Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the base, Shaw acts like a grinch, and punches Sarah’s face. …I was never good at poetry, but you get the gist. An old villain has returned to Chuck with presents galore, revealing plans, (most likely) completing story arcs, and ruining holiday celebrations for young and old. There’s nothing like the holiday spirit to bring about another great episode from our favorite spy team.
The Master Plan
After weeks of wondering who was behind some grand master plan that involved Chuck somehow, it turns out that he isn’t actually the target. Instead, it was Sarah all along, and Shaw is the one behind the pawns. That’s right, Brandon Routh is back to further remove himself from the good guy Superman persona that I still choose to remember him with (I will refrain from swooning for the duration of the time I spend writing this) as he continues seeking vengeance for the death of his wife, or murder if you choose to see it as he does.
After snapping the necks of two guards, Shaw escapes from prison to further spread his lack of holiday cheer to the female half of our favorite spy couple. The loose security of Castle/Carmichael Industries’ headquarters is a little frightening considering Shaw still has clearance to access the base, but hey, he had to get to Sarah somehow. After some bad guy exposition and a brief hiccup when Sarah escapes her hanging position (like she could really sneak around echoing halls in heels), he doesn’t actually spend too much time torturing her as I expected him to considering she kept passing out from being frozen alive, which points out that he probably wasn’t completely thinking this through. Let’s face it, there is no way she is going to stay awake long enough to watch Shaw kill Chuck. Oh look! She’s unconscious again. Come on evil mastermind, you gotta think these things out!
Apparently another part of his master plan was taking over the CIA, or something like that; he glazed over that reveal of his master plan. I’m just glad someone finally spelled it out in layman’s terms for me as to why The Omen virus was in play because all I could think of was a Live Free or Die Hard type situation. But no, it was to simply upgrade his basic operating system by collecting Intel from government computers.
Spending Time With Family On Christmas
Shaw could have easily killed Chuck with the Intersect 2.0 nestled tightly in his brain, but why stop at 2.0 when you can go for Intersect 3.0 (first possible reference to Routh’s character in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)? This greed is eventually the means to his downfall as Chuck uses his nerd skills to set up the Omen virus to infiltrate Shaw’s computer brain when he puts on the sunglasses. So what have we learned from this? Greed is bad on Christmas Eve, and sunglasses inside are idiotic.
But the best thing that came out of this level playing field is not that Chuck is able to hold his own against Shaw, but that it allows Ellie to save the day. It could just be me, but this a highlight moment of the season so far. Maybe I am just full of holiday cheer for the upcoming weekend, but it felt like some justice was finally served because it was the two of them that took their father’s murderer down, and not Sarah or Casey who saves the day. Plus, this makes up for there not being a happy family Thanksgiving episode, as well as for the decently ruined Christmas.
As hard as Carmichael Industries tried to get off the ground as a private security company, it is about time to come home. Clearly Beckman really missed the team if she was willing to sink to sexual means of seducing Chuck back. Sure, it was part of the cover. We believe you, Beckman… As much as I joke, it is about time that the team gets their CIA connections back because they were already pretty much using Beckman for everything mission recently.
This did seem like a throw away subplot considering the main meat of the episode was back at the base between Shaw and Sarah, but it did add some much needed comedic relief to a downer of a story. Sarah being tortured with threats of watching her husband be murdered was one thing, but listening to Casey leave Alex an “in case I die” message in her teddy bear Christmas present was enough to cause a severe case of the sniffles. So I will gladly take all the awkward CIA workers with weird Santa fetishes, smooching between Chuck and Beckman, and a fantastic cameo by a god of the comic nerds, Stan Lee.
With the spirit of the holidays upon the team, there is more than one Christmas miracle coming out of this episode. The plot against Chuck is done, the team is back with the CIA, Casey stood up for Morgan while talking to Alex, etc. So what did you guys think? Glad to have the plot against Chuck/Sarah revealed? Happy or disappointed that Shaw was behind it all along? Anyone else forget that Shaw had an Intersect? Does Santa really kill the naughty children of Germany on Christmas Eve? Other than the #3 in the phone booth and the Intersect 3.0, see any other Scott Pilgrim references connected to Routh? And most importantly, what is up with that baby and why was it not in Chuck’s Intersect!? You have been holding out on us, Sarah!