mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff

Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff
Season 4, Episode 20, Air-Date April 11, 2011

When the CIA targets Vivian Volkoff for assassination, Chuck turns to an unusual ally to protect her: Vivian's father, Alexei. Ellie suspects her mother doesn't want her to find out about her father's past.

Oh, Vivian Volkoff. Such a cool name and a hilarious father. That means you've gotta be awesome. Right? Right???

Okay, maybe not. Be warned: this is another mxpw vs. Frea where Frea sees lots of shiny things and mxpw tries to keep order. How successful was he? You'll have to read to find out.

mxpw: For your traumatizing pleasure: Yvonne Bieber!

mxpw: You're welcome.

Frea: She looks like a young starlet from the 60s

mxpw: I know. That's what Justin Bieber looks like.

Frea: Like, she could go star in the original True Grit

Frea: Or The Cat from Outer Space

mxpw: Haha

Frea: Possibly True Grit from Outer Space

mxpw: It would be fitting! She plays a cat on TV.

Frea: *laughing* No, she plays a cat in Fates.

mxpw: Yes, she does.

mxpw: But remember, she was part of the CAT squad?

Frea: Oh

Frea: Right!

Frea: Sorry, I got Cat and cat mixed up.

mxpw: Haha

Frea: She was never a Cat in Fates, but she's a cat.

mxpw: Yes, she most definitely is a cat.

mxpw: That is her defining trait for me from your story, I hope you know.

Frea: Not sure what's different at that point to make her not a Cat in Fates, but I can BS something.

mxpw: You can pretend it never happened, like I often try to.

Frea: *laughing*

mxpw: The only good thing from that episode was the fun of imagining Zondra as Sarah's ex-girlfriend. Oh, and Carina's legs. Other than that, I'd prefer it not be mentioned.

Frea: Oh come on, 6'4" Chuck fighting a 5'1" blonde doesn't automatically strike you as memorably funny?

mxpw: Ehhh. I suppose it was amusing seeing her hanging off him like a monkey.

Frea: It was!

Frea: It makes me think of that one Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman movie. "Are you really attacking me? You're like a hamster."

mxpw: Haha

mxpw: That makes me think of the Star Wars prequels and Yoda.

Frea: Amy had neither a lightsaber nor Frank Oz behind her.

Frea: 186.372% less co--awesome automatically.

mxpw: Unfortunate.

Frea: Whew, I almost said "cool."

mxpw: Haha

Frea: ...crap. I said it.

Frea: By the way, we should make that a gimmick in our review.

Frea: We're not allowed to say cool.

mxpw: But I am cool!

Frea: But we need to use every other variation of the word we can

mxpw: Dibs on rad!

Frea: We sat and cooled our heels, listening to Coolio, until the episode aired. Five minutes before, I remembered I needed to put some coolant in my car to make sure the cooling system worked properly, so I coolly grabbed a bottle of the blue stuff and went to work.

mxpw: Coollly is borderline, but I'll allow it.

Frea: well, seeing as coolly means coldly and not awesomely

mxpw: How do you coldly grab a bottle of something?

Frea: By glaring at it because it's getting in the way of you watching the fourth-to-last episode of Chuck.

mxpw: Wasn't this the fifth-to-last episode of Chuck?

mxpw: THIS SEASON, I feel compelled to add.

Frea: ...you know, I think you're right.

mxpw: Oh yeah, that's right, look at me being optimistic.

Frea: Math is not my strong suit.

Frea: Congratulations, Maximus, you earned the bear tonight. Dibs on Shark!

mxpw: That's pretty sweet that I get to be the bear. He's one excellent dude.

Frea: He has a monocle sometimes. You have a monocle sometimes. It all works out.

Frea: It's possible that the version of you that has a monocle may exist only in my head.

Frea: Also, he wears a smoking jacket, carries a pipe, and has a bookshelf behind him with the entire collected works of Beatrix Potter and Kafka.

mxpw: No, there was that one time I went to a Sherlock Holmes festival. He had a monocle, right? Or was that Hercule Poirot?

Frea: I think that was Snake Plesskin.

mxpw: Snake was rad.

Frea: He was one hoopy frood.

mxpw: Indubitably.

Frea: Oh, yeah, there was an episode last night.

mxpw: There was?

Frea: So here's the part where we give our ratings and I go back to playing solitaire, right?

mxpw: The episode was about Sarah wearing a cupcake bikini, right? That happened or did I imagine that?

Frea: I think you imagined that. It may be the LSD I've been slipping in your coffee lately. I mean, nothing but LSD could inspire Yvonne Bieber, I think. A most splendid brainchild on your part.

mxpw: Hmm...that explains a lot. Tell Walter he makes really good stuff.

Frea: Mmmbrownbetty. So I enjoyed the episode.

mxpw: And I enjoyed the episode.

Frea: Yet...that's about it. It was enjoyable.

mxpw: Yeah... The episode was nice and fun at parts, but lacked real oomph. No wow factor.

mxpw: That's not completely true. There was a point in the episode where I went, "Wow, Sarah, you're kinda dumb."

Frea: No wow factor? Are you kidding? I thought Yvonne looked especially pretty in her scene with Casey.

mxpw: In the snow bunny get-up, you mean?

Frea: And Chuck rocked a turtleneck.

mxpw: Hehe

mxpw: It looked like he raided Archer's closet.

Frea: And Ellie and Awesome called each other "Baby Mama" and "Six Pack."

mxpw: That was very cute. Though Mama B has to be the worst spy on the planet, but then I think we already knew that.

Frea: I thought it was hilarious that she knew Ellie and Awesome were following her, given that you're right, she has been shown to be kind of the worst spy on the planet. But hey, I'll buy it because I enjoy thinking about Mary leading her daughter and son-in-law on a merry chase through Burbank. Think of the possibilities of humor right there! The adventures of Sarah Connor, Baby Mama, and Six Pack.

mxpw: Oh don't get me wrong, it didn't bother me that much, I just think it's hilarious that Mary was foiled essentially by a Nanny-cam. But you're right, it's pretty funny to imagine Mary leading Ellie and Awesome on a wild goose chase all through Los Angeles.

Frea: So I think we should try to go over the episode point to point, maybe? I mean, I'm sleep-deprived, but I don't think the world is going to follow my normal train of—oh, shiny! What's over there? *wanders away*

mxpw: Excuse me everybody while I play Frea wrangler for a second. *ropes you back in*

mxpw: Okay, so point by point, huh?

Frea: But...but...ice cream! I hear that stuff's really co—ld.

mxpw: Haha

mxpw: So we should start with the prenup probably?

Frea: (For the record, Frea woke up, did some writing, watched Chuck, did some 'shopping, went to work, came home, read a book, and now she's in class, on hour 23 of her day, and she still has 6 hours to go!)

Frea: Okay, I like that idea. Starting with the prenup.

Frea: So...Role Models came back in the worst possible way!

mxpw: It did?

Frea: The prenup was exactly like Sarah's blase refusal to move in with Chuck, in that it felt like it was generated specifically because the plot said there needed to be some kind of tension between our leads, and then it wasn't sufficiently explained when there were huuuundreds of possibilities that it could be explained that would give Sarah a fascinating depth.

mxpw: Ahhh, in that way, I totally see what you mean.

Frea: On the one hand, it was fun to see Sarah so completely puzzled by Chuck, but was the cost of Sarah's IQ worth it?

mxpw: The odd thing about the prenup was that it ultimately didn't even end up being about Chuck and Sarah. The writers ended up using it as a way to move Casey's story along and to introduce the theme of the Chuck women having issues with their parents. The problem with the issue, as always with this show, was the execution. The way Sarah went about the whole thing was just plain stupid. It seemed like she really wanted Chuck to ask her why she was getting the prenup, and when he seemed so disinterested, she got upset. The problem is, Chuck is not a mindreader and Sarah expecting Chuck to hound her about the prenup when just a few episodes ago she tore his head off for digging into her past was kinda ridiculous.

mxpw: That Sarah doesn't even tell Chuck onscreen in the episode why she wanted the prenup really undermined it as well.

