Chuck vs The Baby

Episode 5.08 First Reactions

Its another Friday, we all know what that means.  So has everyone got their Subway subs today?  That’s all….    see ya next week…

Seriously, I don’t think there’s any more anticipated episode for this season.  The previews look exciting, spoilers and speculation abound.  This looks to be the last Sarah centered episode, and we finally get to meet her mom and learn the details of their long separation.  I think it was Chris Fedak who said this episode would make us fall in love with Sarah.  Of course my first thought is that happened about three years ago.

So can “Baby” deliver?  (ha, ha) Or will our anticipation work against it?

And of course, where do we go from here?  Will we learn things tonight that have bearing on the rest of the season?

Let us know what you think!

 ~ Dave


About atcDave

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

  1. atcDave says:

    Let me lead off by saying “Chuck vs The Baby” just looks like a really awful title. Didn’t Ellie raise Chuck better than that?! Geez, picking on babies…

    • Gord says:

      Reading this, I just thought back to Last Details and “shoot the puppy”. Couldn’t you just see Chuck playing and Italian arms dealer trying to impress the bad guys. LOL

  2. joe says:


    The award for Worst Pun of 2011 goes to…

    (May I have the envelope, please?)

    DAVE! For, “Baby Delivery”!!!

    [Insert Kermit d’ Frog clapping his webbed hands together wildly]


  3. Aerox says:

    Oh my God Dave, your first comment made me think about 43 minutes of Team Bartowski planning on how to steal candy from a baby!

  4. herder says:

    Does anyone know who wrote this one? Santa Suit was the contractually obligated non-staff writer episode so from now on out it should be all staff writers. Kristen Newman hasn’t done one in a while and they seem to have given her the Sarah episodes that Ali Adler used to get so she is my guess for this one.

    So if dad was the unrooted, road trip one of the family that Sarah seems to have emulated in her early years, could mom be the home and hearth one of her parents that is her path of the future? Will mom set the path for Sarah to want a home life that is settled and outside of the CIA for her end game. Does mom have a home with a red door that Sarah wants and presumably will get at the finale?

  5. herder says:

    Tony Todd! Graham’s evil plan rears it’s head.

    • I missed that. Thanks, herder! I checked the credits during the last commercial break. Cool!

    • His possible evil plan was not explained, but part of me thinks Eve Shaw really was a member of the Ring. Fulcrum and the Ring infiltrated the CIA. Why did everyone assume the hit wasn’t justified solely based on Daniel Shaw’s word? The Ring did have her spy will.

      • ladycat713 says:

        Probably the same thing that had people thinking he was a super spy, calling him an American Hero , the bad guys thinking he was a credible threat, had Sarah rewarding and enabling him , not kneecapping him when she had the chance before he killed Papa B Plus still calling him a good man – he drugged them or maybe has lsd that only effects some people pouring out of his pores. Considering the good man comment and how she went to see him maybe Sarah should go through detox just in case.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Shaw is running away this poll:
        I don’t agree with it, but I also don’t know any of the other stories. Captain Montgomery (from Castle) would win easily if he were still alive. As a cop, he kidnapped and ransomed mobsters, murdered an FBI agent, covered it up, was extorted into giving money to a guy who assassinated Kate Beckett’s mom, and covered it up for twelve years, making her live a tortured life without closure. But in the S3 season finale he did the self-sacrifice thing like Shaw in American Hero and was very likeable before the unfounded character reveal, so they love him in Castle fandom. I don’t get it.

        Sarah’s plea to Shaw didn’t make a lot of sense, but I took it as Sarah doing a Chuck, trying to talk her way out of it. It would never work with someone like Shaw, so it came across a little lame, but I like to think of it as something the new and improved Sarah would only try because of how Chuck has changed her. She was also saying those things for herself. No one would every want to think they were involved with someone so evil, so she is rationalizing.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff i’m not sure if you mean you don’t know why the castle fans love capt m or why shaw is running away with the poll. i’ll take a stab at the capt m thing however. he was beloved from the start, he did good things for beckett, treated castle good and never got involved with beckett. his reveal was a shock. i equate it to finding out the guy you lived next to for 10 years is a killer. people say it all the time, he was such a nice guy i didn’t expect him to do something like that. shaw well nuff said.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Army, I don’t completely understand either. My guess is Shaw is running away with the poll because of the Internet/Chuck factor. There isn’t an “anybody but Shaw” choice to consolidate the votes of the people who know Shaw doesn’t deserve another chance (which is where I would have voted).

        I really liked Montgomery as well. Then he was revealed as a bad guy without a good villain foundation. What you don’t typically hear from neighbors is “He was such a nice guy. I didn’t expect him to do something like that, but I STILL think he is a great guy and a hero. I’d like him to babysit my kids.” He tried to save Beckett with a plan that was worse than any of Chuck’s and was killed because of it, he only took out the hit squad with mystery “revolver vs. assault rifle” skills that had to have come from the Intersect, and he still left Beckett vulnerable so she was shot mere days later. It seemed more like meaningless suicide than a heroic act to me. Shaw’s actions in American Hero weren’t as heroic as they were played up, but at least he was going after the Director, not Thug #1 through Thug #3 and the hit man hired to lead them.

        The typical reaction to the paragraph above would be like someone saying Sarah and Shaw had the perfect relationship making Mask and Fake Name the best shows of the series. My point is if Montgomery were in prison, not dead, a whole lot of people would vote for his redemption.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree entirely that Montgomery would be a character people wanted some redemption for if he still breathing. He always came across as a “good guy” and his dirty secret was certainly shocking; and pretty poorly handled. It required a number of unbelieveable moments and behaviors to accomplish.
        An interesting aspect of it though is it helps me keep some perspective about “casual viewers”. Because I am a casual viewer for Castle I can shrug it off and say “oh well, so what next?” It only meant a couple of bad episodes, and now the show gets back to normal. I would have been furious at such a turn of events on Chuck.

        As far as Sarah’s “good guy” line to Shaw; I think there’s a lot of hope and wishful thinking in her comment. I’m sure the approach occured to her because of the Chuck influence; and she knew (or thought she did) that Shaw had once been one of the good guys and there really might be some conscience and principle left to appeal to. But even at that I’m sure she knew it was a long shot; Shaw’s mind and soul were totally corrupt. I’m sure if he had responded to Sarah with “oh my gosh, you’re right! what I’m doing? I’ve become a monster!” Sarah’s response would have been “Really? You bought that?!”

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        LOL. Actually, I think I have seen the “what have I done? I’m a monster” thing a few times in other shows and movies. Now when I see than again, I’ll imagine Sarah saying, “You bought that!”

  6. ladycat713 says:

    Did I actually hear Chuck bring up that the trust thing doesn’t just apply to him? Or was that a delusion?

  7. ladycat713 says:

    We only have half a season left. Hopefully not as long as Chuck and sarah because they are still a work in progress.

  8. Rick Holy says:

    Sarah just got “fooled” by a tape recording of a crying infant. By now the kid would be 5-6 years old. Definitely not in that kind of crib or with that kind of crying. For the best partner Casey’s ever had, that’s a major screw up!

  9. We just got our musical episode. “Slumber My Darling” just made me think of Alias season 2:

    • atcDave says:

      My first thought was Yvonne has always suggested she couldn’t sing. But I realized while watching the scene it was carefully dubbed so we never heard just her. She really has NO confidence on the subject!

    • Rick Holy says:

      LOVED ALIAS. Coincidentally, like CHUCK, it went 5 seasons.

      • Alias didn’t have the comedy, but parts of the quality arcs are similar. Alias and Chuck are the two best pilots I’ve ever seen. Both had great S2. The first half of S3 of Alias was worse than the first half of S3 of Chuck. *ducking for cover* Both shows recovered once they made the OLI evil. I hope Chuck ends better than Alias.

  10. ladycat713 says:

    The Awesomes are playing sex games in Castle! I love it!

    Ellie getting her hair caught shows that the klutziness isn’t just Chuck’s.

  11. ladycat713 says:

    Yes! He called her on it ! And she admitted it. AWWW!

    Hopefully she will tell him everything. Including those things she should have told him a long time ago.

  12. ladycat713 says:

    In a way this baby is the sister Sarah pretended she had.

  13. ladycat713 says:

    This gonna be one heck of a way to meet his mother in law!

  14. Rick Holy says:

    Nice episode. Wrapping things up very well.

  15. gameagain says:

    And her first mission upon returning…

    Very nice callback.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Definitely! I think they’re “ending well,” tying up loose ends, connecting pieces that “complete the puzzle.” looking forward to the remaining episodes, but not “the end.” 😦

  16. Rick Holy says:

    Great ending. That “Chuck & Sarah” theme is always so haunting. And next week – a PREGNANT Sarah?? Excellent!

  17. I’m just checking… Was that episode as awesome as I think it was?

  18. Aerox says:

    So Fedak actually speaks the truth for once. I have a few minor complaints which mostly have to do with how Sarah seems to be the offical punching bag (I wonder if they’ll start selling Sarah Punching Bags/Dolls in the near future to milk it a little more) of Team B. Not only that but one other minor gripe deals with how incompetent they seem to have made Sarah to fit the story. But I forgive them, because all in all, I really did like this episode.

    • Its the default mode….. whenever they need a character to fit the story – they become incompetent…. see its simple that way : ) Flavour of the week…

    • atcDave says:

      I predict based on previews that Sarah will not see so much abuse for the rest of the season!

      • I agree. I also wonder if some of the issues people had with how Sarah handled Shaw last week were done that way because the writers wanted her handling of Ryker to be different this week. (e.g. the head butt, being the one in the final fight, actually killing Ryker)

    • Gord says:

      She looked pretty competent when she took out those 11 bad guys.

      • Aerox says:

        She was extremely competent in ALL her flashback scenes. Maybe it’s to show the viewer that she’s not as good as she once was and has no intention of being that good again, but it serves for her to be a punching bag on more than one occasion. At least, that’s how I see it.

  19. herder says:

    As to the punching bag thing, at least she fought back better this time, the head butt was pretty cool. I wouldn’t say incompetent but rather it was to illustrate the dangers of her determination to keep things to herself.

    • That head butt would have broken his nose – or at given him a really bad headache : )

    • Aerox says:

      Yeah, she fought back. But for example during the final fight scene, it wasn’t until she gutted him like a trout that he actually went down. Until then, it was pretty much a Sarah-Smackdown.

      • That’s a common problem in a lot of TV and movie fights that don’t feature Chuck Norris or Jet Li.

        The capture-his-knife-with-the-carving-knife-block move was really cool, though.

      • Aerox says:

        Oh most definitely! I actually squea’d a small (seriously, it wasn’t louder than maybe 20 decibel… okay, so maybe it was rather loud) bit when that part happened.

      • Aerox says:

        But honestly, that fight felt like a WWE fight. Face (Sarah) gets destroyed by Heel (Ryker) for extended period of time. Face gets a couple of good hits in but can never capitalize on it and Heel seems to be winning. SUDDENLY, interruption and Face takes that chance to finally capitalize and end the fight in two moves.

      • Gord says:

        I don’t know, I think she was giving as good as she got. They have often made the big baddie a diificult takedown for Sarah, but yet she always prevails.

    • Faith says:

      Because she gets the bulk of the action scenes and fights, it ends up with her getting the bulk of the beating as well.

      • Aerox says:

        Honestly though, it seems like the Bartowski’s are some sort of demigods. Maybe it’s the last name. Because honestly, it took a point blank shot to the chest to get Stephen down. He survived a predator missile no problem. Has Chuck ever even bled? And ever since Sarah and Chuck got together, she’s been beaten, hit with glass etc. etc. and she’s had maybe two bruises and a measly cut.

        Demigods I tell ye!

  20. herder says:

    A lot to like in this one, does anyone do family dinners better than Chuck? I would like to have seen Sarah introducing Chuck to her mother but that is a small quibble. Honestly I did think that it was a bit slow in the beginning but it certainly did pick up. Personally I think that sending Sarah to handle Chuck was part of Graham’s evil plan but I don’t think that it really fits with the pilot, wasn’t she in Burbank to see who Chuck was initially and stayed to handle him, I don’t recall time passing for her to go back to Washington to get the assignment.

    Yay for the return of Gertrude next week and the pregnancy test, nice to see that they are not leaving it for the last five minutes of the series, although it does leave open the possibility of a miscarriage or otherwise losing the baby before the end.

  21. Yep = that was really great…. I’ll be back to read what yall have to say [ always more eloquently than anything I could scribble together]….. but let me put on my waders first – I suspect there will be lots of gushing…. it really was that good!
    Trust issues – good fights – knife to the chest – and probably one of the most wonderful conclusions [ no not even going to mention the promo for next week] – Yep – that was a home run!

  22. Aerox says:

    Oh, and a few really awkward retcon moments. Still, I’m used to that by now. Seems like they retconned Bryce out of existence. Either that, or they were on/off more than Ross and Rachel.

    • Exactly – and there really wasn’t any need for us to see the Bartowski file…. especially when they had no idea who he was at the start of the series….. either that – or there is much more that we don’t know YET [ cue the evil laugh]

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah the timeline is a little hard to reconcile, and it was a minor retcon for the Pilot. But I like what it says about Sarah’s emotional state going into the Burbank mission. It also really highlights some of her extreme reticence in those early episodes.

      • Aerox says:

        People are making her so much more detached than she truly was 😛 Just because she was cold about their relationship doesn’t mean she didn’t care. She was actually pretty warm and cuddly (I’ll admit, i was rather jealous of the baby 😦 ) throughout the entire show. She was a private person, but that’s got nothing to do with Ryker, that’s just her personality and continued badgering from her father and Graham.

    • herder says:

      If you want to get down to it they also retconed her red test, with Chuck if he passed his red test he was a full fledged spy heading his own team. Presumably with Sarah she passed hers and went back to her handler. Then again the red test was a truely stupid concept so perhaps it is best that it is ignored, except for the fact that it was the reason for Shaw’s desire for revenge in the preceeding episode.

      • herder says:

        Oh yeah and the whole Bryce thing, if he was her partner, was Riker his handler too? Or was he simply her partner in a romantic sense, if so why was she sent to Burbank in the pilot.

      • Chuck was different because he had the Intersect.

        The term “handler” bothered me a little in this episode, but I think they meant it as a ‘boss-in-the-field’ more than the handler/asset relationship we saw in S1->S3.0. My assumption is the presence of a handler depended on the particular mission and how much was need-to-know. They probably should have used a different term, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

      • atcDave says:

        As near as I can tell, in the real world, field agents DO have handlers. Basically someone who co-ordinates the mission and communicates with higher ups while an agent is undercover or on assignment. Its more of a position than a rank. Just keep this to yourself, some folks don’t take well to interjecting reality into a fantasy setting.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Ryker was for the one mission only. Sarah and Bryce presumably had a different handler(s) when they were partnered together.

