Chuck vs The Hack Off (5.05)

Casey is in jail as Decker is applying pressure to Carmichael Industries.  Can Chuck and Sarah, along with Gertrude, complete a mission and spring the big guy?

After the jump, we’ll look at Hack off.

Another episode from about the middle of our ranking poll.  I find it interesting that this one ranks at 31, that’s eleven higher than Business Trip that we discussed last week.  I find that funny because I consider both to be similar, strong episodes.  I love seeing Chuck, Sarah and the show in general at this point.  It might not rise to the level of some of the very best episodes, but this is a wonderful status quo; and I would have been happy for many more like this.

The main plot is enjoyable and fun all the way through.  Certain highlights being Chuck “the Piranha” doing his routine, as Sarah looks on amused and charmed.  Kind of a special, small moment of the sort that reminds me why I love this couple so much.  Gertrude joining is a blast as well; from working with Ward and June to threatening Morgan, to her need for Casey.  Another is the mission to the Church of the Eternal Wind; the pixilated nudity is a pretty deliberate sort of prime time television humor.  And I love the drumming session too, Chuck is having so much fun with his mission!  Going to the collective, Sarah and Gertrude being bad, while Chuck does what he does so well, pure fun.  And of course, Gertrude dealing with Decker.

For all the fun, there’s some really good character moments for Sarah that raise this episode another notch.  The whole idea of Sarah playing relationship counselor to Gertrude is really incredible.  Looking at the whole series this is just a stunning thing.  She has become so comfortable in her role as a wife and a spy.  So comfortable in fact, she’s willing to encourage Chuck towards what comes next.  Of course what comes next for Chuck leads to what comes next for Sarah.  This won’t be settled easily in her mind, and we can see Sarah’s relief when danger intervenes and requires a return to her familiar life.  But over the next few episodes we will see Sarah process what her life is versus what she wants.  Now that Chuck is thinking of a computer business, Sarah will ultimately figure out how to make a business for both of them.  And it is this process, this journey, that I think shows us where Sarah is truly at when the show ends for the final time.  She said no to the CIA.

Again we have a couple of secondary plots in play.  The first just being Casey trying to stay out of trouble in jail.  Lester saving his skin is one of those perfectly unexpected funny moments.  And Morgan’s little scam to get Lester to actually want to come home, good stuff.

As is usual on these better episodes, I don’t have much more to add at this point.  I wish the show had maintained this mood for much longer.  I think quality will waver some in the next few episodes.  But there are still some really terrific moments ahead, just not nearly as many as are behind us.  Now I’m getting all melancholy…

~ Dave

A Giant Slab of Leverage

Freddie Wong as the hacker Freddy

Freddie Wong as the hacker Freddy

Chuck vs. The Hack-Off was rated in the middle third of our favorite episodes, but I’m going to confess right up front that, early on, it rated no where near that position in my list. In fact, I think I placed it somewhere in the bottom 5 episodes first time around. I had a hard time finding enough enthusiasm to display for the weekly pod-cast (hat-tip to Old Darth).

The Top Dog

The Top Dog

Look what we have. Chuck swigging Chardonnay? Lester becoming top-dog in prison? Decker, the best incarnation of pure, comic-book evil ™ I’ve seen since Ted Roark, off’ed by a vengeful Gertrude at the peak of his badness? And the worst offense of all, pixelated Sarah??? Silly. Ridiculous. Chubby! (NO! Not Sarah, miscreants! The humor!!!)

Gimeee a break! – I thought.

The Backup Lester

The Backup Lester

I know! Let’s make it worse and replace Lester with another Hinjew from Montreal!

Morgan: How you holdin’ up, man?
Jeff: I didn’t think it would be this hard without Lester around. I’m starting to forget him. I can’t even picture what Lester looks like anymore.
Morgan: Close your eyes. Imagine David Beckham. Lester’s a shorter, feminine version of his wife.
Jeff: Right. I can see him now!

Stop laughing! This is serious business!

