The fourth episode of season three was the start of Sarah softening from the blow of Prague. What I mean is she was not as edgy as she was the first three episodes. Maybe because she was watching Chuck wallow at the thought of his brother-in-law being mixed up in CIA business and Bartowski blames himself.
Is this foreshadowing to the future, who knows, but the truth is Chuck vs Operation Awesome is a very underrated episode. It reveals who the man at Beckman’s desk was. The man who many fans hate, but for this author, Daniel Shaw came into the story at the right time.
We also get a nice moment between Chuck and Sarah for the first time in this season. So, Let’s begin Operation Awesome where Angel De La Muerte ended.
At the end of De La Muerte, Devon went to see his last patient, the patient turned out to be The Ring agent hired to kill the premier. He lured Devon so he Hostage.
It forced Sarah to come to Chuck’s pad to let him know the development. Both Chuck and Sarah are visibly disturbed by this, and when Ellie asked did they see her husband, they just looked at each other.
When Operation Awesome starts, Devon was seen gagged and sitting on a chair up on a roof of a high riser. The baddie of the episode who by the way is a very sexy woman in her own right. Angie Harmon, best known for her role on Law and Order was still hot.
Angie Harmon played Sidney, a Ring leader known for recruiting CIA and NSA agents to join the rogue organization. If they didn’t join chances were they were dead. One more thing about the Sidney, she broke the whipping stick in this episode more on that when it comes.
Sidney threatens Devon if he didn’t cooperate, she would send the good doctor down to the curb, and not by the stairs or elevator. Sidney was going to chuck him off the roof down to the pavement. It scared the bejesus out of Devon.
Devon told Sidney she had the wrong man, but she didn’t buy into it. She said she knew exactly who he was, and the fact he was one of the CIA’s top agents. She asked him any bumps, bruises after all she needed Devon in tip-top shape for the mission she was going to use him for.
Back at Castle, Chuck was pacing back and forth whiny about the whereabouts of Devon. He was annoying enough for both Casey and Sarah to advised him the best thing for him was to go to work and calm down. However, Chuck was not listening. He told them if they really want him to calm down then don’t say to calm down because it doesn’t work.
He looked at the monitor and saw Ellie on the cell phone calling Devon, and if he didn’t call for him, she would call Chuck as well.
He continues his tirade and relaxes and heads back to work, but that’s not any easier because an irate customer and Jeffster’s question we get one of the funniest scenes from Chuck.
After sending Lester into the third aisle, Sarah said its time to get Chuck out of the store. She told him they know who took Devon, and it was the Ring. Chuck freaked out even more with this development. Yes Chuck, the same faction that took out Bryce.
While Chuck had his back to the door, Sarah can see Devon coming into the store. While Chuck was relieved, Devon looked like a ghost.
Now the first half of this episode was annoying because I am not a big fan of this side of Chuck. I understand his brother-in-law was kidnaped, but please as Aaron Rodgers said “R E L A X” He would relax as soon he saw Devon and give his brother-in-law a big hug
Devon would let them know Sidney and the Ring think he is Chuck. It was an interesting story plot in confusing Devon with Chuck, but as Casey said in the briefing. One looks like a spy the other looks like well like Chuck.
In Castle, Beckman and the team were trying to explain to Chuck the only way to protect Devon would be to use him. Chuck was not down with this. He wanted to get Awesome back to Ellie, but the team and Beckman were not hearing it.
This is where I begin my analysis of the episode. After three years on the job, Chuck still doesn’t understand the chain of command. He puts Sarah in tough spots because if he doesn’t get his way, he immediately turns to Sarah like she can say or do something. Casey, who is a colonel had to answer to Beckman. Sarah with no rank like Casey has to fall inline as well.
It often reminds me of that scene in a Few Good Men, when Demi Moore keeps jabbing with the judge about a ruling, she argue enough to make the judge remind her of the rules of the court. Same concept. Chuck made his protest now move on Bartowski.
The other issue is I have read in other sites that Sarah became submissive in this episode to her superiors again, and grant it she seems that way, but for argument sake, Devon was being hunted by the Ring. We know Chuck’s friends and family mean more to him then his own life, but they were right.
They had to use Devon in order to protect him. Chuck should’ve known this already. He did it himself when using Jill to flush out The Uncle with Jill. The circumstances were different, but he still had to use Jill in that capacity. Again, Chuck acting like spoiled little school girl. No don’t use my brother-in-law. SMH as I write this.
