Specs and Re-acts: Chuck vs. The Hack-Off

What a Week!

The New Herder, More Lester than Lester

It’s been full of thank-yous and “Job Well Done”s and “This is so sad, but I’m happy at the same time” sentiments, coming not just from the beautiful and famous, but from the beautiful and virtually-famous too. That would be the fans commenting on blogs, boards and twitter. It’s been more than a bit wonderful to see.

But like I’ve been shouting for two weeks now, it’s not over yet. Not for us, the fans. Just in time (for I am suffering extreme Chuck-withdrawal symptoms lately), we have a new episode tonight, Chuck vs. The Hack-off guest staring Danny Puddy as our newest Nerd-herder.


From the official synopsis (which you can see here), it looks like our newest Herder is more Lester than Lester, which should be fun.

But if your looking for adventure, then maybe that’s in the part where Gertrude Verbanski has to save Casey from the desperate situation in which we last left him; in the legal clutches of Clyde Decker (Casey’s been charged with murder, you may remember). Then again, maybe that’s exactly where you’ll find the romance and the finale of that “angry tango” between the two cold-war spies. Of course, Alex and Morgan are still splitsville. Oh no! What’s going to happen with them?

What is this??? The Fun, Adventure and Romance is not centered squarely on Chuck&Sarah this week? Of course it is, as they find themselves hacking their way through a maze of computer code and trapped by nekked cult members. Did Faith say she wanted sexytimes? She got it! I mean, what could be sexier than nudist computer hacking, hum? (Don’t answer that, Ernie!) 😉

So please let us know what your fondest dreams are for tonight’s episode, and then, come back to tell us what you thought of it!

And remember, we’re not even at the half-way mark of the season yet.

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Fan Base, No Spoilers, Season 5, Wild Speculation. Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Specs and Re-acts: Chuck vs. The Hack-Off

  1. Faith says:

    That I did! Though not sure how nudity ties into it ;). Ha.

  2. DaveB says:

    Shark:Jump

  3. sniderman says:

    Last scene of preview for the Xmas episode. Elevator slides open.

    “Miss me?”

    Me = AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

  4. atcDave says:

    Fun episode. I liked that the Buy More plot was fairly small but funny; Lester using tech skills to be the big guy in prison was perfect. Poor Casey, indebted to Lester…

    Chuck’s hacking skills were fun, we’ve seen of hints of this before back in Tom Sawyer, but I liked seeing Chuck use his brains and computer skills to be the hero.
    I loved Sarah trying her counseling skills on Gertrude. I wasn’t so nuts about Sarah’s insecurities at the end, but my bet is this will be resolved by the finale.

    • Most people will completely forget this episode because of the end of the promo.

      I’m looking forward to Lester calling in favors to Casey.

      The timeline is never good on Chuck, but Swordfish came out in 2001, which means it was filmed in 2000, when Chuck was a sophomore.

      The counseling was great. The whole time Gertrude was slamming them as a sweet married couple, you could tell Sarah was thinking, “You don’t get it, I’m happy, and you’re missing out.” Sarah’s insecurities are because she doesn’t have the benefit of reading fanfics in which she splits time between being a mom and her ‘regular’ job. Jobs I remember include working at a more normal security company, PR rep for Chuck’s computer company, teaching self-defense, and coaching softball for UCLA.

    • Gord says:

      I was a little disappointed with tonight’s Buy More plot. I didn’t hate it, but I thought the Buy More bits in the last few episodes were much stronger,

      As for the Piranah, was it just me or did anyone else notice Sarah’s S1 “Chuck’s so cute” look when he was doing his hacking bit.

      Also liked the look of fear and intimidation that the lead hacker had when he found out he was in a hack off against the Piranah.

      As for Sarah and Gertrude, I was having a bit of a flashback to Cubic Z Sarah/Heather conversations when Gertrude and Sarah were discussing the spy life.

    • joe says:

      I thought that little look Sarah gave Chuck was fantastic, Gord. It made my night.

      It becomes more important, though, when she realizes that she’s not ready to leave the spy life yet. It’s about communication? Yes, it is. Sarah hasn’t communicated that to Chuck yet.

      That’s such a rich vein for the relationship-mine, I hope they don’t mess that one up. So far, they’ve given me no indication that they will. Keeping them trapped in the spy life with Decker chasing them would have been the easy way out.

      • Gord says:

        That little bit where Chuck is talking about the tech company and Sarah asks what would she do for the company, had me thinking back to Seduction Impossible and Sarah asking who would she invite to the wedding. I think at that point Chuck must have realized that it was selfish of him to presume that Sarah wanted to leave the spy life.

        They are certainly setting up the big good bye to the spy life at the end of the season, but it almost seems a little too contrived to me.

        I also found the Gertrude / Sarah conversations reminded me a lot of Cubic Z.

    • Aerox says:

      The lead hacker aka Freddie Wong. Such an amazing cameo that almost no one will get, but i did and I loved them for it Picture perfect guest star casting!

  5. SarahSam says:

    I don’t know if Shaw is real or a dream sequence, but I want them to go there. There is so much ambiguity that still exists in that mess. The last fifteen minutes were killer. Gertrude in love with Casey ( Casey has apparently been doing some work ) and offing Decker. Chuck having thoughts of leaving the spy life and Sarah (as some of us discussed on another forum) wonders what she will do. That’s a huge question. What else can she do? She’s exactly like Gertrude in that she’s never been anything in her adult life but a spy and all her life’s perspective is as a con and a spy. Can she totally transform into normal? I love the reveals and the potential direction of future episodes and if they address the “Sam” issue, I’ll be a happier fan.

  6. uplink2 says:

    Well I must say that was a very good episode. Yvette Brown cameo was fantastic and lots of fun stuff but the promo is what is going to be talked about for the next two weeks.

  7. SarahSam says:

    No doubt uplink. The Shaw appearance will certainly bring some activity to the forums and blogs. I like it. They don’t have anything to lose and kudos for their bravery.

  8. Leigh says:

    The best thing about that Christmas promo is watching this entire fandom shit their pants that Shaw is back.

    I trust these writers enough to not screw this up too much. They’re doing great so far. I can’t wait to see what happens.

  9. Gord says:

    I hope you all realized the important lesson in this episode.

    When it comes to conjugal visits – SAFETY FIRST

  10. joe says:

    Hum! I was all set to say that this was just an “okay” episode for Chuck. Then came those last 15 minutes or so. Carrie Ann Moss was fantastic. She blew away Decker? Nope. I didn’t see that coming.

    Sarah’s not ready to leave the spy business. Chuck’s afraid of the business failing. For better or for worse they’re not going anywhere just yet.

    And OMG – I didn’t expect the return of you-know-who just yet. Say what you will about him as a PLI; I think Shaw is a great bad guy. He’s the nemesis we (and Chuck) imagined Bryce to be at the beginning, totally without the redeeming charm.

    “Did you miss me?” indeed. Bryce said that too.

    • Gord says:

      Yes I thought the last 15 minutes definitely elevated the episode from good to great.

      With respect to Shaw, without the governor shouldn’t his mind be swiss cheese by now?

      After all the intersect supression device was not introduced until First Fight and the CIA really didn’t seem to have one until A Team.

      I don’t know where they are going with that Shaw bit, but of all the great guest stars they have had in the past why would they go with Mr Plywood?

