Hos N Bros

Hos N Bros
We have moved to a new site!

Twitter / CSoHos

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Chuck's Stable of Hos has moved!

The Chuck's Stable of Hos has expanded and migrated to a new site. You can still read CSoHos posts as well as listen to podcasts in our new home:

See you there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chuck vs. the Tic Tac Recap

If you're a listener of the podcast (and if you're reading the blog and this recap, I think that you are) you may have come to know me as the stickler ho. I've given the past few episodes the lowest score out of the 6 of us and while I'm not necessarily alone, I can be a bit hard on them.

Not this one, my friends.

Maybe it was the lack of exposure ahead of time, maybe it was just that I wanted something awesome to cling to, but this episode knocked the wind out of me and I've already watched it three times by now. It truly did have everything that I'd hoped for - action (holy mother of pearl), comedy, and while not heavy there was still a little romance. Not only that, but we had some amazing amazing set up and reveals as well. For me, this was one of the hands-down best episodes of the season.

The theme this week seemed to clearly be choices and their consequences. Casey made a choice between love and love of country, and the choice came back to haunt him once more. Even in a nice parallel with the B-story of Ellie and Devon, Ellie has to make a choice - her dream fellowship or Doctors without Borders with Devon. But I digress.

Let's take it back a little. In the "Fake Name" we were clued in to another persona of Casey's, Alex Coburn. At that point, we didn't know who he was, who he could've been, or what he was doing, but Casey clearly didn't want to talk about it. Now, as the episode opens, we're treated to a flashback, Casey-style, and introduced to Alex Coburn. A young, spry, Marine lieutenant who just wants to do good for his country. It's good, as I'm sure any Adam Baldwin fan would agree, as it gives us all something to chew on for our favorite NSA agent.

It is here we also meet Robert Patrick's Colonel James Keller, the big bad for the episode. Now, I've not seen anything else Patrick has been in (I know, start throwing stuff now) so I can't really comment on his talent, but I will say that I'd like to see some deleted scenes from this episode, if only to see why he was so underused. We could've gotten some great history from him, but it might've bogged down the episode and this one was a-racin'.

Colonel Keller is revealed to have been the voice on the other end of the Ring phone call that Casey got at the end of "The Beard." He's meeting with Casey to enlist him on a super secret side mission to go along with the team's upcoming "trace cell" mission. Team Bartowski is set to infiltrate a CIA controlled vault to test their security systems and Keller wants Casey to get something from that super secret vault and give it to him.

What is it that Colonel Keller wants? An experimental drug called Laudanol, developed to help soldiers repress emotions in the battlefield and fight without fear, making them stronger and faster. Hey now, they mentioned emotions! That seems to be a good buzzword for our boy Chuck here and you know that pill is going to come into play for him later on. Especially after he reverently observes, "I could work... perfectly."

The whole mission is cool, if only because I was excited to see not only the return of the Parkour flash but also the arrow from the Pilot (anyone else catch that? Just me? Oh okay) while Team Bartowski sneaks in through 15 levels of security to get to this super secret vault. Chuck spots Casey steal the pill and eventually, accidentally and in his very own Chuck way, outs him as the drug's thief to General Beckman (who I have also missed in some of the previous episodes). Beckman orders Sarah to relieve Casey of his weapon and he is arrested, taken to a cell back in that CIA facility they were already in. I knew there was a reason they learned about the place's security measures!

Through his own means (meaning he flashes on the guy) Chuck finds out that Colonel Keller is a member of the Ring and is playing Casey! He tells Sarah and they team up to break Casey out of his holding cell. While not nearly as cool as before, we did get some of the comedy here. I cracked up when a) Chuck flipped right into a plexiglass panel and b) we were "graced" by the presence of the engineer behind all the security measures. While he entered with a whole lot of bravado for yet another tech nerd, he lost it quickly when he revealed himself to be Chuck's biggest fan. Good move on the writers for bringing him in to inject a bit of lightness into the moment as he gleefully asked about the mission in season two when Chuck decided to kiss Casey to save him only to find out that was a stupid idea. I'd all but repressed that episode if only because of Jill.

The team successfully gets to Casey, only to realize that Keller is there as well. Chuck tells him he's a member of the Ring and Casey's only response is that he knows and goes off with Keller. Uh oh. That can't be good. As Chuck and Sarah are leaving, though, they're captured by a couple of Beckman's men, bringing them to Castle for her to order them to capture Casey, dead or alive. Uh oh. That's certainly not good. But through this Sarah realizes that the only reason Keller would still want Casey is if he doesn't have the pill. So if they can get to the pill before Keller can, they can save Casey and clear his name. Only Casey hid the pill in a place that he, now, can't get to. Enter Morgan's moment to shine. Or mess everything up, either way.

