Chuck vs. the Muuurder Review: So much fun, it should be murder!

Chuck: “Do you want to go out on a date sometime?”

Sarah: “Chuck I’m still a CIA Agent, and there are a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t do that.”

Chuck: “What do you have to lose, in a week you’re going to be undercover in some place like Jakarta in a knife fight with some evil doer and in that moment you’re going to wish you spent one last night of fun with me.”

Sarah: “Ok.”

Watching Muuurder felt just like Chuck put it: a night of fun with Chuck (show, not character). Fun so outrageous it should have been murder (ok, I had to go there, it was a given)! 

Murder mysteries have been done before. You put the characters in inescapable situations, add some violence and you find out what they’re made of. The reason why it’s done so often is because it’s entertaining. For some, it is a literary cop-out–borrowing heavily from something that’s been done so you as a writer don’t have to deviate from–but for others, like last night’s Chuck, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to showcase strength in character development, writing and oddly, creativity. This wasn’t just any murder mystery but one that showcases how far the characters have come and just how entertaining they are as an entity.

We start of with Brody. The OC reference aside it’s essentially Chuck’s doppleganger. One that makes a person take a second, third and if you’re Sarah, gasp an “oh my god” with that look. No, I don’t think she was really attracted, she has her nerd and he’s the genuine article, Brody was like Ernie put it, an AU Chuck and that’s never quite as good isn’t it? Which he proved by dying first. Though as Katsumaro pointed out to me, Chuck was crushing harder–a veritable hilarity in its own form. Still I’m quite intrigued at what would have been Brody’s future. Does he meet his own GBSM or does he end up with Jill?

We move on to psy-ops master Josie with a sense of intuition. If she doesn’t remind you of Sarah from the get-go, have another look. Apart from the nerdy assumption and the non-statuesque form, she’s Sarah. Though we never did see Sarah turn on the waterworks, we have on occasion seen her use her intuition (“I don’t know about this guy Graham” –Pilot) and powers of manipulation (“the sooner you do this the sooner you can get back to the life you choose with whomever you choose” –Seduction). The twist with Josie was that she was emotional and understandably so being pregnant. I did not initially see the parallel between Sarah post Chuck and Josie without a Chuck but it’s absolutely superb. It’s not hard to imagine Sarah finding herself in a similar situation, not having someone real in her life and living with the consequences of manipulation but then again that’s what makes Josie, Bizarro Sarah.

Third we have Damien. Damien is a burnout, also very familiar but a bit more bizarre. John Casey would never take a kill order from a villain but it’s not hard to imagine him turning quite as anti-social after months being stuck on walls. He’s also proficient at weaponry-in this case explosives, John Casey also takes the art seriously.

Fourth, Lewis. Now this one’s a bit of a reach but it works. Morgan Grimes once boasted he’s a master of languages, menu items mostly and here we have someone who took on the accent in 4 months of studying abroad. Genuine articles (read: Chuck) they really aren’t but they’re simpletons and are supportive characters.

So are we just about getting the picture? Brilliant on paper, even better on film. We assumed these are Chucks but really they’re Team Bartowski, only weirder.

Now comes the real parallels. The episode was about growth. I know I tend to say that a lot but in this one we had several clearly shown to us while a murder mystery is entertaining us. Chuck’s been a leader since long before Sarah walked into the Buy More. We see him taking command long before he became a full spy but he never took command from a director. Think back to Predator; Casey, Sarah and Chuck has been tasked to retrieve the Roark 7 and Chuck’s in charge. Similar but not quite, because in this one he’s got a lot more to lose (namely his life, and his teams’ lives). The test of a true leader isn’t how he leads but how he takes responsibility for the lives he has become responsible for (especially when it involves lives lost). Chuck used his Chuck-ness to lead and it was, for lack of a better phrase, awesome. The hand-wringing and mishegas was still present, but when it came to, he owned up to his role. I assume the new intersect wasn’t responsible for the flashback like montage but if it was, wicked cool but I digress. Assertive, confident Chuck is not one we see often but it’s always within.

I have to retract one of my earlier statements, namely one from the FOD write up. I said then that when a premise of a story doesn’t work, the story doesn’t work. In this one, in theory, the premise shouldn’t work:

1. Chuck has been a leader, more he’s shown capabilities of it before defusing a bomb with fruit juice and yet we’re being reintroduced to his strength as a leader. Shouldn’t work and yet does.

2. Intersecting another “Chuck” after we’re told several times that that’s not what PapaB wanted and that intersecting has its pitfalls. And yet neither of these took away from the story. Instead it was overwhelmed by the laughs, the mystery, fun and strength in writing.

