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Chuck Recap: Episode 12, "Chuck Vs. The Third Dimension"

Chuck Rundown: Episode 12, "Chuck Vs. The Third Dimension"

Hope you got the special specs out last night because the 3-D episode of Chuck was actually pretty impressive. Granted, I was watching in HD and with the proper yellow-and-blue eyewear, but I was legitimately wowed by the special effects: Chuck's flashes seemed particularly well-suited for the technology. But even without the extra dimensions, the episode still worked on the regular ol' funny-spy-stuff level. Ready to chat? Just


I'm actually glad we had a break between the emotional Christmas episode and this 3-D extravaganza, because the two were so different in tone that it might have felt like whiplash otherwise. This episode takes a step back from all the Fulcrum mysteries; it's just a good, old-fashioned mission, with some funny Buy More antics thrown in.

But the episode doesn't completely back away from what happened at Christmas. Chuck's still thrown by seeing Sarah shoot someone in cold blood. It's even coming up in his nightmares (though whether 3-D Yvonne Strahovski greeting you in bed is a nightmare for any guy can probably be debated). For much of the episode, Chuck's confusion manifests itself as burnout: He'd give anything for a night off, but instead, he's dangling from elevators and dodging death. Finally, though, he tells Sarah what's really bothering him. And naturally, he gets his night off, but as soon as he hears that Sarah and Casey are off on a mission, he's back in the car, ready to go. (Love how much that also ruined Casey's idea of a good time, namely a case without Bartowski.)

Meanwhile, Dominic Monaghan cracked me up as Tyler Martin, who's such a squirrely party boy that he ends up on the business end of Casey's tranquilizer gun more than once. Of course he was going to escape when left alone with Chuck; what I didn't expect is that he'd show Chuck a good time courtesy of some tequila shots. (Also, Chuck's British accent wasn't too bad!) In short order, they're whisked up to a hotel room by some dangerous women, who strip Chuck to his boxers and throw knives at him. He ends up riding to (relative) safety on a plate-glass outdoor elevator, but not before interrupting the romantic fumblings of the same couple from the John Larroquette episode. Ha! I also liked the way Chuck convinces Tyler to take the stage and then saves the day with some well-timed crowd surfing.

It might have been even funnier if some of Chuck's Buy More colleagues had showed up at the concert, since they managed to plow through all of Tyler's CDs to get a coveted golden ticket. The Butterman plotline had me chuckling all night, especially with all the "Final Countdown" music cues and 3-D sandwich-gobbling. (Also, shout-out to Jerome Bettis; between him and Michael Strahan, Chuck has become the prime acting vehicle for ex-NFL stars.) Loved the Molly Ringwald underpants moment (Lester: "I'm a man!") and shuddered at Jeff eating the urinal cake ("I still win, right?"). And it was adorable to see Morgan swayed by the plight of an ex-con who spent years with only five kinds of soda.

Some other thoughts:

  • Please tell me I'm not the only one who saw the Tyler Martin fans in the Buy More and thought of Rex Manning day.
  • Now that I think about it, tattoos would actually be a clever way to move international secrets.
  • Sarah's solution to the "How do we grab a rock star in broad daylight?" problem: wave sexily.
  • Chuck's pre-shot toast: "See you guys in the emergency room!"

Your thoughts? How did the 3-D work out for you? And where does Monaghan rate on a list of this season's guest stars?

