Full circle and full tilt ahead
The first 50 minutes of this episode played a bit like a Chuck version of The Hangover, with both Morgan and Jeffster fighting to remember what had happened to them during some chemically forgotten hours. The last 10 minutes were intense, grab the arm of your chair and yell at the TV suspense/action. The combination gave us one of the wackiest Chuck episodes that we’ve ever seen. Judging by the spoilers and previews for the final three episodes, we would be wise to make the most of the humor and levity of most of this episode as it may be in short supply in the intense series wrap-up to come. There’s no doubt that the writers and cast enjoyed writing and filming this episode and clearly there was some serious idol worshipping going on about Bo Derek!
Last episode, we had the stunning discovery of Castle by Jeff and Lester. The first order of business in this episode was for Casey and Morgan to drag them out into the desert and fake a car accident on the way home from Vegas (with the help of an amnesic gas called X-13). Casey and Morgan spare no detail, from the Hawaiian shirts to the woman’s underwear, Canadian flag, and casino chips they put in the car.
Back in Burbank, Sarah’s been up all night thinking about her and Chuck’s lives together. She hears noises and sneaks to the front door with her gun to find…the newspaper. Chuck wakes up and Sarah tells him that she wants to quit spying because it isn’t compatible with their being together and raising a family safely. She suggests that they rework Carmichael Industries into a tech firm (sound familiar?) that goes after cyber-terrorists. Chuck agrees and they go next door to break the news to Morgan and Casey over coffee.
Morgan is ecstatic about the new plan but Casey is less than enthused until Morgan points out that it there would be much less shooting (and getting shot) and Alex would be relieved to know that Casey isn’t putting himself in so many dangerous situations. Casey is still not entirely on board, but he suggests that they ditch the Buy More if they are going to go forward with the plan. Sarah and Chuck are rather non-committal and they all continue to stand together and drink coffee.
Later, in the Buy More, Big Mike hands Morgan a box that came in the mail. Inside is a ridiculously decorated cell phone – a remnant from Morgan’s “frosted tips” days with the Intersect. Luckily, Morgan had put his name and address all over it with a label maker so he actually got it back. He examines the phone and finds a new video message on it.
Down in Castle, the team watches the video. Morgan is wearing a white women’s coat, is clearly inebriated, and is stumbling through the snow jabbering about a pair of Intersect glasses that someone had that he retrieved and put “in a vault”. Unfortunately, Morgan has no memory of the incident and has no idea when or where he made the video. They search through photos and texts on the phone and determine that Morgan was somewhere there was skiing and that he was texting with a person named “BD”. They text BD to reestablish contact.
Back in the desert, Jeff and Lester wake up and initially believe that they were in Vegas, got drunk, stole a car and then wrecked. However, the panties make Jeff suspicious and he realizes that there is no alcohol on Lester’s breath so they must have been set up. The last thing that they remember is that they were following Chuck and the team. They hitchhike back to Burbank to continue where they left off.
Chuck convinces Ellie to try to hypnotize Morgan to figure out what happened in the lost weekend with BD. She initially is hesitant because hypnosis is not what she does and she only learned about it in a class back in med school, but she ends up agreeing to try. She is able to get Morgan to remember “emerald and gold and the number 10″, but that’s all.
Back in the Buy More, a stoner shows up to return a blender and starts asking Morgan questions about his love life – is he in a serious relationship and does he love his girlfriend? Seconds later, Alex shows up and explains that she went out a few times with the guy after Morgan dumped her when she “acted out physically”. Dale is apparently not over Alex, but she’s clearly no longer interested in him.
Morgan is very upset and also feeling very morally superior because he never cheated when they were split up (or so he thinks!). The rest of the team remind him that he dumped her with a text message – what did he expect? Sarah is able to determine that Morgan was registered at a hotel in Vail (as Michael Carmichael) during the missing weekend, so the entire team gets out their ski parkas (and Morgan revisits his frosted tips) and they all head to Vail.