Back to leadership. Someone else was leading in this parallel and it was Morgan. Morgan has found himself on a role he’s not exactly suited for but one he’s committing to 100%: leading the Buy Morons. A valiant feat equal to Chuck’s “fate of the world” responsibilities because we’re talking about Jeffster, after all. The Buy Morons are often hit and miss but this one was a hit. Kevin Bacon was a laugh riot. I expected to see the real Kevin Bacon inside the closet and am not disappointed to find it was in fact a pig.  I also expected the Pig Bacon to turn into bacon after the explosion but it was as is an already gruesome Chuck, they couldn’t go any darker. The BM jokes, as stated escaped me but it didn’t take away from the Buy More antics.

As a bonus we had old-school Sarah who encourages Chuck and coaches him. Supportive and yet firm. Casey, is back as Team Bartowski’s fat kid, somewhat quite literally (nom nom nom on cookies). The last scene with Team B, lounging was familiar and yet novel.  If these new set of writers have never seen earlier seasons, they’re doing a great job of faking it. Time was Chuck was Bryce’s nemesis (well it’s the other way around) and this time around the idea that Chuck (the spy) has his own nemesis: “I’m someone’s nemesis?” “For real, this time,” was interesting to say the least. Time will tell whether or not the presumed nemesis is in fact Vivian or if it’s Volkoff.

And with these comparisons there’s also the reiteration of Chuck’s role in changing people’s lives. Redemption at play, even for devious, back-stabbing Bentley. I can’t believe that they got me to be sympathetic with her suicidal heroics. She softened up towards Chuck towards the end and even gave him some very valuable advice. Which leads me to the crowning glory of this episode: the way it moved the story along. Ellie finding Agent X’s files via scanned protection and stepping into her own destiny is simply brilliant. We’re reminded once more that this isn’t your typical family. I can still hear PapaB telling Ellie, “There’s nothing in this whole world that the two of you can’t fix…I know your brother does have a knack for getting into trouble, but you, you’re going to have to protect Chuck. Be there for him no matter what because you’re his big sister. Can you do that for me?” Ellie finding her own mission in life through these files and this computer is shades of pilot Chuck (with great power comes great responsibility) but it’s also a continuation of the role that which PapaB gave her, them. This dramatic twist is one that is well done and absolutely, positively welcome.

By far the only negatives I could think of was some of the camera work, a bit of Robin Givens’ acting and the lack of time particularly with Yvonne Strahovski. But I fully admit those are just me nitpicking and when pressured would probably retract, ok maybe not. Oh and the lack of downloadable and replayable songs.

All in all a rousing good fun. 4 Chucks out of 5.

With thanks to Ernie for a lot of the content in this one. He opened my eyes to the genius after first watch.
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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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70 Responses to Chuck vs. the Muuurder Review: So much fun, it should be murder!

  1. thinkling says:

    How do you do that so fast? Great review, Faith. Tank you. I haven’t had time to rewatch, yet, but now I have a new lens to watch through.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    Well you know I agree with most of what you say Faith. Excellent recap. Some of my favorite parts were the sight gags they used to make the parallels, like Josie pulling a knife from her leg or Lewis’ overcompensation with a large calibur gun. Casey kicking Lewis in the face was kind of funny too.

    I have to agree with you on Givens. Her sacrafice in the intersect room was good, but a bit ambiguous, and left me wondering if she was waiting for something or to do something, or if she really was waiting to die. Her later softer side left me unconvinced, so I’m not sure if there is more to the story or if there was too much of a turnaround in the character for her to pull off. I just got the suspicion that we don’t know her whole story yet. and that it ties in with Volkoff, but again, that may just be me unconvinced that that part of the plot is done.

    Like you I’m unconvinced on Vivian. Remember Volkoff (Alexei not Vivian) is a master of the long game. He didn’t trust any of his lieutenants with the key, but he didn’t exactly trust Vivian with his empire either. I think he’s still moving the chess pieces and Vivian is still one of them. She was the key to unlock pandora’s box and serves as a potential check on those in his organization seeking to usurp him. But she does have a certain dark side and the ability to act quickly and effectively in a stressful situation.

    We are however talking a lot about what I really consider the B-plot this week. The murder mystery and Chuck’s leadership. That I think was just a snapshot of the team working together contrasted with the AU world where these people end up without each other. The intersect really is a team and they really do all share certain personality traits. But the real story-moving plot this week was Ellie and Devon.

