Chuck vs The Gravitron (2.08)

Sarah saves Chuck

Sarah & Casey Save Chuck – Again.

The final episode of the Jill arc.  We know from the start that Jill is Fulcrum, and its no mystery to Chuck for long.  And once again I think Sarah just owns this episode.  The “B” plot also shines here, and its integration with the main story is once again perfect.  After the jump, we’ll discuss “Chuck vs The Gravitron”.

I’ve said from the start this is my favorite of the triangle arcs, and this ending is particularly strong.  I do have to mention I just hate seeing Chuck with Jill, it makes no difference if its “understandable” or not.  As I’ve said many times, I was a ‘shipper pretty early on, and I’m really not interested in any screen time for Chuck and the wrong girl.  But Chuck does see the error of his ways pretty quickly.  I only would have liked this better if Chuck had decided he was in no position to pursue a relationship with Jill when he was in love with someone else, but its pretty obvious the writers of this show never quite shared my vision of romance, and its arguably too early for such a decision anyway.

But there are some things I like a lot about this beginning.  In particular; we get a stunning contrast between Jill, the “bad girl” and Sarah, the “good girl”.  Jill is a manipulating liar.  She may have some lingering affection for Chuck, but she is ultimately self serving and dangerous.  Sarah in contrast is sympathetic, patient, self sacrificing and forgiving almost beyond belief.  We are starting a stretch here leading up to the climax of “Santa Claus” where we will see a heroic and idealized version of Sarah.  Angel imagery will abound.  Obviously, this is deliberate to make the shock at the end of 2.11 that much more brutal.  But I would consider this very effective story telling.  We already know some of her shortcomings, and we will see more of them in the future; but I think in many ways the idealized Sarah Walker of mid-S2 is an enduring legacy of the show.  Whatever feelings Sarah may have had about “Chill” in the previous episodes, she completely puts them aside here to be a sympathetic shoulder for Chuck.  She isn’t kidding when she says she will protect him from anything.

Chuck does have a few good moments later in the episode; I particularly like his learning the technical details on Castle (and being smart about it even after his plan “A” doesn’t work) and final arrest of Jill.

I also like how Ellie and Morgan are completely in Sarah’s camp.  Which leads me to a very satisfying sub-plot.  Starting with Ellie’s frantic preparations for an “Awesome” visit.  I really like Ellie as Morgan’s fantasy for a moment, but we must suspect this has a lot to do with turkey.  Morgan’s dis-invitation and subsequent internment at the Buy More is very funny television.  I love all of this; Jeff’s traps and inability to hack the security system; Lester’s lack of familiarity with turkey; Big Mike taking down Leader; Casey as Morgan’s designated replacement; and the whole gang gathered for the holiday.  Nice foreshadowing about the DeLorean too, I guess Morgan was doomed the moment it pulled into the install bay, this is a long time dream of his!

My complaints here are few.  Apart from not liking Chuck’s involvement with Jill early on (in the entertainment sense of the word; I simply do not find Chuck with the wrong girl to be entertaining); I found “Leader” to be lacking as a villain.  I think its primarily a casting failure, I just couldn’t buy this actor as anything other than a dumb thug.  Putting glasses on him didn’t really help.  Fortunately, Chuck is only rarely about the villains anyway, so this damages little.

And so ends the last arc for a while.  Although Chuck always builds on characters and happenings, we won’t start another real arc until Suburbs.  The next arc may be epic, and the best longer arc of the series, but I like several of the stand alones we get next even better.

~ Dave

The Death of Innocence

A Fulcrum Agent?

Who’s on the list?

When you’re looking for Fulcrum agents, you never know who you’ll find on the list.

Dave, I agree with just about everything you wrote here. But lemmee tell ya, moreso than the umpteen previous times I saw this episode, I was struck by one thing.

Please let me explain. Chuck and Jill went on a date, in their Stanford years. Braving his fear of heights (and of carnivals 😉 ), Chuck takes Jill up on the Ferris Wheel and has (romantically) bribed the Carney to stop the wheel with them on top. Nice. It’s their first kiss, I take it. It’s sweet, innocent, and a complete lie. What Chuck doesn’t know is that Jill is already in deep with espionage, the CIA, Bryce and Fulcrum.

