Chuck vs The Baby (5.08)

The Grand Conspiracy is over, and we have a couple of stand alone episodes before moving on to the finale arc.  As Shaw is hauled off to solitary he makes a parting threat to Sarah, that calls up her deepest fears.  This leads to a last secret and a very personal mission.

After the jump, we’ll discuss Baby. 

Baby is the last Sarah centered episode of the series.  Our master poll has it at number 8.  That makes it the top ranked Season Five episode by a wide margin, and the only one in the top ten.  For myself I would rank it even higher, maybe even top three.

So funny thing, there are some obvious similarities here with Curse, in that Sarah runs off on an ill-advised solo mission even though she has a team that’s willing and eager to back her up.  Just like Chuck did in Curse.  And yet on that same poll, and I’m in complete agreement, this episode is the very best of S5, and the other is the very worst.  So what’s the difference?  I can think of a couple things.  For starters there’s just the difference of demeaner, Chuck is whiney and annoying in Curse, while Sarah is calm and stoic in Baby.  But I think an even bigger difference is just that we get to see Sarah learn from her mistake.  Chuck maybe did, he said he did, but they didn’t show us.  For Sarah they showed us.  She realizes the error of her ways, apologizes, reads in her entire team, then takes them with her to finish things out right.  And not to mention a vastly more appealing portrayal of Chuck himself; instead of whiny and neurotic, we see strong Chuck who will be there for his wife, both as back up on a mission and ready to offer good counsel. Was that enough?  Well it was for me.  It makes a difference of one of the very best Chuck episodes versus one that’s kind of hard to sit through.

The very good things about Baby start first thing.  We get a flashback, to a time immediately before the start of the series in 2007, of Sarah in Budapest.  This is truly one of the great Sarah action sequences of the entire series, right up there with Tic Tac or Phase Three.  When Sarah is ordered to kill eleven armed men, she pauses for just a second.  Is it fear?  Is she worried if she can manage it?  No.  Her handler discerns correctly when he tells her “they’re all bad men”.  She hesitates before attacking eleven armed men from doubt they all deserve her brand of justice.  I just love that moment.  And the following seconds of screen time are exciting and brutal.  She is efficient and deadly right until she discovers the “package” she is to retrieve is an infant.  Awesome opening sequence!

And there are several more excellent scenes ahead.  The flashbacks are illuminating, both for her corrupt handler and her Mom.  The Mom story answers so many long standing questions about that relationship.  She may have a need for adventure and excitement from her Dad; but a need for stable, loving and normal from her Mom.  And I think we get an interesting series long development here where Sarah has grown from being like her Dad, to becoming more like her Mom.  The final flashback scene on her Mom’s porch is powerful and well done.  We’re all impressed with Yvonne almost on a weekly basis, but I also saw more range from Cheryl Ladd than I expected.  Well done all around.

I enjoy much of the current time story too; Chuck and Sarah at the dream house (or not. That’s negotiable), Casey and Chuck trying to interrogate a Hungarian suspect, Chuck talking honestly and bluntly with Sarah when they get home, Sarah coming completely clean about what’s going on, and an epic re-match between Sarah and Ryker (really epic.  I love kicks to the head and smashing through walls!).

The last ten minutes are nearly perfect.  Sarah’s reunion with her Mom, the whole gang together, Sarah and Chuck both getting to know Molly, and Sarah and Chuck both having time with Emma.  “She always was a tough little thing” may be the most appropriate, and understated thing ever said about Sarah.  It makes me smile every time to see these relationships mended.

And there’s more!  Chuck and Sarah back at the dream house; Sarah wanting to turn down Beckman’s job offer is kind of a bombshell.  I bring it up so often in discussions now its loosing much of its shock value.  But I remember it took my breath away that first night this ran.  How many times have we been told Sarah loves what she does?  Enough where we knew it was of earthshaking importance when she told Chuck he was more important than the job back in Honeymooners (even if we all knew that was true all along anyway!). Now she doesn’t even want it back.  She has come to fully embrace Chuck’s vision of normal.  You all know I’ll bring this up again in a few weeks for the finale.  Sarah will affirm this decision when, even with missing memories, she will know she wants this life with Chuck, back.

It ends with carving on a door frame.  To me, this is how the show should have ended.  I honestly would have preferred if this had been the last moment.  Don’t get me wrong, we still have some great moments ahead.  But I think this was the last truly great episode of the series, and it has the perfect end.

For all that, we had a nice “B” plot in Baby as well.  The game night in Castle is funny, especially Devon and Ellie playing spy. And I like how they decide to help. Ellie telling Morgan that he is a catch. That is almost as significant a character moment as Sarah turning down the job offer.

I normally save fan fiction links for the “Alternatives” posts, but I have a couple this week that are more canon related than alternative.  Long time visitor here MyNameIsJeffNImLost was apparently quite motivated by this episode.  He wrote two one-shot tie ins.  The first is “Sarah vs the Phantom Retcon“.  It addresses a number of minor inconsistencies from Baby that many viewers focused in on, and finds plausible explanations for all of them.  I always think as viewers we have some responsibility to make sense of what is presented before we start complaining it’s broke; and Jeff gives us a virtual text book exercise in how to do that.  The second story is just plain fun.  It’s “Sarah’s Mom vs Sarah’s Family“.  It fills the gap from when Emma and Molly first arrive at Casa Bartowski until Sarah returns home.  This is a fun and beautiful piece, one of my all time favorite one-shots.

There will be a Season Five Alternatives post up on Tuesday.  As always, I look forward to reading everyone’s input.

~ Dave

What We Needed To Know

All right. Everyone who didn’t like Chuck vs. The Baby, I want you to raise your hands. Nice and high. NOW GET OUT!!! (You uncouth, heathen, uncivilized…). Uh. Oops. My rant key was stuck there for a second.

Like all Sarah-centric episodes, Baby is a jewel, deserving of all the praise Dave heaps on it above. It goes beyond the fact that we just love the character – a true universal if there ever was one – there’s more to it than that. You see, one of the show’s greatest hooks is that we can never be completely certain what Sarah is thinking. There is always some degree of ambiguity and tension between Sarah’s words and actions. We can never, finally know… until now. That’s the hook.

Kieran Ryker

Kieran Ryker

But let me digress for just a moment; I don’t want to forget to laud Tim DeKay‘s efforts here as Sarah’s handler and early partner, Kieran Ryker. Most of us know him from his role as Peter Burke opposite Bryce Larkin uh, Matt Bomer, in White Collar. I should strike those strikes. Most of us will always associate Bomer with Chuck, so it’s very easy to accept DeKay as one of the family despite the character.

