While discussing with fellow Chuckaholics about how Shaw’s came to Burbank and was a useful character from a trainer/handler role he assumes in Season Three, we saw Sarah take a step back because she had qualms with Chuck becoming a spy.
There are many reasons I shall save for Rewatch Season Three, but for now let’s focus solely on Shaw’s role in Chuck becoming a great spy. It is no secret from anyone perspective how the Intersect was an important role in Chuck becoming a spy, but let’s not forget the first Intersect was not capable of doing what the 2.0 could do. Thus, the need for Casey and Sarah to protect him.
However, the role of his handlers would change. No more was Chuck going to be a man that happened to get an email one day. Now he was in the front lines with his handlers. Casey accepted with open arms. Casey was super excited for Chuck, and we as a viewer can tell Casey’s shock had worn off. The same can’t be said about Sarah. This takes in account the great acting from Yvonne, but we can see the event inside the Intersect Room had not subsided yet. Casey was willing to train when he went to spar with Chuck. Sarah wanted to be reassigned because she believed she was more of a problem then a solution. The dysfunction from a team perspective was great as a unit, but individual was lacking. The training of Chuck became a session of wondering rather than teaching the ropes of the trade while realizing Chuck wasn’t like Casey and Sarah.
However, it also would prevent the intersect from working. When Shaw arrives his first order of business was to evaluate the team, and I always felt the team held Chuck back, and Shaw saw it too. However, Shaw isn’t interested in feelings or potential. Shaw wants results because of the threat The Ring have become for the agency. He is interested in facts. He wants to know if Chuck was a liability. Notice who he asked?
The question Shaw asked could of be ascertained in the reports. He didn’t need to come to Burbank and start fielding questions about Chuck’s liability. Shaw could of asked Casey too. We all know Shaw wasn’t stupid. His moves were calculated and with purpose. The very arrogance he had was the same as Larkin except Shaw was more up front about it. Shaw also said it himself. Chuck missions were either like Bond or a Jerry Lewis movie. The fact he asked Sarah was because he knew Sarah spent the most time with Chuck. The move is fine with me because while Casey and Chuck have a relationship, they never were as close compared to Chuck’s relationship with Sarah.
When he has the team together, Shaw was writing down notes. Chuck tried to speak up, but we knew right away Shaw wasn’t going to give Chuck a chance to protest because after all Shaw was not interested in feelings. His focus was getting the Intersect working sufficiently. Shaw separated the man from the machine in his head. The machine he was going to use to defeat the Ring.
Prior to their meeting, Chuck complained how the review of his performance really should include him, a fair point, but again this wasn’t about Chuck, but Sarah’s training. Shaw put into question her dealings with Chuck from a spy’s purpose not on a personal level yet. Chuck also wanted to prove to Shaw he wasn’t a civilian who got a computer dumped in his head.
The initial meeting sums up the problem between Chuck, Sarah and Casey in a nutshell. The problem Shaw was looking to eradicate right away. Shaw made it clear on this being his meeting. This of course was after Chuck was defending his spy career thus far.
Shaw never shows any disdain in working with Chuck, but as great spies do uses the information he has and uses it to get the most out of his marks. What would urk Sarah more? Shaw sending them to get the key? or breaking the hold on Chuck? They protested saying Chuck wasn’t ready, but my question would be if he wasn’t ready then? When would he be? Certainly, the 2.0 wouldn’t be much use stuck in a van now would it?
You can tell in Chuck’s expression he was tired of his team not having faith in him, but Shaw ends that with a very real and honest voice. “The problem is them.” Shaw does not have a bone in this fight. His evaluation is much like Forrest’s was in Broken Heart. He took the information he was given and came up with a decision. Sometimes those decisions may not be a popular one, but even so they need to be made. Unlike Forrest, Shaw was a leader and can make judgment calls without consulting with Beckman.
The only way for Shaw to find out how much training Chuck needs wouldn’t be a mission with his team, but alone. He sends Chuck on his own mission with the purpose of evaluating Chuck as a spy. After all, files and reports only say so much, but the truth is in action. Something his team was against, but Beckman agreed with Shaw.
It also meant Sarah wouldn’t be there to distract Chuck. A win/win for Shaw and his would be training of Chuck. In showing support, Shaw establishes a connection with Chuck now, and furthermore Chuck’s team still shows no faith in Chuck’s ability in becoming a real spy. One of the driving forces in life is belief. Shaw shows he believes Chuck could as he said, “evolve.” The importances of the mission was to get the key, but Shaw uses his own spy craft to manipulate the truth.
Shaw wasn’t up front about the mission being on an airplane, but does Shaw have that responsibility? need I remind you what Beckman said in Broken Heart?
Beckman: We disclosed everything that was pertinent to you.
That’s the way the National Security Agency operates.
Shaw used the same technique orchestrated by Beckman in Broken Heart. If you argue Shaw was CIA, you’re arguing semantics when you think CIA and NSA don’t operate under the same umbrella. The same method was used towards Sarah in Marlin.
They never informed the team how Longshore was a CIA transporter. The method used by Shaw was nothing we never saw before in the series. Shaw wanted a moment with Chuck so he could talk to him. A conversation minus Sarah and Casey. There is nothing wrong with that decision either. Is it alienating the handlers? Sure, but the conversation was supposed to be.
Shaw’s first few interactions with Chuck were under a leadership role. Thus, there was no leveling moment between Daniel and Bartowski. This was a conversation Shaw needed to calm Chuck down by not belittling his efforts instead spoke truth again. “You have been on more missions than most spies have in a lifetime.”
The truth was in the amount of missions Chuck went on in two years. Shaw was talking about the amount of exposure Chuck had endured in just two years.
The Intersect provided the platform, but the man still had to follow through after the flashes. Shaw saw that fact and used it as well. Ty Bennett tried to find Casey’s calm center. Shaw was looking for Chuck’s calm center as well.
The next part will discuss the mission and the remaining episodes that points to Shaw’s training as helpful in Chuck maturing both as a man and spy. Shaw’s role in Chuck’s maturation process into the spy world was significant, which would prove Chuck may be a better spy than Sarah.
Think of this while you wait for Part Three, did anyone notice how Chuck functioned rather smoothly after his first solo mission. The Intersect was working and Chuck was taking on more of a leadership role. 2.0 was supposed to be that way. Is there any credence to the faith Shaw showed in Chuck.
Before answering rewatch the episodes, and wait for my next article to be released.
For those that celebrate Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all Chuckaholics who visit this site. Remember to eat well, but drink responsibly.
I also wanted to take the time to send my prayers and condolences to those who suffered a lost or injury during the Paris terrorist attacks. A good portion of my readers come from France, and let it be known how your families are in my prayers.