Friday, January 27, 2017

S2Ep21 Vs The Colonel -- The Chuck Series Companion

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

S2Ep21 Vs The Colonel

Chuck Versus The Colonel

Anyone could have easily mistaken this as the season finale of Chuck but it was the penultimate episode jam packed as it was with awesome moments. Chuck and Sarah are on the run but they didn't simply hop a plane to Paris, they went to investigate Black Rock, the secret hidden Fulcrum base where Chuck's Dad is being held but all they find is an abandoned Drive-in. Meanwhile John Casey has been promoted to Colonel and he's been given the order to bring Chuck and Sarah in -- Dead or Alive. Gulp.

I love the moment when John Casey shoots the Chuck target in his fireplace -- Bullseye! Casey means business and he immediately goes snooping in Chuck's room looking for clues but not before Devon finds him and wants to know what's going on. Casey says he's worried about Chuck but Devon is suspicious, we'll get back to that later. Casey eventually tracks Chuck and Sarah to a Motel where they have spent the night. One of the things this show always does right is the music and it's so effective the way Bon Iver's Creature Fear highlights Chuck and Sarah's mad make-out session. It's like this huge wave of 'FINALLY!' washes over them and the audience. Chuck and Sarah fully intend to do more but unfortunately Morgan kind of screws that up. I still laugh every single time at this moment.

Casey's not the only one that has tracked them down, Fulcrum Agent Vincent is outside watching their every move. Casey handily catches Chuck only to be easily dispatched by Sarah Walker armed with a 2x4. It's hilarious. When they are about to leave, Chuck flashes on Vincent's car. He refuses to leave without Casey, what a guy, that Chuck! Chuck doesn't realize that Casey has already escaped still cuffed to the radiator. This episode has a great fight scene when Chuck runs over Vincent and the shooting begins. Unfortunately this time Casey gets the drop on Sarah and they are on their way back to Castle in cuffs.

Meanwhile at the Buy More, Emmett Milbarge is now the manager and he wants Morgan to be his Ass-Man (that's assistant manager to you). Morgan wants Big Mike to forgive him but he informs him that he needs to clean up his own mess. Emmett makes Big Mike clean toilets and the only way he will let up on him is if Morgan complies. Casey locks up Chuck and Sarah and he promises Chuck that if he finds his Father he will save him. He gives him his word. Casey is then alerted to the fact that Devon has entered his house after getting keys from Jeff and Lester, you see they have rooted through Casey's locker and they think he's some kind of sick stalker keeping a diary of Chuck's bathroom breaks. Casey shows up to greet Devon and begins to put a silencer on his pistol, it's pretty menacing, we never know just how far Casey will go to do his duty. Surely he won't kill Captain Awesome, right?

He won't get the chance though because Chuck and Sarah have been freed, in a moment of sheer luck, Jeff and Lester have decided to put one of Casey's explosives in the power transformer outside, knocking out the power and opening their cell door. Chuck and Sarah save Devon, well it is mostly Sarah doing the saving and the only way Chuck can explain just what the hell is going on to Devon is to tell him the truth. Chuck is a spy, kinda. Now Devon knows the truth, how cool is that? My favorite episodes of this show are when people find out secrets that have been going on right under their noses. It's well, awesome that Awesome now knows. And it's hilarious when Devon has to lie to Ellie about Chuck and he's just got nuthin'. Luckily Ellie thinks he's wigging out over their soon to be nuptials.

Earlier Chuck was given a sign that his Dad was indeed hidden somewhere at the Drive-in when he sees that Tron is showing at midnight so Chuck and Sarah head back while Casey follows, only he knows that General Beckman has ordered an airstrike at their location. Truthfully it kinda sucks having Casey not being part of the team, I love when Chuck apologizes and asks Casey if he'd like to help them and he agrees, as long as Chuck stays in the car. Deal. Soon Stephen Bartowski is freed but Chuck tries to stop Ted Roark when he finds out that he is using the Intersect 2.0 to build an army of Intersect Agents. What he doesn't realize though is that his Father has been working on the Intersect for Chuck not for Ted Roark and when he fires up the new intersect it removes the Intersect from Chuck's brain. Chuck is free! After the place is carpet bombed and they escape, Chuck can't believe his good fortune,

This episode has two great songs, first we have Creature Fear by Bon Iver and then Answering Machine by Malbec.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S2Ep21 Vs The Colonel

Now for reviews and recaps -- Alan Sepinwall, Eric Goldman and AV Club really dug the episode.