Of course, Peter Burke is one of the good-guys in that buddy show. But some of us may remember DeKay playing quite a different role in a Seinfeld episode. Actually, he played a bizarro Jerry, if you can imagine that. Some may even remember him as a senator (and friend of Gibbs) in an episode of NCIS. For all the disparate roles he’s had, this is the first time I remember him as “the bad guy,” and I’m impressed. DeKay has range. The despicable Kieran Ryker deserves all the loathing and beat-down Sarah gives him.

That brings up the next best thing about Baby – the two tremendous action scenes, one where a younger Agent Walker takes out eleven Hungarian assassins, and one at the penultimate finale where she battles Ryker one last time. For my money, they are together the best action scenes of the series, with the possible exception of Sarah’s battle with Smooth Lau in Best Friends. I rank them ahead of Sarah’s rooftop tango with Lizzy The Pita Girl in The Marlin, but of course, YMMV. Regardless, considering the hatchet job Chuck‘s budget had received at the hands of Comcast and NBC-U for S5, they did an amazing job.

But here I am, talking about fight scenes and budgets, when the best of Baby has nothing to do with those things. It has to do with reconciliations. Chuck has always featured adventure and action, relying on well-choreographed, well executed bits of martial artistry and daring-do against the foe-du-jour. But those are secondary to the emotional impact in nearly every episode.

Hardly secondary

Hardly secondary

The reconcilliation between (former Charlie’s Angel, Cheryl Ladd) Emma and her daughter is a case in point, as it is with Morgan and Alex. Morgan can be a clown and and irritant, but admit it – we want him to win Alex back because he’s been a friend. Alex is a secondary character, introduced late as part of Casey’s back-story and we still want her to find happiness with the bearded troll.

But even their stories (not to mention The Awesomes’ early history) are surpassed by something bigger. Here, even more than in Phase 3, Cougars and Delorean, we have substantial answers to the question we all asked; Who Is Sarah Walker?

Where's mom in all this?

Where’s mom in all this?

Oh yeah, the flashback technique is so very effective at showing us origins; we got to see Chuck as a boy and in college, Casey joining special forces and Morgan becoming, well, Morgan. First loves, friends, tragedies, alpha versions of the Intersect; all very informative. We saw young Sarah differently, though. What we saw in S1 and S2 was something akin to the cosmological Big Bang; much was explained, but much more was obscured by the fireball and resulting debris. How do we get from daughter of Jack Burton to Agent Walker? And where was mom, anyway? As late as S5, it’s all a mystery.

The mystery is made more impenetrable because, except for very brief interludes, we see Sarah Walker after she meets Chuck Bartowski and by that time, it’s too late. She’s already changed.

Sarah: Chuck, I fell for you a long, long time ago. After you fixed my phone and before you started diffusing bombs with computer viruses.



She changed that early. But it wasn’t too much before then that Sarah was an assassin. The words she used to describe Casey were much more than that; they comprised a self-description – “Burn out. Cold-school killer.” One of Chuck’s very first flashes shows exactly that side of Sarah. And be very clear – it was fear we saw in his eyes.

It’s shocking to see that Sarah emerge once more. I don’t know about you, but my head snapped when Sarah explains her plans to her husband.

Chuck: Okay, so, when you see Ryker, what then? What are you gonna do?
Sarah: [sighs, turns and pauses] I’m gonna kill him, Chuck.

Cold-school. That’s the Agent Walker Chuck saw killing the French assassins. That’s the Sarah Chuck could not accept shooting an un-armed Mauser. She told him that she would make the same decisions again, if she had to. So like I started to say before, we have to wonder if that’s the way Sarah is thinking now.

The man Sarah married would never do such a thing. To this day, he refuses to carry anything more than a tranq-gun, right? Well, you might ask Daniel Shaw about how Chuck refuses to kill. You remember him – the guy Chuck left for dead in an icy river in Paris? No, life is never so simple, straight forward or without compromise. It’s said that, once the decision is made, a great general doesn’t hesitate to send his solders out to do battle and die; Sorrow and sadness are not considered. However, his grief is genuine after the battle. Early on I found myself wondering if Agent Walker ever considered those she left in her wake. I always knew that Chuck did, even when he had to pull the trigger.

Sarah: But I’m different now. You know, things have changed. You’ve changed me. I don’t wanna go back.

Finally, we see that, even if Agent Walker would do it again, Sarah Bartowski can feel emotional about the things she’s had to do. It’s not possible for me to see Sarah deceiving Chuck even the slightest bit any longer; when she tells him that she wants every single part of the life he’s envisioned, he’s not being played like a mark, like a Lon Kirk or Manoosh. Chuck will never again be merely her asset, someone to be protected and shielded from the truth. Sarah’s simple statement is a higher truth and her self-reflection goes a long way to answering the questions we’ve always had about her – until now.

Sarah: When Ryker captured me in Budapest, I kept thinking: “Why am I doing it this way? Why do I feel like I have to do everything on my own?” But it’s what my dad taught me, the way the CIA taught me – that you can only ever trust yourself.
But the truth is that I trust you completely and I wanna tell you everything.

What ever she was before, she’s a Bartowski now, and that is all I ever wanted to know about Agent Walker. Fortunately, we are told just a little more about how she came to be so cold in the first place. It was her deliberate choice.

Cold-school killer

Cold-school killer

Graham: Where’s the package?
Sarah: If I had the package in my possession, then what?
Graham: The CIA would take it into custody, and then…
Sarah: Could you guarantee it’s protection?
Graham: You know I can’t make guarantees. The CIA keeps records on these kinds of things, records that a man like Ryker might be able to get his hands on. And who knows what he would do. He’s a wild card. Agent Walker? Sarah.
Sarah: I’m not in possession of the package, director. It must be somewhere else.

The enigmatic Langston Graham, played one last time by Tony Todd, may not be entirely evil. He’s merely placing his job above people and everything else, pretty much the same way Jack Burton always did. It’s a lesson Sarah learned well.

Sarah compromised. She became a block of ice, but she also lied to Graham and to the CIA and deliberately buried the lie as deep as she could for the sake of everyone else. That’s not the action of a cold-school killer but the act of a desperate person. By the time Sarah met Chuck, she was ready to be transformed.

Emma: This is your home too. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Sarah: Mom, I’ve thought a lot about this, and I can’t stay. Because for both of you to be safe, well, I can never see you again.
When the CIA recruited me, I was on the run with dad. We changed identities so much they never knew you existed. And we can’t let them find out about you now.
Emma: When you were a little girl, all I ever wanted for you was a normal life. But you went off with your father, and he was never one to… You just – you never got to go trick-or-treating or play on the soccer team or – Never got to go to prom or homecoming. I just wish I could have given you at least some of that.

This is normal

This is normal

It was two against one, Jack and Langston against Emma, and Emma simply couldn’t give her daughter a normal life. Thankfully, Chuck is going to try very hard to do just that.

By the time we get to the wonderful anthem for Millennials that ends the episode, the music is no longer about celebrating victory over adversity, because victory is never final. It’s a song about growth, growth in the direction of wisdom.

