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"Chuck" Rundown: Episode 3, "Chuck Vs. The Tango"

"Chuck" Rundown: Episode 3, "Chuck Vs. The Tango"

"Chuck" was back in fine, goofy form last night with an episode that saw our hapless hero finally sent on a mission. I'm assuming this will be roughly the formula "Chuck" follows for however long the show exists: a national security assignment, a mildly amusing Nerd Herd subplot, a dash of attempted romance, and a neat conclusion. If it makes me chuckle the way last night's episode did, though, I'd be just fine with that. Want to hear more about the tango? Just

For my tastes, "Chuck" is at its best when it's aggressively over-the-top, and "Chuck Vs. The Tango" certainly was that. The downside is that the show can toe the line between silly and stupid, and while I think it usually stays rooted in "silly," the show's sinking ratings make me wonder how many other people think it's slid into stupidity. Thoughts?

This episode featured Chuck's first big spy mission: locating a highly secretive arms dealer known only as La Ciudad. Nobody who'd ever seen La Ciudad had lived to tell the tale, so Chuck was a wee bit apprehensive. I loved all the spy genre parody elements in this story: The people getting shot after receiving the awful painting; the entire tango bit; Casey's "that's what I call moving some merchandise, yeah?" after taking out a thug with a microwave to the head.

Speaking of that microwave, I loved the way the spy plot and the Buy More story fit together in this episode. There's probably a limited amount of spy action that can actually happen at the store before Chuck's coworkers start to suspect he's up to something, but I'm loving it while it lasts. I'm also getting a kick out of how Casey just shows up everywhere — at the auction alone, he was both the chauffeur and the bartender, with appropriate uniforms for each. Chuck is also learning to roll with the punches of his spy life a little more. So he was one misstep away from being tossed out a plate-glass window this week. So what? He's adapting.

A few other thoughts:

  • I've really been a fan of Morgan's ... up until last night. The stuff with him locked in the cage at the Buy More was easily my least favorite part of the episode.
  • There's got to be more to Chuck and Morgan getting kicked out of Stanford than Bryce finding stolen tests under Chuck's bed, right? Because otherwise, that's pretty lame.
  • I loved the scene from the pilot with Chuck and Sarah getting ready for their date, but this episode did it one better, adding Casey obsessive-compulsively grooming his bonsai tree. Plus, Captain Awesome teaching Chuck the ladies' part of the tango was hysterical.
  • Why didn't Chuck have the La Ciudad flashback when he first saw her, instead of after they'd tangoed?
  • One good Morgan moment: "He isn't classically handsome, but he makes up for it with charm."
  • Biggest spit-take of the show: Chuck describing the painting as Bob Ross-ian.
  • I'd be worried we're moving too fast with the romantic tension between Chuck and Sarah if not for one thing: Bilson!

Did this week's "Chuck" work for you? What were your favorite one-liners? And do you think the show can survive?


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