Epilogue Speculation Continued

In An Infinite Universe, That Which Can Happen Must Happen

We here at Chuck This! have been wondering about our favorite couple’s future, and many of you have already put out your suggestions about exactly what happened right after that kiss.

But I found myself wondering what would happen later. How much later? I’m not sure. I’m more certain that a particular moment will come to pass.

No, I’m not sure at all when it’s going to happen. But someday (surprisingly soon, I think), Sarah is going to realize that she’s back to normal. There probably won’t be a moment in time that she’ll be able to point to and say “That’s when I knew I was my old self,” because she’s not exactly going back to her “old self”. As we grow older, none of us step in that same river twice. In fact, she may not even say the word “normal”, because Sarah was never normal, like other people. What she will mean is that she she no longer feels like a stranger to herself. Call it the new normal.

Sarah’s not going to be able to say that her life is the way it would have been, because it’s probably not going to be exactly like she, together with Chuck, had planned. There’s an old saying. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” All our plans change. There will be new plans, after all.

But there will come a time when she recognizes who she is. There will be a moment when Sarah realizes she knows who Chuck is.

Perhaps it will happen like this:

Sarah will be sitting in a restaurant with Chuck and happen to lower her eyes. It’ll be a sign that she’s looking inward, thinking private thoughts, and in that moment she’ll know that she’s comfortable. “We’re on a date!” Sarah will say to herself, and it will surprise her because she’s married to that man across the table. They’ve been working hard and, yes, they’ve been intimate, but it feels like a date without the nervousness. She won’t be on her guard at all, but relaxed just being with this man who is her husband.

Relaxed? Yes. Sarah will know that he’s ready to do almost anything for her. Chuck has never been a threat. He’s been a friend and a helpmate.

For a few weeks, or perhaps months, that’s been mostly about washing dishes and paying bills. Oh, and being there when she wants to talk (which hasn’t been often) and when she wants to hear more about – you know – what happened (which, despite herself, has been often).

Chuck will not be comfortable, by the way, on this “date.” He’s still a little on egg-shells, still wondering if there’s any way he can prove himself (no, there isn’t) or anything he can do bring the light back into Sarah’s eyes. You know, the light that was reserved for him alone at one time.

Chuck is patient, but he’s never been at his best when he’s nervous. He does know a trick to calm himself, though. It’s one he learned from his dating days. First, he’ll tell Sarah a joke about something he and Morgan did in high school and she’ll smile. Then just when he thinks that his best lines are going to strike out (again) Chuck will look at the woman sitting across from him, sigh and say something like “I’ll never get used to how beautiful you are.” He thinks that a lot when Sarah seems to be calm.

That will probably be the moment when Sarah looks up at him, realizes that he’s much more uncomfortable than she is, takes a sip from the straw in her Mai Tai and says with a smile, “I like you, Chuck.” Both Chuck and Sarah will know her affection is genuine, and that’s not new to them. But Chuck will smile because he’ll remember Sarah used those words before. He may even see a little light.

Sarah will see an elegantly dressed brunette walk up to their table, feel the hairs bristle on the back of her neck and hear Chuck exclaim “Jill! Honey, you – you remember Jill Roberts, don’t you?” That will be a watershed moment of a different sort.

She won’t remember Jill, exactly, but she’ll know she distrusts that woman with an intensity bordering on hate. That’s a fact that’ll become more apparent when Jill produces some artifact that comes from Bryce, a person she now knows a lot about from Chuck and from her own records. There’s something about Omaha she can almost remember.

Sarah may not be able to come up with specific memories, but she’ll react strongly when this happens. The rush of emotions will be an adrenaline-kick to the gut and Sarah will recognize that she feels a threat. It’s not a threat to Chuck, and not even a threat to her. Sarah will be startled to know that she feels a threat to them coming from this woman.

Because of the artifact, Sarah and Chuck will be involved with the people of their past. In the course of events, Sarah will find herself reacting both physically and emotionally for no apparent reason, except that it feels right for her to do so. In fact, she may even put them in danger deliberately (if reluctantly) with her only justification being summed up in the phrase “it’s the right thing to do.” That’s not a concept used by spies. Duty and even honor, yes. But “It’s right? It’s wrong?” No.

Thinking that thought, Sarah will have no idea where it comes from – until she looks at Chuck.

An opportunity will present itself for this threatening character, Jill, to take Sarah aside and say “You once told me to not hurt him. Sarah, don’t hurt him!” More than anything Sarah will be confused by this. No, that’s not a threat at all, she’ll think, but a plea. Why would Jill say that? “Why would I hurt him?” But after all the stories she’s heard, especially their story about Jill, Sarah will understand instantly what the message means. “Oh!”

And when Chuck does something unexpected and even dumb that gets them out of danger, Sarah won’t think that he’s an idiot. Unbidden, she’ll wonder why she didn’t think of it herself and then wonder, almost is amazement, that he did.

At that point, she’ll look at Chuck and smile a half smile. The time will come when Sarah realizes she had been thinking in terms of “them” unconsciously, ever since this Jill character showed up. But no longer. Now it’s “A threat to them” and “They are in danger” and “They are safe” and mostly, “their story.” Now it’s conscious.

When their adventure (together, she realizes) is over, in the evening, Sarah will realize that the man she’s with is special and that she belongs where she is. Is this love?

Sarah will come to ask that question, and will probably answer “I don’t know what love is. But – maybe.” What Sarah is certain about is that this is home, a place where she feels safe and a place where she comes to heal.

What Morgan or Ellie or Devon (and quite possible all three) could tell her is that this is exactly what happened the first time.

That’s weeks or months down the road from their start on the beach. Now please tell me – where do you see our couple then?

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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94 Responses to Epilogue Speculation Continued

  1. thinkling says:

    Ah, Joe, you’ve made me realize again how much fun it would be to watch these moments. There will always be things, little and big, that take her unawares … gaps in her memory that blind side her or create embarrassing, hilarious, or heartwarming moments.

    As to the recovery of them, I think it happens quite a bit sooner. I believe that by the time they leave the beach, even though there are still memories for her to recover, Sarah Bartowski is emotionally restored and to the point that she wants to spend and learn and love the rest of her life with her husband.

    • joe says:

      I share your optimism, Thinkling! Sarah will be thinking in terms of “them” sooner than either realizes.

      But Sarah in particular was always capable of a lot of denial about her feelings. I’m guessing that she’ll be conscious of it a little after it’s true and even a bit longer before she’ll admit it.

      But it won’t be 4 years before she can bring herself to say “I love you” again. This time it’ll come a lot quicker and a lot easier.

      New and improved Chuck, now with less Angst!

    • atcDave says:

      I do like the idea of little memories surprising her from time to time. I also agree they left that beach as a couple and never looked back. But some of the specifics maybe took a little longer; like we know how Sarah was comfortable showing her love before she was comfortable saying it, so this may be similar. Although she will feel the same strength of commitment she did just before she lost her memories, its some of the little behaviors that take a little longer, from speaking her mind to just relaxing when they’re alone together. But not too long I think, maybe only a couple weeks.

      • joe says:

        Exactly! I’ve been wondering how long it would take Chuck to relax around her too.

        Well, not too long, hopefully. But you know Chuck. He can be such a nerd sometimes. The good news is that Sarah always did like that about him. 😉

  2. Leigh says:

    I’m pulling mine from one of my own fics, because I’ve already written it up, so why not? 🙂

    Sarah smiled and then headed out of the kitchen, toward the stairs, passing the large whiteboard that sat in the living room.

    She stopped to look at it and grinned. It was covered in names and flight arrival times, and what, if anything, each name was bringing with them.

    The whiteboard itself was getting up there in age. Chuck had bought it two days after he’d found her on the beach, before all her memories came back. She remembered watching him muscle it into their apartment and place it in the hallway outside their bedroom.

    “When you remember something…anything, whether it’s…something about me or some big crazy thing that happened or whatever,” he’d told her. “You can write it down on here. And! I bought colored markers!” He’d shaken the box of markers with a hopeful grin.

