CHUCK vs. Santa Claus - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK vs. Santa Claus

December 16, 2008 by  

Before I turn this one over to SB, I must first say that with last night’s episode Chuck Bartowski might have taken over first place on my ‘perfect men on TV’ list.  Chuck, then Ned the Pie Maker, and a close third would be Jim Halpert.  Yes, I have a list.  Shut up!  But seriously, how sweet and considerate and just good hearted is that man?!

And a special shout out to SB who has been sick all day and still insisted on getting us her take on last night’s episode.  That’s a trooper.  That deserves a round of awesomes!!


Hey everybody! Sorry for keeping you waiting on the Chuck recap–I’ve been under the weather and more than a little slow today. Something that was NOT slow? Last night’s Chuck. Hello! I thought we were going to have some little frufru Christmas episode, but it was really intense, was it not?

Since I know people are anxious to talk about last night’s episode, I’m going to try to keep this one a little bit short and sweet and just focus on the major developments, but please feel free to talk about any and every little detail in the comments!

So, once again, outstanding guest stars. I didn’t recognize Ned, but I did recognize his name. Ned Rhyerson? Needle-nose Ned? Ned the Head? He was the insurance salesman in Groundhog Day. Was that just a coincidence? And then, of course, was the awesome Michael Rooker. He may be a “Hey, It’s That Guy!” for a lot of people–I know Billy couldn’t put a finger on him, but he was Grant Grant in Slither (LOVE James Gunn, and that was a great little movie) and Brandy’s dad in Mallrats. Hopefully one or the other will ring a bell. [GMMR: Had to jump in with my favorite Rooker role- Rowdy Burns in ‘Days of Thunder’!!] He was also on Scream Queens recently, but I really think I might have been the only person in America watching that show. (I can’t HELP it, you guys, I LOVE horror!) Him turning out to be Fulcrum and Ned being in on it was such a great twist that I didn’t see coming at all.

It was a nice touch, I thought, to have Awesome and Ellie in the store. And I always love Awesome so much. I love the bit of continuity that he is still wanting Morgan to become a man. (And I loved the continuity of Jeff and “prison rules”. I just seriously don’t think that joke can get old for me.) And Ellie calling Awesome’s skydiving trip “a ticket to his death” cracked me up. What was it, like a C plot, that Awesome was wanting some excitement in his life? But it was so great, and when he was going to take down the gunman and Chuck begged him not to, if he really loved Ellie, I thought they both did such a good job there. Billy commented how Awesome could’ve been CIA, and it’s so true–he’s so smart and much hotter than Bryce (sorry Bryan, just sayin’). And then I think it’s interesting how, when you really think about it, there are probably several people in Chuck’s life who could be in the CIA.

And how funny was it when Sarah said she was scared because she’d never been so close to a gun? Ha! Her delivery on that was just spectacular.

Okay, so things I’m not going to get deeply into but want to throw out there as discussion topics–Big Mike and Big Al, what a bitch Emmett is, the charm bracelet, Casey losing a toe, Lester kissing Anna, and Morgan and Chuck lamenting together over the horrible actions of their girlfriends. Ready, go!

But what I really want to get into is the whole Sarah/Negotiator thing. First of all, did anyone else laugh that she could shoot out the tire of a van doing at least forty, but she missed the guy coming out the back of the ambulance? You know I’ll usually forgive, but seriously, people! Sarah’s a much better shot than that.

That fight in the Christmas trees was insane, and it’s really different seeing Sarah fighting another scantily clad hot chick than it is seeing her getting punched in the face by a really big dude. It actually reminded me of something I was reading once about female equality and how they were discussing Battlestar Galactica, and that scene where Starbuck punches Apollo in the face, and he punches her right back, and how that’s like ACTUAL equality, because they’re not weakening the male character to “bring it down to the woman’s level” or something–she’s every bit as tough as he is.