We are young
So let’s the set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Finally, I’m going to end with a note about the episode’s biggest flaw. With the time-line we’re given, Sarah’s partnership with Bryce is missing conspicuously. That’s a shame – after learning so much about her past, we would still like to know more and that’s not a bad thing!

– 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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74 Responses to Chuck vs The Baby (5.08)

  1. CaptMediocre says:

    I think I’m gonna go with …

    This is one of the most schizophrenic episodes of the show. It is simultaneously one of the better episodes of S5 and one of the worst. The elements are there for both. (Yes. The same comment from last week applies this week.)

    Last week I noted how I felt there was no resolution to the Sh** story.

    This episode is all “Mom” resolution with no story.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I genarally like this episode. Tim Dekay was despicable (which is good). Sarah is shown as questioning her orders. And as a standalone ep there’s no problem with it. However as a backstory ep, the audience has to work to pretty hard to make sense out of it only to realize you can’t make sense out of it.

    That being said, the final scene in the apartment is likely the most heartwarming scene of the show’s last 3 seasons, and (imo) makes a better final scene for the series.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I sure can’t agree with the schizo part, I think the shortcomings here pale compared to the strengths. I would agree some with saying they shouldn’t have kept revisiting the Pilot the way they did, it’s sort of asking for trouble to keep retreading the same turf. Again, I don’t believe there is anything too difficult to reconcile; but obviously some viewers had some problems with it.

    • joe says:

      Cptn., like Jeff below, I generally place Baby very high up on my personal list (as if you couldn’t tell from my write up!). But there are a couple of things that do count as flaws, I think.

      I noted that the time-line re: Bryce is a little difficult to reconcile. I understand that Ryker wasn’t not part of the working concept prior to S1, so the retcon was a little unavoidable. Still, it seems like just a finagling and explaining would have sufficed. We didn’t get it.

      Another thing is that I’ve always wished Emma was more fleshed out. I can understand Jack being a major influence, but I can’t see Sarah’s mother being less of one. Maybe it’s my upbringing, but I have trouble understanding that. However, considering that Sarah is supposed to be mysterious, I’m not sure I want to ever have everything about her revealed! I’m willing to let her have some secrets.

  2. Baby is number 4 for me, if you count Colonel/Ring as a two parter, which I like to do. Honeymooners, Colonel/Ring, the Pilot, and Baby probably rank in the top twenty-five episodes of any show I have ever seen on TV.

    Re: We Are Young, I like that that it got me to download the song before it was released, over a year before it was nominated for a Grammy (which it one.) It reminded me of my Bon Iver collection which predated their “New Artist” Grammy by a couple years.

    Thanks for the shout-outs. My only complaint about Baby was I wanted more, hence the one-shots. Phantom Retcon was one of the fastest things I’ve ever written. It took a couple days to be motivated to write it, but because of discussions on this blog, I knew exactly what I wanted to write. Sarah’s Mom vs Sarah’s Family was just fun.

    • joe says:

      This is the perfect episode for FF writers to expand, isn’t it? In show-biz, they always say you should leave ’em wanting more. We certainly did!

      I like your rankings, Jeff. I think, for me, it’s Colonel/Ring at #1, Honeymooners at #2, and Baby & The Intersect at #3 and #4, depending on my mood, and about 5 other episodes rotating into those slots.

      We Are Young is a great song, up high in my list of unforgetable Chuck music too. I think there’s one great tune yet to come.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know Colonel is one of those episodes I feel was badly undercut by S3. If it had actually MEANT what we thought it did when it first ran it would have stayed a very favorite of mine (its still a top ten, but not top three!).
        I’ll stick with Honeymooners, Phase Three, Baby. And then another 25+ in the rest of the top ten…

      • joe says:

        I know what you mean. Still, Ring pt. 1 left me breathless the first time. Talk about wanting more…
        And of course, there was all the hubbub and worry about the chances for renewal going on then. When they flashed that “To Be Continued” message at the end I almost cheered. It was an amazing feeling.

      • atcDave says:

        Ring was more up and down for me. I loved the two wedding scenes, some of the best television I’ve ever seen. But some of the down notes (“I’m leaving with Bryce…”) are such clunkers it drags the whole thing down. Again, if S3 had actually started on a high note, Ring might have remained an all time favorite. But now I see it as a step down into the abyss. Its not even on my rather lengthy top ten list anymore.

      • atcDave says:

        Funny thing about Ring. I asked several of the casual viewers I knew what they thought, and I got pretty tepid replies. One friend said it looked like the show needed new writers. Funny they’d all been excited the week before. But many were already girding themselves for a reset based on Ring; and I foolishly thought they were all being too negative.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree entirely about just wanting more. There were a couple times Chuck managed to do that; Colonel, Honeymooners, Phase Three all being those sorts of episodes.

      Sarah’s Mom vs Sarah’s Family is just sort of a perfect moment, and definitely a favorite of mine. Really a shame they didn’t do it in the episode… maybe if it had been a 90 minute “special” episode!

      • joe says:

        My part of the write-up was too long, but I forgot to mention that family dinner! This was one of the best!

        Hey, Ernie! I think we need a poll to rank the best Bartowski sit-downs!

      • atcDave says:

        I always loved the family gatherings, and S5 gave us two of the very best; at the end of Business Trip and Baby.

      • By season 5, the gatherings were warm and fuzzy, while the Feds sometimes showing up. But it season 1, it all started with table cloth magic tricks and “I’m thankful that Bryce Larkin is dead and is not currently in my bedroom making out with my new girlfriend.”

      • atcDave says:

        Yes there was a definite shift in mood!

        Even in S2 we got some warm and fuzzy moments though, like the end of Gravitron.

    • oldresorter says:

      My fav eps – 1 – Honeymooners, 2 – Pilot, 3 – Delorean. Baby, Phase 3, Cliffhanger, Colonel / Ring, Role Models in that next grouping followed by all of Seasion 4.

  3. anthropocene says:

    Emma was well cast and well played, and I instantly fell for her: for taking in Molly on a moment’s notice and at some risk, just because Sarah needed her to; for the calm and comfortable way she came into Sarah’s extended family; for her thrill at seeing Sarah and Chuck’s wedding photo; and for her rapport with Chuck. She’s the most “normal” and the most nurturing of the four estranged Bartowski—Walker/Burton parents, and together with Molly, seemed destined to play a significant role in Chuck and Sarah’s transition to a more normal married life.

    Given that Sarah’s mission to Budapest happened immediately before she met Chuck, Quinn must have expunged Molly completely from Sarah’s memory, and reset her relationship with Emma back to the old estrangement. So after the finale, Sarah would have had to rebuild her relationship with her mother and stepsister as well as with Chuck. I imagine that as soon as Emma learned about what befell Sarah, she’d be doing whatever she could to help her daughter heal and restore her happiness with Chuck. Emma has played that kind of role in several good post-finale fanfics I’ve read, and she’s there for Sarah and Chuck in mine as well.

