season. I mean, Josh basically just posed for the camera while Yvonne did all the work; THAT was funny!
        I think we will see clearly in the next few weeks why Morgan is a terrible Intersect. I don’t know if they’ll be able to “fix” Morgan, or if the Intersect will return to Chuck (I suspect the latter), but either way I don’t believe Morgan is ever destined to be taken very seriously. Maybe if the Morgansect arc takes a bit of a tragic turn later, but even then I bet no more than a handful of scenes involving Morgan will actually be played for drama.

        Now I do agree Zach is both the better actor and more charismatic screen presence. I hope they don’t run this arc all season long. But I’m willing to play along, we’ve already had 3 1/2 seasons of the best television I’ve seen; I’m okay letting this run for now.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave, it’s just a difference in what we find funny that’s all. i thought it was stupid and not funny at all. same as him falling over the bush or walking in the pond. you don’t have to agree because you found it funny and that’s ok by me! that’s why you intend to keep watching and i will be back for episode 8. i’m curious about the baby bit, not her mom.

      • jason says:

        dave – do you have any info that Chuck is getting the intersect back? For no specific reason, I think Chuck will not, too many lines that seem to support intersectless Chuck for good, including one from Morgan, one from Sarah, and an entire speech from Ellie. Plus, if the end game is that little house with the red door and the picket fence, I am guessing the intersect is gone, and Chuck is a normal guy. Him getting it and losing it again, would seem sort of silly????

      • armysfc says:

        jason, i have heard elsewhere and i can’t remember where but someone else gets it then chuck gets it’s back.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t have any information, but could see it either way Jason. They sure seem to be setting it up as a long term change; but as I said elsewhere, I’ve seen a few versions of the 5.04 synopsis and there’s some ambiguity there. I could easily see them wanting to get us thinking on way then going another.
        I also think the story could be made to work fine either way. But I don’t believe it qualifies as much of a “love letter to fans” if they pursue a story that so many viewers clearly didn’t want for the entire season. I just thought they’d learned a lesson…

      • atcDave says:

        Army I know I’ve seen that purely as a spec that Ellie would have it for a while; but I believe that was purely a viewer speculation with no actual information.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave from i think their pretty good right? they say it’s official.

        One more sleep until Chuck returns! In the meantime, feast your eyes on the official synopsis for Chuck episode 5.04, “Chuck vs. the Business Trip”, courtesy of NBC.

        CHUCK AND SARAH MUST UNCOVER AN ASSASSIN AMONG THE EMPLOYEES OF A BUY MORE SALES CONVENTION—DAVID KOECHNER AND CATHERINE DENT GUEST STAR—Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) go undercover at a Buy More convention to hunt down an assassin whose mission is to take down the new Intersect. Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) must deal with the consequences of having the Intersect. At the Buy More, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) begins to show a very different side of himself. Adam Baldwin, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.

      • atcDave says:

        Well first of all, no ChuckTV is not official.

        But yeah that synopsis will do. It actually tells us very little. It says “new Intersect” which might or might not be Morgan if there was a change in 5.03. And Morgan could be dealing with consequences from when he had the Intersect, which he no longer does…

        Okay, I admit that’s a reach. But I’m really struggling to reconcile this with what we had heard about the first three episodes. It seems clear there something very wrong with Morgan having the Intersect, and whatever that is will be fixed by 5.03. That could be a fix, or it could be the Intersect is moved to a better host (Chuck or Ellie?) Or maybe they’ll just decide the Morgansect is so buggy that Morgan will mostly be sidelined by then.
        I don’t know, but something will be different by then. I’m just trying not to pre-judge the direction. We’ve all been drawing dire conclusions with limited information. Its funny, I spent much of my day at work trying to convince co-workers that Morgan will probably be the Intersect the rest of the season. And then here I’m arguing the opposite. I guess my point is just that we don’t really know yet what they’re up to, I would expect some surprises.

      • herder says:

        I don’t know, Morgan could still have the intersect or be dealing with the consequences of having been a douchy intersect, think of the line “no, your not my friend”, personally I think that the Morgansect will become less important for one reason or another after episode 3, let’s just let it play out.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave i guess it could go wither way. of having the intersect could mean currently, that’s how i took it or he lost it and is suffering from the effects of it. i would think they would use from having it for past tense but i’m far from an english major! i just think it needs to end soon.

      • Aerox says:

        Herder, I think that line will come in effect when they’re faced down with a villain and they have to play theatrics to get out of there. I highly doubt that they would break up Chuck and Morgan’s friendship. Unless Fedak truly has lost the plot and is trying to destroy everything that there is to destroy about Chuck… in which case I’m not at all ruling out a storyline where Sarah divorces Chuck and rides off with Morgan.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s also possible Morgan is having some sort of psychotic break, and when the Intersect is fixed the friendship is fixed. Or its part of a mission/scam. Or it’s aimed at someone other than Chuck entirely. We don’t know what the line means.

        I think herder put it best, for some reason Morgansect will become less important after 5.03, that much seems highly likely.

      • Dave: “Geez guys it was funny! Of course Morgan is a joke as the Intersect, that is also the point!”
        I absolutely agree, Dave. It may not be everyone’s type of humor, like Army has said, but it is mine. Most Chuck humor is “stupid humor”, but that’s fine by me.

        Aerox: “I highly doubt that they would break up Chuck and Morgan’s friendship.”
        I could see it being temporary because of a growing Intersect side-effect, like the Gretas and to a much greater extent Hartley/Volkoff. Maybe Decker’s group didn’t accidentally create Volkoff. Maybe it was deliberate at a later time, which would account for the nine year gap between Hartley’s download and when Mary went after him. Then again, timelines don’t matter much in the Chuck universe.

        If Decker’s group did it intentionally before, they might go after Morgan the same way. TPTB like parallel story lines (Stephan->Chuck, Mary->Sarah). That would make best friend Hartley->Morgan. The disturbing parallelism would be Bologna -> Mrs. Winterbottom. Big Mike better watch out.

      • armysfc says:

        since we are taking a guess at that line here’s my take. i think it happens in 3. we know there is a bad script, and i think that ties into him trying to go to work for the other company. i think you are spot on with the psychotic break you mentioned. then at the end they fix it or morgans brain does. don’t bet on his brain!

      • Faith says:

        Just wanted to interject with one point: I think it’s highly likely that Morgan is acting.

      • Like most of my speculations, I don’t completely believe the idea and don’t care if it’s right. The acting idea could be funny. Or it could be one of those fake arguments that hits a little too close to the mark (a trope for a lot of shows). Or maybe Morgan is acting and Chuck doesn’t know it. There are a lot of possibilities.

      • Gord says:

        ATC Dave, I agree with Army – morgansect was not funny to me at all. There were only two points in the episode where I found Morgan mildly amusing – the secret handshake with Sarah, and the bit about baseball which seemed so perfect with the fact Game 7 was on at the same time. KInd of like when Casey had the Osama target in the episode that aired right after the SEALs took him out.
        As for the synopsis of episode 4 – that is the synopsis from NBC – its on the NBC boards.

