Monday, January 11, 2010

Chuck, "Chuck vs. the Angel De La Muerte": Awesome blossoms

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I steal your blood and put it in a stinking commie despot...
"Is there anything your brother-in-law can't do?" -Sarah
One of the most promising developments from the end of last season was Captain Awesome's discovery of Chuck's double life. It had the potential to make a very funny but peripheral character more central to the story (as the one link between Chuck's two worlds), and to give Ryan McPartlin something to play other than supreme manly confidence. (Though he's certainly swell at that.)

"Chuck vs. the Angel De La Muerte" did a good job of living up to that promise, with Devon accidentally becoming part of a mission, then screwing it up, then finding a way to save the day. (And then apparently falling victim to The Ring's poisoner, but that's an issue for next week, and I'll remind you of the usual No Spoiler policy, which includes not talking about the content of the previews for next week's episode.)

After spending the early part of the episode trying to latch onto Operation Bartowski because of boredom at home, Devon finally winds up in what he thinks is a position to help the team, but which instead lands Casey in a whole mess of trouble. But because Devon spends every day of his life living up to the derogatory nickname Chuck gave him, he gets the team back into the embassy to liberate Casey, saves the reforming dictator's life, and even plays the role of Sarah and helps Chuck calm down enough to access the Intersect 2.0's surgical skills.

(Devon doesn't know about that last part, of course, but he has such faith in his brother-in-law - whom he assumes is a regular, highly-trained spy - that he believes a few words of encouragement are all Chuck needs to attain awesomeness.)

Though "Angel De La Muerte" is primarily about putting Awesome on Chuck's turf, it's also a nice secondary showcase for commie-hating Casey (the angel of the title), and an opportunity for Adam Baldwin to be badass while tied to a chair. And it provides us with another terrific piece of "Chuck" guest casting, with Armand Assante taking great pleasure in the role of every single "r" in his performance as dictator Alejandro Goya. Assante's performances often turn into canned ham, but in a "Chuck" guest role - and this one in particular - a little trafe is exactly what's called for. With Goya still alive at the episode's end - and with The Ring interested in the status quo of his country - I'd love to see Assante turn up again before the end of the season.

Maybe not as funny or action-packed as the ones from last night, but a very strong episode, nonetheless.

Some other thoughts

• Tonight, it's the Buy More gang's turn to take an episode off for budgetary reasons, though Morgan at least gets mentioned in passing while Chuck suggests some things he and Sarah might do as "friends."

• Speaking of which, this episode was much lighter on Chuck/Sarah angst than the two from last night, but we did get that scene at the embassy where Awesome and Ellie confront each of them about their feelings for the other, and we again get a character (Carina last night, Ellie here) explaining (in case we somehow haven't figured it out yet) that Sarah really loves Chuck.

• While talking to Sarah Lancaster at last night's NBC press tour party, she lit up when talking about this episode, saying it was nice to get out of the apartment set for once, and to get to dress fancy instead of always wearing Ellie's hospital scrubs.

• The fictional nation of Costa Gavras is named after the director of the same name.

• Nice meta moment where Chuck begins describing a mission to Devon that sounds like the plot of every other episode of the series, only to dismiss it all as "blah blah blah." Maybe that's how I need to respond to the usual plot holes, like why nobody seems to care that Sarah the "nurse" singlehandedly knocked out a couple of Goya's security guards.

• Why does Sarah's version of every kind of undercover uniform (Nerd Herd last year, nurse this year) look like the stripper version of that uniform? Well, aside from the obvious, non-fictional reasons, I mean.

Finally, the ratings. Breathe a sigh of relief, because they were good. In third place in the 18-49 demo for the first hour, and a solid second for the second hour. It was the show's best performance since the post-Super Bowl 3D episode (before the Obama pre-emption the following week derailed any ratings momentum and forced us all to buy Subway sandwiches).

For another, more successful network, those numbers would be just okay. For NBC, struggling in fourth place and suddenly with five extra hours of primetime to fill, they're practically a godsend. Competition's going to be tougher tonight (Fox schedule a new "House," and of course next week there's night two of the "24" premiere to deal with), but if the show can stick close to those numbers, life will be good.

The downside to being on a struggling network is that "Chuck" can never become the broader hit it arguably deserves to be. The upside is that NBC has to hang onto any bit of good news it can get, and those "Chuck" numbers last night definitely qualify as good news.

Viva Buy Moria!

What did everybody else think?


x2 said...

Fun episode, very light. I especially
like the last 10 minutes.

I like how they are moving the Chuck/Sarah stuff, I feel like it is leading to something.

Casey funny line of the night to me was describing that the dictator "always showers after lovemaking"

Amanda Mason said...

This episode featured one of my favorite lines of the series to date.

Awesome: "You and what army?"
Chuck: "Uh, that would be Sarah and her fists."

It was all in the delivery and I was howling. I continue to love this show *so* much and am so happy to have it back. I always walk away with a smile on my face.

3333/afa said...

