12 November, 2011

CHUCK Vs. the Frosted Tips - 5.03: the Intersect Problem

First of all, right click on this link and SAVE! We recorded a podcast about the last two episodes plus Chuckfest3. You should check it out when you have time... but download it now. Don't hesitate! Even if you have no plans to listen. It's not that big of a file and you will thank me later. Or curse me out. Maybe somewhere in-between.

So the third episode in the season that starts with the number five was a full-blast character funathon that reminded me why I still love this show so much. We got fun Casey and Sarah interaction; Casey and Morgan; Casey and Gertrude; Casey and Alex; pretty much Casey getting a lot to do and Adam Baldwin had a lot of fun with it.

When we last left our bunch of elite spies, we the audience had just discovered that Morgan was a traitor, having sold himself, the Intersect, to the competition. As the episode opens, we see that Sarah and Casey are on a mission of some sort and it involves Gertrude. There is some fun back and forth between Casey and Sarah, especially as Sarah tries to direct him in how to ask his mark out.

Let me just declare that Carrie-Anne Moss is great on the show. She has totally blown me away. I have never been a particular fan of anything she has done (though, that may be more about the characters than her, I don't know) but she has grabbed a hold of this part and made it her own. I totally buy into her character and how she fits into this world. Plus, Baldwin and Moss have great chemistry and I can't wait for more scenes between them.

Meanwhile, Chuck and Morgan have a secret meeting in a garage and it turns out to be General Beckman! Here we get some hilarity as Morgan greets her from the car.

General Beckman: I'm outsourcing to your team to circumvent the leak. My only condition is that no one breathes my name in relation to the mission.
Morgan: (beeping the horn and yelling) Yo, Becky! What up, baby girl?
General Beckman: (to Chuck) I told you to come alone!
Morgan: You're doing pilates, huh? You are. Don't say you're not. You are.
General Beckman: What the hell is wrong with him?!
Chuck: So many things.

The next scene has Chuck running into Alex, Morgan's once dearest love and the daughter of the man who could have snapped the bearded one in half just three episodes ago. She is upset because Morgan is no longer being the awesome boyfriend he once was and asks for Chuck's help. Mekenna Melvin is kind of adorable in this scene and I am totally falling in love. Granted, that may just be the residual Chuckfest3 splash-over where she was super adorable and I totally fell in love. Whatever the case, I'm in love and Morgan's a dick. More Mekenna, please!

Back to the spy world where Casey, having placed a hidden camera on Verbanksi, along with Chuck and Sarah spy on Gertrude's meeting where they discover that Morgan is a traitor! And when he is confronted about it, he doesn't show much remorse.

Morgan: You had the greatest weapon on the planet and you chose not to use me! That's on you!
Sarah: So you went and told Verbanski about the Intersect?
Chuck: Morgan we were just trying to protect you, that's all. Don't do this.
Morgan: It's already done. Okay, Chuck? It's too late.

When Casey tries to stop him, Morgan subtly threatens him. Casey responds by telling him that he won't let his daughter date a traitor. Morgan responds dickishly.

Morgan: Right, right, right. Your daughter. Your daughter. Sure, excuse me. Let me take care of that right now. (pulls out his cell phone) Sweet little Ali.
Casey: Alex!
Morgan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure, whatever. There you go. (Morgan holds up his cell phone) A'ight?
Casey: You text message break-up with my little girl?
Morgan: Yeah. Well, I can do better.

There is also a side story in here about Captain Awesome taking care of the cutest baby actor ever! Well, it is actually about how bored he is taking care of his kid. The guy who needs constant action can't just chill with the cutest baby ever! Just want to eat her up! Numnumnumnumnumnum!

But I digress.

Chuck starts to try to figure out what is going on with Morgan and comes to the conclusion that what he needs is for something embarrassing to happen to him to snap him out of his douchery, recalling a story of a behavioral change when they were kids when Morgan first grew a mustache. There is some fun bit of dialogue here that you should probably experience while watching the episode. But the team discovers that Morgan has stolen something from them and they decide to get it back while also pulling Morgan's pants down. It's actually a great plan.

Meanwhile dos, Captain Awesome discovers that Jeff has been freebasing carbon monoxide for a very, very, very, very, very, veryveryvery long time. He corrects the problem. If you don't know, Devon is actually my favorite character so I will take any scene with him. He was a bunch of fun last episode and continues his awesome ways here. In the end, he tells Jeff to stop sleeping in his van. This should do away with my need to write about it further.

Onto the Carmichael squad, as they infiltrate Verbanski's deepest, darkest layer, in daylight. We get Casey being badass, Chuck being a hacker, and more Morgan being a dick when he discovers that his assistant hasn't gotten his coffee right.