Casey enlists Morgan to get the pill from a DVD case in the Buy More, and Morgan - all eager to please and join in like a new puppy - excitedly does so. Until he's intercepted by Chuck. Chuck gets the pill from Morgan and returns to the apartment, only to find Casey waiting in the shadows. Here it is revealed that Casey is doing all of this... because The Ring has his long-lost fiance and they threatened to kill her if he didn't cooperate. Alex Coburn was engaged, once upon a time. Say it with me, awwwwwww. There's a touching team moment where Chuck and Sarah throw in their services to help get Kathleen, Casey's ex-fiance, safe and to keep Keller from getting what he wants. Chuck goes to Kathleen, while Sarah and Casey face Keller.

I've missed Sarah and Casey working together, and hadn't really realized how much until this episode. There was a very cool scene of Sarah revealing herself from beneath the car that Casey took to the meeting (he was told to come alone) and Casey leaving a hint for her as to who she's up against. We finally got to see Sarah win a fight this season! Sarah's kicking butt while Casey is inside, confronting his old commander. He tosses Keller the case that held the pill, only to have Keller open it and reveal... a Tic Tac. Of course, Ring agents don't like to be messed with and this lead to a right smackdown between Keller and Casey, ending with Casey snapping Keller's neck.

Meanwhile, Chuck is doing his darnedest to protect Kathleen, posing as a meter-reader for the gas company, only to have the bad guys arrive just as they're escaping. They go back into the house, Chuck shoves Kathleen into a closet and bolts the door with a chair, and proceeds to panically call Casey and Sarah. They, of course, tell him to flash and fend off the bad guys until they get there, but he's too freaked out. Casey tells him to take the pill... conveniently placed in the pocket of his shirt. After some hesitation (naturally - this is a prototype pill!) Chuck takes it and is immediately pistol whipped by one of the bad guys. But he flashes! He launches himself up, announces that he's not afraid of them, and proceeds to beat the mess out of each agent in the house. There is one pesky agent, that won't go down, and Chuck starts to strangle him (almost exactly like Casey had done to Keller), seemingly completely unaware of his actions. That is until Sarah comes in and yells at him to stop. He comes out of the flash-haze and drops the agent, staring at his hands in almost terrified awe.

Casey tends to Kathleen and tells her they've called the police. As the team settles and the police arrive, so does a teenage girl, running to her mom. Kathleen wearily tells her, Alex, that she's fine. Alex? Triple uh oh. Casey has a daughter! Another flashback reveals that Kathleen had some news to tell him when he returned from his last mission, before Keller hangs up the phone roughly and announces that Alex Coburn would die in battle that night and from then on, he would be John Casey.

The team returns to Castle with Casey, ready to face Beckman, but she gives a sentence neither of them expected. She gives Casey a second-second chance... as a civilian. He is stripped of his NSA job and Chuck is told to escort him off government property. While Sarah has a moment alone with Beckman, she brings up Sarah's request for a reassignment earlier in the season. There's an extra seat on her flight back to DC if she'd like to discuss it there? And the episode ends with Sarah in a cab in DC, saying she's thinking of moving there. Say it isn't so!! (We all know it's not, but it's a good ending).

With the spy A-story taking up much of the time this week, there wasn't a lot of time for a solid B and C story, but I think the inklings of what's to come for the Bartowski-Woodcombs is exciting. There were no Buy More hijinks, as it was Jeffster and Big Mike's turn to take a break in this episode and Morgan had fleeting but adorable appearances. But, as I said earlier, the parallel came through Ellie's choice between her dream fellowship and Doctors without Borders, the first thing Devon's been excited about in weeks. What do you think she'll choose?

Some other thoughts:
  • This episode did a very nice job of setting up what's to come, again, but I can't help feeling like I need a release of some sort. They've set up a couple things that could go some big places later on, but there's also the worry that they'll forget all about some things.
  • I think it was a big deal in revealing that Ellie's dream fellowship is in neurology. We all know that neurology is the study of brains, right? Curious, very curious.
  • The Laudanol pill. I thought that was a great, great plot device. It's effects on Chuck were very interesting indeed and I wouldn't be surprised if Beckman had ordered it to be developed for him as well as other soldiers. I would love to see it come back into play later on in the season, but I know it won't and that makes me sad.
  • Kathleen and her daughter or should I say Casey's daughter. Now that Casey is a civilian, do we think he's going to follow up on that? Doubtful. But it was still a nice little way to say that he loved, once. Even if that was the whole point of the "Undercover Lover" in season one. Eh. I'll take what I can get involving Casey at this point.
  • Another interesting thing to note: correlation between this week's episode's awesomeness and the lack of Shaw?

What did you guys think?


  1. - Agent Walker was back kicking ass and had a funny moment -> A+

    - The action sequences were amazing and no wonder the guy gets Emmys

    - Rafe and Lauren (the writers) were aces and for a first episode did a beyond spectacular job. Kudos to them.

    Loved this whole episode and one of my favorites all time. It had everything going for it and loved this other side of Casey. Really loved all the twists and turns, and the show definitely turned it up a notch.

    Also Zac in a towel next week = YES PLEASE!

  2. I'm all for more Beckman and less Shaw. Don't think I realized just how much he disrupts the chemistry of Team Bartowski. He's taking up too much valuable Beckman time!