I have always considered the casting of Chuck to be one of the shows strongest points. There isn't an actor out of place and everyone plays their roles to the full potential of that character. Yvonne Strahovski has always done a good job of playing Sarah but her character has had a very limited range of emotions that usually revolved around being the super serious spy or the vulnerable woman who has learned to mask those emotions from the rest of the world. But in this episode she was clearly given the opportunity to let all those emotions out with a fury and wow, what a job.
The main focus of this episode was the search and rescue of Chuck who had been kidnapped by the Belgian, or more precisely Sarah's search for Chuck with Casey and Morgan desperately trying to keep up. This part of the story was brilliant from the off and kept me gripped even from where it really started at the end of last week's episode when Sarah announced that she was going to find Chuck. The action was fast paced and constant and it propelled us through the episode with a fury that was thrilling.
The most important thing this storyline brought out for me was finally putting to bed the question of whether or not Sarah actually loved Chuck for Chuck or for the intersect in his head. She has always said that she did but she has only known him with the intersect and in spite of the words they always seemed empty, especially since she has always played someone who keeps her emotions bottled up. For the first time it looked as though she were a woman that was actually as in love with Chuck as he has been with her since the very first season.
The secondary story line in this episode was a little more disappointing as I was hoping for some kind of reveal on what was on the computer, not an extension of the cliffhanger they left us with three weeks ago. We knew the computer was there and that Ellie would find it, did we really need to waste another episode seeing Awesome and the Buy More staff trying to unlock this computer only to leave us hanging as to what was on it. All we saw was a flash of light and their faces become slack in shock which leaves me with a horrifying thought that I hope never comes to pass... that they might have just been exposed to an intersect. I doubt (and hope with all my heart) that this isn't the case but I guess we will have to wait a week to see.
Finally lets talk about the reason why this episode lost that half a point in my eyes. Chuck!
Last week left me hoping that Chuck was finally going to get his chance to prove himself to Sarah, that she didn't need to constantly be his protector but that he could be a spy as well. I am a little disappointed that he has still failed to recover the intersect but that is only secondary to the fact that a chance for him to prove how much potential he has himself has passed them by and Sarah has saved him once again. Ok, they finished the episode with General Beckman saying that he had a future in the agency without the intersect but all I could think when she said this was "Why?"
This was his chance to prove to them and us that he could be a spy but he has in stead proved that whilst he is capable of coming through in a secondary role he needs someone with him to hold his hand and keep him out of trouble. I see this as a betrayal of the Chuck character as since season 1 he has shown he is so much more than the intersect's vessel.
This aside this was a quality episode that continues a hot streak for the show. I think so far this fourth season has been fairly strong but these last three episodes have gone from strength to strength.
Here's to hoping they continue the trend and I can't see why not now that the Chuck Sarah relationship has come to a point where it is obviously strong and this constant bickering can stop and they can start working together as a team.
I am eagerly looking forward to next weeks episode, wish it was tonight!