Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The American Hero (3.12)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK IS DETERMINED TO GET HIS GIRL BACK-BRANDON ROUTH (“SUPERMAN RETURNS”) GUEST STARS-Chuck (Zachary Levi) has his pick of the best CIA agents for an undercover operation, but he has only one girl in mind for the job-Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). Casey (Adam Baldwin), Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) team up to help Chuck win her back.

Chuck This Ranking: 61
Dave’s Ranking: A little lower, not much

First Impressions: Post “Chuck vs The American Hero” Reaction Thread

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The American Hero (3.12) by Ernie and Joe
Message in the Song, Part 2 by Faith
The Last American Hero by Joe
S3 Revisited: The All American Fraud by Joe

Alternatives: Season Three Alternatives: American Hero by Dave (and Joe)

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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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56 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The American Hero (3.12)

  1. Greg says:

    I’m not a fan of S3 because of how Sarah’s character was eviscerated. However, this episode made me think that the budget challenges had way more of an impact than I realized up to that point.

    I refer you back to the dialog of Breakup in S2:
    Chuck: I brought you some gardenias
    Sarah: They’re my favorite. How did you know?
    Chuck: I’m not an entirely incompetent spy you know.

    At the beginning of this episode, when Chuck gets some things to win Sarah back, Chuck gets red roses. It’s a minor point (although they made a big deal of it in Breakup – to show how Chuck was different than Bryce), but it’s such a basic error (since there is no way Chuck would make that mistake) – that it was almost comical.

    Unfortunately OLI story lines are cheaper than fight scenes and that’s what the TPTB fell back too. So on rewatch, I just roll my eyes at the S3 OOC incidents and enjoy the good parts. Not many shows turn things around after jumping the shark. I was very glad that Chuck managed to do that starting with the last part of this episode.

    • atcDave says:

      Interesting observation Greg. I sure seems like a pretty basic continuity error.

      I agree completely the later part of this episode starts to feel a lot better, like a weight has been lifted!

  2. CaptMediocre says:

    What I remember the most about this episode was how everyone hinged the goodness or badness of the episode on a tiny, non-speaking, 4″ x 6″, irrelevant prop in the background of a scene.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t know if it quite rose to being a deciding factor; but I sure did appreciate seeing that prop!

      • What?! I’m not aware of this prop. What are you talking about? In what scene?

      • duckman says:

        Glad I’m not the only one in the dark, Russ. I’ve been hazarding some guesses, but can’t bring myself to watch the ep to find out just yet. On a mildly related note, I learned today that Jack burton was a character in some 80’s movie, the name of which has already escaped me. Someone should write a book detailing all the dam pop culture references in this show!

      • atcDave says:

        The prop is the picture of Chuck and Sarah that was back on her nightstand as she was frantically packing. A small thing, but it sure meant a lot to me!

        Jack Burton was the hero in “Big Trouble in Little China”. An excellent, and VERY funny action comedy with Kurt Russell in the lead. This movie has a double Chuck connection; the villain was Lo Pan, played by a younger James Hong; who was also The villain Lo Pan in “Chuck vs The Sizzling Shrimp”.

      • joe says:

        Dave, I totally missed that interesting bit of movie trivia!
        Hum… I don’t think I’ve seen Big Trouble In Little China, which is dumb of me. I’ve certainly heard of it.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s one of those that now counts as a cult classic.

        Apparently the studio had no idea to promote it when it first came out, so it tanked at the box office. But it’s done well on video formats.
        I guess I was one of the lucky few who saw it in the theater, it’s always been a favorite.

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    This episode, maybe more than any other, really defines Season 3 for me. Just like the season can be divided into halves, so can this episode. I really can’t stand anything about the first 25 minutes. I mean, Sarah and Shaw on a date?!?! Sarah’s heart-piercing “I don’t [trust you]”?!?! But once Chuck locks Sarah in Castle, the entire feel of the episode (and season, for that matter), changes and swings back to the Chuck of old.

    I enjoyed seeing Chuck take charge and commit to helping Sarah find happiness and give her want she wants, even if that’s not him. He risks it all to save Shaw, not only because he’s a good guy and a hero at heart, but because (as far as Chuck knows) Shaw is who Sarah wants, and he wants her to be happy. That is love. Selfless, unconditional, absolute love.

    But this is where I really like to enjoy fan fiction more than cannon, because this marks the point where the camel’s back is just about to break. How many times must Chuck chase after Sarah? Especially after she says pretty much the worst thing she could have said to him – that she doesn’t trust him. If I wanted to psycho-analyze her (and believe me, many, many others have done it far better than I EVER could), I might think it’s really herself she doesn’t trust, but I’m not sure how to make sense of that or explain it, so I shan’t try.

