gallery Rewatch Thirty Nine: Bears Got Nuffin

The fourth episode of season three features another beautiful guest star in Angie Harmon and a mystic figure in the form of Daniel Shaw. The special agent sent to Burbank to help Team Bartowski, but while this episode is another one of those underrated episode. We see a lot of unseen details that can explain this episode better.

Like Angel De La Muerte, there is a complete episode write up by clicking this link Chuck vs Operation Awesome.

The episode provides us with balancing the past with the future. The life lessons the spy world provides us through the eyes of Chuck. Family and friends are what makes us vulnerable is something we heard before.

Bryce Larkin said it here, most specifically when Bryce learned Sarah had feelings for Chuck. His expression can be seen as concerned for both of them. Some will say Bryce has a massive ego and it was all about him. I am not denying that point of view, but also know the make up of spies like Larkin and Walker call for separating emotions and feelings from being an agent. Sarah mentioned this mindset twice this season.Chuck203-00695


Battling factions like The Ring and Fulcrum called for agents to think and act like they do anything else would get them killed. A message dittoed by Daniel Shaw. The idea of human beings being  pawns in the war the CIA found themselves in.

chuck304_00876What do Walker, Larkin, Casey and Shaw have in common. They are soldiers by nature. Thus, the message of bottling feelings seems to be ironclad and necessity.  Signs of compromising that position seems to injury the mind, but most of all cause friction between Chuck and his team.

However, we have uncovered how song and scenes help deliver the unseen details that help shape the story of season three. Let’s look back if you will.

We discovered how lyrics “If you are not here than I don’t want to be either” to “I refuse to show my good side In no place to call my own It’s no home.”

We continue the trend with lyrics from the song Backwards Walk and Wait it Out such as,

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

Backwards Walk

I’m working on my faults and cracks
Filling in the blanks and gaps
And when I write them out they don’t make sense
I need you to pencil in the rest

I’m working on drawing a straight line
And I’ll draw until I get one right
It’s bold and dark, girl, can’t you see
I done drawn a line between you and me

The back and forth between a home and if you’re not here with me continues in this episode. Life lessons that are a struggle within the spy world also invade them on a personal level. chuck304_00978

The truth is no matter what we have to “Everybody says that time heals everything. But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between? Are we just going to wait it out?

For someone like Shaw, the poison of waiting it out would ruin his very being. Shaw falls into the trap of falling for a spy too, but it’s not that simple as we will learn.

The waiting out process stems into this episode songs. For example, we have Spoon’s Got Nuffin as a great song, but even more what it stands for. 

The lyrics are as follows,

And I got nothing to lose but darkness and shadows
Got nothing to lose but bitterness and patterns

When I can’t find the way to reach you my love
I’m just not the same
Just the same

Do you remember what was happening at this point of the episode. We saw Chuck escort Devon up the building, but while everyone thought it was a mission for the Ring, we learn nothing is as it seems. Chuck was supposed to deliver Awesome for a purpose, but it was bigger than that.

It’s so big, we miss how much by being distracted by Chuck meeting Shaw for the first time. We see this tall dark figure standing before Chuck. A mystery to the viewer except we did see this figure sitting on Beckman’s desk with a lighter. chuck304_00528chuck304_00529chuck304_00528 (1)While this was confusing from a Chuck standpoint, what can be lost in translation would be the significance of Beckman asking Walker and Casey to stand down. chuck304_00501 chuck304_00502 chuck304_00510 chuck304_00511 chuck304_00512What Beckman was doing was what everyone on here talks about it. Sarah and Casey were not needed for this mission. It also shows how significant the newcomer would be.

The threat of The Ring being present inside a CIA building didn’t call for Sarah and Casey because it would be this kind of mission Chuck would need to perform on his own.

A mission in which Chuck handled nicely. Chuck’s concentration would be a mirror image to one other time in S2 when another family member was included. chuck304_00474In S2, Chuck was confident in his skin while working alongside his father. Chuck219-00910 (1)It’s a beautiful sight to see when Chuck exuberates his skills. The same can be said in Operation Awesome, but when a state of confusion takes over Chuck freezes with not understanding what was being asked of him. chuck304_00561

Shaw’s position comes with an interesting twist as we see a superagent who lose someone in a line of duty which brings to life a part of Sarah we discussed before. Shaw’s experiences are negatives ones which drive him to the state that he was in.  If we can’t fault Sarah for her make up due to her past. It would be hypocritical to do such a thing for Shaw as well (more on this subject in the forthcoming rewatch articles.)

The death of someone while doing what they do leaves a lasting image that won’t be easy to overcome. While Sarah’s emotions are best suited for being with Chuck. Shaw’s raw emotions is built on destroying the entity who caused his pain.

Sarah returns home after a real peace offering between Chuck and Sarah here, chuck304_00887 chuck304_00890She was in her home with the people she cares about the most, the image we see can’t be ignored, the image of emptiness and darkness comes to life in the form of Shaw standing alone with a ring on his finger.

