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CHUCK 5.08 ‘Chuck Versus the Baby’

Sarah returns to Budapest when an old foe with baby fever resurfaces.

Episode Title: 'Chuck Versus the Baby'

Writer: Rafe Jenkins & Lauren LeFranc

Director: Matt Barber

Story:

Five years ago in Budapest, Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) gets a call from her handler, Ryker (Tim DeKay). He orders her to kill a group of men dining inside a mansion and retrieve "The Package." Once the men are taken out, Sarah learns that "the package" is actually a baby girl. 

In present day Burbank, Sarah sees a message from Shaw to Ryker, informing him that the baby is alive. Afterwards, Chuck (Zachary Levi) takes Sarah to the house they are intending to buy. She says they can't afford it but Chuck believes they can if they take Beckman up on her offer to rejoin the CIA. Sarah then tells Chuck something urgent has come up but she can't tell him exactly what.

At Castle, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) watch Sarah prepare to leave on her solo mission but before she goes, Chuck offers up Carmichael Industries' services. She agrees to take the help but reminds the team she can't go into the details of the mission. However, she does reveal that she is after a dangerous ex-CIA operative named Kieran Ryker. She explains that she is communicating with Ryker by posing as Shaw and orders Chuck and Casey to go with her to Budapest while Morgan holds down the fort at home.

Sarah arranges a meet-up in Budapest with Ryker but he is a no-show. In another flashback to five years ago, it's revealed that Ryker wants the child for the incredible fortune she is due to inherit. She realizes he is going to kill the child eventually and escapes with the baby.

When a waiter brings her a note from Ryker, Sarah has Casey and Chuck apprehend the man in hopes of getting info on Ryker. She then gets on a bus, insisting to Chuck that she must act alone.

Back at Castle, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster), Awesome (Ryan McPartlin), Morgan and Alex (Mekenna Melvin) have a boardgame night but Morgan finds he's getting nowhere with Alex. Meanwhile in Budapest, Casey strong arms the reluctant waiter into talking.

Sarah finds a crib with a tape recording of a baby crying inside. Just then, Ryker knocks her out and ties her up. He tells her he originally had her get "the package" for him because he knew she was a loner who could keep a secret.

Ryker's men alert him to Chuck, Casey and the waiter in the foyer. The team rescues Sarah. Back at Castle, Ellie and Awesome each give Alex and Morgan relationship advice in hopes of getting them back together.

Now back in Burbank, Chuck tells Sarah she was wrong to keep a secret from him. In a flashback, she then tells Chuck that she gave the baby to her mom to raise and thus can't see her again, for fear Ryker or the CIA would take the baby. Chuck then finds a electronic bug in Sarah's hair and they realize that Ryker heard everything.

Sarah reaches out to her mom with a special signal sent to the baby's rattle. Ryker breaks into Sarah's mom's house but finds Sarah with a gun, posing as her mother. The two engage in hand-to-hand combat while Chuck and Casey deal with Ryker's thugs outside. Just as Ryker appears to have Sarah cornered, he turns to hear the commotion outside and she stabs him.

Back at home, it's a Bartowski/Walker family reunion with Sarah's mom and the little girl, named Molly, in attendance. Chuck bonds with Sarah's mom and Alex and Morgan kiss. Later, at the house they plan to buy, Sarah tells Chuck she doesn't want to rejoin the CIA and he agrees.

Breakdown:

The skeletons are pouring out the closet as "Chuck" closes in on its series finale. And 'White Collar's' Tim DeKay made a particular nasty blast from the past baddie for Sarah and the boys, what kind of sicko would hunt down a baby girl just for her massive inheritance? The kind of over-the-top love-to-hate-em super villains that "Chuck" is great at giving us on a regular basis.

So that baby Shaw mentioned in his jailhouse chat session with Sarah wasn't their secret love child.  I think we all saw that fake-out coming.  However, why exactly Sarah couldn't tell Chuck about "the package" seemed only to serve as a way for these two to have yet another discussion about living out their lives in the spy game and the effect it will have on their blissful marriage. 

Obviously, we're building up to executive decision time. Where will the series finale leave Chuck, Sarah and Carmichael Industries? The CIA may offer a great benefits, but the Bartowskis are certain working for "The Company" will ultimately be bad for their health. So it's thumbs down to Beckman's offer. Man, the private sector is eating everything up, even "Chuck"!

For all of the excellent action scenes (see Sarah lighting up a room with a baby strapped to her chest), there was just as much cheesy sentiment. We got to see guest star and former Charlie's Angel, Cheryl Ladd as Sarah's long lost mom, reunite with her daughter. Then we got a moment between Chuck and Mom, then Alex and Morgan and that's all after the sappy therapy session in the Castle between Awesome, Ellie, Morgan and Alex. "Chuck" was definitely in "aww shucks" overload mode, this week.

A few other observations about "Chuck Versus the Baby:"

- After Sarah's gun battle in the mansion, I can't believe little Molly didn't suffer permanent hearing loss

- Chuck shuns Ikea for Anthopologie!

- I take it these two can read lips as there is no way Chuck could hear what Sarah said on that bus.

- Thoroughly enjoyed Chuck pulling the old lady out of the deli to translate for the Hungarian waiter.

- Awesome tells Alex about his past as a "A & F" model which Ryan McPartlin actually was in real life. There's just no denying those chiseled good looks, now, is there?

- Sarah's kitchen utensil throwdown with Styker involved everything but the kitchen sink. Hey-yo!

"Chuck Versus the Baby" was half tearjerker, half action movie and all good. As much as I complain about the show's feel-good moments, they do kinda feel good. And this episode had enough spy action along and fun guest stars to make it a winner in 'Chuck's' final run.

Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.