‘Chuck’ 4.23 Recap: “Everything Is Perfect, Nothing Can Go Wrong.”

Well well well, what do you know? Despite the show’s erratic quality and sagging ratings this year, NBC has renewed ‘Chuck’ for a fifth season of at least 13 episodes. At the same time, the network also announced that the fifth will be the final season. Hopefully, this will give the creators enough opportunity to plan for a definitive conclusion and work towards it. In the meantime, the show actually had a pretty good episode last week.

In ‘Chuck vs. the Last Details’, our happy couple has a week off to wrap up all the preparations for their wedding. That is, until they get word that Chuck’s mom Mary (Linda Hamilton) has been captured by Vivian Volkoff while attempting to steal the newly-rebuilt Northman device, a deadly weapon that can target a specific person’s DNA and kill with 100% accuracy.

So, Chuck and Sarah jet off to Columbia to rescue Mary, leaving Ellie in charge of the event plans. They also ask Morgan to make a photo montage video to be played during the rehearsal dinner. Because Chuck doesn’t actually have that many pictures of Sarah, Morgan will have to Photoshop her into some old photos. When he finds out that Jeff and Lester have surreptitiously shot hours of stalker-cam video of Sarah every time she’s walked into the Buy More, he agrees to let Lester put together the video. Needless to say, that’s a big mistake.

When they get to Columbia, Sarah, Chuck and Casey find Volkoff’s secret lair in a mine and manage to get to Mary fairly easily. However, Mary doesn’t want to leave. She’s willing to put up with a little torture if it means she can get the Norseman. Chuck finds himself torn between siding with his mother (who wants to stay) and Sarah (who wants to get her out of there so that she can attend the wedding).

Vivian and her lawyer Riley (Ray Wise) catch the team in the act of breaking Mary out, and Chuck lets it slip that Mary is his mother, which Vivian didn’t know. The good guys all escape, but the Norseman is long gone. Vivian has already arranged a secret auction for it in Moscow.

Luckily, the CIA captures one of the potential bidders, an Italian arms dealer who just happens to look a lot like Morgan. Reluctantly, Morgan agrees to go undercover to bid on the weapon. This means that he leaves the wedding video project in Ellie’s hands.

In Moscow, Vivian and Riley pull a fast one on the bidders. They’ve programmed the Norseman with all of the terrorists’ DNA patterns, and wipe them all out in one fell swoop. (They were all potential threats to the Volkoff resurgence, you see.) Obviously, because Morgan isn’t who he’s supposed to be, he’s unaffected and has to merely play dead. There’s a suspenseful moment when Riley tells Vivian that he knows one of the victims isn’t really dead, but it turns out that a smug British spy was impersonating one of the other bidders. He starts to pompously explain his brilliant plan, whereupon Riley just shoots him dead.

After Riley and Vivian leave, Morgan then gets caught by a clean-up crew, but Casey saves him with his amazing sniper skills.

Chuck corners Vivian and Riley, and tells Vivian that her father is really Agent X, which Riley knew all along. Riley gets the drop on Chuck and is about to shoot him when Sarah kills him first. In the commotion, Vivian gets away.

Thing wrap up back in Los Angeles. Of course, Lester screwed up the video by inserting freaky footage of himself on top of everything. Ellie tries to re-edit it herself, but is spread too thin with wedding preparations and doesn’t finish in time. Of all people, Jeff saves the day with his own tasteful version of the video. Ellie lays a big smacker on Jeff.

Despite all their strife, Mary gives a very gracious toast to Sarah at the rehearsal dinner. Just then, Chuck receives a phone call from Vivian, who tells him that she’s going to take away something he loves. Chuck assumes that this means she’ll use the Norseman on his mother, and runs to warn her. But it’s another fake-out. Sarah’s nose starts bleeding and she passes out. Cliffhanger!

It’s pretty clear that Sarah’s not actually going to die. The scenes for the next episode give that away. Plus, what would the show do without her next season? Would anyone watch? Tonight is the season finale. Expect big wedding hijinks to ensue.

[Banner image screen cap from TVPix.net.]

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