Monday, February 08, 2010

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Mask": Night at the museum

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I'm ready for my big boy bike...
"So if I have to see you with someone else, it might as well be a hero." -Chuck
"What can I say? I have a type." -Sarah
"Chuck vs. the Mask" wasn't designed to be the last episode viewers would see for a few weeks (remember, the season was originally going to debut after the Olympics), and as such doesn't have the jaw-dropping quality you sometimes get from mid-season finales. We get our first glimpse of The Ring's headquarters(*) and learn (not surprisingly) that they want Shaw dead, and we close with Chuck and Sarah moving into new relationships with other people, but there's nothing seismic about what happens. It's just a solid episode of "Chuck."

(*) Said HQ looking very much like the Fulcrum digs we saw back in last season's "Chuck vs. the Predator," no? I'd been assuming that the two groups are unconnected - that Fulcrum basically died with Ted Roark, and that The Ring has its own agenda and intel. Are we supposed to assume, based on the similar design, that Fulcrum is as much a Fulcrum splinter group as Fulcrum was a CIA splinter? Or just that the "Chuck" production design team really digs this look?

But while I enjoy a good cliffhanger as much as the next guy, the actual good ones have been in short supply around television as more and more shows have turned to them leading into long hiatuses. Too many shows do them just to do them, and they either screw up a good thing or get undone so quickly that there's very little point to them. What "Chuck" is doing is strong enough to keep me interested three weeks from now, even if this one didn't end with Shaw pulling off one of those "Mission: Impossible" masks and revealing himself to be Bryce Larkin's sister seeking revenge on the members of Operation Bartowski for her brother's death, or something equally surprising or weird.

And the way that "Chuck" works, odds are that one of Shaw or Hannah, if not both of them, will turn out to be too good to be true. Hannah could be another Lou from season one - the normal woman Chuck can't have because of his double life and his love for Sarah - or she could be another Jill. After last week's episode dealt with the rules for cultivating an asset, more than a few of you pointed out that Hannah's relationship with Chuck so far fits those rules to a T.

And Shaw could be another Bryce or Cole - the alpha male Chuck still can't quite be, but someone who's ultimately a good guy - or he could have a dark hidden agenda, including one where he's actually working for The Ring. On the one hand, the final scene of this episode suggests they want him dead; on the other, our first glimpse of Shaw (in "Chuck vs. the Three Words showed that General Beckman was very afraid for what he was going to do to Chuck, Sarah and Casey.

But here's the thing: as we get ready to play guessing games over the next three weeks, I have to say that I like these two relationships. And I say that as someone who thinks Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski have absurd chemistry together, and who got very frustrated at some of the shenanigans used at the start of the season to keep Chuck and Sarah apart. (And also as someone who usually grinds his teeth at any hint of a love quadrangle, or rhombus, or trapezoid.) Brandon Routh and, especially, Kristin Kreuk have fit very well into the show's world and tones, have clicked nicely with their respective co-stars, and have created plausible, interesting reasons why our hero and heroine might let their eyes wander. If Sarah has a type (which Shaw most certainly matches), then so does Chuck (which Hannah does, as well). Since I'm assuming one or both will wind up as a betrayer, I'm assuming/hoping that the writers will finally ditch the stall tactics before the season's out (and preferably by the end of the originally-planned 13 episodes), but at the moment I'm enjoying what they're giving us.

And speaking of Sarah's "hero" type, Chuck ironically has rarely matched it more than he does in "Chuck vs. the Mask," where he plays a much more active, decisive role in ensuring the success of the mission than he did when allegedly flying solo in "Chuck vs. First Class." He steps in when Shaw's compromised at the museum gala (and turns out to be a better catcher of falling objects than Shaw), and he comes up with the plan to both save Hannah and get the antidote. Yes, Shaw throws Sarah over his shoulder and busts out of Castle to ensure they can take the antidote in time, but Chuck does the metaphorical heavy lifting in this one, which was just as satisfying a mark in his spy growth chart as his willingness to burn Manoosh at the end of last week's episode.

This was also a bit of an old-school episode, with the Intersect 2.0 skills taking a week off in favor of Chuck using his computer talents (and Hannah's) and some old-fashioned ingenuity (plus a more traditional Intersect flash to identify the vase) to save the day. I worried when they introduced the kung fu cliffhanger to season two that the show would lose its ability to have Chuck be a hero while still being fundamentally Chuck, and so far, season three has managed to balance things out nicely. The talk of Chuck getting to operate solo seems premature - and surely, Fedak, Schwartz and company would never be dumb enough to try and ditch Sarah and Casey - but he's definitely getting much better at this, whether he's flashing on new skills or using his old ones.

Looking forward to what comes next in March.

Some other thoughts:

• Last week's episode was the closest we've come all season to having the entire cast all present at once, with only Big Mike missing. Mike's still absent in this one, along with Awesome and Jeffster.

• Poor Morgan. He called dibs on Hannah with Jeff and Lester, but never even thought Chuck would be his competition - even though it was Chuck who asked Morgan to get her the job. He and Ellie no longer seem nearly as hot on Chuck's spy scent as they were last week - and with Jeffster absent, we learn that their stalking powers weren't mighty enough to dig up anything on Chuck - but we're definitely heading towards a place where Morgan will be moving himself away from Chuck.

• Still waiting for a truly kick-ass Sarah fight scene to rival some stuff from season two (fighting Michael Clarke Duncan, beating on Nicole Richie in the showers, going at it with Smooth Lau in the sports car), but the sequence with Sarah fighting one of the goons (and running off a wall) while Chuck hung from the rig and Shaw and Hannah tried to out-hack each other was at least in the ballpark.

• This week in "Chuck" music: "Let's All Die" by Jack Penate (playing for much of the pre-credits sequence at the museum), Franz Ferdinand's "Can't Stop Feeling" (Chuck and Hannah, and Sarah and Shaw, pack up for their "mission" at the museum), and Matt Costa's "Astair" (Morgan and Ellie see Chuck and Hannah making out in the AV room).

• This week in "Chuck" pop culture references: the wire rig that Shaw used in the opening scene, and the gag where he tries (and in this case fails) to catch a falling object before it can hit the floor, is from the first Tom Cruise "Mission: Impossible." Chuck trying to find the right vase reminded me of Indiana Jones trying to figure out which cup was the Holy Grail (and, in a way, it would have been cooler if Chuck had figured it out without the Intersect's help). Anything else?

• Couple of notable guest stars this week, with Jim Piddock (a regular in the Christopher Guest movies) as the Luddite museum curator, and Henri Lubatti from (the rapping Bosnian terrorist from Showtime's underrated "Sleeper Cell," but also a very funny guest star on the final season of "The O.C." as Taylor's smarmy French husband) as the burned bad guy.

• Of course Casey takes his coffee black and bitter. Of course he does. And he's especially bitter this week that he can never blow stuff up. (I almost went with a "just as soon as I blow the hatch" intro just because I felt bad for the guy.) Adam Baldwin also did one of his most expressive grunts of the series when Casey recognized what was going on with Shaw and Sarah at the end.

• Should we take Hannah's "You saved my life, Chuck!" reaction at the end - when she had no way of knowing this - as our (relatively minor) "Chuck" Plot Hole of the Week, or as yet another sign she might be a baddie? I like Kreuk enough that I want to take the character at face value, but when she said that - and when the show skipped past the inevitable moment where Hannah stood up and noticed Chuck's ex-girlfriend was conveniently also at the museum - my eyebrows raised.

Again, show's off air for the rest of the month, returning on March 1 with "Chuck vs. the Fake Name." Earlier today, NBC announced finale dates for a bunch of its series, and "Chuck" season three will close with a two-hour finale (combining episodes 18 & 19) on Monday, May 24 from 8-10 p.m. Assuming I've done the math right, that's 11 episodes (counting 18 & 19 as one) airing over 13 Mondays, so we'll get a couple of repeats at some point (likely in early April, after the show's had a chance to find its post-Olympics sea legs, and before May sweeps begin).

What did everybody else think?

312 comments:

1 – 200 of 312   Newer›   Newest»
Greg said...

Is it just me, or is there any situation in this show that a warrant and a SWAT team wouldn't take care of?

jarodrussell said...

I'm getting tired of the "Chuck dates a brunette for a episodes" arc that pops up every season. Chuck's coming close to jumping the shark for me personally, and given that there's at least two more episodes with Kreuk, I'm not sure how long my patience will last.

Mel said...

Fulcrum was part of the Ring, one of the larger cells, it appears. Roark worked for the Ring and the HQ we saw last season was indeed Ring HQ.

Anonymous said...

sorry i think you are great Alan but check the NBC Chuck forums the show fans are in revolt. Your way off here Alan that was the worst episode ever they killed the characters. A comment for one poster on NBC was "The show runners finally killed Chuck..."

filmcricket said...

Another pop culture moment: Chuck saying "Look over there!" was pure Cameron Frye.

Very light on the laughs this episode, but lots of fun tension to make up for it. I did feel bad for Casey - not getting to blow stuff up, and also continuously having to put up with partners who can't keep their feelings to themselves. Ilsa needs to come back for a visit.

I was assuming the "you saved my life" as being part plot hole, part "lack of oxygen, not thinking clearly, and assuming that, since Chuck would know how to override the system, he got her out." It is interesting that she never asked him why he was there in the first place.

Chris Littmann said...

Alan, surprised you didn't mention the passing reference Chuck made to Shaw/Routh having a "Superman" quality. Could go in your pop culture references.

Mel T said...

I have to believe that Hannah is a Ring operative or has some sort of spy affiliation. When I found out that Kristin Kreuk was set to guest star, I immediately thought it made sense because she's got martial arts training. I just think the Show Runners would be foolish not to use that skill set.

Anne said...

Alan I was counting on you to not coddle the Chuck writers on the path they are taking with Hannah and Shaw. For anyone invested in the Chuck/Sarah relationship, which alot of rapid Chuck fans like myself are, tonight's episode failed Chuck and Sarah. It's one thing to have possible love interests enter the picture before they almost ran away together, but now they should be moving beyond that if the writers are going to have any credibility. Compared to other times when Sarah has been tempted, she is actually seeming interested in Shaw which just pours cold water on an heat for me with her and Chuck. It's romance writing 101. You need to keep your leads interested in each other even as other emotions come into play. I just went ewww for an hour and that was really disappointing because I never have that reaction to Chuck. I don't see Chuck and Sarah as anything worth investing in at this point which makes me not want to invest in Chuck.

nikki said...

To Anon@9:07

I'm saying this to you and all fans of Chuck. Despite the delay in getting Chuck and Sarah together, this is still the best show on TV. There is so much more that goes on overall that you really should just enjoy the entertainment of the show and not get so wrapped up in the relationship that you let it "ruin" the show for you.

I LOVE this show, it's my favorite, but at the end of the day it's just a show just enjoy it for what it is and sometimes isn't.

vgerland said...

Great review as alway. I really liked this episode. I hope both Shaw and Hannah end up just as they seem. I also hope they don't kill Shaw off. I would love if they leave it open for him to be a recurring character.

I feel that Chuck and Sarah still have things to learn and feelings to sort out before they can truly commit to one another and that Hannah and Shaw will help them learn those things and end up part of what puts them together in the end.

Moe said...

I wonder if the poor guy that got shot in the end, got to tell the Ring that Chuck was working at the Buy More in the Nerd Herd. But knowing Chuck, he probably didn't. The evil guys are usually stupid.

For the first time, I think ever, I can't agree with you on the romance portion. It was poorly executed this time. I just rolled my eyes just like I did when I was watching Smallville years ago. I wonder if it's because 2 people associated with Superman were involved hehe!

Poor Morgan tho, sniff ;(

Anonymous said...

I also grinned at the "Superman" comment.

I'm with you, Alan. I really liked this episode. I understand some fans may be frustrated that the old Chuck and Sarah may be gone, but I like that the characters are growing. There's lots of speculation about where all these plots COULD be going, but I'm just going to sit back and enjoy this episode for what it was.

Anonymous said...

Count me in with those who were extremely disappointed with the episode (probably the worst episode in series history). This season has gotten off to a very, very inconsistent start and I really hope things improve after the Olympics.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said...

I second Nikki's assessment that despite it's flaws, Chuck remains the one show of the week I just have to see. I think season three has been remarkably entertaining...

...that said, the Chuck/Sarah romance writers don't seem to have a clue what they're doing. I spent most of this episode like Casey: disgusted with them. I'm starting to sympathize with Casey more than the show's titular hero at this point.

For some reason, I can buy Chuck's whole brunette diversion of the season, but suddenly ice-cold Sarah likes getting her neck touched and has zero qualms with getting involved with her apparent boss? I agree with some of the other commentators that I'm just not invested in their romance any more.

Of course, the show's so much fun that this isn't a problem, but every time Chuck and Sarah share a scene at this point I just roll my eyes. Or more likely, grunt.

Anonymous said...

Nikki--if you remove a key element of a show--and the producers themselves have called Chuck and Sarah the heart of the show--you have a lifeless show. It doesn't work without all the cogs in the wheel running smoothly. Tonight the wheel fell off.

W Gladstone said...

That was probably my favourite episode of the season. It combined a lot of what made season 2 so good but at the same time it felt like a season 3 episode.

Like you I think the Sarah/Shaw & Chuck/Hannah relationships are believable. I'm sure there'll be loads of comment on this aspect. But apart from fairytales where do two people meet fall in love & live happily ever after. All relationships have bumps & who knows how the Chuck/Sarah thing plays out.

It was also great to see Ellie given more of a role & I thought the story with Morgan worked really well.

Minor correction. I assume that should read ‘that Fulcrum is as much a Ring splinter group as Fulcrum was a CIA splinter?’

Anonymous said...

Sarah's spy abilities are really questionable now. Romantic relationships with co-workers are obviously dangerous and against policy but now she has fallen for Bryce, Chuck, and Shaw. So clearly she just isn't a very good spy...

Also it is just insanely frustrating if she enters into a relationship with Shaw because then it just doesn't make sense why she avoided the relationship with Chuck for all those months.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, let me make three points:

1)If you're only watching the show for the chance of Chuck and Sarah getting together, you've spent more than two years missing an awful lot of other good stuff happening on this show.

2)I have seen many, many, many, many shows completely, 100% futz up the will-they-or-won't-they thing. I've become an expert at reading the signs for when it's being handled exactly right (The Office), when it's being bungled (Ed from season 2 on), and when it's somewhere in between - which is about where I'd put Chuck right now. They could screw this up, or they could be using Hannah and Shaw as the final barrier to the inevitable coupling, and/or the thing that actually causes them to get together. We shall see. Which leads me to...

3)Patience is a virtue with this kind of thing. I know you want it now-now-now-now-now, but there are, in fact, times, when the destination becomes more rewarding from a longer journey. To bring it back to The Office, I remember there were Jim & Pam fans ready to storm Greg Daniels' office early in season 3 when Jim was living in Stamford and flirting with Karen, and in the end virtually everyone agreed that the show ultimately nailed it with how, when and why it brought PB&J together. You may be mad now, but this particular configuration of the rhombus might wind up paying off wonderfully. (It could also be a trainwreck, but we're far from there at this point.)

Oh, and one more...

4)Again, this is a quite awesome show in a lot of areas, and if your only reason for watching is to see those two as a couple, well... I'm sorry you're not getting out of it what so many of us are.

Rachael said...

Man, there's a lot of angst on the internets about this one! I haven't seen it yet (I'm on the west coast) but now I'm curious!

Stacey said...

Buck up, hard-core shippers. No one's turned a mic pack back on and said "She said no, by the way."

The theme of the season is growth. And while a valid argument(s) can be made that another round of romantic rivals isn't necessary, I strongly suspect they'll be some lovely Chuck/Sarah scenes set to Bon Iver songs before we hit the 13-episode mark.

Build A Better Fan said...

Alan - "(Morgan and Sarah see Chuck and Hannah making out in the AV room)"

Heh, you called Ellie by the name of the person who plays her again.

Still enjoying the show, still thinking it's very solid. Didn't leave me wanting more as much as last week, but still good.

