Chuck Versus The Results: The Best of Chuck Updated*

* Now with even more useless numbers to play with.

Raise a glass to the best of Chuck

First a big thanks to all who participated and my apologies for not getting the results out sooner.  But here it is, the much awaited Best (and worst) of Chuck.  As I play with things I may post a few stray thoughts in comments, feel free to discuss how unfair random samplings of self selected small number statistics are.  I know.  But it’s a snapshot of where our readership stands, and is a bit of fun.  And once again, there are no bad episodes of Chuck.  After the jump.

While it looks a little like the Lake Wobegon effect, nearly all episodes are above average, I think what we see is that Chuck appeals to many different people for many different reasons.  In any given episode, there always seems to be a fan who thinks it is one of the best ever.  OK, not quite true, Chuck Versus the Mask actually got no 5 star ratings (but it did break double digits for 4 star!).  If you want your absolutely most average episode ever, look no further than Chuck Versus the Masquerade.  Peruse, comment, compare, and have fun, because the Chuck we have here is nearly all the Chuck we will ever have.

From First to (thank goodness not) Last

 

Chuck Versus the Intersect 0 0 3 20 51 74 4.65
Chuck Versus the Helicopter 0 7 29 30 9 75 3.55
Chuck Versus the Tango 0 1 19 33 21 74 4
Chuck Versus the Wookiee 0 0 13 45 17 75 4.05
Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp 0 8 32 27 6 73 3.42
Chuck Versus the Sandworm 0 7 27 30 11 75 3.6
Chuck Versus the Alma Mater 0 6 16 34 19 75 3.88
Chuck Versus the Truth 0 1 11 24 39 75 4.35
Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami 0 4 13 28 30 75 4.12
Chuck Versus the Nemesis 1 5 16 34 19 75 3.87
Chuck Versus the Crown Vic 0 10 26 32 7 75 3.48
Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover 1 9 29 32 4 75 3.39
Chuck Versus the Marlin 0 2 11 30 32 75 4.23
Chuck Versus the First Date 0 1 2 17 55 75 4.68
Chuck Versus the Seduction 1 1 4 19 50 75 4.55
Chuck Versus the Break-Up 1 2 15 30 27 75 4.07
Chuck Versus the Cougars 0 0 8 26 41 75 4.44
Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer 0 4 14 32 25 75 4.04
Chuck Versus the Ex 5 3 34 29 4 75 3.32
Chuck Versus the Fat Lady 1 4 23 36 11 75 3.69
Chuck Versus the Gravitron 1 3 32 32 7 75 3.55
Chuck Versus the Sensei 3 19 30 22 1 75 2.99
Chuck Versus the DeLorean 0 3 2 26 43 74 4.47
Chuck Versus Santa Claus 0 5 7 22 40 74 4.31
Chuck Versus the Third Dimension 4 20 35 14 2 75 2.87
Chuck Versus the Suburbs 1 5 15 32 22 75 3.92
Chuck Versus the Best Friend 1 2 11 28 33 75 4.2
Chuck Versus the Beefcake 6 11 37 16 5 75 3.04
Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon 1 4 21 35 14 75 3.76
Chuck Versus the Predator 0 2 19 33 21 75 3.97
Chuck Versus the Broken Heart 0 3 16 33 22 74 4
Chuck Versus the Dream Job 0 3 13 31 28 75 4.12
Chuck Versus the First Kill 0 3 21 41 10 75 3.77
Chuck Versus the Colonel 0 0 0 9 66 75 4.88
Chuck Versus the Ring 0 1 4 21 49 75 4.57
Chuck Versus the Pink Slip 15 15 23 16 6 75 2.77
Chuck Versus the Three Words 5 11 24 30 5 75 3.25
Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte 1 4 20 43 7 75 3.68
Chuck Versus Operation Awesome 5 8 25 31 6 75 3.33
Chuck Versus First Class 11 19 21 21 3 75 2.81
Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler 8 14 25 23 5 75 3.04
Chuck Versus the Mask 33 16 17 10 0 76 2.05
Chuck Versus the Fake Name 27 10 21 16 2 76 2.42
Chuck Versus the Beard 3 10 10 27 25 75 3.81
Chuck Versus the Tic Tac 2 4 19 30 20 75 3.83
Chuck Versus the Final Exam 10 6 25 26 8 75 3.21
Chuck Versus the American Hero 6 11 15 27 16 75 3.48
Chuck Versus the Other Guy 1 6 5 19 44 75 4.32
Chuck Versus the Honeymooners 1 0 3 8 63 75 4.76
Chuck Versus the Role Models 1 6 32 26 9 74 3.49
Chuck Versus the Tooth 1 14 25 29 6 75 3.33
Chuck Versus the Living Dead 2 10 28 29 5 74 3.34
Chuck Versus the Subway 2 1 9 23 40 75 4.31
Chuck Versus the Ring Part II 2 0 9 24 40 75 4.33
Chuck Versus the Anniversary 0 4 22 36 13 75 3.77
Chuck Versus the Suitcase 1 8 15 29 22 75 3.84
Chuck Versus the Cubic Z 2 13 18 34 8 75 3.44
Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat 2 4 17 37 15 75 3.79
Chuck Versus the Couch Lock 0 5 19 37 14 75 3.8
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror 1 21 24 25 4 75 3.13
Chuck Versus the First Fight 0 4 11 35 25 75 4.08
Chuck Versus the Fear of Death 9 18 24 18 5 74 2.89
Chuck Versus Phase Three 0 2 4 11 58 75 4.67
Chuck Versus the Leftovers 2 13 27 27 6 75 3.29
Chuck Versus the Balcony 3 6 9 27 30 75 4
Chuck Versus the Gobbler 4 14 23 29 4 74 3.2
Chuck Versus the Push Mix 0 3 7 16 49 75 4.48
Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible 0 3 8 36 27 74 4.18
Chuck Versus the Cat Squad 7 9 27 26 6 75 3.2
Chuck Versus the Masquerade 4 14 36 20 1 75 3
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil 0 3 20 36 16 75 3.87
Chuck Versus the A-Team 1 7 33 28 6 75 3.41
Chuck Versus the Muuurder 12 17 25 17 4 75 2.79
Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff 1 17 25 24 6 73 3.23
Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner 0 4 8 24 39 75 4.31
Chuck Versus Agent X 7 4 19 26 16 72 3.56
Chuck Versus the Last Details 1 2 14 19 38 74 4.23
Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger 0 3 13 18 40 74 4.28

 

From Best To Worst 

 

Chuck Versus the Colonel 0 0 0 9 66 75 4.88
Chuck Versus the Honeymooners 1 0 3 8 63 75 4.76
Chuck Versus the First Date 0 1 2 17 55 75 4.68
Chuck Versus Phase Three 0 2 4 11 58 75 4.67
Chuck Versus the Intersect 0 0 3 20 51 74 4.65
Chuck Versus the Ring 0 1 4 21 49 75 4.57
Chuck Versus the Seduction 1 1 4 19 50 75 4.55
Chuck Versus the Push Mix 0 3 7 16 49 75 4.48
Chuck Versus the DeLorean 0 3 2 26 43 74 4.47
Chuck Versus the Cougars 0 0 8 26 41 75 4.44
Chuck Versus the Truth 0 1 11 24 39 75 4.35
Chuck Versus the Ring Part II 2 0 9 24 40 75 4.33
Chuck Versus the Other Guy 1 6 5 19 44 75 4.32
Chuck Versus Santa Claus 0 5 7 22 40 74 4.31
Chuck Versus the Subway 2 1 9 23 40 75 4.31
Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner 0 4 8 24 39 75 4.31
Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger 0 3 13 18 40 74 4.28
Chuck Versus the Marlin 0 2 11 30 32 75 4.23
Chuck Versus the Last Details 1 2 14 19 38 74 4.23
Chuck Versus the Best Friend 1 2 11 28 33 75 4.2
Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible 0 3 8 36 27 74 4.18
Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami 0 4 13 28 30 75 4.12
Chuck Versus the Dream Job 0 3 13 31 28 75 4.12
Chuck Versus the First Fight 0 4 11 35 25 75 4.08
Chuck Versus the Break-Up 1 2 15 30 27 75 4.07
Chuck Versus the Wookiee 0 0 13 45 17 75 4.05
Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer 0 4 14 32 25 75 4.04
Chuck Versus the Tango 0 1 19 33 21 74 4
Chuck Versus the Broken Heart 0 3 16 33 22 74 4
Chuck Versus the Balcony 3 6 9 27 30 75 4
Chuck Versus the Predator 0 2 19 33 21 75 3.97
Chuck Versus the Suburbs 1 5 15 32 22 75 3.92
Chuck Versus the Alma Mater 0 6 16 34 19 75 3.88
Chuck Versus the Nemesis 1 5 16 34 19 75 3.87
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil 0 3 20 36 16 75 3.87
Chuck Versus the Suitcase 1 8 15 29 22 75 3.84
Chuck Versus the Tic Tac 2 4 19 30 20 75 3.83
Chuck Versus the Beard 3 10 10 27 25 75 3.81
Chuck Versus the Couch Lock 0 5 19 37 14 75 3.8
Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat 2 4 17 37 15 75 3.79
Chuck Versus the First Kill 0 3 21 41 10 75 3.77
Chuck Versus the Anniversary 0 4 22 36 13 75 3.77
Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon 1 4 21 35 14 75 3.76
Chuck Versus the Fat Lady 1 4 23 36 11 75 3.69
Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte 1 4 20 43 7 75 3.68
Chuck Versus the Sandworm 0 7 27 30 11 75 3.6
Chuck Versus Agent X 7 4 19 26 16 72 3.56
Chuck Versus the Helicopter 0 7 29 30 9 75 3.55
Chuck Versus the Gravitron 1 3 32 32 7 75 3.55
Chuck Versus the Role Models 1 6 32 26 9 74 3.49
Chuck Versus the Crown Vic 0 10 26 32 7 75 3.48
Chuck Versus the American Hero 6 11 15 27 16 75 3.48
Chuck Versus the Cubic Z 2 13 18 34 8 75 3.44
Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp 0 8 32 27 6 73 3.42
Chuck Versus the A-Team 1 7 33 28 6 75 3.41
Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover 1 9 29 32 4 75 3.39
Chuck Versus the Living Dead 2 10 28 29 5 74 3.34
Chuck Versus Operation Awesome 5 8 25 31 6 75 3.33
Chuck Versus the Tooth 1 14 25 29 6 75 3.33
Chuck Versus the Ex 5 3 34 29 4 75 3.32
Chuck Versus the Leftovers 2 13 27 27 6 75 3.29
Chuck Versus the Three Words 5 11 24 30 5 75 3.25
Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff 1 17 25 24 6 73 3.23
Chuck Versus the Final Exam 10 6 25 26 8 75 3.21
Chuck Versus the Gobbler 4 14 23 29 4 74 3.2
Chuck Versus the Cat Squad 7 9 27 26 6 75 3.2
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror 1 21 24 25 4 75 3.13
Chuck Versus the Beefcake 6 11 37 16 5 75 3.04
Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler 8 14 25 23 5 75 3.04
Chuck Versus the Masquerade 4 14 36 20 1 75 3
Chuck Versus the Sensei 3 19 30 22 1 75 2.99
Chuck Versus the Fear of Death 9 18 24 18 5 74 2.89
Chuck Versus the Third Dimension 4 20 35 14 2 75 2.87
Chuck Versus First Class 11 19 21 21 3 75 2.81
Chuck Versus the Muuurder 12 17 25 17 4 75 2.79
Chuck Versus the Pink Slip 15 15 23 16 6 75 2.77
Chuck Versus the Fake Name 27 10 21 16 2 76 2.42
Chuck Versus the Mask 33 16 17 10 0 76 2.05

