Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler (3.06)

Piece of Cake

PieceOCakeChuck Versus The Nacho Sampler is one of those episodes that can seem like a mostly fun breezy ride, even as it touches on some of the darker aspects of the show’s world. Certainly it is not without its wonderful comedic moments, all of course interspersed with the A and B plots and their parallels. This was one of my favorite season 3 episodes for a number of reasons. The comedy of course. Casey at Weapcon could be its own episode as far as I’m concerned, and Chuck’s first attempt at “seducing” Manoosh is pure comedy gold. But in addition this episode has a lot to say about Chuck’s frame of mind, and Sarah’s. And I missed a lot of it the first time around, even while I recognized that this was a pivotal episode. Join me for a discussion of Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler and some of Chuck’s and Chuck’s high’s and lows in this pivotal episode and season. After the Jump.

This episode remains a favorite, perhaps even more so on re-watch. This review however won’t be an extensive one on my part. I’ve written on this one before and I think my previous piece, Season 3 Revisited: Nachos Anyone? still covers most of what I wanted to say so go read it. I’ll wait…

There is one thing that I want to comment on, something I missed before this re-watch. I have often referred to Shaw as Poochie, the add-on character to a favorite cartoon on The Simpsons. Now Shaw was a more necessary character than that, though I still hold he was poorly served initially. One thing that stuck out to me early in this episode was a Shaw as Poochie moment. When Chuck asks where’s Shaw it made me think of this from the Poochie episode on The Simpsons:

HOMER: Uh, hi, Mr. Meyers. I’ve been doing some thinking, and I’ve got some ideas to improve the show. I got it right here. (pulls out a piece of paper) One, Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine. Two, whenever Poochie’s not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking “Where’s Poochie”? Three–

As I’ve been re-watching with the writer’s likely intent in mind this one finally made sense. It’s not that Chuck asked, it’s that Sarah answered that makes that scene significant. I wrote last week on how some deleted scenes add to the sense that Sarah feels and is forming a connection with Shaw. This is another part of that. It is simultaneously too subtle in some ways and to obvious in others, perhaps a symptom of season 3’s general problems with budget, staff and time. But this time, with the fact that Sarah has been keeping Shaw’s secrets and him hers in mind this works to inform us that things are happening off-screen that we will see eventually. In this case Sarah and Shaw are spending time with each other, strictly business at this point, without the others around or privy to what they discuss. Now I understand. That face-palm moment dealt with, on with the show.

If Chuck Versus The Beefcake and Chuck Versus The Lethal Weapon started the process of Chuck becoming what he considers Sarah’s perfect partner, Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler and Chuck Versus The Mask will see its culmination. The question is, is he still someone Sarah can love.

Chuck has nearly become the guy Cole’s presence (and Sarah’s reaction to him) showed he wasn’t yet, but wanted to be. He is now the guy who can protect Sarah, but he is starting to live with the costs of his decision. Chuck is still between worlds, with his spy-life still just a job to him and his real life still real. But this episode, which is about entering a new world, will see Chuck starting to pull back from his friends and family leaving him with just the spy world. A simple thing like a luggage tag and Chuck has to spin another strand in his ever-growing web of lies. As much a he wants to be a spy he hasn’t ever seen what it costs Sarah and may cost him. Sarah has pulled back from Chuck’s life and family in this part of the season after briefly re-joining for a family dinner. It isn’t just because she no longer has the cover reason, it is, and will be for the same reason Chuck starts to pull away. It’s easier to close yourself off, to separate yourself from them than to keep lying and making excuses until the relationship is ruined. Spies aren’t friendly, unless it’s a tool to be used against you. Chuck is having a hard time learning that, as Devon said, it means giving up a part of your real life. By simply engaging in a friendly chat to pass the time on a long flight Chuck managed to pull someone he met in his spy life into his real life, and what she knows can be a problem for him.

Hanna’s entrance, for now though, is the perfect way to introduce this episode’s theme, entering a new world with the help of a mentor. As Chuck guides his new charges, one into the BuyMore and one into the spy world with varying degrees of success both he and Sarah will re-live Chuck’s entry into the spy world all those years ago. Chuck’s succinct appraisal, whatever it was between he and Sarah, it changed his life forever is merely the introduction of the whatever it was that both Chuck and Sarah will see in a new and perhaps disturbing perspective.

