Entertainment Magazine

Review #3202: Chuck 5.7: “Chuck Vs. the Santa Suit”

Posted on the 28 December 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Amanda Kate Shuman
Directed by Peter Lauer

It’s been two seasons since Shaw came into the “Chuck” world, and I honestly can’t remember what happened the last time he was on the show. This episode did mention a lot of the major highlights of the entire Shaw arc from the third season, so that helped to clarify the conflict and give legitimacy to fifth season’s entire plot to this point. Combined with the usual Christmas regalia, this was one of the better episodes the show has done in a while. The tease/surprise/cliffhanger at the end, however, seemed unnecessary and out of place with the rest of the episode. It looks like that story will be developed through at least the next episode so judgment will be reserved for then, but also threatened to derail any goodwill built up through the hour.

Review #3202: Chuck 5.7: “Chuck vs. the Santa Suit”

As plots go, this isn’t one of the best in the show’s history. The Omen virus is released to the world, yet it feels like it only affects the customers of the Buy More. It does make for a funny image, though. Here, the Buy More is much more integrated into the storyline than has been previously presented. Even though I didn’t like how the network spoiled the surprise in the return of Shaw, his reasons for trying to kill Chuck are valid. He’s looking to cause Chuck the same pain that Sarah did to him. Armed with the Intersect 2.0 in his brain, Decker and his gang doing all the dirty work for him in releasing the computer virus, and a big chip on his shoulder, it makes him a very dangerous opponent.

The swiftness by which he dispatched both Sarah (which was also brutal, making me cringe a couple of times) and Casey tells us as much. Chuck’s plan to stop Shaw involved a clever use of the Omen virus via comprehensive research from Jeff and Lester and Chuck’s physical skills gleaned from when he last had the Intersect. He knows that he cannot match Shaw’s physical ability so he had to come into the showdown in the empty Buy More with some kind of other advantage. Negating Shaw’s Intersect upgrades was just the way to do that. Chuck handles himself quite well in his fight with Shaw, even if he got a bit of an assist from Ellie in the end. All of Chuck’s family and friends rally around him in the Christmas season so really, Shaw had no chance of winning that battle.

I did love many of the things surrounding the main plot with Shaw, Chuck, and Sarah. Casey’s method of escape in Castle using an old teddy bear worked better than even he thought. It’s not normal for Casey to be so sentimental when it comes to anything, but he’s getting into the Christmas spirit by being a dad to Alex and nudging her back towards getting with Morgan again.

General Beckman is once again used to great effect during the CIA Christmas party. Her interaction with Chuck in the Santa suit provided plenty of laughs. Plus, nerd icon Stan Lee makes a delightful cameo! I couldn’t decide if Jeff remained somewhat “normal” or if he had just fallen under the corrupting influence of Lester again, but their over-caffeinated state (which had the obligatory and obvious plug for Subway) was also a good source of comedy. I’m a bit worried that we may never see another Jeffster! performance on the show again, though that could be intentional by the producers to set up a surprise one down the line.

The only major problem I had with the episode was the coda with the surprise of Sarah’s baby that we haven’t seen before. I get that the powers that be behind the show have to set up the next story arc to lead into the series finale. That didn’t change the feeling that it didn’t mesh well with the rest of the episode.

It does track since Shaw said he knew all of Sarah’s secrets due to the Intersect. I just don’t think it was all that necessary. As such, I have to dock points from the episode for that since it didn’t really stick the landing. It could have (and should have, in my opinion) ended at Ellie’s impromptu Christmas party and that would have been a great ending to a solid episode. Sarah’s baby had better pay off in future episodes. Otherwise, that seems like a rather sour ending to a solid outing.

Grade: 8/10

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