‘Chuck’ delivers the return of Orion
February 1st, 2011
01:15 PM ET

‘Chuck’ delivers the return of Orion

It looks like I owe "Chuck" an apology. After last week’s complaints about his ineptitude at being a spy, this week he proved that he just might know what he’s doing after all.

The fact that it happened in an almost entirely awesome episode just made it that much better.

So much took place last night that I want to mention. So, if you’ll indulge me, we’re going to cover the general plot points (and my reactions) in quick-hit fashion.

Chuck takes down Volkoff (Yeah!). Casey comes out of his coma (Woo!). Ellie and Awesome’s baby is born (That seemed fast). Linda Hamilton wasn’t killed off (Boo!). Chuck proposes (Finally!). Jeffster performs (Ugh!). Jeffster performs “Push It” in a maternity award (Aw yeah!).

Whew. I think that covers the broad strokes. Now, let’s dig into some detail.

Chuck’s plan to take down Volkoff was brilliant. Invoking his dead father’s code name, Orion, Chuck beautifully played on Volkoff’s affections for Mama Bartowski and his jealousy over her marriage. I knew a Chuck-Volkoff showdown was coming and realistically knew the messages from Orion were really from Chuck. But I still spent half the episode holding out hope that Orion might actually return (and trying to convince myself that we didn’t really see him die on camera).

More to the point, Chuck finally acted like a spy. He used secrecy and inside information to put his plan in motion, and he was willing to put himself and his loved ones in some modicum of danger in order to see his plan through. That’s quite the development for someone who often freaks out when anyone he’s close to (including other professional spies) are threatened in any way.

And the showdown with Volkoff was a true turning point, using physical force and mind games to walk the bad guy right into his trap. Aces, Charles.

Unfortunately, this probably means the end of Timothy Dalton’s run as Volkoff, at least for now. He has been far and away the best long-running villain on the show (Dear Brandon Routh/Shaw – Please stay away forever. Sincerely, Everyone.)

Dalton’s performance, and especially his delivery of some epic lines, has been a highlight this season. Last night, we got to see his “floating fortress of fun” (every evil lair should come with an ice cream parlor). But I just about lost it when he explained the origin of his secret password (death is the solution to all problems):

“It comes from my favorite poet and humanitarian: Joseph Stalin.”

There were still some minor annoyances in the episode. Some of Morgan’s spy work jumped right over the line from silly to slapstick. The idea that Awesome, who is a doctor, would freak out to that degree when Ellie went into labor rang hollow. And the Jeffster performance really seemed forced.

But overall, my faith in the show is renewed. Chuck is showing progress. He and Sarah are back together. And Sarah is back to being a blonde (and thank goodness for that; she looked awful with black hair).

This episode could have worked as a season or even series finale. The fact that it’s simply the midway point for this season makes me eager to see where the show will take us next.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Babiyaga

    Why is the reviewer always hatin' on Jeffster?

    February 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Posh-Kenneth

    @Alice- I agree, Brandon Routh was great. As far as I know he's the only one who has put anyone Chuck loves in any kind of REAL danger (even killed Orion) so... I have to disagree with you Jordan. Plus Shaw has an intersect in his brain... also dangerous work. I hope they bring him back sometime soon, just to see what he's made of it since he's had time with it in his head.

    I do like Volkoff though, Timothy Dalton is great. XD Linda Hamilton had her moments, they could have done more with her and hopefully they will. Anything with Jeffster gets me, those guys are honest to god dudes I would seek out to hang with. Life isn't fun if you can't have a drink at Benigans with some creepy... creepy dudes. The baby thing was a bit rushed, whatever, Morgan is always slightly slapstick lets be honest, and Devon freakin out didn't surprise me. He's very in line, so for something like this to happen (one pin falling out started the ball rolling) doesn't surprise me either.

    I'm excited to see where this season goes for it's second half. Somewhere awesome I hope, no pun intended.

    February 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alice

    It was a strong episode, but it wasn't the best ever. It was a good series finale. Overall, I haven't really liked this season, the plot has been very weak. Dalton made a fun villain but he was too campy and silly for me. Hamilton just didn't work. Not exactly her fault, but the writers dropped the ball with her character. She seemed like a very poor spy when in 20 years she couldn't take Volkoff down. Boo. I just never cared for her character, and her delivery was dull. And I have to totally disagree on Daniel Shaw. To me he has been the best villain in this show so far, he was actually a real threat, and still is. Brandon Routh did a great job.

    February 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |

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