Season Four Alternatives: Finale Arc (4.20-4.24)

This is among my favorite periods of the show.  Chuck and Sarah are happy together and we have a good run of exciting and fun episodes; including my favorite finale of the series.  So “fixing” problems with the show has never been less important to me.  That’s not to say I have no complaints, but playing around with a satisfying and fun universe is most of what is going on here.

After the jump, we’ll explore some variations for late Season Four.

It is becoming difficult to follow the outline I started for these posts way back when I was doing a weekly post during Season Three.  The format has always been episode commentary, what I would have liked to see, and fan fiction.  For this post, fan fiction will fill it almost entirely.

My overall impression of the show at this point is very high.  ‘Nuf said about that!

As I mentioned last time, I would still prefer as different treatment or actress for Vivian.  I think she needed to be a little more over the top looney like her father.  One other little issue at this point, I think this is where we pay the price of Ellie still being on the outside.  When we get to Agent X Chuck’s big moment, big reveal of being both a spy and the human Intersect, the successful product of their father’s labors, is immediately overshadowed by the Agent X reveal.  That is a shame.  I would have liked to see Chuck and Ellie have some time to discuss their father’s work and vision, along with how it functions, and what Ellie has done/can do to make it better; before we get to the Agent X reveal and finale arc.  Yes this is a fairly small thing of little emotional consequence to me, but it does stand out to me as something that easily could have been better.  My other observation from this period has to do with Cliffhanger.  This really is a great episode; but again, one little thing just screams at me.  We touched on this in the main re-watch post this week, but it bothers me that they chose a silly sight gag involving a funeral instead of showing the moment Sarah came out of her coma.  By itself, this really is small stuff.  But I think it points towards what I think is a big part of why the show only ran five seasons.  The show runners (both of them, at different times) treated the romance like something they needed to tease, and delay gratification on.  Like it was a climactic element and they should keep us in the dark along with how the villains would be overcome.  I think this was a big, very big mistake.  Instead of teasing the wedding I think they should have been trumpeting it weeks out.  It should have been prominently featured in previews, and bragged up in interviews and press events.  I think that would have built excitement.  And playing up a big wedding would generate tons of free publicity in entertainment news and magazines.  Huge opportunity wasted.  Instead, Chris Fedak consistently used what I once called negative energy, and I guess I just called it that again.  He teased that it might not happen, that it might just be a dream wedding.  I think this is terribly poor planning and use of publicity.  Its applying the mission story telling methods to pure character issues; treating the wedding like the villain of the week.  I think this could have been handled much better.

So that all went longer than I expected!  I have a lot of fan fiction I want to get to this time.  Let’s start with the very first story by Quistie64.  That is Chuck vs The Ninja Librarian.  This is firmly set during the engagement period of the show, Vivian is the main villain; but most significantly, Sarah makes a new friend.  That really is the main draw here; Jen, the librarian, makes a humorously good match for Sarah.  And she will be dragged into the pursuit of Vivian.  This is just a ton of fun, and is well suited to a great period of the show.

Another good story for this period is “Chuck vs The Pacifier” by mia2009.  This is set during the engagement and, no surprise, it starts when Chuck and Sarah are babysitting Clara.  This is another story played mostly for fun, although the mission part of it does get more exciting than I first thought it might.

Or how about “Chuck and Sarah vs The Veterans” by BDaddyDL (with some help from Quistie64).  Chuck and Sarah receive unexpected advice from an older spy couple. Are Woody and Honey Woodcomb the most unexpected spy couple imaginable?  This works better than you might think, fun story.

Long time commenter at this site, MyNameIsJeffNImLost has written several stories of interest to this period.  Jeff’s style is always entertaining, clever, funny, and just tons of fun.  The first recommendation I’ll make of his is “Chuck & Sarah vs the Niece“.  This is another babysitting story, someone is trying to get Sarah more comfortable with the idea of kids.  But is it Chuck or Ellie?  A fun and brief story.  We also have “Bridezilla vs the Extreme Wedding“.  This is obviously set at the very end of the period, and offers a very different version of the nuptials than Cliffhanger did.

