Watching Chuck last night, two things occurred to me. Firstly, somewhere between last week and this, the show turned into Alias - only without the fun dress-up part. And secondly, if I had gone to Stanford, I probably would've had a very different career history by this point in my life. Spoilers lie ahead, nerdherders.One thing that "Chuck Versus The Fat Lady" (because there was a scene in an opera! Get it?) did right was move along the "Chuck's long-lost love Jill is back" plot almost as quickly as I wanted. Don't get me wrong; I'm no fan of the idea that Chuck always has to be sad and/or that Sarah is his one, true, unrequited love, but Jordana Brewster's performance as "the one that got away, only to return and as an undercover evil secret spy" - Something that became curiously obvious as soon as she was "kidnapped" midway through the episode, leading to a flat and underwhelming reveal in the last five minutes - has been so incredibly flat and lifeless that even before her secret was revealed, I was hoping that she'd turn out to be evil or have to make a heroic sacrifice as soon as possible, just to get rid of her. That said, the idea that Jill - like Chuck and fellow Stanford student Bryce Larkin - just so happens to be a superspy somewhat stretches credibility on an already ridiculously unbelievable show. I admit that I like the idea that Jill is such Kryptonite to Chuck that he ends up going against the advice of his friends, family and co-workers (not to mention his common sense), just like he did back in college; it's a nice way to reboot the character, who was beginning to get a little bit too good at his double life, thereby defeating the premise of the show. But did she have to be a spy? She couldn't have just been your regular, common or garden version of a bad girlfriend? (Also, as much as I hate Jordana Brewster's performance, I hope that they don't kill Jill off next week. It'll be bad enough that Chuck will have gotten over her, thereby removing the last of his original hang-ups that made him the underperforming nerd when we first met him; if she can't come back to twist the knife every now and again, I worry that we'll be stuck with the hyper-efficient, thinking-outside-of-the-box Charles Carmichael for the rest of the series.) But despite the episode's "I love you, but spy work keeps us apart - And you're a spy as well!" soap operatics, it wasn't a complete waste of an hour last night... surprisingly due to the Buy More scenes, which - helped by Tony Hale's great new character - not only tied into the main plot for once, but also provided the laughs and sneakiness that the spy stuff normally handles. If we can have more of that in the future (and a promise from show creators that Hale isn't going to turn out to be a spy the next time sweeps comes around), then I'll be a happy viewer. It's sad that, after last week's season best (Chuck and Casey kissing to cure disease! Yvonne Strahovski using her real accent as Sarah undercover!), this week's episode was so poor, but I'm hoping that next week will pull out of the second act slump... even if it's only due to the goodwill generated by losing Jill for awhile.
I have been loving Chuck this season. Giving him the Charles Carmichael alter ego has helped make him not such a shrinking violet/tool. The supporting BuyMore plots have been hilarious and they have a very funny cast who they give their own space, not just as foils for Chuck's current dilema. Capt. Awesome needs to play Capt. America btw, and Jeff's a trip. LAst year I watched this out of boredom and because it was occasionally good, but paled in comparison to Reaper. Now, Reaper isn't on (why?) and Chuck has become one of my favorite shows. Thats all. anywhoo.