Sunday, 18 April 2010

Chuck Versus the Numerous Answers

I don't know about you but I'm not very good at waiting. I especially don't like waiting for answers, and this can be incredibly tricky when it comes to TV shows. I think this had a huge impact in why I stopped following Lost. Don't get me wrong it's a brilliant show, but it's now on its sixth and final season and there are still many plot lines that are yet to be answered six seasons in! (The fact that the show moved to Sky after the second season also played a major factor in my ceasing watching, but that is neither here nor there...) But occasionally a show comes along that is both fast-paced and generous when it comes to providing answers. The Vampire Diaries falls into this latter category, although if it could hurry up and reveal how the Salvatore brothers turned into vampires that would be very much appreciated, as does Chuck; and boy have Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz been generous in their reveals recently....

The biggest surprise this season is that we have learned quite a bit about Sarah and Casey and their back story. Die-hard fans of the show will know that Chuck has tried time and time again to gain the tiniest insight into Sarah's past but she's always managed to elude him. So it came as a massive shock when she willingly volunteered information to Shaw without even being asked. It was quite a big reveal too; we found out that her real name is Sam. Now I was slightly disappointed with this. Firstly I wish it was Chuck that she's shared this with. And secondly, I don't think Sarah suits the name Sam, I couldn't give you a better alternative, but I definitely don't think Sam fits the bill. Maybe it's just me though. We also discovered that Casey's name is a cover and his real name was Alexander Coburn, and that before he joined the NSA he had a fiance, who was (unknown to him) pregnant. However he was forced to fake his own death and take the name of John Casey and in doing so lost the chance to be happily married with children. Here ends the first of the big reveals. I personally think that the writers decided to provide us with some answers about Casey and Sarah's pasts because they are very aware that this season could be the last. I for one am not complaining, and any situation where I am treated with more John Casey leaves me feeling very happy!

This leads me onto the first of the three episodes; Chuck Versus the Final Exam. The end of this episode allowed us to embark on another trip down Sarah's memory lane. But the Von Trapps would be very disappointed if I didn't start at the very beginning, so let us not jump ahead of ourselves. This episode was significant as it saw Chuck becoming a real, real life spy. Wasn't he already one you ask? Well I thought so too, but apparently not as it's not possible to become a real spy until you've passed you red test. In this case Chuck had to take out a mole, a traitor who was working with the Ring. However this would, as Sarah pointed out, mean that our favourite geek would be crossing a line he couldn't come back from. Not only handling a gun but killing someone too. The past run of episodes have shown Sarah becoming increasingly concerned about the changes in Chuck, and almost falling out of love with him, so this episode looked to be the final straw for her. It came as a massive shock then when the showdown between Chuck and the mole happened, because as expected Chuck hesitated when it came to having to kill the bad guy and had it not been for Casey could have ended up killed himself. However here's where the catch 22 occurred; Casey saved Chuck's life by shooting the mole, but as my favourite character has now been reduced to a civilian status, should Chuck reveal that Casey took the shot he could be arrested for murder. So as far as Sarah's concerned Chuck is no longer the man she loves. Trying to come to terms with this she reveals to Shaw the horrors of her own red test. Just another attempt to gain an insight into Sarah's past by the writers? No, that is not the case at all. Which brings me to the second episode of this blog...

Chuck Versus the American Hero.

This was the shows penultimate episode before it took another break, and I think it's important to point out that it was actually meant to be the penultimate episode of the entire season before NBC decided to extended Chuck's run. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the writers for not padding the season with filler episodes and instead continuing the season from where they originally left off, because had they not I wouldn't have got my answer, and we all know how I feel about being denied them!

