The second episode of season three was an eventful one in it’s own right. A returning Mini Anden and Eurotrip’s soccer hooligan Vinnie Jones stop by to say hello. When Carina comes to town, you just know chaos would soon follow, but unlike the last time we saw the bombshell from Sweden (Chuck vs Wookie) nothing is the same when it comes to Chuck and Sarah.
Carina was the first person to really notice Sarah’s interest in the nerd, and told Chuck about taking what Sarah wants. Carina knows Sarah because of their past working together. Thus, she senses Sarah is not being honest with herself about her feelings for Chuck.
The problem of course would be cover dating once again. A cover that really is the problem between the two from the outset. A cover that ended when this happened. The moment when Sarah saw another woman take interest in her “Cover Boyfriend.” Another moment would be when Sarah let her true feelings surface with Cole Barker.
I don’t cheat on my cover boyfriend, the opportunity for Sarah to leave Burbank has been there, but what does all these scenes have in common? Sarah elects to stay in Burbank. The truth is humans don’t like to travel far from a place they call home. Burbank became home for Sarah. It’s kind of against the grain of what a spy is supposed to do. Roots are not supposed to be planted, but Sarah’s desire to find acceptance without the need of a gun or her patent jab.
Sarah even told Bryce she was staying in Burbank twice which was significant in it’s own right. The common denominator would be Chuck in all of these scenarios. It also was the fact Chuck and Sarah were on good terms during these moments in time.
This would bring me to the first song from the episode I will deconstruct in its meaning from the episode. Sarah and Chuck just finished a mission in which Chuck attempts to smooth things over with Sarah, but she just wasn’t interested in talking. Sarah is tense and avoiding the inevitable discussion they need to have. Chuck gets credit for trying to talk with her, but he is denied the opportunity. It also wasn’t the ideal situation because they were working, but it’s not like personal issues never came with them on a mission before. The difference was how personal discussions like this one was Sarah’s weakness.
The job usually was an escape from reality which was staring her in the face If Chuck and Sarah are going to work together they needed to have face time. They needed to iron out the issues between them or one of them was certainly going to get killed, but again Carina had to be the voice of reason when it comes to the dynamics of Sarah Walker.
The song I am reference to comes from In-Flight Safety’s Model Home. I know Chuck’s speech in the vault is important, but I will discuss that in a minute. A speech that should’ve been said at the train station, but with the train leaving upon his arrival. There wasn’t much time. The other aspect of this would be television isn’t like real life where everything is hashed instantly.
If everything was revealed in one scene what story would be told throughout an entire season? Writers need to space out information slowly so they can have some bullets left for the entire season. Remember this was episode two of season three. I digressed.
The song begins to play after Sarah requests to be transferred as she thought she was apart of the problem why Chuck doesn’t function on missions. However, Beckman wasn’t biting. The general would state “I don’t know or want to know what happened between you two, but your job is to get him functioning.”
The dojo is significant when it comes to Sarah because of what it represents. If you remember Sarah often worked out in a dojo or gym like atmosphere to work off some steam. Whether it was her father or a return to high school, Sarah’s form of a stress release was working out. It’s fitting in this episode, Sarah elects to take her frustrations out on the person who was responsible for those frustrations.
Some of the lyrics in Model Homes are as follow,
I need to be alone
I don’t need to be with someone
And if it leaves a bad taste you need to wash it down
And if you build a model home just burn it to the ground
I refuse to show my good side
In no place to call my own
It’s no home.
The question of a good side comes into play because we know Sarah has one. Chuck saw it even though she was trying to hide it. I take you back to the moment when a cheeseburger was shared to help illustrate my point. It’s also a lot of readers favorite moment between the two.
Chuck had the opportunity to dig into who Sarah was, but after a moment of understanding Sarah’s grief with her past. He elected to not pursue it anymore. A telling sign about who and what Sarah meant to Chuck.
However, Sarah was very stern with Chuck about the business of being a field operative. Those feelings Chuck has would be the only thing holding him back and in a dangerous situation could cause problems for him. Sarah tells him he has to bottle those feelings deep down to survive, and what does the song talk about it’s a bad taste in Sarah’s mouth having to talk about this with him.
