The changing of the tone is a Chuck staple. On some nights it works, on others it doesn’t. In this one, it was hit and miss.
While the episode begun slowly with the tease of fun and sexy times, the episode itself was anything but (fun and sexy times). Regardless, a well done episode full of twist and intrigue that just built onto itself and soared.
I didn’t find the “Vecas,” nor the bachelorette party nearly as enjoyable as it was intended, but I thoroughly enjoyed Casey returning to his face-camouflage-wearing, double-magnet-using, bad ass self. I found his interaction with Mrs. Winterbottom hilarious and of soulmate proportions. John Casey has found himself a cougar to love, or at the very least a mother to have tea and gun range trips with.
Mrs. Winterbottom is an intriguing character. She channeled Betty White-esque endearment without half the exposition that is required with such a mythology heavy character.
Overall the shootout scene did a great job on a Firefly callback, Heart of Gold in particular. Though unfortunately, unlike Firefly it didn’t have nearly as much sexy time, heh. Though we did get the Snakes of Toluca lake and Sarah in a tub as gratuitous staples.
Still the back and forth between the morons, the strippers, the reveal, the family and the mission felt off. Don’t get me wrong, I think the episode hit the right note with Ellie and Chuck, an always welcome interaction but overall it was troublesome. Speaking of Ellie and Chuck, it was great to see Ellie finally be in on the secret and yet the story (aka conflict) didn’t end there. Well done on Klemmer’s and DeGregorio’s part.
Where the episode really hit its stride was the mythology. I think it’s been said but bears repeating, Phil Klemmer’s strengths are mythology heavy episodes (for the most part) and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s an intriguing and out of nowhere twist to find that the “good guys” created the ultimate bad. It makes sense, more than ever why Volkoff was a sympathetic, believable, and even endearing character even amongst all the things we know he has done and will do.
Of course this twist also paints Vivian in a harsher light. There’s something to be said for destiny and yet another to learn that one chose evil, using free will. It’s like the old adage, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Vivian is evil all on her own.
All in all an intriguing 42 minutes and 16 seconds, the kind that only Chuck can deliver. Tantamount to season two’s Orion is Stephen Bartowski reveal, it is that surprising and intriguing. Well done by TPTB. 4 spy wills out of 5.