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Chuck Rundown: Episode 5, "Chuck Vs. the Sizzling Shrimp"

Chuck Rundown: Episode 5, "Chuck Vs. the Sizzling Shrimp"


Ever since Chuck Bartowski accidentally became a tool of government spies, we've seen little snippets of how his new spy gig gets in the way of his day job and his home life. But on last night's Chuck, the demands of his regular life and his secret life collided in the biggest way yet — and it left me wondering how long Chuck will be able to keep his powers a secret. To read the rest of my thoughts on the episode and share your own, just

Frankly, the spy case this week didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I think that's OK, as it mainly served as a vehicle for a boatload of references to old-school kung fu movies and Chinatown. It was just bad luck for Chuck to spot Chinese spy Mei Ling during his Evening of Morgan; turns out, she was in town trying to help her brother, who had been kidnapped by Chinese thugs. What followed was what could, by now, be considered pretty standard Chuck fare: some fight scenes, some goofy lines, one brilliant move by Chuck that saves the day, and a happy resolution.

What interested me more was how the case really threatened Chuck's relationships with Ellie and Morgan. Both of them needed Chuck in this episode: Morgan because only Chuck's sales moxie could keep him from getting fired, Ellie because she and Chuck had a special date for Mother's Day, aka the day their mother left. Chuck has been more about goofy spy sendups than character development so far, so I'm glad we're finally getting more out of the Ellie and Chuck relationship. Plus, how cute was it when Ellie made her mondo electronics purchase just to help out pesky Morgan?

Some other thoughts:

  • Chuck on the stakeout was one of my favorite bits of the series so far, from the first line — "What do I need to bring? Sweater, light jacket?" — to Chuck talking to his sizzling shrimp and singing along to "Private Eyes."
  • Also loved the "my four favorite words" sequence: "Stay in the car," "Chuck's not here, Morgan," "I'll let myself out."
  • Speaking of which, is every episode going to have a bit where Chuck's told to stay in the car, doesn't, and then screws things up? It's a nice way to show us how he's still way too innocent for this work, but I hope the writers find a new gimmick soon.
  • I've been enjoying Chuck's fight scenes, but something seemed off about the editing in this episode, like there were freeze-frames right before any big action. Or was that just my Comcast?
  • It seems that Chuck is dribbling out the characters' emotional back stories drop by drop — last week we learned about all of Sarah's lies, this week we learned that Chuck and Ellie were basically orphaned. I'm enjoying the formula, but I'm also ready for something big to happen — say, for Chuck to have to tell Ellie and Morgan what happened to him, or for the CIA to look into Bryce and why he chose Chuck to become the intersect.

Your thoughts? Did this episode redeem Morgan and/or Ellie for you? And who else is missing Captain Awesome?

Photos courtesy of NBC

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Join The Conversation
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 8 years
but pleease please don't let Chuck's mother to be a secret agent! that's what we though after knowing she abandon them.
Joyful1 Joyful1 8 years
I still find it pretty funny and entertaining, but I would like to see some other plot lines develop a little bit more. And what's up with them all the sudden referring to Chuck's ability as "flashing". All the sudden they used that term like 5 times last night "Come over here and see if you flash on anything". It got a little excessive. I loved when Chuck told Mai Ling that she would have to fill out a survey saying that he was helping her with her computer off site. haha.
mellafe mellafe 8 years
it was an ok episode. MORE CASEY, LESS MORGAN. I'm only watching now because there's someone coming up in future episodes (not Rachel Bilson) that I REALLY want to see, it's going to be SWEET.
yyam084 yyam084 8 years
i'm still rooting for the show, till bilson comes on...
Liz4aker Liz4aker 8 years
I'll keep watching to Bilson is on... but after that if it doesn't get better i'm done
Pinkrabbit Pinkrabbit 8 years
I loved it. I really liked the last episode more. Someone said that they think Chuck is going to leak his secret and I totally agree!! I think that would make it more interesting. As for Rachael Bilson being on the show... I HATE HER!!! She is so bad!!! ARGH! I so hope she doesn't ruin the show.
gigglesss gigglesss 8 years
when they said 'its a mothers day miracle' i pretty much instantly thought of 'its a chrismuhkah miracle' haha.. i like this show so far..im not going to give up on it yet.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 8 years
I am still liking this show. Really. I think it deserves a chance. NO captain awesome??? darn... I was "is the TV ok...@ for the freeze frames... fiuw...
JessNess JessNess 8 years
I loved Chucks attempt at code talking when he told Casey "Want to go get a hot dog" and Casey so did not get it
JessNess JessNess 8 years
I thought the freeze frame was my cable. Glad Im not the only one Every episode I keep thinking hes going to let it slip to Ellie whats going on but he doesnt. I thought it was good but they really do need to step it up
AngiD AngiD 8 years
I love it! It is SO diffrent from what is on television right now and I REALLY hope it sticks around!
Wyn Wyn 8 years
Fave quote of the night "Spastic Colon?!?!"
yyam084 yyam084 8 years
thanks molly, rachelboards asks me to ask you, i haven't seen it, i'm in a different country, i'll watch it online, when rachel appears...
bhilb bhilb 8 years
I am still really liking this show. It really makes me laugh. My favorite part last night was the White Nights reference--"You know? Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov dancing their way to freedom?" And then Casey said "At least you've done your research." Because that's how I am: if it happened in some cheesy movie, surely it can happen in real life.
Molly Molly 8 years
yyam, no Rachel yet. I thought she was coming on at the end of October, but she wasn't in the scenes from next week...so maybe the one after that? I will definitely watch until then at least.
splayer splayer 8 years
Yeah, those stop-action bits with the fight sequences were odd. I'm totally missing Captain Awesome!
carito8 carito8 8 years
I'm not watching it anymore, I think it's not going to make it. :o
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 8 years
I am still enjoying Chuck - it's good entertainment. And no, it wasn't just your comcast - the end fight sequence had some weird stop-action thing for me, too. Another allusion to old kung fu movies?
yyam084 yyam084 8 years
molly,did rachel aready appear?
kikkoman kikkoman 8 years
I think he's going to accidentally leak his secrets to someone in the upcoming episodes. He seems a little absent minded and might say something to someone close to him before he realized it slipped out. We'll see. I liked yesterday's episode for the most part. It was very entertaining and Chuck's character is very endearing.
Molly Molly 8 years
I don't know, I'm starting to worry about Chuck. Last night's episode just didn't do it for me. :(
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