The Misunderstood Daniel Shaw

As we continue down the path towards Season 3, we will be introduced to a new character during season 3 and that character’s name is Daniel Shaw. If you are one that can’t stand the character than this article will be a sad disappointment for you as a reader. The truth is everything that happened in season 3 has nothing to do with Daniel Shaw, but with Chuck’s decision to enter the spy world, and Sarah not wanting Chuck to do it. Daniel Shaw a negative review because he was a real threat in my view, and its because in so many fans minds was the driving force that kept Sarah and Chuck apart, but really was he? Or was Charah still unsure of the feelings they have. I take the latter in a heartbeat.

Shaw was good for Team Bartowski, and he didn’t really have run in with Casey, but he did do something that some fans wanted, which was taking Bartowski out of the van.  Chuck was forced to get out  and work autonomously. The very design of the Intersect 2.0 that was intended for Bryce, but since Chuck staying in the van was hindering his progress as a spy and most importantly not getting full use out of the new program. Sometimes the only way to get experience is by thrusting one into and getting your hands dirty. This is why I love Shaw so much, whether he was bad or good he was significant character to the development of Chuck and also to the assurancing of Sarah’s faith in Chuck.

First off Brandon Routh was a great choice to play the role, his sinister looks and insidious demeanor were the very traits Routh was supposed to bring to the character.  I will not be in denial and say Yvonne and Brandon had great on screen chemistry, but its hard to duplicate the connection Zac and Yvonne had, and to a degree Matt Bomer, but the part has been casted, and while most fans hate Brandon Routh, I don’t

Shaw not happy Chuck went on his own

I remember  the first time I watched season 3 I instantly began to enjoy Shaw. The first time we meet Mr. Shaw would be Chuck vs the Operation Awesome(The Three Words does not count since we didn’t see his face) in which  Chuck had to get Devon up to Shaw’s office and kill him. Shaw’s take charge and confidence was what struck me. Another Bryce I though initially, but the way his dark eyes moved, I almost knew he was going to turn sooner or later, but he was very warming to Chuck and his situation.

As the episode went on, Team Bartowski(TB) was taken back by the new member of the team, and Daniel was named leader of the group by none other than General Beckman (GB) Here is the first point i would like to make. Shaw was good at what he did, an expert ring agent, who had then a personal reason to want to take the faction down. We would learn that the lock box was from the late Evelyn Shaw. Daniel Shaw’s wife and partner. Sound familiar? didn’t Charah begin their relationship that way, as partners?

Shaw giving his opinion on TB

Chuck as usual undermined for his tech savvy brain was derailed of his idea to reroute Devon’s  Ring phone by Shaw and the other members of TB most specifically Sarah. Its the very reason Shaw stated the obvious in the next episode. Chuck vs The First Class I became excited after hearing the words you can be a great spy Chuck, it didn’t come from Casey or Sarah. It came from the new member of the team Shaw. I always felt that TB held Chuck back. He was a novice spy, but what he did have was an intelligent brain that Shaw thought was a positive.

A defensive Sarah
Sarah not happy with Shaw’s take charge attitude.

Can I ask the Chuck universe what was wrong with this? How does what Shaw said indicate he wanted to hurt Chuck in anyway, How many times during Season 2 did you guys complain that Chuck was undermined by his talents.  Think back to Chuck vs The Beefcake, How did Sarah and Casey act when Chuck wanted to hack into the chip. They acted like his technical savvy brain wasn’t worth anything besides flashing.

Daniel Shaw: I think we can all agree that this team has been dysfunctional for the last two years. And I think I know what the problem is. The problem is them.

[Indicates Walker and Casey]
Sarah Walker: What? What does that mean?
John Casey: It means that he’s a moron.
 Daniel Shaw: Chuck, they coddle you. You could be a great spy, but they won’t let you evolve. 

Shaw is right, they didn’t use Chuck to the best of his abilities.  Chuck being told to stay in the van, while its merits were noble to keep him safe, but quite often Chuck saved the day. Experience materializes by being forced into action. Shaw wanted to get him to use the intersect as the program was designed. A major asset to take down the Ring, something Shaw was focused on at the time.

What is the difference between Bryce’s condescending attitude when it came to Sarah and Chuck. In Chuck vs The Nemesis,, Bryce deliberately ignored Chuck’s questions about why he sent him the Intersect and furthermore, the make out session in Chuck’s bedroom. In the beginning, Shaw didn’t approach Chuck that way.  Why was it ok for Bryce to need TB to take down Fulcrum, but Shaw needed their assistance in taking down the Ring was terrible writing?

Another scene that is important is how TB tried to talk Chuck out of going to Sarah not happy Chuck goig on a mission aloneParis. Well Sarah was the one, who voiced her displeasure in him going to Paris alone.  In typical Sarah fashion, she told him that he was not ready, but my question would be when would he be? After all, Chuck said in Prague he wanted to become a real spy, this was a way to get the exposure needed to work alone. The very reason the CIA spend millions of dollars in training Chuck. Shaw mission was to get the most out of Bartowski for selfish reason sure why not? Shaw was all spy remember. A very Bryce like attitude. Spy first, everything else second.

Chuck had confidence after Shaw showed it in him. He walked with a hop in his step.  Bartowski was eager to do the mission much to the protest from his other partners. Lets compare Shaw’s lines compare to TB

Chuck: Uh, So what are we doing here exactly?

Shaw: Since your Intersect skills can be glitchy. you’ll need basic spycraft for this mission, have you used any of these? [pulls out a pen]

Chuck: A Pen?

Shaw: KGB-model tranq pen.