However, she needs to swallow it down in order to move on. What word is associated with swallow used in a song I mentioned above? Sometimes you need to swallow your pride when it comes to love.
Some more lyrics,
So can you smell disaster
Can you feel it in your bones
I don’t feel like I’m a lover
And I don’t recognize her foe.
Sarah doesn’t recognize the foe she is fighting. its not Chuck, but herself. Pride is an inner feeling. The very person she doesn’t recognize isn’t Chuck, but herself. It’s this change in Sarah that has her spiraling not the actions of Chuck, but unlike in years past. Chuck isn’t their to comfort her because she won’t allow him.
You want the proof on the times Chuck significantly broke the walls around Sarah’s emotions. I know Chuck was able to crack her wall in Wookie when she said Lisa, but she was trying to speak to herself. The first time she broke in front of Chuck was in The Truth.
The third time is a significant one because it’s work related. Do you remember this moment, when Chuck conducted his own search for Orion? Sarah’s emotions broke here too. Thus, so much talk is on how Larkin possessed Sarah’s previous life. Chuck was instrumental on who Sarah was becoming now.
The fact Sarah was able to establish a home for herself is the very reason the song Model Home is perfect for this episode. At this point, Sarah feels like she doesn’t have a home anymore. A feeling she created on her own because of her pride.
Chuck and Sarah’s Friends to the Rescue
Sarah’s issues will come to the forefront again when she asked a full fledge spy about escaping the life they are currently living as spies. A future with family. A future where planning an engagement party was REAL. Thus, Sarah has begun her personal quest to escape the fake world in a sense. I for one believe Sarah would never run from the life she knew not just from a CIA standpoint, but her entire life is being a glorified con artist. The very being that makes Walker who she is.
Thus, two episodes into season three and we have Sarah talking about a cover being real, but we shall discuss that further when we arrive at the various scenes. For now, we focus on the beginning of the episode. Three words we all want to hear in our lives are on display here in this episode from all angles.
First, we have Chuck and Morgan living in their new quarters. Alone as the Woodcombs moved across the complex. The image is fitting because as of right now other than Morgan there was no one else in Chuck’s life. His team are just getting back together and Sarah is MIA from mental standpoint.
It’s clear what the image is supposed to convey. Chuck’s world as a spy comes with trials and tribulations. Most stories call for timing to be the perfect execution and what better than seeing Chuck rise from the bottom of the barrel. The moment whe he realises he doesn’t need to dwell on issues anymore. The first steps into become a man comes with living the life of a bachelor. He has his own place now. Yes, he is living with Morgan, but the truth is he is an official adult.
One thing I will say is how I love Morgan in this season, and what turn a new leaf on Morgan when it comes to accepting comes from one scene in S2. When Ellie foolishly tells Chuck to end things with Sarah following their practice run in the suburbs. Morgan was the only voice of reason. Morgan provides a unique twist into the Chuck and Sarah dynamic you will read here for the first time on this site. While Chuck and Sarah were forced together by Bryce Larkin, Morgan saw the two as a real couple despite what we know at this point. Like Carina knows Sarah well, Morgan has a master’s degree in every thing Charles Irving Bartowski.
The first question that comes to mind has anything really changed for the better. Yes, he was a spy, but he still had parts of him to let go. Thus, Morgan was the figure that needed to get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, Carina saw right through Sarah’s facade of hiding her feelings regarding Chuck from her.
In typical fashion, Carina pokes the bear with eagerness. Miller would also seize the opportunity to remind Sarah about the cardinal rule of spying. Thus, Morgan and Carina are both talking about the same thing here. Chuck and Sarah are young and should be exploring the world more. The problem of course was Burbank was where both Chuck and Sarah want to be. The famous safety net Burbank offers doesn’t appeal to Carina and since Morgan had a taste of freedom in Hawaii with Anna, he saw their are greater opportunities beyond the borders of Burbank.
However, we saw a glimpse of the old Sarah when she gets caught fighting her inner feelings. Carina spotting her feelings for Chuck was startling despite still showing some issues we have covered still lingering.
