Episode Review: CHUCK: "Chuck vs. the Angel de le Muerte" (Season 3, episode 3)

Sam White
Sam White's picture

or "Chuck vs. the Angel of Death"

Moving back to its regular day and timeslot, “Chuck”’s pseudo-premiere (or, second premiere in as many days) was the best new “Chuck” of the season.

We start off with a fairly gratuitous scene of Awesome and Ellie’s first encounter, then flash to the present where Ellie is lamenting that, since getting married, they’ve become a boring couple. On top of that, her brother—who was supposed to come hook up their new TV—didn’t show (and has been missing a lot of family get-togethers lately, it seems).

And then, suddenly, we’re in Chuck’s apartment and he’s coming in wearing a bullet-proof vest and all geared up for some sort of spy mission. Awesome is really excited and wants in on whatever excitement it is that Chuck’s a part of. Acting out the old adage of “be careful what you wish for” Chuck is suddenly called back out into the field and Awesome is called to the hospital. All this was before the opening credits.

Once the episode is rolling again, we find that Chuck (and Sarah and Casey) are being called to protect a Central American dictator who is promising to bring democratic reforms to his country. This same dictator is in the hospital, though, where he is being treated by a certain awesome doctor. Things are additionally complicated by the fact that Casey can’t help them protect the dictator because he already has a history with the man, having tried to assassinate him three times in the past.

What follows is a sort of Marx Brothers episode wherein Casey tries to save the life of the man he previously tried to kill only to be thwarted by Captain Awesome, who doesn’t realize until it’s too late who Casey is; Chuck has to perform surgery while under duress; a dictator pledges his life to Captain Awesome while simultaneously hitting on Ellie and—as usual—Chuck and Sarah can’t decide what they should be. (Note: we all know they’re in love, they both know they’re in love, but we also know from much established history [from “I Dream of Jeannie” to “Moonlighting” to Maurey Povich and Connie Chung] that having your stars get together romantically is problematic.

This was an excellent episode, with a lot of laughs and more than its share of peril. It also would have had an excellent cliff-hanger (or maybe even gut-wrenching) ending if not for the fact that they spoiled it in the previews for the next episode. Still and all, if I were ranking all the episodes of “Chuck” we have seen so far, I would put this episode in the top ten of the series (so far).

I also need to put in a word of commendation for the excellent car commercials starring Ellie, Awesome and Morgan who are driving up the coast to attend the winter Olympics. These have been hilarious and I hope they show up on the DVD for this season.