Comfort Zones, Handlers, and Inner Who’s

The First Bank of Evil — Scores Big In the Fun Zone

MyGregorio, that would be Henry Alonso Myers & Craig DiGregorio, both of whom wrote solo in the past, teamed up and turned Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil into a FUN episode. They generated humor, warmth, drama, and tension by kicking most of our friends way outside of their comfort zones.

I, on the other hand, was smack dab in the middle of my comfort zone. Chuck and Sarah were great together, working out Sarah’s wedding woes in sweet and humorous communication. Their missions were fun and funny. I’m always a fan of Sarah/Ellie scenes, even though we’ve had so few, and these were perfect. The Buymore parade of Renaissance Roommates was creative and funny. Jeffster’s antics remained in the acceptable column (always appreciated). Sarah’s transformation from reluctant bride to Bridezilla was both entertaining and heartwarming. Casey’s crack about hooking up later to get facials and chat conjures up the hilarious, albeit disturbing image of Casey in a mud mask with cucumber slices over his eyes. Oh, I have to unsee that. How can I unsee that?

Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil … What’s not to love!

Vivian

A Vivian centric episode, First Bank of Evil opens with Vivian rejecting her father’s lawyer (Riley) and his offer, regardless of how many weeks he spent perfecting it. It closes with Vivian accepting Riley’s offer. What happens in between is the episode’s main story of course.

In 43 short minutes, Vivian became all at once sympathetic, scary, and a loose cannon. OK, make that 3 short minutes. How about that opening scene. Vivian is out of her comfort zone and in way over her head. Or is she? I was afraid for her one minute and afraid of her the next. All the while I was cheering for her against the wiles of slick Riley and the darkness of her father’s legacy.

I have already decided that I like her character a lot, no matter which way her loyalties ultimately fall. Laura Cohen is appealing and convincing in the role. The lawyer plays the devil to Chuck and Sarah’s Jiminy Cricket. It’s great. We have Wiley Riley the Badvocate to hate … and an innocent, or at least neutral, soul to root for.

Handlers and Inner Who’s

I was intrigued by the parallel between Chuck and Ellie as handlers and Vivian and Sarah as their assets. Obviously the differences are huge, but the parallel is there, none-the-less.

Vivian must get in touch with her inner Volkoff.

Chuck’s orders: You’re a spy. She’s an asset. If this mission is going to work, you need to turn that girl … into a Volkoff. GB

Sarah must dig deep to find her inner Bride.

Ellie’s personal challenge: If they are going to pull off this wedding, I need to turn Sarah into a bride.

Thus begins the tale of two monsters. Volkenstein and Bridezilla. I mean that with the greatest affection, of course.

The Chore of Roses. Ellie has taken Sarah under her wing. Sarah has welcomed it. I love that. Sarah is priceless in her cluelessness and endearing in her efforts to be the bride she thinks Chuck and his family want her to be. I have to wonder if Sarah has even been to many weddings, other than Ellie’s. Did she ever notice the flowers? [Confession: I don’t think I ever noticed any of those details, and wedding planning is definitely outside my comfort zone. I am so glad I have a son (Tux and rehearsal dinner … I can do that). Whooh.] Understandably overwhelmed, Sarah tries to punt and let Ellie make the choices.

Ellie is perfect here. She doesn’t even consider taking over Sarah’s wedding. It’s wonderful to watch Ellie tease and laugh with Sarah. It’s heartwarming to see Ellie open up about her own experience and emotions, something Sarah desperately needs. Chuck awakened the real girl and inspired the woman-in-love. Even though he is her world, she has emotions that only another woman can identify with, understand, and help her navigate. She needs Ellie.

Ellie’s ring story is a tipping point. Sarah’s face shows us that Ellie touched a soft spot, and that perhaps crying over it wasn’t so terribly ridiculous. Sarah gains perspective and hope. The wedding isn’t about flowers or venues; it’s about getting married to the man that she loves for the rest of her life. Once that sinks in, the wedding and the magic will be hers. I don’t know when, and I don’t know where, Sarah, but I promise you … it’s going to happen to you.

Recruiting Vivian. First order of business … convince Vivian, the asset, to take a job she’s not interested in. She wants nothing to do with her father or guns or danger. Chuck says they will be with her to protect her. Then he reaches out and identifies with her, not out of trickery, as some agents would do, but out of a sincere desire to help her. Sure he’s doing his job, but his motivation is always that of a good guy who wants to help people. He encourages Vivian from his own experience, much the way Ellie did Sarah. Like Ellie, Chuck makes a promise: I don’t know what you’ll find out, but I can guarantee you that if you help us, we can help you find at least some of the answers that you’re looking for. Ellie’s promise was a pretty safe bet. Chuck’s? Not so much. But for now, Chuck finds the right currency and Vivian takes the job.

Dressing For the Job I. OK. What about that wardrobe … way cool. See! I knew there was a wardrobe. One of those doors is a time warp and a portal to far away places. It also serves as a … well, wardrobe. Clearly Vivian is impressed with it, too. Did you catch the look on Sarah’s and Vivian’s faces when Chuck starts talking about the makeover features. Too cute!

All of the wedding conversations between Chuck and Sarah were spot on and demonstrated their greatly evolved communication skills. Just the thought of conversations like these used to produce extreme anxiety for both of them. Remember the chat of Cubic-Z and the van conversation in Coup d’Etat? I liked the way the wedding conversations were woven into the natural course of things with such ease.

Chuck shows off his wedding finery. Sarah is clueless, “It’s a little formal for a bank job.” I love this scene. (I hear myself saying that a lot.) Chuck no longer lets Sarah get away with hiding her feelings, “What’s going on? What’s wrong? Something’s wrong with you.” Sarah now talks about her feelings without a warm up session with a punching bag, “I feel like I’m letting you guys down.”

Bingo.

This is Sarah Walker … good at her job, not very good at normal. This is her view of herself in the normal world … a letdown. It’s interesting that her circle of people she doesn’t want to disappoint has expanded to include Ellie, maybe even Mary and Devon. Chuck dispatches that notion with haste and affection. Fears allayed. Mission on. Yay. … Without Casey. Boo.

Doing the Job. Off to Macao, one of the 10 countries where Portuguese is an official language (sorry, had to throw that in).

The Charleses-ez are on a mission, only Mrs. Charles is quarterbacking from the van. That’s unusual, but their teamwork is as smooth as ever. They both encourage Vivian, walking her through the mission. Mr. Charles (excuse me, Kevin Costner) goes in as Vivian’s body guard. Chuck’s act, not to mention the look of curiosity and amusement on Sarah’s face, as he sets himself up for a hit in order to steal the key card, is so funny, and so … Chuck Bartowski.

“Cake tasting … how awful.” I loved Chuck’s affectionate teasing throughout the episode. More wedding conversation woven in with the mission. Somehow they never miss a beat. Chuck talks Sarah off the ledge and gives her some sensible advice, Pick one thing. All the while she steers him around the hallways, until he stumbles upon the stolen Chinese servers. That’s the multitasking spy couple we love. But then there’s an oopsie … a pretty big one … hkhkhelp.

