This is why I love ‘Chuck’. Even after a pretty disappointing episode, the show is still capable of bouncing right back with a super-fun new episode that fires on just about all cylinders. Even the title, ‘Chuck vs. the First Bank of Evil’, makes it clear that the show’s producers want to make this as goofily entertaining as possible.
The episode actually picks up hot on the heels of the previous week. Volkoff’s daughter Vivian discovers that the necklace her father gave her unlocks a secret compartment in his office, where she finds a special glass access card of some sort. Just then, Volkoff’s attorney Riley (played by the ever-fun Ray Wise!) steps in. He has an awesome introduction where he reads a letter from her father while doing a bad Volkoff impersonation, and even protests when she tells him to knock it off. Volkoff left explicit instructions that Vivian was to be his successor… or die. She’s mortified at the news and wants nothing to do with the Volkoff empire. She has to escape by stabbing a letter opener into Riley’s hand.
Vivian runs straight to the CIA, and gives Chuck the access card. He flashes on it and determines that it’s an account holder’s ID for a bank in Macau known to be a haven for criminals and terrorists. General Beckman sees this as an opportunity to infiltrate the bank and hack its computer network. She orders that Chuck and Sarah must send Vivian to access her father’s accounts there. When Chuck objects that Vivian isn’t a CIA agent or cut out for undercover work, Beckman demands, “You need to turn that girl into a Volkoff.”
Chuck and Sarah take Vivian to a special CIA makeover room where they dress her up to look a little more like the daughter of a famed international terrorist. Chuck will pose as her bodyguard on the mission. “I’ll be like your very own Kevin Costner.” In order to get Vivian to help on this mission, Chuck has to promise that he’ll arrange for her to see her father.
For some reason, Chuck’s bodyguard costume requires a really stupid-looking fake mustache. I guess it makes him feel more like a badass. He’ll need all the bravado he can muster at the bank, an ultra-secure facility whose paranoid manager (François Chau, who played Pierre Chang / Edgar Halliwax / Mark Wickmund / Marvin Candle on ‘Lost’) puts Vivian through a host of rigorous tests to verify her identity. Finally convinced, he leads her to her father’s safety deposit box, but won’t let Chuck come with her. In the box, rather than stacks of cash or nefarious evil documents, she finds a bunch of photos and clippings about her own life… Because her daddy really loved her after all. Aww…
Chuck having failed his end of the mission, Beckman devises a new plan. Vivian will go back to the bank with the pretense of putting something new in the safety deposit box, and will have to plant a hacking device in the computer network herself. To give her a chance to do this, Sarah and Chuck will create a diversion by staging a bank robbery. They get dressed up in appropriate bank-robber costumes, which amount to dark sunglasses and (for Sarah) a smokin’ hot black leather catsuit.
The robbery itself is completely ridiculous and loads of fun. Sarah and Chuck blast through the bank lobby doing all sorts of silly ‘Matrix’ moves, crack a bunch of ‘Pulp Fiction’ references, and make wedding plans while shooting up the place and stealing bags of cash.
Vivian accomplishes her task as well. However, before she can leave, Riley intervenes. He tells her that Chuck is the one who arrested her father, and warns her that the CIA has no intention of ever letting her see her father. While she doesn’t believe him right away, she soon finds that everything he said is completely true. Gen. Beckman turns into kind of a bitch and reneges on the agreement. This leads Vivian to willingly meet with Riley again to learn more about her father. Perhaps she is on the way to inheriting his empire after all? (Of course she is.)
We also have a few side-stories this week. Sarah has trouble choosing flowers, a cake, or anything else for the wedding. She’s just not into planning it at all. Ellie helps out as much as she can, and tells Sarah that this is perfectly normal. At some point, she’ll find the one thing that really clicks for her and gives her a wedding epiphany. This finally happens when Sarah uses the CIA makeover room to find a wedding dress. The episode has a dress-up montage where she tries several until finally finding the perfect dress. That’s when she has her wedding epiphany. From that point on, she turns into a bridezilla and starts making outrageous plans like renting a private island for the ceremony.
Morgan has been living with his mother and Big Mike while he looks for his own apartment. He’s traumatized by the sounds he hears coming from their bedroom. Unfortunately, he can’t afford an apartment without a roommate. He places an ad online, only to have Jeff and Lester sabotage it by coercing a bunch of Renaissance Fair weirdos to respond to it.
So desperate that he tries to sleep in the Buy More’s home theater room, Morgan hears a bunch of activity coming from downstairs. He goes snooping, and gets a peek at the secret wing that Casey’s new department has been building inside Castle. Casey catches him, and Morgan somehow parlays what he learned into convincing Casey to let him move into his apartment with him.
All in all, ‘Chuck vs. the First Bank of Evil’ is a really entertaining episode. It’s nice to see the show back on track.