Oh, and re: your comment, I agree.
The shippers going nuts right now seem to be missing the larger character arcs that would make a Chuck-Sarah thing totally not fit right now. They passed by each other in Colonel/Ring, and the whole run-away-together thing was not the basis for anything satisfying. And they'll be coming back together -- is that not clear to anyone?

nick said...

Solid episode. Seems fairly clear to me that the writers are angling to get Chuck and Sarah together eventually. They're just taking their time getting there, which I'm fine with. Have some patience and enjoy everything else that's awesome about this show.

Carmichael Harold said...

I really enjoyed this episode, and agree with Alan that the dual relationships are at least a believable way to sustain tension between Chuck and Sarah (I also agree w/the season 3 of the Office comparison being potentially apt).

Chuck not meeting Sarah when they were going to run off together made sense from Chuck's perspective, and having a bit of a relationship rethink afterwards makes sense (to me) from both of their perspectives. To be honest, I'd have a bigger problem if they got over it so quickly. That's not to say that I'm worry-free on this point, but the writers have given me ample reason to trust them over the 2+ seasons.

By the way, Anon 9:28, I think the explanation is that Sarah and Chuck shouldn't have been dating b/c she was his protector and he her asset, which is a different relationship than Shaw and Sarah. In fact, Chuck becoming all grows up as a spy is, I think, a way to make Sarah and Chuck ending up together eventually a real possibility without them having to leave spyworld.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I want to clarify--Chuck is made up of many parts, but Chuck and Sarah has been called by the producers themselves the HEART of the show. I think you are misreading our negative posts on that aspect of the show as that we don't appreciate its other elements--we do. But without that crucial element working, the show loses ALOT of its appeal, because who Chuck and Sarah are to each other, how they treat each other, says alot about them as characters, and if we don't find them believable or honorable (and after tonight I don't) then, the rest of the show loses its shine. You wouldn't watch Seinfeld if you started to not like how the Seinfeld character acted. THEY are the stars of this show, with great support from Morgan, Ellie and Awesome. when they lose their appeal, so does the show. I don't think it's fair to say we are focusing on one minor portion of the show. It's been the main focus of the show be it directly or indirectly because Chuck and Sarah individually or together are a huge chunk of this show--the romantic elements AND the spy elements. Tonight they took a horrible turn toward them being not likeable characters. And I get it--you feel protective and don't want us to tune out, so you say we don't get it and we are missing alot of other fun stuff. I'm not missing it at all...love it all. But not loving what they did to the Chuck and Sarah relationship and there's no bringing this back around. It's not at all believable that they have any kind of deep feelings for one another if they are so willing to get involved with Shaw and Hannah and that boat has sailed.

Rachel said...

The problem isn't the Chuck and Sarah stuff. This episode was poorly executed and the three leads were very much out of character. That's what's got many fans unhappy.

Anonymous said...

I've watched (and loved) Chuck since the day it premiered, but I've been disappointed with this season. I don't particularly care what they do with Sarah and Chuck's relationship, but I want whatever they do to be well executed and at least somewhat believable. In previous seasons I've bought the obstacles they put in Chuck and Sarah's way...but not this season. I just seems so forced.

I also really think that the budget cuts NBC demanded have taken a toll. Production values are down from the seasons 1/2 and I really miss all the characters who have been left out of multiple episodes this season. No, I don't think that every character has to be in every episode, but I'd like to see a lot more of Awesome/Jeff/Lester/Mike than we've seen this year. These characters are part of what made Chuck so much fun over the past few years. Yes, the budget cuts were the price we had to pay to get another season of Chuck, and I'm glad that it's back, but that doesn't mean the cuts haven't negatively affected the quality of the show.

Ithiel said...

Alan,

Do you by chance know if season 3 will be released on iTunes and what the reasoning may be for not releasing it as of yet?

Also have you seen the movie The Canyon with Yvonne Strahovski? If so what are you thoughts on it? It's a little slow but she is still fantastic in it as she is in Chuck.

Anonymous said...

i guess some fans dig the shipping but others see the show as just a fun diversion. Never cared about the flimsy "premise", "plots", "ust". It's the tone and the "are we having fun yet!" attitude (hooray for party down). Oh, also the fanservice to be honest.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You wouldn't watch Seinfeld if you started to not like how the Seinfeld character acted.

Actually, the Seinfeld characters behaved progressively worse as human beings as that series went along, and the show actually got more entertaining as a result.

Though I see your point, even if that's a bad example of it. :)

Calogero Orr said...

I am surprised by the disappointment over the latest Chuck/Sarah hurdle. If the show hadn't had Chuck essentially abandon a perfect life with Sarah at the beginning of the season, which equates to the harshest of dumpings, there would be no show. And when someone is crushed as Sarah was it is only natural that she can't just let Chuck right back in. Since they are apart once more, you have to know the writers can't just throw them back together. As well as they can't have the Chuck/Sarah relationship continue to consist of stolen glances every episode. That device is tired and wouldn't be believable.

There is so much more to this show. Whereas everyone else seems so concerned with Chuck and Sarah, I'm more concerned with Chuck and Morgan. But just as assured I am that the inevitable Chuck/Sarah relationship will be handled well, I am just as excited to see what the show will do to resolve the tension between the best buds. The possibilities make me long for the rest of the season.

Please see that there is more to Chuck than the central romance.

KevinCalvin said...

I thought that your comments in the comments were great Alan! I disagree with your review, simply because I felt that the episode moved along at a pace that was too jarring. It seemed to me that some critical exposition was needed, but missing.

Anonymous said...

Alan said "Though I see your point, even if that's a bad example of it. :)"

LOL--Thanks Alan! All discourse is good discourse when it comes to TVland. You make good points as well.

Anonymous said...

Alan, is the misspelling of "musuem" intentional?

mcbf said...

I really enjoyed this episode, and I'm surprised at the intensity of the dislike some fans are feeling. I thought Chuck and Hannah had great chemistry, and while I can't deny that the "Chuck dates a brunette for a few episodes" arc has been done before, I'm enjoying Kristin Kreuk on the show.

Shaw and Sarah, though -- I'm having a tougher time with them. I buy them being attracted to one another, but I don't think it makes sense for someone with Shaw's backstory to go after Sarah so aggressively. He got his wife killed and told Sarah that falling in love with a spy was a mistake, and now he's nuzzling her neck on a mission after she's made it clear she wants to keep things professional? Seems like an abrupt about-face. On the flip side, Yvonne Strahovski is playing Sarah's conflict about her attraction to Shaw versus her continued feelings for Chuck really nicely. The way she smiled at Chuck when he took over as her partner in the mission spoke volumes.

Greg said...

I'm not really invested in Chuck and Sarah, but Shaw using his cover to hit on a subordinate - that's pretty inappropriate. And Sarah's OK with it?

Alan Sepinwall said...

And Sarah's OK with it?

Bryce and Cole could both be kind of slick and/or sleazy at times. Like Sarah says: she has a type.

Andy Hutchins said...

Pop culture: The building used museum was totally the same place used for the original Power Rangers series as Zordon and Alpha's command center. Internet sleuthing has led me to believe it's also been used in Star Trek and other shows, but I imagine that Chuck's showrunners know all that, right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, is the misspelling of "musuem" intentional?

Um... uh... not anymore!

AM said...

Few thoughts:
I agree with most: this was a very unsatisfying episode. The Hannah relationship is on a scale far below even the Jill saga as of now. The Jill/Chuck dynamic had a lot more meaning as this feels rushed and forced. If they are going to do something like this, it needed better build. I hope they know what they are doing.

You could definitely see the decrease in budget and production values in this episode. Not good and I'm a big fan of this show.

The Morgan character seems a lot more toned down and less enthusiastic this season. Not that many laughs. I don't know if this was planned but its visible.

JJ said...

WTB a Chuck episode without a tired retread plot please. The trapezoid thing is garbage. If we go from 3.02 to this and then back again - Sigh! Sarah was more honest with Shaw than she ever was with Chuck and they have known each other for 2+ years. Shaw has been around for what 5 minutes?

Andrew said...

Until Shaw and Sarah are locked up in a polar bear cage while Chuck is forced to perform spinal surgery, introducing alternative romantic interests for Chuck and/or Sarah isn't a problem. This was a well-constructed episode, even if The Ring operative was debriefed in a room that looked suspiciously like the future from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, where Bill and Ted met Clarence Clemons and the Three Most Important People in the World.

What is noticeable is in an episode like this one that does spend some time in the Buy More, the only denizens of BuyMoria we see are Morgan and Hannah. No Big Mike, Lester or Jeff. At home there's Ellie, but no Awesome. Hopefully the cast member cost cutting won't always be this obvious. Chuck vs. the Angel of Death didn't visit the Buy More at all and didn't suffer for it. Chuck vs. First Class was set in Spy Land and BuyMoria didn't have any Ellie or Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Boohoo, the writers aren't meeting my every demand.

Geez. It makes perfect sense that after the way things ended (Prague, etc.) they'd have to go through other people first.

Great episode, great recap. I really felt for Morgan.

Lisa said...

I don't have a problem with the way the relationships are going on this show. Far from it -- I think they make sense once you consider how far both Chuck and Sarah are from getting to where they should be as individuals and lovers.

My issue is with the writing overall, particularly of the women on this show. This episode is a case study on giving YS little or nothing to work with, and let's face it -- she's had three years of trouble making things work with Chuck and by the end of the episode she's accepting a shoulder rub from Shaw just because they shared a little poison together? Please. It's insulting. Sarah's radar is always just a bit off.

Also, I wish they were putting a little more thought into Ellie's path of discovery with Chuck. I guess my fantasy scene of Ellie flipping the "Tron" poster will never happen, but I really wish we didn't see her depending so much on Morgan. She sees him necking with a girl and suddenly all is well? Again, please. SL is also SO much better than the material they're giving her.

I will say that Kreuk is doing a GREAT job with Hannah, but that's the kind of character the writers excel at. She's doing the kind of job that should put her back in a series full-time and I hope she gets that chance.

I really hope they have something big waiting for us after the Olympics, because I am a little disappointed. Also, I read somewhere that the season finale is going to be a two-hour long closer. At the rate things are going, I really hope it's not going to be a two-hour series finale.

Anonymous said...

Shark jump.

1) Chuck's no longer the everyman, spy skillin' and slipstreaming from hottie #blonde to hottie #brunette. Also, there's a nasty hint of contempt that's crept into the character's dealing with anyone outside the Spyverse - given this, hard to care how he turns out.

2) Sarah - strong independent Sarah - now a mewling 'can't be complete without a guy' cliche.

3) Casey - not enough of

4) Morgan - the animate version of a 'kick me' sign

All that's left is for Shaw's wife to be still alive (having been turned by the Ring) and Chuck's long-missing mom to have been Shaw's wife's recruiter/Chuck's dad's handler/and now, head ring baddie-in-charge, and this trainwreck can end.

Anonymous said...

Man this show just jump the shark

i feel dirty after watching that and investing my time for the last few years. This season is a train wreck so chuck is going to be a spy alone. That sounds really a great show concept. Time to watch glee at least i know what i am getting.

we now see what josh said they will sort the relationship out its over and so is this show

better things to watch on tv

Pamela Jaye said...

I just want to say that I like Hannah cause she is a socially ep and very pretty... nerd.

And at one point, I said, oh no! Sophie's choice!
and at one point Baylink & I said "but that's not important right now"

OldDarth said...

A good episode except for the last 10 minutes starting with the framing shot of Shaw and Sarah together and Chuck and Hannah.

If the show wants to mix things up I have no problem with that. There is a story telling requirement that needs to be filled here. If a show is going to dramatize an ongoing relationship that puts 2 seasons of emotional baggage on the two romantic leads then switching them up requires a buildup to doing so. A few minutes of screen time together between Sarah and Shaw are simply not enough.

The proof is in the last Castle scene where not just Chuck and Sarah but Casey all acting out of character. That is what happens when a change in story direction is not handled properly.

The issue here has nothing to do with the relationship. It is about telling a story honestly. The show did not so they had to have the characters act out of character to push the new direction through.

Sad because the rest of the episode was pretty entertaining.

This is a low point for the series right beside the sweeping of the Mauser shooting under the rug.

JT said...

The inconsistencies on this show are really starting to annoy me. Okay, so last week Casey probes the object through a secured container when the shaving cream explodes. This week, Agent Shaw just pokes and prods at the mask at will? If Chuck flashed on the vase to find the vial, why didn't he flash on the mask to reveal the weapon inside? Why did the Ring guy keep breaking the vases? It's a vase - just freaking look inside the thing. When the gas is triggered, the room shuts down? No emergency exhaust system? (Not that it would have done much after exposure, but still.) What - NO ONE noticed the hatch in the floor of the Buy More room or ever bothered to open it? If it was locked, then why wouldn't a manager say, "Hmmm... I don't have a key for that... where does that door lead to?" Especially considering the last Buy More manager (forgot his name - the guy who died) was such a stickler, you would think he'd be nosy about that as well as Chuck and Casey's constant absences. Ugh. And don't even get me started on the stupid love stories. I have turned into Casey! I'm just grunting at everything now.

Brandy said...

I'm not a Chuck and Sarah shipper (it feels so inevitable that I have a hard time caring. It'll happen so I'm not stressed about it)

But the tantalizing idea of Jeffster stalking Chuck was so exciting last week and they don't even make an appearance this week? Sad.

I quite like Hannah and I don't mind the other guy but I need more Casey time.

Nathan said...

I would imagine that Shaw has a agenda at work as far as Sarah is concerned and at this point I'm still standing by my Hannah-is-working-for-Shaw theory. I do think as a character Sarah is falling into a another work relationship too easily and I have to wonder if she is working some kind of double cross or as-yet-unrevealed-angle as well.
All that said, yeah I think the whole point of Shaw/Hannah is to really get Chuck & Sarah together.
Tonight's episode was fun. It wasn't the greatest episode of "Chuck" but it certainly wasn't the worst. I'd agree that solid just about sums it up.

AJ said...

I didn't find this to be a great episode. There was a lot of awkward exposition by the characters (Shaw explaining that Sarah needs the treatment before he does and that he will be leaving the room) and weird things involved getting people from one place to another (Hannah not catching up to Chuck until inside the museum was convenient for the story; Chuck using the Castle trapdoor in the middle of BM hours?). Some of the lines were so cheesy (Sarah's neck comment and Hannah's "saved my life).

I can take a lot of plot holes and cliches on the show, but this one tested my limit. It seemed like the show ran out of time to refine the writing.

On the shipper front. I don't think Chuck and Sarah should be together at the moment. I like the angst. I also think that if they can't be together (national security is a highly important excuse for keeping them apart), they shouldn't not be with other people. They are two young, hot, single characters. They should get with other young, hot, single characters.

I'm going to walk away from the internet discussion over the next couple weeks. In the past, fervent fans have ruined shows for me long before show-runners have.

Pamela Jaye said...

I ate my Subway Subs, I plugged for Chuck wherever I could and I don't care what the writers are currently doing with Chuck and Sarah (in fact, I don't mind it - I just think Shaw is not listening to his "falling in love with spies" is a mistake speech) I am going to keep on watching the show that I fought to save (and beside(s) that - Scott is coming)

I season 3 of Enterprise, while some fans fought tooth and nail to save the show, we ran into a batch of fans threatening boycott cause the were unhappy shippers. I've endured extremely stupid shipping on Grey's Anatomy (Mer/Der on/off, Izzie/George, Izzie/Dead Denny) and I can hang in. I didn't fight to save a show to have it die from fleeing shippers, and also, I have faith (so far) in the writers.

And also, I just love the show.
Also it's great to see Chuck actually work with computers :-)

Pamela Jaye said...

oh, and I hope Hannah is not a spy or a plant but either a normal girl, or maybe an extremely weird twist, like Chuck's mother's daughter. (how old is she? when did mom leave? probably not possible but something off the wall like that. not like Jill - bad guy. or Lou - just wanders off. maybe bad boss hires her back and she must go. (to return sometime))

Krista said...

