gallery Sarah vs the Goodbye – Regaining Consciousness

I’d like to share how I interpret the final episodes, with special focus on Sarah and her actions in the last two episodes. I guess it is easier to understand the intention of this article, if I already state that I believe that it is evident that Sarah was falling in love again during this finale. This process will be the main focus of this article.

I will especially focus on the nonverbal expressions, since Sarah’s behaviour in these final episodes is almost exclusively nonverbal. And although a lot of people complain about it, in my opinion after 5 seasons we should be able to tell what Sarah’s nonverbal actions mean. Plus there isn’t much room for different interpretations because YS always used similar expressions for similar situations/feelings during the whole series (and no matter what was said in other comment sections: Nonverbal expressions from the same person don’t leave room for different possible interpretations. I would only accept this argument from people who have never been in a long-term relationship). It also makes sense that Sarah is completely nonverbal in these last two episodes (unlike in s03) because amnesiac Sarah is in pre-s01 Sarah mode and the spy is non-verbal and shouldn’t show emotions.

Just a remark before we get started: This is not an episode or re-watch article. Therefore I will almost exclusively discuss scenes that are essential for Sarah reconnecting with her emotions. As a consequence I will omit larger parts of the vs. Sarah plot and some parts of Goodbye (so probably this article makes more sense if you know these episodes already).

 ♦

Chuck vs. Sarah

I will keep the first part of this episode brief (until Chuck got shot; well that is almost the whole episode). For the purpose of this article what happened until that point is more like an introduction.

Before anyone writes it in the comment section, I will already mention here that amnesiac Sarah appeared to be kind of dumb in this episode, but let’s try to ignore this. It is like in a realationship: you can enjoy it more, if you don’t always point out the mistakes (I guess we can all agree that, with Sarah having her usual IQ, the whole part of this episode until Chuck got shot wouldn’t have worked/happened). Good, now let’s focus:

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Sarah was supposed to be unquestioning about her orders and her orders were clear: To obtain the Intersect glasses and to kill Bartowski.

Chuck was accused by “handler” Quinn of being probably responsible for the death of Bryce, Graham and others, being a traitor and criminal. But still during the first half of the episode Sarah wasn’t without doubts.

The first time she became suspicious was when she looked at a photo of them in the apartment. She felt momentarily uncertain like Jill in Fat Lady who obviously noticed that the couple on the picture was probably not just posing for cover:

When Chuck invited her into the bedroom for a massage she was first smiling (and I don’t believe that she was initially faking this) but she made a fast emotional transition back to her cautious spy persona (that fast transition reminds of Truth):

At night, after she found the glasses and Quinn told her to kill Chuck but she hesitated for a moment; real spies don’t hesitate.

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Sarah after she found the glasses and Quinn told her to kill Chuck

After learning that Chuck wanted to destroy the last Intersect she joined him breaking into DARPA to secretly retrieve the Intersect. After Chuck realized what Sarah was up to in the intersect room, he tried to convince her to trust him. She initially listened to him and even let him come close. Again she hesitated, enabling Chuck to steal the intersect glasses from her.

Chuck momentarily convinced Sarah

When Quinn reminded Sarah of her mission over the ear piece she hit Chuck with her gun and left. She locked the room and placed an explosive device at the door.

Outside the building she told Quinn that there was no need to blow up DARPA. This was the closest amnesiac Sarah would come to question her orders while working for Quinn.

But Quinn was prepared and activated the bomb on his own. Sarah was shocked and angry when the DARPA labs exploded, that was not the outcome she was hoping for. Consequently, when she met with Quinn she hit Quinn in the face. That was definitely not only a reaction to him blowing up DARPA:

 

 

When she realized that Chuck was alive and believed that he had tricked her so he could steal the glasses, she felt betrayed:

I made a mistake. And I can promise you I will not make the same mistake again.
I will get those glasses back no matter what it takes.

That were similar words to what she said in Nemesis and Pink Slip. Sarah always made that ‘mistake’ with Chuck.

 

Chuck is still alive

Sarah took Ellie as a hostage to reacquire the intersect glasses. The words Sarah used on the phone with Chuck were very significant: “Should’ve known I couldn’t trust you.” From this point on she called him Bartowski, by this refusing any personal connection.  We know that trust was a big issue for Sarah. And now she believed that Chuck violated her trust. Trust was important during the whole series especially for Sarah.

 

Thanx to Ellie’s quick thinking, Sarah was subdued and Chuck took her to their dream house to help her to remember.

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Sarah woke up from her unconsciousness.

Sarah’s reactions while listening to her story

When Chuck told their story, Sarah was first skeptical and reacted with denial but she was clearly moved by his speech and not so sure when he finished anymore.

