Chuck Review: “Chuck vs. the Mask”

C: So, in this episode we had the official kickoff of a love quadrangle – Hannah digs Chuck, Shaw digs Sarah, Sarah and Chuck dig each other and yet are attracted to the Superpeople.  Chuck’s reference this week to Shaw’s “Supermannish” good looks, by the way, was truly priceless.

M: I thought that was the second best line of the night.  Casey, as usual, had the best, which we’ll get to.

E: I have to say, that whole romance thing weirded me out.  Especially in their last conversation, it really seemed like Chuck and Sarah were over each other.  Really really strange.

C: It’s easier to see Chuck moving on, in that he’s a big old softie and therefore prey to any nice-seeming girl – plus the fact that their breakup was mostly his doing. But Sarah and Shaw… it came on awfully fast.  “The way you touched my neck at the party, it was… kinda nice.”  Really, Sarah?  Really?

E: That couldn’t have been less Sarah-like.

M: It feels to me like one of those bad movies, like Face/Off, where someone is impersonating a main character, and they don’t act anything like that person, but no one seems to notice.  This Sarah, season three Sarah, is nothing like the Sarah that has been keeping her feelings for Chuck at bay for two years.  It’s maddeningly inconsistent.

E: On the other hand, the neck kissing WAS sexy.  As were the surreptitious glances over paperwork.  Meow.  Brandon Routh smolders pretty nicely.

C: Oh, I don’t know.  It was all pretty obvious.  It’s clear now, though, what Brandon Routh meant when he said that as a fan he kinda resented his own character: clearly he’s a Chuck/Sarah shipper!  They did give those loyal fans one sweet exchange during the evening – Chuck’s “If I had to see you with someone else, it’d be a hero” and Sarah’s “What can I say?  I have a type.”

But honestly, I’m starting to be really over Chuck and Sarah’s nonstarter romance.  If Hannah were staying and were a more complex character, I wouldn’t mind seeing them both date other people for a while.  I feel they need to earn themselves a new reason to get back together, because Chuck’s over his days of puppyish pining and Sarah never had much to offer to begin with on the intellectual or emotional levels, except the fact that she could appreciate Chuck.  Though maybe that’s all a relationship really needs?

E: It’d be hard to know, since they don’t exactly have the sort of relationship where it matters if you have the same interests.  Like I said before, though, they really seemed over each other.  I’m interested in knowing where things will go from here, anyway, and how they might come back to the top of each others list. In unmixed good news, however, I think we can all celebrate the complete lack of Jeff and Lester from tonight’s episode!

C: Amen!

M: I don’t know, I like them, we just need them in moderation.

C: The ending was clearly designed to make us feel sad for Morgan, who has a crush on Hannah but can’t be shocked that she fell for his hotter best friend.

M: Who, by the way, is the reason she moved to Burbank in the first place.  Details.

C: But Morgan doesn’t know that.  You know who I really feel sorry for, though?  Casey.  Poor guy just wants to do his job, and he’s surrounded by emo kids playing footsie under the table.

E: Don’t feel too sorry for Casey.  He got his coffee just the way he likes it  – “black and bitter.”  Seriously, does he get the best writing on the show, or is his delivery simply unparalleled?  Discuss.

M: I say both.

E: I did feel sorry for Morgan though.  Do you suppose that this has put him totally off the scent, as it did Ellie?  Is it that simple, or will they (and Hannah) keep noticing Chuck skipping out?  This can’t last.

C: No, it’d be easy to predict the Hannah relationship crashing and burning even if we didn’t know Kristin Kreuk isn’t a permanent cast member.  The CIA and NSA are idiots on this show.  They’ve kept Chuck in a cover job where his absence is glaringly obvious to many civilians.  There are spies in real life – or so I hear – who get married, have families, keep their secret for decades sometimes.  But they don’t do it by pretending to work retail!

M: I said during the episode that over the past three episodes they have gotten amazingly lazy with his cover.  They weren’t lazy with it before, they didn’t call him out of the BuyMore every 10 minutes, and when they did they had fake customers for him to be able to log it under.  Even if it’s to drive the “everyone’s getting suspicious” plot arc, it’s poorly written and inconsistent, much like Season Three Sarah.

C: It’s that plot arc that I have a problem with – not only is it sloppy, it takes the show to a too-dark place if I have to seriously worry that Ellie and Morgan are placing themselves in danger.  Plus, it forces the show to resort to improbable hand-waving to diffuse the tension they’ve needlessly built: characters see too much, General Beckman threatens to put everyone in a bunker, Chuck does something clever once and the threat’s magically taken care of – till the next time.  They’re doing that too much.

