'Chuck': Chuck takes down The Ring, gets the girl

chuck-0329-320.jpg" Chuck" has been building up to this episode all season, and it definitely doesn't disappoint.

When we last left Sarah, she was racing off into the desert with Shaw to allegedly capture The Ring, and Chuck had just realized this mission was actually Shaw about to get revenge on Sarah for killing his wife.

"Chuck" picks right up where we left off there, with Sarah and Shaw infiltrating some warehouse in search of The Ring. The warehouse turns out to be not-so-random, however, and Sarah's red test video is playing on giant monitors for her to enjoy as she enters. Sarah immediately freaks out about killing Shaw's wife, but surprisingly, instead of trying to kill her, Shaw offers forgiveness and tells her it was The Ring's manipulation that caused it to happen in the first place.

Chuck immediately goes to Casey for advice on how to save Sarah, and he gives him the numbers for some heavy-duty backup to locate her and take down Shaw. They even have a tank! (How do they find her? Does she have some sort of tracking device in her skull? Oh ... never mind.) They go in guns blazing -- only to walk right in on Shaw and Sarah's gentle hug of forgiveness (instead of the expected bloodbath). Hee. Back at Castle, Gen. Beckman gives Chuck the what-for, but Shaw sticks up for him. The gang now has a new united mission: Capture the director and take down The Ring for good.

Beckman has other plans, though: Move Shaw and Sarah to Washington and leave Chuck right where he is, in Burbank. Chuck wallows in his despair over losing his sweet gig in Rome and potentially Sarah as well. Sarah shows up and puts him out of his misery, admitting her love for him. Kissing ensues. Those crazy kids just might work things out!

There's no time to bask in the glory of finally requited love, however, because it's time to go infiltrate The Ring! How convenient that they found it so easily after searching for months! Chuck and Sarah capture the director and confiscate a cipher of some sort, but things quickly get out of hand and Chuck and Sarah lose the advantage. Shaw comes in and saves the day ... or does he? After letting Sarah and Chuck go, all of the Ring agents he supposedly just killed to ensure their rescue come back to life. Is Shaw a bad guy after all?

The next day, Chuck tries to show off Shaw's prowess to a doubting Morgan by showing him video of Shaw kicking butt at Ring headquarters, but Morgan realizes Shaw is putting on a show and not actually landing any punches. Chuck and Morgan put the pieces together and realize Shaw is with The Ring -- and Sarah is with Shaw. Chuck tries to go to Beckman, but Morgan's involvement causes her to suspend Chuck without hearing him out. Chuck then assembles his own team to save Sarah: Morgan and Casey. Casey getting back into spy mode (complete with black suit) makes my heart sing with joy!

Meanwhile, Shaw leads Sarah back to the spot of her red test. Oh, yeah, and one more thing: He poisons her, too. Her death's purpose? To show the CIA the pain he felt when his wife died by killing her. Yeah -- Shaw? I don't think that's going to work, since the CIA is an institution and doesn't really have feelings. The only person you would hurt is Chuck. Speaking of Chuck, he shows up and puts up a fight against Shaw but is somehow bested because Chuck can't flash due to his emotions. Dramatically convenient, that flashing problem. After taunting Chuck on how he can't pull the trigger and kill him, even to save Sarah's life, Chuck does just that and puts two bullets into Shaw's chest while Sarah looks on. Instead of tearing them apart, though, Chuck's actions bring them even closer together. So close, in fact, that they're going to need a few extra days in Paris before returning for their next mission. Ah, young spies in love.

Random thoughts:
  • This episode was originally supposed to be the season finale, until NBC ordered extra episodes. It definitely works as a season finale, but I'm excited to get a few more episodes to see how Chuck and Sarah manage working together as a real live couple.
  • Chuck using his Intersect powers to tie up Morgan with video game cables? Hilarious, if a bit over the line friendship-wise.
  • So Morgan is now officially a member of Operation Bartowski, along with Colonel Casey? I like it! Morgan is like Chuck 1.0 (sans Intersect), solving spy problems with nerd knowledge. Solving Spy Problems with Nerd Knowledge should totally be the new tagline on the front page of the Operation Bartowski brochure, by the way.
  • I'm not sure I track Shaw's descent into evil. Are we to assume that once he saw Sarah's red test video he started working for The Ring in order to kill Sarah, and that would somehow avenge the death of his wife? It seems like he could have just killed Sarah without joining The Ring and becoming a traitor. Did I miss something here?

Favorite quotes:
  • "Call this number. Request tactical support. You'll be forwarded to a Col. Sanders -- don't make fun of his name." - Casey
  • "Dude, you are misquoting the line and you are ruining "Pretty in Pink" for me. Now just stop it." - Morgan
  • "Sarah, do you love me?" - Chuck
  • "Yes." - Sarah, in response
  • "Shut up and kiss me." - Sarah

What did you guys think? Was the Shaw reveal a surprise? How do you feel about the way the show resolved the Chuck/Sarah/Shaw triangle? And how about Morgan and Casey joining Operation Bartowski?

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Photo credit: NBC
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