gallery Chuck verses The Role Models

This will be episode 15 of season 3. It comes two episodes after Chuck verses The Other Guy where, if everyone recalls, Chuck saves Sarah and so ended the Shaw plot or misery arc as most of us affectionately call it. The episode immediately following The Other Guy, Honeymooners, while a fun episode, did not add very much substance to the story line, character development, and such. We did get to see how much Chuck and Sarah really enjoyed each other’s company in Honeymooners. I’m sure many of you will agree with me when I quote General Beckman, “It’s about damn time.”

Role Models immediately followed Honeymooners. It too did not contribute to much of the story line and I couldn’t call what took place as much character development. Don’t get me wrong here, Role Models was an entertaining episode; honestly there is no such thing as a bad Chuck episode.

This is a quirky episode. I use the word quirky for a couple of reasons. The opening sequence, a dream Morgan was having, which I will get to that momentarily, and the shear concept of the government trying to foster a relationship that caused a 49B; something to prevent relationships.

The story opens in what appears to be vintage film footage; off color and scratchy. Morgan starts narrating, “This is my boss, Charles Bartowski. A computer repairman with all the government’s secrets in his head. This is his girl, Sarah Walker. A CIA agent with more than just killer looks. And when these two spies first met, it was love at first fight. That’s where I come in. I’m Morgan. It’s my job to keep an eye on the both of them…which isn’t always easy.” During the narration it shows Chuck and Sarah in two separate sports cars traveling side by side going down the road, winking and blowing kisses at each other. It is also filled with action shots from previous episodes.

Screenshot (6)a
Hart to Hart
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Chuck and Sarah (Look close between the cars in the background and you will find Morgan.)

For those of us old enough to remember, this was the opening of the early 80s (1979-1984) spy drama Hart to Hart with Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers. The Harts were spies/detectives that were married.

When Morgan wakes up in the middle of the night shortly after his dream, he gets up and goes to the kitchen. The refrigerator door is already open so Morgan assumes that Chuck is getting himself a midnight snack; then up pops Sarah wearing something that looks like a model from the Victoria Secret catalogue and holding a jug of orange juice. 20150124_201627“Do you want some juice?” Sarah will ask, “Up here Morgan.” Morgan starts babbling about orange juice and vitamin Ds, make that vitamin Cs, I’ll have to get me some jugs, jug. Sarah hands him the juice container and leaves.

The next morning Morgan tries to talk to Chuck about his dream. He gets mad at Chuck because of the I-got-lucky-grin Chuck is showing. Morgan refers to Sarah as “the leggy Valkyrie with an aversion to clothing.” Chuck tells Morgan that he plans to ask Sarah to move in with him. Unbeknownst to Chuck, Sarah is standing right behind him when he announced his plans to Morgan. Morgan quickly excuses himself as Sarah ask why they would want to do that. According to Sarah she loves how things are going and doesn’t want to rock the boat just yet.

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You’ve never heard of the 30 foot rule?

Sarah retrieves a gun from a well-stocked secret compartment in Chuck’s couch. Chuck asks about the guns. Sarah tells chuck hers is back at her hotel room and asks him if he has ever heard of the “30 foot rule.”

Bartowski rule. No guns in the apartment.
Bartowski rule. No guns in the apartment.

Chuck counters with the “Bartowski rule” no guns in the apartment.

Upon Chuck and Sarah arriving at Castle, they get briefed, along with Casey, by General Beckman on their new mission. Beckman tells Chuck and Sarah since they insist on being a couple, they are to learn from the CIA’s best married couple: Craig and Laura Turner. 20150124_202406There was great casting here in Fred Willard and Swoosie Kurtz. They actually make an interesting couple to watch.

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Chuck and Sarah none too happy in just having to observe.

The Turners have a long list of major accomplishments and have been married for the last 30 years. “More or less,” according to Beckman. Casey isn’t a part of this mission and he thinks he will have some down time and is eager to go to Pendleton to recert, i.e. Casey gets to shoot something. He would have better off with the turners.

Beckman tells Casey 20150124_202627since it was his idea to make him a part of the team, he gets to train Morgan.