Sarah’s reactions after Chuck offered her a choice

Chuck offered her the choice to either take the glasses or to choose him. Finally, after seeing the emotions Chuck exhibited while telling their story, she believed that his feelings are real:

“This is real. You really love me?”

“With all of my heart.”
“I’m sorry, I did my job too well.”

But the violation of trust earlier made it impossible for her to believe her part of the story he told. She was a spy and a mission had to be completed. It is worth mentioning though that she said sorry. But Chuck wouldn’t let her have the glasses so a fight started. Well beating actually, because Chuck wouldn’t fight back “I will never hurt you“.

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Sarah hesitated during the fight

During the fight Chuck tried to reason “Sarah you are my wife”. Again Sarah hesitated for a moment. But beeing a spy she had to continue.

Sarah was ready to kill Chuck until she saw the door frame

When she obtained the glasses from Chuck, she was ready to finish the mission by killing him, but she noticed the carving on the door frame that made her remember that she did this.

She is clearly confused by this and didn’t know react. Quinn entered the room and took the glasses from her, while Sarah was completely motionless.

When Quinn admitted “I’m not CIA“ Sarah was confused, looking back and forth from Quinn to Chuck unable to act, at that moment realizing that Chuck has told the truth.

Sarah’s reactions to Chuck getting shot

Quinn wanted to end this and shot at Sarah but luckily Chuck intercepted the bullet with his vest protected body. When Chuck got shot there was surprise and shock on Sarah’s face. An agent would have now followed Quinn to hunt him down, but Sarah stayed with Chuck. She directly asked him: “Are you okay?” the same words she always used when she was concerned about his wellbeing. She asked because she cared about him. What was less obvious, at least for me since I didn’t notice it for at least a dozen re-watches (I blame it on the camera guy, but maybe I am the only one who didn’t saw it), is that she also touched him (above in the 3rd picture, it is kind of easier to observe in the actual episode, although not much easier). Again something she used to do after Chuck survived a dangerous situation. Moreover, Chuck was actually holding her hand and she didn’t mind at all. When the sirens could be heard Chuck had to tell her to run. It is obvious that she was reluctant to leave, voicing “But..” and still looking concerned at him. But she had no real choice, so she ran.

She went to her hotel room preparing to instantly leave when Casey entered.

 Sarah and Casey having a talk

What do you remember about me?”

“Your reputation, mostly.”

“Unfriendly, unforgiving and unquestioning about your orders.”

“That’s funny. When we met, people said the same thing about you.”

“I guess Bartowski’s made us both a little soft. […] these past five years, we changed, you know. We became friends.

Sarah was surprised that Casey didn’t want to capture her and about what he told her about them. Before he went Casey left she her an envelope containing her mission log on a dvd. She was curious to watch what was on the DVD, although she should have left the hotel room as soon as possible (even if she wasn’t hunted by Casey, the CIA was probably still after her).

Sarah wanted to know what was on the DVD

We all know the video so I just want to focus on some of Sarah’s expressions while watching.

After hearing herself talking about the fake break up (day 49) amnesiac Sarah was clearly surprise seeing herself so compromised by her emotions:

After hearing her day 564 entry she was crying. She feel the pain about what she has lost.

That her own recorded words proved that Chuck was honest was a little like Vivian Volkoff’s situation. She also believed that Chuck lied to her the whole time to get what he wanted, only to realize in the end that he was honest and that she could trust him.

The song that started in this scene and continued through the following fountain scene was Ghost Society’s “Your Hands” and it is quite important. The songs used during Chuck are especially significant because the lyrics always relate to the scene they were played in. Many times they were reflecting Chuck’s and Sarah’s emotions and thoughts. In Sarah’s case they usually reflected things that she felt but wasn’t allowed to say (s01 and s02) or simply couldn’t express; the lyrics were part of her non-verbal communication. The agent part of her is emotionally voiceless so the lyrics express Sarah’s non-spy emotions. It is completely unusual for this series that in this episode, except for this final song, all background music was without any lyrics, further signifying this song.

 Just a remark: I think that we are too often neglecting the music for the interpretation of certain scenes. The lyrics are in some cases the only thing that clarifies the meaning of some scenes in Chuck. All songs were chosen on purpose, not only the obvious ones. Often mayor parts of the songs were cut out, which is usual for TV shows and movies, but some songs in Chuck were edited with a different purpose: Sometimes just single lines in the verses are deleted and not due to time constraints, but because of the intended meaning of the supporting music. I think that by looking at the lyrics of the songs used during the show and sometimes also paying attention to how they have been altered we can learn a lot about the scenes there were played in.

Back to the song of this scene; this part (it was only the first half of the actual song) was played while Sarah was watching the video log starting at day 56 (‘I kissed him’):

Ghost Society – Your Hands

[The red lines are part of the original song lyrics but were omitted in the show]

 Well, I am not a liar

I won’t let you track me down again

No I’m not your fan

You can’t compromise

You can’t compromise

I’m tired of all this hypocrisy

We’ve been here before

 

The first part told amnesiac Sarah to trust her recorded words and who she really was and could be again.

