Chuck vs The Pink Slip

The first episode of season three is a very powerful one, and I will spend some time trying to explain the actions of Chuck and Sarah. I am not naive to think people won’t disagree with me, and that is fine, but as I mentioned in Colonel, the actions displayed in this episode warrant my reasoning in why it would have been a mistake to sleep together.

There is a time frame of six months we are dealing with, and a lot has happened since Chuck decided to download the Intersect 2.0 and we saw the impact it caused. The night of his decision impacted lives most specifically Sarah’s live in her mind. There is a lot to go through, so let’s get on with Pink Slip.

In order to understand this episode better, I had to split the episode into two episodes in one. The first would be the night Chuck downloaded the Intersect, and the second would be the famous Prague incident.

The build up really took place at the end of Colonel when Orion took out the original Intersect. It ruined the plans of both Chuck and Sarah.  The idea of living in each other’s world has become more and more of pipe dream.

The fact that Sarah’s dream was to live as a regular girl, but still work as a spy. Same thing for Chuck, he wanted to be a spy, but not lose out on what mattered most to him, His friends and family were his lifeline, and Chuck was Sarah’s calm center.

Sarah at Elle's beach wedding

Sarah realized what she wanted, and leaving Chuck was something she didn’t want to do anymore, but reality struck when Bryce was in trouble. Both Chuck and Sarah went to help him and the results were not good for Sarah.

Chuck downloading 2.0 Bryce's death

Two major things happened the night Chuck downloaded the 2.0. First, Sarah’s first real love was killed. Whether we believe she actually loved Bryce can be  something we can debate, but her reaction in Nemesis proved she did have some feelings for Bryce at one time. When she saw Bryce dead on the floor, Sarah was already shaken

Bryce returned for the third time, but this time Sarah was in love with Chuck, but anyone would tell you the effect a first love has on someone. Throw in Chuck taking out 5 ring operatives with no previous training makes a woman really fall into  shock by the events taking place even if she was a superspy. Casey also was freaked out by what he witnessed. “Oh Chuck Me.”

OMG Bryce Seeing Bryce dead put her in a daze

Then Chuck did this,

Chuck taking on 5 guys

After he defeated all the Ring’s men, Sarah was now in shock because of seeing Bryce dead, and Chuck became this machine before her.

Sarah shocked and awe

Later that night, we see the continuation of what happened. It’s hard to fathom Sarah would be calm and collected after witnessing what she just did.

plea to run

Chuck was told by Casey, they would send him to Prague, the CIA would train him to become the super spy the Intersect 2.0 was designed to do.

When Sarah heard this it was impulsive time for Sarah, she was fearful of losing Chuck to the spy world and that was something she wasn’t prepared to witness. She said as much.

Sarah was freaked out. She was not thinking straight when she told Chuck to run away with her. Her body language and panic expression was the direct cause of the events she was experiencing. A real shock to the system if you will.

She tried to warn Chuck what happened to people entering the spy world. She was not prepared or wanted to witness Chuck disappear.

Look at the expression again,

Sarah freaking out
Sarah: If you do this, if you go, you’re gonna be a spy for the rest of your life. Every city is gonna be a new mission and a new identity, and you’re not gonna be the same person.

Chuck thought that would be a good thing, but Sarah not thinking rationally thought otherwise.

Chuck never seen this version of Sarah before Chuck willing to run with Sarah

Chuck willing to run with her

She asked for them to run together,  she wanted to be a normal person again with Chuck, but its a hasty move because of the events she just witnessed. When Chuck agreed to run with her, Sarah was calm again.

Chuck willing to run with her

While, we know where Sarah’s head was at this point, we fast forward to Six month later, and see the effects of Chuck’s decision affected him during his training.

Not the same Chuck

While training, he was poised, but  something was wrong with Chuck. He was receiving orders from Beckman, but Chuck would second guess everything. When Yuri pointed the gun at him, he was able to flash and took them out. He was able to take Yuri’s gun away from him.

Chuck taking the upper hand

However, Chuck wasn’t able to use the gun despite Beckman screaming in his ear to pull the trigger. He would go against the order and take them out using Kung Fu. Bartowski snatched the briefcase and made his escape, Beckman would instruct Chuck a helicopter was coming, but to far out.

She told Chuck to zip line down from the roof, and instruction would occur on what to do next, but Chuck’s emotions would get the better of him preventing him from flashing on the skill set.  Beckman became frustrated and canceled the termination.

She proceeded to ask Chuck why he didn’t shoot Yuri, Chuck claimed while he understood it was a simulation, he thought safety first, and he still wasn’t comfortable with killing people.

Beckman would told Chuck it wasn’t working and fired him. Chuck was upset because of what he said no too, and when Chuck was become hostile, Beckman had him tranqed.

The prolem is with you

Chuck went back to Burbank a dejected man. The inability to stay focus was holding him back. It drew concern from Ellie. She would ask Chuck where Sarah was. Chuck would claim he lost her. The girl of his dreams gone.

Ellie told Chuck why not try to call her maybe she missed him too, but it wasn’t the case. While working on an assignment, Chuck called her. She would take the phone from her mark and walk over to the pool, and dropped the phone into the water.

Chuck dejected

Chuck calling

Sarah not wanting to talk to Chuck Dropped Chuck into the water

I would believe that Sarah was through with Chuck, but it was hard to fathom with the expression she made before and after dropping her cellphone into the water. Again, Yvonne’s mastery of the character proved what she was doing didn’t measure to her feelings.

Trying to regain composure

Something happened bad happened between them for Sarah to react this way. More on that later.

Once Chuck felt Sarah was gone, Chuck went in complete meltdown mode. He stopped shaving and was only eating cheese balls. It became concerning to both Devon and Ellie. The concern forced Ellie to get Morgan involved but nothing was working.

Poor ChuckChuck would only leave the apartment when the cheese balls ran out. It forced him to return to the Buymore. When he did, the store was not the same under the reign of Milbarge. Security and everyone acted in unison. Jeff’s hair was neatly combed and his approach to asking if Chuck needed help was the kind of change Emmett instilled into the Buymore.

