Chuck vs The Sensei (2.09)

We now start a run of five more or less stand alone episodes.  First up we meet the very Awesomes and Casey’s old Sensei.  This isn’t really a happy episode for Casey, but he will certainly have a few great moments.  After the jump, we’ll take a look at “Chuck vs The Sensei”.

I’d have to start by saying this is an episode that seemed better after having not watched it for a long time.  I think the main thing I initially objected to was Chuck being a little more buffoonish than I prefer, but this is actually understated compared to some later episodes (Curse!), and there’s a lot here that’s very good.

For starters the Chuck/Sarah scenes are all dynamite. Sarah consoling Chuck at the Buy More, and then their “action ready” discussion at the Orange Orange.  But there’s much more that works well in Sensei.  Chuck and Casey butting heads is lots of fun, right up through Casey tricking Chuck into letting him out of Castle.  And the “A” plot includes several classic lines like Sarah being accused of mixing chocolate and peanut butter and Chuck helping Casey find his “angry center”.

For arguments’ sake we’ll call the Buy More the “B” plot.  I think this is another very funny and very well integrated sub-plot.  In particular, Morgan coming sooooo close to an ugly death without ever knowing it.   And his response is perfect for the stupidly brave little bearded man…

I suppose that makes meeting the very Awesomes the “C” plot.  I think this is the weakest part of the episode, but even so its worth a few good laughs (“Devon was never into nicknames…”).  Honey is clearly the mother-in-law from hell.  Even though their parts are small, I wish we’d seen more of these two characters.  They fit right in with Chuck’s brand of crazy.

And I think I’ll leave it there.  Next week we do one of my all time favorites.  I’m excited already!

~ Dave

The Calm Center

This is a great stand-alone, episode Dave. It’s the first time we get to see anything about Casey’s past since the end of the first season, in Undercover Lover. Better, we get to see a little inside Casey! You know. His soft, gooey underside.

NOT! When he tells Chuck that he’s feeling “a little exposed,” he’s actually raging and ready to take Chuck’s head off. That’s our John Casey, through and through. Even his first (last? only?) mentor, Ty Bennett (Carl Lumbly), told him that he needs to find his calm. Heh! Chuck’s not the only one who needs for Casey to find it. I think talking to John was Emmett’s first brush with hot death too.

But I’ll tell you what I saw, Dave. Casey’s not the only one who has to find that inner peace. When the very Awesomes fly into town, Ellie has that same need. Then it gets worse; Honey starts to plan Ellie’s wedding. Oh Noz!

The Buy Morons have a little trouble finding their calm center, too. It’s brought out when Emmett institutes an “Employee of the Month” contest, essentially pitting one Moron against another. What’s Morgan to do about that? Is it important to him that his picture be hung next to (heavy sigh, now) Moses Finkelstein, the founder and CEO of Buy More? His direction comes straight from Chuck. He doesn’t care. Yet, when Skip Johnson wins the coveted prize (plus a 65″ flat screen TV), he’s not really happy.

The rest of the Buy Morons don’t care either, but, the problem is, the customers do. There may be no need for them to find their calm center – they don’t give a rats behind, even if it is fat and/or hairy, but Devon is irked. Calm center, Devon!

Chuck bungles the mission at the Global Launch Agency, the GLA, which has launched rockets to every planet except Pluto. That bungling brings Casey’s wrath down on him. Sadly for Casey, his primary mission was to protect Chuck, so he’s removed from the mission exactly when he’s most interested in getting into the middle of the action. He’s interested because the bad guy in this case is his old mentor. He’s feeling betrayed.

Chuck understands that. Jill betrayed him and he’s had to put all that in the rear view mirror. Of course, that never comes easy, and besides, Chuck is as bummed out as I was, at the time, that Pluto is no longer designated as a planet.

Sorry! I just had to throw that in there because I needed to demonstrate that emotions are running high! 😉

Like Chocolate For Peanut Butter

Sarah's concerned. Why are Casey and Chuck fighting?

