Last Monday’s episode of ‘Chuck’ moved the show a little closer to the impending marriage of its lead characters, which will no doubt serve as the season finale. It also brought back guest star Gary Cole as Sarah’s con artist father, which is great because Cole is always a lot of fun on any show he appears. Oh, and Yvonne Strahovski makes funny faces to the camera. What’s not to like here?
‘Chuck vs. the Wedding Planner’ opens with a flashback to 1988, as young Sarah in a Girl Scout uniform (adorable!) defrauds an unsuspecting housewife out of the last $84 in her wallet. Sarah’s dad, Jack Burton (yes, that’s also the name of Kurt Russell’s character in ‘Big Trouble in Little China‘), has been teaching her the secrets to a successful con.
Cut to the present day. Sarah and Chuck find themselves the victims of another con artist, when a woman named Daphne who’s posing as a wedding planner runs off with their money. Sarah is pissed that she’d let herself be duped so easily. When their efforts to track down Daphne fail, Sarah and Chuck cook up a plan where Chuck will pretend to have an Intersect flash on the woman so that they can use government resources to find her. Chuck isn’t so good at faking it, and Sarah’s demonstration of what he looks like is pretty hilarious.
The next problem is that they wind up overselling it. General Beckman mistakenly believes that Daphne is tied to a major terrorist cell, and issues the highest security alert to both the CIA and the military. When the first attempt to catch Daphne goes disastrously wrong, Beckman figures it out and suspends both Chuck and Sarah. However, when looking into another of Daphne’s wedding scheme victims, Chuck has a real flash on the father of the bride, who’s in possession of some important thingamabob called the Zephyr. (I forget what it is, and it’s not really important.) Unfortunately, Beckman doesn’t believe him.
In desperation, Sarah enlists the help of her father. Who better to get into the head of one con artist than another? But this is a delicate proposition. Sarah doesn’t want to let him back into her life too much, which means that she doesn’t want him to know that she’s getting married. Of course, Jack is a pretty clever fellow. He does some snooping and tricks Awesome into spilling the beans.
With Jack’s help, Sarah and Chuck stage the wedding reception that Daphne ran out on. Jack himself is instrumental in capturing the bad guy and recovering the Zephyr. Sarah finally ‘fesses up to her father and invites him to her wedding, but he’s not so good at the parental stuff and doesn’t stick around. He does leave her a wedding present, though – a piggy bank full of cash from her Girl Scout scheme that he stole from her when she was a child, plus enough interest to make up for all the money that Daphne stole. Now Sarah and Chuck can afford to have the wedding they wanted.
As all this is going on, Casey’s daughter Alex wants to tell her mother the truth about him. Casey resists, but mother Kathleen catches a glimpse of him at the Buy More. When Alex explains all about how he’s a spy forced to fake his own death, Kathleen thinks that this is just a load of crap that Casey fed her because he couldn’t admit the truth that he’s just a deadbeat dad working a dead-end job. Casey doesn’t do much to persuade her otherwise, until she spots him again at the fake wedding and sees him in action taking down the bad guy.
In other words, the episode is all about how people’s lies and schemes come back around to haunt them later, sometimes for the worse but also sometimes for the better. The theme is pretty well developed in both storylines, without detracting from the usual fun shenanigans. Unlike other recent episodes, this one is fortunately not overburdened with too many side-stories that go nowhere.
[Banner image screen cap from ChuckTV.net.]