If you didn’t catch last week’s episode of Chuck, you missed Chuck propose to Sarah, Baby Awesome being born, Casey accepting the possibility of Morgan as a son-in-law, Mary Elizabeth Bartowski brought to the light, one of Jeffster’s best performances, and Volkoff’s arrest. I suggest you catch up with my recap here.
“Chuck vs the Seduction Impossible” begins in Marrakesh, Morocco. Super spy Roan Montgomery places a call while walking through a bar. He leaves a message, saying he’s thinking about the recipient and sends besos from afar. Roan transitions smoothly into hitting on a woman standing at the bar, telling her that men must tell all of their secrets to her. She asks if he has a secret. He does, and removes the new counterfeit-proof $100 bill. Unfortunately, someone has figured out how to counterfeit it, so he’s there to find out who that person is. The woman asks if he is a spy, and when he replies in the affirmative, she announces that she knows who he is: Roan Montgomery. A second and then a third beautiful woman appear, all saying his name. One of them, however, knocks him out, sending him sprawling to the floor. This isn’t the worst of all worlds for Roan — he always imagined he’d die looking up at three beautiful women.
The scene fades into the whole group staring down at Clara. When she releases her first cry, Casey books out of the room. Mary takes control, calling up her situation report, and noting the times it has been since the baby last peed, pooped, and ate. Devon records the whole scene on his Flip cam. As Ellie prepares to feed the baby, Mary picks up Clara, and gets her to calm down. She has the magic touch: it’s the same technique she used in moving live explosives: smooth and gentle. Speaking of babies being stressful, Morgan approaches Casey in the kitchen about Alex. Casey immediately wants to tear Morgan limb from limb, but Morgan quickly assures him that Alex is not pregnant. Morgan has a different stressful situation for Casey. Alex has invited Morgan over for dinner to meet her mother, Kathleen, but Morgan doesn’t want to lie to her about Casey being alive. Can Casey talk to Kathleen and let her know that he’s alive and well? Casey is reluctant, but tells Morgan that he’ll think about it. Back in the living room, everyone starts peppering Chuck and Sarah with questions about their impending wedding. Would Sarah like to use Mary’s veil? Devon’s cousin is a caterer. It would be great if Clara could walk down the aisle as a flower girl, and since Woodcombs mature quickly, she should be able to walk in about six months! With Casey having rejoined Chuck and Sarah, Chuck notes that his family is pretty intense when it comes to the wedding. Sarah states that she is actually sweating; the last time that happened gunfire was involved. The three spies agree that they need a bad guy. “Boys,” Sarah speaks for the three of them, “we need a mission.”
Cut to Castle. Chuck calls up General Beckman on the video screen, but interrupt her enjoying a rather large glass of alcohol! Chuck is sorry to disturb her, but they were wondering is she had a mission for them. Perhaps the country needs them? Preferable they can be sent somewhere out of the country? The General says that she does have a mission for them, but it would have to be off the books, they’d have no support, and it would be extremely dangerous. “We’re in!” they announce in unison. Beckman informs them that they are to return Roan Montgomery to the U.S. Sarah asks if it is possible that Roan has been incommunicado because of his amorous “proclivities.” Maybe he took an elective trip? “No!!” General Beckman protests a bit too much. He has been investigating Fatima Tazi, a criminal most known for her band of female soldiers. Roan has a tracker that indicates he is in Marrakesh; they need to bring him back. With the briefing over, Chuck immediately turns to his partners and asks what the heck is going on with the General? “She’s a hot mess!” Casey explains that she and Roan have had a very long and complicated relationship that spans many hot spots: the Germany in 1989; Iraq in 1991; Florida in 2000.
When Roan comes around, Fatima asks him if he thought his life would end by picking up a girl in a bar. Actually, yes. He’s right where he wants to be. He knows all about Fatima’s counterfeit ring and wants her to make him the head of distribution. “Why would I want to do business with a CIA pig?” she spits at Roan. Suavely, Roan replies, “Because rolling around in the mud can be so much fun.” Meanwhile, back in Castle, the spies prepare for their mission. Sarah playfully mocks Chuck for always over-packing. Well, he never knows if it will be a shooting mission, or a dancing mission, or a shoot/dance mission. They laugh. Sensing the mood might be right, Sarah then says to Chuck, “So, you’re family…” Chuck apologizes for them, admitting that “they’re a little intense.” Well, she has a proposition on how to deal with their intensity: how about they elope! They can run away to some romantic place and avoid the pressure and stress of a big wedding. Sarah concludes by asking Chuck to just think about it.