The song continues into the fountain scene. To get his attention Sarah called him “Chuck”; it’s the first time she called him by his name (and not Bartowski) in this episode. This means that her opinion of Chuck has already shifted back to a more personal level.

While talking to him she was not completely honest, constantly looking away and barely able to look him in the eyes:

“I believe everything that you told me about us.
But the truth is, Chuck, I don’t feel it.
Everything that you told me about us and our story– I just I don’t feel it.”

My opinion is that she felt something but she didn’t know how to be that person or if there was even a possibility to be that person again.

“Quinn took away my life, and I have to, well, I have to go find him. Bye.”

The actual words are important: She admitted that Quinn not only took away a part of her life, but that part that was her life.

After she said goodbye to Chuck she was waiting longer than necessary and was looking at him. I don’t believe that she was just waiting for him to say bye too, I guess she probably was waiting if Chuck would say something, if he would try to hold her back.

The song played during this fountain scene was the second part of the song that started in the hotel room:

Ghost Society – Your Hands (the red line was omitted)

You just wanted all of me in one place

You just wanted all of me in one place

Then you hold too tight

even though you know it’s lost lost chance

I’ve got to go away

Got to leave this place behind

We’ve been here before

You just wanted all of me in one place

You just wanted all of me in one place

 

I think the second part tells that she was not completely honest, because she didn’t tell Chuck the real reason why she believed she has to go, that she felt something for him but she just didn’t know how to be that person and her disbelieve that he would be able to love her if she is not that person.

This doubt will play a crucial role in Goodbye.

There was some discussion that it would be impossible for Chuck and Sarah to fall in love again because they are not even close to the persons they have been in the pilot but I completely disagree:

Sure, Sarah’s emotional state was in a “before Baby” mode. But Baby was just a breaking point for her, she wasn’t happy before that event either. Her red test (the worst day of her life) had already happened, her CIA made her do it. She had no home, no family, no real friend, no one to trust. And now she learned that there was someone who change all that and made her happy.

Chuck technically wasn’t the same person anymore that he was 5 years ago but his essence remained the same, and that was what Sarah fell in love with. Admitted, he grew up but he only lost his negative traits (acting like a loser, goofy, moron, hating his life, not knowing what he wants…) things that Sarah never liked about him anyway. She fell in love with him because he did what was right, was brave, cared about people…, and that is still the person he is.

Sarah also wasn’t the same but she made the leap once, which means she possessed the potential, so surely there is no reason why she shouldn’t be able to do it again. And now she even was aware of how far she once made it. The main question for her in Goodbye would be if she trusted herself enough to try it again.

 

Chuck vs. the Goodbye

The episode started on the plane. After Quinn obtained the first part of the Key to fix the Intersect Sarah aimed her gun at Quinn: “Sarah. You’re upset I can tell.” She showed emotions that could clearly be observed by others. That was not what spies were supposed to act.

Sarah replied: “You stole my memories and you ruined my life.” Again an indirect admission how important her life with Chuck was for her and that she knows it. Moreover her words indicate that she was on a revenge mission; again pretty un-spyish.

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Things didn’t work out as planned: Sarah wasn’t able to kill Quinn and had to parachute out of the plane to escape.

Chuck meanwhile had a discussion with his family about getting Sarah back. I just wanted to mention this, because apparently the writers wanted to tell us that without Sarah Chuck also didn’t really know who he is and lost some self-confidence: “Be myself? Okay, well what version of myself? Lord of the Nerd Herd or charming Charles Carmichael?”

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Chuck was trying to locate Sarah with the help of the perverts, only to find out that she was already in the Buy More looking for him. She would always come back for him as she stated in Tooth, because they were soul mates. Her being back in my opinion also means that she at least partially tried to listen her feelings.

In the Buy More she was at the Nerd Herd desk unsure what to do next (see also her expressions in the video below). When she felt the presence of Chuck she was looking across the room to find him (like in Three Words, Operation Awesome…).

She claimed that she needed Castle and his help to find Renny Deutsch but that wasn’t the only reason. I am pretty sure she would have had other sources to obtain this information. Moreover she said: “Your spy base, I need it.“, in reality, if she needed anything then his computer skills, so she was avoiding to say “I need your help” or “I need you”.

Once in Castle, while Chuck was on the computer tracking Renny, she was looking around like she was trying to find something that helps her remember. She was surely not just killing time.

