Chuck vs The Third Dimension (2.12)

Well, the long break is over.  We finally have the long awaited follow-up to Santa Claus.  There was much excitement over finding 3-D glasses and Super Bowl previews.  So could the episode deliver on the excitement and hype?  We’ll take a look after the jump.

I have to start by saying we really got unlucky with some timing here.  This episode was heavily hyped and drew a large audience.  But the following week was cancelled for a presidential speech.  We lost a lot of momentum and viewers with the two week gap.  And what’s worse, the sequence of episodes was jumbled.  The following episode was supposed to be Best Friend.  But with the pre-emption, the network chose to run Suburbs, with its more timely Valentine’s Day opening.  Which put Best Friend on the air in between Suburbs and Beefcake.  I think this was emotionally jarring, especially for those who weren’t aware of the switch.  Never fear, we will watch Best Friend next here (the discs have the episode numbers in the order they aired, NOT the order they were meant to air.  So just be aware our order will look wrong next week).

This seems to be one of the most broadly unpopular episodes of season two.  I had thought to make a defense of it initially, but after re-watching it for the first time in a couple years, it really does look weak.  But I think my judgement will be quite contrary to most.  What I think goes wrong here largely relates to marketing and Zach’s performance.  The marketing part is easy, they tried a gimmick (network? advertisers? I’m not sure who the guilty parties are) that didn’t completely work.  Actually, that might not be fair.  With Super Bowl advertising they did manage to bring in a large audience.  And the 3-D itself was interesting.  Definitely not the cinema quality we’ve grown used to in the last few years.  But I thought it was effective in some of the large settings like the Buy More and concert scene.  But it seemed to fail badly in some of the action sequences, in part because it was too dark.  I’m not sure if it was a failure of the technology, or a more human component, but many scenes didn’t look very good.  Even so, the 3-D was interesting and could have resulted in an excellent episode.

But I think the portrayal of Chuck in this episode was a big problem.  We saw a nervous whiny Chuck for most of the hour.  Whether you felt it was justified or not, for many viewers this was their first exposure to the show, and I think it was a pretty big turn off.  For myself, only Curse bothers me more in this regard.  I sympathized completely with Casey when he tranqued Chuck, and only wished he’d done it a few scenes earlier.  Don’t get me wrong, this never rises to the level of dislike I hold for a certain arc that shall not be mentioned; but even as invested and enamored of the show as I was at this point, this can be a hard episode to watch.

However, what I meant to defend, is probably the very thing most people reading this disliked most.  I felt this was a completely acceptable resolution to the Mauser shooting.  After a year and a half in the (non) job as Intersect, Chuck both knows a lot about how things are, and is yet very naive.  He has just received a brutal wake up seeing the extremes the woman he loves will go to for his protection.  And make no mistake, Chuck knows perfectly well Sarah eliminated a very bad man.  Mauser had just threatened to kill Ellie to extort co-operation from Chuck, and Chuck’s co-operation meant never seeing Ellie, Sarah, or his friends ever again.  Whether he likes Sarah’s tactics or not, Chuck can be under no illusions about who she’s protecting.  And I like that in the resolution here Sarah spells it out for him if he’s confused; Mauser knew who Chuck was, and neither Chuck nor his family would be safe if Mauser lived.

But what I really like about this episode is the revelation we get about what really is bothering Chuck.  He recognizes that this world he’s been trapped in is dangerous, its built on lies and deception, and he doesn’t belong.  I dislike that this apparently took several weeks for him to figure out and talk to Sarah about it, but I like the self discovery that occurs; first when he’s talking to Tyler about being a hero, serving the greater good, and trusting his handlers.  And later when he does finally have an overdue talk with Sarah.  I think the final scene plays well for both characters.  Chuck finally confronts Sarah about what he saw and her lie.  Sarah comes clean; while apologizing for lying to Chuck, but not for killing to protect him.  It is sort of threading a needle.  What seems the greater crime is actually defensible in the situation; while the smaller issue, is actually a betrayal of trust that needs to be addressed and apologized for.

