First things first: I am in love with this episode title. It sounds like something out of a comic book, and I think it’s cool.
Having said that, this episode can be seen as the second part of “Chuck Versus The Masquerade,” picking up as Vivian McArthur Volkoff (Lauren Cohan) is quickly visited by Satan – I mean, Riley (Ray Wise), her father’s lawyer, who is not happy when she declines to take over the family business. He’s so unhappy that he pulls a gun on her, leading her to knock him upside the head with a vase and escape with the mysterious card she found in the safe. The card leads to the team finding where Volkoff keeps his stash – in a very dangerous bank, hence the title. Seriously, how cool would it be to tell someone you bank at the First Bank of Evil?
It’s up to Chuck to get Vivian safely into and out of the bank, which proves to be much more difficult than he thought. He uncovers stolen military-grade servers inside the facility, getting them both into trouble and forcing Vivian to show her potentially evil side to get them out unscathed. From her reaction, Chuck can tell that Vivian really needs to face her father, and gets General Beckman to agree to arrange a meeting if Vivian helps them with the rest of the mission, which partly involves staging a bank robbery. It does not, unfortunately, have James May in a Yugo – but we get Yvonne Strahovski in an outfit that looks like she channeled Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix. It’s disappointing that after that, Beckman reneges on the deal and proves Riley right all along – perhaps nudging Vivian down the path of disillusionment and perhaps becoming an adversary herself someday? Only time will tell.
In non-spy related issues, Sarah and Ellie are trying to plan the wedding, with Sarah continuing to be a fish out of water. Her task this week is to search for her wedding dress, something which is thankfully sped up with a musical montage (I know a few friends of mine who turned this into a several-week ordeal). This finally gets the impending wedding to sink in for her. And Morgan, now looking for a new place to crash, accidentally stumbles onto Casey’s new side project – though we still don’t yet know what that is.
“Chuck Versus The First Bank of Evil” feels a bit like half an episode to me – in that we could have run it as a two-hour long event with “Chuck Versus The Masquerade” and I think it would have flowed a lot better. Like the previous episode, this is almost more Vivian’s story than anything else, as she faces her parentage and its repercussions. That worked very well last week, but this episode doesn’t seem to have the same pop to it. It seems more as if it’s filling space, wrapping up Vivian’s plot so that we can move on to the tale of the CIA team next week. (Also, I have to complain about the massive Celebrity Apprentice ad in the middle of the screen near episode’s end. I’ve always felt such egregious pop-up ads are a disservice to viewers who are actually trying to pay attention to the show.) The episode is fun, but I didn’t feel like it left me wanting to watch it again – if anything, it made me want to move on to the next part of the story.
Having said that, it certainly sets things up for what should be an entertaining installment next Monday. The idea of Morgan and Casey sharing an apartment is worth tuning in by itself. Onward and upward, Chuck fans!