Chuck Episode 3-14, "Check Versus the Honeymooners" Recap

So here’s where things stand for Chuck, according to TV By the Numbers. Chances are that the final 6 episodes will need to be above the 2.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic (they got a 2.1 last night) to survive another season. NBC’s in last place, so cancelling the show won’t be an issue for them, I’m sure.

Another odd thing I’ve noticed is that one of the people that are now writing for the show (at least that’s what the opening credits tell me) is former Survivor contestant Rafe Judkins. I gotta ask Murtz to check in on that.

My question 3 weeks ago was what do they do now? The answer, apparently, was “elope to Zurich”, as Chuck and Sarah leave their spy gear behind and head by train to Switzerland. Casey, meanwhile, has returned to the US and has been tasked to retrieve the AWOL spies. Which Morgan decides to help him with, whether it’s wanted or not. Morgan actually does prove his worth though, as his borderline stalker knowledge of Chuck’s habits allow them to find the lovers and their ultimate destination. This leads to Casey and Morgan travelling to a stop somewhere between Paris and Zurich to intercept Chuck and Sarah.

Now, a quick check of the RailEurope website shows that a direct ticket between the two cities is about 4 hours. Mind you, this is on high-speed rail that can hit 200mph. A drive between the two (through Lausanne) is about 8 hours, so let’s go with that as their travel time. A direct flight from Los Angeles to Zurich is 11.5 hours, so the chances of intercept are either a) zero, or b) thoroughly possible due to television shows being a different universe where our laws of physics don’t apply (this is probably also the reason why on TV New Yorkers have giant apartments despite working in low-paying jobs). Basically, in the real world, if you are a CIA agent having to retrieve two wayward team members enroute to Zurich from Paris when you’re based in Burbank, it’s likely not gonna happen.

In television world however, this allows for comedy in the vein of what the wrestling crew would call “wacky tag team partners that hate each other”. In this case, the duo travel on a crowded jet to Europe, and where Casey packs light, Morgan appears to be ready to go backpacking across the continent (complete with Canadian flag patch, mistakenly assuming it’s because Canadians are friendly. To be honest, we do it because we’re proud to be Canadian, and we won’t be percieved as arrogant for sporting a Canadian flag. It’s a double standard, but an American who did the exact same thing would be considered arrogant and rude.)

Anyway, on the train, Chuck and Sarah independently discover a European Bad Guy and go about trying to apprehend him. Which they do, but it turns out that he’s actually turned himself in to Interpol and they took out the Interpol agents. Oops. So by the time Casey and Morgan improbably catch up to the duo, they’re told to sit tight and wait for the Interpol agents to retrieve the EuroBaddie. Which they do, but in typical fashion the agents are actually EuroBaddie’s “associates” who try to torture him into telling them what he’s told Interpol. Why not just kill him? Well, because Casey let the lovers run away, and they finally confront their true desires and come back to rescue the EuroBaddie and the Wacky Tag Team Partners Who Hate Each Other.

So everyone returns to Burbank, and at Castle the General looks to tear a new hole into Chuck and Sarah for running away amd getting involved, but she turns out to be a softie as she tells the two (off the record) “It’s about damn time”.

I know I’ve skipped the subplot, because all it really did was give us a payoff of Jeffster! singing “unplugged” and to write out Ellie and Awesome for the final few episodes. Seems like something of a cost-cutting move.

Next week, we get Fred Willard and Swoozie Kurtz. That should be… interesting.

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