Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #6

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


Season 3: The Agent (Part 3)

Season 3 is nearing the end as Chuck continues to battle the Ring.

Chuck Versus the Honeymooners

When we last left our happy couple, they were getting freaky in Paris, relieving nearly three years of pent up sexual tension. They are now re-exploring the choice to leave the spy life and run away together, much like in the season premier (“the Pink Slip”). Of course, they may want to leave the spy life, but the spy life won’t leave them. I’m pretty sure this episode kicks off the “One Last Mission” trend as Chuck and Sarah attempt to apprehend a known terrorist aboard a train. It also marks the first (of many) “buddy cop movie” outings for Casey and Morgan as they track down Chuck and Sarah. Naturally, the love birds come to their senses and decide to stick around Burbank with the rest of the team. And to echo the sentiment of General Beckman, “It’s about damn time.”

Chuck Versus the Role Models

Here’s a switch. The Ellie and Devon C-story is the interesting one. While Chuck and Sarah are learning how to be a spy couple from Fred Willard and Swoosie Kurtz (I’m calling this Roan Montgomery 2.0), Casey is training Morgan for future spy work. Of the two, the Casey/Morgan story wins because watching those two together is pure brilliance. Chuck loves its pop culture references, some more overt than others, but subtly integrating the “buddy cop” convention into the series was a stroke of genius.

Casey and Morgan provide the laughs, but it’s Ellie and Devon’s expedition to the Congo that brings us back on course. Devon’s idea to join Doctors Without Borders to escape the effects of Chuck’s spy life does the exact opposite as a Ring agent covertly forces the couple back to Burbank.

That Guy of the Week: Udo Kier. I know he has many credits to his name, but he’ll always be the guy with the shark tank from Ace Venture: Pet Detective.

Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #5

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


Season 3: The Agent (Part 2)

Season 3 has so many great episodes, they cannot be contained in one post! That being said, let’s not waste any time. More big changes are on the way for Team Bartowski!

Chuck Versus the Beard

We all knew this day would come. Well…we didn’t think the Ring would discover and infiltrate Castle, but we did think Morgan was destined to join up with the team.

This episode felt very much like “the Marlin” from season 1 in the way it involved everyone. It’s also brilliantly executed as the Ring goes after the team on two fronts, drawing out Sarah, Casey, and Shaw with Devon as bait, and entering the Buy More to locate and destroy Castle. In the process, Morgan (finally) stumbles across Castle when the Ring agents find it. This provides a great means of shooting down all the BS that Shaw has been slinging about how Chuck needs to eventually shed his support system, ie Sarah and Casey, to become a good spy, but even when they are not around, Chuck gains Morgan as a party member, emphasizing that he is and never will be alone. Devon was a good starting point for a person outside of the team to learn about Chuck’s secret, but he still had to cover it up from Ellie. Morgan, being the best friend, is now in a unique position to not only offer Chuck an ear, but also become an ally in the spy world. Team Bartowski continues to grow.

Those Guys of the Week: Diedrich Bader and Cedric Yarbrough. Two guys best known for comedic work playing ruthless Ring agents. The Chevy Chase principle holds true.

Chuck Versus the Tic Tac

Casey backstory! We got some bits and pieces of Sarah’s past when we met her dad, and we’ve begun to explore Chuck’s family, but Casey has remained a mystery. We got a hint of something in “the Fake Name” when Chuck flashed on the name Alex Coburn, and we now learn that it is in fact John Casey’s real name. His past is also waaaay more interesting than having been just a gruff NSA soldier for his whole career. Black Ops! Fake death!! A daughter!!! With a whole new part of Casey’s life uncovered, a plethora of new storylines is teetering on the horizon. Will he tell the truth to his long-lost fiance? Will he meet the daughter he didn’t know he had?! Will he go nuts now that he’s a civilian?!? Next episode! QUICK!

That Guy of the Week: Robert Patrick. Let’s face it, anytime you see this guy on screen, you half expect him to turn into liquid metal at some point.

Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #4

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


Season 3: The Agent (Part 1)

Having blown through the second half of season 2 of Chuck and enjoying it immensely, I wasted no time kicking off season 3. The Intersect 2.0 is in Chuck’s head, giving him Matrix-like instantaneous access to combat techniques, languages, and data, he’s ready to step up as a legitimate government agent.

