This episode was all about budding relationships! Chuck and Hannah. Sarah and Shaw. And I have to say, I enjoy both of those pairings rather a lot! Though, it does maybe seem a little abrupt for Shaw to be so into Sarah after he just admitted to the whole wife's-death-is-my-fault thing, and seemed to still be getting over that. I guess I don't remember how much time has passed, so maybe he is over it. Or maybe he's hiding something further, if that look at the end of the episode is any indication!
The mission this week was all about the Mask of Alexander. The Ring has been using famous artifacts as vessels for transporting nefarious thingamabobs, and the Mask is likely the next on the list. Our crew must pull a switcheroo with the Mask for a fake, so they can find out what's inside the Mask. This is, of course, harder than it would first appear. Shaw tries it out at the top of the hour, but gets tripped up by a fallen screw, almost dying when the air gets sucked out of the room (rather similar to something I recently saw on White Collar!). Chuck comes to the rescue, though, but not without Hannah tagging along for the ride, thinking it is a standard Nerd Herd operation. Having successfully "fixed" what the curator assumed was a faulty security system, he invites them to come to the unveiling of the Mask that evening to make sure nothing else goes wrong.
But hey now, this is Chuck. Something always goes wrong. While Chuck and Hannah hang (and smooch) in the security room, Shaw and Sarah pose as a couple for the main event. Shaw is laying on the flirtatiousness, but Sarah is having none of it. And Casey? Oh yes, he gets to be surveillance in the van. While Chuck is working with Hannah, he flashes on a Ring dude at the party, one of the same ones they had spotted previously taking one of the other artifacts. Visilis? I guess that was his name. So many hard and confusing names on this show! Manoosh last week, Visilis this week. As the ridiculous robot Alpha 5 would say on one Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Aye yi yi yi yi!
Chuck ditches Hannah to go tell the S's about Visilis. They decide Chuck and Sarah should go pull the switch on the Mask since Visilis knows Shaw and could spot him (at least, I think this was the reason!). While they are working on it, they are surprised by some bad guys and Sarah works some serious butt-kicking skills. Hannah also has work to do, because Chuck has made the security system freak out so they can do their thing. When he finally makes it back to her, she is pissed. As she has every right to be in her situation.
While Sarah and Shaw work to open up the Mask, Visilis looks at the security footage and sees Chuck with Hannah. He decides to get her back to the museum and locks her in the vault with he air sucking out. At the same time, Sarah and Shaw get the Mask open, only to get gassed by a toxic vapor. They've only got an hour to live - and it's up to Chuck to save them as well as Hannah. He and Casey fashion another fake Mask with bonus fake gas and deliver it back to Visilis, who is supposed to have the counteragent. But the counteragent is actually hidden in one of the vases in the museum, so Chuck has to get the Intersect to flash on which one, because of course there are about 100 of them in that room alone.
In the end, he finds the vase and is able to get Hannah free just as the oxygen runs out! And Shaw has, meanwhile, carried an unconscious Sarah to the museum (well, carried and drove, I assume), so they both get the counteragent. They also had a moment earlier on while they were both gassed where Shaw admitted he was flirting, and Sarah admitted she kind of liked it. In the end, they share a moment while Chuck and Hannah make out in the home theater room, all enmity forgotten in the face of his heroic rescue of her.
In the side story, we had Morgan and Ellie teaming up to figure out what was going on with Chuck and Devon. The only weird thing about that was that they both referenced Devon as well as Lester and Jeff, yet we didn't see any of them. I know that is probably budgetary, but it felt really weird. Anyway, they decide they've got to confront Chuck, intervention-style (thinking he's going through some sort of post-Sarah bender), and track him down to the Buy More, heading for the Home Theater Room. We're made to think they're going to catch him going down into Castle, because Morgan almost did earlier, but in fact he is in there making out with Hannah! Ellie is ecstatic, Morgan betrayed. He liked Hannah, you see. And probably also because Chuck never told him something was going on with her. Betrayal! Intrigue!
In the final scene, we see Visilis talking to the Ring command in a very '90s looking, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure-reminiscent space. He tells them he saw Shaw and asks what they're going to do to him. Their answer? The same thing we're doing to you - which means, shooting him in the head! So, was Shaw once part of the Ring? Do they just want him because he's tracking them down? Is it something more nefarious? We won't find out for a few weeks thanks to the Winter Olympics, but c'est la vie.
Oh, I almost forgot this little bit. The crew tells Chuck that they're just his training wheels. The Intersect is really meant to work autonomously one day. Chuck looked very horrified at the thought, as I'm sure the audience is as well.
There weren't a ton of funny lines this episode, but here are the few I did catch:
"...if you're into the strong, Superman type of guy." - Chuck (aaaand yet another reference to Brandon Routh's former role!)
"Thanks for the coffee. Just the way I like it. Black and bitter." - Casey
"When do I get to blow something up?" - Casey
"Hope you're ready for your big boy bike, Bartowski." - Holy Alliteration, Casey!
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