The Master of Expressions: Yvonne Strahovski’s Mastery of Sarah Walker Part 3B

Did Chuck Really Accept Sarah into his World Part III

Chapter two will dig deep into Chuck vs The Hard Salami. A episode  filled with emotion and revelation. Chuck and Sarah learn what true feelings are. Sarah needed to balance her personal life and professional life and passion will exploded onto the screen

As for Chuck, he has the taste of a real relationship. The problem of course is Sarah, the Intersect and Beckman make a romantic relationship become complicated.   SArah the girlfriend

The Imported Hard Nemesis

Chapter Two

After a painful experience for Sarah, and new found freedom for Chuck. We reach a pivotal point in charah’s development. Imported Hard Salami  created not only tension between Sarah and Chuck, but great character development as well.

If you don't know how great Yvonne can act. I feel bad for you.
If you don’t know how great Yvonne can act. I feel bad for you.

When Chuck vs the Truth ended, we saw Sarah realize her feelings were deeper then even she anticipated. The test of maintaining composure when your feelings have become compromised has become a daunting task.

Chuck’s decision to break off the cover was the correct one. We all can agree with that. Chuck put on his big boy pants as Casey would say and told Sarah adios with the cover. Its bold but it had to be done.

Operation Devestation
Morgan said it best, “Operation devastation has commenced.”

Does this mean Sarah takes it laying down. She walked into the Buymore on a mission to convince Chuck and to herself that the break up was not a good idea, but instead of telling him how she truly felt. The agent inside of her prevented her from expressing her true feelings.

Another note about how she walked into the Buymore, this clearly is a different Sarah from even from the start of Chuck vs the Truth. She came into the Buymore as woman, who was unceremoniously dumped.

I often have said this was more about her inexperience then anything else. She never was dumped as Casey would soon say, but while the agony was killing her, she was in front of Beckman and had to maintain professionalism. It is an amazing job by Yvonne to let her character take over. Its flawless in her delivery of how her character needed to response and when to let her true emotions be shown.

After Sarah indicated she wanted to talk to Chuck alone, Sarah is already breaking down. Her eyes look wet with tears as if she has been crying. She doesn’t have a smile like she usually has when seeing Chuck. Its because the effect of being broken up was too much even her agent persona can hide.

Chuck knows what he did.

The next few scenes are Yvonne’s best of the series. The only scene that rival come from Chuck vs Phase Three. Raw emotion that not many can deliver like she did. Let’s take a look.

Trying to convince herself and Chuck its all for cover

Desperation in those eyes
The woman wants to stay with Chuck. Her eyes are saying as much despite her claim “Its best for the cover.”
Chuck in between his decision until the word Cover comes up
Chuck almost beginning to cave until the word cover returns.

Sarah: Look Chuck, I been thinking about our breakup and I’m not sure it’s the best idea.

Chuck: Miss me already, huh?

Sarah: Well, you know, for the [cover]. It makes things easier.

Chuck: Well I guess your job just got a little bit harder.

Sarah: Look, I’m sorry you thought there was something between us. It’s very common in these situations to perceive a connection that isn’t there.

Chuck: Of course I get it. It’s the old story, you know, guy gets supercomputer in his brain, beautiful CIA agent is sent to protect him and then she tells him while under the spell of a truth serum she’s not interested. I get it. But for me the emotional roller coaster is a little much so I think I would rather find something a little less common, like say I don’t know, a real relationship.

Sarah: Okay, Chuck if that’s what you want then I’m going to [have to sell it.][Sarah starts crying]

All the inner thoughts of the nerd can be confirmed when his “cover” girlfriend kept reminding him it was. It makes him not interested in calling her, The very notion that she is with him only for a cover and to protect the intersect made him move on. However, Sarah was not ready to because in her mind, the relationship was was real.

A agent who is suppose to fake emotions to get the best out of the asset can’t fake emotions like these.

Sarah listening to Chuck talk about the cover
Sarah was not liking how this was ending up.
Sarah realizing she has not made any progress
She is on the verge emotional ruined.
She was already ready to cry
She already was selling it to the viewer. Her tears are ready to come out.
The floodgates are opening up
Pure emotion is ready to pour out.

