Monday, March 15, 2010

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac": Hard Casey

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as you forgive the intrusion and condescending tone...
"Sometimes, your dream job isn't always what you expect it to be." -Chuck
After the romp that was last week's "Chuck vs. the Beard," the series is back in darker territory this week. And that seems appropriate, for our first real spotlight of the season on Colonel John Casey. Or should we call him Lieutenant Alexander Coburn? Or, since he ends the episode stripped of his rank and government job, just John Casey?

Whatever you call him, John Casey is both a stone killer and a man not comfortable dealing with his own feelings. So an episode in which he was forced to confront some old feelings for the woman he left behind to become that killer was a great showcase for both the character and Adam Baldwin. In many ways, in fact, I found "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac" even more satisfying than the hijinx and revelations of "Beard."

For one thing, we got our first really kick-ass action sequences of the season. It's not that the fights in past episodes (many of them involving Chuck rather than Sarah or Casey) have been bad, but they've lacked the spark that we saw in some of season two's best fights, like Sarah fighting Nicole Richie in the showers or Sarah in the car.

Here, we got a couple of cool action sequences: first Sarah dropping down from under Casey's car to whup some ass while Casey tossed Robert Patrick's Keller around (and snapped his neck one-handed), and then Chuck finally harnessing all the combat potential of the Chuck Fu, mastering several disciplines at once and even dodging bullets at close range like Chun in "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins."

But cool action alone does not a cool "Chuck" episode make. It needs comedy, and drama, and a focus on the characters, and "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac" had all of that.

We seem to get one Casey spotlight a season, with "Chuck vs. the Undercover Lover" in season one, "Chuck vs. the Sensei" last year. The previous two gave us small pieces of the puzzle that is John Casey, but "Tic Tac" gave us a very good view of the picture, as we learn that Sarah isn't the only member of Team Bartowski to be using a fake name, nor the only one who was forced to choose between love and country and chose country.

Seeing Casey hold a gun on Chuck in the middle of a mission is a darker place than the show usually goes, but Baldwin and Zachary Levi sold it, as did Yvonne Strahovski in the scene where Chuck (mistakenly believing the whole thing was another test) blurted out Casey's secret and Sarah realized she was going to have to place her partner under arrest (or worse).

And as often happens in some of the show's strongest episodes (see also "Chuck vs. the Colonel"), the members of Team Bartowski go off the reservation to help one another. Because of the iciness between Chuck and Sarah, the complications of the Intersect 2.0 and the presence of Shaw (conveniently absent this week, since his presence would probably have made it much harder for Sarah and Chuck to help Casey), our heroic trio haven't had quite the chemistry they had in previous seasons, so it was nice to see them all (eventually) working together towards a common purpose - even if the episode ends with Casey being removed from the team.

(And Casey as a reluctant civilian is an idea with a lot of potential, I think, whether or not he can work up the nerve to go see his fiance and the daughter he never knew he had and tell them who he really is.)

And while Casey's story was fairly dark, "Tic Tac" wisely got its comic relief by following up on Morgan's discovery of Chuck's secret identity - and then of Morgan and Awesome each realizing the other is now in the circle of trust. The degrees of involvement are slightly different - Devon's been on missions, while Morgan knows about the Intersect(*) - and Morgan is so far handling it much better than Devon, but each has plenty of potential to cause problems (and then solve some of them) for the real spies. Devon mistakenly tackled Casey during the Costa Gravas embassy party, and here Morgan helps out Casey on what he thinks is official business, but he also gives Chuck several crucial pieces of information (plus the pill itself).

(*) And I hope like heck that Chuck told Morgan this important distinction. Plenty of civilians and bad guys have learned about Chuck being Agent Charles Carmichael, but Morgan's the only outsider to know about the Intersect. Him slipping on that could be catastrophic.

There were a few eye-roller moments in this one, to be fair. All of Sarah's fear about what the emotion-dampening pill will do to Chuck never amounts to anything, as the thing's effects wear off before he can kill one of the bad guys, Casey-style(**). (And if the pill really is just temporary, it's therefore the kind of thing Chuck needs to keep a bottle of on his person at all times). Devon flip-flops on wanting to get the hell away from Chuck with no real chance for us to see him make that decision; I get that he loves Ellie, but his love (and fear) for her was one of the reasons he wanted to leave in the first place. And the moment in Castle where Sarah quickly changed the subject when Chuck tried to tell her about his feelings was a definite groaner (again, not because I need them to be together, but because moments like that, like certain moments on "Lost," just scream that the writers are stalling a bit because they need to).

(**) UPDATE: Several commenters have convincingly argued that it wasn't that the pill wore off so much as it was Chuck's love for Sarah pulling him back from the precipice. In which case, nice moment, show.

Overall, though, "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac" was another really strong episode of this post-Olympics run. Should there be a fourth season (and right now, the ratings have been steady enough, and NBC's problems elsewhere big enough, that I feel pretty good about that), I'd like to see Casey get more than his one token episode a year. Baldwin's too good, and the character's too rich, to just be the guy who grunts and says kiss-off lines as he beats people up.

Some other thoughts on "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac":

• This week in "Chuck" music: "You Know You Want It" by Green Go (Chuck sees Casey steal the pill), The Maids of Honor's "Black and Blue" (Chuck takes the pill as Keller's agents pour into the house), and "Swim Until You Can't See Land" by "Chuck" favorite Frightened Rabbit (the final montage).

• This week in "Chuck" pop culture references: whether or not Chuck's bullet-dodging was a "Remo Williams" homage, I have to believe that ending an Adam Baldwin spotlight episode with Sarah taking a cab in Washington, DC was a reference to one of the stranger movies in the Baldwin filmography: "DC Cab" - the only film in which you can expect to find Mr. T, Irene Cara, Gary Busey and a young Bill Maher. Here's a clip. He looks so young and innocent, doesn't he?

• Does the timing of Alex Coburn becoming John Casey in 1989 contradict the bits of Casey backstory we got in "Chuck vs. the Angel De La Muerte"? Back then, I read the comments as Casey having tried to kill Goya throughout the '80s; could we read it as the Angel De La Muerte thing having originated in his Coburn days? Then again, the actor playing Coburn looked younger in '89 than even Baldwin looks in that "DC Cab" clip (from '83), so... ?

