Thursday, November 01, 2007

“I wasn't always a tucker, you know. Then one day it just happened.”: Chuck

“This is great. Just being able to sit in a coffee shop, and talk.” So says the primary guest star of this week’s Chuck, ‘Chuck versus The Sandworm’ and he couldn’t be more right. Much as I’ve been liking Chuck so far, my reviews have consistently noted all of the character moments, often in mild relief. Not such a good sign. So it’s a pleasure to see that at least for this episode, Chuck has mostly left out the action stuff (which has sometimes felt shoehorned in) and put its characters front and centre, whether going for dramatic or comic effect.

‘Chuck versus The Sandworm’ is in part about Lazslo, a young prodigy who for years had been kept in a secret government lab. He’s understandably gone a little nutso, but Chuck sympathises with him and the two bond a bit, before Chuck realises Lazslo’s aspirations towards mass destruction. Lazslo was a perfect example of a villain working so much better when you get to know them first. Good writing and a sensitive yet suitably crazy performance from Jonathan Sadowski kept the character quite sympathetic – that is until Lazslo’s sympathy for Bond villains revealed his darker side, in a brilliant touch.

Meanwhile, Chuck has trust issues when he finds out that Sarah and Casey placed bugs in his home. Even the fake photo Sarah made of her and Chuck at Comic-Con was a bug (again, a nice little detail). Once again Levi and Strahovski played their stuff with great subtlety and sensitivity. More and more, I have to admit I’m rooting for them as a possible couple (even if it would be ludicrous). Casey was also hilarious this week, especially as you can totally imagine him sitting in his house listening to Chuck and Morgan go on and on. Also, his angry messages to Chuck (“Tie it in a knot, shove it straight up your…”) and his expression in the final shot, were both brilliant.

The episode highlight has to be one thing though, and that’s the montage of Captain Awesome teaching Morgan how to live. Definitely one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. This show needs to use Awesome more, even if it’s just him showing up in random, nonsensical locations and being awesome. Morgan’s transformation was also funny, and I liked his speech (although I was really glad it didn’t get Chuck the job, as that would have stretched plausibility to far even for this show). Unlike this week’s brilliant Reaper, the Halloween theme stayed mostly in the background, but it did provide some hilarious costumes and classic moments for Big Mike. The rest of the Buy More staff were also funny – Chuck’s guest actors play the hell out of every little line they get!

So, in conclusion, yes. That is the way to do it. I’m already looking forward to next week, which looks to be a ‘mythology’ episode and will reportedly feature the return of Matthew Bomer as Bryce Larkin (in flashbacks, of course). Awesome.

1 comment:

Carrie said... week looks fantastic. I'm totally ready for a mythology episode.

I love Captain Awesome. I rewound that scene three times.

The best part about this episode was something pointed out by Rae over at Rambings of a TV Whore. The montage of Chuck running in slow motion to find Morgan at the party was an exact replica of a scene from The O.C. season one, right down to the song played in the background. Check out the video on that link, it's pretty funny.