Monday, 14 March 2011

Chuck me Tuesdays: Chuck versus the Marlin

Chuck versus the Marlin
Score: A
Is there a show more blighted by misfortune and network interference than Chuck? Ok, so Firefly got jacked around more but that was Fox and what else do we expect? Just as the show got picked up for a full season, the writer’s strike hit and the season suddenly ended when it was finally starting to pick up pace. As such, “Chuck versus the Marlin” became the season finale and, while it would work perfectly as the mid-season episode it was supposed to be, it’s not quite powerful enough for our farewell to Season 1.
The team find out that a Fulcrum agent has blown their cover just as Awesome elicits Chuck’s advice on proposing to Ellie. He gives our hero his grandmother’s engagement ring to take care of… right before the Buy More is robbed. Having our cast run around desperately trying to find the agent, the engagement ring and Big Mike’s Marlin could have been the kind of “whacky hijinks” I was complaining about in my last review but it actually works. As the CIA order Chuck into protective custody, the gang has to stop the Fulcrum agent before Chuck has to farewell his normal life for good.

The good
Parts of this episode were so funny that listing them all would take too long. Two of the best were Morgan and Ellie’s jealousy over Chuck confiding in Casey instead of them and the hilarious scene with the couch, Casey, a knife and Ellie. And, when given the opportunity, Big Mike can be the funniest person on the show.
While not the explosive season finale you’d expect, Chuck and Sarah watching Awesome propose to Ellie was just lovely and, knowing that Casey is reluctantly preparing to kill Chuck if ordered to do so, his role in the final scene is particularly poignant.

The bad
Noureen DeWulf is so poorly cast as pita delivery girl and Fulcrum agent Lizzie that her screentime verged on the painful. Obviously cast for her ability to flounce around in short shorts, the idea that she could in any way challenge, let alone beat, our ass-kicking Sarah Walker in a one-on-one was downright laughable. Also, she discovers Chuck is the Intersect and… doesn’t tell anybody about it? Seriously?

The Chuckalicious
The scene on the helipad as Sarah farewells Chuck is emotionally pitch-perfect and makes me mourn a little for the Season 1 that will never be. Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski sell their characters 110% and it’s scenes like this that truly make me love this show.

The geekalicious
There were surprisingly-few pop culture references, particularly for the season finale of a show devoted to them. But then, it was never intended to be the season finale so I’ll excuse it. Just this once.

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