Sarah’s concerned. Why are Casey and Chuck fighting?

But not everyone’s emotions. Sarah deftly mediates between an angered and unreasonable Casey and an angered and reasonable Chuck. Still, she has to call ’em like she sees ’em, and informs Casey that he’s too emotionally involved. What? Casey has lady feelings? “This from the agent that can’t keep her chocolate out of Bartowski’s peanut butter.” Ah, there was good news for fans right here. Sarah actually admits to her partner she has feelings. Maybe we knew it, but it’s good to know that she knows it too.

For his part, Chuck is handling his emotions only a little better than Casey; not perfectly. You called it, Dave. He’s being WHINY! That’s with a capital WHINY, especially when he finds himself back in the van.

In essence, everyone is a little irked (Okay. A lot irked!) at the wrong target; Casey at Chuck, Devon at the Buy Morons, Chuck at Jill and Ellie at Honey. Well, maybe that last one isn’t wrong, but it’s not right, either. It’s that’s what makes this episode fun. Chuck is the one who sorts it all out, especially with Casey. That’s the kind of fun we have come to expect.

But there’s something that makes Chuck vs. The Sensei a little more special. There’s a bigger, more important idea lurking about, one bigger than the weekly catching of the bad-guy. All the arguing, fighting and high emotion is about family.

The Buy Morons are a family. If Emmett wants to pit them against each other, he can try. Ellie and Honey are struggling to become a family. Casey’s mentor, a father figure if he ever has one, is the real target of his wrath, not Chuck. It’s father against son, and brother against brother, but to fight like brothers, you have to be that close. Welcome to the new, Team Bartowski, Chuck. You’re a full-fledged member now, and Casey knows it.

That came home to me in the very last scene, one that has almost seemed like a “throw-away” until now. You see, Ellie wasn’t really angry at Honey; that was as misdirected as Casey’s anger towards Chuck. All Ellie really wanted was her absent father to be there for her wedding, and all that anger, all that emotion, was for him. It’s a harbinger of things to come.

No one can fight like family, but don’t try to come between them. Family is one of those things that make Chuck different. Family like this is just not what a normal show would do.

– 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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46 Responses to Chuck vs The Sensei (2.09)

  1. jam says:

    “I think the main thing I initially objected to was Chuck being a little more buffoonish than I prefer”

    That’s my main gripe with this episode as well, I was never a fan of making Chuck look too silly.

    That said, plenty of good moments in this episode, even the weaker S2 episodes tend to fare quite well when compared to all 5 seasons of Chuck.

    • Bill says:

      “That said, plenty of good moments in this episode, even the weaker S2 episodes tend to fare quite well when compared to all 5 seasons of Chuck.”

      QFT.

  2. resaw says:

    You two touched on just about every observation I would’ve made… and then some. Dave, I totally agree with the Chuck buffoonery. Even so, some of the buffoonery is great and memorable. When Chuck is handcuffed to the railing in the Orange Orange: “Use the force, Chuck”; the goofy grin as he realizes he has a means of breaking his handcuffs (are we to assume this is liquid nitrogen?); “Those seven years of McGyver finally paid off.” I also like how Sarah is very much in “handler” mode in this episode: she persuades Chuck to be involved in the mission, and again, when Chuck is in the Orange Orange, Sarah asks:
    “Can you get out?”
    “No…”
    “Good. Stay there.”

    At the same time, there are these wonderful revelations that Chuck is much more than an asset. In particular, there is the exchange between Sarah and Casey when they fear that Chuck is in Bennett’s hands:
    Casey: “Bennett’s got him. He’s probably dead by now.”
    Sarah: “Shut up and drive.”
    Clearly the passion with which Sarah said that, and the expression on her face, is an indication of something much more than a handler-asset relationship, even if they are “on hold” for the time being.

