“Your centre is filled with conflict, John.”
– Ty Bennett

In this episode, Casey finds out that his former sensei has gone rogue. Ty Bennett is turning his old students by encouraging them to take their training to the next level with him, and he is using them to build a weapons smuggling ring. But Casey is a man of honour who won’t be turned so easily.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the disclaimer.

When a mentor changes loyalties, it can be a shock to his or her students. Suddenly, the students don’t know what to believe or if anything that the mentor taught them is true. Casey feels betrayed by Bennett turning to a life of crime. But to say that this is the only problem that Casey is facing would be an oversimplification.

“Sensei” is about Team Bartowski and the relationships between its team members. Jill put a lot of tension on the team, so those relationships have been strained. Recall that two episodes ago, if it weren’t for Morgan’s game copier, Chuck would have committed treason to save Jill. Casey doesn’t take such betrayals lightly. He isn’t pleased that Chuck’s feelings compromised the mission, and his opinion of Chuck is at an all-time low. Despite Chuck’s contrition, Casey isn’t willing to forgive and forget. His anger at his asset puts the mission in jeopardy on more than one occasion: yelling at Chuck when Chuck is trying to close the doors at the GLA lab, not wanting to consult Chuck to flash on the license plates, and almost crashing into a car that was holding Chuck in the trunk. However, Chuck doesn’t give up on friendship without a fight. It is with his encouragement that Casey is able to defeat Bennett at the dojo. Thus, the Chuck/Casey relationship is repaired.

Sarah and Casey have always tried to maintain a professional relationship. But when their feelings for others are thrown into the mix, they can’t resist getting personal. When Sarah accuses Casey of being too emotionally involved with the mission, Casey throws her feelings for Chuck in her face. It’s getting harder for these two spies to maintain professional distance. Sarah is the first to yield, throwing professional obligations (and Beckman’s orders) to the wind and rushing to her partner’s aid when she finds out that he went to the dojo alone. The line between partnership and friendship is blurring.

In this episode, Chuck and Sarah are there to support each other. Sarah makes sure that Chuck is okay with being benched, while Chuck tries to convince her to sympathize with Casey. It is because of their friendship that Team Bartowski remains intact while their relationships with Casey are strained. But once Bennett and his protégés are apprehended, the team’s bonds become stronger than ever before.

“You know, I, um…I’ve never been one of those girls who dreamed about what their wedding day would be like, what I would wear, or even the person I would marry was all kind of, um…kind of hazy, except…except one thing was clear: that Dad would walk me down the aisle.”
– Ellie

On the home front, Ellie is dealing with problems of her own. Devon’s parents, the “Awesomes,” are in town and are basically planning her wedding without her input, and while she can comply with almost all of their suggestions, she can’t bring herself to allow herself to be walked down the aisle by anyone but her father. This is a strange development. Why would Ellie want a man who abandoned her to appear at her wedding? There’s a lot more to discover about this story (and a lot more wonderful acting from the hyper-talented Sarah Lancaster, who gives an amazing performance in this episode), but the wheels have been set in motion. Team Bartowski is stronger than ever, and Chuck is going to search for his father. Things are about to get exciting.