Monday, March 23, 2009

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Predator": The Buy More way

Spoilers for tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I set up my own "office"...
"Playtime is over... It's time for you to become a spy." -General Beckman
What she said -- only double it.

I never want Chuck the character, or "Chuck" the series, to lose the innocence and goofiness that makes him/it so appealing. But two seasons in, it's time -- really, it's well past time -- for Chuck to be treated not as some clown who's a temporary inconvenience for the NSA and CIA, but as someone who's been working as a de facto field agent for a while, who has saved both his partners and the world itself enough times that calling him anything other than a spy is just a matter of semantics and training. He already is a spy, so much so that Vincent from Fulcrum (played by Arnold Vosloo from "The Mummy") recognizes the name Charles Carmichael; now he just has to learn the right way to be one.

These last few episodes have been slowly inching both man and series into more serious territory, and with "Chuck vs. the Predator," co-creator Chris Fedak shows that it can be done without losing the comedy. The stakes for Chuck are getting higher and more deadly, but here they got raised in an episode that also featured Jeff aping Fonzie by turning a men's room stall into an office, Millbarge going berserk in two different Buy More locations, and hilarious homages to both "The Right Stuff" (Big Mike leading the Buy More crew in the triumphant side-by-side slo-mo walk) and "The Untouchables" (Big Mike quoting Sean Connery's speech about The Chicago Way and then recreating the "You're not from Chicago" scene).

I'm guessing/hoping that this will lead to some other questions we have being answered, like whether Chuck will be paid by the government, how well (or not) he'll take to getting self-defense training from Casey and Sarah, and even whether the Buy More cover is necessary anymore. If they're treating him as a spy who's going to be instrumental in bringing down Fulcrum(*) and not as an asset to be hidden from the bad guys at all costs, does he really need to spend so much time slipping in and out of that cover job? At the very least, could they have him quit the Nerd Herd to man the counter at the (government-controlled) Orange-Orange?

(*) It's a measure of how good the character work and emotional beats are that I buy into this "war" between the CIA and Fulcrum even though I have no real idea about or interestin in what Fulcrum is really up to. Fulcrum is basically a MacGuffin, the thing that's necessary to make the story go, but not worth actually explaining. If Fulcrum turns out to have a master plan down the road, fine, but I don't really need it.

Beckman's first physical meeting with Chuck made it clear that the stakes are going up, but also that she's starting to realize it was a mistake to leave two agents out on their own without major oversight. You could see her reacting strongly to Sarah's defense of Chuck throughout the episode; she may have a desk job now, but she didn't get that job without having a good eye for detail, and it's clear that, whether Sarah is supposed to be Chuck's handler or his partner, she's not as cold and objective as Beckman would like. (Neither, interestingly, is Casey, who knows just how schmoopie and annoying Chuck and Sarah can be, yet he refused to rat them out to Beckman.)

One episode after introducing us to the concept of Orion, the show appears -- again, appears -- to have killed him off. I'm guessing this is a classic comic book case of there not being a death without a body -- that, or my theory that Orion is Chuck's dad has to be tossed out the window. I suppose Chuck's dad could have been involved in building the Intersect without being Orion, but there's something in the way that Orion said that he always wanted to do the "this disc will self-destruct" spiel that sounded very much like something Chuck himself would say.

After keeping nerd world and spy world mostly separate for the last few episodes, "Predator" also managed to use the Buy More to complicate the Orion situation, first with Jeffster playing war games with Orion's laptop in Jeff's office, then with mess involving Jeffster, Millbarge, Vincent and the safe in Big Mike's office. The scenario of two break-ins happening simultaneously, with lots of mistaken identity, is so old that I think they did it three or four times on "I Love Lucy," but it was well-executed here, in part because of how Jeff and Lester are revealed to be some Bizarro World version of Casey and Sarah. (After all, Casey tricked out the A/V room as an office in the same way Jeff did to that stall, while Lester's been mistaken for a woman at least once before.) And it helped that Tony Hale was finally allowed to cut loose and be completely insane as Millbarge -- and, based on his "Just like Fresno" mantra, I don't think this is the first time Emmitt has had a freak-out in the middle of a store.

