EPISODE REVIEW: Chuck: "Chuck vs. the Pink Slip"(Season 3,Episode 1)

Sam White
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Chuck vs. the Pink Slip

Suddenly, Chuck is back and he’s on a mission. But he’s suave and composed and, when he flashes, he kicks some bad-guy booty. But then, the escape falls flat because Chuck, we learn, can't make himself flash. It only happens by accident. And then, it turns out this wasn't a real mission, but an elaborate training exercise.

So began the first episode of the third season of NBC’s “Chuck”.

Chuck is then kicked out of spy school and we learn that—5.25 months earlier—he gave up a chance to stay with Sarah to attend this spy school. Next time we see Chuck, he’s sprawled on Ellie and Awesome’s couch, sporting a beard and Arthur Dent’s bathrobe and addicted to cheese puffs. His attempt to pull himself together winds up wrecking Casey’s carefully constructed plan to bring down an assassin and—worse—lands Chuck a job back at the Buy More.

A lot happened in this episode which I’m not going to go into (if you didn’t see the episode, you can watch it for free on-line at nbc.com), but I do want to record some of my thoughts before I forget them. There are, after all, three new episodes in a 25 hour period to cover here so I better get going.

I like that Chuck has so many new skills but isn’t able to control them. If Chuck became just another super-spy (like Casey or Sarah), what would be the point of the show?

I am only a little troubled by the heightened level of violence, but I’m very troubled by the heightened use of harsh language. There has always been a little bit of that, but I think George Carlin’s “7 Words you Can’t Say on TV” are probably down to 2.

The episode was good, but in some ways seemed rushed. Like with the status being up in the air, then being put back on a couple months earlier than expected, they were in a hurry when they edited this episode. I did like the “Eye of the Tiger” ending, though.