Chuck vs The Break Up (2.03)

Break Up is easily my favorite Bryce episode.  Also, easily my favorite episode involving anything like a triangle.  Throw in a very funny villain, Chuck and Sarah both sacrificing for each other, and an ending that’s both disappointing and encouraging at the same time; and you have the sort of extraordinary episode that became common for much of season two.  After the jump, we’ll discuss Break Up!

Amazing that an episode that seems to end on such a down note for Charah actually remains pretty popular with fans including ‘shippers.  Maybe its because we all see the hope and love that lie beneath.  It also helps that both Chuck and Sarah come across well; as heroes, and as two people very committed to each other…   in a way that is not is not easy to define.

Of course, that is season two in a nutshell.  In some ways, Break Up is the end of an introductory arc.  The three episodes are all stand alones, but like the season one arc there is an emotional/relational continuity between the episodes here.  Chuck and Sarah are a couple in all but name.  The break up at the end of this episode changes a great deal and changes nothing at the same time.  What it changes is, it pulls things back a step, and guarantees Chuck and Sarah will not be a proper couple for quite some time.

Bryce is not quite having his way…

But it actually changes nothing.  Chuck and Sarah are still working together every day, and their feelings haven’t changed one bit.

Before I go any further I do want to bring up again my one hang up with this episode.  I’ve mentioned it many times before, so this shouldn’t shock anyone.  But Bryce visiting Sarah at her apartment and at the Orange Orange is just too stupid to be credible.  This is Daniel Shaw type of stupid.  Sarah is on long term, deep cover as Chuck’s girlfriend, she is constantly seen by Chuck’s family, friends and co-workers; and Bryce thinks dropping in on her is protecting his cover??!!  Bryce is dead.  Protecting his cover would involve staying in a hole in the ground.  Practically speaking this would involve hiding in Castle and not showing his face anywhere near Chuck or Sarah’s homes or workplaces.  And probably hiding his face as he transitions to and from a blacked out van for the mission.  This is the sort of stupid plot device that really irks me; it is obviously all about raising tension and uncertainty and has nothing to do with honest story telling.  It’s the sort of stupid moment that shatters the believably of the story. This perception is heightened by the wonderful scene that was deleted from this episode.  I love Chuck and Sarah’s pizza dinner; I would guess its an alternate to Chuck’s sad return home, although it could conceivably fit after that scene.  Perhaps Bryce’s surprise at the hotel would have bothered me far less if the dinner scene had been included, it at least would have felt less manipulative.

Oh well.  I still meant what I said about this episode being a very favorite.  What stands out?  Well I’d start with Chuck’s stunned reaction to Sarah looking, well, stunning in her red dress.  Makes me laugh every time.  Not really his color…  yeah, right.  I think Von Hayes birthday bash is one of the more fun events of this sort they ever did on the show. Sarah ripping on Bryce is satisfying and funny, and as I’ve commented before, Von Hayes may be my favorite of the one time only villains.  Its tough to be sure (and we did see just see Mr. Colt.  Wow did S2 start strong!), but Von Hayes is funny in every scene he has.  He’s sort of a high society dweeb nerd, almost Chuck’s evil opposite.  He’s funny when he insults Chuck, he’s funny when he’s been living in his Lamborghini, and he’s very funny doing the exchange with Chuck.  I recently saw the actor (Steve Valentine) as a psychiatrist on NCIS; it was a serious part, but I found myself snickering the whole time.

Other scenes of note; Sarah in the hospital is awesome.  How can you not love Chuck getting the flowers right?  And Sarah finally rewards him with encouragement.  Also love Devon having Chuck’s back here.  Although I wonder how he would react if he ever saw an old photo of Bryce and Chuck at Stanford?  And of course Sarah will have many more visually impressive combats over the course of the series; but really, having a concussion, being flat on her back in a hospital bed and taking down a much bigger thug.  Really that has to rate as one of her more impressive moments.

I also love Chuck taking the initiative to recover the data from Von Hayes.  As mentioned earlier the exchange is one of my favorite funny scenes, but I like Chuck’s initiative and courage throughout.

Chuck being the hero…again

This is the Chuck I can enjoy and root for.  The show suffers when it strays from this version of Chuck (but I’ll save more of that discussion for another time!) and is at its very best when we have Chuck being like this.

In many ways, the main event of this episode is the Chuck/Sarah scene at the fountain.  I think this is dynamite on several levels, starting with Chuck sacrificing what he wants for Sarah.  He’s shutting down something that hasn’t even gotten started to protect her.  Of course its also kind of stupid to have taken advice from Bryce on this matter, and I actually really like the idea of what it would have looked liked to have Chuck and Sarah just continue to grow closer at this point, but Chuck’s kind of clueless sacrifice works here.  The scene well performed by Zach, and just stunningly, perfectly performed by Yvonne.  This is the magic and chemistry that made Chuck special on full display.  We all may suspect that if Sarah had spoken first she wasn’t going to say anything too radical from a relationship angle anyway (I’m thinking something along the lines of “I like you a lot Chuck but we have to be careful not to ever let it get in the way of your safety…”) but I think she was still blindsided by Chuck’s more extreme solution.  Steeling themselves to head inside, and of course Sarah’s look back add a lot of punch to this ending.  There can be no doubt they both love each other, but we are quite a ways from them figuring out how to make things work.

Now I do have to mention the “B” plot in this episode.  I think this was really one of the funnier Buy More stories of the season.  Michael Strahan is pretty perfectly cast as a bully, and I love his willingness to be totally inept.  Although lifting Morgan high into the air is impressive, being taken down by a 90 pound woman is laugh out loud funny.  As I’ve said before, I think Alex was a better and more likable woman for Morgan, but she could never be as funny as Anna.

~ Dave

Saying It All

My reaction to Bryce’s appearance in Sarah’s room is a bit different than yours, Dave. I’m willing to overlook the obvious (and yes, idiotic) threat to the cover story that his being seen with Sarah represents, but only because of one thing – Bryce looks like Matt Bomer.

Heh! By that, I mean that disarming, boyish smile and roguish demeanor (“No rose for me this time, loverboy?”) is the perfect threat to Chuck and Sarah as a couple, much more of a threat than Daniel Shaw could ever make us believe. I buy it. From the moment he opens the door to the scene where Bryce ties a real bow tie (and Chuck realizes his clip-on ain’t gonna cut it), to the scene in Sarah’s hospital room, where Chuck’s gardenias pale in comparison to Bryce’s garden, Bryce is the winner. Chuck is a loser.

So much is he a loser, that I almost didn’t believe Sarah’s reaction when she tells Chuck straight out where she stands.

Chuck: Bryce Larkin, huh. I guess no matter what it is, I’ll always come in second to that guy.
Sarah: Not always.

I didn’t believe her? No, I did believe her! I just couldn’t believe it! All of a sudden, I realized I was wrong. Sarah wasn’t thinking at all the way I thought she was. Not at all. Those two words, Not always, were a wake-up jolt. Two words, and I had to stop seeing things through Chuck’s eyes and begin to look through hers.

Isn’t that just like Sarah? Now her reaction to Chuck’s dismissal of her “salmon color” dress made sense. Now I understood why she left Bryce and her mission to go after Chuck, who had been kidnapped by the Fulcrum agent. I finally got the import of her brief discussion with Bryce on the dance floor.

Bryce: Any security behind you?
Sarah: [testily and tersely] No.
Bryce: You’re still a great dancer.
Sarah: You’re a little rusty.
Bryce: Will you just let my lead???
Sarah: [with a half-smile] No.

Ouch!

The clues were there for me to see all along that Sarah was about to go all-in, as Ellie would say, for Chuck. Even Devon got it.

Devon: So how do you know Sarah?
Bryce: She’s my ex.
Devon: Based on all the flowers you sent, I’d say you still had feelings for her.
Bryce: It’s complicated.
Devon: I know. She’s dating my soon-to-be brother-in-law, Chuck.
Bryce: [looking surprised] I didn’t know. Sarah said she wanted to tell me something, but then she got hurt. [application of band-aid] Ouch!
Devon: Cut’s pretty deep there.
Bryce: So, um, Chuck and Sarah, is it serious?
Devon: I’m specializing in cardiothoracic medicine. That means there’s one thing in the world I know best: the human heart. Spent enough time with them to see how they are together. See how she looks at him. My professional opinion? She’s in love with Chuck, dude.

Wow. This isn’t Morgan talking, or a very biased Ellie or even a too-silly-for-words Buy Moron with opinions. This is someone with a lot more objectivity. Devon. Is is possible that Chuck and Sarah have found a path to be together?

Let me rephrase that. It is possible. ‘Shippers of the world, rejoice! Chuck and Sarah are converging, and are going to be together very, very soon now!

Of course, there’s one small fly in that ointment; Sarah is not quite able to be an effective spy when it comes to Chuck. Face it. The very next time Bryce talks to Chuck alone, he commits a truth.

Bryce: CHUCK!
Chuck: Gah! What did I say about the entrance???
Bryce: Sorry. We need to talk about Sarah. She had a chance to take the shot back there, and she didn’t. She hesitated and it almost cost us the microchip and your life.
Chuck: I know.
Bryce: What are you gonna do about it?
Chuck: I don’t know, Bryce. You tell me. What am I supposed to do?
Bryce: You’ll do the right thing. You always do. It’s why I sent you the Intersect in the first place.