Remembering that 1) I wasn’t quite sure that Gertrude was really the best fit for Casey, B) that Decker’s conspiracy seemed to evaporate for no good reason and iii) that the Omen Virus didn’t seem at all related to RIOS (AAARRRGGG!!!), I watched again with a little trepidation.

Decker: Sorry for the theatrics getting you here. Sometimes it’s just more fun to knock somebody out and toss them in a van.

I’ll say. Casey in prison is the measure of Chuck’s failure as a businessman. His “Spies-For-Hire” venture seemed to be the best possible amalgam of the normal life he always wanted with spy-life of his dreams and Decker is taking it apart brick by brick.

Chuck: I can’t help feeling like Casey going to prison is all my fault.
Sarah: What? Why would you say that?
Chuck: ‘Cause I’m the genius who started a private spy company and convinced you both to work with me.
Sarah: That’s not true! Decker wanted Casey in jail no matter what. I mean, whether we worked for ourselves or the CIA, it doesn’t really matter.
And I’m not just saying that to make you feel better. Well, maybe a little.

Hey! Chuck should get on his knees and thank God for Sarah’s support and understanding. Instead, he’s letting himself get seduced by Chardonnay and a little bit of hacking success. It may not be the dark side; at least it’s for a good cause. But is it really “Chuck?”

Kinda cute!

Kinda cute!


Morgan: When The Piranha got really into a decoding session he could get a bit giddy.
Sarah: That’s kinda cute!
Morgan: Yeah, it’s also super nerdy.
Sarah: It’s definitely that too.

She could use a little support in return, because just like Chuck, Sarah’s also fighting to combine her two worlds. It’s rare that Sarah should be considered the underdog in a fight, but this time, that’s exactly what she is. If Chuck, and really, no one, is in position to be Sarah’s confidant about her life-choices right now, at least someone can make her think about choosing between the life she has and the life she wants.

Or is it the other way around? These days, it’s hard to tell.

Gertrude: I couldn’t imagine my life away from this.
Sarah: Do you really think it’s gonna be that bad?
Gertrude: Sarah, girls like us, we don’t just leave the spy business. Look at me. I’ve been doing this since I was 16 years old. Never had another job, not in my entire life. I wouldn’t even know what to do if I did. How about you? Could you do anything else?

Hum! That’s interesting. Did I say this episode was silly? Maybe, not so much. I fought it best I could, but – wow. There were some deeper themes running through this episode. I certainly didn’t expect to find any depth coming from the mouth of Jeff Barnes before this.

Jeff: This wasn’t about me and Lester, was it?
Morgan: Hmmm? I don’t know.
Jeff: There’s someone who hasn’t forgiven your dick-ish behavior… and you need to right that wrong.
I’m talking about John Casey.

It's the uniform.

It’s the uniform.

Yes, I had my qualms about Gertrude, too. I mean, could she really compare to the likes of Ilsa Trinchina or Kathleen McHugh? Well, maybe she can.

Verbanski: Sorry if I got too physical. It’s the uniform.
Casey: Huh. Don’t apologize. I actually enjoyed it.
Verbanski: I thought you would.

Chuck’s right. With Gertrude around, it’s almost like Casey never left for prison. They are, after all, quite a match.

Gratuitous, but I don't care!

Gratuitous, but I don’t care!

Despite the gratuitous – uh – pixelation, despite the sudden and surprising loss of a real nemesis, despite the looming failure of Carmichael Industries and despite myself, I laughed this week. Decker served his purpose and everyone, including Jeff, is straddling two worlds in brand new ways. This theme takes more than one or two episodes of exposition, and if I didn’t care for Chuck vs. The Hack-Off before, that’s the only reason. The theme is not concluded here but merely begins here.

Like in the Blitzen Trapper song, there’s a lot of obvious double entendre floating around. But the honesty and sweetness come through loud and clear. The way this episode sneaks up on you is also why S5 has to be seriously considered to be the best.

