'Chuck' Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

Every great show is entitled a clunker or two. Sadly, 'Chuck' delivered one of those clunkers tonight, fittingly since the title of the episode ('Chuck Versus the Cubic Z') refers to a clunker of an engagement ring. It's fine that the episode was essentially a bottle episode meant to cut down location costs to spend in other areas of the season. The show often benefits from a smaller scope and a greater focus on character. But whether it was in the Buy More proper or down below in Castle, very little in tonight's episode held much excitement, suspense, or surprise.

In theory, dropping two members of the show's Rogue's Gallery into Castle should have worked like gangbusters, especially when one of them (Heather Chandler) arrived at the precise moment in which Sarah is freaking out over Chuck's dreams of a white picket fence, 2.5 babies, and a 'Tron' poster in the family room. But rather than let Heather's presence comment indirectly on the relationship, 'Cubic Z' used her to directly prod and poke Sarah in front of an oddly clueless Chuck. The best missions in the show are augment by the interpersonal relationships between the characters, forcing them to make choices that reveal motivation and intent. The worst ones, such as tonight, shine a big spotlight on these relationships in the form of exposition.

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