In a previous story, the colourful background that Sarah called childhood was alluded to, but it this episode it comes back to haunt her as a full torso vaporous apparition.
The story begins in Butte, Idaho, where a blonde pigtailed girl is cycling through town to be run over by a security truck. The excellent Gary Cole appears and offers to drive her to hospital, at which point it becomes obvious that this is a con and this man is her father!
Winding forward to the present, we realise that ‘Jack Burton’ is still a conman, and isn’t aware that Sarah has a job that puts her on the opposite side of the legal fence.
Chuck becomes suspicious when Sarah announces that she’s having a ‘personal’ night off, so he trails her to a restaurant where she’s dining with her father. The two hit it off immediately. After ‘flashing’ on him, Chuck calls him a ‘bottom feeding, scum of the earth’, and Jack refers to him as the ‘snook’.
It turns out that Jack’s managed to con some rich and terrorist-connected Arabs out of a large amount of money. This would entirely be Jack’s problem if the CIA didn’t want to freeze the bank accounts the money came from, and so Jack, Sarah, Chuck and ‘cop face’ Casey end up devising a sting to get more money and the account details from their mark.
So where does the Delorean come into play? It’s actually a minor aside where the Buy More plot takes us, which, as is often the case in Chuck, is a parallel story to the main one. The theme, if there is one, is about borrowing money you can’t give back.
Rather naively Captain Awesome gives Morgan $2,500 so that he can rent an apartment and move in with Anna (yes, she’s back!). Except his brain goes all back-to-the-future when someone turns up at the Buy More wishing to sell an old Delorean. You can guess where the money goes! In reality it’s hard to describe what an automotive nightmare the Delorean was, but this particular car won’t go faster than 22 miles an hour without stalling. Morgan’s in deep, but that’s nothing to the trouble that Jack and Co are about to be in.
In their sting they take over a building, redecorate it as their own offices and then crack a deal worth $10m with the Arabs. Except it doesn’t go very well, and shortly after the money is transferred, they realise they’ve been conned.
It ends up with a typical Chuck scenario in an open space with everybody pointing guns at each other! Sarah would give the money back, but Jack put it into Chuck’s account and not the CIA’s. She resorts to the opening hostage scene of Speed, where, to save Jack’s life, she shoots him! The bad guy escapes in the Delorean, which doesn’t take him very far.
As Chuck episodes go this one’s a fair example and Gary Cole is as sparkling as ever. It’s got a nice counter ending where Jack realises that Sarah isn’t a yogurt salesperson or a conman any longer, and disappears.
However it does have some excellent geekness running through it like lettering through hard candy. Here’s the skinny;
- Jack Burton is the name of numerous fictional characters, including the one that s played by Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China.
- Chuck tries to be a German at one point, but it comes out sounding like Hogan’s Heroes character Col. Klink. Something Casey comments on.
- The idea that someone ends up with a large amount of money in their personal account was also the basis for the plot of Office Space, a movie with Gary Cole.
- Once Morgan gets his money back from the Delorean, he’s then tempted to buy the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard.
- Spaghetti Western music plays when Morgan thinks he’s about to be forced to grow up.
- The building they try to sell is the Nagamichi Plaza, possibly a reference to Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.
Check out Billy’s review of episode 9 here.