If you'd asked me earlier in the TV season which show would be this year's love-it-or-hate-it series, I would have said Pushing Daisies, hands down. But now, I think the fall's love-it-or-hate-it award goes to Chuck. I've seen a lot of people who were really thrilled about the show at the beginning of the season slowly losing interest — but at the same time, another group of viewers is getting more and more passionate about the show by the day. I'm not totally sold on Chuck, but for the most part, I'm in the "love it" camp — and this week's episode was a good example of why. To read my take and add your own, just
I've said since the start that Chuck is pure goofy humor, but last night's episode had an energy that I'm not sure I'd felt since the pilot. There was a good amount of tension, an emotional core, and a Buy More subplot that didn't feel too forced. I'd go so far as to say the second half of the episode — starting with Laszlo and Chuck watching Bond movies and ending with the sandworm dance — was the best the show's been.
Poor Chuck finally thought he'd found an ally. He's been thrown into this spy life, he has fake coworkers and a fake girlfriend, and he can't tell Morgan or Ellie what's going on, so I imagine he'd be thrilled to meet a guy like Laszlo. Nevermind that Laszlo was practically draped in red flags; Chuck just wanted someone to get pancakes and be honest with. I think this was another step in Chuck's development as a spy: He's finally learned he can't trust anyone.
On that note, I hope this episode finally moved us past the tiresome plot with Chuck questioning Sarah and Casey's motives. Look at how much more trouble Chuck got into once his watch was broken and his phone was off. When he got Morgan started on the desert island sandwich rant again at the end of the episode, I took it as a sign that Chuck realizes these agents have his back.
Meanwhile, Chuck is not going to be the assistant manager of the Buy More, despite Morgan's valiant efforts. That's fine; I doubt Chuck could be assistant manager and still save the world. And this means we'll get to see more Harry Tang.
Some other thoughts:
- Captain Awesome returned with a vengeance, teaching Morgan how to dress like a grownup — which seemed to mostly involve hair product and tucking in his shirt. Did anyone else think Joshua Gomez looked like Jason Schwartzman when he came into work all gussied up?
- I got a kick out of list of the neverending list of things Laszlo had designed: Chuck's watch, his car, the home theater system at the Buy More ...
- Best Casey line of the night: "I don't like feeling like Team Chuck's little fat kid."
- So, all you bigtime Bond fans: How did last night's references hold up?
- Speaking of references, that Chuck-meets-Morgan-at-party scene had to be a straight-up parody of The OC, right?
Much as I liked this episode, I'd love to get an underlying plot thread or two going (besides "Chuck doesn't trust Casey and Sarah" or "Chuck misses major life events while spying," that is). And it seems like next week might be our chance, as Chuck heads back to Stanford and flashes on himself. Plus: Matthew Bomer returns as Bryce! Who else is pumped?
Photos courtesy of NBC