Chuck versus the Bearded Bandit

First Impressions

Okay, second episode of the season is now complete. So now’s your chance, what was your impression? Are bringing a dramatic story for the bearded troll? Are Casey and Gertrude going to be a fun diversion? Did Chuck and Sarah keep their charm? Has Captain Awesome found a new calling?


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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233 Responses to Chuck versus the Bearded Bandit

  1. atcDave says:

    Okay, quick comment, because Fridays are really terrible for me. But I liked this episode. It was certainly more dramatic and less comic than last week. But I really enjoyed seeing how the Intersect is overwhelming Morgan. I enjoyed how all of the characters interacted with a fairly involved story. And even though Chuck and Sarah were not the focus, I liked how their new marriage shows some strength and maturity.
    I think this was technically a better episode than Zoom, although I enjoyed that one more. But so far I think we have two wins for the new season, and I’m ready for next Friday!

  2. Gord says:

    Well the feed from NBC in Detroit went dead here and I lost about 5 to 10 minutes of the episode. However, what I did see was muich better than zoom for me.

    Still hated most of the Morgansect stuff, but because everything was so good it just didn’t matter. It reminded me a bit of my reaction to cubic z. In that episode I thought the Buy More plot was horrible, but it just didn’t matter because everything else was awesome.

    I will have to watch it from the West coast feed and hope that it broadcasts ok from Seattle.

    I’m just so happy to see an episode I liked. Not an absolute favourite but for me an episode I wont mind rewatching. I am curious if Beckman shows up in the episode because when the broadcast went down Casey was saying something about talking to Beckman.

    • herder says:

      Catch the West coast feed, all the twists were in the last 10 minutes and the Morgan stuff starts to makes sense and become interesting rather than annoying.

      • Gord says:

        I did catch the twist at the end. When the feed cut out Morgan was being sent on another food run, when it came back, Chuck and Morgan were at the bad guys place fighting bad guys.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m glad this episode worked better for you Gord!

      • Gord says:

        So am I Dave. I was really worried that S5 would be crap to me after Zoom. Most of the Morgansect stuff still doesn’t work for me, but I see where they are going with it now, and I am a little curious how they are going to resolve it. Will Morgan be killed off? Will they find and then use the intersect suppression device on him? Will Morgan become a patient at the PHFS (Psych Hospital For Spies from Tooth)? Perhaps, Chuck and Ellie will work together and find a way of fixing the Morgansect so it works properly without screwing up Morgan’s mind. Personally, I like the idea of the PHFS. Then we would see Dr Dreyfus and Merlin again.

  3. herder says:

    The jogging scene was great, sort of a farmer’s market from Subway, with Chuck and Sarah talking about things openly and showing real affection for each other. I liked the rock climbing scene too. Morgan looked a bit like the hamburgler in the Circle K, I suspect that was intentional. Also it was good to see Awesome being awesome and retro Big Mike being groovy.

    • herder says:

      Or you could call it the Dharma Initative version of the Buy More.

    • Gord says:

      I loved the tumbleweed in the Buy More – that was so funny.
      I agree with the comments on the jogging scene. I wasn’t big on the Bearded bandit scene, other than the fact that Chuck had to save Morgan.

      Was it just me or did Morgan tonight by comparison make Shaw seem like the most lovable, kindest, gentlest, sane human being to ever walk the earth?

      I think Morgan needs to visit Dr Dreyfus, maybe spend a little quality time hanging out at the spy psych hospital with Merlin. I mean the guy was clearly delusional – he couldn’t even remember who Luke Skywalker was.

  4. Aerox says:

    Okay, a somewhat more constructed review here, other than me blabbering on how I loved this episode.

    First off, the massive elephant in the room. Morgansect going haywire. I got annoyed with him, to the point where I truly wanted to punch the character. That’s when I realized that they were getting exactly what they were going for. All the stuff that he’s doing is clearly built for just this reaction that people are having to him. I’m not at all fussed with the way they’re handling it and I for one, really do enjoy this particular story. I know that people are annoyed with other people not getting more screentime or feeling like the storyline doesn’t make sense. Well, that may be true, but we still don’t know a lot of things. For example, what happened to Beckman? Did the CIA/NSA find out what she did for Team Bartowski? Did she even send Chuck the Intersect glasses? And now that Morgan is slowly short-circuiting how will that influence everything? There are so much interesting possibilities. I have to admit, I never truly hated or got annoyed with Morgan so I’m probably a lot more receptive to his storylines, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining for me. Also, Joshua does a MEAN Christian Bale.

    The second thing I noticed. Chuck was a LOT less mopy. I really liked that. Furthermore, while I got really annoyed with several things regarding Chuck and Sarah as newlyweds, this episode rectified it to a ridiculous extent. No awkward moments between the two of them, no teeth pulling to get information. It just fit. Massive kudos to YS/ZL for pulling it off. While the chemistry may not be as unbelievably high as it was during season 1 and 2, it was an epic amount of times better than season 4.

    The jokes worked. They worked much better than in the first episode. For example. The tumbleweed. It wasn’t necessary, not at all. But it did make the scene funnier. Or Sarah lobbying for money for gas in the Lotus. It wasn’t overly obnoxious humor (although there were definitely a few moments where they were, but they still fit) but more understated with snarky and/or smart comments made.

    Yvonne. There was something significantly different to her character as opposed to the Zoom and while I can’t exactly lay my finger on what it is, it’s a most welcome change. It reminded me a lot of those furtive glances in Season 2 and what not, but instead of having to shirk away from the issue, she could now act on it. Yes, we all know she’s amazing with facial expressions, but it felt so organic this episode that I can’t help but point it out.

    Carrie Anne Moss was AMAZING. It’s obvious that she’s born to play the bad ass female antagonist/protagonist. The stand-off between her and Yvonne was awesome and caused me to mutter: “It’s the old Trinity versus the new one.” Of course, a hint of reverence was involved.

    The Buy More subplot was very amusing, although it did see the demise of Jeffster. I loved Captain Awesome, who was funny in almost all of his scenes (except the commercial and that didn’t really allow him to be funny). Big Mike was actually funny, instead of promoting Subway. I guess them knowing this is the last season means they don’t have to do as much product placement.

    Casey! Oh my God, I don’t know what happened during the break, but the scriptwriters are making him SO awesome that it’s almost making my head blow up. Adam delivers Casey’s lines to perfection and it’s ridiculously amusing.

    Okay, once more. The jogging scene ranks as one of my all-time favorites. The reason simply being due to the way how perfectly domestic it was, husband and wife jogging, but still managed to retain an emotional balance to it all. Chuck getting the reassurance from Sarah with minimal to no prompting was very satisfying, and finally a decent kiss. It was very nuanced which increased the delivery of the scene in my opinion. If anything, I preferred this more than the house talk they had in the Zoom.

    Wesley Sneijder! People who watch Football (or soccer if you’re American) will understand why.

    Of course there were a few negatives. For one, no Decker. Now, before you all start killing me with rage, I just want to point out that one episode without Decker means one less episode for them to explain what’s going on, that is if they’re even going to pursue the subject.

    Okay, maybe they went a BIT overboard with portraying Morgan as an asshole, but still, I’d only give this a minor negative.

    No Ellie. Hope to see the Woodcombs appear together again in the next episode. And maybe baby Clara.

    No Alex. She was briefly mentioned but still no on screen appearance. Where art thou, Mekenna?

    So all in all, it was a breath of fresh air, especially about being very worried after seeing the Zoom. This episode had so little flaws in my eyes, that I can’t help but rank this as an episode that would’ve easily slotted in during Season 2. My final rating would be a 9.5/10.

    • Gord says:

      For me it was more like a 6.5/10 maybe a 7, but considering I found zoom to be about a 1/10 that’s a huge improvement.

      I don’t know why, but I really have the urge to go down to the Buy More and pick up one of those new betamax machines for only $2000.00.

      • Aerox says:

        They did look alluring, but I think that’s because of that piece of meat that was trying to sell me one. He could’ve probably sold me an Earth, Wind, Fire and Rain CD as well.

      • Aerox says:

        Well, considering the fact I gave Zoom a 6.5 ish, I have a lower boost than you do 😛

        I’m not saying this was perfect television, but when compared to Season 3 and 4, it ranks as a quality episode and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Therefore, I feel a 9.5 is justified, especially since we’re rating it in the grand scheme of Chuck, not the grand scheme of Television.

      • atcDave says:

        Hmmmm, I guess I would give this one an 8. Compared to Zoom I think this one was technically better, but I enjoyed Zoom more. It’s a small distinction though, I’ve really enjoyed both episodes and feel like this season is off to a very strong start. My few gripes are minor and predictable, and they won’t stop me enjoying things.

    • joe says:

      Great review, Aerox. My very early impressions are almost exactly in line with yours.

      One thing I do want to note is my very strong impression that this is not simply the Intersect going haywire, the way it did with Chuck in S3.5. Besides the fact that the symptomology is all different (Chuck really wasn’t going crazy, he didn’t forget things and was incapacitated. Morgan is still a very capable and very dangerous Intersect), it is much more personal.

      Morgan felt incredibly betrayed and angry (to the point of even trying to sabotage Chuck’s view of Sarah with that comment about Chuck’s being handled by her again), and that’s not like him. I’m guessing now that the paranoia and anger is also part of what’s going on.

      • Aerox says:

        Dno if you’re reading spoilers about the rest of the season, but the reason for Morgan behaving like this has already (sadly) leaked. That’s why I can say with certainty that the intersect is going somewhat haywire. It’s overwriting Morgan’s personality like it did with Hartley, which causes increased emotional responses.

        And besides, Morgan’s comment about Sarah lead to the jogging scene, so I’m very thankful for it!

      • kg says:

        Sticking with the Star Wars motif Joe, as I watching this all unfold, I immediately began comparing Morgan to Anikan Skywalker as the latter began to turn to the Dark Side and ultimately become Darth Vader in the Revenge of the Sith flick.

      • joe says:

        Can’t go wrong with a Star Wars motif, KG! Very perceptive notion, too.

        (and I’m glad to see your comments again!)

  5. uplink2 says:

    Well for me there was so much to love about this episode but it goes to my very problem with this entire arc so far. I loved everything about the Casey/Verbanski story, loved Sarah in every thing she was in.. the scene with Gertrude “It’s Mrs”. The jogging scene was phenomenal. Yvonne rock climbing which she does in real life. Even liked Chuck learning to be a handler and calling Sarah and Casey. But I hated the Morgansect stuff and I know that was what they were going for to hate the new Morgan but it wasn’t hate in a good way. Sepinwall said it perfectly.

    The larger problem, though, was that Morgan didn’t come across so much dark as petulant,

    I couldn’t agree more. Also the Morgan fight scenes are really tough to watch. The stunt folks on the show better not send those in for the Emmy nods as they will be laughed at. They might as well just show the stuntman’s face as it is so obvious. Josh has some great talents but the action stuff he is extremely weak at and it relies so much on the stunt men and it looks awful. Another reason to have never done this silly Morgansect story.

    Its nowhere near as bad but I’m finding myself starting to say similar things to what I said in the misery arc, “just end this now please”. Give me more of the big three on missions and send Morgan back to the BuyMore now.

    Overall it had some really strong stuff but when I do a rewatch it will take about 20 minutes as I fast forward through all of the Morgan stuff.

    BTW Big Mike killed it tonight! For the first time in a long time I’d rather watch the BuyMore story than the A story with Morgan.

    • Gord says:

      Pretty much how I felt about this episode. Morgansect = bad, everything else = awesome. So 3 parts Awesome – 1 part bad makes for a good to very good episode.

      I cheered when Casey says to Morgan “this is a job for real spies you stay in the van”.

      • uplink2 says:

        If the entire point of this arc is to show us that Chuck is “special” we already knew that. It has been shown countless times and doing it with Morgan adds nothing but takes away screen time from other stories I’d rather see more of. Casey/Gertrude, Ellie now being entirely clued in to the story. The big three getting the company going as they are the “real spies”.

