Chuck vs The Lethal Weapon (2.16)

The final installment of this three episode arc.  This is the last we’ll see of Cole Barker, and Lethal Weapon will prove to be an important jumping off point for the rest of this season.  After the jump, we’ll discuss.

We’re doomed!

I think the obvious thing to say is that this seems to be the most popular episode of this arc.  On re-watch I was surprised by a couple things.  I’ll get the bad out of the way first.  We saw far more whiny Chuck in this episode than I had remembered.  We are really clobbered over the head with how different he is from the stoic and always cool Cole.  Until the last ten minutes, Chuck does not seem to be a very appealing character.  Ditto for Morgan. In fact, I’d say Morgan is the most pathetic we have seen him for a long time.  But Morgan the loser proves important.  Chuck scolding Morgan for being an idiot seems to be a major turning point as we enter the home stretch of this brilliant season.  We will see Chuck take more control of his own destiny from here on out.

Which leads directly to what is great here.  Obviously the list starts with Cole.  Cole is absolutely my favorite of the guest star allies we’ll see this season.  Sure he’s cool enough to distract Sarah briefly, but he also believes in Chuck.  He doesn’t just offer lip service to Chuck’s awesomeness like Bryce either.  He is actually helpful, encouraging, a good team player, and offers good advice.  Even more shocking, he knows how to accept defeat graciously.  While Bryce may have tried to undermine Chuck and Sarah’s romance before it ever started (three times!), Cole backs off once he gets it.  I think if Cole had dropped in a couple years later he would have actually been happy for them, Bryce I’m not so sure about.  But Cole also believes in Chuck as a potential agent.  It’s almost hard to see why, Chuck was hardly at his best in Cole’s presence.  But maybe Cole saw enough courage, intelligence, initiative and creativity to believe in Chuck anyway.  Ironically, as much as I dislike Beefcake, I like Lethal Weapon, and Cole is a big part of what I like.  Cole’s last scene with Sarah is both dynamite and a revelation; and I believe its the closest Sarah has come to admitting how she really feels about Chuck; from “I’m not the sort of girl to cheat on her cover boyfriend” to keeping silent as Cole recognizes her real feelings for Chuck.  By my count, we’re within a week or two of Sarah admitting her feelings to her v-log, and she just practically admitted them to another person as well.

Chuck’s behavior changes in the last ten minutes of this episode too, and its a difference that saves the episode for me.  He takes initiative on a couple fronts, starting with confronting Perseus and learning about Orion.  It seems funny to watch that moment now, and realize how little about himself Chuck actually knows at this point.  But this knowledge will change Chuck’s life and the show.  Chuck also takes some initiative with Sarah.

’cause its so easy to know what she’s thinking…

In careful language he tells Sarah what she means to him, and implies that he loves her.  Sarah, who I believe is fully aware they are being watched, tries to repress a smile; but for a fleeting moment it is clearly there.  This is an epic, if understated moment.

And of course we can’t forget the Tron poster.  This makes for a wonderful end scene.  For the first time, we realize how closely Chuck really is paying attention the world around him.  I remember well how excited we all were by this revelation the night it aired!  It still feels like a big moment.

I want to end by briefly going back to the beginning.

Definitely not S4 yet…

When we first see Chuck and Sarah in bed at the start of the episode captures so much of the mood for late S2.  Chuck is clearly tense and worried, and who wouldn’t be lying next to the woman of their dreams and not being allowed to do anything about it.  But Sarah is relaxed and happy.  The “cover” relationship means something completely different to her, and she is happy being here.  We know she “doesn’t know what to do about it” yet.  But she likes where she’s at.

~ Dave

Joe’s Take

I can live with God and the suicide,
The same thing holds if I close my eyes.
It’s a truth so pure, it can kill you dead,
A taste of heaven mixed with hell inside of my head.

– God & Suicide – Blitzen Trapper

I can barely write about this episode without getting personal. So, forgive me if this piece makes little sense. It’s one that I’m writing for me.

It’s hard to avoid putting it bluntly. Chuck vs. The Lethal Weapon is all about desire. Chuck finally gets to sleep with Sarah. Fantastic! Right? No, not at all. Obviously. He’s not “sleeping” in any sense of the word with anyone. Instead, he’s laying there, stiff as a board with his blankets huddled to his chin, scared out of his mind.

Sarah Tells Us Nothing

Sarah Tells Us Nothing

Scared of what? Scared of whom? Not Sarah, certainly. She wakes up almost cheerful. Sarah sounds almost like she’s singing-songing with a British accent Good morning, Mr. Leitch. Have you had a busy day? – a line some of you will recognize. It’s cheerful and carefree, almost springlike; exactly the opposite of what Chuck is feeling. Not coincidentally, that line is from a song called Fakin’ It. Chuck’s convinced that, despite the fact that Sarah’s just spent the night inches from his body, she was elsewhere. She’d have to be.

Well, <shrug>why not?</shrug> He’s seen how Sarah looks at Cole Barker, hero. Worse, Chuck’s seen how she’s been looking at him (“On a scale from one to ten, I’d give him a one”). He gets it, and it’s a little death. Chuck can’t change that; he’s incapable of being the guy Sarah should be with. He’s not brave like Cole; in the face of danger Chuck screams like a girl. He’s not suave like Bryce, expertly dancing the Lambada to maintain the cover.

If a three-four chord can ignite a flame
and a girl like you can forget my name…

Chuck is not a fool. He’s decided to not even try to be “that guy,” the one he’s not, anymore. In that context, moving in with Morgan makes a whole lot of sense, but Chuck can’t even do that. Three words come to mind that describe his life right now – stymied, frozen, frustrated. That’s the truth he sees in his head.

Hum… I just counted the number of negatives in those paragraphs. It’s something like twenty-five, depending on how you count words like “scared” and “opposite”, which I count as negatives because I mean them that way. It’s all those nos, all that darkness and something else that Chuck fears when the alarm goes off. We’ll get to that “something else”, but for now, it’s enough to say that Chuck is frustrated enough to be angry about his life.

…then I’m that far gone in this crooked grave
with a pistol for my creature and a feather for my day

I Gotta Few Skills Of My Own…

I would be angry at Cole, and I would be angry at Sarah too. All that imagery we’re hearing – suicide, pistols, hell – it’s there for a reason. But this is Chuck we’re talking about. He turns that anger inward enough to want to fight back, at first, which why he tried, unsuccessfully, to hack Fulcrum’s chip.

But even that is dead now. Chuck buries his passion and becomes more and more resigned to his second-class, beta-male status as the episode progresses. You can almost see Kübler-Ross’s five stages in action. He’s become resigned to staying safe in Castle and safely in Cole’s shadow, doing the important stuff like making sure Casey is well fed during the party at the consulate.

… as opposed to Morgan, whose busy avoiding exactly the situation that Chuck wants desperately; a real life with the woman he loves.

Morgan: That’s ridiculous. What I was trying to do was simply test her, that’s all.

Chuck: Testing her why?

Morgan: Because, Chuck. Because she’s trying to get all serious with me, and I wanna make sure that she loves me for me and not other things.

Chuck: Excuse us. [Takes Morgan aside] Are you crazy? What other things could she possibly be loving you for? I mean, honestly, you know that I love ya, but you’re lucky to have a girl in your life who loves you – for you, ever though you are, in fact, you.

Morgan: Fair.

Chuck: If you don’t stop testing her, she’s gonna choose to be with someone else. And then you will have realized, and unfortunately too late, that you lost the catch of a lifetime.

The writers have Chuck speaking for us, the fans, this time. But it’s advice Chuck is not going to take for himself. You know something? He’s right not to.

Chuck is not in Morgan’s position; it’s much blacker than that. And Cole has to remind him, Chuck’s hand is forced.

Cole: I’ll tell you what we do next. We go to the consulate and we save them.

Chuck: No, no, no. Sarah and Casey specifically said for us to stay here.

Cole: Yeah, well sometimes things don’t go according to plan, Chuck. You have to improvise.

Chuck: Look, you can’t just go run off and be the hero all the time.

Cole: It’s not about wanting to be a hero, Chuck. It’s about needing to be.

Thank God for Cole. He’s set Chuck straight. Now Chuck has got his head on right and can go about the business of being everything we knew he could be.

And if you believe that, I’ve got this bridge I wanna show you…

Many years ago, a couple of years after my divorce (and a few of years before I met Mrs. Joe), I lived next door to a rather unusual, very attractive woman. For both of us, we were “convenient,” but very wrong. There was more. Yes, she actually said the words “It’s complicated!”

Understand that, for her, that didn’t mean travel, adventure and guns; the life of a spy. It meant (prescription) drugs and alcohol, perhaps too much of it. Frankly, they might have been the same thing in her world. (You were forwarded. This was personal.)

So yes, I knew exactly what Chuck was going through, spending the entire night next to someone desirable, but not sleeping and in fact, too afraid to breathe for fear that death from an overdose was around the corner. She wakes up in the morning like everything’s all right, but it’s not.

Maybe it’s cowardly to tell someone you have to leave – you can’t save them. It doesn’t ever feel heroic, especially if the only thing you end up doing is leaving. You just hope that it’s enough to make them change, reconsider and follow you as you go. But you’ll never know. All you see is a blank expression on the face that can tell you nothing about what’s really going on inside someone’s head.

That oblique reference was the first time I mentioned Sarah since the beginning. She’s been telling us very little, if anything, about her thoughts until Cole asks her directly. Then, for the first time in a long time, we get a hint of the way Sarah is starting to see herself. It’s not at all the way I thought she would up to now.

