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October 10, 2015

Chuck: Chuck Versus The Nemesis

by Varun Lella, posted Nov 27th 2007 11:46AM
Chuck episode 10
(S01E10) "Pineapple."

So last week was the big bomb buster. Sarah kissed Chuck, Bryce came back from the dead, Morgan got a girl to touch him... pretty crazy stuff. Now, we get to see the aftermath of Chuck-nobyl and what it means for the future of Team Bartowski.

Quick note ... the above image is not actually from this episode but from two weeks ago. I chose a generic pic because NBC decided not to release promo photos for this episode for some reason. You think that they would be really willing to hype this episode, especially since it is the "defining" episode according to the trailer. But I digress.

Chuck has only impressed me more and more as the season has progressed. The wishy-washy stories from the first couple of episodes have finally given way to a larger, more cohesive plot arcs. I don't think I would describe the narrative structure as Scooby-Doo-esqe like I used to. Accolades aside, I wouldn't describe this episode as earth-shattering, but it was solid, marking the return of the much-missed action sequences.

The legendary Bryce Larking, ruiner of lives, is apparently still ticking, thanks to the efforts of the mysterious organization known as FULCRUM. Good short-term thinking on Bryce's part to convince them that the Intersect was inside of his head. I really hope we learn more about FULCRUM in the post-strike episodes.

Tommy (aka Scarface aka Lou Diamond Phillips look-a-like aka Anthony Ruivivar) was only knocked unconscious and could be released by his FULCRUM friends. If I remember Chuck's flash correctly Tommy was one of eight (it may have been ten) FULCRUM leaders recorded in the Intersect. It would be a disservice to viewers if they didn't explore the organization and why they wanted the Intersect at some point. Tommy also had the coolest line in the episode when he responded to Sarah's threat with, "Does it look like this is my first time."

On the other side of the story-coin, Buy More must deal with a monster almost as deadly as John Casey on meth: Black Friday. It is a little disappointing that the episode is one week behind, but I guess it would have been awkward to have it air 3 days before Thanksgiving, so 4 days after is a reasonable solution. A lot of other shows involving merchants, (can't really name any off the top of my head, The Office?), would have ignored Black Friday, but Chuck managed to use it as an advantage.

The Black Friday scene was hilarious, with Jeff and Lester hiding and Anna biting people's heads off. Big Mike running slow motion and sliding across a service desk will be an image forever ingrained in my memory. However, I think the more important thing to note is Morgan's development. Over the past couple of episodes, Mr. Grimes has stepped up and been there for the Buy More when Chuck hasn't. His leadership and calm, collected personality during Black Friday makes me believe that Morgan (and not Chuckles) will replace Harry Tang as manager. This will of course lead to an episode where Morgan abuses his power and his friendship with Chuck, but they eventually kiss and make up.

The Sarah and Chuck relationship-thing (or thang if you prefer) took a lot of turns and twists this episode. Ultimately, she will probably stay, but reinforce a professional relationship with Chuck (she doesn't want to get burned again). There was a nice bit of symbolism at the end there with Sarah having to choose between the old, sleek phone and the new, tech-y one. Small touches like that (plus great soundtrack selection) go along way in making a T.V. show go from good to great.

There was a lot of certifiably awesome action sequences in this episode. Scenes so awesome they would make Captain Awesome's head explode. The first really fantastic moment for me was when Casey shot Bryce in the chest again. Seeing Bryce's body fly 10 feet backwards was a great Thanksgiving dessert. I was secretly hoping that he was actually dead, just because I though it would be funny for him to have an anti-climactic ending.

The Oh Snap Award would clearly have to go to Bryce and Sarah's tag team take-down of FULCRUM agents. It was like synchronized swimming (only with a few more bloody noses). Although it was badass, and seeing Sarah run in slow-motion is always fun, wouldn't it have made more sense to shoot most, if not some, of those agents. You have guns ... use them (it's what the second amendment is for).

Some of my other favorite moments of this episode include:

  • I really like that Chuck speaks Klingon. I think it really round out his dorkiness factor and shows just what level of nerd he is. There are nerds who can name the Star Trek series and captains. There are nerds who can tell you the plots of those series and maybe cite specific episodes. And then there are nerds who speak Klingon.
  • Morgan and Anna's sub-story was really cute and I am glad that they are together (for Morgan's sake). The sequence where Morgan was eating Ellie's sweet potatoes and she was enjoying his enjoyment of them almost made me roll of the coach. I think Anna's craziness will make for good side-stories of Morganna in future episodes.
  • Captain Awesome has been underplayed since the "Tango" episode, but he really stole the show with his exchange with Casey. Who grabs another guy's arm in the middle of dinner to compliment his physique? Captain Awesome ... that's who. Two guys, one boat ... men just being men facing down their fear of death on the wild whitewater rapids of California.

Will Bryce Larkin return?
Yes, of course!561 (63.4%)
No, he's gone.37 (4.2%)
Probably ... maybe second season?287 (32.4%)

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loved the episode, the show rocks, but i wonder when their gonna show a tougher side of chuck(i know the premise is that he's a "regular guy"/nerd but even nerds can get P!ssed sometimes :P). and the klingon..THE KLINGON!!. i'm such a star wars fanboy but.... I OWN A KLINGON DICTIONARY! :/
kudos to the writers-hang tough guys.

