Season 3 Episode 12

Chuck Versus the American Hero

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 29, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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out of 10
578 votes
  • Great!!!!!!. . .

    . . .more chuck and sarah bullsh!t

    The episode would have been like 10 fold better; if chuck and sarah's continued copyright infringement on on 'Ross and Rachel" never happened.

    I'm a huge 'Chuck' fan, but this is the last in an arc of episodes I don't love. The dynamic between Chuck and Sarah after he deserts her in Prague does not make for happy viewing. When Chuck finally becomes an agent, and invites Sarah to accompany him to Rome as part of his team, she says "I'm going to Washington, okay? And I'm going with Shaw." She then explains that she can't be with him because "you're not the same guy that I fell for." When Chuck asks why, Sarah looks at him in disgust and shouts "you killed somebody, Chuck! I saw you kill the mole!" Too honourable to implicate Casey as the shooter, Chuck asks Sarah to believe him when he tells her that what she saw wasn't as straightforward as she thinks. "I don't" she says. Sarah is really cold in this scene, and I found myself thinking "why isn't Chuck fun anymore?"

    Sarah's relationship with Shaw is so cold and unconvincing, and she behaves so coldly to Chuck, that she just seems cold all over; miserable and angry and unpleasant. We know she's not actually like that, and at the end of the episode when Casey confesses to killing the mole, her face lights up and she's back to her old self, ready to run away with Chuck and be happy. However, what doesn't work in this story is her inexplicable attitude to Chuck. I get that she's hurt that Chuck chose his spy life over running away with her in Prague, and she's genuinely afraid that he's becoming a hardened CIA agent, but even if he becomes the toughest, coolest spy in the CIA, he's still no worse than Shaw, or Bryce, or Sarah herself.

    Last season she executed someone who threatened Chuck and his family and friends. Chuck didn't understand how she could be so cold-blooded, but she explained that it's what she's trained to do, and it was necessary to protect him. Now she won't offer him the same understanding. She's outraged that he apparently shot someone, and won't believe him when he asks her to trust him. She won't even look him in the eye. In Season 2 Episode 12, she's angry with Chuck because he's not coping with the spy life. She shouts "I don't know what's happened to you, but this is our job! [T]o protect...the country and anybody else who needs protecting. We do whatever it takes no matter what! Did you forget that?" Chuck is not actually a spy at this point in the story, but an asset. He's never had spy training and he hasn't made any promises to the US government. And yet he's expected to have the same devotion to duty, make the same sacrifices and take the same risks as Sarah and Casey. In Season 3, now that Chuck is officially a spy, Sarah seems to despise him. I don't find it persuasive, and I don't think it makes for good viewing.

    Fortunately by the end of the episode, things pick up, and before long Sarah is cute and fun again, and Chuck is Chuck. Shaw is much more interesting as a bad guy (I never felt it was plausible that someone essentially the same age as Sarah was supposed to be her superior, so high up in the ranks that he can issue orders, remotely take over commercial aircraft and decide with full authority whether or not Chuck qualified as a "real" spy). The ensuing drama is compelling rather than awkward. I just wish they hadn't wasted so much on this multi-episode diversion, in which Sarah is unappealing and mean, inexplicably attracted to the impossibly handsome but desperately boring Shaw, and Chuck is a bit lost, having a brief fling with the irritating Hannah and vacillating between loving Sarah and being totally relaxed about her relationship with Shaw.

    One last thing: I find it implausible throughout this episode arc that Shaw, Sarah and Chuck use the term "spy" so frequently and in so many contexts. They rarely refer to themselves as CIA agents, which sounds more realistic. Beckman, Chuck, Casey and Sarah all refer to Chuck as a "real spy." When Chuck can't flash anymore, he says "I'm not a spy anymore." Beckman tells Sarah to make Chuck into a "real spy," so Sarah tells Chuck "if you want to be a real spy, you have to act like one." Chuck says "I am a real spy," and Sarah says "a real spy would have flashed [and] been able to defend himself." I'm pretty sure "real spies" don't actually refer to themselves as "real spies" this often. It sounds amateurish and cartoony.

