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October 1, 2014

Chuck: Chuck Versus the Ex

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 11th 2008 8:59AM
chuck & ex(S02E06) "I'm putting my foot down...gingerly." -- Chuck

I'm now officially worried about Chuck Bartowski. It wasn't the injection of poison to create the antidote to the chemical agent in the hotel conference room that frightened me this week, or the previous episodes when he faced nefarious gunmen with evil intent. The fear is emotional. The return of Jill Roberts should be signaling DefCon 4.

This was one of my favorite Chuck episodes thus far this season. It's the way all the parts fell together. There was great balance between the character development and the action, as well as the funny stuff and the serious scenes. Also, I can't help but notice that Chuck is getting a lot better at handling his CIA chores.

But I'm still worried. More about that after the jump.

I liked Jordana Brewster as Jill, Chuck's ex-girlfriend. You could see exactly why Chuck melted when he saw her again. She was a nerd-boy's dream, brains and beauty. But when Ellie was telling Chuck to not go out with Jill again, she knew what she was talking about. Jill broke Chuck's heart and scarred him for life. While the episode ended with Jill and Chuck resuming a relationship, I see Chuck as the vulnerable one in this pairing. He's going to get hurt again. My fear is that more than a bullet, Jill's hurt will last a lot longer.

Wasn't it great the way the CIA made Chuck look like a major player? I want to go to that restaurant. Did you notice how Casey's soul beard was crooked? In typical Chuck fashion, he couldn't completely pull off the cool guy persona. But I related to him about righting the past. His compulsion to tell her that he never stole the tests at Stanford was human and real.

I couldn't help but notice that Jill never explained why she ended up jumping into a thing with Bryce back in Stanford. She also was way too impressed by superficial things. When she thought Chuck's Buy More career was his reality, she blew him off rather coldly. Then, when he revealed his cover, Jill took a shine to him again. How ironic that Sarah seems more impressed with Chuck because of his humble, Buy More/living with his sister side!

Meanwhile, the Buy More subplot following Big Mike's doughnut catastrophe was funny. I noticed that some critics really don't care for the Nerd Herd sideplots, but I do. Morgan breaking into Elizabeth's bedroom to find Austin's Awesome's emergency preparedness test was great, especially when he did that Raiders of the Lost Ark thing with his fingers before reaching through the stuff.

There was another movie allusion. In the flashback to Stanford, Chuck's calling up to Jill in her sorority house room was very Say Anything, only without the music playing. The whole street smacked of Animal House.

Back to the Nerd Herd guys, I loved how they finally figured out how to pass the test, silently getting Jeff to swallow the pen cap so Austin would do the Heimlich and, in turn, give them the information for the test. Awesome. Is there anything Jeff won't ingest?

The prospects for a happy ending with Jill doesn't look great and Ellie is probably right about Sarah being better for him -- although Ellie doesn't know about the real Sarah, so maybe her judgment is flawed. I see a triangle up ahead and how much you want to bet it's going to be Chuck who'll have to decide between Jill and Sarah. Wait and see.
Chuck' Show & Cast Photos
    CHUCK Adam Baldwin as Major John Casey stars in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Adam Baldwin as Major John Casey stars in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Michael Clarke Duncan as Colt and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker star in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker star in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker star in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski, Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker and Michael Clarke Duncan as Colt star in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski stars in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski stars in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker star in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC CHUCK Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker stars in the episode "Chuck vs. the First Date." Airs Monday, September 29, 2008. NBC

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Don-Don

We need more ridiculously out-of-character disguises for Casey. This week's was hilarious.

November 14 2008 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
superrrguy

What are they gonna do now that the Buy More filed for bankruptcy and is closing 155 stores.

November 12 2008 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to superrrguy's comment
Derek

No, Buy More only noted that is has noted a severe cutback in consumer spending. I think you're thinking Transistor Town. They're the ones in real trouble.

November 13 2008 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KenMo

- Also love Jordana Brewster. But I also noticed how superficial she was. Watch out Chuck. I think Sarah will have to save him from her.
- Great undercover look for Casey
- Terrible look for Sarah this week.
- I'm on the fence with the Buy More stuff. I am starting to think its time to get Chuck out of there... to where? I dunno. (Kinkos?)

November 12 2008 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
driftwood

Didn't Jill kiss him after he came clean about not being a computer store owner, and he admitted that he still worked at buymore?

I guess you could consider that phone call blowing off, but it was more whoever was on the other end of the line.

November 12 2008 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

Love the bad guy names on this show...

Von Hayes, Guy LaFleur
Can't wait for Vida Blue and Dave DeBusshere.


Also, in the "attention to details" arena, I was impressed that in the Stanford campus flyover, they used an old campus shot (before the new stadium) instead of something more current. Nice.

November 11 2008 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pasha

Another movie reference was they played the theme to the Bourne movies (the orchestral theme) repeatedly when Chuck was playing spy.

After last week's dud, I loved this episode!

November 11 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frank

Uh...I'm worried about Chuck Bartowski too, though apparently not for the same reasons listed in this review. This episode was terrible. He's back with Jill in one episode? The girl who broke his heart and ruined his life? Do these writers have a brain? That kind of transformation would take weeks, months, to pull off for a proper character arc. And what's with him protesting about Jill being at the conference and saying nothing when Sarah steps up and volunteers? Who cares if they "broke up", didn't he say she was worth dying for and swing off a building to save her life a few episodes ago? Guys don't change that fast, or forget their feelings like that, not unless they're total jerks. Which is apparently what the writers want us to think. Good luck turning that back around. Most shows that make you hate the hero don't last all that long.

November 11 2008 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to frank's comment
SaraIsHot

I respectfully disagree with you frank. And I'm sure the writers know what they're doing and talking about (remember the Lou episodes). The writers know this show is about Chuck and Sara, not Chuck and some other hot chick that comes around. I agree with the review because it brought out a lot of the character flaws of Chuck beyond all the heroics and chivalriness (sp?) he's shown around Sara. One of them is Chuck, when it comes to romance and love-life, he's very vulnerable and emotional so I can see how he can easily fall for Jill again. If anything, this episode will open up a whole lot of other arcs that the show can build around (I'm thinking of one...what happens when Bryce comes back?). So in essence, I like this episode.

November 11 2008 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

Your worldview (or guyview, I guess) is pretty rigid and not very realistic either.

There is every reason to believe that Chuck would become instantly (re)infatuated with a girl he loved not that long ago (and never got over) and is now given a chance to get together with on different terms. Particularly given his tortured feelings with Sarah and the need to create a different, more real and less weird relationship dynamic with someone (even if it is just superficial and doesn't go anywhere in the end).

These things happen.

November 11 2008 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Manuel Reis

Instant classic of the episode: The kiss. One of my greatest laughs since Chuck's first episode...

I don't agree with you when you say that Chuck'll be hurt by Jill once again. I truly belive that this episode-arc will be good to end definitely the all the Jill story.

November 11 2008 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

Don't have anything to say really... just this: I love the review!
I thought I should mention it, since I critizized Paul for what he wrote...

November 11 2008 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

I just keep liking this show more and more...each week it just seems to get better. It's intelligent, funny, action packed and the show is good about maintaining the series story arc. Love it.

Sarah is a better choice, she's not a superficial biotch who turned her back on Chuck in his time of need and hooked up with his former best friend. Plus, she's hotter. And that Aussie accent was supremely hot, wish she could use it more.

November 11 2008 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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