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Chuck: Chuck versus the Mask

“It’s a date.”

The time has come for our great switcheroo. Chuck is genuinely interested in Hannah, and Sarah is more or less interested in Shaw. She certainly does have a tall, dark, and handsome type. Shaw and Hannah both came on pretty strong: Hannah took a job she’s immensely overqualified for to work with Chuck (kinda sweet, kinda creepy) and Shaw has memorized Sarah’s coffee order (kinda creepy, kinda sweet).

Chuck is so fast-paced this season. I expected them to draw out the Chuck-Hannah thing for a really long time, but they jumped right to the sex on the BuyMore couch (I hope they laid down a blanket: didn’t Jeff used to sleep there?). Is this the first time Chuck has had sex since he dated Jill in college? Or since he dated Jill in Season Two? Chuck did a double-take when he saw Sarah and Shaw canoodling post-contaminant, but then he ran straight to Hannah. Hannah definitely likes him, but she also stood up for herself when he abandoned her during the first mission. Good, she’s got backbone.

Sarah and Shaw, meanwhile... hmmm. Shaw definitely has a dark past: we know that because he sometimes looks into the middle distance with a pained and vacant look on his face. Sarah claims she likes his attention, but I’m not buying it. Is she playing him? Hoping to make Chuck jealous? Hoping to set Chuck free? Genuinely interested? I think it’s a combination of those things, which is sweet. Being a spy must be lonely, and a little cold comfort seems appropriate.

Morgan and Ellie abandoned their quest once they “realized” what was going on: Chuck wasn’t depressed, he’d switcheroo-ed one girl for another. Ellie looked so proud, and Morgan looked so sad. Poor guy: Chuck didn’t even know that Morgan had a crush, because he’s been so busy with spying. Those two need to have a heart-to-heart sometime soon. Morgan even said, “I’m you’re best friend, dude. At least I used to be.”

The other great switcheroo was the mask of Alexander, which contains a biological agent. The Ring wanted to recapture it, having snuck it into the country via a customs-loophole. Oh, who am I kidding? That Mission Impossible homage was hilarious, especially since it involved Shaw totally screwing up and needing Chuck to come to his rescue. Now that’s a switcheroo.

Chuck really saved the day all around, didn’t he? (Well, as long as you’re not a fan of Hellenistic art.) He saved the museum from being blown up, much to Casey’s chagrin, and saved Hannah, and Shaw, and Sarah. According to Shaw, the training wheels are coming off. Chuck is on his way to becoming a real spy without a support team. What does that mean for our show?


• Chuck: “I assume you are referring to the ancient art of Nerd-Herding.”

• Shaw: “Just because we haven’t slept together doesn’t mean you have to act like this is a middle school dance.”

• Hannah: “Any idea what she is doing here? Other than making you jealous with that ridiculously good-looking date of hers.”
Chuck: “Ridiculously good-looking? Hm, hrmph, rrrrr, in a strong, Superman kinda…”

• Shaw: “Did Walker and Bartowski turn off their mikes for some reason?”
Casey: “No, I did. Those two gab like little school girls when they’re out in the field. It’s murder on the ears.”
I think Casey had other motives. Is he a Sharah or a Charah? (Do those names work even a little bit?)

• Chuck: “You didn’t make an ass out of yourself. I’m the ass.”
Hannah. “Clearly…weirdo.”

• Morgan: “I had an epiphany last night.”
Ellie: “What’s that?”
Morgan: “A sudden intuitive realization…”
What movie or TV show had a character who did that? Who answered questions with the wrong answers? Help me, please! [Edited to add: Andrew, Buffy Season Seven]

• Shaw: “Well, then, I’m glad we had this talk.” Now that’s romance.

…And Pieces:

• The museum scenes (well, at least the establishing shots) were taken at the Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades. Just not in the ‘villa’ part. The Getty Villa is actually closed some weekdays, so the daytime break-in is plausible. As are the shots of Santa Monica and the PCH that we got: they most likely formed Chuck’s route from Burbank. How Shaw got from Burbank to the Palisades in under an hour is another question entirely.

• The Ring spy was played by Henri Lubatti. Henri Lubatti, Imdb tells me, is an entirely different person from Robert Benedict. Robert Benedict has been on Alias, Buffy, and Supernatural. Henri Lubatti has been on Angel and The OC. Different people, Josie. Different people.

• The simultaneous harnessing above the vault was charming.

• The vase-smashing scene was hilarious. “One of these things is not like the others” is a great Sesame Street line, and the whole scene was very Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Chuck flashed wisely.

• No Awesome, Jeff, or Lester this week.

• That music at the end might have actually been Muse, and not just a Muse ripoff.


• Even though Sarah was okay with it after the fact, Shaw using the mission as an excuse to feel her up was uncomfortable. And also hot. He’s a sexy man.

The end-of-episode voiceover told me that Chuck will return Monday after the Olympics. Hey, NBC, that’s incredibly vague for those of us who don’t have the Winter Olympics schedule memorized. I think we get more Chuck around the first of March.