Most important, perhaps, Vivian passes her Volkoff test. No, not the bank’s identity test. Her inner Volkoff test. When she sees that her protector is in handcuffs (gulp), she panics a little. Chuck subtly reminds her that she needs to channel her father and not her fear, “I am … so sorry … Miss … Volkoff.” Wow, was she good, or what! And by good, I mean bad. A test for pacemakers everywhere. She is indeed getting pretty good at this.

All that excitement and the mission was a bust. Not even lunch money in the safe deposit box, just a photographic record of Vivian’s accomplishments.

I couldn’t help noting the contrast with Ellie’s photo album. Ellie’s pictures show a legacy of love, each picture a memory of family warmth and shared moments. Vivian’s pictures reveal a legacy of loneliness, each a record of accomplishment and activities, but no warmth. Vivian with her rifle and her hockey stick … her horses.

The pictures tell the difference between the Orion legacy and the Volkoff legacy, the difference between Chuck and Vivian. Will Chuck be able to keep Vivian from following in her father’s footsteps? A day’s wages of CG pesos says we won’t know for a while, yet.

Seeing that her father has kept up with her, or at least her accomplishments, makes Vivian want to know more about him, talk to him. Once again Chuck offers to help make that happen. He goes too far out on a limb this time, though, because it’s General Beckman who holds the saw … or is it?

Dressing For the Job II

Ellie interrupts shop talk to talk wedding. Did you catch Ellie’s caller ID picture on Aunt Sarah’s phone?

You build the wedding around the … weather? Priceless. Bzzz, wrong answer. (We tried that. Planned for a warm starry night — got thunderstorms and flash floods.)

The dress. Finally something registers as do-able. Maybe there’s a way for Agent Walker to ease into Bride Sarah, with a little CIA magic. Watch the look on her face as she steps up to the wardrobe control panel. She’s back in her comfort zone, and the wedding actually teases a smile from Sarah Walker. Shopping for a wedding dress the Walker way. Alone. No prying eyes or instructive voices. No hovering sales people or pushy wedding planners. No perky brides-to-be or ogling observers. Just her, free to be herself. Perfect.

The march of wedding dresses was high on humor and infused with warmth … something “Chuck” does better than any other show. Happy. That’s the word. How can I watch Sarah trying on wedding dresses, a little out of her element but pressing on, and not smile … or laugh? How can I notice her expression as she finds the dress; see her face when she takes in the hologram of her and Chuck dressed for their wedding; or catch the moment when it became real for her, “We’re getting married.” … How can I watch all of that and not be supremely happy? It’s not a cover. She’ll never have to give these rings back. The life she longed for but didn’t dream she could have, a love beyond imagining; the man she loves, the wedding, and the magic are all hers … and it’s real.

Happy.

You know what else was perfect? Casey being the first to see the dress. Soft, understated affirmation from the closest thing she has to a big brother. A quiet word of advice, “Uhh, might want to get a new one, though. Looks like this one’s been on a mission.” Great moment.

And the bullet holes? They forced her to actually shop for the dress, like normal people. Plus, I’m glad she’s not getting married in CIA issue attire. It also leaves room for us to be surprised at the dress she actually bought.

Dressing For the Job III

Maybe I should have called this post Burbank Fashion Week. Neo-Bonnie-and-Clyde. Uhh, Honey Bunny and Chuck go matrix to rob a bank.

So much fun. This scene definitely makes my exploding list of favorites. Here are the Charleses-ez at their best. I will always guffaw at Chuck with Sarah’s hose on his head. I only laugh harder at Sarah’s annoyance at Chuck wearing her hose on his head for the robbery, that would be the good hose she packed in case they had the chance to go out on a date. That was just a wee bit of the S1 Chuck showing. The rest was all S4 Chuck and Sarah.

How cool are they striding into the bank like they own it? I admit they were probably recognized, but maybe the bank will blame Vivian, whom they would never touch; or they will think her head of security and her body guard took advantage of her.

Handspringing and summersaulting through a hail of gunfire. Typical Chuck, Having fun? The new Agent Walker, A little. Me? A lot, thanks for asking. The pleasant wedding banter interlaced with ugly threats to blow people’s heads off and break their faces was icing on the cake … or the dress, or maybe both.

While we’re having fun downstairs, sinister things are brewing upstairs. Riley slithers up to Vivian to entice her to the dark side. He paints Volkoff as a doting father. The proof is in the pictures, right? Wrong. But they did their job. They softened her. Then he paints Chuck as the mean CIA agent who put her father in jail. True, but he failed to mention that Volkoff tried to kill Chuck and Sarah, numerous times. So, Vivian, if you really want to get to know your father, give me a call. I’m the only one who can help you. Oh, and the necklace. Nice touch.

Handlers

I guess I should give an honorable mention to Morgan Guillermo Grimes for how deftly he handled Casey. He told his asset what he needed to hear in order for him to do what Morgan wanted. On the other hand, maybe it was the other way around. Maybe Morgan ended up being handled by Casey. It is to Casey’s advantage, on two fronts, to keep Morgan close. Mua.

Chuck and Sarah. Chuck and Sarah are not cut out to be handlers, especially of innocent people.

They are both good at it. Sarah handled Chuck through 2 years of missions. She walked a tight rope to keep her job, keep Chuck out of a bunker, and protect him … from anything. She knew better than to make promises, but she fought for his best interests … always … even from day one. Sometimes she lost. Sometimes she accepted the loss.

Sarah more than anyone knows what Chuck is going through. She knows what it’s like to fight for your asset’s interests and lose.

Chuck is a natural, even if a little green. He’s a good guy who wants to help people. He’s an empathizer. People trust him, and he takes care of them. So what happened with Vivian? Well, he did his job. He reached out to Vivian and told her what she needed to hear. He got Vivian through both missions. GB is happy. The CIA is happy. Chuck is miserable. Sarah aches for him.

Chuck told Vivian what she needed to hear, not to manipulate her, but because she needed to hear it. He meant it. His heart charged ahead, where his feet couldn’t follow. He made promises he should never have made. However, someone at the CIA sawed the limb off behind him, undermining his work, and probably losing the asset. That someone may be the one responsible for turning Vivian into a Volkoff, maybe even a Volkenstein.

Why do I say that Chuck and Sarah aren’t cut out to be handlers of innocent assets? Not because they’re not good at it, but because they care too much. It eats them alive.

Ellie. Ellie’s efforts hardly fall into the handler category, but the parallels were fun to point out. She is helping, not handling, her almost-sister-in-law and friend. If it weren’t for Ellie, Sarah would still be mumbling about roses and orchids and planning her wedding around the weather. She would still be overwhelmed and feeling like a letdown to her family. Thanks to Ellie’s patient efforts, Sarah found her moment and owns her wedding.

One-hundred dozen Casa Blanca Lilies, an expensive dress, flying the cake in from Paris, a private island for the ceremony. Lookout world, Bridezilla is on a rampage.

Be very afraid.

Just ask Thailand.