Sarah checking out Castle

After Chuck found out were Renny was and told Sarah, she wanted to go to Berlin alone, but Chuck started a conversation:

“Uh Sarah– hey– quick, quick, uh, quick question before you go.
Uh, what’s your plan once you find Quinn?“

“I will kill him. And then I I disappear forever.” She doesn’t look thrilled

“Really? Really? Wow. Okay, well, then, my second question”

“I-I-I can’t be here.
I don’t know how to be the woman that you remember me as. All I remember is being a spy – a good one. It’s all I know how to do.”

In this series it was always important what was said and what wasn’t but even more importanty how it was said. The specific words have meaning. She didn’t say “I don’t want to be here”, she believed she can’t. Also the phrase “the woman that you remember me as” relates to a disbelieve that Chuck would love her like she was now. She didn’t know how to be that person and had no trust in herself that she could become that person again. And also during this conversation she was trying to avoid eye contact:

She wanted to leave alone for Berlin but Chuck convinced her that he could help her and that he was “lethal”.

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 There is only one lethal thing in this picture

In Berlin they followed Renny to a restaurant that was exactly like ‘El Compadre’ at their first date. They were sitting at the table and Chuck began to tell her their story, more specifically about their first date. Sarah was beginning to feel uncomfortable but not because of the story, it was because she couldn’t remember. She didn’t look annoyed about the fact that Chuck tried to tell their story, she rather appeared to be frustrated that she couldn’t remember.

 

Sarah listening to the story of their first date

When it became unbearable, she insisted:

“Chuck, stop.”
“But it’s our story. Don’t you want to hear it?”

“Chuck, we’re on a mission, okay? The focus is Renny.“

She didn’t really reply to Chuck’s question if she doesn’t want to hear it, she also didn’t say that she didn’t want to hear it. She just reminded him that the mission comes first, like she did in the first two seasons. She still believed she has to be spy first, because it was all that she had left.

Quinn made Renny change the location and Chuck and Sarah followed him to the pseudo- Russian Consulate.

At the beginning of ‘Russian consulate mission‘ they were standing next to each other and while Chuck was looking at her, Sarah would look around the room displaying discomfort and avoiding to look at Chuck. But this changed when he charmed her by saying: “You look beautiful, by the way.” Sarah would then fix Chuck’s tie and she was smiling (the first real smile of her in these final episodes). Sarah: “You look great.” He was wearing a black tie; this is a reference to First Bank of Evil; Chuck: “[…] you love me in a black tie.

 Breaking the ice

During the following dancing there was a lot of sexual tension and it was clear that it was difficult for Sarah to stay focused on the mission.

Get me close.”

(Chuck got her closer to himself. It took a moment until Sarah continued)
To Renny. Close to Renny.”

 

Renny’s next change of location brought them to the Berlin Wienerlicious. When Sarah started to reorganize the cups, because she knew they are in the wrong order, Chuck reminded her that the Burbank Wienerlicious was her first cover job.

Come on, you can remember. Please. Please try.

She didn’t say no to his pleading and even being on a mission, she really tried to remember. But the arrival of Quinn put a stop to this.

Morgan was captured by Quinn’s men and Quinn told Chuck and Sarah to drop their guns. While Chuck was obeying, Sarah was reluctant, in fact Chuck had to push her gun down. Sarah looked annoyed when Chuck dropped his gun and force her to do the same. This was a reminder to s01 and s02 where Sarah also didn’t understand the importance of friends and family for Chuck.

“Put down your guns”

After a fight Quinn escaped, chased by armed Chuck. But he let Quinn escape because he couldn’t shoot him, which completely confused Sarah:

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Casey captured them and brought them back to Castle. There Chuck and Sarah were in their prison cells and talking or arguing.

Sarah was clearly furious that Chuck didn’t take the shot which cost them the second part of the Key:

When he told her that killing was never an option for him, she only angrily replied: “you are a spy, aren’t you?”:

But when he explained himself and that the not killing thing was something Sarah liked about him and supported, you can clearly see that her anger disappeared: She was certainly realizing that he was not a usual spy/person:

 

When Casey released them from their cells, they caught Sarah trying to escape:

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“You’re escaping without me?”

“Look, I heard your pep talk. I think I’m better off hunting Quinn on my own.”

It has been said that Sarah was acting cold, but she always appeared to be cold when she was struggeling with her emotions (Crown Vic, Pink Slip, Three Words…). I think her problem was that during the whole time in Berlin she felt her emotions for Chuck redevelop. During the series, when Sarah was confronted with her emotions she didn’t know how to act on them and kind of overreacted. For example in Nemesis she almost ran away. I think at this point she was afraid to follow her emotions because she didn’t know how to. So she tried to act like a professional spy (like in Crown Vic). She said that she would hunt Quinn; hunting means also killing, something Chuck couldn’t. And she was probably also concerned for his safety; that is why she wanted to leave alone.

