'Chuck': John Casey IS the A-Team

adam-baldwin2-chuck-s4-320.jpg"Chuck" takes a break from relationship angst this week to give us a Casey-focused episode that is the funniest one this season -- while also keeping the search-for-mom storyline moving. Nice trick, that.

Team Bartowski is still on the hunt for Frost/mom, and Chuck flashes on three of Casey's ex-special forces cohorts (played by Eric Roberts, former WWE champ Dave Bautista and Joel David Moore) who may have had contact with her. Casey put them all in prison in 1999 after they went rogue on a mission inside Iran, but they promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade ...

"And disappeared into the Los Angeles underground," Chuck helpfully adds. "You ever see 'The A-Team'?" Casey: "I WAS the A-team." It's the first of many brilliant lines and actions by Adam Baldwin on the night (see more below). Chuck devises a plan to stage Casey's funeral, doping him up so he'll appear to be dead. It of course goes sideways, and Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan -- yes, Morgan -- end up back in Iran.

Casey has to rely on Morgan for tactical support outside the bunker where Roberts and Co. are trying to get their hands on a huge stash of gold, and it goes about as well as you'd think. But Morgan then actually saves the day by committing an act of badassery several levels above anything we would've thought he was capable of doing, in turn winning enough of Casey's respect that the big guy actually smoothes things over between Morgan and Alex. Which, come to think of it, we didn't think would be possible either.

Chuck, though, is worried he's gone too far down the Frost path by endangering his friends' lives, and he decides to stop looking for her. Until, of course, the phone rings. Guess who?

OK, so that last scene perhaps wasn't the most artful way to pull Chuck back in (you could sort of feel it coming as soon as Sarah walked away). But the show has been pretty good about giving us little pieces of the mom picture so far this season, and from the looks of things it will come into even sharper focus in the next couple of weeks.

Continuing stories aside, though, "Chuck vs. the Couch Lock" was all about Casey and Adam Baldwin. Among the awesomeness:

  • Baldwin did some great physical acting throughout the episode, from his various paralyzed glares and staredowns while he was drugged up to the very convincing stumbling around he did as he tried to escape the B-team. That he managed to be intimidating (and occasionally hilarious, as when he was unable to grunt or sneer at Morgan's eulogy or the start of Morgan's explanation that he's dating Alex) even while lying perfectly still is no small feat.
  • Another small piece of that? His sniffing of the air to recognize Lester and Jeff were behind him. Genius.
  • The gleam in Casey's eye when Morgan reminds him he'll be facing 3-to-1 odds in the bunker: "That's just the way I like it."
  • As for his best line, it's a tossup between "It's not the first time I've faked my own death" (for the way he said it so nonchalantly) and "If you break her heat, I'll break your everything" ('nuff said).
  • And also: The stormtrooper helmet. And the video clip below.

Other good, non-Casey stuff from the episode:

- Chuck urges Morgan to tread lightly with the Alex news: "Be careful how you break it to him -- he might kill you accidentally."
- Ellie and Awesome are having a girl! Aww. Still, you have to feel a little sympathy for the baby; Awesome is going to be the most overprotective father in the history of fatherhood.
- Nice moment between Chuck and Sarah as she's defusing the security system in Packard's hideout, with her laughing off Chuck's instructions to run away and telling him she's in with Operation Mom no matter what. Also, Chuck's response: "I love you, you know, and I'd say that even if you weren't trying to save my life right now. Which by the way makes you 20 to 25 percent sexier. OK, 50."
- LOVED the title card identifying Morgan ("Experience: None") as he toasted the bad guys.

What did you think of "Chuck vs. the Couch Lock"? Any other moments of Casey being Casey that stood out for you?

Here's a clip from the episode:



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Photo credit: NBC
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