A fairly uncommon thing Jeff has done is write a few Chuck/Castle crossover stories. These shows are similar enough in tone that sharing a universe is not completely unreasonable.  Jeff actually has a couple of different Chuck/Castle crossover AUs covering five different stories.  “Castle vs the Law of Averages” fits perfectly with this period of the show.  The story’s title references a Castle quote; since Rick is always eager to assume CIA involvement in odd cases, its inevitable he’ll eventually be correct.  Being a crossover, the bulk of the narrative energy is spent on how the two casts will see each other.  But those impressions are so much fun.  Morgan is well used here, although Beckett wouldn’t agree with that assessment…

There a number of other stories set during Chuck and Sarah’s engagement.  Although most will have nothing to do with Vivian Volkoff or the Agent X story line.  But I think for many fans this a fun and joyful period of the show that many writers have wanted to play around with.

I think there will be three more posts in this series.  One through the front of Season Five with the Morgansect and Fizzled Conspiracy arcs.  I’ll do another for the back part of the season and Finale arc.  Then a separate post for post-series alternatives; boy, that could get truly massive if I let it!

As always, now its your turn to bring up things you might have liked to see different, or published fan fiction that did something you really enjoyed.

~ Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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36 Responses to Season Four Alternatives: Finale Arc (4.20-4.24)

  1. Justin says:

    Hey, atcDave, just wanted to know, that due to an issue with my computer it is going to take a while until I begin to post the last episodes of AU Chuck Season 4. And these will be the final episodes of AU Chuck ever. I plan on making them good.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I hope you sort out your computer issues quickly, I’ll look forward to it!

    • Justin says:

      atcDave, just you wanted to know that I’ll be posting 4×20 soon in the next few days.

    • Justin says:

      Here it is, atcDave.

      RECAP OF 4×19: A neighboring tech store and rival to Chuck and Sarah’s business gets burned down. Chuck and Sarah’s computer store is implicated in the fire. It turns out Jane Bentley, the CIA official in charge of the Intersect program, orchestrated the fire. She wants to kick Chuck and his team out of the way of her program’s progress. Meanwhile, Casey is nervous about having a date with Kathleen, his ex and Alex’s mother. He’s afraid that he’ll screw it up; adding to the amount of pain Kathleen has already gone through because of him. At the mental treatment facility, Frost escapes with the help of her ally, General Beckman. They have joined forces to take down a common enemy, the CIA Director. Beckman gives Frost a special armband to block the signal of her tracking implant. It will make it harder for the CIA to track her down.

      4×20: A CIA manhunt has been launched for Frost. Leading it is Decker and his team. The Director emphasizes to Decker that failure isn’t an option. The CIA Director isn’t in the mood for mercy this time. He reinstated the kill order on Frost. But he kept her situation hidden from her family. He doesn’t want them to interfere like last time. It is suspected among the CIA pursuers that Frost has an accomplice.

      Meanwhile, Chuck and Sarah find their business under the microscope of a police investigation. A lawyer is hired to defend them and their staff. While dealing with the police, Chuck and Sarah have personally combed through the staff to see if any of them may have caused the fire out of loyalty. But none of them pops up as a serious suspect. In light of recent events, Casey considers delaying his date with Kathleen. But Chuck and Sarah encourage him to go through with it. They assure him that they can handle things in his absence.

      On his way to meet Kathleen for their date, Casey is mysteriously abducted. Not so long after that, Vivian’s father who runs a smuggling ring makes an unwelcomed appearance in Burbank. Since the events of 4×17, he has been searching for his daughter. He knows about the air strike that targeted her secret retreat but found no sign of her remains. He believes that his daughter is still alive and taken by someone involved in the strike. The closest Vivian’s father has come to a solid lead in his search is Chuck and Sarah. He knows they were guests at the retreat under false identities. He eventually discovered who they really are and tracked down their location. Chuck and Sarah are forced into a meeting with Vivian’s father. He demands that they tell him where Vivian is. They say they have no idea where she is. To see if they are lying, Vivian’s father reveals that he has taken Casey hostage and threatens to torture him if they are lying to him. But Chuck and Sarah are earnest in their honesty. They tell Vivian’s father all they know about what happened the day of the air strike without revealing their search for the Intersect designs. Vivian’s father believes them and decides to enlist them to find his daughter since they share history with the CIA involved in the air strike. Chuck and Sarah try to tell him that their history with the CIA has been mostly rock for the past couple of years. But Vivian’s father doesn’t care. He wants them to use what they know about the CIA to find his daughter. If they do, he’ll give them back Casey. The way Vivian’s father sees it; Chuck and Sarah owe him for deceiving his daughter. In the past, if it was anyone else, he would have that person killed or sent to a dark, inescapable part of the world.