“Is she trying to kill me?” a shocked Morgan asks Chuck upstairs in the Buy More. Chuck can’t elope; who will be his best man? Probably some weird, stinky stranger, Moran figures. Chuck is concerned that he just got his family back together and wants them to be at his wedding. Morgan notes, however, that “family” is about compromise. Chuck is just going to have to put his foot down. “With Sarah?!?” Chuck wonders incredulously. Morgan advises that he start with something less important and then work his way up. That sounds like a good plan to Chuck.
Marrakesh. Chuck, Sarah and Casey try breaking into a side gate at the compound where Roan is being held. Sarah asks Chuck if he would like any water. In the first test of his newfound resolve, Chuck says no. “OK,” Sarah replies cheerily. After a second’s reflection, Chuck says, “Actually, yes,” and takes the water. “Pliers?” Sarah asks. Chuck reluctantly answers, “Yeeeeeah.” The three spies make their way into the compound and find a party taking place. Sarah notes the numerous belly dancers, and remarks that despite their need for a costume change, she will not be dressing as a belly dancer (much to the chagrin of many, many male and some female viewers). Chuck asks whether she would do it for the country. “I think America can handle it,” Sarah replies (No, we can’t!). Sarah then suggests that if he really wants to see her dressed that way, they could always return and elope there. Casey pulls them into a tent to change their clothes. They emerge in more appropriate attire. Chuck apologizes to Casey for the “accidental touching” that occurred inside the tent. Casey, of course, grunts. Sarah detects Roan’s tracker upstairs. As the trip makes its way inside, Chuck flashes on oil tycoon/terrorist guest. When he informs Sarah and Casey of his flash, the latter says their sole mission is to find Roan.
Upstairs, Sarah, Chuck and Casey approach the room that holds Roan. Casey takes the lead, tranquilizes the two female guards, and kicks in the door. Inside, they find Roan tied up and blindfolded, but he is certainly not in distress. Clad in a silk robe and lying on the bed, Roan asks, “You have returned my minx; did you bring the oils?” The spies approach, and Roan relishes that he hears the footsteps of two women…and one large man! Casey removes his blindfold, allowing Roan to ask what they are doing there? He doesn’t need rescuing; he can finesse his way out of any situation. He explains that he is about to blow Fatima’s counterfeiting ring wide open. How did they even find him in the first place? Sarah tells him about the tracker, to which Roan realizes that Diane’s (General Diane Beckman) birthday present to him, his watch, must have a tracker in it. Roan hears Fatima approaching so he tells the spies to hide. Casey dives under the bed while Chuck and Sarah scamper behind a curtain. “How is my naughty little turncoat?” Fatima asks when she enters.
Meanwhile in Burbank at the Buy More, Alex enters and hugs Morgan. Everything is all set for him to meet her mom on Friday. Morgan has a great surprise for her: Casey has agreed to get in touch with Alex’s mother. “That’s not great at all!” she replies. She appreciates Morgan’s sentiment, but she has been trying to protect her mother because for first time, her mother is happy. Morgan assures her that he will fix the situation. Back in Marrakesh, Chuck tries not to sneeze and give away their presence. Sarah notes that they would be the worst spies in the world if he does. Casey, whispering, radios to them and says they should just capture Fatima. Chuck, again asserting himself, says no. “I say no…woman!” Sarah’s look of shock is absolutely priceless. Chuck, for a moment proud of himself, sneezes, causing the curtain hiding them to fall. Fatima yells for her guards, who enter with guns drawn. “Take them to the dungeon!” Fatima orders. Still under the bed, Casey tells Chuck and Sarah to sit tight — he’ll get them out.
In the dungeon, Roan tells Chuck and Sarah that the last time he saw them, they were a young, sexy couple, but now they’re so quiet. Chuck says that they are just having a disagreement. Further, this ball and chain is not helping. “Are you calling me a ball and chain?!?” Sarah asks exasperated. No, Chuck is attached to an actual ball and chain. Seeing the tension between them, Roan figures there is something bigger going on between them. “Is it performance issues?” he asks Chuck. No, it’s not performance issues! Chuck just doesn’t want to elope; he’s always wanted a big wedding, and especially does now that his family is reunited. Fine, Sarah retorts, but why does he get to say no and she doesn’t? What about what she wants?
