Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13)

We’ve arrived at the end of the Season Four front order, and the mid-season finale.  Time to wrap up the Volkoff, Frost and proposal story lines.

Can Push Mix live up to the very high standard of past finales?  After the jump, we’ll discuss!

Well I think the short answer is yes.  Our polls would indicate this is a fan favorite.  Push Mix is maybe more of a thriller, and less high adventure than some; but with some excellent plotting and scheming by Chuck, another over the top appearance of Volkoff, fun comedy, a Jeffster performance and a beautifully understated proposal this episode is first rate from beginning to end.

This is hard for me to critique much, I’m pretty enthused about this episode.  Favorite moments include nabbing the wrong computer expert, Chuck using Orion’s equipment to befuddle Volkoff, Sarah loaning Morgan her “too small” coat, the confrontation with Volkoff in the computer room, and the entire ending sequence of events.  But I enjoyed everything in between too.

One atcDave aside, the sort of meta-humor I always enjoy, I love “The Contessa”.  Volkoff brags about how state of the art it is.  Well its a 1940s Victory Ship.  Its visible anti-air weaponry consists of a stern mounted 5″/38  and at least one twin 40mm Bofors mount.  Truly state of the art in 1942, not so much for 2011!  But it probably always did have an ice cream parlour.  And as I’ve said before, Volkoff proves beyond a doubt that he is evil to the core by eating his double scoop ice cream cone, with sprinkles, in front of his crew, without sharing.

A few thoughts, I wish we had seen more of this computer genius and “master planner” version of Chuck (and less of the whiner!).  I think they finally wrote this part of the show more consistently to my liking in Season Five.  But some of that may just be how much I like the Judkins/LaFranc writing team, they tend to be my favorite writers on the show.

Initially I felt the Morgan “yoga seal” bit went on a bit too long.  That’s one of those things I enjoyed more on re-watch.  I think when it first ran I had more of a “yeah, yeah, get on with the story already” feeling about it.  At this point, those sort of thoughts don’t really worry me any more; I find it much easier to just relax, and enjoy the laugh.

I still don’t completely enjoy the Sarah/Mary relationship.  Like in  Gobbler I thought there was still a backwards slant to it.  I would have preferred/expected to see Sarah pushing Mary that now they have the information they need, its time to wrap this mission up and get home.  The Mary character is too damaged by the show’s own backstory to be the one offering sage wisdom.  And having her do so makes Sarah look like kind of a doofus.  This doesn’t horribly undermine the episode for me, I’m willing to dismiss it as building Mary as a decent and heroic character.  I just bristle a little at diminishing a main hero to get there.  And Sarah charging in to Mary’s rescue in the final action sequence pretty much makes up for it.

Push Mix was hyped as ending with “the best ten minutes of Chuck ever”.  This show has had so many awesome scenes and moments I really hate to rank order them all.  I’m pretty sure “best … ever” isn’t quite true for me in this case.  But it was a terrific end no matter where those ten minutes end up.

I really do like the silent proposal and fade to black.  I like that it is simple and spontaneous.  That feels more sincere to me than Chuck’s outrageous restaurant scheme (or any of the “proposal plans” mentioned in Phase Three!).  As I said a couple weeks ago, I think I would have liked it better if Balcony had ended with a “yes”, and then the whole undercover Volkoff mission got started in Gobbler.  But this is not a huge thing to me, especially given how things played out and how great the actual moment is.

The “B” plot this week is mostly separate and quite different from the “A” plot.  The biggest consequence of this “B” plot, apart from the obvious birth of Clara, is an outrageously funny Jeffster performance.  I love both Ellie’s and Casey’s reactions when they recognize the music.  Even better, I love that Jeffster gets arrested.

This coming Tuesday I will put up another “Alternatives” post.  This one may be pretty repetitive since we’ve been discussing so much of this in little pieces all along.  But if anyone has any grand ideas on how things might have been told, I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Dave

That’s What Makes You Great

I can’t believe how many notes I took in preparation for this write-up. It’s as if every scene had something that made me smile or made me guffaw or wanna jump up and fist-pump or – and this is a strange one – made me proud of Chuck & Sarah, proud enough to celebrate.

In the city
We know how to get down

In the city
We know how to do it right

Rocking this party
Don’t stop ’till the break of dawn

In the city
We know how to do it right

Oooohhh! And I don’t even care much for Euro-style “dance” music. Doesn’t matter. I hear Rad Omen’s piece and I can see black-haired Sarah and Mary tossing a high-tech spider into the hallway to gain entrance to Volkoff’s office like the elite spies they are. It’s a dance and they are very good at it. They know how to do it right.

Morgan contributes to the plan

Morgan contributes to the plan

And when Morgan’s with Alex, yeah, I’m proud of him too. Cuddling with Alex is easy; consoling her at Casey’s hospital bed is something else entirely. He now knows how to do it right too.

Doing it right.

Doing it right.

Of course, Jeffster always knows how to do it right. What we see here is the proper way to get arrested! Proud of you too, boys. Nobody needs to be born to the sounds of Coldplay

But most of all, I’m proud of Chuck. Remember the guy we first met, the one afraid to attend his own birthday party and the one who couldn’t even make Ass. Man. at the Buy More – beaten out for the job by Harry Tang, of all people? Sarah Walker’s greatest accomplishment as a spy was believing in that guy when even he didn’t. Even when I didn’t. I have to work to remember him.

Herder no more.

Herder no more.

Early on we had glimpses of a different Chuck, the one that Morgan and Ellie and Sarah saw. I noticed that guy in Alma Mater when he and Bryce were playing “Spy” in the library stacks. I saw him again in First Date, facing down Luther Colt.

Chuck: [Bursting in] ‘Scuse me. ‘Scuse me – hi. Sorry to – uh. Sorry to interrupt whatever’s going on here. But, uh, Mr. Colt, I, uh, I just wanted you to meet my team.
Tell me something. Do you find them imposing? Ga’head. You can be honest. I was going for imposing.

I saw that guy in Best Friends the same time Sarah did. But most of all, we saw him in The Ring pt. 2 facing down an intersected Shaw when, even though his future with Sarah was the most important thing, more was at stake than that. I always wonder – where did is girlish screams and bumbling go?

A Victory And A Promise

Doesn’t matter. In Chuck vs. The Push Mix, sometime between grabbing office supplies…

Morgan: Office supplies???
Chuck: No, Morgan. We need a plan.

… and getting to hospital with the help of the U.S. Army, Chuck the bungler with the girlish screams leaves for good. The Chuck we have now is worth a billion, even if he doesn’t know it yet. His plan, starting with Dr. Roni Eimacher and ending with a stunned Volkoff meeting the cold, dead hand of his history is nothing short of masterful and justifies ATCDave’s (or was it Ernie’s?) oft heard claim that S4 is genius!

Were you worried?

Were you worried?

Much like in Star Wars (The Phantom Menace) here we have four battle fields; you can count ’em up. Sarah must free Mary, helpless Casey must somehow survive the assassin Armond (played by Igor JiJikine), Chuck and Morgan must survive Volkoff and his men. Don’t forget the last part. Ellie and Devon must survive the arrival of baby Clara. Especially Devon. It all has to work out, it just has to. Because we care. That’s the magic.



Just like Chuck, all these characters have been transformed. Finally, finally, we can see the best in all of them, plain as day. Despite the transformations there’s one thing that remains the same, however. It’s the reason Chuck made his plan, the reason Casey took the fall, the reason Sarah left as well as Mary before her, and it’s the reason they came back.

Ellie: Casey’s family. Chuck and I do anything for family.

As far as I’m concerned, family is what makes this episode (and this show) great.

Orion Lives

Orion Lives

It’s hard to be exuberant and cheerful about family when the head of the family is gone, though. Even so, we’re allowed a moment to understand that “gone” may be a matter of definition, a matter of what we believe. Like I’ve said before, since there is nothing to tell me otherwise, I choose to see this, the message sent to Volkoff, as a ray of hope that stays with us until a movie is made.

If Chuck vs. The Push Mix ended here, with the defeat of Volkoff and the recovery of Casey, that would have been enough to make it one of the top five episodes. TPTB found thirty seconds to give us more, though. I’ll take one song – a victory anthem – and two thousand words (in the form of two pictures) to tell you that this was the best ending ever and a fitting end to S4.0.

Oh, you may want to notice that the song contains a promise.

A promise

A promise


We lie beneath the stars at night
Our hands gripping each other tight
You keep my secrets hope to die
Promises, swear them to the sky

A promise

A promise

– joe


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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190 Responses to Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13)

  1. resaw says:

    This is certainly among my favourites of S4. I even think that Mary Bartowski was a more sympathetic character in this episode than she had been until now.

    To me, the one weak spot was Jeffster! I didn’t really care for their performance this time. However, I will excuse it as it was a potential finale episode and those two crazy guys just could not be ignored. On the the positive side with respect to their appearance, I loved this little bit of dialogue:
    Lester: “Cover song by cover song we are shaping the youth of America.”
    Jeff: “I’m not allowed to do that anymore.”

    I know it has been mentioned in other contexts, but this is another one of those episodes when it is not the Intersect but his intellect that allows Chuck to save the day. The trap into which he lures Volkoff is great. I also like the way he retains his principle of not killing people, including his brief conversation that he has with his mother on the virtues of tranq pistols.

    Joe, you mention the high-tech spider… in my mind I spelled it “spyder,” since it assisted with espionage.

    Morgan did almost everything right in this episode. He was crazy funny at times — the visual impression of him in his wetsuit and flippers — he was definitely a “frog man.” He was ever Chuck’s loyal partner and caring support for Alex and Casey. As you quote Ellie, the whole story was suffused with the sense of family. Although it took a long time, a whole 13 episodes for me, really, I finally appreciated Chuck’s mission to bring back his mother, especially since it involved Sarah and all the other “family” that surrounds Chuck.

    I can’t help but reflect on what my impressions of Chuck might have been if this was the finale rather than going on to 5.13. If 4.13 had been the series finale, I certainly would have been sad to see it end, but I would have been happier about how it had ended, which was unambiguously joyful. For all my mixed feelings about the actual finale and indeed the mixed blessing that was the second half of season 4, I’m glad they didn’t end it here.

    • joe says:

      Spyder. Heh!

      I should have used that quote from Jeff too. Good job, resaw.

      You mentioned the line about Chuck telling Mary that they will have a talk about the virtues of tranq guns. It’s a pretty important line. Well, maybe it’s just me, but that seems to be the point at which Chuck becomes his own man and no longer a boy-man. He’s threatening to lecture his own mother as a spy-equal, which is a pretty good rite of passage!

      I think I was about 25 when I did essentially the same thing to my mother. She reacted about the same as Mary did, too. 😉

    • atcDave says:

      We mostly agree there Resaw. Even to say, this would have been okay as an actual finale, but I sure am glad we got most of what lies ahead.

    • thinkling says:

      Heh, I never really noticed the cover song quote. Funny. But over all I agree that Jeffster was the low point. I would have liked Jeffster to be shorter so we could have seen a little bit more of Sarah’s reunion with Casey. Though I did love Ellie’s initial recognition and reaction. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        But they got arrested…. Surely a career highlight.

      • dkd says:

        I loved this Jeffster performance. I have often pulled up their scene on my iPod when I need a quick pick-me-up. Guaranteed to put a smile on my face.

      • thinkling says:

        A highlight, indeed … especially if Jeff got to be near his mama. 😉

        Funny, dkd, jeffster mostly just makes my skin crawl. But to each his own (said the lady as she kissed the cow).

      • dkd says:

        Casey’s “Jeffster” line also cracks me up.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Ellie and Casey’s reactions totally justify the Jeffster performance in my eyes.

        I look at Jeffster as the show’s version of nitroglycerin. It has a useful purpose, but if mishandled it can blow up in your face.

        Worked for me this time, especially their exit.

      • joe says:

        Nitro, huh? Love that imagery.

        I’m still enjoying the idea of Jeffster waking up in the car again and again (Ground Hog’s Day style) to the sound of The Weight by The Band. Now *that* was a classic.

        Crazy Chester follow’d me, and he caught me in the fog.
        Said “I will fix you up, if you take Jack, my dog.”
        I said “Wait a minute, Chester, you know I’m a peaceful man.”
        Said “That’s OK boy. Won’t you feel her whenever you can.

      • atcDave says:

        I thought they were funny this time, but purely in a creepy sort of way. Actually, that mostly sums up Jeffster completely. Except when they aren’t even funny…

      • thinkling says:

        S5 was my favorite Jeffster season. I thought they were at their funniest (and less creepy) in S5.

      • mr2686 says:

        I loved this episode and the Jeffster performance. I love the fact that at every Jeffster performance, there’s some people with a look of horror on their faces, and then there are a few that are actually rocking out. I just think that’s really funny.

      • I loved the Jeffster performance too, if only for Lester calling the nurse a “candystriper.” That’s just brilliant. Plus, I love the idea that even Jeffster, in their own ridiculous way showed up for Ellie’s biggest moment. Classic Chuck.

  2. Chris Dunlap says:

    Joe, right on target. I love the lighting and the way they framed the last shot with Chuck and Sarah, the song just brought it home!

  3. thinkling says:

    Well, I guess no one should be surprised that I loved Push Mix — the conclusion to Gobbler. If watched back to back as one longer episode … well, wow.

    It’s all about family. This episode is bookended with Ellie’s words Chuck and I do anything for family and that family all showing up for Ellie, as Clara is born. Ellie’s words remind us of one of the great intangibles of Chuck. In Push Mix, however, her words become the battle cry for all that happens between those bookends.

    I’ll start with the things I didn’t like as much. Well, there wasn’t much I didn’t like. There was Jeffster, whom I rarely like (the finale being the huge exception) and I thought the Yoga Seal could have been a little shorter, though I did love Sarah offering Morgan kind words and her coat, and Mary patting him … well, I’m not sure I want to know where.

    I am mixed over the proposal, which made me mostly happy … and a little grumpy. I thought it was fitting and perfect, given all that came before. But I also found it a little too dark and far away. I know that made it subtle and artsy and all, and maybe it’s just my aging eyes, but I would have liked to see it without the aid of night vision binoculars.

    So, on to some of the little things I loved, like the play on words for Ronny the-Eye-Maker Eimacher and Volkoff’s Floating Fortress of Fun with antiaircraft missiles and an old fashioned ice cream parlor. (Why didn’t Sarah think to book the honeymoon suite?)

    Volkoff continued to be provide loads of psycho fun mixed with boiling rage and smug disdain.

    I liked Alex with her dad, and I liked Ellie’s calm compared to Devon’s deep terror.

    I loved that the Tron poster went mural, and that Devon had his own wall of plans for his mission, a subtle continuation of Gobbler’s contrast between the two worlds.

    And of course I loved the shipboard reunion. Zac and Yvonne are great … so much communicated in a look.

    Now to what I loved the most. Family. More specifically this family and their fighting for each other.

    The Bartowski family involves its legacy, and this episode honored that legacy. Chuck finally gets it and embraces the Bartowski legacy: Ellie’s right. Bartowski’s take care of their family, and right now it’s time I put mine back together again. This was my father’s mission, and I have to finish it. And with that the legacy becomes destiny.

    It feels right. It’s like Chuck has been chasing his destiny apart from his legacy … trying to fulfill his destiny as someone else. Now he steps into his own skin with no discomfort or apologies and fulfills his destiny as Chuck Bartowski.