~ Thinkling

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About thinkling

In my [younger] youth, I was a math teacher, basketball coach, and computer programmer. In 1984, we moved to Brazil, where we serve as missionaries. I like to design things and build things, read things and write things. We now live part-time in Brazil, part-time in the US. Love them both. Wife, 37 yrs; mom, 30 yrs. I am blessed.
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117 Responses to Comfort Zones, Handlers, and Inner Who’s

  1. uplink2 says:

    Great analysis Think. I really hadn’t thought too much about the parallel stories of the handlers and assets. But it is very appropriate. I loved so much of this episode both from its heart and its humor. The dress scene will always be one of my favorite moments ever. And we finally got to see the confident, team of equals I have longed for quite some time. The dress scene makes the robbery scene possible. Now Sarah Walker can do what she does well, attack a problem head on and control the situation instead of it controlling her. The wedding has become her mission and she is completely at home on a mission. I’m just wondering about her understanding of finances lol

    • thinkling says:

      The dress scene kicks everything up a notch, doesn’t it? Making the robbery scene possible? I like that. I really like that Sarah packed clothing and hosiery for an after-mission date. 🙂

      I guess I’m with the crowd that thinks Sarah has a sizable nest egg.

      Here’s to the wedding mission.

      • atcDave says:

        I think it will be funny when Sarah admits to having 2.5 million squirreled away in 7 different money markets (or maybe holes in the ground!)…

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, just how many trees, did dad bury money under?

  2. OldDarth says:

    Best Chuck being Chuck episode the entire season. He is what attracted me to the show. MIA far too much this season.

    Like the extra time being spent building up Vivian, doubtless due to the extra 2 episodes this season.

    Liked everything in this episode except, gasp!, the stuff in the BuyMore.

    • thinkling says:

      Gasp! I’m not huge on Buymore, either. As things go, though, I actually thought this one was funny. I like Jeff and Lester on a short leash. This one was about right.

      I think I liked last week’s with Ellie and Devon stealing the sleep sheep about as well as any this season.

      If the Buymore product placement keeps Chuck on the air, though, I will gladly live with it.

      • James Bond says:

        yeah now that the cat is out of the bag and that we know the buymore was forced onto the show creators it kind of makes sense the pre-press tours and why they put ryan and yvonne with the buymore crew, maybe to make them feel wanted. They must know that if TPTB had their way they would be gone, sad but true.

  3. joe says:

    Shopping for a wedding dress the Walker way. Alone. No prying eyes or instructive voices. No hovering sales people or pushy wedding planners. No perky brides-to-be or ogling observers. Just her, free to be herself. Perfect.

    Dang it all, girl. You are SOOOOOO insightful!

    Okay, let me tell you about the grooms parents vs. the brides parents. No, not me – my mom & dad. You see, they had five boys and one girl. Needless to say, all five of the boys wedding combined were not the effort, hassle, expense… and sheer wonderfulness of my sister’s. Oh yeah – half of that little home town where the family pharmacy stands was there at that wedding. It was the first and last time I saw my dad totally schnockerd with wine, happiness and more than a few shots of whatever.

    Jack Burton is going to want to be there!

    • thinkling says:

      Sounds like they had the ratio right, Joe. Imagine 5 girls and 1 boy. How do you spell poor house?

      I loved the wedding dress scene. What a way to shop!

      • DignityRLI says:

        The dress scene starts with a nice contrast that elicits a beautiful smile and the determination to ‘do this.’ When Sarah turns on the machine, the image it displays for her is blond Sarah in a black catsuit… cue smile, nod of the head to Agent Walker, wipe the screen to clear the slate… and the journey to Bridezilla is underway. Love this show. Love the details.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, Dignity, I loved the picture in the cat suit. From that moment on Sarah had a familiar tool to do the unfamiliar. Fantastic scene on multiple levels.

  4. atcDave says:

    I do enjoy reliving the episodes with your involved write-ups Thinkling. I really hadn’t thought about paralleling Ellie with Chuck as a handler, kind of funny. Love your take on what’s wrong with Chuck and Sarah as handlers, that’s something at a deep level they have in common. Interesting observation on the differences in family photos; that really hadn’t occurred to me, but I think somebody put some thought into that.

    I’m already finding this episode has good replay value. I think it gets more fun with time.

  5. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Need a little help over here…. [ no heavy lifting required – promise]…
    I have almost no knowledge about fashion stuff – so maybe somebody can help me out – The wedding dress that was the trigger for Sarah…. Was there something special about the dress? … That particular dress??? – or could they have picked any dress – as long as Sarah liked it? … and obviously she looked lovely wearing it… but ~
    It was rather simple – elegant – kinda classic…. but??? Was there something special that I’m missing?

    • atcDave says:

      I’m kind of fashion clueless too, but my wife commented the dress was Sarah; simple and elegant exactly as you said.

    • uplink2 says:

      I agree. It was elegant simplicity. Perfect for both of them. Sarah Walker is a private person and I can’t see her in an ornate wedding gown with a long train. She is always mission ready bizarre as this may seem she can still be mission ready in that gown. I mentioned it elsewhere but my wife loves that it is not strapless as she think too many girls are caught up in the strapless fad and don’t look good in them.

      I’m not a fashion guy but I loved the “elegant simplicity” of it and it fits well with what he is wearing. Sarah is gorgeous and she knows it, though not in a conceded way. She has a great fashion sense and I think this was the perfect vehicle for her to get into mission mode for the wedding. Loved her choice here. I just hope those bullet holes are not a preview of something coming.

  6. Faith says:

    Thinkling, I’m going to pay you the ultimate compliment ;). You got me to like this episode. The Ellie nuances/role didn’t escape my notice (great catch on the phone photo!), neither did the moment and the parallels and teamwork, but you’ve managed to overshadow what I had problems with by emphasizing some things I absolutely loved. So thank you. You’re aces.

    RE: writers, Myers and DiGregorio both wrote far stronger starter* episodes than their last**, so I also thought it was interesting that they were paired in this one. With the re-addition of Klemmer this might be by design to accommodate writer staff load and yet still have room for them. Although if I’m not mistaken Klemmer so far has served mostly as story editor with a later episode as his upcoming episode. There’s also another one added to the staff: Alex Katz Nelson who will write an upcoming episode.

    *Myers: Couch Lock, DiGregorio: AoT
    **Myers: Leftovers, DiGregorio: Gobbler

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Faith. I take that as the best sort of compliment. 😉 There’s nothing I’d rather do.

      I can see some of the elements (the intimate teamwork, the great spy couple, the darker villain parts, the hard side of spy life) in past episodes written by these two, but they came together so well in FBoE, with some surprising things, like the dress scene and the Ellie scenes, the laugh-out-loud funny stuff. They wove a lot of different elements together pretty seamlessly, now that I think about it.

  7. Tamara Burks says:

    If Sarah actually has to go out and find a whole different dress instead of having one made then maybe I will get the mental scene I have of her at one of those mob scene wedding dress sales where Sarah is kicking butt to get the dress she wants.

    • thinkling says:

      I think she already picked out the dress with Ellie, b/c Ellie commented on how expensive it was. I bet it’s not the one we saw, though.

      • Paul says:

        Yeah, I’m assuming she went out and bought the same dress she had in Castle…..sans bullet holes… 😉

      • thinkling says:

        I don’t know, Paul. It would be a great bait and switch to put her in a different dress, still simple and elegant, but different … just to surprise us.

        Plus Ellie commented on how expensive it was, and that dress didn’t look like the upper end of pricey. So, I can’t help wondering if she really got the same dress. ??

      • patty says:

        I think she got something along the same lines but I expect that the actual dress will not be seen until the wedding episode.

      • thinkling says:

        My thoughts exactly, Patty.

