Chuck vs. Bo
Season 5, Episode 10, original air-date 13 January, 2012
When Morgan receives his old Douchersect cell phone and a message that he's hidden something that's in trouble, it's up to the gang to fly to Vail and gas Jeff and Lester a bunch of times with Bazin-Gas, the most convenient joke of all time.
Warning: this was a Newman episode. Expect rainbows. But not....those rainbows. Yeah, right. Anywhere, review's just beyond. Click to read.
Frea: So, what'd you think of the episode?
mxpw: Nice lead-in. :P
Frea: Thank you.
mxpw: You're welcome.
mxpw: It was a good episode marred by a bad ending.
mxpw: What did you think?
Frea: What did I think about this episode, Max? Well, I'm a little disheartened that Ms. Newman has not answered my proposal.
mxpw: Have you tried sending her a singing telegram yet?
mxpw: Written your proposal in the sky?
Frea: Yes. Sung by a person in a giant bunny suit.
Frea: Yes. From a plane painted like a giant rabbit.
mxpw: Made a video for a presentation on the jumbotron at a major sporting event?
Frea: Yes, but apparently golf does not have jumobtrons.
mxpw: I don't know what to tell you then, Frea.
mxpw: I guess she heard about your proposal to Olivia Dunham and got upset.
Frea: I don't what was Gilmore was so happy about.
Frea: Fidelity doesn't matter when Olivia Dunham is on the line!
mxpw: Just like fidelity to characterization/plot/continuity doesn't matter when cool is on the line in Chuck.
Frea: It does when it's Kristin Newman. I agree with you that the ending marred an otherwise amazing episode (and honestly, it was only marred when somebody (**cough**MAX) pointed out to me the ramifications of the ending). But I will say this for this episode: Newman has the best ear for characterization on this show. For ALL characterization. We praised Klemmer and DiWhatsYourFace last week for having enjoyable characters but scolded them to for their portrayal of Chuck. Newman, on the other hand, brought all big players to the table and let them have a fair shake all over. So thank you, Kristin Newman. Thank you.
mxpw: Oh don't get me wrong, Frea, I really enjoyed this episode. I watched it twice, even. I thought it was just as funny the second time as the first. Nearly every character was written well, most importantly Chuck. The way Chuck was written in this episode is more how I wish he was permanently written. Otherwise known as not as a buffoon. So I'm not saying the episode was horrible. The ending just didn't work for me at all for a number of reasons.
Frea: Can I blame the ending on Fedak?
mxpw: Of course, that's Fedak's fault. Newman would have no control over the ending we got, as giving Sarah the Intersect is the kind of call a showrunner would make when breaking the season long arc. And I'm not blaming Newman for the ending, but the ending is still there all the same.
Frea: Okay. Because if you had insulted my maybe-made-up-fiancee, I might have had to cut you, Maximus. And I try not to do that. Your face is just so pretty without being cut, you know?
mxpw: I prefer it to be non-pureed too. So thanks!
Frea: No problem. Man, it was awesome to see non-buffoon Chuck.
mxpw: That it was.
Frea: Seriously awesome. It's great to be able to cheer everybody on!
mxpw: Chuck doesn't need to be written as a buffoon to be compelling or entertaining.
mxpw: The running gag with his little crush on Bo Derek is enough, though a bit strange as Bo is more Casey's generation, not Chuck's. But ah well.
Frea: I... had to look up Bo Derek on IMDB before his episode aired.
Frea: She's very pretty.
mxpw: Yeah, she looked pretty good for her age.
Frea: But yeah, Chuck and Morgan are very close in age to me (we were in high school together), so sometimes I have a hard time figuring their references are not really something they would or if I'm just really pop culturally ignorant. Usually it's the latter, I figure. They're nerds. I'm just a geek savant. But the running gag about Bo Derek and Sarah teasing—teasing!—Chuck throughout this episode was just fantastic.
