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When we last left Team Chuck, the gala gathering at Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Chuck’s (Zachary Levi) apartment was ruined when CIA agent Decker (Richard Burgi) showed up with an arrest warrant for one of our favorite characters, Colonel Casey (Adam Baldwin)!

Talk about government being out of control! Not bad enough that our government cannot balance their own budget, but with a rogue CIA agency on the loose… I mean, sheez! Not being too far off the mark of real life, this development takes the cake and the ice cream too!

I do not know about you, but this reviewers biggest concern was the fact that Casey has killed hundreds in his time with Chuck. It was hard to see Casey being betrayed after he patriotically served, saving our world from the ‘Bad Guys” many times. What the heck is Decker up to?

Chuck S5x04 - Casey before arrest at party

Chuck S5x04 - Decker ruins the party

At this rate, Casey may never see the light of day outside a prison facility ever again! Before continuing this review, included below is the sneak peek of the next exciting episode of Chuck “Versus the Curse” and the upcoming Christmas episode on December 23, 2011. Enjoy!

Versus the Hack Off:

Can there be any doubt that fans hearts broke around the world when we all witnessed our hero, Colonel Casey, being led into a jail visitation room? He is chained and wearing orange prison garb. Casey looks none too happy. Neither do Chuck and Sarah who are waiting at a table to see their friend and colleague.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey meets with Sarah ands Chuck in prison

At my house, Adria the Cat refused to watch television that evening because of the unjust imprisonment of Casey. Instead she climbed onto the Adria shows contempt over Csaey being in prisonComcast cable box in protest to demonstrate her feline disgust. As you can see here, it was not only humans who could not believe their eyes that our beloved Colonel Casey had been setup by the government and was in jail!

Adria immediately demanded to know just how long this intolerable situation would be allowed to continue. What could I tell the poor thing?

Adria leaves the premisesI decided on sharing the “official line”: Casey must be guilty because the government says he is!

My reward? A look at her very sharp claws accompanied by a low throaty growl and her decision to leave the premises immediately! Adria opted instead for a little nighttime adventure. She appeared to be thinking about “kitty plots” to free the imprisoned Colonel Casey!

What Adria did not know is that Carrie-Anne Moss was returning in the episode as Gertrude Verbanski. When she heard this news, her ears perked right up let me tell you! In fact, with thoughts of Gertrude,  so did mine!

Chuck S5x05 - Sarah and Chuck tell Casey about their plans

In the meantime, Sarah talks with Colonel Casey about how he is coping in jail? Casey sarcastically informs Sarah how happy he is that the government has locked him up with the dregs of society after having served honorably for over 20 years. The look on Casey’s face says it all.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey is not a happy camper

Chuck S5x05 - Casey will have none of itNaturally we expected a plan to free Casey. This reviewer had hoped that it was either all a mistake or someone had stopped Decker from “doing his dirty work”.  As we discovered, it was not going to be a simple exercise. It turns out the plan to help Casey, by breaking him out has been selected. Chuck passes Casey information on the jail facility floor plans.

Casey will have none of it. He informs Chuck and Sarah that he is not going to become a fugitive from justice by escaping. I got a sense that Casey wanted his day in court to prove his innocence. Hmmm. Thinking ahead on a potential plot line, I envisioned that we may just get our wish in a future episode.Chuck S5x05 - Lester is in prison too

Not too far off the mark, Casey believes there is a reason why Decker has him locked away. Casey believes evidence will free him, so he decided to wait it out so long as Lester (Vik Sahay) does not drive him crazy.

In the parallel incarceration story arc, the viewer must recall that a second arrest occurred in the last episode when Lester was placed into custody at the Buy More for trying to regain control over Jeff (Scott Krinsky) when he attempted to use another dose of carbon monoxide poisoning on him.

Chuck S5x05 - Jeff and Morgan visit LesterJeff and Morgan have come to visit with Lester. He admits his guilt and why he tried to poison Jeff. Morgan shares with Jeff about his own difficult experiences with friends and that if he will promise to not try to poison Jeff again, he will be released from jail.

Lester is nothing but honest saying that he cannot be sure that would not try to do it again to get control over Jeff once more. Morgan and Jeff have deadpan looks on their faces.

