Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Operation Awesome (3.04)

NBC Synopsis: TO SAVE AWESOME FROM THE RING, CHUCK MUST TEACH HIM HOW TO BE A REAL SPY—ANGIE HARMON (“LAW & ORDER”) AND BRANDON ROUTH (“SUPERMAN RETURNS”) GUEST STAR—When Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) is mistaken for a super spy by the evil Sydney Price (guest star Angie Harmon), Chuck (Zachary Levi) must become his handler and show him the spy ropes. While on a mission for The Ring, they meet the mysterious Daniel Shaw (guest star Brandon Routh). Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) gets promoted to assistant manager and must deal with Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester’s (Vik Sahay) latest hijinks.

Chuck This Ranking: 68
Dave’s Ranking: I agree

First Impressions: The First Rule by Joe

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs Operation Awesome (3.04) by Ernie, Joe and Faith
S3 Revisited: Operation Awesome by Dave

Alternatives: Season Three Alternatives: Operation Awesome by 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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58 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Operation Awesome (3.04)

  1. joe says:

    Heh. I just went back and re-read my “First Impressions” post and the one Ernie, Jem and I did after the series ended. That was an education.
    First of all, Angie Harmon played Sydney Prince, not Price (I hate making those kinds of mistakes) and I more than waffled about her performance. (Politicians flip-flop less.)

    So I’ll cast my final vote for Angie/Sydney as a thumbs up. In a perfect Chuck universe, Sydney should have been the nemesis in a short (2 or three episode) arc. Money could be made wagering that her performance would have been epic.

    Nextly, it seems that everyone agrees – the “Buy More Fight Club” was fantastic. That may be the only uncontested decision we’ve made as a group! Well, that and maybe the idea that we all enjoy Chuck as a competent spy much more that Chuck as a doof. The same goes for Devon too.

    Maybe that’s the reason this episode stand up to time better than expected. It’s all about Chuck’s growth. Both Devon and Shaw are used to demonstrate just that. Go figure.

    • atcDave says:

      I sort of see this as a crossroads episode too. It’s sort of the last point that could go unchanged before they flushed the season. There were still some good possibilities here; Chuck training to become a capable agent and the relationship fiasco hadn’t yet done its face plant.
      Basically it’s the last episode I could enjoy with few reservations until Other Guy.

  2. uplink2 says:

    Although this was an ok episode and the last one where the false hope they had given us still had a possibility of being fulfilled, I still think they continued to fail on the introduction of Shaw as a character. First it was “creepy Shaw” in Three Words and now you have the whole ridiculous Shaw telling Chuck, someone he knew had an aversion to guns to shoot him scene and “try to be precise” and “I hate guns too.” Also if Prince was a good spy she would have known that wasn’t a lethal place to be shot, capsule or not. I’ll give Devon a pass because he was so freaked out by everything. Then we have the scene where Shaw shoots Prince in the back when she is going to throw a knife at Chuck instead of disabling her so she could be interrogated and used to aid them in fighting the Ring. None of it makes him come off as heroic, cool, a “super spy” or whatever was their “intent”. He simply comes off as creepy, incredibly unlikable and no one you would want to put in charge of the team, mentor Chuck or ultimately involve Sarah with. Its so obvious there is something else driving him and the fact that no one can see it including Beckman makes all of them look like lousy spies. Again propping up the guest star by diminishing the main cast.

    Compare Shaw’s introduction with that of Bryce and Cole. Within 30 second you knew what a fantastic spy Bryce Larkin was. You were impressed by his skills and he comes off as cool, suave and the classic James Bond type. Same with Cole. First he plays the perfect male seducer or seducee depending on what POV you come from. But no matter what he comes off as a stud in about 2 minutes on screen. Then within the next 5 minutes you get to see what a great spy he is in how he helps them escape from the roof ambush. In each of those introductions you know exactly who the character is they are showing us. That never happens with Shaw. He never comes off like what I expect their intent was. TBH he comes off exactly the opposite. I wasn’t impressed by him one bit. It’s all about being told one thing and shown another. With Bryce and Cole they showed us what we needed to know and who they were quite clearly. With Shaw what they showed was nothing like we would be told and the fact that the team fell perfectly in line with what they were telling and not showing, they were made to all look rather pathetic for not seeing what was pretty clear to me as a viewer. Had they included the deleted scenes next episode I might have had some respect for them.

