Bringing Back Morgan — Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips

Alarming hairstyle and foul cologne notwithstanding, Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips is one of Chuck’s best. The episode and the characters are firing on all cylandars, pumping out comedy, drama, spy stuff, action, exploding things, and romance.

Sometimes I am hard pressed to categorize a scene. For instance, would you tag the Cabanski scenes as romance or exploding things? Sarah quarterbacking Casey’s accidental meet with Verbanski, was that spy stuff or comedy?

Picking up where I left off at the end of Bearded Bandit (Bring Up Morgan)

Whether the Intersect in Morgan was sabotaged or not, the potential for disaster is the same. Morgansect is going sideways, and Chuck and Sarah need to stop it before Morgan becomes their Hartley … if he hasn’t already.

Next week will be about saving Morgan from himself and from the Intersect. Oh, and from his hair stylist.

Frosted Tips covered all of the bases, and then some.

Casey vs the First Date

Casey is seconds away from intercepting the target, and Sarah quarterbacks the mission from the van, with some very state-of-the-art spy stuff … way cool. Sarah easily monitors the streets, the target, and Casey’s blood pressure (which gives her some cause for concern). Once the target is intercepted, Sarah guides Casey through his mission to … ask the target for a date? The whole scenario is just funny. Who would have ever believed it?

First of all, who knew that Sarah was so full of dating advice? (The target is yours; ask her out.) This scene makes me smile all the way through, with Casey’s nerves and Sarah’s encyclopedic dating knowledge, which seems to have sprung full-blown from who knows where … newfound conjugal wisdom. I loved her telling Casey that people go on dates, rather than plant surveillance bugs, to get to know one another. What Sarah said. “Weird move, Casey.”

The follow-up conversation with Chuck was priceless:
C: “Pervin’ out on Gertrude. Weird move, Casey.”
S: “I told you.”

Like many couples, yet unlike any couple, one date leads to another, and Casey’s second first-date is as bizarre as the first, combining mission tactics with date-like elements: romantic music (Strangers in The Night), romantic moves (sort of), and hand cuffs(?). Disturbing imagery and tons of chemisty. Perfect and perfectly creepy … Cabanski.

Grrr. She stole his mission and his moron. He is so over her (yeah right) … until the next hot encounter. OK, it’s a mission, not a date, but there are flames and fire works and explosions. Nothing like walking through fire and saving the girl to get her to go out with you. How can she say no? (Not that she would have anyway.)

Third first-date’s the charm. Casey finally takes Gertrude out on a real date. Casey is choosing which gun to take, holding up one gun and then the other, you know, the way most men do ties. I thought you don’t take a gun on a real date. In this case you do, because he’s taking Gertrude on her dream date … to the firing range. They are a match made in a very frightening part of heaven. Wouldn’t you like to go along? He’s wired for sound. Ah, no thanks. Like Sarah, I think this is a solo mission.

Sarah vs the Best Friend

Sarah has come a long way since Chuck Versus the Best Friend, when she only saw the spy side of things and didn’t understand the best friend relationship that Chuck and Morgan shared. She didn’t have anyone in her life like that, who cared about her, until Chuck. From the moment that he took her hand and assured her, “Yeah, you do,” a neglected spot in Sarah’s heart began to expand. Now, you would never guess she was that friendless girl.

Frosted Tips is a reversal of Best Friend. Chuck is focused on the business/mission side of things, and it’s Sarah who is concerned for Morgan, her best-friend-in-law. At the bottom of it, her heart’s biggest concern is for Chuck. She knows what the loss of this friendship will do to him, and what its deterioration is already doing to him … even if he won’t admit it.

Did you ever think you would hear Sarah ask Chuck why he didn’t wake her so they could talk about what was bothering him? I loved this scene, Sarah’s sensitivity and letting Chuck know that she knew what was really bothering him. At the same time she’s not letting him off the hook, doesn’t let him lose touch with himself.

Sarah is the one who sees things clearly. Since Morgan has broken up with Alex, Casey lacks objectivity. Chuck’s having grown up with Morgan and put us with his immaturity all his life keeps him from seeing that maybe something else is at work. Sarah doesn’t know who Morgan was, but she knows who he is, that he doesn’t have a dark side and that something is wrong. When she first brings it up, we are privy to a wonderful Chuck and Sarah moment … Chuck reliving his middle school years, which is only wonderful because of Sarah’s reactions. Great scene in a great episode for Sarah, with some memorable lines and perfect Yvonne delivery: And she grew a mustache, too? … You’re going to pants Morgan?

