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Chuck: Chuck Vs. the Tooth

A very interesting new episode in the “post-finale” bonus run. The “new and improved” Intersect may not be quite as fantastic after all. Ellie is rapidly heading for real trouble and Morgan comes pretty close to a Crowning Moment of Awesome. While this episode deals with some rather worrisome subjects and has a fair number of truly uncomfortable moments, it still has several great moments that make you go “Awwwww” as well.

First of all: The Intersect. The New and Improved Intersect. Safely stuck in Chuck's head, finally making him the agent he's dreamed of being. Only one problem – it may be driving him crazy. After a series of very vivid and disturbing dreams, which may be the Intersect interacting with his subconscious, we learn that the Intersect is so powerful and it may overwhelm Chuck's mind and drive him insane. Fixated on the warning he derives from his dreams, our favourite geeky spy sets out to prove his theory... and that he's not insane.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what seems to be the case, and poor Chuck finds himself locked in a CIA mental hospital, destined for a future in slippers and ratty robe. Meanwhile, Ellie is being approached by a fake CIA-agent who gradually convinces her that patriotic, gun-toting grump-a-lot Casey is in fact a dangerous double agent looking for her father. In the end, she is prepared to help the “nice” CIA-agent contact her father – Orion, the creator of the Intersect – in order to protect him the dangerous people around them...

On the sidelines, we have Sarah still coming to terms with how much she loves and needs Chuck, and finally saying the three magic words in return. And John Casey, in another shocking show of empathy and decency, goes out on a limb to help Chuck (and Sarah). You have to hand it to the man, once he sets his mind on something he does not back down!

But of all the great moments, every Morgan-fan out there will agree, was that the reappearance of Anna Wu was the best moment by far. Morgan finally getting to be the suave, sleek, and professional guy. He actually manages to pull off the “hard to get”-card without even meaning to. The emergence of “adult”-Morgan is refreshing and delightful, while we want him to remain Chuck's goofy and amusing sidekick, it's good to see that he's starting to grow up just a little, showing us WHY he's such a great friend for Chuck and a worthy companion. Albeit a klutzy one.

The scene where he considers fondly, then rejects the toys and gadgets of his past, illustrates this beautifully, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Morgan Grimes, becoming a man. Who would have thought?

However, the episode did not end on a particularly happy note. Chuck was cleared for duty and Sarah finally managed to give him the verbal reassurance of her commitment to their relationship that he needed, but he did not share the doctor's frightening conclusion with her: The fact that sooner or later, the Intersect is likely to drive him insane.

It is interesting to see the balance shifting in the group dynamics. While Sarah is becoming “softer”, opening up and becoming more honest about her feelings, Chuck is closing up and keeping secrets even from her. This is echoed to a smaller degree in Casey and Morgan, while Casey is becoming more “human”, going out of his way to help secure Chuck and Sarah's happiness, Morgan is sharpening up, showing us a more capable, solution-oriented man. Although it is early days in “secret agent” Morgan Grimes' life, so baby steps, Morgan, baby steps.

The episode leaves us with quite a few worrisome plot threads dangling. Does Chuck's vivid Intersect dreams mean that Shaw is actually still alive, and if so will he be coming for Sarah again, or even the Intersect itself? Will the ring play Ellie to the point where she leads them straight to her father, the renowed Orion himself? Will Chuck's performance and mental stability be influenced by his bizarre dreams, or will he be able to find a way to not only cope, or perhaps even benefit from them? We still have another three episodes to find out.

Rating
7.5

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