#SexyTimes Gone Wrong

…SO wrong.

It’s hard to picture John Casey of the “*grunt*love’s for suckers” as a sexual being, much less one who’s in love. It’s a brilliant and somewhat creepy dynamic that Gertrude brings in these episodes, none more than in “Kept Man.” Though overall it was an unremarkable episode–if you consider the level of spectacularity that was vs. Baby, but I guess it’s always hard to come down–Casey and Gertrude’s chemistry elevated this episode in much the same way Sensei was a fun outing. Even better than Sensei to be truthful.

It wasn’t that long ago that we heard these words:

Casey: “Look who’s finally admitting she has feelings for the nerd.”
Sarah: “All I will admit to is having feelings.”
Casey: Twenty years in this business has taught me one thing. People it’s that people let you down in the end.
Sarah, glaring: Well, It’s nice to know where we stand.

It almost seems like every episode this season is designed as a nod and a look back from the journey that was, the growth that is. Casey is no longer that unfeeling, cynical, G-man, nomad. Now he’s got roots, and amazingly, a girlfriend. But still he’s John Casey, he is nobody’s “Kept Man,” regardless of how hilarious that would be. I’m not going to lie, I was utterly and completely creeped out and yet intrigued at all the subtle and not so subtle sexual overtones between Casey and Gertrude. Sarah said it best, [what’s wrong?] “everything. It’s all wrong.” I had no idea that when I campaigned for #SexyTimes, this is what I’d get (heh). At the same time, I find that I like it, I laugh and enjoy it. I enjoy seeing Casey be different, evolved and romantic. The last scene where he asks Alex to meet his girlfriend is probably one of the sweetest scenes Casey has ever been involved in. I truly hope (and have no doubt) that John Casey will find his happily ever after with one Gertrude Verbanski, traveling the world and embracing danger every step of the way.

Chuck and Sarah dealing with their own “Happily Ever After,” albeit in the present was equally heartwarming. I’ve long since championed and campaigned for a pregnancy scare and this was much, much better than I ever could have imagined. I had a more dreary fantasy of how it would take place, but this was perfect. We’ve gotten so accustomed to Sarah revealing her inner thoughts and feelings so seldomly that whenever it happens it always seems like a special gift under the Christmas Tree. Though she’s taken down her walls long ago, it still seems special whenever we get a glimpse of her inner thoughts and dreams. This was no different. “Part of me was kind of hoping I was pregnant” (GASP). I wish Sarah of season 1, as she looks toward Lou and Chuck having coffee, or after she says to Casey, “do you ever just want to have a normal life? Have a family? Children?” could see herself 4-5 years later, married, happy, anticipating a family. I wish she could tell her 4-5 years younger self, to keep at it, that everything will turn out ok…more than ok, perfect.

Ironically Casey’s response to Sarah’s query is also appropriate after Kept Man, “The choices we made to something bigger than ourselves is the right choice. Hard as that is for you to remember sometimes.” Oh Casey of 4 years ago, you had no idea.

By far my biggest beef with this episode was Chuck’s obliviousness. Throughout these 5 years we’ve been shown that Chuck, much like Sarah, understands emotional nuances. He understands and often anticipated Sarah even though he was continually oblivious to how Sarah felt about him–but that’s understandable, that was more of him not believing himself worthy of her, rather than not realizing that she has feelings for him too but I digress. So him being too preoccupied about the business and the future and missing all the not-so-subtle clues about Sarah fearing and yet secretly anticipating pregnancy was a little hard to buy. Especially if you consider the amount of time he dwells on “Care.” But like all things, it’s explainable and not really that big of a deal. Nevertheless, it was fun to see him be protective and yet sensitive to her (in the end). And without it, there really wouldn’t have been an opening for Casey to show off his emotional maturity.

Last point: as big a fan as I am of Gertrude and all that she brings, it’s quite remarkable for me to feel that Jeffster stole the show. And I do, and they did. Lester dressed as a woman, a not-so-bad looking woman at that, was hilarious squared. More than hilarious, it’s a long time coming. I’m not a big fan of them learning Chuck’s secret, but I was amazed at how much Jeff deduced. Needless to say this will be an interesting plot point for the future.