    It had taken a few months but the whiteboard was so filled up with things that were coming back to Sarah that they’d had to flip it and use the other side as well, until there was no room, and subsequently, nothing left for her to remember.

    After that the whiteboard was used for other thing, like house hunting. Their dream home, sadly, became less of a dream in light of what Sarah had done to Chuck in it, as well as Quinn’s looming presence, and so they’d used it to list their wants and needs, taping photos of places they’d looked at and ranking them from most desirable to least.

    After the house came the plans for their new CIA farm, which took up one side, while everything they would need for their newborn baby when she arrived took up the other. After that, it became a doodle board, a teaching tool for homework help, and a way to negotiate family vacations, and now, it held holiday plans.

    It was an odd thing to love a whiteboard so much.

  3. Jason says:

    Joe, I see the kiss working, so they walked away from the beach, right where they left off on the Bullet Train. But, I enjoyed your question, here is a rough structure of my 24 ep season 6, i.e. what is next:

    Chuck and Sarah hire 3 employees for their data company, 2 men, a computer guy & a tough guy, along with a new character who resembles the lady computer geek / newbie spy who more or less took Sydney Bristow’s mission place from season 5 of Alias. These new characters will supply the drama that the show has missed.

    Morgan and Alex replace more or less Awesome and Ellie, a place for Chuck and Sarah to go home to, go to dinner with, etc. Alex tries to keep Morgan out of Chuck’s professional life, which of course doesn’t work. Alex doesn’t keep herself exactly out of harms way either, but they try.

    After 4 bottles eps to get the new show going & introduce the new characters, around the 5 and 6th eps, Chuck and Sarah go to Europe to help Jeff and Lester.

    A few more bottle eps, then we have a Christmas two part episode in Chicago, where Ellie and Awesome get in big trouble over some evil doer wanting Ellie to make him an intersect.

    In the next few bottle episodes, we get a flashback ep where Chuck is Stephen, Morgan is Volkov, and Sarah is Mary and we find out exactly how it all started. I love those type of eps, Castle just did one, so did Smallville.

    With about a half dozen eps to go, we get Sarah and Chuck vs the Verbanski’s, I mean Casey’s, I mean well you know what I mean, a two parter set in Casey’s new world.

    Finally, we get a conclusion with a two part Morgan and Alex wedding with everyone back. Then, Sarah calls Chuck to meet her at the beach to end season 6, Chuck has no clue what the news is, but of course, she is pregnant.

    • joe says:

      Great stuff, Jason. You’re right – Alex and Morgan would “replace” Ellie and Devon in their lives, if only as impromptu confidants.

      There was a great Bones episode when Booth was still in a coma after his brain surgery. Brennen was reading a murder-mystery novel to him and Booth (and we) saw the film-noir like scenes play out with Hodges, Angela et. al. as suspects and other players. Castle had something similar just last week, at least, in part.

      Doing that kind of “flashback” would be definitely different for Chuck, but I’ll betcha it would be fun.

  4. herder says:

    It is strange, I saw the ending of the show as a sort of crossing of the Rubicon, before the scene on the beach Sarah was remembering but because the memories were so different from who she had been she pushed them aside. At the beach she accepted that they may be true and encouraged more by asking Chuck to tell her about their story and then by asking him to kiss her. So the stories reinforced some memories, but regardless she wanted to be with Chuck. It wasn’t important how much she remembered but rather that she wanted to that was important, with time the memories would come. As an aside I think that the important memories came back with the kiss, just not all of them in the same way that Morgan didn’t remember the movies that he had seen but that the did rememember the feelings that he had for Alex.

    • joe says:

      That is a nice way of looking at the ending, Herder. I was thinking the same way at first, but decided that it wasn’t particularly important that many memories come back to her after the kiss. What’s more important was that the emotions were still there. After that, the memories would either come, or they would make new ones. Probably both.

      I was glad to see that time was not going to be a problem for either of them.

    • atcDave says:

      I think I saw it the same way Herder, a lot of the specific memories don’t even matter so much; at least not as much as the feelings and a few of the bug things.

  5. thinkling says:

    OK, can’t resist. Borrowed from an upcoming Sarah introspection post:

    “Kiss me.”

    This is right. Mm, shut up and kiss me. She could do this every day … I’ll just prove it to you every day for the rest … for the rest of her life. It feels … I love you. One more time because it feels really nice … really nice. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand … their honeymoon. I love you, Chuck. Did she say that out loud? No, because he’s still kissing her, and may he never stop. He stops too soon. The love in his eyes would leave her breathless, if his kissing hadn’t already.

    She returns the look with equal warmth, “Perfect. This, you, us … it feels right. We … feel right.”

    “So, Morgan’s theory …”

    “Well, the kiss was magical.” She couldn’t help echo his smile with a big one of her own “I remember snatches of things, really good things, but mostly impressions of you and us … of kissing you … loving you. I have a sense of who we are … of who I am.”

    His face relaxes into a gentle smile.

    “I love you, Chuck.”

    His smile explodes just before he kisses her again. Somewhere in an anaesthetized region of her brain, reason stirs. She stops the kiss, “Chuck …”

    He gets that look, like he thinks he’s done something wrong.

    “No, no. I want this. I want you. I want us. I just think we should … you know … um … let’s go home, Chuck.”

  6. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    **the kiss ends**

    Sarah: “Chuck, would you do something for me?”

    Chuck: “Of course. Anything.

    Sarah: “Would you let your hair grow out some. I miss the funny animal shapes.”

    • atcDave says:

      I love it! Perfect.

    • sd says:

      Ha! Love it!!

    • joe says:

      Seems so right. 😉

    • Leigh says:

      Don’t we all!

    • thinkling says:

      I’ll be the odd ball here. I don’t miss the funny animal shapes. I like it short 😉

      • joe says:

        What??? You don’t like the animal shapes??!! Begone communist. And take your Ellie with you!

        [says the man whose hair now resembles several animals…]


    • Michael66 says:

      Now, you see that. That would have changed everything.

      I HATED the ending. Loved everything leading up to it, just those last few seconds on the beach. Hope… Schmope. There was NO hope in that scene, just a lot of wishful thinking. Five years of misery ( the romance part ) and a work of fiction should delivery a happy ending.

      Now, if they had those last three lines, it would have been a perfect throw back to the beginning of the story and there really would have been some hope. That my friends, is how you end a horrid ( meaning sad ) story line. A real possibility, not a maybe, might be, could be kind of thing.

      • atcDave says:

        Michael I think most of us saw a lot more than just hope in that last scene. Chuck and Sarah are clearly together for keeps, she already rejected Beckman’s job offer, she wanted to “find herself”, and we all know that means being with Chuck. Sarah also initiated Chuck’s telling of their story, and when Chuck told her about Morgan’s theory she was pretty quick to say “kiss me.” The only ambiguity is not knowing how fast memories will actually return; but the laughing and crying Sarah we saw in the last scene was 100% Sarah Bartowski. Agent Walker was no where to be seen.

      • joe says:

        Michael, I agree with Dave – most of us saw more than “Hope -Schmope!” in that ending. I don’t think anyone was saying that they were overwhelmed with a powerful, insistent certainty that everything was soon going to be back to (ab)normal and they were about to live happily ever after. 😉

        No one got hit over the head with a clue brick.

        But you raise a good point. Are we indulging in wishful thinking? Or perhaps those who see your interpretation are being too pessimistic about the vision for the future that we were left with. It’s possible ambiguity was more than the goal. Maybe TPTB, and Fedak in particular, were deliberately trying to accommodate both views unambiguously.

        I agree that very little more would have been necessary to give us some solid notion. That implies they deliberately left us to decide, right?