• Robert Patrick didn't get a ton to do as Keller, and with Casey wisely offing the guy, we're not going to see him again. But this is a good example of the show's guest star philosophy (adopted after Kevin Weisman played the poisoner in season one) in action: because it's Patrick, who can play this kind of role in his sleep (and who spent four years playing a version of it on "The Unit"), Keller didn't need much sketching in. You see Robert Patrick, you go, "Oh, got it," and the show moves on and spends more time on material with the long-term characters.

• Nice touch of making security designer Fitzroy a Charles Carmichael fanboy - and smart that they didn't push the joke too far. Too much meta humor can be a dangerous thing.

• This was the first episode written by new writing team additions Lauren LeFranc & Rafe Judkins (who, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, was both a "Survivor: Guatemala" contestant and the name inspiration for "Chuck vs. the Fake Name" assassin Rafe Gruber).

• After last week's episode had the full cast for the first time all season, we're back to a partial complement, with Big Mike, Jeff and Lester absent. Schwartz and Fedak said they tried to distribute the appearances so they'd have more people available later in the season. So I'm hopeful that we'll have the whole ensemble (or close to it) in most of the remaining episodes.

What did everybody else think?

102 comments:

Alyson said...

Because it cannot be said often enough, or loud enough: Adam Baldwin rules all. Whoever recommended him for this part should get a medal, because I'd be hard-pressed to think of anyone else who could pull this off.

This puts Casey's call home to his mama (in Vs. The Santa Claus) in a totally different context, does it not? Or do we just assume that's a bit of discontinuity that we have to handwave away?

Stacey said...

I don't think the pill wore off but that Sarah's presence snapped Chuck out of his psycho-killer mode. To borrow another concept from Lost, she is/would be his constant in the crazy spy world.

And as an aside, if Vegas kept a book on "songs that will play on Chuck." I would've won some cash off the Frightened Rabbit song choice. Alas. Still have to go to work tomorrow.

Stef said...

I agree, Adam Baldwin is great. I love the idea of giving him some new layers and different things to do. And the Morgan/Devon interplay is... well, awesome.

Dave said...

I also felt that Sarah appearing caused Chuck to over ride the pill rather than it wearing off. I thought there was a great deal of Character development for Casey, even as I fully expect that Casey will be back in the fold by the end of next week.

Berkes said...

great stuff again, but if they continue to run out game changing episodes week after week, we're going to have a spin-off on our hands...with the original cast

CJ Frances said...

Yeah I'm going to agree with Stacey about the whole pill thing. I totally saw that as Sarah snapping Chuck out of killing the guy especially after he promised not to change.

I have to say that as a diehard chuck fan whose watched every episode at least 20 times this was the first episode that did it all for me. I laughed, I was shocked, I was in awe and for the first time I wasn't just moved to tears--I actually cried! Watching Sarah, Chuck, and John all react first at the sight of John's daughter and then when Beckman stripped him of his rank... good grief! I don't think any episode (and this includes the vs the Colonel) has ever delivered such an emotional wallop. There is so much potential and so many ways the show can go now that I'm just in awe. This episode is what happens when writers/directors/actors/producers/etc. just some together and get it right!

Bob said...

I to felt like it's Sarah that helped Chuck get out of the effect of the pill. And I'm a big fan of "the constant" from Lost! :)

Paige said...

They did alot of teasing with the Sarah/Shaw relationship. We're left not knowing where that relationship stands. Was Sarah really going to DC to see Shaw on a personal visit and if so, how did Beckman know she was going? Or was she going on official business and Casey thew out the personal remark not knowing himself? Then of course was the remark that she made about moving to DC. Is it for the new job or Shaw? Does Shaw even live there? It was really murky and I would have liked that spelled out more. I think after a pretty major mid-season slump Chuck is finding it's more normal tone now. Sorry it took so long to get here. We only have 3 episodes of the original set left and it's nice to finally have C/S interacting. Alan, what is with you guys always having to qualify "it's not like I need them to be together". It's okay to want them to be together guys! :-)

filmcricket said...

I agree with Stacey that it was Sarah that got Chuck to snap out of it, but it also seemed by the time the team was back in Castle that the effects had worn off.

I absolutely do not like the idea of Casey being off the team, but since I doubt this is a game-changer on the level of Chuck and Intersect 2.0, I've decided not to worry about it. The episode did feel a little rushed and all over the place; I'm trying to think what could have been cut so we could have seen Chuck walk Casey out or Devon come to the decision to stay in LA.

And Chuck and Sarah pausing the action to talk about their feelings AGAIN was just infuriating. In all, not as much fun as the last couple of episodes have been.

CJ Frances said...

Oh and i'm a long-time reader and first time commenter Alan--thanks so much for doing these recaps! One of my favorite things to do is watch episodes of Chuck and then go back after each one and read what your thoughts are on each episode. More often than not we agree :)

Oh and i hope i did not violate any rules with my previous comment. I read your policy carefully but i'm not sure...

Dan said...

I'm starting to get confused by Robert Patrick characters.

I could have sworn they turned him over to Mexican authorities. But turns out that was another show.

Skimming his IMDB
8 Colonel
2 Sergeant
1 Major

I like the darker turn of this episode. It seems to create a better cliffhanger feel.

Molly said...

Great writeup, Alan, as always.

Just curious -- do you get advanced copies of the episodes even this late in the season (either as a critic or as the show's online patron saint), or did you throw that all together in the last 11 minutes? If so, impressive!

Nathan said...

Another strong episode that built on the previous week. I would agree with the previous post which said it was Sarah that pushed Chuck out of his "killer mode." The two characters define each other and bring out the best in the other. And yeah, it was nice seeing Sarah kicking all kinds of ass this week.
While I would like more than one Casey-centric episode a season I can easily see too much of a good thing being true about Casey. I like the mystery of the character.
I also realized that I miss General Beckman when she isn't around.

WWWeaves said...

I wanted to like this more than I did. This show needs a lighter touch with the Chuck-Sarah stuff and less of a tendency to feel like Guiding Light back in the day. If Casey's daughter and old flame are never seen again I think I'm going to be pissed. If you mention a gun in act one...

I disagree about the shorthand with the guest stars. I think they could play with them a little more and have a little less Chuck-Sarah angst to good effect.

I do agree that a civilian Casey has rich potential.

Hatfield said...

I know the post title is just a play on 'hard case,' but when I saw it I immediately thought of that Hold Steady lyric about Hard Corey.

jarodrussell said...

I liked last week a whole lot. It was surprising, because I never thought any circumstance that brought Morgan into the circle would would work, but it did.