Frea: See, the funny thing is, I didn't even notice that she didn't give the reason to him on screen. It did move the Casey storyline along nicely though, didn't it? We got a Sarah/Casey partnership moment out of it, too. I like those. I also like that neither of them can no longer be considered in the "was hatched” category. Oh, progress. Hi, how are you? Make yourself at home. Want some tea?

mxpw: You know, I liked the Casey/Sarah moment too, but I didn't love it. Because A) I feel like they used the scene as a cheat so that they didn't have to delve into Sarah explaining herself to Chuck this episode and B) because they are starting to develop a pattern where it seems like Sarah is more comfortable talking about her past with everybody BUT Chuck.

Frea: But to be fair, Chuck goes to everybody BUT Sarah with problems about Sarah. Oh, the least couple-y couple on the planet!

mxpw: That's true. But then Sarah is like the least communicative woman on Earth, so it's kinda understandable. Albeit annoying. At least this time he got advice from somebody other than just Morgan. Thank God.

mxpw: But since we are on the topic of Casey, I want to talk about him.

Frea: His jaw is chiseled by Michelangelo himself.

mxpw: I want to commend the writers this season for how they have handled the storyline of Casey integrating back into Alex's life.

mxpw: They have straddled a fine line with the storyline, and they have done so fairly well. It's actually one of the more deft aspects of this season.

Frea: You know, I agree. It helps that I like Alex, and now that I've seen Masquerade, I no longer wonder exactly what the attraction to Morgan is.

mxpw: They could have blown it by having Casey force the issue or complain about not getting to be more involved with Alex's life, but they've instead chosen to play it right: with Casey taking a step back and not making Alex have to choose between him or her mom. I really liked that he insisted that Alex not lie to her mother and that he doesn't want to come between the two of them.

Frea: And it really speaks for the show and this season that I'm just as excited about Casey's storyline next week as I am for the return of Papa Burton

mxpw: Well, I won't go that far, as I love Jack and I have been anticipating this moment since I heard about it (Delorean is an all-time Top 3 episode for me), but yeah, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how Casey handles seeing Kathleen again.

Frea: I haven't been excited for a Casey storyline since River slashed him across the chest.

mxpw: Yeah, that was pretty bodacious.

Frea: And speaking of families, let's talk about Volkoffs!

mxpw: Well, what is there to say about Timothy Dalton other than that he is awesome?

Frea: I am pretty sure Timothy Dalton controls the weather.

Frea: Chuck Norris jokes wish they were about Timothy Dalton.

mxpw: It's always fun to see Volkoff. I actually think I found Volkoff more entertaining in this episode than any episode since First Fight.

mxpw: I think it was because he was more like Tuttle than AV.

Frea: He kind of reminded me of the beginning of...Gobbler? You know, where he's painting?

mxpw: Haha, yes. That was great. I have to say that prison therapy session was pretty funny. And I enjoyed in the episode seeing him go from remorseful criminal mastermind to embracing his inner evil overlord.


mxpw: That was a great line!

Frea: Truth be told, I said that five times at work last night. "Frea, you need to go stock the vegetables."

Frea: "Very well. FUEL MY JET!"

mxpw: Well, you and Volkoff are very similar. I can totally see it.

Frea: Man, I hope my firstborn isn't as lame as Vivian, though.

mxpw: Haha

mxpw: Hey, you have to give her props for her willingness to kill daddy.

Frea: Seriously, we talked in a previous review about how Vivian is all tell and no show, and that was evident in SPADES this episode.

mxpw: Though that scene in the mountain bunker was just so...there were so many things wrong with it.

Frea: Bunkers are laaaame.

mxpw: Vivian's heel turn was kind of...out of nowhere. I mean, we could kind of see it coming, but they didn't really build up to it. Last we saw her, she was being tempted by the Devil, and all of a sudden here she is wanting to run her father's company and rule the world? She's ordering hits on people? Setting up elaborate plans that don't really make sense? Her storyline was a mess this episode.

mxpw: Most head-scratching moment of that scene, though? That all the guards she brought were apparently perfectly willing to die.

