Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Bo (5.10)

NBC Synopsis:   Chuck and Sarah must go to Vail on one last mission, where they get some help from Bo Derek; Jeff and Lester continue their mission.

Chuck This Ranking: 48
Dave’s Ranking: 20 lower

First Impressions: 5.10 Chuck vs Bo – First Reactions!

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs Bo (5.10) by Dave and Joe
Those Were the Days by Thinkling

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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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22 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Bo (5.10)

  1. Justin says:

    My favorite moments in this episode were Sarah being jealous of Chuck’s old crush on Bo Derek and Chuck and Sarah planning the future with them running a cyber security firm before Quinn screwed it all up.

    I do wonder how Morgan did all this stuff with Bo Derek during the events of the third episode.

  2. oldresorter says:

    Dave / others – if you have access to Hulu, give 11.22.63 a look. The scene in the hospital at the end of the 5th episode, about as good a lead man / lead lady scene as you could hope for, a moment comparable to chuck and morgan in the Beard ep – LOL. The basic premise, what if you could go back in time and keep Kennedy from being killed. I like this kind of story anyhow, but about 5-6 of the characters are really awesome – other than J Franco and the lead lady sarah Gadon, the guy from 7 days – Nick Searcy is awesome in this, as is his secretary. Even the guy playing Oswald is doing great in being mysterious, hard to figure, which given how odd the real life event is even yet today, makes for a great story. , I have not read the book, so I’m not sure how the story will play out.

  3. Certainly, there was some good humour in this episode, courtesy of Jeff and Lester, but I finished this rewatch with a deep sense of foreboding. I am struck again by Casey’s plea to Sarah to not put on the Intersect glasses. The alternative was death, or at the very least (and my view, an unlikely option), capture by Quinn’s men, yet Casey believed that the consequences of those glasses were essentially worse than those alternatives. I remember the first time watching the conclusion, intersected Sarah saving the day, with a fair degree of excitement and anticipation for how this would all work out in the next episodes. After a few more rewatches my main response was to the stupid stunt-casting of “Bo Derek” (first and last name always said together). Now, I just feel dread as Quinn’s introduction signals the final sequence of episodes and the ghastly removal of five years of personal development and precious memories from Sarah.

    • Wilf says:

      Yes, that kind of destroys, for me too, any good moments from this episode … and I didn’t really like the episode in any case.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah greater context really undermines this episode.

      • oldresorter says:

        this was a tough season:

        Morgansect – sort of a bad idea
        Lost all their money – bad – made them look really stupid
        Curse ep – bad, writers seemed to have run out of ideas
        Shaw ep – epically bad
        How stupid Chuck was in the Casey ep – bad
        Quinn – bad, I think most old women at the mall could beat the crap out of him
        Overlying spy story – kind of really amateur hour, and sort of a ‘small’ story
        Amnesia idea / execution – mind numbingly bad
        Payoff at the end – meh

      • atcDave says:

        On the other hand; Business Trip, Hack Off and Baby. Three terrific episodes.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m gonna chime in despite my better judgement saying don’t do it. I loved the last few episodes. I loved what they did because of what I saw. I think the best way I can explain it is to post two excerpts, basically the beginning and then the end, from my unpublished 5th of 3 posts on “Our Favorite Themes”

      This show is at its core about an epic romance and the two people who complete each other so marvelously.  In these last few episodes we see how far they are willing to go for each other.  We also see how each of them suffers when the other is pulled away and they are left to try to fill in those blanks and gaps alone.   And we see how much they’ve grown, to the point where they can not be pulled apart because they are only whole and complete when together.

      I think by now I have established a lot of what TPTB like to have in an ending.  They’ve had enough practice and they’ve tipped their hand sufficiently that we can expect Chuck to show his growth by a selfless act of love for Sarah, one that could potentially cost them their future together, and Sarah to show her growth by taking a leap of faith for Chuck.

      In addition this time we get to re-live the entire story of their romance culminating in what I consider the perfect coda to this marvelous piece.

      And yeah, the Sarah thing.

      We know Sarah Bartowski.  She embraces her family, loves openly, shares her emotions unabashedly, knows her dreams and desires and communicates them easily.   These are not memories.  These are learned behaviors just like her fighting skills.  When she needs them she will be able to rely on them, and when they are engaged, they will surface instinctively, just as she will block or counter-punch when someone swings a fist at her.  This is important to remember as we go forward.  Many fans say they killed Sarah Bartowski for the final arc.  I say it’s Sarah Bartowski calling the shots all the way to the beach, despite what Agent Sarah Walker thinks.

