CHUCK vs. The Break Up - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK vs. The Break Up

October 14, 2008 by  


Okay, so I am going to make this like a Choose Your Own Adventure, which I loved as a kid. If you’d like the rundown on why I love Strahan, scroll to the bottom (but come back!). If you could care less, keep reading and skip the last paragraph.

Wow, you guys. This episode was made of win for me. (Is that a common internet expression, or just comment on the nerd sites that I frequent?) I know I was a little underwhelmed last week, but this one was every bit as good as the season opener for me. It had EVERYTHING.

Let’s start with the Buy More, since I’ve already about peed myself with excitement over seeing Strahan. (Sexy, right? Yeah!) Can I just say that I generally LOVE this show’s guest stars? And it was nice to see one of my favorite dudes being put to good use in his retirement. I always get a little tickled when the show talks about/interacts with other stores because it just sort of feels like what retail/customer service/food industry life is like. And when Strahan picked Morgan up to yell at him, I laughed really hard. And I think Strahan was trying really hard NOT to laugh really hard. I thought I was going to get really sick of Lester as assistant manager in a hot hurry, but it’s actually been really fun and brought out what a little bitch he is, so I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. Although I do miss Lester and Jeff screwing around all the time.

I also cracked up that cage fighting got brought back into it. I laughed like a maniac and Billy commented that cage fights are definitely my favorite recurring thing this season. Absolutely. And when Anna got in there and Strahan said he didn’t fight girls and Anna said she didn’t either … LOVE. Her tripod fighting skills were amazing, and when she ran up on that wall and Casey had that mildly amused-slash-impressed face, I loved that too.

I think something that I’ve really enjoyed about the Buy More this season, and it’s always in little tiny glimpses, which I think is just the right amount, is that we get to see a different side of Casey. It’s like he’s relaxing a little bit at the Buy More, and he doesn’t have to be SO bad ass, he can just be the guy watching cage fights or death by Twinkies. Or, you know, hitting on single white females who are pining for the beastmaster (me! me! me!). It’s just nice to see him this season really start to become multi-dimensional.

I felt like the Buy More plot was completely separate from the spy plot this week, and I liked that and thought it was a good choice. There was enough going on in the spy plot that some comedic relief was much welcomed and appreciated.

So the spy plot this week was technically about getting some Intersect upgrade chip from Fulcrum but in actuality, it was about Sarah going soft because she loves Chuck. Oh, and Bryce was there too.

Obviously, Sarah isn’t the same girl Bryce remembers, and it’s true that her job is to protect Chuck, but it’s obviously going further than that and she’s making emotional decisions, which worries both Bryce and Casey. And, I think to a lesser extent, Chuck himself. I was glad to see Sarah still get all bad ass at the hospital because she was girling it up so much during this episode that I think it would’ve been easy to bury how awesome she is in all that. But when she was in a hospital bed with a concussion and threw that huge guy down and said, “I’m only gonna ask this one time—where’s your boss?” it was truly incredible. I just do not think they could’ve picked anyone better to play Sarah. This girl has got it all.

I’m kind of surprised to find myself conflicted about my feelings on Bryce. I did love the gag with the entrances, and he did give Captain Awesome a really good chance to shine. (Again, super props on the casting—whoever cast this show needs a serious raise.) I do wish we could’ve seen a little more of Bryce being jealous that Sarah loves Chuck now (I love vengeance, what can I say?), but maybe convincing Chuck that he was bad for her was his way of acting out. I know that Bryce has been shown in the past to have good motives and to be looking out for Chuck, but I still get this vague sense that he’s a bad guy, you know? And then the question is … do I just WANT to think that, or is it actually there? So when he slipped Chuck the spy glasses, knowing he’d try them on and be a dork in front of the mirror just to give him the update for the intersect, and Chuck fell over and said, “I hate Bryce Larkin,” I kind of knew exactly how he felt. I mean, what was UP with that? Did Bryce do that on his own? Did the CIA make him? I was a little confused but I still wanted to kick some Bryce ass.

I really love the things they’re doing with Chuck, too. I love how he’s becoming a real-but-extremely-awkward spy, with people thinking he’s Casey’s boss, bringing up the 4.5 million dollar duffel bag to save the upgrade and Sarah and Casey, and him negotiating his own deal to get the upgrade. Hello, did everyone LOVE the whole exchange about … the exchange (“please allow myself to introduce … myself”)? I was so cracked up by them talking about how weird the spy stuff is and then agreeing to go on three, or maybe after three. Casey looked so annoyed but totally used to it, whereas Bryce seemed a little WTF (didn’t he? Did I imagine that?).

