Chuck and Sarah Rule — GRETA’s Drool

Never, never, never, never give up. ~Churchill

PapaB’s laptop is confiscated for nefarious purposes. Next Gen Intersects threaten Chuck’s job security. Chuck and Sarah are benched, betrayed, and B-listed. Chuck and Sarah, Casey, and Ellie all deal with feelings of obsolescence and unimportance. They all take steps to recover their usefulness, but a suitcase nuke could make it all irrelevant.

You would expect an episode like that to be heavy, but Chuck Versus the A-Team is light and agile, a yarn of humor and twists, where everything is funny, and nothing is as it seems.

Chuck and Sarah … 4 words: Fantastic. Fun. Spy. Couple. The warmth of their relationship, their teamwork and resourcefulness as spies, and their trust carry the whole episode. And they are just plain funny.

Ellie is awesome. I am so grateful to the person responsible for turning on the Ellie tap again.

Then some things are just bizarre. I laughed out loud at Jeff and Lester; Morgan chooses loyalty to Casey over Chuck; gun-toting, super-spy Sarah is standing in Castle toting … Operation, Twister, and Clue(?); Chuck and Sarah go on a stake-out in a mini van full of baby paraphernalia and stuffed animals; Casey calls General Beckman warm and cuddly; and Chuck winds up being the team’s new fat kid.

There’s mythology, spy stuff, and a new bad guy to hate. Plus, thanks to the Turk, I think I figured out what GRETA stands for … Government Robotic Evil Terminator Asset.


~^~^~^~

Anybody besides me start freaking out for our woolly friend? Then I was kinda proud of him. Then I thought it’s gotta be a dream. When Casey turned on the light, I fell out laughing. They got me. Things are not as they seem.

Turns out Morgan is just trying out for Team Casey. The funniest part? Even though he knew all along that it was only Casey, he still couldn’t hold his water … the water he hadn’t drunk all day. Oh Morgan. I say let him keep his wings. He just made the C-Team. (That has two meanings.)

Where Have All the Missions Gone?

Meanwhile, Chuck and Sarah are working a delicate case. The clock is ticking down, and the pressure’s on as Chuck gently diffuses … a wishbone? Heh. Things are not as they seem.

Stir-crazy Sarah. So many layers to our enigmatic super spy, and this is such a funny one. Two weeks without a mission, stuck in Castle, and playing bored games; she is past her limit, in spite of Chuck’s valiant efforts to take her mind off their lack of missions. Chuck and Sarah’s relationship may carry the episode, but it’s Sarah’s mood that sets the tone and the pace.

It occurs to me that since Cat Squad, Chuck has indeed found his groove for helping Sarah. Watch for it. In FBoE, It was in the little everyday normal things that tend to freak her out. All those wedding conversations? That was Chuck helping Sarah. The best part is that Sarah no longer pushes it away. She relaxes into it, and life is just a little better because of it.

In A-Team, he distracts and cajoles, humors and sweet talks … and jumps on board with whatever secret mission she cooks up … to watch her back … to be with her, by her side … always. And to make sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble, like blasting Beckman or cutting off Casey’s hand. (And this is so mild compared to Phase 3.)

It cuts both ways, of course. If it weren’t for Sarah’s bull-by-the-horns gusto to fix things, they would be obsolete agents by now. Oh, no … that’s not right. They would be obliterated agents after the GRETA’s nuked California. This is the Chuck and Sarah that I love to watch. Five more seasons, please.
 

When Sarah suspects Casey is up to something, she is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Morgan lies to Chuck, they know Casey is up to something … solo missions from Beckman, no doubt.

Let the sleuthing begin.

I love how Chuck and Sarah, especially Sarah, rationalize tailing Casey. I really love their surveillance vehicle, especially the stuffed animals … unassuming indeed.

Where Have All the Missions Gone? Assigned to GRETA’s Every One.

Ha! Casey has gone lone wolf. What is he trying to do? Get himself killed? Not if Chuck and Sarah can help it.

Oops. Things are not what they seem. After lots of flying bullets and falling dead guys, they see that he’s not alone after all. Meet my partner GRETA and my other partner GRETA … with their sparkling personalities.

Replaced. Sarah’s not stir-crazy any more. Nope, now she’s pouting. Chuck reassures her, “Let Casey have his new team. You’ve still got the Intersect … Baby.”

Before she can protest, Mr. Social Butterfly drags Mrs. Standoffish over to get to know the new neighbors. Mmm-hmm … that went well. Not.

In fact, it just gets wurser and wurser. Pouting becomes a blur in the rear-view mirror, as Sarah speeds toward hurt and angry. Casey betrayed her. Beckman helped, and she is in a royal snit. Understandably.

Enter Director Bentley. Now, Sarah can’t blame Beckman, maybe not even Casey. Maybe Bentley should be the object of her ire. Now what? Temporarily at a loss for words she passes the ball to Chuck, with a pointed look that says, Well aren’t you going to help? Chuck steps in and gets the lowdown. Dir. Jane Bentley plays cold and prickly to General Beckman’s warm and cuddly.

With that, Sarah storms off to FIX things. Oh boy.

Whatever is going on is above GB’s pay grade. That can’t be good. Think Subway. If you recall, some very decorated, important people were never satisfied with Chuck’s performance as the Intersect. Beckman staked her reputation on him and is probably still doing so. I don’t know what Bentley’s games is, but GB clearly doesn’t like it. She mollifies her whining children team by giving them a top priority extraction … Yana. Sarah’s mood clears like the morning fog. What a smile. Giddy Sarah! We’re going on a mission. All is right with the world.

Oops. Things are not as they seem. … You know you’re the B-Team when your BIG mission is to extract LITTLE dog with upset tummy and weak bladder.

GUNNING for the GRETA’s

That does it. They picked the wrong spy couple to mess with (à la Role Models). No more talking, no more moping. It’s time for action. Sarah has a plan to submarine the competition.

