Readers Digest Rewatch: Saving The Winterbottoms

So Many Storylines!

Chuck has a habit of telling more story in a very short span of time. It did exactly that during the last half of season 2 (at a world-class pace, actually), and does it again at the end of Season 4.

I struggle to recap it briefly. Chuck and Sarah are going to be married, but there’s a long road ahead. We already saw (in Chuck vs. The Wedding Planner Gary Cole as Sarah’s lovable but rapscallion father Jack Burton and Lisa LoCicero‘s great performance as Daphne Paralta (not to mention Yvonne’s equally brilliant impersonation). But there was one thing left hanging – two mentions of a mysterious Agent-X.

Whomever Agent-X is (and we all thought he might be Chuck), Vivian Volkoff wants him dead. That could pose a problem for the wedding.

The Bachelorette!

Well, there are bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, trips to Las Vegas Las Vecas and Reneaux Nevada, stolen and damaged laptops and much fun to be had in the first episode of our Winterbottoms arc, Chuck vs. Agent-X. But something terribly important happens too. Because of Ellie’s secret (she’s kept Orion’s laptop), Riley (played by Ray Wise) and Jasmine (India de Beaufort) nearly killed them all.

Even more important, Chuck realizes that his secrets have endangered them even more than Ellie’s. Chuck has, at Sarah’s urging, decided to tell Ellie the truth about him and the CIA.

Chuck: I know about dad’s laptop and his research. Mom told me.
Ellie: So why are we here? You’re still a spy!
Chuck: Wait! Wait! Wait a second. I had a whole speech and you just figured that out. You can’t figure that out by yourself!
Ellie: I think I just did.
Chuck: You just Rubic’s Cubed me, sis.
Ellie: Of course you still work for the CIA. Sarah is as spy. You’re clearly built for better things than the Buy More. [Chuckles]
Chuck: You’re not mad?
Ellie: I’m not mad that you did it. I’m mad that you didn’t tell me. I mean, I get it. It’s the same reason I kept dad’s computer a secret from you. [sighs] Us Bartowskis. When we’re good at something, we just jump right in. Don’t we? No more secrets, though.
Chuck: One more little secret.

One dishonored shirt later, Ellie knows Chuck is still the Intersect too. But for all that, I can’t help but think that the real significance of Chuck’s admissions to Ellie, is that she has now been able to choose a side. Instead of choosing a safe route, instead of choosing to be Chuck’s mother like she’s always been, Ellie chooses to let Chuck be who he is. That makes her part of Team B.

Oh, there’s so much more in this jammed packed episode. Chuck repairs Orion’s laptop (damaged in the fight with Jasmine), and comes across the same picture of a Somerset cottage that Ellie uncovered. But there’s more information in the Intersect, if only a first name – Hartley.

You can feed me!

Casey, Chuck and Sarah are off to Somerset, England to find the lovely Mrs. Winterbottom (played by Millicent Martin, who I must add, is also famous for her role of Daphie’s mum on Fraiser), resident of that cottage. She’s a woman after Casey’s own heart. Vivian’s henchmen and Riley follow TeamB to Somerset and fight a pitched battle, you remember. But they’re simply outgunned by Mrs. Winterbottom’s arsenal. Ya gotta love that!

In the fracas one artifact is uncovered. It is, of course, Hartley’s spy-will. We learn Mrs. Winterbottom’s son was a victim of the CIA, MI-6 and some pretty odd experiments that their scientists performed. Mrs. Winterbottom was asked to take sides, and in the memory of Hartley’s best friend, Stephen, she chose Chuck.

Hartley, Volkoff, Tuttle, X!

Finally, at the very end, we learn the identity of the mysterious Hartley. Agent-X is Alexei Volkoff. He was Stephen Bartowski’s best friend, scientist, victim, Intersect and father of Chuck’s deadly enemy. Is that a twist too far? I don’t think so. The great Timothy Dalton is able to carry off a role that also includes the name Tuttle.

Taking Sides

In Chuck vs. The Last Details Chuck and Sarah are taking a week off before the big day, enjoying a cozy bed in the morning light and wondering how to get over the last of the wedding jitters. What could go wrong?

Well, we all know the answer to that, and it isn’t that Morgan will end up hanging upside down from the roof, suspended by a string of twinkling lights. The real problem is that Mary Bartowski has taken another mission upon herself, one that includes cleaning up a bit of the mess left by Chuck and Sarah the last time they messed with Volkoff.

There’s this leftover weapon, you see, capable of killing with 100% accuracy from anywhere in the world, called the Norseman. Vivian’s got it and is, apparently, putting it up for sale to the highest bidder. Mary, however, gets herself captured in the jungles of South America, and Team B is sent off to rescue her.

Mary doesn’t like needing to be rescued, and Sarah doesn’t exactly appreciate the interruption of their week off, so things get a little tense. Even though Chuck has already defended Sarah’s honor by punching out a rather large guard who insulted her, Chuck has a harder time choosing sides between his mother and his soon-to-be wife.

Casey: Interesting choice, choosing your mom over your fiancée
Chuck: Oh, c’mon, man. I was just trying to make everyone feel… Wait a minute, wait, wait. Is that really how it looked?
Casey: Yeah. Just remember, Bartowski. Sarah is the one you’ll be sleeping next to at the end of every day. She’s the one you protect.

It’s good advice.

The Norseman proves elusive, though, so after rescuing Mary from Vivian, Team B find that they have to infiltrate Vivian’s auction in Moscow. With Morgan disguised as an Italian arms-dealer who shoots puppies, they succeed in exposing Vivian’s plan to kill the competition and keep the weapon. All this and Chuck has to prepare a wedding video too! In the process, Vivian learns that Chuck is the one who sent her father to prison; she has a chance to choose between Riley and Chuck, and chooses Riley. In her anger, Vivian’s decided to make Chuck pay for his deeds, and to do that, she strikes down – Sarah.

All Those Leftovers!

I don’t think the fans had any fear that Chuck and Sarah wouldn’t be married, much less that Sarah Walker would die in the final episode of Season 4. Chuck is not that kind of dark show. In fact, since it was possible that Chuck vs. The Cliffhanger would become the series finale, we all wondered only about the details of how Chuck would save Sarah and what seeds would be planted to lead us into Season 5.

Alternately, we worried about the plot lines that would be left open, never to be finished in the show was not renewed! Episode 4.24 had a lot to carry on its shoulders, especially since we wanted to see every moment of The Wedding ™. So how to do that? I know they are a television and storytelling cliché, but flash-backs work for me.

Sarah: Ahem. [Reading from a single page] “Chuck, you’re a gift. You’re a gift I never dreamed I could want or need and every day I will show you that you’re a gift that I deserve. You make me the best person I could ever hope to be and I want to spend, and learn, and love the rest of my life with you.” Talky?

Before

Not at all, Sarah. It’s perfect.

We’ve said so before, but this is not the Sarah Walker we saw in Season 1, especially not the character Chuck saw in his flashes. I recall on the boards how we used to routinely call this character an “Ice Queen”, and talk about how covered over she was. Yet somehow, the character we see now was always there, and we knew her too. We only saw the smile on occasion and made note of it every time.

After

I was more surprised than anybody when a whole new major character was introduced, Agent Clyde Decker (played by veteran actor Richard Burgi). This is no mere CIA agent, but the one they send to take out guys like the ones Casey was worried about at the end of Chuck vs. Agent-X. It takes him no time at all to neutralize (figuratively castrate?) Alexei Volkoff. In fact, he essentially does the same to Chuck, too. Decker promises to bury him.

The new Chuck’s calm response to Clyde Decker

No, I wasn’t anxious about that. For all the tension and pulse racing adventure in these final moments of the season, I really wasn’t worried that Chuck would find the antidote and that Sarah would survive. But what did take me by surprise, in hindsight, was how readily and how easily I accepted Chuck’s reaction to Decker’s taunts. He calmly and deliberately throws a chair through the monitor.

This is not the Chuck we met in the pilot. Not even close. He’s been transformed over the years, to something like the Chuck “we always knew he could be”, in Morgan’s words. Everyone, even Casey, knows it. Fact of the matter is, this is who I wanted Chuck to be, too.

So Many Russians!

After four years, there’s no denying the climax that’s coming. Chuck is not going to be denied by Vivian, or by Volkoff Industries, not by the CIA and certainly not by Clyde Decker. He’ll stand alone and offer his life to save Sarah, and he does just that before Vivian decides to choose a side, again. But it’s always worth remembering that, after four years, Chuck is simply not alone, ever.

Chuck. Not A Nerd-herder.

He has Hartley now, all his friends and family, The Cat Squad, Gen. Beckman and even the Russian Army helping. Chuck is not the guy behind the nerd-herd desk, phone cradled between shoulder and ear, saying “Vic-Vic Vicky Vale. Vicky Vale.” For him, Decker is unprepared.

Decker: You’re done!
Chuck: I quit. Now get out of my way.

Even after the commercial break, when the camera is focused on a church sign-board that says the funeral will be held at 3:00, they failed to surprise me. The only surprise was that TPTB gave us a figurative wink when the camera quickly (quickly!) panned down to reveal the wedding was at 4:00. For this show, it was perfect.

The Fortnight After The Day Before

As You Wiiiiissssshhhhhh……..

And so was the wedding. But I’ll let you revel in your own memories about that. I found Chuck’s return to the scene of the crime The Buy More to be much fun. He strolls in like nothing’s different but his wedding ring. Of course, it’s all different. He and Sarah are billionaires now (well, close to it, anyway), thanks to Hartley and Vivian, he owns the Buy More and the CIA no longer owns him. There’s opportunities all around and the promise of new adventures.

And there’s always danger lurking around the corner. Decker is still able to taunt him, leaving all these unanswered questions behind as he signs off “See ya never!” Of course there’s Morgan who still needs babysitting, especially since he suddenly knows Kung-Fu. It was satisfying and rather hopeful, because we were left to imagine that Chuck and Sarah were neither done with their spy-lives, nor quite started on their normal life together. Both, however, were still possible.

I’d like to apologize for the lateness of this post. I had profound nothing left to say, I think, except that this was not an ending for the head. It was an ending for the heart, and ultimately, I can’t help but think of it as both good and bad. It was a promise that, for Chuck and Sarah, there would be more of the same. And for four years, that had been a wonderful thing. All we had was a hope that it would continue.

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in No Spoilers, Re-watch, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

138 Responses to Readers Digest Rewatch: Saving The Winterbottoms

  1. Great summary, Joe.

    This final run of episodes had some great stuff and some not so great stuff.
    – The Norseman was too contrived. They could have designed something that made more sense. However, I like how they acknowledged it with Ellie’s questions about how the weapon made no sense.
    – I didn’t care for the motorcycle sequence, but I loved assertive!Chuck throwing the chair at the screen and Casey’s line during the break out from Castle was fantastic.
    – Mrs. Winterbottom was possibly my favorite character who was only in a half episode. That scene was so funny, I’m actually able to tolerate a Ke$ha song.
    – Ellie finally found out–much too late, but at least she found out. I liked her reaction. After four seasons, she had seen enough to accept it and not throw a fit. (That’s why she should have been told earlier.)
    – The shortness of the wedding never bothered me because the practice wedding was a perfect complement to what we saw. The only question was if the post-wedding reception was canceled because of the damage Jeffster might do.
    – I liked how they found a way to keep the Buy More relevant. It was part of the identity and look of the show to me, so creative ways to keep it were always welcome.