      One Magical Kiss

      You know, Morgan has this crazy idea.

      What is it?

      He thinks that, with one kiss you’ll remember everything.

      One magical kiss?

      Yeah. I know it’s…

       We know Sarah Bartowski.  She embraces her family, loves openly, shares emotions unabashedly, knows her dreams and desires and communicates them easily.

      Those aren’t memories, they are learned behaviors, they are her personality, they are who she is;  Despite what Agent Walker thinks.  And just as it happened with Morgan at the beginning of the season all that can come back in a flash, if she can just remember that that is who she is.

      Chuck, Kiss me.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree exactly about how the beach scene shows us Sarah Bartowski. Going back to my last full write up of the episode my complaint was we don’t see Sarah Bartowski UNTIL the last scene on the beach.
        At this point, I have no worries or qualms about the outcome or post series situation. But I’ll still never really enjoy the finale arc, it’s just not my sort of fun; too dark for too long.

        Obviously for so many viewers though, it’s lingering uncertainties about what comes next that formed a lot of insecurities or discontent. We all kept so busy playing therapist for so many months after the finale ran exactly for that reason (especially you, me, Thinkling, Joe, several regular guests… Interesting times…) I suspect we’ll get into some of that again as we get into the finale arc; it seems to be part of the show legacy as much as S2 was unifying and S3 was divisive.

        So you provided an excellent proof of Sarah’s condition at the end. We will likely re-hash it a few times over the next few weeks!

  4. thinkling says:

    In spite of the evil it portends, Bo has some awesome stuff, and Bo Derek was NOT part of the awesome. I hated that whole deal. However, Bo gives us the blueprint of the Bartowskis’ future, which Chuck captures in a drawing on the Bullet Train. And it’s all Sarah’s doing. This is truly awesome Sarah and Chuck-and-Sarah . Bo bookends Business Trip, when Chuck and Sarah start their journey toward normal in Ernest. In Baby, Chuck finds their dream house, and Sarah decides and declares in no uncertain terms that she wants to quit spying. In Kept Man, she dispatches her fear of babies, and now in Bo, Sarah comes up with the perfect plan for CI, including finding and designing the ideal space. They have found their normal. All that’s left is to pop the champaign. Of course it doesn’t end up that way … yet.

    Bo’s final scene also bookends the final scene of Business Trip. The undercurrents of evil that, in Business Trip, were threatening their normal life now, in Bo, erupt in a desperate showdown that forces Sarah into a disastrous choice. The final scene, again in spite of the horror we know will come, is a terrific Sarah scene, and the music is fantastic. I love the scene, even hating what’s coming.

    Did they set up this wonderful life only to cruelly rip it away? Or was it an anchorage, a place for their love to burrow and hold them through the coming storm … the future to which they are destined to return? I obviously prefer the latter and wrote Sarah vs Finding Herself based on exactly that. I’m not saying I like the final arc, though I’ve made peace with it perhaps more than most. I am saying that I really love the future life they painted for Chuck and Sarah, both the life itself and the fact that they gave it to us at all. It gives (Chuck and Sarah and us) a home to come back to in our post series imaginings.

    Extra bonuses of the episode include the whole Jeffster plot and the AU Buymore.

    • atcDave says:

      You know I am quite enthused about most of that point of view. When we look at this episode for its “blueprint for the future” it can actually be quite satisfying. That even continues now through about the mid-point of Bullet Train. But the problem, the really heavy baggage is, the end of Bullet Train until the end scene of the series. That’s essentially two entire episodes that are just no fun at all. Maybe if we just skipped the end from Bullet Train and grafted on the end from Goodbye it wouldn’t be such a burden!

      • thinkling says:

        Oh yeah. All that was an immensely heavy burden. No doubt. Just too much. BUT what if we had had the burden without the blueprint. The beautiful future built through S5 was like a north star to give us a hope and a destination at the end.

