Chuck vs The Suitcase (4.02)

Chuck and Sarah have a mission together.  The rebuilt Buy More is looking a little too spiffy; and Devon is suspicious.  That may sum up the major stories, but everything comes together in a very entertaining way as Season Four gets going.

Suitcase is the start of a sort of mini-arc that puts the romance front and center, while laying some of the ground work for the season ahead.  After the jump, we’ll look at an episode that is all about fun first.

I always find it a little ironic that the title of this episode refers to the only part I find lacking.  Sarah unpacking sure seems redundant after she already moved in several months before.  But pretty much everything about this episode is pure fun, so that little nit is hardly worth picking.

Several scenes or moments are pure gold, and there is really nothing to detract.  The first real stand out moment would be Casey offering Chuck some big brotherly advice, that is significantly better than Morgan’s advice was.  Chuck and Sarah’s mission to Milan is completely entertaining. Even Chuck’s poorly chosen “last words” are good for a significant laugh.

Better luck next time

And I love everything about the mission to the hotel room; from a rejected Spiderman kiss, to different unpacking habits (“no really, say it…”), to Sarah neutralizing The Hulk with one punch, to “is she naked?”, to “put some clothes on…”    This whole sequence is entertaining in the way I wish we had more of.  Its the sort of thing that just never gets old for me.

More good humor in the returning home scene with Devon and a nice, sweet moment while (not) unpacking.

The return mission is as good as the first.  I wish we more often saw Chuck as the creative inventor, who’s stuff works even when it seems unlikely.

Challenging the Hulk!

Of course slapping The Hulk made me laugh so hard it hurt.  And then Sarah gets a big fight, funny how she often struggles more with other pretty women than she does with hulkish security guards.  But the action is wonderful right up to the final punch, and Sarah acknowledging her audience.

There can be only one outcome

The last scene of the episode is a favorite of mine.  I always like the sappy sweet stuff anyway.  But they sure got it all right here.  I particularly like “you are my home”, and Sarah’s panic face when Chuck pushes just a little too far.

Home

I think the “B” plot, of restoring the Buy More to its inefficiency, really highlights the biggest lingering problem with S4.  Although it is certainly good for a laugh here, and I love the Buy Morons’ big entry, the Buy More never feels more pointless than it does this season.  Especially when a major part of the story is to protect the equally pointless lie for Ellie.  I don’t want to make too big a thing of this.  It was funny.  And I think the Buy More is there to be funny.  But I do wish a better use of it could have been found.

A great moment?

This is another episode I just don’t have a whole lot more to get into.  But that is largely because I just completely enjoyed it.  I wish they had more often been content to just have fun with the characters and setting like this without trying so hard to be important.  Sometimes its good to enjoy the status quo.

ct_bar

All About Sarah

It’s nice to have my computer back! Over two weeks with limited Internet feels like two months, lemmee tell ya. Falling behind in this re-watch meant I had to suffer through The Ring Pt. II and Anniversary in rapid succession, followed immediately by Chuck vs. The Suitcase, all alone, without benefit of – you guys. (Sniff). Somehow I soldiered through.

Oh, I jest, but only slightly. – No suffering involved because those episodes are fantastic TV. You scoff? Heh! Well, I know you’ll readily agree with me about The Ring Pt II, I know. After all, who doesn’t like to see a determined, confident and even powerful Chuck beating the living daylights out of Daniel Shaw and hearing Sarah tell Chuck that he’s great?

But why would I praise Anniversary so unreservedly, you ask? No, no – it’s not because I like to toss grenades into conversations! It’s because of Sarah calmly walking up to Dolph Lundgren and landing a haymaker. It’s because of Sarah and Casey recognizing the wisdom of packing parachutes. It’s because I like the idea of geeky Chuck convincingly threatening Marco about touching his girlfriend after taking out ten of Volkoff’s men, and because every time Howlin’ For You by The Black Keys comes up on my playlist, one particular scene set in the interior of a Lear Jet comes immediately to mind. [Go ahead. I defy you to go to that video and NOT have that scene pop into your brain! Can’t be done!] In short, I just enjoyed every second of it.

Suitcase is different from those episodes, though. In the others we’ve just seen, there’s a major, second conflict happening purely in Chuck’s head and heart. He’s promised Ellie to leave the CIA, and in fact, Chuck’s working hard to make himself believe it’s a good decision and something he wants. A normal life still has it’s attractions for him, especially if Sarah can share that life. But that question keeps coming back to me; what does Chuck really want? It’s pretty clear that Sarah is okay with his advertised decision but it’s even more clear that the fans are not. Mostly, we don’t know what Chuck wants and Chuck doesn’t know what Chuck wants, and it’s unsettling.

So yes, that’s the conflict. It’s not really about Chuck lying to Ellie – I watched carefully, and a case can be made that he did no worse than withholding some unreliable information about their mother and the knowledge that maybe there was going to be danger. Probably there was going to be danger. It’s borderline, obviously. But Chuck is caught between his desire to save his mother and his promise to Stephen on one hand and Ellie’s emotional comfort on the other. Like usual, I’m willing to cut him some slack, and that’s not new territory.

What’s different about Suitcase, for me at least, is that Chuck’s story is almost unimportant compared to Sarah’s. Now, I often deliberately try to understate and minimize whatever I write here about Sarah Walker, mostly because it’s so easy to do the opposite that it feels like cheating. But today, that would be the wrong thing to do.

The best men for the job

Best men for the job?

Yes, there’s a great story here for Morgan, as he challenges authority to grab the reins of that indispensable corporate entity, The Buy More. What a giant leap forward! His first job? Whip the store floor personnel into shape, even if he has to search far and wide for key people who have the necessary skill sets, training and demeanor for the job. Go Morgan.

Casey has a new job too. Up to now, he’s been a kind of Shakespearean Claudius (the murderer of Hamlet’s father) whispering poison in Chuck’s ears about spies never putting down roots and not have feelings. He’s been acting as tough, cold and professional as possible, especially around Morgan. That lasts as long as it takes for Casey to learn that Alex would like to get to know him. Now, he’s a father.

Dave’s absolutely right about the pitch-perfect humor of “The Spiderman Kiss” and the idea of slapping The Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) in the face. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Yvonne’s fight scene with model Karolina Kurkova (Sofia) is my second favorite of the series after the fight scene in Best Friends and tied with the fight scene in Cougars. This episode is about Sarah, though, and in a surprisingly understated way.

It may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but I really like the character. Forget Yvonne’s beauty; it’s because Sarah whispers in Chuck’s ear “Take off your watch” and because she’s ready to give up everything for him early on. It’s because Sarah is a little upset that Chuck doesn’t seem enticed by her salmon colored dress when Bryce is around. It’s because Sarah expresses her emotions when she shouldn’t, like the times she thinks Chuck has met his demise, falling six stories off a building or in an exploding herder. I like Sarah Walker because she likes making Chuck breakfast in the suburbs and sharing a hamburger with him when she can.

One of those reasons is not this, though; Sarah has a jealous streak. I must confess, I barely noticed that she has one ’till now! Thinking back, Sarah started to confront Lou, you’ll remember, in the parking lot. But for Chuck’s sake, she dialed it back to say only “Don’t hurt him” in a commanding way. Her streak showed up when she and Chuck prepared to heist the mask from the museum, and talked about Hannah all through the preparation. Sarah was always aggressive around Jill, of course. So yes, she can be jealous.

Sarah has no reason to be jealous here in Suitcase. After all, Chuck is just clumsy-as-usual in his appreciation of the CIA’s photographer’s work and of Sofia’s (ahem) “perfection.” Yet Sarah expresses irritation both about Sofia (and her dress-that-didn’t-conceal-much) and about her boyfriend’s new obsession with her suitcase.