 

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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109 Responses to Chuck Versus The Results: The Best of Chuck Updated*

  1. atcDave says:

    Couple of surprises there for me. Muuurder, Third Dimension, and Masquerade strike me as mediocre; basically far better than some of their company with lower scores. Biggest surprise; Undercover Lover, I really like that episode, I hadn’t realized I was in such a minority.
    I guess Truth gets the opposite reaction, it strikes me as a mediocre episode, yet apparently its among most folks favorites.
    Quite a few others I like or dislike differently than most, but I expected those other differences.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    My biggest surprise? There were no real polarizing episodes. They all trended in the same direction as a nice bell-ish curve as opposed to having to love-it and hate-it poles. And on further inspection Beefcake might be the most average episode. I may have to look closer. 😉

  3. Thanks for doing this, Ernie. No surprises, but still interesting.

    My order is different, but my top six are the same six. My top ten are all in the top eleven. While I’m not surprised, I actually liked Pink Slip (I consider it a two-parter with Three Words because they were aired back-to-back). Otherwise my bottom five are in the bottom seven.

    Season 1: ave 3.89, stddev 0.39
    Season 2: ave 3.96, stddev 0.56
    Season 3: ave 3.45, stddev 0.69
    Season 4: ave 3.69, stddev 0.53

    What I though. S2 is the favorite. Mine is S1 because of the consistency. S3 had the most inconsistency because despite Mask, Fake Name, etc., it also had Honeymooners, Ring II, and Other Guy.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      HAH! I knew if I posted as a table there would be other stats geeks out there!

      I admit that I still think Pink Slip is a poor standalone episode, but my appreciation for it paired with Three Words as giving the necessary season 3 setup has risen with each re-watch.

      • Aerox says:

        Three Words completely and utterly failed for me due to the final scene. I would’ve been okay with it if Sarah had scoffed and walked away. I would’ve been okay with it if after that she would try and start mending fences. Hell, I would’ve been okay with that entire scene not even existing. But the fact that she gets misty-eyed and they then completely shove it under the rug annoyed the hell out of me.

      • Big Kev67 says:

        I still think virtually everyone misses the point completely about the end scene in Three Words. People think Sarah is or should be overcome by Chuck’s declaration of love – and based on that, they call foul when nothing comes of it. But that’s not what the scene is at all.
        For Sarah, Chuck’s admission that he became a spy for her is like a knife to the heart. It’s proof that she’s responsible for what she knows is about to happen to Chuck. Yes, he tells her he loves her – but’s not a romantic moment at all for Sarah – it’s a moment of awful realisation and guilt.
        It makes perfect sense to me that her guilt would make her back away from Chuck even more. I think Three Words is one of the most powerful episodes in the series. I loved it.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        BK, I get what your saying, but if (and that’s a big if) that’s what they were going for in the final scene, boy did they miss. People were looking for reconciliation by the end of 3.02, then 3.03, then 3.04, ……….. Unfortunately TPTB weren’t done resetting yet, leaving the reconciliation to a hand wave moment in 3.13.

        Look at this season of Castle for example. Yes, i know Chuck is not Castle) The reset was over with in episode 1, the rest of the season is being used to rebuild it. C&S’s relationship was never rebuilt in the least, and IMO the show, and after 5.06, the characters still suffer from it.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Ahh, hit enter too early.

        Mask and Fake Name are horrid episode by any standard. I didn’t need a poll to tell me that. But those episodes’ fate was sealed at the end of Three Words.

      • Big Kev67 says:

        SLS,
        I think you’ve put your finger on the problem though. You wrote “people were looking for reconciliation by 3.02….” – and I think you’re right. But because people had decided that’s what they were looking for, they missed what was actually on screen, and assigned a meaning to that scene that was never there, and never meant to be there. I’m not sure that’s TPTB’s fault – but the upshot is IMO, one of the most misinterpreted scenes in the whole series.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Far too many ambiguous facial expressions were used all over the misery instead of actual words leaving the story wide open for the fans to interpret any way they wished. That is TPTB fault.

        5.06, that is getting beat up pretty good, suffers from the same thing. The reason Chuck left by himself is poorly explained, and completely suffers from the terrible deserted bar scene before it, leaving the fans to figure it out.

      • BK, I’d put the end of Three Words in the top 3 or 4 for most misunderstood. Chucks actions in Curse are gaining fast. The name reveal was easily #1, but I stopped trying to explain that to people a long time ago. (I don’t like it, but I understand it.)

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Boy you guys have stepped on one of my hair triggers for Chuckwin’s law. I agree with Kev, people miss the importance of the end of Three Words. Think of where Sarah’s head is at through most of the episode (and season to this point). She thinks Chuck is trying to get back together and she’s trying to move on with her life, out of Burbank and away from Chuck preferably. Chuck’s apparent pursuit of her, at the expense of the mission, and his declaration of love, results in her basically laying into him in the training room, letting him know in no uncertain terms that if he’s decided to be a spy there is no way they can have the kind of relationship (she thinks) he wants (and she wanted). Also remember the scene in the courtyard where Chuck talks Stromberg down by saying maybe by loving her you opened up her heart and made love possible for her (saying it to Sarah as well). Now think of what seeing what Chuck really said does to what Sarah thought was happening.

        He was never asking to get back together, he was apologizing for breaking her heart (we need to believe he hadn’t understood the depth of her feelings until Carina spilled the beans that Sarah loved him and still wasn’t over him) and he is telling her she’s given him a purpose and that he wouldn’t be the man she loved if he turned his back on his gift. He is letting her know that as much as he loves her and is sorry for how he handled things, he was moving on with his life, on the path she showed him.

        Now think of what happened in the actual timeline right after that taped declaration as opposed to when she saw it. Chuck thought she heard the whole thing, she was standing right where she’d been when the door closed on him and he started spilling his guts. From Chuck’s perspective what happened next. Sarah asked for a transfer, didn’t get it, beat on him with a stick in a fit of rage, and told him she was over him when he was trying to ask if she understood, or perhaps if understanding why he couldn’t leave on the run like she wanted there was a chance for them, together, as spies, and she slammed the door in his face. In the courtyard standoff Chuck was telling her he understood, but not to give up on finding love now that she’d learned it was something she wanted.

        From Chuck’s POV Sarah told him in no uncertain terms there was not, and would never again be a relationship if he remained a spy, so he’d better get over the idea that they loved each other. They could be friends and colleagues, perhaps, was the hope she held out at the end, reinforced at the end of Angel de la Muerte.

        Sarah was tearing up at the end because she realized she’d not only been responsible for Chuck’s choice and what it meant for him, but she’d burned to the ground everything they had and any chance to get it back, so of course she pulled back to the old emotionally unavailable Sarah. Perfectly in character if you ask me. Chuck never again persues her because the ball is in her court. He’s doing just what he thought she wanted, and she’s unable to bring herself to be that vulnerable with Chuck again. The closest she comes is the great hallway scene at the end of Mask where Sarah is desperately trying to re-connect one last time before her time with Chuck is over, and blows it because Chuck isn’t looking for the connection she’s hinting at.

        In that context the rest of the front half of the season is about both of them trying to move on and do the right thing for themselves and the other, but continually botching it because they have no experience with dealing with the emotions and new situations and compromises they are confronting, and also continually feeling the pull of the other, missing and wanting the connection they’d lost.

        Now, was all that obvious without some considerable re-watching and letting go of a lot of preconceptions? Hell no. TPTB made those broken scenes and timelines awfully hard to put together and sort of burried some much needed exposition at the end of the season. They relied too much on Yvonne selling the heartbreak without the context that Chuck just broke her heart for a second time in that scene, and how.

      • jason says:

        Ernie – a possible explanation sure – but what you write is not for a fact – just an opinion. As likely, CS needed to be broken up so Chuck could save the day and win the girl in the final ep.

      • joe says:

        @BigKev

        People think Sarah is or should be overcome by Chuck’s declaration of love – and based on that, they call foul when nothing comes of it. But that’s not what the scene is at all.

        Between your analysis, Kev, and Ernie’s above, this is some of the most profound stuff written on S3 that’s to be found anywhere. I mean, what is it about that season (and those sore-point episodes in particular) that demand we keep coming back to them?

        I’ll tell ya what it is. They are not trivial. Dave has always been right about it. It wasn’t necessarily entertaining to a large part of the fan base. It just wasn’t for exactly the reasons you guys stated. But I’m haunted by the words of an old English teacher of mine. Great art is not about entertainment.

