Chuck season 2 episode 3 review

The path of true love is overgrown with poison ivy, in Chuck Versus the Break-Up

Chuck isn’t the most confident person in the world, and the person most responsible for that is Bryce Larkin. So his appearance at the end of the previous episode starts Chuck on a downward spiral, and the closer Bryce gets to Sarah, the steeper that descent becomes.

The mission they’re given is to retrieve a microchip, but now Bryce gets the cover of being Sarah’s partner, while poor Chuck is relegated to being a cocktail waiter.

Things just get worse when they get into the mission and Bryce and Sarah demonstrate their accomplished ballroom dancing skills, in possibly a slight nod to True Lies.

The mission goes wrong and Sarah comes to save Chuck, and gets hurt when a ‘Fulcrum’ agent tries to kill them both. Things then get slightly complicated when Sarah ends up in the same hospital where Captain Awesome and Chuck’s sister work. After Captain Awesome talks to Bryce, the latter realises that Sarah has feelings for Chuck, which could blunt her judgement and even get her killed.

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The pursuit of the microchip takes Chuck and assorted spies to a train station where it’s to be exchanged for $4.5 million. Except the exchange goes predictably awry, and then the Fulcrum assassin arrives to complete the mess. As the story unwinds it’s proven to Sarah that Bryce is right about her feelings, and that Chuck isn’t remotely close to being a real spy. It’s a reality check all round.

We return to the Buy More for the end of a threaded story about Morgan’s inability to handle some bullies from a sporting goods store called the ‘Mighty Jocks’. In it, Anna demonstrates her unique ability to use a photography tripod as martial arts weapon, and saves the day. This is by far the funniest scene this episode, and shows that although they don’t overplay their Buy More hand, it’s always sporting aces when it arrives.

Chuck and Sarah have an issue that’s not easily fixed. Amazingly it’s Chuck that’s prepared to admit his feelings, in the impossibility of their relationship. In a role reversal Sarah now becomes the fake in their relationship for the first time. All good comedies need a little sadness now and again, so this works pretty well and keeps things moving along nicely.

In a final twist Bryce gives Chuck some sunglasses with the chip they retrieved in them, and they update the ‘intersect’ in his brain. Chuck is now the latest version, but what the implications of that are isn’t explored.

This is the best episode so far this year, as creatively the show is climbing the gears. Sadly the viewing audiences are heading in the opposite direction, I’m told, which makes no sense.

I still have to pinch myself that this show is directed by Robert Duncan McNeill. Yes, the same guy who piloted USS Voyager for seven years in search of a girlfriend with cranial ridges. I’m not sure what sort of grounding acting for seven years on a sci-fi show is for producing and directing a romantic comedy, but he’s in most accomplished form here.

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Anyway, here’s the geek-ness in this Chuck episode.

  • The big push at the Buy More this week is Madden 09, grid iron fans!
  • One of the ‘Mighty Jocks’ Morgan attempts to throw out of the Buy More for playing Madden is toothy Michael Strahan, recently retired NFL player and defensive end for the New York Giants.
  • The game Morgan interrupts of is between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants. Mitt is playing as the Giants.
  • The Buy More just got the new Mac Book SMC Firmware update, so things are a little ‘nutty’.
  • Spaghetti Western music plays when Morgan and Lester have to confront ‘Mitt’, and two subsequent times.
  • You can’t believe how little leg room there is in a Lamborghini
  • At the ‘exchange’ scene some Bourne incidental music is played
  • The line “You got it? Yes. Take it!” is from the Brian De Palma movie ‘The Untouchables’, and is also spoken in a train station.
  • Lester’s advice to Moran in his cage fight with Mitt is to ‘sweep the leg’, as in The Karate Kid.
  • Chuck says ‘Charles Carmichael’ with bad Connery Scottish accent.


Check out Billy’s review of episode 2 here.