Frea: Well, it was probably the preferable option after a long car ride out to the desert with Vivian Volkoff.

mxpw: Oh burn!

Frea: That being said, Lauren Cohan is very pretty and I love her voice.

Frea: But why bother to set up the parallels between Chuck and Vivian if you're just going to rely on a heel face turn?

mxpw: Oh man, yes. She is beautiful.

Frea: That's valuable time in which we could have been watching Sarah prance around in a cupcake bra. Hey, look, I'm channeling Maximus!

mxpw: I don't know, to be honest. I mean, she could have been such an interesting character, but they have just not developed her.

mxpw: mmmmmcupcakes

mxpw: At least Volkoff was more than entertaining enough through most of the episode to make up for Vivian, so she didn't bother me much.

mxpw: I mean, a deadly game of chess? Awesome, and I believe a nod to a Bond movie I can't remember the name of off the top of my head. Chuck playing Dr. Phil to Volkoff and encouraging him to embrace his inner evil overlord was very amusing to me for some reason.

Frea: Possibly because you had to do the same thing to me last week to get me to work on Chapter 49.

mxpw: That is possible.

Frea: I will say this for Chuck: lying to Ellie aside (we'll get to that later), he was hilarious this week.

Frea: I'm ignoring the fact that there's no way the Intersect wouldn't come with ten thousand different statistics, probabilities, rules, and body-language reading tips for playing poker, and just enjoying the fact that he played Uno against Ellya.

mxpw: Or that the Intersect wouldn't have been able to beat that chess game.

Frea: And of course the other dude had a Draw Four card hidden.

Frea: I always keep one in my sock.

mxpw: But yes, watching Chuck play an Uno match to the death was perfect.

mxpw: That was the funniest moment of the episode to me.

Frea: I have what may be a silly question.

Frea: But why couldn't Casey go in to Ellya's compound?

mxpw: Uh...

mxpw: Here's my fanwank: nobody knows Volkoff better than Chuck so he was the only one who could go in as his representative.

mxpw: Also, he might be needed to flash on something.

mxpw: It's very thin, I know, but it's all I got.

Frea: What, you expect things to make SENSE, Frea? Gah. I thought we trained you better than that.

mxpw: Yeah, for serious. You should know better!

mxpw: I think it was worth it for the Uno scene. And for Volkoff to then "apologize" to Ellya.

mxpw: We should probably talk about Ellie now, yes?

mxpw: Since thanks to the end, we know her search for Agent X will tie into the Volkoff storyline.

Frea: Yeah, somehow. I will give the show props for now: I can't figure out how, and that excites me. That being said, I am so, so, so tired of the lying.

mxpw: Amen.

Frea: Chuck came off worse in this situation, but they're still both pretty bad.

mxpw: I have to give Chuck a small benefit of the doubt because he at least said he was going to tell Ellie the truth. Granted, he didn't go through with it and is still fighting telling her the truth, so it's not really anything in his favor. And yeah, Ellie is starting to come off as bad as Chuck at this point. Mary is telling both her children to be honest with each other and I suppose it's kind of amusing that they aren't listening to her. This is obviously the teenage rebellion phase she missed out on while they were growing up.

Frea: I don't think I can give Chuck any benefit of the doubt, really. His reason for continuing the lie is because he doesn't want to disappoint Ellie because he's lied to her so much, so the solution is to keep lying. He's got a degree in engineering. Clearly, he understands the word "exponential."

Frea: But good point. When Mary Bartowski is the one giving you advice on honesty? It's time for an intervention.

mxpw: If anything, the end of the episode should be a weight off Chuck's shoulders. He knows that Ellie is lying to him now. They are lying to each other. Ellie has lost a lot of any moral high ground she might have had. He can just go up to her and be all, "I lied to you, you lied to me, let's just be honest with each other and put all our cards on the table." I know that won't happen, but it's a nice thought.

