Make no mistake, I like Season Five quite a lot. But from starting the season with Morgansect, through the Grand Conspiracy and a return of Daniel Shaw, there’s a few things many viewers might have liked to see done differently.
So let’s discuss some of the changes, big and small, that could have been made. After the jump!
This will be the second to last of this series. I expect the next Alternatives Post I do will be quite large. While the front part of the season seemed like it had a number of smaller things many would have liked done differently. What I have to say here likely won’t be very long, and the last couple posts in this series generated very little discussion. But now’s your chance. If you want to bring up your own ideas, or even just complain about how something was handled, this is the place.
I’m not going to say much about the episodes themselves, since I’ve been writing on the weekly episode post. But I will just say that generally I was happy with this period of the show. The first eight episodes of the season was maybe not the strongest run of the series, but this is my favorite place Chuck and Sarah will ever be. They are happy newlyweds making plans for the future. I would have been very happy if the show had finished where this front bunch of episodes finished. So more on that for the next in this series!
As for changes, let’s start with Morgansect. Many viewers seemed to be very hard on this arc. For myself, I’ll say it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I thought it was mostly well done. My basic complaint is simply too much Morgan; its not a huge issue to me, and I think only Bearded Bandit really presented any problem at all in this regard. My preference would be that there had simply been no Intersect at all at this point. I would have liked a string of stand alone episodes here that set up the new family business. I would have loved more time spent here on the Buy More too. Never thought I’d say that! But I really think it would have been fun to eventually get Chuck and Sarah involved in running the business. Especially for the Buy Morons to discover Chuck and Sarah are actually their bosses. Obviously, the show runner decided he wanted nothing to do with this story. Its not a huge thing, but it sounds funnier to me than Morgansect. Especially if the two businesses interacted more.
The conspiracy becomes a bigger deal in the next few episodes. A couple of these were much stronger episodes (Business Trip and Hack Off) and I think Decker was a good villain. Unfortunately he was killed off pretty quickly. I loved Decker’s end! But it did leave a hole. Shaw in particular was an underwhelming resolution to the whole thing. I think the best alternative here is to not end it at Shaw. Shaw could have still worked (although I really didn’t need to see him again!), but we really need to know someone else is pulling his strings too. This might be an excellent time to introduce Quinn in a tiny part. I think making him as both the mastermind and end game would have been a better choice. In fact, I have the nagging feeling this was the original intent at some point, but for reasons unknown they punted, and ended the arc at Shaw instead.
There’s a few other things I might have tweaked in this period, like especially in Curse. But this I see as a very small tweak; apart from having Chuck whine a little less, I would have had him actually coordinate with Sarah to back him up on his rescue mission. We might still have had an excuse to get Chuck in, alone, first. Like to determine the layout, find out what sort of resources Agent Cunnings has, and make sure Ellie and Devon are safe(ish). Then send a signal for the cavalry to burst in. The bottom line is, I really needed to have Chuck and Sarah on the same page here. Devon and Ellie’s part of the episode was so much fun, but I can hardly stand to rewatch with Chuck being such an idiot.
Moving on the fan fiction, I don’t have a lot for this period. I already added a couple canon compatible links to the main episode post. But one I really want to mention is more of a between Season Four and Season Five adventure; its Quistie64’s “Return of the Ninja Librarian“. The main story centers on getting the Intersect out of Morgan’s head. Decker is the main villain. Of course the main appeal here is the return of Sarah’s new friend Jen. Quistie has so much fun with all the character interactions, and the drama of Chuck and Sarah trying run the Buy More. This is just purely a fun and entertaining story.
The other “alternative” of a sort is a bit different, in that its not really a Season Five alternative at all, it was actually published during Season Four. But “Chuck vs All of the Intersects” by MyNameIsJeffNImLost is a sort of thematic alternative. It starts with Morgan accidentally downloading the Intersect. Sound familiar? It really is quite different from the show, and as the story unfolds pretty much everyone ends up with the Intersect. The hook is, it only really works right on Chuck. Morgan, Sarah, Casey, Ellie and Devon each have a variety of issues with it. This is another very fun tale. Particularly interesting in that it was written before Morgan or Sarah ever had an Intersect on the show. I just hope I don’t offend Jeff by saying I like his treatment better than canon…
There have a few other fan fiction tales for this period. But not much. Hang on, next month we’ll get to the finale arc and post series stories. I may break the “link” button.