I didn't like this week's so much (which, I admit, is an unfair judgment, since I missed about a third of it), because they're back to the Will They/Won't They thing, which I have less patience for than I do wangst. I'm beyond pretty much beyond being irritated by this, except that it consumes time that could be better used for Intersect-y goodness.

Nathan said...

Oh and speaking of "Remo Williams" & homages, when are we going to get a Fred Ward appearance? Talk about an actor tailor made for the world of "Chuck".

Build A Better Fan said...

Alan: "Does the timing of Alex Coburn becoming John Casey in 1989 contradict the bits of Casey backstory we got in "Chuck vs. the Angel De La Muerte"? Back then, I read the comments as Casey having tried to kill Goya throughout the '80s; could we read it as the Angel De La Muerte thing having originated in his Coburn days?"

He was supposedly a hot-shot sniper as Alexander Coburn. If we're retconning it, they could have learned his John Casey identity later.

Karen said...

The Chuck fight scene was awesome. I laughed out loud from sheer delight when he kicked the statuette off the mantelpiece to take out one guy. That was genius.

Sarah lowering herself from the chassis and seeing the five matches was also a brilliant moment.

I was so relieved when Beckman gave Casey his "second second chance" that it kinda took my breath away when she busted him out of the service. Not that she wasn't right to do so, but it was still shocking. Poor Casey. What a day! Seeing Kathleen again, learning he had a daughter, and losing his job: I hope that empty apartment had a bottle of scotch in it...

Mr. Burbank said...

@Alyson,

I think we are just going to have to handwave it away. Casey refered to himself as, I think, Johnny-Boy when he called his mother. I would assume his mother would have no idea that he was still alive and under the name of John Casey.

mizenkay said...

That was as intense as it gets - but in a good way. Not sure I like the idea of civilian Casey for too long. He is a badass. He needs to be a badass. Baldwin rocked this one, and for an episode that was Casey-centric, it seemed like he had hardly any lines, but the grunts, as always, were well delivered.

I'm not loving the idea of Sarah running off to DC to be with Shaw -mostly cause I don't think Yvonne has any chemistry with BR. The way her eyes lit up when she and Chuck decided to go save Casey ("I was hoping you would say that") tells me everything I need to know. Sarah and Chuck on a mission, in what seems like forever, was a welcomed thing. Loved Sarah taking on all the bad guys.

I also have to give some love to Morgan the Spy - always with the snacks on his stakeouts. "Would you like video or audio?" Hilarious.

cremes said...

I really didn't think that Chuck took "the" pill. I'm betting there was a switcheroo and Chuck had a placebo.

His ability to calm down and flash afterwards was as a result of the placebo effect. There's no way he "snapped" out of it so quickly and then showed no "emotionless" tendencies later on in the episode.

Of course, General Beckman didn't say anything about the real pill having been recovered, so we need to assume he took the real thing. I just don't buy it.

Katie said...

Yep. Sarah caused Chuck to stop. This was really the first time this season we've seen any Chuck/Sarah progression and I'm happy for that. If they were still on their downward spiral then it would have taken a lot of focus off of Casey.

Is it just me or is the show all around just better when Shaw isn't there? I think so. I loved the references to season 1 in this. Morgan gets hungry on a stakeout (Sizzling Shrimp) and Casey living the American Dream with a family (Undercover Lover). But didn't Sarah use to live in DC before coming to Burbank? And if Sarah's trip was in fact just for Shaw, what the what was Beckman doing playing matchmaker? All in all it may be better this way to just have fans speculate towards Shaw/Sarah. Plausible (self) deniability.

I loved Casey's talk with Chuck at the end. "Walker's a good woman. It's not too late."

Alan Sepinwall said...

Re: Casey's mom, I thought the consensus at the time of "Chuck vs. the Santa Claus" is that Chuck was calling Beckman or some other military superior (and speaking in code) while acting like he was calling his mom. Was there ever any evidence yay or nay on that?

Re: Sarah as Chuck's constant, sure. I can see that.

arrabbiata said...

Add me to the list of people who assumed that it was Sarah that snapped Chuck out of his killer mode, though I also expected that the pill's effect would be temporary, just like the effects of his flashes.

Is Casey's dismissal the equivalent of Michael Weston's being burned? By which I mean is he considered off limits now to all legitimate spy agencies and/or is he eligible to be recruited? I wouldn't see him getting involved with any international bad guys (Casey's all about his country), but with his skill set I would think that agencies would be lined up to recruit him. Not that there need be any hurry- Casey as a civilian could be an interesting dynamic for a little while.

An episode like this goes far to point out how Shaw just doesn't fit in with the rest of the team. He will not be missed when he's gone.

Not as much humor as we usually get, but the fight scenes more than made up for it. A very entertaining hour.

Anonymous said...

I would have left out Awesome changing his mind about Doctors Without Borders, but not for the reasons you stated, Alan. The last five minutes of the show could have left us thinking that the most important people in Chuck's life (save Morgan) would all be leaving him shortly (Casey could have made a comment about packing up and leaving now that he's out of the spy business).

I think it would have been interesting to leave things with Chuck wondering if Sarah, Casey, Ellie and Awesome would all be leaving him and him trying to move forward in his life (or do his best to keep everyone with him).

Great episode though. And Adam Baldwin needs more showcases.

Gambs said...

Great episode tonight. Some of the best action scenes in "Chuck" history. Adam Baldwin, Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi have so much chemistry together, that it points out how good they are when there is no one else in the way of them.

Yes, I too, thought it was Sarah who snapped Chuck out of the drug effects. Remember, earlier in the episode, she made him promise to stay the same guy she met three years ago and not change into some cold-blooded killer. Her presence reminded him of that promise right before he would have choked the Ring agent to death.

Now, everyone repeat after me: 2.8/8.0M. One can dream.

Joseph said...

It's almost tragic how better these Shaw-less episodes feel. As Arrabbiata pointed out, he only junks up the entire dynamic. Of course, now Casey is off the reservation...as soon as the episode closed, I started pondering if the show is trying to set up a Burn Notice type dynamic. Or maybe Casey will crash parties in the Vic when Chuck/Sarah are proper partners?

Anyway, can I just say Sarah has become infuriating? She wasn't quite as irritating this episode, but if I'm Chuck, I have to wonder how I can possibly win with her. All he gets is one faint smile and a request not to change who he was...nevermind he was both a pretty miserable and a pretty single nerd in the pilot anyway.