Chuck: Oh yeah, Casey’s got one of those

Shaw: Aim at your target’s food or drink, and it’s bedtime for bad guy

Chuck: You want me to tranq Jeff, I can’t do that

Shaw: I read everyone’s file. Jeff Barnes will be just fine. Come on Chuck, You up for this?

Chuck: Yeah [Chuck tranq Jeff]

 Shaw: Good.

Chuck: Little bit of a rocky start,  but I think I finished strong/ What’s next?

Shaw: Let’s go. Your’re ready.

Chuck: Whoa whoa I am?  I am ready after 20 seconds?

Shaw:  After, two years. I just wanted to talk you privately, Chuck. Listen you have been on more missions than most spies have in a lifetime. Trust me, you’re ready.

The pep talk Shaw provide is none threatening and to the point. Its Shaw knowing the history and trying to train Chuck what he wanted to become, a spy. but it is quite different pep talk from TB

Sarah: A CIA Contact will meet you in Paris. Your’re traveling as Carmichael,  a successful business man.

Casey: Itinerary and Passport

Chuck: Guys its all good, I am ready, okay?

[Casey found nunchakus in Chuck’s Bag]

Casey:  What are these?

Chuck: Nunchakus. You know very well I don’t like carry guns around, but I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have some kind of offensive weapon,  you know, just to have with me, just in case,and they are suppose to be in the Intersect, so.

Sarah trying to convince Chuck this was a bad idea

Sarah: Casey can i have a second?

Casey: Hmm, Yeah

Sarah: Listen, I know you want this to work and you want to impress Shaw, but this is crazy.

Chuck: Okay fine the nunchakus  were are a little crazy. You weren’t supposed to see those, but Shaw an honest-to god, Real life special agent for the CIA–thinks I am ready. He thinks I can do it, and I want to prove to him that he is not wrong about me.

Sarah Not going alone with this

 Sarah: I am not saying you can’t do this, but please ….please don’t go now.  Okay? You need more time.

Shaw: He’s going, Beckman agrees with me.

Shaw in charge

After going over the two scenes, it seems to me that Shaw was the one trying to push Chuck forward. Would it get the same negative response if Bryce was saying the same thing? I would believe not, and the negative response Shaw gets is not based on this right? Wait, I will get there.

Continuing in Chuck vs the First Class,  we get a few lines from Shaw that also states the case of value to the show.  Shaw didn’t tell Chuck that the mission was on the plane, which in my opinion was a good idea. It is leadership 101 give enough information that is pertinent to the mission. in the beginning, Shaw let Chuck know that the mission was in Paris to calm him.  He didn’t want Chuck’s emotions to get in the way of the acquisition of the key. Thus, it was great planning because Chuck was calm and collected.

Back at Castle, we have a nerve wrecked Sarah, and Shaw told the truth. A harsh truth because how Shaw was acting was what a handler was supposed to act.  Team Bartowski were close both professionally and personally which is why Sarah reacts the way she did. Something that Sarah can’t handle and the audience because its real and to the point. Its telling Chuck its time to stop babying you like Beckman wanted. Its why the perception was Bryce was supposed to be the one who uploaded 2.0

An argument is brewing

Sarah: You should’ve told me.

Shaw:  and this is why I didn’t

Sarah: Chuck is not ready for a mission in Paris, and certainly not a midair mission. I mean we can’t even go in to help him.

Shaw: Well, now we find out if your asset is a real spy.

 a few seconds later Chuck is calling again and my favorite Shaw line is said.

Sarah: Its Chuck

Shaw:  Don’t Answer.  He’s taken care of Hugo, All he has to do is find the key. He shouldn’t have to call.

Sarah: and what if he is in trouble?

Shaw: Go ahead, answer it. Just know that if you do he will never be a  real spy and that will get him killed someday.

It is also important to note that Shaw said what the role of a handler or spy is with an asset, He said that a spy is suppose to push their assets to perform.  He pointed out that Sarah protected Chuck, cares for him which is all true.

After going through these scenes, where was Shaw wrong in what he did or said?  I think he did the right thing for Chuck. Nobody challenged him, nobody was really a threat and that included Bryce. Everyone said he was smart, but held him back and Shaw was the reason Chuck progressed in becoming the spy we all knew he can be. Sarah was not happy about it because she was losing herself, but with her help and the rest of his friends and family Chuck regained form.  Shaw’s presence was good for both Chuck and Sarah.

As far as the relationship between Sarah/Shaw goes, You can’t blame Shaw for wanting to pursue Sarah. Why is it ok for Chuck to break up with her ,and end up with another woman. is Sarah supposed to keep waiting as her life passed by? Especially when the last break up was so painful and Chuck replacing her with another woman.  Is Sarah supposed to just wait like the previous occasions?  it almost seemed like it was all on Chuck’s terms. Did Sarah speak her mind. no but she expressed her dismay for the break ups. The Prague incident not withstanding.

Ellie and Devon once told Chuck by breaking up with Sarah, the chances may be slim on getting her back. Its harsh, but its the truth. She had a shot to leave with Bryce and stayed, She had a shot to leave with Cole, but didn’t want to cheat on her cover boyfriend. This time around Shaw wasSarah was liking it pursuing her and the difference between those other men Shaw was not going anywhere. He was staying in Burbank. Castle became The Ring headquarters with Shaw as the leader. It would be only natural for Sarah to eventually end up with Shaw. The relationship between the two would be short lived because the power of love still burned for Chuck inside Sarah, and Shaw would find out the truth on who killed his wife.

She is feeling guilty about what happened with Shaw.
She is feeling guilty about what happened with Shaw.

Shaw takes a lot of criticism because he drove a wedge between Charah, but its been well documented on this site that he didn’t do anything like that.  He did what any other man in this world would of done. When knowing the relationship between Sarah/Chuck was strictly a cover, wouldn’t you of done the same thing. I mean take a look at her, a sight for sore eyes.

Shaw and Sarah in trouble

Soulmates longing for each other

Shaw saved Sarah

While Chuck was playing spy, Shaw and Sarah get trapped in Castle with a poisonous gas that was released from the mask. Chuck went to go get the antidote, and with time running out Shaw made the save.  Shaw was a hero, much like Chuck was at the end of season 4. We glorify Chuck’s heroics but ignore what Shaw did.  Meanwhile, Chuck went off with Hannah, Sarah was beginning to enjoy Shaw’s company, but again it was short lived.

I do agree with the majority the whole Red Test and Sam thing was poorly written and I will not discuss those situations because of the agreement. I also have discussed in other articles that I don’t blame Hannah either for splitting up Chuck and Sarah. I blame Charah for not communicating, until they started to at the end of The Final Exam, only then did they get back on the path towards a real relationship. Shaw turning bad also helped Charah, but as a partner to them Shaw helped Chuck get out of the van, and for Sarah to forget about Prague for a little bit. I do believe that a person can be with someone and still be in love with someone else. I don’t believe Sarah when she said that she fell out of love with Chuck in The Final Exam because the shock of him killing the mole wouldn’t of hurt so bad.

in closing,  Shaw offered a lot to the show. Both as a good guy and bad guy.  The actor can only perform what is on paper,However, the writers didn’t go off on the deep end in season three despite some scene here or there I can do without.  It is also obvious Brandon Routh and Yvonne Strahovski didn’t mesh well together, but it worked in my opinion because the focus in tbe beginning of the season was the man maturing as a spy, its the old professional life first than romance Cliche..

I will also like to point out that Shaw was done after Ring II, I didn’t like his role in season 5, and thought Decker should of been the bridge to Quinn, but thats a story for another day. but for now I will leave you with this

Muahhaaaa, Shaw was a great character that was just misunderstood/


  1. A few comments, starting with the end of the Three Words. It is obvious that Sarah felt something very overwhelming when she watched the video of Chuck in the vault. He apologized for hurting her in Prague, but said he wanted to be a spy because of something bigger than themselves….something Sarah had taught him. He did it for his family and his friends and for her…because, Sarah, “I love you”. Sarah’s emotions at that point are not understood, but what is most telling is that Sarah never acknowledged the video to Chuck. She was, however, much less cold to him in Awesome and First Class ….even backing him up in NOT shooting Sidney. However, she was not ready to resume any relationship with Chuck …real, or as a cover. They decided that they would only be friends ( Sarah’s words). So I don’t know if the emotion she expressed at the video was still heartbreak, or a bit of remorse for perhaps suggesting in the past that Chuck should be a spy…or a little of both.

    Now Shaw …. yes…a good handler, and pushing Chuck was good for his career as a spy. He was actually able to flash twice on the plane when in a stressful situation. He did need Sarah to help him out, though. I think it was a growth moment for both Chuck and Sarah.

    While he didn’t directly interfere with Chuck and Sarah’s relationship ( or lack thereof), what his actions did do was drive a bit of a wedge between them. Whenever Sarah expressed concern about Chuck moving forward ( which would seem to show she was perhaps trying to forge a new connection with Chuck), Shaw turned it around by telling Chuck she was trying to hold him back. That certainly played on Chuck’s ego, as it would with anyone who was given some type of ego boost.

    As for Hanna, it was a very innocent meeting on the plane…Chuck was being a nice guy…and probably a bit naive in suggesting “If you’re ever in Burbank…..”. I don’t think Chuck imagined he would ever see her again. Because Sarah was pretty clear that they were only friends, and since it was Hanna that was pursuing Chuck, I can’t see how Chuck gets blasted for starting a relationship with her. She’s beautiful, and they have a lot in common. Sarah should have talked to Chuck about the video if she wanted to SLOWLY restart their relationship. Her silence seemed to indicate she was done with Chuck romantically. So Chuck has every right to move on… his relationship with Hanna was for all the right reasons, and Sarah’s relationship with Shaw was for all the wrong reasons. Plus the fact that Sarah moved so much faster with Shaw than she ever did with Chuck was a little over the top…especially telling Shaw her real name.

    One more note…when Shaw opens the lock box with the info on The Ring in it, he removes an envelope. Sarah follows him into the office and asks him what’s in it. When she sees the ring and Shaw explains Eve’s death, he says, ” We both made the same mistake….we both fell in love with spies.”

    INTERESTING !! So did Shaw know Sarah was in love with Chuck, or was he referring to Sarah’s previous relationship with Bryce. Secondly, I think that helped break a little of the ice between Sarah and Shaw. He was a bit like her.
    Final note on Shaw…like Sarah, Eve’s ring and his story showed that, like Sarah, he could be both very hard, but with a soft edge. That was what convinced the producers to hire Yvonne …she could pull off that soft feminine look, and then quickly change to full blown assassin mode. Brandon ( nor do most actors) doesn’t really have that ability, so some of the scenes suffer.

  2. Most pointless character ever. The end of the “good guy Shaw” arc in episode 3.12 highlights this. The entirety of S3 is planned around a temporary character, not the main characters, and it fails because of this character.

    This was a poorly thought out, (extremely) poorly cast, poorly acted character. I read on another site where it was plainly evident to the cast and crew that the Shaw/Sarah hookup was not working while it was being filmed, yet they kept pounding it for us to watch.

    Did Shaw get Chuck out of the car? OK – Maybe. Was the Shaw character worth it overall – not in the least.

