mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Zoom

Chuck vs. the Zoom
Season 5, Episode 01, Air-date: October 21 October 28, 2011

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...
mxpw: I, of course, disagree with it all. And slugging percentage, FYI, is essentially how many total bases a hitter hits divided by their at bats.

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.

Frea: Weird.

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.

 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.
Frea: The husband card didn’t bother me at all. They’re new at this marriage thing, apparently.

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.

mxpw: Haha

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?

mxpw: No.

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: Amen.

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: Absolutely.

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?

mxpw: Nah.

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: Stunning.

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.

Frea: *rimshot*

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?


  1. Heh, I have to say that we seem to think the same on... almost everything mxpw. Which, I suppose, is a good thing. Or at least, I'm choosing to see it as a good thing. Interesting how we even use the same phrases to describe the scenes (the pulling teeth bit, heh)

    Anyway, other than that. I dno. A lot of stuff feels "off" for me and still I enjoyed it. I'll put it down to the fact that I've grown so very fond of the characters (and Casey was a boss this episode) and the fact that I really did enjoy Chuck's plan and what not.

    The only thing I seem to be alone in, is the fact that I for one really enjoyed Joshua Gomez as the Intersect and I actually found his action scene amusing and believable. Apparently, I am the only one to think so, but that's okay.

    The one thing that continues to annoy me is the fact that we're supposed to believe they managed to spend 830 million dollars on a plane, weapons, food and... God knows what else they spent their money on. But seriously, a Stanford graduate and a Harvard (I dno if that's established in canon, but whatever, I'll roll with it regardless, everyone references it so I'm guessing it holds some truth) graduate that have NEVER heard of investing or saving it up to reap the benefits of an interest rate?

    I was against the idea from the beginning. I couldn't believe they wanted to make us believe they could live a billionaire lifestyle when the show was close to being broke anyway (I seriously thought most of the scenes would be shot in a cardboard box with a green background so they could chroma key it out later) but they went ahead and did it anyway. For them to lose the fortune in such a way is... disappointing, I suppose.

    So all in all, I enjoyed the premiere, but a lot less than most people seemed to have done and it was mostly due to the fact that the characters themselves are still pretty damn strong and a few moments that really jumped out at me.

  2. Ayefah31.10.11

    Chuck has no money sense as a show? That's unpossible! Seriously, I was way more irked by the seemingly unlimited budget they had for Castle and gadgets and things when they were paying for it with taxpayer money. Remember how Chuck's superspy cover was going to be "Italian billionaire"? Yeah. Ridiculous. The fact that the team managed to misspend all their Volkoff money so quickly is a lot less annoying to me...and maybe not totally unbelievable given "Wedding Planner". :P

    Chuck is good at one thing: introducing fantastic concepts and then falling flat on their faces.

    Ah, my trick here is not putting any faith in the Giant Conspiracy of Conspiracitude in the first place. There are many things that Chuck does well. Season villains that make sense has never, ever been one of them. :)

  3. "Ah, my trick here is not putting any faith in the Giant Conspiracy of Conspiracitude in the first place."

    I'm with this person.

    And fasten your seatbelts with Morgansect. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

  4. Anonymous31.10.11

    I for one am glad that it seems like everyone disagrees with me. My first response to the episode was to turn to wife and say "crap, their going to pull a Scrubs and get cancelled when they could have gone out on top." Thankfully from reviews i've read, including yours, I am in the minority so maybe there is hope for a full season after all :)

    Things I disliked that everyone loved:
    The ellie speach. "I dont think dad meant for you to have the intersect forever" Um. Dad never wanted him to have the intersect at all? It was never meant to be a means or opportunity or a stepping stone for chuck to find his potential at all.

    The uber-successful morgansect. Really? Hasn't it been pounded into us for 3 seasons now, that chuck is the only one that can really handle the intersect? Morgan having the intersect I can try to handle. But morgan being able to master it, in what weeks/months, better than Chuck could after 3 years of use irks me. Morgan not needing any triggers, flashing on command, etc was killing me.

    Maybe I was off that night (real life dampening the show watching mood?) but humor felt flat for me. The T.I.T.S joke was funny, once. 3 times though? Same with the cia inside you, i like it deep and hard etc. I just felt like I was hearing the same joke over and over.

    Dekker is so random though, that that part is almost funny to me. Really. The CIA and the wht looked like the entire military top brass in a meeting for the sole purpose of seeing chuck fail? wtfmate :)

    When you said this was the best premiere ever though, mxpw, that made me think. This is actually the first season i've had to watch as its released. All the others I burned through on DVD, so now that Ithink about it, past seasons have had some really crappy starts, but I've been able to just watch the next shows until it got to where I thought it was better. I never had to dwell on the the unsavory aspects more than a few minutes. That makes methink that I probably am judging this premiere without having an accurate standard.