And when Chuck turned and saw Sarah shoot the Negotiator, and let’s face it, it had to be done, I thought that was a really interesting scene and situation. It OBVIOUSLY hurt Sarah, even after all these years as an agent, to have to kill someone, but her job and her priority is to protect the intersect (and, in a separate yet not way, Chuck), and she was willing and able to follow through. We see a lot of the Sarah who is badass but too compassionate to always finish the job, but we finally saw the side of her that can kill.

And it’s interesting too, because we don’t really see a lot of actual death on this show. There are a lot of almost Scooby-Doo endings, if you know what I mean, where they catch the bad guy, get a confession, and then they’re taken off to “somewhere else” by “someone else”. What happens to them when they’re off the screen is something that the audience doesn’t really think about. But if you actually think about it, it is a violent job with consequences, and showing those consequences … well, I guess it wouldn’t necessarily be in keeping with the tone of the show to have heavy life and death things all the time, but once in awhile–I’d say it keeps it real, and I liked that.

But having Chuck see it … well, that was just something else entirely and brought things to a whole new level. To use another TV comparison, it reminded me of the episode of Dexter where Harry Morgan saw Dexter in the process of a murder and really realized, even though he knew already, but finally REALIZED when he saw it with his own eyes what he had created. It’s different for Chuck, obviously, because he’s not responsible for what Sarah is, but it still remains that actually witnessing her killing someone changed her in his eyes.

And then when they got back to the store and Sarah cheerfully informed Chuck that it was taken care of and the Fulcrum agent wouldn’t be bothering Chuck again, and then told him that he was arrested and taken away … well, that was just … I don’t know. It definitely made me feel something, but I have no idea what it was. And honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve wanted Sarah to do in that situation. It’s not that I feel like anything she did was out of character or unreasonable to the story, it’s just that when I try to decide if I think the truth or lying to protect Chuck is preferable (because remember, she doesn’t know he was still there), I just can’t decide. And then I wonder how much lying to Chuck is also about some sort of mental self-preservation on Sarah’s part. It just seems like killing is really difficult on her, and it HAS to come out in some way.

But I do think that I’m glad Chuck saw that, for the long run anyway. I mean, yes, it was horrible and everything, but I feel like for better or worse, Chuck has a more complete, less idealized vision of Sarah, and I think that’s important if you’re going to love someone. You should know who they really are.

So all in all, an EXTREMELY eventful episode, especially for a Christmas episode, which I thought would be mostly fluff. There was plenty to think about, and that’s good, because we’re not getting any new episodes until FEBRUARY! What are we all going to do?!?!

Oh, that’s right–we’ll be watching and discussing the webisodes! Yay!

Filed under Chuck, Chuck Recaps


22 Responses to “CHUCK vs. Santa Claus”

  1. Kimber on December 16th, 2008 7:00 pm

    Heya SB! Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. Seeing Casey get (most of) his toe shot off couldn’t have helped the situation either! This episode was awesome … and I loved every bit. From the Awesome/Morgan continuity, to the Awesome/Ellie cuteness, to Sarah “never having been this close to a gun before” (and YES! Yvonne’s expression? Fab!). I also loved the near-ending, with everyone calling their loved ones, and Jeff calling to talk to “Prisoner X (can’t recall the number) … aka “Mom”). Ah, I love this show.

    I also had to have a fangirl giggle over the “Ned … Chuck … Ned … Chuck” because, c’mon, I’m so obsessed that everything falls back to Pushing Daisies! I also had another multifandom moment with Big Al … aka Carl Winslow!!!

    Overall it was a great ep, and while I was upset to watch Chuck watch Sarah murder someone in cold blood, I agree that it had to happen. He knows she’s a spy, and he knows she’s killed and shot before, so …. I guess it was due time he witnessed it with his own eyes. Sad for him, though.

