Chuck Vs. The Sense Of Apathetic Repetition

Illustration for article titled Chuck Vs. The Sense Of Apathetic Repetition

Last night's return of Chuck brought a couple of the season's themes to the forefront, but not in the most believable way possible... And will Kristin Kreuk finally realize that falling for leading men is never a good idea?


If nothing else, kudos to "Chuck versus The Fake Name" for the metacommentary about how boring "Will They/Won't They" relationship drama is, even if it came during an episode that was all about the Chuck/Sarah Will They/Won't They relationship drama. Kudos, also, to Kreuk's Hannah for calling Chuck out for dumping her roughly two seconds after hooking up with her in the first place, and for unconvincing reasons, even to the viewer. But more than a few things about last night's episode just didn't hang together, and it felt more like an episode where things happened because the writers wanted them to, as opposed to having anything to do with the characters themselves.

It didn't help that the main plot was something we'd seen before; Chuck going undercover is, by this point, something everyone should be used to, and neither Zachary Levi's fun (and subtle) take on Chuck's new undercover persona and the idea that he was a little too good at being someone else offered enough spin to keep my interest, especially when the complications came in the unconvincing forms of "Chuck leaves the assassin's phone for someone at the BuyMore to answer" or "Sarah tells Shaw her real name even though she'd never told Chuck what it was, even when they were on the run together at the end of last season, which you'd think would've been a more likely time for her to lower her guard and be honest with him." Too much about this episode seemed like a rerun, with added characters failing to make it seem different enough from what we'd seen before.

The two lessons we were supposed to take from this episode were, apparently:

1) By being a better spy, Chuck has stopped being Chuck (Something that isn't necessarily true, given how he acted when he overheard Sarah reveal her real name), and

2) Sarah and Chuck have a special bond no matter how much they deny it, which they both react to in different ways — Sarah by denying it and getting herself a piece of that Shaw action, and Chuck by dumping Hannah so that he can be more honest and pout and probably listen to the whiny song that was playing in the background while he did it.

And, uh, okay? I feel like we knew both of those things already, which just added to the deja vu feeling of the episode. You know that, when Casey getting a tooth removed by a pretend-torturer Chuck doesn't even raise more than a smile, it's a weak week. But what did you think?




I've been using Chuck and Sarah as the example for how not to write relationship arcs in serials while working on a series these past few months.

It's maddening.