When Chuck made his way to the snack, Milbarge saw him from the cameras, and assumed Bartowski was a street peasant, but when Chuck removed the sunglasses. Milbarge was overly ecstatic that  Chuck failed.

It was quite comical when Emmett told everyone Chuck was here. They all asked Chuck if he would take over the Buymore from Emmett with desperation in their eyes.

Emmett went on a tirade causing Chuck to flash, but Bartowski showed restraint at the cost of looking like he went off the deep end.

Chuck returns to the BM Chuck struggling to not kick the crap out of Emmett

When Lester asked him about coming back, Chuck turned them down. Lester would say why would you care about our troubles when you still have blonde. They would tell Chuck, she was still in town.

It made Chuck go over to the Orange Orange, but when he got there Casey would knock him over. the colonel wanted to know why Chuck was there. Chuck would tell him he was looking for a light jacket he left in Castle.

While down in Castle, Chuck would ask what was going on in the business. Did he talk to any of the old gang. Casey said no, but that was a lie because Sarah was calling. Chuck made a plea to join them, but Casey said no because he didn’t work according to his training reports. Sarah still didn’t want to talk Chuck.

Chuck would look over Casey’s shoulder and see where the mission was being held. He would look at the file on the table, and tell Casey he was leaving. Casey would ask Chuck what happen between him and Walker. Chuck told him something he had to fix.

Sarah told Casey she didn't want to talk to Chuck Chuck seeing where the mission was El Bucho

Chuck would go home and start to shave and get dressed. He was going to show the team he still can be a great spy. The problem was Sarah didn’t want to see him. Her reaction to him showing up at the hotel was an indication as much.

Sarah seeing Chuck for the first time since Prague

Sarah asking Chuck to kiss her

As Chuck approached Walker, she saw her mark enter the room. She asked Chuck to kiss her. Chuck was hesitant at first, but when she insisted. They kissed, but as the mark came closer, she slapped Chuck sending Bartowski to the ground.

Chuck was pleading his case in the kitchen area, but Sarah told them to get Chuck out of there. Chuck was still trying to help, but Casey told him it was a simple courier exchange with Javier Cruz. When Chuck heard the name, he flashed and saw Javier really was an international assassin.

After throwing Chuck out of the hotel, Chuck tried to get back inside after his flash. A man walked up to Chuck, which received a roundhouse kick for his troubles. Chuck went back inside dressed as a mariachi singer. While in the lobby, an event planner saw him and told him he was on. He went up on stage causing Casey to get concerned about the mission, but Sarah said give him a moment.

Sarah shaken by the presence of Bartowski give him a second

While up on stage Chuck flashed on the music, and started playing the guitar. While everyone was distracted Chuck would inform Casey of an assassin, but didn’t know where. Suddenly, out of the corner of the door, Javier looked into the room.

Sarah making sure Chuck was watching her dance

Chuck playing Music Javier Cruz

Sarah asked her mark to dancer with her. While on the dance floor. The mark would ask why he was here. The presence of Bartowski spooked the mark, but Sarah assured him it was over with Chuck. While Chuck was looking around, he saw a red light on Sarah, and leaped from the stage.

Chuck’s actions caused anger out of both Casey and Sarah. They told him it was over. It sent Chuck back to depression mode. Devon would talk to Chuck about the loser cover Chuck was performing, but Chuck assured him this was no cover.

Later Morgan would show up, and while they were discussing Chuck’s failures as a spy. Morgan told him how it was amateur hour compared to what Morgan dealt with in Hawaii.

He would show Chuck where he was staying. The home theater room of the Buymore was his home. What I am interested in this scene would Sarah.

Morgan showing Chuck the home theater roomWhile Chuck was standing in the theater room, Sarah was watching him through the camera, and had both a hurt and missing him expression.

Sarah looking at Chuck through the monitor Sarah missing Chuck with those eyes here she is hurting still Sarah still looking Sarah was visibly miserable. She missed him and yet still was hurting, and while she went to go say goodbye to Chuck, and Javier would capture the both of them.

The reason Sarah was angry was because of what happen three weeks after Sarah asked Chuck to run with her the night of Chuck downloading 2.0, and for this particular episode. We have two great songs from this episode. these two songs are two of my favorite of the entire series.

The first was Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold, the second song would be Frightened Rabbit’s Backwards Walk.

As I mentioned above, when Chuck arrived at the train station. He already had regret showing. As the decision to run has changed, and Sarah was excited to see Chuck.

After watching this scene,  it is easy to take one side over the other. Chuck said, I can’t to her about running. three screencaps made a statement to me.

Chuck not overly excited in see Sarah

What I saw was a change in Chuck already, he doesn’t show happiness in seeing Sarah. The second one would be after Sarah kissed him, she knew something was wrong because there was no return kiss from Chuck.

 

Sarah can sense just from kissing Chuck something was wrong,

This was not the Chuck she knewChuck telling her about becoming a spy

Chuck: Sarah, there is an entire facility here dedicated and designed to turning me into Intersect 2.0. I mean, think about it. Think about that.Me, a real spy, you know, living a life of adventure, and doing things that really matter.

Sarah would say it was not that simple, and would also go as far as say what they had been real. Again, she would ask if he was coming, and as Chuck hesitated in answering. It seemed less likely, and Sarah knew it too.

Sarah sensing something is wrong

People have to understand the significance of Chuck saying “I can’t” Never in her wildest dreams did she think Chuck would hurt her. I am also starting to believe Chuck felt like Sarah did in the Church.

Chuck not overly excited in see SarahIt was bothering Sarah as well

When one walks into a situation knowing this could very well hurt the other party. The blow not only hurts the one receiving the bad news, but in Sarah and Chuck’s case. They both deliver a blow to the heart.

Bryce doing it again
Chuck hearing Sarah leaving with Bryce in the morning.

Sarah hurt by Chuck decision

 

This situation in Prague is a direct result in why I felt Barstow would have been a mistake. They still find ways  take that leap of faith, and explain their feelings. Sarah briefly spoke about her feelings on the issue, but it wasn’t enough to get Chuck on the train.