    • atcDave says:

      Insightful comment Anthro. Emma is an appealing character, it is too bad we didn’t get to know her better. But as you say, she so often plays a big role in post series stories.

      • anthropocene says:

        Emma’s the first parent/in-law that both Sarah and Chuck could love equally well. I enjoy working with her and will keep doing that.

    • The episode is a favorite of mine, even if it’s just for the last ten minutes or so, it gives enough for us to understand Sarah before she met Chuck, and her impressive skills as an assassin show through, but at the same time her development from that part of her life is evident in the end of the episode, which is my favorite part. Another favorite scene for me is her mother being genuinely happy for Sarah, with all of the photos she sees of Chuck and Sarah, plus the friends she has made, and the heart to heart with Chuck was well done as well.
      I do agree with how Emma should have played a larger role in the actual series, and within in the Fan Fiction she is a very large influence in the stories which is fun to see.

  4. resaw says:

    Great comments on a great episode. I don’t think there is too much more to add. I found the dinner party at the end and the final scene in the dream house to be just about note perfect. Although, Dave, you were surprised that Sarah turned down the offer to rejoin the CIA, to me this is the reasonable outcome of the arc that Sarah has been on since the beginning of the series.

    I’m not sure what else to add. I’ll just say that when Sarah comes into the house, sees Emma and Molly safe and hugs her mom, that scene is just fantastic. Sarah’s look of joy and relief and love is palpable.

    In other news, and totally off topic, if any on this blog are fans of Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black fame, last night she was finally given the respect she deserved by receiving an award at the Canadian Screen Awards (hosted by Martin Short, an awards show that itself probably doesn’t get much respect, not even from Canadians).

    • atcDave says:

      I think I’d say impressed and pleased more than surprised about Sarah’s decision. It is logical and in character at this point in time, but it is still a huge degree of growth. And saying no again in Goodbye is more of a very pleasant surprise.

  5. oldresorter says:

    I think the last scene speaks directly to us as fans in order to help us understand the ending on the beach. I don’t have access to the exact words, but here is my case by paraphrasing:

    1 – The tune in the background of that last scene was the Chuck and Sarah song
    2 – Many have noted that Sarah quiting the CIA is repeated in the final episode, with her ‘I’m different now’ in baby, she still was at the end when she turned down Beckman, but that is only warming up the hints on how to understand the ending
    3 – Chuck answers we don’t need this house (which they / we didn’t get as their happy ending), as long as we have each other (which they got)
    4 – Sarah stands up and starts carving
    5 – Chuck states we don’t own this house – i.e. we fans aren’t getting the happy ending teased all season
    6 – Sarah answers with the meat of understanding the final, ‘I know, but we will someday, might not be the next day, might be months or years, but we will, and WHEN we do, I want to ALWAYS remember this moment’. (So she couldn’t remember this moment in Sarah because the happy ending time was not to be yet).
    7 – Sarah asks Chuck (and us), ‘You still in?’
    8 – Chuck doesn’t answer, he carves and we see the camera display Chuck and Sarah, with the theme still playing

    IMO that scene foreshadows the scene on the beach, the happy ending was them together, and they will get the house someday. Did the writers get too cute? For me they did, but I can at least understand that they were trying to really knock it out of the park.

    • atcDave says:

      Wow, great comment Jason! I agree with all of that, including the “too cute” part. But especially for all the reasons the ending was a happy one, and how much this ending informs for it.

    • Duckman says:

      It seems to me like they tried to hard a lot of times. Many of the eps or scenes I don’t care for scream effort to me. The ones I like best seem to just come naturally.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah anytime I have to deconstruct a scene to figure out what happened I consider it a failure. That wasn’t normally the case on Chuck, but on just a couple occasions, I think they got too obscure, too cute.

    • Great insight! I never thought about that scene like that. But after you mentioned these things, the carving is one of the flashbacks she fleetingly remembers after he kicked Chuck’s behind all over the house in the 2nd to last ep.

    • joe says:

      Jason, I read your comment too quickly yesterday. Daniel is right – this is insightful.

      You make me think that we (or, at least, I) made too much of the house and the possibility of a Bartowski family (from Chuck’s drawing) as final components of their happiness. Life doesn’t work that way, even in TV. And following Ernie’s concept, it’s the journey, not the end-point, that matters most.

      And being me, I consider that one more clue for the fans that there’s more to come. Movie, anyone?

      • atcDave says:

        Well I have to disagree with some of that Joe; the journey and destination both matter. And in the end, the destination is a very big deal.

      • joe says:

        I know, Dave. Maybe it’s me, but I always thought “closure” was a bit of an overrated concept. I certainly understand the attraction, though.

      • Would love to see a movie, maybe a globe-trotting type story?

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe, we will have this discussion much more in depth in a few weeks but to your point I think for me it really wasn’t about the house and the family ultimately that is the issue. In your comment about the journey though I tend to agree with Dave both are important, the problem is that what the ending didn’t give us was a whole Sarah. In many ways the house etc don’t matter “as long as they have each other”. With that I agree. But the ending we got didn’t give us the “them” of Baby together. Sarah isn’t whole and the “journey” becomes less relevant because of that fact. Jason’s points are great and valid, but the Sarah on that beach is not the Sarah standing next to Chuck in that dining room. So with that you can’t say they got that “happy ending”. For me if Sarah had been whole then yes, the house, the possible child do become irrelevant. They have each other but what we have is a woman with a major hole that has yet to be filled back up and a journey she doesn’t remember.

      • atcDave says:

        I largely agree with that Uplink. Although its actually okay with me if Sarah wasn’t 100% (yet), I really NEEDED to know they were together and happy about it. That was sort of my irreducable minimum. So what contentment I do have with the end comes from piecing together a lot of tidbits of information (and making tons of assumptions; re: previous acomments about assumptions…) to conclude they were in fact, fine. Its a rather fragile sort of contentment, since we were never actually TOLD that it was true.

        For me, that is the tragedy of the finale. So much was well done, well performed and executed. But it pulled up short. Seconds away from verifying what I NEEDED to see. This will remain a problem until some piece of canon fixes it. Which may or may not ever happen.

        I am mostly optimistic about how it ended, and that we will eventually have it verfied on screen. But that is mostly, not completely.

      • oldresorter says:

        Certain episodes of Chuck left me with a huge satisfied smile on my face, in a manner that no TV show ever matched. Baby was one of those smile producing epic performances. I wanted Goodbye to do the same thing to me one last time. Unfortunately, it didn’t. But Baby sure nailed it, as only Chuck could when hitting on all cylinders. And for that, I was a happy camper.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jason I agree 100%.

