March 23, 2010

Jeff, Lester, Big Mike = The Weakest Link

It was bound to happen sooner or later - last night's Chuck was the weakest in a long time, a rare misstep in its strongest season yet.

The ep saw Chuck put to his final Spy Test - killing someone. An interesting commentary on what the show thinks of our nation's clandestine services, if you ask me. Sarah was depressed and laconic the whole episode, which made some sense considering she's never wanted Chuck to change who he was to become a spy, but was also sad and a little hard to watch. Chuck spent the episode being a bit oblivious to Sarah's mood and trying to convince her to be his girlfriend now that they're both spies.

Meanwhile, Casey is trying to assimilate into normal life now that he's been fired - while Chuck is still trying to do something to get Casey back into the spy game - but he's having a rough go of it at the Buy More because Jeff and Lester are...Jeff and Lester. It pains me to say this because there was a time when I did find the Buy More antics to be a fairly charming part of the overall show, but if it doesn't involve Morgan, then I really don't see why the Buy More gang needs to be in the show at all anymore. Lester especially, has just become really tiresome. Anyway, Casey cracks some heads together - literally - and Lester threatens to sue so Big Mike steps in to make Casey kinder and gentler so that Lester and Jeff will agree not to sue. There is some complete ridiculousness with Subway that I want to let slide because they were instrumental in last year's Save Chuck campaign but holy shit was it the most egregious product placement I've ever seen.

Whatever, the crap with the Buy More played like nothing more than filler while we await the fate of John Casey. In the end, Chuck is chasing a trader through a train yard and supposed to kill him, he's got him cornered and is holding him at gun point but he hesitates too long. The trader pulls out a gun of his own and is seconds away from getting the jump on Chuck when he's shot dead. For a moment, Chuck thinks he's shot the guy but then he sees Casey who's followed him out there - ever his protector, and friend - and done the job for him. He admonishes Chuck to take the credit lest Casey be charged with murder (since he is no longer a government employee, killing someone is murder now - God, that was disturbing to type). Chuck takes the credit and is awarded full-fledged spy-hood and an assignment alone in Rome which he is a bit skeptical to accept since he never actually passed his last test, because, as Casey notes, he's not a killer.

So we are left teetering on the precipice of all kinds of bad ideas - Casey's a civilian, Shaw and Sarah are a couple and are taking jobs in Washington D.C., Chuck is on his way to Rome to be a solo spy.

The General sure doesn't make any damn sense to me. As much action as the LA area sees with The Ring, I don't understand the benefit of breaking up the team who has been successful in taking down one terror ring and thwarting another at every turn and instead sending them all off to other parts of the globe to do shit on their own. It's decisions like these that make me think the General might be huffing glue.

Overall, I wasn't at all thrilled with the episode as a whole, the plot advancements that it brought us, or the absence of Morgan and the Awesomes. I trust the writers to make it worthwhile in the end, but this was a painful step along the way.

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