- Chuck fan scream -
Okay glad that's out of the way. The Chuck folks certainly know how to do a finale! The best part: this episode wasn't even a finale anymore but rather the end to the first part of Season 3.
- Cheers of joy -
A big kudos to the entire cast and crew who worked so hard, we love this show because of you and appreciate all the hard work. Now onto the awesome, epic Chuck-goodness of "Chuck vs. the Other Guy."
This episode reminded me of "Colonel" in the way it wrapped everything up and simultaneously opened the possibilities for so much more. Chuck's spy journey has ended in a sense": he got the girl, Casey got his job back (and a new car I might add), Morgan is officially part of the team, and we were given some of the best moments of the show. Was this entire wait worth it? My answer would be a giant 'Yes' as this was Chuck at its best.
One of the best aspects for me was Shaw. Major props to Brandon Routh as he pulled off the psycho, tormented villain. You can say what you want about the character leading up to this point but this is what I was waiting for. I only wish we could have seen more of this villainous character as Routh truly pulled it off. I even admit to being tricked in the beginning as I totally thought Shaw was out to kill Sarah but no, he turned around, seemingly still on board to take out the Ring. Heck, Shaw even supported Chuck, an aspect of the character I loved when Shaw was first brought in, saying Chuck was in the right and had his partner's back. To my happiness Shaw was just being a smart villain, stringing us along with the plan all along being revenge. What I liked most though was that even at the end Shaw wasn't truly evil. Feel free to disagree Shaw haters but you cannot deny that Shaw didn't kill Chuck. Rather, Shaw was willing to protect his identity as he said himself; none of this was Chuck's fault. Shaw was perfectly done here and as I said before I truly wish we could had more of this guy. No, Shaw wasn't perfectly written or portrayed for most of the season but for this episode he was perfect and that's all I could have asked for.
This episode also showed off another strong suit of "Chuck," which was taking everything from comedy to seriousness and blending together, highlighting the support, and adding little things many might miss on the first go around. Here were some of my favorites "blends" in the episode:
- Shaw's "I see you've brought Casey," line after hearing gunshots off-screen in the middle of that dramatic scene.
- The whole elevator scene with more and more people having to be brought in to make it a "party."
- Morgan saying "I forgive you" to Chuck after being freed by Sarah.
- Sarah's touched expression when watching Morgan help his best friend.
None of these scenes were the main parts of the episode but they all show how versatile and how well done the show is. I laugh and gasp in the same minute and yet the flow feels perfectly natural. This is Chuck done right.
The "Other Guy" showed just how far our favorite characters have come, more specifically Morgan and Casey.
Morgan at the beginning of the show was written off as loser whose life was Chuck. However, Morgan has developed into his own man and one of my favorite characters of Season 3. Josh Gomez has done a brilliant job and it is no wonder he loves these later episodes. Although we still get glimpses of that goofy guy, we mostly get this confident guy who comes through for his friend and is now part of an equal bromance. Morgan figuring out Shaw was the bad guy by himself iced the cake and was a throw back to the days when Chuck provided the essential piece of information. This episode summed up the greatness of Morgan and his devotion to his friend. The guy even stood up to Casey.
Speaking of the Colonel, this episode once again showed us Casey's devotion to Chuck and Sarah as well as how far he's come. The back-story for Casey has been superb and I've enjoyed seeing Casey inhabit a world where he doesn't seem to belong. The scene between Casey and Morgan at the Buy More was so bittersweet ending with the line "You too." We see Casey as more than just a killer and Adam Baldwin as usual really sold it. However, I think the scene on the plane with Chuck and Casey best illuminated how much the character has changed. Casey was not only supporting Chuck but also helping his team despite the possible ramifications. This is why we love the Colonel and couldn't be happier that Casey gets his redemption in the end, way to show the General and a definite fist pump from me.
Finally after three years of constant back-and-forth, we get Walkertowski. This wasn't like the "Colonel" where mounted up sexual tension was released (I do want another scene like that though). Rather it was an emotional climax, both of them knowing where the other stands. The scenes were sweet, emotional and most of all real.
I will prevent myself from gushing about how much I loved Sarah's "I love you" scene but I will share some thoughts. I was pleased with the fact that Sarah hesitated before immediately responding, as that is Sarah to me. Telling Chuck was a huge deal in Chuck as she finally acknowledged and admitted her feelings, something that doesn't come easily to Sarah Walker. This declaration acted as the point-of-no-return and final commitment to Chuck for Sarah. I also liked Chuck's disbelieving reaction when she told him as this is our Chuck, the unsure guy who is still a nerd at heart and can't believe he gets the girl. Once again for all his confidence and suaveness earlier in the episode, the show does a great job showing that at the end of the day Chuck is just Chuck. Someone commented on how there were four "yes's" paralleling Chuck's four "I love you's" in the previous episode, a nice subtle little aspect that I missed the first time around. At the very end of the episode we also get Sarah saying, "You saved me," to Chuck. To me this line contains so many meanings and underlines their whole relationship.
In sum, this episode highlighted just how well the cast, both main and supporting, works together and how perfectly the show can blend drama, comedy and romance. Anyone combination of characters can work to pull off a fantastic scene and I hope in the future we do get more mixing going like we have with Casey and the Buy More crew or Morgan in the spy world. This is a show with an outstanding cast in every respect. I truly know of no other show that can pull off what "Chuck" manages to do and that's why its fans work so hard to support it. If the show had ended here I would have be clamoring for more but left with a smile on my face. Fortunately for us the show will be back in a few weeks with guns blazing.
Some final thoughts:
- The music was amazing in this episode both the song selections and Tim Jones's work.
- Although Jeff and Lester had a brief appearance in this episode they still were fantastic. The "In our crew buddy," line by Lester in that singsong voice cracked me up. I think that'd be Casey's worst nightmare.
- Did anyone else sort of laugh during the scene where Sarah's red test was on several screens? I man there was an echo and definitely some editing done. I'm thinking Shaw's been hiding some video skills.
- I felt Mark Christopher Lawrence was great in that scene with Joshua Gomez and he delivered the line about Jeff and Lester perfectly. For the record, I give a damn about them.
- I personally love Casey and Morgan interactions (can't wait for more!) and the fact that it was a pep talk from Morgan that made Casey sign on for the rescue mission made it even better.
- Bonita Friedericy, or General Beckman, nailed it in this episode. She often isn't given credit but I'm gladly giving it to her for the pajama scene alone. I think her obvious pained expression in telling Morgan he was part of the team was on the money and her presence in an episode is always valued by me.
- I did miss Ellie and Awesome. Honestly so much happened in this episode that I didn't need them per se but I would like to see where their story is headed.
- Will the Ring get more interesting? I hope so as it started to pick up in this episode but I'm missing the on-screen evilness of Fulcrum.
- Best Line: What to choose from!? So many options so I'll pick three:
- "No Chuck, yes...Chuck I fell for you a long, long time ago after you fixed my phone and before you started desfusing bombs with computer viruses. So yes. Yes."
- "...You're still Chuck. You're still my Chuck."
- "And the tank, the tank. Cancel the tank."
Alright I'm finally done rambling. So how did this rank in terms of overall Chuck episodes? Make it into the top 5? That elite #1 spot? What was your favorite part?