Sarah: I guess I’m not the type of girl who cheats on her cover boyfriend.

It may be a “guess”, but Sarah’s words certainly gave the fans reason to hope. Chuck doesn’t hear them. He is forced to face the hard truths about his life right now by himself. He’s got to decide who he is and what he wants from here on in. Dr. Busgang, Perseus and teammate of Orion has one word for it:

Perseus: Extraordinary!

Chuck: Maybe for you. But you have to understand, for me – for me it’s a nightmare. Living with this thing in my head is ruining my life.

Like I said, I’ve been deliberately negative, and so has Chuck. This episode is darker than it appears at first.

But that doesn’t mean this episode isn’t amazing in every way I can imagine. It’s tremendously tight, the jokes are wonderful, the action, including Chuck’s slow-motion chase after Busgang and with the Fulcrum agent, Duncan, is absolutely top notch. But don’t kid yourself. It’s that very darkness that makes Chuck vs. The Lethal Weapon extraordinary TV.

For all the praise we give it, it’s still easy to underestimate the episode. Once you get past Lester telling Morgan “She’s not the catch of a lifetime. She’s a scheming tart who will harvest your organs and sell them to the highest bidder,” and Casey’s quips, Chuck is saying that life with the Intersect is a nightmare and death is always nearby. That carries through even to the closing song.

Chuck can choose that or choose a life with out The Intersect, which means leaving Sarah. He can have either. But Chuck is in a position where the decision – between life and death and even the desirability of one or the other – is a close call.

Like me, Chuck makes the decision to leave. That decision is the “something else” of which he was afraid. As far as he’s concerned, something dies, all right – the relationship.

At your funeral I was so upset
So, so upset
In your life you were larger than this
Statue statuesque

Chuck has just decided he can’t go on being that close to Sarah. Bloc Party’s song, Signs, is about a funeral. In this case, it speaks to us about the death of his future with Sarah. We’ve come full circle from God & Suicide, but Chuck’s done circling. He doesn’t want the kind of safety that Castle gives him and he’s busy looking for a way out.

Chuck: Please, let me just finish. Sarah, I’m not gonna move in with you. Because, I can’t. And you know why I can’t. I’m crazy about you, heh, and I’ve always been.

Having a fake relationship, that’s one thing. But living together is… I mean, every day, being around each other and, and… And that’s why I can’t do it. And I hope you understand.

Sarah: I do.

Sarah’s expression tells us nothing. It tells Chuck nothing. But Chuck’s found his way out. He’s decided on a different path, for now, at least. There’s a kind of determination and strength now on his face and in his voice that I hadn’t noticed before. It’s a determination that made me forget he was ever a whiny, bumbling, incompetent fool in love.

Chuck: Thank you. Oh, and, uh, just so you know, I am gonna get this thing out of my head one day. I will.

And when I do, I’m gonna live the life that I want with the girl I that I love. Because I’m not gonna let this thing rob me of that. I won’t.

Chuck's New Mission - Orion

Chuck’s New Mission – Orion

If it’s only an impression at first, Chuck’s determination is confirmed moments later when he takes down the Tron poster to reveal that he’s on a mission. He’s going to find Orion and get the Intersect out of his head.

Sarah understands. Chuck is not saying that she’s the girl he loves. He’s saying he’s doing this without her.

Sarah's smile tells us something

Sarah’s smile tells us something

He has to. Alone. Yet, if their relationship is over, then why did the fans start to smile here, with me wanting to be first among them? It’s because, if only ever so slightly, Sarah did. For the first time in weeks Sarah’s face was not blank, but introspective. She showed us that amazing half-smile that started to reveal her thoughts more than words ever could.

No, that’s wrong. It’s not her thoughts that are revealed, but her heart. We were looking for signs and saw them.

I see signs now all the time
That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping
I believe in anything
That brings you back home to me

– 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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128 Responses to Chuck vs The Lethal Weapon (2.16)

  1. bamj6 says:

    For those who were once in the NBC forums, I am Mets10WS. The Chuck forum there is gone, and this is the closet thing to a good Chuck forum there is left.

    About this episode, I will be the first to comment because this leads to the best arc of the series for me. Orion/Steven/Chuck and Elie’s dad.

    I always got the feeling of the “whiny Chuck” that I thought it would’ve disappeared if he found out Orion was outed as his father this episode instead of Dream Job. Think of it this way. Busgang dies, but is able to say a dying declaration of “You look just like him” or Stephen or to that effect.

    Would there have been a difference in how the rest of the series goes if he finds out Orion is his father and then does his own operation instead of telling Beckman, Sarah or Casey given the events of Suburbs, Beefcake and earlier in this episode.

    • atcDave says:

      Mets its great to have you stop by, even if we are the best of “what’s left!”

      There’s no doubt, whiny Chuck is one of my least favorite elements of the show, probably second only to the dreaded love triangle. I’m not convinced that there was any actual “logic” to it; in fact, its one of those elements introduced a little later in canon. There was no sign of it in the first seven episodes of S1, I think of that as the formative period. And that is really when I liked Chuck himself the most. He was the nerd’s nerd, awkward socially, especially with women, but intelligent and sure of himself with technology and as the Nerd Herd leader. I remember being very disappointed the first time we saw the whiny bit, and I never did like it. Apart from any creative decisions, I simply consider it a story telling or performance misjudgment. As in, I just wish they’d never done that. But it is mostly over with for this season now, and I agree completely that the coming Fulcrum/Orion arc is one of the show’s real highlights.

      • bamj6 says:

        Were you on the NBC forums too?

        BTW what difference IYO could Orion have made if Chuck knew that Orion was his father from Busgang telling him instead of what happened in Dream Job

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I was there, under the same name. As was Ernie (also under the same name), Joe (as Bucko27), Amyabn (under the same name) and Faith (as CN8).

        I don’t really have a strong opinion on how things might have been different if Chuck knew more about his dad or the Intersect sooner. I really like S2 overall, and my only real complaints have to do with the overuse of love triangles and occasionally whiny Chuck. If they had written things slightly differently on either of those counts I would have been a very happy viewer. But I’m not sure of any details on how that should have been accomplished.

  2. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of this episode, although the end of is very nice, and Cole is the best of the triangle characters. But for most of this episode, we’re focusing on Chuck at his worst or the Buy More at its least effective. Everything turns around when they have to go save Sarah and Casey, but I’d never call this one of my favorites of the season. More like getting back on track after a one-episode blip.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually I can’t really argue with that view Arthur. I wasn’t terribly pleased with the early parts, but I loved the end, almost exactly as you said.

  3. resaw says:

    Thank you, gentlemen, for your thoughts on this episode, and indeed, some personal vulnerability that makes your insights that much more able to be appreciated. The first thing I want to say is how much I appreciate Joe’s engagement with the music of Chuck. The songs that the show opens and closes with are two of my favourites in the Chuck “discography” (and I really liked The Puppini Sisters version of Walk Like an Egyptian as well, even though it was less significant from a storytelling point of view).

    As I was re-watching this episode yesterday evening, I took notes of some of the things I was seeing, and found I was often reduced to quoting the dialogue, because it is so important here. It’s fascinating how little Sarah talks in her conversations with Cole and at the end with Chuck, and yet how much is revealed. The funny thing is how bright and happy and relatively talkative she was the morning following her “sleepover.” The cheery teeth-brushing scene was a bit of a callback to Suburbs for me, with Sarah once again “playing house” with Chuck, then by making breakfast for him and now by standing in front of the sink with a towel wrapped around herself brushing her teeth alongside Chuck. Like you said, Dave, she’s happy to be there, because that’s about as far as she can “be” with Chuck at this point. Then Chuck has to go and ruin it by letting his anxieties about Cole get the better of him. And isn’t that interesting that, despite the perceived imminent danger that Chuck is in, because at the end of the previous episode Sarah was so concerned that Cole was going to “talk,” she is happy and cheery? Whatever attraction Cole held for her seems to have already gone, although we understand why Chuck doubted Sarah when she said of Cole, “Our connection was purely professional.”

    In Ernie’s recent posts, if I restate it correctly, he talks about Chuck being Bryce and Cole, or being the kind of heroic figure that Bryce and Cole represent — but better — by growing into the kind of person his destiny was calling him to be, one of the things that Cole does so well is “take a bullet” for Sarah (How many times do we see Sarah patching him up?). This recalled for me that at the end of the series, Chuck took Quinn’s bullet, meant for Sarah, in “their” house. The whining in this episode tends to mask that heroic potential until the very end when we and Sarah get to hear that grand declaration and see Chuck finally reveal that he is not just a passive receptacle of the Intersect but the agent of his own destiny.

    Concerning the final speech, Joe, maybe I misunderstand you, but I draw a direct line from “I’m crazy about you” to “I’m going to live the life that I want with the girl that I love.” You write (I’m paraphrasing here) that her reaction is to Chuck’s commitment to doing this thing on his own, and that’s what gives her hope, not his (essential) declaration of love for her. If I understand you correctly, it’s not that she didn’t hear that part, but that, as long as she remained the handler in charge of his life, their relationship could never truly move beyond “cover” to reality….

    Thanks again, guys. Much food for thought on a pivotal episode.

    • JoeBuckley says:

      Oh yes, there’s definitely a direct line between “I’m crazy about you.” to “I’m going to live the life that I want with the girl that I love.” But Chuck is also leaving just enough space in there to mean, “even if that’s not you.” What’s great about Chuck (the character) is that it also certainly could mean Sarah, and she knows it.

