CHUCK: Chuck Versus the Coup d'Etat' and the Return of the Angel De La Muerte - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK: Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat’ and the Return of the Angel De La Muerte

October 12, 2010 by  

Am I the only one that daydreams about being able to walk into the writers room of my favorite shows and air my grievances in the hopes that they will listen and my shows will be better off for it? I wouldn’t be so arrogant to think that I could do better than any of the CHUCK writers (I couldn’t – not by a long shot), but I’d love a shot at perhaps bringing in an outside perspective. I fear the writers are getting caught up in the same story elements every week and the show is suffering.

It’s probably a good idea to let you know up front that I didn’t hate “Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat”. While I’ve been enthusiastic about some episodes more than others, I don’t think I can say that I’ve ever hated an episode of CHUCK. It’s just not possible. Zachary Levi is too damn charming for me to not find something I loved. In fact, given my affection for the show, I try to make excuses for it from time to time. But when certain elements aren’t working for me, then I have to say that too. And I will, don’t you worry. But first can we talk about the awesomeness of John Casey?

The return of Angel De La Muerte was epic. John Casey has taken a back seat over the past few episodes and I was glad to see him return in such a legendary way tonight. The man sat in a wheelchair for most of the episode yet was still every bit as intimidating as he always is (just ask Morgan). CHUCK is at its best when Chuck, Sarah and Casey are working together. Having Casey ride the bench the past few weeks in favor of contrived Chuck and Sarah romance drama didn’t work. Here’s to hoping Casey is reunited with the gang for good.

Casey’s relationship with his daughter Alex and her budding relationship with Morgan is a storyline that I can get behind. Peeling back the layers of John Casey and exposing his emotional side has always served the character well. Being overprotective is in Casey’s very nature, so when you throw his little girl into the mix, I think we can all expect him to go to the extreme. Given that he has a quiet soft spot for Morgan, I’m interested to see how this odd triangle will work itself out. I’m on board.

But as great as the Casey stuff was, it wasn’t enough to save the episode. I’ll be honest, maybe this is one of those hours that will be better the second time around. However, upon initial viewing it didn’t quite work for me. I was actually down with the first 2/3 of the ep. Ellie and Devon’s babymoon adventures, the over-the-top antics of Generalissimo Goya, and even Sarah and Chuck’s “communication” issues were all great, and then BAM! Chuck started playing relationship counselor as a way to stop the launch of nuclear warheads. Annnnnnd they lost me.

Seriously? No one in the writers room at CHUCK raised their hand and surfaced the idea that Chuck playing Dr. Phil in that very heated moment was a bit ridiculous…even for CHUCK?

As the saying goes, ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Like many of you, I have been rooting for Chuck and Sarah to get together since Season 1. Had I known that once in a relationship they’d become shells of their former selves, I might have lowered the pom poms a bit. I understand Chuck and Sarah took the scenic route to get to where they are today, and that there are a lot of interesting relationship roadblocks that come along with (a) working alongside your significant other and (b) being spies. But as a fan, I’m in desperate need of a break from the drama and insecurity of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Enough already. Can’t we have an episode in which they are just spies? An episode where their personal relationship drama isn’t the underscore for their missions? Chuck isn’t the same Chuck that we met in Season 1. He’s a full fledged spy, and although I never want Chuck Bartowski to lose the essence of who he is, every once in a while we need to see him compartmentalizing his emotions for the sake of the task at hand.

When are we going to see the episode in which Sarah considers breaking up with Chuck because of his constant need to over-analyze their relationship? If it’s grating to me, I can’t imagine what it would be like for Sarah. I know the writers are trying to explore Chuck and Sarah as a real couple (or at least as real as possible given the extraordinary situations in their lives), but real couples don’t talk about their feelings and the status of their relationship 24/7. They also have fun too. They hang out with friends and eat pizza and watch TV. I’m not asking for an episode where Chuck and Sarah sit on the couch and watch TLC all night, but why not counter the boldness of their dangerous spy lives with the quiet calm of just being in a loving relationship.

I mean, I’m not a cold-hearted bitch, I will admit that I liked the final scene during which Sarah told a “sleeping” Chuck that she loved him and would have said ‘yes’ if he were really proposing. It was sweet. Although, come on…you knew Chuck was going to be awake to hear her. It’s been done a million times before. (Dammit, I can’t be nice for just one minute, can I?)