        Hey I liked S4 Morgan but why do they want us to hate him for him or the story to grow? Plus I simply don’t connect with his journey. It feels forced, the action stuff is awful and it isn’t enjoyable to watch.

      • armysfc says:

        uplink, exactly. they already said it was in the programing. it how they play that will show if he is or not. if it was there all along then yes it does, if it was added by say decker then no it doesn’t. like you said everyone knew he was special, how many times did we hear it?

      • Lola says:

        I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I agree with you Uplink and Gord. I don’t really like the morganset, as it feels a little forced. I did had the all to similar reaction, of hating Morgan, and realizing that’s what the TPTB wanted all along, but it just didn’t feel right anyway.
        I guess I feel that even though they accomplished the goal by making me want to punch Morgan and hurt him, the reason for it wasn’t the correct one. It ended up mixed with my frustration with the morganset as a concept.

        That said, i loveed the running scene 🙂 – And Casey’s storyline this season looks promising! For the very small interaction between Trin and Case, I felt chemistry. I think that Carrie Ann’s casting was a great choise.

      • Lola says:

        Sorry Gord, I mixed your comment with Armysfc’s
        :Sorryyy 🙂

      • Rick Holy says:

        I’m with ya’ll on this one. I think – and I’m hoping that they wind up going (and ending) this way – is that the only “brain” that can properly handle the Intersect is a Bartowski brain. It didn’t work properly in the “Gretas” last season. It didn’t work in anyone else that Fulcrum tried (they all became blathering idiots – or DEAD), and it’s definitely not working with Morgan. (And I’m sure there’s some people I’m leaving out – bad memory). The only people it HAS worked properly in are Bartowskis: Stephen J. and his son, Chuck. It BELONGS in Chuck – that’s what the series has really always been about. Get it out of Morgan – QUICKLY – get it back into Chuck (I’m guessing Ellie will figure out a way) – and let’s let the last 9 0r 10 episodes be about “Chuck, THE Intersect, Nerd turned Spy, and His Spy wife and spy team” – and whatever story arcs they want to put into that mix. The Intersect in ANYBODY else – I don’t care WHO – is pointless and a waste of time. WE already know who is the only living person in whom it will work properly. I think the NSA/CIA winds up figuring that out, and in the end, “Team Bartowski” is back on board with the government.

      • Rick Holy says:

        One small but GREAT little detail. Did you notice when Morgan was going turncoat in Verbanski’s office – WHO THERE WAS A PICTURE OF? None other than Ronald Reagan. Casey and this woman are MEANT for each other!

  6. Gord says:

    I take it you are one of the fans that didn’t enjoy S4 all that much.
    I enjoyed most of the S4 episodes a lot more than this one. For me S4 was to quote Volkoff “such fun”. It was probably my favourite season of Chuck – although S2 would come in very close. My absolute favourites from S4 include Coup D Etat (or what I like to call Chuck Vs The Bikini), Couch Lock, Phase 3, the Balcony/Gobbler/Push Mix arc, Seduction Impossible, First Bank of Evil, Wedding Planner, Agent X and Last Details. The only episode in S4 that I can think of that I ddin’t enjoy as much or better than Bandit was Muurder. I still enjoyed that episode, but not one of my favourites.

    • uplink2 says:

      If you were talking about me exactly the opposite. I loved S4 it is my favorite. Sure there were problems but there were no real dog episodes. A couple of C’s like Muurder and Fear of Death but overall a very strong season for me.

    • Aerox says:

      I loved season 4. Timothy Dalton was a gift of an actor who made the most enjoyable villain Chuck had ever seen. Didn’t really care for Vivian and the Norseman plotline (seriously, it would’ve been TV suicide had they killed off Sarah. Mary or Ellie would’ve been a better target. More suspense imo)

      Having said that, I thought the episodes were in the solid 7’s and 8’s. Nothing REALLY peaked for me. I liked Suitcase, Cubic-Z, Costa Gravas (but really only due to one scene. Hooray for objectifying women), First Fight, Fear of Death, Phase Three, Balcony, Push Mix, Seduction Impossible, Masquerade, Family Volkoff, Wedding Planner, Last Details. The thing is, while I liked these episodes (enough to keep my interest in the series at a pretty high point), I didn’t feel like they really “did” it for me, Bearded Bandit imo, did everything right, which is why I felt it was better than season 4. Besides, I also liked Season 3. I think Shaw was a BRILLIANT villain and while the PLI situation and relationship was rather OOC and contrived, I genuinely enjoyed a lot of the episodes. I never really rated an episode as below the norm (being a 6 or lower) but I’ve had a few cases where I’d rate it around a 6, maybe low 7. Mostly season 3 (bar Honeymooners and Subway/Ring2) but a few episodes in season 4 as well. Season 4 had mostly high 7’s, low 8’s. Season 5 had a disappointing start which further added to my skepticism, which made the surprise we got for this episode that much sweeter, which is one of the reasons for my 9.5

      So in short, I don’t hate season 4 at all. It’s quite the contrary. I just thought that it could’ve been better 😛

  7. Gord says:

    Did anyone else notice that Casey during the rock climb was calling Sarah – “Walker”?

    • joe says:

      I caught that too Gord, and was just a little chagrined. She also corrected Verbanski with “That’s Mrs.”. I was hoping she would say “Mrs. Bartowski”.

      I wonder if the writers are having a little trouble with the name, in the sense that the fans love “Sarah Walker” and Mrs. Bartowski has been Mary Elizabeth for a season (not to mention that there were two Bartowskis on the com at the time). If Casey’s “Walker” was a real slip-up (it was scripted as “Sarah”), then it’s on par with what I saw in The Couch Lock, when Casey entered the mine and knocked the pit-helmet off his head. I’ve heard that their tight shooting schedule doesn’t always allow for retakes to correct smallish errors like that.

      • Aerox says:

        I made the exact same statement, only to be told that “it wasn’t important” that she didn’t correct it to Mrs. Bartowski. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one.

      • Gord says:

        I was kind of hoping that Casey would follow Morgans lead from cliffhanger and start calling her Mrs B. I mean he used Charah in Masquerade to refer to both of them, and Mama B for Mary last season.

      • ArmySFC says:

        i have a simple answer. walker is her professional name, that why as you said she didn’t correct Verbanski and why casey calls her walker. lots of professional women do it today so its not that unheard of.

      • joe says:

        Sure Army. I wish they had taken 5 seconds of dialog to spell that one out, though. With 10 seconds, it might have even been a good joke.

      • atcDave says:

        Well there’s an additional problem too, Chuck is “Carmichael” professionally. So that could make Sarah “Mrs Carmichael” as a spy, Walker by reputation, and Mrs Bartowski at home. In suspect they’ll just stick with Walker at work…

    • sniderman says:

      Actually, her file at Verbanski also said Sarah Walker. And Sarah corrected her saying “It’s ‘Mrs.” but didn’t correct the last name. Perhaps she didn’t take the Bartowski name? (And even if she did, I can’t imagine Casey calling her anything other than “Walker.”)

      • joe says:

        I feel like I’m making too big a deal out of it already, but Chuck called her “Mrs. Charles Bartowski” in the limo after the ceremony (and she called him “Mr. Sarah Walker” in reply). It was cute.

      • luckygirl says:

        I bet Walker is her business name just like Chuck’s is Carmichael.

    • Henry says:

      I think that they already played the joke with Mama B. (“Bartowski! Not you, the other Bartowski”) so I’m fine with Walker.
      And I loved Sarah stating “it’s Mrs.!”

      • joe says:

        Me too. In my mind it was the equivalent of her telling Heather Chandler that her name is “Sarah Walker, and don’t forget it.” – a forceful statement of her identity. I was hoping to hear her say Mrs. Bartowski, but it was a strong message as it was.

  8. Roxcella says:

    Does Morgan need a governor? Can Chuck lend him one of his watches?

    • Gord says:

      If I were Sarah, I would take out Morgan, Santa Clause style before he gets Chuck killed.

      Seriously they need to lock him up and throw away the key he is psycho dangerous.

      • Roxcella says:

        Agreed. 🙂

        I was just thinking
        1 – Morgan’s brain isn’t as special as Chuck’s.
        2 – The CIA’s intersects had a killer instinct (the Gretas). Morgan uploaded the Intersect from a CIA version. Maybe he is fighting that instinct.

  9. I am really liking the direction they are going with the Morgansect arc. After the finale, I saw this going a couple possible ways. One would be a clutzy humorous Intersect that did not work all of the time (which I thought was more likely). The other is this dark, out of control Morgansect. It isn’t as funny, but it is a cool story line. That’s one of the strengths of this show. If it was just an action comedy, they would have gone the funny route. This show does everything, mixing in the drama, too.

    Everyone who wanted to see Chuck be a spy without the Intersect should be happy (or at least getting there). He saved the day in Zoom, was included in the house assault, saved Morgan in the CircleK, and didn’t get killed on a suicide mission into the office. He shouldn’t be a superspy like Sarah and Casey, who have more natural skills and experience. But he is showing spy skill necessary to be a valuable member in the field. Add in his planning skills, and he is showing himself worthy of the name Carmichael.

    A few other things:
    – I liked Carmichael Industries’ resume, but you think they could simply say, we took out Fulcrum, the Ring, and Volkoff. Hire us.
    – I liked Sarah calling GV’s office tacky. The animosity is a great setup for next week.
    – I also loved how she was getting freaked out by Casey talking about his love life. We all were.
    – Sarah seems to really sweat the small stuff. First the shrimp. Now gas for her car. Of course at 90+ mph, the mileage had to be bad.
    – If Awesome could bring in that much business, just think what Sarah could do. He makes more sense from a cover perspective, but that normally doesn’t matter for this show. They missed a great opportunity to get Sarah back in a Nerd Herder outfit.
    – Green Arrow was under used. They could have cast anyone.
    – I loved the jogging scene, but did it seem to anyone else like a scene right out of fan fiction?

    Despite all of this, episode wasn’t one of my favorites, at least not yet. For me, it’s the middle part of the story problem. The episode felt unfinished. I used to have the same problem with Empire. After watching the trilogy many many times, I liked Empire a lot more. Bearded Bandit might be the same way. Or it might be like Two Towers, which I still don’t like as much as FotR and RotK. It depends on where the story goes next. I can’t wait!

    • Another great moment: the Morgan/Casey growl off. At this point we know it’s not just Morgan being over-enthusiastic Morgan. Morgan growling at Casey: Danger Will Robinson!

    • Henry says:

      To answer your last question, first thought when I saw the jogging scene went to Fates, if this is what you mean…

      • I hadn’t been thinking of any specific fanfics. I remember altee’s Conversations on a Saturday, which is actually Sarah and Devon, jaytoyz’s Chuck vs the Strong Swimmer, which is actually Chuck and Casey, sharpasamarble’s Chuck vs the Strange Bedfellows, which is actually just Sarah, and the numerous Chuck-needs-real-training fics. I had forgotten about the scene in Fates, but it might be a closer match.

        I can also remember JAG and Bones having jogging scenes with chance encounters.

    • atcDave says:

      Jeff I sure do like this depiction of Chuck as a spy. Really it’s how I always wanted to see him; smart, imaginative, capable enough to protect himself. I hope this remains standard for the season.

      • jason says:

        I have not rewatched, but my intuition says Chuck was a better fighter than Morgan so far. Morgan is kind of like that WWE wrestler who wins with a show the entire time until he loses, Chuck you don’t notice, until he wins. I love the way Chuck is being written this season as a spy. I don’t see how they can go back to Chuck the intersect, just seems to be way, way too many hints that he isn’t going back on screen and even off screen.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jason I don’t care if Chuck ever gets the Intersect back.

      • I could see a moment where Chuck is once again given a choice to download again, but this time he chooses no to download.

      • joe says:

        Great points. I really enjoyed the message Morgan gave to Chuck too – he’s a hero without the Intersect.

