Fresh off the inetwebs, is the Chuck Season 5 sneak peak. With the creation of "Carmichael Industries," Chuck and the gang has a new mission, and a new enemy, the CIA that burned him and his team to begin with.
Chuck returns Friday October 21 on NBC.
Exciting happenings on Chuck tonight! We have the esteemed Timothy Dalton (James Bond!!) guest starring as none other than the infamous Volkoff himself. I was actually surprised by that to be honest. While I mostly suspected that "Greg Tuttle" was in fact a double agent, I never guessed he was the boss himself. I did find it strange that Frost would have an MI-6 handler in Burbank just so she can check in if needed. That's an odd assignment if you ask me.
In Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror, we learn a lot about the reasons why Frost left Chuck and Ellie behind all those years ago. On the other hand, maybe we didn't learn anything.
In "Chuck versus the Couch Lock", we have a rare Casey and Morgan centric episode. It was refreshing to see a change of pace in the writing by putting emphasis on a little of Casey's history as well as focusing on Morgan and Alex's relationship instead of Chuck and Sarah's.
Tonight's Chuck was very heavy on the relationship story lines with a lot of time dealing with the fall out of last week's accidental near proposal. In typical fashion and aided by Morgan's own issues, Chuck's mind goes into overdrive considering what her response means. Fortunately for them, their old friend Goya is back to honor Devon for saving his life last season, and they have plenty of time to work it out on their trip to Costa Grava.
Chuck Chuck Versus the Cubic Z
In Chuck versus the Cubic Z, we see the return of two former rivals, Heather Chandler (Chuck vs the Cougars played by Nicole Richie) and Hugo Panzer (Chuck vs First Class played by Stone Cold Steve Austin). A broken prison transport leads to their reroute to the Buy More where Panzer escapes and goes on the hunt for Heather after her failure to secure a half billion dollar deal for Volkoff. Begrudgingly, it's up to Sarah and Chuck to keep her captured while protecting her from Panzer as she is leveraging information about Chuck's mother for her safety. Meanwhile, above in the store, Morgan get's his first real test as a manager as he prepares his store for a huge video game release, only to find out their store is only receiving six copies of the game with 300 people ready to riot.
Much of the episode deals with the concept of family. In the main story, Sarah is once again freaking out at the thought of settling down as a spy and utterly worried that she won't be able to back away from her career. It doesn't help that her arch rival Heather is constantly prodding her about how she's destined to break Chuck's heart. It's interesting, but by now unsurprising, to see that such a hardened spy like Sarah is so easily unwound by the thought of actually being happy.
In the side story, we have Morgan at his first test of handling the stress of being the store manager combined with the surprise that Big Mike intends to marry his mother. Like any person, I think the stress of 300 angry nerds rioting is nothing compared to the thought that your former boss will now be your step father, but Morgan handles himself well enough at the end though the help of Big Mike.
Overall, Chuck versus the Cubic Z is a pretty standard episode which Chuck as a whole finds itself commonly caught in. It is definitely light TV viewing, with just enough substance and drama to keep you interested mixed with plenty of action and a driving sound track.
- While the Buy More was rioting, where were all the CIA agents? I guess in reality they couldn't do all that much without revealing their cover.
- Morgan: You are in a happy relationship. I'm peaking professionally. Let's savor it. Deep Breath
Chuck: Smells like victory.
- Casey is obviously more about gun play as he gets destroyed by Sarah during their sparring.
- Sarah and Chuck use the supply closet.
- "Wispy Man Boy and a bottle blonde with a daddy complex." - Heather
- Casey still hasn't talked much with Alex.
- "I've been locked in enclosed places with this guy before. I was fine, but he was a little agitated." - Chuck
- Big Mike bought a Cubic Zirconium as an engagement ring. That's pretty lame.
- "I got hitched to a dork just like you, sweet, dumb, loyal, a mutt." - Heather
- This week's GRETA is played by Stacy Kiebler, of WWE fame.
- "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- "Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)" by Devo
- "Land Of The Freak" by King Khan and The Shrines
- "In The Valley" by Chief
In this week's Chuck, we have our hero fighting another great foe, Sarah's suitcase.
Now obviously Chuck isn't actually fighting a suitcase, but rather the fact that Sarah, after eight months, has yet to actually unpack her stuff. It's a spy's life, always on the go, but there was obviously something holding her back form fully moving in with Chuck. Fortunately, the writers have seemed to find the right balance of relationship building and drama with action and comedy, without giving us too much of the former with not enough of the latter. One of the standing points that appeals to Chuck fans is the fact there is a lot of humor in the show with likable characters and odd, yet sometimes compelling situations.
Now of course Chuck is a show directly targeted towards the geeks, namely the male young adult geeks, and this episode was definitely right up that alley. Chuck and Sarah have to go to Milan and Fashion Week to catch a supermodel spy that's stolen weapon's technology to sell on the black market. Sofia Stephinova (played by actual Czech supermodel Karolina Kurkova) is a cold, ruthless, and "fetching" arms dealer for Volkoff, and it's pretty difficult for Chuck to keep his composure as they attempt to steal back the weapon technology. Despite the idea that this might be a fashion based episode, it's definitely not as it quickly turns into one action sequence after another with Chuck and Sarah working great as a team.
Back in Burbank, things at the Buy More are going perfectly well, but to Morgan's notice a little too perfect. Both he and Devon instantly recognize the fact that it's actually a spy base because in reality, a store like that would be filled with "people like [Devon]." From this, we solve the great mystery of how they would introduce the old Buy More staff back into the show, as they are all rehired back to help bring the efficiency of the store down a bit. I'm glad to see the return of the old Buy More employees, as I think they really gave the store a lot of it's insane charm. The real question is how are they going to interact with the agents that are already stationed there.
With the return of a lot of the old staff, and an increasingly good dynamic between Chuck and Sarah, I have a lot of high hopes for the rest of the season.
- This week's Greta was Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice Man). Lifting a TV with one hand and using a tag gun for target practice is pretty pro.
- Chuck flashing to know what the safe code is quite a stretch.
- Alex and Casey have started to talk again. Hopefully that means we'll be seeing her again.
- Casey was grounded from this mission for "stabbing a guy with a stiletto."
- "Strapless Versace eh? Very daring Agent Walker." "How much Project Runway have you been watching?"
- "I don't wanna be an astronaut, I wanna work at the Buy More!" - Upon seeing Greta in his ridiculous perfectness
- "Rumor has it you're pregnant, is there room enough in that womb for two?" - Jeff, I missed the super creepy.
- Morgan is now the store manager as Beckman and the hire ups recognize he is the best suited for the job.
- Chuck created some tranq gloves to disable someone.
Gratuitous shot(s) of Sarah
- Sarah in her strapless Versace
- That one scene in with all the garment bags.
- "Flaunt It" by TV Rock
- "I Like That" by Richard Vission and Static Revenger
- Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper
- "A girl a Boy and a Graveyard" by Jeremy Messersmith
And just like that, Chuck is back! The show that everyone though would be canceled and was perpetually on the bubble has returned to fine form.
From the onset, this was a pretty good episode, with plenty of laughs, one liners, and action that we've all come to love from Chuck. After the events of last season, I was worried that the show would move way to far into the drama and angst between Sarah and Chuck, but fortunately, they've kept it to a relative minimum. Chuck and Sarah pretty much act like a normal couple, even considering "sexting" each other. Time will tell how they play their relationship out, but so far, it seems that the writers are very content in allowing their relationship to bloom even further.
One of the big changes this season, ironically, is the return of the Buy More which is now completely a NSA/CIA base staffed completely by agents. One of the most interesting changes is the fact that the main store greeter will be a rotating guest star every week. 'Gretta' for the first week was Olivia Munn (G4TV and Attack of the Show), a casting choice that I'm sure will resonate with a lot of the target geek demographic. Other guests stars slated to play the role include Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice Man) and Stacy Keibler (What About Brian). I think this is a brilliant idea, as it gives the Buy More a little bit of extra personality and keeps it from becoming stale. Unfortunately, there is no sign of a lot of the old fun Buy More staff. Jeff, Lester, and Mike continue to be on the run but are slated to make appearances in Season 4. (Check out the webisodes involving them if you haven't!)
