As much as I enjoyed the two episodes of Chuck prior to this one–and make no mistake, I did enjoy them–they were definitely “set-up” episodes, and didn’t feel to me like they had quite the same “spark” as some of my favorite past episodes of the show have had.
This week’s terrific episode, “Chuck vs. the A-Team,” definitely had that spark. From the opening scene where Casey was testing Morgan’s ability and willingness to withhold information in the face of torture (“Well, you didn’t wet yourself this time…that’s an improvement”), to Chuck and Sarah’s frustration in the face of their boredom* with no missions and their fear of being rendered obsolete by the new Greta Intersect agents, to humor like the not-so-subtle dig at a competing network (“Ick…Sounds like a CBS show”), to Chuck proving that he truly is the best Intersect agent, this episode was–in its own Season 4-Chuck-and-Sarah-working-together-as-a-couple way–very much the kind of Chuck story that I’ve loved from episodes and seasons past.
I really liked and appreciated how this episode handled the way in which Chuck proved his usefulness as an agent, in that it wasn’t the Intersect that was his greatest strength, though there is no mistaking that the Intersect is a critical tool for him. Instead, it was qualities that he possessed and that the Greta agents lacked which carried the day: his willingness to avoid using deadly force unless absolutely necessary, his ability to think outside the (juice?) box when faced with a challenge, and his computer & electrical engineering** background.
I’m glad that Jeff and Lester were present to provide their own unique addition to the mix***, though it’s not quite the same as it used to be. Honestly, I think that the best way to exploit Jeff and Lester’s comic potential–not to mention that of Big Mike and the rest of the Buy More crew–now that all of the other regular characters are aware of Chuck, Sarah and Casey being spies is to bring them into the fold of the spy world as well, even if it is only tangentially and they don’t quite see the whole picture.
I also like that we got to see Devon again in this episode, but I’m hoping that we’ll get to see him do more than just provide a nervous or panicked response to Ellie skirting the edge of the spy world. Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed that between distracting Jeff and Lester so Devon could nab the Sleep Sheep in “Chuck vs. the Masquerade,” and using her feminine charms in this episode to trick Jeff and Lester into looking for the Orion computer, Ellie definitely seems to be showing that she has her own potential as a spy? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I really feel like the show is giving us a big hint here…Only time will tell!
Well, Chuck fans, we’ve got another great episode to look forward to next week before we hit a long dry spell…Let’s keep those numbers up! 😀
*I love video games as much as the next self-respecting nerd, but seriously, Chuck? Picking Final Fantasy II to play with Sarah? Not exactly the best game night choice for your fianceé. I mean, for God’s sake, at least pick something with a multiplayer mode!
**Kudos and thanks go to Mel & Liz from ChuckTV.net for maintaining such awesome screencap galleries! 🙂
***Leave it to Jeff and Lester to try to use ESP to find a lost computer; ironic that it worked even if they weren’t aware of it! 😀