    I understand why we aren’t discussing it as much. The B and C plots (Castle and BuyMore) were pretty cut and dried. Ellie and Devon, there was some depth and some (still remaining) ambiguity about where they are and where they are headed. Exactly how much did Devon spill? I know he’s a bit fed up with Chuck and his demands, but would Devon rat him out, trusting his wife over her spy brother? It’d be a welcome thing to me, to see Devon put his full faith and trust in his wife rather than feel he has to lie to protect the fragile flower that is Ellie Bartowski-Woodcomb. And Ellie, realizing her brother will choose his own path, like she chooses hers, would be a big step. I know a lot of people hate the secrets and lies, but I like the drama that comes out of some of them, and I think they are handling this particular one well so far. OK, fairly well, Ellie has been a bit too clueless for my taste if that is what they are telling us…

    Still looking forward to another re-watch, but this was a fun episode, again, for me.

    • atcDave says:

      Agree with most of this. As I said last night, Bentley’s end was anti-climactic, if this was really her end. Have we heard if Robin Givens will be back? I wouldn’t mind discovering she’s still up to trouble.

      I’m not at all convinced about Vivian. We know she’s being played by the lawyer (and presumable her dad). We don’t know how successfully yet. As in; has she really turned on Chuck so completely, or are they simply doing nefarious things in her name. I suspect the latter. This could be one of those situations where Chuck is willing to trust her in some dire situation even if all evidence suggests she’s tried to kill him. Then we should find Vivian is not completely gone bad.

      The Ellie/Devon story was the most interesting. We’re not at all clear how much Devon has told Ellie at this point. And of course Devon himself doesn’t know about the Intersect. So far, there’s no connection to be made between Orion/Ellie’s research and Chuck. It will be very interesting to see what happens when Ellie figures out Agent X is her brother.

      I don’t quite agree with your structuring of A-C plots, except to say that the “obvious” A plot of murder in Castle was possibly the least interesting aspect of the episode. So far I’ve only watched twice, but my early impression is that this episode will have less replay potential than most episodes this season, just because the mystery portion took so much screen time but wasn’t terribly engaging.

      • thinkling says:

        Thus far I agree with you on all of that, Dave. I haven’t had time to rewatch, yet. I’m sure I’ll pick up more. I always do.

        The Ellie/Devon story was the best, and the twist at the end that Devon is now lying to Chuck instead of Ellie was genius. My current thought is that he told Ellie about Chuck. She caught him taking apart the laptop, and Chuck would have no reason to know or worry if her weren’t spying. My pesos say she now knows. I just can’t wait to see how she will find out that Chuck is X with the amazing brain. All good things to come on that front. I can really get behind Ellie in the spy game in her scientific/Dr. capacity. I’m not sure I want her turning into a Giant Brunette She Male, but having her brain on the team would be great.

        The whole Ellie plot has me very excited.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, The A-C plots is a stretch I know, but I thought of it this way. Chuck-in-charge, while interesting isn’t something we don’t already know. The Muuuuuder didn’t really move the characters or the story much. We got essentially that Vivian wants to kill Chuck, maybe. I thought the Muuurder mystery provided the majority of the laughs, as the Buy More is generally supposed to do, and it was fun in it’s own way as a mystery. The Awesome and Ellie part had the genuine dramatic moments and character changing events that are moving the story at this point. So not based on time or anything I just considered this Ellie and Awesome’s episode with team B taking a back seat. Aside from this weeks Godfather moment and some amusing product placement and poopie jokes, the Buy More was sort of irrelevant to the real comedy or the story. It wasn’t overly creepy this week, so it gets a pass as the C-story. I prefer it this way as opposed to no Awesome and Ellie or them being the C-story.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree entirely about C plot. At least the Buy More was mostly funny this week! (and they had a cute little pig)

      • Faith says:

        Part of the reason why I don’t really consider Vivian behind all this is the redemption theme. I know we’ve said that before but it was much in the vein of Bentley in this one. We were sure she was bad, turns out not so much, or is she? There’s something to be said about the power of Chuck. Casey and Sarah aren’t the only two that are witnesses.

        Chuck, much like Superman (another lasting theme) believes that everyone is worth saving, I think we’ll find—including Vivian. In Sepinwall’s review he contrasted Bentley’s view of leadership versus Chuck’s and in one, one man/woman’s death is worth saving all the rest, while in Chuck’s no one has to die. I thought that was really great.

      • atcDave says:

        There’s also the interesting idea that being a jerk doesn’t always equate to being evil. To bad in a way, it would be nice to always see jerks get their comeuppance; but Chuck’s way is clearly best. Try to find redemption for everyone.