      The speech also lets her know that Chuck will not be destroyed by everything that’s happened to him – not by the Intersect and not by unrequited love. In some sense, it lets her off the hook. Chuck is growing beyond the need for her constant protection, which is a good thing!

      Waddya think of that, resaw? 😉

      • Robert says:

        I think that what Chuck meant is that “the girl that he loves” in his sentence IS Sarah (and she knows it, that’s why she half-smiled) but there’s a slight possibility that it might not be her.

        Let us not forget that Sarah is days before admitting on the camera that she loves Chuck; if she’d understand Chuck’s sentence about “his girl” otherwise, she would certainly have not smiled (and tried to stiffle it).

        But I agree with you; it’s probably also that she’s happy to see him being more confident in his actions and thoughts (Sarah responds more to action than words, at least at that point in the series).

      • Robert says:

        One other thing; we saw during the “misery” arc when “it might not be her” happened; Chuck realized that he had manned up, he had become a spy, he was able to take decisive actions, but, as he said himself, he was miserable, because all that meant nothing without Sarah….

      • resaw says:

        Well, Joe, on your first paragraph above, I still find myself in the camp that does not believe that “even if that’s not you” was a possibility. I will concede that the words, by themselves, leave some space for ambiguity, but the execution of those words by Chuck and the response by Sarah leave no doubt as to their intent.

        I’ll go along with the second paragraph, however. Chuck is not merely a whiny, clumsy nerd who needs to be “handled.” Well, he was never merely that, in any case. There were always these flashes of bravery, of willing self-sacrifice, of compassion for others, of personal integrity, but he needed to grow up and take control of his life. Both what he said, and the way he said it, were really hope-giving for her. Despite all the problems that she saw that prevented a real relationship with Chuck, and despite all the baggage that she carried, Chuck was prepared to work as hard as necessary to make their life together a possibility.

        At least, these are the thoughts that are bouncing around my head….

    • atcDave says:

      You are right exactly Resaw about how Chuck ruins the moment during the tooth brushing scene! But he really does fail to pick up on how happy Sarah is with the situation. It’s funny all things considered, and I really wish they’d played around with it more, but we did get enough to see how differently Chuck and Sarah viewed their situation.

      And while I mean no disrespect to Ernie, I really dislike reducing the characters to templates and archetypes. I think it diminishes the human aspect of the story, especially the individuality and responsibility each character needs to have to be real and alive. So thinking of Cole and Shaw and even Chuck as literary devices actually makes me even more frustrated with the utter pointlessness of their “journeys”. I guess the best way to put it is, I find analyzing the story telling in such a way to be de-humanizing and fatalistic. That’s not what I’m watching for.
      I guess if it helps others accept certain parts of the story it serves a function, and I have no doubt the writers themselves were aware of such devices. But it will not form much of my opinion about arcs or characters.

      • resaw says:

        By no means do I have the analytical skills that Ernie has, but what I do like about his use of the hero’s journey archetype (if that is the right word), is that it makes sense of the broader arc of the series. I believe it still leaves lots of room for individuality and for the characters to take responsibility for their actions, but for me at least, it feels a bit less like the writers/show-runners are just making it up as they go along, even though they had to revise the conclusion something like eight thousand two hundred and thirty-seven times. Now having said that, I can enjoy the individual episodes as they stand, but it is really a great deal of fun, especially on these re-watches, to recognize turning points in the lives of the characters. And this episode was significant in that respect.

      • atcDave says:

        Its funny but the analysis has exactly the opposite effect on me. It seems they were trapped by story telling tropes and archetypes and were lacking the imagination or courage to do something original.

        And no, that isn’t my over-all impression of Chuck. In fact, just the opposite. I saw Chuck as unique and creative at the start. But for one miserable season they fell into every cliche there is in serialized television. Maybe it was meant to be meta-humor about the banality of TV writers. But I don’t really do meta…

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, it’s funny. I came to this site and others to hopefully have some of the analysis help me understand and come to terms with different things in the series. To talk about things and learn from others perspective. Though I love it and learn a great deal from it, the great majority of the time it just amplifies what I was already feeling. The more I read and analyze great episodes from season 1 and 2, like this one, the more I appreciate what I loved about it the first time I saw it. Occasionally there are surprises I didn’t see that still I learn from reading the posters here. But when it comes to what follows, the analysis doesn’t help me appreciate it better, in fact it has the opposite affect. It makes my dislike grow even stronger. The only time it really has had an appreciable positive impact is the finale as I am getting better with it from hearing others views. But I’m pretty certain once we get to Honeymooners I will dislike what came before it even more.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree with all of that Uplink.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        But I’m pretty certain once we get to Honeymooners I will dislike what came before it even more.

        Guys, if that’s the case I’d suggest you quit reading the analysis. Seriously.

        I really dislike reducing the characters to templates and archetypes. I think it diminishes the human aspect of the story, especially the individuality and responsibility each character needs to have to be real and alive.

        If that’s what it seems I’m doing then I’ve failed. I think that seeing the flaws of our characters, their failures, hopes, dreams and triumphs humanizes them tremendously. As for archetypes, well yes, there are a lot of them, but they aren’t the same thing as stereotypes, and an amazing cast can make them so much more.

        The point everyone seems to miss is that like a weekly procedural or murder mystery, the Hero’s Journey has plot points and themes built in, but baked into the hero’s journey is the humanity, the flaws, the failures and triumphs of seemingly normal or flawed people growing and accomplishing amazing things. The characters their humanity and their growth IS the story, or at least the serialized part of it.

        While I loved each episode on its merits what really drove my investment was that the Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan we first met were not characters set in stone, and by season 2, even as they remained consistent and in character they had grown and changed in both seemingly insignificant and profound ways.

      • Robert says:

        Ernie, I think what Dave and Uplink meant is not that what you say doesn’t make sense, or that it’s not true; it’s just that for them, that part of the hero’s journey wasn’t fun to watch, period.

        And personally, I think that your analysis is correct, but I agree with Dave and Uplink; Season 3.0 is not fun to watch (to the point that to this day, except for 3.03 and 3.13, I haven’t rewatched it since it aired), and I was so happy when Chuck and Sarah finally got together, and how great their interaction was in Honeymooners and beyond…

        The real problem of Season 3.0 wasn’t really that they were apart for a while, it’s that they’ve been apart for too long.

      • atcDave says:

        Well bottom line is, as Robert said, certain episodes (mainly a certain arc…) fail me pretty badly as entertainment. So a defense of that arc might as well be a defense of General Short’s Hawaii defense plan. I mean, no matter the intentions, the end disaster is plain too see and the plan barely matters. In fact, to some extent, knowing the plan makes things worse, not better (you mean the planes were all bunched together in the middle of the airport on purpose?!)
        But I do think conforming the story to a particular archetype or template makes it worse too. Especially when story or plot elements I find distasteful seem to be there to help it conform to said template. It actually makes the story feel MORE manipulative and dishonest. If a bad story line can be written off as a mere “oops” it might be easier to move past it. But the more deliberate you make it, the less I think of the architects.
        I do not mean for it to be a personal attack on anyone, but I do feel the show runners failed very badly on a professional level with the S3 story. And that judgement has only firmed up for me in the years since it first ran.

      • uplink2 says:

        I think a part of the reason why reading the analysis causes different reactions in me is that it comes down to when you strip away the plot points, good and horrible execution, performances, casting, and storyline what you are left with is the emotional connection to the story and the characters. In all but 13 episodes of the series I had a strong positive emotional connection to what I was seeing and feeling. Even if times were tough for them I still felt for them and bled for them. Not so during that arc. The emotional connection to the story and characters wasn’t positive at all and as said above if I don’t enjoy what I’m seeing or feeling, why continue to watch? I love a good honest angsty story of heartache and redemption but this wasn’t one of them. It was as some have been saying manipulative and dishonest. Many fans of the show I know stopped caring about the central relationship because of the manipulation and that is a huge failure in the storytelling.

        I came on online after season 3 because I really wanted to see if I could find what was missing for me by reading and discussing that part of the journey so that maybe I could come to enjoy or at least accept it. But what I found was the more I understand, the more I believe my emotional reaction was the most honest for me and that I didn’t miss anything. It felt contrived because it was and even if as Sarah said I believe what Ernie says is the intent, I didn’t feel it. And no matter how firm my understanding of intent is, it fails even worse because I see it. Where when I look at episodes like this one, it’s the exact opposite. I appreciate it even more. The most classic example of that for me was Tom Sawyer. That had never been a favorite of mine till I really understood the analysis and in many ways that episode is brilliant. I can and will never say that about where we are headed in a couple of months. The deeper I look at Pink Slip, what I see is simply more manipulation and character sacrifice to sell a story where the challenges were there simply to tell the same story they had been telling one more time but with an even darker feel.

      • Robert says:

        That’s pretty much it, Uplink.

        They interrupted (or delayed) the inevitability of Chuck and Sarah getting together (and being so good at it) just to introduce ANOTHER WT/WT story.

        I think that’s the crucial issue here; Ernie is right in saying that Chuck and Sarah weren’t entirely ready, and that Chuck had major self-confidence issues to overcome, but had they done it more like the ending of Lethal Weapon, Season 3.0 would’ve passed better.

