Chuck, Chuck’s Family and the Apartment: Sarah Walker vs Agent Walker Part 3B

Bartowski had it rough

The first part of this mini three part series in the latest study of Sarah Walker was about Chuck’s influence on her development, The focus now will be on how Chuck’s family became Sarah’s family.  The fact is without a strong support staff Chuck wouldn’t of turned out so well, and once Sarah learned about Chuck and Ellie’s Mother’s Day. She became hooked because her past was quite similar of the Bartowski siblings. Alone and wondering where your parents was a common ground all three of them have faced in their lives.

After hearing the reason behind celebrating Mother’s Day, Sarah learned that the Bartowskis have been on their own since a very young age, and it is quite similar to the upbringing of  herself. The only exception is  Chuck and Ellie had each other to get through the difficult times. Whereas, Sarah only had her grandmother. A person she didn’t want to be with because of the closeness she had with her father, but the problem was Jack Burton was always trying to con someone. He would spend a portion of her life in prison. Lucky for her the CIA came to the rescue.

When the opportunity to Listening as Mary talked about her leaving themhear Mary Bartowski’s explanation on leaving. Sarah couldn’t help but listen. Sometimes education comes in different forms. For Sarah, learning about family by observing Chuck’s was very important in her development, which is why when Mary Bartowski explains to Ellie where she has been. It is not only important for Ellie, but Sarah as well. Its a wake up call for her on everything she thought was family. Hence, why she didn’t want to invite her father to the wedding.

Her make up here in Chuck vs The First Fight is important to look at. This is the family she has adopted as her own, and what we see in Sarah is one of distance. It is a very personal conversation between a mother and daughter, and as the details come out the more Sarah begins to wonder about herself. Would she do something like that to her own family? The life of a spy has many burdens on a human, and more specifically for someone like Sarah, who only knows how to be a spy.

How about when she meets Father Bartowski, how does one handle that?  Again a education on the past of Chuck and Ellie.

Sarah is Becoming Apart of The Family
Sarah is Becoming Apart of The Family

The difference between Mary and Stephen is night and day, we have a soft spoken man, who generally wants ease back into his family’s life. Mary on the other hand is quite opposite. She expects her children to automatically trust her despite the bad history.  However, no matter the case Chuck still trusts his mother. Despite the evidence that she was working with Volkoff.

When Sarah first meets Stephen. Sarah was quiet because this was very new to her. However, her feelings for Chuck has reached the top of her heart, and being very girlfriend like is by his side. Especially after the  harsh words  exchanged between the two men.

Steve Bartowski: Not a good idea. Tell her that I’m happy for her

Chuck Bartowski: Are you- are you joking? You have to do this. She’s your daughter! DoSarah never talked like that to her fathern’t you want to be there?

Steve Bartowski: Charles, I can’t…

Chuck Bartowski: I-I don’t want to hear what you *can’t* do! I’ve *seen* what you can’t do!

[Long pause]

Chuck Bartowski: I’m sorry. I, uh, that came out wrong. Steve Bartowski: No it didn’t. You’re mad. I left and you’re mad.

It is a learning experience in a sense because Sarah has dealt with long absences from her father, buA place where a girlfriend should bet never had the gall to yell at her father like Chuck just did, and she felt compelled to check to see if he was ok.  This was a special moment for her because it showed how family talk things out.  She would keep this with her, but it was something that Stephen said later that struck her more.  Its scenes like these that showcase her transition into a girlfriend. An agent would wait outside, if the agent didn’t have anything personal at stake, which she does.

In regards to Stephen, 

Look at the words, Mr. Bartowski said.

Steve Bartowski: It’s never over, all right? There’s always another one and another. And… the reason a spy has to have one of those is because every mission they go on could be their last. For every spy, there’s someone who cares about them. Someone who has to open that box, read that message, and mourn their loss. This is a bad business. And I don’t want my family any part of it!

The words hit home for Sarah, not because she was in a relationship with Chuck, but it brought everything in perspective. Why Chuck’s parents went away and what could happen. Orion’s words “there will always be another mission.” The truth hits thought of Team Bartowski in Season 5, one final mission, unfortunately things don’t work always the way you planned.