    Chuck completes his father’s mission and puts his family back together again just in time to increase itsranks — by two, if you count the proposal :)). I love the gathering of the extended Bartowski family for Clara’s birth, and their claim to that family in one voice, when the nurse asks Are you all family?. I love that Chuck let his mother be present for Clara’s birth.

    And I love the intimate moment in the hospital corridor, when Chuck and Sarah finally seal that proposal. All looks and gestures, no words … perfect. (Now where did I put those night vision binoculars?!)

    (Think I’ll put my comments about Mary/Sarah in a different comment.)

    • joe says:

      Seconded, Thinkling!
      About my only (very minor) disagreement is about the fade-to-black proposal acceptance and kiss at the end. Of course, I’d like to see more! But I think the point of the fade was to let us imagine the rest ourselves and to make it perfect ourselves.

      Besides. Any more gets to feeling a bit “voyeuristic”, n’est-ce pas? 😉

      • atcDave says:

        It was well done Joe, but I wanted to see more regardless. I don’t go for the artsy, I want to be told the story.
        But this really wasn’t very artsy, I’ll stick with understated. As I said above, I would have preferred finishing the deed in Balcony, then maybe a nice revisit at the end of Push Mix as Sarah gets her ring back. But this is a fairly minor beef, I was mostly happy with the scene and episode.

      • thinkling says:

        I didn’t need to see more. I just wanted to see what I saw instead of squinting through the darkness, to the end of the hallway.

        I’ve been thinking about that, Dave: Balcony proposal ending on the yes, but before the ring was on her finger. She could even say something about getting her ring on her finger when she comes back. Then the hospital proposal would have been about the ring … which for all intents and purposes, it was anyway.

      • Wilf says:

        For me, the fade-out and need to imagine what happened next were just fine since it was pretty obvious from what we did see that Sarah was not, for example, about to fling the ring back in Chuck’s face!! c.f. the end of “Goodbye, where, for me, the next moments were *not* obvious.

      • dkd says:

        I didn’t really like much about the balcony proposal. The whole Balcony episode was about Chuck, the character, pursuing a cliched “hollywood” type proposal when that isn’t the core of what is important. Casey said that best.

        So, when the eventual real proposal happened and they DIDN’T go the cliche route, I personally cheered.

        Nothing bores me more than the rituals of modern day marriage. The rules everyone feels they must follow. The “paint by numbers” weddings. I like that the show toyed with cliche in Balcony, but then turned it on its ear with the real proposal.

        Unfortunately, we’re about to get into some episodes that dove straight into the “wedding machine” and suffered for it, IMO.

        In know others love this wedding-oriented stuff. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be shows like “Say Yes to the Dress”.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Thinkling that would have worked. And you’re right, they were in effect engaged regardless. To me the (minor) complaint centers around the tension at the end of Balcony; I would have preferred another all fun episode, more like Honeymooners. Those are the episodes I most often re-watch. It just makes a difference of Balcony is now one I only watch when doing whole arcs, as opposed to one I would put in any old time.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I agree with most of that Thinkling. I love the family theme, and I like Chuck fighting to keep his together. And I think the few complaints I have would have been neatly fixed by seeing Gobbler and Push Mix back to back.

    • I agree, Thinkling. That moment when they all identify themselves as family is one of my five favorite Chuck moments.

      I also completely prefer this proposal to the Balcony proposal, or Chuck’s master plan. Casey’s speech about not having a perfect “spot” or “moment” was incredible, and this was the perfect conclusion. The best moments of the Chuck/Sarah relationship never happened on their biggest stages, they happened on their smallest ones: alone on a remote beach, drunk on the floor of Chuck’s house, in a train compartment, in a shabby motel room, and in a hospital waiting room.

      I’ve always despised the idea that the biggest moments in a relationship have correspond with the most materialist moments. One of my favorite aspects of Chuck its most intimate and heartfelt moments happen in spite of their circumstances – the rose that grew from concrete.

  4. uplink2 says:

    Well I agree with most everything everyone has said. This episode is I believe the best of the possible finales. Ring, Other Guy, Ring II and Cliffhanger. I won’t include Goodbye as that is a different animal entirely. Though not perfect the flaws and things that bother me about the other eps listed are far more than I have with this one which are very limited. First way too much Morgan and the lasers. That could have been cut by 3/4 for me. A bit too much Jeffster as those things took away time I would much rather have seen for a Casey/Sarah hug and reunion. That moment was a big moment lost for what I consider far less important things like Morgan and Jeffster. I liked them but just less would have been more if it had meant just 20 seconds of Sarah releasing her guilt about what she did to Casey. Would a hug between them really have been so bad Schwedak?

    But though I think Sarah was a bit too much of a second fiddle in this episode, this was the Chuck I’ve longed to see. Outsmarting the worlds greatest enemy with his brain and not the Intersect. The intertwined editing of his speech and the actions around the globe was really well done. The hints that Orion was still alive were great. Even though I understand the need to “have real consequences” when spies die, why did it have to be Orion that had those consequences played out for real? Surprise surprise I would much rather have had the person who bore those consequences and stay dead be Shaw than Orion.

    But one thing that this episode brought out that I absolutely wish they had expanded on was communication between Orion and Mary. I really don’t get why that wasn’t happening as it makes the 20 year mission far more understandable to me. But all of these things are all minor because the episode was so full of strong points. Great teamwork, smart Chuck, great emotions for all three families this show hits on. Chuck and Sarah, the Bartowski/Woodcombes, and the McHugh/Casey/Grimes family. Plus as Joe points out the music really works here as I ended up downloading all 3 great songs highlighted the next day after it aired.

    I agree that Schwartz’s claim of the best 10 minutes of Chuck ever was over-hyped but they were trying to build ratings for renewal so I’m ok with it. At least they delivered something really special culminating in a fantastic understated engagement scene. We had the balcony proposal for the romance but in many ways this was much more romantic.

    What also makes this so great an episode is that all of the storylines get a great positive conclusion. It ties it up all very nicely and leads into the back 11 with such a great feeling. I agree if this had been the end I’d have been fine with it but I am glad we got 24 more episodes.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah we’re pretty much on the same page, including the minor gripes. Although I think for a finale wrap up Cliffhanger had a better last few minutes, but as an episode overall, Push Mix edges it out.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well you know I was never a fan of Morgansect and still not so if you end Cliffhanger with a bit more wedding and no Morgansect, then I’d completely agree. As a number of folks have suggested to those that don’t like the finale when doing a rewatch stop with Cliffhanger and press stop before that finale scene lol. Not say I agree as Season 5 gave us Baby and I definitely wanted that episode but I do understand the mindset.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a good way to put it, Dave. Nothing beats the wedding for me in finale land, but though I loved Cliffhanger, Push Mix ekes out a marginal victory as a finale because it tied up so many story lines so well. Both have Chuck as the hero and Chuck we love, but Push Mix let Sarah do more than sleep 🙂

        As to Morgansect … meh. It didn’t add anything to the episode, but it didn’t take anything away either (except screen time).

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Thinkling, exactly.

      • mr2686 says:

        I agree that this one edges out Cliffhanger (but not by much) and also is better than the other finales with the exception, IMHO, of The Ring and The one that will remain nameless as to not start a 10 page argument. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        But the ten page arguments are so much fun!

      • mr2686 says:

        True, but a 10 page argument over the same episode every week does get a bit old…especially since there’s really no new arguments on either side.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know, recently we’ve had some pretty good arguments about the arguments. I believe in our ability to have innovative quarrels…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The Nerd in me can’t resist…

        Michael Palin: I came here for a good argument.

        John Cleese: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.

        Michael Palin: An argument isn’t just contradiction.

        John Cleese: It can be.

        Michael Palin: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.

        John Cleese: No it isn’t.

        Michael Palin: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.

        John Cleese: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.

        Michael Palin: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’

        John Cleese: Yes it is!

        Michael Palin: No it isn’t!

        John Cleese: Yes it is!

        Michael Palin: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

        (short pause)

        John Cleese: No it isn’t.

      • joe says:

        OMG! He’s quoting Monty Python again! BURN THE WITCH!

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie THAT is an all time favorite! I still remember watching that late on a Sunday night when I was 14 (?) and laughing so hard I think I woke the whole house!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Indeed Dave, so much disturbingly brilliant comedy came from that troupe.

      • mr2686 says:

        Along with this one I would add the Parrot Sketch, and Ministry of Silly Walks as three of my favorite Python bits.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Favorite Monty Python sketches? Down that path lies madness…

        … OK, The Spanish Inquisition, Dead Parrot and Romans Go Home (not technically a sketch, but one of the funniest things Chapman and Cleese ever did).

      • atcDave says:

        Oh my, “Romans go home” was brilliant. I hardly know where to start. Monty Python was huge in my (dis)formative years.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Nothing like conjugating Latin verbs with a sword to your throat.

      • anthropocene says:

        I still have, and treasure, a playbill from “Monty Python in New York” autographed by Graham Chapman.

    • Uplink, I always thought the Orion/Mary communication was a fabrication Chuck made to manipulate Volcoff. That’s why Mary was legitimately confused on its reveal. Chuck verifies that later, when he says, “That wasn’t just a play on your weird affection for my mother…”

  5. Angus MacNab says:

    “Can Push Mix live up to the very high standard of past finales?”

    In a word, YES!!

    What she said…

  6. uplink2 says:

    It’s interesting for me that this episode was the second episode I rewatched after the finale. Eleven months after the finale aired I had still not rewatched a single episode except the extended finale when I got the DVD’s. I, like many others, felt what was the point of retaking their journey if my most adored and beloved character remembered nothing from that journey. It was and still is the biggest disappointment from that final episode in that it took away that desire and for many fans I still talk to they still haven’t rewatch a single episode since. Leaving whether Sarah fully gets her memories back intact ambiguously is IMO the single biggest miscalculation to end the series on. But after eleven months I basically forced myself to watch Colonel and I did enjoy it but the desire to rewatch still wasn’t there.

    On the one year anniversary of the finale there was a rewatch Tweet up and this was the episode chosen to rewatch. Seeing as a great many folks were going to do it I decided to join them for the rewatch in hopes I might take another step towards being able to put my disappointment and melancholy about the finale behind me. I missed Sarah Walker-Bartowski a great deal. Plus we were beginning to hear more about Zach’s plans for a movie and if it happened I trusted him and Yvonne to make sure that ambiguity was answered positively for fans. So I joined the Push Mix rewatch and enjoyed it almost as much as I did when it first aired. All of the things I loved about the episode stand up on rewatch which isn’t always the case with the show. It ended up helping me get over things a little bit and around the time we here were getting to Tic Tac I was able to actually rewatch those episodes and have followed along ever since. I even started a rewatch of season 1 and 2 and I’m at Predator now.

    So even though that feeling of loss about never fully getting to say goodbye to these beloved characters and know for certain that they are happy, in love, and fully whole once again I’ve at least been able to get past it enough to enjoy the work they did prior to Fedak’s choice to strip away virtually all of Sarah Walker’s growth for his dramatic and “artsy” ending. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about things when we get to the finale but this episode was very helpful in putting those prior feeling behind me. So it does hold a bit of a special place for me.

    • atcDave says:

      I think Push Mix is an easy episode to like. Chuck himself comes across very well, very strong. And all the core cast has their big moments. Any complaining here is really along the lines of nitpicking. (Not to say I won’t nitpick!) But its just so easy to laugh and cheer along with this episode.

    • uplink2 says:

      Agreed. In many ways its the culmination of the prior growth for the characters and relationships, disregarding the pointless side trip into contrived zombieland of course. This is about teamwork, family, strength of character, intelligence and none of it involves the use of the Intersect except for the flash on the eye. This is the show firing on all cylinders.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Uplink. This is Chuck’s formula for greatness. The only part of formula that is a little bit off is the lopsided participation of the team, i.e. the diminished involvement of Sarah and Casey. But that’s because it’s a finale, and CF made a point of the hero-ship of finales landing squarely (and almost uniquely) on Chuck’s shoulders. Other than that, this is the golden formula: action, drama, humor, and romance showcasing Chuck’s lofty intangibles: loyalty, duty (not just to the greater good, but to friends and family), heart, character, intelligence, and elegant heroism. Plus I love the quiet theme of redemption that runs through the series that every once in a while becomes obvious, like in Push Mix.

      • garnet says:

        Nice thought Thinkling. If we accept that the finales are going to feature Chuck as the “Hero”, perhaps when we look at “the finale” we can see more hope that the hero has come through and “saved” the princess so they can go off into the sunset together.

        I hadn’t thought about it, but the fade to black in Push Mix is Very similar to the Finale.

      • thinkling says:

        Ooh, Garnet, you got more out of my thought than I did. lol. You’re right, there is a strong parallel. Everyone else is off somewhere else, and it doesn’t matter, because like the show itself, the moment is about Chuck and Sarah, and all they need are each other. If you accept it as fully parallel, then the kiss in Good-bye, like Push Mix, is a beginning. Cool. Thanks.

        He definitely saved her, because who she really was — Sarah Bartowski — she became in relationship with him. She would, therefore, never be able to find herself apart from him. By the time she says, “Tell me our story,” she knows it, she wants her life back, and she’s willing to trust him to help her.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        At the risk of starting a conversation about the finale, all of them, I want to point out that Chuck and Sarah each had their own story. Chuck’s is about becoming the hero, Sarah’s is about being redeemed from a life she couldn’t escape. It’s the reason Sarah is often sidelined in the finale’s, because she needs Chuck (her hero) to be able to leave that life or, essentially be saved.

        One reason I liked the finale (and this episode parallels a lot of this too) was that the episode went back and re-told their entire story. Sarah is once again robbed of her future by forces outside her control, Chuck is once again aimless and broken. Chuck finds his purpose in Sarah and Sarah finds someone who can give her future back to her. The final scene not only completes that, but essentially re-tells it once more. I hadn’t really realized how similar this episode is to the finale in the retelling of their story.

      • joe says:

        Chuck’s is about becoming the hero, Sarah’s is about being redeemed from a life she couldn’t escape. It’s the reason Sarah is often sidelined in the finale’s, because she needs Chuck (her hero) to be able to leave that life or, essentially be saved.

        That’s brilliant, Ernie – and I can’t believe I’m still learning new things about this show.

        I’m going to re-watch S5 with this in mind.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Ernie, and it’s the way Sarah’s future is stolen from her both times: First her dad and the CIA robbed her of the chance to become herself (or even figure out who that is). With Chuck she rounds out her identity (Sarah Bartowski: accomplished spy and completely fulfilled wife — woman in love). Then Quinn steals her memory of who she is. It’s all internal with Sarah.

      • uplink2 says:

        Ernie et al. I think you make a valid point and I can agree with much of that premise. But it’s interesting in that I don’t think agreeing with that idea of retelling their story changes the fact that it has always just seemed incomplete. Though I have always thought an amnesia storyline is a terrible way to end a series and I still do, I’ve never argued that the execution of that idea was done poorly in anyway. I think the performances were fantastic and they hit the notes they wanted to hit. I just don’t think they hit enough of them for me. It was far too incomplete and the “artsy” nature of the ending simply wasn’t worth the dissatisfaction it caused. Schwartz’s comment about “You’ve got to leave it open” simply isn’t true for me and many others. I don’t agree it “completes that”. It left far too many important things wide open for me and a large part of their audience.