Frea: That's a good point. It'd be nice for there to be a "bigger person" in this scenario, though.

mxpw: I am curious to see who Agent X is, so at least the storyline is interesting enough to overcome at least part of the whole lying fiasco.

mxpw: Yeah... That's probably not going to happen.

mxpw: Who do you think Agent X is?

Frea: Sarah's mom.

Frea: I edited that response, by the way.

Frea: The first draft was, "Your mom."

mxpw: Oh nice, very funny.

mxpw: Just because I was with your mom last night, doesn't mean you have to lash out at me.
But your serious guess is Sarah's mom?

Frea: Or Clara.

Frea: Possibly Jeff.

Frea: Maybe Cole Barker, but that's iffy.

Frea: Jack Burton's a little too neat.

Frea: Casey could do it.

Frea: It'd be a real twist if it were Alex.

mxpw: So in other words, Agent X could be anybody that has ever been on the show?

mxpw: Jeff being Agent X reminded me of that one fanfic where Jeff was secretly Chuck's guardian angel and just acted like a drunken idiot so that he could stay close to Chuck and protect him. Kinda makes me want it to be him. Heh.

Frea: Let's not front here.

Frea: We all know who Agent X is.

mxpw: Bryce Larkin?

Frea: Morgan Grimes.

mxpw: That was my second guess.

mxpw: Morgan has been undercover all this time and his whole persona has been an act.

mxpw: What a way to end the show!

Frea: Oh, that was one of my favorite things about the episode.

mxpw: Very little Morgan?

Frea: Minimal Morgan. For once, this episode did not suffer Excessive Morgan Syndrome!

mxpw: Three cheers for that.

Frea: Hurray! Hurrah! Hooray!

mxpw: Oh, one of my favorite things about the episode? Sarah's outfit in the beginning.
Damn, that was hot. Closest thing we got to SWP this episode.

mxpw: But that's a good segue into our wrap-up. What are your final thoughts?

Frea: I know I'm being snarky today, but I didn't think the episode was all that bad. I didn't think it was fantastic, I didn't think it was horrible. It was just amusing, and it made me laugh a lot, and it wasn't even the final nail in the coffin for things needing to make sense/have weight/have dramatic impact because that funeral pyre's been burning for a long while. Not a bad way to spend an hour with my family on Monday night, but the only reason I think I'll ever need to rewatch is to count the number of times The Word that Shall Not Be Said was used, and to turn it into a drinking game. Sarah Walker, I don't believe you ever went to Harvard. Chuck, you should have ended at least three scenes with "Thank you, I'll be here all week." Casey, you're fun. Timothy Dalton, you're truly the hoopy frood among the cast. Linda Hamilton/Mary Bartowski, I fear Sarah Connor too much to say anything but, "Yay! You're back!"

mxpw: And my thoughts are, shockingly, fairly similar to yours. I didn't think the episode was mindblowing or anything, but it was funny and entertaining and I will probably never look at Uno the same way again. That's the kind of stuff the show does best. The drama? Very much hit or miss (mostly miss, at least lately).

mxpw: I thoroughly enjoyed Timothy Dalton's probably final turn as Volkoff. He was funny and his rapid personality shifts were great. I too don't believe Sarah ever went to Harvard. Except for the end and Chuck continuing the lying, he was pretty funny and likeable this week. Casey was good and I am really liking how they are developing his storyline with Alex. And it was fun to see Ellie and Awesome team up for spying, even if that whole aspect of the storyline is kind of absurd. All in all, a pretty decent night of TV.

mxpw: Oh, and because I want to be fair here, I thought Zac looked like he'd put on some muscle in this episode. At the end with the green shirt? I figured you must have appreciated that, Frea.

Frea: Oh, I did. I most certainly, certainly did.

mxpw: Even I was like, Chuck sure is looking good this episode. I thought of you and how you must have drooled over his shoulders.

Frea: To be fair, the whole package was drool-worthy. Especially noticeable in the scene where they're being briefed by Beckman at the beginning.

mxpw: Yeah, that scene was the opposite of hot.

mxpw: So final ratings?

Frea: 6.5 Castle Slides (That Really Got a Workout on that "48 Hour" Furlough) out of 10
mxpw: Damn, that was lower than I was expecting. Now I have to adjust my score appropriately.

