Thinkling Writes!

Okay, actually Thinkling writes a lot, sometimes we can’t get her to stop. So why would I consider this news?  Perhaps I’ve just finally lost my mind.  But no.   Our own Thinkling has taken the plunge into fan fiction. Like many of us, she’s spent much time pondering the finale, and if you’ve spent much time at this site you’ve gone through the process with her.  Well one clearly good thing to come from all of this is Thinkling has decided to organize her process into a story.  And it turns out she’s a dynamite writer.  Is anyone really surprised by that? (repeat after me; “no we’re not surprised at all…”) After the jump, we’ll look at exactly what Thinkling is writing.

The story is called “Sarah vs Finding Herself” and it begins with the concert hall scene from the finale. This is told from Sarah’s perspective as she deals with the unfamiliar world and feelings she has to deal with. We have Thinkling’s own comments on her story, this was lifted from an early version of her author’s note that I persuaded her to cut, mainly so I could post it as exclusive content here (!).  Hey, she has her story and I have mine…

My Chuck This post Past Is Prologue … and Epilogue is the background and spring board for this story. My premise is that Sarah’s biggest obstacle to getting her life back, other than the memory wipe itself, is her perception of her situation. That is, she thinks that because she can’t remember her life, that it’s gone, and that all the things she so obviously feels are just phantom feelings of a life that no longer exists. The reality, of course, is that she is still Mrs. Bartowski. She still has a life, a husband who adores her, a family who love her, people who care about her, and a home in Echo park. Her subjective lack of memory doesn’t change that objective reality. The first hurdle to healing is a change of perception, which I believe begins to take place as she spends time with Chuck on the missions. She is reintroduced to her own reality and begins to consider that the feelings tuging on her heart are both real and accessible. Now, by the end of chapter 1, she has cleared the first hurdle and is ready to begin to heal. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 😉

I’ve seen the outline, and this looks to be eight or so chapters long.  But we all know how Thinkling loves to write, so don’t be shocked if it grows to twice that!  The first chapter covers almost to the end of 5.13 and adds a few scenes/moments for Sarah to reflect on.  The style is thoughtful and accessible as we expect from Thinkling, and she does a wonderful job with keeping Sarah in character.  If the first chapter is any indication I think this will be fun and interesting for all of us who love both the show and the character.

Thinkling hopes to have a new chapter up once a week.  If length remains consistent each can be read in about 20 minutes.  I’m going to guess at a PG rating, really nothing objectionable, but some difficult subject matter.

~ Dave


About atcDave

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

  1. Yes!

    Now who’s next? Dave?

  2. Michael66 says:


    Okay, kiddo. While I have said it elsewhere, I have avoided the whole memory wipe stories of Season 5 like the plague. Seeing as your writing is normally clear headed and well contructed, I’ll gladly read it. And I promise, I’ll put my ‘issues’ to the side. 🙂

  3. joe says:

    Hey! Is it Christmas already???

    Fantastic. Thinkling, the very next tab in my browser is set to your story (thanks for the link, Dave) and off I go to read.

    Ooooohhh I feel like a kid again!

  4. Wilf says:

    It’s looking absolutely great so far, bringing clarity where, before, there was only a misty outlook.

  5. joe says:

    Wilf, you’ve got it right.

    Thinkling, this is a great beginning. What you’ve done (as if you didn’t know!) was incredibly gentle and faithful to the canon while adding clarity (great word, Wilf).

    From the first, Sarah’s mindset has always been difficult to read – by design, I believe. It’s often been that we we don’t know what she’s been thinking for sure until long after (Chuck, I fell for you a long, long time ago. After you fixed my phone and before you started diffusing bombs with computer viruses. So, yes. [chuckles] Yes.).

    We may not have any “long after” to tell us for certain what she’s thinking in the finale, but you convinced me. When I see the finale again, you’ve given me the monolog that will be going through my head as Sarah interacts with Chuck.

  6. Faith says:

    Go Thinkling!

  7. thinkling says:

    Thanks, guys, for the kind words and encouragement.

  8. jason says:

    Thinkling – I really enjoyed that first chapter, thank you for taking the time to write that & I look forward to your answer to Jed Bartlett’s fav line: ‘What’s next?’.

    I had imagined a call back to a hamburger joint that Chuck and Sarah frequented too when I thought of fan fic, interesting that your mind went there too – I sort of imagined it in a way that you wrote the hotel scene, that she kept eating at the place while she stayed at the hotel, everyone kept asking her where Chuck was, she sat in ‘their’ booth without knowing it, etc. The cruel twist statement, showed exactly what a great dramatic story Sarah’s POV made, it simply was not told on screen.

    Overall, I think the character detail you provided and how it is appreciated by those who read your chapter, showed how much the writers tried to tell too much story in season 5. Many of us are so invested in the characters and the relationship, that we needed more of that, maybe the season should have had just one spy arc to solve, rather than two.

    Finally, from reading that chapter, I can only wish that your penchant for joyfully loving and understanding the Sarah character would have had a stronger voice in the writer’s room.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Jason. I really appreciate that. Overall, I consider S5 a tightly written, fairly brilliant season, except for flushing the conspiracy story down the Shaw drain. It just needs an extra arc. So, fiction authors rush in where show writers fear to tread, as the saying goes.

      I do love the Sarah character. Yvonne gave so much depth and nuance to the character, always, but especially her out-of-the-park, layered performance in the finale.

  9. phaseou812 says:

    Nice first Chapter . . . looking forward to Chapter 2. Will you be providing the link here when the story is updated?

    • atcDave says:

      I won’t update for every chapter, but you can always find it again by clicking on my favorites list on the column at right under “fan fiction.” Thinkling will try to update weekly, so you might want to check every Sunday or something to see if there’s a new chapter (even though my list is long, it defaults to sorting by “most recently updated”, so whenever there is a new chapter it should be right at the top of the list.)

    • ArmySFC says:

      for best results register on FF and then set an alert for the story. you will get an email each time she updates.

  10. phaseou812 says:

    Great beginning to this story and I always love your postings regarding the show. As I have reviewed the reviews in which I concur with all of the sentiments, I would like to add that I thought it was a nice touch to have Casey as the individual that had made arrangements for her stay. A nice way to lead up to the expectation of Sarah assuming that Chuck had made the arrangements, but with the pleasant surprise of having Casey as the caring friend of the couple to look ahead into the logistics of what would be needed. The arrangement makes perfect sense as Chuck would have not thought that far in advance. Although he has his memories intact, currently, he is as lost as she is in regards to what to do next.

    Also highlights Sarah’s thought process into recognizing that her life had indeed changed from what she currently recalls from the past, with self-evident bonds of friendships and relationships that are waiting to be recalled and rekindled. Also like the true character being provided in the description of Casey and the hotel staff correspondences’. Very much like Casey to be short, brief, but yet intimidating. Nice to have his in character outlook of “they will be” okay regarding Sarah and Chuck relationship . . . as his outlook was always results driven. Great beginning and look forward to the continued story.

  11. Rob says:

    Great 2nd chapter. Would love to see it on screen as the extended version of the finale. Would be a true celebration of the 5-year relationship, and the hope for more to come.

    Keep it coming.

  12. phaseou812 says:


    Wow, I should have invested in “Kleenex” stock before I read Chapter 2. I had to reread it twice as it was such a terrific in-depth story telling of some things that the viewer can recall and blending in the details, perspectives, as well as adding some new pieces to the puzzle, to paint a perfect picture. For me it was a very emotional read. As you mentioned in regards to staying true to the characters you did a wonderful job of accomplishing that task. I can see the actors’ faces and body language playing out exactly as you have written them. I can envision Chuck’s character in telling his story with a mixture of joyfulness and mixing in the character’s sense of honest humor to lighten the occasion. I can also imagine the awesome job of Yvonne’s facial expressions as their story is told as she always did such a fantastic job of expressing so much implied thoughts without having to use words. A wonderful memory of the Chuck series being captured by your penmanship. There are just way too many points in your story that bring satisfaction to the reader to reference them all . . . but obviously the giving away of Sarah Walker by Casey is such a fabulous concept, as we were given very little in form of the wedding that occurred at the end of Season 4. Also, it did not dawn on me regarding both Chuck and Sarah having similar circumstances with Chuck waking up one day to have the intersect and the spy world thrust upon him in comparison to Sarah’s memory being short circuited with its suppression. An absolute fantastic bit of writing. Thank you so much as that was an enjoyable trip down memory lane.

