As Kelly Dean Jolley writes in his Chuck book, Chuck “is a show of patterns: of duplications, of symmetries, of echoes, of types and anti-types. It is animately, virtuosically contrapuntal–like Bach. It speaks an elaborate language of images, events, actions, places, words and music. Chuck is pervasively committed to counterpoint. Much of its counterpoint is simultaneous, happening internal to a particular episode, as multiple story-lines unfold all at once. However, much of its counterpoint is non-simultaneous, happening across episodes, as later story-lines unfold in a contrapuntal relationship to an earlier one or earlier ones. Counterpoint engineers some of the show’s density and resonance, simultaneous counterpoint sometimes engineering density, non-simultaneous sometimes engineering resonance.”
Below are some examples.
- 1.04: Sarah throws a plate at a guy who’s about to shoot Chuck.
3.06: Chuck throws a plate at a guy who’s about to shoot Sarah.
- 1.01: Sarah first meets Chuck with a fake phone-related problem.
1.08: Lou first meets Chuck with a real phone-related problem.
- 1.01 Bryce uses fancy moves outside the Intersect room to escape guards.
5.12 Sarah uses the same exact moves to take out guards outside the DARPA Intersect room.
- 1.06: Sarah brings Chuck a fake gift (picture of them at Comic-Con).
1.08: Lou brings Chuck a real gift (a sandwich named after him).
- 1.10: Bryce and Sarah are great while fighting the Fulcrum agents together.
3.14: Chuck and Sarah are great while fighting ETA terrorists while handcuffed together.
4.07: Chuck and Sarah are great while fighting Volkoff’s men during their own first fight as a couple (a verbal fight within a physical fight).
- 1.01: Chuck is on the phone at the Nerd Herd desk when Sarah walks in. Morgan is also there.
3.06: Chuck is on the phone at the Nerd Herd desk when Hannah walks in. Morgan is also there.
- 1.04: Casey is tied to a bed by Carina.
2.13: Chuck is tied to a bed by Sylvia.
4.14: Roan is tied to a bed by Fatima.
- 1.08: Chuck breaks up with Sarah because Sarah says they have no future together.
2.03: Chuck breaks up with Sarah because he says they have no future together.
- 1.11: Chuck and Sarah have a heated discussion by a Christmas tree.
1.11: Chuck and Sarah resolve their conflict by a Christmas tree.
- 2.01: Getting the cipher allows Chuck to decipher Sarah’s true feelings for him.
3.12: Getting the cipher allows Chuck to decipher Shaw’s true intentions with Sarah.
- 2.03: Chuck jealously watches Sarah and Bryce dance together.
2.07: Sarah jealously watches Chuck and Jill solve the music puzzle together.
- 2.03: Bryce and Sarah dance together. Sarah won’t let Brice lead.
3.03: Chuck and Sarah dance together. Sarah lets Chuck lead.
- 2.04: Chuck tells Sarah he doesn’t need to know who she was. He knows who she is.
3.10: Chuck tells Casey he doesn’t care who he was. He knows who he is.
- 2.11: Sarah does whatever it takes to save Chuck’s life by killing Mauser.
2.14: Chuck does whatever it takes to save Morgan’s life by killing his dignity.
- 3.06: Chuck burns his asset Manoosh.
4.24: Chuck redeems his (former) asset Vivian.
- 3.02: Chuck talks Karl down while also addressing Sarah.
4.04: Chuck talks Hortencia down while also addressing Sarah.
- 1.09: Chuck tries a real relationship with Lou.
2.15: Sarah is tempted by a spy relationship with Cole.
- 1.10: Sarah faces a past relationship.
2.06-07: Chuck faces a past relationship.
- 2.13: Chuck refers to his pretend-wife Sarah as his ball and chain.
4.14: Chuck is tied to a ball and chain.
- 2.16: Cole takes out 9 men (well, more like 12 but he doesn’t like to boast).
4.01: Chuck takes out 10 men.
- 3.01: Sarah meets Chuck at a train station to run away together.
3.12: Chuck waits for Sarah at a train station to run away together.
- 1.01: During their first dinner, Chuck tells Sarah he can be her very own baggage handler.
3.12: During their first dinner, Shaw toasts to a fresh start with Sarah, with no Burbank, no baggage.
- 1.13: Sarah watches Chuck celebrate Ellie’s engagement through the window with a look of sadness and longing, thinking it’s something she’ll probably never experience.
4.15: Chuck watches Ellie celebrate Sarah’s engagement through the window with a look of love and contentment, happy that Sarah can experience the love of family.
- 1.12: Casey is tied up to Chuck and uses him to kick a bad guy.
3.14: Casey is tied up to Morgan and uses him to kick a bad guy.
- 1.01: Chuck, Sarah, and Casey disarm a bomb using a computer virus.
4.18: Chuck, Sarah, and Casey disarm a (nuclear) bomb using apple juice.
5.13: Chuck, Sarah, and Casey disarm a bomb using the same virus as 1.01.
- 1.08: Despite being under the influence of truth serum, Sarah lies to Chuck about their future together.
2.08: Under a lie detector test, Jill lies to Chuck about their future together.
- 2.03: A female Fulcrum agent has a gun at Chuck’s head. Casey shoots her in the shoulder from behind to disarm her.
3.04: a female Ring agent is about to pull a knife and throw it at Chuck. Shaw shoots and kills her from behind.
- 2.12: After killing Mauser, Sarah says to Chuck, “I did what I had to do.”
3.13: After killing Shaw, Chuck says to Sarah, “I did what I had to do.”
- 2.21: Chuck and Sarah have committed treason and are on the run. Beckman orders Casey to bring them back dead or alive.