    Shaw’s introduction was botched right from the beginning. Part of that is a weakly written reveal and part of it is for me at least Routh simply isn’t likable in that role of the perfect spy especially when compared to Bomer and Cake. Both the actor and the character never impressed me and that started right at his introduction. Shaw never comes off as the character Fedak described as the “perfect spy” and someone who Sarah would be involved with in any other spy show. In fact he comes off as the exact opposite and that’s why I suspect the lack of trust in TPTB really begins as it is pretty obvious that Fedak’s description of him never left the writers room or his own mind. They never showed us on screen what they were telling us. They had with Bryce and Cole and failed with Shaw.

    Now we come to the final scene, the last of the false hope scenes. The looks between Chuck and Sarah are definitely far more than “friends” and full of subtext that ultimately is disregarded and means nothing. Its proven to be all a lie by what happens next week. And the creep factor of Shaw is only amplified by him watching it all on the surveillance. I wasn’t intrigued at all by him putting on a wedding ring after his big speech to Chuck about friends and family making them vulnerable. He never comes off as strong, convincing and the ultimate by the book spy. But in many ways that scene is about the last time I liked Sarah Walker for quite a long time.

    • atcDave says:

      Gee Uplink what do you REALLY think…

      I agree with most of that. I’ll add my own pet peeve. Chuck had a workable plan to catch the baddies at the Buy More. It was a plan that came from trusting his team. Shaw ridicules and sabotages the plan for apparently not being macho enough or something; and basically nearly gets Chuck killed.
      He manages to be an unlikable jerk; likely mentally deficient. And we’re supposed to see a great spy? All I saw was a moron and a jerk. Especially the moron part.

      So never mind that the time for love triangles had come and gone. Never mind that wt/wt fatigue had officially set in four episodes ago (I’ll say “I’m leaving tomorrow with Bryce Larkin” is officially the moment they pushed it TOO FAR). Never mind that Shaw made an extremely poor first impression. Next we’ll be asked to believe Sarah Walker will fall for this guy; or something like that…

    • CaptMediocre says:

      Shaw’s introduction was botched the very second the words “potential love interest” were spoken soon after “emotional and traumatic”.

    • Wilf says:

      I always had an idea that maybe Shaw’s character was meant to be ironic – so ostensibly the great spy but, in reality, not so much. But if that was in their minds it sure did backfire. People claim that Americans don’t “get” irony 😉 Well, maybe or maybe not, but I don’t think many people would have “got” this example of it (if example it really was).

      • atcDave says:

        Sarah falling for Shaw is what ruins that idea. The moment that happens they’re asking us to believe he is a great man. Something we never saw even a hint of on screen.

    • uplink2 says:

      Oh I agree Dave, the WTWT fatigue would have been there no matter what but even if that never happens they STILL botched the Shaw introduction. And what makes it worse is that in all of their comments about it at the time they were still selling the story that he was in fact the “perfect spy”. “It’s annoying but it’s true.”

      As Wilf suggests the idea of irony has merit. But as you pointed out in your response having Sarah fall for the obviously “not so great spy” causes her to look incredibly pathetic and just stupid. The irony unfortunately never is shown to be in fact the case and all the while we are “supposed” to believe in his greatness and that is STILL what they were serving up. At no point after the actual reveal did they ever say it was their intent for that it be ironic.”Haha we fooled ya and this was all planned from the beginning to dup Sarah, Chuck, Beckman, Casey and the viewers.” The intent was that he was a great but haunted spy turned by the reveal of Sarah’s red test video, nothing more. They wanted us to believe he was who they were telling us he was up until that moment. But nothing can be further from the truth based on what was actually on screen. I’d have had more respect for Shaw and TPTB if it was shown it was his intent all along and he played everybody. But they never did that. They actually wanted the viewer to empathize with him and believe what they were saying, not what they were showing. They had to to sell the Sarah/Shaw relationship and but damn that was a colossal failure. They wanted us to somehow see this tragic fall from grace of the perfect spy, the perfect lover for Sarah on any other spy show, and be shocked at the reveal of Sarah’s Red Test.

