mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Suitcase

Chuck vs. the Suitcase 
Season 4, Episode 02, air-date September 27, 2010

Summary: As the team tracks down a high-tech weapon in Milan during Fashion Week, Chuck discovers some issues in his relationship with Sarah. Morgan uncovers a flaw in Buy More's security, and Casey tries to acclimate himself to living in Burbank.

The truth?  This episode is all about Sarah Walker.  And mxpw and Frea couldn't be happier...or could they?  See the review, after the break.

mxpw: Okay, so to start off, I want to make it clear that even though I am playing the critical one again today, I really did enjoy this episode. Even more than the premiere. It was funny, heartfelt, and Sarah was just fantastic. Everybody knows Yvonne owns me, this episode showed why.

Frea: And even though I’m the optimist, I had my own issues with the episode, too. Though I loved it. Yvonne doesn’t own me (Anna [Torv] does), but Sarah/Yvonne just rocked the episode so hard I will never look at a suitcase the same way again.

mxpw: Oh boy, the suitcase.

Frea: Which ought to make travel very interesting. To say the least.

mxpw: That’s actually one of my issues that I had with the episode. First, it’s ridiculous. Sarah’s whole wardrobe and everything she has in one suitcase? Please. But that’s just one of those Chuck things you have to handwave, so I did. Now the Role Models reset was a little more annoying.

Frea: I don’t think Sarah’s suitcase holding her entire wardrobe is that ridiculous, personally. Clearly, she’s Mary Poppins -- an interdimensional suitcase? Not a problem. It goes hand in hand with the army of magical hair and make up elves that follows her around, making sure her makeup is never anything less than perfect (really, would it kill her to wear a self-moisturizing mask to bed every once in awhile? Falling asleep in full makeup like she did there at the end is bad for your skin!). Now, if Sarah could bust out some showtunes, send us through a sidewalk painting, and dance on the rooftops of London, my entire world would be SET.

mxpw: And now I’m humming a “Spoonful of Sugar.” THANKS A LOT.

Frea: It helps the medicine go down, Maximus. So what was your problem with the reset?

mxpw: Haha. The fact that there was a reset at all, of course. I object to resets just on general principle. Thankfully this one isn’t as bad as many others in the past, but it was still annoying that they went there at all. Plus, Sarah’s excuse to Chuck at the beginning of the episode, the whole, even though they’ve been dating for months, she’s hardly been around so it’s understandable why she hadn’t unpacked just made me facepalm that they made her all (as Frea told me) plot chameleony again.

Frea: I didn’t have as much of a problem with the reset. I figured, they were bound and determined to go there, so after the initial scene, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Maybe part of the reason I didn’t mind it is because Zac and Yvonne just sold every scene they were in together. Hell, Yvonne really got to spread her wings with this episode. She got to be a little bit of everything: jealous, trying not to laugh, happy, downright terrified, uncomfortable, kick-butt, annoyed. It was like a smorgasbord of awesome for Yvonne Strahovski! And! And! She got to wisecrack! We haven’t seen her really throw down a good wisecrack since “Go Cougars” two seasons ago! In the line of traditional kick-butt heroines, Sarah Walker can now officially consider herself in the league with Buffy. Not quite up to Buffy’s level, but she’s new, she’ll get there.

mxpw: Oh don’t get me wrong, I agree. I mean, compared to resets or retcons in this show’s past, this was nothing. Once I got past the annoyance of them going there, I thought they handled the issue of her not unpacking rather maturely. Well, once Chuck stopped being an idiot during the bomb scene. God, when are the writers going to learn that Chuck talking about his personal issues during a mission is not remotely funny or endearing? It just makes me want to punch him in the face.

Frea: Dang, I can’t disagree with that one at all. At one point I turned to my sister, the great Graceless O’Scanlin, and literally said, “It’s like he never wants to get laid again.” She agreed (the O’Scanlin crowd can be a bit crude). Did anybody else laugh at the irony of Sarah Walker telling somebody to put clothes on? Just me? Okay.

mxpw: Ironic, maybe, but definitely funny. Good on Sarah for getting a nice one-liner in. I loved that whole closet sequence, by the way. From Chuck’s passive aggressive ribbing, which I found hilarious just because of how they both reacted during that scene (and Chuck kinda had a point), to Chuck asking Sarah if she could see anything and her response of “Are you serious?” and the facial expression she made. Oh and the almost Spiderman kiss, which I thought was some great Charah interplay.

Frea: I love that he went for it anyway. Nerd to the end, that’s our Chuck. I wasn’t overly fond of whoever the supermodel was (every time she opened her mouth, I...kind of wanted to punch her and was glad Sarah got into a catwalk catfight with her at the end just because of that), but the Hulk! Who doesn’t love the Hulk?! Chuck got into a slap fight with the Hulk! Excuse me, my inner nerd just died a little from the happiness. And the tranq gloves? Genius. Way to use your brain, Chuck. Actually, both Chuck and Sarah showed an amazing amount of ingenuity in this episode, something I’ve missed quite a bit. Sarah’s is a bit more blunt--shatter the shower door, giving Chuck the opportunity to get away--while Chuck’s was subtle, but kudos to the writers for letting the characters do something that I love: use their brains.

mxpw: Yeah, really, though, this episode was Yvonne Strahovski’s episode. My favorite Sarah episode since Honeymooners, but maybe even as far back as Delorean. From her absolutely hilarious facial expression when Beckman said Sophia was “fetching” (I about died laughing), her open jealousy and disbelief that Chuck could be so oblivious, to her stripping scene (my brain melted), and then the great catfight on the catwalk, this episode gave Yvonne/Sarah SO much to do and I loved every moment of it.