      • Aerox says:

        Actually, no they didn’t. Chuck got his own team because he was the Intersect with full fledged super spy capabilities. When Sarah completed her red test, she was still somewhat of a rookie so she was partnered (casually forgetting the CATs at this point in time :D)

      • ArmySFC says:

        they pretty much retconed the show. she was made chuck’s handler in 2006 didn’t meet him till fall 2007, yet in the pilot had no idea who he was. she was supposed to be partnered with bryce for 2 years prior to being with chuck taking down fulcrum (if i remember it right). most episodes with bryce will confirm they were partners. now she never was?

        other than that and a few small things i liked it.

      • Army, this episode was probably supposed to air in 2012, so five years ago would be 2007. Blame NBC for that one. Flashback years are normally estimates anyway. You never see “four years and seven months ago.” We also don’t know the time between Budapest and the assignment to Burbank. If the timeline is off, it isn’t off by much.

        Bryce and Sarah were not actively partners for all missions. If they were, Sarah would have been included on the mission to destroy the Intersect. Her temporary assignment to Ryker’s mission would have provided the opportunity for Fulcrum to use Bryce.

      • herder says:

        Don’t get me wrong these are just small things, I think that it is for a reason, I think that Sarah was put in Chuck’s path as part of the conspiracy, why I don’t know.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff so she still knew who chuck was before he downloaded the intersect. that to me is more important then if it was in 06 or 07. she was assigned to be his handler why? they did a lot more than that as well during the episode, most of it small but they did change a lot of what they already put out in the past.

        like Joe and i talked about earlier today they leave it to our imagination to fill in the blanks. you just see it different than i do. like when they say they were partners for two years i take it to mean just that. most of the time they were together, but with what grahm said it leads you to believe she was on her own, same with riker, he said that he recruited her because she was a loner and had nobody she could talk to. yet they said before she was dating bryce during the two years they were partners. wouldn’t her handler know she had a partner? one she was sleeping with? a handler knows what the agent he/she is responsible for is doing, thats his/her job.

        back to bryce say it is supposed to be early 2007, she still had her handler till she got chuck’s mission so he would be in the know.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        “she was assigned to be his handler why?” While the NSA just wanted Chuck dead, the CIA was interested in why Bryce emailed the Intersect to Chuck. They wanted to know if they were working together.

        I agree the loner concept was odd, but for all we know Sarah and Bryce might have been “on a break” right before the Budapest episode. It wasn’t a retcon. It was just a lack of detail. As you have said, we all fill in details different ways.

        I commented on the “handler” role in another post. That seems like a mission specific role to me.

        I have a question because I don’t remember… Where is the “they say they were partners for two years” idea coming from? If someone could point me to the episode, I want to look up the exact quote. I know the Cabo pictures in the pilot were from 2005 and Bogota was 2005. Do we have evidence of anything continuous in 2006 or 2007?

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff you said, ““she was assigned to be his handler why?” While the NSA just wanted Chuck dead, the CIA was interested in why Bryce emailed the Intersect to Chuck. They wanted to know if they were working together.” she was made his handler before he got it, that’s why i asked why. from what they showed tonight she was made his handler before he got the intersect. in the pilot which now takes place after she was his handler she needed to see if he was working with bryce which is what the pilot showed and you just said.

        during one ep i dont remember which one, when she finds out bryce was killed she tells chuck he was my partner meaning current, if he was not she would have said former partner, thats my take. that happened in 2007 i think so there’s the two years


      • armysfc says:

        Jeff sorry i forgot this in regards to bryce. ryker clearly say’s that even when she was with a team she was alone, he never mentioned partner in there. she was a partner with bryce in 05, why no mention?

      • herder says:

        Boys and girls play nice now, I guess theoretically the meeting could have taken place sometime between the pilot and the second episode, after they had the photo of Chuck and knew he was not part of some plot with Bryce. Ryker could have been her handler in the past and called her back for another mission off the books and as far as her not disclosing things to others that was part of her personality even when she was with Bryce (although that takes away from her betrayal about Bryce not telling her about his mission to infiltrate Fulcrum). It is possible but it requires a lot of stretches. I still think that this is in futherance of some future plot rather than some sort of gratutious retcon.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Bryce should have been mentioned, but I don’t put too much weight it what bad guys say. They are usually wrong.

        Ryker didn’t know about Sarah’s mom even though he saw Sarah talking to her–talking to mystery people on missions is not loner behavior. Graham might have kept the Bryce relationship out of her file because she was his recruit. Sarah and Bryce might have broken up right before the Budapest mission because she didn’t want attachments or because Bryce was taking the Intersect mission and acted like a jerk about it.

        The CAT Squad fall-out is the only loner evidence we know of from her file. Maybe none of my theories above are true, and Ryker simply read too much into the CAT Squad break-up. Obviously he didn’t know Sarah very well. She beat him in the original mission and hid the baby with the mother he didn’t know about. He didn’t know she was married. Her team from the business she co-owns surprised him in Budapest. His assumptions and surprise at Sarah’s mom’s got him killed.

        Ryker was very ruthless and a half decent fighter, but he wasn’t a good spy. Why worry about anything he said?

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think any of the continuity problems are very big. I assume her partnership with Bryce was an occasional thing, and the Prague mission we’re seeing took place WHILE Bryce was taking out the Intersect (5 years means back to the start of the show). In the last scene with Graham Sarah is wearing the jacket she wore for her first scene walking into the Buy More, so I assume it was that very morning; she left Graham’s office, hopped on a flight to LAX, and was seeing Chuck with a broken phone that afternoon.
        The handler thing is not a problem. Real agents have handlers when they’re on missions (Wikipedia). As near as I can tell they’re often administrative personnel and not like field agents at all; but that’s clearly an area where Chuck and other fictional spy stories play loose with facts. Field agents in turn may handle civilian contacts creating multiple layers of asset/handler relations. So Sarah would have been unlikely to say “no more handlers…”. It’s just a part of the spy life and she would have known that. Unless she meant to say she only wanted to take orders from Graham himself; if she really was considered the agency’s best and was known as Graham’s attack dog maybe it wasn’t such an outrageous request…

        The only real problem I see with the story presented is that Sarah did not know Chuck had personally downloaded the Intersect when she left for LA. So it’s a mild retcon now to have her expecting Chuck to be a long term asset. She should have been seeing him simply as a mark when she first left for LA, and probably not expecting anything more than that until after their ill-fated first date.

  23. atcDave says:

    I am completely happy tonight. This was a wonderful episode all around. We saw the old wild-card enforcer. And we saw how she started to change even before Chuck. But I thought it was significant, as we were discussing earlier this week, that Sarah clearly had a conscience and a heart to start with. She was immediately concerned about the baby’s well being, she was quite sentimental with her mom, and she was even hesitant to just kill a roomful of hoodlums until she’d been assured they were very bad (!) (and oooh that scene was cool).
    I do wish the disclosure had come easier for her. But the way it came about was very satisfying. I loved Ryker’s emphasis that she was still a loner, followed by Chuck’s statement she wrong; and Sarah immediately making the right choice in recognizing Chuck was right. Perfectly played and wonderful all around.
    I think we had the best action we’d seen all season. From Sarah taking out a roomful of baddies, to her escape in a hail of gunfire, to the huge smackdown at her mom’s house (gee, good thing there were no studs in those walls…) Great action episode. (my wife made the comment “she would have made a better Lara Croft than whatshername… she can actually act…”) Did I say “fun episode?!”
    I loved the big family gathering at the end. Very sweet. Every aspect was pitch perfect. One of the best family gatherings we’ve seen, and that’s always been one my favorite elements.
    Loved the last Chuck and Sarah scene too. Apart from vandalizing bank property another very sweet scene.

