Monday, April 05, 2010

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Other Guy": We'll always have Paris

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I mix gaming with whiskey...
"You're still Chuck. You're still my Chuck." -Sarah
And after tonight, "Chuck" is very much still my "Chuck," too.

As mentioned many times before, originally "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" was going to be the end of a 13-episode third season - and, depending on how things broke, could well have been the very last episode of the series. We now know that there are six more episodes to go this year, and that a fourth season is still quite possible (the ratings ticked up a couple of points last week, and I still believe NBC has too many holes to not renew, even if it's just for another abbreviated season), but if "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" had been the series finale? Well... I'd have been sad the show was over but pleased that it went out on such a strong note, with easily the best hour of the season, and one that's in my handful of favorites from the entire run to date.

Chris Fedak, Josh Schwartz and company set themselves quite a task in trying to make Chuck a more grown-up spy, and "Chuck" a slightly more grown-up show. There have been episodes this season that were full of fun ("Chuck vs. First Class," "Chuck vs. the Beard"), and episodes that were dark and emotional ("Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler," "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac"), but the Fedak-scripted "Other Guy" was the first to successfully balance both tones throughout, leading to an hour that made me laugh as much as any this season, but that also made me very pleased about the character growth.

So we got the hilarious cut from Chuck having a kung fu flash to Chuck playing Guitar Hero in his underwear while Morgan lay on the floor, bound by electronics cords, but we also got Sarah dealing with the knowledge that she killed Shaw's wife. We got Jeff and Lester inviting Casey to join their crew (if not to join Jeffster! itself) and Big Mike asking Morgan if he'd be selling his body in his new job, but we also got Chuck finally, definitively getting his first intentional kill. We got that amusingly awkward confrontation with the Ring Director in the overcrowded elevator, but we also got Sarah finally expressing her love for Chuck - and, even better, got them finally, definitively, without any kind of outside complication, becoming a couple(*). And the hour moved fluidly between the fun and serious sides; a show shouldn't be able to work in jokes about The Clapper and Chuck ordering too much back-up while also putting its heroine through an emotional wringer and putting its goofy hero in a position to shoot a man to death and not have the shifts feel jarring, but "Other Guy" did exactly that.

(*) And in Paris, no less - which, since they were both there because of Shaw, became a nice payoff for Shaw making Chuck immediately fly home without seeing the city at the end of "First Class."

I said last week of "Chuck vs. the American Hero," that "This is the show I fought to save last spring," and that sentiment applies even more strongly to "Other Guy," which had everything I ask for in an episode from "Chuck," other than Captain Awesome (along with Ellie, a budget casualty this week) and a performance by Jeffster! (And if they don't rock out again in the back 6, someone's gonna have some 'splaining to do.)

In particular, I'm so glad we got the Chuck and Sarah scene on the floor of his apartment midway through the episode. Not only was it a moment the 'shippers had been waiting three years for (and, based on Sarah's comments on the timing of when she fell for Chuck - i.e., before the end of the pilot - she'd been waiting just as long), but I'm glad Sarah's feelings were addressed before the action on the streets of Paris. We knew from the end of last week's episode that Sarah chose Chuck over Shaw, and that was a big enough moment for the series that it deserved a spotlight separate from the later shenanigans with Shaw. If Sarah were to seemingly choose Chuck just because he saved her life, that would be lame (particularly since he's done it several times before). Sarah, and the show, needed to make it clear that she loved Chuck for being himself, so the final scene in the hotel room wouldn't be Sarah declaring that love for the first time, but letting Chuck know that she could ultimately accept a world in which he kills people on occasion. By letting Sarah choose Chuck in a calm moment, and not in the flush of being rescued from a classic damsel-in-distress situation, it gave Sarah back a lot of the agency she lost this season, even amidst an episode where she was completely helpless for the climax.(**)

(**) And I hope that, in addition to saying goodbye to Shaw and cementing Sarah and Chuck as a couple, this episode allows the writers to turn Sarah back into the assertive, ass-kicking woman we fell for right along with Chuck.

And I liked how the scene with Casey and Chuck on the airplane nicely paralleled the earlier Chuck/Sarah moment. Sarah admits that she liked Chuck way back when he was still a hapless, non-Chuck-Fu-enabled dweeb, and Casey gives Chuck a pep talk by noting that before he had either Intersect in his head, or three years of haphazard spy training, he was someone who was very smart, someone who could foil the bad guys with his lightning-fast label-making skills, who could save the world because he's very good at Missile Command, and here who could track down Shaw because he knew how to read expense reports and vacation requests. (And, since the Intersect 2.0 was on the fritz again due to Chuck's emotions, that perfect double-tap to Shaw's chest was all Chuck the gamer, not Chuck the cyborg.)

We can argue whether or not it was right for the show to go so far in the direction of trying to make Chuck into a "real" (as in traditional) spy, just as we can debate whether the Shaw story worked, and whether Chuck and Sarah's will-they-or-won't-they situation was dragged out too long. (Well, maybe not the last one; I think we're all in agreement that it should've been sooner.) But in the end, the show comes down on the idea of letting Chuck be Chuck, with the resurrection of the original Team Bartowski and the very promising addition of Morgan to the gang in some kind of capacity to be explained later. (And here filling the role Chuck did very early on, as the normal guy applying geek knowledge to spy world.)

Chuck and Sarah are finally together, Casey has his wings back, Morgan's (kind of) a spy and "Chuck" is again 100% fun. That would have been a damn fine note to close the series on. Instead, we get at least 6 more episodes, and maybe another season beyond that, and I hope whatever's coming next can build on the sheer entertainment value of these last two, and learn from some of the stumbles of Season 3.0.

Now excuse me while I hit the local Subway for a tunaroni, just in case.

Some other thoughts:

• Great work from all available castmembers this week, doing what they do best: Yvonne Strahovski playing the tragedy of Sarah (both in the warehouse and then at realizing Shaw wants to kill her in Paris) and the depth of her love for Chuck ("You saved me"), Adam Baldwin seething (and also showing Casey's realization that he likes not only Chuck, but Morgan), Joshua Gomez being over-eager but believable whenever Morgan turns out to be smarter than anyone assumes, Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky being creepy, and Mark Christopher Lawrence being overly emotional and fatherly. And, of course, Zachary Levi managing to do a little bit of everything, and guiding the show through all the tonal shifts.

• This week in "Chuck" music: "Kettering" by The Antlers plays both as Shaw confronts Sarah in the warehouse and then again as Shaw dies on the bridge, and "Bye Bye Bye" by Plants and Animals plays over Chuck and Sarah's kiss in the hotel, and OMD's "If You Leave" is heard briefly during Chuck's long dark John Hughes night of the soul. And speaking of which...

• This week in "Chuck" pop culture references: Oh, a whole bunch. Chuck of course drowns his sorrows by listening to the music of and quoting from various John Hughes movies like "Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," etc. (The correct version of the "Pink" quote, according to IMDb, is "You said you couldn't be with someone who didn't believe in you. Well I believed in you. I just didn't believe in me.") The business with Chuck demanding the Director produce his Ring Phone felt like a hat-tip to the "I have no gate key" scene from "The Princess Bride." Morgan can spot a fake fight scene due to his love (shared by Quentin Tarantino) of the works of Sonny Chiba. Morgan quotes Yoda in "Empire Strikes Back" when he tells Chuck, "No! There is another!" And the moment when Sarah and Chuck turn the Beckman laptop around so they can have an uninterrupted Parisian romp was reminiscent of how most of the Bond films with Roger Moore ended (case in in point: the final moments of "Moonraker").

• Also, in identifying the songs used every week, I don't want to give short shrift to the work of Tim Jones in composing the weekly score - which, like the rest of the show, does a nice job of balancing tones and paying homage to all the movies and shows that influence "Chuck." I particularly liked the music used as Shaw seemingly kills all the people on the elevator to save Sarah and Chuck.

• Bonita Friedericy has one of the most thankless jobs on the show, as she's there most weeks to give exposition and sign off abruptly. Perhaps as a reward for three seasons of this, Fedak gave her a lot of funny bits to play here, whether it was Beckman admitting an unsurprising fondness for Ayn Rand, Beckman waking up and using The Clapper to turn on her bedroom lights, or Beckman's complete misery at having to deal with the likes of Morgan Guillermo Grimes.

• I'll be curious to see if, having let Chuck kill (albeit under extraordinary circumstances), and having shown Sarah to be okay with it, the writers will let him do it more casually going forward. As some commenters have noted, Chuck's attitude towards killing hasn't quite been the Superman/Captain America approach of "killing is wrong, and if I or my allies have to kill to win the day, we've failed," but rather "killing makes me squeamish, but I'm perfectly fine letting my partner John Casey and the woman I love kill on my behalf." See, for example, Chuck and Sarah's exchange before they go down the elevator shaft. And much as I want to let Chuck be Chuck, that attitude seems more than a bit hypocritical and weak.

• I got a kick out of Casey kicking much Ring butt off-screen while Chuck faced down Shaw, but I wonder if this is it for this particular group. The Director has been captured, Casey reclaimed the Intersect plans (which were the whole point of the elaborate ruse with Shaw taking Sarah to the warehouse, and then pretending to kill the Director and steal the Cipher), and it's still not clear what the group was up to other than trying to build a new Intersect, which Fulcrum was already working on last year.

• Given what we know about the rules of pop culture and the "Chuck" writers' devotion to those rules, was there any way Sarah's hotel room wasn't going to have an Eiffel Tower view?

• Why does Casey need a new Crown Victoria? Did I miss it getting damaged in "Tic Tac"? Or is he just taking advantage of his bargaining power to get a more pimped-out model?

Remember: we get two weeks of repeats (I believe next week's is "Chuck vs. First Class") after this, and then Season 3.1 runs for 5 weeks straight beginning April 26, with the last two episodes airing back-to-back on May 24 - which will be a week after NBC announces its schedule for next season. So unlike last year, we'll go into a "Chuck" finale knowing for sure if it's the end of the line or just a pause for a few months.

What did everybody else think?

174 comments:

Liz said...

Now THIS is the Chuck I love! I was starting to wonder where it had gone, but last week and this week really have me excited about the series again.

Anonymous said...

Beckman's scenes were pretty hilarious.

One nitpick: when Shaw fell off the bridge at the end it looked like he landed in about 2 feet of water.

Anonymous said...

"You saved me!" *barf*

This was pure cheese, and no amount of getting the band back together or relationship consummation could raise it to the level of "strong episode." Your constant wolf-crying on that front has gotten old.

Peter said...

Not as exhilarating as Chuck vs The Ring, but what is? They'll never top last year's finale, but this was damn good.

Dan said...

I thought it was great. The comedic potential of Morgan as a spy should be off the charts. Even though I knew it was coming the Chuck/Sarah get-together was suprisingly emotional. Well-done show all around.

Dave said...

Loved the episode and wonder if they got a slightly bigger budget for the last 6 episodes based on the preview.

Dave said...

I agree.....it would be pretty hard to top this episode as a series finale

Alex said...

That episode is the reason why I love the show!! It was the perfect episode with brilliant balance of comedy, drama, action, and the moment we waited too long for!! April 26 can't come soon enough! Chuck will live on (pending tomorrow's ratings announcement)

Best episode of the season and maybe the series!

Anonymous said...

Question: Early in the season, when we first see a glimpse of Shaw, what was Beckman talking about when she's pleading to "tell them [Team Bartowski]" because it's "too dangerous"?

Was that resolved?

Andrew said...

Thank God we have restored some semblance of Sarah agency and Casey's commission.

Now can we have some fun? I hope we can have some fun. Chuck and Sarah touring Europe fun or Casey and Morgan general absurdity fun? More Jeffster? Awesome restores his Awesomeness?

All of the above?

matt k said...

I wanted to love this episode as much as I have loved this season, but I think the writers made a big mistake with the Shaw fake-out at the beginning. The episode and the Shaw story in general became much too repetitive with him switching back and forth from good to bad. I understand what this did for the story (Chuck and Sarah's mid-episode love professions) but I wish they had come up with a different way to do this without "OMG Shaw's bad and has Sarah... Oh wait he's good!... OMG Shaw's bad and has Sarah!"

Overall the episode had some extremely strong points to make up for this, but it was not one of my favorites. I honestly thought that the Chuck and Sarah romance took the perfect amount of time given the obstacles that a romance in this situation would obviously have.

I hope Chuck can kill now without having to convince Sarah that he's the same person. If she has to morally evaluate Chuck's actions to make sure he's the same guy, that will get very annoying.

WWWeaves said...

I wuved it, I wuved it. Squueee. Twirl. Twirl. Sigh. Yeah. Coherence may come later.