    • phaseou812 says:

      Chapter 3

      Thank you Thinkling for another great read. Terrific concept of blending the dreams to tell “their story”. Also love the line . . . “a man can’t live without his heart”.

  13. ww1posterfan says:

    Re; Chapter 2
    Thinkling another great installment. Your respect and love for these characters is quite evident in the excellence of your storyelling. You have quite a talent. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to the next chapter.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, very much, ww1. I’ve enjoyed reading your insights on the blog … looking forward to your story when it comes out.

  14. ww1posterfan says:

    Chapter 3:
    You’re firing on all cylinders now, Thinkling. I have to say I always envisioned them coming home, having chicken pepperoni for dinner, her needing a relaxing bath, and that her memory recall would start accelerating once she felt safe and relaxed. I also envisioned the whole evening story telling time becoming a routine, as well.

    I’m looking forward to how you have Sarah start to process her “stuff.” I never got to see Chuck vs Sarah in its entirety, but my impression is Sarah never took the time to notice all the photos, momentos, her closet full of clothes, her sink and medicine cabinet….all the signs of two people whose lives are inextricably intertwined. I’m on high alert for each installment now. Thanks again.

    • thinkling says:

      Great minds think alike, I see. 😉 Sarah will have some good exploration time in chapter 5, though she does find a couple of things in chapter 4. So much to do.

  15. Rob says:

    Another great Chapter added. Thanks thinkling. It is like having Chuck back again.

    I really like her regaining the memory with her dad at the end of Chapter 4. I’ve always thought that it was that mission….that experience….his “approval” ….. that ultimately led her to admit that she was in love with Chuck.

  16. ww1posterfan says:

    Chapter 4:


    Loved, loved, loved this chapter! I’ve read it 3 times already. My favorites: Chuck’s rendition of Sarah’s heroics with the baby; “But some things are still simple.”; “Look. The horizon is still there.”; and the plane ride back-the moon- her memory of the ill-fated balcony proposal. Great job weaving everything together. I also love her interactions with Ellie. Some other story-tellers went the route of Ellie harboring ill feelings. I never once thought that Ellie’s character would be anything but sympathetic and caring….Ellie truly thought of Sarah as a sister IMO. You have portrayed it perfectly given my perception and understanding of the character. Mary’s dialogue seemed spot on, as well. I could go on forever, but I won’t. Thanks again.

    • thinkling says:

      Wow. Thanks very much ww1. I’m having fun writing it. I agree about Ellie. Never once did I consider taking it the other way. Even before Ellie wrecked the car, she explained to Sarah, basically that she knew Sarah wasn’t herself and apologized in advance for what she was about to do. Then it was Ellie that told Chuck to go get her back. Ellie has been a Sarah fan from day one.

      • Except when she told Chuck to break up with Sarah in Beefcake. Morgan had to set her straight. What was she thinking? That incident always forces me to put Ellie third, below Morgan and Jeff, on my top Charah shipper list.

      • atcDave says:

        Below Jeff? Too funny, but I do get it!

        I do prefer a forgiving Ellie, although I can imagine her being “cautious” towards Sarah, I can’t see her being too angry.

      • thinkling says:

        True, Jeff. That was the one hiccup in Ellie’s Sarah love. Of course, her advice was based on Chuck’s statement that he knew he and Sarah would never be more than they were.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Thinkling, Ellie was also a little too eager to see Chuck moving on with Hannah for my taste. I really didn’t like Ellie in a lot of early S3.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh, that’s right, Dave. I had (conveniently?) forgotten that. That was ugly. Of course Chuck had done nothing but sleep on her couch, grow his beard, and consume Cheetos for 6 weeks. Black box, black box.