So this episode was significant for a number of reasons. As mentioned above I originally thought that learning about Sarah's red test was just a ploy to fill us in a bit more about her past, but the twist before the end blew that theory right out of the water. To recap this episode, Shaw decided that enough was enough when it came to the Ring and that it was time to use himself as bait and lead the CIA to the Ring and the Director. Sarah, having accepted that Chuck's not who she thought he is, spent the majority of the episode avoiding talking to him about his feeling for her. So when Chuck learned that Shaw was sacrificing himself, he locked Sarah in the Castle to save Shaw in order to risk his life to help him before Sarah could risk hers. The scene where Chuck emerged from the explosion with Shaw over his shoulder was brilliant; especially as we all know how attracted to the hero type Sarah is. Aware that the love of his life is slipping away from him, the episode ended with Chuck passionately kissing Sarah to remind her of his devotion, and promising the life in Prague that he turned down at the start of the season, and in doing so proved his love, as he would be choosing Prague over his career. Mirroring Sarah's offer from the season premier he said he'd be waiting at the station. The best bit of the episode however was when Casey revealed he'd killed the mole. The smile on Sarah's face was so well acted by Yvonne Strahovsky that I'm not ashamed to admit I squealed aloud! OK, maybe I'm a little bit ashamed. But, and this is a major but, I've deliberately omitted a major twist. Whilst attempting to sacrifice himself the Ring revealed to Shaw that the target in Sarah's red test was no other than his wife!!! So when Shaw turned up unannounced at Sarah's hotel room citing a new mission that needed to be undertaken immediately I knew this was not going to be a happy ending. This of course leads me to the third and final episode of this blog....

Chuck Versus the Other Guy.

This, as far as I am concerned, is allowed to go down in history as one of the best episodes of Chuck. Ever. Picking up where we last left off, Shaw was heading to deserted whereabouts to 'settle an old score'. And we all know who's score he wants to settle. Arriving at a deserted warehouse he deliberately separated from Sarah so that she could watch a video tape of her red test, and then revealed it was his wife she murdered. In the meantime General Beckmann has filled Chuck in about Sarah's role in the death of Shaw's wife, and as expected everyone is fearing the worst. Chuck (slightly) overreacts and after managing to trace a signal on Sarah pretty much calls in every rescue squad he can get his hands on. But in a surprise twist, Shaw appears to be forgiving towards Sarah, holding the Ring responsible for her death instead. Key word in the sentence; appears. Because later on this episode we learn that Shaw is actually working for the Ring, and very much so holds Sarah responsible. Charah fans rejoiced worldwide as our favourite duo reunited again in an extremely humorous scene which saw Morgan tied up with a game console whilst Chuck tried to find the solution to his troubles at the bottom of a bottle. Everything seems to be going their way, and the Ring leader is presumed dead after a trip to the headquarters, until Beckmann sends Shaw and Sarah to France to follow up the mission. The one-off accolade of Hero of the Week goes to Morgan, who picked up that Shaw had faked the entire group of Ring agent's deaths and was in fact a Ring agent himself. One pep talk to Casey about getting his life back on track, and the trio were hot on tails of Shaw and Sarah to France. And bloomin' good job they were, because Shaw had taken Sarah to the very location of his wife's death in order to exact revenge. Drugged an unarmed Sarah was in an extremely precarious position. Until, oh thank god! Chuck turned up and saved the day by shooting(!) and killing (!!!) Shaw. For those of us that worried the fact that Chuck both shot and killed someone might Bring Sarah's doubts about him back, we need worry not. She completely digged the fact that he saved her life for once. And the episode concluded with them taking their relationship to the next level. In Paris, which has been repeatedly mentioned as the one place Chuck would like to visit most. Other highlights saw Casey restored to Colonel Casey, and Morgan formally acknowledged as a member of team Bartowski. I'm aware that the Buy More has been omitted from the entirety of this blog but there's only so much a girl can write about Chuck!

And that's where we left off my fellow Chuck lovers. Apologies for the length of this post, but how much ground did I have to cover! Just thank your lucky stars that I didn't recap for the Winter Olympics. But seeing as I've now made it my aim to once again post regularly this wont be a regular occurence. So until next time!