“Well when do we get to take a break from real life? When do we get to be these people again?”
– Ellie, looking at her wedding photos

There’s a new show called Undercovers debuting on NBC in the fall. It’s about a married couple that puts the sizzle back into their relationship by going back to work for the CIA. I don’t know how that show is going to end up being, but I’ve noticed that the promotional materials are trying too hard to push the idea that marriage can be fun and sexy. According to them, the best thing about marriage is the exciting adrenaline rush of romance and not the familiarity of a long, solid partnership. “Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte” seems to take the same position the issue at first, but by the end of the episode, we see that Chuck has a very different viewpoint on what a good marriage should be.

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

At the start of this episode, Ellie wants to recapture the unabashed feeling of joy that she had when she was a newlywed, the feeling of infinite possibility that came with knowing that she could spend the rest of her life with the man of her dreams. But, for better or for worse, real life has intruded on that dream. Ellie and Devon are overworked physicians, attempting to juggle moving into their new apartment with their hectic work lives.

Everything changes when Devon saves Premier Allejandro Goya’s life, and the dictator invites him and Ellie to a gala at the Costa Gravan consulate as guests of honour. Ellie probably hasn’t had a chance to don a fancy dress since her wedding reception, and she sees the gala as a chance to recapture the romance that she feels has been missing from her life.

“Ah, I get it. We’re on the counter-offensive. What’s my mission?”
– Devon

Devon is excited about the gala for a different reason. He too feels that his life is lacking excitement. He wants to a chance to prove himself as a spy. However, Chuck will have none of it:

“Great. If we ever need a tight end, you’re the first call I’m making. But until then, you’re my brother-in-law. Ellie would kill me.”
– Chuck

Chuck not only wants to ensure Ellie and Devon’s safety. He also wants to maintain a boundary between his spy life and his normal life. But his words of discouragement aren’t enough to deter Devon. The “adventure sports cardiologist” tackles Casey at the gala, not recognizing him through his disguise and believing him to be an assassin intent on killing the Premier. This is Devon’s wake-up call. Spying is not as simple as Devon thought it was. Things get even more complicated when the Premier is poisoned yet again, and Devon must rescue him with an emergency blood transfusion.

Devon: “No way. Think I scratched my espionage itch. Don’t get me wrong – black tie dinners and embassy extractions are killer – but just not worth it.”
Chuck: “What’s not?”
Devon: “Having a double life means having to give up half of your real life. It’s just not how I want to live, bro.”

By the end of the episode, Devon and Ellie want nothing more than to spend the night together relaxing. Though they were initially unsatisfied with how boring and mundane their lives had become, they now realize that instead of finding ennui in monotony, they should find comfort in routine and familiarity. Undercovers is wrong. A good marriage isn’t about romantic dinners and sexy fantasies. It’s about simple things: love, comfort, and normalcy.

However, this is Chuck, and things are rarely that simple. Devon can’t return to his normal life just yet. The Ring has other plans for him. Jack is waiting for him at the hospital, posing as a patient. Did Jack capture him? Hurt him? Torture him? Kill him? We don’t know yet.

“Hey guys. Have you seen my husband?”
– Ellie

The episode closes out with Ellie’s haunting words, reminding us that no one, not even Chuck’s family, is safe.

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