gallery Was Chuck a Better Spy then Sarah: No Faith in Chuck’s Potential

Shaw’s Training Part One

A second topic of discussion that came to me was the possibility of Chuck actually being a better spy than Sarah. We know Casey said Walker was the best partner he ever had, but one could question that fact when we take in account how fast Bartowski moved in his training and performance on tasks like burning an asset.  Once Chuck focused on his training, Chuck was a star in the making. One that started to come up with plans that even Beakman had private sessions with him (Couch Lock). chuck312_00099However, the reality is Chuck never reached his full potential until Daniel Shaw made it a personal mission to get the Intersect 2.0 working properly. Some will argue Shaw had nothing to do with Chuck’s makeup as a spy, but Walker, Casey and Beckman all didn’t capitalize on Chuck both as a Nerd Herder and spy instead they treated him like a fragile flower.  Chuck aka the Pirana, who had a virus called the Bartowski Special.

Imagine Jack Bauer without Chloe O’Brian, who was also very talented computer hacker much like Chuck was. We sawJack Bauer use the strength Chloe had all the time. We saw how smart Chuck was from the Pilot.  A skill that was never utilized by his team. They seemed like it was the best way to keep Chuck safe was in a car. Chuck101-01104

The first scene of Chuck’s potential was in the very first episode. His unique skill told him where and when the bomb was to go off, but it didn’t provide him information on defusing it. The defusing part came from Chuck not the machine in his brain.

There was no time to train or time to think. Casey and Sarah didn’t want Chuck near the bomb, but we are talking about Bartowski and he went on his own. Casey wasn’t going to let Chuck touch the computer until Walker said he was their best shot under the circumstances, but even Sarah also didn’t believe in him from the outset. Remember Sarah didn’t want him to tag along because of how valuable Chuck Bartowski was to the country. Chuck101-01026We move to some other key scenes that showed the potential of Chuck and also saving the bacon of Casey and Sarah. For example, in just a few episodes Chuck would risk his neck by helping his handlers. They told him to go home when the Triad took them hostage. Chuck105-00877Chuck105-00873Chuck105-00905Chuck105-00910In just a small sample, Chuck showed he had the adaptability to perform under pressure, but while Chuck never asked for his new post, he didn’t shy away from it either like most would have under similar circumstances, but Chuck also understandably had doubts about what he was doing.

He would freak out sometimes, but it wasn’t enough for Casey to call him a liability or Sarah showing doubt by trying to talk him out of dangerous situations. If one’s team doesn’t show faith in him, how could he progress or block out emotions that are bottled up. How can Chuck proceeded as the Intersect if there was no confidence in him.

It took a long time for his team to come around, but still Sarah was trailing Casey and Beckman. Casey spotted his talent and saw potential as analysis, but let’s be real for a moment. The computer in Chuck’s head was not suited for desk work. It needed to be in the field to trigger the files in his head. Thus, there was no way he was going to be analysis.

Once Chuck’s side mission (Tron Poster and search for Orion) was exposed, Beckman no longer was interested in losing Chuck Bartowski. It’s why she offered him a job in Ring II, but he declined, still Sarah was not amongst those that wanted him to be a spy in the field. Her experience told her he was going to change. He was going to lose himself because she had. She became a killer and enforcer for Langston Graham, and that’s all Walker can base her reasoning on.

With so much at stake, How could Chuck succeed. I chalk it up to Chuck’s self doubt in his quest to land Walker on a normal basis. Thus, the need to enter her world, but his teacher didn’t show any belief in him as a spy. She didn’t side with him when Chuck could crack the chip Cole was trying to score.

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The team instilled Chuck couldn’t do things on his own, which caused problems because Chuck became to dependant on Walker saving the day. The problem with this theory comes with Chuck saving Sarah and Casey just about the same amount of time they save him. Did Chuck perform with perfection like some of the other polished agent, no.

All Chuck needed was the keys to Castle and training. Did they mind him being bad ass during this moment? Chuck222-01203Bryce Larkin thought it was too late for Chuck to return to his normal life after one mission working with him. Vincent complimented Chuck on luring Orion out of hiding and was pleased with the work he heard about one Charles Carmichael. In fact, the Fulcrum leaders didn’t sanction Vincent in heading to the Buymore for Orion’s computer because of losing agents there.

Roan Montgomery showed more respect in Chuck’s ability as a spy when he trusted Chuck to perform a task like leaping off the Buymore to save Sarah. Chuck202-01070Chuck203-01098All these moments I am going through under the tutelage of Team Bartowski showed how Chuck’s training was irregular and spotty at best Outsiders believed in Charles Carmichael, but not Sarah.

Sarah would say he was a good spy, but only when Sarah wanted to get Chuck to focus on the mission , which if you ask me is a negative on Sarah not Chuck. Sarah’s presence was very distracting in a sense. The idea Chuck wanted to hash out problems between them while conducting a mission would only prove how much Sarah was affecting him and his performance. chuck302_00258

The icing on the cake was in Prague. Chuckaholics has plenty of articles discussing this matter. We term Prague as the Prague Incident as a result. When we state the Incident we are referring to the train station. All Chuck fans know what incident we are talking about.

