Season 3 Scorecard

Folks I have to apologize for falling behind on my effort to include some poster interaction here.  I started including polls a while back, but just keeping up with all the comments has been a struggle.  And I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say I read every comment.  We’ve got a wonderful community here, and lately it has been growing by leaps and bounds, which is why I thought it’d be fun to get some polling back in the mix to generate some discussion and get a snapshot of the fans mood.  So after the jump find the latest poll on Season 3 episodes.

Here’s how this works, you can pick up to 3 favorites.  After that you will be blocked from voting again.  Lets see how the episodes stack up.

Addenda: If you have any nifty ideas for polls feel free to suggest them in the comments section.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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17 Responses to Season 3 Scorecard

  1. BigCheese says:

    This is a difficult choice. Perhaps the end of the season it is easier to choose. My vote: Chuck vs the Angel de la Muerte (yup only one).

    Chuck vs. Awesome Operation is also good, but I choose to deny any episode present PLI. And if I took into account my shipper heart would not choose none.

    I think the most appropriate at the moment is to ask is: what is the most PAINFUL episode.

    • kg says:

      Pink Slip was a runaway (ha ha) until the Mask. I can’t watch the latter ever again.

    • Viridis says:

      First off, I have to admit that I can re-watch season 3. Also, Operation Awesome is not as bad as you think. For all its faults, in it Shaw says the line, “I have to die, now,” while asking Chuck to shoot him in the shoulder. Ah, perhaps the only Truth he ever says!

  2. joe says:

    I’m always struck by how much my opinion changes over time.

  3. atcdave says:

    So far, I would say Angel of Death and Operation Awesome are the only two that I would choose to rewatch. I also tagged Three Words, because at the time I thought it fixed things from Pink Slip about as well as I could hope for. It might have even remained a favorite, except that they’ve since made a bit of a joke out of the tender scenes at the end.

  4. herder says:

    I picked Operation Awesome, Angel del Muerte and Natcho Sampler, because they are the only three episodes where you have a stable Team Bartowski working together.

  5. John says:

    I guess Angel del Muerte and Operation Awesome are the only 2 that I would even consider re-watching. I guess also Three Words, but only for the Sarah/Carina scene.

  6. Faith says:

    I like this query. It’s like, where would you like to get socked? The arm, the gut or the kidneys? 😀

  7. kg says:

    Three Words and Fake Name. Carina is dynamite. That woman gets it done. Two appearances and two fantastic episodes in which she contributed mightily.

    The last scene with Sarah emotionally watching Chuck pour his heart out in the vault was priceless.

  8. Chaaaucckk says:

    The operation awesome and angel ones were the most entertaining so far this season IMO. Having captain awesome not be as awesome was great. the fake name was frikin heartbreaking i couldve cried if i wanted too, i felt tears rushing in my eyes. this season has been a solid to low B for me. 82-75 outta 100.

    – time to chuck myself

  9. Anonymous says:

    De La Muerte is the standout for me. Some poignant Chuck and Sarah stuff, done humorously, without the teen angst, Awesome integrated perfectly into the spy world, loads of Ellie, Casey doing what Casey does, and all the elements of the show firing. No BuyMore isn’t a huge loss either, I have to say.
    This is what season 3 could have been – still some emotional growth and drama, but without the need to flagellate our characters to within an inch of believeability.
    Otherwise, Nacho Sampler at #2, and 3 words at #3.
    I haven’t been as down on the direction of Season 3 as most, but the execution at times has been very sloppy – and Pink Slip and Mask are comfortably the 2 worst Chuck episodes yet made.
    If I was still a teacher, I’d be saying “must do better – but has great potential”.

  10. Gord says:

    I had a hard time bringing it down to 3. It would have been easier if the poll had been what is your least favourite episode – that would be easy – The Mask.

    I know I’m in the minority but I liked all of the rest for different reason. Some were great for the comedy, some were great because of the drama, some were great because of the action, while a few seemed to be great because of everything.

  11. Merve says:

    I voted for “Angel de la Muerte,” “Operation Awesome,” and “Nacho Sampler.”

    I’d rank “Operation Awesome” as the third best of the season. There was a lot of good comedy: Devon yelling, “You killed Julius!”; the electrified cage; Chuck losing control of the Intersect; and “Glenn and Ian?” And that’s not to mention what might be funniest scene of the entire series: Devon trying to concoct a lie about his whereabouts and Ellie seeing right through it. “I had to a decapitate the bear” is one of the most hilarious things that I’ve heard on television. The episode also had a lot of cool spy stuff going on. Despite what Shaw has become on the show since this episode, in this episode he was an enigma. His introduction also made viewers think for a brief, insane second that General Beckman was actually evil. And Angie Harmon was a fun villain, in a “her-acting-is-so-bad-it’s-good” kind of way. All around, an excellent episode.

