The Families Left Behind: Casey & Sarah Catch up with their Pasts – S on “Chuck vs. The Wedding Planner”

I absolutely loved Chuck vs. The Wedding Planner. As we rehash in our recaps pretty much every week, Chuck is about family, often about making your family with the ones you’ve got. This week was about the family that got left behind as life moved forward.

This week focused on Sarah’s relationship with her estranged father (Gary Cole) and Casey’s new relationship with his daughter as well as her mother, his lost love and former fiancée (Clare Carey). It contained some incredibly touching moments matched but fun action and dance sequences making this episode a great emotional rollercoaster ride.

This season I have not stopped talking about how Casey has been developing as a character with the introduction of his daughter Alex. We also know that it was more than her that he left behind. Alex’s mother received his flag when he was presumed dead, she named their daughter after him, Alexander Coburn, before he “died” turned John Casey. She was already pregnant, unbeknownst to him when his death was staged; she grieved his death and eventually was able to move on, but always had Alex with her. My heart pretty much breaks every time we go over this story. I’ll just mop my tears off the keyboard then continue.

As promised last week in Chuck vs. The Family Volkoff Casey’s secret does get out, just not in the straightforward way that he had hoped for. Morgan and Alex tried to set up a meeting between Casey and Kathleen (Alex’s mom) in the Buy More with Casey, caught off guard, narrowly escapes.

Kathleen has her heart crushed several times in his episode, and Clare Carey plays the role with such amazing subtlety that you can read volumes in her face. I can’t even begin to imagine what a person would feel when they discover that the fiancée they thought had died over 20 years ago turns out to be alive, and that her daughter knew about it.

When Kathleen confronted Casey, or as she called him, Alex, at the wedding. She finally finds him and believes that he’s a liar, not only about his death, but she believes that he’s lied to their daughter, making her believe that he’s a big damn hero (had to sneak that one in). Casey’s face fell, he had no idea how to respond, he wanted to stay and explain, but even if he could he wouldn’t know how. Duty called.

Later in the parking lot Kathleen witnesses (by amazing coincidence) Casey in action, being the hero and taking down the bad guy. As they talk again she says he must have everything he always wanted, a military man, a hero. As she talks both of their hearts sink. She is saying everything without saying it all, she’s hurt that she, and his daughter weren’t included in these big plans. If only Casey managed to say the words written on his face, he knows he wants more than that, building a relationship with his daughter, and if he’s lucky some sort of relationship with Kathleen.

I think there is still more to this story that I hope to see fleshed out before the season ends.

Sarah’s story with her disappearing con-artist father provided a little more closure than Casey’s story this week. B, do you agree? We know their relationship has always been strained, she doesn’t trust him and that is well deserved. He was also not invited to their wedding.

Sarah felt that as a con-man, not a father, he was their best bet for tracking down Daphne Peralta the MIA wedding planner with a new York accent who took off with all of Chuck & Sarah’s wedding fund. Through very well placed flashbacks we were given a bigger picture of Sarah’s strained relationship with her father who loved her unconditionally, but also felt that he was no good to her being in the picture.

Jack Burton was a great temporary addition to Team Bartowski, especially when Chuck & Sarah were on the outs with the CIA after faking a flash to catch Daphne. Now that they had a real target, Hungarians with crazy nukes, the team had to work on a much more constrained budget – enter the old pro conman, organizing the wedding from a Bar Mitzvah in a flash and even talking down the Big Bad at the end of the episode saving Morgan and the day.

I know you’re good for it Dad

Jack had his moment with Sarah and didn’t want to spoil it; he seems to have a tendency to run on a high note. Watching the moment when little Jenny gave her Dad her piggy bank when she knew he needed money was adorable. The final scene where Sarah discovers that her father had returned the piggy bank, with interest was both heartwarming and breaking. It was nice to see a renewed faith in her Father even if he couldn’t manage to stick around.

Do you think we’ll see Sarah’s Dad arrive on her wedding day? Or perhaps learn a little more about her Mother?

A Few More Thoughts:

  • The Wedding Planner, the actual one, Ms. Daphne Peralta was a fantastic red herring  – I almost expected her to be a secret Big Bad – instead she provided a great set up for the case of the week and a really fun cover for the operation
  • Watching Awesome being such an amazing Daddy to little Clara was adorable
  • Contrast that with watching Jack Burton teaching little Jenny (Sarah) the shell game
  • I missed the Volkoffs this week, another case of estranged then reunited family members, but this week was so jam packed there would hardly have been room anyway

I’m looking forward to hear what B thinks of this whopper of an episode, also super psyched for next week’s ep. I need more Chuck in my life!

–          S

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