There be spoilers ahead, so buckle up, Dorothy!
3.12 Chuck Versus The American Hero
I’ve noticed a definite tonal change over the last couple of Chuck stories, where the show seems drawn to being a spy drama rather than a comedy. I don’t think this mode should stick around long, as, although I enjoyed this episode for its raw pace and action, it wasn’t big on laughs.
The adventure starts with Chuck visiting General Beckman in DC, to be allocated his first assignment and told to go select his team of agents. With Sarah on his mind, he heads back to Burbank in an attempt to convince her to be with him.
This is the lightest part of the proceedings, where he recruits Casey, Morgan and Awesome to help him get Sarah back, who isn’t responding to Chuck’s overtures of love.
She assumes Chuck is a killer, and not the guy she fell for.
They track Sarah and Daniel to a romantic dinner, using a van they’ve borrowed from Jeff, and set about sabotaging dinner. This is funny, especially Morgan calling Daniel as a Ring representative, but a real Ring operative is also present and wants to contact Daniel. The Ring is interested in turning him, and ask for a meeting.
The later part of the story sees Daniel attempt to sacrifice himself by heading to a Ring rendezvous with a B2 bomber just behind him. The twist, and it’s a doozy, is that the Ring shows Daniel a video taken of how his wife died, and the killer is none other than Sarah! In the meanwhile, aided by the talking skills of Jeff and Lester, Chuck isn’t far behind, after leaving Sarah locked in Castle.
He doesn’t die in the air attack because Chuck saves him, but the story ends with him taking Sarah ‘to settle and old score’.
Gosh, Chuck doesn’t get much more dramatic than this. Chuck not only needs to win Sarah’s affections back, but he also needs to stop Daniel killing her!
This storyline was so engrossing I’ll even forgive it a few plot holes, like the one where Daniel’s tracker was removed, but the B2 bomber can still track him to drop its bomb. It also hints that the next episode will be pivotal, as Chuck either wins Sarah back or bad things will happen.
I’m also more than slightly delighted that Brandon Routh is nearly done here, because he’s not been the best aspect of Season 3 for me. Chuck needs to be funnier and slightly less like Alias-lite, despite how well it does this on occasions. But I also miss the referential nods the show once packed in. There were almost none in here.
At the moment, it doesn’t look like Chuck will get season 4, as NBC appears to be spinning around in total scheduling confusion since its Tonight Show debacle. I’ve got mixed feelings about that, because I wonder if Chuck would be better going out on a high rather than outliving its natural lifespan.
But looking at what else this channel has to offer, I don’t see anything remotely as engaging on the horizon, and perhaps, even the lesser number of viewers Chuck is attracting will look good compared with whatever they replace it with.
Chuck Versus The American Hero moved this show up a dramatic gear, and I’m now excited about how good it might get in the final third of the season.
Check out our review of episode 11 here.