Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Lethal Weapon (2.16)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK MUST DEAL WITH THE THREAT OF FULCRUM’S OWN INTERSECT AND LOSING SARAH TO COLE—Chuck (Zachary Levi), Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) learn about a man called “Perseus” who is behind Fulcrum’s plans to build their own Intersect. While Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) are sent to find Perseus, Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Agent Cole Barker (guest star Jonathan Cake) are forced to stay in a safety bunker. When the mission takes a dangerous turn, their orders to stay out of harm’s way go out the window. Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) tries to convince Anna (Julia Ling) that moving in with him would be a bad idea.

Chuck This Ranking: 51
Dave’s Ranking: I Agree

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs the Lethal Weapon (2.16) by Dave and Joe

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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 Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Lethal Weapon (2.16)

  1. noblz says:

    atcDave- Fix Title to read Lethal Weapon not Suburbs.

  2. noblz says:

    Upon initial viewing, I dumped this in the dud pile. But during one of atcDave’s re-watch events I reconsidered and promoted it out. It still ranks around 80-80 for me, but Chuck did a lot to redeem himself from Beefcake and the ending scene was dynamite. Chuck clearly tells Sarah he’s in love with her and Sarah accepts it. Oh, and the spy story was pretty good background for Orion. The scene where Sarah refuses Cole is also classic.

    • noblz says:

      I meant 80-83 for the ranking.

    • atcDave says:

      I think the main thing I still hold against it is just that Chuck is fairly whiny and annoying early on. But so much of what’s good here is very good. I agree with all the strengths you mentioned. I guess for me, that’s enough to lift it from weak to average. I particularly like the last ten minutes or so.
      And the season clearly gets very good from here to the end.

  3. herder says:

    Been away for quite a while, checked the site and decided to catch up to where you were. For the first time since the series ended I’m rewatching the whole thing. Loved the Delorean, still disliked Beefcake, as to Leathal Weapon, I view it as an end to one part of the show and the beginning of another part of the show. Suburbs and Best Friend, even when watched in the right order are Chuck trying to fit his relationship with Sarah into her world, Leathal Weapon is him going back to what Sarah said at the start of First Date, get rid of this and live your life with who you want to live it with. Here he says how much he wants to be with her and that he will live his life with the woman that he wants. This is the start of Chuck with a longer term purpose than to get out of a bad situation with some clever ways of doing things.

    Oh yes, the music in this and other episodes is simply great.

  4. uplink2 says:

    I think this is a critical episode in the development of Chuck and sets the stage for the great final arc of S2, probably the best multi-episode arc of the series, the search for Orion. There are also great significant steps in the evolution of the central relationship here. Sarah’s confession that even though she was tempted by Cole, she isn’t the kind of girl who cheats on her cover boyfriend. She also never denied that he was a lot more than just that. She admitted to a fellow spy that she cared for Chuck, and cared deeply. It’s also the first time Chuck freely admits to Sarah that he is love with her and always has been. Much more clear than any previous time he hinted at it. Also Sarah never tries to dissuade him or push him away. In fact she wants to be that girl he won’t let the spy life take away from him. The fountain scene is one of the most significant moments in season 2 and probably the entire series. Plus the song choice, though used before in the OC, was perfect. It helps set up Colonel in a major way. Plus even with that great scene it takes another step up my ladder with the Tron reveal. Finally showing that Chuck wasn’t just the clueless buffoon Casey and Sarah and we thought he was, up until that moment. He was a planner, a researcher, and an organizer who was trying to take change of his own life finally. Chuck takes a grand step up in this episode. It’s just so sad that so much of what is to come from this episode and the arc that follows is just thrown away on the trash heap of one more drink for the OLI angst well.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree exactly with all of that Uplink.

    • I heartily concur. That fountain scene, in particular, gets to me every time I watch it. The one-two punch of his words and her look can’t be beat.

      Russ / resaw

    • Yes, the Tron reveal was great and showed Chuck was far more capable than shown – but not unsuspected by the viewers.

      Too bad the rest of the series eroded that version of Chuck. His high point in the series, never to be attained again.

      • I wouldn’t say never…Ring II push mix clifhanger and the end of zoom hack off Santa suit and 5-12 come to mind!

      • Wilf says:

        Mostly agree Josh, but not the end of Santa Suit, where Chuck spent time embracing his (healthy) sister whilst ignoring his (almost frozen-to-death) wife!

      • atcDave says:

        Hah! Yes I agree exactly Wilf. There’s plenty of terrific episodes and scenes yet to come. But the end of Santa Suit was sort of a miss for me too.

    • herder says:

      Great review, I agree with almost anything in your post. When I first watched this back in 2009 (I think) this episode meant a lot to me, not just Chuck turning down Sarah’s offer to live with him – he wants more, not just because Sarah finally spoke to someone about Chuck, but that Chuck had a purpose and a plan. Yes and it followed one of the most disappointing episodes for me, Beefcake.

      Sarah speaking was big for me, up until that point she had told Roan that he was an asset, her father told her that Chuck loved her and she said nothing, she told Casey that she had feelings, just not what they were and we didn’t see anything that she told Bryce. Of course no one beleived her, but she is more a woman of action rather than words, Chuck gave her a bracelet so she killed the police/fulcrum agent. Here she speaks of the unfairness of the agency that if you find someone then you must leave them.