  2. JennyL on December 16th, 2008 8:16 pm

    I really liked the episode! It was a great Christmassy special – and really utilized all the cast – which always makes a great show. Chuck has some serious thinking to do now that he is confronted by Sarah’s dark side. Only two flaws that drive me nuts (1) where was Casey when Sarah was chasing and being beat up by the Negotiator? and (2) I know the show wouldn’t really work if Chuck listened to everything Casey and Sarah said – but come on – when is he going to start listening to them? He should have escaped with Casey and Sarah at the beginning (although I understand why he wouldn’t leave Ellie)..and he shouldn’t have had to see Sarah shoot that guy. I love the show, but that drives me nuts.

    Loved how it all came together at the end with Chuck and Morgan comiserating over the awful acts they saw their girlfriends commit…very interesting twist. Can’t believe we have to wait until February!! AHHH

  3. littlebit on December 16th, 2008 8:59 pm

    loved the elf costumes of the buy morons. i nearly spit out my drink from laughing so hard.

    chuck bringing up spending christmas watching the twilight zone marathon in pjs – that’s pretty much what we do around here. plus, the bracelet chuck gave sarah, so sweet, and in the rom com section of the buy more too!

    i know chuck knows that sarah had to kill to protect him, but to actually witness her doing it, that will be a big hurdle for both of them.

    how many days until feb 2 when the new episodes hit again? here’s to hoping that time flies by. happy holidays everyone!

  4. Maria on December 16th, 2008 10:24 pm

    I have a question for my fellow Chuck watchers.

    How much of the Fulcrum agent/Sarah exchange do you think Chuck heard? I was unsure of whether he heard a majority of what the Fulcrum agent had said, or whether he just saw the part at the end where it looked like the guy was surrendering and then Sarah shot him. I was under the impression that it was just the end part, making Sarah’s killing look even more cold-blooded than it actually was… but, I couldn’t tell really.

    SB, can I just say that I love your recaps every week. I’m always checking for them on Tuesdays. I don’t want to have to wait until February (for either)! Happy holidays to everyone.

  5. Kimber on December 16th, 2008 10:46 pm

    Good question, Maria! I thought Chuck only heard/saw the ending too, with the guy “surrendering” to Sarah and her shooting him dead (seemingly “without reason”). I figured it would be a lot harder on Chuck to see Sarah kill someone in cold blood, rather than shoot him because he truly was evil, and had threatened Chuck’s freedom and well being. While I think it still would be hard for Chuck to watch Sarah kill, had he heard the threats the Fulcrum agent made, he may have at least understood why she did it.

  6. Jen (HIMYM) on December 16th, 2008 11:10 pm

    Just finished. Awww, love me some Chuck, loved this entire episode. Every character was on point, perfectly written in, not too much, not too little. And I loved the casting for Big Mike’s cousin. I nearly jumped up for joy. Meh for having to wait until February. Terrific episode, terrific recap/commentary for someone that has been sick all day (I still went to work, my sick was due to partially being sick but mostly just no sleep). Get well soon and yes, remind me about the webisodes. I need to be better at remember to check them out for all the shows they do them for now.

    I agree it was horrible for Chuck to watch that but I was hoping Sarah was going to do that because it needed to be done. She has had to kill before but I think this time, for her, there were more feelings behind the kill. Yvonne’s face as Sarah talking to Ellie about never being near a gun, I saw it too, it it was perfection! I can’t think of any other way for that scene to have looked better. I’m glad they are involving Ellie and Awesome more without it being too much of a forced push into the storyline.

    When Chuck yelled out NO when he was going to be let go, I thought he was going to request Ellie to be released instead of him. The fact that this guy, no matter what the odds are against him (and only Casey and Sarah really know the odds) makes sure to put the people in his life first is truly amazing and feels so real. Most shows would make it feel corny but not here, it feels so nature, so pure, so true.

  7. Kerry on December 17th, 2008 2:19 am

    Thanks for the recap!

    So, a few responses to what’s already been said:
    I was smiling at Ned/Chuck, too.
    I watched Scream Queens, too! Oh, terrible. . .

    I kept waiting for the charm bracelet to have some bigger impact, like it jangling as Sarah ran around the Christmas tree farm, but it was just a nice, amazingly sweet gift.

    And, finally, why didn’t Sarah tell Chuck she had to shoot the Negotiator? Maybe that it happened during a fight, or he was trying to get away? Not getting into the details, but at least closer to the truth.

  8. Lisa (aka lmr) on December 17th, 2008 6:03 am

    SB – I hope you feel better really soon! Rest and drink lots of fluids 🙂 I too will miss your recaps in this mini-hiatus. You’re my favorite guest star on GMMR.

    GMMR – Chuck made my list awhile ago too and heaven forefend but I think he ratcheted above Jim Halpert for me and I thought that would never happen! (Patrick Jayne, aka Simon Baker, has also made my list, *swoon*)

    I screamed “Carl” when the cop cousin showed up – geeky much. I didn’t get the Ned thing sorry to say.

    Loved the episode, love this show. It has shot up to make Monday my favorite night of TV in concert with Big Bang and HIMYM.

  9. SB on December 17th, 2008 9:24 am

    Oh, man, you guys–Billy asked me if that was Carl Winslow and I didn’t think it was! I’m glad you all are on the ball.

    Thank you everyone for the well wishes! I’m feeling a little better after pretty much an entire day of sleep and half a gallon of sweet tea.

    And nobody start missing me too much! We are doing this webisode thing together, and I’m going to keep insisting on it until you all believe me and agree!

    Also, is the Twilight Zone marathon like a thing? Because I seriously need to get in on that.

    Great questions raised you guys–I didn’t even stop to wonder if Chuck heard any of the conversation or just saw it, and I’m not entirely sure why Sarah chose to lie to him about it. My best guess is that she was either trying to protect his innocence, so to speak, or she didn’t want him to see her in that way.

    And maybe now he will start listening to them …. NOT. (Yeah, I DID just make a not joke.)

  10. Becky on December 17th, 2008 9:28 am

    Thank you for the recap even though you were sick. I really enjoy reading them every week and all of the comments. I’m kind of with you where I know it made me feel something when Sarah had to shoot the guy and Chuck saw but I’m not sure what. i think Chuck felt the same way. I did think that he had seen the entire exchange. It’s still in my DVR so I might just check that out.

    I just loved Big Al. How perfect was he with Big Mike? And I know he’s the guy off of family guy but I kept thinking about Die Hard where he was the cop outside where there was the hostage thing, and he was eating the donuts, and he kept calling Big Mike “Pardner” just like he did John Mclain. Was it just me? Or was it not as funny to anyone else cause I thought it was hilarious. And their hug? Pure Christmas joy.

    Also, when Chuck gave Awesome the go ahead and then when Lester was kicked in the face and it was like uh, no, but then the body tackle that Big Mike & Awesome put on Ned. Loved that.

    Thanks for the recap. I can’t believe we have to wait til February but at least it is coming back right?

    Merry Christmas!!!

  11. littlebit on December 17th, 2008 9:40 am

    the twilight zone marathon starts new years eve morning and runs through new years day, scifi channel (no, really?). in the spirit of chuck, keep those pjs on, grab a blanket and become a couch potato.

  12. SB on December 17th, 2008 10:03 am

    Oh, DAMN. I don’t think I get Sci-Fi. And that is sad and horrible. Maybe I can find some on DVD and it won’t be the same, but close. 🙂

    Also … apparently Carl Winslow can only play cops. Interesting. 🙂

  13. Lauren (GeekCheek/BlondeSheep) on December 17th, 2008 11:33 am

    Reginald VelJohnson always plays a cop in some form–my favorite is as Tom Hanks partner in Turner and Hooch.

    Somewhere near the beginning of the ep, Sarah said that she would always do whatever she could to protect Chuck. Her telling him that Casey taking Rooker to a secret location–that just happened to be the morgue–was another way of protecting him. She truly cares for Chuck and that means not only physically protecting him, but emotionally protecting him.