Sarah’s not so naive. She even gives Chuck a quick seduction lesson. And wasn’t that the greatest non-kiss ever?

Five years later, and they’re up on the Ferris Wheel again. The only difference is that, this time, it’s Jill who has bribed the Carney. Chuck is still as naive as he ever was, even after the kissing instructions.

I guess I’ll disagree here just a little about Patrick Kilpatrick‘s performance as “Leader,” Dave. Even with the glasses, he strikes me as a pretty formidable foe, much in the mold of Steve Austin. In our story he’s about to scare the pants off Chuck in the Gravitron, and like usual, it’s up to Sarah and Casey to save the boy.

But something happens next. Jill is taken for “interrogation,” complete with lie detector, and the truth is about to come out. We all know how important The Truth ™ has been to Chuck all along. He just can’t resist knocking on that door. Once Sarah and Casey leave to get “Leader,” Chuck can find more Truth ™ about what happened at Stanford.

And I’m talking about what happened between Jill and Bryce. Finding out has always been Chuck’s mission, after all. You remember, last time I mentioned that, although Bryce might not have been a real “bad guy” when he sent the Intersect to Chuck, his intentions with Chuck’s college girlfriend were still in question. They were certainly uppermost in Chuck’s mind. We were left with one big question: Bryce. Friend or foe?

For that matter, Jill; Friend or foe? Look at what she’s done. She’s already helped Chuck save the day, both with Guy LaFleur’s puzzles and with the virus that Fulcrum unleashed at the conference. She got Chuck out of the hall of mirrors by shooting “Leader.” Every time Chuck was in mortal danger, Jill got him out.

Yes, we saw the look on her face in the motel room, when she learned that Chuck knew about her Fulcrum handler, “Uncle Tobias.” And then, there was “Leader’s” smirking statement “Devious, aren’t we?” when Chuck guesses that Jill actually shot “Leader” in order to get into Castle. Maybe Jill is incredibly devious. We know Chuck has this big blind spot.

But did you notice that in neither case, did we, the viewers, have a direct answer? Jill’s “look” is up for interpretation – it could have been concern that she had been “made”, or it could have been extreme guilt. Jill makes no response to “Leader’s” statement. His word “We” could have meant “Fulcrum”, or merely have been a taunt. The more I see Jill, the more ambiguous her intentions become.

And that ambiguity is quite intentional. We, the audience, have to infer as much as Chuck about Jill’s actions. What we see is almost exactly like what Chuck sees on the lie detector. Jill admits, truthfully, that back then at Stanford, she really did like Chuck. That was real. Did she actually sleep with Bryce? No, she didn’t. That too, is the truth. Maybe Jill really does have Chuck’s best interests at heart.

Oh, there’s one more question Chuck has for Jill. “When this is all over, could we try again?” Her answer, “yes”, is a lie. There’s no future there, Chuck, even if you knock on that particular door. How could there be? She’s Fulcrum.

If you knock, knock, knock
And if you knock, knock, knock
And if you call me I’ll be free
And if you ring for me

Just like Bryce, Jill is a Schrodinger’s cat. She is neither good, nor bad, but some combination of both. We’re not going to know which until she acts.

In the mean time, Sarah and Casey have succeeded in bringing “Leader” to Castle, only to be trapped by Jill’s treachery. Yes, this time, her actions do seem treacherous. At least, they are self-serving. It appears she’ll jump to whatever side she thinks is winning.

I noticed that Sarah’s not confused by Jill at all. For Sarah, it’s black and white, and her job is simple – she still has to protect Chuck, even if it means showing him The Awful Truth ™ about his first love – she used him, even at Stanford, and will use him again.

Is Sarah right? She’s not wrong.

I don’t think Sarah expected what happens next. Chuck, nerd that he is, has actually taken the time to read the Castle manual – the Castle User’s Guide! Who does that??? Not only does Chuck prevent “Leader” from getting to Castle’s computers and getting Fulcrum there, he also frees Sarah and Casey. He saves them.

