Season Five Alternatives: Zoom to Baby

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.

~Dave

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About atcDave

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

  1. No offense taken, Dave. Although, I think one reviewer called “All of the Intersects” was “a beyond retarded story.” (I’m actually proud of that review.) That was before the real Morgansect and Sarahsect. I assume that reviewer didn’t like canon either.

    I can go either way on Morgansect, but canon Sarahsect’s fight scenes were much cooler.

    It was a little scarey that on the day of the S4 finale, that story was second on Google for Morgan Intersect. Now it’s not in the first few hundred. I guess nobody saw Morgansect coming.

    • atcDave says:

      Was that my review?

      I loved your much more comic approach the whole thing. And I liked how you preserved the idea of Chuck being pretty special. I was never completely down on Morgansect, it wasn’t my favorite idea ever, but I pretty much like how it played out. Especially how it informs for Sarah’s story.
      Your treatment of Sarah-sect might not have had the cool fights, but it was brilliantly funny.
      And it really makes me laugh that your idea was so similar, months ahead.

  2. gatesoutcast says:

    Greetings: I would have like the show to end with Sarah and Chuck no intersects and the “gang” running cyber anti terror missions, with Morgan getting married, and Sarah pregnant. Morgan and the BO Derek was great, but you are right to much Morgan and intersect. Thanks for the discussions oh a blizzard is coming.

    • authorguy says:

      That’s very much going to be my approach when I get to season 5 of nine2five. Just sayin’.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Gates I would have loved that end. I’m getting buried in snow now too, it looks like a big one!

    • joe says:

      Hi, Gates. It’s funny – your “The blizzard is coming” refers just as much to the show as it does to you. Fiction can be truer than true sometimes.

      So, uh, were there any survivors? The DC area was promised a major event, and we did get a lot of wind. But it looks like spring out there now, which happens to be in complete agreement with what that damn groundhog said about six weeks ago.

      If you were to write these last few episodes, would you end with the survivors coming out of the blizzard or would you end with the spring that follows? – and don’tcha hate it when I get so metaphorical? 😉

      • gatesoutcast says:

        The Weather guys/gals were spot on, great digging out this morning. I would have the gang go into the blizzard together, and ending with all of them doing the cyber terror stuff. If 24 and Veronica Mars can come back; then there is hope for Chuck.

  3. I don’t know if I’d change anything in these arcs, that said Quinn as mastermind would’ve made a lot more sense, no disrespect is meant to Brandon Routh but he could be much better if he learned how to convey emotion thru his face/expressions, a big reason I get agitated whenever he and Yvonne had joint scenes together, she is the exact opposite extremely gifted at this skill regardless of what she’s got to convey. The character of Daniel Shaw never bothered me just the fact that Routh was cast as him.

    As far as Morganterstect goes it was unconventional and affected continuity {I thought only people with balanced emotional states and/or high will/brain power could handle intersect uploads [Chuck and Sarah are the only 2 on Team B (counting official members only) who fit these criteria] and use them properly} but it forced Chuck to realize that the intersect does not make somebody a great spy, Morgan is not a “great” spy, he’s good backup but no where near capable of full-time fieldwork, he’s not covert and he’s highly impulsive. It was important for Chuck to realize that he IS the second best spy in the world and the intersect just brought out his latent potential and ability.
    Think about it both his parents are/were (not sure which to use there) spies, that’s in his DNA, but prior to being thrust into the CIA he had been stuck at a “desk job” for 5+ years. If that or something similar happened in real life we’d all be clumsy and unmotivated and first too. He already had brains to be a spy, the forced field work and slow encouragement from Sarah and Casey awoke his mental and physical ability while Shaw fine tuned everything and took him to his maximum potential in both in addition to restoring the confidence (Sarah and Casey also aided in that regard) that Jill and Bryce shattered.

    As for the “planning for the future” arc (business trip, baby and kept man I believe) I think that was quite refreshing because it showed so much life growth for all the characters so I have no complaints about it, I actually wish there had been a back order of episodes so we could’ve seen more of it!!

    As for the lack of buymoria and it’s citizens in the bulk of S5 that didn’t bother me, I don’t think anybody on Team B (official or unofficial members) considered them genuine friends and by this time they’d all outgrown the buy more and chosen to run the spy/tech-security/counter cyber terrorism agency that is Carmichael Industries. By phasing it out it shows Chuck and Morgan have fully grown up and said goodbye to the “immature” (their nerdy-ness doesn’t count here, that’s part of their personality) part of their lives, plus the buy more and it’s citizens had slowly become little more than filler by season 4.

    I’ve got plenty to say about the final arc too, but I’ll wait for that to be put on the site before I comment about it.

  4. Seeing as the beginning half of season 5 didn’t bother many people, I can see why there was little Fan-Fiction created for this part of the season. However, I always wondered what would have happened if Chuck really did upload the buggy Intersect, and if things progressed to a point where Sarah had to emotionally get Chuck back, much like he tried to do with Sarah in the dream house scene in s5e12.