    One thing I didn't have a problem with that everyone else did was the house search. I think I was under the impression that he was trying to find the right house, not actually buy it before consulting sarah.

    The redeeming moments for me were:
    The Morgan Sarah hand shake. The "if I stood on my wallet I would be... tall?" cracked me up. Casey's first scene, very funny. The Chuck/sarah interaction, of course. Although I have to agree with you that her just getting in the van and leaving was tough to buy.

    Anyhow, maybe i need to watch it again and see what all i missed.

    Mobi Cobbult (from FF)

  5. @Mobi - No, no, not best premiere ever. God no. Haha. The Pilot and First Date are neck and neck for best premier ever. Zoom was just better than Pink Slip (which honestly, is no big accomplishment) and Anniversary.

    As for Decker, well, like Frea and I did in our review, I'm mostly ignoring the conspiracy storyline. I think that is the best way to enjoy S5.

    And I think the jury is still out on the Morgansect. I think we will be seeing Morgan having problems with it in the next few episodes. Though yes, the ease with which he can access it is a little eye-roll inducing.

    @Everybody - The money thing is just irksome, but this show has never been realistic when it comes to money and appearances (as Ayefah so aptly pointed out), so I guess I shouldn't be surprised and just try to ignore it.

  6. Anonymous31.10.11

    ah. I apologize for misquoting you. I read that wrong.

  7. Anonymous31.10.11

    For me the whole Morgansect thing is totally stupid. I thought that those glasses are meant to recover intersect in Chuck brain, not to upload it upload once more. How can they store and process all the information needed to upload intersect into someone. In the beginning CIA needed supercomputer and Chuck who's brain is hard coded with intersect file structure to make it work. Furthermore Morgan handling it so well is simply unbelievable for me.

  8. Guess I'm going to be in the minority. I want the Intersect back in Chuck. You guys were right that it was nice to see Chuck using his brain on a mission. I just don't get why that can't happen when he has the 2.0 instead of the writers using it as a crutch.

  9. Okay, so I have to say that Morgansect wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. But the sheer fact that it happened in the first place was something that I still am having major trouble suspending my belief in. I thought that the show had made clear that the ability to use the Intersect was a very rare one, which is what made Chuck so special? Like, very few minds could handle it, and Chuck, with his stellar scores at that imaging class in Stanford, was an exception to the rule? So how does Morgan just happen to be able to use it? THIS IRKS ME SO MUCH.

    -deep breath-

    But other than that, I really enjoyed this episode. It was really refreshing to see Chuck thinking on his own again. I enjoyed the country club scene, the "interrogation" scene was sheer lulz, and while the dance scene made me cringe a bit (Yvonne is just way too tall to make dancing with Joshua look anything but awkward), the rest of the part was great.

    And yeah, while the fact that they somehow blew through hundreds of millions of dollars is nonsensical, I - like y'all - have learned that a large part of being able to enjoy this show is just going with the flow.

    Our opinions do seem to diverge on the whole Decker thing. I, in spite of myself, am actually a bit interested to see if the writers will be able to tie this whole thing together into a massive CONSPIRACY without it being absurd.

    Another thought: does no more CIA ties mean to more General Beckman?! I sincerely hope not!

    Anyway, as usual, funny and insightful review, guys.

  10. We're not told what the test consists of and Morgan never actually took the test. Everyone's just assuming he's a retard, but just because he acts as a comic relief doesn't mean he's not smart or doesn't have the capability to hold the Intersect. He might've scored the exact same score on that test as Chuck had.

  11. *twitch* Please, please, don't use the term "retard" on the blog, guys. I know I can get politically incorrect at times, but that one's a hot-button issue for me. It's derogatory and one of those terms that really should never be used.

    To qualify: if the writers can pull off the Decker storyline, then that's fantastic and I'll praise them to heaven and back. But in my experience, they've never been able to follow through on a concept like that, and I refuse to get my hopes up, which is why we didn't talk about it. It's kind of how I feel about Chuck having the Intersect back, JC. If he could have the Intersect and not lose his spine/brain in the process, that would be wonderful, but I don't think the writers are capable of it, which is why I fall into the "I hate the Intersect" camp.

    About The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom's ease with the Intersect, I'm going to do something I hate: I'm going to defend the writers.

    Intersect 1.0 seems like it would have killed anybody in a very Fringe-y fashion unless they were Chuck Bartowski. In fact, it apparently drove Hartley insane.

    Intersect 1.5 was blown up. Bye-bye, Grhaham.

