Well, not only is our Chuck Bartowski becoming something of a spy, he's apparently also going rogue. That's what we learn on this week's installment of Chuck, which reveals that not only has Chuck been keeping a chart, he's also created a super-powered computer search for Orion, the only person who could possibly get the Intersect out of his head. Meanwhile, the Buy More crew faces some stiff competition from the besweatered legion of well-groomed nerds from Beverly Hills. Ready to chat about it? Just
Chuck being handy with a computer has come up from time to time, but I'm not sure if he's ever done anything so advanced as track down a highly secret operative. But when this episode begins, Orion is reaching out to Chuck, talking to him through his computer — many computers, actually — and trying to arrange for them to meet. The General is less than thrilled that Chuck's set up a rogue search, and even Sarah gets angry, one of the few times we've seen her really upset with him. And for good reason: Chuck ends up held at gunpoint twice in the Buy More by the same Fulcrum agent (even though the baddie supposedly ate a suicide capsule in between) and — maybe worse — delivers Orion into the hands of Fulcrum.
Orion knows what he's doing: He's able to redirect a missile so it blows up his helicopter, presumably killing him and all of his Intersect secrets. But that's not good news for Chuck, who's watching his last attempt at a normal life drift away. In fact, now the government doesn't just have to put up with Chuck — the General wants him around. She comes all the way to Burbank to say so (in one of the first scenes where we've ever seen what she looks like from the elbows down, heh), telling Chuck it's time for him to become a spy. Now not only do all of the nation's secrets live in his brain, but the outcome of the government's war with a rogue faction rests squarely on his shoulders. But there might still be an out: Chuck discovers a package from Orion that contains diagrams of the Intersect. Maybe he can still save himself, but he'll be doing it in secret and against the government's wishes. For now, though, that looks like a risk he wants to take.
Meanwhile, the Buy More plot fits in seamlessly: Just as Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are trying to keep Orion's computer out of Fulcrum's hands, the Buy More crew is trying to protect the same computer (which they think is for gaming) away from their slick counterparts at the fancy Beverly Hills Buy More. I loved the reveal of Jeff's office (inside an unusually large, out-of-order bathroom stall) and the entire sequence with everyone wearing ski masks and freaking out Emmett, but two moments stand out: first, Emmett scaring off the "robbers" (actually Jeff and Lester) with his pepper spray, only to get clubbed in the head by Casey; second, Emmett taking a little swing with a baseball bat that sends the entire Beverly Hills store into disarray.
Some other thoughts:
- I'm totally digging the production design of Orion, whose face appears to Chuck as nothing but a constantly changing series of letters and numbers.
- Love Jeff's disappointment with the "video game" that's actually a few seconds away from sending a missile straight into the store. "First impression: boredom. It feels like we're flying an actual Predator."
- How spooky was that shadowy Fulcrum panel? I want to see more of that!
- A+ for Jeff's pathetic attempt at throwing his voice.
- Agent Casey: "I always have a gun."
- The General, upon discovering Casey's Reagan picture: "Wake up, Casey. The '80s are over."
In the end, Chuck's ordered to stop his search, keep the Intersect, and become a real spy — but possibly not with Sarah, as the General's now suspicious of her relationship with Chuck. How's Bartowski getting out of this one?
Photos courtesy of NBC