Warning: this review contains spoilers.
5.10 Chuck Versus Bo
Over the past five seasons, Chuck has brought us some exceptionally crazy episodes, but on the insanity scale, Chuck Versus Bo was up there with the freakiest.
In the opening five minutes they throw some new ideas into play, with the notion that Carmichael Industries will get out of the spy game and become a cyber-terrorist hunting outfit. This seems like a thin plan, but it’s more about how they try to get there, as they take on ‘one final mission’ to retrace a moment in Morgan’s life when he had the intersect.It turns out that Morgan went on a ski weekend, found another pair of intersect glasses (how many of these are floating around?), and got exceptionally drunk.
But – and this is the bit where things got stretched, like a towing rope for a super-tanker made from mozzarella – he spent much of that time ‘making rainbows’ with no less than Bo Derek. And the totally weird bit: she’s not playing a character. She’s introduced as Bo Derek and constantly referred to by her full name, like they don’t actually believe it themselves.
On one level, I have to salute Bo for making an entire career out of effectively one movie appearance. And I’m not talking about the worst Tarzan movie ever made, but the one with the late Dudley Moore. And she deserves some respect for what she let them do to her in Chuck, which swings rather abruptly from hilarity to full-on creepiness. Yet I kept on wondering what on earth she was doing in here, playing herself. She appears to be exactly the same height as Joshua Gomez, which is probably the reason she ended up playing opposite Dudley Moore 33 years ago.
What’s good about this episode is it’s packed with plenty of gags, like they’ve been hoarding them since season four. Okay, some don’t work, but a few excellent ones do, especially those surrounding Jeff and Lester.
Their reoccurring trip to a wrecked sports car in the desert was a nice touch, even if they borrowed an idea from last season’s Doctor Who, with the writing on their arms to remember what happened previously.There was also a nice sequence where the team goes to another store to find that it’s populated by alternative versions of all the main characters from the Buy More. Oddly, both Big Mike and Lester’s alternates are women, though Jeff is still a man, though much older.
Another guest star thrown into this Chuck mixer is no less than Angus Macfadyen, who I thought was excellent as Dupont in Equilibrium (and great in Braveheart too). He plays the spy Quinn, for whom the Intersect was originally intended, who’s come back to retrieve his inheritance. I’m reliably told that he is the final villain of Chuck, so he’s likely to feature in the final three episodes to come. He’s a good actor, and I wasn’t tempted to keep wondering why he was in this, unlike my reaction to Bo – sorry – Bo Derek.
Overall, this wasn’t classic Chuck, but it kept me interested for its entire running time. The twist that got thrown in at the end was somewhat telegraphed, although I thought that Chuck would have put on the Intersect glasses in the Buy More shootout. In the end, it’s Sarah who puts on the shades to get her and Casey out of a bind, and as she’s already a super-spy, she’s now elevated to a new level. I just hope she doesn’t end up with frosted tips, as Morgan did.