It's tempting to look at this now-completed three episode arc featuring Chuck's ex Jill (Jordana Brewster) as one long revenge fantasy. Think about it -- six years after getting dumped and left in shambles, Chuck and his ex have unintentionally become super-sized versions of how Chuck saw them at the time. Chuck, a weapon of the CIA on the side of good, and his ex Jill, a FULCRUM agent, on the side of evil (as far as we know). This episode culminates with Chuck getting the ultimate vengeance. "You're under arrest, Jill ... and I'm breaking up with you." When your ex is also a national security threat, it's a harsh retribution that's wholly justified, hence the revenge fantasy.
There were several fine cultural references this episode as well, the most obvious and funny one being the Start Trek II: The Wrath of Khan moment between Morgan and Lester (Kirk/Spock hands on the glass "needs of the many" classic moment). Another was the hall of mirrors, which recalled the classic Scaramanga's funhouse scene in The Man with the Golden Gun (and, as someone else pointed out to me, possibly Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai).
Musically, my favorite moment came during Chuck's interrogation of Jill, when The Accidental's "Knock Knock" plays quietly in the background. The lyrics "You broke both my legs and you asked me to stay / And all of the enemies trickled away" delivered in the haunting song were both creepy and very prescient given Jill's immediate betrayal -- again! The episode ended with Ra Ra Riot's "Can You Tell," trying to rekindle the Chuck/Sarah attraction, but I must confess I'm not a fan of the song, and so it kind of ruined the scene for me.
Luckily, the Thanksgiving cheer of Ellie and co. overcame that slight, even if Josh Schwartz played the holiday miracle card yet again. The scene reminded me that we haven't seen Anna in some time, as the Thanksgiving episode last season had Morgan introducing her to Ellie. Where exactly is our Anna? We haven't seen her since Casey suggested she might make a good agent. And speaking of Casey, any episode featuring the line "unleash the Casey" automatically gets high marks.
Playlist: Chuck - Episode 2.08
Previously: Alas, Poor Yorick! (Episode 2.07)