Why The Prague Incident was Important
As I am reading all the complaints about season 3 as lazy writing and how the changing of characters in mid series was the series jump the shark moment, I feel it wasn’t and will tell you why using Screen Caps to illustrate my point.
First, we need to examine when the relationship start turning into a mutual desire for a real relationship. I have boiled it down to one particular scene way before Prague.
When the Real Relationship Began to Blossom
I have mentioned in other articles how I believe action speaks louder then words and in the case of Sarah actions and Chuck’s verbal communication. We know the cover relationship was just that a cover. Sarah was covering her feelings from the world, who by the way already knew her true feelings.
When did the two actually begin moving towards a real relationship, It really started in Chuck vs The Predator, Sarah Walker was a very different character. We see a visibly torn Sarah Walker with the agency. She voiced her concerns to Beckman, She stood up for Chuck. Something she never did before. Everything was about “Orders” and even in the predator, she told Chuck I am sorry, orders.
However, we can take the opening scene and credits two key scene, we are definitely post Day 564,
Than after the opening credits,
Then we come to the next scene during the Predator, Sarah did something she never done. She questioned Beckman? She did it in front of Casey as well.
Sarah: Chuck Bartowski has risked his life for this country. But he’s not a spy and he knows it.
General Beckman: He’s a spy until I say he isn’t.
Sarah: General, Chuck knows that Orion is out there and he is not going to sit in his room and do what we say. He…
Agent Walker would of kept her mouth shut, not this Sarah. The direct cause of this was Beckman looking into Sarah’s feelings, and ordered a 49B.
However, this didn’t stop Sarah from wanting to stay with Chuck. She still went to his room. I know she ignore his phone call, but it was due to orders, but that only went so far.
Sarah wasn’t in a rush to leave, She stuck around. Sarah went into the government database to look for Chuck’s dad. Something Agent Walker wouldn’t of imagine on doing.
Sarah is still does not want to leave. She said she would go see Chuck, But Forest told her not to go, but she didn’t listen. She went to his apartment.
So the question then is where do we begin to see the relationship blossom? It Blossomed here,
Now remember this scene.
Sarah stayed outside, when Chuck went in to celebrate Ellie’s engagement, Yet, her expression shows she wanted to go inside, the agent inside wouldn’t allow it, most people will claim this scene as a hero stance. I don’t because it means more than that.
It means that Sarah had made it her personal mission to regain a normal life she missed having. Chuck, Ellie and Devon were giving her an education on being normal, and she loved it and most importantly embraced it. She defied the agency, but not enough to cause a problem. She knew when to pump the brakes. If she pushed too far, Beckman could of taken action.
Now fast forward to Dream Job,
She comforts him when the situation gets testy,
Here is where the relationship began to take shape. Sarah is acting more like a girlfriend than a handler. Again action speaks louder than words, which brings me to the next part.
Chuck vs The First Kill,
Sarah and Chuck went on the run together. The first attempt at going on the run. What happened? Casey was sent to fetch them. The government went as far as promoted Casey’s rank as a reward.
Sarah is no longer unsure of herself, She knows what she wants, and Chuck knows what he wants. They want each other, but really were they mentally ready to commit?
This would all change in the holding cell.
We seem to acknowledge these two act of intimacy as positive for Charah. In fact, I have read that this were some of people’s favorite scenes of the series. So, why does it affect everyone when Sarah suggest on running in Prague. They already did run.
Sarah and Chuck are blossoming everything was working out. They were untied, shared two intimate moments. Sarah has a twinkle in her eye as she is letting her feelings takeover.
It would all change when Orion took out the original Intersect.
When the scene above happen, I started to realize what the problem for Charah was. Bryce could show up at any moment, and the agency was a problem for the both of them in their minds.
We can’t ignore the fact that the agency and Bryce were hurdles for the both of them, unless you were not paying attention until Charah got past these two larger than life figures, progress will always stay the same.
Hero vs The Spy
There is a difference between being a hero and being a spy. Sarah said so in the Helicopter, She said, “Some people want to be hero and others have to be asked.”
Cole also said something similar to that effect.
As much as Chuck hated what Bryce did, The Intersect gave his life purpose again. As he grew in the spy world, the more he wanted it for himself. He claimed he didn’t want it, but the nerd in him prevented him from ever truly accepting Sarah was with him for him. As Gary alluded, Sarah was never given a chance to tell Chuck she chose him. When they were in each others arms, Sarah was ready to tell him ” i don’t want to save the world” but before she could finish Orion told them Bryce was taken. As I mentioned, the elephant in the room was Bryce at this time.
When it comes to Chuck becoming a spy, I have often criticized Sarah and Casey way of coddling Chuck. Several times in season 2, they underutilized his computer skills in solving some of the technological missions. They would continue it until Shaw came into the story.
Remember She has always said he was a hero, there was no question in that, but don’t you think her experience as a spy gave her enough knowledge to know if Chuck was ready to be a spy?
