Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The CAT Squad (4.15)

NBC Synopsis:  CHUCK INVITES TROUBLE WHEN HE REUNITES SARAH WITH HER OLD SPY TEAM – LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS, MINI ANDEN AND MEKENNA MELVIN GUEST STAR – Chuck (Zachary Levi) surprises Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) with her old spy team, The C.A.T. Squad, leading to a mission in Rio. As The C.A.T. Squad works to settle a score with Augusto Gaez (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips), old secrets and grudges come to light. Back at the Buy More, Morgan fends off the advances of Carina, a former flame and frisky member of The C.A.T Squad.

Chuck This Ranking: 76
Dave’s Ranking: a little better

First Impressions: First Impressions: Chuck vs The CAT Squad

Full Write Ups: Chuck vs The CAT Squad by Dave and Joe
Summer Re-Wacth: 4.15 Chuck vs the Cat Squad by Joe and Ernie
CAT Squad – Collision with the Past by 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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26 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The CAT Squad (4.15)

  1. authorguy says:

    This episode could have been so much better. Cheesy awfulness, a mission from the past, a decently smarmy villain, the rekindling of a strong friendship amidst treachery, all sorts of good things.
    Unfortunately they were smothered in a peculiar insistence on playing up the suspicion between Sarah and Zondra, which was so absurdly overdone it couldn’t help but point at the true mole. Worse, because of this belief that the true mole needed to be revealed, practically everyone else acts like they’ve taken stupid pills, especially Casey. (A lot of people were bothered that Sarah would slice through the ropes and drop Chuck onto pieces of broken glass, but given that he should have fractured his skull in a t least two different episodes, I’m not so concerned about the bodily damage they don’t suffer.) The cherry on top of this idiocy has to be the idea of making throwing stars out of lightweight plastic disks. He would have been better off throwing the waffle iron.
    Not the worst episode of the series but not far off.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Did you ever watch Chuck? If so how did you ever reach the conclusion that tight plotting and stark realism were what it was going for?

      • atcDave says:

        We’ve never really required familiarity with the show itself from our guests.
        Should this be a policy change?

    • DKD says:

      I really did not like this one at all. It’s in my bottom five.

      I was one of the ones bothered by Sarah dropping Chuck onto the ground. Not funny. I never think any situation where a spouse inflicts damage onto their partner to be funny regardless of whether the damage is serious or not and regardless of whether it is a gender reversal.

      Add in a ridiculous plot and it sinks to the bottom for me. I’d watch “Fake Name” before this one any day–actually I did.

      • authorguy says:

        Fake Name could have been a great episode with just a few minor changes. I know this because I made those changes and it turned out to be a great episode. CAT Squad has a few moments of worth that had to be panned out of a river of crap.

  2. Martin Traynor says:

    I liked this episode on the whole, but a lot in it did require suspension of a little more than just disbelief. Marc, you’re totally right about the throwing stars/discs, but I really liked the way the scene played out, especially how Chuck had an idea and then used the intersect to make it happen. But it was all Chuck before he used the intersect, and he was even able to impress the CAT Squad at the same time.

    And, I liked the end, where Sarah told Chuck that he helped her in a thousand (hundred?) ways every day to make him feel better AND acknowledge her reliance on him…Always nice when Charah have a moment…

    I actually liked (gasp) Morgan in this episode. It was nice to see him with the upper hand concerning Carina…and how he dealt with Alex, especially at the end with Casey. He played it very well by the end, and since I like Alex and Morgan together, their end here pleased me quite a bit.

    The one thing I had the biggest problem with was the interrogation scene with Casey and Gaez. If they suspect one of the CATs as being a traitor, WHY IN THE WORLD would you have one of them in interrogation with you?!?! I’ve suspended a LOT of disbelief with this show, but that one just makes me want to scream “FOUL!”

