Chuck Versus The Reader’s Digest Re-Watch

How to watch 5 full seasons of Chuck in 8-10 weeks.

Carmichael Industries crack team of accountants, statisticians and nerds is here to tabulate the results.

I’ll be honest here.  I don’t know how this works yet, or if it will work.  But hey, I’m a scientist, why should that stop me from jumping in!  There has been a  germ of an idea that while the full one-a-week 91 episode re-watch is inevitable, as is a season 5 re-watch, something more immediate was called for.  While we’re still thinking about the end, let’s go back to the beginning, and put it all together as “their story”.  So rather than think of individual episodes or try to pick a top 20 that may include a lot of bottle episodes (nothing against bottle episodes, Chuck does them well and episodes like Tom Sawyer, Honeymooners, Seduction Impossible or Muuuurder are some of my favorite re-watches) we thought we’d try to pick out the arcs and themes on which the story was built.  Granted some are a bit artificial and contrived, and we offer some competing choices, but if you have the courage and the dedication to work through another of my monster poll/survey combos, we can try to figure out how to watch 5 full seasons in 8-10 weeks.  After the jump.

So here’s the general plan.  We picked the arcs, 33 of them.  You get to pick your top 10 in the poll, then rate them all in the survey (for some vague-ish tie-breaker reason I’m not sure of yet, and because who doesn’t love a good survey).  Once the votes are in, we’ll construct a re-watch based on the votes.  Here’s the catch.  Let’s look not just for your favorite episodes or arcs, but for the ones you think are well done and important to the story in addition.  So, while you may not like Fear of Death, the arc might be important to Chuck finally having the confidence to consider himself worthy of  the big fish and to move forward with Sarah.  Perhaps you hate The Mask and Fake Name, and you might not want them as part of the re-watch, but if you think it was important for Chuck to first be triumphant, then bottom out after he thinks he should move on, well lesson learned and story told, you might rate that a reasonable storytelling arc, even if you didn’t like that part of the story.

The plan is to watch an arc a week, and to review/discuss the episodes as a whole.  Where does that arc figure in taking the characters and the story?  Where there are potential overlaps episodes are marked with a *.  We may run another poll or have some discussion of which episodes to include in which arc.

So without further delay, I present, in a more readable format, the choices for the Reader’s Digest Re-Watch.  Peruse, discuss, cogitate, then vote in the poll, rate in the survey, and wait for the re-watch.

The Intro Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Intersect
Chuck Versus the Helicopter
Chuck Versus the Tango

The Meet The Spies Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus The Wookie
Chuck Versus The Sizzling Shrimp
Chuck Versus The Sandworm
Chuck Versus The Alma Mater

The Arc of Truth
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Truth
Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami
Chuck Versus the Nemesis

The Who Are You John Casey Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus The Crown Vic
Chuck Versus The Undercover Lover

The Make-up then Breakup Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Marlin
Chuck Versus the First Date
Chuck Versus the Seduction
Chuck Versus the Break-Up

Getting to Know Her I
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Cougars
Chuck Versus the DeLorean

The Ex Arc
(a.k.a. The Jill is Evil Arc)
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Ex
Chuck Versus the Fat Lady
Chuck Versus the Gravitron

Getting to Know Her II
———————————————————
Chuck Versus Santa Claus
Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

The Who Are These People Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus Santa Claus
Chuck Versus the Best Friend
Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

The Suburbs Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Suburbs
Chuck Versus the Beefcake
Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon

The Search for Orion Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Predator
Chuck Versus the Broken Heart
Chuck Versus the Dream Job

The Defeat of Fulcrum Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the First Kill
Chuck Versus the Colonel
Chuck Versus the Ring

The Maybe We’re Not There Yet Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Pink Slip
Chuck Versus the Three Words
Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte

The Chuck Becomes a Spy Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus Operation Awesome
Chuck Versus First Class
Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler
Chuck Versus the Mask*

The Return of Chuck Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Mask
Chuck Versus the Fake Name
Chuck Versus the Beard

The You Saved Me Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Final Exam
Chuck Versus the American Hero
Chuck Versus the Other Guy

The Feelin’ Good Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Final Exam
Chuck Versus the Other Guy
Chuck Versus the Honeymooners*

The Charleses-es Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Honeymooners*
Chuck Versus the Role Models
Chuck Versus the Tooth

The Defeat of The Ring Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Living Dead
Chuck Versus the Subway
Chuck Versus the Ring Part II

The Inevitable Question Arc
(The Proposal Arc)
(a.k.a. The Maybe We Are There Arc)
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Suitcase
Chuck Versus the Cubic Z
Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat
Chuck Versus the Balcony

The Finding Mother Mary Arc
———————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Anniversary
Chuck Versus the Couch Lock
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror

The Our Life as Spies Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Fear of Death
Chuck Versus Phase Three
Chuck Versus the Balcony
Chuck Versus the Last Details

The What Shall We Do About Mother Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror
Chuck Versus the First Fight
Chuck Versus the Leftovers

The Defeat of Alexei Volkoff Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Anniversary
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror
Chuck Versus the First Fight
Chuck Versus the Leftovers
Chuck Versus the Gobbler
Chuck Versus the Push Mix

The Baggage Handler Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible
Chuck Versus the Cat Squad
Chuck Versus the Masquerade*
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil*

The A-Team Arc
——————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Masquerade*
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil*
Chuck Versus the A-Team
Chuck Versus the Muuurder

The Rise of Vivian Volkoff Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Masquerade
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil
Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff

The Wedding Plans Arc
———————————————————
Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible
Chuck Versus the Cat Squad
Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil*
Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner

The Saving the Winterbottoms Arc
——————————————————–
Chuck Versus Agent X
Chuck Versus the Last Details
Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger

The Morgansect Arc
——————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Zoom
Chuck Versus the Bearded Bandit
Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips

The Final Defeat of Daniel Shaw Arc
(Also known as Ellie’s Revenge)
——————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Subway*
Chuck Versus the Ring Part II*
Chuck Versus the Hack Off
Chuck Versus the Curse
Chuck Versus the Santa Suit

The Mamas and the Papas Arc
(a.k.a. Faith’s Super-Sized Family Arc)
——————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Delorean
Chuck Versus the Dream Job
Chuck Versus the Living Dead
Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror
Chuck Versus the First Fight
Chuck Versus the Leftovers
Chuck Versus the Push Mix
Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner
Chuck Versus the Baby

Future Dream Arc
(a.k.a Thinkling’s Normal Arc)
——————————————————
Chuck Versus the Business Trip
Chuck Versus the Baby
Chuck Versus the Kept Man
Chuck Versus Bo

The Revenge of the Intersect Arc
——————————————————-
Chuck Versus the Bullet Train
Chuck Versus Sarah
Chuck Versus the Goodbye

 And now the part where you need to choose.  Pick your top 10.  This does not necessarily mean the re-watch will be 10 arcs.  We’re still working the kinks out.  More news to follow.

                    
          

And if that wasn’t enough thinking about Chuck and picking favorites, there’s a survey covering the same arcs.  Rate the arcs by clicking on the pop-up button, or if that doesn’t work, use the direct link.

As always, thank you for your time and dedication Chuck fans.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
This entry was posted in polls, Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5. Bookmark the permalink.

207 Responses to Chuck Versus The Reader’s Digest Re-Watch

  1. This doesn’t sound ambitious enough. One time I watched 110 episodes of Babylon 5, plus all 5 movies, in 3 weeks. It might have done that twice. It’s not like anything else is good on TV anymore.

  2. thinkling says:

    Cuz we’re the Intersect on Chuck.

    • You do realize that you just said we’re like Morgan. Right? I like Morgan, but some Morgan and Morgansect haters might be offended.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh, please, we know way more than Morgan by now. 😉 He moved out, and we didn’t.

      • Quick, name Chuck’s favorite ice cream flavors, in order 😉

        I’m stuck between three different fanfic story ideas right now. The one I’m probably not going to write anytime soon would have a lot of scenes about Sarah getting her memories back or problems because she doesn’t have specific memories. One of the ideas was about the cameras in Chuck and Sarah’s place. I always figured surveillance deactivated when Sarah moved in, but it might have been left in place for security reasons. No Morgan is living at Casey’s place, the center of all surveillance…

        Either Sarah finds the bugs and doesn’t remember that they are disabled, leading to a very angry Sarah, or Morgan is going through Casey’s stuff and accidentally turns it on right as Alex walks in the room. It’d be like Morgan never moved out.

      • thinkling says:

        What are you waiting for, Jeff? Get that laptop humming!

      • atcDave says:

        That sounds like fun Jeff! And then Sarah decides Morgan needs to be eliminated?!

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    Just an FYI, at this point a re-watch would look something like this:

    The Intro Arc: Chuck Versus the Intersect – Chuck Versus the Helicopter – Chuck Versus the Tango

    The Arc of Truth: Chuck Versus the Truth – Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami – Chuck Versus the Nemesis

    The Make-up then Breakup Arc: Chuck Versus the Marlin – Chuck Versus the First Date – Chuck Versus the Seduction – Chuck Versus the Break-Up

    Getting to Know Her I: Chuck Versus the Cougars – Chuck Versus the DeLorean

    The Who Are These People Arc: Chuck Versus Santa Claus – Chuck Versus the Best Friend – Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

    The Search for Orion Arc: Chuck Versus the Predator – Chuck Versus the Broken Heart – Chuck Versus the Dream Job

    The Defeat of Fulcrum Arc: Chuck Versus the First Kill – Chuck Versus the Colonel – Chuck Versus the Ring

    The Combined Charleses-es Are Feelin’ Good Arc (a tie with ratings within 0.05, and consecutive episodes): Chuck Versus the Final Exam – Chuck Versus the Other Guy – Chuck Versus the Honeymooners – Chuck Versus the Role Models – Chuck Versus the Tooth

    The Defeat of The Ring Arc: Chuck Versus the Living Dead – Chuck Versus the Subway – Chuck Versus the Ring Part II

    The Wedding Plans Arc: Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible – Chuck Versus the Cat Squad – Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil – Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner

    Future Dream Arc (or Normal Arc): Chuck Versus the Business Trip – Chuck Versus the Baby – Chuck Versus the Kept Man – Chuck Versus Bo

    The Revenge of the Intersect Arc: Chuck Versus the Bullet Train – Chuck Versus Sarah – Chuck Versus the Goodbye

  4. jason says:

    Most of you posting on this thread liked the finale, and in general tend to be among the most supportive fans on this site. Many of us used to joke about the frequency of rewatches. I for example would not care to even guess how often I have rewatched 2 or 3 scenes from the other guy or the complete Honeymooners episode, aided with a little Morgan-centric FF’ing in the middle. And during my fav season 4 I would easily watch eps multiple times within a day or two of the initial airing. Those days are long gone.

    Since the Christmas present from hell – i.e. the initial episode long beating of Sarah by Fedak’s best friend Daniel Shaw, I have rewatched exactly one ep of Chuck, the Goodbye ep, and then not out of joy or love, but more out of desperation, hoping to find some greatness I did not see the first time. The rewatch did help, but …… (my favorite new writing style, just stop in mid sentence, some showrunner thinks it is really brilliant)

    My question is, ‘Is everyone else still rewatching eps, since I seldom read anyone writing about re-watching, other than those specifically doing so to write the blog itself’?

    To answer your ? Ernie, I would answer none of the above to the arc ?. I do not like Chuck in the arc way you do, matter of fact, I dislike the arcs in Chuck, nearly all of them. I find EPISODES of Chuck approaching meteoric joyful character brilliance, buried in an ‘ARC’ universe of incongruent, ‘meh’ story writing darkness. But that is just me.

    • thinkling says:

      Jason, I would think you’d like some of the arcs that aren’t really arcs. We added them in by theme to include some of the favorites, like: the Charleses-es and Getting to Know Her 1 and the Wedding Prep and Future Dream. All of those are pretty happy arcs that have nothing to do with mythology, but the other story that so many of us care about more than mythology.

    • atcDave says:

      And to address the other part of that; I’ve been re-watching a lot. I’ve probably watched Baby 8 or 9 times. its easily one of my favorites of the series. The first five of S5 I thought were also very strong and watched them all in order on several occasions. I also really liked the end of the season from 5.10-5.13, with only a few well discussed complaints about the end. Actually, the only episodes I don’t care for were Curse and Kept Man (I thought Chuck was too much of a weenie, for slightly different reasons in each). Santa Suit would be my next least favorite, but I still thought it was a strong episode. So in a nutshell, the season still has strong replay value for me.
      I would agree though that I tend to prefer stand alone episodes to arcs; but as Thinkling mentioned, some of those arcs listed above are just thematically linked, not true arcs.

      Although I will admit, I’ll pass on any re-watch of most of S3…

      • Rob says:

        I think that I’ve been re-watching the series to intentionally get the bitter and unsatisfying taste of the last two episodes out of my brain.

        @Dave — I’m curious (and sorry if I’m re-hashing old territory)…what specifically did you dislike about S3? While I agree it is not as good as the first two seasons, there are some pretty important scenes throughout that season.

      • atcDave says:

        Rob the short answer is it was too dark for too long with too little pay-off. The longer answer involves several issues, right from the start it was ugly and depressing with the Chuck/Sarah malfunction in addition to Chuck failing training. I was quite offended by Chuck sleeping with Hannah on the first date, right after telling Sarah he loved her; and Chuck’s season long habit of lying too often to pretty much everyone (that actually continued until 4.01). While Chuck became more likable again to me in Beard; we were then treated to Sarah completely loosing faith in him which lasted until the end of American Hero.
        I know many consider this massively shallow, but bottom line is I don’t enjoy the show when Charah is messed up, and that pretty much dominated 3.01 – 3.12. Or as I often say, the wt/wt lasted a (slow) beat too long (for me it simply had to end with S2. I can’t buy its continuation in S3 at all).
        I mostly liked the “Awesome arc” (3.03 & 3.04), but then Chuck and Sarah’s problems were mostly pushed into the background for those two. But I typically don’t re-watch those two either, there’s just been so much happier stuff to choose from since then, I see no point in putting myself through the frustration again. Beard and Tic Tac were also better episodes for me; but again, against the backdrop of the Charah malfunction I’m not really motivated to sit through them again.

        And this answer is JUST for you Rob, everyone else has heard it far too many times!

      • Rob says:

        I agree with most of your assessment, although I thought that the payoff was pretty substanial in Other Guy (which is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series). Funny that you mentioned Chuck/Hanna. I actually understand that relationship better than the Sarah/Shaw one. For Chuck, being constantly pushed away by Sarah could understandably lead him to another woman (which he figured out fairly quickly was a poor replacement for Sarah).

        Sarah being with Shaw frustrated me even more. I almost thought that her quick attraction to Shaw minimized her same reaction to Chuck. Plus, Chuck was going through some pretty significant issues learning to be a spy. I felt like she was more comfortable with Shaw than helping Chuck work through them. I just thought she didn’t fight enough for the relationship, and that bothered me more than anything else about the season.

        In retrospect, I think that it was part of the growth of their relationship, but I agree that it was very frustrating to watch them being so distant.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I am thinking of doing a clean, slow, ep by ep rewatch, including all of season 3, one per week. This would allow me to let the dust settle as the project should take nearly two years. I plan on writing a little review of each for myself and posteriety, with the goal to be fair and honest, without the bias I bring to each viewing now, which I am aware of …. i.e. that my viewpoint is alarmingly biased. As you probably know, I adapted my philosophy on the blogs to combat the smug, condescending, hubristic style of those who I felt unfairly trashed shippers during season 3, using the power of their writing styles and position within the fandom to bully people. My actual POV is somewhat more moderate than I let on here, and I look forward to watching the entire series (including all of season 3) with a more moderate, even POV , if that makes any sense?

        But before I do that, I will probably watch all of season 5 once. I also have to watch Kept Man over, since I recall the episode being quite good, it surprises me how much you dislike it?

      • atcDave says:

        Rob I do agree Hannah was easier to buy as a character and love interest for Chuck than Shaw was for Sarah. But in the end I don’t care; after S2 I’m hostile towards either idea, no details of execution matter to me. I’m an extremely hard core Charah ‘shipper in that regard and from the very start I found any outside love interest to be a complete waste of time, and not what I was tuning in for. Now I do agree Other Guy was a pretty good episode, and I have no problems with re-watching it. But I prefer just jumping to Honeymooners, to my mind that’s what 3.01 ALWAYS should have been. I think the story of Chuck learning to become a spy while Sarah helped him deal with the various ethical and emotional issues would have been golden; but TPTB flushed it down the toilet for cheap relationship angst. I’m very hostile towards the S3 story.

        Jason I don’t consider any S5 episode to be a total bust. But I didn’t enjoy the comedy they drew from Chuck’s cluelessness while Sarah thought she was pregnant. Its not a huge thing, its just not my favorite depiction of Chuck.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I found Good Bye to have too much Chuck incompetence. I would have hoped he would have been past the need for Ellie to wake him up (a mini call back to season 3, but still, not even a little funny to me).