Chuck stood up and said Devon’s days as a spy were over. he was going to take Devon back home, but Sarah told him the only way we can protect Devon is to use him. Devon turned to Chuck and asked him, if he can get him through it, he would do it.” Chuck looked at Chuck and back at Sarah. What choice did you have Chuck?
It can be frustrating to hear each time Bartowski doesn’t get his way and tries to get his partners to go against the general. I often yell at the television. This is the weight of the land Chuck. Your boss is giving you a direct order. He also makes Sarah look like she doesn’t care as a result. It’s really selfish Chuck at work here.
This won’t be the only time in this episode Chuck was not respectful towards instruction. I will go in more detail on it when that part of the episode comes up.
Before we move forward with the episode, Morgan and Big Mike were talking in his office earlier in the episode. Big Mike praised Morgan for the change in his demeanor and the spunk in his walk. He said it looked like Morgan wanted to run with the big dogs.
As a result, Mike offered Grimes the assistant manager position, which Morgan would accept. I was really proud of Morgan to finally take the leap of faith on himself. I always felt Morgan was the one who made the biggest change from season one until now. He was no longer the slacker, lackey and most important Chuck’s shadow.
So, when Chuck saw him in the assistant manger’s vest Chuck was happy for his little buddy. I was too.
Back to the main story,
Chuck brought Awesome home, and instantly Ellie came out of the apartment. She was a worried wife, and rightfully so. She had not heard from Awesome in a day, and the scene would turn out to be the second funniest scene of the episode.
Ellie makes some of the funniest expressions follow by Chuck behind her as Devon goes off reservation with the lie, and started talking about the bear. Another classic Chuck moment.
Devon’s failed attempt at deceiving made Chuck move in for the kill. Chuck used a lie framing Casey getting drunk. Devon was down at the station all night trying to get Casey off on drunken and disorderly charges. Ellie believed them, and when Casey came out of his apartment she gave him a look of disgust. Casey would ask what happened? Chuck would just say nothing.
Devon told the team Sidney would call. While the team waited for an update. Chuck was asking what do they do if she does call. Chuck didn’t have to wait long. Sidney called and left a package on his doorstep. Inside the package was an earwig, Ring Phone and watch.
Then the call happens, Sidney gave Devon his mission, he was to go to this building below, and wait for further instructions. The team assured him that was normal procedure. Sidney told Devon to put the earwig in, and she turned it on from her phone.
Sidney would throw a curveball by saying if he deviated from the plan in away she would activate the device in his ear. Team Bartowski looked at each other with agreement. This was not standard at all.
The team arrives at the building, and gave instruction to Devon about the two watches on his wrists one for the bad guys and the other for them. It was very clever plan to not confuse Devon.
At the beginning of this article, I talked about how I thought Chuck’s antics in the beginning were annoying at times, this part of the episode is the Chuck I prefer. He is in command and takes action.
Sidney contacts Devon, who was waiting outside the building. She told him to get to the penthouse. Security is tight, but she sounded confident in Devon’s abilities. Further, she would contact him again once up there.
It was decision time for Chuck, he decided he would lead his brother-in-law up to the penthouse himself. In this scene, we get the song of the episode, Spoon’s Got Nuffin played.
On their way up, Chuck told Devon getting worked up for these things doesn’t help since most of the time it was all for nothing. They get off the elevator, and waiting were guards. Chuck takes them out with tranq darts.
Sidney contacts Devon again, she told him more details of the mission. She told him to cut out an eyeball of one of the guards to clear the security pad, and he would find a man in the room. Kill him. Devon freaked out, he said he couldn’t kill someone or cut their eye out. he took an oath.
Meanwhile, Chuck walked into an area where there was a rug, and it said Central Intelligence Agency on it. Chuck immediately contacted Sarah. They also finished tracing the ring cell and it was determined Sidney was right outside the van. Before Casey and Sarah could grab her. Beckman came on the screen and told them to stand down. She used a cool technique to lock the van to neutralize Casey and Sarah. They informed Beckman this could be some kind of set up, and Beckman agreed that it was.
Chuck once again assured Devon nothing like that was going to happen. Chuck took the lead again, and eventually walked down the hall and came to a room with man hunched over a computer.
Now the reason I love Shaw so much was right from the start. He read the file. He knows Chuck doesn’t like to use guns, but that doesn’t matter. He was going to try to push Chuck to do it, but once Chuck couldn’t pull the trigger. He grabbed the gun out of Chuck’s hand, and shot himself.