And I’m sure many of you just labeled me a monster for saying that.  I’m no fan of the idea of killing anyone.  But there are clear times when the use of deadly force is justified; in particular to protect human life.  Ali Adler (the writer of Santa Claus) went to great pains to create as morally grey a situation as one could possibly imagine; with the mortal peril being more strategic than tactical.  So the final judgment isn’t easy.  But I’m fine with considering the big picture of what’s going on (protecting the most important Intelligence asset in the country) and who’s involved (an experienced and trusted field agent) and giving it a pass.  That Sarah was anguished by the situation speaks well of her character.  That she lies initially to protect her image in Chuck’s eyes is heartbreaking.  And finally that Sarah respects Chuck enough to finally be open and honest with him was very satisfying to me.  So while I feel this episode was deeply flawed, and definitely holds a place on my “weak” list; I like it as a resolution to the previous episode.

Oh.  It was funny in places too.

~ Dave

The Prisoner

Dave, maybe this will surprise you, but I’m going to agree with almost everything you just wrote. You know me – I generally make a point of highlighting the positives in every episode of Chuck. I don’t do it to be a fan-boi, but (1) because the good stuff has always easily outmatched the flaws, even when they’re obvious flaws, (B) because the flaws have generally been not-so-bad or easily attributable to extenuating circumstances and (iii) positive is a genuine expression of my reactions to most every scene in the entire series. Like you, I come away with less than glowing thoughts this time.

And like you, I thought that I’d re-watch and come back with a view that was more – let us say – generous. Well, I may still do that actually. But Chuck vs. The Third Dimension is still my least favorite episode. What’s different for me now is that I have a much clearer idea of why that is.

More on that in a bit, but first, yes, there certainly are some positives. Dominic Monaghan created a pretty good character in Tyler Martin. Because I love his sense of humor, of all the one-shot characters we’ve seen, Tyler is the one I would say comes closest to being worthy of a second adventure, maybe second only to Jonathan Sadowski‘s Lazslo Mahnovski.

Okay, mostly, I love his reaction to Casey’s tranqs; “Daisies” and “Daffodils”. And that brings me to the second good thing about 3-D; the humor. No, I’m not talking about Morgan’s little contest (between Jeff and the temporary hire, Butterman, for the golden ticket); that *is* funny, but not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not even talking about Casey’s tranqs, even if I’d like to try them myself some days. 😉

The elevator couple on their second honeymoon

The elevator couple on their second honeymoon

I could be talking about the triumphant return of our elevator couple, last seen in Chuck vs. The Seduction. But I’m not!

I’m talking about the incredibly gratuitous, totally unprecedented and absolutely jaw-dropping moment, right smack dab in the middle of the episode. Yup, here we have our first major Subway Sandwich product placement/advertisement. It was to become a central rallying point for Chuck fans later, something beloved that we got behind like no set of fans have done before or since to tell the world that WE LOVED THE SHOW!!!

Ahem! Well, maybe that’s overstating it just a tad, but it really catalyzed a unique event and should not be minimized.

Dave, I too question the popular idea that Chuck’s reaction to The Mauser Incident was lacking. My take is that, for the reasons you mentioned, this episode wasn’t supposed to be about that. T.M.I. was important to us, certainly. But it was simply not the central concern or the point in 3-D.

Instead, we have an episode about a prisoner.

Morgan: Poor Butterman. Man’s been trapped in an 8-by-10 cell for years. He ate when they said, “Chow time”, and he slept when they shouted, “Lights out!” Now look at him. Broken. Man had a choice of five sodas, a choice we take for grated every day. A choice he’s been denied for far too long.

Oh, wait. Not Butterman. Tyler Martin is the prisoner, right? Because of circumstances, he has to face danger, do what Casey, Sarah and Chuck say and put himself deliberately in harm’s way just so others can be a little safer.

Tyler: That’s madness. People are trying to kill me!

