Chuck vs Agent X (4.22)

Now the Season Four finale arc really gets going.  Vivian and Ellie both are searching for Agent X, while wedding preparations are nearing their climax.  After the jump, we’ll discuss this episode and the start of the season’s final arc.

Agent X rated at about the middle of the pack on our rating the episodes poll.  The rest of the arc will rate better, so over-all, a strong season finale arc with a decent start here.  As is typical with these middling episodes there is plenty good, and a few shortcomings to mention.  And as is so often the case with Chuck, an average episode is a ton of fun to watch, in spite of a few complaints.

This episode easily breaks into two segments; the bachelor/bachelorette parties, followed by an actual mission.  Chuck and Sarah head off in different directions for their respective parties, so we get side by side stories that are mostly a lot of fun as the bad guys seek the Orion computer with the Agent X files.  Sarah’s side of the story does not seem as interesting to me, although to be fair, that may be because I have zero interest in this sort of activity.  It also seems very unlike Sarah, but again, that may be because I hate thinking of her as being so boring.  I was mildly surprised that Ellie was interested either.

Chuck’s story however I found very entertaining.  My own bias here, I would find the party Devon planned infinitely more fun than the party the Buy Morons thought they were getting.  I’m no extreme sports buff like Devon, but a weekend camping with my friends sounds like a good time.  I just love the way the misunderstanding plays out. “Vecas/Vegas” and all the bogus activities Devon comes up with is just an “awesome” set up for a joke.  The arrival at the park is a great moment.  I particularly like the varying reactions; Chuck, Casey and Morgan adapting to the misunderstanding with a good natured shrug; Lester and Big Mike irate, and Jeff apparently expecting the outcome as he heads off for mushrooms and marmots…

The party itself works well on a couple counts; I particularly like Jeff’s reactions to torture and truth serum, and the way Devon and Morgan are given a distraction while Casey and Chuck deal with the problem.  Just a very entertaining few minutes.

This leads to a transition period of a few minutes centered around Ellie’s discovery of Chuck’s secrets.  The good news is, Ellie needed to be “read in” long ago.  I love that she is accepting of her brother doing important, and dangerous things.  Its a nice relationship moment.  Although I can’t help but think it sort of highlights the waste of keeping Ellie in the dark for much of the season.  Unlike season 3.5 where the secrets and lies played nicely into a villain’s plans, and lead to a great reveal; in season 4 the big moment is anti-climax. Don’t get me wrong, I think its best that way, Ellie’s reaction was fitting.  How can she not be proud to find her brother is involved in great things?  But just like the central relationship “will they/won’t they” being dragged out a step too long, I think the same thing has happened here.  It is impossible to repeat the same reveal two seasons in a row and have a satisfying story or exciting climax from it both times; worse, it makes both Ellie and Chuck look sort of stupid for drawing it out the way they did.  Fortunately, the sibling relationship does not drive the emotional tone of the show in quite the same way the Chuck/Sarah relationship does.  So this misstep is of fairly small consequence.

My other, fairly small, complaint with this part of the show, is that the Agent X story usurps Chuck’s Intersect story.  Chuck does get his moment to show off a little for his sister, but I wish this moment had come much earlier in the season so some meaningful discussion could have been had about the nature of Orion’s work and what Ellie can do to make it better.  I think we needed Ellie as an Intersect expert much earlier in the story.  I think that also would have had the benefit of making more of the Agent X story.  It could have had its own place as a big discovery late in the season.  And I guess all of this is the sort of stuff I’ll get into again with the next “Alternatives” post.  Its more tweaking the product than major criticism.

So its off to England.  Mrs. Winterbottom is a wonderfully fun character, as is the final action sequence and the destruction of the Seaver house.  Bonus points for Sarah’s British accent (kind of a different treatment than Devon will give one next season…) and Casey finding the Mom of his dreams.

