The Awesome Open Thread

For The Pleasure of Our Canadian Cohorts

Because several of our favorite commenters get to see Chuck early, before the rest of us poor suffering bleeps south of the border, I thought we’d get a jump on first impressions of episode 3.04, Chuck vs. Operation Awesome.

Oh, go ahead, and feel free to write about spoilers. We won’t peek!

Right! It would be unprofessional not to. Or something.

The rest of us will join in on the ‘morrow.

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Fan Base, Observations, Season 3. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Awesome Open Thread

  1. OldDarth says:

    Boom. Boom. Pow! Jack Bauer eat your heart out! 8) Ryan, Angie, and Brandon all rocked this episode. Episode ruled. 8) 8) 8) 8) out of 8) 8) 8) 8)

    More tomorrow after it airs.

    • weaselone says:

      What about Zach and Yvonne. Did they also rock, or did Awesome and the guest stars carry the show?

      • OldDarth says:

        Zach out Bauers Jack Bauer. Yvonne does not have as much screen time but she has a few golden moments in the second half.

      • joe says:

        I’ll say!

        This is weird. I had a reaction to Chuck (the character) that I haven’t had before, even in Predator. It was actually a feeling of pride, like a son had grow up or something.

  2. Gord says:

    I am not going to give any specifics, but this is among the best episodes of Chuck ever made.
    There were times when I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair.
    The action was great, and Shaw was a rather intriguing character (at least in my mind – you will all have to decide for yourself).
    There is even some stuff in the episode for the shippers.
    Plus there was no Chuck/Sarah relationship angst.

    I will be surprised if anyone who watches it, doesn’t love this episode.

    • joe says:

      Intriguing is a great word to describe Shaw, Gord. I’m definitely intrigued.

      Fantastic comedy, (Fight Club! – and poor Casey (heh!)) but I’m most touched by how Casey and Sarah rallied to Chuck. That left a lasting impression.

      Herder asked yesterday (I believe) if anyone had noticed how Casey’s been supportive of Charah. Now I have. And I kept expecting Sarah to support Shaw and say that Chuck has to learn how to control his emotions. But for the first time, we got “Maybe it’s harder when you have something to lose.” Oh my. I was as surprised as Chuck seemed to be (and he was speechless).

      Angie Harman was every bit as imposing as Katrina Law was in BeefCake.

      The “Newbie’s” reaction? – Chuck is pointing his gun at Sydney, hesitating to pull the trigger, and my wife is on the edge of her seat saying “Shoot! Shoot her!” [Bang] “Who shot her?? Chuck??? Sarah???” Perfect. It was that engrossing.

  3. herder says:

    Definitely my favorite this year, it has one of the funniest if not the funniest sequence of the series. Sets up for some interesting stories. Excellent, excellent episode. My only regret is that we don’t get more for another week. This is why I watch the show.

  4. herder says:

    I’ll actually go a step further, this is one of the episodes you want friends to watch so that they will understand why you are so into the show. I know I am gushing but right now my biggest regret is that I record the NBC feed to get the promo for next week so I can’t watch it again right away.

  5. OldDarth says:

    Also this was a perfect followup to the cliffhanger from 3.03. Could not have planned the air dates of the first 4 episodes any better. Hopefully new viewers will now be enthralled enough to continue watching and bring in even more new viewers.

  6. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    wow I’m really looking forward to this now. Thanks guys!

  7. Rick Holy says:

    I peeked! Can’t wait for tonight! Going to FACEBOOK about it right now.

  8. atcdave says:

    This is, appropriately, an Awesome episode. Very funny stuff, Chuck freaking out in the Buy More and accidentally starting a Fight Club thing; and Chuck and Devon trying to lie to Ellie (oh, and Casey knowing he missed something).
    We saw something of what Shaw is going to be about. He obviously sees Casey and Sarah as holding Chuck back through over-protectiveness. Our teasers all indicate he will wreck havoc with the team, and we see him forming opinions here.
    Huge, epic moment for Sarah, when she admits to Shaw and Chuck that “sometimes its good to know you have something to loose.” I was frankly stunned she said that so soon after Pink Slip. We can be sure Shaw saw it as a problem, and he will no doubt give her cause to regret it. It still gives me some small hope, she won’t ever really give up on Chuck. Between her admission, and a really sweet moment at the end; well, perhaps she won’t stray at all.
    The preview was significant in the Brown household. The moment my wife saw Kristen Kruek she groaned and said “ugh, we can’t escape her!” When I told her what I knew about our new guest stars she slapped her hands over her face and said “oh no” a few times. We talked about what I thought Shaw was up to and how it might play out, and I tried to be less sarcastic than normal. She wasn’t happy, but the last couple episodes have created enough goodwill, I think she’ll ride it out. (I was feeling pretty good about the episode, so I don’t think I was very snarky!)