Chuck Versus the Pink Slip

The writers waste no time canceling out a lot of what happened in the season 2 finale. Having failed out of spy school, Chuck is forced to return to the Buy More, Morgan, upon his return from Hawaii, reveals that he was unable to pursue his dream as a Benihana chef, and Sarah drops Chuck, giving us that patented Sarah Walker stare at the phone before tossing it away when Chuck calls. This one was difficult to watch, not because it was bad, but because Chuck and Morgan are at their lowest, having had life kick them both in the balls. That being the case, I found it odd that Morgan wasn’t more depressed over the fact that he had failed at his dream job, the one thing he really wanted to do with his life. He also lost his girlfriend, but Anna was awful anyway.  Regardless, he was taking it rather well…aside from living in the Buy More.

Chuck, on the other hand, does his best The Dude impression as he mopes over the end of his spy career and the loss of Sarah. The poor guy just can’t catch a break. Thankfully, he gets over his slump and sets out to prove everyone wrong about his inability to be a spy, especially Sarah. And, Boom! Reset button. Chuck, Morgan, and Casey are all back at the Buy More, Team Bartowski is back together, and Chuck is back in training! The big change, however, is that Chuck has taken Ellie and Awesome’s apartment and has moved in with Morgan. Ah, the bromance.

Chuck Versus the Three Words

Mini Anden returns as Carina Miller and she’s brought a friend! Two years later, Carina is back and putting Chuck and Sarah in the super awkward position of maintaining the couple cover, even though they’re on the rocks after Chuck chose the spy life over running away with Sarah. He’s definitely going to be climbing out of that particular hole for a while. As the team moves to take down the villain-of-the-week arms dealer Karl Stromberg, who also happens to be Carina’s fake fiancé, Chuck struggles to explain his feelings to Sarah, culminating in an admission of love. Of course, it occurs while he’s trapped in a vault and slowing losing oxygen. There is no better time.

We’re definitely digging deep into the Chuck/Sarah relationship this season. They’ve gotten off to a rocky start this season in keeping with the on-and-off status they’ve had in the past, but with Chuck’s admission of love, I see their relationship taking huge steps this season. This episode also leaves us hanging with a new mystery as General Beckman addresses an unseen agent known only as Shaw. Big things are brewing.

That Guy of the Week: Vinnie Jones. He’s the Juggernaut, bitch! His character also shares a name with the Bond villain from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Review: Star Wars #7

There aren’t enough good spy stories in the Star Wars universe. Thank goodness for Brain Wood. Issue #7 of Star Wars from Dark Horse arrives this week, continuing the tale of the Rebels’ search for a new home, the Empire’s relentless hunt, and Darth Vader’s personal vendetta to piss off

Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #3

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


Season 2.5: The Asset

Several months ago, I had asked some friends who were avid Chuck fans, “When does Chuck get good?” Turns out the answer is episode 13 of season 2. That’s not to say everything before that is crap. Far from it. The middle of season 2 is just when the story kicks in. We had Fulcrum sneaking around and looming in the background for a while now, but an undercover operative here and there just wasn’t doing it for me. It would take an entire neighborhood. Couple that with the writers finally delivering on all those off-handed mentions of the Bartowski parents, and we have the reason (IMHO) why Chuck resonated with it’s fans.

Chuck Versus the Suburbs

Ok, NOW Fulcrum is scary. White bread suburbia is frightening enough, but an entire cul-de-sac of ruthless rogue agents is worse, especially when they include Andy Richter and Jenny McCarthy. (Seeing Richter as the funny, fat guy is great, but when he tries to play a baddie, it’s just plain creepy!) Naturally, Chuck is right in the middle of suburban hell and gets sucked into Fulcrum’s plot to create their own Intersect. Not enough for you yet? Ok, then let’s strap Chuck in a chair Clockwork Orange-style and fire some new data at his brain! Thankfully, Chuck gets to say “My Intersect is better than your Intersect” and pulls a move straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wonderful! 

That Guy of the Week: Brian Thompson. Yeah, him. The guy with the melty face you saw in Star Trek, The X-Files, and/or Buffy.

Chuck Versus the Best Friend

This episode actually dips back into the filler category and has nothing to do with anything, sadly. We get more frustration as Chuck does his best to protect his friends, in this case, Morgan, but catches crap for it because he can’t blow his cover. Appropriately, the episode was technically produced before “Suburbs” and therefore gets a “bye” for being a forgettable episode at this point in the season. 

Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #2

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


Season 2: The Asset

Season 1 was a lot of fun. When I finished the 13 episodes, I was eager to start season 2. However, a few episodes in, I started to get a little bored with the formula. General Beckman issues an assignment, Chuck has to flash on something important, Sarah dresses in slow motion, and Casey puts on a bad wig and plays a bartender. Chuck is then told to wait in the car, ignores this order, panics, and inadvertently accomplishes the mission alongside Sarah and Casey. Occasionally, a random actor will guest and add that, “Hey, it’s THAT guy!” moment, but the tedium was still present. I trudged through the first half of season 2, maybe watching one episode every week or so. Contributing to my dissolving interest was the start of the new TV seasons in the fall. On a night where perhaps there wasn’t something new to watch or I just threw something on while having dinner, I’d pick up where I left off with a Chuck episode, but even those were fillers like Chuck Versus Santa Claus or Chuck Versus the Third Dimension. I kept with it, even if it felt like a chore at times. At least the menace of the Fulcrum terrorist organization was present to create a thread that could carry you through the season. I was starting to see why the show’s life was in jeopardy back in the winter of 2008.

Chuck Versus the First Date

The season came out swinging with its premiere. We immediately have a “That Guy” moment with Michael Clarke Duncan showing up as villain of the week, and Chuck is faced with the possibility of returning to his normal life. (But let’s be honest, if the main character is being told this in the first episode of a new season, do you really think it’s going to stick?) The same can be said about the kill order Casey is given since Chuck will be obsolete once the new Intersect is completed. It was a great idea, though, to have a threat to Chuck on both sides for the first (and definitely not the last) time. And, of course, as the episode title states, Chuck asks Sarah on an actual date, moving that story forward. Throw in two great Huey Lewis & The News songs and season 2 is off to a solid start.

Chuck Versus the Seduction

Check out the big budget on Chuck! Since Chuck is stuck as the Intersect, Sarah and Casey will be sticking around, so naturally, they need a sweet, secret spy base under the Buy More and the new Orange Orange froyo store. And with the new base comes the obligatory James Bond analog, Roan Montgomery, played by That Guy of the week, John Larroquette. The best part of his appearance was the implied history between him and General Beckman.

Back Of The Fridge: Intersect Download #1

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Intersect Download,” Tek joins the Nerd Herd with Chuck.


I missed the boat on Chuck when it first aired on NBC in 2007. The most I saw was the last minute or so of a few early episodes as a waited for that week’s episode of Heroes to air after it. The show had always been on my radar, but it was my visit to Nerd HQ at San Diego Comic-Con 2012 that spurred my desire to finally sit down and plow through the series. Chuck star Zachary Levi left quite an impression on me as I saw him in action at Nerd HQ, both hosting Conversations for a Cause and just running around being a friendly, genuine nice guy to all who walked through the doors. I knew Yvonne Strahovski from Mass Effect and Adam Baldwin from many things (mainly Firefly), so some familiar faces were a draw as well.

Shortly after my return from SDCC, I blew through season 1, which was relatively easy, since it was only 13 episodes (a result of the 2007-2008 WGA strike). I stalled somewhere in season 2, but within the last few months, I’ve picked back up and set the goal of finishing it in time for SDCC 2013. The earlier seasons aren’t as fresh in my mind as they once were, but I’m sure the ol’ Intersect can flash on a few memorable moments. [Note: Chuck has only been off the air for a little over a year, so the statute of spoiler limitations might not have been lifted yet. So, if you have yet to experience the adventures of Mr. Bartowski, there will be spoilers. You have been warned!]

Initiate Intersect Download…

Season 1: The Intersect

The pilot episode, “Chuck Versus the Intersect”, definitely hooked me, throwing you headlong into Chuck’s world of tech support at the Buy More and the clandestine missions of CIA and NSA operatives Sarah Walker and John Casey. Chuck is likeable, Sarah is gorgeous, Casey is hilariously grumpy, and the series setup is relatively straightforward. Giant government computer gets implanted in geek’s head. Ok, I’ll buy it. With a wealth of government secrets in the head of a lowly Nerd Herder (obviously a play on Best Buy’s Geek Squad as well as a loving Star Wars reference for those of you playing the home game), the fish-out-of-water scenario kicks in and Chuck begins his career of being ordered to “stay in the car.”

Looking back on the first season, there are definitely a few key episodes that were integral in establishing the rest of the series.

Chuck Versus the Intersect

It’s the pilot. Of course it’s an important episode. We meet pretty much every main character, most of whom would go on to become series regulars, and the basic story and episode formula are established. Chuck’s “flashes” on seemingly mundane people or things lead to missions that, naturally, get Chuck into some hairy situations from which he is rescued by Sarah and Casey. Coupled with the misadventures of the weirdo employees at the Buy More, the shows finds a good balance of action and humor.

Chuck Versus the Wookiee 

Episode 4 is worth noting because it marks the first appearance of Carina Miller (Mini Anden), an agent from Sarah’s past who pops up a few more times throughout the series to both work with the team and drive Morgan up the wall. By the time she showed up a second time, I actually had to revisit “the Wookiee” to recall who she was… And yes, that’s Abed’s dad.