Ah, the suitcase. That’s not Chuck’s obsession. It’s Sarah’s. Chuck, Morgan and even Ellie are right to think it’s weird and she knows that. Such a trivial thing, after all; to unpack after six or nine months (an intention obfuscation, it seems). Yet Sarah can’t seems to bring herself to do that tiny, if highly symbolic, deed. Indeed, Chuck vs. The Suitcase is really mis-titled. It should be Sarah vs. The Suitcase. It’s her struggle.

The observation is that, once it’s pointed out, Sarah takes on this struggle and wins it quickly. It’s almost a small thing in the story that Sarah wins this fight with demon from her past. Indeed, Sarah stands there, wearing Chuck’s white shirt and a smile, to display the now filled closet in a way that makes you hear the “Ta-Da!” in your head, like it was nothing.

Somehow, it seems significant, though. If Sarah’s had one motto throughout the series, it’s what she told Chuck in Barstow – “One mission at a time.” Yesterday it was accepting Chuck as her “exclusive boyfriend” and later, moving in and then finally saying the words I love you that, until then, we only heard in our personal, inner episode transscripts. Today it’s unpacking. Tomorrow?

Next?

Next?

We get a glimpse of what Sarah’s next inner-struggle will be like the moment Devon (and then Chuck) wonder aloud who will be next. She’s changed a lot in the course of the three and a fraction seasons leading to Suitcase, but Sarah always takes baby steps, and only one at a time, when it comes to her emotional growth. Even then, it’s never easy.

Lucy takes the long way home,
meets me in a field of stone
She says “i don’t know how I’m s’pose to feel.
My body’s cold my guts are twisted steel.”

And I feel like I’m some kind of Frankenstein,
waiting for a shock to bring me back to life.
But I don’t want to spend my time
waiting for lightning to strike.

So underneath the concrete sky
Lucy puts her hand in mine.
She says “Life’s a game we’re meant to lose.
But stick by me and I will stick by you.”

“Cause I’m like a princess in a castle high
waiting for a kiss to bring me back to life.
But I don’t want to spend my time
waiting for just another guy.”

And that’s okay. She took the biggest step the very first day, after she walked into the Buy More, before she saw a bomb defused with a computer virus and when she realized that Chuck was not just another guy. He’s more important than that now.

Chuck is an amazing show, not only for those laugh-aloud moments involving Jeff, Lester and tranqs and not just because it gives us characters that we root for. Sometimes it gives us quieter moments when the story actually makes us consider the important, everyday things.

– 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 4. Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Chuck vs The Suitcase (4.02)

  1. mr2686 says:

    Suitcase is just another reason why season 4 is so so good. This, along with Anniversary, provide a great one two punch that starts off the season very strong, and another episode that I feel we would be hard pressed to find anyone that did not like it.
    The banter between Chuck and Sarah as they hide in the Supermodel’s closet (while she takes a shower) is comedy gold, and ranks right up there with the “ball and chain” banter of Seduction Impossible in my book. Zach and Yvonne have true comedy chemistry and it really shows in these moments.
    About the only thing I’m going to disagree with Dave on is the season 4 pointlessness of the Buy More. I would argue that it’s more important than ever and probably funnier than ever in this season. The one thing about Chuck is that it has various types of humor, from the sophisticated type of subtle humor, to the over the top silliness of the Buy Morons, and Chuck seems to know which one to pull out to balance the rest of the episode in question. Morgan really shines as he walks around the Buy More with Beckman to explain, in ways only Morgan could, how the store is too efficient. Without the Buy More, Chuck is out of balance, and it’s this balance that really make the great episodes of Chuck. Viva Buymoria!!!

    • atcDave says:

      Well I did say the Buy More scenes were funny…
      I do think the Buy More can easily be made to work better, and it will on occasion. But for most of the season it will just feel like filler to me.
      I think as a signature part of the show, it was always more popular with casual fans and was a big part of the show’s image and promotion. We also heard it was the studio that required the store be rebuilt for this season, largely because it was an easy way to defray costs with product placement (not that the sets themselves were actually damaged in the S3 finale!)
      For S5 they actually came up with a way of making the store meaningful again, but I think they failed to deliver on the potential of the idea.

      • joe says:

        Filler is the right word, but I don’t think that’s completely unimportant! It’s funny – I can’t see a Subway commercial now without getting teary-eyed misty uh, nostalgic for the show. Those product placement spots were aggressive filler, but I grew to like them (much like Zathrus grew to like dirt, for you Babylon 5 fans).

      • I agree with Dave, they didn’t really figure the Buy More out again until Season 5; it’s kind of in limbo here. But I like Jeffster, they have some decent moments in S4, and I can buy that it’s convenient because of it’s proximity to Castle. Plus, it’s a big part of the show’s vibe and energy. I don’t mind it still being there, especially since it’s such a big part of S5.

      • atcDave says:

        We’re on exactly the same page about that Arthur!

  2. Jason says:

    If there is a ‘episodic’ format that the ‘new’ (post coupling up) show could have followed for success, the format was found early in s4, and this ep is a shining example. Missions for Chuck and Sarah without not too much drama, and let everyone else burp and fart all they want, the new Get Smart format.

    I accept most shows have a serialized component, what Chuck needed to do once the wt/wt stopped driving the show, was to have Shaw (gasp?) be the unseen big bad starting already in s3’s second half, with Chuck and Sarah even at odds whether he is alive or not (Sarah thinking Shaw to be dead). It’s a pretty common plot, but would have kept the drama up. The wt/wt get engaged, or married, or Morgensect leading to ‘Sarahsect’ and amnesia were all way too thin and lacking drama for main plot drivers, the amnesia was downright insulting.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t think the strength of this show ever was in the serialized story telling; I think Chuck’s appeal is in the fun, humor, adventure, and charisma of the cast. That some of the arcs hold together pretty well is pure bonus, that other arcs don’t is merely a shrug.

      Although I would say, that the very worst episodes of Chuck are usually about major arc problems. Not just S3, a few of the other weaker episodes are middle arc episodes.
      But here with Suitcase, we have an example of how terrific a stand alone can be.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, this was discussed a lot back then, Jason. Several people wanted to see the show move in a Get Smart direction, but as soon as that was mentioned, someone would bring up Hart to Hart and then I’d bring up The Thin Man and we’d go ’round that particular block.

      As it turned out, I think TPTB were reading us here intently, taking notes and finally decided to do all of that, featuring one style in particular episodes because they knew we were exactly right (and smart and good looking too). They just couldn’t admit it in public!

    • Well, the engagement arc was thin because it was the secondary plot, and there wasn’t really a wt/wt marriage arc. Furthermore, it was the whole basis for Phase 3, which everybody here seems to love. It wasn’t so much about wt/wt as it was about Sarah overcoming her emotional hangups.

      Volkoff, Steven B and Orion, S2 wt/wt, Chuck getting rid of the Intersect in S2, Chuck’s life without it in S5, Shaw in 3.5, and the last bad guy (his name escapes me), were all very good arcs that really helped the episodes they concerned and the overall finished feel of the series.

      The Morgansect-Sarahsect arc was one of the few points in the series where a plot point actually played out sensibly over the course of a season. And even if you hated the amnesia arc, it certainly created a significant amount of dramatic tension – that’s the reason most people hated it, not because it was poorly plotted.

