Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Fake Name (3.08)

NBC Synopsis:  CHUCK GOES UNDERCOVER AS THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS ASSASSIN— KRISTIN KREUK (“SMALLVILLE”) AND BRANDON ROUTH (“SUPERMAN RETURNS”) GUEST STAR—Chuck (Zachary Levi) promises to cook dinner for Hannah (guest star Kristin Kreuk), Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) but must first assume the identity of the world’s most dangerous assassin for his latest mission. Meanwhile, Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) is determined to keep her relationship with Shaw (guest star Brandon Routh) strictly professional.

Chuck This Ranking: 90
Dave’s Ranking: I won’t argue!

First Impressions: The Possibly Spoilerish Fake Name Reaction Post

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Fake Name (3.08) by Ernie, Joe and Faith
One Man’s Reaction to Fake Name by Joe
S3 Revisited: Fake Names and Living the Lie by Ernie

Alternatives: Season Three Alternatives: Fake Name 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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172 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Fake Name (3.08)

  1. Martin Traynor says:

    I thought it was bad enough that at this point in the show, they had Chuck and Sarah with other people. But to have her share her “real” name with Shaw was like a sucker punch to all of us who want the C/S relationship to come into being, at any time from the beginning to now or in the future.

    We now know they get there, but to give Sarah/Shaw something that special (so special that Chuck had asked about it very early in the first season; although, admittedly, he did have other opportunities to get her real name and opted not to, like at the end of Cougars when Sarah offered him the answer to any one question) that she and Chuck could NEVER have now – that’s just wrong on a multitude of levels.

    I know you all touched on the question as to whether she actually revealed her real name to Shaw, and I read on the IMDB boards that apparently Fedak mentioned that Sam is not her real name. Any truth to that, and what was the final consensus on whether she did reveal her true first name to Shaw? It didn’t look to me like she hesitated when she gave it (like one would do if they changed their mind at the last minute and wanted to offer up an fake name); in fact, I feel like she offered it up very, very freely. It was quite disappointing. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the entire series (if one determines that she gets her memories back). If anyone deserved to know her real name, after ALL they’d been through, it was Chuck.

    I’m really surprised that Ali of all people would write that scene into any episode…maybe she was forced to…?

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Martin. This strikes me as the basest sort of betrayal of the contract between an entertainer and their audience; to set up something, tease something like the name reveal and then flush it in such an insulting manner. This is something that all involved should be deeply embarrassed by.

      The idea Sarah lied, well, on one level I like the idea. I think its the only way to redeem the decision and the show’s mythology. Her real name is Fifika Lisa Piotroski, we all know that. In private, intimate moments Chuck calls her Fifi.
      But I honestly don’t believe that was really the intent. I think it was a brain cramp on the part of the creative staff and nothing more. I can believe that now CF deeply and honestly wishes we would all believe Sarah lied. But they were all so proud and smug about it back at the time, there’s no way. They thought they were creating a work of art.
      Not some gross, insulting, steaming pile of…

      • Garnetflint says:

        Fifi is a nice shout out to a fan fiction writer who took this on…Uplink?? I know I just reread the story with Fifi, and now am not sure which one it is 😦

      • Garnetflint says:

        read further and you told me…Nervert. Nice to see that he has finally finished this story.

      • atcDave says:

        He may have set some sort of record for longest break on a story that still got finished!

      • Wilf says:

        Well, all power to Nervert. There are so many nice fics out there which remain tantalisingly unfinished 😦

      • authorguy says:

        I got burnt with Chuck vs A Man Named Stone and stopped reading incomplete stories. Chuck vs. The Pool is another I’d like to see extended.

  2. Martin Traynor says:

    Extrapolating from last week, I won’t expect any responses for a few more days, so I’ll just keep the ball rolling and do something that is sadly not so out of the ordinary, and carry on a conversation with myself…

    It is interesting that after this episode, the only other time the name “Sam” is uttered is by Shaw, later this season, to irk Sarah and goad her into striking him. Perhaps the name is not so important after all? And since she did tell Chuck her middle name, albeit under her breath (which he still apparently heard as indicated by the back of his Tron poster in late S2), and used it as part of her legally married name, it obviously means more to her than the name she gave Shaw.

    I also find it funny that he says she doesn’t look like a “Sarah” just before she lets her real name fly. Really, Shaw? To whom? Because I think she looks very much like a Sarah, and not at all like a Sam.

    So take that, you big lug!

    • atcDave says:

      The reaction to how “Sam” was revealed was so ugly I honestly think they decided they would never touch it again. Shaw’s use of Sam in Subway was written before the Chuckpocalypse occurred.
      Showing that “Sarah Lisa Walker” was Sarah’s legal name late in S4 was likely a result of the fact they didn’t dare return to this issue. And CF claiming Sam was not her real name is the same sort of revisionism.
      Really a shame, after how they played this so well and carefully in the first two seasons to flush it the way they did is an epic fail.

    • uplink2 says:

      I have to jump in and ask, where did Fedak claim that Sam wasn’t her real name? I’d love to read the context of that statement. Talk about revisionist history.

      What’s also bizarre about the whole name issue is that the so smugly teased they were going to tell us her real name but I bet no one expected this to be the vehicle chosen. And they probably thought it was very clever. Now I have discussed many times about the idea of risk/reward for a decision like this and ultimately for me this was a huge risk for virtually zero reward. It adds nothing to the story being told and they threw an incredibly precious moment away so cheaply for no long lasting purpose other than pure, pointless angst for angst sake. Now someone once tried to say to me that throwing it away so cheaply was exactly the point but though I see what they were trying to say, it still fails magnificently. IMO the biggest blunder the show ever made and that includes the finale.

      There was nothing to be gained by it, and in no universe would Sarah ever do that, especially to her superior. Besides in light of what we later find out about Emma and Molly, isn’t telling anyone your first name a potential direct threat to both of them? She couldn’t even tell her husband about them until she almost failed at her solo mission yet she tells Shaw something that could be used to find them? It’s just unfathomable and when the reaction was so loud and so negative, they have run away from it so fast their heads were spinning. They realized what a mistake it was and something to never be spoken of again. The pre-nup as well as Emma calling her Sarah are perfect examples of that fact. Hell even Shaw never used that name in Santa Suit to get under her skin like he had earlier. It was “something to never be spoken of again” and if that isn’t an admission of how bad a mistake it was I don’t know what is.

      • atcDave says:

        It is interesting to think of how such a thing was ever even conceived. But has to come down to several related issues; they didn’t know how important Sarah was to fans, they didn’t know how important the name issue was to the Charah story, they didn’t care about the Charah relationship. At least on a micro level they didn’t
        Its still just staggering to me how they could have ever come to think Sarah’s real name mattered one iota to anyone apart from what it meant to Charah.

        Although I wouldn’t quite call this my least favorite moment of the series (the end of Final Exam gets that dubious honor); this is easily the moment when I was the most completely estranged from the show runners. That is, the show they wanted to make and the show I wanted to see were miles apart. In many ways my connection with this show could never be the same after this. A contract I had understood since Helicopter (“do you think Sarah is even my real name?”) was broken and nothing could ever quite make it right.

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    Sorry about my above comment on having a conversation with myself. I know this part of the series kind of brings most of us (but not all) down, myself included. In fact, I think I’m now going to watch a moment of Honeymooners before slipping off to fairyland…to insure pleasant dreams…

    • atcDave says:

      Its actually funny, historically S3 discussions draw the most traffic. In fact, last week’s talk caused a notable uptick in site visits.
      But it did seem like when the post first went up there was a pregnant pause.

  4. Martin Traynor says:

    And Dave, I LOVE Fifi! That works. That works very well. And it goes a might bit better with Lisa than Sam ever could…

    • atcDave says:

      Well you know its not original. That was from Nervert’s “Revenge of The Bartowski”. A well written, but too dark for my taste story.

      Sarah claims “Fifika” is Romani for “so sorry you didn’t have a boy”.

  5. authorguy says:

    What is the significance of 16843?

  6. I continue to find this an episode worth watching (and watching again). Among the reasons: Sarah seeing Chuck apparently changing before her very eyes, and not in a good way; Chuck increasingly recognizing that conflict within himself, culminating in the realization that he cannot be with Hannah; the Alex Coburn name appears for the first time, setting up a fascinating exploration of Casey’s life; the humorous bewilderment of the buy-morons at Chuck’s apparent “giftedness” with the ladies; Jeff’s observation that the light in Chuck’s eyes shines most brightly with Sarah; Ellie’s role in helping Chuck see what’s going on in his life (even as she remains ignorant of the spy element).

    I’m still not sure what to make of the revelation of “Sam” as Sarah’s real name. I also recall reading the suggestion that even Sam wasn’t her real name. I don’t think that is an interpretation that easily fits into what we see. In the show this revelation is cast as a desire to reveal something real about herself because she sees Chuck drifting farther away from his real self into the spy world. It does not make sense to me that revealing her name to Shaw would make things better in any way. But, in terms of shock value, in terms of a feeling that Chuck is truly alone, having Sarah reveal her name to Shaw certainly did the job.

    I think Ernie has in the past done a pretty good job of explaining Shaw as Sarah’s safe choice; I’ll accept that, but I think it says a lot more about Sarah’s messed up head than it does about any appeal that Shaw might hold for Sarah, or any other woman for that matter.

    In sum, I think of Fake Name as a valuable episode in Chuck’s journey.

    Russ / resaw

    • Steadfast Chuckster says:

      Hear, hear!

      A downer of an episode to be sure (as was the one before) but not the abomination or viewer “betrayal” that it has been described as.

      Ad nauseum.

      Set the grudge down and back away.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well people can have differing opinions but I have never hated a single episode of television more than this one. No need to go into the specifics as I have stated them many times but to this viewer, this episode IS an abomination. A total betrayal of a large part of the fanbase by TBTP and the writer. At no point did I ever come closer to quitting this show for good as I did after this disaster aired. That’s something I will never forget nor back away from.

      • atcDave says:

        There was definitely a small portion of the fandom that liked this episode. And I wouldn’t quite say ” worst episode of any show ever(!)” But I would absolutely say worst episode of a show I didn’t just promptly quit ever.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well it’s “worst ever” for me because I have never been as invested in a show as I was in Chuck either before or since. That is what made this abomination and the betrayal so repugnant for me. My level of investment made its impact that much more painful and profound. I had given up on Community that I liked when the showrunner left and the episodes just came off as stupid. I gave up on a few other shows when I didn’t like the direction they were taking either or I just became bored. But this one was different because of that level of investment. I took it very personally.

        It isn’t just the name reveal, though that is the worst moment, but its virtually all of it especially culminating in Chuck being portrayed as an absolute bastard to Hannah. He is a pr… of the worst order to her. His behavior was disgusting throughout the episode and it is probably the only time I really hated the Chuck character.

      • atcDave says:

        Absolutely that dislike for Chuck himself is a massive problem for me too. I completely agree with calling this a violation of trust between me and show runner. I felt, and still feel disrespected and taken for granted.

      • authorguy says:

        My dislike of this episode stems from the damage it does to the characters, Chuck as well as Sarah. Leaving the bad Gruber impression aside, the idea that Chuck couldn’t figure a way to avoid pulling Casey’s tooth bothers me. Sarah not commenting on Shaw’s abuse of a prisoner is another awful moment for her.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree exactly AG.

      • duckman says:

        I’ve been thinking about this for a couple weeks now, knowing this ep was coming up, and I actually realized something. I’ve always kinda wondered at what point I was sold on chuck. I knew it was early s1, but it came to me last week that it was the end scene in wookie. That’s the point when I made the mental commitment to buy the series- 1 season or 20, on disc. I remember thinking ” there gonna finish that scene in s2- maybe 3, and it’s gonna be beautifull. I can wait, it’ll be worth it.” I didn’t get too worried about missing eps, as I was gonna watch them properly when I got the discs. As a result, I missed this ep live. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I like to think I would have quit in disgust and trashed the s1 discs I already had, never to give it another thought. That would have saved me a lot of consternation.
        Dave mentioned in his post on pink slip that ps was his greatest tv disappointment, well this is mine. I’ll even go one further- I can’t think of a greater disappointment in my adult life. I guess that bodes well for real life, but the name reveal just defies explanation for me. It just boggles my mind how NO ONE saw this for what it was before it aired. If not one of the writers surely someone in the cast saw it, the sound guy maybe? Did these people even watch the show they were making?
        They took what very well could have been the most beautiful piece of entertainment in the history of the world, tv or otherwise, and turned it into one of the most insulting. And they can’t even apologize.