        I’m coming down on the side of optimism. I didn’t see five years of misery, just part of one year, really, and short interludes otherwise surrounded by tons of hope and promise. And even that doesn’t apply to S5. S5 was 99% about Chuck&Sarah already together, prosperous, struggling to succeed together and happy through setbacks and success. Right up until the last 30 seconds of Bullet Train C&S were exactly where I hoped they’d be ever since – well, since the pilot really. The fun was in getting there and it was more fun seeing them there for most of a season.

        The goodbye scene on the beach succeeded in convincing me that it wasn’t over. It was goodbye, but like I said in my review, it was a goodbye from the cast and crew to us, not a goodbye between Chuck and Sarah.

        Not even close!

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Don’t worry Mike. I disagree with both Dave and Joe on the “hopeful” value of the ending.

        I see the ending as presented (with no payoff for either the amnesia arc, S5, and perhaps even the series) as nothing but tragic.

      • Of course it was tragic. I saw nothing in the ending that made me think they ever stopped kissing. After a 3-4 days, they died of thirst. Carrion eating birds made away with pieces of their rotting corpses.

        Sorry, I should have disclaimered that with a Angst/Tragedy tag.

      • atcDave says:

        Shep the ending was not hopeful, it was positively happy. You are allowed not to like it, but what you’re saying is intellectually dishonest. The writer has in fact told us it was a happy ending, that Chuck and Sarah will be fine.

        This is like a black and white photo of a sunset. You may say, and I would agree, that it was a poorly chosen medium for the subject. But when photographer TELLS you it was sunset, you are simply being difficult to say “no it isn’t.”

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        “The writer has in fact told us it was a happy ending, that Chuck and Sarah will be fine.”


        But the show ended on the beach, not in an interview.

        The ending, as presented, on screen, was tragic (IMO). I made up my mind on this before I read any interviews, just as the showrunners intended. The interviews are irrelevant.

        We will agree to disagree.

        PS (no snarkiness intended, just curious) I sometimes wonder what would have happened if there were no post series interviews.

      • oldresorter says:

        Shep – I did not like the final two episode story, even though the action and the character stuff was great. Again, tearing Sarah apart in some way shape of form for drama’s sake at the end of the arc, is the only arrow in Fedak’s quiver. I was shocked that she did not show more signs of conflict or emotion during her recovery (more positive to go with the dreadful.

        I thought the crappy thing Fedak shoved down fan’s throats with the amnesia story was exasperated by how poorly or lets say subtle like the signs of recovery were during the entire 120 minutes of the last 2 eps. Those eps could have been pretty epic if written more joyfully rather than in a sadistic mean spirited way that we have not seen from Fedak since Shaw seduced clueless Sarah seemingly for the sport of it in season 3.

        But that being said, even to me, who dislikes Fedak and did not like the final story idea, to me it is 100% obvious she recovered or near recovered on the beach at the end. The writers simply got too wrapped up in their own cleverness, and forgot to pay the conductor for the ticket (it is like they forgot to include a line in the final edit, isn’t it?), but either way the train was heading down the recovery track as the credits rolled.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I think the final scene was incomplete. I consider it a story telling failure because the intent of the scene is not obvious on its own merits. Basically they made their audience work way to hard to discern the ending. If there had been no interviews things would have been even worse. There were clues scattered throughout the episode though that Sarah’s memories were returning, and if we re-watch the Morgansect episodes those clues become even more clear; Sarah will be fine. The interviews only provide confidence to that declaration. It is to Fedak’s discredit that so many of us needed that assurance. But as an enthusiastic historian I am very familiar with the ideas of following clues and exploring multiple sources to draw a conclusion. And no external source can be considered more authoritative than the author’s own statements.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow OldResorter! What a perfect response! I agree 100% with all of that!

      • jason says:

        that was actually me, not oldresorter, been fixing a computer for a friend, using Linux puppy, so I have to sign each time I post, anyhow, not trying to use multiple id’s or anything, yikes!

      • atcDave says:

        Funny Jason, I think we’ve been through that before….

        Now I’m a little less surprised than I was by some random commenter to agree with!

      • Wilf says:

        Although I’ve made my peace with the flawed ending, I wonder if the writers could have been cleverer still. If we are to fill in the end of the story ourselves, why not the whole story 😉

        I’m thinking of writing a book, a fairy tale. It’s very short. The text is “Once upon a time there was a ” … nothing more … think of the joy the readers will experience by being able to write the entire story for themselves.

  7. sd says:

    A movie called “The Vow” is out right now and it deals with a woman who loses all memory of the man she was married to and madly in love with. In fact, her memories are wiped clean and the man must now try to get her to fall in love with him again.

    This character must not only “re-learn” her relationship but also the woman she had become in the five years that had been wiped away—five years!

    This was based on elements of a true story.

    Sound familiar?

    Btw—the movie is well-acted but wait until it comes out on rental 🙂

    • joe says:

      Yeah – caught that, SD. I must say, I’m intrigued at the theme, but I’m not ready to rush out to buy a ticket just yet.

      There seems to be a lot of recent coincidences like that of late.

    • Faith says:

      This will come as no surprise to anyone coz I’ve been fangirl-ing up and down the coast…I saw it AND I LOVED IT. It is well acted and a loving story to boot.

  8. FSL says:

    I think that by the time they get off the beach, Sarah knows she can trust Chuck. I imagine them watching Sarah’s mission logs together like a new movie night. Slowly, day by day, Chuck can retell every story in detail, filling in the gaps, with perhaps Morgan as a ‘guess speaker” from time to time. So roughly 4 years later, after they finish all the tapes from Pilot to Cliffhanger, Mrs Bartowski would be more or less back. And all that time, They’d be building new memories, of a new CI in that lovely office with glass windows.

  9. jason says:

    I’ve been surprised that so few (I might be the only one) think the ‘magic’ kiss worked 100%. I am not upset few share my POV, just surprised, it seemed to me the episode was telling us all along it was going to work. Why say it over and over again, if it didn’t work?

    I have a new nightly viewing project which will probably consume most of the year, the x-files. I never saw an ep prior to last week. So far I like it, alot. Other than Chuck & Sarah, I am not that much of a shipper, so I am not in any hurry what so ever to see Mulder and Scully hook up. Probably the oddest thing about watching the X Files is how incredibly much ‘spy’ gadgets have changed in the past 15-20 years, cell phones, computer usage, satellite surveillance, video cameras on street corners, etc

    • Faith says:

      If it counts for anything I totally believe it worked. I’m just as a big a believer as you 🙂

      From a storytelling standpoint it would have been easier to make her recover her memories gradually. I had to fight against myself not to do that.

      • Wilf says:

        I think that the kiss set up the conditions for a rapid return to normal for Sarah but did not fully work immediately – that would be too unlikely, in my view. Many posts suggest she returns slowly to normal, picking up, one by one, on cues as they appear. I think, though, that it probably wouldn’t take too many such cues before there was a cascade of memories. It depends on the stimuli, I guess. Something which brought back a really significant memory, like Chuck mentioning that it isn’t long until Sarah’s birthday, for example, when she remembers the “only 254 and a quarter to go” conversation and also her high school reunion, might well trigger a whole battery of further memories in addition to those ones.

    • jason says:

      Faith / wilf – I am not trying to be ‘right’ or convince anyone, maybe trying to convince myself more than trying to express a POV, but didn’t the slow recovery take place all episode long even without the kiss? So if indeed the kiss had ‘magic’ above and beyond what was happening anyhow, shouldn’t it have cured her? And didn’t Morgan say more than once that the kiss would cure her? And, when it comes to Chuck and Sarah on these sorts of things, isn’t Morgan sort of canon? OK, enough already, I am sounding argumentative, and I do not mean to be so.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I’m a little surprised too at some of the longer time frames people imagine; but as I said on the other thread, I believe it partly/mostly worked. I just have a hard time imagining everything cascading back, and the idea of events jogging memories just seems like too much fun to me. So I assume the big things that matter most came back with the kiss, but many details will fill in as external events trigger them.

    • Aerox says:

      Jason, mostly because there were a ridiculous amount of hints given towards a pregnancy and there were also a ridiculous amount of hints given towards the fact that the picture might be the catalyst for her to remember.