    But if you tell me you don’t trust me in that situation, I move on to the many other fish in the sea. I know she said she had baggage in the pilot, but man oh man, she’s a regular bell hop. At this point, I almost wish Chuck had forgotten Sarah and instead saved himself for Vivian (I always thought they could have made a nice couple if there was no Sarah in the picture). I do love Chuck and Sarah together, I really do, but like a lot of you say, I think you really must forget this arc to accept them as a couple.

    Anyway, at lest we all survived another re-watch of this painful arc. It really doesn’t get easier to stomach with time, at least for me…

  4. Martin Traynor says:

    As referenced above…I remember being very concerned at some point in watching/re-watching about whether Sarah had decided before or after Casey’s confession to leave with Chuck. But I can’t for the life of me remember why I thought it mattered so much? Maybe I wanted to think that she Chose Chuck, even believing that he could have killed someone. Like maybe that meant she really did love him in at least somewhat the same way he loved her – dark flaws and all?

    I could buy that…

    • Wilf says:

      I certainly wanted to believe that she was already intending to leave with Chuck, before Casey confirmed what had happened. To me, that did make a significant difference, in that she had sorted out her feelings for Chuck without the need for an external stimulus.

      • atcDave says:

        It mattered a lot to me too, I think that’s why we were talking above about how important that little detail of the picture at the bedside mattered so much.
        Sarah had already decided for Chuck, Casey just helped her feel better about the decision. And I’m glad I’m sure of that!

      • uplink2 says:

        Well for me it was such a strong Easter Egg I wrote a fill in scene for it lol. But I think the focus on that picture by the Director and editor is absolutely a clear indication that she had chosen to leave with Chuck. Plus the time on the clock is significant. It’s 6:10 and she is supposed to meet Chuck at 7pm. She is hurriedly packing and as far as she knew Shaw was still in the hospital and so there is no need for the rushed packing. If she was leaving with him she could have taken her time. I think all the evidence points towards ehr going to meet Chuck BEFORE Casey arrives. He just confirms its the right decision and clears her anxiety about him changing because of her. Plus I had heard once that someone from the writers confirmed she made her decision in Castle when Chuck left after kissing her.

      • I agree with that, Wilf et al. I always thought that the common interpretation was that she had already made up her mind to go with Chuck before Casey appeared, and that his words confirmed for her the rightness of the choice she had made. It also means that she did not have to bear the guilt of having helped Chuck to become a killer. I also really liked Casey’s quick look around followed by, “have a nice life, Walker” (or some such). He knew what she was doing and to whom she was going.

      • Wilf says:

        A very good point, Russ – Casey knew what Sarah was about to do.

  5. anthropocene says:

    “American Hero”—time for me to (yawn!) wake up and again enjoy the very late-Season-2-like second half of this episode. I’ve known a few real couples in love who—with only a tiny fraction of the life complications and relationship stressors that plague TV spies like Chuck and Sarah—have acted foolishly, poorly, and sometimes even hurtfully toward each other before coming to their senses and happily bonding. So I’m content to write off the “misery arc” as a brief lapse of reason by all parties and enjoy what comes next. Things are about to get much better. Not always perfect, but much better!

    • atcDave says:

      Well I completely agree things are looking up, starting with the terrific end to this episode.
      But sadly, the couples I’ve known who behave as foolishly as our heroes do here, never work out. I guess that’s part of why this sort of story always fails me, all I can see is a doomed couple. I have to believe better for these characters.

  6. oldresorter says:

    Two odd scenes in season 3, one in fake name, one in hero. When Sarah didn’t die in Fake Name, at least I think (been a long time since I watched Fake Name) the camera panned away b4 we saw Sarah react to Shaw or Chuck, as in hugging or dialouge, i.e. which one of the two did she seek comfort from, which one tried to comfort her, or did she just walk away? In this ep, same deal when Chuck emerged from the building with Shaw. What did Sarah do? Run to Shaw, ignore Chuck? Thank Chuck for saving her boyfriend, then leave with the ambulance? Both scenes had the potential for powerful, emotional writing and acting. Instead, much like the final on the beach, what happens next is a question mark.