Morgan: (spitting up his coffee) Scotty, what is this?
Scotty: A tall soy latte with two Splendas.
Morgan: Soy? Who said anything about soy? What do you want me to do, start lactating for you?!
Scotty: I'm not sure what you mean?
Morgan: I asked for almond milk! Al-mond milk!
Chuck: (watching from a remote feed) You megalomaniacal bastard.
Morgan: Okay? Please fix it!
Scotty: Yes, sir!
Morgan: (to Gertrude) This is the best that Harvard has to offer?

When Morgan is called to train a class in martial arts, Gertrude is left alone in her office, with Casey hiding inside. This leads to a pretty great sequence where Morgan beats down one Verbanski trainee after another until only a incognito Chuck is left. This is hands down the best Morgan as the Intersect scene we will ever see. I love it. This is intercut with Casey and Gertrude having a sexy little fight in her office. Meow. These two kitties sure have chemistry.

The whole sequence culminates in the confrontation between Chuck and Morgan where Bartowski actually handles himself well, at least defensively, against Morgan's Intersect. The two then have an argument where they circle each other like two caged pit-bulls. There's even a "Lord of the Rings" reference tossed in the mix. What can I say, I love this scene too. And when Morgan is ordered to stop his former team, we get some extra bit of confrontation/fun tossed into this tasty omelet.

Let's fast forward! Somewhere in there the gang decides Morgan just needs to get in touch with his inner self to break what is most likely a Decker control in the Intersect. There is a confrontation between the Verbanksi and Carmichael groups during a mission that leads into a shoot-out and a fight, then an exploding helicopter, Casey and Gertrude kissing, and Morgan returning back to what appears to be normal. This is the only thing that bothers me about the episode, the easy with which Morgan breaks the spell he has been under. I don't know why these writers feel the need to make resolutions so simple/easy. It is almost as if they think the collective IQ of the viewers is 80.

As the episode ends, Jeff arrives at the Buy More having slept without the carbon monoxide poisoning for one night, totally clear headed and looking frighteningly normal. What does this mean for poor Lester? Casey kicks Morgan out of his apartment and the bearded bandit has to stay with Chuck and Sarah. And we are told that since Morgan announced to everyone who would listen that he was the Intersect, that there is a kill order out on him. Ruhroh! Someone wants the little guy dead! Tune in next week for more!

If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

93 out of 100.

So, what did you think?


  1. I agree about the on-screen hot chemistry between Adam and Carrie. More! More!

  2. After Ilsa and Kathleen(especially the latter), it's hard for me to care about this new relationship. Casey said that his former fiancee was the great love of his life, and it didn't seem like he was over her by the end of last season. It was clear that there was still something between the two when she went to his apartment. Or does Casey fall madly in love with any woman who will give him the time of day? I'm disappointed in the writers.

  3. I think the Kathleen situation is a bit like Chuck's relationship with Jill. She was Casey's first love, but the relationship itself is a relic from his pre-spy days. He's a different person now, and even if she would have him, I can't imagine things working out between them. Ilsa's a different story, but that always seemed like more of a fling to me. I say let Casey have his fun, even if it doesn't wind up lasting. He and Gertrude are really enjoyable together.

  4. I love Sarah giving Casey advice about dating, but to be honest how hard did Sarah really have to work to get Chuck to be attracted and to like her? lol. The first time he saw her he was ready to hand over his heart and on the date he was already in love. Piece of cake, no? Great episode, the best of the season. The only thing I will say is that having Casey and Gertrude kiss was awesome but was Sarah and Chucks not a little out of place? maybe that is just me but the casey one was built up over the episode and I hoped they would just focus on that for a bit (not that I am complaining about any kiss we get, lol).

  5. You guys are still talking about Kathleen? LOL!

    Forget her. That shit is so over, you will never see her again. I can't believe you would put any thought into a character you saw for like two episodes.

  6. I agree who cares about Kathleen. She wasn't even that good of a character or memorable.

    Aprently the ratings went up, does that help our chanes of a back nine?

  7. Why do people want a back nine? Considering all the location shooting they are doing, they won't have much money left for that-- If NBC does order 9 more they won't be paying very much for them. Ergo the back nine will look awful and have lame stories because all the writers are ready to end it. I am anti-back 9

  8. I was kind of hoping there would be something useful with Kathleen considering they seemed to make it a point to bring her up last season every few episodes.

    But in retrospect, it's better how it worked out. Casey was really young when they were engaged. Being a second lieutenant means he was probably Alex's age or only a little older, something like 22 or 23. He's in his 40's now, lived a pretty hardcore spy life for 20 years. He's not that man any more and Kathleen has to have changed too. So tempting as it would be for the fairytale "Alex's mommy and daddy got back together after all these years" ending, it just doesn't fit well.

    Looks like Gertrude is kind of crazy in all the right ways to suit him. Bring it on.

    Anyone who thinks a blip up to a 0.9 or 1 .0 puts a back nine on the radar again is probably dreaming.