      However, the big question I have about the Christmas episode is why isn’t Big Mike in the Santa suit?

      • The Greta’s had governors and were de-intersected. Assuming he survived long enough, the CIA could have done either to him last year.

      • ladycat713 says:

        Wasn’t Shaw’s mind swiss cheesed before he got the Intersect?

        After all he claimed to always have a plan and that a spy shouldn’t need backup yet in he got trapped in a vault and gassed both himself in a short period of time. Then his entire plan to keep info from getting out was to blow up castle (not that it ever made sense about those discs because they were still ther and nothing had been done with them plus didn’t the Ring already have them and know what was on them?)

      • sd says:

        I would agree with the swiss cheese comment however since then we have seen people get and lose the intersect at will—the gretas and of course Morgan come to mind…

    • Using that quote is another sign it could be a dream. Part of me hopes it isn’t. As G’Kar said in Babylon 5, “They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys. And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor.” Time for all of the bad guys to go down, one by one. Jill’s out there, somewhere. Maybe Vincent could go down a fourth time. Chuck and Sarah have to make it safe before they can retire.

      I think Sarah’s was more than ready to leave the spy biz, and then Gertrude asked her what she would do, and Sarah thought, “Oh crap.”

    • uplink2 says:

      Joe my only quibble with that is that IMO Shaw wasn’t a great bad guy He just looked that way because he sucked so badly at everything else. And finally Routh had one role to play and his exceedingly limited skills as an actor could handle that. A multi dimensional character that they tried at first he was completely awful at. But one role that of the baddie he was adequate at and by comparison looked great.

      • joe says:

        Well, reasonable people can differ on that, Uplink. I’ll always point to the visceral reaction he gets as an indication that Routh did his job well enough to be hated! 😉

      • uplink2 says:

        But he was hated long before he became a villain. That visceral reaction is not to 3.5 Shaw but 3.0 Shaw.

      • Interesting idea, uplink. That got me thinking about the Chuck’s villains that were in more than two episodes: Alexi Volkoff, Jill Roberts, Ted Roark, Daniel Shaw, Vincent, Decker, Justin, Vivian Volkoff, and Riley. (I’m ignoring Emmett Milbarge and Harry Tang). I know many hate Shaw enough to disagree with me, but I’d easily put Shaw in the top half of that list, probably third or fourth.

      • Gord says:

        Chucktv.net already has a poll up for fan reaction to the return of Shaw.

        I would have to say in my mind Shaw was an adequate villain, but nothing special. Now if they had the return of Vincent, I would be thrilled.

      • ladycat713 says:

        Vincent would be great to return . Especially if he decided to be on thier side.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I’m with Gord on this. My reaction to seeing Shaw was meh…

        To my mind, he’s already been dealt with and I don’t need more. But if Sarah gets to shoot him this time maybe it will be worth it.
        I think Uplink is right about hating him; it’s the 3.0 Shaw we hate even more than the 3.5 version. And contrary to what Fedak has said; we don’t love to hate him, we just hate him.

      • andyt says:

        I would agree with Joe on the idea that we must disagree. Shaw was meant to be hated from beginning. First as a threat to C&S, then as the ultimate big bad of the season. I would submit that he did a very good job of creating that character. We are meant to love and cheer for Chuck. Someone said earlier, or later, I can’t remember that Shaw is like Bryce without the charm or earlier friendship. That is an apt description. Bringing him back is perfect in a final season to settle all of the old scores and tick off the parts of the conspiracy that has dominated Chuck’s life for maybe ever.

    • Carrie Ann Moss has been brilliant!!! Imagine Volkoff and Verbanski in the same season? Verbanski and Casey [ Trudy & John ] I’d watch that every week….
      Loved the Verbaski + Walker open sharing/girl talk fight scene…. beautiful.
      Morgan had some great lines! …” Lester – a more feminine version of David Beckham’s wife”~ HA Ha Ha!
      Loved the Blurry Bits…. but will there be an unrated released / directors cut of those scenes on the Season 5 DVD?
      I would never have imagined that Verbanski would blow up Decker!!!!
      but at least – Chuck and Sarah still have that Super Virus… this’ll get very intense.

      Oh Canada – sung beautifully in French no less… [moved me to tears ~ just say’n]

      Wonderful episode that really puts just about everyone in motion.
      Loved the pacing…. most of the moves were subtle.

      Trying hard to brain bleach the final moments of the promo outta my head.
      I did not want to see that last night…. it should have remained a surprise!!!
      .
      I do not agree that Shaw is a great villan….. certainly not even in the same league as Volkoff…. but I will agree that no Chuck character has ever been hated more!
      Love him or otherwise – I think anyone that was ever a Chuck fan will wanna find out what happens…. call it morbid curiosity…. But even Shaw can’t be the main Villian – I think Decker was only the first casualty – Shaw has to be next – before we get to the final showdown with whomever is the Puppetmaster.

      • atcDave says:

        You know there’s no “unrated” version to show; they were all wearing body stockings or underwear. The blurring was part of the joke, very funny stuff.

        I do love Gertrude and Casey, I hope we see plenty more of her!

      • Dave… you know I was kidding about the unrated directors cut ~ right?…. well, mostly kidding….
        And – by seeing more of Gertrude – you mean – they will need to return to the nudist camp ~ right? …. because the camp security have already seen Chuck and Sarah – next time the team needs to send in Casey and Trudy… ~ just say’n
        Hey – anyone else rewatch and notice that Sarah glances down to check on Chuck’s —— a couple times????
        They were soooo NOT wearing body socks! ~ seriously this is not an 80’s TV show – c’mon people…. we have nothing to be ashamed of!

      • joe says:

        Oh Gringo… Gringo…
        WAKE UP!!!
        You’re dreaming again! 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Sorry Gringo, I missed the joke! I’ve seen a lot of similar requests all over the Internet and was wondering if people were really expecting that!

  11. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    The idiot wasn’t that great a bad guy. Yes, he was a better bad guy than anything else. But he wasn’t that great because we knew what would happen. Chuck would defeat him …. again. And yet again.

  12. SarahSam says:

    Honestly, to all most of us Shaw’s failings come from the fact that he was a shitty spy, who everyone in the Intelligence community (including Beckman, Sarah, The Ring) seemed to slobber over. He manipulated a vulnerable Sarah and then murdered Orion in front of his children. Those are reasons enough for hate in addition to Routh’s limited range. The hate for me basically comes from his story as Chuck’s nemesis and I’ve always felt it needs to be closed definitely.

    • ladycat713 says:

      Shaw was completely incompetant .It made you wonder if he was falsifying his (and others) mission reports to make himself look like a hero.Like possibly he put that Chuck was the one that got trapped in the vault and gassed himself and Sarah and that he (Shaw) was the one who came up with the brilliant idea to save them.
      Plus there’s the anger over Sarah’s inexplicable behavior around him. Even when he flat out said he was using her (in Final Exam he told her to give Chuck his red test because Chuck would do it for her) she still rewarded him for it.

  13. Verkan_Vall says:

    I haven’t seen any episode since Zoom, but…Shaw is back?

    Dang, that cost me a dinner for 4 at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse. I bet my buddy that there was no way they would bring Shaw back. He thinks that Schwarz and Fedak identified more with Shaw then they did with Chuck in S3, so there was no way that Shaw WOULDN’T come back.

    He called it.

