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Chuck: Chuck versus the Subway

“It’s been brought to this committee’s attention that the Intersect is unstable, expensive, and—most of all—dangerous.”

Shaw has gone from CIA golden boy with a dark past, to Ring agent, to dead in the Seine, to super-scary manipulator of all levels of government. Shaw isn’t just back: he’s evil and, like the organization he serves, hell-bent on world domination. Or at least, hell-bent on mean revenge. Shaw returned from the dead, slipped into the CIA’s good graces and managed to wreck havoc on all of our heroes. Really, he caused an impressive amount of damage in just an hour. Here’s a tally:

Casey has been getting to know his daughter through the tried-and-true restaurant trick. It’s a good thing so many parentless kids work in the service industry—otherwise, how would their parents ever get to know them? Casey’s attempts to protect his daughter, though, might just put her in the line of fire. Then again, maybe she’ll jump in and save the day. She is a super-awesome fighter.

It wasn’t enough for Shaw to use the CIA to create chaos: he actually threatened Ellie’s and Awesome’s relationship. Sure, Morgan was the one who convinced Awesome that Ellie was cheating... but I choose to blame Shaw, that smarmy handsome s.o.b.. Once Ellie and Awesome reunited, and Ellie got into the spy loop. The second string is taking the court in the last few minutes of the final quarter, if you get my basketball drift.

Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are the worst off, though. They’ve been captured by the CIA—some members of which are working for the Ring knowingly, but others seem to be rather clueless. Shaw has dismantled Chuck’s entire support team: the loss of General Beckman is a huge blow to their resources.

[To be honest: I don’t really understand how Shaw could have caused all this damage. After all, didn’t the CIA head honchos get a status report on how he was evil? And dead? Why was Beckman dragged away from her computer…for overseeing a project that had flaws? This is so very implausible. Am I missing something?]

What matters most, though, are the personal losses: when Papa Bartowski got shot, I got a hitch in my throat. When we saw Ellie’s reaction, the tears started to well up. And when we saw Ellie following Chuck, Sarah, and Casey—and in contact with Awesome and Morgan—I started to cry. Just when Ellie finds out that her father’s absence from her life had nothing to do with her, she loses him. It’s a lot like Casey and Alex, come to think of it.

As it stands, the least-qualified member of Team Bartowski are now the only resource left to wrest our heroes from the evil clutches of the Ring, who have all the forces of the CIA unintentionally backing them. Our heroes are demoralized, defeated, and depressed. Rest in peace, Scott Bakula. And thank you, writers, for making great use of a guest star.


• Awesome: “Do you think my wife is unfaithful to me because I’m not satisfying her?”

• Beckman: “The committee is here to determine if the Intersect project is a liability.”

• Ellie: “An actual, legitimate answer exists to why my father has been absent for my entire life, and you didn’t think to ask?”

• Ellie: “Morgan Grimes, the boy that took my pillow as his date to junior prom knows more about my family than I do.”

• Papa B: “We can do this. We’re Bartowskis.”

• Casey: “You picked a good one, Walker. Finally.”

• Lester: “I was wondering if I could service you in some way?”

• Shaw: “Love the new defeatist attitude, Chuck. It suits you.”

And Pieces:

• The secret spy headquarters in the subway tunnel is an Alias thing.

• The thing where the lights clue the hero into where to go—what have we seen that in before? Jess?

• I don’t mean this to sound snarky, but our heroes didn’t look at pretty as they usually do. Did anyone else notice that?

• If you’re a Band of Horses fan, I’ll bet you enjoyed this episode.

• Evil Shaw is funnier than Good Shaw.

• A lucrative Subway sponsorship is the primary reason we got this season of Chuck. So all the subway stuff was like one big joke. Or really obscure product placement.

No rating until the next episode, because this was just too sad to rate. And dark. A real death on Chuck…who knew?

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

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