We open with a black-haired Sarah knocking Casey out, then return to two days earlier, when we learn via intelligence reports that Sarah has been perpetrating evil deeds all over Europe, and Volkoff is apparently starting to notice. Also, the CIA has set up some sort of tonal language code signals so Sarah and Chuck can stay in contact. Morgan is worried that Chuck will get all emo with Sarah gone, which of course is the setup for Chuck to appear impossibly happy because he believes that Sarah will always stay the same person, which is of course the setup for…well, we'll get to that.
Sarah explains to Volkoff that she betrayed the CIA to, ironically, move toward building a future with Chuck; Volkoff of course doesn't trust this statement, but buys what she's selling after she gets into position to kill him and then declines. Mary, as you might imagine, acts like a tougher sell, and she comes up with the idea to send Sarah to break one of their operatives, "The Gobbler," out of prison.
When Mary and Sarah meet away from prying eyes, though, Sarah confesses her true mission, at which point Mary informs her the Gobbler has something to do with "Hydra," Volkoff's entire informational infrastructure -- but she also warns Sarah she may face hard, character-changing choices ahead.
Sarah returns to Burbank and tells the boys she needs them to create a diversion so she can get into the Gobbler's prison, which they do, using Chuck as an apparent prisoner and Morgan and Casey as fake guards. Chuck then flashes and manages, after a fairly protracted fight, to knock the dude out, and when Sarah arrives they get him out of there, but not before she tells Chuck it could take her some time to finish her mission.
She gets more than she bargained for when Volkoff executes the Gobbler for getting captured while being the only person with access to Hydra -- or more precisely, for getting captured while being Hydra, as the database was hidden in his eyeball. After downloading the information to a more secure location, Volkoff smashes the fake eyeball/database, but Mary manages to snag a piece of it surreptitiously. Volkoff then says he's got one more thing for Sarah to do -- he's summoned Casey to meet her at a Downtown skyscraper, alone, and he wants her to go up to the rendezvous point and kill him, with Mary along to observe and Volkoff also watching via remote feed. On their way up, Mary hands Sarah the Hydra piece to give to Casey, while Chuck heads to the rendezvous point, thanks to Morgan's eagle eyes. As they fight, Sarah manages to tell Casey the deal and get him to play along, but downstairs, Chuck walks right into Volkoff's men, whereupon Volkoff brings Chuck up to observe Sarah's apparent turn to the dark side firsthand. Casey gets Sarah to throw him out the window to a ledge below, and Sarah manages to hand off the Hydra piece before, in view of everyone, sending Casey to his apparent death. Volkoff's goons then knock Chuck out, and while Casey survives, he's in no condition to tell Chuck the real deal, so Chuck is left devastated as Sarah ignores his message, while Sarah is also a wreck even though Mary assures her things will get easier to deal with. Oh, and Ellie and Awesome pick a baby name: Clara! (Really?)
What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!
We start off with Casey, not to put too fine a point on it, getting his ass kicked. He asks his punisher if that's all she's got, and we then see he's talking to Sarah, who's wearing a long, straight, black wig (whether we're supposed to believe that's her actual hair is unclear). In answer to his question, Sarah pulls back and punches straight into the camera-- I mean, "Casey's face," and then...
We cut to "2 Days Earlier." Casey catches Morgan, and after Morgan tests out a tough-guy voice that he then judges needs more work (hey, he said it), Casey asks where Chuck is, since he's heard reports that Sarah has been taking rogue work all over Europe, and Volkoff has finally noticed. Morgan's like, that's great, but I'm worried with Sarah gone, Chuck's going to mope around the house and eat Cheetos and watch The View, and I'll admit that last, at least, would indeed be cause for concern. Morgan's speech, however, is of course Chuck's cue to enter, all slow-motion smiles and upbeat music, to the point where even Casey is like, "Dude, you okay?" Chuck says he heard the news about Sarah, and she's making great progress, but when Morgan almost sprains something trying to agree, Chuck narrows his eyes and says Morgan probably thought he'd sit around the house eating Fritos all day with Sarah gone. Heh. After Morgan corrects him on which snack food with which he thought Chuck would be feeding his sorrows, Chuck explains that his mom may have succumbed to the dark side re: Volkoff, but he knows Sarah never will. "She'll always be the same Sarah Walker." At this point I think we are all familiar enough with the show's formula to know that Chuck will be eating those words by episode's end, but there's a camera push-in to emphasize that for those of us who may be off our games here.
Sarah and her new hair are shown into an office in Volkoff Industries (we know so from the helpful sign behind her) whereupon she sees Volkoff himself putting the finishing touches on a painting of... a dog. With part of it blocked, I can't tell you if it's engaged in playing poker, but that hardly seems important, as Sarah tells Volkoff that she never wanted Chuck to be a spy, but they ended up getting "trapped in a CIA-run world with no exit," unless she did what she did, all in an effort "to buy a future with the man that I love." Volkoff wonders why he should trust her, which is the apparent cue for his three flunkies to draw their guns and level them at her, but she calmly disarms the two flanking her with punches and the one behind her with a kick, and then points two pieces at Volkoff: "The reason you're going to trust me is because I'm not going to kill you right here and right now." Volkoff approaches her and deliciously tells her how much fun she is, and welcomes her to the family with a triple-cheek-kiss and an embrace. Over his shoulder, Sarah looks concerned, but we don't have to dwell on that as we head to the opening credits.