She Said: Chuck 4.23 Chuck vs the Last Details

14/05/2011 10:16

 Hey friends!

First, let me apologize that my review is late and likely a bit disorganized. Life has been a bit hectic the last week or so, but the news today that Chuck will likely get a season 5 did a lot to cheer up an otherwise exhausting few days. Here’s hoping we get the official announcement by tomorrow so we can get the party started!

With one more episode to go until the season (and most likely NOT series) finale, this episode once again had a lot of story to tell in a small amount of time. As penultimate episodes of Chuck seasons go, it wasn’t one of my favorites, but there was still a lot of good stuff to talk about. We started out with a sweet scene of Chuck and Sarah cuddling in bed, savoring the fact that they had the day off from espionage. Their enjoyment was short-lived, of course, as Sarah had make the comment that “nothing can go wrong” which of course meant that everything soon did!

I was left wondering whether Mama B was working on her own to steal the Norseman, or under General Beckman’s orders. Either way, the lack of back-up seemed ill-advised. Luckily, our A Team shows up to save the day, leading to one of two plot holes this week that bugged me. The team had Vivian and Riley at gunpoint, yet instead of capturing them, they just left them and ran away. The dialogue suggested that they were worried about attracting the guards’ attention, but it seems unlikely that local hired thugs would really put up much of a fight if their bosses were being paraded out surrounded by heavy fire power. Of course, if they had captured or killed Vivian and Riley then, we wouldn’t have a plot for the rest of this episode or next week’s episode.

Riley and Vivian’s relationship is intriguing. Apparently, despite occasional moments of confidence, Vivian is still quite uncertain about her new persona and role in Volkoff Industries. Riley seems to have taken her under his wing and is gently trying to school her in the ways of malevolence. After he used the Norseman to kill everyone except the dumb MI6 agent and Morgan, he went around to point out how the men he killed deserved it. It’s kind of ironic that he justified killing a bunch of other super criminals by telling Vivian all the bad things they’d done when he killed them just so he and Vivian could have the deadliest weapon ever invented for themselves. The whole scene kind of reminded me of how Casey and Sarah often end up doing Chuck’s dirty work for him.

The scene in Castle between Chuck, Mama B, and Sarah did a nice job of showing that everything did not magically become perfect in the Bartowski family after Mama B returned to Chuck and Ellie’s lives. As would be expected, there are still a lot of things that have not been said and worked through from their 20 years apart and recent revelations. In addition to those lingering issues, there is also the “normal” tension between Sarah and her soon-to-be mother-in-law, made that much more intense due to their line of work and Sarah’s own mother issues. It was nice that Mama B’s toast at the rehearsal dinner was so heartfelt and acknowledged Chuck’s choices in his life as it worked on mending bridges with Sarah. I also liked that while it sounded like a pretty normal wedding toast, it had deeper meaning when you take Chuck and Sarah’s lives as well as their relationship with Mama B into account.

To discuss the other plot hole I alluded to previously, I have a hard time believing that Beckman would be desperate enough to send Morgan into Volkoff headquarters pretending to be an Italian arms dealer. Surely they have another bearded agent or a makeup artist that could have provided a better solution for a critical mission? All that said, I did enjoy the heart-to-heart between Casey and Morgan when Casey explained that he promised Alex to protect Morgan and was worried about letting her down. I also loved Chuck getting Morgan psyched up to face Vivian by humming the Darth Vader theme. This was one of many Star Wars references in this episode, even without counting Vivian’s Anakin-esque trip to the dark side. Casey’s blind sniping, while implausible, was entertaining, and led to the quick line at the rehearsal dinner about how Morgan had injured his arm playing Wii tennis. Very reminiscent of the lies Chuck used to tell to cover his spy activities.

As is often the case, Jeffster and Big Mike were rather gratuitous in this episode. I think Lester’s wedding video may have to take the top slot on my “most outrageous Jeffster moments” list. It takes a lot to top some of their previous shenanigans, but Lester gyrating with a metallic heart over his crotch definitely takes the cake. I’m not sure how Ellie ended up with a copy of Jeff’s version, but I was quite surprised that it actually ended up to be sweet and romantic. It’s nice when they humanize Jeff a bit. The montage was also fitting for highlighting how much Sarah means to Chuck and how happy they are and setting the stage for that happiness to be shattered.

The last scene in Russia contrasted Chuck and Sarah’s way of handling conflicts. Sarah shoots Riley to protect Chuck while he, in typical Chuck fashion, tries to talk it all out with Vivian, telling her about Agent X’s identity and apparently knocking her from her perch on the fence between good and evil firmly down into the dirt on the evil side. We’ve seen Chuck manage to talk down villains in the past in similar fashion, but sadly, this time, his action makes the situation much worse. The joy of their rehearsal dinner is shattered when Vivian tries to punish Chuck by taking away the one thing that means most to him – Sarah.

Obviously Sarah is going to somehow survive, but how? Luckily we will know in just a few more days!


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