Agent Bartowski has arrived! The third season premiere of Chuck debuted last night with plenty of answers, action, and surprises — and there's another new episode tonight. The other good news is that Chuck may no longer be the underdog: the two-hour premiere delivered its highest ratings since last year's 3D episode, rising a whopping 58 percent.
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- We finally saw what happened between Chuck and Sarah — he turned her down! Though Chuck has always been in love with Sarah, her wanting to run away and have a normal life didn't jibe with his newfound sense of purpose. Unfortunately, his emotions have made him, as Casey calls him, "a lemon" and thus incapable of being a stoic spy. No Sarah, no spy job, and no purpose sends him to the sofa, bearded and robe-clad with a giant barrel of cheese balls.
- Desperate to see Sarah, Chuck shaves the beard and crashes a job Casey and Sarah are working undercover (how hot did she look in that dress? Get the whole look here). When Chuck seemingly blows the mission, having flashed the assassin Javier, Casey and Sarah go off on him and his lack of abilities, breaking Chuck's heart all over again.
- But Chuck was right about the baddie's presence, and his first victim is Emmet Milbarge. The nasty Buy More boss shockingly meets his at the hands of the assassin. The abrupt murder is such a dark turn for this show, which rarely sees a character death, but I thought it was a masterfully done scene. Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" gleefully playing as the camera focused on his bloody, bullet-ridden glasses frame? Goosebumps.
- Things didn't go so well for Morgan between last season and the premiere either — kicked out of Benihana, he's been living at Buy More.
- When it turns out that Chuck is right about the assassin, he becomes a target and is imprisoned, with Sarah hot on his trail. She doesn't need to rescue him though — the Intersect kicks in and he pulls a kung fu move on his captor, escaping and saving Sarah. Now that his emotions are not as much of a liability and could actually be an asset, he's restored as a spy. He's back, but Sarah is warned that although Chuck previously had to be protected from the world, now they have to protect the world from Chuck. I love that — just how dangerous is Chuck now?
- BFFs Chuck and Morgan both get their Buy More jobs back (Chuck as his cover and Morgan in earnest) and, since newlyweds Ellie and Devon have moved out across the courtyard, Morgan and Chuck get to be roommies!
- Now that Chuck and Sarah are "exes," things get a little awkward in the second episode, but as usual, it's not long until they are back to playing boyfriend and girlfriend for a mission. Carina returns (much to Morgan's delight), and soon Chuck is in a compromising position at Carina's baddie fake-fiance's house. He then pours his heart out to Sarah right before she saves him. As much as I love Chuck and Sarah, I have to say that I'm getting a little tired of the merry-go-round. If they aren't going to be together, I think it's time to be a little more subtle with their longing glances and feelings. Come on — even Ross and Rachel dated other people. Luckily, guest stars Kristin Kreuk and Brandon Routh will supposedly promise to give us a little more variety later this season.
- Side note: how gratuitous is the scene where Carina and Sarah are gearing up in their underwear? I know it's supposed to be totally spy-thriller tongue-in-cheek, but still.
- I was so happy to see Morgan finally get the girl at the end of the episode — even if it's only for a short time.
- Loving Casey (Adam Baldwin) more than ever this season, specifically his speech at Karina's engagement party. And how great is his final Rocky-style training session with Chuck?
How'd you feel about Chuck's kickoff? Do you think the third season looks promising? Sound off!
Photos courtesy of NBC