Here's the most inspired moment from last night's Chuck, in which Sarah thinks she's sending an S.O.S. to Chuck, and Morgan thinks she's making an erotic connection. Rrrrroww! We're glad Chuck is back, even though this wasn't the greatest episode.

Spoilers ahead...

Mostly, this was a pretty solid season opener, which sets up the new Chuck status quo — the CIA have rebuilt the Buy More, which was blown up at the end of the previous season, except now it's like a super spy base with trap doors and a big red button that takes the U.S. to Defcon One and everything. And even though Chuck has promised his sister Ellie that he'll quit the spy biz, he's gotten a message from his late dad telling him to search for his missing mom. Chuck and Morgan try to search for Chuck's mom on their own, but this winds up involving them in Sarah and Casey's investigation into a Russian arms dealer, Volkoff, and they all wind up in Moscow, where Chuck has to save Sarah's life.

But I have to be honest: This episode felt a bit hit and miss to me. There were long stretches where I felt the show was just flailing a bit. There were a few reasons for this, including: 1) a more-than-usually-contrived plotline (Chuck tells Morgan about his mom, but not Sarah?); 2) some comedic bits that fell flat, like Harry Dean Stanton being willing to kill for good dumplings; 3) Olivia Munn, who is a perfectly fine performer but just not an actor or comedian; 4) The lack of anybody to keep the story "grounded," like Big Mike, Jeff, Lester, or Ellie (except the last act.) 5) Most of all, they've set it up so that Chuck is now the best spy EVAR and everybody wants him to do it, and it's the only thing he likes doing, so yet another "Chuck quits the spy life" story felt like one too many.

That said, there were several great moments in the episode, including the aforementioned "sexting" scene. I also liked Chuck and Morgan criss-crossing the country just to end up back in L.A. Chuck's bad job interviews were also terrific, and I liked that the secret "Tangiers" strategy that Chuck and Morgan always resort to consists of just running away really fast. Morgan was generally cute, and Casey had a few great moments of snarkitude. And I loved Chuck's mom (Sarah Connor!) taking down all of the bad guys at the end, even if it did make me wonder how they'd been keeping her prisoner for a dozen years.

All in all, it was a fun ride, despite the stuff I mentioned earlier. Season openers are often among the weakest episodes of ongoing shows, because they have to do all the heavy lifting of setting up a new status quo and catching (or deflecting) all the balls that the season finale left in the air.

I do have a longer-term worry though — I wonder if this show is going to wind up too far from its roots. In earlier years, the Buy More was actually the place where Chuck and Morgan worked, and even though Chuck (and later Morgan) had this fabulous spy life waiting for them downstairs in the Castle, they still had to deal with the oppression and alienation of working in the retail sector — dealing with annoying customers, having obnoxious customer-service ratings contests imposed by middle management, etc. And the "fish out of water" thing was part of what made this show so special, with Chuck clearly not cut out for spying. Of course, spying has been Chuck's element for a long time, but now Morgan seems at home in the spy world as well. And their workplace, the Buy More, is never going to be anything more than a front, where their participation will be a performance to fool any enemy spies that might be investigating. So you have to wonder how this show will stay grounded. But here's hoping next week's episode brings back more of the non-spy cast, and we see a more balanced outing.

What did you guys think?