All in all it was a lighthearted romp of an episode. Definitely a far cry from the emotionality and stakes of Baby and Santa Suit, but no less entertaining. A very Sensei-Undercover Lover-esque stand-alone episode, appropriate for a John Casey centered venture.

iOS link. Song wasn’t featured on last night’s Chuck but I thought it appropriate.
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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Inside Casey, Inside Sarah, Season 5. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to #SexyTimes Gone Wrong

  1. atcDave says:

    Really dead-on write-up Faith, you summed up this episode perfectly. Just a fun time after a couple of heavier episodes. I was also a bit annoyed by Chuck’s cluelessness, but he made up for it in the end. Casey’s growth (and comedy at the same time!) was good to see, and the last scene with Alex was awesome. Jeffster indeed was the most compelling part of the episode, and they left us with the main cliffhanger!

  2. amyabn says:

    My only beef with the episode was how Casey bashed Chuck over the head with his cluelessness. I would have done that differently. I enjoyed Casey and Gertrude, Casey and Alex, Morgan and Awesome, and Jeffster. I laughed out loud a lot this episode and while it won’t ever make my top 10, it was a great night of escapism for me.

  3. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    I agree Chuck was too clueless. I blame his shock over Casey’s #SexyTimes with Trudy. That would make anyone a little unaware of their surroundings.

  4. I can’t believe how much I love the Casey and Gertrude scenes….. C-A-M is wonderful in this role.
    “… to be debriefed… – That’s your job John” 🙂 I love it when they mix their metaphores!

  5. joe says:

    Oh man. Not only do I have to agree with you completely, Faith (right down to what you said about Jeffster!), I have to agree with Dave and Amy too! Now my (impossible) mission today is to write something original about the episode, and you guys just made it TOUGH! 😉

    The first-reaction thread has already brought out the idea that everyone’s been pretty quiet about the episode, compared to last week. I imagine that includes Twitter too, but I haven’t noticed that. But I won’t be surprised if that’s true. The feeling are pretty unanimous, and their won’t be much controversy about this one.

    My only question is; would I be happier if Sarah really was pregnant at this point? Don’t know. That’s one for Alternate Reality Chuck.

  6. Aerox says:

    By the way, since Jeffster is now gone, I got the perfect replacements for them:

    Yeah.

  7. thinkling says:

    Great review Faith. You captured the episode perfectly, and I love your backward looks at Sarah and Casey.

    Even though it wasn’t a top ten episode, like Amy, I thought it was a great hour of escape. I laughed out loud –a lot– and thoroughly enjoyed the hour.

  8. xenaclone says:

    Casey was shown to have feelings wayyyy back in ‘Chuck vs the Undercover Lover’ :-). He certainly cared for Ilsa. And, later, we learned about Kathleen.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Xena. Long time!

      Yeah. And Casey’s certainly been showing his feelings for Alex since we met her. I’m not gonna contradict you in that, but Casey’s MO has been to constantly weight those emotions against his duties, commitments and even his honor. Which comes out on time is anyone’s guess in any given episode, but it’s nice to see Col. “Cold School” show his feelings to us every so often. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Well and this was the first time he clearly placed those feelings above work. Now granted this is private sector now; so he might not have told Beckman he wasn’t leaving Burbank as easily as he told Gertrude that. But still, he finally chose family over work.

  9. I just treasure that wonderful moment when Casey looks panicked and breathless:

    “Oh no – the housemaid is laying out coffee spoons with the dinner service – yeah, it’s going to be hell to pay at Downton Abbey tonight”.

    And the parallel beer bottles. Adam and Mekenna are magic together.

    • thinkling says:

      You are so right. Casey gets the best lines. LOVED that scene! I wonder how Verbanski’s gonna fit in with that. Casey is going to have to soften her up. Never thought he’d play that role.

    • joe says:

      Great observation, Robert, and absolutely correct about Adam and Mekenna. I’m smiling because both of them were kind enough to respond to a couple of my tweets. That’s always something special.

      I loved that line too.

  10. herder says:

    My favorite moment was Gertrude serving Casey his morning coffee in a mug decorated with rifles, a match made in a very disturbing part of heaven. Also I’m not entirely convinced that this was a false alarm on the pregnancy, there is such a thing as a false negative on those tests. Chuck being the clueless dolt rubbed me the wrong way as did his manner in giving advice to Casey, he had the self assurance of the truely stupid.

    • atcDave says:

      Its one of the things I think they get wrong from time to time on the show; Zach is obviously comfortable with a sort of buffoonish comedy that I think most of us don’t actually want to see from Chuck. Especially since for most of the first 2+ seasons Chuck was a sort of Everyman/everynerd character that many of us related to very closely; so when he plays him more broad and outrageous it just doesn’t feel right.

