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Review #2400: Chuck 4.18: “Chuck Vs. The A-Team”

Posted on the 16 March 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Phil Klemmer
Directed by Kevin Mock

It would seem that I am one of the few fans of “Chuck” who enjoyed the inclusion of the Gretas at the beginning of the season. Here, I could see why other viewers would have problems with the Greta subplot. This episode at least attempts to explain why those Gretas were in the Buy More as more than pieces of eye candy. It’s definitely not organically developed and the writers were trying to shoehorn two storylines into one. The major problem I had with this hour was how manic Chuck and Sarah acted once they learned they were not the CIA’s #1 team. It was just not the essence of who they are as individuals and as a couple. Casey proved once again he’s the voice of reason and everything works out in the end, but there was a point in the episode where I got really tired of their act and it threatened to derail the episode completely.

Review #2400: Chuck 4.18: “Chuck vs. The A-Team”

The reason why I can’t bring myself to like Chuck and Sarah’s collective hissy fit is that I fundamentally like them as characters. When they act borderline whiny, it never looks good. Yes, Casey is keeping secrets from them. Yes, the CIA did a stupid thing by building a secret section of Castle within two feet of where they get their mission briefings from General Beckman, which only invites suspicion. But they must know the value of keeping secrets. Sarah should know this, especially, given that she’s a spy.

In the end, they prove their mettle in defusing the nuclear bomb (by apple juice no less!) and they were better-equipped to deal with the situation than a couple of untrained Intersects. I don’t get why the CIA would be so disorganized as to not consider having both Bentley’s side and Beckman’s side talk to each other as to the best way to approach the Intersect project. The concept of multiple Intersects has been discussed since the beginning of the series so it’s not hard to believe this is the next step for the CIA to take. Perhaps they recognize that Chuck and Sarah are about to be married so it would be smart to develop a large-scale version of the Intersect to ensure the protection of the country. I could see the deployment of the program capping the end of the series if “Chuck” doesn’t survive past this season.

Ellie and Awesome often seem like forgotten elements of the show because they show up so infrequently. This may be why I still don’t know for sure what Ellie exactly knows. Keeping her in the dark about Chuck’s spy activities has kept her and Awesome safe for now. The introduction of the Bartowski computer to Ellie by Director Bentley threatens to expose her to the kinds of things Chuck never wanted her to see or even be a part of. It’s not entirely out of the question to make her some kind of analyst that could presumably assist the “A-team” of Chuck, Sarah, and Casey. The cost to her personal life has already started here: Ellie completely ignores her baby daughter for hours while diving into the computer. You can see the fear of how deep all of this goes in Awesome’s eyes at the end of the episode. This could be a really bad development for his family and the other main characters.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite my misgivings about this episode, I still enjoy the series overall. I still like the characters. It’s just that if these sort of annoying characteristics come out again and again, it could be an exercise in frustration as the end of the season nears. Since the resolution of the Volkoff arc, “Chuck” has seemingly been adrift in questionable plot developments and wild shifts in tone. Volkoff’s daughter isn’t addressed in this episode, but she promises to pop up in a later episode, possibly connected to Ellie’s exploration of her father’s computer or Director Bentley. It’s also nice to see Chuck and Sarah embracing a common purpose that doesn’t involve their romantic hang-ups. Things certainly have the potential to get better before we reach the end.

Grade: 7/10

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