Sarah pleading for Chuck to come with her
Sarah: You don’t know who you’re working for. It’s complicated. Nothing is real. This is simple. This is a real life

now that the six months from the time the download and the Prague incident happened, we understand the rift between Chuck and Sarah. Six months certainly doesn’t heal the wounds from events that transpired at least on Sarah’s end.

Chuck did the right thing, he chosen to become a spy because he knew in his heart it was the only way to be with Sarah. She was never going to give up the spy life, and the choice was made for Chuck. Sarah’s mistake throughout this experience was not telling him how she felt about him becoming a spy.

So when Chuck tried to flash before Javier came into his cell, he told himself he was dead, but Sarah’s voice calmed him. She would tell him she worked with the best spies in the world, and no one could do what Chuck could do, so don’t freak out.

It calmed Chuck enough for him to knock out Javier. Chuck would take the keys and the Ring Phone he found on Javier. He unlocked Sarah’s cell and off they go. The reach the roof, but Javier’s men found them and started shooting at them.

Sarah ran out of ammo, but Chuck gave them a way out when he flashed on zip lining, which they do.

The Carmichaels zip lining

However, it didn’t work because Javier and his men surrounded them, but before they could kill Charah, Casey made the save by arriving on the scene via helicopter and a gatling gun.

Casey took out the baddies with the gun giving Charah the chance to run for the helicopter, which they do.

Back at Castle, Beckman was pleased with the success the team made in capturing one of The Ring’s key men and the first Ring phone. She felt good about the team, and put the team back in the field.

not keen on working with Chuck again with the history they have

Meanwhile, Chuck was excited about working again. However, Beckman would warn Sarah how dangerous Bartowski was. She further would instruct her about keeping Chuck’s emotions in check. The job of the agency was to protect Chuck from the world was over. The new focus was to protect the world from Chuck.

Beckman closed by saying Chuck was worth the risk.

Sarah showed up at the apartment complex and told Chuck they should talk.

Another conversation at the fountain of truth

Chuck:  Sarah, they wanted me to be a spy, okay. They told me that I could make a difference. For years, I been I been kicking around not knowing what I wanted to do with my life-like a like a loser.that they thought really I could change the world.
Me. Chuck Bartowski. It was never about you

Sarah: Stop. I acted impulsively. And it’s a mistake I don’t usually make. And it won’t happen again.

Chuck:But, Sarah

Sarah: You’re a spy now, Chuck. You have to keep your feelings to yourself.

Sarah still feel the affects of 6 months ago

Its clear in Sarah’s body language the decision Chuck made in Prague was still sitting very heavy in her heart. She was heart-broken and seeing Chuck brought out the feelings she still has for him, which makes the pain hurt more.

Pink Slip marked the end of Emmett Milbarge, he was killed by Javier when the assassin was walking the grounds of the Buymore.  It made it easy for Casey to get Chuck and Morgan rehired.

we also notice Anna missing from the cast, Julia Ling was dropped due to budget cuts. Thus, the remark made by Morgan she ran off with a prep chef.

Overall Thoughts of Pink Slip

As a fan base, we were treated to great premiers with the Pilot and First Date, these two episodes were filled with laughter and memorable moments. For some, Pink Slip was a drastic and dark turn for the series, but no one should have been surprised.

Series direction was laid out for the fan since Colonel, Once Orion took the Intersect out, and word of a new Intersect being designed. It was only a matter of time before Bartowski would download the latest edition.

Sarah not telling Chuck how she felt about Chuck’s decision in becoming a spy would ultimately be the theme of the season, and being hurt and angry with Chuck for not running will be the real situation that drove them apart.

Let’s be real here, what Chuck did in Prague would have been a deal breaker in real life. Let’s see if it was for Chuck and Sarah.

Next Episode is Chuck vs The Three Words, Mini Anden returns as Carina until then remember Chuckaholics was designed for you to play.

 

33 comments

  1. Just one clarification needed. Chuck was training almost right after the Prague incident 3 weeks after he downloaded the Intersect 2.0. He actually didn’t train all that long before he got kicked out and Beckman sent him home…maybe 2 months tops. Chuck was at home for about 3 months before he ended up back at the Buy More getting Cheese balls.

    So these would be the questions I’d like answered about this episode.
    1) Why did Sarah and Chuck need to run ? At the end of S2, Sarah had decided she wasn’t going to leave with Bryce, she was going to stay with Chuck. But there was never any talk of needing to run in that instance. Why was it necessary in Prague ?

    2) Since Chuck had the new Intersect in his head ( and the only copy before he destroyed it ), why were the CIA and NSA cool with just letting him go home without handlers or surveillance ?? The first 2 seasons, having the Intersect was a national security threat which required 24 hour protection from the top 2 agents. With the Ring also being a threat, why the lackadaisical attitude of the Agency? Chuck still had all the government secrets in his head, didn’t he ???

    3) Why did Sarah think life on the run would be “normal” ? It would be a different city and a different identity everywhere they went ( if they could actually go on the lam without being found a la “The Colonel”). Isn’t that the argument she used against becoming a spy? Is Chuck becoming Hector Calderone actually “real” , as Sarah implied ?

    4) Did Sarah know that Chuck was booted out of the Agency? Wouldn’t that have solved the problem of him being a spy, which she claimed was her big concern ?

    There’s not really much to add. I do think Chuck felt just the same as Sarah did at the Church when he was delivering the news. It really was a mirror image . They handled it completely different, though. Sarah was not meaning to hurt Chuck at the church, and Chuck was not meaning to hurt Sarah in Prague. I think that point needs to be emphasized.

    And I think it also needs to be emphasized that Sarah cut Chuck off when he tried to explain. This points to the fact that this was never about Chuck, but it was about Sarah. Sarah didn’t want to know what Chuck’s aspirations were. All that talk about him being a hero and being “that guy” and doing anything he wanted to do…well, it comes off as just paying lip service to Chucks emotions during the first 2 seasons. It calls into question her so-called love of Chuck in the first 2 seasons. It also points out that Sarah, when crossed, is a very angry and self absorbed person. When someone says to you , “This is what you want, right?”, without ever really asking you what you want, it’s a sign that they are doing it for themselves and not for you. That is a statement, not a question.

