This week's episode of Chuck took over directly where last week's episode ended, with Captain Awesome being kidnapped and dragged to the rooftop by ring operative, Sydney (Angie Harmon).
Now if you can forgive this major plothole of the Ring, who supposedly knows everything, having the worst intelligence and mistaking Devon for the spy, the main storyline of "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome" was actually quite good.
Chuck simultaneously played the bad ass spy he could be when he was cool, calm and collected and trying to impress Devon with his "duck hunt training" and the bumbling, nerd idiot when he tried to hatch his own plan to capture Sydney.
We actually really like the idea of Chuck trying to master the Intersect 2.0 and like seeing the moments of weakness. Chuck is not and should never be a Casey, or even a Sarah. We like seeing him slowly improve as he learns to master his powers and hopefully by season 4 can be a little more competent.
This episode also saw the introduction of Shaw (Brandon Routh), who initially came across as a bit of a one dimensional tool. Sure Shaw is meant to be seen as a super man and the casting was perfect for that, but he's a bit cheesey... even for this show. And that's impressive.
We were glad to see Shaw has a bit of a backstory and there may be more to this character, but we've already dealt with the "no emotional ties" theme of spies enough. Move on. Even his hatred of guns feels played out. Maybe we just hate Shaw because all Chuck spoilers point to Shaw being a potential love interest for Sarah and that relationship needs anything but another wrench.
Meanwhile, as overdone as Fight Club parodies are, we actually enjoyed the Buy More subplot this episode. Maybe Lester just did a phenomenal job, or we loved Morgan's threatening to fire him at the end, but for some reason this diversion worked for us. Plus the electrified fight cage tied nicely into the A story.
Overall, we thought this episode was the weakest of the incredibly strong third season, but still a good outing by Chuck and crew. Now for our favorite Chuck quotes from the hour:
Lester: I wanted to thank you Chuck, you made me feel something I haven't felt in a long time...
Morgan: Another human's foot on your body? | permalink
Awesome: You're incredible, is that your spy training?
Chuck: Duck Hunt, Nintendo. | permalink
Awesome: Geeze, this guy's heavy.
Chuck: Well bad guys don't count carbs, buddy. | permalink
Casey [about Shaw]: I have issues of Guns & Ammo magazine that are older than him. | permalink
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.