Chuck Review: Gasp! Volkoff!
I was hearing all over the Interwebs yesterday that this week's Chuck was the best of the season.
While I enjoyed it, "Chuck Versus The First Fight" won't come anywhere near my Top Ten Chuck Episodes list. It had an all-time great ending twist, but any ep the lacks the presence of Jeffster just can't be historic.
So, who had money on Mama Bartowski as a septuple agent? Seriously, how many times are Linda Hamilton and the Chuck writers going to be able to trick me into thinking she's either good or bad? At this point, I'm convinced she's still good, but when she played Chuck that video and Tuttle showed himself to be Volkoff, I once again had serious doubts.
It wasn't just the Mama B that confused me. The key was adding an entirely new character that also gained my confidence, and then ripped it away. Not only was Timothy Dalton a great source of comedy as Gregory Tuttle, but he was so unassuming that I never once expected him to be bad. Come to find out he's THE VOLKOFF?!? Pure genius.
In great Chuck fashion, this week's ep pulled of the trifecta with style.
You would think it was lacking without Jeffster, but Morgan picked up the slack and delivered more than a few chuckles. Any time you can compare a platonic male to male friendship with a romantic male to female relationship, I'm going to find it funny. Morgan relating Chuck and Sarah's problems to his and Casey's? A perfect use of that logic. All it takes to get the Bearded Wonder excited for a mission is an ear piece, and he gets worried about asbestos at the bank. Love this guy.
Mary: "Morgan Grimes. I haven't seen you since you were nine years old."
Morgan: "You know what? I haven't had a decent rice krispie treat since."
I absolutely lost it. Way to build on last week's lemon bars joke Morgan.
Tuttle was great as he enjoyed the tiny weapons standoff and watching two field agents in action. What a show! These moments became even funnier after realizing he was Volkoff acting in character the entire time.
We had a decent amount of good action this week, beginning with the aforementioned tiny weapon standoff that was followed by Chuck dismantling some bad guys. And then at the bank, we got a robbery and a Chuck and Sarah tag team that was great to watch. Their bickering is much easier to take when they're round-housing bad guys at the same time.
I thought Chuck and Tuttle having a heart-to-heart in the back of the truck with the sheep was heartfelt at the moment, but little did I know it was just Volkoff putting on a show.
In terms of actually heart-warming moments, we were blessed with the dramatic work of Sarah Lancaster and Linda Hamilton playing daughter and mother. Great work by the two of them. Watching Ellie struggle to even begin speaking to her mom was fantastic. But then Mama and Ellie thinking about the good times? Glorious.
Speaking of the good times... Mary mentioned to Ellie a '68 Mustang that Papa B used to have and everything clicked for her. Eleanor went ahead and found the Mustang that had been in the Classifieds forever and in it was a note from Papa B. So what is up with the car? What secrets will it have inside? And what was that green light thing under the seat?
What did the video that Mama B played in front of Chuck do? Did it delete his Intersect? That's what it seems to have done at the moment, but it couldn't be that obvious right? If she is actually good, which also seems likely given Mary's hand-off of the razor blade to Sarah, then why would she eliminate Chuck's power?
Things are moving along quite nicely at this point. After plenty of non-Volkoff episodes early in the season, we've had a couple in a row now. Let's hope this trend continues, as this long-running story line is getting really good.
Chuck: "Chuck Versus the First Fight"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.