Chuck Episode 3-09, "Check Versus the Beard"

After breaking up with Hannah and seeing Sarah kissing Shaw, Chuck has lost his mojo, so to speak, and can’t flash. So Shaw makes the decision to leave Chuck behind while he, Sarah and Casey go to track down a Ring agent looking to turn one of their own against them. Unfortunately, they’ve targeted the vacationing Awesome, who has also lost a bit of his mojo due to the whole spy thing. And finding out that he’s been targeted by the Ring isn’t helping things. And of course, this is a ruse to lure Shaw and the team away from Castle, perpetrated by…

Diedrich Bader. Yes, Diedrich Bader, who is leader of a Ring team posing as potential buyers of the Buy More but really trying to discover Castle since they know Shaw must have a secret location. So they interview the Buy More employees to see if anyone has any information on the location. But clearly, the staff has seen Office Space (which curiously, featured Bader) so they figure layoffs are imminent. This leads to the (probably inveitable) staff revolt, barricading them inside the Buy More, which gives us a few funny moments – Jeffster! and perhaps the first time you’ve ever seen consecutive homages to Braveheart and “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”.

All of this manages to lead to Morgan discovering Castle, and subsequently learning that Chuck is indeed a spy carrying the Intersect. And with Morgan now knowing, he helps Chuck work through his Sarah issues, which naturally means that the Intersect come back to Chuck at the last possible moment. So yes, he once again knows kung fu. And all is once again right with the world, except for the fact that Casey may be a double agent.

Overall, we got a pretty strong episode here, if you ignore the whole Buy More lock-in (which was annoying save for the two moments noted above). The show had been drifting away from Chuck and Morgan’s Joey/Chandler relationship, so reestablishing that was probably important, but does bring up the fact that too many people know that Chuck’s a spy, and obviously Morgan will be insufferable knowing the truth.

I’m not sure if Ellie and Awesome are being phased out, but clearly the Awesome-is-mistaken-for-an-agent story has been done too many times already, so we probably need a break from them. Shaw, however, needs to go as a romantic rival for Chuck. We saw this with Larkin already, and really, they need to stop the will-they-or-won’t-they and just get Ross and RachelChuck and Sarah together.

Incidentally, I felt that Bader was a fun choice for a villain here, especially considering his current role as Batman in the cartoon The Brave and the Bold. He managed to be fairly serious in his role, and that’s something we’re just not used to seeing from him.

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