5.02 – Chuck vs. The Bearded Bandit: Speculations

You Know You Want To!

I’ve been trying to remain spoiler-free these past few week, so nearly everyone here has me at a disadvantage. Chuck vs. The Bearded Bandit going to be a surprise in the Buckley household, no matter what. And what we have so far, is the promise that Chuck is about to become Morgan’s handler, someone named Gertrude Verbanski provides Carmichael Industries with some competition (and someone name Casey with a challenge) and that the Buy More is about to get a business boost.

Interesting. It’s notable that everything in that list is un-attached to what we saw in Chuck vs. The Zoom. For me, Zoom held only one surprise; it was absolutely beautiful to watch. I mean, the opening scene in Jean Claude’s (Mark Hammill) gardens was awesome, and exactly as I imagined from the teaser we saw a few weeks ago.

Lord and Lady Carmichael

My imagination? I imagined Chuck&Sarah as Lord and Lady of the manor, trying to decide if this was paradise, or (quite to the contrary) if this was “really them”. (Heh! As it turned out, it was, and it wasn’t.)

There’s more. The only thing I remember about Sarah’s seduction scene is that she’s beautiful. Duh! But don’t sell my powers of observation short because of that, please. Chuck running down the hall, dodging bullets and flying through the window, falling through the shards of broken glass – yeah. Very James Bond (in a very Chuck sort of way) and beautiful to see. Finally, there was Sarah dancing with – somebody… (sigh). Nice!

The beauty extended beyond the visual; there were three (count ’em, three!) beautiful speeches in the course of Zoom. Ellie’s:

Chuck, I don’t think dad wanted you to have the Intersect forever. And besides. You don’t need it. The computer didn’t make you a hero. It just gave you an opportunity to become one. Now it’s up to you. The training wheels are off, you’re gonna fall down, but I promise you, you can do this. My two cents.

And there was Sarah’s:

Sarah: Ah, well when I was a little girl, my uh, my dad’s “work” kept us moving around a lot. And I always imagined what a real family would feel like, you know. What the perfect home for us all would be… and you know. The dream house. It’s stupid.
Chuck: No, no it’s not. Hey! You can just… you know.
Sarah: Well, I always imagined a – a little white house with a red door and – don’t laugh – but it had a picket fence, just like you know, the houses that you see on TV that people live in.
Chuck: Hum. Mid-century. Very “Leave It To Beaver”.
Sarah: Cozy, homey and – simple.
Chuck: And perfect.

We’ve had tons (I’ve weighed it!) of discussions on all the new stuff is season 5. There’s no denying it – things are different. Chuck is no longer the Intersect; for the time being, Morgan is. Sarah and Chuck are very married. Sarah and Morgan are now friends who comfortably share fly-away handshakes. Casey is a father, and not NSA. Chuck and Sarah are very married… I honestly don’t want them to ignore all that, not in the slightest.

Still, things are very much the same. Chuck is a bit insecure, just like always. Chuck is still master of the Buy More, as he’s been from the start. Jeff and Lester are, well, Jeff and Lester.

And Chuck is their leader. The last beautiful speech is Sarah’s also:

Chuck: What about me though? You and Casey are super-spies, and Morgan is the Intersect. Who am I? What’s my job?
Sarah: Chuck, you’re our leader.

Short, but to the point. Like the Nerd Herders, Chuck always was the leader. This is from the Pilot:

You - You need me.

Chuck: No no no. Hold on a second. You have to leave my family and my friends out of this.
Casey: We’ll see.
Chuck: Look. Bryce sent that e-mail to me. I’m the one remembering your secrets, which means you have to listen to me. Both of you. And right now, I’m gonna go home.
Casey: [Grabbing Chuck] No you’re not.
Chuck: You – you need me.

I think they always did. The only difference now is that everyone knows it, including Chuck. Responsibility also weighs a ton.

Despite all the stuff we’ve seen happen to our couple, these are the things I hold onto. These things are why I still relate, and they’re very much in my comfort zone. Chuck being Morgan’s handler is not a new thing, after all.

Last week was all about setting the stage. Now I finally understand what I expect to see coming up. Between Gertrude Verbanski, Clyde Decker and the everyday trials of married life, sooner or later I expect to be taken out of my comfort zone. It’s going to be exciting, and I suspect it’s going to start tonight.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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36 Responses to 5.02 – Chuck vs. The Bearded Bandit: Speculations

  1. Nice callback to the pilot. Without Chuck, Sarah and Casey would have probably killed each other a long time ago. Now, Sarah is the best spy Casey every worked with and Casey… well Casey is the guy Sarah threw off a building. But at least she didn’t want to kill him.

