gallery Scenes can be deceiving Part 2 – SpiderMan Kiss

This is the second part of the series of short articles that takes a deeper look at Chuck scenes which contained important details that went by unnoticed by a most viewers. [If you are interested and missed the first part: 1 ]

This article is also my way of celebrating that today it has been a month since I published my first real article on this page and it has been a really great time so far.

And while we are on that topic: Have you ever considered sharing your opinion about something concerning this show: I know that Chris is always looking for new people who would like to contribute to this page with anything Chuck related. If you’re interested, just contact him via facebook or twitter (just click, I linked his profiles).

Today I’d like to talk about a scene taken from Suitcase. In this scene Sarah rejected Chuck’s request for a Spider-Man kiss. I don’t want to talk about the whole scene, just about the beginning because it included often missed important details. If you like, you can watch the part of the scene that I’m going to discuss in the video below; it’s only 23 seconds.

 Let’s first talk a little about the context of this scene: Chuck and Sarah have been living together for 8 month now and Sarah hasn’t unpacked yet. The topic was brought up in front of Chuck’s family so Sarah wanted to make sure that Chuck was ok with it, to which he agreed. Chuck and Sarah were sent on a mission to Milan to steal smart bullets from Volkoff’s weapons dealer Sofia Stepanova. Sofia tricked them and Chuck ended up with a bomb in his hand equipped with a dead man’s switch. Sarah tried to diffuse the bomb and with 10 seconds left until the bomb would explode, Chuck wanted the clear the air: “Sarah, listen, I cannot die without you knowing that I accept you for who you are, okay? Your weird unpacking habit – it doesn’t matter to me. Nothing matters. I still love you.“ After Sarah diffused the bomb just in time she was angry: “You still love me?” So, they were in a fight.

They somehow figured that the smart bullets must be in Sofia’s presidential suite, which they chose to enter via the balcony. That’s the point where the scene I’d like to talk about begins.

I believe this scene is very important, but if you read some online reviews then this scene is either not mentioned at all or just the idea of the Spider-Man kiss is highlighted. Even Chris dedicated just 3 lines to this part of the scene in his episode article, also just focusing on the rejected Spiderman kiss. But the Spider-Man kiss request was actually not that important at all. It just had some significance because it made Sarah smile, showing that she was beginning to forgive Chuck.

In my opinion some major details in this scene were simply missed by most viewers also because past episodes had to be considered to get the full meaning. Those of you who have read G. Walter Bush’s ‘Unpacking Chuck 2.0’ may have figured out already what I want to talk about, because it is partly based on his observations/analysis, although he didn’t apply it for this scene:

The first impression we get is that Chuck and Sarah appear to be upright but when the camera turns 180° we realize that they were upside down:

This reminds of the season 2 and season 4 premieres: In First Date Cuck appeared to be upright, but in fact after the camera rotates 180°, we realized that he was being held off a building by Mr. Colt. The camera sequence during the opening scene indicated that the main topic of this season will be about how Chuck’s spy life will spiral out of control and that he himself would have to adjust during these events:

 Season 2 premiere – The first scene of First Date

In the season 4 premiere the same camera technique used. The difference in the opening scene of Anniversary was that the focus wasn’t just on (young) Chuck alone but also on his mother. This was indicating that the main topic of this season will be the relationship with his mother, which as well would spiral out of control before it would be set aright in this season.

  Season 4 premiere – The first scene of Anniversary

In Suitcase we have exactly the same situation as in Anniversary, foreshadowing that the evolution of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship will be the second main topic of this season and that this development wouldn’t be without struggle.

So much for expanding Bush’s analysis to include this scene, but we are not done yet.

There were more important details in this scene: The development of a relationship doesn’t just require pushing it to the next level but can sometimes also necessitate changing one’s own attitude toward it along the way. They were hanging upside down and Sarah was the first one to free herself from this situation, while Chuck was still hanging there. This foretold that Sarah will be the first of both of them who will completely accept all aspects of their developing relationship and her role in it. And in fact Sarah’s completed this process by the end of Coup d’Etat:

Chuck404-01220.jpg

“I love you, Chuck. Nothing’s ever gonna change that. And if you ask me for real, then my answer would be yes.”