    I mean on what planet does John Casey think Shaw is a good spy. The whole dumbing down / pacifist attitude of Team Bartowski is a dead give away that the showrunner were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Shaw does not exist on this show without Sarah. There a next to no scenes where he’s not within 3 feet of her. This ruins the entire Team Bartowski chemistry and makes the show very tedious to watch. Really all the better episodes of the first 13 (which isn’t saying much because they all suck) are episodes where the Shaw character is absent. Certainly he would have been more believable as Sarah “boyfriend” if we’d never met him.

    As far as Hannah, well she was only there as eye candy so that fans would buy into the Shaw/Sarah hookup. The character again serves no purpose whatsoever.

    It all comes down to, “What did Chuck and Sarah learn from these new LI’s?” The answer is nothing.

    Chuck doesn’t become a better spy because of Shaw and actually becomes an a**hole because of Hannah. He becomes just like every other spy that all of a sudden can only use his fists to get out of hairy situations and can no longer use his noggin. Certainly Sarah wanted nothing to do with him before he was more Bryce like.

    And Sarah. Well she certainly doesn’t regain her humanity by spending time with Shaw. I fact she becomes completely subservient, in need of psychiatric help and a pretty useless spy who needs a man to tell her what to do.

    No. From my point of view neither of the S3 “highlight castings” made the show better. In fact they made the show less.

    You can tell that the entire arc was pointless because it required a reset episode (Pink Slip) at the start to introduce two new Chuck and Sarah characters that we’d never met before and a reset episode at the end (Other Guy) to return the characters. Nothing in the middle matters and only serves to damage the characters are their romantic relationship going forward. The word “epic” can no longer be used to describe Chuck and Sarah.

    (I also think the failure of the finale can be traced back to this arc’s resolution or lack thereof)

    Also, bringing Shaw back from the dead robs Chuck of one of the most dramatic and important moments of the show. It in fact cheapens it. This this the start of sacrificing Chuck for the story that would persist through later seasons.

    • CM,

      Your comments about season 3 are very common and I understand the distaste for it. Sometimes I scratch my head rewatching it, and anyone on this site can tell you that I love Shaw and season 3. I tend to not get revved up about what writer do because they are going to add and take away characters its their show. I for one never liked them killing Orion off the show. It would of been nice to see Orion Help Sarah at the end of the series.

      Your comments about Shaw are the classic remarks I read when it comes to Shaw. Brandon Routh was a good choice for the character not many actors or actress have the ability of Yvonne or Zac for that matter to deliver emotions. Brandon’s lack of emotions made him look stiff, but his comic timing was good.

      Season 3 purpose was simple Man becomes spy much like season one was boy becomes man and season 2 man becomes mature. Its the direction of the character needed the change because the same ole buffoon or whinny Chuck would get boring despite the romance. Every story needs characters like Shaw. They add a different element that was different. I agree sometimes being clever can be a bit rash but the truth is simple. Chuck and Sarah were never going to be together if they didn’t sit down and talk about their feelings.

      Hannah and Shaw are not the issue here. They are the excuse people use as the reason they didn’t get together. Whatever direction the character goes. For example, when we first met Bryce we thought he was a villain until Alma Mater. In season 3 they did the reverse Shaw was good first then went heel later. The problem was the character was forced on us like we were supposed to just accept the character. It was almost like we were forced fed. Hannah I would of preferred during season one. Lou was a foul mouth hussy who basically was a home wrecker Hannah was more sophisticated, but if i am going to have my pick of the PLIs Jill offered more.

      All i ever wanted to see was Chuck given a chance to be a spy. The constant stay in the van or knock his IT skills was a problem for me when it came to TB. Plus TB had issues way before Shaw came into the picture. Same as romantic issues for Charah.

  3. Also the whole “Shaw’s present lover is the person who killed his wife” reeks of soap opera soooo bad.

    I’m sorry but where you see good in Shaw character I see a show destroying character given so much attention by the show’s creative staff that they forgot about the other characters.

    • What I see in Shaw is a character much like Quinn offered substance to the story. I have always been a fan of impactful characters like it or not both men affected the main characters professionally and personally. When I saw Shaw shoot Chuck’s dad I was like that was a power move. This where we differ in that respect. You may not like the writing that’s find but when I saw Quinn suppress Sarah’s mind I was very intrigued with why such a character was wasted for the end.

      Characters like Shaw and Quinn did their job, they are supposed to make people hate them. This the job of a villain not like Dexter or The character from breaking bad, Look back at the classic hero villain stories the hero was supposed to be hated.

      btw CM welcome to Chuckaholics.

      • We’ll have to agree to disagree on the usefulness of Shaw.

        I know I come off as a shipper. But I’m really a story shipper. S3 and S4 suffer from the same disease. No adequate resolution or explanation.

        I don’t hate the Shaw character. I see him as the biggest symptom of a poor story choice, poorly told story with no satisfying payoff.

        I have same issue with the Mama B storyline of S4. Poorly told story with no payoff.

        I have no issue with Quinn, but he’s in a well told story – unfortunately again with a totally inadequate payoff.

        (Please note the finale ruined the entire series for me)

  4. Oh..and Chris…how the Hell is Shaw the hero in the antidote thing? Chuck came up with the plan to not only free Hanna, but to find the antidote. He did it by using his noggin ( sorry CM). Sure Shaw carried her out of Castle, but that’s all he did. And he did impose himself between Sarah and Chuck …. the only thing that had happened between Chuck and Hanna was the kiss in the computer room of the museum. Then Sarah confessed to Shaw that she enjoyed the attention and the kiss on the neck, so it wasn’t like she was running to Shaw to console her over the loss of Chuck to Hanna…nothing had really even happened there yet !! That makes the Sarah/Shaw relationship even more infuriating.

