January 7, 2012

Episode Review: CHUCK, "Chuck vs. The Kept Man"

More often than not, I enjoy it when Chuck focuses on the lives of Sarah and Casey. These glimpses into who they are tend to be some of my favorite episodes, which was why it was such a bummer that "Chuck vs. The Kept Man" didn't hit all of its marks.

Gertrude Verbanski was back from hiding, and she spent the majority of her time showering Casey with deep V-neck sweaters and some loving. She even had plans to take him to South Beach for a mini-vacation, but it wasn't all about pleasure. As it turned out, Verbanski needed Carmichael Industries to assist her on a mission to take down some arms dealers in Florida. Along the way, Casey became more and more frustrated with being Gertrude's boy toy while Sarah dealt with her own personal problems like possibly being pregnant. This being Chuck, everything worked out for our heroes in the end as they captured the bad guys, Casey and Verbanski made up, and the Bartowskis realized that parenthood could be their next big adventure.

You'd think that "Kept Man" would've been my kind of Chuck episode. It spent a considerable amount of time on Casey, who has proven that he can be a very interesting character who provides more than just muscle and grunts, and honestly I did enjoy most of his moments. While Gertrude was understandably aggressive with her advances, seeing John squirm as he tried to figure out his feelings for her was a side to the Colonel that we haven't gotten in a while. The added bonus of watching Casey's relationship with Alex evolve was also a nice touch that added some humanity to the once gruff agent.

My biggest issue with the A-plot had nothing to do with Casey or Gertrude but with Chuck and Sarah. For some reason, Chuck was really off-putting this episode. Everything about his revised mission statement for the company to his obliviousness about Sarah's behavior irked me, and what was even more unbearable was his cocky attitude about being able to read his wife's emotions and know exactly all of her wants and needs. I don't watch this show to see Chuck be all suave and full of himself. I watch it because he's a lovable nerd, so I was just not a fan of his this time around.

I was less annoyed by Sarah, but I didn't love her sub-plot either. As a long-time viewer, I get that part of Chuck's appeal is the combination of the action-packed spy life and the more grounded family life, so the idea that Chuck and Sarah might be parents someday is a logical progression. Yet, I felt that Sarah having to deal with the possibility of being a mother felt forced and rushed. Maybe it's because I've been burnt out by all of the family moments that the show's been throwing our way this season (which isn't a bad thing), but every once in a while I just want an old-fashioned action filled episode without too many feelings.

At the Buy More, the now lucid Jeff started to notice that some of his co-workers were acting suspiciously. As he and Lester did some digging, it became clear to him that something was going on behind the scenes, and he was able to piece together that Sarah and Casey were spies and that Chuck was somehow connected to their top-secret occupations. Morgan overheard Jeff's revelation and decided to recruit Devon to throw them off the scent with a tuxedo, fake dead drops, and workout equipment. The swerve was about to work when Jeff once again realized that something wasn't quite right and threw a dumbbell through a fake wall which exposed Castle. Fortunately, the quick thinking Morgan tranqed him and Lester before they got too good of a look.

For the first time in forever, I actually preferred the Buy More B-plot over the spy stuff. Making Jeff a normal person has been one of the best moves Chuck has made this season because it's made the Jeffster scenes more tolerable. While I don't know (or care all that much) how them knowing the truth about Carmichael Industries will affect the show, at least the Buy Morons didn't have me groaning throughout the entire episode like they normally do. Plus, I'm always a fan of Captain Awesome, Super Spy.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • I love Chuck, but he's no Jerry Maguire.
  • Now, I need to watch Downton Abbey because Alex told me to.
  • I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm over watching Sarah get out of a swimming pools. It's Season 5 people! Come up with some new ideas!
  • The words "banana hammock" make me miss The Todd. Espionage High-five *snap*.
  • Yvonne Strahovski was on fire this episode.
  • So, is that Chekhov's Hi-Tech Gun?
  • Lester in drag's something I cannot un-see.
  • "Haven't you had enough kidnapping, torture and bloodshed?"
  • "Are you kidding? What about the bombs they drop on Edwardian convention?"
  • Sarah: "Do you know how many skimpy outfits I've had to put on for this team? Did you hear me complain when I had to put on a catsuit, or seven inch platform heels, or a belly dancing outfit?"
    Casey: "Belly dancing?"
    Sarah: "OK, that was private. Just put on the banana hammock and stop whining."
  • "Yeah, cashmere. Nice. Do you mind? I have a tailor who can make me two sweaters out of this bad boy."
  • "Oh no. The housemaid is laying out coffee spoons with the dinner service. There's going to be Hell to pay at Downton Abbey tonight."
I guess that "Chuck vs. The Kept Man" wasn't a horrible episode, but it lacked substantial comedic moments, and even the action scenes were less than stellar. You add that to an irritating Chuck, forced "real life" issues and stalled narrative momentum, and you get a sub-par outing like this one. I just hope we're done with these kind of standalones, and that we're in for another fun mini-arc to wrap up the series.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail