CHUCK vs. Tom Sawyer - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK vs. Tom Sawyer

October 28, 2008 by  

Chuck Recap

Well, like everyone, I like to think of myself in a certain way. I like to think that I have good taste in music, that I would heroically rescue a box of kittens from a generic calamitous situation, that I am funny, and, possibly most importantly, that I possess somewhat above average intellect. Clearly, however, this is not the case, since I do not get the title of this week’s episode at all. My world is crumbling around me and all perceptions of myself are shattered. In the midst of this personal meltdown, can someone please explain it to me? [GMMR: I wish I could, but by the very nature of being a TV blogger, I’m not very book smart.  Ha!  Seriously….I didn’t get the title either.]

Title aside, I loved this episode! Chuck is killing it for me this year. I know it can’t happen all the time and nor would I want it to, but I do love these episodes they’ve been doing where the spy plots and the Buy More plots interact. And speaking of things that I know we can’t have all the time but that I really enjoyed this week … we got a Jeff-centric episode! Yay!

There are a lot of things that I know I say every week, but I remain completely impressed by the guest stars and what some might call “stunt casting” on Chuck. It’s so weird, because they get so many well-known guest stars and yet it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. I never feel taken out of the story or like I’m being winked at in an over-the-top way, and the actors always fit right in with the show. And to that end, me and Billy were THRILLED to see Buster Bluth (okay, Tony Hale) wander into the Buy More. It was a little bizarre to see him busting heads, albeit not at the Sarah level, but in a smarmy efficiency expert kind of way. I think making him an assistant manager was a great move to add some tension to Chuck’s life at the Buy More and I’m excited we get to see more of him.

I find myself laughing out loud and HARD at Chuck a lot this season. Last night, there were two things that really cracked me up. The first was when Chuck dumped Jeff on the couch and Ellie and Sarah stood there watching in disgust, and Jeff told Chuck to “take the brunette, I’m going to take a crack at the blonde,” and everyone just looked horrified. And as anyone who has ever had their sibling mistaken for their significant other, you know what a gross and weird and uncomfortable situation that is. (In my case, it was at a Wal-Mart portrait studio where my brother and I were just trying to get our pictures taken for my mom to hang in the hallway. I didn’t pick up on it at first, but the girl was trying to pose us with my brother’s hand on my shoulder and finally he said, “I don’t want to do that.” And the girl was like, “Ummm … why?” And he goes, “I don’t want to touch her, it makes me feel weird.” And then I finally caught on to what was happening. So yeah, I definitely identify.)

The other thing that KILLED me, and there’s a part of me that sincerely hopes that Apple paid them for this because it was EASILY the best product placement I’ve ever seen on a TV show, was when Chuck asked Morgan if he could find some Rush CDs and he said, “No need, I have them all loaded on my Zune.” And Chuck was all confused, and like, “You have a Zune?” And Morgan said, “No, I’m just kidding, but they are all on my iPod.” Hilarious!

Something else that I have been repeating about every week is how much better the character of Morgan has gotten this season. Billy commented on it last night too, which made me happy because I know he doesn’t watch it in the same way I do (which is with the intent of writing a recap). Morgan and Lester being worried about losing their best friends was hysterical, and when Lester suggested that maybe they should be best friends and Morgan told him not to get carried away, I thought that was great. I also loved when Chuck was wheeling in Missile Command and Morgan was jealous but Chuck was bringing him back around, and asking if Jeff had his own smoke machine, and Morgan finally broke, and was like, “No, but I do!” and then jumped right into help put it all together. I’m so, SO impressed that they finally got him right and not only that, but that they got him SO right.

Shockingly, I kind of had conflicting emotions about Jeff last night! I know, right? I didn’t know I could feel any emotions toward Jeff at all besides happiness and love. But it was a little sad to see him at his prime (and that it involved a mullet and mustache), and it was a little sad too when Chuck dethroned him as the greatest Missile Command player ever. But it was also kind of happy, because you didn’t get the feeling that Jeff was particularly sad about his Missile Command days being in the past, and he was such a gracious loser to Chuck. And I was glad that having the pressure off of him allowed him to play Missile Command for fun again.

But all of my emotions aside, Jeff was still really funny. Did anyone else notice when Chuck asked Jeff if he wanted to go get a beer and he said no, but he could be convinced to go for twelve beers, that Chuck made a TOTAL Jim Halpert face? I might not have noticed it but I had to pause the DVR at that exact moment and there was Chuck, lips pressed together, eyebrows raised and eyes wide, as Hapert-esque as they come.

[GMMR: Is this the face your were talking about?]

And then there was Jeff’s weird list of demands. I still want to know how they convinced Anna to don the grass skirt, especially since she did NOT look happy about it. I hope she got a good trade out of it.

Speaking of Anna, how hilariously weird and creepy was Jeff’s musical montage? I especially loved the pair of pictures of her going into the bathroom and her coming out of the bathroom. This whole Anna and Jeff bit has been really funny this season—I loved how Buster/Emmett asked about the chain of command and she responded, “Well, there’s pretty much Chuck, and then everyone else. And then Jeff.” And THAT reminds me that I died when Buster/Emmett scribbled “Prostitute?” on Anna’s evaluation. The secondary characters have come alive this year!