Johnny3 said...

Nathan: OMG! How do we campaign to get Fred Ward. Daddy Coburn? Between My Bodyguard in First Class and a Albert Hockenberry shout(that may be a stretch Alan but DC Cab was one of my favorites so I'll allow it) I'm waiting for an Animal Mother shout out.

I agree with Alan, as much as I loved Beard, I liked this more. I actually cheered and yelled at my TV all the way through! I screamed the long NO at my tv when the Beckman kicked Casey off the team.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god people, we get it, we all think Sarah snapped Chuck out of it.

"Morgan's the only outsider to know about the Intersect"

Didn't Cole Barker find out?

I can see Casey becoming Jack Bauer- not a government agent anymore but still a badass who saves lives.

Great episode, even if it lacked Jeffster.

Flap Jackson said...

This episode had so much concentrated awesomeness, it would be considered illegal on CBS.

cadfile said...

Nice episode. Nice balance of drama and funny. Cracked up when Chuck hit the glass when doing his flip in the CIA base. I also cheered when he took the pill and "Black and Blue" kicked in...

Nice touch when Chuck put the books on the shelf where Casey use to hide his armory in his apartment.

Would have been cool and ala "Scrubs" if Gary Busey would've been the cab driver at the end.

Lisa said...

I would say that this episode was the first time the new and old aspects of the series finally came together:

*I feel the warmth of the series is back with Morgan now clumsily in the fold. Now could they FINALLY be ready to do an intelligent storyline on Ellie, pretty please? After all, if Sarah bolts for D.C., I can see a warm and fuzzy moment between brother and sister, but I hope they finally find a way to bring Ellie in the know as well. BTW, should we tie Ellie's fellowship to anything besides a lifetime dream?

*They managed to give much better material to YS tonight, and even a bit of humor when she punched the geek. I hate when writers don't let female leads be funny. And yes, she has beaten the "Chuck, I don't want you to change" horse so many times it's pudding, but I guess they don't want us to miss it. But overall, writers, you treated Sarah a little better this ep, keep it coming!

*I'll listen again on Hulu tomorrow, but when the General dismisses Casey, I could swear I heard her say "for the second time," implying that Casey was honorably/dishonorably discharged once before. Am I hearing things? And if not, when would the first time have been?

*I couldn't be happier about this episode for Adam Baldwin. He's made the most of a one-note character during these three years and they're finally going to build him a life. Frankly, I thought "Chuck vs. The Sensei" was unworthy of him -- the storyline with the girl and daughter who got away makes me very, very happy. All the more proof of my own self-concocted theory that this show will end with all these families being united.

*Alan's comments about the fight scenes in this episode are spot on. Terrific throughout -- I cheered at the damage Sarah did simply under that car, and it looks like ZL really is getting the hang of his stunts (and he's definitely gotten a lot more in shape for them, an added bonus for certain viewers!) Of course, the stunt coordinator is the only guy on the show with an Emmy, so he's definitely doing his job.

*Is this "fear elimination" pill a temporary or permanent solution for Chuck's Intersect Interuptus issues?

*I liked the flashback last phone call between Casey and his fiance -- interesting bit of dialogue where she tells Casey to do his job and not let his emotions get in the way. Assuming they do get back together, methinks they've suggested she's a character with some backbone who knows him very well. That could be great to watch.

All's right with my Monday night again.

Mel T said...

I thought it was a great episode. I really enjoyed it. I love the prospect of civilian Casey and hopefully we get to see him kick more ass in Buymoria.

Also, as I watched it a second time, I noticed the number on the box that had the pill was 092407, the date of Chuck's premiere.

Tg said...

I'm happy for it to stay ambiguous about sarah and shaw if it means not having to see them as a couple. i don't think will react well if this late in the season, in the next episode, they are still a couple. at this point shaw is getting much more of sarah outwardly than chuck ever has, like her name, and properly dating. it's kind of a bummer. yes she loves him and we might get a second of them happy sometime this season, but meanwhile another guy is getting the girl first.

Col Bat Guano said...

This was easily the best episode of the season for me. The spy stuff was well paced with more action than we have gotten recently and the Chuck/Sarah seemed to actually move their story forward to a greater degree than the silly stuff in the earlier episodes. Also the graphic of the arrow pointing to the CIA subterranean facility made me laugh.

Allison said...

I might have used a touch more humor but I loved Morgan admitting he hated the original "Planet of the Apes" because the lips didn't move.

I recognized the Frighted Rabbit song, after just discovering them previously with "Backwards Walk" from about 5 weeks ago.


My guess was also that the pill was a placebo, but his Hulk-like ass-kicking scene made me seriously wonder if I got it wrong.

The lesson from Casey's lost love to Chuck...nicely done. The idea that Sarah is Chuck's constant...really fabulous. Thank you.

And I loved the message left with the matches to Sarah - it looked like somethng from Burn Notice.

Sam Hobart said...

Gotta say, cliche as it is that was an impressive flip from his back to standing up by Levi. They almost always shoot the angle so you can't see the stunt person's face with that move (I think it was about once an episode on Buffy) but to have Levi actually do it and in slow mo no less was pretty awesome.

Henry said...

Why is the Planet of The Apes case open and unwrapped? What if some customer just happened by it and stole the pill?

I did love it when Chuck did a faceplant to the pane of glass in Level 1.

GameCard said...

I kind of think it stinks to lose Casey on the team but maybe it can also be a good think. First I think it sinks cause Casey is always pulling them out the line of fire even when he don’t want to and he get the job done. For it being a good thing well the new guy Shaw wile I think he is needed to help Chuck become the super spy the ring know about him and know how he works. With Casey acting outside the game he can be a wild card they call when things really get out of hand. Mark my words Casey will be back guns blazing.

chamoman said...

Fantastic episode. The past three have really been excellent.

For a "light" show, some scenes have gotten pretty heated lately. The psycho-Chuck-choking-the-bad-guy scene was great, especially cutting the music and building the tension before he focused on Sarah and released him. I thought it was going to be Chuck's first real kill, and I wasn't looking forward to that particular existential crisis to begin next week. However, they ended it well.

I actually laughed out loud at Chuck's annoyance when the bad guys showed up-- "Hey! I'M the gas man!" (or whatever the exact wording was).

millie said...

On the pill/placebo deal? I was waiting for the reveal that it was actually...a tic tac.

Heather said...

