Freaked out over Chuck's disappearance, Sarah goes into an ethical downward spiral that ends in the kidnapping of a Thai national from his embassy and some pretty scary torture. Turns out a Chuckless Sarah has something of the Jack Bauer about her; even Casey was apparently creeped out by the "wildcard enforcer" Sarah once was. Love it. After Morgan admits that (MIA, possibly dead) Chuck was going to propose, Sarah goes apeshit, crosses ethical lines like she's jaywalking, and eventually locks Casey up before heading for the Myanmar border.
Morgan show up immediately, and makes Casey take him to Thailand. By the time they arrive, Sarah has become a local legend -- a "giant blonde she-male" that roams the hills -- and, through many awesome fight scenes, earned it. After making a deal to fight in a crimelord's arena, blinded and betrayed by little people, Sarah's pretty happy to see Casey disobeyed her and followed.
Chuck's cycling through all this Belgian mad scientist mumbo-jumbo where they use names from his cell phone to induce the Intersect through paranoid hypnotic visions. As expected, the first major scenario is an erectile dysfunction metaphor: No flash. Then another round with Ellie and Awesome, and later the Buy Moreans, about how without it he's useless and, eventually, all alone: No flash. (Short, disturbing escape from the facility itself: No flash.) Finally, there's Phase III, basically a reboot of Chuck's entire lobotomized brain: No psychology, no psychological blocks.
Back at the ranch, Ellie finds a mysterious laptop in the car Bakula craigslist-bequeathed her a few weeks ago. It looks sort of like if a Decepticon ended up in Tron and took the form of a laptop, but that doesn't stop the Awesomes! While Ellie's on a long shift at the hospital, Devon gets in way over his head offering the Buy More staff free medical work to get it up and running. And when they do? I'd love to say Ellie and Awesome are staring at the Intersect, but: Cliffhanger! Whatever it turns out to be will, I'm sure, be fantastic.
So having come to terms with the fact that Chuck humanizes her -- and that inhuman Sarah is way too bad-ass -- Sarah locates the prince, kisses him, and makes sure he knows damn well she'd love him whether he were a spy, the Intersect, or a college-dropout Nerd Herder. Despite being mostly lobotomized, this wakes Chuck up and they head home damage-free. The General offers Chuck a spy job with the Agency (without regard to the Intersect), and since Sarah doesn't care one way or the other, we're left with the feeling that Chuck will be having his Intersectless cake and eating it, too. I give that a week, but it's a nice little place to rest.
Next week: Zachary Levi directs, Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton show up for Thanksgiving dinner drama, and Jeffster make some Black Friday messes.
Watch the episode below, then discuss it in our forum. Then see some of our favorite Chuck guest-stars.
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Very groany session with Sarah Walker interrupted by various sexy ideas that turn out to be not-so-sexy ideas: Mostly, that Agent Carmichael needs to flash on the Intersect. She's kind of obsessed with it. But given that the last we saw Chuck he'd been kidnapped from Der Bösewicht Berghütte by Mr. Thorn Bird himself, I don't think that's really Sarah. So this is two things: First, the baddies using sex as a motivator, and second, the whole thing we talked about last week with the Intersect, and thus being an illegitimate legit Spy, as sexual failure. It goes on for a while, with the requisite subtlety -- "We could do other stuff! You know, we could kiss more, or talk!" -- but Sarah scoots away. On the other side of Chuck in bed is suddenly Lester, joking around about brain-Viagra and how Chuck could never keep a girl like that without the Intersect, etc.
Of course, Lester showing up means something is dreadfully, awfully, annoyingly wrong, so Chuck backflips out of the mental Slapchop the bad guys have him in, and outside of his mind they are so very irritated. The other mad scientist guy is or is not the doctor that Adam Sandler made fun of during one of the many movies comprised by Funny People. They realize that Lester was the wrong choice -- Lester is always the wrong choice -- and it turns out that they are using names from Chuck's phone, along with whispery suggestions, to make the brain machine chair make him dream things. So... Sure, whatever. That seems feasible. This is a TV show about downloading the internet into your head.
They think about using "Ellie," and there's a nod here to the fact that it can't be old home week -- no dad, none of my Bryce or Routh -- because they're just using names out of his phone according to the number of times he's called them. We run through expo about how the whole diamond thing was or was not actually a scheme to get Chuck's brain, which is like a diamond with many microdots inside it, and how this all will work.
"It was clear from his interrogation that anxiety is his strongest motivating emotion," they say. "God knows he is a neurotic man." Then they describe what this episode would be about, if it were about that: "When we find the right mix of people from his life to pressure him, he will become so anxious about not having the Intersect that his brain will be forced to flash. But this woman... Nothing makes him more anxious than this Sarah Walker."