Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chuck Versus The Final Exam - A SSFI Preview


Enjoy this lovely preview of CHUCK Versus The FINAL EXAM..

First, before I get to the preview breakdown, have you listened to our latest podcast?  Clicky (ADULTS ONLY)!

Acting: This is mostly Zac's episode but we do get some lovely moments from the other leads including Adam Baldwin getting to play up Casey's shift into civilian life and how a trained killer has to learn to adapt to a new battlefield.

Action: Chuck almost-naked fighting in a towel.  What more do the ladies need?

Directing/Editing: I loved most of the choices made during the episode other than one fight sequence edited using that Bourne style.  I am sure they had a reason for doing it but I am just not a huge fan.  I do think this is Robert Duncan McNeill's best directing yet.

Story: This is both a big shipper episode as well as a major change episode.  Intense and romantic.  It feels like a penultimate or finale episode.  Ends with a cliffhanger.

Drama: There is some serious drama toward the end of this episode.  One of my favorite acting moments in the show is in Final Exam and it involves Chuck's shock at being told some deadly news.  The way he deals with it is dark, intense, and still very Chuck-like.

Suspense: The darker themes of this season amp up a lot of the suspense due to Chuck's mission being more dangerous.  There is also a good deal of fauxmance suspense.

Comedy: Final Exam is essentially split in two.  The first half is very light.  It might remind some of Chuck Versus The First Date in tone.  Though, there is always this cloud hovering over everything as you feel things are not going to go as well as they seem.  One of my favorite funny lines is early on and involves Chuck's perception of Sarah's job and her need to travel.  The dialogue moves quickly but I had to pause and rewind.  Brilliant.

Romance: Lots and lots of fauxmance.  Including two people... and a bed... as well as Chuck and Sarah's most romantic moment since she asked him to run away with her in episode 1 of this season.  Chuck is sooooooo darn geeky smooth adorable that it is going to make girls and some boys all over the world squuuueeeeeeeeeeee.

Weirdness: I love Subway and appreciate their support but I hope they are paying NBC a TON OF MONEY for the scene they get in this episode because while it isn't terrible, it isn't seamless either... and my sources tell me that they are not paying enough so I am not sure it was worth it.


Funniest line: Either a line about nakedness or a choochoo.

Sexy like a meow meow: Chuck, of course.  Sarah looking gorgeous in one scene in particular.  Wowzies.

Budget cut awareness: Didn't notice any.

Writing: Some great stuff from Zev Borow.  Tons of memorable lines.  We get a good sense of what this show might be like down the line while also retaining humor and romance.

Weak spots: The only thing I would consider a weakness is the setup for what is to come.  It feels like the mashing of a familiar button but is just a setup for the next episode's storyline.  Otherwise, I thought the episode was pretty solid.

Rating: Out of a possible score of 100, where 0 is the worst piece of art in the history of humanity and 100 is the greatest creative thing the world has ever seen... I give CHUCK VERSUS THE FINAL EXAM:


93.34 out of 100
This episode continues the current streak of awesomeness, now at three in a row.
(yes, I updated my rating after watching it again... it rocks even more!)

379 comments:

  1. So this is when we finally find out why Shaw is on the show, right?

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  2. Thanks for the preview Magnus! I am assuming the 2 people and a bed is not Chuck and Sarah and since you indicated we will know for sure in this episode that Shaw and Sarah are dating, am I on the right track that the bed pertains to SS? Let me set my TV on fire now. ;-) Can I wake up and Shaw's gone already?

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  3. I believe fauxmance indicates the relationship between Sarah and Shaw and if your wordings are any indication then we will see the so called "Sarah Rule" being broken and smashed in this episode.

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  4. Gwindor, nope.

    Grace, when you see the episode you will know what I mean by two people and a bed. The image in your head is unlikely to match what happens in the episode.

    Anonymous, if that even is your name, fauxmance is my term for any romance that exists as an illusion... just a device to amp up the drama. But there is also actual romance in this episode.

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  5. Of course the two people in bed are Sarah and Shaw. But, about Sarah's rule, how this moment could leave the thing to our interpretation?
    I only hope this scene comes before the Chuck/Sarah romantic moment.

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  6. AD, the Sarah-rule will be open to interpretation as it has been so far. It will be clearer in 3.12 and 3.13 what it means and whether it is important. As for hope, as I like to say: hope never did me any good, so don't waste time on it. :)

    Great episode, though.

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  7. AD, don't jump to conclusions. For all we know, Casey is crashing at Chuck and Morgan's because he can't afford his swanky Glenn Echo aparmtent...

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  8. "hope never did me any good, so don't waste time on it."

    Lol :)
    I trust you. Because if there is something that bothers you, you don't hide it. So whatever happens in the bed scene, I'll be ok with it. Because if it didn't bother you, probably it won't bother me. I can't wait for a touch of the Sarah-Chuck's romance. And for Chuck almost-naked fighting in a towel :) Lol
    Is Sarah there, watching? :)
    I'll be there.

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  9. Sarah, I never said I was OK with whatever happens in the bed scene. If anything, I was the least OK with it. But not for the reasons you or anyone else might be. I wonder how that scene will be absorbed by the different elements of the fan base. I predict crazy shippers will freak the hell out. I think the rest will take it the way many people did when Vader told Luke he was his father in Empire Strikes Back. They dismissed it (erroneously, mind you).

    Anyway, the romance stuff is pretty darn good. It will leave lots of people in puddles of squee.

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  10. Magnus, thanks for the preview. I am really excited about this eps. The show has been hitting on all 4 cylinders since 3.08. I hope they can keep up this tone for the rest of the season and HOPEFULLY a S4.

    I agree that the Sarah-rule has been very ambiguous so far. Don't know if it's going to stay that way, but honestly, I think it's better that way. If people want to believe that S/S are getting it on, fine. If not, fine. I just think people need to realize that the writers are probably not going to give us a definitive answer on that one and just move on.

    Also, if this eps ends on a cliffhanger, I hope there isn't a planned break between 3.11 and 3.12. The Olympic break was bad enough... :oP

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  11. Thanks for the advance preview. This episode looks to be awesome and it will be great to see Chuck at his best( I am hoping). Please take this as a compliment Magnus - you sure know how to get everyone into a tizzy ( two people and a bed )without revealing anything and to top it all your comments are great

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  12. genie, I am a trained professional. :)

    Paul, I still don't know when the planned break is. I am sure there will be one on May 17th... but hoping the next one won't be until April 12th.

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  13. Magnus,

    There have been some real missteps this season, and I am not talking about the Chuck and Sarah romance. Shaw's introduction to Team B not only upset Team B's chemistry, but also the on screen chemistry that Zach, Adam and Yvonne have that made us care about these characters. I haven't really been engaged by, or cared as much for the characters (except Chuck) since Operation awesome. That's why I stopped watching live until I read your 3.09 post.

    I feel like we got to see that chemistry return in 3.11, and some of the dark edge of the show was taken off by Morgan's role in the episode. Do you feel that the chemistry amongst the leads is returning, and that the characters are more engaging again?

    If people stop caring about what happens to these characters, and I not referring to the hardcore fans, we are going to have a ratings problem that goes beyond DST.

    RC

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  14. "If anything, I was the least OK with it. But not for the reasons you or anyone else might be."

    :(
    I'm not a crazy shipper, but I love the Chuck/Sarah thing. Now I'm with who said that it's better if this scene comes before the Chuck/Sarah moment :) Even if you said we don't have to waste time on hope...
    Why Sarah and Shaw have... a "bad scene" after the Sarah/Chuck moment? I mean, why Sarah would do that?

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  15. I will go out on a limb and speculate that the bed scene could be at the end of the episode (that's the only way I see it still being left open for interpretation).

    Also "Chuck's shock at some deadly news" hmmm Either he fails the exam (doubt it though) or Sarah leaves for good

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  16. RC, I have no clue how people absorb the chemistry. I just know how I do. I dig it.

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  17. Sarah, only a crazy shipper would say "why Sarah would do that?"

    Why is it always Sarah's fault? Chuck can also do things to make people feel and act a certain way.

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  18. Is this another lets pushthe shippers to edge again kind of episode. I am so tired of those. We were promised a roller coaster. Usually that has some ups but the majority of the season has been down. Was that the plan all along push us to the breaking point then in the very last episode go tadaa. See we delivered.