    They also have a lot of dumb rules about what a "real spy" is and isn't. Sarah tells Chuck "You're a spy now, Chuck. You have to keep your feelings to yourself." Carina says "spies don't fall in love," referring to it as the "cardinal rule of spying," before telling Chuck to "go be a spy." Later, Sarah says "Spies do not have feelings. Feelings get you killed. You need to learn to bury them in a place deep inside." (Of course, anyone who has ever watched a romance comedy knows that burying your feelings in a place deep inside is exactly not what you're supposed to do: you're supposed to express your feelings, be spontaneous, live in the moment, stop the wedding, say those three little words, get the girl, etc.) Chuck later agrees "You're right, I'm not a real spy. I'm emotional and that makes me a liability." The cliches don't end there. Sydney says "spies don't say please," Shaw refers to covert ops as "the spy business," and insists that if Sarah and Casey help him out "he'll never be a real spy" (which is ridiculous) and that "until you start flashing again, you're no longer a spy." When he wants to destroy the Castle with Chuck in it, he tells Sarah "you have to think like a spy" and Sarah says "I am thinking like a spy." The all use terms like "spy-life," "spy-proofing," "spy test" and "spy-related," and I've lost count of the number of times they say "real spy," "perfect spy" and sometimes "true spy" and "full-fledged spy." Later, Chuck makes Morgan an unofficial spy, and the word has finally lost all meaning.

    That said, I actually love Chuck, and the episodes that follow this are amazing.
  • This Is The Big Risky Step Chuck Needs...

    This episode is the next step for CHUCK, the show is great and the way it has been developed so far has kept me gripped from start to finish and now that CHUCK is getting better and moving on with what he wants to become (A Real Spy), i think the show is moving along with him... This Episode gave it all, funny smart and best of all a cliffhanger to CHUCK and his love triangle.

    With alot of people not giving this show the chance it should have, maybe a move to a more action CHUCK is what the show needs and with the last couple of episodes we have had, its kept alot of it CHUCKness that we all know and love to watch as well so bring on Episode 13... Thanks for reading
  • Are we nearing the end

    As we dont get chuck here in the UK, I get my fix of chuck once a month by post from a friend in the US. I am eagerly awaiting the next 4 episodes but I have to wonder from what Ive seen from this latest series if Chuck is coming to an end. This series has seen chuck become less of an intersect loaded asset and more a real spy I cant see where they can go from here without loosing the loveable slightly incompetant and comical Chuck we have come to know. Chuck, Sarah Casey and the gang from the Buymore are a winning combination but if things continue the way they have Chuck as we know him could be coming to an end and a spin off series with Chuck the Real Spy possibly coming in the near future
  • Series are heating up high again.

    Simply spectacular.

    As I understood, without subs and such, it has been a terrible episode.

    Large involvement of ordinary people, like Captain Awesome, Morgan and Jeffster in a secret CIA mission.

    Also, great show of sincerity of John Casey telling the truth to Sarah about Chuck's red test.

    About Shaw, he scares me. I said that the Red Sarah would test out some way, and the truth is that it surprised me.

    About Sarah, I've finally seen the Sarah we all knew, but in the first part of the episode she gave me a disgusting sensation. I hope now that Shaw doesn't do something crazy because at the end of it they painted that as such.

    In summary, the level rose again and produced a huge season finale promises to be spectacular, which I can't wait to see.