      • Gord says:

        Sorry, but I would still prefer Chuck with the Intersect. If early S5 is about proving he doesn’t need it to be a spy – fine. Then in later S5 you show how much more awesome he would be with the intersect. After all they were going to put it into superspy Bryce Larkin at the end of S2.

        All I know is whatever they do they have to get the intersect out of Morgan fast. I believe the drop off in ratings is a direct result of Morgansect.

    • Gord says:

      Personally, I think the season would have been much better without the Morgansect. I don’t mind the private spy business angle, and I love Gertrude Verbanski, but Morgansect is a dud for me. Sort of like the Gretas in S4.

  10. ChipLecsap says:

    I admitted , I was Harsh on the last week episode. But this one was pure Awesome. literally LOL.
    And I start to like the idea of Morgan as the Intersect, may be becasue there was no Sarah and Morgan dacne scene , HAHAHA.
    But no, realy, it was good episode. I still have some problem, with the idea, I’m not realy sure how they make it, that Chuck is special, becasue, if realy Morgan’s Intersect has a problem, then I dont know how, they gonna make it, that Chuck is special, cause, it is just a problem that He not have to face it in the past.
    But whatever.

    Even Chuck himself was way mre better than last week, and He has also some great fight move, wich is gladly welcome for me. And I have no problem with He’s behavior at all, I understood him.

    And to be honest I’m glad that they have other drama, than Chuck and Sarah have a relationship problem, wich eventually can’t be avoided unfortunatly :(. , but I’m cool now :). This episode is actualy was more like I hoped once Chuck and Sarah get together, they are there they are okey, they are sweet but the drama is not with them, even the season 4 they have to much focus on their problem, every episode or almost every to be fair 🙂 have some mini crysis in their relationship, so it is refreshing to see this, if only they can give them more Hot and Sexy scene, I will not have any bad word anymore :).

  11. Faith says:

    Here’s a shocker, I liked it. Maybe I’ll get to writing again one of these days…you know full paragraphs and posts other than *headdesk* ;).

    • Faith says:

      One more thing:

      I LOVE GERTRUDE VERBANSKI. She’s the best thing that’s happened to Chuck since PapaB. For serious.

      • joe says:

        GIRL CRUSH ALERT!!! 😉

        Gertrude is going to be great for a lotta episodes. I can tell!

      • Gord says:

        Faith, its a big relief to those of us who hated the premiere. I was really worried that the whole of S5 would be crap, but it bounced back nicely for me.

        As for your love of Gertrude, I would second that, except that in addition to Papa B I really loved Volkoff. Actually, I hated him, but I hated him in a good way (a great villain) as opposed to a bad way (Shaw – oops there’s S3 creeping in again LOL).

      • Faith says:

        Yeah Gord, a big relief for us.

      • lappers84 says:

        I dunno Gord I don’t think Shaw was that bad a bad guy, he was just a horrible good guy. Verbanski I see turning into an ally down the road.

      • jason says:

        My spec is Verbanski saves Casey or Sarah’s life while getting killed herself by Decker, then Casey kills Decker an episode or two later to return the favor. This seems inevitable since Casey’s initial reaction toward Decker last year, as only one big dog can eat out of the dog food bowl. Chuck and Sarah will take down the new baddie, whenever he shows up & overstays his welcome in order to ruin the show.

  12. mxpw says:

    I actually liked the episode, for the most part. I was a little surprised by that. Even though I feel like the execution of the Morgansect arc has not really conveyed what I think they want it to convey, this episode felt more on message to me than last week’s. Chuck was better this week than last, Sarah was awesome, and Gertrude was a welcome addition.

    But most of importantly of all (and this was pointed out to me on twitter), they appear to have retconned Sarah’s age. Her Verbanski file said she was born in 1982, which is wrong, of course (Sarah should be at least 31 at this point in the series), but I can’t decide if it was a deliberate setup, for like the mom arc, or a prop error that nobody caught. This has been bothering me since it was pointed out.

  13. JC says:

    The episode felt off to me, it had a lot things I enjoyed but it didn’t come together.

    Ryan McGee’s review mentioned how they’re playing Morgan off like they did Peter Parker in Spiderman 3 and I think that’s the reason why it didn’t click for me. Mxpw mentioned it above I get what they’re trying to do its’s just not coming across on screen.

    Chuck was great for most of the episode except for him buying into Morgan’s idea about Sarah handling him too. At this point he should slap anyone who tries to make him question Sarah’s motives. It did lead to the awesome jogging scene. That had to be of the more realistic couple moment between the two in awhile. Plus they addressed Chuck’s lack of conditioning for being a spy. If we get a scene of Sarah training him to defend himself I might collapse. I actually laughed at the Buymore stuff, especially the acknowledgement of them overusing Jeffster. Carrie Anne Moss was great and I can’t wait for her eventual smackdown with Sarah. Finally they’re using Casey and Baldwins talents again, the show works so much better when its the three original members of Team B.

    • Faith says:

      Couldn’t help but nod while reading his review but I do think he was a tad harsh. Anyway I thought this was absolutely perfect:

      “Chuck’s issues surrounding the Intersect were always couched in personal, relatable terms”

      But more than anything it was good to see they were trying something with this whole thing apart from: see Morgan, see the intersect in action, see Morgan’s silliness with the intersect in action. I like the attempt at a more serious tone, liked the breadcrumbs. Vast improvement from last week which I did not like. At all.

      • jason says:

        Faith, one thing about Morgan’s intersection, is he is becoming more and more isolated, which allowed for what I think might be a list of 30 separate scenes / lines I enjoyed that Morgan was not on screen for. Seems like it has been a long, long, long time since an episode was so free of his scene stealing ways. I will mention just 6 of them:

        1-Big Mike runs the Buy More better than anyone for my interest level, I love him running the show, mixing serious with funny

        2-Awesome had a great episode, he is the best character to interact with the morons.

        3- Mrs Walker-Bartkowski and Msss Verbanski squaring off, is there anything better in the show than when Sarah gets ‘snarky’ with a female guest star – calling her office ‘tacky’, wow …. shed’d better not break ‘John’s’ heart, or big Sis will make her pay?

        4 – Sarah & Casey on a rescue mission, guess who drove and guess who was giving out way too much information – that was really fun.

        5 – The big three on a mission, Sarah rock climbing was involved, so was Casey shooting something (Casey also did some duck hunting, how cool was that?)

        6 – The jog – I thought Sarah telling Chuck that spies without the intersect actually have to train was really clever – then the kiss – nice – no need to double check who wrote this ep?

      • JC says:

        I agree that he was little harsh, I don’t think the episode was any worse or better than last week. But I do understand why he had issues with it. In some ways this story with Morgan reminds me of what they tried to do with Chuck in S3. What I’m seeing on screen isn’t playing out like they intended and that’s whats keeping it from working as a story for me. The episode had lots of other stuff I really liked that balanced out my problems so I’m willing to see where they go with it. My only worry is what they’re going to do with Chuck the rest of the season. I don’t mind characters taking a backseat for a while but he’s been doing that since mid season last year.

      • A lot of people are concerned about Chuck taking a back seat. However, he was in virtually every scene in Zoom. In Bandit, he was not in several: 2 in Verbanski’s office, the Buy More commercial, the water fowl recon, and Casey’s hang-up. Note that Morgan was only in one of those. To me it seems like Chuck is more in the forefront than has has been in a while.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jeff, i think its more a perception of importance not the screen time itself. for example if chuck spends 15 minutes in the van, and casey morgan and sarah do a mission that takes 15 minutes, they both get 15 minutes of screen time but chuck is marginalized because he is in the van not on the mission. thats my take on the feeling.

      • atcDave says:

        Of course in the last episode it was Chuck, Sarah and Casey on the mission with Morgan in the van…

        And then the second mission was Chuck and Morgan charging into harm’s way.

        And in the end, the whole team has been involved every time.
        Even in Zoom, the whole team was involved in every mission. And for the opening mission it was Morgan in the van. Sarah and Casey have expressed confidence in Chuck for everything except squash. While Morgan is the one they clearly don’t trust (rightfully so I would add).

        I think this perception is based on preconceptions that don’t match what has actually been shown on screen. It’s fine to just not like it, but some specific complaints don’t seem to match reality.

      • Army, I agree about perception. A lot of people’s perception was tainted by the first two seasons and the desire to see Chuck and Sarah dance, even if it did not make sense to the plot. The difference between this and the first two seasons is Chuck was not in the van for safety reasons. He was running the mission from the van. Sometimes leaders have to stay back where they can collect information and call the shots. It’s not always “cool”, but I’d rather Chuck call the shots than Morgan (unless the desired joke was for Morgan to get distracted reading a comic book, causing the mission to fail.)

        To ruin this with a sports metaphor… Chuck’s a QB who calls his own plays and doesn’t rely on calls from the offensive coordinator, Beckman. He called a play-action pass. Morgan and Sarah were the full back and running back who ran up the middle as a play-action diversion. They ran it well enough the camera man was fooled. Casey was the primary receiver, running deep to the end zone. He was taken out with an illegal down field block more than 5-yards from scrimmage, but no flag was thrown. Chuck scrambled and ran the length of the field, jumping over two guys at the goal line to score. The point-after kick was blocked by Decker, so they didn’t win.

        Everyone is obsessing about the camera man getting fooled, when the QB, Chuck, made the call and a great play.

    • Gord says:

      Episode felt off – funny that’s how I felt about the first one, but other than the Morgansect, I loved this episode.
      Isn’t it interesting how every fan see’s things so differently. I’m just happy that I enjoyed this episode because I was worried S5 would be a total write-off for me.

    • Jenn says:

      Thank God someone else said something about Chuck listening to Morgan about Sarah “handling” him. I was like seriously Chuck please stop listening to him.

      • joe says:

        Hi, Jenn. I agree about the importance. Even if they don’t bring it up again directly it’s going to have an impact.

        What Morgan said was a real low blow, and completely unlike him. Morgan has been a character completely without guile, after all.

  14. jason says:

    One new thing about Morgansect that I came away from this ep with. Should how hard Chuck is trying to help Morgan stay NORMAL sound familiar? Maybe this is being written to show fans (like me) that is how Sarah felt in season 3, when Sarah felt Chuck was changing, that the intersect was consuming him and causing him to become someone he was not?

    • Henry says:

      For me, the big difference is that in S3 Sarah assumed that Chuck was changing, even without any evidence. As a matter of fact, the first part of S3 (up to Final exam and American hero) is Sarah rejecting Chuck because she thinks that he will be someone else than the guy she loved, and Chuck trying to demonstrate that, Intersect or not, he is still her Chuck (then we can discuss about how this all was played and executed, if you like beating on dead horses…).
      Now Morgan HAS actually changed, after being intersected: and I commented in other places that maybe it was a little too much how they made the change inhevident. But now Chuck is trying to “handle” his friend in front of a real problem, not a supposed one…

      • jason says:

        Henry – I might be the oddest person in the world to take up either Fedak’s or Morgan’s defense, as many vets on this site know I really can’t stand either one, but … Chuck did say no in Prague to pursue the intersected spy life.

        That really isn’t quite the point however, what I see as possibly coming up in 5×3 is a Sarah – Chuck conversation that would contain the gist of, ‘Chuck, don’t give up on Morgan like I did on you when you were struggling with the intersect, it was the biggest mistake I ever made, somewhere in there is your friend Morgan, let’s go save him’. The right or wrong, fitting or not fitting is not the point, as much as it sort of lets / gets the writers off the hook for season 3, maybe??

        I don’t know, I just wish they’d put a bullet thru Morgan and Decker and whoever the guest star is in the last arc and do 11 more procedurals with the Big 3, so who am I to try and help explain either Morgansect or how Morgansect might help explain season 3?

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I would like a line like that a lot. Some of what we saw last night makes me think such a moment may be coming.