        One would say: “But TPTB did it before, precisely with the Cole arc!!!” But that’s precisely it; it was one time too many, and I don’t think TPTB got that most of the audience didn’t want another rehash of the tired wt/wt trope.

        In fact, what TPTB wanted to do with Season 3.0 (and that Ernie analysed very well) could’ve been done without the wt/wt element introduced in it; and would’ve been better for it, something like Chuck and Sarah working through their own issues alongside (if not together), then reconciliation, then together would’ve made more sense “emotionally”.

      • authorguy says:

        Just about every S3 AU story is an attempt to tell that story without the wt/wt element added. That is the great tragedy of S3, that so much important material should be missed or ignored because of this misfired attempt at angst.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, I completely agree with this. The story of Chuck actually becoming a spy could have been a good one. Lot’s of pitfalls, lot’s learning and growing opportunities. But the story was overwhelmed by a major distraction that actually undermined the great story that could have been there.

      • uplink2 says:

        Agreed. That is exactly the point I’ve been making for a long time. That the unwanted and unnecessary trip back to the empty PLI well for an even worse written, executed and cast arc makes most of the great story that I agree they were telling about Chuck’s journey to being a spy and Sarah’s journey to normal get irreparably tarnished. Even though I despise Pink Slip, if they hadn’t thrown away the ending of Three Words, we might have had a redeemed season. We might have seen great moments like the end of this episode. And what is so disappointing is that there is no benefit to that trip other than pointless relationship angst. The lessons had already been learned and the complete lack of any chemistry or believability in the Sarah/Shaw relationship makes you want to throw up when you see them together on screen.

        It casts a cloud over the important story they were telling that it makes it all unwatchable. Though Pink Slip and the contrived relationship reset was bad once we get to First Class and Mask it pulls everything over the cliff with it. And when you look at the yes, similar and great story they are telling here it all seems so much worse in comparison.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well, not to get drawn back in, but on re-watch I did see some utility to the PLI’s. I’ll deal with this more fully when we get there, but a big part of Chuck wanting to become a spy and failing is that he wanted to become a spy for Sarah, and losing her and losing sight of that is a big reason he fails again in mid-season 3, and why the realization that he still loves Sarah and always will is what puts him back on the path to success to become a spy on his terms without letting the spy-world and Shaw destroy Sarah’s Chuck. The converse is true for Sarah. She wanted to be more of a normal girl for Chuck, but when it seems she loses Chuck she falls back into a relationship of convenience, fooling herself into thinking she can build something real with another spy. Shaw only ever wanted Sarah to be a spy as opposed to Chuck who wanted to give her something real and lasting. Because they are both changing they find that people who would have previously been their perfect match (Hannah for Chuck and Shaw for Sarah, execution and casting aside) no longer have a place in their lives.

      • authorguy says:

        An interesting perspective but I don’t think it goes far enough. It’s not that Hannah was no longer right, or Shaw, but that they were actively wrong for the lives the leads had chosen. The difference between Lou and JIll on the one hand and Hannah on the other is that Chuck has chosen to become a spy. Merely saying that ‘they’ve done this before’ is empty in the face of that choice. So what if Cuck-the-asset went through this? I don’t think Chuck-the-Agent-in-Training would have considered for a second going back on that choice for Jill, certainly not for someone as trivial as Lou. Hannah, being perfect, is the ultimate distraction and dilemma. Shaw (poorly executed as he was) represents for Sarah exactly the sort of soul-numb agent she used to be and no longer wants to be.

      • JoeBuckley says:

        It casts a cloud over the important story they were telling that it makes it all unwatchable.

        Ah, such an overarching, universal claim! Makes me feel like a freak for actually being able to watch it, then, Uplink. Not to mention, enjoy it. 😉

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe, of course you know that I’m speaking only for me. I’m glad you find much of it watchable and you can enjoy it. I wish I could and I know I’m not alone thinking that way.

        Ernie, I would contend that all of those lessons had been learned already. It was well trodden ground for both. The well was empty and the trip back simply wasn’t worth it.

      • Mel says:

        “That the unwanted and unnecessary trip back to the empty PLI well for an even worse written, executed and cast arc makes most of the great story that I agree they were telling about Chuck’s journey to being a spy and Sarah’s journey to normal get irreparably tarnished.”

        Pink Slip and what followed made it painfully obvious that Fedak & co were not interested in realistic character development, They were just following a template, with Chuck and Sarah being what the plot needed them to be, character integrity be damned.

      • atcDave says:

        Marc that’s all very well put. Although I always need to interject my own subjectivity to it. While apparently some of us saw value in watching another variation on a theme, I don’t. We’d already sat through too many iterations of our protagonists with the wrong person. Three was not the charm…

      • authorguy says:

        Very true, Dave. Even I didn’t see the need for it, although I could understand what they were trying to do. Chuck had made a choice, and these (Hannah, Manoosh, the Red Test) were the consequences of that choice. They just did it too badly. Anyone who’s read nine2five knows by now that I found Hannah to be a much better foil for Sarah, and Shaw for Chuck. A great deal of what was bad about S3 could have been made good without much effort at all. Third time could have been the charm, that’s the pity.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that’s a big part of the frustration to me, it’s not hard to see how a good story could be made of it. But I can’t even re-watch what was done.

      • Dave: “So a defense of that arc might as well be a defense of General Short’s Hawaii defense plan.”

        Wow, it’s like a Pacific Theatre version of Godwin’s Law in the middle of a Chuckwin’s Law discussion.

        Not to defend the plan, but if the Pearl Harbor attack didn’t happen because the defense plan was too formidable, and the USA didn’t enter WWII, what would the world be like today? I’m not saying it would be better or worse, but it’s an interesting mental exercise–like figuring out what Chuck season 5 would have been like without this arc and Chuck season 3.0.

      • atcDave says:

        I figured I’d change things up and give the Japanese some attention…

        While there’s no doubt Pearl Harbor served the world well in a geo-political sense, I don’t think it can be seen as anything other than a malfunction for those involved.
        And of course I’m being silly in levels of degree. But my point remains about failure (as I see it).

  4. Bill says:

    I’ll never forget the first time I saw Chuck pull down and turn over the Tron poster. Game on! What a huge moment for Chuck. What a huge moment for the series.

    • Wilf says:

      Yeah, that was a really great moment, Bill. And not long since Ellie had been urging Chuck to get rid of the Tron poster. Now we knew that it held a significance for Chuck beyond the fact that his dad gave it to him. Also, that significance would turn out to be even more interesting since Orion, whose name was now at the top of the poster, would turn out to be his dad.

    • JoeBuckley says:

      Absolutely a great moment!

      And when I re-watch, I’m always amazed by how many early references there are to the Tron poster, references which seemed meaningless at the time. They seemed like mere throwaway lines.

      Makes me think that they were very deliberate (and maybe even clever) about a lot of little things like that.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah that’s a great moment! I just love seeing that Chuck is more deliberate and engaged than we had thought. I thought MUCH more highly of him at the end of this episode than I had for a couple weeks.

    • Bill, I think this is a tremendous point. This is the first time in the show when Chuck really begins to take his life in his own hands. We’re beginning to see him transform from the scarred man-child we see in the pilot and the self-possessed family man we see in Season 5. I continue to be astonished by how thorough the growth of his character is.

    • Speaking of posters, the Tron poster is nice, but Smart Jeff’s intersect whiteboards is underratedly hilarious if you haven’t seen it.

  5. uplink2 says:

    Great review for a great episode. There are so many things about this one that stand out that you pointed out but I’m going to focus on just a few.

    A little ago I was talking about how the epiphany that Chuck has in Beard is a false one because he had said it twice before. Once in Seduction and once in Three Words. But I was wrong. He says it three times with, in many ways, this being the strongest and most important because one he says it directly to her in clear unequivocal terms and he says it without the influence of a gas that could be construed differently as “the gas talking”. Though he doesn’t actually say “I love you Sarah, ” he says “I’m crazy about you” and then ends his show of strength from lessons learned from Cole by telling her he “going to live the life with the girl that I love”. There can be no misinterpreting that. Though I agree this sets up the final arc well going forward, it also sets up why the way the contrived miscommunication or actually complete lack of communication of Pink Slip fails so miserably. Here he is clearly telling her what he plans to do and why. It gives Sarah hope that as she is about to admit that she loves him on the video log that the life they want might just happen because Chuck is so willing to fight for it, fight for her, and tells her as clearly as he can why he wants to do it. It’s “Sarah I have to do this because I love you and I won’t let the Intersect keep us from having the life I want for us.” Plus Sarah’s response is clearly that she has hope and wants it too. It is why the contrivance of Pink Slip fails. There he tells her what he is doing but he never tells her why. The Chuck of Pink Slip is not the Chuck we see here. His decision to become a spy is clearly him but to ignore her feelings and not explain why to her is pure writer manipulation of sacrificing character for plot and the reaction of the fans was loud and clear. It felt forced and phoney because it was. When people ask why the fans reacted how they did with Pink Slip, tell them to watch the last ten minutes of this episode.

    Now we come to something that has always been curious to me. The big Tron poster reveal is such a great moment and was so incredibly surprising. It was a great look into what was really going on in that big brain. But the part that stuck out to me was “middle name is Lisa”. For a long time I thought that was simply a mistake as it was absolutely clear to me that he didn’t hear Sarah. But if it was intended to be there it opens up so many other things to interpret in the episodes that follow. It makes it much more easy to see why Chuck thinks “this thing under the undercover thing” is real. Sarah opened up to him, unwittingly certainly, but it showed to him that he was reaching the inner girl. That she wanted to tell him more but couldn’t. To me that is the most important thing on the poster. Beyond what it says about how un-clueless Chuck actually was, it also reveals so much about Sarah to him as well.