        Better minds than the one I have discuss art endlessly. I’m starting to be convinced that Chuck has indeed transcended the level of mere entertainment, though, and entered into the realm of art, if only by a little. And it did so precisely in those episodes that we find so controversial.

        Okay. Have at it, folks! My words are on record! 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jason, I understand your point, the story is always subjective in some sense and will be enjoyed or not based on individual tastes. That said TPTB clearly have THEIR story to tell as the basis of what gets made, and while it can get changed and dilluted by the input of everyone from the director to the actors to the editor, it is that story that drives most of the creative decisions. And yes, some of the creative decisions like how you want to end the season or potentially the series, or what it is that the fanbase responds to, are influenced by the mechanics of plotting out the episodes and the season and how it gets made. This can also affect the story and TPTB’s ability to tell it. But you have to allow that they have a direction in mind and a story to tell, and at some level you have to accept their premises as the real story, or just give up, because it won’t make any sense otherwise. To me the test is what makes the characterizations and their actions make sense.

        So, that said, and I’m not trying to tell anyone they are wrong or stupid or tasteless, etc, I’m just giving my take on it, accept at some level the premise I’ve laid out and see how it changes the context of the character’s actions and the meaning of key scenes. Given my premise why wouldn’t Chuck flirt with the cute girl on the plane who seems really into him? It’s over with Sarah. He can’t be in love with her, and she’s no longer in love with him, she’s essentially told him so herself. Yes, he’s in denial, and he realizes that finally in Beard, but before that he’s just kidding himself, like Sarah did in previous seasons. Sarah, for her part is still in love with Chuck, and is no longer even trying to deny it, but Chuck made his choice and she no longer fits into his future. She would move on, but she’s stuck in Burbank until Chuck is ready to move on to a future that doesn’t include her. For Sarah it gets harder and harder to be around him without that connection they had before. She makes a few innefective attempts to re-connect, but Chuck, who is following her advice and slowly closing himself off from those around him, isn’t receptive to the idea. When he finally moves on after her final attempt, why wouldn’t she look for a connection somewhere else?

        Yes, she makes a disasterous choice, but she’s new to this, and while she tries to be more open and honest and let her emotions show with the new guy she wants to form a connection with, it isn’t like with Chuck, he’s too much like her. In the end he becomes someone she can hide from Chuck behind, to keep him from getting past her defenses. We see this in Final Exam, the moment Chuck and Sarah are alone he’s charmed her right back into wanting that connection again, she’s defensless without Shaw around. But being defensless around Chuck again frightens her, especially since she thinks he’s changed, or even worse, she’s changed him. He’s already broken her heart twice, and he’s gotten a lot better at lying, even to those he genuinely cares about.

        So my point is that if you accept the premise that seems to come closest to what TPTB intend things make more sense. I’m not even saying it is the audience’s fault they can’t always see it. Sometimes there is an overinvestment or preconceptions that don’t help, but it’s the artists job to recognize and overcome those. But it’s the audiences’ job to let them. In some cases where someone sees something that may be closer to TPTB’s intent and can explain it, if you can accept the premise and get into the story it can make things more enjoyable. Sometimes these discussion boards help. Sometimes they don’t.

        Now that said, nobody is under any obligation to enjoy the story TPTB decide to tell. This has always been Dave’s position. Yes, TPTB have a story to tell, it isn’t a story I enjoy, and seeing this story takes away from the character’s I love and the story they’ve already told. I absolutely respect that position. If it gets bad enough, as it has for some, I think it’s fine to opt out, I respect that too.

        Where I start to get in to trouble is the middle ground. Some people seem to want to both reject TPTB’s premise, and have the story make sense to them based on the story they want to see. In these cases I try to step in and explain that yes, while you may not enjoy it, what TPTB are doing has a legitimate story purpose, it is not necessarily intentional character assassination or completely out of character or angst for angst sake, though occasionally it is some of those. I do this not as some desire to dominate the discussion or to score rhetorical points, but because I want people to be able to see what I see, and if they can, enjoy the story that is being told rather than the one they’d hoped for.

      • atcDave says:

        Erne and Kev, in hindsight you guys are clearly right about the intent of the end scene of Three Words. The problem is, it’s a break from how Chuck had been for two seasons and it launches a journey that a significant portion of the audience don’t want to take with them. No matter what it’s merits as story telling, Chuck already had an established audience that did not like the new darker style.
        As I’ve said many times before, if Chuck had been a new show starting in S3 I never would have watched past the premier. That makes it an entertainment failure and a failure for the audience. It doesn’t even matter what it’s internal logic or qualities are. My good will was taken advantage of by dragging me on a journey I had no desire to go on. To me this was like advertising “Ghostbusters” and airing “Pride and Prejudice”. Qualitative issues are irrelevant, it was bait and switch.

      • jason says:

        Joe, Ernie, Kev – what you guys are trying to do is re-create what happened using suppositions about what was meant, not what was actually said and performed. You can make up anything now you want to explain it, just wasn’t sold with words and actions at the time. What you guys are now doing is a worse offense, failing to admit you are wrong. Fedak and Schwartz really have admitted their mistake (watch s4 with the same scrutiny and want to make it work that you 3 apply to season 3 & you will understand).

        Just say it, season 3’s on screen ‘entertainment’ sucked miserably, you don’t have to write it, just say it. ‘The truth shall set ye free.’ I think that is in the sacred scrolls somewhere, not Chuck’s, but the Big Guys, honestly. Come to think of it, if you read what I wrote, you did say it, there, now don’t you feel better!

      • Shepperf of Lost Sheep says:

        You see, 2 stories were told starting with Pink Slip. The one TPTB “intended” and some (Ernie, Joe, BK) people have seen, and the one the “presented” and some (SLS, Jason, Dave) people have seen.

        The “intended” one, people see genius in it and can resolve it to make sense. The “presented” one, people claim as garbage and something the show never recovered from.

        My argument as a “story shipper” is that if your story is so unclear and ambiguous, that your audience sees it either one way or another (look at 5.06 for a recent example) you as a story teller have failed.

        Would I have enjoyed it any better, we’ll never know, but if you let me decide on important story points in a story that IMO was swimming against the current (my favorite new expression) from “emotional & traumatic”, you shouldn’t be surprised. (Listen from where I sit, Sarah only truly decided to be with Chuck after Casey talked to her.)

        I don’t care what you intended, I only care about what I think you did.

      • jason says:

        Shep – that is a great observation. But, I think there might be 3 stories

        1 – Ernie’s – the one fans tried to love
        2 – Mine – the ones fans hated
        3 – Then, a third one, that I am not sure any of us will ever know, which is what was intended

        One of the most enjoyable interviews I listened to this season, was by Gray Jones of Phil Klemmer. I had always held Klemmer’s work in s3 against him. When I heard his interview, I loved what he had to say about s3, not specific spoilers type info, more touchy feely type comments about the ‘room’. I am hoping over the next year or two, we hear more about the ‘truth’ about s3, it may fill in at least a few of the blanks.

        Honestly, I’d have no problem if Fedak came out and said exactly what Ernie wrote and Joe ‘swooned’ over is the truth, but I’d have to hear it from someone that knows, not someone who desperately wants it to be so.

      • joe says:

        Ack! Jason, your use of the word “swoon” makes me think that I didn’t get my point across!

        How about this. Those sore-points I’ve been harping on today – it’s precisely those points that I start to think of as medicine. Bitter medicine. You don’t swoon over that, but it may be necessary.

        Not a perfect analogy, by any means. But it’s the flavor of what I’m trying to say.

      • jason says:

        Joe – S3 was bitter medicine no doubt. To be clear, if Fedak or someone in the know comes out and says we tried, on purpose to make everyone as unhappy as we could for 12 eps and parts of the 13th, to make the end as enjoyable as possible, I am OK with that. I am not as OK with some telling me that is ABSOLUTELY what the plan was. The swoon comment came from your words:

        “Between your analysis, Kev, and Ernie’s above, this is some of the most profound stuff written on S3 that’s to be found anywhere.”

        If that isn’t swooning, I wonder how much more robust your acclamation would have to be to qualify?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jason, SLS, I agree to an extent that it was not well executed. I’ve written about that myself. But the degree to which the execution fails will be influenced by what the fans are willing to accept as possible or legitimate. Yes, if things go too far afield it isn’t surprising that they get missed or that some portion of the fanbase rejects them, but when even the most basic premises are rejected as impossible it is going to be virtually impossible to see what TPTB are trying, however innefectively, to present.

        My favorite (or least favorite) example is in FoD. The premise is presented that Chuck has doubts about his ability to be a spy without the intersect and is desperate to get it back. Rye presents a premise to test his resolve, the key is Sarah. A large number of people immediately reject that as impossible, call Rye an idiot for reaching the conclusion and call Chuck stupid for even seeming to consider it. That makes the whole thing crappy contrived writing. But I have to ask, why is that impossible?

        Sarah has been well established as both kryptonyte and spinach for Chuck and the intersect functioning. Chuck is well established as a bit neurotic and prone to regression under stressful situations. In First Fight the first thing Chuck sees after the supression device is Sarah being knocked cold by Volkoff, similar to the last time Chuck lost the ability to flash, when he saw Sarah knocked cold by Rafe Gruber in Fake Name. So why is it so impossible that Sarah could be used against Chuck to keep him from flashing? More to the point, why is Chuck foolish to even consider it? He’s well aware that Sarah and unresolved conflict over her was at least part of the reason he couldn’t flash before. Looking at it from Chuck’s point of view rather than ours it seems at least possible that his “reliance” on Sarah and his unresolved fears about her, and the fact that Rye’s method seems to have him on the verge of flashing each time it is tried, could have some merit and considering it is not necessarily stupid or out of character. Based on that I’d say that in this case TPTB have done due dilligence presenting a plausible premise rooted in past mythology, set up on the screen, and presented to the character in a manner where it is something he could realistically consider. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant to the story. Chuck just has to be able to consider it, whether or not we like the idea that Sarah could be used against Chuck or be a source of weakness for him. It is the structure that sets up Chuck’s conflict, where he is presented the dilema. If you want to be a spy and have the intersect, you have to give up Sarah. If you have allowed TPTB to present to you the the premise that Chuck has reason to believe Rye may be right, his decision, it isn’t worth losing Sarah over even if it may cost him his life, has emotional resonance and dramatic weight. He is offered the chance to be Bryce Larkin without Sarah, and he chooses to be plain old Chuck with Sarah. Or you can reject the premise as even possible, making Chuck an idiot for even considering something so stupid, but that is YOUR decision, not necessarily TPTB’s failure.

