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What the Chuck?! S3E14 - It's About Damned Time

Chuck-and-sarah zachary levi yvonne strahovsky Well we've had our two week break from Chuck and now we're back for the six extra episodes to close out the season. With Chuck and Sarah together at last the big thing the show has to answer is: can they make everything work now? Of course they can, and it's glorious.

We start the show about where we left off: Chuck and Sarah are running away together. That's been looming ever since the start of Season 3 so it was nice to see the idea acted upon. They're on a train, in France, locking themselves in their room and having food delivered while they get to know each other. In many ways, one assumes.

They've decided to run, because it is what each of them says they want. So there's that, then. Except back home Beckman only knows they've gone off the grid and Ellie and Awesome are going to leave for Africa and don't want Chuck to miss their going-away party. All sorts of moving parts in this episode.  And it feels fantastic.

The show has a tone that keeps some of the darker moments built through the third season but it is mostly firmly grounded in early Chuck: comedy spy TV. Chuck flashes on a guy riding the train as a Basque terrorist and Sarah spots a gun on one of the man's friends.  But they don't tell each other since they're out of the spy game, remember.

Instead they tell small lies and go off on their own to investigate. Reuniting they both quickly realize what's going on with the other and agree to one last mission.  The grins on their faces when they do, when they talk about being spies says so much. They don't want to quit. Chuck dreams of the spy life and though Sarah moved away from it this whole season the truth is she loved her job, she just didn't think she could have Chuck and that life so she drifted away from it. But now… well, things are different.
Chuck and Sarah in Chuck vs the honeymooners zachary levi yvonne strahovsky
Back in Burbank we have Morgan helping Casey find Sarah and Chuck. It turns out he is the Intersect of Chuck, and wow the bearded one wasn't kidding. It's a hysterical run-down of not only how well he knows Chuck but how well Morgan fits into the show these days. He used to be annoying, in season 1. Then he became a richer character throughout season 2 but now I look forward to him. His being on Team Bartowski really helps replace some of what we lost as Chuck got better at his job: we need a geek who bumbles some and yet is oddly effective. Someone who isn't a spy to be thrust into spy world and find their way. Morgan is just like Chuck was, but without an Intersect or even the coordination Chuck had then, somehow more useless and better for it.

And so Morgan and  Casey are off to find Chuck and Sarah!  This is a great shift of dynamic, letting Casey not have to operate alone and still letting Chuck and Sarah have most of the spotlight. Also, I enjoy how Casey is far more forgiving and quick with bits of praise for Morgan than he was with Chuck. Casey has learned. I think he also respects Morgan a bit for helping him when he was down. It's a great pairing I hope we keep exploring.

Of course we can't ignore Ellie and Awesome, can we? Not when Jeffster is going to play their party! Sadly, Lester blows the amp. We'll come back to that. Trust me.

So Chuck and Sarah drug the bad guys and sit and wait to enact the rest of their plan, when Casey comes up on them. Now Casey doesn't buy that they're on a spy mission that they decided to do by themselves. He thinks they're just running. Well, they are. But also, see… argh.  Hijinks ensue. I won't lie to you. There are hijinks.  Hijinks that include a fight where Sarah and Chuck are handcuffed to each other and the chain is closed in a door, leaving Sarah to fight, by herself, while unable to move away from the door. Chuck hijinks, in other words. The kind we love.

Of course they prove that they are tracking this guy and then he escapes. Now everyone is off the train and we find out that the terrorist has turned himself in. Those guys with him were Interpol, woops. They're drugged and still on the train. But that's all right, one quick call to Beckman, who yells at Chuck a lot, and more Interpol agents are on the way. All they have to do is wait, and what can go wrong with that?

This is Chuck.

We pass a bit of time with talking, as different pairs (Casey/Sarah and Chuck/Morgan) discuss the whole Sarah and Chuck going on the run plan. Which they do in front of the bad guy.  Now, yes, he's turned himself in but… this is as odd to me as the phone call to Beckman, because that ended in the call hanging up due to a lack of change. Wait. Casey didn't have a phone on him? If we're splitting the four of them up to talk, shouldn't the pair talking be the ones not watching the guy? Ahhh, Chuck.

Anyway!  Chuck and Sarah leave, firmish in their choice, because they don't realize that the they are each quitting because they think the other one wants to, and Interpol agents come to collect out terrorist.  Except Morgan nerds at them about France. Endlessly. Which is how he finds out they aren't who they say they are! This is why Morgan is fantastic fun - his annoying tendencies are used as a strength now instead of just something to laugh at. 

Chuck and Sarah run back to the train and start to discuss if they should really be doing this when the original Interpol agents that were drugged come up on them.  They tell Chuck and Sarah the truth and it's back to the races we go, as Chuck and Sarah can't leave their friends in trouble. 

Uhm, also back in Burbank, Jeffster plays an acoustic set of Leaving on a Jet Plane, while dressed as Simon and Garfunkel. Yeah, that happens.

So we have fight number two in handcuffs and Chuck and Sarah kick ass with moves very much like Bryce and Sarah. The scene is set up so much like when Chuck first sees Bryce and Sarah fight together back in season 1 and decides they were made for each other. It's good to see, and good to see Sarah kick a lot of ass finally this season.

We all head back to Castle and Casey tells Beckman how helpful Morgan was, again such a small but significant moment and then Beckman shoos them out to talk to Chuck and Sarah. You expect a chewing out but no. Even Beckman is kinda happy that they're together. 

Which is when Chuck remembers Ellie's party.  Woops. He runs off, and watches part of the recorded drunk speech before she comes out of the back and they have a talk. At least she knows Chuck and Sarah are together. Err, back together as far as she knows, but still.

And we end with Chuck played Sarah Nina Simone's cover of Feeling Good while they cuddle.

So we're back and you can tell the writers worried about making Chuck and Sarah and the entire show work with those two as a couple. They put a lot of thought into it and actually made the show work better for it.  That does make me wish a tiny bit that we hadn't gone on quite so long with the previous 13 episodes to get here, but we did need to. We did. And this payoff is wonderful and we still have five episodes left in the season. What did you think? Team Bartowski, report!

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What fun! I agree with your assessment, especially in regard to Morgan. Used to be, I could barely stand him... now he's like my own lil' buddy. And, yeah, his knowledge of Chuck's skin conditions and comics love and all that help save the day in a way that's in-character and fun.

Speaking of fun, and this was mentioned in another review I read, but Sarah was actually enjoying life. Made the whole show more fun.

Fun. Chuck. Yay!

Adam P. Knave

YES! Sarah smiling and having fun was so awesome! I hadn't quite realized how much it had been missing, I think.


This show makes me giddy! Love, love, love it!


Agree with all.

In addition to talking in front of the bad guy...didn't it see a wee bit odd that Chuck would go ahead and call Beckman on a public phone? Doesn't exactly seem secure. Hmmm...

I've been saying, all season, that something about Sarah had changed, and she just wasn't as beautiful as she was in previous seasons. You nailed it: her smile. She looks worlds better smiling, than doing the puppy-dog-eyed sad look.

Go Chuck! :~D

Adam P. Knave

Hooray for Chuck! Now we hope for a Season 4 pickup!

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