There’s also one more detail that I don’t think Sarah learns about until after the mission reports are written. Chuck has complete confidence that the Buy More is booby trapped. It’s a Buy Moron Thanksgiving tradition, and he’ll make it work in his favor. It’s also one of those little things that I always find enjoyable in Chuck. It all fits together so nicely!

The fight is not over, though. Jill is also there, and has her chance to shoot at, and maybe kill Sarah. True to her “on the fence” nature, at Chuck’s request, she doesn’t. Is she being shrewd? Playing “a long game” and setting a trap for Chuck to be sprung later? If she is, it doesn’t work. Chuck is not so naive any more, not about how this espionage game is played, and not about her. Chuck arrests Jill, and childhood is over, it seems.

But this is what I saw, Dave. Chuck hasn’t been so naive for a while now. He’s been past that for a long time, and Jill was just a major hurdle for him to get over, a major blind spot.

Sarah’s the one who had been looking through sentimental eyes at someone she thought needed her protection. Maybe he still does, but Sarah just learned that Chuck, while still giving Jill the benefit of the doubt as long as he could, saw through everything. He also knew Castle at least as well as “the professional spies,” if not better. Chuck just had his heart broken, and still accomplished his mission, and the CIA’s. Like he told Jill, Chuck knows complicated.

It’s true; Chuck lost his innocence a while back even when it involves his biggest blind spots. Now, I think it’s Sarah’s turn. She just learned that Chuck doesn’t need a babysitter or a handler, but a partner. For her, that’s a big step.

– 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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37 Responses to Chuck vs The Gravitron (2.08)

  1. authorguy says:

    While I liked the idea of Big Mike tackling Leader, that scene was the first time I was struck how often Casey seems to lose his fights.
    Chuck saving the day by being Chuck, and reading the manual, was a perfect ploy. He was always such a great hero simply by being Chuck. He forced the bad guys (and even the good ones) to play on his terms, where he was strong and they were weak. I only wish they had remembered the manual in later episodes.where control of Castle was in doubt.

    • He does better when appliances are available.

    • Well said authorguy. The comedic aspects of the episode were great. Big Mike’s take down, the gravitron ‘chase’ scene etc. Loved the spin on RTFM – ie read the manual and how Chuck used it to his advantage.

      The Sarah and Chuck moments were great in this – even though Sarah showed enormous restraint & understanding throughout this arc.

      I agree the Leader villain was lacking and his plan was so convoluted and depended on so many unknown variables.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, Casey loses the fight more often than Sarah (who’s not undefeated in the ring, either). I think that was to make him seem more human.

      But his sharp-shooting skills are unparalleled. He always hit’s the bulls-eye.

  2. Bill says:

    @ Joe — loved your write-up. Fantastic!

    I enjoyed S2 so much during its original airing, and have gone back to it many times since. The show just has the perfect blend of humor, romance, and discovery at this point. This episode in particular is so appealing on all those levels.

    One technical flaw that I can’t help but see — Leader loses his grip on his handgun when Mike tackles him, but then has it in hand when he’s laying on the boxes. Oops.

    Can’t wait until we get to the long S2 arc — Chuck at its absolute best.

    • joe says:

      Thanks, Bill. Appreciate that.

      Hum… I’ve seen S2 tonnes of times (British unit of counting ordinals, the tonne is…) and I haven’t noticed that technical error! Good catch. That’s the kind of thing that’s going to creep into TV shows that film on a tight schedule, I’m sure. So I don’t let them bother me too much. Sometimes they’re even fun to spot.

      If we’re ever so lucky as to get a Chuck movie, those things should be eliminated, I trust.

      • atcDave says:

        Unless its a made-for-tv or direct-to-video or webisode movie… Those have even lower production values! But no doubt, cinematic movies have much tighter (but not perfect!) continuity.

  3. uplink2 says:

    First of all I’m so freaking excited Yvonne answered a question from me in her tweet up today!!!! https://twitter.com/Y_Strahovski/status/278218861646589952 Made my freaking day!!

