Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Baby (5.08)

NBC Synopsis: SARAH’S PAST COMES BACK TO HAUNT HER AND THREATENS THOSE CLOSEST TO HER — CHERYL LADD AND TIM DEKAY GUEST STAR — Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) is forced to confront a secret from her past and feels she must do so alone, while Chuck (Zachary Levi) urges her to let him help. When Sarah encounters her original handler, Kieran Ryker (guest star Tim Dekay, “White Collar”), she fears that he will harm those closest to her, including her mom (guest star Cheryl Ladd, “Las Vegas”).

Chuck This Ranking: 8
Dave’s Ranking: 3

First Impressions: Chuck vs The Baby

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Baby (5.08) by Dave and Joe
Oh Baby, What An Episode! by Joe
Sarah: Then and Now… by Thinkling

Alternatives: Season Five Alternatives: Zoom to Baby by Dave

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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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32 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Baby (5.08)

  1. Martin Traynor says:

    Last great episode of the series. We finally get to meet Sarah’s mom, get some good back story (even though the timeline may be a bit hinky) on Sarah, see her grow exponentially in the “lone wolf” department by the near end, and have a nice wrap-up at the end with the entire group (sans Gertrude), and even get a nice Morgan/Alex reunion.

    Series should have ended here. As far as I’m concerned, it did.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Martin. Terrific episode and an awesome ending to our favorite series!

    • anthropocene says:

      I’m fine with the idea of throwing one more huge challenge at Chuck and Sarah and company at the end. Especially since “Baby” ended so sweetly. That sort of “gotcha” was always par for the series. I only wish it had been better plotted and, of course, better concluded.

      • atcDave says:

        I never wanted a “gotcha” for the end. One last epic adventure would have been fine, but I need a complete resolution.

      • anthropocene says:

        Until the end of S5 the “gotchas” were fairly well resolved. Only the last one left fans hanging.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree with that.

      • I think that this was the first time I watched Baby and tried to imagine it as the final episode in the series. It works very well indeed. The only hesitation in saying I wished they had stopped here is that, of course, I wanted more Chuck. Hey, with Graham’s brief appearance assigning Sarah to Chuck, we even had a “bookend” element to this episode, too. But, I suppose that Ernie might say that ending at Baby would not have been a proper conclusion to the Hero’s Journey. I try and try to appreciate what we got in season 5, as I have done reasonably successfully in all the previous seasons, but these last few episodes remind me that I remain rather dissatisfied with how the series ended. They also make me appreciate once again the generous contributions made by the fanfiction writers who took Sarah and Chuck just a little further on the journey. I’m glad to see comments posted by two of my favourites in that august group: anthropocene and Angus Macnab.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree exactly Russ. I still always wish for more; but Baby is my ideal ending. The last scene is a perfect resolution to me.

      • anthropocene says:

        You are too kind, Russ! Your great reviews and encouragement played a big role in my “s6” adventure. I still have the “final arc” mostly plotted in my head and I’m still working on the writer’s block….

  2. oldresorter says:

    8 seems about right for me to in hindsight. Dave has anyone commented about an uptick in fan fiction readings. I’ve had more favoriting and following in the past 6 weeks or so, than probably the year prior?

    I liked the sArah backstory stuff. I don’t need it to be perfect, to still be fun. If I ever write my next fan fiction, my story will start in that office with Graham and Sarah.

    The last two ‘fluff’y’ scenes with the family & then in the ‘red door’ house, and the sister story were all really good. Some of chuck at it’s best for my taste.

    Three things really ticked me off about his ep though. First, yet again Sarah going off on her own. Second, how dumb Chuck and Sarah were in general, and specifically, letting the bug plant work. And third, the fight scene at Sarah’s mom’s house was epically poorly done productions wise, I realize the budget was low, but I’m not so sure a couple of guys with a cell phone and ten of their friends couldn’t do better.

    But still, 8th best.

    • atcDave says:

      I have noticed a lot of use of our fan fiction links here recently, perhaps someone is working through a lot of it?
      I have noticed a little more activity in terms of what’s being written. I’m finding something to read almost every day, it seems like last summer was more like once a week. Of course I’m also seeing even more that I’m not interested in, I’m not sure why that is at all.

      • Martin Traynor says:

        I know I’m reading way more FF than I’m watching Chuck. Glad to hear there’s more of it to read.

      • atcDave says:

        not a whole lot! Just a little better than it was. There are maybe a half dozen on going stories I’m currently following. WvonB and Wade1978 are very consistently good.

  3. Angus Macnab says:

    Sarah’s counterpoint to Chuck’s family curse. Chuck accepted her rogue mission a lot better than she did his. But, then again, we’re talkin’ about a Sarah. And Chuck always handled her with an uncommon amount of patience… and (justified) fear.

    • atcDave says:

      I think the biggest difference is just that we SAW Sarah learn her lesson, she apologized and read him in.
      Chuck only said he had learned. Well that and the whole whiny neurotic thing…

      • Martin says:

        To me, the biggest difference was that Sarah should have known better by now. With Chuck, I almost can see it as a huge step up in his confidence and abilities. I know I’m stretching here, but season 1/2 Chuck wouldn’t sneeze without backup from Casey or Sarah.

