Frea's Note: The reason this review is so late is my fault and nobody else's. They got this to me on Sunday, but I've either completely forgotten or have been abducted by very kind aliens that let me tweet from the belly of their spaceship. Either way, here's the Minions' Look at Chuck vs. the Bearded Bandit! Enjoy!
Hey y’all! Shoe here again but this time, I have my fellow minion, BDaddyDL, helping me out with the Chuck Versus the Bearded Bandit review. This is a bit of an experiment, so we’ll see how it works! Enjoy!
Team Bartowski is trying to get Carmichael Industries off the ground after having their assets frozen by Decker. Their competition, Verbanski Corp, attempts to lure Sarah Walker into their business only to try and recruit John Casey. Casey and Verbanski have a romantic past, which complicates a few things between business associates. Also, Morgan is not adjusting well to having the Intersect in comparison to Chuck.
BDaddyDL: So when the curtain opened on episode 5.02, The Bearded Bandit, I was not happy. I thought that we would see yet another example of Team B carrying the stupid stick. For one, they did not dwell on the awful presentation to prospective clients. Then, when the obviously better Verbanski Corp showed up and really showed how great they were, but hand wringing Chuck was nowhere to be found.
Shoe: I do have to say the presentation at the beginning was a little awkward and stilted. Yet, it was funny at the same time and a good callback to two “shipper” episodes with Honeymooners and Phase Three, along with one of the better Chuck villains – Volkoff with his penchant for ice cream. Plus, it makes sense that Verbanski Corp would be the flashiest of all the companies at the security presentation and she does seem to get results as viewed later on in the episode.
BDaddyDL: After that it was time to get the case of the episode. I have to admit I like Chuck not being a moron. It’s also obvious that Sir Morgan can’t handle the Intersect. Great power comes great responsibility speech came immediately to mind. In some ways it made me proud to be a Chuck fan because of how well Chuck handled
The Intersect. Chuck's first reaction is to plan; Morgan's is to scream I'm Batman!
The differences were quickly apparent. One of the things I was glad to show was that Chuck without the Intersect is still really awesome. Morgan has some skills, but he doesn't have the “it” factor. Chuck saved his bacon more than once. (Sorry, I had to work in a bacon reference for the @CharahFoodies)
Shoe: To add to that, the tumbleweed rolling along the Buy More was funny and when I visited the WB lot in September, there was the Buy More Home and Garden sign that intrigued me as to why it was there. Now I know, and maybe the Buy More is going for the Wal-Mart treatment minus the clothing options. I need to mention that the baddie and brother were from LOST and Smallville respectively. And the guy from Smallville is hot.
Poor Chuck trying to be a handler seemed to be taking a toll on him and Morgan was being an ass about needing to be reined in. Morgan annoyed me throughout the episode and I think he has never had to be a part of a team like Team Bartowski has. Team Bartowski has definitely grown stronger after the faltering of season three with Shaw, and even Decker trying to break up the team. Maybe the reason the 2.0 was supposed to make the Intersect autonomous is coming to light within Morgan, and it’s eating away at what made Morgan who he was. Chuck is the voice of reason but Morgan is having none of it and “bandit” does mean robber, but I had a kitty named that who loved to steal food.
BDaddyDL: Once we finally got to the briefing a new character seemed to be unveiled to the audience. Funny Casey, or for this segment, I'll call him the muffin man. There were a lot of fun little things in this story. One of my favs is later on, in another example of Adam Baldwin doing more than grunting for a joke, is where he played a hunter later on. Jayne homage, anyone?
Shoe: And the waterfowl along with the cheesy, “no harm, no fowl” joke that took the guards a few times to get.
BDaddyDL: Last week I thought the cast has come in with an extra energy this season. That trend continued with Big Mike, as he comes in to the save the day. Just an FYI for those of y'all not old enough to know, those prices were not far off in a commercial that must have been made not long after his "Rain" days. When we get back to the B plot, Captain Awesome gets the fan treatment. If I’m not mistaken, the "fan" treatment has been in every second episode. While not nearly as easy on the eye as "Seduction" was, Awesome’s close up was a lot of fun. Last week, Ellie stole the show. This week it was Awesome’s turn in the spotlight. I thought he did a great job on a really fun arc. Plus, he gave Team B hope that the Buy More could keep them going.