  27. I’ve replied to other comments, but I though I’d to my own triple review, from the perspective of TPTB, an Angry Chuck Viewer (ACV) and Me. Please note the ACV comments are just in jest as ACVs have the right to feel that way. I’ve broken the review into categories. Sorry this is so long, but it was fun to write.
    – We need to show Chuck in charge, so he’ll be at the head of the table when talking through plans. Check
    – Of course everything can’t go right, because this is Chuck we’re talking about. Check
    – We also don’t want to make him cold hearted like a Greta or Graham. Check
    – We need to show the team letting Chuck in the field and not over-protecting him. Check
    – We need Chuck’s mission to be funny. Check
    – We need to remind everyone that non-Chuck Fu is a bit of a klutz. Check
    – We need to show Chuck and do some simple fighting without the Intersect. Check
    – We need to show him struggling with his new leadership role. Check
    – We should have Chuck disappointed he is stuck in the van again. Check
    – But like always, he’ll get out of the van and save the day with his brain. Check
    – We need to show Chuck trying to do something sweet for Sarah. Check
    – It would be great to show Chuck and Sarah acting like newlyweds in everyday scenarios. Check
    – We should show Sarah still has the power to melt Chuck into goo.
    – We should show Chuck still has the power to get Sarah to open up about her past.

    ACV: Chuck was whiny. Chuck should have saved the day with his super Kung Fu skills even though he doesn’t have the Intersect. Actually, Chuck should still have the Intersect, but he shouldn’t have to use it. Also he should save the day again with his brain. Chuck should also be a master businessman who grew has already grown the fortune to 2 billion dollars. Because it’s not like the Buy More, a jet, a satellite, or weapons cost anything. Carmichael Industries should already be more powerful than the CIA.

    Me: Wow, they did a lot in that episode. I’m glad he’s still Chuck. Pulling a network cable does not disable a firewall; it actually prevents remote network access. But that’s ok, TV and movies never get computer stuff right.
    – Married Sarah should be softer and more in touch with her feelings. Check
    – But she should not be a wimp. She’s still kick-ass ninja girl. Check
    – She also should not put up with secrets from Chuck. Check
    – She only be slightly hesitate before opening up to Chuck. Check
    – She’s known Morgan for years. Maybe she and Morgan should act more like friends now. Check
    – She shouldn’t put up with any crap from Morgan, though. Check
    – She should trust Chuck. Check
    – She should be supportive of Chuck as the leader. Check
    – She should work with Chuck as a partner. Check
    – We should have her wear something skimpy because YS is such a good sport about that. Check

    ACV: Sarah should be going Phase 3 on everyone and slicing them to shreds. She also should be completely open with her feelings, telling Chuck about everything she has repressed for years, without being asked. Also, Sarah and Chuck should be making out in front of everyone in Castle and in the Buy More–with tongue (who cares if TV actors don’t do that). They should also be having a lot of sex on screen. Maybe Chuck should be on HBO.

    Me: Once again, I’m impressed with the gradual and consistent development of Sarah’s character. It’s a real tribute to the writers and the actress. It remains the best character development on TV. I still can’t believe how few people understood what was going on with her in season 3.
    Chuck and Sarah are such a cute married couple, excuse my while I recover from my near-diabetic coma.
    – We need to have an excuse for him to be on missions in comic relief. It’s not like he can look like every Italian arms dealer. Check
    – Morgan should embrace the Intersect in a way the reluctant hero Chuck never did. Check
    – Morgan needs to be able to use the Intersect to help the team. Check
    – We need to show that Morgan with the Intersect still struggles. Check
    – We need to create some funny situations with Morgan using the Intersect. Check
    – It would be great if Morgan would get confused about cover identities with Sarah, especially considering S1 references to community property. Check
    – Morgan should still be scared of Sarah. Check

    ACV: Morgan should not have the Intersect. Morgan should not have the Intersect. Morgan should not have the Intersect. Morgan should not have the Intersect. And maybe Morgan should just die.

    Me: I’m glad there is a legitimate reason to have Morgan on missions now. It was pretty funny. Morgan and Sarah are funny together. I can’t wait to see how Morgan will mess up next.
    TPTB: We haven’t had a good Chuck/Ellie moment in a while. We should have one. Check

    ACV: We should have a Sarah/Ellie moment, too.

    Me: I’m glad Carmichael Industries is not a secret, and Ellie is so supportive.
    – Casey needs to still kick ass, but we have too much going on in this episode. Off-screen check
    – Casey should be uncomfortable with post-military life. Check
    – Casey should be out of the van. Check
    – Casey should be a bad businessman who doesn’t understand wining and dining. Check
    – Maybe Casey should have a girl. Pending check

    ACV: Morgan is not needed because Casey is cool. He was on Firefly, after all.

    Casey was used well in this episode. It would have made more sense for Chuck to be at the party instead of Casey, but it was more important to have him in the van. Hmm, maybe Sarah and Casey should have a dance. That would be funny, too.
    Buy More
    – We need to find a reason to keep it in the story and not be like S3 Orange Orange. Check
    – They own the store, so it should still have plot lines. Check
    – We need to show Lester is the evil one and Jeff is just the drunk being manipulated. Check

    ACV: Who cares

    Me: I’m glad the Buy More is still in play. Some of the best plot lines are when spy and retail combine.
    The show overall
    – We are happy we are getting a chance to finish our story

    ACV: I’m not going to watch again, but I’m going to get on message boards and blast the show and TPTB anyway.

    Me: I’m happy Chuck is back. I’m also happy I don’t have to stress about ratings this time. I can just sit back and enjoy what is still proving to be the most entertaining show on TV. Now let me switch over to baseball… Home Run Craig! The Cardinals are up 3-2! This is a great night for TV.

    • joe says:

      Oh, gee, Jeff. That was fantastic.

      I can’t say that all the ACVs are really so “A” (it just seems that way sometimes). But I’m in such a good mood this morning that I’m seeing the required dose of humor in this medication. And then some.

      Good stuff and a lot of truth here. 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Wow! I think you put more inton his I do in most of my posts! Very funny. I’m pretty sure I was skewered a time or two in there, but very funny anyway. Thanks Jeff!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Love the list Jeff. Me, I’m just glad they delayed Chuck’s premier a week so we would be far less likely to open against the World Series.


      Overall I thought the episode hit all the right notes and did it’s due diligence on the new normal. The opening was a little flat to me, but that was likely the result of having watched all those scenes about a dozen times already.

      And yes, the computer thing bugs me too. If you are under attack and locked out the FIRST thing you do is pull the cables. But as you say…

  28. SarahSam says:

    LOL Jeff. Nice list and to add a comment, I think most of us got what was going on with Sarah in S3. We just didn’t like it or her resulting behavior. Despite that , a lot of us haven’t bailed.

  29. Gord says:

    I have figured out another reason why I did not like this episode. We know longer have Chuck and Sarah teamed up on spy missions we have Morgan/Sarah spy team.

    By the way Jeff, most of what you had in your TPTB checklist, I found to be unchecked. For me just about everything was off in this episode.

    • I intentionally said all of those things were checked because I knew a lot of people thought they weren’t. TPTB sprinkle in those things very quickly or subtly. Usually they do not have the right balance or emphasis for the fans, but they are there if you squint. Since they weren’t focused on enough, some fans consider them unchecked, while TPTB consider them checked.

      The show tries to do much in every episode, I think it is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. I don’t want to get into a S3 discussion, but that is an example of what I meant. I know a lot of people hated Shaw and the name reveal (I disliked Hannah more), but think it could have all worked better, without removing anything, if they added a little more emphasis on character motivations. They wrote themselves in a corner by not having confidants for the characters (a la the therapist introduced in Castle).

      An example of the weak check was Chuck and Sarah on missions together. A lot of people are complaining that Chuck and Sarah aren’t on missions together anymore, but they _were_ at the very being of the episode. Morgan was left in the van. I think a good, flexible spy team would be able to work with anyone paired up.

      In Zoom, TPTB did the weak check thing because they were trying to establish a whole lot of things. It was not enough for some people, but it worked for me.