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Knows Casey is screwed

You can see Chuck trying not to laugh as the life gets sucked out of Casey.

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Casey figures out he is screwed.

Beckman finishes with, “He’s a diamond in the rough. Very, very rough. But I’m sure you’ll make him…sparkle.”

As the turners arrive at Chuck’s apartment complex, they comment that they think it’s a dump. 20150124_202927The Turners knock at the door. Chuck and Sarah open it together all cute, happy, and smiling.

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Mr. Turner, “My God, that’s us 30 years ago.” Chuck, “Sarah, that’s us in 30 years.”

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My god that was us 30 years ago.
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Sarah, that’s us 30 years from now.

As the four discuss the spy life over drinks we find that the Turners have “more or less” been married for 30 years; divorced and remarried to each other three times. Three of the four are enjoying spirited beverages. Ms. Turner is only having water and does not appear to be enjoying that.

Mr. Turner apparently has an affliction with Manhattans. He drops the drink’s cherry back into his empty glass. This catches Sarah’s attention. 20150124_203502“Something wrong with your cherry Mr. Turner?” She will ask. According to Mr. Turner, the Grand Ambassador Hotel is the only place in the area where you can get the proper type of cherry you should use in a Manhattan.

The Turners have to go, mainly because they have a mission for tonight. Otto Von Vogel has a party tonight to meet potential buyers for decryption software that could render CIA computer security useless. The Turners must obtain the software. Chuck and Sarah’s job? Watch and learn. Chuck is excited. Sarah, not so much.

Later, we see the four arrive at the party. Chuck and Sarah begin their “training” as they start observing. Chuck comments that the CIA needs to hire more couples. Sarah, in referring to the Turners, counters with, “They are not that great.” Another disgusted look by Yvonne and you can see how she really feels about having to watch these two.

As Chuck and Sarah stand there watching, they are about to be made by Otto. The Turners incept him and take him away for more drinks. “Text book subversion,” Sarah says, “Not bad.” Perhaps Sarah’s initial assessment was a little too hasty? Chuck suggests that maybe they could take a play out of the Turner’s play book. As they are about to kiss Sarah stops and asks Chuck, 20150124_204150“You’re not going to ask me to move in with you again are you?” Chuck replies, “No, wh… Well not now, maybe later.” And they kiss.

A bit later Chuck and Sarah have lost track of the Turners. They find Ms. Turner at the bar. She is obviously upset and appears to have several drinks under her belt. 20150124_204522When Chuck and Sarah ask her what’s wrong she points out Mr. Turner speaking with a very attractive brunette. Mr. Turner has left his com link on and we hear him tell the brunette that she is such a naughty girl. Ms. Turner then tells Chuck and Sarah that he is, “Nothing but a CIA sanctioned gigolo.”

 

20150124_204552She then tries in her drunken state to go steal the software they are after and immediately proceeds to fall. Mr. Turner sees this and comes to help her up. He throws his back out and both of them are rolling around on the floor. Ms. Turner says he did it, messed his back up, with a Havana hooker. 20150124_204739Mr. Turner starts asking for a nurse in the house; preferably one in a short skirt.

Sarah tells Chuck that they need to go get the software and show the Turners how it’s done. 20150124_204820

In the master bedroom, Chuck starts sneezing and knows there is a cat around. 20150124_204910There’s also a whip. Chuck being typical Chuck picks the whip up and starts slinging it.

Sarah tells Chuck to put the whip down because the cat is actually a Bengal tiger.

20150124_205002Chuck and Sarah hid in the closed to keep from being eaten.

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Sasha, Otto’s kitty cat.
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“She’s a drunk and he is a philanderer. They’re a complete mess.”

Trying to figure a way out, Chuck, still enamored with the Turners, asks what the Turners would do. Sarah tells Chuck that she’s a drunk and he is a philanderer and they are a complete mess.

In order to get the software, Chuck will have to get it off the tiger’s collar. The tiger is sleeping; 20150124_205346sneak out of the closet; Chuck gets the collar; sneezes;

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tiger wakes up; get out of the room just in time.

