After watching a heartbreaking finale from Chuck vs The Break Up. We embark on two consecutive stand alone episodes. episodes that really don’t have anything to do with the overall story regarding the Intersect and Chuck’s journey, but what we do get is our first Sarah Walker episode. A surprising guest star that almost was just as good as Sarah Walker. Nicole Ritchie, who played Heather Chandler really stole the episode in my view. Her command of her character came to life and we also get an appearance from Ben Savage, who played her husband Mark Ratner.
The episode begins with a young Sarah Walker driving to her San Diego High School. Heather Chandler and Dick Duffy are making fun of Sarah. they hackle her about her dad being carted away, and it makes Sarah have bad memories from her days in San Diego. We fast forward to present time, and we find Sarah in the Buymore standing at the checkout counter purchasing some speakers. Chuck told Sarah she doesn
‘t need to come into the Buymore just to purchasing things to see him. They are planning for a cover date, but before they can agree Sarah spots Heather Chandler.
Heather immediately recognized her and the chase is on. Sarah pulled Chuck towards Casey and then down to Castle. She informed Chuck that there was a threat. Sarah told him to stay in castle and not to touch anything.
Chuck couldn’t resist, and started touching the computers in the room. While playing around he was able to find the security camera facing the door of Orange Orange. Heather Chandler walked in and right away we get the surprise of the season. “I know you,” I never forget a face. I was hooked right away and intrigued. “Your Jenny Burton” What is funny about this scene, Its all Zachary in this scene. For the first time, Chuck uses the cover to find out about Jenny.
As Heather finishes the word Burton, Chuck appears from the back room heading straight for the frozen yogurt machine. Chuck in very Bartowski fashion is there for Sarah, but this time Sarah doesn’t want his help. She utters the word “Don’t you want a to go lid.” It showed how much Sarah didn’t want Chuck involved in her past. However, Chuck continued prying. Heather and Mark asked Sarah if she was going to the reunion, and Sarah said no. Chuck than asked if the four of them wanted to have dinner, and just as he is finishing the question. Chuck flashes on Mark.
Mark Ratner, who was an engineer with high clearance with the military, was developing a next generation F-22 that would be a super bomber. It was determined that Mark was being pressured by the Russians to sell the developments to them. Thus, General Beckman told Charah to arrange a dinner date with the Ratners to do some recon. Find out how deep Ratner was with the Russians.
Sarah protested claiming her cover had been compromised. However, Beckman saw it differently. Sarah’s personal knowledge of the Ratner makes her of use for the mission. From the time Chuck arrived at the hotel thru the bathroom brawl was typical Chuck to this point. A mix of comedy and action with a sprinkle of drama between Charah.
Chuck arrived at Sarah’s hotel room, and Chuck was still having fun with this mission. He gets to find out who Sarah Walker was, but Sarah was not having any of it. She has a angry face on because she has to go through with this, and thrown in Chuck’s smug attitude, it was adding fuel to the fire. Sarah could not take it anymore.
Sarah: Back off, Chuck! You have as much information as is pertinent to this assignment!
Chuck: So “Jenni” with an “i” or would that be-[Sarah takes the pencil Chuck’s holding]
Sarah: All Jenny’s boyfriend needs to know is that Jenny hates questions about her past![Throws the pencil at a picture of Chuck and Sarah, embedding it in Chuck’s picture]
Sarah: You got that?
Chuck I’m good. Yeah, I’m good.
At the restaurant, the two couples are eating and conversing. Heather was taking jabs at her husband most of the night. She was also reminding Sarah of how bad it was for her during her High School days in San Diego. I would like to take a minute to discuss this scene. When it comes to question Sarah’s methods of handling Chuck. We can see in this scene the difference between the way a handler is supposed to be with her asset.
Heather was really not into her husband. It is no shock later to realize that Heather was paid by the Russians to make sure the deal between Ratner and the Russians went through. It is a far cry of how Sarah treated Chuck in this capacity. There have been times where Sarah had to buckle down Chuck, but it was with the purposes of protecting him. Heather was in it for one thing, accomplish the mission. She wouldn’t think twice in burning her husband.
Mark heads to the bathroom after being ordered by Heather to wash up. Mark was visibly shaken because the deal was supposed to go down during the dinner. When Mark finished washing up the Russians came barging in demanding the plans. Meanwhile, back at the table. Chuck continues prying into Sarah, but Sarah cuts him off at the bridge by throwing a glass of wine on his lap. Casey joins the party as the waiter much to the dismay of Sarah. Her team surrounding her, and her dad’s life was coming to light. Sarah snickered at Casey “Don’t you think you should check on Chuck.” Casey: “I’ll go if you promise not to flay her.” Sarah: “I won’t promise anything.”