        Here (in Curse, rather), he is trying to protect everyone and confident enough to attempt it on his own. Stupid? Royally. But it shows growth on some level (maybe?). Or maybe I’m just playing devil’s advocate. I don’t know, it’s still early.

  4. Justin says:

    I wasn’t a fan of Sarah initially keeping Chuck in the dark about what she was doing. I rather she had let him in on it and them dealing with the situation together from the start. But I admire Chuck’s patience with Sarah’s secrecy. It’s a sign of maturity on his part and, on some level, he owed Sarah for putting up with him going rogue in vs. the Curse.

    The scene between Chuck and Sarah at the end of the episode was perfect with them taking charge of their future, united as a team, and making their mark on a home that may be theirs one day. A beautiful moment that makes me wish that was the end of the series, leaving us with a confident Chuck free of the Intersect which he no longer needs and a Sarah who’ve taken on her past and won with an empowered sense of clarity.

    • atcDave says:

      In principle I don’t like secrets, but I was okay with the idea Sarah was worried about her Mom and Molly (even though she trusts Chuck, it’s sort of a “loose lips” thing. The more times the story is told the less control she has over it).
      But absolutely the end was terrific. One of the series’ very best and a wonderful way to end.

      • Martin Traynor says:

        Agreed on the end (and not liking secrets). But this end found everyone in a good place and nothing but hope and positive potential upcoming.

        It’s funny, but the actual series end was pretty great for everyone except for Chuck and Sarah. One could argue it was ok for them, but the fact that you’d have to make the case or argue it means it wasn’t. At least to me.

        I would have liked to see Sarah’s mom in the last episode. To see her interact with the Frost Queen would have been oodles of fun. Especially given the circumstances.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree with all of that Martin.
        I think that’s partly why so many post series stories feature Emma, she’s a big part of bringing out Sarah’s warmth and humanity.

  5. Jenny says:

    This is my series finale. I actually watch Kept Man too, but watch that and Baby in reverse order. The continuity isn’t too much of an issue, since Jeff and Lester aren’t in Baby.

    BTW, are you guys planning on another rewatch this summer? Or maybe planning to wait until the 10th anniversary in September 2017? I was thinking of doing a rewatch then, and was wondering if any other Chuck fans were going to do the same.

    • atcDave says:

      That sounds like an excellent plan Jenny! Kept Man really doesn’t do any harm to characters or continuity, it just fails to inspire in quite the same way Baby does.

      We really haven’t discussed anything further. With just about a month of regular posts left, there will probably be an overview and then a break. We don’t plan on going away, but there isn’t much else “new” to do at this point either.
      Fall of 2017 sounds like an excellent idea for starting another full re-watch. Obviously we’ll change plans right away if anything meaningful happens (movie, mini-series, etc) but for now things are pretty vague.

      • Jenny says:

        Thanks for the reply. I’ve been hoping for a Netflix miniseries Chuck revival, since TV revivals are so popular these days. Adam Baldwin is the only Chuck actor with a regular series role and nobody from the Chuck cast has been announced for a pilot so far. I hope they can do something for the 10th anniversary of the pilot (or 5th anniversary of the finale).

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I think we’re all holding our breath for something good to happen.

      • anthropocene says:

        You could have an occasional guest blog post.

      • atcDave says:

        Do you want to write something?
        If you’ve got an idea let’s discuss it off the boards (via PM or e-mail; I usually answer “PlaneDave” or ff PMs faster than “ChuckThis”).

      • anthropocene says:

        Just did, via FF PM.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s been an hour and it hasn’t come through. I know the site was having problems earlier today.

  6. noblz says:

    Baby is one of 2 episodes from season 5 that made my top 10 (29) episodes, the other being Hack Off.

    What is there not to like about this. Sarah displays her very strong drive to protect, she protects Molly as fiercely as she protects Chuck. Imagine if the show had continued and Sarah would have had her own kids…oh my.

    I liked how Sarah, ultimately, rather meekly accepts that she should have trusted Chuck and shares with him. Plus Sarah is an absolute bad-ass taking out 11 in Budapest ( the team record by the way, Chuck had 10 in Moscow and Casey had 9, or 8 depending on how you count, in England). Plus the final scenes were just so mushy my truck would probably get stuck in them.

    I’m not sure if this is better than Hack off to me, but definitely those two are the best of season 5. The ranking is OK by me since I have trouble trying to differentiate among my top 10(29) anyway.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I absolutely love the carnage Sarah causes in the first few minutes. You do NOT want to be on her bad side…

  7. Wilf says:

    Baby is my go-to episode when I decide to watch something out of Season 5, and it is high on my list over all seasons. It has so much in it that I like, and very little that I dislike, once I, again, forgive Sarah for being so stupid as to go it alone once more. From bad-ass Sarah, to sweet moments with Chuck, I think it pretty much has it all.

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