Chuck and Sarah make it out of Von Vogel’s house…and run right into The Turners. Ms. Turner is pointing a gun at them. 20150124_210137Ahhh, the ole double cross. The Turners take the software. Chuck and Sarah are less than happy.

Back at Castle, General Beckman is even more upset. She orders them to find the Turners. Chuck is beside himself back in the apartment. He is cleaning dishes, because that’s how Bartowskis deal with stress. He thought Sarah and he could be the perfect spy couple by emulating the Turners and now that’s all ruined. The Turners are nothing more than thieves. Sarah tells him to calm down and figures out where they might be. As Chuck is cleaning the previous night’s cocktail glasses, he holds up the cherry from Mr. Turner’s glass. 20150124_210350Sarah immediately realized that the Ambassador Hotel is where Mr. Turner can get his perfect Manhattan with the right kind of cherries. They decide to go look for the Turners there.

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(Note the position of her trigger finger. Many people like to hold a gun with their finger on the trigger. Finger on the trigger only when you intend to shoot. Great job Yvonne.)

Sarah, as she pulls her gun out, “They picked the wrong couple to stab in the back. This is how I handle stress.”

Sarah has a plan to get even with the Turners by sending a Manhattan to their room as a diversion and sneaking in through the balcony.

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Surprise. “You are the only room that has ordered 12 Manhattans.”

Chuck and Sarah get the drop on them, and the Turners immediately start bickering; typical married couple.

Ms. Turner accused Mr. Turner of hatching the plan and Mr. Turner accused Ms. Turner of being the one to sell the software on the black market. Chuck, “You know, it’s one thing to betray your agency. It’s another to betray your partner. You were supposed to come here and teach us. Teach us how to become a great spy couple.” Mr. Turner, “Check back with me in 30 years, Charles. The CIA has a way of breaking young idealists. Especially if they’re in love.”

They all go back to Chuck’s apartment awaiting the U.S. Marshal’s. Unfortunately, the U.S. Marshals didn’t make it and Otto has arrived with his tiger. Chuck and Sarah handcuff the Turners in the bathroom. Also unfortunate, Sarah actually listened to Chuck when he said not to have guns in the apartment. Chuck tries to play dumb about knowing Otto while the tiger inspects the apartment. The Turners escape, 20150124_211226and Otto is about to make it the last time Chuck and Sarah get betrayed by them or anybody else.

The Turners come back with guns drawn and offer to exchange themselves for Chuck and Sarah. A standoff ensues. Mr. Turner, “We’re showing you we’re not traitors, Charles.” Otto’s man has taken the tiger outside. Otto is distracted when he hears the tiger making noise in the courtyard. Chuck flashes and a martial arts ass kicking ensues.

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Casey has to put Morgan in an arm bar even before training begins.

Here is where I have to go play catch up with the other story that is running; Casey trying to train Morgan. Casey informs Morgan they’ll use the Buy More to train him. Morgan’s assignments from Casey will be making use of the three skills a spy needs: subversion, stealth, and strength. Casey wants Morgan to get the phone number of a super-hot customer. Morgan goes in and Casey is actually surprised; that is until Casey reads the card the girl handed Morgan, “you disgust me.” was written on Morgan’s business card. Fail one.

Test two, stealth. Morgan has to get Big Mike’s card key from around his neck 20150124_205736while Big Mike is sleeping in his office. Big Mike wakes up.

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“You know I don’t like anybody looking at me while I’m sleeping.”

Fail two. Casey tries a little shooting range action with Morgan. He is impressed with Morgan rattling off the statistics about the gun he is holding.

When it comes time to shoot, Morgan fires, screams like a little girl, throws the gun in the air with Casey catching the gun.

20150124_210942Fail 2.5. Casey trying to find a way out consults with Beckman and she tells Casey that he has to make Morgan field ready or both of them will have to go through boot camp at Pendleton.

Here is where the two stories line up; the tiger is out in the courtyard when Casey and Morgan arrive back home. They see the tiger and the tiger has seen them. Casey advises Morgan to not make eye contact and act big if she charges. Seeing Casey and Morgan standing side by side, 20150124_211423Casey towering over Morgan, “Easy for you to say,” says Morgan.

