After Monday nights Chuck (Chuck vs the Mask) it appears that a somewhat crazy storm has occurred over an episode that featured some of our characters hooking up with other characters that aren't who the audience wants them to be. As far as I am concerned I thought that the pairings of Shaw and Sarah, and Hannah and Chuck were always inevitable and that both were brought in to be an obstacle to the Chuck/Sarah pairing.
Some of the outrage appears to be from the out of character actions of Sarah regarding Shaw though I would say that this isn't the case, like she says she has a type and someone like Shaw who is a pro in the spy world (rather than someone like Chuck who is still on his spy training wheels) so if she does become romantically entangled with him then she won't have the same concerns for Shaw's safety as she does Chucks. Also she obviously put herself in a position with Chuck where she was vulnerable, Shaw also appears to have done this and lost his wife in the process, both are broken in the love stakes and so it would make sense for them to be drawn together.
Would this reaction have occurred if the show wasn't taken a three week break for the Olympics? I'm not sure if it would and as this wasn't originally meant to be an episode that was meant to have a cliffhanger I can kind of understand why people are annoyed with how it ended. I also understand that because this is a show that was saved by the fans that there is a certain resentment to certain story lines, I thought I would resent both these characters but it has been quite the opposite. Whilst I want to see the eventual hooking up of Sarah and Chuck, I am both happy and surprised by the how much I like the new characters of Hannah and Shaw and I'm looking forward to where this is heading.
The episode as a whole was one of the weaker of the season but I think much like last nights Lost it was a table setter for what is to come, laying down the ground work. I will say that the budget cuts this season which means that we see less of the side characters is one thing that is annoying, annoying because I am missing these characters but it also was inevitable so to save the show from cancellation. I do hope that when Jeffster do make an appearance it will be awesome.
For more on the Chuck storm and reaction from Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak check out Alan Sepinwall's blog here.