For many fans Chuck vs The Mask marked the darkest point in Chuck’s history. In fact, this episode made many fans walk away from the series for good. Shaw returns to the fold, and makes his moves on Sarah.
While Hannah makes her moves on Chuck. Our favorite couple venture off into the their pursuers graces. They say if you truly love someone set them free. If they come back, they are yours. While this episode is dark. It has some good scenes that are worth talking about.
Let’s unmask the mask.
The episode opens with Shaw challenging his inner Tom Cruise in a vault. He lowers himself down to grab a mask, but in the process one of the screws let’s go from the latch and dropped all the way down to the ground. The impact caused the security system activate, which sealed Daniel in the vault. The oxygen level in the vault was sucked out of the vault, which caused Shaw to call the Intersect for help.
At the Buymore, Hannah asked Chuck to teach her, and at the next install she wanted to tag along with him. Chuck said, she must walk first young grasshopper. As they were talking, Sarah walked into the Buymore asking Chuck to help Shaw who was stuck in the vault.
It is amazing when the team needs his technical skills they come running, but other times completely ignore his cyber skills. Anyway, Hannah asked Morgan who the blond was, and Morgan said that was Chuck’s ex.
Time was running out on Shaw. Chuck arrived and went straight for the control room. As the museum curator was breathing down his neck, Casey said it was up to him. Further the added pressure with Hannah showing up. It became a real pressure cooker for Bartowski.
While time was dwindling, Chuck was able to break the system and save Shaw. The curator was so impressed with his skills he hired both Chuck and Hannah to attend the grand revealing of the mask. Shaw told Chuck to take the job.
At Castle, Shaw went over the episode’s mission. There was more to the mask and Shaw wanted to keep The Ring from getting it. He instructed Chuck and Hannah to operate the computer system, while Casey stayed in the van. Shaw and Sarah were going to work the floor and eventually sneak back to the vault and swap the mask with a reproduction. Everyone was on board except Sarah. She voiced her concerns allowing a civilian in on the mission. Chuck said, it would be a perfect cover just in case they needed to send in the big guns.
Before we go further on with the episode, it’s worth mentioning when Shaw had purchased a coffee for Sarah and gave her a stir stick. He said, “I noticed you like to chew your swizzle stick.” Sarah didn’t take to kindly at the gesture and threw the stick away.
Clearly at this stage of the episode, Sarah still doesn’t like Shaw. She was annoyed when he noticed how she chewed her swizzle stick, and threw away the stick with a bit of disgust in her flicking.
Sarah’s disgust of Shaw continued during mission preparation. It was a bit creepy at the end when he bluntly asked if they slept together. I had mentioned in Sarah Walker vs Agent Walker Part 4, it came off as sexual harassment to me.
Shaw was aggressive and very creepy in the extent of a superior coming on to his employee. Asking questions like how long have we been dating and have we slept together. Sarah’s expressions were telling in she was on to him and fended him off a bit.
Shaw played it off as making the cover more realistic, which makes you know Shaw had a hard time figuring out Sarah. In contrast, Hannah and Chuck are getting along. They are smiling and conversing. Complete opposite of what’s going on in Castle. It’s more evidence Sarah wants nothing to do with Shaw.
Shaw then asked have they slept together. He says it changes the dynamic of the cover. Sarah cuts him off the bridge with any sleezy thoughts in superman’s head.
Here is where i am going to talk about Hannah and Shaw. Both of them are interested in Chuck and Sarah. It’s not shocking why. Chuck and Sarah are great people, and it would be crazy to think other people wouldn’t be interested in them.
The problem is Shaw may not be sincere as Hannah was. Hannah was a stalker by full definition of the world. She showed up in Burbank like woman on a mission. She didn’t know anything about Sarah or what Chuck did on the side. All Hannah knew was she wanted Chuck.
When the four arrive for the mission.The significant difference between the two couples takes place in this scene. Hannah imitated the domino effect when she kiss Bartowski, which Bartowski was a willing participant, but while those two were kissing. Shaw and Sarah walked into the function still against each other.
Shaw continues his assault on Sarah by placing his hand on her shoulder, but Sarah still isn’t into Shaw. She reminded him of what they talked about in Castle. Shaw said he understood, but this was a ball not a high school dance.
So right now between Chuck and Sarah, she is still resisting her pursuer and Chuck gave into his. I still see nothing wrong with this set up. What I take issue is with this.
Chuck is all in with the kiss, but while they were kissing, Hannah saw Sarah on the monitor., which made Hannah ask what the deal was between the two. Chuck couldn’t tell her the truth, but lucky for him he was able to flash on someone in the room.
