Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Crown Victoria (1.11)

NBC Synopsis:  A COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS–Still licking his wounds after realizing Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) continues to have feelings for Bryce, Chuck (Zachary Levi) must assume the cover of being Sarah’s husband on a mission to foil a politically connected counterfeiter and yachtsman. Emotions and sea legs are tested when Chuck, Sarah and Casey (Adam Baldwin) have to head to the marina to scuttle a plot that also puts an unwitting Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and Anna (Julia Ling) squarely in the crosshairs. Meanwhile, It’s time for the annual Buy More holiday party, but the party comes with lots of rules from Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence).

Chuck This Ranking: 60
Dave’s Ranking: A little lower

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Crown Victoria (1.11) by Dave and Joe

Other Write Ups: Reader’s Digest Rewatch: The Arc of Truth by Ernie

We have something special lined up to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the beginning of Chuck.  Thinkling and Ernie have been working on a series of posts called “These are a Few of Our Favorite Themes”.  The first of these will debut tomorrow, September 8.  This will pre-empt this re-watch next Sunday.  So I’ll be back with a “links” post for Undercover Lover in two weeks (9/21).

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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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13 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Crown Victoria (1.11)

  1. i.need.to.change.my.name. says:

    Ah, has it really been nearly seven years since “the little show that could and did” started. Wow! Time surely has flown.

  2. aalleess says:

    The fact that this episode was taking place during christmas and the previous episode during thanksgiving confused me a lot at first.

  3. uplink2 says:

    I agree basically with Dave’s assessment but I must say that if they had included the deleted scene from this episode my opinion would have been much lower, probably bottom 10. I find that scene one of the most bothersome from the series and I’m really glad it was left out. It took the whole sleeping with a mark and Sarah’s nasty attitude towards Chuck after the “incident” to a much higher and unneeded level. Plus it was an episode that highlighted many of the reasons I disliked Morgan a great deal in season 1.

    • atcDave says:

      There are a couple of scenes I was glad were deleted, but that one is at the very top of the list!
      I think the original concept of Sarah was a bit darker than what they finally settled on. By S2 it’s just hard to imagine them even playing around with a scene like that.

      But to me, the good news in this episode is just how well it ends. We finally wrap up the Soap Opera arc with trust and friendships restored. And the episodes ahead are terrific.

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto all that, Dave. CV is one I have a hard time rewatching, although I do love the end. Chuck and Sarah are friends again, and there’s hope for Casey. But Beckman is still the Scrooge of this Christmas episode.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah no doubt about Beckman!

    • anthropocene says:

      From the moment Sarah went over the counter without hesitation, trusting in Chuck, that episode was gold for me. First an early example of Sarah and Chuck “acting” together to fool a mark, with Chuck playing his role a bit clumsily at first but gaining confidence as he kept going (“…the winters in Gstaad?!”). Then some high-stakes drama when the missile is launched—with Sarah and Casey absolutely depending on Chuck, and his ability to think fast on his feet, to save the day. The physical comedy of the Crown Vic getting blown up. Chuck and Sarah’s reconciliation at the Christmas—uh, holiday—party.

      And Beckman too; I actually liked her better when she was more on the dark side, more like Graham was. I kind of wish the General had stayed that way through the series—on the same side as Chuck and Sarah, but also something of an antagonist and a mystery. I enjoyed it when the show occasionally went dark, as this reinforced the drama in “dramedy” and (with the notable exception of episode 5.12) tended to strengthen the Chuck-Sarah bond. Not so the stupid turns (e.g., in the Shaw arc), of course.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that. Although goofy Diane was fun sometimes too (especially with Roan), but I liked the gravitas she added in the first couple seasons.

        This episode in particular, I agree exactly with that moment, those last 15 minutes or so are perfect.

      • thinkling says:

        Those were good moments, especially the counter jump.

        I like that Beckman came around, but they needed to replace her with some other government threat. Decker, for example, was great for that. In fact, I liked S5’s threat from within the government and Beckman as an ally.

  4. carrol.chuck.fan says:

    I did really enjoy the last third or so of this episode – expressionless Sarah, exit stage right. I read somewhere that Yvonne said she played Sarah this first season with the understanding that she really had loved Bryce, though perhaps a different type of love than she was beginning to feel for Chuck at this point in time. If that is the case, it makes a bit more sense for Sarah to be upset at the beginning of the episode and taking it out on Chuck. After all, he is the reason that she stayed yet she may be having a hard time totally letting go of her past relationship. Regardless, I admit I do not enjoy the show as much when the two of them are not in harmony.

    • atcDave says:

      I’d agree with all of that! That Sarah loved Bryce also speaks well of her character, and I think is consistent with what we saw. Of course, I think what she found with Chuck was a whole level beyond.
      And its clear by S2 she’s completely over him!

    • Unpacking Chuck says:

      I agree that Sarah’s lark with Bryce engendered different–though genuine–feelings than those displayed in her emerging relationship with Chuck. However, the episodes from “Crown Vic” to the helipad scene in the Season 1 finale suggest that Sarah is not only slow to awaken to the depth/nature of these feelings but is still even somewhat blind to them. Accordingly, the first scene with Sarah near the beginning of “Crown Vic” emphasizes her trouble awaking the next morning and pointedly wearing a sleeping mask–the only time I recall it appearing in the entire series. Her confusion over these powerful new feelings for Chuck and her lack of control over them, I think, are the basis for her otherwise poor treatment of Chuck immediately following a decision to remain in Burbank rather than leave with Bryce.

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