    Some of the things I liked above were not liked by others. I think the interesting thing is the show had “righted” itself enough by the end of season 4 that most of those issues are nitpicks and weren’t anywhere near the Chuckapocalypse level of problems.

  2. olddarth says:

    Detested how the show handled Ellie’s discovery of Chuck being a spy. 4 seasons of saddling her character with that nag stone and no compensation to show for it. Yuck.

    • OD, I liked that Ellie’s reaction was almost a non-event. I would have preferred if it were earlier. Just curious… Would you have minded if Ellie had the exact same reaction if the reveal was earlier? The two places that made sense (other than Anniversary) were when Mary was revealed as a spy and right after Clara was born.

      • olddarth says:

        I feel the show owed Ellie proper emotional catharsis regardless of when the reveal happened not just a shrug of the shoulders and a – oh well, it is what it is – nonreaction.

        The show made it a big part of Ellie’s character and then swept it under the rug. But it’s not surprising, the show set up many things, never to pay them off.

        If there was more to be attached to it, ie establishing a character trait/foible for Ellie, then the showrunners should have given Ellie a honest emotional arc of reaction to Chuck’s deception with the resultant payoff to work through.

        The non-payoff reveals Ellie’s opposition for the only purpose the showrunners had for it – creating false tension. For me, it turns that previous tension into a cheap trick and diminishes the Ellie character.

      • jam says:

        I didn’t like that Chuck went back to lying to Ellie right away in S4 opener, or the fact that it lasted so long…. but I thought her reaction was very much in character.

        When she first discovered Chuck was a spy in S3, Ellie had just witnessed her father getting murdered (and those times had been very stressful for her otherwise too), so emotionally demanding Chuck to quit was understandable (but unfair).

        In S4 the situation was different. Ellie is now a mother of baby Clara, her mother is back in their lives, and her brother is happily about to get married to a spy. I’m sure Ellie had thought a lot about what she had asked Chuck to give up and realized that it was an unfair thing to do. I find her non-reaction to be believable.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s pretty much how I saw it Jam. The initial idea of Ellie ordering Chuck to quit his job was offensive and ridiculous (even more so since Chuck initially complied). But it did make me laugh in the end that Chuck was worried about nothing, for many reasons, Ellie was now okay with it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think they probably wanted to preserve Ellie’s ignorance of Chuck’s re-entry and Chuck’s secrecy so they could make Ellie working on Orion’s computer feel a bit more dangerous, sort of like Justin at the end of season 3. If in either of those cases she’d known Chuck was a spy there’d be no reason for her to keep her activities a secret and thus little danger of her being drawn in or used against her family.

      • I thought about that, Ernie, but I think it would be just as plausible for Ellie to trust Chuck as a spy but be concerned about the danger Orion’s laptop posed. Maybe she would know he was still a spy, but not know Chuck had the Intersect. Or she would be like her dad, trying to figure out how to use the technology in the laptop to remove the Intersect to protect him from that thing Bryce put in his head. Maybe she wouldn’t know about the governor so she’s think the Intersect was dangerous. Another option would be to trust Chuck’s safety because of Sarah, but not trust the government. Keeping the laptop a secret would be to keep Chuck out of an ethical dilemma. All of those options would let Ellie sneak around with the laptop, but not have the secret come back. They also would require only minor tweaks to the story line.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I thought, considering how much of Chuck’s journey is him untying himself from the various apron strings that bind him, that Ellie’s overprotective nature (worse than even Sarah’s) combined with the emotional shock of seeing her father shot and her brother nearly assassinated was sufficient to have her extend the ultimatum, and for Chuck to initially at least acquiesce. The mom search I can see him keeping secret until he knows something, but I think at any time after her Costa Gravan baby-moon when she saw Chuck in action she’d have accepted the news. Chuck, for his part, is just as overprotective of Ellie, feeling she is a fragile flower who can’t handle the news that he’s a grown man and doesn’t need her to try to run his life for him, which as 5 job interviews demonstrate, she still habitually does. These are longstanding character flaws for both, so it was OK with me.

    • joe says:

      Actually, I rather liked it. It was sort of the way Ellie handled Chuck after The Suburbs, too. You remember, telling him if he’s not sure she’s “the one”, to move on, then changing her mind? This was exactly in character.

      Besides, Sarah L. can do very little wrong in my book. 😉 I saw her once in a 20 second (if that much), one line (maybe it was one hand motion?) part in Scrubs. That was enough for me to sit up and take notice of her.

      • aerox says:

        She was Lisa the Gift Shop girl and she appeared twice. Once when J.D. asked her out but then got terrified by the hospital and couldn’t actually perform any physical intimacy with her. The second time is when JD wonders where all the women went and Turk points out that he can’t see them because now most women wear wedding rings. JD then sees Lisa again and says that he thought she died and even sent flowers.

        *cough* yeah, I’ve watched waaaay too much of that show.

      • joe says:

        I’ll say, Aerox! 😉

        Yup – I remember “The Gift Shop Girl”, even if I didn’t remember Lisa. Thanks. She turned invisible (at least, to JD) when she put on her wedding ring. But like the Cheshire Cat, her smile remains!

  3. atcDave says:

    Thanks for this write up Joe. Such a fun series of episodes, still one of the highlights of the series for me. Of course that pretty much describes the whole season. But even when there isn’t much new to say, it’s so much fun to revisit!

  4. aerox says:

    Norseman was idiotic. If they were going for tension, let Sarah be shot with a bullet. Not a weapon ‘THATS THE DEADLIEST WEAPON MY DADDY EVER CREEAATUUUUDD AND HE DEVELOPED NUUUUCLEAAAAR WEEEAAPOOOONSSSSSS”. Because the fact that she survived makes that entire storyline bullshit. Either have the stones to kill her off (and lose most of your audience) or don’t imply your weapon is a 100% guaranteed death.

    I liked the rest of the season though 😉

    • The weapon had several problems:
      – 100% guaranteed death
      – DNA targeted
      – Was it nuclear or poison?
      – From anywhere in the world? How about from orbit? Or the moon?
      – Doesn’t poison require contact?

      The first one could be written off a hyperbole. With Hartley’s counteragents it was never 100% guaranteed. The 100% assertion was from lack of intel. The second is silly sci-fi technobabble that was necessary for Morgan’s undercover scene to work. That scene was funny enough I’ll let it pass. The third is sloppy research. I liked how Ellie acknowledged than the source of the Norseman’s power made no sense. It’s the kind of problem you see in old sci-fi show and stories a lot. (positronic brain anyone?)

      Normally issues like that are in all shows and have to be shrugged off. Computer hacking and infinite security camera zoom are the worst examples. However, the fourth and fifth were too much and could have been fixed. I wonder if they weren’t because of budget cuts. If the show had a slightly larger budget, they could have made the Norseman require line of sight like some kind of DNA targeted radiation gun. (Still unrealistic, but so is the Intersect). Then there could have been a chase scene with Casey going after Vivian. Vivian would escape, as all evil villains do. The staging of the car chase and maybe a helicopter escape would have been over budget. It probably would have been over time, too.

      Instead, the Norseman is a kill-anyone-with-magic device. It’s like something from Doctor Who.

      • atcDave says:

        I just thought it was funny.

        I remember an old war gaming exorcise to calculate a weapon’s “TLI” (or “theoretical lethality index”) that looked at things like reliability, rate of fire, ease of use… It just made me laugh at how poorly the Norseman would have scored (“hmmm, we need the victim’s DNA?!”)

      • Once you realize the Norseman is a Doctor Who device, it is a little funny. Chuck just needed a sonic screwdriver to make the glass holding the elixir of death explode.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I agree, The Norseman was a bit too hand-wavey, even for Chuck. Then again Hydra and a 20 year mission to recover it, and a secret underground lair in an Encino ranch house that remains apparently unoccupied for 20-ish years in an indeterminate state of ownership, and … well you get the point. Sometimes it’s best not to think too hard about these MacGuffins.

      • Well, at the very least that Encino ranch house should have had a good layer of dust in it.

      • Two words: Triangle Disks. The magnetic read window shows part of a disk which would be impossible to rotate without bending the space-time continuum. Then again, that’s how Chuck went back and forth to Volkoff Headquarters in Russian, so maybe that’s how the disks worked.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I had quite a laugh at the triangle disks. It was a brilliant bit of imagery for the story and to me a big laugh over how wrong TV and movies get the computer and tech stuff.

      • atcDave says:

        I really liked that it was comically wrong. I’m so used to shows like NCIS where they obviously just don’t know what they’re talking about, so it was funny to have a bit of meta humor of something impossibly stupid. Of course, it’s also a benifit of the genre for Chuck; the writers truly don’t have to know anything, anytime they’re ridiculously wrong it just looks like more humor… (like assuming a five year old computer automatically must have five year out of date virus definitions…)

  5. CaptMediocre says:

    I’ll give you that the Ellie reveal was “weak”, and not much effort was given to it (can you say Mauser). In a sense it’s the DYLM moment of S4 for Ellie. Sarah’s S3 issues were handwaved away in the same manner. It rings false because it is false. I must admit, however, that I was never a big fan of Ellie dictating to Chuck that he had to leave the spy life at the end of S3 in the first place.

    I always thought that the show did its drama rather well (the finale comes to mind). However the “results” of the drama were hardly ever paid-off with meaningful or insightful scenes / dialogue. They were left to too quick moments and the fans to figure out the rest (the finale comes to mind).

    ANY episode with Gary Cole is a favorite of mine. The dance and the piggy bank were nice touches.

    Mrs. Winterbottom is easily the highlight of the episodes you mention.

    The “Talky?” scene is easily one of the best scenes in the entire season. I melted. And I’m a guy!

    Decker as a baddy was excellent. S4 & S5. The conspiracy blew chunks, but most of us knew that the second Clyde brought it up at the end of Cliffhanger.

    The Norseman. Meh. I certainly didn’t buy into the danger. I think I would have bought into or believed it better if it was Casey or Alex at death’s door. Let’s just say that it would have been nice to have even one episode where both Chuck AND Sarah were BOTH trying to accomplish something TOGETHER, spywise, in order to get to or save the wedding (or the house with the picket fence). By the end of S4, one rescuing the other in BDHM’s had grown tiresome.

    The funeral fakeout was a complete waste of time. Chuck spent the entire episode trying to get Sarah to wake up and the pay-off was not shown for a 1 second gag that fell completely flat. The wedding and the flashback vows were excellent. But I must admit that I would have liked to see Casey walk Sarah down the aisle.