After the mission — having seen Morgan as a megalomaniacal monster who reams his assistant over coffee whitener and tells Chuck that they are NOT friends — Sarah knows that it’s time to consider that this is more than just an ego problem. What if Morgan needs help? Chuck is blinded, not by callousness, but by hurt. If Morgan says they aren’t friends, he’s at a loss as to how to help. Sarah’s not. She helps her husband help his friend. She takes over when he doesn’t know what else to do. This is Sarah acting on their promise to work through things together.

Who do you talk to about an Intersect/brain/Morgan problem? Well, when your sister-in-law/friend is a neurologist and Intersect expert, you don’t have to go far … just to lunch at the hospital. I love Sarah/Ellie scenes, and this was a great one, full of trust as our two favorite women solve a problem together. (Man, I love that the whole family is in on the spy stuff!) Sarah gleaned valuable Intel. First, Morgansect was modified; it’s not PapaB’s original. Second, Maybe they can get through to Morgan by appealing to his memory, telling him stories from his past.

Next step, find out who modified it by calling the person who sent it to them. Unfortunately Beckman doesn’t know, and whatever is going on is above her pay grade. That is never good.

Sarah unravels enough of the Morgansect mystery to restore Chuck’s ability to help his friend. They are off to save Morgan … together.

Chuck vs Gollum

Ever since Morgan downloaded the Intersect, it’s all he can think about, and therefore, since it’s Morgan, all he can talk about … constantly … to everyone. Chuck sees Morgan regressing back to his 7th grade self … only much more annoying (because he’s and adult) and much more dangerous (because he’s in the spy world). For Morgan’s safety and everyone else’s sanity, Chuck must talk some sense into Morgan, who only becomes more hostile at every attempt.

The discovery that Morgan has sold out is deeply personal, but it’s also a huge blow to C.I. This raises the question of who owns the Intersect. Morgan? Only in so far as it accidentally ended up in his head. The government? Well, it does contain their secrets. To Chuck and C.I? Yes, in that it’s Orion’s invention, his software/program, and he left it with Chuck and Ellie for safe-keeping. In no case does Morgan have the right to take it to Verbanski Corp. It’s a theft from the owner of the invention and a danger to the government whose secrets it guards. Obviously, he has no right to steal the mission that was specifically outsourced to C.I. One is theft and treason and the other corporate theft.

Morgan’s defection is betrayal … and now, war. Chuck pulls the gloves off to fight for his company. This time his confrontation is less friendly/handler-y and more combative … literally. Chuck is fun to watch on the mission, very spy-ish and yet very Chuck. He executes everything to perfection and easily hands off to Sarah when called to his “blue-team training” (love the look he gives Sarah). Then the confrontation. Chuck’s been training, and I like the result. He stands his ground against the Intersect (probably a combination of residual familiarity with its programs and his new training). Morgansect ultimately isn’t a match for TeamB. I liked Chuck dashing out from behind Morgan, to avoid the darts he knew Morgansect might dodge. The improvisational pantsing, under the circumstances, was a quick-thinking, humorous, non-violent way of tranquing Morgan (anyone else think of A-Team?). Also funny: Chuck’s refusal to catch Morgan and Sarah’s pleasure in her job to tranque him.

Once Chuck knows that Morgan downloaded a sabotaged Intersect, the battle changes. The enemy becomes the victim … Chuck’s friend in need of rescue. The mission to extract Zorn is a go, but the main priority is saving Morgan, which Chuck does in the most Chuck-way possible … talking. It’s Sarah who puts the conversation on the proper course, by bringing up Meredith from 7th grade and urging Chuck to unlock Morgan’s memory. Chuck picks up where Sarah left off and frees his friend from the hold of the Intersect. (I was reminded of their talking teamwork in Coup d’Etat.) Then of course, Chuck risks his own life to pull Morgan from the fire that Morgan caused (things are back to normal).

The rescue is almost complete, only one thing left to do, “Say you’re gonna lose the Frosted Tips.”

Morgan vs His Precious Intersect

Morgansect. We debated whether Morgan was giving in the power of the Intersect and to his own lust for super-hero status or if, in fact, the Intersect was sabotaged and somehow overpowering Morgan, causing him to lose himself.

Probably a combination of both. Morgan confesses as much to Casey in the end, that his inner jerk was partly to blame. Certainly the Intersect is capable of intoxicating its host with its power rush, until inhibitions and common sense are suppressed and the host’s inner demons (whatever they may be) are unleashed. Obviously, this Intersect was much more than that. It was programmed to destroy its host’s moral compass and personality, down to the last memory and awareness of self. Did Morgan almost become Chuck and Sarah’s Hartley/Volkoff? Yes. Morgan was all but gone for good, and would have been were it not for Sarah and Chuck working together to bring him back. (This sounds vaguely familiar.)

