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Fridge Brilliance

  • In "Chuck Versus the Other Guy," Shaw's plans seem to make little sense other than to pad the episode out. Then you realize; the first operation where he takes Sarah to the warehouse and she finds out that she killed his wife, this operation makes Shaw look like he can cope with working with Sarah and makes Chuck look incompetent to General Beckman. The second op further makes Shaw look like a Ring killing machine, further hiding his turn, and he just happened to film it for the benefit of the team. It also get The Ring's Intersect into the government's hands so they can check their progress for them and makes Beckman think the Director is dead. It further discredits Chuck and makes Shaw look even better, getting him alone with Sarah on a plane to Paris to hand over the government's Intersect notes and kill Sarah before he begins his life as a Ring agent. If it hadn't been for Morgan's extensive knowledge of Sonny Chiba films it might have worked.
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  • In "Chuck Versus The Gobbler", Ellie is insistent on calling her daughter "Grunka", much to Devon's displeasure. It eventually turns out that she was using that name to trick Devon into agreeing on the name "Clara" - Grunka is actually the Swedish equivalent of "Doohickey" and "Thingamajig", or "something one does not know the name of".
  • One of the back-up stories in the comics is set in 2020, and features Chuck on a solo mission in Russia, held at gunpoint because Casey's timing was off, before he gets a phone call from Sarah, his loving wife and mother to his children. After Sarah's phone call, Chuck immediately starts to wipe the floor with the men holding him at gunpoint. This sequence suddenly made a lot more sense after Chuck uploaded the Intersect 2.0 at the end of Season 2, and Sarah & Chuck finally became a couple in Season 3.
    • And now this looks Fridge Heartwarming in contrast to the season 5 close, as it shows Sarah gets her memory back.
  • Why does the Intersect 2.0 glitch out differently for Chuck & Shaw than it does for Morgan & Sarah? Well, it's revealed in Season 1 that the CIA were originally planning to recruit Chuck for his memory retention abilities. Presumably, Shaw has this same ability, but Morgan & Sarah don't. This would explain why the Intersect erases Morgan & Sarah's memories the more they use it; but when Chuck & Shaw use it, it instead fries their brains by overloading them.
    • Though it could also be a case of them being different Intersects. Over the course of the series we see several Intersects made by the CIA, Fulcrum, the Ring and Orion. If we look at the Intersects made with Orion's input we can see that issues that they tend to have like overload/overheat over time or the Intersect persona taking over are a result of not fully understanding the consequences of treating a human brain as a computer, issues that Ellie's expertise helps fix. Compare them to Intersects made without his input/files (i.e. Fulcrum Intersect and the new/season 5 CIA Intersect and you can see that their issues i.e. Frying the brain while uploading or destroying memories while flashing (probably a case of the flash overwriting or erasing long-term memory whereas the Intersect flashes are supposed to function only on short-term memory) are a result of them having a fundamental error in the upload—>store—>flash—>use procedure.Then again the writers might have just forgotten or not cared.
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  • In "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", Sarah tells Chuck that she fell for him "a long time ago, after you fixed my phone and before you started defusing bombs with computer viruses," both of which, incidentally, happened in the very first episode. What happened between those incidents? "Y'wanna know a secret? Real dancers are tall."
  • In "Chuck Versus the Ring" it is stated by Orion that architecture of the Intersect has been altered from it's original design, which goes contrary to "Chuck Versus the Goodbye," where it is revealed the only way to change the Intersect's functions is with "the Key" - a device split into three parts & divided between Ted Rourke, Hartley Winterbottom & Stephen Bartowski. Now, remember that the Intersect 2.0 is faulty & will fry Chuck's brain without the Governor to regulate it, and that Season 5 features the Intersect erasing Morgan & Sarah's brains the more they use it & it's stated that Quinn needs to Key to remove these glitches, which weren't in the original Intersect that Chuck uploaded - the glitches didn't exist until the Intersect was forcibly changed without the use of the Key.
