"Chuck Versus the Living Dead" Review

By | May 18th, 2010
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

This week’s episode of Chuck (titled “Chuck Versus the Living Dead”) finds the return of a few characters that have been gone for a while, the advancement of a ton of plot threads, some honest to goodness badassery, and Jeffster! What else could we possibly ask for besides renewal of the show?

What’s that? We got that too? Well alright then. I guess we’re all good over here.

Check out my review after the jump.

Synopsis: Chuck enlists Morgan’s help for a side mission, but the assignment turns complicated upon the arrival of Chuck’s father, who discovers that an advanced versions of the Intersect has been downloaded into his son.

What Was Good: In true Chuck fashion, the show packs all kinds of awesome into this episode. Whether you’re talking action scenes (the showdown in the cabin is fantastic), great character moments (Sarah and her touching moments of caring for Chuck, especially the really subtle ones), high comedy (Morgan slowly falling in love with the unbelievably charming Captain Awesome), or any number of other things that count in the pros column, this show has it.

Scott Bakula as Chuck’s father continues to bring a real sense of cohesion to the cast when he joins up. Every time he’s in an episode it really takes the show to another level, and that his appearance leads to his concern about one child while the other is secretly (and accidentally) working against him adds an additional level of intrigue to the equation. He also offers a ray of hope, as he may be able to resolve the side effects of the Intersect that may eventually drive Chuck insane. Yahtzee!

In the closing third of this season, I’ve been really blown away by Yvonne Strahvoski’s subtle additions to episodes, and this episode was no different. There’s something about her and Zachary Levi’s chemistry that really escalated after the “will they or won’t they” business went away, and we find her longing looks and her bits of revelation all the more touching thanks to her careful delivery. She still gets to kick ass, as she throws down one of the most exciting moments of the episode when she intercepts a thrown knife with a particularly great hatchet toss (saving Chuck’s life in the process). That’s our girl!

While it’s completely pointless, the storyline that features Jeffster breaking up is alternately hilarious and strangely sad. Plus, it leads to the hysterical Earth, Wind, Fire and Rain moment, which is unexpected and great.

The ending of the episode completely blew me away, with Ellie taking out John Casey and running to the Ring agent, Sarah giving Chuck her last will and testament spy style, and then Chuck writing his own as we’re given a series of intense moments like seeing Ellie locked away and the return of Shaw – Intersect style. Gnarly. Seriously gnarly.

We even had some more nice music choices (The Bravery’s “I Am Your Skin” really kicked the ending up a notch) and an honest to god Hawkman reference. Is Ellie Bartowski the most attractive woman ever to say the word “Thanagarian”? Quite possibly.

This episode packs a ton of awesome into the equation and sets everything for what promises to be an explosive two hour season finale.

You know what else is good? CHUCK IS COMING BACK NEXT YEAR! WAHOOOOO!!!!

What Was Bad: As per usual, the major negative of the show to be the reliance on complete failures to communicate between characters to push the drama forward. Whether it’s Ellie’s seclusion from her friends and family because of what Ring agent Justin is telling her to Chuck’s continued poor decisions about hiding important info from Sarah and his dad, I find it incredibly frustrating.

Plus, Ellie being chosen to do spy work for Justin means pretty much every character in the cast has been selected by some faction of the CIA (evil or not) to do spy work. I love this show, but sometimes the suspension of disbelief is hard to handle.

Overall: As my boy Sepinwall points out, this is the first finale we’ve ever headed into where Chuck wasn’t on the verge of cancellation. In fact, with a fresh 13 episode run waiting for us next year, things are looking up for our favorite spies (besides the ratings – come on people, you’re ridiculous, watch this show!). This episode, even with two frustrating negatives, was damn good and an episode that sets everything up for a finale that looks almost preposterously awesome. Buymoria is threatened! Shaw is Intersected! Chuck is revealed to Ellie!

All will be analyzed next week by your’s truly. Same Chuck time, same Chuck channel.

//TAGS | Chuck

David Harper


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