3.10: Casey commits treason and is on the run. Beckman orders Chuck and Sarah to bring him back dead or alive.
- 3.02: Chuck gets through a room full of moving lasers.
4.13: Morgan gets through a hallway full of still and then moving lasers.
- 3.08: Sarah is in great emotional turmoil because Chuck is at his lowest point. Shaw tells her he’s going to kiss her now.
3.12: Sarah is in great emotional turmoil because Chuck is at his highest point. Chuck tells her he’s going to kiss her now if that’s ok (always the gentleman).
- 2.21: Casey carries an unconscious Chuck over his shoulders away from a Fulcrum base under an airstrike.
3.12: Chuck carries an unconscious Shaw over his shoulders away from a Ring base under an airstrike.
- 2.07: Chuck is about to go out with Jill. Sarah subtly tries to put her hooks in him by asking him if everything is ok and showing disappointment when he leaves.
3.07: Chuck is about to go out with Hannah. Sarah subtly tries to put her hooks in him by asking him if everything is ok and showing disappointment when he leaves.
- 1.10: Sarah has to decide between Chuck and Bryce.
3.12: Sarah has to decide between Chuck and Shaw.
- 3.02: Sarah tells Chuck to focus on the mission instead of talking about his feelings for her.
3.16: Chuck tells Morgan to focus on the mission instead of talking about his feelings for Anna.
- 3.10: “Five against one” for Sarah. She kills them.
4.02: “Five on one” for Chuck. He knocks them out (including the Hulk).
- 3.04: Chuck is in trouble with Ring agents inside the Buy More. Shaw does not save him.
3.12: Shaw is in trouble inside a Ring compound. Chuck saves him.
- 3.08: Sarah asks Shaw to stop hitting Chuck. Shaw does not stop.
3.10: Sarah asks Chuck (who’s under the effect of Laudanol) to stop choking the Ring agent. Chuck stops.
- 3.04: Chuck tells Shaw nothing matters more to him than family and friends.
3.13: Chuck shows Shaw that nothing matters more to him than family and friends by shooting him.
- 3.05: Chuck cannot be in Paris with Hannah.
3.13: Chuck is in Paris with Sarah.
- 3.13: Sarah tells Chuck to (shut up and) kiss her.
5.13: Sarah tells Chuck to kiss her.
- 3.19: Sarah hits Shaw on the head from behind.
5.07: Ellie hits Shaw on the head from behind.
- 4.09: Sarah, who models competence for Chuck, uses ultimate competence to save Chuck from the Belgian.
4.24: Chuck, who models vulnerability for Sarah, uses ultimate vulnerability (no Intersect, all out of plans) to save Sarah from Vivian.
- 4.09: Sarah kisses Chuck to wake him up and restore his memories.
5.13: Chuck kisses Sarah in the hope of restoring her memories.
- 1.01: Ellie at the beginning of the first episode, “Aces, Charles. You’re aces.”
5.13: Ellie at the end of the last episode, “Aces, Charles. You’re aces.”
- 1.01: Sarah at a Malibu beach, “Trust me, Chuck.”
5.13: Chuck at the same beach, “Trust me, Sarah.”
Chuck’s Fall and Redemption
- 3.05: Chuck ignores Sarah’s plea to not go on a solo mission.
3.08: Chuck doesn’t ignore Sarah’s concerns about how the spy life is changing him and starts his journey of redemption.
- 3.06: Chuck lies to Ellie about Paris. 3.07: Chuck lies to Hannah about his life and Sarah.
3.08: Chuck is honest with Hannah about having to break up because there are things in his life he cannot tell her.
- 3.06: Chuck burns Manoosh and sends him underground.
3.09: Chuck saves Morgan from going underground (witness protection).
- 3.07: Chuck is a jerk towards Sarah, Morgan, and Hannah.
3.10: Chuck is willing to commit treason to save Casey and Kathleen.
- 3.08: Chuck follows the mission by pulling Casey’s tooth.
3.11: Chuck does not follow the mission by not killing the mole.
- 3.07-08: Chuck is selfish in starting a relationship with Hannah even though Morgan likes her.
3.12: Chuck is selfless in saving Shaw even though Sarah is moving to D.C. with Shaw.
- 3.01: (Sarah) Meet me at the Nadrazi train station in three weeks’ time at 7 o’clock.
3.12: (Chuck) Tonight at 7 o’clock, Union Station.
- 3.01: She’s determined. He’s in an emotional turmoil. She kisses him. He’s passive.
3.12: He’s determined. She’s in an emotional turmoil. He kisses her. She’s passive.
- 3.01: Chuck, “There is an entire facility here dedicated and designed to turning me into Intersect 2.0.” (aka commitments)
3.12; Sarah,”I’ve made a commitment, and not just to Shaw.”
- 3.01: (Chuck) Me, a real spy, living a life of adventure.
3.12: (Chuck) I want to spend the rest of my life with you, away from the spy life.
- 3.01: (Sarah) This is simple. This is a real life.
312: (Chuck) Don’t go. Don’t do it. Leave with me instead. We’ll go anywhere that you want.
- 3.01: (Sarah) We have to go, Chuck. This is it. Are you coming?
3.12: (Chuck) Don’t answer now. I don’t want to have to convince you. I just want you to show up.
- 3.12: Chuck tells Sarah he loves her four times.
3.13: Sarah answers Chuck’s “do you love me?” question with a yes, four times.
- 3.12: Chuck tells Sarah he’s always loved her.
3.13: Sarah tells Chuck she’s always loved him.
- 3.12: Chuck gives Sarah a tender kiss.
3.13: Sarah gives Chuck a tender kiss.