The Wife:

In the same vane of Sarah’s recent back story episode in “Chuck vs. the Cougar,” we finally got to learn a little bit about the cold, ferocious bear of a man we’ve come to know and love as Jayne Cobb John Casey. Back in 1994, Casey was trained in the ways of martial arts by Sensei Ty Bennett, who told a younger, goateed Casey that he was not centered enough to be a good fighter. In the present, Assistant Store Manager Emmett Milbarge wants Casey to fracture his calm center with a smile in order to improve customer service. We all know how scary it is when Casey smiles.

The General assigns Chuck, Casey and Sarah to go to Space Camp, “where all the cool kids go,” to prevent the theft of a specialized guidance system. Chuck is ordered to stay in the van in case he flashes on anything, due to his extreme emotional involvement with his last case. Casey and Sarah, dressed as a sexy scientist, infiltrate the lab but are ambushed by white ninjas, the leader of which just happens to be Sensei Bennett. Chuck flashes on the good sensei and the General later informs them that Bennett has been recruiting his old students to help him in his devious plans to steal scientific articles of interest and sell them to the wrong people. In this case, to sell the guidance system to missile producers. Sarah and Casey are sent to stop the exchange from happening, and Casey gets Chuck to sit this mission out so that he can face his old master alone.

As such, Chuck then gets wrangled into Emmett’s scheme to improve Buy More customer service by instituting an Employee of the Month contest (one that doesn’t involve Dane Cook or Jessica Simpson, fortunately). Morgan rallies the other Buymorians against said contest by instituting a side bet to see who can get the lowest comment card scores. Sarah and Casey learn that the drop is a set-up when they’re witness to an explosion, and Chuck gleans this information when the Sensei wanders in to the Buy More, looking for Casey. Chuck calls Casey immediately to let him know. Looking for answers, the Sensei moves on to ask Morgan where Casey is. Committed to his low customer service mission, Morgan refuses to comply, which infuriates the Sensei. Chuck decides to tail the Sensei out of the store against Casey’s wishes and gets caught and locked in the trunk of Bennett’s car. Casey is all too ready to potentially kill Bennett and himself and Sarah by ramming his car directly into Bennett’s, but veers away when Sarah realizes the GPS signal from Chuck’s watch is coming from inside the car. While Sarah rescues Chuck, Bennett asks Casey to be his student again, which Casey vehemently refuses on the grounds that he is not a traitor. Bennett then escapes from the rooftop, which the General assumes is because of Casey’s past with the suspect, and so she throws him off the case.

Oddly, Morgan Fairchilds biking outfit reminds me of her Old Navy commercials.

Oddly, Morgan Fairchild's biking outfit reminds me of her Old Navy commercials.

Meanwhile, the Awesomes have descended upon the Bartowski house and they’re taking over Ellie’s wedding. They mean well, of course, helping poor orphaned Ellie plan all the details with the help of a scrapbook of dresses that her cut-out head would look nice on and a trip to the Buy More to register in-store for electronics, which Morgan, Jeff and Lester take as a way to remedy the threat Emmett has made against their low scores (the lowest scoring employee, they soon find out, has to close every Saturday night for a month. Sarah and Chuck are requested at the Awesome-sponsored catering tasting dinner that evening, which Chuck ultimately has to miss when Casey calls him over to the Castle in order to use him to divert the security system and escape to fight the Sensei on his own, chaining Chuck up in the Orange Orange in order to keep him from alerting Sarah of Casey’s whereabouts.

At dinner, Sarah makes excuses for Chuck’s absence from the dinner and has to witness Ellie freak out about the Awesome’s micromanagement of her wedding when Woody suggests that he would be happy to walk Ellie down the aisle in her father’s stead. At the Orange Orange, Chuck is finally able to MacGuyver his way out of his chains and call Sarah, letting her know that Casey is headed to a dojo on Mulholland to try and stop Bennett. Sarah races out of dinner and stops Casey before he is about to do something totally stupid, and agrees to help him on his quest. Chuck gets there before they are able to break in, and when they do, they see that he has already been captured. Casey challenges his Sensei to a no-weapons fight, which he calls a true display of honor. After Chuck and Sarah watch Casey get the shit beat out of him for a few rounds, Chuck calls Casey aside and riles him up to “unleash the Casey” on Bennett. Knowing that Casey constantly struggles to be calm, Chuck intentionally provokes Casey, believing that his unbridled rage will make him a better fighter. It does, and Casey knocks out his former master just as Sarah’s scheduled back-up arrives.

In Buymoria, Napoleon Dynamite-esque employee Skip wins Employee of the Month, along with a giant plasma screen TV. Upon seeing how great the one-time prize was, Morgan and Co. recant their former sentiments that the contest is indeed lame and bogus and they will never work hard again.

At Casa Bartowski, Chuck returns home to apologize to his sister for missing her dinner. She informs him that the Awesomes have left town and that the only thing she ever really wanted for her wedding day was to have her father walk her down the aisle, which she can’t do because Papa Bartowski has been missing from their lives for years. Chuck tries to call an old number from a birthday card, hoping to reach their father, but gets nothing. In the end, he assures his sister that he will do everything in his power to get their father to be at her wedding.

I can only hope that the reason Papa Bartowski left his family was because he was involved in some secret government shit and had to go into hiding, or was spirited away by the witness protection program and that Chuck can use his CIA connections to make an actual improvement to the lives of those he loves.

None of the plots in this episode really worked for me, especially the odd attempt to fuse the Ellie plot with the Buy More plot – do people actually register in-store anymore? But I did like what the main plot and the Ellie plot did to enhance and inform the characters of John Casey and Ellie Bartowski. For the first time, I really get why Casey is so volatile, a fact which I had previously just accepted, and I really get why Ellie can be so whiny sometimes and so fiercely loyal to her brother. She’s practically raised Chuck, and never has any time for her own life, either in caring for Chuck or by being controlled (slightly) by Awesome and (not so slightly) by his overbearing family.

Im just posting this so that we can all marvel at Ryan McPartlins abs. Betty Draper tapped that shit in a mens room, yo.

I'm just posting this so that we can all marvel at Ryan McPartlin's abs. Betty Draper tapped that shit in a men's room, yo.

I also enjoyed seeing Adam Baldwin in a ghi, which for some reason reminded me of My Bodyguard. You know what I didn’t enjoy? Another Anna-less episode. Where the fuck is she? Did we have to lose her in order to have Jordana Brewster and Morgan Fairchild on the show? Can this show only employ a certain number of women each week? The Buy More is really missing something without her.

The Husband:

I don’t have much to say about the episode, but I will note that extremely nerdy viewers may have noticed that the final battle between Casey and Bennett was a direct take-off of the final Okinawa battle in The Karate Kid, Part II, right down to the exact moment Casey gets a bloody nose. If you haven’t already, I cannot recommend enough that you go out and watch both The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid, Part II, both great movies in their own right, while the third one is just a guilty pleasure. (You’d do well to skip The Next Karate Kid starring a pre-two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, though.)