After the royal screwing up of the Gretas last week, this week’s Chuck is like Clue, only with extra dead bodies. It sees our hero with Bentley’s job of finding more Intersect candidates, and to no one’s surprise, they’re a weird bunch. There’s an obligatory training montage, but just as Chuck is about to pick the winner, one of them is murdered. And then another is nearly blown up. Chuck’s first day as the boss is not a good one.
The plot gives us a series of amusing interrogations – there’s the girl who says she’s too emotional, while crying, and the guy who can’t get sent anywhere where there isn’t sand. There’s also a brief moment where Chuck loses his hearing thanks to another bomb explosion. All I can think of is that Archer did that gag pretty well already. Like redshirts in an episode of Star Trek, this episode goes through the newbies in quick fashion, leading up to a Monk-ish final act where Chuck explains that he knows who it is (and isn’t) with the use of some black-and-white flashbacks. I do give the writers credit for not making Bentley the killer, but I have to say I prefer “whodunit” conclusions where I get to figure things out, rather than having them all wrapped up for me. It’s the same issue I had with Monk at times; why spend my time trying to solve the crime when I’ll get all the answers at the end anyway? At least Chuck learns the moral of the story: that he is capable of being a leader.
Now that Ellie has her dad’s computer back (thanks to Bentley), she can’t keep off the thing, much to Devon’s discomfort. What she doesn’t know is that Bentley is spying on her every move. Devon tells Chuck about Bentley returning the computer, and Chuck dispatches him to keep Ellie from getting into too much. He can’t go through with it, however. We learn that Ellie is starting to figure out the general idea of the Intersect – she tells Devon that her father was working on how to input knowledge into the human brain – and we find out she’s “Agent X.” Let’s hope that doesn’t change her too much from the Ellie we love. Now that the show is into its fourth year, I have to wonder if there will be a point where the number of people in the know about Chuck’s double life will outweigh those who don’t, and what impact that will have on the show. It’s a double-edged sword: characters can only stay believably clueless for so long, but you want to retain some mystery.
Meanwhile, in the comedic subplot, Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence, as good as ever) is literally abducted by employees from Buy More’s rival, LargeMart. The kidnapping is in retaliation for the snatching of LargeMart’s mascot, Kevin Bacon (ha), whom Jeff and Lester set free. The pig eventually ends up coming snout-to-face with an armed Casey, and getting nearly blown up, but relax, he’s okay.
This is another fairly simple plot for Chuck, in fact, probably a little too simple, but as I stated last week, that’s not so bad as long as there’s something to make up the entertainment value. Like “Chuck Versus The A-Team,” it has its moments, just not enough of them for me to really love it. I can’t say that I have any great need to see it again, but at least I’ve seen the most creative use of a pig since Babe.