Chuck season 3 episode 10 review

Is Chuck trying to become Alias? Billy finds himself wondering where it's all going with the latest episode...

3.10 Chuck Versus The Tic Tac

I’m all for TV show sponsorship, as Chuck’s very existence is probably due to its relationship with Subway. But the tenuous insertion of this particular minty confection into the plot of this Chuck made me wonder quite where this strategy might ultimately take us.

But, in the final analysis, whatever deal got done to push candy was actually the least of this stories problems, because having hit a home run previously, this Chuck entirely struck out for me this week.

It was like none of the magic transferred, as, for starters this story was almost entirely BuyMore-free. With the exception of Morgan, all those characters didn’t get to appear at all, annoyingly. That reduced the amount of humour drastically, and it was left to Joshua Gomez to almost entirely carry that side of the show.

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What we got left with was a curious attempt by Chuck to become Alias for a week, but without Jennifer Garner’s iconic Sydney Bristow.

The plot revolves around creating something of a back-story for Casey, who was originally an ordinary soldier recruited by Tic Tac fan, James Keller, played by Robert Patrick. Except it didn’t really tell us much about Casey, other than he’s a softy who can be manipulated by The Ring into stealing a secret drug for them.

What Robert Patrick is doing in here, I’ve no idea, because he hardly appears at all. He has one scene when he recruits ‘Alex’ (Casey) that links to a modern meeting, then another when he turns up to jailbreak Casey, and then a final one where he gets his ass-whooped.

Okay, he then turns up in a final extended scene going back to the initial recruitment, but it’s all about Casey and not his character. He never turns into liquid metal, or provides any real reason for being specifically him. Yawn.

What this is all progressing towards, and this is a spoiler I’m about to drop, is that, because Casey acts to protect his ex-fiancĂ©e, he’s drummed out of the service by Beckman, to become a civilian once more. Beckman seems intent on breaking up Team Bartowski, because she also offers Sarah a job in DC, leaving Team Bartowski as a single player outfit, i.e. Chuck.

The writers here are engaging in another sand-piling exercise, where they break things down so they can later rebuild them for our enjoyment. Although each time they do it the threat that they’ll make real changes seems less believable, I feel.

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If this show had any upsides, one was the entire omission of Brandon Routh’s character, although I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him, unfortunately. And, there were some nice fight sequences, especially the one where Chuck took the pill that removed his fear, allowing the intersect to work as intended.

After the soaring heights of last week’s Chuck, perhaps my expectations were too high here, but the show certainly came to earth with a thud. I’m hoping that the next one, where Chuck goes on his first solo mission, can stabilise these rather wild oscillations in quality the show is experiencing.

Check out our review of episode 9 here.