This review may contain spoilers.
The humor of Chuck mixed with the dramatic situations makes it hard for the awards committees to categorize the show. Its not a comedy but its also not a drama. Perhaps its best classified as an adventure series. We need a new award category for this kind of show.
Those of us whove worked in retail on Black Friday, which is an adventure in its own right, cant help but be greatly amused by Morgans plans to be battle ready when the teeming hordes descend on the Buy More. The instruction he arranges for himself and Chuck actually helps Chuck a tiny bit when he and Sarah try to save themselves from evil arms dealer Volkovs assassins early on in the hour. We never find out if it applies to events on Black Friday but it is a great bit of business.
Timothy Dalton once again shines as the ever so evil and supremely dashing Volkov. We should hate him but we simply cant. His attempts to relate to Frosts children are delightfully bizarre. His enthusiasm for the project is psychotic but in a very entertaining way.
Chucks mom, as played by Linda Hamilton, is an enigma. Its still unclear where her true loyalties lie. Ms. Hamilton has us believing that Frost loves her children but shes still got us guessing about everything else. Shes an intriguing character about whom we want the whole story.
The comedic talents of Joshua Gomez and Timothy Dalton are used to great effect. The writing and direction for these characters gives us a lot of amusement in Chuck Versus the Leftovers.
The uncertainty we have about Chucks mom continues to be interesting and it works well to make us want to see more of her.
The life is one big adventure feel of this installment in Chucks saga makes us want to come back for more. Though this story has less actual fighting than a lot of the stories, it has adventure aplenty.
The state of Chuck and Sarahs romance is no longer in doubt and thats a big point in the shows favor. We are not getting that on again, off again, Moonlighting syndrome that can be terribly aggravating. Its nice to see Chuck and Sarah comfortable with each other, as they so clearly are now.
What Didnt Work
This has been said before but it bears saying again. The fact that Chuck is a spy being kept secret from Ellie doesnt work. Its too artificial. As smart as Ellie is supposed to be, shed know it, even if she pretends not to. This element should be dropped.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Chuck versus the Leftovers was written by Henry Alonso Myers and directed by Zachary Levi. Chuck stars Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovsky, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Scott Krinsky, Vic Sahay, Martin Christopher Lawrence, Ryan McPartlin, Sarah Lancaster, Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton.
Chuck airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.