They deliver the punch line as Morgan wishes Lester the best of luck and that he is going to spend the Chuck S5x05 - Morgan tells Lester he will spend his life in prisonrest of his life n prison. End discussion with Lester… for now.

When the plot by Lester to poison Jeff was introduced and he was arrested, this reviewer was unsure how that was going to fit into the overall story. When Casey was arrested, the cake was iced and set up some good ole’ Team Chuck shenanigan’s!

Chuck and Sarah are observed talking as they leave the prison. Chuck has a guilty look on his face and tells Sarah it is all his fault to start an espionage agency. Sarah comforts Chuck with the fact that Decker had in for Casey and they need to find out what it is. Chuck looks lovingly at Sarah for making him feel better.

Chuck S5x05 - Chuck and Sarah are hit with knockout dartsIn the next second Sarah and Chuck are targeted with knockout darts. They crumple to the ground. Even though this reviewer does not try to think ahead to spoil the fun, it had to be Decker!

Sure enough we find Chuck and Sarah in a dark garage. Decker wants to make a deal. Simply do an espionage job for him and Casey will be freed. Sarah does not trust Decker after he has put their best friend Casey in prison.

Evil agent Decker admits he is using Casey as leverage to get them to cooperate. Reluctantly and against Chuck S5x05 - Decker in dark garage with Chuck and Sarahtheir better judgment, Chuck and Sarah agree to help Decker.

Decker fills them in on the mission and promises to free Casey when they are successful. Sarah asks Decker what the consequences are if they do not agree?

Decker informs them they had better cooperate or “his people” in the prison staff will make Casey’s life miserable. Sarah and Chuck do not have any choice, but it is clear they do not appreciate being blackmailed.

Chuck S5x05 - Decker blackmails Chuck and Sarah

In the next sequence it appears that is exactly what may be happening. Casey is observed in the prison hallway with two punks about to jump him! It was in the next instant that our guest star hero, bad girl Gertrude Verganski re-appeared. Portrayed delightfully by by Carrie-Anne Moss, Gertrude pulls Casey to safety in a closet and locks the door.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey is saved

Chuck S5x05 - Prison civil rights champion Gertrude VerbanskiGertrude Verbanski, now sharply dressed in a tight fitting prison guard uniform appears. She has suddenly taken an interest in prison inmates civil rights. Good for you Gertrude!

Gertrude gets right down to business. She inquires if Casey is ready to exercise his own civil rights with a conjugal visit? I am sure that every fan giggled as hard as I did over the twist in the story right before the commercial.  I did see several fun tweets on Twitter from fans who love Chuck plot twists.Chuck S5x05 - Casey exercises his civil rights with Gertrude

Casey, never one to turn down an opportunity to exercise his civil or any other rights for that matter, is most eager. He quickly drops his line of conversation (among other things) as he and Gertrude consummate their relationship. Good for you Gertrude and Casey! Get it on!

After returning from the break, we return to the “Prison Love Closet” were expressions of satisfaction were evident on Casey and Gertrude’s faces. Casey delivers the punch line “I’m assuming you do not want to stay over?”. Gertrude giggles as does Casey.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey with Gertrude after conjugal visit

Now that they have taken care of “business”, they move on to equally important matters. Casey wants Gertrude to help Chuck and Sarah. He is worried that although good spies, he is concerned they are in over their heads with a master spy like Decker. Gertrude wanst to use her team, but Casey says no, it will not work. He only wants her help by taking his place on Team Chuck.

Chuck S5x05 - Gertrude grumbles about the newlyweds

Gertrude grumbles about taking orders from Chuck and Sarah who she “lovingly” calls “Ward and June Cleaver.” Casey turns on the charm and Gertrude relents. “It is hard saying no to you.” Casey smirks and answers, “I know.”

The scene was well played. This reviewer delighted in the smooth delivery of character lines, the well defined “prison” humor and the Chuck chemistry, all of which made the sequences fun to behold.

Chuck S5x05 - Back at Castle with Morgan Sarah and ChuckBack at Castle, Team Chuck is debating what to do next to save Casey. They all resent being at the mercy of Decker. Chuck knows that he must get down to the business of cracking the code to the computer virus. He is observed taking a bottle of Chardonnay out of a cooler and imbibing.

