'Chuck': It's a new dawn, it's a new day

zachary-levi-yvonne-strahovski-chuck.jpgMan, I miss two measly episodes of "Chuck" while I'm out of town and now Chuck and Sarah have declared their love for each other, Morgan's a spy, Casey's reinstated, and Chuck killed Shaw?! That is almost 100 percent awesome (I reserve judgment on Morgan being a spy).

I'm not sure there was room to go up from there, but this episode certainly sustained the forward momentum! And let's face it: We've been waiting FOREVER for adorable Chuck/Sarah-ness, and it's even more adorable than I expected. Almost impossibly so.  

Chuck and Sarah vs. the CIA and the ETA: On a train in Europe, Chuck and Sarah spend a whoooole lot of time in their private compartment. I guess they have a lot of lost time to make up for! Chuck wants to run away with her since they're afraid Beckman will separate them: "Sarah Walker, do you agree to quit the spy life with me?" She does. And vice versa. Aww!

Unfortunately, there are Basque terrorists on their train, and Sarah and Chuck are having a little trouble ignoring their instincts. They each try to sneakily spy without the other one knowing, and finally decide on one last mission together before they quit. (Sarah: "You know, Chuck, I can't fake this. Not with you." Chuck: "What?! You've been faking it the whole time?" Sarah: "No, no no no not that -- I spotted a Basque terrorist on board.") Using the cover of a very exuberant honeymooning couple (and clearly feeling like they could get used to it, hopefully sans the Texan cheesiness), they MacGyver some spy tools and sedate a couple of the terrorists.

In the meantime, Beckman tasks Casey with using Morgan to find Chuck. After some creepy stalker/spy work, Morgan is able to track down Chuck's train to Zurich. Casey finds Chuck and Sarah right as they confirm they make a great team, but he's "putting to rest any stupid ideas [they] might have of turning this into a permanent vacation." He initially doesn't buy their "Basque terrorists on the train" excuse (oldest trick in the book), but is convinced after they apprehend one of the terrorists.

However, it seems said "terrorist" had turned himself in and was actually on his way to witness protection. Or at least, he was before Chuck and Sarah sedated the Interpol agents escorting him. Whoops. Beckman isn't psyched. They're all tasked with keeping the witness alive until new Interpol agents arrive -- unfortunately, an actual ETA terrorist on the train calls in reinforcements to make sure the witness never talks.

As they wait for Interpol, Morgan/Chuck and Casey/Sarah discuss Chuck and Sarah's intention to quit the CIA. Morgan simply can't believe it, and Casey also expresses disbelief before telling Sarah, "I know what it means to make a choice like this. I won't stop you. Unless you want me to." Have I mentioned yet how happy I am that Casey's reinstated? Because I am So. Happy. Bottom line: Sarah and Chuck both love spying, but both believe the other one wants to quit, and they definitely don't want to risk being separated. So, they run.

MORGAN, of all people, busts the ETA agents posing as Interpol, but he and Casey are outnumbered until Chuck and Sarah come racing back to the rescue (after being arrested by the real Interpol agents). I'm not sure exactly how to describe Chuck and Sarah's ability to fight together while handcuffed, but it's awesome. There's kind of a psychic Jedi vibe to the whole thing -- they anticipate each other's moves and simultaneously come up with the same plans. Definitely one of my favorite "Chuck" fight scenes ever.

After the witness reminds them that life on the run is no fun and suggests that neither Chuck or Sarah wants to quit, the lovebirds decide to aim for the stars and try to spy as a couple. Yay! Back in Burbank, Casey generously (and accurately) gives Morgan credit for helping capture the terrorists, and Chuck and Sarah throw themselves at Beckman's mercy. She tries to keep them from telling her about their relationship, actually, but Sarah insists. After warning them that mixing work and private life can be dangerous, Beckman admits, "Off the record, it's about damn time." A little cheesy and out of character, perhaps, but I loved it anyway.

We close out the episode with Chuck playing "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone for Sarah as they lie in bed together. (As an aside, this show has great taste in music -- I also loved the Polyphonic Spree moment earlier.)

Chuck vs. Ellie: As Ellie and Awesome prepare to leave for Africa, Ellie is increasingly stressed over Chuck's absence. Happily, she has Jeffster! to soothe her wounds at the going away party. Unplugged, to boot! They sing "Leaving on a Jet Plane," and it's quite lovely, in fact. As are the Simon and Garfunkel outfits they're sporting. Ellie is furious when Chuck doesn't show up to the party, and she drunkenly gives a speech about it, which Chuck sees on video when he returns to Burbank and an empty house.

Because this show refuses to leave me with anything but a smile in my heart lately, Ellie comes back to get her phone and finds Chuck watching the party video. She explains that she was really just upset with herself for leaving her baby bro (though it's pretty understandable that she'd want him at the going away party, if you ask me), but Chuck is able to assure her that she's not leaving him alone. Ellie, of course, is thrilled when she realizes he and Sarah are back together (or just "together," as Chuck subtly corrects).  

Lots to talk about! How do you feel about Morgan's performance as a spy so far? Were you sorry to see Chuck and Sarah go back to the CIA so soon? Were they too gushy and in love for anyone? On a scale of ten to ten, how psyched are you that Casey's back?

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Photo credit: NBC