3.6 Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler
I’ve worried about Chuck on a few occasions. It hit a bad patch in season two, I recall. But its current problems appear to be entirely self inflicted wounds to do with breaking the cycle of mutual affection between Chuck and Sarah. As much as this had become passé, it was always where Chuck was at its best. That and the utterly crazy stuff in the Buy More.
Desperate to do something different, Sarah’s appearances have become less and Chuck seems no longer focused on her. Is he more in love with being a spy then her? Surely not.
In Chuck Versus The Nacho Sampler the writers decided they wanted to move the concept of Chuck becoming a real spy on, to the extent that he gets a sobering lesson in how disposable civilian ‘assets’ are, and it’s all carefully constructed to mirror how he was once one. I got a distinct feeling from this story that the public demanded that Chuck become a spy, but now the writers get to make us regret what we wished for.
Chuck is charged with getting close to a fellow nerd who is working for The Ring, and stopping him handling over the weapon he’s developed to them. After some initial problems, Chuck uses the common ground he has with Manoosh to gain his confidence. That and the aforementioned Nacho Sampler!
What it’s mostly about is Chuck understanding how a spy might view an asset versus how that person might feel, and the obvious contradictions that brings on.
I might have accepted the weakness of this plot had it not been for the horrible use of Hannah (Kristin Kreuk) in her second appearance. Given how well they got on in the plane, Chuck almost entirely ignores her, sending her exactly the right signal that she walked into precisely the wrong Buy More and got a job. The only redemption is Morgan Grimes and his unique closet office, and that she tells Morgan about Chuck going to Paris.
Together with Devon’s inability to lie well to Ellie, this looks like it could unleash some chaos in upcoming episodes as they both try to find out what Chuck is really up to.
Overall, this was the weakest Chuck of this season so far, and far too long was spent setting up future plot points and not long enough being entertaining.
We need to see more theme referenced material, more Jeff and Lester, more Sarah, and more Casey being bad-ass. If Chuck is a real spy, then great. If he’s not, then that’s fine too, but the limbo in-between is just plain annoying.
What highlights these problems is that they replayed the ‘Vicky Vale’ sequence when Sarah first glided into the Buy More, which was magic. It was like Morgan and Chuck were remembering a golden moment, but one that had, unfortunately, passed.
I want Chuck to regain its composure, focus on the objective and execute like we know it can! The future of the free world depends on it, and possibly Monday night TV too.
Check out our review of episode 5 here.