We see Shaw imposing his will already on the team by suggesting they continue to use Devon despite the risks or Shaw ordering Casey and Sarah to stand down once Chuck takes it upon himself to lure Sydney to the Buymore.

The aspect of the fight scene in the buymore is significant because Sarah was off her game. She was worried about Chuck, which made her lose to Sydney. Emotions and feelings make people hesitate and while Chuck may be changing the core values in which he stands for never do, but for people like Sarah and Shaw seeing that aspect of things is hard, but at least for Sarah “It helps to know you have something to lose.”

chuck304_00959 chuck304_00969 chuck304_00971chuck304_00979

The song playing during this moment would be Sam Issac’s Bears. A song that I feel really pushes the scene and episode through. 

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.

Isn’t it funny how one song from a previous episode gets mentioned in another song. Living a lie was being just friend, but here we have How am I stranger to you when we are friends? The healing process often takes time for many people, and the longevity of the process varies from person to person, but what is not lost during this whole ordeal is the real love Chuck and Sarah have for each other. In closing, Chuck and Sarah may have broken some, but the road far less travelled often can deliver a bittersweet moment in the end.

At this point, Prague is no longer an issue. Sarah returned to the place she deems most significant to her. What brought her home you may ask? Chuck’s position about nothing means more to him than friends and family reached her. It means he hasn’t changed, She is with the man she fell for, but caution flags always need to be raised as we are not out of the woods yet.

Some more lyrics from the song Bears,

We’re going to tell it just how it is
We’re not comfortable
We’re unhappy here

Yes, we are unhappy with where Chuck and Sarah are at the moment, but if we wait it out something good may come of this because if they are not together nothing else matters.


  1. This is the introduction of Daniel Shaw, a character many did not like from the beginning. He is a mystery. Hopefully, this idea will elicit some response.

    There are two situations that started this train of thought. First General Beckman was very hesitant in sending Shaw to Burbank without prior warning, “Shaw, It’s too dangerous!”. Beckman did not seem to have any control over Shaw and his assignment. Someone else was controlling this. Beckman did tell Sarah and Casey to stand down. Second situation is that Fulcrum was part of The Ring, if not mistaken. Who is really in control of Shaw coming to Team Bartowski? And if it was for fighting The Ring, hadn’t TB been doing that all along? Plus only Chuck, Casey, and Sarah had been successful , not only in fighting, but bringing the Fulcrum operation down. So why break them up to continue their fight against The Ring? It almost seems that Shaw was sent there by someone higher up to break up Team Bartowski, not prepare them to do battle with The Ring. This is only a story made up in the minds of Fedak and his writers, but they seemed pretty adept at looking ahead. Were they preparing to have Daniel Shaw already a member of The Ring when he arrived at Burbank? Was he originally supposed to be a double agent?

    My thought is that someone else was controlling everything. Who replaced Langston Graham? The Ring has already infiltrated the CIA, is the new head the one pulling the strings? Is he, or she, a part of the bad guys? And is Daniel Shaw working for that person? It explains a lot. Why break up the only team who has success against The Ring. Why was Shaw so interested in each of their backgrounds and their weaknesses? After 49B, General Beckman knows their strength is as a team. It is only when they go off mission, like finding Orion, that she interferes directly. Suddenly they are being told that the one thing that makes them the strongest is a weakness, they are holding Chuck back from him becoming the perfect agent. It is not coincidental that Chuck is sent alone on his first mission and is seated next to a beautiful techie who has just lost her job. Then he is in a place where there is absolutely no backup. First rule of any operation is to have backup. Controlling the plane from Castle will not really save Chuck. They were lucky Hugo Panzer didn’t turn Chuck into a pretzel. Then Hannah shows up at the Buy More and throws all in to chase Chuck. Four days later they are sleeping together, and meeting family. All of this knowing that Sarah is watching. Meeting family after four days is pretty darn quick for anyone. Plus, after all of these years, John Casey’s one weakness, the family he left behind, is used against him. It doesn’t add up to me. This opens up a lot more background story that can explain a lot of things. Who framed Shaw’s wife, and who gave the order to kill her? Who saved Shaw’s life in Paris? How did he get back into the CIA if Beckman knew the story of Paris? Who actually had the power to overthrow the NSA when Shaw came back? How did Shaw get a hold of Decker’s files when he was in prison? There is a whole underlying story that could be made into a movie that happens a couple of years after the final episode. What does everyone think?

    • We shall explore Shaw more as more rewatch episode are published so I would like to save bullets for then.

      For example, First Class is so much more than just some mission. It’s a ploy set forth by Shaw to separate Chuck and Sarah. The first attempt in breaking apart the couple we love and enjoy, but how can something be broken when friction between Chuck and Sarah are already broken already.

      Sarah’s return home is just a blinder of what truly was set to happen. It’s almost like the calm before the storm.

      Your ideas or questions rather all stem from Decker’s speech about a greater conspiracy, which included Shaw and Larkin so who ever was really pulling the strings was kept under wraps for some reason.

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