January 13, 2012

Episode Review: CHUCK, "Chuck vs. Bo"

I have to give it to Chuck. It could have been totally content with wrapping up most of the character's storylines and coasting towards its series finale, but the writers decided to change the game again before bowing out for good. I'm so glad that they did.

After thinking long and hard about their futures, Sarah decided that she wanted out of the spy life once and for all. The idea of settling down and having a family started to sound appealing, but she knew that could never happen if she and Chuck were traveling the world to take down bad guys. In order to convince Chuck, she came up with the idea of changing the mission of Carmichael Industries to focus more on cyber-terrorism instead of actual terrorism.

Everything was about to fall into place when Morgan got a mystery package that contained his old phone which had a video he recorded during his frosted tips phase. The message was about a pair of stolen Intersect glasses that he took from a bad guy, but Morgan couldn't remember where he stashed them, so it was up to the team to find them. Their last mission took Carmichael Industries to Vail, CO where they started to piece everything together. Apparently, Intersect Morgan hooked up with Bo Derek, and he had to woo the Perfect 10 again in order to get some information that could lead them to the glasses. As it turned out, she ended up being a spy on a mission to find the Intersect for her boss, Nicholas Quinn.

Quinn's an ex-CIA agent who was supposed to be the first human Intersect, but Bryce Larkin changed the plan. After being tortured, broken and dismissed, he decided to go into business for himself. Coincidentally, his independent spy agency's list of clients included Fulcrum, the Ring and Volkoff. He planned to take back what he felt should have been his from the start and ruin Chuck while he's at it. After an unsuccessful attempt to get the Intersect glasses from the team at the Vail Buy More, Quinn kidnapped our hero and demanded that Sarah bring him what he wanted. A fire fight started up at the drop site, and Sarah and Casey were pinned down with no where to go. With no other options available, Sarah decided to upload the Intersect so she could fight her way out.

Wow! I was not expecting the show to pull out such a stunner towards the end of the run. I guess the last couple of episodes were there to lull us into a false sense of security before hitting us with Sarah as the Intersect, and boy what it effective. The thing is, we should have seen this coming. Everything was wrapping up too nicely, and things were bound to take a serious turn with four episodes left. I just wasn't expecting this move. What made "Bo" even better was the fact that it brilliantly combined action and humor without drowning it in too much sap, and it had an old-school feel to it which was just what I needed after all of the family heavy episodes from the last couple of weeks.

The only gripe I had with "Bo" had more to do with the overall structure of the season than with the episode itself. Quinn has the opportunity to be one of the more intriguing bad guys that Chuck's had to face. The idea  of an ex-agent having a grudge with Chuck out of envy and regret could lead to some excellent storytelling, but it's something I would've liked the show to explore for longer than a handful of episodes. Decker, Cunnings, Shaw and Ryker were all busts as villains because they lacked development and direction, and I'm not sure anything will be different with Quinn. I just hope that this is not another wasted opportunity. That being said, I am glad that we're getting another mini-arc to round out the series.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • This whole subplot about Jeff & Lester investigating the team has been a stroke of brilliance because it's made the two funny and relevant without being annoying. It's too bad it took the show so long to figure out how to use them so well.
  • Morgan's jealousy over Alex's "acting out physically" was a little trite, but at least it added to the overall plot. Although, I could've done without all of the rainbow talk.
  • One thing I will not miss about Chuck is Subway.
  • You really should never let the bad guy get away.
  • "Yeah, parents can't be shooting the paperboy."
  • "Where do I fit in? What am I, chief Googler?"
  • Chuck: "Things never turn out well when you say, 'one last mission.'"
    Sarah: "Is this because of some stupid movie?"
    Chuck & Morgan: "Yes!"
    Casey: "You never say, 'one last mission.'"
    Chuck: "Never."
  • Sarah: "Hey, Chuck. How's it going with Bo? Have you had any sneak peeks of your childhood crush's boobies?"
    Chuck: "What? No ... shut up."
  • Sarah: "Sorry I had to do that to your girlfriend."
    Chuck: "Oh, you didn't hit her in the face did you?"
  • "What is it with women and it's only physical?"
"Chuck vs. Bo" was the kind of episode that made me fall in love with the show in the first place. We got jokes, action, pop culture goodness and an entertaining story from start to finish. While I wish we had more time with Quinn, his introduction (long with Sarah's Intersect) has enough potential to get me excited for the final stretch.


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