    By the way, It has been 2 episodes since they said "Chuck's going to Rome for an undercover mission"...will that happen any day?
  • Holy cow! Possible spoilers

    Why is this show in danger of being canceled!?! I just don't get it. There are not too many shows out there right now that makes you love or hate characters so much. And no other show brings you comedy, action, romance and suspense like Chuck. This was a perfect episode in my eyes. I'm really glad to see they utilized almost every character with the exception of big Mike. The balance of action, romance, comedy and suspense was perfect! After last week's episode my first initial thought of Sarah's red test was that she killed Chuck's mom. Mostly because of that bracelet falling out of her purse. I wonder if that was intentional to make you believe it was Chuck's mom rather than Shaws wife. I'm personally glad that it turned out to be Shaw's wife. It totally just gave the show a new dynamic, and we get to see that dynamic in next week's episode! If NBC cancels Chuck I may never watch NBC again! Great, great episode!
  • amazing i hope they dont cancel chuck, to possibly save chuck go to eonline and vote for one of your favorite shows to maybe save. voting closes april 4

    this episode was awesome and there are so many other words to explain this episode i loved it it was brilliant i dont know why chuck might get cancelled to save chuck you need to go to eonline and vote for one show to save click on chuck and then after that hit sumbit come on guys dont let chuck down chuck deserves to stay and it is amazing show i know this isnt really a review i just thought i would spread the word the voting closes on april 4 so go vote for chuck to stay and dont let an amazing tv show go down
  • Chuck try to get Sara for his Rome's mision. Morgan, Casey and Awesome joined him . The ring meet Shaw, that risk himself for destroying this organization

    Extraordinay and amazing Episode!

    The writers have made an odd job on this season, they change the climate of the story, losing jocularity.
    This was criticized and questioned the existentiality of Chuck. however this episode again magnify the series. and knowing the end of the second season, we hope the season finale of chuck (and maybe of the serie)will be a classic. Chuck todays became a Clasic

    This show is unique, and this episode a piece of really perfection.
    The direction was amazing, with a minimalist sense of expressing much in short shots, dialogue is not extensive but accurate, and great performances. the plot was on a great level.

    we saw on this epi the Action and suspense in a dose of pure voragine, mixed with the extraordinary quota of drama, this time of commitment (shaw revenge him wife's murderered) against frindship or love, or chuck losing sara.

    The first scene filmed like an old-english-serie, was a good tribute for the old spy series.

    Casey, Morgan, Awesome first, and later jeffster put the share of humor.

    And the unexpected final twist, is a demostration of the good work from the writers (they thought the story from the beginning of the season).

    Today chuck is received in a cult, if before it had doubts.
  • I can see it now... Chuck, Season 8.

    Wow, wow and wow! I love this episode because of its feel of the intro. I feel like I'm getting good at this spy stuff too coz I think I can see the future of this TV Show! Since Chuck didn't really pass his Spy Exam I think this will be his own personal spy exam. I feel that he really needs to kill somebody, who and how are the hard ones. The more I think about it, I believe that he can't be a Batman like Spy forever, too many trails, too many enemies, and too many loved ones alive to use to get to him. SOOOOO.. I think he'll kill Shaw, he'll have the choice. With no more tranq bullets left all he has is a loaded Beretta, a choice needs to be made, kill Shaw or lose Sarah. Or Kill Random bad guy or lose sarah. Hehe.
  • WOW

    This was a perfect american super spy episode. I just loved it, the direction and the thrill was just awesome. Chuck really has grown up and deserves the best. The writers have done an excellent job by setting in the missing puzzle links for Shaw's wife's death and Sarah. This episode just made Chuck awesome to super - awesome.
    the rest of the crew did perfect especially Morgan, Casey, Awesome and the stalkers.
    Expecting loadz after this episode as the end was just so ?? so i cant wait for the next episode.
    The chemistry between Sarah and Chuck is reborn, could be seen after Casey tells the truth, this spices up things more.
  • 10s? Not even

