Chuck 4.04 “Chuck Versus The Coup d’Etat” Review

Talk about a flashback episode for me: this hour of Chuck featured two familiar guest stars in Armand Assante (last seen as Chance’s villainous former employer on Human Target) and Tia Texada (from my beloved Third Watch, even if I didn’t like her character there). Of course, great guest stars are just the icing on the cake when the show you’re watching is already good.

As always, if you missed any of the episode, check out Michael Salerno’s recap first.

Of course, everyone wants to know what happened where we left off, with what looked like a unintentional marriage proposal. It is, obviously, not one and the situation is defused as awkwardly as we’re now used to from Chuck and Sarah. No one really thought they were going to get engaged, did you? No, they’re just going to tag along on Devon and Ellie’s vacation to Costa Gravas (you’ll recall Devon saved Generalissimo Goya’s life before), which provides an opportunity for men to ogle Yvonne Strahovski in a bathing suit. There’s also a giant statue of Devon for the women in the audience, so at least everyone gets something to look at. It’s great to see Devon and Ellie come back to the forefront after being largely sidelined for the first part of this season.

The more hilarious part, at least for me, is that poor Casey is wheelchair-bound and cranky after being shot in the foot last week. Morgan takes it upon himself to take care of Casey, much to the latter’s annoyance, especially when his daughter Alex drops in for a visit and her father figures out that the two are still in contact with each other. I absolutely love the Morgan-Casey dynamic, and the wrinkle that is Alex only provides more ammunition. Not to mention that Casey is incredibly bored, all too eager to reminisce about how “I lived in one of those walls for two weeks.” I don’t want to know what that entails.

Of course, it’s not all comedic. The actual plot of the episode has us learning that Goya’s wife (Texada) is planning to bump off her husband and anyone else she considers a nuisance. (See, I told you I didn’t like her!) She has a horde of soldiers who start shooting everything, including the statue of Devon. Though everyone manages to escape unharmed (making me wonder how horrible at shooting all the bad guys were), Chuck and Sarah have to figure out what to do with Goya and what his wife is planning, even as Goya insists on turning up at Casey’s apartment. It does him no good, however, as Casey gets knocked out cold (again?!) when a Costa Gravan hit squad turns up in Burbank to kidnap Goya, in order to obtain the key he has which helps to control the country’s nuclear arsenal. It’s all fun and games until someone deploys a nuke.

General Beckman sends in Team Bartowski to disable the nukes and reinstall Goya to power, which means slinking in through slime and getting in the middle of a glorified domestic dispute between the Generalissimo and his wife. Chuck starts spouting out self-help rhetoric, much to the horror of the armed soldiers in the room, and of course this reflects issues in his and Sarah’s relationship at the same time. The situation is peacefully defused, and the world is safe for another day. Not to mention Goya just happens to have gotten his equipment from Volkoff.

Morgan, however, may not be safe for long as Alex kisses him and tells him she wants to go out with him. He finally bites the bullet and is last seen making out with her in his office at the Buy More. Needless to say, when Casey gets home, he won’t be thrilled.

Also not thrilled? Ellie, who has a sit-down with Chuck and finally finds out that he’s searching for their mother. I’m glad that Chuck didn’t leave his sister in the dark for long, although he doesn’t come completely clean. There need to be more Chuck and Ellie scenes in this show. Even if I was pleasantly surprised to hear Sarah say she’d marry Chuck if he proposed, which brings me to the only thing I worry about.

There’s only one concern that “Chuck Versus The Coup d’Etat” brings up for me. As much as I love Chuck and Sarah as a couple, we’ve seen three episodes now where the mission just so happens to illuminate some aspect of their personal entanglement, usually with some sort of speech by someone at the end, and if that keeps happening every episode, that could get boring really fast. I’m glad to see that they’re finally together, but I don’t want that to detract from the other aspects of the show, either. I have faith that things will balance out, however, since the series also has the search for Mary Bartowski and the slew of guest stars to deal with.

Not to mention, how could we go wrong next week with a Casey-centric episode in which he gets to fake his own death? I won’t miss it and you shouldn’t either.

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