Entertainment Magazine

Review #3240: Chuck 5.11: “Chuck Vs. the Bullet Train”

Posted on the 24 January 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Nicholas Wootton
Directed by Buzz Feitshans IV

The end of “Chuck” is near so the time for it to use the Intersect on Sarah will be condensed. I didn’t expect however, that the writers would suppress her enhanced abilities this quickly. Outside of one action sequence, Sarah’s Intersect proceeds to shut her down for the bulk of this episode. Being this close to the end, the writers had to bring in one final wrinkle before domesticating the Bartowskis. They are not hiding it much at this point, only adding a complication that will likely require an all-hands-on-deck approach from each character on the series. Chuck and Casey will need their friends on this one because Sarah has been compromised and brainwashed so the mission to save her from Quinn’s clutches will not be an easy one.

Review #3240: Chuck 5.11: “Chuck vs. the Bullet Train”

I liked that the main action was confined to the Tokyo bullet train. Such tight quarters allows for our three heroes to face off with Quinn with a minimum of interference from outside sources. Sarah and Casey easily save Chuck from Quinn by using Sarah’s Intersect program. That Sarah’s fighting skills don’t need much enhancement keeps the fact that she has the Intersect in her head a secret from Chuck a little longer than usual. So when she finally reveals it to Chuck, it has impact.

Of course, that means Chuck freaks out about the Intersect’s ability to corrupt Sarah’s brain, but the two of them get some nice moments before it starts to melt her brain. They commiserate on the power that the Intersect provides, then completely visualize the “happy ending” they are supposed to get once they retire from the spy game. The drawing for the house and the dog and the baby will be the guiding memory for when the Intersect corrupts Sarah’s brain. We should see it used in the final episodes by Chuck to counteract the brainwashing that Quinn gives Sarah at the end of this episode. It would be better, however, to throw less contrivances into the plot just to move it forward.

I had issue with the fact that Sarah used the Intersect 40 times in a two day period. A spy as smart as Sarah is should not have to use the Intersect so much. The writers put in that arbitrary number for shock value and to move the plot to the point where Sarah has to be incapacitated, eventually sidelined. The solution to suppress the Intersect is elegant, though the interruption of the network feed for the program was predictable. The separation of Sarah from Chuck and Casey at the end was tragic, yet getting there took a couple of turns. Plot has never been the show’s forte, but it sets up well for the finale.

Meanwhile, there is chaos at the Buy More and Castle. While Ellie and Awesome figure out what happens with the corrupt Intersect when it was in Morgan’s brain, Alex gets kidnapped by a couple of Quinn’s thugs. This draws the curiosity of both Jeff and Lester, as it appears they never really let go of the clandestine spy plot that’s going on around them. This is key, since Morgan and Awesome were first tasked by Casey to rescue Alex, and they failed.

So Casey has no choice but to reveal their entire operation to Jeff and Lester. They save the day, however goofy their means were. The moment where Lester comes in armed to the teeth when Casey only asked him to get a pistol was worth a good laugh, as was Jeff using a flamethrower. Once Alex was safe, though, I questioned where the plot was going. Casey knew that Alex was safe, and he had a chance to take out Quinn, yet he didn’t shoot him. It was a rather large plot hole in my mind.

I hope the writers go for broke with these final two episodes of the show. Pitting Sarah against Chuck and Casey seems like something the show’s been wanting to do for years now. The stakes have never been higher, with Quinn using her to get his hands on a good Intersect. With so many Intersects out there over the years, I think it would be nice if that MacGuffin were eliminated from the equation at the very end. The endgame is very predictable at this point. We just have to see how everyone gets to that end. The journey should be well worth it, and coming quick with the show ending.

Grade: 8/10

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog