Season 4 Episode 11

Chuck Versus the Balcony

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 17, 2011 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
319 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A mission takes Chuck, Casey and Sarah to France where they have to track down a nano-chip. Lester looks to Big Mike for love advice.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Put up to Chuck's standards, disappointing.

    After little under 2 months without Chuck, I safely say I feel like I've grown out of it. There's no denying, even to loyal Chuck fans, that this show is not what it once was. I mean Chuck was the only show I'd ever put so much into, and for the past three seasons, I've never missed an episode. Now I just PVR it, and watch whenever I feel like. I don't think the quality has dropped as much as other shows four years in, but the direction they're going in isn't why I started watching. I get that shows have to grow, but I just can't get into this whole new, "lovey-dovey," Chuck. So what's this show done wrong to deserve such an opinion? Well to me, the missions are all, "been there, done that," I can't STAND the Buy More, Jeff, or Lester, and I've had ENOUGH of Chuck and Sarah as a couple. We get it. Chuck's happy, but somewhere along the way, between EVERYBODY finding out Chuck's secret, to Chuck gaining kung-fu powers, this show lost it's magic, and no matter how much I want it to be there, it's not the same Chuck. The show ended to me mid-season 3, and unless they pull something FANTASTIC off, it's gonna stay that way.

    So I'm gonna keep watching each week, but I'd appreciate some better storytelling, or a different direction.moreless
  • Has it come to this?

    I've been watching Chuck religiously for years now. I liked the first two seasons, a farce about an underachieving nerd unwittingly embroiled in the world of espionage and his devoted pursuit of a female spy who's presented as somewhat out of his league. The nature of the show changed in season 3, when Chuck learned kung-fu electronically and had a hair cut that improved his looks. Still it was a great season with an epic finale. I do think the premise behind season 4 (about Chuck's mom and Volkov) is ridiculous, but the first half of season 4 still managed to maintain its charm thanks to the brilliant main cast (Levi, Strahovski, Baldwin, Gomez) and the fancy guest stars (Hamilton and Dalton).

    Having waited two months for the second half of the season, I can't help feeling that this week's episode was disappointing. It's about time for Chuck to propose to Sarah, and I wasn't surprised by that. But the proposal alone cannot make a good story; we need obstacles. The French villain in this episode is one of the worst and weakest villain ever in the show, easily beatable with a single flash of kungfu. He does not create any suspense whatsoever. Instead, the device that the writers use to drag the story forward is those ridiculous lame premises like Sarah's "engagement issues" (does such a thing even exist?), Casey's hatred for France (a cliche), Sarah's alleged hatred for surprise, and her sudden unannounced decision to assume the cover of rogue agent. None of these stuffs is believable. And the whole subplot about Lester is predictable and unnecessary.moreless
  • Chuck, Sarah, and Casey, go to France to retrieve an important chip which is missing due to the death of one of their own operatives. Reluctantly, Chuck runs a sub-mission with Morgan while in France, as he looks for perfect spot to pop the question.moreless

    If you're a fan with a flair for romance and style, you'll find this adventure a very enjoyable one. Zach Levi as Chuck sports a very GQ image from the beginning to the end, with his coifed hairstyle, and slick suits, to his designer sports jacket. What makes this an enjoyable episode was the comedic moments with poor Chuck trying to pull of the proposal of the century to Sarah, and of course the mission keeps getting in the way. Morgan is running the sub-mission trying to get both of the lovers on the perfect balcony in France. The humor comes from chasing down the nano chip which is floating in someone glass of pinot to, attempting retrieval. Plus Casey groaning how much he hates France. If you're looking for those nerd moments when Chuck freaks out or messes something up, you won't find it in this episode. In fact he takes out the bad guys in a way that only Chuck can. Lots of tense moments, and even a real Casey moment where he tells Chuck something about love. This episode play out very dramatically with a few chuckles in between. It's more of a Chara story than a goofy all out camp episode.moreless
  • Chuck is back again after a two-month break and is back in style with Chuck vs. The Balcony

    This is my first review, so here goes.

    I really loved this episode, it had me really excited for Chuck and Sarah and had me laughing all through the episode. Especially the scene when Sarah took over Operation Proposal with Morgan. Casey's speech was touching aswell, shows he really wants the best for Chuck and Sarah. The mission of the week wasn't as exciting as the yes-no proposal plot, but it sufficed.

    Im really excited for next weeks episode , because I want to see how the writers are gonna do Sarah's infiltration into Volkoff and of course the return of Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton.moreless
  • Will you....ever finish that sentence? The hardest four words to say in a row bring back Chuck in good form and set up where some or maybe all of the season is headed.moreless


    I figured this episode couldn't possibly contain the proposal of Sarah and Chuck because it hadn't been promo-ed as such. And just didn't feel epic enough for it. But I had been jonesing for fix of Chuck for awhile now and was pleasantly surprised and almost swept off my feet by this episode.

    The stuff with Lester and his arranged marriage are overshadowed quite a bit by the main storyline of this episode, but nonetheless, we get some JEFFSTER! and hopefully that isn't the last we see of Jeffster (in fact, I can safely say it wont). All in all it was funny subplot.