No one was the same after the incident, Chuck was all excited about training, but he mad a promise to Sarah about meeting her, and something happened during the two weeks between the night of Chuck becoming a machine before Casey and Sarah’s eyes. Chuck222-01223 Chuck222-01221 Chuck222-01225One use of the new intersect showed how powerful this new version was, but something else happened to Sarah that night. Something that often gets lost in the shuffle because of the events that happened after this, but put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

Sarah lost her first real boyfriend in Bryce Larkin. This time it was for real as Larkin body laid there.  It was like her soul was ripped out of her. This was the moment when we lost Sarah for a while, but she still had Chuck right? Not really because while Larkin was gone. Chuck’s old way of life would drastically change as well.Chuck222-01165In a matter of moments, Sarah became scared with what she just witnessed. The two men she cherished were lost in her mind. How could she not watching Chuck perform Kung Fu with a simple flash. Casey also was shocked by what he saw. Chuck222-01225 (1)Despite all of this. Despite Chuck’s eagerness to join the CIA so he could be with Sarah. We come to the conclusion of Chuck’s training from his team and Beckman, what was the result. Well, this. chuck301_00046 chuck301_00183Chuck was a broken man when he was fired from the agency and presumably lost Sarah as well. Thus, Chuck spiraled into depression. He tried to recapture the magic he had with his team, but again failed.

Enter Shaw  chuck304_00857

Most people are going to hate what I am going to write from here on out, but the focus of this article isn’t about Shaw and Sarah because that topic I agree with everyone. IMO, I feel that portion of the story was written for  Bryce Larkin, but we shall save that for when we get into Rewatch Season Three.

I have had numerous discussions with other Chuckaholics about this topic and some agree. Shaw’s motivation was revenge, but also to weaponize Bartowski. His revenge was what drove him for five years and having the Intersect at his disposal was like a kid in a candy store. A quest to find the one who killed his wife with the help of the Intersect.

A man who was hell bent on taking down the Ring. The problem from Shaw’s perspective was the fact he didn’t want to be in Burbank. Beckman begged Shaw to go and prepare  the team for an even bigger battle with The Ring.

Beckman knew what she was doing. She needed the Intersect 2.0 working. She needed Chuck to focus on his training and become the spy 2.0 was designed for. Beckman knew she failed in preparing Chuck for stopping the Ring, and needed an outsider to train Chuck. Enter Shaw.

Shaw said he read every file, which meant he knew about Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. He knew Chuck wouldn’t use a real gun, and most of all knew his emotions got the better of him. Shaw was prepared for his dealing with Burbank as well. Why would Shaw needed to read a file on Jeff? So, Shaw can get the most out of the Intersect 2.0

Shaw needed to know what made Chuck tick. Sarah was the first obvious part of Chuck’s existence. Shaw didn’t include Casey in his training because he read the reports. He knew Casey was training Chuck the right way, but the only glaring issue Daniel saw was Sarah.

The initial meeting  was a test. Shaw knew Chuck wasn’t going to use the gun, but it was a ploy to get Devon up to the top floor. Shaw knew he was going to shoot himself, which is why Shaw was prepared for it. Did Shaw act nervous in shooting himself. No, he didn’t. chuck304_00535 chuck304_00541

Chuck doesn’t shoot him, but like most trainers, Shaw used the information he just heard like Chuck telling him about not liking guns. Shaw later would inform Chuck how he didn’t like guns, but it paid to use them.

I don’t know why Chuck fans hate it, but I never thought what Shaw said here to be terrible. While it was admirable Chuck didn’t like to kill, but we all know sometimes he needed to be lethal just to survive.  chuck304_00559Later, when Chuck took it upon himself to lure Sidney to the Buymore, which was brilliant, but again Chuck’s dependency on his team was in play. Shaw wanted to trust Chuck in seeing through this by saying “If you want to start things on your own, you better finish it on his own.” I don’t see anything wrong with this either.

It’s Chuck doing what spies do, Sarah did the same thing in the pilot. She was ordered to return to Washington, but resisted and assumed the role as his handler. What would’ve happened if Chuck turned out to be a baddie? Do you remember what Graham said, “I can’t help you if things go wrong.” Shaw was just reiterating what Graham said to Sarah, but of course Chuck panicked. It’s because Chuck didn’t have faith in himself yet. He didn’t remember he took out five guys with Kung Fu six month prior. He became too emotional, which is a hindrance due to the coddling Team Bartowski did prior.

Beckman told Chuck and Sarah to not storm the embassy to save Casey when he was in the Costa Gravis Consulate. As a result it made Charah act alone, so what would’ve happened if Charah was caught? They would of received the same treatment no one would of came to help them.chuck303_00485

So, what Shaw did he was the same move Beckman and Graham did, but Shaw saw Casey and Sarah intervene with Chuck’s rogue operation and put a stop to it and explained why. chuck304_00745

Casey: You’re signing his death warrant, You know that, don’t you?

Shaw: Ye of little faith.

Sarah: This is crazy.  I’m going in.

Casey: So am I.

Shaw: I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you two to stand down.
I don’t like guns much, But when necessary, I will use them.

chuck304_00764 chuck304_00766 chuck304_00768

Do you remember what Daniel also said,

chuck304_00744 chuck304_00747 chuck304_00746

Casey: What are you doing? Without us, he doesn’t have a chance.

Sarah: He’s gonna start to panic And then he’s not gonna be able to perform properly.

Shaw: Yeah, happens to lots of guys. Or so I hear. Besides, I’m kinda curious about what his plan is.

Once again, his team belittling him, and an outsider giving Chuck a chance to perform.  Cole did the same thing. He said, ” It’s time to be a hero.” I am paraphrasing but Cole believed in Chuck potential as well. “It’s not about wanting to be a hero, it’s needing to be.”

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Chuck being held back..”All I can do is sit in the van and flash.”

