Chuck vs the Final Exam is one episode I am not a fan of Sarah Walker. It has to do with the history behind this episode which rubs me the wrong way.
It was talked about in the following article, Mauser vs the Red Test. Chuck will have to perform a final test and he will become a full time spy. All of the things Bartowski was working for came to light with one test.
This test however is a one and done. He goes back to his normal life if he fails his test. He will be asked to complete a mission on is own and even tougher task for the second part of the exam. He will be required to perform a red test. The results of the red test will be only time I am not a fan of Sarah Walker. I shall explain when the scene comes up. Let’s take our final exam.
The episode begins with a man running down the tracks. Another man in the distances was showing chasing the man. When the proverbial smoke clears it’s Chuck standing over this man with a gun pointed at him.
The Man: Don’t you see? This is exactly what they want.
Chuck: I gave you a chance.
At the Buymore, John Casey was getting use to life after spy work. He was put in charge of the store as Morgan was out of town for the episode.
Lester and Jeff were playing darts in the store, and one of their shots hit a customer. Not good Jeffster, and as Lester turned a corner Jeff was waiting for Lester. He tried to plead his case, but Jeff sent a dart right in the middle of his chest.
From out of nowhere Casey grabbed the both of them and told them about nearly knocking over the customer. Lester would tell Casey about his love of playing a military big shot, but the Buymore had a strict no touching policy due to Jeff.
Casey’s response was knocking Jeffster’s heads together. Jeffster would head to Big Mike’s office to rat on Casey. Chuck saw this and said if he was alright. He check up on Casey’s adjustment into civilian life. Apparently not good.
Chuck told Casey he was preparing to tell Beckman if she didn’t give him his job back he would quit. Casey said don’t be ridiculous, he put his own issues ahead of the country, and he understood the dismissal. He further said, he knew when things were over unlike Bartowski.
Chuck would make his way to Castle, and found Sarah there. She apologized for not calling him back, but they were busy all day with meeting. Chuck said, what could they do to get Casey’s job back. Sarah said if there was anything she could do, she would do it. Shaw came into the room and told Chuck that Casey was no business of his, but what happened in Washington was his business. Shaw rubbed it in Chuck’s face when he brought Walker’s bag into Castle for her.
What I didn’t like in this scene was Sarah attitude. The effects of watching Chuck choke the ring agent was still fresh on her mind. She didn’t give Chuck a smile when she saw him. It’s a very matter of fact tone from Sarah.
Beckman comes on the screen and asked if they told Chuck anything. Shaw and Sarah said they didn’t yet. Beckman told Chuck after discussing with Shaw and Sarah it was time to test Chuck and his training. Bartowski assumed it was a scantron test, but Beckman and Sarah both told Chuck about the test.
The test would be a real mission. He would be doing it alone, and he needed to pass it to become a spy. Chuck said he could do. Sarah would finish by saying if you fail the test you are out Chuck. He would go back to living his old life.
Sarah in this scene doesn’t have the concern expressions she usually gave when it came to Chuck’s feelings on things. It’s do or die time for Chuck, and Sarah isn’t delivering the news with a sense of don’t worry Chuck you’ll get through this. It’s a very cold expression.
Beckman told Chuck his mission would commence the next day. Sarah tried to put on a smile for Chuck, but it was a half hearted on. Sarah has committed herself to Shaw now. Beckman would say if he succeed he would be promoted.
She would also inform Chuck he would be working out of Italy. No identity. Chuck asked if Sarah would be joining him, but the general said no, Sarah would be working with Shaw in Washington.
As the general sign off, Chuck was liking he would be working in Italy. Everything he was working for came down to this test. However, Sarah had to dampen the mood by saying he was getting everything he always wanted.
Sarah’s remark was a lie, and he was not getting everything he wanted because Sarah was apart of everything. Chuck knew it too.
After the opening credits, Chuck walked into his kitchen and was startled when Sarah was waiting for him.
It’s test taking time, and as I am watching this episode the more I realize the theme of this episode. Yes, the final exam is for Chuck to become a spy, but what if we missed the reality of it being a final exam for Sarah as well. The proverbial this is your last chance Chuck.
She gives Chuck a blue package, inside was a video player, in which Beckman gave Chuck the details of the mission. He was to head over to a spa, in which a Russian would be meeting a mole from the CIA, who was selling secrets to, who in return sold the same secrets to the Ring.
Chuck’s mission required him to smoke out the mole and ID him. While Chuck was listening to the video, Sarah was writing down the experience. Chuck watched the video player self destruct. He turned his attention back to Sarah, and asked her about what she was writing.
