Rewatch Week Twenty Four: Episode Eleven Season Two: A Bittersweet Moment for Chuck and Sarah

Chuck vs The Santa Claus

After a two episode break from Fulcrum’s search for the Intersect, two centered episodes around Casey and Sarah, we come to a very powerful episode in the series. Santa Claus offers a bitter sweet moment between Chuck and Sarah.

We have two great guest stars in this episode, Michael Rooker, who is known for some big roles like these.

Days of Thunder: 


The other guest star would be Reginald VelJohnson, Most People will know him for his role in Family Matters as Carl Winslow, but Reginald was also in Die Hard 

The episode uses the Buymore as it’s setting so we will blend the store and Team Bartowski for this rewatch. So, let’s dive in.

Its the annual Christmas episode in Burbank, and we see Big Mike and Emmett arrive at the Buymore. It was comical seeing the two arrive in the same car. A marketing genius for sponsor dollars in my view. Big Mike and Emmett arrive  at the store

The two men are excited on how much money they would earn on the procrastinators of the world. They discuss marking up the merchandise 15% as a result. It made both men giggle in delight. Big Mike and Emmet plotting

At the Orange, Sarah was prepping for her day, and noticed the sign on the wall, and it was something Sarah showed grimacy in her face. As the thought of having a family for Christmas was an illusion. The longing for family is really heightened especially since her father just left town. I want that moment too

Chuck comes trotting in and uses his charms to persuade Sarah in joining his family for a Christmas at the Bartowskis. Its sweet that Chuck wants to insert Sarah into his life. Essentially, Chuck sees Sarah as family too. However, Sarah was reluctant as her family recollection was the annual Burton Salvation Army Con Job.

It makes me smile seeing Sarah address her family situation with Chuck. A far cry from Cougars when Sarah adamantly insist Chuck stay out of her personal life. I guess an evening with dad changes that. 

Couple of notes from this scene, as I mentioned in Sensei. Chuck once again stated his desire for down time. While Jill was the initial reason behind the break. This time Chuck said the Intersect could use a little down time. It’s apparently from scenes like this Bartowski is burnt out. The juggling of living a double life had reached its threshold on how much the always cool headed Chuck could withstand. I enjoy the down time

The other note would be the way Sarah Flung the rag over at Chuck. The tough exterior Sarah likes to portray doesn’t work anymore with Chuck, and the more she spends time with him. The more his charms work on her. Fittingly, her heart was already warmed by Chuck the moment Sarah met Bartowski. Sarah trying to be coyChuck trying to smooth talk Sarah

Chuck still wants her in his life despite her con history with her father.

Awesome and Ellie taking advantage of their brother's job
When it comes to the holidays, Its not so bad to have relatives in mediocre places

At the Buymore, the staff were preparing for the store opening. The last minute holiday rush was about to commence. Ellie and Awesome took advantage of Chuck’s job and was able to get the jump on the customers.

Yeah, exactly, and that's ridiculous! Do I not look like an adult to you?
Yeah, exactly, and that’s ridiculous! Do I not look like an adult to you?

Chuck trying to be nixe

On the television, a high speed chase was taking place, and the Buymorians were placing wagers on how the chase would end. Anna won as she said. The driver would crash into the Buymore. Car crashThe driver jumped out of the car, and pointed a gun at Chuck. Zac's reaction to spock dyingNed holding the Buymore hostageThe driver’s name would end up being Ned, and he asked who was in charge. Everyone in the building said Chuck. He would ask Chuck about the doors, and Chuck assured him since the store wasn’t open yet all the doors were locked still. Ned than would make Chuck shut the gate.

Ned instructs everyone to head over to the Santa’s Village display.  Ned in control

Meanwhile In castle. we have one of Beckham’s best lines of the series.  As the three were discussing Ned and how to handle it, Beckman sees Casey’s fingers bandaged up, but before we talk about that. Let’s take a minute to talk about Sarah in this scene.