  24. SarahSam says:

    I enjoyed it on first watch. The timeline of this episode does retcon Larkin out and the ending with Graham assigning Sarah as Chuck’s handler. Does that mean the events of Pilot never happened? I though Sarah’s first glimpse of Chuck was when his photo was sent to her phone entering the Buy more? I’m confused.

    • I didn’t see a retcon of Bryce. They just didn’t mention him. Bryce’s name was probably in the file.

      However, shows have been known to intentionally ignore former cast members and guest starts that refuse to return. Maybe he was offered a small role and turned it down. Ignoring him is feeble retaliation. I’m not trying to start a rumor–that idea probably didn’t happen. I’m just saying that it has happened in other shows.

      Chuck was an asset when he was originally the mark, just like Manoosh. That made Sarah Chuck’s handler, just like Chuck was Manoosh’s handler.

      • alex says:

        they didn’t mention him, but am i right in thinking i saw the smashed device he used to send the intersect to Chuck on Graham’s desk or was that just my imagination?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Alex that’s exactly what that was. Bryce could/should have been mentioned at some point, but it’s not a huge problem that he wasn’t.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t think it was much of a retcon. The Ryker mission was apparently their first time working together, so presumably she was actively Bryce’s partner, but Ryker requested her because she was good and would keep a secret.
      There’s some timing issues I think are a little out of whack; like Graham planning on Sarah being Chuck’s handler before they even knew Chuck had downloaded the Intersect. But this isn’t really a huge thing when the episode is sooo much fun!

      • I liken it to Chuck/Manoosh. Chuck was Manoosh’s handler before they knew he designed the Intersect glasses. Sarah was Chuck’s handler when all they knew was Bryce sent the Intersect to Chuck.

      • Gord says:

        How do we know that the assignment to Chuck was out of wack with the timeline. It could have been just after Bryce was “killed” by Casey and Langston had sent her to Burbank to handle “Chuck”. At that point he didn’t say it was a long term assignment did he?

        It is true the picture in the file was a detail that didn’t gel with what they did in Nacho Sampler, and I was waiting for Sarah’s response “peace of cake” to “do you think you can handle it?”

      • atcDave says:

        Gord I don’t really think the timing is out of whack so much as what they knew, and when. Sarah shouldn’t have known Chuck was going to be a long-term assignment. Although maybe the possibility was being allowed for…

  25. Gord says:

    Every week it seems the Chuck episode is better than the last one and from Business trip on they have all been so great.

    This was once again an amazing episode – but then again Sarah centric episodes never disappoint.

    I think we got to see the Giant Blond She Male (GBSM) when she took out those eleven guys in the shootout. When her guns were empty she just smoothly does the throwing knives.

    Some nice callbacks in this episode – the house, Langston Graham.

    Especially when he gave Sarah her new assignment near the end – “think you can handle it?”

    I was waiting for “peace of cake” from Sarah – like we heard in Nacho Sampler.

    Liked Sarah freaking out when she his taking care of “the package” and calls her mom for help.
    BTW – Yvonne can sing – granted it was only a lullaby, but she has a nice voice and perfect pitch.
    We need to have Chuck and Sarah singing together at a karioke bar or similar scenario (maybe on the Japanese Bullet Train).

    We saw a reverse of Curse in this episode. This time Casey and Chuck saving Sarah.

    I really liked how they handled “the package”. We now have 2 new additions to the extended Bartowski family – Mama Walker and Sarah’s “sister” Molly.

    That family get together at the end was so touching – I need another box of tissues.
    I hope we see Molly and Mom in the final episode as part of a big family get together.

    Question was Sarah at the kitchen sink a callback to Truth – the hospital room? I remember a movie that came out a long time ago (I think with Al Pacino) in which the hero uses the same decoy technique to take out a terrorist. Sorry can’t remember the name of the movie, but the scene was very similar.

    I know I’m missing a lot of great stuff, but I’m sure a lot of blanks are filled in with the rest of the comments.

    Then there was that promo for next week’s episode – the pregnancy test – I’m on pins and needles.

  26. joe says:

    Has everyone noticed Faith’s ticker at the bottom? Please check it out before midnight – Cute!

  27. I just realized. In Lethal Weapon, Casey said he once took out 10 guys. In the flashback, Sarah took out 11 on the way in and more on the way out, so she even topped Cole.

    • atcDave says:

      No doubt Sarah is bad! She just doesn’t brag about it (which seems perfectly in character!)
      I love she’s really the most dangerous character on the show. Apparently by a pretty wide margin.

  28. Gord says:

    Although, they decided not to take up Gen B’s offer to rejoin the CIA, I have a feeling that they will get a lot of contract work coming there way from our favourite General. I mean after the last few episodes she is now definitely part of the Bartowski extended family.

    I also wonder about Casey – of course he will stick with team Bartowski, but I would like there to be a team meeting where they discuss this with him.

  29. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    It looks like I’m in the spam filter again.

  30. andyt says:

    A very good episode. I believe that they are tying up many themes and ideas in the show and preparing the characters for the future. I don’t think that they are retconning Bryce out at all. If you watch that last scene, the device that Bryce used to download the Intersect and send it to Chuck is on Graham’s desk beside the file, and Sarah is wearing the exact same outfit from her first scene in the Buy More with Chuck. Apparently she went right from the airport to the Buy More to meet Chuck. Also, when Sarah said no more handlers, it is clear that she had trouble with more than just Ryker. Maybe she meant handlers and partners given her relationship with Bryce at that point. Those two betrayals both real and imagined means she was even more defensive and withdrawn than we could have known. It will be interesting to see where they go in the last five episodes.

  31. Gord says:

    Here’s something I noted on the NBC boards – how come Chuck and Sarah can’t afford the house. Shouldn’t their assets that were frozen by Decker be returned now that the conspiracy has been revealed? Is it just another plot hole or is there a grander conspiracy that was in place long before Shaw came along?

    After all Decker showed up in S4 to coverup the Agent X situation. He also was willing to let Sarah die at the end of S4, but Shaw wanted her kept alive so she would see him kill Chuck and have to live without Chuck for the rest of her life.

    Is it really poor continuity or are they holding something back for the final episodes?

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      This is the US government. They never give money back. Technically the money is from Volkoff’s illegal operations. The government might feel justified in keeping it. Also, unless Chuck and Sarah set aside over $300mil in federal taxes and around $80mil in state taxes, they might be better off with the money seized than to owe back taxes.

      Spies wouldn’t get large signing bonuses like professional athletes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the plan would be to pay Chuck and Sarah with their own money.

      Of course I doubt the show would address any of this.

  32. armysfc says:

    Jeff sorry not rolling your posts but you said, “This is the US government. They never give money back.” i get money back every year at tax time as do millions of other people, just saying. also frozen means held not removed. the money is in the accounts just not available to the owner. so when beckman cleared them the freeze would have been lifted. it’s really a small thing really when you consider they can’t remember what they showed us in the first episode.

    here’s a thought sarah knows that in the end she will get molly and then she can use the millions the kid has to buy a house to raise her in.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      No problem. I meant that as sort of tongue-in-cheek attention grabber.

      The frozen accounts were filled with money originally earned in arms sales. In a way, Carmichael Industries and the Burbank Buy More are money laundering. Buying the Buy More from the Federal Government does give them some cover. The government was complicit. I still doubt the Homeland Security bureaucracy would unfreeze the account in any sort of hurry. Beckman wouldn’t have control over them.

      Tax refunds are for money that people overpaid. It is possible to control your deductions with your W-4 so you can hold on to your money longer. It requires estimating your tax liability ahead of time and doesn’t always work.