      In fact, I think it’s that exact element of the character Chuck that it made it increasingly easy for me to just say Sarah is my favorite character. Early on this was less clear to me, and Zac’s portrayal of Chuck at the start of S1 is absolutely a huge part of why I became hooked on this show. But he did rub me wrong a couple times in S2 (especially Sensai, I really disliked that performance) and a few times each season since.
      I think the cluelessness in Kept Man effected me less since it was fairly brief, he recovered well, and Sarah kind of set him up by keeping a secret. So I’m mostly just content to laugh at it.

      • Leigh says:

        I think the buffoonish stuff is an interesting choice. With the character of Chuck, I think he knows he should be more confident than he is, and so tries too hard to have confidence that’s not really there, and it blows up in his face.

        I don’t really like it, but that’s the way I read it. In the beginning of “Baby” when he’s talking up the life he wants with Sarah in their dream house and he says “with the most dashing man you’ve ever met” you can tell that though the words are pompous, the delivery is a little shaky. He’s not so sure about those words. He wants them to be true but he’ll never be that full of himself.

        So with Casey here, I think he’s just like “Okay. I’m happily married. I should totally be able to give advice and be confident and AWESOME!” And he overshoots and proverbially shoots himself in the foot, especially with the pregnancy scare happening right under his nose.

        Which is weird that he didn’t notice, but he did ask what was up with her and she did brush him off. And he was working off of no sleep again, and trying to have a successful mission.

    • thinkling says:

      I’ll have to go back and look at the mug, Herder. I think you’re right about the false negative, too. I think the symptoms are more of an indicator than the stick, but who knows.

      I do think Chuck was a bit over the top in his buffoonery. It would have been better for him to at least notice that Sarah didn’t want a black and blue steak (better for Chuck to have noticed and have to retract his suggestions than keep bulldozing ahead). The first house scene in Baby hit the right tone to me, and I found his most-dashing-man remark sort of endearing, because it was more wishful-thinking (like Leigh said), and the whole thing was Chuck being sweet and wanting to make Sarah happy, though not too sure if it was working. Restaurant Chuck was focused on making himself look good, rather than making Sarah happy. All that said, it didn’t ruin the episode. It just made Chuck a little less appealing in that particular scene. His not noticing was a fun bit. It was just his arrogant heart-tutorial that rubbed me wrong.

  11. patty says:

    I completely agree. Overall I liked the story but Chuck’s behavior was overdone and out of character. I liked the opening scene and Chuck high on caffeine. I also liked the spiraling but most of the stuff in between not so much.
    The sad thing is that I liked Jeffster better than Chuck and Sarah this episode.
    I loved Casey and Gertrude!!!!!
    Did anyone else notice that the now detoxed Jeff thinks like Chuck? I felt that this was hinted at when Jeff and Chuck were the only ones who could beat the Missile Command game.
    I am writing this on my Nook so if it comes out weird I apologize in advance!

    • thinkling says:

      Yes, Patty. I noticed that, too, with his 3×5 cards and his thinking wall … and I also thought of Missile Command. Spy-high-five.

  12. SarahSam says:

    LOL. Maybe that would explain that man-crush Jeff has always had for Chuck.

  13. jam says:

    There were good things in this episode, but ultimately Chuck acting clueless (especially towards Sarah) pretty much ruined this for me. Not the Chuck I want to see this late this late to the series.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Jam. I don’t recall seeing your handle before, so welcome to the discussion.

      I know what you mean about “that” Chuck. I immediately found him annoying too (which made me suspect it was their intention to be annoying). But two things saved it for me; Sarah’s reaction (“Your spiralling!”) and Sarah doing the same thing over her pregnancy scare.

      I have to say, though, that Yvonne is a lot easier to take than Zac when they’re being annoying. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with that exactly Joe. I found Chuck annoying right up until Casey calling him out for his cluelessness. Once Chuck was shamed, I had no problem with his subsequent behavior. The spiraling was funny, especially since Chuck and Sarah took turns doing it, AND they were communicating about it (calling each other on it to stay more “balanced”.)

