I was ready to totally give up on this show. Just walk away. Thanks to this episode, I'm sticking it out a bit longer. I make no promises, but this episode showed the show growing into it's potential far more then any other episode I've seen yet since the pilot.
First of all, thank God that Sarah wasn't at gunpoint! For the first time since the first episode! I get tired of the repetative storylines as it is, but that one especially irks me, due to the cliche of the beautiful blonde love interest being captured. Especially since she's one of Chuck's freaking handlers! I don't mind Sarah being in danger sometimes, as long as sometimes it's not her. Let it be Casey sometimes. And most often, it should be Chuck! Not to mention the many innocent civilians lurking around, such as Ellie, Morgan, and Captain Awesome.
Speaking of Captain Awesome (my favorite character) and Morgan (my least favorite character), the scene with the two of them was the comedic highlight of the episode, and the first time I ever liked Morgan. As a whole, Morgan annoys me, but this episode showed me that he could grow enough to be entertaining without being obnoxious. The second half of the episode, not only did I finally like him, he made me laugh. (I loved how he threw in the bit about Chuck having memorized The Wrath of Khan into his passionate speech.)
As for character growth, Morgan gets the silver, the gold goes to Chuck. All this spying has helped Chuck grow a set! It's almost worth him loosing the promotion judt for him to walk up to Harry Tang and just stand up to him. Chuck might not have the job, but he has the self-respect and he put Tang in his place! And even better was him standing up to Casey, not even scared because he was so angry. I will go to sleep tonight, laughing because Chuck called Casey a douche! And the icing on the cake was totally Chuck's revenge by getting Morgan to start rehashing the sandwich conversation.
The episode is not without flaws. My old complaint returns here. It was somewhat formulaic. This was the third episode in a row where Chuck trusted the wrong person. And it seems to be growing in badness. First it was a rouge spy, then a mobster with a kidnapped young man, now it's an insane genius with a bomb at the Santa Monica Pier. Next week, will he trust a terrorist instead of Sarah and Casey? I think Chuck ought to be getting it by now. Not to mention that this was the second time Chuck defused a bomb with quick thinking. I get that he's smart and everything, but come on! So, still kinda formulaic, still somewhat cheesy, but best episode yet. If they keep improving, I'm here to stay. If they stay as good as this, I might hang in through sweeps. But if they return to as they were, bye-bye Chuck. So for now, we can only wait and see.