Sarah being personal

For a superagent like Sarah Walker, who never had a family of her own, sometimes moments like the one in Chuck vs the Living Dead becomes important  for her. She understands the concept now, but the road was long and a lot of lessons need to be learn.  What it did was help Sarah realize Chuck is her family. She surrendered her spy will to Chuck, who she felt was best deserving of it.

A Family of Lies 

The reality is the Bartowskis, which includes Sarah has nothing but lies between them. Chuck metSimple game of Lies Sarah on a lie. Mary and Stephen lied about what they did professionally. Chuck lied to Ellie many times since Sarah rolled into town, which brings me to my next point in how Chuck’s family was claimed by both Agent Walker and Sarah Walker. In the beginning, Sarah was in full fledge Agent mode. Game night at the Bartowskis in Chuck vs the Wookie was something of an early sign Sarah was settling into her new assignment.

She was having fun, but still maintained cover. A question of the most dangerous time in her life. Chuck instantly knew Sarah’s answer was going to be a lie, but a cover is a cover. However, what is not a cover is the reaction Sarah gave when Chuck found out about Bryce’s relationship with her.  Sarah did not owe Chuck an explanation about Bryce. She just learned how much the whole family could not stand Bryce.

How productive would it be for her to reveal that she use to be with the very guy who got him kicked out of Stanford and stole his girlfriend. How is Sarah supposed to response? Easy by lying.

However, What is a very impAgent Walker going over the planortant episode of Chuck. Chuck vs the Truth offered a  compelling story for  Chuck and Sarah. It showed their make up at the time. First,  Chuck and Sarah going over the game plan for their double date, and Agent Walker is making sure they are on the same page.  Again, it was all a lie. A relationship was forming but on trying to lie for cover.

Everything is going to plan until Devon and Ellie share how they met. It warmed Sarah. Sarah appreciated it, and it was something she wanted in return from Chuck, but it was a cover right?

Sarah Impressed with how a real relationship can be

Later in the episode Sarah saw what Chuck would sacrifice for family. Something an agent wouldn’t understand. As Carina once said, “This thing of ours, we are in it for ourselves.” Agent Walker agrees with that sentiment. Chuck chosen to give the antidote to his sister rather than save himself. It was quite honorable for a man to be willing to do that. Chuck did say nothing means more to him than his friends and family.

What bothers Sarah the most in her relationship with Chuck was his lack of willing to let her in on his thoughts and plans like a family, but too often Chuck feels like he has to prove himself to her. For example, In Chuck vs the Anniversary,  

Or When he didn’t tell her about trying to find his dad. Her initial reaction is one of puzzlement. He never told me he was looking for his father

Its the first time she is hearing of this. It also can be traced back to when he was trying to find Orion. She wanted to be apart of his life in all shapes and forms. She may have never told him explicitly that she was his girlfriend, but actions said otherwise. Jealousy and going all out for him was something she learned from him. It was also a family trait because Ellie was the same way.

This leads me to the important part of this article, As Sarah continues on her assignment, she begins to love Chuck and his family. Ellie was becoming a sister figure, which is the very reason Sarah began to worry about the pressures of becoming a spy may do to the physi of Chuck, and finally the most difficult experience with Chuck would ultimately drive her away for a brief time.

Chuck’s Change 

Sarah Walker knew what the spy world would do to Chuck, New missions and new identities. she didn’t want him to be involved especially on how his make up was. He would have to channel his feelings and emotions, but he didn’t listen. He did it for himself. He chose to download Intersect 2.0.  Like Uncle Ben said in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Sarah didn’t want to lose the guy she fell for so long ago.

Chuck never lied to Ellie like that before

After a trip from Paris, Ellie finds the plane ticket in his luggage, and while listening to Chuck blatantly lie to Ellie, Sarah became concerned for Chuck’s well being.  Sarah witnessing the change has become a burden for herself. The dream of normalcy will never become real if he does become a spy.

 Not Sure Sarah is liking this

John Casey: He’s turning into a spy. That’s a good thing.

Sarah Walker: [Quietly to herself] Is it?

The toughest part of this article has come. It is the very reason I believe Sarah decided to go with Shaw. Prague, Chuck trying to be a spy, and Hannah all did not push Sarah to be with Shaw.  Its what she saw on a camera that literally broke her heart. The toughest spy in the world could not prevent the blow. If nothing else as I mentioned at the top. Sarah adopted Chuck’s family because of the positive vibe she received from the experience.

The closeness and ability to hash things out was what drove her to staying in Burbank. She said once before, Burbank was the only place that felt like home.

Hannah Invades Sarah’s Home

While I understand peopSarah's day does not start wellle disdain for Chuck vs The Fake Name, Sarah revealing her name to Shaw was creepy, but if people look past that scene, you will find this episode was the driving force into the Sarah/Shaw union. There is no blame here because it would be easy to say Chuck caused this, but the reality is Chuck was not ready in Prague nor were they ready in Barstow, but as I mentioned Chuck’s home and family were adopted as Sarah’s dream. The Man, The Family and the Home.

While Sarah has dealt with women being interested in Chuck,  they never really threatened the very place she called home. Not until Hannah came into the picture. The day for Sarah does not start well, she finds out Hannah had slept at Chuck’s apartment, which was blow number one. The second blow will ultimately change the landscape for a while.

Chuck home brings Sarah alive

Sarah becomes alive  when she was preparing Chuck’s dinner. She is happy and despite Shaw being there. All her focus was helping Chuck. Reality struck once she heard the voices in the courtyard. She had to escape.  The turn for the ugly is about to happen.

Sarah heart completely broken

Broken Heart visible to see

The final nail in the coffin for Sarah. The one that would send Sarah Spiraling into the arms of Shaw. Look at the camera, Chuck and his family are eating dinner with Hannah, and what makes it worse its in the very place Sarah called Home, and with the very family she called her, and most importantly with the man she is in love with. The pain is not because Chuck is with another woman. The pain is because her dreams are shattering right before her eyes. What’s an inexperience normal woman supposed to do now? She retorts back to her old self, and dates someone who clearly she does not want to be with.

Again, her home and her family are in possession of another woman. Sarah Walker will return to being Agent Walker. Her comfort zone.

Before I end this article I would like to discuss one last subject. The very scenes that I will showcase the very time frame where Sarah Walker was ready to break her Agent Walker persona, and let her feelings take over. I am a firm believer that this was the start of Sarah realizing how much she was in love.

A woman who does not want to leave Chuck

A woman who was told that she was leaving in the morning. Her heart is starting to show, as Chuck walked away, her eyes tell the story. She does not want to go.

After the awesome scene that would ruin Ellie’s Church wedding. Another example of how great Chuck was comes to light, and would be the final acts that would bring lady doth to her knees. Chuck wanted to come up with something to help his sister.  He decided to use the money he received from working with the agency, and pay for the dream wedding for Ellie.

She has totally fallen in love with Chuck
Its Not What a Normal Guy Would Do

Chuck’s selfless act was the very thing that attracted him to her. The Shaws and Bryces of the world wouldn’t do that., but Bartowski did. His desire to make his sister happy supercede even the dream of going on vacation with Sarah. It melted Sarah.  How she acted during the beach wedding sealed my thought process on when and where Sarah finally succumbed to her feelings and desire.

The Man of her Dreams has all of her attention
The Man of Her Dreams has all of her attention

Her focus was never on Ellie and Devon, the whole time her eyes are fixated on Chuck, watching him, falling for him. The very reason when Bryce said ” Your not coming with me are you…” She shook her head no…..Refusing Bryce was the strongest indication she was ready to be with Chuck.

in Sum, She suffered through a battle with love, withstood jealousy spells. but nothing was more important than Chuck, Chuck’s family and finally next time we will discuss the final piece of the enigma Sarah Walker. Her dream of having a home.




