“Yet give the devil his due; Says grace before he doth a deed of villainy.”
–Sir Walter Scott, Kenilworth, ch. 4
“Without darkness, there can be no light.”
I just wanted to quickly throw in my two cents about the return of “Chuck’s most reviled enemy,” our old “favorite,” the one we love to hate, Agent Daniel Shaw.
I know I’m gonna get a lot of “What?? Are you crazy?” about this, but I for one am genuinely happy to see him return! As I discussed in this earlier blog post, I am one of the few who enjoyed the Shaw story arc from Season 3, though I will admit it could have been executed more smoothly, particularly where “vs. the Mask” is concerned (Sarah’s attitude towards Shaw changed too abruptly; it would’ve been better if it was more gradual, or if she hadn’t been so hostile to him to begin with, or both). I think, though, there’s another reason why I’m happy to see Shaw return, even if it is just for one episode, and even if it is–as so many Chuck fans are fervently hoping–just so he can serve as a bullet sponge courtesy of Chuck, Sarah, Casey, or all of the above.
In order to explain that reason, a bit of background is required. As I believe I’ve mentioned on Twitter a few times, I didn’t become a fan of Chuck until February 2010, during the Olympic hiatus. What brought me into the Chuck fan community was the video game Mass Effect 2, and finding out in a behind-the-scenes featurette for the game that Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin had done voice acting in it. I had been familiar with Adam already, having seen him in quite a few movies over the years, and of course in Firefly and Serenity, but I didn’t know offhand who Yvonne was before then.
Seeing them both in that Mass Effect 2 BTS video, however, jogged my memory of a very brief clip I had seen of them both in a past episode of Chuck (I realized later that it had been from the S1 episode “vs. the Crown Vic”). At that point, I decided, “Well, I’ve never really seen Chuck before, so I ought to give it a shot.” A while later, I got around to purchasing the Pilot episode on my XBox to download and watch. When I was done watching it, I asked myself, “Why in the name of God Almighty haven’t I been watching this show all along?!?” The rest, as they say, is history. 🙂
I powered through Season 1 in about a week thanks to http://www.thewb.com, which at the time had all 13 Season 1 episodes available to watch, bought the Season 2 DVDs and watched them in about a week, and then watched Episodes 1-7 of Season 3 just in time to be caught up when the show came back after the end of the Olympics.
As a result of bringing myself up to speed with Chuck in so short a time, the character of Daniel Shaw has, in a sense, always been a part of the show for me. Getting to see him return in “vs. the Santa Suit” next week is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me, to the time when I first became not only a fan of this show, but for the first time, an active participant in a show’s fan community.