We have come to the final chapter in the discussion of how much of an impact Shaw was on Chuck’s development into the spy world. We left off when Shaw was talking with Chuck about being on a lot of missions over the course of two years.
Thus, I begin with the words the man used to illustrate my point on the last part of the last article. He gave Chuck a simple task of tranqing Jeff. A man Shaw knew would be fine with this exercise, but it wasn’t the weapon Shaw was interested in. It was motivating Chuck in believing in himself.
First, Shaw acknowledges how Chuck’s intersect skills can be glitchy. Isn’t this the first step in training? The teacher assessed the problem and advices on what they will do to help improve the student. In Pink Slip, Beckman said, The problem wasn’t with the computer, the problem was with Chuck. Shaw saw that too, and was going to provide Chuck with as he said “basic spycraft” training for the mission at hand.
What’s the best part no Sarah or Casey to interfere which was great for Chuck as he was able to succeed on a basic tranqing mission. The key to the scene wasn’t this moment that provides the viewer in what Shaw was trying to accomplish. It was what he said next. Chuck believed Shaw was going to continue to hand hold Chuck, but no sir.
Chuck: I’m ready after 20 seconds?
Shaw also knew there could be issues on the mission because it was Chuck’s first solo mission. In any industry, the first time doing something will always be the most difficult because of the experience, but Shaw was trying to give Chuck a taste of what it’s like to work alone. No Casey, No security blanket, and most importantly no Sarah.
Shaw doesn’t show any evil intention at all when working with Chuck. It’s clear to me that Shaw has only good intentions here for Bartowski’s growth as a spy. Could there be selfish reasons? Yes, there would be. Shaw wouldn’t be in the position he was without selfish intentions. Is it a risk? Yes, but sometimes those risks pan out and Shaw looks like a genius, but he also needed to iron out all the wrinkles if Shaw and his team were going to survive not just battles but to win the war. Remember, at this point The Ring wanted to kill Shaw at this point.
Team Bartowski fails in this sense. The fact the team didn’t prepare Bartowski by simply providing a tranq pen shows how close to detail Shaw was. How Shaw prepared Chuck with the weapons needed to succeed. Roan Montgomery did the same thing. Roan allowed Chuck to perform as a spy and entrusted him by still teaching when he faltered a bit. Rome wasn’t built in a month. Remember, while the Intersect had it’s skill sets, the man still needed to execute. Colt said, “Carmichael, your boss. He’s good.” All these people saw and acknowledged how good Chuck was as a spy. Baddies and agents alike. It was his team that didn’t like the idea of Chuck flying solo, and they didn’t wait long in trying to talk him out of this mission. Again, no faith in Chuck being able to handle himself on a mission. Chuck’s demeanor changed at this point. He backed his own bag, and while he may be over zealous with the chucks, but he understood how preparing for anything possible. He understood even with his dislike in carrying guns, he needed to have something he felt comfortable using, and he knew it was in the Intersect. What good where Nunchucks in Castle if he was in a hostile situation. Casey wasn’t the one who said anything. It was Sarah.
I have talked about Sarah’s demeanor here before. Sarah’s role as sole handler was cut from underneath her. Sarah was the one who provided insight on what it means to be a spy, but Shaw was actually allowing Chuck to perform as one. There is a difference. A man can be told how to build a house, but it’s different when the man actually has to build it. Chuck needs to actually be a spy. He needs to experience his role as a spy. We know he can adapt, but getting through a mission on his own is an entirely different ballgame.
Sarah tries to convince Chuck to reconsider, but it doesn’t work and as Chuck said he didn’t want to disappoint a super spy like Shaw, “But shaw– an honest-to-god, real-life special agent for the CIA– Thinks that I’m ready.”
He thinks that I can do it, and I want to prove to him that he’s not wrong about me.”
After Chuck’s comment, we saw Sarah’s eyes begin to water a bit at the words Chuck used. She was also concerned for his safety, but dosen’t Sarah put herself in danger at times, but she still has to perform. The concerns she has are valid ones, but even Walker had to get through a solo mission on her own when she first started out. Sometimes a pup can gain major experience when thrusted into the world of spies, and each experience was a learning one as well. The do’s and don’t if you will.Thankfully, Shaw came to intervene by saying “He’s going, Beckman agrees with me.” Does Sarah agree with this? No, but what can Walker do. Shaw included Beckman on the details of Chuck’s mission. You can see the tension between Shaw and Sarah building as Daniel assumed the role as Chuck’s teacher. I didn’t say anything about a relationship here, but I will say there was animosity towards Daniel building within Sarah. Shaw didn’t ask her permission either. He just did it, which was on purpose for what happened next.