    I don't follow that logic and Sarah and Shaw sicken me to my core. Blech!!

    CR

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  19. I am not sure if this could qualify as pushing crazy shippers to the edge. If you have any sense you will figure out where it is going and not act like a 5-year old who can't reach the cookie jar.

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  20. would you marry your bride if she slept in bed (sex is open to interpretation with your best man the nite before the wedding because you knew where your relationship was going?

    AS

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  21. "Sarah, only a crazy shipper would say "why Sarah would do that?""

    Lol :)

    Of course, I've only watched the promo. I can't judge. You're right. Maybe it's Chuck's fault. Or maybe the Chuck/Sarah moment is not powerful as it seems :)
    The Sarah/Shaw thing doesn't really bothers me, per se. As long as it's clear that she is with Shaw because she can't be with Chuck. Lol.

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  22. Sarah, I guess you will find out in 5 days.

    AS, please get a new crazy-to-English translation program. No comprendo.

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  23. Either it is a shipper episode or it is not. If shippers freak about some scenes and they leave the episode pissed off, then that would not be a shipper episode.

    Having the writers tease us with the fauxmance and try to add romance is not my defintion of a shipper moment. In fact having Sarah and Shaw do anything at all in regards to a bed is so not a shipper episode. Giving us 90% romance and then ruin it with fauxmance angst automatically cancels the shipper stamp of approval. :(

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  24. Anonymous, when you speak for all shippers, I am sure they will let you know.

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  25. I never comment on things like this, but I find this blog more interesting than most, so I'm going to take the plunge. One of the things that we have been teased with about this ep from the very beginning is that Chuck is going to have to draw on everything he's learned. To date one thing he has been totally unreliable about is flashing while emotional. Since Magnus talks about the bed scene as Fauxmance, and he seems pretty careful about choice of words, I think one of the things that has to happen is for Chuck to suffer something pretty extreme to throw him off his game and make sure he can still flash. What more emotional thing could happen to Chuck than to catch the two of them in bed (see e.g. lambada with Bryce, and various other times Chuck has gotten jealous when Sarah is "on mission")

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  26. Nice preview as always, Magnus. Two questions though:
    (1) Have you seen ep12 and ep13?
    (2) Does the payoff of the supposed-to-be finale satisfy you in all its aspects?

    Thanks! - CharahFTW

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  27. So why did you say in your podcast that some shippers will want to quit the show? I don't usually want to quit the show after a good shipper episode. In fact I tend to watch it over and over again. Delorean, Cougars, first date, Wookie, Colonel. Those are shipper episodes. Sarah being with another man not so much. In fact S3 has been the most anti-shipper season yet.

    CS

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  28. Guys. A couple of moments were too rushed, this season. Ok, it happened. But let's look at the events. After episode one, Chuck and Sarah are distant. Now give them time to "start again". That is not an actual beginning, because they have a past. In episode 10 they started to reconnect. In episode 11 it seems like they are talking about "them" as a couple. Give them time. After all it's not just them... there is a spy life to face.

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  29. Well let's see if the wind above NBC is blowing the right way this week so we get some previews.

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  30. Oh god ... why are you people programmed to automatically look for the most convoluted (and negative) explanation for a remark in a writeup? Seriously, I think sometimes TPTB give us angst because although you protest about it, you love it since all you can think about is ... angst

    Thanks for the review Magnus, looking forward to the episode and let's work a bit on getting more people watching next week.

    J

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  31. Again, why are people automatically assuming that it is S/S in a bed? The odds are good taht it may be, considering that they are one of only 2 "couples" on the show right now, but at this point, unless Magnus drops a big spoiler, it can be anything. It's almost like last week where Magnus said they refereneced a past kiss and everyone assumed it had to be either between Sharah or it had to be between Charah, when in realty it was beween Chasey. :oP

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  32. Wow, everyone assumes that it's Shaw and Sarah in the bed, I'll laugh my head off if it turns out to be Chuck/Morgan or Casey/Morgan, but that's just me. Even if it is Shaw and Sarah I don't care. Tired of her being seen as the untouchable virgin, but people don't expect the same from Chuck. That's just sexist and unrealistic. Go Sarah and get urs, everyone else already has.

    Nat

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  33. But i was wondering how you worded one thing few articles ago, that Sarah has changed after episode 8, but frankly i've not seen it in episode 10 that much. Because while she always was on Casey side and disobeyed orders, it's not like she done that the first time.

    So will we see this "change" in Sarah in this episode more?

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  34. People assume it's Shaw and Sarah just for the logic of romantic angst. Especially in an episode where Chuck and Sarah seem to have at least one romantic moment. If it turns out to be Chuck and Morgan or Casey Morgan, it'd be funny. I don't think this is the case. But we don't know how it'll be.
    BTW if you have to tear you hair out, at least wait the end of the episode.

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  35. Shaw and Sarah in bed together is a thing of beauty both figuratively and literally ;)

    Can't wait for the moment that Chuck has to choose to kill, I hope it's very riviting. However, it just doesn't seem that cut and dry of a decision to me. I've always felt that the writers would never have Chuck kill unless it was to protect a loved one. I feel like there is a twist in there somewhere, am I on the right track Magnus?

    Thanks as always for the great reviews - John

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  36. But the final exam has something to do with the Ring plot?

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  37. So I guess that the bed scene in the ep is between shaw and sarah at end of ep and it is because something chuck does. Just going by your comments.

    Otter

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  38. "Shaw and Sarah in bed together is a thing of beauty both figuratively and literally ;)"

    Lol :)

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  39. Hey Magnus. Started following your blog and podacast a few weeks ago. First post. Just wanted to finally speak up and thank you for doing this. You always make me laugh, the "no comprendo" response above being a good example. Got into the show in January when I stumbled on a SyFy marathon. Promptly got my hands on the Season 1 and 2 DVD's and have been hooked since. Count me in as one of the group of fans that, despite having a pretty good idea where the ride is going through the simple exercise of common sense, is enjoying the hell out of it just the same.

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  40. I think the bed remark is being coupled with Magnus talking about shippers maybe wanting to quit the show and will "freak the hell out". As others are saying it's either a shipper ep or not and that's not sounding like a good ep for Chuck and Sarah. The bed remark could be a play on words or it ends up being other people, but saying shippers will freak the hell out doesn't bode well. This late in the mini-season that was originally planned to have that kind of ep seems like a bad choice to me. You don't have to be a crazy shipper to appreciate Chuck and Sarah and feel like they have been mishandled this season.

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  41. CS, I told you all months before the show came back what would happen this season. Go back through all the podcasts if you need to... but the answers are all there.

    As for those saying "People assume it is Shaw and Sarah in bed"... as they should assume that. ;)

    bg, you are obviously not a crazy shipper or dumb. Glad to have you on board.

    Otter, at least you are paying attention. Though, I bet if you kept guessing you would be way off.

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  42. Casey, there is a difference between shippers and crazy shippers. I said CRAZY SHIPPERS could take it badly. I think shippers will latch onto the positives of the episode. Crazy shippers ALWAYS latch into the negatives. It is why they need to be medicated.

    And you DO have to be a crazy shipper to "feel like they have been mishandled this season." YOU DO. It is the exact definition of a crazy shipper. A shipper who ALWAYS aims for the negative. And if you ever get Chuck and Sarah together, YOU WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. Bitching is your oxygen.

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  43. As for those saying "People assume it is Shaw and Sarah in bed"... as they should assume that. ;)

    Yep. Uhauha :)

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  44. thanks again for the preview Magnus...

    It's fun to watch the episode and have those "aha moments" when I can say to myself, that's what Magnus was talking about.

    I love how the intensity has ramped up each week since 3.08, and loved every episode as well.

    Sexy like a meow meow cracks me up every time :D

    How about Sarah and General B in bed? Just to mix things up and be my own dorky self :D

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  45. Christine, Sarah and General B in bed is not sexy like a meow meow. Nuh uh!

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  46. of course it's not silly, that's why I put a space between the two sentences :D

    I just love the phrase "sexy like a meow meow"!

    I also love your latest comment of "Bitching is your oxygen" in reference to crazy shippers! Too true!