      • Henry says:

        Jason, you’re right of course, what I mean is that, for me, Sarah made a mistake thinking, well before Prague, and after that, that Chuck would have changed after being intersected and after the training for becoming a spy. The clearest exemple is obviously Nacho sampler, when Sarah thinks that Chuck mindlessly sacrificed his asset Manoosh: actually, Chuck regretted that decision, even if it was the only thing to do at the moment. Then again we have to blame the poor writing and execution, but again…
        So for me this is the main difference, Chuck remained Chuck with the intersect, Morgan became someone else. But i see your point: I just don’t think that a speech like the one you mentioned is needed (even if I would appreciate it, too…). As I said, IMO Sarah made a mistake that Chuck is not going to make, he will not give up on his best friend. As he would not simply put a bullet on Morgan (or Decker, for that matter), he is just too smart for semthing so cheap… 🙂

      • Gord says:

        Jason a line like that from Sarah would be perfect.

      • joe says:

        Man, that is a great line, Jason. I really, really hope someone from the list of PTB reads it and gets it on the air.

      • Aerox says:

        Henry, they messed up waaay before that. Back when they showed Sarah crying after Chuck’s confession, only to act like nothing happened the episode after that. That, imo, is one of the most stupid retcons of Chuck.

      • ladycat713 says:

        That’s definitely big differences between the two storylines.

        Sarah had no reason to think Chuck was changing , and she did nothing to try and make things better. And I don’t count Prague as a reason because he didn’t dump Sarah , he just refused to run off with her and she never realized that she was asking him to abandon his family, friends and future for her. The run off in Honeymooners was different as it was impulsive and Morgan could clue Ellie in as to what went on instead of there just being Awesome (who actually knew very little ) trying to clue her in. Also an impulsive run is unlikely to have lasted . Plus Sarah took up with someone who was exactly what she was afraid Chuck was turning into and repeatedly rewarded his bad behavior.

        With Chuck and Morgan though, there are definite worrying signs, they won’t be ignored and then have Chuck get another friend who already on the Dark Side. Chuck’s a natural born fixer (except for his own problems) so he’ll try to fix Morgan.

      • lappers84 says:

        Something I noticed during the frosted tips promo right near the end, where it looks like Chuck rescues Morgan from the helicopter explosion. Either he’s injured in the explosion or the intersect has caused him to fall unconscious. I wonder if they’ll get Ellie to help fix Morgan, or just tone down the effects.

  15. BigKev67 says:

    Gotta say as pleasantly surprised as I was with Zoom, I was equally disappointed with this one. I thought Moss’ intro as Verbanski was excellent and the Buy More story was excellent (and MCL owned the episode) – but that was it.
    The other 2 stories (Morgansect and CI’s struggles) were both dialled up to 11 and way overdone. I suspect deliberate sabotage of the intersect that Morgan downloaded (otherwise why revisit the “intersect fries the brain” scenario?) – and if that’s the case I like where they’re going, but I didn’t need to be hit over the head with the “Morgan is a douchebag” hammer. A small tap would have been fine….
    Similarly with the missions, sometimes the show goes way overboard on the Get Smart vibe and manages to make all 3 members of Team B look like bumbling idiots. And Chuck himself spent 40 minutes being ineffective, ignored by Morgan (which was the point) but also proving to be clueless about how to control him – which is also the point I guess, but it marked another poor episode for Chuck.
    Gotta agree with TV Magee on this one. Too much didn’t work, even allowing for payoffs down the line. I expect better from LeJudkins – hopefully the strong advance reviews for Frosted Tips will mitigate my sense of disappointment.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I honestly don’t see Morgansect as being an issue. However the marginalization of Chuck for 2 episodes in order to tell the Morgansect story is a huge issue. Chuck has been somewhat “ho hum” for 2 episodes (not to mention a chuck of S4) and his business is floudering at best.

      I still say the show is fun to watch again, but I certainly understand why fans of the Chuck character aren’t thrilled.

      • BigKev67 says:

        I think Chuck has been marginalized since the start of S4 to be honest, and it’s my biggest issue with the show – but I pretty much expect ineffective Chuck nowadays so it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. This ep just hit too many of my other bad buttons – the tendency the show has to use a sledgehammer to make it’s point, Team B/CI looking utterly clueless. I have no problem at all with Morgan getting a story arc, and I genuinely think the show works best as an ensemble piece – but this one just didn’t work for me. Hopeful for next week though!

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I just had a bizarre thought.

        Not that it can be changed. But what do you think would have happened if they told the same general story but with Sarahsect instead of Morgansect?


      • Sarah with Intersect 2.0 is virtually indistinguishable from Sarah with Intersect 1.0. The only difference might be guitar playing skills. So they would probably have to do something like what they are doing with the Morgansect. Sarah’s mind getting overwhelmed with the Intersect and her acting like a jerk towards Chuck? That would alienate even more fans. Plus there would be no missing cultural references so we would not even know what was happening. Although we would get to see her cross-eyed flash, so that would be fun.

      • armysfc says:

        actually sarahsect would have been received much better. from what i see the intersect is making morgan opposite of what he is. so say it made sarah the opposite of who she is. made her open up more, made her insecure on missions, caused her not to fight. they could have made that really funny. chuck would have noticed those changes and they could have worked some more of her back story in.
        how funny would it be to see a fight start and chuck ask “you gonna help?”
        and sarah say, “what and break a nail, get real.”

      • JC says:

        Elliesect, fans have wanted her involved in the spy forever and what better way than her getting the Bartowski legacy in her head. And I know Fedak would be chomping to make some Wonder Twins jokes about the situation.

      • Army, your opposite idea would be very funny. Unfortunately, it would be inconsistent with the Intersect mythology (I know, I know, when does that matter). Volkoff became the opposite, but really he turned into a evil badass. The Gretas became robotic, but that wasn’t much different than their existing personalities. PapaB went from a good father to one that would abandon his kids (subject to unknown timing of his download), but he still cared about them some, so that wasn’t really the opposite. In all of those cases, they became someone who cared about others less and thought of themselves as more self-important. Chuck was the only person immune from that.

        JC, the WonderTwins jokes would be great, too. Since Morgan has a “twin thing” with Chuck, I’m surprised they haven’t done that. I was in the camp that figured Chuck would get the Intersect back. After watching a couple of episodes, I’m starting to think that is less likely, and I’m ok with that. However, I almost want Chuck to briefly have the Intersect the same time as Morgan (after he is somehow rehabilitated or fixed) just so they have have a cheesy WonderTwins moment.

      • atcDave says:

        I always figured The Intersect was the True Ring; and Chuck was Frodo. So then Sarah is Aragorn. So far those parallels work by saying Chuck resists the corruption of the Intersect, Sarah is the faithful companion who is wise enough not to touch it. I used to think of Morgan as Samwise, but seeing how quickly and thoroughly he’s been corrupted maybe he’s more like Boromir.

        Maybe I should revise the whole idea; Sarah is Samwise, Casey is Aragorn, and Morgan is Boromir. That’s better. If Morgan dies it works even better.

      • I live the LOTR analogy, Dave.

        Sarah as Samwise would just remind everyone Fake Name and those really bad TBS commercials. Samwise didn’t react well when he briefly had the ring. That might be Morgan. We have to wait and see.

        Boromir wanted the Ring, never actually got it, and then died trying to redeem himself. In other words, Bryce was Boromir.

        Casey as Aragorn might work. Especially since he used to serve under a different name. Does that make Gertrude his Arwen?

        The only problem with the LOTR analogy is Frodo was a confirmed bachelor. Charah causes problems for most ways you try to align characters.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah but Frodo and Samwise were a little too close for a modern hetero relationship, I think Sarah might be the best fit…
        If memory serves, in the books Sam wasn’t affected as badly by the Ring. So if we go with Morgan as Samwise it HAS to be the MOVIE Samwise.
        Obviously physically Sarah makes a good Eowin (oh man I wish they’d cast Yvonne in that part, but I think she was like 19 at the time), but then she’d be pining for Casey. That’s disturbing, although the age difference might be about right.

        Obviously Jeff and Lester are Orcs.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh another problem with Morgan as Samwise; I really LIKED Samwise, he was my tied for favorite character (with Aragorn of course). Maybe Morgan could be both Merry and Pippin.

      • I was trying to remember about Samwise in the books. I really need to read those again.

        Chuck has a little bit of Faramir in him. Eowin ended up with Faramir. Sarah uses knives and has used a hatchet. They need to have her use a sword. Not a fencing sword like Chuck used in First Class. A real, heavy duty sword. If the don’t do that, maybe they could go with sai, like Elecktra.

        Morgan had the loyalty of Samwise, but the temperament of Merry and Pippen. He’s three hobbits rolled into one. His code name when trying to overthrow Tang, however, was Samwise Gamgee.

        Maybe Jeff and Lester are orcs, but I’m thinking Lester is Gollum. Jeff is an uruk-hai or, even better, a troll that will turn into stone in daylight.

        This is starting to feel like we are talking about what the best sandwich on a deserted island.

      • joe says:

        The only problem with the LOTR analogy is Frodo was a confirmed bachelor.

        Great stuff. I think there’s a subtly here, though that shouldn’t be overlooked.

        Frodo differs from Chuck in one very important matter; his inate sadness. Frodo the hero ultimately could not heal his wound and had to leave the shire (and indeed, the world). Chuck won’t have that fate, I’m sure.

        Sarah allows him to be healed, which is something that just isn’t in LOTR.

      • atcDave says:

        Excellent excellent point Joe!

    • Aerox says:

      If they followed the same storyline as they’re doing with Morgan (e.g. Sarah becoming a bitch and joining up Verbanski) she too would have to alienate Chuck which would’ve led to pitchforks and torches.

      Having said that, the comedic possibilities would be endless. Chuck having to handle Sarah? Don’t even get me started.

      • We all saw how well Chuck handled Sarah in Zoom. He wouldn’t have a prayer.

      • Aerox says:

        I know, but think about it. Technically, she herself said that Chuck was the best guy for the job of handling the Intersect. So she’d obviously have to listen to his guidance. But obviously, since she’s already one of the finest spies, she’d quickly grow bored, no matter how much she loves him. So she’d try and get out and Chuck would stress how important it was and… and…

        Well, obviously, the idea would never work on TV, but damn it, if this can’t inspire dozens of fics.

  16. SarahSam says:

    Agree with you point about the difference Henry, although jason is right , I think that was the mindset they attempted to show with S3 Sarah. It just rang hollow because of “other things” As for last night, on first watch, I surprisingly enjoyed it. I thought there were numerous gold moments and I also surprisingly enjoyed Morgans turn. It will certainly be interesting next week, with his revelation to Verbanski that he is the Intersect (still difficult to process) but I was impressed with how this is all playing out. If they can tie it all together with the other things out there (CIA,Decker plot) it could be awesome. Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the Buy More plots in quite a while. It was great to see the store look like someone actually shops there. Really haven’t seen that many people in the store since the Buy More glory days of S2. Awesome use of Awesome as a spokesman and Big Mike is back !! I also thought the archer (with a finger missing ) was nice fanboy stuff. Good episode last night and I’m actually stoked for next week!!

    • Gord says:

      One thing that might be interesting. In last night’s episode we saw Sarah hire Verbanski to save Chuck because they needed a bigger assault team to take down the bad guy. It might be interesting if they used her again in a big battle with Decker and his henchmen.

      As for the Buy More, I also liked the Buy More stuff last night which is a rarity for me. I usually fast forward through Buy More scenes when I’m doing rewatches (especially Cubic Z) but last night’s Buy More scenes were great.

      • Part of me is wondering if one of Verbanski’s big government contracts is with Decker and his employer. I hope not because I like the rivalry triangle. Not everyone worked for Alexi Volkoff, so not everyone should work for Decker.

  17. sniderman says:

    One thing I considered at the end of Season 4 that I’ve never seen discussed:

    Who said Beckman left the glasses for Chuck? The note that came with them? How about this: The Intersect glasses — which I think were deliberately sabotaged — were left by Decker. Decker expected Chuck to put them on and, voila, corrupt Intersect taking down Team B for whatever dark purpose the Conspiracy has in mind. Instead, Morgan got it.

    When Beckman finally appears this season, I think we’re gonna see Chuck mention the Intersect she gifted them with and she’ll have no idea what he’s talking about, leading to a “dun dun DUNNNNNNN” moment.