Chuck was on a plane to Paris. Now, Shaw can turn his attention on the one responsible for Chuck’s glitches. I won’t discuss Hannah in this article because it doesn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand. Chuck flashes on a Ring Operative who boarded the plane, which made Chuck do what Chuck usually does. He runs for his handlers for help, but Shaw reassures Chuck by reminding him about the pen. Shaw prepared Chuck for this precise moment. A moment Shaw knew was going to happen. So, what does this tell you about Shaw as a leader? Well, it says the man keeps things close to the vest. It means the spy inside thinks tactically. You don’t become the one and only agent assigned to a case like The Ring without being two steps ahead. Did you notice what Shaw did here? Did you see how he was reading Sarah when news of the mission being on the plane came to be. It’s like the reports came to life for Daniel, and what do great spies do. He handled it. He states “Now we will know if your asset is a real spy.” Key moment here,
From this point I mentioned a moment will resurface in Season Four. Shaw had a plan. He didn’t include Sarah, Casey or Chuck because he knew they would disapprove, but the words Shaw uses was something that stands out the most. “You can do this, Chuck”. When they end the call with Chuck. Sarah and Shaw go at it verbally.
Sarah: You should have told me.
Shaw: And this is why I didn’t.
Sarah: Chuck is not ready for paris and he’s certainly not ready for a midair mission. I mean, we can’t even go in and help him.
Shaw: Well, now we find out if your asset is a real spy.
What was wrong with what Shaw motives. Remember the 2.0 was supposed to give an agent the opportunity to work alone without help. Was it dangerous? Yes, but its no different then any other mission Chuck had been on. The difference was Chuck had to think and act like a real spy on his own. Shaw isn’t saying Sarah is a bad handler or bad spy. Shaw wasn’t even looking at it from Sarah’s perspective. He saw the problem on paper and it came to life before him. It’s almost like Shaw was drawing the problem out in the open by splitting Chuck and Sarah apart for this moment. He can see how much Sarah has invested in this not just professionally, but personally as well.
Shaw did want to see if Chuck was a real spy, and this mission was just the start not the final product by any stretch. As I said, Shaw was prepared for Chuck to falter. He operated the plane from Castle, and furthered his case by saying he never leaves his people alone. Shaw: And I have a few questions for you. Seven months ago, when Chuck was in prague, you went off grid for three days. This is a surveillance photo of a hotel in Lisbon. This is you. Beckman ordered you to stay in contact, but you ran. Why? It’s a fair question. Shaw doesn’t know these people, and his evaluation of the team continues.
Who was Sarah Walker?, her file states the daughter of a con man and such, but has she gone rogue or was it about Chuck? Shaw was getting to the bottom of what a file stated, which just became true. He was looking for Sarah to spill, but unbeknownst to Daniel. Sarah wasn’t there for Chuck, but Larkin instead. A game changer because it clears Walker of being a double agent, but not necessarily with Chuck.
Chuck was having some trouble on the plane. The pen malfunctioned which caused Chuck to have an interaction with his mark. Things like this happen. Plans don’t go as planned, but what happens next is more from Shaw being tough and honest. Ty Bennett taught Casey when he was unfocused he didn’t function properly. Chuck did the same, no?
Chuck was able to tranq Hugo, but not only was Daniel prepared, but so was the Ring. They knew the CIA would send someone to retrieve the key. The Ring put a heart stabilizer to wake Hugo if his heart fell below a certain point. If we haven’t learn anything, the spy game is a chess match. Right now the Ring and Shaw were just exchanging jabs. A feeling out process.
However, Shaw was calm and collected. Sarah was the one who was panicking. Casey was the one who called to check in. Chuck calls and Shaw orders her not to answer the phone. He says “He took care of Hugo He found the key. He shouldn’t need to call.” At this point, Shaw doesn’t know Hugo was awake nor did Chuck. The game is on. This doesn’t mean Shaw was a bad leader because there were plenty of times before Shaw when plans don’t go as planned when it was just Sarah and Casey on the team.
