Mom is back in time for Halloween on “Chuck,” and what Team Bartowski ends up learning about her is potentially very scary indeed. Also, the spy world and the Buy More intersect, and our hero has Jeff(!) to thank — indirectly, at least — for getting him out of a jam.
Linda Hamilton has something of a tricky role to play in the show, balancing the (presumably) very real desire to check in on her children with the need to project that she’s also a very capable and very possibly evil spy. In her first big episode of the season, she pulls it off really well. The scene with her eavesdropping on Ellie’s baby shopping hurt our hearts the way her shooting Chuck in the chest did his, and — stupid us — darn it if we didn’t want to trust her too.
Casey, however, digs up some dirt on Mary Bartowski — who claimed she’s so deep undercover with Volkoff that she had her records expunged — and finds out her story doesn’t wash with the paper trail. According to the documents he procures, “Project Isis” shut down when she went rogue — by his account, before mom left Chuck and Ellie. Ruh-roh.
It leads to a gut-wrenching final scene with Chuck and Ellie waiting to meet their mom, only for Chuck to see her snatched away — by Sarah, of all people. Mary dropping the teddy bear she was going to give Ellie (the same one Awesome’s mom tossed aside) only makes it hurt that much more.
Obviously, there’s more to the Mary Bartowski story, but so far it feels like “Chuck” is handling her arc pretty well. We still don’t know whose side she’s on — and it’s also possible that she’s both playing for the bad guys while also really wanting to be part of her kids’ lives. We’re really curious to see where it goes.
As for the rest of “Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror”:
– Robert Englund‘s guest spot as the inventor of a fear-inducing toxin was a nice one, even if he served more as a way to bring Mary back into Chuck’s life than anything else. The effects of the toxin (was the writers room watching “Batman Begins” while breaking this episode?) were well-wrought, and we loved the fact that the things that freak Jeff out — old people, interspecies relationships, babies in costumes — also did their number of Englund’s character.
– Speaking of that toxin, we would’ve put good money down that Mary shooting Chuck (a scene heavily teased in previews) was some kind of dream sequence caused by Professor Wheelwright’s invention. That it wasn’t made it more effective in context, but we still would rather not have seen that in advance.
– So, Chuck probably had something other than guns drawn for Sarah’s first encounter with his mom. Loved his line, though: “This is my girlfriend, Sarah. Sarah, this is my mom. … I don’t know exactly how to say this, but please don’t kill each other.”
– More excellent Casey-Morgan interaction this week, with Casey hanging Morgan out as bait for his document expert and the following exchange in Castle: Morgan: “Sorry I’m late.” Casey: “You weren’t here already?” Morgan: “Ha! I love our little give and take — classic Ross and Rachel.”
– Morgan Fairchild was back as Awesome’s mom, and while she’s still driving Ellie crazy (“Babies love dictionaries”), Ellie at least seems to recognize that her heart’s in the right place.
– Although Chuck seeing Sarah grabbing her mom was undoubtedly traumatic for him, her answer for his “Why?” is great: “I’m protecting your blind spot.” It’s her job to protect her fellow agents, obviously, but the line carried a lot more weight than that given their earlier conversation about Chuck’s mom issues.
– The scariest moment of tonight’s episode? Jeff shirtless. No contest.
A clip from the episode is below. What did you think of “Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror”?
Photo credit: NBC