The Adorable Psycho.
This list is by no means exhaustive; we are a fandom of many great Sarahs. We've simply picked a few of the more popular ones for our guide: How to Recognize Your Sarah.
Warning: Does contain up to date write-ups on various stories in the section; if you don't want to be spoiled on something you haven't read, skip to the next Sarah. :)
Name: Adorable Psycho
Where you can find her: In bed or standing over a dead skank.
State of relationship with Chuck: Engaged, pregnant with his child, and probably getting plowed as we speak.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Unlike canon Sarah, AP has no such thing as commitment issues or reservations about the relationship. They both enjoy an aversion to clothing and prefer knives for killin' folks. AP is also insane whereas canon Sarah is just an emotional basket-case.
Though AP and canon Sarah both have extreme lethality in their arsenal, the AP is the only one we've actually seen attack the brunettes in Chuck's life, no matter how much we wish canon Sarah would show a backbone whenever an ex, a perky computer tech, or an illegal sausage importer comes around. However, those days are long over, and both AP and canon Sarah show an affinity for killing things that can be quite frightening.
Cockblocked By: Doesn't matter, they're all dead anyway.
How To Survive an Encounter with AP Sarah:
1) Don't be brunette.
2) Don't look at her man.
3) Try not to breathe.
4) Do what you can to get her thinking about sex.
5) Sing songs from Glee and back away slowly.
6) Tell her she's the best fanfic writer on the planet.
Episode Mostly Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. Phase Three
Honorable Mentions: Honeymooners, Tic Tac
SWP Rating: 10. It's an unusual day when AP doesn't spend most of it naked.
Name: Sarah Walker/Stacee Kemp
Where you can find her: In Chuck's bedroom, hiding out, or in the cage at the Buy More.
State of relationship with Chuck: Post-Coital, slept together once, known each other three weeks.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: The Sarah featured in Walker's Eleven never left the conman life, though she does go by Sarah Walker so it's uncertain right now if she met Langston Graham or not. She followed in her father's footsteps in the con world, though some might wonder about her skill at such, considering she allowed herself to be tricked very easily. Her relationship with Chuck is vastly different--this Sarah cannot seem to keep her hands to herself (not that Chuck's complaining) and views Chuck as a great deal more competent almost from the start. She also seems to function on a timer. Her biggest difference from canon seems to be self-image; she doesn't like Chuck to see the violent or criminal side of her, whereas canon Sarah has no problem kicking ass and taking names in front of Chuck.
Cockblocked By: Subluxated Shoulder, Smelly Nerd
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Delorean
Honorable Mentions: Imported Hard Salami, Honeymooners (she wishes!)
SWP Rating: 6. Regrettably, even Morgan saw more of her than Chuck did at first, but she did spend most of the last chapter naked.
Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves
Name: Sarah Walker/Sarah Bartowski
Where you can find her: Her hotel room or Castle, thinking of ways she can finally have sex with Chuck.
State of relationship with Chuck: Newly married but still hasn't sealed the deal.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Unlike most of the Sarahs on this list, Themselves Sarah is one of the few Sarahs that HASN'T slept with Chuck yet. In contrast, at least she can claim to be one of the first of them to get married. Almost as sex-obsessed as AP, Themselves and canon Sarah share many of the same overprotective traits (for instance, implanting Chuck with a tracking device) and willingness to do just about anything for her man.
The government plays a much different role in the Themselvesverse, being that they can and will throw Chuck into a bunker (Themselves is the prequel to Chuck vs. the Bunker), so this Sarah is less in love with her job than canon Sarah. Themselves Sarah is actually one of the cleverest Sarahs in the fandom; when we say she will go to any length to protect her man, we mean it. And yes, we include using devices that make Q groan with jealousy in order to fake a one-night stand in that. No commitment issues to be found here; Sarah may have been shocked by the proposal, but she glommed onto that engagement ring pretty quickly...literally!
Cockblocked By: The US Government, Chuck's performance anxiety
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Honeymooners
Honorable Mentions: Suitcase (minus commitment issues), Living Dead
SWP Rating: 6. Still hasn't sealed the deal.
Chuck vs. the Green-Eyed Girl
Name: Sarah Walker/Sarah Talley
Where you can find her: Burbank to Florida to now Belize. This Sarah always seems on the move somewhere.
State of relationship with Chuck: Married, pregnant with his child, but the relationship still always seems in flux. Tends to change from chapter to chapter.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Even more emotionally messed up than canon Sarah, GEG Sarah tends to have trouble choosing between her job and Chuck. Constantly working plans within plans, GEG Sarah is certainly much more of a devious planner than canon Sarah. Never quite sure what GEG is thinking, Chuck seems to be constantly worried about her feelings (so somewhat similar to canon).
