Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Beard (3.09)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK GETS BENCHED WHEN HE CAN’T FLASH- BRANDON ROUTH (“SUPERMAN RETURNS”) GUEST STARS-Chuck (Zachary Levi) feels like his life is falling apart when he can’t flash and gets left behind for a mission. While Shaw (guest star Brandon Routh), Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) go on without him, Chuck finds himself in a sticky situation back at the base.

Chuck This Ranking: 45
Dave’s Ranking: Lower

First Impressions: The Early Bird vs The Beard

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Beard (3.09) by Ernie, Joe and Faith
The Really Important Things by Joe
All That I’m Asking For by Amy
S3 Revisited: The Beard (3.09) by Dave

Alternatives: Season Three Alternatives: The Beard by Dave


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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48 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Beard (3.09)

  1. Martin Traynor says:

    One of the most vehement criticisms of Sarah this episode has been that she so lacklusterly pleads for Chuck when Shaw wants to destroy Castle to protect the country. I didn’t really see it that way at all. I saw (mostly through Yvonne’s amazing ability to say volumes with her eyes) Sarah trying as hard as she could to beg for Chuck without letting on to Shaw how much she still really cared for Chuck. And when he makes the call, I see her frantically looking around for options just before the door opens and Morgan steps out. I in no way see anything that leads me to believe that she was about to let Shaw kill Chuck. Plus her faith in Chuck to come through is quite evident by asking for the 5 minutes more. Whether or not she likes Chuck (though I believe she does love him, maybe as much as she hates him at this point), I think she knows he has a way to get out of trouble, save the day, and be the hero. I think that even when she says she doesn’t trust him in American Hero, it’s really herself she doesn’t trust.

    One more thought I had to get me through those super cold summer Florida nights…Love means never having to say you’re sorry. I notice that Chuck and Sarah never apologize to each other (I may be wrong about this, but it makes my point to say it, so please forgive), and they are pretty darn quick to forgive one another. They never bring anything up from the past and seem to move on quickly. Of course I believe this to be a contrivance of the writers (laziness, perhaps? Fear?), but it has been consistently shown throughout the series.

    Just my thoughts. It is not my intention to start anything. I just wanted to share what I have been cogitating on for the past few days…

    • atcDave says:

      You know comments are always welcome. Even if we really disagree for the first time (!).
      I really needed to see Sarah take some more definitive action against Shaw. The most obvious to me is just to snatch the phone out of his hand and bust it. A knee to the groin is the next option. This is the biggest knock against this episode to me, Sarah is just far to passive. And Shaw’s actions here are the very thing that makes Sham so unpalatable.
      So although much of this episode is actually fun, its one of those with too much baggage for me to really enjoy.

      As far as apologies go, I needed one, whether Chuck or Sarah did or not. I think both of them needed to initiate something, even if the response was “its all in the past, there’s nothing to forgive”. By not initiating anything, neither character had the chance to be magnanimous.

    • CaptMediocre says:

      This “lack of apology” you note is why Other Guy doesn’t make my top 10, or probably even top 20. There’s about 8 episodes of reconciliation required for Other Guy to be a meaningful episode. Without addressing ANY of the drama that came before it, Other Guy becomes a reset episode – Pink Slip in reverse.

      Lack of adequate drama resolution was a hallmark of this show.

      With regards to Beard, well I’m afraid Sarah Walker wasn’t in this episode. Between her “you can talk to us” and her “do it for me”, I don’t know what to think.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know about 8 episodes! But I do agree Other Guy is more of a reset than an actual resolution; or maybe a “times up!” And Honeymooners is the series premier of the third incarnation of “Chuck”.
        Since I didn’t really enjoy any of the proceeding main arc I’m somewhat okay with just forgetting it and moving on. And in that context I’m pretty content to enjoy the rest of the series. But it is frustrating to have to deal with that specific context.

        I mostly agree with saying Sarah Walker is just no where to be seen. This is a prime example of Zombie Sarah, or Stockholm Syndrome Sarah.