Verification: Loologo - branding for your bathroom.

JCsJaketheSnake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina said...

I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I read from a very reliable source that Jeffster will be back in a way we've never seen them before. And it. will. be. awesome.

PS: Maybe it's because I'm a woman and a sucker for romance but every time Chuck and Sarah kiss, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside! Such a good TV couple!

Jay said...

Intense episode -- pretty much mirrored the intensity of last season's finale.

Team Bartowski back together with Morgan -- that alone makes season 4 a necessity.

I swear that "you're still my Chuck" is a line (without the Chuck part obviously) from a movie, but I can't, for the life of me, remember it -- anyone know?

Brian said...

Loved this episode, enough thought to keep me guessing, but super entertaining!

JCsJaketheSnake said...

You sir, have hit the nail on the head. Quite frankly, if there were no more episodes and this is how things ended I would've been happy (note would've).
I'm ready for the next six episodes and much more (yes Chuck will be renewed - I'm that confident). It will be very interesting, with this supposed finale, how the characters will continue to develop during the next six episodes and how the second finale will look with the show in the balance.

Anonymous said...

this is what i thought of tonights show!!

:D :D :D :D :D

3 years was flipping worth it! go chuck!

Stealth said...

In Shaw's original fight scene with the two goons, I thought his roundhouse looked really fake. And I was right!

Anonymous said...

Shaw holding onto Sarah's wrist before he fell was straight out of the end of Die Hard.

mizenkay said...

Well I loved that! Fist pumping here on the sofa. So much to process, but overall, this is the entertaining, funny, suspenseful and goofy show I fell in love with. Loved Casey and Morgan becoming a team. Don't ship, but hey, loved that Sarah finally admitted her feelings out loud and Chuck did what he does best, he used his smarts to locate Shaw. And best of all, in the hall of fame of best of all...Chuck killed Superman. Shaw is dead. Thank you show.

Must process the rest. Must watch NCAA Championship. GO BUTLER!

Joyeful said...

I'm with you, Alan - THIS is the show I bought Subway sandwiches for. This was the perfect blend of fun and action and drama, perfectly acted by the cast.

My only issue with Chuck is the lack of development of their antagonists - in this case, the Ring (and Fulcrum in the last season, though not as bad as the Ring). I get that they're just there to facilitate the plot movement, but man, give them some work to do! Budget cuts aside - did it really have to be that easy to defeat them?

I agree this is going to be hard to top as a season finale (it did feel like one), but given some of the previews they showed (no spoilers), there's gonna be A LOT of stuff happening.

Love Chuck...three weeks of waiting...

Bethany said...

This episode was brilliant! Not only did it wrap up the past 13 episodes, but it set the stage for what's promising to be an awesome Season 3.1. With Chuck and Sarah finally (finally!) together, Morgan as a CIA operative (though that seemed like an out of character request from Casey), and Casey back on the team, I can't wait to see where these next six episodes. So many great possibilities!

On an unrelated topic, I'd love to see a soundtrack for this show released. They always choose great music, and I love the score as well. You're right, it is too often overlooked.

filmcricket said...

Definitely enjoyable, if only for the fact that we are done (please, Jeebus) with the will they/won't they idiocy, and because Casey's back as part of the team. (If they weren't going to use Casey-in-the-Buy-More for comedy purposes, there wasn't really much point to it, and while there's been a couple of funny bits, nothing has equalled Awesome playing strip poker with Morgan, Jeffster et al in S1.)

Still really hoping, as you said Alan, that we get Sarah (and Ellie) back as the ass-kicking chicks they were. I think nothing else about this season has disappointed me as much as the character assassination performed on Sarah Walker.

I'm not sure whether to be annoyed that the whole Shaw storyline turned out to be just what it seemed - a roadblock to the Chuck/Sarah relationship - or to hope that the creators, by having Shaw turn traitor after discovering the truth about his wife's murder, are going to go somewhere interesting with the idea that there is no such thing as the "perfect" (i.e., cold, emotionless) spy. I'm also sorry that we never got any resolution to the "We have to tell them, Shaw" line from Beckman the week before Shaw first appeared.

Joseph said...

I guess season three took its toll on me, but I didn't much like this episode at all. While it ultimately works (or would have worked) as a conclusion to the series, it's no where near as aces as pretty much anything last season.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see how this possibly stacks up as one of the show's best. Yes, it had some wonderful character beats, but after all the writer/budgetary rhetoric about "saving up" for this episode, was this really supposed to be a "game changer?" I hate that term and I liked the original status quo, but this episode did nothing surprising.

Shaw's storyline came to a predictable conclusion. Casey had a massive action scene...off screen. (Sorry, Alan, but unlike some of the funny "Chuck has a mustache" stuff from last season, the complete lack of Casey at the end just screamed of "We spent all our money on Brandon Routh!") And everyone returns to the Buy More and the Orange Orange to live happily ever after.

Is it a big deal that Chuck finally killed someone? I guess...I wouldn't have cared if we hadn't spent two episodes of Sarah angrily rejecting him for just that.

It was a fun episode, but after all the hype? Maybe I'm missing something.

I'm excited for six more episodes, but the gulf between the actual quality of this show and the accolades it receives is entirely out of whack.

Otto Man said...

Shaw holding onto Sarah's wrist before he fell was straight out of the end of Die Hard.

My thoughts exactly. I only wish Shaw had fallen with the Hans Gruber silent scream.

Anonymous said...

No question the phone in the elevator was tied to the Princess Bride. Laugh out loud funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94LL8J8WYT0

Andrew said...

I am with the people who don't think that was nearly as good as most of season two. There was a lot of nice moments, and I'll rewatch it for those, but it's not nearly as good as I think every episode from DeLorean on last year, with 3-D and Beefcake excepted.

Among other flaws, the whole thing was super predictable. Well executed, but predictable.

Stephanie said...

Outstanding. I've never been a rabid Chuck/Sarah shipper, but I was smiling from ear to ear at the end. It was terrific to see Sarah realize that Chuck was in fact still her Chuck, even after he killed someone.

I suspect that this is the kind of spy that Chuck will be - someone who will kill when necessary, but will go to lengths to resolve a serious situation without doing so if possible.

I will say that Morgan becoming a spy initially had me rolling my eyes a bit. Morgan can be smart, but let's face it, he isn't spy material. That said, I felt the writers had him helping in a very realistic way, and if they keep Morgan's spy role a minor one, it will work infinitely better for me.

If that had been either a season or series finale, I would have been happy. But I'm thrilled that we're getting at least six more.

Mayra said...

This episode was just brilliant. As you were saying above there was a the perfect blend of romance, comedy, action and drama. We FINALLY have them together! It wasn't the only reason why I watched this show but it definitely was one of them...overall just a strong episode! I can't wait weeks for the next episode!

Andrew said...

Morgan is Alfred, obviously.

Linda said...

"the gulf between the actual quality of this show and the accolades it receives is entirely out of whack."

I really do not understand this argument AT ALL. What if someone said, "The gulf between the actual problems with this show and the amount of relentlessly defeatist whining about it is entirely out of whack"? It seems like one of those statements is exactly as valid as the other, because they're both based on the idea that the quality of a show as determined by you is a factual fixed point around which everyone else's opinion revolves, and it is either near or far from that factual fixed point, as determined by you, and you are in charge of saying how near or far.

I don't understand why you would want to discuss the show by discussing the validity of other people's opinions instead of just ... talking about the show. Isn't it easier to say "I didn't like it as much as you did" than to say "clearly, your opinion is out of whack"?

Lisa said...

(**) And I hope that, in addition to saying goodbye to Shaw and cementing Sarah and Chuck as a couple, this episode allows the writers to turn Sarah back into the assertive, ass-kicking woman we fell for right along with Chuck.

From your lips to Schwartz and Fedak's ears, Alan.

I really do hope the final six eps will return "Chuck" to a more familiar S1 and S2 feel. Despite the happy events of this episode, I've felt this entire season has been hijacked by this very weak Shaw plotline that's left the whole show feeling a bit off-key.

I mean, now we know that Shaw was Ring all along because he went crazy over his wife (ho-hum) I still wonder why they couldn't have let Sarah be the one to break that open. Why did she get stuck being the damsel in distress this season, bouncing from Shaw to Chuck in a way that was really unworthy of YS and the way she's built that character from the beginning?

But now that Chuck and Sarah are together, please, let's allow YS to restore Sarah's brain, heart and leadership abilities.

And for God's sake, somebody finally tell Ellie what's going on so she doesn't have to be the second-biggest female idiot on the show.

That said:

*Josh Gomez and Adam Baldwin were WONDERFUL tonight. It sounds like Morgan's main job is to be everyone's conscience, and I'm OK with that. I'm very pleased with everything they've done with Morgan these last 3-4 episodes.

*Is it me, or have Chuck and Sarah lost a bit of the passion they delivered in S1 and S2? Yes, we had our big moment tonight and yes, Chuck got his romantic dream in Paris fulfilled, but to me, it all felt a bit stilted. Less Paris, more Echo Park, guys. And don't have them go all Nick and Nora on us -- give us back the Sarah and Chuck we fell in love with from the beginning.

*Bonita Friedericy is the bomb. I think Morgan needs to come to his senses and dump Anna for her.

John said...

Fan-dam-tastic episode. Please, NBC -- renew this show! A hundred times better than any of that Marriage Ref/Win It crap.

Medrawt said...

I instantly thought the moment with a ring phone was a reference to "I have no gate key." All that was missing was Chuck, rather than nodding, saying "Sarah, rip his arms off."

So does anyone else think it was a bold move to hang a plot point on a dodgy looking fight scene when this season, IMO at least, has seen a lot of dodgy looking fight scenes? It certainly amused me, although at the time we first saw it I thought it was uncharacteristically sloppy, even for Chuck.

So far at least, the rather bizarre moral compass of the show doesn't bother me as fluff, but especially with the apparent intention to take the show into slightly darker and more serious territory, I agree with Alan that they need to seriously work out a plausible attitude for killing in the line of duty; I think that's one of the things keeping the show from stepping up a notch in my personal estimation (not, presumably, that Schwartz and Fedak care about my personal estimation!).

Anonymous said...

Maybe the cleanup crew that cleared out Casey's apt at the end of Tic-Tac also snagged his Crown Vic.

Anonymous said...

The Ewok celebration song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7-y-A3D5bk

Nathan said...

I can't remember the episode but wasn't the crown vic destroyed? I remember something about people being on a yacht, a missile launcher, and chuck having to destroy the crown vic instead of the missile hitting the yacht. Maybe I'm making this up I'm not sure. Anyone remember this episode?

Anonymous said...

@Nathan Chuck vs The Crown Vic, a season 1 episode. But in season 2 he had a new one - vs First Date, vs Sensei, up until the second to last episode where everyone escapes in it.

Johnny3 said...

Alan, can't thank you enough for what you've done for this show!


I knew last week that Chuck would have to kill Shaw to save Sarah this week but the fake out at the warehouse had me fooled for a bit. I bought the season 2 DVD a month ago and before I opened it gave it to my nephew who was at my house. I got it back a couple of weeks later thinking he hadn't watched it. He said he watched the whole thing in 3 days and watched all the 3.0 episodes online. We watched the Other Guy together. Another convert!

Anonymous said...

Alan, I have a question, do you still think that Sarah had chosen Chuck over Shaw prior to Casey coming clean to her about Chuck's red test? The way she talked about finding out that truth in tonight's episode made me wonder a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Joseph said "but after all the writer/budgetary rhetoric about "saving up" for this episode, was this really supposed to be a "game changer?""

I think the "game changer" talk was all for the new season finale in 6 eps.

I love this show. Could all of the hate for the rest of the season elevated this ep? i believe so.

drbluman said...

And one of the things that keeps popping up is about "subtext." Plays, novels, songs - they all have a "subtext," which I take to mean a hidden message or import of some kind. So subtext we know. But what do you call the message or meaning that's right there on the surface, completely open and obvious? They never talk about that. What do you call what's above the subtext?

Ennnnh. I wanted to love this (not)finale. But I just couldn't. And the problems I had with the episode are just versions of the same problems I had with the whole season, and with the direction the series appears to be heading. (I say this, btw, as someone who was all in on the Dark Chuck story arc in concept if not in execution, and who doesn't care all that much about the Chuck-Sarah story as long as it's handled well.)

This whole season I feel like I've been dodging a hailstorm of anvils watching the show. It's like the show decided to try to idiot-proof (or new-viewer-friendly, I suppose) the show, to the point where no story arc, no plot point is left without copious highlighting, underlining, unnecessary blink-tagging, etc. For example:

- Not really getting what the whole "Dark Chuck" fuss has been about this season? How about we have our characters say the word "spy" about eleventymillion times throughout the season, and even have Sarah launch into a soliloquy about it in the (not)finale?

