Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Balcony

Tweet: Not gonna front; super excited for #Chuck411

Addendum: I still feel excited about Chuck being back, though I will say up front that the episode was meandering and slow and kind of disappointing and didn't really go anywhere until the end. These are still some of my favorite characters, so much so that I'll forgive what was essentially a prologue masquerading as a full episode.

Tweet: France? Romantic. #Chuck411

Addendum: Vineyards? Also romantic. Wine cellars? Romantic again. Fancy wine? Still romantic. Being shot in the back? Okay you got me there.

More funnie after the jump. Yes I intentionally spelled "funny" with an ie.

Tweet: Also, least threatening guard dogs ever. #SoFluffy #Chuck411

Addendum: Seriously I just wanted to go up to those dogs and cuddle with them and have them lick my face and go OHMYGODYOUARESOCUTE> forever.

Tweet: I missed Mister Adorkable. #Chuck411

Addendum: On second consideration, I chalk that tweet up to just missing the show. I now think that stuttery nervous Chuck has become, like, ridiculously overdone at this point. What happened to the guy who stared Shaw down and was all like "Bring it, bitch."

Tweet: Sarah's mom? She exists? #SheDoesntReallyExistRight? #Chuck411

Addendum: There's no way she's actually real. She's like an elaborate illusion. She is Harriet Houdini.


Addendum: Stop stealing my all caps tricks. THAT IS MINE AND MINE ALONE>

Reply Tweet, from ladycat7136: We were wondering about that.And look at that , Sarah opened up about something without a gun or a bomb to her head. Progress!

Addendum: Look, sometimes you just need a solid threat of death to understand that you might actually want to jump Zachary Levi. Wait what am I saying? I want to jump Zachary Levi just normally.

Tweet: Ah, nostalgia. #SoEndearinglyDumb #Slapstick #Chuck411

Addendum: Little did I know that they were trying to build THE ENTIRE EPISODE ON THIS PREMISE>

Tweet: Did Beckman really say "manservant"? #Chuck411

Addendum: Like, seriously. Why not butler? Assistant? British guy? Season 1 Casey would have went Beast Mode at that.

Tweet: I see what you did there Chuck. #Puns #Chuck411

Addendum: That was clever. Actually it was the exact opposite of clever. What's that again? Oh yeah, kinda dumb.

Tweet: OH GOD I EVEN MISSED JEFFSTER. #TooFar #ThingsIWillNeverSaySeriously #Chuck411

Addendum: I think I missed the idea of you, Jeffster. But I didn't actually miss you. It's not you, it's me. No okay it's you.

Tweet: Arranged marriage? #ProbablyBestForLester #Chuck411

Addendum: Like this episode proved: there is just no other way that Lester is going to get a girl. Which, I guess, basically means that Lester is never going to get a girl.

Tweet: Chuck's face just said: How do I manage to deal with you, you silly bastard. #Chuck411

Addendum: There was some "How do you take yourself seriously?" and "Josh Gomez you are kind of adorable" in there, too.

Tweet: Losing the top button is turning me on. Oh and Sarah's there too. #SeeWhatIDidThere? #Chuck411

Addendum: The joke is I noticed the guy before the girl. GETIT?

Tweet: This episode: An elaborate cell phone commercial. #ATTLoses #Chuck411

Addendum: Did anyone else expect a "Can you hear me now? Good." reference in that scene? I couldn't be the only one.

Tweet: Dude looks like Malnourished Eric Bana. #Chuck411

Addendum: Or Hot Skeletor.

Tweet: Not gonna front, this episode is sloooooooooow so far. #NeedSomethingToBlowUp #Chuck411

Addendum: Like, a bunch of grapes? Or a wheelbarrow? Or a Frenchman!

Tweet: What DID you just say? #SoundedDirty #ImOkayWithThat #Chuck411

Addendum: All those tongue twisters mean you have a talented tongue, Zac. Rawr.

