Chuck Review: “Chuck Vs. the First Fight”

E: Best episode of Chuck since the almost-finale last year – who’s with me?   Secret messages, freaking awesome guest stars,  great fight sequences, terrific twists, comedy – this episode had it all!

M: I don’t know if I’d say it was better than Couch Lock

E: I would…

M: but it was definitely right up there.  There was a lot to like.

C: Yes, like Chuck’s patter trying to stroll oh-so-casually through Castle: “A lotta new faces around here, we should have a mixer, a get-to-know-ya, exchange fake names and backgrounds…”

E: How much did you love him making up names for the agents?  “Hey Tom, Jerry.  Hey Ginger.”  So cute!

M: You know, that scene kind of bugged me.  I mean, think about the history of the entire show… there have never been other agents in castle!  Even when they first rebuilt the Buy More and the Old Spice guy and Stacie Keebler were up there, no one but our main crew was down in castle.  Shaw, Morgan, occasional folks to drop off or pick up prisoners, and Casey’s team in the season two finale (BEST. EPISODE. EVER.) have all been there at points, but that’s pretty much it.  No redshirts.

E: Point taken.

C: That is a good point.  Who were all those people?  What were they doing there?  But the one person I do enjoy seeing down there is Morgan.  I never really believed they were making him part of the team!  And how funny was Sarah’s comment to him after he said Chuck needed some time to cool off? “But he always wants to talk about… anything.” Too true!

E: Now, M, I know you’re not a fan of the relationship stuff, and it has been totally overplayed, but this week it was perfect.  Chuck, in full on Miles Vorkosigan mode, talks about their fight with everyone but Sarah.  He even practices having the fight with Morgan (though, may I say, he does fine on his own when eventually it comes time).  And even better, Morgan has his first relationship fight – with Casey!

C: Oh gosh, the running gag of Chuck talking to everybody about the fight was so funny. And then when they finally made it up, it was by kicking butt to Florence + the Machine’s “Kiss With A Fist.” Awesome! (They do a great live show, in case anyone’s wondering.)

M: I agree.  I’ve been complaining most of the season about the way they’ve been handling the love stuff; well, this is what I’ve been looking for!  Keep it as a subplot, keep it comedic, don’t center episodes around it and work every aspect of that week’s plot so that it ties into the theme of the relationship drama.  Well done.  Now, what else did we like?

E: Sarah almost ripping out Morgan’s throat with her stiletto?

C: Yep.  And I liked the exchange: “Do I get to parachute out of a plane on a wild horse?” “No you do not, because… no one ever does. But you get to wear an earpiece.” “Sold!”

M: Agreed.  No clue where the writers came up with parachuting out of a plane on a wild horse, but left field isn’t far enough away for that.  Classic geekiness.

C: And then there was the amusingness of Volkoff-as-Tuttle, hamming up his “never been a field agent” glee at doing things like jumping out of plains. “It reminds me of that great episode of Alias. Love that show!”

E: True genius.  I love that show!

C: And it’s about time they gave Alias a nod, given they ripped off the Spy Mommy/Spy Daddy plot practically wholesale…

M: Yeah, that was the line of the night for me.  It was like an episode of Alias, and Alias was awesome… well, for a few years at least.

E: I totally called Tuttle being Volkoff, by the way.  The moment we saw the triangular disk, I knew.

M: I’ll admit, I didn’t call that he was Volkoff, but I knew then that he was bad, and that it was no coincidence that there were triangular discs.  And, for the record…  triangular disks?  So not buying it!  Computer disks are round, the square disks we used to use were just cases to protect the actual disk.  A triangular one wouldn’t work.  And no, that’s not important, but I am a computer geek.

E: Good to know, bro!

C: The triangle could hold a very small circle, right? Sorry, I quibble.

E: I’m so intrigued by the twist.  What was it that Mamma B flashed at Chuck?  Note that she said his father would never have exposed him to it.  His father moved heaven and earth to prevent Chuck from becoming the intersect – so she can’t just have been taking away his powers.  Something else has to be afoot.  But what?  Delicious!

M: Agreed, it can’t be just an intersect eraser.

C: Are we sure? I thought it was something else at the time, but afterward it occurred to me that her “your father never wanted you to have this” line could have meant the Intersect itself, not some new thing she was uploading into him.

M: I’m at a loss for what it might have been, maybe an intersect on Volkoff’s organization, like the Ring intersect, but that seems too straight forward.  Not sure.  But you know what else I want to know?  How the hell she knew about it, and where it was in the warehouse.  I mean, Quantum Dad was pretty secretive, and she and Volkoff didn’t know where the warehouse was, so….  what gives?  Was she really in contact with Quantum Dad all the time?

E: Whatever it was, it was not old technology, back from the days before Mamma B disappeared.  So yeah, interesting.  Anyone else disappointed that the flux capacitor didn’t turn Ellie into an intersect when she started the car?

M: You know, I knew immediately when Ellie saw the add for the car that it wasn’t a message, but that she was supposed to get the car.  However, I didn’t think it looked like the flux capacitor, I thought it looked more like something out of Tron (of course, my mind may be influenced by the trailers for Tron Legacy).  However, this was the second episode in a row where Ellie got the truth and no one hid things from her.  Hooray for that.

C: Even if the Mom mentioning the car first thing was awfully contrived… yeah.  I had a fleeting, dazzled moment where I thought they were doing a twist where Ellie was going to have the Intersect and not Chuck for a time!  But the writers are not quite that daring, I think.  Still, yay for Ellie getting some answers at last.

“<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –> The Literature/Film Reader: Issues of Adaptation. Eds. James M. Welsh and Peter Lev. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2007.

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2 comments on “Chuck Review: “Chuck Vs. the First Fight”

  1. otahyoni says:

    Oh my god, Timothy Dalton as Tuttle was SO UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL. He was cracking me up the entire time, even though I so knew he’d turn out to be evil in the end. It was worth it. “A tiny weapons stand-off!”

    • M says:

      I forgot to mention it in the review, but the “tiny weapon standoff” line was so fantastic. It only makes me wish they kept him as Tuttle for a few more episodes, stretched out the comic element he added before revealing him as Volkov.

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