Well it looks as though this was the last episode of the year and I have to say that I am glad it finished this part of the season on a high. The last four episodes of this season have been great and judging by the ratings this week it seems that people are finally starting to catch on. In this episode we see the return of Mary Bartowski and Alexi Volkoff, and as to be expected of actors of their caliber, their performances were top notch. Timothy Dolton in particular played Volkoff perfectly and he is fast becoming my favourite bad guy ever to grace Chuck. He was great in Chuck vs the First Fight as Tuttle and we only got a glimpse of the ruthless Volkoff at the end but in this episode we truly get a feel for him as a character. His eccentricity is perfectly written and only adds credit to his ruthless reputation.
As for Linda Hamilton, it was nice to get a little more insight into her character in this episode. We see a little more that maybe she is telling the truth when she says that she only wants to protect Chuck and Ellie but I can't help but doubt that she is still one of the good guys. She is the moral grey character that is adding a great deal of depth to this fourth season and I am loving the direction the writers are taking her.
There wasn't much of a Buy More plot this week save for a the brief outings of Jeffster once more as they crack a new hair brained scheme. To be honest I was not even sure they were needed at all this episode as Morgan and Casey (and of course Volkoff doing charades) seemed perfectly capable of handling the comedy in this episode. Their blossoming partnership is one of the real successes that has come out of Morgan learning Chuck's secret.
Finally the intersect story line. I was a little disappointed with this but not so much because it was a weak story line, but more because it was not quite attention grabbing enough to cover this month and a half break the show is taking. I was hoping for some really exciting upgrade to carry us through the Christmas period but it seems that we will have to be left with the a simple flash of the intersect 2.0.
I have no doubt that Ellie solving some neurological problem with the intersect will somehow bring about the intersect upgrade. The mention of memory in this episode lends credit to the idea that once he has flashed once on a subject he might now be able to retain that information for the future. So now that he has said those Matrix inspired words again he might mean them this time. All in all a great episode leaving me excited for January 17th, more so because I know that the show will be looking to start winding up some story lines at this point as this season was only supposed to get 13 episodes before they got the extension. So we know that the show is really going to pick up the pace, even though that has not been a flaw with it this season. Merry Christmas Chuck, looking forward to seeing you in the New Year.