Cockblocked By: Chuck, Sarah's schizophrenia, and the government.
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Fake Name
Honorable Mentions: Beard, Mask
SWP Rating: 4.
What Fates Impose
Name: Sarah Walker/Diana Rogers/Jaime Winter/Karrin Lynch
Where you can find her: Within 20 miles of Chuck. No, seriously, it's a government decree.
State of relationship with Chuck: No sex yet, though the makeouts are getting steamy
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Fates Sarah diverged from canon early on due to meeting Chuck two years prior to canon Sarah and thanks to extenuating circumstances, falling for him just as hard as canon Sarah claims to have done. She shares canon Sarah's overprotective instincts, and rightfully so, as the Chuck in Fates is very emotionally troubled and reliant upon her. Thanks to that, Sarah in Fates has been forced to shed a great deal of the secrecy that makes canon Sarah tick in order to maintain the status quo. Because she is two years farther along in knowing and accepting her feelings for Chuck, Fates Sarah can sometimes seem much more advanced than the character that inspired her, which is why Season Four Sarah and Fates Sarah are closer at times than Fates and Season One Sarah.
Other than that, Fates Sarah is viewed through Chuck's point of view, so at times she can seem like canon Sarah with the saturation turned up.
Cockblocked By: The government, a bunker, and a robot.
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Cougars
Honorable Mentions: Colonel, Couch Lock
SWP Rating: 4. One glimpse in the shower does not for good SWP make. She really should lose her shirt more often.
Chuck vs. the Second Chance
Name: Sarah Bartowski/Sarah Walker
Where you can find her: Burbank, then D.C. for five years, then Burbank and then some small town somewhere else.
State of relationship with Chuck: Married to Chuck but separated and estranged, finally starting to work things out.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: 2C diverges from canon about midway through S2. Sarah agrees to marry Chuck for the sake of the cover, though it's most definitely what she wants. Sarah struggles with juggling the job and opening herself up to Chuck and believing she is deserving of love...so pretty similar to canon so far. More broken in nearly all facets than canon Sarah, devastated by personal loss, Sarah runs away from Chuck for five years. Much like canon, Chuck helps Sarah to heal and become comfortable in a relationship. The big change? Chuck becomes the broken one and now Sarah must heal him. At times darker than AP, more fatalistic than Fates, and more broken than canon Sarah, 2C Sarah is an example of what happens when Sarah gets in a serious relationship before she's ready.
Cockblocked By: Personal issues.
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Tooth
Honorable Mentions: Pink Slip (except in reverse), Crown Vic
SWP Rating: 3.
Chuck versus the Double Agent
Name: Sarah Walker/Emma Frost
Where you can find her: Either hanging naked from the ceiling, a hotel room, or Fulcrum headquarters
State of relationship with Chuck: Confused. They've slept together but neither is sure what that means
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Where to start? First and foremost, Sarah left the CIA after only a few months and joined Fulcrum. Moved up in the ranks until she one day got captured by Team Bartowski. Since then, she's been singularly focused on getting to know Chuck Bartowski. Simultaneously filled with a murderous rage for those who captured her, the government, and Fulcrum, Sarah hates just about everybody except Chuck. She has no problems with killing, sleeping with, or manipulating a mark. It's all just a job to her. DA Sarah is what canon Sarah could have become if she never met Chuck and went down a slightly harder path in canon. DA is burned out, doesn't care about the Greater Good, and hates her job. And yet somehow, she's probably closer to being actual canon Sarah than half the Sarahs on this list.
Cockblocked By: Carina
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Tic Tac (minus Shaw/the end)
Honorable Mentions: Phase Three, Helicopter
SWP Rating: 8.5. "Are you naked?" "No, but I can be!"
Where you can find her: NBC, Monday Nights, 8/7 c
State of relationship with Chuck: Steady relationship, living together. Currently in a rough patch due to missing boyfriend and regrettable argument.
Similarities/Differences to Canon: Well, she IS canon Sarah, so...none?
Cockblocked By: Bryce Larkin, Cole Barker, Prague, Pod Person Overtaking Her During S3, Daniel Shaw, Schwedak, Morgan Grimes
Episode Most Closely Matched To: Chuck vs. the Honeymooners
Honorable Mentions: Phase Three, Marlin, Colonel
SWP Rating: 10. Praise the gods.
And that, my friends, should help you out when meandering through both canon and fanon. Now, in a little over two hours, Phase Three will air on the East Coast and in Midwestern Lands, and I, for one, am a little excited.
And the Pacific's a little damp.
Don't forget to follow Chris on Twitter tonight and come back for the Instant Reaction! Tune in for Frea vs. mpxw tomorrow (I'm the pessimist this week!), and definitely hit up Justin's introductory post on screenwriting! It's brilliant stuff!
Frea (and mxpw)