CHUCK: ‘Chuck Versus The Leftovers’ - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK: ‘Chuck Versus The Leftovers’

November 30, 2010 by  

This week’s episode of CHUCK was aptly titled as it did feel somewhat like the leftover meals we all eat in the days after Thanksgiving. It was a mish-mash of stuff we’ve had before, and it didn’t taste as good as it did the first time. But it’s still leftovers from the best meal of the year, so it was still pretty good.

Mama Bartowski was back to her enigmatic ways, complete with a wide variety of facial expressions that were (a) trying to convey emotions; (b) trying to send signals to Chuck; or (c) evidence that Linda Hamilton has some weird facial ticks. As seems to be a pattern with Frost, she finds new and exciting ways to put her son in danger only to give him an out at the last minute. I know its a plot device to keep Chuck and his mother’s relationship complicated, but it feels a bit stale given how many times we’ve seen in play out already this season.

I’m not completely enamored with Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Mary Bartowski, but if having her around means more screen time for Timothy Dalton then I’m not ready to hasta la vista her anytime soon. When the casting news broke for Dalton, I assumed he would have a small role in one or two episodes. Maybe someone would make a Bond joke and he’d be gone. But Dalton’s mini-arc as Volkoff has been one of the very best things about this season of CHUCK. This guy is one hell of an actor and embodies the essence of CHUCK. The way he can transform from stone cold killer in one minute, to goofy and mushy in the next is just perfect for this show. I can’t imagine that Dalton will be around past the show’s 13th episode, but I’m hoping the door will be left open for his return. Forget about Fulcrum or The Ring…I’m good with Volkoff being the Big Bad for the foreseeable future.

What I’m kind of over is having The Buy More being once again besieged by the bad guys. Zzzzzz. How many times can Jeff and Lester be unwittingly tranq’d before it becomes boring? Oh wait, it already has. At least we got the ‘Die Hard’ homage complete with barefooted Morgan in a wifebeater yelling “Yippie-ki-yay”. John McClane would have been proud (or not). Morgan reaching for the gun only to discover it was taped too far down his back to actually reach was too funny. I’m such a sucker for CHUCK’s pop culture references.

Now here’s some food for thought for all you die hard (no pun intended) CHUCK fans out there. What should we make of Steven sending Ellie the laptop? So Steven Bartowski, a man that didn’t want Chuck to be the Intersect in the first place and fought so hard for him to get it removed from his brain, left a laptop with the Intersect on it for his daughter to find. The first riddle was one only Ellie could answer. After she passed that hurdle, it was brain scans only Ellie (and not Chuck) would be able to decipher. The second riddle, the one that led to the Intersect, was one that only Chuck could solve.

My take on it is that Steven needed his kids to work together on the riddle. There was a part only Ellie could answer and then she needed her little brother to solve the second. Of course, Papa Bartowski took one hell of a risk with giving the laptop to Ellie. If I could figure out that the answer to “1 or 11?” was “Aces, Charles”, I’m thinking Ellie could have as well. And what if she did? Would Ellie be the Intersect? Why would Steve take the risk? Maybe the brain scans Ellie worked on somehow influenced the final Intersect that Chuck saw. Did Ellie somehow affect the way that the Intersect works in Chuck’s brain? Will Ellie’s knowledge of how Chuck’s brain works with the Intersect mean that she’ll have an even bigger role in Chuck’s life? Hold the phone, could this mean that Ellie might actually have a significant story arc on her own? Ok, ok I might be getting too far ahead of myself. We’ll have to wait and see. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have my fingers crossed.

Regardless of how it came to be, Chuck once again knows Kung Fu. (I don’t know about you, but with so many versions of the Intersect hanging around, I’m going to think twice before I click on a YouTube video. Hell, I’m nervous to even open a Hallmark card.) I thought we would get a few more episodes of Chuck exploring how to be a spy sans the Intersect. The episode offered the perfect set-up as Chuck thought about going head-to-head with Volkoff’s hacker. It would have been a great reminder that Chuck is valuable even without his super spy moves. But no. Hope the writers realize that they’ve played that card, so no more going back to Chuck as a normal guy. Ok?

There wasn’t much in terms of the spymance this week. Chuck was ringblocked by Volkoff’s assassins. Something tells me this proposal is going to take a lot of effort to pull off.

A few other thoughts on tonight’s CHUCK while I figure out how to pull off “Bourne Identity” for tonight’s game of charades.

  • I’m glad  Morgan mentioned Alex tonight. I’m hoping we are going to see more of her…and them, in the new year.
  • Anyone else wondering if this particular version of the Intersect had any new, cool features? We know 2.0 came with some serious upgrades. Will we see any new abilities with this latest version? What would you like to see Chuck be able to do? (I’m going to for singing…but that’s me.)
  • Chuck and Morgan in the pole dancing class was hilarious. The fact that Chuck would use his stripper moves to fight the bad guys was even better!
  • Volkoff playing charades was perfection. Timothy Dalton was perfectly frustrated by all the wrong guesses. I was worried that he was going to shoot Chuck or Awesome.
  • Given Chuck’s vast CIA resources and the fact that Volkoff had no idea what Ellie looked like, not sure why two agents weren’t brought in to pose for Ellie and Awesome.
  • I couldn’t quite get my head around Volkoff being this dangerous criminal mastermind AND a love struck teenager. It didn’t quite work for me that he would harboring an unrequited love for Frost for twenty years. Would a man like that really make himself so vulnerable?
  • “Kids LOVE me!”

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4 Responses to “CHUCK: ‘Chuck Versus The Leftovers’”

  1. Chuck Cuthbertson on November 30th, 2010 1:46 pm

    I though the episode was fantastic. There were a few things that could have been changed, but that’s the reason I love Chuck. It’s not perfect but we love it just the same, don’t we?

    I think Captain Awesome is possibly the most under-rated character. Ryan did an…awesome job on this episode. His portrayal of the nervous liar and the scene at the end when he gives Chuck the laptop were fantastic, IMHO.

    Its going to be a long time until January 17th…..


  2. TVKel on November 30th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I was hoping we’d get pregnant Intersected Ellie for at least one episode. What a missed opportunity!

  3. Estelle on November 30th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Frost DOES know what Ellie looked like, she met with her at the end of the episode where Sarah takes Frost into custody. But Volkoff… He is a totally different matter!

  4. jesusfreak on December 12th, 2010 12:26 am

    What was Timothy Dalton doing for charades? I couldn’t tell.