This week on Chuck, we see Chuck going on his first solo mission and Morgan wrestling for control of the Buy More. Plus, Shaw begins asserting his awesomeness. Another great installment of the phenomenal series – take a look at my full review after the jump.
Synopsis: This week on Chuck, we find Team Bartowksi’s new boss Daniel Shaw (Brandon Routh – aka Superman) assigning Chuck to his first solo mission in Paris. Of course, Sarah and Casey assure him this is a terrible idea, to which he claims they are coddling him and not letting him become the spy he could be.
While on the flight to France (in first class for the first time), Chuck befriends single serving friend Hannah (Kristin Kreuk – Lana Lang) and quickly finds that there is a Ring agent onboard named Hugo Panzer (“Stone Cold” Steve Austin – not related to Superman at all).
Oh yeah, and Morgan goes to Casey to help him fight back against Jeff and Lester as they battle for control of the Buy More.
What was good: As much as I love the Sarah/Chuck dynamic, quite like when Rachel Bilson guest starred before, Kristin Kreuk actually demonstrated more chemistry than Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahvoski do. In fact, I loved Kreuk as much in this as much as I despised her in Smallville – she’s gorgeous, accessible, effervescent, and alluring. Her and Levi’s chemistry is effortless and even though I know it’s destined for failure, I truly hope she is not a Ring agent later on – that would be heartbreaking for Chuck and for me as a viewer.
I really loved the scene where Chuck and Hannah were profiling fellow first class passengers. It was a great introduction to the character and really set them up as a great pair.
Casey’s response to Morgan’s cries for help are phenomenal. He labels Jeff and Lester insurgents (“Insurgents? I hate insurgents.”)! How awesome is that?! His scenes as Morgan’s heavy and eventual psychological warfare against Lester are comedic and creative high points for the episode.
As for the mission itself, Levi’s work as a man who is 50% James Bond, 50% James Dork is exceptional as per usual. His showdowns with Ring operatives are very entertaining, and he proves he can handle himself in this episode.
Brandon Routh’s work as Daniel Shaw continues to be exceptional – he feels like an even better spy than Bryce Larkin, and Larkin was always a phenom. His work is assured and he pulls off the innate brilliance of this operative very well.
What was bad: While it was necessary for the episode, it would have been nice if Chuck didn’t have to call the home base as much as he did. I knew he would as soon as Shaw handed the phone to him, but still, the over reliance on it was perhaps the only downside. To be perfectly honest, even that was a reach – I just had to say something negative otherwise I feel like I’m doing a bad job as a reviewer. Also, I really wish Chuck had gotten to go to Paris! So tragic.
Overall: This episode really proved the show to be capable of anything. I mean, it made me love an actress whom I’ve always strongly disliked in Kreuk. Throw in the continued development of Shaw, entertainment aplenty at the Buy More, and further movement in the potential Chuck/Sarah/Shaw love triangle, and you have another A+ episode from Chuck.
For more sweet Chuck breakdowns, don’t you dare miss Alan Sepinwall’s exceptional weekly recaps. I wish there were more Alan Sepinwall’s in the world.