mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Bullet Train

Chuck vs. the Bullet Train
Season 5, Episode 11, original air-date 20 January, 2012

Sarah and Casey stow away in coffins in order to retrieve Chuck from Quinn on a bullet train in Japan. Things go horribly awry when the Intersect in Sarah's head turns out to be the glitchiest of All the Intersects.

Okay, if you don't follow mxpw or me on Twitter, you may not know that neither of us really likes the storyline going on. And I'll say that up front: we hate it. We hate it so hard that there is copious profanity in the review following, plus a lot of ranting, too. This wasn't an awful episode, and neither of us feel that, on its own, it was terrible, but...

Well, you'll have to click the link to see.

Also, the effects were nearly as bad as Masquerade. And keep in mind that Frea is coming into this episode VERY DISAPPOINTED that her little booger spy man that jumps through donuts and skateboards and jetpacks around WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.

Frea: Okay. I have put on my hockey goalie padding.

mxpw: Okay...

mxpw: Were you expecting a pounding?

Frea: No, I'm ready to do mxpw Vs. Frea, that's all.

mxpw: I think they are basically the same thing.

Frea: I'd say watching the show is more the pounding than the reviewing, but point.

mxpw: Yeah, that's very true. At times, watching the show is downright painful.

mxpw: Take this episode for instance.

mxpw: Now I am definitely going to be the pessimist this week.

Frea: I feel like I need to say something.

mxpw: Go right ahead.

Frea: I liked the episode.

Frea: Which makes me the optimist.

Frea: I liked the episode because it made me laugh and it had some good moments in it. Do I like the storyline this episode is playing into? NOT ONE SINGLE BIT.

mxpw: I feel like I need to clarify as well.

mxpw: I didn't outright hate this episode. In fact, it was very average for me (which is me being nice and optimistic, trust me). I thought it wasn't bad and it wasn't great. It was just...there.

mxpw: But I hate this memory loss storyline like it's my job.

Frea: They did some things that worked, some things that really didn't. But you're right, this whole memory loss storyline just makes it difficult not to want to take Jeff's flamethrower to this whole show.

mxpw: Thank you for that opening. It provides me the opportunity to unleash my opening broadside.

Frea: *pats her goalie padding*

mxpw: I just want to say that I actually really liked the Jeffster storyline in this episode. It was one of the very few things I did like. However, it only provided a contrast to me for how...unnecessary I felt Sarah getting the Intersect was. I know, I know, I keep harping on this, but seriously, the stuff Sarah did in this episode? Did not need the Intersect for. Jeffster--Jeffster, people!--saved the day without any training at all, let alone using an Intersect, getting the drop on two assassins, and Sarah has to use the Intersect to grab an umbrella and chuck it at Quinn? REALLY? Let me repeat that: she had to flash in order to grab an umbrella and throw it at somebody.

Frea: Well, to be fair...

Frea: Chuck did have to flash to know how to use his belt on a zip line.

mxpw: She had to flash to use chopsticks. We've seen her use chopsticks as a weapon before! This was not the first time! This is a woman who once threw a pencil through the glass of a picture frame, long before she ever got an Intersect.

Frea: Without looking, Maximus. Without looking.

Frea: I'm not saying I like it. I'm just saying there's precedence.

mxpw: But Chuck was not a trained agent with years of experience.

mxpw: Not that it makes Chuck needing to flash to use a zip line any less unbelievably stupid, but he at least wasn't as highly trained as Sarah.

Frea: And neither is Sarah at this point. She's been on a constant decline since season two, with a few notable exceptions.

Frea: Oh, right, I'm supposed to be the optimist, not the depressing one.