Frea: Wanna switch places?

mxpw: Haha, no, not yet. I still got things to say that are critical, I promise. We haven’t even talked about the pacing or the end or Morgan yet.

Frea: I was gonna offer to switch places to talk about Morgan because I seriously have a bone to pick with this episode.

Frea: I have two unpopular opinions about this episode. They involve Greta and Morgan.

mxpw: Well, we can play bad cop, slightly worse cop.

Frea: Awesome. My first opinion: I’m over Greta.

mxpw: Really? Haha. I kind of liked the Old Spice Guy in this episode.

Frea: This is partially my attention span coming in to play, I imagine, but the Old Spice guy got one laugh out of me (shooting the scan codes: “I can do better”). I was unimpressed with Olivia Munn last week, too. However, neither of them bugged as much as Morgan did.

mxpw: I can understand that. Morgan really does need to learn boundaries and it’s quickly approaching a time where it’s not funny anymore.

Frea: I mean, I know the bromance is important, but if I were Chuck, why would I be focusing on the bromance so much when there’s a possibility for romance with Sarah Walker? I mean, I’m not even gay and I think that! But seriously, Morgan’s doing too much. In this episode alone, he shoots off the spark that brings to light the issue between Chuck and Sarah, he gives Chuck bad advice, he gives Casey advice, he saves the Buy More, he’s everywhere and everything and I really just want him to butt out of the Chuck and Sarah romance already.

mxpw: Agreed. In Morgan’s defense, I will say his advice to Chuck about keeping his mouth shut was actually fairly good advice, it’s just he accompanied it with inserting negative and unneeded insidious thoughts in Chuck’s brain. He should know by now that Chuck is too neurotic to let stuff like that go. As for the rest of the stuff, I agree with you. They need to stop making Morgan seem so jack-of-all trades.

Frea: Seems like they had a character once who was supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades and good at everything he did...

Frea: (I say supposed to on purpose. I’m not saying that was actually the case)

mxpw: Skip Johnson? Now come on, Frea, we should all be happy just that he’s back.

Frea: I’m happy that Skip is back, yes. Jeffster? I’m good with the amount we’ve had. They can come back in, oh, let’s say eight episodes? Maybe nine, to be on the safe side?

mxpw: Aww, I thought Jeff getting tranqed a million times was funny and so was their very wrong stuff entrance, complete with fan blowing. But then I like Jeffster a lot more than you.

Frea: Oh, I laughed at Jeffster getting tranqed a million times (the show really seems to love that joke, doesn’t it? Casey...Tyler Martin...Jeff...), but they work best in small doses...like Morgan! Well, smaller doses than Morgan.

mxpw: So apropos of nothing in regard to our Morgan discussion, I want to talk about Ellie. The lying is in full force right now. And that’s annoying, but I was really struck by how much distance there seems to be between Ellie and Sarah in this episode. I’m struck by how unconcerned Ellie seems to be that Sarah is a spy. It’s why her comment to Devon that all she needed was him and Chuck for family really stood out to me. I’m wondering if Ellie doesn’t consider Sarah family because she doesn’t think Sarah will be around much longer. Or if because she doesn’t trust Sarah. Or if just because the writers just don’t care about Sarah and Ellie in any capacity. I don’t know, but I find all this talk of family and no mention of Sarah interesting.

Frea: Maybe Sarah is just dead to her? I’m not sure which it is, but I’m hoping that Sarah and Ellie do have some sort of plotline together that doesn’t fail the Bechdel test. I’m worried it might be the last option, which is a bit sad to me because Ellie was so adamant about pushing Chuck and Sarah together for so long. Now her brother is living with this woman, spy/liar or no, and Ellie doesn’t seem to be at all concerned or even acknowledging of the fact.

Frea: I’ve seen speculation that Ellie/Sarah/MamaB are going to be tied together, three women all facing the same decision (motherhood/commitment), and I’ve seen speculation that MamaB is going to serve as a role model for Sarah, but really, all that I would ask for is just Sarah and Ellie either airing out their issues or, if the writers don’t feel there are any issues, Ellie not randomly omitting Sarah at every chance. I mean, given the way she looks, it’s hard to ignore Sarah’s presence completely, and yet Ellie manages it. Her powers must be awesome, indeed. And ew, vegan baby food.

mxpw: That is not to say that the scene with Ellie looking in the photo album wasn’t a fantastic scene. Very pull on the heart-strings worthy and I actually liked Ellie more in this episode than I have in some time (Devon, he was kind of annoying during most of the episode). That was actually one of the most well done scenes in the episode.

mxpw: Yeah, it’s really weird how Ellie doesn’t A) meddle in Sarah’s life about being a spy, because you’d think if she cared about Sarah, she’d be just as interested in seeing Sarah out of the life as she did Chuck and B) that she would acknowledge Sarah’s presence every now and then. But there is just like this wall between them. I wonder if Morgan’s comment about Sarah not unpacking had any influence on Ellie’s not including her in family.