    • Gord says:

      I think you could be right about that. There has been some spoilers suggesting that the Intersect has a trojan horse in it. I don’t see Beckman doing that to Team Bartowski because she has demonstrated in the past few seasons that she genuinely cares about them in an almost maternal way.

    • Aerox says:

      I put it up in my review, roughly at the top of this page (the Beckman not sending Intersect plotpoint).

      I could see it as a viable excuse, which is why Decker got his big group of baddies (although technically good guys) to launch a full scale operation on Chuck, because he found out that Chuck didn’t get the Intersect moment.

  18. SarahSam says:

    Oh yeah, I thought Sarah was great in this episode. I enjoyed every one of her scenes ( difficult I know) with Getrude, with Casey, with Chuck…… get the picture. Great subtle performance from Yvonne (surprise ,surprise)

    • Gord says:

      I must admit that I was a little disappointed that there was no secret for her to extract from Chuck. I think Chuck should have a secret in every episode that Sarah has to get out of him. LOL

      • Sarah extracted the Verbanski secret from Casey (fortunately while wearing more clothing), and is now trying to perform a brain wash. Maybe she’ll go back to Chuck now.

      • Gord says:

        Sarah extracting Casey’s secret almost led to a car accident. LOL

        When will people learn you should never talk to Casey about his love life while driving.

      • I think you meant to say people should learn never to talk to Casey about his love life. Period.

        I don’t think Sarah is going to be learning her lesson, It looks like she might to make the new couple mistake of trying to match up a friend.

  19. jason says:

    Did a quick rewatch prior to football, the second watch is always one of the most fun ones:

    1 – Chuck and Sarah sit in tandem (brushing teeth callback) when settling Casey down
    2 – Awesome telling Chuck how he got his ‘hot sister’, Devon I agree
    3 – the tumbleweed
    4 – the picture of Reagan in Verbanski’s office as Sarah is standing there
    5 – Chuck yelled at for Morgan’s behaviour (Sarah probably had to do the same in s1/s2)
    6 – Morgan appealing to Chuck’s friendship, Chuck telling Morgan he has to keep him safe (another Sarah – Chuck call back)
    7 – ‘Man I am so over this Jeffster thing’ – ‘Me too’ – I think pretty much all of us are
    8 – “Kind of man women and men want, which was not so common back then’
    9 – ‘Wooh, that is a pretty man’ – was Big Mike on a roll or what
    10 – Only mistake, Morgan mimicking Sarah’s ‘All clear’, not good to make fun of an A plot meant to be serious
    11 – Morgan – Casey showdown, grunt off
    12 – Casey – ‘It’s like his eyes follow …..’
    13 – Sarah’s lotus evidently is expensive to fill with gas
    14 – A FRICKIN water fountain flash, just prior to the jogging scene, WOW

    My FF was in full force, the entire bearded bandit scene, Morgan and Chuck after they left Casey and Sarah and went rogue, everything after the jog scene.

    • Gord says:

      With respect to the Lotus being expensive on gas, I’m surprised they don’t use that to do another Toyota commercial.
      Chuck: “Sarah your credit card bill from the gas station is astronmical.”
      Sarah: “Well honey the Lotus doesn’t get the same kind of mileage as your nerd-herder, especially when I have to drive it at 90 MPH to go after the bad guys”.
      Chuck “Yes Toyota does do a superb job of making fuel efficient cars”.

      • Agent X says:

        Actually, despite being a British-made car, the Lotus Evora has a Toyota V6 engine in it. It’s just not feasible to make a sports car engine that’s as fuel efficient as the production engine in a Prius.

  20. armysfc says:

    if anyone still cares about the ratings chuck dropped to .8. i wonder how long it will be before they either move it to saturday or do online only. from a business stand point do they have other choices? only the 2 cw shows were worse.

    • jason says:

      Army, you and I sort of knew that 1.0M was going to be a realistic prediction, with less than that possible. One thing, no Friday show does much better than 1.5 to 1.8M, so it is not like Chuck is getting tripled or anything like that. I am pretty sure the train ep (5×11) is being shot right now, so the show only has to get thru shooting a few more weeks. One thing, that 4 week delay may turn out to be a major break, as had Chuck started in September, shooting would only be going on for the 6th or 7th ep, and I’d feel more nervous about cancellation.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jason, i’m not worried about the cancellation bit. i’m sure they will finish shooting, they need the episodes for syndication. i’m talking about something i said before. them being a laughing stock during the last season. McGee said it best in his review…

        The ratings for last week’s episode were abominable, and the state of the show right now is not unlike the state of Carmichael Industries: scrappy, but undervalued and generally mocked in the larger field.

        i didn’t want to see that for the actors or the fans still around. it’s not a fitting end to the show. if the ratings keep going down how long before the news show that draws 1.2 or so that is sittting in wait be brought back in? so a move to saturday or online is possible, look at cape last year. they will have a complete season and if they are doing it at a loss would they lose more?

    • Gord says:

      There were more than a few fans ticked off with the season premiere. Probably a lot of them PVR’d the show rather than watch live so they could fast forward through the Morgansect stuff. I know that’s what I had planned to do, but found myself sitting down in front of the tv at 8 pm afterall.

      With respect to starting in September, maybe the ratings would be better if they had started in September. I think a lot of TV watchers start watching the new seasons in September and get into the habit of watching particular shows.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Gord there are a huge number of reasons why the ratings are where there at. the move to friday, the hate of morgansect caused people not to even tune in to the first ep, more left after the bad first ep, people watch aother shows, the late start, the weather, solar flares, earthquakes in the ocean. the last were said in jest BTW. point is we will really never know why. just my opinion here but it shows me the fan base was much louder than it was loyal, which was the claim in the past.

      • atcDave says:

        I think we can conclude we have a small number of loyal and vocal fans, unfortunately this season is showing that loyal core is even smaller than thought.

        But the thing is, even though this is a bummer, but Chuck has absolutely earned a place in broadcast history. It survived for three seasons after a save the show campaign, set new standards for sponsor/fan relationships, and led the way among activist fan bases. Even now with lousy ratings, Chuck continues to win a variety of on-line polls(just yesterday, Sarah Walker-Bartowski as TVs sexiest sidekick in a tvfanatic poll). The ratings are sad, but no one associated with the show has anything to be ashamed of.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave very true. the point i’m expressing is similar to the comments a sports guy gets for hanging on to long. how many great players had great careers but you hear he should have retired a few years before. take steve carlton for example he went 16-37 in his last 6 years where he was just hanging on. despite what we wanted as fans, maybe it would have been better to go out on a higher note than what we see now? i just don’t want to see for the fans, it moved to sat, pulled and burned off in the summer or made online only.

      • atcDave says:

        I just disagree with that parallel army. The quality of the show is far more important to me than the ratings. Obviously better ratings would be nice, but I can enjoy the show regardless.
        I would agree with your analogy if I felt the quality of the show had diminished. Maybe it’s more like a great all-star athlete who gets traded to a lousy franchise. He still may be a great player, he just won’t be winning anymore titles. Of course that’s sad in way for the athlete, but it doesn’t diminish his talent or skills in any way.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i kinda figured you would. not everyone thinks like us that quality is separate from ratings. i bet if you asked 100 people on the street to tell you if a show is good or not based on the number of people who watch it most would say the one watched more is better.

        take the NY times best seller list, or the movie list on what grossed the most money. people see that and think, hey so many people wanted to read or see that it must be good. that’s how it works for most people. there’s probably a huge number of good books or movies that don’t get the justice they deserve. why? because people don’t know about it because it has poor numbers.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not convinced army. Of course there are some with no discernment at all; but quality and television is like a cultural running joke going on 50 years now. Pretty much every one knows popularity and quality are typically in inverse proportion. I’m sure very few reality show watchers would actually claim what they’re watching is “quality”. It’s junk food and they know it.

        I’ll make another speculation I can’t prove; I bet most of our missing viewers from S4 are actually still watching, but it’s via a DVR time-shift on another night. So many people just aren’t home for a Friday night show. I’m an old married guy, and Friday isn’t even a great night for me (I’ll always watch on Friday, but it may be later at night sometimes). Absolutely every one of the casual viewers I know IS still watching, but I haven’t asked what night.

      • Amron says:

        If I understand properly, this is a show that is really appreciated online. Now, I understand it doesn’t matter for the advertisers, but I believe they need to start thinking in some way to make the Internet profitable. There is also the fact that Hulu and NBC don’t allow us international viewers to watch it online: I can say Spanish speakers are watching just because I’m one of the people who helps with the subtitles and the number of hits to download it’s not bad…

      • Faith says:

        Throwing fire to the gas and pure speculation (a biased one at that)…I think our core fan base isn’t standing up to be counted (0.8?!) coz they’re pissed about Morgansect. This is not the best way to start off, or start the beginning of the end, regardless of how little the ratings matter at this point.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i could agree with the last bit about shows on friday and viewership except all the other shows but 2 drew 1.1 or better. so if they were in the same range 1-1.2 yeah i agree. thing is their not, they barely beat the CW. those numbers tell me that viewers are still there and tune in to shows they watch. i don’t get the same feeling with chuck.

      • ZooT says:

        It’s a final season, it will either be billed as an “event” (like Smallville did last season) or people will treat it as optional viewing. In Chuck’s case it’s the latter. And yes, the storyline obviously doesn’t really help much. I remember 3 years ago when I still frequented the NBC boards joking about how vs The Beard would be a Morgan gets intersected episode … and much to my chagrin the joke became reality 2 seasons later :S

      • jason says:

        Friday’s are tough, last night I did not watch live, nor will I next week. It is the nature of Friday night tv.

      • Gord says:

        I don’t understand why, after the S3 fiasco, TPTB would tackle such a polarizing arc in the final season.

        Getting a 1.0 against game 7 of the World Series was reasonable, but there are no excuses for not getting at least the same or a better rating on a night with such weak competition.

        The only explanation is that Morgansect is a dud for a good chunk of the Chuck viewers.

      • atcDave says:

        I think the nature of Chuck’s audience makes it hard to track for ratings. We are educated and tech savvy. Which likely translates into a lot of alternate viewing habits, whether that means DVR and zipping through commercials or streaming video on-line. So those alternate habits mean a lot of viewers are still present but will never count for ratings. Moving to Friday likely exacerbated the problem.
        I’m not trying to say we are a large group, only that I don’t believe actual viewer numbers have plummitted to the extreme the ratings suggest. My completely non-scientific sampling indicates all casual viewers are still watching. I know we’ve lost some viewers (just not any of my friends!), but I don’t buy the 0.8.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave you are correct the fans you had were diverse. there are lots of reasons why and we’ve covered most of them. at the end of season 2 i talked on a regular basis with about 50 people about chuck. when i got back from iraq at the end of season 3 there were about 30 left that still watched. i said a few times last year that i knew 20 people that stopped watching as season 4 went along. only a few of use were left. now only one remains standing, BdaddyDL.

        i can say that i do believe the number of people watching is what they say about 3 million total viewers. i do think that our thoughts about the show color our perceptions about the number of fans. i am more likely to agree with the numbers because they reflect my view. you may oppose those numbers because its your favorite show ever and the numbers go against that view. that’s just a guess BTW.

        in the end it doesn’t matter because chuck is done and in a few years people will hardly remember it except in certain circles. it’s just a shame that it’s going out with a whimper instead of a bang ratings wise.

      • ZooT says:

        Unless the audience got miraculously more tech savvy over the summer I just think it’s a combination of fatigue, core show storyline being over (Chuck/Sarah), not a particularly engaging new storyline (Morgansect) and … 18-49s just having better things to do on Friday nights. But I guess we ‘ll have a better understanding next week when we get the DVR+3 numbers for episode 1. Fringe for example routinely grows by 50% on DVR

      • atcDave says:

        Army it has nothing to do with being my favorite show ever. It has to do with all eight households I know that have been watching since S2 are all still watching, including the three I had to coax back after S3.