Sarah was convinced to stay when Frost appeared with information about the third part of the Key which made it possible to find Quinn. TB learned that Beckman was given the final part of the Key and Quinn just took it from her at the Pacific Concert Hall where she was attending a concert performance; it was the 4th movement of Dvořák’s Symphony No.9 (‘From the New World’);  (the main theme of the 4th movement describes the hope and the glory of the New World [the new/ unknown] but there is also some yearning for the father land [the old, what is familiar]).

Beckman was in trouble

When TB arrived at the concert hall they found out that Beckman was sitting on a pressure sensitive bomb that would explode if the performance stopped/ended. Quinn was escaping to the roof where he was awaiting extraction via chopper. Sarah went after him to stop him. When Chuck realized that the bomb was controlled by a locked computer and that they needed Quinn stop the bomb, he also went to the roof.

Meanwhile Morgan had to buy them time, so he assigned Jeffster to perform ‘Take on me’ (obviously related to Sarah & Chuck).

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“One word: Jeffster”

Here we have a very interesting example of lyric “editing”: diplayed in black & red are the original A-ha lyrics, in green Jeffster’s modifications:

“Take On Me”

Talking away
I don’t know what I’m to say
I’ll say it anyway
Today is another day to find you / Today is not my day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, OK?
Take on me (take on me),
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

 

[The second verse was completely omitted in the series but can be found on the OST, or youtube]

So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I‘m me, stumbling away / But I‘ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is OK.
Say after me,
“It’s no better to be safe than sorry.”

 

Take on me (take on me),
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh, the things that you say, yeah—
Is it life or just to play my worries away?
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me (take on me),
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

The first verse and chorus were played before the action on the roof top happened. The Jeffster line “Today is not my day to find you” was already foreshaddowing that Chuck’s plan to get Sarah back (in this case by fixing her memories with the glasses) wouldn’t work (today). But these words also indicate that there will be a day he’ll get her back.

On the roof, when Quinn realized that he was cornered by Chuck and Sarah and the bomb wouldn’t explode because of Jeffster’s performance, he was pulling out his gun to shoot Chuck and Sarah. Sarah was faster and shot him. But she neither looks relieved nor happy that her mission is over (to me it looks more like a what now face):

Sarah shooting Quinn

After Chuck explained to her the plan he had, using the intersect to fix Sarah’s memories, she directly asked ”Will it work?”. The words clearly prove that she wanted her memories back (‘will’ not ‘would’).

Chuck tells his plan

”Will it work?”

“There is only one upload left.”

When Chuck explained to her that he has to use the glasses to save the people in the hall because Quinn was dead and told her that there was only one upload left she was disappointed.

But she also saw Chuck’s sacrifice when he told her that he cannot get her back because he has to save the people in the concert hall (“You’re a good guy, and you want to help people.” Graviton). Sarah agreed that this was the right thing to do by slightly nodding but she showed also resignation.

Back in the concert hall, Chuck flashed on the lock for the bomb to find out the bomb was controlled by a Prism express laptop.

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Sarah suggested using the Irene Demova virus on the Prism Express. Later in castle she would tell Chuck that she didn’t know what it meant. But if that was true then why did she come up with the idea at all and why wasn’t she disgusted when the porn pictures were displayed on the screen like she was in the pilot?

After they diffused the bomb, Chuck and Sarah watched Casey and Beckman hugging. They turned to each other and there was a longing to do something but none of them could or was able to make the first step and act on their feelings. They let the moment slip and Sarah walked away:

 lost chance

The final debriefing

During their debriefing in Castle Beckman asked if this was really the end for TB. Sarah claimed: “It’s me. I, um I need to go find myself.” While she said this she was avoiding eye contact with everyone:

What did she want to find? Earlier in the episode she knew who she was when she told Chuck that she is a spy – a good one. That she claimed now that she wants to find herself therefore can only mean that she already accepted that this is not anymore who she is.

The parting scene between Casey and Chuck has also significance. Sarah saw Casey giving Chuck a farewell hug, using friendly goodbye words. Sarah’s look when Chuck and Casey hug was important (see video below). From all she knew Casey was “unfriendly, unforgiving and unquestioning about your orders”, basically the same description that was used for her and now she saw how far Casey has developed due to the interaction with Chuck over the years.

When Casey was gone, Chuck mentioned Sarah’s idea using the Demova virus but she replied that she didn’t really know what it meant. When he told her that this could be a new start she answered: “I need some time to think. To be alone.

You know, Morgan had this idea. It’s nutty, really. That if we… You have to go; I understand.

From her gesture (video above) I think it is obvious that she really wanted him to continue, tell her what this idea was, wanted him to stop her from leaving. The look on her face clearly showed that she was disappointed that he simply let her go. But on the other hand she also didn’t know how to act.

