Compared to Chuck and Sarah, what we know about Colonel John Casey barely fills a thimble. But don’t kid yourself – Unlike Sarah, Casey is transparent. Unlike Chuck, he has no hidden talents and surprises. And unlike the others, we know his politics. Casey salutes a 4″x6″ picture of former President Ronald Reagan, probably daily. I’ll wager he voted for McCain in the last election. He’ll tell you he doesn’t care either way, but I’m certain he wants Guantanamo kept open.
Casey has the biggest burden to bear of all the main characters. No, not Chuck; Casey only catches him when he falls. He has to put up with the most annoying romance in his life, and that’s been quite an effort. Occasionally it leaves him subsisting on “Hot Pockets” and, I believe, Johnny Walker Red.
Waaayyyy back in vs. The Helicopter, John Casey was less than happy with his latest assignment. Not only was he babysitting a nerd, he also had to put up with a cover that’s, well, somewhat less than dignified. He had to blend in with the Buy Morons! Ugh. Casey can pilot jet aircraft, but can he sell Grill-Masters? That’s not exactly in his skill-set, and it’s not even his biggest headache.
Casey didn’t trust the CIA. As far as he was concerned, Bryce was (very past tense) a traitor, and he considered Bryce’s former partner guilty by association. Agent Walker needed to prove herself, and she was not going to do that by cozying up to the skin-covered robot. It’s easy to create doubt in the minds of the gullible, but in the world-wise and cynical, doubt is always present. He trusted no one. Throughout his long association with Agent Walker and the poster boy for friendly fire, that doesn’t change. Lucky for us, it evolved.
But even as Casey evolves, he remains true to his principles, every bit as much as Chuck. Duty, honor, country; He understands and respects other codes, even civilian codes, and we see that when he finds Chuck will put the welfare of friends and family above his own. “Semper Fi” is his Rosetta stone, the way he understands Chuck.
Casey started to trust Sarah early, when she tells Chuck in Helicopter that he can decide right here and now to trust her or be bunkered for a long time. She stood up to Chuck’s implicit threat in the pilot when he stood up to them. “You – you need me.” Casey has already learned to respect Agent Walker’s skills, when she battles him to a standstill in the Weinerlicious. And despite all the needling and insistence on going by the book, Casey showed her his priorities in Colonel. Teammates come first, then help those who’ve served their country honorably, then follow orders. Chuck is not the only one he catches when she falls.
I have no idea what S3 will bring for Casey, but I think that his final line, “Chuck me!”, tells us he finds the new situation “interesting”. That’s “interesting” in the sense of the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times.” His new mission will probably have something to do with the fact that four of his men were murdered by The Ring. In addition, we’ve got suspicions that there’s some history and “Casey back-story” that have yet to be revealed.
The promos and posters feature Chuck and Sarah, and barely show his existence. Yet Casey is integral, and almost always present, more like a big brother than team leader. He’s a pain, and is always giving orders. But the big brother is the one you go too when you’re 16 and need a ride. And you count on him when the bullies gang up on you. We know with the introduction of a new “team leader”, Shaw, that things can’t go smoothly for him.
And we know Casey is as big a reason to enjoy season 3 as Chuck and Sarah.