        Then, in a pair of poor choices, he needed Morgan to encourage him to go find Sarah and help her, again, a nice call back, but plays on Chucks indecisiveness, I wish Morgan and Chuck had a better 5 season long payoff than that too? Finally, the line, ‘I was in love then’ – was a stunning punch to the gut (does anyone even ask Fedak would his character really say that, does he or she really mean that). That is of course, had Sarah not already delivered two even more mean spirited lines – I was too good at my job and I believe you, I just don’t feel it. By and large, the mean spirited nature of those lines, and the entire concept of the violent way Sarah’s memories were ripped from her, left me wondering what type of human being could have such a cold hearted viewpoint of his two lead characters?

        As sad as the Sarah story is in the finale, Chuck’s is probably even sadder. AT least Sarah is hot, rich (half of 40 million is still pretty decent coinage, even given her taste is automobiles), and can pretty much do anything she pleases. Chuck on the other hand is intersected again, the only thing he pretty much clearly stated he did not want for these five seasons. On the plus side of the ledger, Sarah did recall a few things, ended up on the beach, asked to her the story, and then asked to be kissed (that is of course assuming Chuck is now in love again, or was he always, again, why did he say that?). Was it enough? Apparently not for everyone!

      • thinkling says:

        In Kept Man, I didn’t mind that Chuck didn’t clue in to the signals that she might have been pregnant, but they took it so much farther with his arrogant I’ll-show-you-I’m-mister-sensitive act. It would have been appropriately funny for him to miss the signals and Casey to catch them. It was his attitude. But it was a great exploration of the whole kids idea and had some great moments.

      • thinkling says:

        Jason, Sarah’s two lines didn’t bother me as much, because I got her mindset, plus she had been mind-wiped. I thought Chuck’s line (I was in love then) is possibly one of the worst of the series. I’m sure there are others, but that line goes in tier one of worst lines.

      • Rob says:

        Dave — I understand and agree with your viewpoint. There is no question that the more enjoyable episodes involved Chuck and Sarah together in some capacity (whether fake or real). And, it is tough to watch them apart in any fashion.

        But, I think that relationship angst was critical to both Chuck and Sarah realizing that they were meant to be together. So, I didn’t have a problem with the additional love interests. My real problem was how long it took Sarah to figure that out.

      • BigKev67 says:

        One thing about Goodbye that I missed the first time (because I was too busy going “they left it there? Are they serious???”) but just floors me every time I watch now is Ellie choosing to leave, with her brother in law at his lowest ebb, and her sister-in-law in desperate need of the very skills that she has. I can’t believe that never bothered me on first watch, because now it strikes me as one of the biggest WTF moments of the entire series. In my post-beach scenario, Chuck and Sarah go back to the apartment complex to find Ellie in the courtyard. As they approach, she envelops them both in an Ellie-hug, saying, “I’m sorry. I have no idea what I was thinking…..”

      • atcDave says:

        That’s a good thought Kev. I would agree that on re-watch the Ellie/Devon ending actually bothers me more than the too abrupt beach ending! It just doesn’t compute.

        Rob to me we got enough of the angst and jealousy sort of lessons learned in the first two seasons. It strains all belief for me to accept that these two were involved in six triangles in two and a half years. To me it’s just stupid and not remotely entertaining. And yeah Sarah does get an extra dose of dishonor for taking longer to get past it, and not only not fighting for Chuck, but effectively giving up on him for most of the season. All the more painful since she was such a beautiful character both before and after. I’m always leery of making OOC accusations, I figure a fictional character is always in whatever character they were written into, but I just don’t know, or want to know, the S3 iterations of Chuck and Sarah.

      • atcDave says:

        And yeah Thinkling that’s exactly right, it the whole “Mister Sensitivity” shtick that went a step too far for me and I didn’t find very funny.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        This is one of the things that continues to bug me in the discussion. Why didn’t chuck stop Sarah at the end of Chuck vs Sarah, why does Ellie leave, etc.

        What were they supposed to do?

        Sarah was not unable to care for herself, she was not (spies aside) a danger to the general civilian population, and she was very explicitly saying to Chuck, she wasn’t in love with him anymore. Yes, it wasn’t true, but what were they supposed to do? Capture Sarah and lay claim to her as theirs and refuse to let her go till she remembers what they want her to be?

        With Ellie they pretty much laid it out, if Chuck had the intersect glasses, Ellie could have helped, without them, she’s working through traditional medicine where there is no magic fix for Sarah. It comes down to her ability to remember and reconnect with who she is, and since it is Chuck, not Ellie or Awesome that can make that happen, why would they need to stay? Yes, she feels guilty about leaving, but I keep hearing this “she should have stayed” without any reason why it would make a difference. Yes, Chuck was in a bad place, but it is the whole point that Ellie feels she can concentrate on her family rather than mother Chuck for another 5 years. It’s a recognition on both their parts that while there is a loss to moving on, moving on is part of life.

        Chuck: “You’ve taken care of me for far too long.”

        Ellie: “Aces Charles, you’re aces.”

        So there is this vague “Ellie should do something” theme, but what, I still don’t see, especially when it is clear that Ellie’s best option is gone. Ellie wasn’t able to cure Morgan, why would everyone think that because it’s Sarah that Ellie is suddenly turning her back by leaving with Devon to build a future. Chuck’s future is his affair, and while Ellie can be concerned, it isn’t her place to dictate or fix it anymore.

      • Ernie, I think I was the first person to bring up the issue about Ellie and Devon staying, but my issue is a little different. I didn’t think Ellie should stay to help Sarah. Even if Sarah was 100% ok and never had amnesia, I still would have had a problem with Ellie and Devon’s abrupt departure. I thought she should stay because they already had good jobs and SoCal is where her family was. If Devon’s parents lived in the Chicago, that’s a different story. Then they would be moving from family to other family. That’s what Casey was doing. He was leaving to find Gertrude. Devon and Ellie already had very good jobs that probably paid well over a half a million in combined salary annually. (The average US salary for non-surgical neurologists in LA is $226K; for cardiac surgeons, it is $353K.) That could easily pay for a house. Instead they go someplace else for slightly better jobs that will take them away from Clara more.

        They should have just moved to the burbs.

        The situation was different than it was in S3.0. At that time, they thought Chuck was leaving too and because of the secrets, Ellie and Chuck were drifting apart. Devon was also pushing because he was freaking out about the spy stuff. Ellie was being supportive of Devon, against her better judgment. Look how that turned out. Justin conned Ellie. At the end of S5, there was no foundation for them wanting to leave. It was just a bribe to leave the rest of their family behind. If it had a stronger foundation, starting in episode 9 or earlier, I might have bought it. Maybe the extended cut or deleted scenes will establish a better foundation.

        At the end of Business Trip, Sarah gave an eloquent toast about family. Ellie and Devon didn’t buy into it.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously, you would move to Chicago for the pizza. But I find it unbelievable that a Californian would even have a proper frame of reference for that. They probably like Little Caesars or something…

        But seriously, my beef was just that it felt rushed and wrong. I have no problem with people pursuing better job opportunities (although as Jeff said, I had been under the impression that Ellie and Chuck were “all about family…”), but it was introduced and paid off at a break neck speed. Especially Ellie having that talk with Chuck when he didn’t even know WHERE his wife was. It felt cold and heartless to me. I would have vastly preferred to have been the last scene of the episode with Chuck AND Sarah there having the talk with Ellie and Devon. In fact, I think that order of things would have helped me like the whole episode 1000% better. (Even in the Pilot, Chuck went home AFTER he talked to Sarah on the beach!)

      • Correction, I had the wrong job selected for Devon on the salary sight. The average LA salary for “Surgeon – Cardiothoracic” in LA is $443K. The 25 percentile is $359K. The 75 percentile (which is likely, considering he was being recruited to head a department) is $551K. (sarcasm on) The Illinois tax rate is 5% instead of 9.3%, so maybe that’s a contributing factor. Maybe the higher salaries and lower taxes could pay for a beach house in Florida and a yacht on Lake Michigan. sarcasm off) I know the housing market is tough, but the Woodcombs would not have a problem buying a very large home anywhere they wanted.

        I’m not sure if I was clear before. Ellie should have wanted to stay in SoCal for herself, to be close to her friends and family, because having Chuck and Morgan around would be good for Clara and any future Woodcombs, not because she was ‘taking care’ of Chuck.

      • Aerox says:

        Roughly 25 minutes after the ending, it hit me full in the face that people actually genuinely thought that Sarah was the one that suffered the most in the final two endings. Like I’ve said a few times since then, it’s a miracle that Chuck didn’t turn suicidal.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I watched Kept Man last night, watched 1/3 of it, turned it off. Knowing Sarah is going to be brutally stripped of her memories & Chuck and Sarah having a baby has been taken ON SCREEN from them forever, makes this episode maliciously taunting, inappropriate, yet again, mean spirited. I do not judge intent, but either the guy calling the shots is mean by nature, or clueless, neither of which is a compliment. Chuck making jokes while being tortured in the beginning is an example of how the mash up of genre’s fails. Chuck making fun of his situation as compared to Sarah being bound and beaten for real in Santa, Baby, then mind raped in the Bullet, made me turn the episode off.

      • Rob says:

        I haven’t given as much thought to the ending with respect to the other characters. I’ve also only seen those epsiodes once, so may not have the perspective or details that others have.

        I’m not sure what to think about Ellie and Devon leaving. Let’s think about Ellie’s perspective…for much of the 3-4 seasons, I think her impression of Chuck’s life was that it lacked direction (both professionally and personally). I’d like to think that she now sees him as being more self-sufficient, and able to manage these issues on his own. Effectively, he is all grown-up.

        But, for her to leave when Chuck needs her most, is a little puzzling (particularly when you consider how much of a mother-complex she had). But, I almost think that it is a sign from TPTB that the journey for Chuck and Sarah is inter-personal. It’s not medical or technological. So, Ellie can’t help. It is now up to them to find their path. I’ve always felt that the show is ultimately about Chuck and Sarah, and I think that it is okay for it to end with the two of them finding their own way (without needing to rely upon others to guide them). Think about how many times a character had to tell Chuck (or Sarah) that the other one clearly loved them to help reinforce the relationship. I feel like it is now time for their relationship to take the training wheels off, and go on its own.

        So, while I would have liked for their to be a “going away party” at the end (as there was many times before), showing that everyone is together and happy for the last time, I think that would take away from the real message of the show, that the other characters are really only along for the ride. This is Chuck and Sarah’s story and it should end with the two of them together.

      • thinkling says:

        Rob, I think you hit on the key point. It is all about Chuck and Sarah. The beach scene leaves that clear, with the two of them kissing with nothing but the ocean as a backdrop. Powerful scene. They have all they need, as they said in Honeymooners. They are together. They love each other. That’s the core of life for them … and the core of Chuck. As long as that part is right, everything WILL be OK. Better than OK.

        Ellie and Devon will just be in Chicago. With the money they are making and the money Chuck and Sarah (will ultimately) have, it will be nothing to visit back and forth. After Chuck and Sarah finally leave the beach and go back home, they’ll see Ellie and Devon before they leave. It’s enough for me to imagine all of that: Ellie’s barely controlled squeee when she sees Chuck and Sarah together, one last Bartowski meal together, Ellie hooking electrodes up to Sarah’s head. There’s time for all of that before they actually leave.

        Since we couldn’t have an epilogue arc, I’m fine with it the way it was.

      • atcDave says:

        As it turned out, I don’t feel like Ellie and Devon leaving is a very big deal. But I still don’t like the timing of the goodbye talk between Chuck and Ellie before we even know if Chuck and Sarah will be alright. It just wasn’t a satisfying goodbye to me.

        Jason I watched Kept Man again last night and liked it quite a bit better (unlike Curse, which I’ve liked less on re-watch). I thought the faux torture scene in the beginning was funny, but a big part of Chuck staying calm has having Sarah in his ear. The false pregnancy does seem like a fake promise, but knowing Chuck and Sarah are together and happy in the end tells me it’s more a hint of what comes after. I’m okay with never seeing kids on the show. As far as what comes next, I think at this point Bullet Train may be the roughest episode to re-watch, the emotional extremes of that episode are brutal; but again, knowing Chuck and Sarah will make it through together does make it all a lot easier to watch. I do wish we had a happier and funnier send off than what we got; I felt the show largely abandoned its usual comedy for the last 2+ episodes, but I’m getting to be more okay with what we actually did see. And there was so much to love from a comedy and warm/fuzzy aspect earlier in the season I’m more okay with the ending now (that I’m over some of the initial disappointment).

      • Thinkling, you’re right that they all have enough money to visit. But it would be for holidays and vacations, not regular family dinners. Chuck and Sarah (and Morgan and Alex) won’t be baby-sitting. Ellie won’t be borrowing Sarah’s dresses. Molly’s now more likely to be a flower girl at Morgan and Alex’s wedding than Clara.

        The show was about Chuck and Sarah. That is the only reason for the Woodcombs to move–to take away the metaphorical safety net. However, in doing so, it was very out-of-character for the Woodcombs, especially Ellie.

        I’ve probably gotten to the point where I’m 9/10 on the ending (a “Let’s go home” from Sarah would make it a 10/10). But the episode is still only a 8/10 because the Woodcombs left, even though it was a small plot point in the overall episode. With “let’s go home” and the Woodcombs moving to the burbs, Goodbye might be a something like a 9.5/10 for me. I didn’t need Ellie helping Sarah get her memories back or helping Chuck deal. I just wanted some foundation for why their characters would leave their best friends and family and start a new life. Maybe Ellie lost her fellowship. Maybe the hospital was closing. Maybe Devon’s parents lived in Chicago and Woody had health issues. Something. To be honest, Chuck should check out the people behind the job offers. It could be remnants of Fulcrum recruiting experts on the Intersect. The offer was suspicious. Ellie and Devon have to apply for medical licenses in Illinois, which can take months, so maybe they’d change their minds.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Jeff- Your thoughts on Ellie being “recruited” to Chicago by some remnants of Fulcrum is the basis for a fan fic I’m writing set 6 months after the finale. Thanks for mentioning that as a theory-that let’s me know it’s a reasonable notion. Also, I’m incorporating the idea that the Chicago hospital has the most state of the art/advanced neurology facilities and Ellie thinks that will help her unlock the remaining secrets of how the Intersect works and more specifically the Trojan Horse that was inserted into the one Morgan and Sarah uploaded. Obviously, this places her in danger and we are off to the races.

        Additionally, I think some more light will be shed on their departure in the extra minutes included on the DVD. From the Sepinwall interview: “Just more of everything. It was an epic episode. We did a lot of stuff. There’s a little more family, and a little more Awesome and Ellie.” I’m hoping these extra minutes will answer some of the very legitimate questions/critiques raised above regarding Ellie’s and Devon’s motivation, as well as, were there more goodbye scenes we just didn’t see. Again, I believe this has been mentioned before, but TPTB had alot to cram in those last 2 episodes. The pacing was off and this was one of the goodbye’s that suffered for it. It did seem out of character for Ellie’s character to not keep the family in tact, but as has been mentioned, she was willing to leave before when she thought Chuck was gaining his independence.

      • Cool, I’ll keep an eye out for your story. Do you use the same moniker on FFnet, or a different one?

      • atcDave says:

        I was going to ask the same thing Jeff!

        That sounds like a total blast WW1, I look forward to it.

      • thinkling says:

        Sounds fun, ww1.

        Jeff, I like the idea of the suburbs better, too, or something on the west coast, at least. I understand the viewpoint and sentiment. Just didn’t bother me as much as some folks..

      • Oh, about the second point… I think WT/WT caused the initial problem of S3.0. The season length dictated the length of the WT/WT. Chuck and Sarah’s engagement was actually short, just a few months. It was that length because that’s how long S4.5 was.

        On Castle this season, the promoted “secrets” being a theme and a major reason for the WT/WT this season (triangles were last season). In episodes 2-11 and 13-15, they ignored the secrets, meaning the WT/WT made little sense. The secrets were referenced in the last two episodes because it’s getting close to the finale. If the season was 30 episodes, I’m sure they would still be ignored.

      • thinkling says:

        Jeff, I’ll continue in the wrong spot. I think it’s sort of a chicken/egg thing, though I still say it’s the wt/wt malady that drives the pacing, because TPTB (of whatever show) have determined that the resolution of wt/wt IS the story, alà fairytales and romcoms. Therefore, they drag it out however long the season is. In a two hour movie, it works OK. In multiple seasons of a TV show, it doesn’t. It would be better, IMO, to resolve the wt/wt at a more natural pace, not all at once at the end, and make it part of the story, and not the whole story.

        Chuck and Sarah’s engagement was short, thank goodness, because the proposal seemed to drag out forever, which sounds odd, because there was only a difference of 2 episodes between the front and back of S4. Again I think it’s the natural pacing thing. They had to keep coming up with stuff to postpone the proposal, whereas wedding prep takes some time, and that pacing seemed about right. The saving grace of the proposal arc was that Sarah said yes nine episodes before Chuck finally asked, not that he didn’t try a few times before.

        In the proposal arc, I could just roll my eyes and enjoy the ride, because it was all so much fun, and Sarah’s growth was delightful to see … and I knew they’d get there. In S3, I knew they’d get there, but the ride wasn’t fun. Big difference.

      • jason says:

        Think – The problem with season 5, is all season long (same as season 3/4 all season long) we got teased, this time with the normal life, the house, normal jobs, a family. But at the end we got a start over from the pilot on the beach, no memories of the great 5 year journey to find normal. Both of them job wise are back where they started, spy and intersect. Sarah not knowing she does not have to be a spy, even if she thinks she doesn’t want to be (which is a stretch anyhow, as we can’t know what she thinks, she probably doesn’t know what she thinks as we end). Now we can argue till we are blue in the face that everything is fine (which it might be or will be soon), but we don’t know based on what we saw. But most importantly, the end did not pay off the season long tease this time, really did not pay off anything that I can think of, at best, we get a return to what they had in the past relationship wise. This is not my definition of a happy ending, certainly not an epic one!

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I would agree they failed to pay-off the normal life for the ending very well (or at all!). BUT some of what you said is not true, they had clearly quit the spy life. When Beckman offered them jobs they said no, Sarah said no before anyone else. We have to guess about other details, which is a source of frustration for many of us, but they were not just back to the beginning.

      • thinkling says:

        Jason, we obviously disagree. First of all, the no memories idea isn’t true. We see some of Sarah’s memories coming back all along and have every indication that they will continue to return. Morgansect blazed that trail for us. Not all memories will return, but the important ones will, and Sarah will be back to being herself, as Morgan was. We can’t rip the finale out of its context in the season and the series.

        It was abundantly clear that neither one was a spy at the end of Goodbye. The fact that Chuck has the Intersect is a moot point. As far as we know for now it’s a secret with the original band. Beckman probably doesn’t know. She walked away. The spy team is no more. They are out of the spy biz. Period. We know that Sarah is not going back to being a spy, because she says she needs to find herself, i.e. who she became with Chuck. To think Sarah is going off to be a spy is to ignore what she says, the structure of the story, the context, and everything that’s happened on screen.

        The beach is in no way a start over from the pilot. It’s a call back and a parallel, but not a reset. In the pilot Chuck’s life was turned upside down (because of the Intersect). He had been plopped down in the middle of an unfamiliar life, which was, nonetheless, his life. He needed reassurance that he would be OK. He needed help in his new life. Sarah offered him that help and asked for his trust, and he accepted her help and trusted her. In doing so, Chuck accepted his situation and stepped into his life, and Sarah was there to help him. In Goodbye it’s Sarah whose life has been turned upside down (because of the Intersect). Her life with Chuck, the life she doesn’t remember, is her life. (I know she knows this by now. Otherwise, she wouldn’t need to find herself; she’d just go be a spy or disappear.) So, here is Sarah, on the beach, trying to figure out her life. She needs reassurance that she’s going to be OK. She needs Chuck’s help to get her life back. Chuck offers her that help and asks her to trust him. She accepts and trusts. It’s not a return to the S1 spy life (where Sarah was Chuck’s guide). It’s a moving forward again in exactly the life they carved out for themselves in S5. Context and structure, Jason, you can’t ignore them without distorting the story.

        In asking to hear their story, Sarah is accepting her situation and stepping back into her life again. It is that leap of trust Chuck asked for, and he takes it as such. We see her transforming as she relives their story (their love story) through Chuck’s eyes. That’s there on screen. The kiss is Sarah, the Sarah we know, cementing that decision to be with Chuck, and embrace her real life. They are going to be OK.

        I don’t see S5 as a tease at all. It is the epilogue. It was painted as the destination of their journey for a reason … so that when they recovered, after Quinn derailed them, we would know where they were headed, when they left the beach. The context (in the series and S5) of the finale and its structure bring Chuck and Sarah back to the point of recovery so they can finish the journey they were on right before Quinn interrupted it.

        It would have been nice to see more on screen, a nice extra episode to show us the epilogue. But I don’t have to see it AGAIN. They already showed us what it would be.

        If you can believe that Chuck and Sarah are together at the end of OG, without the benefit of Honeymooners, then you can believe that Chuck and Sarah are together at the end of Goodbye. We have a lot more to go on to fill in the blanks after Goodbye than we did with Other Guy. We have the structure of the series, the deliberate memory information from Morgansect, and exactly where Chuck and Sarah were headed next from all of S5. The payoff was understated, yes, but concluding that there was no payoff is to willfully ignore what’s there to see.

      • jason says:

        Think – we disagree – I refuse to call you any names, nor be critical of the way you think, I agree with everyone else, it IS beautiful. But, I only wish you would have had a truly great season and final pair of episodes to use your eloquent prose on, you would have been epic. Having to do what you are doing with this ending is …..

      • thinkling says:

        OK, Jason. Truce. We’re at an impasse, I guess, and that’s OK. I’ll give you that Goodbye wasn’t as happy and decisive and ending as Cliffhanger. I’m sorry that the finale didn’t wow the socks off of everyone, but it is what it is. Some liked it immediately.Some of us had to dig a little deeper to like it, but ended up liking it a lot (me). Some didn’t like it at all and never will. Some like me keep trying to point out the good that was there in hopes that someone will feel better. Who’d’ve thought we’d still be doing this so long after the end?

      • BigKev67 says:

        Thinkling,
        You and I process things quite similarly, I think. My first take on something is usually my emotional or gut reaction. Then I let it sit, check out some other opinions, let my analytical side kick them around for a while and see if my initial reaction changes. Usually, my head tempers my emotions a little and the 2 end up roughly in synch.
        The bizarre thing about this ending for me is that that absolutely hasn’t happened. What I mean by that is, my head completely accepts the logic of yours and Faith’s positions on the ending – the strength of the connection, the unconditional love, the evidence of returning memories all combining to create an ending that was designed to be optimistic at least, if not your traditional happy ending – but that’s just not what my heart tells me when I watch it.
        Every time I watch the ending, I feel sad. And it’s more than just a “the show’s over” sad – it’s a pervasive sadness that seems to overwhelm the parts of my brain that tell me that it’ll all be OK in the end. I don’t know why, because it’s not usually how my brain works – but all the knowledge in the world doesn’t seem to be able to take the sadness away.

      • Wilf says:

        Kev, I get it. You believe it, but the truth is, you just don’t feel it. How true those words have turned out to be for so many people. Unfortunately, Chris Fedak does not appear to have heeded the show’s own prophetic sentence.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Wilf,
        Not to labour the point but it’s not even that I don’t “feel it”. I do. I just feel something different to what the obvious hints and intention are telling me that I “should” feel. And that’s unusual for me, because usually if I see the intention, my feelings tend to fall in behind that. Not this time.

      • thinkling says:

        I understand that Kev. My head has to lead my heart on this, and even then it’s still a heavy ending because of all that’s happened. Emotionally you can’t just blink that away. I don’t think Fedak gets that. Even Zac expressed shock about the backlash. I think Yvonne was the only one who knew how hard it would be on people.

        I’m never going to rewatch Goodbye and grin from ear to ear like I do with Cliffhanger. The happy ending is more subdued, more like I’m reassured and comforted and heartwarmed. Sarah/Goodbye plus S5 give us what we need to fill in the blanks, but we do have to fill them in. By contrast Cliffhanger merely left me euphoric with no blanks to fill in but the honeymoon. Now that it’s all over (after the finale), as I rewatch S5 (or S4 or any of those past special times) I have to view those wonderful moments as things that Sarah will remember. That can be fun to imagine, but it’s also hard, and I admit it squeezes my heart a little. So, yeah, I understand where you’re coming from. I really hope it gets better for you.

      • Rob says:

        Kev — I have the same feelings as you watching the finale. My brain keeps on trying to say everything will be alright. But, I think that I had such high expectations of a fairytale ending that my heart is sad for the characters. I guess I remember back to the scene that Chuck was pouring his heart out to Sarah. I would have liked to see that heartbreak reversed. At heart, Chuck was really an uplifting and light show, and the ending just didn’t entirely fit for me.

        I think back to Faith’s last article about Choices, and it is so brilliant that it is scary. If Sarah had voluntarily taken an action at the end, my feelings might have been different. Her asking Chuck to kiss her, while powerful, was still a reaction to Chuck proposing the solution. It was unlike Paris, where she took charge. Again, it sounds so crazy, but to hear Sarah make an independent choice like “let’s go home” would have instantly taken my sadness regarding the ending away.

      • atcDave says:

        That emotionally down response is exactly why I’m still in the middle on this too. Rationally I can see why it would be considered a “happy” ending and I believe the future is rosy. But on initial viewing it felt VERY down. The scene itself is grey and desolate feeling, then add to that, no real celebration or overt displays of joy and happiness. I guess there was some laughing shared between Chuck and Sarah, but there were tears too, and without hearing any dialogue at that point its hard to know exactly how these things are hitting Sarah.
        So like Rob said, I really NEEDED something more to feel any peace or joy with that last scene. I thiink I was open to being convinced it was a happy ending, and at this point I’m sold on it. And for the record, I find that does help me to see more positive signs every time I re-watch. But the weight of that initial down reaction is always there too. In spite of some very good, creative and clever story telling at work here, I will have to consider the last scene a bit of a failure; it simply requiired to much work to find the “happy” that was supposed to be there.

        Ditto a lot of what Thinkling said to. I do find it amusing that among cast and writers Yvonne seemed to be the only one who saw how rough this ending was going to be. But it isn’t the first time we’ve seen them confused by audience reaction. I still don’t believe the show’s brain trust reallly understood how some of the emotional aspects of this show worked for fans.

    • andyt says:

      Jason, I have watched all of S1 and most of S2 in the last month. Of course these are my favorite seasons. Also, I watched about five or six episodes in S4 which I haven’t watched since very soon after they aired. I really like Seduction Impossible, and I found that Cat Squad was much better a year later than when originally aired. Also, I just rewatched the first four episodes of Buffy and will probably finish off the first season in the next month.

      I will probably wait to re-watch most of S5 until I get the Blu-Ray in May as I need to clear space in my DVR and I like to have team off before I rewatch in order to have a bit of mystery in what I remember and do not remember.

      As to Ernie’s question, I would combine the arc’s from Third Dimension through Ring as my favorite part of Chuck ever.

    • ww1posterfan says:

      Jeff- It should show up as my ww1posterfan. I’m writing the whole thing and then will post sections daily once it is complete. I’m trying to have it completed around the time the DVDs get released. I’ve got the outline complete and am doing a bunch of research on past episodes to make sure I link the Intersect mythology in correctly and don’t screw up any continuity. I’m not nearly as knowledeable as the rest of you on the characters and the show as I just got Season 1-4 back in the late summer and have not had the opportunity to re-watch much of that nor any of the season 5 episodes in their entirety.

    • uplink2 says:

      Jason, sorry for being late to the party but I’ll answer your question. I have not rewatched a single episode since the finale. I know I will eventually but part of me still feels that what is the point? None of it may have mattered in the long run. Five years of character growth for Sarah may be completely gone for what? So we could end up with a nuanced filled “writer’s ending?” Was it worth it? Maybe yes maybe no. Again I see what they wanted to do and see the beauty in it but it will always leave somewhat of a bitter taste in my mouth because none of it was necessary. Plus it was so easy to fix with just a few simple pieces of dialog. But they decided to play it cute and leave it open
      ended.

      I did find Zach’s comments last week very interesting. He being the honest guy he is understood the anger and hatred many felt after seeing it. He tried to point out that this wasn’t that kind of a show and of course they end up happy together. But this goes back for many to I feel a lack of trust in the showrunners that was a result of S3. Many in the fanbase simply don’t have the faith in Fedak that allows you to from first viewing trust that what we know is true to the characters is what Fedak is showing us. He lost the benefit of the doubt in S3 and it showed in the reaction to the finale. To truly get what he is trying to show us you need to trust in the love, trust in the show and trust in TPTB and for many they simply can’t do that anymore or at least not completely. I trust the love certainly but Fedak? Not so much.

      • jason says:

        I really want to like the end, I do get what they tried to do, the words ‘kiss me’ as the last words spoken, the kiss being the last screen shot, and the place being the beach, it should have worked, it just didn’t.

        One thing, I am not a big call back or montage guy, I would rather have them doing something they had not done to show their love and the recovery. I would have been much happier if Sarah had just kissed Chuck in the concert hall after she remembered the virus, and say she remembers everything ….. if you think about it, in that case Chuck’s decision to save the world and not Sarah, would have indirectly led to saving Sarah, which I think is a stronger story, where doing good leads to good consequences.

        I could picture Ellie and Awesome somehow arriving at the hall, and the whole bunch just having a big celebration, what I would call the Star Wars ending …. maybe even Stephen & Graham looking down from the rafters smiling over the whole thing. The big problem with Chuck and Sarah’s end, is Alias stole the real ‘best’ ending for Chuck, which would have been Chuck, Sarah, the 2 kids, and the dog in the red door, white fenced house.

        But I hope that I can find a happy place to enjoy the show, right now the level of dislike I have for the showrunner is at an all time high, I just don’t like him at all. I wish I did, I don’t want to dislike him, I just do.

        I have been watching the XFiles, certainly, I find some of the eps to be remarkable, maybe as good of tv as I have seen ever, others are really, really, bad. I guess I need to just settle in and accept Chuck that way, some great mixed in with excruciatingly bad. The problem is, in no other show, have I had to sit thru the taunting of a malicious show runner, in all other cases, I could care less what he has to say, what he promised and failed to deliver on, or delivered near the opposite. When I see a bad ep or idea in another show, I just FF or do other things while it is running in the background. With Chuck, I hoped for more, probably for too much?

      • Alias had a good ending? Jack, Tom, Nadia, and Renée all died. “Reformed” bad guys Irena and Sloan returned to evil and died. Rachel lived a solitary existence in the CIA after Tom died, despite indications she might have wanted out. Sydney continued occasionally risking her life, leaving her daughter behind. And Sark got away, continuing to wreck havoc. On the plus side, Anna died, Marshall and Carrie had a bunch of kids, and Sydney and Vaughn had a beach house with their only child, Isabelle. Then again, Isabelle had the same spacial recognition skills and DNA as her mom, so she could be the “chosen one” growing up to bring Rembaldi’s works together again.

        The Alias epilogue seemed nice because the show did the equivalent of keeping Sarah in hiding, presumed dead, for most of twelve episodes. The contrast of seeing Sydney and Vaughn together made it possible to ignore the surrounding carnage.

      • jason says:

        Jeff – ALias was the best ending ever – the last 3-4 minutes delivered – you are talking about the last season, which is a very different thing, as nearly everyone died, and the equiv of Sarah (or Chuck depending on who Vaugh reminds you more of) was not even in most of the last season. But the final scene – it was perfect – perfect – perfect – which as I wrote, would have been Chuck, Sarah and the kids in the teased about house, just as Sydney and Vaugh dreamed of the house on the beach.

      • You’re right some of that happened before the finale (i.e. Lester was killed by Shaw in Santa Suit. Ellie was killed by Mary during Kept Man.) But Tom, Jack, Irena, and Sloan all died in the finale. That’s sort of like killing off Jeff, Emma, an evil Mary, and evil Beckman.

        I used the think Alias’s ending was sweet, but later I realized it’s only sweet if you look at the picture and ignore the context. In the Chuck equivalent, Casey would have found them in their private hide-out on the beach and revealed that Jill was leading a merc team that hit a research facility. We find out Chuck regularly leaves Sarah alone with their kid, because he feels the need to risk his life as an adrenaline junkie. We also find out that their kid has downloaded the Intersect, but Chuck and Sarah don’t know it. There are some entertaining possibilities there, but not all of them are good.

      • jason says:

        Jeff – the last three minutes – you are twisting the truth to what end I do not know – simple payoff – 3 minutes of perfection – the rest you are making up – I am talking about the last three minutes – you know this -you know the what the Alias LAST THREE MINUTES were – the rest you are making up – to be what end I do not know – did I mention the last three minutes of Alias was a perfect ending – did I mention you are making up the rest – I am not talking about anything other than the last three minutes – by the way – what is your problem?

      • thinkling says:

        Um … it sounds to me like Jeff is saying that context matters, and that when the context of the final season (of Alias) and the context of the finale itself are taken into consideration it puts a damper on the perfect last 3 minutes. I’ve never seen Alias. Don’t particularly want to, but I hear what you’re both saying.

        Truthfully, I hear Jeff saying pretty much the same thing as you, Jason. I mean correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that context matters to you when it comes to Chuck. You say that largely what ruins the last 3 minutes of the Chuck finale for you is context. You keep talking about the joylessness of the last 2 episodes ruining the finale and that the beach scene didn’t give adequate pay off for the sadness of the last 2 episodes, and then you throw in Santa Suit and Bullet Train as having contributed to your overall dissatisfaction with the final season, your dislike of the finale, and your current vitriol toward Fedak.That’s pretty much the same thing I hear Jeff saying about Alias … that the happy last 3 minutes don’t give an adequate pay off, considering all the other bad/sad stuff that preceded it.