Frea: If it did, I have only one thing to say: “MORGAN!!!!”

mxpw: Haha. Which leads me to one of my biggest pet peeves of the episode, beside the weird and out of whack pacing in the beginning. And that is the very end. First, that Charah scene was absolutely fantastic. Not only did they communicate and do so maturely, but it felt very natural. Everything about them felt natural in that scene (plus, the making out and rolling around on the bed was both very hot and kind of racy for this show). It was romantic and I kinda went "D'awww" through the whole scene, especially when Sarah talks about the picture. One of the best Charah scenes in some time.

mxpw: And then BAM! That end was just contrived. It came across as so artificial to me, and done only so that we could have angst/conflict in the Charah relationship. I give Chuck a lot of crap for being an oblivious dolt a lot of the time, but I don't believe even Chuck would have said what he did there. The only thing that saved that scene from just complete facepalmery was Sarah's hilarious facial expression.

Frea: Yeah, my sister and I missed the first ten minutes of *dramatic voice* The Event because we were laughing so hard at the sheer terror on Sarah's face. The very ending bothered me a lot too. The scene leading up to it was amazing, even if at one point I turned to my sister and went, "Does he not get that if he keeps talking there will be no sex?" (and two seconds later, Sarah rolled over). That was one of the issues I had. Chuck kept saying he was okay with all of these things about Sarah and then he cluelessly goes and makes that comment. The guy has a longer learning curve than Casey and Sarah did with the "Stay in the car routine!" about how to be in a relationship.

Frea: I'm a little nervous for what the future holds because we're already seen tried and true ingrained sexism clichés from the writers ("Sarah's the man in the relationship! She can't commit!" Like, WTF? Is this 2010 or not?) and I'm a little gun-shy about trusting them after S3 because I don't think any of them could handle this potential story arc with the nuance necessary to make it work. That being said, Nicole Richie is back next week and not only is she an old rival of Sarah's, she's a brunette now, too. Unleash the Adorable Psycho!

mxpw: Heee. She was kind of APish already in this episode. I thought all her reactions to and her beatdown of Sophia was pretty damn funny. But yeah, I'm just really worried about how these writers are going to handle the committment issue. I don't trust them to handle it deftly and not make both Chuck AND Sarah look like idiots or tools. Plus, I think they may be depending too much on traditional gender roles to really make this conflict in the relationship work.

Frea: Maximus, I have to be honest.

Frea: You know what the worst thing about the episode was?

mxpw: That Sarah wasn't in her underwear longer?

Frea: No Castle Slide!!

mxpw: I like my answer better.

Frea: Here's a fun exercise: imagine S1 Chuck in the scene with Sarah in the dressing room. It gets even funnier. "Zip?" "Ahhh...ah...ahhh..."

mxpw: Yeah, his brain would have probably melted. Especially when she takes off the bra.

Frea: How's your brain? Have you collected all the melty bits?

mxpw: No, I'm still searching. This could take a while. It's like I finally get all collected and then the next episode airs and then bam, the SWP sends me back to square one.

Frea: Ain't it always the way.

Frea: So to wrap up for me since I'll let you have the last word this time, I enjoyed the episode quite a lot. It made me laugh, I liked the scene with Ellie looking at the photo album, Sarah Walker kicked butt, Chuck got his act together in the second half, no Castle Slide but then...they can't all be perfect, right?

mxpw: No, they can't, and while this episode wasn't perfect, I found it more entertaining than the premiere. Chuck really worked for me from the Spiderman kiss on (except for the very end). Despite too much Morgan, the Buy More stuff was pretty amusing, General Beckman is still awesome, Casey made me smile with calling Alex, and best of all, Sarah Walker was just fantastic in like every scene. God, Yvonne can be so funny when they let her. Hopefully this episode is a sign of good things to come.


mxpw4 Sarahs Stripping out of 5

Frea: 8 Castle Slides out of 10, plus Skip Johnson. 

As a courtesy, we ask that you please don't post spoilers in the replies, as others who read this blog might not like to be spoiled!  Thanks - Frea


  1. Sparky28.9.10

    Not questioning your Chuck knowledge but was there really a reset?

    Maybe the clothes issue just didn't come up because writers didn't focus on that during Honeymooners.

    "Moving in" with a suitcase(magical but plausible :P )?

  2. Anonymous28.9.10

    I have to agree with Sparky. It did not feel like a reset to me , so much as a continuation.

    Sarah was obviously scared of moving in, in Role Models. Plus, moving in and keeping everything in her suitcase seems normal to her. It did not seem like she meant anything by it, it's just the way she always lived. The idea of changing her ways made her feel insecure, I think, but when she realised that Chuck was reading something into it, she adapted. That scared her, but she still did it. It rang true to me.