Love the clip with young Adam Baldwin you inserted. Also loved how this episode had a Morgan's got intel without making him a big thing (since Chuck knows the mistake of doing so with Devon. Casey as a civilian is certainly new territory that will be very interesting and promise for new storylines.

Billiam said...

I loved seeing Casey get such a strong spotlight episode, especially since "Chuck vs. the Sensei" was probably the weakest episode of last season.

For a while there towards the end, it looked the show wanted us to think that Casey, Sarah, Ellie, and Awesome were all about to leave the show.
Excited to see what the plans are for Casey. Interested in what will happen at the end of these episodes to make it so not only is Casey back in the group, but also to do away with the current concept that Chuck is being groomed to go it alone (sans Casey and Sarah).

Jennifer said...

Wow, I think this was the episode with the most depth that we've seen so far. Holy cow. Though I do wonder about the future of the show doing this now that there will probably be a season 4. It might be harder to keep Casey on the show still/hit the reset button on the character to keep him around for a fourth season at this point, though I doubt that was the #1 priority for the writers when coming up with the idea. It works better with an "end date" scenario rather than this.

I will be interested to see if the fiancee/kid get brought up again, though.

Stephanie said...

Oh, man. My jaw dropped when Beckman fired Casey. And while Casey as a private citizen does have potential, I really, really, REALLY, don't want it to last too long. I don't know how he's going to get back on the team, be he has to. It would not be the same without him.

I've been waiting for another Casey showcase and this one didn't disappoint. I'm a little torn on the reveal of a former love/unknown daughter: On the one hand, it certainly explains why Casey is so emotionally stunted, shall we say. On the other, I don't know how I feel about him keeping his identity from his daughter. I can see why he would keep himself from the fiance, but I can't help but feel that his daughter has a right to know about her father. Perhaps this is something he'll wrestle with before he gets reinstated.

I want more Chuck, Casey & Sarah working together. It really did feel like old times.

jd said...

The fight scene were incredible...I found myself whooping and yelling "kickass!!!" while watching Chuck, Sarah and Casey wreak some unholy damage on their opponents. Whew!

One cool little effect (or maybe I imagined it): Chuck's eyes seem to lighten when he sees Sarah and snaps out of the pill's influence.

Big laughs: Chuck coming close up and painful with the clear protective shield on Level One; Sarah taking out the supercilious Fitzroy; Morgan and his carrots.

Damn fine acting: YS's expression as Sarah begins to realize that Casey has stolen the pill from the CIA facility; AB and ZL as Casey advises Chuck that he'll have to make that same decision -- love or country; ZL and SL in the courtyard, as Ellie tells Chuck of her career decision.

Nice work, Judkins & LeFranc!

Anonymous said...

Easily the best episode of the season so far. This was up there with the excellent run that they finished off season two with.

For a show whose comedy bits I would normally classify on the "chuckle" level, I laughed out load four or five times.

I felt like the absence of Routh really let the show get back to what it is good at, and I'm more anxious than ever for whatever they are getting at with him to just be over with.

I'm usually pretty astute with recognizing the subtext of a show like this, but I completely missed the parallel with the choice Casey made in the 80's and the choise Chuck is in the midst of making. Having him call Chuck out on it at the end was a nice touch and much more tactfully handled the last two episodes did it.

Impressive debut for the new writers.

cgeye said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this tomorrow (commitments, ugh)....

But from what you've posted, this separation of Casey from Chuck is a good thing. Dig it -- the only person preventing Chuck from being a Real Live Spy isn't Sarah. Conversely, the only person who can help him isn't Shaw -- Casey is the key. As long as Casey is around to save him, Chuck will never step up and take full responsibility for his potentially violent actions.

In this, Casey's more important than Sarah. We know Chuck will fight and kill for her, but Casey is Chuck's model for doing the job for more reasons than impressing his girl, or keeping her safe. This reversal of power -- Chuck on the emotionless inside, Casey on the sentimental outside -- is the other criss-cross of the season. Chuck has surpass both of his teachers in order to become a fully-functional weapon. That is the goal, isn't it?

cgeye said...

(has to surpass, geez)

Jim Hill said...

I see the bullet-dodging less of a "Remo Williams" homage than "The Matrix" -- pill-taking, bllet-dodging, ass-kicking, and last spring's "I know kung-fu."

Anonymous said...

In the last month or so, it has been revealed that our team of intrepid heroes consists of:

(1) A guy who cryptically breaks up with his girlfriend, in front of her parents, on the same day that he slept with her, and despite having confessed his love for another woman only weeks, or perhaps days, before meeting the eventual dump-ee;

(2) A guy who, now, willingly and knowingly abandons his daughter, and who previously--regardless of the reason--abandoned his fiancee while putting her through the anguish of thinking her husband-to-be, and (admittedly, unknown to the guy) the father of her child, had died; and

(3) Likely the least offensive of the bunch, a woman who becomes romantically entangled with nearly every male co-worker she comes into contact with, and who appears to be purposely torturing, via existential hectoring about "giving up everything to be a spy," a guy who she knows is only really trying to be a spy because he is desperately in love with her.

Nice.

Marcos said...

@Stacey Agreed about Sarah's effect on Chuck.

Sylvain said...

I really miss the first season and even the second season though I thought the relationship angst was too much. Now I just cannot invest in these characters anymore. Too much wt/wt for no reason at all. It is a damn shame

Build A Better Fan said...

About Casey being on the outs with the government, I'm still waiting for another shoe to drop:

Back in season 2, both Dr. Busgang and Stephen Bartowski hinted at the government having some nefarious plans for the Intersect,* which is why Stephen went on the run and which probably had something to do with Bryce trying to destroy the Intersect every chance he got.

Just speculating here, but doesn't this imply some strong villainous forces inside the government, which forces newly-discharged Casey and Chuck (with help) to fight them? That would bring out something interesting in Casey, who gave so much for his country, no?

* I still don't think that the only purpose of the Intersect was to make some talented spies -- a technology that can upload information (including disinformation) into unwitting people through a computer monitor has some disturbing potential applications. Add in abilities that can activate involuntarily and it goes to another level of danger.

Alden said...

One thing that really intrigued me here was how Levi played the almost-kill; the dull eyes mixed with a bizarre, frightening curiosity. He was almost alien. A show that can make its wacky-but-loveable lead frightening for a moment and still work is a damn good show...

I wonder where this is going.

Michael G. said...

Adam Baldwin is the best. Enough said.

The final Chuck fight was one of the best fight scenes yet, definitely the best of Zach Levi's. The stick tap was a great touch.