Whatever Chuck is to Sarah now he started as a mark. Someone who like Manoosh couldn’t believe this gorgeous woman was into him. And Chuck watching how easily Sarah seduces and manipulates Manoosh, can’t help but be reminded of that, and how Sarah must have seen him at first. And Sarah, reminded of that same fact can’t help but see a very different man before her now. He now lies with ease to his friends and family. He’s gotten good at the deception rather than leaving it to her. He is a much harder man than the one she initially fell for, and a far more focused and determined one. She can’t help but note that much of that, both good and bad, are due to her influence and presence in his life as she watches him swallow his empathy and condemn a man to a life in a bunker he so narrowly avoided. But now it seems he doesn’t need her. He’ll do the dirty work, and then go home and burn it out of his mind with whiskey, alone.

Chuck is becoming Casey and it scares Sarah. Chuck is walking in Sarah’s shoes and finds it a lot harder than he imagined. Both are finding those worlds they introduced each other into a lot harder to inhabit than they thought.

~ Ernie

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Knock Knock


Ernie, you hit it right. What is it about Chuck vs. The Nacho Sampler that makes it one of the best of S3.0, even after several viewings?

Manoosh

Manoosh

Yeah, Jeff and Lester are able to make you (me!) laugh, even when we know their shtick through and through. And the spy-adventure part? Not bad, even if the name of the episode’s big baddie, which happens to be Julius (Bob McCracken), is forgettably minor in this story. He’s the ring agent after Manoosh Depok (first time actor Fahim Anwar) and Manoosh happens to be far more important than The Ring.

Seeing Casey at Weap-Con, Chuck with a laser pen and Manoosh with a pair of Intersect glasses, well, that’s just cool and it all makes for a fun episode.

Don't take this lightly, guys.

Don’t take this lightly, guys.

Sarah: Chuck, you can’t take this lightly. Developing an asset is very tricky business. You need to insinuate yourself into their life and have them trust you completely, knowing that one day you’re probably gonna have to burn them.
Casey: Trick is to find the hole in their life and fill it. This Manoosh loser, he’s a loner. Friendless. And the asset has entered the store. Showtime, Bartowski.
Chuck: Don’t worry, guys. Piece of cake.

Bigger than all of that, and the one thought that sticks with viewers and fans for a long time, is the unexpected change we see in Chuck. Good guy, always does the right thing Chuck does something totally OOC, something as abhorrent as Sarah shooting a surrendering and unarmed Mauser.

Thank you!

Thank you!

The unavoidable, 800 lb. gorilla of analogies is, of course, Manoosh and how Chuck treats him. Manoosh isn’t just another geek who stumbles onto something important. That would be Lester and Jeff. No, he’s Chuck redo and we’re beaten over and over again with that stick until it sinks in. But how badly does Chuck treat Manoosh? The answer may be “As badly as Sarah treated Chuck!”

Casey: I stand corrected. He’s not ready.
Sarah: Thank you!

Oh, let me explain. Everyone’s first reaction is to hope that Chuck treats Manoosh just like Sarah treated Chuck in the beginning. Am I being too universal in saying “everyone?” I don’t think so. Really, Chuck seems to treat Manoosh carefully, trying to keep him out of danger and from doing inadvertent harm himself. However, much like Sarah, Chuck also seems to get a bit too close with the guy who could easily have been him.

It doesn’t go well. Maybe Chuck, newbie spy that he is, is bungling his job of handling this asset. In fact, it’s going badly enough that we soon have to question if Sarah did the right thing with Chuck, back then, if only a little. Maybe the best thing for everyone would be for Chuck to lead his charge in a certain direction, push him gently out of danger and not let him know everything that’s going on, if only for his own good.

A bit of manipulation

A bit of manipulation

That’s also known as manipulation and deception. What stabs right at the heart, after seeing Chuck deceive and manipulate his asset and his family, is the merest seed of a fear that Chuck is doing exactly what Sarah would do. Reluctantly, Chuck and the viewers too realize she has done those things. After all, lies and manipulation are merely tools of the trade.

Sarah: You never want to seem like you’re making advances. You always want the other person to feel like they’re in control.
Chuck: So, uh, that first day you came into the Buy More, when we first met, what did they tell you about me?
Casey: What do you think? You hadn’t had a date in over a year. They don’t waste the blonds on just anyone.
Chuck: Uh, it hadn’t been a year, okay? Thanks.
Sarah: They thought you and I could connect.
Chuck: I remember you left me your card so I could call you so we could go out. I felt like I was having the luckiest day of my life. God, I was pathetic.
Sarah: No, you were sweet and – innocent. I liked you. It made it much harder.