The journey was everything that Team Bartowski had done over the years. Every mission Chuck had been on. While Chuck was able to get Sarah to smile, she quickly changed the mood by throwing Casey name into the hopper as a way to curb Chuck’s enthusiasm.
As Sarah was leaving, Chuck asked Sarah if she was going to be at the stakeout. After Sarah said, yes. Chuck made it a point to state this could be the final time they were working together, and for old time sakes make it a special night. The only thing special would be Chuck passing his test according to Sarah.
Still Chuck said, it should be fun. Sarah agreed…
At the buymore, Big Mike was getting fitted for a suit. He had Casey come by to explain to him about Jeffster would drop the lawsuit if he could get Casey to cage the rage. Casey at first was reluctant, but Mike put it in perspective for Casey. It’s either he got on the box or he was out of a job with a lawsuit to boot.
Casey got on the box and wasn’t too thrilled he was being fitted for a suit.
Chuck arrived at the stakeout with a hop in his step. He set up the room and even brought some extras. Sarah arrived and was impressed with the arrangement. Chuck laid everything out properly pleasing Sarah for a change.
I think back to first date, when Chuck had the machismo, the confidence and swagger that I enjoyed from that scene. It returned here. He was in command of the situation despite it being his livelihood on the line.
He turned his final exam into a romantic date. He brought mementos from their first stakeout like sizzling shrimp, and played Private Eyes to soften the mood. Everything was moving great. They were communicating. There is that nasty word. She knows it will be different and miss him. So, why are you leaving then Sarah.
She couldn’t take down the binoculars because she couldn’t bare to look at him because all the charms he possessed was working on her. However, there was a problem though. Chuck’s phone rang. Shaw asked why wasn’t Chuck’s ear wig in yet. He asked if Sarah was there.
After Chuck ended the call with Shaw, Chuck told her what was on his mind. He told her if he had made a different choice back in Prague. If he ran with her, but then he told her the truth behind becoming a spy. He did so they can be together.
Sarah’s reaction to this was what I mentioned above. She couldn’t look at him or talk. She was classic Sarah, but then I missed something. Sarah’s reaction to Shaw calling.
then one of my favorite moments of the series took place. I have wrote about how I feel Shaw and Sarah never had a real relationship. They may have slept together. They may have started dating, but Shaw was never going to get what Chuck already had. Chuck had her heart.
For the first time all season, Sarah was showing the passion she always had in her eyes for Chuck. They both have passion in their eyes for each other. It’s why communication is so important in a relationship. The results from communicating was this.
However, they forgot why they were there, the Russian had got passed them which angered Shaw. Chuck was passing his personal test, and forgot his professional one. Shaw told Sarah to give Chuck his glasses, which had a camera in them. Chuck stood up looked at Sarah and told her the discussion wasn’t over.
Here is where I begin to criticize Sarah. It is no secret by now Sarah’s desire of Chuck not becoming spy. She had the opportunity to tell Chuck. Don’t do this, we still can be together with you being a spy, but she froze and stood their as Chuck went to accomplish the mission.
She looked like she wanted to talk, but froze at the opportunity, It’s a shame because there wouldn’t be a need for what happens later. Sarah dropped the ball.
If she would of just said he didn’t need to be a spy to be together. Chuck wouldn’t of went through with it, but she just stood there. She waited all season long for the Chuck that was sitting next to her. The one with the charms and the ability to turn a mission into a romantic adventure reminded her of why she loved Chuck, and certainly wouldn’t get the same feelings from Shaw.
She said it herself. “It’s different…than with you.” It’s different because Sarah didn’t love or have any feelings for Shaw. She went for Shaw because she misread the play. She thought Chuck had moved on from her professionally and personally, but after finding out he joined the agency to be with her. It’s a game changer. It brought to life why Chuck said he couldn’t in Prague.
There was truth behind what Chuck said in the Break Up, he was just an asset, and if the status quo would remained the same. Sarah would of been off stopping a revolution instead of home with Chuck. For Chuck veterans, we saw it in season 4 what would happen.
It was something Chuck needed to do. He needed to join the agency in order to be with Sarah. She misread read Chuck’s plan because it never really was explained to her like he did during the stakeout. He said, “If I pass this test, we then finally can be together because you wouldn’t be my handler anymore.” The result of the admission brought Sarah the girlfriend, in which she was acting on her feelings. She went to kiss him. Strange for Sarah to do that if she has feelings for the other guy.
It’s brought us closer to the goalline, but it wouldn’t be Chuck without adversity. Chuck entered the spa and walked up to the counter and asked if a Russian had arrived. While Shaw was quarterbacking from Castle, he told Chuck they may be in the steam room. Shaw told him to go inside.
