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NBC's "Chuck" Sandwich is Tasty

I'm a little sad today, given the fact that it's absolutely tipping outside and I no longer have any new episodes of NBC's action-comedy Chuck to look forward to this season.

Though I do have to say that I was amused by NBC's optimism, what with their "look for new episodes of Chuck soon on NBC!" promo. The way that things look now, last night's episodes may very well be the series' unintended season finale.

But for what it's worth, last night's double dose of Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover" and "Chuck Versus the Marlin") definitely fulfilled my burning need to catch up with the crew of the Buy More, with two fantastic episodes that, as promised to me by Adam Baldwin, revealed Casey's backstory (and a romance with Ivana Milicevic, no less!) and advanced the plot and the characters. Plus, there was plenty of Jeff and Lester, who have become two of my favorite dopey characters on television. (Their Mammary Cam shtick was absolutely hilarious.)

And it's clear that Dunder-Mifflin employees aren't the only workers playing Call of Duty on company time.

One question though: was Anna on vacation during the entire Buy More "robbery"? 'Cause I didn't see Morgan's girlfriend anywhere among the employee lineup, nor did she appear at all in either episode. Which is a shame as I loves me some Anna.

On the other hand, it was great to see Captain Awesome and Ellie shine in a two-part storyline that had them bickering over their anniversary present (she wants a huge television; he wants... a washer & dryer) and turning to Morgan, who steps up with his own unique brand of retail therapy. Plus, it was about time we had the obligatory Ellie-wakes-up-in-bed-with-Morgan storyline.

These two eps really gave Captain Awesome a chance to shine. I loved his participation in the Buy More guys' poker game... until it was creepily revealed to be a game of strip poker (his reaction as he ran out the door was priceless) and the casual way in which he forgot he had two younger brothers. Also loved that Captain Awesome entrusted his great-granny's ring to Chuck while he came up with the best way to pop the question to Ellie. Aren't those two lovebirds just adorable?

Meanwhile, it was fantastic to get a glimpse into Casey's history, as seen through his relationship with AP photojournalist/French secret service agent/dead girl llsa. These two made quite a couple and it was clear that the sparks between them were genuine, even if circumstances kept pulling them apart time and time again. But, as Chuck said, at least we know that Casey isn't a "robot" and does in fact have human emotions that go beyond growling. Say with me, people: sugar bear.

Plus, what other series could get away with a hackneyed Casablanca joke and still make it work? Or have a fight as kick-ass as the one with Casey and Chuck tied to a chair as they whirl around, taking out baddies, before plummeting into the hotel pool below? (None, I tell you!)

Drunk Casey = funny. Especially when he's listening to Neil Diamond in his underwear.

Also loved the fight between Sarah and Pita Girl at the Wienerlicious as both put the brutality on pause to tell two would-be customers that they're closed. But what exactly was the thing that Sarah made drop down from the ceiling after pushing the buttons on the till? Color me confused.

While I didn't really think that Chuck would end up in a padded underground cell after his identity as the Intersect was revealed to the Fulcrum, I was hoping that the danger would be a little more intense. Do we really believe that Fulcrum and Pita Girl wouldn't have had a bug capable of transmitting the data directly to them? Or that Pita Girl would have kept the intel to herself after playing back the transmitter rather than informing her superiors? Or a colleague? Still, these are minor quibbles in an evening that gave me more thrills and laughs than I've had in a while.

Best line of the evening: "I don't want to die a man stewardess." Though to be honest, it was a tough call between that and "Way to go, Chuck! I always knew you could handle my family jewels."

Ultimately, if these two episodes do wind up being the last of Chuck during the current 2007-08 season, I can at least feel good in the knowledge that we ended on a high note and that, whenever the strike ends and crew can get back to work, I'll be waiting for another hit. In the meantime, good luck, Chuck. We'll miss you.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Ghost Whisperer (CBS); 1 vs. 100 (NBC); Friday Night SmackDown (CW; 8-10 pm); Grey's Anatomy (ABC);
Bones (FOX)

9 pm: Garth Brooks: Live in LA! (CBS); Friday Night Lights (NBC); Desperate Housewives (ABC);
House (FOX)

10 pm: NUMB3RS (CBS);
Las Vegas (NBC); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-11 pm: BBC America.

If you happen to be staying in after a long work week, why not do it in true Anglophile style with back-to-back episodes of Coupling and The Catherine Tate Show?


Anonymous said…
I loved last night but I couldn't figure out either what the thing that device was that Sarah activated. Could it be an emergency beacon?

How awesome was Ryan McPartlin last night? I think that he, Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky deserve their own spin off show.
Anonymous said…
Nice review, Jace. I agree, these were some strong episodes for the possible first season finale. Our leads got some juicy stuff and the supporting cast also had a chance to shine.

Oh, the device Sarah activated at Wienerlicious was a camera, I believe. It wasn't really clear, but judging by the angle of the video of the fight she submitted to the Directors, I think that must be what it was.
Synd-e said…
No, no, no! The line of the night was, simply:

"I need pants!"
Vance said…
The eps were AWESOME!

I still can't believe they haven't made Ryan McPartlin a regular yet. He's so good and his character constantly surprises.

Loved how we found out more about Casey too.

Sigh... and now we wait...
rockauteur said…
yeah the gizmo was indeed a camera... they played back the same angle to the bosses later on.
Anonymous said…
It was great to have something new to watch! I really loved the first episode with the lovely Ivana Milicevic and that awesome fight sequence with Casey and Chuck tied to the chair. The second ep. was good but I also found it hard to believe that Pita girl would not have told her evil-dooer buddies that she found the Intersect or that the receiver would not have been transmitting all of that information to them this whole time.
Anonymous said…
I love Chuck. That shows makes me smile. I have it TIVO'd so I can watch it again and again.
Unknown said…
I'd've chimed in with "It's a camera," too, but I didn't watch them until now. (I spent my week watching Torchwood season 1 on DVD.) These were great eps, and I'm sad all over again that Chuck's gone.

C'mon, does anyone really think the strike will end in time to produce anything for this season? Both sides have dug in so hard they both feel they'll lose face if they're the first one to give. So we have more gems like Cashmere Mafia, American Gladiators, and Paradise Hotel 2 to look forward to. Ha. Not me. I'm checking more DVDs out from my local library. I suggest you do the same.

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