Chuck 4.16 “Chuck vs the Masquerade” Review

Chuck 4.16 “Chuck vs the Masquerade” ReviewThis week Chuck was jam packed with a new expansion to the Volkoff empire, action, emotional scenes and the best use of Star Wars toys (I of course mean collectibles) to grace our screens since The Adam and Joe Show.

Casey and Morgan both felt like spare parts with Chuck and Sarah, Casey on the work side and Morgan at home. It is a testament to how well that Chuck and Sarah work as a team that have induced these feelings in their friends. Of course they still need Casey and Morgan, but for Morgan it probably is about time that he flies the coop. Casey is often the third man in the missions, especially now that Chuck can control his use of the Intersect, though this episode reinforced that he has much needed skills out in the field beyond his excellent bar tending skills. The new mission that Casey appeared to be taking up at the end of the episode looks like an interesting step for his character and I’m always more than happy to have some extra Casey in an episode. Though my favourite Casey moment this week was easily his extended growl when he saw Morgan and Alex ‘transferring energy’ which was such a brilliantly funny awkward scene.

This is the third masquerade themed episode that I have written about this year (Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries being the others) with this one featuring the most Eyes Wide Shut references. The party was essentially just a jumping block to introduce Vivian (Lauren Cohan) who is Volkoff’s daughter, but is unaware of her fathers real business. I did think at several points that this was all going to be some elaborate ruse so I was glad when it turned out that she was being honest in her lack of knowledge. I also liked the idea that her inability to decide what to do with her life was down to her father not revealing who is was but that he still trained her and intended for her to take over his company at some point. After how much team Bartowski has helped her it will be interesting to see how she handles the emotional conflict when in the future they will meet as inevitable enemies.

The action in this episode was rather ambitious considering the tight budget that they are on, whilst the first rescue of Vivian was all off camera putting us in the position of Casey who was not needed for this rescue, the later chase on horses was well executed. Not only was the horse work impressive and heightened the tension but we got to see Chuck use a different part of the Intersect to disable their attackers. In this sequence Casey got to show why he is vital to the group with his expert sniper skills, and between this scene and the opening of the episode the death toll was surprisingly high and brutal for this show.

The Ellie/Awesome side plot was a lot of fun as they tackle the three months of sleep deprivation that comes from a new born. The solution to their problems being a rendition of Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” performed by Jeffster was a good use of the band, though I’m pretty sure that I too will have this song stuck in my head no matter how much Alexi Murdoch I listen too whilst I write this review. The the inclusion of Alexi Murdoch’s “Crinan Wood” in the very sweet scene between Chuck and Morgan when they are discussing the fate of their Han and Chewy collectibles definitely aided this choice of mine (on a side note Murdoch is a Schwartz staple featuring many times throughout his shows including last weeks Gossip Girl, also in last weeks Valentine’s Gossip Girl there were similarly interrupted plans to watch Love Actually which is surely more of a Christmas than Valentine’s movie right?).

A strong episode that brings us back to the Volkoff narrative in a surprising way that opens this story right up again and should produce some conflict before the season ends. The Casey cliffhanger is intriguing and I have no idea what his new mission will be but I hope he doesn’t stray from team Bartowski for too long.

What did you all think? What could Casey’s new mission be? Glad to see the return of the Volkoff empire? Happy to see where Han and Chewy ended up? Let us know in the comments below or join us in the forum. Be sure to check out Michael Salerno’s full recap here.

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