4.5 Chuck Versus The Couch Lock
Some shows borrow scenes, plot points, and even entire stories from other sources and pass them off as their own. Chuck, on the other hand, has a more gentle way of adapting known resources and reworking them in fun and imaginative ways.
In Chuck Versus The Couch Lock, they borrow a scene from the classic Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn movie, Charade, in which people turn up at a funeral just to make sure the person is really dead. The person in this case is John Casey, who has been given a sedative drug to emulate his own death. The whole exercise is given added tension because the three ‘guests’ are his own squad members whom he put in prison for mutiny, and they want his right hand to open a vault full of terrorist gold.
If this doesn’t sound crazy enough, and it’s pretty wild, there’s an ongoing issue for Morgan who wants to tell Casey that he’s dating his daughter. How much better this was than the previous story was noticeable, as we had a lot less Chuck and Sarah dancing on the head of a romantic pin. We also had a couple of brilliant visual gags, and a great line from Jeff about ‘that’s a dumpster we know well’.
So, did Linda Hamilton appear, like the trailer suggested? Er, not exactly, no. Well, she’s in here, but not so you’d actually see her, but she’s on the phone. Linda, come out of the spy closet, please! It’s an old joke about actors phoning in a performance, but this is quite literally what she’s doing at this point.
I’d also like to comment on the number of professional wrestlers that appear on Chuck, more than actually are on the wrestling circuit, it seems. Dave Batista got on this one, along with Avatar star, Joel David Moore, but the special guest star is actually TV and movie vet, Eric Roberts.
They’re effectively the A-Team gone bad, and if that wasn’t enough, Chuck even recites the “…if you can find them” line from that show, just in case you missed the reference. Amusingly, all the names of these characters are computer companies or products: Mackintosh, Tim Isaacs (T.I., Texas Instruments?) and Packard.
In terms of the plot, and disturbingly the action too, it’s Morgan Grimes who carries the heaviest pack here, and Joshua Gomez pulls it off effortlessly. He even manages to sell a genuine chemistry between Morgan and Casey’s daughter, Alex, which, considering the character’s origins, is a pretty amazing trick. This is turning into the ‘Morgan’ season, which, given how far they’ve taken Chuck and Sarah, isn’t a bad thing.
Overall, I enjoyed this Chuck, but it came as a surprise even to me that NBC announced that Chuck is to get the back order of episodes, completing season 4. I guess that even if the viewing figures aren’t wonderful, they’re not as bad as some other already chopped shows I could mention. I can’t see it getting a fifth year, but then, I’d pencilled this as, at best, a two season concept when I first saw it, so what do I know?
Well, one thing I’m reasonably certain of is that Chuck will be back next week confronting The Aisle Of Terror, which, seeing they’ve cast Robert Englund in that story, suggests Chuck is about to do its own ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ story. This excites me so much I need to sit quietly in a darkened room with a stormtrooper’s helmet on, just to remain in control.
Read our review of episode 4, Chuck Versus The Coup D’Etat, here.