The Intersect was intended for Chuck. Decker wanted to utterly destroy him. Or maybe he wanted to use him … This circles back to my favorite Agent X theory — that it wasn’t Stephen’s fault. Someone else, or a group of someones, sabotaged Hartley’s Intersect and intentionally created Volkoff, for their own ends. Muah. Fun things ahead.

New Lease on Life

Casey has a girlfriend. This is going to be fun to watch. Will he leave or will she die? Will he die, or will they have a happy ending?

Chuck and Sarah have a new lease on life. Their company is in the black. They can pay their bills and keep on doing really important things together, like eating and living indoors.

Jeff. It turns out, in a wonderful twist, that Jeff’s … Jeff-ness, like Morgansect, was not totally his fault. He was the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. Devon rescues Jeff and gives him a new lease on life. I loved the turn around, and I’m happy for Jeff. As creepy as he was, somewhere deep down (very deep down) Jeff was kind, caring, and perceptive. This of course will be the end Jeffster, since Lester has no such inner core. I like it. It will make Jeff and Lester more interesting.

Morgan will soon be returned to his Intersect-less self. Chuck freed Morgan from the Intersect, but it’s Devon who gives him a new lease on life, admonishing him not to confuse his job with his life. This is a Chuck theme. Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Ellie, and Devon have all had to learn this lesson. Now it’s Morgan’s turn.

The Frosting On Top … The Highlights

The thing that delights me about S5 is the relationship/character growth.

The best part of Casey vs the First Date wasn’t the Casey humor, though that was highly enjoyable. It was the wonderful Casey/Walker friendship, showing the comfort of a long partnership mixed with the awkwardness of a new friendship. I love Sarah’s teasing Casey (in the middle of the mission, no less) that the mission could damage his love life (good-natured payback for all of the chocolate/peanut butter remarks he used to throw her way). Then after the mission, she insists that they need to talk about Gertrude, “Clearly you still have feelings for her.” In the end she encourages him and sends him off on his date by himself. This is Mrs. Chuck Bartowski … unleashed.

Another delight of this episode (and I think we’ll see it throughout the season) is Chuck’s spy growth. It’s another reversal to see Chuck and Casey in sync with the mission stuff: immediately grabbing gear to take down the competition (while Sarah pulls back on the reins); turning in unison to take out the guards (while Sarah deliberates the effect on Casey’s love life). Meet Mr. Sarah Walker … unleashed.

Both of these newly empowered personae are rooted in their marriage. It’s palpable, yet natural and subtly played … and a delight to watch. The love is still there, along with newly-wed talk and newly-wed games. The insecurities that used to come between them are replaced by a newfound comfort between them and an ease in their conversations, both verbal and non-verbal. They were always a team, but now they are a unit, committed to being there for each other when things get tough and working through everything together.

I called this the frosting on top — serendipities, incidental to the real story. On reflection, though, maybe that’s backwards. The relationships and character growth, friendships and marriage … they are the real story. The rest are just details.

~^~ Thinkling.

Parting Thoughts

~~ Loved Cabanski (thanks to Jason for the nomenclature). CAM is doing a great job. She and AB sizzle, or spark, or explode … anyway they’re good together.

~~ Beckman was great, giving C.I. the mission, not interested in chit-chat, telling Chuck to protect his friend (even if Morgan did call her Becky and make inappropriate remarks about her tight core). What. A. Hoot. What is wrong with him? … So many things.

~~ Awesome is indeed awesome if he can bake, feed, burp, wipe, and exercise in 45 minutes. Fantastic B plot. Awesome paternity leave, Thank you!

~~ The Buymore. Lester’s cooing to Clara Jeffrey doesn’t have a brain, silly. Oh, and his biological clock is ticking. (First time I’ve laughed at Lester in a long time.) Jeff’s examination … TMI … what else is new?

~~ Casey and Alex. How would you like to have Casey as your dad? He doesn’t sugar coat it. He offers to kill your ex. Then he hugs you and promises to always be there for you. (What? Casey is now a hugger?) Great scene. Great Casey episode. I also liked that he didn’t let Morgan move back in.

~~ Chuck and Alex. I liked Chuck assuring Alex that he would tell her if Morgan were stepping out on her.

~~ Chuck and Sarah’s rooftop kiss, nice.

~~ Sarah is playing such a pivotal role this season, not necessary the focal point … that was last season, her growth-spurt, when she needed help. Now we see the fantastic results of that. She is Chuck’s wife and his First Mate of C.I. She’s often the glue of TeamB … Chuck’s partner in every sense of the word.

~~ Chuck and Sarah’s relationship isn’t the focus of the drama, but they are the heart of the solution. Their relationship is like a presence that makes it all work. I don’t know if I’m explaining it well; I just know that I really like what I’m seeing.


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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94 Responses to Bringing Back Morgan — Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips

  1. lappers84 says:

    Brilliant review Think, FT was without doubt a Chuck classic and a great climax to a difficult arc. The balance was spot on with so many great elements thrown in to the mix (maybe not quite to the level of season 2 but very close). And now that Morgansect is essentially done the plot can finally move forward to other things. Kudos also to Phil Klemmer who well and truly redeemed himself after the catastrophe that was Mask (although he did write A-team, still this outshone both).

  2. atcDave says:

    Such a fun episode, and it was a blast walking through it again with your write-up. I loved that Casey’s telemetry in the opening scene included his blood pressure; what are the odds of that?! It just seemed so unlikely, it made me laugh.
    We’ve written a lot these last few days about all the great scenes and character moments in this episode, just so much fun. Casey and Vebanski are great to watch. I love the growth of Sarah; in S1 I often had the feeling she barely tolerated the bearded troll, even in Best Friend she could acknowledge but not really understand what a best friend is, now she fully accepts him as a friend worth fighting for.

    I’m excited about where this season might go. The characters and humor rank this season among the very best for me. We’ll see if they manage to achieve the heights of Phase 3 or Wedding Planner; but this season has the potential to be the best.

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    Thinkling, I love your recap and review. Like the episode it covers so much, both big and small about where the show is. Highlights for me:

    Sarah quarterbacking the first date. She really doesn’t seem to like those WT/WT games couples play does she? Or maybe she just lost her patience for inarticulate spies messing up at every opportunity ’cause they don’t like talking about their feelings.

    Casey’s reaction to Gertrude’s office decor, and his purposeful and pointed taking his gun (and mojo) back from Gertrude.

    Morgan’s idea of cool (It’s OK Cruise wears them).

    The return of Duck. Dianne may still be a bit stung by Chuck actually going off and marrying Walker (she figured he’d have been over that fling by now) so she’s trying to keep it all business, but you can see the sparks fly in the parking garage. Like Casey and Gertrude those crazy kids will work it out by episode 13.

    • Come on, Ernie. Frosted Tips was about Mecky, not Duck. Morgan starts by hitting on Becky. Then he dumps Alex. By the end, Becky was passing classified documents to a civilian to help save her dear Morgan’s life.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Ernie. Sarah’s dispensing dating advice was just too funny, but it also seemed very right for her to help Casey that way, even to the very end when she came in and told him he was going to be late. Wonderful. And Chuck was like the dad coming in after Jr left and commenting on the cologne, mom and dad both shaking their heads and wrinkling their noses over that one.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Sorry Jeff, I’ve been waiting five seasons for Duck to pay off, and while I agree Morgan commenting on how tight Becky’s core is was as close as Morgan gets to making an inappropriate pass at Chuck’s girl, but remember, this season is a love letter to the fans. Duck simply has to pay off. All the signs are there. She asked him to come alone, he was glad to see her and wanted to fill her in on his life, she was still stung by the wedding, but in the end came around and helped him help his friend. The love is still there, we just need one more season to resolve all the triangles and send Duck off into the sunset.

      • I’m still not buying it, Ernie. I think she wanted him to come alone so she could discuss the multi-million dollar job in which Chuck would do for her what Sarah was doing for Casey. She wants tech support and backup when she made her move on Morgan.

        Also, we all know Sarah doesn’t to anything without permission from Beckman. So Becky must have been in full support of the wedding, having moved on from Chuck to Morgan. We know she goes for guys with blow up dolls. That’s more of a Morgan thing than a Chuck thing.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        LA LA LA LA…… I CAN’T HEAR YOU (humming loudly with my fingers in my ears)

        Besides Dianne can’t go for Morgan. She’ll have to still be free for the Bo Derek episode where her sordid past as half of Bianne will be revealed (Just a phase she went through after the heartbreak of Droan).

  4. I always thought Jeff was the #1 Charah shipper, so it’s good to see him get a break. He never told Chuck to break up with Sarah (S1 Morgan and S2 Ellie both did). Jeff showed his colors in Fake Name: “Don’t you get it? None of them matter. Chuck may try to replace her, but when he’s with Sarah, the light in his eyes shines brightly.” Jeff was brain damaged or inhibited which led to his behavior. Lester, on the other hand is just evil. When I saw some vague spoilers, I thought Jeff would have a stint in rehab. The CO poisoning is a quicker solution.

