OK, confession time: I didn't love this episode of "Chuck." I thought it squandered the energy of the first episode by repeating too much of last week's show, not advancing the overall plot, and falling victim to clumsy spy movie cliches. The good news: I've seen next week's episode, and it's much, much better (better than the pilot, I think) — so if you didn't love this episode, it's still worth watching another. For now, if you want to chat about the good and the bad of last night's show, just
The story of this episode: Chuck is examined by a doctor who's supposed to determine if the secrets can be extracted from Chuck's brain, but on the way home from the exam, the doctor's car explodes and kills him. Sarah and Casey each believe the other's agency is responsible for the doctor's death, prompting a CIA vs. NSA throwdown in the Weinerlicious sausage stand next door to Buy More, which is Sarah's new place of work - slash - convenient excuse to make her wear a sexy dirndl. Meanwhile, each agent also tries to convince Chuck not to trust the other, making Chuck paranoid and skittish, especially when Sarah comes over for dinner and Chuck's new memory informs him that she once poisoned a bunch of diplomats (or assassins, if you take Sarah's side).
It turns out that the doctor faked his death as a way to get Chuck for himself. He tortures Sarah to find out Chuck's whereabouts, but Chuck makes it easy for him by showing up in the evil laboratory himself, where he's shot with a tranquilizing dart and thrown into a helicopter. Chuck wakes up in the 'copter and kills the evil doctor, but — oops — also shoots the pilot, meaning Sarah needs to teach Chuck how to fly a helicopter, video game-style. His successful landing means that both Chuck and Sarah survive to go to Bryce's funeral; meanwhile, Casey's told that once the new national security intersect is up and running, he'll need to eliminate Chuck.
It was a decent enough story, but something about the pacing felt off to me (that fight scene between Sarah and Casey went on forever), and there wasn't enough of the irreverent humor that made the first episode a standout. (That comes back next week.) I still enjoyed the show, but I know "Chuck" can be better.
Some other thoughts:
- I thought the recap at the beginning of the episode was unnecessary. Yes, the pilot was made six months ago, but we just saw it last week.
- Who caught the "Lost" reference to Oceanic Flight 815 when the doctor was examining Chuck? My favorite line from that whole sequence: "OK, well, that's just a turtle."
- I don't think I'll ever stop finding Adam Baldwin funny in his tight Buy More polo. Loved the instruction on how to use the price scanner:
"The gun kind of works like a ..."
- I wonder if Yum can whip me up some quiches with tracking devices.
- It was pretty clear that the writers got Chuck into a helicopter just to show off his skill at flight simulator games. But I did love Chuck's reaction to the landing: "And that! Is how! I do! That!"
- We did get an answer to one big question: Chuck's secrets have about a six-month lifespan. Does Chuck himself thus have a six-month lifespan?
- Did Sarah work alone at Weinerlicious? I mean, you'd think there would have been a manager around or something.
Your thoughts? Still loving "Chuck"? Willing to give it another shot?
Photos courtesy of NBC