Thursday, December 17, 2015

S2Ep13 Vs The Suburbs -- The Chuck Series Companion

This Episode of the Chuck Series Companion covers Season Two Episode Thirteen of the Television Series Chuck, Chuck Versus the Suburbs - Watch the Episode, Listen to the Show! - Subscribe on iTunes!

S2Ep13 Vs The Suburbs

Chuck Versus the Suburbs

It's Valentine's Day and Chuck and Sarah aren't sure if they should do a fake date. They quickly decide they could be doing other things plus Sarah has lots of paperwork to do. As soon as Morgan wonders what the two lovebirds are up to, they have to pretend to have plans again for the sake of their cover. This wasn't originally planned to be the 13th episode of Season Two, that was Chuck Versus the Best Friend which is now actually Episode 14. Chuck Versus the Best Friend was preempted due to a Presidential speech -- The Network aired Suburbs because it had a Valentine's Day theme -- Kinda. That storyline doesn't last long as Chuck and Sarah are enlisted in a new mission, a mission that requires them to be a married couple and live in the Suburbs! Gasp!

Meanwhile Big Mike's love is on the rocks as him and the Lady Big Mike (I wonder if my Wife would mind if I called her The Lady Jastrom?) are getting a divorce. Poor Mike (Wait! Didn't he sleep with Harry Tang's Wife?). The Buy More gang knew he was acting strange for some reason because Big Mike is actually working for a change and he's making them work too! Jeff thought he might be a Skin-Job (ala Blade Runner and BSG). I love the line where Emmett wonders who crapped in Big Mike's box of chocolates. How frightening is Emmett's wig by the way? I guess Henrietta is into that sort of thing.

So we know that a missing CIA Agent has turned up babbling the word Salamander over and over, he needs to be strapped to a bed and they can't get any answers from him. All they know is that he was undercover in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs called Meadow Branch. When Chuck is packing his clothes Ellie thinks it's great that he and Sarah will have a chance to see how it would work out for them, playing house. Chuck isn't so sure but once he arrives in the neighborhood to the Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime you can see the wheels start to turn in his head. He's quickly confronted with the idea of being married and owning a dog no less.

Chuck gets to mingle with the neighbors, Brad played by Andy Richter seems to be the leader, quickly introducing Chuck to the rest of the couples. He is overly friendly and even makes a wife swapping joke, Chuck doesn't know whether to laugh or run away. Jenny McCarthy's character Sylvia notices Chuck hanging back and takes the opportunity to suggest to him that her door is always open. I love how Chuck reacts whenever a beautiful woman comes on to him. He's always fidgety and clumsy. He even tells Sarah, "that woman has a dirty mouth". Casey finds a Fulcrum bug in their house and tracks it to Sylvia's husband who has an incredible amount of power going into his home via some fancy high-bandwidth cable that I definitely want to use to get some 4K Netflix if it really exists.

So it's up to Chuck to head on over to Sylvia's to seduce her and try to gain access to her husband's computer. It's a great scene seeing Chuck be thrown around by the scary cougar. Chuck gains access to the computer only to download something that looks a lot like a red tinted Intersect! When Chuck has to escape in his underwear in front of the rest of the neighbors Sarah slaps him right in the face to save face. General Beckman doesn't like the Intersect being exposed like this so she kicks Chuck off the mission. I can't forget the great moment when Chuck realizes that he could really get into this suburban life, Sarah making him breakfast, handing him a grocery list and kissing him goodbye as he's off to work as we hear I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash -- but it's all a fantasy and things quickly get serious.

Even though Chuck is gone in the guise of his marriage on the break, the couple across the street are Fulcrum and they now know that Chuck downloaded their computer test successfully. It's not long before they have both Casey and Sarah. After Chuck flashes on the grocery list, he rushes off to warn them but it's too late as Brad is there waiting for him. I love how Chuck flashes on all of the neighbors, they are all Fulcrum! It's a great moment. Now Chuck has Fulcrum intel in his head!

Chuck is strapped to a chair A Clockwork Orange style with his eyes pried open, They're going to subject him to their fully operational Fulcrum Intersect to see if his brain can handle the whole thing and Sarah is helpless to stop them. Brad and Sylvia are amused at Chuck's devotion to his fake wife Sarah, Sylvia reminds him that it's not real but Chuck is only concerned with where Sarah is. When they upload their Intersect into Chuck it's a great sequence, it indeed looks like they could be frying poor Chuck's brain! When he snaps out of his stupor he plays along for the Fulcrum agents when Casey who just recently broke his thumb to escape (what a bad ass!) turns the tables on Fulcrum and exposes them all to the deadly Intersect -- In a great nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chuck tells Sarah to close her eyes, not to look. With Fulcrum's  collective brains scrambled, Team Bartowski has won.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S2Ep13 Vs The Suburbs

There were some great songs used to great effect in this episode from, El General Midi by Monareta, as mentioned before, Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads to Fever by Peggy Lee. My favorite song would have to be Freeze and Explode by Cassettes Won't Listen when Chuck tells Ellie that he and Sarah are just never going to happen.

Again with the reviews? Of course, we have to see what our resident TV Critics thought of this particular episode don't we? Why not. First we have Alan Sepinwall's review and then we have Eric Goldman's, they both seemed to really dig the Suburbs. Then we have another AV Club review.

General Beckman warns Sarah that this is a most dangerous time and they need to protect Chuck and the Intersect more than ever before. Chuck wants to take Sarah back to the Cul-de-sac and pretend some more but Sarah is having none of it. Chuck is totally bummed out when he realizes what Sylvia said was true, it's all a fantasy, it's never going to happen, that's when he tells Ellie that their little trip to the suburbs helped him realize that he and Sarah would never be anything more than they are now. Now, Chuck can't actually tell Ellie why this is, so I think I'd understand if she is more than a little confused.

There's a great bit at the end when we find out that Big Mike's date was a fabulous night of lovemaking (T.M.I.) and we quickly find out that it's Morgan's Mom that he is banging! At least that's how Morgan put it, poor Morgan. Have you ever noticed when things go bad for Chuck, they also seem to go bad for Morgan as well? Sure nothing has really changed between Chuck and Sarah. Chuck has just been given a healthy does of reality, this spy life has a nasty way of preventing people from having real relationships.

                                              Somebody call the Cable Guy?

Well, that's it for this time, I apologize for taking a month off from the Chuck Series Companion and after the holidays I'm hoping to get back at it on a regular basis. I want to thank you for taking the time to read the blog and also for listening to the podcast. I'm still having a blast doing it and I hope that you are along for the long haul, one episode at a time. Podcasting can be rewarding but it can also feel like a vacuum, if you have any feedback about the show or the blog or just want to talk about Chuck, send me some feedback, it would be appreciated. Watch more Chuck!

Until then...

The Jastrom