      Both were red herrings, so why would this be any different?

  10. i’ve been watching chuck from the first season up to the fourth like five to six times already, but just watched the last season once, last 2 episodes of season five about thrice. i can’t get over them i swear, i really liked the chuck versus sarah ep,,, not the ending much though. i have been thinking of a possible scenario that it might take time for sarah to remember chuck and being on her default setting as a cold blooded spy – i’m assuming they have to rejoin CIA again to form the bond that they had for 5 years. i’m a bid of a pessimist so i think there will come a time that chuck will offer sarah either 2 options which will make sarah realize that chuck loves her. 1st option – divorce – come on please here me out first. i know he loves sarah that much but later on he will realize how hard or what pressure is she bringing sarah to remember – thus he will let go. 2nd option, in the late part of season 4 I know you all remeber volkof’s BLANK IDENTITIES, in my ending maybe he will make one for sarah, since it is their pre nup to never contemplate for divorce – he will give sarah the option to start again. a life without him, and with no pressure of him being married to sarah. but the point of giving blank identity to sarah is that SARAH WALKER FIVE YEARS AGO tends to stay with him. he will tell her that they would always have those five grateful years together…. hahahaha that’s what i’m just thinking

    • joe says:

      Hi, Maria. Welcome to the discussion. We’ve been talking about the ending, the finale, what it means and what happens next quite a bit, and I’d love to have you join us in one of the later, more active threads.

      About this, all I can say is that there seems to be as many opinions as there are fans! We all have our own ideas about what should or could happen to Chuck and Sarah, and perhaps that is exactly what Chris Fedak and the writers intended.

      That means, you’ve got it right. We all do.

    • atcDave says:

      As always, Joe is the most generous of the bunch of us…

      I really don’t buy any of your pessimism as well founded. I think there were too many clues from the end of 5.12 all through 5.13 that Sarah was not the same person she was five years ago. Most significantly, when Beckman offered them their jobs back at the end of 5.13 Sarah was the first to refuse on the grounds of “finding herself”. Well finding herself can only mean finding Chuck, which lead her directly to “their” beach.

      Obviously they left things open in such a way that we can tell the story however we want. But I do think pessimism requires disregarding much of what we actually do know from the ending, a “happy” ending seems to follow the internal clues of the story far better.

      • joe says:

        You know, Dave, that’s a good point. Regardless of the memories she’s lost, Sarah is NOT unchanged by the last five years, and pointing out that she was the first to turn down Beckman’s offer is exactly on point. Somehow, I didn’t see that before or forgot it in the re-watch.

        I’ve only watched it three times, but in each viewing of the finale, those small memories that do return loom larger as a kind of healing. We only see the start, and we want more, of course, but it is there.

      • thinkling says:

        I’m 100% convinced that Sarah’s growth from the past five years and her feelings for Chuck were not erased and were, in fact, informing her behavior, even though she didn’t remember it or understand where it was coming from.

        The cold feet discussion with Ellie connected. In the white room, Chuck connected in a huge way. Sarah Walker, trained assassin, let her assignment walk up to her and lower her weapon. The house, her video log, the dance, all of it. Sarah Bartowski was still in there, just as real girl Sarah was in the pilot.

      • joe says:

        Oh yes. I want to sign up for that 100%, Thinkling. Sarah’s asking for the kiss at the very end was not something Agent Walker would do in the pilot.

        But then I’m haunted by just one thing; Sarah saying she didn’t “feel it” at the fountain. At the time, I took her at her word, which was – disheartening. But everything that came after, including her leaving to figure out who she was and two views of the beach scene, were nothing but her “feeling it.”

        Was she lying? To Chuck? To herself? Was she just trying to sort it out? I’m not sure.

      • atcDave says:

        She was lying when she said she didn’t feel it. She was actually crying when watching the video, and she couldn’t look Chuck in the face when she said she didn’t feel it. Now I completely buy that she was confused, and her first thought was likely revenge, but I think her feelings were strong and confusing to her.

      • joe says:

        Really? Lying? I definitely got “conflicted” (hence, the tears), but I know that my first reaction wasn’t that she was lying. I’m going to be open to that interpretation the next time I watch.

        I have a feeling there’s multiple layers of emotions going on here. It’s almost like Yvonne had been given very explicit instructions on what to portray, and then she added in her own interpretations on top of that. And honestly, my understanding is that the cast was actually emotional themselves – this was their good-bye too. We might have seen a little real emotion leak through those eyes.

      • I think Sarah didn’t understand what she was feeling. Her emotional state wasn’t as obvious in CvS as it was the next time she saw him in Goodbye. Blame that on writing, acting, directing, or the unnecessary need to create artificial tension in a potential cliffhanger (assuming they didn’t know CvS and Goodbye were to be broadcast back-to-back when the episodes were originally written).

        However, she knew she was planning on killing Quinn. She said what she thought needed to be said so Chuck wouldn’t follow her on her revenge mission. Her objective was to keep Chuck out of it. Either she thought Chuck was useless without the Intersect and/or she didn’t think she could focus on her mission if he was around messing with her emotions. It was “spy lying.”

      • joe says:

        Thanks for chiming in, Jeff. I’m hoping that it’s exactly that kind of thing – spy lying. What you’re saying makes sense.

        But it’s been nearly two months since I’ve seen those episodes, and I honestly don’t remember if she was trying to keep Chuck away from her mission at that point. What that tells me is that I was paying too much attention to the Chuck-Sarah dynamic and not enough to the details of the story (in this case, the spy-adventure). The emotional story was overwhelming.

        So there’s a good chance that I’ll see exactly that the next time around.

      • atcDave says:

        I think that’s all accurate Jeff. As always with Sarah, her lying to Chuck was largely “well intentioned”, and I think she may have been lying to herself too.

      • joe says:

        Yeah. It dawns on me that I’m conflating a couple of scenes. The fountain scene where Sarah tells Chuck that she “doesn’t feel it” is before she goes off alone to get Quinn? My mind wants to put it when everyone is saying good-bye, near the end, right before the beach scene.

        But that’s not right, and I know better. Funny – it’s like it’s an emotional memory. Means something about how I interpreted the ending.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Is seeing / believing that Sarah was lying during fountain important to the beach scene being “a good ending”?

        Because I saw the fountain as what it was, Sarah saying Goodbye, for good – a moment much stronger than the beach scene and one never recovered from in Goodbye.

      • I don’t think believing Sarah was lying at the fountain scene is necessary for a good ending. Enough happened after she fell out of an airplane to change her mind. I think the beach scene alone might have changed her mind. However, if you look at the Sarah’s reaction to the mission DVD and Sarah+Chuck carvings as the moments when she started to change, the fountain scene seems more false, and the beach scene seems more positive. So seeing her as lying helps.

  11. BigKev67 says:

    I have a question – and then I’m honestly going to leave discussions about the finale alone, because I’m aware that I’ve done them to death.
    Where are people on how much of her memory Sarah gets back? And whether it matters? Because my brain has settled on her getting 50-60% of her memories back (because they showed us Morgan still having significant memory gaps after being subjected to something much milder than Sarah) – so she’s still demonstrably Sarah, but with big gaps. And I have no doubt that she leaves the beach with Chuck and they build a new life together – so the “happy” ending really isn’t in dispute for me. The issue that I can’t shake – and I’ve tried – is that rewatching 92 episodes with big chunks that Sarah doesn’t even remember just seems pointless – happy ending or not. It’s like when you scratched an old vinyl single – the scratch may have only been for a second or so, but it made the whole record unlistenable.
    Has anyone else struggled with this, or is it just me? And if so, how have you got past it? Right now, I’ll admit honestly that I’m too furious at Fedak to make yet another effort to reconcile myself with what he chose to do. But I’m going to need to at some point, because the alternative is donating my DVD’s to the local library and giving it all up as a bad job – and I’m not ready to do that quite yet.
    So – any advice from fellow strugglers??