Shaw was willing to shoot himself to get a mission down. He didn’t second guess like Chuck likes to do. He just pulled the trigger and had confidence enough that Bartowski and Awesome would follow through. Sidney came into the room and was satisfied with Devon’s work and was gone.
The government purposely used Devon to resuscitate Shaw. It made The Ring think he was dead. He knew they were gunning for him, and the plan worked to perfection. However, with success soon there would be further need for Devon in Shaw’s plans.
Back at Castle, Shaw was introduced to the team by Beckman. She told them he was a special agent, and been working on taking down the Ring for five years, and now I will give my first analysis on Shaw.
Daniel has been used to working on this case by himself. This is not a regular case for Shaw.It’s personal for him, and Beckman begged him to come to Burbank and assist them with this powerful group causing a lot of problems for them. I mean Casey didn’t even know their was a Ring Operative amongst his crew.
Shaw came to Burbank and right off the bat his order was second guessed by Chuck. He was also needed to get use to this new team he would be working with. So, on the outset it seems Shaw is smug, but I see a man who doesn’t want to be in Burbank he wants to be out their catching his wife’s killer. Furthermore, he said he read everyone’s file, which would be hard to fathom Chuck’s disdain for using guns was in there.
Who can blame Shaw. Revenge was on his mind, and he used the team to achieve that revenge. This man was driven and you can see in his face bitterness from the event. It almost seemed like he was doing this as a favor for Beckman.
Shaw is also a by the book agent. We know what by the book agents are like. Agent Forrest was a by the book agent. Ruthless. follow protocol agents with no room for discussion. It didn’t help the team made sly remarks about his age and his antics. The team didn’t warm up to him at all.
So, when Beckman finished introducing him, and let him take over. The team was at edge knowing Shaw knew about the Intersect.
One of my angst to grind with Chuck was his inability to respect ranks. Immediately he is talking to Shaw like his rank doesn’t matter. Shaw is a special agent, and we will find out that means Shaw has some free reign. The colonel has to take orders from him basically.
I also can see it from Team Bartowski’s position. Beckman didn’t give them notice about this guy coming to Burbank, but the truth is she didn’t need too. She is the general, which means get over team. Instead of making the best of this abrupt turn of events, they act very cold at Shaw. It’s not Shaw’s fault he is there. It was Beckman’s decision.
Shaw would tell Chuck in order to protect Devon’s identity would be to continue using him. He asked Sarah’s assistance, but once again Sarah sided with the agency. She told the truth based on protocol, and it made sense to a degree. Sidney would soon as kill Devon if she didn’t think Devon turned. He was the perfect mole for them to infiltrate a Ring network. However, Bartowski stood his ground and demanded they didn’t use Devon anymore.
Shaw gave Chuck one chance to come up with a plan. While Shaw asked this. Chuck was looking at the schematics of the Ring Phone. Chuck’s technical skills were in play here. He should have suggested what he could do, but Chuck went stray again.
The lack of trust in his team reared its ugly head again, but here I understand the dissention.
The other reason I liked Shaw willingness to give Chuck a chance to prove himself, but once again, Sarah and Casey didn’t use Chuck’s strengths, which was Chuck’s ability to possibly crack the Ring phone, which he does. Chuck made a bold decision to ask Devon for the phone Sidney gave him.
Chuck would go to the Buymore, and while talking with Morgan, and the line of the episode was said here. It made me smile because it showed me this Chuck was not the same Chuck from the first two seasons anymore. He was not going to hide behind his team anymore. He took action.
Chuck would tell Morgan the following,
Chuck: You know-you know sometimes What I like to do is-is, uh, open up a problem And really examine it. Find its weak points. And then not be afraid to just attack it head-on.
What makes the line so strong for me, Chuck would have never talked like that in season one or two. He was able to get in contacted with Sidney, and told her he was the one who shot Shaw, and Devon was just a decoy. He would be taking over this operation.
Its bold and brave, but its a stupid move. Chuck’s decision to lure Sidney to the Buymore compromised the location. If Sidney got away. She would inform The Ring the truth about The Buymore, and he also demonstrated a total disregard in protocol. He put his team in jeopardy, and Shaw’s response to Chuck;s move was the right one.
He told Chuck, it was not how he operated. You make your own mess get yourself out of it. There is two reasons Shaw took such drastic measures. The first was an obvious one, he wanted to see Chuck’s plan come through.
