Twinkle Lights: A Life or Death Situation – S on “Chuck vs The Last Details”

This is what I’m talking about! The penultimate episode of this season (and possibly the series) hit it out of the park. “Chuck vs. The Last Details” managed to incorporate all of our important characters, even successfully making use of the Buymorons, and wrap up enough loose ends to set up for a powerful season finale next week.

This episode brought us a beautiful rehearsal dinner put together by Ellie, the return of badass Vivian Volkoff , Mama Bartowski, Star Wars and a killer cliffhanger.

There is no way that Sarah & Chuck’s wedding would come easy, and it’s to the show’s credit that the hurdles were not due to relationship struggles between the pair. No, Chuck’s mother (Linda Hamilton) has been captured by Vivian Volkoff half-way around the world while trying to retrieve the deadly dna tracking device.

Chuck & Sarah awoke in the sun to the first day of their week off for the wedding. Basking in the sunlight and their happiness Sarah utters the deadly words that just ask for trouble

What could go wrong

It’s not meant to be a question, but when Casey receives an urgent message from Beckman to meet at Castle, we know it’s the same one we’re asking too.

The dynamic that unfolds after Casey delivers the news to the future Mr. & Mrs. Bartowski is fun to watch, Casey takes the lead as he reluctantly hashes out the situation. As the three of them head to save Mama B, Morgan is relegated to the task of wedding video montages and twinkle lights. (Might it have something to do with that background conversation we saw Casey having with Alex?)

Morgan going undercover was actually amazing, he continues to impress when he pulls off missions with no real skill or training, it’s like sending in season 1 Chuck but without the intersect. His fake accent and puppy killing phone call was hilarious. He was a real trooper about getting shot.

The tension when Morgan’s glasses fall and we have to wait painful moments to hear his voice again was brilliant. This was a moment more for Casey than for Morgan. His is the character that has been growing slowly and surely since season one, staying in the same place for so long, with the same team members has made him softer, but it has made the team stronger. It’s the introduction of his daughter that has made this change more pronounced, but it has been happening all along.

Sarah’s the one you’re going to be sleeping next to every day. She’s the one you protect

The power struggle between Sarah & Mama Bartowski was a surprising treat in a stressful situation. It’s a simple cliché but Chuck handled it well, watching two of the women in his life bicker and fight light that, he didn’t know what to do. Luckily Chuck has the good sense to take good advice and fix the situation; he took Sarah’s side because he loves her and believes in her. Mama Bartowski’s toast at the rehearsal dinner to Sarah, and how much she respects her was a beautiful, resolution to the story.

The woman who betrayed my father is the mother of the man who betrayed me? Oh that makes sense.

Vivian Volkoff seems very confused as to what she wants, she wants vengeance for her Father, and she’s angry because of what he is and what he’s done to her. But she’s also hesitant to take the steps to become the evil overlord that she would need to be in order to fill her father’s shoes as the head of Volkoff industries.

She’s got Riley whispering in her ear, telling her what she needs to be, but it’s written on her face, the murder, the pain, the evil, it’s hurting her even more, she doesn’t want to be bad, she wants answers and acceptance, and this is the only path she’s got. I look forward to exploring her story next week as she holds the key to Sarah’s survival (and the super dangerous weapon).

I adore that how even though Chuck has grown and developed into a real spy in his own right in both physical and mental ability he continues to see his own amazing world of adventures through the lens of his favourite sci-fi and other pop-culture references. Chuck really is the modern (post-modern) spy. Many other characters on TV have dialogue littered with pop culture references, and it’s just not usually super spies. It’s the nerdy factor that makes Chuck (character) unique, and I love when they bring it out.

Chuck has had so many episodes that the writers/creators thought might serve as a series finale that they really know how to lay it all on the line and make ‘em really good, not just simply as episodes, but as really fantastic wrap it up season enders.  As I write this I’m crossing my fingers for a renewal, because they really deserve it and I love these characters too much to let them go quite yet.

Other Favourite Things:

  • When Agent Carlyle (MI6) stands up to face off against Riley he talks too much and Riley shoots him down mid-sentence. It’s a great example of learning from television tropes – when you let the guy talk, you’re giving him time to escape.
  • Chuck gets to show off the intersect now that Ellie knows flipping around to untangle Morgan from the twinkle lights accident
  • Chuck & Morgan pumping up to the Imperial March in the van and Sarah staring at them like I’m marrying that lunatic
  • Casey is totally Chewy and then unknowingly adds to the Star Wars fun with walking into the mine “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
  • Awesome reference to Terminator, letting Mama B reprise a famous scene as Sarah Connor where she does pull-ups from her bed frame in a jail cell
  • Ellie created such a beautiful rehearsal dinner, just the right amount of twinkle lights
  • Actually liked the use of Jeffster and Big Mike in this one, of course the creeps would have the footage for an adorable video montage, who knew that either of them would really know how to use it
  • Loved the video montage, so many adorable moments and different hairstyles

What do you think will happen to Vivian Volkoff next week, will she reform? How will the team save Sarah and the Wedding (because we know she’ll survive)? Will Morgan really step back from spy life?

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