        I see your point about the story they wanted to tell but they simply didn’t finish it.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Uplink those are always two separate issues; making sense of the story versus being moved by it. Based on how I currently understand the story I SHOULD have loved it. But the all important emotional context failed badly for me on initial viewing, so the disconnect is likely to be permanent; or at least my frustration with it is. I can watch the episode now and enjoy it quite a lot, but the ending will never move me like it seems to effect some viewers. I can even appreciate a lot of the details, structure, performance issues. But I’ll have to wait for a “patch” (reunion movie?) before it runs correctly on my system…

      • uplink2 says:

        Agree Dave. And that is why I think this episode is the best of the possible finales. I don’t have any of those issues with this episode. It is the culmination of a great story that utilizes each of the characters growth is a very positive and strong way. From Chuck the intelligent hero who doesn’t need the Intersect to be great, to Sarah who will fight for her family most of all, to Casey the helping Devon by sharing his regrets in his life, the Awesomes growing they family, and the growth of Morgan into more than just an incredibly annoying loser. All of that happens here and I love the resolution of each story.

        Though with time I understand the intent of the finale, it still fails on completing that story for me. I can intellectually enjoy it for what it was but on an emotional level I will never be comfortable with it until as you say we see that final chapter.

      • Thank you, Ernie. I’ve always had Push Mix and Goodbye as my favorite episodes. Your comment on their parallels really helps me understand why.

    • Chris Dunlap says:

      Uplink2, I’m with you on this. I did start the rewatch with Dave and all and am enjoying them almost as much as when they first aired. I especially enjoy the detailed analysis and discussion, just wish I had know about this site earlier. I only met these folks after the finale while looking for answers and such. In so far as where we are today I sill have that nagging feeling of what’s to come and it puts a damper on my enjoyment of the episodes.

      • atcDave says:

        Unfortunately I would agree the end we saw on screen wasn’t very satisfying for many viewers. I do think it starts to look a little better when we dig into it more. And if we take CF at his word, things are good for Chuck and Sarah post-series; the only lingering questions need to be how quickly, and how much Sarah remembers, their love should not be in doubt. Obviously we will discuss this much more in a few months.
        The best thing I can ever leave any fan with is a few excellent post series fan fics (actually, there were many, see my favorites list for a whole bunch of them!). But start with Thinkling’s wonderful “Sarah vs Finding Herself” or Angus McNab’s “Chuck vs the Missing Years”. Either should leave you with a big smile on your face.

    • dkd says:

      I don’t blame my minimal rewatching of the series on the ending. I’ve had series I love have extremely satisfying endings and I still don’t rewatch them. A good example is Farscape after they did the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series. Other than rewatching that mini-series about three or four times, I still haven’t gone back to watch the series…and I loved the ending.

      An ending is an ending to me and by the time a series I’m fanatical about ends, I’ve already devoted so much time to that show, I eventually move on to spending time on other things and other interests.

      I didn’t hate Chuck’s ending the many of you did. It’s not the reason I don’t rewatch the series much. The fact that I already watched the show several times when it was still on is the reason. I’ve been more interested in spending my time on other things.

    • mr2686 says:

      Yeah but you know what guys?…If Push Mix had been the series finale, there would still be people that have the same complaints about it that they do with Goodbye. They’d think that the ending, although sweet, was incomplete and why wasn’t there a wedding, and we don’t know for sure they got married…yada yada yada. LOL.

      • uplink2 says:

        mr, I don’t agree with that at all. Would some have liked to hear the words? Sure but it wasn’t necessary. We SAW her answer. Plus Schwartz said that if it had been the series finale it would have also had the wedding and that would have been very easy to do. Let Balcony be interupted after the proposal instead of during and we end up back at the church in Push Mix. Simple and easy changes. But even if that didn’t happen I wouldn’t have been at all disappointed other than the fact that the show was over. Sarah was complete and whole. Her growth was fully realized instead of thrown away. Chuck and Sarah were heading off into new adventures together, in love and completely committed to each other. No one can say that absolutely about the finale. In Push Mix it is clear, defined and absolute. As I said above we SAW Sarah’s answer to the proposal, we didn’t need to hear it. In Goodbye it is nothing of the sort. What happens next is inferred but not absolute and based on what we saw on screen just a few minutes earlier in Castle, there is no way to be certain she simply didn’t get up after the kiss and walk out of his life forever. Now I don’t believe she did but it is a possibility where in Push Mix we KNOW the answer. I could have easily said goodbye to Chuck and Sarah knowing their were completely together and whole after Push Mix. I never did get that chance after Goodbye.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’m totally with Uplink on this one. Even if Push Mix left us wanting more, it was never with a question mark like Goodbye did. THAT is the difference; it’s never a simple matter of wanting more, it’s that Goodbye left us unsure if all was well.
        There is no doubt I would always want more Chuck. But Push Mix or Cliffhanger (or even Baby) ended in a good enough place I could have been content that all was well.
        The day after the finale, I had a friend ask me (in some distress) “so were Chuck and Sarah all right or did Sarah go back to the CIA?!” Now I can go back and look at the episode and realize that there was actually no chance of that. BUT, for many viewers it was not abundantly clear from the end we saw. We needed assurance that all was well. Goodbye was simply not plain enough that all was well and THAT is why some viewers were franticly or bitterly upset.

      • thinkling says:

        Mr, that sounds like a subtle way of shifting he blame for the finale fall out to the audience, and I just don’t think you can do that. I have to agree with Dave and Uplink, not only for all the reasons they mentioned, but also for the complete lack of evidence. There are just no comments and discussions about Push Mix that even approach the negativity surrounding the finale. To the contrary! There are an abundance of comments (and poll results) that indicate people think Push Mix would have been a totally satisfactory series finale.

        Another counter-example is a frequent reaction to Other Guy, which is that it was a nice stepping to Honeymooners but would have been wholly inadequate as a series finale — too little return on investment after the misery of S3. I’ve never read any such comment about Push Mix.

        I don’t think the pervasive disappointment (understatement!) with the finale can be attributed to “just not being able to please ‘certain people.'”

      • oldresorter says:

        For some fans, Chuck and Sarah were very special, not an ordinary romantic lead on a tv series, but the best romantic lead on a tv series and therefore Chuck and Sarah deserved an epic ending, the most epic ending ever. The ending on the beach, met that ‘epic ending’ mark for SOME fans, but the problem was that for some fans the ending wasn’t just lacking a little, the ending was woefully inadequate.

        The ambiguous, melancholy ending would have been fine for most tv romantic leads, ok for Rick and Kate or Booth and Brennan or Sydney and Vaugh, etc, but the ending waswoefully inadequate for Chuck and Sarah. Heaped on top of this, several of the Chuck episode ending probably would have been better, Honeymooners, Paris, Cliffhanger as they exited the chapel or in the limo, Baby or maybe Push Mix (I think Push Mix to be the weakest of the five and not epic, but Push Mix would not have been reviled like Goodbye was). GIven how little new ideas were contained in Goodbye, I’m shocked that the show didn’t end with Chuck and Sarah in their room, and this time Sarah put a tune on the record player with the line, Chuck, if you don’t mind, I picked this out, this is OUR song, the show fades away with Chuck and Sarah cuddling in bed, ala Honeymooners.

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling excellent point about Other Guy, another great example of a good episode that would not have worked so well as a finale.
        And Jason nice point about Alt endings, Push Mix would have worked, but it would have been a bit on the weak side. Not enough pay-off at the end. That really seems to be an issue modern writers often struggle with; epilogues being out of style, audiences routinely get shorted at finale time. No doubt Honeymooners was the best wrap up Chuck ever did (really, one of the best ever seen on television) and its a shame they didn’t try to capture that mood again at the very end.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thinkling I could not agree more. I didn’t want to say it but I’m glad someone did. TBH I’m a little tired of the fans being blamed for the poor reception to both the finale and certainly season 3. There may be some entitled fans that would not be satisfied with something no matter what but in these 2 cases I think the great majority of fans have given clear, honest, inciteful reasons why things didn’t work for them. No need to list those here but at least on this site it has never been just “the finale sucked” with no explanation why. I’m also tired of being labeled a lousy fan if I don’t believe everything TPTB did was genius and express those opinions.

        But as you say there has never been any outcry about Push Mix being an inadequate series finale. In fact the only criticism I’ve ever seen has been that the laser scene was too long and the Sarah Casey reunion was too short. Both of which I happen to agree with. But neither of those rise to even 1/1000th of my dissatisfaction with the incomplete ending of Goodbye. I also agree that Other Guy is a good episode but only because it ended the pointless misery finally. It would have been a horrible series finale for exactly the reasons you said. Couple that with the huge number of plot holes and Routh’s absolutely horrific performance in that episode and the outcry would have been there if it had been the end. But none of that applies to Push Mix or even Cliffhanger. As Dave said I would always want more Chuck but what’s most important to me is I do not know with a certainty that Sarah Bartowski is whole once again. That is a HUGE letdown to me and has for almost 2 years kept me from being able to say goodbye to people I love happily. She and we deserved better.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink it’s funny, I know there are fans who would complain no matter what. It amuses me sometimes to look at other show’s discussion forums (or go to IMDb to see a whole bunch of them) and see how some people will find something to complain about, no matter what (and usually in a lot ruder terms than we use here).
        So I’m sure that accounts for some complaining. But I do think concerns about Goodbye are a little more specific and widespread than most of the background sort of bellyaching. And I really believe some pretty minor changes would have eliminated the vast majority of it.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I agree and I think that is the point. It gets to a basic premise for me. You don’t do a memory loss storyline for a series finale if you don’t give yourself sufficient time to resolve it by the end. I mean they basically threw away all 5 seasons of Sarah’s growth, her experiences, and how her love for Chuck grew and changed her in so many intangible ways that she was finally able to realize a life she had never experienced or even dreamed possible for her without absolutely restoring that at the end. Then when they are asked about it they tell anyone that asked it was a happy ending and all is well. Well then why not show it? Why leave the fans of the show in such a painful limbo? And please don’t say that it’s all there is you just look. That’s insulting to the viewers when so many simply don’t see it. In many ways its incredibly cruel to Sarah with so much misery and loss and an almost non-existent payoff. Why would it have been so wrong to simply have Sarah remember something along the way about Chuck specifically? About she and he together? I don’t care about the order of cups on a counter or Irene Demova. I care about their connection to each other. When Sarah asks Chuck to tell her “their” story I want to know she knows and “feels” its their story and she has connected with it on a personal level. Not just as an outsider hearing it for the first time.

        So many little things, a shoulder bump, “Let’s go home, Chuck”, “Shut up and kiss me” handing Chuck her rings to put back on her finger. wearing the bracelet and knowing why it was important, a 10 second shot of the molding tilting down from the Sarah + Chuck to names like Stephen and Emma with heights carved into it. Or just simply have Chuck hand her the drawing and see her face light up in sweet recognician. So many little things could have been done but weren’t and the incomplete nature of that finale will haunt the show until it is resolved in a movie and even then it won’t be what it could have been so easily. OR is right, Chuck and Sarah are in a class by themselves when it comes to OTP’s. They and Sarah especially deserved something better.

        But they did get better here in Push Mix. It’s clear, poignant, and incredibly romantic. It was a wonderful culmination to their story. I can’t say that about the finale.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, I agree with all of that Uplink.

      • mr2686 says:

        I believe I wrote “there would still be people that would have complaints”, not everyone. I stand by that, as there are quite a few people that would not be happy unless Chuck and Sarah are happy in the house with a white picket fence, that’s all I’m saying. Heck, they probably wouldn’t be happy with Honeymooners as an ending because they wouldn’t know if they got married or not. As for the real finale, I sooooooooo disagree with everything you guys have been writing, and quite frankly if I read another person write about wasting 5 years of Sarah’s development or wasting 5 years of the viewers investment in the story, I’m gonna puke. lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Well MR I guess we can agree there would be some complaints regardless. And yes, I believe we’ve actually heard from folks who disliked Honeymooners. So there presumably is no such thing as having an audience wholly and completely in synch.
        But that said, I think I have to consider Goodbye a near miss. Mostly a well conceived episode, definitely a well acted episode; but it fell short in way that caused a significant number of viewers great frustration and distress (I’m guessing from 10-20%), and left a number of us (like myself, maybe another 10-20%) somewhat dissatisfied; I can see how it’s meant to be a happy ending, but I didn’t initially, so it fails to connect emotionally.
        And since the vast majority of the discontent we heard was about the same thing (uncertainty over the Charah marriage and Sarah’s memories) I think its reasonable to say fixing/clarifying those two related issues would have likely worked for a bigger part of the audience.

      • uplink2 says:

        See MR the problem with all that is it comes across as dismissive and snarky. It doesn’t show others the respect their opinion deserves. This is all so subjective and yet you tend to position it as a contrary opinion to what TPTB gave us is irrelevant because a few would always find fault with anything. But the opposite is also true that there are folks that think TPTB can do absolutely nothing wrong. That they are brilliant and executed a Shakespearean drama to perfection. Hey there are probably 1 or 2 folks that thought Sarah/Shaw was brilliant. None of that matters when having a respectful and open discussion of differing opinions. That’s what I think virtually everyone has done here and when folks cross the line into snark, disrespectful, holier than thou remarks we have enough respect for each other to call someone out on it and explain why we disagree. Your comments above tried to negate any of that dissent simply based on a few extremes. Extremes no more valid or invalid than those that worship the ground TPTB walked on. But you didn’t explain the reasons why you disagree, you just dismissed it.

      • mr2686 says:

        Uplink, before you start calling people names, you better watch your own glass house. You’re as dismissive as anyone when it comes to arguing with someone that actually enjoyed the whole series for what it was. I’ve stated my case a number of times, so please don’t say I’m just being dismissive because I don’t want to keep rehashing arguments with you and a few of the others. I’m really sorry there were things you and others didn’t like about the series, but we all watch with our own eyes and experiences so we’re not all going to agree. If Dave is correct, and we take the highest percentage he gives, 40 percent either didn’t like or were somewhat dissatisfied. There’s probably about 10 percent on the fence and you could probably replicate the percentage for those that somewhat like it and really liked it. What does that tell you? It looks to me like a complete split and I don’t think that is that unusual. Hell, look at the country and how it’s divided about anything. You’re lucky to have 52 percent in favor of anything.

      • atcDave says:

        Let’s all play nice. There’s too many really ugly “discussion” forums out there, this won’t turn into one of those.

        I do think 40% discontent is too high. I would guess somewhat under 30% over all. But MR I disagree with saying better is unattainable. We HAD much better at the end of S2. And we had better a few times after; Honeymooners, Phase Three, a few other episodes get very few negative comments (never none). And I am pretty confident Goodbye could be fixed in a way that would satisfy AT LEAST half of those who were dissatisfied. Really, a simple Sarah line like “take me home, Chuck” or “now, THAT I remember…” As the screen fades to black probably would have left a very satisfied fandom. It was a good episode, but that end hurt many viewers. A simple fix would have been awesome.

      • mr2686 says:

        So Dave, if you really think the number is more like under 30percent, then why does it need to be fixed? Show me a show’s ending that makes over 70 percent of the fans happy or somewhat happy and I’ll show you a great ending…oh wait, we have one in the Goodbye. lol. Now of course, we’re just throwing out numbers and there’s really no way to verify any of this, much like any of our discussions when we throw out random numbers and rating numbers, etc etc. I just get a bit tired of people doing that and stating things as fact as opposed to opinion, and then when I turn around to do the same to counter them, I’m being dismissive. Bottom line, it’s all opinion guys. I think some of these things have been told so many times here that they have become fact, even though they are opinion or hearsay.