    • joe says:

      Good questions, Kev. But first, lemme say that we’re not done talking about it. Clearly, I still need to hash it out and I’m not alone. So don’t worry about adding to it.

      I’m not sure that putting a figure on how much of her memory Sarah gets back is a rewarding endeavor. I mean, I’ve written stories in my head with that number ranging from 10% to 90%. Until canon is writ, it’s a blank space for us to fill as we want.

      [And btw, I just this evening saw a 2 hour interview with Zac where he talks about the possibility of making a movie. The upshot is that he’s gung-ho for it and wants to do it “for the fans”. Given his druthers, he’d distribute it solely as DVDs and on-line, no big studio advertising effort. He thinks it could be done and says he actually pitched the idea – but it got no reception. In his words, “They’re not ready.”

      Zac came off optimistically saying that they might be ready someday.]

      As for 92 episodes being “pointless” if Sarah doesn’t remember – I have to say, that’s not true for me at all. Chuck remembers. We remember. If Sarah can find her way back to Chuck (you said that’s not in dispute) then I’m satisfied. For me, the problem is that it *is* in dispute. I’ve been struggling all along with her emotional connection and looking for more reasons to be optimistic about that.

      As for the music, well, that’s interesting. I used to play my LPs until the grooves were flattened. Somehow, every pop and click became a part of the song (really – I can’t think of Herman’s Hermits No Milk Today without pops and clicks). Worse, after a decade of hearing popular music through a 3 inch speaker and NO base reproduction, that became the proverbial way it was supposed to be for a lot of songs. Ya know?

      What I’m saying is that the magic wasn’t in the reproduction, imperfect as it was. The magic was always in the music and what I carried in my head. When I re-watch the episodes now, the magic is still there. It’s not going away.

      • I think the exact percentage doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t need to be close to 100%. No one remembers 100% of what happened to them over the last five years. Ten and twenty years later people remember even less of those five years. People buy DVDs for episodes because they enjoy the reexperience and because they don’t remember the details. Sarah’s DVD of her mission logs might help her retain her restored memories better than most people do.

        I think she wouldn’t regain all memories equally. I remember my high school and college graduations, but I don’t remember every moment or the same details of two similar events. I remember virtually nothing that people said to me. I remember moments that were photographed better because I have something to trigger a recall of that memory.

        As much as the show liked to compare the brain to a computer, they don’t work the same way. Erasing 1% of a binary compressed or encrypted file might make it unusable. Erasing 10% of a text file might be inconvenient but ok, depending on what was erased. But forgetting 99% of the details around an important moment might be fine. Mundane moments are even harder to recall for people, but computers recall them equally. For example, the last time you went on a pleasant family picnic, you might remember if it rained or was sunny, the location, who went, and most of what you ate. But you might not remember the odometer setting, how many stop lights you were stopped at getting there, the position of the sun, the time on your watch when you arrived and left, what everyone was wearing at the park, and thousands of other details.

        Here’s a real example for me. In college, I remember a time when two carloads of my friends went out to eat. I was driving one car. The other car was a jeep with a door that didn’t stay closed. On the way to the restaurant, one guy fell out on a turn and rolled on to the road. No one was seriously injured, so we thought it was funny. (In a slightly nervous, thank God no one was hurt way. Part of the humor was the reaction of the guy who fell out. His overreactions were always funny, and this time it was justified.) I remember the guy who fell and the first name of other driver. But I don’t remember what month it happened. I am pretty sure about the restaurant, but I wouldn’t put money on it. I could guess two of the other four to five people, but I don’t know for certain, and won’t be able to confirm which of those were in my car. But I still remember enough to laugh about it. I just can’t do the story proper justice in the retelling.

        My point is even if Sarah doesn’t remember all of the details, she could remember enough of the emotional impact for a memory to be meaningful.

      • atcDave says:

        Great example Jeff!

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I’ve struggled with this question as well (as you know). I frankly have resigned myself to likely never finding an answer.

      Like you, the finale has taken away my ability to “rediscover” the series. The main reason for that is that the Sarah we knew is gone. The one on the beach is a completely different character. One that we’ve never met. So you see, it doesn’t matter if or when she gets her memories back, because at that ending on the beach, she’s a different woman that the one Chuck fell in love with. And honestly, she falling for a different guy, her “hero type” that she had such an affinity for before her phone broke down.

      It a vicious circle of “spiralling”, left wide open by the ending.

      One that will hopefully fall in love with Chuck again, but not the Sarah we knew. Getting her memories back after she fall for Chuck “again”

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      (My battery died and I seem to have suffered from “premature posting”. Someone who “can use the force” please deleted the above post.

      I’ve struggled with this question as well (as you know). I frankly have resigned myself to likely never finding an answer. 

      Like you, the finale has taken away my ability to “rediscover” the series. The main reason for that is that the Sarah we knew is gone. The one on the beach is a completely different character. One that we’ve never met.  One that will hopefully fall in love with Chuck again, but not the Sarah we knew. So you see, it doesn’t matter if or when she gets her memories back, because at that ending on the beach, she’s a different woman than the one Chuck fell in love with. And honestly, she falling for a different guy, her “hero type” that she had such an affinity for before her phone broke down.

      It a vicious circle of “spiralling”, left wide open by the ending.

       I’ve come to see the finale (in a cynical way admittedly) as “all about Chuck” and having nothing or little to do with the Sarah character at all.  (much like S3 in that regard). Which is a real pain when your favorite character is Sarah.

    • oldresorter says:

      Kev – the end made some fans passionately dislike, very much like season 3 did for some. When comparisons are made about numbers, I think it is hard to measure the ‘extremeness’ factor in the dislike.

      By the end of season 5, this extreme dislike for the way the show chose to say goodbye, came from fans who watched for 5 seasons, so they were on board 100%, all they needed was an thoughtful, respectful farewell from the writing team and EVERYONE would have been fired up about the ending. The writers chose something else.

      My way of living with it, and I honestly came to this conclusion not during season 5, when Shaw’s reappearance pretty much lost me as a fan, but during season 4, when I loved the direction of the show. But my conclusion is these writers just plain and simple aren’t very good, nor very ‘nice’, they have a mean streak in them. Once you convince yourself of that, the ending is pretty consistent with what we have gotten all along.

      • jam says:

        “But my conclusion is these writers just plain and simple aren’t very good, nor very ‘nice’, they have a mean streak in them.”

        I don’t necessarily think they’re purposefully evil…

        I do agree about the showrunners not being very good, though. When I still enjoyed the show it was easier to forgive the bad writing because I still loved the characters. Now, my perspective is more realistic, and all I can say that Fedak & co were lucky to get this extremely charismatic cast together, because the writing would have never carried the show.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Agree with you 100% about how much of an open goal the ending should have been, but can’t in all fairness, agree that the writers “aren’t very good”.
        As loath as I am to defend Fedak right now the truth is that Seasons 1 and 2 are 2 of the best seasons of TV I’ve ever seen. And as good as the performances are, the main reason for that is the writing. The brilliance of the premise, the sharpness of the dialogue, the way the characters are written to connect with the audience – there’s virtually nothing about the first 2 seasons I would change, writing or otherwise.
        That said, I believe strongly that there was a marked decline in the quality of the writing over Seasons 3 to 5. Those seasons were seasons of great episodes or great scenes but they weren’t great seasons because not enough attention was paid to the nuts and bolts of constructing good story arcs, pacing them well and writing characters consistently. Too much was backloaded leaving huge pacing issues, some arcs (Shaw, MamaB, Morgansect) were just poor decisions, and sometimes the writers were just too damn smart for their own good (the trapezoid, the ending). I’ve said in another thread that I think Fedak is a creative genius but he doesn’t do the basics well and I stand by that. My theory is that Schwartz was the man that pulled Fedak’s head in and when he left Fedak in sole charge after S2 then the holes started to appear.
        But even in Seasons 3 to 5 there are some wonderful moments and perfectly written scenes – and those moments carry the rest, rather in the same way that great players and big plays can rescue an inconsistent team with a flawed playbook. That’s Chuck to me – 2 fantastic seasons and 3 very inconsistent ones.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually reading this board at the time some people were pretty specific about how the show should end and what they needed to see in a successful ending.

