Friday, March 13, 2015

Chuck vs The Sandworm

I would like to thank Christopher of Chuckaholics for writing this cool post about The Chuck Series Companion. Thank you so much Christopher. He has also created a very cool Chuck Social Site where fans of Chuck can talk about our favorite show, it's very cool. Check it out!

Just like Chuck, when Laszlo shows up, I want to believe him. I want to trust him. The idea that the CIA took him in when he was too young to know better and kept him against his will deep underground in a think tank where he invented many incredible spy gadgets is totally believable. When Laszlo's handler shows up he seems like a sleazy guy played by Rick Hoffman from the Show Suits who knows how to do smarmy well. When the CIA Handler mentions that Laszlo is off his meds and planning on using a bomb it's where some doubt finally creeps in.

Chuck's penchant for trusting the wrong person is not something I hold against him, like Sarah says, trusting people doesn't make you stupid, it makes him Chuck. That's one of the themes of Chuck, how the spy life will change him. I think part of the appeal for me and this show is how I identify with Chuck. Chuck's not cynical, he's a good guy who's been thrown into a crazy situation and while he will act scared and he will run for dear life, there's a part of him that is very heroic. As a Kid, I would watch big screen heroes and wish I could react that way, like Indiana Jones or John McClane and jump into action at a moment's notice, never overreacting. Ha! Yeah, that's not very likely, I'm going to act like a frightened lunatic, that's just the way it is. Chuck's like me and hopefully I would be just as heroic. There's a natural instinct you see in Chuck at least once per episode where his smarts pay off in a big way. This week when Laszlo armed the Home Theater Strategic Air Command console, Chuck knew that he needed to quickly distract Laszlo with the idea of watching another Bond Film. Part of me thinks that Laszlo had no intention of actually doing anything with the system but merely scaring Chuck or impressing him. It's hard to really know what his true intentions were, the dude was nuts.

I liked the idea of the CIA Gadget Guy being an immature kid with a medication problem, one who identified way too much with Bond villains and I kinda wish he showed up later in the Chuck series but we can always remember Laszlo when a spy gadget shows up wondering if it was indeed one of Laszlo's many creations. Speaking of immature, we also have Morgan, the champion of Mystery Crisper, when Morgan goes hunting for Whale Tail Chuck has no choice but to scold Morgan in front of everyone. It may have pissed Morgan off but it also got him to want to change, he gets help from Devon in the form of tucking his shirt in and putting product in his hair which surprisingly does wonders for him. He sticks up for Chuck with the Buy More H.R. Guy and pleads with the guy to please promote Chuck and not God forbid, Harry Tang.

Download the Podcast Episode: S1Ep6 Vs The Sandworm

So Chuck learns that while he saw some similarities between him and Laszlo, they were nothing alike. Laszlo had Agent Smarmy-Pants and Chuck has Sarah and we will learn that makes a huge difference. Chuck could have easily been like Laszlo deep in a bunker waiting to flash on whatever files they put in front of him. Thank goodness for Sarah Walker.

This episode had a great song by the band Editors - Weight of the World and there was also Finley Quaye featuring Beth Orton - Dice and more

Here's a Review of Sandworm by Alan Sepinwall and another by Eric Goldman, check these out, I find their early takes on what Chuck was to be fascinating and the AV Club Review. Equally fascinating are the comment sections after the reviews where people were either falling in love with Chuck or being annoyed by Morgan. Speaking of loving Chuck and Morgan, that bromance scene at the end of the episode was hilarious and I read much later that it was a gag if you will on a scene from another series by Josh Schwartz called The O.C. Here is the scene and here is the Chuck scene. It is pretty funny, they even used the same song Dice.

Again, it's been great doing the Chuck Series Companion, I have to remind myself with each episode that I can only think about one at a time or I begin to feel a little overwhelmed. It's also pretty neat focusing on each episode this way, it adds something new by feeling each episode out individually, thinking about what I like about each one etc.

Until next time.

The Jastrom

1 comment:

  1. Very funny episode and I think this is an important episode for Morgan's character. I'm a bit surprised when I see that some early viewers of the show had low opinions of the Morgan character but when you go back and watch the first few episodes of the show you mostly are only shown him in a negative light, hampering Chuck's time with Sarah (either deliberately or out of profound ignorance) and being especially unseemly with Ellie (funny, but could be off-putting for some). You commented in your podcast for episode one how Morgan was more like Lester and Jeff at the very beginning. With Morgan in this episode imploring the Buy More HQ guy to give the assistant manager position to Chuck, I think this might be where the show starts making Morgan a more likable character for those who initially were not fans.