Chuck Review: “Chuck vs. First Class”

C: This episode saw Chuck on his first solo mission – though “solo” is a subjective term, given that he called Sarah and Casey about once a minute and they ultimately stepped in to save him through satellites!  Still, it was exciting to see Chuck reaching for a place of competence and capability.  Sarah and Casey do baby him, it can’t be denied (though not always without reason).

E: Chuck did pretty well by himself in the end.  Sure, he got himself poisoned, but he flashed on those swords (eee!) and took out Panzer like a champ.  Now that, Human Target staff, is how you set an action sequence in a cargo bay. I’m just bummed Chuck didn’t get to use his nunchuks.

C: My feelings of last week are confirmed.  Shaw?  I like.  I like that he wants to help Chuck but also to let him stand on his own two feet as much as possible.  I’m still deeply suspicious of his larger agenda – and I wonder what on earth good he thinks five-year-old intel about the Ring is going to be – but I am intrigued by how they’re playing him.  You can’t fully get behind him, but he hasn’t given us grounds to dislike him either.

E: Not that it wasn’t obvious, but I totally called the dead agent being his wife.  But what’s with Kristin Kreuk and the all-Superman guest stars?  How will she work out as a member of the nerd herd, I wonder?  Can she possibly just be a nice girl genius, though?  Isn’t it far more likely she’s an infiltrator from the Ring?

C: I find it totally impossible to believe she could be a civilian.  I wouldn’t actually mind seeing Chuck date a civilian for a while – the tension with Sarah would benefit from a break, and we could do with another Lou a la the first season – but a beautiful mysterious traveling IT expert who follows Chuck back to Burbank to work at Buy More?  So not plausible.

E: Yes, exactly.  It’s annoyingly obvious.  And Lou?  I really liked Lou.  Boo.

C: The pranks at the Buy More are just seeming more and more irrelevant to the show.  It’s like watching a Shakespeare play, with the “low” comic characters interjected into the main plot at random intervals.  That said, I liked seeing Morgan make use of Casey’s fearsome powers to quell the insurgency.  About time someone realized what an asset Casey could be in Buy More politics!

E: But with those lines?  “Insurgents.  I hate insurgents!” Not to mention “If I was assistant manager, they’d be ready.” “Ready for what?”  “The Russians.”

And what are you calling low comedy?  I liked Jeff and Lester’s cabal of evil tricksters. Not to mention Shaw making Chuck use Jeff as a tranquilizer guinea pig.  (“I’ve read everyone’s files. Jeff Barnes will be okay.”) For crying out loud, they made a Manchurian Candidate reference!  I about peed my pants when Lester went into that whole Manchurian mindcontrol speech!  And hey, don’t tell me I was the only one reminded of My Bodyguard when Morgan asked Casey for help!  Long live Linderman!  Man I loved that movie.    And also?  Brilliant version of “Respect.”  Love love love Otis Reading.

C: I mean “low” in the sense it’s used about Shakespeare plays – you’ve got your heroes, and you’ve got your buffoons.  The comedy is funny.  The references are good.  It just seems, these days, that A- and B-plots have almost nothing to do with each other.

E: I got the Shakespearean reference, I was just – oh, whatever.  Your point is taken; I guess my quibble is with the word “irrelevant.”  Do they need to be intertwined?  I don’t find it necessary, or even all that desirable.  Speaking of pop culture references, who else wants Sarah’s “Frak off” t-shirt from next week’s previews?  Other than me, of course?

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This entry was posted in Chuck, TV.

8 comments on “Chuck Review: “Chuck vs. First Class”

  1. thepresidentrix says:

    I really enjoyed both Chuck and Castle last night! I thought it was an especially fun episode of Castle and an about average (by which I mean totally solid and routinely enjoyable) episode of Chuck. Not too many *unbelievably* funny lines on Chuck, but I found that the lack of blatant knee-slappage just highlighted how good Zachary Levi’s delivery can be. I totally chuckled out loud at the way he said, ‘What do you think they’re talking about?’ right before Casey told him Sarah and Shaw were probably talking about *Chuck.*

    I’m still totally worried about why Brandon Routh dislikes Shaw, because so far I still like him. He’s a little on the cool side – but it’s probably an affectation – and I’d be willing to bet the Grand Mission for the five year old intel was more than a little self-serving. (Shaw said last week that he’d been hunting The Ring for five years, which is exactly as long as it’s been since they killed his wife, so it’s probably a straight-up vendetta by now). But despite the fact that he’s hard to read and he did sorta ruthlessly mislead Chuck before pitching him into the deep end for the first time, I don’t think he’s a bad guy. If only he were meant to be on the show forever; I’m pretty sure Chuck and Sarah and Captain Awesome and even Casey could melt his cold, sad heart!