      • As Dave said, at the bare minimum I also wanted to be reassured they were okay and at least starting the process of healing, the transformation of Sarah Walker the spy to Sarah walker the wife was one of the major driving forces of the show. For her to lose that knowledge plus the friends she made, which she recognizes and embraces in Baby, is a part that I will never get over. Literally just 10 more seconds of some explicit verbal or non verbal communication from Sarah to Chuck would have sufficed.

  6. John says:

    I loved this episode as a whole but one thing always bugs the crap out of me when I watch it: when Sarah returns to Budapest to confront Ryker after Shaw has spilled the beans, he lures her to a crib with the sounds of a crying baby. I guess you could write it off as Sarah being too emotional to think, but c’mon. It’s been five years. A five year old doesn’t cry like an infant would.
    That part annoys me every stinkin’ time I watch the episode.

    On the other hand, I could watch the last half, from Sarah’s fight with Ryker, to her reunion with her mother, to Chuck and Sarah carving their names, on a goddamn loop. It’s all so good and the latter two portions, so beautiful. When Emma is gazing lovingly at Chuck and Sarah’s wedding picture before she’s even seen her daughter after five years or met her son-in-law…it’s so damn beautiful, as is her little heart-to-heart with Chuck.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah the baby crying thing was funny. I took it as exactly that Sarah was emotional and not thinking straight. It was the same recorder Sarah had used five years prior, so she might have even recognized it as Molly’s cry; but of course she wouldn’t still be an infant!

      • I always figured it was Sarah not thinking straight, but it also could have been a completely different infant.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it’s entirely possible it was just Sarah charging to the rescue of yet another infant that fell into Ryker’s foul clutch..,

        Seems in character for Sarah. But I like the confused recognition of Molly better.

    • joe says:

      Considering that I’ve never seen anyone comment on this rather obvious continuity problem before this, John – Great Catch!

      I honestly can say I never noticed or thought about be before (so I’m impressed).

  7. uplink2 says:

    I stepped away for a while but decided this episode and the looming finale discussion were something I wanted to be a part of. Baby is my favorite episode of season 5 without a doubt. I was very pleased when Cheryl Ladd was cast as she had been my first choice for Sarah’s mom for years before we ever got to this episode. She was solid and credible in the part. To me it is easier to see her as Yvonne’s mother than Linda Hamilton being Zach’s mom.
    To me it was the last piece of the Sarah back story I wanted. If I could have asked for only one thing in season 5 it would have been Sarah’s mom. It was essential to me and it bothered me that at one point Fedak said they didn’t know if they would have time. It was so much more essential than any other part of the season for me.
    I think the story basically makes sense and my only real criticism is the ending. It basically retcons Bryce out of existence. To me a far more appropriate ending would have been she was handed Bryce’s folder instead of Chuck’s. Or even better Graham introduces her to her new partner and Bomer walks through the door. Why would an agent who had been partnered with Bryce and were viewed as the Golden Couple of the CIA need a handler? It only works if it was before Bryce. It’s probably a minor point but it bugs me still.
    This episode ranks at 10 on my list and it is the only season 5 episode above probably 25 or lower. It was a final piece for me and in some ways it’s where I like to think the show ended.

    • atcDave says:

      Hey Uplink great to see you back.

      I think retcon is a bit strong, although I would agree with saying he should have at least been mentioned. It would have been great to see a little Bryce cameo here.
      As I understand it, per Wikipedia, all field agents have handlers. It looks to me like a mostly unofficial term for any over-seer of agents or assets in the field. Which would be how “Tuttle” could have been a handler of a field agent, even though he himself apparently never did field work. It looks to me like, at least in American usage, its virtually synonymous with agent-in-charge (AIC). But again, it seems to be an unofficial term. It perhaps wasn’t the best choice in this case, it seems to suggest to many viewers that Sarah is more junior than she actually was. But again, Mary seems to have suggested she had an MI6 handler after leaving CIA service, at which point she was hardly a junior agent either.
      I’ve always thought it would have played better if she had pushed Graham for a solo mission, or to be her own AIC, or something. I think it would have caused less confusion all around.
      But its a pretty small thing out of the full episode!

      • uplink2 says:

        You may be right Dave but it still shows sometimes how sloppy they were with their own mythology. How could Sarah have beaten Casey to LA after Graham showed her the file and had the PDA on his desk. He got the PDA from Casey at the blown up Intersect room. It was also Casey who knew of the “trace signature” leading to Burbank. Casey would have arrived in LA long before Sarah did and Casey being Casey would have taken Chuck into custody before Sarah even showed up. His dislike for the CIA would have made him want to get Chuck for the NSA and never let him near the CIA agent if she hadn’t made contact first. Remember “he breaks things, he doesn’t fix them.” It is a small point in the only top 10 episode since Phase 3 but it is that kind of sloppiness that does get annoying and knocks down episodes on my list. Especially when it would have been so easy to fix.

      • atcDave says:

        Some of that is assuming things we don’t actually know. Like presumably the PDA was taken from the shooting as evidence by the proper agents. From there, Graham and his techs may have gotten it PRIOR to the meeting back at the Intersect site where Casey now had custody of it. It would then stand to reason that Graham already knew everything Casey said in the Pilot, and had dispatched his agent (Walker) to Burbank hours ahead of Casey. Or maybe Graham met with Sarah after he met with Casey; but while Casey took time to assemble a team, and caught a commercial flight, Sarah took an F-16 without delay.
        Obviously we can only guess. But I have no problem with that. Events became more complicated than we first thought, but they all CAN be reconciled. Real events often are like this too; Occam’s Razor is a terrible predictor of events.

      • noblz says:

        Welcome back Uplink…and atcDave

        In Mary’s case she (Mary) was likely Hartley’s handler given the situation they were in.

        As for the timing of Sarah’s connection to the Pilot, I have always felt it went down like this…

        Shortly after Sarah tells Graham she doesn’t have the package, perhaps the same phone conversation, Graham sends Sarah straight to LA as Casey is receiving his orders. Obviously, Emma lives near Burbank so Sarah drops Molly en-route to Burbank. The events of the Pilot takes place, then there is a day or two between the beach scene in the Pilot and the final scene where Chuck sees Sarah and Casey in the Buy More and flashes on Sarah. During this day or two, Sarah flies to DC and meets with Graham. By now Graham has the PDA. Sarah’s initial mission was to recover the Intersect, that being impossible another agent would be assigned to handle Chuck. But instead Graham assigns Sarah. She smirks looking at the folder because she’s already met Chuck.

        This works out since it would take a day or so to set up Casey’s cover as well. Sarah was a comparatively junior agent and given her experience with Ryker, Graham promotes her to handler a more senior position.

      • atcDave says:

        That works pretty well Noblz. I was under the impression that meeting was more immediate after Hungary; but if instead it’s just the first face to face since Hungary it still tracks pretty well.

