April 28, 2009

Episode Review: CHUCK, "Chuck vs. the Ring"

I'm not going to just recap last night's epic Chuck season finale, but I do want to share what I liked about the episode, and what I felt didn't work.

Let me first declare my love for Chuck. I've never really been a television kind of guy, and there really wasn't a show that I had to watch week in and week out. Sure, I fell in love with Scrubs, but that wasn't until season 5 and the writing was on the walls. Now, Chuck on the other hand, I started watching since day one, and while season 1 had its ups and downs (it really got good with "Chuck vs. the Alama Mater"), I was hooked.

Of course, the WGA Strike had to muck everything up for every freshmen show, but Chuck was lucky enough to get season 2, and we all know the struggles up to date. Regardless, I'm still in love with this show, and it really got good during the second half of the season, and I found myself checking out the S.O.S. (save our show) sites, and buying a $5 footlong last night. Yes, I participated in a TV campaign, and that is something I thought I'd never do, but then again not all shows are Chuck.

So, on to "Chuck vs. the Ring"...

Things That Worked:
  • Down with Buy Moria: I've always thought that the Buy More cover was the weakest part of the show, so the thought of never seeing it again is exciting to me. Unfortunately, they'll probably figure out a way too keep it around.
  • Man Hug: Chuck hugging Casey was great. Even better was the quote, "See, guys can hug". I laugh every time Chuck rests his chin on Casey's shoulder. Brilliant!
  • The Tunes: This episode had too many great songs to list, and everyone of them worked within the context of the scene.
  • The Buy Morons: I HATE Morgan. I'm mean, I really hate this guy. I hate him more than I hate Sock on Reaper, and that's a lot. OK, maybe not that much. I'm not a fan of Jeffster either, but their antics worked tonight. Maybe it's because they were supposed to be f-ups this time around.
  • The Awesomes: They just exude WASPiness, but Devon is able to redeem his entire family. I love it when he nervously dances during Jeffster's rendition of "Mr. Roboto". He truly is Awesome!
  • Special Forces Wedding Planners: You could see this bit coming as soon as the soldiers crashed through the skylight, but it still made me chuckle.
  • Wedding Redux: Seriously, how cool was the second wedding? I have very few feminine moments, but even I was envious of the ceremony. And Awesome and the groomsmen looked sharp in those suits. Way better than the tuxes.
  • R.I.P. Bryce Larkin: I wasn't expecting Bryce to die in this episode. I was expecting Orion to die, or for Sarah to be kidnapped, but offing Bryce never crossed my mind. In the end, Bryce's death was not as cliched as the two scenarios I played out in my head.
  • Chuck vs. His Destiny: The show started out as Chuck being the reluctant hero, but when he realizes that he was destined to be the Intersect, and takes on the role for the greater good was a thing of beauty. Sure, it changes the dynamic of the show, but we all knew he'd be a full-blown spy eventually.
  • "Oh, Chuck me": The best quote since, "Unleash the Casey". I can just see the shirts now...
Things That Didn't Work:
  • The Mole & The Ring: Having a mole in Casey's unit was a little cliched, and the introduction of the Ring was a bit too much. We don't even really know what Fulcrum is, and now we have to worry about the Ring? Just a little bit of overkill.
  • Orion vs. the Intersect: I bought Orion being Chuck's father because of the whole Skywalker archetype, and it makes sense that Steve would test the Intersect on himself, but his flash was a bit much.
  • The Wrist Computer: Maybe it's just me, but when Chuck revealed his dad's wrist computer, I couldn't help but think of Wonder Woman.
  • Chuck Fu: My biggest gripe with this episode is when Chuck uploads the ability to kick bad guy ass via the new Intersect. It just smacked of a Matrix ripoff, and I even found myself rolling my eyes. It was just too much, but I did like the fact that they acknowledged the Matrix ripoff ("Guys, I know kung-fu").
So, it was a great night of television, and I'm excited about the possibilities of a third season of Chuck...if we get another season that is. Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but I think NBC will pick up an abbreviated 13-episode season. Chuck's proven that it has a loyal following, and it has maintained its rating over the last three weeks or so. Sure, the numbers aren't stellar, but they're consistent. I think that's just enough for a reprieve.
If this was the last Chuck episode, then I'd be OK with that too. All of the loose ends, and the current storyarcs were tied up last night, so at least there is some closure. Sure, we might not know what happens to Super Chuck, but it's not the end of the world. Heck, we might even get a movie like the Browncoats did.


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