Wow, this show is crazy good lately. As in really, consistently satisfying. ‘Chuck versus the Imported Hard Salami’ was another fantastic slice of Chuck pleasure, mostly revolving around Chuck’s doomed relationship with Lou the sandwich girl (the ever lovable Rachel Bilson). Sarah suddenly becomes the jealous ex, which is interesting since her and Chuck were never in an actual relationship. I’m sure she’s just keeping up her cover though OH MY GOD DID SHE JUST KISS HIM?
Whew. Okay, first of all, Chuck and Lou. Sweet couple, great chemistry, and two clearly well-matched actors. They were almost a little too good, actually. If I hadn’t known from the beginning that they were only supposed to be a two-episode thing, Bilson’s departure might have come as a surprise – not only because she was a good love interest, but also because Chuck goes through so much trouble throughout the episode to hold onto her. This aspect of the story was the only thing that bothered me. Why go through all the will they, won’t they dramatics if she’ll be gone by next week anyway? I also tired of Chuck’s constant need to apologise to Lou for some new mistake. This is an inevitability in a long-term TV relationship, but he begged forgiveness like three times over the course of ONE EPISODE. Annoying.
However, in the face of such an unashamedly fun forty minutes, this is a minor gripe. The writers didn’t go overboard with Sarah’s jealousy like so many would have, instead choosing a subtler path (trying to scare Lou off, constantly chasing after him on missions involving Lou etc.). Strahovski was at her best, especially in her barely-concealed pleasure at Lou turning out to be a possible suspect. Casey was as brilliant as ever, if for different reasons: he seems to actually like Chuck lately. Or maybe he just enjoyed torturing Sarah by taking his side. Either way, funny is funny. And finally, there's that kiss. An obvious move, but a great moment nonetheless. I'm completely sold on the idea of Chuck & Sarah by now, and for that I can only credit good writing.
Not much to say about the Buy More plot. I think they’re inserting these stories in the right way, keeping them simple so they don’t take up much screen time but not so simple that they become pointless. It’s still a weakness of the show that its supposed primary location now feels like little more than a place to cut away to. But it’s a weakness I can live with, partly because it provides that homeless guy from The O.C. with regular employment.
The capper on this already excellent episode was the excellent cliffhanger. Sarah and Casey open up the mysterious cargo container they’ve been chasing to find…Bryce Larkin! I already knew he was returning from spoilerific plot summaries, and I think it’s a great move. I hope Bryce sticks around even after he’s stopped acting as an obstacle to Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Oh, and I hope he and Casey fight at some point. My wants are few and simple!