As we head into the last few episodes of Chuck Season 4, I am so happy to see that Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, and their fantastic cast and writing team have saved some of the best stories this show has told for last, and tonight’s episode, “Chuck vs. Agent X” was a perfect example of that!
The comedy of Chuck and Sarah’s bachelor and bachelorette parties was short, but it was perfectly executed, with Jeff, Lester and Big Mike’s frustration over not getting to go to Las Vegas (I loved Big Mike telling Lester not to explain his plan and that he was in) and Jeff’s cluelessness in the face of the danger he was in, and Sarah’s awkward moments with a toilet paper dress (she looked so weirded out in that POV shot) and the much discussed four-man lapdance from the “Snakes of Toluca Lake” (I loved the positively evil look on Sarah Lancaster’s face as the guys started stripping; “Is that a gun? No!”).
I loved the way that this episode dealt with the matter of Chuck and Ellie coming clean with each other about what they had been doing behind each others’ backs, with there being little to no anger or hurt feelings between them (I was a little nervous about that; glad that Ellie ended up not being mad that Chuck was still a spy, but was just mad that Chuck hadn’t told her). Also, Yvonne Strahovski usually gets the accolades for her skill at acting purely by way of her facial expressions (and rightly so), but I must give kudos to Sarah Lancaster for the excellent job she did in conveying Ellie’s awe and pride in her brother when he demonstrated his Intersect skills in Castle.
And of course, I was floored by the revelation that Agent X is none other than Alexei Volkoff himself! Or more accurately, he is Hartley Winterbottom, a scientist/spy who had the cover identity of Alexei Volkoff imposed upon his mind when he was made the first human Intersect in 1980. This situation actually kind of reminds me of an inverse version of the plot of the first Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t played it). We don’t know what purpose was served by the CIA doing this to Winterbottom, or what exactly went wrong to keep him from coming out of his cover, but now we know the role the “eraser” character we’ve been hearing rumors about will play: namely, to do exactly what Casey warned everyone about at the end before he put Winterbottom’s spy will in lockup in Castle.
To put it mildly, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out! Whatever happens regarding renewal, let’s have fun with these next two episodes! 😀