February 8th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
How do you follow up an episode in which your two main characters get engaged? By starting the wedding planning, of course!
Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task when the groom’s family is unknowingly overbearing and the bride’s family is absent. That’s the setup for the dramatic tension between Chuck and Sarah this week.
It’s all wrapped around a mission to rescue Roan Montgomery. John Larroquette returns as the spy/master of seduction, who has managed to infiltrate a counterfeiting organization run and staffed entirely by gorgeous women who carry automatic weapons. I can’t imagine what that job application looks like.
Montgomery doesn’t actually need rescuing, but General Beckman seems insistent (we found out why shortly), so Chuck, Sarah and Casey head to Morocco to retrieve him. Upon their arrival, Sarah insists that she won’t end up in a belly dancer costume for the mission.
Right then, I knew what was coming. You knew what was coming. Chuck’s niece, who was literally born yesterday, probably knew what was coming. The only surprise was that it took 30 minutes for Sarah to end up dressed as a belly dancer. It was worth the wait.
Back in Morocco, after a brief hiccup (and a great ball-and-chain gag), the team gets Montgomery out, but not before he picks up on the tension between Chuck and Sarah. She wants to elope. He wants a big wedding. Once they get back to Burbank, cue the dueling attempts at seduction and Sarah’s belly dancing costume/routine. Needless to say, she’s a lot better at this than Chuck is.
Then something incredible happens: they actually talk about their feelings and concerns. Chuck explains why it’s important to him to have his family at his wedding. Sarah explains why the idea of a large wedding makes her uncomfortable. They don’t drag out the typical TV shtick where characters refuse to be honest with each other, leading to a series of hilarious misunderstandings which are never, in fact, hilarious. Hallelujah!
Now we can move on to the MVP of last night’s episode, General Beckman. Turns out, she and Roan have had an on-again, off-again relationship since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
(Flashback breakdown: The Scorpions’ “Winds of Change”? Great. That wig on Beckman? Terrible.)
Roan and Beckman promised to settle down together in 20 years. He’s blown her off and thinks that’s why the general is angry at him. Nope. It turns out she didn’t want to go through with it either. She was mad for a different, and much simpler, reason: you don’t run from a general.
I’ve always thought that Beckman (played by Bonita Friedericy) brings a lot to the show. It might ruin that if she were around all the time, but it’s great to see her out from behind a video screen, especially when she lets her hair down (figuratively and literally, as was the case last night).
Finally, a brief note on the rest of the Bartowski clan. Ellie and baby Clara are home from the hospital, and Mama Bartowski is helping out with the baby. After a season’s worth of disappointing performances from Linda Hamilton, the show finally managed to make her engaging.
She was never believable as a tough-as-nails spy who could survive undercover for decades. But she’s hilarious as a grandmother who relates to child-rearing through her work as a spy. For example, apparently babies and live explosives should be handled in the same manner. (There’s a diaper joke to be made here, but I’ll keep things classy.)
I still find it hard to believe that Ellie would so readily welcome the woman who abandoned her back into her life, but the warmth that both actresses brought to that short scene together was very nice.
Were you seduced by last night’s episode? What are your thoughts on Gen. Beckman as a Cold War femme fatale? Sound off below!
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