    • atcDave says:

      I think there’s really a number of stories that feature the happy newly weds, I probably could have added a ton of links for honeymoon stories! And there are a few other “happy” periods from the show that generated a lot of stories (especially from the first two seasons). But Morgansect and the conspiracy that didn’t go anywhere are less compelling.
      I can’t think of any fics quite like you describe Daniel, but a few are maybe close. “Sarah vs Phase Three” has Chuck badly damaged, and Sarah trying to bring him back. It’s a darker story than I normally go for, and I’m glad the show didn’t go there, but it is interesting and well written.
      There’s a couple of Chuck amnesia stories that I like a lot; “Chuck vs the Missing Memories” by ersk4 and “Chuck vs the Missing Years” by malamoo. Both are classics, and tons of fun. And malamoo’s story is definitely related to Intersect problems. Really both get the highest marks from me.
      I can also think of a few others with similar themes, but nothing else I would recommend as highly.

      • Thanks for the links! I am looking forward to the next post you make about fanfics for the ending of the series. You are going to be spending alottt of time on that one haha.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh man you aren’t kidding! I’m thinking I may have 20 links, and of course that’s just the ones on MY favorites list. There’s easily a couple hundred of them total.

        I’ve got about a month to figure out how I’m going to organize it.
        The one absolute good thing that came from the finale was tons of good fan fiction.

  5. uplink2 says:

    I have made no mystery about my dislike for Morgansect. I found it boring at best and annoying at worst. The 3 Morgansect episodes all rank in my bottom 15 episodes. I realize it had a purpose in their overall story plan but the last thing I wanted in those precious final 13 episodes was screentime taken away from characters I cared about, Sarah, Chuck, Casey and Ellie and given to a character I really didn’t. Morgan was never one of the reasons I watched the show and though I liked him better in later seasons, he was never something I was invested in in the least. So for me I would have preferred to completely eliminate the Morgansect arc and see a struggling Chuck and Sarah deal with building their company without any Intersect involvement. Investigating the conspiracy in depth.

    Second no Shaw. There were far better ways to deal with the conspiracy than by having Shaw be behind it. Even Fedak said when he wrote Cliffhanger he had no idea Shaw was behind it. It simply became a way to bring him back one more time to beat on Sarah. The episode solved nothing and as the Captain said in the thread on the episode, nothing changed at the end. Shaw simply went back to prison, he wasn’t killed like we wanted, It was repetitive and changed nothing.
    So with that I would have much preferred a longer conspiracy story where Quinn was behind it all. After missing out on the Intersect, he began feeding Fulcrum and the Ring intel. He was the one who found the Red Test video and wanted Shaw to kill Chuck and Sarah. He had been working with Volkoff trying to find Stephen. He had been the mastermind behind the destruction of Carmichael Industries. So many possibilities for a much stronger story than someone in a maximum security prison who should have been de-intersected as soon as he was captured.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree in substance with every bit of that. Maybe just not quite so passionately! But like the Morgansect episodes I found a lot to like, APART from Morgansect. I loved how Chuck and Sarah related throughout, I liked how Sarah related to Morgan, I liked the introduction of Verbanski, and Casey’s relationship with her. It was just the Chuck/Morgan and Morgansect elements that I found lacking.
      But I agree completely how the season and conspiracy could have been so much better executed.

      • I think Morgansect took away from Chuck as a character, afterall he is the one who can really handle the Intersect. Morgan in the support role was always where he was best, to have C.I. depend on him? that was a stretch and how awkward looking was it when Sarah was on Morgan’s arm at that investment dinner thingy? Just looked off.
        When I saw the Santa Suit episode for the first time I was like, Really Shaw again?! It would have been better to have drawn out the use of Quinn (Although I preferred Decker), and no stupid memory loss for Sarah. If they had just gone through the whole race to get the last intersect to save the world before Quinn gets it bit, it would have been a more appropriate ending to the show.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with most of that Daniel, although I did think Sarah and Morgan together in Zoom was funny!

      • noblz says:

        atcDave

        I agree with uplink and with you on this. I have not played in alternative threads since S3 because I was OK with the general direction they took. I absolutely hated the Morgansect aspect and I was not a fan of the memory loss, but they came closer with the memory loss to showing something I could get behind.

        There were just a couple of things I would have liked to see, in general, that we were only given glimpses of…

        First, I wanted to see Sarah jealous some more. The hints we got in Suitcase and Bo weren’t enough. It could have taken a couple of tracts. One was scaring away brunettes like (copyright ernie) having Chuck and Sarah go to Langley for a meeting and of course have all the petite brunette analysts hovering around the “dashing and handsome Agent Carmichael” until Sarah shows up to terrify them. Or, Sarah and Chuck could be sparring and she could show her displeasure like she did to Casey in Cubic Z. This could have really been played for laughs, I did not want to see serious jealousy this is mostly a comedy after all.