    Even though this was a standalone episode, the reference to chocolate in peanut butter has become a classic piece of shorthand for the entire Sarah-Chuck relationship. Also, the upset that Ellie feels at the end of the episode leads to Chuck’s search for their father, and thus introduces the long arc of all that follows with Stephen J. Bartowski.

    Finally, Joe, I very much like your observations about family at the end of your post. To me, you’ve discerned a central element around which this episode coalesces (I also liked your Pluto reference!).

    Oh, and I loved this: Skip Johnson: “It’s not my fault. I tried to be a jerk.”

    • joe says:

      Heh! Skip’s best line!

      Yeah, I’m really surprised how the idea of family, which runs so strong in this series, snuck up on me like that. It’s central, but I just didn’t think of it as important in this particular episode before now. It is.

      Really, as much as Sensei is about Casey’s past, it’s about the forging of a family. That’s pretty good (and not to mention, subtle) for a family show on prime-time TV.

  3. As a huge Casey fan, one of my favorite episodes of the series. And it has two of the top 20 (or so) scenes of the show. To this day, I laugh out loud at Chuck’s pep talk. “Admit it, John Casey. You love me!” It’s the single funniest monologue they ever did. And of course, Casey’s quick “Thank you.” Is the essence of the character. Sarah and Chuck (especially Chuck) tend to have these big moments when their character grow. For Casey, he can communicate just as much, if not more, with two simple words. We know how excruciating that simple acknowledgement is to Casey, and how much he hates to say it. But he’s too grateful and honest not to make sure Chuck knows that he’s appreciated. It was beautifully done.

    Dave brought up the “C” plot being weak. He’s not wrong, but it led to what just became one of my favorite moments on this watch. I’d forgotten that the entire impetus for Chuck’s search for his father was all about Ellie. He wasn’t trying to find his father for himself, or for Orion, or the Intersect. He just wanted his sister to have her dream wedding. And he made sure, no matter what, that it was going to happen. It’s one of the sweetest parts of their relationship, and it’s something the show forgot after season 3. Before Sarah and the Intersect, Chuck was just a guy who really loved his big sister.

    Honestly, I think I like the Chuck-Ellie relationship in season 2 nearly as much as the Chuck-Sarah relationship, in its own way. I don’t think I ever liked Chuck more than when he saved Ellie’s wedding in the Ring. “That’s not what a normal guy would do.”

    • garnet says:

      Did the show forget, or was it to show how Chuck was growing as a man and Ellie as a married woman? I don’t think they really lost the relationship angle, I think it developed.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with Arthur as far as saying the Chuck/Ellie scene at the end is very sweet, and I like that Chuck starts his dad search for her sake; and I also really like how he saves her wedding. But as Garnet alluded to, I think that relationship really needed to grow. In the first three seasons Chuck and Ellie were often too dependent and clingy with each other, I was particularly horrified by Chuck’s cover break with Sarah in Beefcake and quitting the agency at the end of Ring II. Those actions damage my regard for Chuck a lot. I can sympathize with Ellie looking out for her brother a little, but Chuck caving in so easily disappoints me a lot.

      • authorguy says:

        Agreed, Dave. After all he did and gave up to become a spy all through S3, to just give it up because Ellie asked him to was completely unbelievable. Did they somehow forget he had irreplaceable government secrets in his head?

      • uplink2 says:

        Well I think in many ways Ellie was the most under utilized character of the entire series. Sarah Lancaster is terrific and limiting her role in the show was not a wise move for me. I’d have much rather had more Ellie and less Morgan or any of the BuyMorons. The season 3/4 demand to give up the spy life was stupid and it lasted what not even an entire episode? Once Agent X happened she should have been an integral part of the sop story.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I do agree with all of that. Although the S4 version of lying to Ellie was ultimately silly and pointless. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I laughed hard when Ellie blew it all off in Agent X; but at that point we’d already had most of a season of lying to Ellie for no particular reason.
        And I would add, that although I was very pleased with them rectifying it by the end of Anniversary, it leaves us with a couple months (exact number undefined as far as I know) with Chuck and Sarah mostly apart and Chuck lying about his activities. They DID fix it by the end of one episode; but it leaves much of 4.01 feeling very depressing to me, desolate even.

