Chuck versus The Tooth' Season 3, Episode 16 Recap: More reasons why 'Chuck' deserves renewal

It's funny how life doesn't exactly imitate art - er, TV - but sometimes echoes it. No sooner does my colleague Michael Ausiello report that shaky-ratings-plagued Chuck seems on the verge of renewal than the series airs a rich episode about a shakily emotional Chuck that gave us renewed reasons for why it should stay on the air.

A whole lot happened last night. Maybe too much for the hour's own good. Ranging from a psychiatric exploration of what the Intersect is doing to Chuck's head to yanking Ellie into the show's ever-expanding spy world, Chuck found little time to use the return of Julia Ling's Anna Wu as more than a few comic scenes at the Buy More. It was the opposite of closure for a character.

The show continued to have Chuck and Sarah exploring their new closeness (he'll say 'I love you'; she can't bring herself to do it until the end of the hour) even as Chuck is plagued with bad dreams including visions of an undead Shaw (Brandon Routh back, it seems, now as a villain). The idea that dreams, visions, and the stuff the Intersect does to Chuck's mind would combine to mix and take a toll on his mental health is both interesting and realistic in a show that's usually so whimsical.

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