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What Happens in Prague Stays in Prague: "Chuck" Gets Into the Spy Game

I have to say that I am really enjoying Chuck. After the rare hiccup that was the second episode, the series seems to be settling into its groove, delivering a series that's filled with action and intrigue but also some heartfelt emotion along the lines of What About Jake 2.0.

Last night's episode of Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Wookie") was no exception to this rule and it managed to deepen the characters as well as present the audience with a kick-ass spy caper, a diamond worth millions, and a terrorist group whose main contact in Los Angeles really did appear to be some sort of hairy Wookie.

More than anything, I enjoyed the character interplay last night as we got a chance to catch a glimpse into these characters' backstory. It's clear that Sarah is incapable of revealing any piece of herself that isn't carefully molded into her cover. Your heart would have to be made of stone if you didn't feel intensely sad when she couldn't answer any of Chuck's surface questions about her life: where she came from, her real name, her middle name... and even more so when she could only whisper that her middle name was "Lisa," when Chuck walked across the room.

It's clear that Sarah cares for Chuck in some way. I don't think she has feelings for him (though Carina seemed to think she did, even if Sarah hasn't yet realized it) but she definitely doesn't want to hurt him. Whether that means keeping herself shielded from his attempts to get to know her (in case she does have to leave or, you know, kill him) or lying about her relationship with Bryce, Sarah is playing for keeps. As for what she's getting out of this, I do think Sarah is being seduced by the relative normalcy of Chuck's life, filled as it is with penguin movies, pizza, and board games.

Still, I loved getting just a peek into Casey and Sarah's backstories, linked as they were by the indelible Carina, a spy's spy who is clearly addicted to the adrenaline rush brought on by her lifestyle. Why else would she break into Sarah's hotel room and attack her while wearing a stylish black number, complete with balaclava? Or tempt the Wookie by asking about the possibility of someone stealing the diamond... before attempting to steal the diamond with the owner a mere five feet away. Plus, the hidden jet skis? Classic. I'm hoping this Jane Bond turns up on the series again sometime soon.

I loved the way Carina went after Chuck and was clearly ready to seduce him for no other reason than she always wants what Sarah has (and clearly has already had or duped Casey into thinking she'll sleep with him); when that didn't seem to work, she spilled the beans about Sarah and Bryce's relationship, a revelation that I thought would be kept under wraps for the long haul on this season. I'm glad to see I was wrong as it instantly sets up a distrust between Chuck and his handler when things were going so well. Bryce has taken everything away from Chuck in his life and I'm glad that he now sees that, even dead, Bryce is still winning the girls.

And that's saying nothing about poor Martin. I mean, Morgan. His pathetic pining for Carina (and the kiss he received) was not only hysterical but touching as well. It's clear that he needs a woman, well, pretty desperately, considering how much better he was at Know Ya (or specifically about Chuck) than Chuck's "girlfriend" Sarah.

Finally, Chuck is proving that he's more clever than he thinks he is: using compressed air to knock the electrified diamond off its perch, sending the diamond to the CIA via a Fed-Ex delivery rather than let it fall into the wrong hands. Chuck might just make a pretty darn good agent, after all. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Next week on Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp"), Chuck gets involved in a case involving a deadly Chinese agent in Chinatown against Sarah and Casey's wishes, while Morgan finds himself in a sales competition that could cost him his job.

Comments

The CineManiac said…
You left out my favorite part, a wonderful one-liner from Casey:
"Studies show that smoking can be hazardous to your health, pick up a paper....from 60 years ago."
Genius!
Chuck is definitely my new guilty pleasure. While the capers certainly aren't mind-blowing in their complexity, there is a certain, silly, James Bond element to the show which makes it really fun.

If I want mind-boggling mysteries I'll watch Lost but for a load of laughs and some kick ass action sequences I'll be tuning in to Chuck weekly!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad you pointed out how bad episode 2 was. I thought I was the only one. And, you are also right about it getting better and better. I prefer Reaper, in terms of the slacker-must-become-responsible genre, but Chuck is growing on me.
Anonymous said…
With the story during the game at the begining, about how Sarah and her "sister" got sunburned, I am thinking that Carina is her sister.

Testing her with the ninja attack.

Telling the wookie that thay are sisters, and Chuck is their brother.

Carina wants whever Sarah wants.

Knowing what Sarah wants even before she does...
Anonymous said…
Great episode especially after the horror that was the 2nd one. This is the Chuck I want to see with a mix of romance, humor, and action. Glad to see that they are getting it right now.
Unknown said…
I'm glad the capers aren't complex--that's not the point (or the skill) of this show. (Leave that stuff to Alias.) For me, the fun is the interplay of the characters, not the missions.

I think it would've been better for Chuck to hear her say "Lisa" because this was the same as her not saying it--no concession at all. There has to be movement every week, or it'll stagnate.

Similarly, I'm glad to see Chuck not being totally incompetent; that'd get old fast.

BTW, the show was called Jake 2.0. :)

Have you been watching Reaper? I think that's an under-appreciated gem. Ray Wise is hysterical as the devil!
Jace Lacob said…
Skst,

Yes, the series was called Jake 2.0; I was making a comparison by smooshing that together with What About Brian: nerd turned superhero meets navel-gazing twenty-something.
Unknown said…
I forgot about What About Brian! I should've known you wouldn't make such a mistake, Jace. :)
Anonymous said…
for some reason i keep thinking that bryce isn't REALLY dead, although i know that's crazy. still, one can hope.
Anonymous said…
Hello! I like "Chuck" very much.
The plot is a very interesting. Actors and actresses are playing well their roles, especially Sarah and Carina. They are my lovely ones.

so, what do you think what kind of end will be?

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