If the Beverly Hills Buy More didn't look like anything but the regular set dressed up with some new cardboard cut-outs, it did set up a nice parallel between nerd world and spy world, with Buy More 90210 as the nerd equivalent of Fulcrum, Big Mike as General Beckman and Morgan as Chuck.

And speaking of Fulcrum, "Predator" also gives us our first glimpse of their headquarters, albeit done in a minimalist fashion that evoked the tribunal where General Zod and his gang get sentence at the start of "Superman: The Motion Picture" (or similar tribunals in a half-dozen paranoid '70s/'80s thrillers). At Comic-Con, I had asked Fedak why Fulcrum wouldn't be constantly sending raiding parties into the Buy More after Mauser disappeared at the end of his mission in "Chuck vs. the Santa Claus," and he said this episode would explain that what Fulcrum thinks is happening at the Buy More is very different from what's actually happening. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the in-episode explanation that they think it's a CIA substation -- wouldn't they still want to know what was so valuable at this substation? -- so I asked Fedak via e-mail if he could expand on it. Here's what he wrote:
Mauser's plan was to identify what or who Casey and Sarah were protecting inside the Buy More. His orders from Fulcrum would have been: "We've identified a domestic substation in Burbank, California. Create an incident and see what's really happening there." Mauser succeeds (he learns that Chuck is the Intersect), yet he never gets to deliver his report. Back at Fulcrum HQ, they're stuck with their original information -- there's this base in Burbank but all the agents they send inside it get taken or wind up dead. And remember, their real focus is Bryce Larkin, who we always imagine is having super spy missions all around the world, battling Fulcrum in a James Bond vs. SPECTRE fashion.
The Bryce part of the explanation is the more important part -- it's been established repeatedly that they think Bryce has the Intersect, not Chuck -- but I still have to think the Mauser's disappearance would only make them more curious about that Buy More, even if it kept costing them manpower.

Some other thoughts:

• Loved the CG effects on the Predator drone itself. One of the cooler-looking pieces of FX on the show to date.

• I always enjoy those glimpses of Operation: Bartowski returning from a mission we'll never get to see -- in this case, them all covered in filth after posing as plumbers -- as it's both an easy opportunity for humor and a sign that Chuck's life as a spy is even more thorough than there's room for on the show itself.

• This episode did slightly undercut the coolness of the "Tron" poster scene at the end of "Chuck vs. the Lethal Weapon," in that it reminded me of the surveillance cameras Casey has in Chuck's bedroom -- and Chuck's awareness of them. Yes, he deliberately looks at the Tron poster while he's facing the camera, so Casey couldn't see what's on it, but at the same time, wouldn't Casey (or whoever else has access to that footage) wonder why Chuck kept looking at the back of some poster? I thought the idea of him slipping the new Intersect blueprints inside a copy of Brian K. Vaughan's very cool "Ex Machina" makes more sense.

• Our weekly plot hole that's necessary to make half the plot work: how does Chuck not understand what Orion means when he says he'll be sending a computer to "your current location"?

• I did a quick Google Maps search of the two addresses mentioned. The corner of Wilshire and Doheny, where the Buy More 90210 is allegedly located, is pretty dull (there's a bank on one corner), while 54 Temple Ave. doesn't exist at the zip code given.

• If Beckman's speech at the end of the episode didn't have such important ramifications for the series as a whole, I would have been sorely tempted to lead the review with an incredulous Chuck asking Casey, "You had a gun?" and a smug Casey saying, "I always have a gun."

• Does no one else live in the apartment complex but Casey, Chuck, Ellie and Awesome? Beckman makes quite the entrance that would be noticed if the building were as populated as, say, Melrose Place.

• On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a basket of puppies and 10 being Jeff eating the urinal cake, how disturbed should I be by Lexter expressing his fear of having to turn tricks "again"?

• Got a kick out of Beckman mocking Casey's Reagan photo by telling him, "The '80s are over." Just try telling that to Fedak and Schwartz.

What did everybody else think?

55 comments:

Joyeful said...

As usual, SPOT ON blog on the episode. I'm really excited that they're actually going to be training Chuck as a spy, it was getting kinda old watching be as hapless as he was in these situations.

