Chuck – the TV show about a nerdy computer tech specialist who works at a big box electronics store chain; BuyMore, while handling the intrigue and deception that abounds in the world of espionage, continues to entertain, provide laughs and tug at the heart strings.
The last three episodes force Chuck to confront the biggest wound on his psyche. The girlfriend from the past who unceremoniously dumped him. Jill.
The three episodes covering Chuck’s journey of resolution are titled:
2.06 – Chuck Vs The Ex
2.07 – Chuck Vs The Fat Lady
2.08 – Chuck Vs The Gravitron
The Chuck/Jill relationship – dubbed the CHILL relationship by yours truly – examined during this trilogy put fans of the show on edge as it brought the slowly building Chuck/Sarah relationship to a dead stop. Many proclaimed that relationship permanently damaged and others cried the Chuck and Sarah dynamic forever tainted.
My view on it is as painful as it may have been to go through this revisitation of Chuck’s worst memory it was necessary given how often Jill had been referenced throughout the show’s history. The whole breakup between Chuck and Jill and her subsequent shacking up with Chuck’s former best friend Bryce Larkin has been the albatross around Chuck’s neck that has set him adrift for the last five years. In order for Chuck to move forward, closure was needed on his Stanford days. And now he has it. And in the process learned how important Sarah was to him. The Jill trilogy also made us re-examine one of the show’s earliest conceits about Bryce Larkin stealing Jill from Chuck.
These 3 episodes encompass the show’s strengths and weaknesses. The charm of the cast coupled with crafty use of geek references continue to power the show past plotlines with holes in them large enough to drive, well a Flying DeLorean through. In the end storytelling deficiencies can be put aside because the show is so damn entertaining.
And by the end of 2.08 our plucky Chuck has finally realized that the Jill of today is not the one he was in love with. In true Chuck fashion he saves the day by taking the time to RTFM for the underground CIA base dubbed the Castle and uses the manual to turn the computer and security systems to his control to defeat the bad guys. A delicious piece of geekery for anyone who has ever had to respond to a technical problem from a clueless customer.
Chuck emerges on the other side, sadder and wiser. Throughout the CHILL arc he has led with his heart and inadvertently led his friends into danger. This was a growth process for Chuck and going forward we can expect to see him operate as a more competent member of the Chuck, Sarah, and Casey team.
As for the Chuck and Sarah relationship there were definite strains put on it. But this trilogy finally gave the show an opportunity for Sarah to visibly display her feelings for Chuck and how torn up she was. She remained professional and also took the high road understanding Chuck’s desire to live a normal life. Sarah was supportive and continued to defend Chuck’s right to have the relationship and some measure of privacy. Kudos go to Yvonne Strahovski and her ability to convey so much through her facial expressions. She generated a lovely mix of protection and pining.
And now we wait to see how things progress from here. The growth process of Chuck continues as he finds his niche with the team. As Chuck says, ‘The running, jumping, shooting things are what you guys do. The puzzle stuff is my thing.’ The Chuck/Sarah relationship dance continues and it will be interesting to see how quickly the show lets it progress. As things look now it is inevitable that the two succumb to their mutual feelings for one another. I am apprehensive that false road bumps will be added such as new romantic interests etc. At this point in the ongoing story any such devices will be blatantly obvious. Hopefully the show has the strength to progress things.
In the meantime laughs, fun, and enjoyment are sure to continue.