I wasn’t a huge fan of last week’s Chuck, but this week’s episode more than makes up for it. It’s another fun adventure, but more importantly, it’s an episode that really places a strong emphasis on the characters and their relationships – the things that I love most about this show.
This week starts with a guy being willing to kill every single one of Alexei Volkoff’s lieutenants to get his hands on “the key.” Heck of a way to start the Valentine’s Day episode (even though Valentine’s Day was last week, but I’ll forgive that). Honestly, though, I’d rather face Boris than an angry Casey, who’s not happy when he interrupts everyone else’s V-Day plans because of an impending mission: to retrieve and protect Volkoff’s daughter, Vivian MacArthur (Lauren Cohan), at a masquerade ball. The one problem is that Vivian has no idea her father is an unhinged terrorist. Awkward! Vivian agrees to let Sarah stand in for her, hoping to draw Boris out into the open, but when Sarah is hurt, Vivian springs into action herself. There’s plenty of action here (and some of it playing on my weakness for a hero who knows how to handle a sniper rifle), but I’m more impressed with the character of Vivian, who is a strong woman forced into facing an upsetting reality. In a sense, she’s got to grow up, and that’s the theme of this episode, which it handles very well. This is before that pesky cliffhanger…
Meanwhile, Robin Givens plays a government agent who tries to recruit Casey for her own team. To me, she’s always going to be the ex-wife of Malik Wright on The Game, but I wasn’t impressed with her there, in her appearance on Nikita, or here. I just don’t find her to be a very good actress. Since we don’t yet know the specifics of her mission, though, I think we’ll be seeing more of her in the future.
The best part of this episode, though, is the comedy. Whether it’s Devon and Ellie struggling with parenthood, with an assist from the escaped Jeff and Lester, or Sarah not understanding the concept of action figure collecting (complete with her attempt at Chewbacca voice), it’s all hilarious and more importantly, relatable. Even if you haven’t been in those specific situations, you probably know someone who has, and comedy is at its funniest when it’s something that you can understand. I’ll even admit to getting a little choked up at Morgan deciding to move out; who among us hasn’t had to part ways with a best friend at some point in our lives? That’s what I love most about Chuck; what sticks with me aren’t the gadgets and the capers but the moments between the characters, who all remind me of someone I know.
Now if only I could be part of a joint government task force saving the world, but I digress…
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(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved.