Chuck 2×01: Operation Bartowski   

You guys, Chuck Bartowski is back in da house!!! (It’s funnier if you imagine me going all gangsta on ya, throwing up some signs, as I say that.)

CHUCK is back for it a second season on NBC.

Good Lord, I love me some Chuck. And it has nothing to do with my crush on Chris Fedak… ok, maybe a little bit to do with that but mostly I just adore this show. It’s fun and fluffy and yet it’s got heart and allows its characters to have serious moments amidst their wacky spy hijinks. I know it’s easy to dismiss the premise but Zach Levi does such a wonderful job grounding Chuck in reality that I hardly even notice the ridiculous. And aren’t those the best shows? The ones like Buffy the Vampire Slayer that aren’t really about the monsters their facing but about what the characters are feeling?

As if you couldn’t tell, this is probably my favorite show on TV at the moment and last night’s return reminded me of why it comes out above all the others. I’ve heard that the next two episodes are on par with this first one and knowing the network picked it up for a whole season after seeing the first six makes me think this is going to be one fantastic season.

Alright, alright, even of the general swooning. Let’s move on to just some of the stuff I loved last night.

Chuck, 2×01: Chuck vs. the First Date

  • Clever way to do a recap for the beginning of the season rather than your standard “Previously On…” So many of my favorite shows find unique ways this stuff these days. I like that they’re thinking about us and trying to make it interesting for both new and old viewers alike.
  • Aww! Casey doesn’t want to shoot Chuck. He’s a marshmallow inside… Also, glad they finally brought this plot point back up. They ignored it for those last few episodes last season and it wasn’t like we were going to forget Casey’s orders.
  • Loved the use Huey Lewis’ “Power of Love” for Chuck’s wake-up scene. Perfect way to use a Back to the Future reference. Poor Chuck, his future is so out of his hands right now. Oh, and I love it when a character in a show actually interacts (in this case turning it up) with the background music in a scene. I know there’s an actual term for that… anyone know what it is?
  • Chuck walks in on Awesome and Ellie in the shower on CHUCK.

  • Hahaha, even though I saw the shower thing coming (actually thought they were going to be doing more than just showering in there… but I guess we are talking about the 8PM time slot on NBC) it was still hilarious. Chuck’s blank stare at the breakfast table still has me chuckling. That and Awesome’s, “Morning Chuck!” The two of them both wiping away the shower mist to see the other was a nice touch too. Lovely directing this episode!
  • I think I was supposed to find that Orange Orange scene with Sarah sexy and instead I fixated on the fact that she freaking wiped the machine with her finger and then stuck it in her mouth. Remind me never to go there for a treat.
  • “Secret Agent.” “This is what happens when you sit in front of the television set for too long.” Heh!
  • Casey’s poison shower and, just in general, all the ways he’s rigged up his place. Also, his hiding the syringe to it behind Reagan’s picture (his “Sorry, sir!” at having to smash the picture was blink and you’ll miss it funny moment) was a nice nod to the paranoia of the Reagan/Cold War Era. My only complaint about this scene was that we clearly see whatever the guy sprayed on him was causing him to bleed and yet he doesn’t have a mark on him when he drives the car through the window just moments later.
  • Awww! Chuck and Sarah on a real date! I love that the show wasn’t afraid to go there. Too bad it was just a little too good to be true. Love Chuck’s, “No, no, no, no. Not now, not now!” reaction to his flash in the restaurant.
  • Casey and his Crown Vic to the rescue on CHUCK.

