Chuck vs The Honeymooners(3.14)

For me, Honeymooners is the point when the show is back on track, and will never look back.  This may be my favorite episode of the entire series, only a couple can ever challenge it.  It is fun, sweet, and important to the remainder of the show.  And ends with, what I still think, is maybe the most romantic scene ever shown on television.

So after the jump, we’ll have a fun look at a favorite episode.

Reinvention can be a sore subject.  I’ll always stand by saying the first reinvention of Chuck, that which led to Pink Slip, was a betrayal of sorts.  I don’t mean to make too big a thing of it.  It is just a television show.  Lives are not on the line.  But it was a betrayal to many viewers who had fought hard to keep this show on the air.  We fought for a product, that was then changed in ways many of us intensely disliked.

Reinvention

Honeymooners is sort of the second reinvention of the show in a fairly short time frame.  It will always make me sad that so many viewers who would have loved the second reinvention of the season, had already been scared off by the first.  I remain convinced that if episode 3.01 had looked more like Honeymooners and less like it did, we’d be celebrating the end of S6 right now.  I believe that in part because this episode is so strong, so joyous and so much fun; I believe if it had run on January 10, 2010 instead of the first episode that did, we would have better  energized that night’s large premier audience.

Now I know many of you who strongly disagree with me are getting a little cranky right now.  But I didn’t say any of that for the purpose of upsetting anyone.  I said it because I believe this is one of the absolute strongest episodes of Chuck ever.  I think it showcases the action, humor, friendship and romance that was Chuck at its best.  It highlights what is different and special about our show. Pink Slip looks like a weak attempt at a serious show like Alias.  Honeymooners looks like nothing else on television.  It is overflowing with joy, it puts the very special Chuck/Sarah relationship center stage, the action is exciting and funny and the characters are likable.  Wow.  great episode.

One thing that I think most of us will agree on is that its about time.  Chuck and Sarah seem to have bad luck with actually running away successfully.  But at least this time they got to enjoy the scenery a little.  In spite of being dominated by pure fluffy fun there’s some very important things happening in this episode too.  The obvious is just that Chuck and Sarah are together now, and there’s really no looking back.  Chuck is back to being a unique show again.  Really, the relationship will no longer be a source of any angst to speak of, it will be played for laughs and for heart and to show what’s important and worth fighting for.  But its for keeps too. That is a unique and special thing on television today.  And yes, I still believe something was lost during the arc that just ended.  But to be fair, its a story telling/entertainment mistake that will not be repeated.  And I really appreciate that.  It is human to error, it is awesome to learn from it.  So I’m willing to let it go, and enjoy what lies ahead.

I think the permanence of the new coupling is beautifully shown in the faux vows too.  They may not be legally binding, but I think in the ways that matter Chuck and Sarah are married.  They will not turn back or doubt, and they will show extraordinary commitment over the next couple years of the show.  The actual wedding strikes me as less significant than these vows.  I also like that they will be spies together too.  That may be sort of a “duh” observation, but I think its important that they see themselves as professional partners as well as intimate ones.  Of course that will be a less permanent situation, and I will whine and complain plenty in a few weeks when we get to Ring II, but the work relationship will also, mostly, be satisfying to the end too. And of course Beckman will know by the end of the episode.  Really one of my favorite moments of a favorite episode (“release Agent Walker!”).  Beckman makes Casey look warm and cuddly.  But she does grudgingly agree to the new arrangement.  She has to know it will mean less drama on her team.

Morgan is well used again this week.  I mentioned in Other Guy that I thought Morgan was well used there too.  This will continue for most of this season.  I think Morgan is a lot of fun as an eccentric addition to Team B.  I will have Morgan complaints in the future, but for now, I like what I see. Of course its great to have Casey back on the team too, but did anyone really think that would take very long?  Chuck and Sarah need Casey to play the part of disapproving big brother.  Even better, we know he’s just playing a part, Casey will fight for his friends.

Ellie and Devon’s part may be the weakest of this episode; especially Ellie looking like a frighteningly co-dependent sibling from Hell.  And I think Ellie, with only a few exceptions, will not be well utilized for quite a while.  But I may be getting ahead, those few exceptions are coming right up.

And again, that end.  I was not a Nina Simone fan before, but Feeling Good is on my iPod now.  Perfect moment.

Feelin’ Good

~ Dave 
ct_bar

Holiday!

Perfect moment is right, Dave! For me, that perfect moment starts off about 30 seconds into the Chuck vs. The Honeymooners, when all that tension, worry and angst disappears, just like you said. It’s a holiday. Time to celebrate!

Go for it, kids!

Go for it, kids!

What a romp! This is the way it should be and what we wished for the young couple from the beginning. Even with my Catholic Schoolboy upbringing, it’s hard not to say “Awww – nutz. You deserve to have a good time. Go for it, kids!” 😉

Okay. I’ll calm down. Really, it’s easy to think that there is nothing more to this episode than the simple, obvious joy of Chuck and Sarah getting together. And certainly, there are a few very obvious and simple ideas running through this episode.

After the trauma of the last few – um – months, Chuck and Sarah are more than ready to start a new life together and a train ride through Europe sounds like a great start. It is. I wasn’t surprised when they started to have second thoughts, though. Chuck wouldn’t be Chuck if he wasn’t second guessing himself, and Sarah wouldn’t be Sarah if she wasn’t considering all contingencies.

Sarah: Beckman expected us back in Burbank today. So did Ellie and Casey and Devon… We can’t just run away like this.
Chuck: Why not?

Viva la difference! Their indecision is not paralyzing them this time. Not only are Beckman’s cell phone calls not being answered, the cell phone is flying out the window. The plan gets more extreme quickly.

Chuck: We should do what I should’ve done in Prague. We should run.
Sarah: But, Chuck, is that what you really want?
Chuck: I want you.

Right from the start, Chuck and Sarah are addressing the important questions squarely and, just like we saw in The Other Guy, they’re making some important decisions. This is what’s known technically as A Good Thing ™.

Chuck: Sarah Walker, do you agree to quit the spy life with me?
Sarah: I do. Chuck Bartowski, do you agree to quit the spy life with me?
Chuck: I do.

Cute tease. Honestly, I expected that – the teasing of the audience. Just like they did before, Chuck and Sarah have decided to leave their old lives behind and run – this time, without stopping. It’s just too romantic an idea to give up on!

Of course, it’s not that simple. When Sarah spots a passenger on the train sporting a gun and, at the same time, Chuck flashes, it’s clear that trouble is finding them with more ease than Morgan and Casey. While this is going on, Ellie and Devon are planning a going-away party before they leave for Africa. It promises to be a downer when Chuck can’t be found and Jeffster can’t be avoided.

A Cute Tease

A Cute Tease

But it’s still a romp of an adventure. It turns out that person at the center of the nest of spies discovered by the couple is one Juan Diego Arnaldo, a member of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Eta, a Basque terrorist group). “Oh my God, you even make terrorist groups sound sexy,” says Chuck (and “Fer sure,” says Joe). It would be irresponsible – even criminal – of them to do nothing about this, so Chuck and Sarah assume the cover of the newly wed couple from Texas, the Charleseseseses, complete with a fake wedding band. Oh, it’s cute, and once again Yvonne gets to flex her comedic muscles and treat us to her amazing talent for getting regional accents just right, y’all.

And there’s more. It’s no accident that we hear Chuck and Sarah exchanging vows and donning wedding bands, even if the vows are wrong and the bands are fake. The fans want to get ahead of themselves every bit as much as do Chuck and Sarah. The writer, Ali Adler, knows this, and I don’t mind this tease one bit.

[As a side note, I missed several times that both Chuck and Sarah define their relationship now as “dating, exclusively.” My understanding is that, since dating is being transmorgafied by the young folks these days into stages that begin with “hooking up” and ending with “living together,” exclusive denotes a stage that comes after having a formal dinner together and before forsaking all others, at least temporarily. I miss the ’50s. But then again, I am an old foggy.]

The lighthearted adventure hides an important point; as much as they want to start a new life, Chuck and Sarah both really want to be spies. Convinced that the other only wants a temporary diversion from their plan, they both promise “one more mission” and proceed to wreck Interpol’s operation with the surrendering Arnaldo. It gets more complex, though, when real Eta terrorists, led by Elia masquerading as a Canadian, show up to take Arnaldo back. With the help of Arnaldo’s wise advice, Chuck and Sarah come to a realization. They don’t have to choose one over the other; a life together or the spy life.

Sarah: Chuck Bartowski, do you agree to not quit the spy life and be with me?
Chuck: I do. Sarah Walker, do you agree to not quit the spy life and be with me?
Sarah: I do. [They kiss]
Casey: [Groans]

Thinking it’s one or the other is just a habit they, and we, learn from repetition. No one is guaranteed success, but everyone should try for the brass ring at least once in their lives. That’s what Chuck&Sarah intend to do. The celebratory theme of the episode continues!

Not being impulsive.

Not being impulsive.

Chuck&Sarah have once again changed their minds, but I must say that there’s something different about it this time. There’s a kind of sober reflection – they are not acting impulsively.

That’s subtle. I’d like to point out something else that’s not quite so obvious. You see, you can’t really have a celebration without reflecting on how you got there. Chuck and Sarah have traveled a difficult road with more than a little sadness mixed in with the laughter. Who’d have guessed that it’s Jeffster, of all people, who remind us that others are affected by every decision we make?

There’s so many times I’ve let you down,
So many times I’ve played around.
I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing.

Every place I go I’ll think of you,
Every song I sing, I’ll sing for you.
When I come back, I’ll bring/wear your wedding ring.

Ellie, don't worry about Chuck.

Ellie, don’t worry about Chuck.

The song was chosen with great care, it seems. It’s an apology, you see, from Chuck to Ellie, from Sarah to Chuck and maybe even from Ali Adler to the viewers. I have to admit something. If that’s Vik singing (I think it is), I like this version. He’s performing it every bit as effectively as Peter, Paul and Mary or even John Denver without the folksy vibe or country twang. Chuck and Sarah aren’t the only thing that real now (and as Beckman would say, “It’s about damn time.”) So is Jeffster.

Yes, it’s true, Dave, just like you said. Sarah is different now and so is Chuck. They’ve grown up quite a bit. The whole show is different.

– joe

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

259 Responses to Chuck vs The Honeymooners(3.14)

  1. anthropocene says:

    While we’re revisiting the incredible number of classic Chuck lines that emerged from that single episode (“Release Agent Walker!” “You even make terrorist groups sound sexy!”, the vows, and even Casey’s groan), the imp in me can’t resist mentioning Chuck’s “What? You’ve been faking it the whole time?” and Sarah’s immediate response: “No, no, no, not that.” A bit silly, perhaps, but I took it as another little affirmation of Chuck and Sarah’s mutual happiness.

  2. mr2686 says:

    This is by far the worst and most overrated ep of any season. A total waste of time and not worthy of a rewatch. Ok, just kidding!! Obviously this one shows up on everyone’s top 5 list and probably top 2 list. It has everything that makes Chuck great. Chuck and Sarah, Casey working with Morgan to find them, Jeffster unplugged. What more can you want. I think without this episode, you don’t sit and try to hold back the tears during the beach scene in “Goodbye”.

    • atcDave says:

      We’re completely on the same page now MR!

    • joe says:

      That was pretty much the universal reaction back then too, MR. By the next morning, you could tell who the Chuck fans were on the DC Metro (the subway). They were the ones wearing a grin and seen muttering the words “It’s about damn time.”

      Well, I exaggerate, but only slightly!

  3. uplink2 says:

    Well I think I have rewatched this episode more times than any except maybe the Pilot. It is my all time favorite and is only challenged by Phase 3. It’s rare in television and certainly in this series but I don’t think I would change one frame from this episode. It is simply perfect on every level.

    I have to start by paying tribute to the absolutely incredible performance Yvonne gives here. It was so great to see that she is as great at comedy as she is at drama. She is just so incredibly talented in her craft and we should all feel blessed by getting to watch someone that good develop their skills and show us what they are truly capable of.

    Joe I’m curious about your comment about some of this episode being a bit of an apology from Ali to the fans along with the apologies of Chuck and Sarah to each other. I think that may in fact be true. Maybe this episode is how she chose to fix the betrayal that came before. It is her love letter of apology to the fans and one of the clinchers for that idea is we even have the return of the “bracelet” in the final sequence. You barely notice it but she even tweeted at the time I was told to look for it. Maybe it’s a way of saying “I know I threw away something special to you fans earlier but I do know what matters to you and what you have invested in.” If that was her intent, I’m glad she realizes it.

    But both of you guys are right, this is a different Chuck show. It’s back to what makes this show so special. Plus the choreographed fight scene in the handcuffs is one of my all time favorites with a lot of the stunts being done by them. I’m quite impressed with Yvonne’s flip at the end.

    But finally the ending. I agree with you Dave that this may be the most romantic moment I’ve ever seen on television and even though there are so many special things about how it is shot, the music, the looks and chemistry between them, one thing that I have always focused on is the very end when they start to fade to black and Sarah moves her leg in to completely touch him. I think that shot is symbolic of she now has both feet in fully. She is all in and I couldn’t be happier for all of us.

    • atcDave says:

      Yvonne finally getting to do real comedy is one of my favorite things about this episode. Hard to believe they were hiding THAT for almost three years!
      I too love the handcuffed fight scene. As symbolism, it has the subtlety of a locomotive. But its also beautiful, and tons of fun. Which sort of sums up the entire the episode….

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        Don’t forget three classic Casey one-liners in a row…

        “I’d say he’s got something else resting in his hands”

        “Chuck’s off grid with Walker, Grimes, do the math”

        “He’s going to need a walker when Walker is through with him”

        Every time I see that conversation I crack up. Sarah doing comedy, Casey getting in on it, just a damn good episode.

        Joins First Date, Cougars, Tom Sawyer, DeLorean, Colonel, Role Models, Suitcase and others on my Charah episode list of overtly romantic episodes, not to mention easily on the top 10 list overall.

      • atcDave says:

        Those are all great episodes. And I do love when Casey is giving them a hard time.

        Although remember we’ve had a couple of French visitors to this site who have verified the train ride in question is only like an hour. So what they were really doing in their cabin was eating themselves into a bloated stupor! Not quite the romance Casey was imagining, but apparently Chuck and Sarah are actually secret binge eaters. And I’m just amazed no one in fan fiction has picked up on that yet!

    • resaw says:

      After reading your comment about the bracelet, I had to go back and hunt for it. I didn’t see it in the conversation with Beckman in Castle, but I did see it when Sarah appeared at the door while Chuck and Ellie were talking. On that note, I liked the way the conversation went between the siblings: “You’re back together?” “We’re together.” Ellie’s question could fit into the WT/WT history of Chuck and Sarah – it hints at impermanence, but Chuck’s response points to a state of being. And this brings me back to mr2686’s comment, “I think without this episode, you don’t sit and try to hold back the tears during the beach scene in ‘Goodbye.'” As the comments by Dave, Joe and the others indicate, they are now together and happy, and if I can just remember that the gut-wrenching, bewildering series finale is set in the context of this episode, then I can believe that there is a positive story to tell post-finale.

    • joe says:

      Nicely put, Uplink and Resaw.

      About the apology, I was singing “Airplane” back in ’69 when the famous Peter, Paul and Mary version came out. Even then, I knew it was written as an apology, so the song made me think in those terms. The line “There’s so many times I’ve let you down / So many times I’ve played around.” is pretty universal, and it fit with the real-life story we had all generated in S3, starting with our love for early Ali episodes, her short video (telling us that she loves love) and the reaction to Fake Name. The subtext of an apology just seemed to be the next chapter.

    • Yvonne was uh-mazing in Honeymooners. Easily one of her top 3 performances of the series. If Chuck had been an Emmy show, she could have won with this episode. Fantastic comedic performance and her chemistry with Zach was off the charts.

      • atcDave says:

        What really amazed me was just that it was the third season of the show before we even knew she was so awesome at comedy. And it looked like she was having so much fun doing it!

    • Dave says:

      atcDave

      I think from their date gaff (Chuck picked up his prescription on April 15th) I believe they’re meant to be in the room 3 days before the events of the episode play through. I think they thought it would air on the 19th, but it was delayed unexpectedly and aired on the 26th. They certainly couldn’t have spent 8-10 days in there.

      I know about the train. When I was stationed in Germany, I don’t think I ever even saw a train of that type. Even a bullet train (as most are now in Western Europe) would take 2, maybe 3, hours to get to the Swiss border. Still, who cares? It was a great episode and I’ll cut them some slack here.

      • atcDave says:

        Or maybe they just rode the same train back and forth for several days…

        Oh yeah its great, I was just being silly.

        The date was likely a guess. The air date for all of S3 moved up two months shortly before the started production on the back arc. So they likely took a guess based on their newly decided start date; and then failed to account for the week off between Other Guy and Honeymooners? Hard to say. I think picking dates is pure guess work!

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        Yeah, it was hard to anticipate this one. The other time they referenced a specific date was in the LD interrogation and it was exactly accurate (March 22nd was the day after Chuck’s red test), but it came after the fact so their ability to get it right was much better.

        To my recollection, those are the only two specific dates they ever used.

      • atcDave says:

        A couple times they used holidays (Thanksgiving twice, Christmas Eve twice, Valentine’s Day twice) but I think normally its too much trouble to mess with.

  4. resaw says:

    A little bit off the topic of the current episode re-watch, but a question regarding finances of the show. Many times it has been observed here that the budget was cut dramatically after season 2, and, if I recall the comments correctly, Warner Bros. basically got almost nothing for it in hopes of recouping money long-term via syndication. My question is, how did this affect the actors? I know they weren’t getting salaries like the “Friends” stars were getting in their heyday, but, aside from Julia Ling getting cut entirely and the Buy More staff, Ellie and Awesome sometimes not showing un on a given episode, were there suggestions that Zach, Yvonne and Adam were getting paid substantially less than they could have gotten in a show that wasn’t always on the bubble?

    • joe says:

      I never saw any stories about their compensation, Resaw. But then again, I wasn’t looking for them. As far as I was concerned, they were underpaid no matter what they got.

      More salient, though, is the fact that, yes, they were not getting what the cast of Friends was getting. I understand that nobody was. I did read, at the time, that the entire financial structure of network TV was changing and the compensation packages were affected the most.

    • mr2686 says:

      Resaw, not sure but a good guess would be that yes, if they were on a show that wasn’t on the bubble they probably all would have received raises. The only actor’s salary on Chuck that I could find was Zach’s and that was 60k as of Season4. That’s a lot less then stars on big hit shows like Friends, but not much less than an experienced/known actor like Angie Harmon on her first season of Rizzoli and Isles (75k). I have to imagine that Yvonne started off less than Zach but may have ended up about the same. Adam’s salary, I would think, would have started out the highest since he was the biggest name in the group.
      The problem with Chuck, cost wise, was a combination of stunts/effects, huge cast (you had to with a B and sometimes C storyline), and big name guest stars. One thing about Chuck, they always seemed to go with a “known” name for even some of the lesser guest spots (like the Greta’s). The only way to give the main cast a raise would have been to cut in other places, and I think that’s why there are some episodes in season 3 and beyond when you might hear that Morgan is at a Buy More Seminar, and we see Tony Hale being killed off, Julia Ling being written out of the show, etc etc.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m pretty sure Zach, Yvonne and Adam were all paid exactly the same. I also read they’d taken about a 10% pay cut at the start of S3. And I’d seen that 60K figure too, but I’m not sure if that was before or after the pay cuts.

  5. Bill says:

    I think Judkins and LeFranc wrote this episode, no?

    Nothing else to add: this episode is perfect.

  6. Jason says:

    Loved the line. “What’s the plan?” while sipping coffee and accompanied by one of the cutest looks we’ll ever see on TV.

    A fair question of me, and all my disgust and distrust with the writers of the show might be “Why?”, as in why watch a show you obviously hold in such comtempt, why continue to blog about it, why write fanfiction, etc? The answer is embodied in this ep, when this show was hitting on all cylinders, it was special.

    My rhetorical question always has been “why?” in return, as in why didn’t the writers deliver show after who with the two leads together, in light banter, affection, and magical chemistry while taking on the world?

    Rather than a handful of episodes like the Honeymooners, I’d love to have seen that show night after night, it seems mind boggling to me that professional creative people couldn’t see the ‘epic’ entertainment they provided in eps like the Honeymooners. We’ll never know what that show could have done, one of the reasons s5 so bitterly disappointed me, is I hoped we might find out in s5 when there was nothing to lose, rather than instead, we were told to forget and allowed to make up any ending we wished.

    • joe says:

      Actually, Jason, I have an answer to your question – at least one that applies to me. As great as The Honeymooners is, I can’t quite imagine night after night of it. Wait, I can. But that show starts to look like Hart to Hart in my mind with a slightly more intelligent story line and better music.

      Really! I have a strong suspicion that while the fans were writing at the time that they’d love to see C&S be a new Jonathan & Jennifer (or 86 & 99, or Nick & Nora, the original Charleseses), TPTB were actually trying to give us a small taste of all of that. Not to give them too much credit here, I have to say that their vision was somewhat more expansive than mine!

      • atcDave says:

        Count me among those who will always wish they gone for the new Nick and Nora. Really they did come close. There’s actually only a little I would change if I could post misery arc. Of course the nature of review means those complaints will get more attention than they need to.

    • atcDave says:

      Well Jason I don’t hold the show in any contempt. I keep writing about it because I love it. I think the cast was perfect, several of the staff writers were very talented, and the overall package was very good. I only have serious concerns about one arc, in one season. Now that doesn’t mean I thought the show was otherwise perfect, and I certainly wish we’d seen a lot more like Honeymooners, but make no mistake I loved this show.

    • uplink2 says:

      After re-watching this last night another line stuck out for me and I think it applies here and also applies to why I can never re-watch the season 3.0 mess. It’s Sarah’s line:

      “You’re right, I can’t go back to how it was before…. before this… before you…”

      Well neither can I. That’s the thing about this episode in that it fundamentally changed this show forever and in light of that, it makes the journey before all that more distasteful. This clearly shows why we became so passionate about this show. It also shows quite clearly in contrast what didn’t work before because this so clearly does on every level.

      I agree that I wouldn’t want an entire season of Honeymooners type episodes but I did want an entire season of respect for the relationship and the characters and what made them so special. The chemistry and bond is so incredibly powerful between them that it seems ridiculous that they would ever screw with that.

      I also think that you see a joy, especially in Yvonne, that shows they are glad the misery is over. With the stories of the staff unhappy with the direction of 3.0 and Sarah/Shaw in particular I would think an episode like this would have had a very positive impact on all involved and I think it really shows in how actively Yvonne plays her part here. She’s brilliant and I think she was much happier with this new direction.

  7. Robert says:

    Ah, Honeymooners; everything many of us hoped for…

    Chuck/Sarah together as a couple, and spy partners, working so well together, and fuguring out things together! What a change from season 3.0, and even from Season 2!

    Still in my top 3, it’s that good, even 3 years later. Some “Chuck” at it’s best!

  8. Wilf says:

    What a relief we’ve reached Honeymooners! In my top three with Phase 3 and Cougars although others are close. In Honeymooners, Morgan showed some (only some) surprisingly mature behaviour. I just loved how he figured out that the replacement Interpol agents were false, and he did quite a good job in trying to persuade Chuck to make sure that their going on the run was actually what Sarah wanted.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah some really good Morgan moments in this one. But then, I think Honeymooners is as near perfect as any show I’ve ever seen.

  9. BDaddyDL says:

    Because it is a great example of when an episode is really good it fills plot holes. We are all perfectly fine suspending our belief because “its about time”

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I think there’s no doubt when an episode is no fun the plot holes are more troubling.
      Ernie often talks about the “Rule of Cool”, which I think is demonstrated often on Chuck. Things that are cool, or fun, or emotionally satisfying make us willing to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride.
      I would say there’s a complete opposite to the “Rule of Cool” we just saw played out over the arc before this too. When things are no fun, we start picking on every tiny detail. I’m not even going try to pretend I don’t do that. It should stand as a cautionary note to writers. If you want some slack from your audience, be sure they’re buying what you’re selling!

    • CaptMediocre says:

      I still think Chuck was teaching Sarah how to play video games in their compartment. I mean what else could they have been doing for tgat long

  10. I can’t say I love this one as much as the rest of you guys… To me, it’s the dessert to the meat of the show. I’d put it in my top 10.

    The coolest thing about Honeymooners is that it gives Chuck and Sarah so much time together, to just… hang out. No real mission, no relationship crises, no 1-episode fights… it’s just them spending time together, and it works because it’s always been the best part of the show.

    If there’s one real problem with the show going forward, it’s that they don’t do enough of this. I’ve always liked Chuck best when it hits all of its weird, disparate notes: Colonel, the Ring, Pilot, Push Mix, Cliff Hanger, etc.

    But this is just a wonderful moment of cuteness, and like Uplink said, it’s one that never gets old on re-watch. Ice cream is awesome.

    • atcDave says:

      Apart from maybe ranking it a little more highly, I agree entirely with your analysis, and also wish we’d seen a few more like it!

    • uplink2 says:

      I think one of the things that for me always makes this episode stand out as my absolute favorite is that I don’t think there is another episode where Sarah is so incredibly happy throughout like she is here. She is like a little kid on Christmas with such joy and happiness that something she has wanted her entire life and never ever thought she would have or was worthy of, she has right in front of her and it is even better than she imagined. It’s the happiest point in her entire life and Yvonne just does such a brilliant job of showing us how genuinely happy Sarah Walker is on that train.

  11. aerox says:

    I’m going to be different (gee whiz, where have I heard that before?) and say that I dislike this episode a bit more every viewing. That’s not to say I dislike it, just I don’t like it as much as I did when I saw it the first time. Yes, everyone’s happy and that’s all well and good, but I dno… it’s just missing something. Maybe because I was hoping they’d actually have Chuck deal with Shaw’s death, or maybe because I had built up the Charah relationship to such a high standard, that Honeymooners just couldn’t deliver it, but whatever it is, I dno… it just works less and less each viewing. The plot makes me roll my eyes, Ellie is annoying (and if we compare her behaviour now to S5s finale, also a huge hypocrite), the only thing it truly has going for it is the fact that Chuck and Sarah are happy.

    Which goes a long way, but not as far as it seems to go for others 😉

    • joe says:

      That’s actually a bit understandable, Aerox. Honeymooners has in it the payoff that we knew was coming (as opposed to the one we didn’t know was coming, like in Colonel). It’s more than a little bit of dessert.

      If you want to take that analogy and stretch it beyond all reason, that makes The Misery Arc the vegetables of this particular feast and it should be judged that way (which is what I’ve been saying all along).

      Honeymooners is a great romp, but it can’t sustain the feelings all by itself. We only have to enjoy it for what it is.

      • Jason says:

        I disagree Joe in so many ways.

        The misery arc was what comes out of the backside after consuming a meal and watching it felt like watching a snuff movie involving a treasured friend.

        And your notion that a show must be awful to make a great desert is a rationalization. I would declare a different notion, that great TV like the Honeymooners should have been given a chance each week.

        What we got, was our star QB and his star wide receiver, only got to play a few minutes at the beginning of the game, I mean arc, together, then the rest of the game (arc), one or the other sat on the bench.

        The true tragedy of Chuck was the writers never attempted to let Chuck and Sarah, in Charles mode, quipping, bantering, and making eyes at each other, take out the big bad at the end of an arc. Instead, the pair always was apart in some way shape or form at the crucial times in the show, and at the bitter end, Sarah is left without any memory of her five season romp with Chuck Bartowski.

        Since the show failed to gain popularity YOUR way Joe, and since my way produced many of the most popular eps, why do you declare something like the show has to have ‘crap’ most of the time, to make the one or two great eps a season to be great? That seems really wrong, I know a popular, acclaimed show like Game of Thrones brings it each week, Chuck should have too!

      • joe says:

        Ah, dueling analogies! I can hear the banjos’ twang!

        Naw. I never meant to imply either that a show must be awful to make a great dessert or that “The Misery Arc” was awful. In fact, I rather enjoyed almost all of S3 this time through much more than I had the first time.

        But I am saying that it’s not to everyone’s taste and that each part must be judged for what it is and on it’s own merits (no fair saying the veggies weren’t sweet enuf, or that the star QB did a lousy job blocking that punt, dude!)

        You’re probably right that 85 episodes of C&S making eyes and living happily ever after (for a week) would be more popular. But honestly, it wouldn’t be with me. I’ve seen Hart to Hart. I thought it was “frothy” even then and I didn’t need more of that.

      • Jason says:

        NO blocking punts for our star Chuck ‘dude’, all I wanted is for Chuck to be throwing passing, and his favorite target catching them, the whole while having fun.

        It isn’t so much about being hart to hart, the issue is doing what’s best for the characters you’ve created and the stage you set.

        I don’t want a snuff movie in hart to hart, any more than I want hart to hart in games of thrones.

        Chuck’s fail was telling the wrong story for the stage they set. Honeymooners proved this point, when the right story was told, Chuck was epic. For some reason, the writers refused to acknowledge their own creation.

        So maybe you have a point about the punt blocking, the writers used their star QB as a defensive lineman on special teams, while they used their hot leading lady as a tackling dummy. But in Honeymooners, the QB and his leading lady WR threw and caught many, many, many ‘passes’, and fans loved it. Why not build around THAT show?

      • mr2686 says:

        Actually Joe, I like your analogy of The Misery Arc being the vegetables in a meal, and funny thing is that the more you eat the veggies the more you like them…but not when you’re a little kid (just kidding guys, take a joke will ya!).
        I do take exception to the fact that just because a portion of the audience didn’t like that arc that TPTB made a mistake. There are a lot of people that did like it so how can that be a mistake? Not being able to please everyone? Add me to the list of not wanting to see Honeymooners every episode.

      • Jason says:

        JOe – its funny that you said you liked the misery more on rewatch. I’m pretty sure that was true for many of the final on the beach. The definition of rationalization is ‘an unconscious defense mechanism by which one justifies attitudes and behavior that would otherwise be unacceptable.’. Funny.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously I see this more like Jason. I think it’s safe to call the misery arc a failure when over a third of the audience disliked it! A bubble show angering its fans can never be considered good. Really, I doubt any show can afford to upset as many fans as Chuck did. What’s more, TPTB stopped defending the arc long ago; I think they consider it a failure too.
        As I said above, I’m quite certain the proceeding arc cost us years off the show’s life.

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, I wish you would stop saying TPTB felt it was a failure just because they stopped defending it. I think they realized no matter what they said that the fans that hated it were still going to hate it. Heck, you can see that here in the discussions. No amount of debate is going to change your minds so really, why bother.

      • atcDave says:

        Well it’s my opinion and I stated it as such. This keeps coming up because many of us find it just as offensive when someone sings its praises, as you do when we attack it. But you are correct, some opinions will not be changed. This is an impasse.

      • Jason says:

        Dave / Joe / MR / whoever else – it isn’t so much that some disliked and some liked or what % was what and who can convince whom, the point is some story exists out there that EVERYONE liked. So on a leap of faith, I submit that some arc also exists, and that arc has to please the light and breezy segment of the fan base. I use the final arc in s5 as an example, although I thought it was BS, enough of the light and breezy crowd bought it, that the final got a passing grade. S3 did not. But, all s5 had to do is pay off the ending it had set up, might have only taken 3 extra words, maybe even a smile and a nod and no words, and the final would have been more popular, without offending anyone. The whole show could be thought of that way, it isn’t about pleasing the most radical contingent on either side, it’s about pleasing the middle, without any need for rationalizations.

      • atcDave says:

        Very well put Jason about reaching that middle, or greater part of the audience. I think that’s exactly where S3 failed, and I think it’s unique. Even if they frustrated fans at other times, there is never another moment where the show came so close to a tipping point of loosing most of its audience.

      • joe says:

        Oh gee. What did I start???

        I’ve been perusing the legal blogs most of the morning, getting the varying opinions and cataloging the speculations about the new and anticipated Supreme Court decisions. You know, for all the sharp analysis out there, they ain’t got nothin’ on us.

      • atcDave says:

        Bah! “News” “politics” “constitutional law”

        It’s all for sissies! Chuck is what generates REAL heated debate!

      • joe says:

        Full contact TV Show critiques and criticisms? Yeah! That’s the ticket! 😉

    • I agree with aerox except that I don’t think Ellie’s being a hypocrite in Goodbye; she’s reacting to a different situation. Like she tells Chuck: he is not the person he was five years ago. Chuck in this stage is still lost and confused from her point of view. She doesn’t know about his spy life, from what she can see, he’s a lovesick child who’s love just left. And on top of that, she doesn’t know he’s canoodling in Europe with Sarah; she thinks he’s just blown off saying goodbye to her before she takes the biggest adventure of her life. (Going to Africa to practice medicine is kind of a big deal in the normal world.)

      In Goodbye, none of that context is missing, and she has a very different kind of respect for Chuck as a man. She’s not missing any closure there, and she doesn’t have to worry about Chuck because he’s a grown man dealing with a tragedy, not a (supposed) kid without any direction in life.

      Jason, I think you’re conflating two different perspectives. I don’t think Joe’s point was that Season 3 was “crap.” (Unless you think vegetables are crap; in which case, fair enough 🙂 You’re welcome to think Season 3.0 is crap, but it’s not fair to project that onto the point he’s making. Joe (from what I can tell) is saying that you have to go through sad or hard times (different from a bad episode) to really enjoy the most happy moments of the show. Game of Thrones is actually the perfect show to encapsulate that – it has many, many dark moments, which make its triumphs all the better.

      • Jason says:

        I apologize if you think I conflated Joe – I would never knowlingly conflate do so. I feel s3 was not vegtables, but was the result of eating such a meal.

        I fully understand the notion that you have to go thru crap to enjoy the dessert in certain shows, to repeat, Chuck was not that type of show.

        Again, to repeat ad naseum, the Honeymooners ep proved the case of how loved the show was when it let the two leads go off on the stage it set.

        I do see the notion that Honeymooners could also prove Joe’s gotta have darkness to love the light, I simply offer a different perspective, and use Game of Thrones (as well as most great drama) as examples.

        Surely, you guys have to see the difference in the cast, the story, and the setting in real drama vs the show Chuck???????

      • mr2686 says:

        Again, to repeat ad naseum, the Honeymooners ep proved the case of how loved the show was when it let the two leads go off on the stage it set.

        Next week will prove why that generalization doesn’t always fly. Role Models had Chuck and Sarah working together in a light and breezy story, and to me it’s one of the weakest episodes of any season (and yes, I do actually like it but not as much as most of the other episodes).

      • Jason says:

        I loved Role Models. It probably is much like s3’s misery arc, in that it takes someone in the far end of the bell curve toward the fun Chuck side of the divide to love it, I admit that.

        A better proof of your point might be s4’s lighter more fun season with goofy dalton on board vs s3’s misery arc.

        These debates have been had over and over again by the way, the players just change, other than a few of us who are too stubborn to let it lie.

        I mostly rejoined in an effort to allow Dave to at least be slightly moderate, there is nothing moderate about my POV. To a large degree, I know it, and I could watch Chuck from a darker POV and enjoy it, I simply would not love it, in a best ever sort of way. Honeymooners, along with maybe another handful of eps, made me feel best ever. But far too many of the eps, made me feel best ever, if only …., and maybe about a third of them made me feel WTF, I don’t like this at all.

      • atcDave says:

        Although I would agree with calling Role Models weak, I don’t think it was ever hated. I’m okay with the idea some episodes must be average (!) or just unremarkable. I’ll say from here to the end of the series there won’t be another episode that I just can’t stand. But we just finished a 13 episode arc that had seven episodes I just can’t stand. It’s not an issue of vegetables, but more like Jason suggests. The rest of the series will have ups and downs, strong episodes and weaker ones. But never another hated episode outside of that arc.

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, I would disagree with that only because there are people that HATE Morgansect in season 5. Of course, I am not one of them and in fact think it’s an important link to knowing about Sarah’s outcome at the end.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason thank you for making me look moderate!

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, I think you are more moderate than you like to admit, however; it is the Jason side of moderate. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        MR there are also people who hated the end, but I think in both cases it’s a smaller subset. In fact, I think Morgansect sort of proves the fairness of most of the audience, that we were willing to give TPTB a chance to tell their story. Even if it never quite became a favorite, I think it was mostly well received (maybe just because it was shorter!), at least well enough most viewers didn’t seem to be extremely grumpy once it ran.

      • uplink2 says:

        To sort of quote one Ellie Bartowski “If everything is awesome then by definition awesome is just mediocre.” I use that in terms of Role Models and Tooth but they had points that were needed to be made to get to where we end up. They are not the best episodes by any means but more average to just below average for me. BUT and this is a big but there is a difference between an average or below average episode and ones that were viscerally hated by a large segment of the audience. The only ones that are put in that category are from 3.0, mainly Fake Name, Mask and Pink Slip. I will add Final Exam as a tribute to our host here. There is the big difference when a third of your audience absolutely despises an episode or four passionately and when a group simply finds an episode weak. That to me is a failure on the part of TPTB. Passion matters and that is what we had here.

        I would agree with Dave above that TPTB realize it’s failures by both their comments and their lack of them. The “We’ve learned some things from season 3” comment at Comicon in 2010 isn’t about learning things they did well. Follow that with “You’ll be happy” and that is admitting that many weren’t happy at all. Couple that with all of the other comments and you get a clear message, to me at least, that they know they screwed up at least in terms of Sarah/Shaw and I bet if you did a poll among the fans as to whether Sarah/Shaw worked or not the percentages would be extremely high towards “no it didn’t” and “a complete and total disaster”. As a matter of fact as I’ve searched the web for discussions on this I only keep seeing one SN saying how fantastic the pairing was 😉

        Joe, I’m sorry I can’t agree at all with the idea that Honeymooners is so great “because of the vegetables of season 3.0” I’d have to say it’s so great in spite of them. Simply because a payoff works so well doesn’t imply that the set up was done well in the least. It can be simply because they finally got it right for a change.

      • aerox says:

        Arthur, fair points, but I must debate with your second paragraph. She knows how Chuck was after Jill. He literally acted like his life ceased to have any sort of meaning. He was a few credits short of graduating, he was a genius, but instead of re-rolling in another school/class/fighting his expulsion, he took it and played dead.

        Now here’s a guy who, for all intents and purposes, built his life on sharing it with his significant other, and the tablecloth is violently pulled away, and this time, instead of just the soufflé catching fire, the entire house burns down (yay, callbacks). In what possible universe would it be okay to go: “Okay, look little brother, I get that I have always been the one constant in your life, along with Morgan but… well, here’s the deal… we’re moving across the country, sooooo good luck with your life, love you, muah xoxo”

        That’s not okay. That’s cold. I feel like they’ve done the Ellie and Devon characters a huuuge disservice by making them go that route. Yes, they got their happy ending, but at the expense of the main character who, if we’re to assume that he’s still got somewhat the same emotions that he had when his former girlfriend cheated on him and left him, is going to have one heck of a rough time.

        And to think that this was the same woman who threw a fit when his brother went off to fight for the girl he loved (at least, I think that’s the last time Ellie and Chuck spoke, but I’m not sure) all because she felt that he was abandoning her, when she was about to undertake such an epic journey, just rings of hypocrisy to me.

      • aerox says:

        Where is everyone getting these magical ratings from, that say that a third of the fanbase (mind you, a third of the fanbase during season 3 would equate to roughly 2 million US viewers, and a lot more European viewers) viscerally loathes those episodes? And could you please pass this source on to me. It would help a boat-load with making an established network for my career.

      • uplink2 says:

        For me I didn’t like Morgansect, still don’t but I do agree it had a “STORY” point that was delivered fairly well. But for me the problem with S3 and why I hated it so much is that not only didn’t it have a “STORY” point other than simply to delay till 3.13 but it also wasn’t executed well at all. I can forgive a story point I don’t like if its executed well, Morgansect and the finale fall into that category though the finale is incomplete, but a story point I find pointless AND poorly executed is simply a recipe for disaster and that is what we got in Season 3.

      • uplink2 says:

        Aerox, it has been documented here many times that over the run of Season 3.0 the show actually did lose over 2 million viewers. Somewhere there is a great chart that illustrates that. Then tie in the fact that most of those viewers never came back along with the yes, purely subjective polling done here where over %70 of folks polling didn’t think the payoff in 3.13 justified the journey they took us on and I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of the manipulative nature of statistics to come to the 1/3 number that Dave uses so often. I’d also add in that many of those, like me and others here, that hated season 3 with a passion still stayed around because we love the show and its characters so much and I think that I’m very comfortable with those numbers. You may not be and that is the nature of statistics and polling. But I think there is a very good case to be made that those numbers are not simply pulled from the ether.

      • atcDave says:

        Aerox there is no provable math behind it; it’s a SWAG.

        It is based on our polls here (only 156 respondents, not a statistically valid sampling) that showed about a third disliked the arc from beginning to end (and I’m actually rounding down when I call it a third), another third claim to have disliked the arc but accepted it in light of the way it ended. And the final third (by far the smallest “third”!) claimed to like it all the way through.
        Add to that anecdotal evidence based on more casual viewers I know (actually came in at about 95% con for S3. That’s one positive opinion for 29 negative) and I’m completely comfortable with saying a third (or more) of viewers were very unhappy with S3.

      • mr2686 says:

        You can take numbers, any numbers (in this case ratings) and make them prove any side of the argument. If you look at the ratings from every episode from season 1 all the way through the end you’ll see a gradual decline from the beginning of a season to the end, followed by an upturn for the very beginning of the next season along with an additional decline. I think by season 3, the casual or average viewer had better things to watch and what remained were more hardcore Chuck fans. As Dave has mentioned before, he new someone that liked Chuck but stopped watching after Pink Slip because he/she didn’t like the direction it was going (hope I got that semi right Dave). Well, no real fan of any show that they like is going to give up on a series just because they didn’t like one episode. I suspect they would have left regardless. It was just time.
        Regardless of story arcs, I still believe a major contributing factor to losing fans was a few long gaps between seasons (writers strike) and some episodes. Of course, these things don’t matter on a rewatch because you can megadose on episodes and stop at a logical spot, but on first run it made it sometimes painful.

      • Dave says:

        aerox

        Not bothering with anecdotal evidence or anything else, just look at the Nielson ratings.

        No understanding that there is some slippage over a season naturally, 1.8 M viewers left by the end of 3.13, a further 600K left by the end of the season. So it appears that 3 out of 4 of the viewers lost had some issue with the lead-in arc of S3. Those who left after 3.13 were probably those who didn’t want the lighter, campy-er tone of the back arc.

        That’s the conclusion I draw at any rate.

      • Dave says:

        sorry, that should be “Now understanding…”

      • atcDave says:

        MR I’d actually say we can’t really PROVE anything with ratings or polls (unless it was 1 to 1 on opinions for viewers). So much is open to interpretation and conjecture. My casual polling friends only PROVES that my friends are a lot like me. Our site survey only PROVES that we had a lot of ‘shippers here. But it does form a trend I’m comfortable speculating from. I believe it when I say I think about a third hated the season, another third loved it, and the remaining third is somewhere in between. Honestly, I suspect those who disliked were somewhat over half. But THAT is truly speculation and I’m not going to stick my neck out on it. [I always want to add in the fact our poll was done AFTER the misery arc ended. So those who left DURING it likely did not vote]

        My friends who quit viewing during S3 was actually six (three couples). They all cited some variation on saying the new season seemed to be turning too dark for them. So actually, they were specifically chased off by the mood of Pink Slip. I am very comfortable in saying they would have stuck around if 3.01 had been more like Honeymooners.

      • uplink2 says:

        Hey let’s face it, the math is all voodoo. In my home market of Boston, there are over 2.3 million homes making it the #7 market in the country. But there are only around 600 of those homes that are Neilsen homes. Taking that percentage it is 0.025% of the households in our market that determine the ratings. Yet a multi billion dollar business has bought into those statistics. So it’s all voodoo. But a poll like here that is a more targeted poll and the 1/3 number seems small. But in terms of using the same standard each week 1/3 of the viewers of Chuck left during season 3 and I’d believe coupleing in those that hated it and stayed the number is fairly accurate.

      • uplink2 says:

        And Dave, I would agree that I think the “mood” of Pink Slip was setting up a season long “darker” journey and not simply one bad episode. It was a very clear tonal change that the season was going to be a very unhappy one for Chuck and Sarah and there would be no quick fix. The soul-destroying contrivance that sets up the delay and the OLI’s wasn’t going to be resolved easily because that was never the intent. The intent was to take us on a 13 episode ride that brought us right back to where we started and that ride wasn’t going to be much fun or entertaining for many of us and that was quite clear right from the very beginning in Pink Slip. And all that happened even before we got to the disaster that is “great spy” Daniel Shaw.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Uplink, my friends who left after Pink Slip really did make the right choice them. They judged correctly that the show was going darker.

      • mr2686 says:

        Well, 1/4 to 1/3 of viewers left between season 1 and 2 so that must mean season 2 is the devil also. As for the poll here, I believe that more of the people unhappy with season 3 found there way here while happy fans weren’t always looking for an outlet to express themselves. I must say, I didn’t find this site till well after the ending and I was quite surprised, as were all the people I turned on to Chuck, that there were so many people that disliked season 3.
        Anyway, I think one of the great things about Chuck is the very thing we keep debating about. That is, there’s more than one interpretation of each episode and the whole series, and you know what? That’s cool.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        We’ve been over the ratings and the drop in viewership endlessly, but here is my take on it in a discussion on imdb.

        Synopsis? If you compare the episodes of Chuck that aired in the spring, season 3 has the worst drop off in viewership, but even season 2 (when they were arguably at their best) had a drop off of about 17% with about the same initial audience as season 3, meaning about a million viewers lost from a base of about 7 million. Season 3 the drop was about 29% and season 4 it was around 25%. Neither season 1 or 5 has episodes airing in the spring, so the drop in the March/April time-frame is common to all seasons that aired in the spring. If we take season 2’s 17% as a baseline the tacked on back-orders of seasons 3 and 4, when a lot of the fans were getting vocal about the decline, certainly fare worse, but a drop in spring viewership of about a million seems baked into the show.

        There is also the fact that because of the back-orders in 3 and 4, Chuck often inadvertently gave viewers the perfect opportunity to quit watching around episode 13.

        Based on what I’ve seen in our polls and those on other websites I’d agree that of the online fan-base who frequent blogs and comment or fill out surveys a number somewhere around 20-30% of them agreeing with those who disliked season 3.0 intensely probably isn’t too far off. And yes, we are probably over-represented in that category here as opposed to other sites.

        I’ve also noticed a pretty significant difference in opinions about season 3 between those who marathoned it versus those who lived through it in real-time.

        As I’ve often said though, in the end let’s just be grateful that Chuck fell slower than NBC’s other shows, making seasons 4 and 5 possible.

      • Dave says:

        ernie

        I’m “noblz” by the way, so you’re aware of my views on the viewer loss and its repercussions.

        What torpedoed the first 11 1/2 episodes of S3 were two things: They made Sarah almost completely unrecognizable compared to S1 and S2 and the OLis. With the exceptions of Pink Slip and FN, Chuck was basically Chuck as we knew him, it was Sarah that they made into a complete mess. Having said that, there were some good episodes scattered in there (3W, Angel, OA and Tic Tac) but by and large I just didn’t find it entertaining. At least 1.8 M viewers agreed and didn’t hang around for the finish. 75% of the viewers lost occurred before episode 13. Too bad, the back end of S3 was some very good stuff.

      • uplink2 says:

        MR But the thing is, it wasn’t just this site. Look at the ChuckTV archives. There were HUGE battles on that site about the hatred for season 3 and those that blamed the “shippers” for the blasphemy of questioning TPTB. Check blog after blog after blog and you will see the same thing. Look at the comments to the Sepinwall damage control interview, or Mo Ryan, look at the fact they knew they had a problem and were basically sitting in his office as soon as Mask aired. Unfortunately the Twitter archive doesn’t have it but from what I’ve read Twitter exploded with dislike for the season and especially Mask and Fake Name. Unfortunately the NBC boards which may have been the worst for it are now long gone and that history is lost. atcDave and Joe can attest to that. Chuckpocalypse was not just limited to this site. Plus each site had its differing representation. ChuckTV was always a more sympathetic, fanboy type site and this site tended to be more accepting of negative views. But the fact of the matter is the negativity was everywhere. It wasn’t just limited to a few people on a few sites.

        Let’s look at Ernie’s numbers and you will see a 12% worse drop off in S3 than in S2. Couple that with th fact that many s3 haters stayed throughout the misery and are still around as evidenced by this site and comments I still read on Twitter and I don’t think that 1/3 number is very far off. But Ernie is right, fortunately NBC was so screwed up even with the hatred for S3 and the disappointment many more spy show fans had with S4 we were able to survive enough and get a S5 with at least an attempt at a satisfying ending. If they succeeded is a matter of personal taste but at least we got it. If this had been another network everything might have ended with “Guys I know Kung Fu”.

        But slightly off topic, it seems our beloved Yvonne is on a Season 2 rewatch. She has been quoting lines from season 2 over the past few days and when she was in Aussie with her folks she tweeted a pic of her watching Cougars. Also on saturday night, Yvonne, Sarah, Mekenna, Josh and Adam were having a Twitter chat and it was fantastic to read that these folks still are such great friends. Seeing pics of Yvonne, Mekenna and Mercedes celebrating Mini’s new baby show how much this show meant to all of them as they are all still great friends, especially the ladies. Supposedly Sarah and Yvonne are meeting about something today we may see something from. Whether you loved everything they did or hated a portion of it, there was something very special about this show and the people involved with it and I think we can probably count on them working with each other together at some point in the future whether on a movie or someone else’s project. When that time comes it will be great to see how their friendship has impacted their professional lives so much.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Speaking of twitter, I think the Chuck fandom is about to ‘splode again.

      • uplink2 says:

        BTW Both Sarah and Yvonne just tweeted that they spent the day at the beach together! Love it!

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie and I do manage to find significant things to agree on; like I’m very thankful we still have so many great episodes ahead of us at this point. Our slightly different perspectives on how much discontent there was during S3 may simply be reflective of our own different views on the show itself. And I completely agree with him that HOW a viewer first experiences S3 has a MAJOR effect on how one sees it; those who marathon their way through often seem to have a much more positive view of it. This does not surprise me at all. A huge part of my own frustration came from just how drawn out everything was. An outcome I was ready for in April of 2009 didn’t actually come for 13 episodes and one YEAR of real time. So although I aver around a third of viewers were unhappy; and I suspect actual discontent was much higher, I will admit the numbers may not be nearly so bad among viewers who have the luxury of powering right through the arc. They may have better luck finding the good, and driving past the bad of it.

        But as far as discontent on the Internet goes; I do agree as both Ernie and Uplink have said, that it was present on many sites. Apart from this site, I am most familiar with the NBC forums, which are sadly long gone. But they were by far the single largest discussion area for Chuck fans; and discontent, even flat out hostility to the misery arc were endemic to that site. I know different sites had different mixes of people; some were even quite hostile towards ‘shippers. And I know Chuck This became a refuge for a number of fans who felt unwelcome or chased off of other sites. Which is why I am always careful not to use our own polls as “proof” of anything. But combined with what I have seen of other sites and the “real people” I know off-line; I remain convinced that discontent was very widespread.

      • atcDave says:

        Anything you can share Ernie? Is it related to what Uplink mentioned? Or are you just cruelly teasing me?

      • uplink2 says:

        Also MR it wasn’t just those that were online at the time. The first time I ever went to a Chuck site of any kind was when I joined ChuckTV on May 10th, 2010 the day Tooth was going to air. But I felt exactly the same way watching week to week without any spoilers other than the promos that NBC aired. I had absolutely no idea Chuckpocalypse had happened but once I did I clearly knew why as I have felt that same hatred simply watching by myself.

      • uplink2 says:

        😀

      • Ernie Davis says:

        See Dave, if you were on twitter you’d know. 😉 Yes, what Uplink said. Yvonne, Sarah and Mekenna had discussed Tuesday plans for some girl time together in previous tweets, promising to share a bit with fans.

        As I’ve outlined I think the drop off can be attributed to, and in reality probably is due to many things, but the extent in 3 & 4 does lend credibility to those who claim that at least some of it was likely because of fan dissatisfaction. I still take issue with those who attribute the entire drop in season 3 to fan dissatisfaction while ignoring a large drop off in season 2 (and season 4), but I think it is not too hard to imagine that there was a contribution.

      • uplink2 says:

        Hey, isn’t that what Sisters-in-law do? Go to the beach when they both have the day off?

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I understand it is well established that most shows, especially serialized shows, will loose viewers over the course of their run. And it does seem Chuck’s loss during S3 was only slightly out of line with other seasons. Which is all why I don’t usually make a big thing of it. I actually think most unhappy viewers stuck it out through the arc. Even casual viewers aren’t usually morons. They know how television works; stories come and go, some good, some bad. The more burning questions have more to with long term trends and outcomes. I think a majority of Chuck fans stuck it out; and I think a majority were still around to answer our polls and say they were unhappy!

      • mr2686 says:

        All these numbers are well and good, but I think you’re all missing the most important question of them all. Which beach were Sarah and Yvonne at? 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        MR I’m pretty sure that’s really the burning question for most Chuck fans! Arguing over made up statistics is more the cold shower thing.

      • Dave says:

        Here are the actual calculations based on the Nielson numbers I did for the thread ernie linked to and below is one of my posts. In fact if you ranked the seasons based on viewer retention it would be 5,2,1,4,3 with S3 being far and away the worst. Also note that S4 was remarkably stable for 18 episodes before the drop. I still don’t understand that since there were some good eps at the end of S4.

        “Every season bleeds from premier to the end but season three was statistically the worst by a wide margin.

        Season 1 declined 16%from ep 2 till the end (I omitted ep 1 because as a series premier it was outrageously high). Season 2 was 9%, season 3 was 33% and season 4 was 22%. Oddly, season 5 increased 26% when premier is compared to finale but it was a series finale which may have caused an artificial boost.

        Here are season 3’s ratings and I do not see any meaningful increase after ep 8. I think ep 8 was up because it was the first ep after the Olympics.

        Episode 01 = 7.45 million viewers 3.0/7
        Episode 02 = 7.45 million viewers 2.9/7
        Episode 03 = 7.35 million viewers 2.6/6
        Episode 04 = 6.65 million viewers 2.5/6
        Episode 05 = 6.97 million viewers 2.5/6
        Episode 06 = 6.73 million viewers 2.4/6
        Episode 07 = 6.59 million viewers 2.2/6
        Episode 08 = 6.70 million viewers 2.4/6
        Episode 09 = 6.36 million viewers 2.3/6
        Episode 10 = 5.84 million viewers 1.9/6
        Episode 11 = 5.46 million viewers 1.9/5
        Episode 12 = 5.67 million viewers 2.1/6
        Episode 13 = 5.79 million viewers 2.1/6
        Episode 14 = 5.78 million viewers 2.1/6
        Episode 15 = 5.34 million viewers 1.9/6
        Episode 16 = 5.32 million viewers 1.9/5
        Episode 17 = 5.19 million viewers 1.9/5
        Episode 18 = 5.00 million viewers 1.8/5
        Episode 19 = 5.00 million viewers 1.8/5

        Also remember eps 1 and 2 aired Sunday the 10th and ep 3 was Monday the 11th. In effect there was a three episode premier.”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        And we’re back to the same disagreement we had on IMDB. According to everything I’ve read on the subject you shouldn’t compare fall and spring TV, there are systematic differences in viewing in the fall and spring. TVBTN breaks them up for their renew/cancel index (which has a real good track record).

        Additionally just about everything on NBC was dropping both spring of 2010 and 2011, so at least some of the dissatisfaction was dissatisfaction with NBC in general as opposed to Chuck in particular. Here’s what I wrote in the spring of 2011 on Chuck’s prospects of renewal. Note the plot of Chuck versus other shows in the spring.

        On another note, that’s really sad to look at. If Chuck maintained season 3 numbers at their worst we’d be anticipating the COMICON panel heading into season 7.

      • Dave says:

        ernie

        I guess we will always interpret these numbers differently, but it has been a challenging discussion.

        The real problem with S3 w as that S4 premiered lower (a little over 5.8 M) which put it in a tougher position. For 18 episodes S4 held between 5 and 6 M until 4.19, then it fell like a rock to 4M. That ultimately was the issue (that and the new Comcast management), but the seeds were sown in S3.

        You were right in saying if they had held early S4 or mid S3 numbers, we’d be speculating about what was ahead for S7.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Ernie the decline of ratings at NBC has to be considered terrifying. Even Chuck’s S5 numbers look viable.

      • uplink2 says:

        Delete the previous one guys.

        Just to be complete:

        Fun times in ChuckVille!

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink you’ve certainly made this thread a distracting place!

      • uplink2 says:

        One more. Maybe this will help identify where they were lol.

  12. Bill says:

    Here’s an off the wall observation: I’ve had this sneaky suspicion that the middle-aged woman and man that pass by in the hallway of the train are Yvonne’s real-life parents. Don’t know why I think that, but their presence there seems so superfluous that it just might make sense. Plus, her (former?) boyfriend Tim Loden is in the ep as well. Doubt there’s any way to confirm it though.

    • Dave says:

      Bill

      I don’t know how to confirm it was her parents, but Tim Loden was the Polish rocker she stole the handcuffs from.

  13. garnet says:

    I really like this episode, and I’ll say that parts of Honeymooners work very well for me (Yvonne having comedic fun was great to see, and a real shame that the comments from TPTB at the time were mostly tinged with surprise that Yvonne could do comedy), but I do have some issues with the “stupid stick” that seems to come out….Chuck doesn’t flash on the real or fake Agents or the Canadian? He only flashes on the character that leads them into trouble? I’ll forgive them as the rest of the episode that depended on this was great!

  14. Bill says:

    I finally see the utility of twitter.

  15. Andreika says:

    I am new to this.I have been reading this blog for a long,long time and I like it very much.The problem is I am not a native English speaker and I was never courageous enough to join your discussion due to my possible inability to express correctly my thoughts in another language. Besides, I am a little shy too.
    But I have come to my breaking point I think and here I am.Finally. When you were discussing the numbers and statistics and all that and Ernie said – if Chuck maintained season 3 numbers at their worst we´d be anticipating COMICON panel heading into season 7- it just came to me how sad it is that it is all history.
    I must come out now. Now that you are in a process of rewatching season 3 it comes to this discussion and taking sides.sort of. And surprise. .I liked season 3 as a whole,misery arc and everything.Yes, I didn´t like everything,like Sarah and Shaw much,but otherwise I did not have other major concers. And I must admit it could be,because I have never watched live,apparently. Living in Europe I have stumbled onto the show during bad weather days while housesitting at my friends house. I watched Nemesis first and I got hooked.And that was at the time when in U. S. the season 3 was over.So I went and watched it all on the Internet.And then came season 4 and I was really looking forward to follow the weekly schedule and watch my show and guess what, I was disappointed. For me season 4 was the most boring and dissatisfying season. Now it is clear to me that I belong to the group of people who liked to have all the heart AND some light spy stuff stories too. I loved Timothy Dalton and I hated Linda Hamilton and her storyline. I guess it is because I am not American and I have not the history of watching her in some cool but old series. Actually, I do not watch nerd shows or any other shows.Except Chuck. Because Chuck is exceptional.
    And that is all I wanted to say.. well,not so well structured and meaningful piece. Anyway,I just wanted to say hello. I like your blog,like the re-watch idea. I´m sending hugs from- of all places (oh boy, some controversy now) – Prague

    • Dave says:

      Andreika

      You did great! Don’t worry about Prague, a beautiful city. Went there once while I was stationed in Germany with the Army. In fact half of my wife’s family is from there.
      There are those who liked S3 and did not like S4 or S5, I am not among those. But to voice your opinion is not a problem, just be polite and don’t disrespect other people’s views and you’ll be fine.

      Welcome to the scrum!

    • atcDave says:

      Welcome to the site Andreika. Your language skills seem fine, no worries!

      And there’s never any need to be shy of your opinions. No matter what you say, some will agree, some will not. It’s what makes our discussions fun and lively. Remember disagreements aren’t personal. Even when we all get pretty passionate, it’s not really personal.

      And even though I loved S4, I would agree Mary’s story was not very compelling. She was pretty much impossible to like much either. For some viewers, that was a bigger deal than for others.

      • Andreika says:

        Thank you for the wellcome to both of you Daves! Well,I am not shy to express my opinion,I guess I am just shy person in general.
        Nevermind. And you are right,your discussion here are fun and lively.That is one of the reasons I come here to this site. I really like the way you conduct the discussions,even if sometimes I do get the feeling like certain voices are harder to hear. (like the ones who actually like certain part os season 3 🙂 ).But then you state your opinions quite clearly and respectfully to others,so no one needs to be ashamed to being in opposition to anything stated here.

      • atcDave says:

        Well that’s sort of why we had separate discussions (posts) going for all of S3, opinions are too different, and too set at this point. But we won’t do that for anything else, I don’t think anything else gets quite so heated for so long. And everyone is welcome to comment on any post.

    • joe says:

      It’s very nice to have you join the discussion, Andreika. You have a perspective that is unique for this group, and I’m sure everyone will be interested in what you might have to say!

      Your English is far better than the Polish I used on a Polish Chuck site 😉 Oh! I have to add that one of my best friends is from Prague. She left there in 1968 with her children and some amazing stories.

      • mr2686 says:

        Welcome Andreika! You did a great job for your first time posting here and I hope you’ll join us in discussions on all the remaining episodes. I also liked season 3 very much, but I did like Season 4 a bit more. TPTB are real big on pop culture references throughout the whole series and Linda Hamilton was, to me, a fun choice as Chuck’s mother because she was in the Terminator movies in the 1980’s. I hope you’ll get the chance to rewatch season 4 in the future because I believe there are some of the best episodes in that season.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’ll join the others in welcoming you and re-assuring you that your English seems fine to me too.

      I’ll agree that season 4 seemed much lighter in tone than season 3, and there are some people who post here and still pop in occasionally who share your views. Me, I think I found something to love in every season if not every episode.

      And just so you know we have quite an international readership. Here’s a sample of the last 7 days hits on our site and where the originate:

      United States 2,968
      United Kingdom 278
      Canada 260
      Norway 204
      Australia 161
      Italy 106
      Portugal 84
      France 76
      Poland 74
      Netherlands 71
      Germany 39
      Ireland 36
      Guam 36
      Philippines 31
      Finland 26
      Mexico 25
      Czech Republic 16
      Switzerland 13
      Brazil 13
      Singapore 11
      South Africa 9
      New Zealand 8
      Austria 8
      Denmark 7
      Spain 7
      Barbados 7
      Turkey 6
      Argentina 6
      Malaysia 4
      Thailand 4
      Chile 3
      Pakistan 3
      India 3
      Indonesia 3
      Sweden 2
      Hungary 2
      Iraq 1
      United Arab Emirates 1
      Greece 1
      Republic of Korea 1
      Egypt 1
      Morocco 1
      Serbia 1
      Bulgaria 1
      Russian Federation 1
      Brunei Darussalam 1
      Israel 1
      Estonia 1
      Viet Nam 1
      Croatia 1
      Bahrain 1
      Hong Kong 1
      Belgium 1
      Taiwan 1
      Japan 1

      • atcDave says:

        Figure most of the “1”s and “2”s were mistakes of some sort!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well there are a few search terms we know of that bring a number of people here that are not looking for a family friendly blog about a TV show.

      • atcDave says:

        Exactly what I was thinking!

      • FSL says:

        Wow. Guess I’m the “1” from Hong Kong. Anyway, I think I’ve said it before, the misery arc seem so much more tolerable if viewed in quick succession. The local stations didn’t carry Chuck, so I never found out about the show until the summer between season 4 and 5. And I finished all four seasons in 1 month. I can only imagine the pain and anguish people feel if they get week after week of downer of their once favourite show.

      • atcDave says:

        FSL its great to know one of the “1” hits wasn’t an accident! It is amazing just how international this fandom is. Of course our former contributor Amyabn was often adding clicks from Iraq; and Thinkling generally posted from Brazil.

  16. Andreika says:

    Oh, once again thank you everyone for the warm wellcome, I am slightly overwhelmed by the kind words. Ernie,your chart is cool, this to me represents the magic and the positive side of globalization, on the other hand, sometimes i wonder what if..what if the international voice and following was more heard and accounted for, if we could get more seasons. But yes, I understand the current television models is dependant too much on the local advertisment. But we still can hope for the movie,right?
    Because we are still here,right, not by large numbers,but enthusiastic.

    • uplink2 says:

      Welcome Andreika. It’s always great of lurkers come the weeds and join us out in the sunlight. I think your English is great and you are well spoken and express your concerns well.

      From what I gather from your postings you were one who watched much of the show back to back. Is that right or did you watch week to week? We have always found folks reactions are impacted by how they watched it. The visceral nature of the dislike for S3 was definitely impacted by the long delays, the week to week and the olympic break. I think for folks that could just say “play next episode” the reaction can be different. The issues are still there but the emotional reaction to it can be different. It definitely had a big impact on feelings like it went on way too long and couldn’t end soon enough.

      But I’d love to read your opinion on things and the back six and what you did and didn’t like about season 4. I will say its my favorite but I agree the Mama B storyline was a bit of a disappointment but the growth in Sarah overshadows all of that. Plus when you add in Dalton, by far the best villain ever on the show, I really enjoyed it a great deal.

      Welcome again!

      • Andreika says:

        I watched seasons 1-3 back to back and season 4 and 5 week to week.
        “The visceral nature of the dislike for S3 was definitely impacted by the long delays, the week to week and the olympic break. I think for folks that could just say “play next episode” the reaction can be different. The issues are still there but the emotional reaction to it can be different.”
        I would underline the ” the issues are still there but the emotional reaction to it can be different”, I think that conveys my attitude.I had some issues,but overall I liked the big picture. Additionally,although I watched Chuck mosty for fun,I did not mind darker tone.Maybe that is my issue with season 4. I like the fun stuff and the core characters Chuck and Sarah, Casey and even Morgan(although I have always kind of liked him),but the mood for me is too light.I also wanted some more challenging stories and the story of Mary failed from my point of view. I was also disappointed in the portayal of Ellie,her character was diminished after third season as was Awesome and that was ultimately the shame. I hope I will stick around here for some time,after all of your encouraging words ,you guys,and we will be able to discuss these when it comes the time.

      • uplink2 says:

        Oh I agree that the most under and mis-utilized character on the show was Ellie Bartowski. She should have been brought in to the Intersect story much much sooner. Really a wasted opportunity.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Andreika, you aren’t alone lamenting Awesome and Ellie in the later seasons. Chris Fedak himself has said he considers not using Sarah Lancaster more and better in later seasons his biggest mistake. I’m sure many here would disagree with that assessment, and tell us about his bigger mistakes at great length, but since we just got past that part of the discussion I say we leave that topic alone for a while.

        As for Mary I thought she was great in Anniversary, Aisle of Terror and First Fight, pretty good in Leftovers through Push Mix, and despite some good stuff kind of good, kind of weaker in the backorder. They really didn’t have much purpose for her in the backorder other than to worry about Ellie’s research and Chuck’s motorcycling and to need rescuing to set up Sarah’s poisoning.

        I also hope you will stick around for some more discussion. I still have one more shot to convince everyone that Fear of Death is an awesome episode!

      • atcDave says:

        No arguments from me about under using Ellie as a major failing in the later seasons, I think I even alluded to that in the main post above.
        I would also agree Mary got a very strong start, I particularly think Aisle of Terror and First Fight are dynamite. But I think her story broke down sooner, really as early as Gobbler. Although I thought she was well used again in Last Details, but that all adds up to a very uneven picture. I know CF has said he saw her as a tragic figure, which I buy; but I think she needed either a stronger redemption story or a tragic end. But of course, we’ll get into this a lot more in a few months.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Mary, like Shaw, needed more of a backstory to make her story more compelling and her character more sympathetic. Once she was “rescued” by Chuck and Sarah this became a lot more evident.

        DOH! I broke my own prohibition!

      • mr2686 says:

        Ernie, count me in as a big fan of The Fear of Death.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I liked Fear of Death.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As it happens our FoD re-watch will happen on my 50th B-day, so everyone at least needs to pretend to like it.

        Mr2686, Dave, glad for the support. I think I’ve managed to convert Thinkling too, but I won’t rest until the collective fandom swoons at the combination of sexytimes, lioness Sarah, resourceful and heroic Chuck and Casey’s itchy trigger finger.

      • atcDave says:

        I foresee much pain on your 50th!

      • mr2686 says:

        Ernie, don’t forget the Swiss Chocolate…it’s so milky.

    • Dave says:

      Andreika

      You said above that many of us did not like S3. I would be more specific in that some of us did not like parts of S3. For me, there were 6 1/2 episodes that I did not find entertaining. On the other hand, from episode 13 forward was some of the best stuff of the entire series. I have also often said that the S3 finale (two episodes) was, in my view, the best finale of the lot. I am of the opinion that S3 gave us the worst of the show as well as some of the best of the show.

    • atcDave says:

      We can definitely hope for a movie! We’ve heard it’s “too soon” from a few sources, I’m thinking the studio may want to wait until the coming Veronica Mars movie is released to see how some of the details of this sort of project work out. But I bet in another couple years we’ll be able to get something going.

      • mr2686 says:

        Much like for the actors in VM, there will probably be a small window of opportunity to get all of the actors together to film (probably in May/June time frame) so that means if they don’t start one next year it won’t be till summer of the following year (or after) and that would mean a 2015 or 2016 release (or later). Any way you slice it, it will be awhile before we see a movie.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah no doubt scheduling will be among the big challenges. I suspect that right now, the biggest issue is just WB wanting to see how it all works for VM. As I understand, Kickstarter was good for most actual production costs, but WB is still footing the bill for distribution. So I’m sure they want to see if they make money doing it that way. If they do, a Chuck deal may come pretty quickly after VM.
        But if they don’t, it may get messier. It would likely still be possible to just buy the rights outright and free the studio from all costs, but of course that means our own crowd funding will need to be a lot more.

      • uplink2 says:

        BTW Zach Braff was successful with his Kickstarter project. He’s written and going to direct his first film since Garden State which I absolutely love and once thought about writing an AU based on it. He wanted to maintain control of the project and not have it be in the hands of large investors. Can’t wait for that one as well.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Andreika, we’re still here because people are still discovering Chuck, and we want them to have a place to share their enthusiasm and joy at their discovery. And when the movie is announced and the fandom re-forms to back it we want to have as many new voices ready to rally as old voices ready to return.

      I’ll share an anecdote with everyone. Watching those stats is a favorite hobby of mine for one simple reason. About once a month or so you see someone new discover our site and start to read dozens or even hundreds of the 800 posts we’ve published.

      A few weeks ago there was a fairly obvious one. Over the course of a week or so we were getting hundreds of hits per day from Guam at the same time nearly all our archive was being read. It was pretty easy to put those together and realize we had a new fan, or at least a fan new to the blog. And to that fan, thank you, and other than that you are in Guam we know nothing, so don’t worry and no need to de-lurk if you aren’t ready yet.

      So Andreika, it is always nice to hear a new voice and have someone come in to our downsized (temporarily) but still growing family of Chuck fans.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d also mention how surprisingly strong our numbers have stayed through this re-watch. We’re still at around 1000 hits a day. Of course that’s way down from our peak, but it’s held pretty steady now for over a year. That’s for a show that’s been off the air for over a year. And we were never even one of the major sites for this fandom, so it seems awesome to still be going strong.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I could barely keep up at our peak (season 3’s “misery arc”); 3,000-4,000+ hits a day and hundreds of comments on every post. It was madness for a while. Still I think we hit our creative peak in season 4 with the addition of Faith and Thinkling and all of us taking on co-authored posts and reviews.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that Ernie. The volume of stuff was insane during S3. S4 was more satisfying for me in just every way (I mean the blog!)

  17. KeepChuckAlive says:

    Wow. Let me first say that I love Chuck fans. The mere fact that discussions like these continue is the reason why. “We” care.

    Second, I have been away for awhile having to learn a very dramatic real world lesson about the consequences of riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Some of you knew me KeepChuckAlive on twitter or as Rafael12104 on the boards. Suffices to say, I rode the Chuck ride from the beginning and, yes, I was a little nauseated during some particularly steep drops in S3.

    But I’m back and looking at all of this with fresh eyes so to speak. And as one who tracked episode ratings weekly on a spreadsheet and ran my own version of comparative analysis I say… throw all of that crap out. It is interesting, but the conversations and yes even anecdotes from the armchair show-runners are not irrelevant as far as forums and fansites go. They are a lagging indicator certainly but a good indicator of the health of a show.

    So… to simplify and clarify. I have never seen anything like the hate and vitriol from fans of any subject matter like I witnessed during the early part S3. And what was more astounding to me is that a lot of fans hung in there even the hatemongers. They stayed as long as could. And I can tell you, having moderated a forum where weekly if not daily knock down and drag outs occurred that “Dark” Chuck was not the problem. The problem was that there, seemingly, was no hope in sight. I don’t believe that everyone wanted a happy ending then, but how many times can the old tropes play out before your anger gets the better of you?

    No. We weren’t eating our veggies during the first half of S3. We were drowning. And Honeymooners was that life affirming a gasp of fresh air. A relief to be honest. But the brain damage was done. The show just wasn’t the same.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Wow, sounds like you went through a journey almost as painful as many consider 3.0. Hope all is well now. And welcome to the conversation.

      I will grudgingly admit in my more honest moments that post season 2 the show never returned to those stratospheric heights, despite many, many great episodes and moments. There was just too much taken from it by NBC and it’s constant bubble status, but I wouldn’t wish for any outcome other than the extra seasons we did get.

      We’ll have to compare spreadsheets some time. 😉

      • KeepChuckAlive says:

        Indeed. I still have them. Lol!

        But you also bring up a good point. Often we forget that NBC should not be off the hook here. Their meddling surely didn’t help and yes I think it occurred. Show-runners have to pitch their seasons to the real powers that be and I’m sure they ended up crafting something NBC would accept given the bubble status.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        A lot of my season 2 ratings numbers are iffy, I lost my originals and re-creating them was tough. But I am working on fleshing out a guest stars column!

    • atcDave says:

      Glad to have anther old timer drop in! I think the single greatest loss was the unity in the fan base. I do agree it was never the same; BUT, we have some great episodes head of us yet!

      • KeepChuckAlive says:

        Indeed. I agree. There are some great episodes to come, but… the show lost some it’s continuity. S1 and S2 epis fit even the stand alones ala Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer. I didn’t get the same feeling post S3a.

        Good to be back!

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. In many ways the biggest failing of season 3 was the fracturing of the fanbase. It never fully recovered and the worst part is it pitted fan against fan from what I’ve read. No matter what some of the supporters say about whether the season was a failure or not artistically, the fan wars were an absolute fact and that IS a failing no matter how you look at it. Passion is great and it is in many ways what sustained this show but some of what I read was extremely vicious and unfair. Criticize or commend the show but don’t target your fellow fans as so many did. A bubble show can’t sustain that kind of fan war for long. I do wish that in their damage control they had addressed some of that.

        KCA can I ask your opinion on the percentages that we were talking about in this thread from the site you were involved with?

      • KeepChuckAlive says:

        The numbers and percentages being discussed are to a great extent borne out in my data. Unfortunately, the site where I posted the run charts is no longer available, but I will gather my spreadsheets and send them to Earnie or post them here in case they are of any value.
        In general, it is fair to say that the decline started in earnest during S2. However, S3 should have performed much better given the shotgun start. The 18-49 demo dropped from a 3.0 to 2.6 in the first 2 weeks of the season and never recovered. It was an eye opener to say the least although, as has been discussed, numbers don’t completely tell the tale.
        Sad as it is, Honeymooners could only manage a 2.1

  18. Jason says:

    Last night I watched my first Chuck ep since the S5 final let me down, the Honeymooners of course. I need to start a s1 rewatch for my next fanfic which will require my s1 claws to be sharpened, so I thought what better way to go back to the show than view the ep I am most fond of. HOneymooners on rewatch was even better than I remembered, if that’s possible! I forgot how many great lines were spoken, and how close and happy both Chuck and Sarah were. Was there ever another complete episode, either before or after that matched this episode in terms of happy, funny Sarah?

    • atcDave says:

      Interesting question Jason. I think some of the early S5 episodes come close; especially Business Trip and Hack Off we see a lot of happy Sarah. But I do think Honeymooners wins.

    • joe says:

      I can agree with that. For happy, funny Sarah, #3 is Hack Off, #2 is Business Trip and the award goes to (“May I have the envelope, please!”), Honeymooners.

      Jason, I’ve been having that same feeling for months. Most of the S3 episodes (and I’ve re-watched them all – no cheating here!) have been playing better for me this time around. And it’s for exactly the reason you pointed out. I tended to forget the large number of great lines in the dialog and even more, the tacit looks, smiles and assorted Casey “Ughs!” that come just at the right time.

      Hey. Is Adam Baldwin an unsung comic genius? He’s been a type-cast a bit as a military/commando tough-guy, but between Jayne and Casey, he’s caused me to laugh more than anyone.

      • atcDave says:

        Adam Baldwin is very funny. He sure has capitalized on his “cop face” and large build. But you’re exactly right Joe; Casey and Jayne prove the man is funny!

      • mr2686 says:

        Joe, when watching live I always liked season 3 but did feel it was dark, or at least darker than the first 2 seasons. On rewatches I too feel they play much better for exactly the reasons you mention, plus the fact that there’s no long multi-week breaks. Now, on my last rewatch, I didn’t feel like it was really all that dark, or at least any darker than any other season.
        Anyway, I’m having a really good day so far. I’m celebrated my birthday by watching the last 4 episodes of Season 5. I know it’s almost a year away before we discuss Goodbye, but I really like that episode (the extended version especially) more and more each time I see it. The only problem is that there always seems to be a dust storm that makes it’s way in to the house everytime I turn it on. Damn cheap windows.

  19. Dave says:

    Has anyone mentioned the big foreshadowing (at least it was big for me)?

    I mean the constant zooming in on Sarah’s left hand during the fight scene in the compartment.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I did say I think Chuck and Sarah are practically married at this point…

      I’ve tried to decide a few times if there was any other meaning to how they made such a big thing of the marriage theme, and I really don’t think there is. The fake rings and fake vows seem very real to Charah.

    • joe says:

      Dave, that zoom-in was actually used in a promo for the episode. People on the NBC boards went a little nutz saying “Look! They eloped!” It was certainly discussed then, but not so much (understandably) since the episode aired and we saw it was a cover.

      But I do keep intending to mention the look on Sarah’s face when Chuck puts the fake ring on her finger. I just never get around to putting it to words! I’m sure we’re meant to think that she’s thinking about marriage – at least, a bit. I’m guessing that was Ali Adler throwing the fans a bone.

      • Dave says:

        Joe

        There were a lot of things in that promo, Chuck’s end of DYLM, what are yall doin’ in my room, the ring well a lot of stuff. Then they trotted out Fake Name. I’m sure a lot of folks (like me for instance) felt like TPTB duped them. They were really trying to stop the bleeding at that point. After that promo, there was still over a month of angst to go, talk about false advertising.

      • atcDave says:

        I think for me though it gave me the confidence to continue. Even if it was misleading in a way, it showed there was hope for better days ahead, and I think that was fair enough.

    • Jason says:

      IMO the Chuck writers love to tease, and the vows and rings and ep title were the beginning of the WT/WT marry tease. To the writer’s credit, they paid this tease off quickly and well, that is until they took everything away at the end by erasing Sarah’s memory and not giving it back.

      • joe says:

        Now, now, Jason. You just know we’re going to debate that point about how much (if any) of Sarah’s memory has returned. Not to mention the future (um… future perfect? That’s a tense. Right?) and that movie we’re all going to support with our bottom dollar where she “feels it” again for sure and they live a glorious life with the 3/4 billion $ returned to them in Decker’s will (because he’s really such a nice guy) just as C&S start their family with twins and…

        Whew! Got carried away there for a moment.

    • uplink2 says:

      Well even though I really don’t like the Ali Adler “love, love” video, wish it was still available somewhere, I think Joe is right and it is a bone from Ali saying, “See I told ya”.

      • atcDave says:

        I credit LaJudkins…

        Obviously we’ll never really know. But I always consider this more their episode than Adler’s. The credits say “written by” LaFrank and Judkins. “Story by” Adler. I don’t think outlining a story has much to do with its mood or execution. The dialogue and character details come from the screenplay and director.

  20. Ernie Davis says:

    So a thought occurred to me when I was re-watching this episode. At the time the supposed series finale Chuck Versus The Other Guy, the payoff of the hotel in Paris would’t have been enough for me. It might now, but then it’s hard to judge since I know there are so many good episodes to come, but my thought was would this episode alone have been sufficient payoff to end the series on if the rest of the backorder hadn’t come?

    I’ve also heard many say that Chuck Versus The Baby would also have made a good series finale, but since we’re not there yet, let’s stick with Honeymooners unless people think a poll on this topic, possible ends that weren’t designed as ends, would be fun or interesting.

    • atcDave says:

      I think that is a really tough thing to answer. As you said, there is so much good yet to come that I’d hate to be without. If we were discussing even more theoretical; I would absolutely love a Honeymooners-like episode as a series end, that is, as a post-Goodbye epilogue sort of thing.
      But to end the series at 3.14? Well, it might have taken enough sting off the misery arc that I could say goodbye to the series a little easier than just stopping at Other Guy. But on balance, I just sure am glad we still have two seasons to go!

    • FSL says:

      Of course more episodes would have been great. But if they ended at the hotel room in Paris, I think it could be serviceable. At least Chuck and Sarah ended up together.

    • uplink2 says:

      For me Other Guy is the worst of the possible finales. The payoff wouldn’t have been nearly enough for the misery arc IF it had remained intact. There was a report that if it had been the finale there would have been a bigger ending on the Eiffel Tower itself in the battle between Chuck and Shaw but that wouldn’t have helped. The problem with it is it simply isn’t enough payoff to the journey. It left huge plot holes that were just glossed over and ignored. Honeymooners is but Other Guy isn’t. Now if they knew it was the end and had not done the OLI’s or ended them much earlier without Fake Name and all that garbage then maybe yes it could have been but as structured as we got it no it wouldn’t. It all comes down to if the OLI’s remain then there was no satisfying ending. The only way to have a satisfying ending to that arc is if the OLI’s never happened. I can view Honeymooners as a post Colonel/Ring ending easily and enjoy it. But the damage from the darker tone, the contrivances and especially the OLI’s was just too great for Other Guy to wipe away.

      To me the most completely satisfying possible finale is Push Mix. It is a perfect resolution to the arcs they were on and gets everyone the happy ending they deserve, It’s the balance of a great spy story and a fantastic Charah moment.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know if I would call Other Guy the worst possible ending, I mean American Hero or Final Exam would have been worse! Even among those considered “possible ” endings I think Ring or Ring II might have been worse (too much left hanging). I think Push Mix or Cliffhanger would work best as actual series finales. Not that they’re the strongest as episodes, but they both come closest to leaving things in a good way for a series ending.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I’m talking about the worst of Ring, Other Guy, Ring 2, Push Mix, Cliffhanger and Goodbye. All of the possible series finales. To me Other Guy would have been the least satisfying ending and worst possible choice if everything existed as we knew it from 3.0. I could have taken the darker tone IF it hadn’t lasted anywhere near as long and we got some positive episodes again at around 3.5 or 3.6. Some fountain scenes mixed in with the spy drama. But for there to be only 3 small scenes of Chuck and Sarah together after 8 episodes of god awful pointless OLI angst is never going to be enough. But then again nothing was going to redeem the season and be a satisfying series ender as long as the OLI’s and in particular Sarah/Shaw existed.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. I know it is probably a writers standard cliche to put the central relationship together at the very end but I for one wasn’t at all “surprised by how good they were once we put them together”. It’s what I knew all along and wanted to see a lot more of. Ultimately we got 43 episodes of it in the end and that is fantastic but if all we got were three scenes from Other Guy and then so long Chuck, it would have been very unsatisfying.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree completely Other Guy as an ending would have left my whole Chuck experience tarnished; actually, I’d probably be long over the whole thing if they’d ended there! But I think I would have been “satisfied” in the sense it would seem complete and over. But emotionally, of course it would feel very empty.

        But if the question is to have just one more episode, would Honeymooners fix enough? Actually, I’m thinking I might have been very bitter to see what the could have delivered, but failed to except one time only! But I don’t know, Honeymooners might have been a treasured memory.

        Its funny, I ran this by my wife, and she immediately went where I did on my first attempt; Honeymooners would have been a great finale (and of course, like me, she jumped on the idea of how much better it would have been after they were married!), but not if it means loosing two years of great episodes.

      • Jason says:

        Had the show ended with the wedding in s4, the kids driving away and getting Volkov’s fortune, that would have been ideal to me. The 5th season did nothing for me, I didn’t like the way the season was written much at all even though I liked the Chuck and Sarah stuff until the writers snuffed Sarah’s memory at the end, all season long it seemed like the writers ran out of ideas, mostly rehashing old things rather than moving forward with a freshly wed couple taking on the world. A movie scares me in this regard, I seriously doubt the old creative team has new ideas in them.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason CF said several times he was done with Chuck. I believe any possible movie will have completely different writers. Well, possibly one of the old staff writers, but not CF.

      • Jason says:

        Dave my memory was JS and CF were asked together, JS said no way, and then added maybe some smart young guy could do it, and CF looked offended by JS’s comment, I’d be shocked if CF let anyone else do it.

      • atcDave says:

        CF clearly said he was leaving it to “the next generation”. I bet he won’t touch it.

        I have to admit though, I’m not terribly worried about it. I think CF is a pretty good writer, as long as someone can get him to learn to write a decent ending. He is clearly a product of this age, it is so trendy now to leave major things hanging and unresolved in the end. In like five different attempted, possible endings for Chuck, he never once wrote one I’d consider completely acceptable. (Cliffhanger works best for me, it ends in a good place with nothing important hanging)

      • Jason says:

        I hope you’re right. I don’t recall it that way. I thought Schwartz said next generation, and Fedak looked offended. But if Fedak said next generation, I’d be really happy. If I were Zack and Yvonne, I’d send Fedak on a long trip on a slow train when the project started.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I don’t think either Schwartz or Fedak ruled out a future movie or their involvement. They were clear that they were done for now and there were no plans for more, but they were open to it.

        Did you feel like there were more stories to tell?

        Fedak: If we had the opportunity to tell more stories, we would like to do that, but I think this fit for us. We designed this season as the final chapter, and I think that these 91 episodes are — we’re very proud and very happy. It feels like a good, full story.

        Are there hopes for fans who want to know if/when there will be a movie, a comic book, some sort of continuation?

        Schwartz: Well, never say never. What Chris and I are hoping is that someone out there inspired from watching the show, some youngun’, will come up to us in 10 years and say I’ve got the greatest idea for the Chuck movie.

        Fedak: Wait, I want to pitch the idea. Why does it have to be some kid? No, that would be great. When Josh and I started working on the show, we were really making a show for audiences today, but also for us older kids. This is a show we would have watched and obsessed over. I think considering who we got to work with, people like Chevy Chase and Scott Bakula, and we watched their movies and shows when we were kids, it would be awesome to see some day in the future, a kid who grew up watching the Chuck show and that we were some influence on their life — which is crazy to imagine.

        I definitely would want Chris Fedak involved if possible.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I guess you are right that doesn’t exactly rule anything out. I’d be mostly okay with him returning as a producer, I think he has good sensibilities about mixing the various story elements. But I still don’t trust him to know how to end it.
        My favorite scenario involves Zach producing and hiring a new writer.

      • Jason says:

        Ernie, that’s what I recall. The look on fedak’s face was priceless, when schwartz said his line about youngun. I’m sure there are some great stories out there for Chuck and Sarah in the future, the scary part is there are so many bad ones. Shaw’s not dead yet, maybe Sarah will forget who he is and fall in love with him again! The problem is, the show gave Chuck and Sarah their happy ending in S4, teased an even happier place with the red door, white picket fence, the dog and the babies, then took it all away. In a movie, they’d either have to immediately pay off the s5 tease, then take it away again, or take it away even worse, then slowly give it back, if they keep the trend of writing Chuck losing Sarah angst as the key theme of the show. I’d like a new theme, a Chuck and Sarah vs the world theme. I doubt the old team is capable of a new approach, I’d have more hope for a new team. Otherwise, I’m content with the show ending in s4, and s5 was already the bad movie, I don’t need two bad movies.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I personally thought season 5 was pretty awesome and loved the end, but understand those who don’t. The great part is you get to decide if you support it or not, and who is involved can play a part in that. My feeling is that Chris Fedak, as co-creator show-runner and the only writer to be there for the entire run of the show, would be the best fit for producer/head writer even if there were other writers involved.

        As for where the story went, Fedak was pretty clear that Sarah was back to her old self emotionally and her memories were returning at the end, and he wrote is so he’d know.

      • atcDave says:

        I really think the fears are unfounded. If we ever get more Chuck, it will almost certainly be crowd funded and initiated by Zach. I think that’s a good scenario for getting a more crowd pleasing movie. And it’s a certainty that Zach and Yvonne both will have a lot more creative control than they did with the series; if nothing else because they are no longer young actors under contract. Likely veto power at the very least. But both actors have shown pretty thorough understanding of fan concerns since the series ended, I am completely confident any future content will honor their characters, and please their fans.

      • Jason says:

        Ernie – it’s fine to say it in an interview. He did the same thing with Sham, when what he wrote didn’t communicate what he wanted to in s3’s first 12 eps. At some point, all fans can do is rely on what is shown on screen. On screen, Sarah is a shell of her old self on that beach as the credits roll. Many fans thought another scene was coming, as the artistic ending came to a close.

        Dave, I hope so.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        On screen, Sarah is a shell of her old self on that beach as the credits roll.

        I don’t see it that way at all.

      • joe says:

        Great thread.
        Ernie quoted from the interview:

        What Chris and I are hoping is that someone out there inspired from watching the show, some youngun’, will come up to us in 10 years and say I’ve got the greatest idea for the Chuck movie.

        Waiting for a new generation?

        It sorta makes sense. Usually adaptions and sequels don’t want to compete with the original. And the young director-types in Hollywood would have to mature to do justice to the middle-age sensibilities of the show (that is, they would have to if they want to remain true to the original).

        I really hope it’s done sooner than that, with a good portion of the original cast and behind the scenes talent. Otherwise, it really will be for a new younger generation to enjoy while I’m in my dotage.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll mostly agree with Ernie on the finale. After several re-watches I’m completely convinced Sarah was pretty much fine at the end. And that means Chuck and Sarah were fine too. I do still think it was poorly shown and needed a more definitive ending moment, I shouldn’t HAVE to re-watch several times to find that assurance. But the makes it a problem of execution not intent. By all counts the intent was a happy ending; it was just too subtle and clever for its own good.
        But from quite early on (Sarah lying about “not feeling it”) she was being pulled back towards Chuck.

        But actually; I don’t want to rehash all the finale stuff just yet. I just wanted to get at the idea that I think CF fundamentally wants the same thing for the show and characters that I want. I just think he struggles with a lot of execution type details; like continuity and wrapping things up. He was never my favorite episode writer, but looking back over our episode guide I would have to admit he wrote more mostly good episodes than bad ones. I just hope, if he does write more Chuck in the future, that they bring in a better “closer”.

      • Andreika says:

        I am with Ernie on that. And I do not want to necessarily stir the topic of the series finale ahead of time,but I must say I was rather surprised with the fans reaction. I could not understand what seemed to be the problem.I,personally, found the ending quite ARTISTIC and beautiful. The whole ending scene how it was shot,what was said,the montage, the music,the final kiss. For me it worked. I did not need it to be more spelled out, I did not need to see the house with the picket fence,because to me the mood and feeling implied positive future.Actually I found it quite poetic. I don´t see what is wrong with artistic ending. But maybe that is the European in me. So from my point of view I would not be worried about the movie, even if CF wrote it.

      • joe says:

        Ooohhh! I’m going to stir up another hornet’s nest.

        I do still think it was poorly shown and needed a more definitive ending moment, I shouldn’t HAVE to re-watch several times to find that assurance.

        Probably so, Dave. I have to say, I would have liked to not work so hard for it too.

        Then I recall the controversial ending of The Sopranos. For the few who haven’t seen it or missed the controversy, the last ten seconds of the entire show are just black. No sound, no music. People were calling up their cable providers to complain that the last, most important moments of the entire series had been ruined by a glitch.

        But no, it wasn’t a glitch, but intentional. People couldn’t figure out what happened. Was Tony about to be attacked by the menacing looking guy wearing the “Members Only” jacket? Why was there so much suspense built into the score at Meadow coming to the restaurant late? Did *anything* happen at all?

        The creator, David Chase was interviewed shortly after and said only “If you look at the final episode really carefully, it’s all there.” I saw that end four or five times myself and still didn’t get it, until I read this lengthy, but definitive analysis.

        [For those who are interested, it’s excellent, definitive and quite convincing. [Major spoiler alert!!!! – Tony is dead at the end, shot by that menacing guy in the jacket.]

        That’s not the conclusion I had come to years ago, and it would have angered me. But years later, not so much. It makes sense and is absolutely true to the series and it’s sensibilities, if brutal in doing that. It’s almost like I had to grow into that ending.

        I have a feeling that the final scene of Chuck approaches that. It’s more subtle and artful than feel-good by design. Even if it’s not a universal experience, people can and will come back to it years later and be very satisfied with it.

      • atcDave says:

        Artistic is exactly what I did not like about it. I want to be shown or told plainly, subtlety angers me. I think so much good will between fans and writers was lost during S3, there was little willingness to accept anything on faith. And I think in recent years there’s been so much fatigue in general from television shows that end with more questions than answers. The art of the epilogue has been lost. I’m a detail oriented person, and it always looks to me like quitting a beat too soon. It’s their job to tell the story, not leave me guessing. Like a plane calling me for clearance and me saying “I’ll get back to you on that…”

      • atcDave says:

        Joe I really disagree with your conclusion. In fact, Sopranos was one of the exact things I was thinking of when I said I think people are completely tired of these pooched endings. I think as time goes by, it will be a burden to the show. I think it diminishes its appeal for syndication, and for many viewers diminishes its appeal for re-watch. We’ve had so many visitors here who have said they can never watch again, and that is the crux of the problem. Even if the individual later changes their mind, I think the “artsy” ending remains a burden. My main interest in a movie is in fixing that end.

      • joe says:

        Ah, one hornet’s nest, shaken, if not stirred. 😉

      • uplink2 says:

        I will save most of my points for when we get there but I will say that I’m getting better with the ending. I do think Sarah is reaching out to Chuck and WANTS to regain her memories and have that life with him. I think she is definitely falling for him and yes, very lost when he walks up to her on that beach. But him finding her there saves her once again.

        BUT I still see no evidence that she actually remembers anything about Chuck himself or gets back any of her memories directly related to him and most importantly the context of those memories. Not one single thing they show as coming back to her involves any of that. It’s all just random things with no context and no connection to Chuck himself. Even the beach. She knows it’s important but has absolutely no idea why or what it is related to and at no point when Chuck is explaining it to her does she show even the tiniest bit of recognition.

        So for me I do see them leaving together and falling in love but see no evidence that she remembers anything directly related to her life with Chuck or the context of those memories and THAT is something significantly lacking in that “artistic” ending.

      • joe says:

        All true, Uplink. But at the same time, I can’t quite reconcile the Sarah on the beach with the Sarah we glimpsed before Chuck (like, during the flash-back scenes in Baby and in the scenes immediately after she’s lost her memory, in particular, where she threatens Ellie). The Sarah before Chuck would not have asked for the kiss at all.

        I think we’re only shown that, even without most of her memories (some small details are coming back, which gives us hope, btw), Sarah is a changed person because of Chuck. It’s not a huge clue-brick, for sure, and more fans than brother Dave wish that it had been made more clear that Sarah is on her way back to Chuck. But I see it nonetheless.

      • Andreika says:

        Well then I guess we will have to disagree,Dave, and that is O.K. But the truth is I am still little bit puzzled and I must admit that it did not occur to me there could be any kind of controversy about the ending, before I read some reactions on the internet after the finale. I was pretty positive it was positive ending after first watch. sad and melancholic,but positive. and I think they were going for melancholic with a pinch of future happiness,because it was the ultimate farewell.the goodbye.and goodbyes in real life are kind of sad. and to the defence of the writers,i don´t think they were going for artsy,they just wanted show some mood and feeling in my opinion and they underestimated the audience. But I do not think it is their fault. But then I really see it differently,I do not need it handed on a silver plate. And it was somewhere here on your blog I think that someone wrote something I really liked.. an analogy of what one like in paintings if one is more into impressionist paintings or realism.and to me it seems here lies the problem.

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe, I’ll have to read that later because for me the problem with the ending of the Sopranos was that I didn’t come to any conclusion as to what happened. Nothing sticks out and nothing makes sense or maybe everything makes sense. Every possible ending is just as believable as any other. But I did find that blackout stunt to be pretty offensive. And that is what it was, a stunt and my wife and I both were wondering if the cable went out. It was a cheap trick rather than an artistic ending.

      • atcDave says:

        Yes Joe your evil plan succeeded!

        Uplink I saw it pretty much the same way. Although Sarah regaining memories isn’t quite as big a thing to me as the other things (falling for Chuck and retaining her more mature values system). I have long been far more secure with knowing she retained what made her Sarah Bartowski, than in her retaining specific memories.

      • Jason says:

        Having to use the soprano’s ending to justify Chuck’s is the point, soproano’s was a pretty heavy duty drama isn’t it? I am fast becoming a huge fan of Game of Thrones, in a best show ever sort of way, I don’t know how many drama’s are going on at once, involving how many charachters, maybe 8 drama’s and twenty five charachters at once, with possibly 4 or 5 that I really care about, 3 or 4 I could care less about. In chuck, there is one drama going on, whatever is causing Sarah to be apart from Chuck. When played for laughs, and when the angst is paid of with sweetness, it can get by, when it crosses the line and takes itself too seriously, it fails. The misery arc was too serious, with not enough story or characters to sustain itself through rough patches. The final arc was bad that way. Honestly, I loved the final scene at the beach compared to the sad final arc, but the lack of paying off the teases was not appropriate to Chuck, in the Soprano’s or Game of Thrones, such an ending would be pretty awesome and expected.

      • atcDave says:

        Andreika I think the burning issue is how much of your audience is it fair to alienate? I would say for a professional story-teller there is an obligation to tell the story in a way that is satisfying to the largest part of the audience. I know that opens a whole other can of worms, that is, a certain level of uncertainty and tension needs to be maintained to keep a story satisfying. Trying to please everyone, all the time, is actually unlikely to please very many. So I get that there’s a whole balancing act there.
        But I think there’s also a big problem with the style of art analogy, that is, the show had been on the air for five years. With a new show, it’s obviously fair game to create a different sort of mood and see if it will sell. But for an established product, I think its more important to reach the loyal audience than it is to try something different. In fact, that’s a specific complaint I’ve seen many times about finales in general, the finale is a terrible time to change the mood or style of the show. It should be about satisfying the faithful. Instead, finales often end looking more like an attempt to fluff up a resume for the next job.

        Now you know the funny thing is, I am not even that militantly “anti-finale”. I found it functional. Barely. I would have preferred something else, but I CAN live with it. And all those casual viewers I know and often bring up here, those viewers who pretty universally hated S3; are completely split on the finale. My wife loved it. One of my best friends thought it was awesome. But one of my co-workers (a big ex-army, Harley rider with Mohawk and tats) came up to me the morning after almost in tears (um, sorry if you’re reading this dude, but I didn’t use your name!) saying “what’s with that ending?! Was Sarah okay? Did she stay with Chuck? Or did she go back to the CIA?!” We did talk, and I know he felt better about it later. But the thing is, it absolutely struck a large number of long time faithful fans very badly. And as we’ve discussed many times here, it could have been fixed in a way that likely would have pleased nearly everyone with so little effort (four words as the credits roll, “take me home Chuck”); the way it actually ended, just looks to me like getting too clever and not finishing the job.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Put me firmly in the “never watch again” camp, up to now at least. I’ve tried rewatching, but the idea that Sarah ends the whole journey with swiss cheese for memories and a mountain to climb just to get back to something like Sarah Bartowski just sucks all the joy out of it – and I say that as one who believes that they do stay together.
        To have a 5 year investment tossed away by a strange writerly whim annoyed me intensely at first. It still can, if I dwell on it. But it’s part of the unofficial contract that viewers have with writers. We put our trust in a writers’ vision and skill, and they get to write what they want to write. But as a viewer, I believe I’m the one with the power in this relationship and I can withdraw my viewership at any time – which is what I’ll do for future Fedak projects.
        As a writer, Fedak is often very high-risk. That’s his prerogative, and it can be a great thing if you’re consistently good enough to make it work – but with Fedak the gap between idea and execution became too great, too often. From S3 onwards, there were too many cases where the idea that was in his head wasn’t translated with sufficient clarity to the screen – from Shaw, to Mary Bartowski, to the ending of the series. The result was a fanbase fratured twice in 3 years – and to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to do that once is a misfortune, to do it twice smacks of carelessness. In fact, that’s how I think I’d describe Fedak as a writer/showrunner – sometimes brilliant but too often careless.
        It’ll be interesting if he gets better at the nuts and bolts of execution and bringing his audience along with him as he matures – Chuck was his first show, after all. And if indeed, he gets that chance. If he develops more of what I’d call the craft of story-telling, then I’d certainly reconsider watching any future projects, because in terms of initial premise and character, I think he’s fantastic. But for now, I’m once bitten twice shy with Fedak, including his involvement with any Chuck movie.

      • atcDave says:

        Thank you for putting that all so well Kev. Although I’ve definitely found more peace with it than that, I completely agree with the gist of it all. CF failed a major portion of his audience. To a degree that I think violates his professional responsibilities and the unwritten contract with his viewers/customers.

      • mr2686 says:

        You can just as easily say that CF did not fail a major portion of the audience. Too many times the assumption is that there was an ending were 100 percent of the audience was going to be happy, but I can almost guarantee that there would be a portion of the audience not happy with whatever the outcome was going to be…not specific enough, too sappy, etc. etc. etc. Let’s face it, on a show like Chuck where the actors have actually breathed life in to the characters, most viewers don’t want the show to stop and that in itself makes for some strong opinions on how the show ended.
        I really believe that there will be a lot of good discussion about S5 and how the whole season will help explain why Chuck and Sarah’s outcome is positive.

      • Jason says:

        Kev – You’re on the writers case worse than me. I’m mellowing on the whole thing I guess. One thought came to my mind while reading your comment, some of the fail of s3 and beyond appears to be a lousy job of writing the female characters. Maybe it was losing Ali, maybe losing Schwartz’s more consistent contributions or someone else, or maybe the creative juices fizzled once s3’s misery arc fell so flat? Even the epic Carina fizzled more than sizzled when she returned, Mary, Vivian and Ellie come to mind as important character fails in s3 and beyond, and poor Sarah became the writer’s punching bag as each arc wound down to conclusion.

      • atcDave says:

        MR it’s just so easy to imagine the smallest of tweaks that would have made that ending better for a lot of viewers. It might have moved it from 60% liking it, 85% liking it. And yes, I’m making up numbers. And I never mean to imply the situation is as bad as S3; but it is similar. They ended in a way that left many viewers unsatisfied, they should have known it would, and it could have been tweaked easily. Especially since the ending they were going for, as described in many interviews, WOULD HAVE BEEN acceptable to many more viewers if they had simply been more clear, instead of getting all cute and artsy with it. (As was suggested, maybe a little more assertiveness from Sarah as the screen went black, or my favorite four words “take me home Chuck”)

        A huge issue here is that so much goodwill was spent in S3, TPTB had none left to count on in the end. Many viewers were not willing to assume the best, they wanted proof. So yeah, it’s also an S3 issue again…

      • mr2686 says:

        “A huge issue here is that so much goodwill was spent in S3, TPTB had none left to count on in the end. Many viewers were not willing to assume the best, they wanted proof. So yeah, it’s also an S3 issue again…”

        Dave, TPTB told everyone to have patience and S3 would come out the way they wanted…and it did. I don’t understand why the viewers would not assume the best for the finale. Sorry, but I think too many people dug their heals in and weren’t going to accept anything short of exactly what they wanted. Again, I don’t want to go much further on this since I really want to explore it during the rewatch.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I think having to tell your audience to be patient is extremely poor story telling. It’s all about the journey, AND the destination. There’s little point in a show that’s no fun as it goes, regardless of the end. And there’s no point in a good story, if the ending is unfulfilling. Both need to be right. And I think as far as that goes; s3 and the finale may be exactly opposite problems. But they both play to the issue of trust between entertainer and audience. And as should be obvious from even a casual reading of this discussion, there are major problems with that trust. Perhaps some fans took a harsh view of things in later seasons; but that harsh view didn’t spring up in a vacuum, TPTB earned it.

      • mr2686 says:

        Nah, they didn’t earn it, it was thrust upon them. The only reason they asked fans (and only some fans) to have patience was that they were looking at the big picture while some fans were only looking at today. The shows were already in the can and a positive conclusion was already qued up and ready to go. Since this kind of backlash, at least as far as I know, had not happend to this extent in the past, there was no way TPTB could have forseen this happening. I look at other series with the WT/WT theme and see similar story devices, yet they never seem to get any backlash. Why? Well, maybe because a lot of them have a full season to begin with and they can base their pacing accordingly. I give TPTB a lot of credit…how many other shows have multiple episodes that should have been the finale? I have to crack up because even if Honeymooners or Baby were the finale, there would still be people complaining. And you know what? That’s not a bad thing because everyone want’s more Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        It is a bad thing because late in S2 this wasn’t happening. We had a united, enthusiastic, activist fan base. We made great things happened and saved the show. People were excited and having fun with every late S2 episode; there was speculating, and excitement with every twist. Even after the season excitement ran high, from saving the show through the thrill of talking about new episodes. And the mood turned in one day in July of 2009, and they never got us all back. They absolutely should have known, but they didn’t listen. Pink Slip alone could have been forgiven. But for too many of us the full S3 misery arc could not be. And I think without that misery arc a lot of the little continuity or logical failings of S4 would have been overlooked. Even an underwhelming Mama B or Vivian Volkoff would have been forgiven. But as it happened, good will was already spent, and too many fans were unwilling to cut any slack. We saw so many viewers who wanted to like the show, who missed the show they loved, but just couldn’t stand the thing they did.

        And I think “we all want a movie” is categorically not true. We lost a lot of fans along the way. Too many. Had they listened to fans it could have been easily avoided. Easily. We just spent three months going over all the many things viewers would have found more palatable, and yet they still managed to tell a story too many fans could not get behind. So many fans who’d even been involved in the save the show campaign, fans who were regular and faithful here or at the NBC forums, lost heart and gave up. We saw it every day of the misery arc. And then so much frustration again at the end.
        No doubt some people just like to complain. But I don’t believe that was ever typical of this fandom. This was a fandom that wanted to have fun and to believe in the show. But that belief was lost. Mask and Fake Name were THE major turning points for this fandom. The discontent that had been simmering since Comic Con boiled over. And it never completely came back.
        And that discontent was well earned.

    • KeepChuckAlive says:

      Hmm…. no. Not for me. I needed to see the show in a different light for a while if that makes sense. After “Dark” Chuck and once Honeymooners aired, I needed to see more of Chuck and Sarah as a spy couple for closure.

    • CaptMediocre says:

      In a way yes. In a way no.

      As far as ending the series in a happy place for everyone (characters & fans) sure, OK, maybe.

      But as far as resolving what came before it to give us resolution to the drama, no not in the least (exactly like Goodbye).

      Because Chuck and Sarah NEVER talked meaningfully in the first 13 or about the first 13, Honeymooners, as great as it is, is all frosting with no cake (yes, I’m breaking out the food metaphors). Actually, It’s the start of a new show – again.

      As far as the series finale, I’m one of those that now looks as the series and says, “what’s the point”.

      On my extremely cynical days I see the finale as being written to impress the “Hollywood community” not the fans. But that’s me.

      I usually describe the Chuck finale as the best 2 hours of television – I wish I’d never seen.