    Was this the best episode of Chuck ever? No. In fact, I was more put off by the Sarah/Chuck angst this time around, whereas I feel the show has done a good job of not driving us crazy with it this season. But it was a solid episode overall. If things feel like they're moving fast, its because next week was the original intended finale. I'm not complaining about the pace, because right now, the show's forward momentum is fantastic. Last week I loved Sarah. Last week it felt right that Chuck was back in pursuit of her. This week I felt these elements were disjointed. I enjoyed Casey, Devon and Morgan playing Chuck's support crew, and the highlight of the episode was the reconnaissance at the restaurant. All the players got some nice material and were handled well. But honestly (and this may come from my general dislike of Brandon Routh) I just couldn't get into the rest of the plot and the second half of the episode. I didn't care that he was captured (The Ring zeroes in on him every week, it feel like), and it was odd to me that the General would give Chuck all this random 'free time.' (Aren't there more pressing matters?) It was like the entire episode paid service to Chuck trying to get the girl. It was like the real world was put on hold. Now Jeff and Lester got some good stalking stuff, (when are nunchuks not funny?) and Ellie got a great moment. There was even a somewhat brilliant twist with Sarah and Shaw's late wife. But Sarah's wishy-washy confusion over Chuck or Shaw got on my nerves (am I watching Grey Anatomy?) and I was disappointed it took Casey to confess he killed that agent and not Chuck for Sarah to make a decision. I mean, Sarah really should have known Chuck could never kill somebody. It's like she doesn't know him at all.

    I dunno, folks. This one may have been trying too hard. The American Hero, the slo-mo of Chuck carrying Shaw out of the explosion (I laughed; I half-expected Sarah to start jumping up and down with Glee)..this one didn't work for me.
  • What an incredible episode!

    I think that everyone who has seen this episode knows what needs to be said! Chuck is back on form! This episode had everything that we have been hoping to see. Some Ellie and Awesome, some Morgan, some Jeffster, some Casey (playing as pivotal a role as ever!) some action, some adventure, some comedy, and some Chuck and Sarah on their way to getting back to where they are supposed to be!

    I don't know what Sarah was going to do before Casey arrived and dropped the bomb that Chuck did not kill anybody but my heart wants to say that Chuck was winning the day anyway and the Colonel simply expedited matters! But who cares, she was finally going to make the right decision!

    Be honest now, who else cheered when they saw Sarah kill Eve Shaw as it would spell the end for the stone faced special agent! Come on, I think you know that you did, as cold as it sounds.

    I have been living in fear the past couple of weeks, praying that the writers are not going to make the situation any worse and now I am back to being gripped and wondering how I am possibly going to get through an entire week without the next episode.

    Roll on Monday! Team Bartowski need to get back in action and for once Sarah needs saving!

    Can't wait
  • Ooooooooooook You Chuck Fans might hate this but...

    I have watched Chuck on and off so maybe I might not be the most avid fan but I do enjoy the episodes once in a while, this season has been by far the most suspensful and I have loved Chuck going into full Spy work. This episode had great moments but mostly from lesser main characters (Devon, Casey and the Nerd Herd Gang) they were funny and they proved once more how lucky Chuck is and has always been for having great friends that go extreme measures to help him out. I know alot of you or all do not like agent shaw (honestly after seeing that video you would have done the same, its your wife who got killed), ok he is in the middle of Sarah amd Chuck, but is he the real obstacle between this two? NO! They are, they have been playing around each other hidding, going to other relationships and hurting other people while they tried to deny their feelings. Chuck finnally knows what he wants because he sees Sarah moving forward with someone, who above everything really cares for her, and Sarah needed Casey's confession to take the final decision to go with Chuck, which in any case she has killed more people that you can count and its not going with the man who can possibly be the man of her life just because he did what he was suppossed to do? and the "you are not the same man I fell for" pleeeeeease can it be more overdramtic??? Anyways everybody thinks Shaw will go nuts and try to kill Sarah and Chuck will finnally kill someone, if that happens Sarah will go and dump Chuck because now he REALLY killed a man??? because if she doesn't then she does not have any real convictions and was just making again an excuse not to be with Chuck. I think they will play it as Shaw being incapable of killing Sarah as they find out it was a montage or something, or that Sarah just wound her and the Ring opperative really finished the job, then they will team up to find tehe real murderer. At the end Shaw will leave to Washington wether to jail because he went rouge or as an agent and tell Sarah to go back to Chuck because he really loves her and she also loves him, anyways they dont have a future because she will always be the one who made her wife got killed or something. Then we will all have a happy ending where Sarah and Chuck can go back to their on and off relationship!
    You'll see one way or another Shaw will not even hurt Sarah, because whatever you might think he was really shocked when he saw the video it was painful to realize that the woman that you are caring for and really look to spend time with its the one who had taken away the most important person in your life...I cant blame him really, and as I said I would do the same.
  • Chuck is being placed as a Billionaire Playboy in Italy and can pick his team of agents which immediately means Sarah. Sarah wants nothing to do with him since he became a killer. Shaw is giving his life to get the Ring, but finds out a secret instead.