Frea: But the only way I can really not be depressing is this:

Frea: For the first time in awhile, I'm really loving what they're doing with the Peter storyline. I really feel like he's coming into his own and he's really gained this edge. He's a chessmaster stuck in a bad situation, but he's making alliances rather than tearing people down and he's learning that teamwork is the best way. So go you, Peter! Go you!

mxpw: I guess part of what I'm saying is, she used the Intersect 40 times in two days. 40 times! Why would she even NEED to parkour off a truck onto a moving car? That was just so dumb. Sarah wasn't using the Intersect in emergency situations. She was being lazy, basically. It completely defeats the purpose of putting the Intersect in a trained agent if the agent is just going to let the Intersect do all the fighting. And I know, some people might say she couldn't control her flashes, but that didn't happen till about two-thirds through the episode, long after those 40 flashes. It makes you wonder how Sarah ever did anything before she got the Intersect.

Frea: Also, I'm calling BULL on Morgan, by the way.

Frea: There's no way he didn't start using the Intersect consistently until he started flashing for missions. NO FREAKING WAY.

mxpw: Yeah, that was really hard to swallow.

Frea: He's MORGAN GRIMES. You know he was out in the courtyard doing Parkour just because he could. You know he was flashing on Duck Hunt and Guitar Shredder and—oh, sorry, zooming. You know he was zooming on a billion random little skills because having the Intersect was SO COOL.

Frea: Nice try, Wootton, but put that beachfront property in Arizona back in the suitcase. WE ARE NOT BUYING THAT HERE.

mxpw: Exactly. The foundation that this whole storyline is built on is so freaking shaky.

mxpw: I just found it annoying that they had Sarah flash so much. If they want me to believe it's because she was letting the Intersect go to her head, then the writing really didn't indicate that. I guess maybe she was a little cocky at the end, but by that point, she was losing control over the Intersect, so who knows what was going on.

Frea: The writing kind of sold that to me, actually

mxpw: Although I had to roll my eyes at her going after Quinn. Kind of made me hard to feel sympathy for her plight, to be honest.

Frea: I guess that's probably the fundamental difference. I saw her being excited at the boundless opportunities of the Intersect, plus the natural Sarah Walker ego ("I can do this.") that I could see the Intersect going to her head even from the start when she was bubbling about it (favorite moment: calling Casey Frank). The others were trying to be the voice of reason, but we did see this happen before with the Douchersect.

Frea: I'm not saying that I like this—I didn't. I hated it with a passion—but that I could see it happening.

mxpw: I suppose. Perhaps I am just blinded by my hatred of the storyline, I don't know. But I just didn't buy it as much as you did, I guess. I thought she was a little dismissive of Chuck's concerns and overly confident, but I didn't feel like it was as noticeable as with Morgan.

Frea: Oh, man, I am sorry for what I am about say, Josh Gomez because I love you so much but...I think it was a more nuanced performance, which makes the difference.

mxpw: Yeah, I can see that.

Frea: Our main complaint about the Douchersect was that Gomez's range couldn't really sell it. Yvonne's can. And she had to sell it in a very short time.

mxpw: Actually, now that I think about it, the flashing 40 times in two days is pretty cocky in and of itself. So you may be right about this.

Frea: That and Chuck is in danger, which is Sarah's "Ellie" button, if that makes any sense.

Frea: For instance, I don't think she really ate or drank at all in Phase Three. She was just running on sheer desperation. And the situations are very similar, for all that we don't have Newman's awesome fingerprints all over everything.

mxpw: Heh. I couldn't stop thinking about how she'd even have the opportunity to flash. It's not a short flight from CA to Japan. They would be in those boxes for most of at least one of those two days. Just what was she up to?

Frea: So flashing forty times to do everything she can do to get her husband back? In character, even with her knowing the brain-melting properties of the Intersect.

Frea: Her back and forth with Casey didn't make it seem like they were in the boxes for two days.

mxpw: No, I'm not saying they were. I just mean, they'd be flying and spending time in the boxes for a good chunk of at least one day.

Frea: The things she listed off made it seem like they'd had to do a bunch to the plan to get it to work, and being in the boxes was only the final part.

Frea: At least, that's what I was getting from the incredibly expository—THE EXPOSITION! MY BLEEDING EYES THE EXPOSITION—dialogue at the beginning.

mxpw: Yeah. That was kind of a painful beginning.

mxpw: Going back to your comparison to P3, though, I just didn't get that sense of desperation in this episode.

