Chuck 4.15: Chuck versus the CAT Squad

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Broadcast Date: 14 February 2011
Director: Paul Marks
Writers: Nicholas Wootton
Cast: Adam Baldwin, Bonita Friedericy, Joshua Gomez, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster, Zachary Levi, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay, and Yvonne Strahovski


© Copyright DC Comics

© Copyright DC Comics

Chuck: “Honestly, how well do you know Amy? I mean, is anyone really that perky?”

Meet the Clandestine Attack Team, also known as the CAT Squad: cold-hearted Carina, Zondra the bitch, Amy the party girl, and Sarah, whose fiancé is starting to come across like a complete douche. You don’t dig up your girlfriend’s past without asking permission! It’s an invasion of her privacy, a violation of her trust, and an insult to her ability to make decisions for herself. I wouldn’t blame Agent Walker if she threw her ring away and began competing with Carina for Morgan’s attention.

In fairness, the need to fix a beloved’s problems instead of providing support as she works things out herself is common among men even today, so “Chuck versus the CAT Squad” scores a few points for pertinence. The problem lies in the writers hammering the notion by having Ellie and Sarah repeat the same warning every five minutes: “Chuck, stop trying to fix things”; “Chuck, stop trying to fix things”; “Chuck, stop trying to fix things!” The fact he still doesn’t get it by act three makes him the dumbest boyfriend on the planet or, worse, a sitcom husband.

Anyway, that’s the gooey center of the Tootsie Pop Roll, but what about the hard candy shell? We get eye candy, all right, in the form of three kick-butt superspies “wearing stupid sexed-up costumes to fight world crime.” In true Chuck fashion, Sarah’s former teammates are played as typical college friends with a touch of outlandish, clubbing across several continents in a single night (how does that work?) and getting catty over perceived assassination attempts instead of mundane transgressions like a stolen research paper or that mysterious tape my girlfriend refuses to talk about. Ever.

The girl’s night out leads to the cutest bit in the episode, Sarah crashed on her bed with a smooshed “I’m too old for this” face, while the old grudge ties into this week’s spy adventure, in which our heroes try to flush out a mole in the CAT Squad. As mysteries go, this one proves rather lacklustre, given we’re provided only three suspects and Carina could have taken Sarah out in any of her previous appearances. With all the emphasis put on Zondra, that leaves Amy as the only viable option.

Also, I’m trying to decide whether Lou Diamond Philips playing the party girl’s true boss counts as stunt casting or he’s just reached that point in his career. What was Gaez trying to achieve anyway? Carina wasn’t on his trail, so why bomb her car and risk exposing Amy in the process? Why doesn’t he kill our heroes during the Buy More breakout? Why would Casey interrogate him alone with a suspected traitor? Why does Chuck still refuse to fight a girl even when years of ninja training and field awesomeness have proven her an equal warrior? Why don’t I just move on to the next section?

Morgan versus the Pushy Ex

On the subject of confronting past relationships, Chuck reacts condescendingly to his best friend’s angst, but I think Morgan’s got a point: he and Alex are still defining their relationship, so the last thing they need is his hypersexual ex showing up to play psychotic seduction games. Mind you, Carina’s merely responding to his mixed signals. Our favourite sidekick may have moved on, but he still digs the thought of having dated her. Holding on to that fondness without conveying temptation doesn’t come easy for everyone, and I suspect Alex didn’t mind the cancelled dates so much as his shifty attitude. I love how she forgives all, including Carina, the minute Morgan makes his feelings clear.

Still, it seems to me Chuck might have spared everyone a lot of grief if he’d let his loved ones process life at their own pace. Jerk.

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures


Bits and Pieces

  • The fantasy opening sequence reminds me of the one in season three’s “Chuck versus the Honeymooners”.
  • Twenty minutes in, and I’m wondering if anyone plans on giving Adam Baldwin some dialogue.
  • The CAT Squad’s got nothing on Ellie, who looks radiant in her party dress despite her giving birth just a couple of weeks ago.
  • Chuck saves the day with a waffle maker, DVD shurikens, and a curling iron: awesome.
  • That’s two episodes we’ve had without Jeffster, and I don’t miss the numskulls in the least.
  • Ellie is going to be Sarah’s maid of honour. So sweet.

Quotes

Morgan got the best lines:

Morgan: “What’s going on? Is it Close Encounters? Is it really happening?”

Carina: “My old spy friend’s getting hitched. Her fiancé wants to get the old team back together.”
Henchman: “Nice!”
I love that gag.

Morgan: “John, she desires my physical person.”
Casey: “And I’m hunting unicorns.”
He so would too.

Morgan: “That was sultry! You were just sultry right there!”

Sarah: “Who knew that Mikhail Gorbachev could dance so well?”
Gorbachev? Really? What the heck inspired that reference?

Morgan: “She has the soul of a bridge troll!”

Narrator: “Who says cats can’t play nice? You never know. Maybe we’ll add another member to the Squad.”
Foreshadowing?

Chuck and Sarah’s petty problems aren’t working for me, but I’m ready for a Morgan spinoff.

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Category: Chuck, Verdict: 2.5 | Tags:

          
Editor in Chief / Movie Critic: When he started this site, Dimitri never thought he'd be writing blurbs about himself in the third person. In his other life, he works as a writer, translator, and editor for various publications in print and online. His motto is, "Have pen, will travel."