        It is important to remember that even though we may know something any individual character may not. Rye can plausibly misread Chuck’s “reliance” on Sarah as something possibly detrimental because he doesn’t know them the way we do. You can even call him stupid for not seeing what we see or reaching that conclusion, but TPTB present us with a series of events that lead him to his conclusion. We know Chuck is more than the intersect, but to call him stupid for showing, at a much lower level than before, well established insecurities and a poor self image because we want him to be over them is us telling TPTB your premise is impossible. That is a contributing factor to what degree the presentation fails, or is even possible. Yes, TPTB are perfectly capable and often complicit in botching things, but the fans have a responsibility to allow them to tell it and accept it at some level as plausible. Then they can make the decision whether they enjoy it or not. If you say up front that no girl as hot as Sarah could fall for Chuck, well then the whole romance is going to seem pretty contrived, isn’t it? This is the same sort of thing at another level.

      • ArmySFC says:

        for me the failings of FOD are much more simple than the ones you list. all the ones you list were caused by an emotional response from chuck (prior to the suppression device). the intersect was suppressed by a program not an emotional one. i’m simple that way, if he can’t flash for emotional reasons you remove those reasons or teach him how to handle them better, if it’s a physical one like the device you need to fix the program or re-instal it. trying to fix a physical (program) issue by getting his head screwed on straight made no sense. then again that’s just me.

      • jason says:

        Ernie – of this I am sure, you were right there shoulder to shoulder with me during s3, as far as I recall, shippers on this site were trying their hardest to enjoy s3, and there was not a single consensus opinion or voice that clearly explained what was going on at the time. It was not a rush to judge by those who did not like the story, but a slow, painful death march fraught with a near infinite numbers of attempts (and corresponding numbers of words) to figure things out. None succeeded at the time, none, not from you, not from other bloggers, not from the showrunners themselves, who actually made several stabs at it themselves, and may have said some of the least helpful and insightful things we have on record for the season. Do you recall different?

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I think you’re misunderstanding the most common objections to Rye and FOD. It was right from the start, the FoD itself; he was looking for an emotional fix to something with a mechanical origin (and solution). That and he pushed Chuck into really stupid behavior. Of course, I may not be the best one to explain it as I mostly liked FoD…

      • jason says:

        My problem with FOD was mostly 2 fold. The CIA ordering Chuck & Sarah into an angsty position hit a nerve with me, since it was part of the s3 angst plot. The second thing I did not like, if you are going to get angsty with CS, don’t do it with a bafoon, again, exactly what s3 did. If you play that card with me in s4, it had better be extra-ordinary. From my POV, that is why Mary & Gobbler failed, people did not want to see that CS angst … had Sarah and Chuck jointly conspired to get Mary, with nearly the same details of the Gobbler, just a better end to Balcony, I think Gobber ranks top 10’ish type ep. Sarah’s rescue of Mary would have been epic, nothing changing at all, except CS story that leads into the drama.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I understand that, and addressed that, as did TPTB. The brain is not a mechanical device and it is well established territory in the mythology that supressed emotions, fear and anxiety can all be complicit in Chuck’s inability to flash. It has been specifically established that Sarah is likely to evoke the strongest of these emotional responses. Scientists studying the intersect, and more specifically a psycologist would know that. Chuck has been unable to flash, or sometimes suddenly able to flash based on fear, seeing his father shot, seeing Sarah threatened (that one works both ways) or having a device show him images, then seeing Sarah knocked cold. And yes, Rye starts with slapping Chuck, which is a bit stupid and leads Sarah to conclude he’s a quack, but when he tries fear Chuck starts to flash, leading him to conclude that Rye may be on to something. Sarah doesn’t know this, Chuck does. Sure Chuck is taking big risks, but he has some reason to believe Rye may be on to something, he almost flashed. To Sarah Chuck’s faith in Rye, and therefore the risks he’s willing to take are unreasonable, and her frustration at not being able to convince him lead to the conflict. Whether you think it was well done or not, TPTB laid the groundwork for Chuck to consider what Rye told him as plausible, to take risks he thought reasonable and Sarah found horrifying, and to set up the situation where Chuck has to consider, based on what has happened, if what Rye says about Sarah may be true, and what that means for them. To reject it as impossible, essentially rejecting what is shown on screen and woven into the mythology, and then to blame TPTB for contrived storytelling or bemoan Chuck’s stupidity for not knowing what the audience or another character knows isn’t entirely fair. I’m not saying the audience has to meet them even halfway, but they have to at least be willing to move a few inches.

        As I said, take the most extreme example. You reject the premise of the intersect. The show initially cannot function without it, so is it fair then to continually complain about the contrived device that is the intersect and the crappy writing by TPTB in continually using it throughout the first 4 seasons? Extreme example, but my point is that this happens often in much smaller ways.

        Here’s a question. In the next episode, Phase 3, the Belgian’s doctor reached essentially the same conclusion, anxiety about Sarah was the key to Chuck’s psyche and the way to unlock the intersect, sort of in reverse of Rye, but essentially confirming Sarah was the key. Everyone seemed fine with that. Why the difference?

      • jason says:

        ERnie asks:

        Here’s a question. In the next episode, Phase 3, the Belgian’s doctor reached essentially the same conclusion, anxiety about Sarah was the key to Chuck’s psyche and the way to unlock the intersect, sort of in reverse of Rye, but essentially confirming Sarah was the key. Everyone seemed fine with that. Why the difference?

        Difference is simple, Chuck and Sarah’s story is excellent in Phase 3, awful in FOD, that simple.

        I answered yours, here is one for you Ernie. Mask ends with Chuck and Sarah on the stairs – no change at all – still a bottom 5?

        How about Fake Name, bullet goes thru Rafe’s head, Sarah runs to Chuck, pan to Shaw’s dejected face – ep ends. Bottom 5 now? How about nothing changes, and Sarah just leaves at the end, up the stairs. Boittom 5 still?

      • atcDave says:

        As I said, I liked both episodes.

        But in the end Rye and Dr. Whatever were both wrong. The Intersect was suppressed via an external device, and was fixed the same way.
        The show is of course full of contrivances, and I think I’ve been consistent in accepting them unless they’re used to make one of the main characters look stupid (I never like making the protagonist look stupid either as a source of comedy or plot device). Which is sort of how I felt about Curse, but not Fear of Death. I was okay with the idea of Chuck willing to go to extremes to prove his worth to his partners whether it made the Intersect work again or not. Rye was an idiot, but I thought, a very funny idiot. To me, the Chuck/Sarah mis-communication in FoD was mostly in character and not too troubling. Chuck should have known he didn’t need to go to such extremes for Sarah’s sake, but Sarah could have communicated that better.
        Which BTW, is part of why I felt slightly more sympathetic towards Chuck on my second rewatch of Curse. The contrivance wasn’t all on Chuck, Sarah communicated her agreement with Chuck’s plan poorly and could have/should have offered more positive assurance that Chuck’s basic plan could be made to work.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason several S3 episodes would have been much better with only small changes to the ending. Part of why I detest it so, it was obvious manipulation to tick us off…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Sorry it took a while to reply, Steelers game I’d rather forget I watched last night.

        Ernie – of this I am sure, you were right there shoulder to shoulder with me during s3, as far as I recall, shippers on this site were trying their hardest to enjoy s3, and there was not a single consensus opinion or voice that clearly explained what was going on at the time. It was not a rush to judge by those who did not like the story, but a slow, painful death march fraught with a near infinite numbers of attempts (and corresponding numbers of words) to figure things out. None succeeded at the time, none, not from you, not from other bloggers, not from the showrunners themselves, who actually made several stabs at it themselves, and may have said some of the least helpful and insightful things we have on record for the season. Do you recall different?

        Yes, Jason I do.  I recall frequent statements by numerous posters that X cannot happen or Y cannot do Z.  I tried several times to explain that when you do that you are allowing your own preconceptions dictate what story can be told, and when it doesn’t match up, it isn’t going to make a lot of sense.  You can see me begin this effort as early as January 2010 if you want to check the archives. The first such post is here. Subsequent posts are here and here.  I also wrote about what I saw and what I thought was the intent or the direction, even while I agreed that from a certain POV there was a lot of damage being done. What I was saying then isn’t that different from what I’ve said in this thread, though there has been some evolution as we got more of the story. As for season 3 there were a number of unforced errors by TPTB to tell a story very different from the one most of the people on this blog wanted to see, which I acknowledged, and a lot of errors no matter what story they were telling. Most of my efforts to provide a different context were greeted with genial dismissal that I was attempting to rationalize that which made no sense, while my shipper sympathetic posts seem to be what people tend to remember.

        By the time of the Mask there was a very vocal and present theme on the board that you could only understand the season with a rejection of the truth or reality of what we’d seen on the screen so far. It plain didn’t work, so we had to have a grand reveal that would reset everything to where Chuck and Sarah were together, and had been for some time, where Sarah’s attraction to Shaw was her playing a mark, and to where Shaw would be revealed as the evil mastermind he was. I even contributed to this to some degree early on, wondering aloud if some of the plot holes were really breadcrumbs.

        Long story short. It didn’t turn out that way.

        After that the “season 3 makes no sense” theme took firm root as the dominant one on this board for quite some time. It merged with and into the season 3 sucks theme eventually, but there was an ugly aspect to it.