  5. “Chuck and Sarah’s relationship isn’t the focus of the drama, but they are the heart of the solution. Their relationship is like a presence that makes it all work.”

    Perfect description, Thinkling. Sarah figured out what is wrong with Morgan because she cares about her husband and how his best friend’s betrayal is affecting him. Chuck did most of the talking on the roof, but Sarah kicked it off by bringing up Meredith, which she only knew because she was listening when Chuck was leaning on her for support.

  6. jason says:

    Think – To continue with baseball, the third episode was a grand slam. But we still have a bunch of innings left to play, I am hoping the writers and creators pitch a bad episode shutout the entire season. OK enough baseball.

    Next up, an apology to Phil Klemmer. Phil, I’ve never liked your writing, I blogged bad about you, and thought even worse, I am sorry for that. This episode showed a depth of understanding of the characters second to none among the writers, heck you almost understand the characters as well as some of the experts on the blogs – Aces Phil. Anyone know if he has any eps left?

    I am going to expound on one topic you started, Morgan moving back with Chuck, and funny in that it is not a complaint. As a huge shipper, and a Morgan basher (although I am starting to come around on him), you would think I’d be not liking Morgan’s return to live with Chuck and Sarah. But, I like it. I am hoping that this is the start of Morgan growing up so he no longer ruins every episode with his Get Smart antics. Now I’m hoping that his next move is not a return to Casey’s, but finding his own place, both to live in, as well as in the context of the show.

    One other observation, seems many of us have an appreciation for the subtle romance going on between Chuck and Sarah this season? I wonder if it is a married person thing vs the younger single people looking for passionate kisses and rendezvous strewn throughout the season? I think you have to experience the former to appreciate it, not that the later isn’t great too, but it is much more common.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I was okay with Morgan moving in. We’ve seen in mentioned several times that Chuck and Sarah already have their own man-child; makes me think he’ll be there for the duration.

      • thinkling says:

        Sigh … OK. I think I’d like him to get his own place (Jeff, maybe), but it would fit with all things Chuck if he became a permanent fixture in the Bartowski house.

        Now the white house with the red door and white picket fence needs a garage apartment.

      • Thinkling, the garage apartment idea reminds me of a Friends re-run I saw the other day. Chandler described what he wanted to save his nest egg for, and the house in the suburbs included an apartment of some kind for Joey to live in.

      • atcDave says:

        I see Morgan moving out as part of the finale with Chuck and Sarah getting their dream house and learn they’re expecting; basically, Morgan is their kid until they’re really expecting one.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, but if he lives in the garage apt, Uncle Morgan can baby-sit. It almost works better for me later than now. Newly weds are supposed to get a dog, not a man-child.

      • Who needs a dog? Morgan’s hairier (as evidenced in Colonel), he (probably) sheds less and is house broken, gets his own food, and I’m sure would love having his beard scratched.

        Actually it makes sense if the well-off Carmichaels had a butler, but knowing this show, they’ll go the man-child route.

      • thinkling says:

        Jeff, I just can’t find the right words to explain it to you.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think Morgan being back allows for a few more good things. One, very comic interruptions of sexytimes, leading Chuck and Sarah to consider that maybe it is time for that dream house (and possibly a vibrating knife blade in a doorframe where a door was thoughtlessly opened without a knock) Two, Sarah finally kicking both their butts at Duckhunt. Three, Kitchen Wars. ‘Nuff said. Four, redecorating decisions, with Chuck in the middle.

        All in all I think it’ll be OK since it is now clearly Chuck and Sarah’s place and Morgan is a guest, who like the fish may overstay the period of freshness. But that is his role.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, and there’s always the great Sarah/Morgan comedy.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I think you nailed why this is less bothersome to me; it IS Chuck and Sarah’s place, Morgan is the guest. Not that he won’t have boundaries issues, but Morgan will clearly be the outsider.

      • jason says:

        If Alex is to be more part of the last season, how about she moves in with Casey? Would get her more involved, plus could set up some fun comedy? I’m viewing the 5×4 ep as a Pink Slip ep for Morgan, and the rest of season 5 being a kinder and gentler morgan misery season, culminated by Alex and Morgan getting together at the end. Morgan’s moving in with Chuck and SArah, like Chuck moving back in with Awesome and Ellie.

      • atcDave says:

        Interesting thought Jason. I wonder how much Morlex misery we may get? I tend not to expect much drama from a Morgan story, but I have to admit they accomplished a lot more with the Morgansect arc than I would have expect.

      • “Morlex misery” made me think of another ship name: aLeX split with mORgAn = LORAX. The Lorax even has frosted facial hair. Morlex is probably still better.