      • CaptMediocre says:

        The problem with Zombie Sarah or Stockholm Syndrome Sarah is that it kind of now makes Sarah the villain of this story arc (a journey she completes in Final Exam) due to her inaction, cluelessness and subservience.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m content to label Shaw as the villain, but Sarah is passive to the point of being irrelevant, all the way through Other Guy. She doesn’t snap out of it until Honeymooners.

      • Keep fighting the good fight Cap. 100% in agreement with your posts. To be fair though, not just Sarah but every character was a victim of character serving story from Season 3 on.

        The ultimate failure of the series.

    • joe says:

      Martin, like Dave said, your comments are always welcome.
      You struck a chord. I recall thinking at the end of Fake Name that Sarah seemed incredibly lost. Definitely not herself. You saw that in this episode too, and I agree.

      Don’t think I picked up on it at the time, but now it seems very deliberate. Perhaps the writers and talent were trying to have Sarah be lost in order to find her way back to Chuck (which is something like the definition of ‘didactic’ – not a compliment, btw). It seems I resisted the idea of a “lost” Sarah, though. It’s hard to see her that way.

      • atcDave says:

        I actually completely agree with that interpretation Joe.
        And it’s never been that lost Sarah is not a valid or plausible story, it’s just that it’s one I have no interest in seeing.

  2. Martin Traynor says:

    Oh, I agree with you and the bulk of what’s been said on previous blogs. I also wanted to see them apologize and own up to what each of them did. The writers are far more talented and creative than me, but I just think they skirted those sorts of interactions for whatever reason(s). It just seems that they showed Chuck and Sarah kind of effortlessly moving on from whatever crap they sent the other’s way, without so much as a “how do you do?”. They just simply ignored it and moved on. I’m not a fan of it, but it’s there throughout the series.

    I also would have liked to see Sarah take more action, but I really think she would have gone there had that door not opened with Morgan. She had that look in her eyes of desperation, and I feel confident it would have led to action. Not trying to change anyone’s mind, but that’s what I see and would surely like to believe.

    I’ll also agree that Sarah is zombie-like throughout this whole arc, and I don’t like it or her one bit. She seems dazed and confused and half-dead. Zombie is the perfect way to describe her.

    Getting ahead of myself, another thing my daughter and I were talking about today was how funny it was how not mad at her Chuck was when she didn’t show up at the train station when he asked her to leave in a few episodes forthcoming. In Prague, she hated him for staying behind and not leaving with her, but Chuck immediately rushes in to rescue her. His love is, as faulty as it is, so much more mature than hers at this or any other point up to and through at least half the 4th season.

  3. uplink2 says:

    Beard is an odd episode for me. It’s one that doesn’t stand up well on rematch and in fact my opinion of it has dropped dramatically over the years. When it first aired I liked it, and liked it a lot. But with time I’ve come to realize my liking of it has very little to do with the episode itself but more that it marks the fact that the show has turned upward from the Mariana Trench that was Fake Name. The mood had begun to change a slight bit and after what had come before I was grasping for anything to keep myself from abandoning the show for good.

    But its on closer examination that the flaws of the episode itself really begin to show. And most of that is how pathetic Sarah is throughout it. And I really can’t ignore how incredibly insulting I found, even on first viewing, that line about Sarah and Shaw making a “beautiful couple”. It was another case of telling and not showing. A shortcut that is meant to tell a story that isn’t actually there and make the viewer believe what they are saying and not what they are seeing. They look no more like a couple than the two Ring guys, who by the way were much funnier than anything Ali wrote in Fake Name as supposed comedy. That comment from the hotel worker just really bothers me how insulting it is. It’s almost like it was meant to be a joke it was so pathetic.

    We will talk a lot about Sarah this week but in many ways for me this is her nadir, though she does fall back again at the end of Final Exam and the beginning of Hero. But this episode does not hold up well for me at all.