      • atcDave says:

        Much as I agree with your Zoom analysis, and I hear your wish to avoid an S3 debate; but I have to say I disagree about the thought that more time on motivations would have helped any. I don’t think there is any chance of redeeming the love triangle stories. There may have been other problems or issues there too (darker tone for the season that also didn’t appeal to me), but the soap opera angle was the deal breaker for me. I am consciously closed minded on the subject (not just on Chuck, I hate that sort of story-telling) and I am very happy they haven’t tried anything like it since.

        I did actually like that we saw Chuck and Sarah together on a mission at the start. I expect we will see more of that as the season goes. Maybe that expectation is why I’m not really sweating the Morgansect yet.

      • I really shouldn’t respond, but oh well (Chuckwin’s Law)

        Dave, I agree that I would have preferred no love triangles, especially the Hannah one (which made no sense to me). I also dislike that story telling device, but I’ve seen it enough that I understand it. Most of the time it is a cheep WTWT tactic. In Chuck I saw how it helped Sarah’s character evolve. Sarah revealing her name to the first “person” that might listen made sense to me (Chuck was with Hannah, Ellie was Chuck’s sister and seemed to be supporting that, and Casey was Casey). Sarah being hurt and hiding in a “relationship” she knew would never go anywhere made sense to me. Her staying away from Chuck as she thought he was turning into someone like Shaw made sense because she wasn’t in love with Shaw. I know most people don’t agree with what I just said. I’m not saying I liked it. I’m saying I understood it. They wanted both Chuck and Sarah to hit bottom.

        Could a great story have been told without doing any of that? Yes. (Make Chuck back off from Hannah out of respect for Morgan. Make Sarah get close but not too close to Shaw to maintain control of the team like the deleted scene suggested.) Did that storyline feel out of place for the show? Yes. (but I still think Santa Claus was the darkest episode.) I just think if that is the story they wanted to tell, a little more time on motivations would have helped more people swallow the story better. Maybe with dislike instead of hate or disgruntled appreciation instead of loathing.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess continuing to prove Chuckwin’s Law…

        I can understand all of that, I even agree the growth shown was a good thing. But I think the mechanism chosen was dreadful. Sort of like curing a head cold with a guillotine. If the point of television is entertainment (and to be clear, the “if” in this statement is my view of television) then it is a bad idea to pursue a story your audience isn’t interested in. Obviously this can be a tricky game to play in many cases. With the Morgansect idea we have another idea that has not been well received. At some point, I imagine a show runner will decide to take a chance. I would argue from a business perspective Morgansect was a bad decision almost to the same extent as the misery arc for at least one identical reason; a major portion of the fan base is hostile to this idea. It is funny I find myself in a different position this time; I’m indifferent to the idea as a concept, and am perfectly willing to give them a chance and have a good time with it. I also believe the misery arc was met with far more fan hostility than Morgansect, and additionally was already an overused device in this specific story (third outside love interest for EACH character). So if Morgansect is ill-advised, misery arc was…. Okay I’m not going to call names today. Fedak won me back with S4 and I’m willing to give him some credit for lessons learned. He learned A lesson, although I’m not sure he learned all that he could have (I think he learned not to mess with Chuck and Sarah; I’m not sure he learned as much about audience feedback). But this is exactly where I’m willing to give him a chance. This story is clearly different, and likely to be funny, and it’s not depressing like the other was, so I’m willing to give it a chance.
        I know as a writer you likely have a different perspective on a lot of this Jeff. But as an active viewer (and reader) with finite time and energy; I am careful about my entertainment choices. It makes me a little cranky when a story I’ve chosen to invest time and emotional energy in takes a turn I don’t like (it’s much easier with a show like Terra Nova; after two episodes I easily decided “this is not for me.”). Even worse when I see it coming but am already too invested to quit.

      • Dave, I like how you always have a a well reasoned argument. I also agree about the THIRD outside love interest being too much. Although, I’ve seen the same number in other shows with the fans patiently waiting for some reason. And I (should) know better than to try to change ANYONE’s mind about S3. However, you completely lost me when you called me a writer. While I appreciate the sentiment, I actually laughed when I read that, and now I can’t take anything you say seriously. (just kidding) For the record, all of my Chuck stories are PLI free and full of fluff and humor. I would never subject anyone to a PLI because that wouldn’t be fun for me either.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind either. Just being clear on some relevant points on my dislike of S3. The parallels (and differences) for S5 I find interesting.
        I know many shows go even beyond three love interests. Even though we use the term “soap opera” as an insult; the genre is actually popular with some viewers!
        I also know you avoid using OLIs; I like your work (I believe I’ve recommended two of your stories here).

        Thank you for a fun discussion this afternoon (with the Lions up by 42 points I needed something to hold my interest!).

    • atcDave says:

      I always want Chuck and Sarah time, it is easily my favorite aspect of the show. But other relationships have always been a part of the Chuck experience too; and looking at the synopsis for coming episodes it seems clear we will still have Chuck and Sarah front and center on missions quite often. In fact, I bet if we looked at their amount of screen time together in 5.01 it beat anything from S1.

      Gord it is of course fine, and completely your right to just not like the episode. But it seems like some of the complaints we’re hearing are things that have always been true for Chuck. The humor is sort of dumb sometimes, physical realities are applied loosely, the show is a mess of interconnecting relationships (some of which steal time from others I’m more interested in), and the mythology is often shallow. But I still find the show a lot of fun and I love the main characters.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, what you say is quite true. maybe some of us expected them to improve in those areas over time and it’s just to the point of being past frustration? some things you mention aren’t really all that hard to fix are they?

        Jeff, i completely agree with the point about them trying to stuff to much in. it’s a blessing and a curse. maybe they should have adopted the KISS principle a few years back. who knows what the difference could have made?

      • atcDave says:

        Army we’ve had some of this discussion before; but I don’t think they ever meant to “fix” some things (like sloppy continuity and shallow mythology). Because the thing is, writing comedy is very hard (yes I was a speech nerd, and wrote comedy in high school and college). The writing staff only has so many people and so much time to get a script ready for shooting. And they clearly made a decision early on about how much of that time and staffing was going to be devoted to the deeper and dramatic aspects versus the silly, gimmicky and funny.
        And all things considered I think they’ve balanced the various elements quite well. The spy and dramatic elements of the show are clearly beyond Get Smart or Sledge Hammer, but they’re not even trying to compete with 24 or Fringe. While the comedy ranges from overt and dumb to clever and layered. That precise balance has certainly fluctuated some over time, and I haven’t always been pleased. But right now I am; who called it Burn Notice with laughs? That makes it pretty much my perfect show.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i understand all of what your saying. let me just say this. if something is part of a show, comedy, drama, mythology or hero’s journey don’t TPTB owe it to the fans that watch the show the best they have to offer? i’m talking any show not just chuck. to do their best at presenting the project? TPTB do a great to outstanding job on getting the relationships down. that’s the strong part of the show. like you said the mythology is shallow, so why try to do the arc they are attempting or long arcs at all? slow down that part of the show, make missions simpler but improve the quality, which i would consider a fix. that would give the writers more time to spend doing what they do well. i think that would lead to an overall improvement of the show.

      • atcDave says:

        Army they obviously disagree. Of course they owe it to their audience (and network, and studio) to deliver the best product they can. But as we’ve discussed, they are balancing a lot of elements with limited time and money, so they make the decisions they think will be most effective and generate the most satisfying result. Given that this was expected to be the final season from the start they may be less concerned with attracting new viewers than in the past, but I have no doubt they are still trying to do the best they can with every aspect of the show.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave very true! lets hope they maintain the people who are still here. i’d hate to see the final season be the laughing stock because they only pulled in .5 viewers each week.

      • Gord says:

        In reality there have only been two episodes of Chuck that I have felt such a strong dislike for (at least so far) Mask and now Zoom.