Cut to Casey sneaking around the corner toward the dungeon. He radios them that he has eyes on the dungeon door, which is being guarded by one, er…solid, female guard. He tells them that he is going to seduce his way past the guard. “Oh no!” Sarah exclaims. Doesn’t he have a gun or some explosives? “You have no finesse,” Roan complains. Casey assures them that he knows how to charm this type of woman. Casey approaches the guard, who immediately draws her gun on him. “Hi. That’s a lovely weapon you have there,” Casey coos(!). He continues, telling her that he knows how lonely it can be guarding a dungeon. There’s no one to talk to; it’s cold too. “You can take it. You’re hearty,” he says. This seems to do the trick. She drops her gun, giving Casey time to shoot her with a tranq dart. Casey explodes the door, and they all escape. Back outside the compound, Casey tells them that he is going to stay to follow up on some leads. Roan says he is not going back to the States, and tries to head back into the compound. Casey hots him with a tranq dart, dropping him. Casey says he will be back Stateside in a week or two, and disappears back into the compound.
Back at Castle, General Beckman is there to debrief Roan. Sensing the tension between the two, Chuck says “Mission accomplished!” and tries to run upstairs with Sarah. “Sit!” order the General. She asks Roan who authorized his mission. Before he can respond, she answers her own questions: no one, and now she has an agent in a fortress with no back-up. She tells Sarah and Chuck that if Casey gets in trouble, they’re going in to save him. Roan says he should be the one to go save Casey if need be, but Beckman has a new mission for him.
Cut to Roan sporting a new Buy More uniform! Chuck asks Roan why Beckman is so upset. He replies that she is upset about Berlin. To the melodic strains of Scorpions’ “Wind of Change” (in all of its 90s awesomeness), Roan explains that as the Berlin Wall came down, he was heading to Moscow, and Beckman was heading to Washington, D.C. In a flashback, a blonde Diane Beckman(!) asks Roan, “What about us?” Roan proposes that if they are alive in twenty years, they’ll quit the spy business and retire. The twenty years passed, but neither of them could let go of their loved profession. Chuck, for his part, can’t get past the fact that General Beckman was a dirty blonde. “It was the 80’s,” Roan replies, “everything was dirty blonde.”
Downstairs in Castle, General Beckman listens to a voice mail message. It is the “besos” one from roan. As she exits, Morgan sneaks into Castle. He calls up Casey on the video monitor. “I’m in a wall!” Casey grumbles, noting that he doesn’t really have time for the Bearded One. He promises he will talk to Kathleen. “Well, Alex doesn’t want you to talk to her,” Morgan responds, “but enjoy your wall!” Casey is a bit crestfallen by the news; Alex doesn’t want him to talk to her mother ever? Morgan explains the situation, but has to leave. Upstairs, Roan concludes his chat with Chuck by saying he is a spy, he can’t be “normal.” That’s not who he is. Chuck confesses that he is not an eloper. He wants the big wedding. Roan suggests that Chuck needs to convince Sarah of his point of view. The key is that everything is easier with sex in the air. He must seduce Sarah. Chuck isn’t so sure he knows how to do that. “Well first, you’re going to need a suit,” Roan notes.
Echo Park. Chuck opens the door to his apartment clad in a designer suit, sunglasses, and a black trench coat, looking very much the suave international man of mystery. (No, not this one.) He calls out to Sarah, telling her that he made a reservation for dinner, so she should just throw on a little something. He gets no response, so he calls out to her again. In response, he sees fingers playing finger chimes emerge from behind the wall. Those fingers are attached to the lithe body of Sarah Walker, dressed to the nines in a belly dancer costume. While dancing and shaking her hips, beguiling Chuck (and many, many members of the audience), she says that she is sorry for their tiff. “Excellent apology!” Chuck notes, not moving his eyes from Sarah’s hips. He is sorry, too. Sarah continues, asking Chuck to think about the two of them running away together. Instead of a white wedding dress, she could wear what she currently has on, anywhere in the world. “Does that sound like fun?” she coos. “Yeeeeeah!” Chuck replies, hypnotized. “Chuck, elope with me,” Sarah tempts. “Yeah!…..No, no, no!!” Chuck snaps out of it. “You’re using Roan’s methods!” he accuses. “So….why are you wearing that outfit?” she asks. “Well obviously I’m doing the same, but just not as well.” A phone cal to return to Castle ends this game, for now.
