Chuck and Sarah vs. The Spy Life

There comes a point when a person in a particular career ask themselves is it really worth it anymore. For Chuck and Sarah, the question comes up throughout the entire series regularly.

Two people forced into a life they did not choose. Sarah was forced into it when Graham recruited her after the arrest of her father. We know what happens to Chuck. Both made decisions that would force them to lose out on a normal life. A quest they tried to achieve with each other, but in the end ruined their relationship and life. Let’s go on a journey to understand how the spy life split two people apart, but also brought them together.

The first quote I am going to use is from Stephen Bartowski. He said the following

Chuck Bartowski: The mission’s over dad.
Steve Bartowski: It’s never over, all right? There’s always another one and another. And… the reason a spy has to have one of those is because every mission they go on could be their last. For every spy, there’s someone who cares about them. Someone who has to open that box, read that message, and mourn their loss. This is a bad business. And I don’t want my family any part of it!

Later in the episode Sarah repeats a similar message

Sarah Walker: I’ve been thinking about what happened in the cabin. How you almost died.  everything that your dad said about the life that we’ve chosen, he’s right. What we do is not safe. I want you to have this… My spy will. \
Chuck Bartowski: Why are you giving me this?
Sarah Walker: Chuck, this is me. It’s everything I know. It’s my life and – if something were to happen to me – well, if anyone’s gonna have it, I want it to be you.
Chuck Bartowski: Nothing’s going to happen to you. You’re not going anywhere. And neither am I.

When Sarah came to Burbank, she already had the feeling that the CIA was not for her, but it was a job, and she owed them for not putting her in jail. She was already beginning to see the manipulation in a world on her own recognition is full of deceit. She met someone that was not part of the spy life, and not like her father, who was a con man. A man who has a kind heart and the kind of normal life she was seeking.

At this point in Sarah’s life she only had spy first people in her life. Bryce and Carina most notably, even Casey was about duty before anything else, which rubbed off on her, and this is who she became. When she meets Chuck it was like a breath of fresh air, which she says to Chuck on their date.

Sarah: After I realized all my friends were his friends, everything about Washington reminded me of Bruce, I needed a change, A big one.

Although at the time it was a cover, we learn later that it really was not a cover. Only the name Bruce was the lie. Moreover, several times Sarah asked the question Do you every want to have a normal life, but when she asked the question, she asked the wrong people. Carina and Casey are hardcore spies, who believe in the cardinal rule of spying. Much like Chuck never asked the question do you love me Sarah. she never discussed the need for a normal life with Chuck. Not until here.

Other Guy:
Chuck Bartowski: But earlier on in my… drunken haze… I realized I hadn’t asked you a really important question. I’d like to ask you now if that’s okay. Just once for the record… Sarah, do you love me?
[Long pause]
Chuck Bartowski: Wow. I’m, uh, in my underwear. I’m sitting in my underwear holding a plastic guitar. There’s a very good chance I’m making a complete fool of myself, isn’t there?
Sarah Walker: Yes.
Chuck Bartowski: I should probably put some pants on.
Sarah Walker: No, Chuck… Yes.
Chuck Bartowski: What?… uh, What?
Sarah Walker: Chuck, I fell for you a long *long* time ago. After you fixed my phone, and before you started diffusing bombs with viruses. So, yes.
[Sarah chuckles]
Sarah Walker: Yes.

And then Sarah

The Tooth:

Chuck Bartowski: Hey Sarah we need to talk.
Sarah Walker: Sure Chuck…
Chuck Bartowski: No listen this is very important.
Sarah Walker: I love you. It shouldn’t have taken me this long to say it, but I’ve never felt this way. Before you, the only future that I could think about was my next mission, and now all I can think about is a future with you. I love you Chuck.
Chuck Bartowski: I love you too.

There is more to the puzzle, Sarah has been offered so many opportunities to leave Burbank, but she response with the same answer. “I am good here” even before the first date with Chuck. Before she was named his handler, she was recalled by Langston, but stayed anyway because she could fix it, but fix her life is more the answer.