Sarah and Chuck have been together for over a year now, and while Sarah has begun to rub off on Chuck in the spy world. Sarah knows whats important to Chuck. While Casey and Beckman were all guns blazing in extracting Chuck, Sarah was more level headed and told them it wasn’t a practical idea.

Chuck's family is up there
I’m saying that Chuck has family and friends in there, and if we blow Chuck’s cover, then not only he will have to go underground, but so will everyone else.

Sarah suggested to let LAPD handle the hostage situation as Chuck’s friends and family are in the Buymore. She was able to talk down Casey and Sarah. It’s like Sarah was speaking for Chuck a clear indication on strong  the relationship has become.

Beckman was funny here.  Get it together Major

Beckman: Are you okay, Major?

Casey: Hmm? Oh, uh, just paper cuts. I’m on gift wrap station right now, General.

Beckman: It’s an electronic store, Major. Not Basra.
Get it under control.

The Two guest stars of Santa Claus
One of these two people are not who they seem.

The police gather around the Buymore, and the two handlers head up to extract Chuck.  Reporters arrive on the scene as well.  Lt. Mauser approached the police units and introduced himself as hostage negotiator. Mauser asked who was in charge, and Al Powell, said he was, and the perp was an amaetur. Furthermore, his cousin Mike was the store manager.Lt. Mauser on the case Ned Was watching himself on the Television, when Chuck approached. Ned told Chuck he could put his hands down. He would insist that he wasn’t a bad guy. you could put your hands down Chuck listening to Ned''s sob story

It seemed like Bartowski and Ned were beginning to create a bond. Ned sold a sob story to Bartowski, and the hook was set. Bartowski’s trusting soul let Ned in and out comes some information Chuck should of never revealed.

Since Ned didn’t hurt anyone, Bartowski assured Ned of the people he knew that could get him out of this, As Chuck was saying this, Casey and Sarah came up into Castle through the break room.  Ned became interested in who these people were. Like whoThe Calvary arrivedSuddenly, the phone rings and Ned frantically ask Bartowski what was that. Chuck told Ned that it could be the police, but Ned didn’t want to speak with them.

Lt. Mauser was on the line, and asked to speak with Ned. Now, I know its an easy miss, but how does Chuck miss Mauser’s big mistake. He wanted to speak to Ned. This was the first attempt by the police to contact Net. How would Mauser know his name already?

Ned refused to speak with Mauser, so it was up to Chuck and Mauser to work through this. He wanted Chuck to ask Ned to show a good faith sign by releasing a hostage. As Chuck was  asking the the question, Emmett comes running towards them Pick me Pick me. He furthered his case by saying his grandmother was sick and she needed her bobo. Ned and Chuck looked at Emmett like he was off the wall. She needs her bobo

Ned lets Emmet go, and instead of talking about the hostage situation. Emmett uses his press time to endorse the Buymore sale.  Classic Emmett taking advantage of an opportunity.

Ned would continue asking Chuck about the people he mentioned. Chuck didn’t say anything, but saw Casey and Sarah peeking through the back door. Bartowski asked Ned if he could use the restroom, which Ned allows. Casey and Sarah telling Chuck to come to the back

Chuck comes to the back, both Casey and Sarah become adamant about their orders of extracting him, but Chuck refuses. I really like Chuck here. He said”I know there are rules, but when it comes to friends and family, there’s a time to break em.  Come on lets go chuckI can't leave my friends and family now

As the three are fighting against each other, Ned comes looking for Chuck. When he enters the break room, Ned become hostile at the sight of Casey and Sarah, but Chuck assures Ned about how harmless they were. Hostile Ned They are harmlessChuck was able to talk down Ned, but Ned claimed he didn’t know how to put the safety on, but in attempting to help Ned with the Gun. He dropped it an a shot fired into Casey’s toe. Zac and Yvonne's expression watching Casey get shot in the toeNed feeling bad about shooting Casey, apologized and claimed head didn’t intend to do that.  Mauser and Powell heard the shot and immediately tried calling in. Mauser heard the shotChuck and Sarah help CaseyCasey piping mad about losing his toe. He gets furious with Chuck by telling him he survived three wars without so much a scratch until he met Bartowski. Meanwhile, Devon was tired of waiting, and decided to take matter into his own hands. He asked Morgan, Jeffster and Big Mike to join him in coming up with a plan to take down Ned, but Chuck overheard and told them it was not wise to do. Casey also told him to sit tight,