        There have been other episodes that have moments in them that are not great for me (especially most of the episode endings in early s3) but there was always enough good stuff in the episodes to counteract the weak moments for me. Even though a lot of people didn’t like Fake Name, I thought the first half of that episode was pretty good especially Chuck assuming the role of Rafe ( who doesn’t like a good cupcake. lol.)
        There have also been some episodes that I have found a little weak (Muurder, 3rd Dimension come to mind) but overall were still fun. That is why for now, I will keep watching and hoping that S5 turns around for me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Gertrude/Casey episodes and really psyched about the episode with Sarah’s mom. I think there is some great potential for those episodes, I just hope the Morgansect stuff doesn’t ruin them for me.

        Up till now, even with a few bad episodes I have enjoyed every season of Chuck and absolutely loved S2 and S4. Just like those of you that were surprised anyone could hate zoom, I’m surprised by those who didn’t like S4. That doesn’t mean they are stupid because they didn’t like it, it just proves what a diverse fan group this show has.

  30. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    OK, so I rewatched again last night. The episode didn’t play much better the second time around. And although the Morgansect did not completely derail the episode, there was just WAY too much Morgan in it. Something I hope doesn’t persist, although it’s not looking good.   

    The Chuck & Sarah stuff, especially the last scene in front of the house did play better the second time around.

    There was just the right amount of Buy-More in this episode. (Which I never thought I would say)

    The scene that did however leave me shaking my head was the one at the squash club. Chuck giving that fellow a massage and using oil as advantage was OK, to a point, and typical Chuck. Unfortunately Morgan coming up with an alternate way of getting an invitation to Bale’s party is also typical Chuck. Sarah appearing to be proud of Morgan and Casey highlighting to Chuck that Morgan had saved the mission was the point I said, “too much with Morgan already”. If in order to make Morgan a “master spy” TPTB have to marginalize Chuck, the Morgansect angle is now one episode too long.

    The dance didn’t work for because by then I was Morganed out.

    I know that they’re playing this stuff for laughs. The problem is that – they’re playing this stuff for laughs. It’s like they don’t know when to stop.

    As season premieres go, this one is 4th.

    • atcDave says:

      Although I really liked the episode, I’d only rank it 3rd among season premiers. But that’s because the Pilot and First Date are genius, and Pink Slip was a piece of c%&@. That only leaves Anniversary, which I found to be crushingly depressing for the first half even if it did finish strong. So I give Zoom the clear edge there. In fact, I watched it for the third time last night and am already itching to see it again. Its not likely to ever exceed those first two season premiers, but I think its 3rd place rank is pretty solid with me.

    • mxpw says:

      I agree with you that it was a little much to have both Sarah and Casey act all impressed by Morgan while Chuck was made to look like a buffoon. I really didn’t care for the sequence in the country club for that reason and others.

      Mostly, though, I couldn’t help but shake my head at Morgan’s alternate plan for getting an invite to the party. His entire plan was basically to mention that he was rich. Meanwhile, I’m watching and wondering why the heck telling the guy who runs an INVESTMENT group that they were rich was not their initial plan from the start. I was like, “Duh!”

      • herder says:

        The thing that got me was if you go back to Crown Vic, Chuck loses $100,000 and both Sarah and Casey give him a really hard time, Morgan trashes a $6 million dollar vase, their payment and no one says anything.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well not to split hairs, but while Casey may have heard Morgan get the invite, we saw it, and I think it’s at least plausible (if not evident based on later events) that it was Sarah’s timely arrival that scored the invitation.

      • ArmySFC says:

        the problem i see with the episode and what may come is this. they took a widely unpopular idea and built on it. if they had morgan continually blow it or had casey and sarah get on his case like they when chuck screwed up it would make it worse. by doing it this way we know he screwed up but his partners still support him, lessening the impact his screw up would have on the idea. much like last season when the took from chuck and gave to morgan.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yeah, but Chuck tossed away $100,000 because he wanted to show up Sarah’s mark. Morgan was just Morgan. And Casey and Sarah did give him a hard time, each in their own way. Morgan being clueless is just Morgan being Morgan.

      • Gord says:

        I thought what got Morgan the invite is when the bad guy layed eyes on Sarah. Having Sarah on your shoulder should be all that is needed to get an invite to a party. LOL

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I agree Gord, I think it’s pretty evident given the events at the party when Bale was intent on giving Sarah a tour of the garden.

  31. I just did a quick skim of the episode again, and I’m having trouble finding the Sarah/Moran mission that everyone is talking about. Suitcase, the last mission in Balcony, and the off screen mission at the end of A-Team were Chuck/Sarah missions. Most missions are team missions. That was the case in Zoom.

    Also I estimated about 7 1/2 minutes of Chuck/Sarah time without Morgan as part of the scene or active events, 6 3/4 minutes of Chuck/Morgan time without Sarah, and less than a minute of time when Sarah and Morgan were together without Chuck on comms as part of the conversation and scene. I guess Charah time breezes by so fast, and Sargan time drags so slowly, it skews people’s perspectives.

  32. Ernie Davis says:

    So on re-watch, a few things stuck out. I’ve learned this is often a trademark of a Fedak episode. The first I mentioned already, Chuck will do anything to give Sarah her perfect home. That will be the driving force and theme of this season, I think, getting out.

    The other thing that struck me was how much I loved the escape. The force and confidence that Sarah had when she talked about the master spy who always had a plan, her hesitance to even go so far as the van to regroup, great stuff. Chuck’s plan definitely shows a newfound self-confidence. The dream house will, I think play out with the the theme of getting out. If we wait too long we lose everything.

    It’s a good start.

    • atcDave says:

      I’ve just been pleased on how well it’s holding up on repeat. I’ve already watched three times and am eager to cue it up again tonight after football.
      As always, I love the sweet Charah stuff; but the Morgan/Sarah dance makes me laugh every time. I think what Morgan actually flashed on was the confidence to stand there and let Sarah do her thing.
      I’m sure the perfect house will come back. I just wonder if it will be the same house; or if it will be like Sarah’s “perfect” wedding dress, and be completely different from what we get to in the end.

      • herder says:

        I think that the house at the end will be different, the two salient features are that it have a red door and that it have a picket fence and they will be there at the end. Although I liked the episode a lot, it falls fourth on my own list of premieres mainly because of how good the pilot and First Date were. Also I liked Anniversary more than most seem to have, rather than any failings of Zoom – the less said about Pink Slip the better.

        This episode does stand up well to rewatches, like Dave I have seen it three times already and enjoyed it all three times. It’s not a great episode but it is a good one and any quibbles that I might have are really just that, quibbles. Personally I was worried that we might have Casey making a quip about how Sarah alway falls for the guy she works with to play on Chuck’s insecurities.

        I found it fun and that is my basic test of Chuck episodes, are they fun. This one was so it gets a passing grade from me. Are there plot holes or points to disagree with, of course there are but ultimately none of them rise to the level of not making this fun.

      • jason says:

        I do watch Dancing with the Stars some, I had to watch Chuck on TV#2, shows where I rate in my house. For those that don’t, a celeb is paired with a pro dancer. The worst male celebs largely just stand there and the pro dances around them. Morgan was certainly in the running for the worst I ever saw! Could the writers of Chuck be coy enough to take a shot at baseball and Dancing with the Stars in the same ep? Anyhow, that struck me on rewatch of the dance, pure parody / comedy, but romantic, well not to this eye, not even 1%. Matter of fact, I read where Gomez said he was shocked at how good Yvonne was at learning the dance, and that he couldn’t remember what to do, or do it. This made me post last week that Yvonne would be an awesome DWTS celeb contestant, esp given the built in Monday audience she might attract.