When Chuck said he was looking for something real. Sarah instantly  turned herself into a normal woman. It would be hard to fathom  it would take a break up for Sarah the Girlfriend to show, but from watching Chuck run for Lou in the parking lot

Sarah began showing real feelings. However, Chuck never saw these feelings. She kept them bottled up like she was trained. She only showed them to herself or when no one was looking.  However, when the feelings begin to surface. The truth becomes harder to hide.

Chuck not sure what is happening here
He may stand by his decision, but the good guy in him wonder’s if Sarah’s emotions are real or fake
Sarah unleashes real tears
What makes Yvonne so special is scene like these. The command of all her face’s features.
Great work by Sarah
Greatness personified.

Sarah’ s effect does nothing for Chuck. After all she used the words cover and sell in her plea. The very words that made Chuck do what he did. However, we seem to ignore the tears were coming already. She did this on purpose to showcase her feelings on the issue. A big step for her.

The next set of scenes to look at would be the briefing about Stavros,  Chuck’s ability to do the right thing and charms are his best qualities, but sometimes he can be completely oblivious of his actions and words.

Grant it, he knows what Sarah and him had was a cover, but he still missed the tears as being real because of her choice of words. However, he didn’t find it difficult to ignore Sarah, who was in the room  We also see a brilliant Yvonne  shifting from girlfriend seeking attention from her ex cover boyfriend.

Chuck talking about his new girlfriend
Chuck has Lou on the brain.
Sarah first glance at chuck during briefing
Sarah  can’t help but try to get Chuck’s attention.
Sarah's second look at Chuck
Sarah’s second look is in agent mode in front of General Beckman. It won’t last long
Sarah's third look  with feeling in the eyes
Sarah showing her feelings again. Lucky for her, Casey and Beckman don’t notice
I don't want to get my gf involved in this
He doesn’t want his girlfriend involved.
Sarah doesn't like him calling Lou his girlfriend
Sarah maintaining composure. Sarah is the only one in the room whi doesn’t like Chuck referring Lou as his girlfriend
Sarah still struggling with the break up
The break up is not going over well with Sarah.

The briefing scene is another example of how Yvonne was letting Sarah do all the work. In other words, Yvonne is not stiff in her performance. It seemed so natural at times.

The next scene to take a look at was Sarah’s decision to confront Lou. Another example of Sarah the girlfriend taking over  for the time being. Normally a agent wouldn’t mind her asset was seeking a real relationship. Do you think Carina would care if Chuck wanted to date someone real. There are other covers they could come up with to sell the break up, but when real feelings are the center of decisions. The agent inside her becomes the cover of her true intentions in the confrontation.

Sarah confronting Lou about Chuck
Sarah confronting Lou. Something a jilted girlfriend would do.
Sarah maintaining composure
Sarah looking to pounce on Lou, but Chuck’s happiness is important to her.

Lou not sure what this is aboutSarah:  You know he is a great guy

Lou: Yeah, I have had the same opinion so far too.

Sarah: Its not an opinion, It’s a fact. Don’t hurt him.

Lou: Ok, I wasn’t planning on it. Thanks for the heads up though.

Sarah threatening Lou
Sarah in agent mode, threatens Lou politelty as possible.
Lou not intimidated
Lou handling herself fine.
Sarah looks like she wants to rip into Lou
Sarah is protective mode.
Sarah does not like Lou one bit
Sarah position on Lou and Chuck is no cover here. She does not like Lou and the break up.

What came out of this scene would be Sarah being her protective self but with personal reasons. Chuck’s life was not in danger being with Lou. Sarah took it upon herself to threaten Lou. There is no masking her intentions in confronting Lou.

During the mission preparation, Sarah was giving him his spy gear, but if we didn’t notice her emotions before, we will from this point on. Sarah is preparing Chuck for his mission. The issue would not be the mission. She is professional, but personally its a different situation all together.

Chuck was still not giving her a time or day. He is completely ignoring her again, and its getting to Sarah. Its why this whole episode thus far marks Yvonne’s best work of the season. The next episode will only heighten the life she gave her character.