Frea: In fact, I'd say that this episode was more of a love letter to the fans than we've been seeing a lot this season (Shaw belongs in no love letter ever, FEDAK). For instance: tandem coffee mugs and tandem coffee drinking!
mxpw: Yeah. Sarah had some excellent facial expressions in this episode. She had several during the tandem coffee drinking scene, and the look on her face after Chuck teased her back after she knocked out Bo Derek made laugh. I agree that this was a really strong team/character episode, with each one getting a moment to be competent and funny without being made to look unbelievably stupid. Except for Morgan, but I guess we're supposed to blame that on the Douchersect.
Frea: Ooh, let's talk about the Douchersect!
mxpw: Awesome, I have a lot to say.
Frea: This episode is a rare, rare thing, Max. Wanna know why?
mxpw: Because you liked Morgan?
Frea: Well, yeah, but there were other things.
mxpw: You liked the Buy More stuff?
Frea: For instance: most episodes expect we can't even remember the last fifteen minutes. This one assumed we could remember something SIX EPISODES AGO. Oh my god, is this what it feels like to be treated like I have a brain in my head?
mxpw: I know, it's a very strange feeling. It's like they think we're intelligent people or something.
mxpw: Those fools.
Frea: We are great at pretending, to be fair.
Frea: I convinced a college to give me not one degree, but TWO. Best. Scam. Ever.
mxpw: Hey, same here!
mxpw: We are awesome!
mxpw: Though I do have to ask, but when exactly in the Douchersect storyline did Morgan have time to go to Vail?
Frea: Right after he dumped Alex.
Frea: We don't see him again until the next day, I think?
mxpw: Don't Chuck and Sarah and Casey break into Verbanski that day?
Frea: Let's be honest, Max.
Frea: They're not that smart. It would have taken at least 23 hours of hard thinking to come up with that plan.
mxpw: Morgan never actually did and it's a retcon?
mxpw: Well, Chuck and Sarah, maybe, but Casey is usually more on the ball.
Frea: He needed the twenty-four hours to work himself up to seeing his lady love once more.
Frea: Don't give me that look, it's romantic.
mxpw: Okay, I can accept that.
mxpw: Anyway, the Douchersect is actually one of the reasons why I didn't like the end.
Frea: Yeah. But holy crap did I laugh hard at the antics Morgan pulled in Vail.
mxpw: Yeah, I have to admit, he was pretty funny. His not being secretive at all, drinking the bartender under the bar, the dancing, being a perv while speaking in a foreign language, and then his antics while escaping from the bad guys were all pretty amusing.
Frea: The funniest part to Frea:
Morgan: "I'm the Intersect!"
Us: OH CRAP. HOW COULD HE HAVE GIVEN UP SUCH A VALUABLE SE—hahaha, I can't keep this up, the Intersect means absolutely nothing by this point. hahahaha. Whatever, Morgan.
EVERYBODY at the bar: FREE BOOZE.
mxpw: Haha, I know.
mxpw: I remember Seasons 1 and 2 where Sarah killed people for knowing that Chuck was the Intersect. Now all of them go around talking about it like it's no big deal, all the bad guys know about, and there's a million copies of it just floating around where every delusional bad guy can get their hands on it without much trouble.
mxpw: The Intersect is officially a joke and this episode is a great example of why.
Frea: Hey, remember when Sarah shot Mauser and they had that really great concluding arc?
mxpw: No, I don't remember that.
Frea: Yeah, me either.
Frea: TAKE THAT, people who say we think S2 is perfect.
Frea: Anyway, back to now, where the Intersect is a joke.
mxpw: I don't even get what the point of it is anymore.
Frea: We've officially renamed it MacGuffin.
mxpw: I mean, Quinn shows up all pissed and determined to get an Intersect in this episode, BUT WHY? You can probably find like 10 dudes in Los Angeles who sell Intersect glasses out of the back of their truck. It's lost all meaning. It's not special anymore, especially since now everybody can upload it, apparently, not be instantly killed like they were in the first two seasons.