Ellie also chimed in by saying a hero is still being alive with his friends and family who love him. Devon Plotting to take down Ned not a smart idea fellas Chuck is right don't be a heroMeeting of the minds 2A hero is staying alive for his family

Once again the phone started to ring and Ned told Chuck the phone wasn’t stopping. Chuck went to pick up the phone, and Mauser said he heard a gunshot.  Chuck explained how the shot was a mistake. Mauser would than ask what were Ned’s demands, but Ned said he didn’t have anything. Chuck asked Mauser if he could call back in like five minutes which Mauser obliged.

Ned wanted to call his wife since she knew how to handle these kind of situations. Chuck said that was a good idea, and maybe Ned should let the other hostages be able to call their love ones. Ned accepted the request. Ok, Chuck they can call people

Ellie and Awesome called the Awesomes. Lester called the dirty hotline.  and John Casey called his mother (more on this in a minute) the whole store ended up calling someone except Sarah as she just stood there with no one to call. Why would she when her BF was in the store.

As the title of the article states, this would mark the sweet part of the episode. Chuck calls Sarah and told her where she could find him. 

The scene is well done. Chuck and Sarah have one of the top ten if not top five moments of the series. the magic Zac and Yvonne created on screen was phenomenal.  Let’s dig into the scene. I begin with these expressions. calling me was smartChuck preparing for something

Sarah’s compliment on Chuck’s idea to protect the cover gave him the green light to show his love for her despite it only being a cover. It was something Sarah never expected.

Sarah: That was pretty smart to call me.
Protect our cover.

Chuck: Yeah, well, you are my girlfriend.
Sort of.

Sarah’s reaction to hearing that made her open up a bit. She would ask if the offer of her coming over for Christmas was still there. The girlfriend inside asking not the Agent Persona that often overrides her feelings. You are my girlfriend sort ofSarah reaction to hearing that she was his gf

Sarah’s reaction is one I enjoy cause its registering on how she has fallen for Chuck and even though she can’t be with him. Chuck’s right. They are sort of a couple. it’s the very line she said here.

We are a real couple
Sarah; Well, we are a real couple just a different kind of couple. 

However, the difference is Sarah wasn’t aware of her feelings at the time Sandworm aired, but in this episode Sarah was fully aware on how she feels about Chuck. As Chuck reaches for a jewelry bag, Sarah was calm and collected. Chuck giving Sarah a christmas gift

We are going to get out of here
Sarah assures Chuck they were going to get out of hostage situation.

Chuck felt with how things were, it would be feasible to give his gift to Sarah at that moment. I understood Chuck’s reasoning. As hostage situations could  drag out for a long time, and if the situation spilled over to the next day. Sarah wouldn’t be able to attend Christmas as she would be needed in Castle to debrief and all that is related with the government interest in the case.  Chuck pulls out a bracelet out of the bag, and puts it on her wrist. The Bracelet Sarah's eyes shows she loves it already

Sarah’s eyes tell the story. She loved it as soon as she saw it, but Sarah trying to be coy said he should give it to a real girlfriend, but Chuck said he knew.  He explained the charm bracelet was his mother’s a sort of good luck charm if you will. A romantic gesture almost like a knight (hero) would give his lady a token of his love for her. When Chuck leaves to address the police, Sarah’s real reaction was well received.

Sarah’s state of surprised has something to do with her never getting this kind of affection. Sarah’s life has been con jobs and missions for the government. There was no time for Christmas, family and gifts from the heart. Chuck’s faith in her was proven when he gave her a token of his love. The bracelet means more than just some Christmas gift. It’s Chuck saying “I know we can’t be together, but I consider you my girlfriend.”

