Season 3 Episode 16

Chuck Versus the Tooth

Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 10, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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    After a couple of the best episodes yet, 'Chuck Versus the Tooth' is not very satisfying. The story is unconvincing in two key regards. Firstly, as Chuck begins having nightmares about an assassination plot, Beckman fails to believe him and sends him to a psychoanalyst, which ultimately leads to his institutionalisation. Given that he has the intersect, it's seems likely that he WOULD have flashes both when he's awake and when he's asleep, and that during sleep they would manifest as nightmares. In that case, his intel would be taken seriously, and if it proved false, he would be assigned a team of CIA specialists to examine the effects of the intersect on his brain, NOT a psychoanalyst, who encourages Chuck to talk about his father (incidentally, his father also seems like an ideal candidate to fix Chuck's intersect glitch, but no one mentions the possibility of tracking him down). It's also hard to believe that both Sarah and Casey end up despairing over Chuck instead of believing him.

    Secondly, it's hard to believe that Ellie is so naive in this episode. When a creepy man pursues you from Africa, sneaks up on you in an electronics store and says "I'm actually here to see you. Can we go somewhere and talk for a bit? Somewhere private?" you say NO THANK YOU I WOULD NOT LIKE TO GO SOMEWHERE PRIVATE. When that man meets you on a park bench in the middle of the night, presents CIA credentials and tells you your father is in trouble AND he needs your help, but that you can't tell anyone about it, you go home and you TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT. It's not plausible that Ellie would believe that this lone creepy stranger is a CIA agent, and happily accept that her brother's friend, neighbour and colleague John Casey is a bad guy. Nor is it plausible that a trained doctor would be so naive when it comes to meeting strange men in dark places and cooperating with them. All in all, this whole episode feels a bit like a nightmare, with Chuck - who was so happy in the last two episodes - suddenly schlepping around in a robe in a mental asylum, and Ellie unwittingly spoiling everything, handing over the secret location of her father to someone she meets in a darkened alley.

    There are some redeeming feature of this episode. The adorable Anna makes a reappearance; Sarah and Casey's ultimate loyalty is heartwarming; there's a great comic scene in the asylum, when inmate "Merlin" and his friends suddenly remember their spy skills; and the storyline segues into a new and exciting direction for the season, in which Shaw re-emerges as Chuck's nemesis and all of Chuck's friends and family are inspired to pull together and save the day.
  • Spies Like Us

    As we speak I'm putting together a loop clip of Chuck shooting Shaw a billion times as he bloodily falls into the courtyard fountain. I think I'll make it my screensaver. Man, I hate Brandon Routh! This violent image was only just a dream, but it would trigger the events of this episode, where Chuck believes that an assassination will happen at a concert. My problem is we've seen this plot on Chuck before (several times), and even with the twist of his possible insanity, the way that his colleagues didn't believe him, and the way that he turned out in the end, to in fact be right, all just felt too cliched. Here's a basic summation of the episode:
    Chuck- "Someone is going to be killed, we have to stop it!"
    Friends- "We don't believe you, you're overstressed."
    Chuck- "Maybe you're right, I'm loosing it!"
    Chuck- "Aha! You were wrong! I was right! Whew!"

    This was just too easy a narrative, imo, and I can't help but wonder if this has to do with the tacked-on nature of these extra few episodes.

    But there was still a lot to enjoy, regardless. Morgan continues to entertain, as the only one who would stand by Chuck. Anna Wu returned, and though I would have liked them to give her more to do, I was pleased with the way Morgan maturely rejected her.

    Ellie is finally getting some spy action of her own! That Justin dude from Africa dropped by and claims to be CIA. He's got her wrapped up in her father's business, and she discovered guns at Casey's pad. Now Ellie needs to keep some secrets of her own from Devon and Chuck, and it's great to see her plotline stepping it up. All the buildup to leaving for Africa only to have them back home a week later is kind of funny to me, though.