Since Season One, people have been trying to kill Chuck, too. Only two people have been trying to help him, Casey and Sarah, but even Chuck has to ask himself why they do that. It’s hard, it’s dangerous, and sometimes they have to do things they don’t like. Chuck’s whining, something we never like, is now more than just a little annoyance. It’s deeper and more existential than that.

Sarah: Chuck? What is the matter with you? This is about more than just taking the night off.
Chuck: Maybe. Um, I… You know. I’m a little off my game right now. I’m not really sleeping. I don’t wanna get into it.
Sarah: Chuck, lives are on the line right now. And if Tyler doesn’t help us, then he will never be free of those people. And if you don’t help us, then Akmed Gambir gets away.
Casey: And the world becomes a more dangerous place.
Sarah: I don’t know what happened to you, but this is our job. Not only to protect Tyler, but the country and anybody else who needs protecting. We do whatever it takes, no matter what. Did you forget that?

It’s more than not sleeping. Chuck is having nightmares that invade his life. Weeks ago, perhaps as early as the beginning of the season, Chuck was liking being a spy and being Sarah’s personal hero. He started to be more than just Chuck Bartowski, nerd-herder. He did good things ™.

But now he has to do things he doesn’t want to do. He has to come when Beckman calls and go where Casey and Sarah – the mission – say to go. Orders. His life has become a little – constrained. It gets worse.

Chuck had to give up to Mauser to save Ellie and everyone else. For the moment, his life and his secrets were no longer his, but Mauser’s and Fulcrum’s. He had become a prisoner in the largest sense of the word, a true victim of circumstance. Chuck even had to rely on someone else, Sarah, to do something awful so that he wouldn’t have to.

That Sarah was able to do that – despite her second thoughts – was only part of the nightmare, the part that only occurred in his sleep. Indeed, Chuck tells us in 3-D that he heard Mauser’s threat. He understood why she did what she did. That he soon might have to do awful things himself was the waking nightmare.

Now, when Tyler complains to Chuck about how trapped he is, how out-of-options he feels, Chuck has an answer.

Tyler: That’s madness. People are trying to kill me!
Chuck: Yes. And you can help us catch them. You can help the world, the entire world, by doing this, for real. And you can go back to living your life again. One night of bravery for an entire life of normalcy. I can’t even tell you what I’d give for that.
Tyler: How do I know I can trust them, your people?
Chuck: Because I do. They’re the best. I stake my life on it every day.

Chuck is still a prisoner, but at least he can still do the right thing. That was the point of the episode.

So although I wanted to see Sarah and Chuck resolve the issues T.M.I. introduced, and although I definitely wanted to see more of the bracelet (not to mention less of whiny Chuck), that was not to be in 3-D. This was just not the episode I was hoping to see at that time, especially after the long wait.

Yes, the 3-D effects were gimmicky and it always sounds to me like Achmed Gambir, the Arabic bomber (Nicholas Guilak), has an Irish accent. 3-D has it’s flaws and they make it harder to see the good stuff that’s there.

What we actually did got wasn’t really bad, so much as it was jumbled in the scheduling and lost in the amazing story that was to come.

– joe

Dave Again

Joe you said something that got me thinking (never a good sign…)  Much to my regret, I sort of touched on the blame game last week, and that is something that always bothered me about these two episodes.  It seems clear to me that Chuck starts something when he confesses to Mauser that he is the Intersect.  You’ve got me wondering if Chuck has far more awareness of his own role in following events than I initially gave him credit for.  If we assume that Chuck has puzzled out during the break that Sarah killed Mauser because of what Chuck had told him, then Chuck may indeed be wrestling with the idea its his own failure in the spy world that lead to Sarah taking such extreme actions.  That could be consistent with Chuck’s unease with, well, everything as this episode starts.  And his revelation during his talk with Tyler could be the realization that Sarah truly does have his back.  Even if he’d rather not face the full consequences of what that may mean.  And perhaps that leads to Chuck taking his responsibilities with the Intersect a little more seriously.