Morgan realizes nobody would care much if he died tomorrow, so he decides to do one big one for his country by luring the tiger into Ellie and Awesome’s empty apartment. “Semper fi-dizzle!” Morgan yells as he takes off running into the apartment. 20150124_211558The tiger’s noise distracts Otto. Ass kicking begins.

The fight inside now over, Otto and his goons subdued, the Turner / Bartowski standoff ends when Chuck and Sarah show some heart by lowering their guns and not shoot them. As a side note, 20150124_211655Chuck looked to be pointing a real gun and not his customary tranq gun. Guess none of the bad guys, where these guns came from, were carrying tranq guns. Mr. Turner is moved and convinces Ms. Turner to lower her gun and give up.

Back at Castle, a debriefing is taking place with Beckman. 20150124_211751Chuck and Sarah had told Beckman earlier that the Turners were traitors.

20150124_211851Sarah covers for the Turners by saying they did a triple-cross in order to lure Otto to justice. The Turners decide to retire. Beckman won’t allow it, but the CIA already has the best of the best, Chuck and Sarah.

At the Buy More, Casey shows some sympathy to Morgan and passes him. Casey, “You’ve got to be hands-down bar-none the worst candidate I’ve ever trained. But you’ve got one thing going for you: you’ve got balls. How many Marines would go up against a Bengal tiger unarmed?”

At Ellie and Awesome’s apartment, Morgan is happy, but Chuck isn’t. Chuck to Morgan, “Dude! You’ve turned my sister’s apartment into a giant kitty litter box.” 20150124_211947Morgan, “How was I supposed to know it wasn’t house broken?”

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“Oh my god.”

Sarah Comes in, “Oh my god!” The place is all but destroyed. Chuck tells them they have to get the place fixed up before Devon and Ellie get back.

Sarah says,  “Actually, I was going to start with our place. 20150124_212100That is if your offer for me to move in still stands.”

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I’m guessing by his expression the offer was still good.
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And by her expression she is happy to move in with Chuck.

I’m going to skip to the end here for a moment because the last scene with Chuck and Sarah could carry some weight in future discussions.

Ellie and Awesome are seen in Africa doing their Doctors Without Borders thing. Ellie isn’t happy. 20150124_202227There are men with guns, snakes, rain, and mosquitos.

20150124_212837Devon will come down with Malaria and he and Ellie will make an early departure and head back home.

Ellie has befriended Justin, the camp leader, during their short stay. 20150124_213017He appears to have arranged their transportation. As they leave he pulls out a round cell phone and tells someone they are on their way and 20150124_212937

she doesn’t suspect a thing.

Now that the side stories are wrapped up we are left with the final Chuck and Sarah scene. We see Sarah arranging things in “their” place and she is explaining to Chuck she is sorry she freaked out when he asked her to move in with him. 20150124_212712“. . . just you know how I grew up. I spent my life when I grew up living in hotel rooms and under fake names. I’ve been trained to survive a thousand situations in the field but nobody ever taught me how to have a normal life.” Chuck, “Well I hate to break it to you but I don’t think we’re ever going to live a normal life.” Sarah, “Well I’d like to have something to fall back on when our spy life is over.”

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My two cents; as I said earlier, there is no such thing as a bad Chuck episode. We all may not totally agree on what is taking place however, each and every episode has its own merit and does play a part of the bigger picture. I also said earlier that Role Models and Honeymooner played very little into furthering the story. After watching Role Models multiple times the past few days while working on this piece, I find it necessary to clarify my, it doesn’t add much to the whole story statement.

We learned in Role Models that Morgan and Casey are evolving. Casey actually seems to be growing fond of Morgan although he can still walk away when Morgan starts babbling. We learned Chuck has an issue with cats; size doesn’t matter. We learned about vitamin D, or was it vitamin C? Most importantly, we learned something that many of us debate and knock around here quite often and that thing is “what Sarah considers to be normal.”

