Showcasing the best and the worst of the series.
Tricia Helfer (49B or whatnot) has really grown as an actress... She's so skinny it makes me queasy though. And Chuck's hairstyle is geting comically bad (no really, go back and look ;-) But here's the big thing about this episode: a few prime examples of really really bad lazy writing.
Lazy writing is a term used for events that will happen in order to progress the show to where, according to plot, it should be. Now, sometimes this will work, most often in a form of coincidence. For example, Chuck's sister is exiting the Buy More in exact time the two yo-yos are watching Awesome/Helfer hot pics... OK, not great, but passable - these things happen to all of us.
However, HOW were these pics made? She's looking at the camera, so the little perv couldn't have made them secretly and she was never actually behind Awesome in the scene (and we are privy to the entire scene). Also, she's a serious secret agent obviously leaving loose ends. So, bad sort of lazy writing. (Also, let me point out a family-based thing which most of you will be familiar with. Family love can often turn into emotional blackmail - which is used within families all the time and it's a terrible thing. So, when Ellie tells Chuck "you should have told me, I'm your sister" in stead of covering for Awesome - for which he had a legitimate reason, that makes their bond so love-filled and yet so emotionally blackmailish it actually saddened me. Yup, personal time. You know, "if you love me, you'll take out the trash" sort of a thing).
Anyhow, back to lazy writing.
Much worse was yet to come.
Chuck is trapped in the OR with the bad guy. Check. Comic chase ensues. Check. They get flooded with laughing gas. OK. Now, here comes the best part: They both remain lucid and have a stoned conversation at the same time; within that conversation, the second in comand of Al Quaida gives the exact wherabouts of Osama Bin Laden. Yup, that's how it's done, folks. Forget the bribes and the satellites - just use laughing gas and some friendly clever conversation.
Now, most of you will think I'm being picky or ridiculous. Well, fine, to each his own. But I strongly believe that no matter what genre the series is, it should avoid the pitfalls of lazy writing because it diminishes the series. There is no reason why Chuck writers couldn't come up with decent explanations and decent plotline ties. They are certainly capable of it - for example, the "agent Carmichael" gag Awesome uses to contact the general was - awesome, no doubt.
All in all, a fine episode, but the writers should shape up. Dangling Tricia Helfer before me helps but doesn't make the bad parts go away.