I wasn't planning on doing any blog for individual shows. I honestly barely remember to do the weekly blog. But last night's episode of Chuck was such a wonderful episode, that I feel compelled to give it a shout out separate from the Week in Review. Josh Schwartz showed with this episode that he appreciates the loyal fan base and that he is willing to ultimately give them what they want. And guess what other show runners - that is not necessarily a bad thing, despite what some of you may think! Happy characters don't always mean a boring show.
So, instead of doing a regular recap. I'm going to list the top 10 thing I loved about last night's episode of Chuck.
10. Jeffster. Yep, Jeffster. Listen. I am not always on board with these two. Are they amusing? Usually. But sometimes they are simply grating. But having them sing "Push It" over the loud speaker while Ellie was, in fact, pushing, was so wrong that I couldn't help but laugh. Plus, Ellie and Casey's reactions were worth any of the awkwardness that came from Jeff and Lester grinding with pregnant ladies.
9. Volkoff didn't die. I'll get to the mission itself in a minute, but I loved that it didn't end with Chuck (or anyone else, for that matter) killing Volkoff. While I'm sure Mama Bartowski would have loved to pull the trigger on him (Chuck does need to explain those tranq guns), as a viewer, I'm excited to still have Timothy Dalton on the list of possible villains that could resurface. Perhaps with Shaw? How cute would Bond and Superman be together?
8. Casey and Alex. I'm a sucker for a good father/daughter moment, since it's one I don't get to have anymore in reality. Alex has been a very peripheral character since she was introduced, which I understand. Just how many more regular folk can the General give top level security clearance too? But I hope the father/daughter (and Morgan!) moments in this ep lead to more Alex. I think she has a lot to offer this group. And we need a regular person back on the scene, now that Morgan gets to go on the "climactic missions." Speaking of....
7. Morgan Grimes, mission ready. While Morgan has proved to be an important fourth member to Chuck's team, he has never really been invited to be part of the missions in any capacity that requires him to leave the Castle. And yet there he was in his wet suit on the Contessa doing yoga moves to get through the laser-ridden hallway. Sure he may be a bit of a doofus, but he managed to come through in the clutch and helped to save the day instead of just screwing up and ruining the plan - something I honestly expected would happen.
6. Devon Woodcomb, not always Awesome. Captain Awesome has shown a few cracks in his Awesomeness over the past season or two. He can't lie. He's not exactly mission ready yet. And apparently, he is prone to panic attacks at big life moments. Like when his wife is having a baby. He has an incredible plan that crumbles because he doesn't have a "Push Mix" CD. And he spends Ellie's entire labor in freak out mode. But once Casey has a talk with him (which I will get to next) he calms down and is there for Ellie when it counts. And when he holds his adorable baby daughter for the first time he captures the moment in a way that is entirely fitting for the character, "Awesome."
5. John Casey, Unlikey Voice of Reason. In the first two seasons I think Adam Baldwin barely gave more than a few unhappy grunts in every episode. But in this season especially he has become the unlikey heart of the show. He convinced Chuck not to give up on Sarah and to propose and even helped Morgan with the ultimate romantic sub-mission proposal. And in this episode he proved that he really is family to Devon and Ellie as well and helped Devon to realize he was about to miss the most important moment in his life thus far. Who would have guessed 4 years ago that Casey would have been the guy to turn to for life advice? And that he would always give it so eloquently? Now that is what I call character development.
4. Mama Bartowski. There were several ways we could have ended the Volkoff story when it came to Linda Hamilton's Mary Bartowski. She could have died, like Dad, but that would have been pretty upsetting. She also could have just gone back into the night, never to be seen again. Or immediately sent on another mission for the CIA. But instead she was there for her daughter, finally, after 20 years. Able to see her first grandchild born. Poor Ellie is always alone and in the dark on this show and unsure why the things around her are happening, she deserved the win, and I'm glad they allowed Mary to be there to give that to her.
3. Orion wins in the end. When Scott Bakula's character, Steve Bartowski (or Orion) died, it was an emotional moment for the series that I think worked really well at the moment. But I have to say I am now regretting (and I bet the writers are too) not being able to give him a reunion with Mary. He worked so hard to find her and to take down Volkoff, so to allow his computer to be the defining aspect of Volkoff's demise, well, that felt like the perfect closure for Chuck and his father. Even if Orion wasn't there for Frost in person, it felt like he was there in spirit. If I mission end could ever be labeled as beautiful, it would be this one.
2. No one really screwed up. If there is one thing that I have ever really had a problem with on this show it is the need to have Chuck screw up all the time. He is a solid spy now, and is incredibly good at his job. No longer is he the dorky kid who would never stay in the car and always mess things up. So to allow CHUCK to be the one to come up with the mission plan and to execute it in a way that allowed everyone a moment to shine and do they jobs well....well, I honestly couldn't ask for anything more. Except....
1. The Proposal. Man, it has felt like Chuck has been carrying around that ring FOREVER. How many almost proposals have their been this season? All so elaborate and beautiful. So to have him propose in a hospital hallway while the janitor is 20 feet away with the floor cleaner was incredibly smart. Especially because we couldn't hear it. As soon as he looked at Sarah, you knew what was going to happen. We didn't need to hear what he said. We know what he said. Not just the "will you marry me" but all the rest as well, because if the writers have done one thing to perfection it is to allow their loyal viewers to truly understand the character of Chuck. You completely understand the level of love he has for Sarah, and this season you finally got to see how much she reciprocates those feelings. In an episode that allowed for everyone to have their happy ending, this moment topped them all. Thanks, Josh Schwartz - it seems your coal heart isn't entirely coal afterall.