    Beside, I was glad that they finally acknowledge that Sarah had nearly nothing of hers in the apartment. In every Chuck forums I visited, people complained about how Sarah did not seem to have really moved in since almost nothing changed in the apartment. Well, now we know why. She just never unpacked. Seems very Sarah Walkerish to me.

    I have to agree with everything else you guys said thought. Great episode, Sarah rocked, Chuck was good (if one believe that the guy secretly wish to live the sexless life of a monk, which his habit of sleeping shirtless, only when Sarah is not around, tells me he does), the Charah moments were beautifuly done and sweet, and there was too much Morgan, plus no castle slide :(. I cannot wait for the rest of the season!


  3. Chalk me up as agreeing this was not a reset by any means. Resets a bit of a strong word, look up the definition, but again Morgan needs to learn some boundaries and Chuck needs to call him on it.


  4. It didn't feel like a continuation to me at all, really. Here's why: Sarah said, at the end of Role Models, that they needed to make the place more theirs. Now, I don't see how she can do that, exactly, without unpacking everything from her hotel room into Chuck's place, seeing as she doesn't seem to have a lot of stuff to start off. We certainly haven't seen much more than she has some lotions and magazines on her side of the bed (and some of Chuck's programming books, unless Sarah is learning ASP), so in order to get to where they needed the issue to start off in this episode, they essentially had to backtrack a bit, which is the classic definition of a reset. It's not a major, wipe-the-system reset like the writers have done before (*cough*PRAGUE*cough*), but it IS a reset. Both Maximus and I feel like it's a tolerable one and we said so--we still enjoyed the episode, after all--but it's a critique and neither of us is the type to not call the writers on a continuity error (General Beckman saying "CIA Way" instead of "NSA Way" FTW).

    Sarah really did rock this episode, though. :)

  5. Anonymous28.9.10

    I wish they would've delved into Chuck's abandonment issues (because of mom and dad leaving) was what really bothered him about the suitcase. We already know Sarah has issues with commitment. It would have been nice that Chuck has some serious issues too. Maybe it's just me, but i would like to see something like that brought up in future episodes.

  6. I also couldn't stand the last 60 seconds. The change from hot sex to Morgan way too quickly. I think of it like this: In one shot you have Chuck and Sarah in bed, in the very next shot they are sitting in Castle. The change in moods seemed that jarring to me.

    What exactly was reset during this episode? I can't figure it out.

  7. Also in defense of Morgan Chuck did seem to start the conversation about the suitcase by saying that he thought it was weird (not unpacking after eight months is in fact beyond bizarre). Morgan was just agreeing. If you live somewhere for eight months you will accumulate stuff and put it in a closet no matter how often you travel. They should've had a few items in the closet like sweatpants or a an old t-shirt. The point would have been made but not in such an implausible way.

    I also don't like Greta because they haven't interacted with the main spy story or spoken to Chuck, Sarah, or Casey. They are simply a less sloppy version of Jeff and Lester

  8. Anonymous28.9.10

    I think the struggle at this point is that the only long-term future the show can have is if more viewers gradually step into the story. Resets are bound to happen if they are trying to re-explore the basic back-and-forth between Chuck and Sarah, for the sake of relative newcomers. By nature, things then have to become more episodic and repetitive. As someone who would like to see not only a back 6-9 order, but a season 5, I'm willing to "re-watch" important relational storylines if it opens the door for newbies. That being said, the ratings don't really point to the fact that new people are watching...so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

    As for the episode, after a second watching, I liked it much more than my first run-through. The pacing of the episode was a bit off, and the spy storyline was overshadowed by Charah issues as well as the reset of the Buy More. I never get tired of good Charah screen time. But, I've always felt that the Buy More stuff has taken up too much of the show, and it really felt that way with this episode. Morgan doesn't bother me as much as he seems to bother others. Although, he did seem to be too "all over the place" in this episode. All in all, I agree with the grades of 4 out of 5 or 8 out of 10. -jwr

  9. Alaster28.9.10

    First off, excellent first Chuck/Sarah picture. Her expression is truly priceless. Yvonne really brings life to her characters ( have you seen "I Love You Too", she did a great job (plus we got to hear hear in her in an English accent, sexy))

    Your right though they did reset the issues present in this episode and glared over the ones we, as viewers, are looking for.

    Morgan has been doing a lot more than they showed him capable of in the previous seasons this season. Too much Morgan this episode? I think so as well but I also think they're doing this because next episode might have less of him. As for manager, my question: Does that mean he is also in charge of the spies/agents that work there? Is he going to be handing out missions? I hope not. Going to miss seeing Beckman standing next to Chuck or Casey.

    I was also glad that Chuck still acted like almost-regular Chuck this episode. Spider-man kiss, saying excuse me when putting his coat and scarf on the mannequin, and instead of flashing on hand-to-hand combat moves he fishes through his pockets to get a tranq glove to take out THE HULK.

    Good to see a budding Casey/Alex relationship. Hope to see more of her in the next episode. Also hoping to see a Ellie/Sarah talk, Casey shooting someone (already has "stabbing someone with a stiletto crossed off), Casey choking Morgan, and Sarah fighting against many opponents by herself coming out with nothing more than a Casey quip.

