An interesting episode to say the least. I think I’m going to need a couple of rewatches because there’s something about it that I just didn’t…get?
I thought Timothy Dalton stole the episode once more. His mere presence seems to automatically put the show on a whole other level and whatever level that is, unfortunately I feel like Cohen brings down (sorry!). It might be the fact that I knew she was going to turn bad (because I spoiled myself before my west coast broadcast lol), but I doubt it. She suffers a lot, admittedly in comparison to the presence that is Timothy Dalton as psychotic Volkoff and her outburst in the cave left a lot to be desired. She started off good, with the underlying deviousness of the plan, but the outburst itself, fell flat. Having said that, I thought the amount of rage she put in her voice when on the phone towards the end was good. I’m apprehensive (like Sepinwall) about what a Vivian villain arc will bring. But never say die right? Haha.
The Mcguffin this week was the weapon but it takes the backseat to the brilliant Fathers theme. The legacy that two fathers imparts (Stephen, Volkoff), one good, another bad; and another attempts to build (Casey). I really loved the contrast, on the one hand you have Ellie finding herself through the good of Stephen’s life’s work, on the other you have Vivian whose life is made darker with Volkoff’s life work. You have Volkoff trying to reconnect with Vivian, and you have Ellie disconnecting from her own family (Mary, Chuck).
I’m loving all the mentions of Stephen. It tugs at my heartstrings. Even Volkoff’s apology to Mary and his statement about being unworthy warmed me. An amazing feat for someone who’s essentially a villainous psychotic.
There’s the theme of secrets and lies of course, and in this one it’s really the symbolic prenup that’s separating the family. Chuck fears that Ellie knowing about his spy life will “tear (them) apart” so it’s ironic that not telling her is actually what’s doing it. But this conflict works for me on a couple of levels. On one, with Chuck and Sarah settled, and the focus on family, there really isn’t a lot in terms of conflict for Chuck as it relates to his sister apart from the secrets. It’s eventually going to be resolved, in the meantime I find the how and why interesting. How will she react? Who is Agent X? What amount of danger will she face, and how will Chuck, in his Chuck way, rescue her from it? Two, it’s different from season 3 where it opened her up to be exploited by Justin, because this time she’s not the naive dupe, instead she’s the deceiver. An awesome twist!
To quote Alexei, “she’s my daughter, she takes after me!” A statement that applies to both fathers’ daughters, Vivian and Ellie.
Agent X, so many questions. I assumed that Agent X was Chuck and if said agent remained unknown to both GB, Frost and is feared by Volkoff, it could literally be anybody.
Now for the prenup. I thought it was an interesting dynamic to see Chuck be mature, and patient with Sarah, and Sarah take on Chuck’s hand-wringing persona. I absolutely love the bluntness and openness at which Sarah asked him to stop being so cool. Chuck’s prenup was so cute and loving. Something we’ve come to expect from Chuck Bartowski.
I did have an issue with it though, and that is Sarah was unwilling to explain to Chuck (at least initially) why the prenup—maybe because he never asked, and she was waiting for him to—and yet she had opened up fairly easily to Casey. I’m not fan of them going to other people to resolve their issues. It makes sense, and it works (don’t get me wrong) but I felt weirded out in seeing Chuck go to Morgasey, and Sarah going to Casey (essentially) to talk about their problems. Then again, good things come to those who wait, because eventually they did talk about it. A non-entity in that she tore it up, but it would have worked much better for me (totally subjective!) had she discussed with Chuck why and her thought process rather than leave it implied with Chuck having to be a mind-reader, or rather Morgasey being a mind reader and Chuck essentially just letting her have space. Don’t get me wrong, space works, at times. Certainly did in this one, somewhat. And like I said, it got resolved well.
Final thought, it’s interesting really that out of all the Fathers, Casey and his (Crown Vic) “the choice I made, to protect something bigger than ourselves, is the right choice” is the one guy out of all the fathers who’s making the best of his second chance. And doing something that really none of the fathers did/could do and that is put their daughter above themselves, their life’s work.
All in all I give this 3.5 daughters out of 5.