  1. Chris… the big thing to me was that Chuck realized he could never go back to normal life once he had the intersect…even the first time. Casey knew it …he was to take Chuck out once they were done with him. When Awesome was kidnapped, it showed that Chuck was right to continue on and become a better spy …. it was the only way to protect the ones he loved. Sarah was late coming to that realization, even though Chuck expressed his feelings to her numerous times.
    The other thing about Sarah /Shaw was the friction, and the fact that Shaw was pushing Chuck into becoming a spy…against Sarah’s wishes. That shouldn’t have boded well for them developing a love affair. Plus, Shaw was everything that Sarah didn’t want Chuck to become. She was convinced that she would lose her Chuck if he became what Shaw actually already was. Sarah should have had a love interest, but Shaw shouldn’t have been it….no chemistry, and no natural attraction …. Shaw was everything that Sarah hated, and she was generally very guarded in her relationships.
    I think this arc was the beginning of the end for the series. You can certainly tug on people’s heartstrings, or make them wonder what’s going to happen next. But by putting Sarah with Shaw,…..right under Chuck’s nose, they literally kicked us in the jewels. If the writer’s don’t care about Sarah and Chuck; if Sarah doesn’t care about Chuck, then why should the audience, who invested 2+ years into that relationship? When the Sarah / Shaw relationship started to develop, viewership in Chuck plummeted …… and it never recovered. It was too bad, because it did set up the rest of season 3, which was pretty good.

  2. Gary,
    My whole issue with season 3 is the hatred for Brandon Routh and his character Shaw. People who are Charah lovers hate it because of the relationship between Shaw and Sarah. I don’t know what it is, but Shaw was what Bryce was supposed to be. Let me explain.

    Bryce was like Shaw, the exception is Shaw stayed around. Shaw lived in Castle while Bryce was gone most of the time. Like Sarah, Chuck never had a threat, and dancing around what everyone else knew they loved each other, but was inexperience in pursuing their feelings. This is why I never thought Barstow would of went well had they slept together. They were not ready. Sarah explained many times that her job was to protect him. In Chuck vs the Seduction she said as much. Bryce and Shaw were spies and Chuck was an Asset

    Gary, the minute she showed feelings to Beckman and Casey a 49B or Beckman threatened to have her reassigned. These are facts Back to Shaw, Ellie once said to Chuck “If you let her go, you might not get her back.” Sarah waited and waited for the chance to be with the “Normal Guy.” She loved Chuck and his family and the more Chuck went deeper into the Spy world the less her dream was to be furfilled.

    You can blame Shaw for pursuing Sarah, its the laws of nature a beautiful woman like Sarah was single and yes she was in love, but she had to be reminded what was the very reasons she was attracted to Chuck. The only part of season 3 I don’t like is Hannah and The Red Test, The Red Test pissed me off because I thought of Mauser instantly. Shaw pulled the trigger, but Chuck never wanted to kill people, Chuck was forced to though because Sarah was in danger.

    Shaw really gets a bad rap remember what he said to Chuck, You can be a great spy, but these two hold you back. Sarah and Casey always said “Why didn’t you stay in the car.” Whereas Shaw sent Chuck on a solo mission. He said “Remember each time you pick up the phone, he will never become a spy, and that will get him killed.” Hes right because Sarah kept calling him on the gandula and The belgian kid napped him

    Sarah also gets a bad rap when it comes to expressing herself to Chuck, but if you studied the character it was not her make up, but her expressions and words never matched. She was happy for Chuck when he hooked back up with Jill, but was she really? Was she happy that Hannah was eating at her table with her family and, she was so angry with that she returned to Agent Walker mode, no direction and feeling, and got involved with the a man who fit the Bryce type. I never considered Cole a threat as much as Bryce and Shaw were.

    Thats it in a nutshell, we will always disagree on Sarah because everyone expects her to be like Chuck and express herself, but for me telling Bryce I am not coming with you, and right before Orion told them about Bryce being in danger was about to say I don’t want to save the world, or Bryce saying she wants to stay with you before he died.

    After the Beach wedding she was ready. Chuck was the one who backed away. Finally, I am a firm believer that the writers didn’t like the fact that she became as big as Chuck. Chuck was the hero the title of the show was named after him. The abuse they did to Sarah at the beginning to season 3 to The Other Guy and erasing her memories was cruel and an assassination of her character. They played mad scientist and wanted the world to remember this was Chuck’s show not Sarah

    They took more time to make sure Morgan got his memory back, but Sarah we are left wondering. I will never understand why? As a writer myself, sometimes characters take a life of its own, and its no secret by the time season 3 came about everyone was more interested in Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. This comes from the work of Zach and Yvonne. The hard work these two put into the two characters only to be wiped away. It is why I like what 24 is doing with Kate. Is she Jack no, but at least she is important, and the writers and director know this.