Frea: *points at the aforementioned awesome Newman fingerprints*

mxpw: Yeah, good point.

mxpw: Newman did do a lot to make Sarah searching for Chuck a lot more nuanced and meatier.

mxpw: It was a pretty cool fight when Sarah saved Chuck, I will admit.

Frea: Wootton has good ideas as a writer, but unfortunately where he fails most often is execution. That said, I think this was actually his best work so far.

mxpw: I suppose. I've never been a big fan of Wootton so it's really hard for me to say.

mxpw: I thought there were some really facepalm worthy moments in this episode, separate from the overarching storyline.

Frea: Yeah, I've always been the bigger fan of his, I think. And now I think there's proof he's a fan of mine. Hi, Frank!

mxpw: None bigger than Quinn's miraculous survival after being kicked out of the window of a bullet train likely going over at least 100 mph.

Frea: Yeah, that was...

Frea: Special.

mxpw: I honestly don't know what Wootton was thinking there.

mxpw: That was just so laughably ridiculous that I really had trouble not rolling my eyes at everything that came afterward.

Frea: Those trains go incredibly fast. Seriously, they have to slow down to pass another train going the opposite direction so that both trains don't get knocked off the tracks and even then THE WHOLE TRAIN SHAKES. I have video proof of this. Quinn being able to hold on for that long to a speeding bullet train is the equivalent of him being able to hold onto a jet.

mxpw: Pretty much, yeah. And I realize that this is the same show that had Shaw come back after getting shot three times in the chest and falling 50 feet into a river, so I guess I shouldn't blink at something like this, but I can't help it. It just seems more ludicrous than that.

Frea: In the winter, Max. In the winter.

mxpw: Speaking of Shaw!

Frea: Oh, wait, what?

mxpw: I was just going to say another thing that made me facepalm was Chuck struggling with Quinn, a man who is...not in the best shape and obviously in his late 40s, at least, but Chuck could hold his own in a fight against Shaw.

Frea: Well, yeah. I actually had a problem with Chuck even being able to hold his own as well as he did in the episode, even.

Frea: I think it was the wonderful Saint Crumbles that was like, "He's Rambo!"

mxpw: Hahaha. But at least there's precedence thanks to Santa Suit. Here it was just kind of lame that he was getting tossed around by Quinn.

mxpw: It was contrived, basically.

mxpw: Anyway, I've complained for a while, so your turn to talk about what you liked.

Frea: I'll just throw them out there in no order

Frea:  Sarah flipping all over Chuck and saving him in those ridiculous heels. I just like that the heels live on, all the way from the Pilot.

mxpw: Dude, by this point, those heels are probably an extension of Sarah's body.

Frea: I mean, I hate the heels on some feminist level but they're like an old security blanket by this point.

mxpw: Like, she probably feels strange, somehow incomplete, without them.

Frea: Thing two: there's a chicken button. There is a button. AND IT HAS A CHICKEN ON IT. EPISODE SAVED.

mxpw: Hahaha

mxpw: Even I will admit that was funny. Stupid, but funny. I wanted Chuck to press it!

Frea: Thing three: Jeff and Lester.

mxpw: It's sad when Jeffster is one of two highlights of an episode for me. But oh man were they funny.

Frea: Thing four: Morgan. And especially Alex.

mxpw: Gonna have to disagree. At least about Morgan. I found him annoying this episode.

Frea: Oh, I did, too.

Frea: But Alex was hysterical in contrast.

mxpw: That is a good point. Alex usually is funny in contrast.

Frea: And Mekenna gave another funny performance in this episode.


mxpw: Haha

mxpw: Yeah, she was definitely on top of things.

Frea: I mean, granted, it makes their decision to keep the Intersect and stuff away from her for all of Season Four COMPLETELY STUPID, but I love the idea that Ellie is smart and capable and honestly, I'm a little surprised they haven't EXAMINED MORGAN'S DAMGED BRAIN BEFORE THIS.

mxpw: Really? You're surprised?