      • atcDave says:

        Of course we’re guessing about numbers. But saying a large number of viewers were unhappy with the end is a simple fact. And there’s no way an ending that pleased more viewers could be considered either a bad, or an unattainable thing. For now, the legacy of the show is an ending that failed many viewers. Of course that’s hardly unique, but being common only labels the problem “institutional” as opposed to Chuck specific. And given that Chuck is not the only show I have or will watch on television, those institutional problems bother me a great deal.
        As it stands, a reunion project that addresses and fixes the defects of the finale and I would be all good. So maybe they succeeded brilliantly, I’ll fight for more content until I get a better ending.
        Or maybe not, since I’d fight for more content regardless.

      • thinkling says:


        I believe I wrote “there would still be people that would have complaints”, not everyone.

        Actually what you said was, “there would still be people that have the same complaints about [Push Mix] that they do with Goodbye,” and that’s just not true. The complaints about Push Mix are a fraction of the number and completely different in nature from those about Goodbye. You’re floating a theory that is unsustainable by the facts.

        I stand by that, as there are quite a few people that would not be happy unless Chuck and Sarah are happy in the house with a white picket fence, that’s all I’m saying.

        Not on this site. See, now you’re floating hyperbole as fact. I haven’t ready anything by commenters here (not even one, really) that would support that. What I hear people saying, even the most vehemently disappointed in the finale, is that they wanted just a little something more that would let them KNOW that Sarah was going to be OK. They thought the end was too subtle with regards to Chuck and Sarah’s recovery.

        Heck, they probably wouldn’t be happy with Honeymooners as an ending because they wouldn’t know if they got married or not.

        Now that’s just sarcasm. And again not true. Honeymooners put Chuck and Sarah together in a wonderfully satisfying way that left no room for doubt that they were together for life.

        As for the real finale, grab a barf bag, because whenever the finale is discussed at length in a diverse group, you’re going to hear how Sarah’s growth was erased. Was it? Absolutely not! I totally believe that Sarah Bartowski was still there. However, the perception on the part of a significant number (let’s say 30%) of fans was that all that wonderful growth we saw over Chuck’s magical five years was rendered null and void in the finale. The people who loved the finale (50%) say that the 30% just don’t see the happy ending. Then there’s the flip side. No matter how positively the finale is viewed, there’s a tremendous tragedy to overcome. The 30% don’t understand how the 50% can call that a happy ending.

        The backlash from the finale stunned the creators and sparked a lot of post series interviews to explain that it was really a happy ending. I can’t think that’s quite normal. A writer shouldn’t have to explain his story and certainly no show runner wants 30% of the audience to leave dissatisfied. (Bear in mind that these are not people popping in to see if they’re going to like Chuck. These are die hard fans, a third of whom didn’t like the finale on initial viewing.)

        Will there always be a few people dissatisfied with even the best of finales? Yes. Will some people be dissatisfied no matter what? Yes, but they are very few and not a huge concern. But when such a significant number of people are dissatisfied (some of them throw-out-all-your-DVDs angry), that’s a concern. The burden is on the writer. It’s not up to the viewers to sift through subtleties to discern the writer’s intent. It’s the job of the writer to make it clear. So, when 30% of the audience didn’t think it was clear, then the problem is probably not with the viewers.

      • mr2686 says:

        So 70 percent understood it, but that means it’s a problem with the writers? That would make this one of the best and most loved finales in history. That just makes no sense at all. And…if there are people that are so mad that they are throwing away their dvds, then they there are really more problems there than just a questionable ending. Sorry, gotta run and pass out chuck dvd’s the the trick or treaters.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s exactly what I’m saying. When 30% of your die hard fans think the ending is unclear, that’s terrible.

        And when we say 30% (intensely) disliked the final, that doesn’t mean that 70% loved it. There are a lot of people in the middle.

        Nobody looking back on it objectively could categorize Chuck’s finale as a big success. There was too much negative backlash. That’s just a fact, no matter whether you (or I or anyone else) personally loved it or hated it. Declaring it all good can’t change that.

      • mr2686 says:

        And that’s what I don’t get. (again a made up number) I can understand if 30 percent didn’t like the direction of the show, or didn’t like certain characters, or would rather have had a little more added to it (hey, I’m at the head of the line in saying they missed a huge opportunity to add several additional minutes to the DVD extended finale that would have been really cool…and yes Dave, I know you think there could have just been a couple more words added, but heck with the DVD they could have added extra content as a nice farewell to the fans) but what I don’t understand is how 30 percent of fans that say they watched the show regularly think the ending was unclear. You’re telling me that they watched the last several episodes, in fact, you’re telling me they watched from Phase Three, through Morgansect, through the episodes where Ellie (a brain doctor) told everyone that Sarah’s memories needed to be unlocked, where Morgan proclaimed (in Chuck fashion) that one magic Disney kiss might unlock those memories, that Sarah started remembering certain things like writing Chuck and Sarah at the house, or where the cups were stacked at the restaurant, where Sarah went from “not feeling it” to actually telling Chuck to kiss her…all that and it’s still unclear where the story was going after it went black? Yep, now I’m sure of it, I just don’t get it.

      • uplink2 says:

        First of all Thinkling, bravo. I agree completely. But MR here is an issue that I still believe is part of the large negative reaction to the finale and yes there have been many finales that are almost universally viewed as brilliant. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Newhart, Hill Street Blues, and others.

        You talk about the things leading up to the final scene and how it should all be crystal clear as to what happens after the fade to black. But the problem is that we thought that once before after Sarah said “It is real” and Chuck said “I know Kung Fu.” But we all know how that turned out. In season 3 TPTB lost the trust of a very large part of their viewers and once that trust is lost it is virtually impossible to get it back. That’s one of the reasons I needed to actually “see it” and not just trust that what was “implied” would actually happen. Simply put, I didn’t trust Fedak that this really was a happy ending because he never showed me convincingly it was.

        At the time of the finale Faith kept talking about “trust the love, trust the show” well for me I can only do half that. I’ve always trusted the love between Chuck and Sarah, it’s the only reason I was able to get through the abomination that was season 3 for me at times. But once Pink Slip aired Schwedak lost my trust in the show and never fully got it back. It’s why though I love what they did at times, it was never as fulfilling as it had been prior to Jan 10th 2010. That is the baggage that the finale had to deal with and simply put, unless I actually saw that Sarah Bartowski was whole and felt everything she once did I simply don’t trust the outcome no matter what Schwedak said in their damage control interviews post finale. That bit of doubt will always be there and it didn’t have to be. The ending isn’t sweeter because we didn’t see it no matter how “artsy” it comes across.

        But again Push Mix isn’t like that. There is no doubt, no margin for error. The intent is clear and the joy and the love is very satisfying for every character. In the actual finale Fedak needs his audience to trust that what he is implying actually comes about but the problem is he doesn’t have the level of trust he once did. People saw the man behind the curtain and knew what was onscreen was a lie in season 3 and once that genie is out of the bottle you can’t ever fully get it back in.

      • mr2686 says:

        Uplink, as I said, from Phase 3 through the Goodbye, it was pretty darn obvious they would be together. You’re talking about things that happened in previous seasons that were partially caused by not being cancelled and adding shows when they thought they wouldn’t have to. The Finale led you down the road and if you didn’t want to follow then that’s on you. What did you think, Schwedak was going to pop up on your tele a few days later and say “fooled you, Sarah died of massive head injuries, ha ha. My goodness, if this is the type of arguments we have for a moderately successful tv show, I can only imagine the arguments we all would have over something like Citizen Kane.

      • atcDave says:

        MR I do think only 70% acceptance of a show finale is pretty tepid. But the issue for Chuck has always been the doubts and questions many viewers had with the finale. You say you don’t get it; well we spent the better part of six months here with dozens of viewers asking for explanations, for hope, and answers. And I don’t mean the regular half dozen who are still here, I mean new people every day for the first couple weeks, and new visitors continuing for months after. CF, Zac and Yvonne all were inundated with questions on twitter; and all of us here spent hours giving free therapy for disappointed fans. It was a BIG issue.
        And it is two different things; how was the marriage and how was Sarah. I quickly accepted that all was well, but I spent months explaining that to other viewers (including a despondent co-worker). It was NOT that clear. Sarah never had a clear memory, certainly none that actually related to Chuck. In the past, Sarah has claimed being a spy is all she is, all she knows, all she’s good at. So a viewer concluding a Sarah who no longer remembers Chuck will simply return to the CIA is NOT being unreasonable. We have to construct a case from clues in the show (Morgan regained his mature personality prior to specific memories; Sarah turned down Beckman’s job offer so she wasn’t “just” a spy anymore; Sarah asked to be told “our” story after previously rejecting it; Sarah initiated the kiss and allowed to continue for quite some time…) Oh boy we went over this stuff so many times. The clues that Sarah (and Charah) is fine were there, but it took some digging to find them all. And especially many viewers who no longer trusted the writers after S3 really had a hard time time taking any kind of inferred conclusion on faith.
        There was also an explosion of new Chuck fan fiction that lasted for many months related to providing closure to that ending. SO MANY people needed more.

        Many viewers DID trust and saw the happy ending immediately. But its just rude to dismiss the thousands (maybe over a million!) Chuck fans who struggled to see what they WANTED to see. Some, few of them were determined and stubborn to NOT see how it could be happy. Even to the point of disbelieving things that HAD actually been shown on screen. I find that fully as frustrating as viewers who simply dismiss those fans who were looking for honest answers. There are two different extremes that both drove me nuts (errr MORE nuts).

        I do completely agree a more involved and clear ending on the discs would have been awesome. I have also mentioned my ideal ending would have mirrored Honeymooners, including the scene where Chuck and Sarah return home and encounter Ellie who asks “are you back together?” Then cue Feeling Good as Chuck and Sarah head into their apartment. Now that would be a perfect end for me. Or maybe a whole epilogue episode. I’d like that too. But I only NEEDED just a little bit more.

      • uplink2 says:

        Here Here Dave. On the subject of the DVD’s I think it is very telling that when it was announced there would be extra material and an “extended cut” universally the first question was, would the ending be different? Would there be more past the kiss? Would we learn more clearly that Sarah was ok? Of course none of that was in there. Though I think the extended cut is better and will probably always be the only one I actually watch, about the only thing it helps clear up at least a little bit is the whole Ellie abandoning her brother and sister-in-law when they needed her most. That still bothers me greatly as it all seems so unnecessary and ill-advised. At least it is sort of given a little bit more back story.

        And MR I find those comments about Schwedak popping up on my TV to be rather patronizing. I explained my POV about the loss of trust in TPTB respectfully and I hope intellegently. It is a sentiment I have heard from many many fans of the show. As Dave attested to, it has been discussed her many times as well. I believe it is a very valid aspect to why the finale was not as well received as they expected. It is a concept that a number of showrunners have talked about. Once you lose the trust of your audience it is nearly impossible to get it back. Especially when you don’t acknowledge why and how you lost it until its probably too late if at all.

      • mr2686 says:

        So let me get this straight…I’m rude and dismissive, yet when Billatwork or Uplink or a handful of the people that really really spew their opinions and are dismissive of myself or Ernie or a few others, that’s ok, and infact, you’ll agree with them. But that’s ok.
        Well, good luck to all of you. I really hope you get over your anger…after all, it’s just a tv show. They’re all yours Ernie, mr2686 signing off.

      • atcDave says:

        MR if you were around last week you know we spent plenty of time scolding others for being too critical and negative. It is not just on you or on one side. Its a matter of disagreeing respectfully. It is often tricky on-line when we have no experience or knowledge of each others moods and expressions. And honestly I don’t see what the big deal is here, you’ve presented a view and I’ve responded to it. I don’t believe there’s nearly the anger involved you’re assuming, certainly not for my part. Emphatic yes, angry no. I am sorry if I caused offense, it was never my intent. But I did feel a need to respond to your comments.
        I also do not feel much anger over the finale episode, well not anymore. But I do get a little testy over dismissing those who were unsatisfied. I do not believe I ever tried to diminish the opinions of those who loved the finale. I relate to them less, but I believe among the five principals remaining after the finale we ALL worked towards helping viewers understand why the finale was positive and that things had ended on a very positive note.

      • OK, I’m really sick of talking about the finale, so I’m just going to leave that discussion alone.

        MR, you’re not alone at all on the finale, and I hope you stick around. I think Ernie, myself, and Joe more or less agree with you. It’s also never fun to be ganged up on, which is what’s happened here. And that’s why we need you to stick around, so I’m not always the one getting ganged up on! 🙂

        With all that said, I do think you’re being a bit too sensitive (happens to all of us). I don’t think Uplink was ever calling you names, and he’s as entitled to feel offended by something you say as you are to do the same. A lot of times, the people on the negative side of the finale come off as condescending. Trust me, I get it. But it’s important to separate the argument from the person. For example (and with apologies), I’ve often felt Dave’s arguments were fallacious or condescending, and I’ve told him as much. You’re under no obligation to silently feel slighted. But when you say, “fooled you, Sarah died of massive head injuries, ha ha,” I think you know that’s a dishonest representation of his argument.

        I don’t think that threatening to (figuratively) take your ball and go home, or lashing out when you feel slighted, is the solution to your problem. If you feel like you’re being attacked or condescended to, highlight the words, say what you feel, and leave it at that. I don’t think Dave, Uplink or Thinkling was specifically trying to offend you, and they all make more or less consistent efforts to not offend people as a general rule.

        This is one of those cases, I think, where you can just let this thread be, and move on to the next conversation. I hope you stick around the site; I enjoy seeing your perspective. As a diehard fan of Chuck, you are clearly a person of high intellect and superior taste! 🙂

        But more importantly, how in the heck are you guys doing italics, and all your other magical font tricks? I feel like a rube! 🙂

      • joe says:

        No font tricks, Arthur. Just years and years of study, hard work and an occasional sacrifice to the Internet gods.
        Wordpress blogs generally allow a limited set of HTML tags in comments, but the details depend a bit on the template being used. All of them allow the italics and bold tags (<em> and <strong>, respectively), as well as the anchor tag (<a href=”Your URL here in quotes”>). Most use the one for quoting blocks of text, but its effects vary from template to template – <blockquote>.

        Oh, and there’s the handy “abbreviation” tag that nobody seems to use but me – <abbr title=”Darn near anything here”>, and it works like this, IIRC.

        I think there’s also big and small allowed in the comments, but who the heck would use those???

      • Angus MacNab says:

        Ah, thanks for that, Joe. I’ve often thought of trying to use HTML tags in posts, but my concerns about hashing up a post I couldn’t edit have always prevented me from trying them.

      • atcDave says:

        Arthur feeling that condescension is a big problem both ways. Believe me, its pretty insufferable to be constantly told we would love the finale (or S3) if we just “got” it. Like it can just be explained and we’ll be all better.
        With any such emotional material I think the understanding and the feeling are two separate issues. And it can be really tough to keep tempers and emotions in check sometimes when we interact with viewers who had completely different reactions.

        Although I do have to add that in this case, I think the more emotional part of it for me was defending a lot of fellow fans and the legitimacy of their reaction than the actual episode itself.

      • Wow, I just failed pretty miserably in that coding attempt, lol.

