mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs the First Bank of Evil

Chuck vs. the First Bank of Evil
Season 4, Episode 17, original air-date February 28, 2011

So some stuff happened in the episode. I think Chuck had a mustache, Sarah was a Princess Bride, Morgan embraced the Force, Casey did...stuff, Vivian became confused, Ellie played Dr. Frankenstein, and Jeffster swore fealty to a king. And that is your episode summary, courtesy of mxpw.

Frea is fully embracing her odd circadian rhythm and is currently sleeping. And, well, when the MBO is away, the minions will play. Here's this week's review, up before Friday, though technically it wouldn't matter if it was posted on Friday. If you don't know already, no new Chuck next week. Not cool, NBC, not cool.

The Event, nobody likes you. Please go away.


Angry and deprived Yvonne Strahovski fans.


mxpw: So was it an improvement over last week for you?

Frea: Two different shows. This show is frakking bipolar.

mxpw: Heh, it's funny you say that as I've seen a number of people who liked last week's but thought this episode wasn't nearly as good.

mxpw: I think the only thing that is really in contention with most people I've seen is whether or not you bought Sarah in the wedding dress scene.

Frea: I snorted. At the whole concept of the clothier.

Frea: And last week's episode was just terribly written.

mxpw: I agree that this episode was much more...coherent.

Frea: Sorry, LeJudkins, but you're now behind Newman.

mxpw: Hahaha. Really?

Frea: Some of the lines last week were just awkward.

mxpw: That's true.

mxpw: And the Chuck/Morgan stuff was meh.

Frea: Last week? Yeah, the Chuck/Morgan stuff just outright sucked.

mxpw: The Morgan stuff in this episode was pretty stupid, though, as well.

Frea: Yeah, I'm amazed the secret-CIA manager of a Buy More can't afford his own place.

mxpw: And it was more than a little annoying that they tied Casey's storyline into his.

Frea: Morgan's so awesome. How else is Casey going to get screen time?

mxpw: Hahaha.

mxpw: I just thought it was dumb that Morgan moved from one apartment with a couple to...another place with a couple. What was the point of moving, then?

Frea: Yeah, really, in Skiwalker Ranch he had his own room. Well, a better insulated room.

mxpw: Excellent point.

mxpw: Haha. You're assuming Chuck and Sarah actually have sex. I've yet to be really convinced of that this season.

Frea: Also, isn't it awesome how Ellie rewrote history?

mxpw: What do you mean?

Frea: Her speech to Sarah about getting excited planning her wedding?

Frea: Umm… Didn't Honey plan Ellie's wedding? And then the wedding on the beach was more, "What the perfect Ellie wedding would be," and that was planned by Casey?

mxpw: Oh, that. Yeah, that was a little bit of a head scratcher. I just assumed that she was talking about the stuff that was Honey free. And obviously she must have planned the beach wedding as wasn't it Chuck who told Casey what Ellie would like? I figured Ellie must have told Chuck. I don't know, in terms of retcons, that's fairly mild for this show.

Frea: My main point is that they're really undervaluing Casey's intrinsic skills as a wedding planner, and this is a travesty.

mxpw: Haha.

Frea: That's a little too much handwaving for me. It's not awful, it just made me go, "Huh. What I liked about Ellie was that she wasn't absolutely insane about flowers and stuff, she just wanted her dad there. That was, to me, a great character touch."

mxpw: Yeah, that is a shame. But he did have a nice moment with Sarah in the wedding dress scene.

mxpw: Hmm...I'm sure that Ellie's overriding concern was having Papa B there, but she obviously cared more about the wedding than just that.

Frea: Oh, sure, a little, but Honey took over it all, either way.

mxpw: Right. I agree. But I think the point was that Ellie had a dream wedding scenario. She knew what she wanted. She wanted Sarah to get to the same spot.

Frea: It just didn't feel true to the character or to what actually happened that we saw throughout Season Two, is all. Didn't mean it wasn't the advice Sarah needed to hear, it just made me shake my head

mxpw: Sure, sure. I can agree to that.

mxpw: I did like the Ellie and Sarah interactions in this episode. That scene in the beginning was interesting.