Joe Responds…

You just solidified the thought in my mind, Dave. It’s easy to miss that, yes Chuck heard Mauser’s threat. We only discovered that fact six weeks later, so yes, he really did understand that Sarah had his back.

Chuck’s speech to Tyler can be seen as the resolution to T.M.I. after all. Well, part 1, at least; the rational, if not the emotional resolution we wanted to see. I must point out that Arthur’s comment, that the theme echos in Final Exam and that the final resolution occurs in Paris, is spot on – thank you for pointing that out, Arthur!

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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32 Responses to Chuck vs The Third Dimension (2.12)

  1. ChuckFanForever says:

    I’ll have to actually re-watch this episode in 3-D to further comment on it, but on a side-note, I recall thinking Chuck is such the gentleman that he even apologizes to Sarah for dreaming about her in sexy lingerie. Then I found this promo on Youtube which is kinda the opposite, but i found to be funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah7gFKOqM2g

    Which just leads to more Chuck promos of Chuck getting slapped by Sarah:

    • joe says:

      Heh! I remember this vid from when it first came out! Much fun.

      But you know, it always struck me as not very “Chuck-like”. I think it’s much more like Zac and Yvonne being themselves (with humor), rather than being Chuck and Sarah. Yvonne’s American accent even slips once! 😉

  2. ChuckFanForever says:

    Sorry, the first link should have been this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXHDyMvR8_Y

    • joe says:

      I see! But I’m having a hard time deciding… Is this a good news or a bad news thing?

      I mean, anything that increases the availability of Chuck episodes is something I like. And this certainly does that. But does this make it less likely that we’ll see episodes in syndication or offered on-line? If we’d like to see new people come to the series, Netflix might be the slowest, least effective way to do that, but it’s better than nothing, right?

      I’m just getting around now to renting Hugh Laurie’s Jeeves & Wooster with Stephen Fry (which I recommend, btw, if you like British humor).

      • atcDave says:

        I think that’s considered good news. Many people watch their television via netflix, and it provides nice utilities like recommending shows to customers. So it MAY add a number of new Chuck fans. That can only be good news.

      • joe says:

        I’m not sure how these new-fangled net-to-tv devices work (I’m a luddite, remember). But if it’s something like a direct-to-Hulu connection, then I’m a little worried that Netflix would preclude that option.

        But like I say, it *is* a step in the right direction.

      • uplink2 says:

        It’s definitely good news. I can fin ally get my DVD’s back from my daughter!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Joe, I’d call it unqualified good news. It’s coming to Netflix streaming, and it’s an exclusive deal. If you follow the link you can see that Chuck was part of a larger package for WB shows, but the fact that a cult hit was part of the deal (Fringe was also a part of the deal) has to be heartening. The streaming means people are far likelier to check out Chuck than if they needed to rent a series of disks, though I’ll admit that’s how I discovered Chuck. I just liked it enough that I found other ways to get Chuck by the time I’d finished the first disk.

      Outside of the good news for Chuck fans and Chuck‘s creators and producers I think it is a good sign that the studios are tired of being captive to the broadcast network’s outmoded business model. Many of the shows are in their first run, and it is a way for the studios to distribute current shows that doesn’t depend on appointment TV, how much space someone has on their DVR or the broadcast network’s Nielsen ratings.

      All is proceeding as I’ve planned.

      • atcDave says:

        Also, I saw a story today that two cancelled soap operas are officially back in production as internet only programming.

        I don’t expect Chuck to ever return as a series, but that’s exactly the sort of thing that could generate a few movies.

        And new fans could help make that happen.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        This could very easily be the thing that gets a Chuck sequel. You can bet that Netflix keeps track of what is viewed and how often. If Chuck generates enough hits that Netflix notices people watch Chuck a lot, and if they hear that people want more, well they’re bringing back Arrested Development as their own original content and are starting to see themselves as not just a buyer but a producer of TV shows.