Operation competition keeps me laughing the whole way through. I love Chuck’s concern for Yana’s tummy, “I bet she’s got an upset tummy. Do you think they remembered to mix in the dry food?” Sarah suggesting chopping off Casey’s hand is perfect comic delivery. Chuck talks her off the ledge, and they are off to get a hand print. It’s devious; it’s a diversion; it’s delightful. I wonder if Sarah is living her favorite fantasy? Any bets on how many times she has wanted to tranque Morgan? The 10 mg darts … ooh, this is serious. Morgan takes it lying down, so to speak. Loved Chuck’s CBS remark. Sarah is on a roll with the comedy as she finds the child-size hand print … Oh, right. The victory smirks and the CSI glasses were a funny! sight gag for our high tech super spies.

Not bad for the B-Team. Not bad, indeed.

Down to business. Divide and conquer being the best plan, Chuck goes Turk hunting, while Sarah searches the computer for the file they need. A few key strokes later, and it’s no longer about A-Team/B-Team. Things are not as they seem. Sarah has the spy version of a Jurassic Park moment, only without the sun glasses.

Chuck? Chuck, I think you should look at this.

So he does. And it is not good. The implications are unbelievable and unthinkable. Sarah realizes that they have charged into something much bigger than a CIA status war. It’s dangerous. Worse, it has Chuck/Intersect/Bartowski implications. They need to retreat and regroup … now. Too late.

Suddenly the roles are reversed. As Sarah begins to panic a little, Chuck finds his calm, angry center. This is his family, his legacy … his laptop. No more Mr. Nice Spy.

The GRETA’s suck all the comedy out of the air, and things turn tense. Lots of important stuff happens in the blink of an eye.

There’s a Kung-fu contest, and Chuck fights a girl! Sarah doesn’t know what’s happening, but Chuck figures out that the GRETA’s are Intersects. He feels betrayed, gets mad at Casey, and retrieves his laptop. Then Girl GRETA points a gun in Chuck’s face. Sarah calls her a dog, and Casey tells her to put her gun down. For an attack dog, she doesn’t mind very well, though. Dir Bentley, who is supposed to be the “adult” in the room, pretty much gives her permission to pull the trigger. So that just makes Bentley top dog (that has two meanings). She takes diabolical pleasure in listing some of Chuck’s most admirable qualities as leprous limitations. … I knew I hated her.

Did you notice Sarah’s immediate concern when Bentley talked about adjusting for some of Chuck’s “limitations?” I take it that Sarah probably still worries about potential unknown effects of the Intersect on Chuck’s health. The last thing she wants is to find out, in a public forum (again), that the governor’s effect is temporary, and her future husband’s health is at risk because of the Intersect. After Bentley ticks off the list of limitations, Sarah’s tone goes from worry to anger.

Casey has changed because of Chuck … a lot. In the past, he made wise cracks about Chuck’s lady feelings, but his face shows nothing but contempt for Bentley and her seething meanness to Chuck. He knows that Chuck is a hero and that Sarah is a top agent. He knows they deserve better than they’re getting. So, he goes to bat for them with Bentley to include them in the next mission.

Bentley is only too happy to oblige. It’s her lucky day. She puts Chuck in a bomb disposal suit and hopes for the best. And by best, I mean worst. … I knew I hated her.

Showdown

Bentley boasted that her team has corrected the Intersect software to compensate for “Mr.” Bartowski’s various limitations. What limitations? So glad you asked:

1. Emotional sensitivity
2. Over reliance on his handlers (hmm, I thought they were his partners)
3. Inability to terminate targets

In her haste to send Chuck to his death, she unwittingly sets up a field test. Mu-ahh. Let’s see how that works out for her.

In the pre-game warm up, insults are exchanged, before the GRETA’s take the field for their big debut. Casey on the other hand is about as nice as he has ever been to Chuck, encouraging him as part of the team, sharing some of his own experiences with bomb disposal suit, even making sure Chuck has his favorite juice. Chuck swallows his emotional sensitivity about his position on the team and accepts his assignment.

The GRETA’s take out the body guards and get the suitcase bomb. Uh, correction. Suitcase NUKE. Things are not as they seem.

As soon as Chuck finds out that Boy GRETA can’t disarm the nuclear bomb, our emotionally sensitive wimp immediately takes off running … toward the bomb. (A nice call back to the pilot.) Score one for Chuck.

Sarah, of course is pursuing Mr Detonator and has things more or less in hand when Girl GRETA, who has no trouble terminating targets, shows up to help. What happens when Agent Terminator meets Mr Detonator. Well, lets just say it is not good. Sarah, one — GRETA, zero.

Chuck enters the game in time for the final countdown. Apparently, Boy GRETA has no problem terminating targets, either, even people who aren’t targets. Chuck, on the other hand, operates under the assumption that no loss is acceptable (call back to Tom Sawyer). 100,000 as opposed to 1 million may be an acceptable loss to Boy GRETA, but not to Chuck. Another point for Chuck. (So it’s 3 to zero.)

About that other limitation — over reliance on handlers. Some people call that teamwork. Let Team Bartowski show you how it’s done.

I love this call back to the pilot. The similarities make me smile, but the differences make me smile bigger. Casey trusts Chuck, really trusts him. Before Sarah even shows up, Casey decides to let Chuck have a go at the bomb, the one that Boy GRETA can’t disarm, because it’s not in the Intersect. That must mean something. Wait, it’s on the tip of my brain. Yes. The Intersect is not the most important thing about Chuck. Hello!

Chuck’s team helps him kneel to the ground, because blimp-wear doesn’t allow for much flexibility. Then they work as one to prevent a nuclear disaster. Team GRETA watches while Team Bartowski disarms the bomb. As Chuck goes through the steps, nobody understands what he is doing. The difference is that Sarah and Casey trust him and follow his instructions, even though they don’t understand. The GRETA’s just roll their eyes with disdain. Even when Chuck asks for the juice box, Casey complies with an expectant grunt. Sarah’s trust is evident, “Chuck, are you about to disarm a nuclear bomb using fruit juice? … OK. Do it.” Another point for Chuck. (4 points total.)