Frea: I empathized with that scene so hard. The clichéd statement is that every girl dreams about her wedding, and having to pick flowers and that sort of thing ranks on my nightmares list between watching a Chucky movie and walking down an alley with Batman's parents.

mxpw: Haha. Okay, first, very funny. Second, I did really like the scene because it was good character stuff for Sarah, but at the same time, I was like..."Is she really this clueless about, well, everything? How does she ever get ready for an op?" I don't know, I think I would have rather seen Sarah be really logical and dispassionate about the planning, like she was going about it like a mission, instead of feeling her way through it, completely floundering.

Frea: I'm glad she didn't pick gardenias in the end. That's a very strong-smelling flower.

mxpw: I was surprised it wasn't at least mentioned, as it's supposedly her favorite flower.

mxpw: I guess I just have odd views about Sarah and weddings, heh.

Frea: I'm mostly staying quiet on the topic of weddings. *points to the aforementioned Chucky/Getting Murdered in Alley comparison*

mxpw: I think I saw you mention that you thought the wedding dress scene was cliched?

Frea: On Twitter?

mxpw: Yeah.

Frea: No, I was talking about Sarah's spiel at the end when she was scaring Ellie.

mxpw: Oh. Can I just say that I didn't really see Bridezilla there? I mean, I guess I could kind of see it and if it goes on past this episode, then yeah, but I wasn't quite at Bridezilla level there.

Frea: I don't think I ever said she was Bridezilla.

mxpw: I just saw it as Sarah finally being confident and in charge and knowing what she wanted.

mxpw: Oh I know, I was just commenting on what seems to be the main impression of that scene and what the scene itself wanted us to think.

Frea: Mostly because I don't think she was. But she was being very extroverted and bubbly and over the top and a little crazy and woo, weddings make you crazy! And I thought it was a little cliché.

mxpw: Ahhh. Well, in that case, I think I can see the cliches. Yeah.

Frea: I thought the wedding dress scene, the happiness and the joy that something was finally clicking about this whole thing, was much better-played. The dress means a lot and it's so great that the CIA is willing to foot the bill since those get expensive. *glares at random bridesmaid dresses in her closet*

Frea: Not that the colors aren't fabulous and I didn't look awesome in them, friends I've been a bridesmaid for! Just: expensive.

Frea: Whew, nearly put my foot in it there.

mxpw: Hehe. I really liked the wedding dress scene myself. I know some people have commented about how they didn't buy Sarah's transformation/Yvonne's selling of the moment, but I did. The shock and happiness and the "Holy crap, I'm getting married!" was well done. It was cute and it was nice to see Sarah actually think positively about the wedding for once. Four episodes since the proposal and I think that was the first time Sarah had even expressed any real happiness that she was actually getting married.

mxpw: I thought it was pretty entertaining even if it was a bit clichéd. I really loved when Sarah stuck her tongue out. That was a great moment. And I have to say I laughed when she picked the dress that showed the most skin. Heh.

Frea: When you say laughed, you clearly mean you said, "Hooray!" and did the little mxpw minion dance.

mxpw: About which dress she picked? Heh, maybe. I thought it was the best one of the bunch, though the first one wasn't bad either.

Frea: I liked the Casper dress.

mxpw: Was that the one she stuck her tongue out on?

Frea: No, the one she randomly put over her head.

mxpw: Oh, haha.

Frea: It doubles as a Halloween costume.

mxpw: Am I the only one who was a bit freaked out that she was wearing a dress that looked like it had been previously worn by somebody who got killed in it?

Frea: The thought crossed my mind. Must've been a hell of a Honeymoon. Or a honeymoon in hell. One of the two.

mxpw: Heh. That's not morbid at all. And Casey and Sarah's blasé reaction was kind of hilarious and also a bit cynical.

Frea: Me? Morbid? How dare you make that insinuation?

mxpw: Oh I dare. I think after you declared me the best minion ever, I get a little leeway.

