Chuck

Season 4 Episode 19

Chuck Versus the Muuurder

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 21, 2011 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
263 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Chuck is put in charge of a top-priority mission, but his leadership skills are pushed to the limit when there is a murder in Castle. Meanwhile, Awesome takes on an assignment of his own when Ellie finds a concerning new hobby. Elsewhere, Morgan's managerial leadership is put to the test when his Buy More troops wage war against Large Mart.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "Chuck Versus The Muuurder"

    6.0
    Chuck is one of the only shows that keeps characters around who aren't part of the central storyline week-in and week-out. There are entire subplots centered around Ellie's laptop drama and Big Mike's musings about having a great big BM on his chest, and only about once or twice a season do they weave their way into the larger story. It's been a long time since these ancillary guys and gals have done anything to further their characters. Ellie is nosy to the requisite degree, Jeff and Lester are blinded by their interest in mayhem, and Awesome has a zinger or two at the ready, though he's really more neurotic than anything lately. At this point, anything not Chuck-Sarah-Casey-Morgan related is basically a game to kill time in the episodes.



    It's obvious that these guys haven't developed along with the show, because they have so little to do week-to-week anyways. But has Chuck developed? Has he learned anything this season and adapted the way he looks at things? Tonight's episode found Chuck sliding into the commander slot for a mission, and the ensuing murder mystery tested his mettle and required him to think quickly on his feet. It's not surprising that his trials first involved confusion, followed by self-doubt but inevitably success, the same as they always have. What I don't understand is how, after so many missions, Chuck doesn't appear to be learning anything this season. Last year, especially with the presence of Shaw, Chuck was continually pushed in a direction he didn't want to be going-he was going to have to kill someone. Perhaps it's because this season was interrupted a few times, but Chuck's journey hasn't been very pronounced this time around.



    I still think "Chuck Versus The Muuurder" was decent fun. Basically, it was an excuse for Chuck to first geek out at finding some like-minded folks vying to be the next Intersect, then for Chuck to keep his cool in a high pressure, bomb-fueled situation. But while he continually brought up his failed leadership attempt the last time he played Dungeons & Dragons, I never got the sense that Chuck was completely out of control, that he wasn't inevitably going to figure things out. Chuck is a show that only got good when it let itself get completely out of control, throwing seemingly insurmountable things in Chuck's direction and developing the Intersect just as fast as Orion could explain them. "Muuurder" had so many new variables-specifically the four Intersect candidates, plus Bentley and the puppet master from Heroes-yet it was oddly very controlled.



    Perhaps it's because the show is doing little to keep viewers invested on an emotional level, at least no more than it already has. Ellie was only in about three scenes tonight, yet Chuck's blind love for his sister was one of the hooks upon which the episode hung its drama. Every once in a while, it's nice to see the small moments play out between characters, and I don't feel like Chuck and Ellie got to have that scene in "Muuurder." Instead, mired in too much plot summary and random explosions, the episode blew right on past the details and once again played far too broadly to be super compelling.



    Instead, the show has been relying more and more on last-minute reveals to summon viewer investment. Tonight, part of the story was Ellie's, in that she now has her dad's computer, is hiding it from Chuck even after he tries to procure its hard drive, and is discovering that it holds the secret to embedding information into someone's brain without them having to learn it. Hence, the Intersect. Then, at the end, the computer scans the room and identifies Ellie as Agent X. In the absence of much for Ellie to do this time around, the show has given us something to look forward to, Ellie-wise. It's a cheap trick that's starting to wear thin.



    The best episodes this season have been the simplest. "Muuurder" took on a lot, and to its credit, it managed to make some sense of it all, even if it did resort to cheap, repetitive BM humor. It's just that, at the end of the day, nothing much happened. Again. Oh well. There's always the imminent threat of Vivian Volkoff, despite not mentioning her the entire episode, to look forward to. Hmm, what a familiar little trick…moreless
  • In a highly disappointing season, I highly enjoyed this episode.

    9.0
    The other director was super-annoying for her short stay on the show, so it's good to know that she is finally leaving. And I hated the idea of having multiple intersects (didn't the writers already cover that way back in the time of Bryce?) so I'm glad the director has ditched that idea. I was glad that the show was in touch with it's humor in this episode, in that even though the murderer was a bad guy, he was still funny before they found him out. "Everything I own is covered with sand!" being my prime example, and Zachary Levi's delivery of "Really? The boom-box?" It was nice to have an episode that wasn't too caught up in the upcoming wedding, Casey having another team, or Ellie and her father's computer. Those storylines are too overused! It was great to have an original mystery afoot, and I appreciated the trapped-in-with-a-killer tension. This episode exceeded my expectations which have been unfortunately low this season. Let's hope this episode is the first of many headed in the other direction!moreless
Joshua Gomez

Joshua Gomez

Morgan Grimes

Zachary Levi

Zachary Levi

Charles "Chuck" Irving Bartowski

Sarah Lancaster

Sarah Lancaster

Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne Strahovski

Sarah Walker

Mark Christopher Lawrence

Mark Christopher Lawrence

Big Mike

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Colonel John Casey

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Featured Music:
      "I Need You" by The Blood Arm (The recruits are tested in Castle)
      "Any Way You Want It" by Journey (Brody's ringtone)
      "Victim" by Win Win feat. Blaqstarr (Chuck and Sarah do an interrogation)
      "Move to the Mountains" by Clock Opera (The final montage)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • General Beckman: This time our search will be led by the only man who really knows what it's like to be an Intersect. Chuck, we need you to find more Chucks.

    • Chuck: It's not just the computer, or the man. The Intersect is all of us, the three of us, working together. That's why it works

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Chuck a šéfování (Chuck and the Leadership)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 23, 2011 on SPACE
      Turkey: May 9, 2011 on CNBC-e
      United Kingdom: May 26, 2011 on Sky LIVING/Sky LIVING HD
      Australia: July 15, 2011 on FOX8
      Czech Republic: October 30, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Sweden: November 16, 2011 on TV6
      Finland: November 21, 2013 on Sub

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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