October 4, 2010

Episode Review: CHUCK, "Chuck vs. the Cubic Z"

When Nicole Richie is the best part of an episode, you know that things are on a down slide. Unfortunately, the highlight of tonight's Chuck was in fact the former Simple Lifer. Then again, I might be trashing "Cubic Z" unfairly because I've been disappointed with Season 4 up to this point.

The A-plot of "Cubic Z" revolved around Chuck and Sarah talking about their relationship while babysitting/running from former baddies, Heather Chandler (Richie) and Hugo Panzer (Steve Austin). Last week, Suck had to deal with Sarah's inability to settle down, and this time around the show focused on Sarah's inability to start a life/family with Chuck. Yawn.

When you have two characters involved in a "will they, won't they" storyline, and you finally get them together, you have to make their relationship interesting. Right now, I'm getting bored with Chuck and Sarah, not because they don't have chemistry, but because the writers are throwing every tired relationship fight at us. We even got the cliched accidental proposal that's become commonplace on bad sitcoms. Seriously, the only thing more frustrating than watching Chuck and Sarah pine for one another is watching them deal with angsty relationship stuff.

Over the past couple of seasons, Richie and Austin had some great action sequences, and I was expecting some more, but no such luck. The big fight took place somewhere in Castle, and consisted of Chuck punching Panzer while he was in an air duct while Sarah and Heather had another girl fight. Bad lighting, distracting "fan" effects, and choppy editing made for a sloppy attempt at action. What was frustrating was Sarah v. Heather I was so good, and the rematch was a let down. That being said, the Chuck/Panzer fight in the cage was decent.

Going back to Richie, her performance was by no means great, but her acting ability has improved and she had some good moments. I also thought she did a job at doing what she was supposed to do, which was to get under Sarah's skin enough to have her come clean with Chuck, and to move along the Momma B arc (ever so slightly).

The Buy More B-plot was another throw away because it mostly focused on Morgan being in over his head as manager, and how he cannot pull off a major video game release. After tonight, I had no idea why they brought the Buy More back. It's supposed to be this secret CIA base with spies and all, yet a full scale riot broke out and no one stepped in to stop it. Also, having Morgan manage the store so far has caused his character to regress because he's back to being a bumbling schmuck who cannot control Jeffster, yet we're supposed to believe that he can boss spies around. I pretty much disliked everything about the Buy More storyline, and even Big Mike couldn't save it.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • This week's Greta (Stacy Keibler) was just as useless as the first Greta (Olivia Munn). When are we going to get a hottie that can actually hold her own...or have more than two lines.
  • Jeffster needs to go back on the lam.
  • CIA agents couldn't take Panzer down, but Big Mike could?!?!? Seriously?
  • No Awesome and not enough Casey makes for a lackluster episode.
"Cubic Z" was just another ho-hum installment of Chuck, and I hope Season 4 turns things around sooner than later, but I'm in for the long haul. It's just hard not to remember the glory days of the show and want a return to form.


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