Chuck season 2 episode 8 review

The path of true love for Chuck has more than its share of potholes…

Chuck is one of those shows that can put a big smile on my face. It’s not only because I have a rather frightening similarity to the lead character’s life, including having the woman I loved run off with a best friend once, and being a terminal IT geek. Butit’s also because it’s not a show that takes itself too seriously, and it packs some infectious charm around its simple but workman-like concept.

Chuck Versus the Gravitron maintains the exceptionally high standard season two has so far set. The story goes on to resolve the cliff-hanger ending from last week where Chuck runs off with Jill – former girlfriend and enemy Fulcrum agent.

Boy, Zachary Levi has a tough life. In this episode he’s in bed with Jordana Brewster (Jill), must practice kissing with Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah), and his sister is Sarah Lancaster (Ellie)! Whatever he’s paying them to be on this show, it just isn’t enough.

In a now typical model, this episode has two threads, one which follows Chuck and the other that centres on the Buy More. Chuck’s blissful existence with Jill lasts a whole night before he wakes up and works out that Jill isn’t just a women he once knew, when he flashes on a text message from her controller, ‘Leader’.

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Sarah and Casey turn up and arrange to follow Jill so they can capture Leader as well as her. She takes Chuck to a fairground to relive a college experience, and then pulls a gun on Chuck so she can abduct him. Leader turns up and she shoots him, but this is part of an elaborate ruse to get her into the ‘Castle’, alone with Chuck.

There then follows an elaborate sequence where Chuck, Sarah and Casey end up in the cells of the Castle while Jill and Leader get access to their computers, all because Chuck keeps trusting Jill.

The Buy More story is light, but fun. It’s Thanksgiving in the USA this week, so Big Mike wants the store secured against thieves. He wants to go fishing, so he locks Morgan, Lester and Jeff inside the shop, because nobody has invited them to a Thanksgiving dinner. Jeff messes with the electrics in the door controls so they can get Morgan outside, who promises to come back with ‘real Turkey’. In doing this, they trip the alarm which phones Big Mike’s mobile to tell him of the security breach. This is pretty inconsequential until the end, when Chuck is followed into the store by Leader and Jill, pursued by Casey. Leader gets the drop on Casey, but not on Big Mike, who takes him out thinking he’s a thief.

Chuck almost lets Jill go, until he sees her aiming her gun at Sarah, at which point he decides to trap her in the special spy-modified ‘Nerd Herd’ mobile.

The Jill adventure is over, and everyone retreats to Elle’s place for Thanksgiving turkey. Hooray!

It’s a feel good story, with some great dialogue and fun moments.

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The Crème Brule of geekness in this episode includes these delicious layers:

  • Morgan’s first wishes are a Swedish Bikini Team and a flying Delorean.
  • Both Morgan and Lester’s favourite Trek movie is Wrath of Khan, as they re-enact a scene through the glass doors of Buy More.
  • Chuck’s message to Sarah when he releases her from the cell is “Unleash the Casey”.
  • At one point the parents of Captain Awesome are coming to Thanksgiving, which Elle describes as making their son seem “mildly impressive”.
  • Chuck has a Dune poster on his bedroom wall, which fits with a season one episode entitled Chuck versus the Sandworm.
  • Elle’s Test Turkey #1 is “too dry” after 3 hours and 7 minutes.
  • There are flocks of turkeys on the Buy More screens this week, strangely.
  • It’s almost impossible to fight someone in a centrifuge, like the one in the ‘Gravitron’ amusement ride.
  • Jeff has a t-shirt with a turkey on it, saying “oink oink”.

Check out Billy’s review of episode 7 here.