- Don't understand how Sarah could possibly even entertain choosing Shaw over Chuck? It's okay, Morgan will explain how brawnily handsome he is AGAIN.

- Why doesn't Chuck just flash in the first confrontation with Shaw and dispatch him with some Chuck-fu? Did you forget that emotions short out Intersect 2.0? There's Shaw to remind you, inexplicably, in the middle of a fight.

- And did you miss the first couple of times we abruptly cut away from the Shaw Ring HQ fight sequence to give you a lingering close-up of the Ring security camera (WHICH WILL IN NO WAY BE CRITICAL TO THE PLOT)? Don't worry, we'll do that again. And again.

- Still not getting it? Perhaps we should have Shaw (visibly!) wince (twice?) at Castle during the debriefing as Chuck congratulates him on his fighting skills, as seen on the Ring security camera (WHICH WILL IN NO WAY BE CRITICAL TO THE PLOT).

Guys, I get it. I've watched TV before. More to the point, I watched Chuck before. From the beginning of the series, in fact. So less telling, more showing. Less text, more subtext.

But you don't have to take my word for it. See, e.g., David Simon ("F**k the exposition. . . . Just be. The exposition can come later. . . . If I can make you curious enough, there’s this thing called Google. If you’re curious about the New Orleans Indians, or ‘second-line’ musicians—you can look it up.”); David Mamet ("REMEMBER YOU ARE WRITING FOR A VISUAL MEDIUM. . . . THE CAMERA CAN DO THE EXPLAINING FOR YOU. LET IT.").

I still do like the show. I just want it to be better.

Karen said...

I think that Sarah rejecting Chuck for killing under orders is a very different thing from Sarah embracing Chuck for killing in order to save her life.

But about this whole Shaw thing...at first, in the elevator reveal, I was thinking that everyone who'd assumed Shaw was a Ring plant all along was vindicated. But then I realized that if he'd been a Ring plant all along there'd have been no reason for his screaming "No!!!!" when he saw the footage of Sarah killing Evelyn Shaw. So, are we to believe that that moment, that knowledge, caused Shaw to turn from being a great agent into a traitor? Really? That just seems a little far-fetched.

It was nice to see the Director (aka Badger) end his run crushed under the arm of Casey (aka Jayne). A nice reunion! Badger was actually my introduction to the since-ubiquitous Mark Sheppard (although I see by IMDb he was on an early episode of The X-Files; I just don't remember him there).

I found it all very satisfactory, despite my confusion about the Shaw/treachery timeline. It was nice that Chuck finally got to Paris and to Sarah in one fell swoop.

I can't wait for the 3 weeks to pass until the next installment!

MWentworth said...

Loved the episode. GO SARAH & CHUCK. Glad to see Casey back with the team. What a hoot....Morgan working undercover at the Buy More.

Anonymous said...

Great episode. Would have been a great series finale. Glad we'll see six more at least.

The biggest pop culture reference had to have been the Shaw death scene. It was almost exactly like Hans Gruber's demise in 'Die Hard'. The only thing missing was Chuck releasing Sarah's watch sending Shaw to his final resting place.

Rich, Denver

Anonymous said...

Excellent, loveed it!

BriZee said...

Beckman was hilarious tonite!

Lisa said...

Alan, you made an interesting point about Chuck's other breakthrough tonight -- his first "justified" kill with Shaw and whether that's going to make Chuck more casual about killing in the future. On one hand, I think Chuck's "killing is wrong" attitude has been a really strong part of this show, mainly because ZL has delivered that viewpoint so well. On the other, with his new Intersect capabilities and the reality of his job, Chuck's continued squeamishness about hurting people would seem disingenuous.

But now that Chuck has killed both in self-defense and on behalf of the woman he loves, I wonder where that reality will take him in the future? Is Shaw still somewhere at the bottom of the Seine? Did Chuck have to dispose of the body once he got Sarah to safety? I really do hope they go back to that at some point, because it would make sense for Chuck's character to revisit the consequences of that action.

I think I would have liked the final scene a lot better if there had been a real moment of realization and consolation between Chuck and Sarah about this happening rather than Sarah's "you saved me!" remark that tripped happily to the kiss and the funny ending with the General. I mean, Sarah didn't want Chuck to become a killer unless...he was rescuing her? What, like it turned her on? Ugh. Sarah in S1 and S2 would have picked up on the moral complexity of this massive event. I think it was one more example of the lazy character support we've seen all season.

Let's hope the last episodes make more sense.

AM said...

I liked the finale but after last season which was amazing, I can't help but feel underwhelmed with everything being wrapped up so fast. I think people have put in so much effort to save the show, their expectations and standards decreased in many, many aspects. Between the fight scenes and the pacing, everything was moving so fast, it wasn't enjoyable to me. The pop-culture references were great though. Just being realistic.

MikeS said...

I liked this episode. It wasn't quite as good as last season's finale, but what can be? Last season's final episodes were just bigger overall, bigger goals, and bigger payouts.

This whole season was built to crescendo with the resolution of the Chuck and Sarah relationship. So, all of the silliness, and the missteps, were engineered with this endpoint in mind, not necessarily the end of that particular episode. While that doesn't make some of the weak Shaw storyline better, I'm going to chock it up as "All's well that ends well".

This is the Chuck that I love to watch. It was a lot of fun, and funny, and was exciting.

It's great to get Casey back. It was inevitable that he would end up back on the inside, but it was a good comeback.

Hopefully, this is the finale of the will they/won't they silliness...they could still screw it up, but for now, this is solid resolution.

Most of all, I'm excited with the possibilities of what is to come in the final six episodes. I hope they keep up like this!

Anonymous said...

Pile on the love, then address one of your thoughts, Alan.

I don't think they're going to let Chuck continue to let Sarah do all the killing, as the show showed us how untenable that position is: The Director instantly saw that Chuck was using a dart gun, and turned the lack of proper backup to his advantage. Yes, it was a setup, but still.

andy said...

So, how many Intersects have there been how?

The first one that Bryce sent to Chuck then blew up. The second that killed Sarah's boss. The third one that the Fulcrum suburbanites were working on. The fourth that Orion sabotaged to deprogram Chuck. The fifth, Intersect 2.0, which Chuck has now. The sixth that showed up in "vs. Nacho Sampler." And now The Ring is working on a seventh, or at least was.

(And that's not counting whatever Bryce used to give Chuck an update in "vs. The Break-Up.")

You'd think someone would get it right AND make sure it didn't get blown up.

OpenID's not working, normally "jarodrussell" here.

andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cadfile said...

Congrats on getting the soapy Chuck ending the shippers wanted - now can I have fun Chuck back at least for the rest of the season.

Now that Chuck has gotten a little somethin somethin now we can go on to some situation based shows.

I had heard of the all the hype about this episode but for me it was just okay. Like a baseball team stealing signs this episode lacked any suspense or unseen twists like the end of Season 2.

I did like the funny bits at the end with Morgan and Casey resolving their plot points and the characters did their usual good job. I also muddled through watching it live to help out the ratings and I would love to see a 4th season as long as they don't do a Chuck vs the Other Guy season long arc again.

Anonymous said...

Well, this should be interesting. The rule is, talk about the show, not about other posters, and I'm going to break that for a moment to point out that Linda has seriously violated it. Will her status as Friend of the Blog/Friend of Sars keep her from having the comment deleted, as it ought to be?

Rudyjax said...

Words Roxanne! I'm afraid of words!

Too many words on this blog post, Alan. Shouldn't you be saving the for Breaking Bad?? Just kidding.

I love Chuck and thanks for getting me into it.

It's almost as if they lost their way and then found it again.

Sarah D. Bunting said...

As did yours, Anonymous 10:59.

Topic, please.

Michael G. said...

That was quite good. Besides the usual amount of holes (much less than most of the episodes this season though), the finale brought everything--the funny, the action and some other stuff that I can't remember. And mmm, music.

Also, called it:

Michael G. said...

Oh, and anyone else think Chuck's going to shoot/kill someone to save Sarah at some point? He still hasn't gotten his first real kill yet, and I doubt the show can keep avoiding it.

3:13 AM, March 16, 2010


Oh yeah! Though it's not exactly an unpredictable move...

Michael G. said...

Also, Yvonne was amazing. Maybe it's because she got to do something besides "dour."

Anonymous said...

Maybe Chuck and Sarah's Hotel Room was on Moonraker because that shot of Paris was from above the Eiffel Tower.

Puff

Baylink said...

Ok. I was relatively happy about this as a semi-finale.. though I'm not sure what I'd've thought about it if it were a season (much less series) finale, either.

As for the desert warehouse "fakeout"... my personal take is Shaw actually intended to whack Sarah there, and some sensors or something told him that Chuck had -- as we used to say in Viet Nam (where, by "WE", I mean Dan Murray in a Tom Clancy novel :-) -- "called in the whole world"... and he decided he could play it off.

Morgan getting promoted to spy -- effectively, filling the lovable geek slot after Chuck's promotion -- is a pretty bright move. The problem with such clearly drawn characters in episodic television is nicely illustrated by Frank Burns: if they don't grow, you get tired of them. But if they do grow, you have to replace them. Since you may have to replace them anyway, you might as well let them grow.

And in fairness to Morgan: this season, most of the "wanders in and screws things up at *just* the right time" work has been being down by, of all people, Casey: Morgan's mostly been saving the day.

That's actually been one of the writers' best standing beats, since they've been having *real* trouble writing Sarah.

I agree with whomever commented a couple weeks back that yes, Sarah got knocked on her ass emotionally this season, and yes, she's likely to be off her form... but the other people, who point out that damnit, this is *Sarah (Lisa Elisabeth Reynolds) Walker* we're talking about here have a good point as well -- this is yet another thing I hope the writers will remember to un-arc in 3.1.

Callbacks: The gripping Sarah's hand thing goes back to ... that Fulcrum guy on the window washer support in the ep with Jill...?


As for "it's too dangerous, you have to tell them" I assumed that what she wanted them told was that Shaw was *not* really going to get killed when Awesome shot him... and Shaw was right: neither Chuck nor Devon's a good enough actor to pull it off.

They're right about the enemy development, though, and the writing in general this season: it's been week. Why is unclear, there were only 2 new writers I know of; I haven't checked to see how many of the earlier writers were back... but it's not all *that* much harder to write well than it is to write weakly... and it certainly doesn't cost more -- at least not directly.

> the complete lack of Casey at the end just screamed of "We spent all our money on Brandon Routh!"

You don't actually think they pay the actors by the line or minute, do you? He was in the ep, he got paid.

> Morgan is Alfred, obviously.

My ghod, he is. :-)

> Morgan is everyone's conscience.

Except possibly his own; that's much harder. I know. We may get to find that out in 3.1.

About the Crown Vic thing: yes, he already got a replacement -- a 1984 or 7, I think... and it's still around, and that's the sort of sloppy writing we're talking about. We love callbacks -- like Sarah's "from the minute you saved that ballerina's recital" -- we just hate dumb ones.

> I think that Sarah rejecting Chuck for killing under orders is a very different thing from Sarah embracing Chuck for killing in order to save her life.

I don't. If Chuck had gone off the reservation and just killed someone *randomly* that would be another thing.

Once the dust settles they should *entirely* burn up an entire scene making her comfortable with this -- this *is* a drama, after all.

> Sarah in S1 and S2 would have picked up on the moral complexity of this massive event.

See above: Sarah just spent a couple hours being drugged and almost killed after finding out she'd been falling for a guy whose wife she killed.

C'mon, folks: this stuff's *hard*. They *do* have to deal with it, just not *there*.

Anonymous said...

I might have had a few quibbles, but who cares. This was an awesome episode and I loved it!

Nicole said...

Despite the low word count of my comment, I really enjoyed this episode and am glad that Shaw is gone (or is he?).

This episode certainly would have been a good end to the series had there only been 13 episodes, however I am a bit concerned as to what will happen for the last group. Will it simply be the adventures of Sarah and Chuck, or is something more long term going to be built into it.

Alison said...

I was very happy with this episode and agree that if this has been the end I would have been upset, but content - much as I would have been last season.

There seems to be some discussion on when exactly Shaw went rogue but I haven't seen anyone bring up this idea... Shaw's betrayal and the whole Paris setup felt to me like an elaborate suicide by cop. He said all the right things to the Ring but he only incapacitated Sarah, we don't know the quality of the info he gave them, he said he didn't betray Chuck's secret, and he didn't kill Chuck when he could have. Also, he had to have expected Chuck would come after them.

