Chuck vs. the C.A.T. Squad
Season 4, Episode 15, original air-date February 14, 2011
Hey, look, it's Mini Anden, the awesome guest star of Chuck Vs. the Wookie! Surely that means this episode has to rock, right?
Why is everybody laughing? Guys?
To see what mxpw and I thought, hit the break. You should be proud -- not a single one of us used the word "pussy"--oh, crap, broke that record. Either way, you should still click the link. We promise only about 60% of it is mxpw drooling over Mini Anden.
Frea: So, nobody told me Sarah was the fourth member of the Powerpuff Girls. I wish I'd known that 341,000 words ago!
mxpw: Or an oversized Charlie's Angels.
mxpw: I did appreciate that last shot of the three "good" ones in Castle in the CA pose.
Frea: Nope, ditzy blond, troublesome redhead, bitchy brunette. Definitely Powerpuff Girls.
mxpw: As somebody who never watched the Powerpuff Girls, I can't comment.
mxpw: But I will take your word for their characterization.
Frea: Ah. Well, as somebody who's only seen the Charlie's Angels movies, Drew Barrymore is
just getting better with age.
mxpw: Never got into the movies, but I did like the show. Come on, who didn't like Farrah Fawcett?
mxpw: They were pushing the CA parallels pretty hard in this episode, especially with that cheesily awesome opening sequence.
Frea: Yeah, we got to hear Josh Grimes's retro announcer voice again, just like for 3.15, Role Models. So...which retro show are they going to have Morgan imagine in 5.15? Get Smart, plllllleeeeease be Get Smart.
mxpw: Six Million Dollar Man.
mxpw: Or no, since this is really the show Sarah now, probably The Bionic Woman.
Frea: Bionic Woman. Sarah, sprinting full force, with a robot leg.
mxpw: For the record, folks, we both typed that at the same exact time.
mxpw: Yeah, we are oddly in sync sometimes. I fear what that means for me.
Frea: I can see Double Agent growing by at least 200,000 words.
mxpw: I would kill myself first.
mxpw: That's just a horrible thought.
Frea: While you're sitting there in utter terror at the possibilities of dragging out the WT/WT for a couple hundred thousand words, I'll go first: I liked the episode. That makes me the optimist. I'm also wearing these fabulously rosy-tinted glasses. Aren't they wonderful?
Frea: Also, show of hands: who called the ditz?
mxpw: And I was pretty meh on the episode, that makes me the pessimist. Also, oddly coincidental, there's been dark clouds over my house all day.
mxpw: *raises hand*
mxpw: It was so obvious, they could not have telegraphed it more if they tried.
Frea: An awesome move would have been to have the guy not have an in.
mxpw: Though I did like for once one of the female spies on this show expressed disdain and anger at being exploited for her looks. That was nice.
Frea: Wait, they exploit the women on this show? Shut the front door!
mxpw: Haha. I didn't necessarily mean the show (though they do) but how very exploitative of women the spy world is in Chuck.
mxpw: So I appreciated Amy listing that as one of the reasons why she had turned rogue.
Frea: She looks like a (very tiny) friend of mine, whom everybody was always picking up and carrying around because she was so short in high school. Probably one of the reasons I called her being the cat among the pigeons.
Frea: Like what I did there?
mxpw: I did!
mxpw: But yeah, it was pretty obvious. I'm not sure if they meant for us to know right away or not, but the spy plot was really a non-entity in this episode. It existed just to patch things up between Sarah and Zondra.
mxpw: Which leads into one of the things this episode did that kind of annoyed, but I could have tolerated if the writing was better: the retcons flew fast and furious.
Frea: You knew they were going to.
mxpw: I know that, but it's like I told you earlier, I couldn't believe they would retcon something as huge as Sarah's Red Test.
mxpw: They pushed it back a whole two years.
Frea: Okay, maybe I missed that, but did they outright say it?
mxpw: Well, okay, so apparently they were on this mission in Milan in 2003, I guess? And Sarah says the reason why she couldn't have been the traitor is because she got called away for a surprise mission in Paris. Now I guess that could have been a separate mission from the Red Test, but it seems weird to pick Paris of all places for the mission she got called to if it's not for her Red Test.
mxpw: I mean, they could have picked any city in the world, why Paris?
