|Chuck Versus the Masquerade|
|Season 04, Episode 16|
|Air Date||February 21, 2011|
|Writer||Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc|
|Director||Patrick R. Norris|
|Previous||Chuck Versus the Cat Squad|
|Next||Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil|
- "I never expected this to be my life, but here I am, and I'm happy."
- ― Chuck
A much anticipated Valentine's Day is interrupted when Chuck and the team are sent to England to protect a reclusive young heiress, Vivian McArthur (Lauren Cohan). Meanwhile, Casey is tempted by NCS Director Jane Bentley (Robin Givens).
The episode begins when a former Volkoff Industries operative Boris Kaminsky (David S. Lee) begins a search for a key left by Volkoff's with his chosen successor, intending to claim the organization. He kills two of Volkoff's lieutenants, leading him to a last one in Volkoff's organization, who tells him that he knows where the key currently is. The lieutenant is found dead later on by the CIA.
Meanwhile in Echo Park, Chuck cedes Morgan the living room to spend Valentine's Day with Alex, while he and Sarah retreat to the bedroom. Chuck enters his bedroom and surprises Sarah with a shirt he made. Before Sarah unveils her own special outfit for Chuck, she tells him to get the chocolate covered strawberries she made from the kitchen. Chuck then sneaks out to get them, as Morgan and Alex are playfully blindfolded, and can't see his incursion on to their celebrations. Chuck is then interrupted by a phone call from Beckman. Chuck declines the call as Sarah picks up the bowl. Her overcoat gets stuck to a hook and she takes the coat off and surprises Chuck with sexy winged Valentine lingerie. Casey arrives at that point and is unhappy after seeing the two couples in the living room. Alex is busy explaining herself to her father, and Morgan is put out with Chuck for being in the living room during his time. Casey just tells them to leave for a mission immediately.
At Castle, the team realizes that the base is suddenly crowded by agents, who Beckman tells them are from the National Clandestine Service (NCS) who are expanding parts of Castle. The team is briefed on a mission to protect Vivian McArthur (Lauren Cohan) at her country estate in England.
At a masquerade party at Vivian's manor, Chuck and Sarah split up to find her, Morgan and Casey are disguised as bartenders. Casey finds a woman who depresses him by saying that he was born to be a bartender, where Morgan promptly agrees that the drink he's made is in fact fantastic.
Sarah then runs into Boris, the two ask each other if they had seen Vivian. Meanwhile, Chuck unknowingly stumbles upon Vivian who is not enjoying the party. The two then converse before Chuck asks if she had seen Vivian, to which she sarcastically responds in third person that no one ever really knows her and that the party was a failed attempt to get to know her neighbors. Sarah meets with Chuck and tells him that Boris is around, Chuck tells Sarah that he just found Vivian. They then head over to Vivian's stable, where she is grooming her horse. Vivian is confused when Sarah attempts to arrest Vivian for being an associate of Alexei Volkoff. They are then interrupted when a group of Kaminsky's men attack them. Vivian then tells Sarah that she has nothing to do with Volkoff, she had not seen him for years, but she then reveals that she is his daughter, and has lived her whole life believing that her father is an oil company executive. They all then escape the manor and return to Burbank.
Returning to Castle, the team finds out that Vivian is merely a civilian and has nothing to do with her father's notorious organization. She explains that her father had never spent much time with her, and kept sending her to boarding schools. Chuck tries to calm Vivian and tells her he understands the absentee parent. She and Chuck make a empathy connection. Vivian then proposes to be bait to lure Boris and the other men looking for her to know more about the key to Volkoff's office as she knows nothing of it. Chuck objects, but the plan goes forward.
The team returns to England, except for Morgan who has decided out of Chuck and Sarah's apartment. Sarah poses as Vivian for the latter's daily horse ride. Vivian gives Sarah her necklace to complete the disguise. Casey is ready in the forest as a sniper, awaiting Sarah. Halfway through the forest, Sarah is thrown and falls unconscious when Boris spooked the animal. The horse then runs back to the stable where Chuck is waiting with Vivian. The two then ride into the forest to rescue Sarah. Sarah is saved when Casey puts his sharpshooting to good use. As Chuck and Vivian ride they are tailed by two other men. Chuck flashes and flips onto a tree branch, and kicks the two men unconscious. Chuck then finds Casey and Sarah who ask where Vivian is. Back at the stable, Vivian is held at gunpoint by Boris. He asks her for the key, but Vivian is still unaware what or where the key is. Vivian then pulls out a shotgun on the horse's saddle and kills Boris.