Frea: Maybe 6.5?

Frea: Fine, 7.

mxpw: Ha!

mxpw: I'll give it 3.5 Snow Bunny Sarahs out of 5.

So, your thoughts? Did you love it? Hate it? Were you in-between like us? And how many times did you expect us to say "cool" during this review? (Oh, crap, I just said it again! Drink!)


  1. Crumby12.4.11

    I have a question. I found the first half better than the second half. What did you guys think?

  2. It dragged in the middle, but I did like the first half better, Volkoff aside. I think. I can't remember. Hour 27, here I am! *blurry*

  3. You know, for one of the few times this season, I think I did like the first half better than the second. It was a little more tightly paced and more fun. Though the second half did have the excellent Chuck/Sarah scene at the end. That was an awesome scene. Very romantic.

  4. Ayefah12.4.11

    Mx, help me out here: Did Chuck really put a "we will never think about divorce" clause in his version of the pre-nup? Because that's not romantic; it's gross. But I very well may have misheard because I was watching the episode live with background noise.

  5. Nice review you guys. You both made some valid points, but also had some rather picky problems with the episode, but that's normal in everyone and I always enjoy reading the back and forth banter. Keep up the great work, you two.

  6. I actually think part of the reason the prenup was in the storyline so that next week someone could say "someone stole our money!" Next week.

  7. That's why I was wondering. I've usually liked second halves better this season, but not with this one. Even though the end was good.

    Also, I completely agree with you mxpw on the Casey/Alex story. I think that's actually the storyline they handled the best all season. Probably because it's usually in the background and they don't feel like they need to add useless contrived drama. Casey telling Alex he didn't want her to lie to her mom because of him was a great resolution, much like is "good for you, Kath" in SI.

    The Chuck/Ellie lying has gotten so bad that I actually thought for a minute when Ellie lied to him "take that Chuck, you had it coming!" Which is really sad. Then I realized that I didn't like Ellie lying like that, until then she had "just" hidden things, but I can't feel sorry for Chuck. His reasons for lying at that point are awful.

    Also, Mary didn't tell Ellie to talk to Chuck. She asked to know if he was aware but, she didn't try to convince Ellie to tell him.

    I had a hard time with the switch between Serious Chuck and Freaking Out Chuck. I found it weird, he was very serious at the beginning, once in the mission he was eyes wide so often I forgot it wasn't his normal face, and then back to normal. Very weird. But that's probably just me, I'm having a hard time with Chuck the character lately.

    I still haven't understand the whole prenup thing, but I did find it funny. And the last scene was sweet. It didn't make any sense to me though, so fail for that.

    I liked Mary in that episode, and Linda Hamilton. I like the nuances she brings to the character. And we did got a sweet mother/son moment between Chuck and Mary, which didn't happen since... "do you want to talk about it?" in First Fight?

    Vivian didn't bother me. Her turn was probably too "evil" to be believable, there's a difference between not trusting the CIA and becoming the CEO of one of the most dangerous organization of the world. But I did like that she turned on both Chuck and Volkoff.

    Timothy Dalton was awesome, and there were a lot of good jokes. "Hot Mama" & "Siw Pack", the Uno, the little waste bin inside the bunker, the "It’s true. I cut in front of William in the cafeteria line. I admit I have entitlement issues," session with Dr. Nelson... (Made me think of Ellie's cover in Fates :))

    Overall I agree enjoyable episode but not fantastic. There was too many things that didn't make sense to me, even when I knew it was because they went for funny.

  8. Ayefah, he said: "I promise Chuck that I will not even contemplate the word 'divorce.' And I will never use my prenup."

  9. Ayefah12.4.11

    Crumby, that phrasing made my brain go straight to "covenant marriage" (look it up), so I find it about as romantic as roadkill. Ew, Chuck.

  10. Sorry, somehow my wifes Google account ended up on my phone.
    Also, I apologize for a lot of next weeks in my post.
    @Ayefah as strange as it may sound, never thinking about the " D" word has made my marriage a LOT better.