Man, it’s so hard for me to resist quoting the dialog in these episodes. So often the words are meaningful, inspired, even poetic, especially when they’re coming from the mouth of a confirmed nerd. None more so than the words spoken by Chuck at the end of this episode.

It’s an amazing speech. For a season and a quarter I had watched and empathized with the love-struck dreamer chasing after a chimera – a couple of them, actually – all the while waiting for Sarah to drop the inevitable hammer that smashes his dreams to bits. Who of us has not been there?

But no, it’s not Sarah who realizes that what Chuck wants is impossible. Despite all odds, Sarah is starting to believe that even the dreams she held in secret are possible. It’s Chuck who discovers he must wield the hammer. And make no mistake. Despite the gentleness of the words, despite the care and tenderness with which they are being chosen and despite the obvious love with which they are delivered, Chuck is smashing her dreams as well as his own.

Sarah: You know, someday, when the Intersect is out of your head and you have the life you always wanted, you’ll forget all about me.
Chuck: I seriously doubt that.

Those words said it all. Yet somehow, everyone watching knew then as surely as they knew their own names, that this was not the end of Chuck and Sarah’s romance. There was no way it was over.

– joe

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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111 Responses to Chuck vs The Break Up (2.03)

  1. Nothing says love more than sacrificing one’s desires for another’s well being.

    The fountain scene, the music, Yvonne’s reactions, and Zac’s actions is a perfection rarely achieved in TV. I can only think of one other sequence in the series that comes close to matching it – later this season.

    Even the moment between Sarah and Casey before the end scene. Lovely stuff.

    And the Bryce shoot him scene in the beginning and at the train station – beautiful show don’t tell writing.

    This episode used Bryce perfectly.

    Now if someone had only spell checked – Columbia.

  2. ref51907 says:

    -Lou, you mentioned the Sarah and Casey scene. I would like to know what Casey was actually thinking. I wonder if he thought it was partial his fault b/c in some ways he thought that maybe he let things get out of hand between Chuck and Sarah.
    -Personally I like the fact that Sarah was so forceful with Bryce. She had to be b/c he was a full fledged spy. She wanted no ambiguity between her and Bryce about their former relationship. She was telling him, it’s over, it’s done. Even in season 2 finale it was obvious that she wasn’t going with Bryce.
    -The B plot was a good parallel to what was going on with Chuck. Bryce was bullying his way back into Sarah’s life and wanted more then she was willing to give him, just like Mit wasn’t satisfied after he took over the gaming room and had humiliated Morgan into spending the night at the Buy More. He wanted more as well. (but perhaps I am reading to much into it.)
    -I have to give Bryce some credit at the end here though. He knows Sarah really well. He knows Chuck really well too. Though he still puts up a little resistance in the finale here he sees that Chuck and Sarah want to be together. But he saw first hand that she can’t do her job knowing that Chuck is just a civilian. Some may look at the glasses as a manipulative way of him trying to keep the distance between Chuck and Sarah but I see it as a realization on his part that Chuck needs Sarah as much as Sarah needs Chuck. So he makes it possible for them to still see each other by providing fresh intel, knowing that if Chuck outlives his usefulness, the agency would probably burn him.
    -Of course the scene at the fountain is fantastic. Upon watching this time I realized how uncomfortable Sarah looks. She’s looking around, swallowing hard, fidgety. Gives another layer to a scene that already spoke volumes. When you add the look she gives him when Ellie is showing her the dresses it just makes me think that Chuck unintentionally shattered the childhood dream she had kept locked away and hidden from everyone, what her wedding would be like. I have always thought that she was more akin to Chuck then the spy she became. But what I really enjoyed was seeing Chuck break through some of those obstacles in the very next episode. In vs. The Cougars he sees what Sarah was like in high school. He gets a glimpse of who she was and then realizes that although he would like to know who she was, it’s no longer as important to him. What’s important to him is the person she is now.
    This will continue to be one of my favorite episodes.

    Erik

    • Robert says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about Casey’s reactions myself; would be nice to have your opinion, OD. I think, for my part, that it must be something like season 1 (Crown Vic), but this time, he’s more respectful of Sarah, and now he knows for sure that she loves Chuck.

      Erik, I wouldn’t go as far as “shattering her dreams”, but Chuck, because of his love for her, and for her protection, had to rebuilt the wall she just tore down, hence their pain and sadness in the fountain scene, doubled with incomprehension from Sarah (something like “I reached for him, I did what he wanted, and now, he’s spurning me!?”

      I also agree with you; Sarah was a “Chuck” that lost her way, but contrary to, say, Shaw, she’s aware of it, and hates what she’s become. But working with Chuck (and later being with him for real) gave her the hope, and later the certainty, that with his help, she could find her way again, and be her real self again.

  3. ChuckFanForever says:

    So deleted scenes aren’t considered canon? What about extra scenes not aired, but included in the DVD/Blu-rays?

    • atcDave says:

      I would say the extended cut of Goodbye is canon, but deleted scenes are not. Some deleted scenes directly contradict the scenes that aired, so as a rule, they cannot be canon. But I think we often give them a sort of quasi-canon status, which I’m fine with. They fill in a lot of holes and provide a lot of extra information. Kind of like information that used to posted at NBC.com (especially spy dossiers) or what we get from writer and cast interviews.

      • Robert says:

        Yeah, maybe.

        Though some of the deleted scenes were in the script and I think it was cut because of time. One of 2.03 is a pizza dinner shared by Chuck and Sarah. It appears that Sarah leaves Bryce behind in her appartment very quickly to go to Chuck and give him reassurance that she’s not interested in Bryce anymore.

        In the original draft, it revealed it too early, and I think TPTB preferred the more ambiguous clues, like Sarah shying from Bryce at the dance, or gardenias and “Not always”. It’s really interesting to note that in the original script for 2.03, Sarah is much more clear about where she stands with Bryce Larkin.

      • atcDave says:

        What maybe Robert? That’s exactly why deleted scenes are not canon, they often do not mesh with the final version of the episode. Although some are clearly just deleted for length, the majority are of a slightly different mood, or completely different factually from what actually aired. I would also add, I’m about 50/50 on when I prefer the alternate takes. The pizza dinner scene is one I clearly and completely prefer to the version that aired. But this also shows why it often isn’t a big deal, we had to deal with insecure Chuck a little while longer (which I never like), but Sarah putting Bryce in his place is just too funny.
        But so many of those scenes and extra materials provide tidbits most people still accept, like Sarah doing a year on Secret Service detail (deleted scene from Ring) or attending Harvard (Spy dossier posted at NBC.com). They can be mined for fun nuggets, but need to be examined carefully, when they contradict canon they generally loose.

      • Robert says:

        I said maybe caus’ I don’t think every deleted scene is deleted because it contradicts “canon”. That’s why I used the “pizza dinner” scene, because it doesn’t contradicts what is established during the episode. It was deleted because I think TPTB thought it made Sarah’s choice too obvious and too early.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay I see. Yeah I think you’re exactly right about that. I believe I said above the version chosen increased tension; I would have preferred the “happier” edit of the episode, but I think it played funnier as aired.

  4. resaw says:

    Good on you, Joe, for selecting the clip with Skinny Love playing in the background of that most poignant of scenes, but what about The National’s Fake Empire? That song just kills me. I keep on trying to interpret the lyrics in light of the way Chuck and Sarah’s relationship is going, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get there. “We’re half awake in a fake empire.” Perhaps it’s intended to reflect the love that they cannot fully express to each other other while they are acting as though they really are in love. Their relationship, their empire, is fake, and yet it’s real, but they can’t make it real. In any case, for me, this song expresses all the sadness and lament, all the love that circumstances demand remain unexpressed.

    Concerning the Bryce-Sarah-Chuck triangle, Sarah is clearly using professionalism to keep Bryce in check. While she does use that excuse as an explanation to Chuck as to why they can’t be together, she routinely and deliberately violates that prohibition for purposes of the cover, and because, of course she really does have feelings for Chuck. I really liked that little exchange in Sarah’s suite where she reveals herself in that stunning salmon-coloured dress. Chuck’s dismissive comment brings a puzzled/disappointed reaction from Sarah. Bryce, for his part, is not really taking in her appearance so much as the emotional response she has to Chuck. Maybe it’s altogether too obvious to everyone here, but I like the way Bryce is piecing together the sequence of interactions between Chuck and Sarah, including her coolness toward himself, until he comes to the conclusion that her feelings for Chuck have gone so far that, in his view, they have compromised her ability to be the cool, calculated spy.

    Again, maybe I’m stating the obvious, but my understanding is that the chip that Von Hayes had created was the same chip that went into the Intersect glasses that Bryce gave Chuck. As Bryce mentioned, the CIA’s cover identities were on that chip, and I believe that Chuck flashed on Sarah in that latest instance. So, would not Chuck now have the full dossier of Sarah in his head, including her true identity?

    Can I just mention that I have always appreciated Chuck’s preference for the non-violent solution to a problem. In particular, I liked how he intervened on the train platform by buying off the thugs with the money originally intended for Von Hayes. At that point, I’m sure Hayes was happier to have his life than the money.