        At least that’s what it sounds like to me.

      • It’s personal preference. I rewatched the second half of Alias season 5 a couple weeks ago. In the last three minutes of Alias, we get:
        – a beautiful picture of a family at their beach house: Sydney, Michael, Isabelle, and I almost forgot about baby Jack. Sydney and Michael are wearing wedding rings. (We got no wedding, as apposed to the brief wedding and practice wedding in the Chuck S4 finale. Also, the context is Sydney and Michael’s parents and siblings all died because of spy missions. As an audience member, it happened minutes ago, but for the characters it was years ago, so I guess it can be ignored.)
        – We hear Marshall has a lot of kids, but Rachel never got out of the CIA like she wanted.
        – Dixon shows up, uninvited, at the Vaughn family hide-away to recruit Sydney to go after Sark, who just hit a research facility with a merc team.
        – Sydney doesn’t agree to go, but says they’ll discuss it. She does admit to risking her life on these missions for Dixon occasionally. (Considering Baby Jack, Dixon should not even be suggesting the mission, and Sydney should be dismissing it immediately. It’s not like Will’s life is in danger again.)
        – Isabelle shows off her “spy/spacial reasoning skills” to the TV audience in the other room. Her parents don’t know about it. (Isabelle knocking down the puzzle blocks presumably means she is dismissing her spy skills to live a simpler life, but to be honest, I didn’t see it that way until I read some online analysis a couple years later. I liked it better when I thought Isabelle might grow up to be a spy.)

        Technically, Sloan is not dead, so he might come back of someone digs him out.

        I made Dixon->Casey (might be better with Beckman), Sark->Jill (could be Shaw), Project Christmas blocks->Intersect, Sydney->Chuck, and Michael->Sarah.

        I liked the idea of a epilogue for Chuck, but I’d rather Chuck and Sarah get out of the spy life and have all of the good guys survive than get an Alias-like epilogue to an otherwise dark ending. That’s my personal preference, though. The Sydney/Vaughn relationship was less important to me than Chuck/Sarah because Vaughn actually married someone else at the end of S2, because Vaughn was presumed dead for most of S5, and because I thought their on screen chemistry wasn’t as good after the actors broke up in real life.

      • Sounds right, Think.

        BTW, Alias is not nearly as funny as Chuck, and is generally darker. Despite that, the first season and a half of Alias is more exciting than any season and a half of Chuck. Almost every episode is like the Phase Three fight scene, the pilot’s knife fight/car chase, and the Nemesis shoot-out at the Buy More. Chuck is a top 3 show for me. Alias is top 10.

      • jason says:

        Think – here is the straight skinny on ‘context’ – Chuck is a comedy, with a mashup of action and drama – Alias was a pure viscous violent drama (people died all the time) – Jack Bristow ‘mausered’ enough people to fill up a small Midwestern city. I loved the violence in Alias, the killings paid off the show handsomely, Jack deserved his fate, as did Irina, and as did, especially did, Sloan. Somehow Stark made it out alive, which I found very funny and strangely satisfying. All kinds of innocents were killed off too (or tortured in Will’s case).

        So, what matters to me in Chuck is paying off the type of show was (I think BigKev has touched on this), paying off the concepts you introduced, same as Alias did. In Alias’s case, it was perfectly logical to kill everyone, their actions and choices merited those consequences. In Chuck, Chuck and Sarah deserved better. They really and truly did. But at the end of the day, those last three minutes, Alias gave their two star crossed lovers a happy ending, Chuck and Sarah, well …… (don’t you just love it?)

      • jason says:

        Jeff – nearly everything in your last two posts I agree with (give or take), including the notion of Chuck top 3, and Alias top 10. I am pretty sure Castle is my top (as long as they don’t ruin themselves, which I don’t think they will), and Friday Night Lights joins Chuck in the top 3. Funny, the wt/wt in Alias did not bother me much (nor does it in Castle), I generally am not that big a shipper, Vaughn and Sydney were OK to me, but it just was not that type of show to me. The best thing about Alias, the missions served as prototypes for many tv shows that followed, if a show did that stuff b4, I don’t know about it. I read somewhere, that 9/11 inspired Alias, and also that that genre is just about wearing itself out.

        But for pure joy in an ending, Alias satisfied me totally, I guess that is just me. I expected Chuck to do the same, especially with how dark the final two eps were, I was shocked when they did not. I actually looked at my cell phone as they panned away, wondering if there were still 2 or 3 minutes left. Sadly, there were not.

      • I guess that’s one way to look at Alias, Jason. Tom, Jack, Sloan, and Irena all tried to seek redemption, but none really deserved it, so might as well off ’em. Nadia’s death was still tragic, but that was the first one, several episodes earlier.

        Despite my criticisms of the Alias finale, it is still one of the better endings I can recall. For me, it is probably behind Everwood (which can cause cavities), ST:TNG (All Good Things, not Nemesis), Farscape (either Bad Timing or PKWs), and Chuck. The bar is pretty low, which is probably why the epilogue-less Chuck finale does not bother me more. A lot of shows have stinker finales.

        I put Babylon 5 and Farscape in with Chuck. I’ve never seen FNL–growing up in a football town but not playing football… Castle is my top current show, but it’s outside my top 10 until I’m sure they aren’t going to pull a JAG or Ross & Rachael with the wt/wt. Castle doesn’t have bad episodes, but I still like the “bad” episodes of Chuck better than the “ho-hum” and average episodes of Castle.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Uplink,
        Yeah, me too.
        I’ve picked a couple of random favourites to rewatch over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve found myself uninterested and tuning out half way through, because I just can’t get rid of that little voice that says “how much of this does Sarah actually remember? All of it? Some of it? None of it? Which bits?…..”
        And as hard as I try and convince myself that it doesn’t matter if she loses some memories, the truth is it does matter. It matters very much. Because Sarah’s memories are also, in a very real sense, my memories. They’re my memories of the little moments that made me fall in love with the show, and if Sarah doesn’t remember all of them, that devalues the whole experience for me – or at least it does at the moment. I’ve never really been one to pay much attention to the “offscreen narrative” – to me, if it doesn’t happen on screen then it’s really not important. So at the moment, the idea that Chuck and Sarah get to make new memories after the beach scene doesn’t make up for my feeling of unease. I won’t get to see any of it, so it has zero emotional impact on me. That’s why the whole “imagine your own ending” thing doesn’t work for me. If I ever walk into a restaurant and get told to prepare my own meal, then I might think the whole “do it yourself” concept is catching on. Until then, it will continue to strike me as the professionals not doing their job.
        It may be that I’m just burned out with Chuck after weeks of discussion and wrestling with the ending, and I’ll come back in a few months and enjoy my rewatches. I suspect that’s probably what it is. But if my view of the ending goes from “disappointing – but I can live with it” to “I don’t enjoy watching the show anymore”, I’ll be seriously annoyed. And for someone who tried to defend Mr Fedak against the bashing prevalent on here and other sites, it will be a really bitter pill to swallow.
        As I say, I don’t think that’s where I’ll end up – but I’m less confident of that than I was a couple of weeks ago.

      • thinkling says:

        Ok, Jason, that explains why you see them differently.

      • atcDave says:

        Kev I felt strongly the way you describe just after the finale aired, and it took me a little while to shake it off. But having done a full S5 re-watch now I actually feel quite a bit better that Sarah will regain most of her memories quickly. The instant recall, or “magic kiss” doesn’t completely work for me; but I am sold on the idea that everything does come back pretty quickly (for a variety of reasons we’ve already discussed at length!).
        But I completely and totally agree about why it does matter. I know I’m one of those whose been on the other side from you through most of the S3 discussions, but I had really come to expect the best from these writers the last two years. I agree entirely about why this type of ending is so annoying; and the reason I have a hard time letting it go now is because I have the feeling that this is considered a “good” ending by the pros. And wow does that irk me. I want them to do their job and finish the story. I can’t imagine another profession where leaving something so incomplete would be tolerated.

        And this relates exactly to what Jeff was talking about; this really does end up being quite good as TV finales go. But sadly, that is more a criticism of standard television writing practices than it is a praise of the Chuck finale. Now before I go off too nuts here, I do need to be clear I’m referring really just to the beach scene which ended a little too soon for me; otherwise I think the finale was a pretty strong episode. (Standard atcDave disclaimers apply; the episode was too dark for my taste, I needed to see more of the “falling in love again” part of the story to be completely satisfied, I didn’t care for the final Chuck/Ellie scene, and the beach scene needed better closure. But other than that it was perfect [!!!])

      • thinkling says:

        @Dave: … Right, Mrs. Lincoln.

      • atcDave says:

        Geez Thinkling, you really had me stumped for a few minutes there! (“…other than that how was the play Mrs Lincoln?”)

        Sorry, I thought the qualifiers were funny. Funny thing is I mean it; I enjoy the finale except for…

      • thinkling says:

        They were funny, Dave. I just couldn’t help thinking of the quote as I read your comment.

      • jason says:

        Jeff – it is funny that you mentioned Everwood. It is a top ten of mine also (we seem to have similar taste what we watch, even if we interpret differently).

        I started watching Chuck live in Season 3, I was almost immediately struck that Chuck was making the same mistake as Everwood Season 4. It isn;t all the splitting of Chuck and Sarah or Ephram and Amy, it is how much the lead couple together touch and interact with the rest of the stories & characters. IN each case, I thought the splitting cast a pervasive gloom over the show. In many ways, I think the Ellie / Casey / Morgan roles in the final two episodes suffered in that regard, in particular the Casey goodbye would have been better, and the Ellie goodbye would have been much, much better.

        One thing about my labeling of endings, I was trying to generalize endings in calling the Star Wars ending a big celebration type ending (which is what I thought Chuck was going to do) and Alias as the flash forward 3 or 4 or 5 years and show the couple happily ever after (which is what I would have liked Chuck to do).

        I do feel a bit sorry for show runners in general, near anything happy ending wise Fedak was going to do has been done. But in all frankness, if he had just paid off the magic kiss concept, 99% of the issues with the ending probably would have gone away AND the ending would have been fairly unique. Other than the stark mean streak he has toward Sarah, the other negative I would say about Fedak’s story telling is quite often, he gets the story exactly to the right spot, then he stops or veers off course. For example, when Chuck carried Shaw out of the burning building, it would have been awesome if Sarah had gone to Chuck, or even been given the line as he exited, ‘Oh Chuck’, instead they showed her then panned away, letting us imagine her response. The concert hall bomb diffuse was another powerful moment squandered. Even after Casey shot Rafe, what did Sarah do, did she run to someone she had been with for a day or less, or someone she has been crazy about for two years plus? He had the proposal on the balcony perfect, instead, he choose about as mean spirited a way to pay off thirteen episodes of teasing engagement, not letting us hear anything and he had to tell us the answer (sound familiar?). And like I said, he probably had the beach scene going just about right, like so many times b4, then for some reason, he pulled out of the scene, and left nearly everyone frustrated and somewhat stunned.

      • Jason, you’re right that it is a tendency for Fedak. I don’t think it’s mean spirited. I just think it’s the type of story he likes, so that’s how he tells it. It doesn’t always work (and never works for some people). Personally really liked the silent proposal. I thought it was sweet. I think Goodbye didn’t work as well for some because it was like Chuck getting on one knee in Push Mix, opening the box, and Sarah smiling, but she never gets off her chair. The smile would have indicated she was going to accept, but we wouldn’t have seen the kiss. What we got was still not enough for some people, just like some people needed more than a ‘let’s go home.’ They needed an Alias-style epilogue with two kids and a red door.

        I always gave up on Everwood because of what they did the last couple seasons (at least Chuck didn’t get Hannah pregnant), but everything was fixed in the two-part finale.

        I’m surprised you still like Castle. Castle employs some of the same missed opportunity techniques as Chuck. Maybe more so. Plus the pace is slower. This entire season has been missed and aborted opportunities (e.g. no wedding or reception; we didn’t see the hamburger ‘date’; where were Beckett and Castle going at the end of Linchpin?). I was shocked last night’s episode had the second presentation of Martha’s play. Most episodes this season would have simply dropped that story line and ended with the arrest. So maybe there is hope.

      • jason says:

        Jeff – if we have learned anything about the group of people that blog here, is reasonable people can watch identical things and come away with diametrically opposite, yet logical and balanced views. Here is my take on Castle vs your concerns:

        1 – Slow pace – for me, Rick and Kate are essentially dating this season, each ep they find out stuff about each other, they talk all the time about how they think and what they think, just never about how they feel toward each other. They probably engaged last night in 3 or 4 or maybe even 5 sweet conversations, almost every ep they get in a hand hold, a bump, a touch, and so many looks, especially from Beckett to Castle.

        2 – Missed opportunity – here is the problem with Castle vs Chuck vs missed opportunity. I don’t think a show Castle exists if they hook up, the good banter, teasing, electricity, etc is what the show is about. They are written just distant enough, that they pull it off for me. In Chuck, the writers ran out of ways to portray Sarah as wanting Chuck, and not getting her way, it simply was illogical given how hot she is, and how not hot he is, and them not hooking up. If they didn’t either pull them apart, or push them together, he appeared even weaker than he usually does, which is a problem on Chuck anyhow (Chuck being too weak)

        Part of Castle working is the two of them are more near equals in terms of hotness and even in terms of power. The real awesomeness of Chuck / Sarah season 1/2 was Sarah wanted Chuck so much, yet couldn’t have him. Yet 99.999999% of the available men in the world want Sarah, while Chuck was written originally as a deadpan loser, nearly undate-able in the pilot, yet she wanted him. That is what really made them work (Chuck even called back to that in the final eps at some point). Season 3 lost that, there was nothing remarkable about Chuck wanting Sarah and not being able to have her.

        Honeymooners / Push Mix were two examples of Sarah really showing how much she loved / wanted Chuck, the show really works with that theme. Just my opinion, if Chuck had gotten mind raped, and Sarah would have been heart-broken & devastated, the final two episodes would have been epic, fans would have eaten it up, as Chuck being uncertain about his love for Sarah would have been fun, as well as heart-breaking, instead of just sad and joyless. Chuck wanting Sarah and not being able to have her simply is not that interesting, it is every day life for nearly every single man in the world, they don’t need to watch tv to experience it.

      • joe says:

        You said some true stuff in there, Jason. But like usual, it’s hard to separate out our own unique experiences from the generalities in the show, and then, all that from things that are specific to the characters.

        I don’t mean to tear apart what you wrote, but…

        I don’t think a show Castle exists if they hook up, the good banter, teasing, electricity, etc is what the show is about. They are written just distant enough, that they pull it off for me. In Chuck, the writers ran out of ways to portray Sarah as wanting Chuck, and not getting her way, it simply was illogical given how hot she is, and how not hot he is, and them not hooking up. If they didn’t either pull them apart, or push them together, he appeared even weaker than he usually does, which is a problem on Chuck anyhow (Chuck being too weak)

        I agree about the bantering and teasing in Castle, but that distance sure makes people sit up and take notice when their hands touch. Think about it. What better way to make the audience focus?

        I disagree about the writers running out of ways to portray Sarah as “wanting Chuck”. She always wanted Chuck. We knew it before we were officially told. It was in Goodbye that we learned the secret, though. Poised, confident, super-spy Sarah Walker just didn’t know what to do about it. Some fans recognized that early and objected to her seeming at all “girlish” or indecisive or anything except kick-ass. Me, after watching NCIS, Castle, Bones, CSI, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and nearly any other cop show on these days, I’ve seen enough kick-ass women for a while. It’s over done. I like Sarah precisely because she turned out to be human after all.

        As for Chuck, he was introduced as weak, but of course, we recognized the hero underneith from the moment he pointed his finger at both Casey and Sarah to say “You – you need me.” We always rooted for his inner Carmichael.

        Part of Castle working is the two of them are more near equals in terms of hotness and even in terms of power. The real awesomeness of Chuck / Sarah season 1/2 was Sarah wanted Chuck so much, yet couldn’t have him. Yet 99.999999% of the available men in the world want Sarah, while Chuck was written originally as a deadpan loser, nearly undate-able in the pilot, yet she wanted him. That is what really made them work (Chuck even called back to that in the final eps at some point). Season 3 lost that, there was nothing remarkable about Chuck wanting Sarah and not being able to have her.

        Well, Chuck wanting Sarah was not remarkable. Chuck telling Sarah that they had no future (because she was not “normal”) was. Chuck putting her off even after Cole cleared the way so that he could search for his father was. Chuck being self-aware enough to realize that he wanted to help people (by being a spy) even if it meant putting Sarah off, was.

        Sarah being rejected and then realizing Chuck was still special – that was remarkable. Sarah deciding that a future with Chuck was more important to her than her present in the CIA – that was remarkable.