Much like Sarah, Chuck is thrust into the spy life. In the beginning, Chuck downloaded the Intersect because of Bryce. He was not given a choice in the matter, but after two years of doing spy work. He took the opportunity to download Intersect 2.0 when given the chance and most importantly the choice.

This decision did not go over well with Sarah. Sarah fell in love with a regular guy and his regular life. She knew the game they played, and was afraid he would change, and lose the things that made him great, and most of season 3 she was witnessing a man becoming what she had become. Pleas and warning from Sarah were not heard from Chuck.

The government didn’t make things easier either. They forced Chuck and Sarah to use people in their lives to come along on missions and put them and their love ones in danger. Although it bothered Chuck more, Sarah did not want to see her father get mixed up in CIA business knowing how it would end or hiding a baby from the CIA.

They made Chuck and Sarah rekindle old flames in the interest of the government and this also did not go over well with the both of them. All they wanted to do was be with each other, but how does one do that with all these variables in the way. The risk out weighted the reward until their hearts could not take it anymore.

Chuck and Sarah move forward with their relationship and doing so Sarah risked her life multiple times to save Chuck and he did the same. After that they face Mary Bartowski, which was a fight brief separation and finally Chuck choosing to side with his Fiancé over his mother.

It does not last long though because by helping Volkoff and Mary they made enemies with the CIA’s Decker and later Quinn, and again the couple faces adversity. However, this does not stop two people who are truly meant for each other to fight for what they want most a normal life with a real relationship, and that does not include spying.
Sarah and Chuck’s roads are the same. The only difference is the way they get there. Each time they find happiness, the spy life interferes and causes a strain.

As mentioned before, the risk out ways the reward, but the cost out weights the risk.
So it is not so much what people did to them. It’s more of what the world they live in did to them.

Before Season 3, Sarah was ready to quit the spy life, after telling no to Bryce about coming with him. She was trying to let Chuck know that she didn’t want to save the world before Orion tells them that Bryce was taken by someone that was not CIA, which turns out to be the Ring.
A woman who never knew how to love has learned to love through Chuck.

As for Chuck, well It starts with his father, who left him when he was 13 years old. The reason Stephen left his family was to protect them from the people that were looking for him because he was the one responsible for the creation of the Intersect. The very intersect that ends up in Chuck’s head. Fast forward to 12 years later, the same people hunting him were the same kind of people that killed him.

The intersect was responsible for taking away both of his parents and wiping out his wife’s memories. It almost destroyed his best friend. Only his sister was not affected personally but with the loss of both parents, Elle had to raise Chuck since she was 12.. It is a burden that no 12 year should have to undertake.

The second thing is his relationship with Bryce. On the outset, you begin to wonder about Bryce, but as the story unfold. Bryce was sent by his father to look after him at Stanford. This is key because after Chuck gets kicked out. For 5 years Chuck thought that Bryce betrayed him, and in those 5 years Sarah was working with Bryce. Every character so far has a link back to Chuck and Sarah.
Destiny was certain for these two people.

When Chuck meets Sarah, his first reaction was of amazement because such a beautiful woman approaching him is something new. He never dealt with something like, and when she returns the next day to ask him out. He is called off guard.

Through season 4, Chuck always felt that Sarah was a big fish and required him to be bigger than a Nerd Herder. The best example of this comes from Phase Three when Morgan explains to Sarah about the Proposal Plan.

Sarah Walker:  Do you know what this is?

{Shows Morgan a piece of paper}

Morgan: No never seen it.

Sarah Walker: I really miss him

Morgan: Fine, Its Chuck’s proposal plan.

Sarah Walker: Chuck was planning on proposing

{Morgan explains the plan}

Sarah Walker: When was he planning on doing this?

Morgan Grimes: I don’t know. I mean, since he lost the Intersect, the proposal plan got put on hold.
Sarah Walker: Why? Did he think I wouldn’t want to marry him without the Intersect? Is that how I made him feel?
Morgan Grimes: No. No! Chuck knew that – Chuck knows that you love him, Sarah, okay? It’s just, you’re kind of a big fish, you know? And to a regular guy with no supercomputer in his brain, I gotta think that’s pretty intimidating.
Sarah Walker: That;s not the reason why I love Chuck. I want to spend the rest of my life with Chuck -*with* or *without* the Intersect.
Morgan Grimes: That’s fantastic! That’s great. Yeah, and he knows that right? Because you told him?… Oh.