Any episode with as much Awesome is definitely awesome. I'll be so sad if he's a goner.

The Chuck/Sarah stuff was much less cringe-inducing than it was yesterday. I sort of hoped that they would have become boyfriend and girlfriend during their discussion in the Orange Orange at the end ONLY because it would put an end to the angst, but I'm OK with their being just friends for a while.

I didn't mind Morgan's absence, although more Jeffster! would have helped make this episode even more, uh, awesome.

Alyson said...

Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT. What I really, REALLY loved is the fact that Chuck and Sarah seem to have reached an admittedly uneasy understanding, but an understanding nonetheless, that they have to find some sort of middle ground in their personal relationship in order to make their professional relationship work.

Josh M. said...

Mostly very good episode, but it was my turn to want to punch Chuck in the face. I hated how blase and hipper-than-thou he was about spydom to the eager Awesome.

--Deb said...

Loved this one. Absolutely fantastic. I think it's going to be one of my favorites.

Chris Littmann said...

Re: your comment on Sarah's uniform as the nurse, I had to laugh, because she struck quite a pose with her stripper nurse outfit and her assault riffle. Hey, Schwartz has a weapon in that woman, so why not fire it? (The Orange Orange uniform isn't so bad either, btw.)

Anyway, enjoyed it once again. I was definitely having this feeling of dread toward the end that something awful was going to happen. I loved the Bond villain like moment with almost had with the poisoner where I thought he was going to explain his mission to Casey right before he broke out.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances of NBC moving Chuck into one of the newly-open 10 PM slots?

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that they finally showcased Elliot and Awesome for an episode made this fun. Then my heart sank in that final scene between Sarah and Chuck.

filmcricket said...

MUCH better than either of last night's episodes: lighter on the angst, better use of Casey, and just enough funny stuff to leaven the action.

I don't know why I didn't see it coming, but OF COURSE Devon the adrenaline junkie would want in on what he thinks is Chuck's super-cool spy life. Well-played by Ryan McPartlin all around.

Minor continuity nitpick: should Ellie not at least have been wearing her lucky sweater during that scene in the closet? We weren't told how long after they initially met that the make-out session happened, but given that they were introducing themselves in there, I'm guessing not that long.

Can't wait for next week! Mondays are fun again!

Will said...

Great episode again.

BTW, I got the connection right away, but wasn't the country name "Costa Gravas" in the episode?

Anonymous said...

Assante's Goya was like Nick Nolte's mugshot went off and led a Latin American commie revolution.

Unknown said...

Now THIS was the show I bought Subway for!

I think there was way too much gravitas in the premiere episodes.

Alan, I have to take minor issue with your characterization of Awesome's name as derogatory. It might have started that way, but it now contains respect and affection.

Speaking of affection, I was always a "shipper", but I like where Chuck and Sarah are now. When (not if, I'm sure) they get closer again, they'll be better equipped to handle it. There was an almost adolescent idealization of each other that the Prauge situation shattered. They'll be older, sadder and wiser when they inevitably get together again.

smw said...

what does sarah say to chuck about devon? i didn't hear it at all...

Lisa said...

At some point, I do hope they let Ellie grow a brain again. I definitely enjoyed her talk with Sarah, but Sarah Lancaster deserves better than a season of quizzical expressions and clueless dialogue.

Q Ball said...

Anyone notice that so far Sarah has had quite a few funny/witty lines in these first three episodes? I don't know whether it's Yvonne Strahovski's delivery or the writers realizing Sarah can be funny/edgy. Either way I really like the character so far this season.

And another positive development is that The Ring seems like they might be more than just a MacGuffin. I find myself interested in their motives compared to Fulcrum who I was pretty indifferent towards.

Brandy said...

Ebarassingly true story? I said out loud so people could hear, "A Devon centric episode? Awesome!" And I didn't catch the pun for like a full minute. So humiliating.

I loved Awesome in this ep.

Anonymous said...

Great ep as always, but I missed Jeffster. Casey and Captain were great though, and just the right amount of Charah for my tastes.

Ian said...

Much much better than last night. Doesn't The Ring know that putting a gag in John Casey's mouth is pointless since he does his best work through grunts?

Geoff said...

I honestly didn't miss the Buy More in this episode. I thought that, at times, having every element of Chuck's life collide in each episode was getting a little far fetched. It fealt like we were going to need an explanation like the Hellmouth from Buffy to explain why so many things happen at the Buy More.

Also, I think I could watch Casey pass out every episode and still laugh like a lunatic.

Unknown said...

"...I hated how blase and hipper-than-thou he was about spydom to the eager Awesome."

My take on Chuck's attitude was that he was picking up on Devon's enthusiasm for the "spyworld" and was acting blase about it to gently discourage more Devon/spyworld integration than is necessary.

This was a terrific episode, very tight (which is unusual for even some of the best Chuck episodes).
I like most of the supporting players, but if all the episodes are this focused than we don't need subplots for each of them every episode, i.e. "Cougars" last year where there was a blah Buy More kegger/fundraiser subplot when all the interest and tension was at Sarah's 10 year HS reunion.