      • thinkling says:

        OK, now that I have rewatched, I’m going to reverse myself. I’m now convinced that Devon didn’t tell Ellie anything about Chuck or the laptop.

        He was unscrewing the back of the laptop, when she interrupted. After she told him what was on the computer, and he saw how excited she was, he just left the computer as is. He lied to Chuck, gave him the blank hard drive. So now Devon is keeping all the secrets, and Chuck and Ellie each think the other is protected from the spy world. Pretty clever actually.

      • atcDave says:

        That would be my first guess Thinkling. I’m wondering though if we’ll see the cost of lying like we did last season; that is will Chuck and Ellie end up at cross purposes because neither knows what the other is doing.

    • Faith says:

      Slight disagreement heh, it’s a review not a recap. I leave the recap to Thinkling’s brilliance. In this one I didn’t go over everything, just those that I had reactions for. LOL!

      That said, I agree with you that Ellie was the A-plot, that which really moved the story along. As I was watching it I couldn’t help but feel this is what she’s supposed to be doing; this is like Chuck, the “one (she) was supposed to have.” Well actually, to be more accurate I was thinking, they should really change their names to Secrets instead of Bartowski but that’s less important. Also I think Chuck and Devon letting Ellie have this because it means so much parallels that which Ellie will have to feel and do when she eventually finds out that Chuck is a spy (not has been spying but is). Though I will say though that the budget is really hurting in one aspect of this story. She asked “I wish I could ask him”–it would have meant more had they been able to include Linda Hamilton and at least got her side of things. C’est la vie.

  3. uplink2 says:

    I’ve got a spec on where the Ellie Agent X thing is going. I think that Ellie’s talking about wanting to talk to her father is a bit of foreshadowing. I think it is possible that there will be a similar thing to the finale of season 3 where there will come a point while Ellie is doing the research on the Agent X stuff that a message from Stephen is triggered either verbally of a video message that explains to Ellie and possibly Chuck that Chuck is Agent X and that she needs to work with him and protect him with the Intersect. I’m hoping that it may be a situation where something is triggered that Chuck has the secret for or he has to be there to be scanned a la Ellie last night but thee will be some message to both of them about what this research and program have all been about. It might even require Mary’s input as well. But her comments and Devon’s realizing that she is feeling closer to her father and growing more respect for him each day seems to me to be foreshadowing something.

    • Faith says:

      I’m hoping that we have another voice-over. I expected one after the scanning last night so I was kind of bummed.

      I still don’t think Ellie will be intersected but if we’re talking cliffhanger twists that would probably be the most unique.

  4. joe says:

    Wonderful write-up, Faith! I’m going to have a hard time conjuring up any original thoughts after this. 😉

    You know, I’m happier with Robin Given’s acting today. Really, the transition she made was done with more than a bit of – let’s say – virtuosity. It sort of mirrored Chuck’s transition from insecure, bungling neophyte leader to TeamB Rock of Ages. Zac Levi has a way of invoking James Bond that’s extraordinary and often subtle.

  5. patty says:

    Chuck feels closer to his father through the intersect. He also feels a strong compulsion to ensure that the Intersect is used only for good. That was obvious when he tried to take back the Orion Laptop when he saw that it was being misued by Bently. The only thing that actually made him angry was the idea that his Dad’s research was being misused.

    Ellie is also feeling closer to her father through the work she is doing on the laptop. Chuck needs to understand that just as Ellie needs to understand that Chuck has a right to embrace his destiny as a spy.

    Finally I think that once they are working *together* a new section of the laptop will open up and they will be able to carry on with Orion’s research and take it to the next level. Chuck understands the engineering and programming aspects and Ellie understands the medical aspects. Both are impressed professionally by Orion’s work. Together they are able to do more than each is individually.

    • Faith says:

      Great point, it’s not that his work is out there, it’s how it’s being used. And yeah I absolutely love the fact that now both of them have found their father again through their life’s mission. It’s just among the things that makes Chuck full of heart.

    • Tamara Burks says:

      Chuck and Ellie have this serious protectiveness that can really go overboard sometimes . They both need to compromise on that.

  6. silvercat says:

    Fun episode. Even though it drew a lot from Agatha Christie’s tried and true mystery foruma. there was enough fresh stuff to keep me interested and entertained. I haven’t seen it a second time yet, but I don’t believe I saw much if any PDA between Chuck and Sarah.