    • I agree with you now than before after watching it from your point of view. The only issue I differ with you is the amount of shock she witnessed in a short span led her to want to run.

      I believe we had this discussion before about running. This is what Sarah learned from her con job she did with her father. Running is normal in her life, I do agree with you Beckman would of sent Casey to go after them again. Like in Honeymooners.

      It also defeats the notion Sarah told Chuck on the beach when Chuck asked there is no way I can run. She told him not from us.

      As far as Sarah thinking selfishly, sure she did as my wife liked to say last night, She wanted her cake and eat it too. The only thing I want to say to that is .

      If for two years, you got use to one person being one way, and you fell in love with that person for that one way would it be hard to watch the person change.I think most people would freak out like Sarah did, is it selfish sure, but I think all people fall for an image of a person and get mad when the person does change.

      • Oh totally agree there. And it was a rash decision to run, but an understandable “out” for Sarah, given her history. But why did they have to run in S3, if they didn’t need to in S2 ? Just a quirk of the writing maybe ??

        The future always brings changes in people…no one stays the same. Sarah was being totally unrealistic to think that the events of the 2 previous years wouldn’t somehow change Chuck, and that he wouldn’t grow from that point on. She never even gave him a chance to prove himself ( obviously looking at it from her experience). But when Chuck told her he had been a loser and that this was something that gave him purpose and could help a lot of people, for Sarah to shut him down was just so uncharacteristic. From that point on, I couldn’t trust the writers.

      • Sarah wanted to run because she was scared. She couldn’t face the issue that was inevitable. Beckman told Chuck it was time to become a spy. Beckman said she didn’t want Chuck to not have the intersect out.

        Chuck didn’t want to run, it was all Sarah. that pushed to run. Now regarding your issue with change. Its funny how people complain or get upset when the person they love change from the image they were use too.

        We can agree Chuck did change, do you think he would of shot a dart into Manoosh in Season One. I don’t think so, but he was becoming the spy we all know he could be. He still struggled with separating the spy world with real life and often brought his emotions to the mission causes Sarah to lie in order to calm him down, put the credit for changing Chuck really was Orion.

        Once Chuck found out his father was a spy, Chuck accepted it more then before. Sarah however was different.

        While ideally Sarah would of prefered Chuck not being a spy evidence was how she was acting toward Chuck during season 3, but she also was gaining acceptance of working with him.

        If it was the only way to be with him it would be fine for her. She always was ok with him being an analyst because she didn’t have to fear he was going to be hurt. Remember Anniversary, when Chuck went to go find his mother, what was her response. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

        In fear of death, we are talking about real danger now. Its clear Sarah’s motives. It also includes the fact that Chuck didn’t like to use guns. In Sarah’s mind she saw all of this as an issue for Chuck.

        So, when Sarah heard Chuck was being sent to Prague for training. Sarah was going to take matters into her own hands and run, but I guess she has a short memory because Casey would be on the trail of the Intersect and the agency’s top spy.

        We didn’t get to see Beckman’s reaction to the idea they were planning to run in Prague. SO, it would be hard to fathom Beckman let them walk.

        So many issues with just one episode, it made it very exciting to see how it planned out. No veterans of the series know, but lets keep it with as little spoilers for the newbies.

      • I don’t ever recall her saying she wanted him to be an analyst. I mean, when he was in his tuxedo at the wedding, she said, ” You look like a real spy.” , not , “You look like a real analyst.”

        But I do agree with you…Sarah needed him to do something with the Agency in order to be with him, since she would never leave it. That’s a bit of a spoiler considering the Prague thing and the Ring Part I….

        Chuck had to “change”, though. You yourself said you were tired of the whiny, emotional Chuck, and that certainly ran its course. But Chuck wasn’t really changing …he was growing. His core values remained intact. If he did something that he didn’t want to do ( like burning Manoosh), he paid the heavy emotional price. Unlike Sarah, he couldn’t deal with these situations by burying his emotions.

      • She may have not said the words analyst specifically, but to Roan and others she said he was nothing ore than just that.

        Casey was the one that saw the spy potential even before Chuck thought of the idea. Sarah never saw him as a spy. She saw him as a person who was highly skilled in computers perfect for an Analyst. The perfect 24’s Chloe if you will. Keep him in Castle and let him monitor the cameras and surveillance. She wouldn’t have to worry about Chuck getting killed or anything.

        remember the three times Sarah had to worry about Chuck’s safety she got her tuckus handed to her by Sidney, was sent to the hospital in Break up and nearly went into cardiac arrest when the thought of him being blown up in the nerd herder.

        This is why I stand firm on my decision when it comes to Barstow Gary, when I first watched Colonel, I was like yea cool they were close, but then when seeing Prague. I changed my tune.

        Communication was the issue and still was even when together. Chuck not talking about his brain condition for Sarah to find out in a public forum by the man who tried to kill her, Sarah not discussing the money or baby. doing things alone made you see the trust really wasn’t’ there.

      • And to think they wouldn’t of been together if it wasn’t for Casey coming clean about killing the mole.

        The whole train yard incident really bothers me as I think about writing it. The lack of trust in the group really was showcased in the yard. Casey not wanting Sarah to know he pulled the trigger or Chuck not telling Sarah the truth was really poor writing in this aspect.

        Don’t you think Sarah would of been ok with Casey pulling the trigger. Especially knowing she wasn’t keen on Chuck killing people just as much. I am sure Sarah would of went along with it but distrust was always an issue for me when it came to Team Bartowski..

        Oh BTW, one of the post last week in our heated discussion you had mentioned Chuck’s life was just as abnormal as Sarah’s. I actually thought about that and realized they are not the same here is why.

        Sarah never had an Ellie in her life. She didn’t associate herself with her moth because at the time she prefered the life of adventure with her father despite the protest from her mother and grand mother. Chuck always had Ellie and Morgan.

