CHUCK vs. The Sensai - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK vs. The Sensai

December 2, 2008 by  

Oooohhhh … you guys … a CASEY episode! I bet you were worried there would be no recap because my head exploded from awesomeness, and while that very nearly did happen, I live to see another day! Oh, and I’m just going to tell on myself and say that first thing in the episode, when Casey chased down and tackled the white ninja and stabbed him with a pen and ripped off his mask and said, “Sensei?” I got totally excited to make a pun and yelled, “PENsei!” I was SO pleased with myself.

Second confession? Even though this was a Casey-centric episode, it wasn’t my absolute favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it, but the overall story wasn’t as exciting to me as all the little moments. So let’s explore those, shall we?

Casey’s hair in 1994 … wow. Kudos to them on the hair/gootee combo—Casey really could have just walked in from weightlifting while rocking out to Nirvana. Wait, what?

I am loving the Casey and Chuck bromance. Casey’s threats are sounding more violent AND more empty as Chuck ramps up his little brother-style torment of Casey. Also, did anyone else catch Chuck making a Casey face during that early scene in the Orange Orange lair? Chuck is so right—Casey DOES care about them, and he does love Chuck, and that obviously makes him really mad, because, as we know, Casey doesn’t have a calm center, he has an angry center. And the camera work on Chuck’s face during that speech was priceless.

Chuck making a gummi worm chain to retrieve his phone was too funny, although I’m not sure why he called Ellie and not Sarah. And Sarah guessing exactly how Casey’s plot went down (sharing feelings, tricking Chuck into coming over, using him to access the system, and then handcuffing him to the bar) does lend itself to a joke about the predictability of the plot, but I’m so not going there because I enjoyed the execution so much. Casey dragging Chuck around and forcing his thumbprint down and “needing that eyeball” were really funny, and so was hearing him call Chuck “buddy”. And really, when it all came down to it, it was nice to see that Chuck knows Casey well enough to know how to push the necessary buttons to get him motivated.

I’ve heard that Casey’s sensei was from Alias, but I’ve never seen that show. I know, right? A show that Dwight Schrute loves and I’m not all over it? WTF? So I didn’t have the Alias love, but I still thought he was awesome and that little exchange with Morgan at the Buy More was creepy and priceless. And Morgan’s excitement when he left about the can crushing and imagining what he could do to a man’s head while Chuck probably pictured the same thing, only in graphic, real detail, was a hilarious juxtaposition.

And speaking of the Buy More … okay, I loved the Employee of the Month thing, and it was deliciously evil of Emmett to give away a one-time only prize of a huge flat screen JUST to spite Morgan, Jeff, and Lester, and I LOVED Emmett giving customer service tips to Casey, but it just has to be said … WHERE IS ANNA WU? If she’s not off at spy basic training, then someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do, because we all miss her so much! I’m fanwanking that it’s just her day off, but the wank wears thin, you know?

Jeff almost jumped the shark for me this week … shock! gasp! no! … with the whole yelling about kissing someone’s ass for a lousy four stars, but they TOTALLY brought it back for me with him smiling and cheerily adding that he thinks he’s really getting the hang of this customer service thing. And people yelling when they aren’t really mad is always kind of funny for me. And Lester saying everyone could just service themselves but not in a gross way, and “don’t get any ideas, Jeffrey,” was so funny. Jeff and Lester are the best pairing ever.

And finally … The Awesomes. I have to say, I loved what they did with Captain Awesome’s parents. They were so perfectly cast, but they weren’t obnoxious at all, and you can totally see where Devin comes from. They were just really enthusiastic and wanted to help, and wanted to be involved for Ellie because her parents aren’t in the picture, and it was all really sweet even if they were overbearing. And I thought Ellie and Awesome just destroyed it during that cake tasting scene where Woody (hee!) offered to walk Ellie down the aisle, and Awesome could tell a breakdown was coming but he couldn’t stop it, and he looked so worried for Ellie, and she just lost it. I swear, I don’t know the last time I saw such a realistic breakdown on TV. I’m sure I must have, but she was so great I don’t remember any of them. Just when she said she couldn’t say yes anymore and she apologized to everyone and cried … I loved Ellie so much more in that moment than I have at any point so far, mostly because so much was said about her with so few words. And then it would have been so easy to start hating the Awesome Parents, but they just sat there and tried to be nice to Sarah and then Honey suggested they take a walk to give the kids their space, and it was such a relief, because Awesome has wonderful parents and you’re not sad for Ellie getting “stuck with” them, and it was just so perfect, but in a realistic way.

