I'd like to propose a new way to evaluate a given episode of Chuck: The Minutes to Ninja Fight timer. In this fourth episode of the series, we got our first ninja fight before 8:05. Well played, Chuck. The rest of the episode mostly held up to that fast-paced promise, so to talk about it, just
This episode introduced a new spy: Karina, the red-haired rival of Sarah, who arrives on scene with the hopes of stealing a diamond that supposedly has ties to a drug cartel. She's the masked ninja that Sarah fights early on, but that's the most clothing we ever see her wear; she has a propensity for disrobing at the drop of a hat, occasionally revealing some lacy bra-and-undies sets that I can't believe were approved for network TV in the 8 p.m. hour. She's also impulsive and dangerous, and she likes to go off-script when it comes to her missions, as we see when she nabs the diamond during what's supposed to be a scouting trip. Then she proceeds to make things even worse by taking her bikini-clad self away from the scene of the crime via jet ski. Chuck winds up with the diamond, which he Fed-Exes to mission control. Saved by office supplies! Just another day on the job for Chuck.
But Karina did more than just disrobe and raise hell — she also provided some necessary character development. For one thing, we now know that "Sarah Walker" isn't Sarah Walker at all; that's her cover name for her cover life in a town that's so boring "it's like, if a yawn could yawn." She let slip to Chuck that Sarah dated Bryce, whom he previously described as his most-hated person on earth. And we got to see some of Chuck's actual smarts, like when he used the fire extinguisher to free the diamond without electrocuting himself. He's becoming more useful on these missions, but — as we saw when he demanded to know one true thing about Sarah — he's still not sold on this whole spy business.
Some other thoughts:
- Karina and Morgan's date seemed kind of shoehorned in there, but it was worth it for watching Chuck all riveted by March of the Penguins. And it certainly served to spotlight Karina's sex drive, if she'd get all cuddly with a guy whose name she doesn't even care to learn.
- Morgan knows more about Chuck than any girlfriend could ever hope to. Is that cute or just creepy? Also, what was that game they were playing at the beginning? It looked fun.
- Two things I missed this week: the Buy More crew and John Casey, especially Casey. Adam Baldwin just kills every second he's on screen. "Pick up a paper. From the '60s."
- "I wish I could access your file" is maybe my new favorite pickup line.
- Some of my favorite little touches: Karina rescuing Sarah's goldfish; Chuck dubbing the hairy guy "the wookie;" Sarah taking a cell phone picture of Casey tied to the bed; Sarah needing to go to work in the middle of the mission; "you're sort of cuteish."
- Hey, there's finally an annoying boss at Weinerlicious. He's no Harry Tang, but give him time. Those ketchup vats aren't going to fill themselves, you know.
- I loved that Chuck tried Sarah's plate-throwing knockout move — with relative success. By jove, he might be a good spy after all!
Thoughts on the Wookie? Has Chuck found its groove? And was that really Sarah's naked butt we saw? Discuss.
Photos courtesy of NBC