Chuck season 4 episode 8 review: Chuck Versus The Fear of Death

Chuck reaches episode 8, and Billy finds the series is sinking, in more ways than one. Here’s his review of Chuck Versus The Fear Of Death…

Chuck

This review may contain spoilers.

4.8 Chuck Versus The Fear of Death

I hinted at this in my previous review, but Chuck seems to have dug itself something of a hole, and Chuck Versus The Fear Of Death seems to be the first of a two part story aimed at getting it out of that dark place. After watching this one, I’m not sure that they’re heading in the right direction, even if they made some sterling efforts to up the dramatic quotient of the show.

Almost everything in here pivots around Chuck’s loss of the Intersect power, and a very convoluted plan to get it back masterminded by psychologist Jim Rye (Rob Riggle). I’d say that Jim was possibly the most entertaining aspect of the show, but after taking Chuck to Switzerland (or let’s be honest, to a few hokey sets) and exposing him to dangers of increased lethality, he’s no closer to flashing.

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What Chuck does manage to do is to fall into the hands of The Belgian, played by the exceptionally well-worn Richard Chamberlain. He doesn’t get much to do, other than a bit of moustache twirling at the end. Good work if you can get it.

If none of this sounds particularly riveting, then I’m giving exactly the right impression. There’s an attempt to redeem this rather flat narrative by injecting Summer Glau (who plays Greta) for a Firefly reunion with Adam Baldwin. Stalked by Lester and Jeff, Greta has to be restrained from neutralising her annoyances by none other than Casey.

The writers of Chuck are obviously big Firefly fans, and even managed to get some dialogue from that production in here with “We are strong,” among others.

As mildly amusing as this was, it didn’t really counterbalance the less than thrilling majority. The Awesomes and Big Mike are all missing in action, unfortunately.

Those thinking it’s just me who didn’t care for this episode of Chuck may have a point, but the viewing figures suggest that this is a season low for the show.

I really want to see Chuck bounce back in the second half of the season, and get the series get back on track, but I’m concerned that the loss of focus they’ve experienced might trail it through the rest of the season.

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What happened to the cool, themed episodes? The really odd guest stars, and the humour? It’s not the Intersect that Chuck needs back, it’s all that and, some craziness too.

Read our review of episode 7, Chuck Versus The First Fight, here.

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