What a great episode! Forgive me if I gush, but this was -- for me -- the best Chuck of the third season. And I think it may well be a game-changer for Chuck Bartowski, fledgling spy and man with the Intersect in his brain. For the first time, Chuck really achieved altitude, which may coincide with the plot that had Chuck, as the title suggested, taking flight.
I approve wholeheartedly of Shaw's decision to put Chuck into the field and let him fly solo. After all the training in Prague, not to mention all the missions with Casey and Sarah, Chuck should be able to handle himself in most situations. And in this instance, he had contact with Shaw and Sarah to lend more than a little assistance. Getting Sarah to take over the controls of the 747 was a perfect way for the CIA to help Chuck while still letting him do the work.
Chuck didn't get to use the nunchucks, but he was pretty good with the sword play. What I liked about this episode is that it broke out of the formula. There was no party to infiltrate. No girl on girl fight between Sarah and some evil operative. No predictable commentary from the General to set up or wrap up the show. There was more time for character development with Shaw questioning Sarah's feelings for Chuck and revealing how he lost his wife, Evelyn, a spy like them. It was a cautionary tale, but Sarah may be too in love with Chuck to simply turn off her feelings.
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