Gosh, so much hostility. I enjoyed this episode in itself, but I do question the pacing of the Shaw/Sarah subplot. I think it may have worked better for Shaw to admit he was hitting on Sarah, but Sarah react with a tad more detachment. I like the idea of the relationship, but feel it is happening too fast. Seems like the writers want Chuck and Sarah to be in parallel positions and this feels a little contrived. That said, I still enjoyed the episode alot. Considering the restricted budget this season, I think the Chuck team is doing a great job with very little.

In the end, I think Shaw will be bad and Hannah will be good. For some reason, I think Hannah may die and her death will be one consequence of being a spy that Chuck cannot deal with. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

You are dead-on with the Ed reference. I'd add Friends too where they took Ross and Rachel and made Ross pathetic and Rachel jump at every guy that walked by. That show was good despite and not because of them. It could have been better had the characters been more likeable. If this is played out well here, then great. If not, this is the start of the show's end and that's too bad because the show is great for many reasons and to be ruined by writers who may end up writing the OC meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith would be a real shame.

Build A Better Fan said...

"Said HQ looking very much like the Fulcrum digs we saw back in last season's "Chuck vs. the Predator," no? I'd been assuming that the two groups are unconnected - that Fulcrum basically died with Ted Roark, and that The Ring has its own agenda and intel. Are we supposed to assume, based on the similar design, that Fulcrum is as much a Fulcrum splinter group as Fulcrum was a CIA splinter? Or just that the "Chuck" production design team really digs this look?""

This is confusing. Per Bryce's warning as he was dying, Fulcrum is still around and is just one part of the Ring, so one would think that there are different parts of this overarching organization.
But agents of the Ring this season just call themselves agents of the Ring, not some intermediate organization like Fulcrum.

And now the five Ring elders are set up just like the five Fulcrum elders -- only with the Fulcrum logo on the floor being replaced by a Ring logo behind them.

Presumably the Fulcrum elders weren't involved in any of the melee at the end of season 2. So it's hard to say what's going on.
::::::::
I have to agree with some critics. The Sarah-Shaw thing was rushed. I can accept that she's not letting her feelings for Chuck get in the way, but I thought they'd build more before doing anything like that, and this is a strange turn of events for Shaw, whose history should at least give him pause.

And I was looking forward to Jeff and Lester stalking Chuck, but they kill that with just one line -- weak.

Pamela Jaye said...

I'd like to comment on Alan's shipper rebuttal by quoting Shonda Rhimes (who may or may not be right, but overall is)
"Happily ever after means the story's really over"

Some feel that putting the Meant to Be's together for good, would be great - and I agree, if it were the last season. How many of us really want this to be the last season? How about The Journey?

Some feel that doing so would kill the show - but that's just a Dave and Addie (?) misunderstanding. (who covered that - was it you, Alan?)

There is a lot to the show beyond the romance, and while it's a nice romance, I can wait and see it go through many seasons till it reaches a happy ending. There's a lot more going on here than just romance. And that stuff is fun too.

Do you want to watch Chuck and Sarah fight over what color the baby's room should be? or who should take out the trash? Happily ever after is not interesting. and often, it's not really happy either.

AI_03 said...

worst show ever. read the nbc boards alan. the problem isn't with the relationships...its with the OC-esque writing where the stars do emotional 180s within 30 freakin minutes of the same show!!!

unbelievable. i thought you wrote on Chuck well, but you're way off on this one. JS and JF messed this up big time.

Pamela Jaye said...

oh crap, roommie interrupted. meant to add. i'd be more worried about Casey and Sarah leaving Chuck, but that won't happen as they are the stars

Karen said...

Well, I don't read the NBC fan forums, so I don't know who's in revolt, but this fan most certainly isn't and none of the Chuck fans I know are. I agree with Alan: if all you're watching the show for is the Chuck/Sarah relationship you're not really there for the whole package.

I really liked this episode; it kept making me smile my happy smile throughout. Except for poor Morgan at the end; that was heartbreaking. He must feel like he's lost his best friend and his crush all at the same time, and what does that leave him?

I'm still very, very suspicious of Shaw, I confess. The look on his face as he called himself the safest person Sarah could be with wasn't encouraging. And for the mysterious Ring leader (heh--see what I did there?) to say that the same thing would happen to Shaw as happened to Vassilis isn't a dealbreaker for me either, as what happened to Vassilis was a Ring agent getting executed.

To return to Chuck/Sarah for a moment, I would point out that she's gotten involved with seemingly every single one of her partners, from Bryce to Chuck to Shaw, so that's not exactly an unbelievable progression. And for Chuck, who feels that Sarah is entirely out of his grasp now, what with Prague and all, and their latest discussion of why it can't work--what's he supposed to do when a beautiful woman who shares his interests throws herself at him? Geez, the guy's only human.

I agree 100% that Chuck was far more heroic tonight than Shaw was and I think Sarah recognized it--hence the very poignant exchange Alan's quoted at the top of this review.

I just loved this episode and while it didn't have a huge cliffhanger it felt like Morgan's heartbreak, Chuck and Sarah's new relationships, and the potential for Chuck to be going solo made for a very satisfying ending to break on.

Mel T said...

On Chuck and Sarah being the heart of the show...

For the record, I would like them to get together, but if they don't, they're still the heart of the show as long as they have these amazing scenes together. I thought the 'goodbye' scene of this episode in Castle with Chuck and Sarah was played spot especially by Yvonne Strahovski.

That the writers are trying to throw Chuck and Sarah a curveball isn't new. It is refreshing to see the actors really sell the jealousy, the uncertainty of what the other feels and the heartbreak of the situation. I think as long as Zach Levi and Yvonne Strahovski remain as strong as they have been, it won't be a huge issue.

Pamela Jaye said...

Alan, I want to clarify--Chuck is made up of many parts, but Chuck and Sarah has been called by the producers themselves the HEART of the show.

Hearts are a lovely thing, but they wouldn't be much good without brains and legs and arms and...


They are the heart. Great. I want to see ALL of the parts of the show work together and I forgot to mention that I really liked this ep. *My* heart was soothed when Chuck kissed Hannah and the other two did too. I didn't watch Smallville or a Superman movie, but I loved the Superman reference.

I just hope Hannah's exit is not a retread or a reset button like on House. I haven't watched the last 3 eps of House yet, btw. Maybe the reset was getting old.

Karen said...

I'm not sure why Alan should have to read the NBC forums--he's allowed to have his opinion, isn't he?

AI_03 said...

so true that everyone can and should have their opinion. merely pointing out that most of the uproar over the episode wasn't because of the love interests or new relationships per se...bu the way they were written. And that's MY opinion.

Matt said...

I don't quite know what people were expecting in terms of where the Chuck and Sarah relationship was heading after the end of last week? It is self evident that Chuck has become, a bit colder, and a bit darker. Sarah sees the same things happening with Chuck and is not happy about it. As a writer, presented with those circumstances the next step is almost always going to be for the two primary love interests to move apart some. It is not as if in moving apart they get paired with two brand new characters. Shaw and Hannah have been around on the show for a few episodes, are pretty well established as characters and provide perfectly plausible pairings for Chuck and Sarah. Chuck is still on his journey of discovery. finding out the type of person he is and what he is really capable of doing as a intelligence agent and as a person in general. That journey requires chuck to abandon his instincts to try and do the right thing by his friends and family at all times and acquiring the singular focus that tends to define the best in their fields, in chucks case spying. Sarah is clearly not a big fan of him right now. She still loves him, but would clearly prefer to wait for Chuck to strike a balance between his true nature and the darker aspects of human nature that the job requires. I don't know why this is suddenly a huge deal vis-a-vis the direction of the show. This move was telegraphed pretty clearly in Chuck versus the First Class.

I liked this episode quite a bit. It wasn't as good top to bottom as last weeks, but was still very, very good.

The last sequence pretty much sealed it in my mind that Morgan will discover Chuck's secret, not Ellie. The scale of deception that living a double life requires is infinitely more complex than the deception required to keep a girl friend separate from your family and friends. The scales don't match up at all, but Ellie buys completely that Chuck just has a new girlfriend and kept her from Ellie? She can't be that stupid. And Chuck has been honest with her about dating for the most part, even with jill who Ellie hates. Sarah Lancaster has really been sidelined as of late. In this episode she reminded me of Penny from the Big Bang Theory Pilot.

KevinCalvin said...

@Pamela Jaye

First off: I don't think that I would take storytelling advice from Shonda Rhimes. If anything, her shows are living proof of what happens when you marry yourself to eternal relationship discord.

The Office most notably showed that WT/WT can end and the show can go on fine. Arguably the last season of Scrubs did as well, with JD and Elliot, since it happened early in the season and didn't hurt the show by making it about the relationship. And I suppose Battlestar Galactica did this as well with Roslin and Adama.

Guess what all these have in common? They're about more than just the relationships. And so is Chuck. If the only source of conflict came from the relationship that would be one thing, but it doesn't. The show is driven by quite a few different dynamics.

You could literally cut every romantic moment out of this show, and it would still be fantastic. By providing closure to the Chuck/Sarah will they/won't they dynamic, you provide a point of climax in the show, and in order to keep a show interesting you need multiple points of climax.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of Chuck but I thought this episode was aweful. I felt that both Chuck and Sarah were acting out of character this episode. Ever since the start of this season, the whole Chuck/Sarah dynamic has been off. I kept hoping for their relationship to get on a better trajectory but I guess that will not happen in the near term. very dissappointing

hdawson said...

Count me in on the "not hysterically negative" side. Geez. The break between Chuck and Sarah (the Prague thing) would be completely ridiculous if it *didn't* have real consequences for their current relationship. And while I'd love for them to get together, I think that break was pretty "realistic" (as far as these things go for a tv show), and there's no way that situation can realistically be glossed over.

So, yes, they still both have feelings for each other, but too much happened (reciprocal rejections at various points) for them to just toss that all aside and happily hook up. They're adults, not teenagers, and I'd call foul pretty strongly if they were suddenly to forget all of that pain, feelings of betrayal, the real issues about the feasibility of their having a personal relationship that stem from their professional relationship, etc.

IMO, this season is not the same as last year, like I am not the same person as I was a year ago. C'est la vie and all that. But I still love this show, and have been enjoying this season and its story developments a lot.

Anonymous said...

I figured out where this episode lost me-the extended shot of Chuck and Hannah and Sarah and Shaw after Sarah and Shaw are rescued. The Chuck I have come to love would have run to Sarah..no other woman could have kept him from worrying about her and vice versa. And then the goodbye. To have them give each other support as they venture into new relationships shut me down on them for good. As for all the hostility directed at those of us who did not like this episode, your angry snarky comments directed at us won't change our mind. We directed our comments at the writers and procuders, not others who like the show as written tonight. You can't beat us into seeing it your way and you aren't going to make us feel stupid that we see tonight's episode as a disappointment after investing 2 years in these characters. It doesn't matter if they put them back together by episode 13..it won't be believable in the least. As for quoting Shondra Rhimes? She is just about the most arrogant, could care less what fans want show runner around.

Wolly and the Teev said...

Alan, you missed not one but TWO Airplane! references.

1) I have an epiphany/An epiphany, what is it?....

and

2) Why don't I ask Casey how he takes his coffee/Thanks for the coffee, black and bitter, just how I take it.

And the Indiana Jones reference was pretty great as well.

Pamela Jaye said...

I don't think it makes sense for someone with Shaw's backstory to go after Sarah so aggressively. He got his wife killed and told Sarah that falling in love with a spy was a mistake, and now he's nuzzling her neck on a mission after she's made it clear she wants to keep things professional?

yahoo! something (else) I can agree with. While we are at it, if he can't keep his word, control his heart, live up to his own point of view about spies falling in love, is he actually disciplined enough to *be* a spy? (much less a super spy?)

Also, Brava! to Calogero Orr. I forget what he/she said, but I very much agreed. (I just didn't want to post yet another post just to agree. but it was well put.)

And I thought the Indiana Jones part was the part where they were tyring to lift the masks.

Also I loved the comment about a future scene with a Bon Iver song.

It's hopeless. We stopped to eat dinner and I'm never going to catch up.

I need to watch Big Bang so that I can dare to look at Facebook.
(I'm just happy that no more episodes of Men of a Certain Age will air on the same nights as any Chuck eps - as far as I could count) Chuck takes all night.

Anonymous said...

All this romance OOC brouhaha is a ruse. We'll look back at this and laugh in the end because somethings is clearly off.

Jim said...

I would really love it if people would stop telling other people why they should be watching a show. I don't need to be lectured by Alan or other people that I am somehow wrong or shortchanging myself for watching it for the relationship. That is the reason I have been watching since Ep 1 season 1. If you watch it for other things good for you. Just don't tell me I am wrong for my reason.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase a favorite Roger Ebert criticism, there is no reason why Chuck and Sarah aren't together right now except that the writers need them not to be. It really makes no sense whatsoever, from the perspective of either one of them. I've seen stabs at "they need to grow," etc., but within the past few months each has decided to sacrifice his or her entire life--literally--out of love for the other.

And now they're making out with virtual strangers like they're 13. With no real motivation at all. Again, there's no reason, within the show's universe, why these people aren't together.

I wonder if Yvonne Strahovski was a bit embarrassed to play the last scenes tonight. It's not her fault, but they were so patently absurd, and such a departure from her character's behavior not just for 40+ episodes, *but from ten minutes before*, that I couldn't blame her if she was.

Schwartz has pulled this before. The OC became an entirely different, and worse, show in the blink of an eye. It could happen here too. It would be the height of irony if he really said everything that needed to be said the instant Chuck decided to upload Intersect 2.0, and that all the Subway drives and everything else kind of forced him to do something he wasn't ready or able to do. There's a reason all those acclaimed British series max out at about 30 episodes.

James said...

man what was that david foster wallace essay about tv and the unhealthy relationship w/ tv characters ppl can develop? in full force tonight - yikes. thought it was an ok ep, am still curious where it is going w/ shaw and hannah, am sorta hoping neither are bad though my first instinct was hannah was and now i think she isn't but shaw might be. could envision a scenario similar to what's sketched out above w/ shaw a mole that cons sarah and hannah a civilian that gets caught in the crossfire due to her closeness to chuck. can even more easily envision a scenario where hannah moves on because she can't deal w/ chuck's secrecy/weirdness w/ ex-gf issues and shaw and sarah get closer but he gets snuffed out in the finale ie. bryce larkin 2.0. either way 'spies can't allow themselves to fall in love!'
as for the show feeling off or not measuring up to last season 1) last season was really really superb, that's a pretty high bar and if it's not as consistent as it was last season i'd still say it's running nearly even w/ season one 2) (and this gets to the core of any problems w/ this season there have been for me) the budget cuts are really hurting the show - the cast being pared down and pretty much never all in the same episode really limits the show. the tone and balance chuck had last year hasn't been there this year week to week and i think it's more due to the show pretty much never being able to have all it's balls in the air at once rather than 'chuck and sarah still aren't together'.

Billy said...

If Shaw had that gun that shattered the glass doors like that, why didn't he just use it right at the beginning to escape? I guess for fear of the gas spreading?

cadfile said...

This episode definitely signals a certain path for the characters - namely Shaw and Sarah, Chuck and Hannah, and Morgan. It will be interesting how it goes for the rest the arc.

My only beef is with story arcs. I would like to see one or two stand alone shows just for a change up. YMMV.

I too have been a fan of shows ruined by "shippers". I just tend to tune them out. A good show needs to have all elements working. The Chuck/Sarah ship is moving along just fine. Someone mentioned Romance Novels 101 - well tell me one that has the main ships getting together on page 20? That is where we are at. If you feel that isn't fast enough write your own episodes and share them with others who feel that way too. This was what the 6th of 19 episodes?

I didn't feel any of the characters were out of character tonight. Shaw married a co-worker and got her killed so hitting on Sarah - not unexpected. Sarah has a type - Chuck happened to be different but now is seeming to be turning into a Bryce Larkin type and she is conflicted about that - she liked him for not being like Larkin. Chuck is a nerd playing the field as he wasn't ready to settle down yet and the whole Intersect thing isn't helping. Morgan is 2nd place to Chuck again. Ellie is oblivious - not stupid.