Lastly, I am such a sucker for pop culture--I howled when Casey revealed the premier's favorite movie was "Terms of Endearment".

Anonymous said...

I thought that this episode was entirely forgettable. This show does dumb fun well, but anybody who watched S2 knows it can be an intelligent hour-long offering when it wants to be. We're only three episodes past the show's creative apex and already we're heading back to the comfort of guest stars as romantic obstacles and ill-defined plot arcs.

I smile when I watch this show, just like the rest of you. But I scoff, too, because (to borrow one of Agent Walker's favorite lines) I've seen what this show is capable of. And right now, it's not measuring up - not for me, anyway.

fgmerchant said...

I had visions of an Awesome centric episode myself and I let out an audible yell when I realized this would be happening tonight.

I had thought that a way to save the budget would be to have awesome be a spy for 1 mission with Casey while Chuck and Sarah are out on another mission. I know it would have been an episode of "Chuck" without Chuck, but I think it could be pulled off!

Too bad about the end though, made me extremely depressed.

Rick said...

These first three episodes all feel like edited versions of longer episodes- they all seemed to skip ahead a bit quicker than the first two seasons. I prefer the 'realistic' platforming of story points they had toward the end of last year.

That said, this was the best of the three, and they were all great.

I've said this before, but as attractive as Yvonne Strahovski is, Sarah Lancaster is just gorgeous. Very jealous that you got to talk to her.

Rob Rogers said...

Anyone know the song they played in the scene with Chuck and Sarah at the yogurt shop at the end?

Sonia said...

I thought Captain Awesome and Ellie walking into the Costa Gravas formal party were just THE most gorgeous couple ever! Awesomely perfect! And a whole scene with Devon sweaty in bike shorts...niiiiiiiiiiice! LOL

Lots of Casey too and his grunting (albeit he had a rag in his mouth...but whatever...)

I am fine with the status of Chuck and Sarah's relationship...that is what it needs to be right now and it feels appropriate.

gally said...

Awesome episode. Stunning end. I wish that they hadn't shown scenes from next week mere moments after the end. It deflated it a little bit.

maryploppins said...

@buzz - "There was an almost adolescent idealization of each other that the Prague situation shattered. They'll be older, sadder and wiser when they inevitably get together again" - That's a good way to look at it; I hadn't even thought about it that way, but it's true.

Anyway, it's funny how each different fan of Chuck has their own expectations of which elements and tones they hope to see in each episode. ;-) Everyone who found last night's eps to be a bit to dense and heavy loved tonight's ep because it was light, and some of the ones who loved last night's eps didn't like tonight's because it was ... too light lol.

I thought this one was just kinda o.k., so I must fall a bit more into the latter category. It definitely had its funny moments though. I don't have anything against the light-hearted eps at all, but the storylines in this one were a bit too contrived for me I think.

Plus, the Buy More being completely absent actually really weirded me out. I guess I'm just not used to it. I wish we would have at least gotten some Morgan in this ep. I think next week's ep looks much more exciting than this one from the previews, though I won't mention what happens.

Oh and one thing I did enjoy in tonight's episode, other than the funny one-liners was the fact that they didn't focus so much on the Chuck/Sarah angst. I definitely agree with some of the other commenters that I was happy to see them lighten up on that particular element tonight. Oh and it was definitely good to give Awesome and Ellie a chance to have a real storyline in this one.

And the stripper nurse uniform, SOOOO TRUE ... NO nurses dress like that!! It looked like she got it at a Halloween store lol, that should have made it VERY obvious to everyone around her that she was NOT actually a nurse hahahah. But I guess simple scrubs would not have been nearly as sexy. ;-)

dez said...

I gasped out loud when the poisoner showed up in Awesome's hospital. Yikes!!

I enjoyed the ep, especially learning how Awesome and Ellie met. This show is so much fun and I'm glad it's getting decent ratings (now to convince more people to watch it).

Captcha = brole (what a Spanish bro says when he does something awesome)

Audrey said...

It was a VERY fun and entertaining episode. Loved everything about it.

BTW, to be fair, Alan, the Anna's Nerd Herd uniform was as scandalous. It's just because Sarah is a bit taller therefore making her look like she's wearing a shorter skirt than Anna. Hah.

Anonymous said...

Another good episode. I'm glad the writers didn't seem to slack off.

Sarah in stripper versions of outfits are just as okay as Awesome with his shirt off which seems to happen almost every episode he is in.

Poor Casey he just got all beat to heck tonight loved the bruise on his head from the headbutt.

It would have been more funny if the dictator's favorite movie was "The Mambo Kings".

Alan Sepinwall said...

BTW, to be fair, Alan, the Anna's Nerd Herd uniform was as scandalous.

Anna never wore skyscraper high heels like Sarah did in "Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer."

Randy Lander said...

That ending is the first time since Tara got shot on Buffy Season Six that I've been sitting there actually *saying* "No no no no" to the TV.

I liked the two-parter season opener, but I *loved* this one.

Pamela Jaye said...

based on a search for the word General and the fact that i will forget this right away before reading the *rest* of the comments

I noticed that the General was dressed up, in one of her scenes. and no one else noticed! Has she ever been in a dress before? Is it a clue? Does it have to do with Shaw?

Devon's "real life" job description was a bit too specialized and nurses no longer dress the way Sarah did. I'd have to check St Elsewhere to find out whether doctors were running around in scrubs while nurses still wore white.

And I don't know why it did not occur to me that Chuck could "be a doctor."
Suddenly the show has turned into an odd mix of Quantum Leap and The Pretender (if you put it in a blender with the Greatest American Hero)

of to pickup those last few comments. (long night)

Pamela Jaye said...

Speaking of Awesome - it came up in conversation during dinner - re: HIMYM.
Devon is definitely more Awesome than Barney is. Even after tonight ;-)

Pamela Jaye said...

Thankfully, we switched the channel before the promos came on.

I loved seeing Sarah and Awesome and their married life. Part of this is that Awesome is Awesome and part of it is I've liked Ellie since the only show I can remember her not wearing scrubs in: Scrubs. And part of it is that I love doctors in shows.
I also like to see married couples - prefereably without children.
I did think Devon was going to blow up the TV, though.

Were people speaking spanish without translation in this ep? it must have been simple spanish, cause there wasn't anything I didn't understand.
It was a few hours ago. Memory is fuzzy.

mac35 said...

To quote Sue Sylvester: Out.Standing.

While I enjoyed the 2 eps from last night I thought this one topped them both. There was no whiny Chuck, there was more humor and getting Ellie/Awesome out of the house and into the action added a new angle to everything. Loved it!

Mike said...

I absolutely loved this episode! It was so much fun. Having Awesome be part of Chuck's spy world was fantastic. It was like we're seeing it all through new eyes once again, as we did in season 1 through Chuck's, and that's a great feeling. I think this one tops both of last night's episode. It just had better pacing and less retreading on past angst.

Bo said...

Hey Alan,

I was wondering if you could always do a song list like you did with the premier episode. I'm sure you're incredibly busy but it would be a great perk. Thanks for everything with the website, I'm sorry to ask for something this big but I figured it was worth a shot.

an alan lover... said...

alan, bud...

you have such a love for chuck that it is messing with your credibility as a tv reviewer.

you come down hard on just about every other tv show. you give harsh reviews about almost every thing else on tv. except chuck. chuck gets a pass. are you on their payroll?

seriously, bud, chuck is not all that. these first three eps pretty much blow. yet you defend them as if your financial future rides on the success of this show.

have you gone over to the dark side alan? have you sold out? is nbc paying you to give positive reviews each and every ep?

i love you, man. but your objectivity has gone out the window.


Shawn Anderson said...

For whoever requested it, here's the song list from this episode:

1. "Bohemian Like You" - The Dandy Warhols
2. "El Yerbero" - Jesus Alejandro "El Nino"
3. "Cafecito Cubano" - Jesus Alejandro "El Nino":
4. "Songozon" - Latin Mambo Orchestra
5. "Living a Lie!" - Daniel Zott

imkeh said...

This ep was nice. I'm happy with the friend thing. I was really struck by the times I read people wanting to punch Chuck's face. Devon's much more good-looking character never gets that ;)

I was so happy to see more of Dellie (yes, deal with it, I used Dellie). Ellie is gorgeous, and she got to wear a dress and dance! OMG! I liked how she pointed out "I'm a doctor too". Yay, for girl power.

Speaking of girl-power. I think most nurses are shorter than Sarah Walker. Hence why her uniform is so short. Hehe. That's the one plausible reason I could think off. Plus, short = easy to do high kicks. How to explain the nurse's cap? that's tougher. :)

Anonymous said...

Sarah outside of her action/angst scenes = fan-service role

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

• Why does Sarah's version of every kind of undercover uniform (Nerd Herd last year, nurse this year) look like the stripper version of that uniform? Well, aside from the obvious, non-fictional reasons, I mean.

What have you got besides the "obvious, non-fictional reason" that making a very attractive Yvonne Strahovski into a sexual sight-gag doesn't require much effort or imagination? Personally, I think it would much funnier (and dramatically more interesting)if Sarah's disguises were her trying, and failing miserably, to blend in.

JimBriggs said...

Great episode. Didn't miss the Buy More - they would have had to shoehorn it into the plot, and it would have been too contrived.

I loved the little eyebrow arch on the aide when Casey said the general's favorite movie was "Terms of Endearment."

Nit-pick: there wasn't much of a rush to get Devon to the general after he smoked the poisoned cigar. Seemed like a lot of time passed.

L D said...

I loved this episode! I'm really enjoying Awesome's involvement, and I think there's a lot of potential for future episodes there. Besides, Team Bartowski could use some trained medical help sometimes! The writers have already outdone themselves this season.