        The degree of vitriol directed at TPTB, by name, at times disturbs me in retrospect and I’m ashamed I ever came close to that line.  It is one thing to complain about the quality of the product or the direction. It is another to question or impughn the character or motives of the people who make it. The quality of production at all levels was not up to season 2 but neither was their budget, time-wise or money-wise, but the insults were taking things too far.  Since my attempts to either calm things down or present a different POV seemed at times only to inflame a reaction I posted less often on my POV and more on polls and recaps.  Eventually, for a period of time it became virtually impossible to talk about the front 13 in anything other than disparaging terms, and any attempt to provide another POV to anyone or even in general was either rebuffed or met with outright hostility from some on the board.  In short there were shippers doing exactly what drove many of them to this board as a haven in the first place.

        Eventually I gave up, except for infrequent attempts to discuss my POV with the few like-minded readers who occasionally found and posted on this board.  They were usually met with the predictable 300+ comments about everything that was wrong with season 3’s front 13, which usually escalated to the point of personal attacks on TPTB. That still bothers me. I’d like to believe that anyone from Chris Fedak to Brandon Routh (or their friends) could come to this blog and not feel personally insulted. If you wouldn’t say it to their face in a social situation when being introduced for the first time, it doesn’t belong here, anonymously or not.

        The same phenomenon has popped up on occasion in season 4 and 5. Still don’t like it. We eventually had some pushback from some new or driveby posters, and I think that finally woke a lot of people here up to how nasty and one sided the board had gotten on some topics. Thankfully, with the end in sight, it seems the bomb throwers have left or mellowed.

        New people are still finding the show and the blog, and they start to read and in some cases vent, and the venting is fine, but I want them to have a chance to see things differently, and maybe enjoy it in a way some of us who went through it can’t or don’t. That means getting out a POV that isn’t always popular among all posters. In the past that has been a problem, and to some it seems as if there was a very vocal group who prevent positive discussion of season 3, and hence are standing in the way of someone who may be open to another point of view seeing another way to look at the story, and maybe even enjoy it.

        Here’s a question. In the next episode, Phase 3, the Belgian’s doctor reached essentially the same conclusion, anxiety about Sarah was the key to Chuck’s psyche and the way to unlock the intersect, sort of in reverse of Rye, but essentially confirming Sarah was the key. Everyone seemed fine with that. Why the difference?

        Difference is simple, Chuck and Sarah’s story is excellent in Phase 3, awful in FOD, that simple.

        The question was kind of rhetorical, but you make my point. Among some posters there is a trend to give anything in a positive story a pass, and reject anything in a story that points out the frailties of our heroes in any way as stupid and contrived and sloppy craftsmanship. It isn’t entirely fair.

        I answered yours, here is one for you Ernie. Mask ends with Chuck and Sarah on the stairs – no change at all – still a bottom 5?

        I’m guessing you mean in the hallway where they have their last talk. Mask isn’t a bottom 5 episode for me. Those are American Hero, Pink Slip and any three of Couch Lock, Gravitron, Sensei, Broken Heart, Alma Mater, Family Volkoff and Fake Name (on occasion) depending on my mood.

        How about Fake Name, bullet goes thru Rafe’s head, Sarah runs to Chuck, pan to Shaw’s dejected face – ep ends. Bottom 5 now? How about nothing changes, and Sarah just leaves at the end, up the stairs. Boittom 5 still?

        Fake name occasionally graces my bottom 5, but that is more a storytelling problem to me. Sarah running into Chuck’s arms would feel unearned to me and would probably make it worse. Sarah simply leaving at the end would negate her opening up to Shaw, or just push it back. She was trying to make that connection she felt with Chuck with someone else to move the story forward, and that part makes sense to me, so that part doesn’t bother me so much.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I’d just note that one person’s “obvious manipulation to tick us off” is another person’s “building the dramatic tension”.

        Yes, Sarah saying she was thinking of moving to DC was a downer ending, but she didn’t really seem very happy about the direction her life was headed, so to me, it had it’s purpose.

      • jason says:

        Boy, I write long enough stuff, to try to answer Ernie is pushing my ‘limits’. The basic difference is you seem to blame fans for missing s3, I say fans watched s3 and fans didn’t like what they saw.

        ‘The question was kind of rhetorical, but you make my point. Among some posters there is a trend to give anything in a positive story a pass, and reject anything in a story that points out the frailties of our heroes in any way as stupid and contrived and sloppy craftsmanship. It isn’t entirely fair.’

        Actually, you are making my point. You asked the ? why fans were ok in 4×9 – I told you – then you rejected the answer because you don’t like that fans are that way. The reason you are making my point for me, this is exactly what happened in s3, Fans watched and FANS DIDN’T LIKE WHAT THEY SAW.

        I skimmed thru some of the s3 stuff, brought back memories, bad ones actually, you just will have to take my word for it, I was trying to like what I was seeing. But I was surprised how much I now see that I was hoping something better was coming. It did come, just not soon enough. As Fedak later admitted, he pushed fans over the ‘limit’ – FANS DIDN”T LIKE WHAT THEY SAW.

        Thanks for answering my Mask and Fake name ?’s, but I asked them poorly, my ? was more along the lines of yours, would the eps have been more popular with most fans because of the better treatment of CS – because as MASK and Fake name wer, FANS DIDN”T LIKE ….

        The biggest flaw in your type of analysis, is one type of analysis does not fit all shows. An execution style murder from a co-star fits in ’24’, but is pushing over the limits in ‘Chuck’. Or, in a show like Gossip Girl, two co-stars can be split up for 13 episodes, or even 13 seasons, and not feel off. In season 3 of Chuck, it didn’t work. Fedak even said so. Then he proceeded to give fans nearly 30 sweet episodes in a row in s4 and s5, like the state of Missouri, he showed me that he understood how lousy season 3 was, he understood FANS DIDN’T LIKE ….

        I know this hurts your feelings, that all objective evidence points to the fallacy of your position. I am not a critic who mocked how woeful Fedak’s S3 story was or how stiff Routh’s performance was. I blogged here my disdain for both men, then and now I don’t like either of them, although I really try to like Fedak. I do wish that someone else had the two lead actors cast on a Hart to Hart styled show, what they could have had would have been remarkable, maybe the best TV couple of all time. But that ship has sailed, it is what it is, and indeed it was still great (at least so far), the only sticking point being s3 when FANS DIDN’T LIKE ….

        In s3 and s4, I felt it very important to try to send a message to anyone who would listen how much I objected to the story in s3. Right now, I feel none of that for s3 (although I have been vocal about my objection over Shaw returning, the truth is nobody cares). I understand how you feel compelled to try to write about s3, I think I would too if Honeymooners, Role Models and S4/5 hadn’t happened. So, analyze to your hearts content about s3 and find a positive interpretation, but you won’t change the fact that at the time FANS DIDN’T LIKE WHAT THEY SAW.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @Joe:

        Your old english teacher should be slapped up along side the head with a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

        How much dreck has the world had to wade through because a bunch of would-be artistes decided that “Hey, I don’t have to entertain anybody! It’s Art!”?

        Chuck is a show on American Television, where perception is reality. If you aren’t going to entertain people, don’t be surprised if they go watch something else; and if you destroy something they cared for in the process of producing this “Art”, don’t be surprised if they resent it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jason, sorry if this is getting too long, I’ll try to be succinct and wrap this up.

        Actually, you are making my point. You asked the ? why fans were ok in 4×9 – I told you – then you rejected the answer because you don’t like that fans are that way. The reason you are making my point for me, this is exactly what happened in s3, Fans watched and FANS DIDN’T LIKE WHAT THEY SAW.

        Jason, I understand that a lot of fans didn’t like what they saw. HOWEVER, some fans did. I did. I’m fine with the fact that a lot of fans didn’t like what they saw. My objection is that I keep saying I wish fans who didn’t like what they saw would quit confusing that with “what we were presented with was by any objective standard a useless, contrived, poorly crafted mess with no redeeming qualities and anyone who sees any merit to it is delusional” and just say they didn’t like what they saw. We have a very similar plot point in both Phase 3 and Fear of Death. In one case, FoD, it is treated as and talked about as a ridiculous contrivance from out of nowhere, in the other it’s widely accepted. I am not saying it’s unfair to reject the episode or not like it, I’m saying it’s unfair to equate personal taste or dislike with objective quality.

        That was my point about FoD. The writers set up both Chuck’s and Sarah’s actions by both tapping into the mythology and by showing us on screen that they have different takes on Rye and his methods. Chuck almost flashes when Rye employs fear therapy, Sarah sees Rye slapping Chuck and breaking into their house and concludes he’s a dangerous idiot. OK, so people didn’t like that Chuck was listening to Rye rather than Sarah and getting himself into dannger, or was considering Rye’s Sarah was the rock theory. It is Chuck in one of his weaker moments, and it is meant to be. It is crafted that way and we are shown why Chuck wavers and doubts. If you don’t like it, fine, don’t like it, but saying you don’t like it because it isn’t the type of thing you enjoy and saying you don’t like it because TPTB did a crappy job are two differrent things, and people who see things from a different perspective that allows them to see what they think TPTB are trying to set up or tell us and might find it enjoyable have to continually hear that what they like and enjoy is a pile of crap that nobody should ever make excuses for.

        I absolutely get that a lot of people didn’t like what they saw. I am absolutely fine with that and have no wish to convert those who don’t wish to be converted to my point of view. But please understand that “I didn’t like” does not necessarily mean “Crappy, poorly done product”. “Didn’t work for me” is a fine alternative that allows you to voice your displeasure and still allows people whose tastes are different to discuss their point of view without seeming to threaten or dismiss yours. You can dislike something without it being objectively and universally bad.

        Hope you understand my point, and I’m not directing this at you in particular as a guilty party. I don’t recall you doing this in any intentional sort of way, and there is a lot less of it around lately. This topic just sort of grew out of the discussion so I thought I’d persue it and present the idea that nobody needs to support their tastes by trashing something someone else may like. You can dislike an episode or season for whatever reason you want, it doesn’t have to be because the season or episode was poorly written or produced, not to your tastes is fine.

