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.
Chuck Versus the Break-Up
Like a bad penny, Bryce Larkin turns up once again to aggravate Chuck. The show is now really pushing the “Will they or won’t they?” dynamic with regards to Chuck and Sarah. Chuck might as well just place his heart under Sarah’s shoe to make the stomping easier for her.
That Guy of the Week:Former NY Giants DE Michael Strahan totally going against type and playing a jock douche who terrorizes Morgan at the Buy More.
Chuck Versus the Cougars
Ugh…Nicole Richie. At least we got some of Sarah’s backstory in this one. On a nostalgic note, the use of 90s pop songs in this episode was exceptional.
Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer
Definitely a filler episode, but I totally geeked out when “The Touch” by Stan Bush played. My viewing of this was frighteningly well-timed since I had just watched The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters days prior.
Chuck Versus the Ex / the Fat Lady / the Gravitron
My memory of this multi-episode arc is a little fuzzy. I’m pretty sure I just spent the whole time staring at Jordana Brewster. It was a little frustrating that the only noteworthy thing to come out this trio of episodes was the fact that Chuck’s ex-girlfriend turned out to be a Fulcrum agent. This is right about when I started to get bored with the show.
Chuck Versus the Sensei
Attention span…waning. Granted, we get a little piece of Casey’s backstory, but it still feels like filler.
That Guy of the Week #2: Carl Lumbly, voice of J’onn J’onzz on Justice League, but if you’re into the more obscure references, star of the short-lived 90s sci-fi series M.A.N.T.I.S. That’s right. I referenced M.A.N.T.I.S. You’re welcome.
Chuck Versus the DeLorean
Yello’s “Oh Yeah” was not nearly enough 80s music to honor the most iconic vehicle of the decade. (Too bad they already used “Power of Love”) Backstory seems to be on the writers’ minds this season as we dip further back into Sarah’s past by meeting her con artist father.
Chuck Versus Santa Claus
Christmas episode! Die Hard homage!! Reginald VelJohnson!!! It’s one thing to honor the greatest Christmas movie ever, but Chuck went that extra mile by having RVJ reprise his role as Sgt. Al Powell from the action classic. Nice touch with the Twinkies, too.
It wasn’t all fun and games for long, though, when the hostage negotiator turns out to be a Fulcrum agent (What places haven’t these people infiltrated?) and Sarah winds up secretly killing him in cold blood while Chuck looks on in shock. The relationship takes another wacky turn.
Chuck Versus the Third Dimension
The gimmick of 3D needs to go away. It’s bad enough in movies, but it’s even less appealing on TV. The episode itself also left me unsatisfied. More filler. Hobbit #3, Dominic Monaghan essentially reprises his role as a walking cliche from Lost and Chuck is on bodyguard duty. The only thing to come out of it was the revelation that Chuck saw Sarah kill the Fulcrum agent in cold blood in the last episode.
That Guy of the Week: Jerome Bettis, former RB for the Pittsburgh Steelers. As amusing as the guest appearance is, it’s as random as Michael Strahan’s from earlier in the season. Apparently there are some football fans on the Chuck staff.
This marks where I took a break from the series. As stated above, a lot of the episodes felt like filler, slowing down the progression of the series. It could be argued that I was accustomed to a faster pace since season 1 was so short, but watching these episodes had started to feel like a chore.
However, it was frighteningly well-timed that as soon as I sat down to give the show another chance this spring, things started to kick into high gear! Check back soon for a flash on season 2.5 of Chuck!