      After their encounter with Vivian’s father, Chuck and Sarah tell Kathleen and Alex about Casey. The news has them both worried. They don’t want to lose him after recently getting him back in their lives. Chuck and Sarah promise to get him back. Morgan makes the same promise to Alex. But before they can go looking for Vivian at her father’s behest, they have to deal with the police investigation first. They don’t want the police to stick their nose in their activities. Sarah comes up with a solution to the problem. The episode ends with her contacting her con artist father, Jack Burton.

      • atcDave says:

        I like the Police investigation bit, and very interesting way of getting Chuck and Sarah to locate Vivian. I look forward to what you’ll do with Jack Burton!

      • Justin says:

        4×21: Chuck and Sarah work with Sarah’s father, Jack Burton, to create a scheme to get their store out from police scrutiny. Jack tells the couple that it is going to take some creative conning to pull this off. While arranging the con with them, Jack takes the time to get to know the current state of Sarah’s life. He is amazed by how much things have changed since last they saw each other. But he doesn’t think Sarah has changed too much not to be ready for the chance to cut and run when it arises. He believes, deep down, she is still her father’s daughter. Sarah points out to Jack that she has a life with Chuck. But Jack asks her if they’re married after being together for nearly two years. Sarah says no. Jack asks why. Sarah doesn’t quite know the answer which Jack feels proves his point. Kathleen and Alex are eager to help out with the plan to save Chuck and Sarah’s computer store. They want to do whatever they can to speed up the process of getting Casey back.

        At some point, the con is put into action. I haven’t come up with what the con will entail. Let’s just say after a few comedic twists and turns, it succeeded. Afterwards, Jack leaves without saying goodbye which doesn’t surprise Sarah. It’s what her father does. But Sarah has realized something thanks to him. She hasn’t been giving the idea of marriage much thought because of the dangerous reality of the spy world. At the drop of a hat, either her, Chuck, or anyone close to them can be kidnapped or killed. This past year alone has proved that repeatedly. Sarah doesn’t want her marriage to Chuck to be short-term. She tells her boyfriend and partner all of this. Chuck then promises Sarah to cut all ties with the spy world once they’ve gotten Casey and Vivian back, and their Intersect is fully developed. Sarah promises to marry Chuck when that happens.

        Meanwhile, Bentley’s Intersect program encounters problems. Though it has made some progress altering the minds of its subjects, the changes can’t seem to stay on for long. The program’s scientists believe there’s something missing in the equation. If they don’t find out what it is, their version of the Intersect won’t fully serve its purpose. The only one who may know the missing element, Stephen Bartowski, is dead. There’s a chance that knowledge may have been passed down to her children. But Bentley doesn’t want them to know about the Intersect program’s mind-altering directive. Kidnapping one of them would only raise suspicion which would lead to trouble. She has been relying on CIA surveillance to keep an eye on Chuck and the others as a precaution. She is aware of Vivian’s father’s encounter with Chuck and Sarah. While not knowing the exact details, Bentley could only assume that Vivian’s father is looking for his daughter and thinks Chuck and Sarah may know about it. Casey is likely taken as a tool of persuasion for the couple. Bentley has nothing to fear from the situation since Chuck and Sarah don’t know of Vivian’s whereabouts. But Casey’s abduction, when once was brushed off by Bentley, is now the object of her attention. There’s a chance Chuck and Ellie may have shared what they learned from their father with Casey. The episode ends with Bentley beginning to organize a plan to take Casey from Vivian’s father.

      • Justin says:

        atcDave, it’s been days since my last post and I noticed you haven’t made a comment about it yet.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh man I missed it! You must have posted during a discussion on another thread that distracted. Thanks for drawing me back, or I would have missed it entirely.

