It was a week late for its Valentine's Day theme, but "Chuck Versus the Masquarade" had enough going for that I was able to look past that.
This was the third straight quality standalone episode, but it also delivered the possibility of more involved arc: dealing with the daughter of Alexei Volkoff.
Vivian is the heir to the Volkoff empire, but what will that mean moving forward? Will she be the next big bad? Or will she actually assist Team Bartowski? Maybe this leads to a reunion between Daddy and Daughter Volkoff by the end of the season. I definitely won't complain about a return of Timothy Dalton.
It had long-term implications, but "Chuck Versus the Masquerade" also worked quite well on its own. Put on your lingerie with wings and then we can take a look at how the Chuck Triple Threat played out...Action
Not much this week. A couple of highlights were Chuck turning into his best Nastia Liukin impression on the uneven bars as he took out the men chasing Vivian, as well as Chuck driving the getaway car while Sarah stood up through the sun roof, shooting down bad guys left and right.
And when Sarah got knocked off her horse, we had Casey coming in to save the day. What I wondered after this scene is if this event would make Casey feel like he was a more important cog in the Team Bartowski wheel, or if he was important enough to lead his own team. It had become clear that Casey was simply doing a lot of busy work for Team Bartowski, which has led to him becoming the best TV bartender since Sam Malone.
So when the NCS agent asked him to come and head up his own team for her, I'm sure it made everyone a little nervous.
When Casey responded to her request with "I'm not leaving Burbank" and she retorted that he doesn't have to, I got plenty anxious that Casey may be exciting the group for a while.
Other than a minute or so, we were without Jeff, Lester and Big Mike once again. It was definitely okay, though, because every other cast member had his/her moment.
Let's start with the newest member of the group. Alex joining Morgan in the wacky, blind folded, sitting on the floor, rubbing chocolate on each other moment was unbelievably cute and hilarious.
I don't know how funny it was supposed to be, but because it was surprisingly the first time I had heard it out loud, Casey calling Chuck and Sarah "Charah" had me rolling on the floor. I never pictured him one for the mash-up couple nickname.
The new mommy and daddy were going a little crazy with baby Clara, but thankfully they found a song that put her to sleep. Watching Ellie and Awesome go even more insane because of said song, was in fact, awesome!
Chuck and Morgan had plenty of hysterical moments, as usual. Between all of the Valentine's Day set up and Morgan moving out, Zach Levi and Josh Gomez continued to prove to be a fantastic comedic team. My personal favorite from Morgan was when he asked Beckman if the party on the mission had a theme, and that he referred to her as G.B.!!! Can you give a General a nickname like that?
But it was Sarah that was once again surprisingly funny. It's happening with much more frequency these days, but every time Yvonne Strahovski makes me laugh, it is kind of a shock. I always think of her as the hot ass-kicking Sarah, but the lingerie with attached wings, and her awkward "hanging" with Morgan, were hilarious.
The heartfelt moments here were between our two favorite nerds. I'm a sucker for platonic friendships that seem like romantic relationships, so Morgan moving out of Chuck's apartment was pretty great. Them deciding whether or not to split up their Han Solo and Chewbacca collectibles was even better.
The continuous metaphor of those Star Wars dolls being like Chuck and Morgan made every one of those scenes perfect. But, unlike Han and Chewey, Chuck and Morgan aren't going to stay together forever. Morgan is moving out to become a man, and Chuck and Sarah are going to live together like a real engaged couple. It's a sad truth, but even Morgan Grimes has to grow up.
It is personal stories like this that sometimes get lost in the shuffle during stretches of long plot arcs, such as the Frost/Volkoff story we had earlier in the season. There was just so much going on in every one of those first 13 episodes that they didn't have time to go into something like Morgan moving out from Chuck's apartment shadow. Fortunately, that changed on this installment.
What did everyone else think? Are you sad to see Morgan leave the apartment? And what will happen with Volkoff's daughter, Vivian?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Chuck, Reviews