Season 5, Episode 01, Air-date:
Chuck must adjust to his new life as a business owner and being a spy without the Intersect in his head or the support of the CIA. Carmichael Industries' first mission is a rich thief Jean Claude and a conning investor, Roger Bale, who has stolen money from some of the world's most dangerous people. In the mean time Morgan helps Chuck with a special surprise for Sarah. Back in the Buy More, Jeff and Lester have taken things to another level with their latest scheme.
Both mxpw and Frea had expectations lower than a teen starlet's self-esteem going into this episode. Did the show meet those expectations or did it laugh in Max and Frea's faces? Click the break to find out.
Frea: Well, Maximus, I have something to say.
mxpw: I guess I’ll listen.
Frea: It’s a dang good thing the Cards won the friggin’ world series. If they had lost and I had missed out on an evening of Fringe to deal with a bummed St. Louis next week, I’d be a very unhappy Frea.
mxpw: I was happy they won too. What a Series!
Frea: For the record, I am not a Cards fan. But I am from St. Louis, which is a drinking town with a baseball problem. Losing the World Series would cause a bunch of mopey faces for the next YEAR. And for somebody that completely and totally agrees with The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, about the subject of baseball, this is more than a little annoying.
mxpw: I do have to wonder if that was a hard rant for Gomez to give, since I guess he’s a pretty big Yankees fan. Or something like that.
Frea: But it’s truuuuue. It’s the most I’ve ever agreed with The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, ever. Which I was not expecting. But anyway, onto the episode. Those who follow me on Twitter already know this, but I loved it. I agree it’s not without its problems, but they were minor enough compared to earlier issues with the show that I’m a happy Frea.
|This is apparently not the slugging percentage they're talking about. Pity.|
I'd like to slug Luke Skywalker for a couple things, too...
Frea: What? I stopped paying attention when slugging didn’t involve punching.
mxpw: It’s baseball. Sometimes slugging does involve punching in baseball.
Frea: You said baseball, not hockey, right?
mxpw: Yup, I said baseball.
mxpw: Also, for the record, I didn’t hate the episode. I’ve seen it twice now and the rewatch did help in improving its appeal. I think the main difference between you and I this week, Frea, is that your minor issues were not quite as minor for me.
Frea: Yeah, I can see that, and I totally get it. I think, and this is rather pessimistic to say, but I’m to the point where...well, remember when Sarah Palin and Joe Biden were facing off in the debates? SNL did a great spoof about it, in which Queen Latifah plays the mediator and makes the point that, “Any question Sarah Palin can answer without breaking down in tears will be considered a success.” And I’m to that point. My expectations were SUPER low going into this episode, and I was heartily surprised by the fact that the writers seemed to understand story and character progression for once.
Frea: So I guess I’ve just accepted that they don’t know any better than those minor problems and am happy they did as well as they did, considering.
mxpw: I understand that attitude and I’ve endeavored to approach the show that way myself. I think it was just hard for me to do so this week because it’s been a bit of a downer for me, personally. Still, some stuff just really irked me.
Frea: Well, let’s get that out of the way so that I can giggle over all the things I liked.
Frea: Things that irked us, lightning round. Okay, go: No CBSP!
Frea: Oh, and no Fringe.
Frea: I don’t care that this is a Chuck review. There not being a Fringe episode affects EVERYTHING because the universes are intertwined, and I am annoyed.
mxpw: Like, I think it’s probably a good thing the Chuck writers are writers and not financial advisers, because seriously, do you know how hard it would be to burn through 850+ million dollars in the time span of only one or two months? I understand why they got rid of the money, because it was essentially the only way to make the Buy More relevant, I just wish they hadn’t made Chuck and Sarah look like idiots in the process. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have just had Decker freeze their accounts with all of their money in it.
Frea: Maybe they all bought iPads.
mxpw: That would explain things.
Frea: That’s actually one thing that didn’t bother me, as it falls under the “They don’t really know better” category and easily ignored.
Frea: Garth Brooks may have friends in low places, but that’s where my expectations hang out, too!
mxpw: See, I can’t do that. I am honestly still trying to figure out what the heck they could have spent so much money on. Fresh shrimp does not cost that much money.