        Both of them trying to make both the spy-life and normal life work – that was remarkable.

        Honeymooners / Push Mix were two examples of Sarah really showing how much she loved / wanted Chuck, the show really works with that theme. Just my opinion, if Chuck had gotten mind raped, and Sarah would have been heart-broken & devastated, the final two episodes would have been epic, fans would have eaten it up, as Chuck being uncertain about his love for Sarah would have been fun, as well as heart-breaking, instead of just sad and joyless. Chuck wanting Sarah and not being able to have her simply is not that interesting, it is every day life for nearly every single man in the world, they don’t need to watch tv to experience it.

        Ah, but Chuck is able. And more, he’s willing to make that entire journey again. He’s not the same loser-dweeb we met avoiding women at his own birthday party for Morgan and Zork. More than before, Chuck is that guy us nerds seek to emulate. 😉

      • dkd says:

        Dave said: “Ah, but Chuck is able. And more, he’s willing to make that entire journey again. He’s not the same loser-dweeb we met avoiding women at his own birthday party for Morgan and Zork.”

        Chuck’s journey from being that loser-dweeb started the minute he got involved with the CIA. It wasn’t long afterwards when he attracted Lou and reciprocated the flirting with her. There’s no going back to the guy we saw at the party in the pilot.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff & Jason…interesting comparison between castle and chuck. you both touched on some very good points that could be expanded to other shows/movies as well. some of these thoughts are my own and some are based on what producers and directors have said in interviews. they tie into what you were saying. side note..these only apply to action/ drama type movies or shows. the opposite is very well accepted in pure comedies or romcons.

        most males don’t like a soft/wimpy male hero, you just need to look at movies to see hollywood knows this. just look at the postings here on this blog. how many times did people say they wanted a hart to hart or thin man type season or feel to the show? strong male leads with a strong female one is what both of those offered.

        males also shy away from strong female characters paired with a softer male character, they do like a strong male character paired with a strong female character. hollywood has been searching for years for the female hero that will be a huge draw i the box office or small screen. as of yet they haven’t found one that draws like the male hero does.

        between castle and chuck jason says the same things i have before. castle was part of the team almost from the beginning. he went to the crime scenes from the beginning not told stay in the car. he also did not hesitate to shoot someone that was going to shoot beckett. chuck was treated differently at the start, not as a team player more like an add on.

        jeff is right the pace is slower on castle. it allows them to do more. do they make the same mistakes on castle yes, but with one big difference. castle doesn’t and hasn’t revolved around the c/b relationship to work. chuck almost from the start revolved around the c/s relationship to work. for good bad or indifferent chuck needed the relationship to be a success and out front for the show to work (see s3 if you have to), castle doesn’t.

        anyone…just ask yourselves this, if during season 1 of both shows they made it clear to the audience that neither pair would end up together (picture stabler/benson) would you still have continued to watch?

      • jason says:

        Joe – we are watching different shows. To me, Chuck is still a complete loser, needed his sister to wake him up in the final because he is a 30 year old loser, needed his best friend to tell him to fight for his wife.

        His wife tells him, I believe I loved you, I just don’t feel it, that is what one tells someone you are not even remotely interested in, not someone you feel attracted to, given what she has just scene on tape, as well as witnessed in her ‘dream’ house.

        The final pair of eps were brutal on the Chuck character, not to forget Chuck himself telling Sarah she fell in love with someone like him (a nerd) or Quinn calling him a loser (or some name worse I won’t use), obviously the writers view Chuck as a total loser too. It wasn’t just the last two eps either, he had bad eps in the curse and in the kept man, in terms of his decisiveness and just being normal.

        The bad part, Sarah really didn’t show much interest in Chuck the entire ep, save maybe the dance scene. I don’t know if Yvonne messed it up, or the director / writers did, but I did not see signs of someone falling in love.

        As far as blueprints for how nerds like you should act, I would recommend not trying to marry a woman 99.99999% of the male population wants. That is my point, the escapist part that that girl wanted the nerd, is what made Chuck magical, what made Chuck and Sarah magical, but real, uhmmmm, not really.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jason, i’m glad someone else saw what i did in the finale. that chuck has still not grabbed himself by his …. and pulled himself up. he gave up pretty much didn’t he? for all the growth people said they saw, where was it when he needed to step up? no where to be found until like you said he got pushed, again. sure he had flashes of it before but he never sustained it. another point is he lied to sarah about using the gun so he could tag along with her to berlin. she was practically begging him to take the shot, whats he do? points his gun in the air and fires. quinn was right in what he called him.

        Joe your right also. people tend to insert their personal experiences into the show. isn’t that why professed nerds like chuck? i also disagree strongly on a comment you made.
        “after watching NCIS, Castle, Bones, CSI, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and nearly any other cop show on these days, I’ve seen enough kick-ass women for a while. It’s over done. I like Sarah precisely because she turned out to be human after all.” on at least three of the shows the females have been tough from the beginning but also human. brennan has issues over her mom and dad that have taken their toll, she cries when she finds out about her death and why. she also was not afraid to get into relationships and has friends. beckett has the same issues but also shows emotions. on CSI willows has a daughter and is raising her, she also shows emotion. same with the women on CSI Miami they all have emotions and get into relationships. these women learned to separate the jobs from their private life. these women are far different than SW at the start. it could just be a difference between what you and i consider human.

      • atcDave says:

        Back to this again…

        While I would admit to being disappointed in Chuck on occasion, I think he was usually one of the best heroic characters on television. I loved his reluctance to use deadly force and yet he never shied from danger when duty, friends or family needed him; given the dangerous world he lived in I always thought that made him profoundly admirable (or “that’s why your great!” according to Sarah). I also like his emphasis on friends and family and desire to do the right thing. The vast majority of times I was disappointed in him were specifically because of his failing on one of those counts that usually made him great. To me, sleeping with Hannah and too many lies in S3 were his greatest failings. The only real issues I had in S5 were the whole stupid “Curse” business and when they played him as a buffoon in Kept Man. Every other complaint I had could be characterized as minor issues, usually for clear story telling/staging reasons (talking with Ellie when he didn’t know if Sarah was alright in Santa Suit).
        Chuck is diminished as a hero mainly by association, specifically that Sarah was an even more admirable, larger-than-life sort of hero. I think her biggest failing just being the ridiculous double standard thing about the red test. Ironically, I never found her lying to be particularly troublesome (the Mauser shooting was the only time I was really disappointed in her for lying); probably mainly because she mostly kept secrets rather than out and out lying. And as far as we can tell she did much less of that from S3.5 on; which is precisely when a person would be expected to become more forthcoming in a relationship.

        The likability and relatability of both characters is a big part of why Chuck is so compelling to me. While I generally related to Chuck himself a little less after the Intersect 2.0 entered the story, he remained a likable character to me (well, after the Hannah arc, but then you knew that!). Chuck’s ability to “get the girl” never really struck me as a problem, although a big part is likely due to how convincing Yvonne’s performance always was.
        I hope the lack of “heat” in what was supposed to be the “falling in love all over” part of the story in 5.13 will be helped a little by the coming director’s cut. Although that was a frequent problem with Fedak penned episodes, I don’t think he’s comfortable writing romance. That is a bummer and its among the problems I had with that episode, but otherwise I saw no real problems with the affection in the central relationship this last season.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, it’s not deadly force i’m talking about. it’s extreme force and his refusal for the most part to hit a female that is trying to kill him or sarah. it’s not heroic to me to have someone else cover your butt because your personal beliefs get in the way. it’s heroic to push those aside to protect yourself or your loved ones. to risk what you hold dear to protect those you love or care about. not many people i know were awarded the Medal of Honor by letting someone else do the heavy lifting. there are plenty of non lethal places to shoot someone and put them down for the count. an example is in the finale. he has quinn in his sights, his big chance to get the glasses and possibly get sarah her memories back. he has two options let quinn go or take him down. he let him go and pooched his chance at getting the glasses. at that point in time what could it have hurt? sarah didn’t remember much about them. there was no chance of her saying your not my chuck, because at this point he’s not. by taking quinn down he could prove to sarah he was a good agent, like he claimed. remember at this time sarah’s take on that was different than from before her brain wipe.

        like i said he has flashes of it, but for me they came to randomly with his reverting back to often to what he was.

      • Rob says:

        Army — I think that the Chuck mindset is that he didn’t want to cause any pain for anyone. That is why he felt he had to lie to Ellie. That is why he didn’t want to shoot anyone (fatal or otherwise). That is part of the core value of why the show is so great….sometimes the good guy gets the hot girl. That said, I have been slightly bothered by the fact that he was sometimes more than willing to have Sarah to his “dirty work” for him.

        But, I think that what made him great was his moral character. For example, even after saving Sarah’s life by “killing” Shaw, he felt he needed to apologize to her. That is such a great scene, and why I believe that the pain (and arguably unnecessary drama) of S3 paid off in the end. In my mind, the hotel in Paris was truly of a “love letter to the fans.”

        The final scene…..not so much.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Rob, i agree with your take with a small difference. he said he was sorry not because he killed shaw but because he was worried sarah would leave him because he killed shaw. put that scene in context with the others. sarah says chuck changed because he killed someone, then she finds out casey did it and she says she was happy because he didn’t because he was still her chuck. he had to explain why he did it because he was afraid sarah would leave. that’s just my take BTW.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Not sure if I clicked the correct reply. Just wanted to provide some different perspective from a reformed woman nerd. I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, just offering an alternative viewpoint. First, I want to address the numerous comments about the escapism of Chuck getting the hot girl. Let’s face it folks. There are many more documented cases of hot famous women with not so hot guys, as well as, famous nerdy guys whose gals definitely do better on the 1-10 scale than they do. Have you seen Julia Robert’s husband or the guys Drew Barrymore dates. Women are typically less hung up on traditional looks than men. Strong, powerful men are not going to have an average looking woman on their arm. Women treasure intimacy (communication), loyalty, feeling safe, and monogamy. Chuck provided that to Sarah in his own unique way. Someone said it before-he took the time to connect with the inner Sarah and was in awe of the spy Sarah. Sarah said on at least 2 occasions she didn’t fall in love with James Bond, she fell in love with a regular guy.

        atcDave- I’m not surprised that a few of you guys can empathize more with Chuck moving onto Hannah versus Sarah moving onto Shaw. Let’s not forget and acknowledge that Chuck rejected Sarah on at least 3 occasions prior to her gravitating to Shaw: CvsTruth, CvsTheBreakup, CvsThePinkSlip. Let’s also not forget that Sarah was the more damaged of the 2 wrt relationships, trust, and communication. This is a woman who had been used by her father running cons, abandoned frequently by her father, and had been immersed in the spy culture for 10 years. Shaw was easy. Shaw was a spy (no expectations of altered character), was not intimidated by her as a spy or a woman, and exhibited no ambiguity in his pursuit of her. However, Chuck had radically altered her by that point-she even stated to Shaw the more Chuck became spy-like, the more she yearned for a real connection. Lastly, up to that point in time Chuck had made out with Lou, slept with Jill, and slept with Hannah. Sarah had possibly slept with Bryce upon his return in S1 ( a former LTR) and kissed Cole before her dalliance with Shaw.
        ArmySFC- No female hero with huge box office draw. My response is Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the Alien series—with her all time bad-as-ness in Aliens (2). Everyone knows the line “Get away from her you bit__.” As for Chuck’s unwillingness to put a bullet in Quinn, this was consistent with his character throughout the series. Chuck shot Shaw because Sarah was in imminent danger. In this case with Quinn, no one was in imminent danger. What I can’t figure out is why he didn’t have a tranq gun on him—he was a tranqing machine in S3&4. If he had tranqed him, well, the ending would have been totally different which is why Fedak wrote him exhibiting his prior buffoonery. As far as him relying on Sarah to do a lot of the dirty work, I think she liked it. Another thing women like is to be needed. Chuck needed Sarah. And vice versa. These 2 said it on multiple occasions—they work best as a team. Leading me to Jason’s comments
        Jason- Chuck being a total loser. Other than the fact that Fedak et al wrote a lot of what they did for call back effect, I’m willing to give Chuck some slack. Someone even wrote that the average human being would probably be suicidal. C&S had a very symbiotic relationship. When Sarah regressed due to her amnesia, Chuck regressed too. They are both at their best when together. I agree Chuck was wriiten weakly in Goodbye and should not have needed an intervention, but he sure as hell fought for Sarah in CvsSarah with the exception of the ending scene. Chuck making the statement at the fountain about not being in love, I took as a defensive mechanism. When rejected, we all try to minimize our desire for what rejected us-right or wrong. What amazes me is that no one has commented or credited him for knowing where to find her. The irony of this is that we can suspend disbelief to trust their connection/their bond for him to intuitively know her whereabouts, but we can’t extend that trust to the rest of the scene that plays out.

        Lastly, many have made mention of Sarah’s statement about “not feeling it”. The fact is Sarah was lying. Yvonne in her portrayal of this character consistently incorporated mannerisms that indicate when Sarah is not being truthful. I’ve re-watched a few scenes from S1 and 2. Sarah is not able to hold Chuck’s gaze while lying to him. She looks down and away. Some times it’s more pronounced than others, but it’s definitely there. When she is comfortable and confident, she never breaks her eye contact. Examples of her breaking eye contact when lying are CvsTruth, CvsFirstKill, and CvsSanta Claus just to name a few. It’s actually pretty genius of Yvonne to do that.

        Sorry for the long post.

      • armysfc says:

        ww1. what you say about sw in the alien series is true. that part is taken from several industry people, directors and producers. there is always the exception for the rule. but if you take the number of female hero’s that make it big on screen to the males, you’ll find the number staggering. hollywood has been looking for the next big female action hero for years. they have yet to find her. like i said there are exceptions to the rule.

      • atcDave says:

        WW1 no problem with the long post, it just gives us more to reply to!

        But I’m not sure about the point of your comment to me, I’m absolutely no supporter of Chuck’s various dalliances. If anything, I think he has been a pretty big slimeball in his treatment of women on occasion, and the Hannah situation particularly turns my stomach. The only point I’ll concede is that Hannah was written and acted in such a way that she would have been a believable match for Chuck in some alternate universe (some AU in which Sarah doesn’t exist!) while I see no such connection for Sarah and Shaw. General rule of thumb, I despise love triangles and see them as a colossal waste of time from an entertainment perspective. I could make some allowances for Jill and Bryce as they had a history and a real point to the story. But I tend to regard most of S3 as pretty flushable.

        I think we can know Sarah is lying at the end of 5.12 regardless of other issues because we’ve actually seen it! She was crying and clearly very emotional when watching her video logs. I think its safe to say she has no idea what to do about it, and just like Sarah in S1 or S2 lies about it to escape Chuck (like in those other lying moments you mention). She even says as much early in the next episode (“I don’t know how to be that person…”). Its obviously a pretty well orchestrated part of the story!

      • ww1, I don’t want to turn in my guy card, but I agree with most of that.

        Chuck also rejected Sarah in Beefcake.

        Hannah always bothered me more than Shaw. First Class is my least favorite episode. If Chuck hadn’t flirted with her on the plane or he had turned her down in Mask, Sarah would never have had any interest in Shaw.

        My only addition about Chuck in CvS and Goodbye, is he was trying to be “supportive” by not pressuring Sarah. He was acting like the guy at the end of Cougars, while Sarah was panicking. There wasn’t a quick fix for Sarah’s state of mind. By just “being there” he provided what she needed, which is why she trusted him on the beach. Chuck wouldn’t be Chuck without freaking out along the way a little. It’s TV, not a written story, so Chuck’s internal thought process was always verbalized, throughout the show. A lot of people overreact to this process. If Sarah had someone to talk to in S1->S3.0, I think her actions would have made more sense, but then people would have freaked out about her issues as well.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        atcDave- I misinterpreted your comments. 1000 pardons.

        ArmySFC- It’s true Hollywood has not been able to replicate the Ripley awesomeness. Any recent “action heroes” have been part of an ensemble cast. They failed to take advantage of Jennifer Garner in Elecktra–that movie was terrible to me.

        Looking forward to the rewatch discussion.

      • Rob says:

        Dave — I agree with you as to what Chuck was apologizing for at the end of Other Guy. I just found it ironic and heroic that he felt like he needed to apologize for saving Sarah’s life.

        Jeff — I don’t disagree that Sarah’s relationship with Shaw was reactionary. My problem with it is that Chuck figured out that the thing was Hannah wasn’t going to work rather quickly, and broke up with her. Even after that, Sarah continued to be with Shaw (most of all going to DC with him). I would have liked to see Sarah end it as well. Instead, she took her relationship to the next level.

        What I do disagree with is which relationship makes more sense. Sarah continued to put up emotional blockers and rejecting Chuck’s feelings. I think that Chuck felt like he needed to move on. Part of the growth of the Chuck character was realizing that pursuing Hannah was a huge mistake, and reconfirming his belief that Sarah is the one.

