I don’t have much to say about this week’s Chuck, but just a few tidbits.
After I spent last week’s Chuck post talking about how I probably wouldn’t write-up the series too often in the future, the NBC spy comedy had to up its game in “Versus The Coach Lock.” Of course, if you’re Chuck and you’re struggling, there’s one thing you can always do to make that all go away: build an episode around one John Casey. There’s probably another thing you can do: Also highlight one Morgan Grimes.
Thankfully, “Couch Lock” focuses on both Casey and Morgan while dropping any of the Chuck and Sarah angst that has weighed down the previously three episodes. And like I said, that’s always a formula for good times and funny moments.
Moreover, the series has really found something with Morgan and Alex’s relationship. Much like Morgan’s integration into the spy stuff allowed the series to keep telling stories about goofy nerds trying to find their way through hostile environments after Chuck had already past that point, Morgan and Alex’s relationship should allow the series to tell the charming, goofy love story beats again with new characters while avoiding running through the same old discussions with Chuck and Sarah.
This episode had a fairly heavy emphasis on Morgan and Alex, and unlike Chuck and Sarah, it didn’t bring down the proceedings and instead, made them more fun and compelling — you know, kind of like how Chuck and Sarah’s relationship used to do.
Finally, though I know the writers were writing towards a 13-episode endgame, but the news broke today that thankfully (I guess), Chuck will have a full-season order. As this episode ends with Chuck’s mom finally contacting him, I’m assuming that story will come to some sort of conclusion in episode 13. Frankly, I hope it does because thus far, it’s been a bore and I’d rather them have a shorter amount of time to tell the story — and thus keep things tight and compact — instead of trying to drag it across another nine episodes.
I don’t expect the series to dive head-first into more mythology in that back-9, though I’m sure they will. I simply don’t want anymore of the wheeling-spinning episodes that have absolutely no stakes or forward momentum. This episode proved that Chuck can tell a fairly self-contained story with some great individual moments, a few explosions and a couple of cool gags and boom, successful episode of Chuck. More episodes like this and I’ll wish for as much Chuck as possible. It’s just that I don’t think the series can give me episodes like this every week.