This review may contain spoilers.
4.21 Chuck Versus The Wedding Planner
After the outright insanity of the previous Family Volkoff story, the pace was somewhat more sedate in this week’s Chuck, I thought. The idea behind Chuck Versus The Wedding Planner was simple enough: to reintroduce Sarah’s conman father into the frame before she and Chuck tie the knot.
What I did appreciate was the subtle, but well crafted nod they created to the classic Tatum and Ryan O’Neal, Paper Moon, where a father and his young daughter run aneffective con collaboration. What made these flashback sequences work so well was the young actress they’d cast to play Sarah, the implausibly gifted, Alexa Blair.
The relevance of Sarah’s conman background is then brought into stark relief when the wedding planner she and Chuck pay to arrange their union turns out to be on the hustle.
To find her and get their money back, Chuck and Sarah decide to use the resources of the CIA, which is, predictably, where things start to go wrong.
If I’m honest, while it did contain some laughs (the fake ‘flash’ for example), the whole exercise didn’t really hold together very well. When they did catch up with the wedding planner, she was the butt of one amusing sight gag, when she was hit by the non-lethal weapon, and then we never saw her again.
Equally this is now the second episode in a row where there was no sign of Jeff, Lester or Big Mike, and I’m missing those guys.
They did resolve a very long lived plotline about Casey, where it was finally revealed to Alex’s mother that he wasn’t dead, something they needed to have done a good while back.
My comments might be construed that I didn’t like this Chuck, but that’s not entirely fair either. Gary Cole, returning as Jack Burton (a dark and stormy night) is effortlessly charming. And, I especially loved Yvonne Strahovski’s rip on the Annie Potts Ghostbusters accent, when she’s takes on the persona of a wedding arranger to trap the bad guys.
It was all a little too contrived and lacked the sort of obtuse changes in direction that the show does so well. It ended up squarely in the comfort zone, rather than hanging out on the edge, where Chuck works so well.
With just three Chucks left in this year’s extended season, I was drawn to conclude that the show is in sand-piling mode, getting all the foundation set for the wedding finale. But before then, we’ve still got to resolve the ‘Agent X’ revelation, which comes in the next story to be screened in the US on May 2nd.
I really hope this story isn’t a bad portent that the remaining episodes are going to effectively be on rails, because I’d rather that, after four years (and no fifth announced yet), it goes out with a bang, instead of whimper.