I been feelin’ hard to get
Like a dog hidin’ out underneath the step
Burnin’ this bridge, cause I need the light
For the see my way through the coming night
Guessin’ that you’d always just play the game
Come a walkin’ on back down the same ole lane
But the grass grows high all around your door
It’s a sign or symbol for the things in store

– 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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48 Responses to Chuck vs The Hack Off (5.05)

  1. candm3407 says:

    The episode of this week is actually my favorite of season 5. I love the exchange between Verbanski and Sarah when trying to help Chuck . How Sarah has completely evolved into her own version of Chuck is really masterful acting by Yvonne. They say married couples rubbed off on each other and Chuck has done so with Sarah.

    I liked how Decker used Carmichael Industries to frame them for the Omen Virus, but what I love most about this episode is seeing Sarah can’t help but be attracted to Chuck’s nerdy side, [which is what she fell in love with him to begin with] when he is in the middle of hacking. The smile and the love in her eyes for her husband is really sweet.

    As I said before I love characters that make impacts and certainly Decker was one of them. I wish he didn’t get killed off the show in this episode because I would of like to see how his character would of made the series that much better.

    • atcDave says:

      Decker was a good villain. I seems like they could have got better mileage out of him. But Gertrude taking him down like that sure was fun!

      • candm3407 says:

        oh yeah, it was a cool tactic by Gertrude. I actually prefer Gertrude than Ilsa over Alex’s mother for Casey.

        Question for you Dave. Here was something I been thinking about. tell me if you think it would of been better to connect Decker to Quin rather than Shaw. You know how much I love Shaw in Season 3, but I do believe the Character ran its course at the end of Season 3. Do you think it would of been better to link Decker to Quin? Quin as the mastermind seems to me to be more of an impact than Decker to Shaw and Quin on his own for final arc.

      • atcDave says:

        Well, I can’t stand Shaw, so yeah, I think anything would have been better. The problems with Shaw being he was played out, he had too much baggage from S3; and being in prison it was too much of a reach to have him behind the grand conspiracy, the Omen Virus, and the 3.0.
        Even having Decker himself in the Shaw role would have worked better I think.

    • joe says:

      I absolutely agree with Dave and you that I wish Decker had been around a bit longer. The return of Shaw in only two weeks made me think for a bit that the whole idea was a mistake. I mean, why replace a great bad-guy at all, much less with one that the fans really, really hated?

      But now I think that Decker was only a go-between from the start. He was only meant to get us to a greater evil, and I’m not talking necessarily about Shaw. Really, the great nemesis coming up is The Intersect 3.0 and Decker wasn’t needed once we got there.

      I haven’t re-watched that part of the story in a long time, so I’m not sure I won’t change my mind on this, but having Chuck face a Frankenstein version of his father’s own creation is an idea with a lot of merit. I suspect that was the intent, even if I couldn’t quite get over the lousy way Sarah’s going to be treated.

      • atcDave says:

        I strongly suspect TPTB never fully understood how many of us intensely disliked Shaw and his baggage. They seemed to think our dislike was far more good natured than it actually was.
        I think a fairly small number of viewers (like apparently Chris/Candm) may have taken the “love to hate” attitude. I may have felt that way about Volkoff or Roark; but I think a large number of us just completely disliked Shaw.

      • mr2686 says:

        It’s funny Dave, but as much as I have HATED Shaw in the past, I’ve found I softened a bit on my last re-watch. I will never love the character (as a good guy) or think it was good acting, but I think I’m a little more accepting these days.
        As for the Hack-off, I really like this episode, and it also ranks at 31 on my chart, and coincidently, Business Trip is about 8 notches lower (although I like that one a lot also).
        This is just one of those episodes where the main story and the back stories are all solid, but one of the few that are like that, that are just a notch below my top tier episodes.
        These last few episodes really shine a light on the quality drop off that we’ll see next week in Curse. Good news is that the rest of the season is really really good.

      • atcDave says:

        Shaw was adequate as a pure villain. I’m not among those who gets angry just at the sight of his face. But I do sympathize some with that response, and I just wish he’d been skipped.

