March 21, 2011

Episode Review: CHUCK, "Chuck vs. The Muuurder"

Much like last week, "Chuck vs. The Muuurder" had the potential to be a great episode of Chuck, but it fell a little bit short of what it could've been.

At the end of "The A-Team", General Beckman put Chuck in charge of the Intersect project after Director Bentley's super spies were a bust, so he had the task of picking a new recruit who could become the next Intersect. We were introduced to four potential successors; Lewis, Josie, Damien, and Brody. Team Bartowski were putting the recruits through their paces when Brody was murdered. The episode became a murder mystery with Chuck being thrust into the leadership role with Sarah and Casey backing him up. After some interrogations, a bomb goes off and traps everyone in Castle. Chuck started to doubt his leadership skills, and the tension was high due to the fact that they still didn't know who the murderer was, but by episode's end it was revealed that Damien was the killer and was sent by Vivian Volkoff to take out Chuck.

The main plot line started off great, and the idea of having a small gang of Chucks had tons of potential. It was even fun watching Team Bartowski testing the newbies on their physical skills, psychological profiles, and cultural knowledge. Unfortunately, the episode ran off of the tracks once the murder mystery took over because it was a pretty by-the-numbers story with very few twists. My biggest gripe with "Muuurder" had to do with the fact that yet another fun idea was introduced and abandoned by the end of the episode. I also wasn't a fan that Damien was sent by Vivian because it gave the impression that she's the new Big Bad, but I'm hoping that she's playing both sides and will end up helping Chuck and his team by the end of Season 4.

While Chuck was tracking down a murderer, Morgan was forced to show his leadership skills as well after Big Mike was kidnapped by Large Mart because Jeffster stole their pig. I'm just going to leave it at that because the entire Buy More subplot was a waste of time and was not funny in the slightest. It was made even worse by the completely shameless Subway promotion. Let's move on.

Ellie's story involving Orion's laptop continued, and she figured out that his work had to do with installing knowledge and skillsets into someone's brain without having to learn it. Devon started to worry about Ellie's obsession with her father's work, and even Chuck suggested that he swap out the hard drive in order to help his sister, but in the end he didn't make the switch and let Ellie continue her work. At the very end of the episode, the computer started a scan of the room while she was sleeping which prompted the computer to find files under the moniker "Agent X".

Since I wrote about my hesitations about Ellie being pulled into the spy world in my recap of "A-Team", I won't go into any more detail. I still think that's important that at least one of the major characters has nothing to do with espionage, but I digress.

"Muuurder" may go down as one of the most disappointing episodes of Chuck because of what it could have been. Opening up the world to a new Intersect, seeing Chuck be a project leader, and kicking off the transition to a new stage of the show would have been a great way to wrap up the season and possibly the show. Instead, we got an underwhelming murder mystery, an even worse Buy More plot, and everything was pretty much back to where we started by the end of it all. Such a wasted opportunity.


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