The ends, at least, the ends that Chuck can see, may indeed justify the means, if only because the alternatives are worse. If Chuck was thinking this spy-stuff was a piece of cake when he got his stripes, he’s learning he was wrong.

Sarah: Just don’t think about it, Chuck. It makes being a spy a lot easier.

There’s no denying Sarah understands his remorse at the prospect of lying to Manoosh; she goes out of her way to demonstrate that, with Chuck, it was different. Still, we’re drawn to ask the same question time and again; “Exactly how was it different?” Chuck answers that question when he smoothly lies to Ellie about his trip to Paris. Sadly, it’s not the answer we want to hear, because Chuck feels that, despite everything, Sarah had to manipulate and even deceive him too, just like he did Ellie. At least, she did at first.

Myself, the first time I saw Nacho Sampler I wondered if situation wasn’t quite so bad, though. As much as we’re supposed to think he is, Manoosh is not Chuck. When he discovered the abilities given to him by the Intersect, Chuck told Sarah and Casey (in the parking lot) that a general was in danger. When the bomb was about to explode, Chuck used Irene Demova’s web site to defuse it. Manoosh was a little more self-serving when the Ring Agents circled around him and tried to sell the secret when they failed to take it. He ran when Chuck confronted him at Weap-Con. Chuck, as we know, went to the beach to think things over.

Chuck didn’t want to be bunkered because he would be without his family and friends. Manoosh just didn’t want to be bunkered.

Sarah: He has to go underground. If the Ring finds him, he can build them another Intersect. It’s the only way. Do you want me to handle it?
Chuck: Yeah. Yeah, I would, but I have to do it.

Dealing with it.

Dealing with it.

Chuck knows better. Manoosh is not like Chuck, but that matters little to the newbie spy. Fact is, Chuck failed. For once, he couldn’t find a way to do “the right thing,” and it cost someone his freedom. Had Chuck or Sarah, for that matter, had messed up once early on the way Manoosh did, it could have been him (“There but for the grace of Sarah…” he must be thinking). I’ll have a Johnny Walker Black too – getting drunk seems appropriate.

This is dark, probably darker than we had seen up to now, and not the least bit frivolous. Neither Chuck nor Sarah have done anything wrong, but there is no denying that everything is different for them now. Nacho Sampler is eminently re-watchable because of that. But it gets darker.

When Sarah was faced with letting Chuck be taken to his own incarceration she started to draw a gun on the agent who had come to take him. Sarah was just seconds from blowing Longshore away and going rogue to save “her guy.” What is she to think now that Chuck seems to make a different decision?

A different decision

A different decision

Maybe she’s thinking Chuck is now a real spy. Maybe she’s thinking that she no longer wants to be one. Maybe Sarah is feeling a little trapped in her spy-world, and sees Chuck falling to that same trap.

I hear their future knocking on the door.

It’s the magical mystery kind
Must be a lie
Bye bye to the too good to be true kind of love
Oooooh I could die

So many times, episodes in season three are either fun or important to the story. To me, Chuck vs. The Nacho Sampler is both. That is what makes it one of the best.

– joe

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Let me preface this by saying I’m on record having said I *hated* this episode at first, second and probably third watch. The reasons have all been documented–the short and long of it is that I hated the end where Sarah said, “piece of cake.” But remember that the point of these rewatches is to see if anything’s changed or if things can be changed. Well, presto: Nacho Sampler, while I wouldn’t call it a favorite, has certainly grown on me.

I’ll start off with what Ernie pointed out: it is a relatively dark episode (in Chuck themes). It involves Chuck burning an asset and putting the fear of “Carmichael” on Sarah. But it is also so much more. For starters, (I didn’t see it before but) they foreshadowed a lot of what the episode was going to be from the get go with Hannah:

Chuck: Me, safe. Everyone else very dangerous.
Hannah: I’m sure you’ll protect me.

