Monday, April 25, 2016

S2Ep15 Vs The Beefcake -- The Chuck Series Companion

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

S2Ep15 Vs The Beefcake

Chuck Versus the Beefcake

Everyone Talks - At least that's what they keep telling us, from Sarah to the Fulcrum Agent named Alexis Katrina Law to even Jeff of the Buy More -- When someone is under duress everyone eventually talks. Be it from torture or being yelled at harshly by Big Mike or being persuaded by your sister to talk to your cover girlfriend.

I talk quite a bit about the continuity problems at the beginning of this episode on the podcast that are caused from Vs the Suburbs and Vs the Best Friend being aired out of order, so I won't bog things down here on the blog with it but I will say that when Ellie tells Chuck to talk to Sarah about his feelings, Chuck is more than willing to listen to his sister. The lies are tearing him apart and pretending someone like Sarah is his girlfriend is really messing with his head. Perhaps he made the right decision for his own mental health but he quickly regrets it when Agent Cole Barker Jonathan Cake shows up.

General Beckman orders Sarah to seduce Barker and retrieve the belt buckle that contains some very important Fulcrum intelligence. Sarah easily keeps up with Agent Barker and even bests him when Chuck manages to distract him by knocking on the door at an opportune moment. It turns out though that Barker is not a Fulcrum agent but MI6 working undercover and they can't actually see what's on the chip because they need a special Fulcrum playback piece of tech to read it. This leads to a moment when Chuck offers to hack it being the tech whiz that we all know that he is. Casey and Sarah turn him down and tell him to return to work.

Keep in mind, up until this point, Chuck has had to watch and listen as Sarah pretended to like Barker and Barker returned the favor, once it turned out he actually is a good guy, it got worse. Now Agent Barker is telling Chuck he wants to "Butter that muffin." in regards to Sarah and Chuck is desperately feeling out of his league. So what does he do? He tries to hack that chip and he succeeds only it triggers a homing device (Of course it does!) which totally botches the meet-up that Sarah, Casey and Cole are conducting at the same moment for the playback device. Sarah and Cole are captured and the bad guys are on their way to Chuck.

When Chuck actually watches what's on the chip it turns out to be HIM! It's the footage from Chuck Vs the Suburbs when Fulcrum strapped him to a chair and pelted him with images from their Intersect. Chuck freaks out when he sees this and then notices that a very lethal Fulcrum (and scary and strangely hot) Agent that he just flashed on is approaching him. He smartly smashes the chip. This of course does not please the Fulcrum agent wondering "Why must people always do things the hard way?"

The hard way being Torture! Yikes. It's hilarious when the scene begins and Chuck is whimpering in pain and Sarah has to break it to him that the torture has not even started. I also love when Cole asks Sarah what Chuck's pain tolerance is on a scale of 1 to 10 and she says a 1. Chuck is insulted but he quickly realizes that it is indeed true, he especially can't handle needles and Fulcrum Agent Alexis has a whole tray of an assortment of needles. He's totally screwed. In a valiant effort Chuck reveals that he is indeed the Intersect in order to save Cole from continued torture but Cole shifts it back to himself in order to protect Chuck.

After Casey interrogates Jeff and Lester (and I'll get to their escapades in a moment) he figures out how to track Team Chuck down and saves the day and we get to witness Alexis inject poison into herself, Good Lord Man! Cole ends up looking the more heroic because let's hand it to him, he did endure torture, Chuck merely passed out at the sight of a needle but he did reveal he was the Intersect and put himself in harms way just to help Cole so he is also equally heroic but maybe passing out is a less attractive quality on a hero. BTW I love Casey's merciless jabs at Chuck the entire episode, sure it's really mean but it's also hilarious. Casey is a master at the side-comment.

Where do we begin with Jeff and Lester? Big Mike wants Morgan to get a taste of management life by conducting job interviews -- now that Mike is sleeping with his Mom, Big Mike has taken a shine to Morgan, almost as if he's like a Son to him. Morgan is still deeply disturbed by this development especially since he can hear everything they are doing from the other room. Lester kindly offers to do the employee interviews for him and Jeff and Lester are off to conduct their own sessions of Casting Couch which is the practice of rewarding actresses parts in exchange for certain favors or in this case Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models get to be a Buy More Babe in exchange for 'Getting Busy' with Jeff and Lester. This doesn't work out though because the models are intelligent human beings and plus Jeff's not wearing any underwear. Gross.

Speaking of Underwear! -- Morgan isn't wearing any! As he likes to sleep in the buff. Too bad Devon and Ellie weren't aware of this until it was too late. "Talk about low hanging fruit." There's a great line toward the end of the episode where Morgan says to Chuck, "Maybe Ellie seeing me naked was a blessing in disguise?" and Chuck responds, "Not for her, it wasn't." Hilarious. Morgan has this realization that he can't go on living with his Mom, he needs to grow up and Chuck comes to the same conclusion, it's time they move on in their lives. It's a great moment when they decide to get a place together. It's short lived though because Agent Cole is taken by Fulcrum giving us an open-ended episode.

This Episode had some great music, first we have Tigers in the Fire by Love Grenades, then when Sarah attempts to seduce Agent Cole we hear, Wake Up by Mackintosh Braun. When Chuck and Morgan go to deliver Ellie and Devon important news we hear, The Brightest of the Head by Starflyer 59. Then, my favorite song of the episode is when Chuck bids farewell to Cole Barker we hear the song, Airplanes by Local Natives.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S2Ep15 Vs The Beefcake

Just like every other post I do I am including links to some reviews and recaps that I have enjoyed reading in the past when I was binge watching Chuck. Now I know that not everyone will really care about these reviews but I was longing for someone else's thoughts on Chuck the multiple times I was pouring through the seasons. Here they are if you are interested: Alan Sepinwall's review and Eric Goldman's. Then we have a B review from AV Club.

One of my favorite moments of this episode is when Chuck and Morgan show up to let Ellie and Devon in on the big news that they are moving in together, Ellie's reaction is priceless and the comedic timing is perfect. Unfortunately the living situation must be put on hold with Agent Barker captured with the knowledge of who the Intersect is, Chuck must now be under the 24 hour surveillance of one Sarah Walker. So their Relationship ruse is back on and it's going to be painful when Chuck has to break it to his best buddy that they're not going to live together anytime soon.

Thank you so much for listening and reading the Chuck Series Companion! There's only 7 episodes of season 2 left and I'm going to try to get them out as consistently as possible. Please, let me hear from you, your thoughts on Chuck and the Series Companion. Without feedback I start to lose steam and begin to lose sight of my mission. Keep me on track.

Watch more Chuck.

Until then...

The Jastrom