Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Fear of Death (4.08)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK FEARS THAT A MAJOR LOSS MAY END HIS SPY CAREER—AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH SARAH – ROB RIGGLE, SUMMER GLAU AND RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN GUEST STAR – Afraid that his latest setback is driving a wedge between him and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), Chuck (Zachary Levi) resolves to prove himself by going on a dangerous mission with the overeager Agent Rye (guest star Rob Riggle). Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) scramble as the “Buy Morons” attempt to uncover the true identity of Greta (guest star Summer Glau).

Chuck This Ranking: 85
Dave’s Ranking: about 20 higher

First Impressions: Observations: Chuck vs the Fear of Death
Roundtable Reaction: Fear of Death by Joe, Dave, Ernie, Faith, Thinkling and Amy

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Fear of Death (4.08) by Dave and Joe
Fear of Death; The Ernie and Faith Showdown goes Epic by Ernie and Faith

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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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16 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Fear of Death (4.08)

  1. oldresorter says:

    One of my least favorite episodes in the show, other than most of season 3. The agent was possibly the third worst guest character in the show, after Shaw and Quinn. Felt like watching an ep of Get Smart only none of the jokes or gags worked or even better yet, like watching 42 straight minutes of Jeff and Lester. So I guess the season long streak of better than average eps ends here, but 7 straight still isn’t bad. There is more greatness coming, for my eye, pretty much the rest of the season is above average if I recall off memory. I’ll see on rewatch if I’m still liking every ep after this one.

  2. Wilf says:

    Me too. Possibly least favourite and certainly one of them (Season 3.0 excepted of course). Rye was ridiculous in the extreme and what was more ridiculous was that Chuck was allowed to be left in his sole care. I mean, really?

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    I can think of a few season 1, 2 (first half of 3) and last few of 5 episodes that I like less. This episode seemed to be played largely for laughs, but I’m never a fan of Chuck and Sarah being separated, which they wee for most of this and the next (though the next is MUCH better).

    I actually liked Rye – this show is about fun, and Rye was sure having fun, wasn’t he? Of course, it came at/during Chuck’s expense, so that’s not great.

    The whole idea of Sarah being the rock in the way of the intersect was just plain stupid, but sometimes Chuck the show goes a little to long in the way of stupid, so it’s not that big a deal And again, for me, if they HAVE to create angst (and seem hell-bent on doing it artificially), this is more the way to go – even Chuck and Sarah didn’t buy into it (at least for long)…

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I think we’re in about the same place for this one. It will never be a “favorite” of mine; but I don’t dislike it either, and Rye makes me laugh.

    • Justin says:

      Stupid is the right word to sum up a lot of the Chuck/Sarah angst in this episode.

      • atcDave says:

        I never really saw any angst here at all for Chuck and Sarah except for Sarah’s foolish statement about Chuck not being an agent. And I always figured she regretted it the moment she said it.
        The angst here was all Chuck and his professional insecurities, and I basically really like how he deals with things. He tries to prove his worth without the intersect.
        While Sarah worries that Chuck not take any foolish risks trying to prove himself. Which she then accidentally goads him into doing…
        I think that’s all pretty legitimate grounds to explore. The episode never rises above mediocrity for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the biggest thing is just none of this is “fun” even if it is legitimate. It also suffers from just feeling like an excuse to get to Phase Three. Most episodes would suffer from that comparison!

  4. noblz says:

    This did not make my top 10 (29) but I rate it higher than the group, say 60 or so.

    This was like several others that when I first saw them it was “meh”. But on re-watch, I found I like everything except the trip to Switzerland, I just did not like the Chuck-Rye dynamic.

    I thought everything up till Sarah freaks out when Chuck deploys with Rye and the ending were exceptional.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I liked Jeff and Lester in this one. Mainly because they weren’t Jeffster, but creepy stalker Jeff and Lester a la Season 1. Perversely I liked it here and this Greta dynamic was better and the obvious Firefly references between Casey and Greta were great.

    Also, how can you not like seeing Sarah in her un-mentionables perched on Chuck’s back giving him a massage (she smelled delightfully of grapefruit).

    • atcDave says:

      I guess the only thing I really held against Rye that Chuck seemed to hold him in too high esteem. But otherwise yeah, seems like we’re in about the same place.

      • noblz says:

        Exactly. Also, Rye was very arrogant to everyone, especially Chuck.

        I forgot earlier, but the scene where Rye interrupts Chuck’s massage is where Mrs otherDave observed that Sarah was not so “out of his league” anymore. She made this statement right after Sarah runs in waving a chef’s knife and Chuck is propped up on his back. I always defer to Mrs otherDave when evaluating actors. I can handle how attractive actresses are on my own. Mrs otherDave opined that since OG this has been the case, it just became so obvious here that she mentioned it.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know, Chuck always had a bit of nerd about him, and Sarah does NOT!

  5. Martin Traynor says:

    I like seeing vulnerable Sarah – it’s just a shame that the only way to get to vulnerable Sarah is via the “Chuck’s in Trouble” highway…

    • atcDave says:

      I would have liked to see a lot more of Sarah (and Chuck) in a variety of more normal situations.
      But I guess that goes along with the whole “more taco nights…” Thing.

  6. Martin Traynor says:

    Yeah, Dave, me too. But more than that, I would have liked a good bit more vulnerable Sarah, maybe with her dad or especially her mom and Molly. Vulnerable where Chuck could be there for her, instead of her vulnerability coming out in his absence, due to his absence. While I really like romantic Chuck and Sarah, I like their non-romantic, but still relationshippy (relationshippish?) interactions. Like when they are there to support each other. Life each other up. make each other laugh.

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