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October 10, 2015

Review: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck Versus the Mask'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 9th 2010 1:25AM
(S03E07) This was the last 'Chuck' until after the Winter Olympics, so it was important that we made some progress with the intersect -- natch -- and also the Hannah and Sarah situations. Ever since she flew into Chuck Bartowski's life, Hannah has seemed too good to be true. Is she really? And what of Chuck and Sarah's on/off relationship? Fortunately, we got a good take on it all, as well as some edge-of-the-seat thrills. More after the jump.

You know that really cool scene in the Tom Cruise 'Mission: Impossible' movie where he drops from the roof to access a computer without ever touching the floor? They used that bit here, first with Shaw as the man on the wire. But unlike the movie, everything went awry. It took the Nerd Herd to save the day. Yes, really. IT to the rescue.

It was actually very cool that Hannah and Chuck had a geek-love moment while rebooting a computer system. Of course, if they were really nerds and not actors, they probably wouldn't be as cute as Zachary Levi and Kristin Kueck ... but would we be watching?

Vasilly had a vendetta against Shaw, which was a good excuse to get Sarah and Chuck back on the case. There were great shots of Yvonne's legs throughout the sequence, some kick-ass fighting, and a good deal of suspense with the vault doors opening, then not opening, while Chuck was hanging upside down.

Dang those security cameras. Wouldn't Casey and Shaw have knocked out that feed throughout the building, or fogged up the parts that showed Chuck? That seemed like a lame loophole, giving Vasilly a clue for getting the mask back.

Another thing that was strange was that once Vasilly saw Shaw, he didn't go after him on his own. If he had, perhaps the Ring wouldn't have snuffed Vasilly out. Did he think the Ring was going to congratulate him for blowing the mask operation and letting Shaw get away? A dead Shaw might have satisfied the Ring masters in the face of no mask.

Chuck's intersect and his smarts were used to good effect when faced with having to save Shaw and Sarah, plus Hannah. What we're seeing more and more is that Chuck is excelling at the job because he's not just a brainy guy or the intersect, but both. He saved Shaw twice in the episode and -- remember -- Chuck's supposed to be the trainee.

So now that Chuck has progressed to the point of autonomy, are Sarah, Casey and Shaw hitting the road to their next assignments? Chuck as a solo spy will not do much to help his love live, or his friendship with Morgan, or explaining his life to Ellie. To truly become an agent, Chuck may have to graduate out of Burbank and out into the real world.

Other points of interest

-- Morgan and Ellie put their heads together and decided that Chuck was brokenhearted over Sarah and thus acting strangely. Have they really been so oblivious to Chuck's behavior that they're only suspicious now? Apparently they've never seen 'Intervention' because theirs was completely off-hand and didn't include written letters or plans for whisking him to rehab.

-- The finale with Vasilly facing the Ring judges was a direct quote from the Richard Donner 'Superman' movie (the Christopher Reeve film) when Jor-El made the case to exile Zod and the other two. Nice inside reference to the other Superman, Brandon Routh.

-- Sarah and Shaw are a good pair, although the rule is that spies don't fall for other spies, so what the hell are they doing? They should know better. Remember Bryce? Remember Evelyn? Dead former loves are a sure sign that you don't mix spy business with romance. Even James Bond's wife was killed in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'!

-- No Jeff and Lester or Big Mike. No Awesome.

-- The mask was a cool-looking artifact, although with the pedestal stand it almost looked like an award -- the Actor's Mask for Best Performance goes to ... just watch, someone will steal that idea now.

[For clips and episodes of 'Chuck', go to SlashControl.]

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I thought they forshadowed Kubrik as a member of ring last week when we saw she goes to sushi place for lunch all the time like chuck goes to yogurt place.

They even talked about getting into an assests confidence.. and even though it was a lot about chuck.. i thought it hinted of hannah as well.

I think Shaws wife is prisoner and forced to work for the ring...that is why they sent him his wifes ring.

February 11 2010 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode really confused me, because up to this point, the only reason for Sarah denying her feelings for Chuck has been the whole professional thing. She seems to be afraid of another Bryce incident, falling in love with a spy. Just a few episodes ago, it was revealed she was still in love with Chuck, then randomly this guy comes in
(Shaw), and all of a sudden him and Sarah are together? The producer built up this character who was afraid of closure and relationships and then randomly gets with a new guy. It doesn't make sense to me. It's like creating a character with this huge insecurity problem and then solving it in one episode without any information as to how it happened. However, I am pretty biased, since my favorite character is Casey and
with Shaw in Casey's not seeing any action.

February 10 2010 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Chuck is slowly going the way of the Shark. If Hannah isn't Ring i'll eat my hat.

February 10 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nathan's comment
Eric H

If Hannah is ring it wouldn't make since, when you take into account the way she reacted to seeing Chick and Sarah on camera.

February 10 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt Dentler

CHUCK fans should check out Zachary Levi's new indie comedy, SHADES OF RAY, which just launched on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/shades-of-ray

February 09 2010 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the worst episodes ever of Chuck. The whole angle they are going of Chuck with Lana, and Sarah with Superman is just plain stupid. I'm very disappointed that I even watched last nights episode it was utter crap. And I love this show, I look forward to watching it every Monday. I know eventually it won't be this direction, but why even do it...

February 09 2010 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Sarah wouldn't date Chuck because he is becoming more of a spy then why is she dating Shaw then? Sarah excuses for not dating Chuck become more confusing every episode. I guess next she is going to start dating Casey because is a spy without a intercept in his brain.

February 09 2010 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to greatone's comment

Sarah said it herself, she prefers the Hero type, hence Shaw. I do hope Hannah does some good for Chuck and his self esteem issues he seems to have and she like Shaw are not two deeply inbed with each other as Ring Members. I could see that happening.

February 09 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problem isn't with spies doing spies. The problem comes if spies start loving spies. They have to spend so much time lying, including to each other, that real romance will always end in disaster.

February 09 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone else find it weird that Chuck is dating one of Superman's love interests and Superman is dating his love interest?

February 09 2010 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Swanson's comment

which makes me think that Hannah and Shaw will ultimately end up together. I also hope that hannah won't be a Ring operative since that would seem too predictable...

February 09 2010 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and Finally a Superman shout out!

Chuck (when describing Shaw ) said he was good looking "in a Superman-ish way"

still waiting for the Lana reference, tho

February 09 2010 at 7:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I took the thing with Shaw, Vasilly and the Ring a little differently at the end, especially considering Shaw's last line "I'm the safest guy you know" (paraphrasing from memory) and the way the camera lingered ominously on his face before cutting away.

I think Vasilly did recognize him but when he went to the Ring with his "It's him; I know it!" the Ring had to snuff him out to protect Shaw's cover because Shaw is actually a deep-seated Ring mole. If Vasilly knew this and went to confront Shaw, the secret might be exposed, so they killed him to keep it.

At least, that's how I felt when I watched it.

February 09 2010 at 7:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Amy's comment

I'm with you on that.

As for the "spies don't do spies" axiom, it seems that it is never actually a consideration. It's like "oh no, I couldn't have another piece of cake". They should never bring that bit up again as it never stops anyone.

February 09 2010 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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