Oh...and best of all, Arnold Vosloo comes back from the dead. Just like a mummy. HA!

J said...

I was a little disappointed to learn the General wasn't just a waist-up person.

David J. Loehr said...

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a basket of puppies and 10 being Jeff eating the urinal cake, how disturbed should I be by Lexter expressing his fear of having to turn tricks "again"?

I'd turn that up to 11.

Maxed Out said...

In the very beginning, I was thinking it was almost too silly, what with the "superman" tribunal and all, but after that, an excellent episode. I was actually tense during the final part. The spy stuff I usually take for laughs or for the three's interactions, but I might actually be getting drawn in to the actual Fulcrum storyline.

Also enjoyed the break-in with Jeff and Lester. And Milbridge was funny for once!

Nice how they set up next week's episode with the General questioning where Sarah's true loyalty lies.

Plot hole for me is you wouldn't trust the delivery of such an important computer to some ordinary deliveryman who would takes anybody's signature as Chuck. And why didn't it scan Jeff's face when he first opened it like it did when Chuck opened. It just accepted that he couldn't identify himself at the moment, and went ahead and sent a predator after targets.

Dio said...

I would like the feel the danger of the situation that Team B is in but I just can't. Everytime I learn more about Fulcrum, it makes me laugh a little, but maybe that's the point. I just wish the threats felt like real ones. It's going to be hard to feel the "danger" and be afraid for Team B's life and have a bit of the "omg they might not make it this time" feeling if I laugh everytime Fulcrum shows it's face.

But other then that, it was a top notch episode and it was nice to see the General in person finally!

OldDarth said...

Mark me down for an 11 as well. The show just dialled everything up to the max and beyond.

Doubt if that was Orion that showed up at the meeting to begin with at the hotel. No way would someone who has eluded both the CIA and Fulcrum since 'Walker was in a training bra' show up at a meeting when there is so much 'spy' activity going on.

I'm thinking it may have been Bryce.

Another sign of beauty with this episode was that there was little relationship drama in the episode and it was not missed at all.

What was there lay in the scenese between Sarah and the General. Nicely handled.

If the remaining episodes are at this level or higher then we are in for a heckuva of a ride!

Michael said...

I enjoyed most of the episode but didn't feel as "into" it as I normally am. Alot of it sort of seemed to fall on the improbable side to me, and every word out of the General's mouth just seemed melodramatic. She seemed wildly urgent but without more understanding of Fullcrum and this so called war and Chuck's necessity to winning it (outside of the fact that he is the intersect, but is he more, is he Neo, the chosen one?)I had alot of trouble buying into the urgency.

The plot hole that most confused me, at least while watching the episode, is what the heck happens when the computers they were expecting to show up at the Buy More finally do show up. Are Jeffster Morgan Emmit and big Mike not going to be confused by the computer they had been using?

Also, Orion certainly wasn't as careful as you would expect someone of his expertise to be which bothered me, and he was entirely to chummy with Chuck, unless of course he does turn out to be Chuck's father as Alan has predicted.

Some funny gags in this episode, I felt like we finally got to see some Buster Bluth in Emmit this episode and Big Mike making it with Morgan's mom is always funny. Also loved Jeff's office and Casey's gun.

juniors said...

This episode was EPIC!!!

God I hope they get another season.

The part where Jeff was unknowingly telling Sarah he may have peed his pants, almost made me pee mine.

Jester said...

11. Or about as disturbed as Morgan was walking into Jeff's "office" and seeing Jeff set down a bottle of lotion.

floretbroccoli said...

My cable program guide said: "Chuck finds the creator of the Intersect, Tony Hale."

At first I was irritated that they were giving away a plot secret. Then I hoped that it was just a glitch, conflating the summary with the guest star.

Most of all, I'm relieved. Buster Bluth, computer genius?

E said...

Was it just me, or did the voice of Orion at the end have a Bakula-esque tinge to it?

55 said...

You forgot the best line- Jeff, in response to Lester claiming they won't have to buy toilet paper for a year: "Why start now?"

I also loved seeing some Buster Bluth.

And there is no way Bryce died in the helicopter. They would not kill of such a major character like that.