  10. Ayefah28.9.10

    I must know more about this mysterious "Yves Saint Laurent" business with Casey. :P

    But yeah, this episode didn't totally come together for me - I ended up being kind of meh on the return of Jeffster, the Greta thing does seem like a pointless use of the casting budget at this point, and while the "suitcase/putting down roots" theme didn't feel like a reset to me, it was kind of clumsily written. Way too much tell, not enough show. It didn't reach the didacticism levels of an episode of Glee or anything, but I don't even want to be in a position to mentally make the comparison.

    But when Chuck finally stopped talking during the damn mission, things really picked up. I still get a bit of extra delight just from how Chuck's standing with Sarah and Casey has changed. This week he was just...Sarah's partner, her fellow professional, assumed to be totally competent and capable of covering her back. And he lived up to that.

    But he needs to never, ever talk about personal issues on a mission again. Ever. I get that it's a way of killing two birds with one stone in a very time-pressed format, but within this very episode we got examples of better ways to handle it: The moment when Chuck was appalled that Sarah thought he was watching Sofia in the shower, and the bit where Sarah asked if Sofia was naked were both witty, fast, and got things across without making Chuck unprofessional or feeling like they came from the Three-Camera Sitcom School of Gender Relations. (A school from which, unfortunately, the entire writing staff seems to have graduated. I think the Chuck/Sarah relationship is going to end up giving me a feminist ulcer.)

    The writers seem to still be feeling out this whole "CIA Buy More" thing, and now that we've established the shape of things for the season - Morgan in charge, CIA agents working with Buy Morons - the writers will figure out how to tighten it up and make it funnier. It'll also help when the lead trio spends more time there, and when we get an integrated A story.

    The idea of putting Morgan in charge of the Buy More/Castle substation is perfect - it plays to his logistical abilities and obsession with detail and mostly keeps him out of the field, where he just plain doesn't belong.

    But in an episode with several other small delights - Sarah wearing a wig, Ellie and the photo album, Chuck trying for a Spider-Man kiss - my very favoritest thing of all was Chuck's tranq gloves. They make no sense whatsoever, but they're gadgets! Which Chuck created! My nerdy glee could not be greater. :D

    Chuck has been less reliant on violence and even in violent contexts, less reliant on 2.0 than in the past, and I think that's great. He's just not cut out to be a he-man action hero, and that's what I like about him. His moments of truly macho posturing in S3 made me want to gag. That "might makes right" stuff is 24 territory - Chuck's whole premise is that he's not that kind of guy, and it's not that kind of show. And now it's really true. :) It's just like Fedak said - this is Chuck as Batman rather than Chuck as Superman, and I like things this way so much more. Just as long as they don't go for an Aquaman theme next year.

  11. Sparky29.9.10

    Frea,if you don't mind,can you explain why you think prague was a reset?

    I get that it wasn't a good place to go storywise.But reset?

    When writers are capable of episodes like this,it should be a crime to write things like "vs. mask" etc.

  12. Sparky29.9.10

    And the whole "smart bullets" subplot was a way to have Yvonne and the model to show some skin,imo.

    Were the writers too obvious about it? I don't know :P

  13. Sparky,
    In Defense of Frea's claim 3.01 was a reset, it's your responsibility to explain why you felt it wasn't, and how it led to Chuck losing almost 2 million viewers from the Premier and 3.19. After you've explained that, then I'm sure Frea will be more then happy to explain herself.


  14. Sparky29.9.10

    I was just curious about calling it a reset.

    I'm not much of a fan of,considering the storyline, s3.

    As losing 2 million viewers showed, something was wrong. But reset?

    Chuck and Sarah "drifting" or being forced apart(rather annoyingly) was a reset? When i say reset,i get this meaning:

    And that's why i'm curious. Normally,i like Frea's observations,and that's one of the many reasons i like WFI.

    In fact,WFI got me like/love Chuck. Before that,i had occasionally watched an episode or two.

  15. In 3.01 Sarah went from saving Chuck from the bunker (2.21) and risking her career, to losing all trust in him because of the Prague incident.

    From your wiki:

    1. To set back to the initial state.
    2. To set to zero
    3. To adjust again after an initial failure

    I'd say the relationship was reset at the beginning of season 3.

  16. Sparky29.9.10

    Yeah,Sarah lost her trust in Chuck. Though both still loved each other.

    That can be called a reset from a certain POV, i think. Thanks for the answer BCF :)

    Maybe the writers weren't expecting to get picked up for an additional 6 episode order. Maybe they were trying to prolong the show. I'm curious about that too :)

  17. Anonymous29.9.10

    To be honest, I think the foundation of the reset in 3X01 were in 2X22. Which shows us Chuck's... sudden? change of mind.

    Sarah's default mode in 2X20/2X21 and 3X01 is the same: trying to run away together to save him from a destiny he didn't want. Only that in 3X01 he wanted it (and no, I'm not saying that was right, I'm just saying what it was.)

    But anyway, does anybody think that Chuck talks so much and hence, usually spoils his relationship with Sarah, because that's what unconsciously he wants to do? The same way that Sarah doesn't unpack in her unconscious attempt to break up the relationship. This two... they had terrible commitment/abandonment issues. It's painful to watch them.