Frea: Okay, point. I'm not surprised.

Frea: But this ends my favorite things list and brings me to something I desperately, desperately want to say.

mxpw: Yes?



Frea: Morgan gets the Intersect, keeps it for months and loses, what? Indiana fucking Jones? Sarah gets it for two days and loses EVERY FUCKING MINUTE OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WE'VE SEEN IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS?

Frea: I know this is a dudebrow show. I've acknowledged that from the start. But this is the goddamn most sexist thing I have ever seen them do.

mxpw: Oh man, FREA SMASH, activate!

mxpw: Yes, I agree.

mxpw: Let me know when you're done, because I have my own thoughts to say on this.

Frea: Just put all your women in the fucking titanium bikini and don't even bother to try writing well-rounded characters in Hollywood ever again, Fedak and company. I'm done with you. Go suck an egg.

Frea: I'm done now.

mxpw: Okay.

mxpw: So I have defended this show before when people have called it sexist. But I don't think I can do that anymore, because this storyline with Sarah is just...so bad.

mxpw: Look, for the last three years, they have been victimizing Sarah over and over again. They take her agency as not just a person away from her, but as a competent professional too. Let's recount a bit, shall we? Other Guy, Sarah is kidnapped and turned into a victim, literally paralyzed and incapable of doing anything to save herself. Ring 2, again kidnapped and made into a victim, again prevented from action. Push Mix: not physically incapacitated this time, but she must be "saved" by Mary, because she's too...blinded to save herself. Cliffhanger? Not just incapacitated but on the verge of death. Santa Suit: victimized, abused, and had all her agency taken away. And now this storyline, where Sarah has all her memories erased, where she's tied to a chair and abused AGAIN, where she's victimized and had her choices and agency taken away from her. It's just...too much. I can't take it anymore. The way they treat Sarah's character when it comes time to have an important episode or story arc is insulting.

mxpw: And all so Chuck can be the big, strong man who swoops in and saves the defenseless female from the bad guys.

Frea: I've seen the argument around the Internet that "Well, Sarah gets in the most fights, surely it makes sense that she gets the most beatdowns." Which a) just because it makes sense for them to tie Sarah to a chair and torture her for whatever reasons in the storyline doesn't mean I want to see that. Most times Chuck gets kidnapped, they put him on a train and handcuff him to something. Sarah, they hit.
B) Every time Sarah gets taken hostage and has her agency taken away, it has to do with getting back at Chuck (with the exception of Baby). Here, it's no different. Chuck is always Quinn's target. Chuck got the Intersect instead of Quinn. Chuck could fix the Intersect instead of Quinn and didn't, so now he must be killed. And Sarah is ALWAYS THE ONE THEY MAKE EXAMPLE OF. And it's fucking pathetic, writers. FUCKING PATHETIC.

mxpw: I get the show is called Chuck and not Sarah. That's fine. I don't necessarily have a problem with that. Chuck is the one who gets to save the day the majority of the time. Again, I get it. But there's a HUGE difference between writing a story where Chuck always saves the day from writing a story where Chuck isn't saving the day, he's saving Sarah because she's been kidnapped again, because she's been incapacitated, because she's been abused. Because she's been treated like crap, basically.
You don't need to completely remove Sarah from the equation for Chuck to be able to lead the charge.

mxpw: Here's a novel concept: How about Chuck and Sarah save the day together? How about Chuck has to defeat the bad guy because he's going to destroy the world, not because he's captured Chuck's girlfriend/fiancee/wife and frakked her up.

Frea: Are you kidding? That plot sounds lame, Maximus.

mxpw: You're right, what am I thinking?

mxpw: Let me just say, before somebody points out that we don't know how the finale is going to play out. That's true, we don't, but honestly, in my opinion, it doesn't matter. Sarah has already been screwed. She's already been abused and had her choice, her agency forcibly stripped from her (and it's always by a man). Sure, she may be walking around and she may even eventually join forces with Chuck to take down Quinn, but she'll already be the damsel in distress.

mxpw: Does anybody here really think Sarah is going to get her memories back on her own? I don't. I fully expect it will be Chuck who's responsible for that.