      • I should have issued a Chuckwin’s law disclaimer earlier.

        Most of the reason Sarah went to DC the first time (before Final Exam) was to be an advocate for Chuck being a spy. She didn’t know Chuck was interested again until Final Exam after she got back. After Final Exam, she thought Chuck chose being a spy over being the buy she fell in love with, so in effect he had rejected her again (a 5th time). The subsequent DC trip was with Beckman. Sarah didn’t care if the relationship with Shaw worked. She’d never been in a relationship that worked anyway. It was a distraction from Chuck.

        Chuck should have told Sarah how he felt in Beard or Tic Tac. He didn’t. That’s Chuck’s fault. Also it’s because season was 13 episodes. If the season was 10 episodes, it wouldn’t have dragged out so long. TV season length often gets in the way of good storytelling pacing.

      • thinkling says:

        Jeff, agree with most of your Chuckwin’s law.

        A couple minor quibbles. Chuck did try, in both Tic Tac and Final Exam, to tell Sarah how he felt. Sarah cut him off in Tic Tac, and Shaw interrupted in Final Exam. All of which leads to your law that season length damages the pacing of the story. I would say that even more than the number of episodes in the season, sacred devices (wt/wt, cough) were the biggest culprit. Perhaps it’s potayto/potahto, but for me that particular device ruled the season, to the unnecessary damage of the heroes and the story.

      • Chuck’s timing sure stunk. In Tic Tac, Chuck tried to have a heart-to-heart while loading weapons and preparing to commit treason to rescue Casey. Not the most romantic timing. He needed Morgan to help with his sub-mission. He should have tried after rescuing Kathleen, before Casey was fired and Sarah was ordered to meetings in DC. I blame the Tic Tac for shunting his emotions.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow has this become a monster thread!

        WW1, no problem, I figured it was just a misunderstanding. I tend to make assumptions about folks knowing my very often expressed opinion; which of course doesn’t work so well for those who are actually new around here!

        Jeff and Thinkling you are getting to why I just dismiss S3 as fatally flawed at conception. Not that there weren’t some valid growth issues and character development, but they chose such a painful and damaging mechanism for telling that story that I completely didn’t enjoy most of the season or like the characters for the duration. I thought Pink Slip was a thoroughly awful episode, but I would have been okay with dismissing a single miserable episode IF things had actually improved after Three Words. I know we’ve had the discussion here a few times about what was actually intended in that episode, and that’s precisely the problem. If Chuck’s speech had HELPED Sarah to understand the season could have taken a brighter turn at that point. Instead it continued the misunderstanding and loss of faith in each other that effectively ruined the season for me.

        I do agree with Jeff about disliking Chuck’s behavior in First Class very much, we can see things continue to snowball in a miserable direction from there. I really hate that episode (you know I can say that several times during S3!).
        But of course the cliches of serialized story-telling are among the problems here. I’m often very cynical about the timing of events on serialized shows. Nothing really important can happen apart frrom premiers and finales. I would have loved some actual surprises during Chuck’s journey, like say resolving the Shaw/triangles arc before the mid-season break, the engagement sooner than a mid-season finale and the wedding prior to a season finale. But as innovative as Chuck was in many ways, this was one TV law they never managed to break from.
        Ditto on the wt/wt. It has become TV SOP to carry out wt/wt PAST the point where it makes any sense or is any fun at all for the audience. This leads to two typical problems; first is just the amount of damage often done to characters before the situation is resolved, or as I often say, we no longer even care about the characters or relationship when wt/wt is finaly resolved. And second, as Thinkling often points out, so many shows continue the wt/wt until the show is getting old on several levels, and then ending the wt/wt is often percieved as last gasp of a once great story.
        I will always be thankful Chuck did break with TV tradition and end wt/wt well before the end, but I have to balance that against the strong feeling they still carried it out one ridiculous step too far.

    • Faith says:

      I’ve been cleaning out my DVR so I get the occasional clip and episode but as for the usual sit down, in lieu of whatever crap is on primetime television watch? Nada. I don’t know if it’s because doing so would bring it even more home for me…that it’s over but it’s too big a part of my life to quit altogether.

      I just can’t quit you, Chuck.

      • Faith, I occasionally have issues with my DVR cause it to get stuck and not record shows. The only fix is to reformat. I always reformat on the day my Chuck DVD/BluRays arrive. That’s the only way I’m erasing them.

  5. uplink2 says:

    Very interesting results from the poll so far. Casey, Mary and Vivian not really getting any love kind of surprises me a little bit. The fact that anyone would vote to rewatch Mask and for me Fake Name, at all is very surprising. Maybe it’s the love for Beard? I liked Beard as it was Chuck’s epiphany but I think I hated Sarah more in that episode than any other. She was going to allow Shaw to kill Chuck and countless civilians at the BuyMore and simply pleaded with him to not do it “for me”. The Sarah Walker I knew and loved would never do that. She would have pulled her gun on Shaw to protect the governments most important piece of intelligence and done her primary mission of protecting the Intersect at all cost. She was weak, passive and clueless. Sarah was going to let Chuck die all for some stupid disks we never heard of later on. Plus that ridiculous and contrived comment from the woman at the hotel saying that Sarah and Shaw made a very beautiful couple made me want to throw up is was just so forced to try to get us to buy into that god awful relationship.

    I think what is interesting to see is what the top vote getters are and I think many of them could be easily be predicted. The Intro arc obviously and the Makeup to break up arc which may very well be the best 4 episode run ever on the series.And finally the defeat of Fulcrum arc. Another great run.

    It’s also curious that the You Saved me arc is not doing that well either. I think for me at least its the more you watch and think about that arc and especially Other Guy, the worse it gets. The plot holes and stupid stick moments in Other Guy really stick out the more you watch it. Plus for me at least Routh’s pathetic performance at the cafe makes it almost unwatchable.

    It’s also interesting that the biggest vote getters come from S1/S2 but I don’t think it is surprising. That is when the fanbase was united in its love of the show. To me that is S3’s biggest failing. It fractured the fanbase and it never recovered.

    • The Other Guy is part of another arc, the Feelin’ Good Arc, which is doing well (T-7). It’s combined with Honeymooners, but that arc is doing better than the Charleses-es (T-10), which also has Honeymooners. The overlaps make it hard to make any conclusions.

      In the top 10 with ties, the season breakdown is currently:
      S1: 2 1/4
      S2: 3 3/4
      S3: 3
      S4: 1
      S5: 2

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      @Uplink2

      Agreed. I think saying that it fractured the fanbase is, if anything, an understatement. Schwarz and Fedak effectively performed a ragged amputation of part of the fanbase in S3. To think that S3 started out with Chuck being seen as a hit makes it all the more devastating.

      • uplink2 says:

        It also ended up being worse because their reaction to it, i.e. Season 4 ended up turning away large portions of the more spy based fans of the show. I mean look at those results. Season 4 is still my favorite but as far as great short arcs I would agree that there were not many that were at the level of Season 1 and 2. Each S4 arc had one episode that really wasn’t at the level of the others. Fear of Death, Gobbler, etc kind of defeat the other great episodes.

        As far as the Honeymooners arc goes part of the reason it doesn’t do as well is because Tooth and Role models are not viewed as great episodes so it doesn’t surprise me that the other Honeymooners arc works better.

  6. Harku says:

    You Save Me arc is not getting many votes, but Feeling good arc is getting far more and it has Final Exam, Other Guy and Honeymooners. And for me it’s no suprise, because even tho American Hero ended Shaw/Sarah relationship it was still weak episode in a lot of ways. And yes I actually like Final Exam a lot.

  7. Carlos says:

    @ Jason
    Maybe you don’t know that in real life Yvonne Strahovski lives with the most ordinary unremarkable guy you could ever find. An effeminate looking bartender in fact. So much for her being unattainable Lol.

  8. Jen says:

    I voted! YAY! 🙂

    Hi Guys!

  9. garnet says:

    I don’t have as muc trouble as some with Chuck’s seeming hopelessness and action in Goodbye as I see it more as the old “if you love someone let them go. If they come back to you they’re your’s. If not they never were” type actions. So on some level I think you could say that Chuck’s actions were actually more mature than usual.

    Also, on another topic, count me as among the crowd that found Chuck’s actions with Hannah very nearly unforgivable.

  10. jason says:

    I thought this has more info about the finale, than nearly anything I read, at the end, they talk about the movie with a little bit of new stuff too, Zac is more definitive, like he has already pitched the movie idea, he also addressed how the ‘set’ thing might be approached …. this interview occurred b4 the finale aired, so it is mostly more of the same, but like I said, I found some of the stuff new & there just plain and simple were lots of things said, even if some old news.

    I thought Zac had an interesting series of comments about how the finale might be received by the fan base and how he perceived the finale, full circle type stuff. His comments were ambiguous enough that they probably could be taken either way, but I found elements of what he said to show he did understand the finale had issues.

    http://zacharylevifan.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=968

    Also, Yvonne confirms something I suspected, that with how emotional Zac and Yvonne were, Kevin Mock had trouble finding film to use when editing that was appropriately unemotional. I think that showed in the final product, too bad, because the right script could have tapped into that emotion, seems what the actors got sort of fought against it.

    I think one of Yvonne’s comments about affairs and divorice confirms my fear of making a movie, parts of the script might be so unappealing that it might ruin even more of the show’s place in my heart than the finale already has, although she quickly adds Chuck is not that type of show. But, the tone of the movie stuff was sort of like ‘if Zac makes a movie’, which for me is great news vs ‘if that bleepity, bleepity, bleep makes a movie’.

    • thinkling says:

      Nice article, Jason. Thanks. I think Yvonne’s comments about affairs or divorce are sort of comforting, because she recognizes how awful (and anti-Chuck) that would be. I thought it was pure sarcasm. I also think that after such a brutal finale, they sort of have to steer clear of any more Chuck and Sarah tragedy/damage. If Zac does it, all the better. Maybe he would listen to Yvonne. That would be a plus.

    • atcDave says:

      Definitely some good stuff there. I never quite got the fascination with “full circle”, and in the end, I don’t think that’s what they really meant anyway. I mean full circle would indicate nothing had really mattered, but in the end that’s not true. Everyone had grown and their journeys all mattered. Only the various call backs to S1 could be called full circle. But I do think that sort of talk is exactly what bothered many of us about the finale, they actually fueled some of our worst fears by talking that way, even if reading interviews more closely shows that isn’t really what they meant.
      It sure sounds like Zach is very serious about a few movies, and its really good to see Yvonne is all on board with the idea too. But I have to repeat, people often have the best intentions when saying their goodbyes, but only time will tell if a reunion (project) will ever happen.
      Also interesting that Yvonne joking around at the end basically gave voice to my deepest fears about such a project (divorce or affairs…). I know she was joking, but that is exactly why I would be cautious about buying into any later content. By the skin of our teeth we got a happy ending, I’m not so sure I want to let them mess with it!

      • jason says:

        Dave – I also re-read the sepinwall interview – the 5th I think. The one where Fedak says quite alot. This one tells me he does not think the magic kiss exactly worked:

        http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/interview-chuck-co-creator-chris-fedak-on-the-series-finale

        ‘I would certainly say it’s not erased. It’s not all gone. It hasn’t been five seasons all for naught. It’s in there. And the fun will be remembering it and falling in love again. How could you imagine anything better? ‘

        I was searching for that quote as I think it tells his POV on the actual kiss, but the one above it caught my eye in context with the one I just referenced:

        ‘I think I’m going to leave that up to the audience. I have my thought, and Josh has his. It’s a sweet, nice moment. A happy ending for those two. I think it’s up for everyone to judge that kiss at the very end. ‘

        The question that leaves me is did Schwartz lobby for the magic kiss to work on screen, while Fedak for a less definite or definite it did not? So maybe ultimately they split the difference and left it open ended? Funny, I keep thinking the ‘King Solomon’ bible story whenever I think of such compromises. I was reading to my son a series of bible stories for kids when he was in kindergarten. His teacher asked him to do a project about what he thought about various things, fav colors, things like that, one ? was if he could have one thing, what would it be. Honest story, his response, ‘Wisdom, like King Solomon’. For those young enough to worry about such things, moral of the story, read to your kids, it really does work, might be the best thing you can ever give them.

      • jason says:

        One more from that same interview, I know most everyone has read this, but this is the most compelling reason the ending was 100% happy, but sort of frustrating that this was not given to fans, and probably should anyone do a movie, the most troublesome quote ever, given this is the ‘expectation’ any future is held up against:

        ‘We find out what most of the other characters are going to do, and Chuck and Sarah are on the beach, so we know they’re going to get back together. But what do you see as the rest of Chuck Bartowski’s life being?

        Wow! Well, that’s a gigantic question. I will tell you this: I see Chuck and Sarah together, being a husband and wife, starting up that computer security firm. Hopefully they won’t find themselves dodging bullets for the rest of their lives. Of course, as a writer, now I start thinking, “You know what? They could get into a little bit of trouble.” That gets the story side of my brain going. But for now, they’re happy and they’re together and thinking about their future. ‘

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that interview is a source of both hope and frustration. But I like his thoughts on the future, that’s pretty much exactly how I would expect it, a happily ever after where Chuck and Sarah occasionally find themselves in some trouble…
        That always leaves it open for movies and even fan fiction. It would have been perfect if they’d actually been more definitive about that on screen!

      • jason says:

        Yvonne seems to have a sneaky way of getting her way on the show, coming to mind the catwalk ep, skydiving & her mom. She mentioned triplets at comic con, now again in this interview. IF and I say IF, they show CS with kids, how cool would triplets be? Sarah Walker Bartowski doesn’t do anything in a small way after all.

        My choice would be a tall, dashing, handsome, athletic, son (his mom’s son), a tall, skinny, smarter than anyone ever born, daughter (her dad’s (and aunt’s) daughter), and the tie breaker to a little girl who daddy calls ‘princess’, and mommy calls ‘trouble’, the leader of the gang who gets them into all kinds of situations, and embodies the best and worst of dad and mom somehow at the same time.

      • garnet says:

        Part of it depends on how everyone does as far as further projects go. Some of the cast may be in much more demand than the others, but even Yvonne may face an uphill battle as she has not really made it into any big hollywood movies as of yet. Her movies seem to be Australian productions and not that big news in tinseltown. So although I wish her all the best in her future career, I also expect that there may be time for Chuck in her future.
        Zachary would be the one currently most likely to be too busy, but also most likely to make time given his previous comments and his obvious sense of responsibility regarding all things CHUCK.

      • atcDave says:

        How busy people get is obviously a huge issue in if they can get together again. Zach and Yvonne themselves being the biggest factors. Zach seems destined to keep busy professionally, whether he ever makes it really big or not. But he also seems the most interested in doing later Chuck projects, so that may bode really well.
        I think Yvonne could go either way, she’s obviously very talented, but she’s already at the upper limits age-wise for a big break through. My guess is, she won’t be terribly busy in the future unless she signs up with another TV series. I hope she does that, and I hope it’s the sort of show I can enjoy, just because i’d like to have an excuse to see her again on a weekly show. But of course a lead role in another hour long show could be a problem for a Chuck project.
        There’s just sooooo many questions and issues to resolve. I still think money will the biggest issue, but schedules/availability is a close second.

      • garnet says:

        I am afraid to say that that is my fear as well. Yvonne is very talented and should have a bright busy future, but by Hollywood standards she doesn’t have much time left to establish herself. I think that she has chosen several out of Hollywood movies to do, and I’m not sure that this has helped her cause, but at least she is working.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true, but Meryl Streep was over 30 before she started making anything anybody remembers.

      • garnet says:

        That is true, and for Yvonne’s sake I hope that she can breakthrough, but for every Meryl there are a hundred hopefuls. We can pray that she is the “one”.

      • atcDave says:

        Cate Blanchett too, but those are exceptions. Generally actresses need to make a name pretty young. So far, Chuck is Yvonne’s closest thing to a broad success. Hopefully that will change for her, but I haven’t heard of anything yet that sounds promising to provide that big break. I think she would be wise to try for another TV show.

      • thinkling says:

        It sounds to me like her role in I-Frankenstein may be like Gweneth Paltrow’s in Iron Man. I’d love to see her headline a TV show, a really good one, playing a character as noble and likable as Sarah Walker. Even though Chuck is relatively unknown, it was a great show for her to kick off her (Hollywood) career, because it showed her range and depth. She can do anything, and very few TV shows are a one-stop opportunity to show off talent in every genre all at the same time.

      • ArmySFC says:

        YS will need to land a staring role (even in a bad movie) to have a shot. my mothers curse got a tittle change to guilt trip which can’t be good. from what i can tell from reading it’s a role like killer elite. those roles may pay but they won’t launch any one. add to what tinkling says about the one’s she’s filming now sounds like more of the same. i do wish them all luck.

        another crimp in the chuck movie is if ZL’s new pilot takes off and gets picked up. it could work out YS new one is only going to take 10 weeks to film so there is that.