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  47. Hrm. Maybe Sarah might think Chuck killed his mark, but he really didn't? Could be the last nail in the coffin for her.

    Magnus, I LOL'd at your shipper vs. crazy shipper post. Too true, too true.

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  48. Screw the bed scene, it won't be something I watch over and over but I bet nothing bad happens. I really wanted to ask you only one thing, Chuck winds up fighting while naked, this is Chuck so I KNOW someone walks in, will it be Sarah or someone else?

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  49. Sounds like a very interesting episode Magnus. Thanks for the review. I hope it gets the ratings it deserves. Two thoughts/guesses about the episode:
    1) The bed scene involves Chuck and Sarah. Nothing happens though because it probably has to do with Chuck's final exam (Sarah knows it but Chuck doesn't).
    2) The chifhanger is probably about Ellie being in danger (a parallel to Devon's difficult situation in ep4). Isn't this though a perfect excuse for Sarah to delay her departure for DC?

    NTG

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  50. "The only thing I would consider a weakness is the setup for what is to come. It feels like the mashing of a familiar button but is just a setup for the next episode's storyline."
    "I never said I was OK with whatever happens in the bed scene. If anything, I was the least OK with it."
    Am I supposed to read something here? :)

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  51. Magnus,

    A lot of people are seeming to have trouble coming to grips with the double standard Sarah is setting out for men in her life. Tell me if I'm way off, but my feeling on this is that it's actually fairly easy to explain. The reality is that Sarah has come to idealize Chuck. Every other guy she's met/been with is a spy and from them she expects "spy" things. It's like dating a girl/guy you have no future with; you know it's going to end, so you are able to just enjoy the ride and accept that person's faults. With Chuck, the relationship is her road back to becoming a real person, and if he gets away from that, she loses it for herself, too. In that context, the double standard makes perfect sense, no?

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  52. Magnus,
    I won't fall for your play on words or regarding who is in bed. muuuuuuuuuah Either way I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Just get Monday here already!!

    Nat

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  53. The "crazy shippers" are depressing because they take a couple of negative aspects of an episode, often small things like a throwaway line or a minor plot point, and use it to viciously attack the entire episode and the season and the writers.

    And they act like they represent the majority of the fanbase, even though they're clearly a very small minority anywhere outside of the NBC forums. The most puzzling is when people say "this season is all about soap opera angst"...really? A lot of episodes, I'd say even the majority, have minimized the romantic stuff. I think they create a lot of the angst themselves because they can't BEAR to see Chuck and Sarah apart.

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  54. Magnus
    Reading between the lines I think it sounds as if the bed scene is part of the cliffhanger but it is not to do with romance.

    Is is a talking scene between Shaw and Sarah and something is said that leads on with the spy story into ep12?

    Is it just the location that will freak out the crazy shippers?

    Jay

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  55. Ok Magnus I say in return you have to be a crazy Chuck show shipper to think Chuck and Sarah's arc this season has been well executed. ;-)If I'm not thinking clearly maybe others who don't see that aren't. I personally think SS in bed is imflammatory to ALOT of the fanbase. You predict it here yourself. So why go there..why is it necessary to anyone's story or character development? We get it--Sarah is dating Shaw. It's just fuel to the fire of a mostly unpopular storyline.

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  56. I think a big problem in the crazy shippers fixating on the negatives is the fact that those negatives have always come at the end of the episodes of late, and as such they're the things that people remember.

    I won't deny that I've been disappointed in how some of the stuff has been handled this season, Chuck/Sarah being the obvious one. (If not romantically, then just the lack of screentime they've had together. With chemistry like theirs, 'tis a crime.)

    HOWEVER, 3.10 and this preview is giving me hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer, where it seemed to be just some distant fantasy after 3.07 and 3.08. Or maybe that light getting closer is just a train? :)

    JJ

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  57. Is this the episode where we see Sarah very, very happy? Or at least for the first half in the lighter section of the episode?

    V.

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  58. @Nat:"Even if it is Shaw and Sarah I don't care. Tired of her being seen as the untouchable virgin, but people don't expect the same from Chuck. That's just sexist and unrealistic. Go Sarah and get urs, everyone else already has."

    Very well said. I like Chuck and Sarah, a lot. But I also like Shaw and Sarah, and Sarah is not with Chuck now, plus Shaw is super cute.. so got for it Sarah!

    ZP

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  59. I'm loving the season. I like the darker tone a lot. Sure I also like the humor but I dig drama more.

    Amy

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  60. The ratings are surely going to go back up to a safer zone, or the Chuck death watch will begin.

    This episode looks like its gonna be amazing, but the only thing that worries me is Magnus saying '' It feels like the mashing of a familiar button''. I'm guessing Chuck and Sarah will have another setback.

    Kyle

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  61. I think that after a very C/S romantic episode Sarah thinks she has lost Chuck because she thinks he has killed. Then, just like Chuck used to visit Sarah in her flat and sit on her bed we will see Shaw visit her when she is very vulnerable and manipulate her.

    Something like how they should share a flat in DC because it is more practical.

    Shippers wont like the fact that he is in her room, but for the rest of us we see how manipulative Shaw is on a vulnerable Sarah, perhaps that is why we should be able to "see where this is going"

    Al

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  62. Hey people,

    I'm new to Chuck. I got up to speed while rehabing a bad hip in a torture contraption for six hours a day for a month. Despite a few average episodes, I'm digging season three and Magnus's podcast, especially how riled up it gets people. This whole "Sarah Rule" is fascinating. Seriously, keepIng a woman that hot totally celebate is like shrink-wrapping a Stratavarius, locking it in a safe and then dumping it in an ocean. Let her score for crying out loud! She'll end up with Chuck eventually so big whoop if she shags Superman.

    Also, why do I have a feeling Shaw will kill Chuck's mark for him, against Chuck's wishes? I just think Shaw needs a little more help if he's going to be hated (by people other than crazy shippers). Keep up the great work, Magnus.

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  63. After the episode airs will you say on podcast or write about problems you had with 3.08 after watching the last three eps? I remeber you mentioned something about that before.

    Otter

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  64. "A lot of people are seeming to have trouble coming to grips with the double standard Sarah is setting out for men in her life. Tell me if I'm way off, but my feeling on this is that it's actually fairly easy to explain. The reality is that Sarah has come to idealize Chuck. Every other guy she's met/been with is a spy and from them she expects "spy" things. It's like dating a girl/guy you have no future with; you know it's going to end, so you are able to just enjoy the ride and accept that person's faults. With Chuck, the relationship is her road back to becoming a real person, and if he gets away from that, she loses it for herself, too. In that context, the double standard makes perfect sense, no?"

    NO, it doesn't make perfect sense to me at all. It only makes Sarah look shallow and unlikeable. If she's just 'using' all those spys to pass the time according to your reasoning, then she is not worthed in my humble opinion. I like Chuck, a lot, but he also has his faults.. everybody has them. Sarah is a spy and fell in love, so that means other spys are equally capable of it. Heck, even Casey did. I want to think that Sarah is better than that. I don't mind it if she dates other guys, but I want to think that she's not just using them. I know Chuck fans like to romanticize the Chuck/Sarah relationship, but I think they exagerate it in a pretty unrealistic way most of the time. I still enjoy the show very much, but I can't stand this ridiculous 'Sarah standard'. So what happens if Chuck dies? She's never going to find another true love? Just wanted to get that out there. I know people will disagree with it. So be it.

    Amy

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  65. very, very much in love. Well that can't be more obvious that it's Chuck, I hope that kiss actually happens, I am tired of all the interruptions!

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  66. Amy, it does not make Sarah shallow at all. It makes her real. People do this all the time. It is what many CHUCK fans have done to Sarah. It was what Chuck himself did to Sarah for two seasons (he seemed to never appreciate how much she was giving up or how much danger she was putting herself in for him, he always expected more). We hold different people to different standards based on what we expect from them. It is not shallow, it is HUMAN. The question is, is it fair? Nope. And our characters need to discover how to treat each other fairly.

    Anonymous, if that even is your name, you may be more tired next week.

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  67. Otter, if I remember, I will talk about it.

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  68. Yay for that Sarah post Magnus. You know I agree with you. I feel like we've discussed this on the podcast...

