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
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?
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.
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 Paris. 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]
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: 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: 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.
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
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 was 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.
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.
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/