3.15 Chuck Versus The Role Models
I’m really confused about this episode of Chuck, not because the plot confused me or the jokes didn’t work, but it posted the lowest equal viewing figures of the season! Why?
In terms of this show it hit almost all the right buttons from the outset, with the wonderful Morgan dream parodying the Hart To Hart title sequence, the crazy tiger moments, and Casey’s unsuccessful attempts to make Morgan a spy. So, why aren’t people watching this?
This puts Chuck in the now seasonal condition of being ‘on the bubble’ between being cancelled and renewed, so if you love this show (which I do), I’d make everyone you know watch it in the next couple of weeks!
But back to Chuck Versus The Role Models. From the outset we’re told that husband and wife spy team, the Turners, are the finest agents the CIA has, but when they turn up, Chuck and Sarah are soon less than impressed.
What really helped their cause in selling the dysfunctional Turners is that they cast the brilliant Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies, and a million other shows and movies) and the amiable Fred Willard as the Turners. Willard plays an over-the-hill philanderer, while during the mission Kurtz downs tumblers of strong liquor with grand abandon. Kurtz does the outspoken drunk very well, instead of observing Chuck and Sarah taking over the mission by trying to locate the communication invading software they want to steal. I mean, it should be easy. It’s kept in a bedroom of the residence they’ve been invited to.
I should also mention Udo Kier, whom I always remember as the vampire Dragonetti, who is taken out to the shoreline to die in Blade. He plays the heavy, in his suitably menacing Teutonic style. Being such a nasty bad guy, he’s not protected his software with guards or electronic devices, but a Bengal tiger. This forms something of a running (bounding, leaping, clawing) gag, from this point onwards.
There are two counterpoints to this plotline, the funny one with Casey and Morgan, and the other with Awesome and Elle in Africa, where she’s having second thoughts about this lifestyle choice.
Towards the end, Kier’s Otto Van Vogel character turns up at the Bartowski’s residence (with his tiger) to get his software back and the Morgan/Case element neatly slots into the main plot. It’s Morgan who lures the tiger into the Awesomes’ apartment, much to Casey’s amazement.
Later, despite failing every test, Casey passes him because, in his words, “How many Marines would go up against a Bengal tiger unarmed? You’d have to be a complete idiot.”
With the story complete after the Turners hand their torch of super-spy couples on to Chuck and Sarah, there’s one last spin left in the episode.
Back in Africa, Awesome is struck down with what looks like malaria, but he’s been poisoned by The Ring, it turns out. That probably means that what the tiger did to their home is probably the least of their worries, incredibly.
That’s a perfect set-up for the next story, which I’m told has Christopher Lloyd playing a doctor. Expect that episode to reach 88 miles per hour pretty damn quickly!
I’ll be tuned. I hope you will be too.
Check out our review of episode 14 here.