Chuck Review: "Chuck Versus the American Hero"

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This week's episode of Chuck, "Chuck Versus the American Hero," was meant to be the penultimate episode of season three before NBC ordered an additional six episode, so going into you could expect some major game changers.

Chuck Picks Sarah

If you have not watched the episode, we're going to give a major spoiler alert.  On last night's episode of Chuck, the big shocker of the season was that Sarah killed Shaw's wife during the "red test" and not the ring.

We can't help but think this means that Eve Shaw was a ring operative, or there'd be no other reason Sarah was assigned to kill her and that the Ring would have it on footage.  We really hope this means there's actually something more to the Ring plot line of season three.

Since the start of the season, the Ring has been portrayed as far bigger and more sinister than Fulcrum, yet so far we've spent twelve episodes with them and all they've tried to do is kill Shaw.  How important could this guy and his dead wife be?

We're going to hope that Schwartz and Fedak are going to use their additional six episodes to actually make the Ring a real national security threat with actual missions, besides trying to steal a pill.

Other than our complaint, which is primarily direct at the season as a whole, the episode was fantastic for fans.  We finally saw Chuck develop the cajones he's been training for the last three seasons and brave his surprisingly short mission into the Ring base solo AND tell Sarah he loved her in one episode.  Go Chuck.

Meanwhile, the unlikely pairing of Morgan, Casey and Awesome, now that they're all civilians that are on the "inside" was hilarious, even if their mission was as ridiculous as trying to get Chuck back with Sarah.  Hey, they managed to give each of the guys believeable motivaitons.

Speaking of motivations, we're really going back with the Africa thing after a quick mention of a sabbatical?  What happened to how important the fellowship was to Ellie, etc?  Looks like everything is being set up to reduce the Chuck cast for a radically different season four.

So would you guys like to see season four in Rome with a completely new cast?  Or will they find a way to press the reset button yet again just to keep the expensive Buy More set and its staff?

The Chuck and Sarah moments were very sweet, and didn't have some of the painful awkwardness Chuck can have while professing his feelings in the middle of missions.  Instead, he acted like a Bartowski and broke out some impressive charm.

While we're pretty sure that Sarah was going to be Chuck at the station regardless, we were still proud of Casey for showing up Sarah's apartment to tell her the truth.  We can only imagine how hard it was for the big guy to actually selflessly confess his murder.

We can't wait to see how season three finishes up and really hope it's Chuck that puts the bullet in Shaw.  That guy has been one terrible thorn in this show's side for too long.  Now for our favorite Chuck quotes from the episode:

Receptionist: So where will we me sending you, Mr. Bartowski? Bali, Bora Bora?
Chuck: Burbank. Bob Hope airport to be exact.
Receptionist: I see, and will you be requiring a companion ticket?
Chuck: No thanks, she's still there. | permalink
Morgan: Is that what they teach you in the marines, roll over and die?
Casey: This isn't exactly combat, Morgan.
Morgan: That's where you're wrong, Casey, because love... love is a battlefield. | permalink
Awesome: Morgan, why don't you let me handle it. No offense, I've had my fair share of ladies.
Morgan: It's cause you live in a bubble. Take a look at your self. Go ahead. It's a freakish bubble of handsomeness. Now look at me, no bubble. I have to be completely verbal. | permalink
Jeff: Do they have any idea how much stalking experience I have?
Lester: If only they did Jeffery. You're very prolific. You're the Picasso of creepiness.
Jeff: It's true and this is my Blue Period. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.

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In response to Jaqob: I don't think Sarah's problem with Chuck killing people is based on "leftist" ideas about guns. If it were, Chuck's primary rivals wouldn't have all been active and dangerous agents. I suspect her problem is one of guilt. She met and fell in love with Chuck who was a nice, goofy yet charming guy when she met him. Chuck has changed a lot in three seasons. When Sarah tried to run away with Chuck in Prague and he turned her down, she started to realise how much. Before the season 2 finale, Chuck would have leapt on such a chance. Having been forced to face how he changed, Sarah finds that she's responsible for most of it - or at least she feels responsible. She's led Chuck away from the guy she first met and fell in love with to someone very different. Somebody who will lie easily and convincingly to the people who mean the most to him. Somebody who will burn an asset that he likes because it's the rational decision. Somebody who will fight for his country instead of follow his heart. When she believed him able to kill people in cold blood, she believed he wasn't the guy she fell in love with. Her objection isn't that Chuck KILLED someone, it's that CHUCK killed someone. She's positively stricken when she realised that Shaw was probably right, Chuck very well might kill somebody because she asked him to. In a sense, she felt she was killing who Chuck was. Casey, who only grudgingly liked Chuck before, is very pleased with his growth as a person. Sarah, who loved Chuck for who he was, is horrified.

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I think Sarah has been ruined this season. I'm not surprised though, Josh Schwartz tends to ruin characters by their 3rd season (OC, Gossip Girl).

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Decent analysis of the show. I've never gotten the whole "If Chuck intentionally kills a bad treasonous traitor guy using a gun that makes him unlovable as far as I'm concerned" rationale that Sarah has. This kind of writing WREAKS of this idiotic leftist idea that guns are "bad" so lots of people having guns with them in an area is bad and "scary" and anyone that uses guns to harm or kill is a very bad evil person. I just can't imagine a CIA agent ever thinking like that. Especially since Chuck killing that traitor in the previous episode would be a GOOD and HEROIC act that saved innocent American lives and prevented the spread of identities that The Ring could take advantage of in various ways. That is the big problem I have with this writing arc. But also, with this episode I have some important technical concerns like: 1) How the hell did Casey get into the castle since he is a civilian and no longer has clearance to get in there using one of those retina scans?
2) When Chuck came out of that bombed building with Shaw, where the hell did they come from? Were they already outside of the building? Or were they beneath somewhere and once it had been blown up they came out? Because even if they were within 20 feet of it it probably would have killed them both pretty easily, right?
3) How does Shaw get such easy and quick clearance to get up and run off with Sarah like he did? And why does he and Hannah and others always look so lucid immediately after regaining consciousness?