See Chuck went through something very similar once before, except Sarah was the protector and the danger was the world. Sarah took her job very seriously (see: Colonel) and I think Chuck “pre-season 3” Bartowski had no idea the sacrifices and the danger she faced for him. See it turns out that Carina was correct: the spy-life is not for the meek. It involves manipulating people into trusting you in a very, very short amount of time and as soon as you get what you want from them, it involves burning them. Sometimes it involves isolating that person to the extent where they start to believe you’re the only one they can trust–and then you burn them. Chuck is very, very lucky that he ended up with Sarah because although she is capable of all of that–the lying, the manipulation, the abject seduction as we saw in the episode–she wasn’t and couldn’t be (just) that with him. Because from the get go there’s always been something more between them.

In the past I have focused on Sarah’s line at the end where she exclaims, “piece of cake.” Well Nacho Sampler–I didn’t even think about it before–heals that wound. It was never easy with Chuck, it was never simple, never just another mission she’s done 100x before because…well, it’s Chuck.

Sarah: No you were sweet, I liked you. It made it that much harder.

That line above is probably the biggest reason why the ending, “piece of cake,” softened for me and why I now like this episode.

For Chuck, the responsibilities of being a spy–the lack of emotion and deception–are his burden. For Sarah it’s those and what she feels Chuck. Her feelings for him are like quicksand and it’s not something she could ever get a handle on. For Sarah, being “Agent” Walker is essentially a double whammy. He was sweet–see ballerina–and she had to struggle from then on to do what she had to do and balance that with his safety and her responsibilities as his handler. With those in mind, is it any wonder why all the changes (in Chuck)–the ease in lying, burning an asset–became even more scary and even more gut-wrenching for her? Sarah wasn’t just fighting for his soul, she’s been fighting herself and her feelings too.

The other side of the coin in this episode is Manoosh. Although we all believe that Chuck is special, that he has that inner heroism–in different circumstances: his family in danger, a different handler, you name it–he could have been Manoosh. A man who lost all his charm, and good-heartedness and was seduced by money and power. It’s far too easy to do. Chuck in First Class got a taste of the good life. “Chuck,” the TV show, likes to do these parallels and I think Manoosh is an on-the-surface, hardened-version of Chuck (at least I think that’s what they were going for). Without Sarah, without Ellie (or Ellie in peril) this could have been him. So in some ways he really got lucky that he had Sarah (and Casey!) and that Sarah was who she was with him.

With all that going on, is it any wonder we could all use 1-2 fingers of Southern Comfort?

Last thought: what was an episode I disdained in the past, is redeemable after all. Chuck’s journey isn’t an easy one, and Nacho Sampler showed that to us (with nods to the past and the future), in a relatively entertaining fashion (laser!). And we even got to see Yvonne rock the “Frak Off.” Frak Off! What else can any of us ask for?

~ Faith

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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22 Responses to Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler (3.06)

  1. FSL says:

    I think this episode is the strongest in the sense that we credibly see / feel what Sarah is thinking regarding Chuck, as he changes into “a real spy” in front of our eyes. Add to that the feeling that she helped put him there.

    In almost all other episodes this season, Chuck is almost forced into doing the dirty work against his will. Even up to Final Exam, he is essentially abhorrent to the violence and lying.

    That scene of Chuck drinking alone is quite important. He is now truly alone, without family and Morgan (that he has to lie to), Sarah (who is no longer with him), and he has only his job (which is loath right now).

    • Faith says:

      That scene of Chuck drinking alone is quite important. He is now truly alone, without family and Morgan (that he has to lie to), Sarah (who is no longer with him), and he has only his job (which is loath right now).

      A good denouement. The life of a spy is a solitary one. Kind of goes hand in hand with not being able to trust anyone, and burning everyone. If he continues on this path (“Working on my backwards walk…”), that’s exactly what he will have: nothing. Ellie even added to that towards the end with her line about secrets.

  2. authorguy says:

    In the original season, 13 episodes, while episode 7 would have technically been the pivot, I see this episode as being the real turning point. Chuck has had to do something he can’t help but feel horrible about, to someone who could easily have been him. True, Manoosh is not him and is quite a selfish little person, but Chuck wouldn’t be Chuck if that was what he saw or cared about. He sees how much they are the same, not so much ‘there but for the grace of Sarah’, but ‘there but for the grace of Ellie’. (I think it’s kind of interesting how Manoosh is one of the most reformed characters in Chuck fanfiction.)
    Quick random thought: Is Hannah a burnable version of Ellie? Certainly he isn’t required to burn her for any job-related reason, just the job itself.
    What I find more interesting, from a pivot point of view, is how this episode changes Chuck’s perceptions of Shaw. Before this, Shaw was competent, capable, prepared, steady. After this, Shaw is none of those things. What has changed is the way Chuck is prepared to see him. Shaw has been manipulating him all along, using people, but now he isn’t the heroic spy, just a user and manipulator.