        As for the differences between season 2 and 3-5, the most obvious was that the budget and production time were both slashed after season 2 and the Chuck team was repeatedly told that each of the next 5 episode orders (3.01-3.13, 3.14-3.19, 4.01-4.13, 4.14-4.24 and 5.01-5.13 ) would be the last. This made planning and executing season-long arcs virtually impossible, outside how budget constraints affected production values at every level.

        Josh Schwartz was still involved in the production and writing in season 3. It was season 4 when he stepped out of the daily production involvement.

        This is all stated from TPTB themselves in post series interviews.

    • atcDave says:

      Kev the thing about memories is, most of us don’t constantly remember every detail of our lives anyway. We get a combination of our own organic memories and the shared memories of those around us who fill in details we may have forgotten. So if I’m willing to say Sarah got 60% of her memories back organically, and had to trust Chuck and others around her to fill in the rest of the gaps, it doesn’t make her THAT much worse off than the rest of us anyway.

      You know I do agree this ending was sort of an anti-love letter from Fedak, but I don’t see it as ruining what came before. Remember, Sarah is most likely to get back the memories that were most important to her, so most of what she forgets probably has to do with Jeff and Lester anyway….

      • Rob says:

        As usual, Dave you and I agree. I still would have liked to have seen on screen the recovery of 100% of those important memories. I really wanted to see a “Phase Three” recovery, even if it happens over time due to the circumstances. To me, with both Chuck and Morgan getting back most (if not all) of their important memories, it is baffling to me with the writers would do something different with Sarah (in the finale no less).

        I also agree with Jam. The writers lucked out. They created a good story concept, managed to find great actors with chemistry, and maintained a servicable plot line throughout. But, for whatever reason, they couldn’t close the deal. Maybe they weren’t as close to the pulse of the fans as they thought.

      • atcDave says:

        Rob I do think not quite getting their audience is among the problems with the writing f the very end. (the incomplete ending is most likely to appeal to other artistic types, and more likely to be frustrating to those of us who aren’t).

        I do see Morgan’s recovery from the start of the season as part of the “model” for Sarah’s recovery that we didn’t get to see. We can expect she will remember those she loves and who she is fairly quickly, specific details will come harder.

    • thinkling says:

      Really great points, Jeff. We really don’t retain everything, and some of it is in there, but is hardly ever triggered. Then all of a sudden, something will trigger a memory, and I’ll go, wow, I haven’t thought of that in years. I think at first Sarah’s triggering mechanism will bring back partial memories and work better for more emotionally connected memories at first. I would expect some memories to come back on their own, some partially, and some as people tell her or because they tell her. Like Jeff, I know some of my memories are there because others have told me or reinforced them in some way.

      I think Sarah reconnecting with herself, who she is, and with Chuck are the most important. But regaining the important memories is important, too, even if it’s because Chuck tells her. By Morgan’s example I think she does regain most of the important stuff.

      What I think is clear, though, is that with or without the memories, the emotional connection with Chuck and the growth was retained. The more she is with Chuck the more she will regain all of that.

      I’ll just add this here. In Sarah/Goodbye two personalities, if you will, war inside Sarah: Agent Walker, the person Sarah remembers herself to be, and Sarah Bartowski, the person she actually is because of Chuck and 5 years of cumulative growht. I think Yvonne did a fantastic job showing us Sarah Bartowski, memory wiped. Sarah begins acting in accordance with who she believes herself to be (Agent Walker), but it’s not working. Something keeps getting in the way (Sarah Bartowski). She can’t kill her assignment, he gets to her in the white room and the house … big time. Enter the video log and she knows she had become a different person, but can’t remember it, therefore, to her mind, that person was erased with her memories. She is feeling A LOT, but the feelings are orphaned from anything she remembers. That’s the mindset that informed the fountain scene. Call it lying? Maybe more like very confused and self deceived, though not her fault. So she continues to try to be Agent Walker. Still doesn’t work. She returns to Chuck. When she works with him, she keeps having feelings that she can’t explain and uncharacteristic behavior, to the point that she finally realizes that she isn’t just Agent Walker anymore. That’s why she goes to find herself and doesn’t run away. Sarah Bartowski, all along, has been informing her behavior, without her memory or understanding. At the beach, as Chuck tells Sarah their story, Sarah Bartowski begins to emerge. Sarah begins to connect with Chuck and her life, with herself. We see Sarah Bartowski laughing and crying and interacting with Chuck. The kiss is confirmation. At that point she still needs a lot more connecting, but the process has begun. It’s like she put one foot back in her life. For a while it will be Chuck taking care of 3 feet, but it won’t be long before it will be both of them taking care of 4 feet again.

      • joe says:

        I’m going to hold onto this thought like a warm glow, Thinkling. Thanks.

        They were determined to not make it easy for us. I think it might have been a compliment.

  12. jam says:

    Well, before the finale I said anything but Sarah getting *all* of her memories back is unacceptable, and I still feel the same way. That’s something that needs to happen before I can ever enjoy rewatching the show.

    As for how it would be accomplished, I don’t really know. Natural process, Sarah wearing the Governor, the intersect, magic, I don’t care tbh.

    • jam says:

      And that was supposed to be a reply to BigKev above who asked:
      “Where are people on how much of her memory Sarah gets back? And whether it matters?”

  13. ww1posterfan says:

