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We finally get some insight into why Chuck is so loyal to Morgan, despite his friend’s manifold foibles and flaws. It’s an incredibly sweet story, with the added bonus of explosions, knockout gas and close-quarters combat. Oh, Chuck, how you continue to rock!

It’s time for a mission — but this time, Morgan is calling the shots, because he  suspects that Anna is seeing another man As he’s done for time immemorial, Morgan decides to spy on her, with the help of Lester and Jeff. Chuck? He’s just there for moral support. Too bad he flashes on the new guy, and General Beckman orders him to use his social connection to get close. That means Chuck needs to befriend his best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. Awkward!

Jason, the boyfriend, runs a luxury car dealership and has secret Triad connections. Those connections get less secret when some Triad goons — led by “Smooth” Lau, a butt-kicking babe — show up and demand access to a particular Rolls Royce. Chuck makes a noise while he’s crawling away from planting a bug, but the thugs are distracted by the news that an intruder has been caught in the parking lot. That would be Morgan, who continues to spy on Anna. To save Morgan from being murdered, Chuck humiliates him — Morgan’s no spy, he’s a stalker! “He’s an obsessed but totally unthreatening sicko,” Chuck says. The Triad thugs snigger, and Anna is aghast. Then Chuck twists the knife: “Grow up, Morgan Grimes.” Ouch.

Chuck knows he saved Morgan’s life, but he’s horrified that he sacrificed his friendship. Sarah doesn’t see what the  big deal is, and Chuck lays it out for her: Morgan was there when Chuck’s mom left, he was there when things got weird with his dad, and he’s been there ever since. “Morgan is more than just my best friend. He’s my family. Before you got here, and long after you’re gone, Morgan is my family.” Sarah remains unimpressed.

When the Triad thugs find the bug, they decide Morgan isn’t so harmless after all, and they come looking for him. Morgan wants to own up to his mistakes and fight his own battles, but Chuck can’t let him this time — he hits him with minty-fresh knockout gas and tries to smuggle him out of the store. Anna waylays him to show off her boyfriend on TV, which gives Chuck another flash– the Triad is going to kill the Chinese ambassador! Unfortunately, the thugs found snoring Morgan and whisked him away. Time for a rescue mission!

This leads to the action portion of the evening: Sarah take on Smooth Lau in VERY close-quarters combat — they beat the crap out of each other in a mid-size sedan — while Chick takes off after the Rolls, which is carrying both a bomb and Morgan. Casey comes along for the ride, hanging off the roof of the Nerd Herder until he promises to help Chuck rescue Morgan. He actually does, in a way — he shows Chuck that the Herder has a remote driving device, which is how Chuck can snag the bomb, throw it in the car, and drive it far enough away that no one is hurt. Back at the store, Chuck and Morgan bond again, Morgan and Anna make up, and Sarah admits that she was dismissive of Chuck’s pain upon falling out with Morgan because “I don’t really have anyone in my life like that who cares about me.” “Yeah, you do,” Chuck says. Awwwwww…

The Buy Morons and The Awesomes

Ellie is freaked about all the wedding planning, so she asks Awesome to help out. He immediately foists the band-booking task on Chuck, who makes the mistake of mentioning it in front of Lester and Jeff. Dude, we are a band! Jeffster! Chuck says absolutely not, but Jeff is not deterred. When Ellie calls with a computer crisis, he and Lester go over to audition — and Lester freaks out. Later, Jeff goes back to Awesome to ask for another chance — not for him, but for Lester. Awesome agrees to listen, which leads to the utterly fabulous karaoke-type version of Toto’s “Africa.” No, of course they won’t be playing the wedding, but at least Jeffster had a moment of slightly off-key glory.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Morgan was still wearing an Alf shirt in 1992. No wonder he got the crap kicked out of him… (Well, that and the spying-on-girls thing).
  • Jeff talks about his spycraft prowess: “Does it shock you that 80 percent of my encounters with women have been completely without their knowledge?” “Honestly, I’m more surprised by the other 20 percent,” Chuck says.
  • We were introduced to the minty-fresh knockout mist (which takes seconds to work), along with white-phosphorus grenades disguised as tennis balls. I’m looking forward to seeing them making an appearance…
  • Ah, the GLG-20 — is that the same Spies Like Us shout-out as before?
  • Jeff pumps up Lester for the Ellie/Awesome audition by quoting Eminem’s Lose Yourself. It works, until they get to the house, and Lester freaks out. He flashes forward to the end of the band, after their inevitable success, when “some chambermaid finds me in a hotel room having accidentally asphyxiated while making love to  myself.”
  • Chuck tries to stop Morgan from confronting the Triad thugs: ‘You can’t go out there with your breath stinking like garbage!” “Are you kidding me?” Morgan says. “Way to kick a man when he’s about to be beat down. I’m short and I occasionally have dandruff in my beard, you want to riff on me for that, too?” Wait, beard dandruff? Does that even exist?
  • Casey didn’t have many lines, but his face spoke volumes. I loved seeing him slewing around on top of the Nerd  Herder, and then casually taking over he car when Chuck finally let him in. But my favorite Casey moment was him deploying earplugs to drown out Jeffster — and realizing that no amount of ear-pluggery would help.
  • Chuck and Sarah end the episode holding hands and listening to Toto. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Posted by:Sarah Jersild