The gift represents Chuck’s love and fondness of her. Something Sarah has never experienced since she left her mother, and as I think about it. It most likely didn’t occur in her mother’s home either. I mean with the fights her mother and father had, It was very feasible for Sarah to have a hard life then too. Sarah surprised by Chuck's romantic gesture I know Sarah in a state of surprise Sarah playing with her token of love

As i just describe about a knight and his lady.  The roles are obvious reversed as Sarah is the knight and Chuck is the lady.

Chuck gets on the phone with Mauser, and asked what were Ned’s demands. Ned said he just wanted to make it home for Christmas. Mauser said that was fine and he was going to come in unarmed to talk with him. Ned agreed to those terms, and in comes Mauser. Mauser is inside

Mauser asked if they could release two more hostages and pointed to Casey, who had an injured toe. Ned would than offer to release Chuck”s girlfriend as a symbol of appreciation of Chuck’s service through the whole thing.We'll start with the injury manChuck getting nervous now with Mauser and Ned's suggestion

As Ned offered a gesture of kindness, Chuck freaked out. He instantly said “No.” It made the who store make comments about Chuck not letting his girlfriend out. The best one came from Lester.

Lester: It’ll be a cold Christmas at the Bartowskis.

Chuck would than suggest Ned let everyone go, but that was quickly denied. Ned said just those two could go as he pointed to Sarah and Casey. When I first watched this. Something didn’t smell right about this. Casey would inform Chuck about the calvary showed up. Sarah approached Chuck and told him she would never let anyone hurt him. Don't worry i won't let anyone hurt you

Once outside, Mauser would tell Chuck not to worry. He was taking over with Ned, but Chuck asked if he could get the first crack as He and Ned were able to establish a trust. Mauser was alright with it.  Chuck than tried to talk Ned down even telling him about the people he knew were people who worked for the government. Ned looked at Mauser after Chuck said this.

Mauser would than walk up to Chuck and say “Alright Chuck, I will take it from here.”  Chuck walked away as Ned and Mauser continued the conversation. Oh so you developed a trust have youEverything will be okChuck confirming he was the one the feds were protectingMauser taking overWhile outside, Casey and Sarah asked where was Ned’s wife, but the agent said Ned didn’t have a wife. It made Casey and Sarah run to Castle. Chuck would end up flashing on the watch of Mauser.  As I mentioned above, Casey’s phone call to his mother was really to Beckman much like Ned’s call to his wife was to Mauser. Chuck flashed on Mauser's watchCasey and Sarah find out Ned doesn't have a wifeBoth agents were worried about Chuck’s safety once they learned the truth about Ned’s call and even more so when they realized who was on the other end of the phone call. As Casey and Sarah were looking up Ned and tracing the call., they traced it to a phone that was in the Buymore already. It was Mauser on the other end of the call.Sarah sees who the phone was traced too

Devon and the Buymorians were thinking of a way to take down Ned, but Chuck again told them the situation was way too dangerous right now for a hero. Devon would listen to Chuck.

Mauser asked if he could speak with Chuck. Mauser would reveal who he was right away. He said, Fulcrum new Casey was a NSA agent and the young girl was a CIA agent. Mauser explained to Chuck about the who hostage situation was a created to see who they were protecting and it happened to be Chuck.  He finished by saying Fulcrum was looking for Bryce Larkin and the Intersect.

He would further inform Chuck if he thought Chuck would was lying. He would give Ned the go ahead to kill Ellie. Chuck was caught in a rock and hard place. He knew if he told Mauser who the intersect really was he would be taken from the store in his custody, but if he didn’t Ellie was dead. it goes back to what Bartowski said in the break room.

Under Protocol, Chuck still wasn’t able to reveal his secret, but not when it comes to friends and family . Chuck told Mauser he didn’t know where Larkin was, but told him who the Intersect was much to the delight of Mauser.  Chuck was told he would be the next person released and than be taken to a Fulcrum facility, Chuck would ask about seeing his family, and Mauser said “no” this would be the last time you see them.