Chuck was trying to be a hero by protecting Devon from any further danger. Shaw knew he had to use Devon because of the mission. Chuck argued Devon’s involvement, but when Casey and Sarah shot Chuck down. Shaw was the one who asked Chuck if he had a plan, but with Casey and Sarah shooting him down once again. Why would Chuck want to offer the idea of hacking into the Ring phone instead he did it himself. I applauded him his efforts in this episode. Shaw was going to let Chuck come up with plans. I am sure Daniel was open to an idea like hacking the phone.  chuck304_00654

We shall continue this discussion by exploring how one mission alone gave Chuck a lot more  confidence in future missions plus Shaw questioning Sarah’s loyalty and a line Shaw used in First Class would come into reality in Season Four. Stay tuned for some more of Shaw’s training of Chuck would ultimately surpass Sarah as a top spy.

Remember Chuckaholics is your site so play, engage but most of remember it’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t.

60 comments

  1. Don’t think Beckman begged Shaw to go to Burbank, but that’s beside the point.

    Trying to decide who is the better spy is a little like choosing who is the better doctor between a neurosurgeon and a cardio-thoracic surgeon …. it certainly depends on what you actually need. Chuck was a planner and a great programmer / hacker. With the Intersect, he was an OK field agent, with some minor emotional issues holding him back from being great. In S5, he actually showed he could hold his own in a tussle, once Sarah let go of her trepidation that he’d change and she helped train him.

    Walker was a stone cold killer, so if that was what you needed, she would be the one to call. Different skill sets, Chris. hard to say which one was better. The Intersect certainly gave Chuck a lot of potential.

    • Christopher,

      First I’d like to agree with gmhenderson. Beckman didn’t beg Shaw to come to Burbank. Agreed, it is not the point here but you mention this in at least 3 articles. She begged Shaw only to tell the truth (about the ring, eves’s spy will…). I think this is important because Beckman didn’t know how to bring the team to the next stage. In fact she was part of the disfunctionality because she as well underestimated Chuck. I think that is an important point for the story.

      It is hard to judge by this introduction what you point(s) is / will be. Why you believe Chuck is a better spy than Sarah. I am looking forward to the follow up.

      What is evident to me is that Chuck is not an agent. He is often unable to follow orders and seems to have no idea about protocol.

      Is he a better spy? That is really a good one. I would mostly agree with gmhenderson. He is a great planner and certainly has a lot of skills. But mostly he is a team worker. Granted, in the leadership position. But for most missions he is completely dependant on a/his team. He is not great when he has to handle himself alone in the field, as a spy is supposed to be.

      But as I said earlier, I am looking forward to your follow-up

      • No, because Chuck’s emotions prevented him from being the type of spy Sarah Walker was. The fact he got kidnapped at the end of Chuck vs Bo was because he made the executive decision of not going after Quinn. The consequences are known to all fans.
        I think he never reached his full potential but was close. I know he preferred to tranq the baddies but he could still have shot them in certain areas that would not cause dead but just disarm them. A spy needed to know how to use a gun or use it when necessary without compromising his integrity.
        Casey and Sarah cuddled him because they were there from day one. Remember Chuck’s little rant in the car in the pilot, or even the end of 49b when he goes to Sarah’s apt to let her know how frustrated he was for lying etc… He himself mentioned his girlish screams. He didn’t want to be a spy so he just did what was necessary. As a comic book aficionado I am sure it crossed through Chuck’s mind the Spiderman quote Uncle Ben: Remember, with great power. comes great responsibility. Plus the fact that Chuck was a really decent guy made him do his best within his abilities.
        Langston G described him as an underachiever but we all know that was the consequence of what Bryce did. He was not a fighter. Yet both Shaw and Sarah knew what needed to be said in order to get his confident up. His lack of confidence or worthiness would follow him throughout the series which a good spy cannot afford to do.
        Yes, he was a good analysis and planner which just made him a perfect member of team. Without the intersect he was limited. Remember in Chuck vs the Bullet Train fighting Quinn; Sarah sent Casey because she knew that Chuck was no match to a real spy. He may have the training but his adversaries were agent s ready and willing to kill just like Casey and Sarah which gave Chuck a disadvantage.
        Team Bartowski worked because they each had a skill set that made them work as one.

  2. I agree, Beckman does not beg Shaw to go to Burbank. I don’t think Sarah and Casey deliberately hold Chuck back. Remember their primary mission is to keep the Intersect safe. That was the whole point of the episode we just discussed, Sarah acting on her feelings saved Chuck when Forrest failed. I never heard Beckman even ask them to train Chuck. There was no thought of training Chuck until he got 2.0. Chuck could have become an analyst, he could review intel and flash just as he was doing on Shaw’s file on the plane to Paris in “Other Guy”. It wouldn’t be as effective, but it would be doable. I am not sure Shaw came to Burbank to train Chuck, he might have come because that’s where the Ring had their headquarters. Personally, I think Sarah and Casey are right Shaw pushed Chuck too hard and too fast. Sarah and Casey may have been moving too slowly, but as I said their main job was protection not training. I think Sarah will always be the better spy, Chuck makes a lot of progress, but he never becomes ruthless enough to be a top field agent. The truth is they are all much stronger as a team where their respective strengths and weaknesses compliment and cover each other.