    The biggest spin of the episode, is the idea that the intersect is starting screw with Chuck's mind. This is an AWESOME idea, but for now, I like the concept better than the execution. Chuck saw a shrink and guest star Christopher 'Doc Brown' Lloyd was pretty sweet. There were even nods to 'One Flew Over the Coo Coo's Nest', (which Lloyd was in) as Chuck was taken to a mental facility about his problem. The whole thing was Chuck flashed on a tooth of one of the African scientists, which was carrying tons of information. I think it would have been more interesting and more daring if he was actually WRONG, and that the intersect was throwing him mentally off. But this isn't about how I would make the epiosde. This is about how the episode, as is, works, and for what it is, it's standard Chuck fare that we've grown to know and love. Speaking of love, Sarah can't seem to say "I love you" back to Chuck, and once again, I think it would have been more interesting and daring, if she DIDN'T say it. At least not so soon. She gave in by episode's end, making that subplot also feel a bit easy. I would have liked if she saved her "I love you" for a bigger moment in the new finale. It would have more resonance. But again, it is what it is.
  • The truth is on the tooth.

    Another great episode, but very strange at the same time. It leaves me with some serious doubts in the following episodes which concerns me a little bit.

    Let's see, where to start ... OK, starting with not principal stuff. What's wrong with Casey? He is being as human as we never have seen him. Lucky that he still has its moments of hard guy indeed.

    Then, Morgan ... he has matured, rejecting Anna twice, even three times. He needs to mature a little more and for sure he will become a CIA agent.

    And now, the main course, but I think we have two or three main courses being cooked right now, all three very interesting topics.

    1a- Chuck. He has me very worried. At least this time his dream was right, but what about Shaw? How can he be alive? Chuck shooted him in the chest and Shaw fell several feet into the river. If he is alive, what are we are going to see now?

    1b- Chuck. Serious-mental-deterioration? Time will tell, but he is starting to lie to Sarah and things could be heating up in this one, because he is in danger right now -as so the series-.

    3 - Ellie. She knows where her father is, as we figured out the intentions of the Ring, but what now: going for "Daddy" and...try to build a new intersect?

    Finally, just say good nod to the writers at Christopher Lloyd, mostly because Chuckhe kept telling him "Doc".

    Also, keep a close up to Devon and Ellie, because SHE thinks Casey is bad and HE knows Casey is good. This is going to explode someday.
  • Everyone's going crazy.

    Suspicion emerges when Chuck starts having strange dreams, and he thinks those dream are warning signs for what's going to happen in the future. Everyone thinks that his brain is deteriorating from the intersect. Sarah stays on Chuck's side every step of the way even after he was wrong... twice. Chuck, of course ends up being right about these "visions" and Sarah & Casey come to save the day in the end. Meanwhile Ellie finds out that Casey is a spy from Justin. He warns her about him, which only means trouble since it's obviously a setup. You think everything is dandy, especially when Sarah says she loves Chuck. Then we find out Chuck is in danger, medically. His brain IS deteriorating because of intersect, he keeps it from Sarah when he has another dream warning that Shaw is still alive. Wow, a lot to take in with that cliffhanger. Anna returns to get Morgan back, but Morgan rejects her. I wanted Anna to stick around, oh well. Good episode with a great cliffhanger.
  • In the verge of going boring

    The 3rd season is twofold: Ring non-linked episodes are great, Ring connected episodes are dull.

    Chuck Versus the Living Dead was brilliant - you know: that special mix of fun, drama, romance and action. Chuck Versus the Tooth falls flat - the Ring here, the Ring there, and the Ring again. Everyone run crazy in this episode. Rather boring.

    The writers seem looking for ideas, and the last one is to play with the Ellie-Awesome couple, with a real/false CIA agent telling Ellie to spy on John Casey and call her father. And Anna is doing a come-back!

    I'm afraid there'll be no more material for the next season.