    Beckman's interactions with Sarah were fishy to say the most, but I never thought anything would come from it, let alone the reveal that they were setting her up for a undercover mission. Every time Chuck tried popping the question, there were funny interruptions, but nothing as jarring as that final try, because for a second there I believed it was actually going to happen.

    The mission was a little cheesy, but still fun, especially Joanthan the man servant and the stubborn frenchman stereotype (I had a professor kinda like him last semester). Morgan and Chuck and Sarah's plans for making the proposal were funny and once again Casey stole the show. His cigar speech really set up the final disappointment of the episode and next time, I know we won't get the rug pulled out from under us.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Agent Rosenbaum, the agent in the teaser of this episode is a sly reference to the former Chuck writer Scott Rosenbaum, who has now become the new show runner of ABC's show V.

    • Featured Music:
      "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop (Norman Cook Remix) (Lester's arranged bride arrives at the Buy More, and later dumps him)
      "Is This Love" (JEFFSTER! covers the Whitesnake song)
      "When I Go" by Slow Club (Chuck finally proposes)
      "The Bottom of the Ocean" by Nico Stai (Sarah tells Chuck she's going undercover to take down Volkoff)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Jasina: (After Lester's performance) Lester, that was-
      Lester: I know, baby. I know.
      Jasina: The most uncomfortable 5 minutes of my life.
      Lester: Wa-Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! I wanna get married!
      Jasina: Try the internet!

    • Morgan: Let me ask you something: What is the only thing better than a sunset?
      Chuck: Things going right for a change?

    • (Chuck and Sarah are having a romantic dinner in an Italian restaurant)
      Sarah: Chuck, you can talk to me. Is this about your mom?
      Chuck: No. Um, I've realized something. You know, a-after all the stuff with my mom and Volkoff, and...I-I realized that, you know, I-I...haven't really been thinking about us, you and me. I've been so wrapped up in all the things that I couldn't control that I forgot to focus on the things that...I could.

    • Chuck: I don't need a balcony and I don't need a sunset. We have each other and that's all that matters.

    • (Chuck and Sarah are standing on a balcony in moonlight)
      Sarah: (to Chuck) I didn't fall in love with James Bond. I fell in love with you.

    • Chuck: I was gonna propose to her, Casey.
      Casey: You know, I proposed once. (He lights a cigar) To Kathleen. We had plans to go to Niagara Falls. I was about to ship out. But we were young, and I was stupid, and things got screwed up, so I ended up proposing in a Buffalo bus station. Not exactly the most romantic spot in the world. But I'll always have that day. I'll always have that look on her face. You know, the truth is, there's no such thing as a perfect moment or perfect spot. So...forget about the balcony, Bartowski. All you need is the girl.

    • (Morgan is talking to Sarah on the radio)
      Morgan: And listen, I know you weren't, uh, asking. And maybe it's a little silly, but, have my permission to marry him. He's all yours. So... (Sarah smiles)
      Morgan: All right, take care of him.
      Sarah: Thank you, Morgan.

    • Morgan: Holy hell, Sarah, you just scared me to death. I thought you could have been somebody deadly.
      Sarah: I am somebody deadly.

    • (Sarah and Morgan are in his office)
      Sarah: Okay. I am taking control of this operation now. Morgan, you will now be working for me.
      Morgan: Okay. Kind of like a, uh... like a double agent.
      Sarah: Exactly. We're going to make this proposal happen. For Chuck's sake.
      Morgan: Yeah.
      Sarah: And for mine.

    • Morgan: Okay. Don't you want to be surprised?
      Sarah: I'm a spy. I hate surprises.

    • Morgan: Chuck, bubelah, come on! Casey is your manservant. Let him "manserve" you.

    • (Lester is complaining about his parents who have arranged a marriage for him)
      Lester: And I keep telling them...I live in the United States of America now. I'm not in Canada anymore.
      Big Mike: Y-You mean India, right?
      Lester: What? No. No, I'm from Saskatchewan. The Hinjews of Saskatchewan. Some believe that we're...a cult of sorts.

    • (Casey shows up late to a debriefing)
      Casey: Sorry. General. Some moron was clogging up Ventura Boulevard with a horse and carriage.

    • Chuck: We can't have it in an Italian restaurant!
      Morgan: Are you, wait, are you kidding me? What is she on, like a no-carb thing?
      Chuck: No. We can't have it in any restaurant, okay? That's exactly how her parents' nightmare proposal went!

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Chuck a balkon (Chuck and the Balcony)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: January 19, 2011 on SPACE
      Turkey: March 14, 2011 on CNBC-e
      United Kingdom: March 31, 2011 on Sky LIVING/Sky LIVING HD
      Sweden: May 9, 2011 on TV6
      Australia: May 20, 2011 on FOX8
      Czech Republic: October 2, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: September 26, 2013 on Sub

    • Although credited, Ryan McPartlin (Devon "Captain Awesome" Christian Woodcomb) and Sarah Lancaster (Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski-Woodcomb) do not appear in this episode.


    • The dialog about the "peppery pinot with a stable on the label and a stork on cork," and a "Burgundy from Bordeaux with a coil on the foil and a fork on the cork," is a nod to a classic scene from the 1956 movie The Court Jester. Danny Kaye's character tries to remember, first, that "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice with the palace has the brew that is true." Then, later, "The pellet with the poison's in the chalice with the palace. The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true."