    • Paul says:

      Again, I don’t think so. That dress was “perfect”. It was the one that jumped out at her. Why would she get different one when she already know the exact one she wants?

  8. jason says:

    thanks think – I loved the episode too, with chuck for me, my interest in replay seems very high on this one, I hate to admit it, but much like hero last season, there are about a half dozen scenes in this episode that I could watch over and over again

    1 – anything ellie and sarah I love, contrast with anything jeff, lester I don’t
    2 – sarah’s wedding dress scene
    3 – chuck and sarah being bonnie and clyde, starting with the nylon over the head, so season one, yet so season 4, the way sarah said I packed them in case we go out later, that was such a good line, the I felt like a princess, the I am going to blow your frackin (you know what word that was played off of) head off, ok I liked that scene
    4 – the slow play by the writers of vivian with her handler, vivian and zach don’t have that much chemistry, I think that is a good thing, makes it more real
    5 – the first bank scene where sarah is in the truck, kind of casey’s role, backup muscle, and how comfortable sarah is discussing personal daily stuff while chuck is in danger, since when does she trust chuck the spy, anyhow, I love it

    one other side note, I think sarah is going to be loaded, my guess is the top wild card enforcer in our government does not get a pay grade like a G12 or 14, and her annual income is something with 6 digits in it, with the first one being a number that is not 1 or 2 or even 3. Chuck may not even be getting paid (since his status is sort of murky), recall b4 the last wedding, he got a check all at once … maybe casey will give him another windfall b4 this wedding, be sort of dumb, but it has precedent?

    • jason says:

      one other sarah comment, sarah may not even know she is loaded, she is so clueless to the real world, and all her expenses may be getting paid, would it not be a nice touch if graham just set up an auto-deposit into his fav money management firm, the one Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton use?

      Sarah mentions to casey that she is not sure how Chuck and her might pay for the wedding, and casey (who has at times a little morgan the all knowing oracle to him) sets her straight about her personal financial situation?

      • atcDave says:

        Clueless Sarah is a fun idea. But I expect her to be pretty savvy. We were talking about this some the other day; even if she is only a GS-12 or something, she’s spent her entire career TDY and collecting hazardous duty pay. All while living an all expenses paid lifestyle. My guess would be moving in with Chuck was likely the first permanent address she’s ever had, so per diem continued until then. That could be A LOT of money she’s never even touched. Not to mention some of the less than legitimate income sources she has had during her life; I think Sarah could easily have several million dollars cached in various ways.
        Chuck is probably well paid now too. But things may structured such that he only has convenient access to his “Buy More” pay.

        So as a couple/family I don’t see Chuck and Sarah ever hurting for money. But I could see Sarah being clueless about what she really can spend without raising eyebrows. After all, she drove a Porsche to a food service job for 3 years.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree with all of that. I think she will end up curbing expenses just, as you say, to not raise eyebrows.

        Doesn’t the bride usually cover the wedding? I think the whole expense thing at the end, other than to add to Sarah’s Bridezilla persona, was to lead up to the “rob a bank” line, which was very funny.

        I would love to see the fact that they robbed a bank come to light in a future episode. Have Ellie see a news report with security footage of the Bonnie and Clyde who robbed the First Bank of Macao. Won’t happen, but I’d pay to see the look on her face.

      • joe says:

        @Dave @jason “Clueless Sarah is a fun idea. But I expect her to be pretty savvy.”

        Heh – she knows about wild sex orgy parties a la Eyes Wide Shut but not about sox on the doornob???

        Yup. That’s our girl. – an odd mixture of savvy and innocence.

      • thinkling says:

        Ha. Joe, I took the I’ve been to those kinds of parties, and this is nothing like that to be 100% bull … Sarah totally pulling Chuck’s leg and messing with his head.

        The sock comment, as unlikely as it seems (even I can figure that out, and I went to college a l-o-n-g time ago) was so well delivered and so funny.

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling, with an older working couple (which Chuck and Sarah certainly are at this point) wedding expenses are often split. My wife and I split things pretty equally with little parental involvement.
        I’d love to see the bank robber footage though!

        Well put Joe, Sarah’s mix of worldliness and innocence is very appealing; but I think Thinkling’s right about the leg pulling…

      • joe says:

        @Thinkling, of course! But it’s so much fun that she knew about that, but *didn’t* know about the sox-on-the-doorknob! 😉

        I love it when she pulls his leg like that, just the way she did in Couch Lock too!

      • thinkling says:

        @Joe:
        True that! 😉

      • Paul says:

        @Joe – do you honestly think Sarah ever had an encounter with the tie/sock on the doorknob, knowing the types of guys she’s dated in the past? Likely her ex-beauxs took her to their private islands via a megayacht. 😉

      • joe says:

        Oh, Paul. Of course not! It’s a college thing. Sarah went to Harvard, and we all know that nothing like that ever happens at Harvard.

        [And from what I hear about those bookworms, it’s true, too! 😉 Ahem.]

        After that, Bryce was far too sophisticated and was done with the roommate portion of his career anyway. Right? Now, Manoosh might have tried that, had she let him get that far…

      • Paul says:

        Since you brought up her immediate post-HS days, I wonder when Sarah was transformed from the awkward Jenny Burton into the stunning Sarah Walker. Was it right away or did it take the CIA a while…..?

    • thinkling says:

      Oh yeah, Jason. You and I loved all the same things here.
      1. Ditto
      2. Ditto
      3. I think something this episode excelled at was combining the right elements of S1 and S4. I think I said the same thing as you that Chuck with the nylon on his head was the S1 Chuck we all love so much (the one that learned how to tango), and all the rest was the best part of S4 C/S.
      4. You don’t watch Zach and Vivian and go wow look at the chemistry, but they are not at all bad together. I don’t think you have to have tons of chemistry for those two characters. She’s sort of shy, very uncertain of things, and her loyalties are a toss up. A lot of chemistry would feel off for her character … to me anyway.
      5. It really worked for me. It was appropriate to have Sarah in the van. It’s not the first time by any means, but it’s the first time she was so at ease with being in the van and Chuck running a mission without her. It played great. And the personal conversations were fantastic all the way through.

      • joe says:

        @Jason @thinkling You know, this episode just found a unique niche in my mind. I can’t quite get myself convinced that it was “important” in the sense that a lot of the story hinged on what happened. But it was still one of the most enjoyable.

        Re-watchable is right. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays forever in my top 10 favorites.

  9. amyabn says:

    I enjoyed the episode but it isn’t in my top 10. It took 4 days to download, so I am way behind. Anyway, I really want the status of Chuck’s employment settled with Ellie. Also, I would love for Chuck to sell some of his comics to give Sarah the dream wedding she wants. Cue talk about money and maybe Sarah’s mom is loaded or something-Jack’s first scam maybe? Anyway, I think Chuck and Sarah are both trying to please the other (and I’m glad Sarah finally “gets it”) but it would be nice for them to come to the epiphany that all that really matters is the other, and that their family is there. We get a chuckle that Sarah went bridezilla and we get more sweet Chuck moments. Well, that’s my quick two cents for now. Off to dinner!