I do have a concern about being consistent in the plot and actions as someone pointed out already about one week using a special hood and this week not and what about the sudden trap door in the Buy More with no explanation - guess it cost too much to build and light the Yogurt stand this season?? Or maybe they are still building the Subway store.

Since this a TV show and is fiction I will let the show lead me along and if I feel shafted then I will stop watching. Right now I think things are fine in general.

Oh and Chuck won't be jumping the shark until Ted McGinley shows up or Sarah and Chuck have a baby

Jim said...

I agree with you Anon at 11:51 PM, February 08, 2010.

It's not that they did it because we knew this was coming but how they did it. You go from Sarah at the beginning of the episode to zip zip zing to the end and you go *what just happened?*. You go from the humorous jealously scene to *cya, we both have new playmates* break up scene and you go *what just happened?*.

Also, when did the humorless mask faced cyborg from the future replace the whiney Chuck of this season?

J said...

I am glad to see Chuck evolve (or to some people devolve). Either way, Chuck needed to move beyond his character traits from the previous two seasons. The change (which I will give the writers the benefit of the doubt) disturbs some Chuck purists, but it has to be done. Otherwise the show would become stale. The writers have proven to come up with some very good storylines and I am willing to see where it takes Chuck and us.

Something, which would be a great idea, is for the Ring to be focusing on Sarah instead of Chuck. Maybe they realize that she is as important to the Intersect as Chuck. The payoff would be that Chuck would have to rescue Sarah from the Ring.

Jim said...

"sudden trap door in the Buy More with no explanation"

The trap door has always been there. It has been used in a couple of episodes, in the Jill arc (Leader, Jill and Chuck went through) and in another episode Chuck, Sarah and Casey used it. Yvonne (Sarah) suffered a concussion in that ep when the trap door slammed her in the head as she was going up. So there are two entrances to Castle from the Buy More.

Allison DeWitt said...

I didn't see Alan's comments as a "lecture" but maybe that's me.

From my point of view, the relationship between Chuck and Sarah is just one element of the show . I feel a little like a kid who's distracted by shiny things, and the new relationships might be a tad fast, but they're "shiny"..as in interesting. They have chemistry together, as the new pairs. Chuck always looked buffoonish around Sarah, which could be cute but this shows a different side of his character. I lean toward hoping Hannah is not a secret evil-doer. I think she could be developed as another Herd member/spy.

And I still think the combination of the Nerd Herd environment that Chuck's a part of and arse-kicking Chuck is still brilliant.

Also..too many shows have been ruined by waasting time on keeping characters separated ("Ed", for one, as mentioned)..but maybe more lose the tension and interest in their plots by getting lazy, and settling for a stale "happy ending".

As was just mentioned, also... "Moonlighting" was infamous for that. I'll take msytery over a too tidy ending, myself.

Billiam said...

Put me in the camp that is enjoying both Hannah and Shaw. Now, once both those characters leave, it will be harder to justify keeping Sarah and Chuck apart (although they do have some baggage there: as seen in the premiere, he really did hurt her). Anyway, isn't outside love interests par for the course for most shows? I don't understand why people would get so angry by this storyline.

That being said, I wished we could have seen Jeffster stalking Chuck for an episode. Also there were a lot of plotholes here, I thought. let me know if any of these were explained, or if I missed something. When Shaw broke into the museum, why did the currator think the computer was malfunctioning? Why did Shaw have to bail on a mission that shouldn't have put him in the badguys line of sight? (Of course, the badguy did catch Chuck and Sarah, but in that capacity, it was obvious they were spies). What does Hannah think happened at the museum when she was locked in the vault? Why didn't the badguy tell the Ring that Shaw was working with another spy whose cover is a Nerd Herder? (Also, I believe that videotape of Chuck's exploits exist)

Anonymous said...

Thus ends the least subtle episode in the history of Chuck.

Anonymous said...

Seems everyone missed the bone that was thrown to the ship people--despite the interference of Shaw and Hannah, Chuck and Sarah got the job done in the first place.

And for the love of God, people, grammar.

Stephen said...

Remember when Lou from season 1 said..."It'd be a shame for the Chuck to make ya sick"...
well, it is a damn shame. There was nothing Chuck could do wrong in season 1. The writing was near spectacular and Levi's personality was literally seamless with our hero. Now, he literally has sickened me in this last episode. It's not just that he isn't WITH Sarah necessarily, but it's the way he acts about it suddenly. He's more robotic and cliche about romance than a reality tv show. The writing has put horrible constraints on the show that have sucked the life out of the original characters. You say, "I love Casey though", everyone? Well, if Chuck's personality goes down, so does everyone's. I've suffered an aversion toward every character now in season 3, and it's place squarely on the head of the writers.

I'm telling you all (if you're a purist of Chuck)... take Season 1 and some of Season 2... and live it and love it... then, just recreate an ending in your mind if you want... or just think of some of the profundity along with the fun times that the story had to offered...

Chuck is DEAD otherwise.

cruise ship said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jae said...

I would not be surprised at all if Hannah and Shaw were working together to bring this team down. Shaw's whole thing has been putting Chuck out in the field on his own, away from Casey and Sarah, understanding that Chuck is not really ready to be out on his own but pumping him up and making him think he can do it. And thats where Hannah comes in. I couldnt think of how Hannah would fit in but if you think about it, she fits in too perfectly. She is a beautiful former IT consultant who happens to be on a flight to Paris at the same time as Chuck (on a flight that Shaw booked), let alone sitting right next to one another. She happens to be out of a job and she happens to throw herself at Chuck without really knowing him outside of the fact that he's always around his ex-gf. By causing a diversion from Sarah, it makes it easier for Chuck to be on his own as a spy. Chuck on his own will be easier to take and throw underground with the Ring.
I think the whole thing with the rings that Shaw took out of the package were a facade, to show Sarah that he's a good guy deep inside. Shaw is a good agent, but I dont think he's that good that he can stay away from the Ring. He doesnt have the intersect. Thats been the key ingredient on keeping Casey, Sarah and Chuck alive and away from the Ring.
Granted, this could all be hogwash come the next few episodes. I've never been a big fan of the Winter Olympics, but damn it even more!!! I cant wait three weeks!!!!

jenmoon said...

It does suck that Jeffster-stalking didn't happen. Damn budget cuts.

I was surprised that neither Morgan nor Ellie found out about Chuck being a spy in this episode, I really thought they were going to go there. I'm assuming that Morgan will be the one who eventually finds out because (a) like Devon, he'll want to try to go on a spy mission, only being even more annoying, and (b) Ellie's role on this show is to play "the wife" and thus she can't do anything but vaguely worry about Chuck, so she can never be in on it. That said, I wish they'd both find out already, because it's a little ridiculous for them not to know.

Now, on to the shipping argument. I don't mind Chuck and Sarah gaining Paolos. There's spark and chemistry between Chuck and Hannah, it's adorable to watch, I totally buy that as a relationship, and I will be sad on the episode where she's inevitably revealed as a Ring spy. (Show, please surprise me on this one and have her NOT be a spy...but I'm not counting on it.)

On the other hand: Sarah has been flat and depressed all season, and she's really not even sparking with Shaw. Shaw barely has any more interest in her. We saw more of it in this episode, but frankly, I'm not buying that a girl who's having issues about being involved with another spy again and a guy who still feels guilty about his dead spy wife would remotely be in the mood to do this, even if they are both hot and if Sarah's trying to "move on." That just fell flat as a pancake to me and seemed not even halfhearted to pretend that they cared about each other emotionally or sexually.

Do love Brandon Routh on the show, though, other than the lack of ST issue. I dearly hope he isn't killed off and is recurring, because wowza, man candy. And I like his character, of course...

Stephen said...

And let me remind you all god darnit

Chuck became a spy b/c Bryce Larkin, his best friend (yeah... his true best friend) passed the baton to him. He did it to protect and love Sarah; to become a great man and a hero to her. The goal of the writing should be for Chuck to grow into a man with great courage and integrity, and to quell the threats to his and his loved ones freedom. That is the essence of the show: for him to grow, and to fight for what he values and his true love. Why did he say, "dad, I love her"... and "Sarah, I became a spy because... I love you..." only to fall for a nerdherder chick?
Wasn't the relationship with Sarah a bit more profound than that? Does he not recall that she left Bryce for him? The writers made Sarah overtly and irrationally angry over the whole prague,train station thing... (which was corny and contrived, by the way) just so they could push the plot in a direction that would extend their seasons to 4 or 5. There's no continuity, and the people have changed. And that's why, if you loved the earlier chuck, you feel nauseous and awkward while watching season 3.

mac35 said...

The Shaw/Sarah/Chuck/Hannah angle has and will be well covered so I thought I'd chime in with a different take:

This season, while great so far, has really shown how much the secondary and tertiary characters add. Having entire eps without some of them is noticeable and unfortunately, detracts a little bit from the overall quality. I know the reduced budget is the culprit here but I really hope that with the ratings trending better than last season and the rest of NBC still in such dire straights, that Chuck can go back to it's prior budgetary contraints next season (positive outlook!).

BigTed said...

I understand that the lovey-dovey stuff gets in the way of the spy stuff on this show sometimes, but it's annoying when these supposedly cool agents do things that are really unprofessional -- such as spending all that time hugging on the floor while, presumably, the bad guy was getting away. I guess they were just lucky that his own people were nice enough to take him out.

Nicole said...

I am rooting for Chuck and Sarah to ultimately get together, but I was fine with Hannah and Shaw being used as potential love interests, for now. I think the show did a good job introducing each character so I can see why Chuck would fall for Hannah or Sarah would like Shaw. The Sarah/Shaw does seem a little more forced than Chuck and Hannah, and I am not sure if that is actor chemistry or how Shaw was first brought in.

Ultimately, the show is more than just Chuck and Sarah, and I still managed to enjoy it. There are probably only a few more interruptions available to the Chuck and Sarah romance before it gets ridiculous, but for right now, this works.

What Chuck really needs is to hire Alex O'Loughlin as a love interest for Sarah (or Casey) and then Alan's blog will really explode.

MikeS said...

One small point of contention Alan. Sarah's fight in Chuck vs the Best Friend last season wasn't in a sports car, it was in a large sedan, if I recall correctly. I know, minor gripe, just sayin'...

Now, I think this was a solid episode over all. Every time it showed Chuck staring into Hannah's eyes, it looked like she was dangerously close to sporting the same evil grin that Jill put on last season after we found out she was fulcrum. I really am hoping this doesn't turn out to be the case.

I don't have a problem with Chuck and Sarah not being together, for a few episodes, or for the whole series. My enjoyment of the show isn't based on whether or not those two ever hook up.

But I am a little concerned if they break up the band. The best part of this show is the interaction between Chuck and Sarah and Casey when they are on assignment. While Chuck going solo wasn't bad on the trans-atlantic flight a few weeks ago, I like having the whole of Team Bartowski together.

Anonymous said...

Mac35, I agree, but with an additional rationale.

For the show's first two seasons, nearly every episode was divided to some extent between spy stuff and store stuff. As a mechanical matter, the show's 44 minutes were split into two shorter shows that, at times, were related only tangentially if at all.

Even looking at a 2-to-1 split in favor of the spy stuff--it was a lot closer to 50-50 many times--that's a third of a spy show these guys didn't have to write every week. Not so this season. It's nearly all spies. They're having to stretch themselves to write for 44 minutes on one story, and thus far they're not up to it.

dez said...

But the tantalizing idea of Jeffster stalking Chuck was so exciting last week and they don't even make an appearance this week? Sad

Very! I am bummed we didn't get to see some of that.

I don't understand why people think Ellie & Morgan seeing Chuck with a girl and being okay with that as an explanation is a problem, considering they thought he was sneaking around to play video games.

Liked the ep, don't mind the romance obstacles, am non-hysterical about the Chuck & Sarah obstacles (I like Hannah & Shaw).

Anonymous said...

everybody seems to think that chuck/hannah and sarah/ shaw are totally in love with each other. Its obvious that sarah and chuck still love each other and are not going to run off with their respective PLIs. And as far as Sarah goes letting Shaw get a little closer to her, she hasn't gotten laid in the entire show. Chuck fools around with every girl put in front of him (not that I blame him) but its not totally crazy that shes attracted to someone.

dez said...

@mac35, I like your way of thinking!

@Nicole--you, OTOH, are teh Evol ;-)

Rachael said...

O.k. now that I've watched the show ... I'm mostly just wondering what everyone's got their panties all up in a bunch about. No one could possibly have been surprised at the developments between Sarah/Shaw and Chuck/Hannah in this ep, could they? What I will agree with is that the way the developments between Sarah and Shaw played out definitely did seem a bit awkward and forced. Which shouldn't have been the case, since we all saw it coming a mile away. And during Chuck and Sarah's talk about their new love interests towards the end of the ep, it definitely did feel pretty weird that Sarah was already practically considering Shaw as her boyfriend when she was totally hating on him just earlier in the day (or the day before or whatever it was). ;-)

So yes I will definitely give this to the "shippers" - the writers could have played out that Shaw/Sarah storyline in a less clunky way. The way they wrote the similar storyline in the "Beefcake" episodes last season felt much more natural to me.

BUT with that said, the concept that Chuck and Sarah have still not found their way back to each other after the whole Prague incident is totally believable to me. They are clearly moving in different directions at this moment, as Alan has pointed out in the past, and so it doesn't make sense that they would get together at this point. I'm sure it will happen eventually people, don't worry. Oh and one other note is that I can totally understand Sarah having a "weak" moment and falling for the wrong guy after having had her heart broken by Chuck, and probably feeling somewhat depressed ever since.

Overall I thought this was a pretty decent ep, not my fave of the season or anything but still pretty good. Btw, here's my contribution to the plot hole of the week: Would a museum with such valuable artifacts and such an advanced security system to keep those artifacts safe, REALLY call up the Nerd Herd when they have an IT issue?? Lol ... wouldn't you think they'd have their own IT dudes??

Oh and I do agree with some of the other commenters that the whole, "Chuck, you're going to be going it alone soon" thing was pretty sudden and out of left field. Definitely feels to soon for that.

p.s. @Andrew - Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed the Bill and Ted reference LOL!

Chuck Bartowski said...

Wow. Are these CHUCK fans kidding?

There is no way that you "fans" (if you really should be called that now, after willing to so quickly dump the very show you're a "fan" of) could be talking like this. It's a VERY believable obstacle to be thrown in the way of Chuck and Sarah. I think it works immensely. It's not "shark-jumping"; it's just a case of your terrible impatience - which you all clearly need to work on, otherwise, life will beat you up even worse, let alone this fictional TV show. Especially if you're in a similar romantic entanglement too.

Gosh, these "Oh my gosh, this show sucks. I'm quitting it" fans are pathetic. Clearly you weren't true fans in the first place if you're willing to dump a FANTASTIC show once it doesn't go the way you want it to. Viewership better not drop.

Anyway, I'm really intrigued to see what's up next. I can't wait til March 1. Literally... I can't wait. I may have to find a time machine so I can see what happens next already!

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched yet, but I don't like Chuck and Sarah together, so I'm guessing I'll enjoy this episode a great deal when I watch! However when Sarah and Chuck are shoved down my throat I still find enjoyment in the show because its about more than a couple to me. Will be back after I watch.

Pamela Jaye said...

Also, there's a nasty hint of contempt that's crept into the character's dealing with anyone outside the Spyverse

I think I've noticed this, or soemthing like this, and been annoyed. I also worry when he is too sure that something will be a piece of cake - cause you never say things like that. but really, if he's not the warm hearted everyman that we loved, then I hope it's just a phase, as with Carter on ER and he will have time to learn from this mistake.

Rachael said...

@Anonymous said... And as far as Sarah goes letting Shaw get a little closer to her, she hasn't gotten laid in the entire show.