The final big reveal of Agent X works well as a big moment for me.  I was honestly quite surprised when it was Volkoff, I think it was a nice twist.  There are certainly fans who had problems with it.  I personally think it does more good than harm in the end; it provides some explanation for why Mary might have stuck with a failed mission for longer than sense would dictate.  I’m assuming she (and Stephen) feel some responsibility for unleashing this monster on the world and are well motivated to see this through to the end.  It does present a few minor continuity issues, its obvious in watching some older episodes that the writers had not conceived of this twist until right before they used it.  But I think this is the sort of thing we all have seen from television many times over the years; and I think in dealing with this sort of serial story there is some responsibility on the part of the viewer to give a benefit of the doubt. I’m sure we will nit pick this some in comments, and that’s fine, but overall I rank this as a job well done.

And that wound up being a longer bunch of comments than I normally give.  Yet another average episode that is an excellent hour of entertainment.

~ Dave

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He Ain’t Heavy

Debauchery!

Debauchery!

That’s about right. This music is played while the mother Casey never had is defending the Winterbottom estate – with relish! I didn’t care for it at first, but it grew on me. It fits.

As does so much of this episode. Like usual, Dave’s got it absolutely right, especially about the hilarity of the Buy Morons celebrating the end of Chuck’s bachelorhood and simultaneously, Ellie failing miserably in her attempt to debauch Sarah. 😉

Sarah: Ooh. Is that a gun? No.

Dishonor!

Dishonor!

What’s better? Chuck dishonoring Morgan’s shirt, of course. Ya gotta laugh. But there’s something else too; it’s in the way Sarah looks at Chuck when he’s demonstrating the Intersect to Ellie. What do I see there? Is it – pride? You bet.

Deceitfulness!

Deceitfulness!

Even separated, Chuck and Sarah manage to work as a team, holding off the common enemy, who are, in this instance, the oily Riley (Ray Wise) and his female-assassin/minion, Jasmine (India de Beaufort). You just know I love it when Chuck and Sarah work together like that.

Uh, teamwork?

Uh, teamwork?

These aren’t even the best things about Chuck vs. Agent-X. In fact, I put them in a tie for third place. Third? What could possibly be better?

Sweetness and Light

Sweetness and Light

For the runner up position I nominate Millicent Martin who plays the redoubtable Mrs. Winterbottom. Marvelous. Maybe I have a thing for British actors this week, but even though I’d only seen her previously as Daphne Moon’s mother on Fraiser, she’s had a lustrous career spanning five decades. Her bouncing between gentile, tea-serving matron and fifty cal machine gun wielding warrior determined to protect her primroses makes me laugh every time.

Casey: You know how to feed one of these things?
Mrs. Winterbottom: Please. You’re feeding me.

That leaves my favorite thing about Chuck vs. Agent-X. But how to put this into words? After seeing it about ten times, there’s a sense that, here in this episode, many questions have been quietly answered. Many things considered to be loose ends, some of which were almost forgotten, were addressed, if subtly.

The big ones, the questions answered loudly, are the immediate ones about the identity of Agent-X and the questions about Chuck and Ellie’s trust in each other. Yes, I absolutely agree that the cast and crew and even the fans who might have known in advance were great in not spoiling the secret about Agent-X. I’ll admit that I had a feeling from the beginning (at least, from the time the episode’s title was known) that Chuck was not Agent-X. But if not Chuck, then who? I guessed Ellie. Who better to be Chuck’s next big foe, if not a sibling?

As my brother (with whom I fought like a brother, growing up!) would say, WRONG!

Revealing the family secrets.

Revealing the family secrets.

The issue of the secrets kept by the Bartowskis was, in those days, a big one. But perhaps that was because of the fans. We just hated the idea that any of these beloved characters kept secrets from the others.

Yes, we had seen the same issue come up many times already, especially between Chuck and Sarah before they decided “No more secrets, no more lies.” Clearly, this theme is a big thing to the writers and creators too.

But for me, that absolute, no exceptions stance is a very hard thing to do. It’s not a goal to be met, and put behind as we move onto the next. It’s more an ideal that we must constantly strive to achieve, like good health. You work for it, you take care of yourself, and you will still get a cold someday – count on it. It’s the afterward that counts – you can’t stop working at maintaining a healthy life-style.

