How does an aging spy get his groove back? Just call Chuck Bartowski. This week's episode of Chuck saw Chuck seeking some advice from Roan Montgomery, a martini-swilling expert in the art of seduction. Chuck isn't the only one with some seducing to do, though, thanks to a pretty funny side story with Ellie, Awesome, and Morgan. And Chuck starts to feel pretty good about his spying abilities — until a pretty significant setback at the end. Ready to talk about it? Just
Chuck is totally nailing its guest stars this season, and this episode did double-duty, both with John Larroquette as Roan and perennial Josh Schwartz favorite Melinda Clarke as a Russian agent. Larroquette's full of swagger as Roan, and most of his best moments come with a martini in his hand — the pre-shower martini, the eavesdropping martini, the spill-all-over-the-surveillance system martini ("That's expensive gin!"). He fears he's not half the spy he used to be, but all Chuck has to do is challenge his "legend" status and he's back to setting elaborate traps (presumably for both bad guys and beautiful women).
For a guest star, Roan moves Chuck's story forward a lot: First, he gets Sarah to explore her feelings for Chuck, insisting that no way could a man like Bartowski ever land a woman like Sasha or Sarah, complete with forced kissing demos. He also boosts Chuck's spy confidence, ordering him to dive over balconies and swing from rooftops. No mere "asset" would have been able to pull off a setup like the Buy More stunt, right?
Meanwhile, the Buy More is "Under New Assistant Management," and it seems Lester needs a little help in employee seduction himself, because his jerky behaviors (and lame vest) turn most of the staff against him. But my favorite side story is Captain Awesome seeking date-night advice from Morgan, which leads to an evening of Richard Marx, Klondike bars, and Sister Act. Heh. How sweet is it that Chuck calls on the resources of the government to fill the house with candles and whip up a pecan pie?
It's too bad Chuck's newfound seduction skills are all for naught, because when Chuck shows up at Sarah's door in a goofy white dinner jacket, Bryce Larkin is there to spoil the party. Bryce Larkin! I love it when that guy shows up.
Some other thoughts:
- This makes episode No. 2 with a slo-mo Sarah sequence — this time not just tossing her hair but also doing some light gymnastics.
- We get to see what's going on behind the "yogurt and fun" storefront at the Orange Orange: a big ol' secret bunker inside the walk-in freezer.
- Chuck's relationship advice: "We pretend like we're not really dating. Which is weird, I know, but it forces me to have to win her over again and again. . . . And again."
- Which is second only to this romantic line: "Of course I find her attractive! It's just that I had a burrito earlier and I'm trying to be respectful."
- Chuck's solo attempts at seducing Sasha include a brief history of the croissant and, "What bands are you into?"
- Love Big Mike looking at the patched-together "New Ass Man" banner and scoffing, "I ain't new!"
Your thoughts? Excited that Bryce is back? And have you ever seen My Favorite Year, the movie on which this episode was apparently based?
Photos courtesy of NBC