    • Carol….there are many types of spies, which is why it’s a difficult question to answer. Sarah is more or less a soldier …. she would be an assassin or even a hitman ( woman) if she did what she did for any other organization. Because she was with the CIA, she gets labelled as a “spy”, but she is really nothing more than a special ops soldier that either a), eliminates a target, or b) sleeps with a mark to get information. So, if your idea of a “spy” is fictional, James Bond stuff, than Sarah is definitely a better spy than Chuck. However, even James Bond takes his order from above, made by those spies who are into planning missions. If your idea of a spy is more like The Man Called Intrepid who was a strategic genius and left the dirty work up to the assassins in the organization, then Chuck is your man. After all, he was able to take down Volkoff’s organization, without even using the Intersect. And if you don’t thing Chuck is bad ass enough, he was able to take out 10 of Volkoff’s heavily armed men in Anniversary all by himself. I doubt Sarah would actually be able to do that…. depending on how the writers wrote her in that particular episode. ( Think Sarah in Operation Awesome vs Sarah in Tic Tac ).

      • True, but Chuck took out those 10 Volkoff men with the intersect 2.0. The question is whether he is a better spy than Sarah without the intersect. If he has the same skill set that Sarah or Casey have with the analytical capabilities he would he a great spy; unfortunately that was not case.

        Sarah we can say was almost the same as Casey; in this case the CIA’s enforcer. Casey says in Chuck vs Sarah “thats why we did get along”. In Chuck vs The Cliffhanger,Casey refers to her as the best spy and Chuck as the second best spy which is a great compliment. In fact in Chuck vs Phase Three the ruthless old Sarah comes out. So what made her a great spy at the end of that season. A little more humanity had been added to her skillset which made her better at her job. She not a soldier any more like a Langston Graham’s enforcer but a more conscientious spy ( an attribute she learner from Chuck).

      • Chris…yes …2 different Sarah’s in 2 different episodes. Carol ….you are correct, but you are only thinking of one type of spy……AND, it’s hard to separate Chuck from the Intersect ….they, in essence, are one in the same. Without the Intersect, Chuck doesn’t even get into the spy game. The question is if he is a better spy BECAUSE he also has the Intersect. Not all spies are the special ops soldiers that Sarah is….that doesn’t make them better or worse. Sarah would NEVER be able to take down Volkoff’s organization like Chuck did….AND , he did it without using the Intersect. Special ops soldiers are a dime a dozen ….one’s that look like Sarah, probably not so much, which makes her valuable. But Chuck was even more special ….doesn’t make him better or Sarah worse, just different.

      • Gary, you are right. With the intersect and his analytical & programming he is great but to be successful he would always need a team. Beckman knew that when they were going to send him to Italy undercover. Jack Bauer needed Chloe in Chuck it was reversed. Chuck would need Sarah.

    • Carol…totally agree…. Chuck needed a Team, and Sarah was more than willing to be the muscle so that Chuck didn’t have to burden himself with the emotional Hell she put herself through to become a killer. Even Casey realized that the Team concept was the best option….each contributing with their own personal strengths and hiding their individual weaknesses.

  3. Guys, I don’t know about you guys but please watch Three words again and watch the scene in Beckman’s office.

    Beckman says, “We can’t keep this a secret anymore. It’s too dangerous. We need to tell them.
    They need to be prepared. Shaw please.”

    Beckman asking for help from special agent like Shaw was significant in that we are seeing how important Shaw was to the team. Guys, the build up of The Ring set forth was how potent they were. I mean they had a Ring Op on Casey’s team who penetrated Castle just to kill Roark. The Ring was stronger than Fulcrum. The General knew this and you know who else knew how good Shaw was. Orion also knew the resume of one Daniel Shaw.

    Casey explained to everyone a special agent has the luxury of doing anything he wants. Plus Carina had possession of the briefcase minus the key. Shaw was more then capable of getting the key from Washington, but as requested from Beckman and the opportunity to have the Intersect at his disposal was a huge gamechanger for a man hunting his wife’s killer.

    Was he acting on revenge? Yes, It’s that revenge factor that made Shaw jump ship when the truth was revealed on who actually pulled the trigger. Jill said it best “They all lie and manipulate” to get people to do their bidding. Sarah did it to Chuck numerous times.

    Shaw was sent to Burbank to prepare the team for the upcoming fight Beckman believed they were not ready for. Y, because of what the Intersect 2.0 was worth in this. A spy who could work autonomously. A agent that can go into a battle or mission and flash a skill set was great. Chuck downloaded and Beckman needed an outsider to get the intersect functioning. Was Shaw a trainer like Ty was for Casey. No, but Shaw also saw and read how dysfunctional the team was. Shaw needed that to stop

    You guys also state it was too soon for Shaw to send Chuck on his own, but I ask if it was too soon then when would be the best time? Chuck was on a lot of missions in two years, and that was considered to be enough training in the eyes of Shaw, but again Shaw saw the emotional burden Sarah’s relationship was taking on the Intersect working properly. Shaw had to drive the wedge not between Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, but between the Intersect and Sarah.

    • But she wasn’t begging Shaw to go to Burbank, she was begging him to tell the team his plan. Shaw was going to Burbank come Hell or high water, not at the insistence of Beckman.

  4. I have another question. Are we really sure that Shaw wanted to train Chuck in vs the first mission. I mean Shaw was a really good manipulator, he just told Chuck anything to boost his self esteem. I don’t think this mission was about Chuck but more about Shaw getting to know/ interogate Sarah. I suspect Sarah was the only one Shaw deemed a valuable asset in his fight against the ring.

    Let’s face it. The Mission as Shaw saw it was: Chuck get on the plane, trank one guy and get his key. This is not really education/training in my oppinion. I actually kind of doubt that Shaw saw any real value in Chuck before he saved his life twice in vs the Mask.

    What do you guys think?