Morgan, who has undergone DVD therapy (begun last episode), has apparently recovered a lot of his past memories. Morgan is happy and excited about Chuck hacking computer code again. In another line worth laughing about, Morgan tells Sarah they used call Chuck “The Piranha!”Chuck S5x05 - Chuck settles down to crack the code

Sarah looks on in amazement as Chuck cracks the source code and gains a lead on who is involved. A person who had disappeared several months ago named “Davis” is identified. While Sarah and Chuck begin a search for Davis, Morgan says he must help Jeff and Lester with their problems. He gets up and leaves the facility.

As Morgan is leaving Castle, Gertrude Verbanski appears. Always a smart ass, Gertrude tells him to take her to the “newlyweds”. After a funny bit of firearm humor regarding Morgan’s continued existence potential on Earth, Morgan escorts Gertrude to Castle to see the two “newlyweds”.

Chuck S5x05 - Morgan lets Gertrude inside CastleMorgan sheepishly admits to Chuck and Sarah he allowed Gertrude inside Castle after they had a conversation about his life potential.

Gertrude comes straight o the point, telling them point blank she is going on this mission.

Gertrude volunteers to be the team’s sniper to assume Casey’s traditional role in the group. Sarah and Chuck do not seem too happy about this, but when Gertrude gets a soft look on her face obviously Chuck S5x05 - Sarah Chuck and Morgan reluctantly agreerecalling the civil rights demonstration, they reconsider..

It is more than clear Gertrude wants Casey out of prison too for her own very good reasons! Chuck and Sarah agree to her joining the team, albeit quite reluctantly.

We segue to Casey and Lester at the prisoner cafeteria area. The gang punks who threatened Casey earlier are there too. They want to know that night if Casey is with them or against them.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey confronted by slime balls

Lester joins Casey in the food line. Out of nowhere, Lester starts telling Casey he has seen the prison movie “Caged Heat” and knows the way to survive in here. Casey glares at Lester informing him “Caged Heat” is a female prison movie. Lester dismisses him as Casey walks away.

Chuck S5x05 - Lester and Casey in the chow line

Lester is seen chatting with another inmate who has got him the “12 gauge he wanted.” Lester passes the inmate some money telling him to drop the weapon in his cell. What the heck is Lester up to this time!? “Prison Break” ala Chuck with a 12 gauge shotgun??

Chuck S5x05 - Gertrude is ready

Tracking down their lead, Chuck, Sarah and Sniper Girl Gertrude are observed in a wooded area where they hear military drill cadence not too far off. Gertrude leaves to takes her position as sniper as Chuck and Sarah investigate the situation.

Chuck S5x05 - Sarah and Chuck hear the cadence

To their surprise (and mine) they learn the sounds are coming from a circle of naked people in some sort of cult like ceremony, chanting, grunting and NAKED. Planning to infiltrate the nudist group, Sarah quickly removes her clothes.

Chuck S5x05 - Chuck and Sarah exposed

To his embarrassment, Sarah tells Chuck to remove his clothes too. Chuck is reluctant but he cooperates if only to complete the mission to help Casey.



Chuck S5x05 - Chuck and Sarah meet ValeriaA woman appears. She is named Valaria posing as a priestess leader of the spy gang disguising themselves as a cult  She approaches Sarah and Chuck in their disrobed state. Chuck blushes and then volunteers “We were told to come here to find enlightenment” as Sarah looks on in naked truth (quite literally).

The fun nudist gag, a little reminiscent of similar sequences from the movie “A Shot in the Dark” (1964) are nonetheless enjoyable. The nudist bit ends when the priestess points to a pile of garments motioning for them to cover Chuck S5x05 - Valeria orders an ID check on Chuck and Sarahthemselves. It was clear that Chuck was quite relieved and thankful to Valeria!

Not so quick Chuck, the priestess is a “bad guy”!

As Valeria welcomes Chuck and Sarah to “The Church of the Eternal Wind”. Valaria uses a secret microphone ordering her confederates to determine who their surprise recruits really are.