So, another good episode that managed to juggle a lot of stories in a pretty good, balanced way. I always feel like they pack so much into each episode, but it always seems to go so fast (because as you know, time flies when you’re having fun). What did you think? Were the Awesomes everything you expected and more? Did you want to crush Emmett’s skull like a soda can? And most importantly, what did you think of Casey harnessing his angry center (and other acts of hotness)?

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.

Filed under Chuck


14 Responses to “CHUCK vs. The Sensai”

  1. littlebit on December 2nd, 2008 5:28 pm

    liked, but not loved this one, but i still watched it twice. random thoughts:
    chuck trying to “use the force” with the handcuffs.
    chuck mac guyver’d the handcuffs.
    casey’s peanutbutter and chocolate comments to sarah.

    btw – casey is getting quite the awesome wig collection to wear. i did chuckle quite a bit during the flashbacks.

    with all chuck’s secret spy stuff, surely dad can be located? who should play the dad on the show? why didn’t ellie just ask chuck to walk her down the aisle?

    oooh! promos show gary cole as sarah’s dad next week. should be a good one. 6 more days to go.

  2. Stapler on December 2nd, 2008 5:40 pm

    What’s the story with Chuck and Ellie’s parents? I thought they were dead, but are they just estranged?

    I loved when Casey said a quiet, sheepish “Thank you” to Chuck at the end and Chuck turns back saying something like “You said something!” Cuteness…

  3. Give Me My Remote on December 2nd, 2008 5:51 pm

    I too thought Chuck’s parents were dead. I must not have been paying attention to earlier episodes when they were mentioned.

    I had a hard time paying attention last night. The ep didn’t grab me the way most do. As I’m such a fan of Carl Lumbly I expected to really like this one. I thought the Buy More stuff was funny, but the mission stuff felt a bit flat.

    SB is going to KILL me for saying this, but I think they really need to start branching out Casey a bit more. I enjoy him immensely but he’s starting to feel a little one note to me. I know last night’s ep was all about seeing a more vulnerable side to him, but I didn’t think they took it far enough. At times Casey walks a fine line and risks being cartoonish with all his grumblings. Maybe he just needs a lady (and no, not a one that is a CIA gent or Fulcrum).

  4. SB on December 2nd, 2008 6:01 pm

    Oh, Kath, I wouldn’t kill you for that. Maybe if you tried to tell me Casey’s not hot … I would definitely at least have to consider it. But I agree … it was funny to see him being fake open with his feelings, but it left me feeling a little empty because I knew it wasn’t real. My hope is that him giving a beatdown to his old sensei by accessing his emotions (albeit basically anger only, even if it was acknowledgment of truth in Chuck’s statements) that they’re opening the door for him to let it out more in future episodes.

    I feel like I like Casey more when he’s SofterCasey, but still kind of an ass. That’s when the assitude feels more like a front and less like who he is, and that’s why I think we all loved the tiny “thank you.” I’m trying to have faith in the writers that they see this as well and want to develop Casey more the way they’ve developed some of the others.

    So yeah, I’m with all of you that this episode was a little flat, but I just chalked it up to it being a little unbalanced–not much Chuck, maybe a little too much Casey, and by the way … is the general annoying anyone else lately?

    And oh yeah … I have no idea about the parents either. It escapes me right now.

  5. Jen (HIMYM) on December 2nd, 2008 7:55 pm

    There definitely is something up with Ellie and Chuck’s parents. Can someone remind me the tradition on Mother’s Day? I know we learned a little bit of information regarding their family.