      Episodes like these are fun, but they’re not at all why I watched the show; they lack the depth that arc episodes like Colonel/Ring, Phase 3 or Push Mix have. Like Joe said, TPTB did a great job in splitting the difference and pleasing fans of both styles.

      • Jason says:

        wt/wt marriage arc – wasn’t going to marry a dead Sarah, so yes, it was wt/wt marry

        Engagement arc was no more or no less than the wt/wt hookup in Paris S3, the writers teased fans with it the engagement to the bitter end, just as they did in s3 Paris, then paid it off as the credits rolled. It’s what they do.

        They did the same thing with Sarah’s memory and / or wt/wt live happily ever after, except in this case, they didn’t even bother to pay it off in s5.

        Every arc was the same ending after 3.5, as I said, except the last ending, even didn’t bother to pay off the season long tease.

      • Sarah was dying for one episode (and ten seconds of another if you want to be picky). That’s not an arc. And you’re contradicting yourself – in one sentence, you complain seasons ending on a “tease,” and in the next, you’re complaining about a finale in which they definitively wrapped up their wedding. You’re saying they’re all the same while talking about the one that’s different from the rest.

        And furthermore, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 did not end on teases, especially Push Mix, which was just blatantly obvious. “And when I asked you to marry me, you didn’t even answer because we both knew.” If Push Mix was a tease, you’re expecting endings to spell things out to you ad nauseum, which few ever do.

        Now, calling Goodbye a tease is a solid point (even if I don’t agree with it), but I can’t believe anybody finished watching Push Mix and thought, “I wonder if she said yes.”

      • Jason says:

        I must just be a lousy writer, or you’re just smarter, but yes, I understand what you’re saying even though you don’t seem to understand my POV and agree with some of what you are saying, no big deal, thanks for the input. I’ll try to explain again I guess.

        S4 was my favorite season, s4 ended the best, had they ended in the limo, it was wrapped up nicely, the wt/wt marry is what drove the arc – in my humble opinion, from the engagement on 4×14, it is how the show was written, as I said. Just like had they ended in baby 5×8, maybe with a positive pregnancy test under the arc with the wine and the fireplace, they would have paid off the tease of that season.

        As I said, the wt/wt lasts the entire season in the examples I gave, and gets paid off at the end, Paris, the hosptal engage, the wedding, the beach. The beach was the only time it didn’t pay off well, and even that, I think TPTB were shocked fans didn’t all love it.

        My observation was that many shows I watch, the payoff comes from the win vs the big bad, in Chuck, I have trouble recalling who the big bad was and why they even were chasing them. In Chuck the payoff was always based on the Chuck and Sarah vs the tease of the season or the arc. It the way I viewed Chuck. I don’t even think its the best way to view Chuck. I think if I could have gotten into the Ring, or whatever season 4’s big bad even was, or Quinn or whatever s5 was, I probably would have enjoyed the show more. I largely watched waiting to see Chuck and Sarah scenes. When I rewatch, I mostly FF and only watch them.

      • Jason says:

        Speaking of FF’ing, I watched most of my first Dexter episode ever vs FF’ing to only watch Yvonne S, as the Hannah story last night dominated the episode. I thought Yvonne gave a great performance, although if she has a flaw, she seems to be able to even make a homicidal serial killer seem adorable, if that even is a flaw?. I think Dexter fans really struggle with her, as she and the star have great chemistry, which takes away from the leading lady’s hold on the show. I wonder if Hannah will get killed off sooner, later or not at all. I honestly don’t care, I only hope this role helps land Yvonne a leading lady role in an hour long TV series that last 8 or 10 seasons. It just might?

      • atcDave says:

        Well there’s no doubt the end of Goodbye is a bit different from the others. But I’m not so sure the tease for the next story s a major issue. I mean, S2 and S3 ended with the sort of teases that really ruined the episodes as finales, while the S4 tease was a non issue to me, it would have worked either way. I was completely satisfied with the mood of it for an ending, yet there was obviously more story to tell.
        As far as that goes, Goodbye is actually more like Ring and Ring II for me. It was emotionally unsatisfying as an end, and I needed to know what was only hinted at. It’s extra frustrating because the arc was so well done, only the smallest of tweaks would have made it perfect.
        And it is as Jason said, the “villain”, the spy mission part, was fun and exciting, but has nothing to do with what is emotional and memorable. Chuck and Sarah on the beach, whether the scene worked for you or not, is what most of us will remember, not Quinn.

  3. anthropocene says:

    A thorough and fun-to-read analysis of this wonderful episode! Thank you, gentlemen.

    One of my favorite scenes in this episode, in which Sarah and Chuck enter the closet and Sarah dons the dress, is telling. This was a moment typical for a married couple: Sarah disrobes, removes her bra and hands it to Chuck to hold, and asks for his assistance in zipping her into the dress. Contrast Chuck’s wide-eyed awe and nervous babbling (“best evah”) with Sarah’s complete ease with the casual intimacy. She may be hung up about the symbolic gesture of unpacking, but she’s totally comfortable with Chuck as her lover (and she’ll soon tell him that). The “Chuck”-style shift from romantic comedy to deadly danger in the next instant was the perfect accompaniment.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree completely Anthro. The whole Chuck/Sarah aspect of this episode is just perfect.

    • joe says:

      Me too! And that’s a great point. After holding Chuck at arm’s length for three seasons, her acceptance of intimacy that way is – the only word I can think of is – gratifying. I’m glad they never really got away from that (until part of the finale, at most). If I was 30 years younger and in Chuck’s shoes, I’d be a puddle.

    • resaw says:

      Sarah’s ease is a great observation, Anthro. Although season 4 does not rank that highly for me in some matters, Sarah’s personal growth is a highlight throughout.

  4. joe says:

    A question for the teaming masses. Actor Bronson Pinchot is given a grest star credit in this episode, but I’m not 100% sure I see him. Is he the bartender in Milan who tries to return Sofia’s purse/bomb?

    If so, where the heck is the nose? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • atcDave says:

      Most of his part was cut. All that’s left is a non-speaking cameo. When Chuck first speaks to Sofia he says something to the effect of “I’m not just some weirdo, I’m here with…” [he indicates towards Sarah, but Bronson has stepped into frame and gives him a funny look].
      When Chuck and Sarah return to Milan they are dressed like Bronson and his date were in the earlier scene.

  5. BillAtWork says:

    I really enjoyed the episode. Some of the story was rediculously thin, but we’ve already talked about that.

    S4 works for me because it is mainly about Sarah’s growth. S1-3 were all about Chuck’s growth. But in S4, Sarah takes major strides, turning from a stone cold CIA Agent with all of these walls and hangups, into a loving wife who actually becomes the one who wants them out of the spy life before even Chuck does.

    And we’ve seen jealous Sarah before, but I don’t really think that Chuck ever had, at least not to that extent. His reaction was typical boyfriend, knowing he was in trouble, just not sure how to get out of it.

  6. Wilf says:

    For me, this was almost the perfect episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish, the first time around and every other time. It’s one of the episodes I have re-watched the most and it’s very near the top of my favourites list. There is very little not to like about it and a lot to love. Maybe the Buy More sub-plot was a little (a lot?) daft, but this *is* Chuck and a little bit of idiotic comedy is what I came to expect of the Chuck I knew and loved. Sadly, there was little of that evident in the series finale.

    The last scene, with Sarah wide-eyed at the thought of having children, etc., could have been drawn out into another long and annoying arc, but like most, if not all, of the relationship problems confronting Chuck and Sarah in season 4, it was resolved quickly and in a satisfactory manner – far, far better that way … after all it’s supposed to be a comedy with serious side tones, not an epic saga.

