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Unleash the Casey: The Truth About Jill on "Chuck"

Closure is a funny thing.

Throughout our lives, it's easy to look back at experiences we had or mistakes we might have made with a feeling of unresolved emotion. For Chuck Bartowski, he was still--years after getting kicked out of Stanford--reeling from his breakup with mythical perfect girlfriend Jill Roberts. It was a breakup that sent our boy Chuck into a downward spiral from which he's never truly recovered. After all, he's still working at the Buy More and living with his sister in Burbank and hasn't truly moved past that formative experience.

Until now. In this week's episode of Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Gravitron"), Chuck finally is able to put to rest all of his resolved feelings of betrayal by ex-girlfriend Jill... when she betrays him all over again as an adult. (My advance review of the three-episode Jill arc can be found here.) In this case, it's not a casual breakup and the admission that she slept with Bryce Larkin (we learn that, actually, she made that up) but more the fact that she is Fulcrum agent hell-bent with her handler, the Leader, on getting the Intersect... and has played Chuck since the beginning.

This week's episode, written by series co-creator Chris Fedak, wasn't as strong as the last two installments but still offered up yet another hit of the series' trademark blend of humor, tension, romance, and heartfelt emotion, offering up a climax to the Jill storyline in which Chuck must use his relationship with Jill to lure in the Leader, the Buy More gang guards the merchandise before Black Friday, and Ellie prepares a perfect Thanksgiving dinner for Awesome's parents.

Did Jill underestimate Chuck? Hells yeah, but so does everybody else on an almost daily basis (there's a reason he's always told to wait in the car). He proved that he can be just as crafty--if not moreso--than two Fulcrum agents loose in the Castle. After all, Chuck is hero with book smarts and, well, he read the manual. He also was smart enough to lure her away from Sarah (who surely would have killed her) and into the Nerd Herder (complete with iPod capability) where he was able to use the remote detention program on her.

I loved the plant and pay-off of the Ferris Wheel, both in the flashback to 2002 in which we see the genesis of Chuck and Jill's relationship ("you talk way, way too much") and its eventual demise (thanks to, well, a gun in the gut) and that gorgeous near-kiss between Chuck and Sarah in which she instructed him how to get close to Jill without revealing that he's on to her. (Damn!)

What else worked for me? The fight between Leader and Chuck inside the Gravitron, which perfectly blended humor and action; Jeff's trip-wires at the Buy More; Big Mike tackling the Leader (thinking he's a criminal); the use of the lie detector to reveal Jill's true intentions towards Chuck and their future together; the Wrath of Khan-style hand-touching between Lester and Morgan at the Buy More while breaking out to get "real turkey" rather than the nasty microwavable meal Lester cooked up; Jill shooting Leader in the funhouse from behind the glass (even if it was, sadly, a setup); Awesome pulling Morgan out of the trash can with one arm; the fact that Jill and Leader were looking for Bryce Larkin... thinking that he had the Intersect.

My one itty-bitty complaint: would Ellie really be that wasteful that she would throw an entirely good (if a little dry) cooked turkey into the trash rather than freeze it for another use (say, soup?) or, well, give it to poor Morgan? And shouldn't Chuck and Sarah have invited Casey to Thanksgiving dinner as well?

Best line of the evening: "You're under arrest, Jill. And I'm breaking up with you."

Still, if anything was proven during the Jill storyline, it's that Sarah definitely has intense feelings for Chuck and that her jealousy and protectiveness of Chuck were stirred up by seeing him with Jill. That little hand holding at the end as Chuck and Sarah stroll into Ellie's Thanskgiving dinner? It could just be for their cover but something tells me that Chuck and Sarah's story is only just beginning...

Next week on Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Sensei"), Casey and Sarah send Chuck on a mission to get his mind off of Jill's betrayal; Casey discovers that his sensei is now a wanted rogue agent and becomes too emotionally involved in the mission to track him down; Captain Awesome's parents Honey (guest star Morgan Fairchild) and Woody (Bruce Boxleitner) make a surprise visit to Ellie and Devon to help plan their wedding; Emmett reinstates the Employee of the Month contest but Morgan, Jeff, and Lester have other plans.


I definitely liked the first episode of the "Jill Trilogy" best but last night's episode had some great moments. I loved Morgan's escape (aided by Jeff and Lester) from the Buy More to get a real turkey and that fight scene in the Gravitron was priceless!
CL said…
I loved the episode, but something bothers me. It's not the fact that Elle threw a perfectly good turkey away (well, not entirely), and it's not that Casey wasn't invited to Thanksgiving dinner. My question is this: Why didn't Chuck ask Jill if she was playing him before letting her go?!
rockauteur said…
Yeah I was definitely sad that Casey wasn't invited for Thanksgiving dinner also... but I guess he had his hands full with Leader (and Big Mike thinking he saved the day!).

I was sad in the end that Jill betrayed him again but saw that coming... now how come Bryce never admitted that he and Jill never slept together? Did Jill know from the beginning that Chuck was a spy or not until he admitted to being one?

I love how Chuck is so much more confident this year and is really making a name for Charles Carmichael... Good thing Jill and Leader are captured since they know his real name...
Anonymous said…
It was Jill who was in position to shoot Sarah in the back when Chuck lured her away.

Sarah didn't even know Jill nearly killed her until she overheard Chuck talking to Jill after he trapped Jill in the car.
Anonymous said…
Was it just me or did that episode have a very fast pace?

I am officially not a fan of Jordan Brewster. She did OK...BUT this was "The Jill" and I expected more.

I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only person that noticed that Casey wasn't at Thanksgiving.

I loved the Wrath of Kahn moment between Morgan and Lester!

Morgan was great in this episode. We need more Morgan!

Have the writers forgotten about Chuck's birthday? If I remember correctly his B-day was before Thanksgiving in season one.

Chuck and Sarah have been "dating" for over a year now with no acknowledgement.

Was Chuck vs the Seduction slightly based on the movie Gotcha!???
Linda Fiorentino's character Sasha Banicek.

These past three episodes did an excellent job to push the Fulcrum storyline to another level. Like Chuck said, “Is there anyone in his past that isn’t a spy?”
Unknown said…
I thought the best line was written: "Unleash the Casey." Not just "Unleash Casey"--but "the Casey."

Ms. Strohovski is definitely performing better with each episode (and I thought she started out wonderful). She conveys so much without words; I hope she has a great acting career ahead of her. The camera barely pans across her face when Chuck starts to talk about his great night with Jill, but you can see the apprehensive sadness on her face. Sarah's backwards glance when Chuck yells to her not to hurt Jill conveys disdain, disappointment, and sadness in the brief glimpse of her face. And, finally, when she overhears Chuck tell Jill that she made up his mind (to capture her) for him, Sarah is clearly proud and relieved. Great stuff!

After I saw this episode, I declared to my wife (who sadly doesn't watch it) that I'd give up Heroes for this show. High praise from me, indeed. :)
Dani In NC said…
I agree with all the high points that other people mentioned, but I also want to add that Morgan is much better this season. In the first season, Morgan ruined the show for me because he was so over the top. They have toned the character down enough that I can see why Ellie felt bad about excluding him from Thanksgiving dinner. The way he was last year, I don't think she would have given him a second thought. Now you can see that Morgan is a little quirky, but also that his heart is in the right place.

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