That’s exactly how Chuck and Ellie see it. Like they always should have and mostly do, they communicate. It starts with Chuck coming clean about working for the CIA despite his promise at the end of S3.

Ellie: Of course you’re still work for the CIA. Sarah’s a spy. You’re clearly built for better things than the Buy More.
Chuck: You’re not mad?
Ellie: I’m not mad that you did it. I’m mad that you didn’t tell me.

This also addresses an issue from the very first episode – Ellie’s concern for her brother’s lack of ambition. We can’t forget that Chuck’s descent and reversion to slacker-dom was no small thing in their relationship.

For her part, Ellie confesses that she still has Orion’s computer. They feel guilty about hiding these secrets from each other, but Chuck and Ellie did it for the best reasons – to keep each other safe and to do the right thing by everyone else. Life’s full of compromises, especially when we care about the consequences.

What? You thought life would be easy and without compromise? Of course not. I appreciate that the writers and creators didn’t flinch from that, even when addressing the difficulties in talking to people who are important in your life. That’s reality. What’s great is the way Chuck and Ellie can let that part of their past go, giving their indiscretions no more weight than they deserve.

I haven’t yet mentioned my favorite thing about this episode. As Dave mentioned, we’ve had one question hanging over us from the very beginning – why were Chuck and Ellie orphaned? For four years (well, three – I don’t think anyone thought about it much during S1), people wanted to know what possible reason would account for that. The explanation given in S2 and S3 that Stephen was the inventor of the Intersect and a rogue spy being pursued by Fulcrum, the CIA and The Ring did not satisfy remaining questions about Mary. Up to now, Mary’s 20 year absence has been – well – weird. Why would a supposedly devoted mother consider such a thing as reasonable? Was there no opportunity to change things in 20 years? We were almost forced to think of Mary as merely a spy. Sound familiar? That’s not a compliment and Sarah was headed that way, you know.

Chuck vs. Agent-X provides an explanation that I can accept for Mary’s decisions. Stephen created a monster, Alexei Volkoff. Worse, he effectively killed his best friend, Hartley Winterbottom, in the process. All he could do was search for a way to undo the effects of the Intersect (beta release, I suspect, after the alpha he foolishly used on himself), which most likely meant perfecting it first. That means Mary’s mission wasn’t to “get” Hartley/Volkoff for the CIA, but to save him and allow Stephen a chance to redeem himself. Her mission was one of redemption for Stephen’s sake, a mission with no expiration date and maybe no chance of success.

He ain't heavy.

He ain’t heavy.

Best friends are brothers of a sort, and Hartley was like a brother to Stephen. You fight brothers, you fight for brothers. Always a compromise. It fits.

Ellie: So dad’s original Intersect created one of the world’s most dangerous criminals for the CIA? We should talk to mom.
Chuck: Maybe she was trying to fix him too, you know. – In her own way.

There’s one more thing too, to top off this surprising episode. When Casey understands that the CIA sponsored this early, misguided and failed effort to create an Intersect, he realizes that there’s a reason this secret has been kept quiet for 30 years.

Sarah: We need to call Beckman, see what our next step is.
Casey: No. We tell no one. Interrogation room. Now.

It ends here. We’re all gonna pretend we never saw this.
Ellie: John, my dad wanted Chuck and me to figure this out. There must be a reason…
Casey: Look. The CIA created one of the most murderous men in the history of the world. Powerful people spent an enormous amount of energy covering that up. What happens if they find out we know? They order a guy like me to put a bullet in each one of our heads.
Pretty sure your dad didn’t want this to end that way.

In a few weeks I’m going to complain that the writers and creators dropped the ball on this particular thread, but not now. The Ring seemed a mediocre opponent for Chuck after Fulcrum and such people as Ted Roark and Vincent. The Volkoffs were far better, but this new threat is even more ominous now. Very ominous.