    • Did Shaw go to Burbank saying I want to train Chuck. No, but he also understood the dysfunction that was Team Bartowski. and If I was walking into a situation like that. I would want to eliminate all distractions possible. Again, this was all set up to fight The Ring, and the Ring was dangerous. How Could Shaw defeat the Ring if he had to worry about Chuck and Sarah. If the Intersect was going to work. It’s clear Chuck couldn’t flash when his emotions were compromise.

      • But did he really want the Team Bartowski in function? He knows that he cannot control/influence Casey from his actions/files. Chuck is easy to control/divert by just claiming he (Shaw) believes Chuck isnt field ready.
        But Sarah was the prize. Shaw knows her history/files as well. He knows that there is a problem with Chuck already. And she is the only one of the team he can utilize as a weapon for his war. I think his plan was more in the direction: disabandon the team, Chuck and Casey are worthless (for his plans), get Sarah for your war

      • I think with the way 2.0 was Chuck was more valuable to Shaw then Sarah, but the Shaw also knew the success rate Team Bartowski had. He knew the team was great when the team was in synch.

    • Michael very good point. Shaw just had revenge on his mind no matter what he would say. He knew that Chuck was going to face at least one ring agent in the plane. He put Chuck in danger various times and he should have realized that Sarah’s and Casey(a little more reserved) reaction was a good indication they knew Chuck better than he did. Granted Chuck’s desire to become a spy & finding himself without a team to help him out made him learn to calm his emotions and be able to use the intersect. Ok we need to give credit to Shaw that forced Chuck to learn to control his emotions to activate the intersect but Sarah was always that calming and reassuring voice that also helped Chuck use the intersect.
      Agreed Shaw has after Sarah, remember she was to be the head of intersect 2.0 and was able to control and know her asset. He did read her file and recruited her to go with him to DC to head the Ring Task Force from there with him. She had the qualities that both Beckman & Shaw deemed worthy for using for their advantage.
      I think she became more of a team player after Prague when Chuck stood her up. In her mind, the CIA is all she had until she met Chuck. Then once Chuck took that away from her she when back to her original goals.

  5. But he really is not ready. If Shaw saw all the reports he knows that until know he was never able to complete a mission alone

    • But when would he then? When would Chuck ever be ready if he wasn’t given a chance. Shaw sent Chuck on his own to give Chuck a taste on how to get through a mission on his own. NO DISTRACTIONS. No job is easy on the first job, but Shaw did prepare Chuck for the mission. Tranq find the key and sit down.

      The problem is as I will reveal in my final chapter. So wait for part three to publish

      • Didn’t prepare Chuck for the contingencies in First Class …. assassin that he tranq’s has a fail safe in his watch and a backup in the stewardess. Chuck was never really trained other than what he learned in Prague … he didn’t certainly get the training Casey and Sarah had, because if he did, you’d think he’d retain a lot of the basic protocol that Casey and Sarah were so big on ….he never really was taught that. Negotiations, seduction ….no training.
        The big problem I see about Shaw trying to remove Sarah from interfering with the Intersect is this…..what does it accomplish ? If his goal was to emotionally separate Sarah and Chuck so that the Intersect could work, then why did he continue his relationship with Sarah when he found out that IT actually shut the Intersect down, rather than just making it finicky? Not only that, but Shaw was willing to blow up Castle and Chuck without a second thought. The more I think about it, the more I think it was about Sarah…. getting her to move to Washington with him, work on destroying the Ring and finding Eve’s killer. First Class may have been Shaw’s attempt to get Sarah alone, rather than Chuck.

      • Good points GM. I don’t think he meant to harm Chuck or he wouldn’t have worked so hard to save him. I think Shaw was unaware of the Ring’s back-up. Everyone was in a rush to get Chuck up to speed, they couldn’t spend 5 years training him like they did Sarah.

  6. Gary, I completely agree with you. One point both Sarah and Casey did know how instrumental Chuck with the intersect could be and had been. Various times you hear Casey saying it was a great idea Bartowski but I’m not going to tell him example S1 E8 and Chuck vs the Delorean.

    • I don’t understand 2 things, What exactly was Beckman saying they needed to be warned about? That Shaw was going to try to split up the team? Why was she acting like Shaw was her superior? She’s the director. Second, why do they want to split up the team? Maybe they did have good and bad ops but I doubt any team could match their results.

      • He needed Sarah to be the assassin she used to be. Her emotions were ruining her as an agent, and Shaw knew Chuck was the basis of her “rediscovered” emotions. If Shaw could get Sarah to get over Chuck, then he has his Lone Wolf stone cold killer back in the field …. a very necessary component to taking down the Ring. Every assignment Shaw sent Chuck on was without Sarah, or it was Sarah without Chuck. I think Beckman wanted Shaw to let them know he wanted to break up the team, but it was most likely in Shaw’s best interest to drive a wedge between Chuck and Sarah and let her organically move away from Chuck. That way, she’d never wonder if she was missing something.

      • Oh, Lonny…about Beckman and Shaw. I think they were equals …. Beckman at the NSA and Shaw in the CIA ….. and Shaw’s primary objective was to eliminate the Ring. Since technically Sarah and Chuck were CIA, they were essentially HIS agents. They muddied the waters quite a bit with Beckman and team Bartowski, but it was a joint CIA / NSA operation. Since Shaw was a “Special Agent” as Casey mentioned, he didn’t really answer to anyone in particular, except maybe the president.

      • I seem to recall people addressing Sarah as Special Agent Walker, until he died she answered only to Graham. You know Zach is married, though she recently filed for divorce? And Yvonne is rumored to be secretly engaged to the guy she’s been dating for several years. You can see him in a number of her Instagram pics. Zach and Yvonne have supposedly been just friends for years. I know she’s dated several guys including the actor who played the punk rocker in “Honeymooners”.