        I like Jack being involved. He seems to have drawn a pretty different conclusion than in canon! I like the conclusion of that.
        And I look forward to wrapping up the mission in the next couple posts!

      • Justin says:

        What do you think of how I handled the topic of marriage between Chuck and Sarah?

      • atcDave says:

        I think it’s exactly right. Of course I like that Sarah takes it seriously.

      • Justin says:

        atcDave, I want to know you that my next post will feature the last three episodes of AU Chuck Season 4 back-to-back. But you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see them, probably by the end of the week.

      • Justin says:

        atcDave, quick heads up: you may have to wait a bit longer for the final three episodes. Sometime next week. I’m still working on them.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll be here…

      • Justin says:

        Hey, atcDave, I know I promised to post all three episodes back-to-back of AU Chuck but, since you have been waiting quite some time and I’m still working on the last two episodes of the series, I decided to just post an episode at a time like before. Here’s the third-to-last episode.

        4×22: With Big Mike manning the store, Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan begin their search for Vivian. They form a plan to break into a certain CIA facility to get their hands on information concerning the air strike on Vivian’s retreat. That information may contain clues of what happened to Vivian. But they don’t want the CIA to know if they’ve gotten hands on the information. Their presence will pose an obstacle to the goal of getting Casey back. Greta volunteers to be the one to break into the CIA facility. She feels she owes it to Casey to help since he convinced her to stay in 4×13. Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan stand by in as support and backup if needed. Morgan gives Alex regular updates on the mission.

        During Greta’s attempt to break into the CIA facility to acquire the information she seeks, she cross paths with Chuck’s mother, Mary Bartowski aka Frost. She is disguised as a member of the facility’s staff, looking for the same information Greta is looking for. She isn’t wearing the armband device anymore to block the signal of her tracking implant since the implant was surgically removed a while ago. Beckman is giving Frost directions via comms to help her find her way around the CIA facility. It is evident in their exchange with each other that their alliance is that of necessity and not of great trust. Not knowing of the other’s connection to Chuck and viewing the other as an obstacle to their goal, Greta and Frost fight over access to the information they seek. Their fighting creates an incident that triggers the facility’s automatic lockdown. Chuck, Sarah, Morgan, and Beckman must figure out a way to get their people out of there before it’s too late. In the process of carrying out a Plan B on the fly, Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan become aware of Beckman’s presence and vice versa. They end up joining forces in saving Greta and Frost. After the escape, both teams take the time to reveal what the other is up to. Frost and Beckman learn about the situation with Casey and Vivian’s father, and inform the others of their goal against the CIA Director. They both consider the Director to be a major threat to them and those close to him. He could also be considered an even larger threat with this radical new directive for the Intersect program they have been hearing whispers about. They don’t know the exact details but they do know that it has something to do with the Director’s secretive interest in Frost’s brainwashing. Frost and Beckman want to find the facility where this directive is situated, stop it, and use it to bring down the Director. They think Vivian among other people whose disappearances they have been investigating have been taken to the facility which is why they were looking for the air strike information. It turns out it does confirm that Vivian has been taken to the facility. The information doesn’t point out where the facility is. It only reveals its code-name: REBIRTH. The CIA Director learns about the incident at the CIA facility and suspects the involvement of Chuck and his gang which he doesn’t like one bit.

        Meanwhile, it is revealed that Casey is being held prisoner in the home of Vivian’s grandmother. He has been attempting to find a way out of his predicament since he got there. But the grandmother is smarter and tougher than she looks. Casey doesn’t know whether to resent or admire his elderly jailor. Then a CIA team sent by Bentley arrives at the location. They attack the place, render Vivian’s grandmother unconscious with a chloroform gas, and free Casey from his constraints. The team claims to have been sent by Beckman who returned to service. But Casey finds it hard to believe and was thinking of making an escape until one of the team members shot him with a tranquilizer dart. He was shot with a few more darts when he seemed to be resisting its effects to the team’s surprise. The episode ends with the team taking him away to his new place of confinement.

      • atcDave says:

        I like seeing the “good” teams working on the same side! Interesting having Casey sort of out of the picture. Should be fun seeing this all finish up soon!