Shaw also was still questioning Sarah’s commitment to the team. He also lightened a bit and spoke about her relationship as a handler with an asset or in this case Chuck. “My theory about you and chuck. Most spies push their assets to perform. That’s what I do.You protect him. You care for him.”
Shaw wasn’t knocking it nor was he disapproving. He admits later they both made the mistake of falling in love with spies. He was just pointing out things. He is trying to understand the team and how it functions. Another feeling out process. Something Sarah wasn’t taking well because no one has done this with Sarah before. Shaw was direct and to the point. He didn’t care if Sarah was taken back by some of his comments. When Chuck calls Sarah and Shaw are still in midst of their conversation about Lisbon. Shaw’s role as leader comes into play. “Don’t answer that call.” He reminds Walker the task Chuck had to do, and even if Chuck did get into a scuffle with Hugo. The Intersect 2.0 was supposed to handle this situation. However, nerves and lack of trust come into play. Sarah counters with “What if he is in trouble.” and Shaw’s lesson here was spot on because it comes into to play in Fear of Death.
What happens when Sarah kept calling in Fear of Death. It created self doubt in Chuck. It creates a distraction. Thus, Chuck’s guard is down as the Belgian makes his move. When Chuck wasn’t distracted, Chuck was functioning and actually taking control of the mission despite not having the Intersect. Chuck was doing fine until Sarah created the distraction.
We know the end result. The team worked together. Shaw and Team Bartowski were able to function when it was most important. Chuck was flashing and the team was quaterbacking from Castle. A mission was a success despite the hiccups. Most of Team Bartowski missions were like this. The difference was Chuck tasted victory on his own. Overall, Chuck did well on his mission. Shaw had his key and the unit returned intaked. In my book, the mission was a success.
Next, Chuck’s training and maturing came to be in Nacho Sampler. One of the first display of great spy work will be discussed on why Chuck already was a better spy than Sarah came here. Casey was on board with the training of Chuck because he told Sarah the idea was to train. Manoosh was the target, and burning an Asset was the mission, but like the solo mission. The first time would always be the hardest, but for Chuck it took just two attempts to succeed.
Sarah believes the agency and Shaw was rushing Chuck too quickly. It’s the same sentiments a lot of you have, but time was of the essence. They didn’t have time for war was on the horizon. Chuck needed to function and be ready for anything and perform spy tasks like burning an asset.
Chuck has been lying to those that matter most for years now. Ellie, Awesome and Morgan all were kept into the dark about what Chuck did for a living.
Chuck’s first attempt at inserting himself into the target’s life was done so poorly Sarah felt proud on seeing she was right in Chuck not being ready. The target was able to get away and Casey acknowledged he wasn’t ready, but let’s remember Sarah failed her first role as a handler as well. She became compromised very early on.
Sarah deemed Chuck as a piece of Cake. She would be done with her assignment and back on a plane ready for the next mission, but Chuck’s charms hit home. Chuck’s seeds of love were planted within her heart. Piece of cake no more.
Chuck’s confidence has grown since the plane, and it was good to see. However, most newbies feel they know everything after one ounce of success. Thus, they feel they can walk on water, but reality check can be good as well. There is nothing wrong with mistakes. It makes us better people.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and the next time Chuck performed well. I won’t spend time with what Sarah and Chuck discussed about their first meeting. I do want to save bullets for rewatch, but Sarah did fail on burning Chuck because of her feelings for him. To be fair, Chuck’s first attempt at burning an asset was easier because we know there was never going to be emotions entangled with his mission, but fondness doesn’t always have to have romantic intentions. Chuck showed signs he was fond of Manoosh and even seeked to help him, but Weapons Con would change Chuck’s decision on Manoosh more on that later.
The second attempt was moving well, but because of the Ring fast approaching. Time ran out and they needed a closer. Enter Sarah, but Chuck showed spunk when he questioned the need for Sarah. The interesting thing about this scene was both Chuck and Sarah’s reaction on this mission. We saw Chuck not thrilled with Sarah’s presence, and we see a smile on Sarah face being apart of the mission. A tug of war if you will.
