Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spotlight: Chuck vs. The Tic Tac

I knew I was going to love this episode the moment I saw Robert Patrick’s smiling face. What I didn’t realise was that this week’s Chuck Title Cardepisode would turn out to be even better than last weeks!

If you told me that this weeks writers Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFranc were not fans of the CBS show “The Unit” I would call you a liar because despite turning out to be an evil Ring operative, Robert Patrick is Col. Tom Ryan right down to the speech he gives John Casey about becoming part of an elite unit of black ops specialists.

It’s a shame actually that Col. Keller (Robert Patrick) turns out to be a baddie in this episode. I would have loved to think that Col. Kellerpossibly “The Unit” still existed, even if it was only in the world of Chuck. (I miss The Unit).

Right then, let’s get down to what exactly it was that made this episode so special. This was definitely one of the funniest episodes to date but it also took huge steps towards making Team Bartowski feel like a team again. Plus there was added tension and intrigue as it looked like Casey had turned rogue and joined up with the Ring.

The episode begins with Alex Coburn a.k.a John Casey being recruited by Col. Keller, back when John was in his early twenties. Then we flash forward to the present day and Keller tasks John with a secret mission to steal an experimental drug from the CIA. John gets his chance to do so during the next mission which is to Casey Threatens Chucktest out the CIA buildings security system.

Casey however is growing sloppy. Last week he was nearly killed, this week he lets Chuck catch him stealing the drug. Casey warns Chuck not to say nothing. Unfortunately when General Beckman reveals that the drug was stolen Chuck assumes he is being tested as to whether his loyalties lie with his friend or with his country, so he turns John in. Hilarious scene!

Casey is arrested and moved to CIA HQ (the same building the team just broke into for the test). However Sarah and Chuck discover that Keller is working for the Ring and that John is being set up. So they bust him out, unfortunately so does Keller and shock horror Casey leaves with Keller and Sarah and Chuck are forced to accept that John is a double agent working for the Ring!

Casey however stashed the drug (which eradicates fear in those that take it) in the Buy More, so he tasks Morgan with retrieving it. Luckily Chuck catches up with Morgan first and takes the package. Then together Chuck and Sarah confront Casey and force him to reveal the truth. The Ring is forcing Casey to work for them Kathleen McHughby threatening the life of his childhood sweetheart (and mother of his daughter).

Casey explains how he had been offered the opportunity to serve his country and how he had had to choose between his real life and his spy life… Exactly as Chuck did at the start of the season. He had given up everything to serve.

So with everything straightened out Casey and Sarah go after Keller while Chuck goes to protect Kathleen (Casey’s ex-fiancé, played by Clare Carey from Jericho and Point Pleasant). Chuck poses as the gas man, as do the bad guys, which leads to a I'm the Gas Company!fantastic line from Zach “I’m the gas company!”, his facial expression is superb.

Back in Keller’s shack Casey beats the Colonel black and blue before snapping his neck while Sarah looks on horrified. Back at Kathleen’s Chuck finds himself unable to flash and with his life hanging in the balance he takes the pill. With his fear and all other feelings pushed aside Chuck kicks some ass, finally pinned one of the guards to the wall in a sequence taken directly from the one Sarah just witnessed with Chuck Throttles MinionCasey. Chuck is about to kill the guard when Sarah bursts in and stops him.

And so we learn that Chuck and Casey are more alike than we thought and it is Chuck’s connections to his family and friends that make the difference, that make him the better man. Certainly since the end of season 2 we have seen Casey soften towards Chuck and now we know why, because the two of them have faced the same situations, the same choices.

Back at Castle General Beckman chooses not to arrest John for Treason, but she strips him of his rank and kicks him out of the service. Chuck and Sarah point out what John has given up for his Sarah Stops Chuckcountry but it’s no good, the General’s mind is made up.

Well, with only three episodes left we certainly are building towards the finale. Casey is no longer a spy, The Ring is getting bolder and Chuck is becoming more and more capable as an agent. I don't know where the show is going to go for the finale but I would suspect Casey will play a big enough role to get reinstated or possibly that he will heroically sacrifice himself.

This week’s episode was filled with so many good moments, like Morgan and Awesome’s “Do you know” moment and the softer side to Casey moments. Even Chuck’s fight scenes were really good this week (as they have a tendency to look silly). All this coupled with Casey’s dismissal and Ellie and Awesome’s decision to stay just makes this a brilliant, brilliant episode.

Keep it like this and a fourth season is a sure fire thing!

Morgan Grimes Spy

This has been My Very Impressed Two Cents…

Until Next Time…


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