And finally – did you ever see anything as ridiculous as the Ring headquarters?

E: That was very Get Smart, I thought.  Preposterously over the top.  And, actually, it looked a bit like the high council on Krypton in Superman 2.  Maybe that’s more of what they were going for?

C: I thought the exact same thing!!  But if that’s the intention… I still don’t think it’s an excuse for being that goofy.

M: Actually, I thought it looked like the “future” in Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, from which Clarence Clemons sent George Carlin back to save Bill and Ted when their separation was imminent.  You know, the place where they sure did play excellent music.

C: Party on, dudes.

M: All in all, I think they need to make Chuck more fun again.  I mean, he only flashed twice in the episode, and only in minor moments, and as a whole the episode was their second in a row without a lot of humor.  Heck, Chuck hasn’t had to use “the morgan” in a long time, either.  Arg, too much emo, not enough fun.

This entry was posted in Chuck, TV.

5 comments on “Chuck Review: “Chuck vs. the Mask”

  1. thepresidentrix says:

    Ugh, Chuck, why? That’s my primary sentiment after last night. (Good thing Castle was fabulous, though it looks like a rerun again next week, bleh).

    1. Shaw used to give me the vapors, but the moment he started coming onto Sarah, I was *grossed out.* I guess all the other guys on the show have to subject the women they like to possessive come-ons or we wouldn’t appreciate Chuck as much as we do. And, well, Awesome. And Casey for not really coming onto anyone. They better watch it or Casey’s gonna end up being my favorite character, and I don’t just mean the one with the funniest one-liners (obviously!) I mean the one I would most want to hang out with.

    2. It’s not KK’s fault if the plot demands her character be all, ‘You screwed up! You’re weird, and I’ll never be your friend again, though I will continue to work at your lousy retail job!’ one minute and ‘You saved my life! I heart you, Chuck! Let’s snog!’ the next, but I was like, ‘EGADS, IT’S THE SMALLVILLES ALL OVER AGAIN.’ I mean, I stopped watching that show to get away from that nonsense.

    3. Morgan and Ellie’s secret knock heartily amused me, but I wish they had gone through with the Chuck heartbreak intervention. I think that would have been funnier than what we got. I hate that they’re making me feel bad for Morgan not getting the girl after he’s been so intensively *lying* to her for days and days in preparation for what was sure to be a really meaningful relationship.

    4. Ew, Shaw, ew. I said that already, but I needed to say it again. I don’t think any number of crisp white dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up will fix this one.

    5. I am really disappointed that they just shot that guy in Ring HQ. I thought a trap-door was going to open underneath him. Maybe a trap-door to a shark tank? I think they missed an opportunity there. Or maybe I’ve just watched too much Kim Possible.

    6. If Chuck had enough time to acquire a spare mask and make it to the museum before Hannah suffocated (-15 minutes, according to the bad guy), how could he *not* have enough time to get back to the Castle in less than the remaining forty-five minutes???

    7. So Sarah can’t date an asset (or, now, a fellow spy), but she can date her boss? This episode reminded me why I’ve never *exactly* been a Chuck/Sarah shipper. I love Chuck and he loves Sarah, and I don’t want him to be unhappy and lonely all the time. But they can’t keep stringing us along forever, keeping us convinced that Sarah is the only girl for Chuck, if she never becomes someone that *we* can trust with his feelings.

    8. I don’t know if I’m just telling myself this to make myself feel better, but I’m convinced that Shaw and Hannah are both enemy operatives. It would explain her suddenly throwing herself at Chuck and him saying all creepy-like, ‘I’m the safest guy in the world.’ That is an INSANE thing for any spy to say. IT CAN ONLY MEAN HE’S EVIL! Despite being so pretty.

    • M says:

      It should have been a trap door to a tank with sharks, but not just any sharks, they should have been frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams!

    • E says:

      3. Snort. You’re so right about the lying. And the knock.

      5. I totally thought there would be a trap door, too!

      7. Sarah deserves Chuck because she’s hot and knows how to use a gun. That makes her the proper reward/mate for any sweet geeky genius, didn’t you know that?

      8. This idea has merit.

    • E says:

      Oh, and 7? I don’t see how it’s okay for Sarah to date Shaw, either. Perhaps because it’s just about the sexy and not personal, as it was with Chuck?

  2. Gina says:

    Kristin Kreuk, huh? I too used to watch “Smallville” (before I too gave up in disgust). I hope she’s developed a few new facial expressions besides (1) just about to scrunch nose, (2) scrunching nose, and (3) just finished scrunching nose.

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