      I thought of that with Molly, but decided the new and improved Sarah wouldn’t exploit her sister that way.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff np. different take on the money. VI had legitimate business as well. remember the electronic parts they made? it is possible that the money he gave them was from the legitimate side of the house. i mean what bad guy that has no legal means of support builds a building and puts his name on it?

        as for molly, it’s not exploiting if you use the kids money to support her. lots of trust fund kids are raised that way. the money is used to nurture and school them until they are of legal age to get it. then sarah turns it over to her. that’s what i meant.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        The accountants would have a hard time figuring out which money is legit without VI records. I’m not an expert, but I would assume legitimate cover business assets would be seized when shutting down an illegal business.

        I understand what you mean about Molly. Technically, a trust was not set up, so they would probably have to deal with the Hungarian government, which might take Molly back into that country’s form of foster system. The ‘adoption’ wasn’t exactly legal. For now, Sarah’s mom is raising her. I’m hoping Sarah’s mom is not the potential person killed in the final episodes.

  33. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    I liked it.

    The final scene makes no sense whatsoever if you just happened to have watched the show for 4.5 seasons. It can actually ruin the first couple of seasons if you want to think about it hard enough.

    But overall, I liked it.

    • Gord says:

      In what way? The only continuity error I noted was the picture of Chuck in the folder. Because in Nacho Sampler we see Sarah get the picture on her phone as she enters the Buy More.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I’m choosing believe what I saw in the pilot episode of the series is correct and that the final scene in 5.08 is (as Colonel Potter would put it) “horse hockey”.

        I hope nothing going forward hinges on this final scene.

  34. Gord says:

    Ok I now know I really liked this episode because for 3 hours I have been flipping back and forth between here and the NBC Chuck boards posting about it.

  35. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    Continuity error: Sarah named her stuffed dog “Bunny”, but neither Sarah (Business Trip) nor Yvonne (Coco cam) like bunnies. 😀

    • Gord says:

      But she obviously likes stuffed dogs named Bunny. LOL

    • armysfc says:

      Nah she liked bunnies until she tried to con the Easter bunny out of money when she was working with her dad and he chased her down! that’s why she hits the big ones!

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Now I want to see that little Sarah flashback. We need a Little Sarah webisode series like Little Monk. Opening sequences like Psych has would work too.

    • atcDave says:

      Ohhh this a biggie Jeff. It may have just undermined my whole enjoyment of the episode…
      Although I do like the suggestion that she just practiced whacking with a bat on her previous stuffed dog.
      Maybe her dislike of bunnies stems from confusing them with dogs? (“that mean bunny down the street chased me and bit me this morning…”)

  36. SarahSam says:

    Yeah Shep, my mind is boggled by how folks are explaining it away in the wake of a good episode, because it made no sense at all to me. The device is there sure, but that means the CIA knew Bryce would succeed in blowing up the NSA facility, download the intersect and send it to Chuck, that means Chuck was targeted,which means Sarah is in on the conspiracy? Sarah was sent the photo in the freaking pilot , Nacho sampler just repeated the scene. The Pilot was the first time she laid eyes on Chuck or so we were led to believe. WTF !!! I’ve had a couple of Coronas , but what is everyone else drinking? Apparently, I need some !!

    • armysfc says:

      SS and SLS: i’m with you both on this just look above and you’ll see my take.

    • Gord says:

      If you notice the device is already broken – in other words this assingment happened after Bryce sent the email to Chuck. Langston knows that the email was sent to Chuck that is why they went after him, and why Sarah broke into his apartment to steal his computer.

      Also we didn’t see Sarah receive the photo of Chuck until Nacho Sampler – that part wasn’t in the pilot.

      I agree that the photo is a continuity error, but the fact that Langston sends Sarah after Chuck is not an error, because that is in fact what happened.

      Also recall in Nacho Sampler Manoosh was also called an asset and they only used him for a couple of days. Remember Casey’s words “an asset is a conduit to information”. So Langston calling Chuck Sarah’s asset is not a continuity error.

      • atcDave says:

        I also don’t think the photo is a big deal. Just because she’d seen it before doesn’t mean she wouldn’t double check from her phone right before seeking him out.
        I agree with those who cry retcon about how much Sarah knew going in, but this is a very small issue. In the Pilot it is clear she was surprised to find out Chuck had actually downloaded the Intersect, so she apparently viewed him only as a mark up until the end of the date. But this is truly a minor terminology thing. I think we gained so much good about Sarah’s backstory it makes up for a minor continuity issue.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I’m thinking of a fanfic, Dave. Sarah doesn’t check her phone, mistakes Skip for Chuck (forget the hair color–they are both tall), and takes Skip out on a date. Skip spends the whole evening mute and in shock. Later, Sarah steals Skip’s computer, which doesn’t have the Intersect. Meanwhile, Chuck is killed by Casey, and then… Wait a second… Nah, maybe not.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jeff I think you’ve already pursued that one as far as needed!

      • armysfc says:

        i just watched the pilot again. here is the time line. day 1: bryce steals the intersect sends it to chuck who opens and downloads it. day 2: chuck wakes up goes to work and starts flashing. they then show the meeting where the DNI and grahm are talking in the bombed out intersect room. casey shows the pair the intersect device he just found. this is the first time grahm has seen the device. (its the day after larkin sent it). casey says they tracked the email to cali. the scene shifts back to the buy more and sarah walks in (still the same day as the DNI/grahm/casey meeting) and it goes on from there. casey arrives later the same day.

        at the end of nacho sample they added onto the scene of her walking in to the buy more in the pilot with this conversation:
        sarah, do you think the kids got the intersect
        agent on phone, right agent Walker. He’s connected to Bryce Larkin
        sarah, weaknesses ?
        agent: bright, but an underachiever. lonely. had his heart broken recently.
        “i’m downloading his picture now. ” sarah looks at his picture .
        this is the first time she knew anything about him. this scene just adds more info to the established events in the pilot. up until this episode this was the established canon.

        grahm could not have had the device in the scene they showed in 5.08 until sometime after sarah was already in california, the pilot shows that.

        i guess what i’m trying to say is sarah was already in california while the events between casey/grahm/DNI female took place. so the meeting in the last episode could not have taken place like they showed.

      • herder says:

        My guess is that the meeting and the events of the Baby took place between the pilot and Helicopter. The pilot ends with Sarah shopping in the Buy More and Chuck flashes on her ring, Helicopter starts with her as his handler and working at the Weinerlicious. It is just coincidence that she is wearing the same clothes as when she entered the Buy More.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I think Beckman was taller in the pilot. The apartment was smaller. The outside signs on the Buy More building were different. But that doesn’t change the fact that Sarah used a magical airplane of near instantaneous transport. It’s what Chuck used to go to and from Russia. It’s what they used in Alias. In 24, they used the car version to navigate LA traffic so quickly. These TV shows are testing the technology before it goes on the open market. I hear there are concerns about fuel emission standards.

        Army: “this is the first time grahm has seen the device”
        That is not said in that scene. Beckman says she doesn’t know what it is, not that she hasn’t seen it. Graham is silent. He might have seen it, but doesn’t want to tip his hand.

        I know how much you love my wild theories, Army, so here’s one. Casey checked the device into DNI lockup after killing Bryce. Graham pulled in out, had his techs look at it, and briefed Sarah before putting it back. Casey pulled it out the next morning to show Beckman. In that scene, it’s Beckman who asks what it was and where the signal went–not Graham. Graham’s reaction could be taken either as he’s getting new information, OR he’s worried that Sarah has limited time to follow her lead before Casey gets there. Graham wants Sarah to get the intel first because he is thinking if Bryce did email the Intersect, that is the entire government database. The one who controls that has a lot of power. After leaving Beckman and Casey, he instructs his assistant to go over the details about Chuck with Sarah again, just to make sure. Sarah knows the person she is talking to is relaying a message from the Director, so she doesn’t sass back about having already read the file. She politely reviews the info on Chuck and says, “Piece of cake.”