Chuck doesn’t know that Sarah loves him for him because of the nerd in him won’t allow it, However, throughout the series she keeps telling him that she fell in love with a regular guy.
For the first time a very emotional Sarah tells him though

Sarah Walker: Chuck, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don’t care if you have the Intersect or not. Without you, I’m nobody. I’m nothing but a spy. Come back to me, Chuck. I want to marry you.

Even better

Sarah Walker: [Referring to a picture of Sarah and Chuck] That’s just something I like to keep in my suitcase at all times. Whether I’m in Portugal, or Russia or Burbank, this uh, make me feel comfortable and safe. Look, I know that it’s taken me longer than a normal girl. But you should know that you’re my home, Chuck. You always have been.

As much as Chuck hears these kinds of things from Sarah, he does not trust it. Remember the nerd in him won’t believe it. Not until Fear of death when hanging from the Gondola, he proclaims that he needs Sarah and that he loves her. However, She is on the road trying to get to him and he is about to be taken, which makes Agent Walker and Sarah the girlfriend co-exist for the first time. After the rescue, Morgan does for Chuck like he did for Sarah earlier.

Morgan: It’s a good thing you lost the intersect…because you should of seen that girl. She loves you. She’ll do anything for you.
Chuck: Thanks Buddy!

Ultimately, Chuck becomes a spy, a good one at that. He uses his intelligence and the intersect as a method of solving missions, defusing bombs and trapping major players in the illegal weapons game. He even becomes comfortable with the occupation until the occupation decided to block him from saving his wife.
It was not easy for them together.

Several times they were threatened to be put in jail because of treason. They chose morality in helping their friend John Casey in Tic Tac or help each other when it came to rescuing Sarah’s mother and her sister or Sarah helping Chuck get into the Zimidian box at the concert. Sarah and Chuck are there for each other until the job puts Chuck into a psychiatric facility for it.
As I mentioned before the risk outweighs the reward and the cost outweighs the risk for Sarah and Chuck their job was what did them in. However, despite this they were there for each other in the end.

20 comments

  1. I had totally forgotten that quote from Stephen … maybe b/c I haven’t rewatched S3 in a while … but it is a great summary quote for the overall conflict of the series.

  2. Yea, for Sarah and Chuck it is difficult to not see what the elephant in the room was. Grant it if it wasn’t for the job they never would of met, but it was the biggest force in prevent them to live a happy normal life. The sad thing is for Orion it was his greatest invention other than creating his kids, but at the same time it destroyed Chuck’s life.

  3. I tend not to create many responses, however i did a few searching and wound up here Chuck and
    Sarah vs. The Spy Life | Chuckaholics. And I do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind.
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    • if you click on the menu bar you will see there is a follow me button. This way you can get an email of all new posts that I publish. The best way to answer your question would be by saying sometimes when you are writing you have to take in account the read knows nothing about Chuck. Hence I tend to give recaps for that very reason and sometimes if I can find it a scene to watch so you don’t have to open up many windows

      Chuckaholics is a place that makes people feel like they are at home with their favorite TV show.

    • Thank you for the kind words, I often thought what would be the theme of my first blog and why not do one dedicated to my Favorite Show, the focus of this blog was to create a website for the fans to comes to as a one shop stop. I hope people see this site as strictly a entertainment blog

    • Thank you for the nice compliment most of my articles will be like the 1 that you read . When you love the show as much as I do passion be seen within the words my focus is to give my opinion on the characters of Chuck and leave it up to the reader to make a comment summon agree I’m so maybe this agree but that’s the real reason chuckaholics exists

    • Sometimes art imitates life. The best thing about Chuck was the relativity to key functions of life. Whether it be work/love or friendship, family secret all in all the same for life. How does one handle that? I would say most are able to overcome, adapt and persevere

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