Chuck would enter the ball, and Shaw had the line of the episode here in this scene. Chuck pointed out the baddie of the episode and instantly Shaw said they had to abort the mission.
Chuck told Shaw he was willing to get the mask with Sarah, and to further my case Sarah wasn’t into Shaw yet, she jumped at the chance to work with Chuck. Sarah was smiling about the idea of Chuck working with her instead of Shaw.
While this was all going on, Hannah was watching from the control room, and saw Chuck skip off with Sarah. While preparing the harnesses Chuck and Sarah were bickering about Shaw and Hannah. Each trying to one up the other on who was innocent in everything.
It was enough for Casey to shut off their earwigs. Shaw asked did they turn off their mics. Casey said, “no, I did. Its tough on the ears when listening to them bickering. Shaw has a lot to get use to.
Meanwhile in the control room, the coordinator was pressuring Hannah to open the curtains for the revealing, but no such luck as Shaw was preventing it from happening from the van.
Sarah was lowered into the vault with the reproduction, and as Chuck was holding the harness wire, The baddies paid Chuck a visit. The fight scene with the battle between Shaw and Hannah was quite entertaining for me. I loved how Sarah tied the harness to the baddie’s belt.
It was a bit of spy craft because the baddie knocked Chuck down into the vault. It swung Sarah back up and she did a nice maneuver that stunned the baddie. She threw the reproduction piece down to Chuck who caught it. The baddie recovered and tried to choke Sarah, and the fight was one.
Sarah got the upper hand eventually, and Chuck and Sarah were able to make the switch. Chuck returned to the control room and was greeted by a very angry Hannah. She asked how could he leave her during her first Nerd Herd assignment. She further would say things between them should be strictly professional. Chuck wasn’t thrilled about hearing that.
Meanwhile the baddie hacked into the security feed and was quite impressed with how Chuck used two women to make the switch. He would call the Buymore and ask Morgan if he could send Hannah back to the museum. Morgan agreed.
Hannah went to the museum, and was greeted by the baddie. He put her in the vault and locking her in their. He turned on the security system and the oxygen levels started to dip fast. He would then call the Buymore, and this time Chuck picked up.
The baddie said to bring the mask and nothing would happen to the girl, and to come alone. As Chuck was preparing to run down to Castle, Morgan stopped him, but Chuck said he didn’t have time to talk to him right now. Morgan took defense to this and followed Chuck into the Home Theater, but couldn’t find Bartowski in the room.
In Castle, Shaw and Sarah were working on the mask. Shaw was able to find a hole in the base of the mask, and opened it. The front of mask opened up, and out rolled a canister, which released a gas. Castle’s security system contained the gas in the room with Shaw and Sarah. Chuck came down to get the mask, but he was too late as Chuck was sealed off from Sarah and Shaw.
Chuck turned around and flashed on the gas’s name and told them there was a counter agent nearby and it must be at the museum. He figured the baddie wouldn’t of sent the mask without it. What is interesting about this scene was Sarah’s expression as Chuck went to go find the counter agent.
If Sarah was into Shaw, she wouldn’t need to make the expressions above. Especially, the second picture. The second screen cap was a look of don’t leave me. We haven’t seen this look from Sarah in a long time.
As I mentioned above, I don’t believe Sarah when she told Shaw she liked the advances Shaw was giving her. I think the gas was designed to let the viewer know Sarah was not under her own power anymore. I will finish my thought on this in a moment.
Chuck and Casey were on their way to save Hannah and get the counter agent. While on the way, quicksilver Chuck came up with a plan to trick the baddie into thinking the gas was not released. Casey was on board with this idea, and when Chuck get to the museum he didn’t have to wait long. Casey worked his way to the top of the vault.
Chuck raises the mask above his head, and threatened to drop it,but the baddie said he didn’t believe him. Chuck said that was too bad, and dropped the mask on the floor releasing gas into the area.
The baddie admitted there was a counter agent, and Chuck flashed on a vase that had the agent in it. Meanwhile, the gas was cleared, which made it safe to move around Castle. Shaw saw that Sarah was not doing too good, and grabbed a high power rifle and shot them free.
Chuck was able to turn off the system, and returned oxygen into the vault. Casey gave the agent to Shaw and Sarah, who arrived at the museum, and we have arguable one of the worse scenes of the series.
Chuck is with Hannah and Sarah was leaning on Shaw.