  5. So I finished my 4th rewatch of Season 3 up to E13…. it didn’t really get much better than the first 3 times I watched it… I really just wanted to get through it at fast as possible. What I tried to do this time though, was to look at this season through the lens of some of the other commentators. The first time I watched it I realized I didn’t really enjoy it that much… I just really didn’t know why. I could tell the characters had changed, but i couldn’t really tell when or how … really didn’t make sense to me and I found I was just watching to, well, watch. ( Probably just to look at Yvonne ….but I know I always didn’t like what she was portraying.) In subsequent viewings, I started to pay closer attention. I found that my views were diametrically opposed to Chris’, who seems to see every episode through the “rose-colored glasses” that portray Sarah / Yvonne in only the best light. The third time, I started to realize that the character they changed the most was Sarah …. she seemed to have changed from Seasons 1 & 2, but I really still didn’t know what it was that I didn’t like. Reading CM’s comments let me try to watch more closely, and I realized that what the writers had done for Sarah was to change her from caring about Chuck, and made her care more about herself.
    Running away in Prague was what was best for Sarah, not for Chuck. Watching the video from the vault and not discussing it with Chuck was so that Sarah didn’t have to confront her emotions, without really caring what Chuck was feeling. The relationship with Shaw ( which I now realize occurred simultaneously with Chuck and Hanna) was also selfish in that she didn’t really care for Shaw, but she was happy to parade it in front of Chuck long after the 3 or 4 day fling with Hanna was over.
    Other examples of Sarah’s selfishness occurred whenever Chuck completed another step in his quest to be a spy. Lessons that were important to keep him safe in the field caused concern for Sarah because she felt he was changing. She wasn’t concerned about Chuck surviving being as a spy as much as what his accomplishments meant about him just being a different Chuck. It all comes down to the fact that she just really didn’t believe in Chuck very much in this season, like she did in the first 2. Even when he continued to show her he was pretty much the same Chuck, but with a different skill set, she seemed to ignore that. (So I guess the writers made her a little stupid, too!)
    And Brandon Routh was as I remembered…wooden and expressionless…… just glad it’s done. Now I have to get through the Shaw rebirth….. as depressing as that is.

    • The Sarah Walker character was poorly treated by S3.

      In treating Sarah the way the showrunners did by having her bounce around into whatever the plot required, they inadvertently made her the villain of the misery arc.

      Which is why Chuck and Sarah don’t belong together in Other Guy. Nothing has been fixed yet.

      • Yeah…. the only thing that Sarah actually learned in the last half of that arc was that Chuck didn’t kill the mole. Nothing else had really changed as far as Chuck was concerned….he was the same from before she thought he did, yet she then decides he’s worthy to be with her again ……

    • The funny thing is I’m a huge Sarah Walker fan.

      But after Final Exam, Chuck leaving ALL of Burbank behind him makes more sense then going after Sarah.

      Sarah never found proper redemption, the writers just made her the “prize” at the end of the arc. That’s romantic.

      Without some meaningful discussion between Chuck and Sarah (that the fans need to see) the first 13 are an intergalactic waist of time.

      “Do you love me” is used to fix everything – and it falls way short.

    • Gary,

      Sometimes I wonder if you read my comments. I know I am a Sarah sympathize, and I don’t know why it is, but between all of the characters I see Sarah stuck in a world where she is forced to make decisions she doesn’t want too. Sure is an American and she has the right to decided if the career was the right choice, but you seem to ignore the facts on how all her moves were based on her upbringing and training. Is it a cop out, sure its an excuse.

      I agree with you when Shaw first brought coffee for her the first thing she did was throw out the straw in disgust. After he point out what she did. Sarah was not into Shaw especially when he called her out on being the daughter of a con and running to Lisbon in First Class. Something happened though between The Mask and that episode for all of a sudden there was romantic interest. This is where the writing is in question. How do they go from not really liking each other to Shaw making an advance in the museum.

      Sarah didn’t show interest more of a irritated look. Its the reason she was all eager when Chuck did come into the room to see Shaw being forced to go into the van. It seemed like Chuck’s presence was her knight and shinny armor. Her smile when Chuck said he would go with her indicated so. But we as fans are supposed to accept with all that happened earlier in the episode to accept Sarah’s position was ok with what he did. Seems like when facing death maybe Chuck’s lips were the most convenient lips lol So Shaw was the most convenient man around lol I have said also I didn’t like her reaction after the mole.

      I thought it was shallow to just fall out of love with soemone just that quickly. OR did she really and only was further lying to herself in calming her. Selfish maybe but for once she was thinking about herself. Like Cole, said in Beefcake. She spent so much time protecting and caring for Chuck she forgot about herself. Maybe playing devil’s advocate it was her right to do so. As far as Shaw. I don’t get wrapped up in Brandon’s inability to express himself emotionally because you can tell he can’t do that from the start.

      However, what you fail to see is a man lost as well. He thought the ring was responsible for killing his wife, and for 5 years was chasing the enemy. He knew and understood the way the Ring operates. Even Orion knew how good he was. It was all out of revenge for his wife’s killing. After finding out that Sarah and the CIA covered that up sent him into seeking revenge against them. Remember What he said to Chuck, this has nothing to do with you i haven’t told him your secret, His desire to kill Chuck was a direct action towards Sarah.

      We have discussed the whole earrings thing and to be honest that to me is a none issue. It’s need picking because of the hatred for Shaw. The episode after Sarah gets him his degree he is listening to a Jill playlist from 2003 do we mention how pathetic it was to do so? or not even focusing on her during their valentine’s day date. Something Sarah was trying to arrange. To me its subjective that she was wearing the earring.