Rox said...

Agreed. Last week and this week WERE the Chuck we fought to save last season. I liked what you did Alan and had issues with some plotholes here and there, but overall a straong episode. But now that I've seen all original 13, having taken the show runners at their "have faith" we need to stick it out word, I still won't ever rewatch this season but for the first 2 and last 2 episodes. Nothing about tonight saved the Shaw nonsense for me. I love that Chuck and Sarah were FINALLY allowed to declare their love and act on it, but what they did to the Sarah character this season, the inconsistencies with her and the whole Shaw story, did take away some of that moment for me. Shaw didn't turn out to have been Ring all along, Sarah wasn't playing him, he wasn't playing Sarah, he wasn't much of a mentor or a spy. All the talk tonight about what a good spy he was was absurd. He added nothing until the big "I'm going to kill you Sarah" story of tonight. Unfortunately, I don't trust that Josh and Chris won't turn around and immediately rip Chuck and Sarah apart yet again. If this had been the season finale we would have had about 2 minutes, in the last episode of the season, of them happy. Man, would I have been disappointed. Pure Schwartz and Fedak. Allllll those Sarah and Shaw moments and we get so little of Chuck and Sarah this season. Water under the bridge, but like you, I hope they learn from it. From what they've said so far, they stand by the story they told. I do know after watching these 13 if the back six are anything like these 13 I won't stick it out. It was painful once, no need to do it again.

Andrew said...

Despite the low word count of my comment, I really enjoyed this episode and am glad that Shaw is gone (or is he?).

Everyone who keeps saying this needs to be quiet. He's gone. Dead. Kaput. Removed. Pining for the fjords. At least give us tonight.

This episode certainly would have been a good end to the series had there only been 13 episodes, however I am a bit concerned as to what will happen for the last group. Will it simply be the adventures of Sarah and Chuck, or is something more long term going to be built into it.

Do we really care as long as Team Bartowski gets to do stuff together again?

Magnus Anton Lekay said...

The will-they-won't-they element is essentially gone now. Though, they will of course throw in things that will cause trouble in the relationship but the romance is solidified now. They are not taking it back.

Janey said...

I had a problem with Sarah and Shaw essentially being outwardly together (walking arm in arm in Paris) right up until about halfway through this episode. Yes, she had chosen Chuck, but Shaw didn't know that, so they continued to act like a couple? It felt strange and reduced the grand Chuck and Sarah interactions for me. In the same episode that he and Sarah get it on, Shaw is still in the picture.

Katrine said...

With the utmost respect: really Alan? Really? Sigh.

Well, the second part of this episode was closer to Original Flavor Chuck. Yes, the elevator scene had a good dose of absurdity mixed with real tension. Yes, there was more humor (particularly loved Sarah thanking Chuck for "saving her" the fist time, she she wasn't in danger.) But the way this show has been throwing all the characters about with no regard for plausible characterization over the entire last season has taken its toll. They've taken the show so far off course, that you know what? I didn't like Chuck and Sarah getting together.

I wasn't a 'shipper, but the Chuck/Sarah romance used to be one of my favorite parts of this show--and the mucking around they've done with these two characters has KILLED all the emotional attachment I used to have to their relationship. It did that so efficiently that the moment where Sarah confessed her love to Chuck felt absolutely flat, and I was BORED.

Honestly, I kind of feel like Sarah felt when she thought Chuck had killed the mole. My favorite show, and I can't bring myself to care about it anymore. My favorite show, and... there's nothing there for me now to connect with. And then the very ending of the show just made me dislike Sarah, period.

I used to love watching Chuck and not care or even much notice any plot holes or nonsensical plot twists. I noticed them this time.

(con't)

Katrine said...

Main gripes:

1. Every time it is brought up that Casey doesn't WANT to be at the Buymore, it snaps me out of any suspension of disbelief. He can leave and get many other kinds of jobs should he want to. There WAS a way they could've justified this--if they had him so down-and-out about his demotion from being a spy, and feeling so self-doubtful and lost-without-a-purpose that his reason for staying there was that he felt he didn't deserve any better--that could've made sense. But they didn't really pursue this tack. He just inexplicably settled (and didn't even seem to consider anything else as an option), without the downward spiral that would at all have provided justification.

2. The love confession scene was emotionally a let-down. We KNOW Sarah loves Chuck; we already got confirmation of that in the last episode--yeah, Chuck didn't, but the scene should work for both Chuck and the audience. Moreover though, CHUCK knows Sarah loves him--that is, he certainly had good reason to wonder if she loves him anymore, but he certainly knows she loved him at one point--she suggested they run away together! The scene was weird in that regard, as though love is something like a bureaucratic process and you HAVE to say the actual words before it can be confirmed.

3. I hated, hated, HATED Sarah bringing up the mole-shooting incident here. I get her aversion to having Chuck be a killer, but she was there and she SAW that he (or Casey) had no choice--that it was either shoot, or be shot. REALLY, she wanted him to let himself die rather than kill? I can't even bring myself to eat meat, and I'd shoot under those circumstance. That wasn't even a "killer's kill." It was entirely the wrong thing to be reminded of for me, and made everything go sour in my mouth.

4. Shaw's subplot was disappointing in its scope. I was really hoping it would have turned out that he had been a Ring agent the ENTIRE time, and this whole season of really lame missions of Ring people wanting to kill him was an elaborate set-up to get General Beckman to trust him COMPLETELY, and for him to really let the Ring loose on the CIA. Instead, his dastardly plan is... he kills Sarah and hands over some papers on how to fix the Intersect to the Ring? ... Yawn. That would have been like, a mid-level mission in Season 2. Not to mention this means that yes, Shaw really was as boring as he seemed for the last however-many episodes.


5. The final scene with Chuck and Sarah just killed her character for me, because even though she apparently wanted Chuck to allow himself to be SHOT rather than kill someone, here she was shown as changing her mind about it all because the person Chuck saved was HER. So, great--Sarah's so selfish that she only decides it's ok for Chuck to kill when it's her hiney on the line? Um...?

Sad sad sad sad sad. And to think the reason I was so over the moon for Chuck for the last 2 seasons was that I thought they played the balance of character development and UST and ramping-up of stakes in plot perfectly, like no other show I had seen... and then it had to go and disappoint me on all counts. :-(

Andrew said...

To be fair to Sarah: she was stoned and definitely hazy on exactly what happened. I can buy it as self-narration as she's remembering what happened.

Most importantly she made her choice BEFORE Chuck saved her and after he embarrassed (sort of) himself in front of her again. Yay agency!

Frank said...

Why did Sarah need to forget all the details of Shaw turning into Evil on 2 feet? She had to wake up and not remember anything except Shaw wanted to kill her? It would have played better if she remembered all it and how terrible he was. Shaw shouldn't have been let off that hook.

Andrew said...

He wasn't, it's just that she was drugged and it makes sense for her not to be fully clear on the details.

A rare dash of realism!

Snacktime said...

This was an amazing episode! I never thought they'd get to having Shaw be part of The Ring. I'm glad they went with that cliche. Morgan Grimes FTW on figuring out the fake moves in the fight.

I'm glad that Chuck killed Shaw. He'd have to do it at some point if he wants to be a "real spy" -- and I'm glad it wasn't intersected-up Chuck, rather, emotional real Chuck.

As for the Sarah/Chuck stuff, I'm so pleased. I'm so used to my other "'ships" never getting to resolution, that I'm over the moon with all the confessions of love, etc.

Roger Dodger said...

Not sure why anyone would complain about the further adventures of Chuck and Sarah! Bring it on! Really looking forward to them as spy team,with Morgan and Casey too, for Chuck to really be living the dream. Secret Agent who got the girl, I love it. So many possibilities now if they let them be happy in this moment for awhile at least.

ce9999 said...

Nice allusion to "The Spy Who Loved Me" at the end there, too. Very appropriate! :)

jd said...

Loved it. This is the "Chuck" that sold Subway sandwiches, launched blogs to "Save Chuck", and filled the largest room at ComicCon for the cast panel.

Favorite stuff of "v. the Other Guy":

**Sarah casually taking out a wicked looking knife from inside her shirt to cut through the gaming cords to free Morgan;

**General Beckman holding her nose and bringing Morgan on board Team Bartowski ("Sir"...I mean, "Ma'am");

**The Clapper and the sleep hair band. Dear God, what's next? One of those thingies to wear around her neck in case she's fallen and can't get up? ;)

**The sheer joy and relief on Sarah and Chuck's faces in that last scene -- they have FINALLY made it to the same page, together.

**Casey firing up the stogie (from his "thank you" stash from the Paradoran dictator) and gleefully bargaining his way back to active status.

I'm so excited for the back six episodes. "vs. the Honeymooners" looks to be incredibly fun, sexy (come on, this is ZL and YS...what chemistry!), and action-packed. And I don't know when we'll get to see that scene where Casey is training Morgan at the firing range, but oh boy, we're in for some fantastic comedy.

(Word verification: OUITY. How apt -- the first three letters that are French for "YES!")

Christian said...

Pop Culture Reference

Did anyone else think that Shaw holding onto Sarah's wrist as Chuck puller her back up was reminiscent of Die Hard?

Jennifer said...

Well. I have not been as into this season as other ones (mostly a weaker Sarah and the overuse of "real spy" and the S/S dragout). I generally enjoyed this, but I can't say that I've felt massively hot for Chuck and Sarah well, all season. So while I'm objectively pleased they finally got together, I wasn't "feeling it." Oh well. I watch this show for amusement, since its realism factor is low.

Enjoyable bits: General Beckman, period. "You're not going to like this." Morgan joins the spy gang. Chuck finally frigging killed someone. (It always bothered me that anyone thought it was remotely plausible that he could always avoid killing. And as this episode proved, what would he do if someone wanted to kill Sarah?)

Not enjoyable: Shaw being the inevitable evil spy, again, and all that crap (though Morgan's fake fighting spotting skills was kinda kewl). Also the part where he dragged a drugged Sarah around for like 20 minutes without bothering to kill her. Argh.

VisionOn said...

This show used to be fun. Now it has to pretensions to be something it isn't and it fails miserably.

There are so many plot holes and badly written plot logic in these "spy" stories you could drive the spare tank through.

This was a comedy show remember? The creators don't seem to remember that. It was akin to Get Smart not Bond. Someone mentioned that Morgan as a spy had lots of comedy potential. That may be, but as we've seen with this series they don't use comedy potential. They've shoved it to the side to pretend they are Alias. If I wanted to watch Alias I'll watch the DVDs because frankly they are leagues better than Chuck spy-lite.

From day one of this season Chuck's new intersect had huge comedy potential in which he could have flashed on the wrong skill at the wrong time - did they use it? No. In fact for the NSA's top secret weapon Chuck has been useless this season. He isn't even worth having in the field since he never "flashes" on anything useful - or even funny.

Some of you might like this "action-adventure" Chuck. But not me. It's too poorly written to pass itself off as that.

Chuck used to be The Middleman with spies. I can only imagine what a horrific proposition it would have been if The Middleman had tried to be serious. Thankfully they never got the chance to make the mistake Chuck has.

Rachael said...

Alan said: (**) And I hope that, in addition to saying goodbye to Shaw and cementing Sarah and Chuck as a couple, this episode allows the writers to turn Sarah back into the assertive, ass-kicking woman we fell for right along with Chuck.

AMEN to that!!!! That is one thing that has disappointed me this season. I know they wanted to show that Chuck could "become a man" and start saving Sarah for a change ... but I still felt like they could have given Sarah some much better ass-kicking scenes this season!! I really hope we get more in the back 6. BUT I was glad that Yvonne got some good acting work in this ep at least ... even if she was the "damsel in distress" which I normally hate in general hahah.

Couple other quibbles:

Karen said: But about this whole Shaw thing...at first, in the elevator reveal, I was thinking that everyone who'd assumed Shaw was a Ring plant all along was vindicated. But then I realized that if he'd been a Ring plant all along there'd have been no reason for his screaming "No!!!!" when he saw the footage of Sarah killing Evelyn Shaw. So, are we to believe that that moment, that knowledge, caused Shaw to turn from being a great agent into a traitor? Really? That just seems a little far-fetched.

Totally agree with this ... that was my biggest quibble with this episode. I don't believe Shaw could have been turned by The Ring that quickly/easily, even if they did give him the info on how his wife was killed.

