This will be episode 15 of season 3. It comes two episodes after Chuck verses The Other Guy where, if everyone recalls, Chuck saves Sarah and so ended the Shaw plot or misery arc as most of us affectionately call it. The episode immediately following The Other Guy, Honeymooners, while a fun episode, did not add very much substance to the story line, character development, and such. We did get to see how much Chuck and Sarah really enjoyed each other’s company in Honeymooners. I’m sure many of you will agree with me when I quote General Beckman, “It’s about damn time.”
Role Models immediately followed Honeymooners. It too did not contribute to much of the story line and I couldn’t call what took place as much character development. Don’t get me wrong here, Role Models was an entertaining episode; honestly there is no such thing as a bad Chuck episode.
This is a quirky episode. I use the word quirky for a couple of reasons. The opening sequence, a dream Morgan was having, which I will get to that momentarily, and the shear concept of the government trying to foster a relationship that caused a 49B; something to prevent relationships.
The story opens in what appears to be vintage film footage; off color and scratchy. Morgan starts narrating, “This is my boss, Charles Bartowski. A computer repairman with all the government’s secrets in his head. This is his girl, Sarah Walker. A CIA agent with more than just killer looks. And when these two spies first met, it was love at first fight. That’s where I come in. I’m Morgan. It’s my job to keep an eye on the both of them…which isn’t always easy.” During the narration it shows Chuck and Sarah in two separate sports cars traveling side by side going down the road, winking and blowing kisses at each other. It is also filled with action shots from previous episodes.
For those of us old enough to remember, this was the opening of the early 80s (1979-1984) spy drama Hart to Hart with Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers. The Harts were spies/detectives that were married.
When Morgan wakes up in the middle of the night shortly after his dream, he gets up and goes to the kitchen. The refrigerator door is already open so Morgan assumes that Chuck is getting himself a midnight snack; then up pops Sarah wearing something that looks like a model from the Victoria Secret catalogue and holding a jug of orange juice. “Do you want some juice?” Sarah will ask, “Up here Morgan.” Morgan starts babbling about orange juice and vitamin Ds, make that vitamin Cs, I’ll have to get me some jugs, jug. Sarah hands him the juice container and leaves.
The next morning Morgan tries to talk to Chuck about his dream. He gets mad at Chuck because of the I-got-lucky-grin Chuck is showing. Morgan refers to Sarah as “the leggy Valkyrie with an aversion to clothing.” Chuck tells Morgan that he plans to ask Sarah to move in with him. Unbeknownst to Chuck, Sarah is standing right behind him when he announced his plans to Morgan. Morgan quickly excuses himself as Sarah ask why they would want to do that. According to Sarah she loves how things are going and doesn’t want to rock the boat just yet.
Sarah retrieves a gun from a well-stocked secret compartment in Chuck’s couch. Chuck asks about the guns. Sarah tells chuck hers is back at her hotel room and asks him if he has ever heard of the “30 foot rule.”
Chuck counters with the “Bartowski rule” no guns in the apartment.
Upon Chuck and Sarah arriving at Castle, they get briefed, along with Casey, by General Beckman on their new mission. Beckman tells Chuck and Sarah since they insist on being a couple, they are to learn from the CIA’s best married couple: Craig and Laura Turner. There was great casting here in Fred Willard and Swoosie Kurtz. They actually make an interesting couple to watch.
The Turners have a long list of major accomplishments and have been married for the last 30 years. “More or less,” according to Beckman. Casey isn’t a part of this mission and he thinks he will have some down time and is eager to go to Pendleton to recert, i.e. Casey gets to shoot something. He would have better off with the turners.
You can see Chuck trying not to laugh as the life gets sucked out of Casey.
Beckman finishes with, “He’s a diamond in the rough. Very, very rough. But I’m sure you’ll make him…sparkle.”
Mr. Turner, “My God, that’s us 30 years ago.” Chuck, “Sarah, that’s us in 30 years.”
As the four discuss the spy life over drinks we find that the Turners have “more or less” been married for 30 years; divorced and remarried to each other three times. Three of the four are enjoying spirited beverages. Ms. Turner is only having water and does not appear to be enjoying that.
Mr. Turner apparently has an affliction with Manhattans. He drops the drink’s cherry back into his empty glass. This catches Sarah’s attention. “Something wrong with your cherry Mr. Turner?” She will ask. According to Mr. Turner, the Grand Ambassador Hotel is the only place in the area where you can get the proper type of cherry you should use in a Manhattan.
The Turners have to go, mainly because they have a mission for tonight. Otto Von Vogel has a party tonight to meet potential buyers for decryption software that could render CIA computer security useless. The Turners must obtain the software. Chuck and Sarah’s job? Watch and learn. Chuck is excited. Sarah, not so much.
