As an Adam Baldwin fan, I am always in favor of a Casey-centric episode of Chuck. This one didn’t disappoint. Although I do now have a certain theme song stuck in my head because of the title.
John Casey has a lot on his plate. He’s got his daughter’s boyfriend for a new roommate, while he’s off working on super-secret stuff that arouses the suspicions of his colleagues, so much so that they begin to spy on him. (I am amused that they do so in a minivan, which may be the most uncool vehicle on the planet.) Predictably, their concern for his well-being gets them all in trouble, until they’re rescued by two former Gretas, who are really named Richard and Victoria (Isaiah Mustafa and Stacy Keibler), whom Casey refers to as “my new team.” Our favorite cranky soldier has joined up with Bentley (Robin Givens), who is still as annoying as ever.
Feeling snubbed after being sent to retrieve a dog while the A-team gets to chase the bad guy, Sarah decides they’ll go after Dragan (Jon Sklaroff, who recently played Gemini on an episode of The Good Guys and also appeared in the final season of 24) themselves. Chuck is further incensed when he discovers the other team has his dad’s computer, and the resulting altercation proves to him that both Richard and Victoria are Intersects themselves. With their program exposed, Bentley reveals what should be no surprise to anyone after four years of this show: they’re trying to make a whole army of Intersects. Then Casey tells Sarah what isn’t really a surprise either: he left Team Bartowski because he felt he was becoming just the backup.
The entire group is sent to handle Dragan, who happens to have a nuclear weapon that he’d like to use on them. It’s no shock that while the new Intersects are great machines, they’re lost when something isn’t strictly in their system. Rick can’t disarm the bomb because there’s nothing in the computer to tell him how, and Victoria shoots Dragan (thus arming said bomb) because that’s what’s in her programming. It’s Chuck to the rescue with, of all things, a juice box, proving that humans will always be superior to machines with the same thing that I used to carry in my grade-school lunch box. I have to hand it to the Chuck writers: they do think of some unique ways to solve situations.
With Rick and Victoria having the Intersect removed from their heads, and Chuck and Sarah restored to their “A-team” status, all seems to be well, except for the fact that Bentley won’t leave well enough alone and that Ellie still doesn’t know where her dad’s laptop is…
I can’t rave about “Chuck Versus The A-Team” because nothing in it surprises me. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but from the moment I started watching Chuck, I always wondered if the Intersect would somehow fall into the wrong hands and someone would try to make a whole mob of them. And Casey feeling like the second string? Perfectly understandable, given that the show is called Chuck and that there’s always been a certain amount of emphasis on the Chuck/Sarah relationship. So none of this is news to me.
Having said that, I don’t necessarily consider that detrimental, because there’s something to be said for a show that gives us what we should get from its plots. For example, if I set up a storyline about a murder, of course there are going to be characters who grieve that person’s death. It’s not surprising, but it’s necessary. “Chuck Versus The A-Team” is addressing issues within the show’s setup, and answering the questions about Casey’s secret gig that we’ve been asking for a little while now. I have no problem with the episode not being surprising when it’s faithful to what the series has established. The only major complaint I have is my continual dislike of Robin Givens’ acting, but I certainly got a squeal out of Bentley’s head being handed to her by General Beckman. I just wish she would leave already.
With all the things that Chuck wrapped up very well this episode, there’s only the natural question left: what’s next for these final few episodes of the season? This episode certainly made me more excited to find out.