This review may contain spoilers.
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right no matter how hard you try to make it go well? One of the worst days ever for Chuck begins with him making an unauthorized visit to the interrogation room in which the CIA is holding his mother.
Even after being caught in a breach of protocol, Chuck manages to get permission for Mary to visit Ellie. Mary seems to genuinely love Ellie and Chuck but we know that her story is not necessarily the way it was.
Before the day is over for Chuck, he finds himself kidnapped, escaping from the kidnappers by parachuting out of a plane, riding in the back of a truck full of sheep, stuck in the middle of a bank robbery in which he is once again kidnapped, bound and tied and about to be blown to bits. Thats not even all the ill that befalls him.
However, one mystery is solved for Chuck and Sarah and they get a look at Volkov.
Timothy Dalton guest stars as MI-6 agent Tuttle, Mary Bartowskis handler from MI-6. Well, sort of. He turns out to be Volkov. There is no Tuttle and no connection to MI-6. Mary has fooled everyone once more.
If you want the answer to whether or not Mary Bartowski is good or evil, you are going to be disappointed. Shes too good at what she does to let us find out where her loyalties truly lie. There are clues that she wants to protect Chuck but there are also clues that she wants him and Ellie involved in even more hellish doings. This is most likely not going to be all sorted out before the end of the season.
There is a lot of humor in Chuck Versus The First Fight. Its the kind of thing that makes it hard to categorize a show like Chuck. There are all these dramatic and potentially dangerous things happening and there are in-jokes for James Bond aficionados and humor that is born of the basic nature of the characters.
Morgan, whose history with romance is not pretty, is once again giving relationship advice to Chuck and Sarah. His comparison of Chuck and Sarahs relationship to his and Caseys provides a very funny moment.
Linda Hamiltons performance as the enigmatic Mary is ramped up and she delivers a scarily confusing character who may be good, may be evil, and may just be a bit of both.
The pace was exhilarating. You never get a chance to rest and relax. You are always wondering what awful thing will happen next. Those awful things just keep on coming.
For the next installment in the Chuck and Mary saga, we have to wait till November 15.
What Didnt Work
Its a little hard to believe Timothy Dalton as a nervous office agent with a tweed sweater. Hes funny and likable but when we se him as the suave and nattily dressed Volkov, we are more comfortable with the image. This may be more because of the roles Mr. Dalton plays in films than a fault with writing or performance. It might have been more believable if hed been a tad more James Bondish all along.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Chuck Versus The First Fight was written Rafe Judkins and Lauren Frank, and was directed by Allan Kroeker. Chuck stars Zachary, Levi, Yvonne Stahovsky, Joshua Gomez, Adam Baldwin, Linda Hamilton, Bonita Friedericy, Timothy Dalton, Ryan McPartlin and Sarah Lancaster.
Chuck airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.