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  69. I seriously can't wait for 3.11, Tic Tac was so amazing! They are really upping the ante with these last couple!

    I'm just a little worried about Casey, though. They honestly have me wondering whether or not he'll be back on the team. I feel really stupid for saying that, since it's Casey and he's part of the team, you know?

    Logically, he has to come back eventually, right? At least once Shaw's gone. I can see him helping Chuck and Sarah on something big and getting reinstated. It just has to happen. But I'm still illogically scared for some reason.

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  70. Jess, I am sure we have talked about it 9 million times on the podcast. :) But it is nice when someone else picks up on it.

    Sweetheart5839, your supposition is logical while your fear is illogical. If you weren't so reasonable I would accuse you of being a crazy shipper! ;)

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  71. I will have you know that THIS is my birth name and I don't like talking about it. So I guess they get interrupted again, they really need to find a place where they know no one will walk in on them.

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  72. Anonymous, since that is your name, what they really need to do is not CARE whether someone walks in on them. The moment either, or both, of them is soooo hot for the other (or each other) that nothing can stop them from kissing, is when I will be happy. :)

    Thankfully, that happens in..... hold on, doorbell.

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  73. Darn doorbell!
    -reesespuff27

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  74. Yep, I just got played, he interrupted himself after my comment lol

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  75. Hey, Magnus, I just want to say that this comments section is a haven for me.

    I was just a casual viewer of the show until the 2nd half of last season. While I appreciate the romantic element of the show, the most intriguing part is seeing Chuck's growth from ordinary guy into superspy. This season has rocked for me.

    When I became a huge fan, I tried other boards (e.g. nbc.com) and found it to be a den of people obsessed with just one element of the show. You can guess which.

    Even the questions you've gotten here are dominated by that.

    While others are obsessed with beds or whatever, I'm most intrigued by what you hinted about a shock of a "deadly" nature and Chuck's reaction. My mind has come up with about 8 or 9 possibilities.

    If you can say, is it something where the seeds were placed in earlier episodes or was it something that only comes up in this one?

    Diane

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  76. Diane, without giving anything away... I will just say... yes. :)

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  77. This is where I think he will complete the mission and he wont. My guess is still that he fires the gun, yes our very own Chuck fires a gun and it is full of blanks, call back to 3.01, lights go on, Chuck looks confused and Shaw comes up to him and says "Great work....Agent Bartowski" as the guy begging for his life just walks away, problem is he fired that gun, even though the guy lives, he meant to kill him and unless Sarah pulls another 180, she will not like that one bit. Gotta love speculation, I find myself contradicting myself many times

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  78. Anonymous, if that even is your name, that is pretty darn close to being nothing like what happens. You must be a fan fic writer.

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  79. Haha, Im not freaking out or anything, definitely not crazy shipper style.

    I was just a little worried. From what we've been hearing so far about Casey embracing life at the BM and maybe finding his calling there and just a general lack of Casey-centric spoilers overall, there was nothing really pointing to the fact that he would be back on the team other than common sense and in fact looked more like he wouldn't. But I'll worry about that if/when it happens.

    For now I guess it'll be interesting to see Casey at the BM for a while. I just don't want him there forever. He's too awesome for that, lol.

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  80. Sweetheart5839, Casey as a civilian is far more interesting than I thought it would be when I heard about it.

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  81. Are we going to hear or see any more of Casey's daughter or was that book closed for good?

    V.

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  82. Magnus, just answer this for me. You can only pick one episode and that's the one you have to keep watching. Which would you choose? A episode from a previous season? Beard? Tic Tac? Final Exam? Maybe American Hero if you saw that one

    Because to me, The Colonel almost got beat but it's still #1, I LOVED the Beard and other than that epic fight scene with all 3 characters, I liked it better than Tic Tac.

    Anonymous - My real name

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  83. V, Casey has a daughter?

    Anonymous, since that is your name, it is a tough question. I think Tic Tac, Colonel, Beard, Lethal Weapon, Truth, and Break-Up are all so much fun that I could live with watching any of them over and over. But, if I had to pick one right now and could not take it back... it would probably be 3.13.

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  84. So you saw 3.12 and 3.13 also? Just tell me were they the best 2 episodes Chuck ever had? Because I actually liked Fake Name and I thought they were going to end with 5 epic episodes, I know that 3.13 is gonna be awesome from what little I heard but you have actually seen it! I'm jealous

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  85. Anonymous, if that even is your name, I am just basing it on what I know of 3.13. Could the execution be terrible? I suppose but I doubt it. So, simply based on what is in the episode, I am expecting it to rock. Though, 3.14 has awesomeness potential. So do the rest of the episodes.

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  86. I thought it was confirmed that Casey had a daughter with Chuck's comment at the end? Not to mention the cut off phone call from Kathleen.

    V.

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  87. Sure I do. Someone is ignoring the question. :)

    V.

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  88. Are we going to get another type of Tommy reveal from Hard Salami.

    Someone keeping Chuck's target quiet.

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  89. V, I am not ignoring anything. I answered you.

    JC, I think lots of fans remember Tommy better than I do.

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  90. I asked if the daughter is brought up anymore. Is your sarcasm the way you're saying no?

    Is there going to be any twists involved in the red test or will it be straightforward?

    V.

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  91. Magnus

    This is what I think happens

    This ep follows the last in being all about choices.
    Chuck has to choose whether he remains true to himself or whether he becomes a spy. Whether he chooses to kill or not
    Sarah has to choose whether she stands in Chucks way or whether she helps him. For her it is a question of love. The only person she has ever truly loved is Chuck and she has to decide if she lets Chuck be what he wants to be and loose who she loves or whether she stops him.
    They will have a really romantic talk while on the stakedate where they realise their love for each other but they do not say it.
    When it comes to it Chuck will not be able to kill. The target will realise it and say something like "you are not a killer" as he reaches for his gun. From behind Chuck we will hear Sarah say "but I am" and bang she will shoot the target for Chuck. She will swap guns with Chuck and walk away before Shaw arrives. Chuck will pass the test.
    Throughout the ep we will see the fauxmance suspense build as Shaw invites Sarah to his flat for a meal etc..
    The last thing Chuck will see is Sarah going to Shaws room. He will be heartbroken
    Sarah will sit on Shaws bed. I hope for us Shippers she will give a clue that it is for the first time "thank you for being patient with me"

    Then she will resign...
    End of episode
    We may see the resignation in the next ep. It depends on how much angst the writers want.
    In ep 12 Chuck will ask for Sarah to partner his mission and Shaw will say she is not here anymore.
    Queue Casey Morgan and Awesome to find Sarah and bring her back to Chuck
    AL

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  92. I didn't mean the character himself but how he was introduced. Killing Lou's ex to shut him up.

    Just a theory about how I thought things might play out.

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  93. Chuck and straight forward don't mix. I am sure we will see plenty of Chuck moments, it can't all be drama, can it?

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  94. Gorio88, thanks for saying so. :)

    Anonymous, if that even is your name, there is comedy in the episode. I pointed it out in the preview.

    JC, nah.

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  95. AL.... that is the most epic bit of speculation fail in a while. Congratulations.

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  96. I think a lot of things have been straight forward this season. People thought Hannah/Shaw would have a spy connection, yet it played out exactly like the show made it seem. No twists.

    With all of the hints and foreshadowing about guns, we knew that Chuck having to shoot someone would be a scenario sometime this season.

    Sarah seems to be with Shaw because she needs to have someone to talk to since she can't be with Chuck. Haven't seen any twists there.

    V.

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  97. V, anyone who listens to my podcast knows that I always say: the most simple answer is usually the right answer.

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  98. Okay.

    So Chuck will take the shot, Sarah will be devastated that Chuck did, and accept Beckman's reassignment in DC. She'll focus on Shaw to escape her feelings about Chuck, but Chuck will request her for a partner, bringing her back to LA. She'll keep it professional, but Chuck will throw everything and kitchen sink to prove that he's still the same guy, and C/A/M will try to help on their own.

    I'm probably wrong, but that seems like the simplest answer.

    V.

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  99. V, that is not really the simplest answer but it is a lot better of a speculation than AL's.