      • atcDave says:

        Very good comment Duckman. No doubt the name reveal was bitterly disappointing for many of us. Just a tragic wasted opportunity. I agree completely that something that should have been an epic and beautiful moment was squandered.
        That’s pretty much how I see this whole season. Pink Slip is my biggest disappointment because it set this mood that I dislike so much. But the name reveal may be the single biggest wasted moment. There is plenty of disappointment to go around.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well put Duckman. You bring up such a great point about why didn’t someone see this for what it was? They threw away what could have been one of the singular most amazing moments in television for what? I just can’t rationalize what the thinking was that led them to believe throwing that moment away was worth it. Even in a dark uncomfortable story there has to be a point to doing something so radically out there and risky. At some point they have to say “we needed this moment and here’s why” or don’t do it. In fact I would have had more respect for them if they had stood behind their decision but instead they ran away as fast as they could because they were stunned by how desperately poorly it came off. After the scene in Subway, which was co-written by Ali and Klemmer BEFORE this aired and the huge negative fallout, it is wiped of the face of the earth like it never happened. There were 3 logical places it could have been dealt with, The pre-nup, Santa Suit with Shaw and Baby with Emma but they completely ignored it. A sign to me that they were hoping to act like it never happened instead of defending it or explaining it. If Fedak really said that it wasn’t her real name, and I’d still love to see where that was quoted, there were plenty of opportunities to do it. Having Sarah spit it back in Shaw’s face in Santa Suit would have been a great time to do it and then have that moment where she does tell Chuck when he is about to meet her mom. It wouldn’t have eliminated my hatred for this episode and that scene but at least it would have “fixed” it to some degree. Either stand by it or fix it but ignoring it completely is kind of, well I won’t use the word.

      • uplink2 says:

        Marc, you also bring up a great point. How anyone would think that Shaw beating up a restrained prisoner who had insulted his “girlfriend” was somehow heroic or would get Sarah all a flutter is beyond me. It’s reprehensible and Sarah should have called him out on it both from how wrong it was to telling him she is freaking Sarah Walker and wasn’t some damsel in distress that needed her honor defended by anyone. Especially in such a disgusting manner. It made him look anything but heroic and her completely pathetic for letting it happen. If she really was trying to find the girl before the CIA hardened her she should have responded to this very negatively and showed the humanity she was trying to find again. But they wrote it like it made her weak in the knees and he was “My hero”. It’s another god awful scene in this episode and as you said does great damage to the Sarah character. If their intent in this episode was to get us to hate Chuck and Sarah and stop caring about what happens to them, they did a fantastic job.

        And let’s not forget that almost Shakespearean quality bit of writing, “My desert is in your desert”. How did they not win an Emmy for writing with that one? lol.

      • authorguy says:

        Uplink, I remembered your comments about the ice cream when I was rewriting the scene in nine2five.
        *****
        “…I am Sarah Carmichael, international ice cream thief.” She dug her spoon into the contents of the bowl in front of Hannah.
        Hannah watched as Sarah put the spoon in her mouth. “You could have gotten your own, you know.”
        Sarah swallowed, and said, “I just did, you must have missed it. Here, let me show you again–” She lifted her spoon.
        “Hey!” Hannah covered her bowl and pulled it away.
        *****
        A lot of the best bits in the story come from comments made on this board, so thanks again to all of you for the comments and insights offered here.
        This is also an example of the main thing that was wrong with this episode, that most of the characters are in the wrong places. Twisting the story logic to put Chuck in place as the fake assassin ruins everything. Twisting the story back into it’s proper shape reveals how good it could have been, if the showrunners hadn’t been so devoted to the Hero’s Journey that Chuck never really took.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well, the hell with it. Nobody else seems interested in moderating their rhetoric, so why should I.

        “Set the grudge down and back away.”

        Truer words were never spoken. The commentary on this part of season 3 and these episodes has long ago, like 5 years, ceased to have any rational connection to the actual episodes. It has all been emotional frenzy that strikes me as so far removed from actual events or rational discussion as to be describable only with words like hysteria.

        So what you say? It is an emotional thing. I agree. But at a certain point making everything about your emotions becomes more than tedious, it becomes rude. There is no air to be breathed lest those attempting to take a breath take in your emotional dissatisfaction. It is no longer about the show, and it’s no longer about even the dissatisfied sharing their disappointment, it becomes about nothing less than the dissatisfied shoving their collective righteous indignation down everyone’s throat even though practically nobody is listening anymore. That no longer matters apparently. All that matters is the echo chamber where the indignant can whip each other in to greater frenzies of indignation over the fact that the producers of a TV show refuse to apologize for daring to make some episodes they didn’t like.

        They made some episodes of a TV show that you liked that you didn’t like.

        This is beyond pathetic. You were not insulted. You were not disrespected. You were not mocked. You were disappointed. You were upset. Your reaction can not be their fault.

        You can say well it sure wasn’t your fault, and that may be true, but that still doesn’t make it their fault.

        So, you may counter that it’s not just one person they “insulted” or owe an apology, it is a sizable portion of the fan-base that feels offended. OK, I get that, and so does Josh Schwartz. He specifically spoke of writing a storyline in the OC that he knew would get him vilified by one portion of the fanbase, and celebrated by another. In short he went in to Chuck and season 3 knowing full well that no matter what he did some fans would hate it, and some would love it for any particular plot point or story direction he chose. You can not plan a story based on pleasing your audience because you can never please your audience. You can please people, not all people.

        (lobs grenade into the scrum) So there it is, do with it what you will (walks away, unconcerned with the carnage.)

      • authorguy says:

        Not entirely true, Ernie. I think there are some solid grounds for objective criticism of this episode, much like a wrong note in a song is a ground for criticism. The logic of the story depends on the characters, and when they get their logic twisted around, as it was here, the whole story suffers. The greatest tragedy about the episode is that it is so strong. Because of these few problems, the experience becomes much worse, like a bullet train jumping the tracks instead of a regular train. I am unfortunately only one voice in a hurricane of vituperation.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree Marc. What makes this one so much worse than Mask for me is that Mask is so poorly written that it is almost laughable how bad it is. It screams manipulation and contrivance. Sarah’s 180 flip flop is so jarring and poorly set up that you are left scratching your head as to WTF did I just see? This episode is much better written, from their perspective, because it is Ali, but the premises they use simply don’t work on so many levels that it comes off as insulting the viewers that actually cared about consistent characters and believable stories. Some scenes, like the one with Raef and Shaw, come off as incredibly offensive. The comedy falls totally flat and insulting and the characters are so strongly damaged by the either incredibly stupid things they are shown doing, like Sarah, or what miserable bastards they have become like Chuck. I felt like the writer was using her strengths and why I liked her writing in the past against me.

      • authorguy says:

        Your reaction to the problems of this episode are your business, Uplink, not necessarily a flaw in the story. To me they are a logic problem without a solution. I doubt Ali wanted to antagonize the viewers, but I also doubt she was somehow getting revenge against the producers either, which is another story I heard. Either way, hate is the wrong reaction, the show is what it is. (I just read my version instead.)

      • atcDave says:

        Of course the writers were just trying to do a job and I doubt very much they were actually TRYING to tick off their fans. But it’s also clear, as annoyed as many of us were, that they could hardly have caused more offense if they were trying!

        At this point I agree with AG. I get more satisfaction from the excellent fan fiction that deals with this period and that’s where I’d rather spend my time. My comments about never watching these episodes again aren’t just a snit; it’s about spending time on something I enjoy more. Unfortunately for everyone, I also enjoy arguing about it….

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I agree. I’ve never once believed it was their intent to piss me off, and make me feel betrayed, though at times their hubris and disconnect with their fanbase is pretty damn glaring. But as you say they could not have done a better job if they had in fact been trying to. This episode will always be a touchstone for me. It is the bottom of a deep dark well that I never want to ever go down again.

        Marc, see, I see it differently. Hate is the right word because my response to this show was always so emotional. It’s the old adage that the opposite of love isn’t hate it’s indifference. There are many cases for me of shows that I did become indifferent towards because “the show is what it is”. Community, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men I stopped watching all of them because I became indifferent towards what they were doing. But I never had the emotional attachment to those shows like I did with Chuck. It was easy to just stop watching them. So my reaction to this arc and this episode in particular was absolutely hate. It angered me and it was never about simply I didn’t like what they were doing. It was much more than that. And that is the risk a showrunner has to accept when they want their fans to become deeply invested in their work. When you push the limits of the show as they acknowledged they were trying to do you run the risk of pissing off the very folks you need to stay invested in your show so you can keep your job. Couple that with the fact that how they chose to push those limits was done even objectively with some major, major flaws and you end up with what we saw 5 years ago and to this day, a very emotional, negative reaction.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’ve NEVER said there wasn’t legitimate objective criticism to be made about this episode. I’ve just rarely ever seen it get past the emotional response of hating Shaw, or this plot point or that scene and thus concluding that since a lot of people feel the same that the consensus of a group of fans of a certain size constitutes an objective criticism of what the writers tried to accomplish and how.

      • authorguy says:

        I don’t worry about my emotional reaction to a story unless the writing is good. What’s the point in disliking something that was badly done in the first place?

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I don’t think anyone suggested a certain volume of discontent was an analysis! But sort of a “where there’s smoke there’s fire” situation it is an indicator there is something to look at there. Your “Death to Poochie” post was one of the first, and best, critical looks at the season. Or how when we discussed “Murrrder” last we dug into what the various sources of dislike seemed to be, even if neither of us actually disliked the episode all that much.
        But obviously when we actually DO strongly dislike the episode it will change the tone of the criticism quite a bit

  7. Wilf says:

    I pretty much disliked this episode, but it isn’t absolutely rock bottom for me, not reaching my nadir episodes for this series.

  8. Martin Traynor says:

    I think I’ve said this before, and I do have a real problem with Sarah revealing her “true” name, but I never had the sense that she was telling Shaw because she felt anything for him, except maybe that he was something of a kindred spirit (spies who went through the whole training/re-conditioning of the soul thing). I could argue myself into thinking/believing/accepting that for her to tell something that personal to someone (Chuck) that she felt so personal about would be too big a leap for her to make emotionally. I could almost maybe see that she is so despondent over Chuck’s apparent demise and losing himself that she needs to latch onto someone. But then i lose it all when she kisses Shaw rather passionately. That in and of itself suggests that maybe she did tell Shaw in an attempt at intimacy (not to the level she felt/sought with Chuck). I keep vacillating. Someone please stop the spinning!!!

    • atcDave says:

      It’s all okay Martin! Go reread the Alterntives post and read a couple of the linked stories and you’ll feel much better…

    • uplink2 says:

      The thing about it is even if you disregard the terrible story elements to it, the fact of the matter is it is an extremely stupid thing for her to do. She is STILL a spy and no matter what the (sic) relationship is with Shaw it makes her look totally brain dead in terms of her spy skills. Couple that with what happens next week and this version of Sarah is an absolutely horrible spy. There is no justification for it that doesn’t make her look nothing like the “CIA’s best”. There is no canon that shows that Bryce ever knew, or Carina or anyone yet she tells her “boss” after just a month of knowing him? It makes her look brain dead from a spy story perspective and Fedak himself said they didn’t just plop Shaw into the story to be the “other guy”. So there has to be some spy story element to it if you accept their supposed “intent”. But the problem is that from a spy perspective they did more to damage the Sarah character in these 4 episodes than anyone could have ever imagined if they tried. It simply is angst for angst sake with no redeeming story value.

    • CaptMediocre says:

      It was likely meant to show that while Chuck was losing his humanity, Sarah was regaining hers. Or something deep like that.

      Unfortunately, by revealing something that should have only ever been told to Chuck to someone else, Sarah goes from regaining her humanity to anything but – instantaneously.

      Fans ( I ) no longer care about these characters because they’ve now totally given up on each other. The story isn’t important anymore because the characters suck.

      I went back and reread some of the episode reaction stuff from 2010 and what struck me the most was how much harsher this episode got treated than Mask. I think the 3 week Olympic break did more to tire out the fans than if there had been 3 episodes between Mask and FN. There was a lot of hope that FN would “right the ship, and when it didn’t ….

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I do think such an episode or very short arc along those lines could have worked. But when so much of the show’s appeal was Chuck as the relatable Everyman, I can only call it a dreadful mistake to spend so much of the season on making him look bad.
        And of course adding the love triangles pretty much voids anything else they might have wanted to do. That becomes the elephant in the room and everything else is secondary.

      • uplink2 says:

        I think a lot of folks believed and trusted that Ali Adler would somehow add some sanity to this disaster that was spinning out of control after those last 10 minutes of Mask. But if anything she made it a hundred times worse for me at least. I felt insulted by the writing and the story being told and I bet those that invested their last few drops of false hope on Ali were shocked and gravely disappointed.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it’s been interesting looking back at our old comments to see how much false hope was built up around this episode. I was SO SURE everything would be set right. The disappointment was crushing.