    • herder says:

      It was there around the edges, mostly in terms of mutual support. But as to physical contact I think the only part was at the end, holding hands as they walk into the courtyard and then while in the livingroom she puts her feet on his lap and Chuck is rubbing them while saying how it is the team that makes the intersect effective. Quite coupely actually in a low key sort of way.

      • thinkling says:

        I really loved the foot rub. That’s about as coupley as you can get. Low key, but expressive of deep level of comfort and affection.

    • kg says:

      While that is true Silvercat, there were two small nondescript scenes that were as revealing as any.

      First, is early on when the general puts Chuck in charge and the camera is angled toward Sarah. The second is in their apartment and Chuck thanks Sarah and Casey for their support and admits the intersect works because of their trust and team work. Again, they cut to Sarah for her reaction.

      In each instance, Sarah flashes a smile teeming with pride and admiration for her guy.

  7. JC says:

    Something I noticed watching this episode are Chuck and Ellie following in their parents footsteps?

    I know earlier in the season we all thought we’d get the Mary/ Sarah parallel and while they tried it I don’t think it quite hit the mark IMO. But after this one I can’t help but notice how much Chuck and Ellie are becoming their parents. Ellie has become obsessive with the Intersect to the point of forgetting Clara, while Chuck now has to deal with a Volkoff coming after his family. And in a odd twist they seem to be taking on the role of the parent who showed the least concern for them. I don’t even know if it was intentional but I found it interesting.

  8. Tamara Burks says:

    The rewind thing happened in Alma Mater and he rewound memories that predated the Intersect that Bryce sent him so it’s possible that either that ability is a side effect of the Intersect he downloaded as a child or it’s an ability that Chuck just happens to have (ask someone with an eidetic memory if they can do it) plus Chuck didn’t seem surprised that he could do that or even mention it to his handlers as a new thing.

    And I could easily see our Sarah ending up the way AUSarah has (pregnant and alone) if she hadn’t met Chuck and had continued to date the same type of guys she favored. They were types you could easily imagine doing a runner or demanding she get an abortion because it would interfere with missions when they were told she was pregnant.

    • Faith says:

      You’re right, the memories montage in Alma Mater was similar, albeit not quite as quick. I’m really wondering if Ellie’s modifications aren’t just streamlining the intersect but Chuck’s brain…hence my query into whether the montage was the intersect or not. I originally thought it was just a filming technique, and that Chuck really didn’t mentally rewind through the goings on, but maybe he did.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        In Alma Mater he had a lot less to rewind through , the rewind in this ep was of things we’d already seen and it was of fresher memories so that’s probably the reason for the speed in this ep.

      • thinkling says:

        Maybe it’s just semantics, but this time it was more than just a memory rewind. He re-ran the events of the murder multiple times with each suspect as the murderer to test each as a hypothesis. So it wasn’t just remembering but logical and analysis as well.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I just double checked on slo mo and you’re right about that. Still he didn’t seem surprised either here or in Alma Mater at this ability so it’s something he’s comfortable with using and that would seem to indicate that it predates the Bryce sent Intersect download.

        Given how young he was when he downloaded the first Intersect , we’d have to be told (or shown in a flashback of a preIntersect child Chuck) of him using this ability to know for sure it’s his ability alone.

        Of course even if it’s an Intersect function, the Gretas lacked the imagination to be able to run the what if factor of Chuck’s analysis (the only place they could think for salt water was the ocean, add salt to water and there’s salt water.)

        Heck Bryce lacked that imagination as well in getting Chuck kicked out of college. The teacher could have said that he typed in the wrong score and didn’t realize it until later or that he was distracted by a student coming in right while he was grading.

  9. herder says:

    Fun review Faith and I’m amazed that you got it out so quickly, must be a labour of love. I must say that I am suprised that no one has picked up on this weeks clue of evil, Skip Johnson, with a beard, what could be more ominous than that. If we hadn’t already known who the bomber in Castle was he would have moved to the top of my list. Maybe he was behind Large Mart leaving a flaming BM at the door to the Buy More, in any event, a bearded Skip Johnson can’t be good.

    • joe says:

      Hey! No disparaging Skip Johnson, my role model!

      He’s true blue, brave, loyal, fierce and a wizard at Final Fantasy. He could NEVER be turned!

      So there!

      😉

    • atcDave says:

      But he did have a beard Joe, he MUST be evil (just I’ve been evil Dave for virtually my entire adult life…)

    • Faith says:

      Thanks! The pitfalls of getting it out fast is you miss a couple here and there.

      I meant to talk about “Agent X” as a call back, as has been pointed out to me by Gord. Chuck was Patient X in Helicopter…though the X may be a coincidence, it’s likely not.

