Chuck vs. The Seduction

Chuck, NBC, Airs Mondays 8/7c

Episode: “Chuck vs. The Seduction” (Season 2, Episode 2)

Synopsis: Chuck (Zachary Levi) has to go undercover to try and seduce a woman named Sasha (Melinda Clarke) to get back the cipher that was stolen from Casey. He is shocked to learn that Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) have been taken hostage by the woman after he has stolen the cipher and run.

Review: Last week, I wondered aloud whether or not we are seeing the best of Chuck in the opening episodes of season two. And after two weeks, I can confidently confirm that one of televisions most fun and clever shows has never been better. Showrunners Joshua Schwartz and Chris Fedak have continued to keep it fun all while bringing out Chuck’s inner spy. And once again, we see get a little taste of rico suave Chuck, only to see his momentum gunned down in a final moments twist.

But that is just what we see on the surface in episode two. When we peel back a layer or two, we see the season two formula exposed. Each episode thus far has included a great cameo — last week it was Michael Clarke Duncan, this week it is John Larroquette as a formally legendary spy turned drunken lothario. As well, each episode has seen an increase in Chuck-driven action, in which Zachary Levi plays up the anxiety perfectly. In the past, it has been Casey and Sarah saving Chuck’s ass every time — in this new era, Chuck seems to be the one saving the day. I can’t tell whether he is getting better or they are off their game, but I suppose that is an intentional effect. And the final piece to season two’s puzzle is the push-pull love affair between Chuck and Sarah. Everything from Chuck’s 80s movie rock ballad daydreams to Sarah’s over the top outburst in the surveillance van are evidence that their relationship is bound to get more complicated — not to mention the little twist in the final moments of the episode. I’d say that will bring all sorts of new problems. In the end, Chuck is a series at the top of its game, and while other NBC shows have gotten off to a very slow start (Heroes, Knight Rider), it seems to be leading its niche as the primetime comedy to watch.

Up Next Week: Former New York Giants star Michael Strahan guest-stars as the intimidating bully Mitt. Chuck is overcome with jealousy when his nemesis Bryce Larkin (Matthew Bomer) — and Sarah’s  ex-lover and partner — makes an unexpected return. Chuck and Sarah’s growing feelings for each other are tested when their latest mission requires Sarah and Bryce to pose as an extremely affectionate couple. Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) faces his own challenge at Buy More when he must deal with a gang of bullies, from a neighboring sporting goods store in the strip mall called, the Mighty Jocks led by the fearful Mitt.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch Chuck this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.

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