>TV Round-Up

>Chuck: Chuck vs the Nacho Sampler
Last week, we saw Chuck go on his first solo mission. This week, we see Chuck get his first asset and we are reminded again of how much a product of the mentor-ship of Casey and Sarah Chuck really is.

Chuck is assigned the asset of a guy named Manoosh, who is nerdy in the same way as Chuck but appears to have some type of new high tech weapon he wants to sell. Apparently it’s a portable version of the Intersect and he’s got a lot of bad guys who really, really want to get their hands on it. And despite destroying the portable version (disguised as a pair of sunglasses), in the end Manoosh is sent off to somewhere far away to that the Ring can’t get their hands on him. And Chuck is the guy who has to do it.

Watching the episode unfold, we’re reminded of how far Chuck has come as a spy. And we’re also reminded of just how much influence Casey and Sarah have had on him. We get bookends flashbacks of the first time Sarah and Chuck met, including the fact that Sarah was supposed to burn him. But she didn’t….it makes me wonder what might have happened had Casey got there first. We’ve seen that Chuck does have the compassionate site for the people whose live are impacted by the spy game, but we’re also seeing that he’s got the “its just business” side the Casey exhibits. And that was obvious in how Chuck is forced to cut Manoosh and how impressed Casey is by his coldness. We also see how easily Chuck can lie now, even to family and friends. One thread I’m picking up on here is that Chuck’s dual life may be alienating him from those people he cares about. A few weeks ago, we had a lingering shot of Chuck’s family gathering for dinner but here we see evidence that both worlds aren’t meshing well and that Chuck could be losing part of what makes him Chuck.

I also like the fact that Chuck’s family and friends are starting to question his odd behavior and catching his sloppy attempts to cover his tracks. Discarding his boarding pass for Paris at home is a bit odd and it makes me wonder why they didn’t make Chuck destroy it at the Castle. Of course, that would be a bit more complicated when Kristen Kruek showed up and he to backtrack there and explain how he met her and knew her.

I know I keep saying it each week, but this is probably the most solid episode we’ve had of the third season. The show is hitting its stride and I love it.

24: Day Eight, 9-10 p.m.
Every day of “24” has those episodes that serve to tread water. This was clearly one of them.

Not much really happens to push the plot forward, other than the fact that the writers are clearly setting up some things for the next few hours. The biggest is that the Russian family will be tracked down because of the storyline of taking the sick brother to the doctor for radiation poisoning. With the Russian mafia killing the entire office, you just know this will somehow lead CTU and Jack to them.

Meanwhile, Jack and Renee keep trying to broker a deal to get to the uranium rods. And Renee has some kind of weird history with Lebanon…I’m sorry Russian guy played by the guy who was on BSG. If he and Kate Sackoff can’t meet somehow there is no justice. Honestly, I am not sure about how this is unfolding since it seems like we’re just waiting for something to happen. Plus it seems as if Renee is a bit too unstable and in too deep here to really be effective. I have to wonder why the Russians don’t question more of her suddenly showing up and asking for the nuclear material. Of course, this is “24” and sometimes logic doesn’t enter into the show.

Which is really apparent with Dana over at CTU. I can’t roll my eyes fast enough EVERY time this plotline comes up. I just don’t see where this is headed and it seems like more of a distraction along the lines of Kim and the cougar from season two than a plotline that can and should pay dividends.

And they can’t kill off Freddie Prinze, Jr. fast enough for my liking….

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