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Chuck Rundown: Episode 9, "Chuck Vs. the Imported Hard Salami"

Chuck Rundown: Episode 9, "Chuck Vs. the Imported Hard Salami"

So I'm sitting there watching Chuck, and everything seems pretty normal: There's a spy case. Chuck bumbles through a date. Casey says something funny. There's danger. Morgan's half-endearing, half-annoying. The usual.

And then, pow! Much like Heroes, Chuck whipped out a mostly surprising ending with the potential to shake everything up. Well played, show. To read my thoughts and chime in with yours, just

I'll start with the end: Bryce is alive! Others have said that NBC's promos over the past week made this revelation obvious — somehow, I didn't see them — and in any case, we've been discussing the possibility of Bryce returning. But dang if I didn't sit bolt upright on the couch when they opened that capsule to show everyone's favorite once-dead rogue agent strapped into some sort of breathing contraption. I'm with Casey: "Didn't I kill this guy?" And really: Didn't he kill that guy? What happened in between Bryce "not an accountant" Larkin getting shot nine weeks ago and his sudden reanimation? I love this development, and not just because I have a little thing for Matthew Bomer; the part Bryce played in Chuck's becoming an agent is one of my favorite parts of this story. I was disappointed when they dropped it after the Stanford episode, but this is better than I could have hoped: Bryce, alive again, interacting with lost lover Sarah and ex-roomie Chuck, and possibly (make that probably) being evil.

But some stuff happened in the other 42 minutes of this episode, too, most notably a tale of two romances. I'm glad Chuck stuck to his guns and enforced his very real breakup of his very fake relationship with Sarah. But he also got to see what life's like on the other side during his date with Lou — and, as it turns out, being a secret agent attempting to have a normal love life isn't so easy. The "take a number" scene in Lou's shop was full of cuteness ("this is a hot sandwich. In the reuben family"), and I was glad the writers didn't take the predictable, Karina-esque path of making Lou a rival spy. Instead, she's just a salami smuggler who got wrapped up with the wrong crowd and ended up questioning Chuck's motives — a familiar tune for Chuck these days. She's out of the story for now, but not in a way that she couldn't come back later. (Please, Josh Schwartz?) Meanwhile, Sarah kissing Chuck — and that was some kiss! — might have moved their relationship forward, if not for that pesky Bryce-back-from-the-dead issue.

A few more things:

  • Nice as it was to see Morgan getting some action, the story took a pretty predictable turn by having Morgan end things with Anna as soon as Chuck appeared to be single again. I think it's clear that Chuck will always be Morgan's No. 1.
  • Sarah scaring Lester off with her sexiness was hilarious. "Hey, how about that movie?" Also: "How's my breath?" "Like the ocean."
  • Speaking of breath: If the oxygen timer counted down to zero before the Chuck-Sarah kiss, then how was Bryce still alive when they finally opened the capsule?
  • Casey had some pretty stellar moments in this episode, including his snarking about the right to bear arms, his ahead-of-the-curve rejection of Sarah, "That's dating in LA," and giving Chuck a rose so he could get laid.

What's your take? Sad about losing Bilson — but happy about gaining Bryce? Did you love or loathe the "he had me at pastrami" line? And how rockin' was Chuck's guitar pin?

Photos courtesy of NBC

AmazonChick AmazonChick 9 years
Ok, as a newbie to the show (only seen the last two episodes) I have to say that I'm loving the Chuck. How happy was I to see a fav character Jayne (Firefly/Serenity) as yet another funny, uber-masculine, gun-totting character?! Woo hoo for Casey. I wonder if they'll have him name his favourite gun in this series too... :D
ana-isabel ana-isabel 9 years
I had a feeling bryce was coming back but not like that.
yyam084 yyam084 9 years
josh put her on a regular,... this episode was awesome!
venulia venulia 9 years
Loved the episode - glad Rachel Bilson is leaving. I usually love her, but this time she's standing between Chuck and Sarah!
sanD13 sanD13 9 years
omg, i loved the scene when sarah and chuck finally kissed! i'm guessing for there to be an obstacle between them, bryce would have to be a good guy. bc if bryce was a bad guy, it'd be easy for chuck and sarah to be together.
girlabouttown girlabouttown 9 years
wish Rachel Bilson was a cast member, she's too cute!
geohiker geohiker 9 years
While I'm sad about Rachel Bilson leaving, the episode was very cute. Loved the pastrami line! And, enough Morgan. Why does Chuck even like this guy; he's always annoying.
moxylicious moxylicious 9 years
Not gonna lie, completely called Bryce being the "ticking bomb". I don't know why but I just had a feeling it was going to be Bryce ... alive! Well, I can't wait for next week's episode -- hopefully they'll be some Chuck/Bryce bonding of some sort.
popculture-whore popculture-whore 9 years
omg bryce coming back was awesome! i didn't see it coming. i feel like he's good but we'll have to see. i'm not sad about losing rachel bilson because i want sarah and chuck to be together. of course we all knew she had feelings for him
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 9 years
Ditto Buzz. LOVED this episode. It was great, best one to date, I think. I am very intrigued as to where the whole Bryce thing is going to go. Is he going to end up as a bad guy or a good guy? Loved the "had me at pastrami" line.
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
The ONE time i skip an episode...
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
I'm shocked about Bryce coming back too! Just when I was all excited for Sarah and Chuck to finally get together... :oy: Btw, where was Ellie in this episode?
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