The other quibble I can think of at the moment is that I didn't believe that even Morgan would have been stupid enough to QUIT HIS JOB after that quick conversation with Chuck where Chuck supposedly promised him a job as his "personal spy assistant" or whatever it was!! That was just way too ridiculous. BUT I did love how Morgan was the one to recognize that Shaw was a double. ;-)

Well despite my quibbles, I really liked this ep overall though. Lots of funny stuff ... pretty much all of it has been mentioned already but I'm not sure if this one has been: I LOVED when Sarah walked in on the scene of drunk Chuck and tied-up Morgan. Made the whole scene just that much funnier. I also laughed at several of Chuck's little quips that he made while he was asking Sarah if she really loved him.

I also liked several stylistic elements of this ep ... like the last scene where Chuck shot Shaw and then Shaw almost pulled Sarah over the bridge with him ... with that Antlers song playing in the background ... I thought that was very nicely done.

Now I just hope NBC doesn't cancel this show. :-(

Rachael said...

VisionOn said: This show used to be fun. Now it has to pretensions to be something it isn't and it fails miserably. There are so many plot holes and badly written plot logic in these "spy" stories you could drive the spare tank through.

This was a comedy show remember? The creators don't seem to remember that. It was akin to Get Smart not Bond. Someone mentioned that Morgan as a spy had lots of comedy potential. That may be, but as we've seen with this series they don't use comedy potential. They've shoved it to the side to pretend they are Alias. If I wanted to watch Alias I'll watch the DVDs because frankly they are leagues better than Chuck spy-lite.


I get where you are coming from, but I don't agree with all of it. I was a crazed maniac of an Alias superfan (it's still probably my #1 favorite show ever) ... but I have to say that Alias always had TONS of plotholes too. You could drive a tank through many of Alias' plot holes as well with all the crazy stuff that Syd had to do as a double agent, all the Rambaldi stuff which got really convoluted really quickly, and just little plot holes with the spy missions in general (just like Chuck). I get mad at the plot holes I see in Chuck each week, but I really don't think this happens any more often than it did with Alias.

One thing on which I will agree with you though, is that Chuck as a super serious show would not work. Alias was meant to be a serious drama from day one, so they just did "serious drama" much more ... say ... elegantly ... than Chuck does. Chuck does tend to come off as quite clunky when it starts to get too serious.

But I thought this ep was plenty fun and almost all the Morgan stuff cracked me up. I think and hope that the "Morgan working for the CIA (or whatever the heck group they work for)" angle will provide plenty of laughs in the future. I will agree that there have been more "clunky" aspects to this 3rd season than I would have liked, but if I think back to the 3rd season of Alias, I felt exactly the same way about that show in its 3rd season (even much more so actually)!! And Alias only continued to go downhill from there, where as I still feel quite entertained and pretty satisfied with this season of Chuck, even with the quibbles I've had with it.

Audrey said...

I would be very satisfied if this was to be the series finale - it would end in such a high note that I can forgive almost everything that had gone wrong during the season.

Kudos to Fedak (I admit that I was never a fan of any of his solo-written episodes before) for such a well balanced episode of action, suspense, laughs, and most importantly lots of heart. I especially adore the crowded elevator scenes, and Sarah's "Look at me. Do I look like a amateur?" If I have to complain about the episode, it would be the "I am a spy" line again. Yes, show, we know this is a spy show and Chuck is a spy. Other than that, with such an entertaining episode, all plot holes have been overlooked and forgiven.

And indeed, great work from the cast all around.

Last thing: Gotta echo Alan's shoutout to Tim Jones, the composer. Superb scores that were effectively used to highly the scenes and their tones.

thebitterhero said...

I know this was meant to be a season finale and it really felt like one. I think if it was I'd be really satisfied and happy.

LOVE how Shaw knew Casey had arrived based on the maniac machine gunning.

Brandy said...

I agree with most of your thoughts on the episode. I thought it was an enjoyable hour that would've worked well as a series (or season) finale, as it tied up a lot of loose ends while getting Casey back and bringing Morgan into the fold. Also, Chuck finally got to go to Paris!

That said, I was sort of letdown that Shaw was truly working for The Ring. I had kind of hoped that he would end up trying to hurt Sarah because he was blind with grief, and just couldn't control his emotions. I think it would've been nice to contrast that with Chuck, since there was so much talk about how his feelings got in the way of him being a great spy. It would show that even a robot like Shaw has feelings and can be held hostage by them almost. I think it would've been a lot sadder if Shaw wasn't a double agent, just a man consumed by grief over his dead wife, and Chuck ended up killing him anyways to save himself and Sarah.

But, that wouldn't have allowed Chuck and Sarah to enjoy Paris for a few happy days, so I'm glad they got that.

Am interested to see how Morgan fits in with the gang. Part of me is pleased that he's CIA now, the other part is sad because I kind of liked Chuck having his civilian best friend to confide in. Now, he'll be in the same world as Chuck, although I doubt they'll send him on a mission for awhile.

ChuckMe said...

Brandy said: That said, I was sort of letdown that Shaw was truly working for The Ring. I had kind of hoped that he would end up trying to hurt Sarah because he was blind with grief, and just couldn't control his emotions. I think it would've been nice to contrast that with Chuck, since there was so much talk about how his feelings got in the way of him being a great spy. It would show that even a robot like Shaw has feelings and can be held hostage by them almost. I think it would've been a lot sadder if Shaw wasn't a double agent, just a man consumed by grief over his dead wife, and Chuck ended up killing him anyways to save himself and Sarah.

Actually, I think Shaw explained it pretty clearly at the restaurant table. He's been driven by getting revenge on his wife's killer for 5 years. It was Sarah's red test, so obviously she was ordered to do it and he wanted revenge (still) on her higher-ups. The best way to do that was not only to kill the triggerwoman, but cripple the brass who ordered the hit by giving them the Intersect info. So he was motivated by grief and only sided with the Ring enough to accomplish his goals—and only after seeing the evidence they provided him. He was indeed blinded by his emotions and lust for revenge (they showed that tendency of his several times this arc). I thought the show delivered everything you asked for, he just became a double-agent at the end to accomplish it. He was so blinded and corrupted by emotions that he made a deal with the devil, the organization he swore to take down, so he could satisfy his need for revenge. That is indeed sad. In that respect, a wonderful foil to Chuck.

So—all's well that ends well? Yes, I suppose the whole Shaw thing is sort of forgivable, but I don't think the whole S/S plot line will be any less stomach-able when rewatching the 13 episodes together when they come out on Blu-Ray. I look forward to a brighter 6 eps in a few weeks. :D

Anna said...

Terrific episode! So much to love in this one, especially every scene involving Morgan and/or General Beckman. I have always found Morgan hilarious so I can't wait to see how they integrate him into Operation Bartowski.

By the way, it seems like a number of posters seem to think Shaw was a double agent for the Ring all along. That's not how I see it at all.

I think it was pretty clear that, up until the middle of the previous episode, Shaw was out to destroy the Ring because he believed they killed his wife 5 years earlier...

When he found out Sarah was the one who killed his wife, following orders from the C.I.A., his determination to avenge his wife's death was now directed against Sarah and the C.I.A. That's when he turned on them and began conspiring with the Ring.

Anna said...

It looks like "ChuckMe" explained it much better than I did. ;)

J W said...

Very thoughtful perspective Alan. Reflecting on Season 3.0, I can't help but have mixed feelings. While episode to episode I was entertained, this season in its totality has proven to be rather disappointing. Overall, this season was characterized by missed opportunities.

I will continue to be a loyal fan of the show (because it's, well, Awesome), but two criticisms stand out:

First, the principal narrative arc of this season (i.e., the obstacle of Shaw to the Chuck/Sarah relationship) basically covered ground that Chuck fans had already tread in the Bryce Larkin and Cole Barker story lines - a situation that was doubly frustrating because it perpetuated the "Will they, won't they" dynamic in a way that lacked inventiveness and because the character of Shaw simply lacked the charm that Bryce Larkin at his finest seemed to display, making the relationship obstacles tolerable (Can you imagine Shaw asking Chuck something in Klingon? ... I didn't think so).

Second, and as a result of the first point, the show's emphasis on the emotional connection between Chuck and Sarah seemed to languish at times. While a substantial amount of on-screen dialogue was spent talking about it, the show failed to consistently deliver the powerful, moving scenes that demonstrated Chuck and Sarah's love for each other - a feat that Season 1 and 2 pulled off admirably (Recall the last apartment scene in vs. the DeLorean, the motel scene in vs. the Colonel).

Many fans of the show have emphasized that Chuck is much more than just the Chuck/Sarah relationship, and I agree completely. However, the ferocity of the whole 'Shippers commentary playing out on the message boards nevertheless highlights that Chuck and Sarah constitute the show's center of gravity. The show does a lot of great things, but ultimately the strength of the Chuck/Sarah narrative drives my enjoyment and many others I suspect.

As strange as this may sound given that fans have been fortunate to have a third season, the Chuck fan in me will always consider the end of vs. the Colonel as the most satisfying, complete closure to the tale of Charles Irving Bartowski. The penultimate ep. of Season 2 possessed something that Ep. 3.13 lacked conspicuously: the truly memorable, original scenes that are etched in my Chuck consciousness.

Think back to after that "Frodo throws the Ring into the fire" moment following the destruction of Roark and the removal of the Intersect. What better way to sign off than Morgan's departure from the Buy More to the sounds of Malbec? What better way to close the Chuck/Sarah chapter than the quiet, moving moment in the courtyard as they get ready to attend the rehearsal dinner? Those scenes struck the perfect balance between resolution and a certain pleasant, satisfying open-endedness that was classic Chuck. Compare this to the slightly cliche Parisian parting shot we saw tonight.

While I am hopeful for a fourth season (and as the folks over at TVByTheNumbers.com have counseled Chuck fans, it's ultimately down to the strength of the ratings for these next 6 episodes), I wish that the writers had started Season 3 where we are right now: Chuck and Sarah are together, the team is assembled, and the writers can jump into the great mythology of the Chuck universe without the strings attached to the "Will they, won't they" dynamic.

Given the strength of Chuck's creative team and cast, I'm optimistic that the show will return to the essential qualities that made Seasons 1/2 so great. I appreciate the boldness that the writers had to pursue a "darker" Chuck this season, and I'm certainly not advocating a return to a static conception of the show (Chuck can't stay in the car forever). But, if we are lucky enough to get a fourth season, I hope that the creators will reflect on the fans' reactions and use them to better understand the aspects of the show that originally inspired viewers to advocate the survival of the show so passionately.

VisionOn said...

Rachael said...

I get where you are coming from, but I don't agree with all of it. I was a crazed maniac of an Alias superfan (it's still probably my #1 favorite show ever) ... but I have to say that Alias always had TONS of plotholes too. You could drive a tank through many of Alias' plot holes as well with all the crazy stuff that Syd had to do as a double agent, all the Rambaldi stuff which got really convoluted really quickly, and just little plot holes with the spy missions in general (just like Chuck). I get mad at the plot holes I see in Chuck each week, but I really don't think this happens any more often than it did with Alias.

The difference is that exactly. Alias had one of the most ridiculously labyrinthine and convoluted mythologies in TV history. It was operating on an entirely different level of complexity.

Chuck is a very basic show with simple plots, two main characters and a lot of background caricatures. It's plot holes are not the result of trying to balance multiple complicated characters, ever-shifting allegiances, technically challenging espionage storylines, a deep mythology and lengthy complicated relationships.

The "spy" plot holes in Chuck are just sloppy writing. The show can't do spies in a serious fashion and the creators trying to force it that way is just making a "serious" show that is laughable and a comedy show that, well, just isn't any more.

Kara said...

Definitely ended this episode with a smile on my face. Maybe I'm not critical enough on this show, but even on its worst days (which I do agree we've seen this season) I still love love loooove this show. Does that make me a fangirl? I guess so, but I think I'm actually okay with that.

Fav moment of the night?

Morgan tied up with controller wires. And drunk Chuck in the background. For some reason I love me some drunk TV characters. Casey in Undercover Lover was absolutely priceless, so please Fedak/Schwartz give me drunk Sara or drunk Morgan.

Andrew said...

JW if you check out part 2 of Mo Ryan's interview with Fedak over at her blog, it sounds like they're going back to "Oh right, this show is supposed to be fun!"

Also there's an unbelievable quote to the effect that they weren't sure if Zach and Yvonne could make it work and were pleasantly surprised when things worked out really well with Chuck and Sarah being together, particular in the episode they're returning with in a couple weeks. Which: duh, Fedak.

There are some slightly spoilery aspects, so I won't link it or further discuss it, but I think we'll be back to mostly fun.

Ring Agent #6 said...

(1) I liked it generally, especially the Chuck/Sarah interaction, but I don't think it is one of the series' best.