The casting of Linda Hamilton as Chuck's mom is probably one of the greatest moves they made in the off season. To see her coldly shoot her captors definitely brings us back to her Terminator heritage. I wasn't quite sure to the level of her captivity though, as she is seen monitoring Chuck and Morgan in her old safe house and her captors really didn't stand much of a chance against her. If she's been captive for all these years, I'd sure like to know how they managed that.
Overall, I think it's a great start to the season with a lot of appeal to both longtime fans as well as new fans to the series, and I look forward to more adventures with our team!
- Gratuitous shot of Sarah: Opening leggy shots with her gearing up for a mission. Also, the sexting scenes were silly. I actually liked her blue dress more, but I guess I'm a sucker for a blonde in a blue dress.
- Those crazy fools flew all over the world to end up in LA again. Silly, but not unexpected.
- Harry Stanton was the Repo Man. If you didn't know, he was in the Repo Man (1984).
- "Chuck needs to get some big boy pants. He's a spy, and he's good at it." - Casey actually misses him...aww.
- "I changed my mind, you're back, discussion over. And I don't think you're going to find another job." - General DIANE Beckman.
- Olivia Munn is this week's Greta. According to her, she was actually really sick during filming, which was evident in her stuffed up sounding voice. I'd be wrong if I didn't mention I wish she had more in this episode. <3
- There's a Defcon 1 red button right in the middle of the store.
- The trap door by the nerd herd desk is awesome. I wish I had that when I worked retail and had to deal with some less friendly customers.
- Volkoff seems to have seriously high ties, as they were able to kidnap Sarah and Casey from a government plane.
- "Desolation, frostbite. Must be Russia" Casey
- Why is everything in Chuck's lair blue light filtered?
- "Howlin' For You" by Black Keys
- "We're Here To Save The Day" by The Constellations
- "In Response" by Peter Wolf Crier
- "Generator (First Floor)" by Freelance Whales
In tonight's episode, "Chuck vs. The Nacho Sampler", we see the return of Hannah (played by Kirstin Kreuk) as Chuck continues his growth into being a real spy. In this week's mission, Chuck has to make contact with and build an geeky asset who has been building some weapon for the Ring. Using this motif, the writers give us a bit of insight into the thought processes of Sarah when she first appeared to Chuck three years ago. Like Sarah, Chuck now has to work a geeky loner guy with the skills and know how be a serious threat to the world.
Manoosh is a loner and a geek very much like Chuck. It's pretty easy for Chuck to become friends with him as they are really one in the same, though Chuck has had a few years to smooth out some of the geeky rough edges. Chuck's mission is to contact and find out what he was building for the Ring, which happens to be a new intersect. On the other hand, Manoosh, at heart, is nothing like Chuck. While they may share a lot of the same intellect and backstory, Manoosh is what Chuck would have been had he spent all his time alone. Out to make a quick buck, Manoosh is willing to sell the technology to the highest bidder, and it's up to Chuck and the team to stop him.
Back in the BuyMore, we have Morgan quietly pining for Hannah, who makes her first appearance as the latest Nerd Herd employee. Hannah has one more episode for this season of Chuck, and I'm sad to see the writers didn't really use her for anything this episode. Other than some opportunity to showcase how really creepy the BuyMore employees can be, especially Jeff and Lester, Hannah didn't have much of a part of this episode. Hopefully, she'll have a bit more for her last appearance next week.
On the other side story, we are finally starting to see Chucks web of secrets and coverups starting to unravel as Ellie finds Chuck's ticket from Paris. This makes an already frazzled Devon even more on edge as he tries to cover up what Chuck really does for a living. Even Morgan, who already has been suspicious of Chuck for some time, now has even more zeal to find out what's going on. As a result, he is now enlisting Jeff and Lester to use their superior stalking skills to find out what's going on with Chuck.
Overall, "Chuck vs. The Nacho Sampler" was a pretty simple episode with plenty of throwaway lines and silliness to appeal to the Chuck fan. It does set up a new theme of Ellie and Morgan working together to find out what is going on with Chuck, which I'm sure will put them in great danger later on.