  7. Finally, I get to be more down on an episode than everybody else! I thought this was a much worse episode than Anniversary. It’s still a good episode, of course. Yvonne played the comedic jealousy perfectly, and Jeffster’s moment was mildly funny (“Oh Buy More. Why and how did we burn you?”). But all in all, it’s just kind of lackluster – Sarah’s basically the only good thing about this episode. Morgan, Casey, Awesome and Ellie all have boring, unfunny B plots. Chuck is mildly annoying in his infatuation (Baby played this much, much better),

    But… Sarah’s awesome, and she’s incredible in this, so it’s still a plus overall. This episode doesn’t have the negatives that a lot of other episodes have. It’s a fluff episode with one expception.

    If there’s a theme of the first half of season 4, it’s that the show becomes more about Sarah than Chuck. It’s about her needs, her hangups, and her ability to overcome them, albeit viewed through the lens of the main character. That really starts here, as Chuck’s mission to find his mom becomes less the central, and more a conduit for the Sarah story.

    That all leads to a shift in tone, as the missions start to reflect Sarah and Chuck’s journey, rather than the other way around. In Suitcase, that idea still in its infancy, as you see the contrast between the model’s closet and Sarah’s. But by the next episode, and especially First Fight, you’ll see the writers start to really understand that dynamic a lot better. Suitcase is really just a precursor to all the good that will follow.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually I think Suitcase is even better than some of what follows, but otherwise agree with many of those observations. A huge part of the appeal both to this episode, and this season, to me, is how much more important Sarah is now. I think this should have happened a year earlier, but otherwise I’m extremely happy with thus version of Chuck.

  8. Dave says:

    This is a stand-out episode in one of my favorite seasons. I’ll save comment on the last scene and on the Buy More until next episode as that will help make my points.

    The C&S screen time in this episode was outstanding. In fact, the scene that begins with “Spiderman kiss” and ends with “put some clothes on” is one of, if not the, best C&S mission scene, It was a hoot. Stealing the dress was also good.

    This episode also had the only instance of one of the things I wanted to see more of, namely-jealous Sarah. I wish they had explored that more. I mean after C&S get together for real, they never have Sarah scare some bimbo off. That would have been hilarious in my opinion.

    There is one annoying thing that will be with us for a long time, the whining by Ellie and Devon about the spy life. While Devon figures it out and accepts it, Ellie’s constant whining about it will soon become a bit tedious.

    Again, one of my stand-out episodes.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Dave. As I say, S4 is when I finally got the show I’d been wanting from the start, and Suitcase stands out as one of the very best episodes.

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        The two “jealous” little scenes were great.

        During Beckman’s briefing the scene of Chuck’s reaction to Sarah’s reaction to Chuck’s reaction to Sofia’s surveillance photos with the classic Casey one liner ( “There’s a woman in love. No one loves a mission more than Walker.”)

        And in Sofia’s Closet

        Sarah: Is she naked?
        Chuck: Who?
        Sarah narrows eyes…
        Chuck: Yes, yes she is!
        “Bang”

        More of that sort of stuff would have been great. Ernie and I had this discussion on another board and his gaggle of petite brunettes surrounding Chuck at CIA HQs (like Fitzroy) until Sarah arrives and scares them all away. That would have been hilarious.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, that would have been fun. Maybe if they’d wasted less time with wt/wt and spent more time on the good stuff…

  9. mr2686 says:

    Well I wouldn’t exactly call this episode fluff, but it is lighter in tone. What makes me mad about this episode is not the episode itself, but that it shows the lesser quality of another lighter tone episode, namely Roll Models. Suitcase puts Roll Models to shame, and that IS a shame because a better Roll Models would have helped the back end of S3, but combined with Tooth almost stalled it. Suitcase works for me, not because it has more C/S moments (although they do it as good here as any other episode) but because all things Chuck work. I don’t have to have a great C/S moment, or a great Buy More moment, or a great Morgan moment, etc etc, but I do have to have a majority of them working to make for a great episode for me. With Suitcase, it all works really well.

  10. resaw says:

    I continue to have mixed feelings about season 4. I like the development of the relationship between Chuck and Sarah, and Sarah’s character in particular. Morgan’s emergence is a delight here, too. I think of him as somewhat of a counterpart to Casey. Both make observations about the state of “Charah” but whereas Casey finds joy in twisting the knife, Morgan is genuinely on Chuck’s side, even if his ideas sometimes get Chuck in trouble (spiralling into thoughts about their Achilles’ heel, for example). I also really find it funny that when the Buy Morons make their dramatic entrance onto the scene, wind machine and all, we discover Morgan holding a large fan. It’s a good reminder that the show is not taking itself too seriously, and perhaps I need to lighten up a little, too, in my comments/feelings about the show.

    I’m not sure if this season is particularly indulgent, but this episode seems to be fond of “stunt-casting,” which I’m not particularly fond of. I never did like the Greta thing, and Isaiah Mustafa as Greta # 2 is not an exception. They are such one-dimensional characters, gimmicks really. Karolina Kurkova may be a well-known model, but surely TPTB could have found a model who could also act. Of course, with odd lines like “your hand is still touching my perfection” no other self-respecting actor was willing to take on the part. Yes, I immediately recognized Lou Ferrigno as the lost-in-love muscle, and I suppose it’s good to see him have some actual lines instead of mere grunting and turning green (I could never stomach the TV series version of the Hulk), but the main contribution he brought to the episode was that he is Lou Ferrigno, not that he is an actor who can competently portray the character as imagined by the creators of the episode. And of course there was the so-brief-Joe-actually-missed-him appearance of Bronson Pinchot.

    In the first mission to Milan, Chuck behaves a bit foolishly and Sarah a bit jealously. I don’t think it is the finest hour for each of their characters. But, when Chuck asks for the “Spiderman kiss” and Sarah says no, she’s smiling. Total speculation on my part, but it almost feels like Zac is improvising and Yvonne is responding spontaneously and they just decided to leave it in there.

    Thanks for a great review, guys. Despite my criticisms, on balance, I’ll almost always find an episode of Chuck great fun to watch, and equally great fun to think and write about.

    • atcDave says:

      I do agree the Gretas were sort of a failed concept. They either needed to do something more with the idea, or drop it. But as it stands, it’s such a small issue it never detracted anything for me.
      I was a big Hulk fan as a kid, so I did enjoy Lou Ferigno’s small part a lot. But right from the beginning so much of the appeal of Chuck was 80s nerd humor. That would be my college years and early career, I guess that means late formative period, so honoring that era is always appealing to me.
      No doubt Kurkova is no great actress, and perhaps proof they often went too far with the stunt casting. But I think it’s a problem that just comes with the territory for the sort of show Chuck was.

      • mr2686 says:

        As far as their stunt casting is concerned, I think TPTB had more hits than misses, and I can go along for the ride on most misses except for Plywood as a hero. I always like the Gretas (especially Summer Glau) so I have no problems there.

      • atcDave says:

        Funny how many of us have problems with wood products on the show…

  11. garnet says:

    Late to the party once again it seems, but going back to some of the first comments, I’d have to say that the whole CHUCK ‘formula” harkens back to plays like Romeo and Juliette, and Hamlet (not to say that I think CHUCK is in quite the same category, but that the formula is similar). The way it was described to me way back in school was that there were at least two strata in the audience at the Globe (think highbrow and lowbrow). With Chuck we have the Buymorons for the lowbrow and the main characters for the romance and action (highbrow) . Perhaps it’s true that some things never change.

    • mr2686 says:

      Me no understand. Me like Buy Morons. No understand romance and action. Me go now to try make fire.