        All that said, after a re-watch, I would call this a weaker episode. It won’t have the endless replay value for me that Baby does, or even 5.01-5.05. But that still puts this season on strong footing, only three episodes I consider middling or weaker (5.06, 5.07, 5.09) and none I would call poor or bad.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, I agree it’s a weaker showing, but still quite enjoyable. It has a big tilt toward comedy, which means it’s very entertaining, but lacks some of the other aspects that draw me back to rewatch again and again … and again.

        I liked it all but the brief annoying Chuck, but their talking each other off the ledge was great. But it really had some fun (and some sweet) stuff.

      • jam says:

        Hi and yes, I’m new, thanks for the welcome.

        I agree with atcDave that Chuck stopped being annoying after he figured out what was going on, but it still bothered me and prevented me from enjoying this episode as much as I would have liked.

        I think they went a bit overboard with the pregnancy hints, I would have preferred something more subtle… but then the joke the writers wanted to tell wouldn’t have worked. I guess that’s why I think this episode failed…. in my opinion you should never sacrifice good characterization just to tell a joke, not even on a show that has heavy comedy elements.

        So yeah, in my view this episode joins “the Curse” and “the Santa Suit” as one of the weaker episodes of this season, but overall it has still been quite enjoyable.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Jam we are glad to have someone new decloak and join us! (especially someone who starts by agreeing with me…)

        I always want to relate to Chuck, but when they make him a bit of a jerk or a bit clueless we loose that relate-ability (or at least we don’t want to relate as much!).

      • joe says:

        Waddaya mean, “Don’t relate,” Dave??? I may be an old man, but I still have a lotta jerkiness in me, ya young whipper-snapper you…

        😉

      • atcDave says:

        Oh please Joe, you’re the biggest push over ever. I’ve got more total jerk in my little finger than you…. oh never mind.

        But I still don’t WANT to be the jerk or relate to one!

  14. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    It’s been a while, but …….

    There’s been lots said
    About the Kept Man
    Chuck was a schmuck
    Gertrude had a plan

    We didn’t see the hammock
    Perhaps the Speedo was too small
    Really only Sarah knows
    And she ran scared into the hall

    I think Sarah‘s still pregnant
    And that the test they read was wrong
    We’ll find in the next four
    Before the show’s final song

    But what disturbs me the most
    That I could hurl into the pottie
    Is that no one ever told me
    That Lester is a hottie.

  15. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    What the heck is a “Shepperf” :-/

  16. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    Ahh yes, the elusive editing privileges.

    I see you only use your powers for good. 😉

  17. herder says:

    I forgot to mention the greatness of Lester as a woman, it follows the tradition of Lester-as-a-woman gems. Season two had Jerome Bettis ripping off his underwear mistaking him for a woman in one of (to my mind) the most laugh out loud moments in the series. It also had the “are you going to allow Sam Kinison and some Indian lesbian ruin your wedding” one of the all time great lines for the series. The visual of Lester in drag -or perhaps his home clothes- is up there with those terrific moments.

  18. uplink2 says:

    Hey just thought I’d throw this out there even though it is irrelevant long term. But Greenblatt can go to hell. Chuck was #1 with the 18-49 demo in Boston friday. 😀

    • ArmySFC says:

      i don’t disagree with what he said but he could have said it better. although the idiot that asked the question should be questioned about their mental health.

    • uplink2 says:

      Oh agreed. The sets have been destroyed, the actors signed on to other projects. It’s definitely never coming back but you are also correct it was extremely poor PR. They are not in any position to piss of any viewers no matter how small. You simply don’t diss on one of your own products. Say its been a good show for us, the fans are great but its time to move on. If he said that then no harm no foul. This seasons ratings have been the most consistent season ever. A 1.0 or 0.9 every week except for the 0.8 for Baby because it was vacation week. This is the absolute hard core never leave audience and they have shown up every week.

      I just found it interesting when I looked at the numbers for my market this morning that it was #1 in its timeslot 18-49 after what he said.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah its the PR thing. I get that the show is over. Nothing like a little spit in the face to drive that home. I have no use for NBC entertainment after 1/27.