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  • In "Chuck Versus the Living Dead", Orion states that the Intersect is damaging to the brain, and will overheat unless it's maintained regularly by a device called the Governor, which is within his watch. It might not make sense at first how a watch worn on the wrist is supposed to stabilize the Intersect, (something like a set of glasses or a headset would be more likely) but remember that the Intersect uploads data through sight. Therefore, the best way to maintain it's function is through something one would periodically look at... like a watch.
  • One might wonder why the Russian Alexei Volkhoff speaks with a British accent. Then you learn he was actually British before the Intersect mind-wiped him and replaced his identity with Volkhoff's.
  • In Season 5 Episode 1 "Chuck Versus the Zoom", Sarah tells Chuck that since she was a little girl, her dream home was a little white house with a red door and a picket fence. 7 episodes later, in "Chuck Versus the Baby", in some blink-and-you-miss-it scenes, we see that that description exactly matches Sarah's mother's house. It's brilliance in that it's more than just Sarah's dream house, it's also Sarah's dream life; a normal life that she could have had if she hadn't been caught up in her father's cons and hadn't joined the CIA, a life that she missed out on.
  • Chuck, Casey & Morgan all got their jobs at the Buy More back without much question in season 3, after quitting in the final episodes of the second season - or if you prefer, after Emmett had usurped Big Mike as store manager. When they get their jobs back, it simply looks like they've agreed to come back now that Big Mike's back in charge & that they only quit because they hated Emmett so much.
  • In "Chuck Versus the Fake Name", Sarah appears to pull a real dick move, when she on Shaw's insistence reveals to him what is supposedly her real first name (Sam). (Though we have a Word of God insinuating that she may have been lying.) This feels doubly irksome when you consider that in an earlier episode, "Chuck versus the Wookiee", Chuck asks her the same thing, and she simply clams up. When that fails, Chuck tries to settle for finding out her middle name (revealed to be Lisa), but she seemingly only utters it to herself when Chuck's gone out of earshot. But there are more pieces to this puzzle than just these two. The Big Board behind Chuck's TRON poster shown in "Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon" indicates that he did indeed hear her say it. In "Chuck versus the Cougars", we learn that her current name of "Sarah Walker" is far more than an easily disposable alias - she received it upon entering CIA training and it has been her professional name for nearly a decade. And finally, "Chuck versus the Family Volkoff" reveals that "Sarah Lisa Walker" is also her legal name. In general, it is really difficult to watch the show and not have the impression that "Sarah" is very much what she considers to be her real name, no matter what her birth certificate may say. Now, when you assemble the picture, the whole thing actually becomes extremely heartwarming. First, Sarah doesn't have to tell Chuck her real name, as by the time Chuck asks, he already knows it. He may not be aware that he does, but he does regardless. In fact, Sarah speaking out her middle name insinuates that she's trusting Chuck with her full real name, albeit again without Chuck's awareness of the fact. Lastly, the name she gives Shaw - whether it is her real original name or fake - is (or has become) completely meaningless to her.
    • It's even possible that Sarah is creating a "cover personality" for her tryst with Shaw, saving her real one for those she considers truly special. We know of two. The first was Bryce Larkin, and the second is, naturally, Chuck.
  • The way "Chuck Versus the Goodbye" leaves the audience seems uncharacteristically bittersweet and ambiguous... until you realize that Morgan has never been wrong about Chuck's life.
  • In the series final, we get tons of hints that Sarah still has a lot of things from the past five years bouncing inside her head, and she seems to recover pieces of them upon seeing something related. She sees the doorframe carving and recognizes it as something she made. She visits a Wienerlicious and has a sensation that she's worked there once. She sees a laptop that's exactly like the one in the pilot, and recalls the Irene Demova virus. Yet they seem to appear only as sporadic images to her. Now, does that sound familiar? To spell it out, she's seeing triggers - and flashing. Her memories aren't gone, they're stored in the Intersect that is still inside her head. The reason she fails to communicate this to the rest of the team is because Sarah from five years ago has no knowledge of Human Intersects and how they operate. She might even be thinking she's losing her mind - just like Chuck in the Pilot - and would rather stay quiet about it.