        Chuck has always been full of plot holes and set and prop inconsistencies. I think of those as different than retcons. I put this episode’s discrepancies on par with the cup moving between Luke’s hands when talking to Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, or Delenn’s loosing her spots and changing skin color after the B5 pilot. Then again, people get overly worked up about changes in Star Wars re-releases. Oh well.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff hey if it works for you go for it, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff that’s an excellent reconstruction of things. I’ve seen so many shows over the years that revisited earlier moments with far sloppier continuity than Chuck. I’m really pleased with the effort made to honor the show’s own history. Re-examining the Pilot closely really serves to highlight how good job they did with Baby.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually I think Jeff is closer to right. The pilot takes place over four days. First Chuck’s birthday and Bryce’s break in, then the morning after the intersect where (if you’ll indulge me) Chuck shows up to work and we flashback to the morning after in DC where Beckman’s evil twin reviews the events of the night before with Graham. Graham likely has everyone scouring Larkin’s records for anything of note when he hears LA. He takes the device, finds the connection to Chuck and dispatches Sarah (via Learjet as we’ve seen so often) so she arrives a few hours later the same day, ahead of Casey (still wearing the same clothes).

        Sarah makes initial contact with Chuck, but gets nowhere. Chuck and Morgan arrive home at the end of the day to find a ninja stealing Chuck’s computer (it is night time at this point). The computer stealing Ninja flees.

        The next morning Chuck takes his computer in to BuyMore and goes to the LargeMart to get new locks, where he sees a Serbian demolitions expert shopping for nail guns.

        Later that morning Sarah comes in to take a second shot at Chuck (with an especially cheesy pickup line I might add, but hey, she’s Sarah Walker…) Casey is only now set up on Chuck and sees Graham’s wildcard enforcer has already made contact. That night he tails Chuck and Sarah on their date, hilarity and bomb defusing ensue, the next morning Sarah finds Chuck on the beach. Cue series.

        It also explains why Sarah’s Porsche was already in LA since her mother lives in the area and we saw it in front of mom’s house last episode.

      • andyt says:

        Jeff and Ernie
        I think that between you that you have explained the elements from Baby that fit into the overall story of the show. And Jeff I would agree with you that these elements are not retcons but rather are elements where there or continuity gaffs which happen on many shows and movies. Some people get worked up and others don’t. I agree with Dave that if this an inconsistency it is not a big one. I think that Chuck has always been a bit loose about its mythology. It is not a plot driven show but a character driven one and on that score this season has been fantastic.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Two quibbles, Ernie. Almost all of Casey’s suits look like the same G-man suit (according to Roan), so he might have changed. Oh, you meant Sarah wearing the same clothes. Never mind about that one. However it was a computer _destroying_ ninja. Chuck got that one wrong in his narration for Helicopter.

      • atcDave says:

        The only thing I’d add to the discussion is that I know why Sarah travels so fast. We know she’s a pilot, so my guess is she has an agency assigned F-22! Charmichael Industries G4 is a step down of sorts for her, except it has more seats…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Touche Jeff.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Dave, The F-22 only has a ferry range of 2000 nmi with extra fuel tanks. At supersonic speeds, I assume it is much less. DC to LA is 2300 nmi. A G4 would probably be fast enough (< 5 hrs flight time). I'm sticking with the magical airplane or the wormhole drive. All of the other shows use them.

      • atcDave says:

        Hey I’m very much a military hardware guy, so the F-22 wins over magical airplane on pure cool points. Besides not that much time would be lost with an air-to-air refuel over the plains states. And if she breaks a few FARs to use super-cruise she could beat the Gulfstream every time.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Wasn’t a selling point of the F22 supersonic cruise speed and range?

        (Itching for the nerd confrontation to follow!)

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Ernie that’s what super-cruise gives it. Around Mach 1.2 (if memory serves, I’m not bothering with Wikipedia right now…) without afterburners for long distance supersonic flight.
        Strictly speaking, its a violation of FARs (Federal Air Regulations) to fly supersonic over ConUS (Continental US). But there are exceptions, and any TV show, never mind Chuck specifically, typically play very loose with such details.

        I just wish so much after one of Sarah’s rapid redeployments we’d seen her deplaning from a Raptor. That would have been soooooo cool. Instead, back in Fear of Death (the only time I remember super sonic transport being mentioned) they just showed file footage of a BAe 146 landing; which is not only is a common commercial aluminum tube, it’s not even particularly fast as commercial aluminum tubes go.

      • joe says:

        Oh, com’mon guys. You know very well that all you have to do is change the value of G (the gravitational constant) a bit so that any commercial plane can approach relativistic speeds. Then time dilation takes care of the rest trivially. The NSA does that routinely. The authority to do so has been part of their appropriations bill like, forever.

        Didn’t Star Trek’s Q teach you anything???


      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Dave, I agree the F-22 looks cool. It was cutting edge in 2007, but they stopped production just over two weeks ago 😦

        Ernie, I got my ‘facts’ from wikipedia, so they can only be trusted so far. According to that site, the F-22 has better range than the F14, F-18, F-35. The F-16 still beats the F-22. The F-15 supports three external fuel tanks, so it blows them all away. It can make the transcontinental flight without a refuel. It also would have also been “lower profile” than a brand new F-22.

        However, I’m thinking a C-5 or C-17 might have been better. It would have saved Sarah time in renting a Porsche or getting one from the CIA motor pool in LA. Although Sarah switched between a Porsche Boxster and a Porsche Carrera at some point.

      • Ernie Davis says:


      • atcDave says:

        Jeff the F-15 is very cool too, as is any front line fighter. But it cruises well below Mach 1 (never mind speed lost with the tanks…) which would likely sacrifice any advantage gained from not having to refuel.
        But I think that would be slumming for an agent like Sarah Walker. With her looks and style the F-22 is a necessary accessory. We know she takes a different approach to covert operations, not exactly low profile.

        And we all know the F-22 was cancelled for purely political reasons. Until the F-35 comes on-line it is the latest and greatest!

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        You’re right. Sarah Walker pulling off her flight helmet at a military base–not low profile.

        Wait… did you say an F-15 is slumming? I… I… I don’t know what to say to that.

        The empty F-15 fuel tanks could be jettisoned like they were in Air Force One. Hmmm, is that a house down there?

      • atcDave says:

        Hey I’ve long been a fan of the F-15, but the Raptor is newer and sexier. Nothing against the old gal, I just think Sarah belongs in an F-22.

        And no doubt Sarah, in a tailored for TV flight suit, pulling off her helmet on the ramp at an AFB. Let’s just say enlistments would be up…

      • ladycat713 says:

        MynameJeff, Beckman WAS taller in the pilot. She was played by a different actress.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I know, ladycat. She was also slightly older in the pilot. I was trying to subtly point out that people were getting worked up about things that were not actually said in the scenes, but didn’t care about things that did change in the show.

        I was expecting someone to say the person in pilot was another red-haired general. She is actually not called Beckman. The often wrong IMDB calls her the National Intelligence Director–no name and not NSA. That would mean Beckman is an NSA General and the woman from Sister Act was playing her evil twin in a different agency.

  37. JC says:

    Great episode easily one of my top ten.

