Sarah gets all wrong on Chanarong, eventually scaring the pee out of Casey and Morgan. "Sarah's about to go all Kill Bill on this dude!" Um, and also you totally stormed an embassy and stole a national, which is kind of the headline, but don't worry, there are no consequences for that at any time."Walker knows what lines not to cross," Casey says, and even though she's in another room she's like, "Fuck your lines!" You know she's going to be evil in this episode because she has that pony-coif thing Rachel Bilson and Pink! used to wear, a.k.a. the most hateful hairdo of the last ten years. Nobody looks good with that shit going on.
Also, meaning in addition to being a crazy person, Sarah is pissed because Chanarong is "a smirker." And he really is, he's totally a jerk. You can tell right away. Casey reminds her not to take any photos of him tied up with a cigarette in her mouth, and she's like, "Fuck your Geneva Conventions!" Casey gets scared. "I was wrong about you. You're not acting like a worried girlfriend. No, you're acting like a spy I used to know, before Chuck: Langston Graham's wild card enforcer. I didn't like that Sarah Walker. You know why? Because she was unpredictable."
Interesting, because the whole thing about this storyline is that, in order to keep the integrity of the show going, you have to keep finding compelling reasons for their relationship to be equal. And while it's been made clear before, this is a sally toward the idea that never gets fully expressed here but has always been pretty much explicit: Chuck is the humanity in Sarah. Which is not that exciting of a concept because it's the point of the show, but gets interesting real fast when you take it to the gender place, which is what this Belgian storyline -- and this episode, and outrageously so -- are about.
So it's like for the sake of argument, in this storyline only, we're going to substitute "woman" for "soft/passive/good" and "man" for "hard/active/scary," and afterward we're going to leave that well alone for a long, long time, because essentialism without context is just basically hate. But for the moment, we're getting a bookend to last week's erection anxiety, where it's all about Sarah's relationship to her femininity.
Or would be, if even this episode were allowed to actually be about Sarah, but since she's still an object in a lot of ways -- and thank God for Yvonne Strahovski, if we haven't said that in the last five minutes -- it's just mostly about that. And I'm tempted to say that it's actually a pretty sophisticated joke about that concept, given that this show has always tried to have its cake while simultaneously keeping its cake in a perpetual wet t-shirt contest.