This was the first time I didn't notice the Buy More crew wasn't on until the show was over.

Great episode overall, I think my favorite of the season. Can't believe there's only three episodes left before the "end" of the season.

Michael G. said...

Oh, and anyone else think Chuck's going to shoot/kill someone to save Sarah at some point? He still hasn't gotten his first real kill yet, and I doubt the show can keep avoiding it.

KM said...

Best episode of the season yet for me. I didn't realize how much I miss the original Team Bartowski until this episode. And it had that vs. The Colonel feel to it too as a plus! Also a Frightened Rabbit song from their new album just made the episode almost perfect for me.

I hope the rest of the episodes will be at par or better than 3.10

Xeddicus said...

Great episode. Sarah is overreacting again, though. When Chuck DOES kill someone she better not flip out over it. It be nice if he did it and she was worried about it and confronted him over it and he laid it out for her that he deeply regrets having to do it, but in the end he'll do what it takes to keep the people who cares about safe. That wouldn't be breaking with who Chuck is.

Look at Casey. Casey is what Chuck could become and Casey is kick ass. Casey's mistake was leaving the woman he loves. As Casey pointed out Chuck doesn't have to make that mistake.

Awesome and Morgan were great. "You know?".

Hopefully Chuck takes his apparent realization during Elle's sacrifices/dreams conversation and Casey's "It's not too late." and runs with them next episode.

Sarah's line about thinking of moving to DC was just the writers cramming more delays in. Chuck SAID he wasn't going to change, he proved he didn't (and him taking the gun and/or killing the guy wouldn't be a bad thing), but she's still thinking of running off. Right.

Anonymous said...

A fairly grim episode, I feel that firing Casey was enough for sadness but adding the possibility of Sarah leaving too and realizing that Chuck's world is falling apart might've been a bit much for me.

GuanoLad said...

The Ring don't seem to care about the Intersect like Fulcrum did. I don't think the fact it's inside Chuck's head is considered that crucial a secret anymore.

OldDarth said...

Great episode. Game changers in place at the end for Chuck, Casey, Sarah, Ellie and Devon. Quite a nifty feat.

The role reversal continues with Sarah starting the conversation and then cutting Chuck off. A typical Lost moment. :)

Great debut writing effort by the newbies. Congrats!

Brent said...

I have to assume that Casey's transformation from Coburn to Casey also included serious plastic surgery, as that dude playing him at age 18 looked nothing like Casey.

Anonymous said...

I m not getting why they keep the whole Shaw/Sarah relationship thing so vague? Are the writers afraid of something or ... is it vague on purpose?

Tony said...

I think that the writers are in some kind of circle from which they can't get out of because, in the effort of making the show better and more intense, they start to use plots that have already been seen on many shows. The reason why people watch 'Chuck', or at least why i watch it, is because it offers something that no show in this bucket of stupidity offers and I like it. I will never stop watching 'Chuck', no matter what, but I feel that many people were driven away from it exactly because of it. It is my opinion that the writers have to take a few steps back from it all, analize what they did and what they are doing, and then decide what to do next because they might find them selves spinning with no way out.

About the episode: For me this episode was probably one of the best yet although it had some 'please make it stop' moments but the one that got me the most was
the Chuck and Sarah situation. They have been going at it for the whole season and I think it's time to make a change because she being shocked with what Chuck is becoming (I just want to make it clear that I'm the last one that wants Chuck to become a killer or something worse) is just exhausting and just not logical: if she really thinks that she can't have feelings for a man that Chuck is becoming then why is she with Shaw? Compared to Shaw Chuck is just a baby and I doubt that he will do the things that Shaw did. I think it's better for the show if Chuck and Sarah got together and then build a story on that rather than this status quo that's been going on for some time now.

About Casey: I don't like the fact that he was kicked out of the team because he was the one that gave it that special dose of dark humor and sarcasm on mission nad in castle but I can see the story of him as a civilian playing out nicely. I don't think they will kick him off the show because too many people like him.

About Sarah: Her leaving is just one of the ways with which the writers want to irritate us but eventually it will all work out great.

About Morgan: The best thing the writers did so far. Him knowing just makes it that much better and funier and this will give the boost that the show needs.

About the rest: The decision of staying that Awesome and Ellie made was the best thing for me: it just wouldn't be it without them.

Rating by me: 9/10

P.S. Alan you do some great writing and keep it up because your posts give me the insight taht I always seem to miss.

Joe said...

Heh. The WV is "tornwar".

When Casey was in his apartment at the end, I worried that The Ring might come a callin', trying to recruit him.

Which, now that I think about it, might not be a bad thing to happen. If he were to get into the Ring, he could definitely do some damage from the inside.

Finn said...

I totally agree with a poster above, when you say that "Chuck and Sarah don't have to get together" everytime as a qualifer. Makes me smile! For me, they sure the do have to get together, as the show as totally set up that they are in love and are slowly removing the obstacles, and frankly, the show works better when they are a team.

Anyway, love the episode, lots of fun, great action and very low Buy More - a win for me!

Alan Sepinwall said...

When Casey was in his apartment at the end, I worried that The Ring might come a callin', trying to recruit him.

Given that he just snapped the neck of a Ring cell leader, I'm not sure how eager they'd be to bring him onto the team.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ratings last night were down quite a bit from last week, but most of that can be attributed to the Daylight Savings Effect, as nearly everything (including much bigger hits like "House") were also down a fair amount.

Not great, but not something to panic about, either, if you see any "Chuck's ratings plunge" headlines.

MikeS said...

I loved hearing the brand new Frightened Rabbit song...that's the fourth time that "Chuck" has gone to Frightened Rabbit in an episode. Good stuff!

I didn't think that Chuck's fight with the guys from the gas company worked. The sped up camera work reminded me of Ralphie protecting his family from robbers in "A Christmas Story".

Otherwise, this was a great episode. You know that Casey won't be left out in the cold for too long, but it could be a lot of fun to watch until he's brought back into the fold.

Strange thing happening here: Chuck's team is on the verge of falling apart as Casey is dismissed and the General offers Sarah a new assignment. They said they were training Chuck to be a solo agent. Meanwhile, they seem to be setting the scenario for Chuck and Sarah to get together...the way Chuck and Morgan talked about it last week, and now Chuck being encouraged to do so by Casey.

I don't care about Chuck and Sarah pairing up, but Shaw's character has added little to the series, and putting the will they/won't they thing away for good would be welcome at this point.