    • joe says:

      Those are two interesting points, Marc. I’ll have to think about Hannah as a burnable version of Ellie, but I’m having trouble seeing in Hannah those kinds of mothering qualities that Ellie provides for Chuck. I can only see her as a Siren in a Greek myth.

      I’m thinkin’ the big change in Chuck’s (my!) perception of Shaw is going to come in The Mask. You’re right that Chuck’s being set up for it, though.

      • authorguy says:

        Not necessarily a mothering influence, just the innocent woman from the normal world who didn’t do anything wrong except love a spy. There aren’t many female characters like that on the show other than Ellie, and they couldn’t burn her.
        I don’t see Hannah as a Siren, since they were monsters who called sailors to their doom. She’s just a normal girl. Maybe she’s luring the spy Chuck to his doom, but only by bringing him back to the normal world, nothing nefarious. Maybe she’s the Scylla to the spy world’s Charybdis, and Chuck has to steer a careful path between both. Except in reverse, since he’s supposed to be eqully attracted to the two worlds, not repulsed.
        Clearly Chuck cannot see Shaw differently until he returns in the Mask. That’s why this episode is so important, Shaw isn’t there to attempt any damage control. It would have come as a bit of a shock to return to LA and find his protege is no longer quite so worshipful as he once was. Going after Sarah would have been the exact wrong move under those circumstances.

  3. Joel says:

    I have to say that I’ve always enjoyed the ending montage of this episode to Edward Sharpe (I’m not even that big a fan, but it works well here).

    • joe says:

      Yeah, me too. It’s a funny kind of song for them to pick; not poetic (like the Bon Iver tunes often used), heartfelt/heartwrenching in the the way Signs was, or allegorical like Furr (which I’ll always think of as Jack Burton’s song). It’s almost hard-bitten and almost sarcastic, in a sassy sense. (Heh! Alliteration!). It almost mocks Chuck as he’s getting slapped by reality and getting drunk.

      I like it.

      • anthropocene says:

        I also liked it. It didn’t have tremendous relevance to the Manoosh business, I thought, but the hook was a good delayed commentary on the state of the C&S relationship since the end of S2:

        It’s the magical mystery kind/Must be a lie/Bye bye to the too good to be true kind of love/Oh no, I could die/Oh now I can die

        Assuming that Sarah was also much on Chuck’s mind as he was tying one on (and wouldn’t she be?), I thought it was fitting.

      • anthropocene says:

        Which, of course, is also what you pointed out above, Joe!

    • Joel says:

      I remember being pretty disappointed with no payoff on Jeff/Lester stalking Chuck. Mask is a disappointing followup to the ending, and a little Buy More comedy could have helped that episode too. But at least we get the same sort of thing later down the line.

  4. garnet says:

    I have never really seen a need for Hannah, especially as a love interest, but I have this niggling idea that I can’t quite articulate, that she was necessary to show a more exact parallel between Chuck and Sarah and Chuck/Manoosh/Hannah. The biggest difference in the Chuck/Manoosh-Chuck/Sarah interaction is that Sarah fell for Chuck. and she fell quite fast (and hard).It goes without saying that Chuck’s fall was almost as fast, but more complicated. There is no way that Chuck was going to “fall for” Manoosh, so enter Hannah the girl he COULD fall for. In essence Hannah and Manoosh are both required to show the spy and normal aspects of the life Chuck has gotten into, and the effect Chuck’s choices have on others.

    • authorguy says:

      It’s best not to take Hannah as a love interest, although on a real level that’s what she is trying to be. Your perception is correct, she is basically a stand-in for the ‘normal life’, and Chuck’s perfect woman, a temptation for him to abandon his choice to be a spy. She and Shaw make more sense to me when viewed symbolically, as then the Chuck-Sarah romance is not threatened in any meaningful way.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I think Hannah is more than that. She’s used to show us what she gives Chuck that Sarah cannot. Most of that is in the next two week’s episodes though, but in general terms Hannah adores Chuck in a very vulnerable way that Sarah, who still needs to feel dominant and in control, hasn’t been able to allow herself to show. We will see it arrive in a hotel room in Paris when she gives Chuck “that look”.