  4. oldresorter says:

    Revenge joined Forever with a very satisfying series final. For a dark, soap opera’ry type show, the S4 finale was amazingly happy and upbeat, even giving the ever vigilant ‘Morgan’ type character the final scene in what was an obvious (and amazingly satisfying) ‘spin off’ concept. Nothing fancy, simply paid off four years worth of story telling with the conclusion they’ve hinted at all along. Cheesy, easy to predict, happy, straightforward, a bit of a flash forward, all the right stuff (for me) … my kind of finale.

  5. oldresorter says:

    I would group Beard with Pink, Mask, Fake, Final Exam as the five most cringeworthy eps of season 3. IMO four reasons, first, I’m not a Morgan fan and FF thru most all Chuck / Morgan bromance scenes, second the ep paid off SHAM such that Fake Name’s budding SHAM romance was not fake, 3rd I hated the scene where Shaw was about to assassinate Chuck, and 4th the ep got lots of pre – ep hoop la, so I had high expectations, the ep did nothing to cheer me up, only made things worse.

    • atcDave says:

      Wow OR, harsh! I can certainly see your reasons for marking it down, but I’m surprised at how far you mark it down!
      But I can see all of that. This is an episode that has not held well for me. One where the hope it gave me was still false hope, and I find more to dislike than like on re-watch. But I wouldn’t quite mark it down that far!

    • Wilf says:

      I rate Beard higher than that. For all that it shows the Sham relationship as non-sham, and Sarah as uncharacteristically weak in Shaw’s (may his soul rot forever) presence, nevertheless it marks the beginning of a realisation on Chuck’s part that he has to galvanise and do something. Sure, his “realisation” that he loves Sarah is plain silly and a “duh” moment, but isn’t the point really that it’s a wake up call that he can, must and will act to do something about his love for her?

    • uplink2 says:

      I’d agree that I’d rate it higher. Probably 6th or 7th from the front 12 with FN, Mask, PS, FC, and NS all rated lower. It was initially a top 2 from the first 12 but has fallen dramatically with time. It’s only remaining saving grace is that it is the beginning of the end and the misery of the arc had turned the corner. Not that it was over mind you, but that at least it was starting to be over. As you say the whole epiphany is silly and lame but it did change the mood finally at least a fraction. What this episode does to the Sarah character is just horrific and damn I had never disliked Sarah more than I did here, though FE/AH gets close. But it certainly wasn’t the great ep that we were told it was.

      • atcDave says:

        The good about I think is just that it turns a corner. The worst of Chuck the jerk is behind us. Now we just have to deal with Zombie Sarah.

  6. Martin Traynor says:

    I love contributing here and the amazing insight that is throughout. In fact, I sometimes beat myself up a little for not being able to contribute anything new, because everyone seems to have already thought, noticed, and discerned what I do months or even years ago. It can be very frustrating sometimes 🙂 !

    I will never be a fan of this part of the series for all the reasons mentioned above and on other posts. Sarah is not herself, plain and simple. And when she returns, this period of fake Sarah is not to be revisited again except in Living Dead (and the infamous earring scene – Blah!). Kind of like it never happened.

    Dave, I think you have it right. If TPTB decline to acknowledge it furthermore in the series and act as if it never happened, then maybe it didn’t. And if it didn’t happen, then we can’t watch it. Hmm. Circular reasoning. I think Richard Jeni was on to something here!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. Both Chuck and Sarah are in “angst funk” for no other reason than the writers put them there to later build to a “Fantastically amazing payoff.” OK, so Chuck starts pulling himself from the funk first. He latches onto the most reliable anchor he’s ever known (besides Ellie) in Morgan. Then he dedicates himself to righting his own ship. Then he sets his sights again on Sarah, with determination and vigor. Finally he reaches her, pulls her from her funk and effectively saves her (From Shaw figuratively and literally; from her passivity, and from her broken heart).

    On paper it sounds like it could be epic, but only if it hadn’t already been done a couple of times already in the show (to lesser degrees), or done this late in the show given where the characters have already been and been through together, and given that it wasn’t executed this time around very well at all, and that it was designed to last far too long.