  9. Forever, the TV series executive produced by Chris Fedak, aired its season finale tonight in Canada. I believe it will be broadcast on Tuesday night on ABC. Fedak co-wrote this episode. I won’t give away any details except to say that it certainly left me hoping for a second season.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah we’ll get it tomorrow, and we usually watch on Wednesday.
      I’ve enjoyed the show and hope it gets another season. We should hear soon.

  10. Steadfast Chuckster says:

    Ernie Davis…you are my hero and a hero of the CHUCK fandom. Songs shall be sung. One like minded voice prompted me to release the rant I previously stifled unwilling to swim against the current of bitterness but here it is…

    I have had the good fortune to talk to CHUCK fans from all over the world.

    Unfortunately this is done on our short wave radios in our caves and bunkers. We have to remain hidden because this site (and the most vocal of the ‘CHUCK army’ who have taken it over) that SHOULD be devoted to love of the show that is its namesake (and maybe a LITTLE criticism but COME ON!) is now instead devoted to a demented love of tearing down that show, it’s creators and an admittedly and regrettably miscast/misused actor.

    Was this EVER about a community of CHUCK fans (some who still love the show and many who are just discovering it who are being talked out of being Chucksters)?

    Or only about the “airing of grievances” over a few episodes? The nice thing about airing grievances is that they are then “aired”. No need to do it again. And again. So why is it that this entire site could be replaced with a splash page summarizing this “manifesto”? It wouldn’t really change the content and would save most of you from a LOT of typing.

    I AM NOT TRYING TO CENSOR ANYONE BUT…Look at this thread. I can’t believe the same comments haven’t run out of steam after five years. There’s even an “angst for angst sake” in there to satisfy the uninsightful cliche quota. Mostly five voices (and most of that from two – one of whom runs (?) the site) shouting the same things to each other and patting each other and themselves on the back for doing it more loudly and eloquently than they did the previous thousand times.

    One describing their “love” of the show with: “there’s episodes I hate more”.

    One saying: “Not entirely true, Ernie. I think there are some solid grounds for…” …repeating the same… “objective criticism of this episode”.

    (BIG SIGH at missing the forest for the trees with an irrefutably valid point rendered small by repetition). But kudos for “vituperation”. One of the few “V” words that “V” did not utilize in his soliloquy. I checked.

    I don’t want to “question” anyone’s “fandom”.

    Clearly you are all very passionate about a show I love.

    But it’s as though I’ve visited a Bizzaro CHUCK site. Or maybe a fan site for “Intelligence” that tries to pump up what they tried to do by tearing down what CHUCK did.

    A Wiki says what?: “An anti-fan is someone who enjoys writing, discussing or in some cases making derivative works about a piece of media, but solely for the purpose of railing against or parodying it.”

    Seriously consider for a moment of that definition describes you.

    Chuck This appears to be an anti-fan-site. Worse than ‘Wesley Crusher Must Die’. FORMER fandom is irrelevant. So I won’t challenge your fandom but, when 98 out of 100 of your comments on the topic of the show directly, indirectly or eventually snipe at the show, maybe you should question your own.

    Maybe admit you HATE this show and everyone associated with it.

    Or, if that does not fully describe you, at least reassess what you LIKE.

    Why let a few episodes poison the well for not just yourself but everyone who wanders into your orbit?

    One of many nice things about CHUCK was that it was pretty accessible (currently completely untrue of this site). And although there were probably a thousand pop culture references, you didn’t have to get them all to enjoy the show.

    But for those of you unaware the show was built on subtle homages and leveraging/parodying old spy (and other genre) tropes. And, more importantly, most of those were executed over one or two episodes in relative isolation. The show was never intended (or seems not to have been) to have the continuity of plot or character development of a ninety hour movie (64-ish hours for my math geeks).

    They plopped spy situations onto their ‘computer in a regular guy’s head’ premise and explored them. Hilariously, tragically, dramatically…you name it.

    There were fish out of water stories and coalescing team stories. Family stories and backstory stories. Lost lover / betrayal stories, duty over love and fear of change stories. So on and so forth. But it was NEVER one deliberately planned end-to-end story. There were however events that irrevocably changed the dynamics…

    The show can’t explore fish out of water stories with Chuck as a full fledged spy or in a committed relationship with Sarah so what people STILL whine about as wt/wt was just exhausting the possibilities before a “universe shift” disqualified those possibilities forever. (wt/wt loses its relevance when “will they?” is no longer in question – it’s not 2010 anymore folks)

    So the show can also be divided into eras:
    Fish out of water, valued resource, spy in the making, spy couple, etc. but the biggest “hiccup” in the fandom seems to be the tone shift from “whimsical” to “serious” that coincided with “spy in the making”. The show got heavier in S3 with darker elements, which (I’m sorry to shock you with this revelation) had ALWAYS been an undercurrent, now made much harder to avoid or ignore (and occurring at the same time as everything enumerated on the manifesto).

    I think it’s a given that the “hate list” episodes are not widely considered “favorites”.

    ***I’m not super fond of them either.***

    Can’t we just accept that the “given” IS a given?

    Was it too ambitious? Too complicated? Too drawn out? Not what the “fans” wanted? Possibly all of those.

    But, as you continue to try to tear them down for not delivering your specific expectations, here’s the rub:

    They made a show. They’re still making shows. And we are not.

    So back to “Not entirely true Ernie…”
    To which I say: “but it is true.”

    This unrelenting ranting IS rude.
    It IS tedious.
    It ALIENATES other fans who dare to remain outside this tiny inner circle of bitterness (and the people in that circle…people waving the fandom banner…seem smugly pleased by that).
    It IS righteously indignant.
    It IS utterly futile if you expect an apology, retraction or remake.

    Why would those with CREATIVE CONTROL of this PROPERTY ever consider a remake, reboot or movie if THIS is our voice as CHUCKSTERS?!

    You cripple my dream with your indignation. And as someone who still loves the show I take that personally.

    YOU AND YOUR BITTERNESS DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

    You WERE disappointed and upset (as was I when S3 premiered with C&S estranged; and I could argue, but won’t bother because the rebuttal is the “manifesto”, that a successful show makes us feel things rather than taking the easy route of pandering to fan wants).

    But you were NOT insulted, disrespected or mocked. (Although your feelings MAY not have been considered. At all. By people more concerned about making THEIR show. And that apparently feeds the anger.)

    I moved through the stages of grief at seeing Sarah and Chuck torn apart by this decision to become a spy pretty quickly AS that season ran (FIVE YEARS AGO). Despite my dissatisfaction with many of the same points enumerated on the “manifesto” I appreciated the meta theme that getting a cool thing that you think you want (“I know king fu”) can have an unforeseen cost.

    But you few perpetually shouting voices are stuck on anger with no interest in acceptance. And it’s more over the show you WANTED to see than the show that was made.

    And that’s not just bad for the larger fandom (those few you haven’t already converted to bitterness, alienated or scared away) it can’t be healthy. Seeing someone so passionate but so bitter having lost all sight of what they once loved and tearing down the creators of it without whom it wouldn’t have existed in the first place is. Just. Sad.

    Coming to a “fan site” and having to ENDURE this bile feels very much like how you might describe watching a marathon of the four or five episodes on the “hate list” with eyelids pried open a la Clockwork Orange.

    But the difference is that, where you can opt to leave those DVDs collecting dust on a shelf, THE REST OF US CAN’T GET AROUND YOU TO TALK ABOUT THE REST!

    Some clicking around reveals there was recently an entire blog post (by someone running a “fan” site and admitted to be “stupid”) about how a beater car breaking down was like what they consider to be the show’s demise and unrecoverable charm. Unsurprisingly, half of it was about what as near as I can tell is an accessory to the stereo system rather that the car itself.

    A car is a car.

    A show is a show.

    Lamenting the stereo is a strange fixation on something that is not the primary function of the thing. Much like tearing down the entirety of the show based on a few (widely) disliked episodes. These episodes didn’t “destroy” the show or the characters because the entire show is a long string of “what if this happened?” plot lines anyway.

    From that post: “…I think that makes the CHUCK parallel pretty complete. I loved that show, but I sometimes hesitate in recommending it and I have major concerns about future work by those show runners.”

    “Loved”. Past tense.

    Healthy reaction: “Either way, hate is the wrong reaction, the show is what it is.”

    Unhealthy reaction: “At this point … I get more satisfaction from the excellent fan fiction that deals with this period and that’s where I’d rather spend my time. … it’s about spending time on something I enjoy more. Unfortunately for everyone, I also enjoy arguing about it…”

    Unhealthy for the fandom.

    Almost the exact definition of an “anti-fan”.

    And yes, unfortunate BECAUSE YOU RUN THIS FAN SITE.

    How hard would it be to say “my dissatisfaction is well documented but I did like the IDEA that…”

    The site name is shockingly appropriate for an anti-fansite. Maybe change it to “Chuck This: The Show that Could Have Been” and focus on the fan fiction you say you prefer over the show we love (yet choose not to focus on, instead choosing to recite from the “manifesto” again) because calling what is really “Dave’s anti-Schwartz, anti-Fedak, anti-Routh, ANTI-CHUCK rant fest” a “fan site” is extremely disingenuous.

    If you will just ALLOW others to reassert their fandom maybe we could actually talk about the things we LOVE about this show without the “manifesto” constantly polluting everything. Are you on this thread capable of limiting yourselves to “saying something nice” rather than pounding that nail you readily and proudly admit you’ve pounded to powder already?

    Until that happens, as far as I am concerned, “Chuck This” is an anti-CHUCK site and I encourage other Chucksters to refer to it as such. But I suspect I won’t be back very much as I leave you to wallow in bitterness.

    P.S.: I love CHUCK.

    Period.

    Join me in saying so fellow steadfast Chucksters.

    Viva Buy-Moria.

    • atcDave says:

      Impressive rant. One reason we’re still here after five years is because we’ve always had a range of opinions and thoughts among commenters that encourages discussion and debate. We’ve had some swings on exactly what the equilibrium was at any given time; but I’ve definitely been in both the minority and the majority at different times.
      I think the bottom line is; when Chuck was good it was very good. When it was bad, well it could be pretty bad. But the good inspired enough passion that a number of us still enjoy the discussion and the community.
      It is a little amusing that you draw such angry conclusions from discussion surrounding the two least popular episodes of the entire series. The mood here will certainly change a lot when we get to Honeymooners in a few weeks. Just like the mood changed five years ago when we were living through this in real time. I get completely that it could be annoying to you to see such scorn on these episodes if you in fact liked them. I know it’s annoying to me that not everyone loves Aisle of Terror or Tango like I do. That is human nature.
      I’m sorry if you can’t find a happy niche here. But when you come in so belligerently it’s probably for the best.

      And hey, my car is not a beater! Except for the stereo…

      • atcDave says:

        BTW, if you actually care about my opinion of the course of the show my “Overview” posts (just select “Overview” from the category search tab at right) on each season and the whole series are probably a better place to start than the stupidest post I ever wrote.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        “Impressive rant”

        Impressive condescension.

        “…we’ve always had a range of opinions and thoughts among commenters that enourages discussion and debate.”

        “Encourages” is the opposite of what I have seen.

        “Shouts down” is more accurate.

        “It is a little amusing that you draw such angry conclusions from discussion surrounding the two least popular episodes of the entire series.”

        Discussion of every episode returns to the these episodes. (Extremely minor exaggeration) The fact that you find being called out on the mind-numbing repetition of the exaggerated “ruined the series” / “betrayal” comments “amusing” says it all.

        And don’t presume that I’m actually “angry” in any way. I’m having a lovely day. If anything it’s bewilderment that an entire fandom allows a handful of bitter people to speak for them out of sheer exhaustion. It’s not an “inclusive” environment and therefore doesn’t represent the “community”.

        “…but when you come in so belligerently it’s probably for the best…”

        Translation: “My site. My rules.” Yet strangely, as you’ve admitted, “I like to argue”. Puzzling.

        So, for the record, you have no interest in a more moderate approach that allows for more inclusion but rather a continued fanning of the flames? There are a lot of people uncomfortable even attempting to be heard here…as you hypocritically lament the showrunner’s failure to consider your preferences.

        Yep, MY bad. Clearly.

        I just don’t understand what you and others find enjoyable about this black hole death-spiral of negativity and suspect much of the fandom has little interest in it either.