    This episode also shows why Cole Barker is my favorite of all Sarah’s possible suitors. We learn so much about his character in just these two episodes. Certainly more than we ever learn about Shaw and in many ways more than we learn about Bryce. He is a far better mentor to Chuck than either of those men because of both his character and the fact that he genuinely cared about Chuck and sincerely wanted to help him which he does in spades. Plus he is the only one of the three that I think genuinely cares about Sarah, or the inner Sarah if you will. The same Sarah that Chuck loves so deeply. Plus Sarah feels it too and it is what allows her to admit to him verbally that she cares about Chuck and would never betray him. She says that because she knows he won’t use it to his advantage like Bryce and Shaw later would have. He truly is an honorable man and a great spy.

    As I mentioned up above, this along with Colonel is one of the signature episodes that setup a great finale with an epic choice on Chuck’s part. But is is also a signature episode that sets up the failure of Pink Slip for me. Not Chuck’s choice to be a spy but his rejection of this Chuck we see here that is determined to tell Sarah as clearly as he possibly can what he is going to do and most importantly why. To me the Chuck I know would have been even more determined to tell Sarah why he did what he did and was choosing to stay in Prague in light of what he had so clearly told her here. Doing the exact opposite is why it felt so forced, contrived and OOC for Chuck. It screamed manipulation and the more we look at this part of the story, the more I get incensed about what was to come. It’s not honest storytelling, it’s manipulative and it feels more like that today than it even did then.

    But I really do love this episode on so many levels, the music, the performance, the storytelling and both big reveals. It most definitely is a top 5 of the great season 2.

    • JoeBuckley says:

      Great comment, Uplink. I come so close to absolutely agreeing with you – there’s but a hair’s-breath difference. It’s the difference between Chuck hearing Sarah say “My middle name is Lisa,” and not. It’s the difference between what Sarah hears Chuck saying at the fountain in this episode, and her knowing what she wants to hear may not be the same thing.

      Though he doesn’t actually say “I love you Sarah, ” he says “I’m crazy about you” and then ends his show of strength from lessons learned from Cole by telling her he “going to live the life with the girl that I love”. There can be no misinterpreting that.

      Ah, but haven’t you ever feared misinterpreting someone exactly like that? Haven’t you been in the position of thinking “Did she really *mean* that? – or was I just wishing hopefully?”

      I know I have.

      I contend TPTB did a masterful job of leaving us right on that edge – intentionally. Oh yeah – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, mostly because it’s a lot of fun this way!

      Oh, to be young again! 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Well, unlike Joe (!), I’ll agree completely with this comment Uplink. This episode is a huge part of why the final arc of S2 was so exciting and satisfying. We knew exactly how Chuck and Sarah felt about each other, even as events grew bigger and more dire around them. We could enjoy every episode and detail in its own right, all while holding our breath to see how Chuck and Sarah would finally sort things out. And as long as we ignore or bypass S3, S2 remains an exciting and satisfying experience. But yeah, I agree 100% about Beard. Chuck’s epiphany is more of a “duh” moment to me. Very anti-climactic.

    • uplink2 says:

      See Joe, this is where I would refer to a line used a couple of times in the show. “use your heart, our brain only screws things up” . You could on an analytical level I guess see the hedge room left by those statements but if you look at it emotionally from hat we see Zach and in particular Yvonne so clearly show, there is no room for interpretation. The answer is in their hearts and the hearts of the viewers.

      Maybe it was the writers intent to leave that crack in the story but the actors didn’t seem to get that. And I think that this is in part one of the things where the life in their bubble leads them astray from how the fans actually are seeing and feeling the show. Zach and Yvonne are not hedging. Yvonne shows us that Sarah completely gets what Chuck is telling her here. And Zach leaves no doubt about it. Forget about the written word here for a minute and watch what they are telling us non-verbally. It is absolute and unwavering in my view. It is again why the comments about being surprised how great they were together in Honeymooners is so dumbfounding. We see it all clearly in these scenes.

      Chuck gives Sarah hope here and it is one of the things that allow her to open up in the video log about her true feelings. But how you go from this man, this direct, concerned, caring man expressing his love for the woman he wants to spend his life with to someone who explains nothing or shows no caring or concern for her feelings when he turns his back on her a few months later just screams manipulation. The qualities in Chuck that are shown growing here do not allow for the coldness and dismissiveness he expresses later.

      • atcDave says:

        I would point too a couple interview comments that ran the night the S2 finale aired. JS was saying things would not be easy for Chuck and Sarah, and Ellie and Devon were a sort of normal ideal Chuck and Sarah would not achieve for quite some time. So clearly he was already thinking about the next steps of WT/WT (even when he didn’t know if the show would be renewed for another season yet).
        BUT, that same day (okay, maybe a couple days later, as I think about it, there was some long story about Yvonne being incommunicado in the outback with a broken cell phone the day of the finale) Yvonne gave a podcast interview where she said she really looked forward to the next season of Chuck and Sarah getting to know each other better.
        Now granted, those comments are not completely at odds. BUT, I think it shows a difference in outlook that different viewers were already responding to that sets up the fundamental disconnect of S3. Some saw things like the writers and were expecting or even wanting that next round of trouble. While others of us, obviously me included, were looking at those performances and were only interested in what would happen between Chuck and Sarah together. I still MIGHT have accepted some major obstacles IF Chuck and Sarah had been facing things together or were fighting to be together. But half a season of giving up on each other was as far removed from my desires as my next colonoscopy is.

      • uplink2 says:

        I just went to YouTube and watched that entire sequence again. Many of us and the camera itself are focused on Sarah’s reaction to his statement of living the life he wants with the girl that I love. But I just focused more on Chuck and to me at least there is no wiggle room in what Zach is showing us and Chuck is telling Sarah.

        Now Dave I agree with you about obstacles. There were plenty of land mines ahead and I love the land mines. It’s why the race to find Orion and their capture and imprisonment are so enjoyable. That land mine fit perfectly with what episodes like this one were showing were ahead. I just don’t love ones that are phoney, and force us to not look at the man behind the curtain pulling the levers to create the false image we are told we should be seeing.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      But is is also a signature episode that sets up the failure of Pink Slip for me. Not Chuck’s choice to be a spy but his rejection of this Chuck we see here that is determined to tell Sarah as clearly as he possibly can what he is going to do and most importantly why. To me the Chuck I know would have been even more determined to tell Sarah why he did what he did and was choosing to stay in Prague in light of what he had so clearly told her here.

      Interesting. I actually see a lot of similarities between the end of Lethal Weapon and Prague. In both cases Sarah is trying to push Chuck to do something she wants and he isn’t ready for. However there is a key difference between the two. In both Chuck is taking control of his life, but in the second what he does will also affect Sarah’s. He starts to tell her about what being a spy could mean for them and she shuts it down, trying to convince him to leave with her (i.e. she is leaving with or without him). This essentially sets up (as did events in The Ring) a situation where Chuck is very confused about what Sarah wants. Her reasons to leave on the platform very much seem as if she wants to quit, period, not quit to be with him. This echoes back to The Ring, where Sarah has not told him she is staying, but Bryce told him she wasn’t going to go with him. Chuck must make his decision to intersect not knowing whether it will cost him Sarah. Likewise he makes his decision to remain in training to be a hero, to be the man Sarah sees but he can’t, knowing it may cost him Sarah. But in this case Chuck leaves Sarah with the choice of how her life would change, taking himself out of the equation. He won’t ask her to remain a spy for him if she wants to quit, just as he didn’t ask her to stay for him in Ring. He made his decision and let her make hers.

      Also it is very clear in that scene he’s barely holding it together. An “I love you” from Sarah and he would have bolted. He really wanted to, and he’s doing the hardest thing he’s ever had to do in his life. Chatterbox Chuck doesn’t fit here to me.

      Now I’ll grant that there are some annoying aspects to the relationship reset. It is almost as if they didn’t feel they needed to tell us why Chuck and Sarah weren’t ready for each other (which they are pretty clearly trying to tell us). It is also broken up and spread over two episodes and interspersed through too many scenes so that the through-line is tough to pick up on. It is the beginning of Sarah’s journey in earnest. It is the first time she has truly put her heart out there, but it’s a selfish sort of love. She’s forcing Chuck to choose between her and the man he wants to be, but if he chooses her he will never forgive himself for turning his back on his calling and he’ll come to resent that. It’s a no-win for Chuck. He chooses to be the man she sees, the hero and he loses her, or he chooses her and ceases to be the man she loves, the hero who will always do the right thing.

      A constant theme of the show is that the people who love you and who you love change you in unpredictable and irreversable ways. Sarah’s love for Chuck showed him a side of himself, granted a long hidden and underdeveloped side, that gave him hope he could become the man he felt Sarah deserved. The tragedy, that becoming the man Sarah sees but he can’t, could cost him Sarah is palpable in that scene, and is the central conflict of season 3. This episode was the beginning of that.

      I guess my point is that Season 3 was not so great a departure from the themes we explored in season 2 as we thought when viewed in a broader sense with an entire show for context, and a lot of people didn’t like them in season 2 either.

      I’ll save the rest for the episodes in question.

      • JoeBuckley says:

        That was rather brilliant, Ernie.

