This episode opens with Big Mike jacking up prices in the spirit of the holiday and Chuck telling Sarah they have a cover date for Christmas, only to find out she doesn’t “do” Christmas.
A car chase is on the news and everyone in the Buy More starts making bets over how the chase will end, in a shoot out, beat down, etc. As they watch, the car drives into a shopping plaza in Burbank, and the next thing you know, the fugitive has driven right through the front door of the Buy More, car and all.
The guy gets out of the car with a gun and seems somewhat unstable, talking to himself. He asks who is in charge and Lester, Jeff and Morgan simultaneously say, “Chuck!”
Sarah suggests to General Beckman that, as the fugitive seems timid, it’s likely that the local police can handle it, and if they went in to get Chuck, they would likely blow his cover.
Ned calls his “wife” and then later tells the police that his demand is to be able to spend Christmas at home with his family. The police negotiator comes in and convinces Ned to free two hostages. Casey and Sarah end up as the two freed hostages. After they are gone, Chuck flashes on the police negotiator and realizes that he is a Fulcrum agent. Uh-oh!
Chuck tells Ned that the police negotiator, Mauser, is a bad guy and tries to convince him to let everyone go. When he remains unconvinced, Chuck tells Ned that he is important to the government and they will do anything to help him.
“Wife? What wife? There’s no record of Ned being married.” – a SWAT team member tells Casey and Sarah when they ask why the team didn’t bring Ned’s wife down to the scene.
Mauser then asks to talk to Chuck, and Mauser tells Chuck he knows Casey is NSA and Sarah is CIA and the whole ruckus was intended to figure out who they were protecting, and now they know that it’s Chuck. They threaten to kill Ellie if Chuck doesn’t tell them where Bryce Larkin and the Intersect are. (That guy again!)
Sarah and Casey see that they took Chuck by watching news coverage and chase after them. Sarah shoots the van and hits the tire. Sarah finds Chuck wandering the Christmas trees and Sarah tells him to run back to Castle. He starts to, but in typical Chuck fashion, he can’t leave Sarah so he turns back and witnesses Sarah killing Mauser.
Sarah finds Chuck in the Buy More and tells him that she arrested the Fulcrum agent and that Casey is taking him to jail, blatantly lying to Chuck’s face.
Sarah and Casey go into the break room to get Chuck out, but he refuses to leave his sister and friends behind. Ned walks in and Chuck calms him down so he doesn’t shoot anyone. Ned is about to put the gun down, but says he doesn’t know how to work the safety, and when he tries, he accidentally shoots Casey in the foot. Casey is very upset about his toe.
Chuck calls Sarah on her cell after Ned lets the hostages call their loved ones. They sit in the DVD section and she asks if his invitation to Christmas dinner still stands. Chuck then gives her a Christmas gift early, a charm bracelet that belonged to his mother.
Awesome devises a plan to take out Ned and instructs Morgan, Jeff, Lester and Big Mike to help him. Lester charges at Ned with a plastic candy cane and gets kicked in the head. Then, Morgan jumps up from the fake snow and hits Ned in the face. At that moment, Awesome and Big Mike charge Ned from either side, knocking him over and allowing Awesome to grab the gun.
Awesome tells Ellie that he canceled his sky diving trip because he’s had all the danger and excitement he needs.
General Beckman asks Casey if he’s okay, noticing that all of his fingers have bandages. He says he’s on the gift-wrapping station. “It’s an electronics store,” General Beckman says. “Get it under control.”
The policeman calls back to find out what Ned’s demands are and Ned has no idea. Chuck asks the police to call back in five minutes.
Chuck’s tragic facial expression after Sarah lies to him is contrasted by the comical image of Chuck sitting next to Morgan in an elf costume.
Moment of Cowardice/Saddest Moment:
The police want Ned to send out a hostage as a sign of good faith and Emmett runs out shrieking so Ned sends him.
Sad in a different way, is the way that Ellie looks at Lester and Jeff after they suggest that Chuck made a deal with Ned to release Emmett for better lunch shifts.
Two sad moments, again in very different ways, occur during the phone calls to loved ones. Jeff calls a prison to speak to his mother, who is apparently serving time, while Lester calls a phone sex hotline.
Chuck tells Ellie goodbye and that he loves her when he’s not certain that he will ever see her again. All scenes about the strength of the sibling relationship between Chuck and Ellie are awesome (no pun intended, really!) because there are very few shows that show good sibling relationships.
Notable Guest Appearance:
Michael Rooker, also known as Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy appears as Mauser, the policeman that Chuck negotiates with.
Coolest Action Sequences/Chuck Accidentally Saves the Day:
Chuck tells Mauser that he is the Intersect to save Ellie. He then asks Mauser if he can say goodbye to Ellie. He hugs Awesome and tells him to go forward with his plan to take out Ned.
Sarah and Mauser fight in the Christmas tree lot. Sarah gets the upper hand and grabs the gun. Mauser tells her that he knows that Chuck is the Intersect. He tells her Fulcrum will look for him and then that will destroy Chuck. Sarah shoots Mauser in the head to protect Chuck and his secret.
“Christmas at the Burton household meant the annual Salvation Army con job.” – Sarah
“I need an adrenaline rush, a sense of danger in my life.” – Awesome, right before they are all taken hostage by the fugitive
“The store has a very strict no bravery policy.” – Chuck
“I’m just scared. I’ve never been this close to a gun before.” – Sarah
“Chuck, I can’t take this. This is something real, something that you should give to a real girlfriend.” – Sarah
“I know.” – Chuck
“Trust me, I’ll never let anyone hurt you.” – Sarah (She is not kidding.)
“Remember, don’t be awesome.” – Chuck
“Listen, there’s a time to be brave and a time to be timid. This is a time to be brave. Do it.” – Chuck
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