Reply Tweet, from ladycat713: It references Danny Kaye's The Court Jester. Look up "the chalice with the palace"

Addendum: *plays the NBC The More You Know theme music*

Tweet: Sarah leg.. #JustLostMyTrainOfThought #AlsoMyBrain #Chuck411

Addendum: Just... give me a few moments. I just... Okay I think I'm almost ready to continue.

Tweet: Did... Did Chris Fedak only learn rhyming last week? #Chuck411


Reply Tweet, from ladycat713: Possibly, look how long it took him to learn no Pli's.

Addendum: Some people just never learn.

Tweet: What the hell is going on in this episode? #Chuck411

Addendum: I AM CONFUSED.

Reply Tweet, from crystalelements: Totally agree. I mean, I'm happy the show's back, but...seriously?


Tweet: @crystalelements This is all like "Yeah we have no idea what to do without Linda and Timothy." #Chuck411


Tweet: The CIA flight expenses must be astronomical. #Chuck411

Addendum: Fly them from France to LA then LA to France then France to LA then LA to France then LA to RUSSIA>

Tweet: That was... cryptic of Beckman. #Chuck411

Addendum: Sarah I want YOU to prevent forest fires.

Tweet: A Lester love story? #TheyreJustNotEvenTryingAtThisPoint #Chuck411


Reply Tweet, from ladycat713: Oh why not. The wierd need love too.

Addendum: I would have honestly rather have had a Jeff love story. #SharpasamarbleDidIt

Tweet: Morgan/Sarah is my favorite inteaction of S4. #Truth #Chuck411

Addendum: I think it's because it's something we haven't seen much of before, so it feels fresh and new to have these characters conversing in a genuinely emotional way. Has this show done everything it can do with the Chuck/Sarah/Casey dynamic? I hope not but I'm beginning to feel that way.

Reply Tweet, from mf_lenz: I agree wholeheartedly.

Reply Tweet, from crystal elements: Hee. Gotta love their threatversation. <3

Reply Tweet, from N_Reinoehl: True statement

Reply Tweet, from ladycat713: I am someone deadly. *snicker*

Addendum: I had no idea how popular this opinion was. YOU SEE THE METRICS I GET FOR YOU SCHWEDAK THIS STUFF IS SCIENTIFIC>

Tweet: For the sake of disclosure, my favorite interactions for the other seasons are S1: Chuck/Sarah, S2: Casey/Chuck, S3: Morgan/Awesome.

Addendum: Season 2 is actually kind of up in the air between Casey/Chuck, Sarah/Chuck and Jill/Chuck but you can't fit that in 140 characters.

Tweet: I'm now officially bored with France. #HowIsThatPossible #Chuck411

Addendum: Seriously I don't need another five minute scene about how beautiful the moon is.

Reply Tweet, from DWNACrumb: Bored with Lester!

Addendum: SAY IT AINT SO>

Tweet: @DNWACrumb Not possible. #Chuck411

Addendum: If you look at Lester's story in the context of the rest of the episode, yes it was stupid and boring. If you look at it as a mini episode of awesome Lester moments, it is less boring.

Tweet: "Fatherly" advice? #ActuallyOnSecondThoughtItsKindOfTrue #Chuck411

Addendum: #SadTweets

Tweet: That IS the real Lester. #LeatherAndThe80s #Chuck411

Addendum: #SadderTweets

Reply Tweet, from ladycat713: What was her problem. I would at least give him a chance!

Addendum: #SaddestTweets

Tweet: @ladycat713 Not everyone appreciates bad 80s pop and faux leather vests. #Chuck411

Addendum: Okay pretty much no one appreciates that.

Tweet: Chuck requires an entire CIA spy team to get a girl. #KindOfSad #Chuck411


Reply Tweet, mf_lemz: It's a joint CIA/NSA task force!

Addendum: More evidence that I'm right.

Tweet: @mf_lemz And it still goes wrong!