Frea: Well, you did get me two awesome Humvees with heat guns (don't ask), so I suppose I can let you get away with it, just this once. We should probably talk about the plot. You know, since there was this whole Vivian Volkoff character going on, and they keep trying to hint that she's important.

mxpw: Haha. Plot? What plot? We don't need no stinkin' plot!

mxpw: I was actually a bit surprised we opened back in Russia with Vivian. I didn't think they'd follow the cliffhanger so closely.

Frea: Yeah, from week to week, you never know what you're going to get, so that was a nice surprise.

mxpw: Though I think Sarah must have loaned the Devil her TARDIS suitcase.

Frea: We're improving, by the way. Last week's episode, I was like, "Eh, don't care about Vivian Volkoff." This week, I was like, "Wow, she has really pretty eyes. Oh, right, I'm supposed to care about her daddy issues, apparently. Hm. Maybe. I'll get back to you when I'm done laughing at southernmustachioed!Chuck."

mxpw: Haha. Lauren Cohan really is quite pretty. She looked really good in her "evil" suit.

mxpw: Oh right, we're supposed to be talking about the plot.

Frea: I have an evil suit. It's called, "Whatever I'm wearing that day."

mxpw: I actually thought the plot in this episode was a lot better than last week's. I was a bit perplexed by why Chuck went in as Vivian's bodyguard instead of Sarah, but I think that's just because this show has conditioned me to think Chuck is incompetent and can't actually do his job. So I went with the scene and I think it worked. I too laughed at Chuck's "disguise" and enjoyed his Southern persona. I liked that he was competent and knew what he was doing and Sarah actually seemed to trust him to do his job right. That was more than a little refreshing. Two episodes in a row without Chuck being made to look like a total idiot! Let's hope the streak continues.

Frea: Amen.

mxpw: I thought his trick on the security guard was like a scene right out of Fates. Heh.

Frea: I think Chuck was the bodyguard because he's tall and male, honestly.

mxpw: Yeah, probably.

Frea: Was it really?!

mxpw: I mean, that makes sense.

mxpw: Oh, I just thought what with the whole using distraction to pick pocket somebody really reminded me of Fates.

Frea: Done seven times in Fates...and counting!

mxpw: I actually enjoyed most of the stuff in the bank. I think that was when Vivian was at her most interesting. I dug them using a key card with the Lost numbers on it and then giving it to the dude who played the Doctor dude on Lost who I can't remember his name at the moment.

Frea: Ah, not being a Lost fan, I wondered if the numbers had any significance.

mxpw: Yeah, that was a nice pop culture reference.

mxpw: I really liked the bank robbery scene and everything leading up to it. The scene in the truck as they were getting ready was funny and cute. Chuck and Sarah play really well off each other when they're allowed to not angst over the relationship.

Frea: I always check when they use numbers to make sure it's not 77142135.

Frea: Paranoid, me? Not at all. Anyway. I've watched the different bank scenes two or three times already. And the scene in the truck had some great lighting.

mxpw: I love the bit with the stocking on Chuck's head. Heh. I really loved the Matrix and Pulp Fiction homage the robbery scene paid.

Frea: The pantyhose bit was fantastic.

mxpw: Yes, it really was fantastic.

Frea: Sometimes pantyhose is just pantyhose, Chuck.

mxpw: And Sarah's reaction was perfect too. I liked that she packed them so that they could go out later. Oh my gosh, they date! Who knew?

mxpw: Sarah in a catsuit, this time with blonde hair and badass sunglasses. Excuse me for a second while I swoon.

Frea: Of course they gab about wedding dresses while they rob a bank.

mxpw: I actually thought that really worked.

Frea: That wasn't me being snarky, that was just me acknowledging how crazily awesome this show can get.

Frea: I know it's cliché to say Nick and Nora, but I LIKE Nick and Nora, darn it, and I like this episode!

mxpw: And the bit with Sarah talking about how awesome her dress was and then transitioning immediately into the line, "Get down on the ground before I blow YOUR FREAKING HEAD OFF!" made me laugh and laugh.

mxpw: And Chuck's line about not being a hero because he'll break their face was pretty good too.