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  100. Is the simplest answer a more positive or negative outlook than the speculation? Is Sarah forcefully reassigned since Chuck will be set up as a solo Intersect agent?

    V.

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  101. They said that the Intersect has to work alone. So I guess (and I'm wrong) that if Chuck passes the final exam, Team Bartowski is over. So Sarah will get a reassignment. She will work with Shaw in DC. She is still with Shaw. And to increase the angst (lol) Sarah will think that she lost "her Chuck" for good.
    But I am far far away, Magnus. Right? :)

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  102. Laurel, the supposition is good but the storyline speculation is not accurate.

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  103. I've never understood the 'solo agent' idea. Beckman said that, once Bryce was Intersect 2.0, he and Sarah would report to Zurich. That doesn't sound like a solo agent. Why is Chuck any different?

    V.

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  104. Things changes, V :)

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  105. Epic fail lol oh dear
    That leaves me confused then
    I really am convinced that Chuck will not take the shot, so if we keep it simple then Chuck fails the test. That would please Sarah but I don't know why she would go to see Shaw after that. Would she really abandon Chuck?
    And then the only way that he could go on a special mission in 3.12 is if it is for one last time before the intersect is disbanded.

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  106. Sorry forgot to sign the above post...AL

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  107. AL, next time you are going to try to "speculate" something, try not to use a fake spoiler I passed around to test out a leak. Thanks. :)

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  108. Sorry don't know what you are talking about. I really don't ????? AL

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  109. AL, you "speculated" the EXACT fake spoiler I put out there. My 4 post-graduate statistics classes say that is IMPOSSIBLE to do by accident. Thanks for outing either yourself or your friend. :)

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  110. I am trying to work things out. Either Chuck takes the shot or he doesn't.

    If he doesn't then he fails. But how does he go on one last mission. Does Sarah strike a bargain with Shaw to become his new partner in exchange for giving Chuck a last chance? Is that what would anger the shippers?

    If he does take the shot then I can see that going down a path that upsets Sarah. We have had endless foreshadowing that Sarah is disillusioned with the spy world. Hence the resignation spec. So if Chuck became a spy I would see Sarah as loosing all her belief systems and just leaving. That could also upset the shippers AL

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  111. We aasume that Sarah breaks it off with Shaw before she gives in to Chuck. That is what I am hoping at least.

    Having her break up with Shaw and then resigning and moving back to DC would make sense. But if Chuck and her are unleashing the wild passion soon and she moves back to DC then that seems wrong.

    RL

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  112. If you put in your comments anything related to quitting the show... no longer watching the show... groups of fans quitting the show... I will reject it. Just an FYI.

    Why will I reject it? Because if I wanted this place to turn into NBC forum, I would just go and create a thread there instead of doing my own blog.

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  113. Do we get much Jeff/Lester/Big Mike in this episode? Some people complain about them, but Jeff and Lester make me laugh more than anyone else on the show.

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  114. Will we see "Sarah the spy" vs "Sarah the woman" in this episode? Or something like that :)

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  115. I have a unique perspective on this because I was part of a WTWT relationship in college. It annoys everyone around you just like Charah annoys the shippers, but the dynamic is not unbelievable. Sarah got burned very badly at the train station. When I got burned (much less seriously than that BTW), I had two very quick, very useless relationships which were nothing more than weak attempts to "force" myself to get over my, now, wife. It doesn't work, it doesn't even make sense, but when you are reeling emotionally, you glom onto anything that makes you feel better, which is usually another person so that you can convince yourself, temporarily, that you are moving on. That gets hard quickly and that, I think, is what Sarah is about to experience. Ironically, that crystallizing moment happened for me while in bed, right before I was about to do something that probably would have screwed everything up.

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  116. In terms of overall motivation, how similar is Shaw to Captain Ahab?

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  117. Mike, that is a great question but not one I can really answer.

    chuckfan6408, maybe that is why we have such unique perspectives (accurate ones even) on this situation. Unlike most, you and I have actually lived and experienced what it is like to try to "replace" a "true love" only to fail. :)

    BusterK, yep.

    Gwindor, the B-story is all about them.

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  118. Hi Magnus, I just found your site a few weeks ago, and I enjoy your honesty about the show.

    I have a question about the last episode in regards to Casey, and his fiance not recognizing him when he is kneeling down over her as she awakes from being knocked out.

    At first I thought oh he must have had plastic surgery, since the actor who portrayed him looked nothing like him, and that would make sense. However in Chuck VS The Fake Name, Paulie Waulnuts remembers him as Alex Coburn?

    I can't believe the writers would make a mistake like this, in terms of continuality, so how is it that a woman would not see her former fiance, be it supposedly dead or not, and not be all freaked the f out by that?


    J

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  119. J, she got knocked out... was not expecting him to be alive... he looks older and different... any number of things. Perhaps she burned all his pictures and has forgotten what he looked like. Shrug. Is it really that important that we need to take time out of our lives to think about? ;)

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  120. No it is not really that important, but she was sitting on the couch when his daughter ran in, so she had time to look at Casey and see, oh hey there is my dead fiance, you know?


    Sorry I hate when little things ruin bigger things by being sloppy. It is either a very bad mistake in the other episode by the writers, or a woman not remembering what the love of her life looks like.

    Thanks for answering, and I have listened to the last couple of podcasts as well as reading your reviews, and they have all been entertaining, good job by all of you.


    J

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  121. I think we have a record... rejected 15 crazy shipper comments in a row. Sweet. :) Go back to posting in the NBC forum or on CTV.

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  122. J, if you really want it to bother you, I guess it will. It bothered me for like 2 seconds and then I got over it. If it is important enough, then it will play itself out later. It is a C-plot anyway.

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  123. Not to offend anyone, but if they killed of Chuck and Sarah, but left Casey, I think we'd still have a pretty good show. Tell me you wouldn't watch that.

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  124. Mike, I do love Adam but... no. I would not watch that show. I would watch a John Casey: NSA spin-off but not CHUCK with only John Casey.

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  125. I don't know how Sarah can take the shot for Chuck next episode and then Chuck take credit for it. It goes against everything Chuck wants to be. Chuck wouldn't take credit. just a thought.

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  126. I've read a couple of the comments above--God knows what ones Magnus wouldn't let through--and there's something I'm not understanding.

    Why are so many people convinced that Sarah would leave(or whatever) if Chuck kills someone?

    Are we watching the same show? I haven't seen Sarah try to prevent Chuck from attaining his goal of being a real spy. If anything, she's tried to help (in her own way).

    At the heart of things, Sarah's a realist. She knows that it's impossible for him to be an agent without killing someone at some point. As long as it's not easy for him and he retains some "Chuckness" about it, I don't see her abandoning him because he's done something that is part of the job.

    There is some middle ground here. Why are so many people seeing it as a "black & white" issue?

    Diane

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  127. Diane, actually... they have been establishing for weeks now that Sarah does NOT want to see Chuck become a killer. I think, with all due respect, WE are not watching the same show because you have been missing the storyline.

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  128. Would Sarah accept that Chuck would kill someone to save her life? She just does not want him to off someone Sopranos style.

    I think Sarah has a point. I think Shaw made this test up though. Just a hunch.

    RS

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  129. Diane, unfairly or not, Sarah holds Chuck to a higher standard.

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  130. RS, I think you are onto something. Sarah would be more understanding if Chuck was to kill to save a life. But to just take a life? No. She knows all too well what that can do to you.

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  131. Can the intersect cause Chuck to react without thinking? If so, it is very possible that he might shoot someone. Under pressure, if he flashed and was taught how to shoot someone, he could probably do it.

    M.

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  132. Magnus--

    I didn't miss the storyline. I just don't see speculate such an extreme reaction on her part to it the way others do.

    But, you have the advantage of know way more about what's going to happen than I do and your response has been very helpful. Thanks.

    Sometimes being wrong helps.