      • atcDave says:

        And Morlex reminds me of the creepy cannibal humanoids from Time Machine (Morlocks if memory serves), which seems vaguely fitting for anything involving Morgan!

      • Thanks, Dave. Now I’m going to think of the Morlocks when I think of Morgan and Alex. That’s not fair to Alex, and it’s not helping with the anti-Morgan problem we have around the fandom.

      • atcDave says:

        I would think Morgan would be happy to be a shaggy cave dweller. And Chuck’s never really known a cannibal…

        But yeah, poor Alex.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        See, this is why we need to test shipper tags…

      • thinkling says:

        I was thinking it sounded more like ulcer medicine.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie are you saying that because Morlex is good? I think you mean good.

      • atcDave says:

        See now ulcer medication is also fitting for anything involving Morgan. We’re on roll now. You can say what you want, I’m sticking with Morlex…

  7. Ernie Davis says:

    Oh, I meant to add, Cabanski? Did we do any testing on that one? 😉

    • thinkling says:

      Not that I know of. Jason came up with it, and we joked about Cabanski and Caboomski. I just liked it, so I went with it. Just be careful how you test it … it’s highly explosive.

      OT: I had a repair man test my gas connection with a match … no kidding. Where is that riot shield. I’m still here, so there wasn’t any more leakage. 😉

    • Hmmm…. Vasey, Verbasey, Gohn, Jertrude, Caseski, Caski, Johnski, Jobanski, Gertsey.

      There might be others, but I’m liking Cabanski so far. It’s close to Caboomski and cabana, making John-boy a cabana boy. Wait. Maybe we need something more reserved that doesn’t bring up mental images that are really wrong.

      • thinkling says:

        After Frosted Tips, too late on the mental images.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Please, Duck had the market cornered on inappropriate years ago.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        We’ve heard Bo Derek been cast
        In an episode we’ve yet to reach
        Yet when thinking about “10”
        Ernie sees Diane running on the beach

        He remains steadfast in his resolve
        In this final season of Chuck
        To continue to convince us
        There is still a chance for Duck


      • Ernie Davis says:

        Ernie sees Diane running on the beach

        Toward Chuck. In full uniform, with her hair up…

        What can I say, like Morgan’s disturbing and inappropriate Irena Demova fetish, that’s love…

      • herder says:

        Easy, Trudy and John – Tron, more seriously Trudy and Casey – Tracey.

      • thinkling says:

        Make it Trohn or Trasey … spelling consistency 😉

      • herder, I like both of your ideas, with thinkling’s spellings. Maybe it’s like Charah Walkertowski. The full shipper name is Trohn Cabanski. It’s Cabanski when on missions, and it’s Trohn when they are less formal.

  8. Amron says:

    This is exactly what I wanted for S5! Chuck being competent on the Spy World because what he had learnt from Sarah, and Sarah being competent on Real World because what she learnt from Chuck. And action! And laughs! And angst! And heart! Now, I just need a semi-plausible (this is Chuck, after all) plot and the balance will be restored…

  9. atcDave says:

    Okay now the bad news is no Chuck previews so far during Sunday Night Football. The good news is a Bob Costas perspective on the greatness of Devon Hester…

    • lappers84 says:

      At least it is being advertised, probably more so than it did on Mondays. Including the reappearance of sneak peeks, which dissipated towards the end of season 4.

  10. joe says:

    Brilliant write up, Thinkling.

    But to answer your question, exploding things! Definitely, exploding things! 😉

  11. Verkan_Vall says:

    Thanks for the great writeup, Thinkling. I haven’t had a chance to see either 5.2 or 5.3 yet, but it sounds like Chuck is in fine form, and that means it’s the best escapist fun on TV.

    Cabanski? Cabanski…

  12. Gord says:

    I rewatched this episode on the weekend and I have to say I enjoyed it much more the second time through. I now consider it to be the best of the season so far and for me it sits somewhere between good and great.

    BTW did anybody else pick up on the villains name Max Zorn being very similair to the Bond villain (Zorin) in View To A Kill. I wouldn’t have noticed except I watched a few S1 episodes including Sandworm before watching this episode and a reference to View To A Kill was made in the episode.

    • I actually thought the Bond villain was Zorn. In Final Exam, a bad guy used Ivan Drago as an alias, so I thought maybe it was intentional. It was still close enough to be funny. If the show still had a budget, maybe they would have gone with a blimp instead of a helicopter on the roof.

    • Aerox says:

      I actually noticed it in the first view through. I actually told the person I was watching it, but we both didn’t catch the first name so couldn’t be sure. But yeah, that was one of the few references I got without the help of wikipedia, so I gave myself a pat on the back.

