I should have seen it coming.
I’m referring, of course, to the blatant Charlie’s Angels homage sequence that opened this episode, courtesy of Morgan’s exuberant imagination about the spy world. That sequence perfectly set the tone for a very fun, very enjoyable episode of Chuck this week in “Chuck vs. the C.A.T. Squad” (though I didn’t think it was quite as much fun as last week’s excellent “Chuck vs. the Seduction Impossible”).
I’ll get my one minor complaint out of the way first: As a lot of people have already said on Twitter and elsewhere, it was plainly obvious very early on that Amy was the traitor within the C.A.T. Squad. To be honest, though, I’m not sure how that could have been avoided given the choice of the “traitor in our midst” hook as the source of the tension between Sarah and Zondra. As Alan Sepinwall pointed out, Carina’s trustworthiness has already been established, and the intensity of Sarah’s suspicion towards Zondra made it clear that she would be too obvious a choice as the traitor. All in all, it didn’t really detract very much from the episode, and any other choice for a source of conflict between Sarah and Zondra–like the “what if” idea I had before the episode aired about Zondra having a history with Bryce before Sarah got together with him–could have made the episode’s emotional tone too heavy.
As far as what I really liked, apart from the funny moments like the C.A.T. Squad’s entrance by helicopter (Morgan asking if it was a “close encounter”), Sarah waking up hungover from the girls’ night out, and Morgan fending off Carina’s advances, the best thing for me about this episode was the additional opportunities it provided for character development (I know, I sound like a broken record about this :-)). It gave Casey the opportunity to continue to mull over his decision not to approach Kathleen, making me wonder if we’ve really seen his final decision on the matter (I hope not–the big guy deserves a chance at some happiness). It also showcased Morgan’s growth when he finally told Alex that he loved her, and without faltering in his speech when he did it. Finally, it allowed Sarah to take the first tentative steps toward coming to grips with her past, after some overly pushy but well-intentioned meddling from Chuck. I think it’s extremely fitting that Sarah decided to ask Ellie to be her maid of honor, since Ellie has become something of a surrogate sister for her. Furthermore, that decision highlighted how much Sarah has truly found a place for herself in Chuck’s family and circle of friends, and it makes me wonder if that isn’t going to be the ultimate resolution of Sarah’s family issues this season (perhaps resulting in, as some have suggested, a certain “gun-loving, Commie-hating” partner of Sarah’s being the one to walk her down the aisle).
To sum it up, while this wasn’t the strongest episode of Season 4 in my opinion, it was very entertaining, and moved the show’s story along quite well. See you next week, fellow Chuck fans! 😀