First of all, here's something worthy of celebrating for all you Chuck fans: NBC has picked up the show for a full season, along with the new series Life. Exactly what that means depends on how long it takes to resolve the Hollywood writers' strike, but whenever shows go into production again, Chuck will be among them. Yay!
So it's only right that Chuck followed up the big news with an episode that featured some of the best action sequences since the pilot, an intriguing love triangle, and, of course, the return of Bryce Larkin. To hear my take on the episode's ups and downs, just
I'd been expecting a lot from the return of Bryce, and Chuck totally delivered. He aggravated Casey, made out with Sarah, and tried making nice with Chuck, who's still upset that Bryce sent him the Intersect in the first place. (For that matter, if I were Chuck, I don't think I'd be satisfied at the "I needed to send it to a friend who wasn't CIA" explanation. For one thing, they weren't friends; for another, he must have known that the CIA and NSA would swoop in almost instantly.) As much as I didn't love the episode where Chuck discovered why Bryce got him kicked out of Stanford, I see why it was necessary. Chuck needed to forgive Bryce, at least a little, to trust him in this episode. How else could he have known Bryce would shoot for the vest, regardless of what he promised in Klingon?
Forgiveness or not, though, it still must have hurt when Chuck saw Bryce and Sarah making out in his bedroom — even though the big showdown at the Buy More made Chuck realize that Sarah and Casey were a good team.
Speaking of the showdown at the Buy More: How awesome was that? Big Mike hurdling himself over the counter; Casey revealing his weapons cache in the home theater; Sarah and Bryce throwing simultaneous spin-kicks. I can't imagine the kind of budget and logistics it would take to put together a fight sequence inside a superstore, but I'm glad Chuck pulled it off this well at least once. Ninja sequences aside, the whole plot made me realize that this show really does have an answer for everything. How to keep Morgan from getting in trouble? Have a CIA agent pose as a fireman and tell Big Mike there was a gas leak. How to explain the shattered glass and broken big-screens? Why, the government has a clean-up crew!
Some other thoughts:
- This show really has a thing with love triangles, huh? I loved the last scene with the two phones ringing — the old-school rotary phone pointing Sarah toward Bryce, the new iPhone with Chuck's goofy picture pulling her that way.
- I'm not sure why Anna would go running back to Morgan after her public dumping, but I did like the idea that some girl would even think Morgan had a chance with Ellie.
- I'd be happy if this show never did a fake orgasm scene with food again. Two in two weeks — Lou's sandwich, Ellie's sweet potatoes — is plenty.
- Also, I'm with Awesome: "How about a destination Christmas?" I know Ellie loves her dinner parties, but really, can we back off that for a while?
- However, if losing the dinner parties means ditching all opportunities for Casey/Awesome interaction, I'm not so sure I'd make that tradeoff. "Nice and tight, John!" "Two words: water sports." "Two dudes. One raft."
Your thoughts? How will Sarah choose? And is there a better holiday sweatshirt in the history of holiday sweatshirts than Jeff's "gobble gobble" turkey?
Photos courtesy of NBC