    BTW, we shouldn’t forget the most shocking moment of all of S4. The lip lock Ellie laid on Jeff. O_O

    • olddarth says:

      I detested what they did with Ellie over the course of the series too Cap. What irks me more though is setting something up and then not following through on it. It’s definitely a cousin moment to the Mauser Misfire.

  6. Hola Amigos –
    I had a little time this morning –
    thought I’d stop by for a quick visit…
    Happy [and impressed] that yall are still going strong!!!!

    I’ve tried to rewatch a couple times…
    [sadly in just a hap-hazard way- spin the wheel – start someplace – and watch a few ep.s]
    I’m struck with the impression – that somewhere along the way –
    [ after season 1] – the show became very destination driven…. where much of what we saw
    and learned – was meant to bring us someplace…
    too much time and effort was just getting us to a destination…
    ~ funny – for all the build up – I don’t know if it ever exceeded expectation…hmmmm.
    In contrast: season 1 seems very much “caught up in the moment.”…
    ~ I don’t know if that makes sense…. [?]

    I liked the agent X story… not as epic as the hunt for Orion –
    but miles above the first 1/2 of season 3.
    I think by this time – the show was back in full stride again… and very fun to watch.
    I always wonder what would have happened if the show had introduced
    Chuck’s mother – and Hartly Winterbottom earlier… and managed to integrate
    them more into the show….. alas – we’ll never know.

    Its been nice to stop by for another visit –
    until next time –
    Cheers!

  7. rkaz2012 says:

    The norseman, the beginning of season 3, and chuck vs the beefcake in my opinion were not the writers best ideas for the show.

  8. Johnny Boy says:

    Thanks Joe, for an insightful article and discussion, I can’t wait to watch those episodes again. It’s always so much fun to enjoy and of course to discuss also.

    “Sarah: “Chuck, you’re a gift. You’re a gift I never dreamed I could want or need… “
    This first line from Sarah’s vows is exactly how I feel about this great show! Chuck is a gift to each and everyone who was willing to tune in and take a chance on this show. I started watching from the first episode, because of the promos for this new show, Chuck. When it all started I did not know that it was a “gift I never dreamed I could want or need”, but that is what is became, even through the rough times after the end of season 2, and the end of season 5 I still love the show.

    I will admit I lost hope during season 3 (don’t want to get that ball rolling again), and quit watching, then I assumed the show was cancelled. After I rediscovered it on the internet I kind of felt a little guilty for giving up on the show when I did, but I’m in Canada, so my viewer ship is not part of the ratings, but still I’m ashamed of how I had forgotten how awesome this show really was. It only took me the first few minutes of the pilot to remember the Magic of Chuck (just like it was the first time). Since then I have watched all the episodes starting mid march of 2012 and I haven’t been able to stop watching them again and again and again.

    I have seen every episode (most several times, except for the last few episodes of season 5, just cannot go there yet, sorry) I just watched season 4 episodes 17 thru 20 last night, and they just as entertaining and enjoyable as the first time. I’m glad that we all got to go along for the ride for these 5 seasons. Chuck reaches me on a level that no other show ever did, or is likely to again. I’m not an eloquent enough of a schnook to put it into words, but all of us here already knows the impact that chuck has had on all of us, and you have explained it far better than I could, so I’ll leave it at that. I like so many other fans are truly sad to see it go

    It’s tough to pick a favorite episode out of all the great ones with a show like this, but I guess Bartowkski’s made me a little soft too, because I really love the Last Details, it’s definitely one of my favorites. I mean there’s so much to like, you have the great scene where Sarah reads her vows, and then in the hospital with Tuttle in near tears, (I mean this guy was James Bond; the toughest spy in the world for goodness sake and Charah even got to him, lol), and many other moments, I don’t think personally there is one scene in this episode. that I don’t like. As with all episodes they have a great balance of comedy, action, romance, and drama it all works.

    Chuck was also a gift to the show’s creators and to NBC. Albeit one that for some reason never reached it’s full potential, but at least we did get 5 seasons to enjoy and I for one am very glad for that. It was and is much more than I expected and it lives on in our hearts as the little show with a huge HEART!

    Thanks to all the folks on this site who share the enthusiasm and carry on the heart and truth of Chuck that this show brought to us all with each episode. Also thanks for helping all of us ( well at least me) get over the series finale, or at least attempting to come to terms with it. I’m sure that it will get better on a second viewing, If I ever summon up the courage to watch it again, but maybe someday,

    • joe says:

      Oh, you’re plenty articulate, Johnny, and thanks for that. You’ve put to words exactly what I’ve tried to say many times – I find something new or something fun to remember each time I re-watch. It’s always a pleasure that verges on private joy.

      I’m just now starting S5 (yes, I put it off until I could watch all the others in order). And right away I’m noticing the same thing. So many great scenes and great lines, little ones and big ones. They play better the second time around.

      There’s something different about Chuck. Too many shows try to be profound and fail, especially in Sci-Fi. Many others avoid that trap only to become formulaic and trite, like standard cop-shows, or manipulative, like bad dramas. Chuck avoided that, somehow, while staying kind, the way a friend would. We wanted to see a love story, and we got a great one. We wanted some adventure, and we got it. Humor? In spades.

      All in all, a job well done.

      Thanks for chiming in, Johnny.

      • Johnny Boy says:

        Thanks for your warm welcome Joe!
        it’s greatly appreciated.
        As you mentioned Chuck does have alot going on and it really delivers a great and enteraining experience each and every time through the show. It’s awesome how all the aspects that make Chuck such a great show really all come together.

        IMO to truly appreciate the show it is best to watch it stright through from the first to last episode. Chuck has so much going on in each ep. that there’s too much to miss when I try to pick one ep or start somewhere in the middle.

        I just finished the last few episodes of season 4 last night, and am now cautiously approaching season 5, and I’m sure it will be better with each sucessive viewing, at least i hope it will.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for your input Johnny! Really excellent first comment, and we always appreciate hearing from another Chuck fan. It sure was something special, and it does still hold up well on rewatch. (BTW, I actually like the finale arc better now than I did when it first ran; so don’t be scared of it!)

      • Johnny Boy says:

        Thanks atcDave!
        I’m glad to have found this site. I have read through many of the previous posts and article on Chuck, and I cannot get enough of this show, either watching the episodes again or just reading about it, or discussing it with other fans of this wonderful show.

        I truly appreciate all the comments on this site, and also your encouragement of the final arc, I’m still a bit hesitant (just can’t get my head around then ending of the Bullet Train, but that’s a whole other story). But I’m sure in the next little while I’ll be brave enought to give it a re-watch.

  9. Sam Carter says:

    Like I’ve said before, season 4 is unwatchable for me (save a very few parts). It was so predictable, bland and full of plot holes. Hated how Chuck became charicature of himself, the Chuck/Sarah romance was cringeworthy overall, the Mama B. story made no sense (same with Volkoff) but the worst thing they did was the Agent X retcon. I still can’t believe some fans can accept it. I guess as long as Chuck and Sarah are mostly happy together anything else doesn’t really matter. To each their own.

    • jam says:

      Don’t hold back, do you have any more condescending garbage to offer?

      • Delwin says:

        Mama B. Story may make perfect sense:
        – real AV meets HW at science conference and they laugh about being the “twins”;
        – the next day real AV dies in the “accident” (or accident) and CIA/MI6 finds “fantastic” idea to penetrate Soviet science-military complex (nuclear physicist and engineering) byt the “twin”;
        – the problem is that HW is perfect match as the scientist but not as a spy: he asks his friends (Mama B and Papa B) to help. Intersect is plugged in (SB is reluctant but Mary insists – she is a spy and believes the intersect to be the only chance for Hartley to survive)
        – few months later the handler of Hartley is found dead and the Hartley/Volkoff disappears;
        – he reemerges after the end of SU: situation is unclear (CIA wants to get him down) but Mary insists to go and try to bring him back. Stephen is against but she feels guilty as she was the one who actually helped him to go and convinced Stephen to use Intersect – she meets Volkoff and realizes that he is no longer H. Winterbottom, he does not recognise her but he has some strange weakness for her (maybe “mutated” crush from the past?). She is afraid to leave as she thinks that he may finally recognise her as person from the past and then go after her family.

        Makes some sense?

      • atcDave says:

        That’s a fun spec Delwin, especially the “mutated” part!

    • atcDave says:

      You know Sam you’re always welcome to not like any particular part of the show and tell us all why, but you pretty consistently manage to insult those of us who do like it every time you speak up. This blog is likely to be around for a long time to come, and our purpose here is to have fun with the show and enjoy the company of other fans who feel likewise; even when we are complaining about a particular detail. I think we’d all be happier if you found another site that was more about trashing on Chuck than coming to one where we’d rather have fun with it. You’d probably be happier too finding like minded curmudgeons. Unless of course, you just prefer being insulting and mean.

      As far as what the rest of us do like about the show, I think it’s pretty clear we celebrate everything from friendship/family themes, to wild stunts and comedy, to insane over-the-top sort of villains. And for a number of us, Chuck and Sarah being in a happy spot together is an essential part of that equation. You never have to like the same things or mix of things, but there is never any grounds for insulting those of us who do like that.

  10. Sam Carter says:

    I don’t think I’ve been mean. I’m just calling it like I see it. Dave, you yoursefl and said that you watch for Chuck and Sarah and if they’re not happy together you can’t really handle it or something like that, right? Truth hurts sometimes.

    • Sam Carter says:

      Oh and you say it’s not cool to make some people feel bad about certain elements they prefer about the show. OK, but I pretty consistently see how most of you are OK when others trash other parts of the show, including actors. So as long as you agree with it is ok? Sounds to me like double standards.

      • atcDave says:

        Sam there are few if any regular commenters here who consistently offer negative comments or trash on other fans with the consistency you do. You accuse some of us of being one issue fans, and yet I’m the one who is mostly happy with 80 out of 91 episodes of the show.
        Of course we criticize specific issues of writing, production and performance on the show. Sometimes opinions become heated and passionate. But the fact remains, most visitors to this site express their love for this show regularly. That’s really what we’re here for. I don’t even visit sites for shows that I have mostly negative things to say (and of course, I don’t watch shows I have mostly negative feelings for either!). If you can’t participate here more joyfully please reconsider your surfing habits.

    • atcDave says:

      Comments like “I still can’t believe some fans can accept it” can only be interpreted as mean. And you casually dismiss comments about things we actually do like (I thought the Agent X reveal was an exciting and fun moment) by saying it must just be because we were happy about Charah.
      Our analysis has never been so simple. If you actually took the time to read this site you would know myself, and many other ‘shippers, found plenty to praise about even S3, and plenty to complain about in S4 and S5. You are taking our satisfaction or complaints with one aspect of the show, no matter how big that aspect might be, grossly out of context. Even if I do consider it the single most important issue to my enjoyment, I have never considered it the only issue to my love for this show. And I’d point out, many of us loved this show right from the Pilot, long before we had any clue how big or small a thing the central romance would ever be; or even more to the point, long before we had any clue how much we’d come to care about it.