TC said...

Team Bartowski could use some trained medical help sometimes!

Wasn't Sarah actually supposed to be a doctor at one point?

Dave said...

I absolutely loved this episode. Awesome was awesome, and we had so many golden Casey moments it's hard to keep track of them. "It's a good thing I'm a Marine!" The way he said "AB Negative." The fake mustache. The look on his face as he read the dictator's note. So priceless.

I've been frustrated with the Chuck/Sarah relationship, but a buddy of mine helped me take a step back and look at it from a character perspective, and I'm liking it a lot more now. They're actually acting like human beings, not characters. I'm hoping that this mess with Awesome turns into a galvanizing thing for their relationship, because I've always been an impatient fan. Just hurry up and get together already! :)

Anonymous said...

Our favorite moment from last night: When Casey refused anesthesia and one of the guards gave him something to bite down on.

Of the 3 episodes so far this season, this was my favorite.

LoopyChew said...

...and nobody here mentioned my personal cherry topping on the cake of awesome, " muy awesome."

CAPTCHA: "gymbless." That HAS to relate to Awesome somehow.

Xenaclone said...

Wonderful episode! Nice glimpse into Casey's past!

So, he's a Marine [unless he was lying]. Why has he been seen in Air Force blues, then? [Season 1, from memory]. I wonder when he managed to fit in training with his Sensei in between all those other missions... Hmmmm.... The dates seem a bit off to me [GGG]. Again, unless there's judicious fabrication of the truth happening.

The ballroom looked very like the Mariachi place from episode 3.01.

Good to see Sarah and Chuck get beyond the UST/URT to a semi-level headed professional relationship.

Stephanie said...

Why does Sarah's version of every kind of undercover uniform (Nerd Herd last year, nurse this year) look like the stripper version of that uniform? Well, aside from the obvious, non-fictional reasons, I mean.

Haha, I was thinking the same thing last night. Nurses haven't dressed like that in years, and certainly not in uniforms that short.

I really enjoyed this episode. Love that we got more - and less, LOVED the workout scene - of Awesome. He fit in very well.

I have to admit, I was close to tears when Sarah showed up at Chuck's door right after Devon was confronted with the poisoner. I was practically screaming, "What?! NO!!!" Man, I love these characters.

I'm happy with where they're leaving the Chuck/Sarah relationship. I'm a bit tired of the drama at this point. I'm one of those who thinks there are plenty of realistic obstacles to them becoming involved, so the backing off works for me. I'd be happy to see more focus on missions and the three core characters. More Casey please!

Unknown said...

People are actually believing that Chuck and Sarah's "we'll just be friends" moment resolves the never ending mess that story has become? The fact is, they either need to get together or they need to put one of them with someone else entirely -- maybe then I'll believe they are friends, but until then, it'll be the same old thing.

Beyond that, last night's episode was fantastic.

Boricua in Texas said...

What a relief. This was funny and a million times better than the premiere episodes, although they could have done away with the superfluous "let's be friends" scene towards the end.

Karl Ruben said...

Any episode with this much Ryan McPartlin automatically gets a passing grade from me. Still, I hope they let Ellie's character grow a little too - the aggravated sister/spouse shtick is wearing a bit thin by now. Sarah Lancaster is at least as awesome as McPartlin, and she deserves to strut her awesomeness too, dammit!

Have to disagree with Alan on Armand Assante - too much ham.

Anonymous said...

I had to plead with some of my friends to give the show another chance last night, after watching the show for the first time on Sunday. They liked it much better. For one thing, they didn't shout at the screen about what an idiot and nuisance Chuck was.

Asta said...

I felt this was the strongest episode of the first three. My two favorite aspects were Devon entering into the spy mix and Chuck being a competent (and confidant) spy for a change.

I had a few quibbles, the most distracting of which was Sarah in the nurses uniform and not in the way they intended. Has any nurse worn that type of uniform since the 70s? It took me out of the scene because the entire time I was thinking the CIA and spy of Sarah's caliber would know the proper disguise to wear.

Michael G. said...

I quite enjoyed this episode. I think this was the first time ever there was no Buy More at all, but I actually didn't miss it.

And I thought it was obvious why all of Sarah's "uniforms" looked like stripper versions...they ARE stripper versions. Easy to purchase, and cheap.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ratings were solid again last night. 7.3 million viewers, 2.6 in the 18-49 demo. Best numbers since the 3D episode, and best numbers for a non-stunted, highly-promoted episode since the season 2 premiere.

B said...

A sequence I enjoyed was Awesome startling Chuck by sitting in his chair in Chuck's room at night: "Sorry to scare you, Bro"

Then Chuck trying to do the same thing to him in the chair in the courtyard a few minutes later. "Sorry to scare you, Bro."

"You didn't."

Tara said...

Muy awesome episode, some hysterical Casey moments and about time that we got something Devon-centric. I didn't even notice the absence of the Buy More, Morgan and Jeffster. They sure are funny, but sometimes they are a lot to take. Much unlike Awesome and Ellie, who have always rocked every minute of the little screentime they got.