      • uplink2 says:

        First of all thanks for the welcome back. I guess my point is that none of this was necessary. There was no need to show that scene as it served no real purpose. Though it was nice to see Graham again it only clouds the mythology. In the pilot Graham and Sarah both had no idea that Chuck wasn’t a traitor and would become an asset needing a handler. “Nice guys don’t get sent government secrets.” “What do I do if he runs?” “Kill him!”. Why would Graham tell her she was going to become a handler before she had even gone to LA then? The video log even contradicts that. The scene would have been much more believable if he had simply called her as she left Emma’s home and told her that Bryce had broken into the DNI and she needed to head to Burbank immediately and she would receive her orders when she arrived. That fits with the scene in Nacho Sampler as well. Why did she need his picture in her phone at the BuyMore if she already had his file in DC? I just don’t think it added any clarity to the story and just clouded things. It’s sad because it really is a fantastic episode and the fact you have to squint and wave your hand a bit for that one scene that doesn’t add anything is a small but does take a few points off its score. I’d have much rather seen an expanded scene with Chuck and Emma or more Emma in general. Something about what went wrong and why Sarah went off with her father and what Emma had been doing all those years. There’s some great FF there for Emma.

        I have to say that I think Ryker was one of the better single episode baddies. He had a clear storyline and Dekay did a very credible job in the role. Nothing like good old greed to establish an evil character.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah no doubt Ryker was a great short term villain. I definitely would have liked more Sarah/Emma time.
        But I’m really liking Dave/Noblz explanation. If that meeting was actually in between the Pilot and Helicopter, and it was still the first time Graham had seen Sarah since Hungary (he may have contacted her, already in California, immediately after meeting with Casey. And notice Sarah already had the Porsche at her Mom’s, so instead of getting it from the Government motor pool for a couple days, she kept it for a few years) it tracks pretty well. Graham is introducing her to her new mission, a new mission that she’s already done the groundwork on. When he shows her that file photo of Chuck, Sarah has an enigmatic little smile, that I had taken as just being happy to have her own mission. But if we put it after the Pilot, when Sarah will later admit she’d already fallen for Chuck, that smile may reveal something a lot deeper going on with her. I like it!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        There is nothing that really says Sarah makes contact the next day after Chuck is intersected. You can either assume that when Graham, not Beckman and Casey are in the intersect vault that is a step back in time to when Chuck was being intersected (I don’t any longer, it is shown to be daylight on the outside shot of the intersect facility, it’s dark in the intersect room because there isn’t any power) or you can assume that is happening the next day at the same time Chuck is experiencing the effects of being intersected in the Buy More. You can easily put Sarah’s meeting with Graham after the intersect room meeting and still get her to LA the next day or you can assume that it happens the same evening and she gets to LA the day after the intersect room meeting. I now assume that when we see Sarah make contact it is two days after Chuck’s birthday party and there isn’t anything on the screen to contradict that. That gives the CIA and NSA time to research Bryce’s contacts and trace the signal to Chuck.

        Since Chuck was in the intersect, (see Chuck Versus The Alma Mater) even though they didn’t have the results of his test or Flemming’s meeting with Bryce, someone obviously had some intel on him. Probably the CIA.

        The timing of Casey and Sarah’s arrival doesn’t really matter. Casey’s team was observing Chuck, probably to see if he made contact with anyone or lead them to the intersect, Sarah was making contact to gain his trust and get him talking. Different approaches.

        As for Sarah having a handler, there are many reasons an assassin might be called in on a case, but would be kept in the dark about details of the mission in case of capture. As for Bryce, we know he wasn’t working with Sarah immediately before Chuck got the intersect since in Nemesis he talks of being recruited and sent on a mission by Fulcrum and instead infiltrating them. They do establish the Sarah and Bryce have a history, but there is nothing in Canon that shows them working together outside of 2005, the same year they took a vacation in Cabo. Their partnership could have been an occasional thing with both going on solo missions sometimes with and sometimes without handlers. There are no conflicts with her red test, being Langston Graham’s wildcard enforcer or the Cat Squad with this approach.

        As for the finale, here is an interesting article on the role our expectations and the interwebs play in how we see television now. This could also play a big part in the season 2 to 3 transition.

      • joe says:

        Great article, Ernie.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you’re completely right Ernie the timing of who arrived in Burbank when doesn’t need to be a big deal. The show seemed to suggest Casey’s team was in place for Sarah’s second visit to the Buy More, but not the first. And I think most of us have assumed that since the episode ran. But you’re right in saying that is an assumption, and it could be wrong. Obviously some viewers will have a different threshold than others for having to re-evaluate this sort of data. Many seem to find it burdensome. For myself, I don’t mind when I like the material, I actual enjoy the exercise. But if I’m less enthused about the material, I’ll be less enthused about having to re-examine it (case in point, I’m happy to look at and resolve apparent issues between the Pilot and Baby. I have no interest in bringing Nacho Sampler into the discussion).

        The article you linked was interesting, it certainly made some good points. And I agree entirely with saying the Internet has changed the viewing experience, at least for more committed fans of a show it has. We now have access to so much information, and so many opportunities to analyze and agonize over every detail of a show. No doubt it presents major challenges for those on the production end to keep up.
        But I think its a bit of a cop out to blame the Internet for a lack of satisfied fans. Just this last season brought us some pretty significant finales that were both well received, and not well received. But I think there are significant trends in television writing that have led to an increase in criticism. It has become fashionable to drastically change mood or style of a show at the end, it is artistic to be obscure, and it is deep or important to end on a bitter or sour note. Some shows merit ends like this, but many do not. In all too many cases it is a basically a dereliction of duty to the viewers. And until trends change, and more shows are written in a way that actually honors the show and characters, viewers will be unhappy with finales. I think this is an institutional problem. It does make those shows that end well that much more special. But its a shame that it has become so stylish to forget the audience at finale time.

      • joe says:

        ATCDave – “The fan’s advocate!” 😉

      • uplink2 says:

        I think the issues here highlight something that will come up later when we get to the finale. When I first watched Baby and saw that scene with Graham my immediate reaction was “What happened to Bryce Larkin? Does he no longer exist?” It’s a case we will see again going forward especially relating to the discussion Jason so eloquently brought up about the final scene in the “dream house” foreshadowing the ending. The writers simply got too cute and you have to think back and analyze what came before to see how cute it was. I personally prefer to experience it first hand and the fact that I immediately thought of Bryce and not accepted that this fits into some version of canon is a case where the writer didn’t make their case properly. Thinking about it later should expand my experience, not justify what didn’t work on first viewing. It can make me appreciate the intent but when the intent isn’t that meaningful or integral to the story being told but just a way to excuse lazy writing it makes that experience diminished.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I seriously think you’re making too much of a small thing. WE do have some responsibility to make allowances; like the fact Bomer is not easily available, and that they only have 43 minutes to tell a story. It would have been nice to get a Bryce reference thrown in, but seriously, it hurts absolutely nothing to leave him out of the discussion. We were never told how often Sarah and Bryce were even partnered together; only that they were a good team and they liked each other. We DO know Sarah had nothing to do with Bryce’s Fulcrum mission, so his absence here, in the immediate run up to the start of the show, presents no practical problems at all. It speaks well of the product that the thing we all want more is MORE. But it’s a fine line between wanting to see every little thing done right, and requiring it.