The song playing during this scene would be The Gray Kid’s Oh My and throughout the song we have attitude and rolling my eyes at you as the keywords from the lyrics and my oh my does Sarah hate the fact Chuck crashed her evening off. The same can be said for Chuck. It’s safe to say Chuck and Sarah needed time away from each other, but their lives don’t allow them to have time apart. Sarah and Chuck show the viewer how much of a rift are between the two, but there is so much going on within the surface that needs to be deconstructed for those to understand what is going on.
The quote that comes to mind comes from Mark Twain, “Never allow someone to become a priority while allowing yourself to become an option.” Sarah risked a lot in the closing moments of Season Two. She sided with Chuck enough to cause a 49B, she committed Treason and even was willing to walk away all for the sake of being with Chuck, Sarah furthered her commitment to Chuck by saying no to Bryce.
Essentially, It’s weird to write this but Sarah became an option for Chuck. His realization of the need to become a field operative grew more and more as season two was coming to a close
Sarah once said, “when this was all over, you will forget me.” Sarah said it here, (Chuck vs The Break Up). Sarah’s line made me think of who Chuck was when he arrived at the train station. No one ever really changes, but the significant difference was Chuck’s pressure of keeping Sarah in his life essentially became by any means. Sacrificing one’s own life to enter another’s world is a daunting task even for those who like Chuck can succeed despite himself. So, when Sarah sees him in the club in three words. I realized how most of the words and actions Chuck was performing was the same as Sarah’s would of if he was a handler. What do I mean? Well, what are you doing here was the same words Chuck used here, Sarah assumed the role of Chuck from S1 and S2, who despite the known feelings between the two saw no real possibility of her dreams coming true.
More to the point, Sarah wasn’t the priority anymore at least for the time being. Chuck saw becoming a field operative as a priority for the option to be with Sarah as the end result of his new found purpose. This meant sacrificing his relationship with her, but Chuck attempted to fix things with Sarah, but she didn’t want to listen.
It didn’t go over well, but work would intervene once again. Carina would reveal a secret of her own when her Fiance/Mark would arrive. Carina would introduce Karl to Chuck and Sarah, which was news, but what can we see in the scene that would be more future episode keys? The ring on Carina’s finger would be the line draw between Chuck and Sarah from the ring. We also can see how Carina represents the facade the spy world offers. Yet, we see Chuck and Sarah standing side by side confused by what they were seeing.
The camera showed the viewer the ring, which was easy to see from where Chuck and Sarah stood. The lines have been drawn. The other thing to consider was how Chuck and Sarah also shared faked a marriage like Carina and it didn’t go well, but unlike Carina her counterparts are anything but fake anymore just pride was getting in their way.
The more I watch this scene the more I see Sarah behaving more like Chuck from S1 and S2. Notice Sarah’s expression when learning she would have to put on the cover relationship with Chuck. It’s certainly not a happy one. When I stop and think about this episode’s beginning with what we saw from Chuck vs Pink Slip, I sense Sarah still really loves Chuck, she tried to hate him, but she couldn’t. The deliberate actions Sarah made during the dance scene gets cancelled out when we see her here, She tried to erase him, but everything in her world reminds her of him. Thus, her pride takes a hit time after time, and in this episode we can see Sarah is trying to forgive Chuck, but her pride is still in control. This wouldn’t be the first time Chuck and Sarah hated the idea of cover dating. Chuck had a similar expression when working a mission with Sarah. A equally awkward episode would be back in S1, Chuck vs The Crown Vic was the aftermath episode from Nemesis.
Which didn’t give Chuck and Sarah enough time to readjust their feelings. Take a look at the moment and see the similarities from Three Words to Crown Vic and see the expressions made by both Chuck and Sarah than. How can feelings heal when you are forced to work with the person soon after a returning nemesis or in this case Prague happened? We move on,
The next part of this article will discuss Chuck and Sarah as a whole from this episode. I begin by choosing a song I think could adequately describe Chuck and Sarah’s rift.
The song that comes to mind was from Sade. The song Love is Stronger than Pride. Why does it fit this episode well take a look at one of the lyrics in this song.
I won’t pretend that I intend to stop living
I won’t pretend I’m good at forgiving
But I can’t hate you
Although I have tried.