        I’m really fine with calling Hack Off an average episode, it really does prove how strong “average” was on Chuck. Per our big poll, only Baby ranks as a top 10 episode from S5, and I completely agree with that. And although Curse MAY be my least favorite episode outside of the misery arc, it still has some fun stuff in it. I expect to enjoy re-watching it this week!

      • mr2686 says:

        There’s actually 2 season 5 episodes in my top 10 (and I mean top 10, not just top 10 worthy), and that would be Baby and another one…and I’ll leave that one for a future debate. LOL.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I can guess. Goodbye ranked out middle of the pack. But it was with much less consensus than most episodes. People ranked it at the very top, or near the bottom, so it averaged out near the middle.

  2. Wilf says:

    This is one of my middle-ranking episodes. I particularly liked their scenes at the Church of the Eternal Wind and the idea of their ‘Wind Names’ is just so nerdy in a ’60s sort of way.

  3. revdr says:

    I always figured that Decker while under used, was just pawn. but, I still cant understand why they introduced the whole conspiracy angle just to whitewash it. I know that Shaw pretty much blackmailed Decker and his cohorts in his efforts to control the CIA but in a perfect story telling world, I feel that they could have done so much more. I would have preferred Decker, or even Quinn be the mastermind rather than Shaw, but apparently Shaw is what TPTB wanted. I agree with Joe however, with my dislike of how Sarah was treated in the coming episodes.

  4. resaw says:

    I never cared for Decker. I always found it odd that he was under Shaw’s control; Decker seemed to relish the nastiness that he was dishing out too much himself to have been manipulated into the things he did by an outside party. And I think Shaw’s story had run its course. Then there is the fact that a big baddy — Quinn — is introduced at the very end of the series. Although I suppose the case could be made that the true enemy in the whole series was the desire for power displayed through the murky world of espionage and the toll it takes on people, rather than any one individual.

    Loving and/or caring relationships beyond the primary Chuck-Sarah relationship rise to prominence in this episode and Casey seems to figure prominently in most of the them: Casey – Verbanski, Casey – Morgan, even Casey – Lester, as well as Jeff – Lester. Once again, I find it heartbreaking that they take those kinds of memories of love and genuine vulnerability away from Sarah at the end. Chuck, to his credit, does not give up, even to the point of risking his life, and bears the burden of holding up and sustaining their relationship beyond the closing scene on the beach. Oh, how I wish to see that unwavering fidelity clearly and unambiguously rewarded.

    • mr2686 says:

      I still say that is was Quinn that was actually behind Shaw in an effort to gain 3.0, and when Shaw failed, it caused Quinn to come out of the shadows to finally try and get the intersect himself. I truly believe that this was TPTB’s plan, but it wasn’t explained very well, although there were some hints in season 5…just not fleshed out very well.

    • atcDave says:

      Resaw I would agree with calling the corruption of the spy world a theme of the show, but that’s too abstract and impersonal to qualify as villain for me. But I love how the old A-Ha video of “Take On Me” is completely appropriate to that theme. Chuck as the normal guy entered a dangerous and corrupt world, and pulled Sarah out of it when he finally escaped.

      But as far as the actual villain goes, I initially had the same impression as MR, that Quinn was in fact behind it all. But I don’t believe that any more. We were actually told Shaw was the big bad, that he had used Black Mail to force his agenda. And since Shaw and Quinn both actually were after the same exact thing, a perfect Intersect, but coming at it from different angles; and neither seems inclined to share, I no longer believe that.
      I do think it would have been simple enough to write the story with no Shaw at all, just use Decker in Santa Suit. And very few changes in dialogue to suggest he’s Quinn’s errand boy, and the grand conspiracy flows to the end. That seems tidier to me than what they did.

  5. John G. says:

    Because of this episode, I will always and forever think of chardonnay as “thinkin’ juice”. It almost makes me want to start drinking the stuff (to be fair I’ve never tried it, or most wines).

    Chuck and Sarah are adorable together in this episode. It’s so wonderful to get those glimpses.

