“Chuck” Recap: Chuck Versus The Sizzling Shrimp.

When JD and Turk leave our moving picture boxes after this season of Scrubs, Chuck and Morgan look to be next in the Hetero-lifemates TV Character Line. Yes, that’s a real line and it forms to the left. No skipping. That means you, Sam and “Sock” from Reaper.

Obviously dealing with separation anxiety, Morgan has organized “An Evening Of Morgan” with Chuck. And the second Sarah appears wearing her work uniform, we know Morgan’s evening is doomed. Morgan’s idea of the ultimate evening turns out to be shrimp. And lots of it.

Unfortunately, the restaurant that houses the greatest sizzling shrimp also produces another one of those crazy intersect mind-flashy thingees full of classified information. Boy. Don’t they all? Mei-Ling, a Chinese spy, has arrived in Chinatown and that can only mean one thing.

And by only one thing, I of course mean about two or three possibilities, which turn out to be incorrect, yet propel the episode forward.

Mei-Ling’s surprise arrival affords Chuck the opportunity to participate in his first stakeout. The punmaster in me wishes that the stakeout would’ve occurred outside of a steakhouse rather than a Chinese eatery. Even though Chuck is already attempting to balance some Morgan-time and sister time, the opportunity to create a Stakeout Mix CD takes the sting out, some.

While Chuck is off playing superspy, the “B” story (not to be confused with Bee Movie, which NBC is pushing harder than one of the Olsen twins trying to birth quintuplets) has Morgan on the verge of being fired if he doesn’t win a Buy More sales competition. Usually, I am bored with the Morgan storylines. But this time it produced one of my favorite exchanges, when instead of trying to sell something to a customer, Morgan solicits a customer for his shirt.

“How much for the shirt?” Morgan asks. “Because I’ve been looking for something to go with my beard.” Needless to say, the customer wastes no time trying to get away.

Morgan realizes it’s time to ask for help. Unfortunately, now that Chuck supposedly has a super-hot girlfriend, he can’t automatically count on him. This is the running theme of the episode — Morgan and Ellie attempting to come to terms with the fact that Chuck isn’t always going to be there for them at the drop of a hat.

As Morgan and Ellie wallow in their Chuck-less evening, Chuck has managed to not only interfere with the stakeout, but helps Lo Pan, the bad guy in a wheelchair, get away. You see, Mei-Ling isn’t the bad guy girl after all. She was just trying to rescue her brother from Lo Pan and the Chinese Mafia. But thanks to Chuck, her brother gets tossed in a trunk and driven away.

So now, not only has he angered his best friend and his sister for standing them up, but now he owes China’s top spy being responsible for her brother’s newly found trunk status. Who knew being a Nerd Herd-er was so intense?! Next time I take a computer to a Best Buy “Geek Squad,” I am going to be super nice just in case there’s a moonlighting spy working for them.

The action continues at a Los Angeles mansion in a showdown between Chuck’s crew and the Chinese Mafia. And I’m proud to announce, “Kung Fu Fighting” was not once used. Way to go Chuck producers, resisting the cliche urge! Mei-Ling, Sarah, and Casey are captured and taken back to the Chinese restaurant. Luckily, Chuck took mental notes on how to tail someone. Leave 30 yards on a tail. Wait. Was that 30 yards? Or 30 feet? Let’s hope national security never rests on Chuck converting Celsius to Fahrenheit.

In a MacGyver (thankfully, not SNL’s MacGruber) moment, Chuck buys fireworks and sets them off in the bad guys’ getaway van, which causes every last one of them to run outside, thus leaving the hostages unattended in locker inside. Yeah. This sort of thing would only work in a television series about an eight-dollar-an-hour employee whose brain has been hacked into and planted with super secret information. But it’s fun to watch, isn’t it?

Chuck sneaks in and frees them just in time to save Mei-Ling’s brother, clean up, and get back to his sister’s apartment to celebrate “Mother’s Day.” Instead of getting yelled at for being late again, Ellie has taken the time to realize that she’s no longer the only woman in Chuck’s life. So in an act of if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, she has invited Morgan and Sarah to their usually “just the two of us” evening.

This, That, and the Other Things:

– Morgan wasn’t quite as annoying as he usually is. They finally made him a bit more real with some of his reactions and feelings. He plays well off of Ellie. Hopefully we’ll see more of this and less of Morgan the Man Child.

– “What next?”
“Stay in the car.”
“My four favorite words.”

– The use of “Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates, during the stakeout.

– They missed a great opportunity to use Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” which would have to be on any Stakeout Mix CD. Which tracks would you place on your Stakeout Mix?


  1. Well, CPT A was on on Monday (I only saw it last night) and actually moved the plot along so I guess I was wrong. Yes, it was only small doses but there was a bit of interaction between him and Morgan that was crucial to the story.

  2. Potentially, you could be right.

    But right now, I think the producers realize that Captain Awesome only works in small doses. And that’s why they’ve cut his screen time down. He’s sort’ve like “The Todd” on “Scrubs.” When he only has a scene or two, he’s able to provide a good zinger, which makes you chuckle and wanting more. But the second they would try to fill that kind of character out, you’d stretch it thin.

    I thought I was going to hate Captain Awesome because of his caricature-esque quality. But I do find myself chuckling at him.

    What is your opinion of Awesome? Should he stay or should he go?

  3. Do you think they’re getting ready to get rid of Captain Awesome? He seems to have fewer lines, and in this episode he wasn’t even there. He “had to work late.” Then when Morgan was flirting with Ellie, nobody mentioned that she was married to the less and less present Cpt. A. That sounds like a character pruning has been ordered. Do you agree, and do you think that it’s because the ratings haven’t been quite as good as at first?

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