Was this the best episode of Chuck ever? No. In fact, I was more put off by the Sarah/Chuck angst this time around, whereas I feel the show has done a good job of not driving us crazy with it this season. But it was a solid episode overall. If things feel like they're moving fast, its because next week was the original intended finale. I'm not complaining about the pace, because right now, the show's forward momentum is fantastic. Last week I loved Sarah. Last week it felt right that Chuck was back in pursuit of her. This week I felt these elements were disjointed. I enjoyed Casey, Devon and Morgan playing Chuck's support crew, and the highlight of the episode was the reconnaissance at the restaurant. All the players got some nice material and were handled well. But honestly (and this may come from my general dislike of Brandon Routh) I just couldn't get into the rest of the plot and the second half of the episode. I didn't care that he was captured (The Ring zeroes in on him every week, it feel like), and it was odd to me that the General would give Chuck all this random 'free time.' (Aren't there more pressing matters?) It was like the entire episode paid service to Chuck trying to get the girl. It was like the real world was put on hold. Now Jeff and Lester got some good stalking stuff, (when are nunchuks not funny?) and Ellie got a great moment. There was even a somewhat brilliant twist with Sarah and Shaw's late wife. But Sarah's wishy-washy confusion over Chuck or Shaw got on my nerves (am I watching Grey Anatomy?) and I was disappointed it took Casey to confess he killed that agent and not Chuck for Sarah to make a decision. I mean, Sarah really should have known Chuck could never kill somebody. It's like she doesn't know him at all.
I dunno, folks. This one may have been trying too hard. The American Hero, the slo-mo of Chuck carrying Shaw out of the explosion (I laughed; I half-expected Sarah to start jumping up and down with Glee)..this one didn't work for me.