I am going to pretend that Chuck Versus the Baby was Sarah's dream episode. Meaning that Sarah was dreaming, because that will better explain the continuity and logic problems it created. Granted, if you are a shipper, you got your dream episode! Full of emotional payoffs and dream scenes.
Here's my question: how do you go through the brainstorming process in the writers room; the script writing process; the review of the script process; the several meetings leading up to the shooting of the script; the shooting of the episode, and the multiple edits of the episode, without recognizing fundamental problems with what was written?
CHUCK is a show where I can ignore the plot. But I can't let it go when the writers ignore the things that built-up or stripped-down our characters. Even if it is stupid, it has to be explained if you decide to bring up a parent we've never met before. It's like Writing 101.
THINGS WE DISCOVERED IN THIS EPISODE
1. Sarah had a handler even though she already had a partner (Bryce, remember him writers?) who she was apparently having super sexy time with all over the world. Then, at the end of the flashback mission, she demanded to no longer have a handler and her boss was fine with that, then told her that her next assignment was to become the handler for a new asset. That asset? Chuck. Problem? The CIA wouldn't know Chuck was going to be an asset until Sarah found out he had the Intersect for at least one day. Oops. Oops. And oops.
2. Sarah's mom is a wonderful person who seems totally cool and balanced and the kind of person who you don't hide from at your grandmother's house while your dad goes away to rob people blind. And if she isn't a totally capable mother, why did you leave your kidnapped "sister" with her, Sarah? Oh wait, Sam? Why does your mother call you Sarah anyway? Did she get the memo from season 3 that you were done with Sam?
3. Sarah doesn't know that a 5-year old doesn't cry like a 5-month old. So now we know that she's an idiot too.
4. Sarah once used a baby as body armor. Or she thought putting the baby right in front of all the bullets that would fly toward her at really high rates of speed was a good idea.
5. Sarah and Chuck can speak to each other through the thick glass of a European bus. Mind you, no one has ever been able to do this, try as they might.
6. We can stop drilling for oil and looking for new power sources. Sarah's hair can apparently power an active bug for upwards of 12-hours, if not more. That's fuckin' incredible!
7. Chuck and Sarah carve their names into their dream house like only a couple of sociopathic assholes would, you know, just to ruin it for anyone who might want to buy it.
8. Alex apparently knows all about the Intersect that was in Morgan's brain but is still being a dickshit about it. Typical Casey-spawn.
9. When the CIA cleared Carmichael Industries of all wrong-doing, they should have unfrozen their assets, meaning Chuck and Sarah should have a few dozen millions coming to them. That means they should be able to buy that crappy house that now has their names carved into it.
10. That baby Sarah kidnapped and then illegally gave to her mom is the heiress to BILLIONS. No one seems to care outside of the dude Sarah stabs in the back. Sounds like Sarah is going for the long con.
If I had to rate this one, I'd give it:
79 out of 100
Unfortunately, the emotional payoffs don't outweigh the character arc elements that are lacking, or outright violated. This episode punts every rule of retconning. And it is too bad that it suffers the way it does because the Chuck and Sarah/Awesome and Ellie stuff is really good. And this episode could have been so much better if the Graham giving Sarah the mission scene is cut out entirely (how did not one editor or producer realize that it violated show canon?). And if there is even one dialogue sequence added in explaining why Sarah didn't live with her mom. Cut out the Graham/Sarah scene and add the mom explanation scene and the episode works better. Without it, it is an episode that lives on emotional pay-offs and a couple of good performances.