    • atcDave says:

      I remember a few times even back in S2 there were scenes that just had to end with a hug (First Date, Best Friend, Broken Heart) where they cut the scene before anything happened. It was obviously part of how they were teasing things out, I don’t think it’s uncommon on television.
      But you’re right about those examples, and I would add the end of Beard. It just adds to what rings false about this period to me.

  7. uplink2 says:

    Ahh, American Hero. To me its an episode that is such a mishmash of things. Huge plot holes, great dramatic moments that are completely ignored like they never even happened, incredibly stupid behavior for spies, stealth bomber airstrikes in downtown Los Angeles, huge 180 degree flips for Sarah and the incredibly offensive, annoying and incessant beating of “Shaw is a true American Hero” drum. When to anyone with half a brain would know that his “sacrifice” was incredibly stupid and not in the least bit heroic even before Chuck shows that he truly is one. But they were still playing up that whole failed storyline that Shaw was the perfect spy. It is anything but a great conclusion and justification of the god awful journey they took us on.

    Again they had to make Sarah stupid and a terrible spy to sell this big reveal. She never once questions why she can’t get a signal all the way to the desert from downtown LA. She never notices that Shaw is wearing his wedding ring for the first time. I mean every single woman I know would absolutely notice if their one-time boyfriend who they haven’t officially broken up with yet was now wearing a wedding ring. But we have to ignore all of that pathetic spy work and basic human recognition because the big reveal is coming for Sarah. It just reaks of a messy resolution to a very messy story.

    There are a few good moments in the episode, Chuck carrying the block of wood out before he got “burned” and Sarah’s reaction to see him once again triumph against great odds. The scene in Castle and Chuck’s blunt and honest speech. Casey’s realization that Chuck is still standing up for him and keeping his secret. And his decision to tell Sarah the truth, “in case it changes anything”. The Easter egg that she was leaving to be with him. Plus wouldn’t you know it has the only scene where there was ever even a tiny drop of chemistry between Sarah and Shaw. But it is all wrapped up in such a messy resolution to a very messy and poorly executed storyline. Its ultimate saving grace is that the end is near and we are fairly certain that Sarah has finally wised up and chosen “a good one this time”.

    • noblz says:

      Pretty much agree with all of that. Pick up right after the scene where Sarah doesn’t believe/trust Chuck and this becomes a pretty good episode. I know Shaw kisses Sarah in there, but he’s not the first spy to do that.

      I’m writing this part as if I didn’t know what happens in episode 17. I was positive, at the time, that the whole Sarah-Shaw “romance” started at Sarah’s declaration that she no longer loves Chuck and ends when Chuck carries “the block of wood” out of the exploding building. What was on screen was Sarah trying an exploratory relationship with Shaw (the restaurant scene was their first date, after all) but she drops him as soon as Chuck tells her how he feels. I never credit the attempts at damage control by Schwedak et al, I go with what was on screen. Still needed an emotional showdown scene, maybe a sparring session in the dojo gets out of hand (that would have been a great scene), to settle it. It would have made what came afterwards much stronger.

      • uplink2 says:

        True but that is the problem with this episode and this storytelling. The scene where Sarah doesn’t trust Chuck for the first time ever in the series, and tells him to his face should have been a HUGE scene. It should have been a critical moment in their story, a turning point, something. But as soon as its over, its like it never happened. They could have run color bars for that amount of screen time and it would have had the exact same impact on the story going forward. Even though I hate the ending of Final Exam it fits perfectly into what must comes next in Castle. But then its simply dropped because we need to get to Chuck’s hero moment and sell the illusion of Shaw the hero spy turning to the dark side because of the big reveal to come. How do you write a powerful scene like that and have it mean absolutely nothing? It boggles my mind but they had to because Chuck and Sarah were getting together in about 40 minutes of screen time no matter whether they deserved it or it was set up properly or not. That scene should have broken Chuck and Sarah for even longer than Prague did because it was organic to the story being told and not just a contrived reset like Prague was. But even though I like the outcome, I really don’t like the storytelling here.

  8. Martin Traynor says:

    I am so very glad they never showed it, but did Sarah actually break it off with Shaw, or did she just choose Chuck and move on? i know anything could have happened “off camera,” but I kind of get the impression that Shaw always knew she loved Chuck, even when she said “not anymore,” and that he somehow just know that they were no longer whatever it is they were.

    I’m not even sure she would have needed to “break up” with him, given how tenuous their “relationship” on screen (at least) seemed. They really came off to me as a matter of convenience more than anything.