They are all hanging around a bar in a ski chalet when BD makes *her* appearance. And “BD” = Bo Derek! She walks right up to Morgan, calls him “lover” and starts passionately kissing him. Chuck is a bit in awe of his childhood crush but gets himself together enough to ask how she knows Morgan. Bo tells Chuck that “funny bunny” Morgan rocked her world one weekend in November. It turns out that pretty much everyone in Vail remembers what Morgan did that weekend except for him – and there are pictures to prove it. He apparently got drunk and told everyone who would listen that he was a national hero and the Intersect.
The team suspects that Morgan put the glasses in the safe in Bo’s room, so Morgan tells her he is ready for round 2 and follows her back to her room where she works on seducing him. Morgan asks her to walk him through their whole evening together. Meanwhile, Casey and Sarah talk to other people at the bar about Morgan. Sarah finds out that one guy gave him a tattoo while Casey realizes that Jeff and Lester have followed them to Vail and are spying on them.
Morgan makes an excuse to leave Bo’s room for a few minutes to talk to Chuck. Chuck shows Morgan the tattoo that he had forgotten about – inside his lower lip it says “don’t trust Bo Derek”. Turns out to be good advice as she has also left the room and sneaks up behind them with a gun and demands that they take her to the glasses. While she’s occupied, Sarah sneaks up and hits her on the head.
Jeff and Lester wake up again in the wrecked car in the desert near Vegas and repeat the same scene as earlier (ala Groundhog Day ) but this time Jeff’s arm has “Bo Derek” and “vault” written on it in marker. They head back to Burbank to find Chuck and his team.
Back at Castle, Bo is in a talking mood and tells Morgan and Chuck that she is a spy. She was tasked to find Morgan and she tells them how she seduced him, drugged him, and called her boss. In a flashback, we see her boss (the series’ final Big Bad) arrive and introduce himself to Morgan as Nicholas Quinn – the man who was supposed to be the Intersect. Morgan regains enough of his senses to overpower him and escape with the glasses, wearing Bo’s ski jacket and his boxers (the scene from the cell phone video).
Turns out that Quinn also has his own private espionage company, only his clients are a bit more distasteful – North Korea, Libyan fighters… Fulcrum, the Ring and Volkoff Industries! Apparently he was supposed to be the first human Intersect, before Bryce stole it and sent it to Chuck. Quinn ended up being captured on a mission and tortured for over a year, and dismissed from the CIA. All of this has led to him having a bit of a grudge out for everyone involved with Chuck and the Intersect. He still wants the Intersect and will do anything he has to to get it.
Morgan sees Alex enter the Buy More via the closed circuit cameras and goes on up to talk to her. He tells her that he slept with Bo Derek but she doesn’t believe him and thinks that he made up the story to get back at her for her “relationship” with the stoner. They agree that they are even and to forgot about each other’s indiscretions. At that moment, Big Mike asks Morgan for the key to the manager’s vault and Morgan has a flashback and remembers that he was in a Buy More in Vail after he escaped from Quinn.
The entire team heads to the Vail Buy More, undercover as a security team sent from corporate. It turns out that Buy More Vail also has a wacky cast of characters (including a manager named “Big Michele” and an Indian female Nerd Herder that could be Lester’s sister) but they have more broken bones from skiing accidents. One of the employees greets Morgan enthusiastically and tells him that he tweeted to everyone that he was back in town. They realize that this means that Quinn also knows that Morgan is back in town.
They get into the vault, but the glasses aren’t there. As they leave the manager’s office, they see a display for a new video game that looks like a vault. Inside, they find the glasses. Before they can leave the store, however, there is a commotion and they look over to see that Jeff and Lester have followed them to Vail again and have knocked over a rack of products. Once all eyes are on them, Jeffster start yelling that Chuck and company are spies (Jeff has it written on his arm). Before the team can respond, the store is filled with automatic gunfire.
A firefight ensues and the team (including Jeff and Lester) manage to emerge unharmed and seemingly victorious. Quinn escapes but the team keeps the Intersect, so they alert Beckman as to Quinn’s whereabouts, call the mission complete and start preparing to start their new, safer lives. They have one final confrontation with Jeff and Lester, who are more than a little traumatized after getting caught in the firefight, before drugging them again.
