Chuck is back in business

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Ah, yes. There’s the show we’ve been trying to save. By shifting the focus from Chuck and Sarah’s relationship drama to Casey and Morgan’s general awesomeness, “Chuck vs. the Couch Lock” was Season 4’s strongest offering yet. Here’s my report card.

Agents Bartowski and Walker: Chuck and Sarah didn’t have a whole lot to do this episode. Which is fine with me—I think we all needed a break. It was nice to see the pair working together without too much bickering or serious talks about the future. If I’m allowed one minor complaint—oh, bear with me—it’s the constant use of “I love you.” Do the writers think we need a reminder in every episode? They’re a couple. They love each other. Saying it over and over again is unnecessary and, frankly, kind of gross.
Grade: A-

Agent Casey: Finally a return to form! Casey has been sidelined for far too long. For a while, I clamored for some character development, then suddenly the series took it too far. Casey was an awkward civilian, an overprotective dad, a buddy to Morgan—traits I wouldn’t necessarily mind, as long as he were also blowing things up. Monday night’s ep gave us Casey the father, Casey the human, and Casey the bad-ass. How many people could take a cigar burn to the wrist without even flinching? (Yeah, he was paralyzed, but he didn’t even blink!) Oh, and bonus points for the Kill Bill reference—did you catch that?
Grade: A

Morgan: Morgan! If there’s one thing I love more than Casey stepping up to the plate, it’s Morgan Grimes as the hero. He was brave, confident, dashing—he saved the day and got the girl. Maybe I overidentify with Chuck’s geeky sidekick, but there’s something truly satisfying about well-earned Morgan moments. He’s grown so much as a character since Season 1, and it’s wonderful to see him front and center. I also enjoyed his eulogy, though I’d like to think he’d do a much better job if Casey were actually dead. And he got the episode’s best line after trying to slap Casey into action: “It’s like slapping a car.”
Grade: A

The Romance: Forget Chuck and Sarah—I am all about Morgan and Alex. Now, wait, before you flame me, I’m not saying I want Chuck and Sarah broken up. I just think, as I’ve said before, that the series needs to ditch its focus on their relationship. Seeing them together is pleasant; shoehorning smooshy kisses and commitment issues into every episode is not. Besides, it’s time for Morgan to fall for someone who actually likes and appreciates him. Not to mention the fact that Alex is seriously cute—maybe even cuter than Julia Ling’s Anna. Sacrilege?
Grade: A

Awesome and Ellie: They’re having a girl. Ellie wants Chuck to find Mama Bartowski. That’s about it.
Grade: N/A

The Buy More: This is still the weakest link for me. Kudos to the writers for finding a reasonable way to integrate Jeff and Lester into the story, but again, it felt more like a distraction than anything else. The Buy More employees who aren’t Chuck, Morgan, and Casey should be limited to the occasional recurring role. When they’re used well—performing as Jeffster, for example—they’re great. But more often than not, their appearances feel contractually obligated and not essential to the show. I will say I’m glad we still haven’t seen a new Greta, another aspect of Chuck that should be used sparingly.
Grade: B

The Guest Stars: I was skeptical about this episode’s guest stars, namely C-listers Eric Roberts and Dave Bautista. (Look, they’re not bad, but when they’re your big selling point…) However, Roberts and Bautista—along with character actor Joel David Moore—did a solid job as Casey’s version of the A-Team. It was more about the characters than the actors, and that’s what I’ve wanted to see from Chuck’s guest stars for some time. On another note, Mekenna Melvin continues to charm as Alex. In case you hadn’t noticed my bias already.
Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A

Comments (13)
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Sarah is becoming my least favorite character. I love the Morgan and Casey dynamic though, and really hope they keep that up and stray from the Chuck/Sarah struggles.
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A great episode, love it. I think Casey should be focused on more and more, he is a great character
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Chuck is all around terrific! I fully trust the writers and everyone involved, they have done so well. Keep up the good work. Thank you NBC, you made the right decision for more episodes
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Great episode. Yes, I got the Kill Bill reference. I just can't believe you missed the Charade reference.
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Indeed Chucks best installment yet since season 4 kicked off. The ''I love you' thing is getting old as you also mentioned, writers fix this please? Futhermore great to see Casey back in action and of course Morgan saving the day! Ellie thinks Chuck has to become a true spy once again so that's a big plus as well. And last but not least Alex is totally hot haha! And NBC has picked up the show for a full season! :D
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I disagree with you on the Buy More stuff, but it really should be integrated better with the main story more, like they did in season 1 and 2. Anyways, this episode was without a doubt the best of the season so far.
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So happy about the back eleven episode order and I love this show! This episode was best of the season so far and I totally agree with you about this review. And also I just have to correct you headclub, their names combinet is Charah and the character that you are writing about is called Sarah not Sara...Just had to clear that up :)
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There is no objectivity in Chuck fans any more.
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I have been very critical of Chuck this season. Specifically the mother storyline and the Chuck/Sara relationship issues (Chara? Suck? you can't really combine their names, can you....) Anyway...this episode was definitely the best so far. Hope they keep it up. but even chuck on a bad day is better than any reality show and most new scripted shows. Just tone down the Gossip Girl please. *Disclaimer* I have never seen one second of gossip girl, so I'm not sure if that last reference made sense or not ;)
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Besides, if nothing else, Sara is smoking hot, and her presence on television is a must.
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YEEEEH!!!
:)
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Is it just me, or do the writers on this site act like television is the bad relationship they've been in too long and secretly hate?
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I agree that this was the best episode of the season so far.
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