Chuck asked if he could say goodbye to them, Mauser was fine with it as long as he didn’t draw attention to his situation. Chuck hugged his sister and told her goodbye. When Chuck hugged Devon, he told him “There is a time to be timid and time to be brave.” Chuck told him now was the time to be brave.

As Casey and Sarah were gearing up, Sarah heard the news report another person was being released. They saw the person was Chuck. They watched as Chuck was placed in an ambulance.Oh my god, Fulcrum has ChuckSarah and Casey knew it was time to strike.  They ran out of the Orange, and shot the tires of the Ambulance, Chuck ran into a Christmas tree garden with Mauser right behind. Chuck running into the Christmas Tree Garden

 In the Buymore Devon, Jeffster, Big Mike and Morgan all worked together to take out Ned, Lester was used as a sacrificial lamb to draw Ned. Lester felt a roundhouse kicked as a result. Ned roundhoused LesterNed saw Jeff and went after him, next he would point his gun at Devon. Ned pointing his gun at DevonWhat Ned didn’t notice was Morgan who was hiding underneath the white abyss of fake snow. Grimes came jumping out of the snow with the hose that made the fake snow and spreaded Ned with the white substance. It distracted Ned enough for Big Mike and Devon to close the deal. Devon and Big Mike take down NedWe now come up to the bitter part of the episode. Chuckaholics has written about the Mauser Incident in two other articles

Related Article: Mauser vs The Red Test  and Mauser Incident but I will finish this rewatch off with this part of the episode with my analysis of Sarah’s decision.

Mauser Shooting 

Mauser was searching for Chuck in the sea of Christmas Trees. Chuck was hiding behind some trees. Sarah grabbed him and instructed him to head back to Castle, and not to worry about her. Chuck went half way and turned back.

Mauser caught up to Sarah and the two had a brawl. Sarah would eventually get the upper hand, but Mauser wasn’t worried as he reveal he knew Chuck’s secret. He also informed Sarah about how important he was with Fulcrum. He told her that fulcrum would come and get him, and when they did he would tell them everything. It would be the end of Chuck’s pathetic existence. Sarah was placed in a tough decision.  Sarah listening to Mauser's banter

The question would be does Sarah risk bringing in Mauser and ignore Mauser’s warning. Could Mauser be trying to get into Sarah’s head long enough to regain control, but for Sarah its a little deeper.

Chuck has become more than some assignment for her. She just received a token of his lover for her, and now some jerk is threatening her “cover” boyfriend. A man like everyone else put down with his pathetic existence comment.

In most Knight/Lady tales, The knight is faced with a situation like Sarah and follows her heart in doing the right thing. The results are the same and the only option Sarah had. Sarah killed Mauser. There was too much at risk for Sarah and her number one goal was protecting Chuck.  As she left the Buymore, she said she would let no one hurt him and she did just that.

In my opinion, its more of a romantic gesture in a literary sense. If we are to assume Sarah is the knight and Chuck was the lady. Sarah’s gesture of killing the knight was her token of love for him.  Remember Sarah didn’t express herself  verbally. Sarah doing whatever she could to keep Chuck in her life was her romantic gesture as we will learn later in the series. Only one choice for SarahSarah standing like a knight in a heat of battle

The problem for Sarah was Chuck saw it. Chuck saw her kill an unarmed man. However, Chuck didn’t hear what Mauser said. Thus, it created a bitter end to this episode. Chuck saw itWhen Sarah returned to the Buymore, Chuck asked her what happened to the Fulcrum agent. Sarah elected to lie, but the viewer and Chuck knew she lied, but Sarah didn’t know Chuck saw her kill Mauser. A huge communication breakdown, but then there wouldn’t be a story to tell. As I mentioned in another article, sometimes telling lies is a way to protect someone, but at what point do those lies begin to become too much. We are about to see that in the next episode.