    Sarah on the other hand was destroyed by the writers and its not fair because she was just as important as Chuck, They need each other and we watched a great love story destroyed by envious writers. The two characters were a victim to their own success.

  3. I don’t think it was the envy of the writers or that Sarah was becoming as big as Chuck….. the writers changed all the time. The storyline would have been controlled by Fedak and Schwartz, but the writer’s task is to follow the age-old storytelling formula….Boy meets girl ….etc. There always has to be conflict, there always has to be a villain. The main problem with Season 3 is the structure of it….they only had 13 episodes at first, so the Shaw / Sarah relationship was hurried. One episode, she’s annoyed with him and what he wants to do with Chuck, and then she’s sleeping with him in the next episode. It was out of the blue, and like many commentators mentioned, there was absolutely no on-screen chemistry between Brandon and Yvonne. Plus the fact that any residual feelings Sarah has for Chuck ( as when she begs Shaw not to destroy Castle in “The Beard”) makes Shaw push Chuck further from what Sarah wants him to be…
    And that’s the thing… Chuck and Sarah had been involved with each other for 2 1/2 years and were drifting further apart, and Shaw got further with Sarah in just a few weeks than Chuck ever got. Given Sarah’s reluctance to form relationships, that, once again, was out of character. And how Sarah would get even closer to Shaw by making Chuck do his red test is beyond me.
    I don’t even consider Bryce and Shaw the same … don’t know why you want or need to compare them. Sarah and Bryce were partners, and young….they were together a lot, but it all precluded the show. As for those that relished the Sarah and Chuck relationship….well….yeah….that’s WHAT the show was about… both of them growing as people, and as a couple. When the writers took away that special relationship, they took away a lot of people’s reasons for watching the show….and the series never recovered.

    • When I compare Shaw and Bryce, I am comparing the anti Chuck. The nerd she fell in love with. The person she met before he knew he had the intersect.

      Bryce and Shaw was what Agent Walker was us too a killer, A spy first emotions second. Bryce was not a threat because he was never there, Chuck was the one who couldn’t let go of what happen at Stanford.

      Even after finding out that Bryce did what he do protect him, and that Orion sent him to Stanford to protect him. What was the biggest thing to Chuck his friends and family. Chuck considered Sarah a friend and better yet a “cover” girlfriend well sort of.

      Shaw was a bigger threat than Bryce every could imagine. Shaw lived in Burbank, while they didn’t have chemistry on screen, which is the fault of the acting not writing.

      But it is the story that had an conclusion which we argue about all the time. I rather have what I got in season 3 than what I got as series finale.

      Shaw and Bryce are the same mold, its not two people its what they represent. Cole was the same way, but of the three men Cole actually respect Chuck. Shaw pushed Chuck professionally and personally. IT was good for Chuck we both know this.

      Shaw was what Chuck needed to get over the nerd herd comfort that masuka talked about

      You know my feeling on the writers. They didn’t respect the character of Sarah enough. The assassinate her in season 3 with the red test disaster and then they erase her mind. IS this what writers suppose to do with a successful character?

      How many shows can you count that destroy a character more than once in one season. Its no secret I love Sarah. Sarah is my favorite character because of the body of work.

      The understanding of a woman who had no stability in her life meets a man that clearly has it together when he is willing to put others before himself even in the face of death.

      Sarah is a woman that went from a ruthless spy to a loving wife. Sarah’s character was more about expressions and body language than conversation because its not you she was or had to be. Chuck was the conversationalist

      But once the communication became a part of the equation they came together because they talked about their feelings.

      Morgan got it right, They are the definition of crap communicators. I just feel the writers could of done more with Sarah, but never want her to over shadow the main character, but most successful shows know how to adapt to the buzz on characters and change within telling the story,

      That is a great writer, Zach Morris was the star of Saved By the Bell, but Slater gave him a run for his money. Dawson was the star of Dawson’s Creek, but ask anyone and they will tell you they liked Pacey more. Joshua Jackson stole the show from James Van Der Beek and what happened the writers awarded Pacey by him ending up with Joey.

      Chuck was great and I love him as a character. I rank him second to Sarah and Orion third follow by Shaw.