    About Ellie not having much interaction with Sarah and not including her in her family... She feels betrayed because she has such a crush on her-- errr, sorry, she trusted her, that's it, and she's trying to play it cool so Sarah doesn't dissapoint her again. That is. Yep.

    Finally, I really can't trust or not trust the writers this year, because apart from Fedak (who wrote the premiere) and Judkins & LeFranc (who wrote this one) the rest are new. I have no parameters to judge them. I'm... I don't know if worried or hopeful, it depends of the day.

  18. Whoa, okay, simmer down, folks. Apparently reset was a dirty word. I'm willing to answer why I thought Prague was a reset, not a problem. I'm just not wiling to do it in my sleep, which was why it took me awhile to answer.

    To me, Prague was a reset because in order to make their storyline for S3 work, they had to literally change everything about the characters. I don't buy Chuck getting the new Intersect as a reset because no matter how many times he said he wanted it out of his head, he felt left out when they didn't bring him along on missions, etc. Is Sarah kicking herself for saying, "how many times...you are that hero?" You betcha. Foolish move on Chuck's part? 95% sure it was. Reset? No, that wasn't it.

    The reset was maneuvering Chuck and Sarah to be Fedak's mouthpieces so that they could reset the relationship back to, if not square one, maybe square negative ten (and they did it so weirdly, too. Sarah and Chuck were planning to run away together in Prague. You're honestly telling me they don't have time to, say, grab a cup of coffee and remember that they're not lovesick teens in order to talk this out? But if they spend even ten seconds communicating, Season Three’s major plotline doesn’t work, so I guess not. Good job, writers). With that one boneheaded move, we got Chuck back to being the novice spy (seriously, the dude couldn't seem to do anything without the Intersect 2.0. *I* can use a zipline without flashing, and I'm a klutzy geek), we got Sarah and Chuck not being in a relationship that was the buildup of two seasons, Chuck went right back to the Buy More, Morgan did, too.

    It was, for all intents and purposes, a freaking huge reset on everything. Even Casey reset back to the days of mean S1 Casey with his comments about being a lemon. Relationships needed to be rebuilt, characters were assassinated and then finally remembered in episode 14 (I'm not meaning literally, I'm meaning Sarah was a pod person). It was like setting a bomb among the characters and then picking up the pieces to start over.

    What happened in “Suitcase” was not anywhere near the equivalent of Prague’s reset, but it did reset Sarah’s “commitment to moving in” that we saw at the end of “Role Models” in the way I mentioned in my earlier post. And like I said earlier, if that’s the biggest problem with the episode, yippee! At least it’s not Season Three.

    (That wasn’t the biggest problem with the episode. Seriously, the biggest problem: Morgan. Tone him down, writers, pleeeeease)

  19. Sparky29.9.10

    Thanks for the answer,Frea. I have one more question for you,if you can spare the time.

    What do you do with a show after the not liking half of the previous season? :)

  20. Anonymous29.9.10

    Nothing can be season 3 except season 3. Fortunately.

    Weirdly enough, I don't have any problem with Prague. I mean, their dysfuntional relationship works like that: he puts his feet in it, she lashes out and leaves, later (after he or she realizes that maybe they have overreacted) they talk about it. Since that would mean Sarah going back all the way to Prague when she already did it under the grid and probably having killed all the passengers in the train after she was dumped (because they didn't have diet coke, how dare they!) I kind of understand why she didn't. But I'm very easy to please... Oh, shiny!... What was I saying? Anyway, what I don't understand is why she didn't say anything after she discovered Chuck's real reasons in 3X02. That was off to me. But again, I'm really nobody to judge since I kind of liked 3X01 *runs for her life*

    Focusing on the episode again... no Castle slide. That was dissapointing. We need more of it. Especially if it involves using it with Morgan so he can hit his head and stay at coma for an entire episode.

  21. Sparky, I do the only thing I can hope to do: hope the next season is better and if not, dump it on its butt. Season 3.5 was a marked improvement. However, just because the next season is shaping up to look better doesn't mean I'm not wary when it comes to the writers. They burned pretty much any credit they had built up with me in S2. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

    Squirrel, to each her own. Pink Slip is ranked in my worst episodes ever of Chuck...and it's ranked high. I agree with you about Castle Slide, though I wouldn't say coma. Maybe just unconscious for twenty minutes or so. :)

  22. Sparky29.9.10

    Frea,I was hoping for more What Fates Impose but your answer is acceptable imo :)

    Maximus,buddy we want more of the bank job fic!

  23. Anonymous29.9.10

    I agree completely that 3.01 was a very obvious reset. That said, I actually loved season 3 (please don't kill me). I know I am a very rare and strange breed in the Chuck fandom, but I can't help myself. There are a few episodes that I did not like (Mask comes to mind), but overall I loved it (even if almost every storylines felt contrived). I'm just that easy to please.