    Not much better than last weeks episode The Final Exam. They seem to have lost that charm that came from the team and the Chuck/Sarah situation. Unfortunately fooling with the chemistry may spell the shows doom as the ratings have gone in the toilet since they started down this path.

    I actually enjoyed the episode to a point. It is very hard to decide where they think they are going with the characters though. Chuck is never going to be a cold blooded killer. Casey does not make a really good civilian. Sarah is no longer interesting as a character now that she is no longer interested in Chuck. That last one was hard to type!

    A lot of the spark from this show comes from the Chuck/Sarah chemistry and the quiet confidence of our man Casey. We're missing both now.

    I can't say much about the episode I didn't say in the summary as there were some major cliffhangers going on here. Let's just say someone is in terrible danger and Chuck must save the day. He saved Shaw from being bombed let's see if he can do something similar next week with a different character. Hopefully he can save the show from a sure cancellation which is where it is headed right now as well. Thanks for reading...
  • I loved this episode. It had a bit of everything in it- laughs, action, Charah and Casey!

    The first half of this episode was crack up. Morgan, Awesome & Casey all working together to help Chuck was definitely one of the best parts. Morgan pretending to be a RIng agent "they might not call right away, but just be patient", Devon tackling Shaw (who doesn't love it when Shaw gets a beat down) and Casey being Casey were all great moments for this dream team.

    I must say I was glad that Ellie had a better part in this ep than lately. Being the only one out of the loop she's been a little annoying but it was good to see her get frustrated for the boys ending up in jail and then getting angry at Chuck for not going far enough trying to win Sarah back. It was good to see this character be a little more passionate and more like the big sister we all love.

    Chuck and Sarah seem to be getting back on track. It's been hard for her lately and a lot of people have been put off with the S3 Sarah but she's had a lot to deal with and props to Yvonne for her amazing acting of such a distraught and confused Sarah.

    Looking forward to next week (as always!) and the beginning of the end for Shaw!
  • After last weeks slump, the show picks right up again, delivering another brilliant instalment of action, spying, heroism, romance and comedy. AND with a surprising twist near the end!

    What can I say - there were so many things to love about this episode!
    The guys coming together to help Chuck win back the love of his life - with everything from sound, practical moves to sheer stupidity.
    Ellie, telling Chuck to go out there and be a Bartowski! :D
    Chuck, finally owning up to his own feelings, being a man, and being a real hero. Casey, going against all his own instincts for the chance to save Chuck and Sarah's relationship.
    Sarah, finally having a smile on her face again - if only for a short minute.
    And the twist in the plot, which at least sorts out the whole "but what about Sarah-Shaw?" conundrum. ;)

    To flesh out a couple of the points: I loved seing the new, more mature Chuck. The one who was willing to risk his life to make Sarah happy - even if it was with someone else. The one who was willing to state out loud what they've been dancing around for so long. And the one who was willing to take a chance, risk it all - for love. Zach is a very good actor, and so right for this kind of role - the portrayal of overgrown boy growing into a man has been an interesting one to watch over these three seasons, and has produced more than one crowning moment of heartwarming. :)

    Casey's soft spot for his two (former) partners is really touching to watch - he may growl and grumble, but in the end he takes a personal risk on the off chance that it will do some good. And the look on his face when he realizes that it DID, is one of those few, unguarded moments of emotion that occasionally slips out from under his iron control. :D

    Other gold nuggets of comic relief - Jeff's über stalkingskills, and Chuck's praise of same.
    And Morgan vs. Captain Awesome in the "secret agent"/clever ideas department - I have to say Morgan won, hands down. :D

    I'm happy to say I'm back on track with not being able to waaait for the next episode in increasingly brilliant season!
  • Chuck is granted a week off, as he needs to assemble a team for his first spy assignment to Rome, and even more needs to win Sarah back so he can continue any sort of spy career, and finally confess his feelings.