Chuck S5x05 - Gertrude at workImpatient Gertude uses comms to tell Chuck and Sarah to hurry up!

Chuck switches gears and asks Valeria about their friend Colin Davis (Eric Lange) who had originally “suggested” the two of them join “The Church of the Eternal Wind” to find peace.

Yeah right, I am sure that Valeria believed every word Chuck! Chuck S5x05 - The elusive Colin Davis

Valaria informs Chuck and Sarah that Colin Davis is now known as “Moon Meadow” and is meditating in another part of the compound.

Back at the Buy More Jeff is confronted by Morgan who says they must help Lester come to his senses. Jeff now a changed person listens to Morgan. We leave them as they are discussing viable alternatives to save Lester including the threat of a replacement of Indian descent (Danny Pudi) to scare Lester “straight”.

Chuck S5x05 - Morgan shares his plan with Jeff

Chuck S5x05 - Jeff listens to Morgans scared straight plan

Back at “The Church of the Eternal Wind” Chuck and Sarah find the elusive Colin Davis. In a very funny bit, Sarah and Chuck confer on comms with Gertrude. In true Casey form, Gertrude promptly tells them she is ready to shoot any one of the hippies!

Chuck S5x05 - Gertrude says shoot the hippies

We all know that this is Chuck’s final season, but it sure would be nice if Carrie-Anne Moss and Adam Baldwin as Casey and Gertrude became the next “newlyweds” on Chuck. You know what I mean? Sarah/Chuck, Devon/Ellie and now Casey/Gertrude! Just saying is all.

Chuck S5x05 - Valeria is informed about Chuck and SarahValaria then discovers Chuck and Sarah are spies while they are at the “drum circle” part of the compound. Chuck has found the target and is next to Davis who is wearing a computer chip necklace. Suddenly Valeria appears as compound alarms ring out with several minions flanking her position.

Gertrude has had about enough! She aims and fires tagging two of the henchman. In the confusion Davis gets away. Sarah creates a diversion and then jumps from a tree removing two more guards in the process.Chuck S5x05 - Cat fight, sorry you lose Valeria

Sarah tracks down Valeria. She tells Sarah, “Looks like you have walked into the wrong cult, bitch!”. Sure enough right out of the Chuck playbook, it is “cat fight” time with Sarah doing some ass kicking on the priestess. Sorry Valeria, Sarah always wins, okay?

Chuck S5x05 - Davis is carried offChuck finds his target but before he can grab the computer chip pendant, Davis swallows it! Gertrude hits Davis with a tranquilizer dart.

Davis is carried away by Sarah, Chuck and Gertrude to get his stomach pumped for the chip in the pendant.

We move back to the prison where Casey has been attacked and is outnumbered in another well choreographed fight sequence. Much to this reviewers delight “12 Gauge Lester” appears screaming he is going to “pull the plug”.

Chuck S5x05 - Casey is over powered

Chuck S5x05 - Lester arrives with 12 gauge to save Casey
We certainly expected a hail of shotgun blasts that would restore order. But no, it was not to be. In a hilarious gag sequence is made even funnier when we learn that Lester was referring to “pulling the plug” on his “12 gauge” wire used to run his clandestine prison cable TV system! In a humorous sequence, the inmates are observed quickly falling in line. In the process Lester earns a bit of respect from Casey! Yes, that is correct people, Casey respect for Lester. How funny!

Chuck S5x05 - Lester earns Caseys respect

Chuck S5x05 - Davis begs to be let goAs the episode continues, we find that Davis is being held at Castle for questioning. He is begging to be let go. Davis spills the secrets of the chip telling Chuck that “The Collective” has the other part of the device needed for activation and distribution of the malicious hacker computer virus.

Chuck earns Davis’ trust who spills more giving Chuck the plans to “The Collective’s” headquarters.Chuck S5x05 - Sarah asks Gertrude about Casey

Fade and we see that Sarah and Gertrude are monitoring Chuck and Davis remotely.

The two exchange words in a bit of a tiff over the subject of Colonel Casey. Sarah senses Gertrude is too sensitive when she quips that Sarah is acting like her “shrink”.