Three out of four double-shot americanos with no sugar, no cream, and one swizzle stick.

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


  1. I may not like Kristin Kreuk, but clearly she and Brandon Routh are hot enough and charismatic enough that we can believe Chuck and Sarah moving away from each other and toward them. Not that I want that to happen. KK has also had plenty of practice in getting victimized and rescued by the hero. She can probably do it in her sleep.

    I think Casey actually covered for Chuck and Sarah. Every now and then, Casey does something surprisingly... well, Casey is never sweet. Maybe nice.

    It's silly, but I've been waiting for someone to call Brandon Routh "Superman", and it finally happened. I wouldn't expect that on any other show, but on Chuck, it had to happen.

    I liked this episode a lot. But you know, museums do tend to have their own IT departments. :)

  2. haha, loved your "(kinda sweet, kinda creepy)"-caps :D spot on.

    I think it is a really great season so far and Chuck is progressing as a character so well.

    Since I never got into Smallville (I couldnt get past the first two episodes ^^°)Kreuk is "fresh" for me and she is a perfect match for Chuck and it feels kinda naturally how they are with each other. Shaw and Sarah on the other hand make me cringe. I totally dont get it. Yeah, of course its lonely and he is a typical hot-looking superspy, but for me their connection this episode seemed too forced... maybe a couple episodes later I would have bought it. We´ll see where the writers take this.

    Oh and I sooooo feel for Morgan :( Poor dude.

    Looking forward to your next review Josie :)


  3. Apparently this episode created quite the poop storm in some parts of the fandom. People unsatisfied with this latest obstacle to the Chuck/Sarah romance and people who consider the writing this season lazy/sloppy are staging a "This was the worst episode ever,and I'm done with this show" revolt. Some went so far as to suggest that viewers should boycott the show until the creators bend to their will. Which is ridiculous for a whole number of reasons, but chiefly (1) the show is already pretty much written for the season, and (2) the show is constantly on the verge of being cancelled, so abandoning it in droves will only ensure it doesn't get renewed, thus negating the creators ability to "bend to the will of the fandom" (which I don't remotely think they should do in any event).

    The whole thing has been pretty puzzling to me, because I actually thought this was a decent enough episode. Certainly nothing that should inspire mass anger and revolt. Glad to see Josie, Billie, and Mona apparently agreed.

    Chuck and Hannah are cute together, and him gravitating toward her makes sense to me. But I agree with Mona that Shaw and Sarah don't quite work. Cringe-worthy is an apt description. First, she seemed positively revolted by his behavior earlier in the episode, so her sudden "I actually liked it" attitude came out of left field. Really, Sarah? Are you *that* kind of woman? Second, wasn't Shaw *just* moping over his dead wife, a fellow agent that he got killed? What happened to "It is a mistake to get involved with another spy"?

    I'm with Josie in suspecting that there is more than meets the eye going on with those two. Maybe they are each playing the other for some reason to be revealed in a future episode. It would possibly explain this sudden and forced romantic interest. And it would kind of fit with the title of the episode if everyone was effectively donning "masks" for whatever reason.

    Josie, I loved your line about how we can tell Shaw has a dark past. Hilarious!

    Overall, an entertaining episode with a few of the usual plot contrivances we are just supposed to roll with. But I am bummed we didn't get to see Lester and Jeff spying on Chuck. Can Morgan put them back into action somewhere down the line?

  4. It's silly, but I've been waiting for someone to call Brandon Routh "Superman", and it finally happened. I wouldn't expect that on any other show, but on Chuck, it had to happen.

    Funnily enough, on the rather good Human Target a while ago they had Superman Returns' Jimmy Olsen guest starring and they had a Superman reference...both McG shows?

    What movie or TV show had a character who did that? Who answered questions with the wrong answers? Help me, please! [Edited to add: Andrew, Buffy Season Seven]

    Also originally Airplane!

  5. Hey Billie, how about in Josie's next review you don't bitch about Kristin or Lana, you're 3 for 3 so far and this ain't Smallville.

    And while I'm here, Josie, really enjoying your Chuck reviews, keep up the good work.

  6. Anonymous wrote: "Hey Billie, how about in Josie's next review you don't bitch about Kristin or Lana, you're 3 for 3 so far and this ain't Smallville."

    Point taken. It's not Smallville. But you know what? I'll be as pissy as I like on my own blog. So there.

  7. Airplane! Airplane!

    Matthew Already put this in there, but Morgan's answer to Ellie (defining 'epiphany'rather than answering the question) was a form used throughout the movie "Airplane".

  8. The Shaw/Sarah relationship needs to die a quick death. He's completely creeping me out.

    Not having gotten around to Smallville, I'm really digging the Chuck/Hannah relationship. I'm not convinced they had sex though. If you don't see the, um, bodies, don't believe anyone had sex.

  9. Yuck. Just, yuck. The whole Sarah switch felt icky and manipulative to me. As is this whole double romance. I'm getting bored with waiting for the inevitable...


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