    • joe says:

      It’s true, Garnet. If human nature changes, it changes only slowly. Shakespeare is going to resonate for a long time yet, so I wouldn’t be surprised to be revived in 500 years or so to see Romeo & Juliette still playing (if not in Shakespearean English), or the movie “Chuck & Sarah vs. the House With The Red Door” still running.

      I once heard it said that there are only seven great themes in literature. Not sure that’s true, but if it is, Boy Meets Girl is one of them.

      • mr2686 says:

        With Chuck it’s Love Conquers All, and that’s why Goodbye works!!

      • atcDave says:

        Of course many of Shakespeare’s stories were already well known when he “wrote” them. He borrowed heavily from history, classical mythology, current events and other contemporary writers. I don’t mean that in an all bad way, writers are constantly borrowing and re-inventing. As you say Joe, there’s a fairly finite number of really compelling themes for most of us.
        But I think the real genius of Shakespeare was his use of language. Use of a language nobody except a few archaic language buffs (like fans of classic literature or the King James Bible) actually understands today.

        So in the one sense, I think his time has passed. Modern audiences will understand Shakespeare about as well as they understand Latin or Greek/Linear B.
        On the other hand, it also means a good modern writer could likely be very successful translating those classic works into something accessible to a modern audience. And in that sense, his work could easily continue to resonate.

      • atcDave says:

        Or MR, that’s why Goodbye could have worked if that theme had actually been made clear…

      • atcDave says:

        Wow, I’m sure being the cynic today!

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, it was the theme throughout the series. Why wouldn’t we expect it to be in the finale as well? No more cynicism for you. I suggest a prescription of rose colored glasses for you sir. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        You know I actually believe things were shown to be alright in the end. But far too many viewers didn’t see it, and still don’t. I think “Love Conquers All” is an excellent theme, and its how I like to think of Chuck. But I don’t believe it was always that clear on screen, and I don’t think it was well portrayed in Goodbye.

        I’m really not cynical at all about the intent. I’m cynical about how well it was shown.

      • Jason says:

        I sort of saw the happy part of the ending, a C ending maybe, but my quibble is with the F- last two eps. I hate the amnesia ploy for a final, it’s a gimmick to take the place of great writing. The sad part, had they simply finished the story, and the kiss worked or they gave a 5 second glimpse 5 years in advanced as the pan inside the red doored house with mom, dad, and the triplets eating breakfast, I think the ep or the pair of eps are top ten for most folks. My biggest fear while disliking the final pair of eps, was the eps would pay off the misery so well, that people would gush over the eps, but with the so so ending, the writers got what they deserved, a luke warm recpetion from fans that only wanted a happy way to say good bye. for some reason, the writers refused to honor many of the fans and the characters. To me, the show ended more or less with the baby ep, and the final 5 eps combined to make a bad movie.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree the amnesia trope is horribly over-used. But given how often Chuck drew from pop culture and classic nerd entertainment, I think the amnesia ploy could have worked perfectly for the end. In fact, I think for most viewers it did.
        But there remains a significant minority of the fan base (which I often SWAG at 1/3; but it may be quite different from that) that was not satisfied. I do think just a few seconds of additional material at the end, that clearly showed healing underway (instead of only hinting at it. Even if it was a pretty strong hint) would have satisfied nearly all and left us with a pretty positive glow.

      • joe says:

        Dave said

        But I think the real genius of Shakespeare was his use of language. Use of a language nobody except a few archaic language buffs (like fans of classic literature or the King James Bible) actually understands today.

        Slightly unrelated, but related thanks to you, Dave, I noticed something in a catalog that came in the mail yesterday. It was a USB thumbdrive made to look like a tiny Bible. The ad said it contained “… the English version of the King James Bible.”

        Um… yeah. I hope it was the English version. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        THAT is funny!

        Next it will be in the original Klingon…

      • authorguy says:

        Shakepeare would have made a great Klingon poet. I once saw a ‘translation’ of his soliloquy into ‘modern English’ that was just laughably bad. Only the Klingons thought it was brilliant. (Yes, it was in a Star Trek novel.)

  12. uplink2 says:

    Ok, so I hate when this happens. I had a really nice post written and when I went to post it it said “Sorry comment couldn’t be posted” and of course it was gone into the Internet ether forever. Every time that has happened my subsequent post is never as good. So after you read this just remember the other one was absolutely brilliant! 😉

    Ok so after returning from vacation I sat down and watched Anniversary and Suitcase back to back and I must say these are clear examples of why Season 4 is my favorite, not necessarily the best but still my favorite. I just love the feel of this season. Mainly because this is the season of Sarah Walker. Chuck Bartowski is a great and interesting character, well he was for all but 13 episodes when his character was possessed by demons that worship at the OLI altar, but Sarah has always been far more interesting to me. She is multi-layered, has incredible internal struggles, has a back story that has you hoping for her redemption just as much as Chuck did and is played by the best actor on the show who happens to be one of the most beautiful women God ever created. It’s funny, my son who has never really been interested in Chuck but is a big Dexter fan, told me last night that the return of Hannah has saved this season for him. That he see what an incredible actress Yvonne is. Maybe I can get him started on my DVD collection.

    I think most of what I like about these episodes is the feel of this season. It just is so comfortable and so right for me. This is the show I hoped for, fought for and invested in. It really shows how incredibly pointless so much of the relationship angst was in S3. These are the lessons that I want to see Sarah learn from. These are the issues I want to see her deal with and none of what happened in 3.0 plays any part in her growth in Season 4. It makes it so easy to simply think none of it happened because none of it matters here. Outside of a few issues on the spy side with Chuck you can easily flow from Ring 1 to Anniversary. Certainly you can with Sarah. She simply moved in during the summer of 09 and off we go. That “necessary growth” simply isn’t shown to be “necessary” at all with these 2 eps.

    I also love the idea of the early season min-arc here. To me it is second only to the great early season mini-arc of S2. For Sarah to go from the look on her face at the end of suitcase to “If you ask me for real….. my answer would be yes” is such a great ride and I’m looking forward to these next two weeks.

    The final scene here is an important one in that when Sarah says “you’re my home Chuck…. you always have been.” it is a major point in her growth from the pilot on. It kind of reminds me of when my wife and I walked into our house the first time. We knew we were home. It was just instinctive. In a way that is what happens to Sarah in the pilot but seeing she had no point of reference she didn’t understand that she had found her home that day in the BuyMore and on that date in the Mexican restaurant. Now she realizes he always has been that for her, her connection to a home, to love, and to being safe. It really is such a great moment.

    Loved this episode as we are at a good point in S4. I don’t think the season really comes off the rails till they tried to extend the suspense of Mary being good or bad in First Fight. The unexplained PSP plot device and her blowing up her husbands life’s work were great drama but not great story telling. But here in this early season arc our fun little romantic comedy was really great to watch.

    • mr2686 says:

      Well I’ll disagree that season 3 had nothing to do with Sarah’s, or anyone else’s growth in season 4. Not to go around this merry-go-round again, but in real life you do not jump from a season 2 to a season 4. You go through the bad times of season 3 and grow or move on. Sarah’s character is much more assured personally with Chuck in season 4 and I think that stems from what she went through in season 3.

      • atcDave says:

        I think S2 already had enough of the hard times for them. But you know, I’m 100% with Uplink on that issue.

      • uplink2 says:

        Not to get into any of that again but I agree that there is some growth for Chuck and some important lessons that he needs going forward, it just gets buried under the stench of the OLI’s and what was done to force those OLI’s down out throats and becomes unwatchable for me. But I don’t see any benefit or growth from that story at all for Sarah. If there’s any there it’s irrelevant to what happens to her in season 4. You could take the Sarah of “It is real” and the next time we see her she is putting on lipstick to get ready for a mission with Casey very easily.

