Chuck: Chuck Versus the Dream Job
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 7th 2009 10:27AM
(S02E19) Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Just when you think you're on the verge of getting answers, you wind up with a lot more questions. We knew going in that Chuck had finally tracked down his father, ostensibly to fulfill Ellie's dream of having her dad walk her down the aisle at her wedding.
On the most superficial level, Chuck achieved his goal. He did find his father, Steven J. Bartowski, but he also found all the craziness that sent him off in the first place. Only it wasn't really, really craziness. It was something far more nefarious.
It was interesting how Chuck and Ellie had different feelings about their father. Chuck was ready to forgive the old man, but Ellie has a hurt that won't go away. It looks like that same unforgiving streak will be part of her life with Devon, because she has not forgotten about the bachelor party. Ellie's a grudge holder.
We met Ted Roark, Steve's friend from grad school, who had ripped off his best ideas. Roark Instruments, giant software company, was releasing a new software operating system and after flashing, Chuck was assigned to get a job at Roark.
That was the dream job of the title, although I don't see how Roark was supposed to be better than Apple or Microsoft, as Chuck suggested, but that was the myth they wanted us to believe. Especially when Ted Roark was revealed. Sadly, Chevy Chase wasn't asked to do more than be an asshole. He did it well, but Roark was a paper-thin character, an evil egomaniac who told bad jokes and was really a Fulcrum agent.
It was revealing to see Morgan act like a jilted lover about Chuck's new job, I believed that. However, when Sarah and Casey put on nerd get-ups for the NextExpo, it was lame and unbelievable. It looked like they were extras from Revenge of the Nerds, and instead of blending in, they stood out like sore thumbs. That's not how to go undercover.
On the other hand, it was great to see Chuck don Casey's combat gear and infiltrate RI -- after tranquilizing Casey naturally -- and become a man of action. For all his Nerd Herd externals, Chuck actually has proven to be quite capable in dangerous situations. However, after disrupting the NextExpo, how did he not get arrested? That wasn't explained at all.
You have to hand it to Scott Bakula as Papa Bartowski. He was frustratingly eccentric and mad as a hatter for most of the show. But it was worth it for the fun part when he snapped into Orion mode; yes, dad was Orion, and once he said it, his whole demeaner changed. Even his hair looked cooler.
At break neck speed, we were told that Steve left Ellie and Chuck to protect them. Of course the fact that the Intersect -- which he created, but only the cool parts -- somehow made it into Chuck's brain is a major coincidence. Hopefully down the road, we'll discover it was part of some grander scheme.
Then Orion/Steve agreed to sacrifice himself to Fulcrum/RI, offering to create a working Intersect for them, in exchange for Chuck's life. Chuck fought it -- shades of Kirk fighting to save Spock from dying in The Wrath of Khan -- but Fulcrum took Steve away while Chuck was dragged off by Casey and Sarah.
This set up Chuck's new mission, with the General's approval, to get Orion back and keep Fulcrum from completing the new Intersect. Should be interesting.