This review contains spoilers.
5.4 Chuck Versus The Business Trip
After a very strong comeback last week, I regret to say that I mostly find this who-is-the-killer story tedious in the extreme. Reading about the episode before it screened, I’d generated some optimism that was clearly unfounded. Perhaps it was the inclusion of David Koechner as Crazy Bob that got my funny bone tingling, given that he’s hilarious in Anchorman. But he wasn’t really funny here, and I can’t blame him personally, since he did his best with the material he was given.
What we got instead was Chuck claiming to be Morgan, hunting a CIA hired killer called the Viper sent to kill his buddy, in a sort of TV painting-by-numbers way. The word ‘formulaic’ doesn’t really do justice to how on-rails this seemed at times, and they also seem to want to loop back to the old Sarah issues about having a ‘normal’ life, something I thought we’d dispensed with a couple of seasons ago.
There wasn’t much in here that was remotely crazy, and even Lester’s attempts to turn Jeff back into the bozo he normally is seemed rather tame and unimaginative. Overall, it had me reaching for the cheese balls so that I can bulk up for Christmas.
If redemption existed here in any form, it was in the exchanges between Morgan and Casey where, upset at the way he’d treated his daughter, he convinced him to watch the Star Wars movies, starting with The Phantom Menace. Later on, Casey has a change of heart, and insists there are only three Indiana Jones movies, wearing his geek heart firmly on his sleeve in doing so. These moments I loved, because we get so few geek references these days, and the show seems to talk less to its core audience when it fails to address them so directly.
I’m going to keep this review short, because I don’t want to dig this show a deeper hole than the latest viewing figures suggest, but it wasn’t classic Chuck or anywhere near it. Chuck won’t now return to our screens until Friday the 9th of December, when I’m hoping that this final series can deliver some consistency and better stories than this episode presented.
You can read our review of Chuck season 5 episode 3 here.