  11. Ayefah12.4.11

    Yeah, but you didn't sign a contract promising not to think about it. Divorce law was liberalized in the first place for a multitude of very sound reasons. :)

    Before I push this discussion totally off-track, let me talk about what I really hate: Vivian Volkoff and her BS sense of "betrayal" regarding Chuck. From the first time he introduced himself, he made it abundantly clear that her dad was a bad guy and the CIA had arrested him. How exactly is it a "betrayal" to find out that Chuck was the one who did the arresting? So on these slippery grounds, the previously directionless Ms. Volkoff decided to become a murderous supervillain? Puh-lease. The show fell down hard on characterization here, and the actress playing Vivian isn't up to filling in the spaces.

    Which became really clear when Vivian was finally in the same room as her father - compared to him, she's just...inadequate, really. I do hope that Volkoff Sr. will return for one last bow before the season ends. Possibly to push his daughter off a cliff.

    Which isn't to say I disliked this episode. I didn't. I just hate Vivian and enjoy ranting. :)

  12. nnegandhi12.4.11

    I liked this episode a better than Muuurder. Dalton stole every scene he was in (can't quite decide if he's certifiably insane or not) and I didn't see the whole "Vivian planned to get the Thorium from the beginning" thing coming. Liked every one of Casey's scenes and Mama B.'s scene with Chuck. Having said this...

    The writers seemed to have read certain fanfic authors and gave us Bipolar Sarah. After Suitcase, Coup D'Etat, Phase Three, Balcony, and First Bank we're supposed to believe Sarah wants a prenup because of money? Really? And I agree with Ayefah, the mention of divorce in the last scene was jarring. Chuck is a bit of a fairy tale - everyone (who survives) lives happily every after, right?

    You guys didn't mention it so I guess it's not as big a deal as it seems but I thought Ellie not knowing Chuck has an Intersect is a bit of a retcon as Morgan would have told her that in Subway. That kind of distracted me during the Ellie scenes.

    Lastly, some of the writers this season don't seem to be able to give scenes that extra something special. Last time we had Chuck and Sarah helplessly look on while a bomb was about to explode (season 1's Imported Hard Salami) we got one of the cornerstone scenes of the series. This time we had three people, standing in separate corners, staring at nothing. Not even remotely memorable.

  13. Different strokes, Ayefah, I guess. That's the story of this blog. Heh.

    I didn't take Chuck's contract remotely seriously. His "contract" was a piece of paper that he'd obviously spent probably only five minutes typing something up. I doubt it was in any way a legal document. Just because they signed it didn't mean anything. It was just a nice gesture on Chuck's part, I thought. It didn't bother me that he had brought up divorce, because, well, that was the unsaid word that had been hanging over their heads ever since Sarah brought up the prenup.

    I found the fact that Sarah thought she had to protect her money from Chuck to be far more insulting than Chuck making a fantasy-based statement like "Let's promise to never contemplate divorce." Honestly, that's not remotely enforceable, even if his contract was real, and I don't think he was trying to impose his will on her. Besides, uh, how is that any different than exchanging wedding vows? Aren't you basically saying the same thing when you get married?

    I think the last scene was sweet, but like Crumby, I'm not really sure what was going on. I'm still not sure why they included the prenup and why they never had Sarah explain herself to Chuck. Are they going to carry this over to the next episode? The problem is they kind of resolved the prenup issue, so even if the money plays a part in the next episode, it's hard to imagine Sarah pulling Chuck off to the side at some point in the episode and going, "So this is why I wanted to get a prenup. Now you understand."

  14. Anonymous12.4.11

    Perhaps it's my lawyerly mind, but isn't "Sarah Walker" an alias? There is no way that the prenup (or even the marriage) got any legal effects.
    And even if Sarah Walker was a "legal person", that is, that the goverment create a real identity for her, with a birth certificate and all the proper documentation, a prenup under that alias wouldn't protect any assets that she may have as her real identity, Sam Lisa Whatever, if the prenup is signed by Sarah Walker!!