        I must be in a real glass-half-full mood, but I guess I think it’s better that they had something to lose, and therefore something real to regain, than to have had nothing to lose. That’s kind of the contrast at the end of Business Trip. Chuck and Sarah had a real life, something to lose. The Viper had nothing like that, and in the end when she died, she pretty much lost nothing. Now that’s tragic. Chuck and Sarah in the end, lost so much and therefore had something worth fighting to get back. By the end, even Sarah knew she had something worth fighting to get back (“I have to go find myself,” and “tell me our story.”).

      • atcDave says:

        I’m definitely glad they gave us what they did as far as planning for the future goes, and what you did with “Sarah vs Finding Herself” will always strike me as the logical, canon version of what comes next. In fact, your version makes the last beach scene enjoyable for me. I like it, and I KNOW what comes next.
        But the finale arc remains the sort of downer I can’t really sit through easily. Baby is the last episode I enjoy all the way through.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, the finale is still hard to sit through, not nearly as smile-inducing as Baby. Glad Finding Herself helps.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I never expected this to end with me smiling, though oddly it did, at the same time I was grabbing a Kleenex because of that pesky January pollen.

      Bittersweet was the perfect ending for this series because of what this family, the cast, crew, and fans, had endured to make the journey happen, only to go their separate ways in the end. But it was clear on the main point, what we shared, what we built, characters, cast, crew and fans, will never go away. We are permanent parts of each other’s lives, even if we visit less frequently, those bonds are always there.

      They needed to acknowledge that, for all of us.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously we heard from a number of viewers who loved that finale and even considered that end perfect.
        But as your last sentence suggests, that ending really didn’t show the love and unity in a very satisfying way for many of us.

        Of course Thinkling’s epilogue fills the gap pretty well for me. I much prefer something like that, or like Quistie’s finale chapter from Chuck vs the Sound of Music II. I would have loved an actual screen epilogue like those. More than “loved”, I feel poorer for not having seen it.
        Of course any end of a favorite show can leave us wishing it hadn’t ended. And I’ll always be pleased with the consolation that Chuck’s finale spawned SO MUCH excellent fan fiction. So maybe at this point it’s not that big of a deal anymore. But it is funny that the last scene itself is the only part of the Finale I care to re-watch.

  5. Martin Traynor says:

    There are certain episodes that I hate because of what does or does not happen between Chuck and Sarah. The whole first half of season 3 (with a few exceptions), the Cole eps. in season 2, and the last three of season 5, to name most of them.

    Now I know that there are a lot of great insights revealed in these episodes, a few good moments, and some tidbits about the characters, but I can’t stand to rewatch them enough to get those. I only know of them because of this board and fan fiction, where they are brought up (I must’ve missed them the first time through, choosing instead to focus on the angst). And that’s what I really hate about those types of episodes – the jewels that I miss.

    Unlike several of you here, I can’t stand the ending, and this is certainly the beginning of that ending. Yes, there are some moments, and some clues are dropped; hints are made, and outright truths shared, but it ALL gets swept away for me by the end. I’ve read some great thoughts by Thinkling and others, and like a drug, they make me feel better for a little while. But then the “ugh” returns, and I need my next fix.

    It’s so hard for me to enjoy much of the series because of this arc. I’m even starting to favor more the FF that delves into alternate universes or picks up in earlier seasons, whereas before I craved those post-finale efforts to give me hope in what happens to the characters.

    I don’t mean to taint the waters, but just wanted to get that off my chest. I’ll try to bring the joy with my next post!

    • anthropocene says:

      You were not alone in your preferences, Martin. 😦

    • atcDave says:

      Martin a lot of viewers struggle with this. As I mentioned above, for six months after the show ended it felt like this was a group therapy site. So many fans were distraught, it really was amazing.
      I really don’t care to re-watch the finale myself anymore either. Even though I can deconstruct all the elements, and I honestly believe all was well in the end; it just wasn’t fun to watch. It certainly wasn’t the legacy I would have wanted for this show, for these characters. Even more, it’s left me deeply cynical about how television is written and about the intentions and abilities of many writers and show runners. So in many ways this end was damaging for my whole relationship with television.

  6. anthropocene says:

    I wish one of the big villains from Season 1 or 2 had returned to be the big baddie in Season 5. But if if had to be Quinn, I wish we’d had some sighting of him earlier. And the silly Morgansect flashback and Bo Derek dalliance ate up precious screen time that could have been used to give Quinn’s villainy more heft, or give more time to Chuck and Sarah’s final journey of loss and recovery.

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