    I still don't agree that Sarah living in her suitcase was a reset thought. I see your point Frea and I respect it. It is simply that I don't think that Sarah realised that her not unpacking meant that Chuck's apartment was less their home and more his. I think she is simply so used to living in a suitcase (she did it her whole life after all) that she never gave it a second thought. I think to her, the simple act of putting her suitcase somewhere is the same as moving in. I really believe that she just put her luggages in the closet and went "ok, all moved in now". She must have realised that normal people unpack, but I don't think that she is introspective enough to think about it too much or to stop and consider how Chuck might interpret it. After all, when Morgan brought it up, she asked Chuck if he thought it was weird (which means she was not sure if it was) and when she realised that Chuck was reading something into it, she immediatly started unpacking.

    I don't think Suitcase was about Sarah becoming more commited to moving in (I think she already was), I saw it as Sarah correcting a bad habit that she realised bothered Chuck.

    I am not bothered by you guys calling it a reset thought. I see where you are coming from, I just happen to see it differently :). The psychology student in me cannot help but think that it is fascinating to see how we all watched the same thing and yet we all perceived it differently. I just love it. That's what makes life interesting.

    Now, someone mentioned something about a shiny object...off to look for the pretty.


  24. I must re-state that I love reading your witty banter, it should almost be a show, I would watch it or a podcast :) Loved it, and of course you two made some valid points that i often miss, thank you!

  25. Lily - I think we are supposed to think the suitcase thing was about committment simply because A) Sarah's speech at the end was more about reassuring Chuck that she was not going anywhere and B) the very end with Sarah freaking out about Chuck talking about marriage and kids. The whole theme of the episode was about setting down roots, and really, that's ultimately about committment. If it was just about Sarah realizing that how she moved into a place was weird and living out of a suitcase was weird, then I don't think much of the issues that were brought up in this episode would have really worked.

    Sarah has to know that even for spies, living out of a suitcase after being in the same place for so long is weird. All she has to do is look at Casey. Her partner obviously doesn't live out of a suitcase. And you can see this in the way she immediately tries to justify the reason she hasn't unpacked is because that's not what spies do. This is why they do the bit with Sophia's closet and show that despite his protests, Casey has actually set down roots. So it's not a spy thing, it's a Sarah thing.

    So I think we were supposed to see Suitcase as Sarah finally accepting and fully throwing herself into the idea of staying in one place for an extended length of time, if not permanently. That's committment, in my mind. It's not about correcting a bad habit so much as making herself fully vulnerable and throwing herself into the relationship she has with Chuck. That's why Chuck's talk at the end is so ridiculous. He just gets Sarah to fully accept the idea of settling down with him, only to ping her committment issues radar with talk of making everything even more permanent and big and whoooa.

    And it still bothers me how nobody mentions that Sarah's suitcase is obviously a TARDIS. It's the only explanation that makes any kind of sense; how else do they expect me to believe that a woman that changes her outfits at least five times an episode and never wears the same thing twice is living out of only ONE suitcase. I wonder if she could use it to go back in time and correct the Shaw arc?

  26. Sparky29.9.10

    mxpw,sometimes people create excuses for their loved ones or tv shows :)

    And according to a novel protagonist,sometimes you need to smell a different flower to better appreciate your favorite one. That's how i explain Shaw and Hannah.

    Though your tardis explanation is a good one, even s3 Sarah Walker is too badass to need a tardis :)

  27. "I wonder if she could use it to go back in time and correct the Shaw arc?"

    OMG now this is a true sign of creativity.

    Bravo mxpw!!


  28. Sarah's suitcase being a TARDIS would explain how they get to Milan and back two days in a row without jet lag.

  29. Anonymous29.9.10

    Thank you for the answer mxpw. I can see that. Of course, I'll have to rewatch the episode with that in mind to really graps it. You know, in the interest of science.

    I want Sarah's suitcase. I am a great traveller and an expert at packing twice as much as a normal person into a small suitcase, but even I have to bow to Sarah's talent. It has to be a TARDIS.


  30. Plus, what I want to know is how does she prevent all her clothes from getting wrinkled? It doesn't even look like she has a garment bag!

    It makes me wonder what's in Sarah's version of a TARDIS. Is there a knife range? Does she have a whole section devoted just to wigs? A full-sized gym?


  31. I've been to India and back a few times Frea, 23 hours from Departing in Seattle, landing in Heathrow London .. Departing, then to landing in Bangalore India. Jet lag sucks, but it wasn't that bad. Couple it with adrenaline endorphins one would get from a mission and piece of cake.


  32. Um, they just crossed the Atlantic, the United States, and half of Europe four times in three days and showed absolutely no signs of travel fatigue. Nothing about that says "piece of cake" to me. Endorphins can only carry you so far.

    But of course, with the suitcase being a TARDIS, this argument is moot.

  33. Anonymous29.9.10

    Interesting points about the reset in 3.01 and this episode. I never really thought of them as resets but I can see how they would be viewed as such.

    And I guess I have the same unpopular opinion on 3.01 as squirol. I kind of liked it...not so much for the content, but I really liked acting. While I agree that the plotline was contrived so they could have their storyline work, I really enjoyed how Yvonne and mostly everyone else acted in that first episode.