    (I'm glad I brought it up)

    Diane

    Dian

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  133. Diane, I don't see Sarah leaving as an extreme reaction. For one, we have already seen that she is disillusioned with the espionage game. If she could leave it all today, I think she would (and maybe DC is a part of that line of thinking). I think Magnus said it in an earlier thread that the only reason why Sarah is currently sticking around to be a spy is to be near Chuck. She is "good here...for now". Second, she knows that the intersect is going to be used as a solo spy. If he passes, then Team B is going to be dissolved anyways. Since this is what she thinks Chuck wants, and that she loves him that much, she is going to sacrifice her own happiness, stand aside and help him achieve that goal. Third, her biggest fear is Chuck becoming like her: a cold, calculating spy. She may not be able to stop it, but she may not want any part of it. It would hurt too much. So Sarah's quandry is that for the person she loves to achieve his goal, she has to help destroy what she loves in him to make that happen. Pretty pickle she's in huh?

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  134. Magnus said - "J, if you really want it to bother you, I guess it will. It bothered me for like 2 seconds and then I got over it. If it is important enough, then it will play itself out later. It is a C-plot anyway."

    Myabe this is just the romantic in me talking, but I would love for Casey to address the Ex and daughter issue one last time. Since it's shown that Kathleen doesn't recognize him, I would love to see Casey talk to her as "Colonel John Casey" and give one last message of love to her. Something to the effect of "I was there when Alex Coburn died. I just felt that you should know how much he really did you love you and that he died thinking of you" or some such. Yeah kinda cheesy and melodramatic but that would tie up that subplot completely while staying true to Casey being good with his decision as a young man.

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  135. Paul, I think you will see it addressed again.

    And your response to Diane shows a very good understanding of the Sarah character on the show. You are clearly not a fan fic writer. :)

    I know people say that Sarah's expectation of Chuck are a double standard, but as I have said before, Chuck had the same double standard for Sarah for 2-seasons. This is called love. We expect MORE from the people we love than we do of everyone else. In seasons 1 and 2, Chuck viewed Sarah as someone who SHOULD protect him and always back him no matter what and no matter how much it could hurt her professionally/personally, BECAUSE he loved her. Sarah now views Chuck as someone who SHOULD reject the things that will make him a great spy BECAUSE she loves him.

    Chuck felt this way in the first two seasons because he didn't understand the pressures she was under to perform her duty and protect him beyond the call of that duty. Sarah feels this way now because she can't disconnect her newly discovered needs from the pressure he is under to achieve the exact thing she wishes he did not want.

    And, like you said, her greatest fear is that Chuck will become more like her and she views that as a form of betrayal of her love. Is it fair? No. Love is not fair. That is why it is so difficult to hold together. And because she is in so much pain, feeling like Chuck has only gotten to this point BECAUSE OF HER, she is being irrational in her decisions and expectations.

    What Sarah needs to see is that Chuck is still Chuck, even as everything was stacked against that possibility. And once she sees that, she will not be able to contain her love for him because he will have revealed to her that he IS who she always thought he was... and that validates her love (and Sarah is madly in love with Chuck).

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  136. Special Agent Shaw refused General Beckman to disclose the secrets that she deemed too dangerous to be kept from Team B in 3.2(what power does a special agent hold over a general anyway??). Is the deadly secret you mentioned part of this secret?

    Eirik

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  137. FYI, some comments I approve disappear for some reason. I have no idea why. So, I am not deleting ALL comments not showing up here. The system is just failing.

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  138. Good Explanation Magnus,

    I can accept that. However what is Chuck to do? Sarah has been sending mixed singals all year.

    The biggest one is Shaw. You and I say she loves Chuck and she will not be with him if he is a spy. However Chuck thinks by becoming a spy he will get the girl. I mean Chuck and her saw Shaw shoot Sydney in the back and yet she is still with him. He assaulted a prisoner and almost choked Chuck.

    That is the problem that some fans are having, the whole double standard with Chuck and Shaw. How is Chuck supposed to read her. She says no to you but yes to another guy.

    If Sarah wanted out of spy life so bad she would not be any where near Shaw in any romantic capacity. This is my big disconnect with the whole season. The fauxmance.

    Based on your reviews and podcasts I don't think fans are ever going to get the answer we want on why Shaw and not Chuck.

    But no wonder why Chuck is so confused you need a PHD in pychology to figure her out. :)

    RS

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  139. RS, Sarah has not really been sending mixed signals as much as Chuck has misunderstood her signals. This is common for men as we rarely figure out whether a woman wants us to approach her or to keep away. I know women often act like it is obvious and we should just see it... but it is only obvious to the person sending out the signals. ;)

    As for the Shaw thing... she doesn't want to be with a CHUCK who is like Shaw. She is fine being with a Shaw who is like Shaw because she is not in love with him. Shaw is just a distraction from the pain she feels. He is predictable. He is, in a sense, safe because she will NEVER fall for him. Whereas Chuck causes her a great deal of pain because she is ALREADY in love with him.

    Perhaps if some fans invested less time in having a problem with it and MORE time realizing that, there would be less complaints about it being "out of character."

    The only truly out of character moment, for me, was when Sarah told Shaw her name. It just felt like it contradicted the setup of the emotions I just explained for Sarah. But maybe Ali Adler will some day explain why the writers went with that choice. We may be missing something.

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  140. Magnus, I think it felt OOC for Sarah for a couple of different reasons:

    1) Sarah was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. She was venting to Shaw, who gladly listened. I think the whole crux of that scene was that Sarah needed someone, ANYONE, to talk to and if *I* had been standing in room instead of Shaw, whe would have likely told her name to ME (and then likely killed me afterwards... :oP). I think she just needed to say it out loud to someone, to validate that "Sam" was still real, still inside of her, and that "Sarah" the cold spy wasn't all there was left. I don't think the name reveal was intended to be given to Shaw per se. He just happened to be in the room when it happened. That and his pecs probably put her off belance... :oP

    2) The basis of what we perceive as a character's personality is what we are shown by the writers and actors. We have never really seen Sarah in that frame of mind before. Until then, the only Sarah we knew was the Sarah we saw through Chuck's eyes: a strong, confident, beautiful woman, able to take on the world with one hand tied behind her back. We have ever only caught glimpses of the "real" Sarah (or "Sam" if you prefer) hiding behind her walls: a weak, vulnerable, abandoned little girl, scared to be alone and unsure how to give and recieve love. I think that dichotomy, and how it was approached this season caught a lot of people off guard. We weren't prepared to see the other side of Sarah Walker. But that dichotomy makes Sarah probably the most interesting character on the show.

    And BTW, I totally agree with you about why she is with Shaw. It's not because he's a "hero", it's not because he hot (although that probably does help a little), and it's not because he can offer anything like a "real" relationship. It is because he is SAFE in regards to her emotinal state. She DOES NOT love him, and likely knows she never will. But he cannot hurt her. Chuck can all too easily.

    Anyways, that is just my two-bit psycho-analysis.

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  141. Paul, that is a reasonable argument but here is my continued problem with the name reveal: though it may very well be explainable and understandable, and WITHIN character, it is still television and some things should be left "special." The writers had to know this was important to many fans. Her real name should be an obvious beat left to be played only in Chuck's ears. :)

    It worries me when writers strip away the specialness of a moment. It makes me feel like they don't care about how much the fans have latched onto something. And while I respect their creative freedom to do whatever they want, I just think they need to be more careful with these smaller but often more important elements that can, in the long run, define how much fans continue to care.

    I just feel like her name was a gem they should have kept in their pocket for later use... when it meant more. Or, when the audience could feel the weight of her revealing it. I don't think many of us felt it in that moment.

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  142. You nailed the problem many fans have felt with the name reveal. It elevated Shaw to someone special status. That is what confuses fans. We shouldn't have to think so hard on character motivations. The biggest problem I had with it was that not only did she tell him her name she made a point to say "not even Chuck". For some fans that destroyed a 2 year ramp up. She might not be in love with Shaw but revealing her name and then kissing him kind of implied that she trust Shaw more than she ever did Chuck. Ever since then I get angry and want to turn the TV off when ever they emphasize her relationship with him.

    That is why Tic Tac could have been perfect but the writers keep emphasizing she is with Shaw not Chuck. I try to forget 07 & 08 never happened. It is my happy place. :D

    RS

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  143. Magnus, I do agree that it was a squandered dramamtic opportunity in regards to your POV. But, I think the revealing of her name was meant to show her tattered emotional state. Not saying it was necessarily the right move by TPTB. Sometimes how they play it out in their mind's eye when writing it doesn't quite translate to how WE percieve it when it is aired (unfortunately TV does not have the luxury of pre-screening for audiences before making final edits), but I can kind of see what they were going for.