    Oh, and the mini-Community crossover. Glorious, and so fun.

    • I agree, you can see the chemistry between the two and the love they share. They are totally in sync and is one of the episodes that ultimately make you feel good about things for them. Sarah’s growth as mentioned and her comfort level to give Gertrude relationship advice is huge.

      The Community cross over was great, so funny with Yvette going after Danny Pudi haha.

  6. noblz says:

    Well, I guess I’m in the minority here. In my personal ranking system there’s “Outstanding” (I’ll watch 100 times and never get tired of them), “Good” (maybe 20-30 times before I get tired), And “Least Good” ( will watch in a marathon but I rarely choose one to watch for entertainment only 8 of these and added to these are the three to never be re-watched).

    I have two Outstanding episodes, for me, in Season 5 and they are Hack Off and Baby.

    I thought this was an outstanding episode. Chuck in his element as a hacker, Sarah meddling in Casey’s love life, and the infiltration of the nudist camp was just priceless as well as Sarah openly displaying her affection for Chuck in front of a third party.

    Since I have about 25 outstanding episodes in my top ten and only 11 duds, that leaves 55 just good old episodes I love to watch. Average on Chuck is still very, very good.

    • atcDave says:

      Well most viewers do tend to like Hack off, I know I sure do. I would put it in the top three of S5 (Business Trip, Hack Off, Baby). As I said up top, all three of those would rank as “strong”.
      When we’re done with this season in a couple months we’ll do a few posts of evaluating the seasons Dave. I’m not 100% sure what terms we’ll settle on yet, but yeah, only that one arc has a few “unwatchables”!

    • candm3407 says:

      I like your standards and for me its similar. However, I like to keep going in order there are not that many episodes i dislike, there are that I skip over like for me my worse episode is Broken Heart because I really have a dislike for Alex Forrest and I don’t bother with Helicopter and 3D
      and one I only have watch two times and won’t watch ever again is 5/12. Chuck vs Sarah hurts too much to watch.

      • atcDave says:

        You’re definitely a bit of an oddity Chris! No doubt we all have a few stray choices, episodes we love or hate that are out of sync with the majority. But Broken Heart scored solid number on our poll; and I think it has a few outstanding scenes (I think the vault is one of the funniest scenes of the entire series) and its a strong Charah episode, especially at the end.
        5.12 also scores pretty well. Although it is depressing, it is extremely well done, and it actually outscores Goodbye by a significant margin.
        Helicopter was sort of middle of the pack too, but its long been a favorite of mine.
        I think we only mostly agree on Third Dimension; I would only rank Ex and Beefcake below it from S2. But I would call all three pretty weak. And the poll tends to agree also.

  7. candm3407 says:


    We both know that a couple of scenes doesn’t out weight the overall episode because if that was the case then lethal weapon is one of the best episodes because Sarah says she doesn’t cheat on her cover boyfriend. or Sensei was a good episode because of the nice exchange between charah in OO. Helicopter may be funny grant it, but I am not a fan of Charah fights like the one at the end of the episodes especially when Chuck takes initiative. For example, Cat Squad was an unnecessary outburst by Sarah when Chuck came crashing down from the rafters.

    However, I do admit i am a bit odd. When I watched wrestling I use to always root for the villiian because I well just wanted to be different. Its my personality. I am also sorry I don’t have the same opinion on 5/12 like most of the pollers do or for the Goodbye.

    Here is an argument from me about why most people like me don’t like Goodbye. I prefer a conclusion like we got with Pink Slip. I have actually come around on that episode. If we got the 6 months after following the beach scene maybe my opinion would be different, but I love it when I see Sarah’s face while watching Chuck on Camera. she was missing him and hurt as well. I often like the Prague scene because we got what I like to call the double turn there. I am going to be referencing Prague Station as the Prague incident for now on because I simply like it

    What I mean about the double turn was Sarah and Chuck reverse roles and let me tell you it was well done. Sarah became Chuck being told He can’t because of Duty and Chuck became Agent Walker. Now we know what the result was they get together in the end which is great, but I like the outcome to that than what we got in the goodbye. Think about what Sarah said in family volkoff about the pre nup. Chuck totally caught her off guard with signing the pre nup and it was like the prague incident. well not as bad as the Prague Incident but you get what I am saying

    There is a result that I can live with if that was the ending. I mean we both know that Sarah was beginning to remember, but do we really? anything could of happened.