  10. Really fun episode. I liked Team B working together (especially since Casey’s feeling of simply being back up wasn’t address last week). I liked the Buy More and its S1/S2 feel, with Morgan & his troops, Jeff and Lester were annoying but not creepy, which was a nice change, Big Mike, the Large Mart & Kevin Bacon. And I like that Ellie & Devon are being brought into the spy stuff.

    • atcDave says:

      I did like that Casey was happy to be back on TeamB (that’s TeamB, the real A-Team!). He was kind of gloating about it when Chuck trusted him after the first murder; and he sure was happy to be with his team in the end (of course if chocolate chip cookies are involved anyone would be happy about it!)

  11. Faith says:

    BTW according to MSN, there will be a new episode on April 11: Family Volkoff. I had hoped they’d do 3 weeks of repeats (hoping for repeats just feels weird) but it’s not to be.

    • uplink2 says:

      Wait, Family Volkoff is April 11th? Something is really weird going on. If NBC says its back April 4th then that would be Volkoff if its new. No official press release just Chuck will be back in 2 weeks but not if its new or not. I’d rather have 2 repeats then Volkoff on the 18th.

    • atcDave says:

      I really hope they don’t break up the remaining 5 episodes. I think that would kill whatever momentum we build. (of course, we might want to kill the current momentum!)

    • Faith says:

      NBCUMV had April 4th slated as TBA, I don’t think it was ever going to be new but rather a repeat of the show’s choosing. I haven’t seen an update on that, but usually MSN’s short synopses are predictors of what would be on the long synopsis NBCUMV puts out on Fridays. But keep in mind that MSN has on occasion been wrong, which is why it really isn’t an accurate source versus say the definitive press release.

      (sorry I’ve been saving this post since you first posted uplink but wordpress decided to go to bunker mode).

  12. Katsumaro says:

    I post here as Akiyama a lot, though this is the name I use on twitter and I suppose I should continue to do so as I’d hate to confuse folks, but holy crap.. you mentioned me in your review! 😀 That’s awesome, and it’s true you know. Chuck was crushing on his doppelganger hard, rofl.

    Great review as always, Faith. You hit the nail on the head with how stuff went and you honestly have me thinking about what Brody’s future could have been. Then there’d be a spin-off of “Chuck” called “Brody”, right? Right?! Okay, no.. but still!

    Muuurder was delightful, honestly. Had me laughing quite a few times, and by the twitter feed, you as well.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Replying to myself because I forgot to mention it, but I have to find that song that played during the final montage. “Move to the Mountains” by Clock Opera.. it’s rather scarce right now! Hope you guys are able to add it to the playlist.

    • Faith says:

      Thank you and hey a good idea or point deserves acknowledgement so one given :).

      Yeah I had a great time with this episode, rousing good fun sums it up.

      I’m still hoping beyond hope for a Zondra spinoff. I mean imagine how it would be if she were to find her own nerd, though now that I think about it Brody would probably have been perfect for that! Gasp! lol.

      • Katsumaro says:

        Haha, thanks for that, and you know what? You make an interesting point about Zondra. Alas, they closed that off by killing off Brody all together. Still laugh whenever I see the clip of him with the same ringtone as Chuck.

      • JC says:

        A Zondra spinoff would be fantastic, Mercedes Masohn was a perfect addition to the Chuckverse.

  13. Tamara Burks says:

    Did anyone else notice that Casey grunted back at the pig?

    I wonder if Awesome will figure out the connection between Chuck’s abilities and Papa B’s work before it all comes out?

    3 spies sit down with milk and cookies to celebrate surviving.

    Right before it gets to Ellie sleeping it goes past her phone (which must have the backlight switched to always on to still have the picture visable) and the background picture is of Ellie, Awesome and baby Clara.

    Why has it never been mentioned out loud the long battery life on the computer? I’ve never seen it plugged in and it was giving off light while stored under the car seat.Ellie would definitely know the batterly life was odd but maybe she just accepts that as normal for something her father invented.

    Also if the Agent X files are about Chuck, where did Papa B get them and at what stage of Chuck’s intersecting?

    • Faith says:

      It’s possible that these files and this contingency plan was set up right before Subway when he was trying to work out a fix for the intersect with the governor and was never really fully able to fix the glitches with the intersect. So he left his life’s mission to the one person he knew could handle it: Ellie.

      It’s interesting because awhile back, before all of this, I think most people had hoped that Chuck would take the reigns from Orion. As in be an engineer, create an intersect, etc. but me, I like this twist. I like that Ellie is involved and I like that once again family remains one of the themes and the heart of Chuck.