Finally, I'd just like to compliment the people behind the music. It is fantastic.

filmcricket said...

This was a wonderfully tense, stakes-raising episode and the "it's time for you to become a spy" line was long overdue. Looking forward to where they take this.

I do need to know more about what Fulcrum's after, starting with what they want to do with the Intersect (they've been contradictory on that from the get-go). It's also a bit hard for me to take the threat or Beckman seriously when a) Chuck can find Orion via a web search and b) the latest Fulcrum badass not only does the James Bond Villain talk-to-your-victim-for-too-long thing but actually stands with his back to an uncovered window so he can be shot.

This was the first time, though, that I really started to distrust Beckman. I mean, if she were Fulcrum, she could have just nabbed Chuck any time, but there's something off about her, regardless.

Myles said...

Really liked this one - I go on for a while in my review about it, but enjoyed how it took the "Chuck hides something from Sarah," ripped it out from under us, and then replaced it with an even more complicated "Chuck hides something from Sarah" where he feels he actually has just cause because he only saw Sarah sell him out to Beckman, not seeing the defence which followed.

And I think that Orion is still Chuck's father - he knew his middle name, and I don't know why else Orion would be so concerned about getting the intersect out of Chuck's head if it wasn't for some kind of familial connection.

Joyeful said...

Having watched every single episode of Quantum Leap (some twice or three times), I'm pretty confident that Orion is Scott Bakula. I could be wrong. But I don't think I am.

MaxedOut - I thought the same thing. Just handed it over to Lester.

Interesting how the tables have turned and Chuck is now the one practicing deception.

RSR said...

Great episode. I love the way they are changing the story and really going into the dare I call it, mythology? of the show. That might be pushing it because one of the best parts of the show is it's, as you said Alan, the goofiness. But I still really enjoy these episodes where we find out more of what's going on that we haven't learned yet.

I have many more thoughts but I might come back with them later. But in response to Michael:

outside of the fact that he is the intersect, but is he more, is he Neo, the chosen one?

Alan, am I right in saying that you didn't catch the Matrix reference with "Wake up Chuck" on the computer screen followed by him waking up to Orion's phone call. Just like the "Wake up Neo" followed by the knock on the door. Man, I haven't seen that movie in a while.

Good stuff! Looking forward to next week!

Michael said...

(not the same Michael as the one a few comments up)

My first thought upon seeing Jeff's office in the bathroom was Eaglebauer from "Rock & Roll High School". (Ah, Riff Randall....)

cgeye said...

I'm of the mind that Bryce or Walker are evil bastids, and actually planned for the Intersect to be placed in Chuck's head.

Why? Because Stanford is a hotbed of spies, and Bryce could have chosen any fresh CIA spy!Barbie to take the Intersect on, but he chose Chuck because he knew his psychological weaknesses. Also, if they went with a regular spy, that would expose the Intersect to the risk of violence; to work, they'd have to choose a physical coward, or at least a person who defers to his or her violent protectors.

Bryce destroyed his life (like why *not* tell Chuck to transfer because his prof is trading sex for grades, or any excuse to get him away from that experimentation other than scandal?), destroyed his reputation, and knew with a credit check where he worked. Chuck was a sitting duck for Bryce's own experiment, backed either by Fulcrum or Walker, to see if they could make robo-spies successfully.

It's good for Chuck to be revealed as being more than a passive patsy, but with the knowledge he already has in his head, he should have more answers than he already does.

Anonymous said...

but there's something in the way that Orion said that he always wanted to do the "this disc will self-destruct" spiel that sounded very much like something Chuck himself would say.

Alan, doesn't Orion also say something at the Castle or on the disc about wanting to tell Chuck his name? It was as thought Chuck already knew Orion as someone else.

Also, why was Morgan still living with his mom? As funny as it was to watch him sitting in bed waiting for Big Mike and his mom to stop, I thought Morgan moved in with Anna?

Grant said...

Uber-nerd prediction:
If Chuck doesn’t get the intersect out of his head by the season finale, Chuck and Sarah go covert REAL relationship, a la Anakin and Padmé from Star Wars (Episode II and III), with bad results, but not quite potential jedi savior choosing the dark side bad.

reen426 said...

