Season 3 – Episode 10 – Chuck Versus the Tic Tac
The episode starts with a flashback to Honduras in 1989, where Alex Coburn, whom we now know as John Casey, is offered a job with a covert black ops group.
Today, Casey is in his apartment and his old commander, the one who recruited him to the black ops group, wants him to “pick something up” while on a trace cell mission that he is about to get from General Beckman.
Morgan is acting like a weirdo and spying on Casey. Chuck comes out and they end up seeing Casey’s old commander leaving his apartment.
The team is assembled in Castle, where General Beckman gives them a trace cell mission, as predicted. Sarah informs Chuck (and us) that a trace cell mission means spy proofing domestic security. In this case, they will be breaking into an underground vault.
When they reach the vault, Casey gets whatever it was that he was asked to retrieve, without Chuck or Sarah knowing about it. Chuck asks him if he took something out of a box and Casey says no. Chuck thinks he’s working on a secret side mission and Casey threatens to kill Chuck if he tells anyone.
General Beckman tells them they were too late and something was already compromised. It would help soldiers in battle not feel fear. Chuck wants to know if it would work on him. Sarah points out he wouldn’t feel anything, but Chuck counters that he could work. General Beckman already suspects it was an inside job. When General Beckman says the box number the pill was taken from, Chuck realizes it’s so obvious that Casey did it that it must be another CIA test, following his plane mission and having to turn an asset, so he tells them that Casey did it. When Chuck realizes it wasn’t actually a test he tries to backtrack but the damage is done. General Beckman gives Casey a chance to respond. Chuck interrupts to defend Casey because he honestly doesn’t think Casey would do something to betray the country, but Casey says he’s exercising the Fifth Amendment. Sarah is then ordered to relieve Casey of his weapon.
Chuck asks Morgan to see his stakeout footage. When he sees Casey’s former commander, he flashes. He finds Sarah to tell her what he saw, which is that Casey’s old commander, James Keller, is the man who turned Casey’s sensei, because he’s a member of the ring, which they don’t think Casey knows. Sarah tells Chuck that the CIA is moving Casey to a black site in Thailand, outside of U.S. torture jurisdictions.
Chuck and Sarah are back at the underground bunker they broke into at the beginning of the episode, except this time, unsanctioned and after they have just spy-proofed it, and on a mission to get to Casey, who is being held on Level 15.
Back at Castle, General Beckman reveals information about Casey after unsealing his file, including the fact that his real name is Alex Coburn, who faked his death in Honduras on the same day that John Casey was recruited by James Keller. General Beckman then tells Chuck and Sarah that they won’t be arrested but that their mission is to find and capture Colonel John Casey, dead or alive.
They realize Casey must not have given over the pill or Keller wouldn’t have needed him anymore. It can’t be in the apartment and he wouldn’t be able to get into the Buy More unless he had help. Chuck then realizes that he does – Morgan. Chuck gets Morgan to give him the pill.
Chuck goes to Casey’s apartment, where Casey asks Chuck to give him the pill at gunpoint. Chuck tells Casey that he knows everything, including that he’s really Alex Coburn. Chuck says the only thing he doesn’t know is why. Casey tells him (and Sarah, who has come in) that Alex Coburn had a fiancée, Kathleen, and Keller is going to kill her unless Casey gives him the pill.
Chuck calls Casey and Sarah to see how far away they are. They are still five minutes away so Sarah tells him to handle anything immediately by flashing. Chuck says everything is immediate and there are too many bad guys. Casey tells him to take the pill. He puts it in his mouth and a Ring agent immediately comes up behind him and holds him at gunpoint. Another Ring agent then comes from the other side and knocks Chuck out. They then knock Kathleen out.
After Chuck takes out the Ring agents and Sarah and Casey arrive, Casey has a flashback to the last time he spoke to Kathleen. She was about to tell him something when he hung up the phone. Then Keller tells him that Alex Coburn will die in action that night and that he would go by the name John Casey from that point on.
General Beckman tells Casey that she isn’t going to press charges, but he will have his second chance as a civilian. Chuck looks devastated. Casey salutes the General and instead of saluting back, she just extends her hand to shake. Casey’s look is heartbreaking.
General Beckman tells Sarah that she remembers Sarah’s request for a different assignment and there is an opening in D.C. General Beckman invites Sarah to join her on her flight home to discuss it if she’s interested.
Ellie tells Chuck she thinks she’s going to go to Africa for Doctors Without Borders with Awesome. He then tells her he should have congratulated her on getting the USC job that she had been offered.
Chuck visits Casey at his new apartment, where has only a chair and his bonsai tree. Chuck tells Casey he can still go see Kathleen and meet his daughter. Casey tells him that he made his decision between love and love of country a long time ago and it was the right decision for him. He tells Chuck he has to make the same decision. Casey then says, “Walker’s a good woman. It’s not too late.”
The last scene finds Sarah in a cab in D.C. She tells the driver that she’s thinking of moving there.