    Oi, my head hurts…

    • atcDave says:

      I think it would have mostly worked if they’d just dumped the triangles. I still might not have “loved” it, but at least I wouldn’t have loathed it.

      • atcDave says:

        And Martin you’re plenty insightful. We’ve all been having these discussions for years which puts you in the position of playing catch up. But like so many other newer viewers you still have plenty to contribute to the discussion and the community.

  7. Martin Traynor says:

    Thanks, Dave. I wish, since they went down this road, that they at least made it payoff in some way down the line. Refer to it somehow. Show that at least one of the characters learned something and grew from it, or have it have been for something bigger (like the alluded to master conspiracy by Decker in v. Cliffhanger). But to do all this, to put us and our once beloved (and still loved) favorite characters through all this for nothing, that’s the real stinger.

    I know I’m saying what’s already been said. Just add me to the group that feels the same way. There’s just nothing redeemable here…

    • uplink2 says:

      Martin, what I think that shows is that it was never about the journey, it was all about the destination. Put Chuck and Sarah together in what they thought would be the series finale, 3.13. If that had been the case none of what they did would need to be explained because it was simply over and they thought no one would have cared what happened on that journey. Chuck and Sarah were together in the big payoff. But getting the next 2.5 seasons creates a dilemma for them and it was simply easier to just forget it ever happened and ignore it. And lets face it ignoring prior canon is part of their DNA. The supposed “growth” that those that like this part of the series talk about never really shows up with any consequence later on. The big “Chuck has to kill someone” never manifests itself again really except in the finale when he can’t take the shot to kill Quinn. Hell they even retconned him killing at all when they brought back Shaw. I mean name one element of the spy story, burning an asset, killing a mark, etc that was said to be an important lesson for Chuck to learn about the spy world that ever comes into play later on? Whether its to do it or him learning that he has to find a different way none of it matters in the last 43 episodes until maybe Chuck failing to shot Quinn. The spy lessons that they said were essential for early season 3 never impact the show again after that bridge in Paris.

      • “is that it was never about the journey, it was all about the destination.”

        Totally disagree. The destination was a given so the journey to get there is of utmost importance. It had to feel honest. Chuck & Sarah getting together as the show eventually portrayed it, was an obligation making it a dishonest contrivance.

      • atcDave says:

        I think after S2 Chuck and Sarah together was the only honest thing. It was the S3 journey to get there that was the contrivance.

      • thinkling says:

        Dave, my thoughts exactly.They didn’t have to be together right away. I could even have waited until 3.13, but with a more engaging and honest journey. There were definite struggles to go through and challenges to overcome, but it should have been Chuck, with Sarah’s help, facing the darkness of the Intersect and Spy world, rather than Chuck a victim of his emotions and Sarah standing by mired in her own unexpressed fears.

      • CaptMediocre says:

        And Sarah with Chuck’s help navigating into the “real” world.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree exactly with both of you.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        “The destination was a given so the journey to get there is of utmost importance. It had to feel honest.”

        I’ll wholeheartedly agree with that statement even if I’m less harsh in my assessment of how well they told the story of that journey.

        With the way season 2 ended, an emotionally immature Sarah being forced prematurely to make a life altering decision as well as a just starting to mature Chuck taking the first decisive step of making his future something he chose, to me it was a given that Chuck and Sarah’s first attempt to be together would end disastrously for both. The decision to make their second attempt the climax of the series however put a serious constraint on how much they could advance that story, given their penchant for accelerating the story in the final arc or two. That essentially meant that they needed several plot points to delay things, especially when they showed Chuck and Sarah more or less reconciled, or at least had made their peace with what happened and where it left them by about the third episode.