      As far as vs the Baby (and other than the fact that its story makes little to no sense whatsoever), based on the Sarah / Mom reunion scene alone, it would have been a far better series finale. I mean think about it, if you take out ridiculous scene with Graham, the final words spoken would have been, “Chuck has showed me anything is possible.” (or there abouts) How fitting.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      The Chuckopolypse is an odd beast. The initial impulse by Alan Sepinwall was to quell a boycott that didn’t exist. There were negative reactions to be sure, but it was essentially one comment with a stupid idea that virtually nobody supported that started it. Or rather one critics reaction to said comment that started it.

      Sadly it lead to an interview that allowed dissatisfied fans to find a reason to be dissatisfied, and comments by TPTB, meant to say, we get it, this isn’t a particular happy place to take a one month pause, but we’re going to the place you want, ended up as fuel on the fire of discontent.

      • atcDave says:

        I think there was plenty of discontent prior to the one dumb comment! We’d already been at it for eight months. The dumb comment came just as our worst fears about the season were being realized.

      • uplink2 says:

        Sorry Ernie but do you really think that interview was Sepinwall’s idea? To me that was a clear case of PR damage control and had been planned long before that comment was posted. If Schwedak didn’t know how bad the reaction was going to be to Mask then they were more clueless than I thought.

        From my readings of the history it is quite clear to me all of this started at Comicon 2009 and Schwartz’s “emotional and traumatic” comment and the backlash it created. They were trying to spin things ever since with the Ali video, Zach’s and some of the other cast’s Koolaid comments were all part of the spin about the PR nightmare that was growing ever since that July prior. If we can blame it on one stupid comment it was Schwartz’s not that poster’s.

        That interview was planned well in advance and had nothing to do with Sepinwall. He was just the vehicle Schwedak chose. Plus the comment allowed them to put a negative spin on the dissent by pointing that out as symbolic of the scorched earth plan those that hated Mask and the entire arc were showing.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Oh there was certainly a lot of dissatisfaction and grumbling, much of it legitimate if occasionally overblown in my opinion. My point is that the interview turned a lot of fans from dissatisfaction with the show and the episode towards rage at Schwartz and Fedak that, frankly, got way out of hand at times.

        It was nice of Schwartz and Fedak to try to re-assure fans that Chuck and Sarah would get there at various times, but unfortunately no good deed goes unpunished.

      • atcDave says:

        The problem is Ernie, it didn’t read as a “good deed”. The came across as arrogant and condescending. And yeah, maybe that did make everything worse.

      • uplink2 says:

        One final comment. It’s my feeling that the interview was scheduled the day they learned of the schedule change that led to the 3 week Olympic break. They were fully aware there was going to be a pretty major backlash and it’s my belief the interview was scheduled proactively and not reactively.

  21. bigspud says:

    love this episode, this is pure fun and chuck at its best, Yvonne’s accent, the double punch of casey, how they went about stealing what they needed to take out the bad guys, the bakery fight scene, both sets of vows, chuck and ellie, chuck and sarah especially the ending when she nuzzles her face into his neck and pulls her leg in to get as close to him as possible all priceless moments to me

  22. Jason says:

    the ability to trust the writers and imagine good things or place positive spins on amiguity or angst distinguishes the level of satisfaction for Chuck fans in many episodes maybe. But in the Honeymooners, what I saw is what I liked, and I didn’t need to imagine any ‘alternate universe’ while Chuck and Sarah cuddled at the end, and I was indeed ‘Feelin Good’!!!!!

    • Andreika says:

      Nicely put,Jason. We were all feeling good at the end of Honeymooners. Maybe my English failed me when I was trying to explain about the season 5 ending. I was trying to say that for me it is relevant to me not only what I see,but also what I feel. And I definitely wanted happy ending for our heroes,but I was also sad about the goodbye. I felt melancholic.My dictionaries say melancholia means depressive,but that was not what I felt. I understand melancholia differently,more like sad but not completely unhappy,with a tinge of good feelings. If it makes any sense. maybe pensive. My dictionary says it means sadly or dreamily thoughtful.And call me crazy,but I liked that,it seemed to me it fits the ending,the all it is our final episode and we say goodbye to you.Like we will be O.K. (the kiss)but we are sad to wave goodbye.

      • atcDave says:

        Andreika I would completely agree that’s the mood the finale should have struck. And obviously for many, possibly most viewers, it did. I think your word definitions are fine and I agree with all your usage. But I think where it failed many viewers was the “we are okay” part of it. I know a significant number of viewers who didn’t feel that part at all. And that left them feeling bitter and disappointed.
        I even do agree that (Chuck and) Sarah are okay in that end. But a large number of viewers didn’t see it. So even if I think I do get it, I think it has to be a sort of story telling failure.

      • uplink2 says:

        See Andreika that is an important part of why I wasn’t satisfied with the ending for a very long time. I felt like I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to these characters I care so deeply for. I expected to feel sad because it was over but my melancholy was simply because it wasn’t enough to know they are going to be ok. Sarah’s memories matter. They matter to me a great deal. I completely disagree with Fedak’s position that there is nothing better than falling in love again. BEING in love is better. And the fact that left us with no real evidence that any of Sarah’s memories of Chuck and the context they are in return to Sarah, hell even Morgan didn’t get his back and he was much less damaged than Sarah was, is very depressing because why would I ever want to retake their journey again when the most important character in the show for me remembers nothing of it in the end? It’s why it took over almost a year to rewatch a single episode and almost a year and a half to begin an entire series rewatch. I used to rewatch something virtually every week and that ending deprived me of that joy. Plus I know a lot of great fans who feel or felt the same way. Why bother because Sarah remembers none of it. If the writers are going to create a story where Sarah falls in love all over again and remembers nothing from the first time then I want to see that. I want to see her fall in love again and create those new memories. I don’t want the Sarah Bartowski I adore to be left empty of why she has changed so much. And yes I agree Joe that she has been changed on a sub-conscious level but I want her to understand why and what caused it. That is why I want the movie so badly. Either for them to show she’s regained them or to show new ones that prove to her why she has changed so much because of him. Plus don’t get me started on what they did to Ellie at the end. lol

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie started it; now I want Honeymooners II; the Epilogue! That would be fun. REALLY get to spend some time with these characters to say goodbye.

      • Jason says:

        So you’re saying the title of the ‘first’ Chuck movie should be, ‘Second Honeymoon’?

      • atcDave says:

        That could work! No doubt that’s the episode I want to see.

      • uplink2 says:

        Oh this is too easy,

        “Honeymooners 2 The SQUEEEEEEEquel.”

        Sorry I had to.

      • joe says:

        Dave, do we have any penalty on the books for punning without a license? I think Uplink should get the max for that one.

        😉

      • atcDave says:

        Perhaps he should be prohibited from any criticism of TPTB for in week? Naw, cruel and unusual punishment…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Friday Checklist:

        1) toss live grenade into comments. Check

        2) leave for an afternoon of meetings so I can’t reply or see discussion. Check

        3) Count on Joe to say great discussion and toss second live grenade. Check

        4) Come back to look at carnage. Check.

        5) Shrug and toss third live grenade before going to get dinner.

        So, I think Shaw would be a really great villain for the Chuck movie. What do you guys think?

        (And Uplink is banned from discussion as a pun-alty. As pun-ishment.)

        (And I probably just got myself banned.)

        (and even though I really do, no need to reply… it’s a joke.)

      • joe says:

        3) Count on Joe to say great discussion and toss second live grenade. Check

        Man, do I resemble that remark…

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie’s “pun”ishment is no praising TPTB for one week….
        (Now watch Joe, they’ll figure out how to post under each other’s names for a week!)

        Too funny guys.

      • uplink2 says:

        Hey, actually my punishment won’t be too bad. I’ve got very little to complain about till we get to Living Dead. Plus after that I’ll actually give Routh a mild compliment when we get to Subway. Not that one halfway decent performance out of the 9 episodes he was in by that point is much of a compliment but it’s at least something positive from me. 😉

      • FSL says:

        Too funny =)

        Now that I’m thinking about Goodbye again, I think we only got emotionally resolved (as in “they’re ok”). But in terms of the story and threads and character development, they (IMHO anyway), dropped the ball.

        Let me rephrase, as an episode, it’s ok. As a finale, somewhat lacking.

      • joe says:

        (Now watch Joe, they’ll figure out how to post under each other’s names for a week!)

        Insurgents! I hate insurgents. </voice=Casey>

      • atcDave says:

        FSL I agree with some of that, I would even say as an episode I thought it was pretty good (fun in places, beautifully acted); but definitely lacking as a finale.

      • mr2686 says:

        Well, I don’t want to talk too much about “Goodbye” but since others have brought it and other finales up, I will say that my opinion is that the 3 greatest finales of all time were 1. Chuck, 2. Lost, and 3. Sopranos. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that all three are very controversial to their respective fan base, and I have an opinion on why, but will wait till include it in our “Goodbye” discussion.

      • joe says:

        That’s not a bad list, MR. If it was a list of the most controversial endings though, I wouldn’t think of contesting it! Maybe the ending to M*A*S*H belongs there too.

        But my vote for best series finale ev’a goes to, believe it or not, the Mary Tyler Moore show. All the regular cast huddled in the news room singing “It’s a long-long way to Tipperary” – it was amazing how the characters were near tears and the audience is laughing hysterically. The moment was just right for the show and the fans left them all very satisfied.

      • mr2686 says:

        Joe, I can’t argue with those two because they would definitely be in my top 10 and might even round out my top 5. A couple of others that I’ve liked quite a bit were Leverage, Arrested Developement (before they started up again), Wonder Years, and Quantum Leap.

      • mr2686 says:

        Gotta throw in Magnum PI also.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I would agree MTM and Magnum as good finales. I thought Quantum Leap and MASH were horrible, for different reasons. Quantum Leap was just WAY too melancholy for my taste, one of those finales that made it impossible for me to ever re-watch the show. MASH I thought was dishonest story telling, one of those that changed the tone too much from the series. I think it cheats the fans to change mood and style for a finale. I know it cheats me. But at least it makes it makes no difference to enjoying the occasional rerun.
        Magnum was a good end, barely. If the previous season had been the end, as originally intended, I would have been POed! But the actual end was fun(ish). It does make me laugh how different those two episodes are.
        If I watch the show to the end, it’s because I LIKED the show, I’m not looking for a sudden change up. Something like Quantum Leap, well if that had been the style in S1 I would have quit watching and never looked back.

      • Jason says:

        Real split here among bloggers, I love happy endings, the Alias ending was classic to me, wrap the story up and let fans close the book with a smile on their faces, and allow the fans to let go. Hate the Lost style endings, or the Chuck style, or the Newhardt style.

        One thing about Mash, it started off as a parody style show, and slowly started taking itself way, way, way too seriously (ring any bells?). But, I sort of understood as a fan, even as I started liking the show less and less, I got it, since I think the show was trying to make a political statement about the Vietnam war, even though it was set in Korea. Or should I say the show WAS making a statement, hence the increasingly serious tone on the show.

        I thought Chuck was a nice, funny, quirkly little show that rocked when it stayed true to itself, but didn’t have the gravitas to pull off serious drama.

      • Jason says:

        One thing I’ve noticed about my own viewing since Chuck, I am steering clear of watching new shows that are comedies, and trying to stay with serious drama type shows. In many ways, I want my characters to earn their misery, not simply get it heaped upon them by some contrivance. I suppose it could be stated that Chuck earned his s3 misery by signing up to become a spy or mistreating Hannah, but whenever I look at Chuck with his hair and goofy shoes and goofy faces, holding Morgan Grimes’s hand, and cracking jokes with Jeff and Lester, I simply can’t take the show seriously. I won’t ever let another TV show do that to me again. If I can help it that is.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I would agree about disliking the end of Newhart if it had ever been anything other than a pretty silly comedy. But it wasn’t a show I ever took too seriously or really invested in the characters, so I really was able to just get a big laugh out of it. If it had been anything dramatic though….

        As far as drama vs comedy, I’ve kind of gone the opposite direction. I’m watching more that’s just silly and fun, less with any consequence. I just completely don’t trust Holywood writing. I think they take themselves and their product too seriously. I think they hold their audiences in too much contempt. And I don’t trust any of them to want the same things, or care about the same things, or even respect the same sort of things I do; so I’m very cautious about investing in any of their product.

      • Louis Sytsma says:

        I would add Fringe and FarScape. Both excellent endings. Both endings that left me satisfied and anticipating a full rewatch.

      • atcDave says:

        Star Trek: TNG and StarGate: SG-1 (if you include the movies!) also had great finales.

  23. bigspud says:

    It’s hard for me to watch vs the goodbye, even though it’s a nice episode. it’s just to much for me to take that leap of faith that my two favorite hero’s are living happily ever after, even though I know that’s what I’m suppose to do cause that’s what Sarah did when she said “chuck kiss me”. it would have been acceptable for me at least if she had pulled away from the kiss looked at chuck and said something like chuck don’t freak out and started kissing him like she did in hard salami, or seduction. that would have helped me see there future together as a real thing, the way they ended it just leaves me with a sour taste and a feeling that chuck failed in vs Sarah.

    • atcDave says:

      I like your version bigspud, that’s exactly what it needed!

    • anthropocene says:

      Nothing more than Sarah’s arm sliding around Chuck as the screen went dark would have made all the difference, IMHO. Nevertheless, I’m in the camp of those who are fully confident that Chuck and Sarah became a loving couple again on that beach. I look forward to the late S5 discussions….

      • atcDave says:

        I’m still completely divided. I’m 100% sure Chuck and Sarah are fine. And I’m completely frustrated that they left it in such a way that so many viewers can question it. And to be clear, I’m frustrated with the story teller not the audience. But you’re right Anthro, we will get a lot more into this in a few months.

  24. bigspud says:

    I would very much love a chuck movie, or 10chuck movies lol I love this show and very sad that its over, and a lil said that I just found this blog you guys are great, the write-ups are great and always make me think, as do all the comments

    • joe says:

      That’s our job, Bigspud. We’re always glad to have new voices added to the group.

      It’s getting near the end of the week so the conversation is all over the place. But I’m sure that once S5 gets started, we’ll be talking about The Goodbye in just about every thread. We’ll probably have as many interpretations of that ending as commenters.

  25. KeepChuckAlive says:

    II started re-watching Chuck from scratch this past week in an effort to catch up. Doing that coupled with this discussion has made me not only nostalgic but a bit disappointed in the promise of what Chuck could have been. And, it is not really in TPTB that disappoint me now. It is a confluence of circumstances and stupid decisions by NBC and WB.

    So first, I look at the cadre of great writers that the show started out with and dream about where the show would have been if they would have remained intact. Rosenbaum (skeeter), Miller, Adler, etc. etc., you guys know them better than I do, delivered every week. S1 and S2 were amazing in large part because them.

    Next, I started thinking about the budget cuts and what a huge impact they had on the show in general. Writing is a part of this equation because the scripts aren’t done in a vacuum and are impacted by what can be done financially. Plus good writers command better paychecks. In addition to that the special effects began to really… suck. They reminded me of 1970’s episodes of the A-Team. Run, jump, explosion?! Not to mention there were less on location shoots, less action, and less time spent on the choreography of said action. And let’s not forget the furloughs. Some characters could not make an appearance on a given week to save cash, remember that?

    What would have happened with this show if it was supported financially early on? I must admit I get a little ticked thinking about it.

    Now… to be fair, I think this show could have turned the corner if not for some bonehead moves by TPTB. However, they were constrained to a great extent on what they could do given the situation. It is a business after all. BUT… if WB or NBC would have taken the blinders off, Chuck could have been a huge success. All the pieces were there.

    Ok… closing the release valve now.

  26. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Honeymooners (3.14) | Chuck This

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s