Hey, it's part one of my own Chuck sandwich! Since NBC decided to toss its final two episodes of Chuck on TV last night (bracketing the latest installment of The Celebrity Apprentice), I've decided to serve up my own Chuck rundown sandwich. First up, "Chuck Vs. the Undercover Lover." The second episode, "Chuck Vs. The Marlin," will be coming soon (update: here it is) — but I have to put something in between. You know. Sandwich.
Anyway. Man, it was good to have this show back; I missed its goofiness. And this episode was particularly fun, as two very different relationships played out in strangely parallel stories. How hilarious was it to learn that Casey could feel passion? I suppose it wasn't much of a stretch for Chuck to believe Casey was "built like a Ken doll, you know, down there" — but then Chuck suddenly flashed on Ilsa, Casey's one true love (other than his Crown Vic). The reveal of that relationship led to all sorts of wild, spy-genre-parodying developments, so just read more.
- The Casey/Ilsa story was as convoluted as Chuck's weekly cases always are, with faked deaths and assumed identities and lots of lying. But the moral was clear: Spy love just doesn't work. Someone's always having to disappear in an explosion or pretend to be a photographer or get 17 guns pointed at them when things go south.
- Not that regular-people relationships are so much easier, as evidenced by Ellie and Awesome's fight over the washing machine vs. big-screen TV anniversary gift. (Awesome does seem like the kind of guy who would get all jazzed about clean clothes, doesn't he?) Morgan played therapist, and Ellie started feeling like she was banking on a future with "a giant, muscle-y child." In the end, though, all it took was a night of playing strip poker with the Nerd Herd for Awesome to come running back, TV in tow.
- Sugar Bear is the best possible nickname for Casey. I wonder how many the writers went through before they finally hit on that.
- Also: How wonderful that his fantasy is drinking more Scotch in his underwear while listening to Neil Diamond?
- As Morgan was playing therapist with Ellie and Awesome, Chuck did his own Dr. Phil act with Casey. Loved him pointing out that while nice girls don't marry corrupt Russian oligarchs, they probably don't marry highly trained government hitmen, either.
- There were some hilarious spy sendups in this episode, but I'm not sure anything can compare to the fight scene with Chuck and Casey tied back to back, flailing around to take out bad guys.
- Another fantastic line: Chuck's "I don't want to die a man stewardess."
- I loved Casey's soaking-wet, tuxedo-clad self emerging from the swimming pool during the wedding, seeming every bit the dapper hero about to get his woman — until about seven guys pulled guns on him simultaneously. "I hope I'm not too late to object to this union."
- Morgan was surprisingly sweet with lonely, drunken Ellie. "You're like a sister to me . . . a sister I want to have sex with so bad." Well, he was almost a gentleman.
All that said, I think my favorite moment of the first part of the Chuckwich actually came during one of the commercials: Yvonne Strahovski's "I think I ordered the slowly back away from the uncomfortable situation on rye." That one, I might have to start using in my daily conversations. So, how did this episode work for you?
Photos courtesy of NBC