The ending was almost whedonesque in terms of cruelty, though. I really hope Devon will be alright.

Anonymous said...

"BTW, to be fair, Alan, the Anna's Nerd Herd uniform was as scandalous."

"Anna never wore skyscraper high heels like Sarah did in 'Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer.'"

Yeah... did you see the 5 inch platform stripper heels Sarah was wearing at the Prague train station?!? All the heels are probably to make her taller so that she and Chuck look better in frame.

Mary said...

I thought that this was a great episode. I've really enjoyed all three so far. While I've grown to like Morgan, I didn't even realize the Buy More was missing until I saw others comments.

I want to weigh in on the topic of Sarah's nurse uniform. While it was clearly over the top, I though it made sense from a character point of view. Who would view Sarah as any kind of a threat when she is dressed like that? She looks innocent (or clueless?) and that can only help her accomplish her mission. And I say this as a feminist.

Jayme said...

I'd like to announce that I'm now 3 for 3 on converting people into Chuck fans. In fact, in my effort to convert those 3, I've also roped in another 3 unintentional, but most welcome, fans. I just made an idiot move and bought Season 2 on blu-ray so I can't share it as readily.

Everyone remember to continue to eat Subway and remind them why they are sponsoring the show.

GabbyD said...

i felt that this is a much stronger epi. light, fun, some comedy and romance, action, with a nice cliffhanger.

Anonymous said...

I love Chuck!! These three episodes have been a solid start to another great season with CHuck. I am ready for chuck and sarah relationship to calm down. I loved the use of awesome in this episode and think that will make the show funnier. So excited to see where this goes!

BigTed said...

"Wasn't the country name 'Costa Gravas' in the episode?"

Yes, it was. I thought maybe it was an (extremely obscure) joke about the way everyone mispronounces the director's name.

Either that, or it was a pun on "Taxi"'s Latka Gravas.

Anonymous said...

There's only one word for an episode with this much of the Captain..."Awesome"!

This was a fun episode, where we get to see Chuck as looking like a pro, not unlike when he reveals to Jill that he works for the government in season 2.

I really enjoy the little funny things in any episode, like when Devon goes to rescue Ellie from Goya, when Chuck tells Devon that "it's a job for the pros", as though he would do it, but he stands back and lets Sarah do it.

I don't see Chuck and Sarah working for long as "just friends", it seems like we'll be back in that mess sooner than later, but I think it was handled well in this episode for the most part.

After the last time of having the suspense of the upcoming episode ruined by NBC's terrible promos, I am hereby declaring a moratorium on watching the promo from here on out.

Those who want to keep up with the music featured on Chuck, the best site for this info is at for the entire series is located there, broken down by single episodes.

belinda said...

What? Did they kill off Awesome?


I really, really, hope that's not the case, because Awesome is a great character on the show, and I really enjoyed a mini showcase on him (and even Ellie, who was smoking hot and funny during that dance sequence). I'd still love the show, but I'd be really annoyed with this development (should he be dead).

I didn't miss the Buymore too much, I think it's actually good for the show to have some eps where they don't feature them at all. And it's nice to finally see more of Ellie as well as Awesome in a non house setting.

You know, I kind of wish they didn't write Anna the way they did (being Morgan's girlfriend who's a little nuts), because while she was probably the most dispensable story wise of the Nerd Herd (and I can't imagine losing the Jeffster or Morgan), I actually quite like that it wasn't the whole stereotypical 'all guys herd' at the buy more, which it now is.

Anonymous said...

I just don't "get" Chuck. Is it a comedy or a drama? Is it supposed to be poorly acted and stilted? Is that the gag?

Anonymous said...


Either he is dead or killed/stopped/ knocked out the assassin.

dez said...

She looks innocent (or clueless?) and that can only help her accomplish her mission. And I say this as a feminist.

I think she is making use of *all* her assets with those outfits. Providing a little distraction, as it were, so that when she starts whompin' dudes, they are very, very surprised.

Anonymous said...

Re: Sarah, seems like it makes sense to me in-story that she'd be wearing those outfits. If the bad guys are so busy looking at her ... clothes ... they'll be less apt to notice any shenanigans. Or her fists (until it's too late).

We weren't supposed to hear what Sarah said about Awesome. He's dead or captured ... or something else, I suppose, but those two seem most likely.

cgeye said...

Okay, this is getting on my nerves: Variations on "Why are Sarah's disguises so skimpy?" Isn't it obvious?

Guys -- and I mean guys as characters as well as guys here -- get distracted by Sarah's bodaciousness, so she can bring the pain that much quicker. Her foxiness? The ultimate weapon.

Everyone who's not us underestimates her, so she disarms a group of soldiers by making them think they'll get to see her bikini wax. Of course, we've never seen her fight a team of gay men or straight women, so we don't know how she'd fight people who aren't oogling her. And, knowing CHUCK's demographics, we never, ever will. We'll never see an exploration of post-feminism, violence and self-actualization tropes that won't be accompanied by lingerie and perfect maquillage. That's the type of show we've got.

cgeye said...