    But on the other hand, while her name was a gem, it was not the whole treasure. I dont' remember for sure, But I think it was you who said that once Chuck and Sarah do finally get together, she will share more than just her name, but all of herself. Chuck will get the whole treasure chest (so to speak). :oD

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  144. my 2 cent theory on the name reveal is the reveal was substituted for my obvious physical intimate contact, might even been the reason for the switch from vs the nose to vs the fake name???

    I agree with your real life analysis for why sarah is with shaw, but it is too bad that the thing that the most air time is devoted to, and is fairly emotional to the fans, is left to the imagination to understand - probably could have been done better?

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  145. All great points, everyone.

    Thankfully, 3.11 is the final episode in a certain story device-line. Hopefully people will focus on something else for the next 10 episodes (especially since they could be final 10 ever). :)

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  146. They should have released the Jeffster pics next Tuesday. That probably would've kept the negativity down until 3.12 or at least gave people something else to talk about.

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  147. While i agree with Jason, i think they used a name reveal mostly as plot device. They made Sarah look a bit OOC, for Chuck benefit, so his future decisions are more logical.

    IMO it would work better if they made Shaw a bit more likeble character, but since he serves so many roles on the show and most likely has ulterior motives in his actions, he comes off inconsistent and because of that not very likeable.

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  148. I think that Casey's ex did recognize him after watching the episode again. I did not think so at first, but after watching the episode again if you turn up the volume when the daughter comes in to hug her she tells her that is your daddy if you listen really close.
    Patrick

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  149. zach helped the show a bunch by directing 3.9. the show is now in zach and yvonne's hands, the ban on chuck and sarah appearing in the majority of the scenes together was lifted in 3.10 & it worked great, it almost looks like 3.11 will be ok for yvonne and zach air time - in terms of renewal, their on screen chemistry (and how it pours into the B plots) is the #1 weapon - forget the shippers (crazy or sane) nothing with shaw sarah can hurt anymore (the shark arleady got jumped for them) - the positives of the show just gotta be played up

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  150. This might be impossible to answer without giving away too much, but will Sarah in some capacity kinda meet Chuck halfway when it comes to fixing their relationship?

    I don't know how I'd feel about Chuck chasing her and having to "win her back" while she's basically playing hard to get. He did start this whole mess in Prague, but she's got some explaining to do, too.

    JJ

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  151. JJ, meet Chuck halfway? No. She is completely unreasonable and makes him put on a leash and follow her around like a puppy. Then she cheats on him and he just takes it because she is so hot and he doesn't want to lose her after all the effort he made to get her.

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  152. I think Shaw's endgame and how it affects Chuck going forward will be every bit as interesting and rewarding to a viewer as anything having to do with the Chuck/Sarah relationship. From here on to 3.13 I'm hoping for a tidal wave of Shaw reveals. That's the real payoff, he's the character hardest to rationalize because you don't know where he's coming from. The good story and good twists lie with Shaw. We all go nuts because of his relationship w/ Sarah. And it's brilliant on the part of the writers because while we all get up and arms about Shaw and Sarah, we totally forget about Shaw and the Ring. They killed the mans wife. He's been way too cool about it. Did he come all the way to Burbank to stay in a crappy hotel, sit in a bunker, and make out with Sarah? A lot of people have criticized the writers, but when you look at the season, focusing on Shaw, it's been brilliant. The writers have us duped heretofore.

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  153. Magnus,

    I am curious why you rated this episode a 92 when you rated the others higher. Based on what little we know, this seems to be a big episode for Chuck's character development, so I thought it would rank as high as Tic-Tac or Beard. What was it that led you to rate it lower?

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  154. If she didn't meet Chuck halfway the show wouldn't be a spy show, it'd be Chuck & Sarah in suburbia with a lab and uncle Casey babysitting (aka boring)

    People tend to get sooo caught up in the insignificant details (Shaw) and completely miss the big picture. Would I have preferred them to do Sarah's whole emotional journey without Shaw? Sure. Could they have done it without Shaw? Sure. Did Shaw/Sarah add anything to the big picture? Not so far. But keep in mind the show also wants to attract the casual viewer, and casual viewers who don't really see Sarah as the holy grail nobody but Chuck is supposed to touch have no problems with Shaw. They just see him as a bit of spice to the story.

    ~ethan

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  155. Magnus, I would LOVE to volunteer to be Sarah's puppy on a leash. Where can I sign up... :oP

    JJ, I don't think "winning" Sarah back is the right word. Sarah has been his for the taking and always has been. Just as much as Chuck has always been Sarah's. The problem between the two, IMHO, is that they never just "let their love happen". There is always something between them, whether it is a realistic and understandable plot device (ie the asset/handler relationship) or something that is only made up in their heads (Chuck changing/Sarah preferring guys like Shaw). When they finally realize the truth that the barriers really never were, then they will be together. I know, sounds kinda melodramatic, but hey, I'm a romantic at heart.

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  156. RC, I think it is a great episode but just not as great as the last two. Also, I don't know what makes you think it has a lot of character development. More like character realizations. Though, it does have the best Chuck and Sarah romance moment (yes, I said romance, not fauxmance) since... Colonel (or Pink Slip if you count the flashbacks).

    I can talk more about why it doesn't rank as high as the last two once everyone has seen it.

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  157. Patrick, I just rewatched it and heard none of that. What I heard was "I'm okay" and "It's okay honey".

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  158. I have always read the name reveal very differently from what everyone else is saying.

    It is made very clear in that episode that Sarah is loosing who she is. When she sits in the van she even says it. And she says it again in ep 10. Chuck has grounded her like never before. With Chuck she had values and a family. Heart warming Christmases and family meals. She became Sarah as a real person and it meant everything to her.

    Then in 3.07 she stopped being part of all that. You see her real pain when she is watching the meal with Chuck and Hannah. She has lost the identity that she had always wanted, who she had become. She is no longer Sarah and is heartbroken.

    So she has to find out who she is, so she goes back to being who she was. That is why it is important to be Sam again. Shaw is the only person she can connect with and so she tells him her name.

    But Sam was her identity when she was lost and lonely. She does not want to be there and she has been v unhappy ever since she went back to being Sam.

    I have no problem if the name reveal does not come up again because I am sure that at some point we will see Sam connect with becoming Sarah again. Sam will be irrelevant, Sarah is who she wants to be and I expect we will be told that in some way... AL

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  159. The problem the writers have is that they have created a character in Sarah who does not talk about her emotions. That creates a dilemma for them. How do you have a complex person on TV who never expresses themselves go through a traumatic time, there are only so many facial expressions LOL.

    So they had to create Shaw to have her express her emotions.

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  160. Perhaps character development was the wrong term. The episode is being promoted as the a test that, if he passes, will allow him to become a spy - something he has been working on all season. At least as it has been promoted, he will bet put in a seemingly no-win situation: kill, achieve his goal and live with the consequences of betraying his previously held beliefs, or follow his no-killing beliefs and fail to achieve his goal of becoming a spy.

    I would expect a lot from this episode in terms of realizations, especially on Chuck's part, and it could be a very powerful episode.

    In any case, thanks for the response, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on why it doesn't rank as high as the last two on the podcast.

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  161. AL, good points but too bad much of that was well hidden within the edit. The biggest problem this show really has is that even in season 3, where characters are opening up more than in previous seasons, we only get brief moments of it and then we move on. Sarah needed a whole episode focused on HER (like Cougars). Not a busy episode that kind of touches on her issues.

    So far, counting 3.11, we have two episodes that dig into Sarah's past but just barely. Whereas Casey has two whole episodes about him. Keeping Sarah such a mysterious, closed up character hurt the 3.07/3.08 storylines because we didn't get to focus on just her for any single episode. Even the very emotional confession that she has in 3.11 is brief (though powerful).

    Sarah needs a real episode... Yvonne needs her Emmy episode.

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  162. "But keep in mind the show also wants to attract the casual viewer, and casual viewers who don't really see Sarah as the holy grail nobody but Chuck is supposed to touch have no problems with Shaw. They just see him as a bit of spice to the story."