      But then there is a big disconnect between that guy and the one sitting at the cafe in Paris with his boring, wooden, monotone and totally unthreatening performance. Plus where does the total psycho we see a few episodes later come from? At no point do you see any inner turmoil, any passion or any excitement that his quest to avenge his wife’s death is finally over and he is about to reap his revenge on the CIA and the person responsible for her murder at that cafe. If this was a good but broken man desperate for revenge that was turned to the dark side by that video we never saw it.

      I really do think the poor response from the audience was made worse by the botched introduction of the character that started in Three Words and really took off in this episode. The WTWT fatigue was a big part of it sure, but it was made to look so much worse by the fact the story didn’t make sense and what was shown had little to do with what they wanted us to believe. It was “emotional and traumatic” sure, but it was never “great”.

      • anthropocene says:

        The Shaw character needed a better actor than Routh. Imagine someone like Simon Baker of the Mentalist portraying Shaw.

      • atcDave says:

        I really don’t think it mattered Anthro.
        Fatally flawed at conception. The casting only put an exclamation point on it.

      • I haven’t seen Routh in very many other roles, but I’m personally of the opinion that he played it so flatly and woodenly at the direction of show runners. I’ve seen him express much more emotional range in other shows. But, anthro, maybe you are right and a better actor could have portrayed the emotional deadness in a way that felt more real. Nevertheless, I still want to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that he played the role according to the brief that was given to him.

      • uplink2 says:

        That may be true though Routh had been quoted that he didn’t know how to play him much of the time and wasn’t given much to go on by TPTB. But for me he doesn’t play the hero well. I thought he was boring and unlikable in Superman Returns and had absolutely zero chemistry with Kate Bosworth, sound familiar? He’s not the kind of actor that you want to root for as the hero. He did ok as the villain and is a little better in Arrow but still he’s not someone I can root for nor does he give me any reason to empathize with him. He’s better in comedy and as a villain. That’s why I really wonder if he will be able to carry the Atom series. Personally I highly doubt it.

        But I agree with Dave, another actor would have made it better but never would have they been able to make up for the major flaws in concept and writing.

      • anthropocene says:

        I understand that any version of Daniel Shaw would ultimately be unlikable as long as “Sham” remained in play. But just as ZL and YS influenced their characters’ trajectory by turning on the chemistry, a better actor could have improved on the other myriad flaws of Routh as Shaw. A better actor could have consistently played someone who was both a master spy and a tragic figure, and hence someone clearly distinct from Bryce Larkin and Cole Barker. A better actor consistently playing a believably good spy could have been more plausible as a mentor to Chuck. A better actor could have made the transition from hero to villain over the course of a season more plausible and more interesting to watch. Maybe a better actor would have exerted some influence over the trajectory of his character the way that ZL and YS did. A better actor wouldn’t have made shippers like us feel the least bit better about the love triangle, but I do think we wouldn’t have been shaking our heads over what Sarah could possibly have seen in Shaw.

      • garnetflint says:

        I think what was most annoying for me was that there was so little chemistry between them, and yet the show runners worked very hard to convince us ( on screen and off) that Sarah really wanted to go off and live happily ever after with Shaw….I think I threw up a little with that statement! Even after they seemed to realise that their choices were not universally loved and they started to back track in interviews, there was still the impression that they loved Shaw. Clearly any shipper just had to look at the credits and see “guest star” and there was no way on earth that Routh was there for the long haul, and therefore was no long-term risk to Charah, but gosh it was hard to stomach while it lasted…and dont get me started on Santa Clause…I think that must define “slow learner”.

      • atcDave says:

        I just remember CF describing Shaw as a villain we loved hate. Hmmm, half right…

        But I always figured with different script, with no Sham, even Routh might have made the part work. But the other way around; different actor, no script change; I would have hated every second of the show just the same.

