One of the things about Chuck that has always impressed me and that I’ve always loved about it is it’s ability to so smoothly and expertly blend both laugh-out-loud comedic moments and sweet, touching, and/or heartbreaking dramatic moments into the same episode, without it feeling jarring.
Tonight’s episode, “Chuck vs. the Wedding Planner” was an outstanding example of this and was one of the most well-written, well-performed episodes of the season. I especially loved how they used more flashback scenes of Sarah’s childhood than “Chuck vs. the DeLorean” did; doing so added such a wonderfully poignant touch to the theme of how Sarah and Jack long for a more stable father/daughter relationship but know that they can’t have it. And the scene in the intro of little Sarah conning that lady out of $84 for a bogus cookie order (with “Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant playing in the background) was 24-karat pure comedy gold!
Speaking of comedy, I laughed out loud over and over again as the episode ramped up the process of Chuck and Sarah getting in way over their heads after tricking General Beckman into diverting CIA, NSA and military resources towards tracking down Daphne! I will agree with the assertion Alan Sepinwall made in his review that it would have been better if the show could have gone even bigger with Daphne’s capture than they did. One other scene from the primary story that I really liked was the scene with Jack and Devon. I wouldn’t have thought to put them in a one-on-one scene together, but for some reason it really clicked for me and made the episode feel that much more three-dimensional. And of course, I loved Sarah doing the Jersey accent when she was pretending to be Daphne in the reception scene, and her imitation of Chuck’s facial expressions while flashing was priceless!
I was also very pleased by the way that the secondary story of Casey finally meeting and reconciling with Kathleen was handled, although I frankly expected Kathleen’s anger to be a bit stronger. Having said that, I did like how they had the scene where she took him to task for running out on her and (as she believed) lying to Alex about being “some kind of hero,” and later had her see for herself that it was actually the truth. It was very sweet to see the beginnings of reconciliation between Casey and Kathleen; I just hope we have a chance to see it progress further.
Looking forward to the new episode in two weeks! Whatever happens regarding renewal, let’s have fun with these next three episodes! 🙂