The fourth episode of season three features another beautiful guest star in Angie Harmon and a mystic figure in the form of Daniel Shaw. The special agent sent to Burbank to help Team Bartowski, but while this episode is another one of those underrated episode. We see a lot of unseen details that can explain this episode better.
Like Angel De La Muerte, there is a complete episode write up by clicking this link Chuck vs Operation Awesome.
The episode provides us with balancing the past with the future. The life lessons the spy world provides us through the eyes of Chuck. Family and friends are what makes us vulnerable is something we heard before.
Bryce Larkin said it here, most specifically when Bryce learned Sarah had feelings for Chuck. His expression can be seen as concerned for both of them. Some will say Bryce has a massive ego and it was all about him. I am not denying that point of view, but also know the make up of spies like Larkin and Walker call for separating emotions and feelings from being an agent. Sarah mentioned this mindset twice this season.
Battling factions like The Ring and Fulcrum called for agents to think and act like they do anything else would get them killed. A message dittoed by Daniel Shaw. The idea of human beings being pawns in the war the CIA found themselves in.
What do Walker, Larkin, Casey and Shaw have in common. They are soldiers by nature. Thus, the message of bottling feelings seems to be ironclad and necessity. Signs of compromising that position seems to injury the mind, but most of all cause friction between Chuck and his team.
However, we have uncovered how song and scenes help deliver the unseen details that help shape the story of season three. Let’s look back if you will.
We discovered how lyrics “If you are not here than I don’t want to be either” to “I refuse to show my good side In no place to call my own It’s no home.”
We continue the trend with lyrics from the song Backwards Walk and Wait it Out such as,
And if it leaves a bad taste you need to wash it down
And if you build a model home just burn it to the ground
I refuse to show my good side
In no place to call my own
It’s no home
I’m working on my faults and cracks
Filling in the blanks and gaps
And when I write them out they don’t make sense
I need you to pencil in the rest
I’m working on drawing a straight line
And I’ll draw until I get one right
It’s bold and dark, girl, can’t you see
I done drawn a line between you and me
The truth is no matter what we have to “Everybody says that time heals everything. But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between? Are we just going to wait it out?
For someone like Shaw, the poison of waiting it out would ruin his very being. Shaw falls into the trap of falling for a spy too, but it’s not that simple as we will learn.
The waiting out process stems into this episode songs. For example, we have Spoon’s Got Nuffin as a great song, but even more what it stands for.
The lyrics are as follows,
And I got nothing to lose but darkness and shadows
Got nothing to lose but bitterness and patterns
When I can’t find the way to reach you my love
I’m just not the same
Just the same
Do you remember what was happening at this point of the episode. We saw Chuck escort Devon up the building, but while everyone thought it was a mission for the Ring, we learn nothing is as it seems. Chuck was supposed to deliver Awesome for a purpose, but it was bigger than that.
It’s so big, we miss how much by being distracted by Chuck meeting Shaw for the first time. We see this tall dark figure standing before Chuck. A mystery to the viewer except we did see this figure sitting on Beckman’s desk with a lighter. While this was confusing from a Chuck standpoint, what can be lost in translation would be the significance of Beckman asking Walker and Casey to stand down. What Beckman was doing was what everyone on here talks about it. Sarah and Casey were not needed for this mission. It also shows how significant the newcomer would be.
The threat of The Ring being present inside a CIA building didn’t call for Sarah and Casey because it would be this kind of mission Chuck would need to perform on his own.
A mission in which Chuck handled nicely. Chuck’s concentration would be a mirror image to one other time in S2 when another family member was included. In S2, Chuck was confident in his skin while working alongside his father. It’s a beautiful sight to see when Chuck exuberates his skills. The same can be said in Operation Awesome, but when a state of confusion takes over Chuck freezes with not understanding what was being asked of him.
Shaw’s position comes with an interesting twist as we see a superagent who lose someone in a line of duty which brings to life a part of Sarah we discussed before. Shaw’s experiences are negatives ones which drive him to the state that he was in. If we can’t fault Sarah for her make up due to her past. It would be hypocritical to do such a thing for Shaw as well (more on this subject in the forthcoming rewatch articles.)
The death of someone while doing what they do leaves a lasting image that won’t be easy to overcome. While Sarah’s emotions are best suited for being with Chuck. Shaw’s raw emotions is built on destroying the entity who caused his pain.
Sarah returns home after a real peace offering between Chuck and Sarah here, She was in her home with the people she cares about the most, the image we see can’t be ignored, the image of emptiness and darkness comes to life in the form of Shaw standing alone with a ring on his finger.
We see Shaw imposing his will already on the team by suggesting they continue to use Devon despite the risks or Shaw ordering Casey and Sarah to stand down once Chuck takes it upon himself to lure Sydney to the Buymore.
The aspect of the fight scene in the buymore is significant because Sarah was off her game. She was worried about Chuck, which made her lose to Sydney. Emotions and feelings make people hesitate and while Chuck may be changing the core values in which he stands for never do, but for people like Sarah and Shaw seeing that aspect of things is hard, but at least for Sarah “It helps to know you have something to lose.”
The song playing during this moment would be Sam Issac’s Bears. A song that I feel really pushes the scene and episode through.
I was lost in the night time
How am I a stranger to you when we’re friends?
I am young and I’ve made awful mistakes
You are older and you’d do the same.
Isn’t it funny how one song from a previous episode gets mentioned in another song. Living a lie was being just friend, but here we have How am I stranger to you when we are friends? The healing process often takes time for many people, and the longevity of the process varies from person to person, but what is not lost during this whole ordeal is the real love Chuck and Sarah have for each other. In closing, Chuck and Sarah may have broken some, but the road far less travelled often can deliver a bittersweet moment in the end.
At this point, Prague is no longer an issue. Sarah returned to the place she deems most significant to her. What brought her home you may ask? Chuck’s position about nothing means more to him than friends and family reached her. It means he hasn’t changed, She is with the man she fell for, but caution flags always need to be raised as we are not out of the woods yet.
Some more lyrics from the song Bears,
We’re going to tell it just how it is
We’re not comfortable
We’re unhappy here
Yes, we are unhappy with where Chuck and Sarah are at the moment, but if we wait it out something good may come of this because if they are not together nothing else matters.