gets lessons from an old-school, legendary spy this week, and his liver may never recover. Plus, it’s guest-star-a-go-go, with John Larroquette and Melinda Clarke competing for best super-spy honors. Oh, and there’s a knee-buckling kiss. Everybody wins!
The spoiler was in a Bulgarian prison for 7 years — you’ll never break it!
Chuck is seriously bummed that he’s still stuck in spy-land — this means he can’t quit the Buy More, and he and Sarah can’t date! That doesn’t mean they aren’t still fake-dating — there’s a hysterical scene of Sarah getting the soft-focus, hair-blowing, 80s-music-video treatment as she comes to collect Chuck. She even kisses him — but alas, it’s a cover kiss.
In the new hideout (a secret room accessed through Sarah’s cover job’s walk-in freezer), General Beckman gives the team their marching orders: The REAL cipher is out there, and the smart money says former KGB agent Sasha Banacheck has it and is preparing to sell it. This woman is a certified bad-ass (after all, she’s gone under cover as Lady Heather and Julie Cooper), so they’ll need to get assistance from the superspy who knows her best — legendary retired agent Roan Montgomery. (Played by John Larroquette, who knows from smarmy, lecherous, and yet somehow charming characters.)
Things start off rocky — Roan has passed out after a bender — but after a restorative shower and a few breakfast martinis, Roan is on the case. They’ll have to seduce the cipher out of her, but she’ll spot Casey as an agent a mile away. They have to send in someone who she’s never read as a spy. Gee, do you think this might be a job for Chuck?
Roan tries to teach Chuck everything he knows, but most of what he knows seems to involve martinis. Sarah gets peevish — Chuck doesn’t need to put on an act, he’s great as is! Roan goads Chuck into planting one hell of a kiss on Sarah, and she’s defensive about how weak-kneed it made her. She’s calmly encouraging when Chuck is screwing up his seduction technique in the bar, and Roan thinks it means she liiiiikes Chuck. She insists that Chuck is an asset, nothing more, and if she acts like she likes him, it’s just because she’s doing her job. Unfortunately, Chuck overhears this, which prompts him to put phase four of Roan’s seduction plan into effect — Be a Bastard. It seems to work. Sasha invites him up to her room.
But Sasha is not idiot — she’s seen the Montgomery technique before. Fortunately, Chuck is able divest Sasha of the cipher (she’s wearing it as a necklace), avoid her knife, lock himself out on the balcony, and fall/leap to safety. Unfortunately, Sasha’s goons take Sarah and Casey prisoner. Chuck asks Roan for help in rescuing them, but Roan refuses — he’s alive today because he know when to cut his losses and run.
Fortunately, Roan has a change of heart and helps Chuck lure Sasha and her goons to the Buy More, and fisticuffs ensue. Chuck takes the cipher and locks himself on the roof, out of harm’s way — but Sasha takes Sarah hostage and drags her out to the her car. Chuck has to heroically swing off the roof (using the "Under New Assistant Management" banner that Lester put up) and save the day.
So after that kiss, and that performance, and some coaching from Roan, Chuck is totally going to score with Sarah, right? Yeah, one problem — when he shows up at her door wearing a white dinner jacket, bearing a bottle of Chateau Margaux and a single red rose ("Known in several countries as ‘The Montgomery,’" Roan says), he’s greeted by Sarah … and Bryce. "Miss me?" Bryce asks. Yeah, but I have a feeling Chuck’s aim is improving.
Lester institutes a reign of terror at Buy More, but the Buy Morons are revolting. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). When Lester brings out the Wheel of Misfortune that doles out horrifying tasks, Morgan takes the first spin — and lands on "You’re fired!" Anna quits, and Jeff follows her, and other co-worker follows Jeff, until Les is there alone. He grovels to get the staff back, and Anna forces him to take his own spin of the wheel. Les gets diaper-station duty. Heh.
In other news, Ellie complains that Captain Awesome hasn’t taken her on a real date or done anything romantic in ages. Awesome pledges to put together and awesome evening, but things go awry when Morgan convinces Awesome that he knows Ellie best. (After all, he’s been stalking her for 19 years.) Morgan suggests Richard Marx, Klondike Bars and Sister Act, which doesn’t go over well. Awesome confesses the lack of awesomeness to Chuck, who decides to make the government pull its weight — he asks Beckman to have agents infiltrate the apartment for Operation: Romance. It works.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
- Les tries to institute some changes with the Buy Morons, insisting on being called Mr. Patel, or Boss, or (in deference to Morgan’s latino heritage) "El Jefe."
- When Lester’s bluster doesn’t work, he goes to Big Mike for advice. "Don’t you watch Animal Planet?" Big Mike asks. "Find the wounded gazelle and pounce!" That gazelle is obviously Morgan.
- That “Under New Assistant Manager” banner gets shredded and put back together. Now it reads “New Ass Man.” “I’m not new,” Big Mike grumbles when he sees it.
- Casey is bummed to find out they’ll be dealing with Roan — he was Casey’s instructor at Seduction School, and he failed Casey twice. By the end of the episode, they’ve bonded, and Roan confesses he kept failing Casey because Casey’s partner was too damn pretty to let graduate.
- Roan’s reputation is apparently deserved. He greets General Beckman with a silky "Hello, Diane!" The hard-as-nails general starts to simper.
- Roan’s first lesson for Chuck? "The proper way to drink a martini. Hold the stem, nod to mark, slowly tilt back. A moment to learn, a lifetime to perfect."
- Chuck, on Roan: "His liver must look like camouflage!"
- Roan despairs at Chuck’s seductions skills: "Perhaps I’ve moved too fast. Have you had intercourse before?"
- After Sasha rejects him and Sarah say he’s not a spy and she doesn’t like him like that, Chuck finally gets the inspiration to be bad. He confronts Sasha at the elevator: "Just before you drift off to sleep, you’ll have one final, terrifying thought… that you passed up an evening with the greatest lover you’ll ever know. …A man trained in the art of seduction. A man who has traveled the world sampling women of every culture and creed. So I will offer one final time — before boarding my jet and heading off for an undisclosed rendezvous, for which I am already late — can I buy you a club soda?"
- Sasha’s response? "No thank you. But you can take me up to my room and make mad passionate sex to me. "
- After Chuck makes it off the balcony, he scampers down the sidewalk, exulting at his escape. "He leaps from the balcony, lands with a flourish, and the Russian judge gives it a 9.4!"
- Again with the Huey Lewis! Do they have any idea how much time I spend watching old Huey Lewis videos on YouTube every time they include one of his songs? Have mercy, music supervisors!