Though this episode has a number of flaws, and abrupt character changes, I enjoyed the missions and Chuck's saving the day with help from Hannah & Casey.
During a throwback of a Tom Cruise highwire-descent in "Mission Impossible", Shaw initially fails to recover a museum artifact with a chemical device inside of it, planted by the Ring; I was happy to see him fail because of claiming to be right all of the time, and his monotoned, creepy demeanor!!! And Chuck saving him from dying, after the security breach/alarms triggered an oxygen removal was a great touch, along with the surprise visit from Hannah and combining their computing experience in re-opening the vault. I was also amused by the continuing efforts of the Morgan-Ellie team, to discover the truth behind Chuck's exploits and disappearances, and I sense a pattern in the absence of Awesome, following last episode's absence of Shaw...it seems that with the revelation at the end, of Chuck eventually spying solo (from his "training wheels") that more episodes will have missing cast.
But I was sick to my stomach over Sarah and Chuck's talk after the second rescue: where both of them not only admit they are aware of their growing feelings towards others, but then try to have each other, and us, believe that it's okay. It felt a little too final, and seemed written to make the audience believe there may be closure, which is exactly what most of us DON'T want. Chuck and Sarah becoming friends after unconsummated love, goes against the whole charm and essence of their relationship in the first two seasons, and I hope, like Shaw's solo mission, the friendship fails. Because Shaw resembles Bryce, and Sarah's relationship with him failed, and Hannah reminds us of Jill, and Chuck's relationship with her was doomed to fail; maybe that's the eventual point that Chuck and Sarah may yet succeed when all else fails!!
Eventually, I'll come to really love this episode for all of its emotion, great action, and Chuck's successes, but the angst I feel over Chuck & Sarah's new direction and the pain they feel towards one another, makes this episode much less enjoyable than the Angel of Death, or First Class episodes, and others. I would like to see this season end like Season 1 did, with a heartfelt kiss by our lead spies, reaffirming their love after all.