    • joe says:

      Funny. I just saw it for the 3rd time too, and had the same reaction. It replays well. Ernie, I absolutely agree that the escape was great. The idea to reveal Chuck’s plan on a recording made for some great comedic timing and really ramped up the tension at the same time. Well executed.

      Dave, I agree about the dance now too. The first time I was rather taken aback by Sarah’s – uh – display. But this time I was able to focus on the word “distraction” and their need to become a distraction and I stopped being so distracted and – uh, well it worked! Ultimately, not overdone.

      Herder, I agree. It may not be the same house, but the red door, the picket fence, the simplicity and the “homeyness” will be there.

      I’m so agreeable tonight!

  33. Verkan_Vall says:

    I just got my first chance to watch 5.1 and it was just the escape I was looking for. I don’t know if I would call it a great episode, but good enough for me.

    And it was a pleasant surprise to see Sarah Lancaster appear; that must have been quite soon after her baby arrived.

    Glad the season has finally started.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah, ditto all VV. I think they shot Ellie’s scene a few weeks after the rest of the episode. But it is good to see her still a part of things.

  34. jason says:

    So many things I read negative that I simply don’t agree with, I’ll throw just a few random thoughts out there:

    1 – I doubt Sarah and Morgan will go on more than 1 or 2 missions together the rest of the show. I have read nothing that implies they are spy ‘partners’. And a romantic pairing is about as likely as the real Vicky Vale and Danny Devito’s penguin, unless Fedak is trying to live vicariously thru Morgan somehow – LOL

    2 – In Alias’s misery season, the equiv of Chuck, Sydney Bristow was presumed dead for two years, and a Bad guy agent’s mission was to seduce & marry the equiv of Sarah, Micheal Vaughn. And if you watched the show, agent Laureen Reed was very, very, very up for the role of that seduction, I think I would marry her even if I knew she was ….. well anyhow. The other thing, I thought once Sydney returned, the writers very carefully wrote Sydney and MIcheal, who went on many, many missions alone, and always found a way to be true to one another. Sarah seemed to hold Chuck in near contempt for most of the misery arc, and did not easily let go of her Daniel, even after Shaw gave her back to Chuck in the castle. Heck, even after Sarah begrudgingly went back to Chuck in his apartment, Daniel whisked Sarah on a romantic get away and Sarah and Daniel were having a quiet, romantic sidewalk dinner in Paris when Chuck rudely interrupted them and tried to murder Sarah’s lover. Clueless, hapless, hopeless could not even get that right. In Alias, Vaughn hated his LI by the end, and took her out with several rounds to the chest, and Mrs Vaughn stayed dead, Sydney did not have to do the dirty work.

    3 – There only are 12 episodes remaining, I think it is pretty clear the show will hit several dramatic rough patches, one around the end of 5×3, one around 5×8, and a final one probably hitting the worst spot at the end of 5×12. But to manufacture ill will toward an episode that clearly was meant to be a love letter from Fedak to Gomez surrounded by overwritten Morgan comedy and cheezy Chuck and Sarah romance, it seems strange to me. No wonder Chuck has no fans left. This wasn’t the episode to get wound up over, if any of them will be. Sit back, relax and enjoy is my advice.

    • armysfc says:

      Jason very good post. two things i’d like to touch on. first…”But to manufacture ill will toward an episode that clearly was meant to be a love letter from Fedak to Gomez surrounded by overwritten Morgan comedy and cheezy Chuck and Sarah romance, it seems strange to me.”

      speaking for myself at least, i didn’t need to manufacture anything, i just didn’t like it or dislike it. i gave it a 5 out of 10 like i said before. there were some really good parts and some bad ones as well as just ok ones. as for the others, i doubt they did either. i won’t rule out that some maybe pulling chains either. sometimes it’s not easy to see the other person’s reasons or understand why people don’t like what you do. happens all the time, some people like deer, some don’t. i didn’t find some morgan scenes that bad, just not good. the the two that bugged me the most, the breaking of the vase and the my girl line. the bad parts outweighed the ehh parts.

      and second…”No wonder Chuck has no fans left”

      this is the hard one. there are too many reasons to get into as to why they lost fans as the show went along. natural attrition found in serialized shows, the move to friday external things like that. at some point people will need to admit that things that happened on the show and the show itself are part of the reason why. is it a big part or small part we will never know. i can only say for sure that for two people, OD and I it was the show.

      Dave made a good point earlier in the thread. i hope i get the jist of it right, if not sorry dave. he made a good comparison to season 3. before both seasons started there was an outcry about the direction they were taking, 3 being worse than 5. they went ahead anyway. from a business perspective it makes no sense. starting a season with the idea your not going to like it, is hard to change how a person is going to view the show. maybe if they had morgan lose the intersect at the end of the episode the reactions would have been different, who knows. whats done is done as they say. for the remaining fans i hope they get all they want and stick around. TBH i don’t see that happening.

      • jason says:

        Army – You caught me on that one, ‘ill will’ was a lousy choice of words, and not the point I meant, I was more trying to hit on the notion of ‘manufacturing’ a Morgan Sarah PLI thing going on (which in my mind is ill will, but really it is more like drama in reality).

        I further tried to link the manufacture of drama, to the notion that at some point the season will have some real dramatic patches to get thru, far nastier stuff than Morgan getting tongue tied around Sarah. If we can’t get thru things meant to be funny, how are we going to get thru things meant to be nasty.

        Hence my conclusion, comment ‘No wonder no fans are left.’

        I have no quibble or squabble with your interpretation that you did not like the episode, that is a matter of individual taste. In lots of ways, I guess so is seeing some passion between Morgan and Sarah, but honestly, I mean come on.

        Not that it matters, but the ‘my girl’, I thought was really funny. The ‘my girl’ was supposed to be funny as in Morgan is so, so, so over his head on these missions with Sarah (s1 humor when Chuck was). But it bombed for not only you, but for many, again and all the more, no wonder this show struggles, they get in trouble, even when they aren’t trying to.

      • armysfc says:

        actually it was the manufactured that i objected to, but you explained well. your last part was the most telling however. they get into trouble with out trying. it’s why i have been saying since last year, simplify the episodes and pay attention to what fans want. morgans not a fan favorite so anything he does is magnified. take last season when chuck would constantly go to him for help. a lot of fans kept asking why does he go to morgan all the time? it was a theme that was done a lot and when morgan gave bad advice.

        as for the drama yet to come, i agree. i think around 8 they rake sarah over the coals with her past, maybe not as bad as s3 but bad enough. then in 12 as well, thats when i think they kill morgan off. with this show you never know but they do have a track record for events happening at certain points in a season.

      • atcDave says:

        Army you captured the gist of my earlier comments perfectly.

        Now I’ll throw a little controversy into this; I think it’s actually wrong to say Morgan is not a fan favorite. He is certainly not a favorite here, I mean the on-line community in general. But we take the show far more seriously than the larger number of casual viewers do. I think Morgan is very popular with those more casual viewers. But I think the Morgansect was too much for many, even the more casual viewers. He is popular as a screw-up, an incompetent, a source of really bad advice; just in general the most comic character in a comic show. But I think even those casual viewers are unenthused about him being more central to the action and taking over some of what they see as Chuck’s role.
        I’m basing this on three good conversations (and a couple of quicker exchanges) with more casual viewers. They ALL enjoyed Zoom a lot; but they also all were expecting and hoping that the Morgansect story wouldn’t last very long.
        So that’s a big part of why I say, even though I’m not terribly worried about not liking this season, I still think this story arc was a business mistake. And it was a mistake to end S4 setting it up. Many people may have had a chuckle over it. But I think very few were actually excited about it as a story.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, no controversy from me, lol. when i say fan favorite i say it much like you do. he has a role and people accept that role. i bet if you ask the casual fan he is below chuck, sarah and casey. he maybe below ellie and devon as well. it’s putting that character into a position people either don’t want to see or one he doesn’t fit. and that like you said was a mistake.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah army I think that’s exactly right.

