‘Chuck’ 4.14 Recap: “Tranq and Explode!”

I wrote in my previous recap that last week’s episode of ‘Chuck’ felt an awfully lot like a season finale. Reader HuskerGuy was good enough to point out that the episode was the last of the network’s original 13-episode order, before the season was extended. That would certainly explain it. Perhaps unavoidably, this week’s episode feels like the show’s producers are scrambling to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do with the rest of the season. Even so, it’s pretty entertaining.

The big news in ‘Chuck vs. the Seduction Impossible’ is that John Larroquette is back as super-suave veteran spy Roan Montgomery, master of seduction. While investigating a counterfeiting ring in Morocco, Roan is taken captive by criminal mastermind Fatima Tazi and her private merc army of hotties with machine guns. As he’s the first to remark, if this has to be the end of his storied career, it’s not a bad way to go out.

Back in Burbank, Chuck and Sarah are feeling enormous pressure from family and friends about their engagement plans. They decide that they need a mission to take them out of town, and fast. Gen. Beckman, who’d had dalliances with Montgomery in the past, is a hot mess since his kidnapping. She assigns Team Bartowski to rescue him.

By the time they get to Morocco, Sarah and Chuck are distracted by bickering. Chuck wants a big wedding, but Sarah wants to elope. Casey just wants them to shut up. Chuck and Sarah get captured, and discover that Montgomery had the situation well in hand without them. He’s seduced Fatima and was on the verge of getting her to divulge the location of her counterfeiting operation before these nincompoops blew his cover. Fatima locks them all in a dungeon to bicker some more. It’s up to Casey to rescue them by seducing the surly guard. That doesn’t go so well, and he has to resort to blunt force and explosives. He gets them out, but elects to stay behind and hide in a wall to suss out some more information about Fatima.

This episode suffers from the excessive globe-hopping that has plagued a lot of the season. Chuck, Sarah, and Roan fly back to L.A., where Beckman orders Roan to work in the Buy More. He gives Chuck some advice on how to seduce Sarah, so as to get his way on the wedding plans. But Sarah is already three steps ahead of him, and enacts her own, much more successful seduction which involves a bellydancer costume that leaves Chuck a weak-willed slave to her wishes.

Then, before that storyline can go anywhere, Beckman orders them all back to Morocco again, because Casey has gotten trapped behind the wall and is prepared to cut his own arm off, ‘127 Hours’-style. Beckman instructs him to stand down and wait until the rest of the team can rescue him. How long is a flight from L.A. to Morocco, anyway? His arm would rot off from gangrene by the time they got there.

Anyhow, Sarah and Chuck dig Casey out of the wall while Roan attempts the “Seduction Impossible.” He has to somehow re-seduce Fatima, even though she knows he’s working against her. This all wraps up with a big shootout and Gen. Beckman saving the day with a rocket launcher.

In other developments, Alex wants Morgan to meet her mother. Morgan doesn’t think he can keep up the lie about Casey being dead, and asks Casey to reveal himself. When Alex finds out about this, she thinks it’s a terrible idea. She’s been trying to protect her mother from the truth. Casey almost steps forward, but stops himself when he sees that his ex is happy in a new relationship. He doesn’t want to ruin her new life.

Chuck’s mom Mary has been pulling a super-grandma act and doting on Ellie’s baby. At first, it seems like Ellie is feeling smothered by this, but later she explains that she doesn’t want to be responsible for pulling Mary away from a life that she’s good at. She gives her mother permission to be a spy again.

Chuck realizes that the real reason Sarah wants to elope is that she wouldn’t have any family to show up at the wedding or walk her down the aisle. Chuck decides that it’s time they search for her father.

The best part of the episode is a flashback to Montgomery and Beckman in 1989 Berlin, where they begin their tryst in the midst of the Wall falling. No, scratch that. The best part of the episode is Sarah in her bellydancer outfit. But, you know, the flashback scene is the funniest, anyway.


  1. HuskerGuy

    Loved pretty much everything about this episode.

    The belly dancing outfit was ridiculously amazing and the Gen. Beckman scenes were awesomely bad between the rocket launcher and the flashback. Also, the look on Sarah’s face when Chuck said “No, woman” or something like that was hilarious.

    I like these one-off episodes and am looking forward to learning a bit more about Sarah’s past and seeing Casey humazined a bit more.

  2. Keith

    Yep. This episode was especially awesome, it reminded me more of season 1 than any of the past episodes have. It was just silly and that’s what I loved about the show from the get go. It had gotten way too serious.

    Speaking of awesome… I’d like to see Awesome turn back into Awesome instead of the bumbling, whiney, over sensitive crybaby they’ve turned him in to over the last season or two.

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