On this week's post-Valentine's Day episode of Chuck, faux romance is in the air when Chuck and Sarah are asked to pose as a married couple and move to the suburbs to suss out which neighbor might be a sinister Fulcrum agent. But what will living in such close quarters do to the real-life dynamic between Chuck and Sarah? Meanwhile, Emmett dons the ugliest pompadour of all time, and Big Mike decides to get his groove on through online dating. Ready to chat about it? Just
All season, there's been a little bit of will-they-or-won't-they with Chuck and Sarah. Chuck knows it's in his best interest not to get involved with someone who has to keep so many secrets, and Sarah would never let her CIA role take the backseat. But in this episode, it's obvious how hard it's getting to maintain that distance. From their "real Valentine's Day" (sitting far apart on the couch while Chuck halfheartedly plays video games) to the eeriness of the portraits from their made-up marriage, Chuck and Sarah's relationship is about as far from normal as it can get. And yet, in the Stepford suburbs, they get a few tastes of what it might be like if they were just regular folks. I loved the way Chuck's face got all melty when he realizes Sarah's actually cooking breakfast in her nightie for him. ("You better be careful, Sarah. One day you might turn into a real girl.") But as always, work prevails; when Chuck comes home, he tells Ellie that he and Sarah will never be anything more than what they are now.
That's largely because this mission is the closest Chuck's really come to being found out. After being fake-seduced by his cougar neighbor (Jenny McCarthy, ha!), he runs a program on her computer and ends up with the Fulcrum version of the Intersect in his brain. Suddenly, he realizes that all of his neighbors have sinister purposes; even the happy-go-lucky Fred (Andy Richter) ends up sedating him and taking him to the special Fulcrum test center in the subdivision. Fun fact: Everyone else who's ever seen the images has become a vegetable, but Chuck apparently has a very special brain. That's what eventually gets them out of their mess: Casey runs the program while Chuck shields Sarah's eyes from the flashes before the agents have time to get away. But how long will it be before Fulcrum finds another way?
Finally, back at the Buy More, Big Mike gets divorce papers on Valentine's Day — ouch! — but with the help of the Nerd Herders, he sets up an online dating profile and hops right back in the game. Love his double-breasted suit and general nervousness ("She's going to take one look at me and realize I'm not a 185-pound shipping magnate!"). Turns out the date goes well, but there's one little problem: When he confesses he works at the Buy More, she reveals that her son works there. In the words of Morgan, "You're bangin' my mom!"
Some other thoughts:
- "Charles Carmichael always comes quickly"!
- Speaking of great lines "There's got to be someone who's having a worse Valentine's Day" is a perfect setup for Casey drinking alone and watching the History Channel.
- Naturally, Chuck thinks Casey's crazy for suggesting he break his own thumb to get out of handcuffs; naturally, Casey doesn't think twice about doing it himself.
- Nice: Chuck's Cowbell Hero shirt (it's real!) and Tron poster.
- So is there something really special about Chuck's brain that keeps him from getting fried by the Fulcrum images?
- Furthermore, did Bryce perfect the technology on his own before he slipped the Intersect to Chuck?
Are Chuck and Sarah destined to be apart forever? Will Chuck get to keep the Fulcrum intelligence? And Big Mike + Morgan's mom, sitting in a tree . . . ?
Photos courtesy of NBC