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Chuck Review: The Team Behind The Castle

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Although the episode itself left plenty to be desired, "Chuck Versus the A-Team" answered enough long-standing questions and created a couple new queries to make up for its lack of overall entertainment.

Morgan Grimes getting tranqed will always be humorous, but leaving him drugged on Casey's recliner for the entire episode really tied the show's hands. You can't expect a great hour of Chuck without the comedic stylings of Morgan Guillermo Grimes.

Chuck vs. GRETA

Even without Morgan for a majority of the episode, comedy was still the only aspect of the Chuck Triple Threat that even decided to show up this week. Between Morgan admitting that he drank no water so that he would not wet himself, Chuck making fun of CBS and all of their CSI-type shows, and the disarming of a nuclear bomb using just fruit juice... there were enough laughs to get by.

The only action scenes were the two times the Gretas took out the bad guys in five seconds, and then when Chuck disarmed the bomb. Not all that exciting. And heart? I found no moments worthy of mentioning as heartfelt. A really disappointing performance by the Chuck Triple Threat and the episode suffered because of it.

What "Chuck Versus the A-Team" did have, though, were answers to two major questions:

  1. What the heck is the point of these stupid Gretas? We finally found out that they were the agents trying out to be the next intersects, and if this is the last we see of the Gretas, I'm happy with how their arc unfolded. It made sense that there were so many of them coming in and out of the Buy More and it made sense why there were all so dry and robotic. Was all the confusion worth it in the end? Probably not, but at least it wasn't a disappointing conclusion, especially because most people thought there was absolutely no point to the Gretas whatsoever.
  2. What the heck was Casey up to behind that wall? We learned he had a new team handed to him by Robin Givens' character, and it was made up of the best Gretas. I completely agree with the Isaiah Mustafa choice, but I would much rather have seen Summer Glau or Olivia Munn return as the female Greta. It was also pleasing to see that Casey had been doing missions with his new team behind Chuck and Sarah's backs. That's worthy of a secret. The even bigger secret, though, was that these two Gretas were given Intersects of their own!

The fact that there were these two new intersects was great for this episode in that it helped show that Chuck Bartowski is more than just a computer in the brain.  

He proved that when the first Greta couldn't stop herself from shooting the target because her computer told her that was what she should do; then again when the second Greta stopped trying to disarm the bomb because his computer told him it couldn't be done. Chuck is more than just a computer, and knows how to use his Intersect so well, that he disarmed the bomb and saved the day.

It was awesome to see Chuck show up the other Intersects with his masterful apple juice strategy, but I really think they could have extended this story over a few more episodes. There was a lot of great material there with Chuck being jealous of the others with Intersects, along with fighting between the two teams. Instead, they dismantled the idea after one installment, and we are back to the status quo. Oh well.

So, as the episode ends with Jane giving Ellie the intersect computer, new questions arise: What did Ellie see on the computer? What, specifically, did she get so lost in while using the computer all day? And why did she have such a big smile? Is she going to be the new Intersect? Will Ellie know Kung Fu?

That would be quite the upgrade in material for Sarah Lancaster. I think she's up to the challenge, don' you?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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You diminish your status as a reviewer if you didn't think this was a quintissential Chuck episode. The explanation for the Greta's worked, and Mustafa and Keibler were great (I much prefer Stacy Keibler to Oliva Munn, Munn just manages to sneer all the time). I thought it had plenty of action and comedy (disarming the bomb was both) as well as heart (the scene at the end). Another great episode in a very strong season.

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This episode was awesome! However, I will probably say the same thing about every Chuck episode. This story about the GRETAs could indeed continue for some more episodes .. During the episode I felt like getting into the TV to kill Robin Givens and her team [excluding Casey], but it served to the audience and the CIA to see how especial Chuck is. Ellie as a spy? I kinda always wanted this, but now .. Chuck and her were always unhappy due to the fact that both their father and mother were absent during their whole life, and if Ellie suddenly become a Intersect, wouldn't she be absent from her child's life too? Poor Devon!

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I think this is one of the best episodes in season 4. Just like the previous episode, it had the right mix of action, drama, and humor. The writers even came up with a good reason this time to include some Buy More in the story. One final thought: So far, it looks like the intersect only works relatively well in a "Bartowski-brain", so the new story arc with Ellie and the Orion laptop definitely has potential. Imagine Ellie accidentally getting an intersect without anybody knowing, and then having to hide this from everybody else. How cool would that be?

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I agree that the episode was a little disappointing. It dragged for the first half hour, but it did pick up in the 2nd half. I think that the most interesting part of the episode was after the Gretas had the intersect removed. It briefly showed what the "new" intersect (the one to stop emotions from getting in the way) did to them. I really liked the Old Spice guy's reaction to having it out of his head. Yes, we know that the Intersect is damaging to the brain and that Chuck felt lighter when it was removed from him back in season 2, but what this showed was that with this new version in their heads they were more robotic than they were without it. With it, OSG, would never have been able to express how bad he believed Chuck has it. This is why I don't believe that Ellie has the intersect. Jane told Chuck that the government had been working on the computer to fix the emotion issues, and based on the way the Gretas acted when they had it, Ellie would not have had that big smile on her face when Devon walked in--she literally wouldn't have been able to feel that happy. I think she was just overjoyed to have something other than being a mother to Clara to do all day.

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virg
No.

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Arsimo nailed it for the heart stuff, this was an episode filled with it, but just a different type. It was an episode about friendship, with Casey at the heart of it - with Chuck in the disposal suit, with Sara and the backup scene, with morgan and the torture scene. The chuck sara thing would be utterly tedious without an episode or four like this - the riff for them is how to nail Mr and Mrs smith over a period of time and maintain the humor of the show. I think this is the best season ever but what the producers have to nail with the writers (if there want to lay any kind of a foundation for series 5 )is how do you get 13- 26 episodes of chuck where the relationship is in the back seat. Obviously children, bordom of marriage and extended family will come on strong as will putting Sarah and or Casey in peril. I can see a tad more action coming - if they have the budget and I can see a lot more of comic role for everyone. But I cannot see them maintaining the show on a charah relationship after the wedding and that could be a great thing - a really great thing. Love the show and love so far and the growth potential it has but things will change - in a good way.

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Are we finally agreeing that a once good show has become a total waste of an hour?

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After seeing the episode I wonder if NBC is thinking spin off.
I agree that both Olivia Munn and Summer Glau could be added, in some way, and the show would benefit. Both are talented, athletic and have yet to find a permanent TV home. Of the big question: Is this the last season we will Chuck, Sara, etc.

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Strange, in my view the episode had a lot of heart and character. One of the best this season, especially in this respect. Morgan was maybe a little underused, but a very good and interesting part for Casey (Baldwin) that we had to miss a long time and perhaps the best episode ever for Chuck and Sarah as a spy couple. The heart was not in the "grand gestures" but in nice subtle acting and dialogs. One of best written and especially directed episodes of this season. 4.5 out of 5.

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"Your last speculation would be the only thing that would pull me back to Chuck: Ellie getting her due as a Bartowski." If Ellie became an intersect I would stop watching the show. Smallville did the same thing with the character Lana by giving her superpowers in addition to her nosiness about clarks powers, like Ellie is with Chucks job, and the viewers just got tied of her character.

Chuck Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Casey: You didn't wet yourself this time. That's an improvement.
Morgan: I didn't drink any water today.

Casey: Would you be willing to sacrifice your life to protect John Casey?
Morgan: My only regret is that I have one life to give.