    • Sarah’s a much more interesting character than Chuck to me. Of course I share a number of his nerdy qualities so maybe I feel I already know him a bit. The show may be called “Chuck” but it’s main focus was on the romance between the leads. The writers seemed to have a real love/hate relationship with Sarah when they should have really embraced her and told us more of her story.

      • Hey Lonny….there was supposed to have been a question mark after “Zac broke up with Yvonne “??? Anyway, it may have just been some Twitter trolls at work, although Zac and Yvonne have not been hanging out lately at all. Zac was married for about 6 months before Missy filed for divorce …probably not a done deal yet. The guy that Yvonne spends a lot of time with now is Gianluigi Carelli …he’s a guy she went to drama school with in Australia. I’m pretty sure he’s just a really good friend, as Gianluigi is supposed to be gay. She may be hanging a bit more with Lee Jones ( Bastard Executioner ) who is also a classmate from drama school. Yvonne loves the outdoors, so I can see why she wouldn’t hang with Zac much, since he’s a bit of a home body/gamer, etc…..not much for the great outdoors. But Yvonne didn’t even send a congratulations to Zac for his People’s Choice nomination ….that’s kinda weird. Seems to me that Zac and Yvonne perhaps had a trial run with a few dates, and found they had less in common than they really needed. Yvonne has been spending her time with her friends, Zac has been busy with his work. Mercedes Mason stopped following Zac on Twitter, though, so maybe something is up…..where there’s smoke, there’s usually a little fire.

        As far as Sarah, she ended up attracting the most sympathy in the show, since hers was a redemption story. But the creators wanted to tell the story of Chuck, which makes sense, given the name of the show. His story of “zero to hero” is also a compelling one, but Yvonne just steals your heart. That became a distraction to the writers …tell the story originally created, or go with the popular character’s story. They did give a lot of Sarah stories here….we knew who she was and what she went through to become the person she did. We felt her struggle between her career and her love for Chuck. The Season 3 debacle of the Shaw arc changed the characters to break up the Chuck and Sarah chemistry so the original story of Chuck’s hero journey could be elucidated….. we needed to see Chuck struggle, we needed to see him hurt, beat down…..and then rise again. HE needed to have a redemption story. But in beating him down, they completely changed him to a douche bag in Prague ….that was a Chuck we had never seen before Prague….and we never really saw it again. And breaking up the Chuck and Sarah dynamic was costly ….the TV audience left in droves. Once that happened, the show runners had to quickly fix their mess, leaving us with way more questions than answers. (i.e., what WAS the secret Beckman wanted Shaw to tell the team?)

        BUT….what more did you need to know about Sarah? I think they fleshed her out pretty well……

      • Gary, good observation. We still don’t know for sure if Yvonne or Zac are together; but Zac is so busy with revamping his career that a relationship is hard to cultivate. No wonder these Hollywood relationship do not last. I, as many fans hope that there is a sparkle that can be rekindled. Its magic when they are together. Its not fair that they or one of them have to choose between love and career. I hope they just don’t miss what we all see. John Stamos(Uncle Jesse from Full House) once said in an interview was that one of his biggest mistakes was not being with Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky) when he had a chance. Timing is everything.

      • I don;t think they were ever more than good friends. And friends lose track of each other when life demands it. Both are busy trying to build careers. Whenever Zach asks Yvonne to something for NerdHQ she seems to be there, so, friends. I recently discovered fanfic where a lot of talented but unpublished writers re-image Chuck and Sarah. This is a very long piece, but if you read just the prologue it’s a very interesting take on Sarah’s backstory and paints a very dark but I find believable picture of how she became Graham’s “Wildcard Enforcer” and what that job entails: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3898268/Arya-s-prayers This is the kind of stuff I would have liked to see more of, though this is to dark for canon, backstory is interesting.

      • Lonny, went to FanFiction as you suggested also yesterday I read an alternative ending in Inkett.com if Chuck had removed the Intersect after hearing Sarah tell Shaw her real name. All entertaining reading. I think the creators never though how Chuck caused such an impact that many fans either continue the story or change the story.
        I originally saw it on TV then last Xmas I got the 5 seasons DVD for Christmas but since I knew the ending I couldn’t get myself to watch it until the summer. The misery arc still is horrible; Morgan getting the intersect is horrible and of course I did not like the ending, I needed closure on that ending so I wrote a script with a happy ending of course.
        I attribute the impact that Chuck had on their fans on good acting. The cast was just right. Its rare to find a show with the exception of Friends that the chemistry was there from the beginning.

      • Hey Carol….I think they were testing the waters a bit, especially after Nerd HQ. She flew up to Toronto with him and they were together quite a bit. It all seemed to culminate at the Dodgers game….but then nothing. Neither Yvonne nor Zac posted anything on Twitter or even Instagram for 2-3 weeks….then she was back taking pictures of Gianluigi and her and the dogs on the beach. She was really emphasizing spending time with friends. In the meantime, Zac finished up in Toronto the week after the game, got back to LA and tended to his work schedule….. no Yvonne time at all. Now he’s in NYC for an extended time on Broadway. Time will tell if something bad happened …..

      • You are so right. Keep us updated. Actors have to always be travelling and going to auditions no wonder its hard to have a relationship. One thing we know they do have a solid friendship. Friends are always quick to forgive and make up.

      • Definitely the writer’s didn’t count on Sarah’s character becoming as beloved as Chuck and they did do more stories about her because of the character’s popularity. We see growth and change is Sarah Walker but not as much in Chuck. They should have developed Chuck’s character more and made him better without compromising his charming qualities.