      And for all that, the strangest thing to me is that your comments are always complaints or jabs at fellow fans. We are here, we do this blog, we write these posts, and respond to other fans, because of the joy this show and these characters brought us. Some of that also involves criticism and critique; but Sam, every comment we ever see from you is either complaining or taking jabs at other fans. It’s almost comical how surely we can count on a hostile attitude from you. Are you really so unhappy? Or do we earn a special level of grumpiness from you?

      • Sam Carter says:

        “If you actually took the time to read this site you would know myself, and many other ‘shippers, found plenty to praise about even S3, and plenty to complain about in S4 and S5. You are taking our satisfaction or complaints with one aspect of the show, no matter how big that aspect might be, grossly out of context. ”

        I’ve read a lot of what you all have to say, good or bad, I just don’t agree with some of it or it simply doesn’t make sense to me. So no my comments are not grossly out of context at all.

        “every comment we ever see from you is either complaining or taking jabs at other fans.”

        Every comment? Now you’re just exagerating, seriously. Actually, I see you a lot of the tiime just complaining and whining how awful season 3 was. Like. all. the. time. Why so negative if you love the show so much? And I”m a pretty happy person most of the time, I just see A LOT of double standards on this site and enjoy pointing it out here and there. I guess it entertains me. I actually don’t take all of this THAT seriously unlike some.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’m sure I’m the only one here using hyperbole…

        And if my comments just don’t make sense to you I really am happy to explain.

      • joe says:

        Sam, don’t ask me how I feel about this. It should be obvious.

        I’m with Dave and Ernie all the way.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Sam, I’m not sure why this is so tough for people, but I’ll take another stab at it.

      We don’t mind when people are critical of the show or certain aspects of it, or the direction or artistic merits, but we have continually asked that a certain line not be crossed. Don’t state or preferably even imply that those not sharing your views or tastes are of lesser intelligence or lack sophistication in their tastes in entertainment. That personalizes the arguments in a way we seek to avoid.

      We don’t mind criticism of TPTB or the show as long as you stick to criticism of the work and their decisions or influence, but again we have a line we have asked commenters not cross. Don’t question the morals, motives, or character of any of them. We are not privy to their inner thoughts, let’s not pretend we are. And it’s just rude. If you wouldn’t say it to their face it doesn’t belong here.

      It is entirely possible to criticize work without criticizing the character and motives of the author. Nearly everyone on this board manages to do so almost all the time. It is entirely possible to express disappointment in the direction or the emphasis of the show without portraying those who enjoy those things as unimaginative or lacking taste, and again, nearly everyone on this board manages.

      When there are, as you mentioned, transgressions where people start to cross those lines our inclination is to ask for self-moderation. We do however have the option of deleting comments. We prefer not to. So when there are critical statements that we feel aren’t appropriate you’ll usually see a statement from one of us principals putting out a statement like this.

      That said, I don’t think your comment or your comments in general are anywhere near the worst we’ve seen, but it did strongly imply the “as long as Chuck and Sarah are together the stupid shippers will swallow anything TPTB feed them” meme that has set off so many fruitful discussions here (that was sarcasm).

      Tone is a tough thing to judge with the written word alone to go by, so it is possible to over-react in some cases. Our policy is that everyone should write gently and read generously. Being ready to clarify or apologize for even unintended slights doesn’t hurt.

      • Sam Carter says:

        Ernie, all of that sounds so great, BUT it doesn’t really happen here, really. But ok, it’s your blog so you get the last word.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Ernie, all of that sounds so great, BUT it doesn’t really happen here, really.

        I know, a few people regularly cross those lines and we regularly ask them not to, only to be told we’re employing a double standard or engaging in censorship. It’s endlessly frustrating for many of us.

  11. YozaWB7C says:

    On a much,much lighter note,I agree Mrs.Winterbottom was a wonderful creation superbly portrayed by the multi-talented Millicent Martin.For those of you unfamiliar with british television in
    the Sixties,she was a singer and actress on the satirical show-“That was the week that was”-which spurned a host of the most famous comic talents in the UK over the next 50 years,including John Cleese and others from the Monty Python team.She would also,therefore,be perfect for “Chuck-The Musical”!!!

    • On that note (ba-dum ching): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvAqDtmh4nw
      At the 1 minute mark is about the musical season that fell through. It was a bigger let down than the conspiracy (which I was just as happy to see fizzle). It’s all Zac’s fault.

      • atcDave says:

        I hadn’t seen that interview before, it was really very funny. I like when they’re all involved and having fun like that. And I’m really glad they didn’t go the musical episode route!

      • We got Jeffster! performances. I would have liked a scene where Chuck, Sarah, Morgan, and/or Casey was required to sing for a cover. I can think of ST:DS9, Highlander, Alias and Lois & Clark episodes like that, all which worked well. Maybe a short musical bit in one of Chuck’s Phase 3 dreams would have worked. (The dreams were my least favorite part of the Phase 3.) But I’m also glad there wasn’t a full musical episode.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s a little different than a full musical episode, but yeah, I would have liked that fine.

        Hmmm, I’m mostly neutral towards the dreams, but I sure did love the last one! That dual performance was an awesome moment to me!

      • The opening dream was funny. The end of the last dream was sweet, except for the box they had Yvonne step on.

        The Buy More screens and glass breaking were too weird. Ellie’s phone call broke up the rhythm of Sarah’s fight scene. I would have loved to see an edit where the two scenes were separate. That dream also caused an outcry of people who wanted Chuck to break himself out instead of relying on Sarah. Part of me wishes Chuck was in that episode less. It would have made the search feel more desperate because we wouldn’t know where Chuck was either. It also would have made sense to give ZL more time off to prep for directing the next episode.

        A lot of that is nitpicking, because I loved the episode. However those issues put it clearly below Honeymooners, Colonel, Ring, the pilot, and Baby for me.

  12. uplink2 says:

    Well I have made it known here that Season 4 is my favorite because of two main reasons. To me the fun was back in the show and season 4 was the season of Sarah Walker culminating with the birth of Sarah Bartowski. Sure there were huge plot holes. There have always been plot holes in the show. And yes the got much worse from season 3 on. But as always it goes back to the adage that if you are enjoying the story they are telling, the plot holes are less bothersome. Overall I loved the story they were telling, even though the Mary story had so much missed potential, the other stories were great. This arc brought me the return of my favorite guest star Gary Cole. And Wedding Planner is a top 5 episode from season 4 for me.

    My only issue with this arc was the way it ended. I’ve made no bones about how much I disliked the idea of Morgansect. Plus now knowing the logic of why they did it, setting up the memory loss arc, I’m still not interested or impressed. If we never got a season 5 and the series ended on “Guys I know Kung Fu” at the time I would have been horrified. But lord knows what we ended up with in the season 5 finale is probably a lot worse.

    BTW, finally been watching Firefly on Netflix. Damn what a good show and the ties to Chuck are numerous. I will say at least we Chuck fans got the see the culmination of what attracted me to the show, the Chuck/Sarah romance and Yvonne’s incredible talent and beauty, where the Firefly fans, at least at the point I’m at in my watching ep 13, never did. No resolution to the Mal/Inara WTWT. So we can be very thankful we did get to see the wedding many of us longed for from the beginning.

    • atcDave says:

      Watch Serenity Uplink! Mal/Inara do get some resolution. But it’s still a darn shame that show ended way too soon.

      • Some resolution? Spoken like someone who thought everything was resolved with Charah after Colonel and Ring. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jeff, that would be me…

        But you really can’t expect much more than that from a (non-romantic) movie. Especially given how strained things were between them at the start, the fact she wanted to stick around in the end seemed fairly big to me! I would tend to expect the best from there.

        Were you expecting a wedding as the credits rolled? (!). Kidding, really!

      • I wasn’t expecting anything, as I saw Serenity before Firefly. I actually liked how Serenity left Mal/Inara. Anything more would have been too fast or artificial, but I definitely wouldn’t call it resolved.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay, resolved is not a great word. But it was far more hopeful than how the series ended.

      • ‘Hopeful’ is appropriate. I like that. Kind of like the end of Colonel, before Bryce came back. Or the ends of Three Words and Angel of Death, before they were hijacked in First Class and poisoned in Mask.

        Fortunately, Serenity didn’t have a FC or Mask to destroy the hope.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah they’re saving that for the next movie…

        Firefly is a darker universe, and ugly things can be expected to happen more often. But I do think comparing the end of Serenity to the end of Three Words, Angel of Death, or Operation Awesome is apt. Those were dark times for Chuck, yet all three ended on a (false) hopeful note. If no new content had been made, I would have naturally assumed a positive outcome from those points.

      • BigKev67 says:

        With the best will in the world I just can’t see a movie happening. Syndication was the last chance WB had to recoup some real money with the show, and without that, I think slim chance becomes no chance.
        But as long as we’re speculating…..
        I’m squarely with OD on this one. The ending left Sarah damaged, with shredded memories, and I’d want to see a movie weave a story of Sarah recovering those memories in and around whatever else was going on. I can’t see Fedak ever writing that, so for that reason alone I’d prefer him to stay well away from any movie. Out of the other writers I’d bring back Matt Miller teamed up with LeJudkins to do it.

    • Have you seen the Serenity movie yet? (I saw it before Firefly). While I like Serenity and the Farscape Peacekeeper Wars miniseries, they both have a problem that makes part of me not want to see a Chuck movie. It’s not the National Treasure 2/Zorro 2 problem, which is more like Prague. It’s the other one, which I won’t say for spoiler reasons.

      I tried reading some Firefly fanfic, and it looks like a lot of authors ignore a couple important points of the movie. It’s sort of like people would want to ignore Sarah’s amnesia, although it’s the opposite of Prague or the Red Test, which a lot Chuck angst authors seem to make worse than it was even in the show.

      • atcDave says:

        Since when have we ever worried about spoilers here…

        Sorry, I’m trying to figure out what you mean Jeff. Obviously National Treasure 2 and Zorro 2 are horrible examples of how to handle a sequel. It would be funny if it wasn’t so maddening. They might as well post a disclaimer “we have no idea how to write an adult relationship, so we’re just hitting the reset button.”
        Is it how Serenity started with much of the crew scattered? We never actually saw the fallout from “Heart of Gold”, but the movie started after “it” had happened. So it was “Prague-like” in a way. I don’t remember anything big that was ignored from the series, beyond the fact River seemed worse than ever.

        It’s been a while since I’ve watched either. I also saw Serenity first.

      • ****spoiler for uplink, because he might be watching Serenity any day now****

        I didn’t mean the movie ignored the series. I meant the few Firefly fanfics I’ve read ignore what happened to Wash and Bishop. Instead of setting the story mid-series when they are alive, they set the story post-Serenity (the movie, not the pilot), but have Wash and Bishop still part of the crew.