  14. SarahSam says:

    I agree with your friend v v. It explains their being baffled at the original chuckpocalypse reactions. They perceived the Superman as greater than Chuck in Chuck’s show. Just knowing he could be back….that smug recital of the Larkin line. It’s gonna be raw until that episode airs.

  15. lappers84 says:

    I really think he might be back to close the problems with Sarah (As I think it will somehow lead off into the main Sarah centric episode after). Possibly mentioning of the Red Test, which was never really explored. I think 5×07 is filler.

    • atcDave says:

      It does present an opportunity to clarify some things; but my money says we get none of that. He will simply be a preening bad guy until he gets shot/smacked down/arrested.

      It may be satisfying and even a little fun, but I expect nothing that will make what came before feel any better.

    • BigKev67 says:

      Twitter spec from earlier (not mine – but I really like it) – Shaw is a tie in to the next episode. Who ordered Sarah to kill Evelyn Shaw? Presumably her first handler – who shows up in 5.08.
      Enjoyed the ep. Lester has been on the end of the 2 best descriptions of the series. One half of “Sam Kinison and an Indian lesbian” in Ring, and now a shorter, feminine version of Posh Spice! Gold. Absolutely love Carrie Ann Moss as the female Casey and did not see the takedown of Decker coming at all.
      And then the promo! As Faith said on twitter – steel balls from Fedak. Ideally they’ll pay it off in one episode and fold it into a larger story, as per the above spec.
      How about Shaw calls Sarah “Sam” – Sarah responds with “the last name you’re ever gonna hear is Sarah. Bartowski”. And then she puts one in his skull and we can all move on…. 🙂

  16. amyabn says:

    I for one really enjoyed the episode and found myself laughing out loud a lot! Casey and Gertrude, Lester and his mad tech skills, Morgan and Jeff learning friendship lessons, Sarah appreciating her husband’s nerdy side, Morgan giving Sarah advice on how to handle Chuck when he gets in hack mode (I found it sweet, brotherly). I liked the twist and Decker tricking C&S in the first place to get the virus. Didn’t see Gertrude’s pickpocket bomb switch coming but enjoyed it. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have secured the video surveillance footage or wiped it right then and there. I like Chuck’s comments about having to be the best spies they’ve ever been to figure this out, but I like the seeds they’ve sown about their future. I groaned at Shaw. Hope it is a nightmare at best. Yuck.

    • Jason says:

      Amy – I second EVERYTHING you said. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode & really liked the way the episode framed the future struggles to be normal. At this point, each episode that is fun, romantic, action I celebrate, this one qualifies in ‘spades’. We’ll see how the next one and the subsequent 7 shake out vs my criteria. I have a feeling there will be more winners than losers (I still hope I’ll like them all), in spite of Fedak’s obsession with his miserable Season 3 house guest from Hell who won’t leave the show alone.

  17. Jason says:

    I’ll throw a Shaw guess out there. Santa will end with Sarah pointing a gun at a beaten Shaw’s head. If I were ending it, I’d end it with a bullet ringing out. We don’t find out what happened until the next ep, when we see Sarah dropping her gun, and a sniper (Ryker) pulling the trigger, just like Casey did in final exam.

    Be dozens of ways to play it out, Chuck witnessing it all like Mauser, Chuck not witnessing it like his Red Test where he’d have to believe Sarah. Sarah maybe getting framed for Shaw’s murder? Etc, Etc, Etc … honestly, if that is how it goes down in some way shape or form, it will be pretty brilliant.

    • lappers84 says:

      There’s been a lot of worries this season with the plotline (Morgansect) but I think it’s been handled pretty well thus far, and it only seems to be improving I honestly don’t think Shaws return will be that bad.

    • atcDave says:

      That would be a great way to handle it Jason. I am confident they’ll come up with a fun story; bonus points if they can ease any of the bitterness that still remains from S3.

    • dkd says:

      I don’t know how it will end, but I wonder if there is a connection between Shaw’s appearance and the secret Sarah has to confront from her past in the following episode. These episodes have threads that are carrying over into future episodes.

      Maybe Shaw brings something up that sparks the need for Sarah to confront it.

      I’ll lay money on this being Shaw’s last appearance, though. Whether he’s killed or merely put back in jail is the question. Someone seems to have let him out of jail, though, which kind of defeats the purpose of putting him in jail again.

      The series has been taking some dark turns of late–from Casey killing all those assassins to Gertrude blowing up Decker and those other agents. Maybe it will be an ongoing theme.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Shaw will likely be one and done. But I really don’t think the show has been very dark this season, certainly nothing like the Mauser killing. Casey and the assassins was pretty clear self defense; and Decker’s death was actually quite comical, and not the doing of any of the leads. Then the NBC spot with the big red X; I think they’re going to play up knocking off the baddies the next couple weeks (probably what’s-her-name in Curse then Shaw in Santa Suit) with some more big red Xs and the general over-the-top style.

      • Jason says:

        They (the writers) seem to be having fun with it all, the big red X, then showing both the lady torturer and then Shaw. For my taste, that is what seasons 1 & 2 did, when the went dark, they mocked themselves …. with the exception of the Mauser moment which was straight out of Jack Bauer’s playbook, which I did not care for at all, and seemed 1000% out of place.

        Did anyone else interpret Casey making / begging / asking Verbanski to go along with Chuck and Sarah Casey’s realization that Sarah Walker is no longer ‘that kind of agent’, the kind b4 Chuck?

      • lappers84 says:

        I don’t think Sarah’s afraid to take people out if she thinks it’s necessary. I mean she does still carry her trusty Smith & Wesson around with her. I’m more inclined to think that Casey was simply concerned for his team-mates/friends. That bit did make me laugh though, who knew John Casey could pull off a puppy dog look 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I actually liked the Mauser shooting, I thought it added weight and consequence to the story and characters. They had occasionally used serious drama even before that, so I didn’t see it as that radical a shift. I never liked Chuck’s over-reaction to the moment, although I do accept that the lie was actually more serious than the shooting itself. But S3 was a radical change and was darker from beginning to end than what came before. Even S3.5, which is basically “‘shipper friendly”, was still almost as dark as the main arc before it (lying and mental illness as themes). Obviously there were a few exceptions, and Honeymooners still may be my single favorite episode ever; but I think S3 was a bit of an experiment with changing the tone of the show, and I believe that experiment was considered a failure. S4 and 5 feel far more like the show I fell in love with in S1 and 2 than most of S3 ever did.

        But I agree entirely with the thought Sarah has changed, a lot. And I don’t believe this “new and improved” Sarah Walker woul;d do anything quite like that again.

      • atcDave says:

        Lappers I don’t think Sarah would have any problem using deadly force when the situation calls for it (the legal standard for the use of deadly force is “when you believe your life or the life of another is in [imminent] jeopardy”). But I believe she would deal with something like the Mauser situation differently than she did at that time. Obviously, she’s not the one who just offed Decker, its not really her style anymore.

      • Jason says:

        Verbanski called CS ‘Ward and June Cleaver’ when talking to Casey might have been one of the best lines in the series (I loved Leave it to Beaver growing up), then immediately said to CS in the castle ‘you are going to get yourselves killed without Casey’. I think the story is selling the notion Sarah is no longer Jane Bond, she may not be June Cleaver either, but I am pretty sure that is the arc we are on with Sarah, finding out who she really is. Let’s face it, Verbanski’s killing Decker saved the day, and Casey was smart enough to realize CS needed to replace his willingness to do whatever it takes.