A few more thoughts on tonight’s episode while I try to figure out how I’m going to get the 10 foot statue of Awesome into the door of my condo. (For what it’s worth, I have Chris Fedak on tape, promising to give me the statue after the episode. I expect it will arrive shortly.)

  • Although I would have liked to see more of the build-up to Morgan and Alex’s relationship, I really like the two of them together. It’s nice that Morgan’s not desperately chasing after a girl. She seems just as much into him as he is into her. Yay Morgan! Oh and MeKenna Melvin, who plays Alex, is stunning.
  • I was so excited when Chuck told Ellie he was looking for their mom. I thought it would have been a great opportunity for him to come clean about his spy life. But no, she’s still in the dark. Remember when Ellie was Chuck’s go-to-gal? He could lean on her for everything. Now his whole life is a lie that he has to keep from her. Kind of sad.
  • Though Ellie is feeling a little neglected as Devon spends all his time talking to and thinking about the Fetus Woodcomb, I’d be much more concerned with the horrible Toyota product placement her husband is forcing into their conversations. Ouch. The Subway sandwich product placement was just as obvious, but it’s Subyway so it feels like more of an in-joke with CHUCK viewers.
  • This is not going to be relevant to many of you reading, but for the CHUCK fans who also love BIG BROTHER, will you ever be able to see the words “coup d’etat” and not think of Jeff’s mispronunciation?

Clearly I’m not in the best place with CHUCK. Give me some time, I’ll snap out of it.  As always, this post is about sharing my point of view. How I saw things play out. But now it’s all about your point of view.  So let me hear from YOU! What did YOU think of “Chuck versus the Coup d’Etat”. The comments are open…who is up first?

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13 Responses to “CHUCK: Chuck Versus the Coup d’Etat’ and the Return of the Angel De La Muerte”

  1. tricia on October 12th, 2010 12:52 pm

    I agree. Last week left me bored and this week made me forget why I LOVED monday nights. The excitement of last season is now non existent. Never thought I’d miss the likes of Brandon Routh, but I totally do.

  2. Norma on October 12th, 2010 1:04 pm

    I could not agree more with you! Stop romance, i want action… and Jeffster!

  3. Chuckfan808 on October 12th, 2010 1:10 pm

    Wow. I don’t know which Chuck you are watching. This show has been great to me this year. I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews for Chuck this year. Not sure if people are picking apart these episodes so they can prepare themselves for Chuck getting canceled. So when it does get canceled you can say, “Well it was losing steam anyway.” No show is as great as the first season. Writers change and budgets change. Just enjoy the ride while we have it. I laughed many times during Coup D’Etat’. That scene with Chuck as a counselor I thought was funny. Oh well…

  4. queuebert on October 12th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Are you me? This is EXACTLY how I felt about the episode and C/S. I agree with every single comment in your review.

  5. Kath Skerry on October 12th, 2010 1:35 pm

    @Chuckfan808 – I can only speak for myself, but I am definitely not looking at it through the lens you suggested. But I’m not sure it’s fair for you to say that we should enjoy the ride while we have it and yet call out people for being harsh because the show is on the way out.

    Forget about end date, you have to react to what you are seeing on the screen. I make a lot of excuses for CHUCK because I’m such a fan, and therefore I think it’s fair when I express that the show isn’t quite working for me.

  6. CHUCKxpert on October 12th, 2010 1:58 pm

    well i like it. i feel that the episodes seem to get better every week. =D hopefully no one disagrees cause I really want to have a “back nine” and a 5th season of CHUCK.

  7. sweetiepie1019 on October 12th, 2010 2:31 pm

    I agree to a point. I think the Chuck/Sarah relationship discussions are wearing a bit thin, but to me this week’s episode handled it better than last week’s, and worked in more of the other important stories as well – Morgan and Alex, Baby Awesome, Chuck and Ellie’s relationship and, of course, Casey. The show’s looking for a balance, and it worked for the first two episodes, and it sort of worked for this one, and with the Casey-centric episode coming up, and the more the Mrs. Bartowski plot line unfolds in the coming weeks, I think the writers will find that balance. I’m not ready to pronounce Chuck in decline after two shaky episodes.