(shoulda scrolled to the end... my bad)

Anonymous said...

Regarding Sarah's outfit in Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer, that's mostly justified by the reason she was wearing it in the first place: To distract a bunch of guys. Looking somewhat stripperific usually doesn't hurt in such situations.

The nurse uniform is much less understandable.

Jobin said...

LOVED the role reversal, with Chuck being the "experienced veteran" a la Casey/Sarah and Awesome being the geeked out newbie who thought that every bad spy movie and TV show he's watched would happen in front of his own eyes.

kkwok said...

I love Chuck, so glad they renewed it for this season. Just wanted to thank you for writing these reviews. It's always a great review with insights I hadn't seen : ).

Anonymous said...

I might have missed this before, but since when has Awesome been aware of his nickname? I always thought it was something they called him when he wasn't around, but Chuck calls him Awesome to his face here...

Great episode. I never get tired of Casey being Casey.

erin said...

That was one of the most fun episodes of Chuck I've ever seen, and I've been watching since the beginning. Awesome and Elie equalled fantastic hijinks. And Elie looked SMOKIN' in that dress. Absolutely gorgeous. And frankly I like that the actress has a little meat on her bones. She's just delightful,

I enjoyed that Chuck was the person with the know-how and not Awesome. For once, Chuck had the upper hand!

And i was also weirded out by the General in a dress. What was going on there?!?

Fun, fun, fun. I'm surprised at some of the reactions comparing this to last night's eps. They're all great, no reason to dog the first two! They're just opposite ends of the spectrum of Chuck!

Baylink said...

> Personally, I think it would much funnier (and dramatically more interesting)if Sarah's disguises were her trying, and failing miserably, to blend in.

You mean, like in the lobby of Roark Industries last season?

They *do* do that, just not all the time.

+1 Ian.

+5 Buzz: You make, and, clearly, some other commenters have also noticed it, an excellent point: whatever might have been going between Chuck and Sarah the first 2 seasons was somewhere between heat and cover. More heat on Chuck's side, more cover on Sarah's.

Things having gone as they have, Sarah is starting to feel it too -- during Colonel, in fact, when she first Ran Away With Chuck -- but since the caution was always coming from Sarah, it still is... it's just that now, it's not caution about letting *Chuck* off the leash... it's caution about letting *herself* off the leash; Chuck has started censoring himself.

It is clearly going to take the writers (and the actors) a few more eps to settle down into what are effectively fairly different characters, but that last scene with Sarah's "on your own/courtyard" double entendre (which seemed to go right over Chuck's head) shows we'll get somewhere good, soon.

ingodgen: ... I got nothin'.

Baylink said...

Oh, and +5 on Ellie dancing: her "WTF?" looks were absolutely classic work.

And here's something that might annoy me, next week: Even Sarah had better think Awesome's dead, cause she's a Professional Agent; she's not even *supposed* to be tearing up for that; "he's captured" wouldn't make the cut at all.

"Intelligence Officer", BTW, is the proper title, or so Tom Clancy would have us believe. I wouldn't be surprised to find they use "spy" amongst themselves, though.

"derfail": what happened at the beginning of 3x1

Chuck said...

Adam Baldwin deserves more shine than he gets for this role. My favorite line of the night was the 1000 pesos follow up "You owe me 15 American cents!"

Anonymous said...

So much comment on Sarah's disguise. Hasn't anyone thought, besides the obvious "distract them with the body" angle, that since Costa Gravas doesn't seem to be such an enlightened country, they would probably think that's the way nurses dress in the US. I mean the #1 TV show there might be Charlies Angels (who dressed like that all the time) or Mannix.

Anonymous said...

Re: Sarah, seems like it makes sense to me in-story that she'd be wearing those outfits. If the bad guys are so busy looking at her ... clothes ... they'll be less apt to notice any shenanigans. Or her fists (until it's too late).

Clearly it worked (LOL) because once she dropped that tray, one of the guard was actually about to help her clean up the mess. Not sure about the cap though.

CJ said...

It would make sense to me if Sarah teared up a little even at Awesome's capture, because it's more about what that's going to do to Ellie, or to Chuck who is trying to protect Ellie (and how deep that brother/sister bond goes), etc.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else think that Casey didn't deal with the Ring agent like he should have. IIRC, Casey didn't tell anybody that the guy in the basement was a Ring agent. All he said was something along the lines of "the badguy is in the basement." He should have told Sarah and Chuck right when they got down there to get him.

dez said...

Wasn't Casey hurt by then? The Ring probably wasn't on his mind so much as the pain was.

Anonymous said...

True, he had been stapped with a syringe and then shot in the leg, but it's Casey. WOuld have thought he could have just been like, "The guy's a ring agent." and they would be like, "What??" and they would capture him and prevent what's going to happen. Perhaps that's why they didn't go that route for the show. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

*stabbed* my bad.