        No hard feeling on my part for any of the discussion and I hope I haven’t caused any. I apologize if I did.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Ernie, i would be on board with your point about fear of death if it had truly been part of the mythology. had chucks inability to flash been caused by emotional trauma in first fight i would stand right next to you and feel the same way. that was clearly not the case. it was shown on screen that the PSP device was the cause of his inability to flash. isn’t that what you always say, that people miss what was shown on screen? chuck knew exactly why he could not flash, he said it right after he was zapped, yet he went on with the crazy ideas anyway.

        to make your point you compare apples to oranges so to speak. i fully understand that chuck had problems in the past with flashing caused by emotional trauma or fear. if that was the case here ryes methods would have made sense to me and i would have been ok with that. however that was not the case. it was blocked or affected by the PSP device a completely different reason than was shown in the past. using past mythology that is unrelated to the situation at hand doesn’t work for me. if it works for you that’s all good also. i understand that they showed chuck reacting similarly from events in the past.

        your point about 4.9 is understood as well but think about this. just because they had someone else bring up the same premise as rye, doesn’t make it anymore believable. many people when trying to get man to fly tried flapping wings, they were still wrong. all that said to me was the writers didn’t notice that what they tried in FoD didn’t make sense and kept the idea going. then again i didn’t like phase 3 all that much. there were a lot of reasons i didn’t like FoD but it all stemmed from how bad i thought the beginning was and it really never got me to change my mind.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, yes, we see the PSP disarm the intersect, but what does it DO? Using an emotional or psycological cure for the PSP comes as straight exposition right from the beginning of the episode:

        Beckman: Our scientists think your mother used a suppression device to disarm the Intersect, for which there could be countermeasures.

        Scientist: The Intersect is an implanted collection of memories. A suppression device hides those memories under what you might call a… psychological rock. We need to find that rock and remove it.

        It doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be believable to Chuck that the intersect experts are working on a way to disarm the intersect and it is linked to Chuck’s psycological condition somehow.

        Are you saying Chuck should be smarter than the scientists? I’m not sure why people think that it’s fine to reject the premise the writers give for how Chuck thinks he can get the intersect back, following the advise of the experts, and then criticize Chuck for being stupid or the writers for not giving a sufficient reason for Chuck to follow their advise. It’s like removing a table leg from a table you buy and then complaining the store sold you a three legged table.

      • jason says:

        Ernie – No hard feelings at all, after years of being involved in sports, I tend to leave the game on the court. I do enjoy the competition however, even a ‘blogoff’ with a passionate writer of an opposing view. Just so you know, I am looking forward to reading your summary piece. If I am permitted one small bit of advice, try to write with a joyful sense of discovery targeting your fans, not with an angry lecturing tone to those you don’t like. This posting could have been a never ended game of ‘groundstrokes’ from each of our ‘baselines’ back and forth as we will never agree, we see things nearly diametrically opposite. I must admit, I am more of a ‘serve and volley’ guy, so let’s leave it at that.

    • ArmySFC says:

      Dave, you hit the nail on the head. enjoyment, its why people watch the shows they do and why they pass on some. like we have discussed before quality and popularity don’t have to go together. no matter how good a story you tell, if the fans don’t enjoy the journey they stop watching. the reverse is also true some shows entertain the hell out of people but the story stinks. i think that’s why reality shows do so well, people find it entertaining. thats my take anyway.

      • atcDave says:

        You are right about popularity vs. quality. I would add the related issue is about the established audience. Show’s can certainly establish an audience and become popular with much darker themes and stories. But the specific S3 malfunction for Chuck involved the change for an established show. In particular; a very involved and committed audience that by and large didn’t like the change. It was kind of a perfect storm for resentment and discontent with this particular audience.

      • Hmmm – I wonder if we’ll see just how much that emotion rock weighs – NEXT WEEK! Fear of Death for Chuck [ himself] …. not enough motivation…. BUT – Fear of Death for Sarah!??!!!…. ooooh = I used to get that same feeling when Popeye finally got to open his can of spinach – right when things looked hopeless : )
        We saw him ” REBOOT” once already – I for one – would like to see that again!

      • armysfc says:

        Dave exactly my point. the story may have been great or looked good on paper but it didn’t sell for the reasons you mentioned. same as the morgansect this year. granted some folks liked it but the most common comment on the web was thank goodness it’s over. it didn’t sell either. just like the upcoming ep. it’s already being bashed because of what people think is going to happen to sarah. if she gets it real bad i don’t think that part of the episode will sell either because i don’t think many people want to see it.

    • ArmySFC says:

      Ernie all well and good and like i said if it works for you than i’m ok with it.

  4. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    Oh data to play with !!

    If you use the 1st 13 episodes of each season, episodes 6, 7 & 8 trend lower. This isn’t particularly surprising, but worrisome because that’s where we are now.

    What was surprising however was how badly episode 12 scored next to the larger score given to 13. Episode 13 is generally about 1 point higher than episode 12.

    • Interesting about episode 12. Growing up, I didn’t like TESB as much as ROTJ. Part of it was special effects, but most of it was because it was the penultimate movie without a clean ending. After watching the trilogy dozens of times, I wisened up and realized TESB was better. I wonder what people with thing of episode 12 years from now…

      Nah, Marlin with always be better than Undercover Lover (although UL has gotten better over time), Suburbs and Best Friend (the underrated original 13th) will always be better than 3D (a shame to waste the post-Super Bowl opportunity), Other Guy will always be better than American Hero (except the Down River scenes), and Push Mix will always be better than Gobbler.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Actually according to the production numbers on the Chuck episodes Wikipedia page the original closing arc of the front 13 of season 2 was Santa Claus, Best Friend, Third Dimension. Third Dimension was bumped up so the gimmic 3d episode could be heavily promoted and run the night after the superbowl (about the last time NBC put some real effort into promoting Chuck). Chuck’s audience for that night was the largest since the series premier, but the next week it was pre-empted by a presidential address and by the following week the momentul was lost. Don’t know if it would have helped in the long run. Third Dimension clearly isn’t one of the more popular episodes, but perhaps that is because it was designed more for general appeal and to boost viewership.

      Despite being a bit darker I liked TESB better than ROTJ from the beginning. ROTJ was the beginning of the end for Lucas and me. He’d already started destroying characters and trying to one-up himself on effects, making the actors and characters almost an afterthought in his productions. And besides, Ewoks? Are you freaking kidding me? I still watched and have copies of the next trilogy, but my emotional investment ended with Return of the Jedi.

      • I was barely young enough Ewoks didn’t bother me.

        Didn’t know about 3rd Dimension being moved too, but it makes sense (except for it being a bad episode). I’ll still watch it in its aired time slot, but I’ll always reverse my viewing of Suburbs and Best Friend because it makes more sense.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Do you flip Sizzling Shrimp and Wookie too? They were the other out of order episodes. Also Suburbs, Beefcake and Lethal Weapon make a much more coherent 3 episode arc together.

      • I don’t flip Wookie and Shrimp. I’ll have to try that next time.

        I flip Suburbs and Best Friend because the end of Suburbs goes with the breakup and the beginning of Beafcake, the best friend moment at the end of Best Friend explains why they were uncomfortable able V-Day (because they both wanted more, but couldn’t have it), and the Morgan/Anna reconciliation story line makes more sense.

        I’m on your team for season 3, but I’m staying out of it. (except to say, if one story makes sense and one doesn’t, why do people complain about the one that doesn’t by saying it doesn’t make sense? Nevermind, I’m staying out of it.)

      • atcDave says:

        Okay Jeff staying out of it…

        I think I’ve said about a hundred different ways, and I am tired of being misrepresented on this; make sense/don’t make sense is not the most important thing to me. Fun/Not fun determines my viewing and likes. I despise S3 (and despise is NOT too strong a word for me) because it fails the fun test. Six out of the first thirteen episodes I loathe. The logic is not an issue.

        Oh but I do agree about viewing order. The S1 flip/flop hardly matters; but the S2 flip/flop really messed with the continuity, so I also switch Best Friend and Suburbs around. It plays much better that way.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jeff, great point about end of best friend leading into Suburbs, I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe 3D was an afterthought the created specifically as a promotional opportunity. It could also be why the Mauser resolution seemed forced and tacked on. Hmmm.

        With Sizzling Shrimp to Wookie it’s a similar thing, in Sizzling shrimp we see Sarah being brought into the family at the end and we see the results of that in the beginning and end of Wookie.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I understand your point, and I think I characterized it reasonably in one of my earlier posts. You pretty early on said you didn’t and weren’t going to enjoy the direction S3 took, and I get that. If you don’t like that type of show I wouldn’t expect any different. My point is more about Kev’s point and how sometimes the fanbase stands in the way of their own enjoyment. I’m not saying all would enjoy the story if they were introduced to the one some of us see, but maybe some. If nothing else it often makes some of the character’s actions less inexplicable and less damaging, as with my take on 506 or FoD.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I can’t let this go though because of the assumption S3 detractors can somehow be “fixed” if we just understand the story better. Even for those who try to rationalize their opinion, bottom line is, their dislike of S3 was probably mostly an emotional distaste that can’t be fixed with any degree of understanding. We live in a rational age; people think everything should be addressed in rational or objective terms. But my taste (and I would wager the same is true for most people, in spite of modern conditioning and training to try to rationalize everything) will always be a product of emotion first.

      • Dave, I don’t root against your team. A few people, like me, thought S3 made sense, but wasn’t as good as other seasons. A few people, like you don’t care if it made sense and just thought S3 wasn’t that entertaining or fun. (I sometimes find myself on that team, depending on my mood.) Most people think it made no sense, was a failure at all levels (writing, acting, execution, etc.), and hate it with a passion. I didn’t mean to imply you were on that third team, Dave, and I don’t want to get into with them.