    Good post, ethan. I think you got it totally right. It works for me. ;) I like the show in general. So fun, but at this point I don't really care who Sarah or Chuck end up with. I just never felt they made that great a couple. I think I like them better as friends. I find the Sarah/Shaw relationship a lot more interesting right now. Shame it will not be continued. Any way, interesting thread. You hadcore fans are so funny.. :D

    Star

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  163. Star, let me just speak for the crazy shippers and say... you never thought they made a great couple?

    ARE YOU HIGH?!?!?!

    Thank you. That is all. ;)

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  164. Magnus,
    "Star, let me just speak for the crazy shippers and say... you never thought they made a great couple? ARE YOU HIGH?!?!?!"

    :D No, I'm not high, :P I just have different tastes, that's all. To me Sarah is just too much woman for Chuck. Don't get me wrong, I like him A LOT. Really sweet guy, but he's just too wimpy, insecure and nerdy. I like them better as friends. Any way, I'm enjoying the ride. Very cool show, though the fans obsess too much.. ;)

    Star

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  165. Star, I can appreciate that. People have different tastes. Nothing wrong with that. Glad you dig the show.

    P.S.

    You are banned from posting here ever again!!! ;)

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  166. will we see that Shaw thinks Sarah starting to turn back Chuck in 3.11? Sorry for my english.

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  167. Anonymous, your English is good enough... and yes, Shaw will.

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  168. You comment above that Sarah doesn't like Chuck who is like Shaw,Sarah is ok with Shaw who is like Shaw.Is this similar to Sarah's line in 3.11 that makes her reason to be with Shaw uncredible?

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  169. Actually, when I said that, I hadn't considered all the arguments that have been put forth. So, I now retract that view. While I do think the show missed opportunities to better explain Sarah's decisions, I don't look as unfavorably on her decision and especially not on what she says in 3.11.

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  170. Magnus: '' I don't look as unfavorably on her decision and especially not on what she says in 3.11.''

    So I guess from your comment Sarah is going to put any lingering feelings for Chuck to bed.

    Kyle

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  171. Kyle, literally. She will express those feelings... in bed. ;)

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  172. "Kyle, literally. She will express those feelings... in bed. ;)"

    And with that forums around the country are about to light up :)

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  173. KILL THE MESSENGER!

    I wonder what terrible things they will say about me this time.

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  174. Magnus your a sly one ;)

    I don't suppose your care to hint who she will express those feelings with

    Kyle

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  175. So I take it the bed scene is more toward the end since you said the first half is lighter?

    V.

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  176. I am not giving any more hints on that front. :) I have phrased it so it could be very good... could be very bad... could be kind of good or kind of bad... could be bad but turns out good... you never know.

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  177. Its pretty obvious that she reveals her feelings for Chuck while spooning in bed with a newly returned Manoosh.
    Try to veil your hints better next time.

    - DD

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  178. You remind of me of the Cheshire Cat with that phrasing.

    Can you hint if the main spec ideas that people put out about Sarah are in the right direction?

    V.

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  179. I really like, that you are not afraid to change your opinions on something.

    I think Sarah turning to Shaw is kind of understandable. It´s not that great to see and certainly sucks for Chuck, but I think her going the safe route, while she sees no chance to be with Chuck is not that unrealistic.

    I am looking forward to get some more insight into what Sarah and Chuck are thinking in 3.11 very much. And I don´t really mind, if we are getting that insight from a scene with Sarah in a bed or on a bed or under a bed. ;)

    Why can´t it be Monday already.

    awelle

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  180. "I wonder what terrible things they will say about me this time."

    Nothing terrible. In fact people are so busy spinning their wheels with bad spec, that anytime you post something it gives them a new direction to go in. I think it's helping some people make it from one Monday to the next.

    What that says about their lives, I have no idea

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  181. awelle, you know what the difference is between an educated person and an uneducated person?

    An educated person has listened, absorbed, debated, analyzed, and perhaps even changed their opinion a number of times before settling on a point of view.

    An uneducated person may well have listened, debated, and analyzed a subject... but they did it with NO INTENTION OF EVER CHANGING THEIR MIND. So, all they learned was their initial impression. There are lots of people in this world with graduate degrees who are wholly uneducated.

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  182. When Chuck says 'If I pass this test,we could be together.',are they in bed?

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  183. Magnus, say no more.

    For my money, I say she will express those feelings in bed with Shaw. Maybe it is after the rule is broken, maybe before because she can't go there since he isn't Chuck, but that is where it happens. It's a pretty convenient way to end S/S, and a perfect reason to motivate Shaw to give Chuck his final exam which includes a kill test.

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  184. RC, I think you should win an award for best post ever... today.. between 3:50PM and 4PM ET.

    Anonymous, if that even is your name, did he say that? I don't remember. I was too busy watching Tic Tac for the 450th time.

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  185. So Sarah will express her feelings for Chuck while in bed with Shaw. Hmmm. Just wondering what will Shaw make of that?

    genie

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  186. genie, I imagine if that were to happen, Shaw would ask the one question that every guy in the same situation would ask.

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  187. "So does that mean we're not going to....?" Kidding.

    V.

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  188. Is there no way I can bait some more revelation on those deadly news? Will it be totally out of the blue or more "Aaaaahh!" when we see it?

    Eirik

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  189. Eirik, the audience knows before Chuck knows. So, it is more the anticipation of Chuck's reaction... which is my favorite little Zac acting moment.

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  190. Call me superficial, but I'd rather like to see the "Sarah rule" explicitly broken. It might make it easier for me to buy Shaw as a romantic interest. He basically just takes up oxygen, IMO. Personally, it would have been more entertaining (to ME) to see Sarah involved with Cole (especially over multiple episodes). Would I like to see Chuck & Sarah together? Sure, but it's not the end-all, be-all for me. I REALLY enjoy your blog & podcasts Magnus..

    Joe

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  191. Magnus : genie, I imagine if that were to happen, Shaw would ask the one question that every guy in the same situation would ask.

    On a lighter side Some examples:

    What? dont tell me you are still hung up on that Schnook.

    Dont tell me you still have feelings for him.

    And you thought of bringing this up right before/after we play/ed hanky panky

    Tell me something, is our fauxmance going anywhere.

    :D

    genie

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  192. genie, one of those is in the same country as the actual line. ;)

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  193. And I am off for a few hours. Keep posting your questions/comments. When I return, I will approve them and answer whatever. After this week, I only have major spoilers for the next 9 episodes so... should be interesting trying to not spoil you. ;)

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  194. I remember you said 3.10 preview that writers never show Sarah having sex with someone else.Also,you imply S/S sexin 3.11.Just tell me is the bed scene at the beginning or at the end of episode?

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  195. So the bed scene IS with Shaw, huh? Intriguing.

    The pessimist in me says that Shaw'll bring up Sarah's feelings for Chuck, she'll deny it and the 2x4 gets lucky.

    The optimist in me says that Sarah will tell Mr. Charisma to hit the bricks, dumping him just as he thinks he's about to get laid.

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  196. 9 episodes? It's official. I'm madly in love with....MAGNUS! ;-)

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  197. Magnus,

    I don't post very much anywhere, anymore because the negativity is starting to grate. However I was wondering about your thoughts on a couple of questions.

    1. Since obviously you get some sort of screeners and insider info, do you feel that you are watching the same story as those of us that are watching weekly, or is your perspective different than ours since you generally know where the story is heading as opposed to most of us.

    2. Do you feel that the season so far could have befitted from more Chuck and Sarah interaction, not necessarily lovey-dovey stuff just more time between the two leads.

    JAB

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  198. JAB, I think I am far less annoyed than some over certain choices. Since I know where the story is going, choices I don't get in the moment seem less important in the grand scheme of things. The only one that truly bothered me was Sarah's real name. The rest I just see as television story devices nearly every show uses.

    And I do think more time with Chuck and Sarah as friends would have benefited the show but they thought they were only getting 13 episodes so they squeezed in a lot in a shot period of time. If they had known they had 19 from the start I think the season would have been different. They would have paced these moments differently. But when the season is over, I won't really care if three out of 19 weren't great.

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No flaming, baiting, trolling, expletives, or racism allowed. And NO DISCUSSIONS of the actor's personal lives ever.