        I could see Zach pitching that web-only series again, but with a viable potential buyer and distributor and a ready made market he’d have a lot stronger case with WB and Fake Empire. Sign up Subway as a sponsor, who knows?

        Still a long shot, but the studios and TV are changing, and I think it’s less of a long-shot than it was a year ago.

      • joe says:

        Oh, wait. I get it. Yeah, Netflix is getting into direct streaming, so it *is* like I hoped to see. I think I can withdraw my concern above.

        And I agree with you (and Dave) then, Ernie. This only increases the potential viewership, and in fact, seems to target a good demographic for it. I’m starting to believe we *are* seeing a revamping of the business model.

        That was your plan??? I never knew! I must tell Glenn Reynolds! 😉

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As Dave mentions Netflix also comes with some Chuck promotion built in. I was recommended Chuck because I liked Firefly and a few other things. Now as Zach and Yvonne’s careers get more high profile people who rent Dexter, or Thor 2, or I Frankenstein or even Tangled or Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel stand a good chance of getting pointed to Chuck as I was.

        Actually Joe I guess it was Glenn Reynolds since I more or less quoted what he paraphrases from ROTJ. “The Emperor: Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.” But I was thinking of The Emperor.

      • joe says:

        I just re-read the two posts to which Ernie links (above). They really are great on many levels.

        And if you have the time and/or inclination, I also recommend the discussions.

        Man, we’re good! 😉

      • ChuckFanForever says:

        I saw a response on Twitter saying that it would be a way for WB to recover some of the $$ they lost on making Chuck. Is that the truth? Any idea how much WB lost on making Chuck? Also, aren’t Chuck episodes already available on ITunes?

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know numbers, but yeah we’ve heard that before. WB was apparently nearly giving it away by the end. Precisely for this reason, to increase its value a syndicated property. Perhaps, I hope, it has finally (or will finally?) turn a profit for them with this sale.

  3. resaw says:

    Thanks, gentlemen, for your comments. When you take into account that this show was intended to relaunch Chuck to a larger audience, it is too bad that it is overall certainly among the weakest episodes of season 2. I know that I had no particular enthusiasm to watch this episode compared to some of the others. Nevertheless, I did watch it and, of course, found something to enjoy. Tyler Martin’s delight over the tranquilizers is certainly a great recurring gag. There are also some very funny (if cautionary) bits of dialogue. Chuck: “Tyler, that’s not such a great idea.” Tyler: “All my best nights have begun with that very sentence.” On the other hand, there were also some real clunkers. General Beckman concerning the grenade: “That’s military!” Hmmm, are there grenades that are manufactured and sold for civilian purposes?

    As for Sarah’s apology to Chuck near the end, is it an apology for lying to Chuck? Maybe that was implicitly included (although I think Sarah’s lie was dealt with rather perfunctorily), but at least as I heard it, it struck me as a “larger” apology for him having to be involved in this traumatic world where decisions are made to kill people, for being involved in things he never asked to be a part of. It was an apology for all that Chuck’s life had become since the Intersect came into his life. That is also in keeping with the point of this particular episode, which is to introduce new viewers to the conflict that drives the show forward, week after week. Chuck being given the day off and then choosing to hop in the car with Sarah and Casey anyway, confirms that for me.

    • uplink2 says:

      Funny how both episodes with great promotion designed to relaunch the show to legions of new viewers were both weak episodes and both written by Fedak. In the case of Pink Slip it was really disliked or even hated by many. It seems he’s great at fracturing the fanbase with his writing but couldn’t deliver when he was given the opportunity to expand it.

  4. Bill says:

    This episode was S2’s only real dud IMO. Can’t quite put my finger on why — not enough shared screen time for the leads maybe? I’ve only watched this episode twice, and didn’t watch it again for this re-watch. Just doesn’t have the magic.