And again, my Casey love reigns supreme, and I loved how he yelled at Chuck for giving away 4.5 million dollars of taxpayer money (which, don’t even get me started on how that is peanuts compared to how the real government wastes taxpayer money, which I think we can all agree on), and had to sneak up and shoot the Fulcrum agent, while holding the guy who had the upgrade in the first place AND carrying the duffel bag. He really is not kidding when he says he never gets a break, and Billy and I got a good laugh out of that.

Alright, I saved the best for last. I know a mini-discussion broke out in the comments last week about whether or not there’s a happy ending for Chuck and Sarah (which we probably all agree that there IS, but not until the very end). When Chuck was talking, it was really sweet to picture them loving each other without the intersect in his head, but then he started talking about how he’d never really know anything about her, and how she might be off taking bad guys down with a fork in Paraguay, and he wanted a normal, relatively sane life and that it was never going to happen because she’s too special, basically. I love how they’ve changed the Chuck and Sarah angst from last season, which was basically everyone in denial to just Sarah in denial. And I was super impressed that while Chuck was obviously jealous of Bryce during the lambada (and seriously, that WAS pretty hot, was it not? I mean, not Chuck-and-Sarah-kiss-in-front-of-John-Laroquette hot, but still, hot.), there was no internal conflict on Sarah’s part. She knows that she’s in love with Chuck and at this point, she’s just trying to keep it together until he’s no longer the intersect, even though there aren’t even any guarantees with that either. Sarah is obviously an incredible spy and really natural at it, and I’m sure is really satisfied by her job, but her consistent weakness is caring about people, and those two things are usually incompatible, but are now directly at odds with each other. I mean, that’s great tension for a character—really full and multi-faceted, I’d say. Deep.

And seriously, y’all, that is where Chuck is KILLING it for me this year. Last season, I would’ve said that this is a funny show that does a good job with the action/comedy genre (not that there’s a lot out there to compare it to) but that didn’t necessarily have a lot of substance. Not so this time around. They’ve managed to make the Buy More characters loveable and obnoxious (but still funny!) at the same time, which is no easy feat. They’ve taken Casey, who was a pretty one-dimensional character last season, and added some layers to him (and ramped up the humor with him). They changed the dynamic of Sarah and Chuck’s relationship while keeping the tension, and they’ve given this show a long-term future. When I think about this show, I just think about what a good job they do balancing the completely absurd with the very, very real and how it somehow comes out sweet, touching, funny, heartbreaking, exciting … I mean, how do they DO that?

Alright, so the Strahan story is this—I am originally from Indianapolis and a huge Colts fan. Our big rivals are the Patriots (sorry, Kath). Like, in Indianapolis, half of being a Colts fan is loving the Colts and the other half is hating the Patriots. When we beat them a couple years to go to the Super Bowl, it was more exciting and chaotic in Indy than when we actually WON the Super Bowl. So last year when the Colts didn’t go to the Super Bowl (and let’s face it, choked in the playoffs), we were mostly content in Indy to root for the Giants, because a.) Eli Manning is basically the entire city of Indianapolis’s Little Bro, and b.) who doesn’t love a good underdog? So when they made it to the Super Bowl against the evil Patriots (sorry again, Kath), we were all pumped, and when they actually won, again, it was more mayhem in Indy than when our own team actually won. During all of this, Strahan WON MY HEART, and I mean SERIOUSLY! He was hysterical during all the pregame stuff, and you can’t possibly look at the guy and NOT feel instant happiness and joy. The real moment, though, was when he opened up his locker to show off his Tom Brady Stetson cologne.[GMMR:  Ouch!!]

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


20 Responses to “CHUCK vs. The Break Up”

  1. littlebit on October 14th, 2008 1:22 pm

    can you imagine what would have happened if ellie figured out that was bryce … oh man.

    good ep, but still bummed for the chuckster. it’d be nice to see him win one every once and a while.

    what about the casey-based webisode? priceless.

  2. SB on October 14th, 2008 1:27 pm

    Would you guys believe that I’m the worst fan in the world and haven’t watched the webisodes yet? Eeek! My day job computer doesn’t have sound and when I’m on my home computer, I’m so busy editing pictures from weddings that I forget to do other (more important?) stuff. 🙂 I’m going to make that my goal this week.

  3. Kimber on October 14th, 2008 1:28 pm

    Wow – again, great Chuck review. I love reading them!

