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August 28, 2015

Chuck: Chuck Versus the Helicopter

by Varun Lella, posted Oct 1st 2007 11:56PM
Chuck episode 2
(S01E02) "No matter how stressed you are, it's never OK to murder a woman's souffle."

If you read my first review or my Early Look post, you know that I love Chuck. I gushed more than a Yellowstone geyser. However, I am going to be very honest about the second episode.

It was a disappointment.

After the hip, sleek, funny, action-packed pilot episode, this episode fell flat. It was kind of boring, nonsensical, and didn't advance the plot in any way shape or form. OK, now I am being a little harsh -- it really wasn't terrible -- but it could have been better.

My first major gripe is with the intro sequence. I thought the flashbacks to the pilot episode were unnecessary and disrupted the flow of what was happening on screen. They actually flashed back a couple of times and it was more annoying than helpful. The only flashing that I want to see going on is what goes on in Chuck's little image-packed noggin.

Speaking of Chuck's head, the plot of this episode introduced (and disposed of) a new character by the name of Dr. Zarnow, the man who faked his own death to kidnap and sell Chuck. From the moment we met the doctor it was very clear that he was evil and would betray Team Bartowski. He was slimy and had that very typical I-am-a-greedy-evil-genius-that-will-sell-North-Koreans-government-secrets flair. And that voice! That snake like voice was a dead give away.

Also, something I didn't really get is why Zarnow faked his own death (explain it to me in the comments section if you can). He had no reason to believe that a faked death by NSA incinerator would cause Casey and Sarah to fight each other. The good doctor could have easily just came back around later and drugged Agent Walker like he did. If he was really smart, he would have brought the tranquilizer gun to the Buy More and shot both of the agents there. Maybe that would have just been way too ... obvious?

That also brings up the question of how the hell he also knew where Sarah's location was when he ambushed her at Chuck's house. If he was tracking her, he probably would have figured out that Chuck was his very valuable Patient X. Zarnow was typical evil genius ... right down to not simply destroying his enemies at the most practical moment. Now it could be that Schwartz was doing this on purpose -- another one of his subtle spy-genre parodies -- but it just felt sloppy to me.

The Casey-Morgan Ramones scene was hilarious. I seriously almost spit out some Mountain Dew Game Fuel I was imbibing at the time. Just on a side note, never ever ever ever drink Mountain Dew Game Fuel. I think i might have left out an ever there. It would not be the worst thing in the world if there were more Casey-Morgan interactions in the future.

In the first episode, the multiple fight scenes were very, as Captain Awesome might say, awesome. The fight scene between Casey and Sarah was pretty intense. Good use of props, space, fighting styles. However, the fight scene was really unmotivated. Maybe in the first episode, when it was slightly understandable that both agencies wanted Chuck for themselves, you could expect the two to throwdown, but now that they made a truce it would make sense for them to talk out the situation. You could argue that they were both on edge and non-trusting, but it just kind of came out of nowhere. Although, I definitely wouldn't complain about watching Sarah fight in that Weinerlicious sausage maiden outfit all day long. Bloomers!

There were some positive changes between the screener version and the on-air version. Chuck had some on-helicopter banter that was absolutely dreadful. For those who saw the leaked screener online, I will say, "B Button, B Button, B Button."

We didn't learn why Chuck got kicked out of Stanford yet, but I would like to hear your wildest theories on what it could be. We DID learn that Sarah Walker's name isn't actually Sarah Walker (it was very quickly thrown out there, so you may have missed it). This makes me think that Sarah may be Chuck's girlfriend from college ... revamped. I know it is really far out there, but I want to be credited with think of it first if it is true.

There is a lot more I could compliment or complain about, but I will leave that 'til next week. This episode wasn't the best follow up to such a strong opener, but I will give Chuck a couple more episodes before I give up hope on a show with such great potential. I know for a fact (love the screeners) that next week's episode is a good one.

Who is the hottest on Chuck?
Ellie Bartowski103 (18.5%)
Agent Sarah Walker340 (61.2%)
Pshhh ... clearly Major John Casey113 (20.3%)

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Ben Reich

I'm totally confused how that computer worked. Didn't anyone at the CIA/NSA look at it?? How did THEY not know their "best doctor" was a double agent??

And Morgan is brutal.

October 07 2007 at 4:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone that saw the pilot, with Sarah in SO many underwear scenes, has to admit she's one of the hottest gals on TV at the moment. Yow!


October 04 2007 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show just sucks. The action part is not really good, entertaining, and the plots are SO stupid & boring it's "amazing".

On a comedic aspect, it is simply not funny. Casey running after a thief : cliché, not funny, boring. Because you could see it coming before it even started, and it din't even had something more, different, so that you could enjoy it.

"Now it could be that Schwartz was doing this on purpose -- another one of his subtle spy-genre parodies -- but it just felt sloppy to me."

You right on that, but i don't get how you missed on the pilot. The scene where Bryce is stealing the secrets, on the big empty white room, how as it a parody exactly ? It was nothing but the same plot as in such movies, no parody, no exageration, no making fun of it, the situation, themselves, nothing.

They do the same thing, they take theirselves quite seriously, and it just ends up pretencious, unfunny, and boring.

October 03 2007 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved the Trainspotting spoof intro. I'm surprised noone pointed that out yet.

Overall I'm enjoying the show... its got plenty of good laughs. "I'm an IT *artist*!" The Oceanic 815 thing, with action scenes that I think are designed to come off a little cheesy. It makes for good entertainment.

Prison Break still gets the coveted LiveWatch, though.

October 02 2007 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The worst part of the the ep for me was the whole helicopter thing - it was just a bit boring. Pretty much had fun with everything else, including the Flight 815...

October 02 2007 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the first time I caught this show and I must say it didnt do much for me, I dont think Ill watch another episode.

October 02 2007 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agreed with Steve for the reason the doctor faked his own death to take suspicion off himself. And by using the NSA gadget, he could cause a rift between Casey and Sarah, who will probably always not trust each other completely.

Adam Baldwin makes me laugh so hard.

Loved the Lost reference. Also heard that Rachel Bilson will be joining the cast.


October 02 2007 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just "eh" for me, but I'll continue to watch. I get more of a kick from the little things in this show (the downloading sequence from the pilot, the Oceanic reference) than the whole show itself. Agree with the "kinda amused but lose interest quickly" comment from laura nason.

Sarah sucks as the kick-ass spy. I disagree with Ryan: there is no way that fight scene with Casey was for camp value. No way it was intentionally made to look that bad.

I have a new appreciation for Jennifer Garner.

October 02 2007 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

No show that gives me comedy and action sequences from Adam Baldwin will ever fall off my watch list. I definitely need to see more interaction of Casey with the Buy More guys - that stuff is "awesome." I thought the fight between Sarah and Casey was silly, but part of the fun. I saw the "flying a helicopter is just like a video game" thing coming pretty much as soon as I saw the title. I hope they don't overdo that. I think the doctor was an obvious plot device that they had to dispense with. You can't have viewers asking "Why don't they just get a doctor to fix his brain?" Now they can say, "Tried that, it didn't work." (Even though the whole premise is ridiculous.) But really, does anyone take a show seriously that uses a title like "Chuck vs the Wookie?" You should be able to tell by the title alone that it's a farce and just enjoy it as such.

October 02 2007 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MH - ditto to your comment... was about to write exactly the same things

October 02 2007 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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