Jeff and Lester wake up again in the desert in the same car and repeat the previous scenes. This time, though, they look at Jeff’s arm and “vault” and “Bo Derek” are crossed out and instead it says “nothing under the Buy More”, “They are NOT spies” and “I love myself”. They assume that they figured out the whole plot and that they were wrong about Chuck after all. Just then, Big Mike shows up with Subway sandwiches (Morgan told him that they might be stranded) and suggests that the three of them go to Vegas for the weekend.
Back in Burbank, Chuck is alone in bed when his phone rings. It’s Sarah, calling from Castle where she’s been working on their new business. She wants them all to meet later to talk, destroy the Intersect glasses, and celebrate their new lives with champagne. Chuck utters the fateful words “it turns out saying ‘last mission’ wasn’t a jinx after all” and they both say “I love you” and hang up. Just when the episode seemed like it is going to end on this happy note (although a quick look at the clock belied this feeling!) Quinn and his goons show up at Chuck’s apartment and kidnap him.
Quinn calls Sarah and tells her to bring the Intersect glasses to the port that evening or Chuck will die. Sarah and Casey go to the port but are ambushed by dozens of Quinn’s men. Both her and Casey are soon overpowered and trapped with little ammo. They both realize that their chances to get out alive and save Chuck are very slim. In desperation, Sarah puts on the Intersect glasses and uploads the Intersect – “ok, I got this!” – and proceeds to take out all of Quinn’s men in dramatic fashion…cut to black
WOW! While I suspected that the Intersect would rear its head one more time before the series ended, I never imagined that it would be Sarah that uploaded it! (I purposely avoided any spoilers other than the preview after last week’s episode). The main purpose of this episode was clearly to introduce Quinn and his motivations, although it definitely accomplished this goal in a round about way. I really like that the show has truly come full circle now. Decker told Chuck that the conspiracy went back to the very beginning and indeed it did. Quinn’s motivation and connections to other plotlines seem believable.
One of the things I like most about Chuck is it’s self-awareness. I always get a kick out of throwaway lines alluding back to previous episodes and how characters often foreshadow upcoming events with clichéd phrases like “what could go wrong” and “our last mission” and then other characters immediately call them on it.
Those of you who read my recap last week know that I thoroughly enjoyed the Jeffster subplot and I found it very entertaining in this episode, too. The car wreck scenes were hilarious – perfect music, great sight gags, enough (but not too much) repetition. The attention to detail was great, right down to the number of crows on the car increasing with each time the scene was used.
I thought that Bo Derek was well-used here (how many other celebrities are actually spies?) playing a parody of herself. What this plotline lacked in believability, it made up for in entertainment value. I also adored the coffee drinking scene in Morgan and Casey’s apartment – the dialogue, facial expressions and synchronized drinking were fun to watch. Did you notice that both Morgan and Casey have matching gun mugs?
The only thing I didn’t like about this episode was the scene with the stoner and Alex as it just didn’t seem in character that she would get involved with such a loser. It set up a funny scene later when Morgan admitted to his relationship with Bo Derek, but it bothered me, nonetheless.
Memorable quotes and other thoughts:
For the record, this is the most fun you and I have had together in months! – Morgan to Casey as they fake Jeffster’s car accident
We keep your computer know-how and mix it with my experience in international bad guyery – Sarah
What do I do – chief Googler? – Casey
You really love it here, don’t you Big Mike? – Morgan
Like a turkey loves Thanksgiving! – Big Mike
There’s no alcohol on your breath, just gefilte fish curry, like always – Jeff
Dude…Bo Derek is taking your pants off! – Chuck
I hate Twitter! – Casey (Adam Baldwin LOVES Twitter!)
Nice, easy peasy last mission! – Sarah (famous last words!)
The name “Bo Derek” was used 13 times in this episode!
Time to go make myself some gefilte fish curry. While I’m gone, why don’t you tell me what you thought of Chuck vs Bo?