    But on to this episode. I don’t think this is the best of the Jill arc, last weeks was, but it does bring me back to what bothers me about it. This relates to this paragraph from Joe:

    And that ambiguity is quite intentional. We, the audience, have to infer as much as Chuck about Jill’s actions. What we see is almost exactly like what Chuck sees on the lie detector. Jill admits, truthfully, that back then at Stanford, she really did like Chuck. That was real. Did she actually sleep with Bryce? No, she didn’t. That too, is the truth. Maybe Jill really does have Chuck’s best interests at heart.

    The whole point of all of this is Jill is very ambiguous and we never know for certain what her motivations were and from that I don’t believe we can ever clearly state that anything she said is the truth. Plus we have clearly established canon that says even truth serum can be trained to withstand by an agent. So therefor lie detectors in the spy world of Chuck are meaningless. Therefore none of her answers can be believed including whether she slept with Bryce or not. I just don’t get what the reasoning is behind always trying to redeem everyone that betrayed Chuck. Bryce, Jill, Mary and Stephen all betrayed him and they attempted, with mixed results, to redeem them. We see quite clearly later on that Jill would betray Chuck again in a heartbeat when she takes aim at Sarah, someone clearly dedicated to protecting Chuck, We all know Bryce would have betrayed Chuck again in a New York minute if it was necessary in his mind to complete his mission. But even though Jill would have killed Sarah we are supposed to accept she wasn’t so bad because at least she passed a lie detector test about whether or not she slept with Bryce.

    For me it just didn’t add anything to the story. I would have preferred a less grey on at least some areas of those closest to Chuck. I just have a problem with always trying to redeem those that betrayed him.

    I enjoyed this arc but in 2 episodes my real passion for the show blossomed fully.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually we know Jill did fool the lie detector when she was asked if it was a trap. I tend to believe her about Bryce, but as I indicated in the post, I think she is very much Sarah’s evil opposite. Even if she does like Chuck some, she will lie and manipulate, not to protect Chuck, but to protect herself.

      • Technically, the destination was not a trap. The trap was laid elsewhere; getting Sarah and Casey to lose sprang it.

      • atcDave says:

        Too funny.

      • Uplink brought this up in vs. the Ex, and I didn’t want to go into it much in that thread. You can see it there, but to paraphrase his argument: whether or not Jill slept with Bryce is an unnecessary detail and irrelevant to her broader narrative. Jill has proven herself to be a villain, and that’s no less true for this detail.

        I think that this misses the point of Jill, and Bryce. Remember, these three people started in the exact same situation: innocent at Stanford, scouted by a covert organization. And Chuck and Jill were ostensibly in love with each other.

        Then they all went down very different paths. I’ve always felt like Bryce was a referendum on Chuck as a person: that their endings differed because Chuck was a fundamentally more good and honest person than Bryce. Despite being picked for the same project and working with the same agent, Chuck stayed true to his basic goodness from the beginning, and it saved his life by earning Sarah’s loyalty in a way Bryce never could.

        Jill is different – I think of her as being a commentary on the difference between Fulcrum and Sarah/Casey. Remember that these two people are starting from the same point. When Jill is recruited, she does the right things and distances herself completely from Chuck in a way that couldn’t physically harm him.

        But between Stanford and vs. the Ex, Jill has been warped. It’s a process that started subtly (an incentive here or there), and then morphed into something different. And as an expert organization would do, they slowly coerced Jill into becoming a person they could use. They even used people close to her to help, as we find out later.

        Chuck, meanwhile, is recruited by Casey and Sarah, two fundamentally good people who very rarely try to manipulate him into anything he isn’t. As strong as Chuck might be personally, the people we surround ourselves with make a huge difference in how we ultimately turn out. Chuck had Sarah, but Jill had Fulcrum. She’s less Sarah’s evil alter-ego than Chuck’s could-have-been destiny. And it’s the threat for what Fulcrum could still do to Chuck if they ever catch him. Our hero is still naive here, and what we’re seeing from Jill is a portion of the threat Fulcrum poses to him. It’s why I always liked them better than the Ring. They were a much more well-developed danger.

        That one bit about Jill not sleeping with Bryce isn’t about redemption. It’s about a clarification that yes, she and Chuck started in the same spot. And while she certainly bears responsibility for what ultimately happens to her, her path isn’t one she would have gone through independently.