As far as the main characters go, we didn’t necessarily get a lot of any of them except for Chuck, and even then, it was a little unusual because he was running around like the proverbial headless chicken the whole time, but what we did get was quality. I could not even HANDLE the awesomeness that was Casey in a Nerd Herd outfit, but then Sarah showed up and OH. MY. GOD. I would have totally been in the legions of people standing around staring at her. And for sure, she is a gorgeous girl, and they have made her look smashing on many occasions, but I was still completely blown away. It’s like, we’ve seen her as classy and beautiful, and to some extent pretty and innocent/girl-next-door type (and not in the Hefner way), but here was pure sex. And I loved it.

Have I ever gotten distracted from Casey discussion before? That’s a total testament to Sarah’s foxiness! But anyway, I loved when he turned the TV off of Ellie and Sarah and told Chuck it wasn’t polite to spy. I like those little human Casey moments where he displays social graces. I also like how sometimes even when he doesn’t have lines or is just kind of in a scene, he still makes funny acting choices. When all the Buy More employees were lined up in front of Buster/Emmett, Casey looked completely not intimidated at all, and also like he kind of enjoyed the thought of the assistant manager of the Buy More elbow deep in guts.

The Ellie worrying about Chuck C-plot was good … I always like when Ellie and Awesome are around, and I like seeing her be kind of girlfriends with Sarah. My only complaint about it is that it seemed to come a little bit out of left field. But I forgive that entirely because I loved the part where she asked Awesome if he thought Chuck was on drugs, and Awesome thought about it for a second and said, “That would explain a lot.”

And finally, Sarah. Apart from her hotness, she was really great this week also. I loved how she trusts Chuck, and how she’s so proud of his accomplishments. And it was nice to see her and Casey arrange for Chuck to get his diploma. I thought Sarah did a great job of looking a tiny bit guilty when Ellie said that Chuck was reverting back to The Morgan Years, and when she pointed out the satellite being exploded on the horizon and told Chuck to make a wish on it, it was his. Those two have a great dynamic, and I love that there is romantic tension that can be extended without feeling contrived.

I keep saying it and saying it and saying it, but this show has REALLY climbed the list of my favorite shows this year. It is easily in the top five, and maybe in the top three. Outstanding job to everyone involved.

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.

Filed under Chuck, Chuck Recaps


25 Responses to “CHUCK vs. Tom Sawyer”

  1. apster on October 28th, 2008 11:25 am

    “Tom Sawyer” is the name of the Rush song that the video game was synced to:

    A modern day warrior
    Mean mean stride
    Today’s Tom Sawyer
    Mean mean pride…

    don’t ask why I know this…

  2. hockeybychoice on October 28th, 2008 11:30 am

    The Rush song Chuck had to use to get to the kill screen is called “Tom Sawyer”.

  3. Tim G. on October 28th, 2008 11:35 am

    My favorite face was the one Chuck gave as Casey was saying, “Don’t be ridiculous, these people are in their 40s now! They have jobs, wives…”

    Just that silent shaking of his head as he stands behind Jeff.

  4. SB on October 28th, 2008 11:42 am

    OMG, Tim, I totally forgot about that part! I loved it too!

    And thank you guys, that makes so much more sense! Me and Billy were thoroughly entertained that a Rush baseball jersey played such an integral part of the climax in the story. And here I thought I was missing a literary reference!

  5. SB on October 28th, 2008 12:13 pm

    Whoa, I just noticed the Halpertface picture, and YES, that is EXACTLY the face! Kath for the win!

  6. bubblewrap on October 28th, 2008 12:19 pm

    Last nights episode was good- I really liked getting a backstory on Jeff. Oh and I totally caught the Jim Halpert face too! And I died laughing at the creepy Anna montage. I think it was the combination of the music and all the random pictures

  7. Jen (HIMYM) on October 28th, 2008 12:55 pm

    This was a fantastic episode! When I first read the title, I was “huh?” but then when Morimoto (where have I heard that name before 😉 hehe) mentioned the band Rush, I had an “Oooooh hahaaaaa” moment.

    Jeff is a strange character and for the writers to have an episode that revolved around Jeff and be THIS good, kudos! There is a fine line and they were no where near that fine line.

    Morgan’s innate weirdness has been more subtle lately. Like they have Chuck bring it up rather than Morgan being overtly strange, which makes Morgan more likable than the first season. Tony Hale is a great addition.

    I loved that Chuck is the go-to person at the Buy More. Even when he’s out doing the spy thing (how did no one mention the beginning with Chuck waking up with a fake passport and mustache?!!), they still wait for him to figure out what they should do.

  8. Stapler on October 28th, 2008 1:03 pm

    Great recap about last night’s CHUCK. Ya know, I’ve been trying so hard to keep up with all the shows I watch/tape on a regular basis that I haven’t had time to really digest them all. Your review totally captured how I’ve been feeling about CHUCK this season. The show has gotten so much better! Instead of just a villian-of-the-week/action show, the relationships and secondary characters have slowly been developed and the show is lots more enjoyable. I’m really liking the direction it’s going in and look forward to seeing each new episode!