Chuck complaining about lying to Lou
A very ugly sports jacket if you ask me.
No eye contact still
Sarah not getting one glance from Chuck.

Things really have fallen apart since Sarah saying things would never go beyond the cover. Chuck moved on, but Sarah doesn’t like the change. its like she has been replaced in all phases. It why I love the different stages of building a real relationship. They haven’t even formed a friendship. Everything was built on lies.

Chuck still not acknowledging Sarah
Other then their brief exchange about the mic, Chuck still has not acknowledge Sarah, and its starting to take its toll on Sarah.

Its like the first few months never happened. Chuck basically shut her out. Something the one who did the breaking up normally does. It hurts, but why should it if the relationship was not real.

Still no glance towards Sarah
In the background,  Sarah was reeling in this whole thing.
Casey helping Chuck get laid
Sarah has no ideal what the rose was for. 

Sarah def. not down with Chuck sleeping with LouNot only does Sarah have Lou breaking up with her on her mind. The thought of Chuck sleeping with Lou seemed to bother her just as much. Remember Sarah has been trying to kiss Chuck three times during the first part of season one.

She is bothered by this mission
Sarah’s expression is out for everyone one to see including Casey.

On the Date, Sarah is Irate with having to sit in on this date. It is in the van, but she was listening in and what makes it more interesting. Its displayed in front of Casey. The first time Sarah let her personal feelings come to the forefront.

Chuck took Sarah to a club on their first date.  Lou giving Chuck a gift that didn’t have a bug in it. all the moves Lou made were real,  and it was all adding up. Sarah listening in on this was suffering inside. She wanted to be at Chuck’s side. Sarah was starting to feel the passion build to making her do something impulsive.

Its her first impulsive move of the series. Her ability to act on passion showed she had a pulse. It showed she was not happy with her personal life. The normalcy  she was seeking and found through Chuck  was being taken from her.

Chuck on a date and working as an agent

Meanwhile for Chuck, we have a man just seeking to return to the life he had. The life of no lies, no spies and most importantly no covers. Everytime he sees Sarah he sees lies. He sees danger essentially everything was fake or designed to manipulate the truth.

Sarah 's expression of suffering

Sarah saying she wants to go in
The lioness can’t take it anymore. The frustration of not being with Chuck and seeing him with another woman makes her impulsive.

What Casey would say to Sarah was a very key scene, and sometimes overlooked. I too haven’t picked up on it until watching this episode last night. Casey actually doesn’t mind the two of them carrying on with their feelings. He has a good team, albeit unorthodox, but they get the job done.

Take a look at Casey’s remarks to Sarah.

Casey: Same bit with you, huh?

Sarah: What’s that suppose to mean?

Casey: You need me to spell it out, fine. you fall for the guys you work with. First Bryce, and now our boy Chuck.

Sarah: Bryce was a mistake, and I haven’t fallen for Chuck.

Casey calling out Sarah's feelings

Casey didn’t seem like he mind, which was shocking because Casey was all about orders at this time. In not saying anything until now, Casey showed that it was a none issue for him.

The First Impulsive Sarah Move

It seemed as we watch Sarah falling apart in the van. It felt only a matter of time before Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She interjected herself into Chuck’s date. Something that should tell you her feelings for Chuck have overtaken her.

The ability to maintain professionalism while battling real emotions that also can be considered compromising your assassigment by showing up at the Buymore practically in tears and later threaten your ex cover boyfriend’s new girlfriend is a whirlwind effect that most people crack. A super agent was no different.

He ignored her throughout the episode, which is usually the case for the one who did the dumping, but Sarah was really bothered by that.  Now Casey, noticed Sarah’s’ feeling were more then a cover, and pointed it out to her. Sarah was ready to act and she does.

Sarah's first impolsive move

Chuck annoyed by Sarah showing up on his dateChuck not happy Sarah showed up on his dateSarah looking directly at LouWhat is amazing about this sequence was Sarah. She was looking at Lou while in Chuck arms. She is touching him and makes her intentions known. She made it seem like it was work related, but we can tell Sarah did it on purpose.

Chuck: What are you doing here… I am on a date…you are ruining it right now.

Meanwhile, Sarah knowing Chuck won’t see makes her presence felt.

