In Season Two we had a string of episodes that began with flashbacks, we had Chuck at Stanford all the way back to when he'd have to stand up for Morgan in grade school. We had Sarah conning locals with her Dad and then her awkward stage while attending High School. We even got to see Jeff as a Missile Command Champ in the 80's. But now we get to visit UCLA in the year 2000 when Devon Woodcomb and Eleanor Bartowski first meet and it appears to have been love or is that lust at first sight?
Cut to 9 years later and Ellie is wondering where the excitement went. Now they are overworked doctors using what little time off they have to unpack their belongings in their new apartment. There's no time for fun and romance or even to watch their wedding video. Ellie's also annoyed with Chuck, he was supposed to help them unpack and hook up the television. I love that Chuck is frequently dropped off via chopper after spy missions and even Ellie has noticed lots of helicopter activity overhead recently. Chuck seems to be getting used to this whole spy gig. His attitude in this episode is like a veteran as it should be as he has been on many spy missions by now including those we've never gotten to see between episodes. Devon is jealous, sure he's into river rafting and exercise and he's also a surgeon but he craves some real excitement just like Chuck's spy missions. Be careful what you wish for there, Captain Awesome.
When the Dictator of Costa Gravas the Premier Allejandro Goya (Armand Assante) collapses at the embassy it's up to Devon to be awesome and save him. This is a big deal because John Casey spent years in the 80's trying to kill him. Not now though as it seems Goya has softened over the years and now he wants to allow a democratic election in his country. Beckman orders the team to protect the Premier because he was poisoned even though the Premier has no idea and they need to somehow make their way to the Embassy Gala to do so. Luckily for Awesome and Ellie who were just feeling stagnant and craving some excitement in their marriage have a visitor. It seems that the Premier was so impressed with Doctor Devon for saving his life that he has chosen to visit and personally invite them both to the Gala. Chuck is also invited after Goya meets him and admires his soft womanly features. I love that Assante seems to be having a blast in the role as Goya.
Before leaving for the mission Casey mentions that he can't be seen on Costa Gravan soil because he is known in that country as the Angel de la Muerte, the Angel of Death! He spent years trying to assassinate the Premier and has spilled a lot of blood in that country. I like to picture Casey like John Matrix, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character from the 80's action classic Commando. In the film Arnold's adversary is a small-time dictator of a fictional country where he proceeds to kill hundreds of his men trying to get to him. I picture Casey likewise killing hundreds of Goya's men trying to get to him. In fact he's killed so many that the men speak about him in hushed whispers as the angel of death that will one day come for them. Hilarious.
I love that Chuck laughs at this and takes none of it seriously. At the Gala Chuck and Devon are both really nervous about Ellie being so close to the Premier (or the Generalissimo as he asks for Sarah to address him) because he's got his hands all over Ellie and an assassin could be lurking anywhere. I love when Devon talks to Chuck about Sarah and Ellie talks to Sarah about Chuck at the same time. It seems as if the feelings between Chuck and Sarah are only complicated between themselves as Ellie sees things much simpler, they obviously belong together and Devon realizes what torture it is for Chuck pretending to be a couple especially the 'no sex' part which results in a priceless facial expression from Chuck in agreement. There's a great bit where Chuck flashes the Mambo and he and Sarah dance trying to get closer to a would-be assailant. After Awesome thwarts Casey's attempt to protect Goya from the real assassin Casey is captured! They finally have him -- the Angel de la Muerte! See Chuck, Casey wasn't paranoid he really does have quite the reputation in Costa Gravas!
This episode has very few songs compared to the past two Chuck episodes but the ones it does have are quite good. First we have Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols, Songozon by the Latin Mambo Orchestra and Living a Lie by Daniel Zott. And a few more that played in the background of the gala here.
Listen to the Podcast Episode: S3Ep3 Vs The Angel De La Muerte
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Alan Sepinwall was happy to see that Devon learning Chuck's secret in season two finally paid off in his review and Eric Goldman loved Casey's seething anger having to protect Goya after years of trying to kill him.
When they arrive at the consulate with Devon who is there as Goya's personal physician Chuck and Sarah pose as doctor and nurse and split off to find Casey. I love that Devon gets to see Sarah kick some ass for the first time. You have no idea, Devon. Casey gets to meet the Poisoner, he works for the Ring and the Ring wants Goya dead! Not on Casey's watch. I love that Casey essentially saves himself until he's shot in the leg by a scared guard who proclaims as if he can't believe it himself, "The Angel de la Muerte!" at least Sarah's there to knock him out but Casey is losing blood fast. So we have Doctor Devon trying to save Goya and Doctor Chuck trying to remove the bullet from Casey's leg. In a wonderful scene Goya's man orders Chuck to save Casey and if he can't he's going to get shot. Chuck flashes and removes the bullet but Goya badly needs blood.
It just so happens that Casey knows Goya's blood type because he spent years studying his subject. And wouldn't you know it Casey has the same blood type! I love that Chuck basically takes Casey's blood against his will putting the anesthetic mask over his face. Casey getting loopy is hilarious and it reminds me of when Chuck tranq-darted him back in Season Two. Goya has been saved and Casey has a new fan and even has some very rare cigars to show for it. When Devon returns he tells Chuck there's no way he could be a spy, there is no way he could live a double life and lie to the one's he loves. Chuck knows exactly what he means. Chuck and Sarah agree that since they aren't a couple they need their cover to be as friends. Devon calls Ellie who is still beaming after their incredible night at the Gala. Devon tells Ellie he will be home soon after he finishes up with a patient but it turns out that the patient is the Poisoner -- Goya's would be assassin that got away! Sarah shows up to Chuck's apartment to tell him the bad news and it's heartbreaking when Ellie asks them both if they have seen her husband.
Wow, what a way to end an episode, when I originally watched the episode way back in January of 2010 I honestly thought that they had killed off Devon but only a second later the Promo for next week's episode aired and it showed that Devon would be very much alive. Oh okay, I guess they didn't want us to worry too much. Also, can you believe this was the first ever episode without the Buy More? Season Three of Chuck had a much lower budget than any of the other seasons and it seems they were cutting costs here and there. I mean just look at that Green Screen shot of the Costa Gravan Consulate! I don't like to nitpick anything on this show as it's my all-time favorite but that was pretty bad.
Once again, thank you for reading my recap and for listening to the Chuck Series Companion. I had a blast recording it and I can't wait to do more. That's now three episodes I've done in three weeks and I'm hoping I can keep the pace going before burn out. Unfortunately that's just something that happens but a good way to keep me going is feedback so if you enjoyed the past three episodes send me a word of encouragement or if you just want to talk Chuck drop me a line. So what are you waiting for? Go watch some more Chuck and I'll see you next time!