    • phaseou812 says:

      Agree that was a “nice callback” and an interesting perspective on Chuck’s evolving importance to the team; first as a needed component operationally all the way up to the key component in restoring their personal lives.

  2. atcDave says:

    Great point about Chuck being Morgan’s handler; he always has been. Morgan seems to need a handler for all of life! Maybe at some point Chuck will be able to surrender the reins to Alex; but probably not ever in the spy realm.

  3. mxpw says:

    Alex? Who is this Alex you speak of? After Zoom, I’m not sure even the show knows. I found her absence and lack of mention conspicuous in the premiere.

    Anyway, I’ve heard this episode might be controversial. Not because of Chuck and Sarah (I don’t think), which is certainly a nice change of pace, but because of Chuck and Morgan. I’m interested to see what they do with this middle episode. Their middle episodes of their three-part arcs are always the angstiest, so I’m expecting something to go wrong in the episode.

    Fortunately, it’s a LeJudkins episode, so I’m looking forward to what happens.

    • joe says:

      I hear ya, MX. If there was one thing I’d beg them to make different, it’d be to see Alex. Mad crush time! (and Hi!, Mekenna).

      I’m sure we’re far from done with her, though.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Hey, isn’t it time that you married guys left the age-inappropriate crushing to the professionals? (middle-aged bachelors like me, for example)


        EVER your servant, Ms. Melvin.

      • joe says:

        At my age, VV, it’s always appropriate. 😉

        (See that, Mekenna? We’re fighting over you already!)

    • atcDave says:

      I know we’ve heard she’ll be back! I’m not sure for how many episodes though, and I wouldn’t bet either way on things working out well for her and Morgan (especially not in the short run, I predict Alex won’t like Intersected Morgan at all).

      It might be interesting to see some real drama for Chuck and Morgan. Although given how many fans seem to want Morgan dead already anyhow I could see his name really being Mudd after tonight!

      • joe says:

        Mudd? As in “Harcort Fenton Mudd???” 😉

        (Props to those who remember the reference!)

      • jason says:

        I think or spec the dramatic, serious, gruesome Morgan stuff, and Morgan / Chuck break up scene, will be in the 3rd episode. I think this episode will be half like the first, and half like the third. But the heavy stuff, will be in the third. Just a spec, from a different POV, you guys and gals don’t want everyone to be singing out of the same hymnal now do you?

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jason i like that idea. it makes sense also.

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe!! One of my favorite Star Trek characters!! Loved him!

      • atcDave says:

        Good Star Trek reference Joe!

        But of course I meant it as Dr. Samuel Mudd who treated John Wilkes Boothe’s broken leg after the Lincoln assassination and brought about the “your name is Mudd” expression in reference to someone who is contemptible.

      • joe says:

        Heh! I should never cross swords with someone who knows their history, Dave! 😉

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Gotta love a crowd that gets BOTH the historical AND fictional Mudds.

    • uplink2 says:

      Well I asked Mel about if Alex will be “threatened by him having it” and her response was “sort of”. She has seen the screeners certainly and her comment didn’t seem to come from the con call. But looking at the synopsis of 5.04 Morgan still has it so it doesn’t end after 5.03 like I’ve been hoping. Actually I’ve been hoping it never started but that didn’t pan out lol.

      I see Alex as the possible vehicle for him to want it gone. If Alex is impacted by Morgan getting the Intersect then between her and her father he will want it out. I think that is part of what Beckman is coming back for eventually. To give Chuck another supression device for Morgan. At least I hope so.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Beckman’s coming back because they need the money. thats my take on it. heck casey was on about begging for contracts in the first few minutes of ep 1.

      • uplink2 says:

        Oh I think that too and she trusts them to take care of problems that are under the radar but I believe she will also be the source of the end of Morgansect. She will be pissed that Morgan got it instead of Chuck in her “box of goodies”.

        I am curious as to what the official stance is on the Intersect project as a whole and not just team Bartowski with Beckman? What is her connection and feelings about Decker? I’m looking forward to having her back.

      • joe says:

        I sort of assumed all along that Alex would be the reason Morgan would give up the Intersect. But it almost seems too pat. I mean, he made her a promise to not be a spy (more or less) too, didn’t he?

        I’m guessing that she’ll be part of it, but only a part. It’ll come down to Alex, Chuck and more importantly Casey convincing him that his life is better without it (says Joe, with confidence).