      We can debate this issue all day, but the truth is yes I am a Sarah love and see the good in things she does, but i based it on the whole body of work rather then just season one and two being this way and can’t ignore what we learn in the latter years.for example, You can actually take the beginning of season 2 back to the final episode of season one. So Chuck vs the Marlin is part of the first three episodes of season 2.

      Same thing for Season 3 pink slip started really at the end of First Kill when she told him to take off his watch. it concluded if you want to call it that with Other guy. Sarah asking Casey how can you stand there and say nothing….to Orion its out son you don’t have the intersect anymore. to Chuck we want you to work on the new Intersect project. Working with Sarah as a real spy along with Bryce. this would of been interesting to watch but he said no only to say yes after hearing Sarah say he was that guy and Bryce telling him she wasn’t going to go.

      When she watched Bryce die and through in Chuck doing Kung Fu its all a whirlwind of events happening in short time frame. Its why when you hear her say freak out and asking Chuck to meet her in PRague so they can run was an impulsive act that wouldn’t of worked. Just like almost sleeping together Sarah putting her hand in his by the way and we then get in the line in the jail cell 2 Beds? So essentially we have a woman transforming into wanting to choose Chuck but with how things ended in Chuck vs The Ring to Operation Awesome. Sarah changed because she watched her first love die and then her current love become this super machine. She was scared and acted on it.

      Sarah the big bad agent showing fear is something we aren’t use to except we did. When she thought he died in Best Friend or each time his life was put in danger. Sarah is strange though because she never explained this until alone with him in Tic Tac.

      Its crazy but its what makes me hate the finale so much. Its because at least with an ending like Chuck vs The Marlin we saw a Sarah looking into the window watching her family celebrate to watching Chuck do Kung Fu we see how fragile Sarah can be. SO, the super spy really is unstable emotionally just as much as Chuck. Its what I find enduring about her.

      • Chris…. I’m not sure what you are actually saying…you are all over the place, with no punctuation, so it’s hard to follow your train of thought. Remember, this is not about Sarah / Yvonne, but it’s about the writing of the characters. They seemed intent on growing Chuck in that he learned spy skills, and he learned to stand up for himself. Sarah learned nothing. Like CM said, they changed her to fit into what ever plot line they needed to fill her into. The writing for her was hugely inconsistent…..she was all over the place when concerned with Chuck and all the situations she was in, and her love interest with Shaw didn’t inform us of anything. We’re not even sure Shaw wasn’t about the Ring all along …. there was some very weird dialogue, such as when he said “I’m the safest guy around”, which was followed by some weird camera work and ominous music.

        And your final thought are always about being a defender of Sarah using massively disparate events throughout the series. There is no doubt they wrote her differently in Season 3….both her demeanour and her personality. That doesn’t happen just because she’s “unstable” emotionally. She goes through the gamut of emotions that most humans go through, it’s just that she’s been taught to not show them. That’s why the Chuck and Sarah pairing was, in general, an interesting storyline. It just never really progressed much in season 3.

  6. S3 would’ve worked so much better without the LI’s.

    Or if Shaw was women.

    There would’ve been a lot less damage to the characters.

    • Actually…yes it would. Chuck could have explained to Hanna that he wasn’t ready for a new relationship when she came on to him at the museum. Shaw and Sarah was just pure destructive…. I mean, she never went past calling him Shaw at any point, but they’re having a romantic relationship !! Just really poor writing. Sarah could have had an off screen romance and it would have worked just as well.

  7. [Tongue in cheek]

    What Chuck learned in season 3

    Chuck fundamentally misunderstood Sarah.

    He spent years charming her, bringing her pizza with no olives, saving her life, and performing acts of selfless love in order to get her to give him full trust, open communication, emotional and physical intimacy.

    Really, all he ever had to do to get all that in a week was sexually harass her in a museum and take advantage of her emotional distress over Bryce. She would even have bought Chuck food and a crockpot.

    Bonus kiss for going on a suicide mission for Jill.

  8. Seriously, the Sham (Shaw + Sam) relationship was nonsensical and the interrogation scene in Living Dead was Sarah’s unnecessary and merciless character assassination. I really stopped caring about Sarah after what they made her do in season 3. Killing her would have been more humane.

    I get what we viewers are supposed to think; in 3.01 Sarah was deathly afraid the government was going to turn Chuck into a ruthless assassin (Chuck on Laudanol or GRETA from 4.18) and she couldn’t bear that (hence her request to run away in Prague), but he rejected her offer, which started her dark night of the soul (3.01), then she forgave him after she saw Carina’s video (3.02) but was still hesitant (3.03), then hopeful (end of 3.04), then aware he wanted to become above else the ultimate spy (3.05-3.07) and she was going to be in his way, so she selflessly pulled back (“Bye Chuck” speech at the end of 3.07) and allowed him to pursue who she thought he wanted (Hannah), then resigned herself to Shaw (end of 3.07) but she wasn’t feeling it, so she broke it off before it started (beginning of 3.08), then freaked out because Chuck was changing (3.08), so she confided in Shaw because he listened and had lost a loved one to the spy life, then fell into a relationship with Shaw because he pushed it and she needed the emotional comfort, but the relationship was “different” (3.11) and both she and Shaw knew she was still in love with Chuck (3.08 and 3.11) and she was more than ready to go back with Chuck (3.11), but then Chuck “killed” Perry (end of 3.11), so Sarah pulled back for good and was going to move to D.C. (3.12), but Chuck planted seeds of doubt in her mind (3.12) and made the ultimate selfless sacrifice by saving the man he thought she wanted (Shaw), and the Chuck declared his love for her and asked her to run away with him, which really and then Casey told her the truth about the mole (3.12), so her year-long dark night of the soul was finally over and she was all in for Chuck, who had remained her Chuck while becoming a spy, the best of both worlds and her new type.

