Chuck Review: “Chuck Vs. the Honeymooners”

C: Here’s the thing.  Whenever a will-they-won’t-they show gets their leads together, they have to navigate some pretty shaky ground.  Will they immediately throw new obstacles between the couple, and have viewers complain that it was a tease?  Will they let them be lovey-dovey for a while, and have viewers complain that the zest has gone out of the show? It’s almost a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario.

In “Chuck vs. the Honeymooners,” we see the aftermath of Chuck and Sarah finally getting together.  They decide that in order to have a relationship, they have to run away from the CIA.  This is showing my ignorance, but I’m wondering: can you not quit the CIA?  Are you really signing up to be a secret agent for life?  Because frankly, that seems insane to me, and just like asking for trouble.

E: Well, I think the point in question may be whether Chuck can quit the CIA, what with the whole intersect in his head thing.

C: Ah, right.  Good point.

E: It’s true though, of course they ought to be able to quit without having to go on the run.   But do we look to Chuck for realism?

M: No.

E: Rhetorical, bro.  Anyway, I thought it was a nice answer to the question of how the will they/won’t they couple will work once they’ve decided they will: they go forward together, being spies together, and loving it.

M: I agree.  In an episode that had a lot of fun, though very few memorable lines, I thought we saw a good blueprint for Chuck and Sarah togetherness…  working in synch with each other.  The best moments of the show, to me, were the synchronized punches, and the scene where neither could resist spying on the Basque terrorist, or resist telling each other what they did.  They have always been a good team, but tonight they made them a great team, and that’s what we need for the show.  And for the love of all that’s holy, please give them some time to be happy and together before throwing monkey wrenches in the works.

C: Agreed!  There’s a lot to like in this episode: adventures on a glamorous train ride through Europe, Morgan getting to save the day by being himself, Chuck and Sarah kicking butt while handcuffed together… It’s neat to remember how in the first season Chuck watched Sarah and Bryce Larkin fighting bad guys together and marveled at their smooth coordination, and now it’s Chuck in that place.

E: Oh, right, good parallel, sis!

C: Gives some emotional credence to Morgan’s frequent assertion that being a kickass spy is “what Chuck always wanted.”

E: Indeed.  I gotta say, I loved this episode. I loved them pretending to be Texan honeymooners, and making up cute vows. Loved the Western flavored opening, with the Hitchcock/Christie/Bond flavor added in.  What is more glamorous than a luxury train, wood paneled with curtains and chandeliers?  It’s a perfect honeymoon away from the spy game, since the satellite cameras wouldn’t catch them on it…  until, of course, Morgan figured out where they were.

M: That was well done.  Very much the kind of thing that Chuck would have done in the first season of the show, which is a good thing.  I don’t want Morgan to always be a stooge.  Most of the time, but not always.

C: Good point – if Chuck is going to be Mr. Smooth now, it’s nice to have Morgan filling the role of the stumbling-his-way-to-success spy!

E: And oh, Sarah and Chuck fighting together with perfect coordination.  All the crazy handcuffed moves!  The spins!  The scooter riding!  The stunt coordinators really outdid themselves.  And then there were the Canadian disguises (because everyone assumes Canadians are nice)!  Casey growling at Morgan, but being forced to give Morgan credit for actually helping!

M: Casey growling at Morgan was nowhere near as good as Casey grunting at Chuck and Sarah kissing.  Twice.  Classic.

C: Also, I really like the relaxed, happy Sarah.  She seems more like a real person instead of (to borrow TWOP’s annoying name for Alias‘s Sydney Bristow) a Spy Barbie.

E: And Jeffster.  Jeffster actually sounded good.  (Not to mention the glorious Nina Simone singing “Feeling Good” on Chuck’s record player.)  Unreal!

C: I dunno… it’s a cool tune, but not what I’d have picked out for Sarah’s new favorite song.

M: The guys did sound good, but as I watched Jeffster Unplugged I couldn’t help but question the song choice there.  As I explained to Mrs M at the time, and she felt the same way, the song fit the moment, but after looking at Jeff in the turtleneck with the glasses and hair, well, how could they NOT have them singing Simon and Garfunkel?

C: Ha! That would be hilarious, yet almost a blasphemy.

E: More than anything to do with Jeffster is blasphemous?

C: They’re always gross, but that’s not the same as soiling the memory of the world’s greatest singing duo.

M: In the end, I was glad to see that the writers are apparently reading our blog, and finally remembered that what Chuck always wanted more than anything was Sarah.  That was the massive gaping wound of the majority of this season, and I’m glad they were able to throw a suture on it.

C: And in further evidence that they’ve been reading, here’s a line that gave me great joy from an interview with Ryan “Awesome” McPartlin: “And now that Chuck and Sarah are finally together as a couple, Chuck is dialing back the relationship angst and serving up the adventurous, amusing fun that it does so well.”

Now that’s what I like to hear!

E: As General Beckman says, “it’s about damn time.”

This entry was posted in Chuck, TV.

3 comments on “Chuck Review: “Chuck Vs. the Honeymooners”

  1. shasas says:

    wtheck is with that (above)

  2. the presidentrix says:

    For me, this was the episode of Chuck where the fun came back. Casey and Morgan were a surprisingly effective comedy duo, and you’re so right that a happy, relaxed Sarah is a humanized, easier-to-relate-to Sarah. And not because a person has to be happy for me to relate to him or her, just… I dunno why it worked, but it worked. I was like, wow, Sarah, I really like you this week – and not *just* because Chuck likes you!

    I still think the emotional constellation of the show has run off the rails (WOW, how’s THAT for a mixed metaphor?), perhaps too far to ever be repaired. Chuck may not be a show about realism, and it has often been a show about convenient romantic obstacles and the like, but I will never buy that Chuck would consider skipping out on his sister – possibly forever – an acceptable option. And dude! Even if she and Awesome go to Africa, if the Intersect disappears, what’s to stop the heartless and diabolical American military industrial complex – and/or General Beckman – from putting Ellie in a bunker and waiting for Chuck to come give himself up? A Chuck from an earlier season would be worried about these possibilities. But they’ve been so determined to give Chuck only binary choices this season that Chuck doesn’t seem like a believable ordinary guy caught up in a bizarre world, anymore. Chuck’s character now operates by the same occasionally senseless logic that spy-world employs. Which doesn’t stop Chuck from being cute and entertaining and even sympathetic, but which does, in my opinion, speak to a decline in the show’s quality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s