And it’s a shut out. Team GRETA scores zero. Team Chuck scores 100,004 … that’s the four points we added up, plus one for each of those hundred thousand people who, thanks to Chuck, aren’t the reported death toll on the evening news.

Comeuppance

Is it just me, or did General Beckman really enjoy ticking off Team GRETA’s list of “limitations:”

1. Threatened Agent Bartowski’s life
2. Killed the man they were supposed to capture
3. Accidentally armed a nuclear bomb.

After all that, Bentley still expected to be King of the Castle? Unbelievable. … I knew I hated her.

And her GRETA’s? De-intersecting as we speak. What a relief … to all of us. I did like Captain Rick’s sympathetic nod to Chuck, “What a relief to have that out of my head. That poor guy Bartowski.” Chuck deserves admiration, not insults from people like Bentley, who just don’t have a clue which is the sharp end of the CIA stick.

Yep. Things are not as they seem. And don’t forget it.

Happy Trails Blue Skies

So, what will become of the GRETA’s? I hear there are openings at Large Mart.

As for Chuck and Sarah, they are the A-Team again, with their own private jet and lots to do to pass the time as they fly to far-off, exciting, and dangerous places.

“Just” Nothing!

It’s nice to be needed. Nobody likes to be sidelined.

Ellie Bartowski Woodcomb: PhD, MD, smart, beautiful … “just” a stay-at-home mom. Ellie mirrors her mother in her approach to keeping up with Clare, but from a different point of reference. Instead of sit reps, there are charts and bio-statistics and computer modeling. As Devon pointed out Ellie is not “just” anything. She is Mrs/Dr. Awesome. But she needed a little something more. Her efforts to motivate Jeff and Lester to find her father’s laptop were hilarious. She parallels Sarah in her determination and ability to carry out a mission. I love Ellie using her espionage genes in the real world to get what she wants … it’s a mirror to Chuck using his nerd brain and out-of-the-box thinking in the spy world. The Ellie/Jeffster combination is comedy gold. With the return of PapaB’s laptop, she gets back her sense of usefulness … and Team Bartowski gets an “inside man” in the evil machinations of Dir. Jane Bentley.

Casey wasn’t part of the team anymore. Chuck and Sarah were the team. He was “just” backup. Or that’s what he thought. Bentley’s offer was too good to pass up. He didn’t want to hurt Chuck and Sarah. That much is clear from the way he treats them. They are his friends, but friends aren’t enough. He needs something he can sink his teeth into professionally. He’s a Marine Colonel, not a life guard. Something tells me, though, that very soon he will rediscover his importance to Team Bartowski, especially now that Sarah knows how he feels.

Chuck and Sarah were “just” the B-Team. Ouch. Chuck is more or less used to his importance being questioned. He went through all of this in FOD. It’s new territory for Sarah, though. I doubt she’s ever been on a CIA B-Team. It was wildly entertaining to watch her plot their secret mission to recover their status. They more than earned it, though I doubt she expected they’d have to disarm a nuclear bomb to get it back.

Bottom Line

The episode made me fall in love with our favorite couple/spy-couple all over again. Now that they have found their couple feet; now that Chuck has put on his Orion mantle, and Sarah has settled into the wedding and relaxed into Chuck’s 1000 ways to help her, a new comfort has crept into their spy life. It’s just fun to watch, and A-Team showed us a delightful new side of Chuck and Sarah.

Sarah Lancaster did a fabulous job this week. Ellie was hilarious … absolutely perfect. Keep the Ellie tap flowing, please. Devon was perfect, too, for that matter. They make excellent new parents, and the Woodcomb antics are always a fun part of the episode for me. I hope this trend continues.

I can’t wait to see what Ellie does with the laptop, how Bentley will manipulate her, when Casey will come to his senses. The next 6 episodes look fantastic.

Season 4 is Genius, and I’m loving it. A-Team is no exception.

~Thinkling

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Chuck and Sarah Rule — GRETA’s Drool

  1. atcDave says:

    I love your write-ups Thinkling. Its fun to see some one else enjoying S4 as much as I am and someone who’s a pretty shameless Sarah Walker fan. (BTW, Bored/Board games, too funny!)

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Dave. I wondered who would catch the “bored” games. The Churchill reference was for you. I’ve corrected it out of respect.

      The “Where have all the missions gone? Assigned to GRETA’s every one.” … That was a 60’s music reference for Joe.

      “Blue Skies” were for Faith, Ernie, and Amy.

      Personally I liked the blimp-wear. I am too easily pleased.

      • joe says:

        Heh! You can bet I got the reference, Thinkling. I just wasn’t sure if you meant the Peter, Paul & Mary version, or the Kingston Trio. (But we’ll let that be our little secret. 😉 )

        Oh – I got the bored games too. Gaffawed.

      • thinkling says:

        🙂 Good, because I’m usually bad at the music references. PP&M. I was born in 56, so Kingston Trio was a little before my time.

      • atcDave says:

        Hey I’m younger than you Thinkling, but its Kingston Trio all the way! (all the folk sound without the politics…)

      • atcDave says:

        errr….

        Sorry I forgot that’s an awful thing to say to a lady!

      • joe says:

        Oh, Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley!

      • thinkling says:

        It’s OK, Dave. I knew you were younger. Kingston Trio is more upbeat and less political. When I listen now I see that, but when I was a young teen, I really liked PP&M.

        Joe, good one.

        You guys are fun.

      • atcDave says:

        Honestly I have and like both versions. But PP&M is like the poster child for “shut up and sing!”

