March 1st, 2011
12:42 PM ET
Not to get all philosophical right off the bat, but let me ask you this, “Chuck” fans: Can an episode be awesome despite a complete absence of Awesome? I’m going with yes.
It helps that the show didn’t take long to start answering some of the questions left hanging at the end of last week.
For starters, the key that Volkoff gave his daughter Vivian reveals a customer card to an exclusive bank. Volkoff’s lawyer Riley shows up to help explain things and try and persuade Vivian to re-start her father’s evil empire.
I really hope Riley, played by Ray Wise, turns into a recurring role. His insistence on reading Volkoff’s note to Vivian in his Russian accent (“I spent weeks getting this perfect”) was hilarious, made even more so when Vivian shuts down the performance.
Of course, Vivian wants none of it. She heads to Burbank to fill in Chuck and Sarah, who happily help her get into the bank and access her father’s assets there.
Despite Chuck’s horribly misguided mustache disguise, he shows off some true spy chops. He develops Vivian as an asset (a nice evolution, since the series started off with Chuck constantly being referred to simply as “the asset”), persuading her to work with them. And when he hits an obstacle at the bank, he conceives and executes a plan to get the job done.
Vivian displays some scheming abilities of her own. (And maybe some signs that she takes after her dad after all?) Since Volkoff’s safety deposit box contained pictures and clippings of her, she also decides that she DOES want to learn more about her father (fickle, party of one), and pushes to meet him.
Chuck promises to make that happen, but it involves Vivian getting them back into the bank to plant a bug in the computer system. Needing a distraction, Chuck and Sarah turn into Bonnie and Clyde mixed with a little "Matrix." They blow in, start a huge shootout, and have a fun time playing out every bank robber trope. (I guess it’s good to be bad every once in a while.)
However, once the CIA has what it needs from Vivian, General Beckman denies Chuck’s request for the meeting with Volkoff. That plays right into the scenario that Riley predicted for Vivian, and it might be the tipping point that pushes her over to the dark side.
In the midst of all this, Sarah is struggling with her own issue: wedding planning. Despite Ellie’s help (and it’s nice to see the two of them bonding; the actresses really play well off each other), Sarah just can’t work up any excitement about the impending nuptials.
When you’re a spy who’s spent most of her life busting bad guys, floral arrangements and seating charts probably don’t hold much interest. But not getting excited about cake tastings? That’s just insane. You get to eat cake - lots of it - for free. Hands down, that's the best wedding planning perk.
Chuck encourages Sarah to get excited about just one thing, and when Ellie mentions dresses, Sarah has her target. Thanks to a convenient, why-have-we-never-seen-that-before Wardrobe-o-Matic in Castle, we get a cute montage of Sarah trying on dresses. When she lands on the right one, the emotions finally kick in and the idea of getting married becomes “real.”
Unfortunately, that seems to turn Sarah into a bit of a bridezilla, but that’s a problem for a different episode.
You might have noticed that I have yet to mention Casey. That’s because he spends this entire episode separated from Chuck and Sarah. It appears as if he’s taken that offer to work for the new covert group inside Castle, but hasn’t let anyone in on the news.
That is, until Morgan stumbles across the new facility. After moving out of his apartment with Chuck, Morgan is searching for a place to stay, and discovers Casey’s new gig while sleeping at the Buy More. He uses the info to blackmail Casey into accepting him as a roommate. (How is this a good idea? You’re dating the guy’s daughter!)
I’ve enjoyed the interaction between Casey and Morgan this season, but I’m wary that this setup will further remove Casey from the Bartowski team, and set up parallel Chuck/Sarah and Casey/Morgan adventures with little crossover. The team works best when they’re working together, in my opinion, and I think it would be a shame to break up that dynamic.
Your reactions to Casey and Morgan’s cohabitation? Thoughts on Sarah’s wedding dress? Predictions for Vivian’s Volkoff destiny? Sound off below!
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