WOW…where to start?…this was one hell of an episode…this has to be the best episode on the detail front…yes, we got little to no charah moments but with all the information being revealed you almost forgot about it…this episode gave me a “sin city” type of vibe with all the creepy building shots and orion possessing the “sin city” type of look

who knew a tiny woman like beckman would reek so much havoc?!…who else got chills when we first saw her enter the courtyard?…i certainly did!

it’s about time we saw sarah chase chuck…anyone notice the cute little motion yvonne/sarah did at the nerd herd desk?…fumbling with her fingers while looking sad that chuck didn’t trust her

i also believe that orion is still alive…he planned everything out meticulously…i noticed that his voice started changing on the dvd?…it started out robotic and then it changed to a more human voice

i would of wish that chuck included sarah in on the fulcrum intersect secret…if she was that upset that chuck didn’t tell her about his own little mission then she’ll be even more hurt by this revelation

and how ridiculous is morgan’s room?!…haha…he had superman comforter…gosh, i thought chuck’s room was bad…and mama grimes that was very messed up to have your son’s picture on your nightstand while you fondle his boss…lmao

the fulcrum “panel” reminded me of the triad/elders from “charmed”…lol

my question is: does the cleaning lady/man ever go into the “out of order” stall?…lol…i find it hard to believe that they would let a stall remain “out of order” for that long…btw, now we know how and where jeff takes his nap in the bathroom…lmao

mind-blowing episode all over…keep it coming!!!

geekily said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Dammit, no quoting Ausiello spoilers -- especially if you're not sure if they happened yet.

jawlz said...

Have to say I loved the predator's sweeping eye, which seemed a homage to the cylon raiders in the recently concluded BSG.

dez said...

Was it just me, or did the voice of Orion at the end have a Bakula-esque tinge to it?

I knew that voice sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. It could have been Mr. Bakula, which would be awesome (heh).

Loved this ep, loved how "tiny" Beckman is, loved Arnold Vosloo with hair, and loved Chuck doing everything he did. Did not love Morgan having to listen to his mom do the nasty with Big Mike, though--ewww!

BigTed said...

I wish the scene in the Buy More with everyone in ski masks had gone on longer... like, for half an hour. It was hilarious.

Once again, it's the trained CIA agents (including the general) who screwed things up, leaving the Fulcrum agent right where he could do the most damage. Even I knew he was still alive (okay, I knew it because there was no way they'd kill off such a recognizable actor so early in the episode).

I completely agree that Orion is still alive, and that he's Chuck's father. I wouldn't be surprised if the Intersect was somehow created to fit in Chuck's brain.

Speaking of which... If Chuck really is such a uniquely special guy who can do things for the CIA that no one else can, isn't everyone sick of him whining about going back to his normal life? It's starting to seem awfully selfish. With great power comes great responsibility, etc., etc.

By the way, Wilshire and Doheny may be a boring part of Beverly Hills, but it's still too ritzy for a Buy More. The closest actual Best Buy is in low-rent part of West Los Angeles, near two freeways.

SJ said...

Ok even though I have been watching Chuck since almost the beginning, this is the first time I noticed the "Y: The Last Man" poster which is also by Vaughn....it was there from the beginning right?

Anonymous said...

This show is so great. My American boyfreind Zach is so Awesome.

I think if Orion is really Chuck's dad then it makes sense that Chuck could build a web search that could locate Orion. That also means that Orion would want to be located by Chuck.

This is by far the best ep in a long time. I'm glad Alan mentioned
Lester's fear of having to turn tricks again. I nearly choked I was laughing so hard.

Andrew said...

Have to say I loved the predator's sweeping eye, which seemed a homage to the cylon raiders in the recently concluded BSG.

Or Knight Rider.

Lizbeth said...

I'm with those who believe:

1) Orion is not dead

2) Orion is Chuck's dad

There's no way they would introduce that character and then dispose of him so quickly.

Sonia said...

I also believe Orion is Chuck's father...Orion also said the Intersect was "pretty awesome" -- maybe he was trying to let Chuck know that he's beenkeeping tabs on both Chuck and Ellie (and Capt. Awesome)?