Sarah arrived at Castle and immediately was asked by Shaw what happened out there. Sarah defended Chuck by saying it was not his fault. Sometimes missions don’t go as planned. The look she game him after he turned away was priceless.
Who knows what was going on in her brain, all we know is Sarah didn’t look to pleased with her current boyfriend. Maybe because Shaw ruined her chance on patching things up with Chuck.
While Chuck was waiting in the steam room, a bell man gave the leader a message. The three men stood up and were headed for the room where the mole was. The leader throw the paper on the floor and Chuck went for it a bit too quick. One of the Russians asked Chuck why so quick in picking up piece of paper.
Shaw told Chuck to get out of there, but really was Chuck going to go Daniel, the baddies had the door covered. Chuck flashed and took out the men. Shaw was satisfied with Chuck’s moves.
Chuck read the paper, and the room number wasn’t clear. The team told him don’t lose him. Chuck was on the move. He caught up with him and saw the room the man went into.
Chuck would go into the next room, and get rid of the housekeeper by coming out of the bathroom. Next, he would climb out of the window and on to the balcony and inch himself over to the next room. He would watch the mole stab the Russian. Shaw told Chuck they still needed to ID the guy. Chuck would make a cocking sound, which drove the mole to the window. Chuck looked at him, and from Castle Shaw and Sarah locked on the face and were able to establish the man’s identity. Mission accomplished.
The next day, Chuck came to the Orange Orange and wanted to talk to Sarah about dinner plans. Things were panning out as Sarah asked him to dinner. The place would be at the train station. Sarah had a smile and was rather happy to see Chuck.
Unlike earlier in the episode Sarah is smiling like she usually did when Chuck was with her. Chuck’s charms were still on. There was no signs of Chuck 2.0, no signs of Agent Walker to ruin things. However, it would turn ugly after this. Chuck and Sarah agreed to dinner that evening.
Chuck was excited he passed his test, and he believed he was an official spy. He would give a gift to Casey for helping him train all these years. He gave Casey his former firearm, which Casey was pleased with. However, Casey didn’t believe the mission was over because he know what was coming.
What I loved about this scene was Casey’s expression and concern. Chuck and Casey’s relationship really has become a friendship. It only was three years ago, the colonel wanted to kill Bartowski most of the time.
Casey knew there was a part of the final test that would require Chuck to perform a task that Chuck wouldn’t be able to accomplish. The very issue that would come up between Sarah and Shaw.
The biggest thing Sarah loved about Chuck was his inability to kill people. He walked around with a tranq gun and beat a video game in order to save lives. It was that very notion that made Sarah love him so much, and to a degree Casey as well. He wasn’t wired that way.
Shaw said, the agency set up Perry to meet Chuck at the train station. Chuck was to meet with Perry, and Sarah assumed to bring him in. Shaw said, no he has to kill Perry. Sarah’s face dropped as she asked your giving Chuck his red test.
Sarah: I can’t. I can’t be a part of it, and I won’t.
You have to meet him. I can’t make him do something like that.
I’m not even sure that I want him to be able to do something like that.
Shaw: I’m sorry, Sarah, but this isn’t about what you want.
It’s about Chuck, and our finding out what he’s capable of.
Sarah: Perry is a seasoned agent, and he is gonna do anything to save himself. And if Chuck freezes, then then we could lose him.
Shaw: And that’s why you’ll be there.
If you give him the order, if you tell him to kill Perry, he’ll do it.
Shaw was right because if Chuck was going to work on his own as an agent. He may not like guns, but it’s important to know how to use one. Tranq guns would only go so far for some missions. The Red Test is that design, but Sarah didn’t want Chuck to kill Perry. Chuck’s red test essentially becomes a professional and personal test.
A chose wisely moment. Once again, the agency is putting Sarah in a tough spot, but something she could of avoided if she just used her mouth. I will dig deeper after the train station scene. It’s amazing how bad things happen for Chuck and Sarah at a train station. Note to Chuck and Sarah stay away from trains.
Sarah was sitting at a table, as Chuck entered the restaurant. He sit’s right in front of her. A my favorite song of the series played. Austin Leonard & Kendall Jane Meade’s In My Sleep
Let’s watch the scene and I will discuss it further.
Three things happened in the scene, Sarah voiced something that she never did before. he said, ” If I don’t do this then we can’t be together….” She said probably not. Than he said, “If I don’t do this than I go back to my normal life.” Sarah very stern said “And there is nothing wrong with that.” Confirmation confirmed. She admitted she didn’t want Chuck to become a spy. SO, in a brief time span Sarah really was a jerk here. All of this could be avoided if Sarah just explained her side of what’s eating at her inside instead she tested him.
