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October 8, 2015

Chuck: Chuck Versus the Wookie

by Varun Lella, posted Oct 16th 2007 8:45AM
Chuck episode 4
(S01E04) "I thought you were supposed to be good at lying" - Chuck

So it was another satisfying episode of Chuck, funny, hip, referential. They still haven't worked out all the kinks in the show yet, but for the most part the structure and humor of the show is beginning to really solidify, giving us something that might last beyond a season.

"Chuck Versus the Wookie" introduced us to red-haired, blue-eyed bombshell Karina -- I can't seem to find the name of the actress who played her on any websites or press releases, so if you recognize her please tell me; I would like to see more of her ... work.

The basic story is that Karina, a character from Sarah and Casey's past, has returned to retrieve a diamond believed to be connected to drug cartel money. Or is it? Dun dun dun ... cue ominous music.

Speaking of ominous music, great use of the creepy background noise that eventually led up to the fight scene in the beginning of the episode. These fight scene outfits that Sarah wears are getting more and more wonderfully ridiculous. Fighting in a bath robe?

I would swear that by episode ten she would be fighting naked, if this show wasn't on network primetime. How does this not sound like a Cinemax softcore, after-midnight special? Two women start fighting, one in a silk bathrobe, the other a dominant ninja, the wrestle on the ground and then ... I will let you fill in whatever necessary gaps you need to fulfill that fantasy.

The big fight led to the intro sequence, which I haven't totally decided how I feel about yet. The pro-Chuck side of me thinks that it is a perfect homage to the James Bond semi-animated intros and is a good spoof on the spy-genre. My cautious half thinks it is slightly lame and is a bit overplayed. Unfortunately for you Chuck-haters out there, my positive side usually wins out.

The thing that really made this episode for me was how Morgan-heavy it was, or, if you are Karina, Martin-heavy. It is hard not to love Joshua Gomez as he darts between adorably kind-hearted and unbelievably nerdy. I was really rooting for Karina to fall for him by the end of the episode, but alas he shall remain woman-less for the foreseeable future.

It really seemed like Karina was into Chuck. I mean she attempted to seduce him with a red bra-and-panties number that I am surprised got past NBC's standards bureaucrats. Her character provided a great hottie contrast to Sarah Walker, but I don't see her returning to the series on a regular basis. If the show makes it to the second season, she will probably come back in a different DEA-related episode. Her real importance came toward the very end of the episode when she asserted that Miss Walker, whether she knew it or not, wanted Chuck.

Sarah, who seems at the very least to want to not hurt Chuck, was very vulnerable through out the episode. She had to risk losing her friend/Intersect to a new agent and was cornered by Karina revealing to Chuck that Sarah and Bryce were an item. We are beginning to see the walls that "Lisa" has put up slowly break down, which may complicate the relationship between her friendship with Chuck and her CIA job. They gave Sarah a nerdy boss, which I thought I was expected and necessary. I seriously sat through the first three episodes wondering what kind of horrible business structure does this wiener place have that lets its only worker take half-day breaks, even if it is to save the world.

Moving on to our simply-named hero, I feel that Chuck is really starting to flesh out as an individual and get all of his quirks into place. His stuttering when he gets nervous (watching Sarah change in the backseat of a Hummer) or his word-projection and awkwardness when things go wrong (Sarah not saying "No" to introducing Karina to Morgan) are pretty priceless. Also he is really becoming useful as an agent. Although he kind of fumbled the situation by giving the diamond to Karina, he eventually was the one to save the day (via FedEx no less).

The writers have also managed to show that Chuck is very useful, beyond having a supercomputer database in his head. When he used the Intersect info to learn about the electric field surrounding the diamond (which turned out to be terrorist and not drug related), it was his previously developed intelligence that helped him solve the problem. It would have personally taken me a while to come up with compressed air as the best method to nab the diamond, but for Chuck the problem-solving is natural. I guess that is what you can expect from a Stanford man.

There were some great uses of spy-genre conventions this episode. A couple of worthy notice include the slow motion bikini shot as Karina hops on her Jet Ski, Casey's classic chauffeur outfit, the hot, untrustworthy spy, the list goes on as usual. More important than the subtle tricks-of-the-trade was this week's other guest star, Iqbal Theba as Peyman Alahi aka The Wookie. First of all (as a hairy man) it takes a lot of guts for Theba to appear on-screen in a Speedo, covered in body hair (real or not). I loved Theba as Joey's doctor from that one episode of Friends:

Joey's Doctor: Mr. Tribbiani, I'm afraid you've got kidney stones.