    It makes much more sense that Kristin Kreuk is some kind of secret operative, but my first thought was that they added her just for the Hot Girl factor and to replace Anna as the resident Piece of Meat. (Really, why a nice guy like Chuck would invite a nice girl to work with his coworkers at the Buy More is a little beyond me, LOL). I haven’t seen KK since I stopped watching Smallville, and I was impressed once again by the way you sort of warm to her normalcy immediately, only to find that her charm gradually tires you out and wears thin. But she was wearing a plaid suit, and you can’t go wrong with a plaid suit. Maybe she’ll turn out to be someone super-cool, after all?

    Haha, maybe she’s Shaw’s wife – though if so her secret won’t be a secret for long. Maybe Shaw’s wife is not as dead as he thinks?

    • C says:

      It would be kind of fantastic if Kristin Kreuk was playing Shaw’s wife – and just the kind of meta-hilarious casting I could see the Chuck crew going for. However, since he would obviously recognize her immediately and nothing like that came up in the preview for next week, I doubt they’re going there.

      BR’s comment about his character may have been meant to indicate something like “I’d hate this handsome, perfect guy for stepping in and eclipsing Chuck” – Bryce 2.0 – rather than that Shaw will turn out to be nefarious or toolish.

    • E says:

      Wow, you should totally write for that show. That is an AWESOME idea, KK being Mrs. Shaw.

  2. M says:

    I loved, loved, loved the Manchurian Candidate bit. Being that it (the original, not the remake) is one of my all-time favorites, how could I not, but the way Casey and Lester delivered their parts of it was just down-right awesome. That Chuck routinely draws upon beloved pop-culture items (Galactica, Lost, Rush, Fight Club, Die Hard, Back to the Future, etc) adds to its unmistakable charm.

    As for Shaw… whatever. So far he’s just a boring plot device, they need to add in a little personality. Casey is dry, professional and mostly unemotional, but he’s funny as hell. Heck, he’s funny grinding his teeth. Shaw is just there for looks so far.

    As was Hannah, who Chuck totally would have asked on a date, not offered a job, if it wasn’t TV. And the economy is bad and all, but I don’t think someone with the skill set she supposedly has would be that hard up that she’d immediately jump at the Buy More in Burbank. Which means that as much as I hope there isn’t, there’s got to be an ulterior motive. For crying out loud, writers, let Chuck have a normal date for once!

    • C says:

      I think Shaw *has* a personality. Either I’m biased because he’s so handsome… or you’re biased because he’s so handsome!

      Chuck would probably have offered Hannah a date rather than a job if she was going to be in Burbank. As it was, the job creates the opportunity for the date.

      • M says:

        Since I found him to be (somewhat appropriately) boring in Superman Returns, and on the other hand I find the Matt Bomer (Bryce 1.0 and 1.1, and also good looking) to be very entertaining and charismatic, I’m going to come down on the side of him being dull, and you being biased based on his looks. For the sake of the show I hope he proves me wrong.

      • E says:

        Maybe what M means isn’t so much that Shaw doesn’t have a personality as that he’s not fun or exciting. He’s got a personality – M just doesn’t like it. 😉

        • M says:

          If you believe he has a personality, please explain to me what it is. To continue my references to White Collar, Tim Dekay’s character is dry, muted and subtle, but has plenty of personality. Shaw, so far, moves the plot, and that’s it. If you can explain to me what his personality is, other than “stiff guy who makes people do things”, I will listen. The bit with the wife wasn’t really touching, the part with “Jeff Barnes can handle it” could have been REALLY funny, but was just ok. I’m not sure it’s Routh’s fault, it could be his, it could be the writers. I’m looking for more, and from Chuck I expect more.

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