      • dkd says:

        “On the subject of the DVD’s I think it is very telling that when it was announced there would be extra material and an “extended cut” universally the first question was, would the ending be different?”


        I knew the ending wouldn’t be different. Not because of any “insider-y” information, but jbecause that’s not how they do things. The PTB just wouldn’t have done an alternate ending because their vision of what they wanted–a bookend to the pilot’s scene on the beach–was so apparent and clear. It was also the most important scene to them. So, it was extremely unlikely that it had been cut as the episode went through the usual trimming that episodes do.

        I knew any new material would have been earlier in the episode and would have been stuff the producers considered less important.

        I doubt I’m not the only one who understood that.

      • I agree dkd. Moreover, I wasn’t hoping for more on the ending at all, but more in the middle. I still think the restaurant-dance scene needed some Pilot-style humor. I would’ve liked to see Chuck make Sarah laugh during Goodbye. So “universally” is a bit much.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As an often ardent defender of the finale, especially the final scene, I just want to add that I hope I haven’t seemed to be telling people they should love the finale, they just don’t “get it”. It is often difficult to convey nuance or tone with text alone, and depending on the reader I’m sure I can come across very differently than intended, so I’ll just say my intent has always been to highlight and defend what I get out of the finale, knowing that each person is going to have a slightly different reaction, but hoping that I can help people see what I enjoyed and found fulfilling about the ending and if not let them enjoy it as much as I did, perhaps take some of the sting out of their disappointment.

        Beyond that, I’ve written about this enough for people to know where I’m coming from, so I’ll defer my thoughts till the episode in question and see if I have anything new to add.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I’ve never seen you as contributing to the problem on this. As I mentioned above, I think it was a team effort from all five of us (I only exclude Amyabn because she largely withdrew from the blog shortly after the finale) to help viewers sort out feelings and reactions after the finale. The five of us had widely divergent views initially; I think we all came to share a similar understanding of the episode, but our very different emotional reactions led to a very diverse response when dealing with different viewers. I am actually quite proud of how we all dealt with those first six months after. Not to exclude anyone, many regular commenters were a big help during that time as well.

  7. Chris Dunlap says:

    After Joe’s posting of the Naked and Famous’s, “Young Blood”, looked up the lyrics and such and was inpired to download it and learn to play the guitar parts. What hit me after viewing the scene in the hospital with Sarah and Chuck along with the haunting melody of the song made me remember Casey’s advice to Chuck, “You only need the Girl”. That’s the message here, he only needs the girl and she only needed him. When it first aired I was a little disappointed, but now after multiple viewings I’ve come to see how powerful this scene really is.

    • joe says:

      Chris, you and I have too much in common, then, including figuring out the guitar part. 😉

      Yeah, I was slightly disappointed at first, too. Mostly, it was because of one word (“eventually”) used in the phase Falling in love eventually, prominent in the lyric. But you’re quite right; the song is powerful. I used that word, anthem, intentionally – it’s an anthem for millennials, at least for the oldest of them, like Chuck and Sarah.

      That’s much like For What It’s Worth and Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) (sorry for the awful quality!) is for my generation. I’d hazard a guess that Smells Like Teen Spirit and Under The Bridge are anthems for Gen-Xers. Those songs tell us a lot about the tenor of the times.

      • Chris says:

        Joe, hadn’t thought about that, good catch. You’re right, it is an anthem. My hat is off to the musical director of Chuck for capturing its essence. I’m amazed at the new music this show has exposed to me.

      • joe says:

        Oh, me too. I totally credit Alexandra Patsavas and Chop Shop Music for reawakening my passion for music after about a 10 year hiatus.

      • Chris Dunlap says:

        Joe, have you learned it yet? I started to learn it the other night. It’s amazing the power of what, 6 power chords? Just can’t figure how to get that bottom end sustain. My instructor says they’re compressing the signal, whatever that means, Ha.

  8. joe says:

    Completely OT, I can’t resist.
    I just saw an old (2009) episode of MonkMr. Monk Is Someone Else, and I’m having Deja-Vu all over the place. Not only does it sport two guest stars from The Sopranos, Vincent Curatola (Johnny Zac) and Louis Lombardi (Skip), but Louis Lombardi was also in Fake Name (2010). More to the point, Monk has to play the part of a professional hired assassin who looks like him in this episode, complete with taking the hit-man’s identity.

    I’m not sayin’ someone plagiarized the story line here, but… wow!

  9. Dave says:

    I thought this was a very good episode. Too much Morgan, but otherwise very, very good. The ending was just about perfect (making the idiotic start to the next episode harder to fathom, but more on that later). The interaction between Chuck and Mary was good here. The only other stand-out in this area was Last Details. All in all, one of my favs.

    Not necessarily my favorite almost finale (Subway/Ring II was for me, oddly enough), but definitely #2. I know my choice was odd, but I really liked that double episode despite the shortcomings. Just my personal opinion.

    • atcDave says:

      That’s one of the bigger disconnects we’ve had Dave, I would have hated Ring II as a finale. It would have been worse (actually much, much worse) than Goodbye.

      As always, I sure am glad we still have so much show, and so many really good episodes ahead of us. But I think Push Mix or Cliffhanger would have worked well for me as stopping points.

      • Dave says:

        Let me clarify…

        I didn’t like the almost finales as finales. I really liked them (Ring, Other Guy, Subway/Ring II, Push Mix and Cliffhanger) as episodes. I was lukewarm on Sarah/Goodbye.

        The Ring being weak did not bother me as much as some. I saw the Ring as a canard, just like Shaw was. The Ring was fabricated to make Shaw seem important, its almost fitting that it fizzled out.

        I’d say as episodes I like Subway/Ring II, Push Mix, Other Guy, Ring and Cliffhanger in that order (not at all a fan of Morgansect). I never wanted a finale. I always hoped we’d still be watching. Probably as a finale I would go with Cliffhanger less the Morgansect fiasco, if I was forced to choose.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay I’ll agree with most of that Dave. Especially to say I never wanted a finale.

      • atcDave, why would you have hated Ring II as a finale? Because of the cliffhanger?

      • atcDave says:

        Because it ended with a huge potential problem/lie/SECRET between Chuck and Sarah. It really sat wrong with me, at least to say I wasn’t very happy leaving things there.

      • I’m confused, what was the lie? That he was going to his father’s house? I don’t remember them discussing it, let alone Chuck lying.

        Ring II was probably the worst of the finales, but I don’t understand your point.

      • atcDave says:

        Hey I’m trying!

        It was both quitting the CIA at Ellie’s behest (Sarah seemed more fine with this than I was!) and even more, heading off to the Orion cave without Sarah along. To me, it left me with an uneasy feeling about how Chuck would deal with this new mission with regards to Sarah.
        If say, Sarah had quit the CIA too, and Sarah had been WITH Chuck at the Orion house, it would have worked fine as a series finale.

        When S4 started I felt like my worst fears were both valid (Chuck DID try to keep it all a secret from Sarah) but quickly addressed (problem fixed by the end of the episode).
        So Ring II is not a big problem for me at this point, but I would not have liked it as a series ender.

      • Ah, I get it now. I just never looked at it that way, but that’s fine.

      • atcDave says:

        Yay! I’m glad I was finally clear. I often seem to misjudge when to be thorough vs when to be succinct.

    • uplink2 says:

      Dave, that is interesting. I really liked Subway and it is my #2 episode of season 3. Tic Tac would be if not for the pointless, contrived, cheap angst, final scene that really damages the episode. But I’m not a real big fan of Ring II. It is certainly top 5-7 of season 3 but that isn’t saying much. I’m with BillatWork and capturing 5 accountants in a stairwell is one incredibly pathetic defeat of the Ring who was supposed to be far more dangerous than Fulcrum. As was said in Goodbye, The Ring were amateurs. The Ring elders were about as threatening as the BuyMore bowling team.

      • You know, uplink, that’s why I’m leery of a Chuck movie. As much as I love Goodbye, I’m really worried that a movie would just be a repeat of S3, and that would just ruin the finale for me. I’m probably higher on Fedak than most, but if JS got involved, I’m not sure they have what it takes to make a post-Goodbye story a tale about growing together again rather than two people bickering for an hour before magically falling in love.

        Don’t get me wrong, though. The moment a Chuck kickstarter happens, they’re getting ALL of my monies!

      • Sorry, I meant for that to be a reply to the 5.12 comments. I’m losing track of things.

      • atcDave says:

        Nesting comments at this site can be a pain.
        I think we all have some concerns about what might actually happen with a movie. There are certainly directions they could go I would not be happy with (like anything implying a lengthy recovery process for Sarah and Charah); but I’m really not VERY worried about it. I will also pitch in as much as I can (errr, and probably more than my wife would define it too!) for a Kickstarter campaign.

      • joe says:

        I suspect any advance rumors about a potential movie script would have something in it to scare some of the fans. I’m worried too about encanonizing (is that a word???) a long Chuck-Sarah separation. But at the same time, implying that they easily and quickly got back to the status we had at the beginning of Bullet Train (romantically and marriage-wise, I mean) might trivialize the real trauma and drama in S5, which is stuff I appreciate and don’t want to see minimized.

        For me, it’s a bit of a lose-lose situation.

        The other side of that coin is the possibility the creative minds involved (who shall remain nameless, but who’s initials might be Zac Levi) come up with something that bypasses my worries entirely. THAT would make me more than happy. It would make me ecstatic! That possibility would make me go to the theater for the first time in years, and it would certainly make me pre-order the DVD or even buy a Blu-ray!

      • atcDave says:

        Joe it sure would be fun to get back into that mood again though, like before a new season, only bigger and longer. You know we’ll alternate between all crazy excited, and deeply worried about the latest spoiler. So much fun. I miss it.

    • thinkling says:

      Finale discussions — cool.

      I put Push Mix and Cliffhanger at the top, because they were unequivocally happy. They left Chuck and Sarah and the team in a good place. I can’t really say that for the others. If Cliffhanger had really been the end, there would have been no Morgansect. We would have bid farewell to the Bartowskis as a happy power couple (and owners of their own spy firm) with TeamB still taking down the bad guys.

      I would put the actual finale third. It was, if not an unequivocally happy ending, at least a reassuring one. I ended up liking it a lot, but more for what I came to see and understand than how I initially felt.

      Other potential finales suffered from last minute reprieves. And of course, I’m grateful for the reprieves. If S2 had really been the end, hopefully Chuck and Sarah would have finished their dance and their conversation, and we could have left them in a happy place.

      For me, Ring 2 doesn’t hold up very well as a series finale. For a season finale, it would have been great, except that I didn’t like Ellie asking Chuck to quit spying. I liked even less that Chuck agreed, especially after his vows with Sarah (Chuck Bartowski, do you agree to not quit the spy life and be with me … I do.) Taking out the deal with Ellie would have fixed it for me.

      Other Guy, like I said: a nice stepping stone to Honeymooners, but inadequate as a finale — too little return on investment.

      Marlin is the odd one, because it wasn’t planned as a season finale. It only ended up as one because of the writers’ strike. I see it more as a nice resting spot after all that came before it.

      My complaints are minor, and I’m amazed at how Chuck was able to keep churning out finales and keep growing the characters and the story in such wonderful ways. That can’t have been easy.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with most of your finale comments Thinkling. Just a few thoughts to add; I always thought Marlin worked out very well as a season finale. It teased just HOW compromised Sarah actually was, which was a nice closing thought when waiting for the next season. And season two had already been ordered, so there was never any doubt about it being anything more. Obviously it couldn’t function as a series finale.
        I wouldn’t add anything to your other comments.
        But I will add Baby to the mix. It was never meant to be a finale at all; but as the last really strong episode before the actual finale arc, I think it is an excellent stopping point. We see a completely mature and content couple. I imagine from the show runners’ perspective its biggest failing is its focus on Sarah’s journey. But of course the point is how the characters’ journeys are now completely shared, and they’re really thinking about normal life together in the end.

      • thinkling says:

        It’s funny about Baby. Before the final arc, it was a wonderful affirmation of how far Sarah had come and what they both wanted. Their time had come, and they knew what they wanted, so Sarah carved the promise in the door frame that one day they would have it. Then right about the time they should be acting on that promise things fall apart. From then on the promise that Sarah carved and the one Chuck drew are the happy ending — one we didn’t see but were promised.

        I suppose those scenes (and the hopeful things we DO see on screen in the finale) crystalized my thinking for Past is Prologue and Epilogue and Sarah vs Finding Herself.

      • macnab13 says:

        Well, I must say since we’re on the subject of finales, that this one is most likely my favorite, even if we call Honeymooners a finale. Sarah saying ‘yes’ sealed it for me. The actual finale we were given was the one I liked the least, and this is why:

        I recently re-watched the last two episodes, paying special attention to Chuck vs Sarah for some research on a one-off short story idea. I came to the conclusion that the Sarah we were given in Chuck vs Sarah was so hard and emotionless I couldn’t even pair her with the Terminator, much less Chuck. She didn’t seem to have any ability to read and adapt to a situation, and was much more cold, unreachable and unforgiving than any of the Sarah’s we saw before this, even the hardened assassin we saw in Baby. And that line she spoke to Chuck in their house – you know the one – nearly broke me from this pairing; and at the very end! In my opinion, that version of Sarah didn’t deserve Chuck, under any circumstances.

        I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand why I came away from the beach scene at the end of the series so dissatisfied – more time than any sane person should. I came to the conclusion it wasn’t so much what happened, or didn’t happen there on that beach. It was all that happened the episode before it, and the way the events played out before that last scene in the final episode. Those events were too severe in my mind for a simple resolution via ‘our story’ and a less than passionate kiss, and that is where the art fell flat on its face for me.

        Chuck and Sarah were pulled so far apart by those events, and that version of Sarah was so cold and broken, I didn’t see how they could possibly walk off that beach without some huge struggles to get back where they once were, especially Sarah.

        I agree about vs Baby, Dave. That’s were my mind preferred to end it until I head-canoned the larger story and discovered fan fiction.

      • atcDave says:

        Very interesting take on 5.12 Angus. I guess I always figured Sarah was actually deeply affected by Chuck immediately, and was trying all her best agent tricks to keep from blowing her mission. It was only Quinn chattering in her ear that kept her from believing in Chuck from the start.
        So then Quinn’s big reveal when he shoots at her shatters all her defenses, and we see a deeply emotional Sarah watching her old logs. And yeah, I think that means when she told Chuck she didn’t “feel it”, she lied.

        Unfortunately there’s not enough in the episode itself to draw a more firm conclusion either way.

      • macnab13 says:

        Well, Dave I might be able to agree with you about how affected she was by Chuck – for instance not being able to kill him when presented with more than one opportunity to do so. However, the Sarah sitting with Ellie in that outdoor diner was truly frightening, as well as the one that spoke those words to him in their home, the ones I can’t even bring myself to repeat (!). Those two scenes in particular had a very negative impact on my ability to see any simple resolution to Sarah’s reset.

      • uplink2 says:

        Great observation Angus. I see your point clearly and I would extend that to the Sarah we see on the staircase leaving Castle just before the beach scene. That Sarah is much closer to the Sarah at the end of CvsS than she is to the person we see on the beach. The problem is, what happened in between? The jump from that Sarah to the Sarah we all want to see on the beach and yes, some actually do, is simply too great to accept at face value for me. As you say way too much agony and misery to be resolved with a story and a kiss. On the beach she is a different person if you accept that it is a totally happy ending than she was leaving Castle. But that is a pattern with the show many times. Too little time spent on redemption for way way way too much on misery.