Frea: Yeah, I agree. And there's two ways it plays out: Sarah doesn't get her memories back. Which is when I take my DVDs of Seasons 3-5 out on the balcony and burn them in a trash can. Or Sarah gets her memories back but not completely...which is a cop-out. Awesome. That's just fucking wonderful.

mxpw: Yeah, it's a kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Frea: Look, maybe they'll surprise me and come up with something good. But I'm not holding my breath. I've gotten my hopes up too many times with this show.

mxpw: Ellie did have that line in the episode about Morgan's memories maybe not being permanently gone, so I think they covered their ass in that regard. But it would be a cop-out because they do this huge dramatic storyline, with Sarah losing her memories, and then you know there will be a lightning quick fix, just like how they resolved the Douchersect arc.

mxpw: And if they don't, if they erase Sarah's memories forever, well, you all will see what a MAXIMUS SMASH is like. I don't think it will be as entertaining as a FREA SMASH.

Frea: Want to bet Morgan whips out some random reference next week and Chuck is like, "Wait, how did you know that? You weren't up to your obscure 60s trivia section that Frea won't get section of your rewatch yet." And Morgan realizes his pop culture memories—OH GOD FUCK YOU SHOW—are coming back and they realize there's hope for Sarah after all.

mxpw: Hahaha

mxpw: I would not be surprised.

mxpw: I also wanted to complain about how CREEPY it was that Quinn stripped Sarah naked and put her in different clothes. That was just so freaking wrong.

mxpw: And goes back to what we were talking about her being victimized and abused.

mxpw: The worst part is that the show probably thought they were just paying a homage to Sarah's lingerie in the Pilot without realizing how creepy it would actually come across. At least to me.

mxpw: And putting aside the whole Sarah being abused aspect of the storyline for a second, the whole plan is just so nonsensical. Obviously Sarah is not going to kill Chuck. Obviously Quinn is going to have Sarah use Chuck to probably get a copy of the Intersect for him, and to do that, Sarah is going to have to spend time around Chuck. There's SO much stuff about Quinn's story that doesn't add up that Sarah really shouldn't trust a single thing he says after spending 10 minutes around Team B.

Frea: Hey, maybe there's hope that they'll just pull a Phase Three on us and all of that memory loss we were freaking out about would be gone with a single kiss.

mxpw: Yeah, maybe. Anyway, I think we are moving far afield of our operational focus here. Heh. We probably shouldn't be talking about the finale. Let's focus back on this particular episode, yeah?

Frea: I'm done talking about this episode. I liked it, I hate everything else.

mxpw: Well, I want to talk about something I actually liked.

Frea: Ben Browder or whatever his name is did okay.

mxpw: I really liked the "practice" scene. I admit, the Charah scenes still get me. I know you're not crazy about them anymore, but I DO still like them. And this was a good one. The sexytimes leading up to it didn't hurt. Some excellent SWP there and I'm really glad Chuck no longer has a problem with red. Heh. Though I was amused by Sarah wearing those rather sensible mission clothes (sensible for her, at least) but having that quite sexy lingerie on underneath. Sarah Walker is so ridiculous, I love it.

Frea: She is amazing, I'll give her that.

mxpw: Then Chuck and Sarah sitting back, talking about their future. I loved that scene, I loved the picture (but oh God, the anvils with that scene, they hurt) and Chuck drawing it and how comfortable Chuck and Sarah were around each other discussing the future. It was my favorite scene of the episode.

Frea: It was a good scene.

Frea: You're right. I'm so curmudgeonly that I don't really care about Charah anymore. I'm glad Chuck wasn't a moron in this episode like Kept Man.

mxpw: Yeah, that's another thing I'll give this episode credit for. Chuck was written fairly well. He wasn't annoying or stupid. That's two good episodes in a row.

mxpw: Clearly that means the next two will probably suck. Haha.

mxpw: Because four episodes in a row? Pure crazy!