Season 2 showed that Chuck definitely ramps up for the season finale. While this season is different due to the short schedule, and then the extension, it looks like they're building a similar ramp up. We could have some great TV for the next several weeks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And, of course, Schwartz is already tweeting the call to arms.

Plague said...

Alan, just to nitpick- pretty sure Casey crushed Keller's windpipe, not break his neck.
From the look of the grip he had on his throat...

Alan Sepinwall said...

That makes more logistical sense, but the sound effect is the one you hear in movies and TV shows whenever somebody's neck gets snapped.

smw said...

i love how chuck mirrored casey in the holding the guy by the neck. it's nice to see parallels between chuck and casey underneath all of the grunting and massive brute strength. and i think the whole casey giving chuck love advice was a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Another solid episode (along with last weeks). However, I'm still not enjoying this season as much as the previous two. As I've commented before on this site, I think that the budget cuts have really, really hurt this show. Production values are way down. So many scenes from this season just look more cheaply done than anything from the previous two seasons. I also think that the storytelling has suffered. Storylines have felt rushed and the exclusion of certain characters from each episode has felt forced (by that I mean it is clear that their exclusion is not driven by any plot line, but purely for financial reasons). Alan, I'm really surprised that you haven't commented more on these problems.

With that being said, Chuck is still a really fun show that I look forward to every week.

Finn said...

I think Season 3 is an improvement on all fronts. Season 1 just had some good moments - not a series of solid episodes. And Season 2, I loved it, but again it ended on a great tear of quality, so I think we think back that it was greater than it was. In the first 13 episodes of Season 2, I would say 1/2 were really good.

I love this season. It has taken a darker turn, but still has Chuck fun.

and as far as ratings, the lack of viewers makes me sick...

Scott said...

There were two pop culture aspects fo this episode that I was sure would be mentioned but were not:

1. Sarah unhitching herself from underneath Casey's car was obviously a nod to "Cape Fear".

2. Also, I believe the name Alex Coburn is an homage to the great James Coburn, who did all those wonderful "Flint" films.

Elena said...

Great episode--my favorite moments were the little things, Morgan spying on Casey, Casey putting his bonsai back together with Chuck trying to cheer him up, Morgan and Awesome circling each other like two guys in a boxing ring.

The whole Sarah moving to D.C. was odd to me, as it is for others posting here. First she's going to meet Shaw - according to Casey, then Beckman offers to take her along on her flight back to talk about a job, well it was all muddled to me. I get that Sarah is mixed up, doesn't know what to do with her life, but they are not presenting it well. And I guess I don't like the idea that she's seriously considering relocating as it torpedoes my theory that she's hanging with Shaw as she's suspicious of him. Oh, well, will wait and see what develops.

Stellar Drift said...

And next week Sarah resigns, and then the three of them can start a detective agency - I'd buy that for a same cast spinoff!

But the damn sound track ENOUGH - don't play songs with singers! Use instrumentals you oafs, and turn it down a couple of hundred decibels.

"but because moments like that, like certain moments on "Lost," just scream that the writers are stalling a bit because they need to). "

They wouldn't need to if they were better writers.

Thank god they tagged the extra 6 episodes on at the end instead of more threading water along the way.

drake lelane said...

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the parallels between Casey's origin as Alex and Chuck's beginnings. Scrawny, underachiever, with love in his heart and full of self-doubt. Is it any wonder Casey has such a (hard-ass) paternal relationship with Chuck? He sees a bit of Alex in the intersect -- winces in disappointment at his weaknesses and is proud of his Casey-approved achievements. It also supports the "Chuck slowly turning into a cold-hearted spy" long story-arc. Casey stands as an example of where Chuck is heading. It also makes the parallel choking scene even more relevant.

Dave B said...

@Stellar, hey, someone agrees with me about the soundtrack! Every time a song comes on, it pulls me out of the show, and makes me wonder if this is what it is like to watch shows that I strictly ignore (90210, The OC (I know, I know), and others of their ilk). Why, exactly, did I need 15 seconds of Dancing With Myself last week?

Great episode, otherwise.

A-T-G said...

I knew there was going to be a story for Casey the moment I heard the name Alex Coburn in "Chuck vs. The Fake Name". It was better than I could have hoped!

Of course 'Casey' isn't his name and OF COURSE 'Alex' 'died' in the military and became 'Casey'. The details, however, are what made it AWESOME! I loved the news that Casey had daughter. The look on his face - it was beautiful. And when Chuck gave him the eyes and Casey grunted and got up in face to say that what was dead, was dead. I got it - I totally understood why Casey didn't say anything to Kathleen. She didn't recognize him (thankfully) so, he could leave her life the way it was - without any disruptions. What could he way to her? There's nothing that would make it ok. For better or worse, Alex Coburn died. John Casey is not that man anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing what he becomes (and how he'll get back in, again). Great ep! I love a Casey-centric episode! (minus the Sensei, that was lame).

Anonymous said...

How could Kathleen not recognize Casey? Paulie Walnuts recognized him as Coburn, and they just crossed paths in the service. This lady was *engaged* to Casey, and didn't know his face?

This backstory was a complete mess, between this and the conflicts with Angel de la Muerte. It's actually kind of embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

"Alan Sepinwall said...

And, of course, Schwartz is already tweeting the call to arms.
"

Oh here we go again....

Evidently I am far less enamored with the show that I was a year ago when I allowed myself to get involved in the save Chuck campaign. And NO I will under no circumstances get involved again. We fought for a show that delivered us mockery of the fanbase, irrelevant love polygons that make no sense, characters that make no sense, storylines that lead nowhere and they are getting there at a snails pace. Chuck is no longer entertaining, I m not gonna fight to save a show I DVR and fastfarward through half the episode.

Elena said...

I had the same thought, that she should have recognized Casey (Coburn) or at least had one of those-don't I know you? moments.

I've run into people I went to college with after 10-15 years, and have always recognized them, its in the eyes -the window to the soul, if I may be so sappy. Makes it easy to drop that s/l for now, or for ever if that's what they want but not very real world plausible.

Word verification- ringes!

Build A Better Fan said...

Anon@5:48 -
Good point, though it took Paulie a minute to recognize him, and Paulie didn't know he was supposed to be dead. (@Elena: She did ask, "Do I know you?" as she woke up.) It has been 21 years, after all, and Casey's supposed to have gone through a lot in that time.