    And yes, Shaw did push Chuck to become a spy. That was good. But…

    It didn’t work. It couldn’t work. And Routh had nothing to do with it. It wouldn’t have worked even if they had Leonardo Di Caprio in Shaw’s role. It couldn’t work because the relationship was nonsensical for many reasons.

    INTERNAL LOGIC: After 3.02 Three Words, Sarah couldn’t be with spy Chuck because there are no trust and emotional intimacy in the spy business. Therefore, she couldn’t be with any spy other than Chuck if the relationship involved trust and intimacy. But Fedak needed her to have trust and intimacy with Shaw because his best villains know the heroes intimately (See Chuck/Tuttle in 4.07 First Fight). Thus, she had trust and intimacy with a spy other than Chuck. Hypocrisy.

    Sarah had romantic intimacy with Shaw unconditionally but with Chuck only conditionally. Double standard.

    Sarah’s condition to be with Chuck was for him not to become like Shaw (a cold-hearted spy). Contradiction.

    Conclusion: TPTB make S3 Sarah have a hypocritical and contradictory double standard. She couldn’t be in a romantic relationship with Chuck that would make her vulnerable (like Karl with Carina in 3.02) because he was being turned into a Shaw by Shaw (3.05-3.11) but she could be in a romantic relationship with Shaw (3.08-3.12) that made her vulnerable (Ring, Shaw), and she could only trust Chuck on the condition that he wouldn’t be like Shaw, with whom she was unconditionally and, although what she expected of the two relationships was different, what she gave was identical: trust and vulnerability.

    And the greatest critic of this nonsensical behavior is Sarah herself in 4.07 First Fight, which was actually Chuck and Sarah’s second fight and a one-episode reversal of their S3E1-13 first fight.

    In 4.07, Sarah scolds Chuck for setting a precedent by telling everybody what he’s thinking or feeling before telling her.

    But he didn’t set the precedent. She did. That’s exactly what she did in season 3.

    4.07 Chuck talks to Morgan, Ellie, and Tuttle before talking to Sarah, just as S3 Sarah talked to Casey, Carina, and Shaw before talking to Chuck in Tic Tac.

    4.07 Sarah says to Chuck, “You’ve only just met him (Tuttle) and he knows everything about us. How do you know that you can trust him?” Yet, that’s what S3 Sarah did with Shaw.

    4.07 Tuttle turns out to the a bad guy who wants to kill Chuck because he took Frost from him, just as S3 Shaw turned out to be a bad guy who wanted to kill Sarah because she took Eve from him.

    What 4.07 Sarah does with Frost prevents Chuck from committing treason, just as what S3 Chuck did in Prague prevented Sarah from committing treason.

    Chuck’s 4.07 misplaced trust in Tuttle almost costs him and Sarah their lives in Orion’s lair, just as S3 Sarah’s misplaced trust in Shaw almost cost her and Chuck their lives in Paris.

    4.07 Sarah saves Chuck who trusted the wrong person, just as S3 Chuck saved Sarah who trusted the wrong person.

    All this doesn’t even consider the psychological impossibility of Sham since Shaw cannot be at the same time Chuck’s mentor and Sarah’s consoler. No sane woman would hook up with the man who’s mentoring the man she loves into not only something she hates but into the very copy of the mentor. And no woman who lost the love of her life (after Chuck’s red test) is going to dinner and start a romantic relationship (a new life) only a few days later with the very man who was instrumental to that traumatic event. Human psychology makes it impossible. The same way Sarah’s high school reunion and her walking on the Parisian street of her red test brought back painful memories, so would seeing Shaw after Chuck’s red test. After that event, she and Shaw were done.

    And all the romantic stuff in Living Dead. Worst retcon in fiction. Aside from the details (DC waterfront restaurant dinner contradicted by Shaw’s “We should have done this sooner” during the 3.12 dinner, no penthouse, which was conceded for this episode and would have been swept by the government anyway after 3.13), Sarah supposedly went on romantic dates with Shaw while believing he still had a kill order on his head (3.12 Sarah, “Shouldn’t we stop and ask why the Ring wants you alive?), which contradicts her reason for not wanting to be with Chuck after 3.02 in that she didn’t want to end up like Karl with Carina. So, she wouldn’t want to risk her life for Chuck but was more than willing to do it with Shaw? And the day she spent at Shaw’s inexistent penthouse on March 22? The day 3.11 aired? Was that day after Chuck’s red test? So, she acted all high and mighty with Chuck at the beginning of 3.12 because he had killed the mole, something she felt guilty about (end of 3.11) but then she mourned her loss by spending a day in the penthouse with the man who ordered Chuck’s red test? And shehas the chutzpah to scold Chuck in 3.12? Who is this moral monster of a woman?

    I’m telling you. Killing her in season 3 would have been more humane.