      • atcDave says:

        I liked that line too; I also like the idea Sarah is not as ruthless as she used to be. But I think its still a big mistake for any baddie to underestimate her; in the comune she took out two armed guards and a kung-fu babe in just a couple minutes (and in Business Trip she Fitzroyed three different opponents). So if June Cleaver had a couple of black belts…

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @atcDave, Jason:

        I haven’t been able to see any show this season except for 5.1, but I think (and hope) you guys are right. It won’t get as dark as S3 for the simple reason that they won’t split up the series leads. Since the end of S2, the relationship between Chuck & Sarah has been part of the foundation of the show, and as long as that’s solid, they can build a great deal on top of it.

        You’ve mentioned this before, Dave. When I think of what S3 could have been like if they had kept C&S together instead of substituting that immature WT/WT slop, it’s obvious what a missed opportunity most of that season was. Pink Slip jackhammered part of the show’s bedrock into rubble, and that doomed most of the season.

        As far as the return of Shaw, I agree with Jason: Arrogance. I’m optimistic with what I hear of the show so far; I just hope that what TPTB come up with doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth.

      • atcDave says:

        This season has been a lot of fun VV, and quite satisfying for us ‘shippers. There is the possibility that the return of Shaw will be a very good thing and lay to rest some of the issues from S3. But even if its nothing that grand, I’m completely confident Chuck and Sarah will be fine. There is zero chance Sarah will “prefer” anything about Shaw, we’ve seen a very happily married woman this season, and Yvonne continued to describe her as happy with marriage all the way through the filming of the season so I really don’t expect anything too upsetting. The worst “angst” this season sounds like it may be Sarah uncertain if she can share certain past mistakes with Chuck; and I’m quite sure she’ll discover Chuck can be trusted with anything.
        And this strikes me a reasonable “newlywed” story to tell. I mean, learning to fully trust someone can take some time, and I think its reasonable to say it often doesn’t come until well into a marriage. Especially if you’re dealing with things you found painful or embarrassing in your past.
        It’s always possible they’ll screw up some part of this story, but I really like everything we’ve seen so far this season. So my confidence is pretty high.

      • joe says:

        Dave, I really like the description you used up-thread, about them “adding weight and consequence” to the characters. That’s the phrase I’ve been hunting for for months.

        This episode was pretty light, even silly until the end (Chuck and Sarah in a nudist colony? Com’mon!). I don’t take to “silly” very well.

        But that’s the thing about this show. It’s routinely, even as a matter of course, gone from the depths of “silly” to the heights of drama incredibly quickly; Casey and Sarah running in slo-mo up Castle stairs to save Chuck from the Fulcrum agent they just discovered in his bed. Literally. That’s drama, and it’s very effective.

        This episode was like that. I won’t have a chance to see it again for another day or two, but I bet I’ll find some clever dialog that was missed, especially in Gertrude’s mouth. I’m certain that I’ll find the ending (especially Decker’s death) has even more consequence than is evident right now.

      • lappers84 says:

        I’d love it if Shaw shared the same fate as Decker.

        “Hey Shaw, Merry Christmas” KABOOM!!!!!

        lmao

      • atcDave says:

        Joe you know I like the light and silly a lot. But a little bit of drama is what makes it matter, its what makes the comedy that much more appreciated. So this episode was a total win for me, very much what I fell in love with this show for; errrr, just like the rest of this season which has done nearly everything right so far!

        Yeah Lappers I’d love to see Shaw get the Decker treatment! Of course I’d like to see Sarah really clean the floor with him first…

      • lappers84 says:

        I’m sure Sarah will be allowed to get a few kicks in the crotch before he says bye bye.

      • All of these comments about what TBTB were thinking got my imagination flowing. I apologize to the real people.

        Fedak: Brandon, how it been going?
        Routh: I been keeping busy, filming some short–
        Fedak: We’re writing the script for our Christmas episode, and I was wondering if you if you could come back to play our favorite villain.
        Routh: Really? I guess so. I haven’t been that busy. But I thought that James Bond guy was your favorite villain.
        Fedak: We can’t use Mr. Dalton. Everyone liked him so much, we made him a good guy. We need someone the fans hate. Like you, Brandon. We got the perfect part for you.
        Routh: Ok, tell me when a where.
        ——–
        [After Routh gets the script]
        Routh: I’ve been reading the script, and I have some questions.
        Fedak: What is it, Brandon? We’re kind of busy working on the epic Sarah episode. It’s going to be fantastic. It’ll make everyone forget about the lame Christmas episode we wrote.
        Routh: Well I have a quick question about that lame Christmas episode. … Chris, are you still there?
        Fedak: Oh, sorry, I was distracted. Go ahead.
        Routh: So I’m just supposed to say that one line, and then–
        Fedak: Yes, then Sarah kicks you in the nuts repeatedly. Don’t worry. I’m sure we can get it done in two or three takes.
        Routh: Two or three takes! Each take has three kicks and a stomp. You know Yvonne is really bad at pulling her punches and kicks.
        Fedak: I think that is just a problem with you. I did tell you we needed someone the fans really hate. Look. I gotta go. We’ve had more budget cuts, so remember to bring your own ice packs. We’re thinking about adding a scene where Casey and Morgan throw your corpse off a pier, so bring a change of clothes, too.

      • atcDave says:

        ROTFL!

        I especially like Yvonne not really pulling her punches…

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Why do I think that the only person who can permanently take down Sh** is Norm Abram?

      • atcDave says:

        Oooo yeah, I think he has special dado cutter just for the job….

        (oh please nobody ask me what that means!)

      • joe says:

        Jeff, you have quite an imagination there. 😉

        Dave. I’ll byte. (yeah yeah add the “sic”) I know what a dado cutter is. Takes me back to junior high school. But you must tell the rest of the class! 😉

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Dado cutter???
        (a special circular saw blade used for cutting grooves in WOOD)

        OK, Dave, what kind of Dado is it? Stacked or Wobble?

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Sorry, there should have been a (groan) after the line ending in wood. Used the wrong kind of bracket.

  18. Lola says:

    Oh, I just saw the new episode. I think this is probably one of the best – if not THE best- episodes of the series so far!

    Ok, I’m going to read all the posts from the top now. Talk to you guys in a few minutes.

    • joe says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Lola. Please feel free to tell us why you enjoyed it so much!

      • Lola says:

        Thanks Joe! You guys always make me feel welcome to write on the blog 🙂

        Why I liked it so much? ok here it goes …
        1) I really enjoyed the change in pace, the edditing rythm was a little different this time, and I liked it.
        2) That is to say, also, there were no uncomfortable dumm moments with buymoreans that more and more during the last seasons were begining to resemble a product placement space with no more indepth storylines. (In spanish we call it PNT publicidad no tradicional). But during the last couple of eps and specially this one, the Buymore was used in a plausible B storyline. – I’m not refering to business trip since that was the baseline of the plot –

        3) Casey Has a Girlfriend!! 🙂 ok, granted, his PLI’s are always leaving (he could be part of the sex and the city club! jajaa – do you think Casey would survive one of their breakfast’s? (LOL). Anyway… I thought they were really cute together.

        4) I liked that we got to see something diffrerent about Chuck’s past. As someone else said above, we were shown a little bit of what Chuck could do in past seasons, but its great to see more!

