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TV Reviews

10
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Chuck: Chuck vs. the Beard

Wonderful, wonderful episode which had me giggling, gasping and squealing throughout – entertainment at its best! *spoilers*

Finally the moment (or ONE of the moments, at least) we’ve all been waiting for: Morgan figures out Chuck’s secret. And in the best way possible, I think. Not through overhearing something he shouldn’t, not through a guilt ridden confession which Morgan would not be able to believe – but because Chuck chose to save his friend over maintaining his cover, and with a handful of competent bad guys to corroborate his story there was no “Dude, get serious”-moment either. And Morgan did what we all hoped he would – he thought it was awesome. πŸ˜€

From Buy More employees on the barricades to Morgan’s bravery in the face of danger, this episode had its fair share of crowning moments of Awesome, and I can’t wait to see where the show will take us next. Will Captain Awesome continue to crumble under the pressure?

Will Ellie agree to join Awesome on a trip to “No-spy-land”?

Will Chuck’s new found insight about Sarah lead anywhere?

And who is that mysterious voice from Casey’s past? πŸ˜€

10
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Burn Notice: Devil You Know

An episode heavy on story arc action, with a cliffhanger leaving you ready to tear your hair out. *spoilers*

As Michael and his team rushes to recapture mysterious criminal “Simon” from last episode, things heat up both on the front line and at home.

While Michael runs from cops and federal agents, his mother is being interrogated by the same in her own home.

Usually, Madeline is mostly annoying, aggravating and occasionally pathetic – but here she stepped up to the plate as a Momma Bear, not allowing threats or manipulation to sway here from protecting her son as best she knows how. From the code for “stay away” used during Michael’s father’s drinking binges, to telling the surprisingly engaging and likeable federal agent that if Michael wanted him dead, he’d be DEAD, Madeline Westen stands by her son, no matter whether she doubts him or not.

7.0
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It’s Always Sunny-Dennis Gets Divorced

After last week episode I was hoping we would get a classic Sunny episode but it quickly became apparent that it was not the case. I stated last week that these two episodes, Mac Fights Gay Marriage and Dennis Gets Divorced, are meant to be shown together and the two episodes on their own are just not up to typical Sunny quality. While it is possible that upon watching the two episodes together they could be great, as it stands this weeks episode is just as flawed and, at times, not funny.

9.0
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Chuck: Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler

I think this is one of the most painful episodes I’ve seen of this great show. Forget unhappy love, forget Buy More indignities, forget Dad coming and going: The sight of Chuck doing what must be done, turning into a “real” spy, is truly painful.

10
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Burn Notice: Friendly Fire

Crowning moments of awesome, putting a face to our new übervillain, and a few moments of heartwarming as well – pretty much one of the best “basic” episodes of Burn Notice I’ve seen.

I tend to separate Burn Notice into two parts, I’ve realized. The “basic”, which is the plot of the week, with its victims and villains, witty dialogue and things that go boom. And then there’s the emotional/storyarc bit, which focuses more on Micael’s relationships with the people closest to him, and the overall direction of the plot – sometimes background noise, sometimes a red thread, and sometimes real and immediate.

Although this episode had a bit of the latter – a nice ending with Michael and Fiona, and finally putting a face to what appears to be this seasons main villain – it was above all a wonderfully over-the-top “basic” version.

In some episodes Michael goes up against real pros, facing difficult odds and pulling on all his training and experience.
And then there’s cases like this one, where the opposition is just weak enough to let him pull off really cool feats of Awesomeness. πŸ˜€
The ultracool persona he portrayed made a bit of preplanning look like magic, and reminded me of a Mission:Impossible episode where the villain is convinced he’s dealing with the devil himself.

The not-so-subtle “hints” pointing in the same direction here are entertaining and impressive, and at the end of the episode I had to resist the urge to snap my fingers… πŸ˜€

10
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Chuck: Chuck vs. the Angel de la Muerte

Totally awesome, and a welcome return of the fun, drama and action of the previous seasons!

After a so-so season opening, I am very relieved to see the team back on track with a truly awesome episode. To me, at least, it was also a bit of a relief to be spared more Buy More-time – I didn’t miss it at all. This episode had it all – Awesome and Ellie being cute and wonderful, Chuck and Sarah growing closer again (I loved those agonizing gazes across the dancefloor) and Casey being badass as usual. πŸ˜€

It was refreshing to see Chuck being quietly competent rather than a walking disaster area, and I really liked the conversations he had with his brother-in-law – allowing him to sound professional and competent, as well as bringing out the contrast between his in essence unsatisfying life and the down-to-earth happiness of Awesome and Ellie.
While Chuck should never lose his charming goofball personality, he has been putting his life on the line for three years (and has finally had six months of training) and I’m happy that it’s allowed to show. A goal-oriented Chuck who – while still getting nervous – doesn’t squeak or flap his hands is a much more attractive and believable character to me at this point in the series. His relaxed and utter trust in Sarah is also a point in his favour – here is a man who is not threatened by a strong woman, but is secure enough to lean back and enjoy the show, with an almost Modesty Blaise/Willie Garvin-ish feel to it. The whole episode was chock full of goodness, allowing all the characters to shine in their own special way, and the ending blindsided me completely. I can’t wait for the next episode, and I sincerely hope they manage to keep up this level of excellence!

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