Later, we see the four arrive at the party. Chuck and Sarah begin their “training” as they start observing. Chuck comments that the CIA needs to hire more couples. Sarah, in referring to the Turners, counters with, “They are not that great.” Another disgusted look by Yvonne and you can see how she really feels about having to watch these two.
As Chuck and Sarah stand there watching, they are about to be made by Otto. The Turners incept him and take him away for more drinks. “Text book subversion,” Sarah says, “Not bad.” Perhaps Sarah’s initial assessment was a little too hasty? Chuck suggests that maybe they could take a play out of the Turner’s play book. As they are about to kiss Sarah stops and asks Chuck, “You’re not going to ask me to move in with you again are you?” Chuck replies, “No, wh… Well not now, maybe later.” And they kiss.
A bit later Chuck and Sarah have lost track of the Turners. They find Ms. Turner at the bar. She is obviously upset and appears to have several drinks under her belt. When Chuck and Sarah ask her what’s wrong she points out Mr. Turner speaking with a very attractive brunette. Mr. Turner has left his com link on and we hear him tell the brunette that she is such a naughty girl. Ms. Turner then tells Chuck and Sarah that he is, “Nothing but a CIA sanctioned gigolo.”
She then tries in her drunken state to go steal the software they are after and immediately proceeds to fall. Mr. Turner sees this and comes to help her up. He throws his back out and both of them are rolling around on the floor. Ms. Turner says he did it, messed his back up, with a Havana hooker. Mr. Turner starts asking for a nurse in the house; preferably one in a short skirt.
Sarah tells Chuck to put the whip down because the cat is actually a Bengal tiger.
Trying to figure a way out, Chuck, still enamored with the Turners, asks what the Turners would do. Sarah tells Chuck that she’s a drunk and he is a philanderer and they are a complete mess.
tiger wakes up; get out of the room just in time.
Chuck and Sarah make it out of Von Vogel’s house…and run right into The Turners. Ms. Turner is pointing a gun at them. Ahhh, the ole double cross. The Turners take the software. Chuck and Sarah are less than happy.
Back at Castle, General Beckman is even more upset. She orders them to find the Turners. Chuck is beside himself back in the apartment. He is cleaning dishes, because that’s how Bartowskis deal with stress. He thought Sarah and he could be the perfect spy couple by emulating the Turners and now that’s all ruined. The Turners are nothing more than thieves. Sarah tells him to calm down and figures out where they might be. As Chuck is cleaning the previous night’s cocktail glasses, he holds up the cherry from Mr. Turner’s glass. Sarah immediately realized that the Ambassador Hotel is where Mr. Turner can get his perfect Manhattan with the right kind of cherries. They decide to go look for the Turners there.
Sarah, as she pulls her gun out, “They picked the wrong couple to stab in the back. This is how I handle stress.”
Sarah has a plan to get even with the Turners by sending a Manhattan to their room as a diversion and sneaking in through the balcony.
Chuck and Sarah get the drop on them, and the Turners immediately start bickering; typical married couple.
Ms. Turner accused Mr. Turner of hatching the plan and Mr. Turner accused Ms. Turner of being the one to sell the software on the black market. Chuck, “You know, it’s one thing to betray your agency. It’s another to betray your partner. You were supposed to come here and teach us. Teach us how to become a great spy couple.” Mr. Turner, “Check back with me in 30 years, Charles. The CIA has a way of breaking young idealists. Especially if they’re in love.”
They all go back to Chuck’s apartment awaiting the U.S. Marshal’s. Unfortunately, the U.S. Marshals didn’t make it and Otto has arrived with his tiger. Chuck and Sarah handcuff the Turners in the bathroom. Also unfortunate, Sarah actually listened to Chuck when he said not to have guns in the apartment. Chuck tries to play dumb about knowing Otto while the tiger inspects the apartment. The Turners escape, and Otto is about to make it the last time Chuck and Sarah get betrayed by them or anybody else.
The Turners come back with guns drawn and offer to exchange themselves for Chuck and Sarah. A standoff ensues. Mr. Turner, “We’re showing you we’re not traitors, Charles.” Otto’s man has taken the tiger outside. Otto is distracted when he hears the tiger making noise in the courtyard. Chuck flashes and a martial arts ass kicking ensues.
Here is where I have to go play catch up with the other story that is running; Casey trying to train Morgan. Casey informs Morgan they’ll use the Buy More to train him. Morgan’s assignments from Casey will be making use of the three skills a spy needs: subversion, stealth, and strength. Casey wants Morgan to get the phone number of a super-hot customer. Morgan goes in and Casey is actually surprised; that is until Casey reads the card the girl handed Morgan, “you disgust me.” was written on Morgan’s business card. Fail one.