    • atcDave says:

      I think for most of us a few scenes make or break an episode. But ultimately we all have unique and personal reasons for what we like or dislike. Some of those impressions will be stronger than others. But typically if I consider an episode average it just means nothing stood out to me, either extremely good or bad. The episode still might be important in some way, and with a show like Chuck, average is still something I enjoy quite a lot.
      As I’ve commented a few times, even the weakest episodes are still typically a lot of fun. Only the misery arc; from Prague through the final exam, earns my eternal contempt; and that story is fatally flawed at conception for me, just hopelessly miserably story telling. And yes, I know you feel differently, but that’s sort of my point. You’re allowed to dislike Broken Heart while most of us like it a lot. You’re even allowed to like Fake Name! Just know others who disagree may do so strongly and with good reason. If you want to launch another defense of that arc though, please head to the appropriate episode threads!

  8. garnet says:

    I think one of the positives of this episode is that we get to see Chuck demonstrate his formidable skills. Even before the Intersect, he was a World Class Hacker. My only regret is that although this was referenced early on (??Tom Sawyer) with the “Bartowski Special”, they really didn’t use this aspect of his skillset to the fullest. A competent Chuck is fun to watch.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I agree Garnet. I wish we’d seen much more of Chuck the computer genius, especially going back to the first couple seasons it would have been fun to see him prove his worth more often even apart from the Intersect.

    • dkd says:

      I think part of this was to help us envision what post-CIA Chuck’s life would be like. I still imagine he now has a successful Computer Security business up and running and it is getting lots of business in light of all the hacking stories in the news.

      • atcDave says:

        That is a very appealing assumption DKD!

      • garnet says:

        I like that thought as well dkd, as long as the CFO/CEO happens to have a name that rhymes with Farah.
        I just would have liked to see a bit more “capable Chuck” vs “helpless Chuck” overall, and this was one area they established early on…Chuck knew computers….They then seemed to drop that ball for most of the series (IMO).

      • dkd says:

        I can’t think of many instances where Chuck was shown as “helpless” when it came to technology. Even before he was a fully realized “Intersect 2.0” he did gravitate towards being the team’s tech guy.

        The much-hated season 3 episode “Chuck vs. The Mask” featured Chuck and Hannah doing some high-level computing. There were moments here and there in all the seasons. The storylines just didn’t all lean on that aspect of the job.

        “I like that thought as well dkd, as long as the CFO/CEO happens to have a name that rhymes with Farah.”

        The CFO/CEO is on maternity leave.

      • authorguy says:

        Except when it’s important to the storyline that he not be. I was annoyed in The Leftovers how the Pirahna was not going up against Volkoff’s hacker to defend Castle. Obviously they didn’t know about the Pirahna persona at the time, but he should have been part of that effort at the very least. Even Morgan out-performs Casey when it matters to the plot.

  9. candm3407 says:

    Actually i think the best time we saw Chuck being Tech Savvy was when he took down Volkoff using Orion’s cabin to lure him out. It was genius

    and the second one was in Fat Lady when solving the music box…This is why I find it confusing for TB to not use him to decrypt the chip in beefcake or rewire the ring phone in Operation Awesome.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Chris those moments are problematic. It really irks me in Beefcake when Chuck’s abilities are poopooed. I would have liked to see Sarah at least encourage him to hack the fulcrum chip.

      • candm3407 says:

        I mean if the guy can defuse a bomb using fruit juice these guys acting like Chuck didin”t know what he was doing was really moronic, but regarding Sarah. Dave, she just got dumped a third time. Her body language in the OO was one of an assassin getting tired of the breaking up request made by Chuck, so I give her pass on not encouraging him.