    • resaw says:

      Wanted to add a little more to my “Fake Empire” thoughts. At the train station, when Sarah hesitated/couldn’t take the shot, that’s when the fake empire of her CIA career came crashing down. She had operated under the idea that she was serving her country, sacrificing for her country, perhaps as penance for the con-man life she had led with her father in her childhood and youth. As an assassin, life itself wasn’t worth that much. She would take a life if ordered to do so, and she would give up her life if it came to that. But with Chuck, his life in danger before her eyes, she came fully awake to what she potentially had in a relationship with him, and she couldn’t risk his life in an action that called for her to be the spy with ice in her veins once again. She could that with Bryce in Colombia, because he was a spy, too, and as much as they had a relationships at that time, it was primarily as professionals that they worked together and their relationship was almost a matter of convenience. Chuck, however, was calling into question all that she had been taught.

      On Casey’s response to Sarah down in Castle, while he’s cleaning his gun, that was a wonderful bit of a minimalist writing and acting. It leaves his personal opinion about the matter somewhat ambiguous; I think he chose silence so as to leave the ball in Sarah’s court, so to speak. If he had spoken, he probably would have felt compelled to bring up duty and sacrifice, and service to country, and he knew that was not what Sarah needed at that moment.

      Finally, let me say that I too was moved by Zach’s acting as he gave Chuck’s speech and by Yvonne’s brilliant facial expressions in response. The preamble to what was said sounded like it could have been a marriage proposal, and there was delight in Sarah’s eyes, initially. The devastating sadness at the end of it all, though, was just so moving.

      Loved this episode.

    • joe says:

      Fake Empire (by The National) is one of my all-time favorites, Resaw.

      My interpretation is entirely limited to the first time we hear it, when Chuck knocks on Sarah’s door. Thanks to Roan, he’s temporarily gotten over his insecurities. He’s convinced himself that the nerd has a chance with the girl of his dreams. He’s created a whole world – his empire – around that notion in minutes because he’s let his imagination go with it.

      And the whole thing is crushed in seconds. No foundation, no substance. Fake.

      Ah, see? I got carried away with that myself. You’ve given me the song’s second appearance to think about now – Sarah’s failure to take the shot – and what it means to her! That’s something I just hadn’t considered as fully before, so I owe you one, Resaw! 😉

    • authorguy says:

      I never understood why her refusal to take the shot in the train station was held against her. She’d been injured and almost killed, and Chuck was an irreplaceable resource. Casey had the better shot anyway

      • atcDave says:

        It is kind of silly, we’d just been told she had concussion.

      • joe says:

        I’m not sure who’s holding it against her, Author. Not Chuck, certainly. Bryce? I think Bryce isn’t blaming anyone, but is recognizing the cost of entanglements like that on a spy’s effectiveness. Casey? He’s staying silent. I think his vote isn’t in yet.

        Sarah surprised me the most. In S1 she was ready to ask for a re-assignment when she thought she couldn’t protect Chuck. This time she seems to think she can work through it or something.

        Maybe the fans are holding it against her? Probably not. The fans wanted C&S together all the while.

        I guess that leaves Gen. Beckman. I’m not sure she finds out that Sarah failed to pull the trigger. But then again, maybe that starts her on the path to the 49-B!

      • authorguy says:

        ‘Hold it against her’ in the sense that they think she should have taken the shot, that the fact that she didn’t indicates entanglement when it was just good sense not to shoot. Bryce plays it up, to Chuck at least, that her refusal to shoot was a failure caused by Chuck himself. When he said ‘take the shot’ her reply should have been “I’ve got a concussion, moron, you take the damn shot.” When Bryce said “you’re going to get her killed”, Chuck should have said, “No, you telling her to shoot when she just climbed out of a hospital bed would have gotten me killed, idiot.”
        But of course that wouldn’t have set up the fountain scene.

      • atcDave says:

        At the time it first ran my only thought was that Bryce was fudging the details to manipulate Chuck into distancing himself from Sarah. Now I think Bryce was a little more convinced of his own rightness, but either way, its really only Bryce who made a big deal of it. Chuck is just always prone to making a big deal of things. So basically they made the decision FOR Sarah. Sort of like Bryce did for Chuck back at Stanford…
        I strongly suspect Casey was willing to turn a blind eye to whatever Walker and the moron were up to (I think he suspected more than was actually going on anyway) just to keep a good team intact.

      • ref51907 says:

        If I understand the layout of the train station properly she doesn’t even have a clear shot. I understand that she is probably an excellent shot but still, she would have to be dead on accurate and shoot at the just the right time. She just peeking around a corner, looking at a target that is moving and has a hostage as a shield. That’s a darn near impossible shot to make and that is not taking into account that Chuck is the hostage, and she is supposed to be recovering in a hospital. For my money she did the right thing there and not shoot.

        Erik

      • joe says:

        All true, Erik. But the opening scene tells us that Sarah has made that shot before, and she can do it again.

        There’s only one thing that’s different, and it’s major. She’s in love with Chuck.

        TV is so simple minded that way! 😉

      • authorguy says:

        In love with Chuck, wounded, and almost killed! Little things like that. They just did it to set the stage for the break-up.

      • Robert says:

        Dave, Bryce is right about Chuck and Sarah’s feelings for one another being dangerous for both of them, but only from a “spy” point of vue.

        He was “right” to tell Chuck about it, but I’m sure he also used the occasion to “separate” Chuck and Sarah. For him, Sarah is still “his” girl, and that’s why he was surprised when Devon told him Chuck and Sarah were in love. You could see his incomprehension when all his usual “magic” moves weren’t working with Sarah anymore. And he understood immediately what it meant when Sarah didn’t shoot while Chuck was held hostage, something she had no problems to do when “he” was in the same position.

        He was also clueless about Sarah, because he was doing things that worked with her only when she was just a spy. Chuck is connecting with “her”, not the spy. The flowers gave us a good example. Bryce sent her a ton of flowers, he thought the gesture was great, but it was superficial. Chuck brought her just one flower, but it was her favorite; gardenias. And you could see how moved and pleased she was.

        And I’m pretty sure that Bryce thought he was successful in separating them; just watch his reaction in 2.22; he was annoyed when Sarah said that no, she staying with Chuck. And what he said to the Fulcrum agent: ” I lost my girlfriend to my best friend. Bad day to be me!”. He was sure she was still his.

        Bryce is smooth, suave, an excellent spy, but also a bit mean-spirited.

      • atcDave says:

        Well, I agree with some of that Robert. Bryce is right about Sarah the spy, specifically Sarah the government agent. But in terms of protecting Chuck (a major part of her current assignment, although clearly not the ONLY part of her current assignment) I think he’s completely wrong. I think her emotional investment, from the very start, is part of what makes her extraordinary as Chuck’s bodyguard. So I don’t really buy the whole “will get her killed” part of the argument. THAT is pure Bryce manipulation to separate Chuck from his girl. And I’m pretty comfortable making that argument, because Sarah always was compromised where Chuck was concerned; from the very start. And yet she remained highly effective as a protector.
        But what her emotional investment, or literally “being compromised” is all about, is her ability to do the other parts of her job. In particular, TPTB often order Chuck into situations that are dangerous or not in Chuck’s best interest. As a spy, and Chuck’s handler, Sarah will be required to coerce him into taking risks or doing things he really has no business doing. As it turns out, Chuck is a (mostly) willing asset, so Sarah can get away with a pretty soft sell most of the time. But when those interest do clash in a major way (end of Marlin, end of First Kill), we see exactly what the CIA (and Bryce) was worried about, Sarah will side with Chuck. I love that part of the story. The whole waiting on the edge of my seat all season long to see what would finally push Agent Walker over the edge, THAT was perfectly and masterfully handled.

        So I partially agree that Bryce was right as a government agent protecting the government’s interest both with regards to the Intersect and Agent Walker. But the lie of it is, Bryce was in no way looking out for “Sarah” or Chuck. And I think he deliberately choose a tactic to protect the mission that SHOULD also keep his “best friend” away from his girlfriend.
        As you observe, he was pursuing his own interests in a way and he expected it to work.

      • Robert says:

        You explained what I meant in better words, Dave (sometimes I forget that English is not my first language).

        Like you said, and as “The Broken Heart” established, Sarah is much better at protecting Chuck because of her feelings for him.

        I guess you’re right in saying that Bryce was thinking of CIA interests, and, by rebound, his own when he manipulated Chuck into thinking it was gonna get Sarah killed. That’s the idea that motivated Chuck to “break-up” with her, something Bryce wanted. And he wanted to protect his own interests regarding Sarah, that much was clear.

      • atcDave says:

        Really Robert? You’re not primarily an English speaker? You do very well, and make many detailed and well expressed comments. Very well done, and I never would have guessed.

        And never take my arguing personally, I do it with everyone!

      • Robert says:

        Thanks Dave, very kind of you! No, I speak French.

        And I know you like to argue with everyone! lol So yeah, I don’t take it personally!

        As for Bryce’s manipulation, that’s why I don’t like the guy. And I was glad he finally was out of the show. Though I must admit he would’ve made an excellent enemy to Chuck in Season 3, instead of Agent Plywood. And a much more believable “rebound” for Sarah, since they would’ve have history.

        One thing I must say in his favor, though; the guy surely knows how to stir things up!

