Monday, May 24, 2010

Chuck vs The Ring, Pt 2: Family Business

Season 3 of Chuck was weighed down by one thing that had weighed down by the overused plot construct to keep Chuck and Sarah (er, Sam) apart. This season's construct was the worst in the character Shaw. As anyone who's read this blog more than a few times knows, I'm not a 'shipper,' as in I don't have an abnormal personal investment in whether Chuck ends up with Sarah, but to throw an obstacle as uninspired and thinly framed as Shaw was is kind of an insult. So when it became apparent that Shaw was back from the dead (of course he's back, because that's how ridiculous this character is) I honestly kind of dreaded this finale.

Thankfully, Shaw wasn't that much of an annoyance and all the scenes involving the greater Bartkowski family were great, including the cliffhanger introducing us to Mama Bartkowksi (well, at least the back of her head). Family has always been a part of the show, but with this episode it really moved to the forefront. Ellie is now in the circle of trust, and so is Casey's daughter Alex (who we've barely even met). Just like last year's "Guys, I know karate" paradigm shift, there's a lot of potential for next season. Let's just hope that with Chuck and Sarah finally together, their hands are tied setting obstacles for their relationship.

Musically, I believe "Chuck vs The Ring, Pt 2" had more songs packed in it since the pilot, albeit, spread over two hours. As I posted last week, Band of Horses licensed three songs from their latest (and far from greatest) release (Infinite Arms) for the episode. I think my favorite moment, though, was hearing Roger Miller's "England Swings" during the Casey/Justin (the Ring agent) stand off at the diner. Menew's "Don't Give Up On Us Now" (the on-the-nose song of the week) is from an upcoming release, making it some sort of debut, right? Whatever. (Man, there's still a Lost-a-palooza hangover going on right here.)

Chuck - Episode 3.18-19
1. "The High Road" - 2. Broken Bells: Chuck & Sarah walk through farmer's market
2. "One More Try" - Timmy T: a depressed Awesome drinks with Jeffster
3. "England Swings" - Roger Miller: Casey at gunpoint at the diner
4. "Neighbor" - Band of Horses: Chuck talks his father into going back
5. "One October Song" Nico Stai
6. "Congratulations" - MGMT: Alex enters the Buymore store
7. "Don't Give Up On Us Now" - Menew: Chuck admits defeat
8. "On My Way Back Home" - Band of Horses: Ellie hugs Chuck, flashes back. Later used during toast of Papa Bartkowski
9. "Sundial" - Wolfmother: Sarah & Chuck go undercover as Russian delegates
10. "Blaze of Glory" (Young Guns 2) - Jeffster!: Chuck triggers the Jeffster DVD flashing in battle with Shaw
11. "Blue Beard" - Band of Horses: Sarah retrieves Chuck's watch
12. "Don't Hide Away" - Bishop Allen: Jeff offers to burn down the Buymore, Sarah & Chuck talk

Previously: Chuck vs the Living Dead

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