  14. JennyL on December 17th, 2008 1:13 pm

    WOW – interesting twist – I figured that Chuck heard Sarah and the negotiators conversation…if he didn’t – that’s even more reason for him to be upset.

  15. Phil on December 17th, 2008 2:40 pm

    Excellent points! I feel that even though it was extremely hard for Sarah, she absolute had to eliminate the Fulcrum agent for more than one reason. Let’s face it, she is licensed to kill for her job, she, like Casey, is responsible for the protection of the Intersect / Chuck at all costs (even her own life) and by shooting the Fulcrum agent, she not only protected Chuck, but think about it, she protected everyone Chuck knows and loves from Fulcrum. It was pretty intense to see Chuck witness that and both actors were flawless in delivering the emotion of it. I’me certain it will be thought of and talked of for quite some time. Excellent episode!

  16. Give Me My Remote on December 17th, 2008 2:49 pm

    I am a horrible blog runner and I haven’t read all your comments so maybe this was addressed above, but I have a question about Rooker.

    Are we to believe that Ned and Rooker were working alone? Wouldn’t other people in Fulcrum know about someone being protected in the Buy More? Isn’t Chuck and everyone else working there under much more scrutiny now?

  17. SB on December 17th, 2008 3:14 pm

    Kath, this was also a little bit confusing for me. Surely other people know that something is up at the Buy More, but I suppose no one else knows that Chuck IS the intersect, since he told Rooker at the Buy More. It’ll be interesting to see how they keep him at the Buy More and keep Sarah and Casey with him, because I think that’s going to require some justification.

  18. mcdonam3 on December 17th, 2008 4:39 pm

    We discussed the Fulcrum knowledge issue after watching the show at home. Seems that Fulcrum would really want to know what is up now. They sent an important agent to find out what is going on with Casey and Sarah and now he is missing. It will be interesting to see how the writers deal with that aspect. Maybe Bryce shows up again just “to be seen” so Fulcrum chases him and leaves Chuck alone?

  19. SB on December 17th, 2008 5:05 pm

    I think if they chase off after Bryce and forget all about Sarah and Casey, that would make Fulcrum really dumb. Or maybe seriously understaffed. Either way, I think we’re heading toward some sort of climax with Fulcrum where either they have to win or they have to be taken down (more likely), or I think it’ll seem kind of contrived. That said, I think these writers are brave to hurtle it toward that so fast, and I think they can keep it tight and do something really great with it. On the major points, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by this show.

  20. Ana F. on December 17th, 2008 8:07 pm

    Hi. Just looked back through the video over again but didn’t Chuck almost confessed the truth to that guy Ned about why he’s protected by the two CIA agents?? Now we know that Ned was only arrested (im not sure if he’s one of the Fulcrum) but he has the clue about Chuck. Anyway, i dont know if I can wait that long for the next episodes,they better be good! I wanna make sure that Chuck’s secret is safe and he’d understand or forget about the shooting that Sarah did. I also dont want Chuck to regret about his sentiments for the bracelet he gave to Sarah. It’s a gift and i dont think its a good idea if he takes it back.
    Happy Holidays everyone!

  21. trisheezy on December 19th, 2008 11:03 pm

    SB, I’m new to GMMR but I liked your review of Chuck vs. Santa Claus, especially how you related it to Dexter! Love that show, too.

    Hmm what I’m wondering now is, does Fulcrum know Chuck is the Intersect? Or was it only the Negotiator who found out (but now he’s dead)

  22. SB on December 20th, 2008 11:02 pm

    Hey Trisheezy! Thanks for the compliments, and welcome to the discussion, which is always lively. 🙂 I think what we’ve decided is that Fulcrum knows SOMETHING is up at the Buy More, but the Negotiator was the only one who actually knew that Chuck is the intersect. Although at this point, I think we all have a lot of questions. It’s gonna be such a long wait!