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Chuck Recap: Episode Nine, "Chuck vs. the Sensei"

Chuck Rundown: Episode Nine, "Chuck vs. the Sensei"


After all the romance, betrayal, and drama of the Jill episodes, it was a bit of a letdown to watch what felt more like a regular ol' episode of Chuck this week. Not that I didn't still laugh out loud (a lot) — I just wished for more of an ongoing case or something to help focus my attention. Luckily, by the end of the episode we've learned a bit about Chuck's next mission, and boy, is it a doozy. To talk about it, just read more.

This episode is largely about moving on after a betrayal: Chuck has to deal with losing Jill again and returning to his normal spying-and-no-romance life, while Casey discovers that his sensei (Carl Lumbly! Dixon from Alias!) has turned to the dark side and has convinced several of his past trainees to go rogue. The downside of this is — well, what do you do when you get betrayed? You get wallow-y. So Chuck's not sure he wants another case and gets banished back to the Buy More, while Casey reveals that he has these things called "feelings" that can get in the way of his tough-guy act. Sarah mostly navigates their childlike emotions and tastes wedding food.


That said, there are still a bunch of great moments, like Casey luring Chuck down into the control room with his faux feelings, then using his fingerprint and eyeball to get access to all sorts of government information before chaining him to the counter of the Orange Orange — which, as Chuck discovers, isn't such a bad place to be trapped, what with all the yummy toppings. That little sequence is pretty great overall, with Chuck's gummy-worm lasso rescuing his cell phone and the liquid nitrogen helping to remove his handcuffs ("Those seven years of MacGyver finally paid off!"). Also, Casey's usually the guns-and-intimidation guy, so to see him take down his former sensei using nothing but his bare hands and the wrath of Chuck's "I love you" was pretty fantastic.

But I'm most excited about what happens in the final moments, after Ellie's wedding-related breakdown with the irrepressible Awesomes and the revelation that she really just wants her father to walk her down the aisle. Chuck's resolved to find his dad now, which makes sense — after all, he has all the resources of the NSA and CIA at his disposal. (It's like Google-stalking, but a thousand times more powerful!) Still, though, I cringed a little when Chuck guaranteed Ellie that their dad would show up for the wedding. I mean, you can try, you can hope, but you can't really guarantee that sort of thing, right?

Some other thoughts:

  • I haven't loved Tony Hale as Emmett as much as I thought I would, but it's fun to watch him be the Buy More's wannabe-sensei, teaching his minions about the power of good customer service. Plus, giving away a flatscreen TV seems like a good way to instantly boost his stature — and simultaneously tear down Morgan, who was leading the "who cares about Employee of the Month?" effort.
  • I can't say enough about the Awesomes. They're Honey and Woody! They're sporty and pretty and . . . awesome. They're "very strong, and . . . have fists!" I hope we see them again.
  • Loved the look on Chuck's face when Woody said Captain Awesome was "never into nicknames."
  • Jeff's most-beloved Buy More tradition: "Commando Wednesdays."

Your thoughts? Are you glad we're going to get a little more into Chuck's family story? How creepy was that wedding scrapbook Honey made? And did we really hear Casey say the words "thank you"?

Photos courtesy of NBC

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