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Chuck Recap: Episode 15, "Chuck vs. The Beefcake"

Chuck Rundown: Episode 15, "Chuck vs. the Beefcake"

Oh man — and we thought Bryce Larkin was competition. On this week's episode of Chuck, we meet Cole, an undercover MI-6 agent who shows up right when Chuck is having some serious doubts about continuing his cover relationship with Sarah. Meanwhile, Big Mike and Morgan's mom are having no doubts whatsoever about the state of their new relationship, which drives Morgan to take shelter in the Bartowski house. This episode definitely sets some interesting things up for the rest of the season, so to chat about it, just


So, what do we make of Cole? My first reaction on this show is to never trust anybody — that's how they got us with Jill, after all. But we saw Sarah looking through his spy dossier, and it seemed sound. Well, more than sound — he's a super spy. And not surprisingly, Sarah (who has a real problem getting romantically involved with her work partners, it seems) finds that hot. I love how Cole is written as this dashing, sweep-you-off-your-feet romantic hero: He takes torture with barely a wince! He promises to whisk Sarah to safety with a cheesy "come with me if you want to live" line . . . until Casey shows up to snap us out of the spy version of Gone With the Wind! At first, Sarah's not buying it; she thinks his pickup lines are pathetic and just laughs when he talks about taking her to Fiji. But then they kiss, and there's something there, some kind of passion.

It's interesting timing, because Chuck has decided — partially at Ellie's urging to take control of his life — that it's time to end the "relationship" part of his cover relationship. This episode was originally supposed to air right after "Chuck vs. the Suburbs,", which would have made the timing of this revelation make more sense, but it still mostly works: If Sarah can protect Chuck just as well without pretending to be romantically involved, why should they drive each other crazy all day by bringing up feelings they know they can't act on? That all might have worked, at least for a little while, had two things not happened: One, Cole finds out Chuck's the Intersect; two, Cole gets captured. That means Chuck needs round-the-clock protection. So, not only are Sarah and Chuck not breaking up, they now have to move in together. Which puts a crimp in Chuck's plans to move in with Morgan, two buddies finally breaking free of their families. I wonder what will happen to Morgan now that he's out a roommate and has already worn out his welcome at Chez Bartowski. I guess back home with Mama and Big Mike? Poor guy. Maybe it's wishful thinking — and probably impossible because of the surveillance — but I'd love to see Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan get a place together.

Some other thoughts:

  • Jeff and Lester's "Buy More Girl" plot seems like an afterthought, and it took the show's "slobby men lusting after beautiful women" thing a bit far. But it did serve a purpose, plot-wise: When a cop-looking woman shows up looking for Chuck, nobody's surprised.
  • I'm pretty sure Chuck's "something really strong" at the bar is an appletini.
  • Hey, I was impressed that Chuck managed to kick in the door of Sarah's hotel room. He's not all wimp.
  • Good point from Alan Sepinwall: Do you think the writers titled this episode before they cast a guy whose last name is Cake to play Cole?
  • Little moments I loved: Sarah perfectly slicing the banana, Lester with his Polaroid camera, Casey just showing up (he did a lot of just showing up in this episode) right as Chuck is ending things with Sarah.

Do you trust Cole, or are you suspicious? Did Chuck overreact in breaking things off with Sarah? And why can't Sarah stop falling for her partners?

Photos courtesy of NBC

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