    • uplink2 says:

      Dave I agree. What I find interesting is that this rant was written when we are discussing the absolute nadir of the series for many of us. The first 35 weeks of this posting series seemingly are ignored. Those postings were filled with praise, positive thoughts and an exchange of ideas that were great to read and be involved with. For many of us this period of the show absolutely sucked. I can’t say it any more plainly than that and to be portrayed as an “anti-fan” I find rather smug and equally disrespectful to what they are saying about us. I’m not an “anti-fan” nor is this an “anti-fan” site. I will say I’m an “anti season 3.0” fan and during this period I will express my views. But I won’t apologize for saying or repeating ad-nauseum that to me these episodes were awful and I can’t see beyond them to what good is possibly there. The manure of the OLI story just permeates throughout this season and it isn’t ever going to change. Creative decisions were made by yes, the owners and originators of this series. But nothing in my contract with them as a fan says I have to champion everything they did. We all stumble and we all make mistakes and IMO the mistakes made here seriously damage my view of these characters and the show. That’s not to say that in 6 weeks when we are talking about 3.14 and not 3.8 I can’t change how I approach them and the series. In fact to me Honeymooners is perfection. The zenith of the entire series. They were capable of some great things at times but they were also capable of some gross missteps and this arc is the worst for me.

      I have to say that I am also offended by the posters use of these comments:

      Until that happens, as far as I am concerned, “Chuck This” is an anti-CHUCK site and I encourage other Chucksters to refer to it as such. But I suspect I won’t be back very much as I leave you to wallow in bitterness.

      I have never “encouraged” anyone to take my view of anything related to Chuck. I speak my opinion and that is what it is, my opinion and my opinion alone. But to encourage others “Chucksters” to describe this site in a very smug and negative manner crosses a line in my book. State your opinion and make your rant but that is all it is, your opinion and your rant. I find that comment equally as offensive as the one poster on Sepinwall’s blog who encouraged folks to boycott the show until they put Chuck and Sarah together. It’s something that is equally wrong in both cases. It comes across as trying to damage this site’s reputation and that to me at least is beyond the pale for a poster to do.

      • atcDave says:

        I have no doubt that any strongly expressed opinion can be offensive to those who don’t share it. Ideally we would all find that happy ground where differences can always be discussed or argued over without causing offense. But reality is often just not like that. Such is life.
        I think we have usually done a good job here of not getting nasty or insulting even when opinions diverge. No doubt we occasionally take things a little too far. And no doubt this site won’t appeal as much to fans who can’t handle any hard criticism. But it is amusing when someone draws such a conclusion from such a brief look at the scope of our work. Oh well.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        And Dave, I would point out that there have been 50 comments from 11 commenters on what you proudly note is among your higher traffic topics (S3).

        7 of whom posted a single comment or one and a follow up (myself included). (Or I could direct my response to the commenter.)

        So, actual commenter…Does that scream “inclusive” or “community” to you? Are there only four fans left talking about this show? (I guess I make five!) and they are all saying the same things? (Except Russ. Thanks, Russ!)

        So its ALL about the repetition of a few people. So we need a fan site for that? Can’t you guys just Skype or something?

        Did I go too far? “Beyond the pale”? Smug? Disrespectful? Offensive?

        I imagine the showrunners (creators of your favorite show) would say the same about the comments you have been making incessantly for these past FIVE years.

        Did you at any point consider whether your prideful insistence on taking every opportunity to exercise your inalienable right to shout from the rooftops discourages the participation of other fans? That having a RIGHT to do it might not automatically mean you SHOULD do it?

        No? Then perhaps not far enough.

        “But I won’t apologize for repeating ad nauseum…my contract as a fan”…

        So, definitely a no. Once I got past that “contract” bit (did I not detail the anecdotal nature of CHUCK episodes), and the fact that you don’t care that ad nauseum literally means “to the point of nausea”… sooooo, you can tear down something at every turn but I can’t come at you for doing so with no concern other than to be heard?

        Again?

        And again?

        I reject the idea that you are entitled to criticize certain human beings and their choices and I am not entitled to criticize yours. As you criticized mine. Well done. NOW we’re communicating!

        I’ve had several people ask me about Chuck This and I tell them “prepare to be shouted down by the regulars”.

        The response?: “yeah, I know”.

        That IS the site’s reputation and youse guys have no interest in changing it.

        Don’t put that on me!

        As you didn’t address a single point I made about inclusiveness and dialing down the rhetoric but rather focused on my tone, made bombastic statements about my “outrageous” behavior while stating that you wouldn’t curb yours (basically what an ass I am) I am not inclined to think I was in any way mistaken.

        The tag line on the site states “It’s the best show on television” and I agree. Even now that it’s not being broadcast it’s still the best show on television. If I have to be a bit of a jerk to make you at least consider making more people feel comfortable in YOUR “community”, so be it.

        Otherwise, there’s always Skype!

        Curious to hear from other fans more inclined to not do (in fact, INSISTENT upon doing) the same things over and over again and expect different results.

        What say you fellow Chucksters? Do you ordinarily feel comfortable joining the discussion or is it always some version of this?

        About that increased traffic yet few commenters: C’mon, readers. Don’t stay quiet. Do you tune in for these type of Jerry Springer arguments, or to see the same people say the same things while you nod your head enthusiastically or do you have points or questions of your own that you don’t feel comfortable expressing?

        I really want to know.

        And maybe I will look at overview and other posts and see if I’m way off the mark. But one thing you would be hard pressed to argue is that the anti-S3 ranting makes people feel comfortable participating and as SOME are fond of pointing out, once fans leave they rarely come back. (See, I have read some old posts…)

      • atcDave says:

        There have long been many fan sites for Chuck, if this one does not suit your needs please find or start another. Only good can come from an increased internet presence for the show.

        The number of comments is not the measure of traffic. This site peaked at nearly 6000 hits in one day; that was during the Chuckpocalypse, between Mask and Fake Name when they first ran. Many posts at that time had from 200-300 comments.
        Things have slowed down a lot, which is as we would expect so long after the show. During the current re-watch we’re down to around 200-300 hits a day. These last couple weeks we’ve seen traffic up to 500 hits a day.
        So, for whatever reason, S3 debate does generate more traffic and discussion for us. Perhaps its because the rest of the time we spend so much time saying “this was a lot of fun” there is little traction for actual debate.
        The finale also generates similar response.

        And no doubt Russ has generated a lot of discussion. At this point he has the most divergent opinion among regular commenters. That clearly makes him a valued player.
        But again, that timber has varied a lot over the years.
        2 1/2 years ago, when we were at this point in our last re-watch, we had active threads for both “pro” and “con” on the canon story. Both generated lots of hits, but the “Alternative” threads clearly drew more comments. Again, there’s often more to say when criticizing than when praising.
        The other blog I run is on military history and scale modeling; and it draws a far smaller number of comments in relation to hits. The subject matter simply draws less commentary.

        I am sorry if anyone feels “shouted down”, but the reply button is there for everyone. I try to reply to most comments/threads in posts I put up. I can guarantee no poster will be personally insulted or cursed at. But I can’t promise agreement with every statement. It wouldn’t be a very honest discussion if I could.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        “…if this one does not suit your needs please find or start another…”

        😐

        (Google, Google, Google – FYI, not much there…)

        “…Only good can come from an increased internet presence for the show.”

        Oh!

        Of course, THAT’S what you meant by “if you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you” / “don’t go away mad, just go away”.

        Should I just exercise that “scroll past whole comments made by certain people” option I just discovered?

        Because the creators of Chuck could just as easily say the same thing about making the perfect show…”if this one does not suit your needs”…

        Do I think you meant to take that “tone”?

        I honestly don’t know but don’t sweat it.

        Yes, there’s passion but there’s also reason. And that’s my point.

        But thanks for sharing the traffic stats. 500 hits a day (probably with some day over day decline since it posted). Let’s say 1200 hits, some of those being refreshes to see if there are any new comments so around a thousand unique visitors. Maybe a little south of that.

        And eleven commented?

        Maybe that’s a typical response rate. I honestly don’t know that either. But I would think more people who took the time to come have SOMETHING to say about some aspect of the episode than that. Especially such a polarizing episode.

        My point is: why aren’t they saying so?

        Why are they visiting if they don’t have some sort of opinion?

        Maybe they look at a tirade and say “yup, nailed it”.

        But maybe they look at that same tirade and say “not getting into THAT”.

        Maybe that’s just the response rate but, if so, it’s a pretty one sided, low participation “discussion”. (And I’m willing to accept that the consensus is overwhelmingly negative but it couldn’t possibly be for EXACTLY all the same reasons…you would at least expect some “hell yeah / preach on” comments…as I initially did with Russ’ “divergent” opinion)

        And of course you shouldn’t be expected to AGREE with every statement but are you objectionable to the idea of being more of a facilitator of discussion rather than picking your pony and riding it into the ground?

        I think it’s commendable (seriously) that you respond to every comment. I know I’d be sick of me.

        But facilitating is hard to do when you lead off the discussion with something like “This strikes me as the basest sort of betrayal of the contract between an entertainer and their audience” / “gross, insulting, steaming pile of…”

        And maybe facilitating is not your intention but, if not, are you inadvertently stifling discussion by “laying down the law”?

        I didn’t like aspects or the overall result of these episodes either but there ARE (as ALWAYS with a CHUCK episode) interesting themes in play…

        What were they trying to do? Was the character motivation uncertain between path X & path Y? We’re they relying too much on archetypical “Casey is a badass” elements? Why was Sarah suddenly a wilting damsel?

        I shot my mouth off despite the fact that I’M not comfortable getting into discussion on them because I don’t think it’s a safe landing pad for such discussions and I already know the extremely strong opinions of the likely players.

        So, yes, “the reply button is there for everyone” but if a loud mouth like me feels that way…

      • uplink2 says:

        What’s interesting SC is you continuously ask for others to join you in expressing a similar viewpoint.

        Curious to hear from other fans more inclined to not do (in fact, INSISTENT upon doing) the same things over and over again and expect different results.

        What say you fellow Chucksters? Do you ordinarily feel comfortable joining the discussion or is it always some version of this?

        Have you ever considered that maybe there aren’t as many folks that share your viewpoint as you would like to think? I’ve been accused of that in the past and I think that may be the case here as well. There is a definite reason the hits increase when we talk about S3. Dave’s right, how much discussion can you have about how great Suitcase or Coup d-etat was? Divergent viewpoints generate discussion. The last thing I want is a site where we all agree on everything. Dave and I see things in a very similar manner but have differing opinions on a number of things as well. We just find a lot of common ground in our dislike of this arc. Dave’s most disliked episode is Final Exam and mine is this one. I’m not a big fan of Aisle of Death and he is.

        The reason I came to this site was because it was inclusive and that I could express my opinions both positive and negative and not be accused of being a “crazy shipper” or an “anti-fan”. As long as I didn’t make it personal I could express my opinion as I see fit. It’s why I’m still here 5 years later. But I don’t find the need to call for lurkers to come into the light if they share my opinion. If they want to post there is no one stopping them. I like diversity of thought and I left ChuckTV because I couldn’t stand the “TPTB can’t do anything wrong fanboy POV” that if you didn’t follow you were chastised or even banned. That’s why I like it here. There are like minds and unlike minds and I have learned a lot because most of the regular posters are intelligent and have taught me many things. But I would say the lessing of the number of posters is more related to the fact the show has been off the air for over 3 years and many have moved on. That’s not a bad thing. It’s life. But Dave’s right if you feel this site is not positive enough or inclusive enough, then by all means start your own. The 3 remaining “owners” of the site are all still active here and have done a great job of keeping the interest up but there is always room for more Chuck in my book.

      • atcDave says:

        You obviously don’t like my style, that’s fine. But you came here with a chip on your shoulder against me, that’s a little less fine. I don’t participate at IMDb or on twitter. I know of at least one other Chuck site founded by a former regular commenter here, chuckaholics.com by Christopher. So it certainly should be possible to enjoy a Chuck discussion without me raining on your parade.
        Or maybe if you could be a little more civil in your tone towards me you could find a community here. There truly is no requirement to agree with any of us. It may be a fair observation that we are all buddies here and that can be hard to break into. Some of us have been exchanging opinions, quips and teasing insults for five or more years (actually six years this fall! Amazing)
        But it can be done. Martin Traynor has been with us just a few months. Russ came along during the last re-watch series. But Joe and I have been friends since before this site even started. Ernie and I have lengthy discussions over at my modeling site that involve far less arguing. So there is a broad range of personal histories and interactions at play that may be hard for a newcomer to see. I’m sorry if my first comment to Martin was off-putting; but again, there is history there.