    • kg says:

      Another thoughtful, organized and insightful review Thinkling. It’s funny, even though one of yours or especially one from Ernie is longer than that of Old Darth, I’m never bored or find myself counting the words.

      I learn a thing or two and at the very least gets me to re-think what I have watch once or twice.

      I’m just grateful we’ve been fed four seasons of this wonderfully magic show and allowed to witness the talent and passion of the actors.

      Lou is very concerned with the technical aspects of the show. I don’t much care anymore for that. Or ratings. The good folks at Chucktv.net always find an excuse or put a positive spin on why the ratings stayed the same or slipped. But the bottom line is, great show, good one, average or occasionally bad, technically sound or not, shipper-laden or not – the ratings have dropped. I can’t remember the last time they spiked.

      It’s obvious we got three and four and will only get a five by patronizing sponsors, re-watching and answering questions on Reward TV.

      I’m just going to continue to watch, enjoy and appreciate the ride of this “Little Show That Could.”

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah its obvious numbers have been pretty flat for a while. I understand some of that is just normal with serialized story telling (very hard to bring in new blood at this point). There still seems to be a chance at one more season, but for now I mean to enjoy every episode like this is it.

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks, KG. I too am grateful for what we’ve had and still hold out hope for S5.

        We have better numbers than Smallville has seen in years. How did they manage to get 10 seasons?

        Maybe we could take their slot on Friday nights and stay there for 6 more years … 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I do think CW may be a good possibility for Chuck, we’ll see what happens. Ratings are just a different world over there. Last I knew, CW was only available in like 2/3s of US households, so expectations are different right from the start. I know Smallville is produced on a pretty tight budget, I would love to know exactly how it compares to Chuck. But Smallville is CW’s best show ever, so the bar is set pretty low.

      • thinkling says:

        Dave, is it all part of the WB family. Could that be an actual possibility?

        Being big fish in little pond could get us more seasons.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah they are. CW is joint owned by WB and CBS. So it is definitely a possibility; although like I said, CW is a small network with small budgets. We know Chuck is considered an inexpensive show, but I’m not sure how inexpensive. We also should figure some audience would be lost in transition. I’m sure there are actual studio number crunchers who have (or will) looked at this stuff; but I think CW is a real possibility if Chuck’s run on NBC ends prematurely (whatever the definition of prematurely may be).

  2. herder says:

    Wonderful review thinkling, with Chuck and Sarah it’s all about the small things. In the first two seasons Sarah would show her affection by little things like straightening his lapel or something like that, now that they are together it is things like taking his hand in the elevator in Leftovers.

    In this episode one of my personal favorite scenes is in front of the door to the new part of Castle. As they walk up to it she takes his arm, no big deal but it is an example of their closeness. That is followed up by the cutting off of Casey’s hand bit, watch Sarah’s eyes as she talks, she mentions cutting off his hand while looking at the panel to her right, Chuck says we’ll keep that as a back up plan and her eyes shift to the left, to Chuck, she thinks and says ok, it’s her eyes that make it so funny.

    This is just one example, in previous years we got her expressions and non-verbal communication as her love for Chuck, this year they seem to have expanded that to make her non-verbal communication as the basis for much of her comedy. Be it a play date with Morgan, talking weddings with Ellie , bewildlerment at Alex and Morgan or listening to a killer confess his love for a supermodel, Sarah’s expressions dealing with her fish out of water experiences are priceless and comedy gold.

    The truth is that the more that I see of this episode the more that I like it, in that way it is very much a throw back to season two, I realize that many of us tend to mythologize season two and that is a valid critisism, but with that in mind to say that an episode meets those high (even higher in memory) standards is high praise indeed.

    • Faith says:

      Agreed.

      Also LOL, that scene was very funny. They have these subtle nuances in expression that are just plain awesome.

    • thinkling says:

      I agree with all of that, Herder. I love Sarah’s comic side, and you’re right; a lot of that is her non-verbal com … that and her dry delivery of the punch line.

      I noticed her taking Chuck’s arm, too and thought how couple-y it was, and very natural. This was a wonderful couple episode without focusing on either the wedding or the relationship.

      The scene in front of the door and the scene where they rationalize following Casey have the same comic non verbal mix with Sarah. There was just so much to enjoy in this episode.

    • atcDave says:

      Which all leads back to what an excellent comic actress Yvonne is. She did so little of it in the first three seasons I figured it was outside of her comfort zone. But not at all, they’ve essentially replaced three seasons of relationship angst with couple’s comedy. And both leads are 100% up to the challenge.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree. They’ve had good drama, without the long, drawn out, heavy angst. I love it.

        Comedy? Of course she can. She’s Yvonne. She can do anything.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @Dave:

        “Couple’s comedy” – Exactly! It would be fine with me if they never have another moment of relationship angst with these two characters. Well, maybe one moment, if it’s to put HIM to rest once and for all.

        They’re both great at it (the comedy), and I’ll never understand why we didn’t start having this after Season 2 ended.

        There. And I didn’t mention IT or HIM by name even once.

      • thinkling says:

        Admirable restraint, VV. 😉 🙂

  3. Verkan_Vall says:

    @Thinkling:

    Yes, I know some people didn’t care much either way for this one, a lot of people didn’t like the pacing and so forth, but it was just what I needed. I know it sounds dumb to keep saying “Roger that”, or “Ditto” or “Agreed”, but you said everything I had to say, and you said it better.

    More Chuck & Sarah, more Casey, more teamwork, more Ellie.

    More, Please.

    • joe says:

      More, Please, indeed! (also reg. trademark, patent pending, same blogger! 😉 )

      Verkan, I’m so glad that you’ve remembered your name. Heh!

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @Joe:

        It wasn’t easy. All five of those heartbreakers in the same picture was almost more than my worn-out old memory boards could handle.

        Whew.

  4. Faith says:

    Thinkling, fantastic writeup, I really enjoyed reading it even after 5 rewatches of A-Team. (BTW this one rates very high on rewatch).