(2) My main problem: too much Morgan being simply too silly, even for Morgan -- the badgering of Chuck at the beginning, the rush to quit, the incessant tissues, the cleaning out the locker, 2 scenes with Big Mike about his role at the Buy More, his silliness with Beckman, his flippancy in the face of Sarah being in the control of Shaw. Just too much in an episode where so much was at stake. Still, Morgan was strong in the guitar hero scene and using reverse psychology on Casey. But Morgan only works in small doses.

And the idea that Chuck would copy Shaw's video footage and then show it to Morgan is ridiculous and clearly a plot device, especially as the conversation leading up to this was on the worry of Shaw and Sarah going alone to Paris together.

I understand why they did it, namely to set up the next phase that Morgan is now on Team Bartowski, but it threw a wrench in the very good work going on elsewhere.

(3) Another nit: Beckman's exasperation with Chuck felt too contrived and not merited by the facts on the ground.

LoopyChew said...

Alison said...

Shaw's betrayal and the whole Paris setup felt to me like an elaborate suicide by cop. He said all the right things to the Ring but he only incapacitated Sarah, we don't know the quality of the info he gave them, he said he didn't betray Chuck's secret, and he didn't kill Chuck when he could have.


I like that. I'd imagine it'd be very difficult to handle the fact that the girl you've been hitting on for a few months turns out to be your wife's killer, regardless of how much of an agent you are, particularly when both your wife and the girl you're in love with worked so hard to bring down the organization you're about to join.

Beckman's clapper had me cracking up, particularly when she used it to end the call. Seriously, that was awesome.

Speaking of whom, I could understand him and Sarah not being in this episode, but I would've been sad if this were the series finale and they weren't present in some capacity.

CAPTCHA: Rhed Bhull gives me "whings."

Also, I don't think anyone's mentioned that Shaw's death scene is reminiscent to Hans Gruber's death in Die Hard quite yet.

LoopyChew said...

Also also, while Rock Band is my plastic-music-instrument game of choice, I have totally mixed gaming and whiskey together, and it has always been awesome.

Andrew said...

So I watched it again (and I was watching for it after reading Fienberg's review).

Yvonne was really funny! Where did that come from?

Carcass00 said...

In my opinion one of the best (if not the best) show of the series.
it had it all: fun, pace, romance, Morgan and Casey and finally Sarah and Chuck together.
And I really enjoyed that scene when a really shattered Chuck from loosing his girl to another one is finding his relief in whiskey (as many of us did in the similar situations). But here is the nice part that most of us didn't had it but dreamed about it: the girl comes in his room not to dump the drunken geek but to support him and manifest her true, old love.
Really nice, I really enjoyed it and I remembered my last boozing for a girl (many years ago....).
Felt somehow relieved and revenged for all the poor bastards who got dumped and had to get drunk to forget.

Sorry for my English but I hope you get the point

Sarah D. Bunting said...

The "Die Hard" reference has been mentioned several times upthread. Don't forget to read before posting -- thanks!

Kujo said...

Gotta, say good riddance to Shaw. Probably the worse arc in the shows brief history. The whole is he good/bad bad charade was a joke imho. Plot holes galore.

I always had a feeling he was bad, and after the first fake out with Sarah in that warehouse (even for a show as over the top as chuck, I thought this scene was absurd), it confirmed to me that he was working for the ring.

I didn't care whether or not Chuck and Sarah become a couple. It's not the reason I watch the snow.

With Shaw finally out the picture, hopefully we get six great episodes to finish off the season.

CeeCee said...

My only complaint is that after waiting 3 years for Chuck and Sarah to finally consummate their relationship it wasn't half as romantic or omg sexy as the "almost" scene in Colonel. Que Bon Iver, panning to them in bed, the slow build to the big kiss. Wow. It was well done. The scene last night was more silly than romantic and had a cartoonish feel to it. I didn't get romance or sexy from it at all. It was very predicable that the room would have an eiffel tower view. It was reminiscent of the season as a whole with these 2. Heavy handed and the mood was off. I suppose Colonel was going to be hard to beat.

Sonia said...

Loved it! And I could care less about plot holes and character decisions that test the limits of plausibility -- the whole show tests that. It's just a funny, well-acted show with an occasional bit of drama thrown in...works for me big time!

In this episode, Morgan was adorable (loved the scenes with Big Mike and very cool he recognized the fake kung fu), Casey was brilliant (i totally loved his off camera fight scenes -- I guess we've seen Casey kick ass enough to have a clear picture of what was going on there, huh?). And Chuck and Sarah's scenes were terrific...I was smiling at the end!

I hope the remaining 6 episodes of this season are just six fun episodes of the antics of Team Bartowski -- not necessary to have some overarching plot. I'd like to see how much fun they can have with Morgan and Casey working together. I guess it's going to be Morgan's turn to wait in the car now, huh?

Morrison said...

Little creepy to have Shaw and Sarah sleeping together (no, people there is no santa claus)and then Sarah to have killed his wife.Another reason I think Shaw and Sarah should never have gone down that dating road.

Anonymous said...

The worrisome part of Fedak's interview with Mo is the part about putting Chuck and Sarah together and now they have to deal with should they be together, should they be together and be spys. These writers will never let them be. Well, I think it will be a mistake to mess with that relationship in any significant way.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise, The Ring are out to build an Intersect. Really? Hasn't this been beaten to death? And how strange it is that a super crime spy organization can't do it properly, while college dropout Manoosh can.

mandy said...

loved the episode, but my favorite part was probably Morgan repeatedly calling beckman "sir". ha!

Caz said...

On the "We have to tell them, Shaw" topic. Which episode was that actually in? Because, I agree with the commenter above, it was always my impression that Beckman had been talking about the whole Sydney/Operation Awesome sting, no?

As for Shaw - and, yes, we are going to do this - is anyone else worried that Shaw is a lesson that no one is learning? What is the cardinal rule of being a spy? Don't fall in love. Why? Because you end up compromised, betraying your closest allies and, ultimately, dead. I just think it's worth pointing out. (And, I knew it was a set up as soon as Shaw said "gentlemen" whilst Sarah and Chuck were in the elevator shaft.)

This episode rocked for me on every level. I honestly think that this show has managed to magic together a creative team which is greater than the sum of its parts. And not least the comic marvel of Joshua Gomez - who else can make me laugh out loud at the oldest joke in the book, i.e., calling a female military officer "sir"? Twice. And loved, loved, LOVED that the mission theme kicked in as Morgan entered frame - too good. And on music, my heart races every time the Ring theme kicks in.

The interesting thing for me regarding Chuck's first genuine kill is that he didn't flash - it was Chuck that killed Shaw and not the intersect. We have been gearing up to this with him not having to flash on tranq-ing the security in Operation Awesome, Duck Hunt and last week he even says "no flash necessary". The fascinating thing about having a hero on a family-friendly who dislikes guns and killing within the landscape of an otherwise gun-fetish soaked mainstream television, is that ultimately he has to put aside his values to compete with those who do not share those values. We saw this in Final Exam when he tells Perry he already gave him a chance. And it is the problem that Doctor Who perennially faces - you give somebody one chance but then you have to act. And, ultimately, let someone else do the deed for you so your values are not compromised is no better than manipulation and hypocrisy. The stakes are higher and Chuck adjusted his values to save the day. We wait to see if they have been sacrificed forever.

One gripe is that I still think the writers owe Yvonne AND Sarah some much better material, they had her on mute again for pivotal scenes. And of course, I get it, it was essential that she was incapacitated, but they need to write to her strengths more, I think.

When they first mentioned Paris, did anyone else think "HANNAH IS BUILDING THE NEW CYPHER!"?

Word verification: latoo. In honour of this ep, French skin art.

Caz said...

Oh, and Shaw's "It's getting heavy, isn't it?" - that is from a movie, isn't it? I am certain it is but can't place it.

I am excited about this show as I was about Lost when Lost was good. And that is saying something. Three weeks seems like a very long time right now.

Ian said...

A couple of items:

- I assume the Crown Vic was just Casey throwing in some fun extras as long as he was making demands Beckman couldn't refuse. Also, Crown Vics since '08 aren't sold to civilians in the US anymore so if Casey wanted that new car smell that's the only way he could get it.

- Casey's grin when he was smoking the cigar and dragging Mark Sheppard into the frame to show Beckman was awesome. And was I the only one to think "man, Nathan Ford would really enjoy seeing this"?

- Didn't Chuck specifically mention the "all windows in Paris have a view of the Eiffel Tower" trope in "Vs. First Class"?

- The general ease of taking down the Ring continues the season theme of their not being a very scary (or competent) adversary. Hopefully something better will come up in the back 6.

A great episode overall, even if nothing could ever hope to match "Vs. The Ring".

Anonymous said...

Episode was very good. It works as a starting point for the next 6 as well as it does in wrapping up the last 3 years.

Two things:

- I swear I heard Morgan say "99 times out of 10" before Chuck ties him up.

- The name on the side of the plane Chuck and Casey take to Paris-"Millennium" as in the Millennium Falcon. Seems appropriate given Casey's role as Chuck's "Master"....

Col Bat Guano said...

While I enjoyed the episode, I have to say the resolution to the whole Shaw/Sarah/Chuck triangle felt forced and drawn out. I'm a huge fan of The Office and the parallels between that show's S3 and this year's Chuck are fairly uncanny. In both cases the show runners decided that the WT/WT plot wouldn't happen until the season finale and were then forced to keep the two main characters apart with plot twists that strain credulity. Alternative love interests that appear completely unsuitable, misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a five minute conversation and when they do start such a conversation, random interruptions that prevent them from finishing even though they work together. On both shows, as the season went along, this artificial angst just detracted from the fun aspects of the show and soured the mood in general.

Lauren said...

Absolutely loved it. When the episode ended, I just wanted to watch it again. I had a huge smile on my face the whole episode.

Echoing what a few commenters have already said, maybe I'm not being critical enough of the show but my love for Team Bartowski outweighs all the plot holes- I'm along for the ride! The show continues to be my favorite hour of tv each week.

Alan, thanks for your reviews every week and all the extra tidbits you add in- its fun to wow people with the Chuck knowledge I get from you! Enjoy your break!

Favorite moments:
*the entire drunken guitar hero scene
*Chuck killed Shaw- not the Intersect
*Morgan can be useful
*ZL & YS's chemistry- their nonverbal communication is stinkin amazing!

Pamela Jaye said...

Okay, it looks like I can't even make it thru my *brother's* comment without feeling the need to comment, myself, so let me get this out of my system first and then I will go back and wade thru some more

>Morgan getting promoted to spy -- effectively, filling the lovable geek slot after Chuck's promotion -- is a pretty bright move.

My frame of reference for this is... no it's not. I thought it was Willow then Anya. It's probably more Cordelia > Anya.
And, oddly, last night when Sarah thanked Chuck for the tank, I got a weird zapping of Buffy (the character, not the series). My Buffy-dar may be off due I Have The DVDs So Now I Don't Watch It-itis, however.
(I got 4 eps of St. Elsewhere yesterday, from a friend who shall remain nameless, if only to keep her away from the post office - so I'll be busy for at least a little bit)

Last night was awesome: yummy birthday dinner with friends/family, episode of Chuck, reading this blog post aloud with the brother (okay, he did the reading), a small dose of Kate Gosselin pretending to dance and getting to hear the judges give her scores that... you know, there might be one or two people watching DWTS on DVR delay, as I learned last fall. A bit of commentary on Kate at Z on TV, and then a midnight phone call with the friend who didn't get to see it till after her monthly fan club meeting. (she pulled off some major self control in the silent squeeing arena - and also, watching your 44 year old brother squee is pretty much as fun as hearing him use the word 'shipper was 9 years ago. ;-)) I did top it all off by reading @_Baylink's tweet - I'd forgettn his comment which had to do with automating the repetition of the letter E... I just didn't find out *why* till midnight.

I really appreciated seeing the Eiffel Tower from the window, as my mind never caught that they were in Paris. (I think you could have told me they were in Rome and I would have believed you)
I appreciated the ability to pause my DVR (we've been watching live, and I've rarely been able to watch a show without stopping to comment since the late 80s - there was that time when I paused so many times my then-husband threw the remote across the room and the batteries flew down the hall)

Shaw, though I often worried he was evil, was the most boring evil since The Suliban, i think. He was just dull. I believe someone mentioned cardboard? Good thing Chuck tossed him in the river - I've been dying to for weeks.
(yes I know Chuck shot him first and I note someone's comment that it *will* be tiresome if Sarah has to "approve" of each person Chuck kills. I am really not sure this problem has been satisfactorily solved, but perhaps a previous post will change my mind, so let me wade thru them first.)
And I'm off to continue reading comments. (at least one I've read so far kinda bummed me out, but I've only hit 4 or 5)

my Captcha: dinify

Pamela Jaye said...