    Last night’s episode … total WIN for me too. And no, I don’t think it’s just a nerd site word (though I had to figure it out for myself when I got into the LiveJournal scene last year, and had no idea why people were saying things were “for the win”, or FTW – which I had a different on idea on the meaning…). I am LOVING the Lester this season. Totally loving. Kath told me that he had a big part (which I was unsure about, since he doesn’t seem to be in ANY of the cast shots on the NBC site! Gasp!!), but I never imagined this. Totally awesome that his little bitch has been released.

    And Anna kicking ass in the cage fight? Another win. I have got the biggest crush on her, and watching her kick ass was amazing. Also, Casey checking up on her and Chuck’s face (and comment) when he suggested her for field work … priceless!

    So many good things to this episode, and you totally summed them all up, so I’ll just agree with it all. And on the Sarah/Chuck front … *sigh*. I was extremely sad and had tears welling in my eyes when Chuck gave Sarah the speech about how he used to see them in the future, when he was just a “normal guy”. And how he knows now that it’s not possible because he doesn’t know her at all. That just sucks. I mean … I do think they will end up together, but again – not until the end of the show. I always end up conflicted with my “ships” on TV, because on one hand I want them together forever, being happy – but on the other hand I know it’s not always possible. I have also been traumatized by way too many shows that put people together only to screw with them in unimaginable ways. So … end of the series hook ups are really, really nice. Angsty for the viewers – but nice.

  4. Kimber on October 14th, 2008 1:32 pm

    I’m also still ticked that the webisodes are only for US viewers, when OBVIOUSLY people exist outside of the US and are Chuck fans. Psht.

  5. bubblewrap on October 14th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Great review- I loved last nights episode. This show has really turned from good to great for me. I can’t wait from week to week to watch it now.

  6. SB on October 14th, 2008 2:39 pm

    Bubblewrap, I could not have said it better–it’s gone from gone from good to great for me too. Last season I was just sort of watching and being entertained, but this season, it’s EASILY in my top five.

    Awww, Kimber. Hopefully they’ll put them on the DVD. I’m glad someone else is sharing my Anna love right now, and I totally forgot to mention Casey’s phone call in the recap, but you’re right, totally hilarious. Can you imagine both Chuck AND Morgan dating bad ass girl spies? The fun this show has with gender roles …

    I’ve never really been a huge shipper … which is weird, given that I love TV. And I mean, I root for couples and WANT couples to happen (i.e. Pacey and Joey, back in the day), but it usually is such a small part of my overall viewing that I can’t really label myself as such. Although I will say that there might not have been a more satisfying moment in my TV watching life than when Tim and Dawn got together on the UK Office.

  7. Mary on October 14th, 2008 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the recap. I agree – Chuck’s character is really gaining confidence this season, and it’s…wait for it…awesome.

    As for the new chip being stuck in his brain via Bryce’s sunglasses, I think Bryce did that to protect Chuck from being eliminated. Remember, he said that he’s always looking out for Chuck. And as an agent, Bryce would probably know (as should Sarah, but that’s another discussion) that the agency would order him to be killed once he’s no longer needed as the Intersect. So by giving him the update, Bryce is protecting Chuck.

  8. SB on October 14th, 2008 3:14 pm

    I really like that interpretation, Mary, although it does add to my confusion of “Bryce is probably a good guy but I hate him”. 🙂

  9. Mandy on October 14th, 2008 3:24 pm

    I loved last nights episode.

    I agree with Mary. I think Bryce knew that there was an order put out to have Chuck eliminated once the new intersect was up and running. I also think Bryce really does care about Chuck and wants to protect him, but he’s not too happy about the Sarah/Chuck connection.

  10. Kimber on October 14th, 2008 4:28 pm

    Interesting theory, Mary. But I agree! Even though I hate Bryce’ constant appearance in Chuck (and Sarah’s) lives, I think he does have Chuck’s best interest at heart. I was having a Chuck-athon this past weekend, and rewatched Chuck vs. The Alma Mater. It really drove home that Bryce likes Chuck, and probably wants to protect him in a big brother type way (not sure of the age difference, or if there even is one).

    And SB, I’m really hoping for someone (maybe NBC???) to put the Webisodes up on iTunes or YouTube. They’ve been great with getting promos and other things up, so why not the webisodes? If not, I like your idea of having them on the S2 DVDs as an extra.

