CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. the Masquerade - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. the Masquerade

February 21, 2011 by  

After feeling a bit underwhelmed by the last two filler episodes of CHUCK, tonight’s episode felt especially triumphant. Jam packed with story, “Chuck vs. the Masquerade” was a great kickoff to the remainder of the sen son.

Given the theme of tonight’s episode, I have to wonder why the writer’s opted for “vs. the Masquerade” rather than “vs. the Third Wheel”. Titular issues aside, both Morgan and Casey were feeling a little odd man out to the all mighty entity that is Chuck and Sarah.

After Morgan called out Casey for being relegated to bartender duty on yet another mission, John’s ego was more than a little bruised. As NCS director Jane Bentley (Robin Givens) aptly pointed out, Casey was brought on to the team because he was the NSAs best sharp shooter. – he’s certainly capable of more than pouring potent potables while on missions. Casey is a team player, but given how often he’s been put on the backburner as of late, you can’t help the guy for wanting a little more.

While I’m a bit on the fence about the presence of Jane Bentley, I have to applaud the writers for using her to address one of the biggest issues of this season of CHUCK. Since Chuck and Sarah became an official twosome, it seems that the writers have spent too much time making them into Mr. and Mrs. Smith, leaving Casey to hang behind with Morgan. Don’t get me wrong, I love the odd couple antics of Morgan and Casey, but I feel like we need a little old school Casey back. A few grunts here and there just aren’t cutting it. Chuck is a great spy, but let’s not forget who taught him what he knows. Ok, yes, I suppose the Intersect taught him a few tricks, but Chuck has learned a lot more about being a spy from Sarah and Casey than he has or will from the super-computer inside his brain.

It seems that Casey might have a rogue mission with Bentley’s NCS team. I know Casey’s feeling a bit left out these days, but someone should remind the man formerly known as Alex Coburn what happens when he takes rogue assignments.

Morgan’s situation may not be as dire, but little buddy is feeling like maybe it’s time to grow up and let Chuck and Sarah live there lives as a soon to be married couple. While I was glad it was Morgan’s own decision to move out, I think I’ll miss the roommate shenanigans of Chuck and Morgan. Given that the guys have been best friends since they were kids and work together for the CIA (and at the Buy More), I have no doubt that we’ll see plenty of Chuck and Morgan frivolity in the future. But despite how happy Han Solo is going to be living happily ever after with Princess Leia, I’m sure he’s going to miss having Chewbacca around every day.

Perhaps not feeling like a third wheel, but relating to the feeling of being left behind was Volkoff’s daughter, Vivian. It seems dear old dad forgot to tell his little girl that he was the head of a global criminal organization. Oops. Having been shipped off to boarding school at a young age, Vivian never really knew her father and had no idea of his dastardly deeds. But perhaps being a big bad is in the blood. Although Vivian started off innocent and unaware of the family business, all indications point to daddy’s little girl deciding to pick up where Volkoff left off. It seems Vivienne holds the key (literally) to Volkoff Industries. I don’t know what was behind door number one, but I can’t imagine that it’s good. I wonder how Chuck will react when he realizes that by encouraging Vivian to find her place in the world, he may have created his new worst enemy.

I’ve been trying really hard to avoid CHUCK spoilers this season, so I don’t know how long Vivian (Lauren Cohan) will be around this season, but I think she has the potential to be an interesting and complex character. Villain or not, I’d like to see a bit more of Viv.

Tonight’s episode kicked off three new storylines which will play out for the remainder of the season. All of which have me thoroughly intrigued. Yay! Welcome back, CHUCK.

Before I squeeze my teddy bear’s tummy and drift off to the sounds of Jeffster, here are a few more thoughts on tonight’s episode.