Frea: Maybe it was organically grown?
mxpw: I am laughing at the absurdity of that statement.
Frea: And laced with those little worms from Futurama?
Frea: The ones that made Fry a superstar?
mxpw: Those worms were awesome!
Frea: They were!
mxpw: They came in on the sandwich.
mxpw: “Do you ever wonder what makes special sauce so special? Yooooo.”
Frea: There’s so much wrong with Chuck and Sarah randomly getting handed almost a billion dollars, that they can do anything with it and I’ll still be like, “It’s so absurd to start out that I don’t care.”
mxpw: No, you’re right, Frea. Just there were neater ways of dealing with. I think that’s what bugs me more than anything.
Frea: Well, it’s all gone now! Next?
mxpw: This may be an unpopular opinion, but I thought the whole country club sequence was meh.
Frea: I liked Chuck’s bits. The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom’s went on for a bit long, and I’ve completely forgotten what Casey was up to.
mxpw: For me, I just got annoyed at how everybody shut down Chuck being the one to play squash. I mean, it’s squash, people, not infiltrating a hive of scum and villainy. Honestly. I’m out of shape and uncoordinated and I could have done what The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom did in that scene. Yet everybody was acting like Chuck was delusional for thinking he could play Bale, even Sarah kind of threw him under the bus there. To me it was just indicative of the stupid idea this show has that nobody can do even the simplest of physical tasks unless they’re a super spy or have the Intersect. Then I think Chuck’s fight scene went on a little too long and was a little too slapsticky for me.
mxpw: Plus, I couldn’t understand the logic of sending the guy they thought couldn’t even handle squash to be the one to distract the dude who had the nickname of “Killer.”
Frea: Okay, I liked Chuck’s scene because I enjoy slapsticky stuff. I wonder if Wootton wrote that scene as that’s usually the problem with him: I understand what he’s trying to do, but the execution of that idea always falls short of the idea itself.
Frea: And by that scene, I meant the bit where everybody’s shutting him down about squash.
Frea: Because that’s always Wootton’s problem: he’s got good ideas, but crap execution. Whereas Fedak’s main problem is going for “the Cool” at the expense of everything. Which I didn’t feel happened overmuch this episode.
mxpw: Oh I know what Wootton/Fedak were doing there. They wanted to take Chuck to a low point so that he could have his big hero moment at the end (which I enjoyed), but the execution was just not very good. Though I did like Sarah and The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom’s little handshake at the end of the scene. That almost made the scene worth it.
Frea: And The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom’s line about standing on his wallet and being tall was one of my all-time favorites, I will admit.
mxpw: I like that one too! I think it’s one of the best lines The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom has ever had.
mxpw: Though that did make me wonder why their plan all along wasn’t just to simply mention they were rich to the guy who ran an investment group (like The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, eventually does to get the invite to the party).
Frea: Okay, my main peeve for the episode was unsurprisingly that Chuck was trying to surprise Sarah with a house. A sweet idea in concept, I guess, but just not very realistic in this day and age when I feel like a home is very much something both parties in a relationship should decide on.
mxpw: Also, Yvonne really plays ditz well.
Frea: But it’s not like they kept that up for a whole season, and it led to the fantastic scene in the apartment, so perfectly willing to let this slide for once.
mxpw: See, I couldn’t tell if Chuck was planning on actually buying the house or just finding it and then showing Sarah. They were not clear on that part. I think it does make a difference. If he intended to just buy it without consulting her, then I agree, that was not very cool.
Frea: Yeah. Hm, didn’t think of it that way. Guess I always just expect the worst.
mxpw: I really liked that whole sequence, from like the best SWP scene ever (obviously), Chuck’s cracking like an egg, and then Sarah going over to The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom’s to get the T.I.T.S. binder (though I couldn’t figure out why she was seemed so angry). Sarah’s “Whatever” was so perfect and I laughed out loud there. And then the really great scene in the bedroom. Yup. Best C/S scene in the episode, I think. It was so good I didn’t even mind the fact that Chuck had to play the husband card just to get Sarah to open up to him. Now if he has to keep playing that card throughout the season...
|No mxpw vs. Frea review would be complete without at least one pic of SWP.|
mxpw: Eh, I would agree with you if past history didn’t indicate that pulling info from Sarah is like pulling teeth. Chuck reminding Sarah, nicely, that he can’t read her mind really helped that scene, I thought.
mxpw: Of course, why he didn’t just talk to her in the first place... Haha.
mxpw: I did love Sarah’s dream house, though. I think it’s very in character for her and it was a really great moment by the writers.