    I think the writing and acting in this episode continued to be top-notch, and we were treated to a bunch of supporting cast members giving great performances of great situations. Ellie finally being included in giving our hero advice was welcome, and she was superb in that bit! But the comedic turns of Casey, Morgan, and Awesome helping Chuck to win back Sarah were incredibly classic/unforgettable moments that will help define this season: undertaking a mission to sabotage a dinner evening with Shaw and Sarah, each one plays a funny part with funny dialogue, realizing that Chuck winning back Sarah and going to Rome is exactly what everyone wants and needs. We see that Casey must rejoin Team Bartowski to escape civilian life, and goes to great lengths to achieve this, by telling Sarah the secret that he killed the Mole during Chuck's Red Test. Morgan sees a chance to continue friendship with Chuck, by auditioning to be a member of his Italian team, and also goes to great lengths by voice-disguising Shaw's exit from the restaurant, giving Chuck his chance to plead his love for the wonderful Sarah. And Awesome sees his chance to join Doctors Without Borders, now that Ellie is granted a sabbatical from USC and would be granted a sabbatical from Chuck, if he were to leave Burbank, and also goes to great lengths for this, by trying to tackle Shaw out of danger and out of the conversation at dinner! But it's the heroism of Shaw by surrendering to the Ring, and then Chuck one-upping him by trying to rescue him, that make up the heart of the show. Well-done!! And the story is headed for removing Shaw from the show, and Sarah's life, finally, and ending the arc of Shaw heading up our team, for good!
  • Chuck tries to win back Sarah.

    This episode started out pretty slow, but like all Chuck episodes, it turned out awesome by the end. Chuck tries to win back Sarah before she goes to Washington. Surprisingly, that part kind of bored me. (The restaurant scene). Except for the part in which Chuck says he loves Sarah. A lot to take on, in Sarah's position. The ring operative wants Shaw to come in, he agrees to basically sacrifice himself to capture the ring operative. Unluckily for him, they take out his tracker. BuyMore employees stalk Shaw, since they felt left out that they weren't part of the "Winning back Sarah" mission. Sarah wants to follow Shaw in, but Chuck doesn't let her. He decides to save Shaw. Best line of the episode:

    Sarah: Why are you doing this?
    Chuck: Because I know how much he means to you.

    Wow, that was a great scene. Two big twists in the end: Shaw finds out that Sarah killed Shaw's wife for her red test. Loved how that tied together perfectly. Casey tells Sarah that he killed the mole, not Chuck. Which makes her change her mind about Chuck completely. Shaw interrupts her from going to Chuck, and tells her he has a lead on the ring operative. As far as we know, he is going to "settle an old score". Uh oh, Sarah's in trouble. Great cliffhanger.
  • Good episode but I'm worried the writers have are working themselves into a dead end.

    I'm glad they have started to move the plot lines forward in the last few episodes. However, the ideo of Chuck being a real spy is a difficult one to swallow especially when looking at the original premise of the show.

    The characters are fantastic and the real stars of the show. Chuck has began to irritate me a little but recently with his poor decisions and I just don't find him very likeable right now. He has rejected two stunningly beautiful women now and has a fantastic job, which he is also rejecting. Not the lovable loser so much, but more of the jerk who has everything but feels hard-done-by.

    I'm sure we are approaching a resolution to these conflicts, but I hope they do it quickly or just give more screen time to Morgan, Jeff and Lester, who really make the show for me at the moment. Either that or find some more reasons to have Sarah in various states of undress, I'm not ashamed to be shallow.