        Farscape’s miniseries did the same thing to D’argo and Jool. If there is a Chuck movie, I worried either they do the relationship reset like NT2 or Z2 (which contradicts what I’ve inferred from the ending and what TPTB have said in interviews), or at least one of Morgan, Casey, Ellie, and Devon might be killed. If one of them had other commitments and couldn’t be in the movie, they might off them pre-movie as a way to pull Chuck and Sarah back into the spy world. Mary and Beckman are other potentials. They killed off Orion. That’s past the limit of what I care to see in Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        Ahhh yes, I do understand. Yeah that’s all certainly among the reasons I have reservations about a Chuck movie. I’m quite sure at this point that Zach and Yvonne understand what most fans would consider an acceptable movie story-line, but I have no such confidence about any of the former writers. I do sort of hope, if a later Chuck project ever gets made that Zach is the executive producer (well, I think I hope that). But I have also seen so many shows and movies where characters are killed off because of the actor’s availability. I would consider almost any regular cast deaths to be unacceptable at this point, and would hope anyone’s unavailability would simply mean the character wasn’t present for the story. Obviously, I also consider Zach and Yvonne to be required, if either of them is unavailable the project simply shouldn’t go forward.

        So yeah, I agree entirely, that is a MAJOR concern of mine if a later Chuck movie is ever made.

      • jam says:

        “If there is a Chuck movie, I worried either they do the relationship reset like NT2 or Z2 (which contradicts what I’ve inferred from the ending and what TPTB have said in interviews), or at least one of Morgan, Casey, Ellie, and Devon might be killed.”

        if there’s ever a Chuck movie, I’m almost certain Fedak will ignore the hopeful ending and everything he has said, and the movie will start from a very unhappy place for the Chuck/Sarah relationship. I think he’s demonstrated that he prefers tension and artificially generated angst over more realistic character development.

      • joe says:

        Jam, I’m not sure about that. I was just thinking today that, the very existence of a movie (should one ever happen) means that Chuck and Sarah are still together. Otherwise, there simply is no movie.

        I guess it’s possible that they could construct a story where Sarah leaves the beach and Chuck, and after, oh, five years or so, circumstances bring them back together for a mission, but that seems unlikely (and miserable). After all, Chuck was never about the missions. It was about the romance; about boy meets girl.

        But pretty much, a movie, no matter what the story line, means that one way or another, the canon is that they got over the difficulties implied by Sarah’s loss of memory. Doesn’t it?

        Added: Sorry. I didn’t really address your point, Jam! I meant to say that, yes, they could start with Chuck and Sarah in a “bad place” in some sense, but not a major way. Unless we imagine that Sarah leaves Chuck after the beach (which I contend isn’t ever going to happen in that universe) then any other place for them isn’t all that bad by comparison. It would mean that they have moved forward from where we left them.

      • jam says:

        “But pretty much, a movie, no matter what the story line, means that one way or another, the canon is that they got over the difficulties implied by Sarah’s loss of memory. Doesn’t it?”

        Sadly I don’t share your optimism, Joe. Fedak would probably consider your “after, oh, five years or so, circumstances bring them back together for a mission” scenario brilliant writing.

      • No need to personalize it by questioning Fedak motives (Didn’t Ernie say something about that?). Any other writer is just as likely or more likely to take the movie to a bad place. A new writer wouldn’t care about what Fedak said about the ending. Look at how many fanfic writers have Sarah leave Chuck after the beach. It’s an easy place to go. TV writers as a group have a bad track record with WT/WT. Most TV writers don’t have the couple get together 43 episodes before the end of the show because they don’t know how to do it. Instead they keep the WT/WT game going even longer. They think the audience wants it.

        While the Chuck writers might have done some dubious things in season 3, many of those writers left. Fedak could change his mind, but the last thing he said sounds like Chuck and Sarah stay together, which I’ll believe until I hear otherwise. My only reservation about Fedak is the movie would be too plot driven and plot dense.

        ZL is not a writer, but his joking with JG and AB about Chuck, Morgan, or Casey dying doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. My writer preference would be LeJudkins.

      • jam says:

        I mentioned Fedak since if there’s a movie, he would most likely be heavily involved with it, no?

        I agree that Chuck got rid of the wt/wt relatively early, but that’s because the show was constantly under a threat of cancellation.

      • joe says:

        Yeah, any writer is going to have to find tension somewhere. That’s the core of any story. Of course, in a potential Chuck movie, there’s going to be some bit of tension between Chuck and Sarah, no matter who writes it. The only question is how much, and the form it takes.

        I’ve been noticing how little romantic tension existed in the show, starting with the last half of season 3, after The Other Guy. Really, there was no romantic tension (well, some between Morgan and Alex), just dramatic tension for almost two and a half seasons. Rather amazing, that.

        It was almost like I was expecting “the other shoe” to drop for C&S somehow. I think I’ve been set up for that by everything else on TV.

        I was watching Royal Pains tonight. I think I’m disappointed, because they seemed to have written out the only romantic interest they had for Hank. It’s like they’re confirming no one knows how to write couples in television any more.

        I hope I’m wrong. I’m glad that they got Leonard and Penny back together in TBBT, even if I think their separation was an unnecessary diversion. Perhaps they’re doing that with Hank and Jill.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree with Jeff that LeJudkins would be my absolute first choice for writing a Chuck movie.
        And as others have commented, I have concerns with whatever direction they go. I suggested Zach as executive producer for two reasons; first, in the aftermath of the series I think he understands the fans reasonably well (although I also have concerns about his “death” wish, and his talk about wt/wt extending the very end of the finale as if it was a “good” thing), and second because he seems to have the drive and desire to get it done.
        Apart from whatever I think of Fedak, his post series comments would seem to indicate he does not want to do any future Chuck projects.
        Which leads to the replacement discussion. As Jeff has pointed out before, a new writer brings with it certain risk no matter what. The formula of what made Chuck great is far more than just Charah. So how much of the show’s humor, or creative action sequences, or quirky cultural references would disappear with a different writer. The only possible answer is, we don’t know.
        I know I prefer the idea of a writer who at least knows the show and characters. LeJudkins’ episodes were consistently my favorites so they get my first vote.

        I have noticed that many fan fiction writers choose the more angst filled “Sarah leaves” launching point for their post series stories. I don’t believe its defensible based on what we saw on screen. But it is a concern if we ever see new Chuck content.

      • Thank goodness the other show didn’t drop for C&S after Other Guy. Even the memory loss was an externally caused problem. Neither gave up and decided their relationship was not worth the effort.

        I could see tension by bringing back and old enemy like Vincent. Shaw’s been done and wouldn’t be welcome by many, but would still work. Hartley or Mary could be in trouble and need help. Chuck and Sarah could be in Chicago visiting the Woodcombs when something happens at the hospital. Beckman could be framed with a corruption or treason charge, requiring her old team to clear her name. Jeffster! could accidentally come across some dangerous world-threatening intel will touring. Meanwhile, Charah could be back in the serious baby discussion phase.

        The only good thing about TBBT’s separation was Raj’s sister representing Leonard as his lawyer to challenge the roommate agreement. The rest of that time was a waste. Leonard might as well have worked at a different university for a year. I guess that’s why the show reminds me of Friends. Leonard and Penny are Ross/Rachel. They won’t get together for good until the last episode. Howard/Bernadette are Chandler/Monica with the mid-series wedding. Sheldon/Amy are anti-Joey and anti-Phoebe, except they have a weird ‘relationship’.

        The WT/WT for Jank has been uninspiring. It almost seems like they flip that switch whenever they need to fill time in a couple of episodes, which is too bad because they have some chemistry. The Dr. MacGyver thing can be fun occasionally, but I don’t care about the business rivalry between Evan and Hank. The show’s losing my interest.

        I haven’t read anything, but Jill Flint also has a recurring guest star role on The Good Wife. If they are looking into expanding that role, I would expect network TV to pay more than cable, so maybe that’s a way to make her role on Royal Pains only require a guest star level of commitment.

      • joe says:

        Ah, I’m not expressing myself well tonight, but you understood what I meant, Jeff.

        I think those are great ideas for a screenplay. Vincent would be a good baddie to have back. So would Lazslo Mahnovski (Jonathan Sadowski) from Sandworm. I’d love it if they ended it with Sarah announcing a pregnancy, but of course, that’s how I was hoping S5 would end.

        Heh. I agree with you about Pryah, too. That was a great bit, having her represent Lenny in the to-do about the roommate agreement. That show really has a chance to avoid the Friends trap if they actually keep Lenny&Penny together. But then, the need to write good scripts for a couple, exactly what TV seems unable to do (with Chuck and Sarah being the notable exception, I will always contend). I give it a 50-50 chance.

        Hank and Jill do have chemistry, which is something for a show that’s so understated and calm. Heh. Royal Pains is like House without all the drama.

      • olddarth says:

        I’d much prefer new talent brought in to write a Chuck movie. Some of the FarScapes writers would be a good or – ultimate fanboy wish here – Joss Whedon.

        Any of them would be able to properly balance the comedic and dramatic aspects that a Chuck story.

        And mayhap pull off a reunification of the Chuck fandom in the process! 😀

      • I think Joss Whedon is the most likely writer to kill off people. He’s too bid for Chuck now. Farscape episodes always got better for me after the first viewing (especially Scratch ‘N Sniff, which I used to hate but now love). I’m not sure Chuck viewers are patient enough for that. In general, Farscape writers might have trouble learning the Chuck universe, but they would have no problem dropping in the pop culture references. In fact, they’d have to tone it down for Chuck.

        I do see a missed opportunity. If Ben Browder had been cast as Nicholas Quinn, he would have not been so underutilized, and he would have had several episodes to get familiar with the Chuck universe. Browder wrote two of the funniest Farscape episodes (Green Eyed Monster and John Quixote) and one of the funniest Stargate SG-1s (Bad Guys).

      • garnet says:

        Well, here’s an out there speculation. Perhaps Sarah was already pregnant on the beach. We know they had a “scare” and also that they appeared to have been “practicing” on the Bullet Train. It is possible that she is pregnant, and if so, I wonder what effert the Intersect and torture might have on their child.

      • I meant to say Whedon is too biG now. As a follow-up, he has a reputation: 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0vm5sdBSU1qf47uto1_r1_1280.jpg
        Personally, I don’t want to see Morgan, Alex, Casey, or the Woodcombs go the way of Agent Phil Coulson. I also think he has no experience writing a couple in a committed relationship. Mabye Zoë and Wash, but look what he did to Wash. His stories are very entertaining, but in a way that is not Chuck-like.