Hero yes, but to actually be a spy in her mind, no. Bryce also said as much. It was the reason he framed Chuck in Stanford. So, really who is to blame for Chuck becoming a spy? Bryce Larkin not Sarah. Sarah used the word Hero in reference to him being a spy.
It is the very reason Shaw was good for Chuck because Casey, Bryce and Sarah all thought Chuck was just an analyst.
Chuck vs The First Class,
Chuck vs The Fear of Death,
Sarah: Chuck, don’t be a hero just come home safe to me, Ok?
So, yes he was a hero, but as a spy he became very dependant on the Intersect. It never gave him a chance to truly allow himself to connect with Sarah despite all the signals she gave him. It really boils down to the Nerd vs the Agent.
so getting back to when did the relationship Blossom,
Let’s break down now what we have so far,
Bryce, Casey and Sarah all said Chuck is not a spy, but that doesn’t change the view of a hero. The Intersect made him the spy, but Chuck was a hero naturally.
I actually agree with Gary and CM in this aspect of the morning of Ellie’s Wedding. The agency asked Chuck what his future plans were. Here is Sarah expression when hearing they were going to ask Chuck to be a member of the agency.
Sarah knew it was over, but Sarah had glimmer of hope with Beckman asking Chuck to be an analyst. Chuck said, no claiming he is not a hero, He is just Chuck Bartowski.
Sarah thought it would be easier now that they could work together minus the Asset/Handler cover, so you can see disappointment in Chuck’s decision. This all happened before Bryce was included on the team. However, when she found out Bryce would be working with her. Here is her response to that.
The lack of communication hurts here. Sarah in her mind feels Chuck said no to her much like Chuck will feel in a moment when he thought she was leaving with Bryce. The reason was always the reason she didn’t want to leave Burbank, but the Monkey on her back the agency was going to make that impossible.
Beckmann said they were going to fly to Lisbon in the morning. Sarah and Bryce were to lead the new Intersect Project. In essence, she was given her new assignment. Sarah hearing Lisbon would mean she would be too far from Chuck.
At the Church, we have the lack of communication rear its ugly head.
It’s difficult for her to look at Chuck in the eyes because she knew what she was going to do would impact their relationship. Sarah is not thrilled that she has to tell Chuck she is leaving.
I understand people wouldn’t mind him asking her to go on a vacation with him, but I feel if Chuck would of said, he wanted her to be with him. I feel maybe Sarah would of not told him she was leaving in the morning. I also feel it was not the ideal time for Sarah to say she was leaving, but her demeanor while telling showed that this was bothering her.
Chuck took it bad because Bryce was the reason for her leaving. As I said until Bryce and the agency were no longer a factor, There would always be a disconnect.
So, what do we have so far,
In Ala Mater, Bryce said Chuck was not a spy than in Chuck vs The Break Up He said, from what Bryce saw Chuck handled himself well in the field. While Bryce did not want him in the spy world, the same can be said for Team Bartowski.
When Sarah was told she would be working with Bryce again, Sarah was put in a dilemma. How does she let Chuck know she was leaving in the morning. After Chuck asked to speak to her, Sarah was struggling with telling him. She can barely look at him. Chuck was excited he had his life back.
However, Sarah was losing the life she had built for two years. There is no ideal way to break the news. She took one look at him, and instantly she was breaking. It started when she did something she has done for him since Sandworm, fixed his bowtie.
She is fighting the tears already because Sarah’s eyes are beginning to water. after Chuck asked her to go on vacation. How could she if she was leaving in the morning. She did the right thing by not waiting.
Chuck was devastated by the news, but Sarah couldn’t drag it on. It was Ellie’s big day. Some would say this scene showed how manipulating Sarah could be or selfish for that matter, but don’t think for one second that the news didn’t bother Sarah as well. She didn’t want to say she was leaving because she didn’t
Sarah’s expression in the Church was similar. The exception is the emotion started to come out in front of him, but Chuck was hurting and rightfully, so.
As I mentioned, Sarah never saw Chuck’s expression after his break up speech, and above Chuck never sees this.
Sarah never in her dreams would want to hurt Chuck. In doing so above, she couldn’t control the tears. What she should of done was go after him, but she didn’t.
It’s a sad reality, Think about summer flings. The people have grown to love each other, and one of them knows the other will be leave eventually, but still can’t resist the temptation. The harsh reality would be for the agency to move Sarah out of Burbank something the both of them don’t want, but can’t control. The scene took its toll on both characters.
As Chuck walked away, you can imagine if this was the last conversation the two would have. It would make the matter worse. However, his mind would soon be made up, Bryce and the agency would never totally disappear. Precursor of things to come.
The other issue would be the lack of communication. Sarah couldn’t explain how she felt because Fulcrum would end up crashing the wedding. It continues to add up, more spy problems.
Despite the issues Sarah will always be there for Chuck. He was there for her during her time of need. She is returning the favor, and the best part is she wants to be there.