    • uplink2 says:

      I agree. I’d like to see a money talk. All couples have to go through that and they certainly put money on the table at the end of the episode. Could Sarah be that clueless about money because of her father and that the CIA has always paid for everything in her life? What does Chuck get paid by the CIA? He can’t just be living on 12 bucks an hour and afford that apartment and all his guy toys.

      • Paul says:

        I think money is not an issue in reality for them (remember the check Chuck got in Ring I???), but they still have to play the cover, especially for Ellie.

      • atcDave says:

        I was thinking along the same lines Paul. Even given Sarah’s unusual circumstances I doubt she’ll be stupid about money. Now Chuck on the other hand…

        Remember Anniversary? That boy needs a talking to!

        Actually my guess is he’s naturally careful with money but made the mistake of letting Morgan manage it. Chuck may have even had the funds just not in the accounts Morgan had access. to.

      • Paul says:

        With Sarah, I still think she’s kind of fuzzy on “how much is too much”. I don’t think she’s really ever spent anything on herself so going all out on the wedding is new territory.

    • thinkling says:

      Hey Amy, glad to see you around.

      You know I’ve almost given up on the employment thing, but I figure surely they have to address it soon. Maybe next episode when Ellie does her research.

      I think the money talk could be great, especially since we all think that money is probably not a real problem. But they need to decide how to resolve the wedding price and protect his cover.

      • weaselone says:

        That’s a good instinct. Ellie’s interest in Chuck and Sarah’s financial situation was clearly foreshadowed in this episode. If she decides to go snooping into their finances it also offers Devon a way to be concerned and possibly intervene without having to lie to her.

      • thinkling says:

        Weaselone, that would certainly be a back-door way for her to find out about his real job.

    • Faith says:

      I have to second the Ellie thing. While I love that we’re seeing her more and she’s back to Ellie of Season 1, I don’t feel right about everyone lying to her. I know there are some things that are better left separate but I don’t like it. At the end of the day she needs to be told and she needs to be made to believe that this is what Chuck wants and she needs to, and will accept that.

      RE: Money, I kind of think this is one of those things that they bring up when it’s convenient. It’ll probably never come up again…I say that but I wouldn’t bet on it seeing as big weddings are by design pricey so it has to be talked about. That said, I totally love the idea of him selling his comics, I think it’s romantic. Kind of like Dave selling his matchboxes to get his wife her ring. Love that.

      • atcDave says:

        You’d think they would have learned after Justin took advantage of her ignorance last season! Perhaps whatever Ellie is “investigating” in A-Team will lead to her finding out.

        You’re probably right about the money thing Faith. They never will make a big thing of it, but I just love the idea of Chuck finding out (after a ruinously expensive wedding) that Sarah has several million dollars squirreled away somewhere.

      • thinkling says:

        Faith, I say I’ve about given up on Ellie finding out, because IMO the whole thing has far exceeded its shelf life. I don’t have any more energy left to rant about it. 😉

        The good news, as you say, is that we have S1 Ellie back. I love that. The show has suffered from her absence … also from the fact that she’s in the dark. Before the secret was to protect her from danger (and that worked so well). Now it’s to hide a broken promise. Before it was kind of a fun part of the spy game. Now it just feels wrong, because it’s perpetuating a rift in the relationship. It’s a totally different thing. The wedding at least gives them an honest point of contact. Even though I’ve given up, I’m hoping for a resolution next episode, when Ellie does research.

        You’re probably right, Dave. I thought the money topic should never have been mentioned in Anniversary. A wedding is a more logical place for it to come up, and it would be fun. I still think the whole thing was brought up so Ellie could tell Chuck to rob a bank. So the money topic will likely go away until the next time they want to make a joke (rob a bank) or work in a gag (Repo man).

      • herder says:

        As far as I can recall they have brought up the issue of money on three previous occasions only; in the Ring when Chuck got his back pay, in Anniversary when Chuck ran up the $42,000 credit card bill and in Pink Slip when Sarah said she had some money saved and they could use that when they went on the run.

        Sarah’s savings would have to be a large enough amount for them to have lived on the run, but the way that it was said I didn’t get the impression that it would be millions. An amount for them to live on the run would be sufficient for pretty much any type of wedding that Sarah might choose, a fancy dress, a cake flown in from Paris, a hundred dozen orchids and a private island should be within her reach. Also there may be insurance money from the blown up Porche. I guess what I’m trying to say is that bridezilla Sarah should have enough to indulge her expanded wedding plans.

      • thinkling says:

        Agreed. Her money saved up to run on would definitely be enough for a wedding. There was nothing in the way she said it to indicate an amount, but it would have to be a fairly generous nest egg. That wouldn’t have been the time or place to give out details.

        I also assume there would be insurance money from the blown up house.

        Does Ellie even know her dad kept the house or that it blew up? Something else she might discover in her research.

      • atcDave says:

        It might even be more than what she had available for a life on the run, she presumably would have lost access to funds belonging to Sarah Walker and any known aliases. While now she can use her full resources.

      • thinkling says:

        Oh, you’re right, Dave. I hadn’t considered that.

      • weaselone says:

        Money also figured heavily in Delorean.

      • uplink2 says:

        Think I agree. The clueless Ellie thing has gone on way too long. Chuck told Sarah he had to tell her the truth in Anniversary but couldn’t because of the baby. Well the pregnancy is long over and if their timeline means anything which I know it doesn’t, that was a year ago. So he has lied to her a year now. Devon has lied to her for 6 months and Ellie is way too smart to not catch on. It is such a ridiculous plot device that I even wonder if when it does finally happen if it will matter anymore. Chuck should have told her at the fountain when he said he was looking for Mary. Anything after that was just stupid.

      • weaselone says:

        At the bare minimum the baby is now out so it’s time to spill the beans.

      • weaselone says:

        Although confessing to Ellie is no longer solely Chuck’s decision. He and Sarah are getting married, so it’s really partially up to her whether they disclose the fact that they’ve been out saving the world together for the last year.

      • atcDave says:

        Kind of funny how Buy More employee Chuck disappears for days at a time with super spy Sarah. I’m sure Ellie guesses its all just “couple’s time.”

      • weaselone says:

        Probably figures they disappear into the Buy More supply closet and can’t find their way out.

        Alternately, she knows that Chuck flies out with Sarah when she goes out on missions, but believes that he remains chained to the bed post back at the hotel while Sarah’s working.

      • thinkling says:

        No duh? Chuck being gone all the time, coincidentally with Sarah, the known spy … and Ellie doesn’t notice? That’s just ridiculous.

        I guess she just thinks their schedules are different enough that they rarely bump into each other … even though they live across the courtyard form each other. And they always answer their cell phone, even if they are in Macau. Maybe Morgan covers for them? It’s way past dumb by now.

        Weasel, Sarah would probably follow Chuck’s lead, whenever he wants to spill the beans. I imagine she’s fine either way.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m inclined to give the show runners some leeway on this because you can see that they REALLY, REALLY are afraid to lose the “normal guy” angle of the show. And Ellie really is the hub of this. Although they aren’t quite so blatant with it, Ellie is the reason why Chuck was Chuck. She’s why he wasn’t Sarah. She’s why he’s not Vivian. And, of course, she’s the deus ex machina for the Season 4 that keeps Chuck at the Buy More.

