3.13 Chuck Versus The Other Guy
It didn’t take much guessing who the ‘other guy’ was in this episode, as last week’s ended with Daniel taking Sarah away with evil intentions after finding out she killed his wife. But there are such important plot changes in this story that only those who are wearing spoiler retardant clothing should read beyond this point.
Chuck’s answer to this is to call in the cavalry, and just about every other part of the armed services with the possible exception of the Navy. But, is Daniel Shaw the bad guy we’ve been primed to expect? Initially, it appears not.
This was possibly one of the cleverest Chuck episodes yet, as it attempted to emulate Alias at its very best: Daniel is good, Daniel is bad, Daniel is much worse than you could imagine. But it managed to do this while throwing in enough funny scenes that it remained light-hearted almost throughout. Much of the credit for this goes to Joshua Gomez, whose appearances as the overly enthusiastic Morgan Grimes really counterpoints the dark spy elements. His scenes with Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Big” Mike) are superb, as is the whole notion he must resign from the BuyMore to become a spy. Except that’s never going to happen, is it? But then, here, all previously created Chuck rules start being broken, when Sarah tells Chuck that she loves him!
After Daniel convinces everyone that he’s not gone rogue, we then have a slick set-up where he, Chuck and Sarah go after the Ring leader, which turns out to be the big reveal that Daniel Shaw is, indeed, a Ring agent! But it takes Morgan to realise this and convince Casey that it’s time to saddle up and reclaim his rank. The preamble to this contains one of the greatest borrowed lines in Chuck, ever! With Sarah in danger with Daniel, Chuck enlists Morgan as his ‘team’, and together they’ll save Sarah. But Morgan tells him, “No, there is another.”…hilarious.
Chuck and Casey head to Paris to save Sarah, where Daniel has taken her to the very spot where his wife died. By the time Chuck gets to them, Sarah is immobilised by a drugged dart and Casey’s off catching Ring agents, and there’s a big fight where Daniel uses a knife, while Chuck defends himself with a fork.
The finale of this has a nod to numerous movies, but mostly the Hans Gruber death in Die Hard, where the dying Daniel tries to pull the drugged Sarah over the side of a bridge and into the river after Chuck shoots him. So the uber-twist is that Chuck does kill someone, but in a way that doesn’t alter his relationship with Sarah, neatly. Casey bags the Ring leader, and is reinstated with a special proviso, and – wait for it – Morgan becomes a spy!
This is all run at breakneck speed, in true Alias style, and they even threw some smart digital compositions in that make it look like they’re really in Paris.
My only concern is that this one episode blew Chuck‘s entire plotline to pieces, as at the end of it Casey is back, Chuck and Sarah are together and Morgan is now in the CIA! That does rather beg the question where do we go from here, as those sorts of resolutions I’d only really expect in the season or show ending.
Overall, an exceptionally entertaining Chuck where we finally got to see the back of Brandon Routh, although, this being a spy show, it’s entirely possible he could be back.
The highlight of the show for me was General Beckman ringing Morgan to tell him that he’s now part of Team Bartowski, and then cutting him off abruptly.
After a rocky start, Chuck has delivered some sterling episodes this season, of which this was just one. There’s a short break now until late April when Chuck returns in a story set on a train, I’m informed.
Check out our review of episode 12 here.