      • uplink2 says:

        Oh Dave I agree it’s a minor point but it takes an episode I could easily rate an 8.75 down to an 8.5. It’s top 10 overall for me. I just wish I didn’t have to make that allowance.

  8. BigKev67 says:

    The article actually falls into precisely the trap that I think creates problems. “There are people who love to say they hated the Sopranos ending – but I suspect even those people secretly love it because we’re still talking about it seven years later”. Um, no. If I still think your finale was lousy seven years later, that is very much not a good thing.

    • atcDave says:

      Exactly! I’d also say its a little bit of “blaming the victim”. Not to make too much of it; but it always strikes me as disingenuous to blame the audience for a negative reaction. Obviously we have some responsibility to give them a chance, but they have a responsibility to entertain. The two need to go hand in hand.
      And while it may be true that any ending, any episode, will likely have both fans and detractors, I think they put themselves in a precarious position if they think they can say the Internet is generating their problems.

    • uplink2 says:

      It’s also written as a possible excuse when your finale doesn’t strike the cord you were going for. “It’s not my fault, it’s the Interwebs! They all conspired against me!” Now I’m being a big facetious and do understand that Internet buzz can kill something before it starts sometimes unfairly, but this wasn’t about that. It was an attempt to give people a sense of an out when their finale is received negatively. Kev your Lost example is perfect. In my case with the Sopranos, I still don’t know what I think about it hearing both sides of the argument for years. The only thing I’m sure of is it wasn’t satisfying and the 10 seconds of black was a cheap stunt I thought as I sat there screaming at my cable company.

      To Ernie’s point about a possible season 2 season 3 boundary being affected the same way, I would just point out once again that I never knew of any of it and never once went online about Chuck till May of 2010 when I joined ChuckTV. Yet I had nearly the exact same reaction that those that got swept up in the post Comicon “Emotionally traumatic” “relationship trapezoid” and “bear with us” hysteria. I just was pleased so many saw the exact same flaws and gigantic missteps I saw just watching week to week.

      • atcDave says:

        The S3 issues are an interesting case in point. Although it seems to be true that viewers who watch the season straight through have fewer problems with it, this is hardly an absolute. As Uplink can attest, even viewers from outside that influence have had negative reactions too. Of the six viewers I know who quit the show during that season, not a single one was an on-line reader; not even a little (although they were all watching in real time). The Internet may have some amplifying effect in that the bad gets exaggerated to a higher level.

        But so does the good. How many times have we seen through the years what a strong Internet presence this show had. We saved the show through an Internet launched campaign. This fandom had an e-presence larger than our absolute numbers would indicate (look at all the polls we won!) We got a lot of press attention and interest for the show from our on-line activism. And we helped large numbers of viewers understand or make peace with different aspects of the show (especially the end).

        So although the Internet clearly has an impact, I think its neither positive nor negative as a rule. It may amplify. But I think clever producers and show runners will be able to use that to their advantage.

  9. noblz says:

    Wow pulled the pin on another grenade didn’t I?

    I think it works out just as I said. Uplink, remember the face to face with Graham happens in the Pilot’s timeline between the beach scene and Chuck flashing on Sarah shopping in the Buy More. Ernie’s point from Nacho Sampler only reinforces my version, if you put the Graham meeting at the end of the Pilot as I did not at the beginning. At the beginning doesn’t work, I would agree with Uplink, but put it where I have and it works out.

    I mean Sarah got alerted direct from Budapest to Burbank. She detoured to drop the Baby. Once she learns the Intersect is in Chuck’s head and he’s not going to run, her job is done and she hot-foots it to DC to confront Graham about Ryker. Graham promotes her to Handler for Chuck and her smile is like “Yeah, I think I can handle this one”.

    Not mentioning Bryce by name is not unusual. The PDA was lying there, she got the message. As a soldier you never talk about the empty chairs in the mess hall.

    Not a biggy, but for me it worked out to think of it this way.

  10. CaptMediocre says:

    See. You guys are talking about retconning Bryce out of existence – or not. Honestly that’s how it plays for me too. But with some (read: craploads) stick handling I can will myself to forget the idiocy of that scene and just say, “Graham sent Sarah to find Chuck”, knowing full well that’s not what happened.

    My bigger problem is with the, what appears to be, a very fine, well adjusted loving Mother and how they essentially retconned Sarah life of hardship, crime, and spying as essentially being all of her doing when she had a perfectly good loving Mother at home. Mom must be an upstanding citizen, because Sarah immediately drops off a baby for her to raise.

    Now unless Sarah was abducted by her father, who now becomes a total scumbag instead of a likable conman, Sarah chose a life of crime versus a loving Mother. No court in the land grants custody to a sketchy Dad when such a fine example of motherhood is available.

    So for a Sarah-centric episode, her character and her mom’s character take an awful lot of stretching to pull out something non-damaging.

    Listen, I like Baby. But it’s hard work trying to interpret this episode when looking at the series as a whole.

    • atcDave says:

      Well again I think you’re overusing the Retcon. You’re making way too many assumptions about things we know nothing about. For starters, Emma did make the comment about her always running off on adventures with her dad. We don’t really know how much time Sarah spent with either parent, and where grandparents or even social services might have played into it all. I would guess no court ever gave any sort of legal custody to Jack, and whatever time Sarah spent with him was likely off the books. And just because Emma is well adjusted doesn’t mean she had any means to support a child.

      I think the bottom line is, like so many American kids, Sarah grew up in a broken home and a chaotic situation. The fact that one, or more, of her family was more or less healthy, doesn’t negate the chaos. And Sarah seems to have made things harder on herself by always seeking the attention and affection of the scoundrel.

      • CaptMediocre says:

        No snarkiness intended.

        But aren’t you making assumptions as well in order to make what you see “fit” what you want to see.

        I guess I’m just saying the assumptions should not be necessary. And when they are things are seen differently by different people.

      • atcDave says:

        Well ideally I would agree, but I think its reasonable in a 43 minute story that we will occasionally have to read between the lines.