    Couple of things:
    1. I find that I’m still upset at what Casey did. I understand why he did it, and I absolutely loved the scene with him and Sarah talking about no longer being needed. Wasn’t that one our own questions? With Chuck and Sarah as a couple and a team, what does that do to Casey? Well in A-Team we got a bit of his emotional reaction to that…though much less in actual answer. But I’m still very upset and quite emotional about it actually 😐
    2. I thought it was a great callback episode and as it’s been stated here in Chuckthis we measure genius on callbacks. There was the bomb of course but also the return to the idea that Ellie is a Bartowski and that she too needs to do more, be more for the world. Another callback: Casey with the apple juice, reminiscent of Suitcase and how he was helping Chuck get ready for the mission in Milan. Very parent to the kindergardener on his first day. Aww. But the callbacks doesn’t take away from the episode. It had its own set of inventiveness and creativity.
    2.5. I absolutely love the fact that Sarah took being demoted as a challenge. It shows how she got to the top of her game, and why with Chuck and Casey they really are the best (call back to Dream Job).

    • joe says:

      Gee, Faith. I hadn’t even thought about Sarah’s (and Chuck’s) reaction to this kind of adversity! It’s an important point.

      The challenges for which we are NOT prepared are the hardest.

      Great catch!

    • thinkling says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Faith. Casey’s betrayal still stings, but I really liked his solicitous attitude. I think he’s having second thoughts, which will probably turn into third thoughts and a happy reunion with his old team.

      Nice catch on the apple juice/Casey moment being reminiscent of Suitcase. It’s interesting that this episode had the feel and call backs to some of Klemmer’s other episodes.

      Subway: the scan panel and the Intersect project, GB siding with Bartowski against other PTB, the public revelation of Chuck’s limitations (Sarah fears health issues again)

      You mentioned Dream Job.

      Role Models: Sarah’s way of dealing with things.

      Tom Sawyer: the bomb, acceptable losses, trusting Chuck to disarm the bomb.

      Undercover Lover: Chuck and Sarah “spying” on Casey. Of course then it was his former love life.

      Klemmer has written some really good episodes, and there was no shadow of the episodes we didn’t like.

      I didn’t really see any Suburbs in there, unless you just count the fact that it deals with the Intersect.

      You’re right about the rewatch value, too.

  5. weaselone says:

    I have to admit that it still confuses me that so many fans believe Sarah’s actions are out of character. As you’ve note, she’s never been on the B-Team. Unlike Chuck or Casey, she’s never been sidelined for a significant amount of time. Plus, the last time Casey went on a mission without her, he ended up with her knife pressed against his neck.

    • joe says:

      Weasel, you know, I’ve seen that for years, and I just don’t get it.

      I’m always surprised at fans who think that everything there is to be known about a character is revealed in the pilot. Or, maybe they’re fully formed at conception, like Venus from the forehead of Jupiter. Or something.

      Okay, I exaggerate, but only a bit. There really *is* such a thing as getting a character “wrong”, or taking too many liberties. And that’s a sign of poor writing, indeed.

      But for my money, static is worse. A character that doesn’t grow and change is a cartoon.

    • thinkling says:

      Exactly, Weaselone. Even in the Pilot, she hated that Graham was recalling her. She was determined to FIX it. Sarah does not like to lose or sit the bench.

  6. joe says:

    I normally prepare for Mondays by re-watching the last episode the weekend before. This time I’m looking forward to doing that more than usual because of the (many) little things your pointed out, Thinkling! Can’t thank you enuf for that.

    And why is it that I saw them, but didn’t grok? Herder, you got it right… “[W]ith Chuck and Sarah it’s all about the small things.” It sure is.

    Now, it’s onto my re-watch, this time, taking notes!

    • thinkling says:

      Happy rewatching, Joe 🙂

      • joe says:

        It was a hoot. I must be an oddball this way, but only after several re-watches now have I come to enjoy the amazing comic timing is this episode. The principals, even the GRETAs, are fantastic to watch.

        Yvonne’s timing is superb throughout, especially playing off Zac. Watch them through the chopping-off-Casey’s-hand sequence. It’s classic. Morgan saying “Tell Casey I put up a good fight!” – Made my wife and I laugh immediately, again.

        And Keibler, with her “You ought to know.” taunting admonition of C&S… spot on! Sarah L. slays me with that cute little look of disgust when Jeff & Lester devote themselves to hunting down her computer.

        Why is it not Monday yet?

      • atcDave says:

        I rewatched this episode with a couple co-workers at lunch the other day; we were all laughing and chortling the whole way through. It was such a good time and a pleasure to watch (again).

      • thinkling says:

        And it doesn’t have any scenes that I just have to skip.

        Joe, I think that there is so much in each episode, and so much subtlety, that you just pick up more on rewatch.

        OK. Just a few more thoughts:
        When Girl GRETA came running up behind Mr. Detonator, did Sarah call her “Stacy?”

        Remember when Casey was encouraging Chuck about his suit and said that he had had to wear one on his worst mission. It just occurred to me what a compliment that was to Chuck. It was as if Chuck was both little brother and equal all at once.

        Is the mini-van surveillance vehicle (with all the baby stuff) a foreshadowing of the future Bartowski family, with mom and dad off spying?

        There was something else niggling my brain. I’ll think of it later.

      • joe says:

        You bet, Thinkling.

        Okay – I’m pretty sure Sarah said “Vicky” (not Stacey) in that scene, but now I’ll have to rewatch and check for that. Awwwww. 😉

        You know, Casey was *very* nice to Chuck (and Sarah too, come to think of it), all through the episode. It was like he was trying to assuage their hurt feelings. Talk about your OOC acting.

        Oh, wait! Could Casey actually *care* about and have some *loyalty* to his old team – his current team, since they are on the same team now? You betcha!