      • dkd says:

        “but is it true her eps and her character has helped ratings?”

        7/28 episode (no Yvonne): 2.55 million viewers
        8/4 episode (Yvonne appears at end): 2.21 million viewers
        8/11 episode: 1.9 million viewers

        Hannah’s re-appearance in plot hasn’t helped this season. But, the season has been “meh” to me compared to last season. As a longtime viewer, it wasn’t really the Hannah plot that made last season compelling, though.

      • uplink2 says:

        I would contend that this seasons ratings are being affected by the fact it’s up against True Blood as well as airing during the summer rather than the fall. I’m really interested in what happens after this sunday when True Blood’s season is over. I expect the eps leading into the series finale will do very well.

        I will say that although I know I’m biased I found the first 6 eps until Hannah came back to be rather lackluster. To me the Dex/Hannah story interacting with the Deb/Hannah war is the most interesting thing about this season. Charlotte’s Rampling’s character is annoying and I can’t stand the little twerp Dex is “training”. But I have a feeling these last 5 episodes will be pretty great with Hannah adding just the right amount of drama to the Dex/Deb storyline.

        Still thinking Hannah ends up with Harrison.

    • atcDave says:

      Well if your first draft was better I’m sure it could have won some sort “blog commenters award”.
      I agree with most of that, especially the early part. But I don’t feel like the season ever “comes off the rails”, although I will admit not every story device works equally well. Mary is probably the single biggest problem with the season, but even then I think she comes across quite well (she is an exciting enigma) in the early episodes. For me the problem was they tried to give her some redemption at the expense of Sarah in Gobbler (and sort of in Push Mix). I needed Sarah to be clearly there to end the mission and rescue Mary; NOT “distance” herself. Horrible story telling moment. Mary needed to either get a wake up call from Sarah, to escape her Stockholm syndrome; or go unredeemed and remain a tragic, dark figure. They tried to go too soft on her, and it didn’t work.
      I would say VV was the next biggest failing. Although this is a far lesser problem. Chuck was never really about the villains and their schemes. It was about the friends, family and romance around Chuck and Sarah. So Vivian was a weak villain. Bummer. But she was not important enough to “ruin” anything. We can only wish her story had been better told and/or she’d been better cast. Its not a really big thing to me.
      As I indicated in the post, I think Buy More and the Gretas were sort of fumbled opportunities. Just because they both ultimately seemed rather pointless elements. Again, not a huge thing. Both were funny in a way, the Buy More was often very funny. And on a comedy that may be the biggest issue.

      But S4 is the season of Sarah Walker, total Charah partnership, and Alexei Volkoff. How could it not be my favorite? S2 is the only competition it has for favorite. As we mentioned the other day; S2 had higher production values and more really outstanding episodes. But it also had more total duds. S4 has a higher average level (to me) and no total duds at all.

      • uplink2 says:

        Even Muuurder? To me that one is the biggest dud of Season 4. It was a fill, bottle episode and it really feels like it. If the back order had been 9 and not 11 Muurder never gets made IMO.

        I guess comes off the rails is maybe not the best choice of words but I do think that the story of Mary really becomes muddy because of that attempt to keep her an unknown. We will get to it when we do First Fight which I think is a really good episode but the PSP still has me absolutely baffled as to what the point of it and Mary’s comments were. Plus blowing up her husbands life work is never explained and makes no sense other than the dramatic tension of the moment. But I agree about Gobbler. The best thing about that scene on the plane is the song choice. Really loved Sylvia there.

      • atcDave says:

        I like bottle episodes and I like Murrrder. And I may be the only one…

        I do think destroying the Orion Cave was sort of a mistake, or at least a missed opportunity. But there were plenty of those!

      • Dave says:

        I’m with Uplink here. Muuurder is my one dud of S4. Conversely, there were 23 good to outstanding episodes. After the somewhat entertaining reaction of Sarah to the new nerds, Muuurder lost the bubble for me.

      • Jason says:

        I liked Murderer too. And I wish Chuck had done more bottle eps, or even all bottle eps.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I wouldn’t quite go that far Jason! But I do like the bottle. Its an excuse to focus more heavily on the core cast, and tell a self contained story.
        You know on most shows bottle episodes end up being among the most popular for exactly that reason, few guest stars getting in the way. Back on Star Trek:TOS (“Ship in a bottle” episodes) they are among the most remembered episodes.
        Now I’ll never claim Cubic Z or Murrrder will be Chuck’s best loved episodes, but I enjoyed both of them. And they’re a WHOLE lot better than that other staple of emergency time and budget savings; the clip show.

      • mr2686 says:

        Muuurder is hands down the worst of S4 as well as the worst of the entire series. Don’t even come at me with Pink Slip or Mask because Muuurder is not even in their league (and by the way, I do like Muuurder better than most shows on TV). 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I wouldn’t even put it in the bottom ten. Maybe the bottom third, not sure…

      • uplink2 says:

        Well MR I feel pretty safe to say that you are in a very very small minority with that POV. I think Ernie’s statistics prove that point as well. But I will grant that it is the weakest of season 4. Interesting that it is the only one from the bottom 5 that wasn’t from season 3.0. In the great majority of cases I agree that the statistics that Sarah computed were pretty much dead on. I’d just change a few things slightly for personal taste but the bottom and top 10’s I’m in agreement with maybe just not the exact order as I put Muuurder above First Class. It is also interesting that Muuurder is the only non-season 3 episode to have double digit 1’s or lowest score.

        I do like bottle episodes. I just don’t think Muuurder was a good one.

      • anthropocene says:

        Muuurder was lame in places, but it made some useful contributions to canon—Bentley ends up somewhat redeemed (hence a more nuanced character), Chuck uses his tech skills to save the day, and the idea of Chuck as the only proven fully functional Human Intersect is reinforced. I wasn’t blown away but I enjoyed it enough.

      • atcDave says:

        Anthro I think I’d put it about the same. It was by no means a great episode, but I enjoyed it.

        I won’t even agree with calling it the worst of S4; I would rank both Anniversary and Gobbler below it (for opposite reasons, one starts very weak, the other ends very poorly). But as I’ve said before, there are no S4 episodes I actually dislike.
        I think S3 alone has 7 episodes I dislike, and another 5 or 6 that I would still rank below Murrrder. So Murrrder isn’t bottom 10 for me, S3 alone has at least 12 episodes below it!

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        I only have 10 duds for the entire series. While Muuurder is one of those, only the bottom three (PS, Mask, FN) will never be seen again. The others I would watch in a marathon or something, though the odds of marathoning the first half of S3 are very slim for me and that is where 6 of the duds are.

      • atcDave says:

        We’re not even to it yet! This is really amazing to me, I’d never call it anything other than a shrug. Not great, not bad; just a shrug. Easily better than Curse, which is my least favorite episode remaining of the series. Actually; Curse may be my least favorite non-S3 episode. Naw, Beefcake still wins that, but not by much.

        I just don’t get the hostility. There was nothing in the episode I found even a little upsetting. Of course there was nothing I found exciting either. Its just a shrug.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, it’s not hostility for me with Muuurder, I just find it boring and very forgettable. Maybe on rewatch I’ll find something but it really is a “meh” for me. The only episodes I am hostile to are in season 3. Mask, Fake Name, Pink Slip, First Class, Final Exam and Living Dead.