      • Justin says:

        The penultimate episode

        4×23: With the clock ticking on their joined goals, Chuck, Morgan, Sarah, Frost, and Beckman come up with a plan to use Bentley to locate the REBIRTH facility. It is suspected the REBIRTH facility is a part of the Intersect program. Bentley’s movements are closely followed by the others. The Director sends Decker and his team onto the trail of Chuck and his team to get to Frost and eliminate them as obstacles to the Intersect program. Chuck is afraid getting into another run-in with the CIA will result in a repetition of the deadly events that nearly brought an end to those he cared about in 4×11 and 4×12. So he calls upon those back in the Burbank to be on alert. If everything goes to hell like it did last time, a plan has been developed by Chuck to ensure their safety. But the plan is to be put into action as a last resort because there is no going back from it. Ellie and Devon are scared, especially when their child’s safety is in question. Bentley interrogates Casey about his knowledge of the special indigent to a successful mental use of the Intersect. He has been taken to a cell of the REBIRTH facility. When Casey refuses to divulge what he knows, Bentley threatens to do what she has to do to gain his cooperation. Thanks to Bentley, Chuck and the others are able to get into the facility without raising the alert. They locate where Vivian and her other captives are being held and what is being done to them. How his father’s creation has been perverted by the CIA chills Chuck to the bone and provokes his anger. Soon, his and the others’ presence are detected, triggering the alert. It all leads to an explosive showdown between most of Team Bartowski, and Bentley and her people with Casey caught in the middle. Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan are surprised to see him there. The CIA Director learns the gist of what’s going on at the REBIRTH facility through Decker. The situation puts the Director in a tough spot. He comes out of it, having decided that he rather destroy a creation he has been overseeing and start it anew than having it be undone by his enemies. The episode ends with him seeking to have a nuclear bomb be dropped on the REBIRTH facility, wiping out everyone and everything inside and in its surrounding area.

      • atcDave says:

        Wow that’s a big cliffhanger! Seems like there’s a lot of details to sort out next. But it was great having all together again.

      • Justin says:

        And now the series finale.

        4×24: The showdown at the REBIRTH facility comes to a stop when both sides realize they have bigger fish to fry outside. Decker and his team are ordered by the Director to keep anyone in the facility from leaving at any cost. This will remain the case until the order to drop a nuclear bomb on the location is cleared. Decker and his men have also set up a device to block any signals from coming in and out of the facility. Bentley learns of this problem when she tries to get hold of the Director on the phone to find out what’s going on. The situation is filling her with concern and dread. To try to convince the President of the necessity of the nuclear bomb, the CIA Director goes over the checkered history of Chuck and his team. He uses their rebellious actions against the CIA in the past to cast them as a significant threat and magnify the danger of them leaving the facility alive. He even cooks up some lies of his own to back his case. The President still have qualms about the drastic measure despite the Director coming up with an effective cover story for the explosion. But the President’s doubts are difficult to be maintained against what is considered the greater good of the country.

        Back at the REBIRTH facility, Chuck and Bentley put aside their differences for the moment to unite themselves and their people against the outside threat. Whatever reason Decker and his team have for trying to keep them from leaving the facility, it is a shared belief that it isn’t anything good. So the people inside the facility look for a means of escape that won’t be noticed by Decker and his men. When that doesn’t work, they decide the best way to save their lives is to fight their way of the facility together. Chuck and Sarah lead the charge in developing a plan of attack against Decker and his team.

        Meanwhile, Ellie takes a stand against the CIA to protect her family. She uses the Orion spy network to contact the President to make a deal with him since he can bring the CIA to the heel. Ellie proposes that, in exchange for ensuring the safety of those she holds dear, a partnership will be formed with the government concerning the Intersect her family is developing. This Intersect will benefit the country and the world immensely. Maybe it won’t be in ways that will befit a weapon but in ways that make out a large place in history for the United States. Ellie tells the President that for this to work, the Intersect program must be a civilian operation under her family’s control. Enough problems have caused due to CIA control of the Intersect project.