    In second place, I’d put “Angel de la Muerte.” The only reason that this episode doesn’t merit a place in my top five Chuck episodes is because I couldn’t understand what the heck the dictator was saying the first time I saw it. The dance scene at the consulate is one of my favourite scenes of the entire series. Ellie’s reactions to dancing with the dictator are priceless. Chuck and Sarah tearing up the dance floor was just fun to watch. Pretty much everything Casey did and said in this episode was awesome (and was way funnier than Casey being sensitive about his age). Plus, both Casey and Sarah got to kick butt. Casey had the really cool fight with the poisoner. As for Sarah – Devon: “Oh yeah, you and what army?” Chuck: “Um, that would be Sarah and her fists.” One scene that wasn’t talked about much that I really appreciated was seeing Chuck talking Sarah out of invading the consulate by herself. It’s rare that we get to see Chuck tell Sarah not to do something irrational, and I thought that it was a welcome change of pace. Finally, I’d also like to say that I never saw the twist at the end coming. All in all, a great episode.

    My favourite episode this season was “Nacho Sampler.” I know that it was an incredibly divisive episode. Some people (like me) loved it. Others hated it (possibly because they found it a little too dark). It was a heartbreaking episode, and in some ways, it didn’t feel like Chuck. That’s why I like to think of “Nacho Sampler” as how-to guide that other television series might want to follow. It’s a how-to guide for writing a great episode of a comedy-drama and finding the right balance between comedy and drama. It’s a how-to guide for writing an episode that matures the show. It’s a how to guide for reusing old plotlines and making them seem fresh. And it’s also a how-to guide for maintaining will-they-won’t-they tension in an interesting way without resorting to PLIs. Specifically, there was a lot of stuff to love in this episode. Fahim Anwar was excellent in the role of Manoosh, as if it were written with him in mind. Kristin Kreuk was great as Hannah, and it was fun to see her realize exactly what kind of weird job she’d stepped into. (I kind of wish they’d used her character more for this sort of stuff than as a love interest for Chuck.) The ripple effect that the Paris trip had on Chuck’s family members was very interesting to see. Casey was great in this episode too. His enthusiasm for Weapcon and his bit with the laser pen were hilarious. Plus it was nice to see his relationship with Chuck developing in such a positive way; Casey has really stepped in the mentor role this season (more so than Shaw). I know that it’s easy to view “Nacho Sampler” as a retread of “Sandworm.” In many ways, it is. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that it’s a retread of “Wookiee,” “Sizzling Shrimp,” and “Sandworm.” Both “Nacho Sampler” and “Wookiee” look at the issue of trust between Sarah and Chuck. “Wookiee” showed us how a spy must lie (even to an asset) and never reveal anything real. “Nacho Sampler” showed Chuck lying to Manoosh and realizing how much he was “handled” by Sarah. “Sizzling Shrimp” showed us Chuck having trouble lying to his family and friends. “Nacho Sampler” revisited that, but showed us that Chuck could do it with ease. It’s easy to draw the obvious asset-that-can’t-be-trusted parallel between “Sandworm” and “Nacho Sampler,” but for contrast, look at the Chuck-Morgan friendship in each of the two. There’s a huge difference there. Finally, and I know that I’m beating a dead horse when I say this, but Zach Levi and Yvonne Strahovski are exceptionally gifted actors (who should have Emmys by now). Zach was pitch-perfect in this episode. The range that he showed was amazing: failing to “seduce” Manoosh in the Buy More, becoming better at “seduction” at the restaurant, showing alarm about what might happen to Manoosh, burning his asset, and finally succumbing to Johnny Walker in what I think is the most heart-wrenching scene of the series. Yvonne was also on fire. They don’t often give her much comedy to do, but she was hilarious in this episode. Her sing-song “Thank you!”; her ridiculously cheesy seduction scenes; her fake grin at the thought of going to Weapcon; her reactions to Chuck fishing the laser pen out of Casey’s pocket – all these things made me laugh out loud. On the flip side, she worked wonders with the drama. I really felt for her when she realized that she had help turn Chuck into a colder, ruthless version of himself. Overall, probably my third or fourth favourite episode of the series. I know that this will sound corny, but seeing the final scene with the flashback from Sarah’s perspective made me feel something – I don’t know what. But it was a feeling that stayed with me for a week. Too bad “Mask” had to go and ruin it all.

    I know that I gushed like an idiotic fanboy, but I think that sometimes we can be harsh on this show that we all like. I’m guilty of criticizing it a fair bit. (Don’t get me started on the idiocy of “Crown Vic” or “Third Dimension.”) Sometimes it’s nice to heap praise on this show. On the whole, this season might not be as good as the season that preceded it, but I’m still enjoying it, and I hope that it continues to entertain me.

    • joe says:

      Never fail to be thoughtful, Merve. 🙂
      Excellent post. You’ve nailed down exactly why more than a few of these episodes will be recalled as underrated in about a year.

    • herder says:

      I’ve been critical of the show and this season too, but I can’t fault anything of what you have said about these three episodes. They’re my three favorite of the season too, just not the same order but that is a matter of personal taste, not the quality of the episodes.

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