HA HA ... holy crap I hadn't thought about it, but you're right!! It's been 2 1/2 years for crap's sake, let the poor girl get some action!! Chuck got some action with Jill in S2, so, no fair!! ;-)

I think the commenter "Chuck Bartowski" above me hit the nail on the head about what rubs many people the wrong way about some shippers (I say "some" because I know that not ALL shippers are this way) - The main issue is not so much about the intense focus on the romance, the issue is that some of these fans are SO willing to DUMP the show they love so much after just one or two episodes that don't go their way. I always wonder how many of the folks who threaten to stop watching really do (I'm guessing and hoping not that many of them actually follow through on their threats) ... but anyone who would be that fickle about something they supposedly love is just ... I just can't relate.

If an entire season of your favorite show is not to your liking then that's totally understandable to give up on it, but after just one or two eps is pretty nuts. If that's the case then you're likely only punishing yourself, because chances are pretty good that you'll miss something great a couple eps down the road.

Xeddicus said...

Yeah, the relationship stuff with Chuck and Hannah is a bit contrived (I love you Sarah...Hi Hannah!"), but one meh episode hardly means the whole thing is off the tracks.

Chuck and Sarah had a few good scenes together, Casey was awesome as usual. Elli and Morgan were ok. Elli needs to be clued in, though.

The main problem is this episode being the last one before the break. Blah. Stupid Olympics.

smw said...

I totally agree with Rachael!
Just move on people. There will be a greater, better payoff down the road after this suffering.

Chad said...

I'm not a "shipper" by any means, as I certainly don't understand how the Chuck/Sarah thing is the only thing that matters to some viewers, but the growing reaction to the season's evolution so far is clearly a sign that many viewers are reaching the breaking point. I am not one of them, but I understand why others have reached it.

I (sort of) side with Alan on this one. Although I'm not sure they're doing everything right, the writers at least present a relatively plausible way of exploring the out-of-phase waves of Chuck and Sarah by introducing Shaw and Hannah. One thing that sold me on last week's episode was what Alan mentioned: exploring the reversal of roles of Chuck and Sarah so that they pass the midpoint. I think that is where this episode failed, however. Instead of exploring this further, what I see is Sarah falling for another spy. Yes, she has a type, but wouldn't it be more interesting if she began to fall for someone who wasn't a spy?

The show is so good at so many other things, though, I can't comprehend the serious backlash. In a strange way, it pleases me, though. It means people are very passionate about a show that either did or still does matter to them. That alone is something the people behind the show should be proud of.

I haven't made any decisions yet about this season, but there is no question that I'll be back in March.

Curasarion said...

I love the show and it was a well done episode. But, and that is the big but, the only reason the show has a third season is the rabid fans who loved the Sarah/Chuck relationship. This episode really hurts those very folks the show depends on.

I'm sure there are hidden plots and things may be quite different then what folks believe. I saw some points where the writers can use to twist the story so that what happened was part of a secret plan. As I said I liked it.

The question for Chuck is ratings and has this episode, right before a big break, caused a lot of folks to lose interest in the relationship between Chuck and Sarah and that would be very, very sad.

Lorrie said...

Is it just me, or are some of the comments about this episode approaching message-board level of crazy? They're amusing to read, but I really didn't expect that here.

Fun episode. Last week's episode was superior, but this week's was just fine. Very solid season so far.

Anonymous said...

Had to smile when Chuck used his mad Sesame Street skillz--"One of these things is not like the others." But Big Bang Theory gets the Monday night pop culture award for revealing Sheldon as a secret "Firefly" fan--and he did not say "Bazinga!" (Should he hate Fox more for canceling "Dollhouse" and leaving Summer Glau without a series gig again?)

Pamela Jaye said...

wait a minute - was the General in this ep? I can't remember at all.

(and can they cast her husband, Dr Phlox for an ep?)

Anonymous said...

To the producers of Chuck,

Now when the show comes back and you see a huge dip in the 11-17 demo, you'll know why.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge shipper, mostly because I know Chuck and Sarah will get together eventually. But the problem I had with this episode was the sudden and complete 180s pulled by the characters that were completely opposite of how they have been established to behave.

Sarah goes from being totally turned off by Shaw's advances to embracing them in the span of 10 minutes? And with absolutely nothing that could possibly have changed her mind? And Chuck suddenly goes from being jealous that Shaw is blatantly hitting on Sarah to totally fine that they're getting together? I would be totally cool with these love interest arcs if they at least kept the characters in their established molds. That didn't happen this episode.

I know that things will get back on the right track after the Olympics, I have faith. But I would not be at all surprised if there are a large chunk of viewers who never come back, and that is unfortunate. I'm just praying we don't see ratings in the 2.1 range after this, because that could doom the show.

Marquis said...

And let me remind you all god darnit

Chuck became a spy b/c Bryce Larkin, his best friend (yeah... his true best friend) passed the baton to him. He did it to protect and love Sarah; to become a great man and a hero to her. The goal of the writing should be for Chuck to grow into a man with great courage and integrity, and to quell the threats to his and his loved ones freedom. That is the essence of the show: for him to grow, and to fight for what he values and his true love. Why did he say, "dad, I love her"... and "Sarah, I became a spy because... I love you..." only to fall for a nerdherder chick?
Wasn't the relationship with Sarah a bit more profound than that? Does he not recall that she left Bryce for him? The writers made Sarah overtly and irrationally angry over the whole prague,train station thing... (which was corny and contrived, by the way) just so they could push the plot in a direction that would extend their seasons to 4 or 5. There's no continuity, and the people have changed. And that's why, if you loved the earlier chuck, you feel nauseous and awkward while watching season 3.


Well I hope the people who told Alan off tell you off for telling us how we should feel.

I loved earlier Chuck and I really liked this episode.

Of course Chuck loves Sarah, and part of loving someone means letting them go. (Do i think if this season hadn't been truncated this might have been played out a little slower where it's made a little more explicit that Sarah and/or Chuck feels like they can't be together right now? Yeah. bu this makes sense to me at the moment.)

This is what kills me. We know that BR and KK are temporary we know it's a stumbling block, so why are people threatening to quit the show and give away their DVD's over a stumbling block?

JS and CF know how the season will unfold, they know the major arcs of the main plot and the character plots. This is part of a bigger picture. It's not the same as Lou or Jill, similar, (i am amused as someone either here or on TWOP pointed out that every girl other than Sarah that Chuck's gotten involved with is a brunette.

Jill was the one he never got over, Lou was Chuck's desire to have a normal life. Hannah is something else.

You go back and watch that last scene between them again. It's clear for both of them that they would rather be with each other, but they both sort of feel they can't, so as the song goes.

If you can't be with the one you love Honey, love the one you're with.

I spologise if this post makes little sense but it's late and i wanted to say this stuff.

Marquis said...

The question for Chuck is ratings and has this episode, right before a big break, caused a lot of folks to lose interest in the relationship between Chuck and Sarah and that would be very, very sad.

Yeah that kinda worries me too.

Anonymous said...

Gotta admit one thing. After looking at the comments above and especially the NBC board, if TPTB intended to provoke a reaction, I think they succeeded!

Pamela Jaye said...

I loved when Hannah pulled the cable (smart girl), btw - except for, while she was possibly succeeding in disconnecting Casey, didn't she also disconnect herself from the network inside the museum which was controlling the doors? (and besides that, it looked like a serial cable - did the prop masters think an ethernet cable would be too small to see?

As for the comments on Shonda's ego - I don't disagree.

GREY'S SPOILERS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BEHIND.

But I think the Mer/Der waffling that peaked in season 4 has ended, the relationship has grown, and now they are married, and while they may disagree, neither is running away. (unfortunately, happily every after gives them less screen time, and I'd rather see them than Izzie)

I still think Izzie is an idiot (and anyone who calls her a fantastic surgeon (huh?) may have deserved to be thrown under a bus). The only reasonable relationship she ever had was with Alex,

and despite the complete loss of the PTSD storyline, I really liked Cristina's soliloquy about losing parts of herself, last week, to Owen. I like this relationship better than with Burke, even though I miss Burke for his gravitas. And the Chief has been an idiot far too often. I won't revisit the list.

What Shonda meant - I thought - was that without conflict, there is no story. If everyone is just happy, it's plain boring. If this show was based on something other than the relationships, it would be okay, but Grey's is not.

On the other hand, Chuck is based on a lot of things. So it could go either way. But if I had to watch scene after scene of Chuck and Sarah kissing and being happy together, I would find those scenes boring. (while I find a minute or so of Mer and Der doing similar stuff nice, simply cause I like to look at Ellen Pompeo. I *really* like her scenes with her blood relatives, though. They are the best, and I am sad that Ellis died.)

Pamela Jaye said...

I am yet again confused. Does (or did) Sarah love Chuck in a respectful way, or does she love him as a little boy that she has to protect? Can she both respect and love him? She did respect Bryce and that British Guy (can't remember how she felt about him romantically, but she didn't feel the need to protect him all the time)

Marquis said...

I am yet again confused. Does (or did) Sarah love Chuck in a respectful way, or does she love him as a little boy that she has to protect? Can she both respect and love him? She did respect Bryce and that British Guy (can't remember how she felt about him romantically, but she didn't feel the need to protect him all the time)

Pamela a bit of both actually. One of the things she likes about Chuck is that innocence about him, which is why she was so upset about the Manoosh situation.

Innocent is the one thing Sarah has never been, it's not all that odd for her to be attracted by it.

I think she is realising though she has to let Chuck find out who he is.

Right now Sarah believes they can't be together, whether it's because the Intersect needs him to be focused or whatever so she's made the decision to let him go, because ultimately it's what's best for him.

Anonymous said...

To say that the romance is only a part of the show can be quite misleading. Just look at comments about it...

Writers know this, and I'm willing to bet they will have a nice treat for us at the end of the road.

But I have to say Levi's portrayal of Chuck is becoming very annoying and cliche this season. At best, he can work his crooked smile into any situations.

Pamela Jaye said...

The main issue is not so much about the intense focus on the romance, the issue is that some of these fans are SO willing to DUMP the show they love so much after just one or two episodes that don't go their way.

and I'm fairly sure that I it wouldn't bother me nearly as much if it wasn't a show we Fought To Save.
If you all want to stop watching House or CSI or Bones or Grey's Anatomy, go ahead! But Chuck needs all the viewers it can get. *This* is what bothers me the most. Don't beg NBC to give you something and then, as soon as it's not going your way, run for the hills.
I promised NBC (who I don't like for any other reason at this point - save me, Lauren Graham!) that I would not only watch this show but do what the Jericho fans were asked to do - Get More Viewers.
That's more, not *fewer.*

I fought for the show cause I love the show (and, you know, maybe more Scott Bakula, but even when he was on, I sometimes *forgot* he was in the ep - I wasn't waiting for a scene of his, and was surprised when he popped up again. If you know how much of a fan of his I am, and for how long, you'd know this was a big thing - that I got so caught up in the show, *I forgot he was in it* when he wasn't in a scene). I still love the show. Alan caused me to go from liking the show to loving it (I still love Grey's more, and I don't love every show Alan loves). I want to keep seeing the show.
The ratings came up this season. Fans have been out there evangelizing the show, and they are actually getting people to watch it! Now we have a whole batch of fans threatening to leave if they don't get their way, can you see why I might find that frustrating?

Complain, be bored, but please, don't dump the show. We need the eyeballs. And honestly, I truly expect this will get better. I never saw the OC. I have no reason to mistrust the writers just yet.

And I liked the ep. I think it was Hannah and the focus on actually working on computers that made me like it so much. And maybe the Sophie's choice.

laurib said...

i have found the last few episodes frustrating, but not because sarah and chuck aren't together, even though i certainly hope they eventually are in a relationship. it has been frustrating because they're barely even working together or hanging out at all the past few episodes and i miss their interactions (not to mention the three leads working together). the "jealousy" scene was one of the better scenes this year. i just with they'd get the team back together, whether they're friends, colleagues or lovers instead of having everyone work independently.

Pamela Jaye said...

the only reason the show has a third season is the rabid fans who loved the Sarah/Chuck relationship.

the only reason?
so the fans who loved the show for any of a dozen other reasons, like Chuck is a nerd, awkward, but has a good heart, or Casey is funny, or the show is funny one minute and heartwarming the next - even Casey has a heart - or the loser sometimes saves the day, or they like action, adventure, comedy,spy shows, or Jeffster? all of the people who loved those parts of the show, and not the Chuck/Sarah love story - those people were *no part of the reason* that the show had a third season?

Would you like to try rewording that or should I just go to Subway and try to get my money back?

Better thought. Maybe I'll just actually go to sleep. (okay, don't everyone cheer at once)
(this must have been the reason I didn't read Trek BBS when Enterprise was on)

Marquis said...

Pamela please stop posting you keeping making good points i want to respond and add too.

I share your frustration. Part of of me wants to tell them to bugger off and read a harlequin if all they care about is the romance to the point where they can't enjoy the show without Chuck/Sarah, but i can't because i don't want to lose the show.

All these complaints about them acting OOC aren't really accurate.

Chuck was ready to let go of Hannah had Sarah told him to. This season is about Chuck growing up.

I think for him to do that successfully he needs to spend some time away from Sarah, and Sarah needs to stop seeing him as an asset and as a partner.

(Side note that little smile she gave when Chuck called her Partner gold)

Rahim said...

Was the 'system failure' sign a pop culture reference to LOST?

Abhimanyu said...

Well, I'm not saying this as a baying fanboy who is overly invested in the characters or anything but this episode is another sharp drop in a season that started strong but has been levelling off since. The whole Shaw and Sarah thing makes absolutely zero sense. Just a little while ago, Sarah was head over heels for Chuck and had no interest whatsoever in Shaw. One mission (and some very high school moves on Shaw's part) later, they're together??

And Chuck and Kreuk don't seem to have much chemistry together, honestly. The kissing scene looked terribly forced.

That's not even talking about the mission which was somewhat lame.

I know you cut the show a lot of slack, Alan, and I've been a big fan so far but...well...not doing so good right now, Chuck and co. It's going completely off the rails in terms of both plot and character logic.

And Sarah...as someone said up there...she's become what the TV Tropes people call 'faux action girl'. She gets into trouble, Superman jumps in to save the day and she's head over heels for him in an instant. It's a betrayal of the character.

I wouldn't have minded any of these developments had they been handled better.

Also, the Ring HQ scene reminded me SO much of Superman,Superman II's intro scenes with General Zod and his gang being tried by the Kryptonian court. Shoutout maybe?

Am hoping that making these criticisms isn't going to bump me automatically into the 'crazy shippers' crowd you guys keep referring to but if so...so be it!

Bruce said...

Early in the first Superman movie we see the high council(?) of Krypton pass judgment on Zod and sentence him to confinement in the phantom zone. I think this image is in several other Superman works as well. Anyway, the Ring HQ reminded me very much of that setting. Another one of the several Superman references in this episode?

compain87 said...

I just enjoyed seeing Henri Lubatti, made a great evil villian once again. I just finished watching Sleeper Cell(after Alan recommended the mini-series on his best of the decade). It's just too bad he couldn't give us a new rendition of "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo".

Good episode of Chuck

Anonymous said...

Unlike most people, the I'm not too upset about the Shaw/Sarah thing. That's a fling or rebound, which is understandable given that Sarah was willing to give everything up for Chuck and Chuck turned her down.

What annoys me is the inconsistencies in Chuck's character in this season. Chuck is supposed to be the good man, the moral compass of this enterprise. In the past 2 seasons, all sorts of bad circumstances and evil-doers have been thrown at him. But he does the right and honorable thing and comes out on top for the most part. And that's one of the main reasons that I think we as an audience likes him and a major reason Sarah loves him.

Last season in "The Ring" and this season in "The Three Words", Chuck openly professes his love for Sarah. And because of some obligation he feels, he crushes her dreams of being with him.

I think why a lot of fans are in open revolt is that the old Chuck would be trying to win Sarah back. This new Chuck, after an airplane ride is playing tongue hockey with the new hottie? What happened to the woman he "loves"?

If I want to watch a superspy procedural, I'd watch "Burn Notice" (which I love). But I think we all watch "Chuck" for a different reason. We watch it for the heart; for the warm if occasionally contentious relationships between the Buy More crew, between Sarah, Awesome, Morgan, Casey, and most of all between Chuck and Sarah. I find that this season that has been conspicuously lacking.

JJ said...

I've skimmed through the (many) comments left so far and I think a lot of the complainers should wait until the season is resolved in May before making the "shark jumping" claims. I'm actually really happy with how the show-runners are unfolding the story. The whole thing hasn't taken too big a hit from having a smaller budget and I think they're doing a great job of showing Chuck's transition to a spy.

A pairing between Chuck and Sarah at this point is kind of futile, as the two are in completely different points of development (Sarah as the experienced but world weary spy looking for a warm touch, Chuck trying to take his place as a man living a life of meaning). Hannah seems a better fit for him now, as Shaw strikes of a better fit for Sarah. However, you can see the resolution here coming a mile away. The seeds for the destruction of both relationships have already been planted. Eventually, if Chuck chooses to go all in on his life as a spy, Sarah will be the only person he could be with who will be able to support him while taking care of herself so he doesn't have to. Hannah is simply too much of a liability in his life of intrigue.

Beyond that, I think the show shouldn't be too afraid to shelf Buy More in the future. I was excited about the possibilities of this season as a real "game changer" and despite the fun factor of the Buy More, I would like to see the show focus more exclusively on Chuck's exploits as a spy. The Morgan story feels like another complete dead end and Ellie/Awesome, despite their connections with Chuck and Awesome's connection with the spy stuff, don't serve much of any purpose. The show needs to grow beyond them soon.

Joshua said...

I think the problem is that nobody expects this to lead anywhere. Kruek has what 1 or 2 episodes left and 5 or 6 for Routh. So at the end of the day we'll get grumpy jealous Chuck till Routh leaves. And then we get I can't love and protect him Sarah. The show just keeps spinning its wheels when comes to romance. Either move forward with them together or somehow show they'll only be friends and it will never work.

I want Chuck not the OC 2.0.

Kenrick said...

I watch Chuck casually, that is if I miss an episode here and there I don't mind too much.

Chuck is certainly a show where I have to suspend my disbelief... a lot. The missions are filled with plot holes, Chuck still has his Buy More job even though he's never around, the bad guys don't know who Chuck is, and now all this relationship stuff.

I consider Chuck light entertainment so I just usually go with it and enjoy the humor of the show, but I can certainly see why the "shippers" are "outraged" with current developments. I can see why Chuck would go for Hannah, after final rejection by Sarah (I think), but the Shaw and Sarah thing had my eyes rolling -- especially their little talk while they were poisoned. Yes, Sarah certainly has the right to go for other guys (and I have no qualms about the two being separated) but the Shaw and Sarah thing really came out of nowhere. You would only expect it because it's television and they pull that kinda stuff on you.

What really bugged me though is that Shaw was made out to be the consummate professional, a hardcore spy who supposedly learned his lesson about getting romantically involved with another spy, but it turns out he's this creepy dude who uses his cover to hit on Sarah.

And geeze what really compounded the issue was the painfully loooong closing scenes.

Ah, anyway. I don't really care that much. It was just fun to join the discussion :).

Anonymous said...

Now when the show comes back and you see a huge dip in the 11-17 demo, you'll know why.

Couldn't let this one pass. Is it because today's minors have ADD and entitlement (I Want What I Want When I Want And If I Don't Get It I'll Scream Bloody Murder) issues?

Sure seems like it. At least you don't suffer from the copious spelling and grammar fuckups of some of the 'shippers here. Jesus.

compain87 said...

I think the Chuck "Shippers" have jumped the shark.

I love how people are ripping on the relationship aspect of this show. This is Josh FREAKING Schwartz. I really am dubious of these people complaining about not wanting to watch another version of The OC, Have you even seen that show? It was Awesome!

I had no idea so many people were attached to The Chuck/Sarah relationship, they didn't even have an nickname that I'm aware of(may I suggest Charah). I think that relationship is like reason 73 of why I love this show, somewhere between Awesome's parents and Chuck's cheese ball addiction. As long as Casey is grunting I'm in.

I know we aren't supposed to talk about the previews but this is about the preview after "Chuck Vs. the three words" or one of the episodes after seeing Shaw. In that preview they showed Shaw and Sarah making out and it didn't look like cover. So how did the shippers not see this coming?

I'm just enjoying the fact that at least Hannah is asking about all the nerd herd service calls he has to go on, even if she is a spy it's about time. Hannah is more suspicious of chucks off site service calls than Morgan has been over the whole series. On that merit alone her character is worth it.

Remember in the first episodes of this season how we found out about the Prague situation? The narrative was always a flashback, because it occurred 6 months prior to the beginning of the season. I have to assume this was being established to remind the viewer that as it might feel fresh for the heartbroken Chuck it did happen a while ago.

The shippers also have forgotten the number one rule NEVER fall in love at the Jersey Shore! Oh wait wrong show...

Anonymous said...

Is it because today's minors have ADD and entitlement (I Want What I Want When I Want And If I Don't Get It I'll Scream Bloody Murder) issues?

It was meant to be sarcasm with the main target being angst-ridden teens with their team edwards and team jacob. the secondary joke being that tv shows are all about ratings in the 18-49 demo and no one cares about a possible boycott by the youngish shippers.

Definition of sarcasm from Mrs. Palin: if your position is that you are offended by certain words but don't have the balls to call them out then it's sarcasm.

Anyway, now that I had to explain the joke... and it wasn't that funny to begin with hence the reason I didn't indicate said sarcasm by adding a bazinga.

Rebecca said...

The waiting until the season is over suggestion doesn't work because they can bring Chuck and Sarah back together, but those of us who feel they trashed that realtionship last night aren't going to buy it. I'm amazed at all the saracasm and name calling going on. If you didn't like last night's episode you are a "shipper" with no sense at all, who wants what they want when they want it and has the attention span of a 17 year old? I don't think I fit into any of those categories. Taking characters in a direction that is not true to them, and that takes 2 years worth of foundation and disregards that doesn't mean I have no intelligence or taste or patience. I have loved this show for 2 seasons and have had faith that Chuck and Sarah would one day be happy and move beyond simple WTWT angst and onto couple-angst and was fine with the ride. Sure I wanted it to end eventually, but it's been fun, and I've been ok with it. That being said, this season has made me not like them as characters or a couple. And given that every promo for Chuck shows Sarah as the "one thing" that is driving Chuck, how do they expect me to feel about him or that relationship (both Chuck and Chuck/Sarah being at the core of the show clearly)when they haven't given me any reason to think they truly care about each other now, that Chuck and Sarah can so easily switch off each other yet again--that's not growth it's regression. It was too fast a shift, choppily done, with the biggest mistake being letting their connection become secondary to the newer interests in my opinion--that was done with the writing and the direction. It did not come through at all like it has in the past. But let us have our opinion and you Buy More fanatics (I could do with less not MORE) can have yours. Anyone who thinks the show is about BuyMore, Lester, Jeff, Morgan or even Ellie and Awesome are the ones who don't get it. But we can all like what we like. I'm not angry or irrational, just disappointed that that ride is over for me.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oy. Things have taken a turn for the ugly since I went to bed last night, so let me remind you of the commenting rules, specifically this one:

Rule #1: Be nice. This is an opinion blog, and a place where people can and should argue passionately for their point of view. But there's a difference between arguing with passion and arguing with hostility. If you can't find a way to express your viewpoint without insulting other commenters, or getting strident and self-righteous -- say, equating your opinion with fact, and deriding other people for not seeing the truth of your words -- then either tone down your words until they're more respectful to other people, or don't comment.

If things don't tone down, and soon, I'm going to start deleting comments, and the next step after that will be to shut down comments altogether, and then we can just wait until March 1 to talk about the show again.

Got me?

Bodie Broduas said...

The whole Hannah / Chuck thing wasn't at all forced IMO. But the Shaw / Sarah dynamic was a little rushed. The only thing I could see pushing it along (SaShaw) is the fact that they were poisoned, so maybe life is short. But even that was a little meh. I expected Sarah to brush off Shaw's attempt at a back rub, seeing as though she was cold to him at the museum.

It's not gonna ruin the show for me or anything, but that Shaw thing was really out of nowhere. Hannah and Chuck you could totally see coming (and not because she's a brunette).

Anonymous said...

snits, alan is right. even as i was explaining my mock remarks after being berated for having them interpreted straight, i realized i was being mean with my original comment. i want to offer this tepid remark: imho, i think there's this escalation of emotions because most of the crowd that isn't riled by the chuck/hannah stuff expect the comments on this blog to generally revolve around the quality of the show rather than whether one couple will or will not do something or other. but i realize that is no like an universal opinion, that people have a right to their opinions and i got caught up in the argument and turned nasty. apologies.

Alan Sepinwall said...

apologies

A step in the right direction! The phrase "agree to disagree" may be very necessary today.

Lisa said...

A save for me would be Sarah actually playing Shaw -- that her speed to get into a relationship with him was actually a way to investigate her suspicion that he's Ring. This takes Sarah into uncharted territory and Chuck and Casey have to help her.

Maybe Shaw is truly a counteragent working with Our Heroes, but I want them to restore some intelligence to Sarah's character and give her a mission worthy of her skills.

Matthew said...

Wow, that's a lot of comments. My wife hated this episode for the relationship aspect, and she made a good observation -- if Chuck wasn't allowed to date Sarah, why is he allowed to date Hannah? Keeping them apart when from implausible but acceptable to artificial and forced.

MC said...

The funniest thing about all of this is yeah it may seem contrived, rushed or whatever else you may feel regarding Chuck and Sarah. However, you can't deny that when they do "go there" with the PLI's, it does get EVERYONE talking wether you're a crazy shipper or not.

In the TV world it's all about buzz and right now, after that ridiculous scene with both couples cuddling with eachother, there is a ton of buzz.

The relationship is all BS for me on this show anyways, my main enjoyment is the Buymore so for me, this ep blew, not because of the "I'm dying so therefore I love you after knowing you for 5 minutes" stuff, but because we didn't have Jeffster telling us all about Chuck's flossing habits. EPIC FAIL!!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

if Chuck wasn't allowed to date Sarah, why is he allowed to date Hannah? .

Hannah's a civilian. No rules against spies having a personal life.

And, frankly, with Chuck being promoted from "asset" to "spy," whatever rules there were in place about Chuck and Sarah dating are gone. That's not the reason they're not together. YMMV about the new reasons (Sarah's hurt over Prague, Chuck becoming not the guy she loved in the first place, attraction to newcomers, etc., etc.).

Jobin said...

Let me be the 987th person to give his opinion...

I really liked this episode, maybe my favorite of the season, and then the last 5 minutes got super-awkward. Sarah and Shaw, maybe I can see they work because of her "type", but they went from zero chemistry and interest to all of a sudden "I liked you kissing my neck even though I looked disgusted and uncomfortable." WAY too big of a leap.

Not enough Casey this episode, which has been echoed in the comments. I loved Chuck because he was an everyday guy saving the world through clever sleight of hand and quick wit. The show's taken on a darker tone, and I think they've lost some of the goofiness that made everything work. I know that Chuck is maturing and coming into his own in his new role, but I think that losing his innocence makes him (and the show) less appealing. But I guess every show has to evolve.

As far as Chuck/Sarah, I'm OK with them not working out for now because it's a long season and there will be inevitable bumps in the road. But with Shaw, they just jumped about 6 steps ahead in the courting, from "he's icky" to "well, now I really like him."

I think the show is far less satisfying than the second season but I'm still enjoying it. And Alan, thank you for your amazing recaps, even if I disagree with you plenty. I saw that you Tweeted the link at 9:00:01, and I appreciate all of the reviews that you do for us.

Anonymous said...

Alan, Love your reviews and I'm usually in agreement, but I think you may be missing what is causing the anger.

This episode, taken at face value, basically is telling us that pretty much the entire series up to this point was pointless. All the great scenes with that great chemistry are now gone, because the writers decided they needed one more go around on the love rhomboids, and pulled it off poorly. I personally think they started going off the tracks with one particular scene in Chuck vs. the Ring and have been having trouble with the characters since then. I can suspend a lot of disbelief for the sake of a fun show, but when the show is built on how things affect the characters and their relationships at the very least the characters and relationships have to ring true. I don't think they managed that even within this episode, let alone this season or the show as a whole. The anger is because people think they are trying to re-write season 2 and we don't want them to take that away.

Mike said...

Lol, Schedak screwed the pooch on this one!

I could care less about the Chuck/Sarah/Shaw/Hannah stuff, what made me wan't to burn my living room down was Sarah and Casey basically saying Chuck was ready to be on his own.....umm....this is Chuck we're talking about, right? The same guy who wouldn't kill a fly? And you want to send him out on his own?!?!

That, and THAT ALONE, was the only "jumping the shark" moment for me last night.

A real headscratcher for sure. Oh, and couldn't agree more MC regarding the lack of Jeffster.... so dissapointing.

Stacey said...

All this talk of a pre/teenage demographic got me reflecting on my own teen viewing. Which, of course, lead to O.G. 90210. Ironically, (in an Alanis sense of the word) it had a quad with Kelly/Dylan/Brenda/Superman.

I think we can all agree, and be grateful, that at least Sarah isn't using a bad French accent around Shaw.

But, seriously, let's all join hands and sing a Huey Lewis song. This is not the kind of show to have people upset about their day.

OldDarth said...

Hannah's a civilian. No rules against spies having a personal life.

Are you sure about that?

Point aside, if there is anyone who realizes the dangers and difficulties of mixing spy and personal worlds it would be Chuck.

Given that, and that Chuck is focused on being a spy, taking on a relationship with a civilian does not equate.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's the next day and I've had time to let my disappointment dissipate. I’ve even re-watched some to see if maybe I missed something and I’m still of the opinion that what I watched last night was terrible. No, that’s not just because of Sarah and Chuck choosing to go for their new Love Interests, don’t even get me started on that, but rather because I’ve seen better written and better executed cartoons on Saturday mornings.

I won’t get into a breakdown of where and how the show sucked (yes, there we’re some good moments) because you will either agree with me or not, but I have a proposition to make. Please hear me out.

Have any of you seen the movie Network? Below is an excerpt from a summary at IMDB.

- quote - [A network is struggling for ratings and turns it's News division over to the entertainment division. As one of the ramifications of this move the news Anchor is fired. He goes on the air with a wonderfully daffy rant and rave session culminating in his insisting that people go to the windows and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."] - end quote.

I think we should do the same. When Chuck returns after the Olympics, no one should watch it on air. Rather we should all watch it online at Hulu or any other online service we can find. Failing that, DVR the show and watch it that way.

That way we can send a message to NBC and the producers of the show that we are still interested in the show but we are not prepared to settle for the caliber of show we saw last night. “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”.

If we can bring the number of on air viewers below 1 million, the advertisers will take note. You can count on that. You can also bet the advertisers will be on the phone to NBC and the producers of Chuck. Money talks after all.

If everyone that loves the show were to watch online at Hulu, you can bet NBC would notice that too. We can send a message and still get our Chuck fix.
We need NBC to know that we love the show. We also need for NBC to know that we are disappointed.

Chuck fans have proven that they love the show and they have proven that they can get motivated to help renew the show. Let’s show the producers and NBC that we’re not prepared to put up with the kind of show they gave us last night.

I'm personally mad as hell, and I'm not prepared to take it anymore!

Spread the word.


The IMDB quote is from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074958/plotsummary

Alan Sepinwall said...

If everyone that loves the show were to watch online at Hulu, you can bet NBC would notice that too. We can send a message and still get our Chuck fix.

I can assure you, that if you are somehow able to get enough Chuck fans who are also Nielsen viewers to stop watching the show in that large a number, you will not still get your Chuck fix after that. If the numbers are somehow below 1 million, the show will be canceled. Quickly. So quickly that even scripted programming-deprived NBC might not be able to justify airing the remaining episodes.

You want to object to the episode? Fine. You want to walk away from the show altogether? No one's stopping you. But "Chuck" is so on the precipice of renewal anyway for a lot of reasons, that if a lot of people bail (and that number is reflected in the Nielsens), the only message you'll be sending to NBC is "Please kill the show. Thank you very much."

Geoff said...