      • atcDave says:

        We heard, back when S2 was filming, that they had to write Bryce out because Matt Bomer got White Collar. Really too bad, I thought Bryce was perfect as one of those “love to hate” sort of characters. Routh never had the sort of chemistry or charisma to fill that role.
        But on the other hand…
        Sarah had made her choice, Bryce lost, and I’m glad they just moved on. Of course I really dislike what they moved on to.
        Obviously I have some pretty mixed feelings about all of this! I think if Bryce had been in S3, they could have told a story where he was always messing with Chuck and Sarah trying to keep them apart and playing on Chuck’s insecurities, it could have worked quite well. But Shaw could have been made to work quite well too. I think the problem wasn’t as much the unexpected cast change as the writers were determined to tell an S3 story that I was never going to like.

      • authorguy says:

        And Chuckwin’s law rears it’s ugly head.

      • authorguy says:

        This is giving me some motivation to write that definitive Bryce Larkin fanfic idea I had a while back, too. After I finish with nine2five, anyway. (Bit of a self-back-pat here: I actually managed to make one reader feel sorry for Shaw last chapter, exactly as I’d hoped.)

  5. I HATE this episode. It basically begins the whole wt/wt thing that, by the end of season 2, starts driving me nuts (never considered Colonel a real resolution to that, either). But mostly because this gives so much of the awkward, angsty Chuck, which just holds no entertainment value again. Thankfully, we don’t see Chuck quite like this again until Beefcake, but it’s one of the worst parts of seasons 1-3. It’s also why I hated Nemesis, for that matter. But even the Buy More plot falls flat here, although Mitt jacking up Morgan after his “game winning drive” is a classic.

    I just don’t understand the final scene as being a sacrifice on Chuck’s part. Sarah almost got him killed in this mission, and furthermore, I think everything he said about wanting “more” than she could really give him was absolutely true. Everybody wants to believe it’s a sacrifice, because that’s a sweeter theme, but I just think he recognized that this couldn’t go on anymore, or one of them was going to die. And, he really did want to live a more “normal” life than he thought she could. It’s a nice moment of maturity, but that’s it.

    And I completely agree with Dave about Bryce being in the orange and the hospital being a ridiculous risk to Chuck and Sarah’s cover. It drives me nuts every time.

    • joe says:

      Awww… Really, Arthur? It wasn’t effective for you? – I mean, Sarah finally giving Chuck a “green light”, and his realization that he can’t take it? – not just for her sake, but for his own too?

      Hum. I understand what you’re saying about Chuck being resigned. But I’m surprised that it looks like he’s giving up to you. Well, he is giving up, but he also knows that they’re both in love with each other. That’s what most of us see, I think. It’s that admission on both their parts that we seem to enjoy so much. It makes us smile at the end, despite the fact that “officially”, Chuck’s just declared it over.

      • Robert says:

        It makes me think a bit of 3.11, when Shaw asked Sarah if she still loved Chuck. Her answer was “not anymore”. It’s kind of a false negative, because it establishes that Sarah loved Chuck. It’s kind of the same thing, here. He’s saying that he’s ending it, but it’s very clear that it’s far from it. It establishes that both are in love with the other. And with that look she gives him near the end, it’s clear that she got it.

        Anyways the next episode just show us that their love is as strong as ever. And Chuck was there for her when it counted, and she recognized that.

    • atcDave says:

      I also don’t care for insecure Chuck, but I love seeing how completely Sarah has chosen Chuck over Bryce. Kind of makes it all worth while to me. Beefcake however, remains my least favorite S2 episode. And I think this is one of the all time funniest episodes, the exchange at the train station just never gets old…

      The break up itself strikes me as fairly meaningless. I do think Sarah was on the verge if relaxing her own rules some, but she was no where near ready to choose Chuck over career (as I’ve said before, I think she’d go rogue with Chuck if she knew the CIA was a threat to Chuck’s life. But otherwise she is not ready to throw away her career yet).
      But Chuck is trying to protect Sarah by rebuilding some distance between them. I think it’s a fairly stupid decision, feelings don’t really work that way, and a hurt/bitter/depressed Sarah is likely to be just as distracted as a smitten Sarah; but I think many people have such clueless ideas about affection like its something that be turned on and off. Behaviors can be controlled, feelings are a bit tougher!
      From a story telling perspective I really wish they’d let things develop from here. The wt/wt of series television is a pretty obvious cliche anymore. As a viewer I tend not to expect anything good in the first couple years of a show anyway, so my first reaction here was mainly rolling my eyes. But I thought the performances here were dynamite. And apart from a few bumps along the way (Jill and Cole) I liked the way the rest of the season played out, so Break Up really doesn’t bother me much. I can enjoy what’s good about it, only the stupid Bryce “cover” thing still irks me a bit.

  6. Faith says:

    And here’s one for Break Up, again via and all credit to @SDUB07:

    Chuck vs. the Break Up Fun Facts
    – The Sarah/Bryce teaser was filmed at Universal, the same street that was “Germany” in #513
    – when the camera pans up to the “mountains” that is a green screen and some good post production effects.
    – The game consoles were only in the Home Theater for this ep… They normally had their own corner by the sliding doors.
    – One of the reasons it was so “inexpensive” to shoot #Chuck was bc we often used WB and Universal backlots vs. locations. A location can often be very expensive and as a WB/Universal product, #Chuck had easy access to “foreign” locales. However, #chuck did use some of the most beautiful locations in SoCal, Pasadena, Long Beach, Eagle Rock, Malibu… etc.
    – When you see Ana and Jeff leave the BuyMore, we had to open the elephant doors and had the camera’s across the way.
    – The building that #Chuck stands outside of/Sarah gets into a gunfight is the WB “embassy square” lots of eps have been there. Across the way from “embassy square” is “central park” where the famous Pheobe running funny scene was filmed for #Friends.
    – The Hospital was filmed in a scary abandoned hospital near LAX… I called it the “Silent Hill” hospital…The Event and NCIS LA, among other shows have also filmed at the scary hospital.
    – Maybe it’s just me, but when #Chuck & Bryce are talking in front of the mailboxes, the backing looks super fake. #hollywood
    – Von Hays in the Lamborghini was outside, near the train tracks at LA’s famous Union Square.
    – Where the “shoot out” is in the Union Station is normally closed off with ropes to everyday traffic.

  7. jam says:

    Another strong episode in a season full of great ones. There’s no truly awful episode in S2, I didn’t even mind the Jill arc that some people seemed to hate. I’d probably rank Third Dimension and Beefcake as the weakest ones. If only the show could have retained this quality till the end… (actually, it would probably still be on the air in that case)

    And to all those sad, disturbed Chuck “fans” (hopefully none of them can be found on this site) who are now mad at Yvonne for what’s happening in Dexter: Get a grip. She’s an actress, she’s not playing Sarah Walker now.

    • authorguy says:

      I don’t get that channel. What’s her role like?

      • jam says:

        I don’t watch the show myself, but I believe she plays a serial killer / otherwise crazy, murderous woman.

      • joe says:

        Author, this YouTube link will explain it all. It’s quite a scene and definitely not safe for work.

        Yvonne is clearly not playing Sarah Walker in Dexter. There’s no real reason for Chuck fans to be upset unless they’re unable to separate the actress from the character.

        I’d love to ask her in person about her feelings on the role, myself. I’d almost guess that she’d say it’s easier for an actor to display passion when they’re allowed to be more explicit. Sarah Walker was passionate, but the show had to be more subtle.

      • jam says:

        “There’s no real reason for Chuck fans to be upset unless they’re unable to separate the actress from the character.”

        Sadly, it seems there are fans just like this.

        And then there are folks who think it’s somehow degrading for any actor/actress to do scenes like that, which just seems bizarre to me.

      • joe says:

        Maybe so, Jam. But I also find the reaction understandable. Dave is right, below. The scene and the character are extraordinarily dark. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

        For me, it’s more like Tim DeKay playing Ryker in The Baby after Peter Burke in White Collar, when in truth the man is like neither character IRL. It’s jarring at first. Fans have to suspend belief, and sometimes it’s harder than at other times.

        That’s my way of saying I empathize. I think they’re wrong to be upset, but I empathize.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Jam I think it’s degrading and trashy. And yeah I realize its normal these days. It’s not going to affect what I think of her (or anyone else) professionally, but I can’t even imagine how it affects the actor’s family; I think my brain would explode if my wife or child were put in such a position!

      • atcDave says:

        Joe I would agree exactly with that. Even if Yvonne were doing such a villainous role on a show I like (like NCIS or Castle) I don’t think I would like it very much. As I said below, I get why she might want to do it, and I sure wouldn’t hold a grudge over it, but I wouldn’t want to see it either.

      • Mel says:

        Yvonne didn’t do any nudity, other actresses have shown a lot more on Dexter. Besides, even if she did, no one should hold that against her.

        I just feel sorry for her for some of the feedback she got from Chuck fans who were unable to separate the actress from the character. With any luck, she never sees those messages.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I’m definitely disappointed she didn’t take a role I would be interested in, I’m not about to watch Dexter just for her. I understand why she would want to do something radically different, but I just won’t watch “dark”.

      • joe says:

        There’s dark and there’s dark, Dave. I’m got going to subscribe to Showtime just for one show either. But I have to admit that I enjoyed The Sopranos a lot, and that’s as dark as it gets. I thought about 90% was exceptional, with the remaining 10% being David Chase proselytizing on the small screen.