        Is the charade past its shelf life? Sure. But they have been AWFUL at changing the status quo on other issues. Just think Pink Slip or some of the ridiculous things they’ve done to hammer home the fact that Sarah is going from spy to real girl. Things like she’s afraid to unpack would be laughable if it were in a fan fic.

        But I think you can see the outline of where they are going with this in the back 11. You have Ellie giving Frost the ok to keep spying. You have Frost telling Ellie that “He’s a Bartowski,” meaning born to be a spy because the Bartowski Family legacy is spying. And you have an episode coming up that will clearly begin to pit the Volkoff Family against the Bartowski Family in the final arc.

        Ellie will be clued in, will help save the day (and the wedding) and, of course, if there is a Season 5, will accept that spying will be integral to protecting Clara.

        The problem they’ll have in Season 5 is finding a rationale to keep Chuck and Morgan, even titularly, as part of the Buy More. And they need the Buy More for the “normal life” part of the show AS WELL AS for product placement and other tricks to keep the show’s budget in line.

      • First Timer says:

        Sorry, that was me up there… Clearing your cookies really causes havoc…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think Ellie has basically known since Costa Gravas and allows the fiction to continue so Chuck doesn’t have to freak about breaking his promise, because she was wrong to ask it of him. She basically said as much at the end of Coup d’Etat, or was about to…

        Ellie: I, uh, I was thinking about you a lot, actually. You were pretty good at the spy stuff, weren’t you?

        Chuck: I mean…

        Ellie: You just seemed so alive back there. I don’t think I really realized what you were giving up for me.

        Chuck: Ah! I didn’t really give up all that much.

        Ellie: Yes, you did, and it must have been difficult. And I just wanted to tell you that I’m so glad that you have a life now that we can talk about. No secrets.

        Chuck: Ellie, I’m looking for Mom.

      • First Timer says:

        BTW, one more thing. As I’ve said, Vivian Volkoff going to the family business is very much Michael Corleone in The Godfather. But so is Ellie embracing the spy life. She’s always resisted the family business and done the Michael Corleone thing: “That’s my family, Kay, not me.”

        Well, now, by the end of the season, she, too, will become Michael Corleone and, whether she wants to or not, will embrace the family business of spying.

        If they execute well, this could be a VERY nifty pivot by the show runners. Having TWO characters embrace their destiny (Vivian bad, Ellie good) is quite interesting. And, of course, all using The Godfather mantra of family.

        And I KNOW @thinking that you haven’t seen The Godfather. I think you should. Fast. This back 11 arc will make more sense once you’ve seen what Fedak has been feeding off of all these years…

      • uplink2 says:

        Ernie I agree that that was the moment it should have come out but I don’t accept the unstated idea that she knows. One of the things I hate about a show sometimes is that many times we are told that only on screen is canon but other times its well this happened off screen. Which is it? Either we should never accept anything off screen or we can think what we want. In Chuck that brings us right to the dilemma of “It is real” and what happened after the engagement party. A subject debated for almost 2 years now. Then we get the whole Sarah/Sham interaction we were supposed to accept DID happen off screen. With Chuck if they let us have off screen discussions so much of what the show says would fall apart.

        I am one who only accepts things as canon if the are shown or referenced directly on screen. So I don’t accept Ellie knows until she says she does. The scene at the end of Seduction Impossible says she doesn’t.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink I think that’s just the nature of this sort of storytelling. You can’t ever call anything “canon” until it is shown true on screen. That doesn’t mean we can’t draw inferences, sometimes its perfectly reasonable to do so. But we have to know any inference we draw can later be refuted on screen.

      • thinkling says:

        Ernie, I interpreted “the life they could talk about” as being the Buymore.

        That’s the conversation that irritated me the most with Ellie. Her conversation with her mom mitigates the irritation somewhat and gives me hope that she won’t go ballistic when she does find out.

        Dave, I think that’s a good way to put it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Thinkling, I saw it as a classic Chuck interrupts moment. Ellie had more to add, and started to. Chuck, thinking he knew where she was going, about to tell him how important it was he stay out of that life, changed the subject to the mom hunt.

        Now why would Ellie preserve the fiction if she has suspicions? Well for one thing Devon seems to react poorly and want to move them to Africa to keep them safe. For another Chuck always tries to do the right thing, and then beat himself up for it. There’s no telling if he’d quit again if Ellie admitted knowing, just to keep his promise. Remember, of the two Ellie is the smarter, stronger, and more devious Bartowski. I’m just sayin’ 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Hmm, maybe. If you’re right, I’ll be very pleasantly surprised … well not so surprised, since you gave me a heads up. I hope you’re right. That would be a fun twist. Joke’s on Chuck. Ellie certainly has shown a devious side, hasn’t she. In a good way, of course. 😉

        Maybe Chuck will be the last to know she knows.

  10. alladinsgenie4u says:

    @Thinkling – Nice article. Thank you. And thanks too for the Snark Soother. It will come in handy once I finish this post. 🙂

    I have two major gripes about 4×17 – OOC behavior and Character Regression. (oh yeah, I went there). Let me explain.

    [snark]
    OOC behavior – Well, I thought Chuck acted pretty OOC during his conversation with Sarah in Castle – the scene when he selected the black-tie suit as a probable one for the wedding and Sarah was all flustered about Ellie and he calmly talked her through it. I was shocked and surprised to see Chuck do that. Where was the sometimes unbearable, neurotic Chuck, who when faced with an issue regarding Sarah immediately ran to Morgan for advice – which would so have been in character. I protest at this depiction of one of my favorite characters. It hurts – on the inside. to see them acting so OOC. 😛

    Character Regression – After all the stupendous “Morgan- growth” it was indeed jarring to see that Morgan was not around to save the day – during the mission, giving advice to Vivian, giving advice to Sarah and counselling Chuck on how to proceed with regards to everything. This is blatant character regression and I abhor it. 😛 [/snark]

    *takes a big tablespoon of Snark Soother Syrup* Hey Thinkling, what’s the time frame on the effect? I mean, how long does it take for the SS Syrup to work it’s magic? *until then, back to lurking*

    • thinkling says:

      Snark Soother is by far our best product. It has the benefits of a fast acting ingredient combined with a patented timed release component.

      You will instantly feel the snarky tension subside, and the sense of calm that replaces it will last for hours while you continue lurking. Some test subjects reported feeling relaxed enough to comment without snarking throughout the day.

      • joe says:

        Did you get paid for this ad, Thinkling??? Cool! I smell investment opportunity!

        😉

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Thinkling – You mean to say that the Snark Soother brings about a kind of Snark-less Coma? Hmm, but I know two things that will make that coma disappear in a jiffy – EMS (Excessive Morgan Syndrome) – term coined by Frea and CIOS – Chuck’s Insecurity Overdose Syndrome.

        We need that R&D dept. burning the proverbial midnight oil to counter the above two syndromes. 🙂

        @joe – Thinkling doesn’t get paid. She has a lifetime free access to all products from Alladins Apothecary. 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        Hence the goofy smile on my face and the glazed-over look in my eyes.

