Chuck vs. the Lethal Weapon
[Warning: there may or may not be spoilers in this review, but I AM going to assume if you’re reading it at all that you’re already familiar with the basic premise of the show and the characters last names and quirks.]
When last we had left Chuck, the love of his life (Sarah) had seemed to be falling for MI6 agent Cole, but Cole had been abducted by Fulcrum and Chuck’s secret was in danger because Cole knew about it and, as Sarah (and everyone else in the episode) said, “Everyone talks.”
Open a week later to Cole getting the stuffing beaten out of him by Fulcrum agents who want to know where the Intersect is. Will he talk?
Just as Sarah and Casey are getting ready to go rescue Cole, he shows up at the Castle, bleeding like a refugee from our local meat-packing plant. But that’s not all! It seems there’s someone in town who is one of the big-wigs with Fulcrum. Sarah and Casey decide to go after him but are abducted b Fulcrum agents, so—of course—it’s up to well-meaning but not exactly top of the spy school Chuck and Cole to go rescue them.
The rescue succeeds, but Chuck discovers that the Fulcrum big-wig is actually one of the people who designed the Intersect and who, Chuck hopes, might be able to get it out of Chuck’s head. [He’s also played by Robert Picardo, making for a reunion of sorts [I guess] with his old Voyager castmate Robert Duncan McNeil—one of the powers that be behind this show.]
If this seems like a lot to take in—and I’ve only covered about the first half of the show—it is. This was a fun episode in that it played like a good-old-fashioned Saturday serial with a cliff-hanger every few moments. Just when I thought it would slow down, they threw another wrinkle at me.
Now, I realize that the show is called “Chuck”, but I was impressed with how they have kept Chuck not only the sympathetic comedic center of a spy show, but the moral center as well.*
The downside of episodic television, though, can be that—often—to keep things going things are dragged out. So, while Chuck finally confessed his undying love for Sarah, some doubt was suddenly injected as to whether Sarah loves Chuck.
*I told the Grand Poo-Bah of Republibot.com that I would write this review while watching the newest episode of “Smallville”. I joked that I would write about the crossover ep between “Chuck” and “Smallville”. It suddenly dawned on me that there is a crossover theme. Both Chuck and Clark ARE the moral centers of their shows. I know you’re reading that and thinking, “Well, Duh!” but stay with me for a moment. What I will be interested in seeing is how long “Chuck” can maintain that. See, on “Smallville” they kind of have to because the show’s about [spoiler alert] Superman. But, on “Chuck”, they’ve decided to take a normal human being and have—while not always doing things right—always trying to do the right thing. Chuck has shown no signs of religion—and has even acted a’religious at times—but he makes for a pretty good moral lesson in that everyone around him looks to him. The screw-ups at the Buy More, when asked who’s their leader, invariably say Chuck (even though his spying has to mean he’s missing a lot of work hours). His doctor sister and her doctor fiancé? They think they are on top of the world, but when the chips are down they turn to Chuck. This is all a pretty good illustration of what I firmly believe: character will out. You can’t hide bad character … or good character.