Tonight's 'Chuck' is a good example of why television can do things that other forms of popular entertainment rarely can. Sometimes television can be used to successfully replicate the same storytelling formula over and over again. There's nothing inherently wrong with that approach, but it doesn't take advantage of the medium's secret weapon. 'Chuck Versus The Fear of Death' showed what happens when the narrative and emotional buildup of several years' worth of storytelling gets exploited in order to push the show to the next level. It wasn't perfect, but at its core it was 'Chuck' at its finest.
Seeing a shaggy Chuck pop up on Castle's screens tonight served as a visual representation for what so much of this episode was about. If the first two seasons of the show were about Chuck Bartowski trying to get the Intersect out of his head in order to be normal, then the past two seasons have been accepting it not just as a part of himself but as a way to actually better that self. The trick, of course, lies in the following question: Does the Intersect actually make Chuck who he is, or simply enable him to become the man he could always be?
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