Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Chuck: Chuck versus the Third Dimension

Well, hello, Cleveland. Chuck really didn’t pull any punches with this return episode. We had nightmare almost-sex, real almost-sex, some crazy Led Zeppelin-style guitar riffs, crowd surfing, emotional confessions, elevators, ex-cons, and a rock star played by Dom—

[We interrupt this review to bring you an unscheduled moment of fangirl glee: woo-hoo! It’s Charlie! And he’s hilarious! And adorable! And bringin’ the Manchester in full force!]

—inic Monaghan, all in three exciting dimensions.

Well, three dimensions for those viewers who bothered to get the glasses (does this have something to do with the SuperBowl?). I didn’t, out of laziness and a weird conviction that TV viewing shouldn’t require accessories. Without the glasses, there was a rather annoying yellow glow around some objects, and some people. But with the glasses, I would have been subjected to a 3D 6-foot long submarine eating contest. So I’m cool.

Despite all the spectacle and all the Dominic Monaghan, I didn’t love this episode. It felt too big, too forced. And the pacing seemed somehow off: I kept thinking it was almost over. But individual scenes and lines were quite good:

• “No touching!” (A nod to all Arrested Development fans.)

• The countdown clock for the grenade.

• The darts. And Dominic Monaghan’s reaction to them.

• “Have I made a mistake?...Better question, where am I?”

• “I may be a rum-soaked narcissist, but I’m also the best wingman you’ll
ever have.”

• “Hello, Cleveland!”
“Actually, it’s Burbank.”
“Well, I’m dyslexic.”

• The music playing over the BuyMore competition for the Golden Ticket.

• And the Sgt. Pepper-reject jacket.

This really wasn’t an episode about characters, but Chuck’s confession about his own fears and frustrations to Sarah, as well as his own decision to stay in the spy game, was a nice resolution to the emotional cliffhanger of the last episode—or an easy out. I’m not sure which.

Hmmm... how to rate an episode when the parts are better than the whole?

Two out of four dimensions.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. Good review, Josie. I had pretty much the same reaction. I did not have the 3D glasses and so I spent half the episode feeling like my vision was becoming more impaired. And I was kind of irritated by the episode beats designed to just play up the 3D aspects. Can we do away with that kind of silly gimmick and just focus on the fun spy stuff and great character moments? Isn't all the craziness at the Buy More enough of a weekly gimmick?

    I also had the same reaction to Chuck's confession of his fears and what he saw. On the one hand, yea! for not stringing that out. But on the other hand, it feels like they resolved things a bit too quickly and easily. Nice resolution or easy out? I'm not sure which either.

    That said, I loved seeing Dominic Monaghan in this role. Like Charlie, only way more successful and a bit more Manchester. Fun!

    Thanks again for doing reviews for this show!

  2. Well for all of us with Y chromosones (or of the L Word persuasion), the opening with Sarah in black lingerie was worth the price of admission.

  3. The DVD version didn't seem to be three-D. I didn't notice anything out of focus-y.

    I think you were on the money with this one, Josie. It was fun and there was Dominic, but it was all over the place.

  4. I loved Chuck's attempt at a Cockney accent. Not bad in places, although it did crumble on certain words. I'm guessing Dom's accent was also supposed to be Cockney (the usual choice for an American show doing a stereotyped English Rock Star). On Chuckwikia it says Dom's character is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, yet he definitely doesn't speak with a Geordie accent. Neither was it his natural, weak Mancunian twang. Peculiar.

  5. Charlie!

    I was hoping for a bit more after the wonderful previous episode, but this one was all right. Because…



We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.