The reason I love In my sleep has to do with this screen cap and the words that played when Sarah turned to look at Chuck.
The lyrics that played was these, It’s Chuck’s way of letting the viewer know what Sarah was thinking.
Someday, get up on my way
I think I’ll be okay for a while
I know you were never mine to keep
But I know that I’ll see you in my sleep
But time has been unkind
and kept me far from you
But I know you will be holding me
In my sleep
In essence, the writers told us Sarah had implemented a test of her own on Chuck. If you kill the mole we are done. All she would have left was her dreams.
As Sarah left, the mole came walking in. He sat in front of Chuck and Perry was hoping this meeting would be quick. Meanwhile, Sarah sat close by so she could watch.
As Chuck was talking, the mole asked if he could go to the bathroom. Chuck let him, but he would soon follow after. When Chuck went into the bathroom, he looked in each stall before Perry came shooting out and stabbed Bartowski in the leg.
Chuck flashed and the two would brawl. Chuck would get the upper hand, and Perry plead for his life. He said he had no choice in doing what he did. He realized Chuck was sent to kill him, and told him he was no different than the rest if he pulled the trigger. However, Bartowski said he was not like them.
Chuck elected to bring in Perry rather than shoot him. As the two were walking through the station. Perry bolted. Chuck made chase soon after. The chase would spill out into the train yard. Chuck eventually would catch up to Perry, and point his gun saying he gave him a chance.
Sarah was close but not there just yet. As Perry was going for his ankle gun, a shot rang out. Chuck thought it was his gun, but when he turned he saw Casey, who took off. Sarah came and saw Chuck standing of the dead body of Perry. In tears, Sarah confirmed with Shaw that Chuck did it. He was a spy. Casey and Shaw helped Chuck become a spy. Sarah wanted no part in this.
Chuck was walking with Casey in the courtyard of their apartment complex when Chuck asked him why he did it. Casey said he know Chuck couldn’t go through with it. He also made it clear no one was to know about what he did.
Meanwhile in Sarah’s hotel room, she does something that I will rip her apart for. She told Shaw she no longer was in love with Chuck. She recalled her own red test and said it was the worst thing she could of done. She went through with how it happened. Shaw said its the choice we all have to make, he did it to protect the country.
Everyone is on board with why Chuck had to do it. Sarah had to do it. If this was the only way for Chuck to become a real spy. He had to do it. Why was it ok for her to pull the trigger on Mauser back in S2. She did it because she had no choice. She protected Chuck in that way. Chuck did what he had to do to be with her. The kicker is he didn’t even pull the trigger, but from Sarah’s position he did.
Casey risked prison time for what he did for Chuck. It’s what a team does. Sarah put her own personal reasons behind saying she fell out of love with Chuck. He slept with other women, she stayed in love with him. He fake broke up with her several times, but she stayed in love with him. He didn’t pull the trigger, but because she thinks he did. I know longer love him for it. What a crock.
It took me a while to respect Sarah after this scene because essentially it’s the Mauser situation all over again. Sarah really rubbed me the wrong way here. Chuck did what he had to do for her. Didn’t she do the same for him? Why was it justified for her to kill Mauser and not for him to “kill” the mole?
When Chuck arrived at his apartment, he found a package on his table. Sarah was there apparently, but didn’t stay. Inside the package was a badge, a gun and a ticket to Washington for processing. Chuck actually finished something in his life. all because of her, who no longer loved him for killing someone.
It proves my point Sarah didn’t want Chuck to be a spy, and the idea of him killing someone was enough for Chuck to fail his personal test. Sarah was done……
As Sarah was foolishly falling out of love with Chuck, there was a knock at Chuck’s door. Airport pick up was there to pick up Agent Bartowski. It has a nice ring to it.
There is no overall thoughts or buymore story for this episode. The test was the major story. What we learned was Sarah didn’t want Chuck to be a spy or a killer, and while they had the spark going in the middle of this episode. Sarah’s reasoning behind falling out of love with Chuck was nonsensical in every measure of the word.
She only gets worse in the first half of the next episode. More on that when we get into American Hero.
As always Chuckaholics is your toy so play, and remember it’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t
An announcement is coming at the conclusion of American Hero, A live episode is scheduled for next Friday at 9 PM EST as we will be watching Chuck vs The Other Guy on Twitter. Facebook followers please feel free to join us over at twitter as we share our thoughts on OG until next time enjoy Final Exam.