    • Gord says:

      Yes, LeJudkins. I’m hoping I will like this one much better than zoom.
      Who knows I might even find the Morgansect stuff funny in this episode.

      Although the way things go in Chuck fandom, I could see me really loving this episode and everyone else hating it. LOL

      • joe says:

        Hum… we’ve seen that kind of thing happen before, Gord! Gee – at times I thought I was the only person in the visible universe who enjoyed Beefcake. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        You were Joe. I’ve checked around and yup, you were it….

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        (looks around furtively)

        I..I liked Beefcake.

        Come on! Didn’t you guys even SEE the outfit Yvonne was wearing? Holy Smoke!

        er…, sorry Father Rick

  4. Gord says:

    I thought beefcake was great because my all time favourite Casey line was in that episode, which by the way was also a phrase that proves that Casey is the wisest person I know:
    “It’s not a good idea to give the its not you its me speech to a trained assassin wielding a knife.”

    I have found that tip extremely helpful.

    With respect to Alex being in some episodes, after reading the synopsis for episode 4 in which Morgan has to deal with the consequences of Morgansect, I wondered if one of those consequences is that Alex broke up with him in episode 3. Of course this will have huge consequences for Morgan because after he breaks her heart Casey is going to break his everything.

  5. Rick Holy says:

    The episode is over – and I hate to say this, but I’m beginning to feel about Morgan what I felt about him in Seasons 1 & 2 when he was like a pesky little gnat who got in the way of Chuck and Sarah. Here’s hoping that “Morgansect” doesn’t go on for much longer. it’s just way too annoying.

  6. herder says:

    Well, well, well, this one started slowly but really picked up over the last half. I had guessed that Morgan would be going to Verbanski in episode 3, but hadn’t expected it in this one. At the risk of sounding heretical, I’m actually liking the Morgan story. Still a lot of other pieces being moved around the board for later. I liked it better than Zoom.

    • sniderman says:

      I wasn’t liking the “Morgan’s ego is getting in the way” storyline. But when he blanked on the obvious “Raiders” reference, I got a bit befuddled. Then, with “Who’s Luke Skywalker?”, it began to make sense where we’re going here. Now I’m interested to see where this goes.

  7. Aerox says:

    That was freaking FANTASTIC! What an amazing episode. The jokes landed, Morgan was annoying enough to hate, Verbanski felt real and fun, bouncy Sarah and FINALLY a proper kiss since… well, the Other Guy really.


    – Dialogue.
    – Jokes, almost all of them got me in stitches
    – The relationship. Less talking about them being overtly married, more expressioning used. Still confused as to who took who’s name or if they didn’t take any name, but whatever. Running scene sold it completely for me. It was nuanced enough to be very believable and yet emotional enough to hit its mark.
    – CASEY! God, he’s in killer form this season.
    – Verbanski. Really liked her.
    – Captain Awesome. I didn’t realize how much I missed him till we got him back. He was simply awesome.


    – Nothing, really. I got annoyed with Morgan which is definitely what was intended.

    Episode rating: 9.5/10. Freaking amazing and I would definitely rank this in a top 10 list. Class work by LeJudkins and the cast.

  8. Aerox says:

    As an addition,

    I was EXTREMELY skeptical going into this episode. Zoom really didn’t hit all the right marks for me so I was VERY pleasantly surprised. The mission did its job (introducing Verbanski as the primary competition) and oh God, the jokes had me laughing out loud. Man, I’m still buzzing at how amazing this episode nailed everything I wanted in a Chuck episode. Only thing I could say I mildly disliked was when Chuck didn’t just tranq Morgan and be done with it.

  9. Aerox says:

    Also, weren’t Chuck and Sarah supposed to be the SECRET owners of the Buy More? It seems like Big Mike knows exactly what’s up. Also, Bolognia Grimes-Tucker! YES.

  10. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    CAM was outstanding. The highlight of the episode.

    Too much annoying Morgan. I’m assuming that’s what they’re going for.

    Chuck continues to be somewhat marginalized. I’m assuming that’s what they’re going for.

    A side affect of the Morgansect / Chuck handler arc – for a while there tonight I was starting to wonder if Chuck and Sarah should have gotten married. Lots of secrets being kept.

    Anyway onwards to 5.03.

  11. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    I will however say that even though I’m not totally on board with the Morgansect angle, if the last 2 episodes are the measuring stick, the “fun” seems to have returned to show.

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