However, Chuck’s plan was to lure them to the Buymore, and have the team take them out. The design of the 2.0 was not for that purpose, and since Shaw told him he had to do it alone. Chuck’s flaw came into play. He became emotional. Casey and Sarah were prepared to come up from Castle, but Shaw stopped them. He pulled his guns on them, and said something that would come into play later in he season.
Shaw: I don’t like guns, but it pays to know how to use them.
Chuck tried his best take on the ring, but his emotions go the better of him, and Sarah told Shaw go ahead and shoot me if you must, but Casey countered with I love guns, and made Shaw lower his weapons.
What I mean by Shaw made the right decision in not helping Chuck was how Graham told Sarah in the pilot, he couldn’t help her if things went south or when Vincent wanted to go into the Buymore to fetch Orion’s computer. These decisions are none sanctioned decisions, and with them comes consequences.
Another line I liked came from Shaw at this point, when Sarah said, he will freak out and not perform correctly. Shaw said this,
Team Bartowski once again come together. Casey takes out the guys in the front of the store, but as I mentioned at top Sidney brought her whipping stick because she kicked Sarah’s dairy air in this one. It’s the first time Sarah was overmatched in one on one combat.
Question for discussion would be, had Sarah lost her edge due to her emotional issues?
When Sarah got knocked down, Chuck pulled a gun on Sidney but was reluctant to pull the trigger. Sidney told him the truth about spies. She told Chuck about Devon having put a bullet between her eyes or spies don’t say please. Chuck manned up.
Sidney would pull out another Ring Phone and threatened to call for help, and while she was speaking pulled a blade out, but before she could throw it. Shaw shot her from behind. Sarah and Chuck looked at each other after what Shaw said.
Shaw: As I said, I may not like guys, but it pays to know how to use one.
The statement was foreshadowing of things to come, and the notion that Sarah has a taste for blood proved in this episode that she doesn’t. She wasn’t comfortable in watching Shaw shoot Sidney. She felt the way Chuck usually does towards killing.
Back at Castle, we have two things to talk about in this scene. Both Shaw and Sarah were great in this scene. Shaw congratulated the team on maintaining Devon’s identity.
More on these two frames in a minute, but Shaw said something that made me think this whole thing was Shaw’s way of getting to know Chuck. Shaw also spoke truth about the business, which hit home for Sarah and for the first time in this season Sarah defended Chuck like she did before. A reconciliation of sorts.
I understand Shaw’s perspective of this. Look at what having friends and family did to Jack Bauer. The spy world doesn’t have room for friends and family. It is the same thing Bryce told him in the Break Up. The only way to survive in that world is to think and act like the bad guys, but what Sarah said next is also true.
The screen caps from above and here are worth discussing because it was here where I felt Prague was over. The expression on Sarah’s face and Chuck’s for that matter showed forgiveness has sunk in. Words didn’t need to be spoken between the two.
Chuck not killing Sidney reminded Sarah on why she loved him. She realized that he may want to be a spy, but the inability to pull the trigger was one of the biggest things she loved about him. It brought the two together once more, but there was still work left to be done.
As a result of this, Sarah returned to where she always was meant to be. Sarah has come home. She is smiling and everything, but as they say in the trade. This was the calm before the storm.
Enjoy it….It will be a while before we see this again.
The Buymore had an interesting story for this episode. Morgan’s promotion doesn’t come without resistance. Lester and crew decide to open up a fight club after Bartowski sent Lester into the third row with a roundhouse.
Lester said it was the best feeling of his entire life. Morgan would catch on to their club, and try to put a stop to it. Big Mike motivated Morgan to take action by firing Lester.
Morgan did just that and canned Lester, It made Lester drop the facade and beg for his job back, but there will be repercussions for this act.
Overall Thoughts of the Episode
Operation Awesome had some memorable scenes in it. The episode offered two classic comical scenes and a does of reality of the spy world. It also bridged the gap between Chuck and Sarah regarding Prague.
Shaw coming into the story was the best thing for Chuck and Sarah. Yes, I said it. While most claim him to be the wedge. He made them see what they love about each other. Remember Rome was built-in one night, and all the pieces need to be laid out for use to appreciate the story. Well, atleast I do.
Shaw also came into the story as a man hell-bent on revenge, and with that comes doing whatever was necessary. Chuck had the same sentiments when trying to find his father. Shaw was a lot more lethal in killing than Chuck, but Chuck will have to face the same situation in the future. We shall see if he does?
Next episode is Chuck vs The First Class, A favorite episode of mine. I rank it top twenty of my all time personal list of episodes.
Until next time….Remember Chuckaholics is your toy….so play
and above all else, It’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t