CHUCK “Chuck Versus The Third Phase” Review

Chuck Versus Phase Three (NBC)

CHUCK “Chuck Versus The Third Phase” Season 4 Episode 9 – This episode was basically a showcase of Sarah’s love for Chuck. Last week Chuck was kidnapped by the Belgians, this week he is trussed up in Thailand and it’s up to Sarah, who’s so Crazy In Love that she tortures, traps and fights her way to Chuck’s arms.

Yvonne Strahovski can certainly mime fighting, but the director of this episode undermined any semblance to seriousness her scenes may have posed by dressing her in short shorts and tank tops and shooting her from low angles, like some Lara Croft wannabe. Then the writers undermined the dangers Sarah faced in the one-on-one comabt scene by bringing Casey and Morgan to the rescue way too early. I would have preferred to see her get out of the jam herself, though above all I would have liked to see her avoid a stupid Tekken fight with her wits. Nevertheless, with Casey and Morgan nearby, Sarah continues this faux-dangerous fight. The greatest threat to her is amassing a few bruises because there is no doubt that should she begin to lose (which we know she won’t) Casey will pop a cap in the Thai guy.

Sarah also tortured an informant, something that was done mostly off screen in case we, the audience, should dislike her if her torture methods get too mean. Instead of blood and pain and psychological, physical and emotional harm, she injected him with serum, which presumably left no lasting damage.

Sarah’s best fight scene was short and camp, accompanied in no small part by Wolfmother’s “Woman” as she emerges Apocalypse Now style out of the murky waters with a blade between her teeth

Aside from the pseudo fight scenes, Strahovski’s Sarah handled the emotional scenes well enough as she searched for Chuck, and the sexy scenes as her computer generated doppleganger tried to trick the Intersect out of Chuck, to no avail.

Meanwhile, Awesome spends much of the episode enlisting the aid of Buy More employees to help crack Ellie’s father’s spy laptop. Of the entire cast of Chuck, Sarah Lancaster is the actor most deprived of screentime. Ellie, in the short and sparse scenes she’s been given, has been established by Lancaster as the most effective emotional core of the show. Hopefully, as awesome as Awesome is, the writers will give much of the spy laptop storyline to Ellie, instead of allowing Awesome and Chuck to run away with it as I fear may happen.

The most annoying thing about this episode is that, aside from the presumable after effects of his Belgian torture and the spy laptop, there were no consequences. Sarah, battling Thailand’s best fighter, sustained zero injury; she got Chuck back; her relationship with Chuck is stronger than ever and despite the lack of an Intersect, Chuck will be kept on by the CIA in his former capacity.

Is it so wrong that I wanted a little more suffering and misery out of this episode?

What did you think of this episode of Chuck? Sound off in the comments below.

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