        And I so do hope that the baby stuff in the van is foreshadowing. I love it that they didn’t seem to mind it there at all.

        To whomever it was in the group that thought of that one, Thank Yeww!

      • thinkling says:

        OK, Joe, it was “Vicky.” Why did I hear Stacy? My mind does funny things sometimes. 😉

        I liked that the baby stuff didn’t bother them, too. But it was such an incongruous looking scene. It’s small touches like that that are funny, especially because they don’t comment on it.

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    I have to agree with everyone, even Faith again. I’ve gotten in to the habit of re-watching an episode of Chuck immediately after it ends, then again on iTunes the next day. The thing that struck me about A-Team was that after the first watch I was left with a sense of “meh” with a certain appreciation that a lot of the fun everyday life elements Chuck brings to the relationship, while they appeal to Sarah, aren’t really enough for her. She still needs some action (heh) to stay sane. On the re-watch I think I got a better sense of how well this episode worked to establish the new and improved Chuck and Sarah. I also appreciated a lot of the subtle things, mostly the moods and their shifts between the Walker-Bartowskis and their friends and family. Chuck and Sarah have settled into their new life and a lot of this episode served to highlight how well they know each other and their moods and how well they compliment each other and work together. Chuck’s board game obsession wasn’t about making Sarah someone else, it was one of those ways he helps her. He tries to keep her busy, to give her competitive side an outlet, and when necessary he lets her take the lead to fix things without letting her get into too much trouble. I doubt she really would have chopped Casey’s hand off. She’d just have tranq’ed him and wheeled him to the door on a furniture dolly or something. Still, the thought did cross her mind, and she did use the 10mg darts on Morgan… Sarah for her part isn’t going to let a period of inactivity send Chuck back into his Buy More daze where he simply waits for something to happen. Chuck is content after all, and it would be too easy for him to let things lie rather than take the bull by the horns. They are going to be the A-team, and they’re going to earn it, not wait around for something to happen. It was a marvelous episode for the new post-Morgan, post-Casey Chuck and Sarah dynamic. It is the two of them as partners, in every sense. They are each other’s number one everything.

    You know they’re about to mess with them, right?

    The more I watch this episode and think of the post-Push Mix standalones and Vivian episodes the more I think the end of season arcs are going to come crashing together spectacularly. This, it seems to me, will be the episode where they laid the foundation for how Chuck and Sarah handle that together.

    So now we have several balls in the air, a lot of them from this episode. We have Vivian and Volkoff and any possible impact they will have on the Bartowskis both personally and professionally. We have Bentley and her agenda, and she doesn’t seem to mind personalizing it with the Bartowskis either. We have whoever is above Beckman and the battle between Beckman and Bentley for the future of the intersect project, and by proxy, the entire Bartowski clan and legacy. And Ellie is back in the spy world, again without knowing it. I’m practically giddy with anticipation and despondant that after tomorrow night, from what I’ve heard, we get three weeks of Chuckless Mondays. This will be one of those episodes I watch more than a few times to get past that string of Mondays.

    • thinkling says:

      Well said, Ernie. I totally agree with your agreement. 😉 The new and improved Chuck and Sarah, their complementarity, Chuck’s motivation for the games and keeping her out of trouble, Sarah taking the lead (because she know Chuck won’t). I love that the growth sticks this year. They bring Chuck and Sarah through growing episodes and moments, and then in the episodes that follow, you see (shown not told) the evidence of the growth. And a lot of it is subtle which is such a tribute to Zach and Yvonne. Genius!

      Are they really gonna mess with them. (whine) Well, OK, just a little. And … as long as they “get them to the church on time.”

    • uplink2 says:

      Nicely put Ernie. This is what I’ve been waiting for ever since Ring 1 actually. How Chuck and Sarah settle in to being the great spy couple and how they use their growth and relationship as an asset to be the best there is. They have achieved a level of comfort with each other now that is extraordinary. And it enhances everything they do.

      I also agree that tomorrow we start to see the convergence of the major elements of this season start coming together. Is Bentley working for Volkoff, the end of Clueless Ellie, the growth of one Sarah Walker, Chuck the intelligent spy, Casey’s role on the team and his future. We will definitely see that growth and relationship tested by all of this but not in anyway challenges their love for each other which is something I am so glad is long past.

      In many ways this is the story/show I’ve been waiting for. I also agree with you Think that this season at least on the relationship front we ARE being shown and not told. The growth from the previous episode is shown clearly in the next. Some story elements are being let drop but nothing on the relationship front except maybe “No, you’re not…. at least not now”. I must say that at the end of this I may end up with a new ranking for favorite seasons with 4.5 leading the pack followed by 4.0 and 3.5.

      • thinkling says:

        I think I may be with you on your ranking. And I hope this time next year, I can say the same for season 5. With this Chuck and Sarah at the core of the show, it’s exactly what I want. Engaged Chuck and Sarah are even better than together Chuck and Sarah, so I expect married Chuck and Sarah to be even better than engaged Chuck and Sarah. And that’s the way it should be.

        Way down the road, after multiple more seasons, I expect to be laughing at pregnant Chuck and Sarah (well, you know what I mean).

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree Think. I started back on my season 1 rewatch and just rewatched Nemesis and we had talked about about the comparisons and callback to the Sarah/Bryce fight scene after FBoE. I did some thinking and realized that the fight scene in Honeymooners really showed Chuck and Sarah were then as good as Sarah and Bryce. They had reached that level. But the scene in FBoE showed that they are way beyond that now. They are far better than Sarah and Bryce ever were. Chuck and Sarah’s comfort together and connection together goes beyond anything they had been able to achieve before. They have become of one mind as a team. That is the ultimate strength that the relationship has given them. And its not that Casey has fallen back its just that they have moved so far ahead. But I think they want to reach out to him and bring him into the fold as well.

        There is just so much more that the show can do now that they have reached this place. I’m hoping they take this and run with it all the way to a season 5.