  9. I agree with you mac. Sarah never had redemption in s3. Those who did this article saw the show badly.
    Of Shaw you can immediately understand everything in 3×04. He would do anything to break chuck and sarah to get his revenge. He didn’t have the traits of the typical hero, but he didn’t have the typical traits of the villain when he was bad. All he needed was one thing: REVENGE for his wife.
    In him you can see traits of behavior disorder:
    -manipulation (the only real talent I saw in him but only because Sarah was weak), in sarah (3×05, 3×07) and 3×11 in the red test.
    -possession in 3×07.3×08.3×11 always with sarah.
    -ingratitutide: Try to kill chuck in 3×09 after he saved his life 2 times in 3×07.
    -obsession: for his wife’s revenge in 3×12.
    -careless of the team: 3×04 chuck could die and 3×11 doesn’t give a about casey, this contradicts him in 3×05 (when he says I take care of my team).
    We can’t see in him even a great spy as they describe it, he was honestly an incapable:
    -send Chuck on a suicide mission on a plane with a pen that doesn’t work at high altitude, improvising a ridiculous plan.
    – he stays locked up in the vault, and he releases the gas to castle in 3×07.
    -quano fights with gruber is beaten quickly.
    -does not notice the diversion of the ring in 3×09 and 3×12
    -puts on a sensible plane in 3×12 to get revenge.
    -lack of predictability in 3×13, 3×18, 3×19.
    Those who say she was a great spie and a hero didn’t see the show well.
    Shaw’s whole arc was full of contradictions that ruined the show in symmetries.
    -when Shaw sees Sarah after she finds out she killed his wife, she sees Eve’s death again.
    -when Sarah goes out with Shaw in 3×12 (she doesn’t see the man responsible for Chuck’s moral death, but sees him as her boyfriend. (which sane person thinks so?)
    -sarah kills Eve, chuck kills shaw, but then they resurrect him because they didn’t have a real villain in their head, having actually undoed the most important gesture in the protagonist’s series.
    The third season ruined the show and sarah irreverbly. From a super spy to an insecure woman, hypocrite you have limits of the hateful. As:
    -chuck burns manoosh, he wasn’t innocent (sarah doesn’t remember chuck arresting jill ?).
    -chuck mind, she always lies.
    Chuck pulls away a tooth from Casey, doesn’t kill him.
    -chucl saves Morgan from a bunker in 3×09.
    -chucl helps Casey and almost gives up sacrificing his life as a spy.
    -plus he goes to bed and reveals his most intimate details to the person (same spy that today can be your friend and tomorrow your enemy). who is responsible for chuck changes (the love of your life).
    – deifies chuck an error in 1×11 and 3×01, calls Bryce an error in 2×06 (the episode in which Chuck still meets jill). But not shaw in 3×17. In fact it defines it is different in 4×07.
    – don’t you recognize shaw’s recklessness in 3×12, after everything he’s done to avenge his wife, do you really think you can work together again? Are you serious?
    – she asks chuck to trust in 1×01, but she doesn’t do it in 3×12, you don’t trust the love of your life. In fact, the relationship continues with those responsible for such an important plot (chuck who loses his morals forever).
    -she gets angry with chuck in 4×07 because she told everything about them (an episode), while calling different when she points out that she trusted shaw unreservedly, a spy she knew nothing about?
    – doesn’t recognize all these reckless traits of shaw when she was supposed to be the best.
    The writers gave chuck a redemption, but not sarah and made shaw look noble and heroic. Then they wonder why they lost in ratings?
    Shaw had nothing at all as a nemesis role in chuck, the only real nemesis could be Bryce (as he was similar to chuck, nerd – they were alone apart from chuck having a sister, one was confident and charming, the other was insecure he’s shy. Who says chuck didn’t deserve sarah anymore, they’re wrong, if it was ever the other way around. What Sarah does with chuck in 2×21 is noble, in Prague she is purely selfish. It was the intersect, Beckmann wouldn’t let them get away like that. In fact, Chuck saves her life, but she’s wrong not to give her an explanation, just as I think she’s wrong with Hannah. She doesn’t trust Casey blindly (it takes years to re-report), doesn’t trust pretty (on a mission), doesn’t trust Zondra (her partner), doesn’t trust Bryce (after ep 1×01), never blindly trusts chuck (love of her life), but trusts shaw blindly (a spy she doesn’t know anything about). She is subdued by him, when she does not follow the orders of graham (real boss) in 1×01 and 1×13, by beckman 1×13 and 2×21, or ryker in 5×07. Those who say chuck didn’t deserve it again saw the show badly, it was the opposite if ever. He always rejects it up to 3×13. It shows a lack of confidence that she points out in 5×07 (with chuck her husband and casey the best partner I’ve ever had). The writers got it wrong to put Sarah and Chuck together so quickly after everything she did in s3. It would have been better to wait for her to regain her trust, or for her to go to Washington with Shaw, or die in Paris with him for her mistakes. You can’t think that a person you care about changes and doesn’t even try to talk to them. They managed to make shaw (an incapable almost a hero), chuck (the hero and protagonist an idiot running after one who doesn’t trust him) and sarah (the super spy, an unrecognizable woman who no longer knows what to do).
    You’ll tell me you trust Chuck, but there have been so many examples he doesn’t trust:
    – 1×04 (although partly reasonable I put it on the bench for re-fish).
    -1×11 (accuses him of being a forger, when he knows the problem is her).
    -2×04 (when she gets angry because she doesn’t want me to know anything about her).
    -2×10 ( he doesn’t want to be helped by the team for his father).
    -2×15 (does not encrypt the chip).
    -2×20 (when he doesn’t want Chuck to trust jill, though understandable).
    -3×01 (when he doesn’t trust chuck that could change).
    -3×05 (when he goes on a mission even if reckless).
    -3×12 (when chuck asks to believe them for the red test).
    -4×07 (of his future mother-in-law).
    -4×15 (he doesn’t want me to help you with the cat squad).
    -5×07 (the story of the little girl).
    She seems to love Chuck just because he could give her a normal life, in some ways, even though he then shows us in 4×09 that he really loved him.
    However mac totally agrees, they literally raped Sarah’s character.

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