There were a lot of moving parts on last night’s episode of “Chuck,” with significant decisions facing several members of the team. Luckily, they all came together in a way that seems to be moving the story forward.
First, though, we have to get over a little timing problem.
The episode started with wacky Valentine’s Day hijinks. We learned that Chuck is a self-proclaimed love machine (and has the t-shirt to prove it); that Sarah makes a very sexy cupid (complete with wings); and that Morgan and Alex have found unique ways to connect, including spreading chocolate on each other’s faces.
That’s all fine and good, but here’s my complaint: why couldn’t this segment, or this entire episode, have aired last week on Valentine’s Day instead of that stand-alone episode? Seems like a fairly glaring oversight.
The V-Day festivities get interrupted by a mission anyway, I suppose it doesn’t matter, but little things like that bug me.
The team is dispatched to secure an heiress that’s being targeted by someone named Boris. This guy is killing his way through Volkoff’s lieutenants in search of a key of some sort.
Turns out the heiress, Vivian, is Volkoff’s daughter - not that she knows anything about dead old dad’s work. Boris corners Chuck, Sarah and Vivian, but they manage to escape (conveniently off camera – lame!) and get her back to Castle.
During the mission, the wheels start turning on two other things the gang has to deal with. First, a mysterious woman (Robin Givens!) briefly chats up Casey in his undercover role as a bartender. Second, Casey gets Morgan thinking about being a third wheel to Chuck and Sarah and needing to move out and have his own life.
We eventually find out that Robin Givens is part of a covert organization that’s working out of Castle, and she wants to make Casey an offer to ditch Chuck’s team and lead her operation. He won’t even have to leave Burbank. It’s an interesting decision for Casey, pitting his professional advancement against his friendship and loyalty to his current team. The episode leaves us hanging on to that question.
As for Morgan, Sarah decides to “hang” with him to try and convince him that he’s not a third wheel. Sarah is good at many things; “hanging” is not one of them, especially when she makes a Wookie mistake (pun absolutely intended) of calling collectibles toys, jolting Morgan into the realization that he does need to grow up and move out.
Through that decision and what follows, we see Morgan and Chuck acknowledge the depth of their friendship, while at the same time establishing where they both are in their lives currently. It’s understandably painful to split apart from your best friend, even if you both know that it’s the right thing to do. The maturity with which they approach the change displays the growth that these characters, especially Morgan, have experienced over the course of the series.
Quick pause to compliment the set designers and make up for my nitpick earlier. The geek cred on this show is fairly well established, but it’s always cool to notice how Chuck and Morgan’s apartment shows off these characters’ personalities. My favorites from last night: the "Flash: Rebirth" poster and a framed issue of "Nightwing."
The final “propel the plot” moment last night came from Vivian. After killing Boris and parting ways from Chuck’s team, she makes her way to Volkoff’s old headquarters, where she discovers that a necklace her father gave her is the key Boris was looking for, and it opens up some new component of Volkoff’s enterprise that we’ll have to wait and learn the details of later.
So, to recap: Casey’s loyalties are being tested. Morgan is striking out on his own. Chuck and Sarah are getting closer to their wedding date. And we may be heading into a new era of Volkoff. Seems like things are moving ahead quite nicely, if you ask me.
Welllll....given the lower ratings of late, I suspect the producers are prepping for a season/series end that can be picked up if NBC is smart enough to give the show more time and/or find a better timeslot. Lord only knows what'll happen if it does get axed and syfy picks it up.
This show is Awesome! No pun intended. It's too bad NBC does not have the foresight to slot it where it can get better viewership.
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