      • jason says:

        I don’t know enough about Hollywood to either know just how successful YS is considered or what the correct strategy going forward for her might be. But in business or in sports, it is very important to ‘stay in the game’ to optimize one’s career. My intuition says YS’s Sobe stuff, her SI appearance, and three movies in the past year with some pretty impressive lead stars, along with Chuck, seems like a great job by her and her handlers. What that ultimately leads to in terms of a or the big break, I don’t know. But if you guys think her career is failing (which I think the opposite), it sure is not for lack of effort.

        One (or two) of the spoiler people threw out a jestful tease asking what folks thought about YS as the female co-star in Zac’s new comedy. For this fan, that would be awesome, them married in a comedy, as that is pretty much is all I wanted from Chuck anyhow!

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I never meant to say her career is failing. I think she is currently positioned to have a long and successful career as a character actor with occasional star turns on television or “B” movies. But I think time is running out for her to become “big.” None of her current works seem likely to change that, and the SoBe job may even be an obstacle towards getting more serious work.
        On the other hand, yeah it would be awesome if she got the job opposite Zach on his new show. But I think that’s unlikely in the extreme, especially since she’s apparently filming in Australia until May. I believe they will need to have a Pilot shot before then.

      • BigKev67 says:

        I’m not sure how an insider would view the state of Yvonne’s career but one obvious thing is that, up to now, her films haven’t done well. In a 4 film resume so far she has 2 turkeys (The Canyon and Killer Elite), one that disappeared without trace (Matching Jack) and ILU2 which was good in parts but still lost a lot of money. It’s not a good record. Hopefully I Frankenstein will change that by being both a hit and a decent movie, because getting a reputation for picking bad films isn’t going to do her any favours.
        I think the Sobe/SI shoot is a very sensible acknowledgement that it makes sense to have multiple options.
        This may be heresy but I think Yvonne’s talent and persona are both more understated than the Hollywood norm, which makes her more suited to character roles or TV, rather than lead roles. Combine that with some photo shoots and ad campaigns and that’s a fantastic potential career for her.

      • armysfc says:

        Jason i have the same thoughts as Dave on this. she is doing well right now. by big i mean getting 12-20 million per movie, having her name almost be a house hold word. a movie that will sell just because she is in it.

        Dave likes to use data he gets from friends and so do i. when i bring up YS name to the non chuck watchers they look at me like i have ten heads. if i say Jolie, Alba, Bullock they know exactly who i mean. that’s what i mean by a big star.

        AB has been in the game a long time, had a lot of roles but i would not say he is a big star either.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah army that’s exactly what I was thinking. I do believe she has the talent to be a very big name, but making it big has at least as much to do with opportunity and pure luck as anything. I, Frankenstein doesn’t look like a breakthrough part to me either (female lead in a genre film based on a graphic novel no one has heard of….), but stranger things have happened.
        And Kev I understand modeling gigs between movie roles helps pay the bills and raises visibility; but I do think Yvonne has made some choices that will directly undermine her being taken seriously. Don’t get me wrong, she will likely keep busy as long as she wants to. But I think some of the choices she’s making (both movie and modeling choices) will make it harder to get over that hump into the real big time (household names like army mentioned).

      • thinkling says:

        It’s interesting. I wonder about some of the choices, too, especially the modeling ones. It remains to be seen if they will help or hurt her chances of being a big star (like Army defined … Bullock-Roberts-Streep type big). Luck has to have something to do with it, because she’s every bit as talented and beautiful (more-so I think). Killer Elite had the big names. Too bad it didn’t do well. I’m not sure I would know how to pick that magic movie.

        I suspect, but I could be so wrong, that some of the modeling gigs come dangerously close to downgrading her brand.

        It would be great fun to see her and Zac in a married couple show again, but I doubt they would do it, logistics aside.

      • dkd says:

        I think casting Zac and Yvonne opposite each other in that comedy is an awful idea.

        It would be bad for either of their careers.

        It wouldn’t be great to watch either. We’d never be able to see them as different characters so soon after Chuck and it would be distracting in terms of accepting that this is a different show with different characters. We’d just see Chuck and Sarah and miss Chuck all that more.

        Time to move on. I think Fox has 11 comedy pilots and only a few will make it. If it is Zac’s, I hope I can see it as a fresh start and not something that’s trying to hold onto the past. Same for Yvonne. I hope to have the same attitude if I ever see her new films.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah DKD that is certainly the common wisdom of it. I would guess Zach and Yvonne see it the same way and would not choose to work together again as co-stars so soon. But of course historically it’s nonsense. So many actors have worked the buddy system and done show after show and film after film with the same sets of co-stars. Even fairly big names have been known for teams or pairings that were popular and successful.

        In the end, I think the “artistic” decision will always be to branch out. But speaking only for myself, I’m somewhat less than 50% likely to watch Zach’s new show (I’m not really into sitcoms); but if he were working with Yvonne again I’d be 100% likely to at least watch the pilot and see what they were up to.

  11. garnet says:

    Jason, tried the tag and I just get to a photo gallery. Is the link correct?

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Garnet expand the thumbnails to read the interview. Its a magazine scan.

      • garnet says:

        Thanks, I went back and pu my reading glasses on and could see that,… now where idid I put my facepalm smiley.

      • Wilf says:

        I can’t see anything to click on, there

      • Wilf says:

        ok, I’ve got it – unorthodox!!!

      • joe says:

        A magazine scan? It’s AWFUL! I can barely read it, and there’s no way I can get through the whole thing without going blind, reading glasses or no.

        Someone please find out who’s responsible for that graphic crime against the internet, shoot him, put him up against the wall for life and do it all over again.
        /rant.

        Uh, okay. I’m back. What does it say, please? (Pretty please, with sugar on it?)

      • atcDave says:

        Can’t you just expand it? Do it twice, it should be as big as the actual magazine page! Of course, this is where the iPad excels, just spread your fingers until it reaches the desired size.

      • By using the image links, you can get a zoomable image in Firefox, IE, or Chrome. You can also just save off the picture and use an image viewer.


      • jason says:

        Joe – that is pretty funny. You aren’t trying to read it with you Commadore 64 are you?

        anyhow, I am not sure if it is browser related, or PC tool, or something else, but some systems react better to such things than others.

        It was 4 pages, try clicking on these links, then click again once the pop up to blow them up.




      • joe says:

        Heh. Thanks, guys. Yes, I can expand it (in my Commador 64… NOT!) but it requires the use of the special effects proprietary driver for my nVidia graphics card (the browser (Firefox) is limiting me to the height of the screen, which ain’t enuf). Sadly but intentionally, the Linux distro I use provides the GPL’d driver by default.

        Fortunately, I’m not so much a purest that it’s prevented my from installing the proprietary driver… Am I geeky, or what? 😉

        So yes, I can read it now.

      • Aerox says:

        http://imagezoom.yellowgorilla.net/

        For those who want even MOAR zoom! (Firefox only, sozzles Internet Explorer/Chrome users. Although, it’s not my fault you’re using the wrong webbrowser (no, I’m not a spokesperson for Firefox (and yes, it has a tendency to crash a hell of a lot)))

      • BigKev67 says:

        Zac – “to not be able to offer an audience……closure would have been really heinous”.

        Was I the only one chuckling through gritted teeth at that??

    • garnet says:

      Gosh All I did was click on the photo and then use the Zoom function in IE8 to make it 200% and no problem!

      • But using IE causes all sorts of other problems. 😉 It’s also not available on Linux.

      • joe says:

        IE8? Pttuey! 😉

        Oh, Firefox on Linux is okay, once you account for the problems with Adobe Flash stuff (double pttuey!). For Aerox above, the Linux x64 version is as stable as you could possibly wish for. It is, however, a major memory hog.

  12. Rob says:

    Chucktv.net posted an interview with Chris Fedak last night.
    http://chucktv.net/2012/03/04/chuck-vs-the-podcast-105-chris-fedak-answers/

    Among the most interesting comments from Chris:
    (1) Sarah’s memories were still there and she was clearly getting them back. It was only a question of when.
    (2) When she asked Chuck to tell her their story and to kiss her in the finale, it showed that she had reconnected with Chuck emotionally (i.e. “she felt it” even though all the memories hadn’t returned); and
    (3) Very discouraging to me….the Movie is a long-shot.

    Probably worth a listen.

    • OldDarth says:

      For me the most interesting was his misread, deliberately or otherwise, of the question about why Ellie would leave. It had nothing to do with Chuck’s growth and everything with Sarah’s memory loss. Ellie is the most knowledgeable medical resource about the Intersect.

      Fedak’s answer just made Chuck look selfish, and not demonstrating normal behavior of concern for his spouse, by thinking only about himself.

    • jason says:

      I listened, I am sure most regular bloggers here know I have no love for Mr. Fedak. But, whether I liked what he did with the finale or not, he took on questions for an hour’s worth of podcast and for that he deserves both thanks and praise.

      What he had to say made me feel better about the ending and the final 2 episodes, even though I still dislike both episodes, and I still dislike him for writing a joyless final two hours capped off by an ambiguous, melancholy ending to what had been a quirky, fun, joyful, and even ‘nice’ show most of the time. He should not have to do an interview to make fans feel better about what he did, he should have conveyed the necessary message on screen. He chose not to or he failed in his attempt to write an ending that satisfied fans, such that he had to explain himself later on.

      But, I am quickly digressing away from my original point, Mr Fedak deserves credit for taking an hour to answer questions. It seemed to me he clearly was frustrated he needed to answer ?’s about the ending, he still answered them, I was thankful he did.

      • atcDave says:

        Your digression is longer than your point!

        Funny, but I mostly agree. Chris Fedak is still basically a young writer getting started, and I hope this is a good learning experience for him; if he doesn’t want to answer a billion questions about his story, be clear!

      • Rob says:

        Right….I don’t think that I’ll ever understand why in a show that seemed to wrap up storylines fairly well, Chris would leave any ambiguity to the core of the show (the Sarah-Chuck relationship). The “artistic” ending just doesn’t fit. A goofy/feel good ending would have.

        That said, I was really looking forward to this interview, because I was hoping that Chris would say that there was a plan for the future if they had more time, and that they would love to do more (at least that would give us hope). Instead, he pretty much said that there was little hope for future stories (aside from fanfiction).

        Dave — maybe you hit it right on the head. I’m starting to think that the ending was more of a job interview for the next project as opposed to a true ending for his loyal fans.

      • thinkling says:

        I thought he did a better job answering the questions in his other interviews. However, the one thing that hit me is that I still don’t think he gets the questions. He doesn’t understand what’s behind the questions, and for the most part, he didn’t really answer them, especially the spirit behind them.

        See, I got the feeling that Zac was able to back off a ways and understand why some of the fans responded negatively. I think Chris is still pretty clueless. That’s a little disheartening.

      • Rob says:

        That is a really good observation. I don’t think that the interviewers did “us” any favors by telling him that they loved the finale, and it was really everyone else who had an issue. So, I think it is as much their fault for dancing around the issue, and not asking a pointed question about the last episode.

      • dkd says:

        Well, they could be telling the truth that they loved the finale. I liked it. So, if I was interviewing him, I would say the same thing.

        But, even if they didn’t, those three have thrived on being the “peppy” Chuck website. It gave them access. So, you aren’t going to see them going for the jugular regardless.

        As for Fedak not “getting” the underlying meaning behind the questions, we don’t know what he has exposed himself to or not since the finale. For all we know, it’s very little and he’s only going to answer the questions, as asked.

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling and Rob I do agree, I think Fedak has been a little clueless about the significant number of fans who are ‘shippers or Sarah Walker fans all along. Obviously, I still hope he’s learned some lessons, but it is too late to do this production any good (well probably, there remains a small chance the discs and Director’s Cut will address some of our complaints). And I don’t want to go too far down this path; as always, he created a show and characters I’m nuts about, and more often than not he delivered a great show. But I think that very passion I feel for the show is why the deficiencies are so frustrating. And in spite of some great moments and ideas in the final two episodes, the frustrations I feel towards that premature ending may remain one of my strongest memories of the whole series.

    • garnet says:

      I think that to be fair, Mel Gray and Liz have done a great job of both ChuckTV and the Podcast. They are in the position where they and not a “traditional” news outlet and their perceived unwillingness to ask the hard questions may be more the fact that they overall did like the finale and the “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” . I have followed ChuckTV for some time, and I can say that there are a goodly number of fans that are appoplectic and some that are sanguine, but most seem to be in the middle. Overall, the opinion seems to be that thepayoff wasn’t enough for the drama, and the beach ended about 20 seconds too early.

      • ArmySFC says:

        I will disagree on this. i go back to the season 4 finale. the people on that site were begging and pleading with fans to give morgansect a chance despite the overall dislike of the idea. i may have a different take on this but that was a clear don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

      • garnet says:

        True, but I recall the fans they were trying to settle down were a bit over the top in their suggestions that they/we shouldn’t watch season 5 because of the Morgansect. I see their suggestion to give it a chance as reasonable and measured.

      • atcDave says:

        And to be fair we were mostly saying the same thing here. Maybe with a little more suggesting that several of us didn’t like the idea either, but we did always advocate giving the story a chance, and five of the six of us wound up liking the Morgansect story just fine.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave & garnet… very true but again look at who you are talking about. on this blog alone you have people who say it’s the best show they ever watched, one claims they never saw a bad episode. there is nothing wrong with those views, its a matter of personal taste on that subject. this will tie in below so don’t get all freaky.

        while what Dave said is true the difference is glaring between the sites. chucktv never voiced an opinion on whether or not they thought it was a good idea or not. they have never really criticized the show in things i have read there. the CTB people did and do. some of them said on paper it looked like a bad idea, but to give it a chance. that’s a huge difference from chucktv. these folks voiced their opinion because they are fans and because they are fans they gave it a chance. i actually listened to the CTB and gave it a chance. i watched the first episode of 5 and then promptly tuned out again till episode 7 (keep in mind i’m not a die hard chuck fan).

        my opinion is the folks at chucktv did not have that chance because if they spoke their minds, their personal thoughts on the idea it would cost them. they had to follow the company line or risk the perks of getting tid bits straight from the source. this give and take is not new, it’s been around for years in all venues of life.

    • jam says:

      Sam was a stuffed animal Sarah owned, not her real name. Totally canon in my head from now on. And pretty much the only nice thing I can say about that interview.

      It wasn’t bad, but it really didn’t do anything to make be better about the finale.

  13. ww1posterfan says:

    I was struck by 3 things:
    1) When asked about the Intersect being a 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 based upon the flash sequence that was used, he seemed completely befuddled that a fan would a) notice such a thing, b) make an assumption which version it was (in this case 1.0), and c) would think it was important. He also appeared frustrated by the question re: Sarah;s backstory continuuity. This indicated to me that he definitely was not into the Intersect mythology/techie/continuity aspect of the story-again not in tune with the fans investment in the minutiae of the story and its characters
    2) I think he is still perplexed by the fans not “seeing” what he thinks is self-evident in the last 2 episodes because he was too involved as the creator
    3) I didn’t take there was little hope for future stories….I think he deliberately set up the ending to be another beginning-maybe not in the context of getting 9 more episodes to close out the season (he was done with his storytelling), but certainly to be set up for contined storytelling in multiple mediums by others–Again, I think his worldview considers that a gift-he’s a storyteller, so his idea of a gift is a prologue.

    • ArmySFC says:

      ww1, just from personal observation your #1 has never been a concern. continuity has been a problem from the start so those ideas don’t surprise me at all. remember these were the same people that were amazed at how much the fans liked phase three.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        ArmySFC: I know you’re right, but it’s counterintuitive to me. It seems they put alot of effort into some detail items, like the well known photo of the two of them that they both kept on their dressers and the movies they would have playing on the BuyMore display TVs, but then not have a cohesive mythology around the Intersect and its technology and consistent backstories for their main characters? They frequently excelled at weaving the Chuck spy story, with the BuyMore drama, which all provided underpinning to the character growth and C/S relationship, yet they couldn’t keep up with a basic timeline of Sarah’s backstory or provide a summary of the Intersect and its many iterations. One of my all-time favorite shows was Babylon 5 and they were excellent about tieing elements from Season 1 into Season 3 and so forth, and I guess it spoiled me. It’s not a big deal to me. I just found it surprising….I assumed a show’s creator and one of its active writer’s would have intimate knowledge and detail on all elements and characters in their creation. I’m in construction. By the time I’m done with a project, I know pretty much everything about what I’ve built. Just a different mindset.

      • ArmySFC says:

        ww1, i think it comes down to what they felt was important along with a desire to give some fans what they wanted. sarah’s back story is one of those. they already had the main time line down from the start, but with her back story they just plugged in something they figured the fans would like. it would be like if when i had my house built a few years ago. they had the plans for it drawn up and started to build it, then half way through the construction i decided to add an attached garage, they could probably make it work but it wouldn’t look good with the original design.

