March 22nd, 2011
01:50 PM ET
“If you’re still determined to prove why Chuck is special, all I’m asking is that you find more creative ways to do it.”
Apologies for quoting myself, but given how this week’s episode went, I wanted to acknowledge that “Chuck” exceeded my expectations in delivering on that request.
Apparently, General Beckman is a firm believer in second chances. Jane Bentley’s (Robin Givens) idea of putting the intersect in super-soldiers didn’t go so well last week. But the search is on for new intersect candidates… and the current intersect will decide who should get the upload.
Brace yourselves, everyone: Chuck is running the show, handing down orders to Sarah, Casey and Bentley.
He brings in four candidates: Lewis, a hacker/explosives expert (with a totally phony British accent); Josie, a psy-ops genius who’s a bit of a Sarah clone; Damian, who everyone suspects might be a terrorist based simply on his appearance; and Brody, who is basically Chuck 2.0.
After a week of testing, Chuck makes his very obvious pick of Brody. Only problem: someone stabs Brody to death on his way to meet Chuck.
Suddenly, Castle turns into an Agatha Christie novel, going into lockdown since one of the people inside is a killer. There’s an awesome exchange when everyone immediately – and unconsciously – eyeballs Damian.
Damian: Oh sure, blame the swarthy guy with the beard!
Lewis (off-screen): No! Some of my best friends are terrorists!
Things devolve into chaos, with loss of power, multiple explosions, the death of Lewis, and some serious confrontations between Chuck and Bentley. (I put those in ascending order of importance; Lewis was a pointless character.)
In the midst of all of this, Morgan has to preside over an escalating prank war between the Buy More and the Large Mart. It’s good for some bathroom humor (literally) and some OBSCENE product placement. But the star of this storyline is Kevin Bacon: the Large Mart’s little pig mascot.
Downstairs, Chuck eventually deduces that Damian is the assassin (if the scraggly beard fits…), and the team, Bentley included, takes him down.
This is why Chuck is unique as the intersect. He’s not just a spy (like the Gretas), or someone who fits a profile (like this week’s candidates). He’s someone who combines all of those things, and brings his own unique skills to the table. And when you combine that with Sarah and Casey, it makes a powerful team. Beckman thinks so too; she cancels the project and proclaims Chuck the one and only intersect.
It turns out Damian was hired by Vivian Volkoff, who is coming after the man she feels is responsible for putting her father away.
I figured the show established the new Volkoff generation to play a significant role. I’m a little unsure how they’re going to pull it off long-term, since the actress who plays Vivian was cast as the lead in a pilot for next season, but I’ll let them worry about the details.
Regardless, Chuck has a nemesis, and not the one he thought. Given his bickering with Bentley (he’s mad at her for giving his dad’s computer to Ellie; she’s mad at him for taking over her project), those two seemed to be set to butt heads for a while.
Except Bentley does a 180 on Chuck so fast that it might have given viewers whiplash. She spent the bulk of the episode predicting his failure and talking about his inability to lead. But when the final bomb was ready to go off, she was willing to sacrifice herself (TOTALLY not in character). After Chuck saves her, she suddenly decides he’s a good spy and worthy of her respect. That just seemed really abrupt.
Bentley also clues Chuck in to the fact that Ellie might not need to be kept away from his spy life. She’s been obsessed with her father’s computer all episode, figuring out his work on implanting information into the brain (like, say, a certain intersect we know).
Chuck asks Devin to get Ellie away from the computer. But Devin realizes that the research is giving Ellie a sense of purpose and a connection to her dad. At the very end of the episode, while Ellie is asleep in front of it, the computer scans the room, recognizes Ellie, and then begins opening something called Agent X Files.
I've been opposed to keeping Ellie in the dark, but if this is how she is brought into the spy world, using her skills as a doctor to understand how the intersect works in Chuck’s brain and her Bartowski genes to take on whatever this Agent X thing is, I’m all for it.
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