I think it is also important to mention that she didn’t say goodbye this time because she didn’t want to leave. While leaving Castle she looked sad and lost:

 

I don’t want to discuss what happened between next between Chuck’s family in Ellie’s home, but the background song is related to Chuck and Sarah:

 

Grouplove “Cruel and Beautiful World

(The first line is played in the scene with Morgan, Casey & Alex)

Go ahead and close the door

I’ll stand outside in the rain
A little bird just told me so
It’s time to start over again

So I’ll run out and take this boat
Far away from these shores

And I’ll reach behind an enemy line
and find my curable cure

(Chorus)
Cause it’s a cruel and beautiful world
and I got my girl
and if it seems like we’re falling behind
or just slipping on top from the mouths of our mind

(The rest of the lyrics are omitted)

Next Chuck, not knowing what to do, had a conversation with Morgan about Sarah at the fountain.

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“Morgan, she could be anywhere.”
“Okay, you know where she is. You told me to listen to our hearts, because our brains only screw us up.”
“I was in love then.”
“You’re still in love. I want you to imagine something for me, okay? Where is she right now? Don’t think. Use your heart.”

Chuck’s part of the dialogue at the fountain was, in my opinion, cra  rather poorly written. Are we seriously supposed to believe that Chuck, at this point of his life, would even for one moment doubt that he was still in love with Sarah? Well, Morgan got his big final scene, hurrah.

Anyway, if Chuck used his heart to figure out where Sarah was and Sarah would be there, that could only mean that she listened to her heart to get there. This directly leads to the final beach scene.

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But why is she there? Like Chuck in the pilot she has nowhere to go. Chuck said he would go home, she said that she wanted to be alone but that wasn’t a helpfull option. They both needed help because they didn’t know what to do. Sarah was there for him in the pilot, he was there for her now.

 

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I was hoping you’d be here.

Because only the non-amnesiac Sarah wouldn’t remember or care about the place or go there; definitely not a “brain” thing to do.

This place is important, isn’t it?

Yeah, yeah, very much. This is actually where you told me I was going to be okay.
That I could trust you.  And that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’m asking you to trust me.
Sarah, I don’t I don’t want anything from you. I-I just need you to know that wherever you go, I’ll always be there to help you. Someone you can call. Whenever. Trust me, Sarah.
I’m here for you always.

He thereby told her that he unconditional loves her. That he even will be there for her if she will never be her old self again. And he asked her to trust him. A spy can’t trust, only Sarah with emotions could.

Chuck? Tell me our story.

She was even encouragingly smiling:

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After she asked him to tell their story the song of the scene began:

The Head and the Heart – “Rivers And Roads”

A year from now we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they’re goin’ to better places
But our friends will be gone away

Nothin’ is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it’s just as well
But I miss your face like hell

Been talkin’ ’bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don’t know what to make of this

Then we will not relate

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers ’til I reach you

 

The lyrics reflected their situation. The most important lines are “If you don’t know what to make of this then we will not relate”. But Sarah knows.

Yeah, yeah, uh Where to begin? Well, uh, it started with a guy who worked at Buy More.
And then, one day, an old college friend of his sent him an e-mail that was filled with secrets.

Sarah listened smiling:

vlcsnap-2016-03-07-15h33m01s55.png

And then, the next day, his life really changed when he met a spy named Sarah, and he fell in love.”

…and Sarah began to cry:

vlcsnap-2016-03-07-15h34m57s250

During the story she was completely connecting with her emotions and didn’t hide them. Spies don’t have feelings, they never show real emotions, they don’t cry they don’t laugh; she already accepted that she was more:

“You know, Morgan has this crazy idea.”

This time she didn’t hesitate and directly asked, no pause, no chance to let this moment slip away:

What is it?”

Chuck513-01263.jpg

He thinks that, with one kiss, you’ll remember everything.
One magical kiss?

Although her reply sounded a little skeptical, she was laughing and smiling, charmed, touching her hair, well flirting with him:

Yeah. I know it’s…

And again she directly acted on it before he could finish his sentence and before this moment was over, because she wanted to kiss him (this was not an act of desperation, as it was described on other pages, it was a conscious decision).

Chuck?

Yeah?

Kiss me.

 

She would have never asked for a kiss if she hasn’t already fallen for him and if she didn’t want to be with him again (because leaving after the kiss would have been just cruel because she knows how he feels and she already showed that she had emotions for him).

And the series ends with them kissing twice.

 ♦

 

Closing Remarks

So one question remains: Does Sarah magically get her memories back? I don’t think so and it is also not important at all for the characters. The whole story of this series was never really about the past, it was about the present and possible futures. The past was only considered and treated, if it had an influence on the present at that moment. Usually the past was just a trauma for the characters that had to be overcome. And memories of the past were never really important to Sarah anyway. Morgan also didn’t get his memories directly back, although he was able to remember things over time that were gone (like in vs Bo where he remembered that he hid the Intersect glasses in the Vail Buy More). The magical kiss theory, for me, is just too fantasy-like to believe. That she really did regain memories just from a simple kiss, no matter how important the kiss was, in my opinion, wouldn’t fit into this series. This show was about love and that is what matters.