        That’s a better ratio than a lot of shows.

      • jam says:

        I don’t mind dark if it fits the overall tone of the show, Chuck always failed when it went too dark.

        Over the years I’ve liked a lot of dark or darkish shows, Twin Peaks, Millenium, Sopranos and my current favorite, Game of Thrones (when it’s actually airing).

      • atcDave says:

        I watched more darker shows when I was younger. But more and more its so important to me to laugh and have fun when watching TV. I’m okay with the sort of villainous evil that must be destroyed sort of thing (high adventure or crime fighting stuff); but I really require main characters I can like and root for. And that isn’t so easy to do anymore.

      • Robert says:

        I agree with you, Jam;

        Chuck never did dark well, because it’s simply not that kind of show. It was always working best when they were making episodes with that season 2 vibe.

    • Robert says:

      I was wondering, WOW! Many posts while I wasn’t there, and suddenly, it dawned on me; it must be about that scene in Dexter…and I got my suspicions confirmed.

      Well, let’s just say that when I heard Yvonne landed a role in “Dexter”, I knew she was looking for a 180 from Sarah Walker. Which makes perfect sense from an actress’ point of vue.

      But I knew that I wouldn’t watch her in it, because “Dexter” is not the kind of show that I watch. Of course, I can differenciate YS from her roles, but there are roles she did, does, will do that don’t really interest me.

      I knew that I would love her as Sarah Walker, that I’d like her as Miranda Lawson, but in her current projects, there’s nothing that really interests me.

      As for the “offended” Chuck fans, your reaction was to be expected and understood, because you didn’t stick to a show that is to your tastes. Dexter is not to my tastes, I knew that I wouldn’t like her role in it, and I decided to pass. You should’ve done the same.

      I wonder how Yvonne Strahovski will react, IF she reacts. I mean, she has fans, now, and I guess she must be aware that some of them will not always be happy with what she’s doing. Will she be respectful, not making excuses, but at least acknowledge the situation, will she tell’ em to get lost? I don’t know…

      • atcDave says:

        Well put Robert, I would agree with all of that.
        I do hope Chuck fans don’t give her too hard a time over it, after all, I would like for us all to be on good terms when they get around to that reunion project…
        But seriously, she has always been gracious and classy in dealing with her fans, I would expect no less now.

      • BigKev67 says:

        She’ll be respectful, because she always is, even though she doesn’t always get that in return. Me? I’d tell ’em to get lost. I’ve got no issues with anyone not liking the show – but that’s what the off button is for. That’s as much judgement as I’m entitled to pass about Yvonne’s professional choices.

      • Robert says:

        That would be really sad if we’d pay for some fans who wouldn’t be as gracious and classy than her.

        Sometimes I have trouble to understand some “fans”; I mean, personally, I’m a fan of Harrison Ford, and I love most of his work, but not all of it. There are some of his movies that I wasn’t interested to watch. But I’m still a Harrison Ford fan.

        Actors/actresses are kind of a brand; if they are putting out a product that I don’t like, I don’t buy it. Same thing with Ms. Strahovski; I love her “brand”, I love what she “put out” in Chuck, in Mass Effect. Now, she’s putting out a product (Hannah McKaye) I dislike. I just don’t “buy” it, period. No need to make a fuss about it! She’s not Swieta Ivonka! lol

      • Robert says:

        Kev, that’s it; you don’t like it, you just don’t watch it! If I don’t like one of her roles, I just don’t watch it.

      • Mel says:

        On the positive side, Yvonne on Dexter is already causing people to check out & fall in love with Chuck:

        https://twitter.com/AislingDucks

        “So because of how awesome Yvonne Strahovski is in Dexter I decided to finally start watching Chuck. Verdict: Awesome “

      • Robert says:

        That’s really great news, Mel!

        So nice to have new “Chuck” fans!

      • atcDave says:

        Kev, Robert I agree exactly. If I knew Yvonne personally I would likely advise her to make some different career choices (I’ve actually been in this situation since I was quite involved with drama in high school and college, and several of my best friends still are. They mostly ignore me, and that’s fine too…); but as a fan, watch/don’t watch is the only judgement we have a right to.
        And Robert you are exactly right with your Harrison Ford analogy. There are several actors I would say I’m a “fan” of, but that never means I expect to like everything they do. I always at least take a second look if I see their name attached to something, but there is NO actor I support unconditionally. I think the viewer assumes responsibility to vet their own viewing choices; and if you’re horrified by something you end up watching, you are mostly to blame for your own poor decision.

        Mel that is awesome to be bringing in new Chuck fans!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Wow, looks like I missed a disturbance in the force of the Chuck fandom. Was this something taking place on another or multiple sites? I would hope that fans would be more respectful, and frankly from Joe’s clip she’s come very close to that level of exposure in a few Chuck episodes like Chuck vs. Hack-Off and Chuck vs. Sarah. Now maybe they didn’t appreciate those episodes either, but I don’t recall hearing any outcry. And certainly her SoBe campaign should have clued people into the fact that she is willing to play the “hot girl” card to help her get (ahem) more exposure in Hollywood and further her career.

        Now while I don’t see any problem with expressing one’s general personal opinions about what they find tasteful or appropriate or not, I really see no reason to personalize it, and for the record I don’t think anyone here is guilty of that thankfully. I just hope people have the common courtesy to confine their comments to the general, or just keep quiet. Now that Yvonne is the target I hope people understand my discomfort about crossing the line and personalizing creative differences with TPTB. It just isn’t necessary.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Mel, make sure to invite any new fans to stop by and read or comment. It’s always fun to re-experience the show with a newly minted fan.

      • joe says:

        Ernie, I thought about it all night (was there something else I was supposed to do???… lemme think… oh yeah. VOTE!!!) and I decided everyone here was appropriately respectful while having their say at the same time. Couldn’t ask for more.

        I didn’t see it myself, but I suspect that the most violent storms about the scene in Dexter were the Sandy-level surges on Twitter. If you’re interested, there’s a pretty fun first-reaction type podcast on the new Yvonne Strahovksi Fan Girls site (formally, the Sarah Walker Fan Girls) for your listening pleasure. It seems they were recording, at least in part, while watching the salient parts of the show.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Joe, I’d agree that everyone here was respectful and didn’t personalize things, about Yvonne’s choices or each others opinions on such matters.

        It’s just a shame that the rest of the interwebs and the fandom can’t be as awesome as us and our commenters. 😉

      • Mel says:

        ‘I would hope that fans would be more respectful, and frankly from Joe’s clip she’s come very close to that level of exposure in a few Chuck episodes like Chuck vs. Hack-Off and Chuck vs. Sarah. ‘

        I’m sure these people wouldn’t have complained if Yvonne had done that on Chuck. She doesn’t actually show anything (and apparently used a body double, too) so I have to think the bad reactions are mostly due to Yvonne doing such a scene w/o Zac/Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        You know I completely understand why some Chuck fans just aren’t ready to see that; but I don’t understand taking out their frustration on an actress doing a job. Its not her fault Chuck was cancelled, and its not like she would turn down work for a period of mourning or anything. I hope the most extreme reactions are uncommon, I sure don’t want this fandom getting a worse reputation (than we already have…)

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I can also understand some Chuck fans not being ready to see that, or ever being ready to see that, but as mentioned above, then why are they watching Dexter? That is their first mistake, going after Yvonne for what, essentially wanting a job, just compounds it. It’s not as if that show is an unknown quantity.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Ernie as we were discussing upthread, the viewer incurs a lot of responsibility for vetting what they watch. I must admit, I would love to see Yvonne in a new project; but I cannot just trust her taste (or even her need for work) to match my taste.

        I think its also on us to be aware of our own emotional investments. I really don’t want to see her play a baddie, or a victim. Well, I guessed the first day her casting on Dexter was announced she would be both; so even if I were a fan of the show I might choose to skip that arc. Now I know this is a tricky area; if she ends up playing a villain on NCIS (or a romantic complication on Castle!) do I want to watch that happen? I don’t honestly know. I would guess it will be easier in time to separate her from Sarah, but right now its tough for me to do so. I think this is part of why some actors get type cast; they are playing to their fans. Whenever Clint Eastwood took on another tough gunfighter or cop he could bank on a certain part of his fanbase immediately understanding and embracing the role. That he escaped from that type eventually is a credit to his talent.
        Yvonne has been clear all along that she wants to do a wide variety of roles (she upset some Chuck fans in early S2 with some interviews where she talked about wanting more variety on Chuck), so its hardly surprising she would do something very different from Sarah. But of course so many of us really adored Sarah I mostly hope she’ll do something else more along those lines. It may not happen, she has shown she was serious about more variety. But I’m betting eventually I’ll find another project of hers to watch and enjoy, even if it isn’t “Return of Chuck”…

      • I’m not a huge Dexter fan, but it’s a good show, and I’ll definitely catch up with Yvonne’s performance at some point.

        *Begin aimless rant*

        It always offends me when somebody calls a role she decided to play “degrading.” A role is only degrading to an adult if she was forced to do it, or tricked into it somehow. For instance, the actors in Innocence of Muslims, were reading one script, then the directors added an anti-Islamic dub over their voices without the actors’ consent. That is degrading – a non-consensual action that humiliates the actor or harms them professionally.