Frea: Maybe Quinn just cares about quality. I mean, Chuck was the original, original Intersect all the way back in—no, wait, that was Volkoff. Sorry, forgot. Um, don't have an answer for you, dude.
mxpw: People always say, "Oh Chuck is still special, he's the only one who can use it best!" But who cares? The show has made it abundantly clear that that doesn't matter anymore. Chuck doesn't even want the Intersect anymore.
mxpw: Actually, you know what I just realized, Frea?
Frea: Nope. I was busy staring at the wall.
Frea: Or plotting on how to take over Australia. One of the two.
mxpw: This whole plot was just dumb. If CI had just given Quinn the Intersect, he probably would have either fried his brain in short order or lost all his memories. Either way, he'd no longer be a threat. So by not giving him the glasses, they screwed themselves. Since apparently the show has decided to go back to S3 Intersect rules mixed with the Douchersect.
mxpw: Also, I saw somebody point this out somewhere, I don't remember where, but Sarah's plan in this episode was basically a mirror of Chuck's plan in Curse.
Frea: Yeah, you'd think they'd realize by now that the Intersect is bad news. Just give it to the guy. If he's anything like—oh wait, no, Shaw was fine with it in his head for two years in prison. Guess there's no safe bets with this thing, huh?
mxpw: Yeah, but that just reinforces the idea that the Intersect is now pointless.
mxpw: As you can tell, I have a lot of pent up displeasure about the use of the Intersect in this episode. And we haven't even gotten into the specifics of what Sarah did yet.
Frea: Nope. Want to get that out of the way now and circle back to Jeffster?
mxpw: Sure. Do you want to say anything before I rant? Heh.
Frea: Okay, so while the episode was going on, I loved the ending. I thought, hell, freaking yeah. Sarah's stepping up and taking one for the team, plus Sarah Walker + the Intersect would be, like, the most awesome end of the world ever. In fact, if I wanted to cause an apocalypse, I would give Sarah Walker an Intersect, dye my hair red or blonde, and just watch her plow through the ska—
Frea: I mean, uh, Sarah Walker is awesome.
Frea: But watching Sarah pwn a whole bunch of people in the episode had me fist-pumping and hell-yeahing, and whatnot. Even though, c'mon, she's Sarah frakkin' Walker. She doesn't need an Intersect. She just needs to see Chuck get hit and then it's all BAM PHASE THREE. It wasn't until later when Sir Max here got on with the raincloud over his head that I realized just how bad the ending really was.
mxpw: You're welcome. :P
Frea: Yeah, thanks for that.
mxpw: I am Maximus, Destroyer of dreams and happy thoughts.
Frea: I suppose I deserve it for all of that time I kept you on the Dr Pepper fountain hamster wheel.
mxpw: That you did, that you did.
mxpw: Okay, so are you tagging me in?
Frea: Yes. Tag me in when you're done and I'll tell you what I would have done to justify the Intersect upload.
mxpw: Roger that.
mxpw: Okay, so first of all, and I know many probably won't agree with me here (Frea probably one of them), but one of the biggest reasons why I didn't like the end is because Sarah Walker doesn't need a freaking Intersect. She's Sarah Walker, damn it. The idea that she needs an Intersect to do what she did is wrong to me. Which leads me to another point, there was nothing Sarah did in that fight scene at the end that she couldn't have done without the Intersect or hasn't done before. Nothing. It's not like she was Yoda from Attack of the Clones. I realize the show doesn't have the biggest budget, but if you can't afford to do a huge action set piece to justify a character like Sarah getting the Intersect, then you shouldn't do the freaking action set piece. That's just common sense.
mxpw: I just didn't buy what they were trying to sell me. I never felt like Sarah needed the Intersect to do what she did, nor did I feel like the situation was desperate enough for Sarah to upload the Intersect, knowing far well what doing so would probably do to her.