        Second, I wanted to see more playful looks at their intimate life. I mean we got hints in Business trip and Hack off, but I would have loved more. How about Casey opening the supply closet to find Chuck and Sarah using the closet in a very unauthorized fashion. It could have been Masquerade on steroids watching Chuck, Sarah and Casey dealing with this. Or, they could have played some scenes a little different. I was just watching Family Volkoff the other day, when Chuck tells Sarah he needs to take a shower after she dropped the prenup on him, what if instead of “You didn’t shower this morning?” Sarah said “Chuck, we showered together this morning.” Watching Chuck react to that would have been hilarious.

        Much like uplink, I didn’t care for Morgan much after S2, so if you needed to find minutes in a episode to show what I wanted they could have taken it from Morgan. I mean his romantic issues must have consumed 25% of Baby and I could have lived without it.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve also been okay with the direction of the show since S3, so these posts have been largely about fan fiction that ties in at various points. Of course when we get to the series’ end there will be an explosion of such material.

        I do agree with wishing we’d had less Morgan and more for Chuck and Sarah, especially Sarah. I think they tried too hard to keep him involved, at a time when I think his part should have shrunk. Oh well, it was never a huge thing to me, just a minor thing,

  6. oldresorter says:

    I haven’t watched Almost Human so I’m not sure if that has much in common with Chuck, but I did watch Intelligence which does, both are in peril for renewal. The Mentalist was on the list of 14 I saw, as was Beauty and The Beast. I think that was it for shows I notice(d).

    I like the computer in the brain concept, but I wonder if it is going to get much more play on TV given the fail of Intelligence. Or are fans waiting for Chuck to return?

    The one computer in the brain show still on is coming back for season 3 in a few days, called Continuum, one of my fav’s on tv that combines future age tech and time travel. A late 21st century Gates / Jobs type character sends some folks back to fix his misdeeds by seeking out a younger version of himself. The female lead is a Sarah Walker type character from the future armed with something a little like an intersect and the male lead (the kid version of the genius) has a Micheal J Fox vibe to him. The female’s current day partner has a bunch in common with a younger Casey, and probably will be a romantic pairing for the lady lead at some point too. Great fun!

    • Trust me we fans would consider it wining the lottery if Chuck came back!! We’re on every continent with millions on each, the big difference between it and the lottery is we have a much greater degree of control on if it’s brought back or not! Chuck and One Tree are the best examples of what a loyal fan base and massive word of mouth can do!

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with that Josh!

        Which leads me to point out Zac’s NerdHQ fundraiser going on right now. This is absolutely a sort of trial run for movie fundraising. So far, results are tepid. We need to get with it! The goal is only $1 million. And in 48 hours we’ve earned about 12% of that. We will need to earn a lot more than $1 million for a movie, so we need to show TPTB that we can deliver.
        The tangeble perks of funding NerdHQ may seem negligible for many of us. But this is part of the process. This is how we get a Chuck movie made, and this is how we get involved in getting the entertainment we WANT made.

        Be sure to go to the NerdHQ story from our front page for more information. Or follow this link to give now.

      • Thanks for the link Dave! I’ll certainly help spread word and give what I’m able which isn’t much (no job right now) unfortunately but I know a lot of people!:)

      • atcDave says:

        Spreading the word alone is a big help. Obviously don’t give if you can’t. Hopefully your situation will be better when we start pushing for a movie in earnest!

      • I’m working on getting a job! Ironicty enough I’m quite handy with computer operating systems, so I’m hoping to land some kind of computer IT work! That being said I also love to write fiction and if I’d known a website like fanfiction.net existed sooner (I followed the links you included in an earlier comment) i would’ve been doing a lot more of it! I’m currently reading Chuck Versus The Lost Years, which as somebody who acced Writing/English in grade school and collage (my one semester) is superbly written!

        It’s amazing what some people have come up with for the series as a whole and the post-finale stories, it helps that I’ve always been able to vividly picture what I’m reading, especially if it was spawned from a tv show! I haven’t finished it yet but Chuck Versus The Lost Years could easily function as the plot for a reboot/movie, which may have been the point of the finale all along, Chuck was a fan driven show from started to finish so rather than put it to bed and let it’s popularity wane, CF kept it alive by giving fans control full over what happens next! When I look at it like that I’m even more ok with the opened ended finale! This way we keep it going and there’s reason to bring it back down the road! Chuck will only die out if we let die out and seeing as there’s endless possiblities for plot rewrites and contuinuations I don’t ever see that happening.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah Josh, we’re really fortunate with some excellent writers in this fandom. Chuck and Sarah will go on forever in fan fiction. And I’m glad if some of my recommendations work for you!

        Good luck with the job search.

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

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