      Also, Jeff, what is this mythical episode you talk about? Final Exam? I can’t recall *ever* seeing such an episode.

  13. thinkling says:

    Good catch, Gord.

  14. ArmySFC says:

    Nice write up. one thing that surprised me is that no one commented on the fact that in the picture of sarah kissing chuck and the scene itself, she’s not wearing her wedding rings.

    • I caught that in the first impressions thread ( in the middle of me getting confused about what everyone was talking about.

      She’s wearing them in Castle, when talking to Ellie, and at home when Morgan moves in. She’s not wearing them in the van during Casey’s ‘mission’, a Verbanski Corp, and on the roof. So it’s consistent: not to sleep and not on missions, but at other times.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        That’s also consistent with her engagement ring. Never on missions.

      • thinkling says:

        Right Ernie. Sometimes it might be better for her marital status to be unknown, and can you imagine getting in a fight with the rings. I’d leave them at home, too.

    • joe says:

      Oooohhh – I can tell ya, as a martial artist, that you don’t want to hit somebody if you’re wearing a ring on that hand. Unlike what various comic-superheroes tried to show us when we were kids, it HURTS! Much better to take it off before the fight.

      • atcDave says:

        That makes perfect sense; especially since ladies rings are typically more delicate with mounted stones. Sarah’s lifestyle is an open invitation to a broken ring and/or finger!

      • mxpw says:

        Somebody needs to talk to the prop people, then, about being a little more consistent with Chuck. I know Chuck was wearing his ring during missions in Zoom. I don’t know if he was wearing it in Bearded Bandit or Frosted Tips, I haven’t bothered to look. It wouldn’t surprise me either way.

        Sarah has been pretty consistent, at least, though taking her rings off for Casey’s “mission” seems pretty silly to me.

      • thinkling says:

        Sorry, Joe, posted before I read your comment.

      • I just checked. Chuck did not wear his ring while at Mark Hamill’s, during the nerd herd call, while rock climbing, when infiltrating Verbanski Corp, or during the helicopter intercept. He wore a ring at the end of Bearded Bandit, but that was not a planned mission. It seems consistent to me.

        I just think Sarah was taking her van back-up of Casey very seriously. That’s why she was wearing black, her mission color. She wore a black mission outfit when picking out flowers with Ellie last season.

        They both wore rings during the sales pitch.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I thought the same thing Jeff; in the van she was in mission garb which meant no ring. Its likely an automatic switch for her.

      • joe says:

        I figured, Think. We’ve all posted over other’s post. 😉

        And wow – We used to make great efforts to spot the bracelet. Now we’re looking for the wedding rings. Talk about your sticklers-for-details!

        Let’s all get in touch with Mattel and see if this a new game. “Spot the Bracelet; Chuck edition. (DVDs not included!).

      • atcDave says:

        they need to do a “Chuck” edition of “Scene It”; they could have a whole category for bracelet/ring spotting!

      • thinkling says:

        Great idea, Dave.

  15. phaseou812 says:

    Thinkling vs. the Review: Grade A+ review as always.

    It is always nice to go through your review to recapture, refresh and pick up on some things that I missed on the first go around. I certainly did not take in the Buy More plot line being similar to the main storyline in identifying the root cause of Jeff’s ailments not necessary being his direct fault; similar to Morgan’s predicament. Thanks for the hit over the head as it became clear after you pointed out the facts.

    I believe the overall episode was a good one . . . with the mild complaint as similar have mentioned . . . that they moved really fast with this arc line . . . from the extreme over exaggeration of Morgan’s symptoms starting in episode two to the relatively “quick fix” of his issues . . . seemed a little forced. As some had previously mentioned, if they could have had some more dialogue regarding the technique in getting the old Morgan back in comparison to the additional time in the next segment of the show spent with Morgan going on his quick apology tour, would have been better use of the time, in my opinion. Or even using Ellie as a part of the committee to actually “talk” down Morgan would have been nice, as they have a long history arc with Ellie/Morgan, and his puppy love for her originally, could have produced some good comedy as well. I am sure they were setting up the rooming accommodations and other things as well in the next segment . . . but I was happy with the episode. Really I guess an observation point of view rather than a complaint as I did like the storyline overall.

    Your review for me was pretty much spot on my take of the episode and cannot agree more that it is nice to have all of the family somewhat involved in the “spy” game with no secrets regarding. It was obviously a big part of the previous seasons living the “terrible lie” of the double life, but it is nice to have them all on aboard and be able to see that arc close. This obviously gives a whole lot of future creativity going forward by having the entire team contribute to the “cause”. The family aspect and one for all, has always been important to me as a fan of the show.