    • resaw says:

      Direct communication with the gods, or the goddess, in this case. 🙂

  4. resaw says:

    Another great episode to conclude a wonderful arc. Very much appreciate the reviews, gentlemen.

    However, Joe, where is the complete lie in the sweet, innocent kiss back in 2002? At this point, is Jill even aware that Fulcrum is a nefarious, evil organization bent on taking over the US government? Is Jill in deep with the CIA and with Bryce at this stage?

    As for the seduction lesson from Sarah, yes, indeed a great non-kiss. I like it that it appeared that Sarah was a bit caught up in it herself. Notice how, when Casey comes in, both she and Chuck casually lean against the table, feigning nonchalance, not altogether convincingly based on Casey’s reaction.

    I have to say, that I cannot possibly understand why Chuck would ask Jill, “When this is all over, could we try this again?” She pulled a gun on him! No, Chuck, you cannot try this again!

    Maybe I missed this part somehow; how did Jill use Chuck at Stanford? I recall her saying that she had to break up with him following his expulsion, but did it say anywhere that, for a particular reason, Jill was to date Chuck?

    No reference by either of you to Chuck’s message to Casey and Sarah in the cell: “Unleash the Casey.”

    A very nice ending:
    Chuck: “I’m glad I have you,” and he reaches out to take Sarah’s hand.
    Sarah: “Yeah, we’re better as a team.”
    …followed by the classic dinner at the Bartowski family table.

    • atcDave says:

      “Unleash the Casey” is indeed an excellent line! I guess I was referring to it obliquely when I mentioned Chuck adapting well after his plan “A” failed, but of course I should have given it a more specific call out.
      Did either of us suggest Jill had been using Chuck at Stanford? I didn’t mean to, and I don’t see it on review of the post, let me know if something read that way to you. But I would say she was already choosing her career with the bad guys over love, or whatever we choose to call it, with Chuck. Jill is a more subtle sort of villain. The weak willed, morally compromised sort. And I love how that contrasts to Sarah; who although emotionally and professionally compromised, will consistently make better moral choices. That may be my favorite, most lasting memory of this episode and arc, is just how appealing Sarah Walker is even with a few obvious failings.
      I also do like the seduction lesson. A very sweet, almost intensely passionate scene, that goes nowhere. Amusing and frustrating all at once.

      • resaw says:

        This is a paragraph in Joe’s review:
        I noticed that Sarah’s not confused by Jill at all. For Sarah, it’s black and white, and her job is simple – she still has to protect Chuck, even if it means showing him The Awful Truth ™ about his first love – she used him, even at Stanford, and will use him again.

        How did she use him? Jill mentioned that Fulcrum told her she had to break up with Chuck after his expulsion, but as far as I can tell, there was no such manipulation beforehand. Unless, perhaps you are inferring from Jill’s character that she was always in some way, taking advantage of Chuck….

      • atcDave says:

        Okay thanks resaw, I missed that the first time. I guess Joe will need to weigh in. Although I would mention her method of breaking up with Chuck, by using Bryce, is quite manipulative. But I don’t believe we know of any such manipulation during the relationship itself.

    • joe says:

      Resaw, you and Uplink above make good points about Jill. Uplink said that we can never believe anything she says (or did, I assume), or even the lie detector. So what to make of that kiss in ’02?

      And the whole episode with Bryce in ’02 is an interesting case too. Didn’t he use Chuck for his own ends? And wasn’t Jill his accomplice in that? (Well, they may have been good ends, but they were using him for their own ends nonetheless.) Man, I’m asking pointed questions here, so let me give you my answers.

      It’s definitely open to interpretation, so please don’t take it as gospel. But my take is that everything we see about Jill is, by design, meant to be taken in both the worst way and the best way. So yes, the kiss in ’02 was true and it was also something planted to use Chuck. The lie detector told us Jill was telling the truth and that she was lying. I would not be surprised to find that when Jordana asked Fedak directly “Is Jill good or bad in the end?” he answered “Yes!”

      I think we were given a character like this so that she could make Chuck believe one thing and Sarah another. Then, when push came to shove (like it does in First Kill), Chuck can’t use his rational side to get out of trouble. He has to use his heart to decide between Jill and Sarah. That same theme comes back later, but if TPTB feared that this might be show’s last season, Jill was the opportunity to play up that theme.