        It kept him stable. Sarah went from a con man as a father, and was recruited into the CIA as a teenager. Graham was her surrogate father figure during those years. However, he was grooming her to be his personal lap dog.

        While Sarah was flourishing as a spy, Chuck was meddling along. Especially what happened at Stanford. its not the same abnormality.

        Its the same situation for Volkoff and Chuck. Chuck was headed to become a Volkoff, but with Sarah, Casey, Ellie and the rest of them around Chuck was never able to slip into the Volkoff type persona.

  2. “No” on the slipping into Volkoff or anything like it. Chuck’s brain was ideally suited to having the Intersect…it’s what made him special. Sure, he could overheat, but he actually had an Intersect in him since he was 9 years old. The first Intersect Bryce sent him didn’t even have any negative consequences. It was 2.0 that made his brain overheat, but he was always the perfect Intersect candidate because of his brain, and his innate goodness.

    And I’m not saying that sarah and Chuck’s backgrounds were the same, I’m saying that Chuck’s was not a normal upbringing, and Chuck didn’t end up being “normal”. He was different than Sarah for sure, but he was far from normal. There were way too many traumas in his life emotionally for him to be considered normal, but he was innately a good guy, and had a sister that loved him. He also had friends, but that doesn’t make him normal.

    Sarah could have lived a normal life with her mother but chose not to. Chuck never ever really had a hope of living a normal life….

    • And if you’re saying they shouldn’t have slept together until they fully trusted one another…..well , then they never should have slept together. Picking on Barstow against Paris or against any other moment…well, it doesn’t hold water. The Baby was after they were married !!!

      • Yea, but even married they didn’t trust enough to talk thing through.

        Knowing Bartowski, he would of been their for her by helping her battle her former handler,

        likewise, Sarah never liked Chuck keeping her out of the loop, so whats the difference really?

      • Huh ? Sorry…don’t know what you’re trying to say.

        All I’m saying is that if you think they weren’t ready for sex in Barstow because of communication and trust issues, then they were never ready for sex. We know that’s totally unrealistic. So you have to modify your reason for them having sex at all, or just realize that it wasn’t as big an issue as you make it out to be. They’re adults ….let them roll in the hay without making such a big deal about it !

      • but we complain as fans that Sarah rolled in the hay with Shaw? that is being a hypocrite no?

        There was no emotion and stimulation from Sarah part in sleeping with Shaw. Remember during the stakeout with Chuck, she was prepared to kiss him.

        I really only believe Sarah was with Shaw because she had no other choice in her mind. Chuck was off the market and what was Sarah suppose to do? What around, I understand more now talking this out with about the direction of Sarah’s character and yes the writers did a bad job with her but we shouldn’t be surprised with the way they destroy her in the finale.

      • Chuck was off the market only because she wouldn’t talk to him. Like I said, if you watch the Mask, Chuck being with Hannah and Sarah being with Shaw happened simultaneously.

        And you are comparing Sarah sleeping with Shaw (after only knowing him a few weeks, and really not liking him much right off the bat), and her sleeping with Chuck after knowing him and falling in love with him….HUH ?? Are you serious ?? She was in love with Chuck…she admitted it to herself in her video. Chuck was in love with her …he told her so. So they still had things to work out…but still…2 people who are in love can have sex and it shouldn’t be a big deal. Sarah and Shaw were never in love.

      • no they weren’t in love nor was she in love with Bryce like she was with Chuck.

        The fact that Sarah was able to move on so quickly in the Pilot proved that fact. Shaw was a different case. This was strictly a rebound screw. no feelings behind it. He wined and dined her, and she relished it, but Shaw was never going to get her heart. The heart was and only Bartowski.

        I only bring the shaw/sarah relationship thing because I feel sometimes as fans we want the hero to always get the girl. No problem with that but when Sarah hooked up with Shaw. Hannah and Chuck were in midst of their own relationship. So, I can’t fault Shaw for wanting to pursue Sarah. Why not. she was single. If it was ok for Chuck to succumb to Hannah’s desires, but Sarah was suppose to just wait for Chuck like she had been for two years.

        As I feel its a double standard if we can’t accept Shaw and Sarah having a fling when charah weren’t even cover dating anymore.

      • Chris…you really need to go back and watch the Mask and Fake Name again…… Chuck and Hannah were not in the “midst” of a relationship when Sarah started going with Shaw. And Chuck and Hannah’s actual relationship only lasted 4 days before he broke up with her, and that’s when Sarah and Shaw’s relationship really started to flourish.

        Was it a “rebound”…yeah…I think that’s a good term. But since she never slept with Chuck, it makes it a little suspect. I’m sure she would have had to sleep with her mark in Pink Slip to maintain her cover, so she wasn’t needing sex for the physical aspect. She may have being doing it just to keep hurting Chuck…just like the jab about Shaw being “her type” and telling Chuck he could talk to her and Shaw about his “emotional problems” when he couldn’t flash after Fake Name.

  3. Couple of thoughts, this might not be the best place to put them all but I am new here, so here we go:

    1] Sarah was going to leave with Chuck, Casey simply made her soul feel better when he told her that he killed the mole. Why was this going to happen – because Chuck locked her in Castle and saved Shaw (Chuck S03E12). At the point of being locked in, she never really took Chuck seriously (no way would chuck be able to save Shaw), thus her off-remark to Casey after summoning him through morse code – but when the bomb hit the building you could see the look of joy on her face seeing Chuck, the hero.

    2] Shaw was always about Chuck, not Sarah. Shaw wanted to see the end of the Ring and he wanted to use the intersect to do it. Thus he played the divide and conquer rule of thumb (deleted scenes show Sarah/Casey’s initial distrust). Isolate Chuck and manipulate him; and you do this by removing his emotional blanket – Sarah (he also knew Sarah’s weakness for guys she worked with and perceived heroes, so given the Hannah situation, she was an easy target for manipulation). He said as much when he introduced himself to the team on the first day – he knew everything and would do anything to get the people who killed his wife.

    For more, see Chuck S03E07 – Shaw massaging Sarah’s shoulders. “I’m the safest guy in the world” – then we are hit with music that makes it more of a question than a fact. And ‘safe’ guys never call themselves ‘safe’.

    So throughout the Shaw/Chuck period we should be seeing Sarah as an instrument in order to channel the intersect against the ring. It gets us, because the entire male audience falls foul of the same error that Chuck makes: Shaw played ‘vanity’ against Chuck – easiest sin in the world. He knew he wanted Sarah and the only way he would get her, is by making him a spy. However, at the same time Shaw plays Sarah on her ‘vanity’.

    Consequently, Sarah falls out of grace and Chuck gets jealous and they both fail to see the strategic importance of sexual relationships/spy tests to a master spy who wants revenge.

    We all fell for it, because we see Sarah as our ideal angel (and what guy doesn’t want to become James Bond in a week).

    Shaw was always about Chuck as a weapon.

    And why do we know this? Because Shaw said as much when he returns to Buy More (to blow it up and) to kill Chuck – he tells Sarah this is not about her, its about Chuck.

    3] Shaw’s only redeeming feature is that he does not kill Chuck in Paris (at the cafe). He let’s him go; but this could also be a plot device to add more torture to both – Sarah/Chuck; or because like all super heroes stories. All super heroes need a super villain so that the world can find balance.

    We see this in the super hero film ‘Unbreakable’ starring Bruce Willis.

    Chuck was the ‘normal’ for both Sarah and Shaw. Sarah wanted humanity, Shaw sort master of his spy craft – and Chuck was both, the intersect and a nerdy guy with a big heart.

    And in many respects, I suspect Shaw was behind Quinn after mentioning Hungary to Sarah. Quite possibly Shaw always had the same issues displayed by Quinn – why did the CIA not give me the intersect? Again, jealousy pops in.

    So in simple terms – Chuck was made of two parts. When you reduce them down, Sarah was after half of Chuck (thus she hated the idea of him becoming a spy) while Shaw wanted to see how far the intersect could go – and thus make a super spy out of Chuck.

    4] Sarah was going through her first love breakup, so she was acting more like a teenager. Remember, she must have missed that period in her life so episode 1 allows us to see a woman scorned; and regardless of how we want it to feel, women are always right. This happens in countless relationships in every day life. The woman has to be seen as being right. So Chuck not running away from Prague was always going to mean he was the bad guy until – he apologises for his actions in Prague (Chuck S03E12) – when he asks her to run away with him, notice how she reacts when he mentions ‘you were right in Prague’. Then he kisses here and that seals the deal. Bringing me to point 1 above.

    • First Wireplay,

      Welcome to Chuckaholics, i hope your first day here was a pleasant one, and what we have here was good enough for you to return.

      As we just started season 3, the next best option for talking about spoilers and such would be here for now. The only time I don’t want spoilers would be during the rewatch articles. Simply because there may be new Chuck fans to the show reading. We don’t want to spoil the show for them. I know its hard. I do it too.

      What happened in Prague was the miscommunication from the first two years. The relationship was not defined. Sarah never said she wanted to be with him, but couldn’t because of being a spy. Except she did in seduction. When give the fear of death, bunkering and other women losing Chuck was not an Ideal situation until he broke her heart in Prague, but because she never told him she didn’t want him to be a spy. It caused a mishap.

      I don’t blame Shaw or Hannah for Sarah and Chuck not being together. The damage was done before they came into the story.

  4. Prague was more out of fear. After all, Sarah’s job was to protect Chuck. But sadly, Chuck fell fowl of breaking her pre-conceived expectations due to his in ability to provide a reason for his actions. Chuck has not learned how to justify himself (he has no real sense of responsibility as his actions have so far had limited impact on the world), but Sarah failed to see beyond her mission (to protect him). Sarah did not see the man behind the mission and his desire to prove himself to her.

    • It was always miscommunication…like when Sarah said she was going to Washington with Bryce when Chuck wanted to go on a vacation. Yes…Chuck took things literally, like men tend to. Yes, he didn’t read her face. Prague was exactly the same, only the roles were reversed. Chuck gave reasons for his actions, he just gave them much too late in Prague. But Sarah also didn’t read the torture in Chuck’s face as he spoke to her at the train station. It was very much the “anti-Chuck” at the train station, because Chuck generally had verbal diarrhea. Chuck’s decision to become a spy was ultimately the correct one, and his reasons for leaving her in Prague were also sound. Sarah had always intimated that they could be together if Chuck wasn’t an asset, or if he was a spy, like Bryce. When he finally gets the Intersect out of his head and he is no longer an asset, Sarah choses Bryce over Chuck ( at least that’s what it seemed like to Chuck before Sarah changed her mind). So Chuck’s next choice is to become a spy if he is to be with Sarah. (Chris had mentioned that Bryce’s death may have affected Sarah in changing her mind about Chuck being a spy…and he may be right.) In American Hero, he says as much… ,” This was the plan, right?”

      As far as protecting him, she certainly let that go out the window for this arc. But yes… she was totally manipulated by Shaw the whole time, as was Chuck. And, no, we cannot be sure she was leaving with Chuck before Casey made his confession… she could have been heading to Washington.

      And, yes….this arc was very screwed up !!

      • As we know, women are a complicated species, so what if we say Prague happens over two arcs:

        1] The meeting at the railway station is part of the last series arc (I love Chuck and want him to run away with me).
        2] The pool scene where Sarah dumps the phone is part of this seasons new arc (I am not happy with Chuck)?

        After all, everyone needs time to change their minds – i.e. shock and disappointment to settle in.

        I am just thinking that it may have taken some time (let’s say a day) for point 1 to become point 2. And thus a new arc is created.

        Does that change any viewpoints?

      • PRague was set up when Orion took out the original intersect. As soon as he said it was out, both Chuck and Sarah saw their dreams go up in flames. They both feared they would be losing the other, and the timing of the removal was not good. Especially when they almost were sleeping together in the morning. Prague was the finishing touches of the old. Chuck saying good by to the nerd and becoming a man or better yet a spy.

