Season 2 Episode 16

Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 09, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

out of 10
515 votes
  • On the backs of a few unfortunate cliches and one hardcore superspy, Chuck finally mans up.

    Anyone who has seen Chuck vs the Lethal Weapon knows that it has a pretty awesome final three minutes, and I'm not about to spoil the surprise for everyone else. The rest of the episode, however, played as an excercise in beating a dead horse. Last week we met Cole Barker, a ruggedly handsome, debonair, uber heroic, hardcore MI-6 agent, who got captured by fulcrum, got critically injured, but still mustered the strength and courage to save the day (dwarfing an understandably nervous Chuck by comparison). He uses his wound treatment time with Sarah to make a play for her so aggressive that even James Bond would blush. "Lethal Weapon" opens with a similar sequence of events. Then a similar situation occurs. Which then repeats itself a third time for good measure.

    Aside from being a bit repetitive, this presents a bit of a conundrum surrounding our guest of honor. On the one hand, Cole is the definition of a superspy, a consummate professional, and a genuinely nice guy who seems to care about Chuck and his protectors. On the other, he's also the type of d-bag who keeps pestering a girl whose repeatedly rebuffed his advances, and is dumb enough to think that a fellow agent could just slip off to Cabo for a few weeks mid-assignmnent, even if she wanted to. The payoff is supposed to be Sarah's ultimate admission that "when you meet somebody you care about, it's just hard to walk away," but given what is already plain to every fan from Sarah and Chuck's star-crossed interactions, it's not nearly worth the constant barrage of painfully cheesy, ingratiating come-ons that set it up.

    What is far more important about Cole than either of these sides, however, is that he knows nothing of Chucks background. He doesn't see an average Joe dragged into the covert world unwittingly, but a man who signed up for the CIA, got his training, and was good enough that the government chose to entrust him with it's most sensitive information. As a result, he's the first spook to treat Chuck as a colleague in need of training rather than a child in need of babysitting. Between that and the jealousy he elicits, we get our first glimpses of a Chuck motivated to develop his craft and be a better breed of spy. That seems to be confirmed by the seriously badass previews that aired with the credits, and it's a side of Chuck I have long waited to see.

    With the great ending to "Lethal Weapon" we are left at a crossroad. We know Chuck wants the girl, but is he going to get her by upping his game or getting out of it? It is a burning question, and one which will lead to an even deeper breed of episode moving forward.
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