Frea: Cos they're weirdly obsessed with Paris?
Frea: Oh. I didn't even put that together. Well, if that means that was her Red Test... a) the concept of a Red Test just makes me laugh and b) Yay, you made Shaw look even more stupid for being willing to risk Chuck's life in First Class to retrieve seven-year-old intel! Awesome!
mxpw: I suppose. I'll concede that it's not definite that they retconned her Red Test, it just seems highly suspicious to me. I DO think, however, they probably did retcon away her time in the Secret Service.
mxpw: This episode just seemed to have a lot of holes in it.
mxpw: Though I do have to say I let out an incredulous laugh when Sarah said that Carina was the "mellow" one of the group. I was like, "Wha-huh?"
Frea: See, most people heard Carina was coming back and were like, "Yay!" and I was like, "Uh, crap."
mxpw: I liked Carina in this episode, though I freely admit I could be biased by the fact that this was probably the hottest episode she's done so far.
Frea: She was so freaking pitch perfect in Wookie, and pretty much the only good thing about Three Words.
mxpw: Mini Anden is a freaking goddess.
Frea: Yes, Mini Anden is. Please don't ever put her in a storyline where Morgan is seen to be a better person than her ever again, though.
mxpw: Oh agree with you there. I wasn't too fond of the Carina/Morgan/Alex storyline, but I did enjoy seeing Carina mess with Morgan. But I admit that's probably mostly because I just like looking at Mini.
mxpw: I thought she had some funny moments, though.
Frea: I did, too, but...I'd rather have her interact with Sarah.
mxpw: Again, agreed, but I kinda expected she wouldn't. We already know she is Sarah's friend. This episode was about getting Sarah more than just her.
Frea: And yes, I realize this is a bias on my part because I had an unholy amount of fun writing Sarah and Carina's dynamic in Wasted and my other stories.
Frea: Which, by the way, is not a claim that fanfiction is better than the show.
mxpw: I was pleasantly surprised at Carina's acceptance and almost non-reaction to learning that Sarah and Chuck were getting married. She seemed genuinely happy for Sarah. I really liked that.
Frea: Yeah. And I enjoyed Zondra's derision, actually.
mxpw: See, I didn't. Mainly because Sarah did very little standing up or defending of Chuck throughout the episode. I was disappointed by that.
Frea: Well, I enjoyed Zondra's derision because I was on her side against Sarah.
mxpw: You'd think she'd have snapped back at Zondra if for no other reason than to stick it to her, but she was oddly placid when Zondra was taking potshots at Chuck and only got angry when Zondra took potshots at her.
mxpw: Yeah, Sarah's unwarranted suspicion of Zondra was one of the many things that annoyed me about her in this episode.
Frea: They were like the worst spies in the world.
mxpw: For serious. I really wanted to take Sarah's side in this episode, because Chuck WAS being annoyingly pushy, but I got fed up with her when Chuck came to her with the file on who he thought the traitor was and she just refused to even entertain his thoughts. Not only did she fail at her job, but this episode made me think that she really doesn't respect Chuck much as a spy/colleague.
Frea: Eh, she was being dragged around by the plot again, and Chuck is starting to fall into the Buffy Syndrome.
Frea: Every time Buffy came to her friends with a theory, they immediately dismissed it as crazy. And how many times was Buffy right in the end? Pretty much every single time.
mxpw: Buffy was kind of an idiot. Chuck is not. Plus, he was using the Intersect, not just his brain. He had actual data to back up his findings.
Frea: Buffy wasn't an idiot!
mxpw: Being an analyst is actually what Chuck is best at. This is the kind of thing Sarah and the others should be going to him for.
Frea: Sure, she was flighty occasionally, but idiot's a bit harsh.
mxpw: Sorry, you're right, I'm letting post S5 Buffy cloud my judgment.
Frea: That's weird, I thought Buffy only had three seasons?
mxpw: No, it only had five.