      • uplink2 says:

        I don’t disagree with you but I will be watching Smash because of my girl Kat. My allegiance to her is just as strong as it is to Chuck. In fact I’m here now because of Terrified after I was asked to get involved with the Chuck fanbase to help promote the song. I had never been involved with the Chuck online fanbase till then. I just watched week to week and screamed at my TV all during Season 3.0. My wife thought I was nuts lol. I watch Community but it is nowhere near the passion. It gets too cool for its own good at times.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave…i read this else where and it makes sense. suppose the shoe was on the other foot? suppose he said that about another show and chuck was still in the running for renewal and people were saying the same thing as you? would that be fair to the chuck fans? is it fair to the actors on the other NBC shows that have no relationship to chuck? keep in mind there are other people who depend on NBC for their lively hoods other than the actors. while it is a poor way he said it, people need to remember what i pointed out above.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Unfortunately, NBC has the Superbowl this year on February 5.

        A lot of people have been hedging their reaction to Greenblatt’s comments by saying I know he’s right, but he could have been nicer about it. He’ doesn’t get that pass from me. He is the President of NBC Entertainment at a press tour making public comments. There’s no excuse for his attitude no matter how out of place the question was. You don’t offend the customer. The customer is always right. Maybe he was going for a soundbite, and some people say any publicity is good publicity, but I don’t see any upside to being rude.

        Here’s what he should have said:
        Unfortunately that loyal fan base that has supported CHUCK for 4 years did not follow the show’s finale season to Friday. We knew coming into this season that it would be the last for CHUCK. It’s only doing a 1 rating, which is not enough to support a reprieve. We were proud to have that show on our network for five years and are happy the show could be given a fitting conclusion for the fans. We hope the remaining fans tune in for the final episodes this month, including the exciting two hour finale.

        That’s the same answer, but with a POSITIVE spin. It would have won a lot of good will with a lot of fans that might watch future NBC shows. He didn’t even have to believe what he was saying. Privately, he can fume all he wants about how much ad revenue NBC lost on Chuck this year. But airing the dirty laundry is bad PR. He might be a good business manager, but someone needs to keep Greenblatt away from microphones, at least until he gets some rudimentary training.

        As Sarah said, “It’s all wrong.”

      • atcDave says:

        No army, there’s nothing else to remember. Its all in the delivery. I never want to be lied to. But if they want my business they better be polite, I value that ALMOST as highly as honesty.
        We fought hard for our show over the years and that always meant business and publicity for NBC. For some little corporate toad to take pleasure in our eventual end is sickening to me. The good news is, guys in his position on a bottom dwelling network never last long anyway. I bet he gets fewer years than Chuck did.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I believe (?) NBC Sports is a separate division from Entertainment. Or at least its a sub-unit that is not manipulated in the same way. Obviously I’ll continue to watch football and Olympics, but that’s it.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        You’re right, Dave: http://www.cogmap.com/chart/nbc-universal-inc
        Mark Lazarus, President of NBC Sports Group and Olympics, is at the same level as Greenblatt. I also feel better now that I know the USA Network reports through “NBC Universal Cable Entertainment…” not “NBC Entertainment”.

        Chuck is the only NBC network show I’ve watched since the days of ER, Friends, and Frasier, which come to think of it were produced by WB and Paramount. Does NBC Universal produce any good shows for its network, or do all of those end up on USA?

      • atcDave says:

        Years ago NBC Entertainment stated they would no longer look at producing “family” entertainment and would only court the young adult audience. I believe the fallout from that continues and the more family safe fare goes to USA.

        Now I know Greenblatt is a newcomer (actually coming from USA if memory serves) but he seems to still be serving an older programming philosophy that is not doing the network any favors. And he obviously has no sense about taking to fans/viewers.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Ah, the young adult audience, like what the 5th place network CW does.

        While I like a lot of USA shows, I used to like the network better as a whole when they played more than NCIS reruns.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I was all set for a fiery rant after getting a chance to read Mr. Greenblatt’s statement, but Jeff and Dave have said everything I wanted to say, but with more style. So I’ll just take up my position in the Amen Corner behind you guys. Toad indeed.

        In keeping with Faith’s writeup (Thank You, Faith), let me ask this question:

        Do we find the idea of Sexy Times between John Casey and his DSO (Dangerous Significant Other) so incredibly disturbing in and of itself?

        Or is it because that thought inevitably leads us to the mental image of John Casey doing his Sexy Dance?

        I’ll be skinny-dipping in my vat of Brain Bleach if you need me.

        Ta.

      • Faith says:

        I’d go with latter rather than the former. John Casey isn’t an overtly sexual being so to think of him having some sexy times with Gertrude (though hot), is disturbing. And the way they go about it is also comically steamy. 😀

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        I can’t wait until the Dvds come out, I have GOT to see this episode!

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