    Rather than go to each thread and respond, I’ll consolidate them here. I promise to work on brevity in my future posts.
    1. First of all, I was one of those who struggled with the ending and was passionate about it. I was not a 5 year viewer, but, rather, discovered the show late in its run and watched 4 seasons last summer and fall looking forward to S5. I still struggle with the ending even with Thinkling’s wonderful analytical write up and epilog story. I blame that on my personal struggle to be a true optimist. I’m a firm believer everyone is at choice and you can choose to see happy or you can choose to see sad. Most days, I see nothing but the positive indicators in the last 2 episodes. Every so often, I weaken, and focus on the negative, mostly that my favorite character was cruelly brutalized and spent most of the last 2 episodes in a state of emotional pain and confusion. Sarah Walker is my favorite character of all time. I still get angry that Morgan (a character I thoroughly enjoy) got to end the show with his growth in tact and on full display, and essentially, the second lead has to endure yet another personal tragedy and rise from the ashes again. I have no doubt that Sarah Bartowski is well on her way back, but, yes, I feel cheated that I didn’t get to see the final triumph over Quinn and her personal demons.
    2. The Sarah on the beach is not the same Sarah Chuck fell in love with or the Sarah we the audience fell in love with and vice versa—I disagree. My interpretation of the C/S love story is that they basically fell for each other pretty much at first sight or at least within the first 2 days of their interaction. They “fell” because they saw core traits in each other-a beauty in each other they had yet to run across before in others in their lives. It’s these basic core traits and values that bind people together even in the presence of real character faults and weaknesses. The Sarah on the beach is still the same brave, loyal, honorable, ninja-spy that Chuck fell in love with. Chuck is still Chuck-Sarah’s Chuck. The Sarah at the end of the beach scene is one who is reconnecting with Sarah Bartowski-the open, vulnerable, communicative, empathic that she matured into that we, her fans, had the pleasure to see emerge. People change and grow every day. Yes, Sarah’s memory loss has and will change her, but I see it like any other struggle- what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. The ending indicates that she will face this struggle with Chuck-not separate from him placing the ultimate trust in him when she is at her most vulnerable tying into yet another long running show theme that of trust between them. Sarah tells Chuck at the end of Baby that she trusts him completely. She submits to that trust at the beach in Goodbye. All people and relationships evolve daily. The question as to relationship longevity is do people evolve toward each other and together or do they grow apart. The entire show and the ending on the beach demonstrate C&S’s inability to leave each other’s orbit. They always find each other.
    3. How much memory does Sarah regain and is it even important? Like others have so articulately described, no one recalls all the details of their past. That’s why cameras, videocams, and journals exist. I’m 47 and can barely remember what I did a week ago let alone 5 or 10 years ago. The big events, I recall the emotion and a few details. I actually think Sarah will remember the bulk of the significant events-like first meeting Chuck, the charm bracelet exchange, Barstow, Prague, the proposal, the wedding, seeing her Mom again….any event that evoked a strong emotion. Thinkling does an excellent job of describing the actual science behind this belief. If I had to put a percentage on it, probably 100% of the life altering events and about half of the more mundane events. I think it’s important that she regain a portion of her memories organically so that her emotional memory does not feel so orphaned as Thinkling put it, but its not imperative that they all be organic.
    4. Was Sarah lying at the end of CvsS and/or what was her motivation for leaving? My take on her “not feeling it” and leaving is three-fold. One she is not being honest (to Chuck or herself) about “not feeling it.” My evidence is I interpret her crying watching the mission log video as tears of loss. You must attach value to something in order to “feel” loss. This is reinforced for me when she yells at Quinn on the plane that he ruined her life. If you don’t attach value or feelings to something, you can’t “ruin” it. If she was the cold, callous, unfeeling spy that others have perceived, she would have rejoiced at being saved from the family life she had built. She was anything but relieved or joyful. The Sarah Walker that sauntered into Chuck’s life had always yearned for a normal family life. The Sarah Walker that walked out of the courtyard was mourning her perceived irretrievable loss of it. This brings me to number 2. I think at this point she assumes she won’t regain her memories and therefore has irretrievably lost her previous life. She does care for Chuck and assumes the best way to protect him is to remove this damaged person whom he loves so much out of his life. As others have stated, Sarah Walker’s baseline is to leave or run. She defaults to her instincts to run. She comes back to her other base instinct which is to find Chuck at the beginning of Goodbye. That opening scene at the Buy More Nerd Herd desk in Goodbye still gets me. Three, Sarah is pissed and wants revenge. She wants to feel like she has some control. Her base instinct is to hunt Quinn down and kill him. Doing her spy thing, the “one thing she is good at” allows her to feel like she has regained some control over her life after finding out Quinn has just turned it upside down. Looking back, I think it’s important for her to leave so she can regain some equilibrium and perspective and based upon her return, “feeling” her loss of Chuck’s presence in her life.

    • thinkling says:

      Bravo. Great comments. Well said ww1posterfan

    • joe says:

      So well done, Posterfan. Thank you for getting that statement out in such an incredible manner.

      I don’t want to take anything away from what you said, but I had a thought yesterday that relates to something you touched on – about Sarah remembering the life-changing events and many of the little ones. My thought was about an exchange Chuck and Sarah had in Suburbs.

      You remember. She’s making him an omelet for breakfast, and Sarah’s been described many times as “glowing” at that moment. You better be careful, Sarah. One day, you might actually turn into a real girl. To which she says, smiling and teasing Just shut up and eat your breakfast.

      It’s such a little moment, insignificant to the mission and their lives. But it’s also important – It’s one of the first times we see the real girl who had been encased inside the CIA agent. Did Chuck recount that tale? Did Sarah record it in her video log? Will they ever get it back? There’s no way for us to tell, and that’s frustrating.

      We console ourselves with the idea that they still might, and that they might not need to.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Thanks for the kind words. My answer to your (rhetorical?) questions is that it depends. The moment you reference was insignificant to the mission, so probably not in the logs. However, you assume it is insignificant to their lives. If Sarah’s feelings that morning were pivotal in any way in terms of her evolving awareness of her love for Chuck or evolving emotional state, she might remember it. A scene that I found particularly touching was in S5 vs. The Hack Off at the end of “The Routine” scene, where she learns about the Pirahna. The look in Sarah’s eyes (I don’t know how Yvonne does it) of pure love and adoration for Chuck just melts me. I think Sarah learns something new about her husband that she perceives to be quite amazing and endearing given her comments and gaze. What importance did she attach to that moment? We’ll never know. I guess the “genius” of Fedak is we all get to pick and choose what moments spoke to us. And for the record, it’s a “genius”, I for one, could have done without. But, it is what it is, so I’m choosing to write my own epilog with the memories I see fit. I’ve also decided I won’t let Fedak become my Quinn and steal my love of all the goodness in the previous episodes. I’m loving the re-watch as it only fortifies my impressions of C& S’s happily ever coming sooner rather than later after they leave the beach.

      • thinkling says:

        I totally agree with all of that WW1. And I love Sarah’s husband gazing in S5. The scene you mention is one of my favorites, and Yvonne is just amazing. The other look is in Baby when she watches Chuck play with Molly. Then the scene morphs to Agent Walker 5 years prior in Graham’s office. The contrast in facial expressions is absolutely amazing. Throw in the look on her face when she watches Chuck interact with the ballerina in the pilot, and you have another wonderful gaze from Yvonne, but yet completely different in its type and level of amazement. You’re right. I don’t know how she does it.

        Another thing I think speeds the process for her is that the cumulative growth (that’s all still in there) that she experienced incrementally over a 5 year period will begin to wash over her in waves, like huge epiphanies. Quinn didn’t erase her, but what he did can’t help affect her and them. Their relationship will never be quite the same. However, I see them recovering all the love and essence of what they had and coming out of all of this with something deeper, better, stronger.

        I think Sarah will recover almost all of her essencial memories organically, as you said those that are pivotal to her growth and emotions and relationship to Chuck. She may gain some others organically and randomly as they are triggered, and the rest from other people telling her the stories, which creates some very special bonding moments between her and Chuck and her family and friends.

      • Rob says:

        I won’t be able to re-watch S5 for another week, but looking forward to it. The only depressing part that I anticipate with watching S5 again is seeing how happy they were planning for the future, and then (bam), it’s gone (or at least temporarily on hold).

        I’d like to think of Sarah’s memories as just being supressed (not gone)….no different than the Intersect itself (which can be uploaded or supressed). That is why we see Sarah struggling with her “orders” from Quinn throughout the final two episodes. She has these feelings, but doesn’t know how to process or place them into context. Quinn couldn’t eliminate those. That is why I believe that C&S will be able to reconnect, and start the healing process. C&S will just have to figure out how to lift the rock.

        I just rewatched A-Team last night, which brings up a question. The CIA seems to have mastered the mechanics of uploading/supressing the Intersect (albeit unsuccessfully in the Gretas). Why in S5 are we limited by the glasses as a means to do that now?

      • The Gretas were uploaded with Orion’s custom laptop, which was destroyed in Las Vecas. The glasses were probably produced by the government and weren’t perfect. They required the key. This is is in contrast to the glasses from Bryce in Break-Up, which he probably got directly from Orion. A lot of this is assumption.

      • Note that even with Orion’s laptop, the Gretas did not handle the Intersect well. With the laptop they had the emotional shutdown. With the glasses, Morgan had memory loss. With the glasses and excessive use, Sarah had memory loss and headaches. With any Intersect, Chuck’s only side-effect with the overheating issue that his dad and everyone else also had. We don’t know if the “keyed” Intersect had any side effects for anyone. It’s possible it doesn’t even require a governor.