Frea: That's so weird. Maybe I'll look up these two mythical seasons of yours. But anyway, you're right, Chuck's analyst skills are a major asset. I will say that I did really like Chuck in the Buy More. FINALLY! Intersect + Smarts=Awesome. THANK YOU, Show.
mxpw: Agreed, that sequence was pretty awesome. I liked that Chuck used his brains AND the Intersect. The DVD as throwing stars was pretty inspired.
Frea: A little late on the waffle iron plus DVDs equals throwing stars considering they've been obsessed with keeping this set around since S1, but hey, I'll forgive it.
mxpw: That's mighty kind of you.
Frea: I know, my sense of entitlement is absolutely amazing, right?
mxpw: So question: How do you feel about Chuck's refusal to fight girls? I thought this episode it was a bit much, myself.
Frea: I think they were going for humor?
mxpw: I was like, "Dude, she's trying to kill you, at least throw her to the ground or something."
Frea: See, I would've found it funnier if he had hit her and then was like, "Oh, sorry!" even as he's being tossed through a shelf.
mxpw: I know they were going for humor, it just feels like an avenue for them to mock his character a bit.
mxpw: See, I would have liked your version a lot better.
Frea: Well, what can I say? I'm awesome.
Frea: And now that I'm thinking about it, the spy plot really makes no sense whatsoever.
mxpw: Hahaha, no, but they rarely do.
Frea: Let me get this straight:
Frea: Evil Lou Diamond Phillips wants to recruit these women, right?
mxpw: Can you blame him? I think if I were Evil Lou Diamond Philips I'd take the chance to have Sarah Walker and Carina Miller join my ranks.
mxpw: Think of the company photo!
Frea: He's got Amy in his pocket already. Why hasn't he been, you know, courting them all this time? Gradually trying to win them over? Why blow up the car and drag them down to Rio?
Frea: I mean, you get more flies with honey than vinegar, and I'm pretty sure you get more cats with cream than with, you know, car bombs.
mxpw: Because he likes them in skimpy white dresses? I know that I appreciated the SWLP.
mxpw: And I have no idea. He didn't even get all four of them. It wasn't the best thought out plan.
mxpw: Maybe he believes in always having the home field advantage?
mxpw: Or maybe he just doesn't know what the best mountains for dumping dead bodies are around Los Angeles?
Frea: Well, that's probably smart. Everybody knows that the best place to dump bodies is the Dread Pyramid of Itzilichlitlichlitzl.
mxpw: Wow, that's a hell of a reference.
Frea: Why, thank you.
Frea: But yeah, the plot made no sense, alas. I wondered how many times they were going to show us the sequiny crotch shot in the Carnivale party. I counted three, maybe four.
mxpw: But yeah, the spy plot was pretty threadbare. I didn't much care for the scenes in Rio either.
mxpw: I shook my head at the bad guys' crappy search of Sarah. I mean, really, there were not many places she could have hid a knife in that dress, it couldn't have been that hard to find.
Frea: Ooh! 'Nother Reference!
Frea: Veronica, Sarah, when somebody comes in and saves your life, the correct response is, "Thank you."
Frea: Well, I guess for Veronica, it's more, "Saves your pretty face," and for Sarah it's "Saves your still-tied-up-and-vulnerable friends."
mxpw: I really disliked her yelling at Chuck in front of everybody too. That's twice now she's done that in a professional setting and it's one of the reasons why I don't think she respects him much. I would never yell at a colleague like that in front of their peers, let alone my girlfriend/boyfriend.
mxpw: And after he pretty much did his job, albeit haphazardly, too.
mxpw: It's why Sarah actually annoyed me more than Chuck this episode. She just handled things so poorly, I thought.
Frea: It could've been saved with a better apology, I think
mxpw: I agree. That would have been nice.