      • Carol….in my mind, they didn’t make Sarah “mean” enough in the pilot or the first few episodes …. at that point, she was just starting her journey away from being a stone cold killer. We got glimpses of who she was, and, I have to admit, it would have been tough to pull off the ballerina, the date and the beach scene if she was this unsympathetic character. The problem then was, making her this emotionless robotic killing machine later in the show …she just didn’t seem like one …. there seemed to be a disconnect between the Sarah we had come to know and the Sarah they were trying to portray BEFORE she came to Burbank. I don’t think the audience ever got a sense of just how nasty she could be….maybe until the end in Chuck Vs. Sarah.

      • The fanfic I linked to somewhere here is largely told from Sarah’s POV. The author there feels Sarah was impressed that while Chuck was startled by her beauty, he didn’t leer at her, but looked her in the eye and dealt with her as a person, seemed to get her dry, sarcastic wit, and walked away from her to deal with the ballerina, even bending down to tell the ballerina the white lie that “real ballerinas are tall” to encourage her to perform. The baby had reawakened her humanity leaving her open to Chuck and she was impressed by his sincerity, kindness, openness, and willingness to help a stranger. Sounds about right to me. As I said, her Sarah is very dark. As the “Wildcard Enforcer” she has killed more than 200 marks including traitors, moles, informants and other assorted baddies. Each kill has taken a bit of her soul, she uses the example of getting a penny on the first of the month, 2 cents on the 2ND, 8 on the 3RD etc but inverted and wonders how infinitesimally small her soul must have become. She is seeking redemption with no hope of finding it. She is NOT proud of her work and resists Chuck because she doesn’t feel worthy of him. I find it fascinating. I’m also delighted that we have so many Chuckaholics left that we can have a lively discussion like this. Cheers friends.

      • Lonny interesting point that Sarah feels not worthy of Chuck and Chuck feels not worthy of Sarah. So Gary, Christopher and Lonny , what would make them feel that they each deserve each other? If you think about Sarah walked towards the light via Chuck’s decency and integrity. Lets say she became more humane more like Chuck, Remember when Chuck and Casey were angry at Morgan & Gertrude, she was the one that was trying to save their relationship and telling them that they were over reacting; even though Chuck & Casey had a right to be angry. She was trying to see the bigger picture something that the old Sarah Walker would probably not have done. Chuck on the other had tried to add spy skills to his analytical and programming know-how. In the Final Exam in the stakeout, you see a more determined Chuck and then again you see it in the Other Guy when he saves Shaw, That’s the Chuck what we should have been privy to without losing his Nerdiness.

      • Exactly! Sarah was redeemed by her love for Chuck. That’s why she goes a little crazy “Phase Three”, she is desperately afraid she will lose her humanity (soul) without his influence and example.

      • Lonny,

        I agree with you, I do feel Sarah’s story is a more interesting story because of all the detail of her background. I think Gary is right when we sit an think about it. We saw Sarah as this lost sheep trying to find her way back to normalcy, but whose normalcy? Chuck’s normalcy is just as broken when you think about it, but what Chuck provide was stability. Ellie (sister best friend) Orion ( a positive role model.) Chuck (sole mate) Burbank was a breathe of fresh air for her, and it’s funny she claimed spies don’t plant roots, but it seems to me from the pilot she did just that.

      • Casey was more the one who said spies don’t plant roots. Sarah said she never had a home which included her pre-CIA days. She fell for Chuck, but I think she was nearly as attracted to his family. She really became BFFs with Ellie and even came to like Morgan. (Speaking of character development, Morgan went through some changes as well didn’t he?) She broke a lot of rules, fell in love, found a home, put Chuck ahead of orders; in the end I think she found herself and her real place in the world. That’s why I hated the ending, she didn’t just lose Chuck, she lost herself again.

      • In suitcase, when Sarah was asking if Chuck was alright with her not unpacked. She says, ” I do feel comfortable here.
        It just It doesn’t come naturally to me, putting roots down.” She also stated that spies pack light because they need to prepare for the next mission.

        Your right Casey said it first, but Sarah enhanced the meaning, but it still doesn’t make sense from Sarah’s perspective when she did from the pilot. We both can agree she never wanted to leave after one night with Chuck because of where she was with her job and the baby.

      • Ah! I didn’t remember the line from “Suitcase”, one of my favorite episodes too. After “Baby” Sarah has a problem with the innocents that the CIA hurts, the collateral damage or acceptable civilian casualties Casey mentions in “Tom Sawyer”. She sees Chuck as in that group if the NSA grabs him and treats him as a traitor. She doesn”t expect to become his handler, Graham has already recalled her. Although she’s falling for Chuck, I think her goal in “Pilot” is to protect an innocent,i.e. keep Chuck out of the NSA’s deep dark hole.

    • Gary,

      I see on twitter Zach has been hanging out with other women lately. Something tells me they weren’t dating just spending time together, but my thinking when it comes to Zachary and Yvonne comes down to this. Yvonne is a nature and adventure kind of woman. She has become a health conscious woman which makes me wonder if they did date would eventually end. They are two different people despite the chemistry.

      regarding a movie, I think if Zachary takes off like he has because he is on tv a lot more now since Heroes which is great for him. He is still young and could succeed. Yvonne, is a tv show on Amazon a step backwards? is that equivalent to straight to DVD?