        If Yvonne chooses to play a role, knowing what it was, it’s her choice. She is not being degraded because you (not anybody specifically) don’t like the role, and people need to get off their high horses about it. It’s a fictional story, and frankly, an ambitious choice for her as an actress. That video is NOT the summation of the show or her character. Dexter, in many ways, is a much better written and plotted show than Chuck. I don’t give a damn if people like it or not, but the moralizing part of the criticism is disgusting.

        *end rant*

        Much like Yvonne will always be Sarah Walker to me, I just can’t stop seeing Michael Hall as the gay funeral director in Six Feet Under (another great show). It’s why I couldn’t get into Dexter – it’s strange to see him as such a severe vigilante. But Dexter is a really well-done show based on a fantastic premise. Yvonne’s role is really interesting, because Dexter, as far into the show as I had watched, was so repressed that he didn’t ever want to have sex.

      • jam says:

        Weird seeing you write so much and then agreeing with all of it, Arthur. 😉

      • Jerry Kane says:

        Probably my only reaction to this kerfuffle is that Sarah Hannah McKay seems to have just taken a certain John Casey’s words in “Bearded Bandit” to heart:

        Casey: …ever have sex with someone who’s just tried to kill you? It’s incredible.

        Less facetiously, it bothers me a fair amount that there are people who can’t separate actresses from their roles. I’ve a good feeling Yvonne certainly angled for a role quite different from Sarah, and she got it. If it isn’t your cup of bloody tea, then don’t watch the bloody thing; no need to badmouth the actor’s choice of roles, too.

      • Robert says:

        Let us be respectful of everyone’s opinion, even if we disagree.

        Ms. Strahovski, just like each of us, has a little something called…what is it again? Aaah yes! Free will.

        She can choose to play whatever role she wants, and I can choose to watch every single one of them, or not. If I like, I watch; if I don’t like, I don’t watch, period. You will never find me raising a fuss like “oh my God, what a bad role, she’s so-and-so for choosing such a role, why would she do thaaat???”

        I have enough respect for her to refrain myself of criticizing her choices. I have my own set of values; if a role she (or any other actor, for that matter) plays doesn’t fit, I just don’t watch! No need to attack her personally!

        Personally, I don’t think she will play another character that’ll generate such an impact and interest in me than Sarah Walker, but I’m willing to give her a chance, contrary to some “fans”, that, nonetheless, are entitled to their opinion.

        The only thing is that those fans reactions may delay an eventual “Chuck” reunion, which I don’t see happening for another 5 to 7 years anyways.

        Ms Strahovski said once that she would like to play in a period movie; now THAT would be something I’d like to see! Maria Walewska, anyone? Or a Victorian Era story? The next Sherlock Holmes movie? Aaaah, the possibilities…

      • atcDave says:

        Okay Arthur, since I’m the one who used those words its obvious once again your problem is with me. I try to keep my words measured and careful, I do not intend to inflame or annoy. But I am a conservative person with traditional values. That will always be how I look at things. You are welcome to express your opinions, but rants against me, or any of the other principals or guests at this site is not appropriate. Are you trying to bully me into silence with your tantrums?
        Well that won’t work. We do appreciate the free exchange of ideas here, but you come close to loosing that privilege. This is a private site, not a public one. For now, you are welcome to continue joining us in our discussions and weekly re-watch. But play nice, or the rules may change. We have even discussed limiting comment to just the six of us (well three anyway, the ladies seem to have real lives now that the show is over…). I doubt it will come to that, but individual accounts can be banned. We’ve never done it, but don’t push it.

      • Robert says:

        Dave, it’s true that Yvonne is always looking for more variety in (and within) her roles. I especially remember how she reacted, right after the end of Season 3, was it Comic-Con 2010? when she almost begged TPTB to let her have more of the fun and smiling scenes, because she loved it!

        On that account, I’m pretty sure she enjoyed making seasons 4 and 5 much more than the earliest 3; when she said “it’s a relief”, I don’t think it was just from the show’s point of vue.

        Yvonne is a funny and clever girl; in her latest tweet, she wrote “Hannah McKay sideboob for Obama” and “what??”. Excellent way to stop the “controversy”, or at least lighten the mood. She’s poking fun at herself (and the “outraged” fans), indicating it should not be taken seriously, without being disrespectful.

        Clever girl…yep, very clever.

      • aerox says:

        Fact is, there are more than enough people who think they are entitled to write about another person and badmouth them for doing something they don’t like.

        We call these people twats. Or–and this is going to reflect poorly on me, but I’m willing to take the brunt of the damage–journalists.

        The amount of fuss that’s created over what basically amounts to nothing (there has been shown much, MUCH more on Dexter than what Yvonne did, and even if she went full frontal, who are we to judge?) is truly staggering. We are supposed to be living in a tolerant country (coming from a Dutch point of view, so YMMV of course) and a tolerant time, and yet when it comes right down to it, our tolerance goes only as far as is convenient for ourselves and how we want to perceive things.

        In Dave’s example, he doesn’t agree with the scene and her role based on his moral values. And that’s fine. He doesn’t badmouth her or anyone of the show involved. He basically says it’s not his cup of tea and that’s it. And see, that’s completely fine. He accepts that other people might find it entertaining, he just doesn’t. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s one of the more saner approaches I’ve seen to this whole debacle.

        I’ve not seen it happen on this site, which is a good thing, but people (on tumblr and other social media sites, where the verbal assault can only be described as vicious) seriously need a reality check. It has come to a point where they can no longer disassociate Yvonne Strahovski from Sarah Walker. And you know what, I’m even willing to say that that’s fine. Is it messed up? Kinda, sure. But the fact remains that if you KNOW from yourself that you can’t disassociate, then why torment yourself by watching her on another show?

        But really, all this has proven to me is how ridiculously brainwashed our society truly is. Because like I noted earlier on twitter (about a month ago), isn’t it weird how death and decay are socially accepted entertainment, but sex and pleasure are considered to be disgusting and degrading.

        But at the end of it all, this whole discussion in itself is kind of pointless. Just as it isn’t our place to comment, so too is it not our place to demand how Yvonne reacts. That’s why I propose that the argument be dropped and let Yvonne handle it how she chooses to handle it. Entitlement is all well and good, but at least make sure you’re actually entitled before you start throwing your weight around.

        tl;dr People should chill out.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Robert, she is charming and funny and good at deflecting. I’m glad she isn’t getting all indignant. Of course, I also hope she makes better choices in the future, but that’s all on her.
        Some good comments there Aerox. Obviously I can’t agree with all of it, but the most important thing relevant to this site is that we discuss things civilly and not degrade into insults or name calling. It makes me a very sad that happens on other sites and twitter.

      • Robert says:

        I agree.

        But it just illustrates one of the major problems with online social medias; a lot of people give themselves permission to say things that they would certainly not say if they were face to face with Ms. Strahovski.

        Ms. Strahovski herself doesn’t take that seriously, and even managed to stay respectful while saying it! And she’s certainly aware that “some” fans are not happy. And basically, she’s saying “So what? They are entitled to their opinion, so why should I freak out over something I have no control over?” And in her situation, she’s right.

        I agree; maybe we should just stop discussing that “controversy” and get back to more interesting things, like episode 2.03!

  8. Bill says:

    The fountain scene is one of my top 5 moments in the show. Chuck once again taking the high road, Sarah telling us so much about how she is feeling without saying much at all, a great Bon Iver song in the background, and that look back over her shoulder…poignant and sublime.

    Thanks to those of you who pointed out Sarah’s implicit rejection of Bryce during the dance scene. It never really registered with me until now what she was up to. Now I get it!

    By way of criticism, I will say this: the Buy More B-plot in this episode has not aged well for me. I skip through most of it on re-watch now. I’ve never enjoyed television portrayals of bullying, and this one doesn”t fare any better. Only Anna’s “barracuda moment” offers any enjoyment for me at this point.

    • atcDave says:

      The Buy More plots generally don’t age well for me. But I did enjoy that Michael Strahan was willing to be a jerk, and then get beaten up by a LITTLE woman. That never gets old…

      I do love Sarah at that dance, I almost feel sorry for Bryce (almost!)

  9. Jerry Kane says:

    Sarah: You know, someday, when the Intersect is out of your head and you have the life you always wanted, you’ll forget all about me.

    I remembered this particular line when I was watching the final scene of “Bullet Train”, when Quinn holds up a photo of Chuck and asks Sarah if she knows the guy in the picture. So, Chuck never forgot, but Sarah did (not her fault, of course).

    “Skinny Love” was one of the most “suitable” songs they used for a scene, I think. It perfectly captured the mood of that fountain conversation Chuck and Sarah had, and gave much more heft to the emotions evoked by the scene.

  10. By the way, Casey is a total badass in this one. Notice how he plans the switch, stops van Hayes from getting killed, tracks down the money (presumably killing the bad guys), catches van Hayes, and then saves chuck while holding the money and Hayes in the other hand. And his final scene with Sarah is just quintessential Casey. Of course she can take care of Chuck. Wasn’t even worth talking about.