    • joe says:

      I have the same feeling you do, Ernie, about the arcs crashing together.

      MamaB, Volkoff, Vivian, Casey-Bentley-Morgan-Alex-Kathleen (lest we forget), all coming together on a private island booked for The Ceremony…

      Wow. I just got myself excited. 😉

    • Faith says:

      It was definitely not a filler episode, it had stakes and future implications. Then again I’m one of those that believe every episode has something to offer to the big picture. While the fun of Seduction Impossible (also rates high on rewatch) screams stand-alone, it further established a team in Chuck and Sarah–one able to deal with internal conflict–and an individual in Casey. One where he finds himself having to be rescued (in his own way) and that never sits well with John Casey, G-man.

      • thinkling says:

        I’m with you Faith. I see it as a building episode, with game changing potential. It puts some S2-feeling stakes back on the table, right along with all the other stuff going on. I like it.

        And I like the character builders, too … like Seduction Impossible. Some of those stand-alones give us our most important character growth. Think Cougars. I’m happy with all of those episodes.

  8. Tamara Burks says:

    Bentley really was arrogant in thinking that it would be Chuck and Sarah who would be kicked out when Beckman said Castle was getting crowded. Did she really think that how badly they screwed up was a plus or did she expect Casey to skew the reports in the Gretas favor. The female Greta looked very pouty when the strikes against them were listed off (because she’s the one that did them) , the male Greta screwed up by not doing not by doing so he was still looking smug.

    I wonder if Bentley recruited her Gretas by picking the ones with the least ability to actually think for themselves. I mean look at the list.

    The first one was ok as far as we know.
    The male should have had the common sense to change his name tag to a male name .
    The blonde one should also have had the sense to change her name tag and she hid from Jeff and Lester.
    The last one didn’t have the sense to change her name tag and stop using the secret passageways while the store was open not to mention she wanted to kill Jeff and lester when the failure to maintain her cover was her fault for doing the things stated above.

    None of the Gretas (or the Stepford spies) seemed to be around in a stressful all hands on deck situation like the riot at the store that would require them to think on thier feet and use non lethal measures.

    I’d like to see one of the Stepford spies voluntarily think outside of the box and dress like a normal employee (it would be more obvious on the women) and if asked would say they realized they hadn’t secured thier cover as an employee of the Buy More and if they can’t secure thier cover in the relative secirity of the Buy More how can they secure one in a different situation.

    • thinkling says:

      No kidding, Tamara. Bentley! And even after her defrocking, she insists that nothing is wrong with her GRETA’s. She is twisted, indeed.

      Stepford Spy. I love it!! Maybe Bentley is a Stepford herself … an evil one.

    • Faith says:

      Stepford spies, LMAO. Good one!

      I thought it was interesting how Keibler showed a contrite visage even pre-deintersecting. It shows that although their intersects have all but made them robots, there was still that person within…albeit mostly in non-combat situations.

      • joe says:

        The original Stepford Wives movie had an amazing impact, Faith.

        Ah, the ’70s. You should have been there! Nixon, Apollo 13, Disco… Good times! 😀

      • Tamara Burks says:

        The women at least have to be robots. There can’t be anything human about someone who works in a job that requires them to be on thier feet all day and they all wear the same style of very high heels. Not to mention they wear pencil skirts that restricts your walking stride and makes it awkward to bend down to get a product off a lower shelf for a customer.

        And since they are supposed to appear to be actual employees of the Buy More they need to take thier dress cues from the women who are real employees and who dress comfortably. Doing so would show that they had learned something about securing thier cover.

  9. Tamara Burks says:

    And for the next episode I predict that the killer will be Colonel Mustard in the parlor with a candlestick. Actually, I think Bentley will have something to do with it , just not directly (in that she’s not the killer).

    • atcDave says:

      Having considered about every Bentley possibility on this episode, I currently think you’re right. She may end up looking like a jerk again, but she will be neither killer nor victim in the end.

      • armysfc says:

        am going to go against the grain here. i don’t think volkoff and bentley are tied together. no real reason just a gut feeling.

        herder i doubt beckman named anyone agent x. the promo from c2e2 shows agent x on the brain picture ellie is looking at on her dads laptop. my best guess is ellie ties agent x to chuck in the episode agent x.

        my guess for the killer tonight is some poor agent/person that got intersected by mistake and just went nuts.

      • armysfc says:

        oops! supposed to be down lower on the page.

    • Faith says:

      I say it’s the girl Chuck. I don’t trust girl Chucks.

    • thinkling says:

      I think you’re right Tamara. Bentley won’t be the murderer (or the victim, like Dave said), but I won’t be at all surprised if she’s behind it in some way. She’s the one with something to prove.

      Faith, I can’t keep up with all the Chuck’s, but girl Chuck’s are just wrong.

      • herder says:

        And if there were a girl Chuck, wouldn’t that be someone that Morgan might consider tossing Alex aside for? Although such an action might in fact “release the Casey” (able to stop a speeding train with a single grunt).

        No I see either Bentley’s or Volkov’s hand behind this, someone with a vested interest in the failure of the intersect program, at least as far as it involves Chuck. Of course if someone named Butler shows up, then the murderer is obvious, but I think it will be more complicated than that.

      • weaselone says:

        Well, the promo appears to show the “girl Chuck” outliving her male counterparts. Does she survive? Does Sarah kill her for making eyes at Chuck? Is she responsible for offing her male counterparts? Find out on tonight’s exciting new episode of Chuck.

      • thinkling says:

        Is her real name Charlotte Butler? Good one, Herder.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well the natural thing to me is to see a start to the convergence of story lines with this episode. Somehow they have to head us toward Family Volkoff as I don’t think this episode is a standalone. It is leading us towards that convergence. Volkoff’s connections into the CIA and NSA have never been shown and the twist of bringing in Ellie seems to possibly be coming from Volkoff as well.