      • garnetflint says:

        I think that many FF writers came up with much better versions of Season 3 than the professionals…Some with Shaw and some without. Chuck and Sarah “playing” Shaw and everyone around them while still carrying on a relationship…priceless! One was Ninja Vanish’s, but I believe there have been others of a similar bent.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, absolutely. Uplink wrote a very good version of that too!

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    This is how I deal with the whole Shaw/Misery arc. I am glad that the character did not live up to Fedak’s vision. I am glad that Routh and Strahovski had no on-screen chemistry. I am glad that Shaw was unlikeable and overall incompetent. I am glad because it allowed me to never really buy into the whole Sham thing. The way I look at it, Sarah “chose” Shaw by default. She wanted Chuck and couldn’t have him, so she latched on to the nearest available spy.

    If Shaw had been likable, competent, or had chemistry with Sarah, that would have made their “relationship” that much harder to stomach.

    I hate the love triangle trope, especially at this late hour in the series, but anything that makes it less believable is OK by me. And as presented, it is EASY to see why she ultimately chooses Chuck (though we know she would).

    That’s why Bryce and especially Cole were tougher for me to deal with. Although both were much shorter “relationships” for Sarah on-screen, you could see some real attraction on her part for them, and you could actually see her with them if there were no Chuck. Marty no likey that…

    They were real competition for her affections, and the only saving grace with them both was that Sarah chose Chuck over both of them, without “getting” Chuck at the time.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree exactly with that Martin. I’m glad it fails on multiple levels. It makes it easier for me to just disregard the whole arc, and it gives us a lot more company in our discontent!

    • uplink2 says:

      I don’t know if I can agree with that entirely. Yes I like that it fails because it does make it much easier to ignore. But when you only get 91 42 minute episodes of a show that is unlike anything I’ve ever enjoyed or felt so passionately about, not being able to rewatch 12 of them because I simply can’t escape the bitter dislike and feeling of betrayal I feel by their story choices, execution and casting does make me very sad at the same time. I’d much rather have a story I could really enjoy even if it was difficult and dark where I felt like the resolution was honestly earned.

      I also have a harder time with Bryce in particular but that’s where Fedak’s phrase of “loving to hate” really works. Bryce Larkin was a real, honest and substantial threat to both Chuck and Sarah and he drives the story for the first 2 seasons in many ways. He is critical to what makes the show great and the triumph of watching Sarah reject him every time is very satisfying. Especially in comparison to Shaw where we actually see much more of the actual relationship than with Bryce. Also I kind of liked Cole and his tenure was so short I never thought he was any serious threat. But Shaw was supposed to be and they forced something that wasn’t working down our throats and ignored the elephant in the room.

      I like honest threats and “stakes” in the drama because it makes the resolution so much sweeter. But because the Shaw threat was so pathetic and unbelievable the resolution didn’t feel earned or as satisfying as it should have been. It was more about being simply glad it was over than the fist pump moments we had seen in the past.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously I would prefer episodes I actually LIKE. But given that I don’t, I am pleased so many agree with me.

  4. Martin Traynor says:

    Amen, Brother! I also agree with you all in that this is the last episode for a while where Team Bartowski is intact and clicking on all cylinders. The real shame, or coup de gras, is that once Sham is no longer, it lingers still. At least twice we are forced to indulge a remnant of this travesty – once when Sarah reveals she’s wearing the earrings from Tiffany’s he bought for her, and once when they reveal he’s alive on the video in the subway, and she exclaims in surprise, “Daniel!” Not “Shaw,” but the much more personal Christian name.

    Ahhhh, perhaps I read too much into it…?

  5. Martin Traynor says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t going to like the misery arc no matter who played Shaw and how well – I am not on board with the story in any way, shape or form, and could never see or feel it as having been organic. So, like Dave, I ain’t buyin’ it no matter how pretty you make the packaging. That’s basically because I reject the way TPTB wrote Chuck and Sarah parting ways in the Pink Slip. I refuse to believe that Chuck would not fully explain to Sarah at the time why he chose to stay a spy. Especially after all they had been through.

    At least for me, it’s only about 5 episodes of early S3 really don’t ever want to watch again. But I can’t watch the 2 Cole episodes, so it almost balances out.

