TV Review: "Chuck": Chuck vs.The Best Friend

Sam White
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For both of the “Chuck” fans (“Chuckers”?) who haven’t noticed, all episodes of the show are titled “Chuck vs. … “ something. The Delorean. The In-Laws. The Spastic Colon. Something.

This episode could have been titled “Chuck vs. Philadelphia.” Those of us who didn’t sleep through government class—or, at least, stayed awake for the crucial bits—may remember that “Philadelphia” comes from the Greek word “phileo”, which means “brotherly love.” This episode of “Chuck”, while being one of the funniest episodes in a while, was all about brotherly love.

Ever wonder why Chuck has always been so supportive—even solicitous—of Morgan when Morgan seemed to just be a rather immature sap—a sponge, even? It’s because in 5th grade, when Chuck’s mom ran out on him and Ellie, Morgan stayed up all night playing “Legend of Zelda” with Chuck. As Chuck put it to Sarah, they aren’t just best friends, they are family.

In this episode, Chuck gets sucked into helping Morgan stalk Anna (with the help of Jeff and Lester), only to find that Anna’s new boyfriend is tied in with the Chinese Mafia. At one point [semi-spoiler alert] Chuck has to save Morgan’s life by making Morgan look like a pathetic loser in front of everyone, even Anna. While Chuck did it to save his friend’s life, he’s afraid he may have destroyed the friendship that—we discover—is more important to Chuck than his mission for the government. Chuck is as protective of Morgan as he is of Ellie.

What struck me about this episode (which, while good, was not as good as the best part’s of last week’s ep [but was, of course, WAY better than the worst parts of last week’s episode {“Chuck vs. the Suburbs”}]) was that it graphically depicted two guys as having a friendship that was loving but in no way gay. This is so strange for TV I kept expecting to be blindsided by something to offset this display of manly affection. Instead, the idea was even reinforced by showing that Lester and Jeff have a similar symbiotic relationship that is completely hetero as well.

With such blatantly affirmative episodes as this cropping up, it can only be a matter of time before the network sensors come down on “Chuck” with both feet and grind it into oblivion, sentencing everyone behind the show to community service and sensitivity training.

Until then, watch with joy, “Chuckers”!

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