        Case in point, Other Guy. That would have been an absolutely horrible series finale for me. Couple Routh’s terrible performance in that episode with too little redemption for all of the prior, pointless misery and we never truly see them earn that redemption. Nothing was shown about how they built the couple back to deserve DYLM. But Other Guy succeeds because we got Honeymooners. That is the redemption and that is where we see that they have rebuilt the relationship. With the finale we never got that. Plus the Sarah character is so incredibly broken by the prior events that it’s foolish to believe it is all redeemed by simply asking for “their story” and for Chuck to “kiss me.” That is why I have always felt that Goodbye should have been 5.12 and not 5.13. Throw out that creepy Morgan having sex with a woman old enough to be his mother episode and move everything up so that you can have the time needed to make Sarah heal and be whole again. Without that it’s just way way too much to be left to the viewer to write for themselves.

      • macnab, I agree that Sarah/Ellie was frightening – the scene where Ellie drives into a car is an all-time Chuck favorite. Yvonne was just amazing all throughout Sarah. I actually don’t think Sarah was lying when she said she didn’t feel it. I just think she was having so much thrown at her that she couldn’t. I mean, she’d just gotten over seeing Chuck as a cold-blooded traitor (and even then, she was very upset when she thought he died).

        I just think vs. Sarah. shows Sarah just completely off-balance. We’ve seen her emotionally shut down under stress, especially without Chuck to counteract it (Phase 3, Pink Slip), and she gets thrown in the middle of this huge whirlwind of emotions without any grounding – because she’s lost 5 years of memories. She goes after Quinn not just for revenge, but because it’s the simplest path ahead of her, and the only thing she’s intellectually sure of.

        I love vs Sarah because it’s just such a different dramatic feel than anything else Chuck did. But I do see it as being a pretty dark episode, kind of like Subway; remember how defeated Chuck was?

        Now, I believe that Goodbye completely resolves that darkness, which is why Sarah works so well me. But I’m not going there. 🙂

      • oldresorter says:

        Arthur, it’s funny you mentioned Subway / Ring II. I didn’t like them near as much as many did because the eps were too serious for the main characters. I simply don’t like the way Chuck and Sarah were written dramatically.

        I’d have loved Chuck and Sarah as comedy, with a drama going on around them (in many ways, even Phase 3 was filled with funny line after funny line while Sarah went on her one woman mish to save her man and Honeymooners was definitely fun, the fight scenes in the Pilot, pure comedy). Instead, Chuck and Sarah more and more were written serious as the show evolved, while a comedy went on around them fell flatter and flatter (for me).

        I don’t begrudge anyone for liking the show writing Chuck and Sarah dramatically. I understand the dynamics of the beach scene, it was a neat scene, a cool idea. My issue is the scene did not pay off 5 seasons of TV’s best couple ever for ‘near’ everyone. I think there were many ways the final scene could have done that. The reason it was so easy to fix was most of the heavy lifting was set up for the payoff. For some reason, the writers didn’t pay off the misery they put everyone thru for two whole episodes of saying goodbye to the fans and the characters those fans loved. Why wouldn’t they do that? It’s almost like they tried to come up with an ending that those who supported them in s3 would love, and those who hated s3 would not – Muhahahaha!

      • That’s fine. I’ll just say that I hated season 3.0 so much that I stopped watching the show, and I loved the finale. The two aren’t the same.

      • Angus MacNab says:

        Yeah, Arthur, emotionally shut down Sarah was exactly what I was researching for my story. Some of us do gravitate toward the more darker parts of the story because of the deep emotion they often carry, and that’s fine as long as the redemptive parts have balance.

        It always bothered me that Sarah took the whole ‘cold-blooded traitor Chuck’ as he was presented to her at face value when she didn’t even know her own handler; that she would allow herself to so easily believe all these things, especially marrying a mark.

        For me these issues were a bridge too far for the Goodbye to resolve, and why I needed more, and why I prefer Baby, or or Push Mix, or Cliffhanger (minus Morgansect) as series finales.

        I’m still glad for all we fans were given. But I’m sure we would have all been happy to see more beyond the beach.

      • atcDave says:

        Arthur I agree with most of that about 5.12. I do think Sarah is so overwhelmed by the situation, including knowing that she’s missing five years of experience and context, that we see her unlike anything she’s been before. Although unlike you I don’t particularly LIKE seeing something so different. I would have much preferred a more fun episode. The Sarah/Ellie scene is the only part of it though that really sort of “bothers” me; the best explanation I can come up with is that she’s a little POed after having underestimated Chuck and being outgamed by him at the Intersect lab. I like to think she probably wouldn’t have really killed Ellie; but my confidence on that is pretty low if she really believes the Bartowski’s are master terrorists at this point. Given that context I can give her a sort of pass, at least enough to say I don’t particularly dwell on it. But as Angus suggested, it sets a dark enough tone that 5.13 never completely gets back from there.

        I do disagree with Uplink a little on the last scene leaving Castle (5.13); I saw a VERY different Sarah on the steps. I saw her as almost completely ready to return to Chuck (turning down Beckman’s job offer had a really strong impact on me); in fact, I still think, every time I watch that scene, she would have kissed Chuck right there if he asked her. Giving her some space and time (a couple hours? we don’t really know) made her even more ready, more sure, she wanted to reclaim her life.
        At least that’s how I see it now. I was less sure that first night.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well I think it’s fair to say that the number of people who hated season 3 is far far greater than those that hated the finale. But I think those that hated the finale probably did hate season 3. So in a way it is a subset of the other. As a matter of fact I have never said I hated the finale. There are many fantastic moments in those 2 episodes with some absolutely brilliant and incredible performances. However I agree with much of the discussion that it was all just a bridge too far and asking for their story and for a kiss doesn’t even come close to showing me a healed and whole Sarah Walker. It’s incomplete but I don’t hate it. I hate the decision to go for a memory loss troupe for the finale of the show especially when they didn’t give it anywhere near enough time to be redeemed but overall I don’t hate the finale or the performances and execution. I can’t say the same for season 3. There are far too many moments I absolutely hate with a passion and I can’t identify anything I would say was brilliant.

        Dave, my point about Sarah on the steps is I really don’t see the connection to the woman at the beach that I see to the woman at the fountain in CvsS. She is still too lost and too broken to be fixed so simply on that beach. Even with the memories that returned I find very little difference in Sarah in Castle at the end as we saw at the Nerd Herd counter. I agree she might have kissed him if he asked and she wanted something, anything to help her figure out the mess she was in as now that Quinn was defeated what’s next for her? Where does she belong? And who is she now? But at the beach she is far more open. It’s like she jumped a hundred steps forward from the woman on the stairs. That woman was cold and lost walking up those stairs. At the beach it is just too big a jump to where she is there.

        But that is something they have done before, sometimes with good results and many times without. The jump from the woman who for the first time ever doesn’t trust Chuck to the woman who just that evening is asking Chuck what he really is saying to her at the restaurant and the next day is planning to run away with him once more is another example of her being almost 2 different characters when the storyline requiired it.

        But I guess it’s mainly a feel thing. I don’t feel like the Sarah on the stairs is within just a few hours of being back to season 5 Sarah Bartowski on that beach as Ernie has proposed.

      • Well Dave, I don’t know whether she’d have killed Ellie or not. Remember, she was starting to disbelieve Quinn’s narrative because she heard Chuck and Ellie talking in private. She was starting to disbelieve Quinn in general after just being around Chuck for 12 hours or so. It was a pretty quick shift.

        Then she saw that Chuck manipulated that emotion by stealing the glasses. And she saw that he was clever enough to thwart Quinn, reinforcing that narrative. Basically, she had been convinced by the circumstances to ignore her (correct) instincts where Team B was concerned. Her basic intuition was to believe Chuck and throw Quinn out of a window, but Chuck’s cleverness, Quinn’s manipulation, and her complete uncertainty was enough to make her ignore it for a short period of time.

        Either way, I thought the Sarah/Ellie and Sarah/Chuck scenes were masterful for just that reason. Ellie’s understanding that Sarah would want Ellie to hurt her to protect Chuck is just viscerally effective. I found the combination of Ellie’s resolve, Casey’s grief (I’m not going to lose you both!) and Chuck’s faith (You say my wife is gone, but she’s right here!) to be absolutely wrenching. And Chuck’s outright refusal to give up on Sarah is the best I’ve seen Zach act. It’s a lightning bolt of an episode.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s certainly another of those emotional responses, I don’t believe there’s any objective reason for either of our reactions. But I just didn’t see cold and lost. Maybe still a little unsure of herself, but as I said, saying no to Beckmen struck me as a sea change moment. She wasn’t just a spy, she was ready to get her life back. She maybe wasn’t ready to run straight back into Chuck’s arms, but she was closer to Chuck than she was to her old life at that moment.

        Otherwise I agree with the rest of that. And it would be interesting (or would have been back when we had hundreds of daily visitors here!) to compare S3 attitudes to finale reactions. My guess is; those disappointed in the finale are mostly a smaller subset of those who disliked S3. But I know that isn’t perfectly true; I can think of at least one occasional commenter at this site who liked S3 but disliked the finale.

      • atcDave says:

        Arthur I do agree with all of that. Again, 5.12 is a bit darker than my taste runs, but it is absolutely a well done episode.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave if its who I think it is then yes but he is in a small minority. But his dislike of the finale is almost as visceral as mine is of Season 3. We’ve talked about it on Twitter but even he who liked season 3 for the most part absolutely hated Sarah/Shaw. Of all the different groups of active Chuck fans I’d have to say that the smallest group is those that liked Sarah/Shaw and thought it was well executed. As a matter of fact I can only think of 1, well 3 if you include Schwartz and Fedak.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah and I know exactly who THAT one person is!

        And yes, I was thinking of BigKev for the other.

      • BigKev67 says:

        I think I hear my name being called!
        To clarify, I think 5.12 and 5.13 are brilliantly acted and mostly well constructed episodes – much in the vein of Subway, which I loved. But the resolutions are utterly unsatisfying and disappointing to me.
        Angus completely hit the nail on the head about one of the reasons. The disconnect between the Sarah that we see for most of these episodes and the one who appears at the beach is way too great. In fact the disconnect is so great that it doesn’t even feel like Chuck and Sarah (as they are at that point in the story) at all – it feels like Yvonne and Zac, which is apparently what it is – footage of Yvonne and Zac swapping stories and saying goodbye to each other. I didn’t buy Sarah’s sudden emotions and openness in that first beach scene. That’s not Sarah – it’s Yvonne.
        The memory issue is the other killer for me and it’s where I thought we were badly served by the ending to Morgansect. I can’t remember the specifics because it’s been a while, but I remember thinking that the resolution to Morgansect was horrible – confused and muddled. So to use that as the template for Sarah’s resolution was never going to work for me.
        I think the problem with ending with a memory loss arc is that you’re risking your entire backstory. Now that was clearly the intent – but it means you’d better stick the landing otherwise you have big problems. Those who think Fedak nailed it applaud – rightly – both the choice and the degree of difficulty. Those who think he landed on his butt castigate the same 2 things. I’d rather have seen a safer ending that kept more people happy – much like Push Mix which is, unequivocally in my view, the best of the endings they/he wrote.

      • uplink2 says:

        Right there with ya Kev and it is interesting how you seems to sense when we speak of you. But though I am better with the finale than you are I do see your points very clearly and they are very much in line with what I feel but maybe to a lesser degree.

        You bring up a very interesting point that I think is actually kind of huge. Zach has said he told them to simply turn off the mikes and he and Yvonne talked about life on that beach. The emotions you see are not Sarah’s but Yvonne’s. She even said the tears she sheds in that scene were real and not acting. So I think you can draw a great deal from that. It goes to my point about the woman on the stairs in the prior scene is very different than the one on the beach. And you are right. The woman on the stairs is the Sarah of 5.12 and 90% of 5.13 but the woman on the beach in the montage that many point to as a way of saying Sarah Bartowski is whole again is actually Yvonne Strahovski. Love that concept and it really fits.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I do think that’s a little TOO cynical. I think the actors were professional enough to know how to get the appearance the director wanted. If I were to criticize I would say the problem is that they failed to show enough growth from Sarah earlier in the episode. I wanted to see Sarah actually falling for Chuck again, and I saw far too little of that. But then I’m definitely not in a “bad” place where the finale is concerned; its not a favorite, but I’m willing to accept what the writers said we were supposed to get from it (I didn’t see it all on initial viewing, but I can see it now).

        But I do completely agree with saying I wish they’d chosen a safer story and ending. I was never watching Chuck for high drama. I was watching for fun, laughs, and a warm fuzzy feeling from characters I loved. The chosen ending took too big a chance and failed to deliver what I was tuning in for.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Oh I agree Dave. I’m not saying it was a manipulative or cynical choice to use “real” footage from Zac and Yvonne at all. I’m just saying that when I found out that’s what happened, it confirmed the sense of disconnect I felt – the sense that the progression from Sarah walking up the stairs to the Sarah in the montage scene didn’t feel natural to me. That’s all I meant.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay, I see. After only my first viewing I would have agreed with you entirely Kev, so yes I do think that was a flaw in the way the story was shown if so many of us came to the same “wrong” conclusion.
        I do see things a little differently now, but that is largely due to meta-knowledge. I’ll take it, because its what I wanted in the first place. But obviously a flawed execution for too many of us.

      • uplink2 says:

        Kev, I didn’t think you meant it literally either but a very interesting metaphor for the disconnect between the Sarah of 5.12 and 95% of 5.13 until the final scene on the beach. It works well in that sense but I certainly didn’t feel the cynicism was literal. Just a great mataphor.

  10. Chris says:

    atcDave, Good on you for recommending the fanfics for those of us coming to grips with the finale. Both of these stories truly bring a smile to my face. I can always depend on those stories when I get melancholy about the endiing of the show 🙂

    I love the family angle on this ep. The music score in the final scene truly brought it home to me.

  11. Push Mix is my second-favorite episode, and very nearly my first (must not say Goodbye, must not say Goodbye 😉 ) I find this episode to be the apex for Chuck the character and hero. – what we see here is the fulfillment of all the promise this character had from the Pilot until now. It’s Chuck in full realization of his powers, his inherent intellect, his dedication to his family, and his ability to make the spy life work with his loved ones.

    Thinkling brought up the under-utilization of the team, and she’s right, but I don’t see that as a flaw so much as a point of emphasis – Phase 3 isn’t less good because Chuck doesn’t do anything. It’s all about Sarah. Push Mix is Chuck’s equivalent.

    With no aid from the CIA or his team, Chuck manages to infiltrate Volcoff’s most secure station and rescue Sarah. Then when his plan goes awry, he regroups, hacks into Volcoff system, and lures Volcoff into his home court. Then, not only does he rescue his mother and capture Volcoff, he fulfills the mission she worked on for 20 years in the process. Push Mix is a freaking tour de FORCE! It’s ridiculous to feel proud of a fictional character, but I feel proud of Chuck nonetheless.

    And in between, the episode is full of brilliance. The ice cream wielding madman. “Are you family? Yes!” The yoga seal. “You’ve got to admit, he looks a lot like him.” “This is clearly hell, is it not? I worked so hard!” Chuck will definitely have to talk to his mom about tranq guns! “Thanks, but I don’t think that will fit over these broad shoulders.” And best of all, Sarah doesn’t even have to say “yes,” because we all know exactly what her answer was.