Frea: Ellie's "Pretty sure she still loves you" line made me blink. I was like, "Um, don't couples fight without it being all, OMG, he/she doesn't love me anymore?"
mxpw: Sure, Chuck was being annoying and pushy, but I honestly was a bit confused with this plot. I said this earlier too, but wasn't the point of Seduction Impossible that Sarah was sad and embarrassed and uncomfortable over not being able to have family at the wedding. So Chuck tries to help her change that and she...gets pissed at him? I mean, talk about mixed signals.
mxpw: For the record, I'm not necessarily talking about Sarah here (though I think it does apply), but mainly more the show itself. I feel like they are sending me, the viewer, mixed signals about what I'm supposed to be feeling.
Frea: That whole thing could've been handled better. Sarah freezes when she doesn't know what to do, and inevitably lashes out. She wants to have people from her past at the wedding, but they come with strings, strings she's not so sure she can deal with. I think she'd like nothing more than to be able to interact easily with the people in her life like Chuck does, but she could be afraid that once she tries, and fails, that's never going to happen.
Frea: And everybody she knows is pre-Chuck, so there could also be the attached fear that they're going to drag her back to wherever she was at, mentally, when she was around these people. She doesn't like who she is without Chuck, and this episode kind of proved that these people do make her regress some, though she came through at the end, got her team back. I wish she'd given Chuck a bigger apology or verbalized this better, but it explains her terror about whatever it is from her past that Chuck's going to drop on her. Honestly, she could have been afraid that she was going to walk in and face her mother, which sounds like it's going to be a fun story.
mxpw: You all bring up good points, as usual, and I think that's what they were going for, I just found the execution pretty lacking. I want to sympathize with Sarah and agree with her that Chuck is being pushy, but when they futz plots like this, I can understand why Chuck sometimes doesn't see the boundaries he crosses. How can he, when Sarah seems to always be pulling him in different directions?
Frea: That's why they need Ellie around more often, Maximus.
mxpw: I do want to talk about her mother, though. The dialogue in that scene with Ellie, which we need to talk about, really made it seem like Sarah had some kind of ongoing communication with her mother. I thought that was really strange.
Frea: I don't know if I'd call it ongoing communication.
mxpw: Since, you know, her mother was never even mentioned until Balcony.
Frea: Strained relationship might mean quite a few things.
Frea: We got mention of BOTH Sarah's parents in this episode, including confirmation that her father is still on the run.
mxpw: How strained a relationship can a nine-year-old have with her mother? What nine-year-old even conceptualizes of things in those terms?
Frea: Where are you getting nine?
mxpw: Well, wasn't she around ten in DeLorean? I just assumed any problems with her mother would have developed before she went on the run with Jack.
Frea: I don't know if that's a safe assumption. Sarah could have gone back to talk to her mother at any point after the scene we saw in Cougars, or even before.
mxpw: It wouldn't really make much sense for them to happen after, I don't think.
mxpw: What mother let's a conman take her daughter away?
Frea: That could be one of the reasons the relationship is strained.
Frea: There's really not enough for me to make a hypothesis on this, sorry.
mxpw: But then the problems would have existed pre-on the run. Which is what I was saying.
Frea: They might have. We saw, what, a two-four minute scene with kid!Sarah? That's hardly an in-depth biography of how things were.
mxpw: I think that's more than we've gotten for a lot of other stuff in the fandom, but that's really not the issue. I'm just curious to see what they do with this Sarah/mother stuff.
mxpw: I did like her two scenes with Ellie, those were pretty great. I thought Yvonne was great in those scenes. You could see the awkwardness just under the surface, but she was talking to Ellie anyway. Sarah really has come a long way.
Frea: My conjecture about Sarah's mother: she'll be played by Lindsay Wagner and we can have Sarah Connor face off against the Bionic Woman.
mxpw: And fanboys everywhere just had simultaneous nerdgasms.
Frea: I live to serve. I did really love the Sarah and Ellie scenes as well. It was nice to see a measure of friendship between the two that didn't directly involve the fact that Sarah's involved with Chuck.
Frea: Quick, I'm trying to come up with at least five more uses for the word "involve." Involve yourself in this game, quickly!
mxpw: They did have a pretty involved discussion and it's great that Sarah has asked not only Zondra and Carina to be involved in the wedding, but she's making sure Ellie will get involved as well.
Frea: Very nicely done.