Casey tells those gathered at Castle that a number of terrorist financial backers are on other side of the wall he is currently inside. The man Chuck had flashed on earlier asks Fatima if the counterfeit “super notes” really exist. She explains that she has made one trillion dollars worth of counterfeit notes. The man protests, noting that his and his comrades’ fortunes, as oil tycoons, depend on a strong U.S. dollar. “Yours do, but mine don’t.” She thanks them for their gold (advance payment for the counterfeit notes), and gives the signal to her guards, who spray them with bullets! (Man, Chuck has become kind of graphic. Well, 8pm graphic anyway.) Having been riddled with bullets, the wall begins collapsing on Casey, pinning him inside. After a moment of radio silence, Casey confirms that he is still hidden, but trapped. General Beckman says they need to find the location of Fatima’s mint, but she isn’t going to tell them anything. There is only one man who can do it. Chuck protests that Fatima will kill Roan on sight. “It’s a seduction impossible!” Chuck says. “Get me Roan Montgomery,” Beckman orders in response
In Ellie and Devon’s apartment, Mary reads to Clara. When she finishes, with Ellie watching in secret she begins to tell the baby about one of her missions. “Can you say mission?” she asks. Meanwhile, Sarah shoots a grappling hook up the Marrakesh compound’s wall. Roan will seduce Fatima, and she and Chuck will get Casey. As Roan climbs up the rope into Fatima’s room, he pauses to give them some advice. “Remember you love each other. Listen to each other. Never go on a mission angry.” Roan jumps through the window and draws his gun on Fatima. She pulls her own, but he hands her his weapon. “I had to come back for you, my love,” he charms. She is wary, and wonders why he was rescued by the CIA. He explains that he was extracted because of another woman. “Who?” Fatima asks. Cut to the General, who is “impatient” with roan’s flirtations. “Get the mint location!” she demands.
As they make their way toward Casey’s location, Chuck tells Sarah that he doesn’t want to fight. They’ve been over the elopement idea, but what are the other pros and cons? Sarah ruefully asks who is going to walk her down aisle? Who is she going to invite? Sarah’s true desire to elope dawns on Chuck. He has been so wrapped up in his family that he forgot that Sarah doesn’t have a family with whom to share the wedding. He should have known. She counters that she should have just told him. Casey, hearing the whole exchange, grumbles that if they don’t hurry, he’s going to have to cut off his arm!
Upstairs, Roan asks Fatima what she wants. As Chuck lasers through the wall trapping Casey, Fatima explains that Americans strip mined her small village for all of its resources. Her plan is to flood the financial markets with dollars to bring down U.S. economy. Roan repeats the name of Fatima’s village, which gives General Beckman the information she needs to find the mint. Securing its location, she orders a bombing raid to destroy it.
As Chuck finishes with the laser, a number of Fatima’s guards arrive. Through a bullet hole in the wall, Casey aims his gun at the guards. Fatima is alerted that there are Americans in the palace. Casey shoots all three guards, saving Chuck and Sarah, who finish freeing the Colonel. Roan gets a call, but Fatima takes the phone. She tells General Beckman that she is going to kill her agent. Beckman says, “Good!” She is happy to see him die, but she asks if she can tell him one last thing.
Roan gets back on the phone and apologizes for being such a punk. Beckman tells roan that she has one more thing to say to him…”Duck!” Beckman steps into her window from a building across the plaza and takes aim with a bazooka! As “Wind of Change” crests again, she fires. When the missile strikes the room Fatima is sent flying into a wall and is knocked unconscious. Chuck, Sarah and Casey arrive in the room. Roan lies silently on the floor. “Is he alive?” Beckman worries. Roan comes to, and Chuck informs the General that Roan is OK. The scene dissolves as the whistle from “Wind of Change” morphs into the Chuck theme.
At a Marrakesh bar, Roan toasts a civilian-clothed General Beckman. “Here’s to a woman who blows everyone else away.” this is just like old times, Beckman wistfully replies. She knows that spying is Roan’s life. He answers that he hopes their rendezvous aren’t over. Beckman smiles, and responds that she has high hopes for Marrakesh tonight.
