Still running off the feel-good vibe of completing his first solo mission, Chuck jumps head first into his next task: befriending the new asset, Manoosh, a young man that dropped out of his post-secondary education and has few friends to speak of. Casey's verbal jabs are a-plenty in this episode, especially when comparing the old Chuck with his mark, but the man plays a surprisingly supportive role in helping Chuck handle his first asset.
Sarah, of course, has the hindsight to know this mission is going to take a turn for a worse, whether or not Chuck handles his asset properly. Manoosh gets in with the wrong crowd when the Ring hires him to repair a stolen fraction of the battered 2.0 Intersect, shaping its martial art information into a pair of sunglasses, not too unlike the shades Bryce gave Chuck in season 2. The only difference here is that the mini-Intersect holds only a few techniques and a person can only be endowed with these skills while wearing the sunglasses. Team Bartowski discovers this little snippet of information when the Ring comes to collect Manoosh --- and Manoosh, not surprisingly, arms himself with the Intersect to fend off the agents.
Flash forward to Dubai where Manoosh flees to "Weap - Con" (an arms sale fair Casey openly admits he can finally write off as a business trip) to sell his shades to the highest bidder. Chuck confronts him backstage before the auction and admits, begrudgingly, that he works for the CIA. Understandably, Manoosh feels betrayed and turns his back --- only to run face-first into the disgruntled Ring agents he left lying on the ground in the BuyMore parking lot. Revenge, they think, is sweet as they tie up Team Bartowski and take Manoosh aside to steal back their Intersect fraction.
Hilarity ensues as Chuck and Casey work together to free themselves (using a laser pen Casey secretly bought near the entrance of the fair) but it's back to business as they dive in to save Manoosh. The asset upsets the head Ring leader (no pun intended) by smashing the sunglasses, subsequently finding himself at gunpoint in a standstill between Team Bartowski and the Ring. And Chuck --- never one to use a gun, unless it's loaded with tranquilizer darts --- runs to grab his own laser pen, only to return with a pop-up blade instead (cue Casey's snide remark of "Just like Bartowski to bring a knife to a gun fight"). Luckily, the Intersect flashes on a nearby throwing star and Chuck flings his meager weapon into the hand of the head Ring agent. Chaos insues in the following battle, ending with the Ring agents on the run and Manoosh praising Chuck for his help.
Ordered to make sure Manoosh doesn't escape, Chuck has a moment of weakness and gives his friend a chance to run. Casey is momentarily disappointed as he watches Manoosh heading for the door --- only to hold back from tranqulizing the kid himself when Chuck has a change of heart and shoots him in the back.
The episode draws near an end when Chuck confronts Manoosh in the Castle headquarters. Despite Manoosh's pleas to let him go, Chuck solemnly admits that he isn't his friend and hands him over to the government agents sent to pick up his asset. Manoosh is sent to an secure underground facility, not too unlike the one Chuck would've been sentenced to in Season 1, a fate even he can admit is probably worse that death.
Chuck, Casey happily admist, has just burned his first asset.
Over the course of the show, Devon starts to let his new phobia of spies get the better of him and jumps at almost any sound Ellie makes in the apartment. Feeding her already growing suspicion of her brother (especially when she finds a luggage tag from Paris), he tries to babble his way out of any conversation concerning Chuck and runs to the BuyMore to confront his brother-in-law before Ellie gets the chance to hunt him down. Given the heads-up, Chuck easily lies his way through the ensuing conversation with Ellie, telling her he was preparing a surprise second honeymoon for her and Devon in the city of love. Ellie is delighted, Devon is horrified by his brother-in-law's new lying skill set and Chuck tries to brush it off as business.
Morgan too, in the process of woeing Hannah, catches wind of Chuck's secret trip to Paris and enlists the help of Jeff and Lester to spy on his pal --- someone he always thought he could trust. At the end of the episode, when the tickets to Paris arrive at the Woodcomb residence, Devon snatches them up and flees, determined that there are strings attached and that neither he nor his wife are going. Ellie is outraged and runs into Morgan outsider her apartment while trying to chance her husband down. Surprised to find they share the same suspicion of Chuck, they quietly team up to discover what it is exactly Chuck's been up to...
Overall, I thought it was a brillaint episode, the crossing point from the old Chuck to the new Chuck, and I think it hints that the thirteenth episode, "Chuck versus the Other Guy", is really going to be a battle between Charles and his Agent Carmichael counterpart.