When Chuck decided to give his money up to help his sister, it reminded Sarah everything she loved about Chuck. It was the ballerina scene all over again. This time we have Sarah aware of her feelings.
Chuck: All I want to do is live a normal life with the need to use a black ops team at his sister’s wedding. I just want to be a normal guy. <- I am paraphrasing but this is what he said to some extent.
Sarah: Its not what a normal guy would do.
He finished with if I can do anything, and then he took out his money from the CIA. Ala I need the wall Morgan.
No matter how you slice it, it was the right moment, while helping the little girl was one thing, the fact he was willing to give up his money to help his sister get married was the icing on the cake.
This was the part of the episode that convinced me Sarah was ready to commit. recently I looked at the words of the song Christmas TV, and what I loved about the song was the meaning fit the scene.
It’s okay to have scars
They will make you who you are
It’s okay to have fear
Because that means you aren’t scared of coming here
And in the middle of the night
So if you’ll want to talk
Because you know that I want to talk too
It’s not bad of you to think of what might go wrong
But you can’t blame me for secretly hoping that I will prove you wrong
It’s okay that I pray that you will miss your flight
And have to stay with me another night
It’s very meaningful for the story because of what happen on the beach. One of the hurdles will be jumped. Sarah said, no to Bryce.
It was time to tell Chuck her decision, but she won’t get her chance because something happen to Bryce.
Once again the elephant in the room made it’s presence felt. Bryce and the agency disrupt things. While Sarah goes help Bryce, Chuck told his father he loved her.
The first time Chuck uttered the words. All we heard was feelings. I am crazy about you, but now we get the first I love her, but they are still not ready to commit to a real relationship because they haven’t been given an opportunity to do so.
After Bryce got shot, Bryce was about to tell Chuck that Sarah chose him, and rather then talk about it let me show it.
Yes, Chuck remembers everything that was said to him from Beckman said it was time for him to become a spy, but Bryce and Sarah were the ones who used the words Hero.
Yes, Sarah Said, Chuck could do anything, but she did also say in those lines that she didn’t just mean the building jumping and the diamond stealing, but after being told he was going to lose Sarah in the morning. Chuck made a decision to do the right thing and download the 2.0 like he always did despite being told the program was too dangerous from Bryce. He was told to destroy the computer.
We have come to the part where it will get a bit testy in the discussion board, and that is fine, but what I am going to say has nothing to do with Season 3 per say. It has more to do with the fact we still don’t know when the real relationship began to blossom.
What made Prague such an important part of the story would be the fact we get a similar scene later with Ellie. Sarah is in panic mode. Her former boyfriend was just killed, ala Ellie witnessing her father get shot. What do both women do. Tell Chuck he had to quit spying.
Sarah Walker: We could run? You and me. We go now and never look back.
Chuck Bartowski: Are you serious?
Sarah Walker: I have some money saved up. I’d have to ge us some new identities. Create an escape route. For now go to the training facility in Prague. Then meet me in the Nadrazzi Train Station in 3 weeks time at 7:00. And then I can figure out the rest later.
Chuck Bartowski: Waht are you saying?
Sarah Walker: I’m saying I want to be a real person again, with you. [That’s what you want, right?] I mean this is it, Chuck. Will you run away with me?
Chuck Bartowski: [Thinks about it] Yeah.
Notice what she said, this is what you want? in essence then she is not doing it for her, she is doing it to protect Chuck. The risk of losing Chuck would be the end of her., but she never expected Chuck would hurt her, which is why the blow in Prague was so intense.
Chuck’s expression already gave you a clue that he had already made a decision about running.
When she kissed him, she knew something was wrong, and here is where we get ugly.
Sarah Walker: It’s not that simple. You don’t know who you’re working for. It’s complicated. Nothing is real. *This*
[Sarah holds Chuck’s hand]
Sarah Walker: this is simple. This is a real life… We have to go Chuck… Are you coming?
Chuck Bartowski: [Long pause, Chuck let’s go of Sarah’s hand] I can’t. I’m sorry
It is understandable that Chuck wanted to pursue becoming a real spy, and you can understand Sarah feeling rejected. Sarah never dreamed Chuck would crush her the way he did. Again, communication never happen, but was dragged on over course of the season.
What happened between the two would plague them for the rest of the lives together. They never were able to communicate. As a couple they struggle with, and when they are married. They struggle with the concept of discussing what was bothering them.
In closing, while Sarah was the one who acted impulsively, she did it with good intentions. Chuck had good intentions in becoming a spy, and have Sarah as well. The problem is how it happened. If everything was laid out in one episode there wouldn’t be a need for 12 more.
Chuck and Sarah’s Prague incident really was just part of the problem. When one acted on their feelings the other would pull back., and nothing was explained until much later… Does Do you love me solve everything that happen no, but it helped heal the wounds. The wounds have to start healing at some point,
but as Christmas TV stated, Its ok to have Scars and Fears.