    • atcDave says:

      I also love Ellie getting involved this way. I wonder if it will be Ellie or Devon (or just how it will come to light) who figures out that Agent X is Chuck, this is going to be fun.
      As far as power supply, I just assumed the computer as nuclear powered (!!?). Seriously, I’m willing to assume they found an appropriate power supply under the seat next to the computer. That would be a pretty outrageous oversight on Orion’s part otherwise.

      • uplink2 says:

        When Chuck took it from the locked area in the Intersect room in A-Team he unplugged 2 cables from the side so I would assume they found the power supply.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Actually I think that either hooked it up to the rest of the computers in Dark!Castle or it was so they’d no if someone tried to take it.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m sure it allows for an external power supply. Shoot, as big as it is, it probably has a built in transformer and only needs a cord (no brick).

    • armysfc says:

      interesting question about batteries. a few years ago i had a friend that sold batteries to NASA. he told me that if you took a pure lithium battery, put it in a flashlight ad turned it on, if the bulb didn’t burn out every one alive at the time would be dead before the batteries died. i hope he was telling the truth but ya never know. it’s just we live in a disposable age where things are made well but at the same time made to fail. so we expect it. how could companies make money if they put out products that lasted 10x as long as they do now? my guess is orion had access to that type of technology.

      • atcDave says:

        Well, with computers the main issue is obsolescence. I would say 3 of my last six computer purchases were motivated entirely on a need (or desire!) for a newer technology. And two of the others suffered non-critical failures that could have been fixed, but the computer was obsolete and I was ready to replace it. With newer, all solid state technologies (tablet computers, MacBook Air, netbooks) there is even less to physically malfunction and obsolescence while likely remain the driving force on new technology purchases.

      • armysfc says:

        dave true. but that goes to my point. how may versions of the iphone or pad has apple released in the last year? do you really think that apple didnt have the new item almost ready to go when they released the first version? people want the new items even if they don’t need them. gotta keep up or ahead of the joneses, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, people waiting overnight in lines for a new technology is obviously about a status thing (like waiting in line for “Spy Attack”!) and nerd credentials.
        But I’m not quite as cynical about the development. The iPad 2 seriously looks like developers were paying close attention to what original iPad users thought was needed. And the Apple product cycle is annual, like cars (I’m really hoping for a bigger hard drive in the iPod Classic this September!). Others makers may follow different guidelines, but from what I’ve seen they do pay attention to what customers are actually wanting.

        But I have no doubt many changes are made purely for the cool factor. Especially some of the less advanced products like the cheaper iPods and multitude of other MP3 players; its all about looking cool and adding “gee whiz” appeal.

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I remember seeing some history show about planned obselence . It satarted with the first commercially produced cars. They made them to last and once they sold them to everyone that could afford them they went out of business since they were so well made they didn’t need parts or to be replaced.

      • atcDave says:

        Some of that certainly occurs, but the current rate of technological advancement is such that it is often not even necessary. You ever try to use a ten year old computer on the Internet? I think that is actually the OED definition of frustration. We handle so much data, and at ever growing rates, older devices often just can’t cut it.
        I’d also say the replacement proof car is an urban myth. While cars could be engineered to last longer than they typically do, there are constant advances in safety technology and energy efficiency that make older cars undesirable; I mean socially. Newer engines and drive trains are more economical; electronic stability control, ABS, side impact airbags all save lives. And these are technologies that are improving at a rapid rate. It is not just “evil profit motives” that keep us constantly replacing our toys every few months. There are absolute qualitative reasons for doing so.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, to a point i agree. i may be cynical as all get out but greed runs this country. there is no way to convince me that when the 2.40 GHz dual core processor came out in sep 08 then several months later the 2.66 GHz one came out in nov 08 it wasn’t planned that way.

      • atcDave says:

        Well, as I said, some games may be played. But bottom line is, capitalism and commercialism drive the technology and advances we live with. It does require the consumer to be aware not only about the things they buy, but also about the plusses and minuses of waiting. Something newer is ALWAYS in the pipeline. And in your previous example, I doubt anybody with a 2.4 gig processor felt any need to upgrade to a 2.66 gig one. But each advance is the building stone for the next one.

        Case in point, the 120 gig drive on my iPod is getting full. I could replace it today with a 180 gig model. But I’ve heard rumors of a 220 gig micro drive being shipped to Apple; so maybe I’ll just wait until September and see if a new iPod Classic comes out with the bigger drive (or maybe the current model will go on sale).

