Chuck vs. the Everything He Ever Wanted
Chuck and Sarah are finally together, romancing their way across Europe. But is the spy life the life they truly want, or is it time for them to leave it all behind for love? Not if evil can help it.
So, what's it like to finally get what you want? No, I'm not just talking about Chuck Bartowski, who's now an official spy with an official spy girlfriend - I'm talking about you/me, the fans, who've been clamoring for Chuck and Sarah to get together since the first season. Now that they're - "honeymooning" on a train, shuttling through the French countryside, having reams of sex - what has that done to the tension, to the frisson of not being together? Me, I'm okay with it, provided we get to see Yvonne Strahovski in more lingerie. I'm a simple man, who enjoys simple pleasures.
But Chuck and Sarah are removed from their support system, willingly. Cut off from Gen. Beckman, Casey, Morgan, and Ellie and Awesome - who are about to skip off to Africa -w the two lovebirds are willing to leave the spy game behind and travel the world together. Until the spy game comes and finds them on the train. A Basque terrorist who needs nailing is enough to get Shuck (or should it be Charah?) to put their pants back on and saddle up.
With her two sauciest spies AWOL, Beckman tasks the balance of Team Bartowiski to bring them in. Morgan and Casey, on the road again - and, verily, making like a Hope and Crosby Road picture - winging it over to Europe. No, not for a second do I buy that they're in Europe. Even Vancouver sells Europe better than this, but I don't care all that much. Chuck has always existed as sort of a poor-man's ideal of what international espionage feels like, and that meta-ness goes all the way down to the locations. Never having been overseas, Chuck is what Chuck would think Europe looks like.
We get plenty of pseudo-derring-do, with Shuck handcuffed together - twice - taking down the Interpol agents who were guarding their Basque baddie (oops), and then dispatching the real baddies who wanted Mr. Basque for themselves. Sure, it's done with a sort of DIY panache, but that's not why we watch Chuck. No, we watch for the chemistry, and it was in fine form. Morgan got to show his quality, as both a spy and a travel companion ("In my head, the only reason the plane remains aloft is because I'm rooting for it"); Casey's ice-man exterior keeps melting, incrementally; Jeffster rocking it unplugged for the Awesomes going-away party; and, finally, Chuck giving Sarah her new favorite song, Nina Simone's "Feeling Good."
"Chuck versus the Honeymooners" felt almost like a pilot, itself: it recodified the premise of the show - how do an exclusively dating pair of spies navigate both their work and their lives?- putting us back at square one so that we could begin anew. Not too many shows get to redefine themselves a couple of years in. However, the question remains: Where do we go from here? Well, if Nina Simone's playing, it almost doesn't matter.