        The funny thing is every time they don’t trust him with the computer stuff, He goes rogue and makes them look foolish all the time.

    • joe says:

      Actually, Chris, that scene made me appreciate *Morgan’s* tech-savy. But in that same episode, if it was Chuck that hacked into Volkoff’s computer to make Alexei believe that Orion was alive, well, back to get his wife and after him, well, *that* was impressive!

      • candm3407 says:

        funny thing is Chuck sometimes out smarted TB indirectly like when he used the bug in The truth to get the bad guy into the hospital. It goes to show you that Chuck always had the spy within him

    • mr2686 says:

      I don’t think it’s confusing or problematic at all. It was never about Chuck’s tech ability, but what the outcome of said hack or rewire might be. In that regard, it was Chuck not being a team player, as well as lack of communication between the rest of the team and him. But then, lack of communication is the center piece of ALL Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t think anyone was calling it a “big” problem. I just wish we’d seen more of his computer genius on occasion. In particular, I would have dumped the whole 2.0 story idea and made Chuck more of a creative tech sort. Had him more like Orion (or Q!) and less of the Kung Fu flash…
        Not that what they did didn’t work, just I can imagine ways it might have worked more to my liking.

      • I think in terms of when the 2.0 arc was done, it was still on a regular tv schedule, and if Chuck did not have some time of drastic improvement (a la the Kung Fu, and “upgraded talents”) then interest from those who are not as into the show as us may have waned.

        I for one enjoy that Chuck is able to be both a field Agent AND a tech guy, but eventually in season 5 we see Chuck is able to hold his own (Like in Chuck Vs. The baby) so there is a natural growth in his skill set to compliment is tech savvy.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Daniel I think the decision was to be more outrageous and over the top. Unfortunately I really preferred the “normal guy in a dangerous world” sort of thing. I really like the set up for S5. We saw a tech guy and mastermind, who had been trained in some basic survival skills. And we’re later told Sarah was primarily responsible for that training (several times throughout Goodbye), although I’m sure Casey played a role too. I really wish they gone this route back in S3.
        But again, this is more of a small thing. I get that some viewers really wanted the super hero, so okay.

      • I think that the set up in season 3 would have worked better for the arc of the show like you prefer, kind of have Chuck transition into 2.0 for season 4, with basic skills already in hand for when he upgraded. I think it would have been more believable if for a season the audience saw Chuck could do both, then with enhancement he would seem even more of a superhero-esque person.

  10. gatesoutcast says:

    Dave, maybe a more of Dr. Who mental talents instead of Kunf Fu. It may have worked, and some of the times it was a bit of a stretch to se him fight, but Sarah did an excellent job. I did like the Hack off computer fight, and the rise of Gertrude was fun. Once again thank you Netflix, regular tv and their reality shows bring nauesa to mind.

  11. revdr says:

    NBC announced a Heroes 13 episode mini series in 2015….maybe they can right the wrongs of season 4 and end things properly.

    • John G. says:

      Heyyy, that means they can do that with Chuck, yeah? Yeah. Yeahhhh… They should. Cause we want it. The rest of the world? Who cares. Because we matter more. And they can fix that amnesia bullshit ending.

      Longshot, I know, but a man can dream.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah mini-series even better than a movie!

      • mr2686 says:

        Agree, but it would be easier, and take less time away from other projects, for the actors to devote a couple of weeks to a movie (The Veronica Mars movie was shot very quickly). Speaking of VM, I just saw that the same day it will be released in the theaters, it will also be available on Blu Ray and On-Demand. Kind of an all out blitz.

    • revdr says:

      There is also a series of webisodes for after the movie’s debut. Ideal for Chuck would be a 6 episode mini-series, possible with a summer premier. The networks use this method more and more, not wanting to show reruns during that period. That would minimize cost. I would happily accept that. I really have been feeling a renewed sense of hope for something to happen, especially after listening to Zach’s interview last week.

  12. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Hack Off (5.05) | Chuck This

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