    You’re right though. With so few episodes (only 91) to begin with of the most amazing show ever, it’s a shame to “waste” any of them…

    • uplink2 says:

      I agree for the most part. The OLI’s were a non-starter on any level for me but there are still lots of ways they could have kept them apart and had a much more satisfying resolution to it all. And that is what Prague is all about. I’ve said it numerous times, Prague had absolutely nothing to do with the spy story. It was all about resetting the relationship, brutally I might add, so that they could get their pound of OLI flesh. It only works, well sort of, when you make Chuck into something he isn’t, an insensitive, selfish bastard in how he treats the love of his life. And as the story plays out with the introduction of Shaw, it only gets worse. To sell Shaw they had to make everyone else, especially Chuck and Sarah, into very unlikable characters and complete idiots for not recognizing what he was clearly shown to be.

      This episode is the last brief glimpse of hope before it all becomes a lie and comes crashing down.

  6. I’m all in favour of the “tell us how you really feel” spirit on this forum, but I wish there was some way that we could discuss the story as it progresses through this most controversial of seasons, rather than hearing why this season is unremittingly bad, why the show runners betrayed their fans, and why Schwedak must die (OK, I exaggerate a little). I’ve already heard one person tell me that he is staying away from Chuck This, not because of his own dislike for season 3 but because of the relentless hostility toward the season as expressed in the comments (I personally skip a lot of paragraphs rather than drop out altogether). I’m guessing he’s not alone.

    I tend to think that many of us regarded the characters in Chuck like family. They are dear to us and it hurt when they behaved badly or acted unwisely. But, we only had them with us for a short while and I’d prefer to remember every moment with them, even if those moments weren’t always pleasant. That’s my perspective, anyway.

    Russ / resaw

    • atcDave says:

      Obviously a lot of that is on me, and that’s fine. Skipping paragraphs and whole posts may be prudent in many cases, its what I often do.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess I should add too, that I do feel a little bad if some fans can’t enjoy the site. But we are up to S3 now, so the topic is pretty unavoidable. And of course our traffic always goes up when we get into these talks, so I think on balance we gain more readers than we loose.

        Ultimately it amazes me that any of us are still here!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I have literally tried for years to get some deference from the “I will never watch season 3.0 again” crowd for those who want to re-watch and discuss. The closest we came was in the last re-watch where there was a marginally successful effort on Dave’s part to keep the criticisms on his alt posts.

      I’d think someone who has seen an episode once 5 years ago and vowed to never watch again might consider that at some point they’ve said their piece. To me there is nothing new or original in those criticisms, it’s just repeating a 5 year old complaint.

      Personally I’ve come to appreciate and like this portion of the series a lot more. Flawed in many ways, granted, but I personally don’t see the joy of season 4 resonating so thoroughly without the pain of season 3.

      But I will mostly be avoiding this portion of the re-watch for reasons mentioned above.

      • atcDave says:

        I would mention that all our old posts are still up. So with the provided links above for the S3 write-ups by Ernie and Alternative posts by Dave anyone can revisit whichever side of the divide they fall on.
        Commentary on old posts is welcome too. Some may have been shut off for spam related reasons; but if you want to restart any particular conversation or thread from our past just shoot an e-mail for the post’s author and we can re-open the thread.

      • Garnetflint says:

        More than a fun use of time, it would be Grrrrreat! I would really like to see another chapter of LLL! I am just pleased to hear that you are still interested in your projects. To anyone who hasn’t given them a read, they are well worth a visit. I also really like Permutations, and it is finished so there is no excuse not to go and give it a read.

    • uplink2 says:

      Russ, I understand your position and as one of the main Season 3 haters on this site I am saddened that you felt the need to say this but it was inevitable. That’s what was so great about the Alternatives threads years ago. It allowed the differing factions of the fanbase that were a result of this season to kind of play nice on the same site. But I won’t say that I’m saddened by my opinion. I feel my thoughts are justified and they have only hardened as the years go by. Things still bother me just as profusely as they did back then in real time if not more so.

      But I will say this, we are about to head into 2 months of the absolute bottom of the series for me. The time when I felt betrayed and almost left this fanbase for good because of what I saw on screen. That possibility saddens me the most because I never wold have made many of the great acquaintances, and yes I can say friends, I have made because of this show and our devotion to it.

      But I have no desire to relive those days nor do I have any desire to plow through the miles of dung to find a small scrap of enjoyment or new tiny tidbit of a workable story. For me this part of the series sucked and why would I want to relive it and just keep repeating old arguments. My opinion won’t change and neither will yours and that is ok.

      So I guess what I’m saying is I’ll probably just take a pass on this site for the next 2 months and come back when we are talking about something I truly enjoyed. This is an appropriate episode to stop on as it was the last one where I actually had the nerve to think there was hope for what was to come. God was I a fool for believing that lie. Maybe I’ll take the time I spend here and get some writing done on a couple of season 3 “alternative fics” I need to finish.

      • atcDave says:

        That would be a fun use of time!

      • Garnetflint says:

        Bah! I obviously hit the wrong reply button and my comment appears above, but still the sentiment is the same. Great to hear you are planning some writing time.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thanks Garnet and Dave. I’m just glad there is still interest in them. With three of the four worst episodes of the series over the next four weeks, its probably a good thing to step away and write some hopefully more enjoyable storylines.

      • I keep on promising myself that I will read some of your work, so I’m going to up the ante a bit by making that promise to you, too, Uplink2. Should I start with Life, Love and Lies?

      • uplink2 says:

        Well that’s my longest and a Season 3 alternative. It’s over 260k words right now and will top out at over 300k before I’m done. It the first story I started and it took on a life of its own. It kind of was an attempt to keep them apart for a while without the WTWT angst but for spy reasons but it grew into something much bigger.

        Permutations is a complete AU and is pretty damn fluffy. Folks really liked it but you better get an insulin shot ready for the ending. 😉

        My other unfinished one is Sarah vs The Beautiful Mess and is a take off from minirix’s Beautiful Mess story. It is much darker and I plan to finish it once LL&L is done.

        Then I have a couple of one shots. I like Sarah vs the Easter Egg as that is an offshoot of a discussion here.

        But thanks for the interest. I’m certainly not a writer but its been a fun thing to do and I’ve enjoyed it a great deal when the stories kind of write themselves.

  7. joe says:

    Hey, Russ. I understand what you’re saying. And honestly, those same thought went through my head a lot back in those days when the episodes first aired. It was always “Where are the writers and talent going with this?” followed by “Oh, I get it. It’s necessary because…” followed by “Why don’t the comments in the blog reflect…” and “I see their point, but I still disagree.”

    Finally, there’s a point reached where you can say “I made the point I wanted to make, they’ve made theirs and we’re still friends.”

    There’s still plenty to see and reflect on in all the episodes, even the ones that really rankle the fans in S3.

    BTW, I hope you’re doing well.

    • Doing well, Joe. Or at least stable, anyway. Getting away for that short trip I mentioned several days ago (Smithsonian, etc.) was a great boost. It was nice not to feel confined to my home.

      A bit tangential, but as you all may know, Chris Fedak is involved in the ABC show, Forever. It seems the two main characters are moving closer together, but I don’t think it’s even at WT/WT (yet). However, predictions from the websites that seem to know about these things are that the show is not going to last beyond season 1, so we may not even get to the Will They stage. Too bad if it is cancelled, because I do enjoy the show. Zac Levi’s buddy, Joel David Moore, is also a hoot.

  8. Martin Traynor says:

    Hey, we wouldn’t get so mad/hurt if we didn’t care so much, right?

    Part of me wishes that I hadn’t invested so much in the C/S relationship up through this point, because then what comes wouldn’t bother me so much. Like in Arrow, I don’t really care about Oliver/Felicity, so when she gets with Shaw…I mean Ray (oops, that guy is breaking up couples EVERYWHERE, huh?), I don’t care, so I can enjoy the show.

    I feel like the writers did everything they could to get me to invest in C/S (I’ll admit, they wrote Chuck and Sarah developing a slow-burning relationship very, very well from the get-go, despite a few misplaced LIs), so when they pulled the rug out from under that relationship for the 5th/6th times in this season (Hannah is 5th, Shaw is 6th), I got/still get a little miffed.