Amnesiac Sarah initially had the same understandable but wrong assumption that (a lot of) the viewers have, that she can only get her old life with Chuck back if she gets her memories back.

What about the immediate future: Chuck possesses the Intersect again at the end of the series. This opens up possibilities: Sarah can now choose which kind of future she wants with Chuck, either continue where they were stopped in Bullet Train or join the CIA with Chuck again. Beckman’s offer stands: “If you ever want to save the world again, you know where I am.” So, no matter how they decide, there is no reason why they shouldn’t eventually get what they wanted: dream house, non-spy company, kids… . During the series, whenever Chuck and Sarah were close reaching a goal, the writers introduced an event that delayed it, but it was always just that – a delay. They always reached their goals eventually.

In my opinion Goodbye answered Chuck’s question in Coup d’Etat “But change is unavoidable. Unavoidable. Life is full of changes. Constantly changing, and the question is, no matter what the changes are, is the love still there?”; especially the ‘no matter what’ part.

I always assumed that the story told in final episodes was supposed to make sense and that the writers’ intention was not to destroy Chuck (neither the character nor the series). That also means that Sarah has to be ok in the end, because if she wouldn’t, it would mean destroying Chuck as well. I think we can all agree that the most important person for the writers was Chuck. No matter how badly they treated him, they always wanted to make sure that at the end of each arc he was ok (no matter how convincing that fix sometimes was). The only way Chuck’s soul was not completely crushed beyond repair after this final arc is if Sarah falls in love with him again and if he gets her back.

I really like this series finale (It was not a great ending, but which show did end in a great way? I don’t need both hands to count them). But I also genuinely liked the endings of Sopranos and Awake: My internet research indicated that this means that there is probably something seriously wrong with me. Anyway, I really hope that at one point we will get more Chuck because the story isn’t finished in my opinion.

And with this I’d like to end this article. As always, feel free to comment, disagree or tear it apart in the comment section.

15 comments

  1. Michael…all I can say is ….. BINGO !!

    You nailed it , brother. I feel too many people are focusing on the kiss as so important to Sarah regaining her memories….and that is the only reason she asked for the kiss. Like you, I feel she asked for the kiss to let Chuck know that she accepted his offer to always be there for her. The memories are of little importance …the Sarah of here and now is NOT the spy that we saw before the Baby ….she is in love with Chuck and she fully realizes what it is that she loves about him.

    The series can continue anyway they want now ( if they chose to do so.) Sarah and her memories do not need to be the focus of a continuation. Personally, I’d like to see the show stay contemporary, with only flashbacks to pertinent scenes to explain what happens after the beach. I think it would be much more realistic if Sarah gets certain memories back that are triggered by familiar things….and I feel Molly may be a wonderful jumping off point…especially if she takes up ballet !!!

    • Thank you, Gary. Means a lot to me.

      I like your idea for the possible continuation. The ‘triggered by familar things’ would make it very realistic, like in Morgan’s case. In my opinion they would give away a lot of potential future storylines if they would just start with her having her memories back

  2. Michael,

    Another great piece….can’t wait for your next article.

    Sarah’s memories are not important, I agree with that aspect of things nor does children and a white house with picket fence important to me. We saw flashes of Sarah falling all over again and it goes back to my original sentiment of the two. They are soulmates and with that comes the avenue of departure from that soul which never will happen again.

    What I mean is The soul may venture off, but once the heart finds it’s mate the less likely they are apart for long. Obstacle after Obstacle we watch Sarah and Chuck go through some crazy stuff. Rewatch is up to S3 and your right Pink Slip is the start of an attempt at reinventing themselves. One thing is for sure Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz were trying to recreate magic by going against the formula in which they bestowed upon us the viewer.

    What we are talking about is a story and it’s their story so changes they make are on them. the ending of S5 really is hard for me to understand the premises until you sit back and let the story play out which works better here than in S3 because of the disdain of one character. I end it with this.

    Sarah and Chuck’s love falls in the realm of Romeo and Juliet. The sacrifics we make for those we love are apparent, but how do we get there is what matters most. Chuck and Sarah will always love each other. I have no doubts in that because I believe in soulmates.

    I also believe if you read my article the Magic Kiss Theory really doesn’t work because of their previous kisses. I am not talking about the kiss, but history repeats and especially in Chuck’s world.