        It is interesting that Alex Katsnelson’s only 2 episodes are Muuurder and Curse. Both regarded not very highly.

      • atcDave says:

        Definitely not a very distinguished resume.

        But see the thing is, every season has episodes I feel some measure of hostility towards. Even S4 has a couple of moments I really don’t care for. But none of it is in Murrrder. So I rank it ahead of 15+ episodes.

      • mr2686 says:

        I can sum up my reason for not liking Muuurder in two words…Robin Givens. Yes, she was in 2 other episodes, but not that much in Masguerade and the story in A-Team was good enough to negate her being in it. There’s only a couple of things I thought stood out about Muuurder, but I’ll save those for that review. Gobbler and Anniversary not as good as Muurder Dave? Ah C’mon!!! 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Not even close for me. Both of those episodes have elements I strongly dislike. Murrrder’s only crime is being a little boring.

      • Jason says:

        Dave, I wish that Balcony had ended at the Balcony, as Chuck was ready to propose, the ep would have been a all time top ten for me. Many times Chuck writers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (The first Montgomery ep was another example). And Gobbler was disgusting enough, that more misery would have been fine. Someone should have made a Chuck writing rule up, lets not write two lousy endings in a row. Honestly, most shows I watch, even pretty dramatic ones, seldom have miserable endings, I often wonder why the Chuck writers did that, especially in a comedy?

      • uplink2 says:

        Jason, that’s one of the reasons that the misery arc is called the misery arc. It was lousy ending after lousy ending after lousy ending. Even probably the best episode of the first 12, Tic Tac is seriously damaged by that pointless ending. To me the deleted scene with Chuck and Morgan was a far far far better way to end it than the taxi scene. It dovetailed perfectly into the scene with Casey. It still would have been sad and depressing but it would have been much more honest and hopeful without the contrived OLI angst. It would have been about a good friend putting his good friend’s needs above his own and not just another ploy to jam the OLI’s down our throats.

        But I liked the ending of Balcony. Sure it was a bit contrived as well but I loved Sarah’s speech in the cell. Plus in many ways the hospital corridor proposal was perfect because of it.

        I think the issue with Gobbler was the plane scene. I agree with Dave, it’s one of the places they screwed up in the Mary story. It should have been Sarah telling Mary about fighting to have a real future and not Mary telling Sarah that it’s easier with distance.

      • atcDave says:

        I would have to admit I didn’t care for the end of Balcony when it first ran. But it is one of those episodes that is stronger for the greater context. I now see it as a wonderful comic episode with a lot that’s sweet and beautiful, with a dramatic kick at the end. That’s all fine with me, especially since the drama only delayed the expected end for a couple weeks. And the proposal scene we finally got at the end of Push Mix was beautiful.

        But yeah, Uplink is exactly right about why I don’t like the end of Gobbler so much. Sarah should be there to solve problems and fix Mary’s mind set. The whole “distance” thing makes her look like a moron on several levels; first, just because Sarah is already an experienced deep cover agent who shouldn’t need such pointers. But second, and bigger, is that Sarah should be smarter than the woman who’s been stuck for 20 years on one stupid mission. Instead, they tried to portray Mary as the wiser operative. But there was nothing about the situation she found herself in that would suggest a wise person.

      • Jason says:

        but since the real purpose of major arcs was to create CS angst, the end of Balcony and Gobbler were perfect for those who liked that kind of thing, one of whom was the guy in charge.

      • Jason says:

        What bothers me about giving this creative team a movie, IMO the first ? will be, How can we create angst between Chuck and Sarah with even higher stakes? I don’t know how anyone who has paid attention to the last five years would not think that? Now, if someone new is in charge, nobody knows what the plot will look like, and we can make up that Zac or Yvonne want a happier plot for their characters, but in many ways, I’d much rather see Yvonne get her own series, Zac continue to do his thing, and maybe the two of them do a Halmark movie or even big screen movie together at some point, without all the Chuck baggage attached. But, and here I am contridictive, if the right team got hold of Chuck and Sarah, I’d really enjoy a series of movies, heck they could make one or two a year for the next twenty years. But even the staunchest supporters of the first five seasons, would have to admit, at some point, realying on CS angst to drive the plot will get old. For me, it got old middle of season 2, with the Colonel ep being the proper payoff, then the loving couple moving onto bigger and better things.

      • joe says:

        Oh, not at all Jason. I can’t imagine that this portion of the plot, the “angst with higher stakes” part, isn’t already written and cast in extremely firm jello. What you do is threaten Sarah’s (potential?) baby.

        Writes itself. Doesn’t it?

        It’s also a tremendous opportunity to re-introduce all the characters, especially after some time has elapsed (say, three or four years) and smoothly go forward from the series finale in a way that’s sure to bring back the original fans too.

        Tell me I’m wrong and I’ll listen, but it’s gonna take some convincing to get me off this track.

      • atcDave says:

        You threw out a lot of different ideas there Jason, some of which I agree with, some I do not.
        Starting with the show, I agree entirely S2 was the natural end of wt/wt oriented angst. That’s why I categorically reject S3. But in S4 and S5 they mostly delivered the show I wanted to see, What changed was simple, we never again doubted that Chuck and Sarah WANTED to be together, and both characters would fight to achieve that end. To me, that’s not angst at all, its legitimate excitement and tension that compliments the theme of the show. I might not agree with every story telling decision they made along the way, but I’m mostly pleased with the Charah seasons. Even the finale arc could have been 100% satisfying to me if they’d been just a little more definitive with that end scene.

        In terms of a movie, I’m not at all worried about what they might do. Any project will have to involve Zac and Yvonne’s total buy in, or it won’t happen. And they are now free of the production bubble; they clearly know exactly what the fans of the show wanted to see. Since any future movie will be all about fan satisfaction, I have no doubts a movie will be aimed to completely satisfy. CF’s involvement is a trivial matter. If he pushes a story that fans would reject, Zac and Yvonne won’t do it. I think that’s pretty clear and simple. Now that doesn’t mean they won’t draw some more drama from relationship or family themes; but again, as long as that means fighting to keep the family together, I think it would be an excellent story.
        I really have no worries about the theme or content of a movie. My only worry is actually getting it made.

        As far as future careers go we’re mostly on the same page. I do hope Yvonne gets her own new show soon. And I hope she chooses something FUN! Ughh, get her away from those Showtime people. I hope for something positive and uplifting, not dark and dreary. And of course I’d like to see Zac and Yvonne work together again too. A Hallmark movie or something would be outstanding. Something fun and sweet, but otherwise as unlike Chuck as possible (having Zac be strong and in charge, with Yvonne as some fragile flower would be an amusing reversal).

      • atcDave says:

        Joe I love that idea! I do think we need a flashback to leaving the beach together, and Sarah’s recovery. But making the main story about protecting the Bartowski kids is perfectly appealing to me.

      • uplink2 says:

        I’ve always hoped for a Nora Effron type film for them at some point. But I agree with that Dave. If Zach or Yvonne is not happy with the direction, I don’t think they do it.

        I am curious why we know nothing of what is next for Yvonne. I mean the only thing we know is she’s taking surfing lessons and selling her house. But no future projects yet. I keep wondering if the contract that the Dexter showrunner signed with Showtime has anything to do with it.

      • Jason says:

        Joe – love your idea, or at least strongly like it, because your idea is Chuck AND Sarah vs something, together. Now I might quibble and say, I’d rather see Chuck and Sarah smart enough to protect their kids, and then go out together and take out the big bad, but the key is CS together.

        The mean spirited angst would come from blackmail of Sarah, forcing her to marry someone else, or lets say even she doesn’t recall Chuck and leaves him for five years. Or maybe they start dating, she doesn’t remember him, and they introduce PLI’s and LI’s for both. Or how about Sarah can’t recall Shaw, and falls for him again. All kinds of ugly stories out there.

        I honestly don’t think nice and fun is in the playbook for the guys who used to call the shots, so I expect mean and nasty.

      • Jason says:

        Uplink, as a fan of Yvonne, I read dexter stuff only with slanted eyes, but is it true her eps and her character has helped ratings?

        I hope they don’t do a Hannah spin off!

        But other Showtime stuff? I’m not opposed. Some pretty good stuff being made on cable and she needs to strike now career wise.

      • I’m excited to see us get to Muuuurder. I always thought it was a good, solid episode. Curious to why it’s attracting so much venom.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well it’s hard to say other than last years ratings for Dexter were the best ever. This year it airs at a different time of year and against different competition but they are still solid and the premier was its best yet. How much of that is Yvonne? I don’t think we can say but it has put a lot of excitement back in the show that had been lacking since season 4, it’s best season ever, ended. 5 and 6 were weak with 5 and 3 being the worst of it’s 8 seasons.

        As I said up top my son who loves the show and has never really watched Chuck said Hannah’s return has saved the season for him and I don’t think he’s alone. There has been talk about a Dexter spin off with Deb possibly but I’m not sure if it has ant real basis for fact. But a new Scott Reynolds show with Yvonne as the lead even if it isn’t as Hannah, is something that I would be very excited about.

      • atcDave says:

        I sure hope Yvonne has nothing more to do with Scott Reynolds, definitely not the sort of television I want to see. Premium cable in general is such a cesspool, in an end of western civilization sort of way. Its stuff that would have worked well in Ancient Rome…

        But this does seem to be one of the longer periods where we didn’t even know what she was working on. Something has to come up soon?

      • authorguy says:

        The Gretas hinted at what would happen to Morgan and Sarah. I wish they’d spent more time developing a story where the Intersect itself was the villain, dominating everyone it inhabited except Chuck.

    • Dave says:

      Uplink

      Last week I put out going from Ring to Anniversary. On sober reflection you could easily go from Ring to Other Guy and never miss a beat. You could easily bridge with…

      “Hi, I’m Chuck. I uploaded the 2.0 after my sister’s wedding and I’ve been off getting some basic training. While I’ve been gone, Sarah has been working with some super-spy named Daniel Shaw and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I just got back to find…”

      then switch to the end of American Hero from where Beckman briefs Chuck about the ring recording forward and voila, wouldn’t even miss most of S3.

      I think it would work well.

      • uplink2 says:

        I can see all of that Dave but my point about this is that going from the Sarah of “It is Real” or dancing with Chuck at Ellie’s wedding reception is a very easy transition to the Sarah putting on her lipstick and going off to her “job” with Casey in Anniversary. There isn’t anything in 3.0 especially that had to happen to get there for Sarah. Chuck’s side maybe, at least on the muddied spy story, but neither one of them had any growth at all from the OLI’s that was “necessary” to get them to Anniversary and Suitcase. They were simply a waste of time for pointless angst. Nobody will ever convince me the OLI’s were needed to get to Sarah saying, “you’re my home Chuck….. you always have been.”

      • atcDave says:

        Well I would agree that nothing happened for Sarah at all in the front arc of S3. Not one iota of growth. But I wouldn’t really want to give up the DYLM scene from Other Guy. Growth did start for Sarah from that point.
        S4 accelerated that growth and made it a key part of the show, for most of the season.

        From a pure continuity standpoint, you could jump from 2.22 to 4.01 with a pretty minimal recap. Especially for a Sarah-centric view of the show. But Chuck did grow in the missing period, at least professionally.

      • Dave says:

        Uplink

        You’re right, Sarah doesn’t need it, but C&S need some of it and Chuck does, plus there was some good stuff in there. The OLIs are gone (have to fix that idiotic interrogation scene as well). This would set the C&S relationship so that it is casual and assured by Anniversary.

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        Beat me to the punch. DYLM is one of those things I think you need. The rest like I said would set their relationship.

      • uplink2 says:

        See I think you can have DYLM right after the 2.0 download. In fact I kind of wrote that in LL&L.

      • BillAtWork says:

        You could still have had DYLM. It just needed to be different. I can’t be about Chuck worried about losing Sarah to another guy. Nobody bought that (well, almost nobody) and it came across as manipulative. But it could have worked if Chuck was worried about losing Sarah to the spy life that she had chosen. That could have been the first scene of S3. And after Sarah answers in the afirmitive, the rest of S3 is about how they reconcile being spies with being in love. For my money, they didn’t explore that nearly enough.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, you can make it work without the bulk of S3; but jumping strait from 2.22 to 4.01 is another matter. It does require some work.

      • oldresorter says:

        The cleanest jump probably would be from the intersect room of 2.22 where Chuck saves Sarah, to the hotel room in Paris 3.13 and “You saved me.” The DYLM scene could have been a flash back shown sometime in the first ep, along with a little fill to explain how they got to paris. I don’t think too many of us would have complained, if 3.1 began in Paris, then quickly moved to train ride in 3.14.

        I kept hoping that at the 11th hour the writers would pull the misery arc out of the rut and have some clever rouse explaining why they made season 3 so miserable, such that even I could have tipped my hat to them, but it didn’t happen. Had they done something clever to make the story less nasty, I might have still been mad, but I’m pretty sure most would have been pretty forgiving, and those who liked s3 anyhow, would have had a more ammo to defend the arc with. I doubt I’ll ever watch a misery arc ep again, I started watching at 3.14 with this rewatch, and made it to 3.17’s interrogation scene, then quit again. I did get thru 4.1 and 4.2, but mostly FF’d thru all the non Chuck or Sarah scenes.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill and Jason I mostly agree with all of that.

        I would say there’s some potential for a darker story I would have bought into. Obviously no LIs, but if they’d had a short arc (maybe three episodes?) where Chuck is hit with multiple issues surrounding the spy life; like developing and betraying an asset, lies secrets and covers in a bewildering variety, pain and death. And when Chuck is so discouraged he can’t flash anymore, he has the much needed talk with Sarah. Then use the DYLM moment, and maybe a a real name reveal from Sarah (her statement of what IS real and what really matters). And that could help Chuck deal with the ugly side of his new profession. I think that could have been both powerful and very sweet.
        But of course a few conditions; the arc cannot be very long, there can be no real doubt of where Sarah’s heart and loyalties lie, and both main characters need to be clearly better than the muck and filth around them. Bonus points if Sarah can share something important about keeping her moral center and peace of mind while functioning in this environment.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I agree. Part of the early charm of the show was Sarah’s internal conflict. She clearly longed for home and family, and just as clearly longed for it with Chuck whom she was so obviously falling head over heels for. Yet she also had a vital job to do that she loved, and one that simply didn’t allow for personal feelings. And since Sarah is a very closed person, Chuck often misinterpreted her fear for disinterest.

        I’d have liked to see that conflict explored more. In that arc, I could see that for a while it might look like Sarah would choose duty, or at least attempt some compromise. And I think that Chuck’s character would allow for no compromise. ‘You’re either all in or you’re not.”

        A desperate Chuck ready to give up finally asking Sarah DYLM — more than you love being Agent Walker would have been a satisfying climax, IMO.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that could have been awesome Bill.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Sarah’s conflict is probably the most oft explored theme in Chuck FF, at least all of mine. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Well it’s a great theme, and the show only payed the barest of attention to it.

  13. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Suitcase (4.02) | 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