>TV Round-Up: Chuck

>Chuck vs. the Three Words
If I was disappointed by “Pink Slip” because of the set-up it had to do, I was far more intrigued, impressed and amused by “The Three Words.” This one felt more like the series I’ve come to know and love, all while giving us a glimpse of where the series can go with Chuck now being the Intersect 2.0.

It’s interesting to see a show like “Chuck” that doesn’t have a heavy mythology (as compared to “Battlestar Galactica,” “Heroes” or “24”) build on a returning character from the first season. But what “Chuck” does so well is bring in guest stars who fit the role they’re given and that role plays to the audiences expectations of that certain actor. That works here with Carina because the story gives us enough information to understand Carina and why she’s there in the story without having to stop for a long info-dump or losing newer viewers. She’s there to point out the differences between she and her latest mission and Chuck and Sarah. It’s also to serve as a starting point to some healing between Chuck and Sarah, though at this point I’m not sure if we need to really delve much more into it. Leave the feelings unrequited because of the job they both face unless you’re going to put them together. I like the chemistry, but it could hamper the show at some point. And we’ve seen other shows that can pay off and build on the relationship chemistry of two main characters, if it’s done right and thought out by the writers.

This week’s mission finds Chuck and company stealing some type of new weapon from Carina’s latest mark. Carina has infilitrated as his fiancee and gets Team Bartowski on the inside to steal said weapon. The weapon is successfully stolen, but the head terrorist is suspicious. Carina leaves the weapon with Morgan, who wants invites her to the house-warming party he’s throwing–basically to impress her and prove to Lester and Jeff that he can score a girl like Carina. Of course, all things intersect (pun not intended but still a good one) at said party with Chuck providing a way to defeat the bad guys without using the new Intersect.

All said, I liked it a great deal, though part of me began to wonder if Carina wasn’t playing both sides against each other here. The fact that no one would let them open the case to see the weapon inside seems like it’s drawing too much attention to itself. But nothing comes of it and I’d be surprised if we see the issue come up again. I wouldn’t mind if it did, but that feels a bit too continuity heavy for the show. Instead, what will come up again is the new plan for the team. Based on how the show was renewed and then extended, I’m willing to bet this is the driving force for the show in the first 13 episodes and we’ll see more of Chuck’s dad in the last six of the year (it was announced yesterday that Scott Bakula will be back as Chuck’s dad later this year.).

About the only part I didn’t like was Chuck in the vault, pouring out his heart to Sarah. After the growth as a spy we got last year and Chuck’s time in training in Prague, it seems like this was a big sideways step back to season one.

But if that’s my biggest complaint, then that means we’ve got a solid second episode and a lot of potential for the rest of the season.

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