Frea: Pure impossible. Though next week starts off with a LeJudkins, so we might get three in a row.

mxpw: Right, true. They usually write Chuck pretty well.

Frea: I'm a little amazed Casey wasn't calling Verbanski again this week when Alex was in danger.

mxpw: Yeah...I thought that was dumb as well. Or that they waited two days before asking Beckman to send over a suppression device.

mxpw: Another thing I loved was Casey talking to Jeffster about saving Alex. That entire scene was hysterical, and Lester's confused, "Canada?" made me laugh and laugh. Then "Oh Canada!" playing while he walked out with all those weapons was rather brilliant.

Frea: Yes, that did make me laugh. I can feel this hatred in my heart beginning to melt enough so that I can laugh at the fact that you and I once plotted out a fic in which Jeff with a flamethrower was a major plotpoint.

mxpw: Hahaha

mxpw: I vaguely remember that. We've plotted so many stories together.

Frea: That we have.

Frea: If they keep it up two more episodes, they will have an entire season where the Buy More is the best plot.

mxpw: I do have to say that everybody walking around a busy mall parking lot with automatic weapons and a flamethrower and nobody called the cops was another facepalm moment for me. But the Jeffster stuff was so awesome it didn't bother me much.

mxpw: Yeah, what the hell is up with that?

Frea: Surprise, we've switched universes. Awesome Sarah is in the old universe, the one we left behind three seasons ago (Phase Three aside).

mxpw: Sigh. I miss Awesome Sarah.

mxpw: Hey, Frea, things could be worse.

mxpw: It could be Shaw doing this plot and not Quinn.

Frea: That would almost be better.

Frea: Because then Fringe would have Fridays all to itself.

mxpw: It soon will, Frea, it soon will.

mxpw: I wish Ben Browder's role was bigger. It was great to see him again, but he was kind of wasted.

Frea: Yeah. Also that could've been Claudia Black in the RV with him. Just saying.

mxpw: If that had happened, I would give this episode like all the Sarahs in the universe.

Frea: My first Aussie crush in the same episode as my current? MIND BLOWN.

Frea: Can we be done now? I have a really special chapter of Fates to write.

mxpw: Okay, we can be done. Final thoughts?

Frea: Fuck you, show. Good episode.

mxpw: Succinct and to the point.

mxpw: Ditto, but only an average episode.

mxpw: Oh, also, Asian stereotypes are wrong, show. I just wanted to put that out there.


Frea: THAT


mxpw: Alright, ratings?

Frea: 6 out of 10 Jeffs with a Flamethrower

mxpw: And I'll give it 2.5 Sarahs in red out of 5.


  1. Anonymous22.1.12

    The phrase in red text above, I've already had the thought if the show ends with Sarah not getting her memories back, that's pretty much how I feel.

    Seriously if the show ends with them "showing" the love between Sarah and Chuck being them staying together and "finding" each other again, I'm going to puke.

    Go watch The Vow -- not that I think it's a bad movie -- just don't want to loose 5 freaking years of character development. If a show pulls something like this permanently, it should be done midway through the series not at the end.

  2. Anonymous22.1.12

    Meant to say if you want to see two people fall in love after one looses memories, go see the Vow, is doesn't belong in this show.

    My hope for the end of the series is that Sarah will get her memories back. In the last episode, when they looked at Morgan's scans, Ellie said she didn't see any signs of brain damage, so that makes me hopeful that the show runners aren't going to leave it this way. If they do leave sarah this way...see phrase above in red...

  3. I'm holding on so well guys, but when I read this and see evidence of how abused Sarah has been, how punching bag for pilot's sake she's been, it gets...really hard.

    I am not gonna be negative anymore. At this time, I just want to see this body of Yvonne's work to its conclusion. As a loyal fan, it's what I have to do. But I don't blame anyone for stopping to watch, nor do I blame anyone for being fed up.

    A better alternative to most of this season's eps was to just give us 13 episodes of the team and rest of cast having dinners, shopping, talking, braiding each other's hair and Sarah and Chuck making out afterwards. The plots are nonsensical anyway, might as well stick to what it does best: character relations.