Frea: Yeah, it’s nice to hear about Sarah’s past without it being retconned.
mxpw: Oh, I just meant her choice of house.
Frea: But her choice of house directly stems from her past, is what I meant.
mxpw: Though that house at the end looked tiny! I feel for them and their future children.
mxpw: Ahhh, okay.
Frea: According to Shoe, it’s the Chuck writer’s room?
Frea: It reminds me of my college newspaper office, honestly. Maybe they’ll raise a bunch of little writers.
mxpw: With capes.
Frea: Okay, so...let’s move on to the good things. Which, for me, was 80% of the episode. First off, I adored the beginning. That was just beautifully shot and everything looked so clear and pretty. Plus, I enjoy the pull-back to reveal Jean-Claude (great name!) and all of the henchmen.
Frea: Sarah looked really pretty in her dress, but I was drooling over Chuck and his suit quite a bit.
mxpw: Actually, despite the monologuing, I thought the beginning was awesome. I loved the Indiana Jones-esque recital of how The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, is a master spy. And I enjoyed Mark Hamill in his guest spot.
mxpw: Yes, Sarah did look stunning. But then she always does.
mxpw: And Chuck looked dapper.
Frea: He did, quite dapper. Casey, The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, and Chuck all got described as master-spies in this episode. With Sarah, it’s just understood, I suppose. Casey was especially funny in that scene.
Frea: He may have gone down, but he took six of them with him.
mxpw: He did take out six guys, for the record.
Frea: “He’ll rip off your limbs...and beat you with them.”
mxpw: I can’t be the only one who immediately thought of Chewbaca right there, can I?
Frea: I have to say, I was a little worried that The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, would suddenly be suave and even more of a Gary Stu than before, but I think, just for this episode, the right note was hit with him.
mxpw: For the most part, I agree, except for the previously mentioned squash playing. I think he acted enough the buffoon to mitigate a lot of the potential The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoomsect problems.
mxpw: Though wow, the stuntwork was not very good.
mxpw: It was not quite as Masquerade bad, but still, it was really obvious that that was a stuntman and not Josh Gomez.
Frea: Not at all. It was “Spike fighting in the daylight” levels of bad.
mxpw: Though I do have to say, I cracked up during the Sarah/The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, dance scene. The scene itself was pretty funny, but I think what cracked me up most was Sarah acting all impressed by The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, when she did like 85% of the work in that scene.
Frea: Have we seen an epic dance scene from Casey?
Frea: We got one from Awesome in S1, several from Chuck, Sarah of course, Ellie in S3, and now The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, in S5...
mxpw: Though I think it’d be another, as Shoe put it in her review, Dancing with the Stars type affair if they tried one with him.
Frea: Time for Casey to throw on some tap shoes, grab his top hat, and put on the Ritz.
Frea: That one was for you, Doc in Oz. I’m about to say something you won’t expect.
mxpw: I’m glad that the The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoomsect, wasn’t as bad as I feared, and that The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, was kind of a tool. But I’ll be glad when this arc is over.
Frea: Well, I was giving that a lot of thought, actually.
Frea: The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, having the Intersect allows them more storyline freedom, if you think about it, and lets Chuck not have the Intersect. Chuck proved in this episode that he can still use his head and improvise, which we always complained about last season. The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, as he’s portrayed, is kind of buffoonish and unable to do anything but fumble around on their missions. Giving him the Intersect expands the things he can do, while we know that Chuck can do those things without a brain full of How To manual.
mxpw: I’m not sure deep thinking is allowed.
mxpw: Don’t get me wrong, Frea, I thought one of the highlights of the episode was Chuck using his brain and thinking on his feet and saving the day without the Intersect. I loved that. Like you said, that’s something we’ve wanted for a long time.
