It’s all about adding insult to injury, over and over again, this week on Chuck. There’s hostage-taking, store-stampeding, shootings, illicit smooching, and more than a few harsh words exchanged. Plus, it’s Black Friday at the Buy More, so you know things are going to get ugly.

Special on spoilers, aisle three!

Poor Chuck finally discovers that Bryce, his nemesis, is actually alive. To add insult to injury, (1) Bryce will only talk to him, and (2) Bryce makes him geek out with the Klingon-speak in front of his honey. Then, to add yet more potential injury to insult, Bryce takes Chuck hostage. When they escape to the elevator, Bryce turns chummy — you knew I wasn’t really going to kill you, right, buddy? Check had no such assurances. He’s even less assured when Bryce takes him hostage again in the face of Tommy, a mysterious snarky bad guy (my favorite kind!) who wants Bryce back.

Bryce appears again when everyone is gathered ’round the Thanksgiving table, secretly asking Chuck to get Sarah. And if he could have kept from kissing her, maybe things would have gone more smoothly. But there was smooching, and Chuck saw, so he dropped a hint to Casey, and everything went to hell. After some running around, and some shooting (fortunately, at this point, Bryce always wears a vest), we get the whole story.

Bryce tells the spies that he’s not really rogue — he was recruited into something called Fulcrum, which was a secret intra-agency organization, and taking out the Intersect was a mission! By the time Bryce discovered Fulcrum was full of bad guys, it was too late — he’d already destroyed the Intersect and sent things off to Chuck. The Fulcrum folks brought him back after Casey’s (mostly) fatal shot, and Bryce told them the Intersect was in his head. They kept him alive until they could extract all that secrety goodness from his brain. And then, Bryce escaped. Now he just wants to turn himself into the CIA and spill about Fulcrum, but he doesn’t know who to trust. Luckily, Chuck can help with that.

Sarah arranges a handoff in a public place with lots of people — the Buy More on Black Friday. Chuck checks out the CIA agents, and declares them legit. But things aren’t wheat they seem — Sarah and Bruce’s car is blindsided by a truck, and Tommy, my favorite snarky bad guy, is waiting for Chuck at the Buy More. Tommy has figured out that Chuck has the Intersect, and he’s not afraid to kill everyone in the store to get to him.

But Tommy doesn’t realize that Chuck has a secret weapon, and that weapon is Buy More emergency preparedness. He tells a panicked Jeff the Buy More safety word ("pineapple"), and chaos ensues. He and Casey end up hunkered down in the Home Theater room (where Casey has a hidden stash of guns, or course) while everyone else flees. Sarah and Bryce come back to kick some butt, but Tommy manages to get his hands on Chuck. Bryce asks Chuck something in Klingon — and seriously, where’s the Ferengi love? — and Bryce shoots him, allowing Casey to take out Tommy. Of course, Bryce’s question was "Are you wearing your vest?" Chuck was. Wise choice, nerdboy.

So Bryce is back in the good graces of the CIA-and he’s given a lone-wolf assignment to mop up Fulcrum. He says something cryptic to Sarah upon his departure, which Casey figures is a code word of some sort. Back at her apartment, Sarah is packed and ready to go when her home phone and cell phone ring simultaneously. One of the callers is Chuck. The other is Bryce. Which will she choose?

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends:

  • The Buy More Black Friday subplot worked for me. I knew shopping the day after Thanksgiving was dangerous!
  • I’m less enamored with the Morgan/Anna plotline. Anna is just too awesome for Morgan. I certainly don’t buy that she’d turn into an irrational, jealous shrew over him. That said, I loved this exchange, chiefly for the strangled tone in Chuck’s voice: Morgan: "She’s got this crazy idea that I’m in love with Ellie." Chuck: "Cause you are?" Morgan: "Why does everybody know that?" Chuck: "Because that’s what you tell everybody!"
  • I loved Jeff’s answer to Big Mike’s question about what happens the day after Thanksgiving: "The tryptophan wears off and it’s time for the liquor to kick in?" It’s like he knows me.
  • I really, really hope snarky bad guy Tommy lives and returns. When Bryce threatens chuck’s life: "OK, I wouldn’t want you to kill some random person — I’d feel just terrible."
  • Chuck when Bruce finds him outside the apartment: "Sarah and Casey are right inside. One girlish scream from me and they go into combat mode."
  • Dear Bryce: Perhaps you don’t want to pass judgment on Chuck’s living arrangements of station in life, as you’re the reason he got kicked out of school and didn’t follow his dreams. Sure, I know you had your reasons, but still: Shut up. You live with your sister?
  • I loved Captain Awesome trying to bond with Casey — "Two words — water sports." I don’t think that means what he thinks it means.
  • Bryce is hot and all, but Sarah is the worst spy ever to get all smoochy with him in Chuck’s room. However, I did appreciate the shirtless moment. What? I never claimed to be a super-spy.
  • Do we really need more orgasmic food moments? Really?
  • Why does Casey not immediately aim for the head with Bryce?  Chest shots just don’t kill him!
  • Big Mike had the right idea on Black Thursday: "Don’t let me down. This is the single most important day of our year. And my door is locked. Don’t even think about knocking!"
  • I completely sympathize with Jeff and Lester hiding under the counter. I’d never survive retail.
  • For once, I got Morgan’s purpose in this episode. All his awkwardness and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person finally turned right — he made Bryce understanding what happened to Chuck, what he did to him. That made Chuck shaking Bryce’s hand all the more sweet.
  • I know it probably means I have seriously unsophisticated tastes, but Jeff getting beaned on the head and knocked out by flying products never stops being funny.
  • Casey’s fireman’s carry of Chuck through the teeming Buy More masses made my little heart go pitter pat.
  • Who knew Big Mike could move like that? His vaulting over the counter to try to stop the customer exodus was pretty darn impressive.
  • Sarah and Bryce did really work well together. And they both had such shiny, bouncy hair during the fighting and running scenes!
Posted by:Sarah Jersild