I was curious what the writers were going to do after last week's closure(ish)-filled episode. Chuck and Sarah… engaged! Casey… alive! Baby… born, and grandma was there! A lot was wrapped up neatly, with the assumption that it might have been the last Chuck ever. And it was a pretty good episode, because when Chuck goes big, it's as entertaining a show as it's ever been. Of course, the converse is also true, as has been painfully evident all season. Chuck doesn't do baby steps well, and because last week's episode was so epic, "Seduction Impossible" was a lot of tiny strides and fabricated drama, saved by a couple of vintage Roan Montgomery/General Beckman shots and Sarah belly dancing.
The mission du jour involves rescuing Montgomery, who comes back onto the radar when he attempts to seduce a known counterfeiter—who just so happens to be a super hot lady surrounded by super hot lady guards and one stockier guard Casey mildly insults about her weight. Beckman sends the team in to apprehend Montgomery, who doesn't want to be caught because he's just about to bed the counterfeiter. Hilarious Chuck-and-Sarah-hide-while-Roan-pre-bones-and-Chuck-ruins-it-by-sneezing shenanigans ensue, Montgomery is extracted, and Casey heads into the walls of the Morocco palace for further surveillance.
This first sequence— just shy of half the episode—is insufferable. The plot is, like, bad sitcom bad; plots are telegraphed a mile away with a wink and a nudge so prominent, they almost obscure all the shrugging happening. (Almost.) At one point, Casey tries to seduce the one guard as Roan groans in the other room. Because, I mean, Casey's so bad, and he's going to do it anyway! Can you even stand it?!? At one point, Sarah literally says the line, "If you ruin this mission by sneezing, we'll officially be the worst spies in the world," with a modicum of sincerity.
Meanwhile, as this is all happening, Chuck and Sarah are fighting about their relationship. It always boggles my mind how the show can't keep some of this stuff out of the mission, but if they insist on having it always bleed into the A-story, the least they could do would be to introduce a point of contention that actually means something. Instead, this week Chuck and Sarah are angry at each other because Chuck wants a big wedding and Sarah wants to elope. It's always something with these two, but this one feels even more tenous because, geez, they got freakin' engaged in the last episode, and we can't get a week off from this nonsense. Chuck is officially the most neurotic boyfriend on TV. Plus rather than talking it out, their arguments take the form of "I want a big wedding," "Well, I want to elope," and never get more detailed than that. (Roan, by the way, does much shrugging.) It's not until the very end of the episode that Sarah finally comes clean, admitting that she doesn't want a wedding because she has no one to invite. Why that simple fact—dare I say it's Sarah's only "character trait"?—eluded Chuck for so long boggles the mind.
There's not much context in "Seduction Impossible" that would demonstrate this fight should have ever escalated. Context, though, saves a few key parts of the episode. We get to see Beckman and Montgomery as a young couple, enjoying the fall of the Berlin wall in each other's arms. We also get a nice scene between the two of them at the end, now older and able to admit to one another that they'll never have a normal life together. They're spies. Just like Frost, who is helping raise Ellie's new baby but is secretly thinking about going back to the rogue life (or so we're to assume). And Casey, despite his desire to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend, sees it's best to keep in the shadows for the time being. All these characters are reconciling the discrepancy between what's normal and what's part of being a spy. Chuck and Sarah, though, simply say "spy" a lot and don't seem to understand what the word means anymore.
- Why, if the General wanted Chuck and Sarah to be able to rescue Casey should something go wrong, did she summon them back to Burbank?
- Some ridiculous effects tonight, but I appreciate the lightsaber-like thing Chuck uses to break Casey free.
- "I'm outta here."