Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Chuck: “Chuck Versus Bo”

Illustration for article titled Chuck: “Chuck Versus Bo”

I’m filling in for Ryan this week while he’s out in California at TCA, and opening statement about tonight’s episode: I enjoyed the hell out of that.

One of the worst ways for any adventure narrative to end, really, is the actual one last mission — the idea that, afterwards, our heroes never did anything interesting ever again. (An egregious offender: the Harry Potter series epilogue.) Chuck’s promising something a little different for our heroes’ future with their quieter but surprising sensible cyberterrorism outfit, and for these last few episodes, one last mini-arc. I had assumed, like Ryan discussed last week, it’d be more serialized farewells of light ha ha adventures in these last four episodes, glad we were wrong about that!

Sarah Walker uploading the Intersect was the best kind of surprise: the one that’s so obvious after the fact, you don’t even know why you didn’t think of it. The pacing shift there in the last five minutes threw me off — I thought for a disappointing 20 seconds between Chuck’s abduction and Sarah and Casey’s arrival at the docks, that the Nicholas Quinn problem would somehow resolve itself this week. That would have been fine. It was a good episode regardless, balancing the some funny detective work, a great guest star, and a good Buy More plot. But then, Casey and Sarah found themselves in a real bad spot and ran out of all their moves, except one. For all the stunt problems earlier in the season with Morgan, Yvonne Strahovski and the stunt team threw down in that last sequence, to join “Chuck versus the Baby” and “Chuck versus Phase Three” in the pantheon of Great Sarah Walker Domination. I mean, really, that was just great.

Underscoring all that was the aforementioned decision to shift Carmichael Industries into a cyberterrorism company, away from getting shot at. With all these cotton candy gifts of happiness (and rainbows) the last few weeks, they still did kind of need to sell what exactly these people would be doing after all this. It’s not like Sarah and Casey were going to become accountants. Her enthusiasm for the new arrangement, and his begrudging agreement to let Nicholas Quinn go made it all seem a little less like things were coming to an end, more just transitioning into a different reality for the characters.

But besides all that: There were a whole hell of a lot of laughs. Chuck almost always does puts its guest stars to good use, and Bo Derek came out game for a good time, all over Morgan and pushing her cleavage up right into the old wind machine. Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez’s delivery of a bevy of lines related to the entire situation cracked me up: “Oh dude, Bo Derek is taking your pants off,” “You know what I would love — love! — is for you to tell me the story of our night together,” “I’m just going to go out and say it, ‘You are no longer a perfect 10,’” and Levi’s excellent little “Shut up,” after Sarah makes fun of him.  The return to Morgan's douchebaggy stint as the Intersect also worked, especially with the parade of burnouts ever so pleased to see him.

So where are we with three left? Chuck’s missing, Sarah’s got the Intersect (!!!), and Nicholas Quinn is the last big bad. And for a last hurrah, Quinn having been the spy in waiting for the original Intersect actually is a pretty good one. I’m actually surprised the show never used that one. Now it has, and we have one more last great adventure to go. (Even if it doesn't, I've already watched the last scene four times, so thanks, Chuck.)


Stray observations:

  • “Looks like all roads lead to the Buy More.” “I’m never getting out of this place.” Okay, didn’t deal with it up top, but: Great Buy More integration in “Chuck versus Bo.” The (repeated) resolution of the Jeffster discovery worked, with them ultimately begging to be relieved of their memories, and the twin Vail Buy More with the androgynous Lester-like person working the desk was also funny. And X-13 played well in both stories (“That smells nice!”).
  • “1…2…3…4.” “Seriously?” “I was always too lazy to change the code in Burbank. One thing you can always count on, Buy More laziness.” That's the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
  • Morgan's Ed Hardy-esque phone case was a nice touch.
  • Thanks to Girl Talk, whenever I hear “The Weight,” I expect to hear Young Joc say, “It’s going down.” But nice use of the song here.
  • Little moments greatly enjoyed: Sarah and Casey’s pleased contemplative reactions to dropping the Buy More; Casey knowing Dale; Morgan harassing the people making out in Vail; Casey getting to work in a office that Ronald Reagan worked in.
  • “I mean, you get shot a lot.” “Considering how much I get shot at.” “Hmm.”
  • “Oh… You didn’t hit her in the face, did you? …I’m kidding, I’m kidding. But it is Bo Derek.”
  • “I hate Twitter.”
  • “Okay. I got this.”