On the heels of “Chuck” getting picked up for another 11 episodes in season four (total of 24!) and industry pundits theorizing that the show may even get a fifth season given its consistent (albeit low) ratings, things are looking up for fans. With “Chuck Versus the Leftovers,” we’re given our last episode until after the holiday season. How does it match up against the rest of the mostly great fourth season?
Find out after the jump.
Synopsis: It’s the day after Thanksgiving and Chuck faces the most awkward of family reunions when mom comes over for dinner-along with the dangerous Alexei Volkoff. Back at the Buy More, Morgan has to deal with the busiest shopping day of the year as Jeff and Lester hatch their latest scheme.
How Was It?: “Chuck” is a show that has featured a lot of great guest stars. Scott Bakula’s run as Chuck’s dad was particularly great, but shorter appearances by people like John Larroquette and Nicole Richie have been good as well.
None of them compare to the greatness of the sheer absurdist intensity of Timothy Dalton as Alexei Volkoff.
Dalton returns in this episode and proves himself as a force to be reckoned with, walking into every scene he’s in as a complete wild card, as Team Bartowski and viewers never get a good grasp on where he’s coming from but never cease to be entertained. Whether he’s laying down the law as the world’s most enthusiastic arms dealer at Charades or passionately admitting his love for Frost (Chuck and Ellie’s mom), this is one guy you don’t want to mess with.
He’s massively entertaining in this show, and he really feels like the type of guy that could go straight into a CIA facility and control the situation throughout. To say that he’s Team Bartowski’s greatest threat yet is an understatement. He’s also one of the most entertaining characters we’ve had yet on the show.
The episode as a whole works because of the greatness of that character and the continuous build of Volkoff as an enemy as well as the mystery of Chuck’s mom and which side she’s on at all times. It’s a frustrating episode at times, because a lot of things within the episode are retreads from previous episodes. It’s a testament to the show and it’s entertaining nature that they can pull it off.
Two things in this episode entertain me more than the rest.
First off, the fact that Linda Hamilton actually got to throw down Terminator line “come with me if you want to live.” FINALLY! I’ve been waiting for a Terminator line since we first saw her, and when we get it, we even get an awesome Chuck reaction shot that escalates the fun to an even higher level.
Second off, Morgan’s Die Hard impersonation. Whether he’s cutting up his feet on thumb tacks or taping a gun to his back to make a last minute save of Casey and Jeffster, they get a lot of mileage off an homage to the action classic.
There are little things throughout, and the end of the episode we have Volkoff now with the knowledge that Frost is related to Chuck (and Ellie) along with Chuck getting Chuck Fu back. We have everything set-up quite nicely for the ending of the first 13 episodes ordered (and quite likely the Volkoff story), but sadly we have to wait until January 17th. A damn shame, because this season is really shaping up quite nicely.