  5. One of the guest stars for this episode, along with a guest star from Break-Up are up for an award: Pro Football Hall of Fame. I’d be surprised if Jerome Bettis and Michael Strahan don’t both to get in eventually. This is Bettis’ third year as a finalist and Strahan’s first year of eligibility and as a finalist.

    Football voters have some unusual unofficial standards (no special teams – i.e. Ray Guy and Brian Mitchell. Maybe Devin Hester someday), but they are as stringent as BBWAA or as easy as the baseball Veterans committee. They shouldn’t hold acting skills (or lack thereof) against them. Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, and Jim Brown got in. Then again Fred Dryer and Bubba Smith did not. (They are in the College Football HOF).

  6. Good morning Joe,Ernie, ActDave, Liz, Faith, Rick Holy and Chuck fans everywhere!

    First of all, Happy New Year! I want to comment on the episode of the “SANTA CLAUS” then the “THIRD DEMINSION”!

    In the SANTA CLAUS, this episode had twist and turns. It begins with a bank robbery and a police chase thru downtown Burbank which the robber crash in to the Buy More Store which cause a stand off which we all knew later that it was a Scam cause by Fulcum to locate Chuck and Intersect!
    But the parts I want to get to is the Bracelet that Chuck gave Sarah as her Christmas gift which caught her by suprise. Sarah then tells Chuck that the Bracelet needs to be given to a real girlfriend! Chucks Response! Who are my real girlfriend, Sort of. Needless to say that Chuck and Sarah’s relationship is complicated to say the least. But Chuck do love Sarah and she return that love back to him both professionally and personally.

    Now, to the professional and personal part. Sarah barely defeated a Fulcum agent name Mauser in the Woods a few hundred yards from Buy More when Mauser took Chuck in a getaway van which her and Casey shot the tires for Chuck can escape. But Mauser told Sarah he knew that Chuck is the Human Intersect! Mauser also told Sarah that if she arrest him and to him to jail, that Fulcum will break him out of jail and every agent that Fulcum have will go after Chuck, but his friends and family as well. Sarah then pause for a moment, then shoot Mauser killing him in cold blood!

    What was Sarah suppose to do? She couldn’t take Mauser to Jail knowing what the consequenses will be,the risk were to great for everyone involved! Did Sarah anguish over killing Mauser in cold blood and lie to Chuck about it like joe said? Yes she did. Chuck couldn’t be her hero this time.Sarah became Agent Walker professionally! But she loves not only her boyfriend Chuck as she told her Jack in the ” DELORIAN”, but she loves Ellie,Devon and his friends! What a hard place to be.

    Now, the “THIRD DEMINSION”. Chuck relationship with Sarah took a hit both professionally and personally due to fallout from the SANTA CLAUS while the team is trying to save this rock n roll super star name Tyler who had tatoo’s all over his body which codes to a Nuclear Weapon.

    Remember a week ago, Sarah kills Mauser in cold blood to protect Chuck, his friends and family from being killed. But Sarah lied to Chuck about happen to Mauser not knowing to her that Chuck saw her kill Mauser while standing behind a tree and for him that was a trumatic experience where he was getting a lack of sleep! But it was only that , Chuck was having nightmares of that killing!
    Chuck became the complaining, whining nerd tech much to Casey and Sarah’s liking! But when Sarah ask Chuck what is going on? Chuck distance himself from Sarah because for him it brought back memories of what she did which tells me one thing, Chuck was scared of Sarah which cause a lot of problems in their relationship both professionally and personally.

    But in the end when the team saves Tyler’s life from the evildoer’s, Sarah ask Chuck, is there a problem you can talk to me. Chuck then tells Sarah about he saw her killing Mauser in cold blood and when he ask her about it, she lied to him. Sarah told Chuck that she was protecting him which was true, but it was not only Chuck she was protecting that Christmas Eve nitght. It was his family and friends at the Buy More which change a lot of things!

    Did Sarah betrayed Chuck trust in her? Yes she did and Sarah apoligizes to Chuck for that betrayal and sometimes she forgets he did not ask for any of this and she’s right. Theres a lesson to this story. Trust and Communication both professionally and personally goes a long way.