Frea: Since Sarah is the one that's seen up close and personal, what the Intersect has done to three different people that had direct affect on her life: Chuck, Morgan, Volkoff.
Frea: But to counter-argue myself: she's seen the Intersect easily removed from the heads of all three of those people.
mxpw: Secondly, the whole setup was contrived. Why? Because they didn't break the glasses right away. That was dumb. It's not like they were going to keep the glasses for some reason, Sarah even said that the plan was to break them, so the fact that they didn't break them the second they chased Quinn out of the Buy More ruined the whole thing for me. That was a "Man behind the curtain" moment for me, big time.
Frea: Maybe there's a Smash the Intersect Glasses Ceremony.
mxpw: Yeah...okay, then why did they wait until the next day to do it?
Frea: It's actually quite complicated, you know. The moon has to be 3/8ths full, you need the blood of a virgin...
mxpw: Why didn't they do it as soon as they got back to Burbank?
mxpw: Thirdly, how do two seasoned spies like Sarah and Casey not have an exit plan? How come they didn't call up Beckman and ask for help? It's not like they didn't have time. Chuck getting kidnapped happened in the morning and the exchange wasn't until 9 at night.
mxpw: Or geeze, they could have called up Verbanski.
Frea: Holy crap, they...really could have.
mxpw: Her company is right there in Los Angeles.
Frea: And you know, she'd totally give them an "I'm Banging Casey" discount.
Frea: WHICH IS ACTUALLY NOT A DISCOUNT.
mxpw: The ending was just completely contrived.
Frea: YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO PAY MORE.
mxpw: And fourthly, I hate what Sarah uploading the Intersect implies for the final arc of the series. There is next to nothing about this potential storyline I like. Once again, the story will be about Chuck saving Sarah, and nothing else.
Frea: Am I it yet?
mxpw: And of course they will have conveniently forgotten how simple it is to remove the Intersect these days too.
mxpw: Yeah, I guess I've ranted long enough. *tag* You're it.
Frea: Yes! Sweet!
Frea: So I thought of a way to justify the Intersect upload.
Frea: First, you establish that the Intersect will let you keep fighting even when you're hurt. Not such a stretch since Chuck outright boasted that the most he did with the Intersect was sit up to grab the remote. Gotta assume the Intersect bypasses the whole "pain" center in the brain and lets the body do things you're normally not trained to do.
Frea: And then you shoot Sarah.
mxpw: I don't know how I feel about that.
Frea: Oh, I didn't say you were going to like it. It's just the only way I see justifying it
mxpw: My precious Sarah.
Frea: Hold Casey hostage, about to be executed, Sarah's lying on the ground, her men in danger, uploads the Intersect. Fights past even pain that she as an agent can't deal with, then collapses.
mxpw: Okay, yes, I agree that that would be much better justification than what we got.
Frea: I mean, as a Sarah fangirl, I'm not saying I want that to happen.
mxpw: Yeah, I don't want that to happen either.
Frea: I don't. I love Sarah Walker. I love how protective she makes the fandom, as it's hilarious to watch even though I am JUST AS PROTECTIVE as everybody else. But that justifies the Intersect and adds the much-needed desperation to the circumstances. Not that Yvonne Strahovski didn't sell the hell out of that desperation (please, that's like saying the Pacific's damp, Midwest weather is wonky, and toasted ravioli is only just a little bit delicious), but you're right: the budget didn't match what they wanted to do, and it ultimately detracted from everything.
mxpw: Yeah, and look, I meant to say this earlier, but it was something Tally mentioned to me a few days ago. In Baby, we saw Sarah take out 11 dudes at one time, and that was without an Intersect. And then after that, she proceeded to take out even more dudes with a baby strapped to her chest. Yet here, she suddenly needs an Intersect?
mxpw: It doesn't compute.
mxpw: For me at least.