Frea: YES! The word freaking!!!

mxpw: Man, they should be allowed to be total badass bank robbers more often because that scene was great. And I think I would have loved the scene forever just because Chuck called Sarah "Honey bunny" at the end, but it really was I think the highlight of the episode for me.

Frea: When she said that, I had to pause the show to contain my glee at Sarah using the word "freaking."

mxpw: Oh I know, same here.

mxpw: I loved that she used that word too.

Frea: I know some people come for the angst, but I really come for things like the bank job.

mxpw: As do I.

Frea: Hey, speaking of Bank Job, I think I cracked our problem with the third chapter. We didn't have Carina call Sarah "Honey Bunny." Clearly, we were doing something wrong.

mxpw: I mean, yeah, it was kind of a big plot hole that nobody recognized Chuck and Sarah, but the scene was so fun that I didn't care that much.

Frea: They were wearing sunglasses!

mxpw: Heee.

mxpw: And clearly that was enough. Speaking of which, great job on the avatars. And I thought I was obsessed with Sarah in glasses.

Frea: I told you the lighting was awesome in the truck scene.

mxpw: You were spot on there.

mxpw: So what do we think about Vivian moving closer and closer to her evil nature? Are we seeing a Darth Vader moment in the making here?

Frea: I suppose. I still don't care.

mxpw: Haha. Okay, I will try to care enough for the both of us. I think Lauren Cohan is doing a good job; I just am not convinced they are giving her enough to do yet. I think this episode did more to establish her character than last week did, but she's still kind of all surface in a way. And the plot regarding her seems, so far, to be sadly rather predictable.

Frea: Like I said, it was better this episode, but we visited things we'd already seen before with Manoosh (different situations), and I think the actress that played Vivian did a great job throughout, but...I don't care.

mxpw: Yeah. I actually wanted to talk about the whole asset thing. It's really amazing how the CIA/NSA/Brass is depicted as being completely shortsighted. The way they treat assets is so dumb. That was one of the things I didn't like about this episode, even if it is consistent with past episodes.

mxpw: Chuck was a little naive to make that promise to Vivian, but I like that he did because it was in character. I felt like they were moving too fast with Vivian's descent to the dark side. I would think she'd still trust Chuck more even after he failed to deliver on his promise and the fast speed of the plot is hurting it, I believe.

Frea: Agreed.

mxpw: But ah well. I do believe we are getting a break from Vivian for an episode and focusing on whatever it is Casey's doing. So that should be a nice change of pace.

mxpw: Though curse the Event for making me miss out on Yvonne for a week.

Frea: The cynic that drinks all of my Dr. Pepper and answers to my name just went, "Hee, I can imagine Beckman being like, 'Vivian wants to see her father? Do you know how much it costs to get Timothy Dalton back in for--er, no, sorry, there's, uh, too much of a security risk involved. No visiting Daddy!'"

Frea: Beckman is awesome enough to break the fourth wall.

mxpw: Hahaha. I would have preferred that to what we got. It was just kind of dumb. They are lucky Chuck is such a nice guy because otherwise, he could have made life pretty rough for them starting out. I wonder what that would be like as a story. Hmm...somebody should write something like that...

Frea: Seems like it would be out of character. Unless, you know, he had a reason to raise hell. That might be the more interesting story.

mxpw: Yeah, like if he suddenly had a kid? But that would just be a crazy story. Who would ever write something like that?

Frea: Some maniac.

mxpw: With delusions of grandeur.

Frea: No doubt.

mxpw: But enough about that crazy person, is there anything else you want to talk about?

Frea: That crazy person sounded awesome, I love talking about her.

mxpw: People talk about her enough. I'm tired about talking about her. We should talk about Yvonne. Nobody ever talks about her.

Frea: Apparently Morgan's mom sounds like a cat whilst in coitus.

mxpw: That was deeply disturbing. And again, underscores how pointless Morgan moving was.

Frea: I felt like that needed to be shared. Also, with the moving, since Chuck and Sarah were in Macau, I don't see why Morgan couldn't go sleep on the couch at their place.