      • Tamara Burks says:

        Actually until a year ago i was using a computer with windows 98 running on it. It got to be acolossal pain in the but because I kept running into websites that wanted newer updates of IE to run or adobe or java than 98 could run. Now I have xp. I’m still behind just not as far.

  14. Verkan_Vall says:

    I know this is repetitive, but I liked this episode. I liked the BuyMore/LargeMart war (and Kevin Bacon) situation, I thought the AU Chucks & Sarah were interesting, the mystery part was done well enough and they didn’t make Chuck look like an idiot.

    I liked the fact that Devin put his wife first and trusts her judgement, and I liked the team downtime scene at the end, foot rub and all. And the Orion scan/Agent X files scene was a great teaser.

    Negatives: Not enough Yvonne. (let’s not get into whether or not that’s even possible…) And I agree that Director Bentley’s change of heart seemed a bit off. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her.

    I don’t know if this is a great episode, but it made me laugh and gave me the escape I needed. I’ll take that any time.

    I know this doesn’t mean anything in the big picture, but I’ve gotten another old Chuck viewer back into watching the show. He’s a co-worker who I never knew was ever into Chuck; we were talking about Firefly and segued into Chuck by way of Adam Baldwin. He said he was a fan from the beginning of S1, but he stopped watching in S3 because “it stopped being Chuck”. I told him that S4 was completely different from S3, and apparently it took; he watched the first few S4 episodes over the weekend and now he’s hooked again.

    One thing he said made an impression on me: he didn’t realize the show was still on the air, because he said that he hasn’t seen any advertising for Chuck since at least spring of last year. This isn’t news to any of us, but the lack of support from NBC has been brutal for the show.

    • atcDave says:

      Some good comments VV. I agree, good episode, maybe not great; but a good time.
      Interesting comment your friend made, I’ve had similar experiences bringing folks back. Most are happy with what they see now.

  15. Robert H says:

    Sorry, don’t agree with the current assessment of our hero. The first 3/4 of the hour
    he was portrayed as a weak,bumbling, indecisive fool as he as been for most this season but even more so this episode when he was given a leadership role. As usual Sarah had to prop him up with Casey helping out. Bentley had him pegged about right and then did a 180 in the last 15 minutes to make it all right. The whole leadership thing was just silly and had no credibility whatsoever. I would have felt better if Bentley had maintained her scorn till the end. At least it would have been more consistent. The Chuck character was much stronger as a personality in Seasons 1 and 2
    than he is now before the character’s motivation was changed. It’s just sad to watch which is why I have such a dislike for how the character has evolved. I’m realistic enough to realize this is not going to change and at this stage of the game, given the show’s downward drop in the ratings, it doesn’t really matter anymore anyway.

    I fully realize I’m really in the minority of opinion here but that’s the way I see it.

    Thanks for interaction quotes from Chuck/Sarah which I believe came from Season 2.
    It’s just too bad I went from really liking the main character then to the aversion I have for the character now. I just wonder if that’s one of the reasons many people stopped watching the show. I’m not saying it is, just wondering.

    Thanks again for your articles. They are appreciated.

  16. atcDave says:

    Funny no one has brought up Castle this week. I was so disappointed the crazy ‘shipper blogger wasn’t the killer. Of course the story was obviously unrealistic; I mean who really uses acronyms that long?

    • That was funny. Fans sending axes so that their favorite couple get together… Crazy but not criminal!

      I could totally buy that being a soap opera ‘shipper could lead to murder though. How many Shaw a couple in a show like that would have to face? 😉

      • Tamara Burks says:

        It’s especially crazy when you consider how much an ax (the small ones are hachets) weigh , the shipping would be incredible. If you’re going to spend like that on something to save your show, donate to charity or at least send something pretty or that they can use so it doesn’t just sit around cluttering up the place annoying the people on the show. Like when Pushing Daises was being cancelled (they really didn’t give it a chance) I suggested sending honey straws that could be sent in packs. They could be used in drinks or just for a sugar rush. If they didn’t want them they could donate them to a shelter . Where would you donate a bumch of axes to, even places like Goodwill wouldn’t be able to move them.

      • atcDave says:

        But axes were so funny! I’m thinking for our next save the show campaign we should be sending NBC execs Toyotas.

    • armysfc says:

      dave we have Charah they have Caskett. who’s it look better for? lol

      • atcDave says:

        Actually I meant the show within the show. The soap opera ‘shippers were using the full character names run together!

        I loved the axes bit, that might have been fitting for our own piece of lumber!

  17. Pingback: Lead On McChuck | Chuck This

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