Joey: Umm, well, what else could it be?

Joey's Doctor: It's kidney stones.

Joey: Or?

Joey's Doctor: Kidney stones!

It was great to see an actor that is so widely used as an extra, check out his IMDb for a full list of all the shows he's been on, take on a different role. Theba as a serious thug, rather than the comic relief, was fun and refreshing.

Oh Snap Award Winner
As I stated in last week's review, I will be nominating a recipient of a weekly "Oh Snap" award for the person who creates the best moment that simply makes me say "Oh Snap." This weeks award goes, again, to John Casey, who was not very central to the episode. I knew something crazy was going to happen when he broke the bed frame, but I could feel that slam to Random Thug #3's face. Casey sealed his ownership of the award when he followed it up with a fabulously cheesy one-liner: "I told you smoking could be hazardous to your health."

The close runner-up was Sarah Walker with a fruit plate to a muscleman's face. As the frisbee-like plate sailed across the pool and into that man's forehead, I thought she had won for the week, but Casey pulled off the upset in the last half of the show.

Who is hotter?
Karina627 (50.1%)
Sarah477 (38.1%)
John Casey148 (11.8%)

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I thought the whole olives and pizza thing was nice and a good way for chuck to get a better 'in' with 'Sarah'... very nice guy thing to do and you could tell Sarah was touched by it.

October 24 2007 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The secret message from Corina is not in sloppy swedish, just swedish. And it's "Om jag slänger nycklarna till dig, kommer du tappa dem då?" Almost the same thing as previous mentioned but not quite. Sarah's response however is not in swedish, just some mumbling. I think Mini should've taught Yvonne some real swedish instead, how hard can it be to learn a single sentence?

October 23 2007 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Horne

Anyone know where i can find that Cake song as a instrumental?

October 22 2007 at 6:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone know who made Carina's handbag she was wearing on this show? Black with silver rings on the shoulder strap.

October 21 2007 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is everyone so focused on Sarah's butt in this episode? Why not focus on something far more interesting? Like this: Am I crazy or can you see just a little too much of Sarah's left breast when she's leaning toward the front seat of the car talking to Chuck--before she's put her shirt on? It sure looks like the real thing to me (I was watching the hi def version), but then again the censors didn't catch it and no one here has said anything about it either. Her hair tries to cover it up but it certainly appears to me as if it's peeking through.

October 21 2007 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is quickly becoming my favorite new show (right up there with both "Life" and "Journeyman" anyway). I love the way that they portray all the characters, both nerds and hotties. We actually get to see that even though there are definitely all the stereotypical aspects to both sides, there's also a heck of a lot more in common than what is usually written into them. It's easy to see why Sarah is eventually going to fall for this guy, even though she's going to deny it for a while - he's a good guy! Same goes for Sarah, she's got more personality than your typical blonde bimbo not to mention she's also smarter than most of them.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, can they possibly have any more smoking hot women in this show??? I do love how they handle all the spy business, very tongue in cheek and yet serious at the same time. Adam Baldwin is just perfect casting for Casey. He's just slightly brighter than "Jayne" was but his delivery is spot on each and every show. You're also right that he seems to get some of the best lines in each show as well. This show is really starting to hit its stride. I can't wait to see how everything develops over the rest of the season. I'm hoping that Karina pops up as Sarah's sister too. That would make perfect sense actually. Oh and by the way, no one has said a word about Chuck's sister... also smoking hot! Good luck getting a piece of THAT Morgan!

October 18 2007 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can anyone tell me what music was used during this Chuck episode??

October 17 2007 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, here are my two cents worth.
1. I do not find Karina hot at all, Sarah is way hotter, IMHO
2. Does anyone else think Sarah looks like a younger version of "Jeri Ryan"?
3. This was one of the weaker episodes I agree. I think they were trying to do a little more character development, but still one of my new favorite shows.

My two cents..that is all.

October 17 2007 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I want a girl with a short skirt and a black bikini underneath." -Cake

October 16 2007 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

When Casey, Chuck and Sarah flee the pool party they are in a black Hummer H2, but shortly thereafter, Casey arrives at Karina's hotel, still dressed in his chauffer disguise, driving a black Cadillac Escalade or maybe a GMC Yukon. Did he pick up a different vehicle after dropping off Chuck and Sarah and not change clothes, or was this a continuity error? If the latter, was it accidental, or is GM trying to get the most out of its product placement fees by featuring as many versions as it can of its full-size SUV in one episode?

October 16 2007 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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