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Chuck’s back! Here’s my recap/review

January 18, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
Chuck finally returned for 2011 and let me tell you the nearly two-month break was tough but made completely worth it because of Monday’s episode. I have had Chuck on the brain a lot lately with the fan video I put together, so it was great to get back in action with Chuck, Sarah and the whole crew.

Monday’s episode was titled, Chuck vs. The Balcony. When I learned of the title, my mind was racing with all the possibilities with Chuck’s impending proposal on the way. It turned out I was on the right track as Chuck’s proposal to Sarah was one of the main themes of the show. While it’s not the best episode ever, it was solid.

Lots of spoilers coming from now on, just letting you know now. I haven’t been able to talk about a fresh Chuck episode in a while so it could get lengthy so be warned!

The episode opened very “Alias-style” with some unknown guy, assumed to be a CIA agent, running from bad guys trying to kill him for whatever intel he had in the briefcase he was carrying. Short version, he stashes it and then gets shot, setting up the retrieval mission for Team Bartowski later in the episode.

Back in Burbank, Chuck and Sarah are on a very romantic date with Chuck, usually very talkative, acting very nervous and jumpy. Hmmm ... I think his proposal plan is set in motion. But as with anything on Chuck, things don’t go to plan. Sarah tells Chuck of the nightmare proposal her parents had in a similar setting. Chuck is already nervous to propose to his super-spy girlfriend but learning her history with proposals freaks Chuck out enough to cancel his plans, just in time!

Now both plot lines are set up, the mission to retrieve the intelligence, a nano chip, that was stashed by a murdered CIA agent in France and Chuck trying to find the perfect moment to propose. Chuck enlists the help of his best buddy, Morgan to plan the proposal. Morgan isn’t the best person to go to for relationship advice but he will help Chuck out no matter what. So begins the “Sub-Mission.” The mission in France lent itself to Chuck’s proposal quite well.

Chuck finds the perfect spot at the Chateau to propose, the west facing balcony (get the title now?). Oh and what’s more romantic than a proposal over-looking the sunset? Well, it was perfect, until the mission gets in the way. They find where the nano chip was hidden and that take precedence. Chip recovered, bad guys averted and Chuck and Sarah are back on the balcony, proposal attempt number three is interrupted by team member, Colonel Casey in his rush to leave their French surroundings.

Bummed that he failed twice in one day, Chuck is so unsure of when he will another chance at a perfect proposal like that. But wait, their leader, General Beckman is sending Chuck and Sarah back to France to try to take down the evil group they left behind. Sarah must pose as a turncoat CIA agent and “give” the chip back to them in order to plan a tracer to take them down. Morgan and Chuck talk about the perfect plan before Chuck leaves, but what they didn’t realize is (plot twist number one) Sarah could overhear everything they said.

Not wanting to spoil things for Chuck, Sarah finds Morgan and gets him to spill everything about Chuck’s plans. It was the funniest scene of the episode. Sarah takes over the “Sub-Mission” without letting Chuck know in order to make sure everything goes to plan with the proposal. I love it when Sarah gets a comedy scene. She is such a serious character that it’s great to see the other side of her.

Chuck and Sarah are back in France. Remember my earlier question about the sunset? The answer is moonlight. The “traitor” mission goes well, a little too well, but Chuck and Sarah roll with it. It’s time for the moonlit rendezvous on the balcony. Meanwhile, Morgan is back at Castle monitoring the situation with secure and separate coms to each Chuck and Sarah. Casey walks in on Morgan and quickly figures out what he’s doing. Instead of getting mad about it, Casey sits down and helps Morgan, Chuck and Sarah. Casey is another very serious character, and we don’t see the softer side of him often. It was a great Casey moment.

Everything is going to plan with one minor scuffle with the bad guys when they attack Chuck while Sarah is on her way to the balcony. He quickly takes care of that and gets into position on the balcony. Then, another great Sarah moment happens. On her way up the stairs, she pauses. She’s nervous for the first time in her life. It was such an honest and tender moment and it’s great to hear Morgan talk her through it.

When Sarah gets to balcony, Casey spots the ring on the ground. Chuck must have dropped it in his fight. Using her supreme spy skills, Sarah distracts Chuck and picks up the ring and then slips it into his pocket so everything there are no more hiccups. The perfect proposal is ready. The moonlit background, Chuck’s sweet and a little clumsy proposal speech befits the relationship perfectly. Chuck and Sarah fans have to be sighing all over as Chuck tells Sarah how much she means to him. (HUGE PLOT TWIST) However, as Chuck gets down on one knee, Special Forces burst in and arrest Sarah for being a traitor. WHAT!! The mission was sanctioned by Beckman. Not to sound like a know-it-all, but I have read enough on the show that I knew the proposal wasn’t happening this episode. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have minded being wrong, but I wasn’t as shocked as my sister (who hates that I’m always right). However, I didn’t expect it to be interrupted like that.

When they return to Burbank, Sarah’s in a holding cell and Chuck is crushed. He reveals to Casey that he was going to propose, not knowing he already knew. Casey takes in stride and gives him the best advice of the show. Casey told of the one and only time proposed, before he became the NSA spy he is today. He told of his romantic plans that went wrong and the unromantic bus station he proposed in. To quote Casey, “There is no such thing as a perfect moment or a perfect spot, so forget about the balcony, Bartowski. All you need is the girl.” Sigh. Casey is the MAN! Ultimate spy turned relationship guru.

So Chuck rushes into Sarah’s cell to propose, but Sarah cuts him off. Now the explanation, Beckman set up the whole thing in France. She wanted Sarah to be caught as a traitor so she can be sent undercover in Alexi Volcoff’s organization. He’s the criminal psychopath that has kept Chuck’s mom from being with her family for 20 years. Chuck and Sarah will now be separated while she goes on her new mission to try and bring Chuck’s mom home. It’s a little poetic that the woman Chuck loves is going to save his mom. It’s a perfect set up. So while there were several failed proposals, I count five, Chuck and Sarah fans should be satisfied when all is said and done. Sarah has all ready told Chuck she wants to marry him in episode nine so all he has to do is ask. But as in everything that is the Chuck and Sarah romance, patience is key.

In conclusion, the ending was a little sad with Sarah being dragged off in handcuffs with Chuck still holding the ring. Chuck knows what Sarah’s going off to do and it’s very important. The bad thing is that there’s nothing really he can do to help. It was a stellar episode for Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah, which makes me more resolved to keep on with the#Emmy4Yvonne campaign on Twitter. Chuck 4.11 has set up the next few episodes very well. It will be fun to see what is to come in the next few weeks. Is it Monday yet?


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