Its a disaster. The idea that this was a great idea for the viewer to see was poor decision making. It could of been implied and the impact not so severe. What’s worse is the whole episode Sarah was showing disdain for Shaw, but we are to believe saving her would change her feelings just like that. I don’t think so.
It’s character assassination. Hannah demonstrated an obvious interest on her part. She came from Paris to work at a Buymore in Burbank. It’s not that far of reach to realize her intentions. Casey said in best about Chuck. “any pretty girl that bats her eyes, Bartowski becomes interested.”
Shaw’s intentions are not sincere because we can see later he was working an angle. I will explain more on that at the end of the episode. Sarah was the one that makes everyone puzzled in the scene. She is leaning up against Shaw, but let’s be fair she was under have dose of a lethal gas. It would be unrealistic to think she would recover quickly. After all, she suffered the blast of the smoke worse than Shaw did.
As the team was sending their pleasantries to each other, we come to a key point of the story. Charah are venturing off for that last ride away from each other. The final test if you will.
Shaw said Chuck’s training has been stellar so far, and it was about time for the training wheels to come off. When I watch this scene I think back to The Break Up.
We have watch Sarah for three years now, and we have learned when Sarah’s on board with a mission, and when she has second thoughts. This wasn’t a woman on board with the plans. Sarah didn’t say anything about how she truly feels. She going with the flow as if the writers took away her voice.
She talked with Chuck after the briefing away from Casey and Shaw. It seemed like everything was getting back to normal of sorts, but it’s not the case. Sarah was covering for her true feelings. She has put this facade on before.
The top set of screen caps comes from Chuck vs The Fat Lady. I compare this to the scene in the Mask for one reason. Sarah is hiding her true feelings. The only honest screen cap is the second row picture 2. She made that expression after saying she would be in the way personally. As Chuck walks away, Sarah has nothing else to do but wave the white flag like she did in Fat Lady.
Chuck went running for Hannah, and Sarah was staying late with Shaw. I can understand the Chuck and Hannah part, but as I watched the whole episode Sarah couldn’t stand the advances of Shaw. In fact, they were borderline creepy for Sarah, but then I saw something that changed my opinion as the song of the episode played Matt Costa’s Astair
Sarah clearly isn’t enjoying this. The reason is she still has Chuck on the mind. Here is more proof. She is trying to fend him off by saying this isn’t a good idea, but Shaw in persistent.
Once he puts his mitts on her, it’s too late. she succumbs to his spell. Meanwhile, Shaw has a smirk on his face doing it.
If this was feelings for each other I don’t know what is. Its a relationship built on false pretenses. Hidden agendas that make this relationship look terrible on screen because of the way the story was told.
It’s why people hate Shaw because of what the writers did to the character and how they assassinated Sarah. They both are powerful characters that became voiceless. In my opinion, it wasn’t a relationship that was built. It was the boss using his employee as a pawn in his game of manipulation.
He never interacted with Casey yet because there was nothing to gain from Casey. It was all about one man and that man is Chuck.
Morgan and Ellie
Chuck’s secret is being under investigation now. It’s not only the Ring anymore. Ellie and Morgan are convinced something is wrong with Chuck. They believe he has returned to the dark side.
However, at the end of the episode Ellie and Morgan were planning on having an intervention with him, but saw Chuck and Hannah having a make out session. While Ellie was happy, Morgan was hurt because he liked Hannah.
Overall Thoughts on the Episode
I am not a big fan of this episode in fact the last time I have to watch this episode would be after rewatch.
As I mentioned through this article, I don’t see Shaw and Sarah really a genuine relationship. It’s a writer’s jolly of destroy two characters. Shaw could of been a great character if they allowed it to grow correctly.
There is no justification for showing Sarah’s disgust and uncomfortable nature through out the mission and later when he is about to touch her do I ever feel the sense Sarah was into Shaw.
Sarah doesn’t escape my vent here either. Once again Sarah is complacent in allowing Chuck to dictate how things go. She should of voiced her concerns over Chuck being a spy instead she waves a white flag and lies about seeing Hannah with Chuck because clearly in the next episode it was not the case.
Again, Shaw and Sarah are not in a traditional relationship. Shaw has manipulated Sarah so much by way of the writers that its inexcusable. Shaw didn’t deserve it nor did Sarah.
Next episode we have one of my favorite episodes of all time. Chuck continues on his path towards becoming a real spy, but at what cost does it happen. We shall see why Sarah let herself be swept off her feet by a creepy Shaw. Chuck vs The Fake Name is next.
Until next time….Chuckaholics is your toy, so play