Frea: If that sticks around, I will be so, so pleased.
mxpw: On the other hand, I don’t watch this show to see Sarah and The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, and Casey go into the field while Chuck sits in the van and only gets to take an active role in things when things go to pot (which admittedly happens often on this show). I want Chuck to be smart and use his head and I don’t think he needs the Intersect to be awesome, but I do want to see more involvement from him. I’ll be most displeased if he’s relegated to the van all season.
Frea: I honestly don’t think he will be. They’re working out the kinks.
mxpw: Good. That’s what I want to see. And if they deliver, like you, I’ll be so, so pleased.
mxpw: His plan was pretty nifty. I was impressed.
Frea: Excellent cut between “Go! Leave me behind!” and “Please don’t leave me behind!”
Frea: That whole plan had the feel of classic Chuck. It was wonderful to see.
mxpw: Yes, that made me laugh. Though I had a hard time buying Sarah would actually leave Chuck behind. Fortunately, that video saved things a bit. It was like classic Chuck. Plus, it was cool to see him use computers to save the day. Nice they remembered he’s still a nerd.
Frea: This episode was a little like they looked at my wishlist and said, “Oh, we can do that.”
mxpw: They did the same for me. Though mine was probably a lot shorter than yours.
mxpw: And really had only one thing on it.
Frea: “Sarah Walker.”
mxpw: Yes! Other than the squash thing, I thought she was pretty perfect this episode.
mxpw: Also, honestly, I would not be surprised if Chuck kept things from Sarah on purpose.
Frea: Her “We’ll talk about this later” look was a thing of scary, scary beauty.
mxpw: Her interrogation technique is very, how do you say, totally awesome?
mxpw: Yes. Yvonne had her usual array of awesome facial expressions. She really does have an impressive glare.
mxpw: And one of my favorite moments in the episode was how happy she looked when Chuck promised to find her dream house for her.
Frea: So adorable. Guh.
mxpw: So any other favorite moments?
Frea: Casey, the duck tape, and Chuck.
mxpw: I loved Casey’s Rush Limbaugh line.
Frea: The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, and Chuck trying to figure out how to trick Jeff out of the chair.
Frea: The vase shattering a second time.
mxpw: I loved that bit with Jeff.
Frea: “Shame. Shame.”
mxpw: Heh. Lester was actually right for once.
Frea: Not really all that thrilled that they’ve only got the Buy More to rely upon, but I’ve resigned myself to my fate as far as that goes. Jeffster will always be there, the Buy More antics will go on, and I’ll focus on things I like, like Ellie! Oh, I adored the scene with Ellie. Why can’t they have written Ellie so awesomely the whole time??
mxpw: A very good question. That was a wonderful scene. Reminded me of S1-2 Chuck/Ellie scenes.
mxpw: I’m glad Ellie put Chuck straight.
Frea: So am I.
mxpw: Anything else you want to comment on?
mxpw: Should we talk about Decker?
Frea: Do we have to?
Frea: Okay, good. Because I don’t care.
mxpw: Let’s talk more about Sarah.
Frea: Awesome. Sarah’s great.
mxpw: I agree. She is the bestest.
Frea: And so pretty.
mxpw: And has legs for miles.
mxpw: That was for my twitter peeps.
Frea: Or light years?
mxpw: Yeah, I used peeps. What of it?
Frea: I think it was the great Katsumaro that put it that way. Legs for light years, Sarah Walker of the twenty-fourth and a half century indeed.
mxpw: I guess Chuck can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs?
Frea: Depends on if he takes the shortcut.
mxpw: Through Albuquerque?
Frea: I hear Albuquerque is a wonderful place. You can eat your soup right out of the ashtrays. It’s okay, they’re clean.
Frea: All in all, I enjoyed this episode, but I refuse to raise my hopes because Chuck is good at one thing: introducing fantastic concepts and then falling flat on their faces. So I’m still the pessimist in a way, but I had a good time with this episode and will gladly add this to the “watch again” pile, unlike most of Season Four.
mxpw: Well, I’ve already watched it twice, and not just for the SWP, which was like the only reason why I watched Anniversary more than once last season. I think this was the best premiere since First Date. Might not seem like it, but I did enjoy it. Yeah, there was a lot of stuff that irked, but there was a lot of stuff that worked too. And that was an unintentional rhyme.
Frea: All right, everybody else. What irked and what worked (tm Maximus) for you?