    • atcDave says:

      As far as we know they never “broke up”. And in the elevator scene in Other Guy, Sarah sort of shushed Chuck when he asked about it. She could have broken the news during their flight to Paris. But I think it was just ignored.
      It strikes me as funny that in Paris, Shaw explains to Chuck that he just wants to kill Sarah, so Chuck needn’t worry. So IF Shaw was perceptive enough to know what Sarah felt, he totally missed how far Chuck reciprocated. Shaw was pretty dense!

    • My point of view on this is that if Shaw really had any enduring feelings for Sarah, he would not have chosen to make himself a target to bring down the Ring. He said explicitly that this was to get back at the people responsible for killing his wife. I see his wooden acting as a sign of such deep grief for his wife that he is an emotional zero with respect to anything or anyone else, including Sarah. I don’t think Sarah held any sort of deep passion for Shaw, either. She cared for him, as Chuck observed before he ran off to rescue him, but her relationship with Shaw was a regression to her skewed version of male-female relationships. Even when she was trying to reject Chuck’s efforts to win her back, she showed more emotional depth than when she was Shaw, except perhaps when she thought he was going to die.

  9. Martin Traynor says:

    That’s a great point, Dave, and funny at that! It does appear as though they (TPTB) just kind of moved on, never to address it. They did that a lot this season…except when they regrettably didn’t (see that oh-so-painful earring scene in “Living Dead” for a great example of when they SHOULD have ignored it!).

    Some of my favorite episodes of the series are coming up (Other Guy, Honeymooners and Role Models). This is the end of the worst and the start of (some of) the best.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I agree with all of that Martin. It does though seem funny to me that Sarah just moved on from Shaw like he was nothing.

    • Neil Sandford says:

      Shame they wrote those scenes in s3.5, it spoilt a good run of six episodes, didn’t find it all that funny.

      In 3×02 Carina mentions the bracelet and Sarah dismisses it, of course she’s extremely hurt, yet in LD she’s wearing the earrings given to her from a man who tried to kill her.

      • The earrings… I think that was an ill-advised last chance to have Casey really poke at the chaos of their relationship, you can tell that is how it was intended, but it obviously did not land that way.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, I just always took the earrings as a pretty “thing” from a man she had no feelings for. So score one pretty bauble and move along.
        But of course Chuck is more sentimental and more emotional, so when he hears their history he is hurt.

        Sarah, to her credit, rids herself of them immediately for Chuck’s sake. I can safely say my wife and I have dealt with similar issues. Things are just things unless they represent something to us.

  10. Martin Traynor says:

    Yeah; I actually take a lot of comfort in that. To me it just confirms that he was a fly-by-night thing. I wouldn’t even call it a fling. Just a place filler. Of course, that what makes the earring scene in “Living Dead” that much harder to take, but that’s a discussion for another day…

  11. Beckman was given two EXTREMELY stupid lines in S3 this episode has one and the other was in PS and is so bad i’m not even repeating it.

    This episode is middle ground for me; everything with Sarah is bad but all of Chuck and the other characters-not Shaw -is superb; in particular this ep has Ellie’s best “i’m your big sis moment!”

  12. Neil Sandford says:

    You know, when I first watched this I loved it, but the more I watched it and with reading so many reviews and comments here, there are parts I really dislike and I was going to keep my opinions to myself but I need to air them

    So firstly: I didn’t like the early confrontation between C/S (that’s a side of SW I have never liked) wouldn’t it have seemed strange to Sarah that Chuck turned up all chipper after supposedly killing a man, this is the guy who doesn’t like guns and I know he’s changed over the weeks but killing a man is the next level

    Then there’s Shaw, that guy is always around and that was a huge probably for me during s3.0 far to much air time, that’s why I am a firm believer that the evil look he gave at the end of mask was a plan to split C/S and keep it that way

    At the end of Tic Tac, Beckman says to Sarah that she hadn’t forget about her transfer and she had a spare seat on her flight back to D.C. and leaves, the next shot is Sarah realising that she might be leaving Burbank and for good and doesn’t look that happy.

    So now where back in castle, episode AH, when she finishes talking to beckman, I can’t see any regret of leaving Burbank but we are only talking seconds, so that might not mean anything

    Now the kisses, I have to say I thought that the more passionate kiss was to Shaw, now whenever Sarah kisses passionately she always has her hands on there face which she didn’t with Chuck plus it looked like she pulled away from Chuck at the end, but then I could be wrong because she passionately kisses Chuck in the train carriage in 3×14 and doesn’t put her hands to his face.