      • uplink2 says:

        Now if it had been Chuck and Ellie searching for their mom and not Chuck and Morgan I think I would have really enjoyed that. But for some reason Fedak always was partial to Morgan.

      • Robert says:

        I agree, Garnet. It was clearly to show that Chuck (and Ellie) was growing up, and that the most important woman in his life was Sarah, and not Ellie anymore. And that Ellie had to let go of her “mother-hen” persona regarding Chuck, and let him live his own life, with his Sarah.

        I also agree that Ellie should’ve have a lot more screen time than Morgan.

        But I’m not too surprised that we got stuck with too much Morgan during the last 2 and half seasons; after all, Chris Fedak did say in an interview that his favorite character of the show WAS Morgan…

      • authorguy says:

        Morgan’s one of my favorites too. I don’t understand the hostility toward him, except that people want more screen time for Charah or something, but my focus was always on the story as a whole and its logic, not any one subset of characters in it. The development of his character over the course of the series was quite nice.

      • atcDave says:

        I like Morgan and liked his growth over the course of the series. But I do think he got too much screen time the last two seasons.

        Actually it’s even more complex than that. I borderline disliked him the first two seasons. His and Casey’s growth was the highlight of the front part of S3 to me. But I think, from the very start (I mean like right from Morgan waking Chuck up after he downloaded the Intersect in the Pilot, I wanted his part to be smaller. And that feeling became even more pronounced in the last two seasons as I was enjoying other parts of the show far more.

      • Morgan was often my second favorite character, even in the first two seasons. There’s a reason my stories often include or even feature Morgan.

      • jam says:

        I don’t think Morgan was received nearly as well as TPTB hoped for. I don’t hate him, but he got far too much screen time at the expense of other characters, especially Ellie.

        Since Jeff mentioned fanfiction — I think it’s pretty telling how small role Morgan has in many stories compared to the screen time he got on the show. I guess most writers just don’t find him that interesting.

        Carina is the opposite, she appeared in 4 episodes (2 of them awful), but is a *very* popular character in fics.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jam its funny to me how often Morgan has little or no role in most fan fiction. A few writers do feature him on occasion (Jeff and Marc!), but most nearly ignore him.

        My own unofficial surveys lead me to think he is typically far (far, FAR!) more popular among casual viewers than he is among those of us who were more invested. (My wife, best friend and a moderately enthused co-worker like him a lot. Myself and a nerdy Harley rider I know don’t care so much…)

        I think we all would have grown tired of Carina if she’d had much more screen time; but she had a few memorable scenes in the episodes she was in. (but I only remember disliking Three Words; her other appearances were tolerable or better!)

      • The scene at the end of Three Words was the only scene I really liked Carina. It saved the episode and provided hope–until Hannah came along.

        Ellie and Casey aren’t in many fanfics either. Jeff, Lester, Big Mike, and the Buy More are almost unheard of. Castle fanfics are the same way. Espo and Ryan get little time. Alexis usually only gets time if it’s about her reaction to the Caskett relationship, and Martha gets even less time. In Stargate SG-1 fanfic, Teal’c gets little time and a lot of fics never leave Earth. Fanfic writers focus more on the OTP. 62.5% of Chuck fanfics have < 5K words and almost 75% have < 10K words. The stories tend to be more linear, without B and C plot lines, so there is not room for supporting characters in those plot lines. This is just a generalization, of course, as some short stories have more characters and some longer ones don't. There's nothing wrong with that. Fanfic is a different medium than TV shows.

