“Chuck” Recap: Chuck Versus The Sandworm

God help me. But I am beginning to come around to the two characters that I thought I would always dislike on the show. Captain Awesome and Morgan. Too bad their characters aren’t gay. In the Brangelina way of combining names, I would love to refer to the couple as Captain Morgan.

It’s finally interview day for Chuck, who is in direct competition with Tang for a low-level management position at Buy More. Chuck’s own boss wants him to get the job, albeit for purely selfish stress-related reasons, and tells Chuck he’s a lock for it. After all, as he says, “Tang has the charm of a prostate exam.” But Chuck’s biggest liability is Morgan.

While Morgan should be working a double, he’s at a Santa Monica Pier arcade playing a Guitar Hero knockoff. Already warned that Morgan’s the anchor around his neck, Chuck is about to scold Morgan for this gamebreak. That is, until he observes Morgan’s opponent and gets one of those mind-flashy-thingees. His name is Laszlo. He was spotted by the CIA playing Tetris as an 11-year-old, given a scholarship, received a PhD by the age of 17, and then became a weapons designer. I knew I should’ve spent more time playing Tetris and less time playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.

Later in the evening, Sarah meets Chuck in his bedroom to discuss the Laszlo incident. Laszlo has supposedly killed the CIA members responsible for keeping him hunkered down in a bunker, and is considered dangerous in the smart-guy-gone-crazy kind of way. This meeting takes all of two minutes, but since Ellie and Captain Awesome think Chuck’s getting lucky with Sarah, he asks Sarah to stay a little longer so it doesn’t look bad.

“How long do you want me to stay?” Sarah asks.
“Forty-two minutes and fifteen seconds.”

The next day at work, Morgan tries selling a digital camera to some teens by capturing footage of the rare “whale tail.” This, of course, is a female customer bending over for something and revealing some thongage. Chuck observes this and can’t take anymore. He lays a very non-Chuck-like rant on Morgan about having to grow up. When Chuck speaks, Morgan listens. Even if he drags his feet the whole way.

Morgan enlists the help of Captain Awesome. Or more precisely, Captain forces his advice onto Morgan. In Captain Awesome’s universe, there are three ways to demand attention.

One, you must tuck. Your shirt in. How else could that have been misconstrued? Rule one is difficult for Morgan, who squirms, “I feel like my junk’s out there for the world to see.” Captain quickly quips, “Maybe that’s the point.”

Rule two is to be direct, open and honest. Speak your mind. So Morgan construes this as fessing up to hiding under Ellie’s bed when they were younger to watch her change.

Finally, rule three is the most important rule of all. One that I adhere to, even. “Time to tame the mane. Let’s talk [hair] product.”

While Morgan’s getting the Awesome Eye for the Straight Guy treatment, Laszlo (who recognized Chuck’s watch at the arcade, as the watch he designed for the CIA) has taken Chuck hostage with a squirt gun as a last-ditch effort to convince him that he’s being blackmailed for those murders. Chuck, after hearing Laszlo’s story of basically being forced into the CIA story, can relate and begins to empathize. “Trust your handlers precisely as much as they trust you,” warns Laszlo.

So Chuck decides to trust Laszlo and hides him in the Buy More media room, while watching Bond flicks. Laszlo has never seen a Bond flick, so it turns into a guy’s movie night. The guys are having a great time, only missing a pillow fight and head-gear to make it an all-out slumber party, until Laszlo begins displaying a case of the crazies. He hacks into the media display, since, y’know, he designed it all, and decides to play some thermo-nuclear War Games with Texas and San Francisco. Realizing this is a little more intense than his and Morgan’s movie nights, Chuck attempts to ditch Laszlo.

Chuck locks himself in his Nerd Herd car … but guess what? Laszlo designed that car also, and not only is he waiting for him, but he knows all of the funky little gizmos that nobody else knows about. He crosses that guy line and does what no man should do to another man. He begins messing with Chuck’s radio presets and punches a combination of numbers. But instead of this affecting the bass and treble, it instead unlocks a passenger-side steering wheel allowing Laszlo to take over navigation. Oh, and it also ejects Chuck from the vehicle. Sadly, though, it doesn’t offer the automatic parallel parking.

Laszlo manages to get away. Sarah tells Chuck not to worry too much, somehow the GPS turned back on and they have discovered the car is heading east. OK. Seriously. Are we supposed to believe these agents are dumb enough to fall for the oldest trick in the book? Like some teen prodigy turned genius is going to be dumb enough to leave the GPS on? I saw this same thing happen in Con Air. He obviously tucked the GPS to some other vehicle. Come on!

Chuck hasn’t seen that film, obviously, and he’s content to agree with Sarah until he observes a drawing that Laszlo left behind, and has another mind-flashy-thingee which reveals the same Santa Monica Pier location where he originally met Laszlo. Chuck ditches his interview to run to the pier.

Enter Morgan, who is dressed in his Gordon Gecko best, following all of Captain Awesome’s advice. He’s wearing a tie and is all tucked in, walking with confidence, and most importantly (in my book) wearing product in his hair. Morgan interviews on Chuck’s behalf. Because, if there’s one thing he knows, the characteristics they’re looking for in a lower level management position are the same characteristics he’s looking for in a best friend.

Well, not exactly. Evidently, the HR person responsible for hiring finds prostate exams charming, since he gives the job to Harry by default.

While Chuck’s busy losing his promotion at work, he shows up to the Santa Monica Pier to find his Nerd Herd car — and Laszlo — waiting. Laszlo has decided to blow up the place responsible for the CIA taking away his life at the age of 11. The car is set to self-destruct in less than a minute because, well, that’s a prerequisite in any spy movie or television show. Laszlo tells Chuck he can stop all of this by cutting the yellow wire. Just cut the wire, like the ending of Goldfinger … which he supposedly has never seen. Chuck realizes it’s a trick and cuts the green wire instead. And once again saves the day.

Sure, he doesn’t get the promotion, but he does get to go home and rekindle his friendship with Morgan by donning the sandworm costume from Dune for about the tenth year in a row. And he and Sarah finally get a real picture moment of their own. Oh, and nothing blew up. That’s usually a plus.

This, That, and The Other Things:

* Casey was merely a background character in this episode. But he had some of the best moments. When he scolds Chuck for filling him in last, he says it feels like he’s the last one picked for Team Chuck. “I don’t like feel like being Team Chuck’s little fat kid.” Classic. Not to mention, his framed picture of Ronald Reagan on one of his tables. Nice little detail.

* Captain Awesome has been visibly absent the last couple of episodes. But this time, he provides some of the more entertaining moments. His Adam costume, which basically consists of a leaf — just a leaf — produces one of the better exchanges of the night. “Wait until you see my snake,” says Awesome. “I don’t wanna see your snake,” deadpans Chuck.

* “Is that a water gun? I’m pretty sure it’s dripping on my face.”

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