I always get slightly disorientated when Chuck tries to do a plot-driven story rather than the usual spy chaos and Buy More hilarity. Chuck Versus The Dream Job is almost entirely plot orientated and as such something of a set-up for the season end, which is just three more Chucks away after this one.
What’s Chuck’s dream job? It’s to work for technology guru Ted Roark, played inexplicably by Chevy Chase of all people. Quite what Chevy is doing in here, I’ve no idea, but he plays the strangely Steve Jobs-reminiscent corporate geek acceptably, even if they don’t actually give him any really funny lines to deliver.
But the big surprise guest appears at the start, which continues where the last story ended, outside a mobile home in the desert.In a twist of fate that could only happen on this show, Stephen J. Bartowski is played by long lost time traveller and ex-starship captain, Scott Bakula. The Enterprise experience has clearly had an impact on Scott, who looks about 70 years old when he first appears. Except later on he look less old, so maybe that was ‘acting’.
Chunk went to find Bartowski senior so that he could walk Ellie down the isle on her wedding day, although her reaction when he returns home is to shout ‘pancakes’!
Ellie’s reaction is because when Stephen left he told her he was going for pancakes, and never actually returned.
What’s missing in this story is very much in the Buy More which is relegated to Chuck’s assignment to infiltrate Roark Inc and stop them releasing a new OS which Fulcrum have built a computer virus into. Lester and Jeff do make a brief appearance at the launch, and big Mike and Morgan have minor appearances, but this story is mainly about Chuck and Stephen.
What Chuck works out is that inside Roark Inc. there is another intersect, and a possible means to get the information out of his head. With Casey not supporting Chuck’s instinct on this, he’s forced to take out him out, with at least three tranquiliser darts. There is a lovely start to this scene where we see Chuck suit-up as an assassin for the very first time. He certainly looks the part and he’s becoming the spy the show has promised from the outset.
Once he gets into Roark’s building there’s a brilliant twist when, while he’s hiding, his father appears acting somewhat crazy. Chuck goes into action and takes out the five security guys with dual dart pistols, and tells his dad that he isn’t who his father thinks.
The double twist is that Arnold Vosloo, returning as Vincent, then appears, and Chuck’s father isn’t the crazy old man that he seems to be. If you watch the show you may have assumed that Vincent died on the chopper when the Predator attacked in a previous story, along with ‘Orion’. He didn’t, and Orion is Chuck’s dad!
They escape and break into the Intersect, hoping that they can remove the information from Chuck, but are out-manoeuvred by Roark. In the end Sarah and Casey appear to save Chuck, but Stephen is captured by Fulcrum.
While not the funniest Chuck this season, plenty of plot development made this move with some additional pace, and the pieces for a spectacular Ellie wedding finale are neatly falling into place.
What Chevy Chase was doing in here, I’m still none the wiser, but a guy has to be somewhere, I guess.
Next week Chuck goes up against the ‘first kill’, and I’m reliably informed this involves getting the help of a previously important character who hasn’t been around for a while. And no, they didn’t bring back Harry Tang, damn it!
Check out Billy’s review of episode 18 here.