By Kate Ward
Updated December 04, 2007 at 08:25 PM EST

To answer your questions from my less-than-enthusiastic recap last week, PopWatchers: Yes, I was watching the same show as you; and, no, it wasn’t the tryptophan that got me down. But I have to note that all the questioning of my fondness for Chuck hurt more than a Casey-punch to the face, my friends. And to that, I simply say: I love Chuck. In fact, I love Chuck so much that my expectations going into each episode this season have risen higher than Jeff after a thermos of eggnog. So when a potentially mind-blowing episode delivers more slapstick than intrigue (especially after stellar back-to-back shows in previous weeks), I tend to get a tad bit grumpy. Is it too much to ask for one, tiny plot twist?

But thankfully, Chuck redeemed itself in my eyes last night after delivering that coveted plot twist. And holy giant shrimp, was it a plot twist! Seems the trusty ol’ government has cooked up a beta version of the intersect that will soon render our Nerd Herder unnecessary. We all know that in this technology-driven world, a digital duplication of the intersect points to Chuck’s termination (where’s John Connor when you need him?), and now that we know that Casey (played by Adam Baldwin, pictured)is in on the plan, we can’t be too sure of who is on what side. Thus, we now enter our Chuck drought with a bevy of questions: Has Casey officially gone bad? Were we right to question the NSA agent in the first few episodes after he (kind of) took down innocent rogue-spy Bryce? And does Casey’s questioning Sarah about being compromised with Chuck mean that Sarah knew Chuck’s tenure as a spy would be, quite literally, short-lived? Though I doubt both characters will be completely led into the dark side — Casey’s priceless affection for his car makes me believe the stoic agent has at least a little bit of heart left — we can certainly expect both to make some questionable decisions once Chuck returns.

addCredit(“Paul Drinkwater”)

Speaking of our CIA agent, last night’s episode gave us a littleglimpse inside Sarah’s mind. Poor, confused Sarah. After beingforced to choose between staying in L.A. with Chuck, or leaving for”Omaha” with her ex last week, the agent predictably chose to followthrough with her mission and continue to keep our hero guessing abouttheir relationship status (this week: friends ). Not that Sarah wassatisfied about said decision. Whether she was frustrated about havingto leave behind Bryce, having to mask her feelings for Chuck, or simplyhaving to wake up in the morning in time to serve hot dogs at amini-mall, girl was not a happy camper. And though that alarm clockbore the brunt of her anger early in the episode, Chuck seemed to beSarah’s target for the majority of the hour. She not only adopted anunusual, cool demeanor typically reserved for the likes of Casey, butshe also accused Chuck of intervening with a mission because of hisjealous ways. And her admission that their kiss was a mistake — and,for that matter, will never happen again — left our hero with a bruised ego and little hope for a rekindling romance.

But we all know that Sarah’s cool exterior was simply a defensemechanism against her true feelings. Based on her conversation withCasey, it seems Sarah yearns for white picket fences — a life shecannot have. But her sour mood didn’t last for too long; after all, asuccessful mission always cheers a girl up. After Sarah and Casey werebenched for closing in on a target too early, Chuck convinced the twoto return to their mission in order to defeat an antagonist who managesto resemble both Richard Branson and Willem Dafoe. And thanks toChuck’s computer skills, the threesome managed to divert a bomb headedfor a yacht holding none other than Morgan and Anna Wu. Through themission, Chuck gained back Sarah’s trust, and the CIA agent made goodat Buy More’s Christmas holiday party by complimenting Chuck’s spy craft. Yep, seems Sarah’s finally realizing what we’ve all noticed throughout Chuck‘s11 episodes — that our hero has finally embraced his spy roots tobecome quite a pro. Hey, he even managed to rock that fetching suitwith far more flair than during episode 3’s art auction.

And I know I have never given Chuck’s sidekick much love, but I haveto say that I genuinely enjoyed Morgan’s scenes for the first timesince, well, Chuck’s premiere. Not only has he toned down hisirritating demeanor, but he also appears to be a bastion of knowledge(Lesson No. 1: Never trust a woman whose name is a palindrome). Thoughhis relationship with Anna Wu once appeared to be a casual hook-up,their newly serious courtship has proved to be a sweet subplot for Chuck that not only provides laughs, but plenty of heart as well.

What did you think of the episode, PopWatchers? Are you beginning tolike Morgan more? Has Casey officially gone bad? Does Sarah know aboutthe government’s plans? And, finally, how will you survive the holidayswithout visions of Captain Awesome dancing in your heads?