    • herder says:

      On of the big things on the series is that Chuck changes those that he comes into contact with. I think the change that he makes in Shaw is the idea that attatchments are a weakness. The back story on Shaw’s wedding ring may have made him bitter, emotionally closed and driven, I think Chuck will show that emotions and their attatchments are not necessarily a weakness. It may be that Sarah has to choose which point of view she is going to live her life by, but emotions and the spy world are going to get a work out this year.

  9. herder says:

    A bunch of themes that will run through the rest of the season were introduced here: although the Ring knows about Shaw, they now think that he is dead shades of Bryce.

    Shaw is clearly there to train Chuck, obviously he thinks that Sarah and Casey’s willingness to run in and save Chuck has impeded his progress and Shaw will do his best to put a stop to this. So long as Chuck can rely on Sarah and Casey then he doesn’t have to rely on him self to have full plans and back up plans and back ups to the back ups.

    Friends and family verses the spy life will likely be more of a theme than in previous years, in the past Chuck has tried to keep them seperate, this year the question will be are they mutually exclusive.

    The gun/shooting thing will be with us for the season (it’s already come up in three of the first four episodes). The question is will Chuck give in to Shaw’s (and maybe Casey’s) point of view or will he develop some sort of way of his own to accomodate his own reluctance to use guns.

    Shaw’s secrets, we’ve already seen two and I think that there are a lot more to come.

    As an aside, from the winter press tour it appears that Shaw is involved in 3.13. Is he still in 8 episodes (presumably 3.04 to 3.09 and then back for 3.12 & 3.13) or has the number been increased again?

    • atcdave says:

      What other secret are you thinking of? I got the wedding ring, but even that is incomplete. We don’t know if she died, or betrayed him, or both. Such a betrayal could play into his view that Chuck and Sarah being too close can only be bad; and I’m really hoping (even expecting) he will admit being wrong at some point; Chuck and Sarah will prove to be better together.

      • herder says:

        The other secret is the one he and the General were talking about in 3.02, the one she felt that the team had to know and Shaw was keeping her from telling.

  10. NoWayOut says:

    I was very much looking forward to this episode because it promised no angst and lots of humor. But I was disappointed by the awful plot holes, the shameless (and less effective) recycling of an old plot device from Seduction and I found the humor only mildly amusing.

    I won’t say anything else because i would hate to ruin anyone else’s fun. It’s not right. Maybe it’s time for me to stop watching. It’s certainly time for me to stop posting while I reassess if I find anything in the show anymore.

    Needess to say, though, I am really bummed that I no longer see what everone else does.

    • AngelTwo says:

      I wasn’t quite as down as it as you were, NoWay, but you are clearly not alone. The responses at Alan Sepinwall’s blog are divided. A substantial portion of the the Chuck fan base seems disaffected now.
      SEPINWALL’S BLOG AND COMMENTS:
      http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/2010/01/chuck-chuck-vs-operation-awesome-first.html

    • lou federico says:

      Thank goodness i am not the only one that saw the episode as a disapointment. I love Angel so much and maybe this episode was not that bad or maybe I expected a lot more with the work up to this episode. It appeared choppy and lacked direction. The only thing i have to disagree with you on is your decision to stop blogging. Misery loves company

  11. Ernie Davis says:

    Overall impression, Awesome. The mistaken identity thing was a bit of a stretch, it made the Ring look incompetent, unless we later get some additional info that Shaw was perhaps managing to feed fake intel to the Ring. Clearly the Ring found out about Shaw and saw him as a threat that needed to be eliminated, and now apparently believes he has been.

    Shaw is interesting. He says, portentously, that he knows everything (which clearly disturbs even Casey), but the impression I got from this episode was Shaw was taking Team B out for a test drive, figuring out how the parts worked and worked together. His secret may be that he understands Chuck better than we think. Could it be that his loss was because he couldn’t pull the trigger? Or worse, because he did? I have the feeling that Shaw is going to be the master manipulator and most of the angst will be his purposeful doing, whether as a stress test on Team B or to try to push Chuck in a certain direction.