        I don’t know what is considered “normal” for other sites’ traffic or number of comments. This site has always had the most dynamic discussions from what I’ve seen. But again, I don’t frequent a lot of other sites so I could be missing something. When we were getting over 5000 hits a day the volume of activity was overwhelming. This was nearly a full time hobby that displaced all my others for a while. Ernie has also mentioned how we were all so run ragged it was often not even fun.
        At the current level Chuck This is very manageable for me. Most days I make just a couple comments, replies to things visitors have said (and yes, most of them are guests I have a long history with). I put up new posts right at the start of my weekend so I have a little more time when lengthier comments are needed.
        Right now its hard to say what the future holds for this site. None of us are really writing much of anything new. Ernie and Thinkling probably did the most with their multi-part “These are Few of Our Favorite Themes” series last fall. After our full re-watch, Alternatives posts and Overview series I’ve said pretty much all I need to; so apart from discussion I’m unlikely to write much more new. So I think we’re all okay with the idea this site is in a long denouement period. Something like “Episode of the Week” may continue for a while (just like Mel has continued “Friday Five” at ChuckTV.net on and off). But unless we hear rumblings of a new Chuck project, or some unexpected inspiration strikes, I think we all expect this is the winding down phase of our existence.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        “…continuously…”

        ?

        Continuously? For five hours? Guess so.

        “Have you ever considered that maybe there aren’t as many folks that share your viewpoint as you (would like to) think?”

        (Emphasis adjusted)

        I think things. I don’t have an agenda other than determining if others yes, like me, are uncomfortable jumping into the fray or expressing a divergent viewpoint or even a slightly less vehement one.

        I wouldn’t LIKE to think so, I simply think it improbable that I am the only one. But the null hypothesis is unprovable (no one replying does not necessarily mean no one feels the same way, it COULD mean they aren’t comfortable saying so) so let’s just see, shall we?

        And yes, I am absolutely amenable to the idea that no one in the world who has seen these comments in the past five hours (sample size likely 80 or so visitors) is a) of the same mind or b) Catch-22, willing to say so (they may not want to hitch to MY wagon since I’m such an ass)

        “Divergent viewpoints generate discussion.”

        So there are either no divergent viewpoints or only two people are willing to say so (and I haven’t really gotten into the topic of the episode).

        “The last thing I want is a site where we all agree on everything.”

        Then you must rationally consider that dialing down the rhetoric would / could, in fact, help facilitate such a thing, right?

        Or at least test the idea of welcoming discussion.

        And maybe lead to a happier existence.

        Because if there are divergent viewpoints and they aren’t being expressed that couldn’t possibly be because the site has group-thought to one side or the other or that people don’t want to argue with extremely vocal strangers on the Internet…

        “But Dave’s right…start your own.”

        Again, I say…

        😐

        (That “get out of our pool” attitude couldn’t POSSIBLY dissuade anyone like-minded from commenting…)

        Aaaaaaaaaaand skip all that because now it’s hard to break into this community, winding down anyway and I can’t say what I think because we don’t have six years of history, I have a chip on my shoulder, I am belligerent and “maybe if you could be a little more civil in your tone”…

        😐

        Well, this was all about fanning the flames of a particular point of view to the point that it was artificially unassailable but now the fences are being raised even more around that position…

        Got it.

        Seriously, though.
        Regarding Season Three.
        Let it go.

      • atcDave says:

        History can be made, new commenters can fit in. Martin and Russ have both fit in. Along with many hundreds of others over the years.
        Again, a range of viewpoints is good. Passionate opinions are good. But disrespecting other participants is not.

      • uplink2 says:

        SC, first of all how do you know whether or not I need a happier existence? Commenting on my life beyond what I say here is pointless as you have absolutely no idea how happy or unhappy I am. Again kind of smug and quite frankly none of you business to comment on. As far as dialing down the rhetoric goes, it just seems odd that you chose this episode, the episode that historically has generated the most active and pointed discussion and yes, the most emotional responses to talk about dialing it down. Where was that comment when we were talking about Colonel?

        And as far as the site goes, this is Dave, Joe, Ernie, Thinkling’s site and their site their rules. I have always agreed and accepted that. I appreciate that it is a privilege to post here. But if you aren’t happy with the tone then instead of trashing the site and its owners and posters, why not post here more and bring up any salient points you want to make. I’m sure everyone will be happy to think about them and discuss them. But I have to agree with Dave that you DID come in here with a chip on your shoulder and the idea of encouraging others to share your negative view of this site gives me great pause.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        Wow.

        I can’t let THAT slide.

        Fine. Blanket Amendment: substitute every variation of “you ARE an anti-fan” with “the manner in which you express yourself has the negativity of an anti-fan”

        Now that all the lawyers are paid, I can’t think of anything else I said that was disrespectful to YOU.

        Your opinions and especially the manner in which you express them? Sure.

        Your passive aggressiveness? Yes.

        But I don’t KNOW you.

        So, tomayto, tomahto.

        Potayto, potahto.

        Disrespectful, thin-skinned.

        But it’s your party…

        …And double wow!

        Can’t joke around about your ranting being indicative of general misery?!

        Thin. F’n. Skinned.

        EVERYTHING I said about creating an environment where people who aren’t already in the ‘clique’ stands. In spades.

        But don’t address that…

        You two enjoy talking to each other about the same things over and over, okay?!

        Since I’m apparently not going to be pals with the two of you I guess that disqualifies me from most of the content here.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah ultimately this is a private site. We enjoy discussing, celebrating, complaining and arguing with our fellow fans.
        But we have deleted comments and banned visitors before. When the line is crossed and comments become too personal it will not be tolerated.
        This is getting close.

      • atcDave says:

        Yes SC, that does disqualify you. I only leave your comments up so far because I think they’re entertaining.
        But the requirement to fit in here is to respect each other. So far you’ve shown no willingness to do that. Well, apart from how much you adore those you agree with. Even those of us who disagree have at least learned how to get along.

    • authorguy says:

      “This unrelenting ranting IS rude.
      It IS tedious.
      It ALIENATES other fans who dare to remain outside this tiny inner circle of bitterness (and the people in that circle…people waving the fandom banner…seem smugly pleased by that).
      It IS righteously indignant.
      It IS utterly futile if you expect an apology, retraction or remake.”

      All of which are true, but I deny that they apply to everyone here. I am not one of them, nor are my reasons for critiquing this particular episode emotional ones. I’m even more critical of season 4 (everything after Other Guy, in fact). I don’t claim that the producers were obligated to make a story that pleased me, but I will point out when they produce a story that falls short of what it could have been. My fanfiction is entirely driven by that. I have that luxury. Unfortunately they have many more concerns producing the show than just the story logic, and often those concerns force them do things that don’t otherwise make sense.
      There are some of us who are broken records on some issues, especially this set of episodes, and I agree with you that it is exceptionally tedious to wade through. I usually just scroll past whole comments when I see they’ve been posted by certain people. During the first rewatch they created separate threads so those of us who liked an episode could talk about it without all the bile getting in the way.

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        ” I don’t claim that the producers were obligated to make a story that pleased me…”

        Very fair. None of this “contract” talk. Often times I notice that shows occasionally lose track of their own mythos and I accept that something (like Sarah’s real name) might have been a pet topic of a departed writer but not the one present later. It’s not the end of the world.

        For the record and on the other hand, I too had long awaited the moment when Sarah felt she trusted Chuck enough to reveal her true name to him. The choice they seemed to make was instead “what’s the most hurtful thing she could (unwittingly, I think that’s important) do to Chuck?”. (Which is why I think she basically crumbles when she realizes he heard her.)

        I did not kick my dog over it.

        “…but I will point out when they produce a story that falls short of what it could have been.”

        Can’t speak to your writing but also fair.

        From earlier in the thread: “My dislike of this episode stems from the damage it does to the characters, Chuck as well as Sarah. Leaving the bad Gruber impression aside, the idea that Chuck couldn’t figure a way to avoid pulling Casey’s tooth bothers me. Sarah not commenting on Shaw’s abuse of a prisoner is another awful moment for her.”

        I think we can agree (maybe not, I dunno) that these two moments were born of over reliance on stereotypes / tropes. “Casey’s a tough guy he can take it.” And maybe Chuck’s inner conflict on this wasn’t translated. Maybe we are meant to see the “true Shaw” in his punching a restrained man. And maybe Sarah’s inner reaction wasn’t meant to be as “Oh, Popeye!” as it seemed to some.

        It also seemed like an overly dense episode. Even by CHUCK standards (because they can really pack a LOT of themes and story lines into an episode). And maybe these specific portrayals suffered for it?

        But do you think any of that irreparably “destroyed” either character?

        I think the bigger “problem” with this arc was that they were treading dangerous territory (from a “we could lose our audience” standpoint) AND the scale of it (number of episodes, that unfortunate broadcast gap and complexity) was a bit too ambitious. A perfect storm that almost had to result in some degree of misfire.

        I don’t think a discussion framed that way would alienate most people. Unless maybe they liked those scenes…

        “Unfortunately they have many more concerns producing the show than just the story logic, and often those concerns force them do things that don’t otherwise make sense.”

        EXTREMELY fair. I have (to the shock of no one) never produced a television show but I imagine something seemingly simple (like managing on-the-fly script changes, for example) has to be immensely difficult under the pressure of a shooting schedule.

        The fact that anyone deems anything about a television production, especially one with so much constant uncertainty about its continuation, to be “unforgivable”…well…

        “…I agree with you that it is exceptionally tedious to wade through. I usually just scroll past whole comments when I see they’ve been posted by certain people.”

        Also very fair.

        It’s a shame I missed the version with separate discussion threads. I still think THOSE people could be a little more accommodating of those who have not yet felt comfortable jumping into the discussion by dialing it down a teeny bit.

        Oh, wow. I’m kinda not a complete jerk.

        Most of the time. I’m less concerned about (apparently) offending two people and more concerned about opening the door for (hopefully) more than two who haven’t previously engaged.

        Thanks for an honest but measured reaction.

        Any other thoughts from people who don’t usually comment?

      • authorguy says:

        “Often times I notice that shows occasionally lose track of their own mythos…”
        I don’t know where the whole “You don’t even know my real name” line came from, but it sounds like something from early on, possibly before the romantic aspect of the show became dominant, in which case it could have implied/meant something totally different.
        “Can’t speak to your writing but also fair.”
        Go to fanfiction.net and search for ‘Marc Vun Kannon’ as an author. My main focus is to extend or revise the parts of the show where the story logic needs support. I’m currently rewriting the last three seasons, but I added an episode to the finale as well as gave Hannah a happier ending.
        “I think we can agree…that these two moments were born of over reliance on stereotypes / tropes.”
        I have often stated that the true story of Season 3 is to be found in the tropes, rather than the plot. The tried to create a Shakespearean story in 13 episodes, without a Shakespeare on staff. However, if you get around to reading my revision of this story you’ll see that there was a far superior ploy he could have used that would have accomplished the same goal. Nor do i think that these failures destroyed the characters, but since they’re supposed to be heroic scenes like these don’t serve them well either.
        “I imagine something seemingly simple (like managing on-the-fly script changes, for example) has to be immensely difficult ”
        I agree, but that’s not entirely what I meant, except for episodes like Masquerade or CAT Squad, where they could easily have.been forced to use whatever script they had propping up a desk, to fill time until they could write something better. I was thinking more of requirements to, e.g., stay in the Buy More when it served no purpose, just to do product placement. The producer’s own perpetual hankering after romantic angst is less excuseable, as was the focus on Chuck as the sole Hero. I can imagine there being some set of steps for writing scripts that call for both, but it wasn’t the right way to go.
        “It’s a shame I missed the version with separate discussion threads.”
        They’re still up here somewhere, I think. Shouldn’t be too hard to find.

      • authorguy says:

        If you google ‘Season 3 Alternatives’ you can find them. The Alternatives were were for those who hated the episode in question. The threads before and after tend to be for those who wanted to comment more positively.

      • CaptMediocre says:

        SC,

        I’m just curious. Are you a recent fan of Chuck (binge watch Netflix / dvd’s) or were you there week by week in 2010?

      • Steadfast Chuckster says:

        Capt Mediocre – Chuckster since 9/24/07

        Week by week, bucket of popcorn in hand at 8:00. But not involved in the online community.

      • mr2686 says:

        To Steadfast Chuckster, all I can say is Viva Buymoria!!!

  11. Wilf says:

    Well, this has been the most interesting and animated discussion I’ve seen here for a long, long time. So thank you, SC, for stirring it up a bit around here. And I know, I don’t generally contribute much, before someone points that out! I’ve, personally, never subscribed to the idea that characters (ones we loved, or otherwise) were assassinated by anything we saw and I don’t ever really take that kind of view on board. I just plain hated some episodes, and plain loved most. Being a negative sort of guy 😉 I often tend to concentrate on the aspects I disliked, but that’s just me; to do so does not imply anything much in terms of an overall approach by, to, or in this community.

  12. Thanks for the shoutout, Dave. I couldn’t find a reply that linked back to your comment, so this shows up at the bottom.

    My “rule,” which I don’t always successfully follow, is to emphasize the content of the show and present my own opinion on the matter at hand. SC, I’m not sure there is much to be gained by criticizing the strongly held criticisms that others hold; I tend to skim over those postings, although I may regrettably miss an interesting thought as a result. But that’s me. I don’t really like conflict. Surprisingly, I still find myself discovering or rediscovering scenes that provoke conversations and questions or reveal new insights, or startle me with the way they move me emotionally.

    I am grateful that the principals of this site keep Chuck This going. atcDave remains the most active, and there’s no doubt he has a particular POV, but I think he does a good job of making people feel welcome, irrespective of their opinions.

    Does this qualify as a rant? Thus it endeth. 😉

    • authorguy says:

      One bit that took me a while to notice was Sarah’s face at the end of FN. She’s watching Chuck at dinner with Hannah, as I recall, and she looks stricken. As she turns her face away from the monitor it becomes set in spy-mask mode. That’s the person who kisses Shaw, but I have a great deal of trouble thinking of her as Sarah, just as I don’t think of the woman in the last two episodes as Sarah. I think Sarah sort of walled herself off and let some other persona run the show for a while.

      • atcDave says:

        That is an interesting observation Marc.

      • authorguy says:

        Thank God for DVDs. I have a portable viewer and watched her expression very closely as she turned around..

      • I agree, that is a great observation. It is also one of the reasons why I enjoy this show so much; even when the scenes are maybe a bit tough to watch, watching the subtlety of Yvonne’s acting skills in her facial expressions is just so impressive.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Russ there’s definitely times I have to skim or skip too, I don’t think there’s much to gain from getting frustrated with each other.
      I do know I’m opinionated, and I hate if it upsets or alienates certain readers. But you know, not in a way where I’m really going to reign it in. But I do try to address each thought or comment on its own merits and not get too far into personal history or baggage. So ideally even you and I find things to agree on from time to time! Obviously I’m human too and sometimes there’s more baggage than others.
      But for the most part this site and these discussions have been a lot of fun. That’s why we’re still here!

  13. uplink2 says:

    After everything died down yesterday I decided to read some of the old threads especially the initial reactions done the night it aired. To say they re fascinating would be an understatement. If I had to guess I’s say its 60/40 or 70/30 negative and even the positive comments have reservations. “I liked it but…..” or “Not my favorite but ok.”. Some of the negative comments were much much harsher and even a long time respected poster said she was done with the show because of this episode and what she saw as dishonest storytelling and the fact that she felt that Ali had been mocking the fans for all 44 minutes of the episode. Though I don’t totally agree with that assessment but damn it did feel that way. She used a very powerful statement to make her case.

    In her desire to tweak the fans, Ali Adler literally walked away from her own writing style. All of her solo episodes have followed a wonderful, lyrical pattern of leaving the Chuck-Sarah relationship with a lovely grace note. This episode, specifically to tweak the fans who she mocked for the entire 44 minutes, she brought us to the grace note moment and then spit in our eyes instead. It’s her right. My right is not to watch this show anymore–and never to watch anything she writes again.

    I have to admit that except for Subway, I have never watched a single thing Ali has written since either. I’m not sure I ever will. But if anyone is interested in the history of this site and this episode in particular I’d recommend reading the links above.

    • atcDave says:

      It is definitely interesting looking back at those first reactions. i was never quite as down on Adler specifically as some seem to have been; I mostly blamed the show runner, but then I wasn’t such a huge Adler fan to begin with. I felt her earlier work was uneven. But it is interesting that the writer who did the most to build up a name reveal in the first place was the same writer who ruined the moment for so many viewers.
      And I do think Fake Name is the most problematic episode from beginning to end. There is virtually nothing here I want to see again. While I still consider Final Exam my least favorite, that is mainly because of its horrific resolution. The episode could have been fixed with some fairly small changes to that end. I can’t say the same for Fake Name.

  14. Garnetflint says:

    Looks like I missed the exdcitement and am again late to the party. I don’t have too much to say about this episode. I too think it was poor story telling to have Sarah tell Shaw her “real” name. I had never heard that Fedak had made the suggestion that it was NOT her real name after all, and I actually like that. The episode is Fake Name, and Sarah gives a Fake Name…I’ll buy that, but I can’t say I buy the way they played it. I don’t think the whole episode was a loss. I actually enjoyed the 2 mafia guys (whose names I forget) and their hero worship of Gruber. but this is one that is still hard to watch.

    As for the discussion, if everyone thought the same way, there would be no need for discussion. The fact that 5 years after the fact we still feel the need to rehash old episodes suggests that either we need to “get a life” or that there was something that attracted us to CHUCK that we don’t really want to give up. I will admit that there are better and worse episodes (I hesitate to say Good/Bad), and I am not so passionate about certain things that I will not rewatch any particular episode, but I did not find what drew me to CHUCK in this arc of Season 3. To try and determine who’s right and who’s wrong is impossible. I do see that, from discussions, the vision of what Chris Fedak felt he was providing us, and the reality of what we saw were sometimes at odds. I do consider myself a fan, and one who will continue to hope for “something more”, but that doesn’t negate my ability to make my thoughts known on unpleasant issues. This arc was the most polarizing one of the series, and numbers showed we lost viewers during the arc. I am just glad we got another 2 seasons out of it. It could have been over and done at the end of season 3.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I’m especially glad we got two more seasons. I think that uncertainty drove a lot of the frustration with the season; feeling like we were wasting borrowed time.

      • authorguy says:

        That’s exactly how I feel about season 4. 24 episodes, a huge number of guest stars, and they wasted our time with that story? Going into the season, knowing they only had 13 episodes to work with, they never should have spent 5 minutes on a storyline that dragged out what everyone knew was going to happen, as if there was some drama in it. Turning Chuck into a perfectionist over his proposal was exactly the sort of fake angst I had no use for in season 3. The Frost/Volkoff story should have taken 95% of the screentime, with the occasional :So how are the wedding plans coming along?” to keep us on track. With the exception of Fake Name, the worst episodes of the show were all in S4.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I completely disagree with that assessment of S4, and I would have been perfectly happy with even more time spent on “home life” sort of things as Chuck and Sarah built a life together.
        But I do agree the perfect proposal thing was beyond silly. It’s one of those things I think of as buffoonish humor and it doesn’t work for me.

      • authorguy says:

        It’s just more pointless angst, with even less justification. It’s the candy coating that lets people swallow it without complaining so much.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree Dave. Though I also really enjoyed the lightheartedness of many of the episodes that whole perfect proposal thing even I agree was over the top. But that allowed them to play with the bromine a bit more because Morgan in the real spy world is just…. icky.

        And Marc you know I don’t agree with your assessment about the worst episodes. The only bottom 5 episode for me that doesn’t come from season 3 is Muuurder. And I still say that Push Mix is the best of all of the possible finales, including the real one.

      • authorguy says:

        I rethought my original comment, and realized that I wouldn’t put FN in the bottom few episodes after all. It’s a very strong episode, but its strengths were turned against it. I’d swap in Pink Slip as one of the worst, but the absolute nadir is Wedding Planner, along with CAT Squad.

      • uplink2 says:

        Bromance damn spell check

      • atcDave says:

        Hah! Wedding Planner is a top 10! I just re-watched that one the other day to get the current bad taste out of my mouth. I would have enjoyed a lot more like that,

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. I love Wedding Planner. Jack is my second favorite guest star behind Carina and who couldn’t love Yvonne doing the Jersey accent!

      • atcDave says:

        And the flash face!

  15. Greg says:

    As someone who hasn’t posted before, I wanted to say how much I like this site. I’ve enjoyed reading the different perspectives.

    I came to Chuck late via Netflix. Although I really like all the main characters, what really sold me on Chuck was Sarah’s character as the strong female alpha dog. To me it was unique and Yvonne did a phenomenal job giving the character depth.

    My main problem with season three is that they changed Sarah’s character into an “emotional damsel in distress” who had to run to the first available man in an order to be “saved.”

    So although I enjoyed many aspects of this episode with Chuck going undercover and Casey showing his sniper skills, the name reveal really turned me off. Not from a Charah perspective with Sarah giving Shaw her name cherry (although I can understand many people’s visceral reaction to that), but because from a spy perspective (as noted earlier) it was incredibly stupid thing to do. Instead of the strong alpha dog professional spy of seasons 1 & 2, we now have Sarah as a wimpy spy who comes across to me as a flake.

    It didn’t help that Shaw was breaking numerous sexual harassment rules and had no chemistry with Sarah, since that just made Sarah look worse. My teenage daughter described their relationship as creepy.

    For me the whole thing reached a nadir at the end of Final Exam, when Sarah won’t even answer Chuck’s call (on what from her perspective should be the worst day of his life), because she has to run to Shaw for consolation due to Chuck killing someone. At that point, the situation was almost too stupid for me to handle for multiple reasons but especially since she was willing to commit treason for Casey the week before and now won’t even answer Chuck’s phone call when he may need her – to be with the person who put Chuck in the position of having to execute the kill in the first place.

    Hopefully one of TPTB will write a book someday, it would be fascinating to read their perspective on what happened with season 3, especially after doing so well with seasons 1 & 2.

    • atcDave says:

      Hey Greg welcome to the site! You’re a brave man after yesterday’s excitement!

      I think you hit on one of my big issues with the season; Stockholm Syndrome Sarah!
      Its always interesting to me when newer viewers have such a perception too. Obviously its something many of us have noted over the years.
      I even agree exactly with your take on Final Exam, very problematic.

      The book sure would be interesting. But my guess is no one will ever be that forthcoming about it. It seems extremely rare for a writer to admit to what hasn’t worked well for them.

      • duckman says:

        Maybe an episode of American Masters about Chuck someday. I hope I live long enough to see that.

  16. Hey everyone, computer issues and other interests rendered me MIA for quite a while but this is an interesting episode that i find enjoyable given the muck of S3. Chuck undercover is the big bright spot with the episode. i find it very funny and Casey’s subtlety is reallllly good during the diner scene plus his line after taking the shot is so perfect, so i guess the bad stuff was easy for me to overlook; which ironically is very well acted by yvonne but that’s nothing new.

    Anyway how has everyones tv season been? i only picked up the flash and scorpion and both have gotten better!

    • atcDave says:

      Well its good to see you drop back in Josh. You know I’m in about the opposite place for this episode, the few good things can’t even come close to making up for what went wrong. But of course Yvonne’s performance is always perfect.

      Scorpion did get better as the season went. But I still think Forever is my favorite new show. Pity it may be one season only.

  17. oldresorter says:

    I haven’t been the biggest fan of Forever, but the final ep of the first season was as well done as any ep Miller or Fedak has ever done (including Chuck, because of how appropriate the plot of the ep was vs the rest of the show). Talk about nailing the story being told with a near perfect conclusion should the show get cancelled, yet the ending made me super excited for season 2. Epic! Kudo’s to both writers!

    • mr2686 says:

      I have to agree. Forever went out on a great note, whether a season or series ender, it tied up the loose ends while leaving enough open that the viewer wants a second season. Hopefully we’ll get one.

    • atcDave says:

      Well you’re definitely getting me excited, that’s on tonight’s agenda, so hopefully I’ll have an opinion in a few hours!

  18. noblz says:

    I’m with atcDave, there is nothing I want to see in this episode. And Greg, welcome by the way, hits many of the problems with this arc. Usually to be a DUD in the otherDave system one of the main characters has to act over the top OOC. In my two NTBRW (Never To Be Re-Watched) episodes, PS and FN, we get two-fers. We get Chuck and Sarah both over the top OOC, especially Chuck (Sarah will get worse later).

    Running the risk of triggering another rant, I will point out to SC that while TPTB do not need to satisfy me personally, they need to satisfy enough of US (the fan base) for the show to live on. The fan base at least must be able to ACCEPT and that is where they went wrong. While not all of the blame rests with 3.0 (the writers’ strike also contributed, Chuck never reached the numbers of S1 again), the majority does. This arc made some fans no longer ACCEPT.

    • atcDave says:

      You know I agree completely with most of that noblz, I think this arc took years off the life of the show.

    • uplink2 says:

      Agreed noblz. They don’t have to satisfy every viewer but they need to satisfy enough to keep drawing a paycheck. Writing what you believe is a great story but no one else does may satisfy your creative needs but it still puts you in the poor house. And as we saw 2.5 million viewers were not “satisfied” enough to stick around for the length of this season and the ultimately never came back.