    • Now consider what kind of deeply personal memories can potentially be triggered by Chuck's kiss...

Fridge Horror

  • "Chuck vs. The Cougars" flashes back to Sarah/Jenny finishing up high school. She's portrayed as socially awkward to the point where she has no friends that she's eager to reconnect with at all, a complete outsider, and although not "ugly", it's obvious she has not yet mastered the arts of hairdressing, makeup, fashion and other things that enable her super-attractive appearance in the show. No ex-boyfriend was so much as mentioned either in the flashback scenes or at the reunion. Taking the above, and adding the fact that Graham recruited her for the CIA directly out of high school, it begs some disturbing questions about Sarah's sexual awakening and sex life before the pilot episode. Did the CIA teach her everything she knows about attractiveness and seduction? Was her first sexual experience a villain that she had to seduce in the line of duty? Has her entire love/sex life before the pilot consisted of fellow agents and marks? Is Chuck the only man in her life that wasn't either a mark or a fellow career spy like Bryce or Shaw?
  • Similarly, the plots of vs The Crown Vic, vs The Seduction, The Beefcake and The Three Words establish that in the Chuck Universe, both male and female spies are well trained to seduce men and women for the good of the mission — even to the point of establishing a long-term relationship with them and getting the mark to marry you! An attractive agent, it seems, is automatically signing up to be used as sexual bait- perhaps for the long term.
  • Recent episodes' B-plot, with Jeff being cured of his idiocy and insanity, and Lester trying to re-inflict it, make Lester look less like a Jerkass and more like a monster.
    • Well, Lester did go to jail as a result of one of his attempts to return Jeff to his previous state, to be fair.
  • The CIA continued researching the Intersect technology after Hartley Winterbottom had become convinced that he really was Alexi Volkoff because of the Intersect. On top of that, we have Chuck, Orion & Shaw requiring a device to stop the Intersect from frying their brains, and Morgan & Sarah losing memories from continued Flashing. Just how many people had their lives ruined by the Intersect before Bryce sent it to Chuck in the pilot, and why did the CIA continue researching it when it was clearly dangerous & the cons arguably outweighed the pros of upoloading it?
    • Even worse, Fulcrum's variation proved to lead to brain death and insanity at upload time.
  • In "Chuck Versus The Bullet Train," it's pretty obvious that Chuck and Sarah are trying to conceive. When you think about this in the context of Sarah's memory loss later that episode, and what happens in "Chuck Versus Sarah" and "Chuck Versus The Good-bye," an extremely disturbing possibility starts to emerge. What if they succeeded and Sarah was actually pregnant for the events of the last two episodes? Would she have realized it that early? Without having any memory of her time with Chuck or their decision to leave the spy life, she might well have aborted a child the two of them had actually wanted. Either way, she could have found herself pregnant with no memory of what had happened or who the father was. Nightmare. This troper thinks the final episode was pretty dark, and this would make it darker still.
  • The CIA covered Emmett's death up by saying he'd got a new job at a better location. No-one, not even his family, knows he was murdered in the Buy More loading bay.

Fridge Logic

  • Fridge Logic and/or Fridge Horror: In the first season, Bryce is vilified for getting Chuck kicked out of Stanford. However, Chuck forgives him because he finds out that Bryce did it to protect him from being inducted in the world of ruthless, cold superspies. The audience is also meant to see this as a moment of redemption for Bryce. However, Bryce sent him the Intersect, thereby dragging him into the world of ruthless of superspies anyway. Since it happened either way, couldn't Bryce have let him finish college?
    • Even worse, as of Season 3, Chuck wants to be a spy and enjoys it. This means that Bryce was wrong to try and shelter him from being forced into the spy world. Meaning that Bryce should have left him to finish college and make the decision for himself. Basically, Bryce Larkin is a tool who ruined several years of Chuck's life, and no-one ever picks up on it.