  34. Anonymous29.9.10

    The TARDIE suitcase would also explain Sarah's magical hair. I mean think about it. I always found it strange that in 3.12, Sarah's hair was super curly than she went with Shaw to find the Ring and suddendly in a matter of hours her hair was super straight. I wondered where, how and why she would have taken the time to stop the car, find a plug and straighten her hair. Now, I know. She had the suitcase with her (she was running away after all). So she could go into her special make up room inside the TARDIS, do her hair and time travelled so that Shaw wouldn't notice she was gone. That explains so much.

    Oh, Jet lag! I agree. I often travel to Europe (most of my family lives there) and there is no way they couldn't have felt it, just no way. unless they used Sarah's suitcase or they are both on some sort of drug that keeps them awake and pretty at all time. On a side note, both me and my sister never felt jet lagged or tired when we went to Japan, when we came back though we both were jet lagged for a week. It really depends on the country you visit.


  35. Does the TARDIS explain how Sarah could fit into a dress that was skintight on a woman with noticeably less curves?

  36. Alaster29.9.10

    As a avid traveler (job related), I would like to point out that there are anti-jet lag pills. And since this is the CIA in Chuck (same organization that can create a drug to suppress emotions) I would think they had created something that is a little (by little I mean A LOT) more effective than the drugs we currently have out in the market.

    Plus I would think they used a private jet (explains why they were able to get to Milan in a moments notice) that allowed them showers and naps to help fight off the lag as well.

    I also believe that Sarah, as a trained operative would be used, somewhat, to the constant travelling. That, and if she truly has a TARDIS then I would think we would not see Chuck and Sarah for a while. After all, what nerd would not want to sex up a Sarah Walker in a TARDIS.

  37. In season 1 when Sarah was going to leave with Bryce she had 2 suitcases (after only being in Burbank for a few months), so maybe she has an extra unpacked suitcase in the closet as well? Or maybe some of her clothes are housed inside Castle?

  38. Anonymous29.9.10

    Alaster, I think you are talking about melatonin which is a drug associated with the circadian rythm. I've actually studied that drug in neuroscience and I used it quite a few time. As far as my neuroscience teacher was aware, this is the best drug there is out there to cure jet lag and to help people shift from a night job to 9 to 5 schedule. We still haven't found anything more effective because our understanding of sleep and circadian rythm is not yet perfect. Melatonin is effective, but this is not a magical pill either. For the average person it has to be taken a few hours before bed to be effective (it fools your body into thinking night is approaching even if in your home country it is the middle of the day). It gets you to fall asleep at the right time, but it does not keep you awake and alert which Chuck and Sarah clearly were. I can buy that Sarah could be use to operate under sleep deprivation, but Chuck hasn't had much experience with that. The TARDIS explanation makes much more sense to me. Plus, I love the idea of Sarah going around the English country side, in her magical luggage. I am such a nerd.


  39. Lily,

    That was very interesting information on anti jet lag drugs. I love when I go to Chuck message boards and learn something interesting about a totally unrelated subject.

  40. Ayefah29.9.10

    I can buy that Sarah could be use to operate under sleep deprivation, but Chuck hasn't had much experience with that.

    He's a computer engineer. All-nighters are a way of life with that crowd.

    And on a totally different topic, the really magical thing about Sarah's hair is that it'll stay perfect under a wig for hours with no apparent binding. :)

  41. freakin love your banter! aside from being entertaining, its actually a pretty genius way to give a full scope of an episode as there is always 2 sides to everything.You satisfy both the lovers & the haters :)

    p.s. Totally agree w/ the whole Ellie & Sarah thing! WTF. There needs to be some kind of conversation between them-there is so much that needs to be aired now that Ellie knows the truth about Sarah. Hope its not one of those things that gets pushed under the rug, that would be such a waste. I too sensed some weirdness this episode w/ them, especially in that scene you mentioned w/ Ellie leaving out Sarah as part of her family. I instantly went "aww poor Sarah" in my head :(

  42. Anonymous30.9.10

    SK85, well thanks. My sister calls me the walking encyclopedia of random because of that.

    Ayefah, yes, apparently Sarah can control her hair like we can control our limbs. She just ordered it to stay in place under that wig and it did. Truely magical!


  43. Anonymous30.9.10

    MXPW & Frea,
    I hope to work my way into the conversations, especially about the concept of "reset" (and what it should mean to the viewers). But for now, I must just ask politely:

    STOP READING MY MIND, you mind-melding Vulcans, you!

    (You're thoughts are my...) JUST STOP THAT! ;)

    Great conversation and synopsis!

  44. Tamara Burks2.10.10

    About the Ellie and Sarah apparant disconnect. I doubt Morgan had to tell her about the suitcase thing. She probably knew before Morgan. I'm sure she has a key to Chuck's apartment and since finding out about Spy world she would've gone in and looked for any signs that thier relationship is genuine and that Sarah isn't using him for some reason (like an established cover) . One glance in the closet and she'd be convinced that it wasn't. She wouldn't even look closer to find any evidence of anything else (like Chuck being a spy).

    Ellie ight be in the mindet right now that as long as Sarah makes Chuck happy, she'll keep her own counsel about it but the minute she doesn't she's toast. (and being a doctor , Ellie probably knows some creative ways to cause pain and get rid of a body).


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