25 Love Stories 6/25
Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker (Chuck)
Let it be known before any of this begins that Chuck Bartowski is my ideal fictional boyfriend in every single way. (That Sarah Walker’s a lucky lady.) Chuck isn’t a series about love, but an enormous part of what makes it so special is the development between Chuck and Sarah. From their very first, sincere meeting at the beach to their explosive first kiss, watching them slowly, but fervently fall in love with one another has been the icing on top of an already wonderful show. To be frank, I’m an absolute fan of the way couples generally get together in Spy/Cop show dramas — there’s just something ridiculously fascinating about the undercover lovers trope. (I mean, seriously though. I’m obsessed with it.) Chuck and Sarah do a lot of going back and forth until “Chuck vs The Other Guy” (s3e13), but when they finally get together, their loves is incomparable. It’s not often the nerdy guy gets the most beautiful girl on television, but what’s always been the most wonderful detail in their relationship is the fact that Sarah falls in love Chuck Bartowski the man, not the spy, and Chuck falls for Sarah Walker, the woman behind the tough exterior.
Chuck and Sarah aren’t an easy couple for me to write about, there’s so much to them that I love and not enough words. There’s no way I can write about all my favorite scenes without us ending up at 3219 pages; however, there are moments that I’ve always felt defined them most gorgeously — moments that have made me cry tears of joy and thereby, landing them the number six spot on this list.
First up, there’s the moment in the Chuck’s living room where Sarah finally confesses that she’s in love with him. |x| There’s probably not another moment so raw in the series and it’s what floors me most. Yvonne Strahovski does such an impeccable job showcasing Sarah’s sincere adoration when she says, “you’re still my Chuck”, and it’s probably the one line throughout the series that easily makes me cry. Sarah doesn’t understand about 90% of Chuck’s world, but that doesn’t stop her loving every part of him because of how special he is. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t understand Star Wars references or DC comics, Chuck Bartowski is her nerd, and she welcomes his uniqueness with such heartfelt adoration. She’s completely enamored with his charm and that’s something I feel we can all understand. Again, who wouldn’t want Chuck Bartwoski to be their boyfriend? Chuck’s captivating goodness is the beacon of hope Sarah’s always needed in her life to strengthen her heart. She’s good but without Chuck, she’d never know the value of a home and love. She’d never find her true self because the life of a spy requires endless lies and detachment. And without love, no one can truly know just how much they’re capable of, for it’s love that inspires bravery — it’s love that brings light. It’s essentially why this certain scene is so remarkable, Chuck’s reached a point of heartbreak he can’t go back from, a numbness he’s never experienced before, and Zachary Levi sets the mood effortlessly well by presenting a poignant level of distress. It’s inspiring to know that love doesn’t require lists of similarities, but honesty above all things is key. Chuck’s always clear of where his feelings lie, he makes sure Sarah knows he’d do anything and everything to protect and cherish her. Thereby, when she finally gives in to her heart’s desires and allows herself to fall in love with the man who’s shown her that there’s more to her, greatness happens.
The intersect was able to make Chuck Bartowski the ultimate spy, but as a man, he was able to bring Sarah home. It’s not always easy for her to delve into the relationship as he is, but there are moments that test her love so gloriously, the audience never once doubts she’d choose him over anything else in the world. We first see this after she finally unpacks her suitcase and tells Chuck that he’s her home. |x| However, the loveliest part of the scene is where she states that the reason she keeps their picture in her suitcase is because wherever she is, it makes her feel safe. It allows the audience to see that the girl who’d only ever known lies and hotels has found a home in the heart of a man who’d give the world for her. There’s such sincerity and sweetness to the scene, it’s easy to choke up while watching it. (Well for me at least.) When Chuck’s been taken and the intersect’s been threatened, we’re able to see just how much he’s changed Sarah’s perspective in life. |x| She’s always wanted love, marriage, and a family, but because of the life she’s grown up in, it’s always appeared impossible. Circumstances in her life have allowed her to believe that love is not a future she’s capable of knowing because she’s better at being a spy. She’s better at being cold and distanced from the world. Sarah’s rarely in a vulnerable position, and when love painfully brings it out of her, we’re able to see one of the most heartfelt confessions in TV history. As she’s trying to revive Chuck from the physical state he’s in, she talks about finding his proposal plan, wanting to marry him, and establishing the fact that with or without the intersect he’s the one she loves most dearly. Scenes like this often wind up on my list of favorites because it’s gratifying to watch heartfelt honesty and love reach comatose patients and thus, proving just how powerful the human heart’s reception is to another’s. And it’s fundamentally so lovely to see just how much Chuck’s opened Sarah’s heart — she’s vulnerable with him, braver with him, better with him, and more in tune with the person she truly is on the inside because for once, someone’s able to see her as more than just a pretty face with kick ass skills. She’s gentle and warm after meeting him because she’s more in sync with her heart’s true nature — she’s open to the world and most importantly, she’s happier.
