Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13)

NBC Synopsis:  THE MISSION TO TAKE DOWN VOLKOFF REACHES A DANGEROUS NEW LEVEL, WHILE BIG CHANGES LOOM AT HOME — MEKENNA MELVIN, LINDA HAMILTON AND TIMOTHY DALTON GUEST STAR — As Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) works to free Chuck’s mom (guest star Linda Hamilton), Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) embark on their own mission to take down Alexei Volkoff (guest star Timothy Dalton). Meanwhile, Casey (Adam Baldwin) bonds with his daughter, Alex (guest star Mekenna Melvin), while Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) tries to ease Awesome’s (Ryan McPartlin) anxieties over fatherhood.

Chuck This Ranking: 9
Dave’s Ranking: A little lower

First Impressions: Chuck vs The Push Mix – First Reactions Post

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13) by Dave and Joe
Summer Rewatch: 4.13 Chuck vs the Push Mix by Faith and Dave
Push Mix Delivers by Thinkling

Alternatives: Season Four Alternatives: The Intersect-less and Volkoff Arcs by Dave

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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20 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Push Mix (4.13)

  1. oldresorter says:

    some eps age well for me, this one did not. I loved it at first, but not enough Chuck and Sarah together time. I did not love the engagement scene, and like it less and less over time, maybe because of how the show ended in the final season, sort of retrospectively angry over all the jerking around the writers did of the fans. It took ten eps to go from cubic z to the hospital scene. Too long a journey for what was a completely known and uninspired destination.

    • atcDave says:

      Wow, well, I agree there was not enough Charah time IN the episode; that’s what keeps it from being among the best of the best for me. But I liked the engagement and was mostly happy with how things went. And I’m very happy when Chuck wins with his brains.

      • thinkling says:

        I though on balance it was a great episode, and great because of its balance. It was jam-packed with lots of Chuck magic. CHUCK was great at packing a whole lot of story and range into one episode, and this show-cased that ability. True there could have been more Charah, and the proposal could have been lighter and closer (visually I mean), but it hit all the right notes and hit them well. It tied up the proposal story, did justice to the mythology, honored the Bartowski legacy and the best Bartowski traits. Dalton was fabulous, as was Linda Hamilton. Great Sarah fight sequence. Sweet family moments. Plus, after that long journey, we finally got the payoff, and not like OG. This was a worthy return on investment.

        Plus, it was a huge relief after such a long time anticipating the proposal and the justified doubts as to whether TPTB would actually deliver. Yes, I would have preferred to have it sooner (like in Paris), but at least we got it.

    • oldresorter says:

      think’n dave – I agree with what u both wrote – wrote this review after reading my initial post the night of the ep when I called it best ever, which I know longer think. This ep still is in my top 15-20, just not top 5 for me. I loved the Orion call backs. This might have been one of Chuck’s best thinking eps, which I agree are great. Was this also Mary’s best ep?

  2. Push Mix was superb: the takedown of Volkoff was perfectly written, and the proposal was simple but felt emotional; facial expressions add so much more to any scene than the words especially where relationships are concerned and this was no exception…Sarah’s smile as Chuck pops the question is arguably the happiest we ever see her-aside from the wedding of course and a few other select moments

  3. Martin Traynor says:

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Chuck defeats Volkoff with his mind, not the intersect. He proposes to Sarah (though I can’t stand the almost pained look on his face just before he kneels down – WHAT was that?). Jeffster at the end was woefully misplaced, but was also funny. I really could have done without the humor at this point in the episode, though. There were some pretty serious, dramatic events taking place throughout team and family Bartowski, and I think skipping the sophomoric humor (Jeffster) would have been well advised, but hey, that’s just me.

    I am among those who didn’t enjoy the separation of Chuck and Sarah so much here. But when they were together, it was gold (especially at the end). I would have preferred the fade to black hold off a few seconds and take longer, but no big deal.

    I’ll skip over the fact that while it took Mary (and Stephen, if you’re among those who believe they were in contact during that 20 years, which I don’t) 20 years to get almost nowhere, it took Chuck only mere days after he basically decides he’s had enough to end/capture Volkoff (granted, he did it with mommy and daddy’s intel and toys). But I won’t get into that. This is fantasy fun, and I’m expelling (suspension on steroids) my disbelief, and happy to do it for Chuck!

    All in all, a great episode in my book.