Ellie: So we’re just supposed to sweep this thing under the rug.
Chuck: Ellie, we’re talking about the CIA. There are rules.
Ellie: What about Dad?
Chuck: What about dad? What – What if his plan was just to get us to search together? You know – we haven’t exactly been the most honest siblings the past couple of years.
Ellie: No, we haven’t.
Chuck: But this search, it made us rely on each other. Be honest. Work together.
Ellie: What if that was only half of it? I – I don’t think that we’re supposed to stop here, Chuck. I don’t think we’re supposed to just find the Agent-X. We’re supposed to fix him. [sighs] This isn’t for the CIA to solve, Chuck. I think this is for us.

Yes, it is.

– joe

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About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 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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30 Responses to Chuck vs Agent X (4.22)

  1. CaptMediocre says:

    Firstly, Happy Holidays to all. 🙂

    I will have to disagree with you both on the same point. For me, the Agent X reveal does little to “explain” what came before it. It certainly DOES NOT provide an adequate or believable explanation for leaving your family (something the show never gave us).

    I remember liking this episode when it first aired. Then started thinking about it and it made my head hurt. I simply had to work too hard to connect the dots into something coherent. I realized (much like in vs the Baby) that the showrunners would rewrite their own shows history, at the character’s expense, to tell a present day story.

    The explanation for Stephen Bartowski’s absence prior to this episode, that he was in his mind protecting family, was better left untouched and never explained.

    Mary Bartowski as portrayed had no valid reason.

    I will agree that the Mrs. Winterbottom character was a blast. I remember thinking that her and Carina would make quite a pair.

    • atcDave says:

      Ultimately there is no excuse for abandoning one’s family for 20 years. Stephen and Mary were terrible parents, and that has to be the starting point of any analysis. And although I would agree there are continuity issues, what the Agent X reveal adds is why Orion and Frost would feel a personal responsibility for seeing the Volkoff mission through. Whether we buy all the details or not, it absolutely helps with motive.
      And as far as those details go, I think their shortcomings are often badly exaggerated. It may be hard to explain why Stephen didn’t better brief Chuck on what his Mom was up to, but it is not impossible. And I would love to hear from any readers who want to take a stab at it. I think this could be a fun way to deal with a few plot holes. Let’s look at filling them in instead of just complaining about it.
      Obviously those who wish to merely dislike the story are free to do so.
      For myself, I imagine it goes something like Chuck got Orion’s emergency “in case I die” message as we saw at the end of Ring II; but for some reason, the more complete briefing was lost. Perhaps a simple computer malfunction? Or maybe Chuck missed a clue, and some important information he was supposed to have went undiscovered until it was blown up at the end of First Fight.

      There are other plot holes. Free chocolate chip cookies for every good explanation for one. And we’ll throw in a pat on the back for explanations that don’t create new plot holes of their own!

      • authorguy says:

        I have one now, that I developed while working on my latest episode, which is a rewrite of Aisle of Terror. As Aerox pointed out a long time ago, it’s not terribly believable that they had an Intersect that could create an entire personality, before 9-year-old Chuck even uploaded the prototype. But I have a much more plausible scenario in mind, which not only explains that, but also why it took 20 years, and why she didn’t use the suppressor on him in First Fight. It’ll be in the story, I just don’t know where.
        I did, however, put in a charm bracelet sequence in the dark and creepy playground, something a lot of people here thought was lacking.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Captn! Happy Holidays to you too.
      Yeah, I understand, especially about Mary. All I can say is, I’m glad that my family wasn’t and isn’t like that, at all. I don’t think any real parent, spy or no, would disdain an existing family like that. In real life, when tragedy happens (let’s call what happened to Hartley the equivalent of a tragedy) people grieve, pick up the pieces best they can and move on.

      But in the temporally and emotionally compressed world of fictional prime time characters, I found the explanation surprisingly plausible. I say surprisingly, because at the time, I really didn’t think that anything with this kind of sweep was going to be offered.

      Maybe my expectations were just set low. After all, I was still waiting to see Sarah show Mary the bracelet at that point, and I figured if they weren’t going to show me that there were going to be a lot of dropped ideas.

      So getting something close to reasonable was welcome!

