Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | Grade It Now!
Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

We start off with Casey, not to put too fine a point on it, getting his ass kicked. He asks his punisher if that's all she's got, and we then see he's talking to Sarah, who's wearing a long, straight, black wig (whether we're supposed to believe that's her actual hair is unclear). In answer to his question, Sarah pulls back and punches straight into the camera-- I mean, "Casey's face," and then...

We cut to "2 Days Earlier." Casey catches Morgan, and after Morgan tests out a tough-guy voice that he then judges needs more work (hey, he said it), Casey asks where Chuck is, since he's heard reports that Sarah has been taking rogue work all over Europe, and Volkoff has finally noticed. Morgan's like, that's great, but I'm worried with Sarah gone, Chuck's going to mope around the house and eat Cheetos and watch The View, and I'll admit that last, at least, would indeed be cause for concern. Morgan's speech, however, is of course Chuck's cue to enter, all slow-motion smiles and upbeat music, to the point where even Casey is like, "Dude, you okay?" Chuck says he heard the news about Sarah, and she's making great progress, but when Morgan almost sprains something trying to agree, Chuck narrows his eyes and says Morgan probably thought he'd sit around the house eating Fritos all day with Sarah gone. Heh. After Morgan corrects him on which snack food with which he thought Chuck would be feeding his sorrows, Chuck explains that his mom may have succumbed to the dark side re: Volkoff, but he knows Sarah never will. "She'll always be the same Sarah Walker." At this point I think we are all familiar enough with the show's formula to know that Chuck will be eating those words by episode's end, but there's a camera push-in to emphasize that for those of us who may be off our games here.

Sarah and her new hair are shown into an office in Volkoff Industries (we know so from the helpful sign behind her) whereupon she sees Volkoff himself putting the finishing touches on a painting of... a dog. With part of it blocked, I can't tell you if it's engaged in playing poker, but that hardly seems important, as Sarah tells Volkoff that she never wanted Chuck to be a spy, but they ended up getting "trapped in a CIA-run world with no exit," unless she did what she did, all in an effort "to buy a future with the man that I love." Volkoff wonders why he should trust her, which is the apparent cue for his three flunkies to draw their guns and level them at her, but she calmly disarms the two flanking her with punches and the one behind her with a kick, and then points two pieces at Volkoff: "The reason you're going to trust me is because I'm not going to kill you right here and right now." Volkoff approaches her and deliciously tells her how much fun she is, and welcomes her to the family with a triple-cheek-kiss and an embrace. Over his shoulder, Sarah looks concerned, but we don't have to dwell on that as we head to the opening credits.

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