Moving toward the middle of the Chuck season we can start to see where they are going with the plot and what they are trying to make the season about. While I liked how the season started and how they were incorporating "Intersect 2.0 Chuck" into the show, these last few episodes have really begun a disturbing tread with the show's writing. For about 3 episodes now the comedy has taken a back seat to a more dramatic side, which is fine, as long as they don't forget to throw in the lighter stuff as well. This lastest episode is a perfect example of the tread we are starting to see.
In 'Chuck vs The Mask' the CIA is trying to steal a ancient mask on display at an art museum, which they believe 'The Ring' is trying to use to smuggle something into the country. After a failed attempt by Shaw to procure the item, Chuck must use his position as a buy more computer tech to help Shaw and Sara get into the vault and switchout the mask before the exhibit opens to the public. Trying to stand in their way is a group of Ring operatives, who have had unspecified dealings with Shaw in the past, as well as Hannah taging along on the "Buy More Install" to make Chuck's side of the mission a little more difficult. In the side story, Morgan and Ellie try to discover what Chuck is up to and decide how they are going to handle, what they believe to be Chuck being depressed about Sarah breaking up with him.
The Things I Did Not Like About This Episode
- The way in which they handled the Chuck/Sarah relationship. 3 episodes ago they had Chuck professing his love for Sarah and making it seem like Sarah felt the same way. Now all of the sudden that whole plot seems to of just ended, they both have just all of the sudden moved on; Chuck to Hannah, and Sara to Shaw, but there was never really an explanation of ok this is over, they just sort of turned the page, which feels like they skiped a step in my opinion. Which also begs the question if Kristen Kreuk has now been type-cast as the girl who comes in to mess things up for the main character's relationship?
This is just the classic tv show ploy to get them close then back them off to get them close again before they eventually end up together, I get that, which is fine, but I just do not like how any of that has been handled. Hannah is some girl from 1 plane ride who lived in Paris but moves to LA to follow Chuck to his $12 an hour job, unless she is an agent, that is just too outside the realm of believability. Shaw is a secret agent that is running the team and just lost his fiance, so not only does he have to of gotten over her extremely fast, but everything they have presented about him as a character says he is by the book and wouldn't be so unprofessional so quickly. I think a much better option would have been for either Chuck to have moved on with another agent while Sarah moved on with another regular guy, or for only one of them to have moved on which leaves the other pining, and so on and so forth with the common tv show plot device. I accept that they have to do it, but I just don't like the way in which they are doing it.
- Cacey being relegated to the background guy. It seems his character has been completely overshadowed by the addition of Brandon Routh(Shaw). If Shaw is in the episode Cacey really isnt. Some of the best comedy moments in the show is when he and chuck interact or when he has to interact with other characters outside of his comfort zone. It seems like lately he is either getting the B-story or just not really featured at all, which I hope is not a tread that continues.
- No Jeff and Lester at all? I know its not good when they get a main storyline, but dropping in as the comic relief is one of the things that makes this show continuously funny. They developed an arc for them last week when Morgan asked them to stalk Chuck, and that would have been a good concept to continue with in this episode. However, not only did they not develop any of that, Morgan telling Ellie that they weren't as skilled in the stalker department as he thought, completely cancels out that whole idea of them following Chuck at all in the future.
- The Morgan/Ellie storyline really didn't go anywhere. All they did was talk about what was up with Chuck, they never really hatched a plan and never followed through on any of it. All they ended up doing was walking in on Chuck and Hannah, so now Ellie is satisfied cuase she thinks Chuck just has a secret girlfriend and that storyline isn't going anywhere either. The point of it was to develop someone else finding out about Chuck's secret, as the producers have said one of the other characters will be joining Team Bartowski by the end of the season. It's clear to me it will be Morgan, he is is the only character that really makes sense, it doesn't make any sense for Ellie to find out, as that would all but eliminate the cache of Awesome knowing. And no other character other than Morgan would be close enough to him to find out without really evelating their character's status within the show.
Overall I was not really crazy about the 'More Drama Less Comedy' version of Chuck that we got with this episode, but what do you think? Am I overreacting to Chuck vs The Mask, or do you agree that these last few episodes have gone off the tracks a little and they need to quickly make this just a small detour from an otherwise great show and season?