        Chuck never ever thought he would be able to keep Sarah. Look at the lengths he would go to prove his worth to her. I feel him becoming a spy was already set up when Beckman herself said it was time for Chuck to become a spy. it was only Sarah and Casey who never saw him as a spy. Bryce saw it and Shaw did as well.

        I love Shaw for that. Shaw pushed Chuck, he challenged him and Shaw had respect for Chuck, He sent him on is first solo mission. Something Sarah and Casey never allowed. Shaw was the person to get Chuck to use a real gun.I am a Shaw supporter so I am biased when it comes to Daniel.

      • Not really, because they seemed to change the characters themselves. They took the strong female protagonist and made her a “typical” overly emotional, subservient girl who was, at her best, a b!t¢h. They took the lovable loser with the heart of gold and turned him into a self important D!¢%head instead of growing in any measurable way.
        If the characters had somehow grown in a positive way, then the arc(s) are worth it. As it was, we end up with 2 characters damaged beyond redemption, and they end up at the same place in their lives as when Chuck asked Sarah to go on a romantic vacation with him.
        If we need to have a degree in psychology to try to explain both Sarah and Chuck’s actions, then it becomes too in depth and you lose the storyline. This happened big time…the show lost its charm, it lost its ability to be a comedy at heart and it lost the ability of the fans to cheer for the protagonists. The result was a big shift over to “Dancing With the Stars” or anything BUT watching the decline of a beloved couple. They don’t have to be perfect ( and they were never made out to be perfect in the first 2 seasons ), but they certainly didn’t need to be so flawed either.

  5. Something struck me on the way home tonight.

    I remember reading the Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – a great book but others may see the book as ‘Apocalypse Now’. Any way, before i digress too much.

    In the book (Heart Of Darkness) there is a quote:

    “the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.”

    I think this sums up the Season 3 Chuck quite nicely.

    Don’t worry. It is a tough quote to crack on first reading, but repeat it to yourself and you will get it: The meaning is not within the perceived storyline; more that the characters around that storyline and even more about the lives regarding those characters make the real storyline.

    This transition, in fact, will become the basis of ‘chuckology’ and will ultimately define your interpretation of the season 5 finale; and yes, not to throw a spoiler, but the concept of ‘Heart Of Darkness/Apocalypse Now’ is mirrored later on in season 3.

    • You’re getting quite deep, and I realize what you’re saying. But the arc didn’t work in any meaningful way, or at least how the main writer wanted it to work. Yvonne’s portrayal of Sarah made her the more sympathetic of the two protagonists, which is not what Fedak wanted. This was supposed to be Chuck’s story. As fans started leaving the show, they rebooted the season when they got the 6 extra shows. Sure, they wanted conflict…. that’s what drives the show. But they veered too far to the tragedy side of the character flaws, which rendered the comedy moot…left only to the Buymorons to bring some form of lightness to a suddenly dark tale. We understand the characters have flaws…it humanizes them. We do want to see some of these flaws to understand how they form their views and reactions to certain situations…but we want them to be redeemable….we don’t want to see the real dark matter, especially with Sarah, whose ability to stifle her emotions was compromised by Chuck. We liked that she struggled between her job and expressing herself to Chuck, because we always understood what she really felt ( even when Chuck didn’t). But Season 3 made her go to all sorts of weird places….she understood that Chuck left her in Prague because he loved her, and she had encouraged him to become a spy. But it left her only wanting to be friends. Then she manipulated him in his Red Test, but just before that, he reiterated how she was responsible for him doing all this. Same news to her, but now she doesn’t love him….she’s responsible, but it’s his fault somehow. And she doesn’t believe him when he tells her it didn’t happen as she saw it. She’s convinced he’s some monster of her making, but then rescuing Shaw and telling her she’s right about Prague turns her 180º. It was a hack job of writing …and Sarah was never made responsible for her part in the whole “misunderstanding” … ( which is how they explained the storyline).

      If it gave us some insight into the characters, it showed that they should never be together. We never understand what Chuck gets from Sarah ( other than a beautiful woman on his arm), and Sarah shows she can get away with pretty well anything with Chuck, and he’ll still love her. Like I said, pretty “unredeemable” qualities. I wish the story didn’t illuminate those qualities.

      • Yes there were a few writing flaws but (real life is like that as well). So working with what we have.

        “Same news to her, but now she doesn’t love him….she’s responsible, but it’s his fault somehow. ”

        She does love him, but she does not know how to feel it yet. She hasn’t surrendered to the emotion – she is still trying to ‘work it out’. She wants her cake and she wants to eat it. Just like she was in the last season when she woke up after turning down Bryce and breaking the alarm clock.

        “We never understand what Chuck gets from Sarah”

        The chance to dream, to break out of his post college malaise, to think bigger than Buy More is a good start. As they say, ‘behind every strong man there is an even stronger woman’. He started admitting to that in the vault, and he will go further when he fears losing her forever.

        “Sarah shows she can get away with pretty well anything …”

        Chuck is crazy about her, she is his dream and because of that, she can.
        Remember, according to Sarah, things that go wrong or are out of her control (as a spy she does not like surprises and she likes things to go to plan) and she always says ‘they will not happen again’ (like the kiss, because she cannot explain herself).

        Throughout the entire season 1/2 and half way through season 3 she is in the driving seat because she is the handler. Until later on in this season when she finally comes to terms with how to show her real feelings.

        Let’s be honest, most guys who love a woman will either [a] move heaven and earth for them or [b] allow them an unlimited amount of latitude that looks crazy to the onlooker (until another female steps in – Ellie).

        In reality, it is not like Chuck can just walk away; although a few days off-grid might help him find some time to sort himself out.

        We guys are the romantics and we are flawed in that respect; it is also the inherent flaw of altruism. To all outsiders an altruist is the hero, but can you live with and love one – knowing that your needs are considered equal to strangers and the world at large? Chuck needs to tame his altruism, and yes, he will do that as well when he saves Shaw.