    Intersect 2.0 was a smash and grab job created by Orion and other scientists that really only worked in Chuck for as long as it did because Chuck's brain is Special. It started breaking down after prolonged and heavy use, and affected Shaw badly right away.

    Intersect 3.0 had the aid of Ellie's magic brain skills to aid it along. The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, Chuck, and Co weren't testing Brody and the others for subliminal data retention, but their abilities as overall agents, which could theoretically mean that the Intersect can function in most any brain now, provided they don't have an IQ of 7. So, it sucks, but I can see there's backing for it to work in The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom's head for at least a short time. We'll probably start to see some malfunctions first. He doesn't seem to be able to use it as easily as Chuck did at times, depending on who was writing the script that week.

    Would the Intersect mythology be better with a modicum more thought put into it? Without a doubt. But unfortunately, there is kind of precedent for the Intersect to work in The Honorable Sir Morgan Guillermo Grimes-Casey, Inventor of the Zoom, as lame as that is.

  12. Tenks711731.10.11

    Regarding Morgan being able to handle the Intersect:

    Ellie modified the programming of the Intersect last season to work with the human brain better. It was something about Orion trying to store information in the brain from the standpoint of an engineer and Ellie corrected it to work the way the human brain actually functions.

    So, in theory anyways, the Intersect should no longer require a high retention ability like Chuck possesses.

  13. Tenks7117, it's funny you should mention Orion's point of view. If we take his engineer's point of view (and the computers and what not)

    BE (Before Ellie), I reckon the Intersect would work along the ways of a progam that was designed to run on a quad core but disabled three cores and only ran through one of them, thus overloading that core. The CPU (brain) would get overloaded and wouldn't be able to run the program, thus resulting in a systems failure (NOTE: This does not happen in actual PC's. You just get a nifty message saying: Windows encountered an error with Intersect.exe and will close)

    Æ (After Ellie, yes, it's smart, I know) she changed up the Intersect to fully envelope the brain and as such, rewrote the data to make use of all the cores instead of singling out one core and putting all the strain on it.

    So it's very possible (and highly likely) that the Intersect is now compatitable with a lot more human brains. Maybe even all of them.

    Also, I'll keep it in mind Frea. I use that word as a synonym for moron or idiot and usually refer to actual retardism by the disease or genetic dysfunction that it's named after.

  14. Anonymous1.11.11

    As someone who works in the aerospace industry I don't find it nearly as hard as everyone else in believing they could blow through 800M setting up high tech military style security company, buy a electronics store, a private jet (& everything associated with it ie fuel which is crazy expensive), a satellite & perhaps launching said satellite. Launching a satellite alone can range in cost anywhere from 50M to over 400M. Then again, after the trouble with basic math the writers had last year I'm willing to let math with bigger numbers slide.

    But enough babbling about that. I feel like I fell between the two of you when watching this episode. Nothing really bothered me while I watched it, but I still didn't *love* it. I was shocked at how much Morgansect didn't bug me, but I won't hold my breath on that lasting. I was glad to see the conversation between S/C and like most everyone else was thrilled seeing Chuck use his natural skills. I completely agree with the critic who said he would be happy if the series finale was them moving into that house and not something like, oh, a pregnancy.

    Thank you for your always entertaining thoughts! Always a delightful read.

  15. @ Mobi Cobbult

    Orion didn't want Chuck to be the Intersect, at first.

    But at the end of Season 3, he accepted it, built the governor for Chuck, and said he would help him with whatever Chuck wanted to do.

    Then he let the Intersect 3.0 to Ellie, and the password to download it was something only Chuck knew, so he wanted Chuck to have it. Or at least, he wasn't against it.

    It's all pretty convenient, because Orion died so suddenly, it's hard to know how he did the Intersect 3.0 so fast, but that's what the writers went for in S4.

  16. Tenks71171.11.11

    Aerox, I've always looked at the Intersect the way that I imagine Orion would. When someone first downloads the data, the information is put in the part of the brain that deals with long-term storage (the hard drive) and flashing brings the pertinent information to the short-term part of the brain (the RAM).

    While this would probably be the logical way for the program to work for an engineer, I imagine the brain doesn't work the same way that a computer does. So my thought is, that whatever voodoo Ellie did with the Intersect, it probably either helped to improve the way the information was stored on the hard drive by placing relevant information together (think defragging a computer) and/or refined the way that the hard drive and RAM communicated with each other so that it was a more streamlined process.