  19. Martin Traynor says:

    I love this site! I think my family was getting tired of me talking Chuck all the time, and here I get to interact with folks who feel much like I do on some things, and much like I don’t on others. When I need support for a thought or idea, I usually find it. Just as much as I find some much needed and valued differing opinions, viewpoints and considerations.

    Early season three felt like a sucker punch to me. It felt like a breakup. I LOVE the characters of Chuck, Sarah and Casey. And this part of the series felt like they were taken away from me. What we had together was changed – not an opinion, but a fact. It WAS changed. Some feel for the better. I feel for the worse. And I feel for the unnecessarily worse, but that’s my opinion. I find comfort in the similar thoughts and feelings of those who feel the same way I do.

    Heck, I know it’s just a show. But as many others have said, this show really touched me. And for the that the writers and producers are forever thanked and appreciated. But because I am so emotionally attached, when a plot or character goes contrary to what I want or (have come to see) as OOC, I get really upset. And I like talking and especially reading what others think and feel about it, and maybe how they’ve worked through it. And I really do like to read what those who are not upset by what upsets me have to say. I love hearing their side of it. It helps me come to terms (at least to a degree) with what think and see.

    I’m usually looking for a way to make sense of or find some understanding for actions, plots and character decisions that I struggle with accepting. Sometime I do. But I’ll keep coming back and enjoying the interaction here between some very intelligent, well-spoken and incredibly insightful people.

    As for Forever, it is my one of my favorites as well, and I actually liked the finale. I was afraid for most of it that Jo was going to learn the truth about Henry and then be struck with amnesia by Adam…(too soon?), but I like how it ended. And I do hope it returns. Looks like Castle is still on the bubble, too. Would hate to see that one go yet as well…

    • atcDave says:

      It always makes my day to hear such good feedback Martin, Thank You!

      I have seen the finale of Forever now. It was very satisfying. I liked how Adam’s story played out, and the end for Jo and Henry was about right for a first season finale. On one hand I sure hope we get to see another season. On the other hand, I think I imagine a more satisfying story in the immediate future than we would likely see if the show continues. So maybe its best to just end it. I sure would miss it though.
      Ditto on Castle. I hope they sort things out enough to get another season. I guess we still have one episode left, so I don’t know what urgency I may be feeling next week. The show will leave a hole for me if it goes, but at least it had a satisfying run.

      • Martin Traynor says:

        Dave,
        I echo your comments exactly for the conclusion of Forever. I said to my wife that if it doesn’t come back, then Henry told Jo his secret. But that if it does come back, you’ll see that the writers will have some way for him to tell her something else besides his secret that placates her for at least a while.

        That’s one of my fears for a Chuck movie or revival – that the characters (C/S especially) won’t be in a place that I want them to be (relationship-wise) as a way to give them something to fight for or through in order to get back together (read “more angst”). Like the “National Treasure” movies. Very much a guilty pleasure, we in the Traynor household were none too happy at the way the second movie started given how the first one ended. Sound familiar for Chuck (season 2 leading into season 3)?!?

        So I’m torn between wanting to see more of my favorite trio and what TPTB might have in store for them in order to build drama. I’m just not sure I trust them anymore with these characters…

      • atcDave says:

        Funny Martin I agree exactly about National Treasure.
        And I share your concerns about Chuck. The more time passes the worse it could be if we get a movie.

      • oldresorter says:

        The National Treasure 2 movie romance plot is what bothers me about the Chuck movie too.

        I hope Forever gets a 2nd season. I’ll be interested to see what the writers do? If they rip them apart somehow, they will be repeating their Chuck theme. It’s funny, all I want to see on Forever, is Henry and Jo getting along and solving cases, I never needed them to be romantic. Much like Chuck, it’s the writers who ramped up the romantic angst. It seems to me they’ve boxed themselves into a corner just like Chuck. They wrote both Henry and Jo too hot for each other and too soon. The solution is to simply move forward and go back to writing the original show, rather than let the romance and the angst consume the show. That was the huge mistake made in Chuck. After season 2, Chuck and Sarah angst consumed the show.

        I did read that Miller said the show proposal was to add more characters, and I think to he said also add more romance. That could be really bad for JoNRY ahippers, but the show needs more key characters who are involved in solving cases. Again, the problem with Chuck, not enough primary case of the week characters. It’ll be interesting. Will the two writers learn from their past mistakes or repeat them? So far, they are doing OK, but next season would / will tell me more. I hope they get their chance.

      • authorguy says:

        I’d be against a romance between Henry and Jo simply because he’s 200 years old and she’s not.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m all for a romance but it needs to played different than most television. Henry and Jo are both older (much older for Henry!) and a little world weary, I think something more comfortable and relaxed would be appropriate. No triangles, little need for overt passion. More of the deep trust and partnership.
        I don’t think the “200 years old” thing is valid as a disqualifier. He’s going to be a bit out of step with ANY mere mortal. So making it work with such different life experiences is the beauty of it. And Jo is nicely positioned with her own tragic past to at least understand the grief and loss Henry has dealt with. Basically for him, all human relationships are a bit tragic, so finding peace and joy becomes a continuous challenge. And THAT is exactly the issue I would like to see them face. The usual love triangles and romance angst seems dreadfully banal for this setting.

        Which is why I’ll say I would be fine with the show not getting renewed. I have zero confidence in network television doing this situation justice. I will likely continue to watch if it is renewed, but after that very nice and promising season finale I honestly don’t believe these writers are up to the task of continuing the story.

      • authorguy says:

        Henry and Jo having the same sort of relationship Booth and Bones had in the early seasons works for me. No need for an explicit romance when the affection is clear and the partnership works so well.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff thanks for the breaking news!
        That’s awesome!
        and that’s terrible!

        I guess we have it both ways tonight.

      • atcDave says:

        BTW Jeff, or anyone, do we know why Amann isn’t returning to Castle?

        I’m not looking for dirt, just wondering if he had a specific story or issue to address or something.
        I thought he did well with the show last season. I think I liked the arc episodes better than ever.
        Although the dialogue was maybe less crisp.
        But overall I was mostly pleased with his work.

      • I know nothing, but the late pickup might be something to do with it. Castle has often had early pickups and even 1-2 insert episodes to make 23 or 24 for the season.

        This season’s renewal was late because Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic had contract renewals. Fillion’s leaked a few weeks ago, but Katic has been talking all year about no where to go with the character. Seamus Dever had

        Without the pickup, it might have seemed like job hunting time. Or time to try a new project instead of running someone else’s. If there were creative or management issues with Marlowe, I’m sure they would have kept that in house. I think Fillion’s day of skipping work (to protest long hours) was when they started filming season 6, so not Amann’s fault.

        I haven’t been thrilled with most episodes since the western honeymoon, and I didn’t like the disappearance plot line (which I expect to really be resolved in the finale). The exceptions were once of the P.I. episodes and the 3XK stories. A couple others were good (talent show), but the rest seemed average, nothing to be excited about. The airplane episode gave me First Class flashbacks. It also would have been better in season five.

      • atcDave says:

        I also don’t care for the disappearance story, but I thought the others you mention were terrific.
        I took the flight episode more as “Non-Stop” than First Class.
        Stana’s complaints strike me as odd, there’s surely something else at play. The show has always been mostly a procedural, I’m not sure what growth she thinks is required. And years back she’s mentioned wanting to do more Thin Man and less wt/wt, which seems to me exactly where they are now. Just makes me wonder if she’s mostly burned out. And/or she’s wanting to start a family (which actually would work just fine on the show now!)
        I do hope this isn’t the last season, but at least Castle has had a very good run.

      • oldresorter says:

        That’s good news about Castle (If Beckett retruns). Dave I usually agree with you on most things, but I do understand the hesitation that actors (and actresses) might have regarding long term TV series.

        Just think in the 3-4 years since Chuck ended, Yvonne got to do Dexter, a fun guest spot on Louie, ’24’ with Jack Bauer, and now she might even be the lead character in ‘Wives Club’. She did a couple of bad movies too, and she has a pretty big role in the Nocturne movie coming up.

        I really am not that much a fan of Levi, but he too has gotten to do all kinds of interesting things with that cartoon musical, a bit of broadway, and now he gets to do a Heroes reboot. Heck, maybe the Heroes reboot will inspire him.

        Anyhow, actors have a window of opportunity before they have to play the mothers or fathers of the lead characters rather than the leads, so i can see why whatever Beckett’s real name is wants to go out and try new stuff, maybe then I’d know her real name – LOL.

      • atcDave says:

        Any sort of future work is always a huge gamble for actors. The vast majority will be known for no more than one or two roles in their entire lives. So I always consider it foolish to give up a successful role for other opportunities; unless some external life issues force the matter.

      • oldresorter says:

        I said we wouldn’t agree. I do agree it is a gamble. But, that’s an actors life. The only way to make it big time, is to get more roles. IMO both of the female leads should be advised to take those risks now. As should both Nate and Zac. All four are that talented. And all four took or have taken their tv series lives as far as possible. I did say we see things differently, I do understand your POV, I assume you understand mine too? Agree to disagree?

      • atcDave says:

        Oh I get that they feel a need to do a variety of work. And those who star in a series may make enough money in a few years they don’t actually NEED to strike it big again (IF they’re wise with their money). The odds of being Robert Downey Jr or Jennifer Lawrence big are so remote it would be foolish to “plan” on it.
        But my guess is, of the four you mention, only Nathan has a good chance of making it big beyond his current role. At one time I would have said Zac and Yvonne too, but I no longer believe that. I think Zac will see modest success as a producer and actor, and Yvonne will be slightly more successful in support or ensemble roles (not as a leading lady). I think Stana will disappear when Castle is over.
        And yeah I know I could be wrong about all of them.

      • atcDave says:

        BTW, SHIELD and Agent Carter were also renewed.

        We’ve been very disappointed in SHIELD, too much politics and shades of grey sort of stories, no good heroics and nothing inspiring. Very disappointing for a LaJudkins effort.
        Agent Carter is much stronger, very pleased by its return.

      • authorguy says:

        I only saw the first season of SHIELD, all that Netflix had. I looked forward to more. Dropped Arrow, started watching Daredevil. Much better show. I hope I can find Agent Carter.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, have to agree with you about Shield/Carter. I’m glad Agent Carter was renewed. I enjoyed it much more than Shield. Part of my reasons for being disappointed in Shield is I think they introduced too many new characters this season. The whole second Shield was a waste IMO instead of just dealing with Hydra. And TBH I just don’t like Edward James Olmos in this universe. Though that was dealt with last week. But I liked it more last season as it focused on the characters I enjoyed. This season focused too much on characters I have little interest in like Skye’s parents.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree exactly Uplink.

      • oldresorter says:

        same spot as you guys on shield / carter. One problem I have with all the new comic book shows, adherence to the comic mythology really stops cold the obvious character chemistry development which might run contra to the mythology. One of the first times I felt that was smallville. Lex and Clark were too good together, so were Lana and Clark. When the comic book mythology was served later seasons, the show suffered for me.

        I thought Shield is trying to be too cute too. Too many twists and turns, too many characters, too much of everything really. I can see how it happens, Coulson is not a big enough character to carry a show IMO. Certainly Skye is not. The new character Bobbi might be, I see that she might move to the spin off.

        IMO those types of shows are way overdoing it, correction has to be on its way at some point soon. I hope Zac or Yvonne don’t get stuck on one of those me too type comic shows. I think most of them are doomed to fail.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree with all of that OR.

  20. Martin Traynor says:

    And going back to the whole name/fake name discussion for a minute…Someone said earlier, I think, that the title of this episode is “Chuck vs. the Fake Name,” not “Chuck vs. the Real Name.” I wonder if there is any significance there that means she did in fact give Shaw “Sam” as a fake name, or could it refer to “Sarah” as her fake name?

    • atcDave says:

      I would love to think she lied, but I really didn’t read it that way.
      But I do like that in S4 they told us she is legally “Sarah”. I think she was just happy to be Sarah once she got her head on straight at the end of American Hero.

  21. uplink2 says:

    I did some research, (thanks Martin) and found the thing about Fedak saying it was the dog’s name. It’s here at the 51 minute mark or so.

    http://www.chuckpodcast.com/tag/chris-fedak/

    I hadn’t really remembered listening to it back after the finale as TBH Gray, Mel and Liz I can’t take for very long. Their total fanboy approach made me ill when I first heard it. Mel at least tried to ask some mildly tough questions but I had to turn off the lovefest fairly early. My stomach was starting to revolt. It’s like listening to the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes as it happens. But the dog thing if you do listen to it is totally in jest and was him trying to tweek the fans one more time. It was a cop out to really not answer the questions honestly I think. Listen for yourself but that’s how I heard it. And to me its says he wasn’t above thumbing his nose at the fans who actually cared.