Forgot to mention my thought (which has also probably been mentioned, amd is not real searchable):

Morgan is such a... geek? kid? gamer? that seriously, I think he could go around the Buy More talking about Team Bartowski and no one would ever take him seriously. They'd just think think he was playing that game from season 2 that I forget the name of, or something. He may be Ass Man but he's still Morgan. Oh and yes, when Casey said to Chuck "you're smart" it really touched me.

J.B. said...

The end shot from the hotel room started with a shot of the river and then panned to the Eiffel Tower leading me to believe that Shaw is 1. not dead and 2. will be the new leader of the ring now that the old leader is captured.

Pamela Jaye said...

>It was a fun episode, but after all the hype? Maybe I'm missing something.

to me it's more what you were *not* missing: I didn't watch the previews/promos/clips - I read nary an article on the season 3.0 finale (in fact, I had to be reminded it was a finale), therefore I did have a lot of great expectations. and I didn't see half the ep before it ever aired (I'm not sure how much was shwn or how it was spun, but I watched all the promos for Men of a Certain Age before it premiered and read all the interviews and saw all but 3 video interviews - and I was not all that impressed. Same with The Informant, on which I was spoiled beyond any hope of enjoyment - I had gotten my hopes too high, and i'd seem half the movie in clips!)

At this point in my TV watching career, I'm more spoilerphobic than even Shonda Rhimes (she tells a few things, I don't want to hear any of them)

thanks to Alan for the No Commenting on the Previews policy, btw.

Pamela Jaye said...

oops - let me add that while I highly recommend being as spoiler free as a human with an internet connection and a TV can be - I didn't not mean to put down those who do watch them. It did sound that way. sorry about that. no disrespect intended.

Dave T said...

I swear I heard Morgan say "99 times out of 10" before Chuck ties him up.

He most certainly did. (And I'm going to steal that one.)


my favorite part was probably Morgan repeatedly calling beckman "sir". ha!

Either he's the love-child of Radar O'Reilly and Marcy from "Peanuts," or he's watched a lot of Star Trek, where in the 24th century, women officers are addressed as "sir" (except for Janeway, who hated it).

Crazy like a Fox said...

As for pop culture references, anyone else flash on, with Chuck in full French waiter regalia, the hapless chef in Ratatouille? The moment he's lying on the sidewalk, after the fight. The thought was only there a moment, before I got drawn back in by Levy's pathos at seeing Sarah dragged away because he wasn't able to physically defeat Shaw.

Thanks for catching the Princess Bride potential reference, Alan--my favorite movie, and it slipped past me. Did catch the Quantum Leap 'Shaw's brain is swiss cheese' comment. And Morgan's Yoda line, with voice, was my favorite funny line of this episode. (Casey's understated "you too" to Morgan at the Buy More, is my favorite straight dramatic line)

Kevin said...

I was on the bubble for whether or not to fight for season 4 of Chuck. I fought hard for season 3. After these last two episodes and the Beard I'm willing to eat all the Subways it takes :)

Crazy like a Fox said...

And why, oh why, can't I have a Chuck of my own, someone willing to sending in a tank for me when he thinks I'm in trouble? "A tank--nice touch" or whatever the line was. :-)

I'm glad to see that we'll still get the flawed, not a perfect super spy Chuck, that the series isn't going down the road of Chuck actually becoming a cold, professional spy, without integrating his geek personality into how he handles the job (I was worried after last week when he pulled off a mission perfectly, without the usual Chuck-originating screw-up in there somewhere). Way to go with the excessive use of a tactical team, and having to use his non-Intersect skills of just being a smart guy in order to save the day [my favorite episodes in the first season were where his quick thinking (calling in back-up at the Stanford fire fight; importing porn into a laptop bomb, etc.) won the day]

Thanks for pointing out that the kill shot to Casey was Chuck being geek, gaming Chuck, not Intersect Chuck--I suppose that's what the "are you using the Intersect for Duck Hunt" and last week's "Hmm, no flash" when tranqing the bad guys set-ups were there for. Kind of obvious in retrospect, but of course that means nothing as to whether or not I would have picked up on it myself. :-)

Crazy like a Fox said...

Oh dear God--I meant the kill shot to Shaw, not Casey. Well that makes me look like a complete idiot. :-) Where's the edit function on posts?

ChuckAnonymously said...

Maybe I'm the only Chuck fan out there who isn't jumping through the roof because this arc of the show is done. My reaction was kinda meh... Going through all thirteen episodes, the ending last night felt pretty contrived. Maybe that's too strong a word. I mean, it wasn't organic in the storytelling. I'm probably not expressing myself real well here but it seemed that the writers had a plan in mind and then when they went off and executed it really badly. The great thing about season 2 especially the later half of the season barring the filler episodes was the show flowed really well. This season its been really jerky. It didn't help that so much of the story involved Shaw and that character just didn't work out. Plus it felt like the writers had a grocery list but then went to the store and just went to town, stuffing the cart full of stuff when all they needed was what was on the original list - Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Morgan, Ellie, Awesome and the Buy More crew. I agree the Chuck world had to expand, the changes needed and the characters evolving but when the storytelling fails to continously engage the viewer and keep them coming back then you lose them. The numbers I think show that at this point only the diehards are watching live, everyone else just watches on Hulu or off their DVRs. Chuck is no longer must watch TV for NBC viewers which are few and far between as such, at least for the ones who aren't twittering 2 hours before the show. The highlights of this season and they have been sparse were the moments when Team Bartowski is interacting with each other. When we see Chuck upload the Intersect at the end of last season, it was like a really big moment the show had built up to. In the case of episode 13, had this been the season finale, it felt more like yeah, okay. There's nearly no intense desire like last year to see this show survive and that story told. It's a great set up for the show going forward sort of how last season's finale set up this season. I'd like to see more of this story but if the show ended today, I wouldn't be in line to buy a Subway again.

And to add one more point, Chuck has to be able to kill a person - not that its his first choice but the whole idea that he can't undermines the choice he made at the end of season 2. Choosing to upload the Intersect meant he had to be able to make the choice to end a life. Just like everyone who signs up to be a soldier does. You hope you never have to do it or get to a point where its not a difficult decision but the point is, you probably will have to at some point. It was unrealistic to think otherwise.

Makes me wonder what the writers did with the next six episodes. I have a feeling they felt euphoric over the additional order, confident they had an audience and wrote the material with that mindset. Right now the show is in a more precarious position, lesser viewers, definitely on the bubble and needing more than the hardcore base to tune in. Its facing a 3-week layoff and when it comes back it needs more eyeballs that will stay tuned to the end. It could easily be 6 episodes of great stuff, an early preview of next year's Chuck. But then we got 13 episodes which were supposed to be the best ever Chuck episodes since they were lean, mean and great and look at where I'm at now. Okay, that's probably my cynical side kicking in but then the saying goes - "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." I hope it does not play out like that.

Anonymous said...

I gotta laugh at the people who are complaining about this episode being "too predictable." Have you ever watched an episode of Chuck before? Predictable is an understatement. This show isn't Lost, it's not trying to blow your mind with WTF moments.

Elena said...

Loved the episode, agree with most here that Shaw dragged things down, but our heroes sailed above him in the end. I HOPE Shaw doesn't rise from the dead, like in the Wizard of OZ, please let him be really, truly, completely dead.

I was thinking that perhaps the disjointedness of the plots and the romance arc are due to that Schwatz and Fedak have to keep designing seasons not knowing if this is it. But then I was thinking that if they did know ahead of time, okay we've got 5 years, they would have kept the will they won't they thing going to the end. Which most of us have hated. Both instances of Sarah/Chuck getting together have been in potential series ending eps. So if my analysis is anywhere near correct, I'm glad they didn't know they had more time, and are now forced to (at least I hope so) leave them together.

Anonymous said...

"Now I hate this song!" was a great throw-away line by Morgan.

I agree with others that this episode was good, but seems REALLY good just because of how substandard a lot of S3 was (like how people think Revenge of the Sith was so great when really it was just a lot better than the horrible Episodes 1 and 2).

YS was brilliant, as usual, and I hope that Fedak and Schwartz begin to utilize her more than just as a pouting object.

But the best thing about the episode is that now we can just move forward without more Chuck/Sarah drama (for now) and no more albatross, aka Brandon Routh.

geoffrobinson said...

I have a friend who works in NBC. He told me that he wouldn't worry about Chuck getting cancelled this year.

He said, due to Leno getting cancelled, anything doing reasonably well will be renewed.

Anonymous said...

Don't have time to read all the comments yet, but other than missing Awesome and Ellie, I thought this was a great ep.

I do hope you're waiting until TONIGHT at sundown to get your tunaroni, though, Alan.

Also -- and I hope this isn't breaking the spoilers rule -- but the previews of 3.1 have me SO excited for that. Loved them all.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who works in NBC. He told me that he wouldn't worry about Chuck getting cancelled this year.

He said, due to Leno getting cancelled, anything doing reasonably well will be renewed.


If there is any truth in this, I assumes that the 21 pilots NBC ordered mostly stink?

Anonymous said...

And I hope that, in addition to saying goodbye to Shaw and cementing Sarah and Chuck as a couple, this episode allows the writers to turn Sarah back into the assertive, ass-kicking woman we fell for right along with Chuck.

Amen to that, bro.

Ithiel said...

Well now that they are finally together I hope they don't resort to the Ross/Rachel plot device of taking "a break" for the next 7 years and then putting them back together as a couple on the series finale. They need to portray them as a couple that are together no matter what life throws at them. That they are with each other through everything no matter what. I don't mind if they show them having couple issues, as all relationships have them, but they need to show them together dealing with it instead of using it as a device to separate them again. Time to show people on TV in healthy relationships dealing with issues in a healthy way. As healthy as two spies in a relationship can be. :-)

All in all a fantastic episode and I'm so glad that Shaw is gone. He really was dragging the show down. I like Brandon Routh, just not the character.

Can't wait for two weeks to see how season 3.2 is going to be!

Kudos to all involved.

Caz said...

Now that I have been thinking back to Shaw's/BR's original introduction, his story arc is starting to come into focus. His and Chuck's first meeting in the flesh was Chuck trying and failing to shoot him, perfectly foreshadowing last night's ep, and also setting up Shaw's defining death wish. The genius of this show is that it sets up the audience to really want what the characters want for themselves, and Shaw always wanted to die. It pains me to say it but if we had been presented with a more watchable and subtle actor than BR - a Matthew Bomer, or a Jonathan Cake? - we would have gotten the most out of this; he would have been able to do justice to the character the writers were trying to give us.

And, of course, it's another device to show us Chuck maturing into A Real Spy. Watch him shoot the guy he couldn't shoot 9 eps back; the same as watch him mentor Awesome, who is so remarkable at everything yet cannot do what Chuck can do.

pbrl said...

Just so you know, I am going to get this thing out of my head one day. I will. And when I do, I'm going to live the life that I want with the girl that I love. Because I'm not going to let this thing rob me of that. I won't.

Well it took a while, but Chuck finally delivered on this promise.

ChuckECheese said...

Love Morgan as part of the team and Sarah and Chuck as partners in every sense. I was wishing for Sarah to apologize to Chuck for doubting him about Shaw though. Over and over we were hit over the head with "Shaw's a good spy" knowing he wasn't and bad stuff was about to happen, and it never gets acknowledged that Shaw was NOT a good spy and Chuck was right.

dhall26 said...

Alan,

Great post and I loved this week's episode.

The only thing you left out was the blatant and awesome pop culture reference to "Die Hard." The scene where Shaw grabbed Sarah and was holding onto her watch while falling over the bridge was definitely an ode to Hans Gruber's death scene in the original "Die Hard."

Anonymous said...

everything about this episode was amazing. Three years was totally worth the wait for Chuck and Sarah. It was great!!!

Anonymous said...

best. show. ever.

what is wrong with people?

why don't more people watch Chuck?

ChuckMe said...

ChuckECheese said: I was wishing for Sarah to apologize to Chuck for doubting him about Shaw though. Over and over we were hit over the head with "Shaw's a good spy" knowing he wasn't and bad stuff was about to happen, and it never gets acknowledged that Shaw was NOT a good spy and Chuck was right.

I agree, that would have been gratifying, but sometimes you have to let things go—just "shut up, and kiss her".

Baylink said...

pbrl quotes:
Just so you know, I am going to get this thing out of my head one day. I will. And when I do, I'm going to live the life that I want with the girl that I love. Because I'm not going to let this thing rob me of that. I won't.

*That*s the writing we're looking for. There.

"Suicide by cop" was a very interesting thought that hadn't occurred to me.