Frea: Okay. Moving on.
mxpw: Yeah, agreed.
mxpw: Jeffster were actually pretty funny.
Frea: Memento meets Easy Rider meets Burn After Reading!
mxpw: I like smart Jeff. Actually, smart Jeff is scary. He's like smarter than all of Team B combined.
Frea: Man, this episode was just jam-packed with stuff. Thinking about Jeffster makes me think about the Buy More in Vail with its awesome decorations and how it's really, really stupid that they'd still have the same massive display for a video game like that up.
mxpw: Haha, yeah. Something like two or three months later. Not very likely.
mxpw: Those things usually turn over every couple of weeks.
mxpw: But back to the desert.
mxpw: My favorite part was that each time we came back to it, there was an extra bird. Haha.
Frea: I love how Jeff only needed a fake breath test to figure out that something was up
Frea: And instead of, you know, actually putting them in a situation that would make more sense, they just kept leaving them in the crashed car.
Frea: It's like the definition of insanity, you know?
mxpw: Haha, yeah. It's like they don't realize Jeff is smart now.
mxpw: And that he doesn't do that kind of crazy shenanigans anymore.
mxpw: I did wonder where they got the car, though.
Frea: Though Morgan repositioning Lester's hand made me laugh and laugh thanks to Course Jester's latest story.
mxpw: Lester did lose a lot of points for his description of Sarah.
mxpw: But his "J'accuse!" in the Vail Buy More was fantastic.
Frea: I don't even remember what he said about Sarah
mxpw: I'm afraid to tell you.
mxpw: I had to listen to it a few times, but it sounded like he described her as a "whorey blonde". I could be wrong, but that's what it sounded like to me.
Frea: He said Houri.
Frea: Graceless gasped.
Frea: It means a beautiful woman.
mxpw: Ahhh, see, so I did hear things more or less right, just didn't realize it was a homonym.
Frea: The word "houri" has entered into several European languages (French - 1654, English – 1737) with a meaning of a "voluptuous, beautiful, alluring woman" — Wikipedia.
mxpw: Oh I believe you. I just looked it up.
mxpw: Alright then, Lester, I apologize!
Frea: I knew it because of published Jane Austen fanfiction. I am not ashamed. Anyway, Jeffster had a funny arc this episode, though the forget-me-gas made me roll my eyes.
mxpw: Yes. How convenient that suddenly appeared.
mxpw: Or that the bad guys had the same kind of gas as Team B.
Frea: It must be all the rage. I can think of a few people they could use it on. Manoosh, Masuer, Shaw, the people interrogating Chuck, Sarah and Cole, Volkoff....
mxpw: The viewers.
mxpw: For Santa Suit. Oh I probably shouldn't go there.
Frea: Probably not, but we're going to. I'd say Curse, for me. Except that I think Rebecca Romijn transcends Bazin-Gas.
mxpw: Should we even talk about all the crap Quinn spewed about him being the rightful possessor of the Intersect?
Frea: Uh, can we call a Decker on that? I want to talk about my disappointment that Big Michelle wasn't 4'11" and petite.
mxpw: I guess. It didn't make much sense anyway. So Deckering it, we shall.
mxpw: I liked female Lester! And old man Jeff.
Frea: Though if you think I'm not already three chapters into my story about the Vail Buy More's Buck Kiminski and Tara Faulker, you're going to be VERY DISAPPOINTED.
mxpw: How come the Burbank Buy More isn't that awesome? The Vail one has a freaking rock climbing wall!
Frea: Which explains the neck braces!
mxpw: So anything else you want to say about Jeffster or the Vail Buy More?
mxpw: I liked Lester's faux dreadlocks.
Frea: The shot of Jeff's face getting sprayed with blood? Surprisingly dark for this show. I didn't think anybody actually bled save for a small cut on Sarah's face once. Which explains why they were fooled in the elevator in Other Guy.
mxpw: Yes, that is a good point.
mxpw: Poor Jeff seemed traumatized.
