EPISODE REVIEW: Chuck: "Chuck vs. Operation Awesome" (season 3, episode 4)

Sam White
Sam White's picture

This episode makes for a second out-of-the-park homerun in as many weeks for NBC’s show “Chuck”. [Note: as everyone who follows me on Facebook knows, my interest in football ended Sunday afternoon and I am now in baseball mode.]

Last week’s episode of “Chuck” left us with the impression that Captain Awesome had been killed. An impression that lasted about 120 seconds because the preview for this week’s ep showed him alive and walking around (the only weakness in last week’s episode as the cliffhanger ending could have been better served by previews that didn’t take the surprise away).

Flash forward to Awesome being dangled from the top of a building by the beautiful conservative actress and writer Angie Harmon, who thinks he is a CIA operative. Meanwhile, Big Mike makes Morgan the assistant manager of the Buy More, a move that is not met with much respect from Morgan’s co-workers. Mean-meanwhile, Chuck is freaking out, not knowing where Awesome is and worried about his sister.

How much to tell about this episode? All of the above was just what happened before the opening credits. Once back from the credits, we get to see Jeff and Lester organize a fight club in the Buy More’s cage (after Lester “enjoyed” the kick to the face he had been given by Chuck when he accidentally activated a flash); Awesome is returned but is given an ear-piece that connects him with Ring-member Angie and will explode if he tries to take it off; and the team is suddenly introduced to super (ha!) spy Shaw (played by Brandon Routh) who is given control of the team on all matters Ring-related. (And, is he the person General Beckman was seen talking to last week or is that someone else?)

This episode had a lot of action, but it also had a lot more comedy than usual, which I loved because it fit in with the story and didn’t seem contrived or forced. Captain Awesome’s attempt to lie to Ellie about where he had been while kidnapped was so funny I think I missed some of the lines due to laughter. I am really enjoying this fleshing out of Awesome’s character. For the first season, his perfection was funny; but by the second season it made him seem very one-dimensional. Now, though, we have learned that besides being a very competent and dedicated doctor, he can be scared. He finally seems more human. The only main character who hasn’t really been fleshed out, yet, is Ellie, but hopefully that will be coming soon.

One tiny little quibble: at the end of last season Chuck and the gang took down the evil agency Fulcrum (think Kaos with competence), only to find that there was another, more sinister group behind them called “The Ring”. If the team is able to bring down the Ring—and the show continues—I hope they then go after another organization completely and not just another layer beyond this one.