Chuck S5x05 - Video chat with LesterIn a geek moment replete with video conferencing and iPad payoffs, Morgan launches “Operation Scare Lester Straight.” Hey, didn’t they already make a movie about this subject already?

In a jab at modern day prison security (or lack of it), Lester comes on-line! Confronted with a potential replacement at Buy More, he becomes thoughtful obviously considering what he has gotten into. So yay, we have hope for Lester!

Chuck is about to make good on his pay off to Davis in jellybeans, when he finds out Gertrude has Chuck S5x05 - Gertrude beats Chuck to the jellybean bribebeaten him to the punch. Go Gertrude!

Jellybean satiated Davis shares to Gertrude and Chuck that the Collective has a weakness. Right after spilling the “beans”, Davis is about to himself when he says these “jelly beans taste funny”.

Gertrude has apparently used some vomit inducing additives in the jellybeans.  Davis barfs and she retrieves the computer virus chip from the barf-laden trash can. Oh, and no, we are not going to add an image for that one!

Back to the mission and “The Collective”, Chuck appears at a door which is answered by a European man. Chuck tells him “I’m here for a job.” Chuck is taken to where a coven of computer hackers are at workstations.  Euro man tells Chuck if he can prove himself against his best hacker (Freddie Wong), he can have the job. Chuck gears up for hack-off with a slug from a bottle of Chardonnay.

Chuck S5x05 - Chuck gets ready for the Hack Off

Chuck S5x05 - Chuck gains accessChuck “The Piranha” immediately and discretely gains access to the facilities security system. Sarah and Gertrude enter the server room. In the episode which is the namesake for “Versus The Hack Off”, Chuck shows his hacking prowess stuff!

Quick segue to Gertrude. She admits that she loves Casey to Sarah. It was a good “girl bonding” moment when Gertrude says “’I’ve been a wreck since he went to prison”. Awwww! A well deserved *hug* and *sniff* for Chuck S5x05 - Sarah and Gertrude girl bondingGertrude, she is human too!

Chuck has it all setup. He has the system rigged to knock out everything including the lights. When the lights come one, Chuck has escaped! For goodness sakes, of course he did! And so do the girls. This reviewer likes not needing to know the details either! Oh and Jeff comes to his senses. It all just happens with Chuck magic. Perfect.

As the episode winds down, evil Decker arrives to meet Chuck. Naturally Decker double crosses Chuck including Casey not getting released. Gertrude emerges and demands Decker release Casey. Decker is contemptuous. Casey has to die.

Surprisingly Gertrude releases Decker. She has a surprise. Decker checks his pockets and brings out a device that Gertrude had planted. She detonates the explosive, killing Decker and his minions. Pay back is a bitch, eh Decker?

Chuck S5x05 - The end of Decker

Fortunately Gertrude had already taken the hacker device from Decker. She then says to Sarah and Chuck: “He deserved that.”  Yes Gertrude he did. Bad guys dispatched! Good job!

Chuck S5x05 - He deserved that

Chuck S5x05 - Conjugal kissWe end the fun with another demonstration of prison civil rights. In a second closet conjugal scene between Casey and Gertrude, she fills him in on developments and that she is “going away for a while” for what she did to Decker and his minions.

Gertrude says, “We could have been something”. Casey romantically responds “We still can be.” Casey and Gertrude exchange a long goodbye kiss raising our hopes of a return of Gertrude before the series ends. One can only hope.

Chuck S5x05 - Will Gertrude return to Chuck

Gertrude tells Casey they need to get out of there before anyone notices he is gone. Casey looks Chuck S5x05 - Morgan to the rescuebewildered. In a final and enjoyable plot twist, Gertrude reveals that she brought someone who cares about him (Casey) as much as she does. Awww!

This reviewer was pleasantly surprised when Morgan sauntered in! “I missed you big guy” says Morgan.

In the last few seconds, the “newlyweds” are driving on their way home. After all the adventure and excitement, Sarah and Chuck count their blessings and savor their victory. It is clear that both are happy with their lives, their loves and overcoming earlier doubts and proud of being spies!

Chuck S5x05 - Sarah soothes Chuck

Chuck S5x05 - Longing look of happiness

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