Overall Thoughts On Santa Claus

I love this episode. it wouldn’t crack my top twenty list, but its close. A magical moment between Chuck and Sarah spoiled again by the duties of the job. Two romantic gestures put things into perspective. Chuck’s was by the way of normalcy, and Sarah’s is by the way of protection.

A lot of editor errors in this episode, but nothing too crazy other than Mauser and Sarah not getting wet when it’s raining around him or Sarah’s bracelet on the wrong arm when she shoots him.

John Casey calling his mom was the same Ned did in calling his wife, but for most Chuck fans this episode is a favorite because of the bracelet scene.

While we have had a great run of rewatch episodes from First Date through Santa Claus. We come up to the first episode I can’t stand personally.

I will be fair in my analysis of Third Dimension, but I rank 3D in the bottom half of the series. I am not a fan of Dominic Monaghan and Jerome Bettis is too much to take. Michael Strahan’s role was far more entertaining than Bettis.

The bright spot is it’s the conclusion of Chuck being burnt out from spying and nerd herding.

The next episode is 3D until next time remember Chuckaholics is your site toy, so play. It’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t






  1. This is easily one of the best episodes of the series.

    The only problem I have with this episode, is the episode that follows it.

    • Welcome Back CM,

      Yes, I agree this was a great episode. The string of episodes that are coming and before this one was a stretch that really showed the series potential.

      The Mauser situation was such a great display of storytelling, and I wish they expanded more on this than to wash it away in one episode.

      I mean they drags Prague for five episodes. or Morgansect for that matter.

      After 3D, it picks up and I plan to do something different for the rewatch, but I will announce it on The Chuck Project on Tuesday.

      • This was a great episode for a number of reasons, including the fact that Chuck actually was a leader amongst men. When you think that there was Big Mike and even Awesome in the store, Chuck was the one that took charge. The shooting of Mauser was a very clever plot twist which played very nicely with the disparate worlds Chuck and Sarah come from. Once again, the writers use the ploy of only one party being privy to the conversation, the facial expression, the action, etc….which drives the viewers understanding of the situation, but further confuses either Chuck or Sarah’s understanding of it. This was well done and would have been the preferred context for a post Super Bowl episode, but we actually needed a stand alone for all the new viewers that could possibly watch the show. The choice really didn’t play well on the strengths of the show, however.

        And, I guess, Chris, that only in your world is the act of a man giving jewelry to a woman a gender bending exercise. Whether you choose to believe it or not, that is the norm in most heterosexual relationships. I would guess that most women have a full jewelry case, whereas men have a few pieces scattered throughout their drawers !! While Chuck took the concept of gender role reversal to heart with Chuck and Sarah’s careers and personalities, I don’t see how the act of a man, giving the woman he loves a piece of jewelry, is gender role reversal.

      • Gary,

        I am not saying that what Chuck did was a role reversal but the scene fits with the mauser shooting perfectly, it is fair to say Sarah was the knight in S1 and 2. Thus, it is often in stories about knights that when a figure like the position Chuck was in the token of love is a gesture of romance. At this point in the story, Sarah is the knight and Chuck takes the shape of the lady. A lady giving her knight a token of her love. I was trying to point out that. Sarah’s gesture as a knight was the killing of Mauser. A knight’s response to the token his love for her, but its the reverse. Chuck’s gesture is what most men would do, but how many women do you know will in order to protect the one she loved?

      • But that was the whole concept of season 1 and 2 …there was absolutely nothing different here in that Sarah was always a protector…an assassin if you will, She protected her Dad, she protected Chuck, she protected the greater good. Chuck was exactly the same with to Sarah …he was to protect her from the mistakes she would make in the normal world…to be her guide. At the same time, Chuck was the protector of his family and friends, but in his own way ….not as a killer, but as a negotiator, trying to reason with people and get them to see other sides. I don’t really see the knight in shining armour story here…..Chuck is very much a knight in shining armour in his own way….

        You have a very strange way of making analogies ….

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