We see the battle between Chuck and Sarah on a spy level. Watch the scene and see Chuck’s reluctance with assisting Sarah. Some would say this was a look of jealousy, but not true. Here is a look of jealous from a Chuck perspective. This was a look of annoyance if anything. When someone is working on accomplishing something nothing can be deterring when someone feels undermined. Look at Sarah’s reaction to Shaw’s lack of being up front about Chuck’s mission, which was undermining Sarah’s role as Chuck’s handler. The fire within Chuck is in his eyes from the Break Up (watching the Andersons). Here is Sarah’s undermined moment from First Class. Sarah’s moment is about not being told the mission was a midair one. The importance Sarah once felt as one of the lead handlers has shifted and it’s being kept in the dark as part of the problem not just Chuck’s safety.Sarah tranq Manoosh and they were off. When the episode shifts to Dubai we saw Chuck take a leap in his spy education. Chuck witnessed the dangers in Manoosh having the Intersect on the open market. Thus, Chuck was beginning to understand the need to stop Manoosh.
What is interesting about the Dubai scenes is the quick understanding from Chuck’s point of view. It seem life years when only a few scenes ago Chuck and Sarah had a hard time swallowing the idea of burning someone.
Sometimes the dark side of any job can be educational even if it is hard to digest, but the idea with training is not everything is peaches and cream, and when push comes to shove the not so sexy aspect needs to be done too.
It seemed like they were on common ground when Sarah was done getting information from Manoosh, but when it came down to crunch time. It wasn’t Chuck who was bothered about burning Manoosh. It was Sarah.
Once, Chuck realized reasoning wasn’t going to work with Manoosh. There was only one option left. A dart in the back much to Sarah’s dismay. Chuck wins when it came to burning Manoosh. Sarah loses when it came to her first assignment as a handler from a spy’s perspective. Try to refrain from including the personal aspect to this. It’s strictly about becoming a full agent. It’s about Chuck’s maturation into a world that best suits people like Casey, Sarah, Bryce, Carina and even Orion.
It gets more intense for Sarah when it comes to the evolution of Chuck into the spy world as the image of Chuck here, Was not the guy here, while Chuck lied to Ellie before, but this was cold and the answer Chuck gave reminds me of the moment in the courtyard during the episode of Wookie. How Sarah lies about Bryce, the concept then was the less Chuck knew the easier her job was, and unlike with Sarah (Carina listening) Devon listened but knew the rules of the game.
Chuck was cold and what Sarah remembers was Chuck’s principle of hating to lie to his friends and family. Remember how distraught he was in Broken Heart, who was there to pick up the pieces? Sarah, and notice Sarah’s concerns for Chuck after lying to Ellie. It’s a bit of a warning moment from Sarah’s POV, but it’s only going to get worse. Sarah was remembering the Chuck she met in the pilot, smiles and love in the eyes once again for that Chuck, but way too often during the course of a journey we as peoples tend to fall in love with a image of our significant others.
Fake or not the first image is always the lasting image. The fix her phone and help the ballerina image she had instilled into her memory bank was alive still in her heart, but the man who told Manoosh, “I am not your friend.” the emotionless face wasn’t the one who helped the little girl’s father. The major shake up in a character we all knew was somewhat tainted now, Manoosh needed to be under lock and key, Chuck knew this after Dubai. Yet, the image of this Is not the image of this, but in order to be a real spy, these kind of things happen no agent is free of these ugly tasks especially up against an adversary like the Ring. The only way to defeat the Ring, Chuck needed to function properly. He needed his calm center much like Casey needed his. The only one with sound advice at this point would be Casey. The only way to get rid of the ugly taste of burning someone would be Jack Daniels Black Label. Casey now is on board as he credits Sarah for training him with how he lied to Ellie and burned Manoosh. It took one mission for Chuck to succeed whereas Sarah failed in her first attempt by planting roots in Burbank.
I disagree with Casey here when he credits Sarah for the success of this mission nor do I solely place credit on the doorstep of Daniel. No, this was all Chuck and the confidence he got from accomplishing his first solo mission. The reward was moving on with his spy training. The problem is he may be hurting the very reason he was on this quest. A future with Walker.
Daniel Shaw gets credit for moving Chuck in the right direction, but Chuck= now assumes control of his final destination. A full fledge agent. Shaw helped build the faith in himself. Now we turn our attention to how Chuck’s progression was effecting all those around him in Part Two of this final chapter.
Remember Chuck vs Arrow is your site, so play, engage but most of all it’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t.
Up next, Was Chuck a better spy than Sarah? Final Chapter Part 2