And finally, Chuck returns! I’m going to make an effort to “be cool” and not just ramble on about how much I love this show, but if I fail it’s in part due to this week’s episode being so jam-packed. Such is the case when Chuck returns from a mini-hiatus, especially when the show is gearing up towards a season finale.
All of this season’s major characters had critical roles to play in the episode. I had assumed Alexei Volkoff would be returning and was definitely glad when he did. Same goes for Mama Bartowski and Vivian. The only characters not thrown into the mix this week were the Buy Morons. But as we have discussed before, the show runs so much smoother without these guys. And also, Jeffster is probably off rehearsing for Chuck and Sarah’s wedding, or at least figuring out how to crash it.
The overarching theme of the episode this week was pretty easy to recognize – “be cool”. I’m joking of course; the true backbone of the episode was the relationships between parents and their children. The writers have explored this subject matter in the past, as it is a common bridge between all of the characters in the show, and this week’s storyline allowed the audience to appreciate the gravity of all of these parent-child relationships. And I mean all of them. Chuck and Ellie vs. Mama Bartowski and the legacy of their father. Sarah vs. her father and mother’s, yet to be seen, toxic relationship. Casey vs. Alex and her decision to inform her mother of his existence. Alexei Volkoff vs. Vivian Volkoff plain and simple.
While it was overwhelming to be bombarded with all of these relationship strains at once, it made sense within the context of the season. And truth be told, we don’t have too many episodes left to flush out these subplots. The importance of family (and friends) is truly at the heart of what makes Chuck the show that it is, and in the end the resolution of these tensions will highlight why this spy comedy has won the hearts of viewers. One last note about family – I am concerned that the world’s deadliest weapon locks on to and attacks based on family DNA. That can’t be good for one of the families listed above.
The “be cool” motif in the episode provided for a good deal of laughter. In its own way, the show seemed to be poking fun at itself. Both Chuck, the character, and Chuck, the TV show, are amazing but they aren’t prototypically “cool”. Chuck is a nerd that just so happens to be a great spy, not the other way around. Similarly, the show is written by nerds for nerds, and is proud of it! Do you think James Bond would be caught playing Uno in order win control of the world’s deadliest weapon? Neither the character nor the show needs to “be cool” however. In fact, as we see in the end of the episode with Chuck’s version of a prenup, it’s simply a matter of being who you are that makes everything all right. I hope that the NBC executives realize this when they put Chuck up for a renewal decision. Apparently viewers were too “cool” to tune in this week because the ratings hit an all-time series low!
As Ellie channels her inner workaholic, avidly trying to crack her father’s computer, she is further drawn in by the cerebral allure of the spy world. What she fails to realize, however, is that the spy world is about more than just intellectual puzzles, and it is for this reason that both Chuck and Mama Bartowski are trying to keep her away from solving the mystery: Who is Agent X? I’ve always considered Ellie to be the underutilized spy genius. Despite having been relegated to the sidelines of a C.I.A. family, she has stood out in those moments where true skill and audacity were demanded of her. While I am not petitioning for her to be part of Team Bartowski anytime soon, especially now that Clara has arrived, I think that she would make an excellent agent.
S, can we just discuss the Casey and Morgan breakfast scene? I was in hysterics. While I wasn’t surprised by the Vivian Volkoff being bad this episode, I was caught off guard when she turned on her father. I thought she would still have some good in her somewhere, but now I’m not sure. And who is Agent X? Let us know what you think, and hit up the comments section below.