Chuck: Captain Awesome's Big Break

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Monday’s episode of Chuck was—no, I won't do it. Let's just say Captain Awesome was dropped into the middle of the action and it all turned out really, really... swell.

It was only a matter of time before his awesomeness Dr. Devon Woodcomb would try to get in on the spy action, right? Chuck’s brother-in-law is the only member of his family who knows our hero's big secret. He also has all the right spy stuff: He's sharp, motivated, and ridiculously good looking. When the premier of "Costa Gravas" barely survived an assassination attempt, he was rushed to Devon’s hospital—and the two worlds collided.

As a longtime fan of Captain Awesome, I was thrilled to see him channel his inner 007. I assumed he’d be a natural—I mean, is there anything the guy can’t do? (Case in point: During a press conference, he busted out fluent Spanish skills, complete with a “muy awesome.” Loved it.) And adrenaline-junkie Devon was so eager to start spying. I just really wanted things to go off without a hitch. Apparently I haven’t watched enough of this show to realize that never happens.

Let me back up a bit, because things were on the right track for a while. General Beckman assigned Chuck, Sarah, and Casey to protect the premier—awkward for Casey, who had spent years trying to kill him and still found the idea pretty darned appealing. But because Premier Goya was going to open up his country to democratic elections, even Casey (known to Costa Gravans as the Angel de la Muerte) was forced to join the protective detail. All Devon had to do was keep the premier alive by providing proper medical attention. Simple, right?

Unfortunately, Devon—ever the overachiever—tried to tackle a would-be assassin. But it was actually Casey, rocking the goofiest faux ’stache ever seen on television, and Casey was taken away by the Costa Gravan guards. Which meant bad news for our heroes even though it was nice to see someone other than Chuck screw up a mission.

Rescuing Casey was no easy task, as the CIA refused to threaten diplomatic relations by intervening. (Bureaucracy, I shake my fist at you!) Captain Awesome to the rescue—Devon was asked to return to the consulate after the premier was poisoned again by the real assassin, and granted Chuck and Sarah easy access as his fellow MD and nurse. So Awesome got his redemption, but in the end, it was once more up to Chuck to save the day. He had to remove a bullet from Casey’s leg to prove to the general's righthand man that he was a real doctor. Little bit of trouble in Plot Land at this point, even for this tongue-in-cheek show. (And I was already trying not to think about how the assassin, an Irish-looking dude, managed to infiltrate a squad of South American soldiers.)

If you guessed that Chuck flashed on a bullet retrieval procedure, you’d be right. The Intersect 2.0 is fast proving to be awfully convenient, to the extent that I’m already a bit wary. Sure, it’s cool to see Chuck display shiny new powers, but I don’t want every episode to rest on a tired deus ex machina.

But there are still some things Chuck’s magic brain can’t fix. His relationship with Sarah, for example—would someone get these two some couples therapy? And the episode's end took a surprisingly dark turn in tone (were we still watching the same show?), with the assassin (working for the mysterious "Ring" organization) returning to the hospital for Devon. Is he kidnapped? Dead? Or—dare I say it—somehow less than awesome? We had all of 22 seconds to worry until next week's preview came on like one big buzz kill.

What did you think of the episode? Should Captain Awesome remain a civilian, or would you like to see him spy up?

Follow writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom

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