        I think Morgan has more of a screen time perception problem than an actual screen time problem. Sarah was in Zoom just as much as Morgan (I think maybe a little more, but it's hard to measure), and Chuck was in every single scene until the last one in Bearded Bandit. The reaction on the boards painted a different picture.

        I also think a lot of people agreed with Ellie's early S1 view of Morgan, but didn't agree with her change of heart in Sizzling Shrimp. I always liked him because his "annoying" was good comic relief, and his loyalty and friendship were two of the most admirable qualities that any character had on the show. It was an interesting and entertaining dichotomy.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Ellie and Casey get significantly more time than Morgan in most fan fics. But I think your point is otherwise valid; the time Ellie and Casey get is typically all about how they affect Charah, or react to Charah. So even if there is no “B” plot they play a role.
        And I’m fine with that, it reflects what my interests are too.

        But I often did enjoy Morgan as a comic outlet, and I thought Morgansect in particular was a well conceived and executed story. Especially at season’s end, when we can see how it reflects on the amnesia story.
        Although I found him quite annoying at first, and initially he was clearly my least favorite element of the show (I just wanted to kick him at the “oh he has lot’s of time…” line from the Pilot). That changed some during S2, and especially S3. But my perception was that he got the second most screen time of anyone; and I would have preferred him at about four or five. He was like the seasoning that someone had overused. In lesser quantities he might have been wonderful, but I often got just a little too much. Not a ruinous problem, especially when the main ingredients were done to perfection, but often mildly annoying.
        My ideal version of the story would have Chuck and Sarah as completely equal lead characters; with Casey as the next biggest player. Then Ellie and then Morgan.
        Now I don’t want to make too big a thing of it. I’m not a Morgan hater by any means. And I often enjoyed the S4/S5 dynamic with Morgan as the comic side kick, especially when he was paired with Casey. But there were clearly times when I was just counting the seconds until the Morgan shtick was done and we could back to the good stuff. I rarely felt the way about any of the other main characters, and I never, ever felt that way with a Sarah scene.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh I’d add that I never really “liked” Carina either. But she did occasionally make me laugh pretty hard. …hmmmm, maybe she was a lot like Morgan…

      • authorguy says:

        From a fanfic writer’s perspective, when so many readers complain about a character you tend not to use him, if readership is your goal. My current story features him, and it gets a lot of flack for it, especially the Marina relationship. My least popular story (although I think it’s one of my best) only has ‘Morgan’ in the title, but he doesn’t actually appear in it. My goal is to tell the story, and if that requires Morgan then he’ll be there.
        Many of my favorite stories have him in a lesser role, usually as a military man of some sort, as avid disciple of John Casey. One has him as a self-taught commando, leading a team to the rescue of the three leads, who get almost no screen time in the story.
        My problem with Carina, occasionally Morgan, sometimes Casey, is that they are so often caricatured by fanfic writers, who can’t apparently have them do anything except flirt, annoy, or grunt.

      • uplink2 says:

        For me I found S1/S2 Morgan very annoying. He was funny yes but the whole competing with Sarah for Chuck time was ridiculous. A nerds best friend should have been loving the fact that his friend is “gettin some”. And not trying to wedge himself in between.

        I did use him quite a bit in Permutations and I think he works there but I will never use him in the spy world. Chuck himself is a stretch, at least early on, but Morgan a spy is absurd always. He’s only in I think 1 chapter of LL&L for me.

        I’ve said this many times but if Morgan never came back from Hawaii at the start of S3 I don’t think the fanbase would have been that upset by it. Fedak, yes but fans, not so much.

        I did like his growth in S4 but hated Morgansect and always will.

    • JennyChuckFan says:

      Chuck telling Casey, “you love me” had me rolling on the floor in stitches. It was one of the greatest moments of an already stellar season.