    I’m not really sure if that makes a lick of sense but it seems to work for my mind. /shrugs

  17. stephen2.11.11

    @one of the anonymous's
    "the uber-successful morgansect. Really? Hasn't it been pounded into us for 3 seasons now, that chuck is the only one that can really handle the intersect? Morgan having the intersect I can try to handle. But morgan being able to master it, in what weeks/months, better than Chuck could after 3 years of use irks me. Morgan not needing any triggers, flashing on command, etc was killing me@
    Really have you even watched the show at all this is a common misconception a lot of people reviewers included have and I will try to outline why I think you are wrong in Season 1 fulcrum thought Bryce had the Intersect in his brain, in epiosde 2 Zarnow only states that it was never intended for one person to see all the intersect secrets. In season 2 the CIA had about 8 agents that they were going to intersect and then Fulcrum were trying to get intersect agents and yes it did make them crazy but that was not programmed by Orion and Fulcrum did not know what they were doing. Finally in Colonel Fulcrum had about 10 agents ready to be intersected but this was with Orions program so probably would mot have resulted in insanity/death. Then of course we had Shaw and he definately handeled it fine and then the CIA wanted more and tried on there own and then with Chucks invlovement.
    There was also a comment about the intersect making Hartley insane, disagree as the intersect program overwrote his brain making him a different person ie Volkoff everything Volkoff did was programmed into that brain so i would argue that he was not insane at all
    Then there is the matter of Morgan handling it better than Chuck, firstly who is to say that he is it has been spoiled that there will be a problem with it but Chuck had noone who could help him with the Intersect Morgan has Chuck the man who had it in his brain for almost 4 years so who better to help him. Morgan had been on missions before he got the intersect so was familliar with the spy world when chuck was not. And really you thought Morgan was doing it better than Chuck after 3 years? how? they could both flash on demand, the only problem chuck ever had was when he was emtional, we will have to wait and see what happens when something happens to Alex to see if Morgan handles it any better.
    If it comes down to it I feel much better having Morgan do stupid things on the mission like breaking the vase, rather than Chuck Dropping the gun, or being unable to shoot a door to get Sarah out of the freezer in S2.

    Re the Money I like the fact that the writers made it believable I mean how much money would the buy more and castle cost? Plus a rocket and satellite and private jet I am so grateful they did not have Chuck spending it on Star wars Collectables or stuff like that. It also gave a gravity to the situation not life or death but they need to do jobs well and get paid and they need to make the buy more profitable something that I am sure has not happened before.

    Re The conspiracy I am undecided yet I like the idea but I have no idea how they are going to handle it, so i will just wait and see.

  18. If we're going to split hairs, I maintain that Hartley could be considered legally insane. From the Dictionary.com definition of insanity: law — a defect of reason as a result of mental illness, such that a defendant does not know what he or she is doing or that it is wrong.

    Given that Hartley had no idea what Volkoff had been up to the whole time, that's...pretty dead on, wouldn't you say? The Intersect could be viewed as a mental illness in that case, as it took all of Hartley's agency away from him.

    The arguing back and forth about money proves something, but not what you think. Yes, to get a satellite, jet, and jet fuel of their very own would have eaten up a huge chunk of change. I can quote you satellite prices for thirty minutes of airtime, and they're astronomically frightening. Most people, however, can't do that. So the part where Sarah's freaking out about the money they're spending could've been a little clearer. Oh, wait, they went for the shrimp joke instead (which I thought was funny, so I didn't care).

  19. Anonymous2.11.11

    Well I've watched it twice and one thing that did come out of it for me is that Morgansect is like the BuyMore for me. I'll suffer through it to get to what I like. But I will definitely fast forward through it on rewatch. Though I loved Sarah in the dance scene, I mean who wouldn't, it really was a DWTS moment where a great dancer gets coupled with a very poor one. The height difference looked just awkward to me and not really very funny. I found the Morgan fight scene really made the stunt double very obvious. It reminded me of how bad it was in Tic Tac where it was clearly a different person.

    I really enjoyed the Ellie scene a great deal and the Charah moments with the house. Sexy, sweet and touching. The opening sequence was great as well. I loved the ease of Sarah opening up finally now that she is married.

    Overall I'd rate it basically a tie with Anniversary, behind the pilot and First date but way ahead of the disaster of Pink Slip. Its just Morgansect is just such a big zero story for me. As I discussed with some folks on Twitter last night it won't spoil my enjoyment of the show, only Shaw and the contrived reset could do that, but it has to be tolerated to get to what interests me. Sarah Chuck and Casey. If anyone deserved more screen time for me its Ellie and not Morgan.

    Overall grade B-

  20. @Frea

    I can't argue with the fact the writers drop Chuck's IQ when he has the Intersect. Personally I find that more tolerable than the whiny questioning his value without it Chuck.


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