    • atcDave says:

      Let’s not trash on other fans. They all did terrific work getting out information and interviews; and its a ton of work doing everything they did for pure love of the show. Its fine if their interview isn’t your cup of tea, but we don’t need to disparage their work for it.

      And we just saw an example the other day here of how badly we can come across to certain other fans. We don’t need to be making any new trouble within the fandom!

      But I would agree with your assessment that it sounds like just goofing around. It doesn’t sound like an actual claim.

    • uplink2 says:

      That’s fair Dave. And I agree on whole that they did a lot of good work for the fans. I just remember being so frustrated at the time that this was the perfect opportunity to ask some follow up questions and actually push a little bit on some things that large parts of the fanbase wanted honest answers on but never got. They no longer needed to worry about access and for me an opportunity was lost to really deal with things that fans were curious about. They were the only fanbased group granted such access and some large parts of the fanbase’s questions were not represented.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m sure CF choose what he knew would be a friendly audience too. But that’s fine, its hard to expect much else. And Mo Ryan did ask some of the tougher questions.

    • Martin Traynor says:

      Thanks, Link, for the link to the Fedak interview. I harken back to the old Jon Stewart joke about the Pope being the most loved man in the world that no one agrees with. I feel that way about Fedak. I adore him and JS for giving us Chuck the show and ALL the characters, but I couldn’t disagree with him more on most of what he was saying, especially about the series finale.

      As for the items concerning Sarah’s real name, I got the impression that he was pseudo-serious about Sam being the dog’s name, but only because he’s exasperated at the importance the name issue has for a lot of us. I got that he couldn’t care less either way, but that he wanted it to be the dog’s name to get everyone off his back. Still, though, he seemed sort of adamant, so I’ll go with it. For me, Sam is the dog’s name.

      I love that he did so many interviews and podcasts, but man, he and I couldn’t be farther apart on what constitutes a great ending for a show. “They get to fall in love all over again.” And that’s better than moving forward after five long, HARD years of growth and developing love, how?!?

      • Are we talking about the dog from Suburbs; i don’t think there was a dog in fake name?

      • atcDave says:

        Its an Indiana Jones reference. Hey I guess it works for me! Even if he wasn’t serious, perhaps this is one ret-com or fan-wank that’s worth just accepting!

      • Wilf says:

        “They get to fall in love all over again.”

        That quote of CF in particular really p***-ed me off. So everyone would just love to undo their hard work of five years so they can struggle through it all over again. I think not. I thought at the time that he was maybe living in a parallel universe somewhere.

      • atcDave says:

        I think it rubbed many of us wrong since so much of the process was anything but fun the first time around! The idea of going through THAT again was sort of horrifying.

        But as I’ve said, I’ve come to believe things would actually proceed quite quickly after the finale. So I actually draw more comfort from what’s on screen than from most what CF said.

      • authorguy says:

        I was thinking the same thing! “Fall in love all over again” translates as “Go through season 3 a second time?” Not to mention that the whole romance started with Chuck in a very different place, so there’s no guarantee that Sarah would see five-years-later Chuck as special or attractive. Really, just a stupid idea.

      • uplink2 says:

        Josh, he was talking about the scene in Baby where Sarah talks to Molly about her stuffed dog Rex and tells her that she had one named Bunny. He said they actually shot the scene where Sarah says her stuffed dog was named Sam but that Lauren LeFranc who was one of the writers of Baby didn’t want him to use it. I read it more as he was tweaking the fans about the name issue as he was aware folks would be thinking about it in reference to what Emma called Sarah and they had decided to totally ignore and run away from that issue. She, Lauren, talked him out of it. Those comments of his tell me he was not at all above tweaking the fans and especially “shippers” and makes me more likely to believe that the supposed “comedy” in this episode was at least in part thumbing their noses at the shippers.

  22. oldresorter says:

    One aspect of being a Chuck fan from my own POV struck me from reading the comments from SC the other day. For me, I was much more upset at the writers when I was trying to love the show. I think SC got it right with me, at some point, I realized I simply didn’t love the show, and once I realized that, I stopped taking any of the eps or arcs or characters or anything that negatively. I did / do love the Chuck / Sarah chemistry, but quite frankly, I love watching Yvonne and Zach do an interview together now as much as I liked watching the show Chuck. For me, it’s those two together that was my ‘magic’. Casey was so good for me because he embellished those two in his scenes. Morgan at his best too, at his worst, he was near the opposite.

    Anyhow, I’ve tried to lighten up considerably on being upset about the angst, the darkness, S3, on Shaw, on Fedak, or even on the final two eps along with the unsatisfying way the show ended. The writing style simply was not my cup of tea.

    So much more than a Chuck movie, I’d love to see Zach and Yvonne do a new series or movie together while they are both still young. In this day and age, that is unlikely to happen. So the 90 some odd eps of Chuck is all I’m likely to get. So I’m working on appreciating what I got. And if a Chuck movie is made, my fingers are crossed that the plot maximizes what I feel is the number one asset the Chuck property has, that is the two leads sparking a powerful romantic chemistry on screen, rather than yet another wt/wt type dance that continued on the show to the final credits. Fingers crossed.

    • atcDave says:

      I also have a lot of mixed feelings at this point. So much of the show was just perfect for me; the blend of action and comedy, the likable main characters, and of course the best on screen chemistry I’ve ever seen.
      But I certainly have issues with the story-telling. Even at that I’ll say 2/3s of the time they got things just right. But that still leaves about 1/3 of the story decisions I disliked or was unhappy with. Mostly that’s fine, I rarely like every episode and every arc of any show. But with the greater investment I had here the frustrations were often amplified.
      There are absolutely fan fiction writers whose story telling I prefer to the show runners. And that does concern me a lot about a possible movie. But for now, we’re a long way from any of that mattering.
      And I do agree I’d love to see Zachary and Yvonne do some other romance together, they do have such a good presence together. But of course it is a long shot.

      • I think that’s because some part of the characters I.e habits personality or other such things will always come to the surface if they’re on screen together…not that i think they wouldn’t be able to separate from Chuck and Sarah and do something great but i really think a Chuck movie is our only hope for seeing them work together again just. i compare it to if the Harry Potter trio ever tried working on something else together…

      • atcDave says:

        It used to be many actors, whether they were friends or just worked together well, would do multiple projects together. I like this, I think certain pairings or teams can be a good hook. Zach and Yvonne would absolutely work well for me this way.
        But it’s clearly become a less common practice in recent years. Not completely unheard of; the Twins in the latest Avengers movie had previously played husband and wife in Godzilla. But I do think the only way we’re LIKELY to see them together again is as Chuck and Sarah.

    • uplink2 says:

      Too bad Nora Ephron passed a few years ago. I always wanted Zach and Yvonne to do one of her romcoms.

    • DKD says:

      I know I’m probably a minority in this, but, while I think Zac and Yvonne had remarkable chemistry on screen as Chuck and Sarah, I only see an ordinary actor friendship when they are offscreen.

      One of Zac’s talents as an actor, though, is that he has good on-screen chemistry with many of his female co-stars. He was even good with Alexis Bledel in that Hallmark movie. That’s a feat, if you know her work.

      As for offscreen chemistry, Zac’s interviews with Kristina Rodriguez, his First Date co-star, bristle with it. Those were fun and sassy interviews.

      I don’t think I’m anxious to see Zac and Yvonne work together again in different roles as much as I’d love to see both of them reach career pinnacles on their own. Doing more Chuck is the exception.

      • atcDave says:

        I never understand why working together again would hurt anyone’s career. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were good both together and apart; all the way back to Myrna Loy and William Powell were fine both together and apart. It’s only a problem if one is clearly carrying or impeding the other, and I see no reason to think that with Zac and Yvonne.

  23. Dave

    Well that explains a lot i’ve never seen indiana jones

    • atcDave says:

      Its a “big reveal” in the third movie. When a friend asks Henry Jones Jr why he goes by “Indiana”; Dad says “we named the dog Indiana…”

      The Indiana Jones movies are very much a part of the Chuck DNA I think. A similar take on action,adventure and comedy.
      And Casey insisting to Morgan that there were only three movies is presumably a reference to the last one being much less well regarded.
      And FWIW, the first and third are generally considered the best.

  24. OR

    As someone who watch smallvile for the entirety of its run i don’t think there was a problem with their take on the legend; in fact Lex/Clark on Smallvile remains one of the greatest things i have ever seen in TV and the Clark/Lois Dynamic was extremely entertaining…i always thought the cast/creators/crew cared very much about what they were doing. i feel that way about the flash too; comics as tv series need lightning in a bottle to succeed and i think the CW is very good at this.

    Other networks seem to believe that if they create an iteration of a character or universe and throw in heavy action it will work which clearly does not…

    • atcDave says:

      My huge complaint about Smallville was they kept Lana around for about four seasons too long. She became the poster child for teen angst. They needed to either say “this is a complete AU Clark story where he and Lana stay together” or jettison her character as soon as she became superfluous.
      But the moment they introduced Lois, Lana became a dramatic third wheel. And given how much more fun Lois was, Lana needed to go.

      There were plenty of things that show did well. But the soap opera aspect was horrible.

      • I didn’t see it as bad as you did.and would actually call Lana’s fall from grace in S6-8 much better executed than CHUCK S3…i think we often forget how hard it is to let go of a first love; i didn’t have a problem with how long she stuck around because unlike with Chuck; the changes in Lana’s character weren’t forced; they laid that foundation rather early so i wasn’t taken aback by any of it.

        i’m also somebody who saw the end of How I met your mother coming several years beforehand.. Chuck’s fall from grace i didn’t see coming one bit and that’s why between the three shows it’s much easier to see why Chuck failed and they didn’t…sad but true.

      • Justin says:

        Don’t get me started on Smallville. There are so many ways that the show could have been improved and become the great show it only had the potential to be.

        Years ago, I did a thread in which I posted parts of my AU version of Smallville: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=106552

      • atcDave says:

        I didn’t realize you had so much experience with re-writing stories Justin! No doubt there’s a lot of tweaking that could have been done there.

    • oldresorter says:

      Josh I sort of hesitated to mention smallville, as I knew I was somewhat in the minority. To me, when Lex started going bad and the Lana character went bat crazy, the show lost itself. I can see how others see it differently though. Much like Chuck, I’m glad others liked the show as written. IKt’s really a gift when that happens.

      I wasn’t trying to convince anyone, simply using that as an example of a show doing the backstory too well and then being forced to ignore obvious chemistry. Gotham could run into the same issue, I suspect many watching season one would wish Selena would not turn out to be a villain.

      • I think it would have been interesting had Lex’s memory not been wiped but i understand why they did it; clark fulfilled his destiny and they wanted to remain in line with mythology and lex has no idea who superman is in comics

  25. atcDave says:

    So with the cancelation of Forever I am happier than ever for fan fiction. There’s already a couple of shorts up that deal with the aftermath of the finale (one of which I even favorited, my first ever non-Chuck or Chuck-crossover favorite). It’s nice to be able to enjoy a little more of the setting, even when TPTB have decided canon is over.

    • noblz says:

      Mrs otherDave and I watched the finale Friday night. Mrs otherDave felt cheated but I felt it went OK.

      Forever probably got canceled because I liked it, seems to be my luck (Terra Nova, Finder, Intelligence, Firefly, Killer Women (yes I kind of liked it), Undercovers (it was OK)…). Flesh eating zombies flourish but good entertaining shows get canceled. I’ve come to see 5-8 seasons means a successful show. The trick seems to be getting to Season 2.

    • atcDave says:

      We’ve definitely had a few favorites end too soon. It’s always sad.

  26. Martin Traynor says:

    That’s a real shame about Forever. Was really liking that show. Glad to hear about Castle coming back, though. I think it’s realistically only got one or two seasons left, so maybe they’ll let loose and let the characters start having some real fun like in the earlier years…

    I used to really enjoy his poker games and when they would force Beckett into Castle’s glam world. Would love to see Beckett at more poker games and more of them in Castle’s world…

    • atcDave says:

      Well I never quite get why a procedural ever “needs” to end. As long as everyone has ideas and desire the show can run indefinitely.
      But that said, some of the recent turnover among writers, and perhaps Stana tiring of the show, it does seem like we’re down to a season to season basis. I hope to enjoy a few more seasons, but I’m guessing there isn’t much to go.

  27. Martin Traynor says:

    I’m with you, Dave. It just feels like the end is near for Castle. But they have the books as well, so I wonder if they’d continue after the series does end. And the books are in ways better than the show, I think.

  28. anthropocene says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Sarah Lisa Walker Bartowski! (She’s certainly had at least one kid by now!)

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