Spoiler Alert: Rachel Bilson is adorable. I will forever refer to her as my future ex-wife.
Wow. I have to warn you. This blog writer is under the same truth serum influence as the characters from last night’s Chuck episode. I can’t be held responsible for anything in the bold font. It’s the serum talking and I have no control.
With just over a half-dozen episodes under its belt, Chuck has finally begun to shed its new employee status and the writers appear comfortable at their place of employment. Sure, week after week they tend to throw spy cliches our way, but they do it with just enough tongue-in-cheek bravado that says, “Hey audience, we trust you and know you get what we’re doing, here.”
Plus, they have Sarah running around in that Wiener Girl uniform and Captain Awesome finding reasons not to wear a shirt. The writers know how to distract men and women, alike.
All that said, last night gave us the best Chuck, yet. And as you know, I can’t lie today.
As is the norm, the episode breaks in mid-spy stuff. A man is tied up and under the influence of a truth serum. Like something out of Escape From New York, if an antidote isn’t applied after a few hours, the infected man will die. The truth doesn’t hurt. It kills.
Tonight’s heavy, played by Alias star Kevin Weisman, sends the infected man out to recover his Nuke codes, promising the antidote if he returns with what he’s looking for. I don’t know Kevin Weisman from Alias, however. I know him as the guy from episodes of two of my favorite shows, Felicity and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Damn this truth thing.
Chuck, meanwhile, is an AFC. That’s Average Frustrated Chump, to those not in the know. He’s been catching grief from Captain Awesome for obviously not sealing the deal with his “girlfriend” Sarah. Not making matters any easier on a single fella, is the emergence of Lou. Lou not being a gruff guy who owns a tavern. Lou being the girl who has put the life of her cell phone in Chuck’s hands. Lou (played by the beautiful Rachel Bilson) goes from frantic to flirty in fourteen seconds, once Chuck turns on the charm.
Lou and Chuck are attracted to one another. But Chuck, horribly single, has to pretend he’s dating Sarah. The one time an attractive girl has shown obvious interest in him. Add to it, Sarah has decided it’s time to simulate “relations” with Chuck, so as to not blow their cover. Poor Chuck. Time for a cold shower.
While Ellie, Awesome, Chuck, and Sarah are out for dinner, The Infected comes into contact with Ellie and passes off the charm containing the Nuke secrets as she attempts to save him from dying on the sidewalk. The Poisoner sees this and — dun, dun, dun — Ellie is now unknowingly part of it all.
She realizes he’s been poisoned, and Team Chuck uses that info to discover that it’s the “truth” poison Pentothal and depending on the dosage, can be lethal within hours. This is bad news for Ellie, who has just been infected with this after The Poisoner has paid her a visit, disguised as a cop.
The serum causes Ellie to crash Chuck and Sarah’s … uh … evening mission. As Ellie begins admitting to a number of things, including stealing from Chuck’s piggy bank for a New Kids fanny pack, Team Chuck realizes she’s either been hitting the cough syrup or the serum.
It all culminates with a big face-off which begins in the hospital after The Poisoner tracks down the Team. Everyone becomes infected with Truth Serum, which provides the real charm of this episode. Team Chuck gets one vial of the antidote, which they want Chuck to take. But Chuck wants to give it to his sister, before giving chase to The Poisoner. He admits that he’s going to lie to the team about taking it and really give it to this sister.
“You do that,” adds Casey, “and I’ll give chase … put a gun to your head … threaten to pull the trigger if you don’t take it.”
“Would you really shoot me?” asks Chuck.
“No,” admits Casey, also under the influence.
I like how we get to see that the tough-as-nails Casey also has a bit of a soft side for Chuck.
Chuck finds The Poisoner’s tracking device, which sets off one of those mind-flashy thingees as we learn that The Poisoner is actually a former gymnast named Reardon Payne who now sells secrets to the highest bidder. But this time he won’t get the chance. Why? Because Chuck’s found the tracking device and is going to stop him. And as we know, he can’t lie.
This allows Britney Spears’ Toxic to kick in over the montage sequences of Team Chuck suiting up and ready to take down the baddy … and allows me to get pumped about the use of this song in the process.
Curse this truth serum.
During this montage, Chuck admits to Sarah that he thinks she’s really pretty … and that Casey’s jaw was chiseled by Michelangelo himself. Both are genuinely delighted to hear this.
They kick down Payne’s door and a stand-off occurs. We go from one cliche, which is the use of a truth serum, to another — the standoff, only to have another potential cliche completely shattered. I had a good chuckle when the former gymnast begins doing back-flips and looks to be on the verge of getting away, when Sarah pulls out a gun and just shoots him in the leg.
There’s no big showdown.
No dramatic chase.
Instead of falling victim to the “we’ll just chase the baddy” cliche, the girl cheats and shoots him. Love it!
Everyone gets an antidote. But before taking it, Chuck takes his one and only chance to get the truth out of Sarah. He asks Sarah if any of the “relationship” is real and if there’s any potential between the two of them.
Under the influence of truth, she admits … there’s no chance.
The following day, Chuck decides to finally make a move. Knowing he has no shot with Sarah, he “breaks up” with her and takes control of his life by asking Lou out. And thus making me happy to know I’ll see Rachel Bilson in at least one more episode!
But poor Chuck, he has no clue that Sarah has been trained to withstand Pentothol. And therefore, likely not telling the whole truth to Chuck.
This, That, and The Other Thing:
* Let’s be honest. We really watch the show for the Chuck/Sarah will they or won’t they stuff. The spy stuff is the side dish. When Chuck admits to Sarah that he’s just fooling himself, thinking the two have a real shot … that’s one of those real moments you can relate to. It isn’t the shoot ’em up, drug ’em up stuff in the show. These two are Jim and Pam. But with computer brains and guns.
* The episode had some great dialogue and exchanges. Among my favorites:
“Mind cheater. Saw you!” — Morgan accusing Chuck of mind cheating on Sarah, with Lou. He also refers to himself as a “very busy man-boy” which is an obvious nod to those who watch the show and accuse him of this very same problem.
Lou: “I like you. I like almost everything about you. I think you’re cute and funny, our vast height difference intrigues me. Wanna know what I don’t like? I think anyone who cheats on his girlfriend is a big fat stupid jackass.”
Chuck: “Exactly. I concur.”
Lou: “Of course you do. That’s why I like you. Why don’t we do this? If your situation ever gets less complicated, you just let me know. ‘kay?”
“If I had a blog, this would be a really big day for me.” I love the shout-out to the bloggers of the world. Even if it’s something of the backhanded variety.
* I was thankful for Sarah’s bedtime attire. No, not for its visual reasons, but because of the banter it provided. Woops. Only that first part is in bold.
Sarah, “This is part of my cover.”
Chuck: “Well, it doesn’t cover a thing.”
Sarah: “I’m just being professional.”
Chuck: “Yeah, the world’s oldest profession.”