Frea: Oh! Right! The Ren Faire stuff!

mxpw: Hahaha.

mxpw: The Ren Faire stuff. Completely stupid, but I'll admit, the centaur with the moving tail made me laugh. Also, I was with Morgan, how DID he do that?

Frea: Magic.

Frea: By the way, when they said "Ren-Tang," I immediately pictured Harry Tang dressed as a minstrel.

mxpw: You think? Maybe he was wearing a ring with +2 to dexterity.

Frea: It made the episode about 4% better.

mxpw: Haha.

mxpw: So do you have any final thoughts, Frea?

Frea: Free Bryce Larkin.

Frea: But other than that, not really. It was a much better episode than last week, so I was relieved to enjoy the show again.

mxpw: I agree that it was a better episode too and I liked last week a lot more than you did. No real SWP this week, though the catsuit was quite awesome and Sarah was totally badass. I think I'm going to enjoy Sarah's final transformation into a "real" girl over these next few episodes. Hopefully will be fun.


Frea: 8.2 Castle Slides out of 10 (Points deducted for EMS (Excessive Morgan Syndrome))

mxpw: 3.5 Badass Sarahs in Sunglasses out of 5


Let us know what you thought of the episode!


  1. Ayefah2.3.11

    See, I should have prioritized like you guys when I was watching: Pay attention to the awesome bank scene, ignore all things Vivian because she's horrible.

    I'm sorry, but what intellectually bankrupt twit decides to side with the guy who pointed a gun at her over the people who saved her life just because she couldn't get a prison visit with her entirely absent father? Because Chuck was the one who arrested her neglectful daddy? Who cares? Chuck was completely straight from the start about the fact that the CIA had arrested Volkoff and why. I just wasn't feeling the "betrayal" angle, and I basically spent the whole time wanting Vivian to go away.

    When Chuck went off the reservation to find his dad, he didn't do it by joining Fulcrum. This is why Chuck, unlike Vivian, isn't a giant asshat.

    But there was Henry VII. And the bank robbery scene, and the bullet holes in Sarah's very favoritest wedding dress. (Which I didn't think was that pretty, but anything that makes Sarah say she feels like a princess is fine by me. Get the woman a tiara.)

    If the next episode finally gets us back to Casey, I hope it marks his re-integration into the team. I want some good old-fashioned Original Trio action. It is not mere coincidence that "Seduction Impossible" was both awesome and featured the three of them as the field team - no Morgan, no Vivian, no "Casey or Chuck is broken so he stays behind". The ludicrous spy plots just work better with the three of them together.

    And Frea, my horror at wedding planning is what makes me proud to be an American. No, really. In Israel you can only have religious weddings - there is no civil marriage. Which means putting up with the utter bullshit of the official rabbinate if you're Jewish, and who knows what if you're Muslim or Christian. I'm glad to be living in a country where you can just haul your ass to a courthouse or Las Vegas or get a friend ordained online or waylay the nearest ship captain and skip all the BS. I may or may not have been hissing RUN at Sarah whenever wedding stuff came up. :P

  2. Ayefah2.3.11

    *Henry VIII

    *facepalm* Going to sleep now.

  3. He's Henry the VIII, he is, he is... :)

    Funny story. At some point in my life, my dad has looked at each of his three daughters in turn and has offered them three thousand a piece to elope. As we got older, the amount changed to five grand a piece. My mother, who has imagined all three of her darlings walking down the aisle, is rather dismayed by this. She's even more dismayed by the fact that one of her darlings breaks out in hives at the thought of even planning a wedding.

    Agreed with you about Seduction Impossible and the teamliness of the whole thing. And I have similar feelings about Vivian, but am blocked from the intensity of those feelings by a wall of apathy. This review kind of makes it seem like I hated last night's episode, but the hilarious part is that I actually place it in my top five S4 episodes now. :)

  4. Good to hear the episode made your top 5 S4 episodes, though.. that doesn't really say much about S4 as a whole, does it? Are there any S4 episodes that crack your SERIES top 5? Only one I could really think of is maybe Phase Three.. or Seduction Impossible for some funny moments. Dunno.

