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

Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Alma Matter"

Illustration for article titled Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Alma Matter"
Illustration for article titled Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Alma Matter"

Last night's Chuck promised to answer a very big question. No, not "Will poor love sick Morgan finally get the chance to make slow, sweet love to Chuck?" The other big question: "Why did Chuck end up with all those government secrets?" In typical Chuck fashion the revelation didn't prove to be all that revelatory–turns out the professor who kicked him out of school secretly recruited him into the C.I.A. And that diabolical Bryce Larkin, whose well-coiffed locks curl like evil eyebrows whenever Chuck looks back with desaturated-colored glasses, is actually a good guy, framing Chuck for cheating in order to save him from a life in the C.I.A.

So, Chuck's involvement with government spooks goes back four years. What's left unexplained is why Bryce would later drag Chuck back into the C.I.A. right before he (presumably) died. It's also a little convenient for Bryce to not-so subtly suggest–on tape, no less—that he might accuse Chuck of cheating to keep him out of the C.I.A. But it did set up another one of those likeably anachronistic Chuck moments at the end of the episode, when Chuck rescues a cracked picture frame from the garbage and looks wistfully at his old pal Bryce. Now there's a scene begging for a freeze-frame, with "Executive Producer Donald P. Bellisario" superimposed on top.

There was another Morgan-centered subplot this time, concerning the hilarious little imp's struggles to keep his head up under the new fascist regime of Manager Tang, an insufferable hard-ass who nevertheless seems very forgiving of Chuck never being at work. (Tang is a comic non-starter for me. Do you guys think he's funny? There's potential there, but he just seems like the Asian version of perpetually pissed off Casey. Speaking of which: Adam Baldwin officially transformed into Phil Hartman's Frankenstein this week.) Anna the hot Asian co-worker was also prominently featured, and had a nice scene where she seduced Tang out of his locker key. Tang acted like he was hot and bothered, but he seemed more into Morgan in a boss-subordinate, Secretary sort of way, if you know what I mean. After all, Chuck hasn't been around much lately, and Morgan seems like the submissive type …

Now there would be a revelation! Actually, I have a revelation of my own: This is going to be the last Chuck entry in The T.V. Blog. Word came down yesterday: Due to a general lack of interest, A.V Club HQ is canceling us. I know, I know, you're devastated. As for me, well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pulling for Chuck to get canceled. In the end, Chuck outlasted me. (Single tear.)

Grade: B-

Stray observations

—Really? "Don't Look Back In Anger" during a flashback where Chuck is looking back in anger? I can't believe I wrote about this show for seven episodes.

—Did the geeks out there notice the "OU812" Van Hagar reference?

—You definitely noticed the "O.C. season two, underrated" joke, right?

—I'm gonna really miss Blandie, er, Ellie.

—That Rachel Bilson sure is a handsome woman, isn't she? Maybe I will watch next week.