  8. chuckster54 on October 12th, 2010 3:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing I didn’t have a problem with hardly any thing in this episode. Biggest grip general Beckman back inside the video screen. Like last season we saw Chuck go through the various steps in becoming a spy The show seems to me to be showing the resolution of the issues they used to keep Chuck and Sarah apart. Those felt more contrived in using as excuses than I have with them currently showing resolution. fear of commitment abandonment and worst of all excuses they used was communication. I don’t have a problem with they addressing these at this time

    I think as of this episode and budget restrictions I think we will start to see what you suggest. get Sarah and Chuck to balance point with their insecurities and more focus on Mom spy story and other things. I enjoy you sharing your honest opinion But for me I enjoy what seeing now a lot more than Brandon Roth last season

  9. Kath Skerry on October 12th, 2010 6:33 pm

    As I always say….to each their own.

    My sister and I just had a debate over last night episode. She loved it! She’s not wrong. I’m not wrong. It’s all a matter of opinion. It’s what I love about TV. We watched the same thing and had two somewhat different experiences. Isn’t life grand?

  10. Rachael on October 12th, 2010 9:22 pm

    Kath said: “I was actually down with the first 2/3 of the ep. Ellie and Devon’s babymoon adventures, the over-the-top antics of Generalissimo Goya, and even Sarah and Chuck’s ‘communication’ issues were all great, and then BAM! Chuck started playing relationship counselor as a way to stop the launch of nuclear warheads. Annnnnnd they lost me.”

    Dude, SOOOOOOOOO with you on this. This was EXACTLY how I felt. For the first half the ep, I was actually really enjoying it. There were a lot of funny scenes, the storyline was entertaining, it was all clicking. And then, BOOM … it started to go way over the top right around that scene. I am a huge Chuck/Sarah fan and even I am getting sick of the fact that EVERYTHING in the show is revolving around their relationship lately. I even yelled “Oh GOD she’s gonna talk to him in his sleep now!?” in that last scene when they were in bed. I think that is the first time I have ever rolled my eyes and gagged at an end-of-episode Chuck/Sarah moment rather than loving it. 🙁

    I think they had one of the new writers on this ep and I actually thought she did a good job, except for the Chuck/Sarah stuff in the second half. I just wish I could tell Schwartz/Fedak and the other writers to cut the Chuck/Sarah relationship stuff down by 50% and then this season will be great!!

  11. Keru on October 13th, 2010 2:08 pm

    The only scene in last episode i didn’t love was the resolution of the conflict via relationship talk, it was too “cute” for it’s own good, but rest i loved – especially last scene. Because for one, Sarah was following Chuck advice he read in the book, and secondly Chuck smiled hearing it, so either he wasn’t asleep or he was but still subconciously will know his relationship with Sarah is on good ground and won’t be as neurotic about it in the fuure…so it was a resolution either way.

  12. Chuck Cuthbertson on October 13th, 2010 4:14 pm

    I’ve watched the episode 4 times now, and it keeps getting funnier for me. The thing about Chuck is that when I’m watching it live, I’m trying to take everything in at once and I miss so much. Afterwards, when I’m watching it again, I pick up on things I missed and laugh most of the way through the episodes.

    The Chuck vs Dr. Phil moment was a bit cheesy, but I’m willing to forgive it when we have lines like:

    Is Marble Me making you a little Calente, Babe?

    I’m really really sorry….Mostly for me.

    Do you two talk often? No. not that often mostly about meat…..meats….. various meats…potted meats.

    Give her a 5 minute lead.

    Costa Gravas is Nuclear?!!!

    The love of a woman is worth losing any arm or leg…

    Way to go Marble Me

    I’ve never heard smooth jams….
    etc, etc.

    All brilliant and totally makes up for the small cheesy moment at the end IMHO.


  13. Drew on October 15th, 2010 12:35 am

    I kind of liked the Dr. Phil moment. I don’t know why, but it almost seemed more classic Chuck to me. Like Chuck focusing more on the feelings of the situation than flashing and whoopin ass. I don’t know. But I do agree with you about the Chuck and Sarah relationship thing. I think a relationship as a part of a show makes it a little more interesting. More fun to watch. But as soon as a show becomes ABOUT a relationship, it becomes very cheesy and very old very quick. Personally.