Chuck season 3 episode 16 review

Is this show crazy, or is it just the characters that need a shrink? Mark tries to figure out the latest Chuck...

3.16 Chuck Versus The Tooth

If season three of Chuck has lacked in any department, it’s been in having themed stories, something that both the first two seasons did often.

Chuck Versus The Tooth has a theme, and it’s not dentistry, but it’s not a very obvious subject either. The story revolves around how crazy people think others are, and how that influences the reactions they get. This plays out in two plotlines, the major one with Chuck and another more subtle one with Ellie, where The Ring are trying to recruit her.

Having ended the will-they-won’t-they aspect of the Chuck and Sarah relationship, the writers didn’t take long to come up with a whole new threat to their future happiness, and their weapon of choice is that the intersect is sending Chuck bonkers.

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He’s sent to see a shrink, Dr. Leo Dreyfus (Christopher Lloyd), who, after a most unfortunate incident with a foreign dignitary, puts him in a CIA asylum with other spies who went cuckoo. This is a very subtle gag, because the first named character that Christopher Lloyd played in a movie was Taber in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). This was entirely unexpected, because this show has referenced Back To The Future on numerous occasions, yet they entirely passed on those for something more obscure.

The other wholly unexpected part of this story is the scene where Anna Melinda Wu strides back into the BuyMore to discover that Morgan Grimes is no longer the same man that she unceremoniously dumped. The look on her face when she sees Morgan dressed in a tux striding in slow motion through the store is a picture, as is his contempt for her later in the story. Their scenes together are short but very sweet icing on Morgan’s particular character development curve.

I’m not sure if Anna will be back again, but it was great to see her again. Perhaps a cameo by Harry Tang, please?

I won’t give a synopsis as how things resolve themselves in this story, but from two different directions with Chuck and Ellie, we’re clearly heading to another meeting with Mr. Bartowski senior, which I believe isn’t long coming.

The standard that the Chuck team has maintained so far this season has been exceptionally high, and Chuck Versus The Tooth didn’t drop that ball. If I have a criticism of it in any way, Christopher Lloyd isn’t really exploited in the way I’d hoped, and he could so easily have been one of a dozen other well known character actors.

But on the upside, the way that Ellie’s character is being manipulated is great, she being the only core character now that doesn’t know that Chuck is a spy. Thanks to The Ring she now knows that Casey is one, so how long before she works out that almost everyone she knows is a secret agent of some flavour or another?

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What they’ve also thrown into the mix is the possibility that Daniel (Brandon Routh) might not actually be dead, which, given how much I disliked his character, I’m not overly keen on hearing. That said, it’s yet another fine thread for the writers to weave into their season ending of many colours.

With just three more regular season shows to go, I’ll stick my neck out and say that this season’s finale could be the best yet. And despite not the strongest viewing figures, I’d also put money on Chuck returning in the fall for a generous fourth helping.

Check out our review of episode 15 here.