One day I’m going to elaborate further on this next scene because there’s no way I could simply talk about it once, but next up is their pre wedding preparation vows. |x| If this is how they’d actually gotten married on the series, I would’ve been perfectly fine with it. While it’s adorable to see them nervously and cheerfully stand in front of each other in their pajamas, it’s Sarah’s vows that astound not only the audience, but Chuck, too.
“You’re a gift. You’re a gift I never dreamed I could want or need and everyday I will show you that you are a gift that I deserve. You make me the best person that I could ever hope to be and I want to spend and learn and love the rest of my life with you.”
Sarah’s vows work beautifully for the both of them. They’re both gifts in each other’s lives and everyday, they show one another just how deserving they are of the love they’re blessed with. They’re gifts because neither could’ve ever imagined what they’d find in one another — the incandescent happiness love would bring to their lives.
The final scene I’ve chosen for this particular piece is the moment where Sarah and Chuck carve their names into the wall of their dream home. |x| For such a brief moment, there’s unparalleled beauty to it. This is the moment they’ve decided the life of spies is no longer something they’re both drawn to, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, they’re going to work on getting their dream life. Carving their names into the wall is such a childlike/innocent decision — it’s the choice to take something on with the faith that it’s theirs. It’s to choice to believe that their love and devotion is enough to inspire the hard work that’ll be put into their dream home. There’s a tenderness to it unlike any other scene because neither have had magical childhoods. They’ve not always known the true essence of being a child because in one way or another they’ve had to grow up too soon. It isn’t about the house, it’s about the family they’ll raise there. It’s about the marks they’ll engrave on the same wall to measure the heights of their children. It’s about the promise they make to create a safe and loving environment for the children they’ll bring into the world. It’s about the story of hard work and dedication they’ll share with their kids once asked about the carving years later. It’s about what it’ll continuously inspire — the idea that with love, anything is possible. And it’s so telling that this is one of the things Sarah’s senses are in tune with when her memories are wiped.
Magical kisses unfortunately don’t work, but Sarah Walker loves Chuck Bartowski and it doesn’t matter if she remembers. Her heart’s always belonged to him and although memories can be wiped, feelings cannot. It’s already clear as she’s listening to their story that it’s moving her gorgeously, therefore even if the memories don’t ever return, what we can be certain of is that they’ll fall back in love again. They’ll find that childlike romance that inspires them to get pretend married in PJs. In time, she’ll feel safe again to tell him about the dreams she’s never told anyone. Maybe they’ll lay together in silence as Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” plays on the turntable again and it’ll make her feel just as entranced as she did the first time. |x| Poignant parallels go unsurpassed, and throughout the series they both make prominent decisions at the beach to trust the other person. And it’s this very decision that leads them towards embarking on an exquisite journey where love, trust, and happiness are present even in the darkest hours. Chuck and Sarah know how to make one another happy — their differences aside, it’s always been about putting the other’s needs above their own. No one will ever love Chuck Bartowski the way Sarah Walker does, and no one will ever Sarah Walker the way Chuck Bartowski does. (I couldn’t bring myself to end this review in another more epic way because “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses will always be the song that reminds me most of them.)
Which couple takes the number six spot on your list? But most importantly, what are your favorite moments between Chuck and Sarah?