        Where there real and legitimate parts of the story to delay their fuller reconciliation? Sure. And there were plenty of stories to explore as Chuck ventured deeper in to this new world and Sarah relived, through Chuck, her initial entry to a rather cold and lonely existence that Chuck had seemed to offer a way out of. Personally I thought they did a pretty decent job, with a few given rough spots and some widespread rejection of their story and premise making it a tough time for the fandom.

        To me, the first time through things were tougher, and not to cast aspersions, we were mostly all suffering through disappointment and the feeling the show was treading water, but a lot of that was because there really weren’t any people taking apart the show and showing us what to look for at the time. A few Schwedak interviews were a misunderstood attempt to do so, but in the fandom I didn’t see it. Some of the most articulate voices were throwing up their hands in frustration saying there wasn’t any way to understand the show anymore because the writers had essentially give up. Then we basically had two crowds who largely filled their time and our posts with point-counterpoint on whether the writers had pooched it.

        Maybe it is only possible in retrospect with some time and distance, but I have been able to see a lot more of substance in these “treading water” episodes than I saw first time around. I understand that many haven’t wanted to put in the time or energy to do the same, or don’t see it as a worthy project, and I understand that.

        But one of the great frustrations of this blog over the last 5 years has been the inability to move the conversation beyond those first impressions and the two groups arguing over how much the writers pooched it in season 3. Although we have added the new feature of how badly they pooched the finale.

        A week or so ago, after I vented my frustration, a likeminded poster took this blog and several posters to task for the nature of how they express their fandom. I will say that tone and some excesses aside, a lot of the points were familiar. I’ve often felt a lot of unease at the amount of negativity expressed toward the show on this site, and thought that we may be as much of a problem for new fans discovering the show as we are a resource by staying somewhat active for those new fans.

        So the point of this. I’ve tried several times to stick very close to the show’s narrative to lay out why I think the choices TPTB made, to whatever degree they worked or didn’t, were legitimate choices that grew (sometimes) more or less organically out of the story. Granted, sometimes it doesn’t become apparent why that choice was made or what impact it has on the story till an episode or two later, Schwedak are infamous for that, and I’ll admit up front that part of the “treading water” feeling was pushing the limits of that mid-season. But the point I’m trying to make is that I haven’t seen by those disinclined to accept the season 3.0 story a similar effort to identify the “dishonesty” objectively outside a general dissatisfaction with the story or its direction.

        I’ve sort of shied away from the discussion this time because when I try to offer my view of how I think I see TPTB building the story the reaction is usually the emotional one rather than responding to, or criticizing my analysis. Granted I’m somewhat emotionally invested in getting others to accept, or at least see these episodes as something that may have ultimately failed for them personally, but not something that deserves the vitriol and hostility that it and TPTB have directed their way. There are people (me included) who find a lot to like in these episodes, and it is hard to not take personally at some level the derision something we enjoy experiences in these discussions. I’m just not sure if there is anything I can do about it anymore and it has me, and it pains me to say it, basically wanting to check out of the fandom.

        This is a long way of saying that it has baffled and frustrated me that the anger and emotion still runs so hot on many of these topics five years on, when at the time one of the main sources of anger was that fan alienation with the story would end up killing the show and Chuck and Sarah’s inevitable pairing would be all for naught. That placing so much emphasis on building toward that climax would rob us of the enjoyment of seeing what it looked like once the destination was reached. It didn’t. We got 2.5 more seasons and the show survived in what most consider a highly satisfying state for most of that time. So why the continued anger and vitriol is what baffles me. I can understand it, at the time, if you thought they were wasting the last 13 episodes with what you considered a lame storyline rather than getting to the aspects of the show you wanted to see, but in the end, they didn’t. You got that show for nearly half the series total run. Yet still the reaction is as if these episodes killed the show. I understand that some see them as damaging to the characters, and there were some unflattering aspects of both characters revealed, but I don’t see the utter joy at Chuck and especially Sarah’s growth in later seasons without that part of the story, whether we want to acknowledge that part of it or not. At worst I see it as a few unenjoyable episodes of a very enjoyable show, which is something just about every show experiences.