    Alas, 2 hours to go...

  4. I'm REALLY fucking glad that someone else pointed out how disturbingly creepy it was that Sarah was in a nightgown. At first I wanted to hand-wave it, because I was probably nitpicky, but no, it was really REALLY creepy. The entire fucking storyline is creepy, stupid, contrived and other angry adjectives. The fuck were they thinking when they thought this shit up? Excuse the language, but hot damn, this has been bothering me.

    So anyway, I would like to add one more thing to the list of things I thought were pretty good. Angus MacFadyen, after climbing up when he's done Evil Knieveling his way under a train, pulls his hands through his hair, and it's almost perfectly back to the way it was. I'm not ashamed to admit that I laughed out loud at that part.

    So anyway, thank you for eloquently (and with curse words, YAY curse words!) explaining my major gripes with... everything really. And Quinn should've told her that she was married to him as a cover, because otherwise... it's like: "Oh hey, why am I in that picture... is that a... wedding gown? What the..."

  5. Anonymous23.1.12

    You know how they can save next episode, by showing it from Sarah perspective. You know, we see how she reacts to things and she is comming to realization by herself how things are, even if with Chuck help. Also it helps that she is not tied, drugged or just taken out of action like she was in other finales. So there is a chance she will be totally BAMF next week.

  6. Of course it is creepy that Sarah's clothes has been changed - Quinn is supposed to be an evil creepy man, yes? I didn't even bat an eye to it. And I feel like Chuck as a character has been victimized just as much as Sarah's, you are just blind to it because of your love for SW. It makes me think of the Scully/Mulder dynamic when basically every other episode was where one had to save the other. The stupidity of the spy plots often blow me away, the cheap FX in this episode really sucked (if you can't afford good FX, then minimize the use - have Chuck and Sarah close some blinds while they get busy), the inconsistent characterization is beyond frustrating....yet, despite all those major grips, I still love watching this show. There is too much chemistry and goodness crackling when they get things right, that there is not way I can hold onto those type of negative feelings and let them taint the show. The memory loss is predicable, the idea that Chuck is going to have to convince her of their past is obvious, and I have zero doubt that 100% of the memories will be restored (I am betting Ellie is suddenly going to figure out a way?) I guess I am saying that I love the show and maybe my love has made me blind, but I will sure miss it.

    The main things I liked about this episode. Sarah's fight scene/music was excellent; the C/S discussion about their future was terrific and called back to their chemistry that has sadly been absent lately; Sarah's real fear of her recognition of losing her memory was played very well by YS - loved her confession of not remembering Alex while she was blindfolded; and finally I loved the scene with Quinn when she was tranqued; her crawing to the door was perfectly done with the music and Chuck and Casey's reactions were spot on.

    Morgan, Alex, Jeff, Lester...sorry but I don't care about and didn't find any of it funny.

  7. awelle23.1.12

    Yeah, I am with this review completely.

    I don´t really mind Sarah getting the intersect, which I commented on on the last mxpw vs. Frea, and the episode in itself was quite fun.

    But the way this storyline positions Sarah for the series finale really really sucks. Chuck is being put in danger in regular episodes and gets saved by Sarah from time to time, I concede that, but that is not really comparable to what they do to Sarah for every single possible series finale since season 3.

    And I get that saving Sarah is a very good motivator for Chuck to really shine as a hero, but that objectifies Sarah quite a bit, as you said. And on top of that it makes it look as if Chuck needs to have Sarah not by his side to act really heroic. There were a few episodes in which they truly worked together and didn´t rely on having one of them taken out or acting completely stupid to make the other shine. I thought Hack Off was good in that regard this season. Honeymooners and Tic Tac also come to mind, but unfortunately very little else.

    I really wish they would have ended the series with Chuck and Sarah fighting for a safe future for themselves together.

    At least Sarah is conscious and physically present this time, but of course her agency has been completely taken away just so that Chuck can have his true big hero moment and I hate that so much.

