January 25th, 2011
02:02 PM ET
Maybe it’s true that blondes have more fun, because from the minute that Sarah dyes her hair black, I’d say her life takes a decided turn for the worse. But that’s what you get when you try to infiltrate a criminal mastermind’s organization.
I said last week that I was looking forward to how this whole storyline would play out. So far, mostly good.
With Sarah working her way into Volkoff’s inner circle, we get the awesome return of Timothy Dalton as the evil genius himself. Dalton picks right up where he left off with his last appearance, somehow oozing enough charm and personality to make the sociopath Volkoff eminently likable.
And he’s sensible, too. “We have a problem. Actually, we have two problems. There’s a dead body on the floor. Phyllis. Cleanup!”
The man may be a murderous tyrant, but at least he doesn’t overlook the obvious.
Like, for example, the fact that Sarah is a blatant double agent. For someone who’s so good at almost every aspect of being a spy, Sarah has a terrible poker face. Lucky for her, Volkoff is egomaniacal enough to think he can turn Sarah to his side, just like he did with Chuck’s mom. Yes, Linda Hamilton is back. Yes, her acting still leaves something to be desired.
Volkoff’s plan to turn Sarah leads us through a funny prison fight/escape sequence, involving Chuck, Casey and Morgan. Not that we advocate prison breakouts, but if you ever find yourself in this situation, apparently guards are easily distracted by birthday cake.
Ultimately, we end up with a showdown between Sarah and Casey. Watching these two have a mission status briefing and plan a plausible escape that keeps Sarah’s cover intact, all while pummeling each other, reminds me of just how impressive they are.
It ends with Casey being thrown out of a 9th story window and getting seriously injured. It may seem to be Sarah’s fault, but it’s absolutely not. Casey assessed the risks, knew the situation, and took the best possible course of action. Sarah can’t be held responsible for an uncontrollable factor, and Casey won’t blame her (if and when he wakes up). He’s a professional.
Unfortunately, Chuck is not. For all of the training and pep talks about needing to leave his emotions out of it in order to be a real spy, Chuck refuses to stay on the sidelines and takes the situation at face value only. I realize he’s the main character, so he kind of has to be involved, but seriously, dude, just stay home sometimes!
When he was forced to be a spy, Chuck’s innocence was one of his most redeeming values. Now that he’s chosen to be a spy, that innocence has become an annoying naiveté, and something that seems to point out how ill-suited he is for this line of work.
What he is apparently well-suited for is duping his brother-in-law. A plotline around baby naming, while incredibly predictable, pulled in all of the secondary characters, and really helped to fill out the episode. It’s always good to see Chuck and Ellie working together as siblings, especially when it includes the right amount of the Buy More crew (funny Jeff and Lester, not creepy Jeff and Lester).
Next week, it looks like things with Volkoff come to a head for Chuck and everyone who’s close to him. Hopefully, it will mean some development for Chuck as a spy, even if it might mean the end of Dalton’s stellar run on the show.
Your reactions to last night’s episode, to Casey’s fall, to Sarah as a non-blonde? Sound off below.
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