3.3 Chuck Versus Thee Angel De La Muerte
Oh dear. I had such high expectations for the Captain Awesome-centric episode, yet even with a few charming sequences it never really took off for me. The paths of Chuck and Awesome cross when a banana republic dictator, Premier Alejandro Goya, becomes a patient of the doctor after an assassination attempt. Team Bartowski must stop another attempt on his life, despite Casey being known as the Angel of Death in his country for his previous attempts on Goya’s life.
A large part of this is wrapped up in a True Lies homage where the Awesomes, Chuck, and Sarah attend an ambassadorial function and tango their way around the dance floor. Unfortunately, Awesome may be able to do almost anything, but he’s not even Chuck competent at being a spy, so it all goes wrong when he gets Casey captured.
For me, it didn’t help that they used Armand Assante as Goya, an actor I’ve never actually forgiven for the diabolical ‘Rico’ performance he gave in Judge Dredd. In this the ham is thick, but then I guess that’s how he was told to slice it.
The problem I’m having with Chuck this season is the whole Intersect V2 deal, where, on cue, Chuck can become a tango expert or expert surgeon. He’s just too useful, and the opponents too rubbish. He needs some much better opponents or they need to limit him in some way, before he starts performing surgery while doing a tango.
My other complaint about Angel De La Muerte is that there was no Buy More and no Morgan. Considering that Chuck and Morgan now share the Awesome’s old apartment, that last bit came over as purely a cost saving measure. As it was put to me, and I concur, the Buy More is the heart and soul of Chuck, and their inability to resolve this with the current plot directions is a major concern.
Without the Buy More, Chuck is reduced to being a 70s style action show with the occasional giggle, and it has demonstrated itself to be substantially more than that.
In terms of the Chuck and Sarah relationship, they seem to be trying to twist the clock back to the start of season two where they tried to be ‘friends’, which is nonsense. They love each other. Can’t they just move forward from that, please.
There is, however, one change this season I approve of, which is that they’ve tried to put something in each show that is truly unexpected. In the first it was the death of Emmett; in the second it was Morgan’s sexual success, and they put a twist in tale of this one with the assassin coming for Awesome.
It possibly wasn’t the biggest cliffhanger ever, on the basis that the next episode is called Operation Awesome. This has one time cape owner Brandon Routh in it, so I’m hoping that his inclusion in the cast along with Joshua Gomez (Morgan) and other Buy More stars could turn around what’s, so far, been a flat trajectory for the new Chuck season.
Check out our review of episode 2 here.