Addendum: Next time there'll be a giant bird that swoops down and STEALS THE RING and then drops it in the hands of YUGOSLAVIAN TERRORISTS>


Addendum: And then those Yugoslavian terrorists will SELL IT to a PAWN SHOP to fund their NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES.



Tweet: If they work in a What Fates Impose reference I'm done. #DoubleAgent #Chuck411

Addendum: Actually if they work a Twist of Fate reference I'll just poop myself.

Reply Tweet, from crystalelements: Hahaha, @mxpw999's gonna be...uh...yeah. My brain just stopped working after watching that promo, so...yeaaaaah.

Reply Tweet, from Frea_O: Uh, they might have unintentionally.

Addendum: Both of these tweets made me really excited. The former because, okay as much as this episode kind of sucked, god DAMN that promo looked sweet. And the second because that just gives me a better chance of being referenced on Chuck eventually.

Tweet: That episode continued the trend of feeling like two half hour episodes smashed together. #Chuck411

Addendum: Should the show turn into a half hour show? I'd be okay with this right now I think. It'd tighten things up. Also I feel like they should blow up the BuyMore and just LEAVE IT BLOWN UP. We don't need it. Really, guys. We don't.

Final Thoughts: So this episode was not great. Let's not front. It was plodding, way too silly, went nowhere, and was essentially a five-minute prologue stretched to forty-two. All that being said, God I am glad Chuck is back. I can't wait for this new story arc with Double Agent Sarah, and I'm just NOT going to get over calling her that, either. I will actually make Mxpw sick of it. I promise you.

See you next week, everyone!.


  1. Ayefah17.1.11

    I agree with you on...pretty much everything you said there. Especially about next week looking better than this week. Team Sarah + Mary is terrifying to contemplate, in an awesome way.

  2. Yeah you nailed it.
    I'll go 10 minutes of substance and 50 minutes of crap.
    Hmmm sounds like something I might write.

    Just Chuck

  3. Awesome stuff here. Just started following you myself as @Katsumaro .. but yeah. You nailed it IMO. The first half especially was slow, and just.. eh. But once Sarah 'took over' the proposal plan with Morgan, and then Team MorganCasey worked on the other end, I actually thought we'd see the proposal+answer this episode, even though in the back of my mind, I figured it'd come AFTER this "Rescue Mary Arc". Seems I was right.

    Anyway.. loved the read, and yeah. Double Agent Sarah. If there's a "WFI" reference, I'll die.

  4. Alaster17.1.11

    I agree as well, but I enjoyed the proposal and Casey's cigar talk. Next weeks doesn't look that great either but we have Sarah in leather and I want to see how Casey dies ( by dies I mean survive ).

  5. Anonymous17.1.11

    When Beckman told Sarah she had to do the transfer, I said that she was setting Sarah up to become a double agent and my sister told me I was a fun sucker . . .

    Next week looks a million times better than this week. Still glad Chuck is back, finally


  6. I could watch an entire episode of Sarah being drunk and probably not ever get bored. Or, really, I could just watch an entire episode of just Sarah and not get bored.

    And yes, that's about all I have to say about this hot mess of an episode. The proposals really frustrated me (and Chuck's "real" proposal was SO good too!) and Sarah deciding to go undercover like she did was really disappointing. But hey, at least the SWLP was back, so this episode had that going for it.

    As usual, Chris, another solid recap. Great job!

  7. I just couldn't stand the ending. I'm not sure how I feel about double agent Sarah, honestly. Sarah said she'd only be gone for a little while, but look how long Mary was gone! I'm sure she didn't intend to abandon her family and live as Volkoff's love-slave.

    Also: They'd better not kill Casey.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Sorry, had to edit here. D:

    SWLP, mxpw? Is that "Sarah Walker looking porn"? o.O Just wanted to check, Haha.