      • I think they were trying to see if the chemistry was the same in the real romantic world as it was as friends. Something happened, that’s for sure. With the way Missy and Zac ended after 6 months of marriage, Zac may have some issues. Yes, Yvonne and Zac have different interests outside acting, but that is not usually a death knell for a relationship. I know Yvonne is very uncomfortable with her private life being made public, and dating Zac would definitely make it public. Since it happened shortly after being seen with him at the Dodgers game, perhaps she just didn’t like being seen with someone by 20 million people !!

        As far as their careers, I don’t think Zac has distinguished himself with the characters he has played in Heroes or Telenovela …… and he’s back doing Broadway. Neither one can seem to break out into bona fide stars. If Zac really did do something to Yvonne so that he loses the Chuck fandom, his career will be toast, IMHO.

      • Don’t know why she accepted Amazon part. I didn’t like it. Her part was little more than a walk-on. It was a pilot though and I expect her part would be expanded if it’s picked up. Does seem like a step backwards, I thought she looked a bit out of place and uncomfortable. As I said, I think the key to her future is “Manhattan Nocturne”. Bardem’s presence gives me hope , though tempered by there being an unknown directing. If it’s good it could be a “Chinatown” type success and vault her to the A-list. Since it’s a Indie the first chore will be getting a distributor.

      • Yvonne likes to work. She loves acting but I really don’t think her career will be anything more then it was. She beautiful and talented, but if Astronaut Wives Club doesn’t break her from being just tv then nothing will.

      • Manhattan Nocturne will be interesting …. it may have to go to some sort of network since it will be a tough one to rate. If the story is going to be told properly, it would need an R rating, which will limit theatre release. It’s been a long process to edit the film….they were done shooting a long time ago. May be a while before we actually get to see it….

      • We all know Yvonne is a great actress and maybe she should switch to Zac’s agent whose been doing a great job. One thing is nice Yvonne is in NYC hopefully reuniting with Zac.

      • Speaking with Gwendoline yesterday, we talked about Chuck and she told me I was awesome because I thought she was a talented actress that happens to be Asian. If the believe is Hollywood black balls people because of her ethnicity then Yvonne should be in good company being from Australia, but as much as she loves acting I honestly think its just a job to her.

  7. What’s weird, Lonny, is that is exactly how Sarah came through in the show. The number of hits is irrelevant…. her first kill was the worst day of her life, so you know she had to bury her emotions ( as she told Chuck) very, very deep. What Chuck and the Baby and Bryce’s death did was crack open the vault where Sarah buried her emotions ….and that caused problems.

    • Walked towards the light !! Absolutely brilliant analogy.

      Chuck was always her counterbalance. At the same time, I think Chuck personified the “greater good” that all soldiers ( like Sarah and Casey) are told they are fighting for. But when you only allow them to see the evil in people, I think they lost their way ….you actually become the same as what you are fighting….rationalizing it whatever way you can. For most soldiers and assassins, it’s a matter of moral equivalence. Sarah even told herself lies ( “they were French assassins” ) to allow herself to continue killing without remorse. ( although, she would only feel remorse if she opened up the emotional vault). I’m sure, as the vault opened and she realized who she was, she felt she could never be loved by someone as decent as Chuck. But Chuck always saw the good in people, even Sarah, so he chipped away at the perception that she didn’t deserve him.

      We always talk about how Chuck changed Sarah ( who was primed for a change by The Baby ), but we also have to note that Casey was changed as well ….remember how Sarah described Casey in the Pilot !!

      • Near the end of the series, I think it was in “Sarah”, Casey comes to give Sarah her spy diary and he says something like I guess Bartowski made us both soft. So he sees the change Chuck made in them. Several of the fanfic writers i’ve been reading describe Chuck as an innocent. That’s what Sarah can barely believe, that someone like him can exist in the world as she knows it. She loves that he remains innocent even though life has stomped on him.

        PS for a bit of Christmas Chuck try this, starts a bit slow but gets to be really good. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5543759/1/A-Chuckmas-Carol

      • It’s too bad for the writers and Chuck that he comes across as innocent. I believe although he was naive in certain circumstances because life as you say had stomped him down; his defeatist attitude was that would not let him see that he was a winner. Ellie, Morgan, and Sarah saw his greatness. Shaw also so his insecurities and when he wanted to defeat him he would use this as a weapon against him.

        Once Sarah started discovering what made Chuck an underachiever as stated on his file; the transformation started for Chuck because Sarah was there to reassuring him he can do anything he wanted to. Even Cole Porter gave him a little pep talk. Everyone could see his capabilities but I believe being raised by Ellie and then being protected by Sarah and Casey prolonged the inevitable. Chuck was a normal guy that was hit with a reality that was hard for him to handle. He shut down and although he made an effort to win back Jill his lack of knowledge of Fulcrum & the CIA’s involvement in his life was too much to handle. He could not process rejection. If Chuck was 100% Nerd do you think that we and Bryce would be in the same Fraternity.

        Note that Chuck was always quick to accept advice from persons that he admired. His insecurities also made him charming because he was willing to talk about it and you guys know how us ladies like to talk about it. Talking helps us process which Beckman told Chuck that she understood Chuck needed to do. I see this as an Ellie influence. Remember in Season 1 when she(Ellie) insisted that they would not talk any more. So Chuck was not innocent as we think; it was just his desire to live life without any ways a la Morgan made him waste his talents at the Buy More. Thank God for intersect.

      • I think by innocent they mean his approach to life. When we meet Chuck, he doesn’t lie, cheat, or steal. Despite being smacked down by life, he’s friendly, outgoing, trusting. His career growth may be stunted and he may be a bit wary of romance but he isn’t depressed, or cynical. Wish I could say the same!!!

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