    I’d hope that as time goes on, it wouldn’t bother me so much, but it seems to actually bother me more, if that’s possible. But I love reading arguments for the other side, if for no other reason, that they may change my mind. In fact, I’ll read some thoughts that will lessen the blow. That is, sadly, until I think I’m ready to rewatch and find that I am, in fact, not.

    But I keep on tryin’!

    • uplink2 says:

      You make a great point. They had the “previous relationship LI’s” with Bryce and Jill, the “new LI’s from their respective worlds” Cole from the spy world and Lou from the “normal life” world. But instead of doing something different with the next set, they simply repeated the same “model” once more and they fell flat on their face. I was never going to like any LI story after Barstow but if they had at least flip flopped it and had a female spy with no qualms about getting involved with Chuck now that he was an agent in training, and say a handsome “normal” Doctor friend of Devon’s or hot fireman that happens to go into the OO and starts pursuing Sarah might have not made for a feeling of redundancy and deja vu all over again. It was all just so lazy and unoriginal with Lou 2.0 and Cole/Bryce 2.0. And yes it still pisses me off lol.

  9. Martin Traynor says:

    Link – just how much angst is in LLL? I’d like to read it, but need a happy ending with not-too bumpy a road.

  10. Martin Traynor says:

    I’m sold. As soon as I finish up with Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves, I’m on it. Thanks!

    • atcDave says:

      Read Recruits first! Finish out that series.

      There are so many fun choices. On the same topic, don’t forget Chuck vs The Rogue Spy by Crumby.

  11. Martin Traynor says:

    I Love You, Dave. In the most heterosexual, Chuckish way possible.

  12. Chlojack says:

    This is one of those episodes that I can really only enjoy if I skip the next four episodes. I think the Shaw storyline can be acceptable if you go straight from this one to Beard and Tic Tac, and straight to Other Guy (Final Exam and American Hero are two of my least favorite episodes. The red test arc was terrible for Sarah’s character.) When I watched Other Guy, I didn’t feel like I lost anything by skipping the other two. Angel de la Muerte is also a far more upbeat season opener than Pink Slip. 😀

    • atcDave says:

      I agree exactly with all of that Chlojack.
      I did an S3 marathon a couple years ago for friends who were first time viewers; I did 3.03 and 3.04, skipped to Tic Tac then Other Guy… and we all had a terrific time. That works very well, and to my mind it’s canon.

  13. uplink2 says:

    I have to jump in here and recommend a new story on FF.Net. I simply loved it. Thanks for the recommendation Captain!

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11167950/1/Chuck-Versus-The-Crosswalk

    A fantastic story and this new author really has an incredible insight into the “voice” of Sarah Walker. I highly recommend it. It’s a 21k one-shot but damn that was good!

    • atcDave says:

      I’ve got that in my cue, so maybe tomorrow. I’m glad to see its got an endorsement!

    • Wilf says:

      Yes, I read it and was very impressed.

    • atcDave says:

      I did finish “Crosswalk” last night, very good story. The writer did a particularly nice job of dealing with the early series situation. In some ways I think that would have made for a better show, certainly a better romance.

  14. Martin Traynor says:

    Just downloaded the recently-released Tim Jones soundtrack for Chuck. It’s missing a few gems, but has a bit more Jeffster than I thought, which is good. Love the Jeffster! I suggest buying the digital version over the CD, if for no other reason than you get 4 additional songs, mostly Jeffster, for less money. Now I’m off to dreamland…
    http://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Music-Television-digital-booklet/dp/B00UMT86S2/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

  15. Martin Traynor says:

    Sorry. Just meant to include a link, not a huge poster…

    • atcDave says:

      Oh that’s fine. It just got stuck in the spam filter is all.
      So now it’s up in all its glory!

      I did buy both; as always, CDs have different strengths than digital downloads. CDs sample at a much higher rate for better audio quality. And of course, if you buy the disc you have a more permanent back up copy.
      But the downloads do have extra tracks for less money. So it’s win/win!

  16. Martin Traynor says:

    It’s great music to run by. Really, it’s great music to do anything, or nothing, by.

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