Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Aisle of Terror (4.06)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK’S DREAM OF FINDING HIS MOM MAY BE HIS WORST NIGHTMARE — LINDA HAMILTON, MORGAN FAIRCHILD AND ROBERT ENGLUND GUEST-STAR — When Chuck (Zachary Levi), Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are tasked to stop Dr. Stanley Wheelright (guest star Robert Englund, “Nightmare on Elm Street” films) from releasing a nightmare-inducing toxin, they’re also lead to question the allegiances of Chuck’s mom (guest star Linda Hamilton, “The Terminator”). Meanwhile, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) use their unique sensibilities to celebrate Halloween at the Buy More, and Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) get a visit from Dr. Honey Woodcomb (guest star Morgan Fairchild).

Chuck This Ranking: 77
Dave’s Ranking: 50 places higher (!)

First Impressions: Episode 4.06 Observation Post

Full Write Up: Chuck vs The Aisle of Terror (4.06) by Dave and Joe
Aisle of Terror: Dave and Thinkling Rewatch and Review by Dave and Thinkling

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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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11 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Aisle of Terror (4.06)

  1. authorguy says:

    One of the best episodes this season. The only major flaw is that they wrote off the possibilities of the atroxium far too easily. That toxin could have driven the entire season. The comic potential of some of Chuck’s fears was also left untapped.Oh well.

  2. oldresorter says:

    Yet another tv show came to an end last night with joyful greatness. Falling Skies was not the best show ever made, far from it, and it’s 5th season (announced as the final season, sound familiar?) was just so-so, but the writers sure knew how to close the book tthe right way as the final credits rolled. As the great philospher Devon Woodcomb once said, ‘Awesome’.

    6 straight great eps on Chuck with this ep, even if this one was the weakest of the bunch. Why do both Chuck and Sarah have to be so freaking stupid? Still, a weak season 4 ep is still much stronger than any of the season 3 eps other than Role Models and the Honeymoon ep. I wonder if I’ll like the next ep and make it 7 in a row?

    • atcDave says:

      I think for the season so far I’d only rank this one behind Suitcase. But I seem to be more out of step with popular opinion on this episode than usual. This might actually be my biggest disparity of the series!

      • authorguy says:

        I’ve already written how i would have handled it all, and I agree with you, Dave. This episode was very powerful, but the poor handling of the Atroxium device cripples its strength. This could have been one of the best episodes if they’d been thinking longer term.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not overly worried about the Atroxium, its just an excuse for the meeting and mission.

        I think what was done so well here was a first meeting with Mary, Chuck/Sarah as a capable and professional team, and one of the best uses of angst in the entire series. Certainly the best since S2; and it sets up a completely legitimate conflict going in to the next episode.

      • anthropocene says:

        The atroxium, the governor, “saving the world from Chuck,” Decker and his conspiracy…many potentially rich plot threads were lost almost as quickly as they were introduced. “Chuck’s” strengths were different, and more than enough to attract a serious fan base—but imagine what it would have been like with more meticulous writing. I’ll hold out “Breaking Bad” as a comparison: not everyone’s cup of tea to be sure, but an incredibly well-written and well-acted show—in part because the show kept track of every tiny detail. And yet I can only say I enjoyed watching “Breaking Bad,” whereas I loved “Chuck.”

      • authorguy says:

        I do imagine. It’s why I write, to pick up on some of those tiny details and enhance the story. There’s no reason why a ‘beloved’ story has to be poorly plotted. On the other hand, I have found tight plotting to sometimes get in the way of making a story fun or enjoyable.
        The Decker Conspiracy was thrown away, not simply lost. I wish they hadn’t, they could have done a good story with those 13 episodes, rather than the Morgansect and Quinn arcs taking up space. No idea what they were doing with those.

      • atcDave says:

        Chuck was a long way from the sloppiest show I’ve ever watched, but it clearly wasn’t built around a tight mythology either! I think it was during S2 when CF expressed some surprise that fans were paying much attention to those details. I think the surprise meant they weren’t…

      • authorguy says:

        I just posted the first chapter of my revision of this episode, originally titled ‘I Love Terror’, in nine2five season 2, the story where I’m collecting up all the chapters of my season 4 rewrite under one title. The main plot arc for the entire rest of the season starts here, with the Fear Toxin and who gets caught in it.

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    I’m always a fan of when Chuck self-sacrifices for Sarah. Like when he locks her IN Castle to go save Shaw, and here, where he locks her OUT of the room with the Atroxium. It’s not only extremely heroic and brave, but it’s so full of love. Even before Chuck was capable (with or without the intersect), he was making these choices and backing them up with actions. Like when he swings in to save Sarah from Sasha Banicheck (sp) back in season 2.

    So many examples we could discuss!

    To me, this was a pretty good episode. I also appreciated Sarah watching out for Chuck’s blind spot, but agree (with comments from other earlier articles on this episode) that she should have given him at least some warning or hint that it was coming. But I don’t get that she withheld anything from him in any kind of secretive or distrusting way. I think it had more to do with timing and pulling everything together quickly to nab her.

    Here’s a great opportunity for Chuck to trust Sarah, and for Sarah to trust Chuck. TPTB use this dilemma to broach some interesting, deeper trust issues with our favorite (spy) couple, and really explore them much deeper next episode.

    And Jeff – who knew he was a genius psycho (hands raise all over the room)?!

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I agree with all of that Martin. Chuck and Sarah both sacrificing and risking for each other is a favorite recurring theme of mine. And although she maybe could have handled it better, I love that she covers Chuck’s blind spot.

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