        I am really excited for what is about to happen tonight. If I have to pray for one thing its the final end of clueless Ellie, albeit a season and a half too late.

      • thinkling says:

        I’ve been wondering/hoping they would finally explore Volkoff’s inside person.

        As easy as it would be to point the finger at Bentley, I can’t get there logically. If Volkoff has someone inside, how much might he know about the Intersect project? There was never any indication that he knew anything about Charles Carmichael or Chuck being the Intersect. I think MamaB would have done all in her power for him not to know about Chuck being the Intersect. We don’t even know if he knows about the Intersect, but I suppose he might. So, if Bentley is connected with the Intersect inner circle of project runners (which she has been since Anniversary), it’s nearly impossible (per Volkoff’s ignorance of the Intersect) that she is Volkoff’s inside man. There could be a blind connection (Bentley/Volkoff), with at least one degree of separation. In that case, I would expect the identity of the Intersect to be unknown. In fact, Volkoff may only know of a secret weapon (agent X, maybe?).

        Big question, Uplink. Is this episode going to be a cliff hanger? Are we going to have 3 weeks of nail biting?

      • herder says:

        I’m guessing that Agent X is the name that Beckman gives to the unknown mole when charging team Bartowski to find him/her. Sort of the intelligence version of unknown subject in profiler cases.

      • joe says:

        Herder, you must go to the spoiler threads and find the video where Faith exclaims “Shipper Squee!”

        There’s a clue about Agent-X there in that video.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Joe, “Go to where Faith exclaims Shipper Squee!” doesn’t really narrow it down much, does it?

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I was thinking along the lines of hre slipping someone she thinks is a perfect candidate in the mix somehow and telling them to do whatever it takes to be the winner an d they take that to mean to kill the competition.

        And maybe the girl Chuck won’t actually be a girl Chuck but a younger Sarah.

        After all I’ve long held the belief that Sarah met Bryce on Project Omaha (because of the we’ll always have Omaha bit) not to mention I think the only reason Bryce might have been on it was because he was an alternate to replace any of the set number of condidates they had and once Chuck was off the list Bryce moved up. And if that spec is true this would be a great ep for Sarah to find that out.

        Maybe at the end one of the baby Chucks and the younger Sarah will walk off together (assuming they survive).

      • uplink2 says:

        Think, I agree. I am expecting some sort of cliffhanger tonight. Something that makes that turn towards convergence. I also wonder whether we will see a similar promo to last year when we went on the April 3 week hiatus. Seems like they might have something edited for it from the Chicago thing though I expect that NBC might do the editing based on how badly the make their promos.

        As far as Linda Hamilton not being in it, my feeling is that she may not be back till 4.23 and 4.24. She had only 2 episodes left on her original option so unless they added another one I think she isn’t back till 4.23.

      • joe says:

        Ack – Ernie, you’re right. Squeeeees all over the place!

        Wow, that list of comments there is LOOOOONNNNGGGG. So for the sake of convenience, here’s the direct link. https://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com/spoilers/season-4-5-spoiler-page-4-14-4-24/#comment-41461

        …and what a great video!

      • atcDave says:

        Whether we get a cliffhanger here or not may come down to if they knew this was when the break would be. With no Vivian in this episode I’m not convinced we’ll get any Volkoff info at all. I think this will simply be heavy on Bentley/Intersect story. And of course, if Ellie finally gets drawn into the mix it can only be good news.

      • Faith says:

        😛

        I’d be more offended 😉 but that video has put me in a happy bubble :D.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Faith, I’ve realized it’s impossible to tease you about being an uber-shipper. You have absolutely no shame when it comes to Charah. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        @Faith:
        What is it in the video that makes you Squeee so? Is it all the Chuck and Sarah scenes or is there something about a future wedding you see in there?

        I’d hate to miss something.

      • Faith says:

        Shame? If shipper love is wrong, I don’t want to be right! 😀

        Thinkling, there are spoilers towards the end but I’m squeeing from 1:14 up to 4:20 when they start playing Down River. It’s essentially like a fanvideo of Chuck and Sarah.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true. If they give it that much time, there has to be a wedding, even though there are no wedding spoilers in the vid.

        I don’t get why they love to keep saying “may or may not,” first to the proposal and now to the wedding. aarrggghhhhh

      • atcDave says:

        I’m thinking, come April, NBC will start promoting the wedding more. And if they’re smart they’ll get more specific as we get closer. They really can use this to draw attention.

      • joe says:

        I’m so amused by the video! “Nick and Nora”, Hart to Hart – there’s so many things he mentioned that we’ve brought up directly. Once again, it’s like Chris Fedak is reading our minds blog!

        Well, okay. Fans everywhere have been saying these things for a while. But I do appreciate that TPTB are paying more than a little attention. Their connectedness to the fans is clearly one of the show’s charms.

  10. Joe, Ernie, Thinkling, Liz, and Faith!
    “Chuck vs Muuurder”
    A who done it mystery! A spy is killed at Team Bartowksi’s secret base. Who kill the spy? was it Sarah, Casey, Chuck, or was it Morgan. Better call in CSI or NCIS.

  11. Faith says:

    So I’ve been told Chuck is like a more modern, sexier Scarecrow & Mrs. King. No one told me it had the girl from Charlie’s Angels. Awesome.

    • thinkling says:

      Faith, are you saying you never watched Scarecrow and Mrs King? There are definite similarities. Chuck is way better, but I enjoyed Scarecrow.

      • Faith says:

        No, I have not had the pleasure Thinkling, now I hope I did! I did see Hart to Hart though and it was aces.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        It gets even better. The agent “Scarecrow” was none other than Dr. “Woody” Woodcomb.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Ernie. Duh. I forgot that if you didn’t see Scarecrow you wouldn’t recognize Woody.

      • Faith says:

        I did not recognize Woody, but you’re right that’s him! Haha. Tron guy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s