  9. Well, whatever people thought Kathleen was going to become, she won't. She is just Casey's past now. Focus on Gertrude because she is his future... and thank the gods for that since she is a far more interesting character.

    As for a back 9... no. Sorry. Not unless WB feels it can't sell the show into syndication with 91 episodes and gives those back 9 to NBC for free.

  10. Agreeing with you on that, HGF. Gertrude is a better match for who Casey is now and she's a really fun character to boot. Too bad we didn't see her a few seasons ago.

    I'm gonna stick with the opinion that a round 100 episodes would have been nice but I'd rather leave it at 91 and have a well-planned final ending.

  11. Though... what I don't understand is if CHUCK fans were so awesome and able to "save" the show, why aren't they doing it now? I mean, where are the campaigns now?

    Why would you only have a save my show campaign when it is going to get renewed?

  12. Because then it won't possibly fail and you get a guaranteed cookie and a pat on the head for "saving" the show.

  13. Wait, I got on idea! Let's have a CANCEL THE SHOW campaign!

  14. Holy shit, the "Cancel Chuck" campaign worked! Have a cookie and congratulate yourself.

  15. You singlehandedly cancelled the show! That's incredible.

  16. Don't try this at home, kids. I'm an untrained amateur.

  17. Just rewatched the episode & I loved it!Again I agree with you. Casey and Gertrude story/chemistry is great.Also Casey and his daughter was sweet(Casey: I can kill him or torture him for you).Big Casey fan so no complaints!Agree Morgan got back to himself too easily, but that is minor gripe."Clean" Jeff is hilarious.Awesome episode.

  18. Rewatched it, loved it. About the only thing I kind of groaned at was Casey's "Life, like readiness..." quote. It just didn't feel quite "earned" naturally by the situation like most of his conservative remarks are (like that sauce for oysters being the best thing the French ever did for the world which he said just a little later) so it was random and clunky.

    Also not sure "Readiness...begins at the point of conception" makes a hell of a lot of immediate sense the way a good line of dialogue ought so that really didn't help.

    But that's really about the only thing negative I can say for the episode so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

  19. Couldn't agree with you more about that line... I almost commented on it but then decided against it.

  20. Good to know it wasn't just me. There've been enough examples of "Conservative Casey" moments that have been natural and funny that it really made that one stand out as weird and forced. Even in this episode the French oyster sauce line and the little salute to the Reagan pic in Getrude's office worked where that dialogue didn't.

  21. Yeah, it felt like something the writer thought would be really funny coming out of Casey/Baldwin... but just didn't work. I am even surprised it made the final cut.

  22. "Aprently the ratings went up, does that help our chanes of a back nine?"

    What ratings went up? The final ratings don't come in until Monday afternoon. Tune to this site to see how much they actually went up, if at all.

    Even the preliminaries had total viewers only up by 2%. That's nothing.

  23. Yeah.. tune in tomorrow to see if CHUCK jumped to a 1.5 in finals to solidify a back nine!!!

    Spoiler: it won't.

  24. Bible thumper Baldwin probably convinced one of the writers to throw that anti-abortion line in there. He must be maddening to work with.

  25. While it is POSSIBLE that it was Baldwin's line, it is more likely that it was the writer who approached him about doing it and not the other way around.

    As far as him being maddening to work with... I think that set has enough conservatives on it that they can gather for a prayer vigil and listen to Rush Limbaugh tapes for hours on end without offending too many people.

  26. I thought Adam Baldwin was a libertarian.

  27. I don't know if he is a libertarian but he is definitely a conservative one if he is. :)

  28. A bunch of arrogant, obnoxious conservatives on the set? Suddenly I'm feeling better about Chuck coming to an end.

  29. You don't know if they are arrogant or obnoxious.... all the time. ;)

    Actually, of the ones I am thinking of who are over there, they may be totally fooled into believing in their own exceptionalism, but they have been great to our charity efforts.

    So, just because they are wrong and trying to destroy our country, that doesn't mean they are bad people. They are just wrong.

  30. Well, Adam Baldwin wears his politics on his sleeve. Since the rest don't...eh. Let them alternatively hug as many bunnies or join as many militias as suits them. No skin off my nose.

    Unless there are real crazies who literally want the skin off my nose. I'm not so cool with that.


  31. Word.

    How did we get so political in here anyway? Oh well, this is GF, say whatever the fuck you want as long as it isn't stalkerish or creepy toward one of my friends, or their friends. ;)

  32. So, in spite of my fully skinned nose, I decided to take a look at Adam Baldwin's twitter feed. He's in an animated "discussion" with director Robbie "Lt. Paris" Duncan McNeill at the moment.

    While I have the utmost respect for Mr. Baldwin's acting abilities and the pleasure he has brought me as a fan of both Chuck and Firefly, and while I'm sure he's a great guy in person, I have to say...dude's out and out nuts.