    Otherwise, a very fun episode that ended well and introduced more of Sarah’s back story.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with most of that Martin; including the occasional necessity of overlooking physics.
      Like so much where Chuck is concerned, I’m happy to make allowances when it’s fun.
      Along those same lines it’s the tension between Chuck and Sarah for a while that is most damaging to my enjoyment. But things start well, and end well, so I’m not really very concerned. This will never be a very favorite, but I can happily re-watch any time and have a lot of fun.

      • Martin Traynor says:

        Yeah, Dave, Sarah really flip-flops in this one. I didn’t like the tension between them, either, but I did like seeing her struggle with something Chuck-related and not only coming to terms with it, but almost sort of embracing it.

        I get the feeling she will never like Chuck meddling and forcing her into territory where she feels uncomfortable or not in control, but I like that she realizes by the end that a) he does lover her, b) he’s only trying to help her when he meddles, and c)she needs to at least try and be more open to his meddling and to him.

        And like you, I also have NO PROBLEM suspending the laws of physics, disbelief or anything else to make a fun story work!

  3. anthropocene says:

    Friends, I do science for a living, and I also work very hard trying to overcome various and sundry misconceptions about science in the minds of a whole lot of impressionable young undergraduates every year. And as far as I can ascertain (spoiler alert!) there hasn’t been one SF, superhero, CSI, detective, or espionage program yet that doesn’t require suspension of disbelief at some point for license taken with physics, chemistry, biomedicine, geology, meteorology, materials science, engineering, etc. But as Dave says, who cares when it’s fun?

  4. Martin Traynor says:

    I think I enjoyed that crazy, pushing the realm of plausibility stuff the most (again, when i led to fun action). That’s just another one of those things that made “Chuck” the great ride that it was/is. And I enjoyed that it never took itself too seriously.

    I always wondered who all the people were at the Engagement Party. Chuck and Sarah seem to be very friendly with everyone, but we only saw them with and around a very few people regularly. It’s not important, but always just wondered…

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I love the outrageous, over-the-top stuff.

      I always figured they were all Ellie’s friends. And most of them are Doctors…

    • thinkling says:

      Ha! I wondered about all those people, too. But Dave is probably right, which makes it a fun call back to the pilot. Of course now, Chuck’s not so uncomfortable at the party … and neither is Sarah.

    • Wilf says:

      Some of them may have been Wiener girls, as at Sarah’s bachelorette party.

  5. oldresorter says:

    A golden episode in a golden era for fans of ‘fun Chuck’. By the way, a new Star Trek is coming out, captain candidate #14 might interest some of you per tv line. How cool would that one be?

    http://tvline.com/2015/11/02/star-trek-new-tv-series-captain-casting-photos/

  6. Martin Traynor says:

    I enjoy Adam Baldwin in “Last Ship” and loved Matt Bomer in “White Collar,” so I’d think Yvonne as Captain Awesome Clandestine would be fabulous.

  7. noblz says:

    Cat Squad…Oh boy!

    I have read all of the complaints about realism… don’t care, don’t expect it. Also, I’ve heard “campy” used…so what.

    This episode is the perfect illustration of the point that Chuck is a parody of the spy genre. I expect campy and I expect a bit of ridiculousness… it is what it is.

    Having said that, this one did not make my top 10 (29) of episodes but it was OK. It was one of those episodes that first time through I found un-impressive, but it grew on me. The best part of this was how Sarah struggles with her new life (having someone else in it), being a little embarrassed and evolving to the point where she is at the end. Plus, anytime we get Yvonne and Mercedes Masohn in skin tight workout cloths having a cat fight is an up note.

    The biggest drag for me was having Morgan and his “ex” thrown in my face every few minutes. The whole idea that a one night stand made her an ex is ridiculous.

    • Wilf says:

      I agree with what you say, except for the point about Morgan and his “ex”. I always saw that label as being due to Morgan’s immaturity and his consequent inability to understand what an “ex” is, rather than any failure in the script.

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