    • duckman says:

      Regarding the humor, I think they got so much praise for the “action-comedy-drama mix” that they either felt they had to keep trying or actually thought they were still funny. This instance isn’t bad, but so many times,(santa suit leaps to mind), they inserted humor in places it did not belong and just made the whole thing cheap and offensive. The “action-comedy-drama mix” thing was wayyy overrated, especially post s2. The fight club bit was one of the funniest things I’ve seen on tv, but it was buried in that…episode.

      • atcDave says:

        Apart from saying “yoga seal” went on far too long I was pretty happy with the action/comedy mix in this episode; but they definitely had some failings with it on occasion.

  4. Martin Traynor says:

    For most episodes I thought they did a pretty good job of balancing the humor/drama/spyjinks. That said, I was never a huge fan of Jeff/Lester/Buy More (with the notable exception of Big Mike, especially in later seasons – I LOVED Big Mike, aka “Rain”) except in a few instances. I just really thought the end of this particular episode was strong without the Jeffster interlude (while it was humorous, it really took away, for me, from “the moment.”).

    One of my biggest problems with Morgan throughout the series was how much he dragged Chuck down as a spy. His incompetence just really sucked victory away from Chuck at almost every turn. In the end, Chuck would prevail, but almost always with no thanks to Morgan. Or if Morgan helped, he was usually the cause of the problem.

    Now Morgan did have a few shining moments, but overall, I didn’t enjoy him much until he was paired more with Casey and Alex…

  5. anthropocene says:

    Count me in as a big fan of this episode. Chuck’s understated yet totally confident showdown with Volkoff in his dad’s cabin, with the quick montage-style cuts to Casey’s and Sarah’s triumphs, and then the surprise Beckman reveal…this is still one of my favorite “Chuck” excerpts ever. Oh, and yeah, there was a proposal too, wasn’t there? 😉

    • I agree with all of that, Anthro. Understated is the right word. The proposal was equally understated, and perhaps for that reason still tugs at my heartstrings. I thought it was a brilliant way to conclude the episode and, potentially at the time, the series.

      I was never a big fan of the search for Chuck’s mom arc that was the main thrust of S4, but it did feel good to have it accomplished here. Mary was even symbolically welcomed back into the family by being invited by Chuck to step into the delivery room to see the birth of her granddaughter. Mission accomplished.

  6. Wilf says:

    Yep, definitely one of the best for me and certainly one of my most re-watched. There’s really quite little I dislike about this episode, apart from the “yoga-seal”. It’s even rather cute when Sarah gives Morgan her coat.

  7. oldresorter says:

    tough week of tv for me, not sure any show I watched really hit one of those home runs.

    Castle, I guess I am a Castle fan, I LOL’d three different times (rare for me to do that even once). Liked the ep in spite of the continued lousy illogical love story. I always read reviews for castle and fan comments, the ep got trashed, both by the 2 reviews I read as well as most fan comments. I think unhappy comedy is one of the worst ideas in tv. This ep was slap stick most of the while, mixed in with all kinds of Kate still loves Rick, until of course she tells him she is coming over …. spoiler alert …. to move the rest of her things out.

    I think the TVBTN’s ratings are not very good, and I fully expect Castle to be cancelled. In spite of my liking the show, I’ll be glad, as I want any show that uses such plot devices to fail. Hopefully it sends a message to writers at some point. Still, I remain a vigilant Castle fan, and will watch it to the bitter end I suspect.

    • thinkling says:

      With this season’s horrible story line, it deserves to be canceled. For a show that got so much right, it sure got some major, major things wrong: like most of the season finales, the wedding, and this current CRM debacle. Honestly, this is probably worse than the S3 storyline, and that’s saying a lot.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree exactly. The only caveat being; I was less invested to begin with, so the fall bothers me less. But that also means it’s easier for me just to switch it off.

      • Castle had a couple funny moments last week, but an accidental cop shooting is not funny. It was juvenile. I just hope Castle starts investigating the reason Beckett left soon, but the show has a tendency of ignoring what characters would do for most of a season.

        The ratings are down over 25% and the show is near the bottom of ABC’s renew index, but that’s probably because NBC dropped a naked, tattooed Avengers sidekick in Time Square, more than the current story line. (I like Blindspot a lot so far, but I can’t see it’s story making sense past a year and a half without a reboot.)

        In other news, Adam Baldwin is back on Castle in the November 9th episode: http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/10/castle-episode-806-cool-boys-press.html

  8. oldresorter says:

    has anything ever come of the secret idea Levi and Yvonne hatched up in terms of the Chuck show or Chuck fandom?

    • atcDave says:

      I never heard anything. Zac did say “not yet” to any movie fairly recently.
      Be assured, we will have a special post here if we ever get any real news!

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