    Also, as I am sure this has already been mentioned somewhere and I overlooked it but the Verbanski uniforms and logo sure had the Star Trek feel . . . as also if I recall correctly, Morgan’s assistance was “Scottie” . . . not for sure where I heard that in the show, but I do remember picking up on Morgan calling one of Verbanski members as Scottie.

    And I guess my favorite is . . . via the intersect Morgan has become an “ass” . . . so to take down the Morgansect . . . they shoot him in the “ass”. Priceless!! It would have been a good second choice of the episode’s title . . . “Chuck verses the Ass”.

    So many things to reflect on this episode and the show that are enjoyable . . . especially watching the role reversals and the various characters grow, performing acts and feats that would have not been possible to imagine at the beginning of this ride.

    Again thank you so much for the time, effort and detail you put into your reviews . . . really enjoyable as well as it makes reflecting on the show entertaining. Great review!!!!


    • thinkling says:

      Thanks Phaseou812 … and thanks for the great comments. I didn’t pick up on the Scottie/Star Trek connection. You’re right the uniforms did look sort of Trekie. And at the end Morgan asked if he could bring Scottie to CI. Funny. Also interesting that Morgan even used the Intersect to cheat at scrabble. That’s pretty low.

      It amazes me how much Chuck packs into 43 minutes, without capsizing the episode. Equally amazing is how much they put into the 1 or 2 minute CS scenes. Glad to have you join the conversation.

    • joe says:

      Hi, phaseou812. May I call you Phase for short? 😉

      Good comment and like Thinkling said, great catch on the Verbanski uniforms. You made me think of something too (so yeah, you’re officially an inspiration!). So far, I’ve really enjoyed the episodes this season; they really play especially well on a 2nd and 3rd viewing. But if there’s one thing missing in my mind, it would be a classic Ellie-Morgan sit down, just like you said.

      But it’s not too late for that. I’d never make my enjoyment require it on my schedule, but an Ellie-Morgan talk and an Alex-Morgan reconciliation in the next episode or two would be perfect timing in my mind. It would also be a perfect time to have a great song attached to Morgan, the way Skinny Love and Creature Fear are attached to Charah, Furr is to Jack Burton and No One’s Gonna Love You is to Bryce.

      • For me, “No One’s Gonna Love You” is a Bryce rejection song (i.e. a Charah song).

        Malex does need a song, though. Morgan and Anna sort of had “Africa”, but that was more about Jeffster and Charah’s best friendships. Of course Jeff and Anna had All Out of Love.

        Casey/Ilsa had “Love on the Rocks.” Hmmm, what would a good Cabanski song be? I’m thinking some late 80’s power ballad, sort of like “Wind Of Change” for Diane and Roan.

        Was there ever a shipper name picked for Diane and Roan? I know some people prefer Duck and Mecky, but they should still have a name.

      • thinkling says:

        Was it Droan?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Droan is Dianne and Roan

  16. phaseou812 says:

    Joe you can call me about anything from Phase . . . to James . . . or “listen hear you moron” . . . I will answer to about anything.

    I am with you on I do not ever want to make the show where it has to play out exactly on my terms or I won’t be happy. I am happy with the show as they have done a remarkable job tying these ever moving pieces together over the last several years. Especially when you take into considerations multiple arcs they have had to prepare, then repair, then alter, based on the every shifting number of episodes the network may or may not order. So they have done a fine job adapting, both past and present writers, in making this show stick together.

    The way the show has always blended the drama and comedy into relationships has been an awesome thing and I am confident there is more in store as we go forward. I am sure I am like everyone else; I am happy that we have 13 episodes for season 5 but it if they would have been able to land a full season, it would have been a terrific way to capture all of the relevant storylines to this show. Here is hoping that the show follows the Star Trek vain by finding its core audience in a series of profitable movies.

    Your right we do need a song for good old Morgan . . . of course that may cause a string of bloggers that are not happy with the character to overload the system and crash the web site. On second thought, I would not want to be responsible for making that happen.

  17. SarahSam says:

    Yeah !! Chuck movies would be , dare I say ? Awesome !! Here’s hoping that it happens. At the rate that Sarah is opening up this season, will her mom even recognize her by 5/8? Great review thinkling and you defined perfectly her role in Frosted Tips, “pivotal”. Excellent episode for everybody. Now, let’s keep it humming.

    • thinkling says:

      It’s interesting SarahSam, Sarah was always pivotal in the spy stuff as Chuck’s handler. As a spy she still is all that. But before she was struggling and growing through the relationship/real girl stuff. Now that she has matured in that area, she is just as pivotal in both realms. I love the Sarah we’re getting in S5!

  18. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Frosted Tips (5.03) | Chuck This

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