And what was Jeff doing with the hand lotion in his office? Ew! LOL

Anonymous said...

Ditto on just noticing the "Y: The Last Man" poster. And "Ex Machina" is about a man who can control machines, while "Chuck" is largely about a man whose life is controlled by the machine in his head. I thought that was a nice parallel, and this series seems to be full of those little touches.

-R

Stephanie said...

Another strong episode. I was pleased by the lack of Chuck/Sarah in this because they need to let that rest for the time being.

I also thought that Morgan was moving in with Anna, so I was confused to find him still living at home. Perhaps they haven't found a place yet?

I loved the burglary scene in the Buy More. Even though she was wearing her ski mask, you could still tell Sarah's expression when Jeff mentioned peeing himself. Great work by YS.

I'm also thinking Orion isn't dead and is possibly Chuck's father. Not only would it be odd to have such a major figure be introduced then killed so early on, but I think the voice altering program glitch that allowed us to hear Orion's real voice can only mean that we'll hear it again, and Chuck will recognize it.

As someone who thought the spy/asset relationship was the ultimate obstacle to a Chuck/Sarah romance, how does Chuck becoming a spy change things? We know Chuck thinks Sarah sold him out, but I can't imagine his distrust lasting more than a few episodes. The General seems to have her doubts about Sarah, though I loved Casey standing up for her. It will be interesting to see where that goes.

Julie said...

I'm surprised you didn't liken the tribunal at Fulcrum to the Final Five Cylon/Opera House visual from Battlestar Galactica. As soon as we saw those five backlit characters last night, both my husband and I both admitted that it seemed like a BSG homage. We also wondered if you'd mention it in your recap.

Now that BSG is over, Chuck is one of the only shows we really look forward to!

Dave said...

BigTed said, "I completely agree that Orion is still alive, and that he's Chuck's father. I wouldn't be surprised if the Intersect was somehow created to fit in Chuck's brain."

Count me along with the masses who believe Orion is still alive and Chuck's dad. That's an interesting analysis about Chuck's brain though. I don't know if I'd say it was created to fit his brain. I think Papa Bartowski, being so involved with the creation of the Intersect, used his own brain as a model for Intersect-human interfacing. Whether or not it was intentional, it's hard to say, but that's why Chuck's brain doesn't get fried when he gets Intersected. Since everything is modeled off the Bartowski Brain, a non-Bartowski would get zapped. That would open up future plot of Beckman threatening to turn Ellie into an Intersect so that Chuck plays ball.

Anonymous said...

Jeff's unknowingly told Sarah that he almost peed this pant, and her reaction to it, is hilariously funny. The Buy More subplot is really funny in general in this episode (I usually forward through them), starting with the break-ins, to Jeffsters' tearful eyes the next morning, to Emmett trying to be destructive.

Also, I'm definitely think that Orion is still alive.

Steve B said...

There's no way that Orion is dead. There's no way a character that important, that shadowy, would be killed that quickly. He's also probably Chuck's father...although I don't want him to be.

Fantastic episode all around. Best moment for me: Jeff and Lester running into the store, tears streaming down their faces, "We came as soon as we heard!"

Will the shadowy Fulcrum leaders turn into this show's version of the Final Five? Will they be revealed to us during the series? I hope not, as Alan pointed out, Fulcrum really doesn't matter. Although I'd like to know what song "Chuck" would use to reveal them to us. Any ideas?

Nicole said...

I'm with those who think that Orion is still alive, is Chuck's dad, and was starting to sound suspiciously like Scott Bakula in that last scene.

It's also good to see that Chuck is going to be taken more seriously as a spy. Perhaps we will get a few "eye of the tiger" training montages to help speed it along.

Janelle said...

Does anyone else think the shadowy fulcrum figure on the right looks a LOT like General Beckman?

Chip said...

Also... "Ex Machina" translates as "out of the machine", no?

Anonymous said...

The closest Best Buy to Beverly Hills is on Santa Monica and La Brea. And it's not a very classy store. Customer service there is just awful. While watching this ep I was actually dreaming of a Best Buy in Beverly Hills as classy and well kept as this episode made it seem.

Anonymous said...

They should just make this a 1/2 hour sitcom about Buy More.

reen426 said...

