We get a second stand alone episode in a row with CAT Squad. This is the third visit of Sarah’s infamous friend Carina Miller, and we meet two other old compatriots, plus a villain from Sarah’s past. Sounds like a lot of fun!
After the jump we’ll discuss.
CAT Squad seems to rank as a middle of the pack sort of episode. Even if it doesn’t quite rank among the very best of Chuck, it still contains a number of memorable scenes and manages to be a lot fun throughout. That sounds like a definition of average to me…
Its easy to find what’s fun and right about this episode. It clearly presents itself a Charlie’s Angels homage/parody, at least in Morgan’s mind. Chuck is trying so hard to help, its beginning to seriously get on Sarah’s nerves. But its worth it to get some serious Sarah/Ellie bonding time. Really a nice little scene as Ellie acknowledges an annoying Chuckism, that ends with Sarah affirming her love regardless.
Still, the initial reunion and morning after (afternoon after?) are laugh out loud funny. Sarah clearly seems to be the mature, sensible one on the team; but its hard to know if her fears are well founded. Carina’s scenes with Morgan are funny in a most uncomfortable sort of way, so pretty much the same as they were in Wookiee. But there’s a significant difference this time, Morgan is no longer pathetic, he’s actually a pretty decent guy. He tries to do the right thing and make everyone happy, even if Carina does have the heart of a bridge troll. The only thing I would have liked to see different about this part of the story would be for Carina to figure out that Alex is Casey’s daughter. Now that could have led to a whole new level of mischief making.
Back to the “A” plot, we see the tragic demise of Sarah’s Porsche, which kicks the actual mission part of the story into gear. There are accusations and suspicions to go around. The party in Rio has an overtly Charlie’s Angels look to it. I also find it interesting that Casey seems a little jealous of Chuck’s capabilities and good fortune. The highlight here is the CATs walking into a trap; that Sarah manages to totally reverse onto Gaez. Unfortunately, Chuck chooses this moment to “drop” in from the overhead skylight. Funny scene, the bad guys are all neutralized, but uh, Sarah’s a little ticked. Chuck’s help cost the chance for some intel, or so Sarah believes. Sarah has so long been patient and easy going in the face of all of Chuck’s antics. Not this time. Maybe she’s feeling the pressure to look good in front of her old team. Or for Chuck to look good to her old team. Suffice to say, this is not her finest moment.
So next, Chuck really gets to be her very own baggage handler…
Funny. This is undeniably an uncomfortable scene. But the payoff starts almost immediately. When Sarah and Zondra head to the dojo to sort things out, they start putting some pieces together, thanks in part to Chuck’s research, and realize Amy is the mole. Too late.
The action sequence in the Buy More is classic Chuck. He manages to be capable and heroic, right up until he won’t hurt a woman. And Sarah is very worried through it all; and she forgives Chuck while pointedly refusing to do so. Cute. That makes me laugh every time. The scene ends with a nice hero pose by the new three lady CAT Squad. We had to know there could be only three.
And that takes us to the big party. Chuck and Sarah are clearly happy again, and Sarah gives a very nice speech. Even better, Sarah and Ellie are bonding as friends.
The “B” plot plays out to the end as well. I would call it uneventful, except Carina does cause an amazing amount of mischief. This episode does nicely close out a story that started way back in Wookiee (1.04).
And that wraps another episode. I think I’d call it a lot of fun, but well short of the best.
Dave’s done a great job of summarizing Chuck vs. The CAT Squad, especially as an homage to Charlies Angels. We’ve seen them do that kind of thing before, particularly with Chuck and Sarah as Jonathan and Jennifer or sometimes as Max and 99. That’s fun. My pick was always to see them as Nick and Nora.
In that light, an homage to the ’70s classic wasn’t a half bad idea, and certainly I always appreciated a break from the hot and heavy relationship angst and spy-drama.
Still, you know me. I like to dig a little deeper into the episodes. Also, didn’t we just have one of those breaks the previous week, with Roan Montgomery spoofing every James Bond movie you ever saw? Was there anything more meaningful here?
Of course there was. It was in Sarah getting all antsy about Chuck pushing about her history with The CATs, Amy (Mircea Monroe), Carina (one of our favorites, Mini Anden) especially Zondra (Mercedes Masohn). The first time through I found Sarah’s snapping a Chuck for trying to be helpful a little hard to watch.
Uh, just a moment. Isn’t this just more of the same “Chuck and Sarah are crap communicators” stuff we’ve been seeing all season?
Actually, no. Chuck and Sarah have a memorable bit of tension, but it’s a bit different in nature from what we had last week, when the couple attempted to seduce each other into getting what they wanted. It’s different even from First Fight, which was about Chuck’s desire to be a spy and Sarah’s desire to be a normal human being. (Note the emphasis on who they wanted to be, as opposed to what they wanted to do.) At least Chuck and Sarah seemed to get over this one quickly enough.
In fact, I think we have to be more concerned about Morgan and Alex.
This time, it’s about something most of us have been through, living with a human being. You know the type. Human beings are people who makes mistakes and sometimes steps on your toes. It’s about forgiveness and recognizing their humanity.
I keep my belongings with me at all times
I know what I need, I know what is mine
I keep my belongings with me at all times
Until I can carry no more
And sometimes I crowd you and step on your toes
Sometimes I will go out in yesterday’s clothes
But I show you a sight that no one else knows
And hope that you’ll carry me on
There’s so many times in this episode where reconciliations are made, forgiveness is happily granted, new levels of closeness are reached and they’re not only between Chuck and Sarah. There’s Sarah and Zondra, Ellie and Sarah and not least of all, Morgan and Alex. What started off as a silly little treat becomes just a little more important and meaningful when you look just a little deeper.
Of course, in the end like comedy should make you smile more than make you get all somber and philosophical. So oh yes, forgive yourself too for being human and needing to ask for help sometimes. Sometimes people like to help. In CAT Squad, a party at the end, after all. And that means it’s time to celebrate being human.
You’re like a puzzle that can’t be solved,
Missing pieces never fill the gaps…
You got the salt and I got the wound,
But, all you gotta do is ask…
Please ask for help