Chuck season 3 episode 9 review

Under threat of torture, Billy reveals that this Chuck episode is a classic, as the third season finally delivers...

3.9 Chuck Versus The Beard

Last week I, and a significant number of other people, lambasted this show for where it went and how entirely wrong it all felt. In retrospect, a week is a long time in TV land I guess, because Chuck came back with the afterburners lit in an episode that can only be described as an absolute tele-visual triumph!

If you’ve not seen it, be relaxed. I’m not going to give the massive plot changes that this episode ushers in, but safe to say that it’s almost a wish-fulfilment list of all the things that I’ve been demanding pretty much from the start of the season. For once this year the BuyMore is exceptionally funny and the rocking Jeffster even make a one-night-only appearance.

The story all revolves around Chuck being left alone in Castle because of his failure to flash, while Daniel and Sarah go and pose as newlyweds. Then corporate sharks turn up and start doing due-diligence on the BuyMore staff and premises, and with everyone’s job on the line, utter chaos is not far behind them.

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If I have a disappointment, and it’s a minor one, it’s that stunningly yummy Kristin Kreuk doesn’t get to reprise Hannah. We’re just told she resigned her job! I liked Kristin. She illuminated every scene she was in like a pint-sized flash-bang! Unlike Brandon Routh who, for me, sucks the very gaps from between the molecules in the air when he’s about.

Very cleverly, and I may be giving phrase where none is required, the director of Chuck Versus The Beard keeps Daniel to a minimum in this story, while massively expanding the screen time of Morgan, Jeff, Lester and Big Mike.

It’s hard to quantify how much better this makes things work, but I found the show hugely entertaining from start to end. As has been talked about before, the BuyMore is the very heart and soul of Chuck, and when it’s good there, it’s generally great.

That director, by the way, is some guy called ‘ Zachary Levi’. Sounds like a ‘geek’ to me!

Without giving away what ultimately happens in Chuck Versus The Beard, this is a complete game changer for the series, and injected me with confidence that whatever doldrums the show sank to prior to this, from this point onwards it’s up-up-and-away! And embedded in that last sentence is a hint that one character still needs to leave, vertically, horizontally or otherwise.

With tons of narrative and some excellent dialogue you’d think that much time wasn’t left for the referential Chuck, but the Levi guy managed to get more in this one episode than I think we’ve caught in the rest of the season. There’s an especially brilliant one which takes its inspiration from the capture of Iwo Jima, amazingly.

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Anyway, stop reading this and watch this show. It’s fantastic (this week). Next week, I’ve been told is another good story coming that is all about the softly spoken Casey, which probably means for comedy, the body count will be high.

Check out our review of episode 8 here.