Everyone is treating Morgan like crap because he's Emmett's little pet and he screwed Big Mike over, Anna tells Morgan that there is more to life than the Buy More and Morgan informs her that he's always wanted to be a Benihana Chef. She laughs but she believes in him, When Emmett finally demands that Morgan fire Jeff and Lester, he does the only thing he can, He quits the Buy More and takes Anna with him and he even exits to the Slow Clap. Great stuff.

General Beckman tells Chuck that he's free to live his life and I assume she won't send Casey to kill him since he no longer has government secrets in his brain. It's so funny and sad when Chuck tries to thank Beckman and tell her how much this has all meant to him only for her to hang up. A little rude. Back at Casa De Bartowski, Ellie is totally freaking out that Chuck is missing, Devon is trying to comfort her now that he knows the secret that Chuck is out there fighting for his country when Chuck shows up with Dad in tow and everything is happy again. Chuck invites Casey to the rehearsal dinner and Sarah shows up looking stunning, neither one of them has forgotten about their morning kiss. Well that's it, everything is wrapped up. Nothing but happiness and sunshine for our heroes. Record Scratch, hold the phone, just one more thing, Ted Roark is on his way to Burbank and he's pissed, He's got a wedding to catch. This can't be good.

This episode had everything, Chuck no longer has the Intersect in his head, Devon knows Chuck is a spy, Chuck got his Dad back and Fulcrum got blown up real good. Oh and Sarah isn't in trouble with Beckman because they come up with a decent enough story to keep her job intact. I can't wait to see what happens next. Of course I already know what happens next but there is such a momentum heading into the finale it took all of my will not to just keep going after watching this episode but no, I must cover each episode one at a time, It is my mission and so I will be back soon with the season finale of season two of Chuck.

Until then...

Watch more Chuck.

The Jastrom

Thursday, January 5, 2017

S2Ep20 Vs The First Kill -- The Chuck Series Companion

Covering Season Two Episode Twenty of the Television Series Chuck, Chuck Versus the First Kill - Watch the Episode, Listen to the Show! - Subscribe on iTunes!

S2Ep20 Vs The First Kill

Chuck Versus The First Kill

I can't believe that I am almost to the finale of season two of Chuck! Fulcrum has Chuck's Father and General Beckman's apologies aren't enough for Chuck Bartowski so he has the idea to use a captured Fulcrum agent to find him. That Fulcrum agent just happens to be one Jill Roberts (Jordana Brewster), the former girlfriend that Chuck put behind bars! Of course Jill isn't so willing to help, not without a deal to go free, Chuck promises it knowing full well that it's total baloney but he will do anything to get his Dad back.

This episode is all about 'Who do you trust?' Chuck doesn't really trust Jill but he doesn't have any other choice because he doesn't fully trust the CIA or General Beckman either, the only person he truly trusts is Sarah Walker. After viewing this episode multiple times over the years since it aired, the scene where Chuck and Jill pretend to be engaged to her family in order to lure Uncle Bernie out in the open I couldn't help but feel bad for Jill's predicament and her entire family as well. Not to mention the fact that her own father's best friend Bernie lured his little girl into the clutches of evil Fulcrum. Some friend. I think it's hilarious that Chuck's 'First Kill' is actually the result of making an out of shape killer climb too many stairs and we also get to see Chuck do 'The Morgan' which is Morgan's self defense move from elementary school when he was getting beat up by girls. Wow, poor Morgan.