      • atcDave says:

        No problem Jeff, but it is an emotionally charged issue all around!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, Jeff summarized it well, but I’ll add the caveat that I sometimes can’t let this go because I sometimes feel Season 3 never got a fair shot with a lot of people. In addition some posters on some of the “teams” have made this a pretty hostile place for people like Jeff and me at times, and made it awfully hard for any discussion outside the bounds of their take on the season. This also sometimes bleeds into the current season and it was evident in parts of season 4. I have no problem with anyone who does or doesn’t enjoy the show for any reason. I have no problem with anyone expressing that opinion. I would hope to have the same courtesy extended to all posters. What I don’t like is something we share. People who tell others they SHOULDN’T like the show or specific episodes or who try to convince other fans that they are stupid if they do. I certainly don’t put you, or really any of our current regulars in this category at this point, which is why I felt it safe to bring up the topic. I know I’m perhaps walking a line where I sometimes may seem to be saying people SHOULD like the show or a specific episode or season 3 by some. It isn’t my intent. My enthusiasm can get the best of me at times. As I’ve said however my point is to present to those interested a way to see the show that is less damaging or confusing. They may or may not like that story, but I want people who are looking for an explanation to at least be given a shot at it.

        I suppose this is on my mind because I’m working on a pretty mammoth recap of the series that sort of picks up on a post I did last spring, and I got to the season 3 section. Maybe I shouldn’t get into this either, but in truth I think everyone has sufficiently mellowed, with the end so near, that the dominant emotion is now shared by all.

        And Jeff, I don’t think I’d say that most people thought season 3 made no sense and was a failure at every level. I’d just say that that group is a very vocal and widespread group on the boards.

      • jason says:

        Jeff, Today, I did not bring up season 3’s greatness.

        What gets me is when some people assign a smug sense of superior intellect to one ‘Team’ or the another. I have been pretty consistent about that as more than one blogger on this site can attest to. I also have defended my POV against all comers, lost more than one debate, and even (I think I have directly confronted 4 of the best writers in this fandom and stood my ground) stood toe to toe the most eloquent bloggers in this fandom without wincing.

        Anyhow, I honestly don’t like much about s3’s first 12 eps or last 4, but I would defend anyone’s right to expouse any opinion they care to. But, I don’t think it is fair to wrap one’s theory in a cloak of ‘if the rest of you only were smart enough to know what I know’ or ‘I blog to enlighten the rest of you poor saps so you can enjoy the show’. I have NEVER asked anyone to agree with me, only engage in a fair and honest exchange.

        Here as in life, the most compelling among us are those who passionately BELIEVE in what they say or do. When it comes to season 3, right, wrong or indifferent, I honestly believe in my POV. I think Ernie does too. That is what makes this site better than any other Chuck site on the internet, that debate can be had today, and tomorrow Ernie or I might say something that the other agrees with.

      • Shepperf of Lost Sheep says:

        @atcdave

        A little further up you said, “S3 detractors can somehow be “fixed” if we just understand the story better”, and that kinda bugged me.

        You see I don’t understand why they just can’t TELL the story better so that everyone can understand it the same way or at least as close to the same way as possible. IDK, maybe that’s impossible.

      • atcDave says:

        Shepperd my point was that we can’t be “fixed.” Because even if the story had been told better, I don’t want what they were trying to do. For me, that story was so flawed at conception I don’t even care what they could have done to tell it better, I wanted them to tell a different story. It would be like worrying about how comfortable an electric chair is; it’s not something I ever want to sit in regardless.

      • armysfc says:

        SLS it is impossible for these writers. no matter what site you go to they almost all say the same thing, their weak link is the mythology and they have never done it well. that’s a problem for this show because it ties in so close to the relationships. it’s the main reason i stopped watching. for me the spy story they were telling just kept getting weaker and weaker. i don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  5. BigKev67 says:

    Over the years we’ve had some pretty passionate debates about how the show should be, whether it’s too dark or too fluffy, and there’s been a lot of talk about a featured fanbase.
    I think there’s truth in that, but what always amazes me is that there is near unanimity on what constitutes the best of Chuck. I’d have Subway in my top 5 instead of Honeymooners (and Honeymooners is #6) – and my bottom 5 are all in the bottom 10. My only real beefs would be the high mark for Cliffhanger and the relatively low marks for Nacho Sampler and Tic Tac.
    I think the lesson is obvious. We all love the episodes where we get enough of what we like. Romance, Family, Drama, Heart and Humour. Chuck isn’t “just” any of them – it’s all of them, thrown into a pot and stirred by creative geniuses into something unique on TV. Leave one ingredient out, or add too much of another one and it’s not the same, at least not to me. The best C/S stuff is so poignant because they have to fight for it. The occasional pinch of drama brings the humor into much sharper context. The heart stands out because characters make mistakes that demand forgiveness. The best payoffs are the ones that are earned. The truth of that stands out to me every time I see one of these polls.

    • BigKev67 says:

      That’s supposed to be “fractured fanbase” rather than “featured fanbase” of course…. 🙂

      • armysfc says:

        Kev, the fanbase was fractured, it’s just those that fractured off don’t watch anymore or don’t partake in surveys. also i don’t think that even those that left really thought any or most of the episode were really bad, it was more the general direction of the show. that’s just a guess of course.

        i know when i voted s1&2 had a lot more 3-5 than 2-5 where as 4 had more 2-5 than 3-5. very few rated 5 or 1.

      • olddarth says:

        Well put Kevin.

        The keywords are balance and story telling honesty. The best episodes have that.

        Balance is for the elements you listed that go into a Chuckverse type storytelling. Honesty for being true to to the characters and not using the stupid stick and plot contrivances to reach a story telling objective.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I agree.

    • jason says:

      Kev – they just don’t have enough dramatic characters. I complained about this mid season 4 when Sarah ‘leaving’ Chuck and ‘killing’ Casey was the only dramatic hook available in Gobbler / Push Mix. Then for the end, my POV was re-inforced, when Sarah was on her deathbed to ramp up the drama in the final.

      Seems like the woeful drama of Santa is going to be her beaten to near death, bruised and battered face, maybe some hair pulling, slapping, maybe even a man punching her in the face, hands bound hanging, maybe even some forced intimacy between her and Fedak’s favorite pervert. Don’t be surprised if she is the drama at the end too, I’m thinking she will be involved in the conspiracy somehow that she has been keeping secret.

      It is OK to do all this, but would be nice if they spread it around a little bit, but nobody else is relevant, nobody else harmed or betrayed is either taken seriously or seemingly even allowed, kill Morgan, let Ellie have an affair, etc, etc, nobody cares, it has to be Sarah to deliver any payoff … if the show were a drama, this might all be ok, but in a show where most of the spy stuff is stupid, silly, parody which is fraught with so many plot holes that some of its most fervent advocates have quit the show …. well, I am left with little else to say.

      • armysfc says:

        Jason i feel your pain. im gonna guess sarah is your favorite? i think they do spread it around as i said last season. chuck was having his brain wiped in phase three, casey got tossed out a window in push mix and sarah got poisoned. i think thats spread around. this year morgan’s brain was melting, and it looks like sarah will get beat and casey shot in santa. again seems spread out.

        if i had to guess the reason it would be TPTB trying to stick to the hero’s journey all the time. even the small arcs follow that pattern (from what i understand about it). that has to limit how they write the story.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Jason,
        I see your point, and I do think they’ve missed some opportunities to spread things around. Ellie in particular has been under-used – Sarah Lancaster definitely has the chops to take on an expanded role.
        But the truth is you can’t have it both ways. As an avowed shipper, I’m pretty sure that you’re mostly uninterested in the other characters. It’s kind of a no win for the authors if you ask them to share the drama around, while at the same time saying you’re really only interested in Chuck and Sarah. You pays your money and you takes your choice. That said, more things happening to them together rather than separately would be a change up – but at this point, it is what it is.
        I genuinely think Chuck works better when it shares stories around all it’s characters, dramatic or otherwise. They’ve done that much better this season IMO, to huge advantage. But I think I’m in a minority. Look at what happened when they ran a story arc through Morgan. This is a Chuck/Sarah obsessed fandom – so that’s where your drama’s going to be.

      • atcDave says:

        Actually Kev, I agree with all of that. I think I’m as big a ‘shipper as anyone, but I enjoyed the Morgansect arc and have been perfectly happy to see the drama shared around this season. In fact, I REALLY like seeing Chuck and Sarah as the stable normal couple. We know they have drama heading their way, but happy its not all on them this season. Even though I do still think Yvonne is the best actor on the show and most capable of handling rough bits; I like even more when Sarah just gets to be happy for a while.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Dave,
        I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how well they’ve reintegrated the Buy More this season. I didn’t see that coming at all, and I would never have thought those characters would have been given a new lease of life. But they have. And the Ellie/Awesome stuff in Curse was a delight. And then there’s Casanski (??)….
        All great stuff. Hope it continues for the rest of the season. It’s too good an ensemble cast to ignore.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, ditto all Kev.

      • jason says:

        Kev – You are right. I want Chuck and Sarah on the screen as much as possible – but I want them TOGETHER. I do not want Sarah reduced to a rag doll in the clutches of some pervert, like the heroine of a Dudley Do-Right episode tied to the tracks or as Chuck’s betrayer, or as the mistress of another man – I want them, as a team – give them the drama, force them to choose between right and wrong, take action, and deal with the consequences.

        What is failed with Chuck the show is the Chuck and Sarah from s1 / s2, they had synergy, the smart guy and his warrior princess protector, neither complete without the other. Since then, for various reasons, including the physical skills in intersect 2.0, the show has struggled to find that ‘synergy’, especially at the end of arcs, when the show constantly falls back on possibly the oldest plot in the book, same one over and over and over again, with Sarah tied to the tracks and the nasty villain stroking his moustache and laughing an evil laugh. Aren’t you sick of it?

      • atcDave says:

        Jason the only problem I have with any of that is we don’t know yet what Sarah’s role will be in Santa Suit. Obviously she’s captured at some point, but we don’t know if she’ll escape or be rescued, how much hurt she might inflict for her trouble, or exactly what Chuck might do. I withhold judgement until I’ve seen it, and critics I routinely like are saying good things about it; so I’m cautiously optimistic.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I think we have lots of evidence that Sarah is going to be attached to Shaw’s hip all episode. She has a jacket on in the first fight scene, hers is off later. Shaw has a leather coat, later a fur coat. Sarah has her hands bound above her head, later she is sitting on a chair, apparently either knocked out or near dead, looks like shaw is either slapping her or pulling her hair or both. Her face looks battered.

