Chuck: Chuck Versus the Helicopter
(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.
|Ellie Bartowski||103 (18.5%)|
|Agent Sarah Walker||340 (61.2%)|
|Pshhh ... clearly Major John Casey||113 (20.3%)|