  11. Just a couple of late comments on two totally unrelated matters.The first,my original intention,has been well documented:Sarah and Bryce on the dance floor.Isn’t it always a joy to see Yvonne dance?Here,though,I love the scene because in her remarks to Bryce she is afforded the most rare opportunity during the first 2+ series to demonstrate a snippet of her comic ability and timing ,which was later wonderful to behold!

    On the “controversial” scene alluded to in Dexter,it is both her childlike expression on witnessing the Christmas snow setting and her defiant response in the face of death, which yet again so clearly demonstrate her use of facial expressions to portray her acting talent to a whole new audience.Mel is right-I have seen numerous posts confirming a new Chuck following,including one guy who has already bought and watched the whole 5 seasons!
    Since the end of season 4,Yvonne will have appeared in a comedy(Guilt Trip ),a drama-romance-thriller(I Frankenstein)’a critically acclaimed TV show(Dexter)and tomorrow will make her debut on Broadway in her most challenging role to date.These and other diverse roles will hopefully ensure she is eventually recognised for her acting ability,although I doubt she will be concerned-she is simply an actress who loves to act!!

    • atcDave says:

      No doubt she’s demonstrating a lot of range and talent as she builds her resume! And I’m always pleased to hear of more people discovering Chuck.

      • Robert says:

        This is very good news!

        Who knows? It could even help to get that eventual “Chuck” reunion!

      • atcDave says:

        It’s funny Robert, I hate to be too one-track on the issue, bit that’s sort of my first thought too; more Chuck interest… Better chance of a reunion project…

  12. PS.An early Xmas present-OK,so I am a little biased……pictwitter.com/eNnwqyVY.What did I say about facial expressions-Adorable or what!!!!!”

  13. Sorry,Joe-should be…….pic.twitter.com/eNnwqyVY…….if this does not work just go to Yvonne’s twitter account and view the photo there.

  14. candm3407 says:

    My whole problem with the Bryce/Chuck/Sarah and later Jill is the fact on how stupid Chuck and Sarah react. Essential its the same storyline. Except roles reverse. It is exes resurfacing and causing problems. As I mentioned in my blog titled Sarah v Agent Walker. Chuck and Sarah both know that they can’t stand someone of the opposite sex mingle with the other, but the fact they can’t get out of their own ways to pursue something shows the maturity is not there yet. When Sarah saw how Chuck acted with Bryce in town, she should know what it was like for Chuck when Jill pops up. However, she can’t help herself because of the woman inside of her not liking Chuck with another woman and Chuck does not want to see another man with Sarah its the classic if I can’t have you no one can. especially when there is real feelings involved

    What is interesting for me is they call the whole Charah/Shaw/Hannah a trapezoid but wouldn’t you call this angle a semi trapezoid

    • anthropocene says:

      I would argue that Sarah behaved quite well for the most part during the Jill arc. This, in spite of Jill showing Sarah up during much of “vs. Fat Lady,” and Jill seducing Chuck literally before her eyes, and Casey needling her about it and about Bryce.

      • atcDave says:

        Anthro you might want to double check you screen name before you post!

        But I completely agree Sarah’s behavior with Jill is pretty ideal. Perfect and classy. She was a little less under control with Lou. But both times I thought she was the highlight of those episodes.
        Chuck was a little annoying at times, including when Sarah was distracted. Beefcake and Ex always get marked way down by me for that reason.

      • Chris Byrnes says:

        actually I disagree. sure Sarah did a better job this time around with keeping cool, but it still doesn’t mean it bothered her any less. At this point in the story Sarah is still reluctant in speaking her feelings. I thought Chuck rubbing in her face though was a little crass. However, Sarah kissing Bryce in his room was a bit much for Chuck.

        The scene that told me how much Jill and Chuck getting close again bothered Sarah was when Casey said your being nonchalant with your supercomputer boyfriend browsing someone else network.

        her words did not match her body language in which she said I am just his cover girlfriend. He deserves a real one. Her eyes look like someone who wanted something in a department store window but can’t have.

        you won’t see where body language and words match until First Kill and before The Prague Incident, in which I feel Chuck was totally wrong for, and feel Sarah had every right to be angry with Chuck but we will save that for another time.

      • atcDave says:

        I never meant to suggest she wasn’t upset, she was. But her behavior was exemplary.

      • anthropocene says:

        Sorry, Dave, something very strange happened with my computer this morning.
        And Chris, what Dave said was my point as well.

    • revdr says:

      I think that you have to look at their behavior from the POV of each of them when they came into each other’s life. Chuck was In a five year fog. His first love not only had kicked him to the curb, but then started seeing his best friend and roommate. He was drifting, with no direction, and no real desire to find any. Then, enter stage right….Sarah Walker. She was beautiful, smart, and she was coming on to him. For someone like Chuck, who was then the poster child for low self esteem, he had to be both elated, and confused (“have you seen her?”). Sarah lifted the clouds that had encircled Chuck’s life. She made him feel worthy of having a life, and a relationship. He knew what he wanted, and deep down her knew that Sarah felt something too, but he was still guarded. The outward truth of “Truth” for Chuck was that even if Sarah was unattainable, he still deserved to have more than he had. Enter stage left, Lou (or later, Hannah). He had choices. Problem was, neither of them was what he really wanted. Jill, on the other hand, was a combination of wish fulfillment and unresolved issues and emotions. Sarah was the constant. For Sarah, all spy, everything for her in regards to Chuck was an entirely new experience. She was an emotional cripple. She didn’t know anything about love, and I don’t think that she’d ever experienced jealousy, so her reactions to Lou (and Carina and Sasha) were surprising to her. She felt like she had failed professionally, but as a girl, she felt rejected. Simply put, she was jealous. Her actions in regards to Jill were again guarded, but professional, because although at that point, she had admitted her feelings (at least to herself), she wanted for Chuck to be happy and she figured that she couldn’t give him what he needed, or wanted from her. So she begrudgingly accepted the relationship, always protective, but inwardly, the jealousy was tearing her apart. For both Chuck, and Sarah, the big problem always was accepting the truth, jumping over the hurdles and getting out of each other’s way on the collision course towards one another. The heart knows what it wants, and sometimes you just have to give in, especially when it comes to love. For them it was the law of Physics…irresistible force/immovable object.

      • atcDave says:

        Part of what I found so hugely appealing about Sarah was how she “stepped aside” to let Chuck have what he deserved and she couldn’t give, and how it tore her apart at the same time.
        I think it was one of their more subtle uses of humor how she couldn’t help herself from meddling with Lou.
        Later, with Jill, her outward behavior was better; even though the risk and internal conflict for Sarah seemed even worse (reasonable since presumably the feelings are even stronger and deeper at this point).
        I don’t know if I would quite go so far as to say “emotional cripple” for Sarah; but agree entirely she is inexperienced and conflicted. Really even more inexperienced than Chuck, she seems to have no idea how to proceed. Of course on her v-log, she will basically admit as much, even after she’s willing to admit she loves Chuck, she just has no idea what to do about it.

      • revdr says:

        Yeah Dave, maybe emotional cripple was a bit strong. Emotionally distant might be a better term. She knew what she was feeling, but for the life of her, she just didn’t know how to handle it. Logically and professionally she knew that it made no sense, and on some level felt that it would never work; but she still, in her heart, wanted the fairy tale. The head vs the heart. That emotional rollercoaster is what made her journey so interesting…and so much fun.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah rev, Sarah’s journey is very difficult!

  15. candm3407 says:

    The thing is at the end of the break up we get a woman who for the first time shows real emotion. The words you will never be normal, sarah walker struck harder than anything Chuck said in the previous break up. The reason Jill bothered Sarah so much was the history behind them, and I agree with Joe. When Chuck left behind his watch it struck Sarah so hard because it was like he cut ties with her. He basically abandon her. Her Chuck wouldn’t do that

    See the sequence is pretty much a series of misfortune events they get close and then something drives them apart whether its other people or work, The reality is I assume we all can agree that when Sarah stepped foot into the Buymore. the initial outset was for her was Chuck was a Threat, but in reality after watching what he did for the little girl. She knew the only threat Chuck was to her heart.

    Sarah was happy and enjoying this assignment because Chuck and his family are warm and show her that this can can be for her, and the experience is helping her with building a future with Chuck both professional and personally. She controlled her asset and learned how to become the normal woman she had dreamed of ever since she was a child. She protected, supported and showed him some affection towards him to give him some gesture there was a chance. However, it does not last long because even the asset felt that a fake relationship was not enough, and the same thing can be said for Sarah, and it all began to unravel for Agent Walker.

    The reason was other women became interested in Chuck and the real Chuck , when Sarah meets these women., She begins to realize that the charms that she was attracted also work on other women. It was how Chuck lived his life. The question than was how would Agent Walker cope with these turns of events. She handled it like any other woman would do. She becomes jealous and hurt because of Chuck not being around. Agent Walker tries to tell herself that it was just a cover and it was not real feelings, but even the toughest spies has feelings that are hard to hide. The kind of feelings that had agents reassigned or get subjected to a 49B.

    All Sarah wanted to do was be close to Chuck , even if it’s a simple game night or an all night stakeout. She loves being there for Chuck when he has questions about how to survive missions especially ones like asking her how to prepare for a mission with Jill, the girlfriend inside of Sarah wants so much to kiss him. The fire burning in her eyes is showing the love she has for him. When Chuck is around her heart’s walls are completely down and she is enjoying every moment of it.

