First date? Yup. This episode of Chuck kicked off the season with Chuck attempting to develop a normal relationship with Sarah, i.e. one that wouldn't involve guns at every dinner. Chuck's not supposed to be the Intersect anymore, after all, so why shouldn't he get a little non-threatening-to-national-security love? Of course, that's not quite how things work out, as we learn when we see Chuck being dangled by his ankles off the side of a building in the first few minutes of the episode. I laughed a lot at this one, so to talk about it, just
- First of all, the opening to the episode was brilliant, with Chuck quickly summarizing the whole first season while Colt looks on in thuggish disbelief and finally says, "That is the single dumbest story I've ever heard." Hee.
- Casey's introduction: "This is Casey. He works for the NSA. He's not as pretty."
- It's cute that Chuck doesn't realize the existence of a new Intersect means he dies. I mean, he's still presumably going to have a government computer in his brain. Does he really think the CIA is cool with that?
- That said, Chuck's elation at the thought of being free from the spy world was adorable, as represented by Huey Lewis's "It's Hip to Be Square" (and a nice counterpart to the sad "oh wait, nevermind" scene later with "The Power of Love").
- Also, midcelebration, Chuck sees his sister, and Captain Awesome, totally nekkid in the shower! Yipes. Loved his "First of all, congratulations, Devin, on whatever God gave you there."
- The callback to the date-preparation scene from the very first episode was a nice touch, with Sarah deciding to leave her gun at home and Casey getting to join the fun with a little light target practice.
- Also, did you catch what was in Casey's target practice wheel? Osama bin Laden, Ronald Reagan (hold fire!), Chuck. In fact, there's a whole lot of Reagan adoration in the Casey household.
- I liked the way the Buy More and spy stories intersected in this episode: Chuck expects to ditch the spy life, so he says no to the assistant manager job, too. The interview scenes are totally priceless, with Anna flirting to make Morgan jealous, Lester revealing his Wikipedia page ("I have a certain following"), and Jeff handing over a nasty napkin as a résumé.
- This episode had great riffs on two of the show's recurring gags: Chuck saying "It's never safe in the car!" and, later, calling Casey out on his "Somebody order drive-thru?" line, like, "Were you thinking of that when you drove over here?"
- I miss the Weinerlicious, but the Orange Orange did offer one great exchange: "What's back there?" "Like the sign says, yogurt and fun."
- Speaking of the Orange Orange, playing the Flight of the Conchords song "Foux Da Fa Fa" was maybe the most brilliant musical moment this show has ever had.
- It figures that Morgan's take on interviewing job candidates would be a Thunderdome-style cage match. He did save the day, though, with his intimate knowledge of video game artillery.
- Speaking of which, it's nice to see Chuck — or, rather, Charles Carmichael — getting ever so slightly better at this spy stuff.
- Aw, Casey's really starting to like the nerd! "I catch you when you fall. It's touching, really." "I love you." "Keep it in your pants, Bartowski."
So, the new Intersect blows up, and Chuck lives to spy another day — now with Lester as his boss. What did you make of the episode? Good to have Chuck back?
Photos courtesy of NBC