        Back at the REBIRTH facility, the fight against Decker and his team has begun. It seems Chuck and Sarah’s side is winning. But they learn from a defeated Decker of the CIA Director’s plan to drop a nuclear bomb on their location. The plan undermines any chance of a quick escape. Chuck and Sarah fear this may be the end for them until they find out that the Director’s plan has failed. The President decided to take Ellie’s solution instead of the CIA Director’s because of its benefits and its less bloody nature. Chuck has never felt more proud of having a sister like Ellie.

        Six months pass by. It is the eve of Chuck and Sarah’s wedding. Kathleen and Casey have been dating for months. Beckman has become the new CIA Director. The Bartowski family’s Intersect partnership with the government has been going smoothly. It is seen through the news how the world is beginning to change for the better because of the new Intersect. During Chuck and Sarah’s wedding, Casey walks Sarah down the aisle. Morgan is Chuck’s best man. The groomsmen beside him are Casey, Devon, and Big Mike. Ellie is Sarah’s maid of honor. The bridesmaids beside her are Greta and the remaining members of CAT squad, Carina and Zondra. Frost who now calls herself Mary and Vivian MacArthur are among the guests of the wedding. Frost has continued her recovery at a new mental treatment facility. Though her work with herself isn’t finished, she has recovered some memories of her old life in the past six months. Vivian is spending time in the same mental treatment facility Mary is in. Her mind hasn’t fully recovered from the mental effects of her time as an Intersect test project. Knowing what she is going through, Mary has been helping Vivian with her recovery. Though Chuck and Sarah did deceive her in the past, she feels grateful to them for rescuing her and bringing her back to her family. Mary and Vivian along with the other people in the church watch Chuck and Sarah exchange their vows. It ends with them sharing a specular kiss and receiving a joyful cheer from their audience. During the wedding reception, Casey proposes to Kathleen, promising to see their engagement through this time. Kathleen happily accepts Casey’s proposal. Chuck and Sarah find a gift from Jack Burton on the top of their wedding presents. A message is attached to the gift addressed to Sarah. All it said was “It seems I was wrong.” The series ends with a look of pure shock and joy on Chuck and Sarah’s faces when they open Sarah’s father’s mysterious gift.

        So what do you think of the series finale or the overall second half of AU Chuck S4? Do you think this half and the first half work together as a swan song to the Chuck series?

      • atcDave says:

        I think that was all well done and exciting Justin. I like the way Ellie was involved, and you had an appealing end for all the major characters. I like the idea of Casey with Kathleen, although that’s a pairing that’s bound to have some serious challenges (like the fact he’s already chosen career over her once). And I like Mary recovering, but still with serious problems. I think its better to leave a secondary character in that position than a main one!

      • Justin says:

        Well, atcDave, it’s been a blast doing AU Chuck and it wouldn’t have gone on as long as it did if it wasn’t for your comments and your encouragement. Down the line, I may consider doing a full-length fanfic version of AU Chuck from the beginning of Season 3 to the end of Season 4. I may not. Who knows. But I may have been thinking about doing an AU version of Dexter that starts somewhere in Season 2 or a continuation of the cancelled series Odyssey 5 covering the next four seasons it needed to complete its five-year arc.

      • atcDave says:

        You did very well with structuring your story. You have a lot of good ideas, and did a nice job of putting the whole thing together.
        Obviously the big issue for a proper story treatment will be fleshing out the details, and breathing life into the characters. If you do post Chuck stories at ff.net I will read them! Sorry, I can’t help with Dexter…

      • Justin says:

        That’s ok. Hope we cross paths in the next Chuck discussion in the near-future.

  2. atcDave says:

    Just a general observation here. This thread may be setting a record for least comment traffic ever. But the hits per page is reasonable, and we’re seeing a fair number hits on the fan fiction links. So many are reading, but few are speaking up! That’s fine, really. No one ever needs to decloak if they’re not comfortable doing so. But just like fan fiction writers only get reviews as prizes, we only get comments and discussion. So I would love to hear from anyone who has thoughts either about the subject of the post or the associated fan fiction.