  17. ww1posterfan says:

    Wow, apparently the early part of S3 wasn’t very kind to several of the characters’ character. I always understood where Ellie was coming from. Chuck had been away at training for 6 months and eating cheese balls on her couch for 6 weeks. Moving on in any fashion was perferable to the continued wallowing in self-pity. Ellie gave Chuck good advice given the set of facts she was allowed to have. Remember, she told Chuck he wasn’t being fair to himself or Sarah by continuing in a dead-end relationship. She never bashed Sarah. Ellie was also the one that scolded Chuck for not coming to her in vs The Great American Hero for advice about winning Sarah back and basically told him he didn’t go far enough…to buck up and be a Bartowski and do whatever it took. Morgan, on the other hand, took a little while to warm up to Sarah after she started muscling in on his BFF time. Ellie was on board in Helicopter. And, Jeff, well he was just an incurable romantic it turns out.

    • Morgan doesn’t understand boundries, but his first loyalty is to Chuck. Morgan realized soon enough that loyalty for Chuck meant sticking up for Sarah. Ellie was also looking out for Chuck first, and you’re right that she never bashed Sarah. Both had good intentions.

      Morgan wished for the Thanksgiving mircale, helped Sarah with her cold feet in Balcony, and gave her a pep talk in Goodbye. Ellie’s speach to Chuck in Americano Hero and her encouraging Chuck to dump Hannah in Fake Name are the reasons why she was allowed back into the Charah club.

    • atcDave says:

      I thought Ellie’s intrusion in Beefcake was pretty out of line; basically meddling in something she knows little about. Of course parents (which Ellie effectively is) have a long established tradition of meddling in such things; so its a normal unappealing behavior. The situation with Hannah is also not really that terribly horrible for Ellie, but it is one more thing on a very, very long list of things I didn’t care for about S3. I think only Casey and Morgan actually looked good for most of that season, and for me, Casey and Morgan cannot carry the show.

    • garnet says:

      Awesome would say he was a curable romantic 🙂

  18. kg says:

    Thinkling I’ve only read the first two chapters, but wow, I’m out of superlative adjectives. Incredible. I definitely got a littled misty eyed….I imagine the dialogue you provided would have more than sufficed had their time on the beach been stretched out into its own episode or a large part of one….And Schwartz & Fedak didn’t hire you because?

  19. Rob says:

    Another amazing chapter thinkling. Your story has officially assumed the identity of 5e14 in my mind.

  20. garnet says:

    Just a note to say GREAT JOB.. This story is coming along really well. Seven Chapters and I am anxiously awaiting the next. It is too bad that they overlooked you when hiring writers for CHUCK!

  21. when will be the most recent updateS?

    • atcDave says:

      Thinkling is working on the Epilogue at this moment! So the good news is, her story will be finished, and soon. Of course, the bad news is, her story will be finished, and soon…

  22. chapter two killed me! as well as the goldie locks and the three brunettes, read these bout 4 times

  23. phaseou812 says:

    Thank you so much Thinkling for your story . . . it was really a fun ride that I profoundly enjoyed. A while back, I started printing off the chapters for my 12 year old son to read which he enjoyed as well. When my 8 year old daughter found out, she decided to write her own story in a chapter format from an 8 year old perspective of what happened next on Chuck . . . that was priceless.
    Just now had a chance to get back to Chapter 12 to finish . . . but it was a very rewarding completion.

    Thinkling, thank you for all of the time, energy and work you have put into it . . . the story was very satisfying.

    Thanks Act Dave for announcing the story as I would have never ventured that way without you letting us know about it. Again it was an enjoyable experience.

    • atcDave says:

      I always love corrupting…errr, I mean encouraging people to explore fan fiction! There is so much fun there and its a fun way to further the Chuck experience. You know I’d recommend anything off my favorites list.

      But Thinkling’s finale is one of the very, very best. If you really liked it, I’d also recommend Quistie’s “Chuck vs The Sound of Music“. Obviously its sort of a mash up of Chuck and The Sound of Music; but it is a total blast to read and hits a similar emotional tone to Thinkling’s work.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks very much Phase. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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