Sarah tells the agents searching Casey’s home to show some respect, calling Casey, “One of the best that we had.”
When Chuck finds out what is happening to Casey, he tells Sarah they have to break him out and clear his name. Sarah points out what he would lose if they get caught, and Chuck is still in.
Sarah tells Chuck that she thought he had changed. She tells him not to lose that guy she met three years ago. He says he’ll always be that guy and pushes away the gun she offers him.
Chuck tells Casey he will go to Kathleen’s and protect her while Casey goes to the meeting with Keller.
Kathleen is coming to and starting to see Casey but she doesn’t seem to recognize him. A young woman comes in and calls her ‘Mom.” Kathleen calls her “Alex.” Casey has a daughter he didn’t know about! That’s what Kathleen was going to tell him on the phone.
Coolest Action Sequences/Chuck Accidentally Saves the Day:
The first level of security involves Chuck doing some impressive gymnastics to get through a hallway where something shoots out of the walls.
Chuck and Sarah get the door open after an explosion goes off in Casey’s cell. Casey gets up to find James Keller and his team on one side, where they have blown out the wall, and Chuck and Sarah at the door, both there to rescue Casey. Chuck tells Casey the truth about Keller and Casey says he knows and goes with him anyway.
Casey shows up at the meeting with Keller and smokes a cigar, dropping the matchbook on the floor with matches sticking up. Inside, instead of the pill, he gives Keller a tic-tac. Keller says he taught Casey to always have someone to watch his back. The camera then cuts to Sarah, strapped to the bottom of Casey’s car. She lowers herself and looks at the matchbook, which Casey folded to indicate the fight was five against one. Taking them by surprise, Sarah takes out all the bad guys outside while Casey is fighting with Keller inside. Sarah goes inside and finds Casey holding Keller up against a pillar. He knocks him out and tells Sarah the bad guys are already at Kathleen’s house.
Meanwhile, Chuck takes Casey’s advice and takes the pill. He then has a crazy fight with all the Ring agents where he has apparently become Neo from the Matrix and can now dodge bullets. He takes out all the Ring agents and is strangling the last one to death against the wall when Sarah walks in. He looks emotionless until he turns around and sees her. Then he drops the guy and stares at his hands, looking kind of freaked out.
As Chuck and Sarah start going through the security, Chuck starts to do his gymnastics again, but this time hits a glass wall and slides down it like a cartoon. Sarah walks over to him to see if he’s okay, and sets off the alarm. Agents with guns come out of the elevator and Sarah acts quickly and starts applauding, pretending they were checking his work. Chuck pretends to be on the phone with General Beckman, telling her what an excellent job Fitzroy (“it means son of the king”) did in fixing the security so quickly. They then tell him how much they like Level 1 and how they would both love to see what he’s done with Level 15. He’s happy to give them the tour!
Ellie and Awesome go to talk to Chuck about their plans, and when Morgan answers the door, they decide to get a third opinion. They both talk over each other simultaneously, and Morgan says Awesome is being selfish. Awesome then asks for a sidebar where he tells Morgan that if he had all the information, he would know it wasn’t safe for Ellie. Morgan counters if Awesome had all the information, he would know L.A. is the safest place for her. They circle each other, both wondering how much the other knows.
Chuck and Sarah are outside the door to Level 15 when Fitzroy realizes they are breaking in. The alarm goes off because someone else is also breaking in. Short on time, Sarah punches him, knocking him unconscious and just takes the key.
Chuck and Sarah start freaking out about Casey becoming a member of the Ring. They are hurrying out of the Orange Orange to avoid getting caught when a door opens right in front of Chuck, knocking him over. Bags are put over both his and Sarah’s heads and they then find themselves back at Castle, with General Beckman there in person.
Chuck pretends to be with the gas company when he goes to Kathleen’s house. The bad guys show up, and he comes across as a completely crazy person.
The Ring agents show up at Kathleen’s house pretending to be from the gas company, the exact cover Chuck used a few minutes earlier.
Love Triangle Crap:
Chuck finds out Sarah is flying to Washington, D.C. to meet Shaw, but it’s personal, not a mission.
“If we do this, and if we get caught, we’re going to be tried for treason, and you’re going to lose everything and you’re never going to get a chance to be a real spy. Is that what you want?” – Sarah
“It’s Casey.” – Chuck
“I was hoping you’d say that.” – Sarah
“Shaw can wait, Casey can’t. He’s in a holding cell on level 15.” – Sarah
“Please, forgive the intrusion and condescending tone. I wasn’t informed that you two were coming, but that must have been the point.” – Fitzroy
“Was that absolutely necessary?” – Chuck
“Yes!” – Sarah
“When three of my agents are arrested for treason in 24 hours, it reflects poorly on me.” – General Beckman
“I don’t care who you were. I know who you are and you’re not in this alone.” – Chuck
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Chuck Rewatch Recap – Season 3 – Episode 10 – Chuck Versus the Tic Tac