        But I am not claiming our viewer retention has been 100%, I’m just claiming our loses have not been as severe as the ratings indicate. Due to it being a Friday night I believe a much higher percentage are now time shifting or downloading than was the case when we were on Monday nights. I think that is a bigger issue than Morgansect, although certainly an uninspiring cliffhanger didn’t help things any. I do believe when the DVR numbers are all in we will find a fairly significant boost.

        But I would also agree with saying it doesn’t really matter at this point. The final thirteen will get made and will run. Our current ratings are bad enough the show may get yanked around the schedule some, but they will all run.

  21. phaseou812 says:

    Interesting episode! I was surprised how quickly they shifted the amusement of Morgan’s character being the bumbling intersect that “means well” to an over confident adrenalin junkie who is ready to overtake the world. I was slow to get the original clue when Morgan was not in tune with some of the movie references (Raiders) as I thought that was odd originally until later in the episode in which they make it clear that he has got a problem with the Intersect. It does now make since what “Sniderman” indicated previously that Decker planted the glasses for Chuck to download a corrupt version . . . or it could simply mean what many had complained about previously, that Chuck’s brain is the only one that can handle the download without altering his conscious and heart. So I am happing to go where ever this season takes us . . . but I will be happy to get back the “heart” of Morgan in the show . . . Batman’s Robin . . . the guy that doesn’t have it all together but will do anything he can to help his friend.

    Well the drama side with losing the buddy in Morgan makes the episode feel a little “heavy” . . . but I am sure it will make for some great episodes and storylines going forward. I was one that did not necessarily enjoy the ending last year with the Morgan intersect, kind of came around to this could be an enjoyable scenario in the off season, liked the way they handled it after the first episode, to now they have obviously changed directions again. I guess that is what keeps the show interesting. Now the big issue will be if Chuck does or does not get the Intersect back, and as a fan, do you or do you not want him to get it back so he can succeed with his own skills.

    Verbanski and Casey . . . what a potential couple! I did not catch the picture of Reagan in her office as previously mentioned in the post, but what I did notice was her office with all of the guns collected from her conquered opponents . . . and Casey’s apartment with spent cannon shells on the shelves for decorations. This ought to be interesting and fun.

    Just happy we have a season 5 . . . and looking forward to the “ride”. Planning on watching my second review with my kids today as I watched it late last night because of other conflicts . . . and for me it has always been enjoyable to watch Chuck a second or third time as you get the time to pick up on several aspects of the show that I often miss the first go around.

    • atcDave says:

      I think, from other comments we’ve heard, that next week will be a climax of sorts for the Morgansect story. But I don’t think that means Chuck will be getting the Intersect back (at least not anytime soon).
      I would certainly agree Zoom was a more fun sort of episode. But I also liked the more dramatic weight here, and I’m really excited for how this will play out.

    • Amron says:

      Im with you about Morgan. I know some of people here don’t like Morgan since the beginning of the show, not only because the Morgansect, but to be honest, Morgan had been always one of my favorites, just because he had been always there for Chuck (in fact, that’s the first thing you noticed in the Pilot) He’s family even before the CIA, in Chuck’s darkest and saddest days. Chuck and Morgan’s friendship is very difficult to find and commonly underestimated, but in fact is one of the things that give “Chuck” its heart. If there is one thing in the entire show, even in S3, that had been constant was that friendship. To watch Morgan lose his loyal person is sad and a good way to bring some tension in the story, because you can feel the betrayal, and not only Morgan’s but Chuck’s too; I know Chuck called Casey and Sarah because that was the right thing, in fact, I was hoping for Chuck to tranq Morgan and carry him out of the bad guy’s office, but I can understand Morgan’s feelings if I put myself in his place: always the friend, the sidekick, there’s not a thing Chuck asked that Morgan didn’t agree with, even if he wasn’t sure, and now that he asks Chuck the same, he didn’t do it.

      The charm is in the little details. Last episode was full of it, specifically in the set props and the documents: Reagan photo, Sarah’s archive (it says she was born in May, 1982!), the Bearded Bandit article (It says some funny things…) and now both websites of Carmichael Industries and Verbansky Corp (the last one has the story behind Casey’s gun).

      • phaseou812 says:

        Well said about Morgan . . . he has always been the original “death till we party” long before anyone else. So although I know it is only a temporary roadblock in their friendship . . . it does feel a strong since of betrayal. (Obviously that is what the writers were going for . . . so that makes them good writers) I still reflect back on The Beard episode where Morgan gets to find out the secret . . . and it is an absolutely fabulous episode . . . The guy that Chuck always wanted to bring along . . . gets the opportunity to experience the “ride”. I think it is an ironic twist on episode titles from The Beard to The Bearded Bandit which leaves you with opposite sets of feelings regarding Morgan’s ventures . . . now obviously the current episode title has more meanings then just that, such as the robbery store “gag” to Morgan literally going to the other side . . . but knowing how crafty the writers of the show have been, I would not discredit them to believe that it was not considered when they named the episode.

        I want quibble rather Chuck should have or should have not tranqing him . . . in the end Chuck was doing what he has always done . . . doing anything to protect his “friend” by trusting him and then heading straight into danger without the benefit of him having the Intersect . . . while still trying to do the right thing by notifying his “team” what was going on.

        All of that said, I trust the writers, directors and actors/actresses will continue to make this show one of the best all-time series on TV . . . just never have understand why more watchers never caught on to the show. With the limited budget and some of the misfortunes the show has had, writers’ strike creating a partial season, placement on Monday, little promo efforts . . . the shows cast, writers and crew have done a remarkable job in making this show a “must see” event for me.

        Watching the episode a second time . . . really great mission with a legitimate twist in making it seem like a real type of scenario . . . as well as I thought the Buy More stent was a good one. I liked the episode overall . . . but I am already ready for “Robin” to come back to the good side.

        Looking forward to next Friday’s episode!

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that phase. And I always like the double (or even triple!) meanings they use in the episode titles.

  22. SarahSam says:

    Disappointed with the ratings. It’s difficult to take the viewer attrition of the show when the appeal for it is so broad to its fans. I’ve always found something to hang onto and remain a loyal watcher as hard as it is sometimes.

    • lappers84 says:

      I always take the viewer ratings with a pinch of salt, just because not as many people watch live doesn’t mean they don’t watch later. And 0.8 isn’t horrendous for a friday night surely?
      Of course if it continues to drop then yeah I might start worrying.

      • ArmySFC says:

        it pretty much is horrendous for a major network. the CW had 2 shows last night .7 and .6. so they were the third least view show. thing is for us it is a grain of salt for the networks it’s the live that makes it’s money.

      • ArmySFC says:

        heres an example. harrys law pulled a 1.1 on wed. it had 7.2 million total viewers. the thing is the only number that matters in the 1.1 or about 1.3 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic that matters. so it will likely get canceled after the season.

      • atcDave says:

        Even for a Friday 0.8 is horrendous. I still think they’ll likely run out the series, but any thoughtg of back orders is gone now.

      • Dale says:

        Well the beauty of Chuck compared to other shows pulling all such low numbers is that Chuck is in season 5 where as most of the other shows on NBC are either in their second or first season. Chuck has lived a beautiful life as a show, we have had engagements, weddings, resolutions galore that make me happy that we survived this long. We will get all 13 episodes no doubt and I am happy with that, very happy. We did good, we did really good and so did they.

  23. Gord says:

    I noticed that when Big Mike was talking Awesome into doing the commercial he says “This is your brother-in-law’s place of business”. Does that mean that he knows that Chuck and Sarah own the Buy More and if so do the rest of the Buy Morons know this as well? The phrasing Big Mike used could be interpreted that way, although I suppose they could just be construed as meaning that Chuck works there.

    • I did the same double-take, because I’ve been specifically wondering when everyone would find out. After thinking about it, I realized Big Mike probably meant the latter. Currently, we know the Buy More staff does not know, but Ellie and Devon do. Beckman probably knows. She is in the NSA after all. We don’t know Alex or MamaB knows.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah it could be taken either way. It sure sounded like he knew Chuck was the owner, but what he said didn’t have to mean that.

    • joe says:

      Hum… Know what? We haven’t made a big deal (yet) about the fact that we now have a Mrs. Bolonia Tucker! Best Wishes to her and Big Mike.

      And if Patricia Rae happens to read this, we’d love to see you again.

      • I haven’t finished my brain bleach yet. Between Casey’s car conversation and Big Mike’s four weeks of sexual experimentation… aaaahhh!

        Considering a half carat cubic zirconia ring runs just over $20 (two hours of salary, not two months), Bolonia must really like “snorkeling”.

      • herder says:

        It could have been Bolognia Bougainvillia Grimes-Tucker, so let’s be thankful for the contraction.

  24. On my 4th or 5th rewatch, I noticed Casey seems to like the idea GV kept his gun. That made me realize we only have GV’s word that she disarmed Casey. Maybe the gun was really a “romantic” gift. Ilsa kept the locket. Gertrude kept the gun.

  25. charleseses says:

    First time posting, llllllllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg time reading all of your insightful thoughts. Does anyone know why NBC and Hulu have not posted the episode? They only have up “Zoom”. I am freaking out here. And I am in the US so it is not an international issue. Does anyone know what is going on? Thanks…

    • atcDave says:

      Maybe Monday? I don’t know, when did they post Zoom? Neither has shown up yet in iTunes, but Chuck has a long tradition of being tardy on iTunes.

      By the way, welcome aboard! It’s always great to have a lurker decloak, we look forward to hearing more from you this season.

    • joe says:

      Well, greatings, Earthling! [Joe does a traditional Romulan salute…]

      I just noticed that today too, and it caused me to tap my foot in extreme frustration. We both need to remain calm about this and remember there’s no need to panic yet. Let us take to heart Chuck’s advice then…

      Don’t freak out.

    • ArmySFC says:

      they are still negotiating a new deal. when and if it happens they will be available.

    • Faith says:

      I like your name! Please stick around 🙂

      To answer your question, they pulled the same thing early last season. I can only assume that it’s a marketing ploy to get more viewers watching either live or via DVR.

    • atcDave says:

      The Detroit NBC affiliate is already playing the pre-emption game; 5.04 won’t run until 0135 Saturday morning. Unlike Monday nights I can’t stay up that late on a Friday. I think I’ll set my alarm an hour early and watch before work Saturday morning. Ughh.

      • joe says:

        Pre-emption??? As Hawkeye Pierce once said, what kind of bilious schmata is this???

        Pre-empted, indeed! I have not been worried about the ratings because I’m satisfied (resigned? No, satisfied) that this is Chuck’s last season and they’re not going to replace it before the season’s over. But the downside to that (the slimy, worm-infested underbelly) is that the network and local affiliates are going to feel empowered to do that kind of thing.

        At least we have DVRs now to get us through these trials.

      • Dave, what are they running instead? Local sports or something else? Sports will sometimes preempt even the most popular shows.

      • Curiosity made me answer my own question: “Minds of Medicine”,

        Sounds like a tax write-off. The question would be does this always happen to Friday shows, or is Chuck being targeted. Also is this an annual thing or a regular thing?

        It might not be a bad sign. On Mondays, ABC shows are vulnerable to local Monday Night Football preemption non-cable subscribers. Dancing with the Stars is one of ABC’s highest rated shows, but it can be preempted anyway.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jeff, actually chuck was pre-empted in detriot last year as well, also by ford.

      • atcDave says:

        Army that was Ford Motor Company, this is the hospital (completely different company). But this is exactly the sort of thing I feared, with abysmal ratings the local affiliates feel free to sell off the time or run local news programs (we were also pre-empted once last season for a gubernatorial debate).
        Basically it’s a no confidense vote.

        Now I will of course still get to see it, but I’m frustrated it will not be a fun Friday night’s entertainment. I’ll watch before I leave for work Saturday morning.