I liked the episode, and I don't think this negates anything else that happened. Spy stuff aside, where else are Sarah and Chuck to go?

We don't know how much time has elapsed between Chuck meeting Hannah on the plane, and this recent episode but I'd bet it's been at least 6 weeks or more, so it's not as if they "just" hooked up.

Even before Hannah came on the scene, Chuck and Sarah had agreed on the "Friends" cover, not that they didn't have feelings for each other but after the whole Prague thing and becoming a real spy thing, it was just a better cover than getting tangled in a relationship thing. Now you have other persons coming on board to whom both are attracted, why not? To me, it feels more real and organic than if it were just Chuck and Sarah being friends, yet burning knowing that they want more. I've been there, and I've seen that, it's time for something else to be in the way of their journey. This works for me...granted, I buy the Chuck/Hannah more than I buy Shaw/Sarah, but it can still fly. I agree 100% with all of Alan's comments in the review and in the comment section thus far.

AbbyG said...

Last night's episode was perfectly enjoyable. It's a reasonable development for Chuck and Sarah, after needing to pull back from one another and growing apart as Alan pointed out, to show interest in other people.

Frankly I'm liking the character development, not just personally for Chuck but also professionally as he stretches his legs as a spy.

Anonymous said...

Sarah/Shaw did seem a little rushed, but every time I break up with someone and I see her moving on, I feel insecure about it and rush to move on myself. Could be the same thing.

Jen said...

Holy cow.

Allow me to join the ranks of people who are frankly flabbergasted at the vitriol directed at this ep.

1. I think Chuck/Hannah is a perfectly natural progression. Someone above commented that Chuck was making out with a perfect stranger... you do realize that kissing someone who a) you flirted with heavily on a plane and b) wound up working with a few weeks ago is perfectly reasonable, right? I think the two of them have great chemistry in the sense that it is developing. I'm not averse to seeing where it goes.

2. In terms of Shaw/Sarah, I think this might have escalated a bit faster than I would like. I didn't quite see the development here that was obvious with Chuck and Hannah.

3. This ep was fun. I particularly liked the cuts between Chuck/Hannah packing for their Nerd Herd op and Shaw/Sarah packing for their covert op.

I think everyone just needs to take a deep breath, maybe get off the couch for a bit, and put some things in perspective.

Cam said...

I loved this ep. I have no problems with this latest set of obstacles. Have any of you detractors ever been in this kind of situation? If you want to be with someone and you just can't do it, you often try other people out in the interim just from sheer exhaustion at your ideal situation.

It's clear that Chuck and Sarah still hold a candle for each other. The fact that Hannah and Shaw are their respective types makes this particular roadblock as acceptable as any other we've seen. I've gotten the sense that Chuck is "supposed to be with" a Lou or Hannah type of girl and that Sarah is "supposed to be with" a Bryce or Shaw type. The fact that Sarah and Chuck love each other and aren't even each others' types is a testament to the power of that love. It strikes me that Sarah and Chuck are not only in love, but share love, the difference being that the former is passionate and volatile (in the beginning stages) and the latter is more enduring and deeply rooted, almost familial.

The show has just come from a pivotal moment when Sarah was willing to give all of herself to Chuck and run off with him. Chuck's decision not to go with her didn't ring true to me. The show went that route anyway. How is Sarah supposed to react from here on? She must feel embarrassed and hurt. If a man who appeals to her shows interest in this vulnerable state, she is going to respond. Some commentors seem to feel this is weakening Sarah's character. I can tell you that I've seen incredibly strong people, male and female, make poorly thought out decisions in their love life because of residual effects of a previous relationship, especially if they are still in love with that person. I consider myself emotionally intelligent and I have done incredibly irrational things regarding romantic relations. This is how humans act, they act strangely and out of character with matters of the heart.

Where some are seeing poor writing and characters not being true to themselves, I'm seeing excellent and realistic writing that treats the characters with the utmost respect in allowing their flaws to be showcased along with the attributes we love them for.

People seem to be more ok with the Chuck/Hannah half of the equation, so I won't get into that.

This episode makes good sense to me and I'm quite stunned at this negative response.

JasonR said...

I find some of the vitrol so amusing, even though everyone should follow rule #1!

As some people have mentioned, I think the problem is the Shaw/Sarah relationship. Both of them have been burned by work relationship, especially Shaw. And now he is flirting with Sarah during a mission? It does not ring (pun!) true, it therefore feels like an artificial roadblock.

Also, Chuck is reaching that dangerous territory that all shows with highly elaborate setups reach. The weight of all of the rules, plot devices and mythology begins to drag things down. Some show learn how to shed the baggage, some do not. Lost figured it out (with the help of an end date), Alias did not and suffered greatly down the strech.

Wendy said...

Okay...time out! As the person who started the whole purchase from Subway to show your support for Chuck thing...I have to state that asking the fans to boycott the show and NBC because of displeasure at a relationship progress is the opposite of productive. In fact it's destructive and nothing in spirit akin to what the renwal campaign was about. Anonymous...I get that you're upset and you want your voice heard, but what you're proposing is a cancerous path that only sends a message to NBC & advertisers that it's not worth their time to invest in this show. But at the same time, you seem to indicate an expectation that this will send a message and garner a resolution and that's simply not feasible. The show is already written and the story cast, there's nothing to be accomplished or changed by backlashing as you've suggested, except crippling Chuck's chance for further episodes. I get that people feel they fought for the show and deserve a say...but you didn't fight for 'Your' show, you fought for Chuck and the writers and the stories they've shown you...extend that faith a bit further. Everyone is judging based upon bits and pieces...personally, I want to see the whole picture before I judge.

I'll say this...I was fortunate enough to be allowed to visit the Chuck set and watch them shoot an episode from later this season, and all I can say...is have faith.

Was this episode perfect...no. I too though the Shaw/Sarah aspect was a bit rushed (not implausible, just hurried), but I'm also suspicous of whether everything is as it seems...is Sarah taking this opening to investigate Shaw or is Shaw using Sarah to force Chuck's independence? The point is...I'll be back in March to find out and I hope all the fans (shipper or non) will be back to enjoy the rest of the ride.

Carrie said...

Good lord. It's ONE EPISODE. If you're ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater, fine. Stop watching. But organizing a campaign that will effectively kill the show before you even see how this storyline plays out? Yikes. Way harsh, dude. Give the writers some time to weave a tale here.

I was a huge Dawson's Creek fan, and this is getting to scary seasons three and four D/J'er levels of insanity. I honestly didn't expect that regarding a show like Chuck!

One armed jedi said...

Totally agree with you Alan. This love trapezoid, as well as the eventual disassembling of Team Chuck, are the final obstacles our hero Chuck must overcome. Since they are such huge obstacles, it's pretty obvious that this is the setup for Chuck and Sarah to be together for good by end of season 3. And yes, I'm interested in knowing about when Chuck will be forced to go solo, ala James Bond.

I heard that a big game changing episode will occur in 3.09. Is Chuck going solo that episode?

Do you know if there will be an episode where Chuck cannot flash and is benched? Could that be next episode, 3.08, to show that Hannah cannot substitute for Sarah?

One armed jedi said...

Sorry: meant 2 questions:
Will Chuck have an episode where he cannot flash to show Hannah cannot substitute for Sarah?

Will Chuck be working as a solo agent for a few episodes of season 3 after the Olympic break?

EJF said...

I'm as hardcore a Chuck fan as they come, but I don't understand what everyone's problem is. I enjoyed the episode, even if it was light on comedy. While Sarah and Shaw felt a little awkward at times, I felt personally moved for Chuck and Hannah.

Yes, Chuck and Sarah have a history. And we all know that eventually the two will be back together. And there are plenty of non-trivial reasons that we've seen over this season for why they choose not to be - Chuck breaking Sarah's heart, Chuck and Sarah having too much of an emotional attachment, Chuck wanting to be a real, professional spy, and therefore making this sacrifice.

Those are all real, and are still there. No doubt, there will be sexual tension in the show that builds off all that we've seen in the past. However, I do think that we see another thing in the Chuck/Sarah dynamic: true friendship. They love each other, and the show has made that so incredibly evident despite not having to explicitly tell us. They might not be sleeping together, but that love is real.

And whose heart didn't drop for Morgan today? Mine certainly did.

My only complaint about the episode is the apparent trashing of the "Chuck is found out by people" storyline. It may come back, but they seemed to tie the loose end up tonight. I was really hoping for the huge paradigm shift that would have caused.

Lianna said...

Well, I consider myself a heavy shipper of the Chuck/Sarah relationship. But I am usually not bothered by the usual stalls writers create before getting the main characters together, nor do I usually mind the other relationships they use as a way of getting there.

What is bothering me about this though, is that I am not really seeing nor understanding the reason Chuck and Sarah are not together. So Sarah was pissed at Chuck, that I get, but she isn't anymore. He is no longer her asset, he is a spy, so that doesn't really matter anymore, specially now that he is getting more independent. Also, Shaw and Sarah are also both spies, who work together, which could potentially have the same repercussions as Chuck and Sarah being together.

So I ask again ... why are Sarah and Chuck not together? I get it that they came to an understanding tonight, but I don't get the reason it was needed in the first place??

Having said all that, this is still definitely the best show on tv, I am a huge Chuck fan, in spite of being a shipper. And the episode was really enjoyable as usual, and I love the growth to Chuck's character, I am just not getting the relationship stall.

Sorry for the long rant, I just feel that people should complain about the important stuff, not just complain because their favorite couple aren't together.

Anonymous said...

1)If you're only watching the show for the chance of Chuck and Sarah getting together, you've spent more than two years missing an awful lot of other good stuff happening on this show.

Straw man.

4)Again, this is a quite awesome show in a lot of areas, and if your only reason for watching is to see those two as a couple, well... I'm sorry you're not getting out of it what so many of us are.

Straw man repeated as though it were a somehow different point.


I don't find Chuck particularly likable and don't have any interest in seeing him get the girl. However, I do have an interest in my television being "good" rather than merely "entertaining," and this show consistently fails that test with the constant and sudden changes in motivation of its two central characters. And, y'know, the giant flaming plot holes at every turn.

This storyline has had zero credibility since the Jill debacle**, and it actually got to the point of owing credibility when "the Ring" dawned and it turned out the two lovebirds hadn't...consummated after the rehearsal dinner and Chuck reflexively turned down the job as an analyst, which was tantamount to closing the door on a relationship with Sarah.

** Chuck closes "Tom Sawyer" wishing-on-a-falling-satellite to be with Sarah, but he opens "the Ex" pining for Jill, who hasn't been treated as an object of longing since the pilot and hasn't even been mentioned since "the Wookie." When she shows up on the scene, he's initially portrayed as bitter, but he does an immediate about-face and gets back together with her inside 48 hours without being at all conflicted as worth-dying-for Sarah looks on. And so the cycle of "constant and sudden changes in motivation" began.

Jordan said...

I'm with Alan all the way on this one. Some of you who are so hung up on the Chuck and Sarah thing clearly aren't seeing the whole picture with this show.

It reminds me a lot of LOST. Not just in the whole shipper aspect of it. But in how it seems some fans view tv shows in more of a wish fulfillment way as opposed to sitting back and being entertained by good storytelling. The viewer gets so hung up on what romantic outcome they want to see, or what questions they want answered, that they are unable to enjoy anything but what they have set their hearts & minds on. Ignoring a lot of good stuff, and closing their minds off to good storytelling in the process.

That's just so narrow-minded a way to take in good television. As the Sep mentioned earlier, that kind of tunnel vision just causes you to miss out on so much other quality stuff going on.

Andrew said...

The other point I'm surprised about seeing more than once from the anti-vs. the Mask crowd is that they don't like that Chuck's become a bit of a jerk, and that it's out of character for him to not be the same lovable Chuck from vs. The First Date. Because that's a key pont of the character's arc and one of the reasons that he's not together with Sarah. He's become a bit of an ass in this season-- he's become overly cocky about having Intersect 2.0 in his head and he's walking around like he's the baddest mf'er in the history of the world. As opposed to SpyWorld being an imposition on his somewhat sad and pathetic life, he's now thinking of himself as a Spy and the Buy More is merely a cover. I'd suspect that sometime around episode 11 or 12 this is going to lead to dire consequences-- the kind only hinted at with Awesome getting kidnapped and Hannah almost getting asphyxiated by Ring operatives. (More than her being involved in the Ring or something, I'd peg Hannah as likely collateral damage.)

And, as we discussed in the opening episode, I think, Chuck's cockiness is also a reason why Sarah and Chuck aren't together. He wanted to become a Real Spy to impress her, and, apaprently like the shippers, she's not a fan of Chuck 2.0.

And if this episode felt like it was done on more of a shoestring budget than usual, hopefully that's because the producers were saving some pennies to make the last few of episodes of the initial 13 episode order as big and awesome as possible.

Lauren said...

I’m also one of those who don’t mind these relationships because all they are and will end up being are catalysts to Chuck and Sarah getting together. They are called rebounds. Chuck decided to not be with Sarah and even though she now knows that it was for good reasons, I’m sure that sting is still there. And I truly think that the Sarah/Shaw thing is supposed to look forced- maybe she has orders from General Beckman (GB) to get close to Shaw since we know GB is scared of him, his plans…and Shaw could be doing the same thing if he is a bad guy!

And Chuck, well Chuck doesn’t see how he can have a relationship with a spy so until he realizes that the risk is worth it (ie being with sarah is worth it all) he won’t pursue that. Hannah is a piece of normal in his life and we all know that Chuck desires to have that sense of normalcy, even if its really not possible anymore. He’s just holding on. He’ll let go soon.
And I'm willing to wait until he does. Have faith people.

Jordan said...

I don't know if I think Chuck has become cocky or arrogant. But I do think he's changed a tad and not quite a lovable as previously.

I blame it on his crappy new OC preppy boy haircut. Haven't liked it all season.

Anonymous said...

That's just so narrow-minded a way to take in good television. As the Sep mentioned earlier, that kind of tunnel vision just causes you to miss out on so much other quality stuff going on.

What quality stuff?

- This show's mythology doesn't have any semblance of internal logic,

- the high drama of S2's finale evaporated with S3's premiere,

- Chuck himself is the least likable he's ever been in the three years I've been watching,

- anything apart from the mission of the week is given the shaft in terms of screen time,

- there is absolutely nothing at stake on a given mission because Chuck's success is guaranteed,

- the show's humor has changed from heart-warming to cartoonish,

- Casey, Morgan, and the Buy More as a whole are less relevant than ever before,

etc.

Anonymous said...

After watching last night's episode and being really blown away in a not good way, a feeling I've never had watching Chuck, I came online to see what others were saying in various forums and I wanted to roll it around for a bit before posting. I agree with the majority that this was a poorly written episode that really hurt the Chuck/Sarah storyline and Chuck overall. I hear Wendy and others who feel we shouldn't judge Chuck on this one episode because no doubt Chuck and Sarah will be on the "verge" again by episode 13.Sure they can have a subpar episode now and then. All shows do. I think for me it comes down to them changing the essence of who Chuck is--and let's face it, if you don't vibe on Chuck, there's no point in watching. We all watch certain shows for certain reasons and this one has had much to offer. But I don't agree that if I show seems to have lost direction on a main storyline and with its main characters that we should hang in there for the other parts. We all tune out a TV show, or walk out of a movie, or throw a book down in digust wondering why we bothered for many reasons. And I don't agree that if you were disgusted with last night's show that you are some delusional freak who is one step away from Deniro in Taxidriver, or you're pitifully clutching a copy of Catcher in the Rye as you obsess over TV characters who aren't real. Aren't we supposed to feel these characters? To laugh with them,cry with them, cheer them on, feel good about them? That's what storytelling is all about. I good have lived with a little bit more on the angsty Chuck/Sarah stuff as long as progress was being made, but to have them completely not on each other's radar was so bizarre and unrealistic and so NOT Chuck that I felt like I was watching en entirely different show. Wendy you can keep on buying footlongs and hoping for a Season 4 and others of us can choose to spend our Monday nights at 8 another way. Shows lose people at various time and for various reasons. Chuck came off as a pompous,insensitive jerk in all sorts of ways (Sarah, Morgan) for every episode since #3 this season, they've had him unrealistically turn off his feelings for Sarah (ummm where did the Chuck of season 1 and 2 go--heroic, romantic, caring) like he was turning a switch, jump at the first girl he meets after supposedly being torn up about his decision to not leave with Sarah, while Sarah is now going to get involved with yet another spy, breaking her spys don't fall in love rule with yet another guy that isn't Chuck. Love interests as obstacles? Sure. We would have grumbled and gone along with it once again. These 2 turning away from each other this completely? Nope. Don't buy it and now when they do find each other again I won't buy that either.