Ed said...

Any chance Awesome actually *is* a spy? Sarah kept saying how he'd make a really good spy. It would be some twist if we found out he was a spy who's been out in the cold for *years* trying to get close to Chuck's family (because Dad invented the Intersect). Kind of like Carina's mission with the arms dealer in the previous episode. Hopefully, unlike Carina, he actually fell for his mark (Ellie) and hasn't been faking their relationship all this time. Because that would really suck.

I just hope Awesome isn't dead. His character really adds to show. I suspect he's been captured, but the Ring makes it look like he's dead, so Sarah and Chuck actually think he's dead... until they find out he isn't (at a later episode, of course).

Anonymous said...

@Ed - I really like what you've thought up. It would be a really cool twist if that were to happen. It would show Sarah that even when doing her job and she can still be in love with Chuck. But, I'm not so sure that he is a spy. Why didn't he do anything when Chuck's dad came back? Did he abandon his whole mission by then? About Chuck's dad - He was only known as Orion when he thought up the intersect. He would have either kept is name a secret or created his current name to hide from the government.
The General knows about Awesome so she would have known he was a former spy. It really would be, excuse me for this, "Awesome" if he was a spy.

April G said...

What I want to know is when will we get a shirtless Casey episode?

Millie said...

A) Yes on shirtless Casey. I've been hot for him since he shot out the glass panes to save president Pullman in Independence Day.

B) When the general first appeared in her evening wear, Chuck said something along the lines of "sorry to take you away from your cocktail party"

C) I think all Sarah said in Chuck's ear was "Devin". Freakin' promos. No more.

D) Awesome.

Ed said...

@Anonymous - Yeah, good point about Devin not doing anything when Chuck and Ellie's dad showed up last season. Well, I suppose he could have a completely different mission, unrelated to Orion or the Intersect. If you think about it, being a doctor is a good cover for a spy. If a mission comes up, you can always say you've been paged and need to get to the hospital. Plus there's the long hours. You could say you've been "on call for three days straight" to explain your absence due to some mission to your friends or family.

Anonymous said...

@Ed - Awesome could have just given up on the mission due to unknown whereabouts of Orion and just didn't care anymore or he loves Ellie so much he gave up. Who knows. But, if it turns out that Awesome is really a spy it would "kill" Chuck. By "kill" I mean, Chuck knows that Awesome can do anything but he isn't a spy. Chuck would look like nothing compared to Awesome. This is kind of Chucks "1-up" to Awesome. He's probably think, "Well, Awesome's Awesome at everything, but I'm a spy!" If Awesome really where a spy, he probably would have (or not) said something to Chuck or the writers (or whoever) would have (or not) had Awesome hint to the audience that he's a spy. Or I missed something.

Anonymous said...

@Millie - I just checked what Sarah said to Chuck, she said, "Devon's been..." She either stops talking (so fans who don't watch promos can't figure it out) or it's just impossible to hear her.

LoopyChew said...

@Ed: Any chance Awesome actually *is* a spy?

Word of God states that he WAS going to be a spy and that they had intended for the reveal at the end of Season One, but that he had proven to be so awesome that they left him as is.

At this point they've pretty much committed to the idea that he's a civilian, and I'd be happy if he remained that way.

-J said...


re: Ellie's sweater

It's Devon's sweater, he had said it should belong to her because L.L.Bean stole the color from her eyes or something like that.

If you look right at the beginning of this episode he's wearing the sweater and then takes it off when they start making out.

weiqin said...


No, it's Ellie's sweater. He said the color should belong to her cause L.L. Bean stole it from her eyes. Besides, it's a very girly sweater at that.

Anonymous said...

gally said...

Awesome episode. Stunning end. I wish that they hadn't...

Won't be reading any comments or participating anymore. Even Alan's persistent warnings about no spoilers can't stop douches like you who think the obvious cannot be inferred from your supposed veiled remarks. /no douche

-J said...

@ weiqin

really? Ok. He was wearing a green sweater in that scene though. I just fanwanked it as maybe he gave it to her later or something.

Karen said...

I couldn't tell if they were saying Costa Gavras (as in the director Costa-Gavras) or Costa Gravas, but then when Casey read the note that came with the cigars it was spelled Costa Graves.

I cracked up at the scene from med school with Awesome and Ellie in a closet. Ryan McPartlin is going to get typecast as the guy who has impulsive sex with women in inappropriate public places: first Betty Draper in the ladies room and now this?

My favorite Awesome moment of the night was just his facial expressions, reacting to the Generalissimo dancing with Ellie.

Casey's reactions to Chuck's medical ministrations were also hilarious. I loved his outrage, "You gave him my blood!" I was waiting for him to say, "You took my precious bodily fluids!" a la General Jack Ripper in Dr Strangelove.

I thought Sarah's concern for Chuck in the final scene was incredibly moving. And then Sarah's sprightly appearance? Heartbreaking!