        5) A bottle of chardone pls! I prefer red wine (Syrah or Malbec, almost never Cabernet), buuut, it was a funny detail. I always enjoy those details. You would think white wine is less strong, but whom ever got drunk on white wine can tell you… it’s not a fun hangover!

        6) It was funny. A real fun and funny episode :).

        One, thing though, I think this is the first epsiode ever where no one talked about the intersect or it was mention at all? Pls let me know if I’m wrong, since english is not my mother language I usually loose something on the dialogues. jeje.

        Anyway, that’s all folks! I’ll go back to reading the rest of the post.
        Tata!

      • Lola says:

        Uh, sorry forgot a few things:

        7) No more Decker, loved the way Gertrude blown up the bad guy 🙂 – Just like Casey would’ve!

        8) The Christmas ep promo left me saying : oh my go, oh my god, oh my god!!

      • joe says:

        That’s a great list, Lola.

        I noticed that about The Intersect as well – nobody’s mentioned it! And you know, I sort of forgot about it too as I watched Friday night. It wasn’t until Saturday evening that I realized the show was missing a major cast member! 😉

        Now, if you ask me, I can’t tell you if The Intersect is gone for good or not. I just cant’ tell, yet. My suspicion is that TPTB want it that way.

  19. ~ Gotta give credit – where credit is due….. this was probably the best Lester episode in ages!
    its not often – or almost never – that we see Lester and Casey. Loved the twist in prison.
    ~ Not sure how much longer I’ll be diggin’ the new and improved Jeff Barnes…. not since Jim Ignatowski have we seen a regular character pull off the slightly high/stoned + very creepy role so convincingly…. I hope they are going somewhere with this.
    ~ Read on another news/blog review site: Sarah really hasn’t had much to do yet…. in a way I agree – but its almost refreshing to hear her talk – and be funny – and basically open up and relax with the other characters…. by not having much to do [ task driven] ~ she’s becoming much more people driven [ relational] – and I think I like what happening there. The conversation between Sarah and Gertrude… then the conversation between Sarah and Chuck [ that’s 2 more conversations for Sarah than pervious seasons] – starts to hint that Sarah is at another pivotal point in her life…. funny that Yvonne tweeted the same thing: “So, what happens next?”

  20. Judy says:

    In past seasons I’ve often found Jeff and Lester tiresome. But I think they’ve really come up an enjoyable formula for the characters Season 5. I especially like super perceptive Jeff. I hope his character doesn’t revert as in Flowers for Algernon.

  21. Jason says:

    I’ve been surprised by the overall lack of interest on the web, both in the episode, which I thought was the best of the season, as well as for the Shaw spoiler, maybe a 100 posts on a couple of sites but that is nothing, and is more or less the same folks as usually post anyhow. I monitor one site which has all the tv shows each with a separate thread, has only had 4 or 5 posts since Chuck vs Hack off aired, which is low.

    I am beginning to think the show is going to try to get dramatic again. I would not be surprised if after the next episode we get mostly dramatic Chuck the rest of the way. So far, I have liked 29 straight eps, more or less as well as Role Models and Honeymooners and a few eps in s1/s2 (but not many), which is more than I ever thought Fedak capable of cranking out.

    I’m hoping for 8 more great ones, but I am becoming more and more skeptical, this season is starting to ‘feel’ more like s3 (less the PLI’s) than s1 or 2 or 4. My theory is, Fedak never really wanted to write a silly romantic comedy, and this season he is going to do what he has wanted all along (I’ve been saying since this summer, s5 will show us what Fedak values in Chuck). I hope he gets it right, so far, so good, although most of what I know about the future eps I don’t like, hope I am wrong.

    • Aerox says:

      Sounds pretty logical to me. Fedak’s vision was a spy thriller, Schwartz’s vision was a romcom esque program. Put them together and that’s pretty much Chuck. Now that Fedak’s been given almost free reign (completely free reign?) it’s up to him.

      But for this episode, I wasn’t overly lyrical about it. I absolutely loved bits of it, the pacing felt good but it didn’t stick with me the way that Bearded Bandit or Business Trip did for me. I don’t know how much this vision is shared with other people, but that might partly be the reason. Of course, you have to remember that the viewer count is absolutely shocking at this point in time so not a whole lot of people know about it.

      But I guess I am still one of the people who’s genuinely excited to see what they do with the rest of the storyline. I always liked Shaw as a villain (inb4 OBVIOUSLY BRAINWASHED KEEP SAYING TO YOURSELF, no. I actually like him.) so it’ll be fun to see him return. I just hope that they found a VIABLE reason for him to return, not because they just wanted him there. Or because they had to keep the two leads away from each other for another season (which is a moot point now).

    • atcDave says:

      I think Shaw isn’t really very interesting or exciting to most viewers. The uproar in S3 had more to do with the implausible manipulations of wt/wt than anything else; and if you take that out of the equation Shaw is just one of the more uninspiring characters of an otherwise rich mythology. Shaw is not going to threaten Chuck and Sarah again beyond the obvious life and death angle. Vincent or La Ciudad would be more interesting returning baddies. Shaw is just sort of a big yawn at this point.

    • ArmySFC says:

      Jason, here’s my take on the number of posts going down. i think it comes down to Dave’s favorite saying, i like where the show is at. there are just so many ways you can say you like something before it gets boring and repetitive. what i mean by that is if someone already said a scene was funny what else can you add? the most you can do is agree or repeat it. when people are not happy with a product they are more likely to complain than folks are to praise it. that gets both sides involved listing pros and cons, thus more posts. while the blogs may be a happier place to go now for fans that like what the show is now they are a lot less active.

      • atcDave says:

        Well put army. I’d add that with the show ending (and production being over) it takes the idea of influencing the direction off the table entirely. I think a lot of our commentary over the years has had to do with making the show better; not much point in that now!

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      Jason,

      You’re right, the show is getting more dramatic. I think you need to expect more of it also. which to me is fine as long as they resolve it. For the past few seasons the show has tried to go more dramatic in the mid-season. Other than 4.09, most have been forgettable due to lack of resolution.

  22. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    hat’s because the promo far overshadowed the episode and again this season we have no idea where the story is headed, leaving fan weary in trying to figure out whats and whys.

    Thread hijacking about to occur.

    The thing about bringing Sh** back (other than the obvious “Love letter to the Fans” value – yes that was sarcasm) just to kill him, is that it is insufficient. Chuck already did this in a very satisfying was on the bridge.

    If the reason to bring him back is to answer / resolve some questions that are within Thinkling’s black box, don’t bother, it can’t be explained or resolved and will likely do more harm than good.

    My biggest fear is that by bringing Sh** back, they write Sarah like an idiot. Since it’s the only he was ever able to exist on the show.

    So far, ep 5.07 has an uphill battle with the fans, something I fear / expect will carry into 5.08.

    TPTB have a truly bizarre way of saying Merry Christmas.

    • ArmySFC says:

      SLS…i hope you don’t take this the wrong way. the love letter to the fans has been going on just fine if you actually break it down for all fans and not just one segmant. i’ll explain, so far they have focused on morgan, gave casey more meaty things to do and a love interest, done a small arc with jeff and lester, the next episodes seem to focus on chucks computer skills, there is an arc coming up focusing on sarah. i read where ellie and devon face a career opportunity later in the season. they seem to be giving all the characters their time to shine as it were, thus giving all fans something. don’t forget there are some fans that liked the misery arc, this may be their bone this season.

      this is again just my take, love letter to the fans applies to all fans not just one part of the fan base.