    During Chuck’s speech Sarah says “Chuck you don’t have” what did she want to say? something I guess we will never know and she does seem conflicted at the end of the scene

    So onto the hotel, have always slightly veered SW packing for the train station, the clock 18:10, the photo, the camera work makes a point of, the time is not so relevant whether she is catching a train or plane but why would you have a photo on view if you were leaving to go to D.C. for the rest of your life and be with another man (creep) the music timing admittedly you could question.

    And this and many, many things have bugged me going into s3.5 and s4, does she actually deserve Chuck, they say she’s out of his league but is she? in 3×13 hotel room he says “but I’m still the guy, I’m still Chuck”, why does he have to make an excuse, does he not feel worthy of her, why, she’s far from perfect, he’s a far better man (when he’s not whiny) than any other man she’s been attracted to or is that the problem, she prefers the good looking cold type, in which case she should have gone to D.C. and let Chuck move on. s3.0 really ruined Sarah and I felt it was a slight cloud having over her character and difficult to shake off.

    • It’s not that Chuck needs to make an excuse, but he is trying to assure Sarah he is the same guy she fell for, remember he knows by that point that Chuck losing himself in the process of becoming a spy is Sarah’s biggest fear

      I’ll let Dave tackle your other concerns

    • atcDave says:

      Gee thanks Josh… (!)

      For starters I would agree this episode, this whole arc, presents an unappealing portrait of Sarah. Mostly I recommend ignoring it. KateMcK’s “Chuck vs the Fight” presents a far better resolution for most S3 episodes.
      As far as where Sarah was at here, I think she’s trying to invest in Shaw purely as a distraction to the role she played in ruining Chuck. But she’s been changed in ways Shaw could never understand, that would be a doomed relationship in any universe. I think you nailed it exactly in saying she thinks Chuck has lost himself, so she’s mad at herself and furious with him. In this episode Chuck pleads his case through both words and actions. Sarah strongly resists his efforts at making amends and she thinks he’s lying to her at first (perhaps the actions prove when the words fail). But he does win her back over; because he IS still Chuck and she is Sarah. It’s fragile at first (when Chuck proclaims his love and kisses her), but she does decide for Chuck and is packing to run off with him at the end. I think she still has reservations due to all that’s happened, but she knows she’d never be happy with Shaw. But then Casey sets the record straight and her reservations are swept away. The “mission” when Shaw shows up at the end is a meaningless distraction. It’s work, and she likely knows finishing this would make a big difference for her and Chuck’s future.
      That’s my take on it all anyway. I’ve only watched the episode a couple times and it’s been six or so years now since the last time. I’m unlikely to rewatch it ever again.

      • Not meant as a bad thing Dave, it’s a compliment. Coming here taught me how to recognize contrived writing; it has saved my life when watching TV post Chuck.

        I don’t mind rewatching the misery arc mask is the episode I skip though…when great actors look awful in scenes you know the script is awful.

        Getting through 3.0 requires trying to understand answers to questions we should not have to ask at all.

      • Neil Sandford says:

        Cheers & sorry Dave

        Didn’t mean to go on, just having a rant out loud, but thanks, thing is I’m enjoying these reviews so I’ll carry on now with s4, which I have already seen a few times, possibly my fav season, loved Dalton but I won’t type any comments.

        Read vs the Fight, liked and now looking for my next one, some are extremely fluffy!!

      • atcDave says:

        I do appreciate the compliment Josh! But it involved work so I saw fit to complain! Just having fun with it.

      • atcDave says:

        You don’t need to apologize Neil, if I didn’t want to respond I wouldn’t have.
        I am very pleased that you have commented so much, this has been a fun couple of days.
        I’m pretty sure it was mentioned, but just cover all bases, remember all these S3 episodes also have an “alternatives” post. That was literally because there came to be so much passion involving those who loved and those who hated S3. If you really want the big picture, be sure to read both.
        And please don’t ever feel any hesitation to comment. Even things that don’t get a response remain a valued part of our history.

  13. Neil Sandford says:

    Cheers Josh

    It probably seems strange me making all these comments after the fact, it’s not as though I don’t know what happens in the future.

    I have a habit of watching shows and then thats it, it wasn’t till I started reading these reviews and comments (it it has been a lot of reading with every review and comment on every episode) that you start to watch more closely and view your own opinions.

    • This site is very good at doing that. I loved S3.0 before I came here and quickly realized what a mess it was after reading much of the analysis and comments.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually I think this is great, and I always hoped this site would remain as a resource and a sort of community for Chuck fans. Let’s face it, if you seek out a fan site for any show you are probably more interested in it than any of your friends or family, right?(!).
      So here you can celebrate, commiserate, question or whatever you need. Now of course, so long after the show ran it won’t be the sort of vibrant community it was back when it was new. But we’re still around. And it makes me happy to revisit these discussions from time to time.