        And yet the dissatisfaction and distaste for this part of the show continues to be the dominant topic on this blog, 5 years on. I really don’t understand.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie you know I can explain “the other side”, and have many times. Believe me, the frustration is just as deep for those of us who are dismissed as “not real fans” or like “we just don’t understand” something, Its obvious to me there’s plenty of not understanding coming back our way too.
        No doubt much of the initial anger and frustration came from a story that felt like it was wasting borrowed time.

        But its a mistake to think that is why the frustration remains. Frustration remains because quite simply “Chuck” went from having two protagonists we could like, respect and root for, to having the same two characters disappoint in every aspect of that. I really can not like, respect or root for the main characters I see in S3. One of Chuck’s major failings (lying) remains problematic even after the misery arc has ended.
        And these aren’t just unlikable traits we can dismiss and move on from easily. These are things that permanently damaged the characters. In short, they ruined the exact thing that had been so special about this show in its first two seasons. That makes it a problem that goes beyond one bad arc. It lingers. It sticks to the fabric of the characters.
        It means all those great thoughts I had from Sept 2007 until May of 2009 about what a wonderful gem of a show Chuck was, did not hold up to the test of time.

        For so many of us enjoying the later seasons is dependent on ignoring the third season, putting it in a “Black Box”. No understanding can ever fix what went wrong for us, and the show can never be “special” again like it was in the first two seasons. They can (and did) recapture their mojo, their technical excellence and high entertainment value; but they can never replace what was really lost.
        Chuck was a fun show. In the grand scheme of things it may be the most fun I ever had with show. But what went wrong looks more like a cautionary tale. It will never be special like I first thought it might be. What I dislike plays pretty much to my core personality and values. And these discussions will always be hard because there will always be a pause, a hitch in my enthusiasm and affection for the show.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess I should add the real bottom is incompatible perspectives. One group, presumably more like the show runners, sees a story of some merit they can enjoy analyzing.
        The other group sees only loss, that can never be made good.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        For so many of us enjoying the later seasons is dependent on ignoring the third season, putting it in a “Black Box”.

        But quite frankly Dave, the “Black Box” is the furthest thing from what those many you refer to have done. It is not in a “Black Box” and it is the furthest thing from ignored. It remains central and dominant to any discussion of this part of the show, promoted by the very people who you claim (as do many of them) are simply trying to ignore it. Given enough discussion on any episode and, as we have established with Chuckwin’s law, it comes up regardless of the topic or episode. There is no “Black Box”. That would imply those who dislike those episodes ignore them and remove them from the discussion. The exact opposite is what we see.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously there’s a duality to it. I do ignore the season as far as considering the show and characters I like goes. I really don’t re-watch it or give it any thought when watching the seasons I do love.
        But when it comes up, its a sore spot. Its like the damaged shoulder you can live with by not using it; the pain hasn’t gone away, but its no bother as long as you don’t use it.

        If left to my own the next re-watch would simply skip from 2.22 to 3.14. That’s how I actually watch anyway.

  8. Martin Traynor says:

    The Castle finale was pretty good. Won’t spoil anything, but it certainly would have made for a better-than-decent series finale if it came to that. They have also given themselves some direction for next season, though some of the Kate story is really just too much. All I’ll say is that with Chuck, they said and showed how amazing Sarah was. With Kate, they sure say it a lot, but…let’s just say that they sure say it a LOT.

    Overall, I was pleased with it. And it was nice to get some back story on the titular character for a change…(even though the explanation for his disappearance dabbled in it a little…)

    • atcDave says:

      That was a very solid finale. In seven seasons that’s the first time I felt like they did a satisfying and complete finale. Very well done.

    • oldresorter says:

      Probably should have ended Castle with that ep, kind of how Chuck probably should have ended with s4.

      POI is getting what was described as a ‘Mentalist’ 13 ep season extension, probably will be it for POI.

      Kate is koming back to Castle too.