    With Jill gone, Sarah wins again. Chuck came back to her, and being typical Sarah coaches her man on how finding out that your girlfriend is Fulcrum is something they don’t teach at spy school, but better Chuck puts his hand in hers and he said,

    Chuck: I’m just too trusting. Ever since I was a kid, I really wanted to believe what everyone else told me, you know? I’m just getting used to this new job, with the spying and lying.

    Sarah: Don’t get used to it. What makes you special is that you’re not like every other spy. You’re a good guy and you want to help people. Leave the deception to me.

    Chuck: I’m glad I have you. [These are the words Sarah the girlfriend wants to hear.]

    Sarah: Yeah, we’re better as a team [Agent Walker and Sarah the girlfriend]

    There is a big difference from the first year together and the second year. This time Sarah loves Chuck. As Dave said her feelings are deeper. This is why in the beginning of Suburbs she is basically asking Chuck out, but since he so often heard that it was just a cover why would he be expecting it. at this stage we will have to wait another year and half before they are mature and bold enough to take a chance.

    • revdr says:

      Oh, I am convinced that Sarah loved Chuck before season 2. She tells him so in Other Guy. That kiss was real in Hard Salami and those were real tears on that roof in Marlin. But those were situations born more out of the real possibility of loss, not acceptance of deeper emotion. Season 1 Sarah was still fighting her emotions while season 2 Sarah had accepted the inevitable reality the she didn’t just care for him or even loved him…she was IN LOVE with him. Yes, she was conflicted; yes she was scared. But it was the fear of wanting him and not being able to have him…or if she deserved to have him. That she admitted out loud that she had fallen for him in Cougars, albeit to Heather Chandler in that fight was huge for her. As the season progresses you can clearly see that she had pretty much decided not to fight those feeling anymore, and it became more about accepting it and making the decision to take the leap. Our friend Chris likes to mention Dawson’s Creek from time to time, and Joey’s decision about finally making a choice was admitting what, and who she wanted and overcoming the fear to run, was a good example of what Sarah choice was all about. No more hiding/no more fighting.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that’s all well put rev. Part of what’s so fun about S2 is just waiting for what it will take to force her hand (“take off your watch…”)

        And for the record, there’s a number of reasons why some commenters show up under multiple names, we try to discourage it, there have been those playing the “sock puppet” game. But I’m pretty sure Christopher/Candm/Chris Byrnes is just working from a few accounts, no deception intended. But they all the same visitor.

      • candm3407 says:

        Rev,
        I agree with you that the kiss was real and the tears were real on the roof top. However, we can’t ignore the struggle Sarah had to come to grips with her own feelings and lets take a look at Chuck as well. Even he at times in season 1 and 2 were skeptical on Sarah’s intentions. This is why he elected to go out with other women, but I won’t say Sarah was all willing to allow Chuck be with other women just for the sake of keeping with cover. If the cover was just that than it would not of been a big deal for Sarah to listen in on his date with Lou or listen in on Chuck’s conversation with him and Jill.

        What I find funny is through the whole time of season 1 and up until Chuck vs the Ex Sarah was never seen listening in on Chuck’s conversations. It was usually Casey doing that, but for this particular situation Sarah is listening in. Sarah is compromised, but the agency or even Bryce that is keeping her from pursuing Chuck. She has shown williness to go against them. She is compromised with herself. The best example I can give to support my case would be how Carina treat Vinnie James in the three words. She used her mark to take advantage and than took the upper hand.

        Sarah seeing this made her realize that she is not like Carina. She has fallen in love. Chuck has done a lot for Sarah in the two years they have known each other. He made her confront her past in cougars, helped her with her father and taught her what love really feels like. He didn’t want anything from her to begin with.

        Rev you brought up the why won’t you call this girl line from the pilot. I believe if Sarah didn’t return to the Buymore Chuck was never going to call. He had a chance to kiss her in Tango twice and he didn’t do it. he questioned her why she was in his room when he got home and really didn’t start to take a serious interest until the kiss in Imported hard salami.

        i also don’t think it was really fear holding her back as much as not having experience in what she was feeling. She liked it believe me she would of left with Bryce or let the government take him.

        Sarah was ready to take the leap in Prague, and it was Chuck who decided not to do it. When I watch the scene. I look at Sarah’s eyes and I never really looked at the shock and than hurt at the same time before. Chuck gave her a bracelet and called her his girl. Sarah committed treason and turned down Bryce to be with Chuck. For Chuck to than turn around and Choose the spy life over her was worse than him choosing Lou or Jill. Hannah makes the whole Prague Incident worse in my view and actually made me mad at Chuck too, but through it all Sarah sticks around.

        It really amazes me how much Sarah stood by the man she loved despite all this

      • revdr says:

        I don’t think that Sarah allowing Chuck to go out with other women was ever about the cover. On the contrary, it was the opposite. Sarah knew that Chuck longed to be normal, something she really couldn’t offer him, if only by virtue of the job alone. She was a CIA operative, and at that point at least, that wasn’t going to change. Chuck had been thrown into this mess, at least we all thought at this time, by just knowing Bryce. She felt somewhat responsible for that. No one knew that there were bigger forces at play. Yes, she listened in on the date with Lou because it became an issue after they learned that Lou’s ex was involved with an arms dealer. Was she jealous, absolutely, that was very evident when she horned in on the date. But I still contend that she was also scared, because jealously for her was a new and foreign emotion. She didn’t know what to do about it, or how to deal with it. As for Jill, the same thing applied, since Jill’s boss had been linked to Fulcrum in some way. It was Casey primarily listening in (he was always listening), but it was also Casey who pointed out that Sarah had an affinity for falling for her partners. By the time Jill arrived on the scene however, Sarah was past the point of no return. But because she had convinced herself that being with Chuck was a something that couldn’t, and wouldn’t happen, she just decided to step aside and let him find the happiness that she couldn’t give him. It wasn’t about Bryce, if it had been she could have left with him back in Nemesis. I read your article btw….it had some very good insight. Please let me know more about your blog, I would love to chime in. I still would like to get into it with you about Dawson/Joey/Pacey as well. Let me know more….

    • candm3407 says:

      Sorry guys about the different names that keep coming up, but Dave is right Its all the same name. I am not trying to cause any trouble, but sometimes my name shows up Christoper or Chris because I use my facebook account as a sign in. and others the candm3407. I don’t have any evil intentions to black ball this site. I actually enjoy this blog because it allows me to think about my favorite characters.

      I have actually opened my own blog site but I have no intentions in coping anything that is done on this page. As I am new to the game and a lot of the material on this site is from when the show was on the air. I appreciate First Impressions because I can go along the ride with that person in watching the series.

      I would like to thank Dave, Joe, Thinkling and the rest of the authors on this blog for allowing me to express myself.

      • joe says:

        That was always the intention, Chris – a place for us to express ourselves.

        Especially ME!!! 😉

      • revdr says:

        Chris; don’t stop talking to us. Your insight is invaluable to me….and the fun part. We may agree or we may agree to disagree, but the dialog is the key.

  16. candm3407 says:

    in the beginning it seemed like a rivalry because of the tension between Bryce and Chuck that seemed to last until the break up, but Bryce is smart and when he saw Sarah’s reaction towards what Chuck said about the red dress, he knew that his days were numbered with Sarah.

    I know it looked liked Bryce was not going to give up without a fight, but he didn’t stop her when she told him no about coming with him

    Remember he was at Stanford because Orion sent him there. He looked after Chuck, and both Chuck and Sarah didn’t know about it.

    • atcDave says:

      Orion’s language about Stanford is actually unclear. It is possible he trusted Bryce because Bryce first “helped” Chuck. It’s also possible Orion sent Bryce to Stanford TO help Chuck.
      I’ve always favored the first interpretation. It makes no sense that Orion would have known of Bryce before he was even on the CIA’s radar. It makes good sense that he first heard of Bryce when he got Chuck expelled.

      • candm3407 says:

        Dave,
        This is what makes the show so great…two years later and there are still stories they can tell. So many questions still to answer besides just Chuck and Sarah. What role did Graham play in the whole baby angle. What was Omaha about what was the real role of Mama Bartowski with regards to Hartley. Was she there to be like Sarah was for Chuck.
        a protector of sorts.

        What other part of the ring was there. They said that Fulcrum was only a part of the ring how many more parts where there. Maybe I overstating but I’d like to think that it just didn’t end with The ring 2 Would Casey and Verbanski settle down together

        Do you know I watched Season 2 today and saw the episode of the Cougars whats interesting for me is they were dealing with the Russian Mafia in that one.could that count as the first fight between the CIA and Volkoff Industries. Since Heather Chandler was working with them in that episode. really interesting stuff if you ask me

    • revdr says:

      There was definitely a rivalry, albeit a friendly one, between Bryce and Chuck. Well before Jill, they were creating games together. Remember the flashback in Alma Mater? They very competitive. As to whether Orion sent Bryce to Stanford I like to think that it was no, because, it seemed to be a recruiting ground for the CIA, and I’m assuming that Orion contacted Bryce after he was recruited, knowing that they were also interested in Chuck, and knowing that Bryce was Chuck’s roommate and friend.

  17. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Break Up (2.03) | Chuck This

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