      My wife said I have rosie colored glasses when it comes to her and may be its true, but I rather have anything to have a chance to look at her lol

      • Yeah… and I think that those Rose colored glasses are what makes your lines of though hard to follow. Sarah was the more complex character … she had the more complex background, and the more complex story arc. But the show was about Chuck…and Sarah was the most important thing in Chuck’s life. I think the writers got the dynamic pretty well “spot on”! They never really destroyed her character … they just gave her more complexity…and only an actress like Yvonne could have pulled it off. Because of your glasses, you seem to always get the character and the actress mixed together. But because Yvonne wants to play the character based on not only the storyline, but on the past experiences, the writing has to be spot on, and it wasn’t always spot on, to be sure. There was no destruction of Sarah….she just had to to more of the unsavory parts that didn’t flow well. It would have been a disaster if they had an actress that couldn’t pull it off.

  4. I don’t think most people know what Prague really meant to Sarah. She was not only giving up the life she knew, the life of a spy, she was giving up her dream of a normal life with a home and a family. She was giving up Ellie and Awesome and all the rest as well. Life on the run would mean life as it was with her father: new names, new locations, can’t contact your family because they’re being watched. They would be ghosts like Stephen/Orion. She was ready to sacrifice everything for Chuck. She doesn’t want him to be a spy. What she knows that we don’t is about the Red Test. She knows how it affected her and doesn’t want that to happen to Chuck. You could argue that if she hadn’t thought Eve was reaching for a weapon, Sarah might not have killed her and would have failed her test.

    Naturally, she is very angry at Chuck. In Pink Slip she is completely Agent Walker, very cold and unmoved by Chuck. In Three Words she is hot and cold, implying in the littered courtyard that they have a chance to repair the relationship one day after she asked for a transfer. When they are in the Dojo, she asks Chuck why he won’t flash and he replies he doesn’t want to hurt her. So she dumps him and says don’t worry you can’t. Well, of course he can hurt her in flash mode, that’s the point of the intersect. She means she has turned off her emotions and he can’t break her heart. Then after myriad declarations of his undying love for Sarah he just instantly falls for Hannah. For me this is the relationship where the writers completely failed. This is unbelieveable. So, what is Sarah to do? She starts up with Shaw.
    This does several things for Sarah. It gives her a physical relationship. Sarah and Shaw are extremely fit, athletic people. Often people like that consider sex to be just another form of exercise, a necessary part of their health and well being. Sarah hasn’t had that for nearly 3 years.

    It takes her back into the spy life. She is familiar with this sort of relationship and knows how to handle it.

    It hurts Chuck. She knows how threatened Chuck is by guys like Bryce and Shaw and this hits him below the belt.

    It gets her out of Burbank and away from her dream of home and family so she can move on. Shaw is going to Washington and she will go with him. I think the writers accepted the lack of chemistry here because it demonstrated that Sarah wasn’t really interested in Shaw the man. And later he makes a perfect villian and foil for Chuck.

    She will be more detached when Chuck reaches his Red Test because she will have put some emotional distance between them.

    I find Chuck to be more to blame than Sarah. He starts with Hannah before Sarah starts with Shaw He is being dishonset with Hannah, Sarah and most of all, himself. A long, frank and honest conversation between Chuck and Sarah could have solved their problems, but it also would have eliminated most of the shows in this arc. 🙂

    P.S. They could have called the show Sarah and focused on Yvonne, I wouldn’t have cared!!

    • Lonny,

      Sarah Walker was the reason I started this site. I find Sarah Walker to be an enigma because of everything she went through in her life. Whether you agree or not Langston Graham didn’t give her much of an option to join the CIA because she helped her father perform a lot of the cons he did. Thus, Walker was headed to prison

      and it’s that word prison that makes sense because much like Chuck she didn’t have a choice in this career choice. Did she excel? Yes, much like Chuck was excelling in his spy craft as well. I think when you sit back and watch Sarah Walker, her story is much like Chuck’s which was assasinated by the end of the series.

      I know the show’s title is Chuck so naturally he would come out on top, but the fans were more drawn to Yvonne as her performance was outstanding especially in Phase Three which was the series best episode.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s