Chuck: Chuck versus the Suitcase

“Chuck, beautiful women have a lot of baggage. You should be happy Walker’s just a suitcase.”

Last week’s episode wasn’t the best episode ever. Not bad, just not stellar. But Chuck’s second entry had everything I hope for in a great Chuck episode: a glitzy, funny mission; a wacky McGuffin; and not one, not two, but three emotional arcs. I even loved the BuyMore antics. And they all tied together in a beautiful, sequin-covered, funny package.

Chuck and Sarah were hilarious working together, without Casey, and with only one flash. Even though Chuck sometimes brings way too much of his own baggage to their missions, they did a fabulous job, as even General Beckman was willing to admit. I particularly enjoyed that the writers didn’t just fall back on the jealous-girlfriend trope: Sarah was genuinely worried that Chuck was starting to have concerns about her lack of rootedness. This neatly resolved in 42 minutes, but there was a bit of tension here (even though it’s nice to see that Chuck has moved beyond the will-they-or-won’t-they plot). Chuck may be more willing to settle down than Sarah is, and that could provide some wacky hi-jinks later down the road.

Casey is struggling with settling down as well. Even though he feels at home—well, as at home as that cave in Afghanistan—he hasn’t really set down roots in Burbank. (Insert bonsai tree joke here.) But he’s starting to connect with Alex, which means that hilarity will ensue when Morgan and Alex start to have some off-hours fun. (That’s just a guess, not a spoiler. I avoid spoilers.) At least Morgan is an even better catch than before, what with his new managerial responsibilities and flashy nametag.

The arc that really got me is Ellie and her mother. Ellie talks a tough game to Awesome, but Chuck knows the truth: Ellie misses her mom, no matter how many problems there may be in their relationship, and no matter that Mama B wasn’t there to help raise Chuck. Did you notice that most of the pictures Ellie looked at were of Chuck with his parents, not her? Ellie’s relationship with her mom is about her own nascent motherhood, her relationship with Chuck, her relationship with Scott Bakula. Mothers and daughters, dude. Mothers and daughters and Scott Bakula, I’m tellin’ ya.

But enough with the deep emotional stuff: Jeff and Lester are back and better than ever. (Except that I might boycott if I have to see Jeff’s chest ever again.) And, just like last season’s "Chuck versus the Three Words", this episode tied in with this week’s Gossip Girl, which also featured a fashion theme (Fashion’s Night Out) and an awesome catfight (between Serena and Blair).

Speaking of that catfight: no, I won’t. Just watch it and watch it again. Fabulous!

Bytes: (This list was originally two kilometers long, but in the name of all that is holy and American, I cut it down to mere inches.)

• General Beckman: “Colonel Casey, after the Yves Saint Laurent incident, you will obviously have to sit this one out.”
Casey: “Stab one guy with a stiletto…”

• Morgan: “Lots of things you can do with a Roomba.” This reminded me of “Lots of things you can do with a stopwatch.”

• Sarah: “Chuck, if we hadn’t stopped that bomb, your last words to me would have been about my weird unpacking thing.”

• Chuck: “Hey, Spiderman kiss?” There was a Spiderman kiss in The O.C., too.

• Lester: “We’ve been taking gigs at the Whisper Lounge in exchange for scraps of tapas.”

• Jeff: “We live here now, in the wild, with my van.”

• Lester: “It’s not all bad. I’ve been expanding my understanding of the universal mind. Jeff has a new pet rock named Bruce. I asked him why ‘Bruce,’ and he said it’s because when he hits it, it doesn’t ‘bruce.’”

• Jeff: “My water just broke.”

• Jeff: “Is there room in that womb for two?” Ugh. And again: ugh.

And Pieces:

• Zachary Levi has an odd way of pronouncing “Achilles.”

• This week’s Greta was hilarious. As were the acrobatic CIA/BuyMore employees.

• Hey... smart bullets, Achilles’ heels, tiny targeted areas that require an ace shot... symbolism?

• And Lou Ferrigno? Perfect. Just perfect.

• I hope Chuck and Morgan removed the tranq darts from Jeff and Lester before dragging them on the ground. Ouch!

• Ellie looked pretty in the flowered dress, but it didn’t fit her character.

Four out of four sequins.

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

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

I thought this one was outstanding, too. Loved the fight on the runway. And the sci-fi geek in me just loved the family photos with Linda Hamilton *and* Scott Bakula.