  7. ChuckFanForever says:

    I was watching the beginning of this episode on Blu-Ray yesterday (no 3-D) and was surprised at how good the quality was! Previous Blu-Ray episodes I viewed did not have the sharpness that this one does. Is this only a 1 episode deal where they used better cameras for shooting?

    • joe says:

      Great question, CFF. After it became clear that the 3-D version wasn’t going to be released on the DVDs I saw very little conversation about the technical aspects. I’m pretty sure I never saw the answer.

      If anyone has any intel on that, I’d love to know too. Wasn’t that about the time that Blu-Ray became the industry standard for Hi-Def? I’ll always wonder if WB was hedging their bets a bit until that format war ended.

      • atcDave says:

        Blu-Ray became standard earlier, but S1 is the only season that was released on DVD first (two or three months before Blu-Ray). Since then both formats always released simultaneously. The 3-D version is available on some releases of both type discs (I have it on my Bu-Rays, but not the DVDs. It was mainly the pre-order discs that didn’t include it).
        But in terms of what resolution they filmed in, I couldn’t say for sure. I know S1 was done in a mix format, that leaves more grain on some scenes than others (faux film look). But I believe it was abandoned for later seasons. It is possible they switched from 1080i to 1080p at some point, but I always thought picture looked fine from S2 on. They did get sloppier with edits and scene changes with the budget cuts in S3, but that is a different issue from resolution.

  8. First Impression says:

    After watching this episode twice, I still wasn’t that impressed with it.  The story seemed disjointed and not quite as clean as I’ve come to expect.  I didn’t understand the title, but after reading the posts, I guess it was a reference to it being shown in 3-D.  I also didn’t understand why the two female assassins would abandon their target (Tyler).  Apparently TPTB thought it more important to get Chuck’s pants off than to worry about a plausible plot.  And what was with the ‘to be continued’ at the end?  Were the still thinking about The DeLorean?

    Regardless, there were some well-played scenes.  Disposing of the bomb in the opening sequence was a great minute of action that summed up the series very well.  We saw how Chuck flashes (upon seeing the bomb), how Morgan interferes (intercepting the Hail Mary throw), how Chuck, Sarah and Casey can think on their feet (placing the bomb in a safe, then a fridge, then a closet), and how Team B saves the day (only a closet is damaged).

    I liked how Tyler and Chuck became unlikely friends.  It was believable and their conversations, whether funny or serious, were some of the best in the episode.  I was glad Chuck told Sarah about seeing her shoot Mauser, that he understood and how she immediately took ownership of the lie.    

    When Chuck didn’t take the offered break but joined Sarah and Casey in the car, I got the feeling that maybe he wouldn’t ‘trade one night of bravery for a lifetime of freedom’.  He’s gotten more invested in the team than even he realized.  And so have I.

    • atcDave says:

      This was sort of a novelty episode. It was heavily promoted during the Super Bowl. It did draw a large audience, but failed to keep it for the next episode. I would guess it drew many new viewers with a well done advertising campaign and the 3-D gimmick, but because it was weak as an episode, and showed Chuck in a mostly unappealing light, it didn’t really click.
      BTW, some boxed sets of S2 DVD and Blu-Ray do have the 3-D version. Its no where near as well done as we’ve grown used to in theaters in recent years. But it was mildly interesting.

      It did indeed have a few fun moments. But it doesn’t really hold up well. I think the “to be continued…” was for the large number of new viewers (wishful thinking).

      Remember to watch Best Friend next. It truly will make more sense in the production order, NOT in the aired order.

    • Christopher says:

      First Impressions,

      This episode ranks really low for me despite the nice fountain scene at the end of the episode. I have come to realize that one or two scenes don’t change my overall view of the episode and this episode offered really nothing to the story.

      Crap Communicators will be coming up a lot for Charah and this episode was clearly one of those crap moments. Failing to talk about their issues will be a theme throughout the series.

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