    Good work, you two.

  5. Anonymous2.3.11

    As someone who worked for over a year at a wedding venue I have developed both an overwhelming desire to have a small wedding and a realization that not only are most cliches cliches for a reason but vastly less terrifying than the occational bride that isn't cliche. Yes I'm talking to you people who tried to start your honeymoon in our bathroom. Some people have to clean that you know! Sorry, flashbacks. Anyway, I'm probably the only one but while I know they were trying to do a matrix homage during the bank fight, the first thing I thougth when I saw Sarah was "Sarah Walker: Agent of Shield".

  6. coffeegirl2.3.11

    i think i am starting to dislike morgan. again. i wish the writers will just let him run the buy more to protect chuck's and casey's secret but not be involve in missions.

    i am also not a fan of weddings. good thing that having a church wedding without the entourage is now available.

    and the first dress that sarah tried was may fave

  7. The Numbers and then Dr. Dharma (whatever is name was), that was pretty cool! There were a lot of references in that episode.

  8. alladinsgenie4u2.3.11

    Frea and mxpw - As always. thanks. And just like Chuck and Sarah's enjoyable "Banter at the Bank",the back and forth between you two is simply awesome.

    I learned a new word today - Excessive Morgan Syndrome. Thanks. :)

    Loved the episode despite the EMS. Liked Vivian too both in 4x16 and 4x17 - maybe I am swayed by the fact that Lauren Cohan is very beautiful and has expressive eyes.

    As for the wedding dresses, the first one was simply fabulous.Just sayin'

  9. Alaster2.3.11

    So this review helped me understand some of the Vivian plot, because I wasn't paying much attention to it. And as a fan of Lauren Cohan I think she wasn't used as efficiently as she could have. Ayefah's comment about Vivian's distrust of Chuck/CIA is true as well, I felt.

    I liked that they actually got down to wedding planning and that Sarah is planning her own wedding instead of having someone else do it for her, despite how ridiculous it was at some parts.

    The major thing about this episode though was that we finally get to find out where Sarah put all her stuff. It's in Castle's magical revolving closet.

    Thanks for the great review.

  10. Anonymous2.3.11

    fyi -- "honey bunny" is a nod to pulp fiction's robbery scene, methinks.

  11. Anonymous2.3.11

    mxpw: I just thought it was dumb that Morgan moved from one apartment with a couple to...another place with a couple. What was the point of moving, then?

    **** My thoughts exactly! That was the dumbest move and then on Morgan's part, why would you want to move in with your girlfriend's father? That's just asking for trouble.

    Frea: I empathized with that scene so hard. The clichéd statement is that every girl dreams about her wedding, and having to pick flowers and that sort of thing ranks on my nightmares list between watching a Chucky movie and walking down an alley with Batman's parents.

    ***** As a woman who has never thought about her wedding, barring the exception of the night her father passed away, weddings/concept of marriage freak me out, too. I do however have my funeral planned as morbid as that may sound.

    The Vivian stuff is okay. I thought it was cool to see a bit of her father in her. They do have some similarities. I think she's just more or less impatient to get answers and if the CIA isn't going to let her see her father, then she'll just have to figure it out for herself.

    The robbery part was the best. That was hilarious!

    Great review, as usual.

  12. Love your pow-wows probably bc I mostly agree. Heh. That Morgan thing deserves a face-palm. I don't understand why this show refuses to use logic most times and insists on huge, hyperbolic grand gestures in lieu of it.

    I am intrigued about Vivian. If they pace it right, I think it has possibilities. She shouldn't trust a guy who pulled a gun out on her, but maybe she doesn't fully. I need her to be bad bc otherwise she'd be even more pointless. I've had enough pointless guest-stars like Linda Hamilton...remember her? I'm still hurting with how they handled her story.

  13. As much as I like the closet in Castle, it really should be more like the one in the Castle fanfic "One A Day" by hallow777 (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6654543/27/One_A_Day). The closet is nick-named "Alexander" (Castle's real middle name) and is featured in chapters 27, 36, and 45. It would solve Chuck's space/time continuum problem, too.


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