  23. My two biggest fears after the past few epsiodes and the previews from last week:

    1. “Sh**’s Redeption” – His biggest bug-a-boo is Sarah killed his wife upon command of the CIA. What if his storyline is that he finds out that The Puppetmasters were the ones behind it? He makes an apology to Sarah and Chuck for being manipulated and for his hand in Orion’s death, wishes them well, then sacrifices himself in one last heroic move against The Puppetmasters. If they go this route, I will officially wash my hands of the show.
    2. “The Dallas/Roseanne Out” – As we’ve seen, The Intersect can rewrite the brain. We’ve also seen “new memories” inserted ala “Third Phase.” As the episodes get darker (Sh**’s return, Dekker’s blown up, the upcoming torture ep), but knowing they have to wrap up the series with no one in danger or being pursued and happily ever after in less than 8 episodes, what if they retcon by saying Chuck’s brain has been formulating the last few seasons as part of the Intersect’s malfuntioning? Picture this: The Buy More is blown up, Casey lies dying, Sarah, Morgan, the Awesomes in protective custody, Chuck faces down The Puppetmasters who have been manipulating everything. Chuck is shot, spins in slow motion, falls to the floor…

    And he gets up from his bedroom floor on his birthday 5 years ago. His computer flashing “download complete”. The entire series was an Intersect-inserted simulation of what life would be life with it. Or something equally as lame. In other words, there’s a LOT of wrapping up that needs to happen in 8 episodes and I doubt there’s a clean plan. Easiest route would be to go the dream sequence.

    • atcDave says:

      Hmmm, I think I’d be okay with your first thought if it was played right; I love a good redemption story. (but my bet is they don’t go there).

      There’s no way they do the dream thing. It’s too synonymous with really bad story-telling. There’s been so much growth and important goings on for all the main characters I don’t believe they would want to undo any of it.

      • Bad story-telling, yes, but shows keep doing it. Voyager had at least a dozen shows that never happened due to time travel or alternate realities. X-Files had the ambiguous “Triangle” episode. Bones had the episode in which Booth was in a coma. Castle is planning a 40’s episode, although we don’t know the context yet (flashback with same actors, dream, or a Castle story).

      • atcDave says:

        Single episode yes. multiple seasons? No way. Dallas did it, its still considered one of the worst story telling mistakes in history. I’m positive they won’t do that.

    • gameagainsniderman, I would not like either of those. However the first one can work under the right circumstances. (This show is not the right circumstance.) See ninjaVanish’s excellent alternate-S3 epic: Chuck and Sarah Vs Themselves (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5899659/1/) for an example.

      A heroic end can sometimes change the perception of a bad guy. In Castle, the well-liked Captain Montgomery was revealed to be a kidnapper and murder, who spent years covering up his bad acts so Beckett wouldn’t catch him or the others behind her mother’s murder. But since he was supposedly protecting her (to save his own skin), she forgave him (so he might reveal those responsible for killing her mother), and he died heroically (in an unrealistic shootout), he is still revered in Castle fandom. No one seems to care that an innocent man is still in jail because the detectives at the 12th covered up Montgomery’s responsibility.

      Of course Montgomery was liked to begin with, while Shaw was hated. Montgomery, Farscape’s Crais, Bab5’s Londo, LotR’s Boromir, and Darth Vader show that sometimes it’s more about how you die.

      Shaw still doesn’t have a chance.

      • atcDave says:

        NinjaVanish’s story is an excellent example of how to make it work. But I don’t see them doing any such thing here. I bet they’re eager to move the story along and are just going for a little shock value in the single episode; Shaw will meet a gruesome end (or maybe just get arrested again!) and one with the next story…

      • dkd says:

        Even though Shaw may only be on for one episode, I don’t think it will be “on with the next story”. I think his re-appearance will offer up some information about the mystery of why someone is doing all this to Chuck OR it will provide some turn of events that will carry over into the next episode.

        It’s like what Fedak said about Rebecca Romjin’s character. She may only appear in one episode, but her appearance has consequences to the story going forward. I think it will be the same with Shaw. I don’t think he’s back just to go Moohaha, get killed or arrested again, and just be gone.

        There’s more to it. Who let him out of jail and why? What’s his objective?

      • atcDave says:

        Yes DKD, we all get that. This is the serialized part of the show where everything will matter until the end. But Shaw will not be in for an extended story of his own.

  24. herder says:

    I’m with those who think that this was only an ok episode until the last 15 minutes. But in that ok story it had some really good bits, first the fond look of Sarah when Chuck was hacking. Zack Levi really gets the show and it shows in the details he includes in the episodes that he directs, he knows that there is something in Chuck that Sarah adores, that is a big part of their relationship and it is a constant. When he did the Beard, he had the little bit at the end when Chuck was going to play video games with Morgan, Sarah gave a similar smile. Through out the misery arc, this was one of the only signs that that constant was unbroken. I don’t know if those bits are written or, as I suspect added by Zack as director.

    I also really liked Gertrude as a female version of Casey, I especially liked the growl as Sarah was talking to her about her feelings for Casey. Throughout Gertrude delivered Casey lines like “not that there is anything to see”.

    I’m a bit down on the sudden demise of Decker, he was a good antagonist, I’d really rather see him in trouble for his machinations like Shaw at the end of Ring Part II before being killed off.

    Nice stunt casting, as to the return of Shaw I’ve been expecting it since Decker brought him up at the end of last season. Really I’m not bothered by his return, after all it’s not like he’s going to sweep Sarah off her feet or anything like that. I expect that he will be the vehicule for bringing up Sarah’s secret from her past as he has read her file. I would expect something like “you say that the two of you are happy, but how will your husband react to the fact that you have …. it doesn’t bother me as I’m a spy but really deep down he isn’t and this will change the way he feels about you. I’ve told the people that I work for about it and they have kindly made sure that he will find out and then he’ll drop you in an instant.”

    So is Casey’s happily ever after he and Gertude take over the espionage operations of Carmicheal Industries and Ward and June run the tech part of the organization?

  25. I can’t believe I got over 60% through these posts and haven’t seen anyone with this theory…

    Shaw… he isn’t going to be bad next episode. He is going to be the key to Chuck getting the intersect back. Think about it.. that is the only way that he doesn’t get killed on sight. I don’t think he is going to be a “good guy” but I think we’re definitely going to see Shaw and Chuck have a mutual enemy.. (perhaps the guy who ultimately ordered his wife dead is also the one pulling the master strings?) Because if Decker is to be believed… Shaw’s life was messed up as well in this whole thing. They both have a score to settle with this puppet master.

    Shaw has the intersect… and thus may have the ability to re-upload it into Chuck. Chuck NEEDS the intersect back… not the character… but the show. I think the writers have proved their point that Chuck (the character) doesn’t need the intersect to be effective… Ok fine.. we get it… now give us back the Chuck we want.

    • Aerox says:

      Honestly, I think that Chuck and Sarah would have some trouble working alongside Shaw, what with the whole killing of the father / father in law. Oh, and the attempted murder of Sarah. And the planned coup to get the Ring in power.

