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April 24, 2014

Chuck: Chuck Versus the Marlin

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 25th 2008 8:04PM
Yvonne Strahovski(S01E13) Breast. Opening. Ever! Okay seriously, I was a little surprised at how blatantly they were just staring, and recording, close-ups of cleavage in the opening. Isn't this American television? The home of the prude boob(less) tube? But leave it to those crafty Chuck writers to make this seeming incongruous, and gratuitous, scene an integral part of the plot later on.

The NBC promo machine, while not only splicing in cute little ad-libbed (I'm guessing here) bits with the actors, promised more new episodes of Chuck "Coming Soon." Well, I don't know how they define soon, but considering there are no more episodes written and the writers are still on strike as of this writing, it looks like their soon is my later.In fact, there may not be enough time to make any more episodes this year at all and then it becomes a question of if NBC wants to go ahead and renew it for next season. The whole thing is crazy so who knows what will happen, but I say all of this because there is at least a chance (even if it is a small one) that this could be the last ever episode of Chuck. I hope it's not, but if it is they at least gave us an episode that touched on a lot of what is at the heart of the whole series: an innocent pulled into a world of danger and mystery who through no fault of his own is every day at risk of losing everything.

I'm not trying to get maudlin here, and I do think Chuck will be back on NBC at some point, but I wanted to emphasize that I was very impressed with this episode. It brought back Fulcrum, the secret government organization that wants the Intersect, and to date doesn't know the Intersect is Chuck, and the sense of impending doom that surrounds our triumvirate of heroes. The idea that their lives as they exist right now, Casey and Chuck working at the Buy More with Sarah across the parking lot at the Wienerlicious can only last so long.

While it wasn't mentioned tonight that Casey has orders to kill Chuck when the new Intersect goes online, it's an underlying knowledge that weighs his character down. Furthermore, the constant remains threat that the decision will come down to extract Chuck from his civilian life and incarcerate him (for his own protection). And presumably still kill him when the new Intersect goes online. It's an impossible situation for Casey and Sarah to be in because they've been living as part of Chuck's life is and they can see how horrible it would be for his whole existence to be taken from him in the blink of an eye

When Chuck finds a bug in the Buy More and, of course, assumes it to be one of Casey's, that threat becomes more real when it is realized that the bug is Fulcrum's, meaning they are getting close to identifying who, what or where the Intersect is. As soon as they would figure it out, Chuck's life as he knows it is done. Luckily, the transmitter Chuck found is low range meaning that its data is being recorded also nearby and Fulcrum won't know what's been captured until they can get the recorder.

It's a little unorthodox, but in light of the fairly standard action sequences, I'm going to give Chuck the Oh Snap Award here for not only figuring out who the Fulcrum agent is, but deducing also how to get visual evidence of her (the aforementioned boobie video), managing to get out of his boss' office, where he was being held for interrogation, get the data, get back in and get the video sent to Sarah just in time for her to be forewarned when the agent arrived to get her recording device.

When the order comes down to extract Chuck, because the Fulcrum agent manages to escape with the recording device, it was a major sign of Casey's growth as a character that he blatantly disobeyed orders. Rather than forget about Chuck, as he and Sarah were told to do, he tells her to get Chuck while he gets the recorder and the Fulcrum agent.

I don't have to go into detail about how things pan out because it's one of those kinds of shows where you know; at least so far it is. The agent is captured, Chuck's secret is still safe for now and the team can go back to these lives they've established for now. Like I said, I'm enjoying the touches of a story arc but am just as pleased that they keep it light enough to make me smile and laugh when watching.

Oh, and Ellie and Captain Awesome are engaged! Chuck had to fish the ring out of the garbage in the end, but she said Yes and it is this closing joyous scene we are left with, and Casey's foreboding warning that this simply can't last. If this were a true series finale, it would be somewhat satisfying. As it stands, be it a season finale or just the last episode before a long hiatus, I am left with a sense of foreboding and darker and dangerous times to come. Personally, I think it would be great to up the ante of danger without losing the goofy charm that makes it such a joy to watch now.

And as a single highlight, I'd like to give a nod to the double falling out of the chair pratfalls by Big Mike (always a riot when he's on) and Chuck himself. Physical comedy is alive and well, as is Chuck.

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mcerny01

i know this is a little late, but did anyone notice that sarah is about to pull a gun on the cia agent before he agrees to let her talk to him?? She is willing to do a lot jus to save chuck...

March 27 2008 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Love your reviews, Jason, but I had trouble reading this one with all the grammar mistakes (mostly words added in and/or put in the wrong order). I'm sure it was just a matter of trying to hammer out the review as quickly as possible, but it's not something I normally see so much of in your reviews, so I thought I'd point it out.

If TV Squad needs an editor, just let me know. ;)

(I really liked these last 2 episodes, by the way. Too bad they were shown in the weird 2-parter-Apprentice-sandwich format.)

January 26 2008 at 9:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SaxManiac

Glad to know I wasn't the only one that caught the GLG20 comment. Did you catch that the "other" bug was the EM50? The "Urban Assault Vehicle" from Stripes!

(ok, maybe I just see what I want to see LOL)

January 26 2008 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Julio


What if the general who gave the termination order on Chuck is part of Fulcrum...

January 26 2008 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

I've read a few reviews and yours was the only one to point out the massive significance of Casey's disobedience, good job!

January 26 2008 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Haunt

I definitely heard a little Patrick Warburton in there, as a matter of fact.

And for the love of all that's frakkin' holy can someone, anyone PLEASE tell me what song that was playing at the end when Chuck found the ring and Awesome was talking to the sleeping Ellie? Pleas?

January 25 2008 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Haunt's comment
Haunt

Nevermind, I found it. It's Butcher the Bar, "Get Away" (available on iTunes).

January 26 2008 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chad

And in all the reviews I've read and comments on them, I still haven't seen anyone pick up the GLG-20 shout out, to another funny little spy flick, "Spies Like Us," where Dan Akyroid and Chevy Chase are normal people who are fast tracked into the CIA in order to become diversions for a real spy team.

January 25 2008 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
edgore

Did anyone else feel like Capt. Awesome was channeling Patrick Warburton a little in this episode? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

January 25 2008 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ERic

Inside joke the bugs they found were called GLG20 that was from the Dan Akroyd movie Spies Like Us. GLG20 was the code name of the spies .

January 25 2008 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

For me beggers can't be choosers . I'll take any Chuck I can get.

January 25 2008 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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