    Tim DeKay was fantastic, perfect mix of sinister and cheese that the show needs in its villains. I’m kinda disappointed they didn’t have him make a comment about Bryce or working with a conman.

    Tony Todd, wow didn’t see that one coming at all.

    I wonder if the director of this episode is a fan of the Crow because that opening with Sarah was straight out of the movie.

    Oh my Ellie so hot and still a klutz. That’s the real Bartowskl curse.

    Casey and Alex have slowly become my two favorite characters on the show. I love that dynamic and how real it feels every episode.

    While I like they tried to tie the ending into just before the pilot, I wish they wouldn’t have because that’s like three different versions we’ve seen. I know it doesn’t bother some people but it gives me a massive headache.


  38. SarahSam says:

    And to add , if Sarah knew she would handle Chuck and she knows the truth of how he received the intersect, why hasn’t she mentioned the details to Chuck in trying to figure out the conspiracy? Shaw threw us off. It’s not does Chuck know about the baby, it’s does Chuck know about you being assigned to be his handler before he received the intersect.

    • Gord says:

      Once again, look at the device on Langston’s desk -its broken. In other words Bryce had already sent the email to Chuck. The assingment is after the email was sent.

      • armysfc says:

        Gord trouble is from what i remember, larkin used a device with a key pad similar to a smart phone. he used said device to send the email. the device on the desk looks like the device from the last episode not the original. the new decive has no keypad or buttons to push. he downloaded the intersect into the hand held device then pushed a button after he got shot. i hear what your saying but it doesn’t look like the same one to me, but i could be wrong so i did some checking. most recaps list the device as a smart phone or PDA. both can send emails, the new one they used doesn’t look like it can, i never noticed anyway to enter anything into it by way of keypad.

      • armysfc says:

        one last thing that i think is more important than the pictures or the device. if grahm sent her there as chuck’s handler why did he tell her to leave and let the NSA handle it? she had to argue with him to stay and fix it. why would he assign her then pull her back right away?

      • atcDave says:

        Army you’re wrong about the device. It was the exact same prop; excellent continuity in that regard. It was even damaged the exact same way, I’d bet money they pulled the old toy out of the prop box from the Pilot, it is identical in every detail. So Gord is completely correct that the meeting with Graham had to have taken place the morning after Bryce stole the Intersect.
        Now the recall order is more of a problem and goes back to what I am calling retcon. In the Pilot they did not know Chuck had downloaded the Intersect, while Graham’s talk would suggest they did know.
        Maybe it’s best to just view it as a composite memory. It combines her initial assignment to Burbank with her mission brief the night after the first date when it was agreed Sarah would remain in LA as Chuck’s handler. Human memories are often flawed anyway, just as you remembered the details of Bryce’s Internet device wrong. Perhaps we saw Sarah’s slightly jumbled recollection from five years ago, the details are all correct just slightly out of order.

    • andyt says:

      Dave, I watched the Pilot just two weeks ago, and it is exactly the same device that Bryce used to steal the Intersect and send it to Chuck. Also, Sarah is wearing the same clothes as in the Pilot when she first walks into the Buy More, as I said above she went right from the plane to meet Chuck. Also, they say nothing about the Intersect in the episode. It is simply an assignment to handle a mark. As you and others have stated, there is no indication that Sarah knows or anyone for that matter that Chuck downloaded the Intersect into his head. Remember in the Pilot she is focused on his computer and after it breaks if he made a back-up file. I do not believe that any of the Pilot has been ret-conned at all.

      • atcDave says:

        Andy I’ve said similar things in other comments here, we’re mostly on the same page. Except it doesn’t make sense to me to consider Chuck a potential asset if all they need from him is information from his computer. I think mark is the more appropriate term.

        Now they did know quickly enough (by the end of the first fake date of the Pilot episode) that Chuck did have the Intersect in his head and he would be Sarah’s asset for some period of time. So my own justification for the scene is that the flashback was maybe Sarah’s slightly jumbled recolllection of the event. She probably combined up two different meetings with Graham; the main one being from the morning she flew out to LA to meet Chuck, and a teleconference she likely had with Graham after the events of the first date, immediately prior to when she talked to Chuuck on the beach that next morning.

      • Aerox says:

        Pilot’s been ret-conned BECAUSE of the fact that Sarah’s assigned as his handler. It implies that he’s a person that the CIA will use, rather than a mark to manipulate which is what happend in pilot. Only after they find out the pc’s destroyed and so is the Intersect data, do they consider making Chuck an asset, and even that’s just because Sarah fought tooth-and-nail to make it happen. So for Graham to suggest that she will be his handler is a massive retcon 😛

      • ArmySFC says:

        all, thanks for clearing up the device. Andy here is what you said, “It is simply an assignment to handle a mark.” i agree that’s what the pilot showed. this episode shows grahm making chuck her asset before she gets there. the show over time has shown a huge difference between asset and mark. so he was a mark until the middle of the pilot when chuck became an asset until he became an agent. now they tell us he was an asset all along.

        on a side note i said before the season that going into sarahs past would open a can of worms. judging from this and her mom it did.

      • atcDave says:

        I think its a pretty small can of worms army. Some minor terminology/timeline concerns, most of which can be explained with minimul effort. I’m agreeing more with those who say it doesn’t even constitute a retcon.

        And in exchange we got one of the best episodes of the entire series.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i’m not sure how small it is. remember nemesis where sarah tells bryce she still cares for him (not sure if she says loves). we know sarah pretty good, would she say that if it wasn’t someone she was close to or knew very well? this episode pretty much rules out a lot of contact with bryce. in nemesis bryce asks her to come with him and be his partner again. why would he do that with someone he only worked with a handful of times? then flash ahead to vs the ring. bryce is still trying to get sarah to go with him. does this sound like two agents that only worked together a handful of times? yet the common defense is that they didn’t have to work together a lot to be partners.

        don’t get me wrong i did like the episode other than this and the unanswered question of why if sarahs mom is so nice did she end up with her dirt bag dad? that’s what i really wanted to know.

      • atcDave says:

        Wait, why would this suggest they only worked together a few times? Sarah already has five+ years in the agency when this story takes place. That’s a lot of time for CAT squad, red tests, and Bryce. I think its well established Sarah worked extensively with Bryce for a few years after the CAT squad. But in no case does “worked extensively with” need to mean the same thing as “worked exclusively with…” We have never been told the latter. This Prague mission took place WHILE Bryce was first infiltrating Fulcrum and destroying the Intersect (which we already knew he did without her). That easily could have taken several weeks while Sarah was doing this mission for Ryker.

        Some details require some finesse to make them work. But seriously real world history is exactly the same way. Real events are often very complicated and apparently contradictory at first glance. That’s why I love the study of history so much, it can be a real exercise in logic to make sense of things sometimes. Its actually unrealistic if everything is always tidy and perfect.
        The only thing that strikes me as a little inconsistent is just how much Sarah knew when she left for Burbank, but that may come down to just a single word choice (asset vs mark) I need to watch again to be sure. But either way, this is a fairly small detail in the whole episode.

    • andyt says:

      Army, Graham sent her to get the Intersect download from Chuck’s computer. When he found out that the computer was destroyed he pulled her out. Remember Casey and the NSA were supposed to be in charge of the Chuck operation not the CIA. In fact he was running a game against the NSA, so he knew he could only push it so far that is why he told Sarah before the date that he could not protect her if she continued the mission.

  39. herder says:

    One last thought before I retire for the night, does anyone else think that the last scene at the house was what Chuck had in mind when he asked Sarah to go with him to the house in Suburbs after the mission was over?