      • authorguy says:

        I probably am looking at the character at too abstract a level. As Hannah the character, she’s rather unshaped (as opposed to Hannah the woman, who’s very nicely shaped). No particular backstory, nothing to learn on the job, overqualified in every way, her only job is to love Chuck. Offer herself to him to the point of throwing herself at him and jumping on top of him. And still he’s reluctant, resistant (there’s more to imply he slept with Hannah than there is to imply that Sarah slept with Shaw), and ultimately he refuses.
        From a story perspective, her main function is symbolic. I see the implied sex scene, but I don’t see it as a threat to the Charah relationship because of the circumstances. I think the dinner sequence is much more threatening, since it’s Chuck’s only active step toward letting Hannah into his life.

  5. Joel says:

    So is this the first episode where we see Casey really empathizing with Chuck (as opposed to the grudging fondness he occasionally gets in S1/2)? Well, maybe you could count Best Friend.

  6. SarahSam says:

    Have always been in the minority as viewing this as a great episode, happy to see others finally enjoying it. The ending for me …with Forty Day Dream…classic television.

  7. resaw says:

    I’m no philosopher, but re-watching this episode got me thinking about terms like deontological and teleological (or consequentialist) ethics. The spy life has always been about the end justifying the means, whereas Chuck has been, until now, focussed on doing the right thing. The advice he receives from his teammates as he goes deeper into the realm of spy: “Don’t think about it” (Sarah) or “Johnnie Walker… Black” (Casey). How does a spy cope? Denial or drunkenness. This is a profoundly damaging career path.

    Thank you again, Ernie, Joe and Faith, for leading the way in this discussion. I have to say in this round of re-watches, I have been enjoying the Season 3 re-watch comments even more than those of the first two seasons.

    • joe says:

      Thank you for saying that, Resaw. Makes me glad that we’re still doing this blogging.

      BTW, the comments have always been my favorite part of this little endeavor.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Resaw, thanks for the post. I see this as fundamental to this season. Chuck is temperamentally unsuited to be a spy for the exact same reason he is morally qualified to posses and wield that world’s ultimate weapon, the intersect. By any means necessary is not in his vocabulary. This season that world attempts to seduce him with the promise of making a difference in the world, but requiring him to lose himself in it. Shaw tests him on that basis regularly. First by trying to get Chuck to pull the trigger than trying to draft Devon as a mole and finally by using Sarah to force him to kill.

      Sarah’s story is the opposite. She comes to realize that Chuck has changed her from someone who accepted “by any means necessary” as a part of her life to someone who no longer does. Her crushing realization that she is responsible for what (she thinks) Chuck has become is the low point of the season for her, and her recovery consists of realizing she and the spy world couldn’t and didn’t destroy Chuck, making her redemption possible after all.

  8. ref51907 says:

    I may be a slow at times but as I read this weekend episode analysis I thought back to the first 2 seasons. As Chuck dives deeper into the spy world and begins to understand what is means to be a good one I immediate thought of how some viewed how Sarah treated Chuck.
    The way she seemed to manipulate him, Break Up, Suburbs, immediately come to mind, saying one thing, doing another and giving off mixed signals. It’s almost as if Sarah was forced to do those things, the end justifies the means as Resaw put it. But all that time in those moments when she was alone, I have to think that she didn’t want to do those things to him, and maybe even blamed the CIA for making her do those things.

    Erik

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I look at it this way, Sarah’s more blatant attempts to manipulate Chuck (think sleepover in Truth or the nightclub in Hard Salami or Seduction where she offers the life he wants with who he wants) were often evident to him as I see it. He goes along or doesn’t based on whether it seems like it is the right thing to do. In some cases like Truth the manipulations cause a rift. In others like Seduction it seems he goes along in spite of seeing her manipulations because it is the right thing to do. Sarah for her part seems to need this on occasion just to convince herself she’s still in control. An option not available to her in most of season 3. But it starts before that. As mentioned I now see Beefcake and Lethal Weapon as the beginning of Sarah losing her ability to control Chuck, forcing her to eventually choose between Chuck and the job. She’s still adheres to “by any means necessary” but fortunately that applies to Chuck rather than the job.

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