      • Johnny Boy says:

        Chuck movie, as long as it’s still “our Chuck” would be a welcome addition to an already awesome adventure.
        IMHO I wonder if anyone would want to take on this project given that the fans of Chuck are loyal and dedicated to the show, and have not failed in the past to voice their dislike over production decisions during and after the series was on air.
        I really hope it does not, but this may cause a reduction of available talent that is willing to consider taking on this project.

      • jam says:

        I love Whedon but I don’t want him anywhere near Chuck, because I also like happy endings.

        With Whedon writing things would certainly end up tragically for Chuck and Sarah, and a couple of other characters would either lose their lives or get horribly maimed.

      • Johnny Boy says:

        Exactly my thoughts, the integrity of the show (Chuck and Sarah) has to remain or it just would not be worth it, at least not to me. I for one love the show, and always have, but I watch it to see the light hearted, fun, and happiness and joy that it brings to me. Anything less that what we’ve come to love about Chuck would just ruin it, at least for myself.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah there’s no way I would want Whedon involved, but he is way too biG anyway. No real risk of it ever being an issue.
        I would expect a most satisfying result from someone previously on the Chuck staff. But in the end, there is no sure way to garuntee a great result. I mean, story tellers have been spinning tales since the dawn of humanity, and there simply is no sure formula for success. So in a way, the bare minimum happy ending we got is a strong reason for me kind of hoping they leave it alone. We got an ending I can live with, there are no garuntees if we get a movie.

        But don’t get me wrong, I’d be just crazy excited if it ever happened!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d like to see Brian Fuller take on a Chuck project, since we seem to be ruling out Chris Fedak, (who only, you know, created the show and wrote or co-wrote the pilot, Helicopter, Nemesis, First Date, Predator, Ring, Other Guy, Subway/Ring 2, Seduction Impossible and Cliffhanger among others…not that I’m bitter… ). Fuller has worked on a ton of series that balanced the dramatic with the comedy, plus a dose of romance handled well. In fact he created three, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and Dead Like Me. He got into TV writing, oddly enough, practically through fanfic. He submitted stories for DS9 and was eventually hired full time. He’s got the nerd-cred and the talent, and could probably attract some backing with his track record. Unfortunately he’s doing Hannibal, so not available.

      • olddarth says:

        I believe Whedon would be fully capable of writing a ‘happy’ ending for Chuck and Sarah.
        As I posted earlier, its my ultimate dream scenario but it also will never happen.

        As to how to start the movie – and taking into account Fedak’s intent for the the series’s finale – an approach that would appeal most to me is where the movie starts with Chuck and Sarah together. But that togetherness is based mainly on what has transpired between the end of series and the movie. Sarah and Chuck have fallen in love again despite Sarah only regaining fragmentary memories or an overall happy impression of those previous years.

        Then over the course of the movie, either gradually or all at once, Sarah regains all her memories!

        That is a moment I would love to see played out on the screen. Her joy at regaining her memories and incorporating them with what has transpired since then would be a wonder to behold.

        It would be a wonderful moment of catharsis for the characters and the fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Fedak has specifically talked of “passing the torch”. It proves nothing, but would seem to suggest he’s leaving any future Chuck to other writers.
        And for the record, although many Fedak episodes were very good or even outstanding; Cliffhanger was his only attempt at an ending that I actually would have been completely happy with.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I have no doubt that Whedon could pull it off. I’d rather he do another Firefly or a new project if he were planning on exercising his new status. That plus he tends to prefer to go slightly darker than some Chuck fans would appreciate.

        Dave I was pretty much kidding on the Fedak thing. 😉 I’d like to see his next non-Chuck project.

        When it comes down to it I just want to see something other than cops, lawyers, doctors or quirky detectives on TV and something other than CGI explosions as an excuse for a movie for a change.

      • jam says:

        I wonder how Joe Straczynski’s Chuck episode/movie would look like. He can be both dramatic and funny, has written plenty of strong female characters, and isn’t afraid of writing a happily married couple. Unlikely, but it’s a thought….

        Peter David is another writer who I think could nail the weird drama/comedy balance Chuck often had, but his tv writing credits are relatively short.

      • atcDave says:

        OD I think that’s an outstanding suggestion and it would work very well with only one big qualification; it would need to happen fairly quickly. If we see a reunion project in the next couple years, I could easily see it as you say; with Chuck and Sarah together and happy, but with many gaps in her memory. Then we could all celebrate with them as the story unfolds and more complete memories come back.
        But, if it takes longer than that, I think a more complete recovery beforehand would be more satisfying. Even then though, it might be fun if there remained one special gap that never came back, even after 20+ years; like one of their first kisses or first dates. It could almost be like a running joke between them as the story begins (“she’s never believed me that a ticking bomb brought out the animal in her…”) but then during the course of a movie something triggers that specific memory coming back. That could be a lot of fun. Sorry if my specific example is stupid, I am definitely not a writer!

      • jam says:

        I’m not a fan of that idea myself. Introducing amnesia plot to the tv series was bad enough, I wouldn’t want the movie to have anything to do with it. Ideally the movie would start with Sarah having all of her memories back.

        Plus every memory loss reference would only confuse viewers who are not familiar with the tv series, or never saw the last 3 episodes. Chuck and Sarah as a happily married spy couple would be the simplest thing to do, no need to bring a poorly received idea from the tv show to drag the movie down.

      • jam, JMS is an interesting idea. I don’t know how well he’d do staying consistent with another’s universe. I also didn’t care for his Lost Tales stories that were done of a shoestring budget. He’d probably be the right guy for a reboot (like the Thor movie), although I don’t want to see that for Chuck. I’ll have to think some more about it…

        Peter David is better at books. His 3 B5 and Crusade episodes weren’t my favorites. Maybe he could write a Chuck novel.

        Ernie, I haven’t ruled out Fedak. I didn’t watch Pushing Daisies, but I’ve heard good things. I would think Robert Duncan McNeill knows him from Voyager.

      • atcDave says:

        Jam I don’t think there’s any chance the amnesia plot would be ignored. It’s too much of an issue. At the very least, it would be mentioned in the first few minutes. And of course it’s possible that would be the end of it (a mention in the first couple minutes), but there’s no way it gets ignored. I also don’t believe a movie (or at least not a TV or web movie) would really be aimed at new viewers. Any such project would be aimed at committed and knowledgable Chuck fans as the primary audience. I think Chuck was too much of niche show and concept for a broader audience to be targeted.

      • I think they’d have to at least acknowledge the memory loss. Someone would ask Sarah, “Remember when you lost your memories?” She would reply deadpanned, “No.” Then they could move on with the rest of the story.

        We all know Thinkling’s story is the canon version of what happens after the beach, so I don’t need to see it in a movie.

      • jam says:

        Sure, there can be a mention that she briefly suffered from amnesia but recovered, but that should be the end of it.

      • olddarth says:

        Your example is fine Dave.

        I read the time gap as a non-issue since it will be encapsulated in the movie in relatively short order.

        The amnesia plot line could be dealt with quickly but I would not find that very satisfying emotionally – it would feel like another swept under the rug moment.

        Seeing Sarah regain her memories in the movie would be a moment of delicious emotional resonance as we would be shown it, not told it, and get to experience it in tandem with her.

      • atcDave says:

        Geez Jeff, don’t you know by now to include the link whenever you mention the Official ChuckThis Chuck Epilogue by Thinkling!?

      • atcDave says:

        OD the reason I included the qualification is that I think for many of us (like Jam!) the whole amnesia situation is sort of an open wound. And we (I include myself in this) need to know both the relationship and the characters have been okay for the bulk of their lives. Anything more than a fairly brief interval introduces too much tragedy into a show we were told was largely about “wish fulfillment” (Josh Schwartz words, if memory serves).

        I also think the feeling you express that we need to “see” the healing, even if the story resumes 20 years from now is actually sort of terrifying for many of us. I think many TV writers would feel exactly like you do, and I seriously hope that isn’t how things play out.

      • olddarth says:

        Need to see? No. But want to see? For me, definitely. Experiencing emotional character payoffs is the raison d’etre of stories for me.

        My hope would be that if the movie demonstrated from the getgo that Chuck and Sarah had rebuilt their relationship sans Sarah’s TV memories that would be satisfying in of itself.

        Seeing Sarah recover and rediscover her TV memories in a movie would be a wonderful treat to witness.

        Each scenario is incredibly romantic on their own. Together they would make for a double whammy.

      • uplink2 says:

        Wow I didn’t know my simple mention of Firefly would start all of this. Thanks for all the input and advice guys. I watched 1.14 last night and started Serenity but got called in to work on an emergency. What I did like of the first 10 minutes I saw was it seemed to keep the flavor and feel of the show yet looked much more like the $40 million film it is listed as on IMDB. Amazing that a studio would invest that much in a show that had absolutely horrible ratings when Fox cancelled it. No matter what the reason 4 million viewers, basically Chuck season 4-5 numbers in 2002 is atrocious. Those are almost WB type ratings in today’s world.

        Plan to try and watch Serenity tonight.

        On the Fedak involvement in a Chuck movie, personally I hope he isn’t. I agree with OD, new blood would be great. One thing certain for me, I will never invest in one of his shows again like I did with Chuck. I like the stories and characters I invest in to actually get the payoff they tell you countless times to expect. And if they give you something you don’t expect, they better show me why their interpretation was better or at least grew the show or characters. There were far too many things in Chuck where the invested in payoff didn’t happen and what did wasn’t worth it in the least and then unceremoniously ignored going forward.

      • I know, I know. I should have put in a link to Thinkling’s story. The auto link didn’t work for the Whedon kills people image either, probably because it is not ‘www’.

        Thinkling, are you going to add a story image on FFnet?

      • Argh! Where’s preview when you need it. Let’s try that again: Whedon kills people image

        uplink, Firefly and Chuck season 5 were both aired on Fridays, which is the time slot to kill off a show. I’m not saying ratings were good for either show. I’m just saying the ratings would have been higher on any other night except Saturday. Serenity’s investment was probably because of DVD sales and interest at ComicCon. The distributor also changed from Fox to Universal, which likely helped.

      • uplink2 says:

        Just watched Serenity tonight and all I can say is DAMN!! That is one example where the movie was better than the series. Really enjoyed it and finally got to understand what River was all about. Plus Summer was much better in the film than the show. It was in many ways what really good FF would look like with a 40 million dollar budget.

        But Dave you thought that was a resolution to Inara/Mal? now it is hopeful but its basically 3 lines and a smile. Kayleigh and Simon got the resolution I was hoping for but true they were much farther along than Inara/Mal. But in a way it is similar to Chuck. The secondary couples got their resolution both good and bad but the central relationship, at least for me was left in limbo BUT it left you feeling like they will get there. That feeling is on the screen in Serenity whereas in Chuck you have to look for it and feel it for yourself. I prefer the more certain payoff myself.

      • uplink2 says:

        @Jeff, that’s true but 4 million viewers on friday in 2002 is much much worse than 4 mil in 2012. It was a great show but with those numbers no one should ever question why Fox cancelled it.