  14. Neil Sandford says:

    Yeah I’m of the same opinion, I am enjoying it but sometimes ignorance is bliss

    I remember when s3 aired in the US, I was unable to watch it over here for quite a while, so I was reading the reviews on-line after each episode, then when it came to watching it, I was dreading it because of the attack from the fans, although there are some episodes I still will not watch after I’ve seen them a couple of times

    I loved the O.C. (JS) again, seen it many times, so you would think I would have been prepared for this show, I think he upt the angst in this one though, cruel.

    • I am guilty of catching gossip girl somewhat regularly during its run if for no other reason than I did not have a TV in my room and lost the battle with my sister to watch anything else. It kinda grew on me, JS is a talented writer no doubt but I maintain that he should have stepped down before season 3 started if he was going to let that show leak into Chuck. It wasn’t a teen drama and he turned it into one, I fear he may have thought Gossip Girl’s formula was what Chuck needed regarding drama, he was very wrong…

  15. Neil and Josh, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend the chapters of the Chuck Book that focus on S3.0: https://kellydeanjolley.com/the-chuck-book/

    It’s the most convincing defense of the season’s dynamics that I’ve seen. Like Dave, I hated the first half of S3, but I’m at least content with it after reading the book, as opposed to finding it inexcusable. I’m still not a fan, but I no longer feel that it represents a betrayal of the fundamental dynamics of the show. The general point relevant to this discussion is that we (and Sarah herself) are probably underestimating just how deeply hurt Sarah was by 3.01, and should cut her a little more slack.

    It’s also worth remembering that the live experience of Chuck was different than binge-watching it. A lot of the reason people hated it so much is because they’d finally seemed to be together after the fans had to watch them circle each other for two years. Watching that get taken away and then seeing those two be often outright cruel to each other was unbearable; I even stopped watching the show during that period.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d guess that if you’re watching them all fairly quickly, the half-season isn’t nearly as draining.

    • Neil Sandford says:

      Arthur

      Thanks so much for the info, I read it a few months ago actually.

      When I was searching for answers about where Sarah had decided to go at the end of 3×12, I came across his blog “Where is Sarah going” and then found the page for the book, very insightful and I will probably read it again soon.

      It’s funny but this is the blog which semi convinced me that she had decided on D.C. (before Casey turned up) until I get to the bottom of the page and I see Dave had contacted him and mentioned the photo, which I went back to look at and changed my decision (and I’m sticking with it).

      • Neil Sandford says:

        I’m just doing re-runs as I got the urge but I do tend to shy away from mask & FN but after reading the collective reviews of Fake Name and how important it is towards the outcome, I might pluck up the courage.

    • atcDave says:

      I am willing to accept the that the story, the intent, was about how deeply hurt Sarah was. I can understand that. I may object on some other character grounds; but the main objection has always been about the entertainment issue.

      And I think Arthur is largely correct about HOW we watched the show. For so many of us, at the end of S2 we FELT like we had seen a beautiful and epic screen romance unfold. Not to say that Charah would have looked like a mature couple any such, but the legitimate obstacles seem to have been overcome.
      Then the rug was pulled out from under. That most dreaded of television conventions, a reset. And all told, it took a full calendar year from when things first seemed ready to happen, until they did.
      So even if character actions maybe, barely, CAN be rationalized; the entertainment failure cannot be.

      • Spot on Dave. Entertainment failure was the bigger issue here. Largely because the couple we left at the end of season 2 was willing to give it a shot. What we got felt like the writers “shot the couple” it left an open wound that they continued to let fester. They were flawed as a couple but seeing them as a work in progress a year sooner would have been way better tv

      • I totally agree on the entertainment issue. I mean, I’m a big enough fan of the show that I’m still commenting on its blogs six years later, and S3.0 stopped ME from watching the show. Which is a shame because an episode like Fake Name was otherwise a pretty entertaining romp. For that matter, I still can’t watch a show like Legends of Tomorrow because it has Shaw’s face in it.

        Six years later, I’m not watching Chuck so much anymore, so it’s become more important to me that it’s a valid part of my favorite love story than entertaining.

        At no point do I recommend rewatching the Mask, however. Save yourself, Neil!

  16. Pingback: Open Comment Thread | Chuck This

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