Thursday, January 21, 2010

What I’m Watching: Chuck

Chuck: Season 3, Episode 4 “Chuck Versus Operation Awesome” (A-)

What a terrific episode. After last week’s decent but less than completely fantastic three-hour opener, this installment solidifies the fact that this is a terrific show worthy of being saved by hundreds of hungry Subway customers. Awesome’s abduction proves to be quite entertaining, in part due to the perfection of the role as written for and played by Angie Harmon. Ryan McPartlin does his share, of course, and his appalled expression makes everything so much funnier, as does his excitement at seeing Chuck in action. There were so many great moments in this episode, including the close-ups on Ellie’s face as she was reacting strongly to Awesome’s story of fending off a bear. The fight club storyline at the Buy More worked alright, and what really made it worthwhile was Big Mike’s talk with Morgan at the beginning and the bearded guy’s show of legendary confidence and authority in temporarily firing Lester. What really made this episode so incredible for me was Brandon Routh. No offense to Awesome, Michael Westen, and any other agents out there, but Routh’s Agent Shaw is the coolest spy I’ve ever seen. Part of that comes from the fact that, only moments after first appearing on screen, he shoots himself and pretends to be dead. His declaration that he doesn’t like guns and his grace under fire are but two of the many qualities that make him incredible. I don’t remember Routh being all that memorable as Clark Kent in “Superman Returns,” but this is a role that fits him like a glove, and I hope he sticks around for a good, long while.

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