The other thing I missed is that whomever said that Shaw's reaction to the "director" showing him the footage of his wife -- and was that the same place, BTW? -- implies that he has *not* been a Ring plant all season has to be right... which throws a whole different interpretation on many things...

nuserath: an animal one finds on Tattooine.

Sarah D. Bunting said...

The "Die Hard" reference has been duly noted, folks. Several people commented on it, so the answer to "Did anyone else notice...?" is yes.

Reading the whole thread: part of this nutritious breakfast.

Thanks!

ChuckMe said...

That place was stealth-bombed to Hades the previous episode so I doubt it's the same place.

Brandy said...

Chuck Me said:
So he was motivated by grief and only sided with the Ring enough to accomplish his goals—and only after seeing the evidence they provided him.

Okay, that makes a lot more sense from Shaw's POV. I must have missed that on the first watch/first read of Alan's article. Thanks!

shari said...

Excellent episode, felt really old school at times - no other show does drama and comedy so close and so well. SO psyched to see Casey back, and Morgan as Yoda! I cannot wait for the inevitable shenanigans those two will get up to in the future.

The song playing at the end, for what it's worth, is "Bye Bye Bye" by Plants and Animals, a really fantastic band from Montreal. One of the best Chuck music moments I can remember.

Anonymous said...

Shaw is not dead. This was a ruse to get Shaw into hidding and was slyly purpotrated by Cuck after he heard Shaw say he had a plan, at the cafe. He will be back and it will be great to see the relationship between the "lovebirds" blossom. Team Chuck will be another great addition, and will probably end up in Africa to help his sister and Awesome who will find themselves in a dire situation. This show def needs another season or two.

Lisa said...

Anon., if I understand you correctly, what exactly would be the purpose of Chuck helping create a ruse to keep Shaw alive? Why would he lie to Sarah like that after all that's happened?

juliedeburgh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAS101 said...

This was a good episode and I'm happy that Chuck and Sarah are finally together, but like the rest of the season the moments leading up to the culmination of their relationship lacked the emotional intensity that drew us to this couple in the first place. After Chuck vs the Colonel and Chuck vs the Seduction you would expect a bit more than a friendly kiss from a couple who had waited three years to be together and had been through so much to get to that point. That last scene in Paris would have been so much more powerful had they showed a bit more passion for each other than a friendly peck on the lips. It almost seemed as if they were about to start laughing as they pulled the covers over their heads. It all just seemed a bit lame and not at all realistic but then again most of this season has been like that so I guess they were consistent in that respect. I'm reminded of S01 when Sarah goes into the Buy More and tells Chuck to give her a kiss (because they've been on 3 dates and need to sell it). He pecks her on the cheek and she says 'Is that it?' My sentiments exactly!!

Anonymous said...

For pop-culture, didn't Gatorade use the "what's left in your tank" line about a year ago?

Caz said...

JAS101 said...
That last scene in Paris would have been so much more powerful had they showed a bit more passion for each other than a friendly peck on the lips. It almost seemed as if they were about to start laughing as they pulled the covers over their heads.


I totally recognise what you are saying, JAS, but I found this choice really effective. I liked very much that it was fun and not heavy. Don't get me wrong, I very much like the heavy, too, but I thought it was a sweet choice to show a different side of their relationship, to show the range of the actors and it was important to round off the episode with a smile rather than heavy breathing. After all, they have come through all the uncertainty now and have - seemingly - all the time in the world to have romp about a bit. The show is a romp, and I think we have loved the heavy so much since it was the exception rather than the rule. But, like I say, I do get your point.

I also loved the last little glimpse of Chuck's Chucks before panning to the flowers and the Eiffel Tower. Nicely done, I thought.

Tukl said...

I know it couldn't happen in this show, but for a moment I thought it could have been hilarious to see Chuck flashing on Kamasutra...:P

Now I look forward to see if we'll have any between-the-lines reference to this... although Sarah asking "did you flash last night?" could be too easily misread!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sarah D. Bunting, one thing no one has mentioned is the Die Hard reference during Shaw's death scene.

Lisa said...

Now that I've gotten to review certain parts of the episode, well, a few dozen times, I haven't exactly given up on my various rants about the S3 writing and plotlines, but absolutely no one can fault the regular cast of this show. ZL and YS really did rise above the material to give us a great trajectory toward the end of the season. And JG and AB have really kept "Chuck" from going off the deep end.

And I've been thinking what a great tragedy it will be if ratings do fall off the cliff once "Chuck" returns. Look at all the great storylines that won't be resolved if this show doesn't get a fourth season:
* Morgan as Chuck 2.0: Lovable and goofy, but I suspect like his best friend, Morgan has far more potential than anyone's given him credit for. I want to see Josh Gomez shine in S4.
*Casey resolving his personal life and becoming more happy and human in the process. I want more Adam Baldwin-centric stuff going on.
*Ellie finally finding out about her brother and what that does to their relationship. Give Sarah Lancaster something to do because she's great.
*The whole Bartowski family connection to Fulcrum, the Ring, Mom....
*Sarah continuing her path toward becoming a whole person. And they should bring Gary Cole back for a visit while they're at it.
*Chuck finally becoming whatever it is he really wants to be -- what is that, anyway? We've seen Pathetic Loser Chuck, Spy-in-Training Chuck, Big Bad Spy Chuck, now Happy Chuck with Sarah. Where could Chuck be in a year? ZL can take Chuck anywhere, and I still want to see the vision Schwartz and Fedak have for him.

So, bring on the sangwiches and anything else we have to do to keep this show on the air. I'm in.

Caz said...

Ditto. Oh my goodness, so ditto.

Crazy like a Fox said...

Caz, I agree with you, I loved the scene, and thought it did justice to the characters. Chuck's adorable, slightly goofy smile before the kiss, then passionate kissing with smiles on their faces. I think it represented what Sarah fell in love with--the fact that Chuck's an adorable, geeky guy, with a big heart and a smile to match. The kiss scene was light-hearted and fun--they've just gone through hell, but now they have each other, and they can finally be happy and hopeful in that. So I thought the scene, though light-hearted, worked well. And loved the understated shot of the Converses as the scene panned to the Eiffel Tower.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely LOVE Chuck. Chuck vs the Other Guy was a fantastic episode. The cast of this show are amazing...just love the mixture of comedy, action and drama. NBC would be very WISE to bring Chuck back for a 4th season!

Anonymous said...

Casey's crown vic had been destroyed in an earlier episode "Chuck vs the Crown Vic"!

I absolutely loved this episode! I was so happy to see Shaw canoodling with the Ring, because if he left the show as still a "good American spy" I would have been very disappointed. This makes it easier for me to hate him, which I've been wanting to do!!

I will agree in that these next 6 episodes are going to have to work really hard in order to top this. I also truly hope that we get a new season because I would like to see how Chuck grows more as a spy, although him as a squeamish, dork, spy is truly ADORABLE and what makes this show charming!

Tony said...

Finally an episode that I enjoyed from the beggining until the very end, and I wonder what will happen next. It had it all and if the writers keep on like this there is no doubt that the show will go on even beyond season 4. Chuck after 3 long years of waiting finally has sex with Sarah (I guess, they never confirmed it) and God knows how much frustration Chuck had in him for that, especially after that rude interuption in season 2 with Morgan taking his condom and Fulcrum barging in. Finally, after draging it way too long, the love story is complete. With Casey reinstated and Morgan becoming a regular member of team Bartowski we have a lot to go on. Shaw is finally gone although I don't get why people don't like Brandon Routh because he's a good actor but the character was baaaaad. Anyone who disagrees should watch 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'.
Can't wait for these two weeks to go by...

Baylink said...

I've just rewatched Act 1 on Hulu, and it's quite clear to me that Shaw is about to shoot Sarah, glances to his right, sees Chuck, and turns on a dime.

Baylink said...

And I'm in with Caz and Crazy: having *had* a relationship finally culminate after *ten years* of build up (no, really: don't ask), I can tell you that giggling was exactly where we went.

Well, first.

Henry said...

This is probably one of the best episodes of the series. When I can ask myself why they're putting a great, emotional scene like the one with Shaw and Sarah at the beginning of the episode when it feels like it should be at the back end of the episode, it's a pretty good episode overall. I don't particularly like how everyone has to keep confirming that Chuck is a "real spy" and Morgan was annoying for parts, but these were really small complaints. I particularly liked the escalating Mexican standoff in the elevator and Mark Sheppard's cool response to the chaos. Shaw being a double agent was easily called by many and I thought the show kinda dispensed with him too quickly (coulda milked Shaw for more intel on the Ring), but the ending was really satisfying. And why must every hotel in Paris have a view of the Eiffel Tower? The characters saying they're in Paris isn't enough information?

Greg said...

Beckman using the clapper was pure genius.

anonymous--this season was pretty rocky and I think they wasted alot of the momentum and goodwill they had doing into this season, so it's not shocking the audience didn't grow. We are all diehard Chuck fans, who can bitch about S3, but still watch and stick around for more. The casual viewer who just tuned in would have seen a much different show than we saw for two seasons.

Anonymous said...

Within the next three episodes, Hot Brunette #47 is going to enter Chuck's life and distract him from Sarah. Calling it right now.

Anonymous said...

Why are they with the TWoP lingo and rules? This is not TWoP. Wind it up and it says, 'topic.' Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Why are they with the TWoP lingo and rules? This is not TWoP. Wind it up and it says, 'topic.' Give me a break.

Agreed. The rules you created differ vastly (for the worse, I might add) from the rules enforced here. I'd suggest you guys go and read the repeatedly stresses part about manners, but... well, we all saw what you guys were like over on TWoP.

As did yours, Anonymous 10:59.

Topic, please.


And yours, hon. Now let's all get back on topic before someone with some real authority turns up.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, everything Sarah has done so far is something I would have done. Go look at Rule #5 in terms of repeating things that have been asked/pointed out multiple times before, for instance.

Anonymous said...

You may have done it, Alan... but you would have done it in a far less offensive and obnoxious way. If you don't believe me, why are there so many websites created to criticize the mods at TWoP?

She was on a power-trip there, and her style is not appreciated here.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Sarah was in no way obnoxious (and no moreso than I've been in the past when I've had to shut the same stuff down, and when I've gotten similar complaints). There are rules here, Sarah politely reminded people of them, end discussion.

Any further complaints, here or in any other post, get deleted, immediately. I shouldn't have to be wasting my time on this, folks. Act like adults. It's not hard.

rob said...

First let me say I very much enjoyed the episode.

Now, I was very much thrown off at the beginning because of the glaring inconsistencies which I haven't seen anyone else comment on.

At the end of the last episode(and in the recap of this episode) she has curly hair and is wearing a blue or purple sweatshirt when she leaves with Shaw and in the car(and she left her gun on the bed, remember). As they are entering the white building she's has perfectly straight hair and is wearing a black jacket with a black belt, dressed up almost. That says to me that they changed things around considerably after the fact.

orewakazuo said...

The line that Chuck screwed up was "You said you couldn't be with someone who didn't believe in you. Well I believed in you. I just didn't believe in me. I love you... always." Fun symbolism, but was Chuck the Andie/Molly Ringwald character in this respect? Morgan was right, cause the line was from Blane/Andrew McCartney, who was the target of affection.

If you leave, don't leave now / Please don't take my heart away / Promise me just one more night ...

Maggie said...

I really did like how they chose to end this season originally.

However, I always found that Shaw's character was a bit shifty, if not schizophrenic. I mean... I understand that was his wife and all, but Sarah didn't want to kill her. Shaw simply didn't seem very realistic to me--more like a cartoon antihero, if anything.

I liked how Chuck is squeemish and hypocritical about killing. It makes him seem more realistic. Nobody's perfect and giving Chuckie flaws like him make me like him more.

Jayne said...

Ithiel said...
Well now that they are finally together I hope they don't resort to the Ross/Rachel plot device of taking "a break" for the next 7 years and then putting them back together as a couple on the series finale. They need to portray them as a couple that are together no matter what life throws at them.


That's right!
I want them to be like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, except they work on the same side.
Plus no knife throwing.

Anonymous said...

That was one of the best episodes, and the music was epic - especially the scene when Shaw drags Sarah away. I hope Chuck comes back for a 4th season - it's a great tv show.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the next big arc is bringing Bryce back. If you go back to last year, I seem to recall the Ring bringing Andy Richter's character back to life in some hospital/lab type setting. At the end of season 2, the ring carried Bryce away off somewhere and no mention of him at all this year. Who knows....

Anonymous said...

Bryce Larkin coming back is not going to happen. He died at the end of season 2 and more importantly, Matthew Bomer has his own series now.