      This ties into the theme of the second season, Chuck wanting out and what does that mean for him, her and the agency. All though out the second season was Chuck wanting out, Sarah helping him willingly or not depending on how you interpret her actions and Casey killing anything that gets in their way. Of course this theme changed dramatically in the thirds season and the dreary OLI, this time with Chuck wanting to be in the agency and Sarah wanting out.

      The upshot is that I would rate this episode higher for these reasons than in the initial rating above.

  5. I was rushing out somewhere before; I meant the climax of Santa suit before Ellie shows up…putting the Omen Virus in Shaw’s head was ingenious, I agree about the lack of concern for Sarah but that is poor writing more than anything else…

  6. 3 years since the end…hard to believe…

    • atcDave says:

      I miss it. And I miss that excitement every night there was a new episode. I miss the huge discussion threads here too!

  7. DKD says:

    This has nothing to do with episode in particular, but some of the cast were interviewed about the show on the occasion of the third anniversary of it ending.

    http://www.thetvaddict.com/2015/01/28/what-the-chuck-scott-krinsky-mekenna-melvin-ryan-mcpartlin-joshua-gomez-and-vik-sahay-reflect-on-91-episodes-of-awesome/

    • Thanks for posting the link. That was an interesting interview. I was struck by two things: 1. the manner in which Vik Sahay responded to the questions; despite the looniness of Lester, beneath lies the heart, training and thoughtfulness of a professional veteran actor; and 2. they all were enthusiastic about the ending, and optimistic about Chuck and Sarah’s future together.

      Russ / resaw

  8. Martin Traynor says:

    I, too, enjoyed the article. Thanks for the link. But I also noticed how much of the “company line” they all seemed to be toting, though Josh Gomez seemed to have reservations. Not to insult anyone, because to each his own, but I just watched the series ending again and while I thought I had at least come to terms with it, I found myself feeling anger and betrayal toward TPTB for ruining Chuck and Sarah. I know some will say it all works out, and I don’t want to rehash the same old arguments, but I just really hated that ending and can’t understand how anyone can like it, even after 3 years and multiple viewings.

    Now, I did like the end of this one. Chuck taking control always works for me, except for when he casts Sarah aside to ultimately try and get her (see first half of season 3).

    Gosh I miss this show (read, “new episodes”).

    • atcDave says:

      I could just say “ditto” to all of that Martin.
      I have come to believe that CF meant for it to be a happy ending. But I have to go beyond what is obvious to get there. It certainly isn’t what I would call a “good” ending. But I’m willing to see that CF meant for it to be one.

      I think most actors know they should be cautious about insulting work they’ve done. The nature of their job is that they are looking for work every few months (every few years at best). Not only could they need a job from a past employer again, but they have a reputation to protect too. And that’s fine, I don’t really want to hear a bunch of whining either. I just always hope the responsible parties “get” why so many were unhappy.

  9. Martin Traynor says:

    I hear ya, Dave. And I understand totally that actors need to be very careful about how they criticize or even address work, especially projects they’ve been involved in. I tell you, though, I’d just once like to hear from someone involved in the production at ANY level to say, “we scr**ed the pooch on this one, folks, and we’re sorry.” It’ll never happen, but one can dream…

    I also think that CF thought he had a smart, loving way to end the show, but I wonder. I’m just not sure, despite his obvious talents, that he know best how to “end” this wonderful show. At least I’m thankful that he doesn’t actually “end” it, but leaves it open to more story telling from our own individual imaginations. But the path he sets on is rather depressing and leaves us with a situation between our favorite couple that I don’t enjoy having to reconcile, fix, or otherwise deal with.

    Sorry for the rant. Like I said, I had thought I was a peace with it (never really accepting it, but being able to move on). Upon last watching, I realized I am far from that point, lo these many (for me) months later.

    • atcDave says:

      I have come to completely accept, that CF’s view of romance is not mine(!).

    • Everyone knows my view on this so i won’t rehash that! I disagree with the notion that those interviewed were just “toting the company line” remember; they worked with Zac and Yvonne and the show runners every week so I have little doubt that they genuinely believed in the finale and honestly it’s impossible to sense mood from an article…

      While we’re on the subject; if ever there was a perfect song for the final scene I think this would be it! Sadly it was just released recently and was not available at the time…

  10. Martin Traynor says:

    Nor mine. It concerns me for “Forever,” as I’d like to see Jo and Henry together at some point…

    • atcDave says:

      I agree its a concern, but remember Matt Miller is the show runner. Hopefully he’s a story teller more to my liking.

      • oldresorter says:

        For some reason, I’ve stuck with Hart of Dixie. Looks like the show is done after this season, its been interesting to see how the show is approaching the final season. So far, the season has let the fav shipped couple have their season, while making the rest of the entire cast as miserable as possible. I like this approach in a comedy, back to Chuck, to me it’s funny to see morgan fail at everything, and Chuck emerge just long enough from making out with sarah to save the day. It also gives Jeffster or Big M a job, i.e. to help make Morgan as miserable as possible. Or have sarah (and chuck) emerge just long enough to save Casey’s or the guest stars butt in a tight spy jam. It serves double duty, because it gives the secondary characters meaty roles, while lets the hero’s really be hero’s, while having a blast. Very Nick and Nora like.

      • atcDave says:

        That sounds like a very reasonable approach!

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