Fail two. Casey tries a little shooting range action with Morgan. He is impressed with Morgan rattling off the statistics about the gun he is holding.
When it comes time to shoot, Morgan fires, screams like a little girl, throws the gun in the air with Casey catching the gun.
Here is where the two stories line up; the tiger is out in the courtyard when Casey and Morgan arrive back home. They see the tiger and the tiger has seen them. Casey advises Morgan to not make eye contact and act big if she charges. Seeing Casey and Morgan standing side by side, Casey towering over Morgan, “Easy for you to say,” says Morgan.
Morgan realizes nobody would care much if he died tomorrow, so he decides to do one big one for his country by luring the tiger into Ellie and Awesome’s empty apartment. “Semper fi-dizzle!” Morgan yells as he takes off running into the apartment. The tiger’s noise distracts Otto. Ass kicking begins.
The fight inside now over, Otto and his goons subdued, the Turner / Bartowski standoff ends when Chuck and Sarah show some heart by lowering their guns and not shoot them. As a side note, Chuck looked to be pointing a real gun and not his customary tranq gun. Guess none of the bad guys, where these guns came from, were carrying tranq guns. Mr. Turner is moved and convinces Ms. Turner to lower her gun and give up.
Sarah covers for the Turners by saying they did a triple-cross in order to lure Otto to justice. The Turners decide to retire. Beckman won’t allow it, but the CIA already has the best of the best, Chuck and Sarah.
At the Buy More, Casey shows some sympathy to Morgan and passes him. Casey, “You’ve got to be hands-down bar-none the worst candidate I’ve ever trained. But you’ve got one thing going for you: you’ve got balls. How many Marines would go up against a Bengal tiger unarmed?”
At Ellie and Awesome’s apartment, Morgan is happy, but Chuck isn’t. Chuck to Morgan, “Dude! You’ve turned my sister’s apartment into a giant kitty litter box.” Morgan, “How was I supposed to know it wasn’t house broken?”
Sarah Comes in, “Oh my god!” The place is all but destroyed. Chuck tells them they have to get the place fixed up before Devon and Ellie get back.
I’m going to skip to the end here for a moment because the last scene with Chuck and Sarah could carry some weight in future discussions.
Ellie has befriended Justin, the camp leader, during their short stay. He appears to have arranged their transportation. As they leave he pulls out a round cell phone and tells someone they are on their way and
she doesn’t suspect a thing.
Now that the side stories are wrapped up we are left with the final Chuck and Sarah scene. We see Sarah arranging things in “their” place and she is explaining to Chuck she is sorry she freaked out when he asked her to move in with him. “. . . just you know how I grew up. I spent my life when I grew up living in hotel rooms and under fake names. I’ve been trained to survive a thousand situations in the field but nobody ever taught me how to have a normal life.” Chuck, “Well I hate to break it to you but I don’t think we’re ever going to live a normal life.” Sarah, “Well I’d like to have something to fall back on when our spy life is over.”
My two cents; as I said earlier, there is no such thing as a bad Chuck episode. We all may not totally agree on what is taking place however, each and every episode has its own merit and does play a part of the bigger picture. I also said earlier that Role Models and Honeymooner played very little into furthering the story. After watching Role Models multiple times the past few days while working on this piece, I find it necessary to clarify my, it doesn’t add much to the whole story statement.
We learned in Role Models that Morgan and Casey are evolving. Casey actually seems to be growing fond of Morgan although he can still walk away when Morgan starts babbling. We learned Chuck has an issue with cats; size doesn’t matter. We learned about vitamin D, or was it vitamin C? Most importantly, we learned something that many of us debate and knock around here quite often and that thing is “what Sarah considers to be normal.”
She says it herself in the closing scene responding to freaking out on Chuck after he asked her to move in with him. I think it is worth looking at again. In her last sentence she says, “I’ve been trained to survive a thousand situations in the field but nobody ever taught me how to have a normal life.” We have a BINGO! We have some clarification.
Sarah, by her own words admits that she does not know what “normal” is. Several of us have asked the question about Sarah as to what is normal. Most of us living life know a “normal.” That is something like what Chuck was living before this whole Intersect thing started. We then have Sarah normal; what she perceived as being normal. Clearly she knew living in hotel room and changing names was not normal.
From this scene and her moving in with Chuck, the normal she was seeking is that of the life that Chuck has. That includes friends, family, and stability. I truly believe that the attempt at running and the Prague debacle was Sarah’s attempt at achieving “normal”. Even as screwed up as the Turners were, Sarah gained some insight into being a real couple. Keep in mind we are only two episodes out of Chuck saving her from Shaw. With that said, Sarah had now found a path to normal. Early on she had no idea how to do it and as she said, no one ever showed her how. Moving in with Chuck was a big step in the right direction toward normal.