A fancy display with the flay knife and Chandler realized it was time to back down. Smart girl, but here in this scene it was great to see the command of Nicole with her role. It was fun to watch as she flips from being a spy to being a wife. A natural talent that was surprising. We know her for her role with Paris Hilton, and how much she played an uneducated farm girl. Nicole really stole this episode from the regular cast.
Casey makes the save by arriving in the bathroom, and fends off the baddies. Mark came out from the bathroom stall. it was quite comical as Mark realized that Chuck was really an agent, and the exchange between the two was priceless and excellent comedy.
The episode shifts back to Castle. Casey and Chuck are interrogating Mark about his connections with the Russians, and it was determined that the deal was to go down at the class reunion. It was also quite funny how Casey and Chuck worked together to get Mark to agree with the terms. Chuck second alias came about. Charles Maddog Carmichael. Mark said he would go along with the plan only if Mad Dog was coming. The problem now of course was the get Sarah to go.
Sarah was taking her frustrations out on a punching bag, something that will be symbolic of Sarah. She would do this kind of thing over the course of the series. Its her release. Her drink at the bar if you will.
Chuck knocked at her door, and walked in with a present. It would be a dress for the reunion. Bartowski filled her in on the decision to use the reunion as a stakeout for the drop.
This scene was a great one for Sarah and Chuck, he is there for her and can see the mission was bothering her. It is two people confined in each other. Sarah letting her feelings show, and what a boyfriend would do to counter those frustrations.
These are the kind of scenes you enjoy as a viewer, atleast I do. What makes Charah so special is the journey through each phase of a relationship. Sure they can communicate, but great story telling gradually leads you into the conclusion which is Chuck vs The Other Guys. Here in this scene Chuck and Sarah are doing what a man and woman would do in this kind of situation. Agent Walker and Sarah Walker are taking a back seat in this episode. This is all Jenny Burton.
Back to the episode, Chuck and Sarah show up at the reunion, Sarah is as uncomfortable as possible. It is the reliving a terrible time in her life. Mission or not Sarah is not on her game for this one, and who could blame her. The boys of Team Bartowski were calm and collected.
Chuck saw the photo of what Sarah use to look like, and it was funny. “Wow, its not that bad” His reaction and comic timing made fans appreciate Zachary Levi, he is a natural and often makes it look like we are watching reality T.V. Throw in Sarah and the ability of Yvonne, its like watching a real life couple at play. The other thing that needs to be point out. how many actresses as beautiful as Yvonne would be willing to make herself look as ugly as possible. It is nice to see Yvonne doesn’t mind.
Sarah and Chuck settle at a table, while Dick Duffy approaches the table. He saw her from across the room and wanted to introduce himself to Sarah. However. Sarah was not thrilled with seeing him. Dick’s come ons drew the attention of Jenny’s boyfriend. Chuck introduces himself to Dick as being with Jenny, and Dick was quite impressed with the version of Jenny Burton standing in front of him. Dick went on to make a mockery of Sarah and her father when Chuck flashed on Dick’s tattoo. Chuck made the save by pulling Sarah away from the table and heading for some nachos. “Did you attend bad guy high.” Oh you don’t even know the start.
Chuck informed Sarah of his flash on Dick. Chuck also was under the impression the exchange for the super bomber plans were happening between Mark and Dick. Sarah said she would inform the DJ of the flash and the plan to take down Dick outside. In a very Dawson’s Creek memento Chuck watches Sarah walk towards him in the gym to the tune of Paula Cole’s I don’t want to wait., while Mark talked to Chuck about loving math and wanted to use that skill to make money. It sounds familiar doesn’t it Mr. Bartowski, Chuck loved computers and had a similar dream of being a computer engineer.
Mark said he couldn’t believe a beautiful woman like Heather wanted to marry him. Chuck’s reply was simple “Sometimes the nerd gets the girl.” If this was true Chuck, than why question Sarah’s loyalty towards you. Why feel that she was only with you because of the super computer in your head. While it may of met because of the Intersect, but Sarah stayed in your life because she wanted too. Unlike for Mark, Heather was using him as the way an asset is supposed to be used. As a spy, the job called for get the information or mission done out of the asset and then burn them. Its what Sarah was trained to do, except when it came to Chuck.
Meanwhile outside the school, Sarah approached Dick. He makes the mistake when he grabbed the forbidden fruit South of the border. After Sarah takes out Dick, Casey and Sarah look into Dick’s trunk to find out Dick was a two time loser nothing more. This meant the real people were inside still. Back Inside, Heather warns her henchmen that her husband was talking to some agent named Carmichael. She told them to kill both of them. What a loving wife right?
