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Review: Chuck - Chuck vs. the Angel de la Muerte

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 12th 2010 1:21AM
With two strong opening episodes, Chuck has been off and running in this third season. Even the ratings have been great. Would episode three be on target like the others? Survey says: yes.

Oh, it wasn't a perfect show, but it was fun to see Devon -- Dr. Awesome -- getting some major attention and almost a cliffhanger ending. More after the jump. Light up a double corona cigar and let's go.

Same old, same old CIA mission. Oh, Chuck, how you have changed. In some ways. He actually finds the missions 'old hat.'

This mission involved protecting a former Communist dictator, Premier Alejandro Goya, a Castro type (sans bushy beard), that Casey has personally tried to kill three times. Oops. His bad. So much for the Angel of Death rep. Armand Assante was in full el porko mode, i.e. hammy, mode.

For a switch, Chuck got to see how it is to be on a mission with someone like him. Someone like he used to be, pre-training. In other words, an amateur. Dr. Awesome may not be a spy, but he proved he was an awesome M.D.

Nice to see that the Intersect included directions for how to be a doctor. Do you think every episode is going to have Chuck display some skill or talent that he's never had before but does now because of the thing in his head? "It's just like Operation," did take the edge off. The dancing was a nice touch, like the Spanish guitar in another episode.

Okay, the ending. Devon's one last patient before going home to Ellie was the assassin. By the way, as an assassin, his weapon was really old-fashioned. I would have expected a more pistol-like injector.

What did Sarah whisper to Chuck? And was she hugging him because it was so bad that we have to worry? Okay, that's a relief. The previews show that Devon is not dead ... but what a dumb move by NBC. Without the previews, I would have been left thinking that Devon might be dead. That would have been much more dramatic.

In fact, I had the screener for this show, and it did not include the preview, so for a while I did think the show had taken the risky move of killing off Devon. Even though it wasn't a long time before I screened the next episode and realized Devon wasn't dead, I thought it was a game-changer ...

Other points of interest

-- 2000, nine years ago. You can tell it's a long time because the wedding album is actually a book. Today it would be a web site and all digital. No, just kidding; I'm sure folks still like the album. Still, doesn't it seem like 2000 was just yesterday?

-- Wow! I had no idea that Ellie was such a wild woman. Her fooling around with Devon after she just met him was pretty wicked.

-- Awesome also describes Casey. Marine indeed. By the way, he's as anti-Commie as a 1950's John Wayne movie.

-- Chuck looked very fetching in the tux. And Ellie's party dress was gorgeous.

-- No Buy More. Did you miss Morgan and Lester and Jeff? Some critics want Chuck to drop that whole segment of the show. Weigh in with your thoughts ...

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Arg f*ck, I shouldn't read your review because I didn't watch the preview :(

(But now, i feel better ^^)

Good job for the review btw :)

February 25 2010 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've always like the Buy More gang and their antics. I thought last season it started to get more and more ridiculous because Chuck was hardly ever at work and no one seemed to really notice or care though. I didn't notice they hadn't done any scenes at the Buy More until this particular episode was over. But I agree with another poster that I like to see Chuck stay grounded and interacting with co-workers.

January 16 2010 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't mind the BuyMore when it (and its employees) are part of the main plot. But I don't like when they make a secondary unrelated plot just to give these characters some screen time. That forces the main plot to be more simplistic.

January 12 2010 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The thing about Chuck working at the Buy More is that it provides actual income and an excuse to be gone from the store with minimal lying. "I'm going on a customer call" is an easy, short reason to leave the store. The problem with a promotion to a manager, is that he would actually have to be there to MANAGE people - and from my own retail experience - Buy More managers would probably not go on customer calls that didn't involve major clients.

I think a good way to have Chuck evolve would be to give him a job at a major computer company where he would still have to do a lot of "field work". They could have the more major Buy More guys follow him as lower-level hacks since they obviously have SOME computer skills. Morgan and Big Al (? I can't believe I forgot his name!) can be integrated through Chuck's personal life since Chuck moved in with Morgan and Al(?) is still dating Morgan's mother. Casey really wouldn't have to work side-by-side with Chuck any more since Chuck can mostly take care of himself.

I've probably been thinking about this too much, but the truth is, as much as I like the Buy More setting, I've begun considering the whole thing a little irrelevant too.

January 12 2010 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to H's comment
Gordon Werner

I'm sure the CIA is paying Chuck ... considering he is going on official missions.

January 16 2010 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they are trying to save money. Didn't they say they had to cut a bunch of characters? Instead it seems like they are going to limit secondary characters appearances. Kinda like what they did with Scrubs last year (or was it the last year it was on NBC?). Either way I enjoy the Buy More gang.

January 12 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually miss the Buy More gang. What I feel grounds Chuck are his family and friends. As he becomes less of a geek and more of a spy, he still needs something to anchor him in reality which I felt made Chuck different from the other shows. While perhaps Chuck, as a person, has grown beyond Nerd Mgr status, he still needs a life outside the CIA. Since he has his Stanford degree, I'd love to see Chuck actually get a freelance programming gig and balance that with the spy world (and not just as a cover).

I think the third ep was cute and fun, but it reminds me too much of the first half of the second season which focused more on the fantasy of the spy world and less of Chuck's real world -

January 12 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
M. Reddick

I could do without the Buy-Morons. They slow down the show and it's time for Chuck to grow up and find something (a job) more commensurate to his skills. Why not have Chuck and his best friend start a gaming company or a computer consulting company of their own?

January 12 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They've really been delivering the plot this season, so far. Awesome raises the stakes in an interesting way - he also handles himself the way a guy who has never failed does, which is a good counterpoint to Chuck's constant lack of confidence.

Buy More: Realistically, with Circuit City out of business, it's probably hard to find a place to film these scenes, since Best Buy is the only big-box electronics store left. Plot-wise, I like the idea that there's less of it, but don't get rid of it. Perhaps Chuck gets the well-deserved promotion to Asst. Manager in charge of the Nerd Herd, as he probably would have at this point in his life had he not been Intersect-ed.

Morgan: Morgan is non-spy Chuck, more or less. The relationship between him and Chuck is the way to measure the distance Chuck has traveled since the first episode. He must stay.

January 12 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

*Said in best nerd voice* Okay, Devon's nickname is Capt. Awesome, not Dr. ;)

I love the scenes at the Buy More, especially when it involves Jeffster.

January 12 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good episode but I have to agree that NBC made a bonehead move with the preview for next week.

January 12 2010 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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