Frea: You earn a gold star, minion.
mxpw: You are too kind, MBO.
mxpw: So should we even mention he who shall not be named?
Frea: Casey needs to hunt more unicorns.
mxpw: Heh, I thought it was hilarious he said that in conjunction with Morgan. Made me a bit paranoid.
Frea: Also, Casey, you are neither a virgin, nor as far as I can tell, a direct descendant of Alexander the Great, and also not female. You cannot hunt the killer unicorns, dearie.
Frea: My use of references is running rampant tonight. The one person that got that joke just groaned.
mxpw: I just wish Carina hadn't been tied to Morgan's plot. She is so awesome and hot and funny and wild and hot and did I mention hot? Aw well.
mxpw: I guess I have to give Morgan points for stepping up to the plate at the end and telling Alex how he felt, but I got a definite American Hero vibe from that scene.
Frea: You did?
mxpw: Yeah. Morgan is on the verge of losing Alex, interloping third party, spy life intruding, she thinks he's changed, he makes a big speech where he tells her he loves her three times? Made me think of AH.
Frea: Oh. Wow. Heh, and to think I did not enjoy it the second time through, either. Go figure.
mxpw: Funniest moment of the night, though? When Carina walks up to Morgan and Alex. I just cracked up at how much Mini just absolutely towered over both of them.
mxpw: It was just such an odd image.
mxpw: I don't know, I thought it was amusing.
Frea: Yeah, that was a great image. I'm attempting to brain bleach the rest of the scene out, though because: unicorn.
mxpw: So any final thoughts on this episode, Frea?
Frea: I think they need to find another awesome writer like LeJudkins or Newman and pair Nicholas Wootton up with said writer.
mxpw: I am not nearly as enamored with him as you are, but that might actually be a really good idea.
Frea: Also, I could not stop laughing this whole episode, whenever they called Sarah a cat. Which is your fault, by the way. The wipes with the cat scratch were insanely cheesy, but as long as they don't make those gimmicks a habit, I was fine with it.
Frea: My first thought when Morgan told Chuck Carina had a Facebook alias was, Haha, guess she really did piss Fates Sarah off.
mxpw: I am completely proud of the cat thing and don't feel bad for it at all.
mxpw: I was shocked that Carina even gave Morgan her information. Like, really? Oh this show sometimes...
Frea: I was entertained by the episode and wouldn't mind watching it again. Got really nothing to say about Amy or Zondra, as neither really stuck with me too much save that I was on Zondra's side of the Sarah/Zondra argument and hoped Sarah would realize that she was kind of being a bitch to Z. Evil Lou Diamond Phillips is fun to say, and I loved the idea of pink taffeta and machine guns (my best friend would not let me have a machine gun when I was her maid of honor, but thankfully, no pink taffeta in sight). I guess that it's it. What about you, Maximus? Final thoughts?
mxpw: Hmm...well, Chuck was a bit annoying in his clueless pushiness, but he didn't bother me as much as he usually did. And that's largely because Sarah was equally, if not more, annoying throughout the episode (her attitude toward Zondra just grated). Like you, the CAT squad members didn't really leave much of an impression on me, but I did like Carina. But I did think it had some fun parts and quite a few good scenes. I liked the Sarah/Ellie scenes, I liked the Sarah/Chuck scene at the end (though I wanted more apology from Sarah there), I liked Chuck using his brain a little more than usual this episode. And hey, they used the TARDIS suitcase in this episode too. Only way to explain their trip to Miami. So it was disappointing after last week, but still a decent enough watch.
mxpw: Oh, and the promo for next week looks awesome. Yay for SWP!
Frea: They did something new with the promo. Though I giggled hysterically at Sarah's, "I've been to those parties, they look nothing like this." Chuck: *whiplash*
mxpw: Sounds like my kind of fanfic.
Frea: 7 out of 10 Castle Slides...still no official sightings.
mxpw: 2.5 Sarahs in her white dress out of 5.
So what'd you think? Spoilers are only okay if they're in the preview for next episode. Otherwise, please let people know you're going to post a spoiler in all-caps and bolded.