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Chuck Fodder

Chuck: Chuck Versus The Undercover Lover

undercover.jpgThis is the first review in the "Chuck" double feature. So buckle you seats belts and let's get this show on the road!


Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover is perhaps the first episode to revolve around a secondary character. In 2004, John Casey was under cover in Grozny, Chechnya as an energy consultant. He fell in love with Ilsa Trinchina; a photo journalist who is a member of the French secret service. She apparently dies in a coffee shop bombing. In the present day, Chuck flashes while fixing a computer. He sees a guest list with several Russian criminals of various types. He also flashes on Ilsa's name and confronts Casey about it. Casey, thinking that Ilsa is dead, chokes Chuck and nearly suffocates him. Sarah and Chuck go undercover at the Grandsaville hotel, where the Russians are having a party. Casey shows up and spots Ilsa. She explains to him that she survived the explosion. A man by the name of Victor Federov announces that he has brought everyone from Russia to America so they can attend his wedding. He is marrying the love of his life, Ilsa. Chuck and Casey discuss Casey's past at length afterwards. The two appear to be bonding and developing a friendship. Chuck convinces Casey to fight for Ilsa. Chuck and Casey go to the Grandsaville hotel to look for Ilsa. Chuck sneaks into Ilsa's room, only to have Casey and Ilsa walk in after him. They discover Chuck hiding under the bed. All three realize that they are on the same side. Victor Federov walks in, but passes out drunk. Ilsa meets Casey at the Buy More and says it won't work out between them. She gives Casey back the necklace he gave her years before. Later that night, Casey is getting drunk with Chuck, when Chuck flashes on an audio transmitter that falls out of the necklace. They think that Victor is spying on Ilsa and run to warn her. Chuck and Casey get caught and tied up by Victor's goons. There is a fantastic scene where the two struggle with the goons and then are pushed out of the window. They luckily fall into a pool right beside where the wedding is taking place. Sarah and Ilsa quickly stop Federov. The next morning, Ilsa says goodbye to Casey, as Chuck tries unsuccessfully to spy on the two. Ilsa leaves and Chuck tells Casey that the two will have a great friendship. They walk towards Casey's apartment when Casey pushes Chuck to the ground and shuts the doors behind him. This is all done very comically.

The secondary plot is the relationship difficulties of Awesome and Ellie. The two want to buy themselves an anniversary gift. Ellie wants a big screen TV, where as Awesome wants a washer and dryer. Morgan acts as the couple's therapist. Awesome finally buys the big screen TV. Morgan sleeps with Ellie, but nothing happens between the two. She was totally drunk the night before. It seems like everyone was drunk in this episode.

The Good

Adam Baldwin did a fantastic job in this episode. I hope we get to see more of him in the future, rather than just hanging in the background like he has up until now.

The Bad

No enough comedy. I get the impression that Josh Schwartz wants viewers to take "Chuck" seriously, but part of the show's appeal is its light hearted nature. I don't think you can have it both ways and the writers are going to have to decide eventually which path they want to take and stick to it.

The Ugly

There is a strip poker game scene at the Buy More. Morgan, the Nerd Herd and Awesome are the ones playing. I know it was supposed to be funny, but it was also creepy. None of the characters in the game are guy, so this makes the scene even more baffling.

I am having trouble respecting the "Chuck" villains because they are repeatedly being defeated in record time. It gives viewers the impression that the bad guys are incompetent. Victor Federov was billed as the worst of the worst, yet his plot was foiled with juvenile ease.

Final Verdict

The sole bright spot in Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover was John Casey. If it wasn't for him, this episode would have received a failing grade.

Posted by Ozzy on January 25, 2008 5:32 PM
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