Written by: Zev Borow
Directed by: Chris Fisher
The One Where: Chuck becomes jealous when Sarah’s job means she has to seduce a wealthy counterfeiter; Big Mike organises the Buy More Christmas party; Anna’s parents meet Morgan; Casey’s car is blown up; and Casey’s superiors reveal a new intersect is almost up and running, so Chuck will have be “dealt with”.
Verdict: There’s lots to enjoy in this episode, but somehow it doesn’t quite hang together as seamlessly as usual and some of the gags – especially in the “Morgan meets Anna’s parents” plot – simply misfire. It kicks off in fine form, with
B-list Nerd Herders Lester and Jeff getting some great lines, and Casey is on top form – he waxes his car like he’s making love to it and comes up with gems like: “Someone’s gotta protect the intersect... also, I didn’t miss any gunplay.”
The final few minutes also serve up some memorable moments, from the whole guided missile sequence through the Buy More party to the ominous twist at the end (is Casey really being asked to kill Chuck when the new intersect is up and running?).
But the episode sags in the middle with Morgan’s dreary attempts to pretend to be someone who’s going places, some half-baked Casino Royale shenanigans and far too many scenes of Chuck and Sarah having awkward conversations. Chuck’s jealousy over her involvement with the counterfeiter also seems rather contrived and overegged to suit the plot’s purposes – a strange mis-step in a show which has so far treated this relationship with an assured touch.
WTF? Why did Chuck’s flash vision contain the image of a warning sign saying, “Otter crossing”? An in-joke? A mere bit of silliness? Or will otters have some great significance in future episodes?
Geek Credentials: Well, apart from Chuck’s dancing at the Buy More Chris... sorry holiday party (which is as geeky as dancing gets) there’s Lester’s knowledge that the Loveboat was called The Pacific Princess, his Captain Kirk reference and Chuck’s line: “‘Always bet on black’ – Wesley Snipes, Passenger 57.”
Nice Touch: Casey wears a t-shirt with the slogan, “If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” (it’s so him), and Sarah deals with an alarm clock by lobbing a knife at it (“Not a morning person, I see,” says Chuck).
Did You Spot? When Casey is talking about his car he says, "Shiny!", a catchphrase from Firefly.
Speculation: Is Lester really Jewish? There are heavy hints that he’s just pretending to be in order to wind up Big Mike – making a fuss about not using the word “Christmas” because it causes him offence.
Morgan: "Anna’s cheating on me."
Lester: "Ouch... So, who’s the lucky guy?"