Chuck 4.2 Review (spoilers)

Before I get into talking about my favorite television show, let's take a cold, hard, dose of reality, shall we?  The odds of Chuck continuing beyond this season are very, very slim; there aren't many shows currently on network television that get lower ratings than Chuck.  So consider every episode we get to be something of a final countdown, although I think the show is in a good place and on a good overall storyline to come to a satisfying conclusion.

The only real solution I could see is NBC moving the show to Friday nights with the hope that its very loyal fan base follows.  On Friday nights, Chuck gets god like numbers.  But I don't know if a) NBC would even bother with that (although there's going to be an opening soon, I believe) and b) if all of Chuck's 6 million-ish viewers would make the move.  Not all of them would have to, of course, given the ratings wasteland that is Friday nights.

Anyway, just something to keep in mind as we go through the season.  As much as I loved the second season finale (perhaps one of my favorite episodes of Chuck ever), I really, really hope Schwartz and Fedak don't throw caution to the wind again and give us a cliffhanger.

Am I Watching the Wrong Josh Schwartz Show?

Truly, I was expecting at least one Gossip Girl joke in an episode of Chuck that spent so much time at runway shows.  If any happened, I missed them, and if they didn't, I'm a little disappointed;  The OC joke was one of the best in Chuck's brief history.

As a self contained episode, there isn't much to say.  I get a little worried when the show stretches the limits of disbelief like, for example, with the "tranq gloves."  While I know Chuck live in an exaggerated world, it works best when that exaggeration is played for laughs.  And perhaps that was the intention of the "tranq gloves," when Chuck gets into his fight with Lou Ferrigno, but it fell flat for me.

And while I appreciated the tension created by Sarah and Chuck facing off against a fashion model/spy, Karolina Kurkova isn't much of an actress, and there were moments when that was painfully obvious.  It might not have been as noticeable on other shows, but the main cast always brings the acting thunder.

Window Dressing

None of the above really mattered, aside from the banter between Chuck and Sarah and what was, I believe, their first official mission together (sans Casey) since becoming a couple (yes, I know, there was that one last season with the older spy couple, but they were still on shaky ground then).  I said it before and I'll say it again, the chemistry between these two is so great that even the weakest of storylines is enjoyable.  You can put them into any situation and gold will come out of it.

Chuck and Sarah weren't the couple of the hour, of course: that honor went to Jeff and Lester.  I had wondered how they were going to bring those two back and this was a decent was to do it.  I'm not sure how they're going to handle the fact that they're exposing so many civilians to a CIA base, though.  Granted, they're fairly dumb civilians, but someone's going to realize something is up.  I do hate to see Beckman go, but hopefully she'll stay in the area.

The Search For Mom

If it hadn't been for the preview we got at the end of last week's episode, I'd probably be really mad about the "hiding being an agent from Ellie" bit.  The fact that I do know that it will end, though, has me rather loving it.  Why?  Because it seems like the conversation that will finally get Chuck to reveal the truth to Ellie will actually be instigated by her.

This is actually a pretty wonderful way to tackle the story, particularly when paralleled with Chuck finding their dad.  The simple fact that Chuck did find their father is only going to give fuel to Ellie's fire, but at the same time she has to know that Chuck only found their dad because he was a spy, and that only a spy could find their mom.  It's a great dilemma to place Ellie in, that she wants to keep her family safe, yet still wants her mom back as she's about to become a mother herself.

I Love It When Chuck Looks Like A Bad Ass

Next week looks like it's going to be a good one.  Obviously, it's going to be cool to see someone come after Chuck for taking them down.  But I also like the way they're playing the Chuck/Sarah situation.  It's not entirely serious, nor is it meant to be.  The preview makes it look like Chuck had no intention of ending up on a knee with a ring in his hand, yet, of course, he finds himself in that situation.  It's fun to watch.  After all, Chuck has spent most of his life being Joe Average, a guy who figured he'd end up getting married and having kids some day.  Sarah, on the other hand...not so much.  As long as they continue to play this particular issue for laughs (albeit awkward ones), I'm on board.  I just hope they don't amp it up too quickly.

All in all a decent episode of Chuck, if not a great one.  I have a feeling next week will be the first "that was fantastic" episode of this short season.