Photos courtesy of NBC

reesiekitty reesiekitty 8 years
I agree- loved Dominic and everyone was as good as always- but the 3D was awful! We had the glasses and it just made most things sort of grey-ish and fuzzy and occasionally something or someone would stand out. I took my glasses off after about 15 minutes-my fiancee kept his on, but we both agreed that it was very poor 3D. I'd rather have just seen a regular ep and been able to SEE it. Chuck is funny and smart- it doesn't need gimmicks!
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
Great reference to Empire Records with Rex Manning day! And its so true too.
Jammi Jammi 8 years
"I loved Dominic Monaghan as a guest star but I could not get past how short he is. Chuck and Casey both looked like they could eat soup off his head. " LMAO, everytime I saw him, I thought 'mmm, bite sized' hahaha, because he's so yummy but so small, hahah. I really liked this episode, agree with the people who want more Anna. Next week's looks like we might be getting more Buy More employees, and agree with Lester's 'I'm a MAN' moment, hahaha.
moonbebe moonbebe 8 years
Loved, loved, Loved Tyler Martin! The tranq scenes had me giggling every time. Loved that Chuck told Sarah why he was all weirded out. I think my favorite scene of the night though was the Molly Ringwald moment with Lester. I was laughing so hard there was no sound coming out! LOL Oh, and I only lasted about 15 minutes with the 3D glasses. It was like trying to watch TV through a dirty window. I enjoyed it much more without them. :) I can't wait for the next episode!
nonmr nonmr 8 years
Raves: - Thank goodness Chuck is back! I think I won't survive another week (or in this case a whole month!) without my Bartowski (and Casey) dosages. - I only watched the regular version online 'coz it wouldn't be fun watching the 3D version without 3D glasses but hopefully, I could find one =) - I knew that the Sarah-in-lingerie scene was just a regular Chuck dream-slash-nightmare sequence. At this point in the story, it's too good to be even true and a little fast phased, don't you think? - Dominic Monaghan was really funny as Tyler Martin. Still couldn't get passed Chuck's British (or was it Irish like Dominic's?) accent, haha! - The golden ticket scenario among the Buy More employees was pretty funny. Loved Lester's girlish scream (I'm a man!) and Jeff's nasty urinal cake antic =) - Thankfully, Chuck and Sarah finally had that talk about what happened last Christmas Eve. Even though it's still kinda hard for Chuck for take it in, thankfully they were able to sort it out and that they're back in their normal-kinda-awkward-slash-lots-of-sexual-tension relationship. Rants: - Why only one scene with Ellie and Awesome? I missed Awesome, too! Also, when will be the wedding? - Like my previous rants, where's Anna Wu?
bunnyOhare bunnyOhare 8 years
I got my glasses at Target. After roaming the drink aisle aimlessly (since my husband said it was supposed to be with the Sobe Lifewater), I finally went to the checkout and was told I had to get them at the service desk. Try there.
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
Tried to find glasses; failed. It's still on the DVR though so hopefully I'll find glasses soon. I didn't think it was too bad without the glasses. Loved the episode though. Good to have NBC back on Monday nights. Apparently Dominic Monaghan and Mark Sheppard [from Firefly and BSG] are not the same actor. When I first saw Tyler, I thought it was Badger from Firefly. The bf agreed, IMDB did not. Maybe it was the accent? Tattoos would be a clever way to move secrets, but it would involve too many people and be way too permanent to be effective. Unless, of course, it's cleverly concealed in the pin-up girl on the arm.
ehadams ehadams 8 years
I went to five different stores on the NBC list and none of them had the glasses. Very disappointing. The episode was a pain to watch without them.
emms emms 8 years
I loved Dominic Monaghan as a guest star but I could not get past how short he is. Chuck and Casey both looked like they could eat soup off his head. I am still rooting for more Ellie and Captain Awesome and less Buy More employees! Lester is so manscaped he looks like a tiny little drag queen. The only one I really like out of that crowd (besides Morgan, I suppose) is Anna and they keep leaving her out of episodes. Sad face...
fireyelectra fireyelectra 8 years
The only downside to this episode is that, for the first time, I've actually noticed that the Evil Scheme they're trying to foil isn't very well explained or thought out. So, while I like the idea of tattoos as a way to move messages, we don't know for whom or exactly why that bomber guy was after Charlie Pace, I mean, Tyler Martin. There was a lot they could have done with that character like, maybe, have his own show, for instance, but we're never going to see that idea again, and that's sad, because its a really good one.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
ripitkyle — NBC actually put the 3D version online (along with the regular one) so if you don't mind watching at your computer, you can still check it out.
ripitkyle77 ripitkyle77 8 years
man i missed the episode when it first aired so i guess i cant watch the 3d thing. i hope the episode is good.
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
I was so happy to see Dominic Monaghan! I miss Charlie on Lost, so it was nice seeing him again. He's so freakin' adorable. I loved this episode, but when is Chuck ever NOT amazing? :)
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