  26. jason says:

    Just did a quick cruise around the internet. There seems to be a delusional obsession with trying to assign blame for failure of the show, in what should be a wild, unbridled celebration DURING a victory lap. After season one, Lloyd’s of London put the odds of Chuck getting 91 episodes along with a planned final season, near the same as getting struck by lightening and winning the lottery in the same night. We won, no reason to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    For those that liked Chuck & Sarah the couple, they got season 4. For those who liked twisty mythology, they got season 2. For those who liked drama, they got season 3. Seems like in season 5, instead of everyone celebrating that they got a little something and now a chance to say goodbye, everyone instead is focusing on what they didn’t get. Seems really odd?

    • I know what you mean, jason. I rejoined the boards hoping to enjoy Chuck while it is still here. I’ve observed there is a small group of very vocal people who are trolling and venting the same things in multiple places. The NBC boards are a virtual ghost town and have a higher percentage of negative posters than during the worst of S3. I think they are scaring others away, shouting down some people who had a more positive impression of S5. I hoping they don’t keep it up all season. I don’t mind seeing some criticism, but some of it has been over-the-top ridiculous, with rants about things that did not actually happen on screen and assertions that they absolutely know why every one of the 2 million missing live viewers are gone. Fortunately, there are a few others here that still like the show.

      I’ve happy with S5 so far, but my expectations are not unreasonably high. I cannot think of a single show whose last season was its best. (I’m talking season, not final episode.) That doesn’t mean they were not enjoyable, but for many of them, the last season was in the bottom half. It’s too early to make that call with Chuck S5.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff, here’s my take on final seasons. it comes down to boredom and staleness. after a while shows start to repeat themselves. there is a finite number of ideas to use. in the early years of a show every joke, case, or relationship is new and fresh. over time they get re-used in one way or another. the fans start to notice this, hey didn’t they do something like that last year or 2 years ago?

        jason (i believe it was) pointed out last season that chucks arcs follow a pattern, first set up, second angsty and third climax. from what i read this arc is no different. other shows follow the same patterns as well. after you see the same thing over and over, just put out in a different way it loses it’s appeal. no matter how well it’s written or performed each time it’s no longer fresh and new to the viewer. if the ideas had come out reversed, the one from the last season shown first and the one from the first season last, it would be seen as the better. just my take.

      • atcDave says:

        Like most sites, we’ve had an abundance very negative and critical posters here from late S4 on that has sucked a lot of the fun out of the whole experience. It really is nuts for such a very successful and fun show.
        But there’s lot’s of folks still having fun with both the show and this site too. I know I’ve never enjoyed a show so much, and the Internet community has MOSTLY enhanced the experience. The occasional frustration, like the occasional dog of an episode, is still outweighed by the good.

    • herder says:

      I think part of the problem is that some people compare what they see on tv with what they would like to see (sort of fan fic). Rather than comment on the strengths and weakness of what is being shown, they judge against some sort of mental image of what they think should be shown. The problem is that there is only one story shown while 3 million viewers can literally have 3 million ideas of what it should be, the chances of a match are pretty slim. So rather than judging an episode on what is show, it competes against the much more difficult what might have been.

      Personally I’m pleased with what I have seen and I’m becoming increasingly interested in where they are taking us and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with all of that, Herder.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll also agree herder. There precious little Chuck left, and I intend and expect to enjoy it all.

      • phaseou812 says:

        I concur

      • atcDave says:

        I’d also add, as a huge fan of fan fiction, I think it’s awesome when so many fans invest themselves in exploring options and alternates based on our favorite setting and characters. And there have certainly been times when I preferred a fan’s version of the story to what we got on the show. But in the end, the show is the prototype and canon. The show has been a wonderful and special experience that brought us all here. Even if an episode or two isn’t quite to my liking I remain excited for what comes next. I eagerly anticipate every remaining episode and will miss it a lot when the end comes (dang, now I’m getting all weepy…)

      • armysfc says:

        Dave…thanks for getting the Bears ready to play. love you guys beat the eagles!

      • atcDave says:

        I think both teams came to play; what an intense game! Of course, no I’m a happy boy…

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Jason it’s kind of nuts for anyone to classify Chuck as a failure. 5 years beats the average for any show; and three seasons AFTER a save the show campaign is truly amazing and unprecedented. That’s something for the history books, and it’s something for us fans who were involved to take pride in.
      The fact that we can imagine some things that accelerated the end is a separate issue, and one that will likely be debated for years to come. You can guess where I stand on some of it, and I’m sure the issue will come up many times here before it’s all over. But calling the show a failure is nuts.

  27. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    I think it comes down to the ever evil “expectations”. Just look at the “What do you want to see this season” sections on this blog for the last three seasons. The theme has been generally the same. People “expect” to see a lot more of a more confident Chuck than what is being presented on screen.

    Since the end of S2, hopes have been for a “Chuck and Sarah or Team B vs the world” story, hence confident Chuck. S5 is setup for this but from what I hear about the conspiracy (that we’re only going to get nuggets of info until a big reveal near the end) I doubt it will happen.
    At the end of S3, people were touting Chuck becoming the next Orion, hence more confident Chuck. And except for about 8 minutes in S4 it’s been more anti-Orion.

    Now listen, TPTB can tell the story they want however they want. However, from my chair, they fundamentally changed their entire approach to how they present that story going into S3 with the backloading of key story points in order to make the front of the season be relevant. IMO it didn’t work in S3, it didn’t work in S4 and now S5 is setting up the exact same way with not only a season resolution but a series resolution.

    The episodes presented in S5 so far were both good, and IMO they seem to have recaptured some of the “balance” they we seem to bring up from time to time. It remains to be seen if the season / series arc pans outs.

    MORE “Confident Chuck” please.

    PS Should it turn out the Morgan does have some sort of trojan in his intersect and that he’s just not losing his marbles because of the intersect then they haven’t shown us that Chuck is “special” with the Morgansect storyline.

    • I’m expecting a “hedging” of the excuse for Morgan’s problems with some kind of Trojan horse. However, Chuck has proven his specialness because he could handle the Fulcrum Intersect which killed others, his dad’s test Intersect, the S4 laptop Intersect that caused problems for the Gretas, and he didn’t need a Governor as quickly as Shaw did. Showing he is special at this point is redundant. He is special not because he’s the only one. He’s special because he handles in better. As I’ve said before, the Intersect is an evolving technology, and with Ellie’s improvements, more people should be able to handle it. She’s wasn’t just playing freecell on her dad’s laptop. Let’s give her some credit, too.

      Also, even if the Morgansect has a Trojan horse or some other defect, that does not mean 1) Chuck wouldn’t be able to function normally despite the problems and 2) Morgan wouldn’t have Greta-like problems with a regular Intersect. They can only tell one story at a time, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy the one we are getting.

      • atcDave says:

        If nothing else, Chuck is special because he was the pioneer.

        Much like the Wright Brothers, by any modern comparison their machine was pretty limited and inferior; but they were first and nothing will ever change that.

  28. jason says:

    Ten Things Left on My Plate

    10 – WT/WT -Will the show’s longest standing couple break up this season?

    That’d be Jeffster of course and I’m saying yes, only to unite in the finale to do one last live show, maybe as the curtain closes.

    9 – Casey? Just how much lovin can he take? And will he get to blow stuff up? And will he kill a few people?

    Yes, More than we realized, Yes, Yes, Decker will feel Casey’s wrath.

    8 – Big Mike & Awesome?

    In this curtain call season, I am afraid Bearded Bandit was Mike’s curtain call. If only each character is given such a heroic send off. 4 weeks of sexual experimenting, snorkelling, and saving the Buy More is the way to give a character an ‘Awesome’ send off. Speaking of Awesome, I am afraid he will get more send offs, but he too was ‘Awesome’ in BB, one of his best eps.

    7 – Mama’s and the Papa’s

    I think fans love them more than TPTB, I hope they have a great season, but I doubt they will, low expectations on this one.

    6 – Ellie, Ellie, We hardly knew thee ….

    The show works best when the following equation is in balance, Time (Ellie) / 2 = Time (Morgan), think the secondary pay off scene in the Honeymooners working with Ellie, falling down with Morgan. Fingers crossed that she gets a farewell arc, not just a scene or two.

    5 – Morgansect worth the polarization?

    I think so?????? Shows over anyhow, and I think this is a story that has been ‘Schwartzed’ Repeat after me, it is going to be great, it is going to be great, it is going to be great, ..

    4 – Chuck intersected again?

    No, hope you guys can live with that!

    3 – Will the conspiracy make sense?

    No, yes, well sort of, I think the conspiracy’s gravitas will be in the eye of the beholder, or the beholder’s expectations! Good luck with that one everybody!

    2 – Sarah’s last story the best Sarah episode ever?

    I have long suspected that Fedak hates Sarah, 5×8 is his opportunity to prove me wrong!

    1 – Happy ending as the curtain closes?


    • atcDave says:

      I would say Fedak is not invested in Sarah the way many fans are, but I don’t believe he “hates” her. The story goes, Fedak’s very first idea that was the genesis of Chuck was the Chuck/Sarah dance sequence from the Pilot. Even Fedak sees Sarah as central to the concept; I just wish he saw her as a more interesting part of the concept…

      • jason says:

        Dave, I most happily will concede your point, after the 8th episode or maybe I’ll wait until after the 13th on second thought!

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I do agree there’s a possibility what Fedak thinks is “the best Sarah episode ever” will be seen as an outrage by many of us; this is exactly the sort of thing that makes me nervous about him having a different perception than the rest of us. I expect to like it, but I am just a little nervous at the same time.

      • lappers84 says:

        Isn’t episode 8 another Le Judkins episode? Even if you don’t have much trust in Fedak, you can certainly trust those 2. Can’t you?

      • atcDave says:

        Yes it is lappers; and that is one very good reason to expect to be awesome.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        At the time, people were saying the same thing about AA and Fake Name (The last time we “learned” something about Sarah’s past). That really didn’t work out so well.

        I’m curious to how R & L make out with an episode that is being billed as “not funny”.

      • atcDave says:

        Fake Name was certainly a disaster, but I think we’ve had enough Well done Sarah stories since (Phase 3 and Wedding Planner) to think they have learned some lessons. Especially with Le Judkins at the helm I’m pretty confident. And for the record, I felt no such confidence for Fake Name; I mistrusted Adler after the “love writer” video.

      • jason says:

        I wrote the point more as an important ‘gate’ looking forward toward the rest of the season and how the show will cap itself off. That ep will be a measuring stick, as will Morgansect, and so will Chuck interesecting again or not, etc. I don’t really think Fedak ‘hates’ Sarah, since season 3’s middle, she has been written with as much or more care and respect as any of the characters.

        But, still, with mom, her handler, secrets promised, a not funny episode, and the baby all over the place in the teasers, it could turn out lousy. Truth is, my expectations for that ep are near the exact opposite, as I think the hints are ALL macguffin-like, and the ep is going to be a really great one.

        Still, I try to set my expectations low, I found that is the best strategy. I treated the engagement that way last season for example, turned out just OK, the wedding too, neither would have met the high side of what I wanted to see. So it is with ‘vs the baby’, low expectations, hoping for much better.

  29. Sandra says:

    I am very disturbed by the middle aged men or even older on this site who post drooling comments about how Yvonne Strahovski is the hottest girl they have ever seen, the greatest actress in history etc. These men are old enough to be her father in many cases and their comments are creepy in the extreme. I feel really sorry for the wives of the ones that are married.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Sanda. Welcome to the discussion.

      Since I’m one of those “drooling” middle-aged (and married) men you speak of, I think I’m qualified to respond.

      Adam Baldwin had an instant answer to a few fans who wandered into the annoying zone together at Comic-Con a couple of years back, when they shouted at Yvonne (all together now) “YOU’RE HOT!!!” His response was – “Duh!”

      She is. Saying so isn’t an error in judgment; it’s a trivial statement of fact and most of us (I dare say 99.44%) have said so, not to demonstrate superior intellect, sensibility, judgment or powers of observation, but for effect. Mostly humorous.


