Broadcast Date: 12 November 2007
Director: Duncan McNeill
Writer: Allison Adler
Cast: Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Zachary Levi, and Yvonne Strahovski
Ellie: “Words taste like peaches.”
Meet Reardon Payne. He’s a pain in the rear (hoho!), a former gymnast turned evil spy, and the tiniest cop Awesome’s ever seen. He’s also played by Kevin Weisman of Alias fame, always a plus in my book. The villain’s gimmick, because every good villain needs one, consists of injecting his prey with a toxin that forces them to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Yes, it’s a truth serum episode, one with a twist in that the heroes don’t reveal anything of importance to each other because they have such scattered thought patterns.
In terms of comedy, “Chuck versus the Truth” reaches near perfection, from Chuck’s frozen expression after his fake Weinerlicious make-out session to Team Bartowski’s ludicrous confessions to Sarah taking down the acrobatic Payne, Indiana Jones style, to Ellie’s toxin-induced ravings to Morgan calling his friend a “miiind cheateeer” to the softer side of Casey, which kept popping out in spite of himself. I loved it all.
Sure, the episode’s got minor issues. For example, the plot, involving arms dealers bidding on a computer MacGuffin of which I’ve already forgotten the details, is a tad convoluted, not to mention paper thin. What are the chances of Ellie exiting the sushi place just as Payne’s latest victim was limping by? Even Chuck feels the story might have flowed better if the conflict had originated from his double life. That’s why Sarah keeps reminding him of the actual chain of events: “No, Chuck, that guy was sick with or without the Intersect in your head.”
Honestly, though, who cares when you’re having this much fun? Not only did “Chuck versus the Truth” score major laughs, it also delivered touching moments like Chuck’s sacrifice to give Ellie the antidote (what makes it so sweet is he didn’t even hesitate) as well as Awesome’s unconditional devotion to her at the hospital and during their insane yet strangely mundane fight: “Okay, babe, your mood tonight is super honest, and I think it’s awesome.” I confess. That last example was mostly hilarious.
We were also introduced to Lou the Sandwich Girl, played by The OC alumnus Rachel Bilson, who I’ve always found looks a bit like one of those bushy-haired troll figurines you’d find by the thousands in loonie stores, except, you know, prettier (okay, a lot prettier). For all intents and purposes, she’s the ideal woman for Chuck, despite their “vast height difference”. The woman’s got spunk, wit, and a totally healthy sandwich obsession. Plus, she makes our hero feel good about himself without his having to change or risk his life. I know we’re supposed to root for Chuck and Sarah here (Charah? Saruck?), but when you meet a woman like Lou, dang it, you hang on to her.
Tang versus the Quick Exit
Finally, the Buy More B-plot tells of Harry Tang’s suspicion his wife is having an affair with Morgan, of all people. Tang should know better than to trust intel from Jeff and Lester, but really the whole thread serves to explain the character’s sudden departure. I don’t think the series ever recuperated. As I mentioned last week, C.S. Lee found the perfect note for these goofy subplots, somewhere between credible threat and utter insignificance. Neither Emmett nor the expanded antics of Jeffster ever recaptured that charm. Oh, well. At least the guy got a happy ending. Hawaii!
Chuck versus Scott Pilgrim (or My Canadian Digression)
In case you were wondering earlier, a loonie is a Canadian dollar, which makes a loonie store one of those “every item for a dollar” shops as opposed to an organisation that deals in the black market trafficking of crazy persons. We call our dollar coins loonies because there’s a picture of a loon engraved on one side, not because there’s a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the other. Loonies, which one can acquire by defeating evil exes, are primarily used to purchase Tim Hortons doughnut holes before a big hockey game, eh.
Bits and Pieces
- I never realised how pervy Awesome was in the first season. He’s always pushing Chuck to get it on.
- Ellie’s full name is Eleanor Fay Bartowski.
- Not much of Morgan this week. I think his only contributions to the story consist of bringing attention to Chuck’s flirting, getting hugged or rather squeezed by Harry’s wife, and listening to Big Mike brag about “diddling” the woman.
- For some reason, the revelation that Sarah can withstand the effects of Pentothal felt like a cheat the first time I saw the episode. I checked though. The writers are consistent about her immunity. At no point does Agent Walker divulge anything she normally wouldn’t.
- Sarah is better at picking locks than Casey. Even he thinks so. Damn, truth serum…
On that subject:
Chuck: “Casey, your jaw was chiselled by Michelangelo himself.”
Ellie: “At the time, I felt it was very important for me to have a New Kids fanny pack.”
Jeff: “My mom used to say knowledge is powder.”
Sarah: “Chuck’s not wrong very often.”
Casey: “But he’s annoying all the time”
Ellie: “Chuck, you need a haircut. It’s starting to make funny animal shapes.”
Sarah: “I am just being professional.”
Chuck: “Yeah, the world’s oldest profession.”
Ellie: “Those pyjamas make you look like Dennis the Menace’s father.”
Chuck: “That rhymed. I didn’t actually mean for that to rhyme. I’m sorry.”
Chuck is on a roll. Can you tell the last two episodes aired during November sweeps?