      • ww1: JMS was brilliant and sneaky with B5. First, he planned the entire series assuming it would be five years. That is extremely unusual. Most writers have to figure out how to extend the story 1 year at a time and do not decide to end a show at a fixed time, five years in advance. Chuck writers had to figure out extension twice a season in S3 and S4. Show writers leave plot threads dangling because they might be future stories if the network provides the money, not because there is a planned resolutions two years in advance. It’s a completely different mindset to writing.

        JMS was able to pull it off because it was syndicated and because it cost only $900K per episode, less than half of ST:TNG. The five seasons still almost didn’t happen because the bottom fell out of the direct syndication market with the introduction of The WB and UPN. (That’s is why the pacing was off in the second have of S4. Sheridan was supposed to be captured in the S4 finale. JMS had to rush the end.) JMS also mapped out story lines thousands of years before and after the show to ensure the pieces fit. Also, he was the sole writer for about 75 consecutive episodes in the middle. The sneaky part of that planning was the character trap doors he inserted in case anyone had to leave the series (e.g. Talia / Lyta as the super-telepath) I doubt we’ll ever see anything like that ever again in television. Comparing any showrunner/lead writer to JMS is not fair.

        From what I’ve seen in interviews, CF, JS, and the other writers often debated how to develop the characters and story arcs (e.g. is Chuck Peter Parker or Clark Kent debates). CF might have been the lead writer, but he collected a lot of input. When that is the case, there is no final authority on what might eventually happen until in happens, because someone might always come up with a better idea.

        JMS was the sole authority on the B5 universe. This was both good and bad (e.g. the addiction theme was revisited many, many times).

      • atcDave says:

        I believe I saw a JMS interview where he stated if he had known how much work he’d bitten off for himself he never would have done it!

      • Yeah, I think writing that many consecutive episodes was not intentional. He had to do it because he was the only person who could keep everything straight.

    • atcDave says:

      I think not being able to see things from an audience perspective is a common problem for show runners. Since they are always attuned to “big picture” concerns, and obviously know their outcomes before the story even starts, it’s easy for them to loose important details and even be quite surprised by some perceptions. The very best show runners are usually very good at keeping that disconnect minor; but I believe Mr. Fedak has really struggled with it on occasion. I think the whole “misery arc” is a prime example of that; he was focused on an ending (per his own description, he knew the last scene in the hotel room and wrote everything else to reach that point) and was quite surprised when huge portions of his fandom were outraged by what they saw on screen. The finale was a small scale version of the same thing (he even admits to knowing his end scene from the very start again!), and many of us saw things very differently than intended. I think the question of Chuck and Sarah even being together and the awkwardness of Ellie’s goodbye scene were the two biggest issues, but a variety of other things contributed (like if Sarah got her memories back and the overall bleakness of the two episodes). I do hope he gets better at this as his career progresses; that is, I hope he learns to see what his audience is going to see better. Even if he seems clueless now, it HAS to make an impact on him that he has to keep explaining his ending over and over.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave off topic here but for those fans that harbor resentment over the show runners of chuck it looks like all of JS programs will be coming to an end this year. GG and HoD are on TVBTN likely to be canceled list.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree, Dave that even though show runners want people talking about their series finale for a long time, deep down he has to know that having to explain it over and over and over again can’t be a good sign.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Dave,
        One of the things that struck me in the interview was how long ago he had that final scene in his mind (before he even pitched S5 to NBC) – but I hadn’t made the connection to his previous comments about working backwards from Paris in S3. It’s a great pickup by you, and a really interesting point.
        I’m not a screenwriter, so I don’t know if “working backwards” makes it more difficult to see an audience perspective per se, but there’s no doubt that it does seem to be Fedak’s MO. A lot of his interviews make reference to how he pictures individual scenes, and how “epic” they would be – and if I was to characterise Chuck it would be a show where individual scenes are quite brilliant, but getting to those scenes can be really choppy.
        My personal theory (based on nothing except what I see on screen) is that Fedak is the “ideas guy”, and Schwartz was the guy who paid attention to the nuts and bolts of story construction and how things hang together. As he became less and less hands on (from S3 onwards), Fedak’s weaknesses in those areas became more apparent. S1 and S2 just flow much more smoothly to me, and the stories are much tighter, in comparison to what came after – and my guess is that’s because of Schwartz.

      • atcDave says:

        Kev I agree with all of that. Now you know I think more highly of S4 than you do, but I think the observations are likely true regardless. There is also the problem of the longer the show runs the more history there is to tie back into, but certainly a lot of Chuck’s failings are just sloppiness. I would have liked more respect shown for continuity and mythology all along, but the individual scenes and performances were always enough to keep me enthused and engaged.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Kev and Dave…just a guess and a little personal experience from some of the writing i have done. most writers have an idea of the ending they want to get to before they start. i doubt many writers just start going and let the chips fall where they may until they decide on the ending. i think it’s even more important for a show runner because they have to sell the season long arc to the big powers to be. going in and saying i’ll just make it up as i go along probably wouldn’t get the job done in that regard.

      • Army, actually, for most good fanfic, the writer has a particular ending in mind. Unfortunately a lot of fanfic drags on and on, well past when it should end. I’m generalizing, of course. There are exceptions.

        Writers don’t have to worry about finding an ending multiple times. They have the benefit of ending on their own terms, not a network’s episode order.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff right. i think i was saying that. i was just trying to point out that people write from the end forward. they have an end point in mind and then plot out how to get there from where ever they start.

    • thinkling says:

      Good observations, ww1. I agree with all. Those are specifics of what my general impression was. He doesn’t get fans questions. Your #2 is the flip side, and I completely agree. Both points are indicative of the disconnect we’ve talked about here before. One other question that he talked all around concerns an area about which he and many fans have long been in different glaxies, and that was the whole idea of bringing back Shaw, because he’s such a great bad guy. (At least he acknowledged that bringing him back in the final arc would have been too much.) Again, he avoided the point of the question, that the return of Shaw completely changed the nature of the conspiracy that Decker alluded to in Cliffhanger. That decision was one of (if not the) biggest wasted opportunities of the series.

      He’s a storyteller, so his idea of a gift is a prologue. It is absolutely what he thinks, but he doesn’t understand the view point of some that it is insufficient closure. However, he could have filled in the blanks with something much worse than a blank.

      • Rob says:

        It is amazing to me that for a show that was kept alive because of the efforts of its passionate fans, that he would be so disconnected from the passions that drove them. Just amazing.

      • atcDave says:

        Rob that always amazes me too, but it does seem to be the case.

  14. Sam Carter says:

    @ATCDave: “I think the whole “misery arc” is a prime example of that; he was focused on an ending (per his own description, he knew the last scene in the hotel room and wrote everything else to reach that point) and was quite surprised when huge portions of his fandom were outraged by what they saw on screen.”

    Huge portions of this fandom? Very debatable. Polls and strong DVD sales show the contrary. I think it was just a very vocal minority. Many shipper fans were very supportive of season 4, however, the DVD sales were the weakest in the whole series so far. It showed that a lot of the viewers left didn’t like it enough to buy.

    BTW, I didn’t like the series ending either, and I’m not even a shipper. I still felt Chuck and Sarah deserved a much happier ending. It was a downer ending. Weird.

    • atcDave says:

      Back to this again….

      I never said majority. I believe it was a significant minority (30% range) who were most upset. I think it was a slightly smaller portion that was most upset with the finale. But in both cases it is a significant chunk and they must be aware of a problem when so many viewers are so irate. Obviously there were problems with S4 too, but it never generated nearly the same level of vitriol.

      • Sam Carter says:

        “Back to this again….”

        I know right? You started it…

        “I never said majority. I believe it was a significant minority (30% range) who were most upset. I think it was a slightly smaller portion that was most upset with the finale. But in both cases it is a significant chunk and they must be aware of a problem when so many viewers are so irate. Obviously there were problems with S4 too, but it never generated nearly the same level of vitriol.”

        I really have no idea about how percenteges. It’s just a guess at this point since we have no real numbers to prove it. And at least people weren’t indifferent towards S3. Indifference is worse than hate.

      • atcDave says:

        I started it? Are you 12?

        I disagree entirely in this case about hatred being better than indifference. Viewers who hate a show quit watching and never look back. I know the shows I quit in disgust I’ll never go back to. While viewers who drift away are more easily lured back if things look better.
        I guarantee no broadcaster, producer, or show runner wants their product to be hated.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i don’t want to get into this debate, just clarify what you did say, this is it…”I think the whole “misery arc” is a prime example of that; he was focused on an ending (per his own description, he knew the last scene in the hotel room and wrote everything else to reach that point) and was quite surprised when huge portions of his fandom were outraged by what they saw on screen.”

        huge portions to me equates to a majority, a major one at that not the 30% minority you later claim. i feel both s3 and 4 hurt the show by changing the makeup of it to fast and to much.

      • atcDave says:

        Army “huge” is a completely non-specific portion, I actually chose the word carefully to avoid spouting numbers I don’t have! I’m very careful about when I use “most” or “all”. But I can categorically state I find this discussion to be “mostly” a pain the a**, and disputing my exact wording completely misses the point I was making.

      • Some percentages: https://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/beginnings-and-endings/#comment-64676

        Keep in mind the people voting are people following Chuck on the Internet, not casual viewers and not even all die-hard fans. I didn’t follow Chuck on the Internet until Colonel, and even though I started watching around the third episode, already owned S1 on DVD, and I’ve been on the Internet for twenty years.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks Jeff. I also ran a poll after 3.13 ran that indicated only 20% of respondents were satisfied with most of S3. The usual disclaimers apply; those are visitors to this site which may not represent the larger community perfectly. But its significant enough I stand by “huge!”

      • ArmySFC says:

        one thing to consider on the poll numbers being used is the site they are taken from. chucktv and this blog are very chuck/ shipper friendly sites (i’m sure results are skewed on other shows sites when they run polls about their shows). while there are a few of us that don’t feel as strongly as the majority here feel we are few in number. that alone would skew the numbers. i would like to see the results of polls conducted on an impartial site. one that has no tie ins to any show. to me that would give a truer fan reaction than ones that are aligned with any show.

        i am not saying the numbers are wrong but i’ll give an example of what i mean. on one chuck friend site, (and i really don’t remember which one) they made a comment that went something like this, “chuck has never done mythology well and never really paid off their arcs well. so i just ignore that part of the show and look at the rest.” i can’t watch a show and ignore part of it to make it better or worse. i look at the whole picture and not just most of the brush strokes. the mythology is part of the show just like the relationships are. when part of any show fails to deliver i lower my rating of it.

        i’ll use castle here as an example. i like the show, more than i did chuck and i’m not a shipper. i don’t care if the leads on any show ever get together but the stupidity they seem to be falling into to keep C/B apart is getting to me. either crap or get off the pot with it already. it’s taking away time they could spend elsewhere, like on the cases. quit having castle stumble on crazy clues at the end to solve the case. if they keep going this way it will end up like chuck for me. i’ll skip episodes then skip more and finally end up waiting to see the finales. i don’t watch TV to see 2 adults flounder around each other because of (insert reason here). i did it once for JAG and won’t do it again. there is other stuff to watch that won’t get to me as much. the longer this stuff happens the lower i rate the show and the less i enjoy it. like i said when one part of the show fails to deliver the whole show suffers for it.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I’m with Dave on this one. 30% can be huge enough from a certain perspective. For example: if you are a business owner and you lose 30% of your customers, often that means that your business goes under.

        When 30% is the difference between life and death, huge is accurate enough.

  15. Sam Carter says:

    “Again, he avoided the point of the question, that the return of Shaw completely changed the nature of the conspiracy that Decker alluded to in Cliffhanger. That decision was one of (if not the) biggest wasted opportunities of the series.”

    IMO, the biggest wasted opportunity of the series was the Chuck storyline in season 4 and the search for his mom. Chuck was a spy at the end of S3. That ending showed lots of promise, I was really excited about S4 because of that. Instead we got a very whiny/insecure Chuck whose journey was now getting married…

    Fedak said he had ideas about the big conspiracy in S5, but I think he realized he could not deliver or something like that (I remember a lot of people feeling that way too before S5 started). Maybe it was budget, I don’t know. So he reduced it to Shaw’s revenge. I thought it ended up being alright if I bit rushed (as usual). Yes, there were plot holes, but all the history/personal story between the characters made lots of sense and felt very organic, IMO. In comparison, Quinn story was VERY rushed and felt flat because he came out of nowhere, plus the actor was wrong for the role.

    • thinkling says:

      Fedak said he had ideas about the big conspiracy in S5, but I think he realized he could not deliver or something like that

      … like I said, wasted opportunity.

      You may not have liked the way S4 was developed, but they followed through on the premise. S3 ends with the discovery that mom was a spy and Chuck being tasked by his late father to find her. (And BTW, at the end of S3 Chuck was not a spy. He was out of the CIA and looking for work related to his Stanford degree.) S4 picks up the thread in the first episode and follows through on the story. Mom was indeed a spy, and Chuck and Sarah found her, helped her finish her mission, and brought her back home. You didn’t like it. I did. But that is neither here nor there. The fact is they told the story they promised to tell.

      S4 ends with the Decker pointing to a big conspiracy manipulating, at the very least, Chuck’s entire experience with the Intersect, if not the entire Intersect work beginning with his father and Hartley. S5 appears to pick up that conspiracy thread in its first episode, but the conspiracy story they told was a complete non sequitur … bait and switch … wasted opportunity. As it turns out S5 is one of my favorite seasons, despite the very disappointing conspiracy fizzle.

      • Sam Carter says:

        “You may not have liked the way S4 was developed, but they followed through on the premise. S3 ends with the discovery that mom was a spy and Chuck being tasked by his late father to find her.”

        They didn’t really follow on the primise that the S3 final scene showed. His dad named different groups of very dangerous people in those boxes/files he stored in that basement (watch that scene again). But it seems the showrunners changed their mind AGAIN like in S5. Instead they brought the BuyMore back from the dead and focused in the Chuck/Sarah relationship issues. Mary’s story was an afterthought. Very disappointing.

        “(And BTW, at the end of S3 Chuck was not a spy. He was out of the CIA and looking for work related to his Stanford degree.)”

        Yes he was. He had the skills already and he mastered the Intersect 2.0 (he only needed to learn self defense, which he finally did in S5). I know he quit the CIA as he promised Ellie, but he was not the same insecure guy at the beginning of S3. He even got the girl and everything.

        @MyNameisJeff: The porcenteges looks more than solid at TV.com and IMDB. ALL S3 episodes are very well rated. Those people are fans too.

      • Re: S3 ratings. You’re right, Sam. Different people like different things. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 5-10% liked S3 and then proceeded to stop watching because they don’t care about a couple in a relationship. Those people didn’t care about the details of how S3 went, they just liked the WT/WT and the chase.

        Most people don’t analyze the episodes like the people here. They see Sarah and Chuck kissing on the beach, they’re happy with that, and they move on to other shows.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh come on, Sam. Mom was the biggest story in the basement, and we all know that because her disappearance was the single most significant issue in Chuck’s and Ellie’s life and one of the keys of Chuck mythology. The files in the basement (some of which were addressed through Volkoff and Hydra) were intriguing, but still only relevant because of his one goal of finding his wife and protecting his family. He didn’t say it was time for Chuck to learn about the bad guys, but time to learn about his family. And again, “I did it all for her.” Only weeks later, at Comicon, Fedak confirmed that the main story for S4 would be the mom hunt. From the beginning of S4 the emphasis was the same … find mom. The immediate mission was never to delve into the files, but to find his mother. Interestingly enough, with the principle mission accomplished, finding his mom, the boxes would have fed nicely into the huge conspiracy alluded to by Decker … the missed opportunity.

        Chuck is far more about family than about spying. The family theme surged forward in S5, as Chuck and Sarah became convinced that to preserve their family and have a normal life, they needed to get away from the spy world. How much more epic would that have been if they had followed through on the over-arching conspiracy idea voiced by Decker in Cliffhanger? Still though, Chuck was about family. And in the end, it was all about Chuck and Sarah.

  16. Gord says:

    I just can’t pick a top 10 arcs.
    How about a rewatch of everything but Mask, Fake Name, Muurder, Zoom, and Bearded bandit, at least that is my plan.

    Actually some time ago I started rewatching from S1 with 3 to 4 episodes on the weekends. This weekend I managed to get tothe end of 3 words (OK I cheated I watched 6 episodes). I plan on hitting S5 just as the box set comes out on May 8th.

    • atcDave says:

      I think we will eventually do a full series re-watch; like after we do an S5 re-watch. But we are just doing a look at major arcs and themes over the next few weeks before the discs come out.

    • herder says:

      My current plan is for a rewatch on easter weekend, either season five or highlights of four & five unless the plan for the major arc rewatch comes out before then.

      • atcDave says:

        We’re looking at having a schedule up Friday, with the first arc being this weekend. Of course you’ve probably noticed we’ve kind of taken some time off here, but hopefully we’ll have a little new content up soon!

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