  2. andereandre says:

    -1 for the Vecas/Vegas mix-up. Devon is not that stupid, it makes me cringe. Liked the scene in the woods though, just wished that they had arrived there a different way (car malfunction or so).
    +1 for Sarah trying to make a phone call amidst annoying strippers.
    +zillion for the whole scene in England.
    And a small gem: “you think agent X has been hiding out there for 30 years?. Hmm” , they look at each other and it is Mission On even for Morgan.

    • atcDave says:

      Devon isn’t stupid, he just really likes Vecas…. I thought it was funny and in character. And Jeff of all people, made the joke work.

      The stripper thing is a little funny. I guess the annoyance we saw was pretty real, Yvonne said in an interview she’d asked those guys not to touch her and they didn’t follow directions very well.

      But yeah the England trip was awesome and made the episode. So much fun.

  3. Louis Sytsma says:

    Alexi Volkoff. Meet Bobby Ewing.

  4. Dave says:

    Only have a few minutes until my Alma Mater kicks off their bowl game (Go Ramblin’ Wreck!!!)

    I missed the Wedding Planner comments, job and holiday travel messed me up. I loved Wedding Planner, less the Super Shuttle scene, the emotional Sarah (with Chuck trying to rein her in), fake flash/flash face portion was hilarious, pouty Sarah and the feel good moment with the piggy-bank and note. Real Good Episode.

    Agent X was also an overall good episode. I was underwhelmed by the Bachelor Party, but the Bachelorette Party was a hoot. Reading in Ellie and the England jaunt was great. India de Beaufort was an excellent evil mistress of the week. The ending did make me sort of say “Huh…?”.

    Overall I really liked it. Good one.

    • atcDave says:

      Sounds like we’re in exactly the same place on Wedding Planner (you can always post on an older topic, no harm in that!).

      Apart switching the parties I agree on Agent X too.

      Both episodes start off a very strong ending for Season Four. Good stuff yet to come too!

      • andereandre says:

        I find these kind of parties quite disgusting. So I could totally relate with Sarah feeling very uncomfortable and embarrassed with it. Not so much with Chuck who seemed quite OK with it.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup Andre, exactly.

  5. mr2686 says:

    This is one of the episodes that the official poll and my poll are miles apart on. Middle of the pack in the poll, but number 15 for me, Chuck vs Agent X has everything that I look for in a Chuck episode. It answered a lot of questions, had good use of the characters, finally brought Ellie up to speed about Chuck still spying/intersect, and of course there were the bachelor/bachelorette parties. C’mon, Vegas/Vecas and Reno/Reneaux may seem silly, but in the Chuck world it was totally hilarious and the fact that only Jeff understood about Vecas was totally funny. I haven’t even mentioned the great interaction between Casey and Mum Winterbottom (total classic) which just puts the icing on the cake for me. Again, for me, this episode had very few weak points and nothing that I would hold against it. Just a great episode and one I really really enjoy rewatching.

    • atcDave says:

      Of course I think average Chuck is still extraordinary…

      But no doubt this is a ton of fun.

    • joe says:

      I suspect that many of us are balancing two disparate views of this episode at the same time, MR. I certainly am.

      For some reason I was not especially high on re-watching the episode. I think the last time I saw it was the week it aired (when I watched at least three times for reviews and podcasts). Yet, when I saw it again last week, I was enthralled, and not just by the bubblebath scene. 😉

      I tend to like limited silliness, and the Renaux bit came close to exceeding my limits. But the scenes of Casey and Chuck saving Jeff and Lester (mostly from themselves) were perfectly “Chuck”. Sarah’s bachelorette party was a hoot. I’ll always enjoy Ellie twirling her around for the standard toilet paper dressing.

      And like I said before, Millicent Martin is just great. Whomever has been responsible for the guest spots on that show should be applauded! Consistent greatness.

      Then there’s the hidden gem, the way Stephen’s ghost is brought back. Love it.

      The episode may not stick in my mind; there’s just too many great episodes in every season to let this one stand out. Besides, the focus is not on Chuck and Sarah this time. But I know that every time I see it I will not be disappointed.

  6. Wilf says:

    Thank you guys for this write up, which was great. For me, like for some others, this was a mixed episode. The lead up to Vecas was pretty good with the bubble bath scene hilarious (to me). The Vecas joke, however, I found fell a little flat. The second half, with Ellie finding out (finally, how stupid can they both have been!!!) about Chuck was much better for me, with Millicent Martin’s character quite a high spot. The revelation about Agent X’s identity was not something I’d predicted and it had all the more impact because of that. Overall, a middling (but as usual excellent) episode for me.

  7. thinkling says:

    Agent X is a bit of a mix: not wild about the bachelorette party. I found the dudes’ party more funny, mostly for the Buymorons’ reaction to it.

    Loved Chuck’s outfit and Sarah’s “You really never have been to Vegas.”

    Loved the England scene, as all of you did, and for all the same reasons. There’s something oddly hilarious about grandma Winterbottom scuttling her house and laughing hysterically about it. And I love the grenade on the plastique set on a doily next to a ceramic rabbit. The whole scene was just Chuck perfect.

    I like the closing of circles from Agent X. The season spy story ends up down the road from where it started in Somerset England … nice touch. Small glimpses of Hartley showed up in Volkoff from time to time. Volkoff stayed close to home when he gave his daughter a mansion. This also gives us insight into Tuttle and Volkoff’s obsession with Mary.

    The Volkoff/Hartley/Agent X reveal took me by surprise, but I liked it, both for the surprise and for the back story. (Seeing this episode again makes me feel cheated that they dropped the conspiracy ball. I see so much potential there that could fill in some plot holes and perhaps paint Mary in a more sympathetic light.)

    I don’t think the new information justifies Stephen and Mary’s parenting, but it does offer some explanation into their mindset. Obviously they felt responsible for Hartley’s ruined life and the unleashing of Volkenstein. I mean if you ruined your best friend’s life, you would want to try to fix it. I think that was one of Stephen’s obsessions. I think Mary’s was the other side of the coin: containing the damage and stopping the monster … hopefully without killing the once best friend. I liked the added info and the tantalizing possibilities of a larger conspiracy behind it all. I know for some people the added info didn’t change a thing, and no amount of juggling will ever help the Mary/Stephen story.

    I agree with Dave that Ellie finding out about Chuck and the Agent X reveal would have each been better served if they had been in different episodes.

    Bottom line: enjoyable middle of the pack episode.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks again for some insightful comments Thinkling. Very nice breakdown of the issues with Agent X and how it affects motive and back story.
      And its good to see it isn’t only a guy who found the bachelorette party sort of boring!

  8. resaw says:

    I came to this one a little late this week, what with children home for the holidays, etc., but now that I have a quiet New Year’s Day afternoon to watch and think about this episode, my only quibble with you, Dave and Joe, is that you seem to rate it a bit too “middling” for my taste. I found the episode moved along quite briskly, it held my attention, and I didn’t have to put up with any appearances by Vivian Volkoff. Not that I provide the defining opinion in these matters, but when it comes to Season 4 episodes, that’s pretty high praise from me.

    There’s not much to add to any of the comments above, but a few lines did catch my attention that I hadn’t noticed before:
    1. Big Mike thanks Morgan for suggesting the inventory excuse so that he can join in the bachelor party by saying, “The greatest thing a white person has ever done for me.”
    2. When Lester is throwing money around in the limo on the way to “Vecas,” Casey describes the Canadian coins as “socialist funny money.”
    3. At their wilderness destination, Big Mike expresses his frustration about not being in Vegas by describing a trip there as, “about getting into some weird stuff that just might haunt you for the rest of your life.”
    4. While Morgan and Devon are sharpening spears, Morgan denies having killed anyone by saying, “They don’t even give me a gun on missions.”
    5. As Casey saves Chuck, he provides a classic one-liner: “Sorry to interrupt your little lap dance.”