Chuck and Sarah have to pick up the pieces of their latest misunderstanding turned major cluster muck, but evidence of the rift comes during mission preparation between Sarah and Carina.
Carina represents everything Sarah is trying to pull away from. She is still pretty much the wild card spy we met in Wookie. However, Sarah isn’t the same spy we knew despite her actions over the first two years. Sarah also took a huge leap of faith and came up empty. Walker’s reaction to Carina picking up her charm bracelet and denies it by lying is easy to read when you take in account the smile she shows followed by an emotion even Carina can read was a lie. Again, Carina reading right through Sarah’s facade. It’s telling because once again Sarah is reduced to talking out her issues with the wrong person. Carina isn’t rational enough to understand why love is stronger than pride. Why the ability to find love was very healthy for Sarah. The opportunity for Sarah to leave Burbank becomes available once again, but if you read Sarah correctly, it’s not what she wants despite not ready to forgive Chuck.
Chuck’s Vault Speech
The rest of this article will discuss Chuck and his attempt at patching things up with Sarah. We won’t be discussing Morgan’s man up moment with Carina because it’s not the focus of this rewatch.
We also won’t get into anything Buymore related because the focus is how song and dialogue can tell the story from a different perspective. Again, I am not trying to convince people the need for what the creators or writers did for S3 was great for business, but plugging in stories from S1 and S2 into this rewatch will try to show how much Chuck and Sarah’s roles have begun to flip, but nothing really has changed because humans don’t change really. As Chuck moves closer to become a field operative, Sarah was pulling away from it, The core values are still there despite changing.
Instead of pictures, I will begin with the video from the scene.
I took you back to the ending of Three Words because the reaction I need from Sarah coincides with the vault speech. Chuck states he became a spy because he wanted to do good things, have a sense of adventure and the closing moments of the speech falls into Sarah’s arms saying he loved her.
The moments is another role reversal of sorts because while Chuck was speaking, Sarah was fighting and trying to rescue him. It reminds me of all the times Sarah’s emotions and feelings were not seen by Chuck. The exception is Sarah gets to see Chuck’s vault speech.
Everything Chuck was feeling he mentions here. There are no vaults or anywhere Sarah can run. Sarah had to listen.
Chuck: You took a chance.
You-you loved someone, maybe for the first time in your life.
All you’ve ever done before is is shut off your feelings.
You-you bury them deep down inside because, in your profession- in your line of work– it’s a liability, right? It’s It can it can certainly be a liability.
CHUCK: And I know I know that you think that you messed up your life because you opened up your heart, but maybe you helped her open up her heart in the process.
Maybe because you loved her she’s learned how to love, too.
Again pay attention to detail, Sarah took a chance on love and it backfired on her. It’s not a terrible thing in the grand scheme of things, but Chuck did teach her how to love. A feeling she shared with him in a holding cell. The question of 2 beds makes us see Sarah’s love was overtaking her. We then follow it up with saying how she didn’t want to save the world anymore. All of these are signs of acceptance of that love.
However, Love is superseded by a series of unfortunate events, which brought pride back into the fold. The words Chuck uses wouldn’t be the only time a moment like the courtyard became a teaching tool for Sarah, but nonetheless it hit home because the next moment would have the two finally talking. The healing process is in full swing. Sarah’s smile arrives for the first time in S3. The journey towards recovery isn’t a easy one. Especially when real feelings become the driving force of what was supposed to be a facade. Carina proved how she still was the spy Sarah was supposed to be when she burned Karl.
Like I said, Sarah planted roots in Burbank and the only person in the world that can throw Sarah off her game is Chuck. A workout, a speech which made the road to recovery less bumpy. Three words provides us with the theme of Love is stronger than pride.
So, that ends my rewatch discussion of Chuck vs The Three Words.
Next up Angel De la Muerte, Chuck and Sarah’s world will have a nice calm before the storm that will soon follow when we learn who this guy was. The image of fire is very telling as in the song Model Homes states ” if you build a model home just burn it to the ground” Chuck’s world will burn to the ground.
Until next time Chuckaholics, Remember this site is yours so play, engage but most of all it’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t.