One thing I like more than Casey's hilarious one-liners? Casey-centric episodes! And not only that, but we went back to basics this week with the old gang working together again. Sorry to say it, but I didn't miss Shaw one bit.
"Chuck Versus the Tic Tac" isn't just minty fresh in title though. It tackles some weighty decisions made by our beloved characters so let's get to it.
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Things start off innocently enough in 1989 with a young Alexander Coburn getting his walking papers in Honduras. He has not qualified for training with a special operation, but then he's offered a chance to join a covert NSA black-ops team headed by Colonel James Keller. Note to self: don't take Tic Tacs from strange men.
Unsurprisingly, this man was at the end of last week's cliffhanger phone call. He has a mission for Casey involving a key, a lockbox, and a prototype drug meant to suppress emotions in battlefield soldiers called Laudanol.
At the end of a Trace Cell Mission to test the CIA's security system, Casey gets his hands on the drug much to the confusion of Chuck who thinks everyone is on a secret mission within a mission. He says as much to the General who orders Casey to be taken in for compromising the vault and stealing the pill.
Eventually, Chuck and Sarah discover that Keller works for the Ring. Casey is getting played! They want to tell him, but he has committed treason and refuses to talk. They want to clear his name so they resolve to break him out of the Level 15 holding cell where he's being kept.
After some silliness with the creator of the building's extra security measures (aka Chuck's #1 fan), Chuck and Sarah arrive at the cell to see Keller there, too. Chuck tries to tell Casey the truth about Keller and his Ring connections, but Casey says he already knows and leaves with them.
Smartly (or not), Casey recruits Morgan to retrieve the pill he hid inside a DVD case at the Buy More. Being desperate, stupid, and willing to do anything to impress Casey can't ever turn out well. Thankfully, Chuck manages to intercept the Laudanol from his well-intentioned friend.
But look who's behind door number one: Casey! He wants the pill and draws a gun on Chuck. Chuck muses that he believed and trusted Casey, but doesn't know why he would steal the Laudanol for the Ring.
Lost in reverie, Casey pulls out an old film strip of him and the love of his life, Kathleen McHugh. Aw, check out John Casey's soft side. Because of a decision he made to give up his old life and become a spy, she'll die if he doesn't get the Laudanol to Keller within the next hour. Chuck and Sarah promise to not let that happen. Casey's concerned they'll be charged with treason, but Chuck assures him that he's not in this alone.
With Sarah handling the men outside and Casey taking on the sprightly Keller, Chuck is left to protect Kathleen at her home. Casey and Sarah are on the way to help, but the Ring threatens to come inside the house at any second. Chuck needs to flash immediately! Casey tells Chuck to take the pill... conveniently inside his shirt pocket.
While this doesn't please Sarah, it gives Chuck the chance to be the Intersect he was always supposed to be. He pops the pill in his mouth just as a Ring crony cocks a gun in his direction and another barges down the door.
Then, Chuck has a superflash, pops up from the ground and states that he isn't afraid. He evades a gunshot, kicks, punches, and uses various objects to take out the Ring.
Sarah comes in just as Chuck's grip tightens on the neck of a Ring agent. She implores him to stop, and slowly regular Chuck comes back. He stares at his hands, dazed and confused.
Casey, meanwhile, approaches Kathleen who is lying on the floor. She opens her eyes to see a hazy Casey and asks if she knows him.
Flashback to 1989, Alex calls Katherine to tell her he has one final mission. They exchange proclamations of love, but she never gets to tell him her news because Keller informs Alex Coburn that he will be "killed in battle" and will henceforth be named John Casey.
In the present, Katherine rests on the couch as a teenage girl named Alex comes in to check on her mother. Coincidence? Probably not, but Casey tells Chuck that it's too late.
While the General doesn't imprison Casey for abusing his position, she gives him a second chance at life... as a civilian. The news shocks the team, and with silent goodbyes, Chuck escorts him out of Castle.
Chuck and Sarah
Ms. Walker goes to Washington? I call foul! But what will be Chuck's decision? Casey recalls the choice he made between love and love of country all those years ago. While the decision was appropriate in his case, Casey tells Chuck to choose what's right for him. It isn't too late!
Ellie and Devon
These two have to be the sanest couple on this show. In a nutshell, Devon wants to join Doctors Without Borders to get Ellie away from danger. Ellie's willing to sacrifice because she loves and wants to be with Devon. Of course, Devon's proud of her getting the USC fellowship so he tells her to take her dream job and that they'll make it work.
Many questions to ponder
How hilarious was that scene between Awesome and Morgan when they find out they both know Chuck's secret? Should Chuck get a prescription for Laudanol? Will Sarah make the move to Washington, D.C.? What of the revelations about Casey's past? How will he fare in the world of the civilians? And can a call name get any cooler than Condor or Lady Fingers?