        I think there were lots of missed opportunities for Chuck to drive Sarah. Sarah was always in control of the situation, but Chuck commanded the mood and he could have turned it if he tried – but that was his flaw, he never went far enough (until he was told to by Ellie). For example, why was his life or family always threatened before they stole Sarah from her erroneous ways? In many episodes, after being treated so harshly he could have said ‘blow this’ and gone on strike or even decided to visit her hotel room, have a conference and clear the air – to be honest, most guys would have done this. Maybe go off grid and disappear for a fishing trip or something …

        We could talk forever about this, in the full knowledge that none of us or all of us are right 🙂

      • The beauty about literature is we all interpret things differently. They say show a picture to someone and there will be thousands of different interpretations. Whatever motivation the writers had in driving the last hoorah in Chuck and Sarah getting together was a test that ultimately the spy world couldn’t make for them.

        At this point in the story, the whole world knew the two were in love even the agency hence the 49B

        The real issue is and would always be communication just look how the two handled the Mauser situation. Sarah assumed Chuck had to deal with it. It took an episode later for the two to talk about their feelings.

        Sarah hid her romance with Bryce from Chuck in Wookie. I understood this lie because at the time Sarah revealing the true relationship between her and Bryce would of only complicated things, but until they had the talk. Sarah revealed her middle name was Lisa.

        He didn’t hear it, but he got something out of her. Talking and communicating makes people slip the tongue like in Seduction. “I don’t think Chuck Bartowski will be seducing anyone tonight.” “Why not worked on me.”

        Communication “we are a real couple just a different kind of couple” She gave him the picture with the bug which he found. He threw the picture in the garbage, and they talked about it.

        What happened next Sarah made it her mission to take a real picture with him. With all these gestures and kindness. The groundwork of a real relationship was never discussed until Tic Tac

        and it really doesn’t conclude until the after Phase 3. However, they worked it out though which is the best part of this story. It was drag out, but in real life is anything really over just like that especially the kind of fight Prague would generate between a couple in real life.

    • All in all. Season 3 was a bit of ‘screw-up’ in terms of the writing and yes, it all started with Prague. An unnecessary addition that may have sounded good in theory given the limited maturity of the chuck/sarah relationship it did ‘rock the boat’ and it took too much air time to fix it.

      It could have been fixed in 1 or even 2 episodes.

      (Being honest, in real life the pool scene killed season 1 and 2 and the rest would have been sexual harassment in the work place – which would have wiped Chuck out).

      Casey and Morgan could have done more here as well.
      Or Prague, why didn’t Sarah thrash it out with him – i.e. slap some sense in to him as she did in the Pink Slip? This would have given them time too talk and that would have fixed the relationship to point where they were friends at least. She could have exited Prague on a later train …

      I mean, what happened with the sniper?

      He was trying to be a professional spy, so his first move is to talk to his ex-girlfriend? Surely he would gone for the bad guys first and become the super hero – which would given his reasons for Prague more grounding. Hell, Sarah may have even fallen in love with him again.

      Moreover, Chuck never got any points for saving her life during the guitar scene – he got punched out and dragged over hot coals for it all. So it was not only Sarah that was retentive but also the CIA as a whole.

      For many guys, that would have been the end of the affair (which is why, i suspect) that Sarah/Chuck were taken prisoner before she called it a day at Buy More – even then, after saving her life a second time he could have said ‘quit while your ahead’ and gone back to his old life. That is what he always wanted and at this stage I am sure he was fully aware that Sarah would not be with him (regardless) so he had nothing to lose:

      Yes, Sarah was a gorgeous and sexy spy, but in the past, Chuck had proved that the notion of a real life with someone like Lou is far more appealing to him.

      Is love worth all that pain to Chuck. It must have been, but why, we will never know as he failed to make his case.

      The writers failed to hit Chuck and Sarah with the notion of begin ‘soul mates’ destined to find each other. Fate would have been the saving grace, after all, the entire concept of the show was based on fate.

      And why did the sniper take Chuck and Sarah to Mexico?

      He just killed the Buy More manager; we know he wanted to settle a score with Chuck, but he could have done that in the Buy More; and Sarah, what did he want her for … he could have killed her in the Buy More as well.

      Mexico and the escape became an allegory for Prague, a chance for Chuck to play out what he failed to do for the General (so he was fired). However, Sarah was escaping without Chuck (or so he thought) and this was the second time he was about to save her.

      Was the Mexico/Prague incident to show that Chuck had promise but needed more time – Sarah will use this phrase in the coming episodes.

      Instead, they made Chuck look weak and almost pathetic, in fact the whole intersect was at a critical point during the Pink Slip and nearly fell into obscurity while Sarah Walker’s character just fell out of touch with the audience.

      We could see Casey was still listening to Chuck and this could have saved him; but again, bad writing and a missed opportunity.

      We will see the odd glimpse of Sarah over the coming episodes, but we won’t really feel her until she nearly dies (maybe that is what the writers wanted, if yes, they succeeded but for the show as a whole, it would kill any forward momentum until episode 13).

      They missed a big chance to show Chuck’s inner strengths and to make Sarah Walker grow up fast. If Sarah’s character was not so self-absorbed they could have taken a completely organic view of the relationship and not rush the second phase of this season – as we later find out, Sarah has so much to tell him.

      The Pink Slip was a missed opportunity. It had all the ingredients needed to make it fantastic, but the writers obsession with character assassination did far more damage than a high calibre long range rifle ever could.

      • Interesting take on what Chuck got from Sarah ….I really like it.

        Just totally agree with the rest of it….and you just put so much more eloquently than I ever could !!

      • “The Pink Slip was a missed opportunity. It had all the ingredients needed to make it fantastic, but the writers obsession with character assassination did far more damage than a high calibre long range rifle ever could”

        Yes, this was a missed opportunity to really tell a great story. How does Sarah handle watching her chuck disappeared. Just look at her expressions while he is conducting Surgery. She is freaking out inside. The reason is she not use to this and maybe she doesn’t want too.

        Bryce and Sarah were partners for a long time and during that timeframe some of Bryce;s tendencies rubbed off on her. When seeing Chuck doing these different function via the Intersect it scared her.

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