    • anthropocene says:

      I had mixed feelings about Morgan throughout the series, but the finale left him in a good place in my opinion, because he was working harder than anyone to get Chuck and Sarah back together. In my stories I’m trying to simulate an imaginary season 6, which means that Morgan and the rest of the supporting cast have to be meaningfully present, even if the Chuck-Sarah relationship is foregrounded. It’s been a fun challenge to try and write a reasonable role for Morgan (and Ellie for that matter) although like any shipper I prefer creating the parts focused on Sarah and Chuck.

      • authorguy says:

        That’s another thing I’ve never understood. I love the C&S relationship too, but I can’t see any of it without Morgan and Ellie and the rest behind Chuck, and Casey and Carina and the rest behind Sarah, although not anywhere near as close. How is it possible to write a fanfic that doesn’t include these critical parts? Chuck without Ellie and Morgan isn’t Chuck.

      • joe says:

        I rather liked Morgan from the first. He had a surprisingly difficult role to play, I think. First, he had to be Chuck’s “nerdiness enabler.” Then he had to be a foil and a helper, chuckle-maker, friend and later, someone to catch Chuck when he fell (just like Casey).

        And through all that, he had to grow up. Not a small amount of work.

        I don’t really think that Morgan stole time from Ellie. Sarah L. did actually have a baby IRL, so I have a feeling that her time was cut back a little for that reason as much as it was for budget in S3 and S4. My own reaction was that I couldn’t get enough of any of the characters, with the possible exception of Jeff and Lester. For my money, they were not on-screen too much, but just enough.

        Mix in some great guest-stars (Armond Assente anyone?) and newer cast members (Mekenna) and a one-episode a day! schedule wouldn’t fill my needs.

      • authorguy says:

        If they’d kept Morgan and ditched the Buy More and everyone in it that would have made me happier.

      • atcDave says:

        Marc you hit the nail on the head; the supporting cast should be BEHIND the leads. Too often Morgan stepped BETWEEN them.

        Look, again, I don’t hate Morgan. He was often a fun part of the show. But of all the disparate elements that made up Chuck, Morgan was the most over-used. His screen time could have been halved and I would have been a happy boy.

      • anthropocene says:

        I agree with you, authorguy, in that family relationships were key to “Chuck,” and that Ellie AND Morgan are emphatically part of Chuck’s nuclear family. And I never disliked either of them—just occasionally the way they were portrayed in the series.

        But I’m thinking post-series fan fiction. The finale imposed huge changes on the family system, and if that last episode had just been S5 E13, with nine more S5 episodes and/or a S6 following it, that whole series of events would have been hollow if Morgan and Ellie’s roles did not continue to evolve (not that TPTB weren’t guilty of such awkward resets among the previous seasons!). Ellie has to go to Chicago with Devon. Morgan has to focus his attention and love on Alex. Casey has to…well, I guess he could be something of a wild card, but Gertrude has to be part of his life. The nature of Carmichael Industries’ work could keep Beckman involved somehow. The Buy More is mostly history, so Jeffster! and Big Mike could be relegated to occasional fun guest appearances (ditto Carina, Roan, etc.). And, most importantly, Chuck has to help Sarah heal even as the two of them build their own new life together. That’s how I see the “post-series series.”

      • atcDave says:

        Marc I would have been fine with ditching both of them…

        Oi, I hate getting into Morgan bashing, that isn’t my intent. He just never added much to the show for me. He was often funny, but adds zero emotional impact.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Morgan. Well it’s not season 3, S#@w or the finale, so what the heck.

        Morgan was interesting. He was the Swiss Army knife of the Chuck characters. Need a comic foil for practically any of the Chuck cast? Morgan. Need to humanize Sarah or Casey? Turn to Morgan. Need Chuck to show some mishegas over he and Sarah’s latest relationship glitch? Have him spill it to Morgan. Want to bring out or highlight Chuck’s inner-nerd or far nerdier past? Yep, Morgan. Need someone to give Chuck either bad or good advice? Morgan. Because of that he was sometimes all over the place as a character. Overall I liked him and the bro-mance more than I disliked them, though I must admit I thought becoming Casey’s “domestic partner” was the perfect way to take him in later seasons and might have concentrated more on that than on the Chorgan bro-mance. For such a functional character it is a testament that he didn’t come off as a plot device, and that he even had his own sort of limited growth arc.