    I know that the series established the spy will container back with the Shaw storyline, but it strikes me as a bit anachronistic to see that Hartley Winterbottom’s spy will is also just as modern and accessed by the same high tech key even though it has been hidden away in his mother’s basement for the last 30 years.

    Once again, my thanks for your time in preparing and presenting these reviews. And a Happy New Year to all my fellow Chucksters….

    • atcDave says:

      Well one problem I always have with ranking Chuck episodes is that I consider most of them to be above average! Obviously a bit of a problem.
      No doubt, there were many great lines and fun moments in this one.

    • joe says:

      What Dave said, Resaw!

      I must admit, I went into last week’s re-watch thinking this was going to be an “average” episode – average for Chuck, that is. But I definitely came away thinking much more highly of it than that.

      I did want to get both sides of my experience in there, though. 😉

      You picked out some great lines, btw. Big Mike’s, in particular, made me laugh, nearly as much as Chuck dishonoring Morgan’s shirt. It would have been just another stunt scene except for that line and the little half smile Sarah gives that I think indicates a quiet pride. But I’m repeating myself.

    • thinkling says:

      Ha! I had the same thought about the extremely modern spy will, Resaw. Too funny. And Joe, I loved Sarah’s look of pride as Chuck demonstrated his Intersect skills. I also liked that everyone seemed surprised and just as impressed with Chuck’s linguistic ability as his sword wielding prowess.

      • resaw says:

        As a Japanese speaker of some(what less-than-middling) ability, I must say I was impressed as well. Although, more literally it sounds to me like he *injured* Morgan’s shirt, rather than dishonored it. “Watashi wa anata no shatsu wo kega shimashita. Sono koto ni taishi owabi shimasu.” If your computers can read the script: 私はあなたのシャツを怪我しました。その事に対し、お詫びします。 He lisped a little at the end but that is forgivable.

      • joe says:

        Wow, Resaw! Our readers always exhibit a range of expertise that amazes me.

      • thinkling says:

        Good to know that Chuck’s Japanese was better than Morgan’s Portuguese, which was truly worse than awful. I blame the staff, not Josh.

    • garnet says:

      Add to it that Lester is the only Canadian in the regular cast and he is the one given the line about the “socialist funny money” and it makes me wonder if he had a hand in creating that one.

      As far as episodes go, I put it slightly above average, but like Dave almost all my episode reviews place the episode above average which is statistically a problem. Having said that, perhaps it is because even the worst episode of CHUCK was/is better than most shows that we tend to rate most episodes as above average.

      If I have any quibbles the first would be around the Reno/Reneaux confusion. As I live closer to BC than Nevada, it is fair to say that as soon as I heard Reneaux BC I said to myself, “there is no way there is a place called that in BC (not to mention there is even less chance of a gambling joint in the middle of nowhere)” .So it felt a bit off. Having said that, I’m not sure there is a Park called Las Vecas, but that is nowhere near my stomping grounds so it doesn’t bother me as much. The second would be the bacholorette party and the strippers…just not my thing. It seems to me to be simply in poor taste.

      • joe says:

        It’s the Lake Wobegon problem, Garnet. You know, Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

        Yeah, the show has always walked right up to the boarder line of good taste and dared us to cross it in our minds, and in fact, that’s been Lester’s function throughout. Right?

        I grew up working in a family pharmacy not too far from the Canadian boarder in Buffalo. I saw dad taking Canadian money at face value. when the banks were returning about $0.92 cents on the Canadian dollar. Those days are gone – I’m pretty sure the Canadian dollar is still well above par, but here in the DC metro area, nobody wants to accept it. Bah to that, I say!

      • atcDave says:

        Businesses in Michigan generally take Canadian coins at face value still. But it does seem I see far less of it than I did a few years ago, not sure why.

        Las Vecas is just as real as Reneaux. It’s Chuck geography you know…

      • anthropocene says:

        I’m not aware of any Spanish place name “Vecas,” but since the leading letters V and B are essentially pronounced alike, note that “Las Becas” = “The Scholarships.”

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  10. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Agent X (4.22) | Chuck This

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