    • Duckman says:

      Well Dave, since it’s so quiet in here, I’ll poke my head up from behind my rock.For the most part, your opinions seem to pretty much mirror mine. That’s part of the reason I’ve rarely commented here, others have usually said what I would, only more eloquently. In the case of s4 however, we differ a little.
      I came to this party late, only discovered this site this past summer while doing my own little rewatch. When I started that rewatch I had zero intention of going past honeymooners, my opinin of s4 and s5 was pretty low, I think I just felt jerked around. I think you all were early in s3 when I started reading. I enjoyed the commentary here a lot, in some cases more that the ep itself, so when you got to s4 I said what the hell. What I’ve found in the last 24 weeks is that with 1 or 2 exceptions, my opinion of and enjoyment of the episodes has improved, in a few cases drasticly, thank you all for that.
      I think my issue with s4 is everything is so personal, I prefer the more “faceless” villans, Volkoff just pissed me off most of the time. I think I’ve become so attatched to these characters that a personal attack on them was just a little uncomfortable to my delicate sensibilities. I must be part chick.

      • atcDave says:

        Duck man it really makes my day if we’ve helped you enjoy the series more! That is the highest accomplishment we can ever hope for here.
        My thought on the villains may be similar. I actually really enjoyed Volkoff, but I do wish more of the stories had been less personal. The occasional tie in to personal or family history makes sense, but I missed the idea of saving the world, of doing something bigger. The last couple seasons were too much about saving Mom, Saving Sarah, Saving Sarah’s mom…
        I always thought the show was a lot of fun, but I do think more miscellaneous villains who posed a broader, less personal threat would have been appreciated.

      • garnet says:

        I have to admit that I stumbled on this page by accident. I am enjoying the story thus far, and agree with Dave that there is a lot to tie up in the finale. The nuclear bomb may be a bit over the top as far as a response by the Director goes, but then he is the Director.

        Justin, I would encourage you to try reformatting this and posting it on FF.net where I’m sure there would be interest.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know if you went far back Garnet, but Justin has been working on this since early S3. It’s been a fun AU! But I tried to get him to write up a longer form a while ago and no luck. So it remains our exclusive content.

      • Justin says:

        Garnet, I am glad you are enjoying my version of Chuck. For the longest time, I thought atcDave was the only one interested in it. Just the nuclear bomb bit was a bit out there but at the same time I thought it would be a hell of a cliffhanger for the episode.

    • I’ve always felt there was little to ‘fix’ in the series for this time period. It think that turns off the muse for many writers. As shown by my several stories from this time window, that does the opposite for me. There’s always room to fill in the gaps with even more fun and fluff. (I’m also not good at writing angst.)

      • atcDave says:

        I agree completely with that analysis Jeff. There are a number of writers who, like you, want to play around with this happy period. But nothing like the deluge of writers inspired by the drive to fix up S3; or later, the ending.
        Of course I completely appreciate the way you started a post series story that doesn’t see the need to “fix” as much as just carry on. I guess you’re not alone in that, Anthropocene has followed a similar course. But I find it a reasonable and satisfying way to make the end better.

        BTW, looking at our activity log it seems Castle vs The Law of Averages has quite a few hits. As a crossover I thought that one might be the hardest sell, but that sure doesn’t seem to be a problem!

      • Going by FFnet stats, Castle vs the Law of Averages and my Castle/Stargate SG-1 crossover ‘This Never Happens’ have the most hits per chapter. ‘This Never Happens’ has by far the most reviews for a single chapter. I always figured it was because Stargate SG-! and Castle has a much larger FFnet presence. They are 8th and 18th on the TV Show list with 27K and 16K stories respectively. It’s interesting that you are seeing a lot of hits from the Chuck fans.

      • atcDave says:

        My guess would be that as a crossover more readers here hadn’t heard of it before.

        Not to disparage anything! Just that crossovers don’t show up on the main Chuck page.

  3. So I know, I am posting way late on this, but is there a post on your blog where you discuss more in-depth on Post Season 4 Fan Fics? I am more interested to see where people may have taken the story when they (as in Charah) are happy and what Carmichael Industries may have developed into assuming there is no Quinn and such.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m planning on some of that when I do an S5 Alternatives post in a couple weeks. There is some good stuff, although not as much as some other periods of the show.
      I’m planning on just two more alternatives posts. The first will be S5 through Baby, sort of the newly-wed stories. Second will be finale arc and post series. Post series of course is huge.
      Should be fun!

  4. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Cliffhanger (4.24) | Chuck This

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