      • Verkan_Vall says:


        I don’t have any problems with the first episode of this season, and I’m not as put off by the Morgansect as I thought I would be when I first heard about it, but I would say that you guys are right. An unforced error on TPTB part.

      • armysfc says:

        VV one thing i didn’t bring up was the dance. ok i didn’t like it but not for the same reason as most. its more technical in nature. why put in a dance scene for a person that can’t dance? the zoom is supposed to give him the skill to dance, but all he did was well not much. it would have been real funny if he didn’t flash and tried to fake his way through. that we we know its done for laughs.

    • jason, I completely agree with 1 and your advice at the end of 3. 2 is such an exaggeration of what happened in both shows, I don’t know how much you are kidding. Sarah did take out Shaw in the end of Ring II, and Charah went on many missions alone the second have of S3 and in S4.

      I’ll have to rewatch my Alias season 3 DVDs sometime, but I remember that as much worse. Sydney escaped after a few months and Vaughn was already dating Lauren. She was so crushed she chose the undercover mission and the mind-wipe. After the got back, she spent several episodes as a sobbing mess. She later had a fling with Will and rubbed it in Vaughn’s face. Then they made out in a North Korean prison while he was still married. Ok, they were about to be executed, but I prefer Chuck’s “Do you love me?” and “You saved me” in Other Guy to Alias’ we-going-to-die-so-why-not. When the Shaw arc started, I immediately thought of Lauren because he seemed to be trying to seduce Sarah away from Chuck specifically to isolate Chuck and make him into a ring-fighting weapon. Lauren was more competent than Shaw both as a seducer and a spy. I did like Vaughn’s pre-S4 reaction to the whole thing: he burned his house down. But it’s not like Sarah was married or living with Shaw. They only had one interrupted date and some side recreational activities during a business trip. So her reactions in Subway and Ring II were ok for me. Who’s saying he didn’t die from a brain aneurism after she hit him with the pipe?

      However, I like Chuck more than Alias, so I can understand a smaller relationship screw-up creating a more negative reaction.

  35. David2 says:

    I have always hated Morgan. As a plucky sidekick, he sucks, and he’s so completely selfish that any good turns he does accomplish don’t make up for his screw-ups. Having him with the intersect completely destroys the “specialness” of Chuck as set out by his father, his Stanford testing and Bryce’s initial decision to send Chuck the intersect in the first place.

    I’m so sick of “Government as bad guy” and making Chuck enemy number one just stinks of it. No, I don’t see the importance of completely ruining Chuck and making sure he fails.

    So, after watching this show go from funny, light, and sweetly romantic, to contrived, stupid and manipulative, I’m out for season 5.

    • Gord says:

      I hated Morgan in the first 2 seasons, but found him much more likeable in S3 and S4. I loved his parings with Casey, and I have to admit I did enjoy the few scenes he had with Sarah i – especially in Phase 3, Balcony, and Masquerade. In S3 I would have loved if there was an extended scene of their talk down in Castle during Living Dead. However, I think in S3 and S4 they used just the right amount of Morgan and the scenes were well written. In Zoom, I didn’t find that. However, I’m not ready to give up the show based on one bad episode (well bad by my perspective).
      I think it is safe to say that we have all found at one point an episode of Chuck that really bothered us, but still love the show. It’s just unfortunate that for some of the fandom, that episode happens to be a season opener and has us wondering if the whole new approach is what we dont like or is it just the episode.

  36. SarahSam says:

    Dave2, I’m sure you echo the sentiments of the many who have left. We joke about about how every discussion includes some discussion about season 3 but realistically how can it not? It was the season with the biggest exodus of fans and essentially the season that derailed the show. Sure, there were some great episodes and Honeymooners is an all-timer but that’s part of the problem. The resolution to the misery just ….happened and we were so happy that only later did we say WTF? What about the red test? Did Shaw just cheapen Charah by giving Sarah back? Why doesn’t Sarah want him to know about them? Is it worse to be with the Intersect than your superior officer? A lot of little things that a couple of lines could resolve for you. I really wanted Sarah to talk to Chuck then, just as I want Sarah to talk to her husband and give him some personal insight into how she really feels. He was so far off on the Dream House that’s it’s exactly as BigKev said it’s obvious he still doesn’t understand her. To me, that’s basic stuff for significant others to discuss before a journey. We always talk about growth for them but if you take a step forward and a step back, you’re in the same place and Sarah apparently still ain’t tellin Chuck nothing. You either accept it, put it in “the black box” and stay or you do as Dave2 or Gord and say SeeYa!! When you have already compromised the love story, the two main characters, the mythology, you’ve got little margin for error for things like the Morgansect. I know things have gotta get better.

  37. Verkan_Vall says:

    I just watched 5.1 for the 2nd time, and I still don’t know who Sarah is dancing with at the party. I mean, I’m sure its a guy and he looks kinda short, but then I get distracted….

  38. ealglemmoomin says:

    I’d like to point out the BIG drop was actually in season 4 not long after Balcony. Young males 18-34 started to leave the show in droves, The young male demo is what kept the show going. S3 was pretty consistent and the overall graph is not all that different to S2. The sales figures for the S3 DVD’s are in the order of if memory servers 40% higher than S4 which looks positively anemic in comparsion.

    • armysfc says:

      on the DVD sales your right. S4 sales are down by 41% over S3 sales. the numbers i think are from the first week of sales for both seasons.

      • *sarcasm on* I’m trying to figure out if that means everyone loved the epicness of season 3 and Shaw 41% more than regular Charah mission and Phase 3 rescues. I know. Shaw should break out of his mental institution to help season 5 DVD sales. *sarcasm off*

        Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

        That kind of huge drop is probably due to at least a half a dozen factors, not just one. For example, who watches NBC enough to see the Chuck DVD ads? Season 4 didn’t have Honeymooners. Maybe S4 was up against tougher first week competition. Maybe the discounts at Amazon, Wal-mart, and Target weren’t as good. The current huge discounts on S1 and S2 might make people wait until S4’s price drops. The economy is even worse. Maybe more people were buying digital downloads, so they passed on the DVDs. Maybe in September, people buy new shows, but in October, they are more likely to wait for Christmas. Oh yeah, and ratings as the end of S4 were lower.

        As long as I can get S5 on BluRay, I don’t care if they only sell 5 copies. They are far enough into production that I doubt S4 sales will effect budgets. Most of the budget damage was done before S3.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, i was just giving numbers. how about an obvious one. people enjoyed it enough to watch live but not enough to buy it. i know that may come as a shock to die hards, but it’s as good a guess as any. also of note is the +7 numbers were down last year as well.

      • jason says:

        The show jumped the shark in Mask / Fake Name, this started a downward spiral, both in terms of trying to rediscover the show’s complicated genre (serious, or funny, or spy, or parody, or family, or romance, or soap opera, or friendship, or sci fy, or etc), as well as creating a bitter, angry fan base. Downward spirals don’t start immediately, that is why the word spiral is used. This anger manifested itself in both shipper haters as well as shippers. It is hard to be a popular TV show when so many fans are hateful, especially when it never goes away. You still don’t have to look far on the web to see the hate, for both season 3 and from fans on both side of the debate.

        Somewhere around the Christmas break s4, teasers made it seem like Sarah was going to leave Chuck for more than 5 minutes. This caused some of the remaining borderline shipper fans began to peel off, after nearly 8 or 10 weeks of relative stability caused by a string of shipper friendly, simple, procedural episodes. Then somewhere in the back half, when it became apparent that s4’s back half was going to be mythology lite or even mythology rewrite (again a period of stability thru some simple, friendly procedural eps), the show lost more of the serious crowd, leaving only die hard fans.