    Look back at every kiss,

    They kiss in Hard Salami only for Bryce to return. They kiss in Seduction twice in that episode and Bryce Returns. They have a special moment in Tom Sawyer only for Jill to turn up. Thus, my point the history doesn’t mean well, but despite all that Chuck and Sarah’s love would not die.

    Once again great article Michael.

    • However, the parallel for The Goodbye is Phase Three …… Chuck’s memories were supposed to be erased, Sarah’s memories are suppressed. In P3, Sarah’s words and her kiss bring Chuck back from the precipice. I think this is much different from most of the other kisses you mention, Chris , …. my take away is that memories live in the brain ( the head ), but love lies in the heart. More than once we heard the line , “Go with your heart, because your head only screws things up”. P3 and The Goodbye just reinforce that the heart will always win out over the head.

      • That’s right Gary, and leading into S3 I am taking a new approach with this. We have discussed the issues of writing and what not but while watching S3 again for rewatch. I discover something which I will share in my preview of S3 for rewatch.

        Stay tuned….

    • Chris,

      I don’t think that you can compare kisses that happened before Other Guy with kisses that occurred afterwards. They have nothing in common. (Btw. you hide some articles pretty well on this page. Maybe should think about a new directory)

      I often saw articles comparing the kiss in P3 with Goodbye to prove that she gets her memories back. But I really don’t believe in any connection. What Gary wrote is right. Also Chuck’s mind wasn’t completely broken/ erased in p3, it can naturally heal again. It is easier to fix something that is still partially intact.

      I am glad you like this article. As for the next article, I have a couple of ideas. I just hope that this time I am smart enough not to choose a topic that requires me watching scenes over and over again where I need a stack of Kleenex.

      • Michael, We two people love each other and share passion behind them whether they are together or not is not important. Are you going to say the kiss they shared in Colonel was not the same as the one they share in Other Guy? That’s not fair to Chuck and Sarah at all.

        The more I see the kisses the more I see love and passion behind them I can compare the kiss she shared with Bryce, Cole and Shaw and say ok they don’t have anything in common.

        Chuck and Sarah shared very special moments when it came to kissing, but soon was erased by some obstacle. Thus, when history or pattern rather is the same than the chances it would continue after Goodbye.

      • Chris, Maybe I expressed it wrong, the passion is surely the same and was always there.

        If their relationship would be a graph, kisses before other guy represent local peaks (that were followed by events that drove them apart again) while afterwards kisses represent saddle points.

      • I wouldn’t have an issue with the kiss triggering some form of memory…just as the cups, or the Tuxedo, or the Prism Express laptop triggered something in Sarah. Not all her memories, but it wouldn’t be out of the normal to trigger something. And I agree that this is a requested kiss ….not reactionary like the first number of kisses where Sarah wasn’t sure what’s next.

        In P3, Chuck’s memories weren’t erased, as the dream sequence showed ….he maintained that connection to Sarah in his dream state. Plus Chuck had a very special brain …. one that could retain and retrieve an unbelievable amount of data, so wiping it out would have been quite a task.

  3. Great analysis–I pretty much came to the same conclusion about Sara’s attraction–especially as she is leaving Castle–but your photos caused me to rewatch the episodes and you nailed it. I think some of her memories would likely return but, as you said, the love endured. Gotta say I evolved in my opinion of this ending.

    • Tim….if you get a chance, read G. Walter Bush’s “Unpacking Chuck” and also Kelly Dean Jolley’s book ( available free as a PDF from his website )…you will also get a lot of details that will help your opinion of the finale evolve.

  4. I’ll just say that in interviews Schwartz says the Kiss shows C/S are well on their way to re-establishing their relationship. Fedak says the whole point of the last two episodes was to bring C/S “full circle” so that they could begin again. I think that implies that there are feelings there, but Chuck is going to have to win Sarah back again. I will also say that recent events make me doubtful that there will be a Chuck revival though I would be very happy to see it.

    • Lonny says, ” I think that implies that there are feelings there, but Chuck is going to have to win Sarah back again.”

      I think I’m with Michael on this ….I think he more or less has already won her back ….thus, she asks for the kiss.

      “I will also say that recent events make me doubtful that there will be a Chuck revival though I would be very happy to see it.”

      I’d agree …. Yvonne seems to be MIA ….given up her friendship with Zac and also Michelle Lovitt. I don’t know much about her BF Oliver Trevena, but it seems to have caused a rift between her and her friends. She seems to still have her friendship with Gianluigi, but even he has been pretty quiet about it lately. Sad, really….. but as long as she’s happy, that’s the most important thing.

  5. Michael , I think you did a great job and the fact that Sarah asks Chuck to kiss her just reveals to us her desire to get her life back including her relationship with Chuck. I do believe it was a start and Chuck would have to slowly win her back a much easier task since her heart is already committed to a relationship that once was and is to be. The attraction was there and her reaction in the beach jut confirms her hearts desire.

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