      Too many things happened for them to even contemplate working together, which is why I think no one has offered the suggestion.

      • The trouble working with him is the whole source of drama for the episode. No matter who else you throw up there… whether anyone likes Shaw or not as a character or an actor or whatever… there is nobody who could fill the arch nemesis role better. He killed his father, he tried to kill his wife… etc etc etc… Chuck basis most of its lore on popular super-hero style story arcs… and what better comic book story arcs are there than the ones where the good guys and the bad guys have to team up against an even more powerful common foe? That ability would be what makes Chuck, Sarah and Casey the true heroes… able to set aside their own issues for the greater good.

        In a story with a true hero… this isn’t even remotely far fetched. Not saying they will be friends afterward…. in fact… I’d expect some sort of last minute betrayal once the common threat is neutralized… or at the very least… Shaw willingly behind bars if they decide they want to try and work in a redemption angle.

        Definitely not a for sure plot line… but definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Just sayin. 🙂

    • atcDave says:

      I think the most likely scenario is that whoever was behind Decker will release Shaw to continue messing with Chuck. He probably won’t get very far (I don’t envision more than a single episode with Shaw) but likely will provide key information to continue the story; in particular he may provide the information that ties into Sarah’s back-story and triggers the following episode.

      As far as the Intersect goes… I was never a fan of the 2.0 anyhow and would be perfectly happy if we never saw it again. I like having Chuck just be smart without the Kung-Fu cheat. Let Sarah and Casey do the butt-kicking.
      But if I had to bet; I think the most likely story is Ellie and Chuck figuring out how to install/uninstall the thing. So Chuck gets it back for the climax of the conspiracy arc, and then is able to dump it again when he and Sarah leave the spy life in the finale.

      • Chuck is a super hero story… many super hero stories feature segments where the hero looses his/her powers for some length of time… then they get them back. Chuck has done this on a few occasions even. Few people want to see Clark Kent kick ass and bring people to justice.. they want to see Superman do that in a spectacular style.

        IMO… season 5 has been pretty lackluster with the occasional good moments… and that is because they broke away from the formula. Last season was slowly breaking away so it had some moments which were tough to watch… but until then… it was a spectacular ride.

      • Oh.. and if they really wait until the last couple of episodes to give him back the intersect… while I will still buy season 5 just to complete the collection… it will be the only set of discs allowed to collect dust.

      • atcDave says:

        Plenty of us love S5 so far. I’m sorry to hear about your lack of enthusiasm, but I’m enjoying every moment of it. S3 will always be the dust collector on my shelf; Honeymooners was the only episode of that whole season I can enjoy without reservation.
        I do get the superhero connection, but Chuck only had the super-duper version of the Intersect for two seasons anyway. I see it merely as a mechanism for bringing him in to the spy life, not as an end by itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly care if the gimmick makes a return or not. But I will always see it as exactly that; and with the show ending I like the idea of Chuck and Sarah getting some sort of “normal” away from the day to day life and death stuff. If instead, he gets his powers back and is the super hero again I’m fine with that too.
        But so far this my favorite season. I love Chuck having to be smart and not having the crutch. I love Sarah and Casey as his butt kicking side-kicks. To me, this is exactly what I always wanted to see.

      • Regardless of whether of not Chuck temporarily gets the Intersect back, I’m starting to think he won’t have it at the end of the series. However, buried in a box of random stuff that is being moved into a house with a red door, there will be a pair of sunglasses, ready to be discovered someday.

      • dkd says:

        They’ve shown Chuck in several fighting situations where he was a pretty decent fighter without the Intersect. Personally, I thought they leaned on the Kung Fu a little bit too much and underused some of the other cool things Chuck could do with it. I always thought the language skill part was neat, but they hardly ever worked that into the story.

        It’s also been established that Chuck is a good shot without the Intersect.

        If Chuck needs the Intersect back it will have to be because he or the team are in a really super-dangerous situation because the more episodes we’ve seen without it, the more it appears he really doesn’t need it to be a hero.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree exactly with all of that DKD!

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I sooo hope not.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      The last time Sh** was in an episode 7 the story being told went sideways due to the total suspension of belief required. No one bought it.

      This overall conspiracy theory they’re weaving is already precarious. Trying to tie Sh** into it will be a stretch.

      Listen, I know I’m the negative nancy (I don’t necessarily want to be) WRT the idiot coming back, which I knew would likely happen. How couldn’t it. But I also see it for what it is. An attempt to rile up the fans one last time whether the character works or not. It won’t.

      BTW, I’m also of the firm opinion we were never supposed to know about his return until the door opens in the episode. Although I’m not thrilled about him returning, and I think the PR is only about 50% positive. The promo people have shown again that they know how to ruin an episode before its aired.

  26. Aerox says:

    Oh God, I can’t keep it to myself anymore. Here’s what’s going to be the most unpopular opinion of all times.

    I did NOT like Honeymooners.

    I said it.

    • atcDave says:

      Certainly puts you in a minority. All of our polls show it as the first or second most popular episode of the series.

      • Aerox says:

        I know I’m in the minority of this one. But every time I watch it, I can’t get past 8 or 9 minutes in before I get incredibly bored and switch to a different episode.

  27. Chris says:

    I know I am in the minority and will undoubtedly get reemed for this but I liked Shaw and I had no problem with Chuck Vs Mask, Shaw and Sarah the whole Sam revealor Chuck and Hannah. Sarah usually gets all the blame and alot hate Shaw, but all that happened needed to happen to end where they did. I love that Shaw is back and should be good.

    Anyway, another minority view for ya…this has been bugging me for awhile because I love Sarah the character. I love Chuck, but it has not been the same for awhile.They have tried sooo hard to , what the show runners say make Sarah into a real girl and Casey into a person, but I say NOOO!!
    Sarah and Casey have become too emotional. The old Sarah would now kick her own ass! Last weeks episode of her wanting a “real friend” was soo out of character and desparate, that I did not even recognize her.Casey has been more emotional but not nearly as out of character as Sarah. If Chuck loved Sarah soo much before WHY is he always trying to change her?Why is she letting him and if he did loved the old Sarah, why oh why is he not satisfied letting her be HER and not the married doll she is becoming. The old team was better too.To make Chuck look like the leader and the master mind, they have severly dumbed down Sarah and Casey.Casey has been a spy for 20-30 years and Sarah at least 5 or more, why is it Chuck has to always be the one to come up with solutions or plans? I am sure Casey has seen and done it all and has much more experience ( Sarah Too) and they can not figure anything out without Chuck??? Let Casey and Sarah BE Casey and Sarah and please do not say they are, because they are not.Always trying to change them, but apparently not Chuck , he perfect. :Sarcasm:

    Awaiting firestrom for differing opinion…lol

    • joe says:

      Let me encourage you in your minority-hood, Chris. (Yeah yeah, I love coining new words!)

      I like what you say, but at the same time, I’m going to disagree more than a little, mostly about Sarah.

      She’s changed. True. And I think that’s a good thing. We loved her so much (as a character) from the beginning that it’s hard to let that go, but Casey spoke the truth when he called her “Graham’s Wildcard Enforcer”. It wasn’t a compliment. She started changing from the first, the moment she told Chuck not to freak out. So we never saw the worst of it. Chuck never asked her to change, did he? What I recall most was him asking to give him (and “normal life”) a chance. The fact that she did change was a bonus, because it was a change towards him, towards “normal”. It’s not that the new Sarah wouldn’t kick the old Sarah’s ass; it’s that now she’d need a reason to do that (and given a reason, would proceed to do so, I think).