Frea: Which was why he was happy not to figure out the "They are NOT spies" on his arm in the end. Jeff's smart enough to listen to his subconscious.
mxpw: Yeah, if only certain other characters did that.
Frea: Admit it, Max.
By "certain other characters," you mean EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING ON THIS SHOW.
mxpw: Well, I was trying to be subtle and coy, but...yes.
Frea: It's hysterical to me that I'm getting this mean about the episode. I freaking loved it.
mxpw: Hey, I liked it too.
Frea: Yeah, but you're the shark.
mxpw: Should we mention the rainbows?
Frea: Oh, right. The completely random theme of rainbows.
mxpw: I'm not sure where that came from. It was kind of funny and yet a very odd way of describing sex.
Frea: ...they were talking about SEX?!?
mxpw: OH CRAP
mxpw: I'm sorry, Frea!
mxpw: I forgot about the no spoilers policy.
Frea: Okay, seriously, Alex's rebound made me laugh.
mxpw: Yeah, same here. Though Alex's taste in men really worries me.
Frea: It's always worried you.
mxpw: I'm sorry if I'm a little protective of Girl, Frea. I can't help it.
Frea: But I will say that one thing this show usually does is retail jokes. So Chuck's "Store credit only" just cracked me up.
Frea: Well, Girl is awesome and only two people will have any idea what we're talking about!
mxpw: Haha, me too. I thought that whole sequence was pretty damn funny.
mxpw: Yay! I'm special!
Frea: Her reaction to Morgan telling her he slept with Bo Derek was also awesome.
mxpw: I kept expecting her to pat him on the head and go "Sure, Morgan, whatever you say."
Frea: Which is the right and proper thing to do. Well, Max, I'm late for a squash game with some other MBOs. Final thoughts?
mxpw: I thought the beginning was awesome. You have no idea how long I've waited for Sarah to come to the realization that she doesn't have to be a spy, she can do other things and it's okay to leave the spy life. I loved her enthusiasm and throwing herself completely into transitioning CI into their new business. I loved most of all that it was HER idea and that she was planning everything. I also loved that nightie. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Frea: I was wondering when that was going to come up!
mxpw: Heeee. I think this shows remarkable growth on my part for taking this long to mention the SWP.
mxpw: Unfortunately, I will probably forget it all by next episode.
Frea: That's okay. If you do something not like yourself, we'll forget that you are you.
Frea: Anyway, I too liked the beginning, and the middle, and pretty much everything but the ending. Frankly, I don't give a crap about the overarching storyline this season and have stuck to that belief the entire time, ever since Decker introduced this WOO BIG CONSPIRACY in Cliffhanger. I think it was a mistake to try and tie it together, and I still do, but this episode was an example of what a talented writer that pays attention to characters can do. I mean, it still suffered from the writers-room-imposed flaws (Intersect!Sarah), but damn, it was just nice to be entertained for an hour without having to cringe at one character or the other having to hold the Idiot Ball so that everybody else can be funny. See, writers? It is possible to write quality material without the Robin Hood Principle of robbing from one character to build the others! Just listen to Newman!
mxpw: Yeah, ditto.
mxpw: It's clear by now I hated the end, but everything before that was quite enjoyable. I laughed a lot, at least as much as Kept Man, which was probably the funniest episode this season. Chuck was quite likable, Sarah was awesome and Yvonne had her usual array of awesome facial expressions, Jeffster were funny, Morgan was funny, and Casey had his moments. So while I'm not really looking forward to the plot arc of the last three episodes, I did like this one. Also, Sarah sharing Chuck's pillow was cute.
Frea: Finally, a flaw: she's a bed hog.
mxpw: Haha. I don't know if that's really a flaw...
mxpw: I'll give it Four Sarahs in a nightie out of Five.
Frea: 9.1 Kristin Newmans out of 10.