  • Tonight’s Valentine’s Day opening really set the mood for the rest of the episode. No, I’m not talking about the romance, but rather the laughter. Chuck and Morgan dorm room rules for wooing their ladies for V Day was funny stuff. You would think that at least one of the guys could spring for a night in a hotel, no?
  • I don’t know if I needed to see Morgan and Alex playing tantric pattycake or smearing chocolate on each other, but the payoff was well worth it. From Chuck and Sarah’s befuddled curiosity to the horror of Casey walking in on his daughter and spy partners in the midst of foreplay – the opening was one of the strongest in recent memory
  • would be smart to sell Zac Levi’s face on the “Love Machine” shirt. (I couldn’t help wonder if the ‘Love Machine’ was a little nod to Zac’s side business, the ‘Nerd Machine‘. Hmmm. BTW, I’m rocking my ‘NERD’ shirt from The Nerd Machine right now.)
  • Every week there seems to be more and more eye candy for CHUCK’s male audience. Sarah Walker in her red lingerie and Victoria’s Secret angel wings? Male fantasy overdrive.
  • Despite the incredibly awesome and vocal online fanbase, I’m not sure playing up to the online shippers is always the right move. I had a nice chuckle when Casey referred to Chuck and Sarah as ‘Charah’, but I’m sure there are plenty of fans who were quite confused. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, and I suppose it’s a nice nod to the fans, but it felt a little too fangirl meta to me.
  • Just when I was bummed that Lauren Cohan had been killed off of VAMPIRE DIARIES, she shows up on CHUCK.  Fair enough trade off. Lucky girl. I’ve liked her from her days on SUPERNATURAL (and I feel like I might have been the only one that liked her as Bela.)
  • Loved seeing Morgan and Sarah spending a little time one-on-one. Just sorry it didn’t work out better for them. But watching Sarah play dolls with Han and Chewy was hilarious. I had to watch that scene three times before I could go on. Yvonne Strahovski was spectacular!
  • Good to see that Ellie and Awesome had their own storyline tonight. We now know there are two things Awesome is not good at – (1) being a spy, (2) helping Baby Clara to sleep. Thanks goodness for Jeffster. Strike that, I’m pissed at Jeffster. It’s because of them that I’ve had Rusted Root’s ‘Send Me On My Way’ in me head all night. That song IS my sophomore year of college – go Stags!
  • Not to go all iMDB ‘goofs’ on you, but I couldn’t help notice two ‘oops’ in tonight’s episode of CHUCK. (1) It seems that the editing or effects department may have been listening to a bit too much Jeffster when they were putting the finishing touches on a certain scene tonight. When Boris spooks Sarah’s horse in the woods, the horse charges up in the air while Yvonne Strahovski’s stunt double holds on with all her might. Watch closely and you’ll see that the stunt double’s face has been blurred out, but Yvonne’s face wasn’t superimposed back on. Maybe they caught the mistake too late in the game to do anything about it. Maybe they didn’t think we’d notice. We did. (2) when Vivian shoots Boris with the gun that was attached to the horse’s saddle she used only one bullet, but when Boris hit the ground there were 9 bullet holes in his jacket. Unless that big bullet split apart a la the blue angry birds, I don’t think it did all that damage. Look, I’m not knocking the mistakes…they happen. The powers that be should just be lucky they have fans that pay attention. Ha!

That’s all from me tonight, folks.  A solid episode of CHUCK. There’s not much more a girl can ask for on a Monday night (well, there’s always getting the invite to join Chuck and Morgan for Monday game night, but I’m not holding my breath.)

Thoughts on tonight’s CHUCK?  Let’s hear it.


7 Responses to “CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. the Masquerade”

  1. gatinha on February 22nd, 2011 12:32 am

    I thought the gun Vivian used was a shotgun, that would explain the spread (although maybe not the size of the holes in his chest). Also, the shell that wass ejected looked like a shotgun shell. I also like the angry birds bullet theory.

    I liked the episode. I thought it was solid and I loved the addition, however temporary, of Lauren Cohan to the ensemble. It will be fun to see where this new storyline goes.

  2. Nervert on February 22nd, 2011 2:58 am

    Yep, it was a shotgun, though the pattern was a little to spread out for the distance she was to Boris.

  3. Karen on February 22nd, 2011 7:51 am

    looking forward to the 2nd viewing today ! But LOVED Sarah playing with Han and Chewy. Interested in Casey’s new NSA role???????

  4. aknuckey on February 22nd, 2011 8:39 am

    Vivian was likely using Buck shot shells in her shotgun. They hold about 7-9 pellets, which explains the several holes in Boris though only one shot was fired. They do say she was a trained hunter after all.

  5. Chuck Cuthbertson on February 22nd, 2011 10:24 am

    Loved the episode.

    Lots of humor, action, story. Perfect IMHO.


    BTW, are we ever going to see anymore on the G.R.E.T.A. contest?

  6. Paul on February 22nd, 2011 2:03 pm

    On the “goofs”, the first you pointed out was legitmate. They did blur out the face of the stunt double, and it was pretty obvious. The second is not a goof. Vivian shot Boris with a 12g shotgun using buckshot. With 7-12 pellets in a load, that would have made a bunch of holes in his chest with just one shot….although as ohters pointed out, the spread wouldn’t have been so distinct. At that range, the pellets would have been clustered much closer together.

  7. Michael S. on February 22nd, 2011 2:14 pm

    Awesome episode. Well put together and starts off on a new story arc. Is Vivian going to be bad, or good? And what exactly is Jane Bentley of the National Clandestine Service trying to recruit Casey for? She seems a little shady, I don’t trust her just yet. I absolutely love Chuck, that’s why I’ll only watch it in HD on my DISH Network service. As a DISH customer and employee I can tell you that DISH has more HD channels than any other provider, and the picture quality & price can’t be beat. I highly suggest checking it out. Oh, and where the heck has Mama B. been, and what trouble is she stirring up now?