        Now if you really want to talk about a character who stole screen time from more deserving characters I’ll have to invoke Chuckwin’s law. 😀

      • joe says:

        Um… That’s quite alright, Ernie…
        We’ll pass on that for now. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Surprisingly Ernie I agree with most of that.
        I find it a bit ironic that of all the Morgan relationships, I found Chuck/Morgan by far the least interesting. I really enjoyed how he played off Casey, Sarah, even Ellie. But Chuck/Morgan was comparatively boring.

        But as I said at top, this was never a major issue to me. It’s a smaller thing I wish they’d done differently; but no episode, story or character was ever ruined or damaged by Morgan. This is a minor nitpick. And I agree entirely that with as many different hats as Morgan wore, it’s a credit to the writing and performance that he always felt like a real character and not a mere plot device.

      • Wilf says:

        I was never that keen on the early (or even later) Morgan, especially in S1, but I did love his comic interactions with Sarah … the best, for me, being the “I thought you might be someone deadly …” scene in Balcony.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        A classic. On par with “we never talk” in Living Dead. I love the way Sarah just towers over Morgan.

        It was funny how many things the actors insist weren’t necessarily planned worked as if it was intentional. Zac insists that his evolving haircuts and muscling up a bit as the seasons progressed weren’t for the show, and we know Sarah’s season 5 haircut was a complete accident, but I thought it made her look more “wifely” or more mature if you will. It fit with an evolving Sarah basically.

        Now obviously with a very tall leading man, casting a tall leading lady becomes easier, but when you think of all the spies they were almost universally tall. It had the amusing effect that when you saw Morgan around them they looked like practically different species.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah the physical aspects of the casting were perfect. And the way the looks of everyone changed were about ideal. Actually, I think the casting in general was pretty much perfect…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I wonder which parts were intentional sometimes. In season 2 you quite often saw Sarah in the O-O uniform. A costuming decision that made he look much younger IMO, like she and Chuck were just a couple of kids starting out in the world. The last time we see Sarah in the O-O (or the costume for that matter) is near the end of Final Exam, just before she gives Chuck his red test. For the rest of the show (except for a final tribute to the Weinerliscious) Sarah is dressed in casual or business attire that makes her look more mature. It’s as if they were visually stating that they were both kids till Chuck succeeded in becoming a spy and until Sarah succeeded in opening up to Chuck.

      • According to IMDB, Joshua Grimes is 5′ 7¾”. Sarah Lancaster is 5′ 8″. Yvonne is 5′ 9¼”. Levi, McPartlin, and Baldwin were tall, but Morgan always seemed much shorter than everyone except Lester (Vik is 5′ 7″). A lot of the perceived difference is high heels and Lord of the Rings-style camera angles. With Morgan’s later season spiked hair, he would have looked as tall as the women.

        I’ll admit I sometimes characterature Morgan. I usually regret it afterwards. There was more to his character than that. Carina, though, wasn’t deep.

        Casey does get more story time in fanfic than the others, but still not close to the percentage he got in the show. Part of it is his role as a spy, often hunting Chuck and Sarah on the run. More often I think because of Firefly fandom carry-over.

        authorguy: “Chuck without Ellie and Morgan isn’t Chuck”

        Hear hear! As I’ve said before, that was my problem with the finale. It made no sense for Ellie to leave and move to Glen Ellyn, even for the pizza.

      • authorguy says:

        Carina may not have been very well developed in the show, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be made into more than she was shown to be. (My writing style practically requires it.) A lot of writers and readers are happy with her as nothing more than snarky, sexy, comic relief.