  6. mass on December 2nd, 2008 9:04 pm

    Didn’t the Mom run off and the dad couldn’t deal?
    re: Mother’s Day
    Loved the Buymorians in this episode …thought the rest was too rushed
    still liked the way Casey got chuck to “rescue ” him for the castle

  7. Lisa (aka lmr) on December 3rd, 2008 7:12 am

    Was thinking of you, SB, knowing how happy you’d be for a Casey-centric ep. I liked it a lot and have always had a crush on bruce B. so loved the awesomes.

  8. Kimber on December 3rd, 2008 8:03 am

    Ooh … pretty good episode. My favourite part? When Creepy Alias Sensai Guy walked into the Buy More, and Chuck tried calling Casey’s phone. Was it just me … or does Casey actually *growl* on his machine?? Too funny, either way.

    Loved the bit with the Awesomes, Ellie growing some balls and speaking up to them (they would have made me NUTS with all their “suggestions” and the wedding book, and everything else), and the Buymorian storyline. Jeff will never jump the shark for me … he’s just too awesome. And you are so right … the pairing of Jeff and Lester is priceless and amazing, and will never cease being amazing.

    As for the “Mr./Mrs. Bartowski” thing … hmm. I do recall the “Mother’s Day” episode of last season, and I got the impression that Dad was still out there, but he left. I had figured Mom died/ran away, and Dad couldn’t deal, so he was “emotionally absent” and perhaps eventually left them to fend for themselves, hence “Mother’s Day” on not really Mother’s Day. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, though.

  9. SB on December 3rd, 2008 9:26 am

    Lisa, thank you for thinking of me! I feel so special! I have to say, though, I don’t know Bruce B.–what else was he in?

    And Kimber, I was really glad that Jeff didn’t jump the shark for me. I think the fact that it was so close but they pulled it back in made it a little funnier and more exciting for me–it’s like bungee jumping. You’re hurling toward your death but then you get yanked up at the last possible second.

  10. SB on December 3rd, 2008 9:26 am

    Lisa, thank you for thinking of me! I feel so special! I have to say, though, I don’t know Bruce B.–what else was he in?

    And Kimber, I was really glad that Jeff didn’t jump the shark for me. I think the fact that it was so close but they pulled it back in made it a little funnier and more exciting for me–it’s like bungee jumping. You’re hurling toward your death but then you get yanked up at the last possible second–all part of the thrill.

  11. SB on December 3rd, 2008 9:27 am

    Oh, crap.

  12. Bryan on December 3rd, 2008 10:27 am

    SB… love ya, miss ya!

    I know the excitement that you were having. A total Casey episode… what could be better? (well, a Bryce episode, but I won’t digress)

    I totally loved the camera work with Chuck trying to bring out “The Casey” during the fight.

    And I liked that we got to know another cast members name from the Buy More, Skip Johnson (i.e. the readheaded Qtip). Not all of them are just random faces in the background now. (I am worried that Anna wasn’t there, I too love her character in the show)

    Oh, and Bruce Boxlightner…. Scarecrow and Mrs. King (you are waaaaaayyy too young to remember that, but it was a very similar story line as Chuck, actually. Scarecrow was the undercover agent (Boxlightner) and Mrs. King (Kate Jackson) was a housewife that was being used as an agent.)

    Hope you are doing well in Chi-town.


  13. Kimber on December 3rd, 2008 11:40 am

    OMG Anna! How did I not comment on that? Throughout the episode I kept thinking, “this is awesome … but where’s Anna at??” I know people must have days off, but still … an Anna-less episode is that much less cool than one with her in it. I noticed she was up on the “Employee Board”, so she’s still around. But where???

  14. Erik on December 3rd, 2008 3:52 pm

    I just noticed this Anna-related note in this week’s Ausiello Files:

    Question: As an avid Chuck fan, I have to ask: Where the heck is Anna? We haven’t seen her in weeks, and there was only a passing mention that she was at her parents’ for Thanksgiving. Is Julia Ling okay? The Buy More plots aren’t the same without her. — Katie

    Ausiello: Fear not, Ling remains a part of the cast, albeit not as big a part as, say, Zach Levi. Like many of Chuck’s supporting players, her contract isn’t for all shows produced (or ASP). The good news: She’s back in a huge way next week.