    I would’ve been thrilled with this as a finale. It’s the perfect ending for the show’s titular character, and it’s everything I ever wanted to see from him. Push Mix is just the most satisfying episode this show ever produced.

    • uplink2 says:

      Hey, see we CAN agree on something ;). I agree with all of this posting, As I said above my only issues with this episode and they are extremely minor are too much lasers and too little Sarah/Casey reunion. But you are right it is a tour de force for the show and Chuck in particular. Eliminate Morgansect and it would be a toss up between this and Cliffhanger for my favorite possible finale but this one gets the edge.

    • atcDave says:

      I think this is one of those rare cases when we’re mostly all on the same page. My exact favorites list is presumably a bit different, largely because I’m pretty shamelessly Sarah and Charah centered in my viewing. But in terms of a completely fun episode and Chuck getting to be completely fulfilled as a hero this episode can’t be beat. So even if I don’t quite call this number one (or two), it is absolutely a favorite.

  12. Bill says:

    I agree with those who feel that this episode was the best of the finales. (Watched it again last night on Netflix!) As a member of the camp that believes Chuck peaked in S2, I find that Push Mix brings about closure for me. It is funny, heartwarming, and provides several terrific moments for the now-extended Chuck family. It exemplifies “our hero” at his brainy best. Last but not least, the fade to black proposal, with the excellent musical backdrop, is the pay-off I’d been waiting for since those two lovebirds sipped on margaritas at El Compadre.

    Chuck was no longer appointment television at our house by the time Push Mix aired, but my family will always be grateful to the showrunners and actors for this fabulous send-off. Bravo!

  13. BillAtWork says:

    I loved this episode. Chuck tricking Volkoff into recording his password is a top ten moment for me. I especially liked that C/S worked together as a team, even when they were apart. I even liked the Jeffster bit and I usually find them creepy. So I hope that a discussion of what I didn’t care for isn’t interpreted as criticism.

    I get the artsy symbolism of the proposal as the credits were rolling. But was that a large enough payoff for the 8 or so episodes of buildup?

    Can Mary be so easily accepted back into the family? So much so that she’s the one who gets to go into the delivery room?

    I find the discussion of the possible finales interesting. I’d like to point out that it’s a majority opinion here that this was the best — and that it’s the only one that CF didn’t write, LeJudkins did. Read whatever you want into that. 🙂

    I’d have been happy with most of the possible finales. The exception is Ring. I don’t know who could be satisified with To Be Continued as a finale. But in fairness, I don’t believe that Ring was originally designed as the finale, I think that Colonel was.i

    • atcDave says:

      A couple of good questions Bill. With Mary I can see it either way. As I suggested on the other post, it would have worked well for me if she’d been more clearly a villain who had to be won over. But future appearances are then problematic. It may push believability, but from a pure entertainment perspective I’m glad they just moved on. I quickly tire of too much angst over things that are done. I’m content to say the Bartowski siblings are easy going and forgiving souls, and not worry about it much more. In future episodes they do at least mention that acceptance isn’t completely easy, and I really like the way Mary and Sarah clash in Last Details.

      I have said many times the LaJudkins team are my favorite Chuck writers. Push Mix is among those that proves the point. Although I actually do like CF’s finales too, Push Mix does stand out as the strongest of the bunch. As I mentioned earlier, purely in terms of the closing sequence, I like Cliffhanger better as an ending; but Push Mix is the better episode overall. And I truly don’t mean to pick on CF, but I do strongly suspect the few complaints I do have with Push Mix are the show runner’s doing. Again, not a serious slam, bit things like Sarah being pushed into a more minor role seems like a CF plan for a finale rather than LaJudkin’s usual style. I find it amusing more than anything, I just wonder if my suspicion is correct.

      Certainly if the show had ended at S2 Colonel was a much better ending than Ring. Even at the time it was often said Ring was really the start of S3. I don’t want to take that too far, Ring did in fact wrap up things that are properly a part of the S2 story (like Roarke; and Ellie’s wedding), but no doubt Colonel ended on a more emotionally satisfying note. Perhaps like Baby vs Goodbye as an actual end point.

    • thinkling says:

      Can Mary be so easily accepted back into the family? So much so that she’s the one who gets to go into the delivery room?

      Yes, I think she can. It’s clear that Chuck and Ellie have forgiven her. Chuck wants to rescue her, as does Sarah (and I love that Sarah did just that. She fulfilled her promise to bring Mary home, while Chuck was busy bringing down Volkoff).

      Mary’s story showcases the redemption theme running through Chuck. We saw it with his father, too. Chuck said, “I realized that we could hate him for the rest of our lives, or we could choose to forgive him.” Redemption finds its motive in the love of the redeemer, not the merit of the redeem-ee. So, I find it wildly appropriate that Chuck and Sarah (who also experienced the redeeming quality of Chucks love) wanted to rescue Mary.

      As to Mary being the one to go in for Clara’s birth. It was probably the crown of her redemption that Chuck selected her to go in, but really, of all the people in the hallway, she was the most logical. She is Ellie’s mother, and it just seems like a mother’s place. (Was it earned? Maybe, but that’s another rabbit trail.) If not earned, it was given, and that was beautiful.

      I guess next week, I may touch on clean slates again, but I see Clara as Ellie and Mary’s clean slate. Anyway, I wrote a full article on the whole Mary thing here.

      • atcDave says:

        I do like the clean slate part of it, and I like that Chuck was sort of the one who made the call. That says just as much as Mary being in there.

  14. BillAtWork says:

    Before the pitchforks come out, I’m not trying to say that Chris Fedak is a bad writer. I’m not. All of his episodes are well done. It’s just that he approached the story from a different angle than some of the others, LeJudkins being the most obvious. I agree, they did the stories in the way I prefer.

    But I do think that CF misread his audience, at least the audience represented by the people I talk too. Even that’s not really a criticism. By his own admission, CF, wasn’t nearly as invested in the relationship. I forget who said this, Joe maybe? But CF saw Chuck as himself. I believe that has a ring of truth. And so Chuck, the hero’s journey, became the story to him. For those of us who wanted the story to be primarily the journey of C/S as a couple, he often fell short.

    Cliffhanger was the obvious example of what I’m talking about. It was the story of Chuck becoming the hero and saving Sarah. Oh, and there was a wedding. The story of hero Chuck wasn’t bad, it’s just that I was looking forward to the wedding. It should have been the climax of the love story we had spent 4 years living together. And I felt short changed by what I saw. If LeJudkins had written it, I’m thinking it would have been the story of a wedding (like Ring was) with some drama interspersed as subtext. I would have much preferred that.

    CF mostly defined the relationship as opportunity for angst. He always wanted you to fear that C/S wouldn’t make it. Even in some episodes that most (including me) like (Balcony, Baby, and Santa Suit come to mind) there is always some gratuitous angst. And for me, that angst doesn’t enhance my enjoyment, it lessens my enjoyment.

    So in the discussion of the finale, I can see both sides. Trust me, I’ve had these discussions with BrickRoad (who loves the finale) many times. I can see that the finale was well written, acted, and directed. It had some good poignant moments. But as the ending of the C/S love story, it fell far short to me. And I think that it’s emblematic of CF’s story telling instincts. He felt it was a good idea to have the finale be an angsty story of Chuck vs Sarah and allowing the audience to wonder until the very last second (and beyond) if they were going to make it. I was unsatisfied by that and I don’t think that I’m alone. That he spent so much time after the finale explaining to people what happened that we didn’t see on the screen, is just more evidence that he didn’t get his audience.

    My legitimate (in my mind anyway) issue with the finale was that it didn’t pay off the theme of S5. The main theme of S5 was what was C/S’s future? Were they going to leave the spy life and start a family? They actually got to that point in Bullet Train. Yet they never paid that off. And I think that even the most ardent supported of the finale would have to admit something. There is no way that C/S left that beach ready to leave the spy life and start a family like they were in Bullet Train. At best – at the very best, they left at a point where they might, MIGHT, get there again someday.

    I just don’t think that’s good storytelling.

    • uplink2 says:

      Bill that get’s right to my point of comparison with Push Mix and Goodbye. LeJudkins wrapped up each story in a defined and absolutely confirmed manner. We KNOW exactly what the circumstances are for each group of the family and those circumstances are very satisfying. In Goodbye as you said absolutely no one can with 100% conviction say that Chuck and Sarah are back and whole, ready to face life together with a new commitment to leave the spy life and start a family. I disagree with Dave that Sarah turning down Beckman’s offer means she is ready to quit. To me it simply means what she says, she needs to go find herself and nothing that comes after eliminates the possibility of her leaving Chuck and going back to the CIA once she figures out who she is now. That is a very unsatisfying state to leave her in IMO. Nothing is certain and nothing is totally clear. It’s all inferred and not absolute like Push Mix. Many are ok with that and were that night, but I wasn’t really then. I saw the beauty of many elements of the story but it wasn’t finished and that is why I like Push Mix far better as a finale than Goodbye.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay seriously? She didn’t say I’ll think about it or I’ll get back to you; she said no. I get that the scene wasn’t as clear or as satisfying as it could have/should have been, but Sarah is pretty firm.

        I think part of the problem with Goodbye is that many of us wanted, I wanted, something the writer didn’t want to give. Uplink you linked two things that I think need to be separated out. You said we can’t know with 100% certainty that Chuck and Sarah are 100% back and whole. And that’s true. But its linking two things the writer intentionally separated. I think we’re meant to know with certainty, that Chuck and Sarah are back together. Now I would agree with saying the execution was flawed. But every comment we’ve seen, and a careful look at the episode itself does show it, that Chuck and Sarah are assumed to be back together. Its the “whole” part they intentionally removed. There was damage, and we are left uncertain as to how extensive and how long term. They meant for us to wonder and speculate what all the recovery might involve. Apparently CF considers that romantic (I don’t, obviously that is among my problems with the finale)..
        The main problem I have, is that on first viewing, leaving the second part open caused me to question the first as well. I will always call that a flawed execution because so many of us saw it that way. At this point, I am 100% satisfied about the together part. As I said above, that’s partly due to my meta knowledge coming from the writer and NOT because of what I saw on screen, which clearly IS a flaw. But again, let’s not make it worse than it was.

      • thinkling says:

        Her saying she had to find herself was a flat out refusal of going back to the CIA — or the spy life either for that matter. It was a welcome 180. Before she was very certain of who she was. She was all spy — no need to find herself at all. That’s what she affirmed in Castle the first time.

        The fact that she acknowledged that she needed to find herself meant that she knew she wasn’t who she previously thought she was (all spy). When she told Chuck she needed some time to think, I didn’t see it as rejection (not even on first viewing). She just needed some time to sort things out. Who can blame her? I thought she looked soft and vulnerable and sympathetic toward Chuck, apologetic — and quite frankly, like she didn’t really want to leave him. So that particular scene, though heart-wrenching, gave me great hope.

    • thinkling says:

      Bill: I agree with most of that. CF gave the relationship a subtle, minimalistic style payoff, and it was never really enough for a lot of us. He gave the biggest payoff in the wedding. I’m grateful for that. Would I have liked to see more? Sure, but I was satisfied with what we got. Except what was up with the church board funeral announcement? It’s the kind of tease he was full of that I found tiresome at best and intolerable at worst. In an episode as packed as Cliffhanger, where every second counts, that was a horrible use of seconds. I would have preferred to see the moment Sarah woke up. So that’s my only rant with Cliffhanger. For you it was the motorcycle.

      I think most of us agree that he really didn’t have his finger on the pulse of his audience, as evidenced in the way he subordinated the relationship to the hero journey (and his constant surprise at Sarah’s popularity). I know he acknowledged how important the relationship was, and he let it shine a lot, through writers who knew how to write it, much to his credit. But when it came to the big relationship moments, he under-delivered.

      I found one of the pre-finale interviews really interesting. It was Zac, Josh, Adam, and Yvonne talking about the finale. All the guys were talking about how cool it was going to be and how they had come up with such a great finale for the fans. The interviewer asked if there were any surprises. The guys all said no, not really. Then Yvonne interrupted and said that well, they really need to say that what’s going on with Chuck and Sarah is tragic and sad, very sad. Yvonne always got the fans. It’s like she could think like a normal person, whereas Fedak was out of touch. I’m guessing the finale reaction didn’t take her by surprise like it did the others.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree exactly with all of that Thinkling. I was even thinking about wishing we’d seen the moment Sarah opened her eyes instead of the silly funeral sight gag immediately before I read it in you comment! Eerie…

      • thinkling says:

        Great minds and all that 😉

    • JC says:

      Bill nailed it about the payoff. The show laid out that season 5 was about Chuck and Sarah’s future and we ended with amnesia. What would the reaction have been if season 3 ended with Chuck and Sarah just reconnecting or season 4 with capturing Vivian but no wedding? The show has always been about the character interactions mainly Chuck and Sarah, so to turn that story into a MacGuffin in the finale was crazy. My opinion on the finale has softened a little but I still found it to be completely out of place for this show. Fedak had every right to end the show however he wanted its his baby but there’s also a contract with the audience. Viewers have expectations on how a show handles things especially after a five year run and to switch that up at end felt very dishonest.

      • atcDave says:

        I mostly agree with that JC. I always think the finale is a really bad time to change up tone so much; people are looking to a resolution to a show they enjoyed. Yet its a pretty common failing with a lot of shows.

  15. BillAtWork says:

    I usually avoid going to weddings. 🙂

    But I wanted to see Sarah walk down the aisle, for a couple of perhaps selfish reasons. It would have been a great touch for dad to show up at the last second and surprise her. I mean they teased that in Seduction Impossible. Sarah wanted to elope partly because she didn’t know who would walk her down the aisle. Another good opportunity for a sappy scene would be to have Casey walk her down the aisle. Casey changed every bit as much as Sarah did. “Being around Bartowski has made us a little soft.” He stepped up several times to help the relationship. I think having him give her away would have been symbolic. One spy giving away another spy to begin a new chapter in her life would have been a bold statement.

    This is from my story Therapy.

    But it was Casey who had the best line of the day when the preacher asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

    If Casey was nervous before, that was long gone now. He made sure that the entire church could hear his answer.

    “The greater good.”

    The finale. Sure there were plenty of signs that Sarah was on her way back. You could draw a reasonable inference that Sarah turning down Beckman’s offer meant that she was thinking about her life as a spy. But I will also say that you have to draw that inference. And in fairness, I drew an inference in Lethal Weapon about Chuck’s feelings for Sarah that he blew away in Pink Slip.

    I was furious when the finale ended. I mean throwing stuff around the room furious. I settled down a bit after reading Sepinwal’s Fedak interview. Chuck and Sarah are fictional characters. They only truly exist in the mind of their creator. If he says that they are together, happy, and planning their future, he’s the only one who would know, right? What choice do we have but to believe him?

    Having said all that, I’ve read some speculation on these pages about where a possible movie would have C/S. If we’re so sure that they came away from that beach well on the way to back to that good place, why the speculation?

    I’d argue that as evidence that we’re maybe not as collectively sure as maybe we’re claiming to be.