    • Even worse than that, is that he tells Chuck that he brought it on himself. Kind of a jerk move to say to someone, who you KNOW did NOT bring it on themselves. And could he not have... just told the professor to lie? Instead of getting Chuck kicked out of school, where he'd have a poor chance of ever fulfilling his dreams?
    • It's not as cut and dry as that, though. During college Chuck was being set up to become a real spy, through actual spy training, which would have resulted in him becoming a real spy, which Bryce didn't want. Later, though, he needed someone he could trust with the intersect, someone who could handle it, and that was Chuck. Along with the fact that in that situation he would not be thrust into the spy world in the wrong way, he would be helping people as Chuck, not someone like Casey. And when Chuck finally does decide to become a spy, it's his own choice, not the governments.
    • In Chuck Versus the Ring, Bryce tells Chuck he worked with Orion and sent him the Intersect because he wanted them to reconnect. Now this opens a whole world of questions; did Stephen Bartowski reach out to Bryce because he knew he'd protected Chuck from being forcibly recruited? Anyway, he could have heard about Chuck being uploaded accidentally as a child and known he'd be okay with the new one.
  • In Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger, Hartley gives Chuck and Sarah all of Volkoff Industries' assets as a wedding present. It's less than a billion dollars. Wouldn't a global arms dealer that has moved nukes around, and stood toe to toe with the biggest intelligence agencies for decades, have a bit more in its coffers?
  • In the final episode couldn't they have just left an iPod and a speaker playing next to the bomb till the bomb squad arrived?
    • And deny Jeffster one final performance? Besides, the bomb was responding to a full orchestra level of sound. I don't think an iPod by itself would have been nearly loud enough.
  • The scene near the end of Chuck versus the First Date. Casey is ready to carry out the kill order he was given at the beginning of the episode, stalking Chuck in his apartment. Interspersed with these shots is a scene of the New Intersect being readied and then destroyed in a fiery explosion, along with Graham and a bunch of agents. Then, only a short moment later, the doorbell rings. It's Sarah, who's there to tell Chuck what just happened, unwittingly giving Casey a reason to withdraw. The logic kicks in when you consider two questions. First, how did Sarah learn about the Intersect's fate in what seems to be less than a minute? And second, WHO told her? The first question can only be answered by deducing that the Intersect thing happened some time earlier, and what we just saw was simply some cutting room magic. But that still doesn't answer the second question. "Beckman", would seem like the natural answer. But the moment she heard the news, shouldn't she have called Casey instead of Sarah, in order to withdraw the kill order before it's too late? Fine, maybe Casey didn't have his phone with him, because a cell ringing when you're about to carry out a covert hit could really mess things up. But would Beckman in such a case just casually tell Sarah, "hey, get over to Chuck's and tell him what happened", rather than "go stop Casey before it's too late"? Because if Sarah - who has at this point been firmly established as being violently protective of Chuck - would have been aware of the kill order, she probably wouldn't have just rung the doorbell and waited for Chuck to answer. It's far more likely that she would have kicked down the door, barged in with a gun in hand, made sure Chuck is safe, only then explained - and hated Casey's guts for the rest of her life. So Sarah must have got the news from someone who didn't know of the order. Who was this person, and how did he or she learn what happened before Beckman did?
    • Actually, if Beckman couldn't contact Casey and order an abort directly, it's plausible that she would have ordered Sarah to tell Chuck what happened. Keep in mind that if Sarah had gone full bodyguard mode, Chuck would have found out about the assassination order. Whereas Casey overhearing the conversation and standing down keeps Chuck Locked Out of the Loop.
      • If Beckman couldn't contact Casey, she would have to presume he's already gone to carry out his order. Which means every second counts. In such a case, the counter-order to Sarah would have to be of the "floor it, run every red light and kick down the door" kind. Sure, as a downside Chuck might become a little less cooperative if he finds out about the order, but at least their only existing Intersect hasn't ceased existing.