This week Chuck is Versus the Fat Lady, which, in the context of this story has a little to do with opera, but not much.
When we left him last week he was flush with the re-kindled love for Jill, as presented by the average girl-next-door looking Jordana Brewster. And much of the events here are about them trying to get some privacy to jump-start that relationship. It doesn’t really help that Sarah is obviously jealous, and Casey has a surveillance fixation. Chuck also gets sidelined with a National Treasure-style clue hunt to discover an encrypted list of FULCRUM agents that Jill’s boss hid very well.
As with previous Chuck episodes, this one moves effortlessly between farce, romantic comedy and action drama. One minute he’s caught showering with Sarah by Jill, and in another he’s outwitting enemy agents determined to get the list back.
His appearances at Buy More this week are very limited, and his cursory presence there has come to the notice of efficiency expert, Emmett. He’s not a big Chuck fan, and so decides to put pressure on Lester, Jeff and Morgan to find out where he goes when he suddenly needs to save the world. I’m slightly disappointed that Anna isn’t around these days, but hopefully she’ll come back soon.
This subplot unravels when Emmett thinks he’s worked out where Chuck goes, which is for romantic trysts with Jill. But his blackmailing of Morgan unleashes a dark revenge when he invites himself to an out of hour’s poker game. Chuck never has to deal with Emmett, because Morgan has that problem entirely covered!
The clues ultimately lead to an opera house, where an enemy Agent is holding Jill to get the list back, but with Sarah and Casey’s help, he’s outflanked.
The weakness of this story is the very predicable ending, which is rather obviously hinted at for at least half the running time. Eventually, Chuck and Jill get some personal time, while Sarah and Casey finish decoding the FULCRUM list…and you guessed it, Jill is an Agent. I’m not sure why this was a surprise, because Bryce was a rogue agent at one point.
We leave Chuck and Jill driving off into the sunset, while Sarah and Casey have no idea where the ‘intersect’ is. I don’t think he’ll be too pleased to discover that this relationship was rekindled for a reason, and it wasn’t love.
I’d rate this as one of the weaker season two outings, although the standard has been very high so far. And it still managed to inject enough geek-oids to keep me amused.
Here are some choice geek trivia moments from this week’s Chuck:
- Casey can sing, though not that well as he was supposed to generate a high C, and actually made an E instead.
- Before screening this episode was going to be called Chuck Versus the T-Rex.
- There is a reference to Vogon Poetry, which was in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.
- Buy More employees are taught to consider themselves states that are part of the country, BuyMorea.
- Chuck uses the imaginary Q36 game copier, to secure the encrypted data on the USB memory stick.
- A cover van used by the FULCRUM Agent is ‘Tuttle Electrical’, a possible reference to the family that also goes by the name of Orange Country Choppers.
- Jeff has a ‘prison mode’ where he tells Lester to ‘grab your shiv (blade) and make your move’.
- The flavour of the punch drink powder that Chuck and Sarah get coated in is Rootin’ Raspberry Hi-C.
- The opera used in one of the puzzles is La Traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi.
- On the Buy More TV wall this week is the 1957 animated classic What’s Opera, Doc?, which starred Bugs Bunny and, Elmer Fudd, and uses the music of Wagner. It contains the immortal lines:
“Oh Bwunhilde, you’w so wuvwy!”
“Yes I know it; I can’t help it!”‘
Oh Bwunhilde, be my wove!
“Kill the Wabbit!”
- The memory chip that gets destroyed is made by Corsair. It’s called the ‘Flash Survivor’, ironically.
- When Emmett is drinking his red ‘fuzzy navel’ drink there’s a continuity problem where he appears to have already spilt it over his hand at the first sip.
- Big Mike’s fish is fixed, as it’s back on his wall.
Check out Billy’s review of episode 6 here.