This is the third part of the series of short articles that takes a closer look at Chuck scenes which contained important details that went by unnoticed by a lot of viewers. (The other parts can be found here)
I know, I stated in the first part that each article of this series will focus just on one scene or a short sequence of related consecutive scenes in one episode. Now, it’s a fact well known to those who know it well that those chuckaholic writers, who listen to more progressive death metal than is widely considered healthy for the human brain, tend to change their mind more often than normal people confuse the opener of the latest Meshuggah album with noise from a construction side.
So it makes completely sense (well, sort of) that today I will discuss scenes form several episodes that I initially intended to analyze in separate articles (at least some of them). In my opinion it makes more sense to put them together because the important detail was the same in all cases. That detail was the position of the itchy trigger finger.
“It’s like your gun is your soul.”
Trigger discipline was very important and well observed in this series. Therefore the way guns were actually handled during possible shooting situations was sometimes crucial for the interpretation of some scenes. Most of the time when a gun was aimed at someone we would see the finger on the trigger; especially when Casey pointed his gun. But in some scenes the finger remained in the safety position thus allowing conclusions regarding the emotional state of the character at that time.
I am going to take a look at some scenes where I believe this was very important but sometimes easy to miss. I will describe each scene only briefly because it is still supposed to be just a short article.
The scene in Casey’s apartment highlighted the difference between Bryce and Sarah. Bryce had his finger on the trigger while he was trying to convince Sarah that he wasn’t rogue. He was ready to shoot Sarah if necessary, because the mission came always first for him. He surely had emotions for her but they were secondary if his mission was involved.
Sarah on the other hand had her finger in safety position; she wasn’t ready to shoot Bryce even if he aimed a gun at her and was possibly a traitor. Her emotional side clearly dominated her regular spy behavior at this moment.
Chuck took the USB drive in order to save Jill and tried to get away. While Casey was shouting “Walker, shoot him!”, Sarah was aiming her gun at him trying to make him stop: “If you try to take that, I have to stop you.” But her finger was never on the trigger in this scene. If you don’t pay attention to the finger position it might seem like Sarah was making the decision in the last moment, but shooting at Chuck or kneecapping him, even if he did commit treason, was never an option for her in this scene.
Chuck and Sarah have gone AWOL at the end of the previous episode and Beckman now gave Casey his order: “The safety of the Intersect is no longer my main concern. I want you to hunt Agent Walker and the Asset down. Bring them back. Dead or alive.”
We also learn in this episode that Casey felt personally betrayed “You went AWOL. You betrayed me. Don’t you ever forget that.”
But still he was not willing to kill or endanger them in this episode. With endanger I mean that placing the finger on the trigger could always result in accidental shooting people. In Barstow his finger was never on the trigger. Neither when he caught Chuck nor when he entered the motel room to capture Sarah, although he was probably aware that Sarah was armed.
Even during the standoff situation outside the motel, when Sarah pointed her gun at him, his finger would stay in the safety position. Sarah on the other hand had her finger on the trigger because she committed herself to do anything in this episode to help Chuck find his dad.
Later in that episode when Chuck and Sarah returned to Barstow for Chuck’s dad, Casey caught them. But again while aiming at Chuck his finger stayed in the safety position while Sarah’s finger was on the trigger ready to shoot in order to protect Chuck.
Casey had committed treason in this episode to safe Kathleen’s life, but even if he wanted Chuck to give up the Laudanol pill to save her life, he wasn’t willing to sacrifice Chuck’s life for her. His finger wasn’t on the trigger while he aimed his gun at Chuck, even when he, out of desperation, placed his gun on Chuck’s chest.
An interesting observation in this scene is that Sarah was ready to shot Casey if necessary. No matter how estranged Chuck and Sarah were at this point of the story she still wanted to protect him even if it meant killing Casey.
In the warehouse Shaw had his gun aimed at Sarah the finger on the trigger. We learn in this episode that he didn’t just wanted to kill Sarah but also wanted to bring down the CIA. For his plan he needed Sarah to trust him at this point so he wasn’t going to shoot her here anyway. But when he pulls back the gun you can see that his finger is still on the trigger indicating how difficult it was for him and how much self-control was needed not to end her at this moment.
In Paris, when Sarah realized where Shaw has brought her, she pulled out her gun aiming at him; first her finger wasn’t on the trigger. She put her finger very slowly on the trigger mirroring the slow realization that she has been betrayed by him.
When Chuck found Shaw at the café his finger wasn’t on the trigger; at this point he didn’t want to shoot Shaw. But later already when he appeared on the bridge his finger was on the trigger ready to kill Shaw if necessary.
The scene I’d like to mention is the showdown in the Buy More, more specifically its beginning.
While for most characters of the show it would be worth mentioning when their trigger finger wasn’t on the trigger, in Chuck’s case the opposite is worth mentioning. The beginning of this scene was one of the rare occasions when Chuck actually had his finger directly on the trigger. Usually he avoided this, not only with real guns but also most of the time when he was armed with a tranq gun, his finger would remain in the safety position until he had no other choice.
Chuck was willing to kill Shaw when he entered the store. This further proved how difficult it was for him to resist killing Shaw at the end of their fight.
The last scene I’d like to mention took place at Twin Pines Cabin in Push Mix. Close to the end of the scene Chuck let Volkoff know: “I was never going to kill you, Alexei.”
If you paid attention to the trigger discipline then this was already clear from the beginning because his finger didn’t touch the trigger.
The list of scenes is not complete at all; it’s just a small collection to prove my point. I hope I could convince you to take a closer look at some Chuck scenes where guns were involved, because it can sometimes change the meaning of the scene and surely can tell a lot about the involved character.
Next article of this series is going to deal with a single scene again. (Well, most likely…)
And with this I’d like to end this article. As always, feel free to comment, disagree or to complain in the comment section.