Speaking of Morgan, The Buy Morons rebel against Emmett's wishes to behave while he gets his corporate review but after meeting with him he has decided to help Emmett because he thinks that if Emmett gets a great review from Corporate he will be sent away, job completed. I do believe that I had no idea what Emmett was up to upon my first viewing of this episode although it's hard to remember.

Since Uncle Bernie dropped dead, they have to send Jill back to prison. Chuck thinks that's a bad idea, they still need Jill because of her knowledge of Fulcrum. Luckily Fulcrum calls Bernie's phone and they trace the call back to their Strength and Leadership Building. I love when Chuck and Casey do their 'Auditing' session after watching a creepy Fulcrum video. Chuck aces the test and Casey flunks it. It turns out that Fulcrum knows exactly who Chuck is, he's the son of Orion. Looks like their files have been updated recently. How cool is the scene where Casey saves Chuck blasting through the office window with his shotgun? Totally awesome. Sarah also gets to kick some ass blasting Fulcrum agents left and right. I think it's interesting that Jill was indeed going to escape until she heard Chuck call for help. Chuck again does 'The Morgan' with lethal results and poor Bill Bergey Head of Recruiting is a stain on the concrete down below.

This episode of Chuck was jam packed full of music, I wonder what their music budget was for season two? It had to be huge, right? First we hear the song HERE by Mackintosh Braun then We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister as the Buy More Workers rebel. Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry by The Crystals when Chuck and Jill announce their fake engagement and Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran when Uncle Bernie gives chase. The Earth Has Lost Its Hold by Calhoun when it's time to send Jill back to prison and Shopping For Blood by Franz Ferdinand when Chuck and Casey infiltrate Fulcrum.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S2Ep20 Vs The First Kill

Now for the links to reviews of this episode, first as always we have Alan Sepinwall's take and then we have Eric Goldman's at IGN. I've also decided to include AV Club's review because I really dig how much they like the show and I love reading the old comments section seeing what the viewers were thinking and that people like me at the time, were really afraid that Chuck was going to get cancelled.

When Chuck realizes that his Dad is no longer in the building, Jill tells him she overheard that he'd been taken to a place called Black Rock. Chuck flashes on the location and decides that he isn't going to be cold and heartless like Fulcrum and the CIA, he's going to keep his word and let Jill go. When Beckman finds out that Jill escaped she doesn't take it well, she orders Casey that it's time to shut down Operation Chuck. Sarah is to lure Chuck to Castle and Casey is to Tranq him. Then he will be shipped off to an underground facility where they can keep an eye on him. Remember that almost happened to Chuck before in the season one episode Chuck Versus the Marlin? Luckily Chuck was saved in time but this time it looks like there is nothing that can save him. Back at the Buy More it turns out that Emmett was indeed not to be trusted, he steals Big Mike's job out from under him. The funny thing is, it looks like Big Mike really had gotten incredibly lazy running the store since he had Emmett to fall back on. But we like Big Mike and Emmett is a weasel so we root for Big Mike. Like Michael Corleone knew it was Fredo, Big Mike knew it was Morgan who betrayed him. Poor Morgan now knows he trusted the wrong person. Will the same thing happen to Chuck?

Sarah nearly does it, in an epic scene she tells Chuck a lie about his Dad being found but she can't go through with it, She's not going to betray Chuck. She tells him to take off his watch and that they are going to run. Yes! It's a very exciting cliff hanger ending. It motivated me to get this episode of the podcast done double-time because I wanted to watch the next episode. My personal rule is that I can't watch the next episode until I have recorded a podcast first. So now you know what I will be doing right after I publish this blog post. Of course I know that I have seen these episodes multiple times before but none of that matters when you get sucked into the storyline again. Season two of Chuck is fantastic and these final episodes are building to an incredible finale. I can't wait to get there. Two more episodes.

Again, I thank you for reading this blog and for listening to the Chuck Series Companion. There are times when I think about how many episodes are in front of me and I get overwhelmed a bit. I have to take a step back and just remember that there is no rush. I just need to take it one episode at a time.

Watch more Chuck!

Until then...

The Jastrom