#Chuck versus the A-Team, a Geek-view

“These have a camera that scans for any bio residue”
“Yuck, sounds like a CBS show.”

Well Chuck, those CBS shows must be doing something right, since there are like 30 of them. Of course Chuck does a few thing right too, but of late the show has been uneven.  Some say that the removal of romantic tension has robbed the show of it’s drive.  There is something to be said for that.  The thrill is in the hunt, after all, never in the capture.  But the show has taken the road it has, for better or for worse so now they have to work with what they got.  And that’s a lot.   Two very likable, attractive, funny leads, a great supporting cast, and amusing premise that allows for a lot of story telling options.

There are a few things that get in the way, however.   The show might be a little to in love with the 80’s.  I love the homages, and the nod and winks, but  I think when Allie Adler left the show after the third season, they lost a strong voice in the writers’ room.  She was the one who effectively kept the Chuck/Sarah relationship an interesting, growing element.   She wrote many of the key “shipper” episodes,  (Chuck vs. the Truth,  Chuck vs. The Broken Heart, Chuck vs. the Honeymooners among others) . She left the show to work as an Co-Executive Producer and Writer on Greg Berlanti’s No Ordinary Family. While Chuck and Sarah’s relationship is still a core part of the show (heck the two of them are planning a wedding together). Some of the shine is off those personal scenes. There is a tendency to go for funny before touching, which is fine, but sometimes it makes the things seem go a little too silly. Like in this episode, I thought the Operation game was funny. But did we really need to see all the other board games (Mousetrap? Stratego??)

“Those two are like Terminators.”

So that’s what was up with the Gretas, candidates for intersects. Isaiah Mustafa was one of the more interesting ones, and Stacy Keilber was pleasantly surprising in the stunt casting, but this time around their roles were more serious and involved with Chuck and Sarah and the main story this time. Turns out Casey has put together his own team of intersects, ones who have no issues with their feelings or no compunction about killing when necessary. And it seems that they are getting all of Chuck and Sarah’s missions while our heroes are relegated to B team status, with missions like canine extraction. Sarah feels betrayed by Casey for going out and starting a new team, while Casey admits to her that now that Chuck is a full field agent and her partner in other ways, he felt it was time for him to move on. That he was only back up for them. It was not an unfair assessment, Casey and Sarah have had little time in the field together since the season began.

“You don’t want to let a beautiful weapon like this go to waste.”

So Casey is feeling left out. Does that excuse him for being seduced by the Former Mrs. Tyson (Guest star Robin Givens) to starting his own team of military Intersects? Casey feeling insecure about his place on the team, and talked into starting his own team, using Chuck’s dad’s intersect computer to make the Gretas into Intersects? Sarah feeling betrayed by Casey, not the emotional Chuck? Everyone seems a bit out of character. Morgan moving in with Casey? (Who moves in with their girlfriend’s father?!) And Morgan keeping secrets from Chuck and Sarah? Never. The only ones who seem themselves this week are Jeff and Lester. And let’s face it, who else wants to be them? I know this sounds like a complaint, it’s not really. Well maybe Morgan moving in with Casey. I don’t just see that. But Morgan is a odd one, so ok. (Just don’t pull that chocolate pudding stunt with Alex in Casey’s place.)

“Cia? What the hell kinda name is Cia?”

One thing that has been lacking is season is cohesion between Spy world and Buymore. But this episode did a great job unifying the entire cast. The hunt for Stephen Bartowski’s computer went from the Drs. Woodcomb home to the Buymore, where we discover Jeff and Lester doing psychic testing which leads the unknowingly to CIA, or as Lester things, Cia (as in Seeya later) to Castle and Director Bentley (Givens) and back to Echo Park, and Ellie’s hands.

Just like old times. Right?”

In a scene mirroring the pilot, Chuck, Sarah and Casey have to defuse a bomb. But because it’s four years later, and Chuck is now a real spy, with control over the intersect, the stakes have to be higher, so this bomb is nuclear. And this time there is no porn virus to download to deactivate the bomb So what can Chuck use to save Los Angeles from a fiery nuclear holocaust? Juice box anyone?
So maybe the point of all this “out of character” behavior? Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just 4 years later, and they have all grown a little. Sure Chuck has grown the most. He’s matured and become a spy. He has learned a lot from Casey and Sarah. But it also looks like they have both learned a lot from him, about teamwork and family.

Great quotes from this epsiode:

  • “I saw the Hurt Locker, Casey Okay? I know what happened to Guy Pierce.”
  • “Nice of Awesome to lend us his new Sienna” (Smooth Product placement integration)
  • “Are you about disarm a nuclear bomb using fruit juice?”
  • “In order to control my experiment, we’re going to have a second baby. Kidding”

About David Vandervliet

Once, King of all these lands, but now I am just an aging nerd. I enjoy talking about my favorite things to geek about, and hopefully I say something to make you think a little too. My favorite things include: Comics, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Science, Astronomy, Math, Music, theatre, movies, writing, baseball, college football (Go Blue!)
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