  9. littlebit on October 28th, 2008 2:31 pm

    so today i have that rush song stuck in my head and i really want it to leave … quickly! any suggestions for its replacement will be greatly appreciated.

    another great episode of chuck. loved casey as a nerd herder.

    by the way — did anyone notice that captain awesome was the guy in the bar on sunday night’s mad men episode?

  10. Kimber on October 28th, 2008 2:31 pm

    Well, this is what I get for being late to the party and working instead of catching up on my blogs. I’m the 9th commenter! Gasp!

    Having said that – Chuck was amazing again last night. So many great moments, great quotes, and hilarity to be had by all. I was so excited that I knew the meaning behind “Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer”, but sadly my tardiness means I’m well behind other music-smart people. I admit, as a teen I had an obsession with Rush, hence knowing the song.

    I, too, love that the supporting cast is getting a great role this year. We’ve had much love to Lester, with the Asst Manager thing, and now Jeff? Fabulouso. I’m hoping Morgan is next! I’d like to know a bit more about him and Anna. (Together and separately). Jeff’s Anna “music video” was interesting(ly creepy!). I mean, ok, Anna is smokin’ hot, but c’mon … that was bordering on stalker!

    As a non-Office watcher (I know, I know … I’ve tried many times, but never become addicted), I was surprised to catch myself comparing Chuck’s increasing facial expressions to Jim Halpert. So true!! That pic GMMR posted? That is SO it!

    Ah. So much more to chat about, but I’ll go along with what everyone else said. I especially dug Morgan and Lester being upset about Chuck and Jeff’s “relationship”, and the result of Chuck convincing Morgan he’s cooler than Jeff. Too funny!!

  11. Jen (HIMYM) on October 28th, 2008 2:53 pm

    Yes, I saw Capt Awesome on Mad Men too! I actually watched it right before Chuck so I was extremely excited. My roommate heard me shriek during Mad Men and then I paused (an unfortunate facial pause for Capt Awesome) to show my roommate during Chuck so she would understand the handsomeness that is Ryan. Is it sad to admit I watched that Fran Drescher show on the WB for him? If so, then I’m going into hiding.

  12. BrokenBrain on October 28th, 2008 4:14 pm

    Thanks for the recap since I missed the ep and will have to catch it online. Chuck has been fantastic so far this season.

  13. SB on October 28th, 2008 4:50 pm

    Jen, re: the mustache, I think I hate mustaches so much, especially the gross variety Chuck was sporting, that I must have blocked it out. 🙂

    Kimber, I would only disagree with you on one point–there was nothing “borderline” about the stalking there! 🙂

    I’m glad there are so many smart music people around here. I knew the song but I guess I never knew the name of it OR that it was Rush. Tucking that one away into the trivia archives!

  14. Kimber on October 28th, 2008 5:21 pm

    Ha, okay. You got me there, SB. Jeff’s obsession with Anna = not at all borderline. More freakish and creepy.

  15. Becky on October 28th, 2008 5:35 pm

    Thank you for the recap. I really enjoyed the episode. I’m loving Chuck a whole bunch this year. not every show manages to get watched by me on the night it comes on and Chuck is definitely one of those. It was definitely awesome. Ha.

    i agree about Morgan. he’s not nearly as bad as he was last year. Although I didn’t necessarily hate him last year. Love me some Casey. i want a Casey centric episode.

    I also loved how everybody that works there knows that Chuck is the heart of the buy more. Also – I would have loved to see Casey’s interview with the efficiency consultant. Wonder what he would’ve written for him. 🙂

  16. JennyL on October 28th, 2008 7:21 pm

    Chuck has been one of those shows for me this year that I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep watching (Monday nights are so busy!)…but it keeps getting better and better this season!

    I loved that the second tier (Ellie/Awesome) AND third tier (Jeff/Morgan/Anna) all were able to hold their own storylines without the central characters…and they were interesting and funny, too!!! It was very nice twist that Chuck got his diploma – maybe Ellie will lay off Chuck for a while. (TWSS.) (Ewwww – brother and sister.)

  17. Denise (ddker) on October 28th, 2008 8:39 pm

    I’m loving Chuck more and more every week and it is definitely in my top 3 shows (along with The Office and HIMYM).

    I decided last night that for Halloween when I hand out candy that I’m gonna wear a green polo shirt (gotta go buy one first) and pin a ‘Buy More’ logo on it 🙂

  18. Lisa (aka lmr) on October 29th, 2008 8:12 am

    Loving me some Chuck this season also. It was ‘B’ list for me last year but is now bumped up to ‘A’ list. Your recaps are part of the experience, SB, I’m really enjoying them.

  19. SB on October 29th, 2008 12:58 pm

    Awwww, LISA!!!! Your comment just made me a little emotional! I love you like an 1980-something Crown Vic. 🙂

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