      • oldresorter says:

        Oh and it sounds like ’24’ has something brewing behind the scenes, but nobody is ready to discuss details. Maybe that is Yvonne’s next big thing?

    • ‘Oh and it sounds like ’24’ has something brewing behind the scenes, but nobody is ready to discuss details. Maybe that is Yvonne’s next big thing?’

      Hope not.

      The Astronauts Wife Club is the first thing since Chuck that Yvonne has done that interests me. Her Dexter appearance fizzled out into a mere babysitter role.

      24 is a slicker and shallower version of what she has done on Chuck.

      • 24 is actually what i’m most impressed about; if FOX is going to try a reboot then she is the perfect choice. I’ll check out AWC just because she’s in it but i’m waiting for a 30 min comedy of some sort; Yvonne is an up beat person and even though i think she is the ultimate stunt/nonverbal actress something laid back would be great!

      • thinkling says:

        Dexter doesn’t appeal to me no matter who might be in it, so I didn’t see Yvonne in it. I had never watched 24 but tuned in just because she was in it. It was entertaining enough, and I enjoyed Yvonne’s Kate Morgan. I would happily watch another 12 episode mini-series of 24 if they brought back Kate as a lead character. She would be a good choice, Josh, and I think she made good impressions all round in LAD. It would be fun and not a long-term commitment, so she can pop in and out of a role she’s well suited for and still do other stuff. I probably wouldn’t watch 24 if Yvonne were not part of the project.

        Really looking forward to AWC. Could be a really good show, or it could fizzle, but I’m anxious to give it a try.

  9. noblz says:

    Finally, some free time. This one is a DUD in the otherDave rating system. Not quite bad enough for a NTBRW (Never To Be Re-Watched) rating but close. Rates between 83 and 89, call it 86.

    Pathetic Chuck and Sarah, Chuck pulls out of it but not Sarah. Doesn’t recover enough to avoid a DUD rating, but does micro-metrically improve things. Stand by, Sarah actually gets worse, can you believe it.

    • atcDave says:

      Sounds like the Daves are on the same page again.

    • uplink2 says:

      Looking at the ChuckThis statistics, 5 of the bottom 12 episodes are from this arc. In my ratings I’d make it more like 7 of the bottom 10 from this arc with only Curse, 3D and Muuurder breaking that string. This one rates surprisingly higher but my guess is it would probably rate lower now as it does not hold up well with time and put under close scrutiny or at least it hasn’t with me.

  10. For me Morgan finding out Chuck’s secret trumps everything else in this episode

  11. Martin Traynor says:

    It’s funny, but comments above mention that the misery arc is always brought up, no matter the initial topic of conversation, if it goes on long enough. I try not to dwell on it, but it really does have such an impact on the how I watch the show and relate to the characters. I try not to dwell on it or even revisit it, but I can’t help it.

    In fact, we were watching the Phase 3 tonight (actually, we’ve watched most half of season 4 today – I love DVDs!), anx when Chuck’s mind was about to be totally wiped, my first thought and expression was, “well, now he Sarah will be in the same boat,” referencing Sarah’s memory loss at the end of the series.

    I just cannot get away from everything these characters have gone through. And the stuff I don’t like, I really don’t like. And I enjoy reading others’ thoughts and feelings on those very same things.

    I also enjoy hearing the other side, in hopes that I may start to see things differently. And sometime I do, for a time, until I rewatch, usually. What my heart feels and my mind thinks/knows are oftentimes in conflict when it comes to the things of Chuck.

  12. DKD says:

    I always find myself at odds with other opinions here. I’m on my own ‘rewatch’ schedule–which isn’t much of a schedule–and watched this on my trainride home last night.

    I had a silly smile on my face most of the episode. I really felt the same joy and relief Chuck felt about finally letting Morgan in on his secret. The Buy More stuff is really funny to me. When Jeffster starts singing Fortunate Son, my toe starts tapping. “So, that’s the sound of liberty?”

    For the sheer ability to make me smile, I rank this way higher than 45. Maybe in my top 20.

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