November 28 2007 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ussilov's comment

Not only did they speak (from what I could tell) fairly accurately pronounced Klingon, it even seemed to be spelled correctly in the closed-captioning! That's called doing your homework...

Both the Klingon and "pineapple" should've been obvious telegraphs to me but they weren't - probably because the show is so geeky and quirky that they do fanboy shoutouts all the time and we don't notice when they're going to figure into the plot later.

I thought it odd that, unless it was off-camera which seems unlikely, at no time did Chuck mention anything to Bryce about how he actually did him a favor by getting him kicked out of Stanford. Since that big plot point was made only a couple episodes back, it should've still been heavy on his mind. Intersect and playing dead aside, that revelation significantly altered how Chuck considers Bryce and that's a huge part of their friendship.

Is it just me, or is that same underwater video always playing on the big bank of HDTV's in the Buy More? I'm beginning to develop a personal relationship with that particular coral reef...

November 29 2007 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great episode. My favorite part was when Bryce drugged Chuck and Sarah found him he said "pretty lady" (or something like that) and then when Casey leaned over him he said "ewww, ugly", lol. My other favorite parts was Morgan eating the casserole and sweet potatoes, Morgan with the megaphone (both times he used it), and Chuck snitching on Bryce's location.

I really like how it ended but the next week preview pretty much gave away Sarah's next move. So it kinda spoiled what the ending was trying to achieve... atleast that's how I see it.

November 28 2007 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evan Doyle

OK, was this like the "Traveler" reunion episode? First it was Bryce Larkin/Jay Burchill, then it was Tommy/Borjes. Did they get a bulk discount or something?

Note: I'm not complaining. I actually really enjoyed their characters both in this show and in Traveler, but I thought it was interesting.

November 28 2007 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh yeah, this show has hit a great stride, I'm curious to see where things go now that the Bryce thing has somewhat wrapped up, I too would love to see him again... And I am delighted that this is picked up for a full season even with the strike potentially limiting that...

And yes I too went on a bit elsewhere about my delight with Chuck:

November 28 2007 at 12:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At least this show wont be cancelled like Journeyman (amongst MANY other good shows over the years). Hot girls, funny storylines, some good action and now, a developing arc that compels me to watch from week to week. I liked the little jab at The University of Pennsylvania when Bryce said "No, I went to Penn, but I'll take that as a compliment." It's a clever show, geared towards intelligent people who are nerds that like action and hot chicks.

November 27 2007 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That was klingon? I missed that.

I hadn't watched this show since the second episode or so. Or, at least, I'd only watched two previously, including the pilot.

It is refreshingly light and enjoyable. That will help and hurt it with me. It will be something I can pick up at any time and run with, but it won't be something I feel compelled to keep watching.
Then again, the few shows I feel compelled to keep watching I will either download or watch on DVD rather than deal with commercials and cliffhangers...

November 27 2007 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

I have said since the beginning that Jeff would turn out to be a scene-stealer. I just had no idea that Lester and Anna would be as good as Jeff. I love Anna and Morgan together.

I LOVE that Bryce speaks Klingon. Seriously. Here's a dude that just seems too cool to bother with that level of geekiness. But he took the time to learn it because his friend was interested in it. The more I learn about Bryce, the more I genuinely like him. He's a much better friend for Chuck than Uncle Morgan (even though I love Morgan). I sincerely hope that we haven't seen the last of him.

I loved how Chuck told Casey that Bryce was in his bedroom with Sarah. And then I loved how he immediately regretted it.

That scene with Sarah and Bryce kicking butt was very awesome. I hope seeing how Bryce handles all the "spy stuff" will help Chuck be less "scream like a girl"-y.

How sad was it when Morgan told Bryce what a jerk Bryce Larkin was?

I totally didn't forsee the Pineapple or Klingon pay-offs coming. Good job to the writers (who need to get paid for online distro).

November 27 2007 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wow tvsquad update yo

November 27 2007 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaerisk's comment

I know right! Anyway another good episode of Chuck.

November 27 2007 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm loving the show but also looking forward to a serious dial-back in the Chuck-Sarah department. Its just getting awkward to watch especially since we all know they can't really get together (or at least won't for at least a few seasons)

Aside from that I have to say I'm enjoying the show more and more. Morgan and Casey initially bugged me but now are some of my favorite characters, the Buy More staff have really turned into a comedy force (especially with the over-done Harry Tang out of the picture), and who doesn't love Captain Awesome and Ellie.

Really the biggest complaint I have right now is that they have so much strength in the show that it makes it necessary to leave people out of individual episode. Unless you have a big thanksgiving dinner combined with a big buy more sale in which some fast paced fight scenes happen you just can't fit everyone in.

Finally, this...

You have guns ... use them (it's what the second amendment is for)

Is an NRA slogan in the making. You just can't doo much better than that.

November 27 2007 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a fantastic episode, I thought. I love the way they have a "spy show" while, at the same time, making fun of spy shows!

November 27 2007 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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