      For me, those kinds of changes (especially the changes in Chuck!) have kept the characters fresh. And yes, I’m one of those who gets a little bored with shows whose characters remain the same from start to finish (well, at least, ever since Andy Griffin went off the air… 😉 ) NCIS had a change in cast, replacing Sasha Alexander and Lauren Holly and remained watchable. Bones never changed that much (except for minor characters). Some prefer stability. I get that. But I like growing characters, if only because it seems more interesting.

      Except for Casey. You’re right. He should always stay the same. And Beckman. 😉

      • ArmySFC says:

        Joe good points. here’s the difference in the shows. sarah’s change was real quick. as of the middle of season 2 vs santa, she kills an unarmed man at point blank range. she changed a whole lot in just one and a half seasons or so. i consider the ep other guy where she almost finished that change.

        bones characters have changed a lot, just watch an ep from s1 to this season. the change has been slower because the show was not in any real danger of getting axed. also consider f/s said they had the show planned for a 5 year run when they shopped it. when change happens slow you tend not to notice, but chucks characters changed quickly. the same is happening on castle as well, changes are coming slowly.

        chuck by its nature is a character driven show. as the characters change they change the show to fit. other shows like you mentioned the plot causes the characters to change. i like the latter where as some like the former.

      • Chris says:

        I understand your point of view, but I do not really agree, to each his own.The other three friends that used to watch with me have abandoned the show for some of these reasons, not all, they each have thier own reasons, but all agree that they do not like the new Sarah , to a lesser extent Casey and the show has lost what attracted them in the first place. The nerd factor is largely gone, the Buy More hasn’t been funny since Emmitt Milbarge got killed, I do hate the new Sarah- I liked her cautious, smart, capable and calculating spy, unlike the sappy, overtly emotional, unsure of herself and apparently regression of her as a spy. I am very glad Casey has a storyline and they have changed him a little, but he is not turned into an emotional idiot, unlike Sarah. JMHO

      • atcDave says:

        Of course I like the changes like Joe. But I think Army did hit on a big part of the reason why the changes seem fast and dramatic sometimes. It’s precisely because the show is about those characters and their growth. Those other examples, even including Castle which seems to have huge crossover appeal, are far more episodic in nature. So since the show is never ABOUT the characters and their growth it comes more gradually. Prior to Chuck I always preferred that.
        But to me Chuck has got it perfectly right. While Chuck and Sarah were both characters I liked and respected from the very start, its been hugely satisfying to me to see them grow together and take on much of each others admirable traits. Chuck has added Sarah’s decisiveness, confidence, and strength; while Sarah has gained some of Chuck’s sensitivity, people centered world view and value system. All while retaining the best parts of what made them wonderful characters.
        Chuck has been using those computer skills we used to hear about (and looks like he will continue to do so for at least one more episode!), and Sarah has remained the tough one (knocking out three baddies with one-shot each in Business Trip, and taking out three in one fight in Hack-off!). I particularly like both her and Chuck’s casual acceptance of Sarah as the tough one; in Business Trip she advises Chuck to let her take care of the killer once identified; and in Hack-off, when they had to split up, she commanded Chuck to run down the fleeing nerd while she took care of the guards.

        All this means to me, Chuck has never grown stale. While I still love Burn Notice and NCIS (and others…); Chuck remains exciting and satisfying while most other shows start to feel a little predictable and formulaic after three or four seasons. Like most shows that follow a more serialized structure, Chuck has shed viewers at a faster rate than the more episodic shows do. I suppose its unavoidable that every change made will disappoint a few viewers. No doubt if they’d continued the path they started in S3 I’d be long gone by now. But instead, with only that one exception, I’ve loved the constant development and re-invention we’ve seen.

      • dkd says:

        Chris,

        You may be a minority on this site, but there are others in fandom like myself who didn’t like the writing of Sarah in “Business Trip”. But, it wasn’t just because it was out of character, but it was poorly written. The dialogue was pathetic. Even if Sarah HAS changed–and I think it’s been an evolution–the whole “I need a friend” stuff was over the top and was just a plot device to connect her to the woman who turned out to be the Viper.

        I didn’t find it convincing at all.

        I don’t mind her changing, but make the execution of those changes more convincing, believable, and write decent dialogue, for chrissake.

  28. Gord says:

    I was looking at the official synopsis of the Xmas episode and it states that Chuck and Sarah find out who wants to take down Carmichael industries.

    Maybe Shaw is the messenger that tells them who is behind the conspiracy. After all the conspiracy group messed him up pretty badly too. Perhaps it is an act of atonement on his part.

    • It’s more likely taunting than atonement. The ‘mu ha ha’ man has to hit the cliches before they X him out and put him in the wood chipper.

      My guess is that Graham did not directly order her to kill Eve. It was probably Kieran Ryker, her handler, who told her that Graham issued the order–leading directly to the next episode.

    • dkd says:

      It will be interesting to see WHY Shaw is back and what he wants.

      Another possibility is that the people behind the conspiracy let him out to do a mission. This virus seems to be a running plot that goes over at least three episodes. First Decker wanted it, but he’s dead. The next agent coming after it is Agent Cunnings in the next episode, but she probably will fail as well.

      Maybe Shaw, with his Intersect intact, is the next person sent to get it. Of course, he’s willing to do it because he hates them so much.

      He’ll fail too, but maybe they do get some information out of him first.

      • atcDave says:

        Do we know Shaw still has the Intersect? It just seems they would have removed his as soon as they were able so it wouldn’t melt his brain. (not that I’m really worried about it either way! I just would have guessed it was removed)

      • Dave, the CIA should have removed it, but if someone inside is pulling the strings, who knows.

        The buddytv link that jason posted on the spoiler thread hints heavily but is not absolute confirmation.
        https://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com/spoilers/season-5-spoilers-continued/#comment-58811

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I saw that Jeff, that’s kind of why I’m scratching my head here. That makes it sound like maybe the virus is even a threat to the Intersect. And I guess you’re right someone may have wanted his Intersect left intact. It’s just not what I would have expected so I’m wondering if we have any confirmation on it.

      • They’ve been following the “virus” theme this year. Morgonsect had a virus that was erasing his memory. Chuck, Sarah, and Gertrude stole a super virus. While the computer systems and the human brain would be completely incompatible, the show might ignore that detail and have the Omen released in Shaw. It would erase his brain and leave him as a vegetable, or at least with no memory of his life as a spy or his evil deeds. Chuck could even do it because it is not technically a kill. It’s kind of like the ‘death of personality’ punishment from the B5 universe.

        Some Shaw haters would be mad because he didn’t die. Others will ask what was the point if he’s not dead. As long as they put a big red X across his face in a promo, I don’t care. I’d be happy with beheading, impalement, or dissolving in a vat of acid as well.

      • atcDave says:

        Impalement is so underrated.

      • herder says:

        Let’s not forget the more traditional sharks with lasers strapped to their heads.

      • Well – based on the virus theme…. whoever still has the Intersect in his or her head when the virus is released would be in possession of the only remaining CIA/NSA Database in existence…. that information would be worth millions to the highest bidder ~ just say’n

  29. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Hack Off (5.05) | Chuck This

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