      • alladinsgenie4u says:

        Thinkling, I was thinking. There’s a serious ailment for which a remedy has still not been perfected. – The Shaw Sores . These malignant and splintery sores first made their appearance during 3×04. They were dormant until 3×06. They suddenly came to life in 3×07 and intensified from 3×08 onwards until reaching boiling point in 3×12. They were purged twice – first in 3×13 and then in 3×19. Unfortunately, the effect of them on the fandom seems to be much deeper. The mere mention of the sore’s name is enough for them to flare up and cause discomfort and pain. Brain Bleach is effective for wiping memories, but we need a solution for these virulent sores. Will you see to it that the R&D dept. is nudged towards focusing their attention towards this vexing problem? Thanks. 😉 😀

      • thinkling says:

        Shaw Salve? Or just plain Season 3 Salve. OLI Ointment?

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Hmmmm. And Snark Soother is perfect for taking the edge off of that last dose of Tourette’s Tonic. I can’t even get all that excited about Ole What’s His Name.

        I’m sorry, you were saying?

    • thinkling says:

      I think … I hope … this is intentional, non-reversible growth. Their engagement has fostered new maturity in the relationship.

      Masquerade dealt a blow to the bromance. The friendship will and should remain, but hopefully, we will no longer see the level of dependency we did before. I truly think Chuck has a new first mate. I hope this episode is indicative of permanent growth, both personal and professional. Perhaps Casey’s (hopefully temporary) absence is to let them spread their spy wings a little.

      Second, the future Mr. Sarah Walker is owning his title, by not letting Sarah get away with hiding her feelings. And she seems totally comfortable letting him be exactly that, with all it means, i.e. getting closer, opening up more.

      This episode just did it all for me. The more I watch/think about it, the more I like it.

  11. Ernie Davis says:

    Thinkling, thanks for a wonderful writeup. You know I’m a sucker for the story under the plot and the parts of the storytelling that need no words, just acting. You nailed the wedding dress as one of those perfect moments that Chuck does so well. The initial screen with Sarah the Spy, complete with leather catsuit (as mentioned by Dignity) gets wiped away, and with a look that is equal parts trepidation and determination Sarah the problem solver gets to work, using her own inimitable methods. I liked that the look, part nervousness and part determination, returns at the first dress, the real deal, shows up for her to try on. I also loved how she solved her problem of how to pick the perfect dress. She put Chuck next to her.

    I’m no fashion expert, but I do like the way they have used the actors physical presence to make a point. You see it in the bank robbery scene. Chuck and Sarah (or rather Zach and Yvonne) are both tall and lean, and the impression I get more than anything else is a pair of panthers let loose as opposed to Casey’s raging bull, or Morgan’s determined chihuahua. You see it again in the dress Sarah picks to perfectly compliment Chuck’s classic and understated wedding suit.

    While occasionally poking a bit of fun at Yvonne’s physicallity (Giant Blonde Shemale anyone?) they have really taken advantage of it for more than just salacious purposes this season. When Sarah surprises Morgan in his office in Balcony, and towers over him, you start to form the impression that spies like Chuck and Sarah are practically a different species from Morgan or Jeff and Lester. You see it again as Mini Anden corners Morgan in Castle and again as she goes to apologize at the engagement party, different species. 😉

    Anyway, there was so much to love, and so much fun this episode. Even the darker parts. I mean how fun was it to watch Chuck’s solution for infiltrating a secure area, and the results. Our nerd has come a long way from the guy with a low threshold for pain. Watching Vivian “go Volkoff” and seeing Chuck’s reaction? Perfect. I think one of the things I’ve liked best this season is that they aren’t trying to rush the arcs or the characters for the sake of the plot (as opposed to the story). I understand that for those who focus on the plot, and I still differentiate it from the story (and this is not a terribly contreversial view in the visual arts of TV and movies) the show seems to drag or lack sufficient drama or movement at times. Leftovers and Fear of Death were perfect examples to me, Balcony to a lesser extent. They manage to establish a sort of normal, almost a sense of placid domesticity creeping into the lives of our heroes. You see all they’ve gained together and how eager they both are to preserve it and now to move forward. You see Chuck and Sarah in a happy place, Then you mess with it. Chuck’s mom returns and takes his mojo, or Volkoff shows up at dinner, or Sarah gets shipped off for a long term mission, that sense of contentment and peace is suddenly thrown into doubt. The point is that they are now in a part of the journey where they’ve essentially reached their goal, and they need to preserve and protect what they’ve gained. The last real test for the heroes comes as they try to cross that final threshold. It looks like it could be amazing.

    In any case I agree they’ve done good job setting up Vivian as being played by her father and his lawyer and suspecting she’s being played by Chuck. They could easily go either way with this, with Vivian either going to the dark side, or seeming to as a bluff on the showrunners part, or turning on her father and joining team B to help take him down. She seems a bit understated at this point, but as I said, I think the point is that she’s a (possible) villain in the making, not a Volkoff out of the gate. Anyway, I think they’re doing a great job this season of building with fun and enjoyable episodes like this to ones like Phase 3 or Push Mix that knock your socks off.

    • joe says:

      “…the storytelling that needs no words”…

      Wow! You just made me re-consider my comment above, Ernie. Maybe this episode isn’t so unimportant after all. It seems to have a kind of subtlety that sneaks up on you, somehow.

    • atcDave says:

      Great comments Ernie, thanks! I loved your observations about the use of physical appearances. Both Zach and Yvonne have shown some range in how they present themselves in normal versus heroic modes; and those various looks are a fun part of the characters and story.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks Ernie. I love your animal metaphors for TeamB: the raging bull, the relentless chihuahua, and our two sleek panthers. You nailed it. (The black panther has long been my favorite wild animal. Did you know that they are actually dark brown with black spots. Sorry, OT.) But in the robbery, they were definitely panthers, not bulls. They looked so good together and worked so well together. Fantastic.

      Another different species moment was the contrast of the Valentines Day scene. And when Morgan was sandwiched between Casey and Sarah in Phase 3. I don’t know if it was intentional (original casting I mean), but it’s quite stunning when you put them together, doubly so in the B&C robbery.

      Story and plot. I totally agree. But you say it better than I do. I see story as more related to character growth and plot more related to the events that push the characters and trigger the growth. (Am I getting it right?) So for me there have been no wasted episodes this season. I’ve said elsewhere that I see the mom/Intersect-less arcs as vital to Chuck’s story (his growth to unhindered hero) … and to Chuck and Sarah’s for that matter. Suitcase, Cubic Z … necessary for Sarah … FOD and Leftovers … I like all of those, because of all the character stuff happening that’s important to the story. I don’t want cut-out characters to be props for the plot. I want life-like characters that grow and change as they engage with the plot. Chuck has given me that from day one. Don’t get me wrong, I want a good plot, but for me Chuck has given me that, too.

      Masquerade and Cat Squad set up various plots, all of which progressed in Bank of Evil: the wedding plans, on a role; Morgan’s new digs, temporarily solved; Casey, glimpses of cryptic happenings behind the mysterious red door; Vivian, the focus of the episode. I’m satisfied with the gradual unfolding of the plot, without huge leaps, for the pleasure and intrigue of what I see in the characters. I can savor the story … especially when the ride is as fun as FBoE.

    • thinkling says:

      One other thought about the story telling that needs no words … not all shows are so fortunate to have actors who can pull that off. Yvonne is superb, as we all say again and again … and again. But Zach is really good, too, as is Sarah Lancaster. That was one of the things I liked throughout Leftovers. There was so much story told without words.