        And yes, of course I’m making assumptions. But it’s called giving the benefit of the doubt. If I can construct a plausible explanation I will, because I like the show. It’s not a burden or hardship.
        And I’d rather do this anytime than make assumptions that undermine the the thing I like. I just really don’t get that. It would be like looking for my wife’s character flaws instead of the things that I adore.
        And this completely works both ways. When I see a show or even an episode I dislike, the shortcomings and flaws tend to snowball.
        Now I never mean to say we have to like everything, or can’t have problems/issues with the things we do like (Sarah falling for the five year old baby recording annoys me a little). But it seems like we sometimes make far too big a deal out of little stuff.

      • BigKev67 says:

        The question of what some people are prepared to let slide and others are not is an interesting one. My personal take seems to be that I’m a lot more sympathetic with sloppy backstories or characters being egregiously off-kilter in the early seasons of a show. But by the 4th or 5th year of a show my tolerance definitely goes down. Part of that is natural – the first insect bite might not annoy you, but the 50th one certainly will. But part of it is also me thinking “guys – you’ve been doing this for 5 years now. You should be better at this stuff!” Rookie mistakes are by definition excusable for rookies and a lot less so for a 5th year veteran. I’m on the Captain’s side in this argument. I treated Baby as an excellent stand-alone episode when I saw it, because I couldn’t make the backstories (both Emma’s in relation to Sarah, and the scene with Graham) make any sense at all. But that said, the good parts of Baby are outstanding – Chuck at its best.

      • atcDave says:

        Funny Kev I would have said exactly the opposite about some of that. As the mythology grows; there gets to be more material to keep track of, and there’s more potential for error.
        Over the years I’ve enjoyed, to one degree or another, every iteration of the Star Trek franchise. But by the last couple series it became clear the mythology itself was a massive burden (complicated by the foolish decision to make the last series a prequel), and it was practically impossible to tell ANY story without violating some tidbit of lore.

        Compared to something like “Enterprise”, Chuck has very few missteps or difficulties. But by S4 or S5 there’s going to be some. Its just inevitable. And television is not written in a way to allow time to weed them all out.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree with Kev on this. By a certain point in a series, those kind of things shouldn’t happen. The “big white board” in the writers room should be full of the backstory and mythology of the show and how it has evolved. It should be referenced repeatedly as the ongoing story is constructed. Especially with a show like Chuck where its core audience are nerds who love to keep track of stuff like this. You are not going to get a glaring plot hole or backstory error past them. In an interview with the showrunners for the new 24 Live Another Day, they said they actually went to Wikipedia to kind out who they killed off and who they could bring back. As I am doing a binge watch of 24 right now, they killed off everybody lol. But they made the effort to look back and make sure the new story fits the mythology. Sometimes I got the feeling the Chuck showrunners didn’t even bother to check their backstory as long as they got whatever it was they were looking for in that particular scene.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh c’mon Uplink, you just exposed what’s wrong with this sort of nitpicking right there. First of all, I guarantee the 24 mini-series will be written with more attention to detail than a regular weekly TV show, just by nature of not being a weekly TV show! Secondly, the writers are admitting they don’t know all the answers, and will have to do research to figure it all out; and that will require the type of time often not available on a weekly show. Thirdly, Wikipedia is probably not the most authoritative source for much of anything anyway!
        I promise, scratch that, I 100% guarantee there will be continuity issues and problems with 24 too. And there will be fans screaming bloody murder over it. And they’ll all be whining how just a little more research or attention to detail and they need never have made such a dreadful mistake…

        I think you guys are holding writers to an unreasonable standard and looking for trouble where none really exists. If you want to laugh at a mistake, or how many ways you have to twist the story to make it all work; that’s fine, I get it. But calling any of this a big deal is just not right.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I said the comment about Wikipedia as a bit of a joke because the Showrunners of 24 did as well. They were being asked about who is coming back and who isn’t and joked that they actually went to Wikipedia to remember who they killed and who they didn’t. The list of main characters who were killed off is rather large as they has no problems killing of anybody but Jack and Chloe. So please no offense intended.
        But we have discussed before how the Chuck showrunners weren’t that concerned about continuity and mythology if they got the emotion or whatever they were looking for from the scene. Remember the Predator/Orion discussion etc? They didn’t sweat the small (and sometimes big) stuff so we weren’t supposed to either. I’m just pointing out that when you do that, those choices will be mentioned by a fanbase like Chuck’s. Some fans won’t care and some folks will. I get what they were trying to do in that seen by showing Sarah was different even back then. She was ready for the changes that Chuck would bring about in her. And they wanted to tie the timeline tighter to the Pilot. I just think they were a little sloppy about it and it could have been handled cleaner.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay I agree pretty completely with all of that. As always, tone is hard to measure on line. I even agree they could have done a better job with some of the continuity issues. But apparently complaining about those issues bothers me more than the issue itself ever did!

    • noblz says:


      Remember I said she met with Graham after the “trust me” beach scene and before Sarah goes shopping in Buy More. My explanation even fits with the earlier breadcrumb (3.06).

      However, your point about Sarah choosing a life of crime over a loving mother doesn’t work out so well. Not to mention the conflict with 4.21. I choose to squint real hard about this and not sweat it. But I see your point and am left to wonder about what was left unsaid. Maybe if we had less of the Morgan/Alex romance (not of much interest to me, fed up with Morgan by S5) we might have been given more info, even if it is only 43 minutes as atcDave says.

      Other Dave

  11. Christopher says:

    This will most likely be my one of last post for season five as I mentioned before we are getting very close to 5/12 and for me personally I choose not to watch or read that episode. I just can’t sit or read it much like how the misery arc bothers Dave. Now you guys now how much I don’t like Broken Heart and 5/12 is right there. The who concept of it irks me and I will not indulge here due to the fact I don’t want to upset commentators,

    SO here goes, I use to complain about baby because of the fact that I felt like it came out of nowhere with the baby and mother angle. After all in the previous Sarah episode there were no mention of a baby, However, after reading on this site about how baby is connected with the pilot and nacho sampler it makes more sense to me.

    Sarah Walker is by far the best Character I have ever seen. There have been characters that have stole the show and there have been characters that become immortalized. Sarah Walker will go down as one of the those characters for me. Every time you think about Chuck you don’t think about Morgan or Ellie or even Casey or think about Sarah, When you see Bryce on White Color you think of Sarah Walker.

    I often get told I have rosey colored glasses for Sarah and its true I do because you watch the struggle to find herself and to escape the life she knew and to be able to piece it together from pre Chuck to getting married with someone that was originally an assignment shows the person she was is and will ever be. I can’t help but think back to what Mary said during the rehearsal dinner for Chuck and Sarah

    She is truly and amazing woman, someone who forgives despite the field she worked in, As much as we like to say Chuck had a great heart, but so did Sarah. After this episode you saw it. A ruthless Assassin has the ability to shut off the kill switch to become normal and nurturing.

    Sarah Walker the giant blonde she male

  12. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Baby (5.08) | Chuck This

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