Back in the States, Casey drives up in front of a house. He gets out of his car, and is about to approach the home when people begin to emerge. First are Alex and Morgan. Next, arm in arm, are Kathleen and her boyfriend. Casey smiles, saying, “Good for you, Kath.” Over in Echo Park, Ellie tells Mary that it has been great having her there, but does she really want to be a full-time grandma? Mary replies that she has wanted this for years. Ellie notes that she made Chuck quit being a spy, but she can’t keep another person from being a hero because she, Ellie, is afraid. She assures her mother that it wouldn’t be another abandonment, because mary will still be in their lives. Mary answers that she just wants to give baby Clara everything she didn’t give Ellie and Chuck. “That’s my job,” Ellie happily responds; Mary gets to be the doting grandmother.
Chuck and Sarah lie in bed. He is glad they talked. Sarah admits that eloping is just a way to avoid her family. Chuck says he wants to help her with her family since she has helped his so much. Sarah is hesitant. “Come on, I can handle your family,” Chuck insists. “As the future Mr. Sarah Walker, cant I get to know you better?” Sarah’s look out the window implies that she is not so sure.
After the many miles traveled, and all of the emotion spent during the last couple episodes, it was refreshing to have an episode of Chuck that was light on mythology and emotional investment, and just a fun, and funny, episode. Much like “Chuck vs the Honeymooners” cleansed the palate after the “death” of Daniel Shaw and the coming together of Chuck and Sarah as a true couple, “Chuck vs the Seduction Impossible” similarly swept up after the drama of Volkoff’s arrest and the Bartowski family reunion and set the show on its next story arc (it’s not a coincidence that both “Honeymooners” and “Seduction” are the fourteenth episodes of their originally ordered 13-episode seasons).
This episode set up a number of plots that will be played out during the remaining ten episodes of this season. First and foremost is the quest for Sarah’s family and friends. We know she has a deadbeat, criminal father. She once mentioned a sister (in “Chuck vs the Wookie), but it is unknown if Sarah actually has a sister, of if this was just part of her cover. Sarah’s mother, who left Sarah with her father as a child, likely exists somewhere as well. Plus, and as we will see next week, Sarah has a number of friends and former co-spies that will be introduced. There is a great opportunity to play some nice parallels between Chuck’s relationship with his father and Sarah’s with her father, which I am sure Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak will grab tightly. Plus, the emphasis on Sarah’s past will draw focus onto Yvonne Strahovski and give her some more opportunities to shine — a major plus in my book.
Second, will be the continued development of the Casey/Morgan/Alex story, and the possible reunion of Casey and Kathleen, Alex’s mother. I always love Casey/Morgan scenes (case in point, the short kitchen scene in this week’s episode where Casey thought Morgan knocked Alex up), so the chance that they can explore their relationship more always makes for good stuff.
Next, Mary, while a doting grandmother and assuredly happy to be out of the spy game, has been given “permission” by Ellie to reenter the fold. No doubt the siren song of spy life will tempt Mary to return. Further, Volkoff was wisely not killed off, but rather arrested, meaning his eventual escape is all but certain. This is fine with me because timothy Dalton has been an absolute delight this season. I figure he will seek revenge on Mary, putting her in peril and in danger of missing Chuck and Sarah’s wedding, much like the drama surrounding Stephen Bartowski and Ellie’s wedding.
Last, there is hilarity is sure to ensue in Captain Awesome dealing with fatherhood. Moreover, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a “Casey needs to babysit” story somewhere in the next ten episodes or in (hopefully!) Season Five. Situations with babies can be very funny, especially with the characters that populate Chuck, so I expect to be seeing Clara around quite a bit.
All in all, I thought “Chuck vs the Seduction Impossible” was a fun, light episode. John Laroquette as Roan Montgomery is always a welcome presence on the show, and he was aces again this week. Plus, I loved seeing General Beckman in various hair dos and civilian clothes; it’s always nice when she’s not just a head on a video monitor. Next week, some of Sarah’s old spy girlfriends pay a visit that I’m sure will lead to lots of slow motion, wind blown hair and the men being admonished by their significant others for looking too closely.
What did you think of the episode? Did you like the breezy nature? Would you have Roan Montgomery make another appearance some time? Do you like the avenues the show seems to be heading down? Please leave your questions, comments and theories below. For another take, check out Emma’s review here. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to never sneak up on a spy.