    Speaking of Chuck, I loved that they went back to some things I think they’ve neglected about Chuck the last few episodes. One, he can think on the fly. Chuck’s plan, despite Shaw’s criticism, wasn’t half bad. He knew his team and had confidence in them. Something his team clearly doesn’t take lightly. I really kind of hated Shaw for the “that was his plan?” comment. Well, yeah, until you basically ruined it. Also they got back to highlighting Chuck’s natural skills with electronics and hacking. The point that Chuck would be a valuable guy to have on your team with or without the intersect is sometimes overlooked. Showing Chuck as Devon sees him was both a wonderfully inventive idea for showing Chuck’s growth and a marvelous way to utilize an underutilized character for both dramatic and comedic possibilities that add so much to Chuck’s story. Some have complained that Chuck seemed too arrogant with Devon in the last episode, seeming almost cocky, but the point was to look at Chuck in a new way, without knowing about the girlish screams and insecurities. Chuck’s skills are highlighted, when seen alone without Team B to back him up, and we also see that straight shooter Captain Awesome, despite what people say couldn’t ever be the spy Chuck is. Chuck’s story to rescue Devon’s abysmal attempt to lie was not only hilarious, but to Ellie, eminently believable. Casey, if you didn’t know what he was doing, is clearly the slightly creepy neighbor.

    Speaking of Casey I love the fact that he’s now moved firmly into Chuck’s adopted family, but the dude is being set up. They keep making a point of Casey’s age compared to the others, are we looking at mandatory retirement some time in the future? Clearly Casey takes on a mentor and big brother role for Chuck (He’s you and you’re her, so be her is priceless) and that is something I can’t see Shaw liking too much, or allowing to stand. It makes me think that the angst is going to be more about dividing the team than actual romance.

    Ahhh, romance. I like when they can just let things simmer every so often. The beginning of the season angst, while I still think it was excessive and occasionally counterproductive, seems to have had a purpose. To let Chuck and Sarah connect on a much deeper level. They both are now aware of how much they really mean to each other. Sarah will never try to use Chuck’s feelings to run him again, and Chuck will never forget that in some ways he is Sarah’s protector, a role he should not take lightly. The ending scene made a nice point. They have a connection that can’t be ignored, even if they still need to do some work. “It wouldn’t be the same without you” was both understated and very meaningful, letting her know that without her his life loses a lot of what gives it meaning.

    For the first time in a long time I found the BuyMore story both funny and oddly compelling. Morgan has come into his own this season, and it was great to see him step up, mirroring Chuck’s growth, facing some hard truths. His takedown of Lester is both hilarious (I’ve got nowhere else to go!!!) and believable. The new father/son relationship between Big Mike and Morgan is also great to see. You get the feeling that Morgan has never had a father figure in his life. His only male role model has been Chuck, which while heartening, may not have always been constructive given Chuck’s weaknesses and his own lack of a father. There is also comedy gold in that new relationship, as we’ve seen with Morgan’s obvious mixed feelings about his new “dad”.

    As I said before it really took till episode 3 for me to get that old feeling about Chuck back, some of that may be my fault, some because they almost had to make it a pure drama to get the relationship and character reset they wanted, but last night just reinforced for me that when this show is working right there is nothing else on TV that beats it for pure fun.

    • atcdave says:

      Ernie, ditto all. I really enjoy Devon being Chuck etc. Both Casey’s line and the actual fact of it in the episode was brilliant, and side-splitting funny.
      These last two episodes have really felt like the Chuck I love (um, not like the security guard was thinking!).
      Even as far as the romance goes; this is certainly the most delicate part of the show right now. I remain somewhat disgruntled by the reset, but; there was some good stuff here. Sarah’s admission “its good to know what you have to loose” was so huge. This from the same character who just in the premier was saying she’d never involve her feelings again, and in Three Words was saying “spies don’t fall in love” (even though we knew she didn’t believe it then). It seems like she’s admitted something profound to herself and Chuck.

  12. NoWayOut says:

    As I said earlier, this show is wobbling badly for me. But kudos when I can. I tracked down the lyrics to “Bears,” the newish Sam Isaac song they played over the family dinner. Read ’em. It’s almost as if they were written for Chuck specifically:

    I want to live in a house surrounded by snow and bears and wood and stars.

    And all along the front of this stage there will be fairy lights, as bright as any city night. I was lost in the night time.

    How am I a stranger to you when we’re friends? I am young and I’ve made awful mistakes. You are older and you’d do the same.

    This dashboard is staying cold. I’m so scared of the truth and automatic doors.

    I’m proud of this map I’ve drawn. These paper lines with red pins on. We’re going to tell it just how it is.

    We’re not comfortable. We’re unhappy here.

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