I wrote several posts, both old and new, on why I think Sarah is going to meet with Chuck even before Casey’s revelation about the mole in 3.12 American Hero. The posts are Where is Sarah going?, On packing and Faith, Prague vs American Hero in music, Sarah vs Lizzie, and Sarah’s transformation after Casey’s revelation.
But there is also something else to consider to further this point. If Sarah is going to Washington before Casey shows up to tell her the truth about the mole, most of the 42-minute episode is a waste of time. Around the 10-minute mark, in fact, Sarah rejects Chuck because he is no longer the same guy she fell for.
Then, around the 39-minute mark, Casey shows up at her hotel room and confesses that it was he, not Chuck, who killed the mole.
If Casey’s revelation is the only event that can change Sarah’s mind, the roughly 30 minutes in-between the two events in a 42-minute episode are useless filler; Chuck might as well be playing Duck Hunt with Morgan or Missile Command with Jeff while he waits for Casey to change his mind and talk to Sarah.
Instead, let’s follow what happens. As mentioned above, Sarah rejects Chuck because he is not the same guy she fell for. What guy is that? The hero who sacrifices his own self interest for the benefit of others, as he does in the pilot episode, when he sacrifices his own desire to flirt with her to selflessly help a distressed young ballerina and her father. That is when Sarah started falling for Chuck, right?
Back to American Hero. After the rejection burn, and with a little help from his friends, Chuck crashes Sarah’s dinner date with Shaw, just as he crashed her dinner date with Gilles in 3.01 Pink Slip. Notice the parallel between the two scenes. But this time, he is there to tell her, “I’m here for you,” meaning, “This is about us.” He’s reversing their first meeting after Prague.
The next time they meet, after watching Shaw and Sarah kiss, Chuck proves to Sarah that he is indeed the same guy she fell for by risking his own life to save the man she is leaving him for in the ultimate act of selfless and absolute love.
Chuck thinks Shaw is who Sarah wants, so he saves Shaw for her sake, sacrificing his desire to be with her to see her happy. He is the true American hero.
Then, encouraged by Ellie to go all out for the woman he loves, Chuck finally undoes Prague and chooses Sarah over the spy life in a love declaration that is the reversal of their Prague encounter.
If all this is not enough in Sarah’s eyes, then most of the episode is useless filler, Chuck’s ultimate gesture of selfless love for her is wasted, and Chuck’s one and only direct declaration of love to Sarah, the pivotal moment of the whole series, is rejected—Sarah would still choose a man she does not love and who just chose death for his own revenge interest over being with her rather than the man she does love and who just proved absolute commitment to her happiness against his own interest.