Monday, 14 March 2011

Chuck me Tuesdays: Chuck versus the Undercover Lover

Chuck versus the Undercover Lover
Score: A
After last week’s wince fest, Phil Klemmer wrote this Casablanca-inspired gem that is possibly my favourite episode from the first season.
Chuck flashes on a "douche bag convention" of Russian arms dealers and in doing so finds out that Casey’s lover Ilsa Trinchina is still alive after faking her own death in Chechnya several years before. As Chuck tries to dig up Casey’s inner romantic, he digs up Ilsa’s shady spy past as well.

The good
For once I enjoyed the B(uy More) plot and the show did a good job of integrating Ellie, Awesome, Morgan and the Buymorons into the secondary storyline as well as developing Ellie and Awesome’s relationship. This was the first sign that Morgan could be more than “Chuck’s annoying little bearded friend”.
The insight into Casey’s character was intelligent and consistent and it was great to see him open up to Chuck. Knowing that he’s been tasked to kill Chuck in the near future made their bonding bittersweet: you can see exactly why Casey will find it hard to pull the trigger when the time comes.

The bad
“It’s alive!!!”
This show falls down consistently when it tries to be “whacky” rather than witty (which is why the Buy More plots tend to leave me a little cold) and Chuck’s strange yelling of this phrase is the epitome of this. Still, these moments are few and far between in this otherwise great episode so this section is refreshingly light on.

The Chuckalicious
“You don’t know who’s on top”.
Who doesn’t love some Chuck/Casey brotherly bonding and this episode gave us the best of their relationship. From conspiring for Casey to reconnect with Ilsa to hiding under the bed while she’s rolling around with somebody else, this was Chuck and Casey’s moment to shine. And they did just that, culminating in an awesome (sip) fight scene and plunge to the hotel swimming pool below.
I’ve never been a Neil Diamond fan, but after this episode I downloaded “Love on the Rocks” and play it… a LOT.

The geekalicious
Casablanca reigns supreme. Ilsa is named for Rick's ex-girlfriend in Casablanca and her Russian fiancé’s name is Victor after Ilsa's husband in Casablanca. Casey is even watching Casablanca in the home theatre room when Ilsa comes to see him. And of course, Ilsa flies away at the end, leaving Chuck to tell Casey, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

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