Shoe: Helicopter has the slow-mo treatment for Sarah but cannot recall if it falls under the sexy wind machine of the Buy More. Can I just say, that was such a cheesy commercial, but I liked that the Buy More has been around since the 1970s or so. And that Big Mike is still somewhat of a manager by taking initiative to bring revenue to the Buy More and create his own commercial. I love that at least another man besides Jeffster received the Sexy Wind Machine of the Buy More treatment. As Big Mike says, Awesome is “one pretty man.” (BDaddyDL: is it me Shoe, but does Big Mike make creepy seem cute and cuddly?)
BDaddyDL: Ok so when we meet Verbanski, I was mostly ambivalent about the character, but there is obviously more there. We will see. When Sarah goes to her office to speak to Moss’ character, something became very apparent to me. Even though this was not a Sarah centric episode, Sarah was amazing in just about every scene she was in. LeJudkins really has her voice down, but also seems to make her more than just Chuck’s wife.
Shoe: LeJudkins seems to write the female characters of this show well. Also, isn’t it ironic that Verbanski has a photo of Reagan in her office when she was working for the Kremlin at one point? Probably why Casey has a thing for Verbanski as well.
BDaddyDL: When we were back to the main plot TPTB realized there was no SWP in the episode yet. So enter a really fun scene where Sarah, Casey, and Chuck work as a team. After letting the case develop, a case that really didn’t mean much - the new Intersect makes an appearance. After the not so great stunt work from last week I thought they took care of the bad stunt work by hiding him behind a door. Alas, it wouldn't last.
Shoe: Whereas there was an obvious allusion to Fates later on in the episode, when Sarah was rock climbing, it made me think of Sarah being the “sporty wife” when she first took Chuck in Fates. Morgan is not a fighter, no matter how many kung-fu movies he has watched.
BDaddyDL: I had a strange thought after this episode was over. There are some amazing parallels between this episode and Harry Potter. The main protagonist is “special”, but what makes him special is not an amazing ability, but his way of dealing with it. His sidekick is also dealing with the pressure, but not in a good way, and then there is the other friend who keeps him grounded. Admittedly, SW is much hotter.
Shoe: And then we talked about how Lord of the Rings could be paralleled here as well. Chuck, when he had the Intersect was more like Frodo and now without it, he is more like Sam. Morgan, on the other hand with the Intersect is Smeagol or Gollum.
BDaddyDL: Maybe we can have Morgan rub the governor saying “my precious”
BDaddyDL: For me, I am really impressed that the show runners are doing this arc. Some fans hate the Morgansect no matter what, but so far, Chuck is really showing a greatness not seen since season two. I will say that they showed Morgan having problems with his memory, and the Intersect is a problem for him. However, I think right now, Morgan’s personality is just being amplified. He wants to be the Hero, but as my Academy instructor said “John Wayne died in a lot of movies. Don’t seek to be the Hero.”
Shoe: As I mentioned earlier, maybe this Intersect is trying to turn Morgan into the autonomous killing machine the 2.0 was meant to be. It also shows that Chuck has a special brain for a reason, and I’m glad they are addressing this issue of Morgan and the complications of having the Intersect.
BDaddyDL: So Casey and Sarah had to save Chuck, but this time it was different, Morgan’s bad stunt work was back, and in came the cavalry. By the way, Sarah Walker has the best-looking hat head…EVER. I thought the rival spy agency was great, but to me the thing I remember most was the possible Fates reference, when Verbanski tripped looking at Casey…Awesomesauce.
BDaddyDL: Morgan changing sides was no surprise, but not knowing Luke Skywalker was, but I really didn’t care. The jogging scene was just loaded with awesome, and was yet another thing that reminded me of Fates. Congrats Frea, I think you nailed it!
Shoe: It wasn’t just the Star Wars reference he didn’t get but also Indiana Jones. The scene made me laugh when the guy with the swords going all crazy and Morgan just tranqing him. “Nice going Indy!” from Chuck was great too and foreshadowing that maybe the Intersect is going to Morgan’s head. Indeed, the running scene reminded me of Fates and it was the most adorable and intimate thing to see from Charah. I’m still thinking that somebody is editing the Charah kisses awkwardly but that is the shipper in me coming out.
BDaddyDL: Yeah, I agree your shipper is showing, but since you’re completely right we should mention it more.
Well that was a good episode and glad that LeJudkins delivered it well. Hoped y’all enjoyed it and until next week!
What were y’alls reactions to this episode?