I'm not sure where to begin, if I'm being honest. Chuck is back! I'm over the moon about that. Less thrilled that there's no Anna. Uber happy we have 19 episodes to the season. But, and it's a big one, I felt uncomfortable watching this episode. The genius hooks, catchy one-liners and Yvonne in sexy clothing, all staples of the show, are present and accounted for. It's just, well, it felt like I was out of the loop, and yes, I get that may have been the point (hence the vague flashbacks), but Chuck is at its best when we know everyone's intentions, even if the characters don't know themselves, ya know?
I enjoyed this premiere, I did. It was a darker slice of Chuck, and it was certainly interesting, certainly different than what we're used to. Emmet's shocking death was just that – shocking. I was expecting a tranquilizer of some sort, but a point blank bullet through the eye was…I can't think of anything other than shocking. It would have been more effective had I not known the budget had been slashed and so a few characters, such as Anna and Emmet, had to leave, but fair play, he certainly went out with a bang. Quite literally.
I'm not sure how I feel about Chuck and Sarah unofficially-officially breaking up. Loved the scenes with Chuck trying to win her back, and that right-hand slap could be felt a mile away. But Chuck is left looking like the bad guy, and Chuck is very rarely the bad guy. And so I'm left in this whirlwind of confusion. I was so happy at the end of season 2 for this couple, it would have been nice to explore this full relationship, and instead we're given a complete 360. It's a jam-packed episode, one that could have used up a little more time to delve into their fallout. The episode suffers a good bit because of this.
Overall, it's an unusually paced hour of Chuck. The ominous ending suggests that the intersect 2.0 will do more harm to Chuck than good, which will hopefully offer up some a strong arc. The implication that Chuck is dangerous now is interesting, and you could argue that it may have been the intersect that swayed him from running away with Sarah, but maybe I'm jumping the gun on that one. Casey is still a h00t, and I'm glad to see that the Buymore crew still have a part to play. So the season starts off with a few interesting tweaks, but with Chuck back at Buymore and the Chuck/Sarah scenario right back to season One, it also takes quite a few drastic steps backwards. Unexpected, to say the least…