TV Review: Chuck 2.5 – Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer

Chuck, NBC, Airs Mondays 8/7c

Episode: “Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Synopsis: The fate of the world rests on Chuck’s mad videogame skills. Plus: Big Mike brings a new sheriff to the Buy More (Tony Hale guest stars).

Review: If there is one knock that I have made on Chuck in the past, it has been that what started as a series that played to the geek crowd has often diverted attention to a relationship-driven and action-driven comedy. Not that any of that is an overwhelmingly bad thing, it just doesn’t always play with the show’s initial core demographic. But in this week’s episode, which features geektastic references to everything from competitive video gaming to anti-Microsoft banter, it all comes back in a furious onslaught of geek-driven hilarity.

Take for example a little bit of dialog between Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Morgan (Joshua Gomez):

Chuck: Do we carry any Rush CD’s?

Morgan: No need I’ve got them all on my Zune.

Chuck: You have a Zune?

Morgan: Haha, no I’ll get my iPod.

Talk about geek-cred. And when combined with a little bit of action toward the end — action that included Agent Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and her gloriously low-cut shirt beating the hell out of guest star Faran Tahir, whose role as the sub-baddie in Iron Man has turned him into the defacto face of Hollywood terrorism. And speaking of guest stars, Arrested Development fans should be more than pleased to see Buster Bluth himself, actor Tony Hale popping up for what appears to be a recurring role. If this were a one episode guest spot, I would be calling his work as efficiency expert Emmett Milbarge underused, but thankfully it appears as if he might be coming back.

Overall, this week’s episode of Chuck is the season’s best, and quite possibly one of the series’ best. The writing continues to stay sharp and within its bounds — keeping things simple and fun. As well, the cast continues to shine. Zachary Levi with the one liners and the classic Chuck charm, Joshua Gomez with the silliness and Yvonne Strahovski… well, she’s good in so many ways. It’s all good enough to have us all coming back for more next week.

Up Next Week: Chuck returns in two weeks with the return of Chuck’s ex, played by Jordana Brewster.

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.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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