      • jam says:

        “I find it a bit ironic that of all the Morgan relationships, I found Chuck/Morgan by far the least interesting.”

        Exactly how I feel too. I guess the characters are just too similar in some ways.

        I wouldn’t have been all that sad if Morgan never returned from Hawaii, but like Uplink said Fedak loved the character more than most fans. The loss of Julia Ling’s Anna Wu, however, was quite sad.

  4. ref51907 says:

    -Maybe it is just me but the Morgan/Chuck relationship wasn’t the most crazy/dynamic because it didn’t need to be. We were told from very early on that Chuck and Morgan were basically twins. By “twins” I mean almost identical likes, dislikes, hobbies, interests, etc. (That’s what I got anyway.) Why have two Chucks on screen. Think of some friends you have had over the years. Anyone very similar? I know I have. No need to show Morgan/Chuck “hanging,” as he calls it, more than they did. It would have been redundant. I am glad he matured over the years. One of my all time favorite episodes is vs. The Beard, when Morgan finds out what has really been going on. That propelled the character to be his “Q”. One quality he displayed over and over again is one that can not be questioned. That is his loyalty to his family. And we all know who his family became.
    -Speaking of Morgan, one of my favorite lines is when Ellie is talking to Morgan in Season 5 and she flat out tells him, “…you are a catch.”
    -All this talk about Morgan and his character progression reminds me why I love his this still. Everyone ends in a very different place then when they started out. That is unique for a tv show.
    -I am just rambled now so I will end this post.

    Erik

  5. SarahSam says:

    Enjoyed vs the Sensei for what it was. A good Casey background filler , although I think we got that guy from the beginning. I love how these discussions veer off into various topics and for me, it is evident of how Chuck appealed differently to so many people. It was real. As for Morgan, I agree with uplink , his character certainly benefited from not only his relationship with Fedak, but Levi as well. To add, I thought Gomez was great in the part, but I never really wanted him included in the spy world. Be aware of it? yes, but to be an active mission participant? ugh. Never did I scream at him louder than in Phase Three during Sarahs efforts to bring Chuck back and damn !! there was the intrusive Morgan dialogue. The funny thing is…he was awesomely effective in the earlier bedroom scene with Sarah and that encapsulates it in a nutshell or me, as someone commented before, Morgan is there for support, not to intrude on Chuck and Sarah. They sometimes messed that up for me.

  6. First Impression says:

    Lots of things made me smile in The Sensei: knocking over the Bonsai and saluting Reagan, a Kung fu movie playing on the Buy More TVs, “The Vic can take it” in the game of chicken, fishing for a phone with gummie worms tied to spoons, the MacGyver escape, and Chuck’s “you love me” to Casey.

    Favorite line:  “This from the agent who can’t keep her chocolate out of Bartowski’s peanut butter.”

    The choice of the Awesomes was perfect.  Bruce and Morgan would definitely produce Devon, but I wish there has been a little more to that subplot. Ellie’s meltdown was just in time and Chuck’s promise to produce their dad was kind of heroic. It’s something Chuck might not have thought to do before meeting Sarah.  I can see his confidence growing.

  7. Christopher says:

    First Impressions,

    Isn’t it fun watching Chuck and Sarah rub off on each other as the series goes. sometimes when you here the buymorons say W.W.C.D (What would Chuck DO) often comes to Sarah especially when Casey;s head gasket has blown. I also love that line, but you miss one what about

    Sarah: Casey is always in combat mode

    Chuck: Aren’t you suppose to be combat ready at all times.

    Sarah also admitted in this episode she has feelings for Chuck, and to Casey no less, and to be honest Casey knows Sarah can protect Chuck he sees her in action. Think back to the break up when Sarah said “I know I hesitated and it was a mistake…but I can protect Chuck” Casey didn’t say a word. He doesn’t need to.

    I also love Ty Bennett’s line to Morgan about showing respect or you could be gazing at an enemy. Great stuff.

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