        I’ve been trying to get the point across that Chuck is confused about what Sarah wants. The viewers know her mind better (except me, at the time, I think. I bought Sarah’s act hook, line and even the kitchen sinker, as much as Chuck did).

        You said: Also it is very clear in that scene he’s barely holding it together. An “I love you” from Sarah and he would have bolted. Now that’s something I can’t say I noticed, but I’m ready to believe it. Chuck shows much more of a “take charge” attitude, if only of his own life, that starts right here at the fountain. It doesn’t end until Bryce dies in front of his eyes, and then it’s followed by two minutes of desperation. Right here, at the fountain, if Sarah said “I love you” to him, I think he would have paused, said softly and with infinite sadness “It’s just too late” and walked.

        It’s either that, or be broken, which is something I don’t think he’d do in front of Sarah. That’s not bolting to me, but maybe that’s what you meant.

        Come to think of it, that might be the reason Sarah didn’t say those words.

      • uplink2 says:

        Ernie, but all you point out is the crux of the manipulation. The false tension of the train is leaving and Sarah is going no matter what is exactly that, false tension. It is exactly why I keep hearing Schwedak yelling “don’t look at the man behind the curtain. Believe what we are telling you to believe.” The tension doesn’t come from the characters themselves it comes from the contrived situation they are put in. It’s plot driving character and not the other way round like it had been. We see here in this episode it’s Chuck’s character that drives the last 2 fantastic scenes and basically the entire intent of this arc. Not so in Pink slip for either. Its the plot point of a relationship reset intended to delay getting them together till what they thought was the finale, it wasn’t about the characters showing us why they weren’t ready as you said and it never comes off as putting them together in 3.13, it comes of as delaying them getting together till 3.13 and there is a huge difference there.

        There were great character points that could have been used to show us why they weren’t ready and it could have driven such a great story of them fighting to earn that growth and the right to be together. But it never happened. It was turned on its head and all a large number of the beloved fans of this series could see was those two guys pulling levers and pumping steam that displayed a false and dishonest image.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Uplink, by their very nature all plots and stories are contrived and manipulative. The execution comes down to how well contrived and how manipulated we feel. Granted the flashbacks in Pink Slip feel a bit more contrived than a lot of the “we have no time to talk”/miscommunication scenarios they’re always putting Chuck and Sarah in. In addition, when you are telling a story like Chuck and Sarah’s it CAN NOT be wholly character driven. The story is about how they react to and are changed by events (i.e. the plot) so at times the plot must be in the driver’s seat making the characters react. Again, granted, it can feel more organic at times as a matter of execution. I’d also contend that both Chuck and Sarah are entirely in character both in Pink Slip and the flashbacks. Sarah wanting to run with Chuck to preserve what she has and avoid the consequences of some plot point is well established, and Chuck sacrificing what he has or his future for the greater good is kind of who he is for the first two seasons. Their inability to communicate openly or express feelings freely and Sarah’s tenancy to close herself off and throw herself into work as a reaction to heartbreak are likewise well established character traits. I understand that some think that because they made out in a Barstow motel room and facing life in prison made some wistful jokes about wishing they could at least face it together they should be over those issues, or at least they should start addressing them. Too many trips to the angsty well is a common complaint, and one I’ve made too. But what they did in Pink Slip and season 3 in general was not a radical departure for the characters or from the way they’d told the story before, with a few exceptions like Sarah actually dating someone else for an extended period, but that was a difference of degree rather than a new element.

        I suspect that TPTB, given a short final season, were more interested in getting to the new situation that Chuck and Sarah were in – feeling as though they missed their chance, dealing with the consequences, trying to move on, all the while feeling that inexorable pull toward each other and wistfully thinking what if… – than they were interested in going through a detailed exposition of the rise and fall of Charah. It is pretty evident that for people invested in the relationship as the reason to watch Chuck that comes across as cheating or dishonest storytelling. I suspect the lower budget and tighter shooting schedule also had an impact on what they felt they could do, so as with the entire season there was a bit more hand-waving than we’d seen before.

        All that said, I still believe it would be beneficial to a lot of fans to recognize their own biases and the problems that their expectations and pre-judging the story create. Recognizing that the story of the relationship is a serialized one that is going to necessarily go through highs and lows and needs to have elements of tension worked through and played out is a part of that. One bit of denial I’ve noticed in the fanbase is the fact that a lot of fans create boundaries and rules and then call OOC or sloppy storytelling or lazy writing when TPTB cross those artificial and arbitrary boundaries. Not to say that there can’t be OOC moments or slack writing on occasion, but what is often characterized as such is in reality just the writing or characters going in a direction some fans don’t like. “Whiney” Chuck is a prime example. Don’t get me started on all the Sarah rules fans create. This isn’t to say that everyone has to like every twist or turn on the journey, but it often feels like TPTB take more abuse than is fair for things that are just a matter of some fans’ taste in the end.

        So in closing I suppose I sometimes come across as if I feel TPTB can do no wrong and as if I’m scolding the fanbase for not appreciating their genius. In reality I know there are problems and uneven parts of the show, but they don’t ruin it for me, and knowing there is a reason for taking the writing or the characters in a certain direction helps me enjoy the journey a bit more. Appreciating the scenery or the music in the car or the company you have and some pleasant conversation, even if you are caught in a traffic jam at the moment, seems a lot more beneficial to me.

      • authorguy says:

        In the rewatching I’ve had to do for my story, I’ve only found 2 episodes that were written badly, which are the Mask and Fake Name. For the rest I’ve been able to see some form of story logic to account for and explain what the characters were doing. Only in those two are the characters just sock puppets for the writers.

      • uplink2 says:

        Ernie, thank you for that and I do appreciate your taking the time to explain your position. But even if I grant you all of it, which I don’t but let’s say I do, none of it explains or justifies the trip back to the empty PLI well. That is where the season falls off the rails. It is all cheap and lazy angst. It has no impact on the overall story other than to tarnish it beyond the point of watch-ability. That is where the disconnect with a vast portion of the fanbase lies. You could keep them apart but none of this story we see unfolding especially from this point in the series justifies putting them together with others. That is where the manipulation seems so horribly blatant. It was a bridge already crossed. Couple that with an under developed and disjointed spy story and you have what we got. A hugely divided fanbase and great fans leaving in many cases never to return.

        I’m happy for you that you can enjoy the ride more by understanding things and that the missteps don’t cloud your appreciation for the journey. The difference for me and many others is that it did ruin it for me. The great dramatic journey that we see developing in many ways in this episode is tarnished to the point of unwatchability by the direction they took and the execution of that direction. Nothing is going to change that for me. In fact the more I understand it, the worse it becomes. That car ride you spoke of is made worse because it is with people I don’t want to be with. It’s the annoying little cousins you want to throw out the window. They make the ride torture and destroy any enjoyment of what else is going on.

      • Robert says:

        Ernie, your point is well made, and it’s clear that you think some are overeacting, or are a bit silly for thinking as they do, that they feel the WT/WT trope was stupid, or made 3.01 to 3.12 unwatchable…

        But that doesn’t mean that we should accept what TPTB did, lock, stock and barrel, especially when they wrote it badly, or used a bad idea. The idea they planned (Chuck’s becoming a spy, Sarah becoming more normal, and the growing pain of it) was interesting, but the WT/WT was NOT necessary, and that’s what made a lot of us cringe about those episodes.

        You said that the Season 3.0 PLI’s made Chuck and Sarah (and us) realize that people who would’ve been perfect for each of them in the past weren’t anymore (because they were realizing more and more that Chuck and Sarah were perfect for each other); we saw it with Bryce and Cole for Sarah, and with Lou and Jill for Chuck. Did we really need to see Shaw and Hannah to prove it “again”??? Really? No, not at all.

        THAT is the real contention point. I have nothing against Chuck and Sarah being apart because they don’t really know (told each other) how they feel about each other, also regarding the spy life vs normal life and the possibility of being a real couple at some point, these are very legitimate questions. But like Uplink likes to say, there was no need to return to that WT/WT well again, and to prove what?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Robert, just to clarify, I do think some people are over-reacting, but it’s not my business to tell anyone how to react. I also think some people are acting silly, not for feeling as they do, but for taking it personally and feeling the need to continuously bash TPTB or prove the very concept of season 3 objectively structurally and conceptually flawed to justify the fact that they dislike where it went. It isn’t necessary. They chose a direction, you didn’t like it pretty much sums it up.

        For the record most of the worst perpetrators have moved on, and I think we have a great group here now. It’s just that sometimes discussion of the flaws seems to dominate nearly every comment section. That discussion is valid, but it inevitably seems to turn to hate week where posters compete for the appropriate level of hate toward TPTB.

        My hope was that with the show over people would make their peace with the direction TPTB took and when we approached season 3 those who reject the very existence of the first part of the season wouldn’t still be dominating the discussion on those episodes. If you reject the very premise the episodes are built around there is little chance it will make sense or that you will enjoy it.

        I’ll put this out as a suggestion for when we do reach season 3. If you aren’t willing to re-watch, let alone re-consider an episode perhaps you could limit yourself to one comment on how much it sucks and how stupid TPTB are per episode as a matter of courtesy.

      • atcDave says:

        Hmmmm, maybe those of us looking to commiserate could make the same request of those who wish to defend it….

        Joe and I have discussed this some BTS. For now, the plan is to keep a similar format to what we’ve been doing, I expect to start the write up for each episode and Joe will do a longer, more play by play sort of write up. There are still several episodes I won’t actually re-watch, but obviously I have seen everything and know the plot points.
        So given that Joe and I will start most episodes from opposing positions it seems likely we will have the usual debates going every week.