While Chuck was hanging there, he did almost all of the talking during this scene. It also seemed like he was responsible for pushing the evolution of their relationship (Cubic Z; Coup d’Etat). But this was misleading (he was still hanging there), because his approach was mostly to change Sarah’s opinion, while he couldn’t come to terms with his role in their relationship although he embraced the relationship itself. Only at the end of Phase Three when he realized what Sarah loves about him he was finally able to change this and accept himself in their relationship completely.

Chuck409-01072.jpg

I was really surprising for me that Walter somehow completely ignored this scene, which would have fit very nicely into his analysis in Unpacking Chuck 2.0. Btw, if you don’t have them yet, you should consider buying his books – they are great.

If you read some online reviews of this episode, it is often mentioned that in this episode Chuck’s mission to find his mother has taken a back seat; sometimes it is even considered a stand-alone episode. What completely went unnoticed was that in this scene the writers actually introduced the second main story arc of this season.

And with this I’d like to end this article. I guess I know what you must be thinking right now: ‘1000 words for 23 seconds… Holy Cheesecake!… I hope this guy will never ever write a review for the whole series…’. Anyway, as always, feel free to comment, disagree or to complain in the comment section.

10 comments

  1. Cool …. thanks for pointing out all the inversions… kinda missed this one since it happened so quickly and that iconic line was delivered so soon after Sarah releases herself.

    I might argue that Sarah really didn’t accept ALL the aspects of their relationship. I mean, she still had to grout and be the badass spy one more time before settling in with Chuck ( even foregoing the upcoming proposal to do so ). She also couldn’t accept a “normal” wedding ritual such as a bachelorette, nor a normal wedding, opting instead for eloping.

    As far as Chuck, yes…. Phase Three finally put to bed his deep seated fear that he wasn’t in Sarah’s league. Of course, Sarah’s actions always seemed to indicate that she was in love with the Intersect rather than Chuck himself …..just a case of very bad timing on her part, coinciding with very bad communication skills. LOL

    • Gary,

      What event do you mean with “she still had to grout and be the badass spy one more time”

      Concerning the other points you made, I see it a little different:

      In my opinion accepting a ‘normal wedding ritual’ was secondary and not completely related to accepting herself in the relationship because it was nothing that would really prevent the wedding itself. That was just about her accepting her past.

      I don’t think that Sarah’s actions indicated that she was in love with the intersect, quite the opposite. All in all it was just bad communication: lack of a clear statement from her side and total misinterpretation of what she said from Chuck’s side

      • I should never put autocorrect on ….but sometimes, it’s just easier !!!

        What I mean is she felt the need to still be a spy….she had to take that huge risk to infiltrate Volkoff, just so she could stay in touch with the person she used to be ( as much as she often loathed that person.) You could probably throw in the pre-nup as a sign that she still wasn’t 100% committed to the relationship. She had accepted that Chuck was the one, and she loved him, but not enough to leave her old life behind… nor was she as committed to the demands she made on Chuck …..no secrets, no lies. Even after the wedding, she still had to keep her secrets. In my mind, Chuck had committed 100% to the relationship before Sarah had.

        And you may have misunderstood what I was saying about Sarah and her love of Chuck. It is pretty evident that Chuck still thought Sarah to be out of his league, as evidenced by the “big fish” comment Morgan made in P3. If you go back, you will see that Sarah always seemed to “leave” or belittle Chuck when he didn’t have the Intersect. She almost sleeps with him, and the next day when he doesn’t have the Intersect, she tells him she’s leaving for Zurich with Bryce. They are together in S4, but when Frost suppresses the Intersect, he is “no longer a spy”. Back to the scene in P3….and Sarah realizes that she has never told Chuck that she loves him for himself. SO I agree….. it is problem of miscommunication, combined with some REALLY bad timing !

        And, yes….the wedding rituals. I guess they are neither here nor there. Just an indication that Sarah is not really “normal” ….

      • I agree with the pre-nup and the secrets.

        She had to infiltrate Volkoff because she had to bring his organization down. The truce between Volkoff and Frost was the only thing that kept them safe and it was fragile. What if Volkoff would have found out that Frost was betraying him (Even Frost admitted that there is this possibility in Aisle of terror). Sarah, Chuck and his family would be dead next day. There is no real future if there is this sword of Damocles. That is the reason why Sarah said ‘I am doing this for us’

        She might never have used the words ‘I love you also without the intersect’ but she told him ‘I fell in love with regular guy’ in Ring 2 ‘I fell for you …before you started defusing bombs with computer viruses’ in OG which means before she knew he was the intersect. Everything she said and did in FoD should have made Chuck realizes that she was more interested in him and his safety than in restoring the intersect or him being a spy.

