Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chuck versus The Seduction

"Be a bastard." Says the aging, dashing Super-Spy Roan Montgomery to the student in the art of seduction, Chuck Bartowski. Chuck is indeed a bastard in a hilarious scene that wins him a trip to the room of one notorious Ex-KGB Agent Sasha Banacheck. Two great guest stars in a fun season two episode. I've been a longtime fan of John Larroquette from his Night Court days and knew of Melinda Clarke from her Firefly episode. I also watched her on Nikita until I lost track of it during it's run on The CW. Chuck knows how to do guest stars and this is only the beginning. Good stuff.

I think it's interesting that Chuck doesn't even want to participate in the mission originally after Sarah explains to him that there will be no second date (third? who can keep track?) now that he is for sure the Intersect. The plans for the new Intersect failed once the Fake Cipher blew up the facility but now they know that Sasha Banacheck is in possession of the real Cipher (how many times can I say Cipher?). Chuck must flash on Roan and get him to help retrieve the Cipher from Banacheck. Chuck's not interested until, Sarah tells him that he can have anything he wants, once the new Intersect is finally online. Anything? Chuck knows what this means, it means he can have Sarah (if she is willing of course). What Sarah doesn't know is that once there is a new Intersect, Chuck is no longer useful and is now a threat and will be eliminated by the CIA. But, we'll worry about that later.

When I re-watch this episode I always find myself smiling at Sarah's entrance to the Buy More to Do You Believe in Love by Huey Lewis and the News (again with the Huey Lewis). Chuck sees Sarah enter and it's a mixture of fantasy and reality as she makes her way to him. I love the cartwheel that she does and then she crawls on the ground seductively (Sarah needs no lessons in seduction). It's silly, yes. But it also shows just how Chuck envisions Sarah. He thinks that she can do anything and that she is amazing. That scene says it all not to mention the kiss Chuck shares with Sarah to show Roan, that he knows passion!

"So who are your favorite bands?" That's the question Chuck asks when Roan and Sarah are off mic for a moment and Sasha is ready to bail. One of the best parts of this seduction scene is the way that Casey, behind the bar yet again, reacts to it all. I love his eye roll when Chuck bumps into several people after making a dashing entrance into the bar. Here's a question. Did Sasha invite Chuck up to her room because Chuck finally indeed seduced her with his sexy talk or did she realize already that he was a pupil of the great Roan Montgomery? I'm going to say, she knew it was Roan all along. The Martinis gave it away.

How cool is the new Spy Base below the Orange Orange? The reason I don't refer to it as Castle yet is because it wasn't referred to as Castle. It's funny after watching the series in its entirety I still can't recall when Castle becomes Castle (say Castle one more time, I dare you). I will definitely keep an eye out for it (or my ears peeled). I love the Wheel of Misfortune and boy was it (for Lester). Poor Lester, it looks like he grew up with one of these in his home. I honestly wonder what Big Mike was thinking by making Lester the new Ass Man (short for assistant manager) besides comic hijinks? Well, he did win Thunderdome in the previous episode, so I guess he earned it.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S2Ep2 Vs The Seduction

I've already mentioned the music of Huey Lewis in this episode but we also got a great song Love it All by The Kooks, a song I wasn't quite familiar with until Chuck but I love it now. We also get a cool instrumental piece Desert Eagle by Ratatat. My favorite of the episode though, goes to the Roan Montgomery theme song, 65 Bars and a Taste of Soul by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Here's a link to the rest of the tunes from this episode.

Here is Alan Sepinwall's Recap of Seduction, where he explains that the Roan Montgomery character was actually an homage to Peter O'Toole in the film, My Favorite Year. Very interesting, I've actually never seen that film, but now I am curious to see it. Eric Goldman had a blast with the episode, here is his Recap of Seduction.

Well that's Season Two, Episode Two in the bag and I think it's one of my favorites because I love the introduction of Roan and the moment he tells Chuck, "I can even teach you how to get her too." Meaning Sarah (I think Chuck would have pulled it off if not for you know who) it will be a long wait, but Roan will return, oh yes. As for Bryce, he did return at the end of the episode and we'll just have to wait until next time to talk about that. Thanks again guys, for reading and listening! Now go watch some more Chuck!

Until then...

The Jastrom

1 comment:

  1. Larroquette is great as the guest star for this episode. Nails the Roan character, hitting the comedic moments perfectly (as expected from Larroquette) but also pulling off the serious moments well. My favorite scene is the one in which Roan says, “The lady doth protest too much” and then he asks Chuck if Sarah is worth dying for. You expect Chuck will say “Yes” in some form, but the way the scene is shot is riveting with Roan walking past Chuck and away from him as though Roan is expecting his question to have unnerved Chuck, and Chuck with a look of deep reflection saying, resolutely, "Yes." It is a powerful moment for the C&S relationship story; it’s easy for Chuck to pursue a relationship with Sarah when there is little downside; with Roan telling Chuck he’ll die, Chuck, who hasn’t handled life and death moments with much poise has decided, without hesitation, to try to save her and Casey. And then the scene is capped off by Roan’s admonition of Chuck that a spy should never fall in love, to which Chuck replies, “Well then I guess I’m not much of a spy.” It seems Chuck is effectively acknowledging that he loves Sarah. Obviously he’s had feelings, strong ones, for her but is this first time he has let it be known that he may love her? Larroquette and Zach deliver this scene exceptionally well.

    A fun moment for me is when Chuck goes into bastard mode because he’s wounded and angry about Sarah’s “just an asset” protest to Roan’s accusation that she has feelings for Chuck. The surprised look that being a bastard has seemingly worked on Sasha, timed to the elevator bell, gets a chuckle out of me.

    The eyebrow dance, finger guns, “have you had intercourse?” sequence is very funny. Then followed up with the passionate kiss. This scene is another high point in the episode.

    And finally, a good cliffhanger ending with Bryce's return.

    Other thoughts I had when rewatching:

    Sarah fantasy crawl: This show is shamelessly gratuitous at times (both with its female and male regulars and guest stars) in a fun way. I fully approve. :-)

    So just recently the CIA/NSA thought Operation Bartowski was coming to an end, and now they have the Castle underground complex? When and how fast was that built? Best to not overthink the spy stuff.

    Sarah is in her old cold spy mode when she tells Chuck he can have anything he wants to get his cooperation after Chuck marches out of Castle saying he's done. She is clearly using his feelings to manipulate him if she believes what she has recently said, that while Chuck is the Intersect he is her asset and so unprofessional for them to have a relationship, and when he no longer is the intersect that she will be sent away on a different assignment with a different cover.

    Roan's plan to get Sarah and Casey back that won't get everyone killed uses the Buy More as the exchange location with Chuck on video just a room over? That's the plan from the legendary spy? Like I said, it's best not to overthink the spy stuff. :-)