    And when Sarah mentioned not remembering Alex, it just made me sad, that those two hardly ever shared a scene. I have always hated how much emphasis the show puts on male/male friendships and how much they completely ignore any of their few female characters even interacting, much less show them to have meaningful friendships.

  8. Reva, "It makes me think of the Scully/Mulder dynamic when basically every other episode was where one had to save the other."

    This amuses me, as one of the biggest gripes against manpaaaaaaain (which I feel Chuck has) is against the Mulder/Scully dynamic. I know Chuck's been a victim here, too. But as I pointed out, or maybe Max did, Sarah being a victim is the more played-out shtick. Every time Chuck is kidnapped, he's just kidnapped. They stuff a bag over his head and put him on a bullet train. Sarah gets tranqed, beaten, tortured, and Eternal Sunshine'd like nothing else. And most of the time, it's so that Chuck can suffer. My complaint isn't actually about Chuck here (he's not becoming a grade-A douchebag and being all, "Why must they kidnap Sarah? I am in PAIN!" like Mulder got about Scully and the horrible things that happened to her), but about the writers. We know Quinn is the bad guy and that he's supposed to be creepy and whatever. We're just so. freaking. tired. of. seeing. the. bad. guy. do. stuff. to. Sarah. Always right before a finale, always taking her out.

    You know what? Take Morgan out instead of Sarah for once, writers. As awelle pointed out, the male/male friendships are the only ones that really get developed. Let Chuck fight for his heterosexual life partner. I'm just sick of seeing Sarah demeaned, tortured, and abused.

  9. Anonymous23.1.12

    I'm a bit tired by the "Sarah being the victim" too, but like I said, at least this time she will be part of the action and it seems at least in episode 13 she will be back with Chuck working together. Also i still hope that episode 12 will be told more from her perspective rather than Chuck.

    And I don't agree that her agency was taken, because I think that what episode 8 (vs the Baby) was about, to show us not only the stuff about her mom, but rather to demonstrate she wasn't some mindless drone before she met Chuck, that she was willing to do stuff against orders when she thought they were right even back then...and it's not like she was completely brainwashed, only her memories were taken.

  10. Anonymous23.1.12

    That is intersting sneak peak:


  11. That video posted by Anonymous contains some pretty heavy spoilery stuff. Just to warn you all.

  12. Thank you both for writing all of this.

    I thought the episode wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Mostly the storyline is so bad, I can't really appreciate the good stuff. Although, I loved Casey, and YS's performance was amazing as always. And Ellie! And Alex! :)

    I'm just pissed at this storyline. I wish I could be happier about the Series Finale, rather than just want it to be over.

  13. ladycat71327.1.12

    Actually I don't think that Sarah CHOSE to flash 40 times any more than Chuck chose to flash on various things (at first he wasn't able to force it) . It's just that the situation caused her to flash that many times. So even though she knew how to do something the Intersect didn 't know that she knew it just supplied the info as if she had no training. Also remember what happened with the Gretas. The female Greta shot the guy with the nuclear dead mans switch and it seemed completely involuntary on her part. And she had certainly been trained on how to shoot yet the Intersect did the shooting for her.

    Morgan may have lost more than pop culture , he also seemed to lose the emotional connection he had to people and acted like a complete douchebag.

    He lost less than Sarah because he was using the Intertsect less. Sarah went from being Intersected to combat in a split second .Maybe the amount of time the Intersect is used from when it's inserted also has something to do with it and Sarah's immediate massive use of it made it worse for her.

    Plus we don't know how many times Quinn deliberately made her flash beyond what was shown on screen.

    Chuck seems to be the character with the most control over the Intersect and it's possible that came from the childhood intersect download.

    Shaw might have had some control but we don't know how much damage the Intersect did to him since he was a douchebag legend in his own mind before he was ever Intersected . He also made no mention of his murder of Papa B but that could either be his memory of that was erased or it was part of his character where he seemed to think that anything wrong was alright to do as long as HE did it. For instance did he know anything about his target (like Chuck knew his was a killer) when he had his red test or was he just given when, where and a face like Sarah was?


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