      • ww1posterfan says:


        I concur about the memories being suppressed versus erased/damaged. I also think Sarah still has an Intersect in her brain as well. I have not seen any of the S5 episodes in their entirety, but the 1 time I watched the scene where Quinn uses the flash cards on Sarah, my impression/understanding is that the cards while inducing a flash were also a suppression device. (I can’t watch that scene ever again–it is too much like a rape scene to me and Yvonne nailed it-to me its the most intense scene they ever did on the show). It also made no sense to me that he would have the means/glasses to remove an Intersect and not have the means/technology to upload one. This whole part of the mythology seemed to have quite a few plot holes, but I won’t know until I get my DVDs next week. Another issue they swept under the rug was how Sarah could wake the next morning and not appear to have any physical side effects given that her brain was swelling to the point to cause her excruciating pain the day before. The memory loss was not linear, i.e. not recognizing the references to Alex, but remembering events that occurred at the time Alex was in her life. Another items as others have noted, we all assume Quinn was able to “stop on a dime” so to speak, erasing her memories up to the point right before being assigned Chuck but after the events of Baby. Lastly, the whole Key thing was a little confusing to me, as well. My impression is that the writers played fast and loose even with the fantastical sci-fi technology they created in order to set the events up to get Sarah to the beach. So, I feel no remorse in playing fast and loose with my intrepretation of their “mythology.” You raise a good point about the glasses. I don’t think there was a limitation-it was just the tool of choice. After the 3.0 got blown up (and really the DNI 5 years later didn’t have a DR site in place?), there wasn’t anything to load to the glasses.

      • They definitely played fast and loose with the Intersect technology, ww1. It makes more sense if you assume every version of the Intersect had its own quirks and reverse engineered Intersects did not work as well as those that came directly from Orion. Here’s a reference I compiled:
        It’s filled with a lot of guess work and points out were details are not known.

        In many ways, it was like a magic wand. If Sarah’s memories were erased for exactly five years, they could be. The ‘exactly how’ is not important. I did assume that Sarah knew some post-Alex details because she was briefed by Quinn and had the ear wick.

      • Rob says:

        That’s right….and to come full circle, I guess it is that mixed application of the Intersect technology that causes me to see the finale as unfullfilling. How are we supposed to come up with the ending when TPTB don’t even have a consistent view?

        I like certainty. I like Chuck surviving Phase Three. I like Sarah surviving the poisoning. I like Morgan getting back together with Alex (even after text dumping her). I don’t like not knowing how (or arguably whether) C&S will rebuild their lives together.

        I do think that TPTB have a little bit of a mean streak. Think back to the scene at the end of S4, when you don’t know whether Sarah has died or not. You see the church and the scheduling of a funeral — before the camera pans down to the wedding announcement. While that cruel joke only lasted seconds, I think that it speaks to how the show ended. The big difference whether the finale is that the camera didn’t pan down to the next scene.

      • ww1posterfan says:


        Thanks for download tip. I printed it a couple of months ago and am using it as a reference for my story. And to be honest, other than I’m not a very talented fiction writer, trying to come up with reasonable explanations to provide continuity for all the Intersect idiosyncrasies and timeline is one of the things that has slowed me down the most. Your comment about reversed engineered Intersects being buggy leads me to wonder who built the Intersect 3.0 (couldn’t have been Orion-he’s dead), so can we assume it’s as pristine as we would like to think it is?

        I love certainty, too. It goes with my math and science proclivities. And, you know, I would have preferred a more concrete ending. However, I was a geology major in college, and I loved studying outcrops and reverse engineering the geologic history of a particular area. So, I have resigned myself to studying the episodes’ outcrops and rather than recreating the past, I’m making a scientific prediction about the future. Shakespeare said it best, “What is past is prologue.” C&S always come back to each other, always. It’s canon. I don’t think the writer’s had a mean streak per se’. I definitely think they are wholly impressed with their own cleverness and concept of literary art. Some of that cleverness we loved. In the case of the ending, some of us found it wanting. It still doesn’t change the tea leaves or canon. But, I feel your pain.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the “pristine Intersect” in CvS was ever called the Intersect 3.0. I figured DARPA built it using knowledge they gained from
        – Orion’s cube which was part of Intersect 2.0
        – Possible the Ring Intersect recovered from the Subway
        – Orion’s laptop, while it was in the government’s possession
        – anything they learned while spying on Ellie
        – stuff they added in, which may or may not be a good idea
        As smart as the DARPA guys are for building the predecessors to the Internet and Joint Strike Fighter (as well as invisibility cloaks), they aren’t as smart as Orion when it comes to the ‘really cool parts’ of the Intersect or Ellie when it comes to the memory architecture, which is why I think they’d need the key to work around their mistakes.

        The “Intersect 3.0” was the term used by Shaw for the collection of all world-wide info and skills gathered by the Omen virus. That database was sabotaged before it was ever in the government’s possession.

        We assume the “pristine Intersect” included 2.x skills, but we don’t know for certain. I like to think of it as a Intersect 2.6 or maybe Intersect 4.0 (with less information than 3.0, but “right sized” to be more useful).

      • ww1posterfan says:


        Roger on the “3.0”. This is what twists me about the key. If I recall correctly, Mary said Steve, Ted, and Hartley used the key like three person integrity on the make-up/architecure of the Intersect., i.e all 3 parts were needed in order to modify it as it was supposed to be a training device. So, it’s a chicken or egg kind of thing. Since DARPA built the “2.6/4.0” version could they have made any real changes without the key? I never got the sense that the key was a debugging device, but I could be wrong as I haven’t scene the episodes, just clips. The keys pieces weren’t all assembled until the very end by Quinn. Like I said, the whole last arc with respect to the Intersect (the key, the flashcards, etc.) is kicking my butt in terms of me deciphering what was what. As for the version that wreaked havoc on Morgan and Sarah, Chuck referred to it as a Trojan Horse. Again, was the a deliberate action on the part of Decker (Shaw?) or just a buggy prototype of the Intersect Chuck blew up in CvS? Why this matters to me, I don’t know, but it does. 😉

      • It’s interesting to me, but not necessarily important.

        “all 3 parts were needed in order to modify it as it was supposed to be a training device.”
        Yes. However I took that as what was necessary for most people to modify it. Roark wasn’t smart enough (he stole his ideas from Orion) and Volkoff was insane and didn’t remember what he had. Orion was smart enough to reproduce the technology on his own with the Intersect cube. The cube probably had similar technology to the key, which is how the government loaded up the 2.0 skills in the “new data architecture”.

        Since DARPA built the “2.6/4.0″ version could they have made any real changes without the key?
        Not well, which is why Quinn was looking for the key. He didn’t trust DARPA to get it right.

        I never got the sense that the key was a debugging device
        It wasn’t. It just provided better firmware. That let the Intersect be controlled and transferred in a better way.

        The keys pieces weren’t all assembled until the very end by Quinn.
        I assume it was at one point assembled and then later disassembled for security purposes. The biggest plot hole here is how did Beckman get her part without knowing Orion was Chuck’s dad. Did he just mail it to her so she decided to hide it in her ribbons? I guess the green screen/scrambled matrix Orion could have told her what it was.

        Another interesting idea I just came up with is the key might have been disassembled and divided after Roarke was part of Fulcrum and Volkoff was evil. Orion was basically on his own with Fulcrum and the US government hunting him. He might have decided to split the key three ways, creating a balance of power, because he didn’t trust the “good guys” either.

        The truth is the “key” was a plot device to create an around the world treasure hunt, because people like movies like Indiana Jones and National Treasure. Most of the show Alias was a treasure hunt. If Chuck had 9 more episodes, the race to assemble a 12 part key might have been fun. It would have given finale haters a chance to see Sarah regain her memories more. (No I’m not going to write this AU fanfic idea.)

        As for the version that wreaked havoc on Morgan and Sarah, Chuck referred to it as a Trojan Horse. Again, was the a deliberate action on the part of Decker (Shaw?) or just a buggy prototype of the Intersect Chuck blew up in CvS?
        We don’t know for certain. I think they assumed it was a “virus” (which you more accurately called a Trojan Horse) because Beckman didn’t provide it. It could have had either bad programming stolen by Decker or barely passable programming modified by Shaw.

    • atcDave says:

      Great comments ww1. Please don’t ever try to be brief! I like reading the essays.

  14. Literal love letter to the superfans:

    (some people must have received their DVDs early)

  15. joe says:

    This seems like the proper place for this.

    I missed it at the time, but Yvonne put up this tweet at the beginning of April. I think it carries a little weight.

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