The latest rewatch comes in a form of what the hell is happening. We last saw this image at the end of Operation Awesome, a moment that captures a glimpse into what’s to come for us.
A revenge story that makes us all wonder what role was Daniel Shaw going to play. The more I see these episodes the more I realize the meaning of the song being played. Sam Issac’s Bears plays with a key word that would sit with me as I watch First Class.
The lyrics that standout to me from a big picture standpoint are as follows,
I was lost in the night time
How am I a stranger to you when we’re friends?
I am young and I’ve made awful mistakes
You are older and you’d do the same
This dashboard is staying cold
I’m so scared of the truth and automatic doors
I’m proud of this map I’ve drawn
These paper lines with red pins on
The truth is Chuck and Sarah are friends and their lives are on a stage for us to see, but while they are amending their problems a darkness looms large for them. The smiles and happiness of returning home comes crashing down when Shaw conducts a evaluation of the team. The power of love affects people differently, and I bring this topic to the forefront because it’s the focus of this episode. The writers are trying to show the umbrella effect of love.
It’s almost like the sun being the center of the universe. Love is the focus of Daniel Shaw, Chuck and Sarah and for a new comer. The new comer being Hannah. A woman with her own issues, but more to the point became attracted to Chuck much like the other women in his life. We will discuss Hannah more in a few moments, but for now the topic of love hits home here because of what Shaw needs and wants. He uses his personal need to find a key to the lock box he wants to open. A lock box that holds some mementos of his past. The same as a bracelet and info on the Ring. He doesn’t use the entire team because that’s not his motive. He wants to see how lost was Sarah and Chuck.
Motivation of how we deal with love is very different for many people. Passion and the heart are a deadly combination when the heart is dedicated to those who have felt it’s pure power. Sarah was drawn with that power with her decision to bring Bryce Larkin’s ashes to Lisbon, but was that the reason or was it to be closer to Chuck. A fair question Shaw would ask Sarah.
While Sarah was carrying the urn, Sarah also knows how the game is played and used this moment to cover her tracks. The agency didn’t want Team Bartowski anywhere near Prague as the purpose for Chuck being their was to become an agent who can work alone.
Yet, Sarah conveniently found herself in Europe. It’s close enough to Chuck than Burbank. Thus, Sarah’s need to be with Chuck comes into question. Was she mad? sure, but still love makes people long for the person they desire by finding ways to be close.
The same for Shaw, he alludes to the idea of falling in love with a spy much like Sarah did, but was Shaw referring to Bryce or Chuck. Shaw knew the answer because he read the team’s files. He knew about the 49B and the fact Chuck and Sarah went awol together. Thus, Shaw’s question of Sarah’s reason for being in Lisbon was a half truth.
However, it’s also fair to state how Shaw was working the team from the start. Shaw made it no issue about his personal pain when he said “friends and family makes us vulnerable.” a sentiment echoed by each spy sent from Washington.
Even Casey stated that fact, but here in this episode we see the impact of love when Shaw reveals to us his personal mission. The story then becomes not about Chuck, Sarah or even Shaw. It becomes about an emotion. It’s almost like Moby Dick. The whale was the story not the human. In this episode, we find how Shaw’s personal issues with the Ring was important enough to send the Intersect on his first solo mission.
Love clouds judgment and for that Shaw was in error to send Chuck on his own, but the mission wasn’t the focus. Shaw needed to have Sarah for himself. Again, Shaw needed to understand the makeup of this team. Each part of the umbrella calls for a story that can flow back to love. Sarah fell in love with Chuck, who she met here, The Chuck she was watching become a full agent was not the one she wanted. Remember she stated in the pilot she was in need of a change. Burbank and Chuck was the breather she needed, but the agency and Shaw were transforming Chuck into a weapon. It also was disappointing for Sarah to see how gung ho Chuck was for this chance despite her protest.
How does Sarah handle the concept of change in Chuck, which we discussed was already occurring before the season started. Jill spotted the change first, but the Sarah we see here in S3 was also blossoming in S2.
Let me show you,
Sarah’s love was not felt by herself until later in S2, but Bryce saw the change during the episode Chuck vs The Break Up. Sarah’s hesitation in taking the shot while Chuck was being held by the Fulcrum agent was something we have discussed here on the site before. Bryce was alarmed enough to warn Chuck about the dangers of having real feelings mixed in with factions like Fulcrum and now the Ring. In a way it’s the same as Jill’s warning for Chuck. Don’t let them change you, but the change was already in motion despite the reservations of their exes. Yet, while Chuck was fixated on becoming a spy, which Sarah didn’t like or want, Shaw’s own mission was the driving force behind this whole ordeal.
Shaw isn’t like Bryce or Jill. He did fall for a spy and the perils of losing her made him echo what Bryce stated before. Thus, if his wife didn’t die than Shaw wouldn’t have the same feelings like Bryce or Carina, but more on the lines with Sarah and Chuck who loved each other. Shaw’s makeup is of losing himself with in the emotion we are talking about.
Which brings me to my final point regarding love, Hannah meets Chuck on an airplane. She becomes attracted to Chuck and ends up in Burbank. It seemed like a stalker type thing to do, but when it comes to love people tend to do uncharacteristic things, but then again Chuck did invent her to come to Burbank.
Hannah showing up in Burbank is an example of that. Hannah had no ties to anything since she lost her job in Paris. Thus, she was free to pursue what she wanted. It’s a crazy thing, but in reality love makes people do crazy things.
The interesting thing about this episode is the song Wake Up by Mackintosh Braun
The song’s lyrics are as follows,
I had to make up
I break what I touch
That’s why it’s alright
I knew that you’d find out
That’s why it’s alright
You know it’s alright
The song plays during the scene when Hannah and Chuck are honest with each other about their past. While Hannah was being completely honest, Chuck was still being a spy. He used a half truth in order to keep who Chuck really was from her.
In other words, the people of Chuck gave you an inkling of the future with words like everything I touch breaks. For Chuck this season, things do break because his decisions and actions will end up hurting everyone including himself.
Hannah’s presence in Burbank only will bring more turmoil between Chuck and Sarah, but the future will only get cloudier as we continue, but as I reiterate the focus of the story. It’s not so much about the characters, but the emotion of love.
We shall see how love clashes with different personalities. Chuckaholics does have a full episode article on Chuck vs The First Class available for your to read.