"SJ said...
Ok even though I have been watching Chuck since almost the beginning, this is the first time I noticed the "Y: The Last Man" poster which is also by Vaughn....it was there from the beginning right?"

schwartz or fedak mentioned that the show didn't get the rights to use the poster until recently...they initially wanted to use it since the pilot ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't know why Orion couldn't have just checked the webcam installed in the laptop he gave Chuck, instead of asking, "Is it safe?"

Scott said...

The comic Chuck was reading, Ex Machina, is also about a man with a different kind of computer in his head. I thought it was a nice touch for the writer's to include such an appropriate book for Chuck.

The Y poster has been there for awhile. It was in the background when Awesome was sitting beside Chuck's bed asking for help with picking a band.

Where was Anna yet again? I might think she's a spy considering how often she's away. Nice to finally see Morgan's room! Not nice to have Big Mike banging his mom on the other side of the wall!

Big Mike mentioned lay-offs at the end of the episode. Will the Buy More close?

Stef said...

I can't wait for the Star Wars-homage when Orion and Chuck finally meet:

"Chuck, I am your father..." !

Karen said...

I let out such a squeal of delight when I saw Chuck reading "Ex Machina"...

So, it occurs to that, if Orion IS Chuck's dad, which is certainly where it seems it's going, then Orion really did seek out Chuck and wasn't found through any of Chuck's automated web searches or other geek cleverness. So, General Beckman may think that Chuck is somehow some sort of super agent who deserves spy training, but it could actually all be a genetic accident.

This could get very, very interesting indeed.

Also--Sarah doesn't know that the General once told Casey to kill Chuck if he managed to download the Intersect, right? So Sarah may have more incentive to help get it out of Chuck's head, and not be prepared for the possible consequences--but Chuck, having seen the bits and pieces Orion let him saw, will likely believe Sarah knew from the start.

Poor Chuck and Sarah!

MikeS said...

It's also a bit hard for me to take the threat or Beckman seriously when a) Chuck can find Orion via a web search...

Trying to iron out the tech plotholes in Chuck is kind of hardcore, but I think the show suggested that Chuck searching for Orion led to Orion finding Chuck.

SJ said...

Zachary Levi would make an awesome Yorick! (From Y: The Last Man)...I know they are making a movie.

RL said...

I don't think there's a 54 Temple Ave in Los Angeles, but there is a Temple Street in downtown Los Angeles. (The 90013 zip code is also in downtown.) Temple Street splits between "West Temple" and "East Temple" around City Hall, so my guess is the location of that apartment would be one of the apartments near City Hall / Civic Center.

Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed this week's episode, especially the way they mixed alot of action with several laugh out loud moments. My favorite exchange was between Morgan and Lester in the bathroom:

Morgan: Here's our leader.

Lester: No. He's your leader, for some strange reason.

Lester's delivery of that line was pitch perfect.

Dave Wiemer said...

The Wilshire and Doheny location may be a little joke by the writers as the Writers Guild Theater is just about half a block south on Doheny. It's where they all go to see free movies.

Anonymous said...

I especially liked the poster in the Bev. Hills Buy More: Helping You Spend Your Parent's Money.

pixelwax said...

1. Don't forget Fulcrum has tried to create a human Intersect and it has failed. Thus, most likely they do not have full confidence the government has a human intersect let alone that Bryce or anyone else is it.

2. Chuck didn't know "current location" because he wasn't sure if it meant he'd download the "computer" at some point or if it would be physically delivered to his person.

3. I don't know why Orion couldn't have just checked the webcam installed in the laptop he gave Chuck, instead of asking, "Is it safe?"
Or hear "Tell him it's safe" as the laptop obviously has a microphone.

4. Stef, yay! you stole my line.

5. Since nobody has taken the "Orion is dead" side, I might as well (be wrong). :)

cgeye said...

Dagnabbit, people, din't anybody *watch* the screen when Orion was on?

Only two men look like that with glasses on, working in television. The other one is Richard Belzer. Doesn't the nose give him away?

OH, in my post above, I meant the General+dead Graham, not Walker. Although that would be a LA FEMME NIKITA-Valentine Op switch of the highest order....