        But as I said a couple months back, I will be doing at least a couple S3 alternate & fan fiction posts during that period. I expect and hope we can keep more of the prolonged and intense discussions about the show many of us wished for over in those threads. We will say more about when the time comes, but it is something for readers to be thinking about now. We WILL have a sort of separate S3 alternate thread going for those three months. Please plan on visiting those posts for the serious moaning from like-minded viewers!

      • Robert says:

        Oh, don’t worry, Ernie; I do not intend to play the party-pooper for those who worship ep. 3.01 to 3.12; I won’t post a single comment during that time. I’ll be back for Honeymooners.

        And for the record; I really dislike these episodes, although probably not as intensely as Dave or Uplink, and I’m not really interested to discuss these episodes; I haven’t rewatched them since they aired anyways.

        But since I don’t wanna spoil the party for those who want to discuss about it, I’ll stop here.

      • jam says:

        “Hmmmm, maybe those of us looking to commiserate could make the same request of those who wish to defend it….”

        That would be only fair, wouldn’t it?

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I will respect that and make my feelings known in the appropriate places. TBH I am really curious to see the response and how differently it is. But I do have a feeling that the numbers of responses to each thread will be dramatically different. It’s easy to see that the level of passion is very different. Those that enjoyed Season 3 I have never gotten the feeling “passionately loved it”. They see merits and enjoy some elements a lot but overall its not something they feel overly strongly for.

        But the flip side of that coin is viscerally passionate. Their investment is huge and their response I think even shocked Schwedak. I went back and reread part 3 of their season by season discussion. They really didn’t want to be reminded of 3.0. At no point do they make any effort to say they did a good job with Shaw the character or the PLI story and its only when they make him a villain that they knew how to write Shaw or write for Routh. They also admit to being really caught up in the stunt casting of Superman and Lana Lane. Too bad they weren’t caught up in writing a decent story.

        But one thing is quite obvious, this level of wrath and bitter hatred for a shows direction and story choice, especially when you consider how passionate the fans were about saving the show, is really starting. It goes beyond anything I have ever seen before. It’s not just that we didn’t like it, many of us despised it down to our very core. That kind of passion is very unique and should have been nurtured. I think its the same thing here. Without the kind of passion many of us have for this show and the characters, this site would have been closed ages ago. Keeping that passion out of these threads I believe will do the discussion a disservice. But I promise to be a good boy and stay where my passion belongs.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I honestly don’t know how well this will work. You are completely right that those of us who complain usually have more passion than the defenders, just as its always easier to complain than praise.
        But I’m hoping we can at least get discussions about how things could have been handled differently or what the show we had hoped for would look like out of the main episode talks. Obviously, we tend to do this stuff all over the place anyway. But if we can get some of our “anti” talk out of the way, so we don’t suck ALL the air out of the room for the “pros”, it might help SOME.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Uplink – To be fair, I don’t think the problem with some of the S3 discussion is about the passion shown – it’s more about whether comments have anything insightful to add to what we already know. I think one of the main points of a rewatch thread is for people to share new insights, how their views have changed on rewatch for good or bad, or whether they have any new perspectives now that the show is finished. I think that’s a better use of the rewatch forum, rather than just rehashing the old debate, where the views of both sides are already well known. I think if you hate the episodes as much as you always did, and nothing’s changed, then to a large extent you write yourself out of the conversation. For what it’s worth, I’m in the same position with the finale – I’ve got nothing constructive or insightful to add to my initial negativity.

        Dave – I think the only way this is going to work for S3 is to have 2 separate threads – one for the pros to discuss their likes and dislikes from a perspective of at least accepting the legitimacy of the overall story, and one for the antis to have at it as they wish. From past experience on here, I think the 2 groups will prove to be just about mutually exclusive!

      • Faith says:

        A well known journalist once said, (paraphrased) when we lose our capacity to listen to both sides of the argument, when we close ourselves to only one point of view, we lose that which makes us reasoned human beings; we lose our capacity for change and knowledge. I don’t quite remember how it goes so I’m extrapolating a bit but the essence is there. I work hard to live up to that. Sometimes I hate it, sometimes it frustrates me to no end but I truly do think it’s important. But I think the distinction for me comes with reason, with open mind and with discussion.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Kev we did end up with a separate pro thread on Beefcake, and as near as I can tell it did attract those with positive things to say about the episode. You may be right about it working for S3, but of course, I’m not one who can do anything a positive thread for S3!

      • JoeBuckley says:

        Kev, I’m certain I’ll be taking a more positive view of S3. Like usual, I’ll probably be coming at it sideways and from out in left field.

        My position has never been that “you should enjoy it!” (with the emphasis on the generic, plural “you”). The reactions to the show are way too subjective and much too personal for that.

        I’m sure, I’ll be relating how any given aspect affected me. And I don’t mean to imply that it was always for the good or enjoyable – just that I was affected. I do that for a reason. For me, to be unaffected is the definition of failure. It’s my own, peculiar way of looking at it, and in the end, totally personal.

        For that reason, everyone’s free to ignore it and inspect their own feelings about what went on. I’m hoping they do, and see something unexpected, something they can relate to. And then I hope they can comment on that intelligently.

      • uplink2 says:

        Kev, I can see your point and I do agree to an extent. However part of the learning process does not mandate that you like it more or accept it more upon rewatch. A good example for me was Beard. I liked it on first viewing, mainly because it helped me restore some small bit of hope that had been entirely destroyed by my bitter hatred for Fake Name. But upon rewatch I grew to like it less and less for a number of reasons we will point out later on. So finding something new doesn’t always end up with a more positive reaction.

        I understand the possible need for alternate threads once we get to this portion of the rewatch. I just hope it is not just a pro/con distinction but something more clever. But I will be honest, what I didn’t like about the recent version was that I felt there was a bit of an attempt to control the discourse in a way that bothered me. Basically saying keep your negative opinions to yourself or they will be deleted and the thread locked. I understand that this is a site where those that manage it and operate it have the right to control the kinds of discussions that are posted and whether they are even open to the public to comment on. I realize there are certain rules that we all accept when we post but limiting the conversation and basically saying if it isn’t the way I want it to be, it will be shut down concerns me greatly. But alas my only course of action was to not post there and I didn’t.

        But I don’t want to see that happen when we get to S3 as the point/counterpoint discussion is what makes sites like these fun to be a part of. Hey I love Dave’s view on things and it is very similar to mine but the last thing I want is the Dave and Bill thread where its only us agreeing with each other. I want discourse, I want differing views but if I’m restricted to a pro/con type of thread break down, it will be a very boring site.

      • atcDave says:

        Joe I think your ability to always frame things clearly as your opinion is why you manage to avoid much of the anger some get. You manage to express yourself without being a bully with your own opinion. Its an ability many, including myself, are far less gifted with.

        Uplink I’m confident you and I could find plenty to argue about, we have before. In fact, if memory serves, we disagree plenty about the later seasons. Even S3, when we often have similar likes and dislikes, they are often for VERY different reasons.

  6. Sorry for going OT, but CBS has a new pilot that sounds like a total Chuck ripoff:

    “Lastly, CBS has ordered Intelligence, a drama pilot centered at US Cyber Command that focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift — a microchip that has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Michael Seitzman wrote the script and will serve as an EP alongside David Semel (No Ordinary Family) and Tripp Vinson.”

    • anthropocene says:

      Reminds me about the old myth about orthodontics picking up radio signals…. 🙂

    • authorguy says:

      It’s only a ripoff of a gimmick. What made Chuck so special to me was the Charah chemistry and the character growth they all experienced, even if I had to ignore most of what was actually presented to see it. The Intersect was a gimmick but the show could have been done without it and still worked. There are plenty of shows like Chuck out there with the great characters and without the gimmicks. I was just watching Notting Hill (again) and I realized how much like Chuck it was.

      • uplink2 says:

        That’s actually a good comparison. I’ve seen a few FF writers use the girl standing in front of a guy line in Chuck stories. Plus it has the great definitive happy ending I wish Chuck had.

    • TK421 says:

      I think people forget that Chuck was being called a ripoff of the UPN show Jake 2.0 long before it aired. This doesn’t sound like a ripoff of Chuck so much as a modification of the old fish out of water spy trope (just like Chuck was, and Jake 2.0 before it).

  7. uplink2 says:

    BTW does the fact that Yvonne arrived back in LA just when Dexter had their first read through seem like just a coincidence to anyone?

  8. atcDave says:

    On another unrelated but fun note. Vic Sahay was on NCIS tonight. It was a dramatic role as a terrorist hacker. Fitting. Actually he was pretty funny, in very dramatic way of course…

    • anthropocene says:

      I kept thinking: wouldn’t it be great if the mysterious master hacker that Vik’s character worked for was played by Scott Krinsky?

    • JoeBuckley says:

      I caught it. He was actually pretty good. Vik hit the right note with the ironic hipster-thing, minus the nerdy stuff we’re used to in Lester.

      Anthro, I love the idea of the mysterious MC being revealed to be Scott K. That would be so cool! 😉

    • mr2686 says:

      I thought Vic was real good on NCIS. Much better than Bones, but then again I think the cast of NCIS is better to work with.

      • JoeBuckley says:

        Yeah. The role was better too. The character had more room to become real than in Bones.