After the mission is done, the team comfort her through her trauma, pointing out it was self defense. They ask her if she at least now knows where the key is, as Sarah gives back the necklace to her. Vivian looks sharply at her necklace that has a locket with the letter 'V' on it. She then promptly responds that she still does not know where the key is. Casey assures her that Volkoff Industries will not be returning anymore without a leader, as Boris has been killed along with the other lieutenants.
Left on her own, Vivian visits the sealed Volkoff Industries Headquarters by herself, and enters Volkoff's office. She finds a spot with the letter 'V', and places her locket onto it, confirming it as the key. This then unlocks a secret room in Volkoff's office.
Meanwhile, Devon and Ellie are mega-stressing on handling their baby. While at the Buy More, the two find that Clara will not stop crying until she is comforted by a certain song playing in a teddy bear belonging to Jeff and Lester. They attempt to find out about it by asking them at first, but knowing Lester, he would probably rather play the music live to their baby instead, so they decided to steal their teddy bear.
They then keep their baby comforted with the song playing in the teddy bear. And also gave her own room as she is already three months old. In addition to Clara's room, Morgan had given the baby his childhood collectibles of Han Solo and Chewbacca which he and Chuck purchased together as boys. Throughout the episode, both Morgan and Casey display a strong feeling of being left out. Morgan feels very much the third wheel when Chuck and Sarah are engaged, meanwhile Casey is feeling left out serving only as support.
Morgan makes a decision to move out of Echo Park as he feels that Chuck and Sarah deserve their own home. Morgan then decided that he would rather not split the collectibles the two collected since childhood, but rather gave their Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca collectibles to Clara Woodcomb, to remain as a part of their family. Meanwhile, Casey is being persuaded by Director Jane Bentley of the NCS. The NCS were at Castle for several days and began constructing additions. Bentley tempts Casey into join the NCS when Casey was formerly one of the best sharpshooters of all time, and is now serving in Team Bartowski disguised as bartenders, waiters, and doing paperwork. Near the end of the episode, Bentley shows Casey to an entrance to a new part in Castle, restricted to only NCS staff.
- Mekenna Melvin as Alex McHugh
- Lauren Cohan as Vivian McArthur
- Robin Givens as Director Jane Bentley
- David S. Lee as Boris Kaminsky
- Tudor Petrut as Jurek
- Sonya Macari as Antonia
- David Reynolds as Christoph
Chuck: Sarah, I gotta tell you, masquerades really creep me out, okay. It's like Eyes Wide Shut but, you know, not so boring.
Sarah: Chuck, c'mon, it's just a bunch of socialites wearing masks.
Chuck: Yeah, could be that; or it's a sex crazed orgy party where they don't want you to see their faces or know their secrets.
Sarah: No, I've been to those kinds of parties and it doesn't look anything like this.
Chuck: What!? Wha...wha...wha..what? Really?
Sarah: C'mon, Chuck, don't be ridiculous.
Chuck: Buddy, I know you're committed to moving out, and I get it,but I can't tell you enough how much Sarah and I love you, and love having you here.
Morgan: Dude, I love being here. It'd be easy to leave if things sucked, you know, and I need to grow up. Maybe that means leaving behind something that's great too.
Chuck: The end of an era.
Morgan: It is indeed.
- This episode was a Valentine's Day special, despite being broadcast a week after it, with Chuck Versus the Cat Squad airing on that day instead.
- The episode was originally to be titled as "Chuck Versus the First Mate".
- One of the earliest promo pictures prior to the pilot episode with Morgan and Chuck is seen when Morgan looks into their old stuff before moving out.
- Casey refers to Chuck and Sarah's relationship as "Charah", which is used by fans to refer to the couple.
- When Boris confronts Vivian about the key, he claims her father was training her, without her realizing. This conversation is very similar to a conversation in the book/film Stormbreaker by Anthony Horrowitz. Some of the stated reasons are almost exactly the same, like knowing martial arts, and being fluent in several languages.
- "Felicia" by The Constellations
- "Immunize" by Pendulum
- "Love Insurance" by Mike Kirkland
- "Send Me on My Way" by Rusted Root
- "Crinan Wood" by Alexi Murdoch
- "No Time For Dreams" by Last Days of April
- "Squealing Pigs" by Admiral Fallow