Chuck’s claim to fame is that it is a great combination of spy thriller and comedy … unfortunately, this was more a mixed bag of treats and clunkers.
This review may contain spoilers.
Perhaps it’s because the word has not come down as to whether or not “Chuck” will get another season or not that this episode felt rushed.
There was mention of Sarah having accomplished many things and having been gone for weeks but we saw none of that action. Were her endeavors going to be full episodes if another season were promised? We have to wonder and we feel a bit cheated.
The usual pleasant juxtaposition of the “normal” world as opposed to the crazy spy world didn’t deliver the charm. Except for the “bromance” between Casey and Morgan, most of the real world scenes fell flat. This was not due to lack of ability by the cast members but to the throwing together of too many elements in the episode.
Even though we love Awesome and Ellie, the whole baby name aspect of the show should have been left out. It was just too incongruous.
When you have Timothy Dalton as the oh so capricious and dangerous Volkov, you don’t need any other comedy elements and “Chuck Versus the Gobbler” would have been better if it had stayed in the spy world for the entire episode.
The scenes with Sarah, Chuck’s mom, and Volkov were where we saw the mixture of thriller and comedy that most of the time works so well in “Chuck.”
The character that we ironically didn’t see much of was The Gobbler. It could have been fun to learn a bit more about him and he’d have made a good returning villain on his own.
This was the first of at least a two part story, so we can’t complain about the loose ends. Let’s hope they are tied up neatly next time.
Points of Interest
1. Sarah has changed her appearance, which may be to show she is ready to take on evil by portraying evil herself. It also could be a nod to Diana Rigg as Emma Peel and who doesn’t like Emma Peel?
2. Chuck, Casey and Morgan try to relax by playing “Risk,” a game in which the goal is world domination. That’s sort of a busman’s holiday for spies. This was one of the normal world scenes that was appropriate in the overall story.
3. We saw that Ellie looked about ready to deliver the baby. This might be foreshadowing an episode in which we see the culmination of the big spy mission coinciding with the birth of Chuck’s niece?
The action scenes worked well in this episode. They were tense and nicely choreographed.
The intrigues involving Sarah and Chuck’s mom and Volkov are what make this story interesting and worth continuing to watch. Linda Hamilton was a perfect choice for the part of Chuck’s mom. She still has us wondering just a little if she’s truly a good CIA spy or a bad Volkov spy.
What Didn’t Work
The baby name plot was, in the words of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, “too silly.” It fit poorly with the rest of the story. What makes us like the mix of the Buy More and normal worlds with the spy world is how the plot lines parallel each other. The baby name plot was at a right angle to the thriller plot.
The hurried mention of Sarah’s achievements was disappointing. It was rather like the old serials in which you’d see someone falling off a cliff at the end of an installment and then be safe and well at the beginning of the next. Even if they haven’t got assurance that there will be another season of “Chuck,” we deserve a little better than mere mention of Sarah’s adventures.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
“Chuck Versus the Gobbler” was written by Craig DiGregorio and directed by Milan Cheylov.
“Chuck” airs Mondays at 8 p.m ET on NBC.