      • joe says:

        Heh! Lauren Cohan too! Both those ending scene with Vivian are remarkable for her silent expressions.

        And of course, you can’t think of Leftovers without thinking of Volkoff/Dalton pantomiming Lawrence of Arabia! 😉

    • Paul says:

      Thing is Vivian is NOT being played by Chuck. Chuck honestly thought that the CIA would grant the request. However, the lawyer knows the game and how to use his version of the truth just the right way to create doubt in Vivian’s mind.

      • thinkling says:

        Exactly, Paul! Chuck is sincere, but Riley can make it look how he wants for it to. He may even have someone nixing the visit so he can do just that.

        Add to that the various aspects of Chuck’s involvement with Volkoff … mom, etc, and Riley can weave quite a tale for Vivian.

      • patty says:

        I wonder if Vivian knows Frost. That could be an interesting reunion especially if she “mothered” Vivian at some point.

      • thinkling says:

        There’s an interesting thought! Especially if Vivian was actually fond of Frost.

  12. patty says:

    I was thinking about the scene where Vivian pulls the gun on Chuck and accuses him of betraying her trust. I wonder if that is suppposed to be foreshadowing, as in one day she will pull a gun and accuse him of betraying her trust and mean it.

    • thinkling says:

      There’s a scary thought … and not far fetched at all. Look how many times Volkoff pulled a gun on Chuck or Sarah. It’s certainly possible.

    • Paul says:

      Possibly. But it’s also a foreshadowing of the dark streak that she has in her. I think we’re going to see a scene near the climax of the arc where Vivian will be holding a gun to Chuck and REALLY trying to decide whether she is going to pull the trigger.

      • thinkling says:

        Sounds very plausible. I do expect a dramatic moment of decision for her, and that would certainly do the trick … with Sarah trying to talk her down and faced with her own decision of if/when to pull the trigger.

      • patty says:

        I think you’re right, Paul. There is a clear dark streak, yet she seems to want to be a good person too. That conflict seems to be what the outcome of the season will hang on.

  13. uplink2 says:

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere about this episode that came to me a couple of days ago on rewatch was the callback to Nemesis when Chuck watched the great spy team/couple Sarah and Bryce working together and how in awe of them he was. The callback to that moment in the robbery scene is interesting in that Chuck and Sarah are now a better spy team/couple than Sarah and Bryce ever were. Chuck has grown as a spy and they have evolved a sort of bond that has brought both to new levels. They feed off each other and have a level of comfort and trust never present with Bryce. Its almost intuitive now because their relationship is limitless. Bryce and Sarah had a limit to a their relationship that limited their potential together. Or at least that is what they are trying to tell us now. Great to see.

    BTW anyone else catch Yvonne’s real accent slip out when she said “advice”?

    • thinkling says:

      Totally agree Uplink. Every time I see them together I think of that scene.

      No, but the “and that’s good?” in the flower scene and “doin'” in the van sounded a bit suspect. I’ll have to listen again for advice.

      • DignityRLI says:

        Yes. But, I always cut her a break and assume the Aussie only leaks out in scenes shot after 2am! Then I consider them Easter Eggs for her fans.

      • thinkling says:

        Easter eggs indeed. I think it’s amazing how good she is and how little leaks out. It’s just fun … endearing.

      • Big Kev says:

        I started watching Chuck around Imported Hard Salami, and I was shocked to find out soon afterwards that Yvonne is an Aussie. I’d never have guessed. Watching the Pilot after the fact, her accent goes in and
        out a little, but that’s the only time I’ve really noticed. Other than that, it’s flawless. Her English accent from I Love you Too needs a little bit of work, but is perfectly good enough.
        The funny thing is to listen to the changes in her Australian accent – much less pronounced than it used to be! Reminds me of when I came back from my 3 years in the US with some Mid-Atlantic drawl… 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve noticed a big difference too in her interviews. It seems every time she’s fresh back from Australia it gets stronger again, but late season interviews it can be quite subtle.

    • patty says:

      Honestly I had no idea she was Australian at first. I remember when I saw her doing the accent in Chuck vs the Ex I thought “Boy she does a great Aussie accent!”

      • atcDave says:

        The really fun thing was, several posters on the NBC forums complained she did a poor job! Jokes on them!

      • Paul says:

        That whole scene was really an existential moment: an Aussie actress, playing a spy who is using a “fake” Aussie accent while playing another role.

      • Faith says:

        LOL, I thought it was a fake accent. I soon had egg in my face because she really is Australian!

      • jason says:

        The one word that Yvonne says that sounds non american with her accent to me is morgan – of course, hearing her say morgan sounds cute to me

      • Paul says:

        One interesting thing about Sarah’s voice is that in particularly in S1 and mostly in S2, Yvonne used a slightly higher pitched voice for Sarah. As the seasons wore on, Sarah’s voice pitch started to match more Yvonne’s natural pitch (which is a tad lower than S1 Sarah). I wonder if that was due to Yvonne using that pitch modulation to help her mask her Aussie accent in the early days.

      • atcDave says:

        My guess would be exactly that, she was thinking hard about the accent and affected her pitch. But I really thought the change came mostly during S1; at least the change in how she talked from the Pilot to Helicopter is the most dramatic, it became more subtle after that and by late S2 she seemed have it completly together.

    • herder says:

      Sorry, not the link that I had meant, click on the first screen capture, the one of Ellie and Sarah looking at the flowers. In the left hand side there are a series of photographs, the first seems to be one of Ellie and Sarah from Ellie’s wedding, the second seems to be of a married couple the third I can’t figure out. Kind of neat photo’s for Chuck and Sarah’s place.

    • Faith says:

      I think they’re stock photos Herder (for the wedding photography). Check out a closer look:

      • patty says:

        I think you are right. They are supposed to be example pictures from a photographer who wants the contract. Sarah is overwhelmed because flowers are not the only thing they have done that day.

    • joe says:

      You know, I thought the scene was in Chuck&Sarah’s apartment. But now, I’m not so sure. A “cigar store indian”? I see 4 candle holders on the far table without candles that make me think some sort of rustic wedding supply shop!

      Even though you meant to link us to the one picture Herder, thanks for the link to the snaps! The sequence of Sarah trying out the gowns (complete with ‘face’) is precious.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I think it is in thier apartment that’s why all the game controllers.

        The photo of the bride and a man could be of Mama B at her wedding with Papa B or her father (hard to tell) and the same bride with a dark haried little girl.

        Or it could be that the photos slipped through a time warp and teh brude is Sarah (with her father or Chuck) and the second picture is Sarah with flower girl Clara (and it’s gonna be longer than we thought until the wedding.

      • thinkling says:

        I think it’s their apartment, but the photos are just miscellaneous photos from wedding photographers they are considering for the wedding.

      • luckygirl says:

        I think the pictures are probably somehow associated to people that work on the show, whether it be the actors, directors,ect. On a lot of shows pictures like that show up as inside jokes or easter eggs for friends or loved ones. They did it on the fridge on “King of Queens” and on people’s desks on “The Office” and I’m sure many other shows.

  14. sd says:

    I think those are the pictures for Chuck vs. the Suburbs…remember the photos in the home?

  15. Pingback: Summer Rewatch 4.17: Chuck Versus The First Bank of E-vil | Chuck This

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