Chuck Review: A Turn to the Dark Side?

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It happened. For the first time since Season 4.1 kicked off, I was not all that pleased with an episode. While "Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil" was a pleasant enough hour of television, it was a bit too run of the mill to have my tastes.

The question of whether Vivian Volkoff will remain good or turn evil immediately returned to the forefront. As she played up her devious side at the bank, she proved to Pierre Chang* that she was more like her father than he originally thought. She also proved the same to herself and the audience.

(*Because I didn't catch the name of the bank manager, I'm hoping most readers here also enjoyed Lost.)

With Vivian

After Mr. Volkoff's Lawyer - played by yet another television staple, Ray Wise - got to Vivian and warned her not to trust Chuck and the CIA, the young heiress had much more to ponder. The fact that he told her he was the only one who could tell her what she wanted to know about her dad made it that much easier of a choice.

So, as the episode concluded with her in the limo, attorney by Vivian's side, the question hung around: will she turn to the dark side?

Another storyline that began last week and continued into "Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil" was that of Casey and his secret mission with Robin Givens. Meh. The only joy I got from it was discovering Morgan's go-to move to pretend he's a spy: talking into his watch.

Now that we've gotten some of those plot-related details out of the way, let's take a look at how the Chuck Triple Threat played out this week. But, first, put on your best outfit from the J-Crew For Spies...

Action
The conversation begins and ends with the fantastic bank robbery by Chuck and Sarah. With the random shooting, the sweet flips, and, of course, the sunglasses and leather, it was all I could ask for. Other than that, there was Vivian taking out the lawyer with a knife and a vase.

Comedy
Let's first mention what didn't work. For the first substantial action in three or four weeks, Jeff and Lester really didn't come to play. This renaissance love affair just made it seem like the writers had run out of interesting thing to have these guys do. Roping Morgan into their story for the first half of the episode proved once again that the bearded wonder is much better on spy missions than hanging around the Buy More.

Speaking of Mr. Grimes, he had a couple of gems. A couple of my favorites: leading with the beard on his apartment listing, but then realizing he should use it as a pleasant surprise; joking about not putting a TV in his new apartment.

She's been getting in on the laughs more and more these days, but it's always surprising to see Sarah crack me up. She did it here while trying on wedding dresses, especially when sticking her tongue out in disgust. She was also hilarious as she talked to Chuck so sweetly about feeling magical in her dress, then immediately screaming at a bank customer to get down on the ground before she blows their freakin' head off! Great stuff.

Heart
There was yet another nice moment between Ellie and Sarah, as the former explained to the latter that at some point the wedding was going to feel magical. And when we saw that moment, it was truly magical. As Sarah muttered "we're getting married" to herself, cracked a smile, and began to tear up, everyone but John Casey was feeling emotional. It never isn't awesome to see Sarah Walker feel like a princess.

There are plenty of questions to ask as Chuck moves forward: What is going to happen with Vivian?  What the heck is Casey doing behind that wall in Castle? Is this all leading up to another wedding season finale? Taken onn its own, how much of a let down episode was this for you?

Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

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

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Chuck Season 4 Episode 17 Quotes

You know what? New apartment, I'm gonna go no television. It'll be very liberating. Kidding, I'm totally kidding. 72 inches dude, bam!

Morgan

Mr. Reilly: Nobody ever said no to your father.
Vivian: Then I'll be the first to do it.