September 27, 2010

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

Season 4 of Chuck continued to be a little slow out of the gate, but that doesn't mean that "Chuck vs. the Suitcase" was a bad just wasn't one of Chuck's finest.

A C.I.A. agent was killed in Milan by an evil supermodel using GPS guided bullets that she stole. Chuck and Sarah were on the mission while Casey was on the sidelines for some contrived reason, and the relationship goofiness ensued. Chuck continued to be the bumbling boyfriend as he was caught checking out the baddie, made a thoughtless comment about how Sarah hasn't unpacked since she moved in, and spent most of the time making amends. Despite the spat, Suck was able to accomplish their mission which culminated in a bad ass girl fight on a cat walk during a fashion show. Once home, they had a heart to heart where Chuck told Sarah that he understood where she's coming from, and she in turn told him that he's her home. Aww.

Back in Burbank, Morgan tried to convince Gen. Beckman that the new Buy More was too efficient, which took away from its credibility as a cover. Apparently, a store with good customer service would be considered an anomaly. Morgan's solution: bring back Jeffster and the rest of the Buy Morons. While fixing the Buy More, Morgan also fixed Casey's inability to settle down by convincing him to reach out to his daughter Alex.

We also got a dose of Ellie & Devon as they prepared for the little bundle of awesome that's on the way. The Awesomes' main role was reintroduce how Chuck's lying is going to effect the family, and to keep the Mama Bartowski arc going on in the background.

What Worked
At the start of "Suitcase", I was getting a little bored with the Chuck and Sarah relationship stuff. It seems like every episode's going to focus on these two hurdling the typical speed bumps that can be found during a long-term, committed relationship, and it's starting to make Chuck feel like a romantic sit-com. With that being said, getting to learn more about Sarah and seeing some genuinely sweet moments between her and Chuck make up for the little squabbles that we have to endure.

I actually enjoyed the Buy More B-plot, which was odd since I never like stories that focus on the Morons. "Suitcase" proved that using Jeffster and the rest of Buymoria in small doses can go a long way. Although, I don't quite know how I feel about Morgan's promotion to store manager

Some of the best moments of the latter part of Season 3 and the start of this season involve Casey and Morgan. This odd couple are able to bring out of serious laughs while also being able to add a lot of heart. For example, watching Morgan help Casey realize that he needs to establish some roots in Burbank and get to know Alex felt more genuine and emotional than what Chuck and Sarah were going through.

What Didn't Work
I'm probably one of the few Chucksters who really didn't want Chuck and Sarah together, and so far Season 4 has reminded me why I wasn't a part of Team Suck. I'm getting bored with the relationship, and I've found myself being less engaged when they're on screen together. I'm glad that the show runners have been able to combine the couple stuff with the spy stuff; I just wish the former was more interesting.

People love to give Glee crap for stunt casting, but I still believe that Chuck's a bigger offender. Tonight, we had four guest stars: Karolina Kurkova, Lou Ferrigno, Bronson Pinchot, and Isaiah Mustafa. Out of the four, only the Old Spice guy did anything substantial. I know that Kurkova's not an actor by trade, and she was brought in to look good, but her performance was beyond bad. Ferrigno's gentle giant routine was OK, but played out, and you would've missed Pinchot if you blinked. For the most part, the guest stars this season have brought nothing to the table.

Other Odds and Ends
  • I wouldn't mind seeing Mustafa's version of Greta again down the road, but why did he get more screen time than Olivia Munn? That's a crime if you ask me.
  • I love it how Awesome realized that something was off at the Buy More because everyone working there looked like him.
  • While I didn't love "Suitcase" as a whole, I'm never going to complain about seeing Yvonne Strahovski in her undies or in a men's dress shirt.
I don't want it to sound like I hate Chuck all of a sudden. It's still one of my favorite shows, but I can't help but feel that the first two episodes have been lackluster. The laughs, action, and heart just haven't been as present this season. On the other hand, I'm loving the fact that we're getting to see Sarah and Casey become more human thanks to their relationships with Chuck and Morgan.

I still have faith that Schwartz and Fedak will amp up the awesomeness over the next couple of weeks. Or maybe I should just get on board with the relationship sappiness sooner rather than later. Things'll probably start looking up once that happens.


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