Well, folks, the far-too-long months of waiting are finally over, and we got our first new episode of Chuck for Season Five! I, for one, feel that this episode–while admittedly having the unmistakable feel of being the set-up for everything else that’s going to follow in the rest of the season–was every inch the kind of awesome, exciting, funny episode of Chuck that we’ve all come to know and love!
I might as well address the big elephant in the room and get it out of the way: Morgansect. A lot of folks have been fretting these last few months over whether Morgan getting the Intersect would result in too much of the show’s focus being put on him. If this premiere is any indication, that will definitely not be the case. If anything, this episode seems to indicate that Chuck will be much more of an ensemble show than ever before, with all the main characters getting plenty of time in the story without any one character getting too much focus. Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan all had key roles to play in the spy mission of this episode and in the story overall, and apart from Chuck’s slip ups (pun definitely intended) in the massage room, they all did well. This episode even found time for a sisterly advice speech from Ellie, which I think we all needed to hear as much as Chuck did. 🙂
One detail that I thought was clever was how Chuck pre-recorded instructions for Sarah, Casey and Morgan in the van, much like Orion/Papa B. did for him several times. In addition, I loved the scene where Sarah tells Chuck about her idea of the perfect house, and after seeing all manner of glamorous houses & mansions in her time as a spy, all she really wants is a simple, modest home. Quite a long way our good Agent Walker has come, wouldn’t you say? 🙂
I also liked the groundwork that this episode laid down in terms of conflict. Chuck’s relationship with Morgan seems to be on steady ground now, but Chuck’s frustration about not being as directly effective on missions as he used to be, coupled with Morgan’s growing confidence with his role as the Intersect, provides some very interesting potential for a “make or break” moment for their friendship. The last minute appearance of Decker to throw a wrench in Team Bartowski’s mission was an excellent method of reminding us all that there are unknown forces at work that Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Morgan will have to deal with by the end of the season. It was definitely an excellent way to add a touch of foreboding without killing this episode’s comic vibe.
As for the Buy More, I know a lot of folks have gotten tired of it, but I really believe that having Chuck & Sarah rely on it for income to bolster their spy business will provide a good opportunity to use it as an effective setting for comic moments, much like it was in Seasons One and Two. I’m also definitely looking forward to seeing more of Captain Awesome, Big Mike, and yes, Jeff & Lester too! The throwaway story about Jeff & Lester scamming money out of people for Jeff’s fake medical bills was good for a laugh and to highlight Chuck’s need to pay more attention to the store, but I really hope this season will give them opportunities for meatier comedic moments.
Bottom line, this was a solid season premiere*, and I know I’m not alone when I say: Damn, it’s good to have this show back! 😀
Long Live Team Bartowski! Long Live Chuck!
*It just occurred to me that this was the first time I ever wrote a review for a season premiere episode of Chuck; my first review was for Episode 4.09, “Chuck vs. Phase Three.”