- One day I hope to meet a girl with her own personal wind machine.
- Chuck is always really lax in his uniform. He's the only one with it untucked, and his tie is always loose.
- "May the best stalker win." - Jeff
- One of the BuyMore's neighbors is "Underpants, Etc." I'm not sure why I never saw that before.
- "What are you doing Friday? Wanna hangout in my van?" - Jeff, in his extra sleazy voice.
- "It's my constitutional right to fornicate." - Jeff
- As Sarah walks into the bar (with wind machine), there is a distinct chatter of "Oh my God" in the background from the other patrons.
- "Frak Off" is a reference to the modern revival of "Battlestar Galactica."
- Fighting with dark glasses while loaded with combat skills is a bit Matrix-y perhaps.
- Weap-Con, the greatest weapon convention in the world.
- "You aim caerfuly, Bartowski. Don't you make me a eunuch, else i'll teach you the meaning of an eye for an eye." - Casey
- Casey has a golden gun.
- Just like bartowski, bring a knife to a gun fight." - Casey
- I know that NBC needs to make promos that are appealing, but do they have to spoil all the really cool parts of the episode in the promo? It's like if ABC made a promo for Lost that showed everyone waking up from a dream in a lab.
- Flash skills of the week: Throwing weapons, disk throwing.
- Gratuitous shot of Sarah: see above.
Chuck Chuck Vs. First Class
In tonight's episode of Chuck, Agent Bartowski gets his chance to prove himself on his very first solo mission. For the last three seasons, we've seen Chuck grow and grow as a spy, despite the fact he never had any real training. Until now, though, Chuck has always been playing support and backup to Casey and Sarah, but Shaw feels like it's time for Chuck to go out on his own.
Flying to Paris, (in first class!) we get a chance to meet our newest guest star, Hannah (Kristin Kreuk). The chemistry between Chuck and Hanna is immediate and very..sweet. If there was any question as to why Chuck was able to sweetheart someone like like Sarah, they should just watch how awkwardly smooth he is here. I guess though, it helps that Hanna is obviously interested in Chuck as well. As we already know Hannah will be working at the BuyMore next week, I'm sure this is going to lead to some interesting conflict between Chuck and Sarah.
Meanwhile, back at the BuyMore, Morgan's promotion is starting to catch up with him. Jeff and Lester have teamed up, and coerced the rest of the store to take up arms against him. The writers give us a little bit more in the antics of the BuyMore employees. Lester has moved himself into a kingpin like position, . It's a refreshing aside from the sometimes overly serious tone of Chuck's missions. I hope that with Casey's torture and brainwashing of Lester we haven't seen the end of the insurgency of the BuyMore.
In a move that proves that Chuck actually can hold his cover, he convincingly drops his successful executive cover with Hannah and reveals that he actually works at the BuyMore as a NerdHerder. The trick is he reveals he is doing an onsite install in Paris for a client, a story that is simple and totally believable. Chuck seems to be at his best when he stays close to his source material, and not when he tries to be the super spy he wants to be.
In the end, this was a final exam for Chuck. Shaw, whomever he is, understands the value of Chuck and his skills. He also realizes that Chuck needs to be pushed to his limits so he can control his skills. It opens the door for Chuck to have an even more direct role in future missions.
- Chuck's drink: Martini, shaken not stirred.
- "Just a little human to human..noid..interaction." - Chuck to Jeff as he drugs his drink.
- "Insurgents...I hate insurgents." - Casey with a grin
- "Personally, I have quite often wondered if the BuyMore is really an insane asylum." - Chuck
- Shaw is an interestingly mysterious guy. He doesn't' exist...anywhere, and he's only lost one spy ever, his wife Eve.
- Hannah is played by Kristin Kreuk.
- Hugo is played by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
- I fly a lot, and I usually try to fly alone for the sole purpose of that chance meeting with someone amazing. What I wouldn't do for a chance meeting with Kristin Kreuk...
- Flash skills: Fencing, Nunchuckery
- Music selection for the week: End song - "L'amoureuse" by Carla Bruni. Shazam hasn't been able to identify the other songs this episode, so if anyone knows I'd be appreciative.