      • uplink, good point about 2002 vs 2012. All shows get lower numbers now. I never watched Firefly because it was on Fridays. I assume part of the complaint was it was launched on a bad night for the younger, sci-fi audience, so it never had much of a chance.

        Also, I understand your comparison, between Chuck/Sarah and Mal/Inara, however Mal/Inara was basically still pre-anything, almost like Chuck and Sarah before Truth. Chuck and Sarah’s problem was not 100% clearly resolved on screen in Goodbye, but Sarah asking for the kiss was a lot more than anything Mal or Inara ever did. Serenity just had a clearly positive spin of hope. That’s it. Great movie, though.

        Can you imagine Chuck with a $30-40 million budget? I’m not thinking explosions or special effects like the bug-bot in Push Mix. I’m thinking on location shoots, Bourne Identity/Ronin/Italian Job-like car chases, and Dark Knight/Mission Impossible-like rope work between skyscrapers. I know. Never gonna happen.

      • atcDave says:

        I never even heard of Firefly when it was running. First I knew of it was when Serenity hit the big screen. Although I watched it opening day with a friend who had watched Firefly; I bought the discs the next day…

        Yeah Uplink I think I corrected my word choice above to “hopeful”. Mal and Inara never got anywhere during the run of the series, so the up note at the end seemed completely acceptable to me. Even though Firefly ran 13 episodes, the relationship had NOT even progressed as far as Chuck and Sarah had by 1.13. They were closer to Chuck and Sarah in 1.04, so I took anything positive in Serenity as progress.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thanks guys. Oh I agree that Mal and Inara were much closer to Wookie than Marlin. Part of that is that Whedon had a 7 year plan laid out and had there were other big stories he wanted to tell first. It was pretty standard early on TV WTWT storytelling. I expect his plan had them getting together say year 4 or 5 or so. He could do more with Kayleigh and Simon at first. Plus he really didn’t touch River’s story that much till 1.14 which didn’t even air till much later after the show was cancelled.

        I get the feeling he wanted to tie up a bunch of stories in Serenity that were farther along. There wasn’t enough time to resolve Mal/Inara with the bigger dramatic Reavers story that was the core of the movie. Unfortunately the movie basically only broke even so a sequel wasn’t going to happen. Though I am curious about what was happening in those pics Zach posted a few months ago with half the cast from Firefly there in costume.

        Any way I’m glad I finally saw it all and got the Chuck references. 2 full cast members and 3 guest stars in just 14 eps went on to be in Chuck. Most definitely a planned connection I now finally get. Serenity stands on its own as a very good scifi film and a fitting addition to the story of the series.

  13. atcDave says:

    Okay, I just removed a couple of comments. We have done that very rarely at Chuck This. But we aren’t going to allow this site to devolve into personal attacks. All opinions about the show are welcome, but we ask that posters be respectful and tolerant of each other. Just because one fan likes some aspect of the show another doesn’t is NEVER grounds for insulting the other fan.

    We do not expect anyone to be happy and positive all the time. That is clearly not what this site is about or how we have ever conducted ourselves. But the six principals here (that means Joe, Amyabn, atcDave, Ernie Davis, Thinkling, and Faith) and the VAST majority of guests are here because we love this show and we want to be able to share and discuss our thoughts and opinions with other fans in a civil environment. We prefer to allow free speech, but ultimately this is a private site and we will take action when some aren’t playing well with others.
    Please don’t make us do this again. And really, if you aren’t coming here to have fun with other fans about a wonderful show, just find something else to do with your time. Again, arguing and bickering are allowed (and are a time honored tradition here at ChickThis!); but let’s all play nice together.

  14. joe says:

    The thread’s getting long, so I thought I’d put this tangential idea down here.

    I’ve been re-watching S5 (finally!) and was a little blown away by all the forshadowing we got in the early episodes, the one’s we all called The Morgansect Arc. I missed a lot that became important.

    What I saw was that Morgan became a jerk with the tainted Intersect in his head and he successfully threw away his friendship with Chuck. It was only because of Ellie’s insight and Sarah’s concern that they urged Chuck to keep at him, trying to get “through the fog” and access his memories so that he’d remember something of who he was.

    Ellie also said that, like her patients, he may not every recover all his memories. Somehow, it didn’t seem so serious with Morgan that he didn’t recall the trauma of Jar-Jar Binks, but it really told us about we were to expect with Sarah.

    I don’t think, in the canon, she’ll ever completely regain her memories. But she will find herself, like Morgan did. We did see the beginnings of that on the beach. Morgan will have to re-live the trauma of Star Wars I, II and III all over again, but it doesn’t mean he’s a different person.

    • As always – great observation…. but it brings to mind the question of timing…
      I think they gave ample room for Morgan to clearly explore his “jouney to frosted tips and back again… the bearded tale”… Sadly I can only wish we had much more time to see what happened to Sarah.
      Going back to the movie idea – it could be comic gold – to have Chuck try and ” hack” into Sarah’s brain…. to reboot her memories; with some very very funny results in tweaking her memories – but with some serious personality side effects. hmmm – ahhh – ohhh – ……………………………………………
      ~ sorry – my imagination got the better of me there : )

      • joe says:

        Heh. Cute idea, Gringo.

        One thing I intended to mention above was that Morgan’s Intersect didn’t make him a jerk. He always had that in him (especially in the 8th grade). Sarah’s turning away coldly from Chuck in bed was something always within her, too.

        But just like Morgan grew out of that and just like Morgan recovered the characteristics we saw from the Pilot on, Sarah has that going for her too. I think TPTB put a whole lot of positive clues for us about Sarah’s recovery in those early episodes, but were just too subtle about it. Well, at least, too subtle for me. I needed to be hit over the head with another clue-brick at the end too. Just a bit more to show us that Chuck&Sarah were going to be all right would have been welcome.

    • Jerry says:

      I’d always thought Sarah’s “I mean, we knew this wasn’t going to be easy and we didn’t get married because we thought life was easy. We got married so that we could be there for each other when things got tough. So we could work through things together, rich or poor.” and “it might take us months or years of hard work, but one day this will all be ours.” was also a fair bit of foreshadowing that their married life wasn’t going to be let off easy this season, too. I found it interesting that it was Sarah who was most concerned about Morgan not being like his usual self, and the one who went to Ellie for advice on how to help Morgan; little did she know that she’d be going through a far worse version of Morgan’s experience.

      • joe says:

        Can’t agree with you more, Jerry. Those early S5 episodes are playing very differently now in my head after knowing what’s in store.

        At the time they were first aired, I thought S5 lacked a bit of substance (compared to, say, the last 6 or so of S2) until the end. Honestly, I thought, then, that it lacked a bit of gravitas in comparison to what we had had before. I was wrong about that. There’s much in the first half of S5 about how Sarah has changed, how Chuck and Sarah come to trust each other completely and how they struggled to have a normal life despite the demands of their spy life. These are not light and frivolous themes.

        And after that, the same themes are echoed with Morgan and Alex, and even with Casey and Gertrude, in a way. Can’t help but notice that each couple finds their own solution.

        It’s really quite a remarkable story.

  15. garnet says:

    What I see as a likely starting point for a movie would be Chuck and Sarah apart (for whatever reason) and the movie would “get them back together” much like National Treasure 2. I would not really want to see that, but Hollywood seems to like the “formula movie” and that would give us the formula in spades. In my dreams, the movie would pick up right after the beach without a break(much like a usual Chuck episode and Thinkling’s story :)) and involve some of Thinkling’s type of “rediscovery”. Yes they would have to deal with the memories but if they try to do it thinkling’s way I could love the movie. Once the memories are done then we can move on to some adventure and spyjinks. This assumes the movie is in the near future, and that is unfortunately not that likely. If it is longer term then the only tolerable thing (for me) would be to make passing reference to the time Sarah lost her memories and move on.

    • atcDave says:

      Garnet I share some of your fears, but I really (i say hopefully), really think they would know better than to do that with Chuck. If nothing else, the cast knows it would be massively unpopular to break them apart and would probably not agree to do such an ill-conceived story.
      I think those fears are only based on the fact it’s what Hollywood always does, so nothing really serious! (you’re only saying we won’t survive in the Fire Swamp because nobody ever has…)

  16. ArmySFC says:

    Dave, for what it’s worth, FF.net is planning to take down all stories involving sex, violence, and everything rated M. this could mean many, chuck, castle and other fandoms could lose many stories. the violence is not limited to the graphic kind either. think of all the stories that have gun play or fights. there is going to be a protest of sorts on JUNE 23rd, we are asking that no one get on . No logging in, no reading/posting/reviewing, no PMing your friends… just stay off the site period.

    • Army, they are not taking down everything rated M. They are taking down MA stories that have been incorrectly labeled M or even T. Here is their exact message:
      “Please note we would like to clarify the content policy we have in place since 2002. FanFiction.Net follows the Fiction Rating system ranging from Fiction K to Fiction M. Although Fiction Ratings goes up to Fiction MA, FanFiction.Net since 2002 has not allowed Fiction MA rated content which can contain adult/explicit content on the site. FanFiction.Net only accepts content in the Fiction K through Fiction M range. Fiction M can contain adult language, themes and suggestions. Detailed descriptions of physical interaction of sexual or violent nature is considered Fiction MA and has not been allowed on the site since 2002.”

      Story takedowns are for MA stories that violated the rules. I’m not saying whether or not it’s a good idea to take down stories. I’ve read some stories were taken down without warning or the opportunity to back-up. That’s bad PR. Alienating your users is not a good idea (as we’ve talked about on this forum related to Chuck, S3.0, Shaw, and other things). However, every time I post a story, I have to agree to FFnet’s rules. If I didn’t agree to them, I’d post elsewhere (AO3, LJ, wordpress, or I could even put my own web server on the Internet, like I did in college).

      I’ve seen the freedom of speech complaints elsewhere, which sadden me because of how the First Amendment is incorrectly taught in school. This is not a freedom of speech issue.
      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;”…
      The First Amendment is about what Congress cannot do. It’s not about what FFnet cannot do. It’s not about letting anyone say whatever they want whenever and wherever they want. FFnet owns the servers and it’s their freedom to control what is on them.

      My recommendation is to backup your stories and save any you are worried about using http://fanfictiondownloader.appspot.com. If you are using that program later in the day when it’s quota is filled up, use calibre and the FanFictionDownLoader plugin.

      In fact, backing up and archiving are good ideas even when a purge is not happening. You never know when someone will delete their FFnet account or a story, when FFnet may have a catostrophic hardware failiure, or when FFnet is going to go out of business.