      I’m not sure I’m explaining it well, but that’s my take. Jill is intentionally a dual personality, and there’s no way for us to decide what her nature is. Our only hope is to watch Chuck and see what he decides.

      • resaw says:

        Thanks for your interpretation, Joe, but I still don’t see how the kiss in 2002 was “planted” (other than in the usual sense of “she ‘planted’ a kiss on him”). Yes, we understand that she was already in Fulcrum, but is there any indication at all that she was guided to go out with Chuck and get romantically entangled with him? What possible motive could Fulcrum have in arranging a relationship at that stage of the game?

        On the other hand, I can definitely see that TPTB wrote Jill as a very ambiguous character. I suspect Dave is not ambivalent about her at all 🙂 but with Chuck, I agree that we are to be somewhat confused about her throughout the arc. That is, until she aims a gun at Sarah….

        Off the subject somewhat, but is anyone watching Yvonne on Dexter? It is certainly a dark story, and I haven’t watched Dexter in years (since the TV strike, when they ran it on one of the mainstream networks here in Canada to fill the resulting programming gaps), but I have been really impressed by our favourite actress’s performance. Her portrayal of Hannah’s emotional meltdown following the reappearance of her father was brilliant.

      • atcDave says:

        She’s got a lot of good press out of her performance, no doubt, she’s a very talented young lady. But no, I won’t watch.

      • joe says:

        Actually, Resaw, I think that, back in ’02, Jill was being guided by Bryce to dump Chuck. I’m guessing that it’s not her feelings that are guiding her actions, but someone elses agenda, almost always. I get myself all twisted around if I try to make that kiss something evil, I think. But it would still be part of Jill’s dual nature – the good part, meant to keep us in the dark about her true nature.

      • ChuckFanForever says:

        Yes, I watch Dexter too, since it was the announcement of Ms. Yvonne joining that lead to my discovery of the fabulous Chuck in the first place. After watching just the first episode of Chuck, it quickly supplanted Dexter (the first couple seasons of Dexter were interesting, but then the rest I felt like I watched only because I wanted to know the whole story before watching the current season with Yvonne). The look of horror/relief when she realized what exactly Dexter had done for her in the “The Dark..Whatever” was golden! I almost thought she was going to say “that’s next the kiss I was expecting” in the end of the last episode!

      • uplink2 says:

        I have to admit I had the same horrible flashback with that kiss. Or actually more appropriately the same nightmare.

        I’ve been saying this on Twitter but I really believe that she will be back next season in some capacity. The only route to redemption for Dexter is through Hannah and if they kill her off then to me at least it removes any chance of that and we are headed to a tragic, though probably justified considering the subject matter conclusion to his story.

  5. Chuckster says:

    Please don’t discuss Dexter on a thread about a Chuck episode. Very rude!

  6. ChuckFanForever says:

    I have to say, Sarah looks good in that first pic, very Jane Bondish. What do you call that look? Is it a tuxedo for women?

  7. First Impression says:

    It seemed like Sarah and Casey found Chuck too quickly, but looking at the late afternoon car ride at the end of Fat Lady to the morning daylight in Gravitron, I guess it was more than 12 hours.  I am glad Chuck realized Jill was an agent instead of Sarah having to tell him.  (Interesting that her code name was Sand Storm when Bryce’s investigation was called Sand Wall.)  

    The carnival rides were used well to show the fear and confusion that Chuck was experiencing.  Each ride was like seeing what he was trying to process in his mind.  Jill must have suspected that Chuck already knew her identity as a Fulcrum agent since she and Leader staged the scene that had her shooting him and running with Chuck. 

    The Castle and its Manual played a big part in the plot.  Is this the first time the facility was refered to as The Castle?   I don’t recall hearing it in an episode before, although I’ve seen it used in various viewer comments.

    It’s hard to not believe your first love.  At least twice during the episode Chuck told Casey and Sarah not to hurt Jill.  Chuck would have continued to give her the benefit of the doubt until she did the one thing that he couldn’t accept – threaten Sarah.  It’s nice to see the difference between puppy love and true love.  I’m glad Sarah got to witness Chuck telling Jill why it was over and  that he was turning her in instead of letting her go. She definitely had a revelation and something to think about there.