    Yeah, Chuck's real proposal there on the balcony was good, and I did think it sucked that she's going undercover at this point, but I guess that makes the upcoming proposal even better when it comes around at Episode 13, or whatever.

    I assume Ep 13, anyway. Next week looks epic, though.

    @Lemz -- Yeah.. her leaving like that with no confirmation of when she will get back, or if she will get back.. does really suck, but I dunno. Sarah, Chuck, and such have gone on some pretty insane missions (Sarah through the Amazon to get Chuck back) and came through in the end, so who knows!

  10. Anonymous18.1.11

    True they came through in the end but this is her basically going on the same mission that led to the destruction of his family. So decribing Chuck's state as worried will probably be an understatement.

  11. Katsu: SWLP = Sarah Walker Leg Porn. Yeah, think of me as mx's personal translator for ya. :D

    Chris, you basically summed up my thoughts perfectly (and used my tweets quite well to your advantage, it seems. :P). Hoping next week's episode is much better than this week's.

  12. I'll admit it. I laughed at the stable on the label and the stork on the cork.


    You can do better than that, writers. This is not a cartoon you're writing. It's great to hear about Sarah's mother, but not in such a way that makes her seem callous, cold, or cartoonish, which all three happened. My hopes that she might be messing with him were dashed to pieces. I literally turned to the others in the room and went, "When did Chuck become a cartoon again?"


    Gah. I'm going to go watch about four hours of Fringe to get this out of my system. I hate this whole story arc.

  13. Anonymous18.1.11

    I agree that is was a boring episode. The rhyming between Chuck and Morgan was awful. The interrupted proposal gag happened too many times. One of the final two times should have been allowed to go to completion. I hope the gag dies this episode and the next attempt is successful.

    What bugs me the most with this episode is Sarah leaving for this mission, after Chuck explains this same mission is what cost him his mom for 20 years. So, two episodes after Sarah realizes she doesn't like who she is without Chuck, she's going on a potential 20 year plus mission and saying she needs to be like she was before Chuck to complete it. I know she'll be back around next episode and this whole mission will probably only last a 2-3 episodes. Still, this action just seems like a huge step back from two episodes ago, which was one of the best episodes of the entire show.

    Hope I didn't ramble too much!

  14. Anonymous18.1.11

    I agree it was deeply flawed - but one major redeeming feature for me was some great Casey/Chuck moments - they've focused so much on the casey/morgan dynamic, that they've let the amazing C/C interaction slide, and I've missed it.

    And the rhyming thing - well I kind of grew up on The Court Jester, and can quote the whole, 'the pellet with the poison is in the pestle with the vessel' routine so I did snicker, I'll admit

  15. Anonymous18.1.11

    I watched the episode this morning and, based on the reaction on Twitter, was expecting it to be terrible. Whilst the episode was a whole was pretty childish (and let's face it, the constantly interrupted proposal stuff is getting a bit cliché), it did have its moments.

    The Chuck/Casey moment at the end was awesome. As was the whole Sarah going undercover, which providing a great set-up for 412. Still, I expected Chuck to put up a little bit more resistance to Sarah going undercover. It seems that Sarah almost doesn't care about herself anymore, and just wants to get Chuck's mom back. So, yeah, a little weird.

    The writing however was pretty bad, and I was surprised to find out that Max Denby actually wrote American Hero.

  16. I would like to mention a tweet from Schwartz said on twitter today. He said earlier that the last 5 minutes were the best in the series. Today he tweeted:
    Of course to appreciate those last 5 mins, you will need to have seen episode 12 and the first 38 mins of episode 13...

  17. Ayefah18.1.11

    Wait, weren't Schwartz and Fedak insistent that the last 10 minutes of episode 13 were the best thing ever? I'm so confused! :P

    Sarah suddenly going undercover so Chuck can have his mother back even though that's exactly how he lost his mother in the first place is...kinda OOC, no? I'd be madder about it if the specifics of the execution didn't mostly seem like Beckman's plan that Sarah's going along with. And really, I'd be pretty okay with all this as an excuse to get back to Hamilton and Dalton if it wasn't for the cheap-ass copout bullshit with the proposal. There was just no cause for the interruption at all; if Sarah had been arrested directly after accepting it still would have been a shock.