    • thinkling says:

      Well, first of all, we love to speculate. Second, we’ve all seen too many sequels and reunion movies, where the writers can’t leave happy alone and think that one more round of wt/wt would be cool. So given where the finale pointed, given Morgan’s speedy recovery of “himself” (if not all of his memories), and given what Fedak said about their future … one would think we could limit our speculation to a happy couple (with kid(s) or still trying) living in their dream house, running their company, and getting drawn into a great adventure to save the world. The problem is we may not fully trust the industry in general, or the creators specifically, to hold the course they set. I trust the story and the characters. The writers, not so much. Call it the PS factor.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve seen a few horrible deconstructions of once happy endings in a sequel. Like “Legend of Zorro” or “National Treasure 2” that really dishonored the original work. Hope for the “Mummy 1 – 2 – 3” treatment. Whatever else you think of those movies, each honored its predecesor.
        I do expect a better sort of option for Chuck. When a movie gets made, then I’ll start worriying about the story.

        Bill I did like how you handled the wedding “Therapy”. I was okay with the canon wedding too; I wish it had been a little bigger part of the episode, but I was okay with what I saw.

    • oldresorter says:

      bill – I am not thrilled about the movie. Here’s why. Chuck is basically a Chuck and Sarah angst show. If the show starts with them good, how long will it last, and will they get to work together long enough in a good spot to enjoy Chuck and Sarah? And when the bad comes in the movie, how long will it last? I’ saying probably until the closing credits.

      A far easier way to write a movie, is to start Chuck and Sarah in a bad spot, and have circumstances put them together, say Casey is kidnapped, or Morgan or maybe even Ellie or Molly. That way, the movie can more easily given them a more pronounced happy ending and a buildup to it.

      One thing I don’t think we’ll get, it a movie where they are in a good spot the entire way thru (the Thin Man or Hart to Hart story telling strategy), which is what I’d like to see.

      I think the ambiguous melancholy beach ending allows the writers, be it the old ones, or the new ones, to do anything they want with Chuck and Sarah, and I see few options that aren’t going to be somewhat vexing to pretty many fans.

      Someone posted earlier that they expect a few spoilers to come out that will tease things that will make fans uneasy. For the free TV show, that might have worked (I don’t think it did, but it at least might have). But when you trying to get people to pay you, that’s a bad place to start.

      • BillAtWork says:

        In the aforementioned Sepinwal interview, Chris Fedak sorta referenced that sentimate. He said that the writer in him could see C/S finding some trouble in the future.

        I took him to mean external trouble. So I’m not all that worried about wt/wt in a movie. I think all the parties who would possibly be involved know that wouldn’t be well received. Movies are not TV shows. The only opinion that mattered to the TV show was NBC’s. In a movie, individuals are directly paying your salary. Making them mad is economic suicide. I fully expect a movie to have C/S in a good place. I’m frankly surprised there is so much speculation otherwise. I think the movie (if it happens) will probably have some old threat surface that has to be dealt with.

        BTW, that’s not why I don’t want Chris Fedak to write the movie. I don’t fear he would play that wt/wt angst card. It’s just that I don’t particularly like his story telling style. I wouldn’t want Charles Dickens to write the movie either — for the same reason. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I agree exactly with that. I just don’t believe, as good as Zac and Yvonne have been dealing with fan reaction, that they would agree to a script that would be disagreeable to fans. Especially if it is fan funded in any way. I expect something more like Business Trip or Hack Off.
        As we’ve mentioned before, Zac is not a writer, but he’s not a slave either. He simply will not do a script that would be poorly received.

    • dkd says:

      Honestly, I think any speculation about what a “movie” would entail is utterly silly at this point. I don’t understand why anyone is wasting emotional energy on it.

      What they would do for a theatrical film with a $20MM budget would be totally different from what they would do with a $2MM budget.

      Besides that, the foundation of drama AND comedy is conflict. If there isn’t something significant happening in the story, why make anything? That applies to a web series as much as a big budget movie.

      • atcDave says:

        We speculate because its fun. Same reason we re-watch episodes we’ve seen 20 times, read (or write) fan fiction, and eat Twinkies. It’s all fun.

      • atcDave says:

        I need to say a something about the idea of conflict too. It is really ridiculous and insulting to suggest that ‘shippers don’t understand the need for conflict to drive a story. It’s also ridiculous, and really a little depressing, if you think conflict HAS to come from within a romantic coupling. Jason just mentioned a couple examples of very successful series that drew most of the conflict from external sources, while the main couple was a source of fun, humor and strength. The Thin Man movies in particular do an outstanding job of telling excellent stories all while the featured, married couple happily tease and flirt their way along. I think that’s an excellent model, not only for Chuck, but for a number of other movies and television shows in the 80 years since the original Thin Man was made. I think Chuck (and LaJudkins) took up that mantle too when Chuck and Sarah became “The Charles(es)” in Honeymooners. No doubt that’s exactly the sort of thing I would most like to see in the future; both for a Chuck reunion AND for any number of other shows (Castle comes close on occasion).
        Conflict my drive the plot. But there is categorically no need for it in the central relationship.

      • Wilf says:

        Actually, although I enjoy the speculation, it does remind a little of the Harry Enfield (British comedy master for those of you who’ve not heard of him) character of the ’90s “The Self-Righteous Brothers”. To quote ‘A pair of middle-aged opinionated men, Frank and George Doberman, who spend their time sitting in a pub, discussing celebrities they admire (always referred to by just their surnames), and then becoming angry when contemplating said celebrities doing something selfish and extremely unlikely.’. Basically, they get heated about imagined goings on, actions, attitudes, etc., of media and other personalities. This is just like that in a way. The thought made me laugh and injected considerable nostalgia for me 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        Agree totally about the conflict. S4 did some excellent episodes of exactly that: Chuck and Sarah happily teasing and flirting their way as they deal with external conflict. As you were describing it, Dave, I couldn’t help think of A-Team or Wedding Planner or First Bank of Evil. Zac and Yvonne are golden in this genre.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I agree that we don’t know enough about a possible movie to begin to accurately speculate. For one thing, I believe that the odds are still long that (40-60 at best) anything ever happens.

        I can’t imagine WB wanting to invest $40 million in a franchise that has had such limited commercial success. So that pretty much precludes a feature movie.

        I could see some sort of fan based effort to create a low budget small screen offering a la Veronica Mars (or at least what I originally assumed VM was doing). But I seriously question if a Chuck Kickstarter type campaign would do all that well. The fan base is fairly fractured. I would say that a majority of the people I talk too basically express OldResorter’s thinking. They don’t trust Chris Fedak, don’t want to see even more damage done to the characters, and would have no interest in funding his next effort. I can definitely see their point. I’ve never seen a single episode of VM. But I contributed $25 just because I wanted the concept to succeed. I’d be willing to contribute several multiples of that to a Chuck effort… but only if I was convinced that it would be much more like Honeymooners and a lot, lot, lot less like Pink Slip.

        I think it was in the same Sepinwal interview that I have been referencing but maybe not, and I’m not going to look it up. But CF said something like, “We got to see Sarah falling in love with Chuck all over again. Who could ask for more than that?” And that quote is exactly why I would be hesitant to contribute to anything that CF was involved with. I don’t think he’s a bad person. But really, Chris, do you really think that’s what we saw in Goodbye? Really? I would have loved to have seen that. You faded to black just at the point where I was starting to hope that it was happening. I simply don’t trust your instincts enough to hope you can fix that.

        I don’t read much fanfiction nowadays. I find that the things I read influence my own writing more than the show does. 🙂 But I just got done reading Thinkling’s Sarah vs Finding Herself. BrickRoad and I did The Long Road Home. Both were designed to show that ‘Sarah falling in love again’ idea that CF thinks we should have seen in Goodbye. I imagine there are tons of stories out there with a similar theme. I’d be happy with that sort of thing in a movie (as the years go by, it’d probably have to be in flashback snippets). Finding Herself could be a TV show. Long Road Home would have to be a PG-13 movie. 🙂

        But a Pink Slip type thing where they break up, are apart for most of the movie, and finally get back together as the credits are rolling? No thanks. And that’s sadly CF’s instincts. Fortunately, I think that there are enough people with better instincts that would veto that idea anyway. So I really don’t fear it. What I do fear is a ‘3D’ thing. In fact, I see a lot of possible similarities. From the moment they announced the gimmick, it was clear to everyone that episode would attract a few million new eyeballs. If Schwedak are smart, and I thing they are, they would have realized that this episode had to be special. It was their prime opportunity to attract a larger audience, to show them how wonderful the show was. So I’m speculating that they set out to do just that. CF, rightfully so, claimed the responsibility and set out to write an episode that would make those new people fall in love with the show and tune in next week. We saw what he delivered… a mighty swing and a miss. I’m sure that he didn’t set out to write an episode that would rank 86th out of 91 in our minds. But that’s exactly what happened. And there was nothing wrong with the episode. It was funny in spots, had a decent plot, had some adventure. But it didn’t have what we were looking for. It didn’t have that thing that makes the show special. I can only conclude that CF doesn’t get what we want from him.

        And that’s what I would fear in a CF movie.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I do understand completely the fears some fans have. But at this point I’m just not going to worry too much, I’d do almost anything for more Chuck (that means give entirely more money than I should if there’s any sort of crowd funding), I figure we can sweat the details later.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave, I only agree to a certain extent. I also would give almost anything to get more of the show that I loved. But here is the thing. I’ve never watched Fake Name. That’s incredible, right? Think about that. I mean as invested in the show as I am, there is an episode that I’ve never seen. I bought the DVD. It’s on my hard drive. All I’d have to do is double click on it and I could get more brand new Chuck anytime I want. But I won’t. Because I know that I wouldn’t enjoy it. In fact, I expect that watching it would diminish my memory and enjoyment of the parts of the show that I do enjoy.

        So if the movie is like Fake Name, I won’t watch it. And if I won’t watch it, I certainly won’t fund it.

        I don’t think that is going to happen. But I also don’t trust the creative judgement of the man who gave us Pink Slip, Mask, Fake Name, etc. I simply don’t. But I would certainly listen to the pitch. A lot of the people I talk to are so disgusted that they wouldn’t even listen.

      • dkd says:

        I never said the conflict had to be within the relationship.

        Speculation can be fun, but getting upset that what you are speculating might happen kinda takes the fun away, doesn’t it?

        In regards to what Bill at Work said about people not wanting to donate to a Kickstarter if Fedak is involved, I think the people who feel that way would be vastly outnumbered by people who just want more Chuck. You all are a very intense group of people who know everything about the show. I’m sure your friends are the same. But, I doubt the majority of the millions of people who watched the show even know that much about Fedak or any of the other writers. They barely look at the credits.

        (I do have doubts the PTB would even go the kickstarter way, though)

        I’ve been heartwarmed over the last 24 hours by reading all the tweets from happy fans and some new ones who are watching the show on Netflix. I was skeptical about the Netflix deal being good for Chuck. But, the tweets have changed my mind.

        Search “Chuck Netflix”. If it doesn’t warm your hear to read the tweets, you can’t be warmed.

      • BillAtWork says:


        It’s a fair argument, one that we’ve had many times here and other places. How much, and it what ways, do the posters here represent the view of the general public? I don’t know. It’s impossible to know. My thoughts are that in some ways, we are an aberration. I believe that as a group, we’re probably a bit more critical of the details and nitpick the plot holes more than the general public. But I also believe that the things that we like and dislike about the show, are generally representative.

        So would the general public wildly support a Chuck KickStarter campaign just to get to see more Chuck? I don’t know. But I’m skeptical. The ratings for the free TV show were in steady decline. KickStarter things generally are pointed to the rabid base. And my point is that the rabid Chuck base is fractured. The people I’m talking about would have once been the most willing to contribute. They moderated forums, they wrote fanfiction, they went to ComicCon, they bought subs. And now they’re pissed.

        So I hope that you’re right. I’d love to see more Chuck, at least more of what I liked about Chuck. I’m encouraged by the Netflix reaction. I’d love to see stats on what episodes get viewed.

        But I am skeptical.

      • atcDave says:

        DKD I agree with most of that, and I’m really encouraged to hear there is so much good buzz on Netflix.

        One more thing on the speculating though, to me its a lot like being a big fan of any sports team and making predictions before a big game. It’s really is all part of the fun, even when we work ourselves into a fury and don’t really know what we’re talking about (the Bear’s defense is just terrible this year, don’t get me started on what I think is going to happen when they play the Packers Monday night). And I live in the Detroit metro area, you should see the ire Lions fans can work up for “their” team. It’s really an interesting phenomena. I really see a lot of our future Chuck talk as very similar. Our speculation is based very much on what we loved and loathed about our favorite show. When things start happening it will be like the start of training camp, we’ll be hanging on every scrap of news, and formulating new strong opinions based on everything we hear, and throwing around words like genius and idiot with reckless abandon; and it really is all part of the fun.

      • joe says:

        The sports-fan analogy is a good one.
        Moments ago, on my way back from Church, I had local ESPN radio station on in the car. On a Sunday morning in the DC metro area, you just know the only topic is The Redskins.

        And wow, are the fans vociferous. They want Shanahan’s (the head coach) head on a platter. They wonder what the heck happened to Robert Griffin III last week when he looked so much better the week before. They’re amazed and confused that Albert Haynesworth is back in the news. (For you non-football fans, calling him controversial is to damn with faint praise.)

        So, um, yeah. It’s obvious to us non-natives that DC fans still love their team, even when they can’t stand what they’re seeing.

        For my next trick I’m going to explain how I sometimes feel like Marcos Moulitsas, and why that makes me sad.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Yeah, Joe.

        But at least they won today. So Mike gets to be a genius for another week. And he is a proven coach who has won two Super Bowls.

      • uplink2 says:

        Good conversation. Well if a movie happens I believe it will be Zach leading the charge. He has said a number of times he doesn’t want to go the Kickstarter route. He was a sort of pre-sale type funding with fixed pricing. You pay 25$ say in advance and get something for it. He does not seem interested in someone paying $10,000 to get a role in the film like much of Kickstarter is based. He wants it funded by actual fans and not those just seeking some outlet for their money because that can get folks entitled.

        But I do think we will at least know who is the writer, some basic plot and who is involved. All of that has to happen as well as working on people’s schedule. Something I didn’t think would happen when the idea was first floated is that it seems Zach’s schedule will be the most difficult to find time in. BTW congrats to him on the 100th performance of First Date the same week Thor 2 gets released. But much of this coordination has to happen before the funding is requested. I certainly would contribute but Fedak’s direct involvement is not something I am at all excited about. Give me LeJudkins, Kristin Newman or any number of writers before Fedak.

  16. Bill says:

    Because I checked out of Chuck at Push Mix, Chuck v. Sarah and Chuck v. Goodbye are like a movie to me. I don’t need, and frankly don’t want, a Chuck movie at this point. However, I would really like to see Zac and Yvonne work together again.

  17. revdr says:

    Well, while I would love a movie I am like a lot of people who at this point who just don’t trust CF, and if it takes too long to start the project then, as it has already been stated, interest in the project would be fractured. Unlike Veronica Mars, with Chuck we had a (so called) clearly defined (?) series with a resolution…like it or not. I wont go there since my views on Goodbye have be stated elsewhere; but VM never clearly ended since it was canceled (out of hand) by network brain trusts with very little foresight so the sky is really the limit with that franchise. I would be very wary of a Chuck movie if I knew CF would be writing it and honestly would think twice before seeing it. I loved Push Mix and it would have been a much more acceptable ending for the series than what we wound up with because unlike Goodbye, Push Mix gave us actual hope and not implied possibilities….

  18. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13) | Chuck This

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