Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Vic Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Bonita Friedericy
Writers: Max Denby
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Network: NBC, airs Monday nights
Original Telecast: January 17, 2011

Come on CHUCK fans, we all knew that there was no way Chuck (Zachary Levi) was going to be able propose to Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) without some complications.

Of course, that’s the pleasure of “Vs. The Balcony” a light and fun episode detailing some routine spy stuff in France accompanied by Chuck’s constantly foiled attempts to propose to Sarah.

Luckily for Chuck, Sarah seems ready (and is anticipating) the big question. In fact, when she overhears that Chuck and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are preparing a sub-mission within the French mission to find the perfect place to propose (it’s on a balcony with a view), she wants in on it. As she tells Morgan “I’m a spy. I don’t like surprises.”

Of course, perfect moments never happen and before Chuck almost proposes, the CIA shows up to arrest Sarah for treason.

What we learn is Sarah is working with General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) to create a cover of Sarah as a double spy. That way she can infiltrate the Volkoff organization in attempt to take down Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton) and safely bring back home double spy and Chuck’s mom Mary Bartowski (Linda Hamilton).

Sarah says she’s doing this for Chuck, but it’s obvious there’s some selfishness on her part as well. She still wants to be a spy, unencumbered by responsibilities. She’s still trying to shake the spy that doesn’t like surprises thing, so she can fully commit to living more in the moment with Chuck.

There are wonderful scenes throughout this episode, including Morgan, Sarah and eventually Casey (Adam Baldwin) all helping with the sub-mission within the mission. Casey has a great talk with Chuck about there never being any “perfect” moments and rather you have to grab whatever moment you can and make it perfect (of course, it was told in totally Casey-speak).

Meanwhile, at the Buy More, Lester (Vik Sahay) discovers that his parents have set him up with an arranged marriage and the girl is arriving at the Buy More to meet him. Unsure what to do, Lester does what he knows best – making a fool of himself.

“Vs. The Balcony” is a great balance of the romantic aspects that Chuck does so well and suspenseful spy stuff. With a full season to play around with, it looks like the seeds for the rest of Season Four are slowly being set in motion and I can’t wait to see where this is all leading. One thing is for sure, it’s obvious the real proposal will not be anticipated or telegraphed and will surely be a surprise moment when Sarah, Chuck and us fans will least suspect it.

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