      • ArmySFC says:

        i hear ya jeff. i was just putting it out there as a word to the wise, so to speak. i have neither the desire nor time to down load and save stories i like. there is also what i would consider ma violence compared to what others would others. the chuck story done i round robin comes to mind where sarah is tortured, or the one by MXPW as well.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks for the news guys. I wasn’t aware of the “M” vs “MA” distinction. Does this mean some “T” stories will be re-rated as “M”? It is possible I won’t be able to just ignore M ratings in the future, especially if say NinjaVanish work is re-classified (I would have called his stuff a hard “R”).
        It does does seem like bad PR, even if it ends up having little practical bearing on me. I don’t believe I will join in an actual protest, but I do have some sympathy for anyone who looses work through this.
        As Jeff points out, it is not a freedom of speech issue. It’s a matter of policy at a private site. We have had similar things occur here with foul language and personal attacks. On the one hand, as Americans we all tend to value the idea of free expression. But on the other hand, you have to consider things like who may be reading and what quality of discussion (or writing) you want to have. And in the end, preserving a certain atmosphere is the business of a site’s administration.

      • For reference, Chuck stories by MXPW and many other authors are at Castle Inanity courtesy of Frea. If “Chuck vs. the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Day” is the round robin story you were talking about, it’s there too. Over 140 Castle stories are at The Castle Fanfic Archive courtesy of Rach (aka wicked.insanity on FFnet).

      • Dave, in practice, I’ve noticed many M stories probably should be MA and some T should be M. I don’t know how stories are being selected for removal. I don’t think they are re-rating anything, though.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i fully agree with what they want to do, however i do question what you consider a private site. to me private is a site you need to log into to view, must have the owners permission to use and post and may or may not cost money. a public one is where you can just go and post by simply registering or filling in a user name. i consider FF.net such a site.

        one of the sites i go to on yahoo is like that. i had to register, fill in a form and explain why i wanted to join. they sent me a list of guidelines to follow and what i could expect to see, any rating is permitted. to me that’s private. i view FF.net as a public site with restrictions, ie, i can read what i want, but must agree to their terms to post.

        as i said i was just alerting people that some stories may go away.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, thanks! its been a while since i read them like years, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Army ff.net is privately owned and managed. By a legal and business definition it is a private site. Public generally refers to government ownership (legal/business definition again). I am a public sector worker because I work for the government. My wife is private sector because she works for a corporation and has her own contracting business.

        This matters when it comes to rights and obligations. Obviously there are plenty of laws and regulations that affect private entities too. But if a magazine publisher decides not want to publish a particular letter to the editor, it is well within their rights to decide that. While almost everything going to the government is available through the FOIA.
        That also means we can decide here what sort of posts and comments to allow. And ff.net can decide what to allow on their site. As a customer/client you can affect their policies in the same ways you can influence any business. But unless you get some ownership or administrative position with them, you can’t force a change (that is, you have no legal recourse).

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, again not arguing with you, but it seems you think i am. despite being correct on the definition, that it is still owned by a person or group, the public still has unrestricted access to it and your site. i’ll give you a few examples of what i was trying to say. Springfield CC, is a private club that allows the public to use its course but not the other facilities. Llanarch country club is also a private club but only members can use the course or its facilities. both by definition private clubs (membership required and owned by a person or group) but one is partially open to the public and is called here a public course. Cobbs Creek CC is a private business, but all parts of the club are open to the public.

        then you have the public sector as you call it. the president and congress are public employees. they work in public buildings, yet the public, can’t get in. (yeah i know the reasons) so they could be considered private public buildings.

        since you were giving definitions here’s another for private, confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential: a private meeting. and public, open to all persons: a public meeting.

        like i said while i agree with you and what your blog does, and what FF.net does i feel they both fit the definition of public, open to all persons.

        it’s one of the reasons i haven’t posted a lot during the re-watches you guys have done. i didn’t like most of them and won’t bog the site down by saying the same stuff i said after they aired. Take it easy Dave, i’ll catch you guys later!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        One correction Army. The public has as much access as we allow. Same for FF.net. This site is private property. Joe can shut it down on a whim, as can WordPress, or as can FF.net shut down or eliminate anything from their servers. I’m pretty sure most posters probably signed, or agreed to, a users agreement when they created an account to let them post stories. I’m pretty sure that what they are doing is pretty clearly spelled out as something the user agreed to. We’re a little different, we let anyone read and we don’t typically moderate posts. We can block all comments, selected comments, or none. We’ve chosen none. Don’t confuse generosity with entitlement or a right. We can take the site private, require registration, or make it our own private board. The public has unrestricted access because we allow it, and one final correction, the public does not have unrestricted access. You can read, or you can comment if you enter a valid e-mail.

        Growing up, there was a large field near my neighborhood. We all played football there all the time. We knew it wasn’t ours, and when the grass didn’t get mowed on a regular basis we knew it wasn’t our place to complain. We appreciated that the owner didn’t mind our football games, and didn’t worry about liability, like he would today, but the mere fact that we could walk on his property and play a game didn’t make it ours, and it didn’t mean he had any obligation to let us do whatever we wanted on his land.

      • atcDave says:

        Thank you Ernie for a much better explanation than I was able to come up with! And yes, there is a terms of use agreement that one must agree to establish an account at ff.net. I’d add they actually have one of the more rigorous sign in protocols of the various sites I frequent; with a 7 day maximum sign on, three different character types required in passwords, a bot detector/puzzle, and a 24 hour delay from account creation to being able to do anything. They take their sign in/registration process seriously!

  17. hi, one of my favorite episodes is chuck versus TANGO, vs THE ALMA MATER, vs CROWN VIC. i know this doesn’t really make sense but i hope you could do some reviews

    • atcDave says:

      We have discussed those episodes before Maria, and we will again! We will do a complete re-watch, probably after we do our first S5 re-watch.

      Tango is one of my very favorites too, just a perfect episode!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Wow, I searched through the posts, and as far as I can tell we’ve never reviewed any of those episodes. Tango is especially surprising since it’s a perennial favorite around here, and the episode where the show sort of settled on its style.

      As Dave said, stick around and enjoy some of the older posts and discussions, and I’m sure we’ll get to them in the full series re-watch. You can also check the Blog Episodes Guide page which often links to our past reviews and discussions of episodes. It’s a work in progress though, so it isn’t complete for all episodes.

      • atcDave says:

        We never did S1? Surely it was part of one of our themes or arcs? It’s hard to believe I’ve only ever talked about Tango in comments!

      • Tango was in The Intro Arc.

        Somebody, ahem Ernie, left out Crown Vic from the Arc of Truth: “Crown Vic is a part of this arc, but I left it out for a specific reason. This arc deals with the truth. Crown Vic is more about denial.”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, my reaction was the same, I specifically passe on the Intro Arc because I figured I’d written enough about Tango. As for Crown Vic, mea culpa Jeff and Maria.

  18. resaw says:

    A big thank you to the principals of Chuck This. As someone mentioned above, never have I been so “invested” in a TV show as I have been with Chuck. If I can pick up just a little on some of the comments above, it has taken me a while to warm up to season 4. I actually enjoyed season 3 a lot more (anathema in this forum, I’m sure), perhaps because although I really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2, season 3 was the one that really hooked me. Season 4 I found somewhat disappointing. I never could get my head around the Mary Bartowski story; either the character was plain odd or Linda Hamilton’s portrayal just felt a little flat. Lauren Cohan’s portrayal of Vivian was likewise odd/off, in my book. Clyde Decker is another character whose motivation never quite made sense to me, even if the big conspiracy suggested at the end of 4.24 was supposedly explained in season 5. Even so, I’ve come to appreciate season 4. Middle-aged man that I am, this show has nevertheless opened up the romantic softy in me; highlights for me were the proposal scene in the hospital (I know, I’m going back to an earlier “rewatch”) and the marriage. Sarah’s vows as presented in the flashback to the dry run were just beautiful. Yvonne Strahovski has done a very fine job of portraying her character.

    I’m looking forward to Season 5 rewatch commentary. If I may, I’m inclined to suggest that someone among the principals should do a “rewatch” commentary of Thinkling’s Sarah vs Finding Herself as the back 12 of season 5.

    Oh, I never knew about Firefly/Serenity until recently. In the last few weeks, I watched the whole series including the movie and quite enjoyed it.

    • atcDave says:

      Well Resaw there’s a few S3 defenders around here; I think you’re in a minority, but you certainly aren’t alone.
      I though Linda Hamilton’s performance was brilliant when she was introduced, but I thought her whole 20 year mission was poorly handled, and a lot of us seemed to feel less sympathetic towards her the more of her story we heard (Gobbler is where it all sort of fell apart for me). Vivian Volkoff was never a very interesting character either. But I would counter all that by saying Tuttle/Volkoff/Winterbottom was possibly my favorite villain performance of the series. And I thought Sarah’s growth that season was one of the best character stories I’ve ever seen.
      Believe me I get the whole middle aged softy thing. The romance was never what I was looking for when I started watching this show, although I very much liked both leads immediately. But I thought Sarah/Yvonne “owned” the S2 Jill arc, and I became a pretty enthused ‘shipper at about that time. So even though I understand there were some important issues being dealt with in S3, it was just never the show or entertainment I was looking for, and it remains a big disappointment to me.

      I’m glad to see another reader enthused about Thinkling’s excellent story. It sure has been a satisfying experience both as a reader; and for me personally to be someone she worked through some ideas with (although honestly it was like 99.9% her! I think my biggest actual contribution was finding a couple typos). But I know whenever I think of what happened with Chuck and Sarah after the beach, I will always think of “Sarah vs Finding Herself.” Or as I like to call it, the Official ChuckThis Chuck Epilogue!

  19. Gord says:

    Well you were late with your synopsis and I am very late with commenting.
    I have finally dived into the fan fiction and have been overdosing on it lately. This addiction has caused many late nights of reading over the past few weeks. I should really get rid of the laptop in my bedroom.
    Thinkling – I loved your post season 5 story – very well done.

    Back to these episodes. Joe I disagree that the wedding was perfect. In fact, it really bothered me that we didn’t see Casey walking Sarah down the aisle.
    I was a little disappointed – not Volkoff disappointed where I wanted to shoot Fedak – and perhaps considering the time constraints it was the best they could give us, but I was really hoping for a better wedding scene.

    I loved the Decker character and the whole conspiracy plot that was left hanging.
    I didn’t appreciate how they ended on Morgansect (or how they started S5 with it) and I also didn’t appreciate how TPTB handled that conspiracy in S5 yet loved seeing Shaw get his butt kicked one more time.

    All this being said, I think S4 has ended up being my favourite season of Chuck.

    S5 was a good season with some exceptional episodes, but when I look back on S4 there was only one episode I really didn’t enjoy all that much (Muurder), but yet I didn’t hate it. S2 is a close second, but having the dynamic of Chuck and Sarah together just made S4 so much more special.

    I couldn’t say the same thing of S5. After the first few Morgansect episodes I was about ready to give up on the show. Especially because I thought Morgansect was going to last the whole season. I’m glad I didn’t, but for me Morgansect was as bad as watching Mask.

    I didn’t really mind too much Chuck not having the intersect, because in Cliffhanger he finally proved to himself that he didn’t need it.

    I still think the show was a lot more fun when he had it though.

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