She says it herself in the closing scene responding to freaking out on Chuck after he asked her to move in with him. I think it is worth looking at again. In her last sentence she says, “I’ve been trained to survive a thousand situations in the field but nobody ever taught me how to have a normal life.” We have a BINGO! We have some clarification.

Sarah, by her own words admits that she does not know what “normal” is. Several of us have asked the question about Sarah as to what is normal. Most of us living life know a “normal.” That is something like what Chuck was living before this whole Intersect thing started. We then have Sarah normal; what she perceived as being normal. Clearly she knew living in hotel room and changing names was not normal.

From this scene and her moving in with Chuck, the normal she was seeking is that of the life that Chuck has. That includes friends, family, and stability. I truly believe that the attempt at running and the Prague debacle was Sarah’s attempt at achieving “normal”. Even as screwed up as the Turners were, Sarah gained some insight into being a real couple. Keep in mind we are only two episodes out of Chuck saving her from Shaw. With that said, Sarah had now found a path to normal. Early on she had no idea how to do it and as she said, no one ever showed her how. Moving in with Chuck was a big step in the right direction toward normal.

11 comments

  1. Chris wrote,

    ” From this scene and her moving in with Chuck, the normal she was seeking is that of the life that Chuck has. That includes friends, family, and stability. I truly believe that the attempt at running and the Prague debacle was Sarah’s attempt at achieving “normal” ”

    You just contradicted yourself in one sentence. A life on the run is not friends, family and stability, nor is it what Chuck has. It is what Sarah had…and knows is NOT normal. ( As you wrote earlier in the paragraph). A life on the run was getting Chuck away from the spy life so he wouldn’t “change”, and was the life Sarah knew all too well….. and could handle with ease.

    • You like the way I dangled that “normal” bone out there to be pounced on?

      Not intended as a contradiction. I was attempting to use Sarah logic. Suppose for a moment that she had come up with a fool proof plan. You are going to have to concede that there are many different levels of normal; it all depends on the individual. She was good at her job. Maybe her plan works and no one finds them, maybe it doesn’t. I can’t see Chuck not having contact with his sister or Morgan. I’d have to lean toward doesn’t.

      Perhaps in her version of normal this was ok. Her and Chuck start a family, they make new friends, and gain stability through that. Probably not your or my normal but like I said/she said, there was no one to show her normal. She was grasping at straws trying not to lose what she had.

      I think we all agree that running was ill conceived and not thought out. I think we can agree that she wanted normal and knew hotels and fake names wasn’t normal. Perhaps running was the only path toward normal available to her at that moment. Some of her logic could have been she would lose a chance at normal if Chuck became a spy.

      I also agree part of her logic in running was a quick fix keeping Chuck out of the spy business. She knew what it had done to her and didn’t want to see Chuck start down that path.

      Sarah is a very complex and complicated person, very intelligent yet had no clue on some things.

      • Sorry Chris and JD….didn’t look at who wrote the article !!

        JD, you stated that Sarah even told Chuck she didn’t know what normal was…she was afraid of “normal” because no one taught her how to live a normal life. She was used to all other forms of “life”, like life on the run with different aliases, living out of hotel rooms, etc. Since that was her life, that’s the life she was going to use when she chose a life on the run. Lord knows you don’t chose to do something completely foreign when you are risking everything to “run away” with the government’s greatest intelligence asset !! Sarah may have been impulsive, but she wasn’t so stupid as to do something she had no clue about.

        I mean, the “normal” life she always talked about was a foreign concept to her…that’s why she was so afraid to take the steps to solidify her relationship with Chuck. That was the whole concept of the first 2 seasons. Late S3 and S4 is Sarah learning what “normal” is as far as a home life, while still maintaining a grasp on the life she was comfortable with, thanks to Chuck also becoming a spy. But that only related to her professional life..she was still hesitant to do anything a normal couple would do. Remember, Sarah was a lone wolf as well …she valued her privacy, her secrets. That was another area of growth that Sarah very slowly gave into. But a life on the run with an alias and no real career…moving from place to place …. hard to ever conceive that Sarah considered that to be a life she dreamed of ( as she told Casey and Carina )…especially since it was exactly what her young life consisted of !!

