silverthorn: (DeanxCas Grab)
[personal profile] silverthorn
Lately, everyone has been upset about Shaw's inclusion in the Castle Team. I've seen a lot of Gary-Stu comments and a lot of fandom is pretty upset about how easily he's gotten in with Sarah.

This is my take on it.

Shaw is so offensive because he destroys the Castle dynamics.  However, I think that the inclusion of Shaw and the disruption he has caused in the team dynamics is purposeful.  Mor specifically, Shaw's mission is to get Chuck ready to become a full fledged spy and to eliminate the blockades that are holding him back-- namely Casey and Sarah. 

Think about it.  Sarah and Casey had made some process with turning Chuck into a spy but in the last few seasons progress has been stagnant.  Furthermore, Sarah poses a threat to halting any progress Chuck makes entirely because she is opposed to turning him into a spy-- something she feels will destroy the person she has come to like.  It is no surprise, then, that Shaw has been called in.  The government has one and one goal only in mind: develop Chuck into the perfect spy.  And, lets face it, Chuck won't be a spy if Sarah and Casey keep holding him back

I believe that Shaw as sent in not to be Chuck's handler, but to be that of Sarah and Casey.  Shaw is too perfect, too pretty, too smart, too Gary-Stu; no wonder much of fandom can not stand him  He is to Sarah a new love interest, to Chuck a perfect teacher and model, and to Casey a new 'thing' to protect.  But, isn't that the essence of a spy?  To be exactly what the target wants you to be-- whether it is a lover, a friend, an informant.  Shaw is exactly who he needs to be to accomplish his mission and I have no doubts that he is the type of man who does whatever it takes.  

Shaw was sent in to turn Chuck into the perfect spy.  This means cutting off his connections with Sarah and Casey.  Since his first appearance, Shaw has been pushing Chuck.  He 'removed his training wheels' so to speak, sending him on his own missions without Casey's militant backup and Sarah's coddling.  For Chuck, there are no more 'flash-then-wait-in-the-car' moments while Casey and Sarah handle the dirty work.  And, I hope you agree, in the last few episodes of the season, Chuck has grown exponentially as a spy.   Chuck is now faced with real danger and can handle it mostly on his own.

And Sarah is none too happy about that.  We know that Chuck won't become the perfect spy as long as Sarah holds him back.  She already threatened to remove him from the spy business entirely in Prague and this is a threat that needs to be addressed.  If the government were to remove Sarah and Casey outright, Chuck would never move forward.  He is too close to them to allow that to happen and the Powers that Be know this.  Therefore, they send in a wedge to drive the team apart and separate out the dead weight.  

I then suggest that Shaw's real targets are Casey and Sarah.  I will address how Shaw's perceived persona may be derived from the needs of his targets.  Since Casey is easiest, I will examine his case first.

Casey's role in Castle is, undeniably, to help keep Chuck safe.  When he and Chuck were starting out, there was no question that Chuck would need all the protection he could get.  However, as Chuck has become more and more comfortable with his burgeoning role as a spy he is more able to handle his own problems.  Shaw, however, has had quite a few disastrous moments with his term in Castle.  His need to be rescued is, I believe, an attempt to distract Casey from Chuck.  With Chuck needing little help and Shaw needing a caretaker it is little wonder that Casey is preoccupied with Shaw. While not 100% successful, the bit of breathing room that this removal has provided has encouraged Chuck to learn to fight his own battles.

Sarah is Chuck's closest connection in Castle and, arguably, holds the most sway over him.  This means that Shaw's primary target must be Sarah.  Lets take a look at where Sarah is emotionally prior to Shaw's introduction.  She is doubting her decision to train Chuck to become a spy, worried that he is going to be destroyed as a result.  Furthermore, she is heartbroken over Chuck's choice in Prague, which left her emotionally vulnerable and betrayed.  She loves Chuck and it is killing her to lose him to the very profession she is trying to save him from.

Enter Shaw who, despite some initial misgivings, is kind and sweet and understanding.  His story about a wife-come-partner and her tragic death appeal to Sarahs currently emotional state.  This intimate connection with him has lead to her decreased guard and she begins to find in Shaw the things she feels she is missing from Chuck.  She goes so far as to confide in Shaw her real name (if you are one of the people in fandom that believe that she was not plying him with false information) which is something she has never told Chuck, even when they were closest.  

Shaw further severs the relationship with Sarah by replacing Chuck as her partner during missions, removing her contact with Chuck and forcing her to trust him.  Then comes the kiss, the trip to D.C., the offer of a new station, and, finally, the Red Test.  Shaw's insistence that Sarah issue Chuck's Red  Test is the final barrier.  Sarah will have forced the man she loved (loves?) to perform an act she has been trying to keep him away from.  Chuck will be shocked that Sarah is the one who has handed him the gun.  This double betrayal is only multiplied if Chuck follows through with the test.  Shaw could have issued the Red Test himself, yes, but what better way to drive Sarah and Chuck apart than a loaded gun?  Add to the immediate separation of Chuck and Sarah after the fact to prevent any sort of reconciliation.