  15. nnegandhi12.4.11

    Tynianrex, you're introducing real world facts into the Chuckverse. Stop that! :-)

  16. Ayefah12.4.11

    I didn't take Chuck's contract remotely seriously.

    I know we weren't supposed to take it as a legally enforceable contract - and I definitely didn't have that in mind when he sweetly stated the terms of "promise to love me and I'll promise to love you". The "we'll never think about divorce" thing just...jarred for me, probably because of my readings about covenant marriage last semester.

    Tynianrex, my instinct is actually that even if Sarah's legal name is still Sam and she signed a prenup as "Sarah Walker", it would be binding. Contract law is fundamentally about the intentions of the parties - if she intended at the time to be bound by the contract she signed, it doesn't matter what name she used. And if she didn't intend to be bound, she was committing some kind of fraud and Chuck might be entitled to damages. So sayeth my 1L contracts experience, anyway. :P It seems too facile that you'd be able to escape a contract simply by signing a fake name.

    But anyway, it's just weird to bring up the money issue now. Surely Chuck is making a CIA salary now, no? He pretended to be short on money for the wedding when he was talking to Ellie, but I really doubt he's short on cash these days. Sarah might make more money and have more savings stashed away, but this show has always touched glancingly at best on matters of economics, so I don't get why they'd suddenly make a plot point of it.

    I'm guessing that it was all a clumsy setup for the return of Sarah's dad next week.

  17. stephen13.4.11

    To Tyrannex and Ayefah.
    Sam may be her Real name but I sm sure that she Has been Sarah Walker ever since she became a CIA agent all her ID will be in that name so I am sure that would mean it is her Legal Name. Otherwise any contract she signed Hotel, Car rental etc would be void.
    I also did not particualrly like the use of Divorce in Chucks prenup I understand that technically Sarah bought it up first by bringing a prenup up at all but is till would haver preffered something like 'promise to stay with you forever'
    I am confused about you saying Sarah must have never been to Harvard as I dont think they teach you how to have relationships. I know a number of people who went to university but have very little common sense. I dont see that she would have had boyfriends there like your typical student and even if she did with her upbringing I am sure that they did not amount to much. She has never had a real relationship before and she is used to talkative Chuck not cold Chuck as he was in this episode it showed him as uncaring and I did not like that side of him from now on he should ignore advice from Casey and Morgan and talk to Sarah or Ellie may be.
    I took the hole prenup thing as Sarah wanted Chuck to know about her past or something but rather than volunteer she made him ask about it and then he got the wrong advice and did not. I know in Cat squad she had a go at him about prying but she relented a bit at the end of the episode and then she had her getting married epiphany aswell so she is as Volkoff said a work in progress.

  18. Stephen, the Harvard thing didn't really have anything to do with relationships, so much as just a general insult to her IQ. You can be "not great at relationships," but even so, the woman keeps proving she has the world's longest learning curve. She doesn't seem to learn, even though she's known this guy how long now?

  19. Ayefah13.4.11

    Otherwise any contract she signed Hotel, Car rental etc would be void.

    That was my point - no it wouldn't. You don't get to slip a contract just by signing a false name. The act of signing - the intention behind it - is what binds you. That's why people who are illiterate can sign a contract with an "x" in many cases so long as there's a witness. It's also why, for example, an immigrant with a name that Americans find hard to spell/pronounce can go by an anglicized name instead and use that name when they sign documents. If you check into a hotel under a pseudonym, it's still you who has to pay the bill. Sorry to get all pedantic about this, but I'm fairly sure that the idea that you can get out of a contract by signing a fake name is a fiction.

    Frea, I don't know if I found Sarah dim in regards to the prenup, really. But I guess my BURN VIVIAN BURN rage might have been clouding my judgment.

  20. First off, the Yvonne Bieber bit was the least brainbleach inducing scene in that video. The Wigs she wore for Yvonne Perry and Ke$ha did not do her jawline any favors.

    Secondly when I read this : "The adventures of Sarah Connor, Baby Mama, and Six Pack." I couldn't help but think of Mother Juggs and Speed, I know thats weird.


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