Casey was somewhere between 18 and 23 at the time -- I'm leaning toward the higher end of that to give him time to assassinate a bunch of people in the '80s and make (First?) Lieutenant, and because that would put Casey closer to Baldwin's actual age. We know Casey was 23 when he started training with Bennett, and trained with him for "a long time."

I don't see a necessary continuity problem there (yet), though it does take some suspension of disbelief. I mean, he's also a Marine-sniper-turned-NSA agent who managed to fly the stealth fighter.

Baylink said...

I'm gonna comment before reading everyone else's, since I'm a day late (thanks, Hulu), and I don't wanna be here all night.

Remo Williams? Not Neo?

I picked up Broadcast News, rather than DC Cab, and I liked the Gift of the Magi callback with Ellie and Devon, though like some other things you note, it could have been fleshed out a bit more.

All I can tell you is this: I hope that some of the filler eps that had to be written for the back 6 aren't the weak stuff that got us where we are.

Cause I'd hate to be Schwedak if I could have bookended the Olympics with Beard, Tic Tac, and some promo...

Still, damn fine acting from everyone, and I was *very* impressed with the writing... even if it was stealing beats from my favorite fanfic series left and right. :-)

wv: Cedosi. That's *Chuck's* real name. :-)

Baylink said...

> The last five minutes of the show could have left us thinking that the most important people in Chuck's life (save Morgan) would all be leaving him shortly

I did want to comment on this. As soon as I heard "as a civilian", I couldn't help but think "back-door finale?"

Baylink said...

> The last five minutes of the show could have left us thinking that the most important people in Chuck's life (save Morgan) would all be leaving him shortly

I did want to comment on this. As soon as I heard "as a civilian", I couldn't help but think "back-door finale?"

Arcee said...

Alan, I always enjoy reading your reviews--I wish I could be as eloquent & thoughtful as I look back on the episodes! Just wanted to say that I appreciate you. For me, I have LOVED the past two episodes. The interactions between Morgan & Chuck last week were pure gold,& the plot & action scenes this week were excellent.

In recently reading messageboards & blogs, I have to say that I am a bit surprised to see so much negativity about this season. Other than not liking the Shaw character at all, I have very few complaints. I still LOVE the show--the superb cast, writers, music--all of it. Although the show has indeed taken a more serious turn this season, it makes sense. I would be happy to answer the 'call to arms' if necessary.

I am concerned over the ratings dip and hope it is a temporary thing. I feel that I've spent the majority of my precious ~'CHUCK' watching life~ worried if it would be renewed, so I hope that you know somthing that the rest of us don't know in regards to the future of my favorite show by saying 'don't panic'. I'm panicked...

Joe Cobb said...

enjoy the show.

enjoy the ride.

They are giving us everything they can... network be dammed.

great episode.

(word verification bidapece~ acting like Joe Pesci at an auction)

Kyodai said...

Definitely a good episode. It could even be the one I enjoyed most in this season.

Also, the less we see Routh, the better this season seems to become. Honestly, it's no shipper bullshit, I've so far always liked the others "pretendants" to the sarah character, but Routh is really bad, and its character isn't helping at all.

Thinking that we're seeing less comedy moments with the whole Buy More staff so we can have more teeth grinding BR crap is kinda frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I'm with anon@8:19

Josh started the mess...it's up to him to save it.

Put out a quality product that makes sense and people will watch. What we got this year was a crazy mess - storylines that lead nowhere, throw away lines that impact what is going on in the ep and invalidates the entire ep. I could go on and on and on.

The sad part is they knew it wasn't going to be popular. The Ali video and the constant "patience" mantra. Guess what JS/CF/AA? The nielson families don't have to have patience - they just turn the channel and they have!

I'm done trying to save this show. I was buying Subway every Monday this season - not anymore. I'm not a nielson household so it doesn't matter if I watch live or DVR it. To the DVR it goes and maybe I will watch it.

Bia said...

Sarah is the Betty Ross to Chuck's Hulk!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic episode, wow, the show is on fire! This is my fave season easily, and I also like the Shaw character. I like what Routh is doing with the character, he's cocky, commanding mysterious, and I really like his interactions with Sarah because we get to know other sides of her. But it's about time to know what his real agenda is regarding the Ring. I guess that's coming up soon in the following episodes.

And most of all, I'm loving the darker tone and the emotional realism this season. Chuck's journey into becoming a spy needed that. Thanks!

Star

Xenaclone said...

Adam was indeed excellent, portraying Casey who has his whole world just fall apart around him [even though it's partially his fault].

In the dismissal scene, Casey was just barely biting back his emotions and it showed. Later, with Chuck, Casey spoke so gently. There was a world of things he wasn't going to - and possibly couldn't - say. If there was any justice, Adam would get an award for his performance in this episode.

The whole of this mini arc is to throw Chuck out on his own, to see if he can stand. He has to fully embrace his hero's journey.

Anonymous said...

I never thought Casey was actually calling his mom in that scene- I figured he was speaking in code to Beckman. Casey knew that the intersect was in danger, he and sarah were captured and all of the intersect's family and friends were hostages. Based on everything we know about Casey he would have called for help.

Klut said...

Just for it to be recorded, here's my guess about what the gamechanging development at the end of season 3 will be: Sarah gets an Intersect.

Anonymous said...

Great episode. I like that the show can go dark like this, and I don't get complaints about the season as a whole. The show is ambitious and I applaud that.

Caz said...

millie said...
On the pill/placebo deal? I was waiting for the reveal that it was actually...a tic tac.


Ditto!

Sarah's thinking of moving to DC, or thinking of moving BACK to DC? She tells Chuck on their Pilot date that she moved from DC to leave Bruce behind. Yes, I'm looking at you, Continuity, pay attention. I think we can take this as a truth, we are told more than once the best lie is one close to the truth.

The gas company fight scene was badass. I think among the best if not top of the charts in terms of hand to hand combat fight choreography. It was, in a word, amazing. As someone on the taller side, ZL is a gift to a fight director, he's showing a lot of commitment to it (can I learn to do that floor to standing flip?), he's graceful with fight props, and he has a usefully long reach.

Oh, and when Chuck is on the floor right before the flip and he flashes, the close up on his eye was upside-down. Hee! Nice touch.

I thought Sarah's mucky wifebeater was a Die Hard call out, maybe?

Caz said...

Oh, and also, Chuck may not have killed anyone, but it seemed to me like he definitely broke that one guy's arm. That's pretty hardcore.