Sarah making claim of Chuck

This is a big scene for me. We have mentioned how Sarah never talked about her feelings, but in essence she has. She is making a statement.

So, Sarah leaves and now Lou split because of Chuck spending time with her ex and his. It is a decision Chuck never made or wanted, but as Sarah would later say “It’s hard to have a real relationship in this kind of work.”

I won’t spend much time on Charah’s interaction after the date because it really was continuing the battle between the two. Sarah gave another signal about not liking how things are. “I never felt like our time together was work.”Sarah never thought of her time with Chuck was work

The key thing for those that say Sarah doesn’t express herself didn’t pay attention to this episode. She had express herself all episode. She used real tears, interfered with his date, and now admitted that their time together didn’t feel like work.

The problem is simple really. The words cover and selling were still in Chuck’s mind, and the fact that under truth serum she said “No.” It is not hard to figure out why Chuck gave her a cold shoulder. Something that was well received by Sarah because it shaken her enough to even get the attention of Casey.

We will fast forward to the kiss. Now I truly believe the kiss was more of built up over the course of the last few months. Duty, another woman and death all were staring Sarah in the face and basically tormenting her for doing what we all know what she wanted to do. Let’s back track a minute and see scenes from earlier that contribute to the kiss.

The first attempt at kissing Chuck, she was denied because of PDA
The first attempt at kissing Chuck, she was denied because of PDA

Chuck said he couldn’t kiss her because he didn’t do well with PDA. The second attempt was at the end of Chuck vs The Tango.

The second attempt by Sarah to kiss ChuckBoth times Chuck didn’t take a chance. The next time would be the harshest of attempts.

The shock and Awe of Chuck's break up
Despite what people think, Sarah would of let Chuck kiss her. She wasn’t putting up much of a fight, and they were alone.

The urge to kiss and the need for that intimacy has been building and each opportunity she gave him. He never picked up on the signals. The reason is  because of the cover. It was all fake from Chuck’s shoes.

They are still at odds when they get to the bomb. Sarah was exasperated with emotions. She had enough of the rollercoaster and it showed in her actions in the trunk. When Sarah realized they were about to die. The second impulsive act transpired.

Realizing death was approaching

When two people are on the verge of death, all the things that you wish would of had done come into the mind. Chuck’s decision was to stay by Sarah’s side. For Sarah, it was this.

The final second before passion

Sarah showing her passion

As I mentioned in previous articles. Chuck’s never chose Sarah because he had no choice. She was his handler, and the fact that this beautiful woman was only with him because of the Intersect and for cover made him walk on egg shells.

Sarah did get the chance to choose Chuck. She was recalled and yet after watching him with the ballerina became interested. As they spent more time together. Sarah grew from infatuated to falling for him. She spoke through emotions and we often seem to forget body language is a very powerful tool to deliver a message.

However,  Sarah never needed to act on those feelings. She didn’t know how to. Devon and Ellie taught her what love looks like. She can keep giving Chuck signals on those feelings, but it came time for her to show it once Chuck was seeking a real relationship.

Death also contributed to the kiss, but its not the sole factor, but the length and intensity behind the kiss tells you another thing.

This kiss has nothing to do with death
The bomb went off but it was a metaphor for what happened between Chuck and Sarah.

The problem for Charah, a passionate moment like the one above won’t last long because inside the bomb was BRYCE LARKIN

We will continue on our journey with Sarah’s expressions. Stay tuned.




  1. It’s funny we talk about Chuck missing signals all the time ….it really was frustrating as a viewer, but it maintained that tension between the 2 of them for the first 2 seasons….and that really drove the show along nicely. I had forgotten about this in a way, but Chuck maintained his disbelief that someone like Sarah could ever fall for a guy like him, for a LOOONNNGGG time. I mean, even in Phase 3, Morgan explains to Sarah that she’s a “big fish” ….and that’s well into Chuck actually being a spy and getting his “mojo” back, and Sarah telling him she loved him. Consider how much more insecure he was in those first 2 seasons, and he would get NO verbal clues to her feelings. I’m not sure Chuck even wanted to be in his “world” at that point !

    • As i am going through this Study of Sarah’s emotions. Hard Salami was a very telling episode. I think the best thing that could happen to Charah was Lou, Devon and Ellie.

      You can see Sarah never experienced a threat to her personally. How does an Agent who never had an interest in her own personal life cope with the idea of her cover boyfriend dating someone real. The words you used before was impulsive and I have mentioned a few times jealousy. If we stop and look at the transition between being an agent to that of a real girlfriend is quite amazing

      For Chuck, He will always be the nerd that won’t change, and your right Chuck never felt he could measure up to Sarah. For what I don’t know the girl tried to give him a clue that they were a real couple just different kind of couple. He himself said in Chuck vs The Role Models, He didn’t think they would have a normal relationship. Sarah reponsed with It would be nice to fall back on when their spy lives were over.

      Its fascinating to watch such a transition. A super spy who was use to in and out of cities. Chuck is a different story because as complex as it was for him to thrust into the spy word. I think Sarah said it best he was good at being spy something that he didn’t want but was suppose to have. (Chuck v Alma Mater)

      Bryce helps keep him from the spy world but faced with Fulcrum getting their hands on the Intersect new there was only one option. Did Bryce ever think that Sarah would fall for Chuck most likely not

      You asked me once when do i think Sarah fell in love with Chuck, I honestly believe with Sarah’s actions during Chuck vs The Truth and Hard Salami was when she knew herself that she had feelings for him. Look at the way she carried herself. She had to maintain professionalism why her cover boyfriend manned up and ended the fake relationship. Did Sarah fight, she sure did. Did Chuck listen, no but be he was stuck on the whole No after the truth Serum.

      As I mention to you before it shows you what happens when one had the choice of being with one over the other. Chuck met Sarah because of the intersect, whereas Sarah choice him between the Ballerina and Irene Demova. I honesty feel she became infatuated in the pilot, but Watching Ellie and Devon add Lou and we have a woman covering her real feelings.

      I also love watching Sarah keep her real emotions from Beckman and Casey to avoid conflict of interest charges. Its a testament to Yvonne’s acting ability. The Briefing scene was tremendous switching from gf to agent

  2. Mark Christopher Lawrence posted a few YouTube videos on his timeline yesterday. I don’t watch too many of them, but there was one of Yvonne explaining what was coming up in the series finale (Goodbye)…that her and Chuck were going after Quinn, that she had lost her memory, etc. What stood out about this little interview was the line about Sarah not remembering anything about Chuck or anyone else from the last 5 years, but as she works along with Chuck, she “starts to notice his little quirks, and starts to fall in love with him all over again.”

    Now, I’ve only watched Season 5 twice, not because I hate the finale, but I really don’t like a lot of the Morgan Intersect thing…and I don’t like the Shaw returns again thing. But I never got the sense that Sarah was falling in love with Chuck again until she asked for the kiss …and even then I’m not entirely sure of the motivation there.

    Anyone have any thoughts on that particular line ?

    • I think what it comes down to, Chris Fedak wanted to create a image for the fan to come up with their own ending . I am sure how it turned out on camera may have looked bad. He still feels that he told a story and that the story is complete

      But, if you ask the fans majority of them will tell you that the story is not finished . For me, the ending is more suitable for a another season coming . The other disappointing thing is watching the work of Zachary and Yvonne destroyed because of the cleverness. The sad part is Chuck isn’t the only show that had a terrible ending

      • As though amnesia is ever clever !!! LOL
        It would be interesting to see all the scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor ….but if Yvonne was supposed to express a newfound love for Chuck as the episode went along, it didn’t come out that way. She did fix his tie when they were doing the tango, but she seemed downright perturbed that Chuck didn’t shoot Quinn in Berlin… and that is one of the things she always loved about Chuck ( I mean really LOVED about Chuck !!)

      • I agree Yvonne didn’t appear to have her classic expressions to showcase her love for Chuck, and she was a bit cold like the spy before she entered the Buymore. She returned to her dark side the one the creators changed because of the darkness, which is a lie because she was really dark when she killed Mauser.

        I don’t like the ending simply because of not seeing a conclusion, but for those I can understand those that did.

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