    There were things to love about this episode - quite a few things, actually - but the structure was bad and the interruption just left such a sour taste in my mouth. :( Hopefully next week will be better.

    (Waitaminute: Max Denby? The man behind "Tooth", aka my Most Hated Episode Ever? Okay, now I know who I want gone in exchange for Klemmer. :P)

  18. Anonymous18.1.11

    @Ayefah Just been looking over the writers for this season and couldn't agree with you more about Denby. He needs to go. Can't wait to have some Klemmer episodes.

    He came up the story for American Hero (which was in itself, stupid), but Klemmer and Miller scripted it, and redeemed it with my favourite ever Chuch/Sarah moment at the end.

    But yes, in conclusion, get rid of Denby.

    Also, I've just been on the Nerd Machine forums and reaction over there to Balcony was a lot more positive.


  19. Sparky18.1.11

    "cheap-ass copout bullshit with the proposal"

    LOL. Frustrated? No way it was gonna be this easy :)

  20. Max Denby wrote "Tooth?" HE MUST GO. HE MUST GO NOW.

  21. Anonymous18.1.11

    Look, any show that includes "Brimful of Asha" is ok in my book

  22. Anonymous18.1.11

    I'm so glad they cut out that scene from tooth where Sarah is sitting alone, drinking wine, having practically given up on Chuck.

  23. Anonymous18.1.11

    Well, Tooth did give us Dream Sarah getting excited over Zimbivian food and reluctant Sarah giving her creepy boyfriend her hand. That's good enough for me to put it into my Okayish episodes' list.

    I agree with everyone. This episode was kinda blah. There were a few quite good scene, but they were so sparse that I grew bored in between. I am still happy to find out that, indeed, Sarah has a mother. She did not burst out of her father's head, armed to the teeth. She is human. Plus, Sarah and Chuck now casually talk about her past which is great. Although, now I wonder what the heck did she tell Chuck about herself while we weren't there? I am a bit jealous of Chuck over this.

    Now, Chuck needs to stop going to France. Everytime he does, I just start ranting the episode away about how these author need to do some serious research because they've obviously never been to France. What was up with that French villain? Could he have looked more girly? Geez!

    We've had an entire AP homage episode. It looks like we are gonna get an entire DA homage episode. I am so excited! Next stop, Chuck gets stuck in a bunker and develop some strange phobias. Meanwhile, Sarah grows 3 years of sexual frustration waiting for him to grow out of these phobia. The writing on the wall, people!


  24. Ayefah19.1.11

    I'll concede that France has significance for Chuck and for Chuck and Sarah as a couple - the whole thing with being denied Paris at first, and then finally, erm, consummating matters in the same city. And I did get a good snicker out of the show's resourceful use of what they have in California - vineyards and Mediterranean architecture - to fake a European setting.

    But I'm still tempted to find Frea and storm Denby's office with pitchforks at dawn.

  25. Can I carry a torch instead of a pitchfork, Ayefah? And by the way, outright telling somebody to their face that they're little more than a cliche does not forgive blatantly making them a cliche out of sheer laziness/inability to do research.

    I half-expected him to have to steal the nanochip from a freaking mime.

    Although, now that I think about it, if Chuck had unleashed the Intersect 3-Point-Lame on a mime? That might have saved the abuse of Danny Kaye,

  26. Anonymous19.1.11

    Did anyone notice they have a thing for red boxes for their engagement rings? Ellie's was red, pretty sure Big Mike's was too and now Chuck's is red.

    The wine fight was pretty dumb. Was there some reason that Chuck wasn't able to just drink the wine instead of fight around with it?


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