Previously, Sarah told Chuck that she would believe in Linda Hamilton because she trusted his instincts and brains, and then immediately went back on that promise. (Agent Walker has this deal where she always says the right thing, but you don't notice the asterisk where it's like, *unless the situation changes at all, and then you're on your own.) Then Chuck's Mom flashed him with a flashing thing and he went Intersectless, which didn't really matter right away because she wasn't really trying to kill them.
But now it does matter, because the General is concerned about how Chuck's mommy issues caused him to screw up a major takedown and lose the only valuable thing about him. This is his explanation: "I know I screwed up, General, and if she weren't my mom, I would have shown much better judgment." This is the correct response: "So you are an admitted security risk. Colonel Casey, shoot Bartowski in the head." This is her actual response: "Which is why you haven't been ejected from the Agency. Here is a cookie for fucking everything up again."
One of my favorite things about this show to start with was how Casey and the General -- even Walker, sometimes -- were actually hardcore and scary. You honestly felt like Casey might just kill Chuck to get it over with, or Sarah would beat his ass if so ordered, and it was great, because it meant things weren't always safe and that authority actually exists and needs to be dealt with. But now it's just straight-up nerd fantasies, where Chuck is the greatest thing, and all the grownups love him, and Awesome is jealous of him, and everybody gets to be a superspy despite a complete lack of training or backbone or formal education, and everybody hugs each other all the time, and Casey cries all the time and is a growly pussycat, and the General says shit like, "I completely understand your national security-endangering mommy feelings" and...
I mean, I have no doubt that it's a more enjoyable show now for most people, and Lord knows the show will whore itself out no matter what it takes to stay on the air, but it was once a major part of the show that's spent two years leaking out like the p.s.i. of a punctured tire. Leaving more time for the goddamned Buy More. Which is now also a spy, note.
Anyway, the General assigns 1) Walker to Istanbul to find Frost and Volkoff, and hopefully nail down their impossibly complex deal; 2) Casey to work at the Buy More full-time for the time being; and 3) Chuck to go through intense testing at Castle to figure out where the Intersect went. Because yeah, it's not really gone, it's just "suppressed."