As Chuck looks around the gym, he spots one of the henchmen and flashes on him. Chuck warned Mark the thugs were here, but before Mark can escape the other goon grabbed him. Chuck runs for the stage and becomes the DJ. When Chuck spots Casey and Sarah, Chuck thinking fast announced the next song would be a flash back to 1998, a top charter, which made Sarah and Casey sweep the gym. Chuck found one of the goons and spotted him for Casey. Meanwhile, out of the corner of Sarah’s eye saw Heather ran for the hills. Sarah went after Heather.
The two henchmen grabbed Mark and placed him in a locker just as Casey came and took out the two thugs. Chuck would soon follow, and as Casey was talking. Mark can hear Mad Dog’s voice. He came out of the locker to be greeted by TB. Unbeknownst by Mark, Chuck asked Casey how do we tell Mark about his wife. Casey replied “Love is for Suckers” and completely oblivious of Casey’s remark. Asked Where is Sarah, Casey countered with “Sucker.”. Meanwhile, Sarah was tracking Heather, who was hiding in the gym locker room. Sarah initially was going to help Heather, but once Heather turned that down. It was on. A cat fight would commence. It was an awesome brawl between the two ladies. Heather held her own against her taller opponent.
The fight went into the showers, Sarah admits for the first time her love for Chuck. When Heather would question why would a woman like her fall for a nerd like Mark. Sarah responded with a “You would be surprised.” An admission of sorts. The battle would end soon after with Sarah taking out her rival. This however won’t be the last time the two would hook up. They will square off again later in the series.
Sarah heads back to the gym taking of her name sticker. it was as if this was more of a victory from her past. at the same time, She was being announced as reunion queen. A nice reward for her efforts in this one.
What would follow after the conclusion of the mission would be one of those special moments between Sarah and Chuck. It is a scene that best showcase how much they have progressed in their real relationship. Its a minor scene, but Chuck finally understood Sarah’s reluctantness to talk about her past. He saw what she went through and didn’t want to pursue it anymore.
Sarah: Okay, fine, I’ll answer one question about my past. You’ve earned that much.
Chuck: …No thanks…I don’t need to know more, not about who you were. ‘Cause as much as you don’t think so, I know who you are: a girl I’d like to share a cheeseburger with…Should I get a knife? I’ll get a knife.
Sarah: That won’t be necessary.[Sarah rolls up one of pants legs, pulls out a knife and gives it to Chuck]
Chuck: That’s awesome! And a little disturbing.
Its not a major accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, but it helps. Sometimes the smallest gesture of kindness has a warming effect. Especially what happened the week before. It almost seemed like they were back together right? The truth is they can break up 50 times, but they will still end up together. Its in their wiring or destiny that they would end up together. At this point, its not a matter of if, but only when would they take the proverbial leap of faith. Chemistry between Zachary and Yvonne makes even the simplistic of scenes into a romantic conclusion to a good episode.
I wanted to wait until now to mention the Buymore Story. It was not one of my favorites. In fact I will waste but two paragraph on the subject. Big Mike went on a fishing trip, and left Lester in charge. Lester came up with a plan to spike big ticket items by negotiating the prices. However, when seeing the numbers Lester quickly realized that the scheme didn’t work. Chuck of course gave them an idea to even the numbers by throwing a party in the buymore to account for the missing figures.
Lester charged a door fee to come to the party. Chuck’s idea helped and it managed to build a bond between Lester and Morgan. Morgan saved Lester’s butt by glueing the Marlin that was broken during the party. After this latest disaster for Lester, he decided to let Big Mike know that he didn’t want to be the assistant manager anymore. As I said, nothing really to brag about. In the next episode we get to meet a new Assistant Manager in the version of Emmett Milbarge portrayed by Tony Hale [Arrested Development]
The Birth of Sarah Walker
In Closing, before Sarah granted Chuck one question, Sarah thought about memory after seeing her dad arrested. She had ran to the woods. Sarah dug up some money that she had buried there. As she did, Langston Graham appeared. Sarah tossed a knife in his direction as a warning to Graham.
He listed all the places she been and all the names she had used in the past, but after checking her birth certificate. As he was about to say her real name, Sarah cuts him off.
He offers her a position in the CIA, and since she liked names so much. “How’s Sarah Walker sound.” and from that point on Jenny Burton no longer existed. It is important to understand here the significances of having one name and identity. While at times Langston seemed devious in his actions. He gave Sarah an identity that would stay with her for the rest of her life. Despite mission alias, she was known as Agent Walker.
Overall I liked the episode. It is one of those episodes that ranks high but would never crack the top ten. It was a nice trip down memory lane in who Sarah Walker was, but her other episodes are far better than this one. Don’t worry Chuckaholics there is another Sarah Centered episode in season 2, and we get to meet the eccentric Jack Burton. However, stay tuned for Tom Sawyer. The best stand alone episode of the series. Follow by Jill Roberts makes her presence felt.