Lianna said...

Also, back to the plot, yes people there is one! I actually think it was no coincidence that Shaw and Hannah showed up at the same time. I do agree with the person who thinks that Hannah is part of Shaw's plan. I do think that. It just doesn't make sense for him to be investing so heavily in a relationship with Sarah, and for Hannah to show up on Chuck's first solo mission, a mission where he wouldn't have his partners with him. I actually think there was a sort of plot to get Sarah and Chuck away from each other, don't know why, just a hunch.

I don't mind the relationships if they make sense, and both Hannah and Chuck and Sarah and Shaw make sense in their own right, but Chuck and Hannah was better written and executed, even though I do think she's part of Shaw's plan, whatever it is ... would he really include a civilian in a mission like that? That could have blown up every cover they had, and just messed everything up, I found it suspicious. I think Chuck is being worked ... but hey I actually wanna see where this is going.

Also wanna see where things go with Morgan, poor guy.

I didn't like that they burned the "let's investigate Chuck" storyline so quickly. It had a lot of promise ...

Also I wanna send a "Preach!" to whoever said that the women aren't being given enough good material. I agree, I am by no means a hard core feminist, but these amazing women could be put to better use, and I also don't see why Sarah who is usually such an independent and strong character had to fall for literally a 2 second interaction, which had the same risks as a relationship with Chuck.

Anyway, I can't wait till March. I love this show, whatever plot holes it has, I know exactly what I expect from this show and so far the writers haven't let me down.

vgerland said...

Anonymous what you want to do will get attention from NBC and the advertisers. It will tell them to cancel the show that doesn’t have a paying viewing audience. Great way to KILL a show you say you love and want to save.

Wondering why you are hiding and just going by Anonymous. Rather cowardly of you.

Everyone upset needs to calm down the game is not over it is only in the 1st inning. Shaw and Hannah are played by GUEST stars and their parts will end (Hannah's very soon). Chuck and Sarah will remain stronger and wiser and committed to one another. They are still finding that commitment and the courage to go for it.

I trust the writers will give us all the payoff we want and think just how sweet it will be when we get it after all the pain to get there. The sweeter the prize the more you have to sweat for it.

BTW GREAT REVIEW

Jake said...

What is with people thinking Kristin and Brandon have chemistry with Yvonne and Zav. I am so not feeling it. Which sucks because there has been zero chemistry with Yvonne and Zac this season. It's been a strange thing to watch. Even when apart in terms of plot the past, the energy was huge between these actors. Brandon is Tom Cruise-like to me in looks and mannerisms and his scenes with Yvonne seem stiff.

mac35 said...

Nothing like a shipper heavy episode to get the comments really moving!

Unfortunately, the amount of discussion the ep is generating wasn't reflected in the ratings. Chuck dropped to a 2.2 A18-49 (2.4 last week). Part of that can be attributed to the really strong week CBS had in the 8pm hour and House being up a bit from last week as well. Still, more proof that Mondays at 8pm = bad.

Anonymous said...

Sarah and Shaw have zero chemistry. This move doesn't even make sense. If Chuck is committed to being a spy why would he date a civilian? Isn't he already lying to enough people in his life. With Sarah there would be not secrets.

Waldo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BooneGirl86 said...

You guys are crazy. Shaw's character has been introduced in a great way. I totally buy Sarah falling for the guy who has slowly opened up to her and revealed his dark sad past. I buy Chuck and Kruek a bit less. But it's still passable. I don't understand why people are so upset. Didn't realize that the Chuck fanbase was made up of so many teenage girls and single middle aged women.

Estee said...

Does anyone else think that maybe when Sarah insinuated that her "type" was "hero," she was actually referring not to Bryce or Shaw... but to the only person I've actually heard her call a hero... to Chuck himself? I mean, did you guys see that heartbroken look on her face after that conversation?

I also want to say that I actually do like the idea of keeping Chuck and Sarah apart. It makes things more interesting and fun to watch. What I don't understand right now is the rationale. They can't be together because she wants normal and he has to try and be a spy. So then... she hooks up with a spy and he hooks up with a normal girl? My running theory is that Hannah=Eve and Hannah/Shaw are trying to play Chuck/Sarah. But what they don't know is that Chuck/Sarah are playing them right back. Covert recon ordered by Beckman... but that neither know about. That justifies Chuck's side because he's trying to do the right things as a spy (i.e., follow orders). It could also justify Sarah's side as a spy... or as her just wanting some normal human contact. I know I'm probably totally wrong, but I'm trying to satisfy my need for realistic emotional justification behind Chuck and Sarah's choices.

But back to what I said, I still think Chuck is the only hero Sarah was referring to.

angelpoo12 said...

Chuck Fans Don't give up on the show Let's see what happens next. I know I like to see Chuck and Sarah back together again. We should see the story as a Whole not take it out of contexts. What the writers are doing is a story with in a story. Even with Chuck goinging on Differant Missions each week they Continue the story where it left off in the show too. Let's see how it plays out for the rest of the season. I'm believing every thing will be alright at the end. Please Hang in there.

Ian said...

With Alan all the way on this one. I thought everything was largely natural and enjoyable given the circumstances (and I agree with Andrew that Chuck's increasing cockiness is probably leading up to a fall).

Agree also on the sad lack of actually seeing Jeffster's stalking fail.

Casey's grunt at the end made me realize the universe needs a Major Casey sex scene where all he does is grunt. It'd be comedy platinum.

Chief Neildo Brandonowitc said...

Holy crap attack.

Normally I enjoy reading the reader comments on this blog, as I consider the readership to be slightly above your average Youtube commenter. But this thread has lost nearly all the faith I had in this place. Good grief some of you need to get out of the house for a change.

The show is fine. The only thing I'd change is to make Chuck a bit less capable. Too capable a Chuck isn't as fun. And I agree about his new hairstyle. Totally sucks. Say no to pretty Chuck!

I agree with Alan. If you have prerequisite relationships in a tv show, you're watching for the wrong reasons. And should stick to soap operas.

Ronnie D. said...

"Does anyone else think that maybe when Sarah insinuated that her "type" was "hero," she was actually referring not to Bryce or Shaw... but to the only person I've actually heard her call a hero... to Chuck himself? I mean, did you guys see that heartbroken look on her face after that conversation?"

DING DING DING!!! We have a winner!!!!

Good gawd people. Are you all really that dense? How can you not see what the show is doing? IT HAD A GIANT SCENE WHERE SARAH TOLD CHUCK THAT SHE LIKES HIM!!! Ugh. So frustrating to see how the average tv viewer is totally unable to grasp the concept of subtext and set up. Maybe y'all should stick with Two & a Half Men and other shows that spell everything out for their audiences.

Jen said...

Anon @12:01 Some paragraph breaks there would be helpful.

Anywho, I don't see why people are calling this episode poorly written. I think the main characters are on perfectly believable arcs, maybe the Sarah/Shaw stuff could've been fleshed out better, but let's reserve judgment until we see where the writers are taking this.

People seem to be mainly reacting to the fact that the show is not going in the direction that they want. I'll say it now, even if Chuck doesn't end up with Sarah, I'm fine with it as long as the story that surrounds it works.

I'm reminded about the sheer hysteria that surrounded the Harry Potter books in terms of 'shipping. The idea that your enjoyment of something can be ruined because your expectations on one item are not met is simply bizarre and unhealthy.

Most of the criticisms here seem to be rooted in disappointment that the characters are not one dimensional and operate in pursuit of only one thing (i.e. Chuck and Sarah should want to be together). When was anything that simplistic? Everything about their relationship has illustrated how complicated it is. Why should Season 3 be any different?

Word verification: Sneships (portmanteau! I'm currently sneering at 'ships)

Lianna said...

I totally agree with Waldo on this! Jeez, it was one episode, and it's just one part of an otherwise great show. Sure there are many inconsistencies in this show but is more inconsistent than trying to tank a show you fought so hard to save?

You all sound like spoiled children! It's like because you helped to save it you think you have to sort of hold over it ... scary.

Michael G. said...

No time to read the excessively long number of comments, so here's hoping I don't repeat anyone:

--What was Shaw's line at the end? "I'm the safest guy." Didn't you get your wife killed?

--One way or another, I'm fairly sure Chuck and Sarah are together by the end of the original 13 episode run.

--I'm not getting the evil vibes off Shaw or Hannah. I'm betting Shaw used to be Ring though. Something the bad guy said to the Ring leaders made it seem like they used to--and were supposed to--know where Shaw was. So, my guess is Shaw was a Ring agent who turned. Didn't Beckman call him the Ring expert?

--I like Shaw. He seems like a more realistic character than the Beefcake from Season 2. Whats-his-face.

--Some of the reactions to last night's episode remind me of Hermione/Harry shippers who didn't believe in the Hermione and Ron were going to get together. Only difference is, Chuck and Sarah ARE going to end up together. Eventually.

Minkus from Boy Meets World said...

I just hope those of you suggesting a boycott realize that all you'll be doing is seeing to it that you get the show canceled. The rest of it's season is already written, you can't change any of that. And the show's ratings aren't so hot. Making them even worse is just going to make NBC's decision to axe it easier.

And for the record, I'd rather it be canceled to for the writers and producers to listen to you people. I'd rather no show than one that is taking cues from childish shippers who have no clue what it means to tell a good story. You want wish fulfillment, go buy a romance novel where a woman bangs a werewolf or something.

Veritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Idea seemed okay but execution sucked maybe? Nah, episode just plain sucked. All around. As a Chuck fan, you have to see that. And no, not even referring to the 'shipper wars going on. The episode was weak and then you add in all the invested shipper souls and you have a firestorm of Chucktastic proportions the Tuesday after.

The ratings are telling, the show's audience is eroding. If the show can't keep them coming back, we're in a hell lot more trouble than a shipper quadrangle or whatever shape it is at right now. Okay, so maybe we catch a break since this show is on NBC but the numbers have to bump back up after the Olympics considering that NBC will literally be forcefeeding Chuck previews to whoever tunes in to the coverage. Then the real test is how many of that look-in audience stays till May 24.

Joyeful said...

Whoa...I'm surprised at the vitriol...it wasn't the best episode of Chuck, but it wasn't THAT bad.

- The writers have done a good job of keeping the story going well, so I still have some trust in them. Sure, I'm not feeling the "romantic direction" they've moved things in, but I'm hoping they know what they're doing, they have before...

- PLOT HOLE - Where the heck was Casey when the burn-faced dude ran out of the museum when the spies were all busy cuddling? No one thought of making sure he didn't leave?

BTW - I have a fever, and the only prescription is MORE CASEY!! LOL

Waldo said...

"I like Shaw. He seems like a more realistic character than the Beefcake from Season 2. Whats-his-face."

Right on. That was a very similar story just not done as well. I this case Routh has done a much more convincing job at being someone that Sarah could actually be drawn to. And guess what? That's why people are reacting the way they are, where as they didn't with Cole. Cole never threatened their Chuck and Sarah dreams. Shaw does. Funny how that in itself debunks the shippers' claims of the show being poor at the moment. ;)

cgeye said...

I've got to ask: Links?

If any Anonymous poster out there can post a link to where people are pissed, I'd be more inclined to believe you're *not* a CBS plant.

Show your work, please.

Anonymous said...

Well, I tried reading all the comments but eventually I just had to skip over all the nonsense. So, apologies if this was already stated above, but I thought the vase thing was more along the lines of Indy looking for Marion in one of the baskets in Cairo than it was of the grail...but that works too.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to go watch season 1 for the hundreth time. I'll live in the sweet world of Buymoria... where Casey and Sarah always come to Chuck's rescue... and Morgan is always right there to brighten my spirits...

Yeah... I'm kinda pathetic.

Johon said...

Thank you internet for once again reminding me to not give the average person too much credit. SIGH.

Jobin said...

And while we're at it, what's up with airline food?

cgeye said...

And, OK: This is good because it works toward both their goals: Being good spies, and being people who can get enough slack from The Man to love each other.

Ya think the government will allow them to have a relationship? That their enemies won't use that love the same way the Ring used Hannah, this episode?

I'm tired of both Chuck and Sarah being stupid about who they work for. If they have lighter relationships with people who can throw both friend and foe off their scent, relationships that cement their cover story *and* give them breathing room while they pursue their primary goal (destroy the Ring so they won't destroy Chuck), why the hell not have affairs? If they are both growing up, knowing they chose a profession where they seduce and lie, well then, what choice do they have?

Either Chuck is a predator, or he is prey. He deliberately chose to no longer be innocent, when he loaded Intersect 2.0, and he chose to help Sarah do her job by refusing to run away. It's time he stopped holding on to the past, and see what his life will be like as a full spy: Not getting what you want, or getting it when you're not the same person who wanted it. That's character growth, not stagnation.

About this plot, I invoke Whedon: Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait....

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, last warning, bolded and in all-caps so y'all get the message:

TALK ABOUT THE SHOW, NOT EACH OTHER. DO NOT ATTACK, MOCK OR BELITTLE OTHER POSTERS FOR HAVING OPINIONS DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OWN. IF THE COMMENTS KEEP GOING THE WAY THEY HAVE, I'M SHUTTING THEM DOWN.

Everybody clear now? 'Cause my patience is getting damn thin.

Anti-Anonymous said...

I do think the show is failing in some aspects right now. But this shipper nonsense has absolutely nothing to do with it. You people hung up on that stuff need to get a grip.

No, where the problem lies is the reduced budget and casting constraints. Having an entire episode without Jeffster, Big Mike, or Awesome? Terrible. Takes a lot of the fun out of the show. I'm glad to have the show back for another season. But much as when Scrubs had rotating off days for it's cast, this just makes for a lesser version of the show we liked better.

And has anyone noticed how ever since the cast has been downsized, suddenly the assistant manager is the head guy at Buymoria? Makes sense why they gave that job to Morgan. Nearly writing Big Mike out of show besides random cameos.

I can deal with no Big Mike. Even Ellie. And Awesome doesn't have to be in every ep, although he's great. But Jeffster is a different story! They need to be in all the episodes. Without them, the show loses a lot of it's comedic innocence. Especially with Chuck becoming more serious spy man and less awkward geek. And I do agree with whoever said that Chuck's new hair and makeup makes for a less likeable prepster Bartowski. Not a fan.

Felipe said...

I liked the episode, it was a solid one. Just hope Hannah is not another Jill.

I think is OK for Sarah & Chuck to be separated at some point; in fact I've been thinking in that at some point in the show there should be a cast member, or at least a gf that last more than 3 episodes, to really explore other connections between Sarah & Chuck other than being the love interest for each other.

For the plot-hole compainers, I think you have to realize that we cannot get all the questions answered, although in general the show will benefit a lot with a little bit of more depth and length in the dialogues.

I LOVE the show!

Alan Sepinwall said...

If you look back at last season, there were still episodes without one or more of the non-Operation Bartowski regulars. Julia Ling in particular disappeared quite often, but they were working with a rotating budget even then. And, of course, Awesome, Jeffster, Big Mike and Anna Wu weren't regulars in season one (and therefore weren't in every episode).

It's clearly more pronounced now, particularly in an episode like this that was obviously designed as a budget-saver, but it's not that huge a change from last year.

And we saw with both Harry Tang and the pre-promotion Millbarge that the Ass Man does most of the work around the store while Big Mike admires his marlin.

Pierre Chang said...

Great googlie mooglie. Where were all these complaints before? This is insanity.

Reading all this has just made me very sad. What a downer thread. Way to take the fun out of a rather fun TV SHOW guys.

:(

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