3.7 Chuck Versus The Mask
I’m a big enough reviewer to admit I was wrong about last week, where I thought this show had somehow wandered off the path of true Chuck-ness. This became patently obvious to be about 10 minutes into Chuck Versus The Mask, when all the carefully placed dominos set up in the previous episode began to tumble in a mesmerizingly chaotic fashion.
The mask in question here isn’t some Nordic cast-off previously owned by Jim Carrey, but a gold museum exhibit which contains something important to The Ring. As such, it’s Daniel’s job to steal it Mission Impossible-style, which is where the show starts. He gets trapped in the exhibit vault, which has a nasty feature of sucking out all the oxygen once the alarm is tripped. It’s actually Chuck who comes to his rescue and he doesn’t use the Intersect, but his nerd powers to save him. Daniel survives, but the mask still isn’t in their possession.
But the added spice in this situation is that Hannah invited herself along to the museum, and both she and Chuck get asked back to make sure the grand opening of the mask exhibition goes smoothly. This gives Team Bartowski a second bid at stealing the mask, but it also sets in motion a wonderfully complex set of events where Chuck doesn’t know if he’s a winner or a loser.
And, I’m not going to tell you what happens, because my telling you would be like relaying coordinates of the Rodin’s The Kiss. What I will tell you is that Zachary Levi had an especially difficult week when they shot this, as he’s forced to snog Kristin Kreuk (Hannah) repeatedly, and at some length. Some people really take one for the team, and Zach went beyond the call of duty there.
So, with Chuck and Hannah getting on so well, where does that leave Sarah? Well, with Daniel, unsurprisingly. That sets up a very odd dynamic which I assume will get resolved in the next episode, which I think is Brandon Routh’s last. But I could be wrong there.
The sideline humour this week comes from the gloriously conspiratorial Morgan and Ellie, who even have a secret knock. Their sleuthing ends in delight for Ellie, and heartbreak for Morgan when they see Chuck and Hannah getting friendly in the Buy More media centre room.
If this week had a downside it was that we got no Captain Awesome, and no Jeffster, the latter of whom appear to be getting shafted by this season’s script writers.
What I really liked was the very end epilogue sequence where the failed Ring agent returns to his masters and is summarily shot. I’d put money that the leader of the Ring is none other than veteran TV and movie actor Robert Forster, who once flew through The Black Hole, and more recently appeared as Arthur Petrelli in season 3 of Heroes.
I hope it is, as I’d like to see the geek quotient pumped up on Chuck.
Overall, I really liked this story, as it didn’t have many flat spots and the developments it contained were interesting. The way that the museum had a security system installed without signing any service contract did seem rather implausible, but in Chuck you just have to roll with the often preposterous.
But now, having got me really excited, Chuck is going to leave me dangling, like Daniel from the ceiling, as it doesn’t return to broadcast until the first of March, when Chuck is versus the Fake Name. I can only hope that the oxygen doesn’t get sucked out of this room while I’m patiently waiting for its return.
Check out our review of episode 6 here.