Chuck vs The Matrix

So, as E stated in the opening, there are things that we agree on, and things that we quibble over. Well, sometimes the two overlap. Such is the case with one of all our favorite shows, Chuck, and specifically with the way that they ended the second season. Now, I know what you’re thinking. M, that show ended two months ago! Yes, well, through the magic of DVR, E just managed to finnish watching it yesterday. If you are a fan of the show and aren’t caught up, do not read on…

E wrote:

Just watched the penultimate episode of this past season of Chuck…. And wow! So much! I have to say, if the show WAS going to end, they did a great job pushing things forward. I can’t wait to see the next one!

M responded:

E, the finale is AWESOME. Two words immediately come to mind, but to not spoil anything I’ll only tell you the first one…. Mister. You’ll know when you watch it. Hoo-rah. FYI, I’ve actually kept that on my DVR, and just watched part of it again over the weekend.

E then came back with:

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Man, do the writers of this show know how to keep things fresh! Ah-mazing.

Awesome.

M replied:

Domo Arigato!

but C rebutted:

Well, put this on the list of things you and M love that I don’t.

E responded:

Clearly we should because I’m struggling to think what you don’t like. You must be afraid of the direction they’ll take, having downloaded skills as well as knowledge into him?

What I liked about it is that it works as a series finale as well as a season one [given that no one knew whether the show would be renewed when this episode was made]. In fact, in some ways it was so satisfying that I don’t know where they’ll go with what they’ve done. Chuck quit the Buy More! Morgan and Anna are moving to Hawaii! I don’t want them to take those things back, but what will it do to the show to change them?

C replied:

I like all the other dramatic changes – I loved everything except the last two minutes. To me the appeal of Chuck is that he has to use his ingenuity to get out of situations. The Intersect was always helpful but getting out of trouble usually depended on his brain as well as Sarah and Casey’s brawn. I’m not saying they’re going to stop writing Chuck as clever, I’m just saying that having a deus ex machina downloaded into his brain doesn’t exactly thrill me.

Also, as I said to M: quoting The Matrix? Doesn’t classify as a cute homage when you’re wholesale ripping off The Matrix.

M wrote:

To be fair to C, I completely agree about ripping off the Matrix. That scene would have worked far better if Chuck had said something like “Guys… what was that?!?!” and then collapsed, or something along those lines. That being said, I am with E on the finale as a whole, and like the possibilities of the new Matrix-y Chuck. First and foremost, the Mr Roboto scene was one of the greatest things ever filmed. From the introduction of Jeffster, to Papa Awesome (Scarecrow without Mrs King, for the record) calling Lester an Indian Lesbian, to Morgan’s “If you hit me you just teach me to hit” reflex to Awesome, to Awesome’s being cool with his own wedding being wrecked if it is to help Chuck-the-spy, to the blending of the music into the whole fight scene, it all works so well together, blending together all the wonderful elements of the show. What really topped it off for me was the song choice. Chuck WAS Mr Roboto! The lines that sum it up best are “I’m not a robot without emotion, my heart is human, my brain IBM” and “I’m just a man whose circumstances got beyond his control”. That sums up the first two seasons of Chuck to a T.

E added:

I’m totally with you on this one, M. I think Chuck should have made one of his fantastic patented shock faces, and fainted. Or kind of jumped away, aghast. To make this work, I think he’s going to have to combine he new found ass-kicking chops with his characteristic clumsiness. If the physical comedy isn’t there, they just lose too much.

That said, I think it can be done. I have total faith in the writers’ ability to keep Chuck himself, not to mention Zachary Levi’s skill at making Chuck’s constant state of horror work. It bothers me more, though, that we can’t go back to the Five and Dime (which is to say, the Buy More). And we can’t. There is no natural way to put them back there, and yet, how do you lose Morgan and Jeff and Lester and Anna and Big Mike and that white guy with the fro? I’m much more nervous on that front. Oh. And. I’d a conversation with C about this, but I was super disappointed in Chuck and Sarah’s aborted love scene. It was terrific – and then they started kissing. How could that be such a let-down? Very unsatisfying when people have that sort of chemistry yet don’t give good screen kisses. Off topic, I know, but you can put that in the category of what frightens me more than Chuck the Superhero.

Brilliant insight about Mr. Roboto, M. I can’t believe it, but I have never actually paid attention to the words of that song. I had no idea how apt it was.

PS : I didn’t “finnish” watching the show. Nothing to do with Finland went on at all.

M’s PS Rebutal: I have found that having small children who are learning to read the English language sometimes can be a problem in this regard. I followed the proper rules, since with only one n in “finish” the first i should say its name, and thus be pronounced “f-EYE-nish.” So sorry.

C responds:

I LOVED the Mr. Roboto sequence, and your reading of the lyrics as applicable to Chuck is fantastic, M. And I have to say that people who can write a one-two punch like those finale episodes deserve at least cautious optimism, even though they made what I see as a bad decision. I just wish they had left Chuck as hapless, physically inadequate Chuck. However, I am thrilled that Chuck will be back in the fall and I’ll be tuning in with excitement.

E and M conclude:

Well, that’s something that we all agree on!

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This entry was posted in Chuck, TV.

3 comments on “Chuck vs The Matrix

  1. John says:

    For the record, I don’t think that Chuck’s new “abilities” will change things that much. I don’t think Chuck will generally have the ability to use Kung Fu (and whatever other latent abilities he might have), he’ll only have them when he flashes, possibly in response to some kind of outside pressure – Sarah in danger, getting scared, getting angry (I think of The Incredible Hulk here) – he won’t have the abilities all the time. So most of the time he’ll be his normal self, and only when they need it will he flash and come to the rescue (and maybe he won’t even be able to some/most of the time, making it even more interesting). Maybe that IS a deus ex machina, as C said, but I think they can play it with enough of the standard Chuck style to make it fun.

    • M says:

      I feel the same way. From all the tidbits that the writers and Zach Levi (who plays Chuck) have been saying, it seems like these will be fleeting abilities. I think it will play out more like The Greatest American Hero, as opposed to Superman, where there are abilities, but they are sporadic, and he doesn’t have the owner’s manual.

  2. shasas says:

    just for the record, I think that the awkward Chuck is great. However, that storyline has an end date. Whatever the end date is, you cannot keep that up for long. It will work better for long-term life of the show if Chuck’s sister knows his truth… I think.

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