    Strange that this was the Thanksgiving episode.  What a contrast from this Thanksgiving to the last one!  And as they themselves said, Chuck and Sarah are better together as a team.

    • atcDave says:

      Interesting comment on the carnival ride, I hadn’t given it any thought. But you’re right, it sure does highlight Chuck’s fears.
      I kind of think the term “Castle” had already been used, like it was thrown out in passing in an earlier episode. It sure seems like we were calling it Castle long before we got to this point initially. Unfortunately, this site didn’t exist for a few months yet, so I can’t check our archives for it. NBC.com deleted the Chuck material a while ago. I may skim some old fan fiction later today and see if I can tell. Geez, now you got my nerd brain active…

      I do love how this episode ends for Chuck and Sarah. Chuck arresting Jill is a great moment, and the happy Thanksgiving is too! It pleases and impresses me how easily and quickly Sarah forgives Chuck for his actions with Jill. I think that actually speaks very well of her character. And except for one long arc it will remain a consistent part of her character too. There will never be another Thanksgiving (or moment) quite like that dinner in Nemesis. Although there is an interesting bit of tension to the proceedings in S4…

      • First Impression says:

        When I saw you guys refer to the Castle, I thought it was another show I didn’t know about. It may have been mentioned in passing before Gravitron because I began to wonder if you were referring to the control center sometime during this arc.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh it is funny, the ABC show Castle has a STRONG following among Chuck fans. I think its the closest replacement for Chuck of anything currently on the air.
        But it started in March of 2009, so “castle” was already in use on Chuck at the time.

        The earliest use I can find of it on-line is from around Christmas 2008, so it is possible Gravitron was the first mention of that name.

  8. Christopher says:

    you guys hit a lot of the scenes that I love too. However, I feel the best part of the episode for me is in the beginning when casey and Sarah find Chuck at the hotel. As much as Sarah is mad at him for taking off her facial expressions there and at Casey’s apartment was pleasing to me. She sees Fulcrum used Chuck and she knows how it felt to be betrayed.

    Before Bryce returned from the dead, Sarah though her boyfriend betrayed her and the country so she can relate, plus she doesn’t want to see Chuck hurt and this is my biggest complaint about Ellie. Sarah is comforting even if Chuck is wrong she is there for him, She does not attack him like Ellie would of. Think back to Tango guys,

    you have Ellie and Devon picking on him about his future and working at Buymore. Whereas Sarah in the next apartment is defending him being the voice of the voiceless at that point. There as been many times throughout the series that I preferred Sarah’s approach on helping Chuck/

    What do you guys think

    • atcDave says:

      Well you know I’m a huge Sarah fan, so yeah, I like Sarah’s approach and most of how she treats Chuck. But to be fair to Ellie, Sarah has a huge advantage of knowing what is really going on in Chuck’s life. I’d also point out that Ellie is functionally Chuck’s mom, and the role of mom and (fake) girlfriend is very different.
      I think that accounts for much of the difference between them right there. Ellie really doesn’t get to see Chuck doing anything with his life until late S3. So often, I think Ellie is in an impossible and sad situation. Don’t get me wrong, she does meddle at times, and that annoys me. But she also encourages and supports Chuck, at least as far as her more limited knowledge of his life allows. The times Ellie pushes Chuck into bad decisions I generally blame Chuck more than Ellie, especially in Ring II. He needs to be an adult and stand up for his own interests.

    • First Impression says:

      I’ve always liked the way Sarah treats Chuck. From the first show, she seems to be the voice of reason within the waves of insanity that roll through the show. She’s his anchor and although Sarah is now his faithful ally, I hope she will eventually become his best friend.

      • atcDave says:

        Be patient!

      • Christopher says:

        Impressions, I agree with you. From the start you can see Sarah cares for truck very deeply and it goes beyond just being a handler and asset I always felt that after watching Sarah try to keep Chuck in a positive mind it rubbed off on her at times my only issue is Sarah is there seems to be a double standard at times

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