  40. SarahSam says:

    You are probably right herder. Sarah was in a very vulnerable state until that phone call from Beckman. No doubt Chuck would have gotten lucky with the surveillance removed.

    • Gord says:

      If you look at what happened in First Date, there’s no doubt that Chuck would have gotten lucky if Colt hadn’t have shown up.

      People were always interrupting at the worst possible moments.

      • Aerox says:

        They still are. Business Trip anyone? Floor sex? Awesome. Beckman? Not awesome. Sarah’s reaction? Even less so.

  41. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    I’m rewatching and I realized something about the last Sarah/Graham scene. No where in the scene is Chuck called an asset, a mark, or a target. The folder is called an “assignment.” Sarah is asked to handle the assignment. The first page she opens shows Chuck’s picture, but the folder is thick and probably has a lot of information about Bryce’s death and the Intersect. Since Sarah is the “handler” for the mission, she chooses how to handle Chuck. Her first choice is as a mark. She could have chosen to handle him as a hostile target. He was a known associate of Bryce, who had just committed treason (in the eyes of the CIA). Bryce’s final email made Chuck look guilty. The NSA took that route. As andyt said, Graham was playing a game against the NSA, so he saw Chuck as a potential asset. Even if he didn’t have the Intersect, his affiliation with Bryce meant he might know what Bryce was up to. To Sarah Chuck’s bio made it look like the best way to make him an asset was to treat him like a mark (i.e., ‘piece of cake’).

    In Chuck, we’ve see assets can be marks (Sarah often manipulated Chuck in S1 and S2.) Hostile targets and persons of interest can be marks. Hostile targets can become assets when they make a deal. Assets can become assassination targets (e.g. Chuck at the end of First Date). Babies can even be called packages. The categorization of the person is very fluid and can change at any time.

    So the question is what is Sarah called. She could be called the senior field agent in charge, but that implies there are other agents. I’m thinking ‘handler’ is just as good of term as any other. She handles the mission objectives, the marks, the potential assets, and the targets. Since that is the term Graham used, I’m fine with that.

    Something Sarah has mentioned several times throughout the series is she wanted to know the real objectives of the mission. (Pink Slip and Baby are the first two that pop into my head.) That is why she is saying no more handlers. She wants to know why she is doing what she is doing. That means reporting to the director or someone else in charge. She was effectively asking for a promotion, and she got one. ‘Handler’ responsibilities are part of that promotion.

    • atcDave says:

      Some excellent points Jeff and a good overall perspective. Particularly good point about what Graham said while sending Sarah off on her mission, I’ll do my own re-watch tonight, but if you’re right about asset never even being used it does make a difference! A couple of little points though; even a fairly junior agent could well have assets they manage, even if the person is just an occasional informant they are an asset (of very limited value!). I think asset is a very broad term to describe almost anyone with an ongoing mission related relationship with an agent. While I think mark is more of a one-shot purely exploitive relationship. Getting an asset to do certain things for the agent would likely be a constant issue in many cases. I imagine everything from payoffs, bribes, strong arm coercion, sexual favors, appeals to conscience… have all been used and may all be used to different degrees with different assets. Sarah commented in Leftovers last season how lucky she was to get Chuck as an asset, he has to be considered a very easy asset in that he actually WANTS to help, even to extreme levels. That was likely Sarah’s second biggest problem wiith Chuck the Asset, he didn’t value his own safety enough. Silly boy, he thought Sarah and Casey were worth just as much as he was. He kept applying human/moral values while Sarah was trying to think strategically.
      Which was probably a major factor in leading directly to Sarah’s biggest problem in handling Chuck as an asset. The “C” word: compromised. If Graham or Beckman ever had cause to think Sarah might be valuing Chuck personally more highly than the mission; or that she might place Chuck’s personal interests ahead of mission objectives she could quickly find herself replaced as a handler. Of course we all know Sarah was compromised quite early on. But this is really topic for another disscussion! (sorry, I distract easy sometimes…)

  42. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    Wow. Another polarizing dramatic episode. Surprise surprise.

    Listen, I liked the episode far better than them last two, but it does have issues.

    Just like 5.07 resolved nothing pertaining to Shaw. 5.08 answers absolutely no questions about Sarah’s mom. In fact, it poses far more questions than it answers. What was the pay-off? There wasn’t one. (yes the reunion in the apartment was nice, but all bread no meat.

    And I know everyone will try to fit the final Graham’s office scene into the story, but it can’t be done.

    • ArmySFC says:

      SLS, my big problem is they sent sarah after chuck before they knew he was the one that got the intersect. why was he so important at that point that grahm had to send her?

      • atcDave says:

        Army they sent Sarah after Chuck in the Pilot because they knew Bryce sent him the Intersect. The only thing that is sort of wonky here is if they thought it was a long term issue or not (they did not know Chuck had downloaded the program into his head). Graham’s words in the last scene of Baby suggest he thought it was a long term assignment, which is not in agreement with what we saw in the Pilot.
        But this is exactly what I’m saying is small potatoes. Perhaps the assignment was expected to be short term while allowing for the possibility it could last a while. The whole point of sending out an agent is to investigate and retrieve the Intersect; so expected short term is reasonable. But knowing the Intersect had the potential to be loaded into a human brain; or even the possibility that Chuck could have provided a link to Bryce’s Fulcrum involvement both could have turned the mission into something longer term.

        Its just so easy to construct scenarios where this all makes sense, it seems pointless to me to worry about it so much.

  43. Sandra says:

    Sarah’s mom was portrayed as a loving and normal person. So can anyone explain why she did not raise Sarah herself. The episode provides no explanation for this question.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      We weren’t given a reason. However considering Sarah’s tendency of sneaking out into her dad’s car, as shown in the Wedding Planner flashbacks, my assumption is Sarah “ran away” with her dad. Maybe Sarah’s mom could have gone to the police (assuming she had custody), but chose not to. Once Sarah was participating in her dad’s cons, Sarah’s mom probably wouldn’t want Sarah in juvie. Maybe that’s why Jack and Sarah left to begin with–they were on the run. We don’t know.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d also make the comment that if grandma had custody when Sarah was 7ish Emma likely had some serious problems.

        But we just don’t know, Maybe the grandma we saw little Sarah with Jack’s mom who just had the occasional weekend. And Sarah was always craving adventure and running off.
        There’s many possibilities that could explain her less than ideal childhood. At this point we know enough and have enjoyed some seriously good episodes. Details may be the domain of fan fiction (Jeff…)

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      That’s one of the questions. Much like Mama B, I think it is difficult to bring back a long lost character in a credible fashion.

      Again, I don’t wish to rain on the lovefest a lot of people have with this episode. I liked it too. The name carving was particularly cute, and Cheryl Ladd was totally believable as Sarah’s mom.

      However, I hope some of the remaining loose ends get tied up better than the last two episodes did.

    • joe says:

      Sandra, hi!

      I sort of disagree with the answers above; I think we did get a reason. I’ll have to rewatch to get the words exactly right, but didn’t Emma say it was Sarah’s decision?

      There are all sorts of reasons why this wouldn’t be satisfactory IRL, and I hardly think a judge worthy of the title would put a minor with a con-man instead of her apparently suitable mother. But, just for fun, we can suppose Jack bamboozled family court too, and Sarah had her say. It’s in keeping with one of the major themes we’ve been seeing – all the characters have choices and all the characters make their decisions best they can.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Good point, Joe. In Curse, Sarah made a big deal to Chuck about there is not curse. Those people left because they chose to leave. It almost seemed personal, like Sarah was projecting her own choices at the time.

  44. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Baby (5.08) | Chuck This

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