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Monday, November 21, 2011

Chuck parties in "Chuck Versus the Business Trip"

    On NBC's Chuck this week, "Chuck Versus the Business Trip," Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) removes the Intersect from Morgan's (Joshua Gomez) head and asks Decker (Richard Burgi) to call off the hit on Morgan. He complies, but says there is one super assassin known as the Viper that cannot be called off. So Chuck (Zachary Levi) poses as Morgan at a Buy More retreat, attempting to draw the Viper out into the open. After a false lead, the real Viper, using the name Jane (Catherine Dent, The Shield), is caught. Right assuming Decker will allow Jane to kill them all anyway, since it risks her cover, Casey kills Jane and her crew. Which gives Decker an excuse to arrest Casey.

     The mission of spy versus spy in "Chuck Versus the Business Trip" is straight forward and exciting. Chuck and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) fight the bad guys, and Morgan has to run away and hide. Without the Intersect, the Carmichael Industries team still saves the day, with maybe slightly more effort than would be needed previously. If nothing else, it proves they have what it takes, with or without a computer in someone's head.

     Not that Morgan remains a fantastic spy without the Intersect. He shows bravery to protect Alex (Mekenna Melvin), whom he loves, but doesn't try to confront Jane on his own. This is wise. Unlike Chuck, who spends years training, Morgan's experience without the Intersect is very limited. This doesn't mean he can't still contribute to the team, but it does mean he won't be able to do everything he could do. An early scene in "Chuck Versus the Business Trip" shows Morgan enjoying a final stunt, before logically allowing his brain to be fixed.

     But will Carmichael Industries continue? Yes, they have what it takes, but do they want it? This is a question Chuck and Sarah stuggle with in "Chuck Versus the Business Trip." They would quickly grow bored without the adventures, as has been shown before. But at the same time, watching Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) with their baby, Chuck and Sarah can't help but wish for some amount of normal in their lives. In the end, they realize what they have is enough, because at least they have loved ones to spend time with at the end of the day.

     The final gathering, which finds Chuck, Sarah, Ellie, Awesome, Morgan, Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Alex enjoying each other's company post-mission, is bittersweet. There is some sadness hanging over the affair, with Alex only wanting to be Morgan's friend, since he lied to her about being a spy. Hopefully that will resolve itself soon. But the warmth and affection on the group is touching, and it reminds viewers that this group of complex, lovable characters will not be around much longer, and dark tragedy will likely strike someone soon, before the final curtain call. It is these external elements that fans cannot ignore that color this particular scene, and make it even better than the surface elements.

     What will happen next with Casey? Obviously, Decker set him up. Decker wants to take down everyone in Carmichael Industries, though his motivation as to why is still unknown. But allowing Jane to go after the team, Decker likely doesn't care whether Jane succeeds or not. Now he has a convenient excuse to take one person out of the equation, making the others all the more vulnerable. Without concrete evidence proving he acted in self-defense, how will Casey resolve this situation?

     Side note, the interaction between Casey and Morgan in this episode is top notch. Casey using the geeky movies that Morgan has forgotten to express the feelings he has for his little buddy throughout the episode is brilliant.

     The new Jeff (Scott Krinsky) is turning out to be very interesting. Not only does he help Awesome make Ellie happy by prompting him to go back to work so Ellie can stay home, but he also is a dedicated worker at the Buy More who can inspire the rest of the staff. This doesn't sit well with his frequent cohort, Lester (Vik Sahay), who makes an attempt to put Jeff back to who he was. But Jeff is too smart for this now, having Lester arrested instead. Bravo to Chuck for being brave enough to not have Lester reverse the change after a single episode, and pursue a major shake up such as this within the main cast. Only one problem: if Jeff is so smart and cultured off of the gas, what prompted him to sleep in his running van in the first place?

     Don't miss any of the final season of Chuck, airing Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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