  • “Is that a Crown Victoria?” Heh. Oh, Casey, you and your love for Crown Vics.
  • Chuck calling Casey on his cheesy one-liner was great. These are the kind of moments that make me love this show.
  • All of the Buy More stuff was genius. I like the balance they’ve struck here between the store happenings and the spy stuff. I don’t want to lose our fun moments at the Buy More but there were times last season where they seemed to struggle with how to balance all the elements of the show. If this episode is a good example, it looks like they’ve figured out the right mix this season.
  • “One of them will be the new assistant manager and one of them will be… Jeff.” Heh. Ok, the cage match in the storage room was almost too much for me but that one line saved it for me. Well that and all of the employees being back there when Chuck’s looking for them. Heh. Funny stuff.
  • Someone last season pulled the “computer emergency” thing last season but enough time has passed that I believe Chuck would fall for it. Of course, I won’t believe it if they use it again.
  • Nicely played, Chuck, using Morgan’s Call of Duty plans to fake out the bad guys. Plus, it gave significance to Morgan beyond his Buy More stuff and that was another area where they struggled last season. This was another moment I saw coming but I didn’t expect to be used in this fashion so I was more happy that I figured out it’d be important later than annoyed that it was projected early in the episode.
  • Casey catching Chuck as he fell was amazing but it was Sarah’s reaction that sold the scene for me. The little things people!! Plus, the stunt filming there was pretty fantastic as well. (Oh, and the, “No, no, no, I love you!” “Keep it in your pants, Bartowski.”)
  • Another thing I love about this show: Sarah kicks ass. Her going up against Colt and actually holding her own for a while was all kinds of awesome. How sweet were some of those kicks??
  • “Excuse me! Excuse me, hi, sorry to interrupt whatever’s going on here. But, Mr. Colt, I just wanted you to meet my team. Tell me something, do you find them imposing? Go ahead, you can be honest, I was going for imposing.” Great call back to Mr. Colt’s earlier threat at the restaurant. You’re kinda awesome, Chuck Bartowski.
  • Heh. Followed up by the great response from Mr. Colt, “Your boss, Carmichael, he’s good.”
  • Chuck and Sarah go on their first real date on CHUCK.

  • Did anyone else read Sarah’s concern about the Cipher as an indication of her feelings for Chuck? She totally had the hots for him there (and was happy he wasn’t splattered on the street) and I felt like she was making sure he had the Cipher so that she’d be free to go out on a date with him again.
  • “Fulcrum thanks you.” Oh, burn. Poor, Chuck. I feel bad for him but I also love this show and it doesn’t work if he’s not the Intersect so I’m also happy that the Cipher was a Trojan Horse. Also, that whole room blew up so it’s not going to be as simple as finding another Cipher in the future.
  • Morgan gives Chuck a pep talk on CHUCK on NBC.

  • Awww. I’m overusing that phrase but there’s no other reaction to Morgan telling Chuck he’s destined for great things and echoing Sarah’s words that he can do whatever he wants to do. I know I’m a huge sap but that small moment between these two BFFs made me tear up a bit.

Oh, show, I do love you so… I’m so happy you’re back.

10 Responses to “Chuck 2×01: Operation Bartowski”

  1. 1
    afrocurl says:

    I loved far too many things about this episode, too.

    You hit on plenty of the ones that I found great, but the second Huey Lewis song to show the change in Chuck’s mood also worked really well.

  2. 2
    Rae says:

    Damn! I forgot to mention that, Roz! I loved that too. There were just so many things that were spot-on in this episode.

  3. 3
    afrocurl says:

    Rae–this is what happens when I watched the episode for a third time this morning. I also had the Huey Lewis stuff in my head after all of the talk about it at the Fall Preview Party from Paley.

  4. 4
    Polter-Cow says:

    Oh, and I love it when a character in a show actually interacts (in this case turning it up) with the background music in a scene. I know there’s an actual term for that… anyone know what it is?
    You’re thinking of diegetic music, which is music that’s actually being played/created in-universe as opposed to on the soundtrack.

    Chuck calling Casey on his cheesy one-liner was great. These are the kind of moments that make me love this show.

    How sweet were some of those kicks??

    So glad the show is back.

  5. 5

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  6. 6
    Anita says:

    ‘Awesome’ episode and there are several lines I didn’t catch the first time, not that it’s any hardship to watch again, but I don’t think I could describe all the things I love about this show! Even just Chuck saying he doesn’t picture himself working at the Buy More for the rest of his life and Morgan’s, ‘Okay, where do we work next?’ response and the look on Chuck’s face!

  7. 7

    [...] Rae’s kinda in love with Chuck Bartowski and she doesn’t care who knows it. (RTVW) [...]

  8. 8

    [...] Rae’s kinda in love with Chuck Bartowski and she doesn’t care who knows it. (RTVW) [...]

  9. 9

    [...] Rae’s kinda in love with Chuck Bartowski and she doesn’t care who knows it. (RTVW) [...]

  10. 10
    viviana italy says:

    i’m viviana i from italy……………i love chuck!!!!is my lifeeeeeeee!!!!!kiss