        Now the switch to Friday’s lead by an unpopular story line with Morgan has caused even more fans have been stripped away.

        We are what we are, let go and enjoy the ride or don’t, it really doesn’t matter at all – the show is nearly all written, will be casted complete in the next week or two, and shot complete in the next month, and it will be over. Then the vindictive haters on the blogs will find something or someone new to hate, the lovers of each genre will hook up with new shows, and I think a certain element will never quite find what they found in Chuck. I can only speak for myself, there is a little of each of those things in me.

      • Of course Army, the biggest two factors are probably 1) people didn’t watch to begin with and 2) people who watched didn’t feel the need to buy (during the first week).

        I just thought it was funny that the much hated S3 sold so much better than S4, which people complained about but generally thought was ok. So there has to be some better reason. I know, a conspiracy! I’m blaming the store managers who buried the new DVDs in the regular release sections instead of putting them in nice new release displays at the end of the aisles. Also, some Morgansect hater working at Amazon made sure the Chuck S4 DVD image did not appear on the hot new release web pages.

      • atcDave says:

        I think the bottom line is, Chuck attracted a very diverse audience in it’s first two seasons; while since then they seem to have made a variety of decisions that alienated first one, then another group of viewers. For myself, they only made one major misstep, but it really was a biggie that lasted most of S3. As of now, I expect to enjoy the home stretch. The only dark cloud to me as a viewer, is that the show is ending long before I’m ready for it to.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Yeah Dave i agree with that. what gets me they still don’t seem to get the fans, there was a huge divide caused by 3, then another smaller one caused by 4, or maybe it just widened the existing one. then after the reviews we saw for the first three of season 5 they said it would polarize the audience. is it just me or does that not make sense?

      • Gord says:

        I did buy the S4 discs in both DVD and Blu Ray format. S4 was my favourite season right up to the last 10 minutes or so of the finale.
        I thought the wedding with Morgan doing the officiating really was poorly done and then they had to finish with Morgansect.

        On the flip side half of S3 was my least favourite, but I thought the finale for S3 was spectacular. I wonder if the difference in quality in the finale episodes of S3 and S4 also had something to do with poorer sales?

        Also curious about the 40% bit, because although not scientifically proven, from my stop by various fan sights and review sights, the fans that like Morgansect/vs don’t like also seems to be about a 60 /40 split. maybe 70/30.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Gord, this site tracks almost everything entertainment related, sales wise. you can see what chuck did this year vs last year. thats where the 40% comes from.

  39. MichaelCarmichael says:

    Or maybe it’s economics. Season 4 is a hot deal on iTunes – $24.99/34.99 HD versus $49.99 on DVD. I don’t think I’m the only one who will comparison shop like that. I have all of Chuck on iTunes (season 5 is out in the Canadian itunes store as of last night) and seasons 1 & 2 on DVD. I’ll probably buy season 3 on DVD now that you can find it on sale for under $30, and do the same for Season 4.

  40. SarahSam says:

    Yeah. What jason said.

  41. Silvercat42 says:

    Sad to say, Chuck This has become too much of an anti-Chuck site with all the negativity. Doubt I’ll be participating much from here on out. I’m just sick of going to what is supposed to be a fan site bogged down with comments from people who basically don’t like the show anymore. As far as I’m concerned, they can’t really call themselves fans… more like obsessed critics who want things their way or it’s no way. Well, you can have it.

    • atcDave says:

      You know SilverCat 5 of the 6 authors of this site were mostly pleased with Zoom. But we encourage a free exchange of ideas. If the mood is too negative it’s because we need more people who loved the episode to speak up! The users dictate much f the mood here, so help us out!

    • I’m not sure if there is a positive site left. I’ve seen identical posts from complainers here, on the NBC boards, and at They are venting right now. If they follow through on their threat to stop watching, we won’t have to worry about them much longer.

      I still love the show and I really liked the premiere. I don’t might reading some criticism because it keeps my own appreciation honest, but I’m hoping it dies down some.

    • ArmySFC says:

      SC, we had this talk before about fans. dave or other blog owners, i need some help on this if i’m wrong please correct me. from what i have read over the course of time here, S3 was not well received by many of the blog owners. i believe they let their feelings be known about S3, and continue to do so. these folks, if i’m right they were die hard fans even then, yet they voiced their concerns, likes and dislikes back then, heck even to this day. yet based on what you are saying they weren’t fans back then because they didn’t praise every episode or part of the season, because they posted negative things back then, complained about episodes and still say how bad it was even today. i feel that’s wrong. these people here love the show and suffered through a lousy season, in their opinions and kept going. now they have the show they can enjoy. it some small way i think TPTB took their words to heart and made the changes that a good portion of the fan base wanted. the changes made to the show could be a result of those complaints about season 3.

      • joe says:

        Some of us seriously love S3 too, Army (and Silvercat), even if we do recognize the downers. Personally, I think the name-reveal was meant to hurt. Dave’s got a point by insisting that, ultimately, it’s about enjoyment. But for me personally, the good part came about and was enhanced because of the things we had to endure.

        Yeah, yeah. Go ahead. Call me a masochist.

      • Silvercat42 says:

        Negativity about an episode or two or even a season is different if you’re still a fan. Sure, there are directions that TPTB take that I didn’t like at first, but when things played out I could see why they did it and appreciated that it worked in the end. But there are other fans that clearly just don’t enjoy the show anymore. To me they are no longer fans. They’re malcontents who basically feel anyone who still likes the show is stupid. They should stay off Chuck fan sites, cuz they’re no longer fans. It’s one thing to not like certain elements of the show, but still love it (which is where I’d put the authors) and it’s another to kick, kick, kick the show and showrunners every chance you get just because they didn’t do things the way you wanted. That’s where I put a lot of the negative commentators. I just think it’s sad that a site created for fans to go share their love for a
        Chuck is currently dominated by negative comments. This isn’t the fault of the authors, it’s the fault of ex-fans who won’t go away.

      • ArmySFC says:

        yeah joe, i tried the “many” because i wasn’t sure how many of each there were. thanks!

      • ArmySFC says:

        SC, what i see from other blogs as well is the complaints are now coming from fans who still watch the show but don’t like the direction it went in.

    • JC says:

      i don’t see much negativity towards the episode itself just two specific things The first is the Morgansect which isn’t surprising considering the reactions to Cliffhanger and the same with conspiracy angle.

  42. Silvercat42 says:

    I found the first episode fun (especially the massage room scenes), and enjoyed the Morgan Sarah dance. Much of the negativity I’ve read is based on minor piddly stuff that I is much more important to the commentator than to most real fans. Can’t wait until episode 2. And Army, why are you even bothering watching any of the eps? You haven’t liked Chuck for at least one if not more seasons.

    • ArmySFC says:

      SC, you could not be more wrong about when i stopped really liking chuck, but i’m glad you addressed me in person. i enjoyed most of the first half of season 4. there were good and bad episodes but for the most part during the second half i lost interest. i watched the first episode hoping it would bring me back, which i don’t think is to hard to understand. i found it middle of the road or a 5. if you had been around more you would have gotten my explanation a while ago. instead of focusing on that, how about you mention the number of spoilers and video links i have provided over the last couple of weeks? the rest i won’t get into because for you it seems personal and i just refuse to go there.

      • Silvercat42 says:

        I only recently returned to the site after several months’ absence hoping perhaps things had changed now that Season 5 has started, so I missed what you’ve provided. I just know that most of the stuff you wrote during all of Season 4 was negative criticisms… very little praise. So how was I to know you actually liked any episode. Yes, I personally feel you make comments that imply you feel anyone who doesn’t agree with you is stupid for liking the show. I get enough comments like that from people who don’t call themselves fans.

  43. Silvercat42 says:

    BTW, Joe, I happened to really enjoy Season 3, mainly because Chuck and Sarah both had to grow up before they could be together permanently. Season 4 is probably my favorite, followed by 3, 2 and 1. So you could say that for me, Chuck got better every season it’s been on.

  44. atcDave says:

    Okay let’s play nice. SilverCat I do understand the frustration. Some of the criticism feels directed at those of us who do enjoy the show; like we’re stupid for still doing so. And believe me we’ve had a few discussions with hostile commenters here.
    But there is still a level of legitimate criticism. We’ve never required every visitor here to love every episode. That would make for pretty boring discussion! And it does seem those who have criticism are more likely to be vocal than those who are happy. Look at the comments above, Jason decided he doesn’t have much to say; that never happens! One result of that tendency is that the site is most positive right after the episode runs. Everyone wants to get their first thoughts down, and a lot of us are in a great mood.
    I usually try to include both good and bad comments, along with an overall impression. I know when I was most unhappy with the show I still believed the show would get better. My biggest frustration was the fear that the show would end with no pay-off or celebration phase after. Perhaps some of the attitude of the complainers is similar, with the show running out of time they fear the show will never get back to a place they like. Although some seem to have carried that attitude since the end of S2, and haven’t enjoyed the show since. I am also baffled by some who keep watching and griping about a show they haven’t liked in so long. But the best way to overcome the negative mood is a positive one. At least that’s my theory…

    • BigKev67 says:

      I’m beginning to understand that fandom is like following sports. You vent sometimes, you enjoy the wins at other times – but you watch your team week in and week out even when they don’t play well – because it’s your team, and you have years invested in following that team and they are a part of who you are.
      I’m expecting a 9-7 season from Chuck S5. If it was up to me, I’d redesign the playbook and get rid of some of the assistant coaches. Yeah, I miss the days when Chuck was a Superbowl winning team – but there’s still plenty to enjoy in a 9-7 season. That’s how I choose to see things at this point – not sure if that makes me a malcontent or a realist! 🙂

      • armysfc says:

        i think it makes you a realist. i used the sports analogy many times last season. i love the Phils and followed them since 1963. it doesn’t stop me from complaining at the top of my lungs when they screw the pooch. for me it’s wanting the perfect team or show i suppose. your gonna have a dud in there once in a while, every team or show does. when they repeat their same mistakes over and over i want a change to be made. same for chuck. they do relationships better than most shows do. in fact its the best part of the show. i just wanted the rest of the show to catch up. the Phils had the best rotation in the game but the offense was lacking to gone most of the year. i wanted the offense to be more consistent, same as i wanted the mythology to get better.

        the other thing is if you look at 9-7 and get 13-3 its much better than looking for 13-3 and getting 9-7 don’t you think? i do. i’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disapointed.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I like this analogy a lot and I think it depicts my feelings exactly.

        Chuck, the character and the show, have never been the same since the introduction on the Intersect 2.0.

        Yes I know growth is required, but somehere between S2 & S3, TPTB lost whatever it was that made the show great and made us want to invest in the characters. IMO they have yet to find it again. Simply putting Chuck and Sarah together (not even considering they put them together in the cheapest way possible – but that’s another story) did not return the show to it former greatness.

        Just like my favorite sports teams, I will continue to watch in the hope is seeing or recapturing even some of this former greatness, which is still there on occasion.

      • atcDave says:

        I think the sports team analogy is excellent in some ways. Especially explaining why we may stick with a favorite show when it becomes something we don’t like for a while. But Shepperd’s comments show where the analogy breaks down, we often have very different takes on where the failures hit. With a sports team, when the bad year comes the fans will (mostly) commiserate together. But with a show we often don’t even agree what constitutes a bad year.
        So my breakdown of the seasons (assuming a modern 16 game NFL season of course) would be:
        S1: 12 – 4
        S2: 14 – 2
        S3: 5 – 11 (but one of those wins was a huge epic upset/Honeymooners)
        S4: 16 – 0
        S5: started with a win!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        In sports however, whether or not the home team scores is not subject to individual taste or interpretation. I’d score season 1 as 12-1, season 2 as 19-3, season 3 as 14-5 at worst and season 4 as 21-3.

        For some fans it gets old hearing for the umpteenth time that these bums haven’t had a decent game since they went to the superbowl two years ago when we see win after win.

        There should be room for more than one conversation, and I understand why we’ve had a few posters come in (or back) with a bit of a chip on their shoulder based on the predominate tone. I don’t think it’s helpful, but I understand.

        This is why, on occasion, I’ve asked politely that posters consider others opinions and perhaps moderate the tone and if necessary the frequency of their comments and understand that it isn’t necessary to refute every claim of quality or expression of joy with their own view.

      • joe says:

        The sports analogy thing has been hitting me hard all week (especially since I’m a Buffalo Bills fan exiled to the Wash. DC area the week my Bills trounced the ‘Skins).

        Fan is short for “fanatic”, and that means (at least partially) crazy. The fans that are disgruntled and show it really discourage the fans who are disgruntled and grasping for reasons to enjoy life again. In turn, they seem like idiotic cock-eyed optimists who are setting themselves up for a major fall.

        And nobody on either side likes to be told they’re wrong. It’s all pretty crazy-making.

        This is a savvy bunch, though, and pretty much everybody is simply trying to get across a point and be recognized. I can’t say it’s been easy, but trust me on this. Even if I don’t respond personally, I take pains to read your message. My co-authors are even better at it.

      • 7-9 can make the playoffs in the NFC West, oops I mean NBC. However records I like are baseball ones 83-78 and 90-72. They don’t sound impressive, but the Cardinals won the World Series both times. Who cares that the Cardinals blew way too many saves and hit into a record number of double plays this season. The season was still fun, and they finished on top.

        Dave, your season 1 record is off. Because of the strike they didn’t play a full season.

      • jason says:

        @kev – I am not debating the 9-7 vs the 16-0 for s4, but the interesting thing about POV’s and the show, your 9-7 and my 9-7 might only share 2 common wins.

        It becomes clearer with each new round of posts, that whatever dynamics shifted after Mask and Fake Name, and by dynamics I mean show runners, story, writers, producers, directors, actors, and fans, the show has struggled to pull it all together for everyone.

        Luckily for me, I loved s4’s ‘playbook’ so much, that the S4 score was somewhat irrelevant, S4 felt like a Super Bowl winning season, but I do after nearly two years of back and forth with you, understand your POV, even if we will never quite agree.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jeff, but none of those seasons actually had 16 episodes, so I was going more for my general mood. S1 I thought Chuck was the best thing currently on television and was very pleased (a good season, but not quite one for the record books). S2 is when I came to see it as my favorite show ever (not the best I could imagine, but the best I’d seen). Which gave me enough enthusiasm to struggle through the loosing season three, which I really disliked on a few levels. But then S4 is when I really felt the show became everything I’d hoped it would be (perfect season); and S5 feels like its picking up right where S4 left off. I’m thinking we might not loose a game this season!

        Now that I’ve completely made a mess of a perfectly good metaphor…

      • atcDave says:

        Oh and funny about the 7 – 9 season. Of course that’s only ratings and not quality. And an actual football team that makes it with such a record is often setting up to really embarrass themselves (of course as a Bears fan I was perfectly happy to see Seattle make the play-offs last year). While with a show; mass appeal needed for renewal, and personal like or dislike of the season may be completely unrelated!

  45. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Zoom (5.01) | Chuck This

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