        I wasn’t considering the time before they were together. There you are completely right.

  2. There’s no doubt Sarah was infiltrating Volkoff for the 2 of them …. and to get Frost back for Chuck. But she also said she was doing it because she needed to be, more or less, her old self one last time before she became Chuck’s wife ( i would suppose, since they were already together). Sarah was really good at rationalizations ….every deed she did was always about something else, even when it was really about her. I agree it was something that needed to be done ….oddly, it was actually Chuck that brought him down rather than Sarah.

    And, yes, she did tell him that she loved the “regular guy”….but at that point in time, he was a regular guy with an Intersect in his brain. Plus he was drunk ….. he may not have remembered the whole conversation !! LOL

    But remember, Chuck lacked a lot of self confidence after what Bryce did to him, and combined with his abandonment issues, it would be well within reason to worry about keeping Sarah. Actions speak louder than words, and twice Sarah SHOWED that Chuck without the Intersect is a different person than Chuck with the Intersect. ( Chuck with the Intersect is worth going against orders for, Chuck without is not. Chuck with the Intersect is a full fledged spy, Chuck without is not.Chuck with the Intersect is someone she would have sex with, Chuck without is not.) You have to realize that being a spy is what Chuck felt made him worthy of being Sarah’s equal ….. not being a spy pushed him back into just being someone that needed to be looked after ( an asset ….a loser…. a child….whatever). Having Agent Rye reiterating the lack of worthiness without the Intersect didn’t help. Forever needing Sarah’s protection is not something that would make a man feel worthy of her…no matter how much of a feminist you are !!! I don’t know what your relationship status is, Michael…. but if your girlfriend had a history of falling into the arms of every stud of a spy that came into her life (before she chose to be with you), there’s going to be a bit self doubt in the background of your consciousness.

    It doesn’t matter if Chuck should have felt secure in his relationship or not ….the fact is that he didn’t feel secure. Morgan said it ….his dreams constantly told him he would lose Sarah if he couldn’t flash. And Sarah always seemed to maintain a different position in the relationship …. Chuck was to never lie and never keep secrets….but she was allowed to. Whatever her rationalization for that, it comes through as the dominant person in the relationship. Not until Vs. The Goodbye does Chuck actually become Sarah’s equal…. shedding the last bit of dependence on her.

    • Her words were “But I need to go back to being the old me, just for a little while longer, if I plan on surviving this”. There is no indication that she wanted to be her old self, she just had to be to complete this mission.

      Bringing down Volkoff was a team effort even if Chuck did most of it. But he needed Hydra’s eyeball to have something to begin with

      Chuck was drunk in OG but not in Ring II

      I recently came out of a 11y relationship. I don’t think she ever dated a spy. I do understand Chuck’s insecurities and self-doubts, although I don’t share them, I just say that we can’t blame all of Chuck’s insecurities on Sarah. And I don’t think there was any intention from Sarah’s side to make him feel inferior. (But, even if I don’t like to admit it, mainly you’re right)

      • Oh my…..no Sarah didn’t MEAN to hurt Chuck …. I don’t think she ever really understood his insecurities since she had very few of them regarding HER abilities. Plus she wasn’t great at relationships or communication anyway. She probably just felt that Chuck thought of her the same way she thought of him.

        Ring II wasn’t really a time when Sarah communicated her “love” of regular Chuck ….she never got the chance. All Chuck ever got to hear is that he wasn’t important enough to her to go away with him on a romantic vacation. Seeing that the day before she was going to have sex with him ( when he DID have the Intersect ), there has to be some questions as to what changed in between those 2 events. The only thing that was different is that Chuck didn’t have the Intersect.

        As for Sarah being her old self going after Volkoff….I see your point.

      • Now it makes much more sense. I agree, in Ring she was wrong and terrible. I don’t understand anything she is doing in that episode…

  3. Yes….and I totally agree that Chuck’s insecurities were not Sarah’s fault ….they were longstanding. Some of Sarah’s actions were misconstrued by Chuck, which reinforced his insecurities ….that’s what I was trying to point out.

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