Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Chuck Versus The Pink Slip

All Chuck ever wanted was Sarah and to have the Intersect out of his head but now that he has the opportunity to be a hero will it cost him everything? Which would you choose? When the premiere of Season Three begins we see that Chuck was asked to make such a decision. After the events of Chuck Versus the Ring, Chuck having just downloaded Intersect 2.0 was to be immediately shipped off for training to become a super spy. He was excited about this but Sarah was troubled. She knew what that really meant. The government was going to turn Chuck into something that he isn't. A trained killer perhaps? Chuck though now had the opportunity to be the Hero and save lives, that's the line they sold him anyway. So Sarah has decided she wants to run away from the spy life and she wants to go on the run with Chuck. She wants to save Chuck because they will change him and that's not who he is.

So as the episode begins we see Chuck on a mission and it's a pretty great opening. Chuck exudes confidence right up until the moment comes when he has to shoot the bad guy. He can't, he doesn't want to because we all know, that's not who Chuck is! He flashes the new 2.0 flash which includes cool Kung Fu moves. He immediately begins to kick butt and gets out of there with the briefcase he was sent there to retrieve but when it comes time for him to zip-line down a power-line he lacks the confidence he had only moments ago. He is in a word, freaking out. He can't flash. Simulation ends. General Beckman has had enough, she fires Chuck, giving him his Pink Slip and he's shipped home tranquilized.

Chuck has been haunted by his choice, he chose being a hero and the spy life over Sarah, the woman he loves and now he has failed at that decision. He comes home a wreck. Ellie tells him to just call Sarah but she isn't answering the phone, she'd rather throw it in the pool. And thus begins Chuck's new life of Cheese-balls and Couch naps. I love this montage which is accompanied with the tune Just Dropped in by The First Edition which in itself is a nod to The Big Lebowski. Chuck is in his Dude uniform. I love Chuck's groans in protest as Ellie tries to get him up off the couch. We even learn that Morgan who left Burbank to live in Hawaii with Anna as a Benihana Chef has failed. I love when Emmett Milbarge says, there was no way Morgan would make it in Asian business culture.

When Chuck returns to the Buy More because he's running low on Cheese Balls. We see that it's now a Totalitarian Regime run by Emmett from his office viewing everything from his monitors. He spots Chuck thinking he's a homeless man, possibly the one stealing all the store's toilet paper (it turns out that's Morgan). It's painful and hilarious when Emmett confronts Chuck in front of all of the poor beaten down employees that once looked up to him. I love the sequence when Chuck flashes and he has to fight the urge to beat Emmett to a pulp. Chuck learns that Sarah is indeed in Burbank and has never looked better according to Jeff and Lester. Chuck runs into Casey at Castle looking for Sarah and learns of their mission. She is at a club called El Bucho (no doubt a nod to El Mariachi/Desperado).

In another great montage this time accompanied by Tim Jones' great score Chuck cleans up his act, he even shaves and marches down to El Bucho to talk to Sarah and prove to them all that he's not a Lemon as Casey enjoys calling him. Not enough can be said of Zachary Levi's incredible physical acting. Getting slapped by Sarah, throwing his body at a locked door and playing Mariachi on stage (Bueno Bueno Bueno), he's fantastic and hilarious. Chuck accidentally kicks the very Javier Cruz that they are all waiting for, he inadvertently thwarts him but not before Javier finds out where Chuck works. Only Chuck doesn't work there anymore but Morgan does sleep there. I love that Morgan has been living in the Buy More under Emmett's nose. Speaking of Emmett, let's have a moment of silence for the little weasel.

Tony Hale was so good as the rotten butt-kissing jerk. I loved how Emmett secretly took over the Buy More in Season Two but alas his reign was short, he pissed off the wrong assassin and died to the music of Wilson Phillips. Farewell Emmett. When Chuck and Sarah are captured and taken to Mexico we finally get to see what happened between them. Chuck was to meet Sarah at a train station and escape the spy life with her. But Chuck chose to stay to become a spy and rejected Sarah's offer. When Chuck wakes up in the cell he can't flash to fight and Javier beats him, Sarah in the next cell tells Chuck to stop freaking out, he can do it. He flashes and they get out of there. I love the foreshadowing earlier in the episode when Casey is disappointed he never got to use the mini-gun. Well folks we get to see it in action and I'm happy to report Casey seems to love it. Chuck and Sarah zip-line and Javier is dead. The day is saved!

This episode is just jam-packed with lots of great music. I have really fallen in love with Imogen Heap's song Wait it Out. It's used so effectively reflecting the pain and angst of Chuck and Sarah's relationship. Then there's the cool tempo of Sam Sparro's Black and Gold during Chuck's training mission. Just Dropped In by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition during Chuck's slump. Hold On by Wilson Phillips when Emmet meets his fate. Young Adult Friction by The Pains of Being Pure of Heart when Chuck and Morgan get their jobs back. And last but not least The Eye of the Tiger by Survivor during Chuck and Casey's boxing session and love letter to Rocky III.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: S3Ep1 Vs The Pink Slip
Download this episode (right click and save)

With the return of Chuck I have some reviews to share. Everyone was excited about Chuck with the new Intersect and how it would effect the show. First we have Alan Sepinwall who reviewed the first two episodes because they aired back to back on premiere night. Eric Goldman was excited about Chuck's new abilities and heck why not throw in AV Club's thoughts as well there's a great line in the review where writer Steve Heisler says this about Chuck, "...Chuck fails despite his best efforts, and succeeds in spite of his shortcomings." Yep, that's Chuck in a Nutshell.

General Beckman is pleased when the team has eliminated the threat of Javier Cruz and they even got a hold of his Ring Smart-phone to boot. She puts Team Bartowski back in action and Chuck couldn't be more happy. Chuck is excited to find out his new cover and it turns out there's nothing new about it. Chuck, Casey and even Morgan get their jobs back, it was easy to push through with no manager. I like how Chuck is happy for Emmett and his new job at the Large Mart in Anchorage Alaska. If he only really knew. But that's not it folks, Ellie and Devon are moving into a new apartment across the courtyard so that means Chuck needs a new roomie! Much to Ellie's chagrin that roommate will be one Morgan Grimes! Sarah and Chuck get to talk, Chuck explains why he did what he did, Sarah understands but she's mostly mad at herself for getting emotional. Things aren't really worked out between them, that will wait for another day but at least the team is back together. And finally Casey is ready to train Chuck and he has boxing in mind. We get an awesome training sequence that is a reference as I said before to the film Rocky III, it's a lot of fun. The kind of fun we can always expect in an episode of Chuck. Chuck is back baby and he's got new abilities and I love it!

So I'm back everybody with season three of Chuck! I'm sorry for the long delay between seasons, I never meant to be gone this long but I have always intended to return to the world of Chuck and continue my mission to cover every single episode. If anyone is still out there reading and listening I thank you and I would like to apologize for the long wait. I love Season three of Chuck and I can't wait to dive into it and I hope that you follow me on this journey. Again, thank you so much for reading and listening to the show as I share my love for Chuck. It's such a great show and whenever I return it gives me nothing but happiness and laughter.

Well what are you guy's waiting for? Get out there and watch some more Chuck and I'll see you next time...

The Jastrom

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