        BTW, is Rocky Carroll leaving the NCIS? I saw his credits at the beginning, but he never appeared. I haven’t been following the on-line news about the show, but it looks like Ally McBeal’s Fish is going continue playing a role.

      • atcDave says:

        I was wondering the same thing about Rocky. Of course we did see secondary cast get a week or two off on Chuck sometimes, I think that’s not uncommon, we just don’t notice as much on shows we aren’t as invested in.
        But I could easily see Gibbs being the new director and Leon being retired. Mainly because the 60 year old field agent is a bit much sometimes, but they would NEVER get rid of Mark Harmon, he owns that show.

      • JoeBuckley says:

        It often looks to me like Harmon is the only one with a secure job on that show, Dave! Well, not quite, but almost. I was stunned when they killed off the characters played by Sasha Alexander and Lauren Holly.

        If Pauli Perrette or David McCallum leave, I’m gone too!

      • atcDave says:

        I think the core cast is safe as long as they want the jobs. NCIS is SOOOO successful, and the chemistry of the cast is dynamite. I don’t believe any show runner would deliberately mess with those characters if they had a choice. But I don’t think Rocky Carroll quite counts as core cast. They’ve had a few directors over the years, and the character typically has pretty limited interaction with the rest of the cast.
        Of course all bets are off if an actor wants to leave (I know Sasha Alexander wanted out, but that was also before the show became the ratings monster it is now).

  9. uplink2 says:

    This is interesting.

    Joni Powell ‏@joni101

    A BIG surprise visit from @ZacharyLevi and @Y_Strahovski on our set of #HartofDixie today. Our @nbcchuck buds!! SOO much love xoxo

    • Mel says:

      Never watched it, doesn’t it have Rachel Bilson in the lead role?

      I’d like to think of course that they’re there to meet tv execs, but likely it’s just a friendly visit. Interesting nonetheless.

    • atcDave says:

      That is interesting. Apparently Zach is back in LA.

      • Robert says:

        Yeah, but what I find even more fun is that Zach and Yvonne were hanging out together when they visited the set. That’s cool!

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, its very cool. It seriously raises the odds of a Chuck reunion project someday if the cast are all friends.

    • uplink2 says:

      Oh I agree, Plus a lot of the crew is the same but I wonder how Zach introduced Yvonne to Rachel this time or did Yvonne have to take over again? 😉

    • uplink2 says:

      He tweeted tonight he is on his way back to NOLA.

    • uplink2 says:

      Now that I think about it it is a bit curious. He was in NOLA for the SuperBowl then came back to LA and now is headed back to NOLA after just a couple of days?

      • Mel says:

        It wasn’t just for the Super Bowl, he was also filming “Remember Sunday” there. It could be he went back to LA for the Betty White thing, although based on the pics I saw Zac’s part was shot way back in December when he still had his Fandral hair.

      • uplink2 says:

        Oh I know he was shooting there I just used the SB to establish where he was on sunday and that it seems like a very quick trip with today being most likely just a social visit.But who knows.

      • Mel says:

        Ah, gotcha. Not that I mind this, but it feels like there could be a separate thread for non-re-watch related discussions where you could chat about casting news, fanfiction and whatever else Chuck related.

      • Mel that’s a good idea, I think we could definitely use separate threads for non-rewatch discussions.

      • atcDave says:

        Broadly speaking there are such separate threads, especially fan fiction, I’ve done dozens of them. The problem is, this site is structured like a blog, not a forum. So stuff gets buried as time goes by and there’s no easy way to bring a thread back to the top. But the search function works quite well, I’ve used it many times.

        If anyone wants to comment on an older topic it is no big deal to just comment in an older thread. It will remain as a recent comment, depending on activity, for a day or two. Even if the thread is years old.
        Whenever there is real news we will start a new post for it. Like if we had heard of a real Chuck related reason for Zach and Yvonne being at Warner Brothers, that would have received its own post immediately.
        In the meantime, this is fine. There will be new, weekly, episode posts for quite some time yet. Feel free to post interesting and related material anytime you want on the latest post. We all enjoy friendly discussion and getting to know each other better.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m working on a new page that will appear on the banner. It will have sub-pages for each of the principle cast and other pages for the crew and creative team. I’ll enable comments on those pages to anyone who hears of a new role for Zach or Yvonne can post it there. Hopefully there’ll be a rough preliminary version by the weekend.

    • uplink2 says:

      Sometimes great FF writers are way ahead of their time. Especially the last few paragraphs. 😉

      http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7776750/1/Chuck-and-Sarah-vs-The-Producer

  10. ChuckFanForever says:

    How about this article on a possible lead role for Zac in a little movie:

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/25064/han-solo-movie-cast-zachary-levi-to-play-young-han-solo

    • jam says:

      The whole movie is still unconfirmed, and about a hundred other names have already been mentioned.

      Zac’s 32 now, and Harrison Ford was 33 or 34 when they started shooting “New Hope”, so he might not even be qualified to play “younger Han Solo”. Of course, age is not everything, and I think ZL looks younger than Ford did at that age so there’s that. Still, plenty of names will be mentioned before the role gets filled… IF the movie ever even gets made.

    • atcDave says:

      I’d love to see Zach in Star Wars, and I have no doubt he’d love to do it. But I’m not sure Han Solo is the best fit for him.

      • Robert says:

        I agree. Too lanky, and I’m not sure if he has the swagger and the cockiness needed for the role. And he doesn’t look like Harrison Ford one bit. Not that he can’t act (we know), but probably not the fit for him. I’d see him more as a military kind of guy, maybe another smuggler (or fringe guy), or even a jedi.

        But to see him in Star Wars? THAT would be…awesome!

      • authorguy says:

        He might make a good fellow smuggler, role model, or bad influence on the young Han, but I don’t see him as Han himself.

      • My gut feeling is that they’ll probably go with a total unknown for the role. It worked brilliantly for the new trilogy. Still, I just can’t picture any actor not named Harrison Ford playing Han Solo.

      • Wilf says:

        Yeah, but then, could you have imagined anyone other than Leonard Nimoy playing Spock, or William Shatner playing Kirk?

      • authorguy says:

        The guy who played young Spock in the reboot had this high-pitched voice that was completely wrong when Nimoy was right there with his deep bass voice. Not a good fit. Shatner didn’t own the role nearly as much, he was much more replaceable.

      • atcDave says:

        Maybe they could use Harrison Ford and CG youthify him (kidding)….

        Gee Marc I always saw Spock and Kirk exactly the opposite, including the casting in the new movies. I actually completely liked the reboot, but if anything, I felt Spock was easier to replace than Kirk. Still loved Nimoy getting the small part though!

      • Wilf says:

        Although at least Zachary Quinto looked right for the part

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Just an FYI. Since people have been making a lot of these types of posts there is now a new feature on the blog. There is now a Chuck News page with links to pages for the cast and crew where you can post a comment with news such as this and where others can check for any new updates. You will also notice that when you mouse over Chuck News in the banner you can choose to go directly to the page you want.

  11. Robert says:

    True enough, but at least, it means Zach (like Yvonne) is on the radar (and for Star Wars, no less). That’s good. It also means that “Chuck” has been noticed by people of the industry and it put them on the map.

  12. First Impression says:

    Chuck said “This is it. We’re going to die underneath a yogurt shop.”  He said “We’re” not “I’m”.  Chuck has accepted that Sarah and Casey will die protecting him.  I remember in 3D he told Tyler Martin that he trusted them with his life each day, but this may be one of the first times that he has made vocal that they would all go down as one.

    Cole returning to the Castle was a bit reckless, besides being a security breach.  I guess there wasn’t a plausible way to get him back there otherwise.  However, I do like the way Cole begins to teach Chuck a bit more about being a spy.  “It’s not wanting to be a hero Chuck, it’s about needing to be.”  As Chuck went after Busbang, he used the same line on Casey, who showed the slightest hint of respect for Chuck.  

    Now we have Orion as the creator of the intersect.  Busbang on Orion: He put this team together, he drove the project until he realized…hmmm.

    Cole’s not-so-secret secret to Chuck was heard by and could also be good advice for Sarah.  “If you want something bad enough, don’t ever take no for an answer.”  At that moment, Chuck wanted the intersect out of his head, but it seemed that Sarah wanted Chuck because, as she says later, “When you meet somebody you care about, it’s just hard to walk away.”  It even seemed at the fountain that Chuck’s main reason for getting the intersect out of his head was to be with Sarah.  

    I absolutely LOVED the back of the TRON poster!  So glad DVDs can advance frame by frame.  It was wonderful slow motion viewing.  🙂

    • atcDave says:

      Definitely a fun episode. I like Cole a lot here, especially the way he treats Chuck. And there’s just no denying that Sarah admits feelings for Chuck in an understated way.
      I love the Tron poster, who’d have guessed Chuck heard “Lisa”…

      • Christopher says:

        Good point Dave,

        This episode is the gateway into the best character of the show other than Chuck and Sarah. without ruining it for First Impression. Orion will be an important character one that ranks very high with me. The next episode will reveal a lot when it comes to him plus we start to see the feelings of Sarah take shape.

        of the three male interests for Sarah, I never considered Cole a threat. even when they kiss. She quickly shoots it down. and says one of the best lines from Sarah I am sorry but I am not the kind of girl who cheats on her cover boyfriend. This was admission on her part to Cole, who was leaving that she was Chuck’s girlfriend, and Chuck starts to show his :”big boy pants” in this episode by taking charge.

  13. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Suburbs (2.16) | Chuck This

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