  11. SB on October 14th, 2008 5:03 pm

    So, I gave up the posh life this year to go live the dream, which I suppose is good but it does mean that I can’t afford to just go buy whatever I want, and that has REALLY included TV on DVD. I don’t even have The Office yet! But I also don’t have Chuck, even though I could totally go for a rewatch, and I don’t know what kinds of special features they did. Anybody have input there?

    I’m not sure, but I would guess that promos are easier to put on YouTube than webisodes after the whole writer’s strike thing. I would think that the writers get paid a percentage of ad revenue from the studio site or something, and probably get a cut from DVDs, iTunes, etc. So it seems like they COULD put the webisodes on iTunes but I wonder if they don’t because of a cost issue … like, would you pay .99 for a webisode when you pay 2.99 or whatever for a full episode, which is like … five or six times longer? So it seems like the best option might be to bundle them all together at the end of the webisode run and sell them like that.

    Obviously, all I’m doing right now is talking out of my ass. I have no idea if any of that is even remotely true.

  12. Bryan on October 14th, 2008 11:39 pm

    Ok… this is coming out of left field, but I totally think that Bryce is a good guy. Despite my total adoration for him… Here’s what I think.

    …Bryce sent the intersect to Chuck in the first place. Why is that? Well, from what I can gather. It seems that Bryce knows (deep down) that Chuck is a better man than he is. *flashbacks of when Bryce protected Chuck from being recruited*

    …I totally agree with Mary. Bryce gave Chuck the update to protect him from being ‘out dated’.

    I was also glad, SB, that Sarah actually opened a can of whoop-ass on the agent posing as a doctor. She was becoming a bit too girly.

    Oh, and was it just me, but the scene with Bryce and Awesome was a bit of a turn on? 😛

    Miss you tons SB!!

  13. SB on October 15th, 2008 9:35 am

    Oh, BRYAN! But at least you made your case. And I suppose if you’re into the whole pain thing, the Awesome and Bryce scene could have been a turn on. So now I have THAT info about you. 🙂

    Me and Billy were talking about how this show has really become one of our favorites this year. I think the show has gotten a lot better, but I think he might just think everything else has gone downhill. Such are the differences between me and Billy. 🙂

  14. Jen (HIMYM) on October 15th, 2008 1:01 pm

    Fantastic recap. Wow, this episode was top-notch! There is no sophomore slump here, it is sophomore kicking arse! They have found the perfect balance with Chuck/Sarah, Casey’s sides, Buy More/spy stuff, just everything. I really believe this show continually gets better and better as it has found its footholdings. The guest stars are just perfect matches too. I’m actually excited about Nicole Richie.

  15. SB on October 15th, 2008 2:38 pm

    I actually am too, Jen–I never found Nicole as untolerable as Paris, and I think she’ll be a great former high school bitch. Plus, I REALLY hope we find out some actual information about Sarah. That would make my life.

  16. Give Me My Remote on October 15th, 2008 2:43 pm

    There’s going to be a lot more you learn about Sarah…a lot.

  17. SB on October 15th, 2008 5:33 pm

    Kath, you are SUCH A TEASE! Thankfully, I’m a spoilerphobe, so I’m only like … minorly tempted.

  18. Deirdre on October 16th, 2008 11:29 am

    This show needs more viewers. It’s definitely should be in the top 10 shows. It has action, unexpected twists, drama, romance, etc etc…so why are so many people not watching? I am constantly telling people to watch and will continue to do so.
    This was a great episode. My two favorite parts…Anna’s cage fighting…she was awesome…”I have Bryce Larkin”…that was a much needed laugh after the breakup with Sarah.

  19. SB on October 16th, 2008 12:57 pm

    I am totally with you, Deirdre. This show has rocketed up my favorites list this season.

    I think Chuck might be one of those shows where people think that they have to be into action and spy stuff to like it, whereas those plots tend to be more a vehicle for comedy and character dramas. And I don’t think people really understand how funny it is. And I totally say that as a comedy snob. 🙂

  20. tessa on October 17th, 2008 1:04 am

    For those of you who can’t watch the webisodes because of not living in the U.S., check out the instructions on for viewing the Office deleted scenes outside of the U.S. (just find one of the deleted scene posts, it should be linked right below where the viewer should be). If it works for the Office, it should work for Chuck since they are both NBC shows.

    Also, I loved the episode, and, SB, I am so glad that someone else loved the Casey duffel bag retrieval as much as I did. I was laughing so hard, because the fact that it wasn’t mentioned – it was just there, like ‘of course Casey would get the $ back, too’ was just awesome. My favorite part of the episode, I think.