      Yvonne Strahovski has been noted far more often as an actress with amazing abilities to evoke emotions without dialog (with just a facial expression), for her wonderful accents (in many languages), for her chemistry with Zac and now, since last season, for her way with comedy. That’s been true here and in the wider Chuck universe, or at least in the corner of it I see. The one area I think our group hasn’t praised her enough is for the stunt-work she’s been doing all along, and even that has been mentioned.

      So now I suggest you go back an re-read the comments you’ve obviously skipping over in your zeal to raise a point. You’ll liable to find that everyone here imagines themselves in Yvonne’s presence when they use her name and strive to be as respectful and polite as they would be if she was. That includes being humorous. In other words, everyone here agrees with you and wonders where your anger came from.

      – Joe

      P.S. My wife is a blond named Sara (no ‘h’ – she goes by Sally). She has no problem with the things I’ve written. Of course, she also knows that my first true crush was on Annette Funicello… 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      And here I always thought it’d be my mad Bonita Friedericy crush that got called out as innapropriate.

    • atcDave says:

      I can’t imagine denying I find Yvonne appealing. That has no bearing on the fact I love my wife. The vast majority of our comments here are just for fun; but guys WILL notice and joke about pretty women, just as women will often notice and comment on appealing guys (I know there’s a common wisdom about men being more visually oriented than women, but I’ve heard enough crude comments from women to cause me to doubt it!). We have pointedly avoided talk that could be construed as overtly sexual towards any performer. I would like to think any actor, actor’s family member, or OUR family members could read what we post here and not be embarrassed or offended by it. And there’s no denying that Yvonne uses her looks as part of her performance on Chuck (most actors use their looks in one way or another, it’s part of the physical aspect of acting); so while we were have the Tron poster discussion the other day, commenting on Sarah’s distracting appearance in a bedroom scene is not only normal for us, but the scene was shot with that specific distraction in mind. And I would add, in spite of our joking about it, we actually were noticing the other details in the scene that the discussion was actually about. The situation isn’t too terribly different from me “not noticing” a salad because there’s pizza on the table; it’s a joke and others at the table will likely recognize it as such (not that it would stop my wife from force feeding me the salad!)

      I would also point out that the appeal of both Sarah Walker and Yvonne Strahovski is far more profound than just looks. I’ve mentioned here several times, my first impression of the actresses when watching the Pilot was; “funny that they cast the prettier girl as the sister.”. But the biggest part of Sarah’s appeal is her strength both as a traditional hero, and as the gentle encourager. Yvonne adds to that her own charisma and beautifully sensitive performance. I am completely charmed by the character and performance.
      I also find Zach Levi’s performance appealing too; but I don’t even understand what his physical appeal might be for women, so I see little point in even joking about it.

      • atcDave says:

        BTW, I have to comment on the age thing. We are not talking about some 16 year old here. Yvonne Strahovski is 29, that is an adult by any definition. To suggest that a 40, 50, or 60 year old male should not notice an attractive adult woman is somewhat offensive. I’m 48, I’m not blind or dead.

      • Rick Holy says:

        And neither am I. YVONNE ROCKS!!!!

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Hi, Sandra.

      Creepy, drooling, middle-aged men?

      Present and accounted for, Ma’am.

      Now, I’ve never been married, but I do think that Yvonne Strahovski is very attractive and one of the best actresses on american TV, so I guess that I fall into the group of men that you mention in your post. To the best of my knowledge, the people who host and post on this blog limit their discussion of the cast members of the opposite sex to light bantering; it is one of the reasons why Chuckthisblog remains such an enjoyable place to visit.

      Even for a cad like myself, there are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. So, If I have offended you with any of my comments regarding Ms. Strahovski, Ms. Melvin or any other members of the fair sex, then I apologize. But only for offending you.

      Beautiful women (like laughing children) are one of the few reasons why life is worth living; if you are going to damn me for vocalizing my appreciation of that beauty, then so be it.

      • Rick Holy says:

        And when TV guide several years ago featured BOTH Yvonne and Zach as among the “sexiest couples on TV,” I don’t recall that either failed to appear for the photo shoot. The excerpt of it on YouTube is one of my favorite of all Zach/Yvonne interview moments. They both know that to be physically attractive – and noticed for it – is a bonus. But they also both have to be good, entertaining, and talented actors – which we have pointed out on this site numerous times. There are PLENTY of people/actors more “physically beautiful” that either Yvonne or Zach – but THEY didn’t get the roles because they didn’t have the talent nor the chemistry. Yvonne rocks and Zach is awesome because they have both been able to take on roles that challenge them to “perform” in many different ways as actors. And they’ve succeeded – and that’s why we’re fans. Since I’m a male, I’ll present the male perspective (there are plenty of females who can present the other side. Yvonne is physically beautiful – and that’s a gift – but she’s “Sarah Walker” and a fan favorite because of the abilities she has as an actress, and a darn excellent one! And one last reason we “drool over Yvonne.” She’s not your typical stuck up, “I’m better than you” Hollywood A-List celebrity. She’s a REAL person, seems to be humble and grateful for her success, and interacts well with the fans. She along with Zach KNOW that the fans have put their hearts into this show and into their love for the characters. So not only is she’s physically beautiful, she’s got a darn fine brain, too! And in MY BOOK, that’s pretty frickin’ HOT, too!!!!

      • joe says:

        You know, all this talk has made me think of something in a slightly different way.

        Plenty of men have a bad habit of “rating” women on a scale of 1 to 10. (Um… guilty). Usually I keep it to myself (and honestly, it’s not something I’ve seen done in any locker room I’ve been in, and I’ve been in plenty). Yvonne rates plenty high in my book, and I’m sure she does in everyone’s. (Insert Adam’s ‘Duh’ here again.)

        But not a “perfect 10” – she is a human being after all. Sarah Walker, however, might rate that high. Funny, since that’s Yvonne too. Except, it isn’t. Sarah Walker is a fantasy figure, no more real than the Intersect itself, and I’ve yet to hear of any fan that’s lost track of the difference.

        Perhaps that fan is out there, but I haven’t met that person IRL or on the Internet. Apparently that fan has had the good sense to stay quiet. That’s a good idea because I don’t think many in the fandom would let any disrespect stand for very long.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        A talking Justin Bieber doll???

        Dave, that’s the most disturbing image I’ve had since the time I got lost in the Joan Rivers wax museum in Atlantic City.

        And Aerox, as a life-long bachelor, I don’t think there is anything wrong with you crushing on a more mature woman. In fact, it seems kinda familiar…

    • Aerox says:

      Thank God for being twenty. It entails me to being able to talk about her and not get called out on it ^,^

      • Wilf says:

        Although, at 20 you could be a bit too young 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Geez Aerox, isn’t it a little creepy talking about an older woman like that!?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave I don’t know why you’re hell bent on baiting us Duck shippers, but Chuck and Dianne’s May-December (plus a few decades) romance is NOT creepy.

      • atcDave says:

        Right Ernie, there’s nothing creepy about Duck at all…

        In the same way there’s nothing creepy about middle aged women and a talking Justin Bieber doll!

      • Aerox says:

        I thought it to be distinguished. Almost everyone moans about guys leaving their women for younger versions. I figured I’d go for someone older than me. Guess that’s not being appreciated either 😦

      • herder says:

        Aerox, think of all the respect Prince Charles got for spurning Princess Di for Camilla.

      • Aerox says:

        Yes, but I’m still single, so it’s a-okay! *looks around shifty eyed* Right? 😦

  30. Sandra says:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment which probably was a bit harsh. However i still think that it is unhealthy for older men particularly married ones to spend large amounts of their time reading about Yvonne on various websites, looking at pictures of her and watching videos of her. I am not married yet myself but i would not be happy if my husband did that.

    • atcDave says:

      There certainly is a fine line between obsession and enthusiasm. But it is difficult, if not impossible, for any of us here to judge where that line is for anyone else. If you were married, I would say it is between you and your husband to determine what is appropriate for the both of you.
      If you are here at this site you surely understand that many of us are generally fans of movies and television. As such, we get quite involved with shows, writers, directors, and actors we like. At any given time I likely know about a number of projects involving my favorites. Obviously Chuck is currently my favorite subject, and that is likely true for most of us here. But I don’t believe it’s fair to say that’s translated into too much attention for Yvonne or any other individual associated with the show. In fact I’m not sure why you’ve concluded any of us are paying significantly more attention to her than any other part of the show. This isn’t even an Yvonne site, it’s a Chuck site. I’d add to that, it is not only male fans who are Sarah/Yvonne fans. You’ll notice Thinkling is quite outspoken in that regard too. And on many other shows or movies I’ve been far more focused on the male leads (we were discussing LOTR the other day here, I’m a huge Aragorn fan. No doubt, I see Sarah as a very similar sort of heroic character).

      Sorry for some stream of consciousness there. And I am sorry if we said something that struck you as inappropriate. But beyond the fact Yvonne is very much a favorite for many of us, I’m not aware of any talk here that seems particularly problematic.

      • Nervert says:

        Dave, you raise a good point bringing up all the female Yvonne/Sarah Walker fans. It’s not a drooling male thing.

        There’s something very engaging about Sarah’s character and it doesn’t just involve all the underwear/bathing suit scenes that are so heavily used in the show. Sarah is a mix of interesting contradictions and Yvonne brings out the complexity, making it seem real rather than improbable. The fact that she can do that with the small amount she’s given to say is pretty great and a lot of us see that.

        Sandra, both my wife and I are fans and I doubt there’s anything in our thoughts about the show, the characters, or the actors that either of us would be embarrassed or afraid to admit to each other. That has much to do with trust and nothing to do with the amount of time either of us talks about celebrities of the opposite sex.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah and as Nervert mentions, my wife is also a fan of the show. She will not post here, but she just generally doesn’t follow movies and television like I do. In fact, she’s always my first sounding board on the weekly question “what would a casual viewer think…”
        She’s also a little taller than me (I’m Morgan size, but Jodie is not as tall as Sarah!) and a bit of a jock. Not quite my own Sarah Walker, but close enough she does get teased about it!

      • According to IMDB, JG is 5’7 3/4″, which isn’t that much shorter than YS. Throw in frosted tips, and he might look taller if they were both barefoot. They put her in heels in Zoom to make the dance funnier.

      • atcDave says:

        Hmmm, I’d seen 5’6″ somewhere. Dang I’m even shorter than Morgan!

      • Nervert says:

        Not shorter than Vik though.

      • atcDave says:

        Somehow that just seems like “less than Morgan” in every way.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jeff, in my experience when people start listing height by fractions of inches, assume it is from the bottom of their Nike Air’s to the top of their frosted tips. Four inch heels aside, look at the running scene with Zac and Yvonne, where they both wear running shoes. Yvonne needs to go on her toes, slightly, to kiss the 6’4″ tall Zach. Yvonne is 5’10”, Josh is 5’7″.

        Dave, you seemed taller when we met…

      • atcDave says:

        Well I’m definitely wider than Gomez…

        You know the height I saw was probably in a fan fiction or something where the writer was just guessing.

      • According to IMDB (which is not necessarily true), YS is 5’9 1/4″. They normally put her in those crazy high heels with platforms to make her almost the same height as ZL. Fighting in those heels is probably the most unrealistic thing in Chuck, including the Intersect itself. She might have been on a platform when she kissed him on the jogging scene. In the final dream sequence in Phase 3, it looked like she stepped on a box to kiss him. A lot of it is controlled by camera angles too. The funny thing is if you to go by the dialogue, the derogatory comments towards Morgan by Ellie, Casey, and Devon would make you think Morgan is at least a foot shorter than Chuck. I think Beckman even called him little once.

  31. Nervert says:

    Heh, yeah sorry. That wasn’t so helpful. As far as Gomez’ height in IMDb, I wouldn’t doubt that it isn’t accurate.

  32. lappers84 says: usually give a pretty accurate idea of actors and celeb heights. Gomez is between about 5’71/2 – 5’8, Strahovski is about 5’9 – 5’91/2, Levi is 6’3 and both Baldwin and Mcpartlin are 6’4.

  33. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Bearded Bandit (5.02) | Chuck This

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