        But my point addresses 3×13, 3×19 and 4×24 too where SArah is reduced to a rag doll. And even in 4×11-13, Sarah is operating rogue from Chuck, and more drama from those eps came from Sarah leaving Chuck than from Chuck defeating Volkov, at least up until the point Chuck was sitting in the cabin, which was pretty darned neat. But that isn’t really drama, which is problems, choices, actions, consequences, etc.

        My point to Kev is drama generated because they are apart is overplayed, what the show needs is the pair to be faced with compelling choices, and the strength of their partnership overcomes the obstacles. The show hasn’t been about that near as much as I would have hoped after Honeymooners, which was epic in that regard. Every once in a while an episode here or there nails it, but not near enough, especially in season ending arcs.

    • atcDave says:

      I mostly agree Kev. Chuck is an eccentric mix of elements that has attracted a diverse fan base. There is a certain point where they get the mix just right and we are all happy. But when they shift that balance it tends to make one group or another unhappy (sometimes they disappoint nearly all of us). It is interesting that there is so much similarity among us on where individual episodes belong in our ranking. But somehow it surprises me even more some of the episodes I felt strongly about where I seem to be out of step.

      • atcDave says:

        I suppose I should add this ties directly into my comments above about what was really wrong with Pink Slip/Three Words. It was a shift in balance many of us found utterly unacceptable.

  6. dkd says:

    I do research in my job. It’s customary when posting results for a survey to reveal how many respondents you had.

    So, how many people voted?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Only if you are claiming some sort of statistical relevance to a larger population. I’m not. As I said this is merely a snapshot of the self selected people on our board who like to vote in polls, it’s just here to provide a basis for some discussion, not establish an objective scale of quality.

      That said, since you ask so nicely, we had 78 responses over the course of a week (most in the first two days), which is more than I expected for something so long, and represents about a 0.8% sample of our weekly traffic, or about 7-8% of our daily traffic (which varries tremendously through the week) if I’d closed it after two days. Of course there is no way to do any sort of rigorous statistical analysis or draw any conclusions about even our own readership without demographics for both the respondents and readers, etc. etc, etc…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        PS. If there is any real interest I can post the raw numbers in a similar format when I get home.

      • dkd says:

        Thanks for your response.

        It’s not only relevant when noting statistical relevance. Calculations such as standard deviation can be interpreted differently with 78 responses vs. seven.

        I knew you weren’t attempting to do anything more than provide a snapshot of willing respondents on this website.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Good point, I’ll post the raw numbers when I get home. In addition 78 was the overall number who participated, there were some respondents who skipped episodes, so each episode has to be looked at individually if you want to look at standard deviation of the ratings for an episode. I haven’t looked at any of that, other than to note that for the most part they looked generally like a pretty “normal” distribution in most cases. Certainly none struck me as deviating greatly from that.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Sorry I haven’t posted the raw numbers, I had some wordpress formatting issues that didn’t pop up the first time. I’ll hopefully get it resolved soon.

  7. andyt says:

    I have been re-watching Season 1 which has some of my absolute favorite episodes in it. Just finished “Alma Mater” and I was struck by the connections between S1 and the conspiracy in S5. What is the conspirators are trying to destroy Chuck’s business because they want him for the “Omaha Project” as intended from the beginning. Remember Cunnings says, “You pissed off some powerful people.”, but she admits that she doesn’t know who is giving the orders. Chuck was originally supposed to go into that military weapon program, but Bryce torpoed it. The Big Bad could want Chuck to become that weapon they always envisioned him as. This also fits with the theory that Chuck is the Intersect, it is not separate from him but what he is. I think that the writers are basically trying to finish some ideas that they planted in S1.

    Dave totally agree with you. I don’t like Truth either, but adore Nemesis to episodes later, and Undercover Lover is fantastic. It is truly the first time we see Casey as a human being, as Chuck said, “It is alive!!!”

    • atcDave says:

      I really do hope this conspiracy ties back into the “Omaha Project” at some point. I think that would satisfy a lot of long time viewers. It sounds like we may get some answers this Friday!

      • armysfc says:

        my guess for whos behind the virus…shaw, just saying.

      • atcDave says:

        I bet not Army. I’m not very sure about that, but I’m thinking the conspiracy, including the altered Intersect and Omen virus will play out longer over the back part of the season. Shaw will a recurring villain. He may however know something about what’s been going on. Again, my confidence level on that is pretty low, but that is my expectation.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave based on spoilers i think the virus ends this week. they have said that jeff and lester save the world and we find out who was behind the virus. i took a shot with shaw because he’s new this week, hates chuck and sarah and could have been involved from the start.

        besides how can they have it go on? if its as bad as chuck said if it was to carry on it should, if written well, be like die hard 4. if not it will be another case of bad story telling. thats just my take however and it is just a guess, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m sorry my comment was confusing. I believe the virus will be fixed/stopped this week. But I don’t believe they’ll get to the bottom of who started what for a while yet.

      • andyt says:

        I am hoping the same Dave. As a fan from the very first episode, and yes I was watching on that very first Monday night in September 2007, I think that would honor the long time viewers. It has been a great ride with Chuck and his friends.

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    As promised the raw results are posted. Sorry for the delay. Columns 1-5 are the rating from 1-5, column 6, the number of ratings, and 7 the mean. Have fun stats nerds.

  9. atcDave says:

    Seems to confirm some earlier speculation. S1 and S2 only have a scattering of 1s; which I guess is when our show with a delicate balance attracted viewers with a variety of tastes. While S3 and S4 failed to maintain that balance. It’s hard to know for sure, but I’ll guess it was mostly different viewers who handed out an abundance of 1s in S3 from those who handed out nearly as many in S4. But really the most striking thing is how few 1s there were for those first two seasons.

    • atcDave says:

      Sorry, related thought. Ernie you were talking a lot about consistency; but I was struck by the opposite. Look at the extreme ends not the middle ground. It is clear which episodes are often discussed as loved versus loathed; they racked up much larger numbers of 1s or 5s.

  10. The more I look at this, the more it looks like a political ballot. It looks like someone voted ‘1’ as a straight party ticket for all Season 3 episodes.

    Season 1 had very few ‘1’s. What I’ve realized is people who would have voted ‘1’ on a lot of season 1 episodes quit watching a long time ago. People who voted ‘1’ on season 3 episodes were more likely to stick with the show because they had invested two years watching episodes they liked. That’s what I felt like at the end of Smallville and ER. I wanted those shows to be cancelled so I could see the end of the story.

    • atcDave says:

      Jeff I can’t speak for everyone, but I used two 1s for S2 and six for S3. None for S1 or S4. I wouldn’t do a strait party vote even for S3; there were still a few good moments.

      • Immediately after I submitted my vote, I wished I had taken a snapshot, because I don’t remember how I voted.

        Honeymooners getting a ‘1’ but no ‘2’s was a clue about the strait party vote. Also the stretch of only one ‘1’s from Other Guy to Tooth. If someone did that, they have the right to vote that way. No complaint–just an observation.

        Now if the dead started to vote, we’d know we’re in Chicago. Either that or Bryce Larkin, Daniel Shaw, Vincent, and Orion voted. Wait, Shaw isn’t dead? That’s ok. Hopefully in less than 48 hours he will be.

    • armysfc says:

      Jeff another take is people messed with the vote, voted against the grain just because.

  11. jason says:

    I had a spreadsheet open anyhow, miracles of modern tech, a quick cut and paste, couple of excel formulas, and here you go:

    1’s 2’s 3’s 4’s 5’s Votes Avg
    s1 0.15 4.62 18.85 30.69 20.38 74.69 3.89
    s2 1.14 4.50 16.50 26.55 26.18 74.86 3.96
    s3 7.16 8.68 18.74 24.11 16.32 75.00 3.45
    s4 2.38 8.25 18.67 26.46 18.83 74.58 3.69
    Total 2.82 6.69 18.10 26.62 20.55 74.78 3.74

    I am pretty sure a near infinite number of conclusions can be reached using the info. I’ll stay out of that one, I get in enough trouble here.

    • armysfc says:

      fuel on the fire here. i said during s4 that people liked season 4 more because it followed a season that they didn’t like. i argued that it wasn’t as good as 2 or 1 and was well dissed. these numbers kind of bear that out. the results are the same as i have seen elsewhere, 2,1,4,3 in that order, sometimes 3 and 4 are flipped.

      all in all i think it’s a fair assessment of the seasons.

      • S1: 3.89, 0.39
        S2.0: 4.01, 0.55 (through Santa Claus)
        S2.5: 3.92, 0.58
        S3.0: 3.23, 0.62
        S3.5: 3.93, 0.62
        S4.0: 3.72, 0.52
        S4.5: 3.64, 0.56

        S1 seems to have had the most consistency, which I would agree with. I’m surprised 2.5 is lower than 2.0, but Beefcake and 3D hurt a lot. S3.5 is actually higher than S1 and S2.5. I know Army would say it is because it followed S3.0. I probably like S2.5 and S1 better than S3.5 overall, but Honeymooners is my favorite episode, so I’m not too surprised. Whenever I read complaints about S3, I have to remind myself most people probably mean S3.0 and do not include S3.5, which these stats bear out.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff, not really. i would say its more like they had six less chances to mess up. there are 7 more eps in 3.0 than 3.5. it could go either way, they could have winners like 3.14, 18, 19 or lesser ones like the ones in the middle. that would push the numbers either direction. i think honeymooners is one of the best, but how would that episode fared this season or 4 episodes later? it was the first really lite episode after the misery arc, so i think there is some truth to my saying it followed 3.0. i also think that 18,19 got higher marks because people saw them together and didn’t have time to stew over the ending of 18.

        i fell ok comparing s2 with s4 because the number of episodes was almost the same.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I agree with all of that. Honeymooners may be my all time favorite episode, partly because it ushers in a whole new era of Chuck that I like very much; but otherwise, while S3.5 is vastly better than S3, I still rank it below any other season (I really don’t like lying Chuck).
        I also think I rank S1 more highly than average, it really was my favorite show on television as soon as it premiered.

  12. Ernie Davis says:

    Good lord, hanging chads, this is why I thought posting raw numbers was a mistake… 😉

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