Sarah and Chuck have been growing further and further apart all season.  This deterioration started long before Shaw's inclusion into the team but he is the accelerant.

So, what can I conclude from this?  There is much more to Shaw than fandom has seen.  And, what we have seen may be a bold-faced lie played out as part of the Government's plan to turn Chuck and remove Sarah and Casey.

Shaw is a man willing to kill himself for a job, willing to put a bullet through his chest to complete a mission.  Romancing Sarah with a sob story and acting helpless to fulfill Casey's need to protect something are skimming the surface of the pool of tricks he could use. He knows how to play the angles and I doubt he would have any qualms about playing the weaknesses of each team member.  In fact, I think the notion of 'Saint Shaw' is a ruse he has developed to seduce Casey and Sarah away from Chuck, making it easier to manipulate them.  After all, it is easier to catch a fly with honey than vinegar and, if we've learned anything, it is that Casey and Sarah have a soft spot for pretty, vulnerable, young spies. 

If Shaw is as cold and calculating as I believe he is he may very well be one of my favorite characters.  Personally, I feel that he is the most professional spy of the group.  Sarah is too emotionally soft to play a real spy.  Casey lacks subtly and restraint.  Shaw's ability to manipulate, control, and execute may very well make him the most dangerous of the group.

I would love to hear what others have to say... but please, try to keep the Shaw bashing to a minimum, alright?  I will try to respond as quickly as I can.

That being said I'm off to write some CaseyxAwesome slash... because there can't be enough Awesome.


Date: 2010-03-24 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That being the case, what do you think of Shaw's absence during "The Tic tac"? Looks like Casey's almost completely removed from Chuck now, due to his dismissal from the NSA.

Or, would Shaw suspect that Casey did the job for Chuck-killing the target because Chuck really isn't a killer..?


Date: 2010-03-24 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I figure that Shaw was tied up getting things set in D.C. for Sarah. Also, I feel like, if Shaw knew about the pill, he would have been right in line with Casey's push for Chuck to take it.

I doubt (hope?) that Casey isn't out of the picture completely. Even removed from NSA, his instinct to protect Chuck isn't gone. The one thing I think Shaw forgot to take into account is the depth of the bond Chuck and the others have. Shaw is quick to form bonds and I have some doubts that they're able to go any deeper than a superficial relationship.

Date: 2010-03-24 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Personally, I feel that he is the most professional spy of the group.

Yes, thank you, and I think this is what fandom can't stand about him: he's doing his job, and that means changing Chuck, and oh my god anybody who tries to change Chuck is evil and must be stopped even if it means Chuck never becomes a real spy.

Frankly, I like Shaw a lot more than I like Sarah lately. Her waffling only puts Chuck in a more dangerous position, while everything Shaw's doing is an attempt to make Chuck independent. Who's really got Chuck's best interests in mind? I don't think it's the love interest who wants him to stay the same.

The amount of Shaw-hate in the last [ profile] chuck_slash episode post really shocked and upset me. Thank you for coming to his defense. now I feel a lot less scared to post my Shaw/Chuck AU fic!

Date: 2010-03-24 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:) I'm happy that there are other people who are on the same boat! I've always liked the cast of Chuck, even Sarah, but sometimes she does make me a little annoyed. Still, I can understand how she doesn't want him to get involved in something that may destroy him over the long run. ::Sigh::

I would love, LOVE to read your Shaw/Chuck AU! I'm glad that I've made you less afraid to post it. It'll be a nice break from all of the Casey/Chuck I've been reading.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very insightful essay!

As one of the aforementioned Shaw-bashers, I have to say that if his motives turn out to be as cold as you're suggesting, I will be ecstatic. XD And will forgive all. I don't know what it is, but I like jerks a lot better when they are villains. If he's presented to the end as an heroic figure I will call shenanigans and chalk it up to bad writing!

"So, what can I conclude from this? There is much more to Shaw than fandom has seen. And, what we have seen may be a bold-faced lie played out as part of the Government's plan to turn Chuck and remove Sarah and Casey."

I hope so, so much! I was discussing the idea with some friends last night that Shaw was playing everyone, whether for the government or his own motives, and how we'd all like him more if that turns out to be the case. Someone brought up the idea that the Ring, itself, could be a construct of the CIA...however it turns out, I hope we'll see more of Shaw's intentions soon. I still wanna drop him off a bridge, though. ♥

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, I enjoyed reading them!

Date: 2010-03-25 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I believe you are correct. Shaw has been doing everything you said from day one. This has made me love his character more and more, he is exactly what Chuck wanted to be. There is an edge of ruthlessness under his charm that I am a little afraid they are going to play as a double agent/turn coat.

So far, he is not a bad guy. He is the right guy.

Thank you for this, you've been very helpful in clarifying my mental image of Shaw for the fics I am writing.

October 2010


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