    • I didn’t write this article, Gary

      This is JD’s post

      Role Models is a relationship builder. The move in phase. From here until Phase Three we will get bits and pieces of what Chuck and Sarah will face as couple.

      I Think its important what Sarah said at the end of this episode. “I would like to fall back on something once our spy careers are over. She didn’t say mine. It means Sarah is starting to get comfort in her shoes.

      But something has me wondering, Don’t you guys feel Sarah already planted roots by struggling to leave Burbank. They say once you find a place that feels like Home you never want to leave it.

      Yes, Chuck was her home. Chuck was with her all the time, but doesn’t that package include Ellie, Morgan and Awesome.

      I been thinking about The Pilot, Broken Heart, Suburbs, Marlin Phase Three Goodbye more lately. How do they relate. Well they all give you a lot of perspective on Sarah and her relationship with Chuck.

      She needs Chuck because she put roots into him. She believed in him, and learned over time how much she needed him

      It’s why I understand the ending now then before. She set her roots in the pilot and was never going to leave Burbank. He slow hesitant tactics even with Shaw, she stayed in Burbank to give Chuck a chance.

      Role Models set the seeds of wanting to try.

  2. Several agreements and one disagreement:

    Yes, Sarah needed Chuck in her life to not only have a “normal” life, but for him to show her what it was like.

    I also noticed Sarah’s (Yvonne’s) weapon handling. As a member of the Reserves, and having Drill Sergeants pound it into my head, it drives me NUTS to see people walking around with their finger in the trigger-well.

    Disagree about lack of character development in Honeymooners. Morgan had HUGE character development. I neglected to state that in my article, but Morgan was finally able to prove he has the stones to stand up to Casey (and in a way, Casey began to accept Morgan as not being a complete waste of skin), and the smarts to be a “junior member” of Team Bartowski by tracking down Chuck in Paris via satellite surveillance.

    • After going back and looking at Honeymooners I stand corrected. Going up against the tiger here also helped the Casey/Morgan dynamic. Morgan just needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.

      • Morgan eventually learns to keep his mouth shut, but not for a while, and not without getting serious bumps and bruises because of it.

    • You have to remember that they both opted out of the so called “normal” life in Honeymooners, choosing rather to be together and be spies instead. I think that when you get right down to it, Chuck had finally found his calling and Sarah was then spared the idea of shedding all of the only life that she had ever known, albeit’ now with Chuck for support. It was a conscience effort on both of their parts giving them both the chance to have their cake…and eat it too. But, inwardly, Sarah was still fearful of the full relationship package. Hence the “why change up a good thing” inquiry when faced with the whole move it together angle. But in the end, the comfort of something to fall back on when our spy lives end was comforting to them both.

  3. The first big new relationship decision….to move in or not to move in together. “Role Models” was the start what would become a defining moment in Chuck and Sarah’s life. We have the first cute fight, the first real team up post Honeymooners and of course, the all important “will you move in with me” question. Sarah’s early reluctance masked her ongoing fear of getting too close. Her “why change things” spoke volumes as to her fear that she still wasn’t quite ready to to fully commit, although everything she did reflected her desire to do just the opposite. The fact that we learn later on that she hadn’t really said “I Love You” yet (next week, I promise) but even later we find that she never really unpacks opened up even more questions about where exactly her head is at. It was a cute episode, and started what would define the show for the rest of the run. Too bad we had to wait so long for this beginning. It really should have happened much earlier in the season instead of the whole Hannah/Shaw debacle that was the early part of season 3.

  4. Oh yeah….the whole “super spy” couple was finally starting to be examined. Plus Casey and Morgan were hilarious. One of the few times I actually liked Morgan throughout the entire series……..

    • Yes…this certainly allowed the series to get back on track and explore how people from different backgrounds build relationships. Stepping tentatively into the unknown was what the series was about in S1 and 2. Early S3 was very backwards to that concept, but now we’re back to the heart of the show. Almost every character had to have a bit of a rebuild after the misery arc so we could rediscover who they really were.

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